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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

November: A Memoir

Well, not quite, but as we open the first doors on our advent calendars tonight, we know it's on its way. However, the future is not my concern at the moment- the past is. Here is our memoir to November, summing up some of the cultural gems you might have missed if you spent the last thirty days in sleep deprivation.

Film of the Month: New MoonC'mon- how could we not, really? Chloe 'tell-it-like-it-is' Trumper (yes, that is her real name) has already aired her thoughts on this film, but here's a quick summary of what you missed.
For those of you who don't know, 'New Moon' is a novel by Stephenie Meyer, that I have alot of complaint with- the fact it sells sex to tweens, but then forces Mormon-esque morals down your throat ('So you want to have sex with a vampire, huh? Well, you'll have to marry him first...'), it advocates teen suicide, and perpetuates every archaic literary damsel-in-distress stereotype- right down to the big-eyed, waifish appearance of 'heroine' Bella Cullen (a stereotype started by de Fanu's 'Carmilla' and Stoker's 'Dracula').
So, as you can see, I have a few objections to this book. But, what nearly every critic has failed to do is evaluate the film, rather than the source material. Comparing the first book to second book, the first is infinitely better (but still dire), as the second is one a dreary, depressing, pathetic love letter to the long-gone vampire, and a wet account of Bella's several attempts to have near-death experiences so that she can hear his voice in her head. The second film, however, is vastly superior to the first film. It becomes apparent pretty early on that when at the drawing-board of this film, the writers decided to try and inject as much adrenaline into the limp source material as possible. Thus, the anaemic-looking vampires are shoved off within about twenty minutes, and replaced with gloriously-buff, perpetually semi-naked werewolves- yum. Then, rather than playing up Bella's suicidal depression, they focus more on her reckless stunts- and her lukewarm tryst with the delectable Jacob (Taylor Lautner). And, just to make sure we're still paying attention, they throw in an amazing soundtrack- oh, and some more man-nipples, courtesy of Robert Pattinson.
The team on this film do have to be commended for doing their best with a lame concept- it might be a little more high-octane than anticipated, but well, it still sucks.

Album of the Month: John Mayer- Battle StudiesThis month I have had the dulcet tones of the gorgeous Mr Mayer perpetually plugged into my ears with his brand spanking new album ‘Battle Studies’. Like his others John serves up a smooth, easy listening sound laced with beautiful, meaningful lyrics. As the title of the suggests the whole of the album has the ongoing motif of warfare, comparing break up’s to the battlefield, whilst the most original metaphor for heartbreak it’s definitely the most malleable and John Mayer makes it his own; the lyrics are both beautiful and powerful. This motif is most evident in the songs ‘Heartbreak Warfare’ and ‘Assassin’, which also happen to be my favourite songs on the album. Whilst the album isn’t anything groundbreaking or brilliantly diverse from his previous albums, John Mayer has obviously found something that works and ran with it and I pose the question, does every album an artist releases have to go in a completely new direction? No, of course not, just look at Coldplay! So over all I give this album a double thumbs up, not only does it make relaxing, chill out music but if you want something with meaningful lyrics then John Mayer is your name.

Scandal of the Month- Adam Lambert, as an Entity

In 'Scandal of the Month', the Sinema writers take a rare look into the seedy underbelly of celebrity that we so often avoid. This month: Adam Lambert.
For those of you who don't know, Adam Lambert is an American Idol cast-off, who kind of looks like the long-lost punk-rock Jonas Brother. Last week, Adam Lambert to the recent 'BSDM-sex-show' trend (as adopted by the likes of Rihanna and Lady Gaga) to whole new levels of crazy on a live, televised awards show. The performance involved him swinging women around by their naked thighs, dragging dancers around the stage by chokers, making out with men/women/who the fuck knows?, and ending by repeatedly thrusting the faces of several of his dancers into his crotch, in what has been described by The Guardian as 'oral simulation'.

Where do we stand on this? We freakin' loved it! It was absolutely (and hilariously) done in the worst possible taste, and, at the end of the day, it was entertainment. Plus, we think the fact that people are outraged by the man-on-man action is pretty damn stupid. Hardly anyone made a big deal about the threeway Britney/Christina/Madonna moment: surely, a lesbian three-way tongue sandwich between two teenage girls and someone a few years short of OAP-dom is alot more shocking than Lambert's tame stage kiss? Dry-humping that dancer's face might've been a step too far, mind...

Favorite Posts of the Month
Here are some of the latest and greatest goings-on At the Sinema:
Grizzly Bear and London Symphony Orchestra w/ St. Vincent- Charlie's rather magical concert review
5 Films to See This Winter- Got some free time on your hands this festiv season? Go to the cinema- you provide the popcorn, Chloe will pick the movie.
Eileen's Could-Go-Either-Way Upcoming Film Pick- With the last 'ECGEWUFP', 'Jennifer's Body', doing pretty darn good at the box office, will 'Kick-Ass' have the same success? Eileen discusses the pros and cons of what's billed to be the next big superhero flick.

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