The Art of Cinema: Dream Baby Dream

cable-carI love going to the movies.

Continue reading “The Art of Cinema: Dream Baby Dream”

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Who Are The Guardians of the Galaxy?

guardiansI don’t know.

But on August 1st myself along with the rest of the world (well at least the US & Canada) will finally get the opportunity to sit down and watch Marvel Studios and James Gunn’s gamble of a space odyssey, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and find out exactly what the hell is going on and how it fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tonight packed IMAX theaters across the country caught a small glimpse of Guardians, wetting the appetite for many fans who know Iron Man and the Hulk but may be a bit fuzzy on what a Star Lord and Groot are.

But first, James Gunn.

A student of the Troma School of Filmmaking, Gunn has been a favorite of mine for years. Between writing The Specials (a superhero movie without any heroics & probably ten years ahead of its time), Slither (giving me my first big taste of Nathan Fillion), and the surreal Super (seriously, stop reading and go watch this now. SHUT UP CRIME!) Gunn has earned a place very close to my cinephile heart. When I heard that Marvel tapped him for this project my interest immediately skyrocketed despite my complete lack of knowledge on Guardians lore.

I’ve always been a fringe comic book reader at best, and even as a child I was more of a DC kid than Marvel beyond my love of X-Men and Captain America. When Marvel Studios kicked off their unified series of films (the aforementioned MCU) in 2008 with Iron Man I was instantly roped in thanks to the charisma of Robert Downey Jr. and the post-credit tease of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury casually dropping the phrase “Avengers Initiative.” I was all in. Since then I’ve consumed every bit of the MCU from the rebooted Hulk to the fist pumping Avengers to the middling Agents of SHIELD. All of these characters and beats I was at least tangibly knowledgeable of. The Guardians of the Galaxy is a concept I’m completely unfamiliar with, and sold solely on the name of James Gunn. After our seventeen minute sneak preview tonight in Providence, I’m happy to say I’ve never been more excited to jump into the far reaches of the MCU.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Chris Pratt is a freaking Leading Man. Capital L. Capital M. Between this and Jurassic World I have a feeling (Hooked on a Feeling?) he’s going to be VERY in demand. I love the way he plays Quill, especially in the short scene of him going off about someone touching his Walkman and playing “his” music.
  • The preview was in IMAX 3D, and despite my loathing for the 3D format I must admit it was very well done. Colors were vibrant, the CGI blended seamlessly with the live action surroundings (I can’t tell you how much I love these guys playing in physical, real sets), and the action was clear to see and follow.
  • Bradley Cooper (or the voice of Bradley Cooper) really sells the character of Rocket, and kind of fades into the part. There were many parts of the preview where I couldn’t even recognize his voice.
  • Dat’ soundtrack.
  • Everyone had a chance to shine in the preview shown, which prominently featured the prison breakout and played every character to their strengths, giving them each a showcase moment. Plus who doesn’t love a scrappy underdog story of a band of misfits coming together with their backs up against the wall to become  galactic heroes and I assume BFFs forever.
  • Not a lot shown of the villains in both the trailers and this preview. I like that, because that means this is all just world building and character beats leaving the actual plot unspoiled and spelled out for everyone.
  • Michael Rooker is in it. Ticket bought.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opens nationwide on Friday August 1st.

Before the preview, being encouraged by the marketing team to Tweeter and Facepage this.

 

 

My 20’s: The Epic Adventures of the Bartenders Ball [Part 1]

With possible Armageddon & my 30th birthday on the horizon, I’ve decided to dig deep into my well of memories and share some of my favorite stories from the last ten years of my life. FULL DISCLOSURE: While I will be as [karate] honest as possible in the retelling of these tales there will be certain things omitted due to a probable (more thank likely) drunken haze,  old-age forgetfulness, and the protection of the guilty innocent. This will also be done in a very non-linear style, since whatever story I post will be based on what pops into my head first, not chronologically.

 

Continue reading “My 20’s: The Epic Adventures of the Bartenders Ball [Part 1]”

Anarchy, My Dear…

After nearly three years since their last record (their 2009 self titled album), Say Anything has finally returned with a vengeance, releasing their fourth studio album and in my opinion their best effort yet– Anarchy, My Dear.

I found Say Anything a bit later than most hardcore fans, but was quickly hooked when 95.5 WBRU began playing “Alive With the Glory of Love” round the clock on our local airwaves. I will never forget Say Anything because they came into my life at the perfect instant, immediately encapsulating my thoughts and feelings at that one moment in time.

It was August 2006, and I had recently come back into contact with my ex-girlfriend Carolyn. It had been over three years since our relationship ended, and while I was angry with her for what had happened like all things time healed most wounds. The biggest issue I still harbored with our split was the lack of closure that had been caused. Things ended so abruptly, it made getting over her infinitely more difficult. Earlier that year, we began e-mailing each other after she had reached out to me. Her relationship with her boyfriend had recently ended (the guy she left me for), and she had remorse with how things went down between us. I had bought the …Is A Real Boy re-release around this time, and began playing it nonstop while talking back forth via electronic communication with my former flame. After a month of chatting, we bit the bullet and decided we should probably meet up in person since it had been so long since our last encounter.

She offered to come down this way (she had recently moved back home after graduating from college), and decided we’d meet at the local mall for coffee. While it was awkward at first, it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. Like slipping into a pair of comfortable shoes, it felt like we fell back three years and were right where we started. Coffee turned to dinner and the two of us ended up taking a stroll down on Thayer Street in Providence, reminiscing about the days of old. There was honestly nothing romantic about the evening despite the setup. It was just two old friends reuniting and putting the past to bed.

That weekend I found out that Say Anything was playing Monday night at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, and I was determined to go. Without a partner in crime, I called up Carolyn and asked if she wanted to join me for the show.

It was one of the best concert experiences of my life, and was completely caught up in the electricity of that night. It was also the first time Carolyn & I were able to share a legal drink together, considering we were both jailbait when we were dating.

I’ll never forget Max, Coby, and the gang that night and I’ll never forget that I shared this moment with Carolyn either. That week her and I spent a ton of time together (midnight swimming, hiking, lots of talking), and when it was over we went our separate ways. She started a new career as a teacher, and I was starting a new job myself (at a company I still work for to this day), but to me it wasn’t the end. It was just another chapter in my journey of self-discovery.

In that journey Say Anything has been with me since, as cheesy as it sounds. I snatched up every record they released, I began reading up about Max’s issues with depression and drug addiction, I saw the band live on numerous occasions, and I searched out any b-side, demo, or self-released song I could find.  I was now a disciple on the Altar of Bemis, and I wasn’t even a 17 year old girl!

To me Anarchy, My Dear is the perfect culmination of the work Say Anything has put forth over the years, combining all the sounds and variations of their eclectic style, producing a brilliant symphony thanks to Tim O’Heir returning as producer and puppetmaster. When the first single “Burn A Miracle” was released, I was taken back with the raw sound on display, especially after recently consuming the majority of Say Anything’s earlier work (Baseball, Menorah/Majora)  which many fans claim the band left behind following the success of …Is A Real Boy. An ignorant dismissal if you’ve truly followed the evolution of the band.

As the album began leaking out over the interweb and on the youtubes, I found myself at another crossroads in my life. For years I had become close with a friends cousin, building a friendship based out of my own ignorance and drunken stupidity. The day I had met her in 2009 I was rude, condescending, and straight up bullish to this poor girl who had only come to Massachusetts for her cousins baby shower.  Looking back, I’m glad I did what I did because it brought this girl into my life and changed me forever. She reached out to me in the days following our fateful meeting, and why I have no idea (it’s because she likes assholes). But because of this, and because she lived six hours away from me in New York, we instantly became close with each other. There was no need for secrets, and we became support for one another whether we immediately realized it or not. It’s not hyperbole to say that she became one of my best friends, a soul mate I never knew I was missing until she had arrived in my life.

Late last year I began to realize how much I cared for her and her daughter, and despite not seeing her since that night in 09′, it didn’t change the fact that everything I was feeling was real and I knew she felt the same despite the million roadblocks in front of us. Just as Say Anything was about to release their newest, my life was evolving yet again. Victoria came to visit the weekend before Anarchy, My Dear was released and that weekend made everything we had built up over two and a half years tangible in just an instant. While that incredible feeling of happiness was fleeting due to some unforeseen complications, the second I bought Anarchy, My Dear all those feelings came rushing back thanks to the work of this amazing band. Listening to this album will always remind me of how much I love Victoria, and how much my experiences with Carolyn and the other follies of my 29 year old existence has brought me here to who I am today, and who I want to be.

The emotional attachment I have definitely skews my opinion, but no one can deny the gravity of  “The Stephen Hawking” or the beauty of the titular track. “So Good” evokes the feelings of the sensuality and love behind every lyric. I had bought Tori & I tickets to see Say Anything at the House of Blues this past April, and while she obviously couldn’t join me she was most definitely there in spirit. Max & Company put on an amazing show despite my issues with the House of Blues itself (I’m pretty bummed they skipped Providence on this tour frankly), and was completely transported back to that wonderful night in the summer of 2006.

To me Anarchy, My Dear is an opus of hope, and when I dream of days that we might share I must thank Max for putting these wonderful words into my head and my heart.