Category Archives: Republicans

Taffety Punk’s “The Faithkiller”

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Seeing it probably Saturday. But I already had a good time interviewing director Marcus Kyd (pictured above at left) for my preview for the Paper of Record.

Will There Be Blood?

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Aye, There Will Be Blood.

I saw this a week-and-a-half ago and I’m still thinking about it every day. Paul Thomas Anderson’s enigmatic and enigmatically-named film – his first since the sweet-but-slight Punch-Drunk Love half a decade ago – is a maddening, beguiling but hugely satisfying meal of a movie, bold and unknowable. Is it a picture whose self-possessed greatness will echo down the ages? Your guess is as good as mine. Anderson’s films — Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia round out his resume; he’d made all three before he was 30, the prodigious bastard — tend to give up their secrets only upon much reflection. More than any other filmmaker of his generation, even fellow visionaries like Wes Anderson, Todd Solondz, Alfonso Cuaron, or Guillermo Del Toto, you go to an Anderson film fully expecting to be interpreting it for a long time afterward.

There Will Be Blood is, without question, a great cinematic experience, visceral and absorbing. Anderson’s filmmaking has reached full maturity, and in Daniel Day-Lewis, Anderson has found his ideal onscreen alter ego, an actor as deliberate and mesmerizing as he is. As Daniel Planview, the self-described “oilman” whom we meet in 1898, as he sacrifices (in the film’s wordless, economically told first sequence) his health to extract the earth of its riches (gold, until he discovers something better), Day-Lewis is ferocious.

As with his performance in Martin Scorcese’s much-maligned 2002 Gangs of New York, Day-Lewis treads the line of parody here, talking, for some reason, like John Huston in Chinatown even before his character’s grasp on sanity and and reason begins to erode.

What do the Cranberries and Dick Cheney’s judgment have in common?

They were both a lot better back in 1994 than they have been since 2003.

Gosh guys, I though you said John Kerry was the big flip-flopper!

I love Willie Nelson.

So, I submitted my September review requests today, with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price’s Sept. 6 Merriweather appearance at the top of the list. I’ll take my dad if I get that one. I wonder if Willie will play the tune I found from him on iTunes today: “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other).”

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It’s a pretty great song, actually. Maybe not as great as the cover image, which of course is included when you buy it from iTunes. Somehow I don’t think this one would go over so well with the crowd of jack-holes who were, apropos of nothing, chanting “USA, USA” when I saw Willie play Wolf Trap in, I think, 2003. But you never know.

The release date was Valentine’s Day last year. Nice.

Oh, I got some play in Freedom Rock again today. Just some talk about carbohydrates.

So. We’ll — and this is not the regal “we,” but rather the “we” that denotes “Klimek and those among his confederates who be not wussy bitches” — all be out the night of Tuesday, July 3 to see those cars who are also robots.

But meanwhile, there’s another, less hirsute, even more powerful echo of my childhood rippling through the public consciousness this week, thanks mostly due to a ubiquitous ad campaign for which Rupert Murdoch has paid a dear price. We’re 19 years and three films on from John McTiernan’s uber-tense, class-conscious, sharply edited original — the film that no less an authority than Entertainment Weekly recently named as the Greatest Action Film of All Time, and certainly it’s in the top five — but it’s link to the imagination that thrived inside my chubby, awkward 12-year-old body in 1988 remains intact. Then as now, that imagination yearned to kill slumming members of the Royal Shakespeare Company while eulogizing them thusly: “Yippe Kay Yay, Motherfuckers!”

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Bruce puts on manly readiness for Die Hard, Part the Fourth.

The PG-13 rating gives me pause. The phrase “directed by Len Wiseman” gives me pause. The presence of Justin “I’m a Mac” Long . . . well, I sort of like him, actually. His performance as Queerbait in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story showed him to be a mature, insightful actor of surprising nuance, who could also catch a crescent wrench to the nutsack and take it like a man. And so, my fellow Americans, we are faced with a sober choice: Live Free? Or Die Hard?

Or, uh, Live Free or Die Hard? (It’s the summer movie wherein a car fights a helicopter and a jet fights a truck — but they don’t turn into robots!)

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The midnight sneaks are actually tonight. But if we go to see that free screening of Barbarella at the Hirshorn Thursday night at eight, a 10:30 show at Gallery Place of this tone poem to revolution, male pattern baldness, and airborne vehicular manslaughter would be just about perfect. Come on, Guys! Hanoi Jane meets John McClane! As a watershed cultural event, it will be second only to this:

What say ye, Friends? Can I get a witness?

News of the Day. Yesterday.

Thanks, Billboard! Your June 20th edition spilleth over with plenty!

They’ve got details of the copious bonus material that will make the inevitable 30th Anniversary Edition of Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True a necessary purchase even for people like me, who have already bought it twice. (If you started on him in ’77 instead of ’98, like I did, you’ve surely paid for it more times than that.) Also, there’s a free iTunes podcast series chopping up a long interview with the Imposter about the first 10 years of his career. I assume it isn’t the 1995 interview by Peter Dogget that comprised the bonus interview disc from the first time these albums were reissued — in 1994-5 by Rykodisc. This, of course, was followed by the Rhino reissues (featuring different liner notes by Elvis than the first reissue series and even more bonus music), and then the current reissue series which gives you bupkis in terms of extras.

They’re also breaking down Prince’s imminent Los Angeles residency: He’ll play seven gigs (with the usual unannounced after-shows expected) to 200 people per show, for the novel price of $312.10 (general admission standing) or *cough* $3121 (oyster bar included). Meanwhile, he’s already pretty much done with the titular inspiration for the pricing scheme: A little more than a year after the release of 3121, his new record, Planet Earth, will be released July 24th.

Best of all, Ted Nugent is about to release a new record . . . called Love Grenade. Sez the Nuge: “We come from the old school of shitkicker, R&B-driven, grinding guitar lovemaster.” Indeed.

Best. Movie. Song. Ever!

Not by a long shot, actually — the song blows. But I love the idea: a film-by-film recap of the last 19 years in the Die Hard-a-verse, set to verse. So now there’s something besides the title that’s cool about the forthcoming Live Free or Die Hard. Too bad this inexplicably pussified PG-13 version of Die Hard is likely to make 1990’s Renny (Deep Blue Sea) Harlin-helmed Die Hard 2: Die Harder look like The French Connection by comparison.