Monday, February 28, 2011

I wrote a review of Stars And The Sea, Rasputina and Voltaire @ The Ottobar last Friday for the City Paper's Noise blog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011
random rap mix for Robbie:

1. M.O.P. f/ Styles P. - ""Bang Time"
2. Shawnna f/ Twista and Ludacris - "R.P.M."
3. Alchemist f/ Three 6 Mafia and Juvenile - "That'll Work"
4. Bubba Sparxxx f/ Sean Paul from the YoungBloodZ, Rich Boy and Pastor Troy - "Back In The Mud (Zone 4 Remix)"
5. DJ Quik & Kurupt f/ Yoyo - "Whatcha Wan Do"
6. Gucci Mane f/ Drumma Boy - "Follow Me"
7. Copywrite - "Happy Hour"
8. Fat Joe - "Prove Something"
9. Lil Boosie - "I'm Mad"
10. DMX f/ Cam'ron - "We Go Hard"
11. Talib Kweli - "Cold Rain"
12. Mystikal - "Mystikal Fever"
13. 8Ball & MJG - "Boom Boom"
14. Mouse On Tha Track - "Turn Da Beat Up (Original)"
15. Pimp C f/ Young Jeezy and Bun B - "Dickies"
16. Bo$$ Hog Barbarians - "Hog Love"
17. Fiend (International Jones) - "Absolutely"
18. Yelawolf f/ Nikkiya - "Speak Her Sex"
19. Ghostface Killah f/ Musiq Soulchild and K. Vox - "Love"
20. Playboy Tre - "Moving Dem Keys"

Last week I got to hang out with an old friend, Robbie, and he'd asked me to make him another mix CD of rap since he enjoyed the Freeway mix I made last year. He didn't give me any specific guidelines or requests, so I just kinda went through my iTunes library and pulled together a bunch of tracks I like, all from different regions and different years and different types of rap, all stuff from the 2000s but nothing more unifying than that. Hope he enjoys it!

Movie Diary

Saturday, February 26, 2011
a) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The wife watched this and I ended up seeing a lot of it, Gyllenhaal is just the worst in my opinion so it's fun to see him embarrassing himself in this movie with that goofy haircut, and Gemma Arterton looks fine as hell but not as much as in Clash of the Titans.

b) Valentine's Day
I don't feel like my standards for rom coms are very high but this was definitely just wishy washy and forgettable. A couple of the plots were engaging but they were kind of lost in the big ensemble tapestry. Also I felt weird about Emma Roberts being by far the most attractive girl in this movie to me.

c) Up In The Air
After hearing about how divisive this movie was, I thought I'd either hate it or find it too charmingly Clooneyish to hate, but ultimately it was neither, just kind of an inert, bland movie.

d) It Might Get Loud
Weirdly I sat down to watch this the day the White Stripes breakup was announced. Not a bad idea for a documentary but I didn't really love the approach; if they were only going to profile 3 guitarists, they probably should've had a wider variety instead of having a couple guys as similar as Jimmy Page and Jack White. And really The Edge's technique is way more interesting to me anyway so I liked his parts of the movie best, but the whole thing just felt kind of flimsy and not very focused on the guitar or the way these guys play it, and a lot of the time you're watching footage of White playing piano or listening to Page talk about recording Bonham's drums.

e) Where The Wild Things Are
The book was one of my favorites as a kid, I was always kinda on the fence about whether I was really interested in seeing this or not, and maybe seeing and really liking Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr. Fox nudged me toward being more optimistic about the odds of enjoying this other hipster auteur version of a childrens' book. And visually I really liked it and didn't totally recoil at the stamp Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers put on it, but it was a bit precious and morose for my tastes, and the campfire folk rock soundtrack by the girl from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was just gross. And after a while I was just sick of Tony Soprano grumbling and whining for half the movie and didn't feel much childlike wonder or anything like that at all.

f) Tell Tale
Weird little horror flick vaguely based on Poe with some really gruesome moments and some really overwrought dramatics and kind of nicely arty direction.

g) The Art of the Steal
Interesting little documentary about the Barnes art collection and all the crazy wheeling and dealing that's gone on around in recent years. Didn't really succeed in making me outraged the way docs like this seem to aim for, but it was a nice bit of food for thought and art history.

h) Table For Three
I generally regard it as a bad omen when a comedy has a cast consisting entirely of people who are better known for being good looking than being funny, but I have to say this movie starring Brandon Routh, Jesse Bradford and Sophia Bush kinda sorta bucked the trend and was, if not hilarious, then at least pretty decent and far more enjoyable than I expected. Sophia Bush in particular kinda reminded me of Kristen Bell with the kind of character she was doing, and it was nice to actually see her in something good for once since she's just amazingly hot.

i) Adopted
On some days I will actually defend a couple of Pauly Shore's movies, but this 'documentary' where he goes to Africa and makes stale jokes about celebrities adopting babies for 80 minutes is not one of them.

j) Miss March
I decided to watch this undignified teen sex romp without realizing that its directors and stars were a couple of the guys from the sometimes funny cable sketch show "The Whitest Kids U Know." It really felt like they were slumming or dumbing their style down, which wasn't exactly cerebral to begin with, and it was pretty goofy watching these 30ish guys pretend to be high school seniors.

k) Friday The 13th
My wife and I have an annual Valentine's Day tradition, which I've mentioned here before, of ordering Chinese food and watching horror movies (which originated when we were snowed in my apartment for our first V Day together years and years ago). So this is one of the movies we watched this year, just because it happened to be on HBO that weekend. I'm not a huge fan of the big '80s horror franchises, and even as those go I prefer Freddie to Jason, so I wasn't particularly excited to see a reboot of Friday The 13th, but really it did a decent job of giving you what you expected: some nice gorey scenes and lots of gratuitous nudity. Most of the discussion my wife and I had while watching it was rating the relative merits of the racks of the 3 or 4 girls who appeared topless in the movie, because my wife is awesome.

l) Outlander
I only watched this Jim Caviezel bomb for more than a few minutes because Sophia Myles, who looked really hot as a blonde in "Moonlight" and Tristan & Isolde, looked super blazing hot as a brunette in this.

m) Pontypool
I was channel flipping and not really looking to sit down with a whole movie and this just grabbed me and did not let go, really novel horror movie that flips the whole zombie genre on its ear by having most of the movie take place inside a radio station while the DJ and staff are trying to stay on the air and report on what's going on without really knowing what's happening, some really great weird twists and darkly funny moments.

n) Good Time Max
Was vaguely intrigued to see a movie written and directed by James Franco but man, this was just not good at all. Most of it was the totally weak premise but the execution didn't have much to it either.

o) Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten
Another music documentary with a lot of potential on paper that just didn't hold my interest that much, mostly because the director crammed parts of the movie full of hyperactive cuts of stock footage to compensate for a lack of video footage of some parts of Strummer's life, particularly early on.

p) Heckler
I thought maybe this would be one of those funny entertaining documentaries about the profession of standup comedy. Instead, it was Jamie Kennedy's thinly veiled score-settling against critics and people who talk about how terribly and unfunny he is on the internet (hi!), who he equates with nightclub hecklers with very shaky logic. The movie climaxes with Kennedy and Carrot Top reading reviews of each other's movies together, 'nuff said.

q) The Informers
The Bret Easton Ellis book upon this was based, featuring an interlocked collection of short stories, seems like it might've been interesting when it was published. But adapted into a movie now, it just feels derivative of all of the other movies since Pulp Fiction that revolve loosely connected narratives involving sex and drugs and violence in Los Angeles. Other than Amber Heard being naked a lot there's really not much to enjoy at all in this movie.

r) The Amateurs
It feels like there've been way too many movies about regular folks making a porno now, but at least this one instead of being the usual raunchy teen comedy is kind of an offbeat small town mockumentary full of amiable middle-aged character actors and driven by a sometimes hilarious voiceover by Jeff Bridges.

s) George Washington
This movie frustrated and annoyed me much in the same way as Brick, in that both are promising debuts from young filmmakers that seem to be bending over backwards to avoid indie movie cliches and end up with something even more preciously smugly film festival-y and off-puttingly stylized and conceptual. I really just tuned out so early in the movie and stopped caring what happened.

t) Dinner Rush
I like movies like this or Big Night or even broader comedies like Waiting or The Slammin' Salmon that really capture the particular rhythms of working in a restaurant, and this had some really nicely observed moments in that vein. I wasn't very drawn in by the actual plot, though.

u) I'm Not Rapaport
I always like watching Walter Matthau and this was just really nice and charming to watch, enjoyed the kind of stagey, talk-y aspects of it and how unpredictable the story was.

v) Hideaway
On the same Valentine's Day weekend that we watched Friday The 13th, I was browsing through the 'Fearnet' OnDemand menu of horror movies, and my wife, who was on the couch reading the Dean Koontz novel Hideaway at that very moment, pointed out that the selection included the 1995 adaptation of it, which Koontz actually disowned in an afterword in her copy of the book. Since she was just about to finish the book, we put on the movie just so she could alternately laugh at or be outraged by the various ridiculous ways it took liberties with the characters and plot of the book. But for me it was just a bad Jeff Goldblum movie with some entertaining commentary from the wife.

w) Fearless
Had heard this was one of the better Jeff Bridges movies, and he is good in it, but I dunno, this was a little bit slow and maudlin and I feel like it was trying to cast a spell on the view or put them in a contemplative state and it ended up just kinda boring and melodramatic.

x) Brewster's Millions
I love John Candy but never so much for his early goofy sidekick roles in stuff like Splash and Stripes, so I was surprised by how funny he is in this, really he gets more laughs than Pryor.

y) BUtterfield 8
I remember in high school seeing this movie on the shelf at a rental place and being kind of slackjawed at how blindingly hot Elizabeth Taylor used to be, since I grew up knowing her as the crazy old lady who's been married a million times. But I never got around to actually seeing this or any of her other movies from her prime until the other day when this came on TV, and it was pretty decent, although I feel like I've seen this story done too many times by lesser later movies that it felt a little more stale than it should.

z) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Likewise, watched this mainly just to just stare agog at how amazing Marilyn Monroe was back then, but this was a really enjoyable flick.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've been invited to speak on a panel at Cornell University next month, for a conference called Social Media & Electro Diasporas: a panel on (post-)regional dance musics and their transformation through the internet on Saturday, March 12th. I'll of course be there to discuss Baltimore club music but there'll be other experts on other scenes like New Orleans and Detroit and Chicago, should be pretty interesting. I'm gonna try and make a weekend trip of it, really my first time away from the family since my son was born, and maybe spend time in NYC while I'm up in the area, if anyone wants to hang or has any recommendations on what to do or where to stay.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I interviewed Height on the City Paper's Noise blog about the Height With Friends tour that's kicking off at the Golden West on Friday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I wrote a post on the City Paper's Noise blog about Street Scott's new single, "Rocket Man."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This week I'm going to be one of the guests in a panel discussion about hip hop on the radio program Politic With Permiss on WBOL. The show is this Thursday at 5P.M., and you can tune into the station at 1010 on the AM dial in the Baltimore area, or you can stream the show online at the WBOL website.

Monthly Report: January Albums

Sunday, February 20, 2011

1. Mouse On Tha Track - Swagga Fresh Freddie
It's been kind of heartening to see Mouse come into his own as an artist lately while Lil Boosie's been in hot water and Trill Ent.'s been on the wane; none of the label's non-Boosie rappers were ever that great anyway and Mouse actually has a pretty nice easygoing flow. Mouse has such a bright hard sound more in the vein of Mannie Fresh than the darker, more aggressive and/or spare production style that most mainstream Southern rap producers are on these days that this whole thing just feels like a breath of fresh air, "Money And Stunting" is a blast even in the second half when he's just kind of talking shit and absent-mindedly singing the hook, and "Turn Da Beat Up" is awesome.

2. Fiend (International Jones) - Tennis Shoes & Tuxedos
Fiend is another Louisiana rap journeyman, but has been around much longer than Mouse, since the No Limit '90s heyday. And I was intrigued to hear about this weird laid back 'International Jones' project, which really makes for an enjoyable mixtape. So many aging rappers these days that try to reinvent themselves or take up an alter ego end up just making shitty rock music or R&B, so it's really refreshing to hear Fiend make very different rap music than he used to but still rap music, great beats and a great voice with tons of charisma, although the mixing and/or mastering is kinda bad and there's at least one song where the hook vocals are so far in the red that it makes my ears hurt. The way he just raps over the piano intro on "Coupe Conversing" and then all the layers come in and he just keeps that flow going is beautiful.

3. Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows
My decade plus of stanning for Kweli has for the most part brought little but diminishing returns, and I thought maybe I'd totally kicked the habit with the completely unremarkable Reflection Eternal reunion album last year. But then Kweli dropped a new record and I went ahead and checked it out and it's actually pretty dope. He's finally out of the major label system and this feels very relaxed yet focused in a way that wishy washy records like Beautiful Struggle and Eardrum never were. "Palookas" with Sean Price is killer and the shifting time signature on "Cold Rain" is amazing, probably my favorite rap production of the year so far. But there's still some stuff like "Mr. International" that's exactly the kind of drudgery you expect from a Kweli album.

4. Social Distortion - Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes
I've never heard a Social D album before but always loved their singles and since this dropped in the middle of the January new release drought I decided to check it out. And it's pretty damn enjoyable! These guys have been sounding grizzled and weathered for a couple decades now so they wear their age well, but instead of getting slower or sadder about it they've added some piano and female backing vocals and kind of gotten this slight '70s Stones vibe going that makes the record really fun and swinging. I never realized it but the Gaslight Anthem is kind of in their lane as much as Springsteen's. The chorus on "Gimme The Sweet And Lowdown" is killer and I love the way the outro is ripped straight from Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio."

5. Gucci Mane - Gucci 2 Time
Gucci's output has definitely not been its most inspired lately, as evidenced by the terrible title track to Gucci 2 Time that's actually being called a single but I'm sure won't be any kind of hit (although it's hilarious that he has a song like that out right after "Gucci Time," like a sequel nobody asked for). This tape has some really bad guest verses, especially whoever that is on "Valentine Day," who almost makes me want to take back all the bad things I've said about OJ Da Juiceman. But there are some joints on here, and it really cracked me up to hear Gucci say "big bucks, no whammies" on "What I Do," which also features a great Waka hook.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I brought back my Baltimore club column on the City Paper's noise blog from a yearlong hiatus this week for The Club Beat with DJ Kenny K and DJ Mike Crosby, who are throwing their annual Aquarius & Pisces Birthday Bash this weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Over on the City Paper's Noise blog I wrote a post about "Fractionation" from the Seldon Plan's upcoming album.

TV Diary

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
a) "Mad Love"
I like three of the four leads in this show a lot (and Jason Biggs isn't that bad, I guess), so I was willing to give it a chance even though the title and the premise just seem beyond generic. So far it's kind of flat with occasional laughts or moments of genuine charm, but with this cast I'm willing to give it a chance to grow on me. Judy Greer's kind of not her usual wonderful self, though, usually she's more fun even if she's playing kind of a bitter bitchy character like in this.

b) "Mr. Sunshine"
Even with "Cougar Town" seeming like it might have some legs, there's still some pessimism attached to any new show starring a "Friends" alum, and this one even features noted showkiller Andrea Anders, whose multiple canceled series include "Joey." But there was something promising about Matthew Perry creating the show himself, and his hysterical "Daily Show" interview about it seemed like a good omen. Hard to say based on one episode how good it could end up, and it definitely wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't last long, but honestly I really like this so far, good cast, fairly sharp writing.

c) "Traffic Light"
The pilot for this was just really off-putting, similar "this couple does things this way and that couple does things that way" joke structure as "Better With You" and "Perfect Couples," unappealing cast, and a really sentimental reveal at the end of the pilot that just came out of nowhere and felt completely hokey and unearned.

d) "The Chicago Code"
I want to give this a chance just because it's got the same showrunner as "Terriers" but I've really just got gritty cop drama fatigue and have a hard time taking any real interest in shows like this or "Southside," especially now that I'm rewatching "Homicide: Life On The Street" and remembering how much more I like it than these similar new shows.

e) "Let's Stay Together"
Earlier this season there was a "30 Rock" gag about Dot Com creating a black sitcom called "Let's Stay Together," so it was kind of weird and surreal 3 months later to see that BET has a new show with that exact title. The show itself is just kinda OK, characters aren't very memorable but it's at least kinda light and breezy.

f) "Ebert Presents: At The Movies"
After other people ran his show into the ground, it's nice to see Ebert have one more go and relaunching his old franchise and trying to do it right. It's hard to say how well they're doing, since honestly the baseline for a movie critic show is not easy to quantify, but I like the format and the new hosts aren't especially clever or engaging but seem smart and honest enough with their reviews.

g) "Harry's Law"
This show is so fluffy and old-fashioned that it'd be hard to believe it's on an actual network and not some basic cable channel like USA if it wasn't created by a proven hitmaker like David E. Kelly or starred an Oscar winner like Kathy Bates. And honestly it's not bad but it does feel very lightweight and goofy, especially considering that the other fluffy new legal drama that actually is on USA, "Fairly Legal," is way better.

h) "Lights Out"
This coming out at the same time as The Fighter didn't help but I really just rolled my eyes at the prospect of watching anything that seemed to be so loaded up with boxer movie cliches, especially after learning that the main character's nickname is, ugh, Lights. But I went ahead and watched the first couple episodes and they weren't bad. The "this season on 'Lights'" montage at the end of the pilot made the whole thing look really exciting but I don't know if my interest will sustain all the way through it.

i) "Shameless"
This show's appeal is totally in how debauched and giddily taboo-breaking it is, which is a given just from the title, but I'm still kinda feeling out how much fun I'm actually having with these characters and how much I'm just kind of along for the ride but don't necessarily care what happens or feel that entertained by it. Plus it seems like around the 5th episode they suddenly started going really heavy on jumpcuts and splitscreens out of nowhere, which was jarring and annoying, and there are some characters, like Lip, that I wouldn't mind seeing more of, and others I wouldn't mind seeing less of. Definitely one of the better new shows on right now, though.

j) "Justified"
I was always a little unenthused about this show in the first season, but I could feel my enjoyment of it instantly ramp up with the second season premiere, just love where they're going with the new villains and really seeming to have fun with the whole vibe of the show more than ever, "Justified" might be growing the beard in 2011.

k) "Archer"
I still think H. Jon Benjamin is hilarious more often than not, but with "Bob's Burgers" on and me enjoying that more and more, it's just highlighting that I kind of find the writing and the dialogue style on this show plain annoying.

l) "Attack Of The Show"
I'm not ready to join the Olivia Munn fan club or anything, but her occasional good moments on "The Daily Show" and "Perfect Couples" have kind of helped underline how good she was on "Attack Of The Show," and how much emptier this (admittedly already kind of empty) show is with their new replacement bubbly female co-host, who's just kind of boring.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I wrote a post about The Death Set's "I Miss You Beau Velasco" for the City Paper's Noise blog.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I wrote piece for Splice Today about the Showtime series "Episodes," how it satirizes the topic of American TV adapting British shows, and how various examples thereof are faring this season ("Shameless," "Skins," "Being Human," "Top Gear," etc.).

Monthly Report: January Singles

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1. Avril Lavigne - "What The Hell"
I feel like I'm such a predictable pushover for Max Martini productions at this point, especially since last month's #1 here was "Raise Your Glass," but I was kinda surprised at how much I liked this since I hated "Girlfriend" and haven't even really enjoyed an Avril single since her first album.

2. Slash f/ Fergie - "Beautiful Dangerous"
When Slash showed up for BEP's halftime show at the Super Bowl and Fergie sang "Sweet Child O' Mine," all I could think about is that I wish they'd performed their actual current single together instead of pulling out that overplayed oldie, this song is kind of awesome.

3. Fantasia - "I'm Doin' Me"
Haven't heard this nearly as much as the single that preceded it but it sounded really great when I did hear it.

4. Jimmy Eat World - "My Best Theory"
I totally trashed this on Singles Jukebox when I first listened to it, and lamented it as part of JEW's continuous post-Bleed American slide as a singles act, but then it gradually started to sound kind of big and swaggering and monolithic.

5. Ginuwine f/ Tank - "Heaven"
I like how Tank has these very simple, ethereal backing vocals that bring to mind a similar role he played on Aaliyah's "Come Over." Kinda starting to look forward to Ginuwine's new album, although also in part because it's awesomely named Elgin.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I wrote a review of the Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad's album Boneslinky! for

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I wrote a post on the City Paper Noise blog about the "Don't Shoot" video by Shark Tank, the new rap group featuring Baltimore's Height and Mickey Free, Pittsburgh's Lord Grunge of Grand Buffet, and Canada's Brendan Richmond, who goes by B.Rich but obviously has nothing to do with the Baltimore B.Rich. Their album release party is at the Windup Space this Friday.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I wrote a post on the City Paper's Noise blog about Ckrisis's "Tore Up," a Baltimore club-ish local rap single that I first posted on Gov't Names way back in 2007 that Ckrisis recently got a digital distribution deal with Interscope to re-release.

Netflix Diary

Thursday, February 03, 2011
a) Despicable Me
Back when this movie first came out last summer my son was just starting to kind of develop his sense of humor, and one day he just totally cracked up laughing at the minions in the TV commercials, so I was kind of excited to rent this and let him see it, or at least a little of it before he had to go to bed. And he did look at the minions and laugh once, so that made me happy. But aside from that, this was a really sweet, entertaining movie. Kinda crazy to see an animated movie where the voice cast is almost entirely regulars from Apatow movies.

b) Predators
I kind of liked how much this movie was driven by the human characters and there wasn't a whole lot of constant Predator action because, to be honest, those things were always kinda boring to me. I would've enjoyed it more if I hadn't ended up reading spoilers about Topher Grace's character beforehand, though.

c) Knight And Day
I really liked how this felt like basically a weird commentary on action movies and how insane all the people and things going on in them tend to be by any reasonable standard, complete with Tom Cruise at his most crazy-eyed, but not in an overly winky meta way. It was just kind of breezy and fun while at the same time totally bizarre, although I kind of tuned out at times so I'm not really sure if it was executed as well as I'd like to think it was.

d) Jonah Hex
In spite of this movie's utter commercial and critical failure, I wanted to believe this would be worth watching on some level and it really just wasn't. It wasn't terrible and there was some kernel of a fun popcorn movie hidden in there that occasionally showed itself, but for the most part it was just weirdly lifeless.

e) Cop Out
As much as people might denounce this as Kevin Smith cranking out a readymade Hollywood movie instead of following his inconsistent and unrewarding muse, it speaks volumes about how much more Jason Lee has sold out and blanded down that when he showed up, I didn't even think about how he used to be in Kevin Smith movies and just thought oh, this lame guy in another lame movie. I actually did kind of like this overall -- Tracy Morgan never quite got his footing or maybe the writers just didn't know how to utilize him, but Bruce is a pro at this flippant action comedy shit and keeps things running relatively smoothly.

f) "Homicide: Life On The Streets," Season 1
This show was a big deal to me back when it was on the air, mainly because they were always shooting around my dad's neighborhood and it was so exciting to see familiar Baltimore scenery on TV, but also because it was a pretty great show and Andre Braugher in particular was just fantastic on it. But in recent years it's been kind of eclipsed by "The Wire" and I'd always meant to revisit it, especially after reading the Homicide book. And it's fun to see the first couple episodes in a whole other light now that I'm thinking of the stories in the book that they're based on and the people David Simon wrote about that the characters are based on. Some of the direction is a little dated, all those '90s jump cuts, but all things considered I'm really enjoying it.

g) Some Kind Of Wonderful
Still working my way through some John Hughes movies I hadn't seen before he died, and he didn't direct this one but it's really so clearly his screenplay, and not necessarily in a good way; the story is pretty much a gender-reversed Pretty In Pink, except not remotely as enjoyable. Mary Stuart Masterson's pretty cute in it, at least, although I was pretty disappointed in Lea Thompson considering she was the bomb in Back To The Future just a couple years earlier.

h) The Evil Dead
Since I've been really enjoying watching "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." lately I decided to go back to the beginning of Bruce Campbell's career. I'd seen bits of the other two Evil Dead movies but never the first, and a lot of the fun was in just seeing Sam Raimi's low budget beginnings and listening to the commentary tracks (although Campbell's commentary was way more entertaining than Raimi's).

i) Pink Flamingos
Likewise, I've seen lots of John Waters movies and like anyone from Baltimore I consider him kind of a cultural hero, but I'd never seen the one that started it all. And really, I expected after almost 40 years this wouldn't be as shocking as its reputation, but it really is pretty disgusting and over-the-top. And like The Evil Dead, a lot of the fun is in listening to the commentary, Waters tells the best stories.