Friday, June 1, 2012

The Meaning of The Black Keys "Gold on the Ceiling" Video

I have no clue what this means. And neither do you, entire world not named Harmony Korine...


The original video for "Gold on the Ceiling" was by far, the most normal in the Black Keys' video collection. So the natural thing to do (for The Black Keys at least), would be to take the same song and then create the most confusing, odd video of their collection.

Maybe this is the creepiest homage to the Bill & Ted robots from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey we've ever seen. But that's just a guess, and frankly, I'd really rather not watch the video again.

T.S. Oldman is the managing editor of Fistful of Words and he does not own a TWINZ suit. You can follow him on Twitter at @TSOldman.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FoW Movie Trailer Rundown: Gangster Gosling and Congressman Ferrell

Gangster Squad

Rabbitt: I think I could like Gangster Squad. I won't sit here and say that I've seen everything Gosling has been in, but I haven't seen a  Gosling movie that I thought was terrible. This film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also directed Zombieland. The only other major film directing credit for Fleischer is 30 Minutes or Less, which I, along with most of America, did not see. It will be interesting to see his first go at a more serious film. More importantly, I'm interested to see how many Zombieland rules he can work into the script. Clearly, there will be ample opportunities for the double tap (rule #2). From the looks of things, Emma Stone (Zombieland alum) appears to be keeping up with her cardio (rule #1). Check. I'm not blown away by this one, but I think it could be solid. 

Hammock: Agreed all around. As I've said before, I always support movies comprised of actors and actresses who are paler than I am -- which means I'm obligated to see all Emma Stone (whose ear is in danger of having hair brushed over it) films. This, of course, is assuming she doesn't make a habit of going to the tanning bed. As for your assessment of Ryan Gosling movies, I'll take it one step further -- I think his movies, on average, are up there with the best the Hollywood A-list has to offer. I still can't believe Drive didn't get nominated for best picture.

The Campaign

Hammock: I have to admit, the wiener-licking goat line caught me off guard and made me LOL. What does that say about me as a person? I'm not sure. Bathroom humor is the second lowest form of comedy (ahead of Tyler Perry's Madea movies), but sometimes you can't help but laugh. I really don't know what to think of The Campaign. Will Ferrell and Zach Goljaiosiajasbvkas certainly have the ability to be funny, but sometimes silliness gets in the way. Of course, I love Step Brothers and it doesn't get much sillier than that. 

Side note: Looks like I finally won my five year can't-shave-your-beard battle with Zach Galifinakas. 

Another side note: Galifinakas is even harder to spell that McConaughey.

Rabbitt: You know what you are getting when you walk in the theater to see The Campaign. You will laugh, shake your head, cry -- maybe because you are laughing so hard... maybe because you paid $10 to see it. There will be no smoke or mirrors. One of the writers is from Eastbound and Down, which is pretty darn funny without many redeeming qualities. The director, Jay Roach, has directed a slew of comedies I didn't care for and one that I did -- Meet the Parents. He also directed the TV movie Game Change, a serious campaign movie for which Julianne Moore has received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sarah Palin. I haven't seen it yet, but early reports indicate that they did not let him say wiener-licking goat in Game Change.

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

Rabbitt: This seems like a decent idea for a TV episode, maybe even a two-episode season finale. But, I don't know how this movie can keep momentum going for a full length feature film. The Duplass brothers have come out with some good stuff recently with Jeff, Who Lives at Home and I've heard good things about Your Sister's Sister. I just don't see how this could possibly drag out for 90 minutes. The answer, obviously, is that there are 25 events including, but not limited to: racquetball, arm wrestling, ping pong, charity 5k, and everyone's favorite...the long jump.  In an unrelated story, I would be awesome at one of these. 

Hammock: Yeah, I'm definitely not sold either. The Duplass brothers have been pretty successful with the whole dry humor/mumblecore thing, but this seems extra dry and extra mumbly. Also, this may be the first (American) movie trailer we've done on MTR where I didn't recognize at least one actor in the preview. I guess I'm just not up to snuff on do-deca-pentathletes. Speaking of, how exactly does do-dec-pentathlon equal 25 events? Dodeca means 12 and penta means 5. Wouldn't that be like 60 events? Those guys must be in better shape than they look.

A Cat in Paris
Hammock: I'm a cat-person. No, not like a genetically engineered feline-human hybrid -- I just love cats. It's no surprise, then, that A Cat in Paris strikes my fancy (feast?). I would imagine this movie also appeals to cats and let's face it, the feline community could really use something to bring them together after last year's tragic kitten race war.

Rabbitt: We already know that Paris in the morning is beautiful. Paris in the afternoon is charming.  Paris in the evening is enchanting.  But, Paris after midnight... is magic. This looks like a fun one. Apparently, David and I aren't the only ones who think so.  This is an Oscar-nominated film from 2012, losing out to Rango in the Best Animated Feature Film Category. I think the main takeaway here is that I need to visit Paris...but only if it is the one that is portrayed in the movies and Kanye/Jay-Z songs.

David and Stephan aren't really into do-deca-pentathlons, but are always up for some 2 on 2 hoops. Follow them on Twitter @david_hammock and @itsrabbitt or catch them on the AND1 Mixtape tour... in the stands.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Games of Thrones Review: The Prince of Winterfell

Image via Game of Thrones Facebook.

By Thomas Hokum

If last week showed that big changes were coming, this week’s episode “The Prince of Winterfell” brought us the first steps in those changes. We see Tywin and Arya leave Harrenhal, Stannis and Davos near King’s Landing, Brienne and Jaime leave Robb’s army, and most of the raiders from Pyke appear to be leaving Winterfell at the behest of Yara, who admonishes Theon to come as well, warning, “not to die so far from the sea.” There are so many details crammed in the ending that showing Dany approach the House of the Undying feels abrupt, and the whole episode could do with one great big decompression. “The Prince of Winterfell” really felt like the producers trying to get in all the details they’d left out so far, while making sure everyone was moving in the right directions for the climactic final two episodes. Next week Stannis’ troops arrive at King’s Landing and we finally see the Battle of the Blackwater (which is the river running right outside of King’s Landing) and the episode is simply titled “Blackwater.”

One good example of this compression is the scene recalling how Davos saved Stannis and his men during the Siege of Dragonstone by using his smuggling tricks to bring the besieged army onions (hence The Onion Knight). The scene was well done, but could have come earlier in the season when not quite so much unproverbial stuff was hitting that age-old proverbial fan. Also, the disjointed storytelling doesn’t really make it clear that Stannis cut off Davos’ fingertips on one hand afterward as punishment for being a life-long smuggler, right before he makes him a knight. That story in its entirety is crucial to understanding just how rigid Stannis’ ideas about honor and justice are.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Game of Thrones Review: A Man Without Honor

Hokum believes Tyrion steals the show.
Image via HBO GoT Facebook

By Thomas Hokum

With only three episodes left in the second season, Game of Thrones is quickly building to its tipping point for the final episodes. Most of the characters have been stationary for the last few episodes, and in “A Man Without Honor” we see the beginnings of the end. The main characters are all in unique situations where change seems imminent and necessary, but if GoT is good at anything, it’s the bait and switch (see: Ned Stark). This episode really begins to push the plot in a direction that will require otherwise static characters to take action.

The clearest example is in King’s Landing. I think every episode has had some small or large example, either through showing or other characters commenting, of King Joffrey’s growing instability and madness. A Man Without Honor puts the issue at the forefront by having Sansa come of age in typical GoT bloody fashion. The fear she shows at seeing the blood, and knowing this will hasten her marriage to Joffrey, is one of her better scenes in the series, and I loved Shae pulling the knife on the serving girl. Cersei, who has been largely absent and ineffectual this season, gets some solid moments as she reveals to Sansa that she knows Joffrey is insane, and even questions to Tyrion if this is the gods’ punishment for her incest with Jaime. Tyrion does a great job of never acknowledging his suspicions about the twins, and his face as his hateful sister makes this awkward confession is Oscar-worthy. However, what I take away from all of this, along with the tidbit that Stannis’ fleet of 200 hundred ships is on its way to King’s Landing, is that Joffrey cannot be king for much longer. Some sort of end has to be coming for his madness and I think we can expect it will be bloody.

North of the Wall Jon Snow continues escorting his prisoner, the wildling Ygritte, while looking for Quorin Halfhand. The banter between Jon and Ygritte is witty, playful, and works on two levels. The first is obviously that Ygritte is trying to seduce Jon in a play to try and escape, which she ends up doing anyway by simply knocking Jon down and running. Beneath the banter, however, you can tell Ygritte has a serious attraction to Jon that she’s trying to bury under her banter. Jon continues to play it Bogart, but there’s one clear moment when he looks like his resolve could falter. And then he’s captured by wildlings, and in next week’s preview we finally get to see Rattleshirt, the Lord of Bones, aptly named for his armor made of bones. Jon will certainly have to make some serious decisions to stay alive, or get lucky.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Photo Essay: Wilco Live in Concert

Lead vocalist Jeffy Tweedy of Wilco at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama.

By Craig Justice

Editor's Note: While we have featured the work of up and coming photographers in the past, today's post is the first photo essay from artist Craig Justice. Based in Birmingham, Craig's first subject for FoW was covering the Wilco tour stop this last week. Rather than fill up your morning with a lengthy live review, Craig has shared the look and the feel of the show.

Friday night in Birmingham's famous Sloss Furnaces, everything seemed to be clicking for Wilco, passing train horns included. Lead vocalist Jeff Tweedy expressed his gratitude for the great crowd throughout the show. The stage, composed of hanging cloths resembling the supposed ghosts that haunt Sloss and lit by a large projector, was amazing. Wilco delighted the crowd  with a huge selection of past and present during their two and a half hour set. See the full set list here.

Guitarist Nels Cline

Multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone.

John Stirratt on bass.

Keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen

All images are copyright 2012 Craig Justice. All rights reserved.
Craig Justice knows more about Wilco and soccer than you do. You can see more of his work on his own site and follow him on Twitter @CJustice. This is his first post for Fistful of Words.

Friday, May 11, 2012

FoW Movie Trailers Rundown: Missing Arrested Development & Wooderson Goes Crazy

By David Hammock and Stephan Rabbitt

The Expendables

Hammock: I can appreciate the premise. I mean, who doesn't like an all-star team? The first Expendables movie capitalized on the idea, bringing together some of the most prominent action stars of the last few decades to "shoot first, ask questions never" as a team. Expendables 2 promises more of the same, this time adding cult hero Chuck Norris to the mix. Seems like a natural step. So, why won't I be seeing this movie? Because I don't like action movies. More specifically, I don't enjoy movies that don't have a good story... unless they can really make me laugh. For those who of you who do love action movies, I'm sure this is right up your alley, but my alley is elsewhere. My alley is a place where heroes aren't impenetrable to bullets... or subtlety.

Rabbitt: Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Jet Li... This is like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for action stars. I was completely unaware that Expendables 1 existed until this very moment. So, that should give a pretty good indication this will be the last I speak of the sequel. When is it ever a good idea to gallivant into battle on zip lines? Are they fighting the American Gladiators? Stallone shoots down a chopper with a motorcycle. That's cool. I'm pretty sure I saw Willis down a chopper with a police car in Live Free or Die Hard. Kind of a toss up as to which one has the higher degree of difficulty. Willis had to drive his bike most of the way while he was being shot at before diving out of the car. Stallone had to keep his bike from tipping over on the way to the ramp. One thing is for certain: both motorcycle takedowns look like an easier task than sitting through this movie.


Rabbitt: I miss Arrested Development. A lot. With Bateman and Arnett back on screen together, this seems like a sure thing from the outset. The list of story lines that could follow the opening clip that would turn me off from wanting to see this movie is a short list... but that list includes documentaries about male grooming tendencies. Sorry guys .I'll wait for the Arrested Development reunion.

Hammock: I actually just finished watching Arrested Development in its entirety for like the tenth time and, like Stephan, my desire to see the new season is palpable. Imagine my excitement when I see two of the Bluth brothers in the same shot, then my disappointment when we find out this movie is about manscaping. COME ON! I actually kinda like Morgan Spurlock and I'm willing to bet there are parts of this movie I would enjoy, BUT I'm also pretty sure there will be parts that will make me queasy. Man parts. The risk simply outweighs the reward. Besides, I already know exactly what makes a man handsome... money. And mental math skills, of course.


Rabbitt: Ben Affleck may not always act in the greatest movies. To this day, a little part of me dies inside every time I think of Pearl Harbor. But, he very rarely leads us astray as a writer and/or director. His writing credits include Good Will Hunting, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone, the latter two of which he also directed. If you ever get the chance to watch The Town on Blu-ray, I highly recommend the special features and interviews with Ben, especially about the logistics of the shots at Fenway. It's really interesting stuff. Back to Argo, I think it looks really promising, despite Ben appearing as if he strolled on set straight from an occupy movement. If you want to sound like the wine/art aficionado in Midnight in Paris, make sure you check out the Wikipedia page for Argo of Greek Mythology before you attend the movie.  Did you know the Argo was built by the shipwright Argus, and its crew, were specially protected by the goddess Hera. I challenge you to say that at the theater and not sound like a pretentious snob.

Hammock: It just might be a reverse reaction to the prevailing anti-Affleck sentiment over the last decade, but I've got a bit of a soft spot for Ben. Sure he's been in some crappy movies, but who hasn't? As Stephan points out, he's acted in some good ones too -- I'd add Dazed and Confused, the Jay and Silent Bob movies, and, what the heck, even Armageddon to Stephan's list. As for Argo, I majored in History, so I'm down for a movie about the Iranian Hostage Crisis. (I'm just slightly more down for a movie about man who fights crime dressed as a bat.) The talented cast leads me to believe that this movie will steer closer to Affleck's hits than his misses -- but even if it does bomb, he still gets to go home to Jennifer Garner at the end of the day. Do you like apples, Stephan?

Killer Joe

Hammock:  From Magic Mike to Killer Joe goes Matthew McConaughey. Before I get into Killer Joe, I'd like to point out that McConaughey is the single most difficult Hollywood last name to spell. Okay, there are some tough foreign-sounding ones that I can't even begin to try, but it seems like I should be able to get a handle on McConaughey. I can't. (Segue alert!) I also couldn't get a handle on this trailer for Killer Joe. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Isn't that girl a little too young for Matthew McConaughey? Wait, I seem to remember him mentioning something about that before... (start at the 1:05 mark).

Rabbitt: Instead of watching Killer Joe or Magic Mike, I'd rather watch Killa Mike. At least Killa Mike clarifies, "over 18 only cause baby I'm no perv." Take notes, McConaughey. Looks like you'll have to be at least 17 to get in to this one anyway as Killer Joe has an NC-17 rating as of the release of this trailer. I would normally say that I imagine they'll be cutting some scenes to try to get an R rating but I just read in EW that they will not be cutting any scenes and will release with the NC-17 rating. So, that shows what I know. One thing I do know is that I won't be seeing this one.

Neither David nor Stephan believe in taking their shirts off in public as much as Matthew “However you spell it.” But who does. Follow them on Twitter anyways @david_hammock and @itsrabbitt.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

HBO Games of Thrones Review: The Old Gods and the New

Daenerys' storyline this week
differed from the books.
Via Game of Thrones Facebook 

By Thomas Hokum

With “The Old Gods and the New” we get a lot of plot movement that for some reason doesn’t feel like a lot of plot movement. It wasn’t until I started listing everything that happened to a friend and complaining that the episode felt like “filler” that I realized it was fairly event packed. For one thing, this episode really highlighted how HBO and George R. R. Martin are more willing to move away from the source material than they led us to believe from season one.

For example, Daenerys never had her dragons stolen in the books, but that is the cliffhanger HBO has chosen to leave us with this week at the end of the episode. A departure from the books isn’t a bad thing. While I’ve always been endeared to Game of Thrones for being so detail oriented with the source material, a show like The Walking Dead is a perfect example of how a show can reimagine certain storylines in a way that fans of the books and the show can both appreciate. That having been said, nothing really happens with Danny other than she gets her dragons stolen by the mysterious warlocks from last week, presumably to the House of Undying. Oh, and more of her khalsar was murdered (there cannot be a lot of them left still right?).

North of the Wall, we see Jon Snow continuing his first ranging expedition under the leadership of Quorin Halfhand, who decides to give the boy a lecture in what it means to be a Night’s Watchmen. Apparently, an integral part is… hating being a Night’s Watchmen. More importantly, the party ambushes some wildlings and Jon Snow catches one particular redheaded wildling named Ygritte. I loved the casting of Ygritte even if she’s prettier than I imagined in the books. Who doesn’t love a redhead who can swing an axe? Jon Snow is tasked with executing her, but falters at the last moment, getting separated from his party when she takes the opportunity to run. After he recaptures her, we are treated with possibly the most awkward snuggling scene since Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.