Top Five “Weird” Al Songs

Leaving out Yankovic’s polka medleys and any albums post “Running with Scissors” (I stopped relating to most of his songs/parodies after this point), here are my top five favorite “Weird” Al Yankovic parodies and originals (yes plebeians, Al writes some of his own stuff). Al is one of the very few musical artists of whom I pay real attention to the lyrics. These parodies I enjoy mostly for the cleverness/funniness of the lyrics and the originals I like partly because of the cleverness of the lyrics but also the pretty decent song writing as well.

ORIGINALS:

5) One of those Days – Just a bunch of ridiculously terrible things that happen to a guy having “one of those days.” Played in kind of a rock n’ roll, swingy blues style.
“The bank called me up and told me I’m overdrawn;
Some freaks are burnin’ crosses out on my front lawn.
And I can’t believe it all the Cheeto’s are gone!
It’s just one of those days.”

4) You Don’t Love Me Anymore – A super slow, Jim Croce-esque song about a guy can’t take a hint when his girlfriend does a lot of creepy/slutty/ridiculous things including trying to murder him several times in outlandish fashion.
“I think it’s kinda cute the way…
you poison my coffee just a little each day.
I still remember the way that you laughed…
when you pushed me down the elevator shaft.
Oh if you don’t mind me askin’ what’s this poisonous cobra…
doin’ in my underwear drawer?
I gotta funny feeling, you don’t love me anymore.”

3) Buy Me a Condo – I think it’s his only reggae song. What would happen if Bob Marley gave up being a Rastafarian and moved to Manhattan to be a yuppie.
“Gonna cut off me dreadlocks;
Trow away all me ganja.
I’ll have a Tupperware party;
Maybe join me a health spa.
I’ll get a bowl of plastic fruit and a microwave oven too.
And I’ll have the neighbors over… for a weenie barbecue.”

2) This is the Life – Another awesome song mostly for its genre; ragtime (with insertions of hip-hop and metal). It’s also the song during the opening credits to one of my favorite movies from 1984, Johnny Dangerously. Just about a guy who is financially rich. Very rich.
“I buy a dozen cars when I’m in the mood;
I hire somebody to chew my food;
I’m an upperly mobile dude. This is the life…

One thing I can guarantee,
the best things in life they sure ain’t free;
such a thrill just to be me. This is the life.”

1) Dare to Be Stupid – Didn’t always get all of the lyrics to this as a kid but now I get it. It’s got a Devo-inspired musical sound (which is pretty unique) and the lyrics are just a series of living life in the opposite manner of what many popular cliches tell us. It also appears in Transformers: The Movie. Plus it’s the true nature of Al in that is plain and simply… weird.
“Burn your candle at both ends, look a gift horse in the mouth.
Mashed potatoes can be your friends…
Dare to Be Stupid.”

Honorable mentions: Twister, One More Minute, Cable TV

 

PARODIES:

5) I Want a New Duck – Parody of Huey Lewis’ “I Want a New Drug”
“I want a new duck. Not a swan or a goose.
Just a drake I can dress real cute, think I’m gonna name him Bruce.
I want a new duck. Not a quail or an owl.
One that won’t mope too much, one that won’t smell too ‘foul’…

One that won’t raid the ice box; one that’ll stay in shape; one that’s never gonna try to migrate or escape…
or I’ll tie him up with ‘duck’ tape.”

4) (This Song’s Just) Six Words Long – Parody of George Harrison’s “I Got My Mind Set on You”
“Oh you gotta have music; you need really catchy music.
This song has got plenty of music; but just six words child.
And so I’ll sing ‘em over. And over and over and over. And over and over and over. Mm-mm. And over and over and over and over and over and over again.”

3) Amish Paradise – Parody of Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” – Also one of the only (maybe the only) songs, that the original artist didn’t approve of or like after it was done.
“We been spendin’ most our lives livin’ in an Amish paradise.
I churn butter once or twice livin’ in an Amish paradise.
It’s hard work and sacrifice livin’ in an Amish paradise.
We sell quilts at discount price livin’ in an Amish paradise.”

2) I Think I’m a Clone Now – Parody of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”
“Look at the way… we go out walking close together.
I guess you could say… I’m really beside myself.
I still remember how it began (gan-gan-gan),
They produced a carbon copy man (man-man-man),
Born in a science lab late one night,
Without a mother or a father, just a test tube and a womb with a view.”

1) Pretty Fly for a Rabbi – Parody of The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”
“When he’s doing a Bar Mitzvah, now that you shouldn’t miss
He’ll always shlep on down for a wedding or a briss
They say he’s got a lot of chutzpah, he’s really quite hhhhhip
The parents pay the moyl and he gets to keep the tip”

Honorable mentions: Here’s Johnny, Taco Grande, Theme from Rocky XIII, I Can’t Watch This

2014 Cannes Winners

Jury president, Jane Campion, admitted that she was a “little afraid” to watch Ceylan’s film. “I was thinking, oh my god, I’m going to need to take a toilet break, but I sat down, and the film had such a beautiful rhythm and it took me in. I could have stayed there for another couple hours. It was masterful.” She added further, “The real gift of the film is how honest it is,” she added. “It’s ruthless. If I had the guts to be as honest as [Ceylan], I’d be proud of myself.”

Palme d’Or (best picture)
Winter Sleep
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Grand Prix (runner-up)
The Wonders
Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Prix de la Mise en Scene (best director)
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Prix du Scenario (best screenplay)
Leviathan
Writers: Andrey Zvyaginstev and Oleg Negin

Camera d’Or (best first feature)
Party Girl
Directors: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis

Prix du Jury (jury prize)
Mommy
Director: Xavier Dolan
and
Goodbye to Language
Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Prix d’interpretation feminine (best actress)
Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars

Prix d’interpretation masculine (best actor)
Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner

 

Got a Problem? Call the “The Equalizer” [trailer]

“The Equalizer” is a show I thought I remembered quite well from my childhood. But sitting down and actually thinking about it, I don’t remember as much as I thought I did – outside of the opening credits sequence, which had me terrified to ever ever visit New York City. But I do seem to recall that Edward Woodward played the role with very little action. He solved problems with fine pistol work and some detectiving but mostly psychological intimidation. He was kind of old, so he didn’t really get into a lot of martial arts combat or fisticuffs. It seems that the new Denzel version of The Equalizer may be going down the road of the latter… but maybe not.

Have a look at the trailer below and see what you think. I do like Denzel. He’s one of the few I’ll see just about anything that he’s in, just because he’s in it. That said, this trailer doesn’t get me too excited. It looks like just another guy kicks the bad guys’ asses (Taken 3?). Also, can we get a moratorium on the “Sherlock” vision thing now? It was refreshing at first, but now it’s been done a few times and starting to get pretty stale.

Still, I’ll be in for this. I’m sure it’s a good watch and time will tell. But I think I would’ve preferred a more subtle angle for The Equalizer. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film also stars Melissa Leo, Chloë Grace Moretz and hey, it’s Bill Pullman!

 

We Certainly Didn’t Need “Godzilla” (2014). But We Need a Thread About it. So Here’s My Two Cents Copied Over from LetterBoxd.

 

 

Not even sure where to start on the stupidity and inanity of Godzilla 2014. I’m tempted to just make a bullet list but then I would be stooping to the same depths. Instead, I’ll stick to brevity – something this picture could’ve used much more of.

Both Cranston and Binoche must’ve realized the shit storm they were getting into and decided to bail out early. “Write us out of this!”, they shouted in unison. And so it was done. Thereby removing anyone worth a damn in this whole movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love David Strathairn and to some extent Ken Watanabe, but the dramatic chipmunk glances they kept stealing and the robotic line delivery was just not doing it for me. Randomly (and needlessly) inserting a little Asian kid didn’t exactly fill the hole left from their departure – nice try though guys. At least it filled up twenty minutes of my time though!

Then there is the one Olsen girl that can act. And act she does! It’s just an overly cheese-ball script she is stuck with. Sorry, why don’t you have your ringer on again? Oh right. Frustrating “dramatic” tension.

I also quite like Alexandre Desplat, but this has to be the worst output of his career. Generic yet head pounding at the same time. And inserted in the most inappropriate of moments.

Cinematography? One of the blandest looking movies I’ve seen in a long long time. It makes me giggle a bit when they realized they had a really nice looking shot (the one with the red lanterns hanging in front of a dust cloud) and then proceeded to use the same shot over and over again. Like watching a stand up comedian who is totally failing trying to reuse the one joke that worked, over and over again. It was really sad.

Blue flames was cool and the same clip we saw in the teaser trailer was pretty cool too (again). Opening credits are nice too. That’s. about. it. Monster design was banal. Kill Bill has ten times the sound design this thing has, yet it’s a hundred times smaller picture.

There’s plenty more to complain about if I had the time. Police inexplicably blocking all of the lanes of the evacuation route. Arming a nuclear bomb in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The token black guy is a bus driver. Said bomb that was supposed to be 25x bigger than Hiroshima is barely a whimper of an explosion. I’ll go on more during the Super Ticket podcast later this week.

 

 

“Lost River” Teaser [Ryan Gosling Directorial Debut]

Not sure at all what to make of this. Lost River is the first film written and directed by my man crush (one of them anyway), Ryan Gosling. The cast is fairly stacked, leaning heavy on the women: Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith, Iain De Caestecker and Ben Mendelsohn.

Synopsis from the IMDb:
A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.

Though with this trailer, all we get is The Doctor screaming “look at my muscles” over and over. A bike and house are on fire and people look at the ground. This will either be pure wankery or genius. Of course we’re hoping for the latter.

Take a look…

Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” [full trailer]

I can already hear the gagging and see the eye-rolling raging across the snobbery that is internet movie web sites. To the curse jar with all of you. I’m super excited to see Zach Braff’s follow-up to his 2004, indie hit Garden State.

The teaser was released about a month ago, but now we’ve got a full fledged trailer that gives us a little more. Though the fantasy angle we’ve been promised is barely seen here, it does come with an all new song from The Shins. So there’s that.

Anyway, have a look and let us know what you’re thinking. Right now.