Quick recap of what I've been consuming as of late:
Let The Right One In - Strikes a balance between the first stirrings of romantic love and expressing the sentiments expressed by Moz so many years ago ("I want the one I can't have / and it's driving me mad") along with some top-notch gore to satisfy your sweet tooth, if your sweet tooth craves human blood. Also a great snapshot of the alienation that a sensitive "outsider" type (Oskar) feels in a small town inhabited by small minds who drink the winter away.
Heavy Metal in Baghdad - A powerful story that you can enjoy even if you hate heavy metal. Follows Acrassicauda (the Latin term for a black scorpion) as they literally have to cross a warzone to get to their practice space (which was later obliterated in a missile attack) in a town where wearing a Slayer shirt and having long hair is akin to painting a bullseye on your chest. As much as I love Norwegian black metal, Acrassicauda really amplifies their camp/theatricality since those guys are actually LIVED in a war zone and had to carry guns while those Scandinavians just paint their faces and wear fake blood. Sorta makes every other metal band look pretty lame by comparison. It also puts a human face on the war unlike any other media outlet has been able to. You can hear about suicide bombs killing 10 people in a market place from some anchor, but when you actually see the aftermath it's an entirely different ballgame. When you see these guys in tears after watching the footage shot in Baghdad after they had relocated to Syria, it really made me appreciate the freedom I enjoy and take for granted on a daily basis. I bitch about being broke and living in a shitty apartment and all, but my life is fucking cake compared to what they've gone through, largely due to my tax dollars.
Laura Gibson "Beast of Seasons" - Gorgeous folky tunes in the vein of Joanna Newsom and White Magic, sounds like a daydream under the golden boughs of Lothlorien.
Animal Collective "Merriweather Post Pavilion" - I don't want to verbally fellate these guys like every other nerd with a blog because that gets pretty embarrassing after awhile but I will say that this played for about 4 days straight because I can't get enough of what I imagine the music that the Druids would've made if they had electricity and laptops.
I went to see the movies up for Best Picture the other day and this year's crop isn't as strong as last year's I don't think but it was a good day regardless.
Slumdog Millionaire - Can't really objectively critique this since I'm kind of a Danny Boyle fanboy. Nowhere near his best offering (that belongs to Sunshine in my opinion, easily his most interesting film) but nonetheless an interesting concept that was well executed.
The Reader - Had the potential for greatness but there was far too much exposition and I didn't really give a damn about the characters until about halfway through the film, and while the story was compelling at that point, it felt like too little too late.
Frost/Nixon - Probably my favorite of the bunch, interesting study on the media and its relation to politics, and how our adversaries are more often than not more similar to ourselves than we think.
Milk - Came in a close second to Frost/Nixon. Sean Penn puts in a killer performance as the first openly gay man to be an elected official in a major U.S. city. As much as it kind of irks me to give credit to Q.T., it's nice to see Josh Brolin be pulled from relative obscurity to play roles in the last 2 year's Best Picture noms.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Didn't actually stay for Benny Buttons. Was feeling ill and had enough theater popcorn to last me a month so I went home. The general consensus from my pals the next day was that while it was O.K. for what it was, it didn't deserve a Best Pic or Best Actor nod. C'est la vie.
More later I guess but who know when?