The Great Gatsby

The-Great-Gatsby3The Great Gatsby has gotten some bad reviews, and I get some of the things they are saying. But, all in all, I was not disappointed with the movie, and I’ve been excited for it forever.

First off, it’s a visual movie – it’s two and a half hours of looking at really beautiful things and people (Leo). I watched the regular version, but it’s very obviously shot for 3D. I don’t really get why they would make this movie 3D, but whatever. I don’t fault Baz Luhrmann for taking this approach because he needed to find a way to reinterpret the story. Everyone knows the plot, and you can’t touch it. The 1974 version was a very literal screen translation of the text, so that’s been done. What’s left is making it look and sound different, which is what he did with the music and the visuals.

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What-a-fabulous-partypartyThe one thing that wasn’t a huge fan of in terms of this was that it had some whimsical elements that kind of bothered me. Things like letters coming off pages and floating up into the air, and clouds becoming people’s faces. Get real, Baz; that doesn’t happen.

Gatsby’s house is a huge part of the story and it’s described as a grand palace, which is what it looks like in the movie. In fact it looks like a Disney castle. Even though the style is in keeping with some of the massive mansions you find on Long Island, I liked the house in the old movie better. It was more how I pictured it reading the book – slightly more modest and less intimidating – like Gatsby’s personality. But nothing in the movie is modest; that’s the whole the idea.

house

Robert Redford – old man crush

Even all the jewelry and some of the props were made by Tiffany’s, and cost thousands of dollars. The production of the movie mirrored the lifestyle it portrayed (they even spent so much money that they ran out and had to move filming to Australia, where Baz is from). But it works because you’re looking at actual excesses of diamonds and pearls and expensive cars and it sucks you in.

733807_529085157133904_602227890_nThe plot was true to the book (but they skipped my favorite line, “her voice is full of money”), except that they have Tobey Maguire narrating the story from a mental institute, and at the end he finishes writing The Great Gatsby, which does not happen in the book. I thought it was a little weird, but I guess it was supposed to darken the story.

tobey-maguire-and-leonardo-dicaprio-the-great-gatsbyLeonardo DiCaprio was perfect as Gatsby, obviously because he’s the best. Carey Mulligan was good as Daisy but I still find her unattractive even drenched in diamonds and designer dresses. Baz just loves pairing Leo with semi-plain looking girls with round noses…

lades

Talking to you Claire Danes….sorry..

Jay-Z’s influence was also very apparent, not only through his music but by the emphasis put on Black people in the movie. I know Baz (I’m naming my kid Baz) said he wanted a hip-hop influence in the movie, but it was a little odd how there would just be random shots of Black people. Like when a car full of super fancy Black men and women zoom by jamming out to “H to the Izzo.” I think Jay-Z was just like “No, Baz, let me do this. It will be hilarious.” And it was.

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That’s the anthem get’cha damn hands up

The rest of the music worked well in the movie, and I was happy that Lana Del Rey’s song from the soundtrack was sort of the main theme song because it’s my favorite one.

THE GREAT GATSBYAnyway really long story short, I liked it. The book is one of the most-loved American books ever written so it’s a big undertaking to re-imagine it. This version is loud and fantastical in Moulin-Rouge style. Maybe in 30 years the next version will be more to the critics’ liking.

Gatsby’s Music

Oh, Baz -E!

Oh, Baz
-E!

I’m in such a Gatsby mood. I finished the book last week and watched the red (black) carpet premier on TV last night – which had I known was going on in NYC I would have crashed.

NPR has released a preview of The Great Gatsby soundtrack that everyone is talking about. The director, Baz Luhrmann, talked a little about working with Jay-Z on the soundtrack last night. He said he wanted to update the music in a way that makes us feel now the way people felt reading the book then, which at the time featured controversial black music – jazz. He also said he was introduced to Jay-Z by Leonardo DiCaprio just as he had finished writing “No Church in the Wild,” which seems like it could have been the theme for the whole movie and was featured in one of the first previews for the movie.

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“…the film’s soundtrack, which like Lurmann’s previous ones both arises from within the film and stands separately from it. Some have wondered why, after Lurhmann enlisted Jay-Z’s help and anounced that his movie’s music would recast hip-hop as the jazz of our boom-and-bust era, only a few rappers show up on the album. But just as Fitzgerald peppered his text with references to jazz-influenced pop songs to show how that music became a lingua franca, so this soundtrack aims to show how hip-hop now deeply informs rock, dance music and the Top 40.” – NPR

The soundtrack features a lot of dark music, Jack White screaming and some fun songs like a jazzy version of “Crazy in Love” by “B” as Baz calls her. He’s my new favorite silver fox.

Jay E!

Jay
E!

Florence  E!

Florence
E!

Listen to the soundtrack HERE

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Martha Stewart at the premier in gold clamdiggers – LOL

Back in high school

gatsbyI’ve been revisiting classic books I read in middle school and high school. I read To Kill a Mockingbird and now I’m making my way through Catcher in the Rye. But what I’m really excited for is to re-read The Great Gatsby. Not only was it my favorite English class book, but the movie is getting closer and closer. I’m very excited because I love the book, I love Leo and I love sparkly rich people.

The soundtrack is also so up my ally. All I listen to lately is Florence and the Machine and Lana Del Rey. And the soundtrack is produced by Jay-Z who I’ll be seeing in concert this summer. Also Beyonce does a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” This soundtrack is for me.

My only problem in regards to the movie is that that Carrie Mulligan chick is like a less cute version of Michelle Williams, who we all know is not so pretty.

Trivia: The book is rumored to be set in Westport, CT. My hood (kind of) – I should have been cast as Daisy.

It’s your girl, B

I know I’m late, but I thought I should congratulate Beyonce on being named Poeple’s Most Beautiful Woman (you know, since we’re friends). I’d say it’s a good call on People’s part with all the hype about how she may or may not have given birth to a devil child (relax people). Anyway, I’ve been giving a lot of love to her hubby for his song lyrics, but Beyonce’s not just a hot piece of ass – she has some gems in her repertoire as well. Have we forgotten this Destiny’s Child song?

Nasty Girl:

Nasty put some clothes on, I told ya
Don’t walk out your house without no clothes on, I told ya
Girl what ya thinkin’ bout lookin’ that to’ down, I told ya
These men don’t want no hot female that’s been around the block female, you nasty girl

Shakin’ that thang on that man, lookin’ all stank and nasty
Swore you look cute girl in them dukes, booty all out lookin’ trashy
Sleazy put some clothes on, I told ya
Don’t walk out ya heezy without clothes on, I told ya
You nasty girl, you nasty you trashy
You classless girl, you sleazy you freaky
I ain’t never met a girl that does the things that you do
Change don’t come your way it will come back to you
Put some clothes on girl

I get what you’re saying about not leaving the heezy without clothes on, and I have nothing but love for my girl – but you did kind of invent the no pants thing….

Pants or no pants, here’s to Beyonce’s humble beginnings:

And her current fabulousness:

Lyrical Genius (Vol. 8)

Before Jay-Z settled down with the love of his life, B, he was burned by a mystery woman and has since written a song detailing the deception. Let’s take some time to hear the story of “Venus vs. Mars.”

They knew they had some differences from the beginning, but it always worked out:

I’m on that red wine, shawty like white,
same sh-t different toilet,
we both getting nice,
me I’m from the apple which means I’m the Mac,
She’s a PC, she lives in my lap…

The Ying to my Yang, I skeet skeet off

And in the chorus, we hear about all the great things they did over the course of their relationship:

Shawty get it in,
Daddy go hard
Shawty get it in,
Daddy go hard….

But then, things start to go a bit awry:

I hits it from the back, Shawty like the front

When I finish breakfast, shawty’s out for lunch,
yeah we both eating its better than brunch

It sounds like Jay is making up excuses for shawty. Eating separately is definitely not better than brunch. In fact, poached eggs on a Sunday afternoon might have helped fix the relationship. But the denial continued until Jay caught Venus:

Thought Shawty was the truth, found out she was a cheater

Found out she was also a liar:

thought shawty like Mike, found out she like Prince

And that she was leaving him for a European:

My dollars was down, she left me for some Euro’s,
Took my whole flavour, I call her coke zero

And also, it turns out shawty was crazy the whole time:

shawty got Britney shaved her whole head up

Shawty get it in

Poor Jay:

Fell for the ponzi scheme, damn shawty just Made-off

Lyrical Genius (Vol. 7)

I haven’t done one of these in a long time mostly because I’ve been listening to HOT 97 for so long now that nothing really offends me anymore. But there’s been one line that’s been sticking out to me lately and it belongs to lyrical genius, Kanye West. In my book, Kanye’s words are the only words to live by.

“Sunglasses and Advil. Last night was mad real.”

Um, I know. Totes.

- Last night was maaaad real -

- Sunglasses and Dunk's"

So let’s explore some other hidden gems in the song “No Church in the Wild” by Kanye West feat. Jay-Z and Frank Ocean.

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“Cocaine seats
All white like I got the whole thing bleached
Drug dealer chic”

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Jay-Z is a classy guy, especially now that he knocked up Beyonce and started the next royal family. He’s also been around for a while so he knows what’s up, and “drug dealer chic” – that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Becoming a famous rapper, I mean. It’s the skill of maintaining street-cred while having a carpeted bathroom with a golden tub. Diamond encrusted grills, tinted windows, pin-striped suits, Rocawear: sooo drug dealer chic.

- Drug dealer chic -

- Drug dealer chic -

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“Coke on her black skin made a stripe like a zebra
I call that jungle fever
You will not control the threesome
Just roll the weed up until I get me some
We formed a new religion
No sins as long as there’s permission’
And deception is the only felony
So never f-ck nobody wit’out tellin’ me
Sunglasses and Advil
Last night was mad real
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Sounds like last night was definitely mad real. I was hungover from a couple glasses of pinot the other day, so props to Kanye for popping an Advil and getting on with his morning after that party. Question: is he talking to a girl of his when he says “never f-ck nobody wit’out tellin’ me”? Or is that a general statement to the public? One of the 10 commandments of Kanye, maybe – right after “Thou shalt not date women with hair” and “Taylor Swift sucks.”
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- "Thou shall upstage models by looking better in women's clothing" -

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“Sun comin’ up, 5 a.m.
I wonder if they got cabs still
Thinkin’ ’bout the girl in all-leopard
Who was rubbin’ the wood like Kiki Shepard
Two tattooes, one read ‘No Apologies’
The other said ‘Love is cursed by monogamy’
That’s somethin’ that the pastor don’t preach”
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- Kiki Shepard -

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What kind of lame city doesn’t have cabs at 5 a.m.? Or is that more of an existential question, like he did so much coke off that girl that he doesn’t know how much time has passed? Do cabs still exist, is this real life?
.
I don’t know who Kiki Shepard is.
.
No, the pastor does not preach “Love is cursed by monogamy,” he actually preaches “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” And we’re back to the 10 commandments of Kanye, which you can find in their entirety tattooed onto Kiki Shepard’s body.
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