Phillip Seymour Hoffman — Thank you for Twister. RIP.

Standard

Back in the 1900’s. The Oestreich family had a VCR and about a dozen videos. About half of those were family videos. The others? Independence Day. Classic. The Flintstones with John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O’Donnell. Classic. Mr. Nanny with Hulk freaking Hogan. Classic. A sports bloopers clip that never got old. And Twister. Between 1995 and 2001 – Nick and Adam Oestreich watched these movies, on repeat, at least 5,000 times. It shaped our childhood.

Will Smith in Independence Day, Goodman in Flintstones, Hulk in Mr Nanny and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Dusty in Twister. Those were the guys we, my brother and myself as two young kids looking to imitate anyone and everyone, those were the guys we looked up to.

“LOOOOOOOOSER” Dusty shouted at Jonas after he broke their stupid window. The stories he told to Bill Paxton’s fiancée about “The Suckzone” and about wild Bill at the cafe to Helen Hunt and the crew. When Dusty flips on Child in Time by Deep Purple and shouts, “It’s the wonder of NATURE baby.” and just his overall care free way of life.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman nailed it as Dusty. When Twister comes on today, or yesterday, or tomorrow or in another year or two. You know I will watch Twister just to, and now especially to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman play Dusty.

I am sorry to inform you Mr. Hoffman that I didn’t really know who you were at the time Twister came out (I was 7), or even up until a few years ago when you won your Oscar for Capote in 2005 (I was 17). But thank you for Twister. You got me in trouble numerous times with my parents for yelling “LOOOOOOOOOOSER” to my brother a lot. And you helped me somehow I am sure, survive and shape my love for bad movies – turning that love for a passion to watch good movies. I’m not sure what I am trying to say. But I do know that Dusty shaped me, comedically (maybe) somehow, some way. I don’t know for sure, but I guarantee at least 3 to 17 times I acted like Dusty as an 11 year old. I don’t really think of Dusty as much as I do Ace Ventura, or Farley as the Beverly Hills Ninja looking back at my childhood. But as I watch clips of Dusty in Twister, it takes me back to the good ole days of watching Twister over and over again. And it never gets old.

It was a pretty big bummer to hear that Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed today. Obviously in the world we live in today we forget that actors/athletes/celebrities are people just like you and I. They have families and lives and problems too. Everyone will have their favorite memories of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I’m sure not a lot will be of Dusty. But mine is of Dusty. Especially as Dusty. So thanks again for Twister Mr. Hoffman. I can’t wait for it to come on cable television again tomorrow, or next week or in a few years. Rest in Peace sir, our thoughts with you and your family.

I Only Watch Documentaries, and Trash TV // Beauty is Embarrassing

Standard

Most of the time I watch trash television. But not always. Because luckily, television is getting better. But a long time ago I made the proclamation that “I only watch Documentaries, and trash TV.” So today we bring you another of many documentary reviews to come. Cheers!Beauty-is-Embarrassing

TITLE: Beauty is Embarassing

RUN TIME: 88 minutes

AVAILABLE ON: Netflix

RELEASE DATE: 2012

BACKSTORY: Wayne White is an artist whose work you’ve most indubitably seen. Like most great artists, you’ve seen their work – but don’t know their name. That’s okay though. “Beauty is Embarrassing” s a story about a young artist’s rise to the top, fall from grace, and then his struggle with life as he returns to the limelight. Wayne White is a painter, art director, puppeteer, set designer, cartoonist, dreamer, inspirer, in my mind comedian, and so much more. He got his first big break when he created the set for PeeWee’s Playhouse. He then directed a few Emmy Award Winning music videos before his struggle to find himself really began. Wayne struggles, but doesn’t really mind, to break back into the mainstream art scene when he takes on a new challenge. Words on landscapes. The problem? He didn’t paint the landscapes. Just the words on top of the landscape paintings he found at thrift shops. Some of his best work is titled:

“He Was Drunk And Mama Went And Got Him”

“We Were Partyin At The Lake And This Girl Starts Freakin Out”

“Alabama Mofo”

And many others including the word Fuck. It’s a thrilling ride as Wayne struggles to find balance between his professional and personal life. He has a family. He inspires his family. Wayne is a man’s man and in a round about way on a mission to stick it to the man. He doesn’t care one way or the other, but one thing is for sure – Wayne White proves that anything is possible, and you don’t have to play by the rules to become successful. That, and you must have a little bit of a sense of humor if you want to pursue life as an artist.

IT’S BETTER THAN, BUT BARELY: Just Like Being There

BUT NOT BETTER THAN: Exit Through the Gift Shop

GRADE: A

3_fanfuckintastic-660x374

I only watch Documentaries, and Trash TV // Room 237

Standard

Most of the time I watch trash television. But not always. Because luckily, television is getting better. But a long time ago I made the proclamation that “I only watch Documentaries, and trash TV.” So today we bring you another of many documentary reviews to come. Cheers!room-237-final-theatrical-poster

TITLE: Room 237

RUN TIME: 102 minutes

AVAILABLE ON: Netflix

RELEASE DATE: 2012

BACKSTORY: Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? To be honest, it took a good month or two to sit back and hit play on Netflix for Room 237. After finally watching “The Shining” and being more confused than scared. I read numerous reviews online about Room 237. Most along the lines of, “Why waste your time, this movie is garbage.” Only a few like, “It was pretty decent.” I still wanted to see for myself. The best part about Room 237 is my ongoing quest, neh journey to prove that you can turn almost anything in to anything. In laymen’s terms? This documentary was interesting, because four different human’s tried to make the case for what Stanley Kubrick was trying to say about the movie. Was he talking about government? No it was about Nazi Germany. Well it was about the killing of the Native Americans. But it was also a bit about.. You get the picture. Honestly, I love conspiracies. And after further review, they made some pretty compelling arguments. It is widely known that Kubrick is a genius, and living with mere mortals. He made a lot, a lot of great movies and maybe he was just messing with us. Maybe was in on the moon landing and this was mocking the fact that he got away with? Who knows?! This was a little hard to follow. But again, maybe Kubrick just made a movie and all these things just happened to coincide. Just like how I take credit for my player having a big game after I bench him in Fantasy Football, you can basically make anything happen out of a few random events and coincidences. I wouldn’t say this movie was a waste of time. But it was interesting. And if you like “The Shining.” Eh – you might enjoy this. Or would you?

IT’S DEFINITELY BETTER THAN: The Jeffrey Dahmer Files

BUT NOT BETTER THAN: WWE: The nWo Revolution

GRADE: C+

Leo: The Best That Never Was

Standard

Ever wonder who some of the best actors to never win an Oscar are?  Sure, there is Brad Pitt (nominated for Benjamin Button and Moneyball), Johnny Depp (Pirates of the CaribbeanSweeney Todd, and Finding Neverland), and Harrison Ford (Witness) among countless others. However, there’s that one name that always leaves me puzzled; Leonardo DiCaprio.Arnie-and-His-Bug-whats-eating-gilbert-grape-925579_359_296

Leo got his first nomination at the ripe age of 19 playing Arnie Grape alongside Depp.  Although he looked like he didn’t belong alongside Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List), John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire), and the eventual winner, Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive), he was praised by critics as a stand out playing a mentally handicapped adolescent.  I don’t think he even knew what kind of career he’d be in for over the next 20 years.

His first big screen blockbuster was Titanic and it was one of the highest grossing films of all time.  Although he received a nomination for a Golden Globe for his role as Jack Dawson, there was no such love from the Academy.  Note about this movie: Rose totally lied when she told Leo she’d never let go.  Probably why Leo has trust issues now.  We’re here for you buddy.Leonardo_682x400_453794a

With the new millennium came a turning point in Leo’s career.  He was no longer taking any role he could get and was now able to be more selective with his movies. It started out with Catch Me If You Can.  One of my all time favorite DiCaprio films, it surprises me that he didn’t get nominated for this film.  Granted it would have been tough to beat out Daniel-Day Lewis in Gangs of New York.gangs-of-new-york

Speaking of Gangs of New York, Leo also starred in that alongside Lewis.  In it, he played Amsterdam Vallon, a young man that returns to the Five Points neighborhood in NYC during the 1860s to avenge his father’s death against “Bill the Butcher.”  It received mixed reviews, some touting it as a magnificent portrayal of the a gang-lord in the 1800s, while others said that it strived to be great, but only came out as good.  The most important part of this role for Leo seems to be the relationship he formed with director Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese and Leo joined back up two years later in The Aviator.  If you need more proof of Leo’s devotion, he spent a year and a half in preparation for this role.  It paid off for him as he earned his second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actor.  He lost out to Jamie Foxx, playing Ray in the self-titled movie about the music legend, but it wasn’t time for Leo to give up just yet.-

Two years later the two met up again, this time in The Departed.  This may be one of the best movies that I’ve ever seen.  I won’t spoil the ending for you, although if you haven’t seen this I don’t want to talk to you, but it is one of the most mind blowing scenes in a movie to date.  You have to catch it.

Anyways, he somehow didn’t even get nominated for an Oscar in this film.  Yes, I know he was nominated for his role in Blood Diamond, but they really couldn’t have nominated him twice?  I mean his roles in both films were way better than anyone else in the field.  He went up against Ryan Gosling before he became Ryan Gosling.  Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness was fine, but he wasn’t in the same league.  Any movie that spells the words of their title wrong is automatically taken out in my book.  Peter O’Toole is a phenomenal actor, and I’m sure Venus was great, but the movie isn’t even listed in his IMDB known for section.  He couldn’t win the award.  And then there was the actual winner, Forest Whitaker.  Listen here Forest, I’m sure your movie was great and all, but could you please give Leo his deserving award.  We’ll even let you choose which movie he wins it for, how does that sound?  To this date, I don’t know how Leo got so screwed.  Someone must have been jealous.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Taking a break from Scorsese in 2008 wasn’t the greatest life decision Leo ever made, but you can’t be good all the time.  Body of Lies was decent, and Revolutionary Road was good, but they weren’t in the same league as his other films.  He must have known what was coming up next because 2010 sure didn’t disappoint.

Shutter Island, another Scorsese collab, was fantastic, so I’ve been told.  Looks great.  Definitely need to see it.  It just has to be two in the afternoon with all of the lights on and my door locked so no one can come in and out to surprise me.  Enough about that though. Lets go into my favorite Leo movie and possibly just straight favorite movie of all time; Inception.0715-INCEPTION-movie-review_full_600

Four score and seven years ago, err I mean three, Adam was still in Iowa and he thought this was a movie we actually should pony up the arm and leg that the movie theaters charge at this point.  It turned out to be a fantastic decision.  Walking out of the theater, I was left with so many questions.  Mainly, what the F just happened?  How could someone come up with such a concept? A dream within a dream within a dream?  I have a tough time remembering a dream, let alone many dreams.  Limbo?  Totums?  If this wasn’t the best movie of the year I don’t know what was*.  And Leo’s performance as a man just wanting to get home?  He played it perfectly.  Excuse me while I go watch this movie on repeat and still try to figure it all out.

010413-Leonardo-DiCaprio-600J Edgar was over-hyped and could never live up to it’s potential so we’ll just brush past that one and move on the Django Unchained.  Alright, confession time.  This is awkward, but, uhh, I’ve never seen this before.  Yeah, I know.  What am I doing with my life?  Leo as a plantation owner?  Christoph Waltz?  Jamie Foxx?  I will watch this soon, I can promise you that.  If only Netflix had it on their instant queue.

Next is Gatsby.  Sorry, didn’t mean to sell him short.  The Great Gatsby.  We’ve all read the 1925 book by F Scott Fitzgerald, and maybe seen the Robert Redford 1970s version of this (it wasn’t that good), but this one lived up to the bill.  The soundtrack.  The vibe.  The allure of the parties.  It was just perfect.  The 1920s never looked so good.  The critics and fans weren’t as excited about it, maybe because it doesn’t have a Disney happily ever after ending, but Leo played Gatsby so well that I’d be shocked if he didn’t receive his 4th nomination for an Oscar.  If you haven’t picked it up yet, I may be a little biased, but to each his own.

Finally we have his newest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, being released November 15th December 25th.  Now this is a movie that will probably not win him any acclaim from the academy, but have you seen the trailers?!  Hmm, Leo playing a wealthy man?  Check.  Crime?  Check.  Corruption?  Check.  How could you not love it?  It’s basically a cross between Jay Gatsby and Frank Abagnale Jr.  And if that is any indication of how great this movie will be, it is going to be a must see.

Leo DiCaprio will win an Oscar. One day. He’s been close. He will get closer. But I do believe that he will eventually win an award, hopefully before the Cubs do. And when he does, he will go down as one of the greatest actors of all-time.

*It was The King’s Speech.  Damn you Colin Firth.

Editor’s Note: And this one.. is just because I found it. And what is happening here?

Leonardo-Dicaprio-Wallpaper-HD9

I Only Watch Documentaries, and Trash TV // Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

Standard

Most of the time I watch trash television. But not always. Because luckily, television is getting better. But a long time ago I made the proclamation that “I only watch Documentaries, and trash TV.” So today we bring you another of many documentary reviews to come. Cheers!Screen Shot 2013-11-09 at 6.53.01 PM

TITLE: Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

RUN TIME: 89 minutes

AVAILABLE ON: Amazon Prime

RELEASE DATE: 2011

BACKSTORY: Can’t stop is simply that. Conan O’Brien cannot stop. After he got canned by NBC, Conan goes on a 46 show tour across the country in order to feed his need, nah – obsession with performing in front of people, and making them laugh. Conan didn’t have to do this. Although the number is unknown, Conan got a huge settlement to simply leave NBC and not be on TV. It was obviously a lot of money – but again, he didn’t have to do anything. He could have sat back, played with legos and hung out with his kids. but Conan can’t do that. This documentary shows the highs and lows, the anger, the ego, the compassion and everything else that makes Conan tick. It shows the true passion that some, if not all comedians or actors have. They don’t care who’s watching, or how much money they are making, they just want to get out there and do it. No matter what. With some great cameos and behind the scenes fun by Jim Carrey, Jack Mcbrayer, Jon Hamm, Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman, this documentary was fun look into the life of Conan O’Brien as a rockstar. And anyone who grew up not a fan of Jay Leno and always a member of Team Coco, it will have you in stitches and come to respect the man even more. And leave you wanting more.

“I might be a fucking genius, or I might be the biggest dick ever. I don’t know.” – Conan O’Brien

Pure gold.

IT’S DEFINITELY BETTER THAN: Heckler

BUT NOT BETTER THAN: Not sure. It’s the best Comedy doc I’ve seen lately..

GRADE: A

I Only Watch Documentaries, and Trash TV // Sound City

Standard

Most of the time I watch trash television. But not always. Because luckily, television is getting better. But a long time ago I made the proclamation that “I only watch Documentaries, and trash TV.” So today we bring you the first of many, documentary reviews. Cheers!

 

Sound-City-posterTITLE: Sound City

RUN TIME: 108 minutes

AVAILABLE ON: Amazon Prime

RELEASE DATE: 2013

BACKSTORY: Sound City is a historic recording studio in Los Angeles that has featured some of the greatest musicians of all-time. Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Barry Manilow and Johnny Cash to name a few. Sound City tells the story of how the greatest recording studio ever rose to stardom, and then fell to grace when everything went digital. Although a story about music, it becomes a love story combined with the fact that some of the coolest people in the world are hanging out together (which at time blows your mind), creating great music and helping save a very important machine that has made some of the best music in the world. As told by Dave Grohl.

IT’S BETTER THAN: Shut Up and Play The Hits

BUT NOT BETTER THAN: Searching for Sugarman

GRADE: B+

Countdown to ACL Festival // Kendrick Lamar

Standard

OhsKnows-ACL

A back and forth via email, from the whitest kids in America trying to make sense of Kendrick Lamar and his musical stylings:

Adam:Adam

Trying to write this column for our last ACL countdown artist. We promised the people it’d be Kendrick, figured we might as well too since I don’t know anything about him and we better learn something.

Told you though his real name couldn’t be Kendrick Lamar. It’s actually Kendrick Lamar Duckworth – must’ve been rough with that one growing up in Compton, eh?

Have you heard any of his songs?

Nick:Nick

Seriously, that coupled with the fact he was a straight A student probably didn’t sit well.

I’ve heard one song:

It’s about a swimming pool of liquor.  Apparently Mr. Duckworth likes to drink? Have you even heard that one before?

Adam:Adam 

What do you mean have I heard it? You trying to say I have a drinking problem?

It’s not too bad. I think I heard it once before in a club somewhere. A lot of these rappers do have straight A’s, get a bad rap. Lil Wayne was a smart kid too. Just one more reason I can’t be a rapper – bad grades. He’s a West Coast gangster Rapper. Maybe Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre will come too. Maybe Biggie and Tupac will show up – I think they’re still alive. Maybe they’ll get in an East Coast v. West Coast battle again down in the South.. That would go over well.

He plays Saturday after Grimes and Passion Pit, that’s going to be quite a change of pace to our ear drums.

Nick:Nick

You heard it at the club? Is that what you do now, just go clubbing with the guys? The reason I wouldn’t make it as a rapper is the fact that I can’t really rhyme. Kind of a big deal I guess.

It’ll be a change of pace, but last year going from the Lumineers, to a random DJ (which was awesome), and then Iggy and the Stooges has helped us prepare for moments like these.

Think if they do that rap battle we will see 2-pac and Biggie holograms on stage? Because I could deal with that. I think we actually know their songs.

Adam:Adam 

We better take it easy on the Sangria and Peppermint Schnapps if they are going to be bringing out holograms. Or hit it harder, not sure how that will work. Here is the song that they are promoting on the ACL website:

Some slow jams. R and B style. It’s like Boys 2 Men meets Pastor Troy. And not our former Pastor, Pastor Troy – this dudes straight gangster. Not a packers fan either I don’t reckon, probably the Oakland Raiders.

We may need some slow jams after a long saturday of techno and experimental witch house music. Let’s just hope we don’t get drug tested going back to work the following week. That may have sounded wrong. I’ve been watching a lot of Breaking Bad lately – but i don’t plan on experimenting with drugs while we are there. Just saying there may be some stuff in the air. Second hand action. You know?

Nick:Nick 

Definitely hit it harder. Just prep for the marathon because Saturday looks like the day we’ll be there for about 10 hours, if you can handle that old man.

So this guy wants to go slow jams and get compared to Pastor Troy and Boyz 2 Men, yet still think he’s the best rapper on this side of the Mississippi? And how is he a West Coast rapper, yet the self-proclaimed “King of New York?” I don’t own a map, but New York is definitely on the East Coast. A coast to coast rap battle? I can only imagine that will be a problem, kind of comes with the hipster territory of Austin. Reminds me of the Girl Talk concert. Or what I remember of the Girl Talk concert. Just the second hand stuff obviously.

Adam:Adam

Don’t know geography – remember I didn’t get straight A’s. All I know is he probably wrote this song about me. I love rap:

Nick:Nick

So first it was swimming pools, and now don’t kill my vibe? Are you telling me you know more about Kendrick than you’re leading us on to believe? Let’s be real here though. You wish you were as hood as Mr. Duckworth.

Adam:Adam

If there’s anything we learned here today is that he’s too hood for all of us – and I’m not quite ready to crown him the greatest rapper of all time. But here’s to two brothers whiter than Larry Bird giving him a chance. Always remember – we don’t discriminate, we try to #educate.

Holler