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January 23, 2008 07:34PM
Hearing the soundtrack for JUNO all over the place now reminds me that I'm very happy that I left my copy of the first Moldy Peaches disc in the basement, where it mildewed. Then I remember that it was a Christmas present from my brother and feel bad about it.

When I went to see JUNO, I was prepared to hate it, which I did for the first 20 minutes - the most unbearably "ain't we so clever!" stretch of film-making I've had to sit through in years. Then I kind of enjoyed it. Now thinking back on it I hate it all over again. The only things that make it bearable are JK Simmons, Jennifer Garner and Allison Janney, because they're the only characters that the wunderkind screenwriter didn't seem to have time to turn into hipster caricatures, and therefore perform the welcome function of being somewhat believable as human beings.

Anyhow, here's hoping that Diablo Cody's flash in the pan as a screenwriter is even shorter than it deserves to be. And if she can drag Kimya Dawson back into obscurity with her when she leaves, she'll have performed a useful function after all.

JUNO is the latest in a long line of crap that is getting hailed as genius because it's "indie film!" and not "soul-less studio product." See LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, GARDEN STATE and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING as further examples of complete shit that get taken more seriously because they rose up throw the film festival circuit instead of the studio system. But in reality, they're just the same thing as the fake indie labels set up by the majors to earn credibility amongst the dunderheads who take such things seriously, and don't understand that the first Veruca Salt album was just as annoying on Minty Fresh as it was on Geffen, whether it was "indie" or not.

Just had to get this off my chest in the wake of the Oscar nominations. And I actually have no problem with Ellen Page getting nominated for best actress for JUNO - it took major talent to make someone's ridiculous conception of an oh-so-hip teenager as likeable as she did. So she's cool. Plus, she played Kitty Pryde in the third X-Men movie. Just wish Diablo Cody had learned to write dialogue from watching actual people and not highlight reels of the Gilmore Girls (which was a great show, but the writers there understood how to balance hipness and reality).

Post Edited (01-23-08 15:35)
Re: Juno
January 23, 2008 08:16PM
Anyone on this board seen There Will Be Blood yet? I read that Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead did the score for that movie. Any opinions?
Re: Juno
January 23, 2008 08:31PM
I hope to see it this weekend. PT Anderson has yet to make a movie that's anything less than great, in my opinion. Johnny Greenwood's score is getting a lot of acclaim - I haven't picked up the soundtrack yet - I have a policy of not even looking at soundtracks until after I've seen the movie, because on more than one occasion a track title has given away a major plot development, so now I have nothing to do with them till after I've seen the movie.

There was a lot of talk that Greenwood would be nominated for an Oscar, but it didn't happen.
Re: Juno
January 24, 2008 04:55PM
I read somewhere that Greenwood's TWBB soundtrack was ineligible for consideration, due to the music not being originally composed for the film or something like that. The reasoning didn't make any sense to me.

I've had several friends rave about TWBB, but I have to admit, with every trailer I see it's like Daniel Day Lewis has a sign over his head screaming "WATCH ME ACT!" Though maybe it's suitable to the character. I'm willing to give it a shot.

I haven't seen a PT Anderson film since Boogie Nights (Magnolia didn't appeal and I didn't see Punch Drunk Love since I refuse to give my money to anything Adam Sandler is involved in), though, so I'm overdue.

I haven't seen Juno, but I feel like I should. People either love it or hate it, it seems. My sister loved it and purchased the soundtrack, which was my first exposure to the Moldy Peaches. They do indeed suck.
Re: Juno
January 24, 2008 04:11PM
Funny you should rip Juno yesterday because the Washington Post music critic did the exact same thing - Juno sdtk sucks

I'm just impressed that you guys get out see these movies. Too expensive and not enough time for me.

Re: Juno
January 24, 2008 04:36PM
I hated Juno for it's message.

I once had to endure the Moldy Peaches for about 30 minutes before someone from the crowd jumped onstage and gave Adam Green what for. I would have been appalled if I wasn't laughing so hard. Can't wait to see what a band called Antsy Pants could do.

As I was walking out of the theatre after the Juno showing an indie kid told me Diablo Cody used to be a stripper. She needs to dig the clear heels out and hit the pole again.
Re: Juno
January 25, 2008 11:44PM
Wow, that Washington Post review is beautifully bilious. Nice.

As for the film, I thought it was very smart, very funny - a bit of Gilmore Girls-level snappy dialogue (and pop-culture addiction) set against a backdrop of faceless suburbia.

Part of me wanted to dislike the film for being too cute, too clever, wrapping up everything so neatly. You can see why it's being called a fairy tale or a fable; everything is just too neat-and-tidy at the end.

Things I did like:

1. The parents are real people, not cartoons. You see many films featuring teenage protagonists with the sagacity and vocabulary of people in their thirties, but whose parents are just cardboard. Here, Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons get plenty of brains, savvy and ironic humor of their own.
2. The ironic touchstones (music, track outfits, etc.) seem to serve the plot, not just add to the "let's laugh at the funny unhip people" level.
3. The cartoon intro sections
4. Jason Reitman's sense of comedic timing
5. Last and far from least, holy cow, is Ellen Page ever good. Amazing performance. I didn't think all the acting was so brilliant, but she can probably carry any movie she's in based on this kind of work.

I think the music and pop-culture addiction added a lot to the film. Most of the selections are apparently Ellen Page's herself, including all the Moldy Peaches/Kimya Dawson tracks. Frankly, while I don't like Dawson that much (a bit too much Daniel Johnston-level of willful naivete), you can see why that kind of earnest-amateur performance fits the film's aesthetic. (Dawson is getting amazing publicity for the soundtrack, and I hope K Records makes a shitload of money.) However, there's basically no reason that a fan of the Melvins and the slasher-gore genres would be listening to indie folk.

By the way, the movie's particularly amusing if you're watching it with a pregnant woman whose father is an HVAC technician.
Re: There Will Be Blood
January 26, 2008 01:46AM
I think it's a great and flawed film. But it's flaws are somewhat covered by how much of it works and the ambition of it. I don't think it hits the heights it reaches for but it's a remarkable film anyway - the only thing that let's it down for me is that I started to see its seams about halfway through.........seemed a little artificial after the plot takes a dramatic turn and then the drama struggles to keep up with the philosophical stuff Paul Thomas Anderson is imposing on it.

Still, long great stretches and Day-Lewis is a force of nature. I also thought the score was great - sometimes serving as a counterpoint to the drama and sometimes illuminating it but not in the obvious John Williams sort of orchestral dictatorship kind of way (you will feel something NOW, cue the strings).

No Country For Old Men is still the best film I saw in 2007 though and that one hardly has any music in it at all though.........

Re: There Will Be Blood
January 26, 2008 07:44PM
I agree - it's a great movie, but the last act feels off - right about the time it makes its last leap forward in time, it goes off the rails a little bit. It just seems like the last actions of the three main characters don't quite ring true. It's not that they seem out of character, just that the movie doesn't quite do all the work it needs to to get them into place for the climax. You can easily accept them acting the way they do, but you wish the movie had been just a little more careful getting them there.

Still, a great flick and one that, like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, I expect to keep working away at the edge of my brain for the next few weeks.

And Greenwood's score is powerful, but I can see why it went un-nominated. I can't imagine the Oscar orchestra being too thrilled attempting to play excerpts from it.
Re: Juno
January 28, 2008 02:29PM
My wife went out with the girls yesterday to see Juno. She came home and said she liked the film, but then added, "Have you ever heard the Moldy Peaches? Oh my gosh, they're terrible! Tell me you haven't wasted money on any of their CDs!"

Re: Juno
January 28, 2008 03:57PM
The Moldy Peaches are perfect for JUNO, though - abject mediocrity masquerading as hip and clever.

And HAVE YOU wasted any money on their CDs?

Post Edited (01-28-08 15:27)
Re: Juno
January 28, 2008 08:52PM
Nope, sure haven't, thanks.
Re: Juno
January 28, 2008 10:17PM
i was wasting money on the brand spanking new moldy peaches album september 11th 2001 when some dude came running into the store yelling "we're being attacked, we're being attacked".

pretty much just a load of pants, but it was a nice diversion when i finally got around to listening a couple weeks later. i still think it's a fun little record.
Re: Juno
January 31, 2008 12:16PM
she likes "Raw Power" over the Jason Bateman character's dubious musical taste. That's enough for me!

nah, seriously, it was definitely on the cutesy side but it was enjoyable. breno wrote:
Re: Juno
January 31, 2008 06:26PM
I did write that. I also wrote " " and " then !!!!"
Re: Juno
January 31, 2008 08:56PM
For me, the music was the worst part of an okay movie. Much worse than all that hipster jive they kept spouting. [Actually, the soundtrack is just more jive , I guess.]

We don't actually hear any tracks by bands Juno claims to like. A girl obsessed with American pre-punk is unlikely to get off too much on Kimya Dawson.

And I refuse to believe there are guys my age (mid-thirties) who love music, and yet think that the height of Grunge was an interesting musical era. I just refuse to believe it.

I dunno, maybe the whole movie WAS a jaded fakeout.

Post Edited (02-01-08 15:46)
Re: Juno
February 02, 2008 01:30AM
I don't like K. Dawson or The Moldy Peaches. I see roughly 2-3 movies in the cinema a year. Per the original post, I, too, have been generally unimpressed with the "Indie Crowd-pleaser" genre (excepting THE STATION AGENT) the past 5-10 years. I was mildly interested in checking out JUNO at some point. After reading these posts, I feel as if I must see it.

As an aside, I never thought Ivan Reitman was much of a director (get out your slings and arrows), and I didn't care for Jason Reitman's THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, either.

As I watched LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, I quickly came to the conclusion they were making a less funny version of NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION (Steve Carrell=Chevy Chase: discuss). I've since realized others share that sentiment.

Zach Braff seemed like a somewhat likeable dude before I saw GARDEN STATE. Afterwards, I wanted to punch him. Repeatedly.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING just sucked from start to finish.
Re: Juno
February 04, 2008 12:16AM
I didn't like that a supposed hipster teenager would refer to bass as bass guitar or The Stooges as Iggy And The Stooges, I know they're the right names but she just wouldn't.

I DID like the smart-arse bit of casting that had Cut Chemist as the chemistry teacher.
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