Skip to main content

Gonna Fly Now

Recently taking a listen to Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino's commentary track on Hostel Part II, a lightbulb went on in my head. Discussing how Hostel Part II begins exactly where Hostel ends, Tarantino describes how he'd combine two movies onto one VHS tape and show them to friends. In one instance, he took Rocky, cut out the end credits and had Rocky II begin right away. Not only did I find that to be a pretty cool and fun thing to do, but I found something deeper with Tarantino's mention of Rocky.

If you're familiar with Tarantino, you've probably come to the conclusion he knows practically everything about almost every movie ever made. From the most obscure to the best known, he's probably seen them all (especially given his time working in video rental store). But what fascinates me is to hear a guy be so passionate about films in general, from the most commercial to the not-so commercial. And it's a good kind of fascination.

Now, maybe vocal moaners affected me more than open-minded folks, but for so long I thought most people who are passionate about film generally roped themselves off from any kind of commercial fare. For example, I'd hear about how The Matrix was a wimpy retread of Hong Kong films from the previous fifteen years. For people like myself who had never seen Hard Boiled or The Killer, I was uncool and unworthy in the eyes of the ones in the know. Once again, I have a hard time telling the difference between these conversations from the ones I heard in kindergarten.

I can understand the personal enjoyment of something when it's not so commonplace with people I don't really identify with. There's a pride in not following what the in-crowd appears to be into. Yet at the same time, there's this alienation from the world at large and it can get rather lonely.

Whenever I hear people around me talk about how they saw a really commercial movie over the weekend, a part of me wants to roll my eyes and be suspicious of their taste. It's so easy to and I must admit I have done this in the past. These days, I hear both ends of spectrum, but I see essentially the same thing: we all have our own reservations. There are those who thought Wild Hogs was a truly funny movie and could never fathom seeing Into the Wild because the main character dies at the end. Of course there's the exact reverse, but for me, there's no real formula for the kinds of films I like. I merely want to watch something I might get something out of. That "something" usually is a sense of depth. And it can come from watching The Muppet Movie, Eraserhead, Hostel or Lord of the Rings.

The peeling of onion I'm seeing is how common liking the ultra-commercial and the non- is. Looking at the queues belonging to friends of mine on Netflix, they're all over the place, just like how mine is. I think it's safe to say that I find comfort in knowing that it's not so off the wall to enjoy Undercover Brother, 28 Weeks Later and Knocked Up. Man, I wish I knew this back in college . . .


Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

Hello, Control

I'm still a big fan of iTunes . I haven't tried Napster , Urge or eMusic as I've been perfectly happy with Apple's program ever since I downloaded it two years ago. However, an annoying new feature has come up with its latest version, 7.0. Whenever you pull up your music library, a sidebar taking up 3/4ths of the screen appears plugging the iTunes Music Store. Why is this an annoyance? Well, first and foremost, since you can't close the sidebar, you can't escape it. I believe a music library is a private collection, a spot away from the music store. So what's the need for constant advertisements and plugs? To provide a better visual, let me describe what I see whenever I pull up a song in my iTunes library. When I listen to "This is a Fire Door Never Leave Open" by the Weakerthans, I see a graphic for Left and Leaving , the album that it comes from (and available in the iTunes Music Store), along with a list of the Weakerthans' other albums,

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J