Infernal Devices


Tylenol bottle with label doctored to read 'Devil Tylenol from Hell' with small image of red Satan holding pitchfork, against flaming background

This post is currently down for maintenance.

Swan Dive


I'm unsure of how to discuss Black Swan, or even my expectations of it, without possible spoilers. You've been warned.

Poster of Natalie Portman in tiara and black dress, one arm raised high and the other below her flooded in deep red behind the movie title but over the credits

Just about all of the essential ingredients of Black Swan show up right away, from the main character, Nina, to the central action, dance, to the recurring motif of mirrors and the intermittent diversions into fantasy and/or delusion.

Here's the basic plot for those who haven't seen the film — helmed by Darren Aron-ofsky, whose career spans such respected work as 1998's π and 2008's The Wrestler — but decided to read on:

Alas, Poor Auric


Ricky Gervais in tux on stage against backdrop of vertical lines and one thick, bright horizontal line aligning with his arms outstretched on both sides
Still: Paul Drinkwater for Reuters © 2011

A live show, hosted by Ricky Gervais, populated by celebs drunk on camaraderie, self-congratulation, and in some cases even alcohol? Hard for a pop-culture maven to pass up.

So I did watch this year's Golden Globes telecast, albeit (due to a migraine) not in
real time. Which is just as well since there's plenty to fast-forward through — film clips, ads, folks walking to the stage. And like other gluttons for punditry I found it lacking, perhaps appropriately for a show affiliated with The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a certain je ne sais quoi.

Grit Expectations


I'm behind on moviegoing, let alone writing up reviews, but I saw True Grit
on Saturday and like everyone else I was blown away by Hailee Steinfeld.

Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn looking at Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross

Grit was adapted by writer/directors Joel & Ethan Coen from Charles Portis’ 1968 novel, previously translated to the big screen in 1969. While this edition might not be
an outright classic, it's good enough to recommend if only to experience Steinfeld more than holding her own against the likes of Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, and — playing Rooster Cogburn, John Wayne’s role in the earlier version — Jeff Bridges.

Robot Chicken


Panel 1: 'Hey, Dave, Why did the chicken cross the road?' asks skeleton in tuxedo. 'I dunno. To get to the other side?' says large beetle the skeleton dangles on a string. 'Nope...' replies skeleton. Panel 2: Giant man/chicken/machine cyborg in the street of an Old World town below word ballon '... to get revenge!' Caption at bottom: 'The End'.
Script, Pencils, Inks: Mike Mignola. Colors: Dave Stewart. Letters: Clem Robins.

I often grab pics available online for a post. Even when I'm reviewing a book I have
on hand, my scanner may be boxed in by stacks of stuff, leaving virtual drag-&-drop
the path of least resistance. Such was the case with Mike Mignola's excellent The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects, which I wrote up last month.

The Vampire Slayer Diaries


'Buffy' poster with Kristy Swanson on her knees, holding a stake, in blue sweatpants and green top exposing midriff that shows orange shirt underneath

As I noted last week, I've taken a fresh look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer — the original film. My impetus was Nikki Stafford's rewatch, now underway, of the WB/UPN TV series that the movie spawned. (I suppose what actually spawned the series was the movie's script, but we'll get back to that.)

Curls on Film


I'm not entirely sure why, but not only didn't I expect to like Disney's Tangled
— I almost didn't want to like it.

Rapunzel, wide-eyed as paper lanterns flood the night sky above, standing in boat rowed by Flynn with castle and setting sun behind them

Much to my surprise, however, it was one of my favorite movies of the year.
(Another: Scott Pilgrim.)

Eh?


famed self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh in green coat and fur hat, smoking a pipe, with right side of head bandaged after self-mutilation, and stylized text reading 'Happy No Ear!'

I wish you all joy, contentment, and good health in 2011.

Thanks for reading Blam's Blog... And stay with it for more reviews, would-be humor, and complaints over the next 365 days!



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