2. Jumping through plate glass windows will not damage you at all, nor will shattered glass be left behind.
3. Despite being an amazingly athletic woman who’s travelled the world and been through enough perilous, life-threatening situations to put a normal person in therapy for the rest of their years, despite being able to survive the harshest terrains and traverse them without breaking a sweat – you cannot manage a slightly slanted surface
5. It’s not necessary to open your mouth to talk; just bob your head and the sound will come out anyway.
6. Burly Italian Mafia-cultists cannot be blown up with a single grenade. Two grenades, however…
7. Everything you find on your travels is interesting and curious, prompting a fitting response of “Aha!”
8. Jumping from a pier into a boat will automatically turn you around the proper way and said boat will start immediately.
9. To put something in a backpack, you only need put it in the vicinity of your shoulders.
10. Taking a step forward, then back, then turning around three times and jumping will make you explode.
12. Deep below the Great Wall of China (yet somehow high, high above it too) are a series of floating islands that are all kinds of creepy awesome.
13. To keep warm in the mountains of Tibet, you only need to put on a jacket.
15. There are only three types of switches in the world; levers to pull down with both hands, buttons on a wall, and levers that can only be pulled if they’re underwater.
16. An M-16 is a great weapon, but ultimately pretty impractical. You’ll end up preferring your Uzis, even though they’re so 1996.
17. You can lock your butler in a freezer without so much as a twinge of guilt.
18. Traps built thousands of years in the past will function perfectly despite having received no maintenance whatsoever in the interim time. You’ll also never look for a practical way around them, but merely try to avoid them on your travels.
19. It’s not possible to step on spiders or kick rats away – you must shoot them. Should you have one on hand, a grenade launcher is a perfectly appropriate level of firepower for this action.
20. Proportionally, your bed is roughly the size of a Humvee. There is nothing odd about this.
I was planning on writing a Top 10 of my favourite music videos, but that led me to too many options, and I couldn’t face the task of narrowing it down to just 10 (although “What Else Is There” by Royksopp would be number one, if you’re curious). Instead, I’ve done music videos that should be dull and banal, but just aren’t. Here we go:
Some models walk down a catwalk. Infusion appear on screens behind them.
This song is just an excellently bitter kiss-off song to the fair sex when they’re being unfair, so it makes sense to have a music video portraying cold, calculated women as the means of getting this message across. Sure, the girls all look amazing when they strut their stuff in time to the music, but they’re so distant and artificial that you know you’ll never have a chance with any of them, and the song wants you to be pissed off about that.
Jaren sings from an operating table.
I think this comes down entirely to Jaren. She’s one of my favourite singers, and definitely one of the standouts in the vast array of female vocalists in Trance music, and it comes down to two simple things: 1), the girl can sing! She has this beautiful deep voice that can just do amazing things with a song, and 2) she puts such emotion into the words she’s singing. Beggin’ You is just beautiful, and this comes across in the video – the vast majority of the song is just her face, singing, and it doesn’t bore you at all because you can read so much just from the feeling she’s put into each note. It’s a nicely shot little clip too, which just makes it all the more palatable.
Some kids ride skateboards downhill. Also, some shapes fly out of a train.
I have no idea. I love the song, so I’m of course biased, but this clip should bore the shit out of me – it doesn’t! It’s literally nothing but footage from the 70s of kids riding downhill in their skateboards – but I watch without looking away. And it’s not like they’re doing heaps of totally radical tubular moves on those decks – the slaloming is cool, but it should be boring! So why isn’t it? Power of an awesome song maybe? And yeah, there’s also a few brief moments where a train rides along pumping out brightly coloured 3D shapes, but it’s like 2% of the total runtime, and even then – that should be boring too! Yet, I love it.
Two guys wrestle in milk. The Presets get dusty.
Its just super, super stylish. I’ve also seen a making-of clip for the video, and Kim and Julian said that they used the treatment for this video purely because it was so bizarre – two guys fight in milk – and it’s easy to see why it appealed to their oddball natures. Zack Snyder would also do well to see this clip, as this is how slow motion should be done! It’s so fucking cool when there’s just a slow-moving cloud of dust and dirt covering Kim and Julian with a light illuminating different particles. Awesome song, awesome clip.
Robot watches creepy robot.
Well, other than the über-creepiness of the singing robot, I love this clip for visualising the sinister undertones of the song. The pitch-correction on the lyrics already made it unsettling, but when you think about the lyrics – which are just simple computer functions – it seems like some endless trap of constantly doing the same thing over and over again. Then the clip shows us a robot watching another robot brainwashing it with creepiness and technology, while Daft Punk (appropriately robotic) play their guitars alongside. Why are there pyramids? Because they’re creepy. Why is it orange-hued? Because it’s creepy. It’s a cool, creepy and effective clip, despite its simplicity.
Guy walks down a street.
I love how simple the premise is – walking a line from A to B without avoiding anything in your way. I love that he starts off simply enough, but then as the song builds, so does the quiet chaos on the street behind him where everyone he pisses off or knocks to the ground reacts to him, or tries to even get some form of acknowledgement but he just keeps going. It’s a cool idea that works with the song – and I have to admit I’m not that big a fan of the song. Like Wonderwall, this is one of those songs that everyone I know simply adores, but I’ve always been left underwhelmed by it; it’s not to say I don’t like the song, but the music video definitely makes up for that.
Song’s performed in the shadows
This song is bouncy and creepy all at once, and the latter element is definitely amped up when you realise the lyrics are about human taxidermy. How do you put that in a music video? You don’t! Instead, we get hidden shots of Alice Glass and Ethan Kath performing in blackness with a single globe and occasional strobe light illuminating them every now and then. I think I like this because the video uses so much black that you kind of get the impression that there’s something hiding in the darkness with them, and given that we can’t see it – that’s downright scary.
Three guys and a girl stand there.
This is of course the “clean” music video, instead of the one with large breasts and power tools. This clip works just for its sheer inanity. Apparently it’s a three second clip stretched out to match the song’s length, so it takes you forever to notice that they’re actually moving, just really slowly. And that’s cool. It’s odd that such a pounding beat can be matched up well with a seemingly static image, but somehow it all fits.
Robyn dances in a gym.
It helps that it’s such a good song, but the video all comes down to Robyn herself. Like Jaren, she’s able to convey a bucketload of emotion in her singing, and this video has her act it out. And I don’t mean that is in the video has her doing an interpretive dance. The song is about a girl who tells her new man that he needs to break up with his girlfriend so they can be together, but she gives him advice on how to do it gently. Robyn looks like her heart is breaking with sympathy for his girlfriend throughout the song, and it just makes her so endearing. For added awesomeness, the video is shot in a single (impressive) take. It shouldn’t be as fascinating and easy to watch as it is – yet you just get swept up in Robyn’s performance, and she absolutely nails it.
Some guys run around a city.
This one’s simple: the video matches the energy of the song. This song makes me want to run, and it’s perfectly fitting that the music video is nothing but some guys running around a seemingly empty city. Why are they running? Where are they going? What’s the point of all this? It doesn’t matter – because it’s just a perfect fit for the mood of the song itself. I don’t know how anyone could possibly get bored with this clip – it’s just so simple and so cool. I could watch it till the cows come home, which will be a pretty long time, given my lack of cow ownership.
Lady Gaga totes hangs out on a fire escape.
What a waste! I know some people get fed up with Lady Gaga’s constant theatricality in every single breath of her life, and yeah it can be a bit much at times, but I hardly think the way to make up for that is to have a video clip where you do nothing at all – especially when it’s to a song with so much potential! There’s so much feeling and depth to the song, and having Lady Gaga leathered up on a fire escape doing nothing except running up the stairs, then down them, then back up them, and a bit of a dance here and there – it’s just shit! It seems phoned in and done on the cheap. Disappointing, especially given how crazy awesome some of her other clips are.
Ever have those songs that start out really well, and then just die off almost straight away? Yeah, I do too.
This is a cool song. It’s not amazing, but it is fantastic when a soundtrack uses it well. The real problem with the song, other than the usual lack of anywhere to go after its intro, is how polar-opposite the chorus and verses are. That dark groove that opens the song, along with the breathy, erotic repetitions of “sexy boy” set up a tone for a deep and sexy song – but then the verses come along in their cutesy uplifting French, and it’s just too much of a change in mood. This would be like getting down and dirty with some hot-bodied gorgeous thing, only to then have her turn out to be a 12-year-old. It’s just too dissonant, and it stops you enjoying the song as much as you can. Which is a shame, because the song is actually pretty cool.
I’m gonna have to dodge the flaming arrows of Sia fans on this one, but Breathe Me is too long a song without anywhere near enough variation. Breathy, tortured vocals are alright in moderation, but this song is almost like it’s horny for being depressed, and it just can’t get off. Now, I do like the song – the piano at the start is beautiful, but once the song gets past its intro, it just seems like more of the same. I constantly skip it when it comes on the ol’ iPod, because in the end, I’ll just wind up spending four and a half minutes listening to Sia croak ennui into a microphone.
Now, this almost pains me to write – but rap has improved this song. The Madcon cover is able to correct everything that the Frankie Valli version has wrong with it. The initial hook of the song is diabolically catchy – you hear it just the once, and for months – and months – and months, you will have “Beggin’…beggin’ youu-oo-oo-ooooooo…put your lovin’ hands out baby!” repeating in your head like a particularly danceable cancer on your mind. Problem is, that hook isn’t enough to sustain an entire song, and the Valli version is essentially nothing but that hook. The different verses of rap in the Madcon cover break it up perfectly and you find yourself enjoying it, but the Valli one just leaves you wanting to end once it starts.
This one can probably be blamed on hearing it roughly 724, 678, 195 times at my aunt’s wedding (her name is Judy, there was alcohol, the repetition was inevitable). That said, I also think this is one of the most overrated Beatles songs. It’s nice, I like it, but it’s just a bit…wishy-washy. But quality of the song aside, the “naaaaa naaaaa naaaaaa na-na-na-naaaaaa” goes on for too long. And admittedly, this is the song taking too long to end, because for the most part it’s welcome is kept invited. But then it becomes like that friend who won’t leave even after you say you’re going to bed.
Ready To Go is another one of those songs that is perfect for a soundtrack where the song itself is not the main focus, but on it’s own, it’s got, ironically, nowhere to go. The intro is cool, the agro-punk-techno surging after it is also cool, and it’s palatable up until about the end of the first chorus. After that, it just does nothing, and the intensity of that agro-punk-techno just grinds you down into being sick of it. Also, it doesn’t help that:
In this exact style right heeeere
And then a third line’s sung quite cleeeear
But after that you’re fucking booored
You just want Saffron (the vocalist – and that’s another thing – the song would be better if its singer’s name wasn’t a spice) to kind of tone down the bored-chic stylings of the vocals.
That said, this is probably my favourite song on this list – if you’re doing something with the song, like cleaning the house or going for a run – it’s fine; if you’re listening to music recreationally – it’s a drag.
This song is kind of ridiculous in how over the top it is anyway, but really, the only reason it needs to exist is for that moment when the drums and guitars kick in after the whine of the synth intro. Now, that moment – that is sheer awesomeness. Then the song dies in the arse once Till Lindemann starts singing – the awesomeness of the song up until now gives over to ridiculous amounts of Teutonic camp. And then by the end of it I’m bored. But that first bit – awesome.
Basement Jaxx are cool, and I love a lot of their music, and every time I hear Red Alert, I get all psyched up for it but after a while, the constant (albeit masterfully constructed) quirks of the song just get draining… It also doesn’t help that lyrically, the song is “Verse, Bridge, Repeat” – it never builds up to a proper chorus and by the end it’s just chasing its tail – although I will concede that in the music video above it seems less repetitive what with everything going on in that clip.
More commonly known as “The Ferris Bueller Song” this is just another example of a song having nowhere to go unless it’s being used on a soundtrack. Ferris Bueller has forever associated this song with greed and excess, so when you listen to it on its own, it’s like a douchebag in a nightclub crying out “I’m awesome!” – pretty painful. I’ll admit though – I do love the “chick…chick…chicka-chicka” just for its ludicrousness. It’s a fun song, I guess, but it’s just too little for too long.
This one’s the same problem as Du Hast just in a much tighter timeframe – after you get past the opening lines, the song is just shit. I won’t even say I actually like the song and just get sick of it towards the end, no – I like the opening line and that’s it. Sorry Bon Jovi fans – this song is terrible except for that opener. That’s not to say I don’t like Bon Jovi – they’ve a few good songs under their belt, but I’ve never understood the appeal of this one – except that opening second.
So yeah, we have every car advertisement and action movie trailer in the world to thank for perpetuating this song’s – ahem – ”popularity.” This song starts off okay — and I mean a heavy emphasis on “okay” – it’s not great but it is okay — and then once you get a “woo-hoo” in, it’s spent the entirety of it’s charm. The lyrics – what little there are of them – are whingy and annoying, and the song just fucks around until it gets back to it’s oh-so-charming “woo-hoos” by which point I’m skipping it, and every advertisement out there is using it to ramp up the “energy” of their lifeless products. Seriously, how many commercials has this fucking arsewreck of a song been in?
Brandon: Is there an Olive here?
Rosemary: I got a whole jar of them in the fridge!
Played by: Patricia Clarkson
First, an honourable mention. Olive’s mum in Easy A is easily one of the most enjoyable characters in cinema of the past few years. She and husband Dill (Stanley Tucci) are the coolest parents ever, and you kind of get the impression they’d be awesome to have at any Christmas dinner. But sadly, in their coolness, they lose their reality. Easy A is a film that is meant to take place in the real world (except for the articulate teenagers with in-depth 80s movie knowledge, and the premise that Emma Stone could ever pass as an unnoticeable gal in high school) but they are just not real parents. Awesome, yes, but not very real, so they get a mention.
No, no, no, no, no. No, to get even – get even-steven…I would have to kill you…go up to Nikki’s room, kill her, then wait for your husband, the good Dr. Bell to come home and kill him. That would be even, Vernita. That’d be about square.
Played by: Uma Thurman
Kill Bill is very much not meant to take place in the real world, which is why such a badass as Beatrix Kiddo gets a spot on here. People can argue about what exactly makes a good mother, I think everyone can agree “devotion to their children” counts as a necessary quality, and Beatrix certainly fits the bill*.
I’d call it pretty fucking devoted to focus your time and energies into slaughtering the people responsible for the death of your child, especially when it comes to taking on swarms of yakuza, being shot in the chest with rock salt, buried alive and all the other scraps and scrapes along the way – one of those scrapes being a katana blade across the back. And if there’s any doubt of her devotion, just look at her expression when she finds out that her daughter is still alive.
Remember the bad guys on the shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings? Well these guys aren’t like those guys. They won’t exercise restraint because you are children. They will kill you if they get the chance. Do not give them that chance.
Voiced by: Holly Hunter
Other than it being one of my favourite movies, The Incredibles is awesome for taking a kids movie, a superhero movie and a domestic drama all at the same time, and the key to this being a success is Helen Parr.
It probably helps that she’s voiced by the superb Holly Hunter, but Helen comes across not only as a woman whose life is lovingly devoted to her family, but it’s also completely believable that she’s a superhero at the same time. It’s a deliberate metaphor that the superhero-mother character’s power is incredible flexibility and the ability to stretch herself thin – it’s a simple allegory for motherhood in general. But Helen never loses her wits, and her first and primary concern is for her husband and children despite the peril they face in the movie – the gunmen everywhere, the unfamiliar hostile terrain, and of course dinnertime.
She’s also a character you really care for. When a series of miscommunications leads her to think Bob is having an affair, the look on her face as she says “Honey, I love you so much” is a lot more human than many real actresses can convey.
I love you and your brother more than anything else in the world, and I’ll die for you, but I won’t leave you alone right now.
Played by: Holly Hunter
Thirteen, while an excellent film, does at times run the risk of being a bit over the top in its excesses. It’s an honest look at some of the nastier things teenagers can do to themselves, but every now and then it looks like its going to throw in the kitchen sink of teen recklessness…
It’s kept grounded by the character of Mel, who is, despite the qualities of the above two, not actually a very good mother, which is precisely the point. She’s a messed up, struggling divorcee whose affection for her children means she struggles to set down proper boundaries as her daughter Tracy spirals out of control.
But when push comes to shove, and Tracy comes to the edge of the abyss, she’s still unquestionably and undeniably there for her. There’s a fierce connection between the two, and while she might not be the best mother, she’s certainly a passionate one, and being a loving mother despite her flaws is what makes her a good one.
Joyce: I’m, uh, guessing I missed some fun?
Willow: The spirit of the first slayer tried to kill us in our dreams.
Joyce: Oh… You want some hot chocolate?
Played by: Kristine Sutherland
I’ve spoken of my love for Joyce in the past, and I know she’s not from a movie, but my blog my rules.
Joyce is one of the better mums out there because she’s very believable – she still feels all the love and devotion that the others on the list do, but we spend more time with her over the course of the series than we do in one film. We get to see her at her best and worse, and you still care a lot about her the entire time.
If you doubt that she is one of the warmest mothers in fiction, consider that when she learned that Dawn was not real, she still knew she had to protect her and love her regardless. Buffy’s accustomed to the bizarre goings-on in the world, but Joyce only ever took an outsider’s stance – yet she’s still able to love and care for someone who isn’t even real, let alone her own daughter.
Donnie: How does it feel having a whacko for a son?
Rose: It feels wonderful.
Played by: Mary McDonnell
Quite simply, Rose is the realest mum on film. There is not a single moment of Mary McDonnel’s performance that doesn’t ring 100% true, and the believability of her performance is what makes Rose leave such a lasting impression, despite being a background character.
She’s loving and caring, and all the other niceties of cinematic motherhood, but she also gets frustrated, she reprimands, she doesn’t understand what’s going on with her children but through it all there’s never a moment where you doubt her utter sincerity in everything. I think the best moment to show just how real she is as a character is when Kitty Farmer utters the immortal line “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!” – the look on her face just says it all.
And that quote above never fails to get me a little misty-eyed. I think we’ve all had the moments where we’ve felt that we’ve shamed our parents, but to have them there for us in the end is what matters, and her response could not be more loving and appropriate.
My favourite mother doesn’t exist in the movies, she is of course my own, and she kicks ass. I love her to pieces and probably don’t say it enough, so while the mothers on this list are all well and good, I’ll stick with my own thank you.
To all the mothers out there, I hope you have a good Mother’s Day. Kids, ignore that it’s a holiday designed to sell greeting cards and do something good for her.
Have a good one.
Music soothes the savage beast. But then again, I like to think music can also make the beast pretty savage again once it’s soothed.
So herein lies my thoughts on the sexiest songs out there. Not necessarily in terms of “does it make you want to have sex” – sometimes it’s purely lustful, other times they can be pretty innocent. But the defining criteria would be “does the song convey an almost hypnotic control over you and guide your thinking down that way.”
Again, purely opinionated. If you disagree, leave me a comment with your lists.
I’ll admit this doesn’t actually follow my criteria, and it’s an odd choice for a “sexy” song, but bear with me.
As dance songs (with lyrics) go, you’ve got pretty much three settings: love songs set to a good beat, mindless formulaic crap wherein a singer reminisces on their time in the club, or songs with lyrics that don’t necessarily make much sense but what the hell they’re awesome to dance to.
Embrace definitely falls into that latter category, but personify the songs and I can give you a good analogy.
[EDIT 2016: – It was not a good analogy. It was fucking terrible. I will not be reposting]
and that makes Embrace the kind of song you want to spend the rest of your life with.
I first came across this in the sublime Dark City, and it probably helps my perception of it as a sexy song to have had Jennifer Connelly’s sultry lounge-singer crooning it softly into a microphone. The director’s cut replaces the vocals with Connelly’s own, and she does a good job, but Anita Kelsey could sing me to sleep anytime she wants.
The way the instruments play in this version make me think of dancers in a smoky jazz lounge grinding away their blues all the way to the bedroom. It’s a song that lends itself well to many different versions, but I will say that Michael Buble’s utterly soulless rendition is not good.
This song (other than being awesome) just has that kind of bad-boy self assuredness that is not only convincing but persuasive. Everyone loves a deep voice, and the lyrics come from someone who is being driven by their primal instincts, but not in a rapey way. And the pounding house beat leads to thoughts of pounding as a much more inappropriate analogy.
I’m being a little scandalous here, cos The Presets have the number 3 spot too…
If Embrace is the awesomely confident chick in the club, then Yippio-ay is the guy who’s a little drunk, probably a little high and all the more appealing for it. He’ll probably end up breaking the hearts of many a young lassie tonight, cos he’s got one thing on his mind to look for.
And yeah the song is about handjobs, but at least it’s discreet about it.
Before you judge me too harshly, I am indeed aware that Holly Valance is mediocre pop-starlet trash for the majority of her career.
But this gets included for actually being a song I used to hear constantly at high school parties, and when you’re a teenager getting drunk around other beautiful teenagers your mind drifts along to the kinds of thoughts that facilitate this list.
And having run dangerously close to overshare, I’ll leave it at that.
This one may seem like a no-brainer what with having “sex” right there in the title, but this gets included for a) having a banging sound, and b) being about vampires.
Much as Twilight has fought to undo this, vampirism has always been about sex, the predatory and primal factors of sex, and the bloodlust involved in it. Anne Rice novels treat the vampirism-as-sexuality thought a bit like Mills and Boon, but this song gets the balance right exactly. It’s tortured, but lustful, and as such a definite place on the list.
Also has an awesome remix as Vanished by Crystal Castles
Other than being my favourite song (and being the song that the band dedicated to me in Brisbane in 2010) I think the lyrics of the song speak for themselves.
This is someone who is horny and it’s doing all their thinking, but the song isn’t sleazy – it’s just expressing a desire in a desirous way. It’s about as horny as a song can get without being inappropriate.
The other contender for my favourite song. On face value, it’s a song about a guy struggling to be in a complicated relationship. But the tone of the song is dark and sinister, making me think of a late night setting, and therefore late night urges. And I would absolutely have sex with Juliuan Hamilton’s voice in this song.
Whereas most of the songs on this list kind of deal with their sexual desires as a pre-emptive buildup, #1 Crush comes to you mid-writhe straight from the bed! If you need any further proof, just listen to the opening note, which is nothing but an orgasmic moan.
This song is sex – it’s not exactly hiding it. It also has lyrics which seem to come from a distracted mind that’s given over to its instinct-driven nature, and what do we think could possibly be the cause of that?
This is the Grace Knight version, but any cover (except once again Michael “nice-voice-no-soul” Buble’s) conveys the same essence. Originally done by Little Wille John, but probably most famously covered by Peggy Lee)
Fever is kind of the musical embodiment of the argument people make about eroticism vs. subtlety – a lot of people (this author included) still think that Grace Kelly telling James Stewart that her nightgown is a “preview of coming attractions” in Rear Window is a hell of a lot sexier than a topless Halle Berry in Swordfish, and it’s all about the subtlety and confidence of the statement.
In the poker game of music, Fever is playing its cards close to its chest, but you both know that Fever has a flush while you’re holding two pair. And yet you both know you’re getting laid regardless.
If someone tells you they’re sexy, chances are they aren’t. Madonna’s Erotica is the equivalent of getting a phone call from someone at three in the morning asking if you’re turned on by the fact that they’re having sex while they’re on the phone to you. Merely calling out things that should be sexy does not equal sexy, and Erotica is most certainly not erotic. It’s about as subtle as…well, Madonna, so I guess we shouldn’t have expected too much to begin with. Oh, and I just remembered that on the album Erotica, Madonna covered Fever – her version is considerably worse than Buble’s.
So that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Discuss.