Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morning Comb-Over v.2

After narrowly avoiding the swath of record snows, but not the accompanying freezing temperatures, it's nice to see the sun out today.


Two-Lane Blacktop, 1971 (Criterion re-release; 2007)

The consummate road movie in that the only vital character in this cult classic recently re-issued on DVD is the road itself. Dennis Wilson and James Taylor star in two sparsely-worded roles (even in comparison to the rest of the film itself; which is almost succinct to a fault), car-heads who head across the America in a primer-only 55 Chevy, picking up a hitch-hiking girl along the way, and eventually agreeing to race a middle-aged wandered in a brand new GTO. The roar of the engine and the expanse of the American West, Plains, and South, are the main subjects here though; as well as a stern sense of existentialism, which indeed borders on nihilism. Were it not for the girl, nothing would separate man from machine, and she only succeeds occasionally; flitting back and forth between the gear-heads and the drugged-up GTO, her broadly-painted version of anti-intellectualism is defined in her exit on the back of a stranger's motorcycle. Not going where the wind takes her, just back to the road.

Spies Like Us, 1985

Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd cash in on another 80's comedy romp that's mostly fluff and/or multi-national circumstantial pomp. Less cheap laughs (despite more acting effort!) than Fletch, but not without its merits, which are more clearly revealed to the viewer who imbibes; such as Chase's less-than-girly grenade toss to defeat some fur-wearing Russkies. Cameos from Bob Hope and...B.B. King are negligible highlights. The best scene can be summed up in one grand screenshot:


Invisible Pyramid Elegy Box, Various Artists (6xCD; Last Visible Dog, 2005)

Disc Three (tracks by UP-TIGHT, Flies Inside the Sun, Uton, mudboy, and Steven R. Smith) embraces a grimy, distorted haze of atmospheric drone. UP-TIGHT throws Dirty and Nevermind into a meat grinder, run it through a Big Muff, and manage to out-grunge grunge. F.I.t.S. seem more electronic, and like their namesake buzz and burble through who-knows-what-kind of processing. Uton and mudboy calm the waters somewhat, mudboy's nyquil of choice being his cadre of altered organ sounds, evoking a wordless Northeastern raconteur who slowly trails off into a stare.

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