Tuesday, December 29

The Worst Things of the Decade

I have postponed writing this one waaaaay to long. So here goes:

The films were great, but the pop music was pretty horrible. According to wikipedia:

"The decade was marked by the dominance of both hip hop music (especially crunk, electro-hop, and gangsta rap) and alternative rock (especially emo and post-grunge). Few revolutions were made during this decade in music, and styles of the 1990s and early 2000s were still popular up to 2009. The late 2000s were also the beginning of the Synthpop revival. Artists such as Lady GaGa and Florence and the Machine redefined electro-pop."

Also: the best-selling band of the decade was Nickelback. Nickelback!


With the power of the internet bestowed upon me, I hereby pronounce rock officially dead.

Fuck, do I hate this guy. Seriously. I blame him for the war in Iraq as well, so that one doesn't get another place. This war was even more useless then normal, and that's saying something.

Both before and after the credit crisis this has sucked balls. Before we have been so retardedly rich that not only was testicle-replacing surgery for dogs invented, but it was a smash hit.
And then the economy crashed. We were so devastated by the fact that Fluffy would have to live without the comfort of an intact scrotum, we forgot that people have begun dying quite a bit in places where they don't have very much money.

Way to go, world.
I won't say it came from nothing, or that muslims are all blessed flower-childs. I can see how people have problems with them. But holy shit, have we been tackling our problems the worst possible way. First the Protestants, then the Jews, now the Muslims...

Admittedly, it would be really funny if the Buddhists are next. You really can't get those guys angry, which would be infuriating to their persecutors. Tee Hee.

I used to think some dude shooting another dude in the face because he had a better strategy was awful.

Now, some dude shoots another in the face while being invisible. If he isn't to lazy to let a robot do it for him. War is bad, people, but now we're not even giving them a chance.

In memoriam.

Carl Barks, The Duck Man, 1901-2000

George Harrison, The Quiet Beatle, 1943-2001

Douglas Noel Adams, Original Geek, 1952-2001

Astrid Lingren, Writer of Great Children's Book, 1907-2002

Chuck Jones, Animator, 1912-2002

Marlon Brando, The Godfather, 1924-2004

Hunter S. Thompson, Redefined "Tripping", 1937-2005

Steve Irwin, Crocodile Wrestler, 1962-2006

Ingmar Bergman, Maker of Movies, 1918-2007

Don Lafontaine, Voice of God, 1940-2008

Les Paul, Inventor of Music, 1915-2009

You will be remembered.

The Americans have color-coded how afraid people should be. People are told to be scared all the time. The terrorists have it easy: their targets have made themselves terrified. And in case you think I'm overreacting: Proof.

You know, the whole "emo"-thing never bothered me that much. I mean, they were a bunch of whiny bitches, but at least they didn't bother people (Punkers spat on everything. Think abou that for a minute).

And then, some incredibly frustrated bitch of a writer made the coolest monster in the history of coolness emo. And it became a huge success. I pity the boys who are just a few years younger then me: they have to compete with an abusive stalker that sparkles in daylight instead of just bursting into flames. Poor sods.

You know who celebrities used to be like? Inspiring or talented people, and hopefully both. People like Mother Teresa and Che Guevara. Great musicians like The Beatles and Elvis. Sartre. Andy Warhol. James Dean. Kurt Cobain.

And now they are all dead. We're left with Tila Tequila and both Paris and Perez Hilton.

Apparently your standards for quality are defined from your puberty to your early twenties. That's why many of our parents still think Pretty Woman is the best film ever. So what happened during these years will be my standard of a quality time. God dammit. And that's even without all the angst, the spots and the being pretty much the only "alto" kid in school that didn't pledge allegiance to Metallica.

To make this blog a bit more uplift, here is another one of the best songs of this decade.


Thursday, December 17

Oh, 2000's. How we won't miss you.

Once every decade, people can make bigger lists then normal. The "1.000.000 best songs of 2004" gets tiresome after a while, but a list with best songs of the decade will be a hit.

I don't, however, have been too deep in anything to really proclaim a list. The ten best films? I have missed all the indie stuff. The best music? I don't like "black" music at all, so I will be missing out.

With this in mind, I decided to make a list of the ten best thing of the decade. Just ten awesome things that happened, and not in any particular order. The ten worst things will follow.

You know, it wasn't all too long ago that gaming was something solely done by nerds. And I don't mean "kinda-geeky" people. No, full-fledged N3RDS who would live in their parents basements and tinker with their computers in their underwear all day long. Now, over 90% of teenage males game.

Well, that was quick.

And it has brought a whole buttload of FANTASTIC GAMES with it. Psychonauts, Half-life 2 (my favorites), but pretty much everyone's favorite games were born during this decade.

Yes they were. Look it up: yours was made after 2000. And if it isn't: stop reading my blog, dad.

What's there not to love about the man? He is black (which is awesome), his hobbies are (I quote): cooking, poker, basketball, spending time with his family, dancing, and talking on the phone with his wife, Michelle Obama (which is AWESOME) and above all, he has proven to posses an actual, functioning brain (unlike his predecessor), and a damn good one at that. Way to go, dude. Way to go. Now just about that Micheal Bay thingie...

Nolan's Batman films. The Lord Of The Rings. Almost everything by Pixar. The Matrix. Tarantino and Rodriguez kicking monumental amounts of ass. Eastwood delivering some of the finest movies ever made. Woody Allen making a film that is actually funny for the first time in 25 years.

If you will excuse me, I am going to have a nerdgasm over there.

You know what? Gay people are awesome. Despite all the discrimination and beatings, they just stand for what they are and are proud of it. And finally, some politicians recognized this. Way to go, fellas.

Yes yes, it's not always completely reliable. Sure, it's subject to vandalism now and then. Still, when I first heard about this (geography class in the third grade) I could never have guessed it would become this amazing. I check the site pretty much every day now, and there are so many wonderful things to discover. From everything about the second world war to the color of Batman's underwear, you can find it there. I completely love it.

I tend to consider myself a hippie. So you can imagine how glad I am to see that people all over the globe are working together against a common threat: themselves. The whole of mankind has become aware of their garbage in no time at all, which I consider to be a giant leap forward for the human race.

This one... not so much. Still, it would be kind of strange to not consider this something wicked bitching. Since you found this site, I don't think it will be necessary to explain. Case in point, however: xkcd. And yes, I know it existed before. But it wasn't until the 2000s that it became the mainstream medium it is today.

As I have previously made clear: TED is one of my favorite things in the world. But before 2001, almost no-one had ever heard of it. Until mr Anderson came in charge. Remember the Matrix? Neo? "Mister Anderson!" A hacker? Who turned out to have to save the world? Coincidence? I think not.

I can barely imagine what it is like to be able to call someone on every moment of the day. Or taking a picture and being stuck with it forever. But I do know I like it. Especially the picture part: I tend to take quite a lot of them, and I don't have to spend all my money on developing them now.

I might take a controversial stand here, but I am completely pro-Europe. We should work together, especially now. The problems of this millennium require a different approach then before. And although the road may be bumpy, Europe has never in history been this united, be it in the dropping of borders, be it a common currency (which is awesome as well).

AKA: more Atheists worldwide. The acceptance of them has been a advocated in traditionally religious countries like the US as well. Ka-ching!

So, those are some of the things that really kicked ass these last ten years. Tune in in a couple of days for the worst things.

By the way. I already said I wouldn't create a list of best music, but if I would make a list of best songs of the decade, this one would definitely be on it. The intro is weird, but keep listening.


Tuesday, December 15

Suicide Chic

Death is always a touchy subject, and getting yourself killed is something not many people like to discuss.

That said, that doesn't mean it can't be funny.

Here are some t-shirt designs, and how likely you are to be murdered while wearing them.

Christians are softies these days. You'll probably get more high-fives with this one then knives in your back.

They know. This one will probably only encourage them. They DO tend to carry razors, however, so be cautious.

You're entering dangerous territory here. Lots of Muslims are easy-going fellas, but they can get a little crazy sometimes. This one is also pretty douchebaggy.

HER MAJESTY, QUEEN BEATRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS, IS A PROSTITUTE - 0%It won't get you killed. The dutchies are hardly loyal to their royal house. It will, however, get you arrested, unlike any of the other on this list. Really.

HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN! REPENT, YE BLASPHEMERS!!! - 5%The only reason this might get you killed is out of shame. You will be laughed at harder then the Zelda CD-i Games.

GOD BLESS HITLER (actual text on a protest sing, I didn't make this one up) - 35 %Now you're really going for it. Shirts with nazi imagery of any kind make you an instant asshole, but this one will get you a beating at least.

KILL ALL NAZI'S - 45%Seriousely, don't mess with these guys. They follow the most retarded political ideology ever, so they won't shy away of doing even worse stuff. Like giving you some extra crevices.

PLUTO NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PLANET, while at an astronomers covention - 20%This will spark an enormous fist-fight in mere moments. Don't be surprised to be in the middle of it.

ROCK IS DEAD, while at Rock Werchter - 40%Oh come on.

I FUCKING HATE TWILIGHT - 100%Don't even think about it. You don't stand a chance. Anyone with a sister knows how ferocious 14 year old girls can be. Now imagine every one of those girls in a diameter of 10 kilometers trying to rip the flesh from your bones. I repeat: not a chance.

Which is pretty much the only reason I don't own and proudly wear one of those shirts.

Yes, I wrote an entire article just to get that point across. I know. Here is some music to make up.


Monday, December 7

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 1

Becoming a film geek is no easy task.

You have to watch lots of films, you have to be able to analyze them and form a good opinion, and even think about WHY you like your favorite film so much.

But what is perhaps most difficult is deciding which films to watch. There are endless lists with great classics, but lots of those are impossible to be found. And should your endeavor for the magnificence of cinema finally land you with a masterpiece, the fates might just so decide that no-one in your surroundings have ever heard of the damn movie.

So, to lift this anguish from future geeks, I decided to put together a list. A list of films who encompass most of the popular genres in films. If you have seen all 22, you will have at least an inkling of what is out there. Mind you: this is not a list of my favorite movies, nor is it definitive. I'm open to suggestions (comments!) and I might edit the list.

But what I do know is that I really liked all these movies. Although you might not become a film geek afterwards, you will at least be entertained by the flicks on this list.

To kick off:

This is really a film to be loved. The warm colors, Audrey Tatou's large brown eyes and one of the best film scores ever contribute to an atmosphere that is slightly bizarre, but leaves you thoroughly happy. A feel-good movie in the true sense of the word, this one is impossible to dislike.
If you liked this, may I suggest: You might say there is an entire school of thought that delivers the same bizarre-but-warm atmosphere as Amelie. The best examples I have seen of this style have to be The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Sunday, December 6

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 2

This is perhaps the only film I know about racism that isn't either racist or pussy-whipped. This movie means business, and we'll know it. If you can take the incredibly gruesome stuff that happens here, you'll find a portrait about race in modern society that never gets moralistic. Instead, it just shows what happens, from both sides of the spectrum. The judgement is up to you.
If you liked this, may I suggest: For the atmosphere and because they are great films, I can heartily recommend One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and The Wrestler.

This biting portrait of American society won't leave you happy, but it will surely spark discussion afterwards. Moore isn't somebody who carefully wants to weigh different opinions against each other. He is a sledgehammer. But one that will certainly hit you in the guts.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Besides other Moore films, I can only compare his style with that of South Park. Watching South Park is awesome for your geek creds, as well.

A classic in every sense of the word. This film's greatest strength might just be how much fun it is to watch nowadays. It might now be really original, but it is still funny, charming and exciting. Check it out.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Well, lots of classics out there. My other favorite of the time is 12 Angry Men, but The Malthese Falcon, Citizen Kane, North by Northwest and The Seventh Seal are also iconic.

Saturday, December 5

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 3

Perhaps the ultimate geek film. The legacy of Batman has really come to life in the hands of Cristopher Nolan, who went for a "realistic" approach of the saga. It paid off beautifully. The story, the action and the characters are all strong, but the real reason to see this one is of course... Oh, come on. Like you don't already know.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Batman Begins, obviously. But for another great comic-book-turned-movie you should definitely check out Sin City.

Oh, the controversy. Everyone and their dog will be crying bloody murder: "Why not The Godfather as the best Maffia movie? Why not Goodfellas?" Well,
because I liked this one about a million times more.
The setup is actually pretty original, with not one but two rats: one from the cops in the mob and one from the mob with the cops. The story is pretty gripping as well. The ending contains quite a twist, and it actually made me angry within the film. That's not something I have experienced often.
If you liked this, may I suggest: The Godfather and Goodfellas, of course.

Or: why people are evil bastards, by Lars von Trier. The entire film is set on what seems to be a stage with barely any props: the houses are outlined with paint on the floor. And that is perhaps the least of your worries. This is one of those films that just grabs you, and it tells you a hell of a lot about people in the progress.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Festen for the Dogme-95 style, Blue Velvet for another portrayal of the void that lies beneath the facade that is society.

Friday, December 4

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 4

This is the best example I can think of in the category "smart comedy": films with actual plot, characters and substance that are still funny as hell. This particular flick is a pitch-black Cold War commentary that shows the complete insanity of Mutually Assured Destruction and everything surrounding it. But despite that, it still manages to be really really funny, with multiple masterfully played roles by Peter Sellers.
If you liked this, may I suggest: The Big Lebowski, or pretty much any comedy by the Coens. Woody Allen has some decent ones too: I especially recommend Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which is absolutely delightful.

Don't be deceived by the title. It might look like a shallow action movie at first, but if you look closely this is an incredible commentary on what anarchy, violence and having a penis means in the modern day. Combined with brilliant acting, Tyler Durden, a mind-blowing story and possibly the best ending ever, this is a must-see.
If you liked this, may I suggest: A Clockwork Orange or Taxi Driver, if only for the style.

Or any Pixar film, really. Besides its ground-breaking work with animation, Pixar has done something that hasn't been pulled off since Walt Disney himself was alive and kicking: it has made the term family-friendly mean something again. The films are genuinely fun for everyone to watch: funny without being childish, engaging without becoming too complicated. Combine this with colorful animations, memorable characters and jokes that are actually funny, and you've got yourself a winning combination.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Wallace and Gromit have to be mentioned, just like The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you are looking for a little more adult animation, check out the works of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) or Persepolis.

Thursday, December 3

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 5

The War film to end all War films. This is probably Kubrick's most approachable film, and arguably his best. My war film of choice, simply because it made me feel worse then any other I have ever seen.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now are the obvious choices, but if you want something unique I suggest you check out Jarhead or Waltz With Bashir.

Oh yes, I know Modern Times and City Lights are "grander" films, they deliver cultural critique, historical gems, blah blah blah. You know what? I don't care. This film the most entertaining and watchable one I have seen of Chaplin. If you liked this one, you can check out the rest.
If you liked this, may I suggest: Besides those mentioned above, The Kid is also really fun. For something a little less Chaplin: Buster Keaton's The General.

This low-budget German flick combines two traits that have not been matched enough by far: experimenting with the medium film, and delivering an awesome film. Especially this last one seems to be "beneath" a lot of filmmakers. This one to me was a healthy reminder of why I liked film so much in the first place.
If you liked this, may I suggest: I must have mentioned I'm Not There, because it's my favorite film. For the experimental while fun edge... Juno, perhaps? Not that experimental, but don't let that stand in the way of watching and loving the film.

Wednesday, December 2

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 6

These films have raised the bar for use of the word "epic" about a mile. Jackson uncompromisingly translated Tolkiens landmark books to the big screen, and did it in a way that never leaves a dull moment. This is one for the ages.
If you liked this, may I suggest: The only epic in the true sense of the word that comes to mind is Gladiator, but if you're looking to expand your cinematic horizon I recommend Seven Samurai.

The premise for this film alone if pretty mind-blowing for people who never studied Descartes, but the execution is spot-on as well. The action is ridiculously awesome (the lobby fight scene is still unmatched), the costumes are completely bad-ass and if you look closely, you might actually catch a rare sliver of emotion on Keanu Reeves face. The way the theme of "man and his machines" is approached is actually pretty engaging, and never stands in the way of the plot or the action. This is a modern classic.
If you liked this, may I suggest: V for Vendetta for the same mix of social commentary and kickass, and Blade Runner for more on the subject.

It is always controversial which Monty Python film is best, but this is my favorite. Don't let is stand in your way to watch them all, though. Multiple times, if possible. These films are the silliest, shallowest and most meaningless comedies ever made. They are also, by far, the funniest. If you don't laugh about there ones you simply have no sense of humor.
If you liked this, may I suggest: There are lots of great nonsensical comedies, although the majority simply isn't funny. The following made me almost shit my pants, though: There's Something About Mary, The Return of the Pink Panther, A Fish Called Wanda, Hot Shots (1&2), the original Scary Movie

Tuesday, December 1

22 Movies Every Film Geek Must Have Seen, Part 7

"Wait, what? Why the hell is this one on the list?" Well boys and girls, because geeks need lovin' as well. This is a film you can screen to your date without her vomiting or him falling asleep. And even for your inner cinephile it's really satisfying: the look of the film is delightfully bohemian, the music is great and the story is not half bad either.
If you liked this, may I suggest: If you want another musical, make sure to check out Chicago. If you got a second date and you want it to be really romantic, rent Notting Hill. It is seriously funny, guys.

Oh boy. Where to even start? The non-linear storytelling? Some of the coolest dialogue ever on celluloid? The bitching music? The instant-classic characters? Uma Thurman's haircut? Ezekiel 25:17? Or the fact that every time Vincent Vega goes to the toilet, something goes horribly wrong? This film is a masterpiece. You have to see this to believe it.
If you liked this, may I suggest: No-one does Tarantino's style better then The Man himself. I can heartily recommend his entire oeuvre, with the exceptions of Jackie Brown and Death Proof.

Pure. Boyhood. Fantasies.
That's all this film is, nothing more, certainly nothing less. Featuring one of the most iconic heroes of the big screen, Indiana Jones, this one is simply a blast to watch. Just don't think about it to hard.
If you liked this, may I suggest: The original Star Wars trilogy. This one is down here because I liked Raiders better, and because you've probably seen them all. The other two good Indiana Jones films are tons of fun as well.