Google Video pick of the week #011


In my neighborhood, when the jack hammers and tractors get rolling at 2 a.m. you know they won’t stop until well after 5a.m.  I try to ignore it, just bury my head under my pillow a little deeper, until I muffle all the sound. I’m not too light of a sleeper, but some nights these past two months, it got hard to sleep. Here’s why. And for that, I’m not trippin.

That is to say … I know that sound.

It’s not  just an annoying 10 ton clatter that makes its way up and down Cuauhtémoc Ave. It’s more than that.

It’s the sound of progress. Road infrastructure, public transit, just .38 cents and you’re home.

It’s that Westside extension putting a hole in Beverly Boulevard.  And it’s something like the Metro Rapid in the Valley, except out here you MUST pay to get on.

It’s also the extension of the Metrobús in Mexico City.

Which brings me to this week’s GVP. I picked the documentary, Bogotá: building a sustainable city, not because Brad Pitt narrates it, but because it’s about Bogotá, Colombia. Maternal lands.

You see, Colombia, along with Brazil were the forebearers to the style of bus service called BRT that Mexico has been recently using. It started out as a model of sustainable design, and now is a way of life that’s growing and costing lots of money.  Colombia’s Transmilenio was the first BRT I ever rode on back in 2006, when I visited.

So, check out the video, below, and learn what Bogotá can be like.  I’ll be fighting mucho ruido trying to hold on to at least a few hours of REM sleep. All in the name of progress.



3 Day Weekend

It was a rough week. Working for an online sweatshop isn’t good for a guy like me. Rent has got to get paid. I mean, the allure of the gig rests in the fact I get paid on time, and in a super convenient manner. Not feeling those extra charges, though.

Well, who doesn’t complain about his job?

For those of you who hate your jobs, and have this Memorial Day off, let your 3 Day Weekend give you all the rest you need to tackle the beast again on Tuesday. Remember: we gotta pay rent.

I did’t drop a GVP this week, so to make up for it, here’s 3 ways to kill some time this weekend. As always, courtesy of Google Video.

My pops is a fan of this movie. It’s a French neo-urban-noir flick that uses physical expertise at a martial art as its centerpiece. The scenes of Parkour get a little corny in places, but some of those moves are crazy.  District B13 aka Banlieue 13 (2004).

Find a good copy, here.

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Google Video pick of the week #010

As a  tattoo artist named Sol, from Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl recently told me at a party, “You need a higher degree to understand Jodorowsky. He’s not for the working man. Too abstract.”   While that may be true, Alejandro Jodorowsky is still a mythical multidisciplinary talent, best known in the U.S. as one of the progenitors of midnight cinema.

Above is La Montaña Sagrada, or Sacred Mountain (1973), a film that followed his breakout El Topo, and was bankrolled by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The film, which at times can seem like one long perverted commercial, is actually a dense meditation on his belief in the tarot and mysticism. Definitely one that went over a lot of people’s heads. For more on Jodorowsky, check out this excellent BBC documentary.
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Google Video pick of the week #004

¨Dream is Destiny,¨ precedes one of the first beats in Richard Linklater´s 2001 animated feature Waking Life.  Since I´m headed to SXSW in Austin, I figured I would post about this movie, which is so imaginatively rendered, and made by a writer/director best-known for catapulting Austin slackers into the film-making limelight.

Linklater, who in some of his older pictures, and with no facial hair, kind of reminds me of  a young Richie Sambora, was the poster boy for the indie film era that spawned (Jersey´s most visible movie director) Kevin Smith. And he has a resume as respected as any mildly successful Hollywood movie guy. Most of his films find niche audiences, but he´s made at least one movie everyone saw, School of Rock. His last movie, about Orson Welles, got good reviews.

¨Waking Life,¨ was one of two animated features the Texas director managed to bring to the screen. It uses a technique called ¨rotoscoping.¨ According to this Wired piece, ¨artists digitally trace over some frames of live-action footage by hand with a Wacom pen and tablet,¨ to create the trippy effects.

You can read a Web Q&A with the director, where he mentions some of the music he likes: ¨Duke Ellington and Bunny Berrigan and Fats Waller…¨ (via Empire Online).

Must See Factor: 5

Best Reason to See It: It gets kind of deep and existential in places.

Best part of the movie: The part where the guy gets shot.

Google Video pick of the week #002

Didn’t know where the thought came from. Maybe seeing the recent Wolfman, Daybreakers, Zombieland, Rabid, Hurt Locker and Precious all in the same month had me thinking about morbid stuff. I was wondering to myself, just before taking a rest for the night, about a movie I saw, in which a doctor says he wants to chop off someone’s limb to see if it regenerates. I couldn’t think of the name of that flick, until I saw the trailer for Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) just a minute ago. That’s the entire flick courtesy of Google Video up above.

The movie is basically about a boy who turns into a monster with a huge forehead. He was born from the heart of Frankenstein’s monster and the radiation effects of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. It was a Japanese film distributed in the U.S. by exploitation house American International Pictures.

Must See Factor: 2
Best Reason to See It: If you feel nostalgic for 60s Japanese Sci-Fi production values. Or have guilt about what we did in WWII
Best part of the movie: The chopped off hand they find in the jail cell.

It stars American actorNick Adams, a guy who died at 36 from a drug overdose and probably has a more interesting back story than the entire movie. His wiki page cites claims that he was on the down low with Elvis and James Dean.
His last film apperance was in Los Asesinos (1968), shot in Mexico City and starring Pedro Armendáriz Jr.

Here’s a list of Google Video Picks that if I didn’t have cable, and my DVD player was dead and I was craving cheese and nostalgia, I would watch. I imagine a security guard in the 80s watching these on some local station.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Mothra (1961)

Psycho A-Go-Go (1972)

Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)