Turbo Kid Will Put A Bloody Smile On Your Face.

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A post apocalyptic future deprived of water and automobiles is the setting for Turbo Kid, which may be playing at an independent/ art house cinema near you. A young male scavenger who goes by the name of The Kid, spends his days trading artifacts and tools for questionable water and his favorite comic books. It’s not lost on the rough looking locals on how the Kid is able to survive in these times, as he doesn’t have the frame nor the temperament to do much much beyond hole up in his dwelling and munch on ancient candy.

While rummaging about, the Kid meets up with an enthusiastic young lady named Apple, who’s just looking for friendship. Although this wasteland is somewhat portrayed as tongue and cheek, true friendship may be as hard to come by as clean water. On the opposite end of the spectrum, is the maniacal water baron, played by veteran bad guy Michael Ironside, complete with an eye patch and menacing duster.

In this version of a junior league Mad Max, bicycles are substituted for burly vehicles, and although that doesn’t lead to as many bike related stunts as one might hope, you’re not likely to complain about the end result. Turbo Kid is a fun, poppy, and surprising gory event to take in. It’s unusual innocence at times in comparison to the harsh background that the story takes place in, provides for a rich and touching piece of entertainment.

Judging by the trailer alone, Turbo Kid is far too fun and weird to miss out on

Grand Budapest Hotel is a Quagmire of Nonsense

Fiennes GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The Grand Budpest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s most West Anderson film ever. Early into Budapest, there is a punch out involving the main characters of Gustave, Zero, and another antagonist, that seems to set the bar for a different level of story telling for Wes Anderson. Unfortunately, the story devolves at a record pace from there on out, and becomes a series of cute little vignettes that prance about here and prance about there. Ralph Fiennes effectively plays Gustave as pompous and as swishy  as you were lead to believe in the trailer. His character lacks the complete ability to root for, or, against his antics, and the movie as a whole will lead you to wonder just what everyone is doing here. Edward Norton looks great as a perturbed lawman, oh he really pulls off perturbed let me tell you, and,well, that’s about it. All the usual Wes Anderson players show up here, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, etc, except this time around, somehow, someway, their contributions equal up to being less than the sum of their parts. The flow of characterization is all too brief here, the cinematic moments are not really allowed to breath. Too many times the story just settles for goofball crap instead of an expansion of the overall story at hand. To really expand upon what a drag Budapest is, is to also touch upon Wes Anderson caliber as a filmmaker, his body of work, and what make those films what they are. Bottle Rocket- IMDB will tell you that Anderson’s 1996 feature debut, is about a trio of friends and their elaborate plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run. Except that the fun part is that tier plan is pretty much the exact opposite of elaborate, and along the way the get hung up on ideas and people that just plain inept. Bottle Rocket is relatable because the trio’s standards are low, and along the way they are able find both pleasure and angst in the small things. Rushmore – Anderson’s 1998 feature Rushmore, is about the extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school, Max Fisher, who is also terrible at the fundamentals of basic schoolwork. Max is able to interact with adults on a level that is nearly inappropriate, and leads to quite a few laughs when it reaches a point where the situations they all arrive in are completely unmanageable. Seeing the characters react so harshly when they are out of there element provides timeless laughs, and here Anderson is on point in every aspect of storytelling, from characterization, to dialogue, to shot selection, to costumes, to setting, and soundtrack. It’s basically the Pinkerton of his career. The Royal Tenenbaums- This 2001 feature by Anderson plays as sort of double concept album with some radio friendly hits. “Three grown prodigies, all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal had left them long ago, and comes back to make things right with his family.” Tenebaum is hysterical in how unrelatable and dysfunctional the adults have become. Wes pulls out all the stops here to craft a film that is as engaging as it is pretty. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – The 2004  feature is as out there of a concept as anyone who is a fan of Anderson could possibly hope for. “When his partner is killed by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark, Steve Zissou and his Team Zissou crew set off for an expedition to hunt down the creature. Along with his estranged wife, a beautiful journalist and a co-pilot who could possibly be Zissou’s son, the crew set off for one wild expedition.” If you loved The Royal Tenebaums, the The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is as perfect of a follow up as one could ask for. The overall scope of the movie is not to be taken too seriously, and part of the fun in watching it is seeing how seriously the characters are taking themselves. When Jeff Goldblum strolls around in a bathrobe while holding an over sized shotgun, I believe that his character, Alistair Hennesey, thinks that highly of himself. Another visually beautiful film by Anderson with a great cast and concept. While the tone can seem a bit cold at times, it works for the story being told, and it also makes the CGI and props really jump out at you. The Darjeeling Limited- In this 2007 feature, three brothers, each suffering depression after the death of their father, meet up for a train trip across India. While The Darjeeling Limited is not great, it’s also not bad. It doesn’t have that excitable punch to it that other Anderson films have. Although there is a sort of odd, soothing overall tone to it, almost as if this entire thing were conducted to replicate that feeling of peak stonage, where nothing can touch you. Can’t say that this is a recomendable one, however it is a comendable effort and not without it’s charming moments. Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009, stop motion animated. This looks like some work to sit through, let me get back to you on that one. Moonrise Kingdom. 2012. “Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, as a young boy and girl fall in love they are moved to run away together. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down”, turned upside down by a rag tag group of adults who are as professional as they are incompetent. The lack of situational awareness of everyone’s part drives the story and the humor. There is a decent amount of heart on display in Moonrise Kingdom. The characters, both adult and juvenile, are “so smart they’re stupid”, as the gold ol boys like to say. There are a lot of good performances, great settings, gorgeous cinematography, and, well, there is a lot of everything in Moonrise Kingdom. The film does lack a little punch in the screenplay department, and I wouldn’t necessarily argue with anyone who wants to say it’s a little too contrived. Overall though, it’s a fun and harmless one to watch, it’s not hurting anything, and if any Wes Anderson movie is going to win a bunch of awards, it ought to be this one. Now, what Budapest has going for it, is the fact that it’s very metropolitan, and the academy crowd will rub them drippings all over their gross bodies like some sort of youth elixir. It’s so sad how easily forgettable this mess is, and it’s aggravating how each scene tries so hard to remind us that this is a Wes Anderson movie. At no point did I have any faith this story took place in the real word, and what worked in previous Anderson films, is that no matter how far up their ass any one given character was, the real world would always kind of nudge here and there to create a counterbalance and help drive the story. Budapest comes off as just plain cacamamie, due to poor execution, and a poor overall concept of what the story could have been.

Lunopolis is a found footage movie about found footage, and that’s alll you need to know

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When one Google’s mind trip movies on Netlfix, 2009’s found footage-ish, low budget, damn near no budget, indie, sci-fi flick Lunopolis will be at the top of said lists, and when one has has a sense of imagination and a touch of adventure on their resume, one watches said movie sight unseen.

Right off the bat, this film is able to portray, with significantly limited resources to dwell on, that good old fashioned sense of classic sci-fi that we all know and love. Lunopolis starts off as three film makers found footage about a mysterious object located by way of a broadcast from their favorite unexplained phenomena radio program. Luckily the film does not settle for just being average, and as the story progresses, it finds a depth you never see coming.

While you wont recognize one actor involved, they way the intensity and complexity of the story is ramped up as it plays out goes a long way to make you forget about it’s short comings. Lunopolis is impressive while not trying to impress too hard. It may not be as subtlety mind altering as 2004’s Primer, few films are, however Lunoplis is every bit as clever as it has to be in order to tell a story effectively while still being watchable by the average person.

Like A Reverse Flash Gordon

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When a comet is set to collide with the planet Hondo, the citizens decide to send their most decorated solider, General Trius, on a mission to find a new home their people. Crash landing on Earth, Trius is all but ready to obliterate the natives until his actions are thwarted by the powerful essence of…music.

There are two things that the planet Hondo does not have, well, two things that we are made aware of, music and buckets. Upon discovering a passion he did not know he had, General Trius gives himself the Earth name of Bill, picks up the banjo, places a bucket upon his head, and starts himself a family. The days go by and Bill is content to entertain his young daughter with fairy tales of the far away planet of Hondo and it’s odd customs.

The one day Bill’s life is punctuated by the drama of the inevitable.

What we’re talking about here is The History of Future Folk, a charming sci-fi tale of music and passion. While this feature is low budget, it never feels cheap, and deftly uses it’s sci-fi elements more as enduring qualities than a reliance on the spectacle.  Nils d’Aulaire plays General Trius/Bill with a refined balance that you just don’t see everyday. He’s detached and cool, not to cool for school, just cool enough to get a competent job done.

Tight direction, a pace that is never dull and yet allows for the characters to exist a little in each moment, and music that, if we’re being honest, is scene stealing material. One could easily surmise that all of these elements, in the hands of any other director, with production from any other studio, could have led lead to a misfire at best, or a just plain bad idea come to life at worst. However, at this particular time, with this precise group of individuals involved, the underdog of all underdogs  have just produced the sort of crowing achievement that every artist dreams of.

I won’t lie to you here, I had seen this movie advertised for some months on my Netlfix, and it seemed interesting enough that I would get around to watching it. Life experience will teach that not every quirky idea come to light is pulled off as well as it could have been. Reading a description involving a banjo playing alien folk duo certainly teases the old pleasure center of the brain, just not entirely enough to drop what one is doing, throw it all the chance, and brace for the potential disappointment. Rest assured, you’re not going to have a bad time with this movie, additionally, you’re not going to want to keep quiet about it either.

With only 14 total reviews on IMDB for this 2012 release, and less than 600 likes on Facebook, it will seem unfathomable, if not unconscionable that a larger audience has not been garnered for this fine piece of work.

So now it’s in your hands.

This is your baby.

You tell the world about your baby.

Marc Maron’s Thinky Pain

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Some days you just may not be in the mood to endure the grief and anguish associated with Marc Maron’s IFC television show, and, at this stage of his career and popularity, Maron certainly doesn’t need a blogger’s help for exposure.

However, this “stand up” / story telling Netflix special clocks in at 90 minutes, feels like it’s barely a half hour long, and at that, you’d be happy to sit through for hours of it. The way he’s able to engage his audience without directly telling “jokes” is in rare form here.

What is even more fascinating to note is that there is an episode of Maron’s IFC show where he dates a dominatrix style sex worker, the dialogue complete with lines of her pissing on clients. That episode has commercial trailers for it, it’s marketable, it’s a thing. How crazy is that?

If the same story scenario would have been released in, oh say, 1990, it would have been given at least an NC-17 rating and made 80% of it’s audience ashamed to to talk about it, and that would include the reviewers that gave it a positive rating.

These days, it’s a regular type thing that we can grasp and have a good laugh about, and to that I say…

O.k society, we’re in a good spot now, let’s not fuck this up.

Hover Board by Hello Lobster

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There is something about the pop culture wiggling and giggling of Hello Lobster that makes their take on things such as hipsters and roller blading feel so definitive. They have tendency to be duplicitous in their delivery, in the sense that they’re making fun of the ridiculous just as much as they’re enjoying the ridiculous for what it is.

I’ve written about them before, and the blogroll will always lead to Tony Altamirano’s site. Their latest jam covers the subject of Hover Boards.

Sam Elliott Scenarios

In a fair and just world, Sam Elliott would have long ago been named the National Spokesman for fudgsicles.

Picture this if you will, the smarmy, gravelly voiced, elder statesman posed against a soft toned backdrop, the camera panning in on a treat wielding Sam Elliot.

In mid bite he says

” I don’t know the particulars, of these fudge siculars, but they sho is good”

Sam smirks

Cue the product