Archive for August 19, 2010

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Jean-Michel Basquait:  The Radiant Child

Directed by: Tamra Davis

Produced by: David Koh, Lilly Bright, Stanley Buchthal, Alexis Spraic

Run Time: 88 Min

I’ll be honest with you; I think most modern art is pure rubbish. The last time I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was with my mom for her birthday to see a Yoko Ono exhibit. As I explored the museum, I found 3 blank canvases, a painting with some squiggly lines that you would see in a day care and a toilet in a glass maze which were all being debated by young people wearing sweaters that their grandparents gave them. Needless to say, I left the museum annoyed that I had wasted a day supporting talentless hacks and at the same time been forced to endure the sounds of people debating the social value of the “masterpieces” I had just seen. It didn’t take much time for me to realize the popularity of modern art, like the taste of wine(check out the studies showing how people think wine that costs more tastes better), is more subject to reputation and hype than it is actual talent. Why do I start off a review telling you about my opinion of modern art? I’m telling you because Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is a journey into the modern art community and basically reinforces whatever you already thought about modern art. If you’re an avid art buff you’ll think the film is touching and if you’re like me, it’ll solidify your predisposition that artists and art critics are complete snobby asses.

Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child chronicles the rise and fall of Jean Basquiat starting from the time he left home in search of fame. The backbone of the film is a rare interview of Basquiat that his friend and director of the film Tamra Davis shot of him at the height of his career over 20 years ago. The movie is also packed with interviews with his friends and colleagues who either dated, worked or sold his art. The documentary itself feels more like tribute to the too short life of troubled Basquiat who some consider “the most influential artist of his generation.”

Tamra Davis has been directing movies for years and her experience shows with how well the documentary is produced and directed. Even though I’m not a fan of the artist, I am a fan of how the movie was structured. The music that played throughout the film fits perfectly and though I wasn’t wearing a beret was able to thoroughly enjoy it. The movie mixed archived footage with recent interviews seamlessly giving the film a terrific flow which kept it entertaining throughout its duration.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the film is unsaid commentary of how fame and wealth effects people and their relationships. Basquiat seemed to be more stable in the beginning of the movie, when he was a young struggling artist, than he was after he achieved his goal of being famous which is something we see with celebrities in general. It’s an all too common tragedy when people achieve their dream but forget those little things that make life worth living, namely friends, family and what inspired them dream in the first place.

Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child does everything well, the story is seamless, the editing is superb and it’s a perfect film for those people who appreciate modern art. My only complaints about the movie are personal ones derived from my intense dislike of the subject matter and my own personal opinion of the modern art culture. This movie did absolutely nothing to make me question or change my opinion but, since it’s more of a tribute to the artist, it doesn’t have to. Again, I’ll be honest with you; while the subject isn’t for me, it still makes for a very good watch and is perfect for just about anyone who likes modern art or documentaries in general.

(3.5/5)

The Expendables

The Expendables

Directed by:  Sylvester Stallone

Written by:  Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone

Produced by:  Kevin King , Avi Lerner. Kevin King Templeton. John Thompson

Starring:  Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin. Mickey Rourke

Run Time:  103 Min

Sylvester Stallone knows what men want in a movie; men want brutal action, manly jokes and none of that emotional nonsense that tries to trick them into wear skinny pants with tight turtle neck sweaters.  Stallone said it best “‘I’ve done my ‘mind movies’ and I don’t think people are very interested in seeing me do that anymore. I think I’m past my prime in doing dramatic films; it would feel almost like a pathetic cry out to be recognized as a serious dramaturge.’ Now that’s what I want to hear from a guy who started off making the some of the most legendary action films and is content to stick where his roots lie.  He proved it in Rambo 4 and proved it once again in The Expendables.

The plot of the movie, a team of mercenaries is hired to take on a corrupt South American General, isn’t anything new or innovative.  What makes this movie special is it has almost all of the great action stars that people have grown to know and love throughout the years doing what they do best, kicking some ass.  No one who likes action films wants a long drawn out plot or an in depth look into the geopolitics of a corrupt country; just show the basic story then get to the action.  This kind of movie doesn’t depend on a plot that makes sense: it depends on things blowing up, one liners and the big name tough guys.

Needless to say The Expendables is full of explosions, fire fights and fists impacting people’s faces.  The action scenes are nearly perfect and are choreographed better than most mainstream movies that have tried to pass themselves off as action in the last few years.  The only problem I had was that Jet Li didn’t showcase his talents as much as I would have liked but honestly, most of his movies that have been made in America can’t compare to his older ones which were made in China.

If I had one word to describe The Expendables it would be “Brotastic.”  I’m certain that a lot of men who watch this movie will want to go to the gym or do some pushups.  This of course isn’t an artsy girly movie and unless you’re a woman who actually likes 80’s action movies don’t bother coming(there’s nothing worse than hearing “I don’t like this” or “We should have seen that Richard Gere movie” while you’re having a good time).  Every guy should go see The Expendables, sneak some booze into the theater and have an amazing time watching a movie that’s actually meant for a male audience.  Movies like this don’t make it to the big screen often and it’s our job as men to support action movies like this.

(4.5/5)

The Trials Of Greenlee Smythe

As we all know, Craigslist is a great source for cheap entertainment.  One of my dirty little habits is posting strange personal ads and seeing what kind of responses I get from all of the loving women on the internet.  From time to time you meet some cool down to earth people but other times you get responses from Greenlee Smythe.  Greenlee is old, stupid, bigoted and did I miss incredibly stupid.

From: Greenlee Smythe
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 9:29 PM
I do have to say this AD YOU ARE POSTING ON CRAIGSLIST… IS GETTING OLD…. will you PLEASE STOP PUTTING THIS CRAP ON HERE… NO WOMEN IS INTERESTED IN YOUR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR, AND WHAT YOU WANT TO DO TO A WOMEN… IF YOU HAVE NOT REALIZED BY NOW.. US WOMEN NOW DAYS….WANT A MAN THAT IS LOVING, CARING, COMPATIBLE, AND UNDERSTANDING, ALONG WITH THE OTHER PERKS… NOW FOR YOU. YOU DON’T SEEM TO HAVE THESE QUALITIES IN YOU, YOU JUST WANT TO STRANGLE SOME WOMEN, rough treatment and being treated like a whore. AND YOU  like things to be very degrading and am very aggressive physically AND MENTALLY??

SO TO BE HONEST AGAIN. US WOMEN DON’T LIKE TO BE TREATED THIS WAY.. AND YOUR AD IS GETTING FREAKIN OLD AND SICKENING… I HAVE TURNED YOUR AD INTO
NOVATO POLICE DEPT. TWICE TO A FEW OF THE PEOPLE I KNOW THERE AND THEY ARE INVESTIGATING YOUR AD, ALONG WITH FLAGGING IT ON CRAIGSLIST, AND EMAILING IT TO THEM…. SO GROW UP. GET YOURSELF A LIFE AND MOVE ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS.. you need a new life style.,., and if you think about it, this is why no one wants to answer your AD… SO GIVE UP AND BE A REAL MAN…

THANK YOU…

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM, James wrote:

I’m glad that I’ve finally found someone who has the knowledge to speak for every woman out there since I know every girl sees the world exactly like you.  I hate to tell you this, I post my ad because it gets responses from women who need someone to talk with about sides of their sexuality that people like you would be appalled with.  I have a novel idea for you, if you don’t like an ad skip over it dummy.  Don’t try to lecture me about understanding when it’s obvious that you really have no idea or would even attempt to know anything about the darker side of a person’s personality.  Your whole response wreaks of judgment and insecurity about your own inability to identify with someone of the opposite sex.  Why would you see my ad all the time if you had a man who respected you?  You see men don’t respect you because you’re a judgmental bitch who thinks that she’s smarter and better than she actually is.

Let me give you an example of how much of a dullard you really are:  Lets pretend I’m as horrible as you think I am.  Why on earth would you be telling me about an ongoing police investigation into me?  That’s pure grade A stupid.  Not only would I now know that someone’s looking into what I do,  it would obstruct a police investigation which, by the way, is illegal.  How retarded do you have to be to warn someone who you perceive as sickening about an investigation?  If you were smart, you’d send me an email pretending to be a girl that I would be interested in so you could gather information about me but hey, you and I both know that you lack the intelligence to even pretend you could be what a guy wants.

Judging by your typing, close mindedness and sense of entitlement, I’m going to have to conclude that you are a sheltered older woman who considers herself a do-gooder but since she completely sheltered and ignorant, doesn’t have a firm grip on reality.  I could be wrong and you might just be hypersensitive to my ad because something happened to you when you were younger that you’ve repressed and haven’t bothered to really deal with.  If you want men to like you try shifting your mindset from one of a dunce to a strong woman with something to offer a guy.  You have inspired me to put a disclaimer on my ad about the subject content as well as some common sense tips about meeting men on the internet.

Toodles

From: Greenlee Smythe
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 1:45 PM

I HATE TO TELL YOU THIS DUMB SHIT ASSHOLE… BUT I AM SMARTER THAN YOU THINK… OK… I DON’T LIVE A SHELTER LIFE. I HAVE AN EXCITING LIFE AND A LOT TO OFFER A MAN… AND THAT IS NO PROBLEM THERE… SO YOU CAN THINK OR SAY WHAT YOU WANT… I JUST DON’T LIKE SEEING YOUR STUPID ASS POST ON CRAIGSLIST IT’S DEGRADING AND DISGUSTING, AND I HATE SEEN WOMEN GET ABUSED, IF YOU HAVE NOT NOTICE THAT DOES HAPPEN QUIT A BIT.  YOUR JUST ANOTHER ASSHOLE OUT THERE THAT LIKES TO PROBABLY BEAT UP ON WOMEN AND YOU DON’T HAVE A BRAIN.  PROBABLY NO MENTALLY LEVEL OF LIFE EITHER.

SO REALLY GET A CLUE, SO JUDGE A PERSON UNTIL YOU MEET THEM.. AND READING YOUR EMAIL TELLS ME A LOT THAT YOUR AN ASSHOLE, SELF CENTERED MALE CHAUVINIST PIG.  AND PERSONALLY YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO ME, BECAUSE I WOULD MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN AND SLAP YOU SO HARD AND MAKE YOU GET A GRIP ON LIFE… I AM AN OLDER WOMAN, YOUR RIGHT…BUT VERY SMART AND INTELLIGENT, I HAVE HAD MY SHARE OF MEN AND PUT THEM IN THERE PLACE, ALSO SET THEM UP IN TRAPS AND BUSTED THERE ASS…. SO DON’T TELL ME WHAT I AM.  AND FOR YOUR INFO, A FEW OTHER WOMEN THAT I HAVE TOLD TO ABOUT YOUR STUPID AD, SAID “WHAT A LOW LIFE PIG THIS GUY IS…” HE NEEDS TO GET A LIFE AND GROW UP… SO DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU GET MORE NOT SO NICE EMAILS….. SO GOOD LUCK DUDE IF YOU THINK YOUR ALL THAT, BUT YOUR NOT…..

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 2:49 PM, James wrote:

I like the emails you send to me but I do have one piece of advice for when you compose these works of art that you send me; do a little proof reading before you send them to me.  I’ll show you exactly what I mean by using your own incoherent babbling:

“BUT I AM SMARTER THAN YOU THINK… OK… I DON’T LIVE A SHELTER LIFE” This should be corrected to a sheltered life.

“I JUST DON’T LIKE SEEING YOUR STUPID ASS POST ON CRAIGSLIST” Did you try not clicking the ad?  It’s really very simple; you see the title and just go on by without opening it.

“AND I HATE SEEN WOMEN GET ABUSED” It should be seeing dope.

“YOUR JUST ANOTHER ASSHOLE OUT THERE THAT LIKES TO PROBABLY BEAT UP ON WOMEN AND YOU DON’T HAVE A BRAIN.”  Now this is a tricky one.  You need to change your to you’re. Also, saying I probably like to beat up on women suggests you really have no idea of what I do, for if you did, you wouldn’t have used the word “probably” which shows that you’re just assuming something but aren’t really sure about what you’re saying.  Lastly, my small meager brain sure seems to be able to pick apart your stupidity and lack of intelligent thought quite well.

Now let’s move onto your second paragraph.

“SO REALLY GET A CLUE, SO JUDGE A PERSON UNTIL YOU MEET THEM” Alright, I will absolutely judge you before I meet you just like you’ve judged me.  Did you mean don’t judge someone before you meet them?  If so, you should try following your own advice.

“AND READING YOUR EMAIL TELLS ME A LOT THAT YOUR AN ASSHOLE, SELF CENTERED MALE CHAUVINIST PIG. “  This should be changed to: “And by reading your email, I can tell that YOU’RE(way to mess it up again) an asshole as well as a self centered male chauvinist pig.”

“AND PERSONALLY YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO ME, BECAUSE I WOULD MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN AND SLAP YOU SO HARD AND MAKE YOU GET A GRIP ON LIFE”  Can we stop starting our sentences with and already?  Now I’m not sure if you know anything about domestic abuse but a woman who uses violence against a man in a relationship is just as much of an abuser as a man who does the same.  Basically what I’m explaining to you is not only threatening someone incredibly stupid and in some cases illegal, it also proves to me that you are a complete hypocrite.  You are saying you think it’s ok to violently force someone to think the way you do.  You are a very abusive person and that makes me a sad panda.

“I HAVE HAD MY SHARE OF MEN AND PUT THEM IN THERE PLACE, ALSO SET THEM UP IN TRAPS AND BUSTED THERE ASS”  See there you go, admitting you are exactly what you hate, an abusive partner.  You should take some anger management classes before someone reports you to the police for your abusive nature.

“AND FOR YOUR INFO, A FEW OTHER WOMEN THAT I HAVE TOLD TO ABOUT YOUR STUPID AD”  Thank you for showing other women my ad.  I’m glad you’ve thought it as something worthy to share with your friends and are drawing more women’s attention to it.

“SO GOOD LUCK DUDE IF YOU THINK YOUR ALL THAT” I’ve never said I was all that, I simply stated that you’re a closed minded, ignorant, hypocritical dullard who should be ashamed of herself for supporting nonconsensual abusive relationships.

Now I know that I’m not perfect by any means nor am I the most intelligent person in the world(that’s Steven Hawking) but I do know that you’ve already proven every point I’ve made about you and have discredited your own arguments in a way that I never could.  While I’m not very certain why you’re so stupid, it could be contributed to lead paint or my personal favorite that you were born with a water head, I can absolutely ascertain that you do suffer from some kind of mental impairment.  I hope for the world’s sake that you never have children so the rest of the world can be saved from the defective genes of your offspring.

Love you Sweetums