Friday, March 28, 2008

Is Drillbit Taylor really from team Apatow?

Awwww…aren’t they cute? No, no their not.

I like the movies and sometimes this leads me to see movies that are not worth my time. As I sat through this horrible film I felt at least some sense of pride in the fact that I can save my friends the agony. Taking the cinematic bullet for the team. This movie is just lame. It really is of the caliber of a direct to video American Pie movie without the nudity and innuendos.

The kids in this film are annoying, especially the little one. This little troll is the worst over actor I’ve seen since I saw a home-school drama club production of Fiddler on the Roof. There must be better teen actors in Hollywood. After seeing this film I worry for Judd Apatow, how could he attach his name to this? I know that a producer credit is often thrown around as a way to legitimize a film, but this could be detrimental for Apatow. And Seth Rogan is listed as a writer? I hope that by writer they mean he came up with the original concept and farmed it out. If he was intimately involved in creating the generic crap that covered the pages of this script then it makes me think he won’t last.

So, with this movie being placed in the low category of “barely meets USA network” standards. Please consider this a favor from you’re friend Trent; there is no reason to see this movie.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

America Continues to get it right!

Peace out Chikezie, it was time.

We look over our countries history and as great of a nation we are, occasionally we make the wrong choice. Both Sanjaya and Slavery are things that should have never plagued our history and took far too long to be removed. In fact, I wonder if America is operating under Sanjaya Guilt, similar to white guilt. This year it is clear that America is following the cues of the judges and want to vote for a good singer.

Whatever the motivation, I am glad that we’re getting it right so far. Last night when Chikezie was voted off, I was proud of our country. This guy consistently picked the wrong song because he was the wrong guy. He was a nice enough guy, but not a strong singer and not Marketable. That marketability factor makes me wonder if David Cook will beat David Archuleta. America let Daughtry miss his chance for the joke that is Taylor Hicks. Archuleta doesn’t have a pop style voice and is a little too Clay Aiken in style. My hope is that story looses and well-rounded marketability wins. Maybe there’s Daughtry Guilt too? Only time will tell.

I want Ramiele voted off next. Unfortunately I think she will stick around, but in my opinion her and Kristy Lee Cook are now the weakest. I just want to keep Kristy Lee Cook around longer because of her heart-warming story about selling her horse…Who am I kidding, I think she’s pretty and would miss that smile.

Don’t let the title deceive you, it isn’t funny or gamey.


Okay, wow, where to start…Funny Games is a remake of a German film with the same title, but in German. It’s the same director, filming it shot for shot on an identical set. I haven’t seen the original and I’m not sure I ever well. Candidly, I am not sure I will ever see the American version again. My friend Scott recommended I see it, and after viewing this utterly disturbing film I called him immediately. I yelled “What are you doing to me?!?” into the phone as he picked up. It was 11:30 his local time in Oklahoma and he was definitely in bed with his wife. Still, I needed to talk to someone, so it might as well be the person that inflicted this knot in my stomach.

He asked if I hated it and I couldn’t say that, it wasn’t that simple. I was extremely disturbed by it. He then told me that it was the most disturbing movie he’d ever seen. At this point I wondered why he would insist I saw the film. Is this cinematic Schadenfreude? (If you missed German class or Avenue Q, look it up. You’re on the Internet.) Should I question 15 years of friendship? As the conversation continued I realized that this wasn’t a punishment, this was an opportunity for discussion.

We discussed the role that violence takes in the media. We discussed how it was interesting that at times the evil that breaks all the rules operates under it’s own skewed morality. This movie brings up interesting questions and doesn’t glorify violence along the way even though it is full of violence. This is a film that will bring about good conversation among certain people. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this film for everyone. When I saw it in the theater, 6 or 16 people walked out and I believe many of my friends would walk out.

It has some great performances, especially Michael Pitt who plays one of the two villains. This guy gives us the creepiest freeze-frame ending since Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Aaahhh, I really was creeped out by this movie. So I will give this a recommendation to the few; those who like artsy films and are willing to take a ride will find a well-crafted film and a deep post-film conversation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

FYI- Feed Your Ipod: 80's Soft Rock Classics

FYI- Feed Your Ipod is a new feature here at Thoughts of Trent. This is a short list of songs that you should consider purchasing to make your Ipod more well rounded.

Random Purchase Recommendation

Friends remember the month when Michael McDonald's music filled my car and office; a Good month

So I am at work, plugging away at a project and listening to Kevin and Bean's podcast. I find it's a nice change of pace from music all day. Then someone on the show makes a random reference to an 80's song. Then I took a break an ended up hunting my Ipod for 80's soft rock classics. I spent the next 3 hours of work with an extra bounce in my step. It lead me to make this short list of 5 songs that you need to have on your Ipod. Please note, I am not making the ultimate top 5 list, or claiming these are the best of the decade. These aren't necessarily the obvious tracks that you will find on the Wedding Singer soundtrack, but still worthy of the title classic in my humble opinion. Take a look at the songs, and buy them. If it doesn't make you smile just a little then it's official, you have no soul.

1. Rosanna- Toto
2. Maneater- Hall & Oates
3. Saturday in the Park- Chicago
4. I Keep Forgettin'- Michael McDonald
5. Theme from "Greatest American Hero" (Believe It or Not)- Joey Scarbury

So the question is, what would be your 5 80's song recommendations?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gone Baby Gone = Good Ben Good

I've met both these guys. That's right I name dropped in a caption, deal with it. (please note I am dealing with it as I've been ripped apart for this)

I had heard a little bit about this movie when it was in the theater but by the time I decided to see it, it left the multiplex quietly. So when I realized I missed it, I put it in my Netflix queue to ensure I would see it. Well, it showed up this last week and I must say, I really enjoy this film.

Knowing that superstar Ben Affleck was directing, I was pleasantly surprised to not be distracted during the film. In fact a few minutes in, I forgot who director was and just enjoyed the ride. I believed Casey Affleck in his role, Morgan Freeman is always great and I was once again disappointed with Ed Harris. Ed Harris is just not believable to me and is a distracting over-actor.

This movie is not light-hearted and asks some thought provoking questions about right and wrong. I found myself asking some really deep questions and considered the moral quandary of the lead character. (In case you’ve seen it and you’re wondering, I’d have done the same thing as the lead.) It also makes some great statements about the media capitalizing on missing children. I personally loathe modern news reports and shows like Greta Van Susteren. Sadly though, an entire genre of television is created around tragedy, not for the sake of journalism but as a sick version of reality television.

Overall Gone Baby Gone is an interesting story that is sure to prompt some great post-viewing conversations. I give it a “pick it up Friday night and watch it with some friends. It’s a good film and will create some interesting dialogue long after it ends.” It leaves me wanting to see what else Ben Affleck might do behind the camera. Only time will tell if he’s the next Clint Eastwood, but before giving out such a grandiose label, I will start here; “Good Ben Good.”

Friday, March 21, 2008

Horton; Not pixar, but not bad.

Jim Carrey plays an only slightly annoying elephant named Horton.

“It’s so good, I loved it so much I bought the soundtrack.” Tim gave this movie a strong recommendation assuring me it was great. After trying to remember whether Tim had earned credibility, I decided to choose the movie Horton Hears a Who. My only other choice was 10,000 B.C. so it didn’t take much to get me to see this computer animated film. I have found the majority of this genre to be a a big disappointment if not from Pixar Studios. I am including the Disney Animated Studios movies, so hold your “Trent is a bias Disney Dork” accusations.

As the movie started there was a preview for the next Ice Age film. I began to lose my trust in Tim’s recommendation when I found him laughing heartily at the trailer. This was not good. (Side note: Do we need another Ice Age? I am convinced at this rate, I will be forced to take kids to the opening weekend of Ice Age; Blade Runner Edition.) As the opening credits started, I learned that Horton Hears a Who was a Blue Sky Studios movie, the makers of Ice Age. I immediately had a sinking feeling that this would be a long haul.

A few minutes in I found myself enjoying the movie. I was surprised, the gags weren’t obnoxious, it was subtle and fun. The sentimental factor for me was that this was the best looking Dr. Seuss film I’d ever scene. After reading the books filled iconic illustrations as a child, I had always been disappointed with Hollywood’s interpretation. This seemed like the perfect medium. The story seemed endearing and I enjoyed the characters.

The first half of the movie was enjoyable, but the second half the movie lost steam. It seemed like the story didn’t know where to go. It had lost the pace, excitement and fun gags of the first act. It seemed to lag and drag. This is unfortunate because I really did like the way it started. I guess there is something to be said about making a feature length film out of a book that was written to be read to children in a short amount of time late at night.

I thought the story was really interesting. I’d like to hear what friends would say about some of the ‘hidden messages’. I have met the writers of this movie and hope to ask them whether they had intentions to make a stance on evolution, relativism, faith, abortion and the Bush administration. Now this may seem like a joke, but watch the movie and tell me there aren’t subtle references to these topics. It’s a conversation that I’d love to hear your take on. Tim may have lost some credibility in his recommendation, but it wasn’t horrible, so he’s going to be okay. My recommendation is to take your niece or nephew to the movie, but don’t rush to the theater expecting to find Nemo.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

FYI- Feed Your Ipod: "I am Sam" Soundtrack

FYI- Feed Your Ipod is a new feature here at Thoughts of Trent. This is a short list of songs that you should consider purchasing to make your Ipod more well rounded.

Random Purchase Recommendation

A little reference to Abbey Road and a reminder that everyone loves balloons!

This last few weeks of American Idol has reminded me of my love for the Beatles. I am still frustrated as my Beatles Collection is limited to 4 albums. With a band as talented as the Beatles, 4 albums is nowhere near enough. So after listening to their albums a few times I came across a little gem that I had forgotten. A few years back Sean Penn starred in a movie about a mentally challenged man who raised a baby with the sounds of the Fab 4. No matter what you felt about the film the soundtrack was original.

All covers of Beatles songs, this CD has some tracks that I dare to say are better than the originals. The album has continuity in its tone which is rare considering the diversity in Beatles styles. Artists I love really do these great songs justice. Even if you aren’t a fan, you will find this CD satisfying. My hope that it will be a Gateway for some people that haven’t fully appreciated the greatest rock ‘n roll band so far.

So, buy the whole CD, it is worth it. If you don’t believe me, buy the following songs in the provided order off itunes. My feeling is that you will buy the remainder of the album within a month.

1. You’ve got to hide your light away, Eddie Vedder
2. Blackbird, Sarah McLachlan
3. Across the Universe, Rufus Wainwright
4. Two of Us, Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
5. Golden Slumbers, Ben Folds

This is great chill, foggy morning music. Enjoy it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Not even Semi-Funny

I'm pretty sure this is the same gym from "Bring it on". It's sad that I know that, huh.

Will Ferrell is a funny fellow, but that humor has not been making it into his last few films. This latest debacle “Semi-Pro” is the story of Jackie Moon, the owner on a small basketball team that must win and fill seats to survive a merging of leagues. Part of the problem with this film is that I never really liked the lead character, played by Ferrell. He was annoying, simply a source of wisecracks not someone that we want to see succeed.

We all know that Ferrell is funny, we all know that he can think of random things that will give us a chuckle, but without a story it gets to be grating. It got to the point where his antics only frustrated me because I wanted the movie to end. The love story involving Woody Harrelson was not believable and poorly written.

Now if you haven’t seen the film and want to be surprised, skip the rest of this paragraph. In all honesty though, what kind of person wants to enjoy the suspense of a Will Ferrell sports movie. Let’s all make fun of them, since they aren’t reading this anymore. (insert insult here.) Okay, back to this poor movie. About ¾ of the way through the film we are informed that the main goal of the characters has been lost without them even trying. We find out even if they fill enough seats and win enough games, they won’t survive the merger. This was ridiculous, there was literally no reason to keep watching. They even admit that there is no reason to keep playing. Horrible story telling, which is in line with the rest of the script.

Will Ferrell needs to step it up in the next few films or he is sure to go the way of Chris Kattan. Clearly this formula of out of his element, sports film is not suiting him anymore. I look forward to seeing him think outside the box and develop something really inventive. Until then, this movie goes in the “watch it if it came on TBS and your only other options were America’s Top Model and MASH” category.

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