It's Party Time It's Excellent
My first review for Stylus is up today. It analyzes the little story of two young men, fortuitously named Wayne and Garth. I can assure you that last sentence makes no sense. In case, you were wondering why I'm reviewing a movie that came out 14 years ago, it's for Stylus' weekly Second Take column, which takes a look back at a film or album from the past. Check it out here:
In other news, I covered a Jurassic 5 show last week for Rap-Up Magazine, and while it wasn't as abominable as the Mobb Deep show that I went to last month, it wasn't exactly mind-blowing either. I've probably seen J5 more than any other act, rock or rap. This mainly has to do with the fact that I grew up in Los Angeles and if you grew up in Los Angeles and liked hip-hop , it was practically impossible not to end up at least a few J5 shows. I think this last concert was show seven and without a doubt it will probably be my last one. Since I'm pretty sure at this point Rap-Up decided not to run the review, I'm just going to post it below. Rest assured, I went very easy on J5 just because I used to be a huge fan of the group.
I'm definitely over that phase. I can't knock their live show, as it's easily one of the best in hip-hop, but I'll say this much, if there's anything more tired than rappers who rap about their coke-dealing ability, it's rap groups who rap about how real they keep it. Especially ones that do collaborations with Dave Matthews. I understand that rappers have families to feed too but I also understand that Dave Matthews is a douche that has no place anywhere on a rap song. If they were going to try to sell out couldn't they at least have gotten Chris Martin?
It’s fitting that Jurassic 5’s latest single of their new album, “Work it Out,” is a collaboration with Dave Matthews. In many ways, Jurassic 5 are the hip-hop version of Matthews. While I happen to find J5’s music infinitely more listenable than Matthews’ mind-numbingly dull brand of mellow-rock, Jurassic 5 have shaped their career along the same lines, as both make relatively safe, non-threatening, non-innovative music, popular among stoned wannabe hippie college kids. They both make the sort of music you could play at home in front of your parents and not have to cringe with every offensive lyric. But above all, Jurassic 5 most resemble Matthews in their dedication to producing a fan-friendly live show. And in that regard, the 5 (now actually a quintet with the departure of producer/DJ Cut Chemist) put on an entertaining performance at the House of Blues Sunset on Tuesday, July 25.
That being said, what in God's name were the Times' editors thinking yesterday when they allowed the entire front page of the Sunday Business section to be about non-local stories, particularly this one about the labor crisis in Minnestota's iron ore industry.
It's not like I have a problem with the story per se, but one of the most constant and valid critiques of the Times' is that it isn't local enough. With that in mind, there were and are plenty of opportunities for Times reporters to write a similar story about workers in Los Angeles. The old newspaper I wrote for, The San Fernando Valley Business Journal, addressed the issue of a graying and untrained local workforce on several different occasions, most notably here and here.
In a time where they're supposedly desperate to cut costs, it seems a bit superfluous that the Times had to travel all the way to Minnesota to cover a trend that has little impact its own readers. All they had to do was ask any aerospace company in the greater Los Angeles area about the demographics of their workforce. I'm sure they'll have a whole lot to say.
As you've probably heard Miami Vice came in at number one this past weekend, grossing $25 million. Sure, that sounds good on paper, but if you factor in that that it had basically no competition this weekend other than a third week Pirates of the Carribbean, this opening can only be looked at as a disappointment, particularly considering their grosses are likely going to be way down next weekend, when the 13-18 crowd is going to be spending their money on Talledega Nights, the new Will Ferrell NASCAR film. Well, that and 24-year old bloggers.
I haven't seen Miami Vice but now that Joey has savaged it mercilessly, I'm certainly not planning on it. But in my mind, this film made two crucial blunders. The first was the uninspired casting choices of Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. If nothing else, Farrell proves that movie studios can't create movie stars in this day and age. See Jude Law. Johnny Depp is a movie star. Jim Carrey is a movie star. Colin Farrell is not. Why? Because no one will ever go see a movie just because Colin Farrell is in it, Nicole Narain excluded.
The film's second crucial error was to try to make it a serious film. You're dealing with Miami Vice, people want to see neon, people want to see kitsch. This film should've been set in 1984 with full-on pastels and Ray-Bans. Check out the picture above. That's awesome. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx in dark suits, not so much. If they wanted to go serious, couldn't they have just set the film in the mid-80s, using the Reagan Administration's failed drug war as a contrast with Dubya's failed war. In all likelihood, the film never would've been great but it could've been a whole lot of fun. Too bad.
And if you're still reading this still looking for more ways to kill time at work, check out two new blogs (at least to me), Bright Stupid Confetti, particularly this well-written post on the greatness of the Wu.
And Kalibleek, fellow Socalite, Stephen Colbert and Def Jux fan, which pretty makes anyone A-okay in my book.
And with that tune in again next Wednesday for more Wayne's World.