Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pawns to the Slaughter

I really am trying to keep an open mind about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I like some of the stark red and white imagery around the Queen of Hearts, I like the idea of Christopher Lee voicing the Jabberwock. It could very well be a good movie, I totally concede that. I just wish there wasn't one thing after another coming out to give me misgivings. Last night I watched Avril Lavigne's new music video for her song on the film's soundtrack, and it is breathtakingly bad;

It's true, I've never liked Avril Lavigne, I've seen her as a consummate poseur ever since I heard her, at an awards ceremony, clumsily pronounce David Bowie's name as "David . . . Bau-ie?" I was surprised when my sister told me that some friends of hers find Lavigne's music inspiring and cathartic. But if I'd heard she was universally considered the bottom of the barrel, this video would still fall below my expectations. It is the worst thing I've ever seen. It's worse than a pile of dog shit. Well, I guess I can't say that exactly since Lavigne is kind of hot. But the unbelievable cynicism of the song's construction--vaguely Alice related verses about falling down a rabbit hole, reflecting the sort of cursory knowledge of someone I suspect has never read the books, with a cheap, loud, monotone chorus about being a survivor and fighting for yourself or something, part of which sounds lifted from The Decemberists' "The Bagman's Gambit". And the fact that there's more than one closeup on her hands clearly demonstrating that she can't actually play piano, or if she can, it's only an extremely rough version of "Chopsticks". It looks like a bad actor on the Enterprise bridge set trying to look like she's operating a console. I wouldn't blame Fiona Apple if she threw a brick at her television when she saw this video.

Better, of course, is Robert Smith's cover of "Very Good Advice", though I admit I found it a little disappointing;

I found myself wishing it'd been done by late 80s era Cure--this is much too playful. The original version from the 1951 Disney film is far more effective.

But I do find myself kind of liking a version of "The Lobster Quadrille" by a band named Franz Ferdinand.

After winning a game of chess in Second Life last night against someone who didn't speak any English, I played the chess levels in American McGee's Alice. They contain some of my favourite atmospheres in the game;

Lousy dialogue, though.

Last night's tweets;

Sleeping's the best way to invite visits.
Some instead watch TV sleep they don't try.
Fatigue gets you the Red Queen's dry biscuits.
You hear Gilbert Gottfried laugh when you die.

Tim told me last night about a new anime DVD called Sleeping with Hinako. It's essentially forty eight minutes of an anime girl just sleeping, in high def, with a few fanservice shots. Like a lot of bad anime products these days, I find I feel no real joy in mocking it because its existence implies something so unspeakably sad about the people buying it.

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