Nerdy Heartbeat

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Worst Movie of 2010: The Rant November 23, 2010

Filed under: SOMEONE KILL ME — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 1:06 am
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Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Why Nerdy Heartbeat, don’t you think it’s too soon to dub the worst movie of 2010? Frankly, no. Because 1. We’re diving into Oscars season, a time that very few awful films are placed in and 2. Anything that is coming up that looks bad or iffy will probably not be as nearly as bad as this. So, now that we have that out of the way…

Nerdy Heartbeat Presents: Everything About the Movie That Made Me Almost Lose It — The Blog

I have an profound love/hate relationship with the Romantic Comedy genre (think Love the Way You Lie but replace Rihanna with Katherine Heigl). On one end of the spectrum I get moving, phenomenal stories like Love, Actually or (500) Days of Summer; films that transcend genders, age groups and social statuses; movies everyone and their hot ass mother can relate too.

Then there’s “The Shadowlands” of the genre. The ones, that are unfortunately mainly associated with the genre, that appear to exist in some terrifying alternate reality crafted by a cult of biddies. They exist mainly to mock the men of the world; covered with female protagonists who spend a majority of their screen time complaining about their love life (because as well all now relationships are the ONLY thing that matters to a woman) with attempts of comedy relief done by [insert hot dude’s name here] taking his shirt off, singing an girly song, showing off his six-pack while inadvertently laughing at me while on a movie date because he thinks I’m SO FUCKING FAT- yeah no. I don’t like these movies. At all. I just don’t.

And then there’s Valentine’s Day which envelopes on a whole new level of suck that I didn’t even know existed. Now before I go any further, I think it’s fair to point out that I watch almost exclusively bad bad movies. For fun. Additionally, I’m an open minded person. Even if I absolutely hate something, I’m still the kind of person that can find the beauty in almost anything (with the exception of fart jokes… and Snooki).

I would never… like not even with someone else’s dick. Just. Fucking gross.

Even Vampires Suck and other Friedberg/Seltzer films. As gut-wretchedly terrible as they are. They’re short. Like 60, 70 minute short. So even THEY have their mild upsides. But let me say, with complete honesty, that there was not a single line, composition, musical choice, character, lighting technique, cleavage shot in Valentine’s Day that I found even remotely enjoyable. This is the first time I could safely say this about ANY movie. Ever. In a movie-goers world where he searches for the bottom of the barrel, Valentine’s Day doesn’t even exist in the same realm as the barrel. It’s just an endless void. With whining. So much fucking whining.

Now before I go any further, I think it’s only fair to explain the scenario I was in while watching this. I was on a plane back from a fantastic three week study abroad program in Japan. It was one of the best times of my life and here I am on a plane, about to watch a movie, but not just any movie; my first re-emergence into American culture. The movies were already picked on the plane and the first one was Valentine’s Day. My initial reaction was “Oh I heard about it. It has a great cast and reminds me of Love, Actually one of my favorite movies. I might enjoy this.”

Movie begins. That catchy Michael Franti song plays. Feeling good about it. Oh wait. Here comes Aston Kutcher giving absurdly philosophical monologues about love. Hold up, here’s Jamie Foxx complaining about how he hate’s Valentine’s Day because he’s… wait for it…”a player and shutting down his playerness for”- nope you lost me, I’m gonna just tone you out for another 2 hours. And… enter George Lopez.

Dear God, what have I gotten myself into?

 

One of the major criticisms of the film by those professional folk were that the characters in this movie were one dimensional. They were wrong. These characters don’t even have dimensions. There’s like 20 thousand sub-plots going on. Half of them are pointless and all of them are consistently irritating. Jessica Biel spends most of the movie moping about how she’s a working woman who’s alone (because as we all know, a woman can’t be both successful AND in a relationship) and halfway through has an emotional breakdown in front of Jamie Foxx. It’s uncomfortable. Not the funny kind of uncomfortable either. It’s like the “is that guy really masturbating on the subway?” uncomfortable. This is also the same character that holds a “I Hate Valentine’s Day Party”. Yeah. It’s about as groan-inducing and self-loathing as it sounds. (Side note) I don’t care if you’re single, or taken, or “it’s complicated” during V-Day but it’s a holiday dedicated to two and only two things: chocolate and boning. If you don’t like celebrating either of those two things or a combination of both, I don’t want to know you.

And then there’s a little boy who’s hopelessly in love. Oh like the cute kid in Love, Actually? Fuck no. He has THE most obnoxious fucking voice ever and, like everyone else, is given awful dialog to work with. Awful to the point that you almost feel sorry for everyone involved.

Since the film is 2 hours too long and has a million characters, the story tends to trek into what I like to call the “Phantom Menace Recap” flaw. One of the many problems with The Phantom Menace is that whenever something “important” happened, a handful of characters, whether it be Jar Jar, naked 3PO or random alien had to comment on it despite it being pointless. There are several moments in the film where the story stops for like 2 minutes for characters to talk about the events going on. We get it. The characters are all connected. You’re attempting a Greek chorus and failing. Move on.

And that’s the one of many problems with this movie. It’s awkward. Like Fucking. Awkward. Like Tommy Wiseau’s The Room awkward. Like you’d think all of Hollywood has been replaced by high school actors awkward. When actors aren’t giving the most awful dialog in a mainstream movie, the camera randomly cuts to nonsensical things that you’d probably see in a Tim and Eric sketch. It’s surprising to see so many beautiful famous people be so damn awkward on camera. You don’t care about any of the characters and you honestly don’t want to, because they don’t seem even the slightest real. Jennifer Gardner breaks up with her cheating “boyfriend” like a high schooler, if said high schooler has bipolar disorder. Taylor Swift plays a more annoying version of herself. Emma Roberts awkwardly talks about boning her high school sweetheart to anyone who’ll listen. Everyone on screen seemingly ad libs and improvs for the sake of it… badly. And George Lopez… George Fucking Lopez acts as the Yoda of True Love. It’s a mess. A mess that dangerously borders between aware post-modern genius or complete piece of shit.

Still unconvinced this movie’s a murderer of all that is good? I have a monster crush on Anne Hathaway. Like hard. She spends all of her screen time dirty talking in European accents. And it didn’t save the movie. That’s right. Anne Hathaway. Who’s in my top 3 of “Famous People I’d Totally Bone” list. Is a sex line worker. And is dirty talking. In a hot European accent. Through the entire movie. And even that doesn’t help. Oh yes. It’s that bad.

And (spoiler alert?) there’s no real payoff. Most of the stories either end with the pairs spontaneously kissing just to end the sexual tension that no one really cares about or text each other “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love U! LOL!” In a world of shitty romantic comedies, this is the one that has the raw power to destroy galaxies with its suck. It’s awful. Garbage. Proof that actors actually have to do more than just look pretty in front of a camera.

So in summary, Valentine’s Day: a movie with awkwardness Tommy Wiseau can’t even top that is absolutely horrible even with Anne Hathaway saying sexy stuff in a European accent.

 

God help us all.


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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Review OR Kanye Haters Imma Let U Finish But- November 11, 2010

Filed under: Review — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 11:11 pm
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If you’re reading this right now, chances are you don’t like Kanye West. There are plenty of reasons to come to this conclusion. Maybe you hate him for ruining Taylor Swift’s moment at the VMAs last year. Maybe you hate him for using a substantial amount of Auto-Tune on 808s and Heartbreak. Maybe you hate him because time and time again, he came off as an egotistical asshole. Or maybe you hate him because you straight up just don’t like the genre.

Regardless, for whatever reason you don’t like Kanye, it ultimately doesn’t matter. Seriously. It doesn’t. You can hate all you want but it won’t change how much impact he’s had on the rap genre in the past decade. Is he batshit insane? Of course. But it’s the crazy people who put out the most noteworthy music (see Brian Wilson, Kurt Cobain etc). His new album proves that. That’s right. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the best pop albums released in recent memory and in 10 years will most likely be viewed as a classic of this musical generation. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

The album starts off with a spoken word intro by Ms. Nicki Minaj and then the first sample erupts with a catchy yet otherworldly grandeur. Much like other uses of sampling of Kanye songs, it’s soulful but much is different. The production throughout the whole album (which is flawless by the way) is dreamlike, mysterious and uplifting all at the same time. “Power” combines King Crimson with tribal chants. “Gorgeous” has a psychedelic rock vibe with the help of Kanye’s “Robin”, Kid Cudi. “Hell of A Life” plays with the Black Sabbath “Iron Man” riff while “All of the Lights” (which is an easy contender for SOTY) starts with a tremendously grand horn section that eventually delves face first into a mosh pit of drum machines that turn “bumping and grinding” to spaz attacks. Then the second to last song “Lost in the World” turns a beloved Bon Iver song into a riotous celebration. Tracks jump from orchestral to soulful to heavenly to demonic. It’s musical bipolarity in its purest, catchiest and most refined form.

The rapping is back. Full throttle. There’s still auto tune here and there but when used, it actually works. MBDTF manages to contain the hip hop from Kanye’s first three releases while maintaining the minimalistic and haunting atmosphere of 808s. Plus almost every guest appearance on here is phenomenal. From Rihanna’s chorus on “All of the Lights” to Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Monster” that may possibly cause earthquakes for being too straight up awesome to Jay-Z owning life to Elton Freaking John. Yup.

When it comes down to it, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy reveals Kanye as both a hip-hop savior and a pop-culture burdened monster; a necessary evil for a music scene that’s too busy holding on to auto-tune and dance floor analogies to do something different. And here it is. MBDTF is a pop top 40-centric album that can be safely labeled as unique. Last time such a statement could be said was back in 03 with Outkast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below. Will this album save the top 40 scene from mediocrity? Only time will tell. But one thing for certain is that you may hate Kanye West (and you probably will) but one thing is for certain. While there may be a lot wrong with him, he does know how to make pop music like no one else right now.
This is easily one of the most interesting and noteworthy pop albums in a damn damn damn long time. All coming from “the biggest asshole ever”.

Your move 50 Cent.

 

RIYL: being mean to Taylor Swift, calling presidents racist, gayfish

 

Scott Pilgrim VS. The World Review: Every Video Game Movie Before This Can Eat It August 16, 2010


One could say that the Scott Pilgrim series is my own Harry Potter or Twilight. It’s a book (well in this case comic book) series that I loved from the beginning. Read over and over again, waiting in grand anticipation for the next volume to be released. It essentially compiled all of my favorite things ever: comics, video games, indie rock, kung-fu, ninjas, hot chicks… you get the idea. All things labeled as epic and/or awesome was compiled in this 6 volume series. It was every geek’s most glorious fantasy compiled with eccentric humor and plenty of stylish grandeur.

So obviously, I was very excited that a Scott Pilgrim film adaptation was in the works. I was then even more excited that Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) would direct it. Then I discovered that Michael Cera would star, which made me suspicious. I mean every role prior to Scott Pilgrim, he was basically a variation of George Michael Bluth from Arrested Development. After all Scott Pilgrim as a character isn’t awkward, he’s just a goofball and an idiot. At first, I was worried if Michael Cera wouldn’t know the difference playing this role. Majority naysayers of the film are naysaying because of their dislike for how “Michael Cera basically only plays himself” (because we’ve all obviously met Cera personally and known him long enough to know what he’s like when he’s “himself”). All that being said, this is Cera actually playing a character, even if that character is ultimately a less awkward, much more animated and silly version of “himself” (whatever that even means).

But enough about Cera, he isn’t the star of the film, Edgar Wright is. Shaun of the Dead was a parody/tribute of the zombie genre and Hot Fuzz did the same for action/buddy cop flicks. This time around Edgar Wright does the treatment for video games and hipster/indie culture, saluting, mocking and celebrating these generational quirks in colorful, over-the-top and remarkably stylish beauty. Such visuals singlehandedly prove you don’t need 3D gimmicks to wow your audience. Even during the two or three awkward atypical Cera moments, you won’t mind it with the visual pizazz Wright throws at you at every turn. Along with Sin City, Scott Pilgrim is one of the few times a film adaptation has truly captured the aesthetic and atmosphere of the source material.

Scott Pilgrim VS. The World, based on the 6 volume Canadian comic book series, tells the chaotic tale of Scott Pilgrim: 23, bassist of local band Sex Bob-omb, irresponsible and lacking of any common sense but ultimately means well (sort of). His life is turned on its head upon meeting Ramona Flowers, a mysterious American who recently moved to Toronto to “escape”. The two hit it off and it isn’t long until Scott learns he has to defeat her seven evil exs. Complete and utter chaos ensues.

Each fight scene is choreographed with so much finesse and energy while incorporating video game elements in surreal and absurd proportions (enemies turn into coins upon defeat, characters “level up”, “extra lives” randomly show up). The film also has endless references to gaming classics like The Legend of Zelda and the Street Fighter series. In one moment, one of the exes breaks out into a Bollywood-inspired song with the help of his demon hipster girls. It’s total madness. In essence, this is the best video game movie ever made. You almost want Wright to go back and re-do every adaptation that was done wrong (Dragonball Evoluton, Street Fighter: The Movie, House of the Dead, Speed Racer etc.). Everything about it is the pure definition of epic, from the jaw-dropping visuals and fight scenes to the catchy 8-bit inspired score done by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead’s producer).

Now a movie that lasts under 2 hours while trying to cover a 6 volume long story-arc, it’s going to be as faithful as it possibly can. That being said, for the sake of the pacing, a lot of the less action-packed moments in the books are removed which results in plenty of omissions: Kim Pine has a less of an important role, a few of the evil exs get less screen time and some minor characters (Lisa Miller and Joseph) are completely removed. Sure some of this was disappointing to me but it was expected. If the film included everything from the books the pacing would be absolutely horrible at times. Besides, if I want the complete Scott Pilgrim experience, I’d just read the comics.

Ultimately, as an adaptation, it could’ve been better but as a movie it’s near perfect. It’s a fun, energetic tribute to the video game world juxtaposed with the chaos of being in a new, confusing relationship. Obviously a lot of people won’t be into it; it’s a certain style that a lot of people will either love or hate. And some will dislike for a lot of reasons whether their disassociation with anything hipster or indie or they don’t take video games seriously or they just straight up don’t like Michael Cera as an actor. That being said, if you were so much as mildly interested in seeing this, you’ll walk out of the theater with a huge smile on your face thinking it was one of the best films of the summer. Because honestly, it so is.

RIYL: video games, kung-fu, color, comics, Canadians, nerdy things, Edgar Wright’s other movies, laughing, smiling, any other emotion that evokes happiness, seriously kids go see this

 

The Human Centipede Review July 26, 2010

Filed under: Review — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 4:24 am
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We all knew that guy in high school. You what guy I’m talking about. Sat by himself in the cafeteria sporting his Slipknot hoodie, huddling in his PSP while glaring at his classmates with the “one day I will kill you” look. I knew one of these kids. One time he told me the most efficient way to torture someone without actually killing them. It was awkward. And disturbing. But even this kid and all the other “that guys” in the world couldn’t conceive the concept of The Human Centipede, a disgustingly absurd and ridiculous new addition to the torture porn genre. The film is already getting branded cult status with a premise that makes everyone think: “Wait… really?”

Torture porn is already a form of horror that isn’t taken seriously at all. Especially since many of them actually try to give off some kind of social commentary about morality and primal human nature… or something. But instead of coming off as smart they just seem to contradict themselves with their messages. Saw is a perfect example. One moment it becomes Our Town and preaches to you about how people don’t appreciate life and stuff and the next minute they show some girl screaming and crying hysterically because there’s fifty nails getting slammed in her skull because… she smoked a cigarette and wished death on someoneonce. The Human Centipede however is the real deal… I guess. While some mention how it can be an allegory for Nazi experiments but that’s pushing it. There’s no moral or life lesson or social commentary. This movie is literally 90 minutes of three people being forced into the most horrible situation ever… for no real reason other than the torturer just wants to make people feel pain.

The Human Centipede tells the whimsical tale of Dr. Heiter who after being known for separating conjoined twins now wants to surgically connect several subjects into a single specimen with a single digestive tract. And he plans to do this by (sigh) joining people surgically from the mouth to the anus. Why you ask? Honestly, just because he can. Well that and he’s completely f–king insane. The three helpless victims are some Japanese guy who spends the entire time on screen screaming and two American girls on a European road trip, get lost and then literally spend 10 whole minutes complaining about how lost they are. They’re kidnapped by Heiter. Heiter tells them they’ll be rimming each other for the rest of their lives. Victims scream and resist which eventually results in a extremely slow-paced chase scene. Heiter performs surgery and the human centipede is born.

Once you see the disgusting creation and once the disturbing factor starts to wear off, and believe me it does, the film gets boring, fast. I mean as much as I want to see the doctor make the creature fetch him his newspaper (this actually happens) and then later screaming “FEED HER” to the centipede (I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this is further detail), it really drags on too long with way too much cat and mouse scenes and way way too much screaming in agony and pain. I mean I know, they’re attached from the mouth to the b-hole but like half of the film is seeing these people going through the agony of being this thing. It goes from a ridiculously fun cult film to borderline exploitation a bit too fast. Controversial content can only keep a movie going for so long.

I mean if your intrigued, for whatever reason, knock yourself out but don’t be surprised if your more bored than grossed/freaked out. But hey, at least Dr. Heiter isn’t talking about how he’s doing this because he wants the victims to be more grateful about their lives, right? (But seriously Saw movies needs to stop being made).

RIYL: Honestly, I don’t even know, exotic European erotica maybe?

 

Streets of Gold: Love ’em or Hate ’em, These Colorado Dudes Still Love to Party July 9, 2010

Filed under: Review — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 1:20 am
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Yo bro! This 3OH!3 band is totally destroying music! How can people like ’em? They’re not even an actual “band”. They have absolutely no talent, yet their famous! What the hell? Yup 3OH!3, the Colorado-based electro-rap duo, have their share of haters but in a scene plastered with bands like Brokencyde, Millionaires and like 28 radio hits each month that have to do with *ahem* “gettin all up with that shorty on the dance floor”, is two dudes making some silly party music really the worst thing ever?

Don’t answer that question. It really doesn’t matter because frankly, 3OH!3 are walking on streets of gold (see what I did there?). What started off as a white suburban version of Spank Rock became something far more extreme. Every Warped Tour they go on, their fanbase of scene kids, ironic hipsters, biddies and kids who just love to dance gets bigger and more dedicated. It all peaked at the 2009 Warped, in the midst of “Don’t Trust Me” going Top 40; I was there, in a sea of neon and stutter shades. The band’s gang signs were up with pride as the crowd from one end to the other sang and danced in unison. It was ridiculous. It was silly. But it was awesome. Why? Well…

I was never really able to explain my admiration for 3OH!3 to the haters out there other than that it’s just really fun party music. But even that’s a weird reason, for me at least: I prefer Midtown over Cobra Starship anyday, I roll my eyes whenever someone raves about Jason DeRulo or Ke$ha and my party mix CDs consist of punk-pop, indie rock and alternative rap. I’m not into this whole dance party music scene that’s taking over and yet, I love 3OH!3.

My odd admiration for these dudes became a bit more justifiable once I heard Streets of Gold, their sophomore album. The beats are tighter, the choruses are catchier and the overall sound denounces any argument of how 3OH!3 may fall under the extremely unflattering tag, “crunkcore”. In fact, if you need to compare to their previous album Want, it’s more “Don’t Trust Me” and “Colorado Sunshine” and less “Holla Till You Pass Out” and “Chokechain”. There’s far more singing/sing-talking on the record which gives it some variety from the sing-a-long ready ballads “I’m Not the One” and “Streets of Gold” to the Smash Mouth-esque “I Know How to Say” to the apocalyptic electro-rock “Love 2012” to the poppy summer anthem “WeAre Young”. That being said, there’s still some of the atypical dirty electronic-heavy rap their known for. The hit/miss “House Party” is reminiscent of their early work with a hypnotic beat while “I Can Do Anything” boasts some of the better raps these guys have done.

Like Want, it’s all good harmless fun but this time around, it’s a little less trashy. There’s not as much WTF-inducing phrases and lyrically, it’s a vast improvement from their previous work (which honestly isn’t really saying much). That being said with all it’s improvements, this won’t change any of the naysayers’ minds. Don’t like 3OH!3, this album probably won’t convince you otherwise.

I mean let’s be honest, this isn’t the best album of the year. Heck, it won’t even make my top 10 but it’s a good summer album, a damn good summer album. In fact, many of the tracks on Streets of Gold will most definitely be played on your party playlists for months to come. So for those who even mildly liked their previous stuff, check this out. It’ll make you dance and sing like a fool but you’ll love every second of it. And for those who think 3OH!3 is the worst thing to come out of the music industry, go listen to that pop-punk band in your own form of ecstasy and let the kids dance in peace… oh and let me know when the new Taking Back Sunday album is coming out.

RIYL: Cobra Starship, Family Force 5, The Higher, anything AP.net hates

Best Tracks: “Streets of Gold”, “I Know How to Say”, “WeAre Young”, “I’m Not the One”, “I Can Do Anything”, “Double Vision”

 

Toy Story 3: The End of One of the Greatest Trilogies Ever? June 21, 2010

Filed under: Review — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 10:35 pm
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Pixar is on top of the world. They’ve made some of the best films of the past decade: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E and most recently, Up. So what can they do after going on a running streak of masterpieces. Return to what they started by completing their beloved series: Toy Story.

The third installment has literally been teased for years through blooper reels, rough promotional posters (most revealing a different plot where all the Buzz Lightyears are recalled) but it finally hit theaters and audiences had a hunch, after Up and Wall-E, that it was probably going to trek through darker territory.

In Toy Story 3, Andy is leaving for college in a few days. Worried about being stuck in the attic, or worse thrown out, the toys make the decision to escape to a day care center. Still under the impression that he’s Andy’s toy and that he should always be there for him, Woody leaves day care to return to Andy. The other toys are greeted by Lotso, the head toy at Sunnyside Daycare. However, the toys realize that under Lotso’s cuddly exterior is a narcissistic tyrant who has created a strict caste system at Sunnyside. The film quickly turns into an energetic prison escape film homaging to classics like The Great Escape and Escape from Alcatraz.

Throughout the prison escape story arc great new characters are introduced including the ridiculously flamboyant, fashioned-obsessed Ken, the overly theatrical Shakespearean Mr. Pricklepants and of course Lotso who develops into one of the most surprisingly devious (and ultimately tortured) villains of the past few years. He truly is a manipulative force to be reckoned but the big reason he’s such an amazing villain is that all this trickery and evil is coming from this:

a character that’s ultimately a combination of Winnie the Pooh and Barney.

The writing is smart, proving once again that Pixar are truly master storytellers and frankly, remind us why we love all these characters in the first place. The visuals are very impressive although A. not as gorgeous as recent Pixar films and B. doesn’t really show itself off in 3D. The only serious problem about Toy Story 3 is that the ending gets a bit on the awkward side and (let’s hope to G-d not) can possibly give room for another sequel.

But frankly, that’s just me being as nit-picky as possible. This movie is fantastic, not just because it’s a fun, hilarious and deeply emotionally moving summer movie but it brings the series full circle in ways many didn’t think were possible. Toy Story is more than just about your toys coming to life and having adventures. It’s about overcoming the fear of loss and moving on to different, bigger and possibly scarier things. Similar to Where the Wild Things Are, it’s not exactly a kids movie but more of a nostalgic trip for those young adults and 20-somethings who grew up with the series. That being said, unlike Wild Things there’s no severe emotional breakdowns or tearing off limbs, so it won’t scare the crap out of kids: it’s still a family film to an extent. Pixar have truly made their mark on not just the animation world but the entire film industry and ending their first major series (especially on such an emotionally powerful note) is a truly remarkable achievement. Years from now, I think it’s safe to say that Toy Story 3 will be considered one of the best trilogies of our generation. After Wall-E, I said Pixar can’t top this. After Up, I said Pixar definitely can’t top this. Now after Toy Story 3, I can honestly say that this has to be the prime of their work. Not just because it’s a near perfect film…

…but because their next movie is Cars 2…

 

Foxy Shazam Review May 20, 2010

Filed under: Music,Uncategorized — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 11:05 pm
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“There sure are a lot of dogs out tonight perhaps they can assist me in a song!”

This, well that and a bunch of barking, is how Foxy Shazam’s self-titled album begins: one of the most delightfully eccentric yet surprisingly accesible albums I’ve heard in a while and a strong contender for AOTY.

Foxy Shazam has been around the ropes in the independent scene due to their eccentric sound, unbelievable live shows and frontman, Eric Nally’s outrageously flamboyant and hilarious stage presence. This is their major label debut on Sire Records and the result is a sound more refined, in a good way. Through the 11 tracks, the band jolt between soul, queen-esque arena rock, big band, hardcore and even a showtunesy vibe but even with these drastic genre changes, it all sounds natural. Plenty of bands out there do tons of genre-bending but for the most part, it usually sounds too “out there” for mainstream listeners. Foxy Shazam does all the genre bending while managing to focus on their central sound Foxy Shazam’s new album is simply a great rock record at its core that tends to incorporate different styles of music in the process. And the result is something that is simply exhilarating.

Like I stated before, it starts with some barking and a long scream via Nally which immediately kicks into some pianos and horns on “Bombs Away” a fast-paced upbeat that pretty much sets up the rest of the album. “Count Me Out” has a sing-a-long ready chorus, “If this is what love is all about, you can count me out, count me out, count me out” with plenty of sassy vocal blemishes courtesy of Nally. “Bye Bye Symphony” and “Second Floor” are some great piano heavy ballads while “Unstoppable” sounds like Queen from the future and “Killin’ It” offers some theatrical hardcore akin to their earlier material. Even if you don’t like this type of music, there are genius tracks like “Oh Lord” and “Connect” which bring all their traits together in a gospel styled flair that no one and I mean no one can listen too without having a huge smile on their face.

All in all, Foxy Shazam is a fun, fast and at times truly unique record that is a breath of fresh air in a genre that can take itself a bit too seriously at times. If you crave for rock music that does something different while still be a tad bit familiar or just really miss Queen, you need to check this album out.

Must Download: “Connect”, “Oh Lord”, “Count Me Out”, “Second Floor”, “Killin’ It”

RIYL: Neon Blonde, Queen, Black Parade-era My Chemical Romance, soul, swagger