"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Bruce vs. cartoonz

tn_styloBruceJimbolo kindly put this link in some comments, but it was cool enough I thought I should give it its own post. The cartoon band “Gorillaz” (who once named a song after Clint) have yet another cool video, this one a tribute to muscle cars and car chase movies, and guest starring a favorite actor of mine, I will not say who other than that I gave it away in the subject line and he is pictured to the left and to the right. Another hint: this is the first time he has chased after cartoon characters trying to kill them since BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD DO AMERICA. Unless you count SIN CITY.

Speaking of (SPOILER) Bruce, I also want to call attention to the new banner to the right, advertising my new book YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS. It’s a collection of some of my (and your) favorite reviews and it comes out– well, I thought at the end of this month, but Amazon says April 27th now. I’ll have to ask my publisher. Anyway, please help me spread the word on this one, I’m not sure how the hell I’m gonna convince people to buy it, but I think we all agree that if they do buy it it will change their lives forever and make their children smarter and possibly even work as some sort of a renewable fuel source. Also it smells like Seagram’s Golden Wine Cooler.

You give up? Okay, it’s Bruce Willis in the video.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 2:19 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog), Bruce. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

89 Responses to “Bruce vs. cartoonz”

  1. Yeah, like I said in the comments for the Bullriding docu, I can’t watch the movie because of some bizarre fight between record labels, the GEMA and YouTube. Thousands of music videos are blocked in Germany. I have to wait till someone uploads it unofficial. :P

  2. And with “movie” I mean “music video”. (Although I’ve heard it’s pretty cinematic.)

  3. Jareth Cutestory

    March 4th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    “Unless you count SIN CITY.”


  4. Kevin Holsinger

    March 4th, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Is it just me, or did that Grim Reaper-like figure look like Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series?

    Overall, cool video. Interesting to see how far music video graphics have advanced since the last time I’ve watched them years ago.

  5. I remember reading a couple years ago that Terry Gilliam was doing a movie with those guys, but I haven’t heard anything else about it since. Man, that would’ve been awesome.

  6. That was the second attempt to get a Gorillaz movie off the ground (The Gilliam one).

    The first time was due to studio dickery and they decided to only do a movie if they could do it “their way”. The second time was because they didn’t think they “were in a position to make the movie we wanted to make at the moment”. They said they are still game to do one though.

    As of the second film the plan was for “the band” to play “characters” and not “themselves” and it’s soundtrack would be the next album.

  7. I remember when the first movie was announced. It was supposed to be “an R-rated animated feature about Zombies”.

    BTW, I saw the video now. On a weird reality TV channel named “MTV”. It’s cool that they are now playing music videos. I hope it catches on. They could even make a show on that channel, where they play only music videos and name it with a pun, so that the “M” in “MTV” could stand for music. (What does the “M” stand for anyway? I wasn’t able to figure it out yet.)
    Anyway, as usual it’s a great video from the Gorillaz. Don’t know what it means, but I like how they are trying to push the limits of animation with everything they made (Have you ever seen one of their live shows? I still got no idea how they do this!)

  8. how come no-one is flipping out over book? is this old news? i am always last to figure stuff. well lemme be the first or mebbe last by sounds to say FUCKING AWESOME NEWS!!!, havnt bought/borrowed or read a book since seagology and that was the first in a few years. ta for all the hard work.

  9. Thanks for the mention, Vern. Glad you liked it.

    Question: Are Gorillaz well known outside of the UK? I didn’t realise they were high profile enough to get Willis in a video. I think maybe my favourite part is that weird skywards laugh he does after he shoots the wing mirror off the Gorillaz’s car.

    Incidentally, Jamie Hewlett, the co-creator of the group, was also the co-creator of Tank Girl, which some of you may know as the futuristic Ice-T as a mutant kangaroo movie.

  10. Jimbolo- Well, ‘Clint Eastwood’ got really high in the charts, and I remember their whole ‘animated band’ thing got a lot of attention. I’m sure they have a pretty strong fanbase if they can get a video like that off the ground.

  11. Gorillaz are pretty big in America, as far as cartoon bands go. Most of the young people know who they are, but they might not not know or care about Damon Albarn and company.

    Vern, speaking of Bruce WIllis’s recent escapades, have you, or do you plan on seeing Cop Out, directed by Kevin Smith, who I’m sure you’re a HUGE fan of? I’ve heard it’s pretty awful, even from the most apologist Smith fans.

  12. They are also well known in Germany. It definitely helped their popularity that their first two albums were damn fine, praised by critics and sold well all over the world + they had each on smash hit single. (And unfortunately these 12-15 year old kids, who love everything that even remotely looks like Anime characters, are also a huge fanbase of them. But to my own surprise they are not a strong enough fanbase to ruin the Gorillaz for everybody else [just like the 13 year old emo girls did with Tim Burton movies], so I’m okay with that, if it makes them listen to some good music from time to time.)

  13. I’m not up on house / club music or whatever but I remember “Clint Eastwood”. Always thought the song kind of sucked and I never hear it on the radio any more. However, the song “Feel Good” is pretty cool and still gets a lot of airplay in the USA. Great bass line:


    On a maybe not totally unrelated note, I always thought the video for Basement Jaxx’s video “Where’s Your Head At” was awesome:


  14. Bruce being in the video doesn’t seem so odd when you consider the track features the vocals of his 16 BLOCKS co-star Mos Def. I got the first Gorillaz album, having liked the characters and the singles already out, though I felt a lot of it was a bit too experimental and weird to get into (especially that track which has at least a full minute of someone yelling “Is there anybody there?”), so I’ve not bought any further ones since because of that, though I’ve again liked the singles and videos.
    I pre-ordered the book a while back. I expected it would have material reprinted from the site, though not so much as it sounds like there is. Still getting it though.

  15. Thanks for the heads up on the new Gorillaz everyone!

    Liked the song, the chase, the shooting and the Bruce.

    Didn’t like how the characters translated to 3D. ‘Cept for Death, that was awesome! Too bad about the doughnuts though.

  16. Book pre-ordered Vern.

    Keep churning them out, I’ll keep buying ’em.

  17. I wanted to pre-order the book when you told us about it months ago and it even was available on German Amazon then, but then it was suddenly listed as unavailable and it still is. It also is a bummer that its release date got pushed back, so that it doesn’t come out one day before my Birthday anymore :P

  18. hey Vern, any preview of what’s in the new book for us long time radio listeners? My personal favs would be your KING KONG review, your TRANSFORMERS (both), CHILDREN OF MEN, and the recent Nick Cage Mega-acting series. Are you throwing some post-Seagalogy Seagal reviews in there, or saving them for subsequent editions of Seagalogy? Is this basically a best-of or did you write a lot of ne mateial for the book?

  19. CJ, the second Gorrilaz album is great. Demon Days is much better than the debut. And shame on you for pussying out and letting teenage girls ruin Tim Burton. You’ve gotta be stronger than them!

  20. Burton’s been ruining his own movies for the past decade or so, no help from teenies needed. But Gorillaz are a truly kind of cool, imaginative band. How many others have the pop savvy to do their (rightfully) huge singles and then the balls to spend so much time on scary weirdness (“Fire Coming Out of A Monkey’s Head” has Dennis Hopper’s best performance in years on it). However, I must say although I love the video with Bruce I think it’s one of their lesser efforts, not quite hookey enough to cut it with me. And is it my imagnation or do 2D and Murdoc look more Simian here than they have before?

  21. Dude, people who know me know that I am one of the biggest Burton supporters left (Even if “Sweeney Todd” did absolutely nothing for me, until the very last moment.)! I didn’t pussy out, but everybody else seem to do. It’s unfortunately pretty cool to hate Burton these days and I blame the 13 year old goth girls with Jack Skellington T-Shirts.

  22. Congratulations on the new book Vern!

  23. The book! The book! (faints)

    (Get a lot of L-dopa from Robin Williams and awakens…) In the Netherlands I could not preorder at the local online bookstore, but it is listed (without an ‘order’ button for now). I put a notification about its existence on serveral social networking sights I am on. Will buy when available.

    Never heard of the Gorillaz. But Bruce was cool, too.

  24. i haven’t seen the Gorillaz video yet, but i mostly love the new album. it’s front loaded with great songs (minus the Snoop Dogg track, ill advised), and sort of fizzles out towards the end. but you get some really great tracks out of it.

    and i’ll most certainly be buying the new book. keep em comin.

  25. I was a huge fan of Sweeney Todd. A lot of people complained about the singing, but it’s show tunes, so it’s gonna sound silly to me no matter what. I also liked Corpse Bride. I genuinely prefer my stop motion to look a little jerky. However, his recent output has been more than a little spotty. Alice in Wonderland has been getting some pretty bad press, which is sad. Unlike Planet of the Apes or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this one didn’t even seem that ill-advised or unnecessary. Sometimes I think the guy just gets together with Billy Corgan, Rivers Cuomo, and all of those other dudes who used to be cool and plot new ways to make people lose faith in them. The guy just needs to take some time off and work on something original.

  26. Loucifer – I had planned to see COP OUT already but I’ve gotten behind in my theatrical viewing. Things keep coming out that I’d rather see first. But I will definitely review it when it hits video if not sooner. Not a Kevin Smith fan but I’m somehow kind of excited anyway.

    Subtlety – I should get my copies of the book any time now, until then I honestly don’t remember for sure what made the cut. The story is that after SEAGALOGY I had planned to do another best-of collection as a followup to 5 ON THE OUTSIDE, and I had people vote on their favorite reviews. But then Titan was interested in doing a collection and I want to get my works to new people, so I said yes. I put together most of the reviews people voted for and the ones I wanted, but the manuscript I delivered was, I forget how many words longer than they wanted, but I think it was in the ten thousands or hundred thousands. They ended up letting me have it slightly longer than SEAGALOGY, but I didn’t keep track of what all ended up having to be cut to make it fit.

    But I can say for sure that the first TRANSFORMERS is in there. And PAPARAZZI is not, because it turns out the legal department does not want them to print a book that accuses Mel Gibson of committing a series of unsolved murders during the filming of LETHAL WEAPON 2. Even if it’s meant as a compliment.

  27. Congrats on the new book, Vern! It should be a great way to introduce more people to your work. Really though, you’ve got to write some more poetry some day.

  28. Ah yes, the new book. I’ve had it on pre-order for months and got an email from Amazon the other day to let me know it was pushed back. Which filled me with indescribable sadness. I actually ordered two copies, since I got my 38 year old brother hooked on phonics with Seagalogy a couple of years ago. He only read about five pages of it a week but man did he ever get a kick out of those five pages a week. I think he just finished reading it so with the new book he’ll have a new five pages to discuss every Sunday night dinner with much hilarity for another couple years to come. He’s also a rabid Bruce Willis fan and even looks quite a bit like him, so if anything he might even read six or seven pages a week with this one. While we’re on the topic, are you ever gonna re-release Five on the Outside? I don’t have that one. Are you still proud of it, or is it embarrassing rookie shit at this point?

    Hard to pin down a favorite Vern review but CHAOS, THE SECRET, and TRANSFORMERS always come to mind.

  29. PS re: Five on the Outside

    If you have a copy (or two!) of this you would personally ship to me in exchange for more cash than you’d typically get from Amazon or whatever lemme know, gotta be a completist when it comes to the Vern section of my library and whatnot.

  30. Jareth Cutestory

    March 4th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Jimbolo: Up here in Canada Gorillaz are pretty big, mostly because Blur was enormously popular, but also because the first Gorillaz album came out at a time when there was still a lot of goodwill extended to quirky hip hop-inspired bands like Beastie Boys and Cibo Matto.

  31. Vern, I can’t wait to get the new book.

    Does anyone know who did the production on the new Gorillaz album? I know Dan The Automator handled the production on the first album and Danger Mouse did the second one, but I am curious as to who handled the production this time around. Also for those of you that are fans of the Gorillaz especially the first album I would recommend checking another hip-hop concept album also produced by Dan The Automator and featuring Del The Funky Homosapien called Deltron 3030. The Gorillaz have some really great songs and are a cool concept, but top to bottom Deltron 3030 is a classic.

  32. Larry of Arabia

    March 4th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Gorillaz are pretty big in the US. The kids I teach like them and the image of Noodle on the flying windmill is iconic among some subsets. Often it’s the same ones who love Tim Burton films.

    As for the video, there is a huge ongoing plot with the characters and Bruce Willis’ role. Murdoc, the green guy, may or may not have accidentally killed Noodle and sent her to hell when the windmill was blown out of the sky by some arms dealers he double-crossed. That would be Bruce. The girl in the back of the car is a cyborg that Murdoc made so they could record a new album. Russel, the bad as drummer who channeled Dan the Automater and other rappers, got angry and everyone left the band. He would do anything to help Noodle and has been holed up in Ike Turner’s apartment working on a solo album. He blames himself for her fate, and may be trying to get Murdoc too. We don’t know, but that’s why he wasn’t in the car.

    (Dear god, what have I done with my life.)

  33. I don’t know for sure, but something tells me that Mel Gibson would have enough humor to appreciate your “Paparazzi” review. Well, at least it’s still available on your websight.

  34. I am happy, not feeling sad
    There’s a new book, on Asses Bad
    Vern’s Writings: please buy them all
    Whether on Bruce, or Ports Of Call.

    – Not “Clint Eastwood”, not Gorillaz

    The finest musical tribute I can come up with in twenty seconds. Congratulations on the new volume; I just ordered it. Gee, I always thought that the works of Willis would be saved for their own tome. If DIE HARD and all related reviews appear here, I wonder what you have next on your plate for a book-length project. Clint, perhaps?

  35. also, very curious what is the status of the action movie vern mentioned working on writing a screenplay for, long back (a couple years possibly). though if he is interested in protecting his alter-ego’s true identity, he may have to not talk about it.

  36. Although there is a definite Bruce Willis theme with the book it’s not “Bruceology.” It’s a pretty broad selection of reviews. In fact they specifically requested that I put MARY POPPINS and THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURG(however that’s spelled) in there.

  37. oh and i also wanna say i fucking love the title “yippee ki-yay, moviegoer!” it makes me smile when i think about it.

  38. Just pre-ordered Yippee Ki-Yay, so that’s my 2 cents to you, Vern.

  39. Good info on Gorillaz, folks. It’s sometimes difficult to gauge what people are into outside of this little island, though I hear there was a 3D movie that was quite popular recently.

    About that Kevin Smith film, I think it’s a bit of a shame they changed the title from A Couple Of Dicks. Calling it Cop Out seems a bit of a, well, cop out.

    Congrats on the upcoming book, Vern. I’m liking that silhouette cover design. Reminds me of a Battle Royale t-shirt I used to have.

  40. Thanks for the info, Vern. Too bad about PAPARAZZI, though, that one’s definitely a classic.

  41. Larry of Arabia – Thanks for the info. Is all that storyline presented as animation somewhere, or is it writtenup or what? Because even when I’ve not liked the music that much, I’ve always liked the world and the animation. That’s why I was equally psyched and bummed out by this promo they did for the BBC’s coverage of the Beihing Olympics:
    Because I would love to see a series of that, but it was just a single ad. They also adapted his comic strip Get The Freebies into a Live Action Pilot called Phoo Action:
    Which was fun, but a bit goofy and camp with real people. As a cartoon, it would have worked better.

  42. Jareth Cutestory

    March 5th, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Jimbolo: At some point it became possible for musicians to amass huge fanbases and sell skadillions of records without anyone in the mainstream ever hearing about it.

    This probably started to happen more often when radio stations decided to play the same five records over and over; anyone who loves music will eventually get bored and venture outside the mainstream to find something else.

  43. Vern,

    I’m sure you’ve seen the reviews, but let me warn you that COP OUT is dire. Speaking as both a Bruce fan AND a Kevin Smith fan, COP OUT more or less represents the nadir of both of their careers. I don’t think the movie ever pushed me past mild chuckling, and even that was rare.

    In terms of the action, it features one of the least exciting car chases I’ve ever seen. They look like they are going about 10 mph even though presumably it’s a high speed chase. The final shootout is passable as it is surprisingly competently crafted, but still not very good.

  44. Jareth, yeah, that makes sense. Though it’s not just radio that’s on a loop, I work for a television channel that plays music and I swear to God if I hear Black Eyed Peas played one more time I’m going to burst into tears, especially their new ten and a half minutes long video.

  45. Jareth Cutestory

    March 5th, 2010 at 8:04 am

    By the way, here’s another link for an entirely unrelated story:

    Snipes discusses BLADE 4:


  46. Now that Jimbolo brought the Black Eyed Peas up: Isn’t their qualitative downfall the worst thing in modern music history? 12-15 years ago they were known as one of the best and most creative Hip Hop acts. But these days they are as irrelevant and annoying as Lady Gaga. :P

  47. And about Cop Out: It’s weird, but from the people who saw it, I heard from one half that they love it and from one half that they hate it. And it’s impossible to divide them into Smith fans & haters, because apparently their history with Smith doesn’t seem to have anything to do with their opinion on Cop Out (Some fans hate it, some haters love it!).

  48. Jareth Cutestory

    March 5th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Jimbolo: You know that song “My Humps”? I’ve never gone out of my way to hear that song, yet for a while it was so aggressively marketed in every conceivable format that it was inescapable. It felt like being carpet bombed. I’ve always wondered how many millions of dollars it costs to insinuate a song so thoroughly into the lives of people who hate that kind of shit.

  49. Oh god the Black Eyed Peas. They have 4 or 5 songs that have convinced me that they are secretly enjoying the artistic annihilation of radio as a medium:

    “My Humps”
    “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night”
    “Oma Bee” or whatever their new one is called.

    My new goal in life is to build a time machine and go back in time to kill their mothers. It’s the only way to be sure.

  50. Dude, don’t kill their mothers! Just go back to the time before Fergie joined and prevent her from doing so! (How you do it is up to you.)
    I got the suspicion that Fergie is a Succubus. Just think about it. They were great until she joined and from then on they got worse and worse.

  51. Black Eyed Peas as bad as Lady Gaga? Damn, son. That sounds like a compliment. For me, only Nickelback and their ilk can surpass the Black Eyed Peas for sheer shittiness. And now Asher Roth, I guess. The other day I met a kid who likes the Black Eyed Peas. That was weird.

  52. Not trying to defend Nickelback, but at least they don’t rely on cheap gimmicks, like crazy costumes or the interchangable sound that every silly pop act does these days. To be honest, I don’t really hear that big of a difference in quality between “My Humps” and “Pokerface”. (I heard that Lady Gaga’s album is produced by Space Cowboy, which surprises me a lot, because what I heard from him over the last few years, made me think that he is a pretty capable dance music producer. But well, I guess even a Space Cowboy gotta eat. It just bugs me that Lady Gaga is hyped as the new dance music sensation and sold her crappy album a gazillion times, while much better albums and acts as usual get the commercial shaft. [I was seriously sure that Felix Da Housecat’s last Album would sell incredible well, especially because it had some catchy pop-ish songs on it, but it seemed like 2009 nobody wanted to hear some well made dance music and the public was satisfied with the disgrace of electronic music, that BEP and Gaga put out.])

  53. Jareth Cutestory

    March 5th, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I read somewhere that the song “My Humps” is generally not played in strip clubs because it too explicitly describes the process of a woman using her assets to obtain wealth. The same rule applied to Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer.” I guess the club owners feel that a guy shouldn’t be made to feel that there might be something insincere about the motives of the woman into whose g-string he is stuffing paper money.

    It always seemed strange to me. Strip club owners are fine with raunchy, degrading stuff like the 2 Live Crew but have this bizarre modesty about drawing attention to the commodification of the dancers.

  54. Looking forward to the new book. Funnily enough, I just checked your page at Amazon and the Seagology title is abbrevieated as: “Seagalogy: A Study of the Ass-…”, so maybe you can elaborate further on the Ass- in your blog somewhere.


  55. You guys ought to lighten up a little on the poor Black Eyed Peas. They spent years working hard to be a cutting-edge, imaginative, relevant group and got nowhere, then added some talentless white lady (who isn’t even that hot… she’s like a 6 at best) and became huge. I think that event changed their whole perspective, and they decided to devote their considerable genius to making the most ridiculously insipid pop music ever concieved of by man. Why? Three good reasons. One, to punish us for our idiocy. Two, to see just how far they could go into parody without people realizing it was pure parody. And three, because at some point along the road they actually realized that dumb music can be fun, too. We don’t all have to be the Clash. Some of us can be Joe Walsh.

    Will.I.Am at least is one smart motherfucker, with a truly amazing ear for music, and he’s open to anything. But he also knows that there’s an art to making something spectacularly idiotic which is also devestatingly infectious. I would have liked it better if he’d use his genius for something constructive, but in a way there’s something kind of awesome about intentionally trying to create the dumbest possible thing you can imagine, and then focusing on that goal like a lazer until you’re the absolute best at it. I don’t know, I certainly am not listening to their music if I have a choice, but I can kind of respect that. Plus, Mr i.am is pretty ubiquitous in other projects of perhaps greater artistic merit (personally, I love his work with Sergio Mendes) so its not like he’s robbing us of good shit eiether.

  56. I got no love for the Black Eyed Peas in any incarnation. They started out as a lame Roots knockoff and just went downhill from there.

  57. C.J. – Totally with you on the Lady Gaga issue. I’ve heard people use the word “Genius” to describe her, no joke. When I complain the music is terribly uninteresting and unappealing even by the ridiculously low standards I set for pop music (see above), they just go on about what a great business woman she is and how much money she’s going to make. Like it was some kind of revelation that acting outrageously gets people to pay attention to you. Jesus, people. Just enjoy the freak show for the 15 minutes until something else comes along to distract you, there’s no need to claim its somehow important (grumble, grumble, you kids get out of my yard).

  58. Vern, what I really want to know is…are you going to see Brooklyn’s Finest?


  59. BEP’s music is awful and they have only gotten progressively worse over the years. They have only had one good song and it was when they started out back in 98 called “Joint’s & Jam”. The original members were a brake dance crew first and rap artists second, because of this their music was never their strongest asset it was their live shows. If you ever saw them live in the pre-Fergie days the put on a decent live B-boy show that was pretty fun if you are a hip-hop head. However, the music they make now in no way resembles what they were doing prior to Fergie being added to the group, and I don’t know if they even brake dance at their shows anymore. Not that I care one way or another.

    Mr. Majestyk, I would say BEP is more of a Pharcyde rip off then a Roots rip off.

  60. Jareth Cutestory

    March 5th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Mr. Subtlety: Few musicians will benefit from a comparison to The Clash. Even Joe Strummer failed to compare to The Clash.

    As far as I’m concerned, Black Eyed Peas fail to compare well to peers like Macy Gray. But that’s just me. I only know a few BEP songs.

  61. I’ll say it again: I like BROOKLYN’S FINEST. Don’t see it for Snipes, though. He’s good in it, as always, but his part is not that big. See it for Cheadle, who’s kind of a bad motherfucker in it.

  62. btw, at 2:57 in the video, watch 2D’s lips… he totally says, “Shit, it’s Bruce!”

  63. I find it baffling that people actually like Lady Gaga in a non-ironic way. You know how it is – groups like The Darkness, Devo, and even Queen thrive(d) on making music that is so bad that it’s good. Kind of like what Mr. Subtlety is saying about Will.I.Am up there. Kind of like when “Mr. Robato” comes on the radio nowadays and you turn it up. Can you imagine Lady Gaga showing up at an America Idol audition dressed like a character from Barbarella, and she starts to sing that idiotic “Ga ga rum rum ooh la la” song? She would get laughed out of the room. And yet they play this crap on the radio nonstop.

  64. I’ll be honest guys, I have Lady Gaga’s CD and I very much dig it, it’s a very pleasing blend of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper and disco. I get that it’s not great art, but it’s catchy, playful, clever, well-produced and I actually think she has a very good voice. I wouldn’t call it any all time pop classic, but think it rises above most of the mediocrity out there. It’s definitely fuckloads better than anything the Black Eyed Peas have done.

  65. Jareth Cutestory

    March 5th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Dan Prestwich: I’m one of those guys who haven’t heard a single note of Lady Ga Ga. How does it compare to Goldfrapp?

  66. Charles, I only call them a Roots knockoff because they were one of the first hip-hop groups to have a live band. But yeah, musically, they sounded closer to the Pharcyde, who I had the fortune of seeing live twice and they were awesome both times. Live hip-hop is usually fairly ho-hum but they put on a good show. That first album is an all-time classic.

  67. Talking about Will I. Am: I was seriously surprised about how much I liked the Madagascar 2 Soundtrack.

  68. Speaking of the Pharcyde, I was just listening to Labcabincalifornia this morning on the way to work. It is a very enjoyable album.

  69. Mr. Majestyk, I agree. I am jealous that you have seen the Pharcyde twice. I never got to see them live. Unfortunately, I can say that I have seen BEP twice back in the day. Once at the Smoking Grooves tour and another time at the Bumpershoot music festival in Seattle. Actually, I even got the chance to meet BEP after their set at Smoking Groves and they sat next to my friends and I for the remainder of the show. Their music is forgettable at best, but at least back then the were friendly and approachable. Hopefully their more recent success has not changed that.

  70. It’s unfortunately pretty cool to hate Burton these days and I blame the 13 year old goth girls with Jack Skellington T-Shirts.

    Shouldn’t that actually make it cool to hate… uh, CORALINE?

  71. It would, if enough people would know that Henry Selick directed Nightmare Before Christmas and not Tim Burton.

  72. I don’t hate Tim Burton. I’m just no longer interested in seeing his movies. That’s the fault of his track record and his choice of projects, not a bunch of cutters in fishnets and novelty backpacks.

  73. I am with Mr. Majestyk, Tim Burton has not made anything I have been interested in for a long time. It feels like for some time now he has been costing on his unique visual style while applying it to mostly forgettable remakes or big screen adaptations of stories I am all too familiar with.

  74. The problem with Burton is that he’s got an erotic fetish for production design. His first BATMAN was production designed to death.

    I bet you the bastard gets a constant boner during the sketching and set-building, then tags along his family (his companion, his son’s Godfather*, Christopher Fucking Lee, etc.)

    The last time he was truely out there was MARS ATTACKS!, and that one bombed. Nevermind that ill-advised PLANET OF THE APES remake. So its off to Burton to make his Burton-esque movies. Sure SWEENY TODD (which I liked) was a musical, but really what major thematic/filmatic difference has there been in Burton’s last many movies?

    I miss Burton who did his weirdo shit that the mainstream didn’t get. Whether that be a black & white biopic with a budget bigger than all of a Z-director’s filmography combined, or a super tongue & cheek kitsch homage to 50s sci-fi/70s disaster pictures, or a melodrama about a guy with scissors for hands, or hell BATMAN RETURNS one of the crazier fucking blockbuster sequels we’ve gotten. Or that little stop-motion animated musical he produced.

    I miss that guy.

    *=Can I use stereotypes to theorize what growing up in Tim Burton’s house would be like?

  75. I’ve had the book on pre-order with Amazon for about 2 months. I thought that you might not get your act together and put it out. I was starting to question your commitment to excellence. But it looks like you brought it all together, and I have to tell you I could not be more excited. I am a huge Vern-evangelical. I am always telling people they need to read this site, the whole site. I’m stoked Vern. There is no other word.

  76. While we’re bashing Tim Burton (I still think ALICE looks absolutely appalling) there’s a pretty amusing and well-executed imagination of his brainstorming sessions at the link below


  77. This video is VERY accurate, but only in terms of what other people think that Burton is, although he is not. I mean, one of his suggestions in the video is “Take an old story that was already creepy, but then make it creepier”. That applies to what? Big Fish? Planet Of The Apes? Ed Wood? Shit, his Willy Wonka remake is even LESS creepier than the Gene Wilder version! Haven’t seen Alice yet, but the only of his films that I would consider as creepy is Batman Returns and the one that based on a creepy story was Sleepy Hollow.
    Despite what the video said, Burton made only two movies that took place in the suburbs (Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands) and only one of them was ABOUT them.
    I also got no idea what they were saying about “white make up”. Sweeney Todd was pale. And…Edward Scissorhands and the Penguin from Batman Returns.
    I could go on and on about what the video got wrong, but the only thing they seem to have right is the one about Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. But even here it baffles me how Burton gets a.) shat on for something that other directors do fequently too (Scorcese/DiCaprio anyone?) and b.) how everybody overlooks the frequently changing cast around these two. In Alice he works for the first time with Crispin Glover, anne Hathaway, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Matt Lucas, in Sweeney Todd he worked for the first time with Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sasha Baron Cohen, in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory he worked for the first time with Freddie Highmore, Missy Pile and David Kelly, in Big Fish he worked for the first time with Ewan MCGregor, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Albert Finney, Steve Buscemi and Alison Lohman (and Johnny Depp wasn’t even in it!) and don’t get me started on the cast for Planet Of The Apes! (Mostly because nobody likes to talk about his Planet of The Apes. But hey, it had Kris Kristofferson and Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa!)
    But like I said, it’s very popular to bash Burton these days and unfortunately it’s even more popular to do so in Seth McFarlane style (=come up with any made-up cliches to make fun of and hope that nobody notices that you had no idea of what you made fun of.).
    Burton HAS a recognizable style (although in many of his movies it’s nearly as dominant as many people seem to think) and even I won’t deny that it’s not nearly as fresh as it was back in 1993, but it’s scary how more and more people get his style wrong, the more money and attention his movies get.

  78. The problem with Tim Burton is that he’s in love with Halloween. Most of the films he’s made are based on some kind of Halloween theme, and most of the others are based on some misfit fantasy story. It’s getting old, old, old. I didn’t see SWEENEY TODD (which I hear mixed things about), but the last truly good film he made was SCISSORHANDS, and the only other one besides that is BEETLE JUICE. Those were both made twenty years ago. Twenty years!

    The studios tried to throw him a big budget mainstream film (PLANET OF THE APES) and the result was catastrophic. I think they are resigned to letting him make his standard run of the mill Halloween-themed movies.

    As far as ALICE goes, I hope it restores my faith in Burton but it’s not exactly fresh material for the guy. To quite the immortal Chet Wolpaw:

    “The problem with making a dark and disturbing version of Alice in Wonderland is that it’s pretty dark and disturbing to begin with, which gives it little training wheels that help cultural firebrands ride it into geniusdom once every eighteen months or so. ”

    (from Old Man Murray’s review of “American McGee’s Alice” video game, circa 1999)

  79. Jareth Cutestory

    March 6th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    CJ Holden: I pretty much agree with your points. I’ll never understand why Burton gets grief for working with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, two of the best actors of their generation, especially when the Carpenter/Russell partnership, which was very productive, is celebrated for making pretty much the same kind of niche film. Maybe it’s just an AICN thing. Everyone I know is excited about ALICE.

    At the end of the day, I tend to compare Burton to Gilliam, and I think Burton fares reasonably well by such a comparison. They both have strong visual styles steeped in a kind of surreal folklore, they’re both adept at whimsy, and they both often lose the thread of their story in their visuals. I wouldn’t call either a thematic heavyweight, but both can be quite moving when they want to be (BRAZIL, SCISSORHANDS).

    I don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed a Burton or Gilliam film, though there are some I certainly feel are less successful than others (TIME BANDITS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, TIDELAND, MARS ATTACKS). Maybe I’m too forgiving of both guy’s styles, but style counts a lot for me when I watch a film. And both have such strong styles that I’ve never gotten around to being bored with them yet, even when they’re obviously repeating themselves (PARNASUS).

  80. rainman,

    I have to put in a good word for ED WOOD here. It’s true that the cast was a huge part of what made it work, but I would certainly rank it among his better films.

    BIG FISH was great too, but I’ll admit I can be a sucker for the more sentimental movies…

  81. Okay, I might be the only one left haunting this thread, but I have to say it: PLASTIC BEACH is the best Gorillaz album. Not bad at all for a cartoon band.

  82. I hate to be so negative on here (I swear, from next week on I write here only positive stuff or shut the fuck up), but I was seriously disappointed by Plastic Beach. I think it’s monotonous and boring.

  83. Hey fans of Badassness… check this out.


    Tell me you’d have the stones to even do this at home if you lived in Iran.

  84. SpamBots out in force today.

  85. So…anybody wants to talk about the new Gorillaz album? I make it short: It’s a step up from the last two albums, because it’s a bit less boring and I can even keep most of the songs apart from each other, but I hope they soon step away from the monotonous 808 drums, random keyboard buzzes and focus on guest vocalists, that dominated their output in the 2010s.

  86. As stated in some other thread here I’m a music noob so be forewarned.

    I mostly agree with you. I really loved their first two albums. I didn’t really like PLASTIC BEACH when it first came out but have since learned to really like it (even love some of the songs that I initially couldn’t stand). THE FALL I didn’t like almost at all when it came out and never listened to it again since then until I decided to listen to all their albums in heavy rotation in anticipation of their new one and.. still don’t really care for it but I can respect it.

    Really like the HUMANZ album, still doesn’t come within the vicinity of their first two albums but I don’t ask artists to continually knock it out the park or repeat themselves. Anyways I really like the album and approve of it.

  87. On first listen, I hate it. This is the first time that’s happened to me with a Gorillaz release, and I go back to buying the first album off of one of the ladies in Chinatown with the carts full of bootleg CDs that you’d see running down the block when the cops showed up. THE FALL didn’t exactly light my fire but at least it was a pleasant listen. Most of this just sounds like some generic glitchy, no-flow, no-beat Casio keyboard cloud-rap bullshit, with a few totally-on-the-nose, no-attempt-to-do-anything-off-kilter, not-even-catchy dance pop thrown in. I mean, I know Gorillaz whole M.O. as a fake band that people take seriously is to sort of comment on whatever style is big at the time, but this just feels like they drank the Kool Aid, not that they’re making a subversive statement about the Kool Aid. I got into Gorillaz because it was a band with Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and Del the Funky Homosapien. They’ve managed to maintain my interest long after they morphed into something completely different, but I didn’t sign on to hear the guy from Blur do his own version of that Santana duets album with whatever millennial mumbler happens to be internet-famous at the time.

    I’m glad you like it, though, geoff. I’m sure being a music noob without a lifetime of prejudices and preferences behind you helps. There’s just no way I can hear this shit with fresh ears and not compare it to all the crap that sounds like it that I can’t stand.

    Even the Grace Jones track sucks. Just a bunch of production in search of a song.

    Also Pusha T might be the most overrated rapper of all time. Discuss.

  88. I don’t even know anything about Pusha T, other that he is one of those new rappers, who take House tracks, that were clubhits a few months ago, and re-release them with rap vocals. (Maybe the most annoying trend of the current dance music hype.)

    And the Grace Jones track is one of the only two songs from the album, that I actually like. The other is the one with De La Soul, which could have worked as a track on their first two albums. But not one of the great ones. More the kind that would appear as a bonus on a limited edition or something. Still: Two songs that I actually enjoy listening to. That’s two more than on PLASTIC BEACH and THE FALL.

  89. To try and somewhat save face I will say adding the word ‘really’ before the word like may be pushing it. I will still mostly stand by it. Not sure how much rotation it will get in the future to be honest.

    I’m the worst kind of music guy, I’m that guy you know from work or life who just watches movies for entertainment. I couldn’t tell you who was the bassist was, sometimes I can’t even really tell you what the song was about

    *Please note for the following: I did not take offence to what either of you guys said!

    Furthermore by music noob I mostly mean towards new stuff. I of course have preferences but I don’t want to be an old man in my ’30s so I want to get into more stuff than what I’m into (which is all old stuff and as such there is nothing new coming out of it). I’m woefully ignorant of new and current acts. I’m doing my best to get more hip hop and such in my diet to expand my horrizons which are mostly regulated to what kids would call “old shit” (music from the ’50s-’80s (mostly rock, blues, doo wop, MOTOWN, stuff they play on the oldies station growing up in the 80s/90s). The newest stuff I poke my toe into is some industrial and goth acts. I never even knew who Taylor Swift was until half way through last year.

    Expanding my horizons isn’t going great because so far I’m not digging that LEMONADE album or the soundtrack to HAMILTON and some other things that are popular right now and those are apparently the best things ever according to the younglings. Thus when I find a new album like HUMANZ where I like a few tracks off of it, it feels like a damned accomplishment.

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