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Monday, November 19, 2007

By Zach Hart with No comments

Monday, September 03, 2007




By Zach Hart with No comments

Sunday, September 02, 2007

For the next six months I will be writing and directing my first feature film so I will have to put the blog on the backburner. I'll start a new one or continue with this one sometime next year. I might put out my annual top ten lists in JAN but that's it. Thanks for reading and hopefully we will have a great film in six months.


By Zach Hart with No comments

For the next six months I will be writing and directing my first feature film so I will have to put the blog on the backburner. I'll start a new one or continue with this one sometime next year. I might put out my annual top ten lists in JAN but that's it. Thanks for reading and hopefully we will have a great film in six months.


By Zach Hart with No comments

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm up at 4 am and sad to report breaking news that Owen Wilson tried to commit suicide and is now hospitalized. Wilson is one of my biggest heroes and the writer/star or Bottle Rocket, the movie that made me love movies. I hope that whatever was wrong in his life is filled as he tries to survive this near death experience.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Friday, August 24, 2007

Here are my weekend box office projections:

War - 23.5 mil

Superbad - 18.5mil

Rushhour 3- 11.5mil

Nanny Diaries - 10.6mil

Bourne - 9.7mil

Tough week, we'll see how I do on Monday.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


It took Allmusic a few months to post their review of Young Modern album by Silverchair. They, like me were blown away by the new album, giving it 4 1/2 out of five. To put that in perspective for all you haters on the new album, here are some great albums that got lesser reviews:

Radiohead-Kid A 4 stars
White Stripes-White Stripes 4 stars
3/4 of the REM Albums
Six Beatles Album
and tons of other greats.

Now, I don't think it's as good as Kid A but in my case to try to convince you guys that I'm not crazy, please listen to this album, it's one of the best of this decade and everyone seems to be turning a blind eye.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hills Week 3 Scores and Update

Nothing happened on this weeks show, so it was a success. Here are the top five idiots:

1.) Spencer - With buying an arcade game instead of furniture...and the following quotes:

"I always thought marriage was give her half the money and she'll cook for you"

and my favorite...after seeing Heidi white wash his graffiti:

"This is what you do after I surprise you with a beautiful mural" (It says Hollywood)

2.) Justin aka Bobby

This guy is a douche. After being an idiot he uses this line on why he should stay with his girlfriend:

"I think truth and time tell all..."

3.) Heidi's Co-Worker

She had a half a min of screentime and still nabbed the three spot with using the Internet talk:
"OMG" after hearing about Heidi's engagement.

4.) Audrina

Just for dating Justin "Bobby"

5.) Heidi

In a bitch move, she paints over Spencer's masterpiece without asking him...this was the drama that closed the show...yeah, that's right, we're at war...but painting takes center stage.


NICK - 5PTS (Spencer)

ZACH-4PTS (Justin "Bobby")

NOELLE -0PTS (Whitney)

CORY-0PTS (Brody)


Anyone at any point can join in the race.

By Zach Hart with 3 comments


Hey all. Tonight is the greatest manufactured drama of all time, MTV's The Hills. I love this show because it makes me feel good about my life. I'm starting a Hill's Fantasy League where each week you can pick one member of the cast and based on drama, supporting the superficial world of the hills, and originality the three cast members will be ranked 1-5th. The points go 5-1 for their ending positions as ranked by myself. At the end of the season the numbers will be added up and a winner will get the ultimate prize: to never mention they won, ever. So post a comment and tell me you pick for the week. This closes every Monday, 10Et/9Ct.

By Zach Hart with 2 comments

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I'm starting a new interactive game through this blog that everyone should take 10-15 mins to play. I tried this weekend to predict the box office and going off projections...I failed. I want to get a weekly, guess the box office game going and need your participation. Each Monday a winner will be crowned and allowed their own acceptance speech printed on the blog. Here's how the game works, using my weekend predictions as a guide.

PICK THE TOP FIVE AT THE BOX OFFICE (I need your list by THUR @ 12 AM or it won't count)


1.) Superbad - 53.5

2.) The Invasion - 22.5

3.) Rush Hour 3 - 17.2

4.) Bourne - 16.9

5.) Stardust - 7

Then on Monday I will add up everyones scores using these pointing methods.



1mil=5 pts
9-10= -1pt
11-13= -2pts
14-16= -3pts
17-20= -4pts
21-30= -5pts
31-*= Automatic DQ


All five in the right order = 10pts


5pts for #1
4pts for #2
3pts for #3
2pts for #4
1pt for #5


Let's look at a scoring breakdown of my weekend disaster.

Here is the Sunday prediction (bold) vs my prediction of the weekend:

1.) Superbad 53.5 - 31.2 = Diff of 22.3 (-5pts), #1 Guess (+5pts)

2. ) Invasion 22.5 - 6 = Diff of 16.5 (-4pts)

3.) Rush Hour 3 - 17.2 - 21.8 = Diff of 4.6 (+1pt)

4.) Bourne Ultimatum - 16.9 - 18.9 = Diff of 2 (+4pts)

5.) Stardust 7 - 5.2 = Diff of 2 (+4pts)

This is total score of 5 pts...very very bad score. You can see that not only did I only place one film correctly, but I lost nine points on superbad's and the invasions total gross.

Please do not post a comment with your predictions, people might steal your numbers/bid .1 above or below...please e-mail to Everyone's predictions will be listed Friday and the winner and their acceptance speech will be featured Monday night.

Let's get this thing going.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rep on The Line

I have a lot of fun making ridiculous claims about box office projections. I'm usually always right, hold that 100 million dollar projection for Snakes on the Plane. Well, continuing with these wild predictions, I'm going to say that Superbad will gross over 50 million in it's first weekend. That's right, it's an R rated high school comedy that 3/4 of high schooler's can't purchase a ticket too. Yeah, Bourne, Rush Hour 3, and the Simpsons are still popular choices and should take away from the take. Yes, Kidman's The Invasion should gross high in it's first weekend. Yes, a slue of highly rated indies for adults (Death at a Funeral and Rocket Science) go nation wide this weekend. Yes, Superbad is projected at 25.5-30 million. With all this said, I know the trends, the buzz, the reviews, that certain something in the air that puts all these facts to rest. Check the papers on Monday....over 50 million! Each week I'm going to try to do the top 5 here is how I see it:

1. Superbad - 53.5

2. The Invasion - 22.5

3. Rush Hour 3 - 17.2

4.) Bourne - 16.9

5.) Stardust - 7 flat

I'm looking at these numbers as I write them and I'm probably way off. What can you do....come on superbad....break the bank.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Saturday, August 04, 2007


This needs to be shared with the world:


For my brother Nick, check out The National show and try not to have the same reaction I had to the Of Montreal show...would have given up half my DVD collection to be there.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Thursday, August 02, 2007


The best show on TV is on Thurs at 10 ET. Watch it so it doesn't leave us too early like so many great shows.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Simon Dawes

Daytrotter has to be one of my favorite sites so I was shocked to find the band Simon Dawes featured on there. It's at this point that I highlight the fact that my old band Toboggan Monster dominated Simon Dawes in our only battle of the bands. It looks like we got the best of it, seeing how they are on Daytrotter.

Check out the Second Place Band

By Zach Hart with No comments

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Darjeeling Limited Trailer HITS the Web!

After seeing the trailer, it confirms that the leaked screenplay is real and this film is going to be amazing.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Saturday, July 21, 2007


If you don't know Dan Deacon or own his new album then you don't know shit. If you don't, stop frettin and meet him:

By Zach Hart with No comments

Friday, July 20, 2007


Look what happens when I make a post...a few mins later a golden ticket falls out of the sky. Here is a link to the White Rabbits Daytrotter session, some new songs included:

By Zach Hart with No comments


The White Rabbits were on Letterman last night, what a great show they put on. The new album is pretty spectacular, kind of reminiscent of The French Kick's first LP. Check out the video and enjoy Letterman interrupting the end of the song by saying, "You guys done? Everyone Done?"

Pitchfork Music Festival and recent indie film reviews to come soon. Keep an eye out.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Fox Searchlight has announced Sept 29th, 2007 as the release date for Wes Anderson's next masterpiece: THE DARJEELING LIMITED. Here is what we know:


Release: September 29, 2007
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola
Produced by: Scott Rudin, Lydia Pilcher, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Cast: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman

THE DARJEELING LIMITED starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman is an emotional comedy about three brothers re-forging family bonds. The eldest, played by Wilson, hopes to reconnect with his two younger siblings by taking them on a train trip across the vibrant and sensual landscape of India.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Pitchfork's music festival is next weekend and unlike last year, the third stage (tent) has some great acts. The great thing about Pitchfork is you can bounce back and forth from the two main stages and get good placement. The third runs between the two so in order to catch an act in the tent you have to miss one of the main stage acts. Here are my head scratchers:


Grizzly Bear vs Beach House

I'm not sure why Beach House is in the tent. I would usually pick Beach House but Battles goes on after them on one of the main stages and it would be tricky to get good placement. I want to see both of these bands...I'm leaning toward Beach House...but....ahhhh!

Clipse vs Dan Deacon

I'm a huge Clipse fan so I'm probably not going to miss his set...but Deacon's new album is pretty spectacular and one of those I need to see how he pulls this off live ones. Albums like that are a huge risk but the reward can be amazing (i.e. Fiery Furnaces remixing the entire Blueberry Boat album at the Echo).


Menomena vs Brightblack Morning Light

I'm leaning toward BML but this one is a coin toss.

The New Pornographers vs Klaxons

This is tricky b/c TNP go on thirty mins before the Klaxons...but the tent fills up fast and The Field is playing before them so a lot of people will just stay. I've head TNP are really good live but the Klaxons are one of the bands, like Battles, that I'm dying to see live. This is the big decision!

Help me make the right choice, I trust in you.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The man behind Coppola's genius according to my buddy ADK and many film scholars has gotten the book treatment with: THE CONVERSATIONS (Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film). I've already ordered my copy and if you want a window inside the mind of a film genius, I suggest you pick this one up. Below is a link to the amazon page and another for his imdb page.

By Zach Hart with No comments


Can't wait to see this film, looks like a breath of fresh air with all these "three" films. They keep pushing back the release date, it was shown at this years Sundance...looks like December until it will hit theaters.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The first wave of production stills for Wes Anderson's new film, "The Darjeeling Limited" have been released. I've read the first draft of the screenplay several times and after this crazy pic, well, it seems like a mixture of all four of his films. I'm ready for a trailer.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Up and Down

Great bands have released LP's/EP's this year...but did they take a step forward or backwards?


The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Iron and Wine - The Shepherds Dog
Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Is Is (EP)
NIN - Year Zero
Trembling Blue Stars - The Seven Autumn Flowers
Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch
The Cribs - Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever
Bishop Allen - The Broken String


Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Interpol - Our Love to Admire
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
National - Boxer
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna
Dizzee Rascal - Maths and English
Crowded House - Time on Earth
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible


Architecture in Helsinki - Places Like This
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Some Loud Thunder
Air - Pocket Symphony
Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
Feist - The Reminder
Editors - An End Has a Start
Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

I know a lot of you are yelling right now....BIRD! FEIST! AIH! CYHSY! EDITORS! Whatever...I don't care. This list is not my opinion of the band or how I rank their album with the rest on the list. I took this years album and compared it with the band/artist's last release. If you need to yell at me, leave a comment...but please don't make a case for Places Like This, the most disappointing album this year.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Mike Gravel

I'm a big Barack fan but oh man is Mike Gravel gaining ground with his new campaign videos that seem to be mixture between the cinema of minimalism and neorealism. These videos bring the same uncomfortable happiness that I get when watching a David Lynch film. Enjoy:



By Zach Hart with No comments

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Screen Scene

Once - The best film of 2007 so far. The film is beautifully simplistic and it's release date is very ironic as I watched the film sandwiched between two theaters projecting summer blockbusters. The star of the film is Glen Hansard...sound familiar indie rock fans??? That's right, he's part of The Frames, a very enjoyable Irish indie rock band. He plays a street musician who meets an immigrant (Marketa Irglova who was only 17 when they shot this film) in Dublin. Do they fall in love? No. I think this might be the first movie about falling in like. You keep looking for that sloppy Hollywood, they run into each other's arms...doesn't happen. The viewer simply enjoys seeing these two people admire each other and create something, beautiful music. The music in this film is the point where you watch them sing a full four-minute song and it never becomes dull. This is an impossible feet. Not to take anything away from John Carney, the director, but set the camera on a tripod and let Irglova and Hansard just sing for two hours and I will watch with a smile. Do yourself a favor...go see this film. It reminded me why I want to make movies, something that seems to be lost in today’s cinema of three's and explosions.

Ocean's 13 - This is an easy film to break down: The First hour...horrendous, zero stars. The Second hour...better, two stars. The star. The film moves so fast, scene after scene, that none of these great actors have a chance to show off their chops. The director Steven Soderbergh's talent can never be challenged with such razor edge films like Traffic, Out of Sight, and The Limey. He is also responsible for one of the most influence indie films with Sex, Lies, and Videotape and the mind-boggling/mind-numbing Schizopolis. There is little trace that this same man who made such film was behind the camera on 13, after seeing the final product he was probably in the digital jungle eating a hoagie and giving thumbs up to every take while counting his cash. If you enjoyed the first two, then see the film, you will have a good time. Get popcorn, soda, and some candy, because you need to elevate every aspect of making this an enjoyable movie experience.

Spider Man 3 - Worse film of the year that I have seen in theaters. I'm not even going to give this film the time for analysis. If you liked this film...good for you.

Sicko - Oh, how I hate Michael Moore. His films are nothing more than propaganda. But, man, are they fun to watch. I was a big fan of his debut film, Roger and Me, but then panned Guns and could one go about doing that!?!? I'm not even going to get into the fact that you don't need to twist the footage or forge documents to prove that guns are dangerous or Bush has made many, many dumb mistakes, but it's Moore's meal ticket so he does it. And he does it again...this time with socialized healthcare. He makes his routine huge statements and dramatizes them with little support but set pieces that automatically makes his point the right one. My suggestion is see this film to witness a master at crafting an entertaining documentary, not to come out of the theater with conspiracy’s or how America needs to change NOW. Having directed and worked on several documentaries myself, trust me, almost all the truth is manipulated regardless of intent. Look at it this way; hundreds of hours of footage were edited down to two hours. Someone had to choose those particular scenes, add the voice over, and guide the viewer. In the end, Sicko is a very enjoyable watch (applause for Moore) but see it more as a narrative work then a case against America's healthcare...or as Moore would suggest, the lack there of.

By Zach Hart with No comments


As you have noticed, or not noticed, my blog has been in a bit of a coma lately. Not anymore my friends, it's back and looking for revenge. There will be a new post or more everyday so check often and leave comments...they fuel more posts. Thanks for reading,


By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Screenplay's Are Living Things

By Zach Hart with No comments

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Pitchfork gave the new Battle's album a 9.1 and it is well deserved. But, I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that they will be playing at, yes, THE PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL.

Look at this:





These are hugh scores that are reserved for the best of the year. I do think these are the best of the year in my book....but is Pitchfork just giving scores to who comes to their festival or are they just that good at getting the best of the best. Either way, I'll be there.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Thursday, April 19, 2007


My favorite moment from Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (You need to see this show):

By Zach Hart with No comments

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wow. Now this is a video.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Best Album of 2007?

Silverchair - Young Modern 9.4

Does the band Silverchair sound familiar? They were that mediocre 90's grunge band from Australia that had a few hits...end of story? No, no, no. I woke up, put on my pants, and downloaded this masterpiece of an album. The first track, "Young Modern Station" makes a case for a new Silverchair album...they can adapt to this new hip world of Wolves and Mouse bands. They play it safe with a catchy very tight pants and pink hoodie indie jam. Then the highlight of the album, "If You Keep Losing Sleep" sideswipes expectation and sends this album into a 9.0 and up rating. The song starts with a military drum roll, followed by corky hums, and then hits with unthinkable off and on organ hits...everything a music fan could want. One of my favorite things in music is when you can tell a singer is passionate, cocky, and just sells the lyrics...all these things highlighted by the band. Not sure when the release date will be but pick this one up.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Harry Chapin - Cats in the Cradle

The saddest song ever written that I love to listen to.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Indie Music is the new mainstream, Indie-Indie Music is the new Indie Music

I don't know who to hate...Modest Mouse, American Idol, or both. WHY??? And can someone explain why they go through diffrent decades??? They can have Spears and Timberlake, just leave once indie classic bands alone.

By Zach Hart with

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I'm trying to get a teaching job over the summer and if I get it, well, I'll be attending this for sure:

Bands Announced:

Girl Talk
Cat Power
Grizzly Bear
Professor Murder
Jamie Lidell
Of Montreal Iron & Wine
Powerhouse Sound
Ken Vandermark


By Zach Hart with No comments

Thursday, March 01, 2007



Master P, Silk the Shocker, and C-Murder...Da Down South Hustlers and the West Coast Bad Boyz had this masterpiece bumpin in every car in 1997.



Lauren Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras bring forth a strong Hip-Hop album hitting on racial profiling with pop/doo-wop undertones playing throughout.



Long before they won an Oscar they pumped out this classic that had every club torn up.



A rap classic, nuff said.


06.) N.E.R.D - IN SEARCH OF...

Sounds I've never heard, a nostalgic more salt than a shaker. No One Ever Really Dies.



The only rap album to make me cry...I mean, what...I mean brag about being shot. Yeah.


4.) Wu Tang Clan – ENTER THE WU-TANG (36 CHAMBERS)

With great rapper after rapper on this album, it's hard not to have this in the top five. Gza, Rza, ODB RIP, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and U-God. C'mon.



"One of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip
-hop attitude ever recorded."



The best album from the greatest rapper of all time. Prolific and perfect throughout. I want him and Nick Drake back.



Born in the ATL, I had to put this at number one. Andre 3000 and Big Boi find that perfect mix between southern rap and the experimential music they have now fallen into. I can listen to this album at any time of the day, anytime of the year, and I will still swing my shoulders all the same. A-TOWN!


By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Look At Music In 2007

*(Top Five so far)


The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (1)
Dungen – Tio Bitar
Deerhunter – Cryptograms (4)
Essie Jain – We Made This Ourselves
Guitar Wolf – Dead Rock
The National Lights – The Dead Will Walk, Dear
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer (2)
Papercuts – Can’t Go Back (3)
Sondre Lerche – Phantom Punch (5)
Dr. Dog – We All Belong


!!! – Myth Takes
Air – Pocket Symphony
Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Lay & Love
Cloud Cult – The Meaning Of 8
Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity
The Go Find – Stars On The Wall
Great Lake Swimmers – Ongiara
Little Man Tate – About What You Know
Marissa Nadler – Songs III: Bird On The Water
Panda Bear – Person Pitch
Shining – Grindstone
The Shins – Wincing The Night Away
Tom Brosseau – Grand Forks
Klaxons – Myths Of The Near Future


Animal Collective – People EP
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder
Soft Circle – Full Bloom (Pitchfork just gave this an 8.2????)


Bloc Party – A Weekend In The City


Grinderman – Grinderman
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Living With The Living

By Zach Hart with 2 comments

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let’s Get Greedy!

I want a new White Stripes album.

I want a new Fiery Furnaces album.

I want a Toboggan Monster LP.

I want a new Wes Anderson film.

I want a new P.T Anderson film.

I want to make out and write sonnets with Joanna Newsom.

I want to reclaim our title on Monday night trivia.

I want a finished copy of Love is a Bad Poem.

I want to hear that new Michael Jackson album.

I want all the screenplays I’m working on to be finished already.


By Zach Hart with 1 comment

A Great Moment in Film

A clip from True Romance...oh, the glory days of Andrew Pierce quoting this scene line by line, impression by impression...impressive.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir

I find this album simply beautiful and very complex. The critics pan most concept albums and they were pretty rough on this one. The album needs to be heard from start to finish like a film, the tracks acting as scenes and setting separate moods…in the end an overall theme is then built. The music is at the highest level of mastery of visual instrumentation, creating a perfect syncopation between the story (lyrics) and the background (instruments). The best example of this is when they talk about the music of a funeral being drowned out by construction work and Matthew comes thumping in with a razor sharp distorted guitar line. Joining Matthew and Eleanor (very hot, in that woman jamming on a guitar way) is their Grandmother Olga Sarantos, who tells the story of her life. I find it charming that they immortalized her childhood and the subject matter being so close to those who created it shows throughout. I would compare this masterpiece to a French new wave film…stupid people just don’t understand it. I know that’s heavy handed but like a French new wave film, if you don’t work to understand the material then it’s easy to dismiss it as bad. I worked at hearing the intention and understanding the story by reading the liner notes…and it melted my heart. What a perfect album that has no semblance of anything ever created before it. Here is what Matthew had to say (I guess he was frustrated by those who weren’t quite understanding his brilliance.)

Dear Listener, Tracks 3 and 4 take place in the 40's; tracks 5 and 6 in the 20's and 30's; track 7 in the later 50's; track 8 starts in the very early 40's; track 9 goes back and forth; track 10 takes place in the early 60's; the final track takes place in the early 90's. Track 2 takes place a few years ago; track 1 took place when it was recorded. The action depicted in "The Wayward Granddaughter" and "Slavin' Away" does not include the character Olga Sarantos plays on the rest of the record. "Slavin' Away" imagines that character--the main character-- fantasizing, a bit remotely, about the hard lot of other women. Now, I wouldn't guess that the Main Character actually thought the woman concerned was riding around in a Norton side-car and operating her own cottage industry trinket assembly/sweatshop: but it might have pleased her to picture it so. "The Wayward Granddaughter" is about a different Greek-American grandmother and her popular granddaughter ("Connie"). They're from Chicago's south suburbs and don't figure in the rest of the record; I wanted to have another (slightly younger) grandmother and family in there for perspective or comparison's sake, so to speak. Thank you for your time, Matthew Friedberger

By Zach Hart with 2 comments

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Come on America...Epic Movie?....Really?

If you haven't heard the blistering news yet, let me bring you up to speed: The lowbrow (now that's an understatement) spoof Epic Movie opened this weekends box office at number one with 19.2 million dollars! Pan's Labyrinth to date has 16.5 million. Come on America. Come on.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sorry MTV, you hear it HERE first


If heaven is anything like this album then I'll wait in line. The much anticipated sophomore album is a great departure from Funeral and serves as a reasonable response to why beer costs five bucks at an indie rock concert. The album was recorded in a church outside Montreal and features contributions from Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett, Calexico's Martin Wenk and Jacob Valenzuela and Wolf Parade's Hadjii Bakara. Wow. The best track on the album is "No Cars Go." A track that I don't expect the likes of Pitchfork to praise but it does everything for me except my laundry. Anyone who is anybody has been "bumping" the leaked tracks "Intervention" and "Black Mirror" and unlike some bands, The Arcade Fire doesn't hide behind those two tracks. The album is a journey. Yes, a slow hike through beautiful lyrics and an orchestra of sounds. I usually give an album at least 24 hours before a review and by rule only give classics over a nine rating, but after hearing this had to be blogged upon. Arcade've been blogged....but you got the last punch face is officially melted. Thank you.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's Take a Look at Mr. Oscar
(Why wait until Feb 25th when you can see the winners here?)

Best Picture

Prediction: The front-runner unfortunately is The Departed. A star studded cast that is basically a one removed friend of the entire Academy Award voters. But, let's not forget Crash last year flipping out with huge buzz in the last moments of voting to clench the award. Babel is looking strong after the Golden Globes but guess what, that's the Hollywood Foreign Press and the voters never seem to agree with them on best picture. The two sneak attack films are my favorite Little Miss Sunshine and Letters From Iwo Jima. Sunshine could be a shocker because it is a fan favorite and seems to have great lasting power in the mind of the viewer. Iwo Jima has an outside chance just because of Hollywood's obsession with Eastwood...everyone loves him but his recent win with Million Dollar Baby negates a chance (the academy loves to spread out the awards over a five years span, unless your Tom Hanks.) I'm saying right now, The Queen has no chance. There you have it...The Departed with Babel clipping at its heels and hopefully a Sunshine upset.

Best Actress
Penelope Cruz - VOLVER
Helen Mirren - THE QUEEN

Helen Mirren will win this...hell, she's won every award up until this point and the academy loves to give best actor and actress awards to people who appear in films that don't have a shot at Best Picture. (The last actor to win the same year his film won best picture was in 2000 with Crowe and The Gladiator. Swank won two years ago along with Million Dollar Baby.) No one even stands a chance to rally because the actress everyone loves is Streep and guess what???-comedies don't win awards. Winner-Mirren.

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio - BLOOD DIAMOND
Ryan Gosling - HALF NELSON
Peter O’Toole - VENUS

Wow, the biggest surprise of this years noms was Leo, Gosling, and O'Toole! Who saw any of this coming...Leo has received more noms for the Departed to this point and then BAM!-Blood Diamond. But none of these people have a chance. It's all about Forest Whitaker who look Mirren has bought storage space for all the hardware they have collected in the last months. BUT, and this is a big but, Will Smith has a great chance. It's a popcorn flick and Smith gives an Oscar worthy performance (no joke). The buzz for this film has gone through the roof and let's not forget a huge predictor for the academy awards: EXPECTED GROSS vs FINAL GROSS. Crash had a huge one, Million Dollar Baby had one, and this years huge jumps were The Pursuit of Happyness at 146,531,286 in the US and growing. The winner of this formula is Little Miss Sunshine with 59,594,615 and a start at Sundance not the market. The winner at this point is Whitaker but look out for Smith.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza - BABEL
Cate Blanchett - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Jennifer Hudson - DREAMGIRLS
Rinko Kikuchi - BABEL

This is where predictions get messy. Who knows how supporting awards will go because every year the big upsets occur in these categories. Hudson is the front-runner but after her poor speech at the Globes, her "new actor" status seems a bit forced and unworthy of an Oscar. The only one who could upset the far and away Hudson is Blanchett. I haven’t seen the film but the buzz is crazy and the key to her win is that the film is fresh, just recently being released. She is also a Hollywood standard and voters pick off of name if they are overwhelmed with their screeners. Bebel has no chance so knock those two off. Then the wild card is Breslin for Sunshine. She is really young and seems to feed off the other characters in the film rather than carry her own performance. I'm going to stick my neck out on Blanchett and a film I've never seen.

Best Supporting Actor
Jackie Earle Haley - LITTLE CHILDREN
Djimon Honsou - BLOOD DIAMOND
Eddie Murphy - DREAMGIRLS
Mark Wahlberg - THE DEPARTED

Alan Arkin will win this award. I just have a feeling. Their are two people who can challenge and that is Murphy for Dreamgirls who everyone loves and Haley for Little Children...only because someone obscure always has a chance in the category. Good luck Arkin.

Best Director
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - BABEL
Martin Scorsese - THE DEPARTED
Stephen Frears - THE QUEEN
Paul Greengrass - UNITED 93

This is always the category that gives us hints for what film will win best picture. Scorsese is the front-runner along with The Departed because everyone loves him (I love his old stuff, the new stuff is shit) and he's never won an Oscar. Eastwood has a chance but I don't think he will get it...if he does win it's for both of the war films not just Iwo Jima, which is unfair. Greengrass and Frears don't have a chance. What's interesting is Sunshine could get the best picture votes but we won't know off this pick because they don't have a directing nom. I would say that if anyone other than Scorsese or Eastwood wins then you can go ahead and mark down The Queen or Babel as the winner of best picture...but this won't happen. This is the big category and Martin will win.

Best Foreign Film

No Volver? It's won everything else and doesn't get a nom, weird. I'm going with Pan's Labyrinth because it's the only one I've seen and has the best buzz going into the voting.

Best Animated Film

Who cares? This category is stupid. The way I approach this is: Cars has made the most money...Cars has won the most awards....Cars will win. My gut says Monster House and Happy Feet seems to be the critics favorite. But I'll stick to the formula and go with Cars.

Best Adapted Screenplay

This is a hard one. It seems that Little Children received a few acting noms which takes it off the block. Children of Men didn't receive any other big noms so it's out. Borat will receive the Wes Anderson award as I call it...a generous nom that nobody will consider. It's really between The Departed and Notes on a Scandal. I would go with Scandal but Adapted screenplay never takes always goes to the fan favorite...The Departed.

Best Original Screenplay

Unless Babel goes on a Oscar winning spree or Pan's Labyrinth upsets here....Little Miss Sunshine is the clear winner. I say this because the film is nominated for Best Picture without a directors nom which means the film is strong in its writing and acting. Indie films always have a great chance of winning and if it is shut out in all other categories they like to dump off at least one statue to the Cinderella film of the year...Sunshine.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Best Trailer to a Film I Don't Plan on Attending:


It's one amazing shot with Devandra Banhart's providing the soundtrack. Yes, that's right Banhart's classic "Insect Eyes" will forever be attached to The Hills Have Eyes 2.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Some Loud Thunder - 6.7

Nobody would be guiltier of over-hyping the sophomore album from CYHSY then me (hell, Hank and I wrote a movie around their first album). Sadly, I cannot say too many good things about this great bands recent release. Everything that is amazing about their self-titled album seems to be absent. The opening track is misleading. "Some Loud Thunder" is a fun lo-fi track that boasts Alec Ounsworth's trademark singing...a sound that is lost on all the other tracks minus "Satan Said Dance" a track that has a better demo version then the final. I found myself asking why the band deviated from what brought them success but I guess the answer is found in the constant curse of the sophomore album. Bands want to go where they haven't before...but I want to draw CYHSY a map back to their old stuff. The highlight (a small keychain flashlight in Mammoth Cave) of the album is "Goodbye to the Mother and the Cove" a masterpiece that can be easily turned away from at first listen because of its simplicity. The track opens with a dripping drum beat and dueling guitars. Ounsworth doesn't even sing until 1:18 into the song and when he does it comes in strong. The song later pops out with synths and hard drums. Overall my disappointment can't be measured by anything man made or described by any human language (this blog entry contradicts this statement but shut up). I only have this to say...come back CYHSY, come back.

By Zach Hart with No comments

El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)-8.9

A wonderful movie that is much more about the hardships of life during war then the fairy tale world that it is advertised as. It's the mixture of the two worlds that makes this film come to life and investigates the power of the imagination. The cinematography (best of the year) is nothing short of the commonly used word spectacular and sets a tone for the entire film. The performances are natural and the editing does it job...taking nothing away from the unfolding narrative. I highly recommend this film to anyone and everyone and place it as a three way tie for my best 2006 films.

By Zach Hart with No comments

Saturday, January 13, 2007

TOP 39 SONGS OF 2006

(Why 39? Why Not.)

39.) Sparklehorse – Dreamt for Light Years… -- SOME SWEET DAY

Sole owner of the greatest opening to any song in 2006. A strumming beauty of a song that holds throughout.

38.) Matthew Friedberger – Holy Ghost – SEVENTH LOOP HIGHWAY

On an album that is almost unbearable, this track creeps its way into the subconscious and makes you come back for more.

37.) Josh Ritter – The Animal Years – GOOD MAN

This will do until Andrew Bird returns on the scene.

36.) The Little Ones – Sing Song EP – LET THEM RING THE BELLS

Simple and catchy. “Whoooa, ohhh, oh, oh.” Deep lyrics included.

35.) The Gothic Archies – The Tragic Treasury – SCREAM AND RUN AWAY

Accordion pumps float over Stephen Merritt’s raspy story time.

34.) Cold War Kids – Robbers and Cowards – WE USED TO VACATION

Amazing intro and a shredding guitar about 1:23 into the song. Would be higher but the lyrics are as lame as using the word lame to describe something.

33.) Xiu Xiu – The Air Force – THE FOX & THE RABBIT

I’ll defer to Phil for any Xiu Xiu descriptions…seems to be his thing.

32.) The Like Young – Last Secrets – ALMOST SAID YES

Most underrated album of the year with Tap Tap…this song riffles through at a blurring pace and shreds all the way home.

31.) The Killers – Sam’s Town – When You Were Young

I know…shut up! It’s the Killers, yes, this is true…but the song kills. I could keep it a secret but this is an official list and I’m not too ashamed.

30.) Beck - The Information – CELLPHONE’S DEAD

Poppy-hoppy bass dances over Beck’s quick banter resulting in a toe tapping classic.

29.) VCR – Power Destiny – MEGA GOD BLAST

One of my personal favorites is their EP, but this year they released their full length to many unhappy customers. This song however is a return to their earlier sound.

28.) The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers – LEVEL

Crippled by a summer release, I think a lot of people forgot about this album and song when they were making lists. A great guitar solo rounds this song out.

27.) Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor – I GOTCHA

“Kick, Push” is fun and all but this jazz piano; boom box drop track just does it for me.

26.) Grizzly Bear – Yellow House – LITTLE BROTHER

An epic song that never go out of its way to impress. A slow reveal proves to be the best approach for this folk masterpiece.

25.) Danielson – Ships – BLOODBOOK ON THE HALF SHELL

I think I like this song just for the amazing breakdown that occurs 3:33 into it…but the rest in nice as well.

24.) The Fiery Furnaces – Bitter Tea – NEVERS

A collection of sounds from every Fiery album to date.

23.) Bishop Allen - January – CORAZON

Simple song that kicked off the massive month by month EP treats by Bishop Allen. A great song to listen to while walking in the rain, snow, or any other nature-illuminating thing.

22.) Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – Etiquette – BOBBY MALONE MOVES HOME

Hands slamming on a piano and trotting along with the drums creates a tone that anyone can follow and love.

21.) Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - #3 – FUNERAL FACE

One of the most underated albums of 2006 (next to TAP TAP). This is a track that everyone will find and love three years down the road.

20.) Voxtrot – Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives – SOFT & WARM

Just a great listen…so listen

19.) Islands – Return to the Sea – DON’T CALL ME WHITNEY, BOBBY

A stupid track title, but one hell of a pop song.

18.) The Flaming Lips – At War With the Mystics – YEAH YEAH YEAH SONG

FUN…lots of fucking fun.

17.) +/- - Let’s Build a Fire -- STEAL THE BLUEPRINTS

A massacre of sounds…thick guitars hit over simple vocals and constantly changing drums equates to a journey into the various possibilities of indie rock.

16.) White Magic – Dat Rosa Mel Apibus – HOLD YOUR HANDS IN THE DARK

A staggering 6:28 of pure magic. Watch out Joanna Newsom.

15.) Beach House – Beach House – APPLE ORCHARD

A haunting melody prances throughout the song transports the listener to a hypnotic world that I never want to live in.

14.) Tom Waits – Orphans – LONG WAY HOME

With 40+ tracks it kind of tough but this is the one I keep coming back to.

13.) Regina Spektor – Begin to Hope – FIDELITY

Best pop song of the year, hands down. Everyone has to sing along to: “It breaks my ha-ha-ha-ha heart.” Perfect.

12.) Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon – INSISTOR

I love this band. The song just makes you want to grab a guitar and play along…or pretend to strum along.

11.) Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block – YOUNG FOLKS

The last minute favorite on a lot of people’s lists. The whistles are perfect and add a special touch to the song.

10.) TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain – WOLF LIKE ME

Ok, I know I’ve famously said, “TV on the Radio is wildly overrated.” I would like to publicly apologize and admit…this song is great.

09.) Sunset Rubdown – Shut Up I Am Dreaming – THEY TOOK A VOTE AND SAID NO

Much debate between Hank and I about the best track on this album…well this is the right pick.

08.) The Like Young – Last Secrets – FOR MONEY OR LOVE

Most addictive song of 2006. Old Weezer meets the Pixies, that’s all I have to say.

07.) Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury – TRILL

Best rap song of the year…nuff said.

06.) Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block – PARIS 2004

“Young Folk” is everyone favorites and while it is amazing I just can’t say it’s better than this track. I love the beat, lyrics, and overall feeling I get when I hear it.

05.) The Fiery Furnaces – Bitter Tea – I’M IN NO MOOD

Old western piano…and then BAM! Synth heaven. “I was so drunk last night, I didn’t even undress for bed…and the pin in my hair is still stuck in my head.”

04.) Man Man – Six Demon Bag – ICE DOGS

Elvis on crack with angelical back up singers.

03.) Joanna Newsom – Ys – COSMIA

Beautiful. Just marry me…please.

02.) Tap Tap – Lanzafame – WAY TO GO, BOY

Pierce is responsible for this one…best track of the year. It is the year of the accordion so, hey, this is the perfect track. When those drums come in…you know where you stand in this world.

01.) Toboggan Monster – Keep Your Mouth Shut – DEMON WALTZ

Winner by default…what is the default??? It kicks ass.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Great band with a big sound that calls for everyone to gather around the dinner table for large bowls of hot coco and smiles. They have an EP out called Sing Song and you should check it out.

By Zach Hart with 2 comments

Monday, January 01, 2007

TOP 5 FILMS of 2006

Another just terrible year for film. People freaked out over The Departed which is Scorsese Lite packed to the brim with convoluted story lines, unbelievable accents, and a third act that felt rushed. 2006 brought us the fan favorite Casino Royale, a film that excites its viewers but is packed with some of the worse plot logic/continuity I've ever seen. The punch up scenes written by the "oh, so great screenwriter" Paul Haggis didn't blend with the tone of the rest of the film and anyone who thinks its a good film needs a few lessons in flickering image deduction. With out any further spite, here are my top five films of 2006 (Note: I usually do a top 10 but I honestly can't think of ten good films this year.)







By Zach Hart with 2 comments

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