She & Him: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

She & Him - Baby, It's Cold Outside

The weather is horrible and everyone’s sinuses are filled will all matter of gooey unpleasantries. Conditions such as these make intelligent blogging trickier than ever. While I struggle to fight away what could be described as a minor cold major case of man flu I bring you the aural delights of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward aka She & Him. This week they have released a music video for their fun cover of Baby, It’s Cold Outside from their Christmas album A Very She & Him Christmas.

The cartoon video is short and sweet and is embedded below:

For what it’s worth I much prefer Zooey Deschanel singing Baby, It’s Cold Outside with Leon Redbone on the soundtrack for Elf, everyone’s favourite contemporary Christmas film.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Top 10 Road Trip Films (I Own)

For the next week and a half I will be roaming around the South West of England in a yellow VW Campervan called Barney embarking on A Very English Road Trip. To celebrate I’ve compiled a list of the top ten road trip movies I own on DVD. An odd criteria for a film list but these film lists are superficial at the best of times.

Away We Go
A surprisingly light-hearted film from Sam Mendes as a young couple visit friends and relatives while trying to find the right place to bring up their imminent baby. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph are a convincing couple and provide the sanity amongst the crazy characters they visit. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Allison Janney are the two main highlights along their journey.

Catfish
The only documentary on this list, Catfish follows the burgeoning online romance between Yaniv Schulman and the sister of a young artist he has been emailing. After some suspicious events Yaniv and his friends travel to the mystery girl’s house and uncover something they had never expected. There is debate about this documentary’s authenticity, either way it makes for a gripping watch.

The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson takes his signature style on the road, or rather on the track, as three brothers travel through India by train, looking for their mother and getting to grips with the loss of their father. Jason Schwartzmann, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson fit perfectly with Anderson’s tone as the three brothers and their journey is as much emotional as it is physical. Natalie Portman makes a brief, but revealing, appearance in the preceding short film.

The Go-Getter
The most indie film on the list unites Sundance darlings Lou Taylor Pucci, Zooey Deschanel and Jena Malone and brought together for the first time the she and him in She & Him. A young man has a quarter life crisis, steals a car and discovers love, and himself, on the road. A little bit twee to ever be successful, this is worth a watch if you are a fan of the cast, or just enjoy a gentle film about someone abandoning life and hitting the road.

Into the Wild
Speaking of a young man having a quarter life crisis and hitting the road… This time round the traveller is played by Emile Hirsch with a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart providing the tempting romance he finds along the way. Stewart’s role is quite small though and this is the biggest single-hander of the lot, with Hirsch the only character present throughout. This was Sean Penn’s last work behind the camera and is proof he should do more.

Little Miss Sunshine
An amazing cast go travelling in a yellow VW Campervan (not called Barney) in order to get Abigail Breslin to her beauty pageant. Darkly funny and more than a little moving this road trip ends the way all movies should, with a big dance number. Kevin Bacon would be proud. The film is notable for featuring Steve Carell’s most subdued performance, and for inspiring the colour scheme of this very website.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Even the Coen Brothers have made a road trip film, theirs being an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey and starring George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as three escaped convicts searching for hidden treasure. Encountering all manner of characters and obstacles along the way this is the quintessential road trip film, and the only one to involve the KKK.

Transamerica
Any good road trip forces the film to shift focus from traditional plot or location and instead focus on the characters who are the only constant through the film, and their relationships. Few films utilise this better than Transamerica as Felicity Huffman’s pre-op transsexual meets her son for the first time as she ferries him across country under the guise of being a charity worker.

Wristcutters: A Love Story
While most of these films involve travelling across the United States, Wristcutters moves beyond the world of the living and instead is set in an afterlife reserved for people who commit suicide. Shortly after his death Patrick Fugit hears that his old girlfriend, Leslie Bibb, has also killed herself and so takes his room-mate and tries to find her. Along the way he encounters some charmingly rustic supernatural elements and Tom Waits, who also provides the soundtrack.

Zombieland
While everyone in Wristcutters is dead, most of the people our travellers come across in this film are the undead. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson travel through the post-apocalyptic landscape in search of Twinkies and instead find Emma Stone (swoon), Abigail Breslin (road trip queen) and more zombies than you can shake a double barreled shotgun at. One of cinema’s greatest cameos is the icing on this zombie cake.

If there’s anything all these films have in common, it’s that the destination is not the important part, it’s the journey and characters that are key when the film has no other consistent element.

Merry Christmas Nerds!

Merry Christmas from the legions of us here at Mild Concern.

I hope you’ve all unwrapped a brand new DVD and are settling down with the family for a festive classic.

Don’t forget to watch Doctor Who at 6pm, we loved it.

Now enjoy the below.

Watch This – She & Him on Conan

Way back in May we went to see Zooey Deschanel perform as one half of She & Him and were blown away, particularly with the closing song I Put a Spell on You.

Well thankfully they performed that song last week on the new talk show Conan which we’ve embedded below, and you can even download the song as a digital single.

See our swag, we call for a track to be released and it is, 7 months later…

Review – She & Him

Friday night saw Mild Concern at Koko in London to see M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel perform as She & Him. As Deschanel is an actress in both film and TV this is completely relevant to this blog. Honest.

The opening act were a little odd and I for one was glad once their set was over and the main act began with Ward often keeping to the shadows oozing cool while Deschanel skipped and bounced around the stage clearly enjoying herself. Whenever I see footage of the band performing live on TV the vocals never quite match those on the album but this was far from true in their performance on Friday. Deschanel proved herself to be a strong and confident singer, and the master of about one hundred instruments, and when Ward was allowed to sing alone his gruff, low voice was well received.

The set was comprised of a mix of songs from both albums, but sadly none of the songs from Yes Man, and when the more familiar tracks were performed the crowd happily sang along much to the delight and surprise of Zooey. this being their first ever London gig I doubt the band had much of an idea of if anyone had actually heard their music.

The true highlight of the night came at the very end during the second encore when both She and Him were given a cover to showcase themselves at their best. The entire band backed Ward for a high energy rendition of Roll over Beethoven that allowed him to step from the shadows and show everyone what he’s packing; not only an amazing voice but serious guitar playing skills too. For the final song the pair were left alone of stage and Deschanel sang I Put a Spell on You with Ward on guitar. This track needs to be released at Zooey’s vocals have never been so powerful; she was even stamping her foot at times as she held on a note for as long as she could. Suddenly I could see how she became involved in the constantly in development Janis Joplin biopic.

The performance on Friday night demonstrated why She & Him is much more than just an actress experimenting in music; this is a real band that perform amazingly live. If you get the chance then don’t miss seeing their show. Best £15 I ever spent.