Quirky or Not, Here I Rant

If there is one thing that I am most thankful for during the past couple of months, it’s got to be the resurfacing of my interest with movies. I mean, for the past several months, I can’t really seem to get my mind to focus on anything that lasts for more than an hour. I leaned towards tv shows since they have a shorter arcs.

Well, I don’t really go to see the latest releases on theaters for many reasons. I mean, it consumes time, money and energy. And I admit it, I have really despised any form of personal interactions with people during the past couple of months. I may have gotten in my head too much, but I think human interaction is overrated. And as a result of my constant lack of communication to the world outside of my head, I have grown the habit of saying “fuck” every fucking time.

Well, getting back to my point, I have streamed quite a few movies online over the past couple of months whenever I go online. Doing that has become the top priority whenever I get to be online on a computer, because doing fucked up things on social media is easier when done on a mobile phone.

I have streamed quite a range of movies online. I’ve seen some action, comedy, drama, indie, blockbusters. When you have all your time to waste online, you pretty much can do anything online. But whenever I look for movies to watch, I usually tend to get into really quirky independent movies because I think that they are really hard to find in the long run. And I find those movies more interesting.

It all started when I downloaded the quintessential quirky independent film, (500) Days of Summer with Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Who the hell didn’t find that film amazing? Zooey Deschanel was a very beautiful heart breaker there.

After that, I just started to grow fascination with films of that same level of quirkiness and rawness. The first one I saw after 500 Days was ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ starring Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson. And man, did I enjoy that movie. It’s hilarious and touching and just fascinating in all the right fucking places. And the twist on the end is just mind-blowing. Every character on both Plot A and B did an amazing job getting the whole point of the film across.

Then there is this very hippie, romantic-comedy indie entitled ‘Ceremony’ starring Uma Thurman. It’s different in such a way that it gets you thinking what really the message is because the film can go several ways, depending on how you see it. Plus the cinematography is just beautiful in a very hipster way.

I also genres other than comedy. I really liked the critically acclaimed ‘Winter’s Bone‘ starring the very talented Jennifer Lawrence. The film is very raw and well executed. Jennifer Lawrence is pretty much Katniss Everdeen here, trying to make things work and protect her poor family on the Ozarks. There is something very eerie yet effective on both Jennifer Lawrence’s performance and the film itself. (I’m looking forward to her new movie, Silver Linings Playbook. I think it’s a beautiful film.)

And since I am all for the weird and quirky (and perky), I also liked Paul Rudd’s ‘Our Idiot Brother‘ with Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel. Paul Rudd’s Ned, the titular idiot brother just adds insult to injury to his three sisters’ equally fucked up, dysfunctional lives in a very light-hearted way. It was an easy watch and was beautifully shot. It’s hilarious and ridiculous in a very cute way. Plus Zooey (yes, we address each other on a first name basis, thank you) is a very beautiful hipster lesbian, cursing and peeing on a pregnancy kit like fuck.

Ryan Gosling’s ‘Lars and the Real Girl‘ has got to be the most strangely heartwarming movie I have seen in a while. It is very strange but somehow very effective in telling the story of Lars and Bianca, well mainly of Lars’ struggle to feel things. It’s really strange watching it back to back with the film ‘Drive‘ in which Gosling takes on a very extremely opposing character to Lars.

Well, other than those I have mentioned above, I also really liked the more mainstream movies 50/50, Knocked Up, Easy A (Emma Stone is hilarious!), Zombieland and Bridesmaids (the whole film is hilarious!).

So, yeah, the time I am not spending living my life and interacting with friends and people I spend trying to find my fucking life in these movies. Well, they can say all what they want about life not being a movie but I will keep on streaming for free.

LSS: The World from the Side of The Moon, Phillip Phillips

Several months after winning the eleventh season of American Idol, Phillip Phillips releases his debut record entitled ‘The World from the Side of The Moon’.

Looking back on his track record during the run of AI, Phillip has consistently showed promise and individuality week after week. He is the anti-thesis of the cookie cutter reality show pop star. Defiant, unique and unexpected. I must admit that I was rooting for him (and Elise Testone) because of the uniqueness they have in their sound. Phillips has had quite a few performances on the show that has made him miles ahead of the competition.

His inevitable win last May was only made sweeter by arguably one of the best coronation Idol song in a long time, ‘Home’. Gone were the seasons when the winner sings a very inspirational song which tells everybody to dream and whatnot. Well, I think Kris Allen was the last Idol winner to have one of those “empowering” songs to accompany his win. I think it’s a wise move, actually, especially now that other than a dream, an internet connection is very important if you want to be famous.

In the past three AI seasons (which nobody really remembers), the winners sing their potential single. Whatever happened to the past few WGWG singles, nobody knows. But with ‘Home’, Idol became relevant again. With it’s hip folk touch and Phillips raspy voice, one can say that Idol is finally back on track.

But strip the competition and comparisons down, how does Phillips’ ‘The World from the Side of The Moon’ stand?

After listening to the whole album on end for a couple of times, it is undeniable that Phillip is really going on to drive his sound as an individual across. Having written and co-written most of the tracks, it gave PP the freedom to express his artistry. But for me, I think he has either hit or miss on some of the tracks. The opening song, “Man on The Moon” for example really sets the mood and shows the sound of Phillips. The songs “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Where We Came From” follow suit on this showcase of diversity. The more upbeat tracks “Get Up Get Down” and “Drive Me” remind me of his more outstanding performances on Idol with their sing-along and groovy qualities. But his more emotional songs “Wanted is Love” and “A Fool’s Dance” feel a bit flat for me. But my favorite track on the album has got to be “So Easy” because, well, it’s just so easy to listen to.

All in all, I think Phillip’s debut record is not bad at all. I like his lyrics because he writes in such a way that it sounds raw, yet poetic. Does he sound better now than when he was competing in Idol? Yes. Because he now has a certain level of comfort that he might not have when he was performing others’ songs. Does he stand out as much as he did on the competition? Probably not as much but still not too bad for a unique sounding guy.