Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"I never realized Paul Newman was an actor before he made salad dressing."
"I liked it all right, but I would have preferred something cute like Miss Congeniality or Legally Blonde" (never fails)
"If they hadn't killed him at the end, they could have done a sequel."
"It's not that I don't like prison movies. But I like ones like Lockup."
"The movie we watch was Cold Hand Luke."
"It would make a lousy video game."
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wha---? Oh, I figure, probably some new phishing scam or somesuch. So just to be sure, I log on to my MySpace page to find...a letter from Troy Hickman.
As it turns out, this was sent by a young man in Oklahoma who has found that being Troy Hickman is not the beer and skittles he imagined it being.
I'm NOT this Troy Hickman. I've mentioned him before. He's the former mayor of Hayes, Kansas, and I think now he's on their city council (they demoted you, did they, Troy?). He looks like a straight shooter. Chances are HE would deny that he's me, too.
Terre Haute, looking for gay cybersex. You can imagine how glad I was when he ceased being Troy Hickman numero uno on the internet. I always wondered about that guy, though. What the hell was his deal? I'd like to think all us Troy Hickmans are winners, but criminy, what kind of a guy has to go online looking for gay sex when HE'S IN PRISON??? Talk about coals to Newcastle...
I am NOT singer/songwriter/philanthropist Sara Hickman. I've got a decent singing voice, but most every song I've ever written is a parody, and as far as doing good works, the last charitable act I committed was not printing any of my artwork here, as mentioned in the paragraph above.
(A big thanks to Veazey for the idea)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Unrest - Plot: I have no idea. There are pathology students cutting up cadavers and people dying by supernatural means, but that's about all I could make of it. It was one of those damned movies that are far too awful to enjoy, but not quite awful enough on an EPIC level so that you can love its...uh...awfultosity. It was 88 minutes of my life that was not useful in any way, and that's one thing for which I CANNOT forgive a film. One star out of five.
Autopsy - Wow. This one made Unrest look like The Exorcist. It stars Robert "Liquid Metal" Patrick, and I have to tell ya, I really feel sorry for the guy. He's a talented actor, but it just seems like he's never gotten the break he deserves. For every Terminator 2 or last couple seasons of the X-Files, he'll do five movies like Autopsy, and I think it's hurt his career a bit. Anyway, this is just a goonfest, and not in a good way (that is, John Gulager makes total goonfests, and I love 'em!). This is one ALMOST bad enough to be good enough to watch, though. You might check it out and make your own call (for some reason, it gets five out of ten stars on the IMDB and some of the folks there really dig it. Go figure). I give it half a star myself.
The Cottage - OK, now this is more like it. In the tradition of stuff like From Dusk Til Dawn (as well as things I've reviewed here like Malevolence), this starts out as a comedic crime flick about kidnappers, gangsters, hitmen, etc., but eventually turns into a crazed farmer slasher fiasco!
Really enjoyable stuff, with interesting characters, great dialog, and terrific performances by Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith and others. It's one of those great blends of goofy humor and horror that are rarely done well (outside of Sam Raimi), but it sure works here. Check it out. I give it four stars.
Zoo - Whoa. Uh, how do I describe this. It's a documentary, basically, about bestiality. Specifically it's about Kenneth "Mr. Hands" Pinyan, the Boeing engineer from Washington state who died in 2005 as a result of being...uh..."loved" by a stallion. It's also about the subculture of his friends and peers (called "zoos"), and their relationships with animals. Gang, it's a very troubling subject, but I have to say it's the damnedest movie I've seen in a long time. They handle the material in a straightforward way, recreating the events in some instances (but with nothing really graphic on-screen), and it's beautifully shot and edited. Don't watch it with young kids, and maybe not your parents (I had to sit through Lea describing it in great detail to her mom; the dictionary definition of "uncomfortable"). But watch it. Five squirming stars.
Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus - OK, I didn't watch this with Lea, but I had to mention it. OH.MY.ZOD. Watch it. Watch it! It's got Lorenzo "Snake-Eater" Lamas, and an octopus knocking fighter planes out of the sky, and Deborah "Don't Call Me Debbie" Gibson, and a shark biting the Golden Gate Bridge in half, and sudden nerdy Asian love, and 3-D shots in a film that lost its 3-D budget, and...and...watch it! "Deborah" has hinted at a sequel, and I can't wait. The entire state of Wisconsin couldn't make this much cheesy goodness. Zero stars for quality, but five for enjoyment.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Y'know, in my favorite film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart spouts a lot of wisdom, and among it is these lines: "Now, you're not gonna have a country that can make these kind of rules work, if you haven't got men that have learned to tell human rights from a punch in the nose."
Sadly, there are far too many folks in this country who don't mind that punch in the nose, as long as it's the "right" nose that's being punched. For example, there are the truly awful people, of WHATEVER political stripe, who have no problem with dictators, as long as those dictators are closer to "our side" of the political spectrum. Hey, here's a crazy idea: evil is evil.
And there are far too many people who are perfectly fine with our country becoming a gilded cage, as long as THEIR cage gets some gilding. Well, I'm glad you could get a new Blu-Ray player there, Hoss, but MY freedom is something I'm not willing to sell, and I'm sure as hell not willing to have YOU broker it for me.
And sadly, they're the same folks who, by virtue of NOTHING more than a change of political administration, say "I'm finally proud of my country again." Gang, I try, I really, really try to maintain an even strain, and to control my temper, but when I hear that phrase, I just want to go all Billy Jack.
In MY opinion (and this is my freakin' blog, so that's what you're going to get), if you can ONLY be proud of your country when people YOU approve of are in office, or policies with which you agree are in effect...then YOU...JUST...DON'T...GET...IT.
I have ALWAYS been proud of my country. I haven't always been proud of the actions of its leaders or its citizens, but the United States of America ITSELF is not just a series of good or bad decisions by individuals or groups. It's about an idea, the idea that people can live freely and determine their own destiny, and the idea that, even if we're vehemently opposed to someone's ideas, we can still UNITE (hence the name) in our common desire for freedom (that's why I will not accept the notion of "diversity uber alles" unless it incorporates the idea of diversity of THOUGHT; otherwise it's nothing more than the superficial attempt to make sure you have different colored eggs in your basket).
I feel shame for FDR and the other leaders of his time who allowed the internment of Americans of Japanese descent. But I don't feel ashamed of my country for it. I feel shame for those people in our government who OKed the Tuskegee Study. But I don't feel any less pride for this "experiment" we call the United States of America.
I felt tremendous shame for Bill Clinton when he cheated on his wife and lied about it on national television (and if you're the sort of person who says "all men cheat" or "he HAD to lie about it," please, don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way out of this blog). But as awful as I consider adultery, I was still proud of our country and its ideals, whatever our president might have done. I felt shame for George W. Bush when he authorized the bailouts late in his term, a cowardly and stupid act that is partially at fault for getting us into our current straits. But his boneheaded play didn't make me any less proud of this nation and what I believe it stands for (and if you want to know what that is, take another look at my American Pi "propaganda" mentioned above).
The people of this country have done a lot of terrible things, just like the people of pretty much every country have. They've also done some pretty wonderful things. But either way, the NOTION of the U.S.A., the values that MOST of us (at least the ones not wearing tinfoil hats) strive for, are something bigger than any one of us, bigger than any group of us, bigger than any stupid or miraculous or completely neutral act that we will ever commit.
So yeah, I may think you're a total sleazebag. Hell, sometimes I might think I'M a total sleazebag. But this country is a lot more than just you, or me, or Percy, or Springsteen, or Clinton, or Bush, or anyone else. It's about an ideal that, while we may fail terribly to achieve at times, we continue to strive for amidst all the bad decisions and outright EVIL because...well...because it's THAT important.
Anyway, I guess I've rambled on enough about this. I think I'll leave off the comments this time since, as I said, I'm not sure I want to spend my time arguing on the internet, especially since you good folks reading this either (A) already get it, or (B) never will (though you can email me if you want). But it's something I needed to get off my chest. Of course, an hour from now I'll be pissed off about it again, but such is the nature of my beast...
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
10. Not being able to eat delicious foods. Frankly, eating is probably one of the top couple of pleasures in which a human can indulge. Lea and I were talking about this the other night, and we agree that there's not too many things better than a great meal. Yeah, sex is up there (especially the way I do it!!!), holding a puppy, seeing some great natural wonder, yadda yadda yadda. But when you're on a diet, you can still do all that stuff. The sudden inability to have a big, cheesy pizza, or a plate of pirogies covered in sour cream and bacon...well, THAT'S hell.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
What is a Pyrrhic victory?
"Victory by fire" (wrong, but at least they're thinking)
What is Murphy's Law?
"What goes up must come down" (three people said that)
"Gravity" (thanks for inventing gravity, Mr. Murphy; my sammiches kept floating away)
What does penultimate mean?
"The perfect writing utensil" (four answers like that)
If you talk about a woman's gams, to what are you referring?
"Back fat" (ha!)
"grandmother" (that's a prized set of grandmas you have there, sister!)
"Boobies" (sometimes the simplest ones are the best)
Give an example of a palindrome.
"Anytime McCain's running mate spoke"
"Something in your body" (Yeah, it's that racecar I swallowed)
"House of pain" (you know, like Mad Max Beyond Palindrome; two men enter, one man leaves...backwards!)
"Sarah's Fortress of Solitude" (where she goes to keep Letterman from knocking up her daughter)
"A style of dress where as individuals dress in bright collors and they are mostly bisexual" (!)
"someone who is obsessed with homosexual topics"
"an eccentric human"
Finish this old saying: "A bird in the hand is worth ____"
"Five in the pan" (I think I'd much rather have five cooked birds than one in my mitt, but hey...) "Billions of things" (I caught a pigeon! I'm off to the car dealership!)
"The crap it leaves behind" (obviously an ornithophobe)
" a penny in the bank" (but it all adds up!)
What is a Briton?
"a type of water filtering system" (classic)
What is a Catch-22? "A sticky wicket" (Who's in my class, Sir Aluminium Bootbonnet? Name that reference, by the way)
You might go swimming in a scuba suit. What do the letters in SCUBA stand for?
"Swimming in the Cold water Under or Below the Atlantic" (wrong, but I like it!)
"Stop Chewing Under Big Apples"
"Sea Clothes Used Clothing Attire" (I so want to shop there)
"Scared Cause U Bout out of Air"
What do tabasco sauce, jello, and kleenex have in common?
"vinegar" (New Kleenex with the agonizing sting of vinegar!)
"They're all used when someone has a cold" (Nothing like jello to put you back on your feet)
"They are all strangely soft"
"They all touch the mouth" (Yeah, I like to lick my kleenex after I blow my nose)
What is a mondegreen?
"An ugly shade of green"
What distinguishes a marionette from a puppet?
"The marionette uses strings and a tape player" (I really think marionettes need to get with the 21st century and use CDs)
What is a didgeridoo?
"A drug used for male enhancement" (hey, if I have to swallow a didgeridoo for that "something extra," I'll do it)
What does antebellum mean? "part of the brain" (Six answers like this)
What is suffrage?
"hardship" (almost EVERY answer was like this)
What is Esperanto?
"European sports car" (It's what Shatner drives!)
"A Mexican word" (spoken by all those practicioners of the Mexican language)
"A Latin music group" (but they can't get Ricky Martin for the reunion)
"A Spanish country" (one of the many) "Tonto's cousin" (you heap wrong, Kemosabe!)
"A freedom fighter of Mexico" (Benicio Del Toro IS...Esperanto!)
God bless 'em...
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Wrestler - Really enjoyed this. Mickey Rourke was fantastic! Best performance of his career. My son (who is going through pro wrestling training at the moment) thought it was a bit too "Hollywood-ized" in parts, but I took that as a result of this being both a throwback to a very old style of picture (much like the original Rocky in that) and also kind of a more edgy, "postmodern" take. I have a better-than-most understanding of the wrestling biz, and it hit the major chords for me (the scene at the fan "meet and greet" hit so close to home, not just in terms of wrestling, but also for comic folks who have done shop signings, conventions, etc.). Just in terms of pure movie-making, though, fantastic stuff. The scene with Rourke's "Randy the Ram" working in the deli is one of the finest scenes in recent movie history. Just beautiful. It will be interesting to see where Rourke goes after this; I'm hoping, given his unusual look these days, that he doesn't ONLY get parts like this and his Sin City turn as Marv. He should've walked away with the Oscar (much more deserving than the hypocritical Sean Penn, who makes a "tolerance" movie like Milk while supporting people like Castro; doesn't he know how Cuba has treated homosexuals over the years? Does the word "gulag" mean anything to you? Cram it, Spicoli). I give this one five stars out of five. *****
Slumdog Millionaire - Y'know, I brought this one with me, and we both noticed how reluctant we were to actually sit down and watch it. Strange, isn't it? Sometimes you just can't bring yourself to watch a flick even if you're pretty darned positive it's good. Anyway, when we eventually got down to it, we dug it very much. Interesting storytelling technique, and sheds light on a culture with which a lot of people are not that familiar. Nice juxtaposition of humor, drama, and occasional moments of tension. They even gave us a wink and a nod at the end with a Bollywood number. Anyway, definitely a movie worth seeing, if you're one of the presumably few who haven't done so yet. Four and a half stars. **** 1/2
Baghead - Lea picked this one out, and I think she did so as a concession to me. If I haven't mentioned it before, she's not that big on fantasy-based stuff, or action films, or (especially) horror, so we end up trying to find common ground (!) in our movie rentals (centering on comedies, oddities like JCVD, picking out-of-the-ordinary fantasy stuff like The Host or The Orphanage, etc.) She saw the box for Baghead, and given the horror movie premise, and the indy film atmosphere and mentions of Cannes, she probably thought it was something that I'd like and that she could tolerate. The basic premise is that two couples go out into the woods to make a low-budget movie. Eventually they decide to make it a horror film with a stalker named Baghead who simply wears a...well, a bag on his head. But Baghead (the film WE'RE watching) is not really a horror movie. It's a sort of relationship comedy/drama with Baghead as a device. I'm of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I dig the fact that it was made for about the price of a Burger King combo meal by the Duplass brothers, who seem like cool guys (based on the behind the scenes DVD stuff), and who are supposedly getting to do bigger stuff based on their success. Good for you, guys! On the other hand, I expect the script for this kind of movie to be much sharper in its dialog, as that's basically what's going to carry the film. It didn't really stand out in that respect, unfortunately. Also, the ending made it seem like a very familiar urban legend or anecdote that I've heard numerous times before. Overall, I think I got my rental's worth, though. I'll say two and a half stars here. **1/2
Monday, April 27, 2009
Anyone from DC reading this? Do you want a great comic series? Because that's what I'd give you. I've been waiting to write this one since I was about five (but I promise not to write it like I am...except for a childlike awe and affection for the material).
I've got stuff to keep me busy in the meantime, but think about it, DC...