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Posts from the ‘Movies’ Category

You Must See “Catfish”

“Catfish” is one of the greatest movies I’ve seen lately.

To begin: I love documentaries. Like many people my age, I started with Michael Moore’s flicks in high school (say what you will about his politics, but the man knows how to make a documentary interesting. His style has been copied – by liberals and conservatives alike – many times over.) Over the years, I’ve enjoyed all the “mainstream” documentaries like “Super Size Me”, “Food, Inc.”, and “Grizzly Man”, as well as docs on favorite bands like The Beatles. I go crazy over nature docs like “Planet Earth” and “Oceans”, and Ken Burns has (of course) always been a favorite (I’m working through his “National Parks” series right now). Some other recent favorites: “Jesus Camp”, “Trouble the Water”, “Inside Job” and “Exit Through The Gift Shop”, although “Exit” may or not be a real documentary, depending on what you believe. I personally believe it’s a hoax. Which leads me to “Catfish”.


“Catfish” is presented as real. Its directors have defended it to the end (WARNING: spoilers), despite questions from other documentary directors and moviegoers at Sundance. But it’s just so bizarre that it can’t possibly be real. If these guys (directors Henry Joost and
Ariel Schulman) staged this whole thing, then they are geniuses, because it feels so natural, even as unexpected plot twists unfold. In fact, Joost and Schulman have so mastered this (faux-?)documentary form that they were brought on to direct “Paranormal Activity 3” (which was probably a major step-down for them. Bad decision.)

Basically (if it is real), Joost and Schulman are New York videographers who picked up their cameras when Schulman’s brother Nev (a photographer) began an online fling with a girl he met on Facebook. The original purpose was just to document the stages of an online relationship, but the experiment quickly devolved into much more than that.

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The Netflix Debacle

Good grief, Netflix.

I admit I was a little shocked when they raised their prices by 60% with no warning a couple of months ago. Who wasn’t? That’s a big price jump. But when I heard their reasoning and evaluated exactly what I’d still be getting for my money, I realized it was still worth it. Managing all those DVDs while securing all those film companies’ licenses has got to be pretty expensive. I resigned myself to continuing to be a supporter and happily paid my first full $16 this September.

netflix envelope

Then, this happened. I’m sure most of you have heard the “news” already, but for those who haven’t: in order to allow both sides of their business to “grow and operate independently”, Netflix is splitting into streaming-only Netflix and a separate, DVD-only company, Qwikster. The whole announcement was buried deep in a “We’re sorry, please forgive us” email from Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings, amid numerous claims that this actually fixes everything and let’s all be friends again.

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Check out this video. This guy is amazing. I appreciate the art of good impressions, mainly because – as “friends” from my former acting group would tell you – I’m horrible at them. My “pirate” is my “cowboy” is my “surfer dude”. It’s tragic, really.

Here’s how to do it right.
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How Not To Run A Country

Interesting. Wyclef Jean, a Haitian-American hip-hop artist who I’ve listened to less than Justin Bieber, wants to run for president of Haiti.

So, Wyclef, if that is your real name. Pulling the old Arnold Schwarzenegger/Jesse Ventura/Stormy Daniels routine, eh? Running for a political office using your celebrity status? Just because you were born in that country doesn’t mean you are fit to run it. Let’s ask the Austrians if they would want Schwarzenegger for their president (doubt it, not if they want to go bankrupt like California).

Here’s some other foreign celebrities who would definitely not be fit to run their home country:
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The Other Social Network

You all have seen the trailer for the Facebook movie, right? Well, if you haven’t, here it is:

Pretty interesting: a movie about the mysterious beginnings of Facebook. I’m not exactly sure how exciting a movie about a website will be, but for all the internet lovers out there, it could be worth a look.

But what’s even better is this parody trailer about the failures of MySpace. These people hit it dead on:
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Oh, How Things Change

Welcome to this week’s edition of Oh, How Things Change (it is also the first and possibly only edition).

Iran outlaws certain hairstyles

1. Bad haircuts for Iranians

This story documents how the Iranian government has issued a list of what it considers “acceptable Muslim hairstyles” in an effort to rid the country of “decadent Western cuts”. OK: short, conservative cuts. Not OK: ponytails, men’s eyebrow plucking or mullets. So – no more this:
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