Friday, April 23, 2010

Kick-Ass Review

Article originally written and published in OHS's The Prowl
If you have a problem with profanity, violence and a little girl killing lots of evil men with guns and knives, stop reading this right now; this movie is not for you. Okay, now that we’re rid of those people, let’s talk about one of the most entertaining movies of the year. Take one part “Superbad,” one part “Kill Bill” and one part “Spiderman,” whirl them together, and you’ve got the two hour, pop culture-induced seizure of violent behavior, swearing and hilarity known as “Kick-Ass.”

The movie revolves around the life of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a nobody comic geek who’s tired of people just putting up with petty crime and miscreants. So, he orders a scuba wet suit, a set of batons and takes to the streets as a vigilante.  Dave’s just an average guy; however, he doesn’t have any training in fighting crime. So, in his first attempt to stop a mugging, he gets shanked in the stomach, staggers in the street, gets hit by a car and is rushed to the hospital. And it’s absolutely hilarious. The violent slapstick humor constantly rides the line between hilarity and shock, especially once the characters of Big Daddy and Hit Girl are introduced.

On their own personal vendetta against a crime family in New York, Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (ChloĆ« Grace Moretz) are the most entertaining characters in the movie. The pair are pretty much hyper-real versions of Batman and Robin, except they have guns, swear and chop up criminals. Moretz’s electrifyingly outrageous performance as the profanity-spewing, butterfly-knife throwing Hit Girl completely steals the show. Seeing a nine year-old dispatch a gang of cocaine-hustling thugs with a double-bladed karate staff of doom is one of the most absurdly hilarious things to have ever hit the big screen.

“Kick-Ass” has an energy that few movies are able to obtain; it aggressively disregards standard morals and societal constraints, yet still manages to get the audience to side with and care for the violence-prone protagonists. The audience is always rooting for Kick-Ass to kick ass. And he totally does (after getting the living daylights beat out of him about four times).

Joel Samson Berntsen (This Must Be The Place(Naive Melody) - Talking Heads) 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Top Five Songs- April Edition

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

5. ("Who Loves The Sun?" - The Velvet Underground] Loaded apparently was Lou Reed trying to write an album full of popular hits. He succeeded. This is most pop filled, joyful (sounding) Velvet Underground song I’ve ever heard.

4. ("I'll Call B4 I Cum" - Outkast] Preceded by the "Kim and Cookie (Interlude)" on Stankonia (p.s.funniest interlude ever), I'll call B4 just sticks in your head and refuses to leave. I've been singing the chorus at every tennis practice/match since the beginning of the month, and let me tell you, it's a good way to weird/pysch out people. "Wait... did you just say cum? Why don't you just send it over? Out the blue? What the f*** are you singing about Joel?!"


2. ("Forest Families" - The Knife] - I bought the full album Silent Shout about a month and half ago, and I haven't stopped listening since (except to play other songs on this list). I've been listening to it in segments though, as to avoid getting burned out on Silent Shout and We Share Our Mother's Health (two songs that both share a 50 plus play count in iTunes). I bought the vinyl a couple month back too, so I've just used the sides to break section off the album. I love every section just like I’d love every kid if I had a family, but everyone’s got a favorite and mine is (Side B: Forest Families, One Hit, Still Light). It’s the apple of my eye.

1. ("Drunk Girls" - LCD Soundsystem] The first time I listened to this single I thought, this isn't what LCD Soundsystem is supposed to sound like. I was mistaken. It was what they're supposed to sound like, and they sound like quick-witted, snazzy, socially perceptive dance-rock. I've had LCD Soundsystem's Sound Of Silver for over a year, but I never really gave it a chance. I bought the single, put it in a playlist with Sounds of Silver, and I’ve been jamming in ecstasy since.

Joel Samson Berntsen (One Hit- The Knife)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm Locking Myself in a Cabin for a While

Tentative decisions are here. You’d think I’d be listening to Tentative Decisions.

Instead I’ve just been listening to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago.

Four times through and still counting, and that's just tonight.

Joel Samson Berntsen (Lump Sum- Bon Iver)