I had the pleasure of watching a screener for "The Other F-Word" last night. The film is a documentary following a variety of "punk rock dads" (from bands like Rancid, Pennywise, Nofx, Blink182, Black Flag, Bad Religion, The Adolescents, etc.) as they discuss the transition from "fuck authority" rebellion ... to the new stage of fatherhood. How do the fathers, many of which had absentee fathers themselves growing up, deal with the hardships of trying to raise a family while still being on tour, recording, and putting forth a "punk" persona?
That's the question this film tries to answer.
Starting with a brief history of "punk" and the ethos behind it ... we then move toward the main event: the fathers themselves. Much of the film is focused on interviews with the dads and how they have handled this new stage of their life.
A lot of the film focuses on the lead singer of Pennywise and what ends up being, I believe, his last tour. You see him leave for tour, all of the events with his kids he's missing, the failed skype calls, the attempts to make it home for the 'father daughter dance' -- and the eventual decision for Jim to leave the band. By the end - there shouldn't be a single person who begrudges Jim for his choice. It's the right one. And it's admirable. As a teenager, Pennywise was one of the first bands I started listening to -- and these scenes were some of my favorites from the entire film.
The film is shot in a traditional documentary style. Very little, if any, narration. They let the subjects speak - and their words tell the story. It can be funny at times. Like when Lars from Rancid clears out a playground by showing up in tats and dyed hair. Or when Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 explains that after doing what he's done in his band and on stage for the past few years, that the bar for him as a father could not be lower. Or when Fat Mike takes his daughter to private school. These are moments when you smile -- you see behind the curtain and view what it is like on a day to day basis.
And yet, there's the other side of being a father. Trying to reconcile your own rebellious nature, and how do you act as an authority figure when you've spent your life hating virtually anything related to authority?
There are some very insightful interviews from Flea (RHCP), Brett (Bad Religion), and Tim (Rise Against) that, for me, left me truly thinking about the responsibility of parenthood. There's a moment where Flea breaks down while talking about missing parts of his daughter's life, juxtaposed with Tim from Rise Against taking his daughter to school that is truly emotional.
While the film may have ran a tad long, at a little over an hour and a half, I was completely enthralled through the entire thing. These are artists I grew up listening to. I loved. I respected. I emulated. And as I, myself, continue to get older - this is yet another phase of life where I am looking at others and seeing how they handled the transitions and new challenges. It was extremely interesting to see a side of all of these musicians I don't think many have seen or even imagine. The loud, jarring, angsty music contrasts so delicately with the gentle touch needed in raising children.
I definitely recommend that any fan of this kind of music check this film out if you get the chance. I would even recommend it to casual music fans - it's the kind of film that bridges the gap well; touching on many common themes in everyone's life. I've always thought that a good documentary makes you think, educates you, and leaves you with a refreshed outlook on a particular subject. This one hits it all.
Screening dates can be found here, the trailer is here, the official website here.
I loved "The Social Network" - just flat out great writing and great acting. Definitely heard myself a few times in some of those lines. Quite interesting to watch having some vested interest, and similar back story in the creation of a website. I remember running back from class to work on code ... so, yeah, absolutely recommended.
If you have a chance to catch "Exit Through the Gift Shop" - I highly recommend it. It's in select cities, and should be hitting DVD sooner or later. It was a really engaging and well done "documentary" that brings to light questions about art that I think we see in the music world as well. Authenticity. I loved it. Now, if I only had the means (and by means, I mean funds) to get a legit Banksy piece for my wall.
Saw this the other day when I was downtown. I have absolutely no idea if it's real or not (ie: original or copycat). But, still pretty cool to see on the side of a building ... and made me want to go see "Exit Through The Gift Shop." Anyone seen it?
Watched "The Invention of Lying" last night. We enjoyed it. Doesn't shed religion in the best of lights though. The first act is really funny. The third gets quite cheesy. Interesting concept though. http://amzn.to/aJxkQx
I always believed it was the things you don't choose that makes you who you are. Your city, your neighborhood, your family. People here take pride in these things, like it was something they'd accomplished. The bodies around their souls, the cities wrapped around those. I lived on this block my whole life; most of these people have. When your job is to find people who are missing, it helps to know where they started. I find the people who started in the cracks and then fell through. This city can be hard. When I was young, I asked my priest how you could get to heaven and still protect yourself from all the evil in the world. He told me what God said to His children. "You are sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents, yet innocent as doves."
Watched Gone Baby Goneagain tonight -- it's such a great and powerful movie. I particularly love the above dialog. Felt like giving it a shout out.
I was pretty exhausted last week ... things were just piling up and I was growing disillusioned with a variety of things around the website. Just little things that are bugging me and that I don't have a whole lot of control over at the moment. Things I can't really express but are gnawing at the back of my mind. So, I decided to take the weekend to try and clear my mind and relax. I went and saw the new Bond on Friday night. I thought it was really good. I am a pretty die-hard Bond fan. I've seen all of the movies and own first editions of practically the entire Flemming series. My grandfather introduced me to 007 when I was a kid - and I have been following him ever sense. It was always the one thing I looked forward to most when I would stay with my grandparents ... the notion that I may get to watch a James Bond film. I really liked the new one. It was nowhere near as good as Casino Royale; however, it was eons better than anything Bronson ever did and far better than most of the Moore movies as well. I liked it. I hope the third returns to the feel of Casino Royale ... less "outrageous" stunts and more focus on the story. The fight/action scenes are cool - but when they get over the top I tend to zone out a little.
Watched a lot of sports this weekend with some friends. Good showings from the Blazers and the Broncos. Glad to see us pull out some wins. And then the added bonus of watching San Diego lose. Muahaha.
At night I did the worst thing I could have ... I checked out a recommendation from a friend in the forums and started watching The West Wing online. I never followed the show much when it was actually on ... so this was my first real exposure to it. I'm really interested in government, politics, and with the election season just a few weeks behind us - it was the perfect storm that got me really into the show. I think it's really solid and I have been enjoying the episodes each night. I usually watch a few while answering emails and working and such. It, of course, has that one character I can related to ... you know, the arrogant, slightly narcissistic, cocky and annoyingly intelligent one? Yeah, I tent to love that kind of character.
This week is going to be pretty busy. We just launched our new "Friendly Deal" with Amazon. I hinted at it in a few other blog posts ... but it's Copeland's new album. Tell some friends about the deal and hit them up with the link:
The better these do saleswise the more we get to do them. The last one was a huge success. It went crazy on the charts and I heard from a whole lot of people how much they loved the album. So that's a great start.
I also will be continuing my work on the "new" AP site stuff this week ... trying to finish flushing out some of the bugs and issues. I'm also slowly working links into news posts and such that will kick people over to the new design. Just to try and get more feedback before a wider launch. That'll take some time though - I'm not completely ready to launch and I want to make sure things are improved and perfect before that happens. Soooooo, after posting some news today and checking email -- I'll be back to work on that.
I cleaned up my bookmarks last night -- went through and was able to delete a bunch of old sites I never look at anymore, clean out some of the folders, and delete a whole bunch of the political links I had that I no longer need. Was nice to clean out the Obama/McCain/Palin folders!
I'm still on a Yellowcard/Jimmy Eat World kick musicwise ... nothing else has really turned me on recently.
I watched Speed Racer tonight. Absolutely corny - but I loved every minute of that corniness. So ridiculously over the top. I really liked it for what it was ... fun and kind of dorky. Cool though.
I was really let down by The Office tonight -- I just don't really like the direction this show is going. I don't have the same motivation to watch it each week as my other shows ... maybe I should just wait for it to be on DVD. Bah humbug.
Stop what you're doing - and go buy a ticket to see The Dark Knight. Seriously, right now - if you don't have one yet ... go get it. No joke, you know where your theater is, get on it. You can come back and read this in a minute.
It's that good.
To say I am a pretty big Batman nerd would be an understatement. I have been waiting for this movie since the last one ended. I have followed all of the viral stuff, had massive expectations, and been curious about this move since it first started filming. When the reviews started pouring in -- I got nervous. I was trying not to hype myself up for this film too much - I didn't want to be let down.
The film completely exceeded my expectations. The direction, screenplay, acting, action, editing, dialog, costumes, cinematography -- were amazing. The movie is simply that good of a film. It's beyond fluff, beyond campy one-liners, beyond practically every film I've seen this year. It took the characters and put you in their shoes ... made you think, "what would I do in this situation?" The morality, characterization, and actions versus consequences the movie portrayed - basically being about the choices we make as humans and the results of those choices - was brilliant.
I sit here now just wanting to go watch it again. The story stays true to canon (minus a few minor changes), Bale is the best Bruce Wayne and best Batman to ever be on film, Eckhart is absolutely fantastic (seriously, the man may have just climbed up even higher on my favorite actor list), and there are no words to describe Heath Ledger. The man deserves an Oscar. Not for sympathy. Because he is simply one of the greatest villains to ever grace celluloid. Absolutely outstanding performance. The moment you hear his "theme" start playing ... you'll be on the edge of your seat. This movie balances action with drama in a way I haven't seen since "The Departed."
The character of Batman was captured perfectly. The character of the Joker was captured perfectly. The character of Two-Face was captured perfectly. They simply did a fantastic job pushing the world of "Gotham" into the big-screen ... and doing so in a way that you never are pulled out of the film. You are never left questioning the reality of the world you are immersed in. It shows the human nature of fear and how quickly that fear brings us to sell out our fellow man. And then we watch the redemption of the human race simultaneously as we watch the greatest fall. This duality is captured in so many aspects of the movie. The choices of one, the choices of the collective, the choices of the good, the bad, the morally corrupt, the virtuous, blasphemous, famous, and even civilian -- and how they all relate to what defines a city, a human, a conscious. The themes of good versus evil, escalation, morality, and how far are you willing to go ... all come into play in a plot interweaved beautifully. The almost three hours fly by and leave you simply wanting one thing as the credits roll ... to see it again.
I could not recommend this movie anymore ... and I firmly believe it will be considered a classic of its genre. Maybe even a classic in its own right. It's unfair to call this a comic book movie - as no other "comic book movie" even comes fucking close to what this film is, does, and accomplishes. Don't be surprised if you see some nominations come Oscar time either ... seriously, I could see it happening.
The hype was massive - and no one could have had higher expectations than me - and I still left completely satisfied, happy, elated, and wanting more. The entire crowd was into it - gasps, cuss words, laughter, cheering -- all of that. I can't wait to go back and see it Thursday night. I can't wait to discuss this with friends, family, and Dark Knight thread kids. Read the script, the book, and see it multiple times. Fuck, at this point I want to bust out all of the toys and play like a 5 year old. I think there will be a variety of people that love this movie -- even if you're not a die-hard fan (like me) ... I think I'll almost judge anyone that doesn't.
A+, Four Stars, Two Enthusiastic Thumbs Up. I haven't seen a better movie this year. You know, I simply can't wait to own it on DVD for repeated viewings, special features, and I already know it has a firm grip as one of my favorite movies in a very long time.
What a great game this morning. I'm talking about the Champion's League finals. No one can tell me Soccer is "boring" after a game like that. If ESPN would start showing the EPL regularly, we'd see the sport pick up in the USA. Come on - you have "darts" on at night sometimes.
I'm glad to see Man U pull it off -- that was a nail biter.
Anyway -- a few things:
1) Thank you Justin for introducing me to JiveTalk - by far the best IM client for the Blackberry.
2) If you have a Blackberry - the first thing you should install is Opera Mini. Massive, massive, massive browser upgrade.
3) I'm thinking of starting a new feature in my blog under the title and tag: Cursory Words. Mostly it would be a feature on following your dreams and how to best achieve success in this increasingly difficult world. I'm not saying I have it all figured out at all -- but I think I have some thoughts on the matter that you're not going to hear in school and feel like putting them down on paper.
Hope everyone's having a good day. I've got some news to post before heading out to the midnight showing of the new Indiana Jones flick.