Wednesday, August 6, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things; July Edition

July is always a great month, it begins with a bang; fireworks displays, watermelon eating contests, patriotism, then sizzles out into August, leaving us with a month left of summer heat and good times. It's the apex of the season, a counterpart to the winter wonderland of December, (a mere five months away, Christmas shoppers). July is the Heatmiser of the 12 months and this year's Julio was stuffed with great music, television, movies and pop culture. These are a few of my favorite things, July Edition!

Music
In the heat of the summer I love one thing above all others, ice. Whether it be in the form of Popsicles (my favorite? Bomb pops!) or Au natural, tinkling in a glass of iced tea, ice is a necessity in July. So when I go for music in the summertime, I listen to tons of old school rap, many of whom share a great affinity for ice. Ice T, Ice Cube, and my favorite; LL Cool J. This song, from LL's 1987 classic, Bigger and Deffer, is a great summer love song, perfect for those hot summer nights on the beach, flirting with strangers in the heat.




Movies

It goes without saying that July is one of the biggest months in the Hollywood calendar. The Great American Summer Blockbuster is born in July and steams its way throughout the rest of the summer (and countless months of Netflix orders). This month I enjoyed two of these major movies, both of which I feel broke mold by being both smart and entertaining for a broad and general popcorn eating audience.

Although Wall-E technically premiered in June, I didn't get around to enjoying it until this past month. There is a lot I could say about Wall-E, I felt it was a beautifully crafted effort made by Pixar, who succeeded in blurring the line between reality and computer imaging, but mostly I loved the so-cute-its-painful love story between two beeping and booping robots, set to the Hello Dolly! soundtrack of all things. For a self proclaimed cynic, it melted my heart. On the flip side of my July movie coin is The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's now record breaking blockbuster starring Christian Bale reprising his role as Batman, and an eerie performance from (only heightened by the now infamous real life tragedy of) Heath Ledger as The Joker. The Dark Knight was more a crime drama than comic book and for that, I loved it. Although I disagree that it was on par with The Departed, it redefined the comic book genre and where these movies can go, into uncharted, scary territory; reality.









Television

Summer usually sucks in terms of the t.v. fodder, most people are outside enjoying the warm weather and for the most part, summer t.v. is awful and full of mass produced, stale reality competitions. Thank God for Premium cable channels. Showtime's summer line up has included three of my favorite series of the season; Weeds, Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, and Secret Diary of a Call Girl. With Weeds, a series that has gone through a lot of changes, the elements which make it so adored by so many have endured through this season (gimme as much Kevin Nealon as you've got Weeds!) keeping it familiar and relatively fresh despite my increasing annoyance with Nancy Botwin. Bullshit! has been satiating my love of intellectual, anger filled rants for a few seasons now, and this season has kept up with the Las Vegas duo's disdain for almost any niche of oddity, be it Dolphins, the Green Movement or Porn. For me, this season has played out like Ripley's Believe it Not! for the libertarian which hides inside of me, like a Dolphin swimming through a labyrinth. Showtime's latest series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl may sound like a really lame and sexed up Sex and the City rip off, but trust me, this British import is quite entertaining. Belle, the whore in question, breaks the fourth wall with her direct camera dialogue, which works quite well for the series and adds a dimension to the show that I find enjoyable. Yes, it is sometimes quite explicit, but fuck, it's Showtime.

Pop Culture

Summer is the BEST! time for silly, pop culture stories that grab headlines. The past has given us sensational shark attacks, walking killer fish and not one, but two Michael Jackson trials. This being an election year, the best snippets of pop culture hilarity have emerged out of the mud slinging between John McCain and Barack Obama. The best part about this election is that it's the first time in which You Tube is a truly formidable foe for both sides. For the time being political related videos have taken over the usual splay of skateboarding dogs and 'lil mama is a bitch for dissing beat box' confessionals. My favorite;



Honorable Mentions

Camp Rock, Hippie head bands, Brad and Angelina's perfect future brats,Bravo TV; Shear Genius, Flipping Out and Project Runway

1 comment:

Alex P. Keaton said...

1. Its boogie bots not beat box! I'm only correcting you out of fear that the boogie bots fans will kill your family!

2. Nancy Botwin is not that annoying! I can see what you mean, shes not the same. But I just love her and I want her to have like 50 of my babies.