Friday, August 21, 2009

Movie Roundup: 8/21/09

I promised I'd post one of these within a couple of days. And now, yay, I deliver on my promise! And not a second too soon: school starts Monday, which will of course drastically cut down on movie watching (except for the films of Alfred Hitchcock, on which I am taking a class). But for now, I've got a whole bunch of 'em for you. Same deal as always: previously seen movies in orange, movies new to me in white. Enjoy!

Eh, it's been a couple months. Let me bust this out again, just for reference:
The Scale
100-90: Blissful, orgasmic cinema. This is something extremely special.
89-80: An excellent, unmissable film. I probably own this (or will) and you should, too.
79-70: A very strong film well worth seeing.
69-60: This is good. It has some problems, but it's still an enjoyable piece of work.
59-50: The gray area. Certain things work about this, other things don't. It depends on mood and taste.
49-40: A mediocre or lackluster film. Not painful, but conspicuously flawed.
39-30: Plain bad. Don't go near this, please.
29-20: Incredibly terrible. Only worth a viewing if self-torture is desired.
19-0: Hooooo mama.

17 Again (Burr Steers, 2009) 54
In my defense, I didn't really watch this of my own volition. I was hanging out with a group of females and, in the interest of not spending five hours just trying to agree on something to watch, I settled back amenably and just let this one drift by me. It's an inoffensive but completely unspectacular fantasy-rom-com thing that, while mildly entertaining and amusing, can't help but call to mind the vastly superior Big and a slew of other films. Basically, the film just exists as an excuse for the ladies to gawk at Zac Efron (whom I am sure, true to the film's high capacity for realism, we all looked like when we were 17). It's his star vehicle, which I guess I'm cool with. It's just not a film aimed at my demographic. Still, not awful, and I'm sure it quite easily could have been. So that's something.

(500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb, 2009) 85
Now this is my kind of romantic comedy. Everything that can work about this does, and everything that shouldn't work is precisely what pushes the film out of standard-issue "relationship movie" fare into something much more effective and poignant. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch, really, to call this an anti-romantic comedy: you know within the first couple minutes that Tom and Summer aren't going to live happily ever after; the film all but spells it out. The journey, then, is seeing how they end up not being together, and for what reason, and what happens in the meantime. And if I've somehow made this sound dull and dry, nothing could be further from the truth. It's rich, warm, funny, clever, and creative, with characters I genuinely cared for and an insightful script that hardly ever hits a wrong note. Even the film's more self-conscious conceits, such as a nonlinear timeline or a practically winking-at-the-camera musical sequence, work beautifully in creating what is simply the sharpest and most honest movie of its kind to come along in quite some time. It may not be the sort of thing that will ever pack theaters, but it's one of those small films that's bound to give warm fuzzies to just about everyone who goes out of their way to catch it.

Barton Fink (The Coen Brothers, 1991) 64
Barton Fink is a very, very strange movie. It's strange even by Coen Brothers standards, which should mean something if you've ever seen one of their films. It's so strange, and certain events come so abruptly out of left-field, that while I was watching I was absolutely sure the film didn't work. Now, thinking back over it, I am not so convinced. I think it does work, albeit in a very unconventional and not entirely successful way. The film more or less follows the tried-and-true "writer's block" story for its first two thirds; insofar as this takes us, the movie is excellent. The Coens take dead aim at the movie industry and those who populate it: John Turturro is perfect as the tortured, struggling screenwriter, Michael Lerner is gleefully reprehensible as the studio exec, and John Mahoney is uncanny as the alcoholic trainwreck who is obviously supposed to be William Faulkner. It's when the film takes a sudden left turn in its final act that the story threatens to go off the rails. I'm not entirely sure what the Coens are getting at via this resolution, though I'm familiar enough with their output to be sure they did it for a very specific reason. Even so, it's confounding and at odds with everything that's come before it. Despite that flaw, though, it's still an interesting film. Though far from their best work (which was, of course, still yet to come), it's the work of two talented men with an offbeat agenda and an excitingly unusual way of looking at the world.

Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 1996) 61
All right. I have successfully collected the entire set. Having now seen all of Wes Anderson's movies to date, I can finally make the definitive claim I've been inching towards for ages: I just really don't like the guy all that much. His droll, self-consciously quirky films (the most popular of which are probably Rushmore and The Life Aquatic) seem to really strike a chord with some people, but I just find them smug and irritating. They're never bad, really (with the exception of Rushmore, which I find insufferable), and the judicious helping of (clearly influential) absurdist humor that defines each one is always good for a few laughs, but at the end of the day none of them really add up to much more than pointless excursions into self-aware peculiarity. Bottle Rocket, his first film and possibly his most solid, suffers all the same pitfalls. It tells a story that tries so desperately to be clever and peppers its every scene with so much smirking jokery that I almost wished I could've taken Anderson and Owen Wilson aside and told them, begged them, to just ... relax a bit. Don't try so damn hard to make something "different." The desperation shows, and it impacts what could've been a highly enjoyable, unique little comedy. It is still entertaining, but I also feel like it could have been a lot more than that. That's the feeling I get from all of Anderson's films, really. Maybe one of these days he'll get that feeling, too, and do something about it.

Bubba Ho-tep (Don Coscarelli, 2002) 68
I'm serious: if the idea of Elvis and a black JFK battling mummies in a nursing home doesn't strike you as the best thing ever, we can't be friends anymore. Because guess what: it is the best thing ever. This was, I believe, the first movie I ever saw at the Guild (back during its initial release in '02 or '03). I loved it then, and I still have a soft spot for it now. I mean, seriously, though. Bruce Campbell as Elvis. And a black JFK. Battling a mummy. How can you not be cool with that? This should be, like, the most popular movie ever made or something.

District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, 2009) 46
Again, the advance buzz baffles me. This has been heralded as "surprisingly original," "a novel creation," "ingenious and creative" -- the whole gamut. And not by people who don't know what they're talking about. This kind of talk gets a fella like me excited, see, and it makes me all the more disappointed when the damn thing turns out to be exactly like dozens upon dozens of movies I've seen before. This could have been something special: its mockumentary-style intro flirts with the kind of excitement and originality that, had the film sustained it, could've made this into an exceptional slice of sci-fi. Unfortunately, the clever stylistics go away as the story unfolds and we're left with what I found to be a very pedestrian shit-blows-up action movie. Far from being a captive audience, I spent much of the last hour rather bored. Even worse than that, the script pretty severely loses focus as the affair rolls on. What exactly gets resolved at the end? Who's the real hero here? How is the nutty Nigerian gun cult even necessary to the proceedings? And why, oh god, why does something as potentially intelligent as this feel the need to cop fighting machines from Transformers in order to get cheap thrills? So, I'm sorry. It seems like I'm a dissenting vote on this one, but I was far from impressed. There's nothing here that hasn't been done before a whole lot better, and it's just depressing to see something that could be thoughtful and poignant (obviously they're shooting for an apartheid allegory) streamline itself into a loud, handheld-ridden actionfest just to turn a buck.

Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, 1986) 72
It's very easy for me to see how someone could get really turned off by Jarmusch. He's definitely an acquired taste. Not only are his films very slow, but they also have an odd sense of humor and very rarely arrive at any sort of conventional resolution. Still, I don't know why, but I really like the guy. Every one of his films I have seen has wooed me in some way or other, and Down by Law is no exception. This is one of those movies where the experience is far more satisfying than any sort of synopsis. Really, all that happens is that three deadbeats get thrown in jail, hang out in jail for a while, and then escape to a bizarre deus ex machina, but nonetheless I still had a lot of fun watching it. Roberto Benigni, an almost complete unknown at the time, is a hoot as the ingratiatingly optimistic Italian tourist, and it's always interesting to see Tom Waits show up in a film, regardless of what it might be. So, yeah. I don't know. If you like Jarmusch, give this one a try. It's really entertaining. If you don't like Jarmusch, this isn't going to do anything to change your mind. And if you don't know Jarmusch, I'd rather you hit up Stranger Than Paradise first. But be sure to come back to this one. It's a goodie.

Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant, 1989) 87
A superb addiction drama. Gus Van Sant is an eclectic and fascinating filmmaker, and over his career he's traversed the very good (Milk, My Own Private Idaho), the all right (Elephant, Paranoid Park), and the just plain awful (Last Days, the Psycho remake). After years of digging, I have finally found the masterpiece I always knew he had in him. Who would've thought it'd turn out to be one of the first films he ever made? This is one of those godsend movies where everything falls beautifully into place: the very straightforward story, despite being nothing we haven't seen before, is never anything less than engrossing; the performances -- especially Matt Dillon's, which should have at least been nominated for an Oscar, if not awarded the trophy -- are tremendous; and the preaching and moralizing, which always inevitably creep into this sort of affair, are more or less nonexistent (which makes the proceedings all the more potent). It's grimly amusing when it needs to be, suitably tense when its situations call for it, breathtakingly poignant at all the right moments (there's a scene where Dillon is talking to a secretary about entering a methodone program that shows more truth and humanity over the course of two minutes than some entire films have), and just about as satisfying overall as it could possibly be. I loved this film.

Exotica (Atom Egoyan, 1994) 89
Holy shit. And here I was, absolutely sure I would not be seeing a more rewarding film than Drugstore Cowboy for months to come. That I had the pure luck of watching Exotica just a few hours later adds up to the single most satisfying movie-watching day in longer than I care to think about. This is an incredible achievement, more assured and affecting than I ever would have expected, even granted its barrage of glowing reviews. I've fallen prey to critical overhype plenty of times before, but this time the accolades are just fucking true. Exotica is a tour de force of human emotion, slithering deftly from isolation and loss to hopefulness, and back again. I can't even begin to express my scorn for the person who thought it'd be a good idea to market this as a sultry, sexy, erotic thriller. Despite occurring largely within the walls of a strip club, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a film about pain and suffering, about the richness and three-dimensionality of its characters; sex is the last thing on anyone's mind. The puzzle-like narrative is constructed somewhat out of linear order not as a means by which to fool or one-up the audience, but as a way to slowly develop its characters and shine light on the connections between them. As more and more details come into focus, the better we understand these people, and the better we're able to relate to them. It is not until the very last scene that the film has divulged everything, and even then it doesn't condescend to spell everything out; there's plenty of ambiguity and mystery left over, as well there should be. This is brilliant stuff: Egoyan's script is exhilaratingly unconventional, but impressively accomplished. The way he translates it to the screen shows the same caliber of talent. The cinematography is lush and dark and gorgeous, the performances he draws from his actors are top-notch, and the emotional impact of the film as a whole far surpasses anything I can reasonably put into words. It's a damn masterpiece. That's all there is to it.

Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) 75
You've got to understand that I'm a big Kubrick fan. I'm willing to defend the guy well past the point where many others would give up in frustation. That being said, I'll admit Eyes Wide Shut is far from his best film (it wouldn't even make my top five), but it's still a very solid and assured piece of filmmaking. There's also a certain air of finality about it that makes me not dissatisfied that it was his last film. Still, its flaws are very apparent: first of all, at 159 minutes, it's way damn too long. Even at his best, Kubrick was always deliberately paced (go back and revisit 2001 or The Shining -- you'll see what I mean), but rarely has his work seemed as unnecessarily protracted as it does in some of these scenes. Also: the story is appallingly thin. Taken one scene at a time, the film is positively mesmerizing. Taken as a whole, it really does not add up to much. So I suppose that's the secret to the enjoyment of the film: just lose yourself, and when it comes time to reflect on the film as a whole, simply regard it on a symbolic level rather than a literal one. Kubrick was a master stylist, and he creates a strange, surreal, potent atmosphere with Eyes Wide Shut that, frankly, I don't think could have been pulled off by anyone else. The very tripped-out gothic orgy scene in particular should go somewhere in the pantheon of cinematic brilliance, and for my money there are enough moments like this and enough of a sexually-charged undercurrent to make the film incredibly compelling despite all of its flaws. Whether or not you agree depends entirely on the amount of goodwill you're willing to grant its creator.

The Happiness of the Katakuris (Takashi Miike, 2001) 79
If not the best, it's really hard to argue that Takashi Miike is far and away the most fascinating of Japanese directors. Not only is the man capable of directing three or four features per year, but each one is so radically different that, were it not for his very distinctive fingerprints, it'd be difficult to guess they were the work of the same person. While I shy away from calling it the best of his films, I can say without hesitation that The Happiness of the Katakuris is most certainly the most flat-out entertaining (and, consequently, my favorite thus far). I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at a film. It's beyond absurd -- things happen at random without any sort of logical progression, there are unexpected outbursts of song, anybody can (and often does) die at any minute, and nothing really makes terribly much sense. At all. And yet somehow the damn thing is kind of brilliant. It's anarchic in the same way The Ruling Class might have been 35 years ago: it knows it's hilarious, but it exists to amuse itself instead of amusing anybody else. In the wrong hands, this is disastrous (Mars Attacks! comes to mind). In Miike's, it's riveting. I can't really explain it. There's nothing about this movie that should be brilliant, but dammit -- that's just what it is. And what a far cry it is from, ya know, anything else the man has ever made. But I guess that's a good thing. I mean, I can't imagine there could ever be two movies quite like this one. The world might explode.

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009) 68
To date, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is probably the most "critically acclaimed" movie of 2009. There's been nary a bad review to be found. I want to set the record straight, though. Is it a good film? Absolutely. Is it one of the greatest war movies ever made, as some have said? Well, lest we be so eager to discount the likes of Apocalypse Now and Schindler's List, not hardly. I think the reason why critics have gone so apeshit for it isn't because it really is some sort of masterpiece, but because -- like it or not -- it's still way better than the majority of the wannabe-didactic Iraqi bullshit Hollywood has been putting out. I'm as opposed to our actions in Iraq as anyone, but if I have to sit through one more sneering cinematic diatribe on the subject, I might just kill someone. The Hurt Locker, like an angel, avoids politics. It's a film not about the war, but about the smaller things that happen within it. When its action scenes get going, things get really tense really fast. This is the distinction between action in the blockbuster sense and action in the sense of something more satisfying; the difference between wanting to see shit blow up and, in this case, praying to god it doesn't. There are at least three or four edge-of-your-seat suspense sequences here, and it is to these that the film is anchored. Where it falters is in its unwillingness to properly develop its main character: the reckless, borderline psychotic Sgt. James is one of the most compelling protagonists in a good long while. Given the right motivation and backstory, this could be a zinger of a film. As the film presents him, though, he's merely an intriguing curiosity who serves to get the adrenaline pumping. And that's a shame. The good news is, there's plenty of adrenaline and tension to go around. If that's what you're in the mood for, step right up. I wanted a little bit more, but even in my mild dissatisfaction I can't deny that this is a very strong film.

Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009) 94
Simply put, films like Inglourious Basterds are why I love movies. This is a virtuoso piece of filmmaking, overflowing with audacity, originality, and straight-up adrenaline. It is everything I could have wanted from it and more, and when it comes time to count down the best films of 2009, I have a really strong feeling about what's going to be #1. Not that I didn't expect this: when I see a film by Quentin Tarantino, I expect nothing less than a masterpiece. Of course there was the usual amount of trepidation about the film living up to expectations and so forth, but I quickly forgot about this as I settled back into the most immersive and satisfying moviegoing experience I've had in more time than I care to think about. It's rare to see a movie where everything clicks. It's even more of a treat when everything clicks in such a dazzling, invigorating sequence of events that you wish the film would never end. I've endured some interminable 90-minute films; Inglourious Basterds' 152 minutes almost seem nonexistent. The way Tarantino deliberately crafts his characters and skillfully builds his storyline is a testament to his mastery. The film never rushes anything, but it never feels drawn-out; it is entertaining from scene one (and scene one is, perhaps, the single finest scene from any film all year), funny when it needs to be, shocking and ruthlessly tense when the ever-escalating story calls for it, and never anything less than an absolute joy to behold. If Christoph Waltz is not given Oscar consideration for his performance as Hans Landa, the Academy needs to have their collective head examined. Likewise, if this film does not do tremendously well at the box office, the world at large just won't know what they're missing. Especially after enduring so many bad sequels and cheap retreads, everyone of a like mind needs to behold what Tarantino has accomplished here. It does the soul good.

In the Company of Men (Neil LaBute, 1997) 74
A fucking vicious piece of work, which is exactly what's so damn good about it. I'm always slightly irritated by potentially incisive films that self-consciously strive to be soft around the edges in order to make themselves more marketable. In the Company of Men is a film that doesn't care. It's nasty, hateful, brutal, and mean. And while it's the sort of thing that's more or less impossible to sit through without feeling some pretty intense discomfort, it's also sobering and refreshing. For all its meanspiritedness, one cannot accuse the film of being bad (LaBute definitely overuses the long shot, I think, but that's a total trifling nitpick). In hindsight, it's easy to see why this was the film that put Aaron Eckhart on the map: his character, more so than the vast majority of screen villains I have ever seen, embodies a natural, coldblooded evil that simply cannot be put into words. The performance is dynamic, and the shining center of what is overall an incredibly ballsy production. Even twelve years later, the film has absolutely zero potential for wide recognition, but all film buffs should do themselves a favor and check it out. It will never ever ever be referred to as a feel-good movie, but at the same time it's so nice to watch a film that not only has teeth so razor-sharp they draw blood, but one that actively enjoys doing so.

The Loved One (Tony Richardson, 1965) 70
In many ways, The Loved One unfolds like a 60s prototype of the kind of film Sacha Baron Cohen or Parker and Stone would make today. There's a good deal of gleefully wicked, razor-sharp satire here, but it's punctuated with an uncomfortable propensity to underpin everything with unnecessary gross-out gags. And no matter how funny the filmmakers might think these are, they can't help but undermine the sharper and more pointed material. For every pitch-perfect, spot-on scene like the one where the pet undertakers shoot the dead bird off in a rocket, there's an off-putting one like the disgusting and not even slightly amusing montage of the morbidly obese Mrs. Joyboy stuffing her face with food. Even so, I'd say the good handily outweighs the bad. It takes balls to even make a movie this irreverent, and even more balls to market it as "the film with something to offend everyone" (which ... yeah, it probably is). I'm sure as time goes by I'll come to forget the icky stuff and remember it fondly for what it, for the most part, is: a fearless, jet-black comedy about the funeral industry that is still more or less unique in its approach and, indeed, has more than its fair share of thrills to balance out the filmmakers' somewhat indulgent tendency to just go off the rails completely.

No Country for Old Men (The Coen Brothers, 2007) 90
I think I exhausted pretty much everything I have to say about this back when it came out a couple years ago (god, has it already been that long?), but it's still an exceptional film that holds up very, very well. It's unconventional as hell, too: how many movies can you think of that basically feature no soundtrack whatsoever and have three main characters that never meet any of the others face-to-face? I'd be hard-pressed to name even one more, for both. Anyway, this sucker cleaned up at the Oscars, and deservedly so. Bardem's chilling performance is on its way to becoming iconic, and the film as a whole can proudly stand as far and away the best western of the 2000s.

Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965) 59
This is sort of a hallmark of 1960s horror, and while it doesn't quite work for me, I must concede that it's an intriguing and cleverly conceived mood piece. I think my biggest problem is that, dammit, it just doesn't scare me. At all. In fact, if we're going on thrills alone, the movie is almost completely ineffectual. This wouldn't be as big of a deal for me if the film hadn't been built up as omg one of the scariest things ever (thanks, dad), but it was. I mean, sure, there are some eerie elements (the hands in the hallway, the highly symbolic cracks in the walls), but they're not frightening. They're just sort of evocative. So I'm left to admire the film based on technique alone. Luckily, Polanski knows exactly what he's doing. He creates an atmosphere nicely and knows how to skillfully build on it until the action reaches its logical breaking point. I just wish that breaking point were a bit more visceral. At least for me, anyway. God knows the film's plenty scary enough for some. I just wish I could be included, because it is a good film. It just happens to be one that also feels strangely incomplete.

Rocket Science (Jeffrey Blitz, 2007) 30
Rocket Science is a remarkably miserable movie. It is dreary to the fullest extent of its abilities, which are considerable. It also thinks it's funny, though by whose judgment I have no idea. This, a film ostensibly about high school debating, was recommended to me by a friend who knew that I spent many a weekend in high school competing at speech tournaments. In hindsight, I hope to God the recommendation didn't come because the main character reminded him of me. The so-called "hero" of this vapid ordeal has exactly zero likable qualities. He stutters, he's antisocial, he obviously has some pretty serious emotional problems (unless you count getting drunk and throwing a cello through someone's window as typical teenage behavior), and he's suitably lacking in any sort of personality. In other words, I couldn't have given a damn about him. He's not exactly the sort of guy who puts you on the edge of your seat rooting for him. The even worse news is, the film doesn't like him either. So for 100 minutes the kid gets pushed around, wrestles unsuccessfully with his personal demons, and ultimately ends up in a place arguably less desirable than he was when the film started. This is an underdog story; one might reasonably expect an arc with an ultimate triumph. Here, not so much. And when a comedy about a troubled teenager attempting to overcome his obstacles and emerge victorious accomplishes neither being amusing nor its story-based goals, I think it's safe to say the film as a whole is a complete failure. That it's also a wholly depressing experience is just an added bonus. At the very least, the film could've used more smartass, banjo-playing dry cleaner guy. He was at least somewhat interesting.

The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976) 38
An discomfitingly misguided film, not to mention ludicrous and slow as molasses. Roger Ebert hit the nail on the head: if The Tenant weren't a Roman Polanski film, it'd be laughed off as total garbage. Clearly he's trying to one-up himself here and outdo Repulsion; to say he fails miserably would be an understatement. Repulsion was not a bad film, but it felt like a somewhat undercooked one; still, it was forgivable. It was the work of a younger and less experienced director. The Tenant is the work of a man who had just finished making Chinatown, one of the greatest detective movies of all-time, and as such it's just plain embarrassing. I suppose this could've worked as a simple paranoia story. It would've been predictable, but with Polanski's talent for conjuring up atmospherics, it still might've been decent. But when the main character (played by Polanski himself, no less) starts to dress in drag and trip out and basically go down the rabbit hole, the movie effectively reaches the point of no return. The slowness of the narrative is frustrating up to that point, but when it chooses to reward us with that nonsense, it becomes flat-out tedious. And then there's the ending. Oh god, the ending. As if it weren't enough to see Polanski in drag and makeup hurl himself through a third-story window, you get to see him -- bruised and bloodied -- crawl up the stairs and do it again. If this were a smarter film, I'd suspect some sort of tongue-in-cheek parody at work. But no. This is just fucking stupid. And to think this has the audacity to call itself a horror film. What a riot. The only thing that's scary is that it got made in the first place. The rest of it's just morbidly fascinating, like watching a trainwreck. You know it's awful, but somehow it's just impossible to look away.

'Til next time, film fans. Au revoir.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chris' Summer Mix 2009

At the end of every summer, either as a birthday present or a going-back-to-school present or whatever, I make a mix. I used to make tons of mixes. I'd make 'em for any purpose or any person or any occasion. Over time, what with the advent of the playlist and me actually finding better things to do with my time, the golden Summer Mix has more or less become the only one I make every year (barring road trips or something that might call for it).

The criterion for song selection is very simple: it can be any song from any year, just so long as I like it and it reminds me in some way of the summer now gone. This usually results in an array of some of my most-played tracks from May to August, select songs by bands I have seen live, or songs that have just plain dropped into my life at particularly opportune times. In short, these are all songs that mean something to me and that, given enough time, I expect to be especially evocative of summer '09.

Are there any songs that got left out due to CD time constraints? Well, yeah. In a perfect world, CDs would be ~90 minutes long so that I could include Archive's "Controlling Crowds" and The Mae Shi's "R U Professional?" But so it goes. The 19 songs that made the cut are, I think, the "right" 19, so that's good enough for me.

It's also become frighteningly apparent to me just by glancing at last year's mix how much further down the synth slope I've fallen. With a few synthy exceptions (M83, Kleerup, Cut Copy), 2008's was a rock mix. But now, with a few rock exceptions (Sunset Rubdown, Brand New, dredg, and a couple others), 2009's is predominately a synth mix. The tastes, they are a-changin'.

Chris' Summer Mix 2009:
01. Junior Boys, "Double Shadow" [4:22]
02. Sunset Rubdown, "Silver Moons" [4:45]
03. Empire of the Sun, "Standing on the Shore" [4:24]
04. Bat for Lashes, "Daniel" [4:11]
05. The Presets, "This Boy's in Love" [4:12]
06. Brand New, "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" [4:01]
07. Fischerspooner, "Never Win" [3:59]
08. Pure Reason Revolution, "Bullitts Dominae" [5:22]
09. dredg, "I Don't Know" [3:45]
10. Chromeo, "Fancy Footwork" [3:18]
11. Das Racist & Wallpaper, "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" [3:40]
12. Innerpartysystem, "The Way We Move" [3:27]
13. Rinôçérôse, "Panic Attack" [4:02]
14. Pnau, "With You Forever" [3:34]
15. The Kingsbury Manx, "Well, Whatever" [3:11]
16. Immaculate Machine, "Broken Ship" [3:33]
17. War Tapes, "She Lied" [3:22]
18. 23RAINYDAYS, "Monster" [4:42]
19. VNV Nation, "Where There Is Light" [6:20]
Total Time: 78:17

And of course it's horribly presumptuous of me to assume anyone might be interested in hearing this crap, but just in case, I've prepared a handy little .rar file that can be downloaded here. Trust me, it's worth it just for track #11 (and the way that, when listened to in sequence, it kind of awesomely transitions into #12).

It all just makes me wonder what 2010's mix will look like. For all I know, it could be nothing but Bavarian folk music. I'm known to frighten myself like that sometimes. Anyway. There we have it.

For what it's worth, a new Movie Roundup will arrive very shortly. Like, within a couple days. So stay tuned for that!