Monthly Archives: May 2011

Videos of Extreme Silliness

1) To celebrate a reception for youth in performing arts programs, the Queen and Buckingham Palace hired a bunch of college dance students to do a flash mob performance in front of Buckingham Palace. I just like the fact that they are dancing in front of a palace. We don’t get that a lot in North America except when it’s Disneyland:

2) When their flight was delayed, some very bored guys decided to entertain themselves with performance art in the airport, which was caught on camera:

3) Yes, it’s wonderful that Green Lantern is getting his very own superhero movie, but the reality is that superheroes can be cruel:

4) We love you old man:

5) It’s nice to know that the next generation will take good care of the world. Don’t hate them just because they are awesome:

6) And just when you may be feeling blue in the world, remember that there are otters:

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Improv Everywhere

Because videos are easier right now than entries of substance (although which Doctor Who actor is the snappiest dresser? Discuss.) here’s a bundle of relatively recent ones from Improv Everywhere, one of my favorite groups. (Although perhaps one should call it a movement, rather than a simple group as they are, indeed, everywhere.) They didn’t necessarily invent flashmobs, but let’s just say they laid down the blueprint for what now goes on. And because of that, people are now so used to strange things suddenly occurring among them, that they just laugh and take pictures with the cameras in their phones.

To celebrate the restoration of a portrait of King Phillip IV of Spain, the actual King Phillip showed up at the museum to stand next to his centuries old portrait and sign autographs, much to the delight of the visitors, until they got kicked out because the museum didn’t recognize a goldmine when it was handed to them:

At a public ice skating rink that cooperated with the troupe, a seemingly hopeless ice skater can’t get off the ice for the zamboni machine to resurface the rink, but gradually becomes a creature of art to the audience’s delight:

At the Gel Conference on technology, the audience in the lecture hall thought they were hearing about a new social media site. Instead, they got something even better — a musical number, “Gotta Share”:

You can find even more Improv Everywhere stunts, including the famous pantsless subway rides, at the Improv Everywhere channel:

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A Motley of Videos

The folks at Funny Or Die come up with some fun videos, but this one is a doozy with an all star cast and a poke at thirty years of film:

The governor of Maine, Paul LePage, who, like a number of far right Republican governors currently in office, has gone insane, decided that a mural depicting the history of labor in the government Dept. of Labor offices was not pro-business enough. It did not, for instance, depict bosses standing in shiny glory while politicians bowed down to them and bent over, exhausted workers fed them grapes, and so it had to go to show off far right power.  So some enterprising students in peaceful protest put the mural back up on the government building their taxes paid for, at least for a little bit. Here’s their adventure:

Britain’s Got Talent has consistently produced some amazing and weird talents. This one, Edward Reid, a music teacher from Glasgow, Scotland, shows the truth of the old Survivor song: It’s the Singer, Not the Song — something that the singers on all these competition songs need to face — a good singer can turn any song into a performance. (Unfortunately, it’s one of those embedded, double click videos, but worth the extra click.):

The Far Eastern Movement hit Like a G6 seems to be the favorite when it comes to autotune spoofs. I earlier showed the song being adapted for Harry Potter, in Like It’s Quidditch:

And now comes an even more hilarious music video parody based on D&D playing, from Connor Anderson, called Roll a D6:

Wedding videos are getting more and more elaborate, and this couple, both of whom work for NBC, decided to go all out and make a fake music video to the Black Eyed Peas’ sample song The Time (Dirty Bit) that is now going viral. It’s nice to see normal people being silly. Congratulations Emre and Joya!

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It’s May! It’s May! The Month of Great Dismay and Movie Previews

Climbing out of my sickbed stupor slowly, I will be getting to the SFF novels out there, but in the meantime, along with the tulips, the summer movie season is in full swing, and this year, it’s a super sized comics edition with something like 50 comic adaptation movies coming out. Okay, maybe not 50, but if Marvel and DC Comics keep it up at this pace, I can see things getting ugly in the next few years, not to mention all the graphic novels like Cowboys and Aliens.

In the comics category in May, we have:

1) First up Marvel’s Thor, where the arrogant Norse god of thunder ends up on Earth to be a superhero and save humans and Asgard from the apocalypse. It stars very big Chris Hemsworth and the very small, Oscar-winning Natalie Portman. And because Kenneth Branagh directed it, he also got Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgard, as well as Colm Feore and Rene Russo. Thor is a rather humorless superhero in the Marvel universe, but the trailer does indicate that maybe they jazzed it up just a tad.

2) Priest, adapted from the Korean comic of the same name, and starring Paul Bettany and Maggie Q. It’s a post-apocalyptic alternate world in which humans have battled vampires for eons, living in walled cities under the protection of the Church. Bettany plays a priest, a warrior against the vampires now told that he no longer has a mission. When his niece gets kidnapped by vampires, however, the priest breaks his vows to go after her. I’ve done the trailer before, back before I really knew anything about the film. It’s basically a martial arts film with gooey vampires, but I’ve been known to like stuff like that:

Next up are the sequels:

3) The biggie is of course Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, in which Jack Sparrow goes in search of the Fountain of Youth. I might not be as interested in this one except that they cannibalized Tim Powers’ historical fantasy novel On Stranger Tides to serve as plot for the film and it’s good stuff. Plus, I like seeing Ian McShane and he’s playing legendary pirate Captain Blackbeard and Dame Judi Dench is doing something in it, and it has killer mermaids. Killer mermaids is worth a look:

4) Also on the sequel plate, for the kids and kids at heart, Kung Fu Panda 2, wherein Po the Panda and his crew take an important road trip:

5) And for the grown-ups, the gang suits up for The Hangover 2, in which the most inept wedding party ever wakes up not knowing what’s gone on in Bangkok, Thailand and having to find this time the brother of the bride:

Then there are the additional summer comedies:

6) Everything Must Go, in which Will Farrell plays a drunk, depressed man who loses his job and has his wife leave him, changing the locks on their house and putting his stuff out on the front lawn. So he has a yard sale, which just might save him. It’s based on a short story by Raymond Carver, so it’s even erudite, with beer:

7) Bridesmaids aims to be sort of a The Hangover with women, starring SNL vets Maya Rudolph as the bride and Kristen Wiig as her in over her head maid of honor:

And lastly, we have the quirky, strange, indie projects that have debuted at various film festivals and used to seldom launch in the summer season but now regularly do:

8) Passion Play is a fantasy movie starring Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray and Megan Fox. Rourke is a traveling musician on the run who discovers Fox, an actual winged woman, in a carnival and tries to help her, landing her in Murray’s clutches:

9) Beginners stars Ewan McGregor as a troubled guy falling in love and Christopher Plummer as his widowed, newly out of the closet gay father who develops cancer. The dog gets the best lines:

10) In Jumping the Broom, an African American couple from two different economic backgrounds are getting married in Martha’s Vineyard and their families clash. This seems maybe a little dated to me, but on the other hand, when the Smith family seem to be the only black actors to get major movie roles these days, this does allow a showcase for some great acting talent, and it looks to be a mix of funny and bittersweet:

11) And lastly, Hesher, in which a troubled young boy with a dead mother and grieving dad (Rainn Wilson) makes friends with a timid store clerk — played yet again by Natalie Portman who accidentally ended up the year’s MVP actress — and a messed-up vagabond named Hesher, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, getting his long haired freak on:

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