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VeganMoFo: Josie and the Pussycats

Dazed and Confused was Parker Posey’s first role, and she went on to earn the nickname ‘Queen of the Indies’, dabbling in the mainstream here and there.  You may have recently seen her on Louie or New Girl, as Casey, the shot girl with a PHD.

Okay, I think we’ve established that I am no fine art cinema connoisseur.  But there are even movies where I say, “That looks incredibly dumb and i’m not watching it.”  Josie and the Pussycats was one of those movies.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I was alone with my friend’s alcoholic mother, who I was deeply afraid of and who wanted to watch it, I never would’ve seen it.

Josie, Mel, and Val have big dreams of being rock stars, but the reality is that they’re playing in bowling alleys and Alan M, the hottest guy in Riverdale, is clueless about Josie’s feelings for him.  They’re discovered by a record executive who needs to replace a boy band that he just offed, and they’re whisked away to The City to get makeovers, record an album, and help brainwash the youth of Americ–I mean uh, be totally jerkin’.

Josie and the Pussycats heavily makes fun of the music industry, from the amazing fake boy band to the over-the-top corporate sponsorship that goes on these days.  You might see the Hostess sign in the picture above them, or them drinking coffee at Starbucks and think ‘ew, product placement’, but when you look at the Target-themed plane and room, and the McDonald’s themed bathroom, you have to realize the joke (also the movie received zero compensation for all of these product placements).

At times, the movie even makes fun of itself.  When they’re flying to The City, Alexander (the band’s manager, if you aren’t familiar with the comics) looks at his sister (who hates Josie) and says, “I still don’t understand why you’re here.” and she says, “I’m here because I was in the comic book.”

The cast is also quite wonderful, with several award winners.  Alan Cumming (X-Men 2, The Good Wife, more awards than you can shake a stick at), Rosario Dawson (Kids, Sin City, Rent, Death Proof, nominated for many awards), Gabriel Mann (Revenge, The Bourne Movies), Rachel Leigh Cook (She’s All That, Perception), Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip, Royal Pains), and super-funny Missi Pyle (The Sarah Silverman Program, Big Fish, Betty Bee in Pushing Daisies).  Tara Reid, god bless her, has never played a role better than the space cadet hippie who cries over puppies getting old (the quote on my twitter profile is one of her lines from the movie).

I’ll let Seth Green represent DuJour with a single move.

The soundtrack did way better than the movie, and with good reason.  It was produced by Babyface (who also has a cameo in the movie as The Chief), vocals were provided by Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo, and people like Bif Naked and Jane Wiedlin contributed.

Entree:  One packet of ramen does go a long way, but grilled ramen will go even further because it’s a whole meal!

Dessert:  When the going gets tough, the tough make lemon(ade) cupcakes!

 

 

 

posted: September 26, 2013
under: veganmofo

VeganMoFo: Dazed and Confused

Empire Records and Dazed and Confused are the two roles that Rory Cochrane is most known for, you’ve also seen him in A Scanner Darkly (also a Richard Linklater film), 24, CSI Miami, and Argo.

AIR RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAID!!!

Dazed and Confused is about the last day of school/first day of summer break in 1976, that focuses on the new group of seniors and some of the incoming freshmen. Even though there’s a 20 year difference, some of the movie reminds me of my teenage years. Driving around, listening to…probably the Dazed and Confused soundtrack…being a pothead, looking for a field to drop a keg in. What, did you think I was going to say I was covered in mustard and ketchup and/or chased down and beaten by seniors?

The thing with the initiation, which one of the characters even comments on as they’re watching it (“They clearly have permission to use the parking lot, they’re selling concessions…”) is that it seems to be a totally sanctioned town activity for older teenagers to drive around, capture, and beat the younger ones with wooden paddles all summer long. The girls have it much easier because not only is their hazing being yelled at, having food dumped on them, and a drive through the car wash, but their hazing lasts for one day and it’s voluntary.

It’s weird to say this, but Dazed and Confused has two of the best ‘perpetually high’ performances ever: Rory Cochrane and Matthew McConaughey really nail the body language of people who are stoned so often that you can’t even tell when they’re not. Matthew McConaughey explains his character inspiration briefly here.

Starring Jason London (Carrie 2, The Man in the Moon, his twin was the one in Mallrats and Party of Five), Adam Goldberg (crazy Eddie on Friends, The Hebrew Hammer), Anthony Rapp (Adventures in Babysitting, Rent), Matthew McConaughey (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Tropic Thunder), Cole Hauser (Good Will Hunting, Pitch Black), Milla Jovovich (The 5th Element, Resident Evil and other ass kicking roles), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy, The United States of Tara), Parker Posy (Party Girl, Scream 3), Nicky Katt (Planet Terror, Boston Public), and some dude named Ben Affleck as the poofy-haired asshole that no one actually likes.

Entree: Sunflower Mac, Zig Zags are optional.
Side: There’s a lot of beer in this movie, so take your pick: beer battered pickles,onion rings, or zucchini.
Dessert: Why climb the Moon Tower (and possibly fall off, smacking your head on every beam) why you can just make and eat moon pies?

posted: September 25, 2013
under: veganmofo

VeganMoFo: Empire Records

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay, it’s the last full week of MoFo!  I’m excited because four of the five movies this week are some of my very favorite movies.  Also I realized that on Friday, I forgot to mention how Kevin Bacon is connected to Ghostbusters – Bill Murray was in Wild Things with him.

Empire Records is a movie about a day in an independent record store in the 90′s.  My dad owned a record store when I was a teenager (and drove a hearse), and despite what you may think it didn’t make me popular or cool, I was actually ridiculed about it from 7th grade up until I switched high schools.  Luckily, this movie plays into the idea that working at a record store is cool as shit and it’s full of hip, hip people with a buttload of problems.  But who cares about that?  Not I.  Not on Rex Manning Day!

On the same day that one of the employees sells $9,000 and they all find out that their beloved store is being turned into a chain ala Tower Records, a washed up pop star is coming to the store to promote his new album.  And then there’s head shaving, shoplifting, Gwar hallucinations, college pressures, and lots and lots of music.  Because you know.

Empire Records was panned by the critics when it came out, but fans love it.  They celebrate Rex Manning Day (I just watch the movie and make brownies).  There is a special ‘fan edition’ dvd that includes the Rex Manning music video and a whopping extra sixteen minutes of footage, most of which I honestly think should’ve stayed out.  If you’ve never seen the movie and can’t pick out what the extra footage is, if you find yourself wondering why they’re blathering on about bullshit for no reason, it’s probably an extra scene.

It has been done before and it has been done since, but a woman shaving off her hair on camera for a movie is always bad ass.  It’s not just about making yourself less ‘pretty’, I constantly hide behind my hair so shaving my head to me is the same as walking around topless.  Right after this, Robin Tunney filmed The Craft so her hair in that movie is 100% wig.

While I was poking around last night I found this list of who’s who in Empire Records, so instead of listing them off i’ll just link to that.

Bonus:  if you are a fan of Grease 2 this will either ruin or make your day.

There is limited food and food inspiration in this movie, i’ll admit, so we’re dipping into the vast (and awesome) soundtrack to help!  Eddie brings in a pizza at one point but honestly, you can only use a random pizza so many times.

Appetizers:  The Cranberries + Cracker = Cranberry Herbed Crackers.  I’ve never made my own crackers but that recipe seems pretty simple.  Serve with blue cheese dip (the buffalo bites have no reference to the movie but there’s no reason you can’t make them too, or anything else you want to dip).

Cocktail:  Gin Blossoms + The Martinis = Dirty Gin Martini.

Dessert:  There is only one thing (okay, two things if you want to make Happy Rex Manning Day cupcakes) to make:, some ‘herbal’ brownies.  Actually i’m noticing that everything in this menu has herbs of some sort.  Substitute pot wherever you want, just don’t watch Gwar videos while eating it.

 

 

 

posted: September 24, 2013
under: veganmofo

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