Archive for August, 2011

Singin’ in the Rain is overrated (the movie and literally, I assume)

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

So last summer I was sleeping with the windows open and my next-door neighbour was watching Singin’ in the Rain turned up to full volume and I thought, “I should watch Singin’ in the Rain too!”, but then I thought “Sheez it’s so late turn down your TV!”

Anyway. I finally got around to watching the movieĀ 1. And… it’s kind of overrated. Greatest cinema musical of all time? Really?

Kinda ironic it’s about the making of a so-so Hollywood film that’s transformed into a great film with the addition of a few unrelated musical numbers, given that pretty much describes Singin’ in the Rain itself. Meta! Singin‘ isn’t as terrible as its film-within-a-film Dueling Cavalier, not by a long shot, but its best known numbers – ‘Good Morning’, ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ and the iconic title track, which is pretty neat, I’ll admit – don’t have anything much to do with the plot, and a long, actually-pretty-snoozy chunk of the second act is given over to an extended fantasy sequence which has nothing to do with the plot.

(Wikipedia says “Singin’ in the Rain was originally conceived by MGM producer Arthur Freed, the head of the ‘Freed Unit’ responsible for turning out MGM’s lavish musicals, as a vehicle for his catalog of songs written with Nacio Herb Brown for previous MGM musical films of the 1929-39 period”. TL,DR: the songs really were just shoehorned into the plot.)

Singin’ in the Rain is plenty entertaining. It’s often hilarious (especially the disastrous “Yes! Yes! Yes” “No! No! No!” test screening of The Dueling Cavalier, and Jean Hagen as insufferable ingenue Lina Lamont). It’s not one of those “classic” films that bores the pants of everyone who isn’t a film critic. It’s a good movie. But I don’t believe it’s great.

Those aforementioned film critics aren’t much help revealing why, either. Roger Ebert and David Stratton and Margaret Pomeraz basically consider it great because it’s considered great? Yeah, okay, then.

  1. To re-watching it, that is, but the first time I watched it was for uni film studies and I’ve decided that doesn’t count. []

Book review: A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

A Game of ThronesConfession: I never heard of George R.R. Martin nor his epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire till HBO adapted the first instalment, A Game of Thrones, into the article-less TV series Game of Thrones. Which is amazing! I was hooked the moment [spoiler] pushed [spoiler] out the [spoiler], and officially loved it after [spoiler] had his [spoiler] [spoiler], then upgraded to love-it-like-a-crack-addict-whore-loves-crack when the season ended with [spoiler] [spoiler] [spoiler]!

Craving more, as junkie addict whores often do, I turned to Martin’s books. By the way, you probably don’t need to read A Game of Thrones if you’ve watched Game of Thrones and feel like you have a pretty good understanding of it. (HBO’s official site is a big help here.) The TV show is super-faithful to the novel, so (assuming you’re not one of these sissy-nutso-pansies who refuses to read the books for fear of spoiling the TV show) you ought to be able to leap into book two, A Clash of Kings, without much difficulty.

But reading A Game of Thrones is recommended if you plan to become a hardcore Westeros nut. (more…)

Twitter spam accounts with unusual names

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Umphenour

Yeah, she totally looks like an Umphenour

I swear these are all real names (well, real names of fake people, anyway) of spam Twitter accounts who’ve @ replied me recently. They’re all so whimsically named I almost felt bad blocking and reporting them for spam! But not really.

Umphenour Carter

Illuminada Husk

Noriko Defrates

Grindeland Face

Guitreau Phipps

Maltas Lawless

Vandyk Sherwood

Bookard Dickerson

Wayson Inge

Vuono Zacher

Neelon Kendall

Rolfsen Oxford

Weinmann Drew

Flom Wessex

What delightful nomenclature! And, because Twitter’s spambots have chosen this week to launch their invasion, I guess, here’s several more:

Tremper Xent

Renfrew Ace

Yuhasz (huh?) Blaire

Pizzuto Chance

Diluca Scottman

Goldware Jackman

Baldridge Windsor

Copes Wheatley

Starnes Carew