Animals doing things in the halls

December 25, 2010

It’s my favourite YouTube user, Halifax’s Klaatu42– this guy is magic.


Herding Cats in IKEA

October 21, 2010

For some reason a bunch of English people put 100 cats in an Ikea after hours. Here’s the original video; not very interesting, watch just enough of it to get the tone and then you can stop.

Here’s the much-improved voiceover video:

Thanks to Kelly for the tip.


Cat plays Eye Spy

December 18, 2009

Klaatu42 is the Canadian YouTube user who did that great little voiceover of two cats arguing about television. Here’s his latest:


UP: Pixar hits another homer

June 10, 2009

russell-pixar-550x311

UP is a lovely, sweet, very funny movie. It made me throw my head back and laugh with my mouth wide open like a little kid, and plop big tears all over my shirt. Man, Pixar. Total genius. I cannot think of another company that makes such consistently well-constructed things. And it’s beautifully designed and animated. Well worth seeing it in a cinema- don’t wait to rent it on DVD- the swooping size of the big screen makes it a worthwhile cinema trip.

Avoid reading trailers & spoilers, if you can- there are lots of nice reveals in the movie that are much better experienced naively. I think it might actually be too scary for little kids, which surprised me; there’s some dark stuff. Really, the story turns on the central relationship between the little boy and the old man, which I think means it’s really a movie for people who think about aging, disguised as a kids’ movie.

Things to like: (no spoilers)

Character designs are awesome.

Voice performances are fanatastic, especially 9-year old newcomer Jordan Nagai as chubby boyscout Russell

Asian lead character!

No fart jokes. Pixar never needs to stoop that low. Compare and contrast to G-Force, the awful-looking Disney trailer that precedes UP, which has a fart joke AND a poo joke in a 2-minute trailer. If they couldn’t find two minutes of footage without a cheap joke, all I imagine is a movie that’s basically gonna be someone’s sweaty uncle with a keychain farting machine and some rubber turds.

Some nice reversals with characters turning out to be different than you expected.

Perfect set-up and payoff for pretty much every single plot point and joke.

Classically well-constructed movie. They should teach this in screenwriting classes, actually.

Funny, and sweet, and sad, and then funny again. So good.


Auto-tune the news

April 24, 2009

The gossip world is buzzing about Beyonce’s allegedly leaked mic track, the real sound of her keening and wailing dead flat during a lip-synched and/or auto-tuned appearance. Similar clips of Britney Spears show more of the same. The idea that Beyonce can’t really sing upset me so much that I shoved my fingers in my ears, went LA LA LA (flat, in sympathy), and ate two creme eggs. Then I watched this: the evening news on autotune.

The whole clip is pretty funny, but the best part is Katie Couric singing about global warming.

UPDATE:
I’m very happy the track was revealed to be a fake. To be honest when I listened to it again after writing this post, I couldn’t even parse it- if you’re lipsynching, I understand that you’ll fake some of the high notes just to get by, but that track was so radically flat that you pretty much couldn’t even do it on purpose. If you can sing in tune, deliberately singing out of tune is surprisingly difficult to sustain.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to Beyonce sing Halo for day-los now, and I’m convinced she did it live on Letterman– she was a teeny bit pitchy a couple times and she faked the two hardest parts of the song- the low note on “they didn’t even make a sound” and the wicked-ass, very difficult descending octave run on “burning through my darkest ni-i-i-i-i-ght”. If she was lipsynching, I think they’d have made those moments truer to the studio track, as they’re impressive as hell. It’s really hard to do that octave run in a single beat- basically you have to hit 8 notes spot-on in just over a second. This guy does a cute cover that just NAILS it (at 30 seconds in) and it impressed me so much I broke a personal rule and commented on his YouTube video.

Woah, Beyonce's fake boyfriend is a big dude.

Woah, Beyonce's fake boyfriend is a big dude.

Also, the music video for Halo is quite lovely despite the fromage factor. I enjoy the fact that she depicts a regular gal living in a nice apartment with a man who is not Jay-Z. Except that she’s also rehearsing choreo for the “Single Ladies” video even in her imaginary normal life. So down-to-earth!