Tuesday, August 31, 2004

One More Than Four

1) Broken Social Scene


My new favorite band. God bless, iTunes. "Backyards," "Pitter Patter Goes My Heart," and "KC Accidental" are in endless rotation at home and in the car (to and from the bureaucratic hellmouth). I love them from three songs. I fear what will occur when I buy the albums this weekend. I may become dangerously obsessed.

2) No Talent Ass Clown


The summer after junior year of college, I lived with Moonraker (except for Kelly and Moltz), broke up with a now married woman, and went to bed quite often with the $2.99 Blockbuster previously viewed copy of Office Space playing on the VCR. I fell asleep to the very same tape last night. I admit this is slightly masochistic, considering where I work, but, whatevs. I fell asleep right around "I love kung fu."

3) To His Right


The big news is that John McCain called out Michael Moore. Ooooooooh. Bigger story: Sitting at Michael's USA Today table, none other than Shmuley Boteach. Now, the obvious explanation is USA Today, in another brilliant manuever to corner the newspaper market outside the door of your room at the Holiday Inn Express, has hired Mr. Boteach to cover the convention from a "disgraced Jew who advises child molesters" perspective. Or he just happened to be at that table, in the shot, but has no connection to Moore. No matter, there should be an answer as to why these two were together, be it innocuous or a sign that, perhaps, the most evil of alliances has been formed at the Republican Convention and, somehow, Rick "ooey gooey" Santorum was not involved.

4) Unnamed Franchise
My fantasy draft was nearly a disaster on Sunday. It's always good to have the commissioner of the league drunk off his ass, pissing off every other owner in the league by fucking with the draft process for no other reason but that he can. I picked at the back end of every round because of my first place finish last year. Here's the team:

Peyton Manning, QB
Joey Harrington, QB
Kyle Boller, QB
Vinny Testaverde, QB
Ladainian Tomlinson, RB
Rudi Johnson, RB
Duce Staley, RB
Hines Ward, WR
Steve Smith, WR
Donte' Stallworth, WR
Todd Heap, TE
Deion Branch, WR
Mike Vanderjagt, K
Jay Feely, K
Shayne Graham, K
Philadelphia, D/ST
Cincinnati, D/ST
Atlanta, D/ST

5) Criterion


Knowing that I'll finally own the full length version of Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander in November is pretty odd. It's not as odd as what it will feel like when Fox finally gets off its ass and puts out the complete Parker Lewis Can't Lose, but still. I can't wait.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Quote du jour

From That Ashley Girl:

"I'm not quite sure how I feel about the fact that my dad has a better chance of getting laid moving me in than my brother, and that's despite the fact that my mom will be straggling along, not lifting a finger, and complaining that I "always bring too much stuff ... who needs all this clothing?"

This from a woman who has a closet that is literally bigger than my entire dorm room. Oh, and she always likes to act completely shocked when she "realizes" boys and girls live on the same floor, as if she's some prude who wasn't on a college campus in the 1970s.

If I had any guts or a sick sense of humor, I'd point out to her that the shower stall is the perfect size for two people, and the little ledge for soap and shampoo is great for putting your foot up on when you're getting fucked from behind. "

Andrew

Sully's back. Money quote:

"And then that left-wing maniac, Dick Cheney, refuses to give up his federalist principles, his love of family and freedom, or his basic humanity, by signing on to the president's anti-gay constitutional amendment. Good for the veep, and the entire Cheney family. Too bad his own president has put them in such an awful position. And the GOP platform dispenses with any nuance and comes out not just against marriage rights for gays, but any kind of legal protections for their relationships whatever. That, of course, is what the FMA is designed to do, whatever lies its sponsors tell. No wonder Zell Miller is now the keynoter for the Republicans. Here's a man who once proudly condemned LBJ for backing civil rights for African-Americans, while Bush's Republican grandfather stood up for decency. History has come full circle, hasn't it? The Dixiecrats meet again in New York. Now they're called Republicans."

Friday, August 27, 2004

Modular Dwellings

Check these out.

(Props to The Thighmaster for the link.)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

It's in the Genes

Ultragrrl's bro has a blog and you can check his story of insane e-mails, here.

Britney Boobenslippen


(Props to Fleshbot.)

Oy


God and Religion: Divine Treasure or Poisonous Bilge? (Sept. 27)

A Debate between Shmuley Boteach and Christopher Hitchens
 
Hear best-selling Jewish author Shmuley Boteach debate leading intellectual and skeptic Christopher Hitchens over the future of religion in the 21st century. Is religion primarily a force of good or harm? Would individuals be better off as believers or atheists? Is it rational to believe in a higher power? Does religious adherence inspire strength or blind passivity? Don’t miss the debate of the century over some of the most urgent issues since 9/11.

(The debate of the century? Jigga what? This shit is lame. Although, a surprise appearance by Jacko would be sweet.)

Alert

Are you a morbidly obese douchebag with a radio show in L.A.? Well, don't go to Seattle. They'll fuck your shit up.

C.C.

Cameron Crowe's new web site has a little behind the scenes movie all 'bout Elizabethtown. I must admit, I nerded out and turned it off after a few seconds, not wanting to know much about the movie. So, if it sucks, blame Cameron, not me. For more ways to get mad at Cameron, rent Vanilla Sky. We all come back as cats, ya'll. We all come back as cats.

Glamorama


The cast and crew of Roger Avary's adaptation have been announced.

The casting isn't all that bad, although I prefer a well dressed mannequin to Kip Pardue and I'm one of the few people who didn't even enjoy his section in The Rules of Attraction which was, even for its detractors, the best part of the movie. Avary's last go-round with Bret Easton Ellis was aborto-riffic, wrong at every turn, and oddly loved by way too many people I know. (Maybe love is too strong a term but liking shit seems like love when you consider the object of affection.) There are a lot of haters when it comes to Mary Harron's American Psycho which is, admittedly, quite flawed, but any day of the week, it's eleventeen billion times better than Rules of Attraction which seems to be based on non-existent cliff notes or, perhaps, half the jacket cover and a movie more about making things go backwards and looking "cool" than just about anything else. But, whatevs. I'll see this. It can't be worse than Less Than Zero. (I know it can, so don't even say it.)

From Josh:
Maybe I'm missing something but isn't being "more about making things go backwards and looking 'cool' than just about anything else" an exact description of Ellis's novels? Avary's film is great exactly because it manages to elevate the heart of Ellis's book to a startling vividness. There is nothing underneath all of Ellis's complex prose, so why should there be anything under Avary's film?

As for American Psycho, it is a perfect adaptation of an imperfect novel. I love that movie.


I think there is something underneath his prose, which is what I think most people miss about Ellis. Even as he savagely skewers their morality, their choices, etc., he has a sympathy and affection for his characters. I think Harron gets that in a few moments where Patrick is shown to be coming apart at the seams and, despite its shlocky after school special morality, Less Than Zero understood that these are still people, not just vessels for a story of debauchery. I never for a moment felt like Avary had anything to say about these people other than "look at how crazy these people are...they drink too much...they do drugs(!)...they fuck everybody(!)." There is always a melancholy to Ellis novels and save for a moody bit of brooding from Dawson here and there, there's none of that. He gives nothing to any of the actors but poses. Now, sure, there is a vacuousness to any and all of Ellis' characters, but I think a truly great film from one of his books would be able to find a perspective on those people in order to make them as interesting as he makes them with his prose and with surprising moments where you realize there's a person behind all the detachment, self loathing, and excess. (For me, Igby Goes Down is as close to a Bret Easton Ellis adapataion as we may ever get, maybe with more heart than Bret would go for, but closer to the spirit of Ellis, than anything Roger Avary puked up.) Rules sees nothing but surface and seems to get off on presenting it, as opposed to delving into it. And, worse yet, it's not even funny. If, at the very least, it was just dark and bitter and hilarious, well, then he'd have something. (Which is just about what I'd say for American Psycho.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Blog Reviews

This shit is boring.

That's what the owner of this blog had to say to me this afternoon.

"Why is your blog so boring?" came after "Do u have a pic?"

"Wanna cyber?" was never asked.

Mrs. Garrett Hot Sauced Me (or I Learned It By Watching You)



From Defamer:

Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair on the popular 1980s TV series The Facts of Life, is an advocate and practitioner of "hot saucing." Whelchel, the author of Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline, says the practice worked for her children when other disciplinary actions did not.

"It does sting and the memory stays with them so that the next time they may actually have some self-control and stop before they lie or bite or something like that," Whelchel said on ABC News' Good Morning America.


For Shame


Removal of the K to promote the love you have for your meathead husband is the worst thing to happen since the franchise was traded for Glen Rice and Luc Longley.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

One More Than Four

1) The Return of Fish Stick Night


A frequent activity, revolving around performance episodes of American Idol. It's been on hiatus for a while. It's back on tonight, as something of a prelude to The Amazing Race, where, hope of hopes, the bowling moms will be sent home. (Pictured above is a real life version of the Gorton's fisherman. Briefly, the New York Islanders, possessors of the worst fans in all of sports, donned jerseys with a character that resembled the Gorton's fisherman as part of their logo. This ridiculous act in no way dampens my enjoyment of fish stick night. Neither do the following: Ejay Day, "Seacrest, Out," or the fact that somehow, some way, Nikki McKibben can't get a record deal or at the very least the good section at Hooters where the tips are better.)

2) Natalie Portman


The reason to see Garden State (along with Peter Saarsgard), and the future Mrs. Aaron. Look, I know she's dating the next Orson Welles, but does her grandma go to temple with Zach's parents (and Jerry Springer)? Yeah, didn't think so. Welcome back to acting, Nat. Now, sure you made those pair of Lifetime movies and you did your darndest as an automoton in George Lucas' computerized vomit, but this performance reminds me of why I not only love you in a rather nerdy, gross way but also as an actress. Next, you have Mike Nichols' Closer, Lucas Puke 3, and then The Smoker with Linklater and Owen Wilson. Not too shabby.

3) Art Crime


The theft of "The Scream," or any art theft for that matter, always reminds me of Ben McIntyre's brilliant The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief. Worth, obsessed with a woman he couldn't have, stole Thomas Gainsborough's "The Duchess of Devonshire," because the Duchess resembled the woman. He slept with the painting under his bed for years.

Worth was the inspiration for Professor Moriarty, the great villain in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. The painting and its celebrated theft had a fascinating pop cultural impact.

4) Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn in Paper Moon)

[About Trixie Delight]
Addie Loggins: How come she had to leave that job back there?
Imogene: Cause the boss-man tried to make her put out for his friends, and she don't believe in puttin' out for free!
Addie Loggins: She put out much?
Imogene: Just like a gum machine. You drop some in and she'll put some out.

A supremely underrated comedienne, whose work with Mel Brooks during his prime (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety) is stellar. She gives a great performance for Bogdy and I dare you to not burst out laughing when Trixie stumbles up the hill to appeal to Addie's better judgment, trips, and in this deep, out of character voice says, "Son of a bitch." It's perfect.

5) The League


Fantasy football is back. Sunday night is the draft. Huzzah!


Monday, August 23, 2004

NY Film Fest

The lineup is announced. Rad.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Goo


Actual photo from Cruise's recent Rolling Stone interview. (via goldenfiddle)

Good Idea, Bad Idea

Fashion dos and don'ts from Vice. (Thanks to goldenfiddle.)

In related news, Sean Lennon wears a Julian Lennon T-shirt:


Boo-urns

MTV's latest reality entry is Wanna Come In?, where in two "hunks" makeover two "dweebs" for a hot date ("hunks" and "dweebs" is the vernacular of choice for SBC's TV guide, while others, such as the linked web site describing the show goes for "nerds"/"geeks" and "studs"). If they get invited in, the show proudly informs you that they've turned "duds" to "studs." I came across an episode of this show today, where a gay hunk makes over a gay dweeb and a straight hunk makes over a straight dweeb. This is pretty standard fare for "Music" Television and, normally, I'd change the channel fairly quickly. But not today. Because, you see, I know the straight dweeb.

Andy Novak graduated from BU the same year I did. And I was pretty sure he had moved to Los Angeles. Well, now I know he's here for sure and he's apparently lost his fucking mind. Maybe you think this is a good way to let MTV see how "zany" and "funny" you are as a "dweeb" getting low rent queer eyed by a "hunk," and, hey, maybe you'll be the next Ashton Kutcher, but you know what, you won't. There. I said it. (Andy gets invited in, quickly turning from "dud" to "stud," "zero" to "hero," and wins $2,000. The show isn't clear on how much the "dweeb" gets in relation to how much his "hunk" coach gets. In terms of Andy's non-monetary aspirations, the girl "couldn't get enough of him." I wonder how much money she got.)

I Could Eat



The 45 question test netted this result. All others either made me Saddam or WJC. (I was hoping more for the "Mouth at the bottom of a well scenario" and end up being Martin Sheen...Martin Sheen? Well, he played Kennedy once.)

The Rental: Hunt for the Blood Orchid



I returned the Sentra on Friday, under the assumption that my actual car would be fixed on Saturday. Not so much. The car will now be fixed on Monday, and, until then, I'll be driving a Chevy Aveo (pictured above). Primarily, the Aveo will be used to take me to Monday's full day county employee orientation for a job I've held now for the past nine months. Hour one: the stapler (oooooh....aaaaaah). Yesterday, it took me to Garden State, which Ben tackles this morning.



See. Everyone's excited about the Aveo.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

He Got Game



The Sports Guy, in compiling his top 72 sports film of the last 33 years, takes on Spike's ode to hoop. Simmons just about gets it right, although he's a bit too matter of fact for me. It's admittedly a mess of a film, with too many storylines running here and there, but I actually think the Copland score works in a number of sequences, and has much more relevance than as some kind of proving ground for Spike. Spike's trying for heady stuff, viewing basketball as a religion and crafting a modern bible story/morality play around that notion. The Copland score provides a grandeur to those sequences, especially the opening, in which Spike lays out his vision. Some of it works, some of it certainly doesn't. With two exceptions, that about sums up his whole career.

Farewell

The AMC Beverly Connection shuts down, thanks in no small part to the presence of The Grove. LAist seems to think we should care.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Capra, Capra

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Shrug

I don't know who I am.



(Props to Tom for the link.)

Not Happenin'



Erick Dampier will be traded to Dallas. The cap's a big problem here, as are the fairly exorbinant contracts of the majority of the Knicks, which killed any and all potential deals Isaiah tried to strike with "The Gym Rat" and the Warriors. This means, I guess (sigh), that Vin Baker (lazy, frequently drunk off his ass, wildly disappointing, but yet still filled with a sense of entitlement, and pictured above) will be signed to the two year contract that his agent, Aaron Goodwin, hinted had already been agreed to, in principle, over a week ago. I still hold that the Knicks need to continue to explore their options and get in on this Shareef Abdur-Rahim business and maybe look into Darius Miles. As it stands, they're aiight, maybe a sixth or seventh seed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Trailer Tuesday

More trailer goodness. The latest from Alexander Payne. Check out Sideways here. Spiffy.

One More Than Four

1) Bob Murphy
For the last week and a half, I've been meaning to write about the passing of Mets broadcaster, Bob Murphy. He was, without question, the voice of the Mets, with Fran Healy and Tim McCarver and Ralph Kiner bringing up the rear. Unlike many Red Sox fans (what I mean to say is ALL Red Sox fans), I remember Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, a game often left out in all the discussions of curses and the Bambino and the ball through Buckner's legs. (You also had a lead in game 7 that you blew, douchebags. Hehe.) I remember sitting in my living room in Massapequa with the TV dinner tables out, eating meatloaf and peas, of all things, with friends from the block, whose whereabouts today are completely unknown to me. I was seven and staying up that late was a huge deal, but it was the Mets and the World Series and staying up wasn't debatable. (Prior to this, my grandparents attended the legendary game 6, that of the infamous "it gets by Buckner, rounding third is Knight..." game, which they never saw, because they left in the 6th, because it was cold. They have yet to be forgiven.) It's Murphy's call, just as Jesse Orosco struck out Marty Barrett for the final out, that sticks with me when I think of my dad disappearing soon after the game and coming back about an hour later with a Mets World Championship sweatshirt that they has just started selling or how wildly important that team was to me then (and still is), how I wrote letters to all of them to get autographs (thank you to Mookie and Doug Sisk) or how singing the national anthem with my third grade class at Shea was, basically, a religious experience. "He struck him out. Struck him out. The Mets have won the World Series. Oh, they are mobbing Jesse Orosco."

Murph will be missed.

2) The Rental



Yesterday morning, my car blew up. A belt snapped. A pully broke. It overheated. I took it back to Sears, who had installed said belt just two weeks earlier and I now plan to boycott them. I don't need longjohns or spark plugs. And if I do, well, I'll just find someplace else to go for my longjohn needs. After cabbing it back to Noho and then riding with the tow truck back to the Shoaks compound with my dead car (the driver and I reveled in our superiority to the "assholes" at Sears), I walked over to Enterprise and rented a car. (pictured above) Riding the Sentra back and forth to work today was like being on vacation, if vacation sucked and involved working in the bureaucratic hellmouth. However, the freeway looked different today in the rental, giving the drive home that rental/vacation/stranger in a strange place feel, making me think of driving home from my telemarketing job one summer, in my mom's car, after my car (yes, the very same) had been flooded in a torrential rain storm (on dollar bowling night...I still rolled, mind you, interrupting games with trips out to the dead car which was to also be towed...without the bolwing, not as fun), on my way to meet up with my then girlfriend at her house, to make out, before either of her parents (the school teacher and the Civil War revisionist) got home. The thought of touching her kind of sickens me now, but if it was making out with her after a day of hocking credit cards that I got instead of my current fake vacation in the Sentra, well, I'd take it. Well, maybe not the telemarketing part.

3) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou trailer
Fucking Ben beat me to it. But this is just... genius.

4) Synchronized Diving



Olympic sports that boggle my mind are just rad. I feel like I'm watching an effect, like when they show you how one skier went down and then parallel it with how, say, Picabo Street went down previously. Love it.

5) Donald E. Westlake



"My subject is bewilderment." I finished Money For Nothing and just flat out loved every smart, pulpy page. I've now moved on to The Ax, which seems to be his most acclaimed book, an acridly funny take on late 90s downsizing that's just vicious.

Dynamic Duo

When it comes to movies, there aren't many things I hate more than evil children films(The Omen, The Ring, etc.) and the dead behind the eyes, sadistic nihilism of young filmmaker Eli Roth (as seen in his debut, Cabin Fever). Well, why not combine the two:

Title:       The Bad Seed
Log line:  A seemingly perfect 8-year-old girl suddenly turns into a terrible killing machine.
Writer:     n/a
Buyer:      Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre:      Horror
More:       Remake.  A writer will be hired shortly.  Luke Janklow and Strike Entertainment will produce.  Eli Roth will direct.

From Ain't It Cool News:

Eli's BAD SEED will attempt to create a horror icon out of a little 8 year old girl. This is going to be very very hard R and bloody as hell. In a way, imagine Wednesday Addams in the ADDAMS FAMILY sequel at the camp, but *all the way*! I remember Eli telling me, "I love the idea of a twisted, pathological 8 year old killer who's also really into Aaron Carter." A big doe-eyed cutie with a butcher knife and a cupcake. One that simply can't stop and will kill us all, then go back to hopscotch.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to it, because I firmly believe Eli was put on Earth to guide 8 year old girls to wanton gleeful mass murder. This is his calling. He's home. And I can't wait for the home movies.

(The conversation between Harry and Eli took place the night before Eli was to speak at the "Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Legal To Lay Party at the Alamo Drafthouse.")

Monday, August 16, 2004

Scumbag Move

Gary Payton now hints he may quit before playing for the Celtics, not because he hates Boston, but because he's a dick who forgets publicly hinting he wanted to be traded after the Lakers didn't so much use him in Big Chief Triangle's offensive invention and after they lost in the Finals to the Pistons. Asshole, take your physical and go play where someone might actually pass you the ball. Because, unless you're fluffing Kobe's pillows in Colorado, you ain't gettin the ball.

Asses and Titties



On Saturday night, as is quickly becoming the tradition at the Sherman Oaks compound, videos of questionable quality are rented, tequila is consumed, and food is ordered from the new favorite toy, L.A. Bites. This past Saturday, it was Single White Female. It's a fine piece of trash: pulpy, silly, rather forgettable. And yet, there is one thing you're sure to remember. Titties. Ass. Asses and Titties. Hey, Hollywood, remember nudity? No? Now, I understand the reluctance of many actresses to show off the goodies because of the interweb. But as long as sadistic paparazzi are chasing you and your family around, nearly killing you, in order to catch you sunbathing in your backyard, it's not like showing a little ass is really gonna hurt. (Right, Mel Gibson? You sick little fuck.) But this movie's practically European in how frankly it presents its nudity. It's not Bridget Fonda smearing period blood on Michael Pitt, it's just her walking around after fucking the guy from Wings. But I guess she should put on a burka, god forbid, the children see a boob. (insert Janet Jackson reference here) Bridget's not alone, since Jennifer Jason Leigh is practically naked in every scene where she's not covering for her puppy killing.

Now, also on Saturday, Ben and I caught the AVP, the latest opus from the other Paul Anderson. This movie is PG-13. A whole mess of people die fairly violently by way of alien and/or predator. We get a scene where every word is "bullshit." "This movie is bullshit." "I know. And this dialogue is bullshit." "In my country, vino vino caccatore alfredo means bullshit." We get the acceptable "fuck," and a mess of scary ass monsters oozing and growling and fighting and turning on kids eager to try out cocoon sex for the second time. But, you know what, we don't get any sex. None. And if we did, you can kiss that PG-13 goodbye if Sanaa had just happened to be turned on by the predator and get a little somethin somethin from her new friend. Also, intriguingly, Sanaa could do with the predator what Jesse "The Mind" and Ahnuld could never do. She's a uniter, not a divider. Shame on you two. Govs.

...he would never stop vomiting

Want to get a headache? Check out the Childcare Action Project's assessment of Collateral ("if you've seen one killing spree movie, you've seen them all") and other films. (Hat tip to Movie City News.)

No Love

Uncle Grambo gets dissed by the NYT:

"i'm telling youze, i coulda been a contendah! when i'm old and wrinkled and gray and i've got Great Grandson Graydon Grambo propped up on my arthritic knees, i'll whisper in his ear and tell hims the story about the time that his Great Grandpappy almost made the New York Times. to set the mood, i'll pop in my "Brown Bunny" dvd and explain to him about the time when I met Vincent Gallo, widely renowned as one of the more controversial filmmakers of the time. i'll fondly reminisce about the afternoon screening that turned into an evening-long discussion, as well as the resulting coverage that my little blog received in its wake. but just as the little one starts dozing off to sleep with visions of blowjobs in his head, i will begin furiously cursing and tear into an inexplicable rage as I recall memories of NYT staffer Randy Kennedy.

you see, Kennedy profiled Gallo and "The Brown Bunny" in The New York Times on Sunday, August 15, 2004. and in this article, he directly references NOT ONLY the screening that I attended, but actually has the gall to lift a quote of mine describing Gallo as "the coolest person alive today"!!! i should be thrilled, right? dancing in the streets, right? er, not so much. you see, Kennedy attributes the quote to (and I quote) "one local Web log writer" without so much as name dropping either Uncle Grambo, Mark Graham or whatevs.org! nice reporting skills, buttmunch! would it have killed you to have thrown a Detroit blogger a bone? grrrr. i guess that The Old Gray Lady isn't ready to have her tees bovs'd upon by Uncle Grambo quite yet, but you can tell she's dreaming of me. NAUGHTY stizz. some say that's far hotter. dude shmears©."

Fuck 'em.

Campaign Coverage (Obvs in '04)

"Peabs isn't exactly sure what possessed Dr. Bill Cosby to have a meeting with President George W. Bush this weekend. Maybe he was trying to dig up some new dirt to help the Obvs in '04™ Campaign. Or perhaps it's because they used to blow countless amounts of gram-long rails while giving each other hand-jobs in the back rooms of Houston-area bathhouses. Obvs. Either way, Coz returned to the campaign headquarters a bit more fired up than usual. She mars. My guess? They probably picked up some pre-op trannies, dressed them up as sheep, and re-enacted an episode of "Fear Factor." Duh." (For the rest, go here.)

Paging Jan de Bont...Jan de Bont

Title:       The Breathtaker
Log line: A small-town police chief pursues a serial killer who strikes only during tornadoes, brutally killing his victims in the eye of the storm.
Writer:    Sean Hood
Agent:     Gersh Agency
Buyer:     John Wells Productions
Price:       n/a
Genre:     Horror Thriller
Logged:   8/16/04
More:      Based on Alice Blanchard’s novel.  John Wells Productions' John Wells will produce.

(via Script Sales)

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Go, Joe!

This should be funnier. (Note, you'll have to get a free day pass from Salon to read it in its entirety.) For something related and way funnier, go here. (And while at Salon, you can also check out the inane ramblings of Charles Taylor where in he heaps some praise on Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Shout Out

OV reader Matt Kovachy may seem like a calm and collected guy. If I remember correctly, when Gene formed our imaginary boy band, Matt was the responsible one, the leader, the good influence, as opposed to Loo, who, like Donnie Wahlberg or A.J., was tempted by dangerous outside influences. (I call bullshit on that choice. Was Loo ever on "alcohol probation?") There is, however, another side to Matt. A side that I've seen up close. If one of his teams is to lose, be it the Heat or the Fins (without whom, Miami would not have a football team...or so I've heard) or the Fish or the Panthers, and you happen to be rooting for the opposing team, and let's say, you're in the room with Matt when this defeat is handed out, by, oh, let's pick a random team, the Knicks, sans an injured Patrick Ewing, Matt Kovachy will flip his shit. For serious. He will throw items to and fro. And, as he did on one occassion, inform you that he will "see you in hell." Now, I came across this article from October '01 and it made me think, why won't Matt comment? Excerpt:

"In addition to the urinal incident, a fire alarm was ripped from the ceiling on the first floor. In the parlor, a panel covering window blinds was ripped from the wall. Glass was also broken in the window next to the front door of the building, and the handle of the fuse box in the hall’s kitchen was ripped off.

Ebrahini said a chair in the parlor was destroyed, and Gross said the machine used to swipe Emory cards on the vending machines was taken from the first floor laundry room, and the machine that swipes Emory cards for the laundry machines was damaged.

“[The EmoryCard machine] was torn off the wall,” Gross said.

Matt Kovachy, the resident hall director, declined to give a statement at this time."

Tragically Hip

According to Productshop NYC and [information leafblower], Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas and his lady friend are registered for their upcoming wedding at Target. Productshop claims its a sad effort by Julian to dispel rumors of a breakup. (Strong possibility that it's all total bullshit.)

Friday, August 13, 2004

Be Informed

Learn more about Ben and those like him.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Let Jesus Fuck Me

The L.A. Weekly's Scott Foundas opens up the wound that is the forthcoming Exorcist prequel. The piece is great. Here's a description of the opening to Schrader's version (as opposed to the Renny Harlin version which will be released in theaters, where the following occurs but much later and, perhaps, in some kind of altered form):

"...there was no escaping the lyrical sense of terror evoked in the opening scenes of Schrader’s film. In a predominantly Catholic Dutch village in the waning days of World War II, the murder of a German SS officer leads his lieutenant to round up the villagers for interrogation. As snow flurries fill the sky, the lieutenant demands that the local priest identify the guilty party — surely, inasmuch as he is their confessor, he must know which of these people has blood on his hands. The priest, of course, is Father Merrin (played by Stellan Skarsgård, who replaced Neeson during pre-production), and when he insists that none of his parishioners is culpable, the lieutenant sets about a diabolical course of action. He will kill 10 villagers as a warning to the real killer, wherever he may be. What’s more, Merrin must select the 10 who will die. Should he refuse, the lieutenant vows to kill everyone. “God is not here today, priest,” he bellows as Merrin collapses into prayer."

But, seriously, read the piece. There's so much great shit in it and plenty of sick twists.

God Hates You

Martin Van Buren passes the message along to the Black Eyed Peas. (I mean, jeezy creezy, the 8th president gets it. Why can't everyone else?)

What A Douche

Bank robber's "to do" list includes "rob bank." Were Apple Jack and Kumar working with him?

Wow

A week or so ago, I asked Ben if he had heard about the various New Jersey fundraising scandals that all seemed to flow out of the governor's office. He hadn't. I had only just heard of them on a report I listened to on NPR. Well, Shyamalama-ding-dong might love this twist ending. Hey now.

Fagistani Vacation Ends

Josh is back.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Kirsten Goes to Glamour Shots

And it goes terribly wrong.

Not a Biopic

Pier's favorite director Gus Van Sant discusses his next film, the Kurt Cobain inspired Last Days.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Martin Van Buren



The best ruler in the history of man talks about the Muslims for Nader blog linking to an article on Mumia Abu Jamal. An excerpt:

"Anyway, like I was saying, what's got more broad based appeal than the combo of Islam, Nader and a guy who probably killed a cop, but who we want free cause he articulates our hatred of "the man" in a marginally successful fashion?"

One More Than Four

1) Tonight, Tonight (The Amazing Race)

Check this out: Ben (of Whine Colored Sea fame) and I have a bet on the final results of the show. Ben is betting the whole megillah on the midget and her cousin Bellisimo(!), while I oppose said notion and instead am betting on the chances of the hot chick who looks like Nancy Kerrigan from some angles which lessens her hotness and her boyfriend (who for some reason chose not to eat the caviar, be the hero and get mad play), the churchgoing black folks, the evangelical models who avoid easier missions in order to maintain their vodka-less relationship with the JC, the twin sisters that no one can possibly like or expect to win, the Jewish brothers who reinforce every lame stereotype with every breath they take, and the bowling moms who this week will be forced to spread their legs and give up their aged quimmies to every Egyptian man they can find in order to continue on in the game and get out of a country where "everyone is poor." Now, look, I understand that the midget and her cousin are crafty and resourceful and that little menace can sure as hell lug a piece of meat around, but I refuse to accept the idea that at the end of all this, Jerry B. will be handing them the oversized novelty check. Nevin evin.

Kerrigan and her boyfriend are the frontrunners right now and I see no reason why they can't stay there. They seem to have a lot of petty fights but some heavy petting can always assauge race fatigue. Although, if I have to lose this bet, I kinda want it to be because the midget gets a wrench and hits the Nancy Kerrigan looking chick in the knee and she cries out "Why? Why?" But, then again, if we stick to Kerrigan/Harding mythology, that means that a homemade porno tape of the midget will be found and God help us all, that shit nevin evin needs to be seen.

The loser of this bet pays for pizza delivery. Now, you may look at this and scoff. What kind of bet is that? Well, it means one of two things. Either, (a) We have jobs but not well paying ones. (true but not the reason and it's not like we couldn't bet more) or (b) Ben (who proposed the bet) doesn't have all that much faith in Willow and Mad Mardigan and isn't man enough to bet for something bigger, like, say, the soon to be Fall Feast at Pizza Roma which not only includes pizza but also hot wings and soda. Intriguing. In closing, in order to further taunt my roommate, I'd like to close with a few quotes from pre-movie ads shown frequently in the Los Angeles area.

"Simple simple puppet." (Unaltered, but imagine the midget saying this. It would scare the bejesus out of me.)

"There's virtually a bomb in the car, and you're in it Ben and so are the midget and Bellisimo and the car blows up and you're dead and there's nothing left but anti-piracy rhetoric and the emptiness of knowing you're paying for pizza because you put your money on a bum horse. You ain't gonna get to see the Eva Braun of morning TV interview the midget or have the midget chat up Letterman. Nuh-uh. It's deluxe, son. Deluxe." (referencing two awful commercials. Yeah!)

2) Michael Mann's Los Angeles



Like Paul Thomas Anderson's San Fernando Valley, Mann's city is alive, filled with beauty, pain, excitement, and horror, teeming with music from car stereos, clubs or the internal soundtracks of the characters, and enlivened with the cacophonous accents and languages of the various ethnicities in the most diverse city in the world (a fact frequently forgotten by east coast snobs who like to think everyone here is blonde, surgically enhanced, and white). Like Heat, Collateral mixes a gritty, tough, slightly cynical brand of story and character with an operatic sense for the struggle between obsessives (and for the obsessives themselves), be they cops, criminals, cab drivers, lawyers, or hit men. Anderson gets this place inside and out. David Lynch crawls inside its head, the dreams/nightmares of its denizens, and even those who dream about it from afar. Quentin plays in it. And Michael Mann lives it. Like Jamie Foxx's character Max says, "It's home."

3) Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

A great time. The most I've laughed in the theater in a long while. Go.

4) The Return of Tom!
God bless, God bless. Tom's back at Pike's Pale and he has quite the tale to tell:

"Yesterday I was in line at self check out at the grocery store. It was getting late and I was heading home to make dinner. I was a little hungry and cranky. The line was long and slow and I had been waiting for about ten minutes before I go up to the register. I was next in line when a little black man about five and half feet tall with what appeared to be an onset of scoliosis and some sort of retardation just walked up and cut right in front of me. Well, I thought, jeez, he is clearly handicapped, what am I going to do. I started to feel the eyes of everyone behind me who had also been waiting and I realized that I need to talk to this guy. So I politely address the man, 'Sir. Sir, the line starts back there.' The man turns around and stares at me in disbelief. 'WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? HOW WAS I SUPPOSE TO KNOW YOU WHERE WAITING FOR THIS LINE,' the little black retarded man screams."

For the conclusion, go here.

5) Typos That Make Pier Sound Like Rainier Wolfcastle



"The family is going maximizing...Work their delts. Work their glutes. GOING MAXIMIZING."


Monday, August 09, 2004

Blue Balls Outbreak

Lame shit in NYC. (Hat tip to the Thighmaster.)

Thought for the Day

"Honestly, Peabs. What's Indira Gandhi like in the sack?"

"Amazing, G. She could suck the quaalude out of a unicorn's ooh-jah. Obvs."

(For more, check over m'ya.)

Put your titty back in

Oh, Paris. Get it together, sweetie.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Question of the Day

From Movie City News:

Why Are People Positioning A $24 Million Opening For A Hard-R, Dark-Hearted, Adult Drama About A Hitman As "Middling" (Or Worse) When The Only Tom Cruise Movies To Open Better In The Last Decade Are Spielberg's Minority Report & The Mission: Impossible Films?

(Maybe the real question should be why "The Film That We Do Not Speak Of" directed by "The Next Spielberg" dropped nearly 70% in its second week.)

Sunday Wrap



Ben doles out sage advice on diarrhea, err, Open Water. Stereogum has mice and Bitches Brew to fight them off. The Prime Minister of Fagistan is still on vacation. Things are quiet at Poisonville, J.B. Fletcher, Pike's Pale, and Drunk Monk. Collateral is the film to catch this weekend or, well, any time in the near future. (more on it later) Seeing Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle this afternoon. I'll let you know. Tomorrow, there's work, but, well, that's always the trap of Sundays. Fuck it. I don't care. I'll do what I want. Whatever. And seriously, how bad can Monday be when you know that on Tuesday, you get to see a midget and her idiot partner ("Bellisimo!") take on the bowling moms who may or may not have to give mad handjees to continue on in The Amazing Race since they have no money and they're in Egypt where, as they put it, "everyone is poor." Aiight, that's that. Have a great end of the weekend, ya'll.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

America Super Sized

Hitch goes to Texas. Does anyone have Trio?

Bitch Slapped

The 8th President sticks it to Don Henley (and fans of Henley).

Political Panties





For more variations, check Axis of Eve by way of Your Dirty Mind.

Agreeance

Fred Durst, as you all well know, has a blog. Now, by reading this blog, you can learn a few things. He hates capital letters. He's intrigued by wretched diction, punctuation and spelling and...what was it? Oh, yeah. He's completely fucking insane. Doubt it? Well, doubt no more:

"we don't need a new president. we don't need the old one either. we need a true leader. someone who speaks for us as humans sharing a planet with many breeds of the same. when a true leader walks our land we will know, we will listen, and we will follow effortlessly. there won't be any campaigns and there will be no marketing. this leaders presence, words, values, integrity and heart will be desired by all of the world. the power of faith this man will obtain, not only from people in america, but everyone around the world, will be the reason our governments will feel threatened and take actions to remove this person from our quest for humanity. this leader will speak from his heart and be adored by all walks of life. this leader will become so powerful that our constitutions will be over ridden and rewritten to reflect a society once dreamed of and now forgotten in our corrupt universe. people like JFK and Martin Luther King were these types of leaders. if they were left in peace to continue their journey through life we may have seen such a thing, but they were removed from existance because they were too powerful and considered a threat to the people behind the government. these people do not want this leader to exist. they want us to choose our president from their shady "he's better than the other two guys" roster. out of all the people in the world we are left with two or three human beings to settle with as our savior? of course. this is the way it works for them. so weigh out the pros and cons and make your decision. this is pathetic. i love america. i love the whole fucking world. i love the idea of world peace. this leader will walk amongst us very soon. it will be undeniable. people will follow. people will talk. a following will rapidly build into a voice like we have never heard before. this leader will not have chosen to be the one and will not be trying to convince anyone of his heart and intentions. we will know when that time has come. the more our technology can cause awareness, the more it will be too complicated for our government to erase this leader. everything happens for a reason. we have become victims of a corrupt government that is thriving on the ignorance they insist we are made of. we have to get perspective and look at the big picture. we are the playing pieces for a game of control and power played by the people who see humanity as something disposable. as for the presidents, i will always have hope in the chance of that leader actualy being one of the candidates. if it is so then let it be and i will know in my heart that it is the one. this leader will not need to be re-elected because he will rewrite the book on how we govern our societies and remian our leader until he is no longer a leader. maybe i think too much. maybe i don't think enough. i have never been so concerned about our well being as a world as i have become today. i am a dreamer and have hope. that's a good start for me. i think i am making no sense sometimes when my mind is in utopia. it's time to be aware. think about your decisions. go with your heart. things can only get better, right? let's go vote."

(Posted on July 23 - Music by Sigur Ros is featured on the site, perhaps because nothing to do with hot dog water is conducive to reading half baked musings on America's future king bringing all the creatures of the earth together.)

Tired

You can see my bra! In other news, I hope to soon return to acting regularly in films that are ruined by my presence alone.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Jams



ESPN has all the info on what song plays when players come to bat or take the mound. Some examples:

Johnny Damon: An assortment of Creed and Metallica. (This continues to be lame as Damon should just bite the bullett and use "Jesus Christ Superstar")

Barry Bonds: Along with Dr. Dre and P-Funk, the theme to The Phantom of the Opera. (Human rights?)

Hideki Matsui: "Clocks" by Coldplay and an assortment of songs by The Beatles and The Who. (A fairly obvious attempt to convert Sawx fanatic Mark Paskind to the dark side.)

A.J. Burnett: "The Beautiful People" by SoFla's own Marilyn Manson

Braden Looper: "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC (a tribute to San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman. Tribute makes it sound like Hoffman's dead...he's not. Looper just has mad love for the guy, apparently. And, also, any Met who does not, like their staidum's idiot staff, choose the Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out," has already taken a step in the right direction.)

"Safe War"

The latest from Hitch.

D'oh!

The first episode of Season 3 of Project Greenlight ruined! No word yet on how those involved will ruin everything else.

Gay Violations

From the August 3 nationally syndicated broadcast of Savage Nation (as hosted by another former host of another failed MSNBC program, Michael Savage):

"[T]he San Francisco Human Rights Commission, hold your nose-- When you hear the words "Human Rights Commission," you know what you're dealing with. Think of the worst people in America, they're the ones who go on to human rights commissions. They're neo-fascists in the guise of human rights activists. They wanna tell you what you can think, what you can't think. Who you can listen to, who you can read -- they're stinkers. They're communist or Nazis or both. ... So they're attacking the San Francisco Police Officer's Association, because the San Francisco Police Officer's Association received free tickets to my event, Michael Savage Uncensored. ... Now I'm extremely popular, but the San Francisco Human Rights Commission thinks that their Nazi background gives them an opportunity to say that I'm a hateful person because they don't like what I say about homosexuals. ... When you hear "human rights," think gays. When you hear "human rights," think only one thing: someone who wants to rape your son. And you'll get it just right. OK, you got it, right? When you hear "human rights," think only someone who wants to molest your son, and send you to jail if you defend him. Write that down, make a note of it. So anyway, let's get back to the serious stuff here." (Serious stuff, i.e. herbology.)

Much like the fun game of replacing "heart" with "dick," as in the Woody Allen statement, "The heart wants what the heart wants," (hat tip to Hitch and Martin Amis...see also "Bullshit" in place of "Pussy" in response to a porno director telling Amis that "Pussy is bullshit.") this nonsense makes me think the next chapter in this kind of game may well be replacing "human rights" with "gay." And, one more thing, who the fuck goes to jail for defending their child against a child molester? Now, I know, I'm giving in to the crazy man's gibberish, which directly implies or, rather, states that every gay male is a child molester, but, it's always fun to poke holes in some of this inlfammatory, hateful bullshit or, rather, inflammatory, hateful pussy.

BMOC



Ben recently linked to the sad tale of Eye-an Ziering. Like a lot of popular TV shows, Bevery Hills 90210 had its own late night, bored at a restaurant game, much like Friends, Saved By The Bell or, to transition to movies, The Royal Tenenbaums: Which character are you or which character would you want to be? Now, with 90210 there are obvious and, therefore, unlikely choices, so as not to seem boring. You don't pick Dylan because you assume everyone wants to be a crazy drunk who fucks everyone, including child killer Rebecca Gayheart, before she gets killed by mobsters. Similarly, if you're a girl, you don't pick Brenda. (you fuck Dylan, cheat on him with Superman, get hated on but are secretly admired by all your castmates, leave in your prime to make cinematic abortions with A #1 cinematic abortionist Kevin Smith, have notorious catfights with Paris Hilton over, of all people, Rick Solomon, host an unwatched show on Sci-Fi, etc.) So, what generally occurs is you try to be different. If you're Jewish, you go for David, because a) he's Jewish, b) you too want to commit crimes against humanity and record a rap album like Mr. Austin Green, and c) you get to deflower pre-plastic surgery Tori Spelling. If you want to be popular with politicians, you pick Nat because you're a small business owner and not just any small business owner. You take a retro, kitschy diner and turn it into some kind of hot nightclub where, occassionally, cool bands play.

But, here's how any of this ties back into poor poor Ian. A person who doesn't read this blog or if he does never has admitted to doing so (D.B.) always, always, always chose to be Steve Sanders (as played by Mr. Ziering). Did he always desire to have a faded sitcom star as a mother? Was it his great desire to be a poor man's Zack Morris and fail to pull off one idiotic hair brained scheme after another, usually getting caught and only not being expelled or arrested because the authority figure at the time felt sorry for him because of his learning disability or his curly mullett? Or was it the only alluded to but still relevant fact that he once banged Jennie Garth that convinced him to pick Steve? Well, since this blog is never read or acknowledged by said person, we may never know. But I had been meaning to add this little fact to the conversation, and, well, now I've done it.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Ben's Girlfriend



Seriously, dude, what the hell is wrong with your lady friend? But, at the same time, this totally feels like her way of copying Ann's whole McCarthy was rad thing and trying to pass her own revisionism off as new and sexy. (Is this her way of making you forget about your long held lust for Ms. Coulter's bony, razor sharp vagina?) But don't worry, "Malkin is not advocating rounding up all Arabs or Muslims and tossing them into camps..." Gosh, what would make us think that?

Plushies Gone Wild



This kind of case would make the work day fantastic. It would easily defeat the Spiderman 2 beatdown. Here's what I'm talking about: A nurse is just off an 18 hour shift and takes her 3 kids to see Spidey. She falls asleep during the movie. Three other kids, belonging to some other mother, need to get by her. One of her kids wakes her up so that she can sit up and the kids can walk by. She apparently curses when woken up ("oh...shit") and the kids hear it. (they also claim that the woman kicks them...likely incidental but the rugrats decide it's intentional) Mom of the kicked/cursed in front of kids comes over and calls for an apology. "You cursed in front of my children," says outraged mother. Still half asleep mom apologizes but this isn't good enough for the other woman. She's not hearing what she wants. So, like any of us would do, she punches the half asleep woman in the face. She punches her in the face 29 TIMES. Big gash above her eyebrow...blood everywhere...half of her face was severly bruised and subsequently numb for a day or two. The puncher stands about 5'3". Demure little Asian lady. Her excuse is that she's going through a divorce and she just "snapped." Bitch, are you fo real? News flash: your divorce proceedings just got way uglier.

Obama Yo Mama



Do you like campaign videos made up entirely of footage of abortions? Do you enjoy fooling then Yale student Gene Bialczak into thinking you were brilliant before pulling the rug out from underneath him and revealing that your entire speech was about "the most important issue since slavery?" Do you dig on failed MSNBC talk shows not hosted by guys who fuck Marlo Thomas? Do you shudder when thinking about sex clubs and potential "Star Trek kink" and yearn for the days of a candidate obsessed with one issue to the point that his fairly impressive oratory skills seem like nothing more than a well produced magic act? Well, if so, you either love the idea of Alan Keyes running against the most talked about Democrat in the country other than the Johns or you are Alan Keyes and you secretly read this blog.

Either way, I love it.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Good Enough, Smart Enough



Pictured above is my cousin, Jay. After working on John Edwards' campaign for president, he was a delegate for the state of Connecticut at the Dem. convention. He's quoted here and you can see more photos like this one and read more on his adventures at the convention at Lon Seidman's Blog.

Toast

Slate's William Saletan gets inside the latest poll numbers and draws conclusions like this:

"Four years ago, based on numbers less grim than these, I said Bush was toast. Gore had passed Bush, and I thought the numbers couldn't turn around. I was wrong. They could, and they did, and they could again. But this time, Bush is the incumbent. It's hard to imagine what he can say from here on out that's going to change people's minds about him. And it's hard to imagine what he can say about Kerry that he hasn't already said in scores of millions of dollars worth of ads. At the very least, it's Kerry's race to lose."

For the rest, go here.

One More Than Four

1) Money For Nothing by Donald E. Westalke



I'm halfway through this pulpy gem. Expertly paced, with whip smart dialogue, and based on a wicked little concept: A check for $1,000 arrives in your mail. It comes from a company/organization you don't know. You try to call the company but the number doesn't work and the address on the check is incomplete. Needing the money, you deposit the check and it clears. You get another check the next month and then another the next month. This happens for seven years. You never tell anyone, not even your wife. And then one day, headed to a weekend house at the beach to meet up with your beautiful wife and young son, a man comes up to you on the ferry, introduces himself, and tells you he's from the organization that's been paying you all these years and that now they want you to do a little something for them, after all they've given you, just at the time when the checks are nothing more than a bonus, entirely unnecessary. But you deposited them every time and now you're fucked.

Westlake has oodles of books and also the excellent screenplay to The Grifters.

2) The Women of 8 1/2



Claudia Cardinale's muse figure, who's just as annoyed with Guido as all the women he thinks he needs to run from. Sandra Milo's Marilyn Monroe/Julie Holliday hybrid who only wants to make an extra-marital affair work out for her husband. Anouk Aimee emobodying parts of Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina, namely with her brief Chaplin/Masina like walk when we first meet her outside of Guido's dreams, and adroitly emobodying all of the conflicting emotions inside a woman married to such a man. Eddra Gale is an indelible image as La Saraghina, not only for what she brings to the role, but also for anyone familiar with Fellini and his obsession with hookers and big fat Italian women who may or may not be hookers and who may or may not dance on the beach (see also: Roma). And, of course, there's Barbara Steele who elicited the fantastic admission from Ben that he wanted to "have dirty sex with her...like right after shooting up heroin." Her screen time isn't ample, but when she's there, she is sex.

3) Could It Be? YES! Another Knicks Related Entry!



Jamal Crawford looks to finally be on his way to the Big Apple, along with Jerome Williams, in exchange for Moochie, Dikembe and Frank. This deal seems aiight, especially if Allan Houston's knees are as bad as they are rumored to be. Sadly, Shandon Anderson is not part of his deal, which means that his exorbinantly expensive shittiness will continue to spoil the fun at MSG. Boo-urns.

4) The New Script
It's been gestating for the last month or so but I've finally truly started writing it. I've pitched it around town in my recent spate of meetings and everyone seems to quite like it. Feels good to be back at it after a short break, where, well, I never really stopped but was a bit more frazzled in my thinking and kind of going off on tangents, well, like this one.

5) "I'm Set Free" (live) - Radiohead f/Beck (Velvet Underground cover)
Dreamy. Check it out at Largehearted Boy. You'll find it under Radiohead: Live Rarities.


The N

My good friend Gene Bialczak adds his two cents to the Nomaaah/Nomair conversation:

10-12 years from now, scores of Masshole students will enter the UMass University system who go by their middle name and their first initial "N"

N. Johnny Fitzpatrick
N. Patrick O'Shaugnessy
N. Casper Sullivan

When the registrar asks them what the "N" is for, they will begrudgingly admit "Nomar."

In other news, today I got my diet Pepsi out of the soda machine from slot "B9" in honor of Jason Giambi.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Next Step(?)

Quote of the Day:

"Before I start, I have just one question. I was at Pianos last night, and my friends and I noticed that there were several transgendered people there. So my question is; is being transgendered "in"? Is "post-op" the new "starting a blog"? I really hope not, because I don't even have the time or energy to get my hair cut, let alone..." - My Blog Is Poop

A Nice Game of Solitaire



Josh said a lot. I'll add my two cents. (and maybe more later) My problem with the newly formed version is that I just don't care about anyone, save for maybe Ben Marco. The relationship between Raymond and his mother has been altered enough to make it less than compelling. No sniveling stepfather, just as much under her control as Raymond, and not as clear a power over him, especially when it comes to his relationship with Jocelyn, which has now become nothing more than an affair in his mind, and, perhaps, not even that. (Eliminating this also eliminates any insight we have into Raymond's good side. He's not much more than a machine here, with some very actorly furrowing of the brow to show us he's troubled. Now, sure, Lawrence Harvey is very old school and stagey in the original, but it works, and the scenes between he and Marco, where he relays the story of his summer by the lake with Jocelyn is crucial in understanding Raymond, his relationship with his mother, and the true horror of what the brainwashing means. Not only will this man kill the presidential candidate to make his idiot stepfather president, but he's also already been killed. There is a tragedy in the scenes between Raymond and Jocelyn because we know, we have to know, that this cannot end well. Neutering this is criminal.) The misstep with Jocelyn's character is, perhaps, my biggest issue with the new film. When Raymond is told to kill her father, and he's also then forced to kill her, there is a devastating impact to those scenes, for both Raymond and the audience. Now, he's killing a political opponent (who we know less than before) and a woman he cares for (but more like a stalker or that guy in junior high who always had "a girlfriend you wouldn't know who lives in Canada"). Perhaps compelling, but as executed, not so much.

I'd also like to say one more thing in the vein of side-by-side comparisons. The brainwashing sequences in the new film are borderline awful, as if made by a shlock horror director (as my friend Morgan said today, "Jonathan, you don't work for Roger Corman anymore."). For a moment, I thought I was watching B-roll from The City of Lost Children when shot after shot revealed soldiers hooked up to a series of large tubes that might be equivalent to how Terry Gilliam envisions brain washing. The original tricks us, for a while, as the film's villains are tricking the soldiers. We are left to wonder how they came to be in some hotel with old ladies talking about manners, and when it's revealed that this is part of a brainwashing scenario, we have some level of shock as well at the trick pulled on us. We as an audience are involved in what the characters are subjected to. Instead, perhaps because of the original and not wanting to do the same thing and tread on old ground (ha!), we get some blood and some guts, and some brief glimpes of creepy Muslim ladies and some scary masked men, and nifty camera moves. Oh, and the scariest of all foods...the tomato. (Unlike my aversion to rats, which halted any viewing, now and forever, of Willard, the tomato's presence in this film did not seem to hold any sway over Ben's opinion, whose aversion to the tomato is legendary.)

Now, maybe this is all unfair and comparing a remake to its original isn't worth much, but, if I were to judge this film solely on its own merits, they might have done without the title or the characters or the endless hints for those in the know and made, oh, I don't know, an original movie about assassinating the president, brainwashing Gulf War soldiers, explaining Gulf War syndrome in a paranoid context, etc. But they remade it, so we're all forced to deal with that. It's not shot for shot and it's not the worst thing ever (which I had imagined it would be) but it left me with nothing but the nagging question, "Why?"

An Appeal to My "Readers"

There aren't many of you, and even fewer who might be able to pull this off, but let's band together and stop P Diddy (see below) from voting. Only good can come from this. I promise you.