Entries Tagged 'Film' ↓

Harvey Pekar, 1939-2010

Harvey Pekar, above, the renowned comics writer whose life’s own banalities formed his narratives, died from prostate cancer, Monday, at the age of 70.

A mainstay and elder of the underground comics movement, Pekar was an oft and early collaborator with artist Robert Crumb. Yet the Ohio native worked as a Veterans Administration hospital file clerk most, if not all, of his adult life.

It was only after retiring in 2001, that his American Splendor series—turned into a 2003 film starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar—brought him mainstream fame and acclamation.

I met Pekar at our WBAI studios on Wall St. in 2006, when he was promoting his latest American Splendor book, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story, right, with its namesake subject, the contrary blogger and founder of Overheard in New York.

The late Harvey Pekar, and Michael Malice, are the guests today on this rebroadcasted edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, July 16th, at 2 pm ET.

You can hear their ideas by tuning in at 2 pm ET. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our live stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

When DAM Breaks, the Sound of Palestinian Freedom Gets Unleashed.

Palestinian hip-hop trio DAM, above, wield the power of hip-hop as a force against the Israeli occupation of their homeland—the world’s longest—and their minds as well.

Formed in 1998 by brothers Suhell and Tamer Nafar, center and right (friend Mahmoud Jreri, left, was added later), they initially sought to make party records that would earn them cool points with peers and the ladies. Then it was still “just for fun,” says Tamer. They completed a six-track EP titled Stop Selling Drugs, the first time any Palestinian had ever recorded rap music.

What politicized them, however, was the Second Intifada of 2000…and the music of 2Pac. As Tamer poignantly told me, for my March 2008 piece in VIBE, “Straight Outta Palestine,”

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“Scarface School Play.”

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That’s the title of this YouTube, above, and I’m not even going to try and top it with a clever pun. (Thanks to Erica K. of The Feminista Files for forwarding it, though.)

In the short, tykes recreate legendary moments from Brian De Palma’s 1983 classic, including the bloody shootout climax and demise of Tony Montana. (As you can see, above, a mound of popcorn makes a life-sized stand-in for Scarface’s desktop supply of coke, and the tiny actor has channeled the narco-mogul’s contemptuous sneer perfectly. Also, here, the word fudge repeatedly replaces a shorter, punchier expletive.)

From where the hell did this piece of genius, albeit evil genius, come?

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Witch Better Have My Potion.

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Rumpelstiltskin reappears as the central villain in Shrek‘s fourth installment, Shrek Forever After (formerly Shrek Goes Fourth). Looks like he brought the whole coven for yo’ behind.

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[via IMP Awards]

So, What’s It Gonna Be, Ladies: Denzel in Hat, Glasses, or Both? Satisfy Your Cravings With This Handy Guide!

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Sure, he’ll be a senior citizen in 10 years, but that doesn’t mean actor Denzel Washington won’t still put a hurtin’ on the ladies. Yet it can be a little hard for a busy, on-the-go sister, flipping through cable channels, to quickly figure out which of his over forty films she’s watching…or the Denzel look she likes best!

Well, if that’s you, the Denzel Washington Venn Diagram is gonna save your day, precious time, and libido. Just lock in on the style you prefer! Is that him in glasses? It’s gotta be The Manchurian Candidate, Out Of Time, or American Gangster. A hat and glasses? Clearly, Mo’ Better Blues or Man on Fire!

Plus it’s color-coded for easy use! The Denzel Washington Venn Diagram: Because, as the Academy Award-winning actor famously bellowed in Training Day, “When it comes to a hat and facial hair, King Kong ain’t got nothin’ on me!”

The Forest Will Be With You. Always.

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Love fauna? Love the Force? Well, prepare to feel more than a disturbance in it: Animals with Lightsabers photoshops blazing plasma swords into the paws of what are, arguably, already pretty well defended creatures. The result, thus, gives them an even more deadly edge. Ever seen a curious dog yelp after a cat or some other smaller animal scratches his nose? Here’s betting that this Black Lab, above, doesn’t have a clue what’s coming next.

[via core77]

This Movie’s Already Got “Oscar” Written All Over It. Literally.

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Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher’s hilarious “Academy Award-Winning Movie Trailer,” above, shakes a grab bag of Hollywood cliches until they congeal, forming a self-important, self-referential mess-mass. It’s sort of like the movie version of DustoMcNeato’s declarative riff on a-ha’s “Take On Me,” a year-and-a-half ago, only funnier.

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“A toast, establishing me as the wealthy, successful protagonist, who is handsome,” says the table head in this scene, right. “Murmur of agreement,” guests chirp.

NYU grads McElhaney and Kocher call their “two-tiered explosion” BriTANicK (“rhymes with ‘Titanic’”). But at this rate, they may soon have to change their motto—”Two guys wasting their degrees”—to something else. The End.

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It’s Hard Out Here For a Nerd.

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Looks like knowledge reigns supreme over human biology at Tiger Woods’ alma mater: For an undergrad course there, says the Stanford University News,

instructor Tom McFadden has created a series of rap videos to explain concepts such as gene regulation and evolution.  His latest video, entitled “Oxidate It Or Love It” explains how metabolism works while paying homage to “Hate It Or Love It” by 50 Cent/The Game and “On To The Next One” by Jay-Z.

Yeaaah, boyee.

Let It Whip: Iron Man 2‘s New Trailer Threatens to Blind You with Hotness.

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Iron Man 2 debuts May 7, and if trailer No. 2, below, is any indication, prepare to defensively wet your pants.

First, the movie pits Iron Man—aka multi-billionaire weapons designer / playboy Tony Stark, above—against nemesis Whiplash, played by misshapen beast-of-a-man Mickey Rourke.

Then, the flick stuffs itself silly with cool actors in deft supporting roles: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury; Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard, as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine; Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow; and Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Virginia “Pepper” Potts.

Finally, if you’re staring at that photo and can’t figure out the look of Iron Man’s suit, watch the trailer and get your mind blown backward.

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“Thanks For Nothing, Mo’Nique….”
Sincerely, Your Co-Stars.

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I don’t have a dog in this fight over Mo’Nique Imes-Jackson not doing promo, leading up to the Oscars, above. (Those were “the politics” of which she spoke during her acceptance speech.) I was only faintly aware of the controversy as it was happening, and I’m guessing that most people think Oscar marketing is far and away over the top.

I thought her performance as hyper-abuser Mary Jones in Precious was incendiary; frame-splitting. Clearly, she deserved the award, and as many excellent roles as she can now get, which, given race, will probably be few. (Hers is the fifth acting award given to a Black female in 82 years.)

I thought the Hattie McDaniels mention was a fine touch, though a little anachronistic. I mean, as much as I hated Halle taking it doggystyle from Billy Bob in order to get her statuette, Berry’s mention of contemporary female artists who’d been denied awards seemed, to me, a much more pungent tribute.

Precious Cocktail ReceptionNo, the only problem I have with Mo’Nique’s testimony at last night’s awards—and I’ve not seen anyone address this—is why didn’t she thank director Lee Daniels or lead Gabourey Sidibe, right, by name?

Mariah Carey powerfully sets up Mo’Nique’s whole last scene. Not a single syllable in her direction, though?

Yeah, I know: She said, “my Precious family”? C’mon: Does that really cut it?

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