Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wild Weekend with Wasted, Wanted, Weirdos, and Wall-E

First, check out this short article and this one too on the Zimbabwe presidential election. This shit really pisses me off and makes me sad. Here, recently elected (that's a load of crap) President Mugabe says that the West can "go hang a thousand times" for condemning the country's disputed recent elections. Living in a free America, with the independence-celebrating holiday 4th of July quickly approaching, it still baffles me that there are countries living under totalitarian and oppressing regimes. There's another L.A. Times article that talks about countries such as China and Russia stating that they will not intervene in these issues because it is "Africa's problem." The U.S., Britain, and Australia, meanwhile, are ready to impose U.N. sanctions on the political leaders of Zimbabwe in order to have a more free and fair election. Don't take your freedom for granted, kids.

Now, instead of focusing on one topic extensively, let's try for many topics summarized:

1. Wasted (The Edison Bar)--Friday Night
This bar was built for me. I tried to go to this place a couple weeks back but they wouldn't let my friends and me in because we were not wearing the "proper attire" (we had t-shirts and sneakers, they require dress shoes and collared shirts), but just from the outside of it, I knew I had to venture back. Upon entrance with the right clothes, I discovered that The Edison actually goes downstairs to an underground level. I was stunned at how big it was. Jazz music was blasting and silent films were projected onto the walls. With its blend of 1920s artifacts and futuristic layout, I was intrigued by the merge of different times in one place. There are two bars and lots of seating available. The drink menu was unique as they present their own type of (really fucking expensive) drinks (thank God we pregamed). I ordered The Hemingway (absynthe and champagne) because I always wanted to try absynthe. It tasted like black licorice which I am definitely not a fan of. But having paid 14 bucks for it, I swallowed my pride and the rest of the drink. I later ordered a dirty martini, which was phenomenal. If a bar can get this classy drink right, it goes high in my book. So far, this is the best bar I have been to in Los Angeles. For more info, click here.

2. Wanted--Saturday Afternoon
I had originally wanted to see Wall-E, but it was sold out. I had wanted to see this Angelina Jolie-James McAvoy flick, anyway, so I figured why not. My initial reaction after walking out of the theater was "This was either the coolest movie I've seen in a while or the stupidest one I've seen most recently this summer (this list of summer stupid flicks include Zohan, The Happening, and The Love Guru). Upon one more day of reflection, I've concluded that it was pretty ridiculous. It was like The Matrix meets Office Space meets "assassin" movie. Some of the action scenes were pretty cool (the train sequence was nuts and the first car chase was kinda badass, I guess), but there were moments that made the movie just awful. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (of Russia's very popular Night Watch), the film tries to follow the graphic novel's depiction of stylized violence and fighting. Just like South Park, this movie had a lot of bullet shots to the head. Jolie was hot in the role, but I felt that anyone sexy could have played this part. I'll admit, for his first mainstream role, I found McAvoy very appealing. He played the loser-nobody to a humorous pitch and then actually convinced me that he could also be a no-nonsense assassin. One of his last scenes where he fights multiple assassins in a row was probably the best scene of the whole film--until his last line in the movie, where he breaks the 4th barrier and talks to the audience directly, ruined the whole thing for me.

Notable quote: "Shoot this motherfucker!"--Morgan Freeman in Wanted

3. Weirdos (Electric Daisy Carnival)--Saturday Night
Going to the Electric Daisy Carnival now ranks as #5 on the Top Five Best Nights of My Life. I don't even know where to begin. About 8 of my friend and I decided to attend this once a summer massive rave at the Coliseum with Benny Bennassi, Moby, and Paul Van Dyk headlining. I usually go to the Coliseum for USC Football games, so it was definitely a mindfuck when we got there and were welcomed by thousands and thousands of people dressed up in raver outfits and dancing like it was their last night on Earth. The whole thing felt like a giant end-of-the-world party, complete with carnival rides and alcohol! Everyone was so free-spirited and unjudgmental. I donno, it just felt like everyone was on the same page, there to have a good time with great music and great people. There was a moment where we were at the top of the Coliseum and looked down at the pit during Paul Van Dyk. Everything was dark as it was 3 am, but the glow sticks created the most amazing effect I think I've ever seen. It reminded me of those glowing fish at the bottom of the ocean. People were just friendly and the genuine kindness I encountered was surprising. I'd like to give a quick shout out to Lace, who showed me how to truly enjoy the night. The only way I can describe this night is with some photos. Take a look.

4. Wall-E (Sunday Night)
I'm just going to come out and say it: This movie is fucking amazing! I was wondering whether or not this whole "robots with no dialogue" thing was going to work, and let me tell you, it did. It really did. We learned in my production class that dialogue is secondary to visuals. If you can tell a story visually, without words to rely on, then the dialogue will only complement and enhance the story, instead of carrying it. This movie did just that. Wall-E had a pitch-perfect sound design. Wall-E used humanistic characteristics and facial (robotic?) expressions that accurately and simply conveyed the characters' emotions to the audience without getting lost in translation. Like every Pixar movie, the film begins on a pessimistic level, then resolving towards a happy and redemptive ending. Channeling Charlie Chaplin, Wall-E makes us laugh with his lovelorn journey to be with female robot E.V.E. Along the way, he shows off courage and strength to save a group of humans he's never even met. If you're not moved to at least near-tears by the end, you need to thaw out that frozen heart of yours. This movie was nothing short of brilliant--just look at its opening weekend (62.5 million!).

Overall, this weekend was amazing for me and the box office. Other notable things this weekend: I finished watching The Sopranos (all of it, finally, after 4 months) and watched Reality Bites, a surprisingly good movie directed by, surprisingly, Ben Stiller. Sopranos and The Wackness reviews coming soon.

Stay classy.

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