Entries from October 2009 ↓

Feeling the Awesome Power of Patti.

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The music video is crap. “All Right Now”‘s incendiary production, and blazing performance by Patti LaBelle, above, though, are both out of this world. Check out this studio masterpiece from her her 1992 Live! album. Play loud.

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To Terrorize Y’All’s Neighborhoods.

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Sideshow Collectibles brings it, again, with this astounding, 12″, fully poseable Michael Jackson, from his legendary, 1983 “Thriller” video.

900609_press17-001From manufacturer Hot Toys’ Icon series, the 1/6th scale figure features, right,

• Hot Toys’ slim version TrueType body with over 32 points of articulation
• 2 interchangeable heads – Michael Jackson head and MJ Zombie head
• 2 costumes (original red jacket and pants & zombie suit)
• 2 pairs of white socks with black shoes
• Five (5) sets of interchangeable hands and one (1) additional posing right hand
• 12-inches figure stand with the classic Thriller title and Michael Jackson nameplate

The accessories enable you to alternately create either the cute, moviegoing Michael Jackson, above right, or the zombie MJ, above top, with only one purchase.

I’ll make a bet, watch my words: Some brilliant, self-taught white kid living in Minnesota, or Kansas, is going to get one of these, a video camera that shoots still frames, and recreate the entire zombie dance sequence from “Thriller” using this, as an animation project. Me, I wanna get two of them and make ‘em fight each other. Hot Toys’ Michael Jackson “Thriller” 12-inch Figure, out 1st Qtr 2010, $189.99.

[via Tomopop.com]

Sweet Sticky Thing.

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In the work of L.A.-based artist Michael Hussar, nymphs decadently suck crimson fruit, their skin puffy and blanched, save for blackened, spearlike fingertips.

Crawling the razor’s edge between erotica and rot, pieces like 2008′s Cherry Pie, above, unnerve the viewer in the gut…before being snatched up hungrily by Francis Ford Coppolla, Leonardo Di Caprio, and their ilk. Bon appetit.

[via conceptart.org]

Stop, Left 4 Dead 2: You Had Me At, “You Get To Play This Game As a Sister, While You’re Killing Zombies.”

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You’d have to read MEDIA ASSASSIN or my Twitter feed for mere seconds before realizing that I’m absolutely crazy about videogames and I’m cuckoo for zombies. So, from my perspective, the release of Valve’s hellish, undead apocalypse, Left 4 Dead, last fall was akin to declaring a Federal holiday.

Well, hell has a sequel. On November 17th, in Left For Dead 2 (Xbox 360/PC), Valve revisits the world where an unnamed pandemic is turning human corpses into fast-moving, flesh-eating gargoyles. However, this time, one of the four playable “survivors” is a Black woman, above. Hell better step the hell back.

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Say What You Want About Keanu Reeves’ Acting, People: His Career Is Going To Last Forever.

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Whoa: Why is it, as TMZ reported last year, that actor Keanu Reeves, above, has seemingly not aged in a decade-and-a-half?

screen7Because, according to this YouTube video, below, not only is Reeves the beneficiary of a notoriously immobile, and thus unwrinkled, face, but he is also one of the eternal undead.

That is, Reeves is also French actor Paul Mounet, right. (Go ahead. Take a close look: The resemblence is uncanny.) Born in 1847, the thespian allegedly “died under unusual circumstances; no body was ever found.”

Yeah, right. Well, at least it would explain what they say about Reeves’s acting. After 150 years, you’re bound to be a little stiff.

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[via Buzzfeed.com]

Hungry Heart.

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Astro Boy, the American CGI feature based on Japanese manga master Osamu Tezuka’s 1951 character, opens today. It features the voices of Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy, with Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron, Samuel L. Jackson, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, and Donald Sutherland, among others, pulling up the rear.

Cage, who plays scientist Dr. Tenma, the robot’s creator, says “the sadness of the story”—that of a machine who dreams of becoming human—drew him to the movie. For the rest of us, there’s this stunning, double-sided teaser one-sheet, above, dramatically rendering Astro in silhouette, save for his awesomely-powered heart. $25, Movieposter.com.

Pork Bellies.

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It’s great to see Boost Mobile running the best written, best acted, best produced, best commercial of 2009 again, above, after a whole summer off.

An obvious advertising masterpiece from the time you first see it, “Pigs, Unwronged” is delectably dense with details: The lead’s momentary disbelief that he’s being ogled for eating hog; his candid excuse (“I like a nice ham”) and self-serving rationalization for cannibalism (“We’re just enjoying the flavors of a fallen friend.” “True,” burps his dinnermate); the fluid, expressive body language of the animatronic (watch the ears); the perfectly cast, bored urbanity of the voice actor; that dismissive hoof flick which closes the piece.

It all adds up to 30 seconds of twistedness from an alternate universe where pigs talk, go to fine restaurants, and you’re wrong for recklessly eyeballing porkers chomping pork. Boost Mobile not only gets the viewer’s attention, but makes the ad an event, rewarding you for sticking with it. In other words, they win. Though I’m not their market, those swine slay me.

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“YO! WHO THE HELL PUT THIS BIG, NASTY, DIRTY BIRD IN MY FOOD?”

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Don’t let ‘em lie to you: I know with all the cooking shows, people try and act like, in the past, American food, though artery-clogging, was hearty and simple. Meanwhile, many argue, today’s chefs have gone bonkers, working to outdo each other with odder and even odder ingredients, methods of preparation, plating, and the like.

Well, if you really think so, try and hold down your lunch just imagining what anybody you love would do if you sat this, below, in front of them: A whole pheasant, tail feathers, head, eyeballs, beak, and all, surrounded by greens, and, incidentally, plunked down next to a roasted version of itself.

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Baaroomph. Around 8pm, one day over sixty years ago, somebody probably ran out onto a busy city street and upchucked all the previous week’s electrolytes. I know that because the above is a print ad for Niblets Whole Kernel Corn, from pg. 10 of the Nov 11, 1946 issue of LIFE magazine. (“Gay Color – Good Eating,” blares the headline. Wow.)

That retina-scalding, ornithological centerpiece, above, says the copy, was

prepared by Louis Diat, Chef, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New York City—a spectacular way to serve pheasant…the casserole of meat flanked by the brilliant plumage of the bird itself. And what goes better with pheasant than the gold of Niblets Brand whole kernel corn, the tender flavor of its sweet young kernels?

nibletsA little context, admittedly, might be helpful here. This is, literally, the postwar period; WWII had ended a bit over a year before. Julia Child wouldn’t start teaching French cooking for another half decade. American women probably wanted to do something exciting in the kitchen, after years of shortages and rationing.

Minnesota Valley Canning Company probably seized the opportunity to market arguably the second-most generic vegetable known to humanity, after rice, by linking it to exotic dishes and fantasy. They knew full well their target audience would never go to the Ritz-Carlton, but would be entranced by its world-renowned reputation for luxury and excitement. They certainly knew that the chef there woulddn’t have touched Niblets, above, to make a meal for his discerning clientele. Notice they never claim he does in the text, but just strongly associate it with his food?

Fortunately, Minnesota Valley Canning smartened up and realized that they needed to talk to regular people, and heightened both the visibility and branding opportunities in the green giant on their label, even ultimately sprouting a little giant called, of all things, Niblet. (Green Giant was a ho, ho, ho.)

But, thankfully for all of us, they stopped trying to sell housewives the myth that their hard-working, meat-and-potatoes husbands would stomach the sight of an undressed bird, still smoking with buckshot, on their dinner plates. After all, supper’s the time for family talk, not taxidermy.

Brushin’ That Bittersweet Dirt Off Your Shoulder: Jay-Z vs. The Verve.

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The YouTube I found earlier, before someone yanked it down, had video, as opposed to these stills. However, the track—a mashup of Jay’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” with the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”—bangs. Rock that, Mr. President.

Nurse Hatchet.

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With every new release since 2004′s Saw, the brutal horror movie series has co-promoted its Saw Nurse” “Give ‘Til It Hurts” Halloween blood drive campaign with the Red Cross. However, this year’s set of posters, featuring model Katherine MacDonald, above, may be the creepiest yet.

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