All I Need to Know I Learned From Brule

I don't really enjoy most of the live-action stuff on the cartoon network. The Tim and Eric show generally seems lazy, trite, and at it's very best it usually gets nothing more than a smile or me saying in a monotonous voice, "hey, that could be pretty funny." But then there's John C. Reilly, the academy award nominated actor who makes frequent appearances on the show as the character Dr. Brule. I can honestly say, this man is a genius. So now I present you with some clips of Dr. Brule.

and now my favorite, how Dr. Brule gets rid of leaves.

Why do I think these are hilarious? I don't care, they just are.
Here's Dr. Brule teaching you how to fight.


Zack Newcott's Bestest Year In Music 2007

Well, the year is almost over, which means that every blogger on the planet is making their top list of what they have decided everyone else should love by now. Let's face it, this is really just an opportunity for hipsters to take lesser known bands and shove them into the faces of those who actually enjoy what they listen to, which obviously means I have to participate. So shove it readers, here's my list of the best albums to be released in 2007.

Flight of the Conchords - The Distant Future

Yes, the album from the comedy/indi/folk band who started the show who then released this album from the show based on their previous comedy material. it's confusing, but what we all should know by now that Flight of the Conchords is one of the best shows on television, if not THE best. So it makes sense that their EP album, which contains only a modest five songs (unfortunately lacking many of their best works), fits in well with this list.

Business Time


Once - The Soundtrack By Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

The reason the movie Once worked so tremendously well is that the key players involved with the film were members of the same band, The Swell Season, who had previously proven their own excellence in music making. The soundtrack to the film is logically just as impressive as the emotional pull the film created. While a good number of these songs are repeats of the Swell Season's earlier release, it is nevertheless a solid album. One of the best movies of the year along with one of the best albums.
Here is a live version of their song Once.


Bishop Allen - The Broken String

Yeah, you've already listened to him. He does that song "click, click, click, click" so adequately put to use by Kodak in their holiday commercials. Yeah, the rest of the album is great too and also isn't trying to sell you something. I suggest you listen to "Flight 180" before Jet Blue gets to it.

Flight 180


Fionn Regan - The End of History

The mellow melodies and subtle finger pickings of Fionn Regan serve to compliment his delicate lyrics in such a way that his songs become utterly delectable to the human ear. So, yes, his album The End of History is incredibly good. Listen to it, and then buy it.

Be Good Or Be Gone

Johnathan Rice - Further North

I first listened to Johnathan Rice from a recording of a live performance preceding David Bazan. If you know me, you know how much I love the Bazan, and since there is no new Bazan album to speak of this year somebody has to take his place. Johnathan Rice is more than qualified. In fact, he's all around pretty amazing. His lyrics alone show tremendous depth while his melodies are undeniably catchy. While I admit that I preferred his live solo performance, his completed album is fantastic.
If you would like to download his live performance here is the link:

Johnathan Rice Live

Page France - ...and the Family Telephone

When I listen to Page France, I get confused. Their lyrics are so good it hurts my brain. Combining biblical imagery with childlike playfulness, Page France manages to create an altered listening state where the strictly religious meld with the adolescent. I have resolved that essentially any meaning can be taken from their works, however their undeniably catching songs built upon minimalistic melodies make them mentally inescapable.

Here's a Telephone

Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather

I listened to this album a good number of times, and although many of these songs leave you with a bitter aftertaste with the lyrical cynicism and sarcastic wit the band is known for, it's still written well enough to stick with you. Yes, it can be shallow, but is a shallowness it is self-aware of. It's catchy too.

The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

I don't know how I came across the Weakerthans, but I'm really glad I did. This band is quite simply, charming. I really enjoy any listening session having to do with them. The lyrics are fun and inventive, ranging anywhere between a cat's soliloquy and bigfoot. There is also a depth here, in which the songs contain considerable depth. Meanwhile, they manage to twist their songs in such a way to create an emotional resonance which extends beyond a simple listen. This really is a great album, if not the best of the year.

Night Windows

Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch

I can always recommend a Sondre Lerche album, even if it's not remotely related to the kind of music you're into. He is a tremendous musician and with his abilities as a songwriter his works manage to envelope qualities of every type of music raging back to the early 1920's. His new album is also very cool.

To Be Surprised

Phantom Punch

Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

This is a pretty amazing album featuring demanding lyrics and beautifully constructed melodies. I can't recommend it enough, so listen to it.

Right Moves


The Savages Review

The Savages

If you're looking for a best picture of the year, you can't really go wrong with the Savages. I'm not saying it's MY best picture of the year, or that it's my favorite movie of the year. I'm just saying you couldn't go wrong giving it the title of best picture. It is artistically and expertly structured, engaging with both it's story and it's performances, and is simply fascinating to watch. Basically, it is a well made film. Whether the content is your cup of tea or not is up to you to decide.
The Savages is mainly about three people; a brother who recently deported his girlfriend back to Poland, his younger sister who has somehow received funding for her play, and their father, an elderly man who has demonstrated mental instability with his forgetfulness and tendency to smear his own fecal matter against the wall in spite of his belligerent caretaker. "Spite" is the key word here, as every action in the film has some undetermined decisiveness to it. Even the father's senility, in his forgetfulness of his children and his surroundings, could be construed as a choice. The characters harbor feelings of abandonment and loneliness, feelings which are only exacerbated by their own choices which tend to plunge them headlong into seemingly impossible situations. There is a lot of backstory here, and the film manages to show all of it without giving all of it away.
If there is anything certain about the Savages, it is that it is a very literary film. There is a lot to explore and distinguish, and there are certainly a lot of profound ideas concerning adulthood and the choices people make. With that said, I will again leave the movie up to you, because as a best picture that really is the most you can ask for. I highly recommend watching the Savages and would consider the ten dollars a solid investment.


The Next Big Thing

So my brother Nick, his wife Susan, along with myself all went to get lunch today. Shortly after the meal, Nick and I being the finest of patrons, refilled our water cups with coke and began to leave. However, we faced the same difficulty. Us, being the strong and burly men we are, were also very lazy. VERY, lazy. So lazy in fact, that neither one of us wanted to carry our drinks while we actually drank them.
As you can tell, we were at an impass.
I, being strong, burly, and single, had to brave my laziness and actually hold my drink. Nick, who was far more fortunate in having a wife, however, was also unfortunate to have a wife who refused to carry a drink for his lazy ass.
Now let me interject here with an immensely valuable piece of information. Nick's wife is also pregnant. With that in mind, it didn't take long for Nick to see the valuable real estate (Nick is also a realtor) that was going to waste here. After all, how hard could it be to balance a drink on a stomach? I mean, some do it all the time.
With that, I present to you gentlemen an invention that will revolutionize the world as we know it!

The Maternity Cup Holder Attachment! (patent pending)
Finally you don't have to be burdened by the cold hefty drinks which have tormented your hands!
What's that? You don't drink anything cold? Well for those early mornings you can pick up one of these!

The Coffee Maternity Cup Holder! (patent pending)
Just because SHE can't drink it doesn't mean YOU can't! Enjoy a piping hot beverage whenever she's around!

I know what you're going to say to me.
"How can this get any better?"
I'll tell you how.


So remember, that child isn't the only thing she could be carrying! Buy one today!


Beowulf - Movie Review


View Trailer

I'm not really sure what to say about Beowulf, because I'm not really sure what exactly the filmmakers were going for. I mean, they had to know, right? There's no way that with such a high concept and high budget they'd let unnecessary snippets through. Right? But let me share with you my experience watching Beowulf.
There's a moment not far through the film where our central protagonist, Beowulf, shows up on the shores of Denmark. He's travelled through a fierce storm and naturally, the guy is hungry. Specifically, he's hungry for meat. I'm cool with that, the guy is hardcore.
So Beowulf, the mightiest of literary folklore heros, approaches King Hrothgar and humbly asks if he can taste the king's infamous mead. Now, let me interrupt here and note that Beowulf is presented along with very thick accents, so the word "mead" is essentially indiscernible from the word "meat." This became interesting the moment the kings wife replied, what we all heard as, "There have been many a brave soldier come to taste my husband's meat."
At this point, I, along with my fellow movie goers, bursted out laughing.
I just don't know. Was it on purpose? I'm just not certain. No matter what the case, Beowulf is filled with numerous other intentional innuendo's, which are often more awkward than funny.
When it comes down to it, the whole movie is stilted by a sense of awkwardness. The animation, although being quite beautiful, ironically fails to capture the majority of the main performances by often hindering the characters with lifeless, passive eyes. The voices, provided by a host of tremendously talented actors such as Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malcovitch, and even Crispin Glover, remain the predominant source of life for these characters.
I would say within a year or two, this method of animation could be perfected and put into truly spectacular use. Beowulf, unfortunately, just feels soulless. Although it looks cool, is entertaining, and probably worth the ten bucks to go see, the experience is just hollow.


Animals Mix-N-Match

In this day and age we don't even need to use actual science to know that all animals will someday evolve/mutate into truly awesome killing machines. So I've spent a solid two weeks putting together these composite diagrams of the most disturbing animals of the future.

To be fair, I did steal most of these from X-Men 3. Obviously, these animals do not characterize what some may refer to as "intelligent design," but I think if these drawings are a sign of things to come, we may have a lot to worry about. Studies show that the Japanese may already be working on a Rocket Wizard as we speak. I hear they have their top research team on it right now:


Tell Me What's Wrong With This

I love them. I really do. but as I stated previously, I still don't understand the Japanese and probably never will. Some people have taken offense to this fact. Please, before judging me, you must realize that I don't even understand most Americans. So I need you to help me out by counting exactly how many things are wrong with the following video:

Yes. That was a lot of scrolling text. But apparently that's not the only problem with this video. Apparently two chefs were actually fired because of this. Can you guess what it was?
That's right. There's too much friggin beef on that rice bowl.
At least there is according to the Yoshinoya D&C Co. who apparently consider it a great dishonor to pile six heaping spoonfuls of food onto another food.
“It’s just a disgrace to treat food this way,” said Yoshinoya official Haruhiko Kizu, adding that the clip made him “feel sick in the stomach.”
I'm sorry. Excuse me Mr. Yingyangpewpew, here in America we don't consider activities like this "disgraceful." In fact, we THRIVE off of it. Here in the states those two men would have medals by now and be serving double the serving size, that's right, TWELVE heaping spoonfuls, at one of them fancy pants restaurants. You know, Arby's or somewhere.
Although, I have to admit, I still respect these people. After all, who knows the concept of disgrace better than a country where they sell such amazing products as this:

or this...

Did you see everything in that? Yeah, a pizza stuffed with:

* mayonnaise
* king crab
* shrimp
* beef w/ demi-glace sauce
* broccoli
* onion
* corn
* egg
* potato

And only for $32!
I said it before, but I'll say it again. I love the Japanese. I may have no idea what the frick they're doing, but I love those guys. This is a culture where I honestly think I belong. It's like a giant fraternity, where instead of weired initiation rituals you have to eat Mayo stuffed pizza for the rest of your life. It's beautiful.
Excuse me while I vomit my entire insides.


How To Lose My Respect In The Fewest Words Possible

I consider myself fairly accepting of most people. Even if I don't agree with them or even like them, I will generally let them be. However, there are a few exceptions which I deemed necessary to place here, in my blog, which is a format notoriously known for pointless rants. Here are the top things someone can say to set me off.

How To Lose My Respect In The Fewest Words Possible

1. "Oh! Full House! I LOVE that show!"

A shorter version of this would be "I love Full House," or "Full House is the best," however neither of these are acceptable. Full House was a terrible, terrible show. In fact Full House and good do not belong in the same sentence. the show was actually originally named House of Comics and was about three comedians living together. Once ABC realized someone was trying to make an original show that was funny and entertaining, they proceeded to turn it into crap by blatantly stealing the storyline from Three men and A Baby, except adding more suck. I can't blame them though, who would think a show about a comedian living in an apartment with a host of colorful characters would be funny or successful? Oh. right. Well, critics noted how terribly unfunny Full House was, however since it had two twins on it people watched it anyway.
Full House does have some merit in its good family values, which obviously benefited the stars of the show who grew on to all be exceptional crack addicts.

2. "Citizen Kane is the best film ever made."

Comments like these are made everyday, and they are never really opinions. People state this as a fact, as if I should consider Citizen Kane to be the best film ever made. Why is this? Because people liked Full House and learned from an early age that they should never have their own opinion. I was a film major until every person I met told me Citizen Kane was the best movie ever. This made me realize how corrupt the film industry was, not with crime but with blatant a-holes. How did I try to confront this? I stated my own opinion. "I disagree," I said, "I think Dumb and Dumber is the best movie ever." To which they snapped back in a single breath "How can you say that?! Didn't you get the symbolism of Rosebud being the sled?!" Yeah, thanks for ruining the ending you d-bag. That's how bad Citizen Kane is, you don't even have to watch it to know how it ends. Man I hate film majors.

3. "I love My Humps!" "I watch BET." "Money in da Bank!"

Sorry man, or girl. While some rap is undoubtedly excellent, the majority is mindless idiotic dribble produced in a matter of minutes by vastly over payed, over hyped, hedonistic morons who are responsible in part for the downfall of our modern civilization. It's awful, truly and utterly terrible. Not to mention, it's all the exact same. Here's how to make an instant rap hit: choose any three random notes (maybe only two if your really lazy), repeat them, talk about booty/money/guns/drugs/alcohol, brag about how much you have of said possessions, make a music video, ride in biggest car you can find while waving and having sex with said possessions, get money, repeat. There. Everything I hate about current music.

4. "I don't care what you want to watch, the GAME is on."

This is the one I'll get the most heat about, and I will and have accepted that. I just don't get it. I don't get sports. Maybe hockey, I like how they fight. Other than that I see no purpose whatsoever in moving back and forth to achieve some arbitrary goal of which there is no beneficial purpose. Okay, so you have a bunch of friends over to watch it, can you imagine how many better things you and your friends could be doing? Just about anything in my book. "Oh wow, that guy is bouncing a ball, did you guys know Full House is on?" Yeah. That's right. I'd rather watch Full House than basketball. For me it's like choosing one level of hell over another. "Oh fire and brimstone? I think I'll just go for the pitchforks, thanks." The only problem is, I CAN'T BECAUSE YOUR TAKING UP THE TV, Eric. Geeze.

5. "You can't only have four things on your list, you have to round it out to five."

Yeah, thanks a lot for reminding me. I forgot about the five-by-five rule. Five things I love, ten things I want, when did we specify what numbers were aesthetically pleasing?! To be honest, i don't really mind this rule, I just felt as though I needed to wind things up. But still, it can be a little annoying, right? Right?

Michael Clayton Review

Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton is what he is, and you can say just about the same for this movie of the same name. The man is the best at what he does. In fact, he is exceptional at it. The only problem is, no one is exactly sure what that is. In his words, he's a "janitor." He cleans up the legal mess others leave behind.
The film follows it's subject, Michael, as he is given the task of dampening the flames spurred by his former friend, and legal juggernaut, Arthur, who previously caused a significantly uncomfortable uproar at a deposition meeting and now threatens to make a very profitable and quiet case very public.
Michael Clayton is a legal drama. It is straight from the hardcover bindings of a Grisham novel. I myself have never been much interested in legal dramas, and as such am somewhat unable to provide a review which would be helpful to those who are. What I can say is that I liked Michael Clayton, the movie and the character. In fact, it's easy to say that what I liked best about this film are all the characters. They are brought so vibrantly to life by such vivid and exciting performances. The movie is filled with notoriously great actors such as the brilliant Tom Wilkinson, who in this case opens an entire Pandora's box of emotion through the course of the film. Without them the entire experience would have been an entirely forgettable experience.
Unfortunately for me, the film remains only slightly above that. While the performances are engaging, the dialogue tightly written, and the cinematography expertly handled, I know that after a couple weeks I will have completely forgotten about Michael Clayton. It's a shame, because it really is a fine film. It just is barely recognizable to me. However, I would still highly recommend seeing it. The film is highly intelligent and is immersing. Ten dollars worth might be a stretch, but a weekend rental is a definite thumbs up. Wait for it.