Thursday, March 12, 2009

Billy Corgan Apparently Needs Money

Wow, Billy. Tough times getting to you too?

Here's an excerpt from a not-so-recent (2004) Newsweek interview with the Pumpkins' prickish front man:

The notion of "selling out," licensing songs, how has that changed? Fifteen years ago, that seems like it would have been unacceptable. Career death. Is all this completely different now?

I'm not romantic about the notion of "selling out." People who are not in your position deciding what is and isn't selling out I always thought was a crock of s---. The song I wrote, "Today," which ended up being a pretty big song--that song literally saved my life. I was completely suicidal, and I wrote that song in a cold bedroom on a day where it was like, "I'm either going to kill myself today, or I'm going to live because I'm sick of thinking about this." When I played it, it was an intense, extreme feeling. Last year, I was offered heavy, heavy money to license that song. I actually turned down two huge, huge, seven-figure-plus deals last year for two songs.

For "Today" and for which other song?

"Tonight, Tonight." That's a fundamentally difficult position to be in. At this point, it's just free money. Song's already been played. It's been exploited. The record company's literally begging me: go ahead and take these commercials. At this point in my life, I don't feel comfortable. Those songs are the reason I'm alive. If your music is not sacred to the point where it's a really, really, really heavy decision about whether or not you would allow somebody else to exploit it, then what's not for sale? For a long time there was this dream that you could hit this utopian point The Beatles hit. "All you need is love." You'd write that song that would change the world. That seems to have gotten lost. Now songs are just vehicles for personality. The song is not the sacred thing anymore.

That's why your new stuff doesn't really rock. Ass.

Time to revisit Siamese Dream...which, by the way, was released in 1993. Wow.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watch Out for the Watchmen

This is a great little video from one many imaginative contributors to Newgrounds. If only Watchmen had been made into a Saturday morning cartoon... Thanks to Kent for the heads up on this.

As for the film (which opened today), go see it. All two hours and forty five minutes of it. I liked it. It does justice to the book, an already mammoth undertaking, keeping most everything intact. Only a few side plots are axed or shortened and the ending is altered a little. I actually think the film's ending is better than the graphic novel's. It at least makes the book more accessible to people who haven't read it. The film is paced very well and rarely drags. That being said, it definitely feels like two hours and forty five minutes. The action sequences are truly exhilerating and the CGI and special effects are all well done. The film does a good job in developing the characters in the same way that the book does. More so, much of the dialogue from the book is used word for word in the film. Good for the writers. No reason to change Alan Moore's already excellent characters and story.

It is well acted for the most part, standouts being Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach (There is no Walter Kovacs). Malin Ackerman as Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre began to grate on me after awhile. Matthew Goode gives a nice, effective performance as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias but is a little too much of a pussy for me. Not that I would've done a better job. I would've come off as a pussy, too. Yay, me. Billy Crudup is appropriately detached as Dr. Manhattan, however, I always thought Manhattan would have a much deeper voice. Jeffrey Dean Morgan looks and acts every bit the part of Edward Blake/The Comedian. That's just good casting (not to take away from Morgan's work).

In the end, the film of Watchmen, one of Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time, is as good as it can possibly be. Those who are disappointed by it are expecting too much. The film may not get Alan Moore's stamp of approval, but it certainly gets mine.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Boy And His Blob

A Boy And His Blob for the NES was one of the best (and most difficult, IMO) entries in the system's incredible library. You controlled the titular Boy and you would feed your Blob different flavored jellybeans, causing him to turn into various objects like ladders, bubbles, and trampolines to help you deal with whatever situation you came across. I have many fond memories of playing this game while wearing footed pajamas.

Well, the Boy and the Blob are getting an all new adventure on the Wii, and
I'm officially excited.

Nintendo Power broke the story in their most recent issue, but you can check out all the drool-worthy screenshots over at Kotaku. Seriously, the game looks gorgeous.

Currently, the game is slated for a Fall '09 release. I'll be waiting impatiently.

Thanks to Kotaku for the heads up.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Strindberg + helium

If you live in Chicagoland and you haven't checked out the Edvard Munch exhibit at the Art Institute yet, I highly recommend you do so before it's over. I found it equally fascinating, moving, and excellent educational experience.

Munch was buddies with Swedish playwright August Strindberg (as well as Norway's own master dramatist Henrik Ibsen), which is not surprising when you think of the dark nature of both Munch's and Strindberg's bodies of work. There is even a painting of Strindberg's in the Munch exhibit at the Art Institute!

All of this talk of Strindberg reminded me of a site that my good friend PKone and I got quite a kick out of last February during out NYC sojourn: Strindberg + helium. I implore you to watch all of the misadventures of Strindberg and Helium as they are two parts delight to every one part miseryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.


This is it. The 100th post. Dread Pirate Robots is officially 100 posts old. Officially.

"How long can you possibly keep this up?" you asked.

"Indefinitely," said I...

...and there was much rejoicing.