Thursday, September 30, 2010

Movie and music review

This film is a look at the dark side of celebrity worship here in the USA. Patton Oswalt stars as a mid 30's sad sack nebbish who still lives at home with his shrewish mother, works a dead end job, and has love for only two things, the New York Giants football team and calling in to a sports talk radio show. When he gets the chance to meet his football idol in a strip club he gets beat up and suffers some brain damage. And his love for his team clouds his judgment when he decides not to co-operate with the police investigation of the incident. When the inevitable mockery starts, he decides to redeem himself in one of the worst ways possible.

It's a sad kind of depressing story but it's brilliantly told and brilliantly acted. Oswalt is terrific as the deluded pathetic football nut and Kevin Corrigan is also great as his equally socially inept buddy. The two play off of each other really well and they capture the aging man child awkwardness so well it's almost scary.

The rest of the cast is a bunch of virtual unknowns, with the exception of independent film darling Michael Rapaport. Don't get me wrong, just because the rest of the cast is a bunch of virtual unknowns that doesn't mean they're bad, they aren't, in all cases they turn in great performances. But the best thing about them is that they all look real, they all look like they come from the Staten Island/NYC area. And the director doesn't shy away from making them look plain and or ugly, he lets them be who they are and that's a good thing.

This film could have been about any obsessed fan of football, hockey, European football, or baseball. It could have just as easily been about someone who idolizes a politician, a singer, an actor. The point is celebrity worship deprives of us being who we really are and it fills our lives with fake fulfillment. I know I've made this film sound bleak and depressing, and it is at times, but trust me, it's a darn good movie and it's well worth your time, even if you're not a sports fan.

For many years I resisted Tori Amos because she was, in my opinion, too obtuse and overly dramatic for my taste. But I relented a few years ago and I got Sparky one of her CD's for Christmas and I liked most all of it. So when I saw this CD
at one of my local libraries the other day, I checked it out and gave it a listen. I'm happy to report that she's still obtuse and overly dramatic but in this case, she knocked my socks off.

On this CD she deconstructs and mashes up traditional Christmas carols and then she stitches them back together to make entirely newish songs out of them. There's also a few new compositions on this CD as well but the stand out songs are the reinterpretations of the traditional Christmas music. Her musical arrangements are stellar and her voice never sounded better. And the photos of her dressed as seasonal goddesses, and yes I choose to interpret them in that way, are also something behold. Ms. Amos is a stunningly beautiful woman and this CD is a stunningly good piece of work. I like to think as modern medieval music for the masses. It's odd but engaging and I recommend it highly.


Wings said...

Amos ain't my thing, but that flick looks quite interesting, thanks for the tip, Doc!

Jay Allbritton said...

Tori's first album, Little Earthquakes, knocked me on my ass when I was just a teenager. It's still her best by far.

kirby said...

I liked that movie.

gmb said...

For a satiric take on celebrity worship/an obsession with fame/notoriety, see "King of Comedy." It's one of my favorite films.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks for the heads up on that film. It sounds like one to watch out for!