I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Potpourri 4: The Crackdown

bronsonstickersOkay, here’s your spot to talk about Josie and the Pussycats or whatever. I know there were alot of good suggestions for the subtitle, and I forget who to credit for suggesting this one, but he was correct. All part 4s should be called either THE CRACKDOWN or STAR WARS.

Thanks everybody

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 12:55 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

857 Responses to “Potpourri 4: The Crackdown”

  1. Thanks a lot, Sir. So here is what I said in POTPOURRI THE FIRST about JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS, which I finally viewed today, after repeated recommendation from some of you guys:

    “And I gotta agree with all the JOSIE fans here: It is a lot of fun and maybe the most clever use of excessive product placement that I have seen in a while. I wonder how they got all those big companies to participate in an anti-corporate-brainwashing movie. Plus: The Heath Ledger joke is in a dark and twisted Meta way for obvious reasons more hilarious now, than it was in 2001.”

  2. [Insert obligatory “review IN BRUGES!” comment here]

  3. Has anyone here seen a little film called Target Practice? It’s a low budget flick about a bunch of friends who go out on a fishing trip, but stumble across a home-grown terrorist training camp. It is very well-made and worth checking out.

  4. Did you know that the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division’s unit patch is a representation of ivy, which is a reference to the roman numeral IV?

    No other #4, THE CRACKDOWN/THE REVENGE/A NEW HOPE/FAST & POTPURIOUS, is so clever & pictographically poetic.

  5. one guy from andromeda

    September 22nd, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    In the spirit of badass studies i’d like to recommend the movie “Greed in the Sun” (Cent mille dollars au soleil) from 61 with Lino Ventura and Belmondo as Truck Drivers in the North African desert. Now those were some prime badasses.

  6. Live Free or Potpourri?

    Potpourri 4: Citizens on Patrol?

  7. Since we’re making random recommendations here, when was the last time you guys watched McBAIN, the James Glickenhaus joint in which Christopher Walken brings democracy to Colombia over a long weekend because he owed a guy a favor? It’s way more straight-facedly absurd than you remember. We’re talking fighter pilots who start international incidents because somebody said something nice about their dad, knife fights in a bamboo thunderdome with a budget Bolo, impassioned speeches by Maria Conchita Alonso and Luiz Guzman both for and against drug dealing, and Walken impersonating a Mossad agent so he can hang a mafioso off a crane on top of a skyscraper in order to blackmail him into paying for a shipment of weapons from Michael Ironside, who’s playing a good guy, not that you could tell. This movie has aged well, my friends.

  8. I’m curious how & how much $ Vern is getting from his Amazon thingy. I just ordered some shit on there for a friend’s birthday. Can he tell I clicked on the link widget whatsit? Is there a counter he can access? Does Amazon send him a check once he hits the $100 mark, like other hit counter advertisement business deals? Does he get pennies for each transaction? Where do babies come from?

    Also, I just started watching DOUBLE DRAGON (1994), and it’s pretty fucking awesome so far.

  9. Mouth, I remember that Vern put up a really thoughtful post about the Amazon thing when it appeared, but I have no idea when that was. I dunno if it had actual dollar amounts listed, but it broke down how it worked pretty informatively.

  10. McBain is getting a re-release in the UK courtesy of Arrowdrome, just so you know…

  11. Mouth – oh, I freaking love that film. (“Double Dragon”, I mean.) It’s the best terrible film out there IMO. You cannot go wrong with a film that not only has Alyssa Milano torturing a guy in a fatsuit and a fake mohawk by force-feeding him spinach, but manages to keep up that level of absurdity pretty much throughout the whole thing.

    ThomasCrown – “Live Free or Potpourri?” – that is a work of subline genius.

    CJ – glad to be of service.

  12. A new Potpourri thread can only mean one thing: Hassling Vern for shit. I’m not gonna ask for anything specific, but I would like to see more TV reviews on the site. I think it could be argued that the best TV shows have surpassed (almost) anything you see on the big screen over the last few years and it’s a shame that it’s going somewhat unacknowledged over here. I realise it’d take a pretty big time investment though so I understand why it doesn’t happen.

  13. Mouth, I think if you access Amazon through Vern’s widget and buy anything he gets a percentage, so it is a great way to support Vern. I don’t remember the percentage he gets, but I want to say it is like 10% or less of what you spend.

  14. Haven’t seen McBain for years… and I’ve seen love for Josie and the Pussycats enough around here to put that on my list too. Gonna watch Josie soon, it has me intrigued.

    Just finished watching the most recent Neil Marshall… err Joint? Centurion. Michael Fassbender and Dominic West bring the badass in that one. Looked at he Box Office… OUCH.

    Not sure how Marshall hasn’t broken out more. I thought Dog Soldiers was a fun debut that was better after a 2nd viewing. The Descent is his best IMO. Doomsday was hella fun and I think misunderstood by some. With Centurion barely registering a blip I fear he’ll fade into obscurity. If he hasn’t already.

    Marshall “out-grindhoused” everyone with Doomsday for me.

  15. Guys, I feel bad because Vern’s website is really the only one I read and I am behind on some of his reviews. I feel somehow less for this.

    Also, I love my job but it keeps me really busy. I am being actively recruited by Duke down in NC and am wondering what opinions, if any, people have of the Raleigh-Durham area. I have a few friends down there and they seem to love it but I really like the DC area so I’m a little hesitant to move. Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts!

  16. Marshall was on the short list for some big studio movies a while ago and now he was hired to shoot an upcoming episode of GAME OF THRONES. I love DOG SOLDIERS and THE DESCENT, but haven’t seen his last two movies. I really have to catch up with his work, even though Vern hates DOOMSDAY apparently as much as I hate 300 or AsimovLives STAR TREK.

  17. Wow yeah! haha! It’s tagged as ‘unwatchable garbage’. It is that kind of film perhaps. I’ll go on record saying I loved it… after I had tuned into it’s absolutely batshit insane tone.

    Would be interesting to know what projects Marshall was (provisionally) attached to. Gonna look into that.

  18. I bought the complete series of Deadwood last week and started watching it. I’m about 5 episodes in and its really good so far. I knew Ian McShane and our boy Timothy Olyphant were in it but i was surprised to see Jeffrey Jones, Keith Carradine, Brad Dourif, and Powers Boothe show up as regular characters. Even a young Kristen Bell makes an appearence (looking as cute as ever). I’m loving the foul language and the grimeyness of the show. It sounds like this show was cancelled without a resolution so hopefully it won’t be too jarring when the show just ends.

  19. Word of warning: It’s pretty jarring. But you’ll get over it soon enough and remember the show fondly.

  20. Vern said it’s like a 4% commission in a post from 17 months ago, but I wanted to know more about what that comes out to, not necessarily in total amount (That’d be rude and unhelpful.) but maybe an idea of $ per reader/contributor/clicker per month/quarter, because I am a nosy punkass and also because I might theoretically have a growing byline presence of some notoriety on another websight where I might hypothetically try to make money in a possibly similar fashion.  Everyone else I ask is useless greedy swine or they suggest way too many ads or self-publishing something, which is hard.  

    Right now my third job (since I count day trading as my 2nd job), which pays monthly but also somewhat irregularly, comes out to a range of like 34¢ – $2.04 an hour.  You might say it’s a labor of love, plus $1 hourly, and I am hoping to whore out so that my love is worth a decimal place a bit to the right someday.  

    I also emulate Vern by not disclosing where else you can find me online due to mysteriousness.  Also, it’s for Japanese & Arabic speaking audiences so few of you are likely to become my paying customers anyway.  

    Casey, Raleigh-Durham is okay, but even as a Duke fan I have to say that Chapel Hill is where the cuter girls & better parties are.  It’s an extremely well educated population in the Triangle area/Tobacco Road.  I like DC a lot better, but that’s largely because I fancy myself a bit of a cosmopolitan socialite, which DC allows me to be in or out of uniform, with hipsters or with officers.  And I love going to Kennedy Center events & international caliber art exhibits and all the constant stimuli of life in the big city, which you’ll find is comparatively underwhelming anywhere in NC.  Also, DC has a biergarten and a bar with an indoor putt-putt course in the same neighborhood.  Duke area might be better for family life, though, and it’s cheaper for everything but street musician fare.  

  21. The only thing I remember about McBAIN is Christopher Walken shooting a jet pilot with a pistol from INSIDE THE COCKPIT OF AN AIRPLANE. Unless I made that up.

  22. hooray! another Potpourri that people will pay attention to!

    unfortunately I am currently at a lost for things to say…

  23. This DOUBLE DRAGON movie is out of control. I hate it when Paul is right about something, but the tone of this movie is gloriously hard to believe or describe. It’s like ROBOCOP + BATMAN FOREVER + BILL & TED + iCarly, but somehow wildly entertaining instead of horrible.

    The nerd in me maybe wants to speak out about how the movie fails to adhere to the tone & universe of the Nintendo video game, one of my all time favorites, but I don’t have a nerd in me.

  24. Nabroleon Dynamite

    September 22nd, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Has Vern reviewed “Inside”??? I love that movie, but I also know people hate it, so whatever.

    If he has somebody throw up a link as laziness has set in.

    Thanks in advance!!

  25. David: No, that totally happens. If the planes were traveling at exactly the same speed then theoretically this would be possible, provided they were flying in a vacuum so as to eliminate wind resistance. Of course, then Walken’s plane would depressurize instantly and everyone would die.

    But then again I’m pretty sure neither of the windshields had a bullethole in it afterward so this is all still within the realm of possibility.

  26. Thomas – is there an OLD Kristen Bell?

  27. Mouth – The Amazon thing has a complicated scheme where (if I remember right) you get 4% commission but if you sell certain amounts of items within the month then the percentage goes up in different brackets. Hmmm… I’m looking at it now and it’s saying I’m at 6%, but that I’ve only made $1.32. So I don’t know how it works. But it’s a monthly direct deposit at least, you don’t have to wait for a certain amount to build up.

    There are other ways to make money on a websight like the Google ad words and stuff but I just can’t bring myself to do that, it seems too intrusive for what I want to do here. I haven’t figured out a way to make this work anywhere close to replace having a job, but it is extra grocery money and I really appreciate it. I’ve been thinking about what a bunch of you said about doing paypal donations and I might have figured out how to do it in the anonymous way I want to. I’ll have to test it and if it works then somewhere down the line I have an idea for a dumb thing I can do as sort of a pledge drive to follow a public radio type model. But I wouldn’t ever want anybody to feel like they have to pay to read my shit. Except in a book. If they don’t check it out from the library.

    Nabroleon – I still haven’t seen INSIDE but I’ll try to see it during my October horror viewing.

    Majestyk – okay, I’m definitely gonna have to watch McBAIN.

  28. A young(er) Kristen Bell I should say.

  29. VERN – have you heard about The Raid? It’s an Indonesian action movie directed by a British fella, looks fucking tiiiiiiight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWlmhMSnVdM

  30. After watching the Raid trailer I hunted down the last film by the same director (I think he’s Welsh). It’s called Manatau, and it is awesome.

  31. I need a Vern review of Drive or I will cry! It’s been at the front of my mind since I saw it a few days ago. Absolutely loved it.

  32. Thanks, Mouth. I’ve been in DC for ten years and I really love it for all the reasons you talk about and more.

    I have a bunch of friends from DC, well PW and Fredericksburg, who have moved down there over the last few years and talk Raleigh up.

    I’m tempted as the job is with Duke and is a great next step in my career, but man I love DC.

    Vern, as a Public Radio supporter (I do the dollar a day thing and have my tote bags so I can fit in at Trader Joes) I would be glad to give a few bucks every month for this site. You deserve it!

  33. Vern: And I didn’t even mention Steve James.

  34. THE RAID looks insane. It’s cool to see that it won the Midnight Madness award at Toronto.

    Has anyone seen the teaser for Wong Kar-wai’s Ip Man movie? It looks like it will be a full-on, wire-enhanced martial arts action picture, which is pretty much the last thing I was expecting from Wong.

    I loved DRIVE too. The soundtrack and various scenes have been stuck in my head. It’s probably one of my favorite movies from the past few years, although general audience reactions seem to be as dismal as the ones that THE AMERICAN received, which actually surprises me. I recommend watching DRIVE in the emptiest theatre you can find so there will be less chance of having to deal with annoying moviegoers who feel the need to voice their disapproval and make “funny” comments.

  35. Nabroleon – I loved INSIDE. I thought it was one of the highlights of the recent batch of TFUFHMs (Totally Fucked Up French Horror Movies). (I include CALVAIRE in that batch, even though it’s Belgium.) I also just watched THE HORDE, which is a pretty great Fucked Up French Zombie Movie. My only complaint was a fairly wide reaching one for zombie movies in general, why does it always take so long for people to figure out only headshots kill zombies? Even if I didn’t know anything about zombies, I think I would catch on pretty quick that if you shoot a guy fifty time in the chest without doing anything and drop him with one shot to the head, I would aim for the head from now on. Other than than, pretty great. It had probably the best barehanded zombie beatdown ever. Technically, she used a refrigerator at the end, but most of it was barehanded.

  36. I loved Drive because it took a fairly common premise but did it in such a way to make it surprising. The European style of sparse dialogue and long jags of atmosphere helped with that. Plus, you couldn’t ask for a better supporting cast.

    First time commenter, been reading for about six months.

  37. I watched THE HORDE last night, and although I’ve heard good things at the end I pretty much sat back and said “yep, that sure was a zombie movie.” I think part of it is that screeching, roaring, fast zombies just aren’t scary or interesting to me anymore. They don’t have the creepiness factor that makes older zombie movies so atmospheric and timeless.

  38. That’s what I thought, Mr. Majestyk. And yes, I don’t remember there being any bullet holes in the windshields either. You just have to wonder what everyone was thinking on-set.

  39. Screw it, maybe I’ll just start a webpage titled “Help Me Retire by Age 30” or “Give me money or else I’ll kill this puppy” with a PayPal tip jar & pictures of pretty people in skimpy underwear. Working online is too much work.
    The twitter says our friend Fred Topel is on like 7+ web publication outlets, a lot more according to RT, plus he has time to play pinball. Dude’s gotta be stretched thin, but he loves what he does so maybe that makes it worth it, the lucky fuck. No wait, fuck that guy, if he gave up some of his jobs maybe the unemployment rate would get back down to 4.5% and America will be great again. Why does Fred Topel hate America?

    I hate Fred Topel.

    *******************************

    Upon a 2nd viewing, DRIVE loses something. This is true of virtually all movies, but there are some plot/script points that bother me now that I’ve looked closer at DRIVE. I won’t hold this too much against it, though, b/c it’s not cool to dismiss the greatness of one’s first experience with a [mostly] excellent film.

  40. YES. Goddamn. I haven’t been around too much lately but I’m glad to get in on a Potpourri thread. It’s been a while.

    One of the movies I just saw recently. Well, a second time at least: MILLER’S CROSSING. I think, if it isn’t a Coen Brother’s masterpiece, it’s pretty close. Thoughts?

  41. CrustaceanHate – Zombies are always the least interesting part of zombie movies. They are more metaphors than monsters (however they are metaphors with exploding heads, which is always a plus). The thing I like about those movies is watching slow implosion of the survivors, cracking under the stress and turning on each other. What I liked about The Horde is everybody wanted to kill each other before the zombies ever showed up. That was where the tension came from, not the zombies (for me, at least). And did I mention the part where the chick pulls a refrigerator down on one? I can’t emphasize that enough.

  42. RBatty – http://outlawvern.com/2011/03/25/merantau/

    I kind of wish there wasn’t all this hype about THE RAID because I was already excited about it because of MERANTAU and now my expectations are higher and it’s not coming out here for forever. So I’m trying not to think about it. But I’m glad if more people are checking out MERANTAU.

  43. MIller’s Crossing is one of my favourite Coen Bros films, somewhere in that top 3 spots, which is so hard to pin down. Every time I think I’ve got it figured out, I remember No Country For Old Men, or some other gem. I love how it builds significance around the hat, which really isn’t about anything, unless it is, but it looks damn cool.
    I think A Serious Man is the best Coen Bros film, but I’d have to say my favourites are Millers Crossing, Big Lebowski, and I don’t know, lets say O Brother Where Art Thou.

  44. I recently started watching OZ and I’m surprised how dark humored and surreal it is, since it always had the reputation of being a “realistic prison show, full of shocking violence and assrape”. So far it’s comparably harmless, so maybe it was only by 1997 standards shocking, but on the other hand, I’m just at episode 5. It’s a very good show, though and when I’m done with it, I will also start with DEADWOOD.

    Oh yeah, and I finished FIREFLY. It’s okay and kinda entertaining, but also ultimately forgettable, if you ask me. I can’t even remember the names of more than half the characters or if they ever did anything interesting. But it’s watchable. And that theatrical movie has some very well filmed and choreographed fight scenes, so this is one thing less to worry about when THE AVENGERS arrives in theatres. (But that’s Nerd Shit.)

  45. Just read over on AICN that Sony/Screen Gems are already planning a US remake of The Raid. Hope this doesn’t mean they’re going to suppress the release of the original while they quickly cobble together something and chuck it out into the cinemas…isn’t that what happened with REC?

  46. Wait, so they butcher the original version with a Mike Shinoda score (2001 has called. It wants to tell you that Linkin Park were already pretty lame back then, even though your ENJOY THE SILENCE remix was surprisingly good.) AND create an American version? At least here in Europe we might get the original on DVD first. Right? RIGHT?

  47. Momentum are releasing it in the UK – we’re in safe hands at least (and Momentum can expect a healthy amount of export sales methinks)

  48. Just watched the uncut version of Repo Men, I’m afraid I don’t have anything much to say apart from agreeing that it was alright, however, watching this movie on an iphone on a busy commute was interesting. There is a hell of a lot more open-knee surgery and insertion of pointy objects into people in very close up graphic detail than I was expecting.

    Actually maybe you chaps could help me out. There was a movie I saw, probably about 20 odd years ago when I was a kid, the only thing I remember was it ended in a house, there was a guy all in black which a black helmet on. The hero puts a grenade (I think) in the helmet, closes the visor and the guys head explodes inside the helmet. I don’t remember it being too graphic, just some smoke coming out of the helmet.

    Someone says “Is he dead?” and I believe there is a cop who looks inside the hemet and says, “Well, he aint got no head”.

    It’s one of those times when you watch something when you are young, and it sort of become a vague hazy recollection, I had that for a few movies, Lost Boys, Legend, but I rediscovered them later.

  49. I’m still sad that HIGHLANDER 4 wasn’t subtitled THE BEHEADENING.

  50. I just rented this movie called Crooked from the library. It stars Oliver Grunner, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Fred Williamson and Gary Busey. It’s from 2005. NO, you didn’t read that wrong. It’s from 2005 and not 1995. I look forward to explaining to you guys if it’s good or not.

  51. With great cinema like that available at your local library, it’s no wonder nobody reads anymore.

  52. BTW: Is anyone at Fantastic Fest this week? I’m here, would love to see you.

    Double Dragon may be the best video game movie ever made. Yes, that’s a backhanded compliment, but what else we got? Tomb Raider? Mortal Kombat maybe. Resident Evil perhaps.

  53. Mook: This is a special message just for you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiIroiCvZ0

    So I’m almost finished the second season of that TERMINATOR television show. Still have no idea what to think of it. It has too much plot, yet nothing ever seems to happen. The somewhat melancholy tone is welcome, yet I could do without all the Sweet Valley High moments. The Glauminator is well performed, yet there are times when you see her hands on some big dude’s neck and you laugh out loud at the possibility that those ballerina fingers are causing any actual damage.

    Strange, strange show, yet so incredibly pedestrian.

    Also, after he cut his hair, John Connor became indistinguishable from Malcolm in the Middle.

  54. Oh my God, I love and adore The Sarah Connor Chronicles so much. That’s what I wanted Terminator to be. Living with this cursed knowledge of the future, dealing with daily life and every once in a while some robots fight each other. The second season got a bit lost with the three dots but I was with it all the way. I thought they did amazing action for TV. You can see the seams, but the idea of what was going on were so great you just suspended disbelief. Summer crushed between those cars professing her love… wow.

  55. Damn, all those movies I thought I watched!

    So is he more irritated by the concept of it being on a phone or the fact that it’s a monitor that is only four inches? You get great sound from nice headphones and I find I zone in pretty well!

    Interesting point I guess, I mean, I’m up at 7am, work till 7pm and the misses flat out refuses to watch anything vaguely bloody… She had to turn away multiple times while we were watching The Count of Monte Cristo (Kevin Reynolds), which is a PG rated movie, due to non-graphic flogging and sword fights.

    So i have a 30min commute either side, which means all my movie watching takes about four seperate viewings. It’s not ideal but I would rather “not” see the movie on my phone than actually not see the movie.

  56. Fred, you obviously haven’t seen SILENT HILL.

  57. Yeah, David Lynch can eat a dick.

    I’m a huge supporter of the theatre experience and of trying to replicate it best you can at home, but when I’m commuting/flying/manning a desk for hours cuz chief took away my gun but doesn’t have the balls to put me on unpaid suspension after what I did to that creep felon who wouldn’t have gotten away if I didn’t have to play by the stupid rules that pencilnecks like him just don’t understand in the real world on the streets where you don’t know if you’re coming home every night and where he wouldn’t even be fit to fetch my partner coffee on a stakeout in the darkest corners of the barrios he’s never even laid eyes on cuz all he cares about is his pension and kissing the commissioner’s ass, laptop/phone movies are quite okay, even some action movies. Reading a book on the subway is safer, though, so you can hear the weirdos in your vicinity and react accordingly.

  58. CJ:

    OZ gets pretty outlandish as it goes. There’s still a few bits that are surprising like (SPOILER?) jizz landing on a dude’s back and what not. All the gay stuff was pretty new at the time, also (at least on US TV).

    It’s such a great show. Plus there’s a lot of faces from The W__re on there. I still think that JK Simmons is REALLY a Natzi – he just hides it now.

  59. I like the distinction Lynch makes between experiencing a movie and consuming a movie. I like his refusal to do commentary tracks and how he held out so long before allowing chapter breaks on his DVDs. I especially like how some of his DVDs have a test pattern image you can use to adjust the brightness settings to the levels he would prefer you to watch his film at. It’s the nearest I’ll ever come to having Lynch visit my home and muck around with my shit. I figure the guy who made three of my favorite films has earned that kind of input into my aesthetic sensibilities.

    Having said that, I think only a few films released each year warrant such attention. The vast majority of stuff out there is a product, not a work of art, so I find it difficult to get too bothered when I see someone with an iPhone on the subway failing to grasp the full cinematic experience of PAUL BLART MALL COP.

  60. Ok, quick review of “Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy”. A very good spy movie, well-acted, quite understated, not flashy in any way, but pitch-perfect in terms of performances. It’s an interesting film – I don’t know if I’d call it either thrilling or gripping – but I’d recommend it to most people who like this type of movie. BUT – with one huge caveat.

    So here’s two films I’ve seen recently: “Scooby Doo – Camp Scare” (don’t ask) and “Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy”. Guess which one is the better whodunnit? Hint: it ain’t written by John le Carre (as far as I know). And therein lies the only major issue I have with this movie.

    So there’s a mole in this movie, and the major plot is the hunt for this mole. The structure of the film is such that the identity of the mole is pretty hard to work out but pretty easy to guess. I went with one friend, and he chose the wrong person throughout the movie. I chose the right person throughout the movie. This isn’t the kind of film where there’s genuine suspense about who the mole is throughout – you’ll either guess it, or you won’t.

    Now you all know I fucking love any kind of whodunnit or body-horror (“The Thing”, etc) or basic paranoia tale where the audience doesn’t know who to trust, when it’s done well. When done right it can add a whole lot of suspense to a movie. The trouble is that in this case, it doesn’t: realistically there’s only one suspect, with few if any clues pointed at him; if you spot him, you’ll know, and if you don’t, you won’t.

    So I liked this movie. It’s very well-acted and directed. The cinematography is understated but effective. My only problem with it is that it doesn’t commit as a whodunnit, and there are a couple of things that I also spotted – plot points – that it doesn’t seem to “commit” to either. The tone is very even throughout, even when the movie may have benefitted by it not being so. It’s the opposite of “Kill List” – which will be my de-facto comparison for the next six months or so, I think – in terms of tone. With the exception of one particularly effective moment (an unexpected shooting, you’ll know it when you see it) it’s not at all visceral, it’s all understatement. At times though, you can be TOO understated.

    Do I recommend it? Absolutely, if you like classic espionage films, because this is very much a classic espionage film, and a good one. If you’re not a fan of this type of film, this won’t be the film that converts you; leave it alone.

  61. A movie I didn’t watch on an iphone was A Town Called Panic, it’s an animation from Belgium, a damn good one too. Uh, I guess that is my review. Man, I really need to work on my creative writing.

  62. Casey – we can agree on “Miller’s Crossing”. Wholeheartedly. I love how it’s just so gloriously fucked-up. I love Dougray Scott’s character in “Twin Town” because he’s so deadly yet so incompetent; well, that’s pretty much every character in “Miller’s Crossing”. People make head-slappingly stupid decisions throughout the movie, yet none of it really comes off as fake or false.

  63. Paul- I didn’t mind that there wasn’t really a solid way to work out who the mole is. The point of the story seemed to be more about how they could put the pieces together to confirm there was a mole and how they were going to trap him. It’s a “nothing much happens” movie(the closest thing to an action scene is Benedict Cumberbatch punching someone who’s sitting on a couch) that would be in danger of being boring as fuck if not for the great cast and the well-handled filmatism, which I liked for how it incorporates a lot of intensely closeup angles incorporating the environment into the shot to mirror the paranoia and closed in “being watched” mentality, with the other shots emphasising emptiness and space to reflect how lonely the characters would be feeling in their line of work. The understatedness works a lot for Oldman’s character as someone who’s clearly got nothing else in his life to spend time on than this, so he probably isn’t that worried about anything happening to him, his only moment of being tense coming as he’s about to confront the mole, and it’s pretty badass how he doesn’t really change his demeanour at all in that one (very well timed and shot) scene where he’s intimidating someone into giving him a piece of information.

  64. Ah yes, CAMP SCARE. I reviewed that one when it came out. The Scooby DTV movies are on a roll right now, with nice scripts and beautiful animation. Not like that emo soap opera MYSTERY INCORPORATED, that ran on Cartoon Network, where the writers tried to make a “dark and realistic” Scooby Doo show, but apparently knew the characters only from ROBOT CHICKEN skits and whatever shit is written about them on TV Tropes.

    I realized a while ago that it’s very difficult to pick a favourite Coen Bros movie, because even if you don’t like one the first time, it’s very likely that you might completely fall in love with it later. A few months ago I saw MILLER’S CROSSING for the first time and was totally blown away by it. A friend of mine referred to it as “Tarantino for adults” and while even I can see that this comparison is kind of a stretch, I tend to agree and I think I might rank it as one of the three best things that the brothers have ever done. (I still have to see there MAN movies [A SERIOUS and WHO WASN’T THERE] and TRUE GRIT, though.)

    And OZ: Man, I love J.K. Simmons, but I hope Schillinger dies a horrible death soon.

  65. CJ, I’ve seen Silent Hill. It’s a very faithful portrayal of the game, though survival horror isn’t my type of game. Judge me as you must.

  66. New supergroup Superheavy — Mick Jagger, [Nas’s best partner since AZ] Damian Marley, 24 year old Joss Stone, prolific Indian film composer A.R. Rahman, Eurhythmics guy Dave Stewart — sounds best when it sounds like The Rolling Stones. My favorite song on the album right now:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qWXbfV23uc

    I support this kind of musical mixture. Like R. Kelly said, “No categories, we all music.”

  67. Stu – it’s not so much that there’s not a way to work out who the mole is – not every film has to be a whodunnit. But I think they misjudge that plotline. If you’re going to do a plot like that then do SOMETHING with it. I didn’t feel as though they really did anything with it. We learn there’s a mole, then there’s a mole-hunt that’s rather awkwardly used as a framing device for various character points, and then the “mole plot” is abruptly resolved. Until the interview with the mole at the end there doesn’t seem to be much point to what’s essentially the main plot, other than to bring in other, more interesting, plot points.

    Although I will give the movie this – the way it ties up everything just before the revelation at the end, referencing everything that has happened before, worked brilliantly for me. I kinda wish the movie had done things like that a bit more often in order to vary the “tone”.

    Note that I’m not in any way damning this movie, I don’t want to give that impression; I just think that it didn’t really live up to its potential as much as I would have liked. It was still very good and a fan of this kind of movie would definitely like it.

  68. Have any of you guys heard of THE GREY? I stars Liam Neeson as a member of an oil drilling team that survives a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, only to be hunted by a savage pack of wolves. Yahoo movies has some pics and a teaser trailer (that I can’t get to properly load at work), and it looks pretty awesome. Neeson tapes broken bottles to his hands to use as weapons against the wolves!

  69. Actually, I’ll expand on my last point.

    The main thrust of this movie, I feel, is that spying is quite literally a “game”. The morality of either side is never really mentioned. The game itself is what the players are trying to survive, more so than the opposition. Of course this is an absolutely fair stance to take (I’ve not read the novel but I’ve read “The spy who came in from the cold”, and this seems like a recurring theme with LeCarre) and one that I have no problems with.

    The issue I have is that the movie very effectively makes that point in the first ten minutes; it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere from there, thematically speaking. The characters don’t really change or develop – they are who they are, and any character revalation has to do with their nature being hidden, rather than changed.

  70. Just saw KILLER ELITE here in the UK (is it out anywhere else?).

    I recommend it to you guys as A MAN’S MOVIE – although resolutely NOT an action film – and also reminiscent of TINKER, TAILER… in many ways.

    Both films deal with worlds that appear solely habited by men, who spend their days killing other men.

    There’s no “good guys” or “bad guys” either.

    TTSP has the edge on story and depth but it simply cannot compete with KE when it comes to facial hair.

    Seriously, this film will make you want to grow a handlebar moustache more than anything else.

    And who’da thought that in a film that stars Statham, Owen and DeNiro, the actor who impresses most would be Dominic Purcell? How did THAT happen?

  71. I take it you’ve not seen the BBC adaptation that was done with Alec Guinness? I’ve not either, barring a few clips, but maybe since that was a 7 part series rather than a 2 hour movie, maybe that did more with the plot?

  72. CJ – Don’t hold your breath on Vern Schillinger, but his lack of horrible death is more than made up for by the amazing arc that he and Beecher end up having. It’s probably the best thing about the show.

  73. http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/hugh-jackman-mighty-fist-injures-wrestler-192432740.html
    Hugh was great as a guest host, and the possibility of real injury just makes it all the funnier. The Muppets are going to be hosting soon too.

  74. Saw “Drive”

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

    The part that bothered me was the violence was too flat and unbelievable. The movie had me in the palm of its hand until the Driver starts killing people. The first kill was just ridiculous (what was it, a curtain rod?), and then the way the strippers just sit around anticlimactically while he does that other guy pulled me out of the film.

    Other than that: very moody, and VERY well paced. The way Refn lingers over characters up close should be taught in film school. This movie is a movie lover’s movie. Because it indulges in all the cinematic and directorial ephemera that tells us we are dealing with an intelligent artist behind the lens. It understands characterization, it understands tone, it understands so much that we wish more movies would.

    The film is a must see for lovers of film. This move will actually raise your IQ. The goofy kills are really just a minor quibble. Everything else is firing on all 8 cylinders (pun is incidental).

    Aside: what was with the mask when he kills Ron Perlman? He’s not trying to hide who he is, it doesn’t fit his character or his purpose. Is he just trying to scare the hell of Perlman in an almost atavistic tribal way? It obviously works, but I didn’t understand what that was all about.

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

    SPOILERS

  75. I adored Drive too BR. Alongside Inception it’s my favorite film to hit theaters in the last few years. As for the mask, I’m developing a theory on that, but I’m holding it for Vern’s Drive review; that seems like a more appropriate place to hash it all out. For now I’ll say that it’s informed by interviews I read where Gosling says things like: “What we wanted to make was a violent John Hughes movie fairy tale of a guy who drives around listening to music at night because that’s the only way he could feel anything. A guy who’s seen so many movies that he’s turned himself into his own superhero and has made his own superhero costume.” I think the two ingredients in that quote—that he can’t feel anything unless he’s driving, and that to drive he needs to become a superhero to interact with the movie set that he perceives LA to be—drill down to a deeper, more interesting picture of the driver, and the movie by extension.

    Because you have to ask yourself, what would make a person embrace that kind of altered reality? I think his capacity for violence hint at an answer that isn’t “a year’s free rentals at Blockbuster.”

    As for the violence in the movie, I agree it strays from realism at times, but I think that’s intentional on the part of the film maker. It reminded me of scenes from A History of Violence and Irreversible; the former I love, the latter . . . meh, but both really bring a queasy tactile quality to the act. It becomes stylized to a point where it turns fetish, calling attention to the act itself, which in turn makes you start to wonder about this Steve McQueen figure we’ve been viewing. Up until the shower curtain he’s played into the normal expectations of the anti-hero with a heart of gold. Then he starts going on and on, until by the end the real drama of the movie isn’t what the bad guys will do, but how far he’ll go.

    Also, speaking of a History of Violence, to me it feels like a sort of existential cousin to Drive; I couldn’t help but think of Joey when the Driver started to cut lose.

    But I’ll save all that for Vern’s review. I’m interested in his take on all of this.

  76. Quick thoughts on the thread’s other excellent discussions:

    Mr. Majestic: I’ll have to check out McBain, sounds great. It’ll take of my Christopher Walken raises hell in a despotic third world country itch, which up until now has only been scratched by Dogs of War, one of my all time favorites. The way the movie leads you step by step through the process; reconning the target, recruiting your team, buying the weapons, arranging transport, and then hitting the fuckers, is done with an eye for detail that would make Michael Mann proud. I swear that by the end of that movie you really think you could overthrow an African dictator with a rugged band of mercenaries. Thankfully I’ve yet to put that to the test.

    Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy: I can’t wait to see this. I love me some La Carre.

    The Raid: looks bugfuck insane, and I mean that in the best possible way. I’ll have to check out MERANTAU in the meantime.

  77. American Ninja 4: The Annihilation

  78. Yeah, I got responses for Baraka & Bad Seed, but I’m saving it for the official DRIVE thread cosponsored by Chevy Impala & Scorpion Jackets.

    Vern ain’t a big Mann fan, by the way. The only Mann things I seem to agree with Vern about is that THIEF is great, HEAT is way overrated, and PUBLIC ENEMIES is pretty good. I like MIAMI VICE better than him, I think, and I love the tv series, which he dismisses. LAST OF THE MOHICANS is pretty much the only movie I can think of that I *don’t* want Vern ever to review because I don’t want its perfection sullied by internet words & snarky comments, no matter how well thought out. But maybe we’ll force him to defend his stance on my 2nd favorite director when he acknowledges the similarities between Mann’s style & DRIVE’s.

  79. wait, vern has a day job?

    that kind of crush my dream of making a living writing about movies.

  80. Stu – no, I didn’t see the BBC adaptation, but Le Carre himself said he preferred Smiley of the movies to Alec Guinness. (Which would not surprise me since I don’t know how good Guinness was but the guy from the movie was pretty damn awesome.)

    Mouth – still haven’t seen “Last of the Mohicans”, sorry. I promise I will try and get around to it one day.

  81. Just been reading “AICN” and this review puts everything I’ve thought about “Tinker Tailor” into words much better than I have:

    http://outlawvern.com/2011/09/22/potpourri-4-the-crackdown/#comments

    I would like to add that Tom Hardy is rapidly becoming one of my favorite actors though. As always, he was excellent in this film, and his role is one of the most memorable.

  82. Zombie Paul: You have created a wormhole to the top of this page with that link. I’ve been through it five times now. What a ride!

  83. Charles: I read a draft of THE GREY awhile back. Seemed to be written around a much younger (ie Bradley Cooper) type, but the survival stuff and sheer macho-ness was entertaining. I liked it, but hearing Neeson was going to be the lead make me seriously want to see it (though the ending I read was kinda’ silly). The trailer looks decent; like what THE EDGE could have been.

  84. so guy’s for fun let’s post our ideas for the plot of Die Hard 5

    my Die Hard 5 would be about John McClane reluctantly taking his teenage daughter to a Lady Gaga concert only to have the concert taken over by conspiracy theorist terrorists who are convinced Lady Gaga is part of the Illuminati and want to broadcast the “truth” to the world

    or maybe it could be the MTV VMAS or something

  85. McClane, in an attempt to become more of a grounded family man, invites some old friends and their families to a christmas party with his own folks, somewhere in a cabin, so that way we see Al Powell and Zeus Carver again. (And if you really have to, the hacker from part 4, too). Then he notices how one of Al’s kids gets harassed by some street gang, so he decides to “help out”, but what he didn’t know was that Al jr was supposed to be one of their members, but got cold feet when they asked him to kill someone. And of course that gang doesn’t accept a “no”, especially not when you hang out with some bald, white cop dude, so the christmas party becomes an ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 situation, with a whole bunch of pissed off and armored gang members outside, and McClane, his family, his friends and their families on the inside.

  86. Bad Seed: McBAIN is pretty much the exact opposite of that. It just skips all the logistics and cuts right to the next piece of craziness. The guys need money? Cut right to a scene of them robbing a crackhouse. Not enough money in the crackhouse? Cut to them kidnapping a mob boss and hanging him off a crane. Got the money? Cut to them flying through Colombian airspace, escorted by a fighter jet for some reason. They don’t even really have a getting-the-team-together scene. They just assume everyone is on-board and get on with it. It’s either a masterpiece of economy or they just forgot to shot all the expository scenes.

  87. Mr. Majestyk: Sounds like they’d compliment each other perfectly. You could do a double bill and let Dogs do the heavy lifting in the verisimilitude category, and then turn to McBain for the balls crazy, physics challenging action. Dogs has nothing like McBain shooting a jet from the cockpit of his own jet, and I doubt McBain has scenes of mercenaries navigating the Parisian underworld, trying to get the best price on rotary grenade launchers so that they can pocket the difference.

    And holy shit, I just realized your avatar’s from the old Mandom commercials. Now I’m picturing you catching trout bared handed before dumping half a bottle all over your Bronsonesque physique while signing “every girl, needs a lover.” Please, do nothing to dissuade this picture.

  88. Hi Vern

    I’d like to see what you’d think of ‘The Last Valley’. I remember seeing this film when it was shown on British TV in the 70s and became one of my favourite movies of all time. It was directed by James Clavell adapted from his book and plays during the Thirty Years War in Germany. Definitely shows MIchael Caine off as a badass. I think Clavell really captures the spirit of the Condottieri in this movie. It was clearly made on a small budget, the opening scenes still make me smile – Omar Sharif is fleeing the plague and runs across a mound of dead bodies hidden in the fog, he stumbles by and somehow ends up in the last valley of the title. When the villagers come out from hiding it’s all the actors we just saw piled up as plague victims. Really funny.

    Still if the viewer can get beyond that, quite a good film. Doesn’t seem to be widely known, everyone I mention it to has never heard of the thing.

  89. Whooooooooooooops.

    In the interests of not breaking the space-time continuum and causing the universe to explode, let me post that link again:

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51324

  90. Jam, I finally got to watch the trailer for The Grey and it looked pretty awesome, but I was already sold based on the idea of Neeson fist fighting wolves with broken bottles tapped to his hands.

  91. Somebody might have already suggested it but what about Potpourri 4: Without Warning.

  92. I think the idea of that Magnum Moustache video is stolen from a bumper of a German TV station:

    http://youtu.be/mVl4tj-CpFg

    Is it weird to think that Stana Katic looks hot with a moustache?

    Also I just finished the season 1 of OZ. I know, I should feel sorry for Beecher that he turned fucking insane, but he kicked a Nazi in the balls and shat in his mouth! That’s awesome in my book!

  93. There is also,

    Potpourri 4: The Voyage Home

    Potpourri: Sudden Impact

    Potpourri’s Vegas Vacation

    Potpourri: A New Dimension

    Potpourri: Ghost Protocol

    I could keep going.

  94. Sorry I have to much time on my hands today.

    Potpourri IV: The Quest For Peace

    Potpourri 4: The Dream Master

    Potpourri 4: The Return of Vern

    Batman & Robin (no joke needed)

  95. Hi i’m Troy McClure, you might remember me from such films as “Christmas Ape” and “Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp.” – I laughed for 20 minutes at that line last night. Nothing is as funny as The Simpsons when it was in it’s prime. Shame it’s not been in it’s prime for like 15 years.

  96. Just when I think I am going run out.

    Potpourri Salvation

    Pot4ourri

    Potpourri 4 In Space

  97. Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp is a classic and has a subversive subtext about animal rights.

  98. what subversive subtext is that?

    and yeah, classic Simpsons is great, I think the Simpsons proves that everything eventually runs out of steam

  99. Abe Vigoda laughs at your puny mortality, Griff.

    Also, the ambulatory cadaver of Keith Richards politely begs to differ.

  100. Potpourri, 120 days of sodom.

  101. y’all have probably already seen this, as it’s been making the rounds, but it’s a very pure distillation of our favorite practitioner of the mega-acting arts at his most uncaged:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP1-oquwoL8

    i watch it ever couple days. i find it very soothing.

    also, Potpourri: Back in the Habit! (not originally a part 4, but still my favorite sequel name ever)

  102. *every* couple days…

  103. Neil Marshall has fallen off the radar because his first film went direct-to-Scifi-Channel, his second film caused big buzz and got a big marketing campaign and then underperformed, the follow up film he signed on to before his under-performing buzz film was released was a massive bomb (it grossed less than 15 million dollars worldwide on a 35 million dollar budget, plus 30+ million dollars in marketing. It did so poorly opening weekend in the US that it cost more money to send the prints out to the theaters than it returned on investment) was critically reviled and mostly hated by fans (because It was terrible and offensively self-indulgent) and will probably never see profitability.

    Marshall might see another studio gig, but I would be surprised if he sees it before creating another independent festival darling. He needs to make something profitable, because thus far, none of his films have made money or even broken even theatrically in the US, to the best of my knowledge.

  104. Well, he now starts directing episodes for high profile US TV shows like GAME OF THRONES. Let’s see where he goes from there. (Also since all of his movies were financed with European money so far, I think it doesn’t really matter if they go straight to TV or even less in the USA. Like I said, even after DOOMSDAY, he was on the shortlist for some big studio movies.)

  105. People seem to be skipping over Neil Marshall’s last film, Centurion, which I thought was a great return to form. I’m not sure how well it did financially, but I thought it was a fine return to form. As far as the recent spate of films attempting to portray the gruesome world of the ancients, I think Centurion is one of the best.

  106. RBatty024, I agree with you about CENTURION, it is good flick. I never saw DOOMSDAY, but I also like DOG SOLDIERS & THE DESCENT.

  107. Vern, I know that you are an MMA fan, and I would highly recommend checking out the John “Bones” Jones vs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson AKA B.A. Baracus Light Heavyweight title fight from last night. (Warning Slight UFC Spoilers) I think Jones is the future of the sport, and it was a great fight. Not only is Jones likable and fun to watch but he is the youngest champ in UFC history and making his first title defense, and he is only going to get better. It really gives fans a unique opportunity to follow the career and development of a young guy that could be the next Anderson Silva or dare I say even better then Silva.

  108. I apologize for my last post’s horrible syntax. I wrote it after spending a night at a crazy club in Las Vegas.

  109. Which is to say, it was 6 am, I was drunk and I didn’t manage to get laid, so I was checking my email.

  110. Charles – I can’t afford the pay per views but I was dying to see that fight. Shoulda found a bar that was playing it or something. I like Rampage but I’m not surprised Jones (from what I’ve read) whooped him. I like watching him because his style is so weird, almost sloppy at times and unpredictable, so many moves you don’t see that often (like the famous spinning backfist). I can’t believe he’s only 24 and only been fighting for a few years. Then I saw him on Jimmy Kimmel a couple days ago, I hadn’t seen an interview with him before and I was surprised how humble and normal he seemed.

  111. I can’t afford them either, so I go to the sports bar by my house. Jones does seem like a really grounded dude, and what made his performance against Rampage so impressive is how much he dominated him. In 4 rounds Rampage only landed 16 strikes, and Jones picked him apart, controlled the distance and set up his take downs by utilizing his length and unorthodox/diverse striking. Rampage is a great fighter, but Jones made him look like he wasn’t in his league. Also, it was nice to see after the fight Jones and Rampage showed a great deal of admiration and respect for each other.

  112. Darn it Vern, I hadn’t seen that one. :(

    Good to know it was a great fight at least… I think I’ve only seen Jones fight once (Rampage is the bigger name, at least over here), so will check it out.

  113. I’m going to follow Mouth’s lead and save most of my thoughts on Drive for the Official Outlaw Vern Drive Review and Comment Thread by the Outlaw Nation. Still, on a second viewing of Drive (which I liked as much as the first, but that’s largely due to my high expectations being met on the first view) I think the Driver might be autistic. It just explains so much.

    On video game movies, I think Silent Hill is an effective movie. It gets kind of lame when the 30 minute flash back happens towards the end, but it’s solid and genuinely creepy. My only problem, and this might be a quibble, is that I saw a friend play those games in college and the games themselves seemed like a cinematic experience but with some interactive bits. They seemed more video than game. Doing a faithful adaptation of a cinematic experience that was told in a video game seems like a cop-out when it comes to finding the best videogame adaptation. What I’m trying to say is that Double Dragon is pretty rad.

  114. I still hope that someone does a straight faced FINAL FIGHT movie and judging by the trailer alone, I hope it’s the guy who directed THE RAID.

  115. Also, guys, everyone needs to be watching Breaking Bad.

    Holy fuck. There’s a show that has a title but I forget the name of it. The String? The Cable? Shit, I forget. It was the best show. Ever. Seriously amazing. I would never consider comparing anything to it because it would simply be unfair. Breaking Bad changed that last night.

    Breaking Bad is amazing. Last night’s episode might be one of my favorite hours of television ever. Hell, the ending of the episode could have been the ending of the series and it would have been fucking brilliant. Fuck, it’s good.

  116. Please no BREAKING BAD Season 4 spoilers. I don’t get it here before late October.
    But I believe it’s great. It already started on a high note and got in its first three seasons constantly better. I’m almost glad that they recently announced the show’s end in one or two years, or otherwise we might all die from exploding heads, if it would run any longer.

  117. Casey: You’re thinking of the HBO show THE TWINE. Vern once said that he only became a true student of the Badass Arts once he had seen the Lomar Biddle character on that show.

  118. I’m too old for Torrents. Also I enjoy the weekly ritual of getting something to eat ready, wait for the show to start and then yell 40 minutes later at my TV: “FUCK! Now I have to wait a full week till the next episode?!”

  119. CJ: I watch television shows when they come out on DVD. Stuff like DEXTER and 24 is so melodramatic and lurid that it becomes unintentionally hilarious when you watch it in a short period of time. Your weekly method is often much more sensible. Although I understand that a bunch of SOPRANOS and BSG fans suffered aneurysms from enduring those protracted breaks between seasons.

  120. So I saw the Lion King in 3D this weekend. This was a landmark for me since I’ve never seen the Lion King or any Disney movie (or any animated movie for that matter) post 1985 and I’ve never seen a movie in 3D (i’m not going to count Captain EO or Freddy’s Dead since i can barely remember them).

    First off, the 3D was incredible. It kind of gave me a headache since i wear glasses and had to wear the 3D glasses over them but wow, Disney did a great job. Then again I don’t have anything to compare it to. The problem with it though, is I was kind of distracted by the 3D and therefore didn’t get involved into the story as much because of it. It kind of made the movie into a theme park ride rather than an actual movie. As great as the 3d was, i think i would rather have seen it in normal D since this film is not about throwing shit at you like, say, Step Up 3D is. So, while I was pleasantly surprised that my skeptical ass was impressed by the 3D (especially since its a conversion job), i can’t say that I’m looking forward to my next 3D movie. Its funny since the whole point of 3D is to absorb the viewer into the movie more and it did the complete opposite of that.

    Secondly, wow, this movie has some serious shit in it. Between the singing and dancing, there’s some fucked up things going on. The king’s brother indirectly murder’s him and makes his son believe it his fault? Dude gets thrown into a fire pit and eaten by hyenas? The bad guy literally pimpslaps the queen across the face. When I think of animated movies i think of stupid stuff like Shrek Forever After (or whatever its called) so i was impressed that they actually told a real story here and didn’t hold back. It was very Shakespearian. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a huge negative bias towards animated films so maybe I need to re-think that bias and expand my horizons.

    Anyway, I can see why this movie is considered a classic and I’m looking forward to watching it again, this time in normal D.

  121. I tend to watch a lot TV on DVD too, but mostly to catch up with the shows that I missed or lost track of. I saw FIREFLY on DVD, because it was never shown on TV here. Same with OZ. When I’m done with that, I will watch DEADWOOD, then maybe season 1 of DEXTER. Inbetween I’m catching up with SUPERNATURAL (I just started season 3) and maybe I will soon start with PUSHING DAISIES. I still wait for one of my Pay TV channels to repeat THE W*** or else I have to put that on my DVD list too.
    Sometimes it’s much better to watch a full season or more on DVD, but I think some shows are worth the weekly wait.

  122. Look at DEADWOOD just tucked away so quietly there among those perfectly acceptable other shows, just waiting to quietly step out and kick your unsuspecting ass with its awesomeness. I love that show.

  123. Thomas Crown, describing The Lion King as Shakespearian is right on, since the writers said they were pretty much inspired by Hamlet. I haven’t seen that movie since it first came out on VHS a million years ago. I was pretty young at the time. Still, it was the last 2D Disney flick that I saw and thoroughly enjoyed, both because I was starting to grow out of them by that point and because most of Disney’s output after the Lion King was either mediocre or just plain terrible.

    I’ll admit that I liked the idea of rewatching old movies in 3D. I’ve only had the opportunity to do this once before when I took my niece to see The Nightmare Before Christmas when it was rerelease with extra dimensions. Of course, stop motion may be the perfect kind of cinema for 3D technology (my favorite 3D experience is still Coraline). George Lucas has threatened to rerelease all of the Star Wars movies in 3D, and despite being absolutely over saturated with those films over the years, I might take a peek at the 3D version of the original movie and Empire. I still love the theater experience, and I think 3D serves as a great excuse to watch older movies on the big screen.

  124. A great interview with Sir Roger Moore about the Raymond Bleu release of The Persuaders! on AICN of all places.

    If Rog was your Bond, check it out. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51278

  125. Interesting fact about THE PERSUADERS: The German dubbing of this show became legendary, because it was…let’s just say a very free translation. And it totally worked! Even after all these years, the stuff that is said in this show cracks me up! It’s very rare that such a bullshit dubbing adds to the enjoyment of something, instead of completely ruining it.

  126. I’ve had “Deadwood” on my list for a while now. I saw the pilot when it first came out and enjoyed it, but I’m not a “westerns” guy so never bothered with the rest of it. Will try and watch it soon though.

    I couldn’t get through more than a few episodes of “Supernatural” though. Maybe it gets better later on, like “Dollhouse”, but I wasn’t invested enough to stick around and find out.

  127. I heard somewhere that The Magic Roundabout (kid’s stop motion TV show – I have no idea if it made it across the Atlantic), was dubbed into English from it’s native French with no translation whatsoever – whoever did the dub just made it up on the fly. It has since gained classic status and is enjoyed by stoned students up and down the country.

  128. Just saw MIRACLE MILE, so thanks to Griff & Vern for bringing that movie to my attention. The insanity of the Los Angelenoanites at the end reminds me of the insanity of the men at the almost-end of VALHALLA RISING.

    What we learn from these 2 movies is that when you’re trapped in hell, doom infiltrating your soul, it’s time to get naked and start fuckin shit up. I also like how MIRACLE MILE glorifies helicopter pilots, the most important, skilled badass professionals of our modern times.

    Looking forward to that review, brought to us by Cracked money.

  129. Now I don’t want to say the CLOVERFIELD stole the ending from MIRACLE MILE, but it did.

  130. Wow, I feel dumb. I almost Googled THE TWINE. Good one, Jareth.

  131. Hello,

    I’m the director of the winning film for Vern’s Seagology film contest (Killing Time) – And I figured I could shamelessly post a link to my new film Cocainine.

    http://www.vimeo.com/26037118

    It was intended originally as an intentional B-movie werewolf film to make use of my girlfriend’s halloween werewolf costume she made.

    Well, enjoy:) (hopefully:)

    Btw it’s on our youtube page as well but it had to be broken up as it’s 20 minutes long:p If you’d prefer that though go here->

    http://www.youtube.com/filmcatastrophe

  132. Casey – I’ve lived in Raleigh my whole life and love it. Sure, it’s no metropolitan/big city, but rent/stuff is reasonably priced and we’ve got both mountains and a beach within a few hours’ drive. In fact, every time I go on vacation (such as to Vegas last week), I often find myself kinda hating it and wanting to go back home ASAP. And yes, the girls are pretty hot too.

    Speaking of Vegas, anyone wish they would make a Rainbow Six: Vegas movie? I often joked Rainbow Six: The Movie would be 2 hours of a team looking at blueprints and setting waypoints and choosing gear and then all of them getting shot dead in 30 seconds, since that’s how the old games worked, but Vegas would make a great movie in the right hands.

  133. Read this on wikipedia just now: “British actor Idris Elba had signed on to star as Alex Cross in the upcoming film adaption of Cross, but was replaced with American actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry. The film will be directed by Rob Cohen and is slated for release in 2012.”
    In what world is Tyler Perry a suitable replacement for Idris Elba?!

  134. That’s like replacing Vern with Tony Medley, who is most famous for this line in his review of ZODIAC: “And after all that you still don’t know for sure whodunit.”

    He also once wrote that he would have given one of the FOCKERS movies an “R” rating because it contains “offensive” material. What was he so offended by? The film’s depiction of an out of wedlock pregnancy. Seriously.

  135. I think that all of the ‘fockers’ films deserved R-ratings. They were entirely prurient. Much more offensive than, say, About Schmidt.

    Also, anyone who cares about ‘whodunit’ at the end of Zodiac is an idiot. The movie is SO not about that, at all.

  136. I’m also really interested in seeing what Perry does with Cross. Like it or not, Perry is an important voice in modern American culture. Branching out, working with other directors and expanding his scope can only be good for him as an artist and thus good for popular American culture in general.

    Plus, have you SEEN Diary of a Mad Black Woman? That movie is INSANE and very fun, in a ‘what were they thinking!?’ kinda way. If I recall correctly, the same director went on to do The Losers, which many of you enjoyed.

  137. Late to the game here but I just got through the first season on Breaking Bad (okay I’m VERY late). Not bad so far. Someone told me it’s better than Sons of Anarchy which sold me (he’s as big a fan of the show as I am) now, I’m not seeing that just yet but I’m only past the first season but I have high hopes.

    Casey – “Breaking Bad is amazing. Last night’s episode might be one of my favorite hours of television ever. Hell, the ending of the episode could have been the ending of the series and it would have been fucking brilliant. Fuck, it’s good.”

    That was my thoughts exactly on the season 3 finale of Sons and the first two episodes of season 4. If Breaking Bad has that same “HOLY SHIT!” episode I’m going to have to savor this series.

  138. Vern – just wondering, you been following the MJ manslaughter trial?

  139. Hamslime: Season 1 might not have the brillance of the other seasons, but trust me, after a short slow period, early in season 2 (when you can describe the show with “people are yelling at each other for having secrets”), it becomes the most badass and unpredictable thing on TV!

  140. RRA: No, it’s too sad. No matter what the full circumstances were the guy obviously fucked up. I don’t see how “but he was addicted to those drugs!” is a good defense for a doctor administering dangerous drugs. Even if the prick wasn’t dragging Michael’s name through the mud I wouldn’t want to be reading about all this depressing shit. I’d rather focus on the great legacy of music, videos and weirdness that MJ left behind.

  141. Jareth – never heard of Tony Medley, but he HAS to have been speaking sarcastically there, right? He can’t have meant it seriously.

  142. Rise of the Potpourri, or The Potpourri Rises

    New Potpourri (HK style)

    Potpourri Balboa (seriously, no one else suggested this?)

    Potpourri Too

    P4: Potpourri

    Potpourri 4 (Full Sequence)

    The Potpourri Ultimatum

    Bride/Son of Potpourri

    for the holidays, A Potpourri Xmas!

  143. Zombie Paul: If the existence of Tony Medley is some sort of sarcastic joke, then he’s doing real well hiding it. His reviews often give equal time to the quality of popcorn offered by the theater he saw the film in, as if it’s as integral to the experience as the film’s soundtrack. He is obsessed with a film’s duration. And he gave CAT IN THE HAT a 7/10 rating while finding SHAUN OF THE DEAD so “deplorable” that he walked out of the theater. He made it through HOT FUZZ (0/10), but he considered it the worst film of the year.

    Apparently he would have liked IN BRUGES (3/10) more if it had taken a lesson from THE SOUND OF MUSIC and made the film “a paean to the city.”

  144. Vern – If its any consolation, I would be surprised if the guy gets acquitted. There’s just too much shit that just snowballs into one giant guilty verdict.

  145. Fred, those are all good ones, but mine are all part 4’s.

  146. CJ Holden – I’m about 9 episodes into Season 2 and it’s shaping up quite nicely.

    I’m getting a strong Dexter vibe from the series. Husband with a dark secret trying to cover his tracks so his friends and family don’t find out. Then he keeps the evidence hidden in the air ducts. Of course Breaking Bad is much more than that but I still find the similarities amusing.

    The brother in law character is great. He’s kind of like Lou from Rescue Me where I could watch a show based on just that character.

    Overall it’s not as good as Sons, but it’s getting there.

  147. marlow – Miracle Mile is also a much better movie

    I liked Cloverfield when I saw it in theaters, but a big part of my enjoyment was just seeing what the fuck the monster was after months of hype, when I re-watched it on blu ray earlier this year I was not quite impressed

    it’s one of those movies that’s really only enjoyable once and only if you haven’t been spoiled, but I can watch Miracle Mile over and over

  148. Damn, I just realized I haven`t watched Miracle Mile for at least 15 years and it used to be one of my favorite movies.

  149. and just think, the MIRACLE MILE screenplay back in the early 80s came very damn close to being used for the TWILIGHT ZONE movie instead of the one (and structure/gimmick) that we got.

    And really, it would’ve been appropriate.

  150. I love how it starts as a romantic comedy and THEN… (No spoilers here, in case Vern one day decides to review it).

    Anyway, I`m currently writing a script with a similar “false” beginning and have to talk to financers on tuesday, and they are very confused about the sudden change of genre in the script. I wondered if anybody here can recall similar movies besides From Dusk till Dawn, Miracle Mile and Odishon, so I can sound all cool and clever and get my goddamn movie financed next week?

  151. Jareth – well you know what you can do with that guy. Invite him to come and post on this forum! It’s about time somebody with a greater reputation for utter craziness than me got some airtime here…

  152. Also I like people who I disagree with. It’s why I always look forward to reading Mouth’s posts.

  153. If you just tried to high-5 me, Paul, then I am totally leaving you hanging.

  154. Nah, just kidding, here you go, dude. {holds out open palm}

    {Paul goes for the slap, Mouth slips hand away at last instant}

    Psych!

  155. so guys I need a little life advice and need to vent a bit, so bear with me….

    for last couple of months I’ve been trying my hand at the Community College game, but I’ve had to face my eternal nemesis, algebra (or algebra specifically)

    I fucking hate algebra, I despise it, I LOATH it, any word you can think of for dislike applies to how I feel about math and algebra, I just. don’t. fucking. get it

    I have ADHD and it’s just not compatible with the way my brain works, I’ve been studying that shit for years and no matter what I do when it comes test time I always choke, I forget almost everything and with no way to remind myself what to do next I’m always lost

    so I said “fuck it, let’s go bowling” and I’m gonna withdrawal, I’m tired of playing their fucking game, as a matter of fact the whole education system in America is balls and I’ve hated it since I was a kid (for most of my teenage years I was actually home-schooled), it’s not really about education, it’s about exclusion

    so anyway I need some advice, what should I do next? where do I go from here? am I gonna have to completely give up on my film making dream? (my hopes was that eventually I could transfer to UGA’s film school) or are there any other ways? any tips at all would be helpful

    p.s. there was no social scene at that fucking College anyway, no one was friendly, no one really talked to me, everyone just showed up and got the hell out of dodge as soon as the class was over

  156. “but I’ve had to face my eternal nemesis, math (or algebra specifically)”

    fixed that

  157. So… this movie, “What’s Your Number?” the premise is that a 30-year old woman who has never been married has slept with 19 guys. This didn’t seem noteworthy to me at all. I posted about this on my facebook and everyone who responded disagreed. Am I crazy? 20-ish seems totally normal for a 30-year old. I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. Am I alone in this?

  158. Griff: A degree in film is utterly useless. Move to LA or Texas, or New Orleans or somewhere where there is a production base and just start working on sets. Read screenplays. Ignore screenwriting manuals. Get in some fist fights. Lose most of them. Go on adventures. If you’re offered an opportunity and you don’t think it will kill you or get you sent to jail, take it. Live a bit. Fuck up as much as you can. Get some character. And write every day.

    You don’t need film school to get into film. No one will EVER hire you simply because of that degree. It qualifies you for nothing. And unless you’re going to a school with some cache, it probably won’t even help you with the old boy’s club.

    Alternately, marijuana is a really great ADHD medication. Finish your work for the day, sit down and smoke a (SMALL) bowl. Make sure you stay awake so that you don’t form a sleeping dependency. Very quickly you’ll discover that it leaves you calm, collected, better socially adjusted and happier. Seriously. It’s the only ADHD medication that ever worked well for me.

  159. thanks for the inspiration Tawdry, it means a lot to me, I figured filmschool was a not guarantee of success anyway, well fuck College then

    and I’m laughing my ass off at your suggestion that I should smoke pot, oh man, if my parents knew that someone told me pot helps with ADHD they would have a shitfit

  160. Griff – Spend your school money on a camera and editing software. You can get a Nikon D3100 for about $600 and Pinnacle editing software for about $100.

    Start shooting local bands’ live shows and make videos out of them. Shoot friends’ weddings and make wedding videos. Get your friends together to make stupid little shorts. Once you get comfortable with putting all that together then write a script that you don’t hate and try for a feature length movie. It will probably suck, but by this time you should have learned enough that your next feature length might turn out to be watchable. Rinse and repeat until you’ve made something you can be proud of.

    Your next step would be to make DVDs and sell them at your local record store, bar, theater, wherever. You might also want to talk to a manager at theater and ask what it will cost to rent a screen for a day to hold your premiere. You might even try to shop your movie around at film festivals if you wish but don’t stop there as you should be getting your next movie made. After all if you have a camera, editing tools, scripts, actors, and at this point experience you’ve already became a filmmaker.

    Now if you want to become Steven Speilberg forget everything I just said because all you need is dumb luck and/or a miracle.

    dna – Red State?

  161. Griff, I didn’t excel at Trig/Advanced Calculus my freshman year at college, but I found that simply visiting the professor at his office was usually the best thing to do to turn a meh grade into a good grade. He loved to entertain visitors and go off on math nerd tangents. Asking questions and appearing to spend extra time on the class outside class hours shows you care, and a lot of math teachers will appreciate that and understand you need to pass & get it done with, no matter the grade, as long as you’re not trying to become an astronaut.

    My teacher would gladly work out the long equations for me step-by-step, with maybe one other student there in his office with the same questions, as long as we pretended to listen and occasionally mumbled something like, “Oh, yeah I see, the, yeah so that Theorem is applied here, so ‘x’ is gonna be, yeah” while we furiously copied everything he wrote. Then we’d reproduce/regurgitate that work on tests.

    Tawdry, 19 partners doesn’t seem excessive for a 30 year old chick, as long as we’re not applying the so-called “Rule of 3” as well.

  162. I forget to add the sound is pretty important so you might also invest in an H4N recorder (about $300). You can get a boom mic if you have the money but the microphone attached to it works pretty well and will get you by. The camera mic will work too but you have to keep in mind that when you zoom or focus the camera mic will pick up that sound.

    You might also go to a local club and talk to the sound guy working there. Chances are the he/she may be a movie geek and would love to help you out with that aspect. Also, chances are REALLY good that they have recording equiptment already.

    Warning: Sound editing is a tedious bitch, but if you can nail it down pretty good it’s going to make a world of difference. A good exercise would be to make a radio program complete with sound effects, music, and dialog like the kind our grandparents used to listen to back before they invented television.

  163. Oh man, hamslime, I produced some epic radio spots back in the day for my GLIDE class. I was a real Orson Welles back then. Now all I remember from that experience is the sound of a crackling plastic grocery bag can be used for thunder. Or was that heavy rain? Or…? Ah, fuck, I know nothing.

  164. I wouldn’t go so far as to say fuck college. College was a very important thing for me. I donno how much of the college part of college exists in community college, but the moving away from home and being around other experimental youths thing was essential to figuring out my own groove.

    DO NOT QUIT SCHOOL on the recommendation of some douchebags on a movie message board.

  165. To put it another way, I feel like I was born the day I stepped into my freshman year dorm.

  166. I hated that math class except I sat near a hot little thing named Ina, who I was too shy to talk to. Then one night at some random apartment video game & whiskey session my boy Brent asked a group of fellow freshmen if anyone wanted to go hang out with him and a couple of girls. I said “I do!” first, so we went and knocked on the girls’ door and I thought it was gonna be a totally blind date type thing but holy shit it was little Ina who answered the door.

    “Aren’t you in my honors calculus class?” And it was on, son. She approved of my friend, my whatever, my drinking ability, my ability to bring back valuable notes from the professor’s office, we hooked up a bunch, and the whole rest of the semester was amazing after that night. (Also that night my boy busted out Optimus Prime for the first time, his multi-piece pipe/bong/bubbler/hookah that could be configured into like 34 different THC delivery tools. Good times.)
    So yeah, my college math class was good to me.

    You shouldn’t quit college. That’s where the girls are.

  167. I never took math during college. I took CC math course during High School to make up for the math classes I failed and they all transferred when I started at my university.

    My bong was named “Miles Davis” because it was kind of blue. I also had a vaporizer that I named “The Easy Vape Oven” before changing it to “Darth Vapor” (because it looked a little like Vader). Finally I settled on Timothy McVape. And afterward you could take an Oklahoma City Bong Hit.

  168. Griff & Tawdry

    Also, watch The Big Lebowsky before following any advice on the internet about starting a drug-habit.

    I started smoking cannabis in highschool and got really low scores, but I`ve actually never had any use for my exam anyway. I think good grades are terrible important while being in school, but pretty useless afterwards, but that depends on what you wanna do with your life, off course. I were into movies and art and writing, and already knew that a normal life or a decent education wouldn`t be an option for me anyway.

    Tawdrys advice about getting life experience is solid. In my country you have to apply for filmschool and 6 out of 500 appliers get into the school every second year. And talent and life-experience is all that matters. If you wanna tell stories, you need to have something to write about. But what matters in the end (and after filmschool) is actual filmmaking experience. That`s what the buisness really respects. If you wanna be a sceenwriter, start writing now. If you wanna be a director, start directing shorts now. And be certain that it is what you wanna do, even if you properbly never get a chance to make an actual feature, and prepare for a life in poverty for decades (That`s me and my filmmaking friends experience, but few of them would have it any other way).

    About marijuana.. It works differently on different people and I`ve known A LOT of marijuana smokers, but almost everybody have had (very) bad experiences with it at some point in their life. I actually spent years as an activist for legalizing cannabis, and a decade later I can see my old friends and collegues would have had easier lifes if they had been more cautios about it. You have to be an extremely well-adjusted human being not to get addicted, and I`m not really sure those kind of humans actually exist. The guys I know with ADHD who smokes (every day) is actually capable of living what seems like ordinary lifes with jobs and education and stuff, but they are also prone to severe depression, mental problems and selfdestructive behaviour, MAYBE because of their cannabis selfmedication, but I`ll never know cause they have been constant smokers since grade school.

    I`ve done a lot of drugs in my life; xtc, mdma, speed, coke, lsd, ketamine, magic mushrooms, methadone etc, but the only drugs I`ve ever been addicted to is nicotine and cannabis.

    That`s my experience anyway.

  169. Weed is dependency forming, not addictive, for the record. If you use it medicinally in very small doses and only after you’ve actually finished your work, but not JUST before going to bed (because that aids in dependency) it can work wonders. I took adderal and concerta and ritilian for years and they had horrific side effects that I never realized because I was prescribed them before I really understood what being ‘altered’ was, so I didn’t notice how it changed me. They made me anxious, angry, violent, depressed, antisocial and so on.

    Weed, on the other hand, had no real side effects, beyond making me a bit hungry.

    I don’t smoke anymore because I don’t think it’s something an adult should do. Or rather, I don’t think it’s something THIS adult should do. As I finally started to party during my last year of college weed became a social thing, which made it hard to use as a medical thing. You can really only have it one way.

  170. I’m far away from living healthy, but I don’t smoke (neither cigarettes or weed), drink or do any “real” drugs. In terms of cigarettes, I don’t get the appeal of inhaling smoke that smells and tastes like a corpse farted on a burning turd. I don’t like the taste of alcohol. When I was young I tried several different alcoholic drinks, but in the end it always tasted like alcohol and its a horrible taste, if you ask me. Getting high or getting drunk is too scary for me, too. I prefer to have control over myself, when I screw shit up.

  171. well see Tawdry, I’m still living with my folks, the Community College is very close, so I wasn’t getting the whole “moving away and getting into hi-jinks” part of college

  172. Wait it out and transfer to a 4 year. It’s worth it. I promise. Pinky promise. No erasies.

  173. – hamsline

    Huh? A Kevin Smith movie that sounds interesting? That`s weird…

    I`m actually looking for wellknown and popular movies that changes genre or tone at some point. For example, the financers are not sure if the audience can figure out who the maincharacter is, since she doesn`t appear for the first 10 minutes of the movie, but I figure I`ll just say “starwars” if they bring it up and they`ll think I`m cool and clever and give me money or something.

  174. “wait it out” what do you mean? what if I flunk?

    trust me, I’m just not cut out for math, I’ve been trying for a decade and it just never clicks, sometimes I think I get close, but it’s always inevitably forgotten, I’m just flat out sick and tired of having to deal with the bullshit

    on one hand I feel greatly relieved, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t also bum me out, it seems like I always eventually give up on trying to change my life, I’m stuck in a major rut and plus, what does this say for my future?

    on a side note, I’m really not interested in drugs, it’s just not my cup of tea

  175. Dude, college’s only require you get past algebra II. That’s as far as I ever got. You can do it. Once you finish your pre-requisites and transfer, you will never have to take another math class again. I haven’t taken one since I was 16. (until this week, since I’ve been cramming for my GRE’s. Fuckin’ hell).

    I cornered the market in math during high school. I took 5 years of math during 2 1/2 years. I had to retake EVERY SINGLE MATH COURSE I ever attempted. No shit. But you know what? It was 100%, no 1000% worth it.

    Trust me on this, college is the greatest thing in the world. It’s joy, dripped in happiness, wrapped in bacon and topped with hot and cold running pussy from girls who can most often actually have a conversation with afterward.

    Find a buddy who is already in a 4 year, go visit him for the weekend and go to a party or two, see the atmosphere, get a feel for it. It will be a great motivator.

  176. *Trust me on this; college is the greatest thing in the world. It’s joy, dipped in happiness, wrapped in bacon and topped with hot and cold running pussy from girls with whom you can most often have an actual conversation. It’s wild and woolly. Weird and freaky. You ever see Pinocchio? Remember that crazy island they go to? That’s college. Except, they never turn you into a donkey. They just burden you with debt…but if you do the right paperwork and get grants and shit you can make it through okay. Hell, I only have 5k worth of debt from my stay. Of course, I won lots of scholarships, my father kicked ass at finding my grants (I somehow got like 8k in Pell grants during my senior year) and I graduated a year early. But still.

  177. *sigh*….

    I really don’t think I’m cut out for Math buddy, it’s like I’m learning disabled or something

  178. – hamsline

    I imagine the concersation with the financers will go something like this..

    Int – office – day

    Stupid financer: Sit down, please. Yeah, we read your script and it`s quite interesting, but sort of long..
    dna: Like Titanic?
    Sf: Well, not THAT long, but.. yeah. Also, the maincharacter is no Rose..
    (laughs at his own stupid pun)
    Sf: no Rose, geddit? She actually kind of a selfish bitch..
    dna: Gone with the wind.
    Sf: Yeah, I suppose, but.. she hurts people on purpose..
    dna: Godfather 2.
    Sf: well, yes, we see your point, but.. she`s totally insane!
    dna: Forest Gump. Oh, wait, he was just retarded. Taxidriver.. Eh.. meets..eh.. Repulsion..
    Sf: Repulsion?
    dna: Oh yeah, great movie, made Polanski famous. Big hit in the sixties.
    Sf: Oh, yeah. That guy..
    (uncomfortable silence)
    dna: A dangerous mind?
    Sf: Oh yeah, we LOVE that movie. Didn`t it win an oscar?
    dna: (coughs).. yes.. I suppose..it did..
    Sf2: Kerching!
    dna: Eh? Kerching..?
    (We high-five)
    dna: (very exited) This movie is gonna be AWESOME!
    Sf: Titanic meets Gone with the Wind meets A Dangerous Mind. We love it. I couldn`t possible imagine what could go wrong. Brilliant! What genre is it?
    dna: well, it..eh.. it kind of switches genre.. you know..
    Sf: It switches genre?
    dna: yeah.. like.. you know.. Miracle Mile?
    Sf: What? Miracle what?
    dna: Eh.. (embarressed) Miracle Mile…
    (very uncomfortable silence)
    dna: it`s..eh..a movie…
    Sf: Miracle Mile?
    dna: Or..eh..Audition? Red State?
    Sf: Audition red state?

    Hard cut to

    ext – pavement – afternoon.

    Dna stands on the pavement, crying, in the cold and depressing rain. He falls to his knees, raises his fists towards the sky and SCREAMS

    dna: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Cut to credits, no music, only the sound of waves from a far distance. Maybe a whale screams in pain somewhere…

    See? It wouldn`t work. I`m doomed!

  179. Guys, I need your help in a competition. And I know that you are the wrong people to ask for help in this. Not because you are assholes or something. I would never think something like that about you. But it’s about electronic dance music and shit and we are here more of a movies and political Hip Hop from the 80’s community, as far as I know.

    So you see, there is this Fatboy Slim Mix competition, where I had to make a 20-30 minutes long DJ mix, to enter. The thing is that to survive round 1, I need 100 plays on Soundcloud.

    Normally I would never participate in such a contest, because I know that in the end always the 16 years old, who is worse than me but has much more friends who vote for him, wins. But this time I couldn’t resist.

    All YOU have to do is visit the link below and press play.
    http://soundcloud.com/psychofrakulator/fatboy-competition

    You don’t have to LISTEN to it. If you want you can turn the speakers off and I think you don’t even have to play it in full, to have you counted. I also will never find out who of you ever bothered with it anyway, so don’t worry about that, but thanks anyway.

  180. I’m helping ya out CJ

  181. the only payment I ask in return is that you check out my blog CJ

    http://griffsrandomreviews.wordpress.com/

  182. Sheesh, payment? What happened to Christian love?
    Just kidding. It’s bookmarked and I will check it out as soon as possible.

  183. Also I just read on IMDB, that TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL arrives in American theatres today, so please go and see it. It’s a good one.

  184. Bullseye Barry strikes again. Al Qaeda wishes a Republican would get him elected out of office.

    Yankees start the playoffs, Red Sox embarrass themselves, al-Awlaki got blowed the fuck up — today is a good day.

  185. dna – You made me choke on my spit. Thanks.

    I would just stick with From Dusk ‘Til Dawn then.

  186. CJ- Tucker and Dale came out on DVD in the UK recently and I picked it up this week. Great stuff.

  187. Mortal Kombat film series is getting a proper reboot and directed by the Legacy guy:
    http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/119/1197326p1.html
    No actor’s attached, but we can hope MJW gets the call again.

  188. From Dusk till Dawn bombed.

  189. Yeah, but it led to a couple of sequels so it must have turned a profit somewhere along the line.

  190. it must have turned a profit on video then

  191. dna: Drop Wong Kar Wai’s name whenever you can. All of his films can be described as a very personal blending of genres. And the suits are too afraid of appearing uncultured to admit they don’t understand him.

    CJ: The only Fat Boys I like could never be accused of being slim, but I listened to your link anyway. Sounded professional to me.

    Griff: I really enjoyed university, but I had the good sense to not let anything I learned there fuck up my education. Hamsline gave you some awesome advice. I can’t stress enough how formative this time of your life is. You have to acquire proficiency with your chosen equipment. Don’t piss away your youthful energy. Force yourself to focus. I’d be much better at my chosen work if someone had given me Hamsline’s sound advise when I was your age. Learn the fundamentals while you’re still young.

    Hamsline: Once you’ve infiltrated Skynet, send back some sort of cyborg to kick the ass of 20 year old Jareth. Thanks.

  192. Tarantino and RR’s names became more prominent after the release of the film, so the Weinsteins recognized that in spite of the original film bombing, they could recoup their costs by producing low budget sequels that would trade off of audience awareness of the original while simultaneously acting as an advertisement for the original. Add in box set re-releases, special editions and foreign rights sales and you turn an original film that bombed into a successful trilogy.

    It’s not uncommon. They made sequels to Pulse even though that was a money loser. And to Undisputed. And to Universal Soldier. And to Never Back Down. The name cache helps cut through the clutter of the video store. I mean, who was *really* demanding Mimic 2 or 3? Or Single White Female 2? Or The Prince and I 2 or 3?

    If you can make it on a certain budget and you have access to the name rights, you can do pretty well for yourself. Or rather, you could. Netflix and Redbox, coupled with a major market contraction in DVD sales have pretty much killed that.

  193. Y’know, MIMIC 2 as actually pretty watchable, even though the first half imitated the first movie way too much. But it put director Jean DeSegonzac on my watchlist. Unfortunately he never did anything interesting again, apart from directing several high profile TV shows like DAMAGES or OZ and crappy TV movies, like the one where the guy from J.A.G. and Terry Farrell are stuck on a plane with a serial killer.

    Also I somehow managed to get my 100 plays in that one competition. I don’t know how many of them came from here, but thanks to everybody who bothered wit pushing the Play button, doesn’t matter if you really cared for it or just because I asked you to do it.

  194. And I still haven’t learned to check what I wrote before I submit it. In my defense: It’s early morning and I just came back from the supermarket.

  195. Mimic: Sentinel is actually really well made too. J.M. Perry is an interesting enough director that I didn’t have to google his name to know that he made that film and the sublimely titled S&Man. His script for the narrative version of Faces of Death was ambitiously weird too, though it’s probably for the best that that film never came to fruition.

  196. – hamsline & jareth

    Thanks, but From Dusk till Dawn or Wong Kar-Wai just won`t cut it. B-movies and arthouse are kind of frown upon by the financers and won`t be a financial or critical succes in my country. I don`t think that Wong Kar-Wai has made any movies with genre-shifts?

    I just remembered another one; Save the green planet, which kind of starts as comedy, turns into torture-porn, then sci-fi and finally tragedy. Awesome movie, which nobody in my country has ever heard of. Hey, maybe Barton Fink? It won some awards, didn`t it? Or Fish Tank, which sort of turns from social-realism into thriller. Or Pinapple Express, which turns from stoner-comedy into `80 action?

    Those are just not obvious enough. I need something solid, that stops kills discussion about changing genres being a turn-off for the audience. (and I might add, it`s not a big genre-shift, going from 80`s thriller to psychological horror, but I`m trying to do the matrix-thing, where the audience goes “wtf? What just happened?”)

  197. Well, maybe the fact that we can’t think of any successful films that switched genres is a good indication that it *does* piss off audiences.

    I mean, I’m down with it, but I don’t think most people are.

    Does Dancer in the Dark count? It turned into a musical at the 90 minute mark?

  198. – tawdry

    Well, most people don`t know what`s good for them. If you look at most of the surprise hits during the history of cinema, a lot of them takes some radical choices with traditional strorytelling. Try to pitch a script today, where the main-character gets killed in the middle of the movie. I can only think of 3 out of thousands of movies I`ve watched, which actually does that.
    Assassin(s) by that french guy who made La Haine, a new danish movie which name I won`t spoil cause it`s really good, and… Psycho, the most popular, influential and important horror-movie of.. oh, i dunno.. ever?

    I thought about dancer in the dark, but it was always adverticed as a musical. But it`s the best example yet.

  199. I would argue that PSYCHO, THE BIRDS, PREDATOR , FULL METAL JACKET and DEATH PROOF all switch genres successfully and might be popular enough to appease your financiers.

    Another one that I’ve always loved is John Sayles’s LIMBO, which is a romantic drama about the budding relationship between David Strathairn and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Until the second half starts anyway.

  200. It was advertised as a musical, but I never saw the ads. I just knew that I liked some of the other Von Trier things I had seen, so I watched it cold. Man, was that intense. Technically his new film also jumps genres. It starts out as an Apocalypse film, then turns into a chamber drama.

    Does Death Wish count? I mean, Bronson doesn’t kill anyone until 50 minutes in. Man on Fire doesn’t have any major action for almost an hour either. Until then it was kind of a strange variation on the man-child learns to grow up with the help of a plucky little kid.

  201. Oh! The monsters don’t show up in The Descent until halfway through. And it was a fuckin’ scary movie when it was just about a cave in.

  202. The Island becomes a chase movie halfway through after being vaguely hard-scifi for the first half.

  203. Hey, PREDATOR is a really, really good example. Evil Dead 2 sort of starts out as a scary horror, but suddenly turns into comedy. FULL METAL JACKET is sorta a war movie all the way through, and DEATH PROOF.. well, I`m gonna mention it as the sort of slowburning thriller/action I`m going for, but I don`t think of it as an genre-switching movie, just oldfashioned in it`s structure in the best possible way. I really love horror and action that takes it time to set up the pay-off. Like Alien, Aliens, Bullit, The French Connection, Texas Chainsaw Massacre etc. Man on Fire is kinda intesting too, but not really a very good movie. I`m starting too think that I should just mention all those titles very fast and then change the subject. Hmm, I`ve never seen The Green Mile, but didn`t start as a prisonmovie which turns into a fantasy-movie? Oh, oh, oh, also Demonlover, totally changes mood and genre half way through. Or Lost Highway, perhaps. Fire Walk with Me? Atonement? Possession?

  204. I don’t think that THE DESCENT counts, considering that as soon as the women enter the cave, they see scary shadows moving through the dark, so the audience should know pretty well that there is something more going on.

  205. Heathers starts out kinda like a romantic comedy and then gets really, really dark. Demolition Man starts out like a typical Stallone vehicle and then turns into a satire.

  206. The Descent fits, I think. I honestly would have watched that movie if it was just about the women trapped in the cave. Then monsters show up and it gets even cooler!

  207. Heathers kinda slowly progresses into a thriller, but Demolition man is a good example (and Daniel Walters is one of my favorite writers). Maybe The Last Action Hero.

    But these are all..eh.. “trash” in these financers eyes. Genre-movies are okay, if they are acclaimed masterpieces like Silence of The Lambs, Seven or Rosemarys Baby, but if I mention anything with Scwartzenegger or Stallone, they`ll think I`m insane.

    But thanks anyway, there`s a lot of titles I can mention as movies that takes unpredictable turns. Keep `em coming, it`s a big help. The financers are very critical of the script, but want to meet anyway, so I might have a chance if I can make them less nervous about the untraditional elements in my script.

  208. World’s Greatest Dad? The Crying Game?

  209. off course, The Crying Game! That`s perfect. Thanks, getting drunk now.

  210. Jareth Cutestory

    October 1st, 2011 at 9:13 am

    dna: Wong Kar Wai is nuts about genre. All of his films are rooted in genre: gangster films, road movies, science fiction, wuxia. But because he blends things in such a subtle way, and because his style is so strong, it is easy to not notice. Also, some of his tropes are derived from popular Hong Kong genres, like the Dissolute Young Man genre.

    He’s sort of like Bryan Ferry. There’s a lot of bossa nova in there, but it’s not immediately apparent because it’s the undercarriage of the whole elegantly wasted thing.

  211. You guys mentioned all the obvious ones, and I would submit Wes Craven’s RED EYE for dna’s consideration (even the trailer showed the crazy switch in tone & genre from romcom to scary), except I don’t know if it was successful enough financially & critically.

    How about GOD OF GAMBLERS? There’s a movie with genres all over the place, and it made a ton of money, plus it spawned a bunch of sequels, semi-authorized spinoffs, homages, & parodies.

  212. Hey all,

    It’s October, which means I’m doing my annual month-long marathon of horror movies. I thought I’d solicit you fine people for some recommendations of what to watch this month. Now, bear in mind that I’ve seen a lot of horror movies, so I’m looking more for off the beaten path stuff that I might not be familiar with. In particular, since I like trying to stay current, if you guys have any modern (possibly DTV) horror movies that you think are worth recommending, let me know. I know you guys all have good (or at least interesting) tastes, so I’m eager to be steered towards some movies I may not have otherwise watched.

    Much appreciated!

  213. Dan: There’s a recent Hong Kong horror movie called DREAM HOME that is pretty inventive. Last year’s Korean remake of THE HOUSEMAID is pretty neat too.

    My recent favorite is SOMOS LO QUE HAY (WE ARE WHAT WE ARE).

    And of course CALVAIRE. I am contractually obligated to mention CALVAIRE.

  214. “Kill List” switches genres three quarters of the way through, and a lot of people hated it. I didn’t but I don’t think it completely worked either.

    Every slow-burn horror / monster movie that’s ever been made started out as a family drama or road trip movie. Look at “The Ruins”, “Wolf Creek”, “Rogue”, “Hostel”, etc. Actually a genre-switch between either road-movie or comedy is part of the modern good horror movie staple. “Straight” horror, as exemplified by the recent “Friday 13th” sequels / remakes, etc, doesn’t cut it any more.

  215. Sunshine goes from Sci-Fi drama to slasher flick, but I don’t think it did well and my brother and I are the only two people I know who LOVE that movie. You can point out to the financer types that Danny Boyle won Oscars and shit though. Doubt that helps but there it is.

  216. A Life Less Ordinary? Slumdog Millionaire had some major tonal shifts?

  217. oh my God guys. oh. my. God.

    I just made the funniest discovery

    you know Jean Luc Godard’s newest movie? where for some reason the entire thing is on youtube sped up there it’s only 4 and a half minutes long

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK4yLgj3_Ak&feature=player_embedded#!

    now, turn the sound in that video off and play this video with the sound on at the same time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnHmskwqCCQ&list=FLaI511E9DAWLBwZEMTXN40A&index=1

    I haven’t laughed this hard in ages

  218. Mr. Majestyk,

    So, I think my wife and I are going to take you up on your generous offer to reprint one of your blog posts in our literary journal. She really loves your RAMBO review, so we were probably going to use that one if it’s ok. I had a few other questions for you, but I seem to have lost your email address (I deleted most of my old emails a while back). Can you give it to me again?

  219. You can definitely use my RAMBO review. I have a mixture of pride and embarrassment about that one, because it’s so heart on its sleeve, but sometimes that’s when you know it’s good. Would you mind if I did a quick revision before you printed it? I still have your email so I’ll send it to you in an hour or two.

  220. Or maybe I’ll just do it right now. Check your email.

  221. Normally, she’s not into action movies, but weirdly enough she loves the RAMBO series, especially the most recent one. And I think your review struck a chord with her.

  222. Awesome. I’m glad she liked it because I think that one really got to the heart of what violence in cinema means to me. At it’s best, it’s all about love.

    Also, remind me what I’m getting published in again?

  223. Hahaha, it’s called Magic Lantern Review, an online literary journal of poetry, film criticism and short film. This will be the inaugural issue. http://www.magiclanternreview.com/

  224. It’s 99% the work of my wife. I’m really just the eye candy.

  225. Holy shit, stop the presses. So remember a few months ago when everybody thought it was hilarious that wee little leprechaunman Tom Cruise was going to play Jack Reacher, a character whose defining characteristic is that he’s 6′ 5″? Well, that’s still hilarious and wrong in just about every conceivable way, but then this happened:

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/werner-herzog-will-try-to-kill-tom-cruise-in-a-mov,62818/

    And now wild horses couldn’t stop me from seeing this movie.

  226. Jareth Cutestory

    October 4th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Herzog presents REACHER: ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT.

  227. I want Werner to narrate it like one of his documentaries.

    “Cruise smiled with a great cosmic vacuum shining in his eyes. His white teeth gleamed with reptilian delight. What arrogance would drive a man to pit his very essence against the laws of gravity again and again, launching his body from great precipices attached only to a thin safety line, like an umbilical cord to the divine? Some saw sensuality in this chiseled mannequin that claimed to be possessed of arcane mysticism. I saw only a robotic coldness that froze me to my very soul.

    “The next day we left for Sri Lanka, accompanied by a Filipino dwarf…”

  228. WTF is going on today? First the news that Jason Statham might join the FAST & FURIOUS cast and now this?

  229. I’m sad to see my hilarious discovery ignored, such is life….

  230. It’s just depressing to see what has become of Godard.

  231. Ummm…. there’s a TV show coming out starring Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, AND Rutger Hauer… Vern you should be all over this…

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51459

  232. James Marsters in it too. And we like James Marsters.

  233. I don’t know man, a while ago he made some seriously stupid comments, as if he would believe that Germany is still run by Nazis and Jews should stay away as far as possible, if they want to live, but on screen he is pretty cool.

  234. I think it’s an anthology show and they’re in one episode. And I think that’s what they were all making mysterious comments about on Twitter. Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Darren Shalavi and Matt Mullins shot something together recently and posted photos of them together but wouldn’t say what it was.

  235. Rutger Hauer’s in a different episode to the rest of them apparently.

  236. I just watched a movie on Netflix instant called “American Raspberry”

    it’s a 1970’s anthology spoof in the vein of Kentucky Fried Movie, but nowhere near as funny, it’s pretty bad, but worth watching just to see what bad comedy looked like in the 70’s, it’s still better than something like “Disaster Movie”

    one shocking thing though is it has some flat out racist jokes, that was shocking

  237. but of course, so did Kentucky Fried Movie

  238. Oh yeah, the 70’s, when the line between “racism” and “edgy humor” was at least as thin, maybe thinner, as it is today.

  239. Also today marks the 13th anniversary of my last real haircut.

  240. OK guys… very, very, very important news. News that you don’t want to miss. This is the one you’ve all been waiting for…

    I’ve just seen “Hard to Kill” for the third time on cable.

    (Wait, where are you going? Come back!)

    Seriously though, the first time I saw this film – or at least half of it – I hated it and couldn’t get through it. The second time, at Vern’s insistence, I watched the ending, and actually kinda liked what they did with Senator Trent in the mansion, etc. So I thought I’d underrated it a bit.

    And the third time?

    I FUCKING HATE THIS MOVIE. JESUS. I remember distinctly saying that it was at least better than “The Patriot”. Which says how bad “The Patriot” must be because “Hard to Kill” is ATROCIOUS. The villain is boring, the score makes me want to drive a hand-drill through my skull, none of the characters are memorable / likeable, and the whole thing is one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen. Seriously, we’re talking dumber than “Armageddon” here, and at least “Armageddon” was laugh-out-loud enjoyable for the first three quarters of an hour or so before it turned into “unlikeable pricks in space doing boring stuff”. The bad guy looks weedy in comparison to the guy from “Road House”, and in that movie the villain was one of the weaker parts of it.

    I can’t believe I actually gave the end of this a good write-up several months back. What the fuck was I thinking?

    Anyway, that’s Paul vs. “Hard to Kill”, pt. 3. Dunno if there’ll be a pt. 4, I think three times is enough.

  241. Guys,

    I love you all. No mention of Steve Jobs yet? Awesome! I’m tired of every other website being filled with sad tributes to a selfish asshole who made money off of sweatshop labor and used that money to build a cult of personality. Today may become a day where I only read this website because fuck, the rest of the internet has become scary.

  242. Hey Vern – I’ve been loving your recent posts (been checking your ‘sight’ every day twelve years now!) but I can’t help but be shocked that I haven’t read a Tell’s It Like It Is on the craziness that’s going on over here on Wall Street, New York City. While I welcome each new phase of your writing with open arms I can’t help but wonder what the hyper-political Vern of 2001/2002 would have had to say about this. I am in no way trying to dismiss your writing as of late – I think you’ve been better than ever and I’m hugely impressed with everything you write. I guess I just miss the days when you’d comment on current events more, I always felt you were one of the most sane, informed, relatable voices out there!

    Also, I have to bug you about this ever few years but I hope that you’ll finish The Free Vacation someday! That has got to be the longest cliffhanger in history. I’ve been dying to find out the rest of what happened at Pisneyland since my early teens.

    I feel guilty even bringing this stuff up – you’ve given me hundreds of hours of free entertainment and countless incredible recommendations over the years and reading you every day, buying a t-shirt and a couple of books in no way entitles me to tell you what to write. I guess I always think of you as a man of the people and a guy who respects and wants his fans opinions, hopefully these requests don’t come off too harsh or demanding. Thanks, bud.

  243. Yes, thank you, Casey. I’d like to point out that I don’t celebrate that he is dead or how he died. He died pretty young of a horrible disease, that’s nothing to cheer about.
    But come on, he might have done some good stuff, like helping with founding Pixar, but by the end he was just a guy who charged way too much money for electronic products of questionable quality. That’s no reason to go to one of his million stores and light a candle! Especially not from people, who cursed him every time he went on stage to present a new iMalibuStacyWithBrandNewHat, just to buy it when it hit stores anyway. My sister bought a new PC yesterday, that has more power than an iPad, but cost 400 bucks less. Sure, it doesn’t have a fancy touchscreen, but it has 8 USB ports and a DVD drive!

    Again: Sorry to see him die at that age in such a horrible way, but the cult around him is scary and hypocritical.

  244. I definitely don’t celebrate that he’s dead. Hell, I wish he was still alive so that he maybe could one day live up to his potential.

    Steve Jobs and Apple have so much potential to really change the world for the better. They make obscene amounts of money and could remain profitable by treating their workers with humanity and respect. They could still make obscene amounts of money by treating the environment with care and respect. They have so much potential to be the very model of an ethical business but instead go with the lowest bidder and don’t care about the quality of life for the workers that make their products.

    All of that doesn’t really matter, I guess. What really bothers me is that many bourgeois-atheistic-whiteys worship him because his marketing department could make them feel warm and happy inside. He represents the very worst in our society since all he cared to do was to appeal to the crass and selfish emotional side of middle class yuppies who themselves gave no concern for anyone else in the world.

  245. The strange thing about Apple’s influence is the way that even the people that hate them hold them up to a far higher standard than any other company. All these guys use the exact same OEMs to manufacture their products, but somehow Apple and Apple alone are responsible for the shitty working conditions in these places.

    CJ – if the quality of Apple’s products is questionable then who’s isn’t? The cult around him may be misplaced but at least it’s a bunch of people getting worked up over something they enjoy. The people that scare me are the ones that are actively angry that someone else enjoys something they don’t. That’s heading into AICN talkbacker territory right there. As is feeling the need to criticise a guy that hasn’t even been dead for a day, on a completely unrelated board no less.

  246. Majestyk, I am also now totally on board for the Reacher film. I have not read the books and have no real interest in seeing Cruise as an action star, but the addition of Herzog makes it a must see film.

  247. Mode7, I once bought a MacBook and have never felt so ripped off in my life. If a person with a certain computer knowledge like me has to consult the manual, just to find out where the fuck to plug the power cord in, the product might have a problem. After that it went downhill. I used several OS from Windows 95 to different Linux distributions, but the Mac OS was the least intuitive that I have ever encountered. Again, if you have to consult your manual, just to find out that a click on the x doesn’t close your program, but instead just minimizes it, there is something wrong with your product. And that’s just one problem that I have encountered.
    So far the Macbook runs, but not much better than my old Windows Netbook did. I spent over 1000 bucks for something, that a 400€ netbook did too. Only with a bigger screen, a fancier design and three USB ports less.

    And believe me, I try really hard to not turn this into an AICN talkback here and must repeat again that I don’t celebrate his death. I just think it’s hypocritical to turn a man into Jesus 2.0, just because he is dead. He was a rebel who turned into a shameless capitalist and all the kids, who light candles for him, have been ripped of by him, because he somehow managed to make them pay 300 bucks for a simple MP3 player.
    There is something wrong with world, when the world economy gets run into the ground, but the public stops what they are doing for a day, because the guy who sold them an overpriced laptop died.

  248. Did anyone else catch the news that Thomas Jane used to be homeless and turned Gay tricks. Maybe, this was already common knowledge but it was news to me. It doesn’t change my opinion of Jane, but I wonder if his openness about his homosexual experiences will effect his ability to get action film roles. I hope not, because he is a talented actor who also possess the physicality needed to be a believable badass.

  249. I actually use a MacBook Pro for work. I never, ever, use it to run OSX, though. It’s a great XP / Linux box, though.

    I don’t reflexively hate Apple. I had an iPhone 1 since it was, at the time, the only device that really met my needs. The iPhone has quickly become a pretty bad platform, at least compared to Android, Palm, and Windows Phone. Actually, I’m an Android guy but the more I use the Windows Phone the more I think it’s probably the best. I’m probably alone in that.

    The iPhone is great if you’re already an Apple person and if you already do everything the way Apple wants you to do it. If you live in Apple’s world I imagine their family of products to be pretty good. I can’t argue with CJ that Apple’s products are un-intuitive but I don’t know how much of that is from my growing up in a DOS / Windows world.

    But, yeah, I don’t reflexively hate on Apple or Steve Jobs. I find his cult of personality to be really sad and telling of a lot of really bad things in our society. I’m a Marxist so a lot of what I think is definitely from a different perspective, but the idolization of a capitalist (and a really unethical one at that) combined with the commodity fetishization which leads to the middle class being better able to ignore anything that doesn’t involve consumption really bothers me.

  250. CJ – I think you’re minimizing Jobs’ contribution to technology and the world in general. Apple pioneered the home computer and probably did more than any other single company to put technology into the hands of normal people. People forget that it wasn’t the Microsofts and IBMs of the world that wanted to put a computer in your house – they manufactured office equipment, and at the time never imagined that anyone might want to own one. It was Jobs that turned computers into what has now become a household appliance.

    Casey- I don’t know where to start so I’ll just say this – everything you have is due to capitalism, you think it’s a coincidence that people living in capitalist country’s enjoy a far, far higher standard of living than people that don’t?

  251. Honestly, I didn`t even know who Steve Jobs was before today, but all my facebookfriends are terrible upset over his death. I guess he brought them a lot of pleasure?

    On the other news, my favorite artist Dj Shadow finally released a new album and it`s brilliant. I know you guys like hiphop, you should give it a listen.

  252. I didn’t know there were violently pro-Apple people, I only knew the other way around. But I guess that must’ve come about because of the iPhones and the novelty sized ones that don’t work as phones. People love that shit.

    But I don’t know man, Steve Jobs was a person, the company he started is a corporation, what he created was products. So I wouldn’t cast him as a hero or a villain. He was obviously a visionary who did something amazing and completely changed the world in ways that are hard to even understand. Some of those ways bother me because they’re destroying a part of my life that I enjoy as albums and movies become simply files. I was angry when I was looking at getting a new Mac and found out they don’t have optical drives in their new ones – they’re trying to prematurely murder the CD and DVD. I’m not on board with that.

    But I like his Macs and his Pods and maybe he would’ve masterminded some other interesting iCrap at some point, though I can’t imagine what it would be. I’m a crank who worries about us all turning into cyborgs. The other day I looked out the window at a bus stop with 8 people waiting at it and all but one were staring at their phones. I understand it but also kind of hate it. Obviously I’m compulsively on the internet too, but I wish people would try to pull back a little bit. I hate people’s fetishism for having the latest slick little fuckin doodad and complaining about their service contract or which satellite corporation doesn’t connect to the one that does the faster whatever the fuck it is that it does (not actual technical jargon). I hate that we live in a world where I’m considered a weirdo for not wanting to pay a monthly bill to carry an object that allows people to contact me at any time no matter where I go. I mean, it has alot of ridiculously useful things in it. But also I was able to walk around and do shit before they invented the iPhone. It wasn’t that hard. I we gonna turn into a bunch of fuckin mush brains who can’t wipe our butts if we can’t afford our phone bills anymore?

    But at the same time I really like their computers and even the exterior design of their computers, so I understand it. I started the geocities sight on an old Dell or something but a guy I was working for bought me an iMac and I’ve used Macs ever since. I have the opposite sense of what CJ said, to me they’re much more intuitive and user friendly than PCs, but I had heard that was why people hated them, people who really know what they’re doing can’t customize and jigger things as much because they’re locked into certain ways. That philosophy makes sense but since I’m not that computer-smart it’s not a factor for me.

    In the world of movies you definitely have to give it up to him, he was the one that bought Pixar from George Lucas and believed in them and supported them turning from a little software company to one of the world’s most respected movie studios. You hear all the time about the money men fucking everything up, but that guy was behind Pixar all the way letting them do what they wanted and if I remember right it was him that masterminded the whole John Lasseter takeover of Disney. He was still a board member or something for Pixar and the largest holder of Disney stock, and those moves seemed to turn Disney relevant again. Unless you were hoping for Chicken Little 2.

    Anyway I don’t know a huge amount about him and obviously don’t know shit about computers so I don’t have much more to say about the topic, but I just wanted to defend him at least as an interesting person with complicated issues surrounding his imprint on the world. It’s sad to see a guy die that young and just kind of shocking to realize that somebody had such a big effect on the world and then know they’re suddenly gone. So I understand everybody making a big deal about it. (I also haven’t read much of what they’re saying, so maybe that’s why I’m not as annoyed as Casey.)

    Also, shit, I guess that proves that money can’t buy your way out of cancer. He didn’t come up with some experimental super-treatment. That’s kind of sobering in its own way. We’re all fucked.

  253. “Did anyone else catch the news that Thomas Jane used to be homeless and turned Gay tricks. Maybe, this was already common knowledge but it was news to me. It doesn’t change my opinion of Jane, but I wonder if his openness about his homosexual experiences will effect his ability to get action film roles. I hope not, because he is a talented actor who also possess the physicality needed to be a believable badass.”
    I wouldn’t worry too much. I was reading an interview with Tom Hardy in which they vaguely allude to an admissione made in an interview last year to having homosexual encounters during his narcotic-peppered 20s, the mag calling it his “experimental” period, which he responds to with “When I did drugs and f*cked men, is that what you mean?”, and he doesn’t seem to be lacking for “macho” roles like with WARRIOR.

  254. Anyone else watch the first episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY? I think it’s interesting, and I appreciate how fucked it up they’re making it, but I think maybe they tried a bit too hard in the opener, since literally EVERYONE in the episode with the exception of the realtor has an issue, or some dark secret or something wrong with them. Maybe just because it was the pilot and they were trying grab people with all the possible things to explore, and it’ll even out as a proper series going forward. Though one of the subplots is way too reliant on people not talking about the appearance of the housekeeper with each other as soon as they did, they’d instantly be aware of something being up.

  255. ^fucked up. What an ironic mistake to make.

  256. Boys, can we pour a little out for Charles Napier? I was just rereading my old review of HIT LIST, in which I posed the question of what we were gonna do when Napier died and we had no one to play the kind big, bull-shooting law enforcement types he specialized in. Now that day has come and we’re no closer to an answer. We can’t just slap a Stetson on any of the beefy man-children we got running around nowadays and expect them to play a corrupt sheriff who just doesn’t like the looks of the laconic stranger who wandered into his quiet Midwestern town, stirring up trouble. It’s just not gonna work.

    Gentlemen, we are running out of salty dog character actors. We need to find an alternative resource, and fast.

  257. My only real experience to Apple products is having used Mac OS-8 nearly fifteen years ago when I first started work as a sub-editor at a magazine. I don’t own any iPods, phones, macs or pads (although I for one am a sucker for hype and would love to have an iMac of my very own). As for Steve Jobs, well, anybody that influential is going to have a helluva lot of people both supporting and deriding him, and both may be justified. One thing that’s pretty certain though is that the guy was a visionary and, in the business world, something of a genius.

    So RIP Steve Jobs I guess. I don’t know if the world will be better or worse off without him, but it’ll certainly be different. And you can’t say that about many people.

  258. *kind OF big, bull-shooting law enforcement types*

    Napier could play many things, but kind was not one of them.

  259. Here’s a story about the aborted “Batman Triumphant” which would apparently have had Nicolas Cage as The Scarecrow.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/nicolas_cage_was_sought_for_the_scarecrow_role_in_aborted_batman_sequel/#

    1) Schumacher claims he wanted to do The Dark Knight Returns instead of B&R, but the studio nixed it. I call BS on that, b/c even though I’m one of his few defenders (as I kinda love Batman & Robin), DKR is kind of unfilmable, especially b/c Superman is a major character and sort of a bad guy in it.

    2) I might be the only one who would have loved to see Clooney, O’Donnell and Silverstone battling Cage in a garish neon Gotham City with Michael Gough and Pat Hingle returning yet again. I wonder if Cage would have had as many puns as Arnold did.

    3) the article uses the term “mega-acting” when describing Cage. Hmmm…

  260. After BATMAN AND ROBIN, I remember a rumour/report that Clint was going to be playing Batman, which would have fit with a DKR adaptation(though I personally think someone more like Powers Boothe would be a better Batman for that. Clint’s too lean).

  261. I agree a lot of what you have to say, Vern. It bothers me that technology seems to allow people to hyper focus on the people they already know to the exclusion of participating with the outside world.

    I’ve been working at a university for about ten years now. When I first started people had cell phones but you could bump into a new person and strike up a conversation or just otherwise meet new people. Nowadays people are so focused on their phones that they seem to block out the outside world.

    I don’t have any particular hate of Steve Jobs. I am just baffled at the love he receives. I’m completely baffled, and a little upset, that otherwise progressive / bleeding heart types are totally distraught over the loss of a capitalist who did a lot of harm to the world. He’s not an especially bad dude, but he wasn’t a good one, either. He just managed to make a lot of middle class types feel really special and like they were “part of something” when in reality all they were part of was giving money to a heartless corporation.

    But, Vern, I totally appreciate where you’re coming from. OSX isn’t my thing but if it works for you I can’t argue with that. There are lots of people who like Apple’s products and who don’t drink the kool aid, I just know a lot that do drink it and today has been very frustrating.

    Mode7, shouldn’t you be reading Mises Daily or Cato At Liberty instead of posting here? How was your Atlas Shrugged movie?

  262. I love my iPod, but I would love it a lot more if I ever had one that lasted longer than a year and a half before it just up and died out of nowhere. But until someone shows me a more reliable mp3 player that functions as seamlessly as the iPod does, Apple kind of has me by the balls.

    This pretty much sums up my feelings toward Steve Jobs. He made a product that I love using and hate needing.

  263. Jareth Cutestory

    October 6th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Charles: Tom Jane just wanted his kids back.

    Vern: I don’t have a cell phone and never will. I’m that guy out there pushing back the ocean with a broom.

    Also, I’m keeping a brand new CD player tucked away in a box as a spare just in case they stop making the damn things. No way I’m switching to MPwhatevers. They sound like shit.

  264. Jareth Cutestory

    October 6th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Forgot to mention: Charles Napier was hilarious in THE BLUES BROTHERS.

  265. Jareth: Do you still carry around a Discman? Because if you do, no offense, but you’re an idiot. I’ve been resistant to every technological advancement since the CD (I had only tapes until late 1996 when I broke down and shoplifted BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE and Parliament’s Greatest Hits) but the second I learned I didn’t have to deal with the skipping and the batteries and the carrying around a bunch of plastic cases that always break and the trying to change discs while standing on the subway, I jumped at that shit. Now I got like 48 days worth of music on me at all times. I don’t give a single shit if the sound quality might be some imperceptible amount worse. Shit, I’m getting old, my hearing’s getting worse every day. The important thing is that I can rock out to whatever the fuck I want, wherever the fuck I want. I don’t have to be like, “Oh shit, that song I really needed to hear to is on a shelf collecting dust back in my apartment because I’m taking some kind of weird stand.”

    The thing is, go ahead and keep your CDs. Break ’em out and play ’em on your big clunky stereo that takes up way too much space in your apartment if that makes you happy. I’m keeping my DVDs for that same reason. But why not enjoy this amazing convenience that technology has afforded you? I’ve explored music that I never would have discovered if I had to have it all on a plastic disc, which has made me a happier and more well-rounded person in the long run. Science clearly wins this round and anyone who says otherwise is just being superstitious.

  266. Re: the cell phone debate, all I know is that having a cell phone has saved my bacon SEVERAL times. Also, being able to read this very website from my phone while taking a shit at work is priceless. And though I understand there are some John McClane-style guys here who shun technology, I for one am glad Vern has this website instead of sending out a weekly zine or something.

    But yeah, it is depressing when you look around at a restaurant and see people playing on their phones instead of talking to/acknowledging the people they’re sitting with. Especially when it’s a girl fucking around on her phone and the dude is sitting there like “I hate my life”.

    BTW , I have a Motorola Droid. Like Windows, it started awesome, but after countless updates, it runs like shit and has to be rebooted all the time, and now it appears to have a mind of its own. I know 3 other people with Droids who say the same thing. I used to hate Apple People, but I might have to become one soon – nobody I know hates their Iphone.

  267. Jareth: “You’re gonna look pretty funny eating corn on the cob with no fucking teeth!”

  268. Mr 2zod, the Android platform gets a bit bloated after a while. For what it’s worth, though, you would be exchanging some problems for others.

    There are a lot of things you can do on an Android that you can’t do on an iPhone. Want to drag and drop mp3s or other files and just play them off the device? Goodluck doing that with an iPhone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the iPhone does some things well. I think its stock email and web browsers are really solid and it has a good keyboard. I also think it has a real easy learning curve. I mean, Android had a pretty steep learning curve (I’m a tech guy and it took me a little bit of time to get the hang of it) but the iPhone was quick to pick up and something I could recommend to my mother. I have played around with an iPhone after going to Android and find that it isn’t as intuitive or as easy to use as an Android. Only having one button really gets in the way.

    I have had battery and memory issues with the iPhone and instead of just replacing the battery or the SD card you have to go wait in line at the Apple store like some tool so you can spend an hour with some kid to get your phone to work. I also had a persistent issue with bubbles in my iPhone and my work iPhone 3GS. Lastly, the actual sound and audio from the iPhone sucks. People bitched about it being an AT&T problem but once people started getting the phone on Verizon they realized it’s an iPhone problem. No shit, for most of 2010 (when I was still using my iPhone) I had to carry around a prepaid phone just so I could make phone calls.

    For what it’s worth, the best phone experience I have had is on my new work Windows Phone HD7. That device does web and email the best. It runs smoothly and just works. I have no problems with it as a phone, as a media player, or as a pocket computer. There aren’t as many apps but there are apps for everything I would want to do.

    I want a phone that does email, web, GPS, and some apps for games. I think the iPhone is a bad phone, really good email, web, and apps, and poor GPS. Android (myTouch 4G) is a good phone, good email and web, solid apps, and good GPS. I think the iPhone does some things better than what I’ve seen on the Android but it has some pretty big deficiencies that keep me from getting it.

  269. I also remember hearing about Batman Triumphant when Howard Stern was bandied about as Scarecrow, Jenny McCarthy was going to be Harley Quinn and Kurt Russell was going to be Batman (which would’ve rocked).

  270. “Who are you?”
    “I’m Batman.”
    “Oh. I thought you were dead.”

  271. I resisted the iPod for a long time, and the reason I finally gave in was because I got sick of hearing people’s phone conversations on the bus and needed something to block it out. One technology propagates another. But I still buy the shit on CD and transfer over what I want to.

  272. Casey I can drag and drop with my iphone. Also I’m no Ann Rand freak, that lady was crazy. I’ve never heard of that other stuff you mentioned.

  273. Speaking of Pods, i and otherwise, can anyone recommend some good film-related podcasts? Film criticism from somebody who knows their shit is something I could listen to all day.

  274. It’s sad that Jobs died in such a long, painful and protracted manner. I love my iPod and I’m writing this on a MacBook Pro.

    That said, I have far more sympathy for the slave labor employees who committed suicide after years on his assembly line. And for the families remaining in the small towns that produce Apple’s parts. The towns are so polluted that about 2/3rds of the remaining 60 families have horrible, incurable cancers.

    I wish we would see more facebook and twitter posts about these people and fewer about the billionaire who exploited them, well intentioned or not.

  275. Anyone use Spotify? You pay £10 per month and basically listen to whatever the fuck you want without having to download it first. Seems to me that this is probably gonna be the model going forwards – for basically everything. Why pirate stuff when everything you want is right there? I can honestly imagine 10 years down the road that this kind of thing is all rolled up into your taxes – socialised entertainment.

  276. Tawdry – i see what you mean but the scope of that particular problem goes far beyond mere consumer electronics. Lets face it, the western word is entirely supported upon the backs of poor foreigners. It’s sad and fucked up but at the same time politicians know we’d lose sympathy if the price of petrol or LCD TV’s suddenly jumped 300%. It’s funny how the heart stops bleeding when the academic stops being academic. I have love for my Chinese brothers but I also love my TV, and my TV has the advantage of being right here while those poor Chinese people are somewhat abstract. Be thankful we’re on the winning side is what I say, for the time being at least.

  277. Mode 7:

    Apple is singled out for special derision because the company is the highest priced stock on the exchange. They make more than oil companies! ALL the oil companies! Also, they position themselves as a people-first company, brag about being ‘green’ and claim that their are American made.

    They are not. Apple is not green (or even Granny Smith). Apple is not people-first. Apple is not American Made.

    While it is true that pretty much all of our electronics are produced in sweat shops/by slave labor, Apple was/is in a unique position to encourage better treatment of workers, better human rights, and push back against the ‘race to the bottom.’

    I was listening to NPR today and they had a 15 minute story about Jobs in which his biographer commented that he would not settle for less. If the materials he wanted were not readily available, he would have a new plant built. Which means that he had a new plant built, knowing full well what type of labor abuses would be used there. He was CEO of the most highly valued company in the world. He is accountable.

    That said, I love my Mac products. They have real customer service. When my logic board died, they did 1300 dollars of repairs, for free, and had the computer back in my possession within 72 hours. When my power cord broke, the guy at the store opened a box and handed me a new one. When my keyboard broke, they repaired it, for free, even though my warranty had expired and the malfunction was my own damn fault.

    Macs make sense to me and I don’t think they even come with an instruction manual. Do they? I thought it had a pamphlet with some pictures?

  278. I suppose the point I’m making is that maybe the Chinese (or whoever) need a few Steve Jobs’ of their own*. Is that really true that Apple make more than all the oil companies? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    BTW for anyone with an Ipad, I recommend the “Flipboard” app. It’s an app that takes RSS feeds and reformats them into a magazine type thing. It makes this very site look like some kind of broadsheet newspaper, which I find amusing for a multitude of reasons.

    *Not to mention an economic system that makes such a thing possible. Although lets be honest, the Chinese are about as communist as I am Chinese.

  279. Also, you’re pissed that Jobs built a plant and employed a bunch of people? What a fucking monster.

  280. Mode 7:

    You don’t honestly believe that that’s what my post was about.

  281. I’ll be honest, im not really sure what your point is with the NPR story. Seems to me like he made a bad situation slightly better. I’m willing to believe I’m missing something though.

  282. I think Tawdry’s point w/the NPR story is that if we hold him accountable for all the wonderful things that came from Apple because he was such a hands-on CEO, then we should hold him accountable for all the negative things that came along with it.

    And I think Mode’s point is that Jobs probably had executive decision to make Ipods in America under better working conditions for his employees. But then those Ipods would cost $1000 each and nobody would buy them. I for one choose the cheap Hanes tshirts over American Apparel because I’d rather pay $2 for a tshirt than $20, so I’m part of the problem.

    Crustacean – that’s a great question about movie podcasts. I really haven’t found any good ones either. I was into “Movies You Should See” for a while, but (and not to offend any British people here) it seemed a little too British for my tastes, and this is gonna sound strange but they kept getting black actors mixed up a lot, which kind of offended me. It’s like seriously, you can’t tell Sam Jackson and Ving Rhames apart?

    I got excited about JoBlo’s podcast because I like their site alot (when it’s not crashing my browser) but I found their podcasts borderline unlistenable. Shit, if I could get a robot voice to read this message board it’d probably be better than any movie podcast out there.

  283. Majestyk: I was very slow to adopt CDs in general and wasn’t going to bother with something as inherently ridiculous as a discman or even a boom box. I tried a friend’s iPod for a few months and found that the sound quality of was just far too compressed and shitty for me, regardless of whether the music was pulled from an MP3 or a CD. I even tried those big ass expensive headphones, and his Bose docking station at home. It all sounded awful to me, worse than when I first heard CD versions of albums I grew up listening to on vinyl. These days the compact disc on a home stereo is about as much compromise as I can handle when it comes to listening to music.

    But I can totally see how someone would like the convenience of an iPod. The playlists and everything are neat. But for me, it’s the aural equivalent of being satisfied with Picasso’s “Guernica” reproduced as a postage stamp.

    I’m particular about what I listen to music on. I like it to fill a room in a certain way. I’ve never been a big fan of listening to music on headphones, especially when out walking around. I should probably mention that I listen to a lot of jazz that was originally recorded in mono. Those records were recorded to be played in an entirely different way than where technology has taken us.

    Vern: I actually use industrial strength earplugs sometimes when I walk around. Everything sounds like it’s under water. It changed my life.

  284. I don’t know of a good podcast for film criticism. I know of a couple where they talk about movies, but they’re mostly comedians who are more interested in making fun of movies than having anything accurate or insightful to say about them. I listen to them but I can get infuriated.

    I’d rather listen to interviews with filmatists anyway. I would recommend the Creative Screenwriting Podcast (no longer in existence) which has tons of great interviews with screenwriters after screenings held by that magazine. Word of warning, the host is extremely annoying, but he does get screenwriters to talk in detail and some of them are really interesting. One of my favorites was Christopher McQuarrie talking about Valkyrie, and he tells an in-depth story that might make you think twice about the things you hear about Tom Cruise.

    Ah, shit. I just checked to see what else I liked on there and it looks like they’re not up on iTunes anymore. Sorry. This is why hard copies are good.

    Well, I also listen to The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, but it’s very short and he’s a weird combination of pretentious weirdo and shameless asskisser. He can be talking to Shawn Levy or something and have all kinds of thoughts about the subtext of his work. But I enjoy listening to it when it’s a good guest.

    I would also recommend The Projection Booth’s episode on Robocop, which has interviews with the writer and various actors and has alot of info I never knew before listening to it.

  285. Ya “Movies You Should See” was pretty good podcast for their first 100 to mebbe 200 podcasts when they had a balanced crew of sharp but dull chick, goofy nerd who goes for comedy and family, 2 padders who had reasonable input, and stuckup arrogant filmatist who they dumped when they had a beautiful nasty train wreck of a fight when he realised how dumb his friends were and they broke up. Balance was off after that, but with film podcasts they all decline in quality after 150 or when the bug has bit and they make 9 other podcasts through OCD and addiction and finally burnout. If you listen to any of their first 150 and like it, you will like them all.

    “Film Sack” is prolly my favourite podcast at the moment. Great B movies covered (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_Sack). 4 guys mostly sharp, very witty. Good format.

    “The Movielicious” is funny as you got a pom, frog and ho who dun know anything about movies at all and have zero taste or even idea of taste. They have a dynamic though and fun to hear their retarded ideas on movies.

    I listened to at least 30 others and all the guys who know their shit are so dull or dry that they will put you sleep more often than not. Lots of gem episodes, but not one other critique podcast that I would consider consistent. Some great star wars and star trek critique. Although honestly noone comes close to redlettermedia.

    If you don’t know who redlettermedia is I implore you with all the awesome reputation and credibility I have built up on this site… to stop what you are doing immediately and enter RedLetterMedia into google and then go to Plinkett reviews and watch either Star Wars or mebbe Avatar first and also Star Trek. Video reviews, not podcast – but hands down the best critique of these movies. Hilarious and clever.

  286. “Lol, Jar Jar sucks, I abuse my wife and my voice will drive you insane after a few minutes”. Sorry, Red Letter Media is definitely not the kind of film criticism that I like. I even think it pretty much represents everything that is wrong with film critics on the web. Most of them sacrifice insights and cleverness for lame jokes and cynicism.

    Jareth: I can only guess that whoever’s MP3s you listened to, they were probably badly encoded. Unfortunately I know too many people who are satisfied with 128kbps or less MP3s. I for one hate to go lower than the full 320Kbps, especially when I rip a CD by myself. (Although then I usually prefer to rip them to Wavs or FLACs anyway.) Of course there is still the possibility that you are one of those audiophiles, who can hear the difference between a CD an a lossless encoded Wav. Which is cool, but unfortunate for you.)

  287. CJ is a girl’s name.

  288. Jareth: I’m one of those people who grew up on tapes, so I’m used to music sounding shitty. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It’s about the song, not the recording. I mean, I have my limits, but I’m pretty easy to please. If it doesn’t skip or get cut off at the end then I’ll listen to it. I’m like that with pretty much everything. If I have to watch a movie on a pixelly VHS rip, then so be it. That’s how the movie’s available, so that’s how I’ll watch it. If the movie’s good enough, it won’t be ruined. It’s like, I feel bad for those people who can’t drink bad beer or bad coffee. 99% of the beer and coffee out there is pretty bad, so if you lose your taste for it, you’re gonna spend a lot of time complaining about something that should be making you feel better.

  289. The Motion-Captured Podcast on Hitfix is pretty great. It’s basically just Drew and his buddy Scott joking around and arguing, but they are life long friends with pretty extensive movie knowledge, so the conversations they have are pretty great. Also Drew posts interviews and he gets a pretty wide variety of people both behind and in front of the camera, and dude’s a good interviewer. They also play some games like Movie God and Remake This! that are AWSOME to play along with. I want to meet McWeeny some day just so I can ask him one that I’ve had for a while.

  290. CJ isn’t even a name, it’s an abbrevation!

  291. Yeah but it’s an abbreviation for Claudia-Jean :p

    You never see The West Wing?

  292. Majestyk: I’m not some kind of aesthete (ie. a prick) that gets so bothered about sound quality that I’d make a crusade about it. I’m not incredibly bothered that my CD of whatever record doesn’t sound exactly like the LP version. Because, like you say, it’s the songs that matter. But there’s something about the digital versions I heard that were very unpleasant, like all the instruments were compressed and any sibilance in the recording scraped like metal (not such a bad thing when listening to Dead Voices on Air, but a real trial when listening to Miles Davis). It wasn’t an affront to my delicate sensibilities, it just made me want to wait for a better setting to hear the music I like, a setting with some dynamic range. It’s entirely possible there is something wrong with my hearing.

    I also respect the album structure. It makes a certain kind of sense to me. Remember in the 1990s when musicians felt it necessary to cram way too much music onto their records just because the format had a longer run time? And those fucking skits and hidden tracks? That shit was annoying. Playlists and random shuffles annoy me in the same way. So obviously I’m not the target audience for iPods.

    For the most part, I subscribe to your coffee analogy. God knows I’m not going to buy Blue Ray when DVDs look good enough to me. I’m going to keep using film in my camera as long as film is available, but it won’t be the end of the world if I have to switch to digital some day (hopefully by then digital photography will know how to simulate black and white properly). Ditto electronic books, though I reserve the right to bitch and complain about them if those fuckers hurt my eyes.

    CJ: There’s way more actual criticism in Plinkett’s reviews than you’re giving him credit for. His AVATAR review breaks down the composition of the Blue Cat People in a way I’ve never seen elsewhere. But I don’t blame you for not wanting to wade through all that serial killer stuff to hear it.

  293. CJ is the abbreviation for Cassette Junky, in case anybody wonders.

    Or…is it? It is at least true that I still used a walkman till 2006, when I was on the road. Then I upgraded to an MP3 player!

    Jareth: Mr Plinkett lost all his goodwill from me after I suffered through his much hyped Episode 1 review, always waiting for it to finally saying something new, funny or at least getting rid of his psychopath-with-the-most-annoying-voice-in-the-world schtick. If he somehow managed at one point to come up with something interesting, good for him, but too little, too late.

    I just hate critics who are more interested in their lame schtick, than telling what they really think. That’s why I’m such a Vern fan. Everybody can write or tape “funny” reviews, but only few critics these days really mean business. Especially when they do it for free. I tried to come up with any more examples, but apart from Vern, the only hobby reviewer I care for is Diana, who runs Critice (formerly knows as Popcult). You should really take a look at her stuff. (That sounds dirty.) Her website is particularly romanian, but her videos are all in English.
    http://critice.popcult.ro/

  294. Jareth Cutestory

    October 7th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I always assumed that Plinkett was simply a schtick with a bit of pointed criticism snuck in there between the gags. I never thought of him as a real critic, at least no moreso than Jay Sherman. When Plinkett cuts away the narrative stuff, like in his STAR TREK (ASIMOV EDITION) review, he definitely has a coherent point to make about modern movies. But yeah, I can see the voice being a dealbreaker.

  295. I think he just believes he needs to the stick because the reviews are pretty long and it might be hard to sit through a pure analysis, but I do agree that he IS more than just the character. In the REVENGE OF THE SITH review, he actually devotes a lot of it to how despite all the work Lucas was putting into the CGI and practical effects, he didn’t do a whole lot with the actual cinematography and points to a lot of scenes with use the same general set ups.

  296. I just don’t see the point in devoting that much time to saying something everybody already has already known for like ten years now: that the prequels were a disappointment on many levels. This is a fact that is obvious to one and all, even those who defend them, like our own Mr. Subtlety. Instead of a dead hooker in his basement or whatever he should have a dead horse that he could occasionally flog in the middle of his epic dissertation on how Lucas is not really that great a writer, which is a thought he just thought up and no one ever thought that before.

    My thinking? You spend this much time on something, you LOVE it. Dude needs to come out of the closet on this one and stop overcompensating. Or possibly just get the fuck over it and watch something else.

  297. Or maybe he just finds it fun to review? Or maybe since Red Letter Media is a studio, he’s happy to exploit the attention and demand for the follow up reviews to get attention for his other stuff? And he does watch other stuff. He’s got a review show called “Half In The Bag” he reviews out of character with someone else while another guy plays Plinkett in the background. I don’t think he needs to get the fuck over it so much as you need to get the fuck over whatever it is about him that annoys you so much.

  298. ok, once again there’s several things I want to respond to so I’m gonna list them

    1. am I the only one that doesn’t find The Dark Knight Returns to be all that great? not that I hated it or anything and I can maybe see why for 1986 it would be mind blowing, but in this day and age I just found it to be a bit blase and I wasn’t too crazy about the artwork either, why does it look like a talented 10 year old drew it most of the time? give me Jim Lee over that any day, basically what I’m trying to say is it aint got shit on Watchmen, now that is truly a brilliant comic

    2. I like Red Letter Media, yeah it’s cynical but it still raises lots of good points and it’s funny and entertaining to boot, I’m a sucker for web videos of that ilk (like the Angry Video Game Nerd, The Cinema Snob, The Nostalgia Critic etc) because they’re just a great way to kill some time, I’m not too picky

    (on a side note, I highly recommend you guys check out The Cinema Snob)

    3. I guess I might as well throw in my two cents about Steve Jobs, I’ve never owned an Apple product, but heck I probably would be rocking an iMac expect that I like to play PC games, but Apples deal was that they sold computer stuff to people who don’t understand computers and there’s of course a market for that

    but I’m with Vern though that I find a lot of modern technology alienating, it’s really like we’re finally living in a cyberpunk age

    I have a real love hate relationship with the internet in general for example, obviously there’s a lot that I really like about it, but there’s a lot that I hate too, it’s just made me such a more cynical person than I used to be, I was a completely different person before I got the internet, but I was also very naive, so maybe it was for the best

    anyway I have an Android smartphone and I usually just leave it at home

  299. Stu: I’ve never actually seen his reviews for the reasons I said: I have no interest in hearing a two-hour lecture on why three movies that came out several years ago and have already been discussed to death are the worst things ever. I’ve heard it all, it’s old news, I get it. I don’t understand the impulse to spend your time on something you hate instead of something you love. Personally, when I hate a certain dish, I just don’t order it anymore. I don’t keep eating it again and again so I can break down which specific ingredients are the ones that made me want to puke. I’m glad he’s having fun but I reserve the right to not want to watch him do this strange thing I don’t understand.

    But I guess you’re right, it’s worked to bring his studio attention so it makes sense that he would take aim at the biggest target he could find. From a business standpoint it’s solid. I more wish EVERYONE would get the fuck over it and not just this guy. People act like the prequels were the worst thing that ever happened and we must NEVER FORGET. They were movies. They weren’t what we wanted but they had some entertaining parts. Let it go.

  300. See, for me Majestyk, it really put an exclamation point on the prequel hate. Also it really did bring up a whole lot of things I never really considered in much detail when I originally saw the movies, being younger and not that analytical about movies. I knew they were bad, but I didn’t think about a lot of the stuff the review mentions. So it’s pretty much all out of my system now, and I really get annoyed more these days by the reaction to Lucas fucking things up than him fucking them up itself, and I just laugh at stuff like the Blu Ray changes rather than get mad about it, while other people still restate the same things over and over again as if they’re bringing it up completely new. If there’s something that really annoys me about Star Wars as a franchise now it’s just how milked it is and how singularly it’s focused. I used to read the EU novels, and I loved the diversity of the stories, as you’d get stuff with the main cast, as well as novels focusing on the X-Wing Squadrons, the bounty hunters or Han Solo’s early years. Then the prequels came and all the spinoffs are nowadays is all Jedi all the time, because Lucas thinks that’s the only thing people want to see.

  301. I love Plinkett. His points are salient and his commentary is insightful. He’s not just bitching about movies, he’s actually using real, concrete details. I could do with less misogyny in the humor, but I’ve actually watched and enjoyed reviews he has done for films that I have never seen. Sort of like how I love reading Vern’s reviews for films like Setup. There is no chance I will *EVER* watch that film, but reading about it was great. Same with Ebert. His review of Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo was brilliant. Same with his review of Garfield. I remember nothing of either film, but I could quote you lines from his reviews from memory.

  302. Yeah, Plinkett’s reviews for BABY’S DAY OUT and COP DOG were pretty good too.

  303. On a totally different topic:

    Have any of you guys seen DIsney’s Teacher’s Pet? It’s a really underrated movie. Gary Baseman created the visual look of the cartoon on which it is based, and the movie plays like a moving painting. The show came out during the last wave of big budget television animation when studios were willing to take risks on interesting visual artists and see if their style could be adapted into children’s programming. I know there were other attempts, but Invader Zim and Teacher’s Pet were the two most successful experiments, in my mind. Oddly, they’re also very similar structurally.

    The show was a hit and they made a theatrically released movie for like 8-10 million bucks. No one saw it, and those who did mostly didn’t like it, but the art design is stupendous and it has some really fun and very creepy elements within it. The music isn’t always great, but if you have a very big screen TV and can enjoy a movie for the art design (though I enjoy the content too), I highly recommend it. Shame it didn’t do better theatrically. It’s really a visual wonder.

  304. He reviewed COP DOG? Okay, never mind, I’ll check him out.

  305. Majestyk:

    You’re misplacing the antecedent. It’s not that Plinkett is spending two hours ranting about something he hates. He’s spending two hours raving about something he loves: cinema. He’s not full of nerdrage, he’s full of love for the craft and art of cinema. And by dissecting what doesn’t work about the new trilogy, he is expressing what he does love about the old one, and film in general.

    Me? I’m no Star Wars fanboy. Frankly, I tried to watch the blu-ray with some friends a few weeks back and we got bored and stopped paying attention halfway through. The production design, sound effects, costumes, special effects and so on are truly brilliant. However, the plot, many of the characters, most of the dialogue and those horrible, horrible screen wipes are painful for me. Luke is such a whiny bitch! C3P0 rambles for what feels like hours. The entire thing with Obi-Wan Kenobie is just too silly. The empire’s most hated enemy is…a hermit, going by his real name, who is not hiding in any way, and is literally the FIRST person that Luke thinks of? And then he find him with no trouble whatsoever? That’s just poor writing.

  306. QFT: “It’s not that Plinkett is spending two hours ranting about something he hates. He’s spending two hours raving about something he loves: cinema.”

  307. Jareth Cutestory

    October 7th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    The whole Plinkett thing worked for me, even the excessiveness, which I think is a crucial facet of his self-deprecation. I like how he has situated himself so ambivalently in the heart of nerd culture. But I agree that he isn’t a critic. He is some sort of dramatization of nerd criticism.

    I’ve met people who think Steven Wright is a genius but can’t stand the sound of his voice. I know someone who thinks that “Downtown Train” is the last great American rock song, but prefers the Rod Stewart version to the Tom Waits original. There’s just something about the persona that some artists adopt that some people find insurmountable. Which is fair enough. I can think of dozens of Dylan cover versions that I prefer to the original performance.

  308. There are about a dozen versions of “Hallelujah” that are vastly superior to Lenard Cohen’s.

  309. Griff – I was disappointed in Miller’s Dark Knight Returns as well. And it wasn’t just because it was overhyped and everyone acts like it’s the BEST COMIC BOOK EVER – the art was borderline incoherent and the story was all over the place and kinda seemed like weird childish fan fiction that you come up with your buddies when you’re high. Also, has anyone read the sequel, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, aka DK2? It’s even more incoherent and was really a chore to get through.

    Now before I get strung up by the Frank Miller fans here, I have to point out that Batman: Year One is amazing and can’t believe it’s written by the same guy who wrote DKR and DK2. I actually think Batman Begins should have had a “based on the graphic novel” credit for Year One, as it’s so similar and borrows entire scenes wholesale. In fact, reading Year One made me appreciate how good Begins was – it retains the flavor and key points, but ups the stakes and adds new villains to the story that fit organically. It’s really a brilliant adaptation if you read the book.

  310. neal2zod – glad to see I’m not alone, I think the thing I liked the most about it was the 80’s style satire, which reminded of Robocop (and it was then I realized why they had him write Robocop 2)

    I always find 80’s satire to be very surreal, probably because it’s so rare

  311. Griff:

    Robocop co-writer Ed Neumeier suggested Frank Miller as a concept artist for Robo. However, TDK didn’t really influence the film as it was already in production when the book first came out, iirc.

    The reason that Robocop 2 (should have been Robocop 2.0, damnit!) was written by Miller was because there was a WGA strike. Orion wanted to make the sequel quickly, but Neumeier and Michael Miner had first right to refusal in their contract. They wrote one draft, but then had to stop work. During the strike, Orion made a deal with the WGA so that they could begin developing their content. They claimed that they wanted to make many Robocop films and that Miller’s script would be for Robocop 3 or 4. They were developing lots of ideas…

    Of course, the reality was, Orion saw Neumeier and Miner’s version as too expensive (35 million, I think) but contractually could not fire them. So, with the strike in place, the used Force Mejur (act of God) to cancel the contract and then went with Miller’s script. The film ended up costing 40 million and ostensibly killing the franchise because Miller didn’t know how to write a friggin screenplay or negotiate with the producers.

    Now, I’m bias on this, but I think that Miller should never be permitted to write in Hollywood again. Not because he’s terrible at it, though he is, but because the dude’s a fuckin’ scab.

    He went in during a strike and took work from the union of which he is now a member. You don’t get to be a strike breaker and then join the union and get union benefits. I mean, it’s not like the WGA is a great union or all that good at negotiating, (they struck for 8 months, brought Hollywood to its’ knees in 2008, and STILL got sodomized with no reach-around on the contract), but its a matter of basic principal.

    Go FiCore. I’m fine with that. That’s legal. There’s paperwork on that. There’s precedence. But that’s not what Miller did. He started his Hollywood career by screwing the WGA and he shouldn’t be allowed to join the WGA as a result.

  312. Oh, and I think The Dark Knight Returns is a fuckin’ masterpiece.

  313. Like, The Dark Knight Returns is a major influence on my sense of narrative. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The effect was similar to reading A Clockwork Orange, Fight Club, 100 Years of Solitude, The Stranger, or Ordinary People for the first time.

    It’s probably the only comic book I truly love. Which is why his new work makes me so sad.

  314. Tawdry – I wonder what the original script of Robocop 2 was about?

    and I guess The Dark Knight Returns is a “you had to be there” kinda thing?

  315. I read TDKR in 2002, 2003? Like 15 years after it was released.

    Robocop: The Corporate Wars began with Robo getting blown to smithereens and put into storage. Then, 20 years later they wake him up and rebuild him, but the whole world looks like Blade Runner.

  316. I think DKR is a victim of its own success. It was so influential that it might seem kinda stale to anyone that grew up with the comics it influenced – which is pretty much everything. So I can understand why newer readers might not see the appeal. I can’t agree regarding the artwork though, I’d much rather the sketchiness of DKR to the overly-clean photoshopped bullshit you get in a lot of modern comics.

    Griff – If you’re a fan of surreal 80’s satire you should check out Judge Dredd. Don’t let that shitty movie put you off, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so completely miss the point of its source material like that movie did. I’m not holding out much hope for the new one either, although at least they got the costume right.

  317. Dredd was a big influence on Robocop. Miner was actually attached to write Judge Dredd at one point.

    Also, Judge Dredd was visually one of the most accurate comic book adaptations ever. I kinda like that movie, in spite of the fact that it’s clearly terrible. It just has a weird energy about it. Also, the new costume looks way goofier to me. And the director has been kicked out of the editing room. However, Alex Garland is in there and might be helming the reshoots. He could even end up with a co-director credit. On one had, he’s never directed before. On the other hand, the guy who has directed before, well, he directed Vantage Point. In summary, I hope that Dredd is awful in the best way possible and not just boring. I don’t see much likelihood of it being actually good.

  318. Now you mention it Robocop does feel a lot more Judge Dredd than the Dredd movie did, I’m not sure how I’ve never noticed that before.

    Agreed that the Dredd movie was visually pretty accurate, but in translating it so literally I think they lost a lot of the vibe. It’s funny how you mentioned that the new costume looks kinda goofy because that’s kinda the reason I like it – I think that an almost cartoonish look serves the material better. The comic always verged on the ridiculous because it served to highlight the truly nightmarish world that it took place in, not to mention Dredd himself who was actually an inhuman monster created to uphold a totalitarian police state. Dredd is not a sympathetic character, by any stretch of the imagination.

    In typing this I’ve just realised that Dredd has a lot in common with Starship Troopers too, I suppose Verhoeven must’ve been a quite a fan.

  319. dna recommended the new DJ Shadow album two days ago. He was right, it’s great. (And exactly what I needed, after the disappointment that the new Erasure album is. Sure, Erasure were always a little bit on the cheesy side, but that’s no excuse to sound like Lady Gaga and every other Top 40 dancepop act in 2011!)

  320. Tawdry/Griff:

    By all accounts, Miller’s Robocop 2 script was fucked with in abundance. Miller released his true version as a mini series under the Avatar (no connection to the movie) Comics imprint a few years ago, and it’s pretty different. And awesome, imo.

    Sometimes I think I’m the only one who loves Robocop 2. It’s so quotable and entertaining. Is it a classic like the first? Nope. But it has Tom Noonan as a drug lord (who kills frank miller onscreen), the foul mouthed kid, a gang of baseball kids with an evil coach, and politically correct Robocop. I love the shit out of it.

    BEHAVE YOURSELVES!!

  321. And the brain-smashing at the end is badass.

  322. Bad news, Friends. David Hess died last night. That’s two movie dudes this week. And the Apple guy.

  323. Whoa, weird. I just watched Last House last night. RIP, Krug.

  324. The only thing I remember from Robocop 2 is the little kid drug lord. I thought that was a very cool idea and it oddly made sense considering how ridiculous the concept is.

  325. I love ROBOCOP 2. I think it rules, and I told Tom Noonan that the time I ran into him on the street. (Well, one of the times. For a while me and Noonan seemed to be on similar orbits.) Sadly, I think he thought I was making fun of him. Which is a bummer. Maybe I should have said EASY MONEY.

  326. Yay, i’m glad i’m not alone. I’m not trying to be one of those people who claim a movie as their own, but it’s always felt like every time I bring it up it’s like blood in the water.

    Tom Noonan was awesome in that episode of LOUIE, btw. Well, he’s pretty much always awesome, really.

  327. I will say, I do appreciate how mean-spirited Robocop 2 is. I admire how black hearted it is. I just don’t think it’s coherent.

  328. Well this sucks… my “local” arts cinema has “Troll Hunter” on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thanks for missing my only day off guys! Dammit I wanted to see that film at the cinema…

  329. Also, the film resets Robo and undoes the entire character arc of the original, which is insulting to the audience and basically says, ‘fuck you for caring.’

  330. Greatest Scene in Robocop 2: When the “Old Man” is giving a press conference and the Mean Scientist Lady walks down a big flight of stairs to get to where all the reporters are. In the background, at the very top of the stairs far away from everyone else is one reporter in a wheelchair holding a tape recorder desperately trying to get a quote. It’s a throwaway little scene, but it’s brilliant. I’ts basically saying “The Future Will Not Be Handicapped Accessible”.

    Goddamn I love that movie. I could turn this sumbitch into a Robocop 2 thread REAL quick…. but I won’t. I’ve had enough embarassment for one day.

  331. I DON’T KNOW YOU.

    *swivels head, then body, then walks away*

    I love it.

  332. Robocop discussions is like jello, there’s always room for Robocop

    it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Robocop 2 but I too enjoyed how mean spirited and fucked up it is for an early 90’s movie, especially how the little kid character is meant to be a stand in for kids who are fans of Robocop and yet he cusses and uses guns

    I guess you could say that Robocop 1 satirized the 80’s and Robocop 2 satirized/spoofed the ultra political correctness of the early 90’s, I can dig it

    and Mode7, I’ve seen Judge Dredd and yeah it’s a great example of a terrible movie with cool visuals (cool visuals were kind of in vogue in the mid 90’s)

  333. I see that some of you guys also watch ThatGuyWiththeGlasses… Is anyone else deeply annoyed by Todd in the Shadows and his music reviews? His write up on E.T. was just ridiculous. He makes fun of Kanye West for using the line, “They call me a big-headed astronaut/maybe it’s because I get ass a lot” and goes on and on about how the line is nonsense. Except, it’s not nonsense at all. In fact, the line refers directly to The Nation of Islam and the Genesis story of “The Big-Headed Scientist” who created the White race (ie, The Blue-Eyed Devil). His posts are just littered with inaccuracies and a complete lack of research. Dude is really ill-informed.

    Am I the only one who is bothered by this?

  334. Well, I don’t know who you’re talking about who wrote that post, and I appreciate the info about the Nation of Islam meaning, but still… astronaut? Ass alot? I can’t get behind that. (not a pun) Arguably not as bad as the “pussy in a sarcophagus” line though.

  335. Oh yeah, it’s an awful line. But it’s not nonsense. And to just sit there acting snide about it (in a video that also seems deeply naive about the social prohibitions against interracial dating) strikes me as obnoxious.

    Is the Big Headed Scientist story actually obscure? They spent like 10 pages on it in the middle of The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley. It’s the centrifuge of The Nation of Islam’s ontology, in my understanding. Of course, my understanding of the group is based primarily on X’s biography, which is also pretty much about how he hates the religion/political faction, so maybe it’s not the best source, but still.

    Also, pussy in a sarcophagus is a great line. Well, it’s a terrible line, but Kanye is kinda a wack emcee anyway and the gal of delivering that line as if it were some type of brilliant punch line is part of why I love Kanye. He’s a genius at some things, but only half as good as he thinks he is at others. The fact that his limitations as an artist are so apparent upon even a casual listen grants a great deal of tension to his songs.

    It’s kind of like how Eminem was way more interesting when he was embroiled in a 10 year long ‘beef’ with the Insane Clown Posse. No one in the world who mattered actually thought that ICP was any good, but Mathers just couldn’t let it go. That type of cognitive dissonance informed the rest of his lyricism and helped to explain some of his more vile work.

  336. Of course, Yacub, the Big Headed Scientist in question, is an insane story that makes no sense once one considers the fact that “White” as we consider it today doesn’t exist historically, (Tim Wise, yo!) But, in the context of the era that birthed the Nation of Islam, one can see the how and why of the story and understand the emotional core.

    Obviously, as a blue-eyed white-ish* dude of Jewish descent, I have a couple of bones to pick with The Nation of Islam. Namely, they’re a radical group of openly Antisemitic bigots based around a cult of personality that has often engaged in out and out hate speech. That said, if one looks at their mythology, one can find some wisdom, just like how I can find a great deal of truth within Torah and Biblical texts, even as an Atheist.

    Basically, I think The Nation of Islam is worth looking into, even though I wouldn’t recommend it as a personal philosophy.

    *I’ve taken to referring to myself as a SEM(iwh)ITE

  337. And of course, his “heef” with Triumph the Insult Dog

  338. Actually, you know what? My earlier statement was unfair. I jotted it out thoughtlessly and it comes off as offensive. Plus, I spoke in absolutes and that’s pretty much always a bad sign.

    What I meant to say was; certain figureheads within the N.o.I. have a history of public remarks which I believe to be Antisemitic. Obviously, the vast majority of N.o.I. members are not Antisemites. There are 50,000 or so active members of the N.o.I. in America, they obviously don’t all think and feel the same way about every topic.

    Calling their Genesis story “insane” also mis-characterizes the faith. To my knowledge, that story is not taken literally by the majority of N.o.I. members anymore than Adam and Eve is taken literally by most Mainstream Christians. Rather, it is an allegory. And as an Allegory, I can find wisdom within it. The overt anti-white sentiments of the story come from a place of social marginalization and are knowingly extreme as a point of social protest.

    While I personally feel that Elijah Muhammad is questionable philosophically, and I stand my my statement that he has a cult of personality thing going on, I shouldn’t have cast all N.o.I. followers as a monolithic force behind him.

    Elijah Muhammad has said some pretty offensive things, but the N.o.I. itself has been an asset to the Black community in America in many ways. I remain ambivalent toward the organization, but respect the right of individuals to fight personal strength through its’ teachings.

  339. Tawdry- That typo in the last sentence is pretty funny in light of the post that preceded it.

    It… is a typo, right? :D

  340. Bit of a tangent (though this is the place for it, no?) Vern, but I could have sworn you reviewed TIMECOP. Can’t find it, though.

  341. Tawdry – the thing about that site (“That Guy with the Glasses”) is that it’s just relentless cynicism. Sometimes very well done, sometimes very funny, but they exist for the exact opposite reason that I come here (rather than finding great stuff that nobody knows about, they poke fun at bad stuff that’s easy to poke fun at).

    I have no idea who the “N. O. I” are. I take it that they’re a specific organisation (I can’t believe there’s only fifty thousand Islamic people in America).

    Social prohibitions against interracial dating? They still have those? Maybe in very specific parts of the USA where people look back to the days of lynchings and KKK rallies with wide-eyed nostalgia. In certain parts of Africa and the Middle East, certainly. But in mainstream culture? Specifically the kind of mainstream culture that listens to the kind of pop music that TitS (hehe) reviews? And relating to a song that’s a collaboration between a black guy and a white (I think) girl? Unless America has a LOT more problems than we’re aware of over here, I’d say that was a pretty bizarre problem to have with the review. (And that’s coming from a white guy who dated an Indian girl once. And no, nobody had any problem with it that I’m aware of.)

  342. Nation of Islam. Pretty famous black separatist group. Elijah Muhammad? Malcolm X? Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes are members… Is this gonna be another one of those times when I discover that something that I thought was common knowledge or totally typical is actually incredibly obscure or very atypical?

    I think you underestimate people’s iffy-ness with miscegenation. I mean, certain kinds are permissible. Sure. You see a white guy with an asian girl, no biggie. Black guy latin girl, whatever. But once you get into Black guy/white girl, white guy/black girl, asian guy/white girl territory, you run into more roadblocks. I can’t speak toward Indian girls, because I’ve never been involved with one, nor do I have any real point of reference for social attitudes toward that.

    But consider “Romeo Must Die”. It’s Romeo and Juliet…as an R-rated action movie. And the leads never even kiss. They shot a kiss, but the test audiences freaked out and HATED the movie. Lots of people take issue with black guy/white girl coupling, on *both* sides of that fence. The social prohibitions may not all be violent lynching stuff, but we have been socially trained to see asian men as effeminate and de-sexed. Same with Indian men and Middle-Eastern men. Meanwhile, black men and asian women are made to be hypersexualized in a way that is dehumanizing.

    So yeah, I’d say that racial politics pertaining to sex are still pretty darn prevalent. Plus, it’s different if you’re dating a girl and if you’re talking about settling down with a girl.

    On a level of personal experience, I’ve been with primarily Black and Latin women. Given that I live in California, no one really bats an eye about going around with a Latina. But sometimes I get odd looks from people when I go out with a black girl. I know that people definitely talked shit behind my back during freshman year of college because of the black girl I was seeing.

  343. Blacks, Indians, and Asians smell different to whites – at least here. I figured it had to be a food thing – coming through the pores like how they say cannibals really stink heh. Is that the same in the US for different groups?

    Curious cos I imagine unlike here, many racial groups prolly eat the same food as whites in US. McDonalds and fried chicken and presumably Gahuna Burgers etc.

  344. Who’s this Guy With Glasses again? Walter White? The guy from Weezer? Peter Parker?

    Or is he like Voldermort, and his name is not to be spoken?

  345. anthony4545 – Nostalgia Critic?

  346. Oh okay. Guess I’m not familiar with him.

  347. Tawdry – the only videos I watch on that site are the Nostalgia Critic and occasionally the comic book guy Linkara, that’s the problem with that site is they have seemingly dozens of other people on there who are not interesting at all (The Cinema Snob doesn’t count in my book because I always visit his main site), the Nostalgia Chick for example comes off like she drinks a bottle of NyQuil before she does her reviews

    anthony4545 – The Nostalgia Critic is a guy who reviews (with rare exceptions) either kid’s and family movies from the 80’s and 90’s or movies that people growing up in the 90’s more than likely saw

    I like him a lot, but you pretty much have to be of my generation to find him entertaining

    p.s. Tawdry, I have heard of the Nation of Islam, but I didn’t know that some of them believe that white people were created by a mad scientist…or something? care to elaborate?

  348. Just watched Midnight Run again. I might start smoking again.

  349. earlier in the morning I watched the Gene Wilder movie The Woman In Red

    pretty good, but not very memorable other than how damn hot Kelly LeBrock is, it’s essentially a much milder version of 10

    what’s interesting though, is it’s also yet another example of an 80’s PG-13 movie that would be R today, I mean you freakin’ see LeBrock’s bush for a second, I’d like to see THAT pass in a modern PG-13 movie

  350. Paul- “Tawdry – the thing about that site (”That Guy with the Glasses”) is that it’s just relentless cynicism. Sometimes very well done, sometimes very funny, but they exist for the exact opposite reason that I come here (rather than finding great stuff that nobody knows about, they poke fun at bad stuff that’s easy to poke fun at).”
    I think largely you can say that, but mostly because they clearly pick out obviously bad stuff to make fun of, since that’s the most entertaining thing to do, but there’s also times when their less harsh in the summary when it’s warranted. I just watched the NC’s WATERWORLD review and he kinda sticks up for it. Sure he mocks it throughout the review and say it’s not a good movie, but overall it’s not especially terrible, just okay, and he’s honest about the stuff he likes in it. Not to mention there’s a number of positive pieces on stuff he DOES really like which aren’t as funny, but really thoughtfull. Btw, an affiliate of TGWTG, Spoony, makes February “Rebruary”/”Brown History Month” and reviews Reb Brown action movies, and did a pair of funny videos for CAGE and CAGE 2, which co-starred Lou Ferrigno and were set in the world of underground fighting and seemed pretty hilariously bad.

  351. INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT NEWS:

    Foxy Shazam releases a new LP in January! I am so excited for this. First single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq3hyX99nbg&feature=player_embedded

    Donno if that’s awesome, offensive, offensively awesome or awesomely offensive. But I like it…a lot.

  352. oh shit you guys, I’m not feeling good today

    my head has been stuffy for the past two days and today I wake up and I’m dizzy as fuck

    I hope I’m not getting the flu, I haven’t had my shot yet

    I got the flu 4 years ago in the fall of 2007 and it knocked me on my ass for about a month, it’s not something I want to go through again

    of course when I first got the flu I felt like I was getting a cold first, the dizziness came later

    well, here’s hoping I feel better later

  353. No, not ricin. It’s lily of the valley. Kids eat the red berries all the time and then get sick.

  354. (I hope someone out there gets that reference).

  355. Heh. Good.

  356. Stu – I agree, but that’s kinda my problem. Yes, he can give a new perspective on a “bad” movie. My problem is that that is pretty much ALL he does. I’ll watch his videos (and some of the other reviewers on that site) and enjoy them, but I have to take it in small doses.

    Tawdry – I don’t know where you live, but I feel depressed on your behalf. Not to say that we don’t have racism over here (there’s enough issues with Eastern European immigration unfortunately) and there are DEFINITELY class divides still. But the kind of stuff you’re talking about? Heck no.

    Hell, the last three Doctor Who “companions” before Amy Pond all had interracial relationships. (Donna Noble had several.) Plus you have pretty strong hints of homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, and in at least two cases that I can think of, inter-species breeding. (Come to think of it, they were all going at it like rabbits on that show.) And you can’t get much more mainstream than that.

  357. Yeah, the recent review of James and the Giant Peach was really annoying. It was like he was purposefully misreading metaphors. Yes, a giant rhino comes and kills James’ parents. Yes, it makes no sense. But he’s an 8-year old boy, how is death supposed to make sense to him? It was probably a car crash, but it might as well have been a giant rhinoceros for all the sense that random, meaningless tragedy has. It’s a very potent moment in an admittedly uneven film and instead of considering the larger context, the Nostalgia Critic just makes fun of it for like 10 minutes without considering the how or why.

  358. Hey guys, can ya’ll do me a favor right quick? I’m applying to a bunch of screenwriting masters programs right now. I have good letters of recommendation and my GRE verbal scores are about 100 points higher than the average acceptance score for most Ivy league schools, but since these programs are very competitive, (my first choice accepts 7 students a year), my writing samples are really going to make the difference. I’m submitting a feature I wrote, but since that is a very mainstream action movie with a near-triple digit body count, I wanted to juxtapose it with some more personal and intimate work.

    Could you guys look at one or both of these slam poems I wrote and tell me if you think they might count against me because of their racy content?

    They’re each under 4 minutes and they’re not ‘poem-y’ poems. Thanks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu5b7aDC0wM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF6pY3BdlZs&feature=mfu_channel&list=UL

  359. “Yeah, the recent review of James and the Giant Peach was really annoying. It was like he was purposefully misreading metaphors. Yes, a giant rhino comes and kills James’ parents. Yes, it makes no sense. But he’s an 8-year old boy, how is death supposed to make sense to him? It was probably a car crash, but it might as well have been a giant rhinoceros for all the sense that random, meaningless tragedy has.”
    Or it was literally a giant rhinoceros, because it was just that kinda movie, and based on a Roald Dahl book, so not exactly bound by chains to ironclad realism.

  360. So, Vern, I have to ask: have you had any run-ins with Phoenix Jones, the street vigilante? I’m not sure what part of Seattle you’re in, but I figure you must’ve heard about him.

    Every time I see a video clip of him, it’s just so surreal. Like this one:
    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/10/10/phoenix-jones-attacked-by-stilletto-the-full-arrest-video/

    I’m pretty sure the guy’s gonna get murdered at some point. Opinions aside, I think the guy’s heart is in the right place, but whether he’s actually helping or not? I honestly don’t know.

  361. Anthony – No, I’ve never seen him. In the pictures he kind of looks like a weird security guard/MMA dude I’ve talked to before. I was hoping it was him but when I heard an interview it definitely wasn’t the guy’s voice. Unless he normally has a deep voice and fakes a nerdy one as sort of a reverse Batman move.

  362. Is his sidekick a juggalo?

    “I have body armor, so I’m okay.”

    “Are they, are they getting guns?”

    This guy seems like a real dweeb and his camera man is so bad that he should be working for Michael Bay.

  363. Vern:

    That would be awesome if you discovered his secret identity.

    Tawdry:

    He is kind of an easy target to poke fun at, but apparently he has helped a few people. It’s kinda nice to see someone actually trying to help their neghborhood, like Andre 3000 when he was on the Shield. Sadly Jones’s story will probably end the same way.

  364. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    October 11th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Got the Turtles Blu-ray set in the mail today (finally), and watched the first two tonight. The second one has a brief Michael Jai White performance. Who knew? Does this mean Vern is obligated to review this? Anyway, the first Turtles flick is still pretty good. The second is also a lot of fun, though the Vanilla Ice climax may be the low point of capitalism. A brief insert shot of David Warner doing the Ninja Rap dance in said sequence may be the low point of humanity.

  365. Tawdry Hepburn – I hated the Nostalgia Critic’s review of James and The Giant Peach and I love that movie

    “YA KNOW THEY NEVER DID CATCH THAT RHINO!”

  366. Tawdry, I don’t think either will count against you for their content. They both tend to objectify women, although they come from a perspective that is not supposed to be admirable, and that might count against you.

    The second has audio / video sync issues that might count against you.

    They’re both good, though!

  367. Okay…so I’ve just finished watching a screener for The Woman, directed by Lucky McKee…and man that’s a fucked up film – in a good way. it’s all messed up, but somehow has that hipness that Donnie Darko had the first time you saw it. Just trying to get my thoughts straight so i can write up a review.

  368. Yeah, I would submit them in text form. I just did it as a video so that I wasn’t asking you guys to read a couple thousand words.

    The sync issue one has 2 more chapters and it gets…darker. Considerably so and ends with self critique about the objectifying elements of chapter one.

    However, I don’t see exactly what is objectifying about Anhedoina. I’m not saying you’re wrong, because lord knows I misread most of my own material until years after the fact. Can you elaborate a bit?

    In any case, I usually write from the perspective of a character who is a slightly more naive and a vastly more verbose version of my real self. They are stories that are 100% true and 100% accurate, (any quotes I use in a poem always are taken directly from real life), but I have a fictionalized version of myself at the center.

  369. I tried to watch one of Nostalgia Critic’s reviews and lasted about a minute before I couldn’t take it anymore. It just reeked of smarmy nerdisim. Maybe his review of Simon Sez was the wrong one to start off with but if his other reviews are even remotely like that I’ll pass.

  370. Try Congo or Double Team. Those two are great. His early stuff was way better, he’s settled into a rut of snide faux-superiority of late.

  371. You know, I originally went there for the Double Team review but the younger hotter sister Simon Sez lured me away. I guess I should’ve stuck with the one who brought me.

  372. Music isn’t usually the topic of discussion here, but I thought I should share this for those who care.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIZm11T49yA&feature=related

    They have songs with actual music in it, but the lyrics in this song were so good I figured it best that I post this version. If you get a chance to see Listener, it might just change your life. It changed mine. Plus the guys in the band are two of the nicest people on the planet.

  373. I’ll give the nostalgia critic this – his review of “Independance Day” was the funniest example of that type of humour I think I’ve ever come across. Included is a sample of what Bill Pullman’s speech might’ve been like if it had taken place on “Talk like a Pirate” day instead. Oh, and “Stephanie”. That was ridiculous. Actual quote: “Was it because I slept with your fifty thousand sisters? Hey, they came onto me!”

    My other faves – “Congo”, “Twister”, and “The Room”, just for the seahorses.

    Not a fan of that type of “review” but I give him this – on his best days he does it better than most.

  374. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    October 12th, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Fuck you guys so hard for making me waste roughly 20 mins watching that Nostalgia Critic talk me through Double Team. Not a sharp observation to be found, and never witty, though the Nerd seems to think he’s hilarious at every turn. I agree with ThomasCrown when he said “It just reeked of smarmy nerdisim”. Jesus Christ I got depressed watching that shit. Why would anyone EVER act like that in front of their webcam and put it on this thing we call the internet? This is almost as embarrasing as that girl/boy/thing asking us to leave Britney alone, and Ginger Kid. At least the latter was funny, and managed to get imitated by Eric Cartman.

    Just had to get this out. Sorry, but the past 20 mins have been painful. I think I might have come across this “Critic” before, but have seemingly supressed it. Hope I manage to forget this one, too. Also, Double Team is crazy fun. How can you spend 20 minutes reviewing it, and not once mention that strange Tsui Hark creativity, yet crave for more Dennis Rodman. Strange times we live in.

  375. That’s exactly what I talked about in here several days ago. Too many Haha-I’m-so-funny-and-sarcastic critics on the web, not enough Verns. I really wish that at least some of the people, who spend so much time with writing and filming reviews, wouldn’t waste it with lame “Seagal is fat”, “Damn you, George Lucas” or “Alex Winter is not a star” cynicism, and instead would try to proof to the world that they really like watching movies.

  376. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    October 12th, 2011 at 3:30 am

    I agree. Nothing is easier than making fun of something for no particular reason, referring to things taken out of their contexts. It’s even easier when you have the status quo on your side. I generally prefer a sympathetic approach to criticism, which is why I enjoy the stuff Vern does. Also, he is actually funny and capable of making sharp observations.

  377. Waidyaminute. WHO. THE. FUCK. CLAIMED THAT ALEX WINTERS WASN’T A STAR?!

    Time to form a Lynch Mob? Not, like, hip-hop related. Though, I suppose we would probably end up discussing the relative merits of WU-Tang Clan’s various creative periods along the way.

    And…er…you know what? I really should refrain from using “Lynch” and “Clan” in the same sentence, regardless of the fact that neither one is spelled properly in context.

  378. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    October 12th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Chapter 5 of the John McClane saga now has a title. It’s – wait for it – A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. Haha. It comes out on February 14, 2013. A thursday.

  379. CJ – I think there’s a place for that sort of thing, but I agree with you, although I’d put it in a different way: I like Vern’s site because it gives me a chance to discover great stuff that I would never have noticed otherwise. Not something that you could ever say about “That Guy with the Glasses” and his reviewers.

    Ok, so I’ve done a pretty in-depth review of “Troll Hunter”, mostly focussing on the ending. Chiefly because I enjoyed the majority of the film but the ending had me pulling my hair out. This is a screwup of “28 Days Later” proportions. Except it’s worse.

    If you’re interested – and being spoiled for “Dawn of the Dead”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Rogue”, “28 Days Later”, Cloverfield”, “Blair Witch Project” and “The Thing” doesn’t faze you – then check it out: http://outlawvern.com/2011/09/03/trollhunter/#comment-1440685

  380. Rudolf – I’m so glad you pointed that out. I thought that if it had been a Friday or a Wednesday, it would’ve sucked; but thank God it’s actually a Thursday! ;-)

  381. A Good Day To Die Hard. Christ. Next up: To Live & Die Hard In LA. 8 million ways to die hard. To die hard for. Never say Die Hard. Princess Di Hard.

  382. Jimbolo – I would pay good money to see “Princess Di Hard”.

  383. For fuck’s sake what exactly is wrong with just…. DIE HARD 5?!? and why do they always keep increasing the fucking scale? it was a forgiven novelty for DHWAV because it started out as another project altogether but international McClane now?!? like really?

    We loved DH cause it was an NYC cop doing his thing in ONE LOCATION.

    DIE HARD still remains a trilogy and trilogy only to me even if I’m not that fond of DH2 at least it seemed consistent with the original. I didn’t hate 4 as much as most I found it to be the only watchable thing Len Wiseman ever directed but at the same time I think it’s telling that I never rushed out to buy it either. Still haven’t seen the cut without “Yippie Ki Yay Mother*gunshot*!!!”

  384. Broddie – I still refuse to acknowledge that ANY of the sequels are related in any way to the original film. It descended into self-parody about twenty minutes into #2 when McClane “humorously” comments something like: “Can’t believe this shit happens to the same guy twice!” and never once manages to ascend out of it.

  385. A Good Day to Die Hard is a superb title.

  386. A superb title for a film THAT SHOULD NEVER BE MADE. Let us not forget this point.

    Remember my definition of movie hell? (Not the one where Jessica Alba is constantly heard but never seen, my OHER definition of movie hell.) A place where Bruce Willis never does anything but endless Die Hard sequels. There’s a reason for that, guys! This film is an abomination. It stands no chance of being good. If it were a baby it should be strangled at birth.

    Now talking of which, get “The Expendables: 2” over here…

  387. I’m thinking maybe a better title might be A GROUNDHOG DAY TO DIE HARD because we keep repeating the same goddamn conversation every time anyone even thinks about mentioning any of the DIE HARD sequels.

  388. What about them star wars prequels though? Damn, they sucked.

  389. I have also heard that there was a substantial drop-off in quality when Joel Shumacher was handed the keys to the BATMAN franchise.

  390. Not fond of the title, but I guess it sorta makes sense. I mean the other days were bad days to die hard. Think about it. In part 1, he was barefoot, part 2 had lots of inclimate weather, part 3 he was hungover, and part 4 had lots of holiday traffic.

  391. I wonder who they’ll get to play the son and if Willis is going to continue to seem more Joe Hallenbeck than John McClane.

  392. Oh and Paul DH2 is still better than EXECUTIVE DECISION, SUDDEN DEATH, UNDER SIEGE, PASSENGER 57, Harlin’s own CLIFFHANGER etc. IMO

    All DH knock offs that I enjoyed and own but just don’t come off as slick as DH2 did. I like DH2 for the same reason you hate it; it almost comes across as a parody of the original. Everything is much more over the top like now McClane actually LIVES in LA a place he originally hated, more over the top but well crafted action scenery, the plot twists etc.

    I think the only DH knock off I liked more than DH2 was SPEED. I guess it helps that I first watched it when I was a kid cause I never viewed DH2 as anything more than solid entertainment

  393. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    October 12th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    How about the Anna Nicole Smith vehicle SKYSCRAPER?

  394. I have never seen all of Die Hard 2, but I quite enjoyed Die Hard 3 and even have a soft sport for Die Hard 4. I know that admitting this is a moral sin around these parts, but it was fun. I enjoyed how incredibly far over the top it went.

    Also, the title would be even better if it were It’s a Good Day to Die Hard.

  395. But John Moore’s “best” film is still “Behind Enemy Lines”. Think about that…this man’s best film is an action vehicle starring Owen Wilson.

  396. I’m trying to look on the bright side here, so maybe that was the problem? Maybe Owen Wilson was what held BEHIND ENEMY LINES back. Maybe it would have totally rocked if John McClane had been in it for some reason.

    Now there’s a great title: DIE HARD FOR SOME REASON. It’s closer to the truth, and I personally don’t have a problem with that.

  397. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD would be worth it as a title if it means that he’s fighting Klingons. I’m not mad because it’ll probably just be DIE HARD 5 over here (the last one was just DIE HARD 4.0).

    “I like Vern’s site because it gives me a chance to discover great stuff that I would never have noticed otherwise. Not something that you could ever say about “That Guy with the Glasses” and his reviewers.”
    I’m not going to say anything else on the subject after this, because I respect other people’s tastes and what not, but that’s not factually accurate. They often DO do pieces on stuff like, like I said. There was a whole piece he did on SISKEL AND EBERT AT THE MOVIES, which I really liked…despite the fact as a brit, those two are virtually unknown over here and I’ve never seen their show barring a few reviews on YT. And the “smarmy nerdism” people are talking about is pretty obviously intentional because the Nostalgia Critic is a character Doug Walker plays, not his real self. He’s meant to be an overopinionated, hyperbolic idiot. It’s part of the persona. But he does videos just as himself where you can see the difference. Like he recently did this piece on his 20 favourite tv shows:
    http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/specials/32657-dougs-favorite-tv-shows
    He’s nothing but positive and praising them, going into much detail why and as a completely normal guy. I can’t speak in general about the rest of the reviewers, because I’ve only seen so much and mostly of the NC, but I imagine the impression you might get judged off the NC videos alone might be inaccurate, and I do recall seeing someone else there doing a piece on Turkish remake of STRAW DOGS, and not a “Turkish Star Wars” type remake, but a serious adaptation that brought in more of a political angle to the story due to instability of the region at the time. No doubt if I looked more I’d come up with more examples, but I don’t want to belabour the point.

  398. Isn’t Straw Dogs already pretty political?

  399. Was DO NOT DIE HARD INTO THAT GENTLE NIGHT taken, then?

  400. Clever reference, Jam. Good poem too. But a step too far, methinks. Perhaps “A Hard and Well Lighted Death”?

  401. Broddie – don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate DH2. It’s the only one of the sequels that I think actually works as a movie, although DH4 (for all of its oft-despised lameness) has its moments. I didn’t hate any of the Die Hard sequels, as films (well, maybe the second half of “Die Hard 3”, which pretty much squandered any goodwill the first part had earned the moment Hans Gruber’s less interesting younger brother limped onscreen.) I just think that “Die Hard” was one of the best straight action/suspense movies ever (we’re all agreed on that, right?) and it annoys me that these vastly inferior films are shitting on its legacy. Yeah, they can’t sully the original, but how many of the new generation of film watchers would hear “Die Hard” and think “Oh, that’s the film where Maggie Q plays the ninja chick who beats up Justin Long, right?”

    As for your list though: “EXECUTIVE DECISION, SUDDEN DEATH, UNDER SIEGE, PASSENGER 57, Harlin’s own CLIFFHANGER.”

    I liked “Executive Decision” but they’re obviously completely different films, despite the “captives in confined space related to air travel” thing, so I don’t feel as though I can properly say which one is “better”. “Sudden Death” – yeah, that was pretty crap. Even Van Damme beating the shit out of a hermaphrodite in a giant sports mascot costume wasn’t enough to save it. “Under Siege” – This one was ok, chiefly because of Gary Busey; but although I don’t think it works as well as DH2 does, I think the tone of the film is very, very different. So again, I find it difficult to say which film is “better”. “Cliffhanger” – yeah, that one’s a boring mess. Stallone is boring, Lithgow just looks bored, and despite some classic lines (“We’re in bed now, tied at the hip!”) I could never get into this film.

    But “Passenger 57”? “Die Hard 2” is better than this? Really? Oh yeah, on paper DH2 is clearly the better movie if you care about little things like cinematic language and storytelling and character etc. But you CANNOT deny the sheer fantastic awsome crapness of “Passenger 57”. Random ferris wheel fight? Elizabeth Hurley as a terrorist? The hammiest villain since “Toy Story”‘s evil baron Pork Chop? Come on, “Passenger 57” sets a new standard in awesome bad moviemaking. In fact I’d be tempted to call it one of the most entertaining bad films ever, if I han’t seen “Double Dragon: The Movie”. That’s the level we’re dealing with here!

  402. Stu – I remember the bit about Siskel and Ebert. And yeah, it was a good tribute. But 1) we never got them over here (in the UK) anyway, and 2) even without having seen their show when it came out, do they REALLY count as obscure greatness? Everybody knows who they are! Same with his favorite TV shows – hell, I’m not even American and I’ve seen most of ’em. I grew up with “The Simpsons” for instance.

    So it’s not ALL making fun of bad movies or pop culture, but the most popular stuff is. Most of the nostalgia critic, TitS, the nostalgia chick, etc, are basically looking at bad films or TV programs or pop music or stage shows etc and trying to put a new “spin” on them. And when they do do something good, it’s generally something that everyone KNOWS is good.

    Off the top of my head, the only review I can remember that showed a great film you guys might not have heard of was Welshy’s review of “Twin Town”, and the only reason I remember that review is because he not only shows my home town, but many places that I’m frequently at. Problem is: 1) the review itself is not worth watching, it’s basically a summary of the plot, so all it does is spoil the movie for you without giving any real insights into what makes it work, and 2) Is “Twin Town” REALLY that obscure? I know it’s a Brit-flick set in my home town of Swansea, but it’s not the kind of film that I’d expect most of you guys to say “never heard of it”.

  403. Twin Town is awesome. Except the part with that guy on LSD shagging a sheep.

  404. DNA – agreed. It’s a Welsh movie though, you gotta get sheep-shagging in there somehow. It’s the law. The BFC won’t grant funding to a Welsh film unless some kind of ovine fornication is involved.

  405. Though hardly a great film, Jet Li’s DIE HARD parody HIGH RISK (aka MELTDOWN) is notable for pissing off Jackie Chan. Director Wong Jing had worked with Chan on CITY HUNTER, a film Chan later disowned; the character Frankie in HIGH RISK is Wong’s retalitory depiction of Chan as a drunken womanizer who doesn’t really perform his own stunts.

    The title that was given to DIE HARD for its release in Hong Kong translates as TIGER’S BRAVERY & DRAGON’S MIGHT. I’m going to assume that Bruce is the Tiger and Gruber is the Dragon. Kind of funny to think of Gruber as a Dragon.

    Proposed Hong Kong title for DH3: TIGER’S BRAVERY, DRAGON’S BROTHER’S REVENGE & SIDEKICK’S SASSBACK.

  406. Cliffhanger is my favorite Sylvester Stallone film, also think Sudden Death is one of the better Van Damme film. Not as good as Universal Soldier and Hard Target, but up there with his fie best.

    With the exception of the Blade films, Passenger 57 is one of the more watchable theatrical Wesley Snipes action films. Better then Drop Zone, Murder At 1600 and Money Train.

    I’m also one of them who like Under Siege 2 better then the first, because I feel he got more personal stake in that his niece is a hostage. In the first their is no personal stakes.

    I’m also one of them who think Die Hard With A Vengeance is the second best Die Hard film, mostly because Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis have great chemistry, but it also have some nice set pieces and chasing the train scene was something new to the Die Hard series.

  407. I must say I think Cliffhanger is the third best Die Hard/Die Hard-rip off after Die Hard and Die Hard 3. I have started to rotate Cliffhanger in my blu-ray player as much as Die Hard. I watch Die Hard at least a couple of times a year, while Cliffhanger at least once. Surprisingly I never owned Die Hard 3 on DVD, so that was the main reason I got the Die Hard boxset on blu-ray.

    Really like Die Hard 2. The Skyline shoot out is classic, but I don’t think the third act is that awesome. After the skyline shootout the action gets a little weaker.

    I think Die Hard is only one that really have a kick ass final. All the other kinda have little disappointing third act. Die Hard series have never with the exception of the first one, saved the best for last.

  408. Ghost – you pick CLIFFHANGER over UNDER SIEGE? Jesus UNDER SIEGE was better than any of the DIE HARD sequels, and I liked them all.

    As for DH numero uno…it goes without saying, its a genuine classic. Good touches upon good touches, all snowball together into a classic. Maybe thats what people misread about that success. It wasn’t about strictly following a formula and just add a cool car chase or explosions or good one-liners. They matter, but what about those bits of the European terrorists in the moment chatting to each other in their foreign tongues, without stupid subtitles telling us what we could already summize?

    Come to think of it, I’ve always had the observation that unlike all the other clones of that archetype, one thing about Alan Rickman in DH stood out. I always had the impression that character for years or however long he first thought up the heist plan then put everyone and everything together bit by bit, he probably rehearsed his big moments and speeches and threats. They all reek necessarily just a baddie smug in his superiority (which he is), but theatrical in every moment to a T.

    And all fucked because of some asshole from MOONLIGHTING.

  409. so did you guys hear about that Austin Powers actor who was convicted for gang raping a woman on Christmas eve in 1990 and has now murdered his prison cellmate?

    it’s NOT Mike Meyers by the way

  410. Did you hear about the 40-Year Old Virgin co-star who stabbed his girlfriend 18 times after he caught her with another man?

    Not Seth Rogen, by the way.

  411. I wonder if there exist a person named Cliff Hanger? What an awesome name to have…..

  412. Did you hear about the plot for TAKEN 2? Apparently it’s about Liam Neeson and Famke Janssen getting kidnapped by the father of one of the bad guys from part 1 and Maggie Grace has to free them. Don’t know what to think of that.

  413. Dude, I totally suggested that like year ago. I even came up with a title: TAKEN 2: MISS TAKEN.

    Hollywood, feel free to PayPal me.

  414. Ghost – you think “Cliffhanger” is better than “First Blood”, “Rocky”, “Rocky 2”, “Rocky 4”, “Demolition Man”, “Stop! Or my mom will shoot”, “Get Carter” or “Judge Dredd”? (Ok, I may have thrown those last three in there to keep you on your toes.) I gotta say, that’s… unconventional.

    And people say I’m the one with weird curveball opinions…

    Also on the subject of my weird curveball opinions, “Drop Zone” is the one Snipes film I keep coming back to again and again. TOTALLY underrated film. I don’t think it’s necessarily as good as “Blade” or “Demolition Man”, but I’ve watched it a lot more and I still enjoy it. I think it’s a great, tight little thriller that doesn’t do that much but does what it does extremely well.

  415. Oh, and in film news that comes under the heading of “mildly interesting” to anybody who doesn’t have a minor obsession about body-horror, like I do: AICN has its first “The Thing” prequel review up.

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51597

    My thoughts… well, this one was like “Scream 4”, there was zero chance I was ever not going to see it, no matter what the reviews were like. The review is about what I expected it to be. Never thought it’d be as good as Carpenter’s “The Thing”, my only hope was that they wouldn’t completely fuck it up. And they don’t seem to have done that, according to “Capone”, so, yay!

  416. so guys, what are your thoughts on In Time? I wasn’t all that interested until I read that Andrew Niccol wrote and directed it (aka the Truman Show and Gattaca guy), so that actually has me intrigued

    plus, I’m a sucker for Logan’s Run esque sci fi stories (heck, I was one of the few people other than Vern that saw The Surrogates)

  417. by the way, I just read on Wikipedia that Penn and Teller: Bullshit was canceled

    I don’t know if anyone else watched that show, but I did and for a long time too, I’m pretty saddened to hear it’s over

  418. So I just watched CENTURION. Watch it, Vern. It’s a nice, simple men-on-the-run movie. Not as good as Marshall’s first two films, but definitely a well made B-movie.

  419. CJ – on TAKEN 2….well, why not? It could work, you could be given nice ideas to play with that dramatic scenario. It’s worth a shot. Bette than simply remaking the first movie again, which is what way too many sequels (good and bad) do. My suggestion I posted here months back, would’ve been setting the sequel in Colombia, and Neeson going from bodyguard-for-hire and his ass wakened up as an advisor/avenger on kidnappings. And good knows if we Americans know anything about Colombia, its kidnapping*.

    Zombie Paul – So the THING prequel is just merely watchable? YAWN. I think I’ll skip that and wait for it on TV, the home of “merely watchable.” Good movies are worth paying the money to see them.

    RE: DROP ZONE – That’s a mixed bag of a movie for me, but I get where you’re coming from. It starts off as being rather generic and too run of the mill, but second half…it actually becomes a pretty fun actioneer. We should debate sometime movies that start out bad, but turned out good.

    Griff – It might be watchable, but the fact Justin Timberlake is the lead, that movie is gonna choke on a dick and die on opening weekend. In a way, I’m wildly reminded of DAYBREAKERS in that it looked rather skippable in its marketable, but turned out to be one of the better John Carpenter movies that John Carpenter was never involved with. Of course DAYBREAKERS was rewarded for being good by bombing. Good horror movies don’t make money, that’s what Hollywood has apparently learned for the most part in recent years.

    RE: BULLSHIT! getting cancelled- That is a tragedy. I guess two guys using humor, facts, and common sense to destroy bullshit public notions just doesn’t reach the key demographics.

    *=(and coke.)

  420. RRA – Justin Timberlake is the only reservation I have about the movie as well, but hey, I don’t completely hate the guy, I’m just not a fan, but I haven’t seen a movie in theaters since Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark and I’m kinda in the mood for going to the theater again

    and yeah, I’m really gonna miss Bullshit, my favorite thing about that show was how Penn and Teller would have random naked men and women on there any chance they could for no reason other than they could because it was on Showtime

    now they have a show on the Discovery Channel, how fucking lame

  421. Penn and Teller’s Bullshit was a very entertaining show, but it engaged in many of the same logical fallacies they criticized. They had a very specific political bent. Not that that’s inherently wrong, but it limited their scope.

    Also, Timberlake is a promising actor. Roger Deakins shot In Time and it looked cool when I visited the set.

  422. RRA (on “Thing” prequel) – Normally I’d agree, there are very few movies that I’d go into knowing that they’d probably not be that good. This just happens to be one of them, and it’s because it’s part of the genre that really interests me the most. Subjective opinion #1.

    As for “Drop Zone”, I know I like that movie more than a lot of people do, and not just the second half of it. I dunno, maybe it’s because I’ve skydived a few times myself, but something about it just rings a bell with me. Subjective opinion #2.

    I love “Bullshit”, with a few minor reservations. In their program about gun control they don’t even address the main point that a lot of gun-control advocates make (which is that in many cases people become criminals because they have guns, they don’t have guns because they intend to commit a crime). What they do cover, though, is frequently hilarious and thought provoking. I’m sorry that the show’s been cancelled but I have to ask: how much more bullshit topics could they possibly find? In practically every season since #2 they’ve had a few that have been “scraping the bottom of the barrel”. I mean, designer pets and lawns?

  423. Oh, and I think we can all agree that random naked people are good. Unless they’re particularly wrinkly.

  424. On the other hand RRA…

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51589

    Craaaaaaaaaaaap.

  425. I’ve only just found out about Bruce Willis having his own perfume/colonge made for him. Has Vern mentioned this before? If not, I’d suggest that as the man who reviewed Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt Energy Drink, he’s obligated to review the fragrance of Bruce as well, in the interests of fairness.

  426. so guys, I just got through watching the Kathryn Bigelow movie Blue Steel and it was great

    so far the only Bigelow movie I’ve seen is Near Dark and I feel it’s overrated, but I liked this one a lot better

    I just love late 80’s/early 90’s movies like this, especially when they’re set in New York or other urban settings (like LA or Chicago), there’s something about the cinematography of the era that really captures a gritty feel, unlike a lot of today’s shot in digital movies where the backgrounds might as well be blue screen for how real they look

    it’s a very well made thriller, I was in fact quite thrilled during some scenes, I especially love the Brad Fiedel score

    and man Jamie Lee Curtis is hot, she has just the right mix of “momish” looks and hotness, she’s the kind of woman who you want to bake cookies with as well as have sex with, in fact you could even say she was the original “MILF”

    I guess I should check out Point Break next

  427. wait a minute, I did see K-19: The Widowmaker, but I don’t remember much about it

  428. Ok, just saw “Drive” and have written a little on it in Vern’s review thread. Suffice to say: enjoyed it, not as good as “Kill List” but has a better ending, but what the FUCK is up with all the eighties movie stuff? What with the multicoloured cars, the villain with his own collection of knives, the lead female having a husband in jail, etc… heck, all it needed were about ten thousand more guns and a little less post-production polishing and it would’ve been indistinguishable stylistically from something like “Lethal Weapon” or “48 Hours”. What’s up with that?

  429. I seriously dreamed a good movie trailer today. I kid you not. This is what I dreamed! (although of course it was a little bit more surreal and less cinematic in my dream, but whatever)

    It started in a prison. A dark and stormy night. Some old mafia boss was sitting in his cell, until some guards took him out. They walked through a small unguarded backdoor (Hey, it’s a dream. I know that real prisons probably don’t have small unguarded backdoors!) outside, where a limousine was waiting. One of the people in the car came out with a huge suitcase of money, handed it to the guards, everybody was happy. The corrupt guards had lots of money and the mafia boss was free.
    The suddenly Jason Vorhees appeared, killed everybody and walked through the backdoor into the prison.

    Don’t know about you, but I would love to see a FRIDAY THE 13th movie, where a bunch of prisoners has to fight Jason.
    (As the dream progressed, Freddy Kruger also showed up and killed Nicky Minaj by turning her feet into razor blades. Don’t know what killed her. She just dropped dead. But hey, it was a dream.)

  430. So anyways, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzman and JOhnny Knowville are going to be in Kim Ji Woon’s THE LAST STAND with Arnie.

  431. Why all the Justin Timberlake hate? I mean, he was good in The Social Network. I liked him in Alpha Dog. What all else has he been in? I’m not saying he’s great or has elevated a mediocre movie to something great, but I don’t think I’ve seen him drag anything down either. He’s like Leo to me. He’s good enough and I don’t understand the hate he gets.

    Also, fuck Penn and Teller. Motherfucking “libertarians” fucking try to pose themselves as being logical and reasonable while lying or using logical fallacies. Penn and Teller are full of bullshit and are nothing but capitalist stooges. Seriously, they exist to appeal to well meaning liberals who get too focused on gay marriage or legalizing pot to realize that these motherfuckers just want to destroy the government and rape the land for money.

    The thing about Penn and Teller is that they have to know. I mean, they’re Objectivists and have drank the Kool Aid but they have to fucking know. Their episode on NASA? Bullshit. It was just lame attempts to try to say that private industry could do all the cool shit NASA could do because of ???

    But, yeah, fuck those guys. I understand that wealthy white dudes who got lucky in show business are probably going to have disgusting politics, but that doesn’t excuse their propaganda.

    (I met them in Vegas a year and a half ago. Nice guys. Even still, they need to fuck off.)

  432. Also, guys, since I could be perceived as being “angry” in my previous post I would like to apologize:
    http://teenagemutantninjanoses.tumblr.com/

  433. Scott Adkins just revealed on his Twitter that UNDISPUTED 4 is coming!

  434. YES! Hopefully in a story that has Boyka, Chambers and Turbo all together.

  435. I would just like to point out that for a sight dedicated to badass cinema, it`s sorely lacking some reviews of the films with one of cinemas greatest badasses Meiko Kaji. I know that Lady Snowblood is included in the list over greatest badass cinema, but where is the review? And what about Prisoner #701 aka Scorpion? I just rewatched the first 2 Prisoner #701 last night and it`s pure badass heaven.

  436. Hey Vern, I was seriously sure that you once reviewed VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, but for any reason I can’t find it anywhere here. Am I making shit up?

  437. so guys, what’s this I hear about the Iraq war being officially over?

  438. I don’t remember which of you guys recommended CROPSEY – there were at least a couple of you – but please accept my belated thanks for the recommendation. It’s a really well-constructed, thoughtful film. Very subtly creepy.

    Paul: Refn mentioned in an interview that he is familiar enough with what he considers the “iconic” films of the heist genre that DRIVE belongs to, stuff by Mann and Walter Hill, whose best work he feels was the late ’70s/early ’80s, for some of the aesthetic to have seeped into his film. He frames the issue as an inevitable effect of working in a genre that he appreciates, not as a deliberate homage.

  439. Griff: What I like about Obama telling everybody that by the end of the year all soldiers will be out if Iraq, is that he did it shortly after the Republicans blocked his rich man tax again. So this has a feeling of him, finally getting up and saying: “Fuck you, Republican voters. I won’t cater to you anymore, because you don’t give a shit anyway. So I take now one of your favourite toys away. Have a nice day!”

    I know, next week Obama will be in lame duck mode again, but it made me smile.

    Also say what you want about George W, but when he did wanted something, he just did it. I wish Obama would be like that too from time to time. (With his health care plans and stuff like that.)

  440. Last week it seemed everyone was mad that Obama was sending troops into Rwanda. I was also concerned when I heard about that, but then looked it up and it was 100 troops. Exactly 100 soldiers. 1 0 0. So the republicans were trying to make democrats mad that their president was starting more wars. This is a surgical mission, and one frankly that should have been done long ago.

    Plus, a lot of people would agree that going to war in Africa would be a far better use of our military resources than the middle east. I was kind of hoping he was saying, “Fuck it, I’m a one termer, let’s just take care of this African genocide shit.” Also, people know they kidnap children there, right?

  441. so guys, tonight I finally got around to watching the blu ray of the original Star Wars and this may sound strange, but Star Wars is fucking awesome

    I have not seen any of the movies in the original trilogy since 2002 when Attack of the Clones came out and that was on pan and scan VHS, so you can imagine how much my mind was blown by the blu ray

    after all the cynicism and negativity attached to Star Wars after the prequels it was amazing to go back and watch he original movie and be reminded of just how great it is

    however I also now understand why the special edition changes get so much hate, the 1997 era CGI looked butt ugly and stuck out like a sore thumb, it’s deliciously ironic that the 77 era effects look less dated than the 97 era ones

    however the flipside is that there’s very little in it (at least in the first movie anyway), it’s mostly just the original movie

  442. In the version you watched does Spock still shoot first?

  443. Mr Holden, I wish I could hold onto your belief that Obama is really one of us and really is far to the left. I’m just not seeing it. As far as I can tell he’s just another neoliberal who would have been a moderate Republican 15 years ago. His push for austerity measures and his half hearted attempt for real healthcare reform just leave a bad taste in my mouth. At least his foreign policy, outside of continuing to sell out the working class in America, is competent. I guess?

    Not that we have a choice in 2012, but man, I was hoping for so much better.

  444. Casey, I agree with you halfway. It’s possible that because you are American (you are American, right?) you probably see some stuff about Obama on the news, that isn’t important enough to make it into our newspapers, so I won’t deny that you might be more educated about this topic than me, but to me he just seems like an idealistic, fresh breath of air, whose dreams were crushed by the harsh reality.

    I do believe that Obama really wanted to change things and make everything better, but unfortunately he didn’t expect so much resistance from stupid people with more power. He tries to be the good guy, who wants to show the world after eight years of Bush (and eight of Clinton), that an American president doesn’t have to be a liar, cheater or even war criminal. Too bad that the GOP doesn’t think that way.

    It’s the age old comic book dilemma, if you ask me. In one corner the brave superhero, who can’t just beat the shit out of an unarmed burglar or shoot someone in the back while he is sitting on the crapper, because he wants to be better than them. And in the other corner we got the villains, who don’t care for honor or any kind of rules and maybe break into the hero’s mother’s house one day and kill her, just because they can.

    Sure, this seems to be a very black and white view on current American politics, but it’s how it comes across to me. Obama asks politely if he could do something nice for America and the world and the Republicans say “No! Go fuck yourself, we are counting our money!” before he has even finished the sentence. He could now just slap the money out of their hands and tell them that they have to do what the President Of The United States Of America wants them to do or at least do it behind their backs while they are distracted, but unfortunately he decides to do what he’s been told. And when he’s been asked later what he wanted to say, he just mumbles “Nah, it’s okay, it wasn’t important.”

    Like I said, I wish he would be at least a little bit more like George W., when it comes to carrying his point. Unfortunately he isn’t and that makes me as disappointed as you are. I do hope that he gets another term and is finally able to knock one out of the park this time, but I don’t believe it.

    Oh well. At least I sit here in Germany, where everything is fine, because our leaders reign this country with smart decisions and…oh. Shit. Uhm…at least the last few years have proved that you can fail at your job, even if you are black or a woman.

  445. I think there are two views that a person on the left can have about President Obama.

    1) He’s one of us! He wants universal healthcare, he wants to increases taxes on the rich, he wants to end the war in Iraq and close Gitmo, he wants to help the unemployed and those that are being crushed by outrageous student loans and mortgages! He wants to do all those things but the big bad Republicans are stopping him at every turn!

    2) If he actually believed in all those things why did he let Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House create the healthcare law? Seriously, that thing has no vision, has marginal improvements, and really only helps to serve special interests. Why is he so quick to give up on raising taxes on the wealthy? Why was the stimulus so small and consisted of almost half in tax cuts? Why is he so quick to try to cut Medicare and Social Security?

    I think you can tell by how I worded these where I stand.

    I was hoping for an epic 100 first days of the Obama Administration. I was hoping for a new FDR.

    I don’t know, it just seems to me that if he was a socialist that he should act like one since he will be called one by his opposition for everything he does anyway, so why not go for broke?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll vote for him again because the alternatives are too fucking scary. It just seems to me that the Republicans have gone so far to the right that they have managed to pull the Democrats with them. President Obama seems really similar to what a Bob Dole presidency would have looked like. We deserve better.

    (Yes, I’m an American. I grew up in Puerto Rico, though, but I’m a white dude with a curly-red Jewfro.)

  446. Also, I hope I did not come off as condescending. I apologize if I did. Mr Holden, you are one of my favorite people here because I find you insightful and funny. If I showed any disrespect I did so out of error on my part and I apologize.

  447. Don’t worry, it takes a lot to hurt my feelings (although the part about me being insightful and funny makes you sound sarcastic.*).
    Also I like that we can even discuss politics here and apologize afterwards, in case any feelings were hurt. Try to pull that on any other place on the internet and you will see what it means to be disrespected for your political views. I fear the day when this place will be flooded by trolls. (Which will happen sooner or later. Law of the internet.)

    *Just kidding. Although nobody has ever called me insightful before. Not even in real life.

  448. Jareth – thanks for that, the Refn interview does say exactly what I was thinking actually. I was SHOCKED that nobody had brought up the nostalgic “feel” of the movie before in reviews. I don’t bring it up as a negative, you understand (I very much liked the movie. Didn’t love it, wasn’t the best film of the summer, but still pretty good). Just something to explain the “throwback” aspect of it.

  449. For the people telling me to see the THING premaquel, I will probly wait until video. Of course I’m kind of curious but there’s almost nothing about it that appeals to me other than Joel Edgerton being in it. I don’t want to know what happened to the Norwegians, I especially don’t want to know that it was the same shit that happened to the Americans including the blood test. The whole concept of this movie even existing goes against the very nature of what’s great about Carpenter’s THE THING: that you don’t know exactly how this thing got loose or who it ends up in.

    Alot of people say that you can’t be bothered by them remaking Carpenter’s movie because his was a remake too. But to me that’s exactly why this one *is* frustrating. The lesson those people failed to learn from Carpenter’s remake is that you can remake a great movie and completely re-invent it and if you play your cards right your movie could be arguably better than the original in its own way. So to slavishly imitate it but not as good is more offensive than usual in this case.

    I’ve talked to people who saw it and the ones who were most positive about it still agreed with what I predicted months ago: surprisingly decent but never should’ve been made.

    So if I get to a theater soon it will probly be for Contagion, Moneyball or another one that you guys would look down on me for that is in 3D and is adapted from a famous candy bar.

  450. Actually, they don’t rip off the blood test in the premaquel. Instead, they have a much lamer, more arbitrary test, although I actually kind of liked how arbitrary and imperfect it was. There was potential for suspense, although they totally blow it.

    It’s a pretty dull movie. And I had no idea until now that you could be so slavishly faithful to another movie while still somehow not at all understanding what made the other movie good.

  451. That would be so weird if the test was a pap smear.

  452. Contagion is pretty solid, Vern! If you ever have a lazy Sunday and watch the Science Channel or Discovery they sometimes have these dramatizations of meteors hitting the earth or something else. Contagion is like a big budget version of a Science Channel dramatization. It’s only missing a voiceover from Edward Herman. I liked it a lot.

  453. The new Thing is of course a big deal here in Norway, with half a dozen of our best known actors fighting this…eh, thing. I haven’t seen it yet, but it has gotten pretty decent reviews in all the major newspapers here and some of the actors have apparently already been contacted by Hollywood agents. So I guess there will be some new faces playing Russian villains next year, or something like that.

  454. Right now I’m in the 2nd half of season 3 of OZ. I think Schillinger Vs Beecher might be the greatest feud in the history of television!

  455. so last night I watched Empire Strikes Back on blu ray and is it me, or is that one the most overrated one?

    I seriously don’t get why it’s the “fan favorite”, I’ve even heard some people say it’s the ONLY Star Wars that’s actually good, huh?

    I’m not saying it’s bad, it has some great moments of course (like the whole “I am your father” scene), but a lot of it just kinda feels like filler to me, it’s overall kinda dull, it could use some more action in the middle I think

    that was what I thought as a kid and it’s still what I think as an adult, could someone maybe explain to me why it’s considered the best?

    also, I know discussing Star Wars is kinda taboo here, but just humor me

  456. I agree, Griff. The whole movie is about nothing and feels like the first act of a longer movie. Han, Leia & Co hide from the Empire and Luke is somewhere in a swamp and gets taught by a little green man (Nothing against Yoda, though). That’s pretty much the whole movie. The beginning of it, with Luke in the cave of the Wampa is just as unnecessary as the submarine stuff in Episode 1. Yeah, it kinda keeps Han from just leaving, but in the end he just didn’t leave because he had no permission to start and then stayed with the rebels, because he had to save the Princess. I don’t know. It’s entertaining, but it’s maybe the weakest of the original trilogy.

  457. I think many of the Star Wars Trekkies like Star Wars 2 the best because it’s the gloomiest, both in subject and in color scheme. It starts in the bleak cold, where they gotta murder their own pet and use its filthy germ-ridden corpse as shelter, and ends on a bummer with the hero (Luke I believe his name is) having lost a limb and learned information that changes his whole outlook on life and himself, in a shitty way.

    Taken on its own it’s open-ended, which is cool. We’re left imagining the outcome of the fight between good and evil or even what side the kid will be on at the end. Will he have to kill his own dad, who he literally sees as a reflection of himself when he was inside that cave? Will he be able to save his best friend, who’s been frozen into a chunk of rock, betrayed by the one upbeat new character from this installment? The fact that it doesn’t have to all be resolved before the credits roll gives it a chance to linger for mood and atmosphere and shit.

    Some people might mark it as their favorite for the sissy boy reason that “dude, it’s the dark one” and they’re rebelling against The Man by not liking happy endings. They definitely can’t say that Return of the Jedis is the best because they’re afraid of liking Ewoks. The only cute Star Warses that are socially acceptable to love are Jawas, Droids, Chewbaccas, Yodas, the hopping kangaroo things, Lando’s pigman slaves, mogwais and many other characters. Ewoks being cute as they attempt to roast Hans Solo alive Cannibal Holocaust style threatens their masculinity so they gotta go with Part 2, The Empire Strikes It Back.

    That might mean they’re stupid, but it doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Even to this day it’s rare for a fun space movie to both be well executed and have a serious, doomed sort of tone like this. Also, everybody loves a good training sequence, whether it involves “Eye of the Tiger,” carrying buckets of water up flights of stairs or doing a flip with a little green puppet man on your back. So it has that going for it.

  458. Hey Vern, did you see you got a shout-out in this Salon piece about Pauline Kael?
    http://www.salon.com/2011/10/27/pauline_kael_hero_or_hack/singleton/

    The part where they mention Vern:

    “The most recent crop of young film critics definitely have a touch of her style or outlook. They could not avoid it if they wanted to. Reading them, you might also detect bits and pieces of other critics who had an impact of some sort: Manny Farber, James Agee, Molly Haskell, Roger Ebert, Andrew Sarris, Francois Truffaut, even the borderline stand-up comedy-type reviewers like Anthony Lane, and Outlaw Vern and his spiritual godfather, Joe Bob Briggs. They all meant something to writers who came later. They had an impact, though perhaps not on the level of Kael who has been absorbed into the collective subconscious.”

    Kind of weird. I would not consider Vern to be “borderline stand-up comedy”.

  459. Yeah, I generally see writing as more of a sit-down kind of thing.

  460. Vern, you made me laugh my ass off

    and I don’t get the Ewok hate either, the fanboys say they are as annoying as Jar Jar, but come on, THEY NEVER TALK, just the fact that they never say anything makes it impossible for them to be as annoying as Jar Jar Binks

  461. And also doesn’t standup generally have an audio component to it.

  462. so guys, I just watched the Beavis and Butthead premiere and it was fucking hilarious

  463. Hell yeah, it was! They’re sharper and quicker than ever. I feel they packed more jokes into those commentary segments, and Beavis sounds more worldly. 14 extra years of Mike Judge’s satirical wisdom.

    But yeah, seeing the modern world through their eyes is a joy.

  464. Shit, that’s crazy. Thanks for telling me about that, Jek. When I started reading it I thought he was gonna say I was influenced by Pauline Kael, not that I was influencing other people. Yeah, I’ll take it. I’ll start standing in front of a brick wall while I type.

    I wonder when they start sending out the checks to us influential borderliners?

  465. Fred! I agree with you 100% I can not wait to see more episodes

    it’s the 90’s crashing headfirst into the modern day and I love it, I absolutely love it

    it almost makes me wonder if Mystery Science Theater 3000 is gonna get resurrected soon

  466. Nice to hear that my two favourite animated morons returned with a bang!

  467. Just the other day I caught a bit of that movie “One Night at McCool’s” on TV and remembered that I liked it quite a bit when it came out in 2001. Ever seen that one, Vern? I think Andrew Dice Clay is even in it, if I remember correctly. You have this 2001 ten year anniversary thing going on so maybe you should check it out.

  468. Wasn’t that Michael Douglas, sporting an Andrew Dice Clay look?
    I remember seeing it on TV a while ago and loving it until the last minute, which was just way too cynical for me.
    It’s also pretty amusing how one of the crucial plot points is about Liv Tyler desperately wanting a DVD Player. Today she could just get one for 30 Bucks, but man, 10 years ago they really were way more expensive and special!

  469. Douglas is in it too, as a hitman if I remember correctly. IMDB confirms Dice Clay has a part, but I think he only shows up late in the film…

  470. That cynical ending is another example of the black Norwegian humor that’s slowly working it’s way across the globe. Soon you won’t be able to take anything serriously anymore…

  471. Sorry about the extra R there. I work as a pirate on the side.

  472. I almost wonder if MTV bringing back Beavis and Butthead is a conscious decision by the network to try to not suck so hard

    maybe they’ll bring back Liquid Television next?

  473. Wait, wait, Majetyk explained this to me. I know the answer. The chewbaccas (who don’t do anything in the movies except cry and run away from the Car Battery Shaped Robots) are more fearsome and cool than the Ewoks (who inflict all sorts of damage on the those guys wearing white tupperware armour) because Harrison Ford made a remark in the first film about how a chewbacca could rip your arms off if he wanted to. So basically the chewbaccas have really good PR. Harrison Ford is like Flava Flav to the chewbaccas Professor Griff.

    Also, I read that Pop Up Video is coming back. And Mazzy Star. So it’s probably safe to say that ’90s nostalgia is underway.

  474. They could only get me to tune in if MTV brings back “Most Wanted” with Ray Cokes. But you Americans won’t know him I guess… Best thing they ever had (on MTV Europe).

  475. I think EMPIRE is far and away the best STAR WARS movie because it has the most awesome scenes and setpieces and the best character interaction, not because it’s dark, although I do enjoy a good downbeat ending. However, I also like Ewoks. They are willing to eat people without disrobing them or shaving them first, which is hardcore, they know a hot smoky-voiced brunette when they see one, and they sing an awesome victory song that includes them playing drums on the heads of their enemies. Ewoks rock. It’s a fact.

  476. I agree with Majestyk. We talk a lot about how ALIENS successfully brings new elements and a new sensibility to Ridley Scott’s premise; the second STAR WARS does that really well too. I think that the looser structure of the second STAR WARS is crucial to the success of the expansion of the characters and dilemmas introduced in the first film.

    Also noteworthy:

    – Luke’s visit to Club Silencio in the space swamp.
    – The big battle in the snow must be special because you never really notice how silly and impractical those mechanical dinosaurs are.
    – That tantalizling glimpse of Darth Vader’s noggin when he’s chilling out in his giant Kinder Surprise house.
    – All those pirate monsters that Darth Vader calls up to help him out; MGM would have made 20 movies using those guys (and their sons/brides). I wonder if they play space poker together on Friday nights. I bet Reptile Head Guy smokes cigars.
    – The big sad swoony music that is playing when you realize that there isn’t enough time left in the movie for them to thaw Harrison Ford.

    I also think that the city hanging in the sky is the most beautiful image the STAR WARSES ever came up with. And Mayor Dee Williams was a cool addition to the cast (at least up until he started wearing Harrison Ford’s clothes at the very end; that’s just creepy).

    Of course, I haven’t watched this film in 20 years, so I could be mistaken.

  477. You are not mistaken, Jareth. All of those things are true. EMPIRE also has the distinction of being the only film that was slightly improved by the special edition treatment. It doesn’t add any embarrassing new scenes, the backgrounds in Cloud City are a little fuller and more colorful, and the new shots of the snow monster clear up a problem I always had with it. In the original version, it’s unclear that Luke only cut off the monster’s arm, leaving it still a threat to him in his weakened state. That’s why he runs out of the cave. I always thought that he killed the beast, so I wondered why he didn’t just hunker down in the cave for the night and cook himself some yeti burgers over an open lightsaber.

    Also, EMPIRE taught me that the proper response when a girl tells you she loves you is “I know.” I said it the first time that happened to me and it worked like a charm.

  478. At the risk of being politely asked to move this conversation to the Nerd Shit thread, I think a very long list could be compiled of Crucial Life Lessons From STAR WARS.

    Like the importance of doing a background check on anyone you get intimate with ie. kissing sisters and/or killing fathers. Upside: you might be royalty.

    Majoring in over 6 million forms of communication in college will only get you shot to pieces and re-assembled backwards.

    The guy with the giant fish head is probably best qualified to recognize a trap when he sees one.

    If I’m struck down now I will only become more powerful than you can imagine.

    Also: always know the difference between a computer terminal and a power socket.

  479. Empire also actually fleshes out the Force more. The first movie just gives the basic gist of what the Force is and that there’s a good and bad side, and Darth Vader’s on the bad side. It’s very simplistic. Yoda actually tells Luke about how the Force seduces people and how it’s an easier path, and how people can turn to it not because they’re naturally evil, but just because they have a weakness and it can prey on their negative impulses. Vader is also shown to be someone who sees himself as the good guy because he wants to end the conflict and bring order the Galaxy, albeit by performing a coup on his boss. It also has Luke flat out told he can’t win a fight with Vader(itself a bit of a bold choice, saying the good guy can’t win just by virtue of being good) and has him going off anyway, making him more heroic, and making the fact he can get past the shock of the secret and be stronger for it show he’s passed a test and is ready for what he goes through in Jedi.

  480. I’m very glad they mentioned Vern and Joe Bob Briggs together.

  481. what if they’ve been the same person all along?

  482. so tonight I watched Return of The Jedi

    it was an absolute blast re-watching the original Star Wars trilogy after almost a decade, they’re just fun as hell movies, I’m not gonna say they’re quite on the same level as some of the Spielberg joints, like Jaws, but I can see why after all these years, after all the prequels and all the parodies, people are still obsessed with Star Wars

    it’s also amazing to see how much blockbuster movies have changed since then, with the original trilogy, the movies assume that you give a shit about the characters and the story, nowadays most blockbusters assume you care about the action and special effects before anything else

  483. Griff

    Have you seen the new Evangelion movies; Evangelion 1.11: You`re (not) alone and Evangelion 2.22: You can (not) advance?

  484. I’ve actually really enjoyed some of Andrew Dice Clay’s movies with Ford Fairlane and Brain Smasher A Love Story being my favorites of his. I also rewatched the original Star Wars not to long ago and forgot how funny the movie is. There’s some great comedic moments which is an aspect about the original trilogy that people forget.

  485. dna – unfortunately the Evangelion movies have been on my “to see” list for years

  486. Ok, “Contagion” has just opened, and I have just seen it.

    Some history here… me and Soderburgh don’t get along for some reason. I think his direction is flawless (which may actually be part of the problem I have with him), he gets great leads, everyone clearly wants to work with him. There’s no doubt that as a technical director he’s great. And every single one of his films that I’ve seen, with the exception of “Traffic”, has left me stone cold. I get nothing, emotionally speaking, from any of ’em.

    So “Traffic” remains my favorite Soderburgh movie, by miles. I liked “Erin Brockovich” but it’s very much a Julia Roberts / Albert Finney vehicle and not much more. I thought “Ocean’s Eleven” was a pretty but vapid waste of my time and left a slightly toxic aftertaste, like a fifty-dollar call girl. (Or so I’ve heard.) I’ve not seen any of his “great” films so I’m not exactly an expert on his filmatism, I can only go on what I’ve seen.

    And I still regard “Out of Sight” as one of those sarcastic “witty” movies that I just don’t “get”. The jokes don’t make sense, the story doesn’t make sense. You know when you’re at a party and someone makes a joke about something that most of the people there don’t know about, and a group of people howl with laughter at it while everyone else in the room just wants to punch the smug fuckers? Well, that’s how “Out of Sight” made me feel. Just so you know where I’m coming from.

    (Going onto a separate post here, because this one’s too long…)

  487. Now before I start eviscerating this movie I want to say that all Soderburgh’s good points are on display. The direction and acting is universally excellent. The cast is first-rate. The scoring is also excellent – probably one of the best movie scores I’ve come across this year in fact – it’s understated and captures the mood of the film perfectly. The cinematography works. As a technical study in how to make a film, “Contagion” is one of the best this year.

    Which is why it’s so frustrating that, once again, I feel as though I don’t “get it”. The script is taut and well-plotted but the characters are one-note. Soderburgh very much relies upon the strengths of his actors to convey character, but it’s hard to avoid feeling as though many of them are defaulting to playing “life” because they don’t have too much else to go on. All the usual virus movie cliches are there (doctor who voluntarily infects him/herself via exposure to a loved one in order to test a life-saving vaccine? Check. And if you didn’t see that one coming, you’ve never seen a virus movie before.)

    The scope of the story is too broad. I kind of like that instead of the Government people being douchebags who sell out in order to profit from the disaster in question, the real villain of the piece is a scaremongering hypocrite blogger. Unfortunately this character is one of the most annoying I’ve seen in a long time. Other than this character, the movie does very little that’s new or different. You get the story of the medicos, the CDC, the generals, the bureaucrats, and the people on the ground (as played by Matt Damon and his daughter, played by some girl I didn’t recognise. But they’re both really good.) If the movie had stuck to either story exclusively, it might have worked better. Instead it tries to show us every side of an epidemic apocalypse story, and ends up not really showing ANY side of it.

    On the subject of the portrayal of the media in this movie… you remember that thing Vern objected to in his “Unstoppable” review, where the media knew everything that was going on, even before the military and police did? Well there’s an element of that in this movie, but most of the time the media are much more realistically “out of touch”. So much so that one wonders why they were included in the first place. I know it’s the “convention”, but they only seem to be there to provide exposition on what the “people” are thinking, as well as to tell us stuff that we already know. It’s all very unnecessary and out-of-place.

    So… the little touches work (and it’s full of them). The direction is great. The cinematography is great. The score is so good that I’m tempted to give the movie a “pass” on this aspect alone. Jude Law’s character is incredibly annoying and unnecessary. And the whole thing left me utterly cold. Which I thought would work with this type of movie, but apparently that’s not the case.

    Fans of Soderburgh won’t be disappointed though. If that’s you, go see this movie. It has everything that makes him great. Exactly the same as it has been in every other movie I’ve seen of his. Soderburgh’s like a high-class chain restaurant. You go there, you get food that tastes good, looks good, is identical every time, and has nothing remotely out of place or unpredictable.

    Fuck, I feel like a total grouch now. Oh well, that’s my opinion. Take it as you will.

  488. Vern, I’m not going to post this in the discussion on the death of DVDs because nobody will see it. But if you’re interested, this is an article about the problems of using proprietary physical media with non-mainstream hardware / software:

    http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/opinion/hanging-on-by-their-fingertips-the-last-bastion-of-the-proprietary-ware-industry/

    I notice the guy says the phrase “when downloads take over” casually, as though there won’t be any DRM issues when they do. Which I hardly expect to be the case, for obvious reasons. But it’s still an interesting read.

  489. I know it has some notoriety, but how come no one ever talks about Intruder? I’m watching it on netflix and so far enjoying the heck out of it. Plus, the Raimi brothers are in it!

  490. Paul, I’ll agree to read that epic post of yours if you agree to watch SCHIZOPOLIS. I’m sure we’ll both be better for it.

  491. so guys, I just finished watching Jurassic Park and The Lost World on blu ray

    and HOLY SHIT is Jurassic Park awesome, I must have watched the movie hundreds of times as a kid, but this is the first time I’ve watched in over 7 long years and it felt literally surreal watching it again, it really brought me back, like the last 15 years or so never happened, first the Beavis and Butthead premiere made me feel like I time traveled back to the 90’s and now Jurassic Park on blu ray did the same

    so now I know why I’ve always considered it my favorite movie, it’s fantastic, just an utter masterpiece of blockbuster filmmaking and watching it in HD? let’s just say this is the first time in a long time in which a movie almost brought me to orgasm (I’m starting to sound like Harry Knowles)

    the CGI does looks a bit dated though, but for a movie that’s almost 20 years old that’s to be expected, however the practical effects are still cutting edge, the animatronic of the T-rex is TERRIFYING

    now The Lost World is not as good as the first movie, but I still liked it, it kind of reminds me of Aliens in that it’s pretty different from the first movie, it tries something new and doesn’t feel like a rehash of the first movie, it’s a perfectly respectable sequel I think

    plus the T rex in San Diego part is hilarious, especially the video store with the fake movie posters

  492. Hello all. I’d just like to stop by and say that Halloween weekend in New Orleans is a magical setting with gorgeous drunk girls in gorgeous costumes everywhere. I saw Snoop Dogg & Girl Talk in concert earlier. Snoop wasn’t as on as the last 2 times I saw him, years ago, and I don’t even know if Girl Talk was just a dude & his laptop (like I suspected it would be) or whatever onstage, because I was preoccupied doing laps in the crowd and doing debaucherous madman activities, but it was entertaining as hell.

    Tomorrow I’m seeing Odd Future and The Raconteurs (and maybe Mannie Fresh, maybe Ray Davies?) at Voodoo Fest and I’m going to see more Halloween girls going wild during & after all that and it’s awesome and I’m glad I am here and not anywhere else and there’s nothing better than being greeted fresh off the plane landing back in the US by a friend with airfare & weekend passes to Voodoo NOLA and you all should feel like fools for not being here as well. There were so many raving hot females at the Girl Talk set it was unbelievable.

    I would never want to live in this ridiculous city, but this is my 3rd time to the 504 and it is great for a visit amidst bouts of continent-hopping to places where alcohol & half-naked slores in the streets are forbidden by allah or whatever. My friends took me to a 24 hour bar where there were girls doing karaoke at 7:30 a.m., playing pool at 8, and leaving with us at 8:15. Apparently this is all normal for people down here. It’s absurd, unhealthy, sickening, and kind of beautiful. I don’t know how any work gets done in this city, since every bit of commerce & every facet of public life in New Orleans seems to be driven by the idea that everyone should be tipsy at all times. The good sports bars here have beer taps *at* the goddamn tables; you don’t even need to get up or hail a waitress, you just put your glass under the tap and have at it. You can get an everclear concoction to go, in a plastic cup with a straw. They have motherfucking drive-thru daiquri stands here. You might get in free to a strip club and then pay $14 for a Glenfidditch or Chivas Regal, but the bartender will give you 4 fingers of that devil juice, probably since no one else ever orders it. We were at a bar a couple blocks off Bourbon Street, and these 2 mounted cops came up to the windows and just had a leisurely conversation with the bartenders while their horses had some water, sharing space on the deck and the edge of the dining area like some wild wild west shit. We took a streetcar a couple miles, and while we were riding it the driver/conductor got off for 2 minutes at a red light to go buy beer from some convenience store/ABC joint. Then he got back behind the wheel and continued his shift. I was dumbstruck by how illogical & illegal that probably was, but that guy seemed to need some beer even while he was on the job conducting public transportation. I seriously have no idea how anyone gets anything accomplished in this city. I can’t emphasize enough how absurd it is. Everyone here is either drunk or working to accommodate drunk people all the time. And you can smoke indoors here. How crazy is that?

    Vern, I’ve enjoyed catching up on your reviews & commentary from the past few weeks. Still a day & a half to find that elusive awesome slasher, so keep putting that damn vcr to work, bud.

    Also, I won $400 at Harrah’s casino in less than half an hour at the small-timers’ blackjack table.

    Golf Wang Kill Them All!

  493. I’m jealous Mouth, sounds like fun

    I sure wish I could hang with you, I’m sure you’d help me get laid

  494. Get to NOLia in the next 8 hours and we’ll have a ball, Griff. You’d have to be a retarded animal to not hook up with something nice during Snoop Dogg/Girl Talk. Jeezus Christ, what a scene. Girls doing cartwheels and bumping & grinding and playing truth or dare and whatnot everywhere, treating public places here like the set of a fantasy sorority house porno. Obscene debauchery reigns here.

    I’m a nobody in this ridiculous city, but it doesn’t matter because downtown/uptown is a constant party everywhere. Half these local savages don’t even realize it’s Halloween. I think they dress like this normally.

  495. believe me Mouth, if I had the money I’d be booking the flight now and sleeping on the plane

    well you’ve given me something else to put on my bucket list at least

  496. Griff, I’m not sure if I would really call the CGI in JURASSIC PARK dated. Okay, maybe they do look a little bit worse in HD, kinda like some real good effect shots in other movies looked like shit when they were released for the first time on DVD, but I think if there are two things about JP that haven’t aged a bit since 1993, it’s the CGI and the T-Rex attack. Damn, that still gives me the goosebumps, even if I know that the kids make it out alive and mostly unharmed.

    Halloween in Germany…it doesn’t really exist. Over the years we slowly caught up to it. You will find more halloween themed candy in the supermarkets every year, pumpkins are more prominently displayed too and more and more politicians bitch about “the Americanisation of Germany by letting kids celebrate Halloween instead of Rosenmontag”, but all in all it’s more something that a small percentage here celebrates voluntarily. And even then mostly without costume. We don’t even have kids trick or treating here. Maybe some. But they won’t get anything from me, because I only open the door to preregistered visitors anyway and although I think the fear of americanisation is bullshit, I don’t think we should force other country’s popculture to take over ours.

  497. CJ Holden – but a big reason why the T rex attack holds up so well though is because a lot of the shots of it are the animatronic

    the CGI is amazing for 1993 and certainly holds up better than most CGI from the 90’s, I’m just saying it technically looks dated compared to modern CGI, but that’s to be expected, it certainly does not ruin the movie or anything

    my only complaint with Jurassic Park is, I re-read the novel earlier this year and the novel is great and contains so much more stuff than the movie, I was surprised to learn that Jurassic Park only clocks in at two hours, they could have easily added another 30 minutes and kept more stuff from the book, but I read on the internet once that some stuff was left out because the special effects were just not advanced enough

    I can’t help but imagine an alternate universe version of Jurassic Park that’s epic in length and contains more stuff from the novel, but of course I also like the fact that Jurassic Park is so lean and fast paced, adding anything more to it might have ruined the perfect pace

  498. I would say it only holds up because it was directed by Spielberg, on top of his game. It probably would have been great with a stop motion T-Rex too. (Okay, maybe not that great.)

  499. That’s peculiar Mr Holden because it feels like in the states, at least the DC Metro, that Octoberfest is becoming bigger than Halloween.

    Mr Paul, I totally understand your issues with Contagion. As a big budget version of a cheesy Science Channel dramatization I think it succeeds greatly. That’s what I was hoping to see and I got it.

    Empire commits one of my least favorite sins in a story: the entire movie is set up to more or less end at the status quo of where it began. All the same it is the only Star Wars movie I can watch. There’s a richness to the environments and characters that the others didn’t have.

    Mr Mouth, Nola sounds a lot like Puerto Rico and that makes me sad as I’m approaching 30 and am married with a stable career.

  500. CJ, Griff – I agree absolutely on “Jurassic Park”. I would have liked to have seen the Aviary scene, in particular, but I think they did that one pretty well in “JP3”.

    Casey – I don’t think “Contagion” is by any means is a bad film. I think it’s a pretty good one, a very good one by normal standards. (And you understand I’m judging Soderburgh a little harshly here because the guy is one of the best directors around.) Fans of Soderburgh would love this movie, it just didn’t do anything for me. But yeah, if you’re “into” what Soderburgh is providing, it’s great. I do recognise that my reaction to his films is very much a personal one.

    Mouth – I now wish I lived in America. You’ve sold me.

    Jareth – “Schizopolis” is most definitely on my list. Just haven’t got around to renting / watching it yet.

  501. Griff- as the anime guy, do you have any explanation for how something like this could happen?
    http://youtu.be/EtzlKJ1dObU

  502. Casey – You’re talking about Empire Strikes Back still, right? I’m confused why you would say “the entire movie is set up to more or less end at the status quo of where it began.” I’m no Star Trek expert, but from my memory: their secret base is discovered and destroyed, Luke learns how to make large objects fly telekinetically, he finds out the truth about Darth Vader and his father, he gets his hand chopped off, and Han gets captured and sold to B. Fett in a block of rock. They were coming off a big victory at the beginning and at the end they’re emotionally and physically crushed, scattered to the wind, running scared, etc. But on the positive side Luke got to hang out with Yoda. But I don’t think it’s back to the status quo.

    Or were you talking about Empire Records?

  503. I see the movie as them beginning by hiding out from the baddies and ends with them running away and still hiding from the baddies.

    The stakes are more intense at the end but most everything else, to me, feels like it ends at the same place it begins. It’s all emotional set up and character growth so we care about the finale in the next movie.

  504. Stu – I have not seen that anime, but I can only assume since the other character was speaking Japanese that was not the dub and thus the black guy speaking English was meant as a joke and they simply needed a guy who could speak English, regardless of his accent

    pretty hilarious clip btw

  505. Yeah, it’s the japanese version. In the english dub, the guy’s got a different voice actor, the same one as Jet Black from COWBOY BEBOP.

  506. I like how the last episode of PSYCH referenced two Clint Eastwood obscurities because they could.

  507. I actually like the that entire plot of EMPIRE is what happened on the way to the rendezvous point. Everybody else in the Rebellion is still talking about that epic battle they just escaped from the other day but Luke and Leia have moved on to some heavy duty other shit. People are coming up to Luke like, “Hey, sorry about your wingman.” And he’s all, “Who? Oh yeah, that guy. Sorry, it’s been a rough week.”

  508. so I just watched Jurassic Park 3

    I have not seen it since it was in theaters over a decade ago and honestly, it was not quite as bad as I remembered, it’s not a terrible movie, just very mediocre

    the biggest problem is just that the plot is just plain too simple, it feels more like a side story than anything, there’s a lot more they could have done

    a scene that kind of sums up the movie is when they find the old InGen laboratory, I didn’t understand it when I first saw the movie, but having read the book of The Lost World I did, it was the “factory” laboratory where basically they would do all the “dirty work” of cloning most of the dinosaurs (since there would be a lot of failures, they had to keep cloning till one turned out right), the laboratory on the theme park island was mainly for show

    but do they explain this in the movie? do they spend some time there exploring, maybe finding out some secrets about InGen? no they wander around until a raptor pops out and chases them, then they run away and never return back to the lab

    so there you go, the one part where the movie threatens to have some plot development beyond “let’s rescue some kid” they decide “ah fuck it, let’s just have some dinosaurs chase them again”

    still, I’ve seen way worse sequels, it’s not as bad as say Alien 3, it’s certainly watchable and not boring at least

    it actually makes me want to see them make a fourth movie though, I figure if it has a better story it might turn out alright

  509. I’d like to see a movie that dealt entirely with Luke’s hand after it fell down the exhaust shoot and landed on the surface of the planet beneath the City in the Clouds. It would be a THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY kind of thing, except with Pigmen.

  510. Since it’s halloween, it’s time to ask again the two most important questions about two certain horror classics from the 80’s:

    1.) Why was the kid in CHILD’S PLAY so excited about getting a doll and why did nobody care?
    2.) What’s so bad about being a cenobite? Sure, you look like shit, but all these people, who got turned into cenobites, seemed to genuinely enjoy their new occupation. Even the normal, innocent ones, who probably weren’t fucked up S/M freaks before. So…come on, being a cenobite seems to be a whole lot of fun, if you ask me.

  511. 1. It was inspired by the Cabbage Patch Kids, which were a huge fad in the U.S. a couple or several years before that. I think boys played with them too and parents literally fought each other to try to get them, like post-apocalyptic scavengers fighting for gas.

    2. I think that’s kind of the whole idea, these fuckin perverts in these movies are drawn to the pleasure of the pain and all that shit. They’re attracted to it but getting chopped up and living eternally in a Hell dimension worshipping a flying polygon is maybe a little further than they want to go into the lifestyle at this point.

  512. CJ: I only saw the first two HELLRAISER movies. I don’t remember Pinhead ever complaining about his job. In one of the later sequels do all the cenobites perform a version of “It’s A Hard Knock Life” or something?

  513. Willem Dafoe was also “drawn to the pleasure of the pain” in BODY OF EVIDENCE. Next thing you know Madonna is dumping hot wax on his chest and fucking him on broken glass. Moral of the story? Madonna is a cenobite.

  514. LIST-O-MANIA!!!

    I`ve recently discovered the amazing invention called television (aka the idiot box), and I`ve seen the error of my ways; Television is not only for stupid people, some tv-shows are even better than some movies and it doesn`t always turn you into an idiot. So I made a list over the greatest television shows / miniseries ever, and hopefully some of you guys can recommend some shows I`ve never heard of.

    1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
    2. Buffy
    3. Angel
    4. Cracker (uk version)
    5. The Singing Detective
    6. Twin Peaks
    7. The Kingdom (danish version)
    8. Paranoia Agent
    9. Ghost in the shell: Stand alone complex
    10. The Simpsons
    11. Band of Brothers
    12. South Park
    13. The Sopranos
    14. Firefly
    15. Invader Zim
    16. Dollhouse
    17. Dekalog
    18. Monty Pythons Flying Circus
    19. Liquid Television: The Maxx and Aeon Flux
    20. The Clone Wars

    Honourable mentions: Clone Wars, Samurai Champloo, Return to Eden, Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man, Space Ghost:from coast to coast, Batman: The Animated Series, His and Hers Circumstances, Wild Palms, Elfen Lied, Das Boot, Scenes from a marriage, Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebob, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Powerpuff Girls, Homicide, Lipstick on your collar, Rome, ER, The Fast Show and Muppet Show.

    Also, I haven`t seen The Wire or Doctor Who? yet.

  515. Jareth: I’m more wondering because being a Cenobite is always portrayed in the movies as the thing, that our heroes have to avoid, although they all seemed very happy to me. I can see how one might get scared when they see how Pinhead rips a man apart with those weird chains and if a Cenobite would knock on my door, I would shit my pants at first too, but like I said, they are all happy! I can’t remember a scene where a human-turned-cenobite muttered something like “Help me, I don’t want to live like that, it’s horrible!” In part 3 some innocents, who didn’t show any hints of being perverted pain lusters, become Cenobites and even they try to convince Terry Farrell to join them!
    Conclusion: If I had the choice between stabbed to death by Jason Vorhees, killed in my dreams by Freddy Kruger or being turned into a Cenobite by Peter Inhead, I would chose being a Cenobite. I might alienate my friends and family with my new look, but at least I would happy orgasm away for eternity..

  516. I didn’t know that the victims in the HELLRAISER movies became cenobites after they were tortured. I thought they were sent to the Realm of Being Perpetually Tortured by Cenobites. Now I don’t know what to think.

    Also, is it just me or was the female cenobite in the second movie kind of cute (despite looking like a female Jim Carrey in THE MASK)?

  517. dna – if you like anime, you MUST check out Read or Die and it’s sequel R.O.D The TV

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Read_or_Die_(OVA)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.O.D_the_TV

    seriously, it’s my favorite anime of all time

    you have good taste though I should add, Paranoia Agent and all of Satoshi Kon’s films are stuff that anyone, regardless of whether you like anime or not, should check out, I sure wish Vern would review a few of his movies, but he seems allergic to the cartoons

  518. griff

    I`ve seen R.O.D (OVA) several times, it`s quite good, especially the soundtrack, but I read that the tv-show wasn`t the same. I will give it a chance though.
    I`m a big, big Satoshi Kon fan and I recently suggested that Vern reviewed Perfect Blue when he looked for unknown slashers. Satoshi Kon is one of my all time favorite directors.

    And Vern love the cartoons. He even reviewed Powerpuff Girls – The Movie.

  519. – griff

    Do you have other anime recommendations? I`m not really an otaku, I just worship some of the anime directors like Hideako Anno, Miyazaki, Kon and Oshii. I would love to get my hands on some new anime, especially tv-series, but it`s so expensive in my country, and I don`t know what good besides the directors I already know.
    I heard that The Girl Who Leaped Through Time and Summer Wars should be very good.

  520. dna – if you’ve seen the OVA you definitively should check out R.O.D The TV, it is pretty different from the OVA, but it’s better in my opinion, trust me you wont be disappointed

    and as far as other anime goes well, I’m seen as the “anime guy” around here but truth be told I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of years now, there’s very few recent series I’ve seen

    I’ll be thinking of some suggestions though

  521. While we are talking about cartoons and dna mentioned POWERPUFF GIRLS: Your thoughts about Genndy Tartakovsky’s upcoming theatrical movie HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, which apparently became an Adam Sandler movie, because the voice actors are him, Kevin James, David Spade and Steve Buscemi. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob Schneider shows up in it too.)
    I’m seriously torn about this project, because at one hand…Tartakovsky makes a full length movie with a budget, that is way bigger than whatever he could use on his TV shows. And on the other hand…Adam Sandler’s last movie that made me laugh was MR DEEDS. So I guess it’s the same what everybody else thinks.

  522. griff

    you should check out Ghost in the shell stand alone complex, it starts kind of slow, but turns into a really exciting political sci-fi action show around episode 6. And season two is even better. And Elfen Lied is pretty cool too, very disturbing though. And the new Evangelion movies.. I don`t know what to think. Anno totally ruins everything that was great about the tv-show and I hated them on the first viewing, but the more I watch them, the more I get the feeling that he is fucking with his audience (again). They´re so frustrating to watch, everything feels very wrong, but at the same time it sort of makes sense, and it feels like there is some sort of point to it all. They`re also brilliantly directed with truly epic set-pieces. Highly recommended.

  523. holden

    Wow, I didn`t know Genndy Tartakovsky’s was making a feature? That`s great news! I don`t care who`s dubbing it. I just want some sweet Genndy Tartakovsky action. And the only Sandler movies I`ve watched were Punch-drunk love and the wedding singer, and they were both solid performances.

  524. dna – I have indeed seen GITS: SAC when it played on Adult Swim and I prefer it to both of the movies

  525. Yeah, I don’t mind Sandler and his friends being IN a Tartakovsky movie, I just wonder if it still will be one or if Sandler took production over completely.

  526. dna – If you like Oshii you should definitely check out PATLABOR if you haven’t already. Great stuff, especially the OVA series and movies he directed. Anno’s GUNBUSTER is also fantastic.

    Below are a few others I think are great. I should warn you though that these shows can be very addictive. Please use them responsibly, in controlled doses, preferably under the constant supervision of a trained professional.

    DEATH NOTE – The premise is great and the execution is even better. Halfway through the first episode I knew how the series was gonna play out. By the end of the episode that theory was completely obliterated. And it just got better from there. Some of the most suspenseful TV I’ve ever seen.

    INITIAL D – If you like Tokyo and you like drifting you should check this one out. It’s basically a fight series with cars. You know who is going to win every race and they are all still exciting. To me that is some good writing and directing.

    THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA – A great slice-of-life comedy that has fun with a lot of genre cliches. The first season is probably my favorite but I also really like the second one because they do something with it that I’ve never seen a TV series do and I kind of can’t believe they had the audacity to do with this one.

    And since you seem to like the more thought-provoking, artsy stuff you might want to check out SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN and BOOGIEPOP PHANTOM. Both have a very elliptical storytelling style and neither of them do a lot of hand-holding for the viewer. In fact, I suspect both series might be germaphobes because of how little hand-holding they do. BOOGIEPOP reminds me slightly of PARANOIA AGENT since each episode follows different characters and shows how they relate to the central events of the series.

  527. I`ve seen the patlabor movies and Gunbuster, they`re great, Wings of Homnesia is fantastic too. And Jin-roh, off course. Serial Experiment Lane was kinda interesting, but sort of weird for it`s sake. I don`t mind weirdness as long as there is some sort of point to it, like in Neon Genesis Evangelion. I don`t even mind that the plot is totally incomprehensible as long as it makes some sort of psychological sense, but I have really no idea what Serial Experiment Lane is actually about. I would be great if it made some sort of comment on the internet and the different sort of realities we live in today, but the ending kind of contradicts that subtext.

    I actually almost bought Boogiepop Phantom today, found it really cheap in a shop, but it looked kinda boring. I might give it a chance, it sounds interesting. Does it have a overall arc, or is it ghost of the week episodes?

    I saw the first 15 minutes of Death Note the movie (not the animated feature) and it was really lame, but the anime sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  528. BOOGIEPOP has more of an overall arc, sort of. Though you have to do a lot of the heavy lifting to figure out what it is. You may not want to check it out however since it is a lot like LAIN and only superficially like PARANOIA AGENT.

    I thought the DEATH NOTE movies weren’t terrible but also not that great either. They don’t come close to the TV show. Maybe if the Shane Black remake ever happens we’ll get a good movie version.

  529. DNA- since you like FIREFLY and COWBOY BEBOP, I suggest watching OUTLAW STAR. It’s like a more colourfull mashup of the two, with aliens and samurai and guns than shoot magic bullets and instead of a crazy chick being the mysterious cargo in the first episode, it’s an android girl
    http://youtu.be/R0N3L-pcGdc

  530. And GUN SMITH CATS, an action show heavily influenced by 70s/80s cop/PI shows about a female Chicago bount hunter and her explosives expert teen sidekick.

  531. I`ve seen Gunsmith Cats and Outlaw Star, they`re both pretty good, guess I`m looking for something mindblowing like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Paranoia Agent. I think I prefer long complex stories and psychoanalytical babble (if well done, off course. Stuff like Serial Experiment Lane and Gantz seems like bad copies of Evangelion to me). I don`t mind silly humour either, FLCL is one of my favorite animes. And badass babes is always a plus, which is proberbly why I like otherwise mediocre stuff like Mezzo Forte the tv-show.

    Okay, I wrote I wasn`t an otaku, it`s not entirely true. When anime became popular in the nineties, I watched almost everything I could get my hands on, so I know the most titles released before 2003.
    After 2003 I started comparing everything to Neon Genesis Evangelion, or the market exploded with titles, or something, but I kind of stuck to certain directors, like Satoshi Kon, Otomo and Oshii.

    I can`t stress how much I love Neon Genesis Evangelion. The first time I watched it (episode 1-24 and the movie End of Evangelion over one long night), it blew my fragile little mind. If I had to make a list over movies that seriously changed my perception of life and cinema, it would be something like; Starwars, Evil Dead II, Aliens, Apocalypse Now, Akira, Blue Velvet, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Audition, Possession, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Morvern Callar and Synocdoche NY.

    I understand why a lot of people can`t stand Neon Genesis Evangelion, but it is, in my openion, one of the ultimate masterpieces of cinema. And the fact that it is basically a cartoon about teenagers fighting aliens with big robots, only makes Hideako Annos achivement that more impressive. It`s like.. I dunno.. Tree of Life, Persona and Transformers mashed together? Some sort of freak accident in the history of cinema? I can`t think of another work in cinema, that totally trancends it`s own genre in such a personal, transgressive and mindblowing way?
    It is, off course, essential for my experience of Neon Genesis Evangelion, that I hadn`t heard anything about it the first time I watched it. The dvd didn`t even have any text on it`s cover. I just found it really cheap in a used dvd-bin, went home, made a cop of coffee and sat down to see the first episode, and 10 hours later my life suddenly made sense to me.
    SPOILER
    When I read about other animefans perception of it, they always complain about how whiny and unsympathatic the maincharacters are, but as somebody who`s been through the same deal as Shinji and Ahsuka, with fosterfamily, parents who committed suicide, depression, low selfesteem and so forth, Neon Genesis Evangelion just hit me like a ton of bricks. MEGASPOILER: The sequence in End of Evangelion, where Shini finally snaps and starts strangling his 14-year old co-pilot, thus triggering the apocalypse, all while a joyfull japanese popsong about suicide kicks in, and the screen explodes in images, text, voices, characters dying left and right, a giant spear penetrates a giant clitoris and Shinji, our hero, decides to kill EVERYBODY in the world.. I dunno, I like Bergman, Tarkowsky and Lynch as much as the next fella, but they have never made anything as profound, surreal, intelligent and emotional true, as what Hideako Anno pulls of in those final 35 minutes. In a cartoon about giant robots for kids.

  532. I like that, dna. “No, no, I’m looking for something less like your standard average quality anime and more like the single greatest achievement in the history of the medium that has never been equaled and probably never will be. You got anything like that?” Unfortunately, I don’t know if any of these shows can clear that bar but I thought of a few more you might like.

    NIGHT ON THE GALACTIC RAILROAD – A poetic film that follows a child on a metaphorical journey over the course of a night as he learns about life and comes to terms with death. It stars a bunch of anthropomorphic cats so obviously it is for children.

    MIND GAME – This one also kind of deals with life and death, but way faster paced and much more comedic. It uses a lot of experimental animation techniques as well.

    KINO’S JOURNEY – Another show about journeys and metaphors. In this one Kino travels around the world visiting various countries, spending three days in each observing. Each country has their own customs and philosophies that tend to comment on human behaviors in the real world.

    MUSHI-SHI – In this one a guy travels around curing people of these weird supernatural bug curses. It feels a little like KINO’S JOURNEY in that it has a relaxed pace and all the stories feel like metaphors. Except they aren’t as far as I can tell. I kept trying to figure out what each episode was trying to comment on but I came to the conclusion that they were just trying to tell interesting stories. I really liked that disconnect. It feels meaningful but I think I was tricked and it is actually only just really enjoyable.

    REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA – This series is a little like EVANGELION in that it feels like a very personal, unique take on a genre, in this case the magical girl genre. Worth it just for the music by legendary 70s Japanese counter-cultural rock star J.A. Seazer.

    GURREN LAGANN – Giant robots taken to their (il)logical extreme. I assume you’ve probably already seen this one though.

  533. jake

    well, i`m not expecting to find anything as brilliant as NGE, but you never know…

    I did watch Mind Game at some festival and wanna watch it again, if only for that totally insane sequence where they escape the whale. I wanna see some of the directors other stuff, but they are difficult to find.

    I read recently about Gurren Lagann, it sounds really interesting. It`s on my list.

    Anyway, I bought The Wire today, I`m excited to find out what everybody has been raving about.

  534. so last night for Halloween I watched two 80’s horror movies

    the first was Night of The Comet, that’s been on my to see list for a while and it was a lot different than I expected

    it’s similar to Night of The Creeps in that it’s an attempt to blend a 1950’s B movie with a 1980’s one, it starts off with an awesome opening credits sequence where cool stereotypical “50’s sci fi music” plays and a 50’s style narrator sets up the story, then after that it becomes extremely 80’s, like the makers of the film intentionally tried to make it as 80’s possible

    I liked it a lot, after the opening it’s a lot less jokey than I expected, there’s still humor but it feels like it’s also trying to be creepy, I definitively recommend it

    the second was Pulse, no not the Japanese movie or the 2006 American remake, but a 1988 movie about an evil, living “pulse” of electricity that infects homes and uses the appliances to try to kill the owners, it may sound silly, but it’s surprisingly scary, it’s a very well done and paranoia inducing movie

    it’s very underrated, I suggest you guys check it out

  535. dna – one thing I always loved about NGE is just how damn creepy it is, it paints such a bizarre and maybe even….. oddly plausible? sci fi version of angels and the apocalypse and stuff

  536. griff

    Hmm, I`m an atheist, so all the stuff about angels and apocalypse doesn`t mean anything to me, except for being psychological subtext. To be honest I never understood the plot of NGE, I have no idea how the third impact is actually triggered, who Lilith and Adam is, what the spear of Longes-something comes from, or even why the angels are actually attacking Tokyo-3. It just make my head hurts. For me it`s just the story of Shinji and all the fucked up, lonely and damaged people around him. I do like how they use the biblical stuff in a psychoanalytical context. I think the bible has some amazing metaphors and descriptions of the human condition, but I dunno how and why it`s used in Evangelion. It just works for me. And I don`t prefer not to analyze and dissect art that affects me emotionally like that.
    I find some of NGE extremely creepy, I think there´s a lot of subtext about abuse in it, but I find it funny, exciting, scary, sad and romantic too. And I love the music and the direction of it. I know I make a big fuss about the psychodramatic aspect of it, but it would still be a great anime just because of it`s story, style and characters.

  537. I saw NGE and a few other mangos and decided that it wasn’t for me.

    NGE’s plot just looked like the wankings of some lonely dude in Tokyo. Good on him, I guess. I just didn’t care.

    Vampire Hunter D is still cool, though.

    —–

    Wrestling talk (for men): Did anyone see Monday’s RAW? I thought having the Muppets would suck and instead I laughed my ass off. Miss Piggy calling Vickie Jack Swagger’s mother made me laugh. Sheamus and Beaker being related made me laugh. It totally worked for me and I’m really surprised by it.

    Of course the show had to totally fuck up and have Cena kick the shit out of the Miz and R Truth BY HIMSELF at the end. Why the fuck does he need The Rock’s help to beat Awesome Truth when he can just bury them by himself? Shit, Awesome Truth are amazing and are better than any tag team or stable short of a Daniel Bryan / CM Punk / Colt Cabana / Kings of Wrestling / Sara Del Rey stable invading the WWE. Oh, and El Generico because I’ve really warmed up to him.

    Also, I’m probably going to be at Chikara on the 12th because it sounds like a good show.

  538. – casey

    As I wrote, I totally understand why a lot of people don`t like NGE, and I have no problem with that. Calling one of my favorite works of art for a lonely guys wanking is kind of insulting though. Too AICN for my taste. But I`ll be the grown-up and refrain from any poor attempts at making fun of your obsession with wrestling; a “sport” I`ve quite frankly never understood. Different folks, different strokes, I guess.

  539. DNA, you should start watching The Simpsons from Season 3 and then never stop until you catch up to the current run. Around season 11 or 12 you may start to think it’s not good any more but then season 13 is one of their sharpest. People like to talk about the golden age, which there was, but there was also a new renaissance and a postmodern period. The episode “Coming to Homerica” a couple years ago and the one Seth Rogen wrote were pretty stellar recent examples.

    Fun fact about Fred: I have not missed a single episode of The Simpsons in 22 years. Of course, after 500 shows, a few of them per season are bad, but that’s part of loving something. Okay, they tried that, maybe gave a poor writer a shot, but they move on. I do believe that doing the movie reinvigorated their writing staff.

    If you watch South Park you’ll get a snapshot of every major social event of the last 15 years, including Terry Schiavo. Buffy and Angel are good too, I’d also suggest the first two seasons of Alias and nip/tuck.

    Also, Lost World is still better than Jurassic Park. I too got the Blu-rays and I still find JP pretty blatantly manipulative. An hour of ooh ah, then an hour of chase. When I first saw the movie, when they revealed the brontos, my 15-year-old self said, “That animation looks fake and I see the matte lines.” I appreciate the film, the Winston work is brilliant, just not my favorite. I did just notice the fake movie posters in Lost World for the first time. That is amazing.

  540. Fred

    I already collect Simpsons and South Park, but I haven`t actually seen the later seasons of simpsons, I`ll give season 13 a try. What about later seasons? I think I read that the recent seasons where really bad.
    I`ve been geeking out over Buffy and Angel the last couple of months, and think I put them in my second spot on my list over most amazing tv-shows evehr, a couple of posts ago. Just under NGE, off course. Alias looks interesting and I should be able to find them cheap. But I`m gonna start on The Wire soon, and then I might take a break from highly addictive tv-shows. Watching 254 episodes of buffyness TWICE over 4 months is clearly a symptom of tv-abuse.. I need help. After The Wire, off course…

  541. In all these years, THE SIMPSONS never had a bad season. They had single bad episodes, but they already existed during “the golden years” too, even if people like to sugar coat these days as perfect run. I also do think that the last three or four seasons were overall very strong again. Too bad that their celebrity writer experiments are of varying quality so far. The Ricky Gervais episode was awful and the Seth Rogen episode was at one hand surprisingly hilarious, but it also recycled a million plots from classic episodes. (In that episode Homer becomes the star of a superhero movie and a personal trainer gets him in shape.)

    What I definitely love about The Simpsons, btw, is that they never sold out. Yes, some of their jokes became a little bit more edgier, but mostly because they can now get away with more stuff, than 20 years ago. So a joke that way maybe censored in Season 4, can now be used without trouble. BUT they never tried to be more like SOUTH PARK, FAMILY GUY or whatever is on ADULT SWIM. They could have included lots of rape or holocaust jokes or whatever shit counts as funny these days, but they didn’t. And I think they should get more credit for that.

    Also I noticed over the years, that Simpsons haters are seriously whiny bitches, who have apparently never watched the show. A few seasons ago, one episode involved a joke about a house made of modeling clay and after it aired I read some comments, complaining about how unrealistic and childish such a joke was.

    What is also interesting is that fans apparently have trouble to determine the “last funny season”. A few years ago it was mutually agreed on season 7, but now season 10 seems to be the point, when the show stopped being funny. I guess in a few more years it’s common to say “The Simpsons hasn’t been funny since season 21!” Oh well.

    I stopped watching SOUTH PARK years ago, after the WORLD OF WARCRAFT episode, which was just a shameless commercial for something that I didn’t care for and unfortunately it wasn’t the first time, that they advertised stuff in the show. (They had episodes about the PSP and the Wii and every time they just talked about how awesome it was.) Also at the same time they became lazy and ended almost every episode with something like: “Hey, these guys are crazy, but we are crazy too, so the whole world is crazy”, instead of coming up with any new or interesting views, like they did earlier. Oh, and I hated when they turned Cartman from a funny asshole kid into a psychopath. It was funny in SCOTT TENORMAN MUST DIE, but when he started to kill his friends or start a new holocaust in almost every episode, Cartman stopped being funny for me.

  542. I apologize if you took my comment regarding NGE as a personal slight, Mr DNA (Mr Kamikaze!), but I did not mean it to be. I don’t think only lonely dudes who like to jerk it (HELLO!) like NGE, I was just trying (and failing) to say that it was created by one.

    I’m going to do something I dislike now: I’m going to double down on this bullshit.

    NGE is pretty awful. It has some interesting ideas at first. Some likable characters even (or at least that penguin thing was funny I remember? Or am I remembering some other anime?) and some of the action and music was OK. Not great, but I didn’t hate myself for watching it. Then the show gets up its own asshole and just becomes meaningless. I “get” what happened and what everything meant. I just didn’t care.

    I think NGE is similar to Dune in some ways. It starts out really strong and iconic and then gets so far up its own ass with its ridiculous ideas that it just becomes stupid. I like Dune despite itself, I just couldn’t feel the same about NGE. It reminded me of watching my roommate in college play the Metal Gear Solid games. Just because a story is complex doesn’t make it good.

    And, dude, watch the low blows on rasslin’. It sucks most of the time, but there’s a lot to like about it. I think it’s great to watch just to see what people feel in this country (the WWE tells me that people are willing to cheer for Cena and Orton because, not despite, they are fascist bullies) and to see different trends in society. There are also a lot of really intelligent wrestlers who are really exciting. Sure, it’s really bad most of the time but when it’s good it becomes something special.

    I actually think wrestling would have more of an appeal if people were to look past their own class and culture prejudices. I sold it to my wife because it’s fun to analyze wrestling like you’re an English major. There’s also a lot of really great writing online about wrestling.

    http://withleather.uproxx.com/2011/11/the-best-and-worst-of-wwe-raw-1031

    Stuff like that makes me laugh.

    Dude, don’t say shit like, “But I`ll be the grown-up and refrain from any poor attempts at making fun of your obsession with wrestling; a “sport” I`ve quite frankly never understood. Different folks, different strokes, I guess.”

    Don’t say you’re going to be a grown up by refraining to do the very thing you do later in that very same sentence. Especially if you’re going to be passive aggressive. I’d rather you were just aggressive-aggressive!

    Much love and respect!
    Casey

    Then it starts

  543. Mr Holden, I agree with you on The Simpsons. I don’t watch it regularly anymore but I never groan or find myself hating it. I think my not going out of my way to watch it is more about my tastes changing than the show getting worse.

    I still watch South Park for some reason. I can’t remember the last time I really enjoyed an episode. They also became really self aware and have had episodes come out and just say that they are preachy assholes so it somehow excuses them from being preachy assholes because they at least acknowledge it. Or something. I still watch it because, well, I have no clue.

    Are you a fan of King of the Hill? That’s easily my favorite animated show. The jokes are clever and the characters feel sincere. It’s a different kind of show. Some shows, like Family Guy, will tell you a joke and it’s very clear when and where the punch line is. King of the Hill can be hilarious and do so in the middle of a conversation with no real cue as to where the joke is. It’s completely different but charming and hilarious.

    I have also come around to American Dad. It makes me laugh. I don’t think Family Guy has ever made me laugh, but I’m on board with American Dad these days.

  544. I really love KING OF THE HILL, but there is a problem: I only know the first two seasons, because those are the only ones that ever made it into my part of the world! First it ran on MTV and apparently was a minor success, but not that much. Later another channel picked it up for a monday to friday late afternoon timeslot and even advertised it pretty hard, as “the award winning hit show from the creators of BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD and THE SIMPSONS” that it was, but they cancelled it halfway through season 1. The the first two seasons got a DVD release, but apparently nobody except me bothered with buying it so that was all we got.
    Can you believe how surprised I was when I realized that there were not just more than two seasons, but more than 10!?! I still hope that a pay TV channel will buy the rights (because the German pay TV market is slowly kicking into high gears, mostly due to several channels buying shows, that free channels don’t care about, like THE WIRE, THE WEST WING, SPARTACUS or even DR WHO and airing them between re-runs of already established hits like FRIENDS or CSI), but I guess sooner or later I have to import the DVDs or something like that.

  545. Also I really liked The Muppets on RAW.

  546. so guys for any gamers here, the GTA5 trailer premiered today and it takes place in…….Los Santos! the GTA universe version of LA

    of course now there’s rumors flying that the game will also take place in the other two cities from San Andreas, but I kinda doubt that

  547. Fred – I wouldn’t say The Lost World is better than Jurassic Park, but I would say The Lost World is very underrated

  548. Maybe it’s because I’m used to seeing more random reruns than newer episodes, but I’ve never understood how people can keep track of the different seasons of THE SIMPSONS. The show has a milestone occassionally (Lisa becomes a Vegetarian, Maude Flanders dies, Lisa become a Buddhist), but there’s so very little continuity and follow up between episodes I don’t know why it doesn’t all blur together for other people like it does me.
    Griff- “so guys for any gamers here, the GTA5 trailer premiered today and it takes place in…….Los Santos! the GTA universe version of LA

    of course now there’s rumors flying that the game will also take place in the other two cities from San Andreas, but I kinda doubt that”
    Well people point out there’s jets and proper planes shown in the trailer, and Rockstar said they never included them in GTA IV because there was nowhere to go that really warranted them, so if you can fly them in this…

    Also, if you’ve got a PS3 and aren’t playing UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S DECEPTION, you’re really missing out.

  549. Stu – my skepticism stems from the fact that considering how good the graphics look in the trailer, I don’t believe the current console hardware could handle the entire San Andreas and look that good

    I’m not saying it’s impossible, but Rockstar’s motif behind this batch of GTAs seems to be focusing on one city and really fleshing it out and making it feel alive

    so my guess is Los Santos will be the only city, but there WILL be countryside in the game also, but I’d be seriously surprised if there were two other whole cities in the game

  550. casey

    I actually wrote a pretty long answer to that before I realized you were trolling (and yes, I was being a dick and contradicting myself on purpose, sorry bout that)

    You don`t like NGE, that`s fine, you`re not the only one. If you check the reviews on Imdb or amazon, it`s usually either intense love or extreme loathing. You do seem to have a strong reaction to it, though, especially because it`s maybe five episodes out of 26 that actually “goes up it own ass” (or inside the characters mind), the rest is action, adventure and comedy. And I don`t even like episode 25-26, didn`t actually watch them the first time I saw the series, cause my NGE boxset skipped them and went with the “real” alternative ending, the feature End Of Evangelion. And that movie is just amazing.

    I don`t like NGE because it`s complex, I like it because it`s one of the most overwhelming emotionel experiences I`ve ever had to a work of art. Oh, and I agree that the scene with the penguin is really funny.

  551. Yeah, what happened to the penguin? I don’t recall them every really explaining what happened to it later on, and in fact the show started off as a much more light and mainstream with things like that and Misato commenting over the end credits to promise more wacky stuff and “fanservice” next episode, but at some point that stopped and we switched to more “Shinji’s weird internal monologue/dream sequences when sitting on the train home” stuff.

  552. As an 80’s nut, Grand Theft Auto Vice City is my favorite of the series. Awesome soundtrack and voice work by Ray Liotta, Time Sizemore, Phillip Michael Thomas, and Jenna Jameson. Nothing like plowing old ladies while listening to Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings with Ray Liotta yelling “I’m innocent!”. I love the pop culture satire that ran through the game as well. Great stuff all around. One of the few games that I could watch someone else play for hours on end for sheer entertainment value.

  553. I think the plowing old ladies remark came out wrong. I meant running over old ladies in a stolen buick.

  554. DNA, CJ put it best that there may be bad episodes but never an entire bad season of The Simpsons. I also still like South Park. Part of what I love is they can do something as profound as Terry Schiavo, then have Oprah’s vagina and asshole hold her hostage. I thought the recent two parter about Stan getting cynical had a profound message about what it takes to grow and move forward, and how the rest of the world won’t let you. A lot of people thought the ending was a sellout deus ex machina but it was part of the message. And even their poop jokes get so ridiculous they still make me laugh.

    Griff, thank you for the props. I don’t mean to detract from anyone’s enjoyment of JP. I’m just glad I can come here and find folks who support Lost World, latter year Simpsons and Nicolas Cage.

  555. “Nothing like plowing old ladies while listening to Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings with Ray Liotta yelling “I’m innocent!””

    Thomas, i think that’s my favorite comment, ever, anywhere. Especially out of context.

  556. That damn ThomasCrown can not *wait* until Hayden Panettiere turns 65 years old!

  557. Don’t let the teddy bear fool you.

  558. Hey Vern, I think you forgot to upload the reviews of Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2 that I refuse to believe don’t already exist. When you get a chance, could you put those up, please?

  559. oh my God, I’m laughing my ass off at the “plowing old ladies” comment

  560. Stu

    SPOILER

    If I remember correctly, the penguin gets a severe depression like everybody else around episode 22-23. Most of the characters have hit bottom, are arrested, murdered, in coma or have committed suicide, and Misato returns home to an empty apartment, trying seeking comfort with the penguin, who turns out to be horrible depressed too. The scene plays out to some of the most tacky melodramatic, sad music in the entire series. It`s pretty funny.

    END OF SPOILER

  561. Then there’s the infamous scene with Kaworu, which would have been improved greatly with this alternate soundtrack (SPOILERS)
    http://youtu.be/1extXE3nj3M

  562. CJ Holden: I’m not sure I quite get the point you made about THE SIMPSONS not selling out. Are you saying that the internal logic and aesthetic and tone of the show has remained largely uncompromised during the show’s run? Or that all those “Don’t Have A Cow” t-shirts and keychains and mugs and toys and frisbees and games and stickers and comic books and snow globes and bobble heads and soft drinks are somehow part of the show’s DNA and therefore not considered crass commerical exploitation of the show’s popularity? Or is it because they occasionally make a throwaway gag about how lame the show is now that they’re sufficiently self-referential that the unengaing scripts are now part of some meta joke that is somehow better than real jokes?

    I’m also not sure I agree with you about the SOUTH PARK warcraft episode. Yes, Parker and Stone are unaplogetic fans of video games, but I have my doubts they were compromising their worldview to corporate sponsorship when they depicted the four protagonists turning into asocial, acne-ridden human slugs glued to their video terminals in that episode. I don’t know much about video game players, but I can’t imagine any of them finding that a flattering depiction of their lifestyle.

  563. The World of Warcraft episode was OK. I agree with Mr Cutestory that its depiction was pretty unflattering. I lost a few friends to that game and my favorite part of the episode was how everyone had the horrible lazy slouch while playing the game. My old friends had the same posture and it was pretty sad to see people who were too lazy to even sit in a chair.

    I guess I still watch South Park because of episodes like the one where Stan because a douche. I think it did have a lame ending, but it felt like it was something meaningful before they stripped any meaning away.

    Mr dna, I’m sorry if you thought I was trolling but I wasn’t trying to. Can we still be friends? I liked anime when “liking anime” meant you watched Vampire Hunter D and Akira on cable access at 2AM. Actually, Akira is my answer for why I don’t like NGE. Akira has style and something to say but it resonates with me. But, shit, I cried at the finale of Lost so I might be fucking up in life or something.

  564. Well, The Simpsons maybe sold out commercially in terms of merchandise machines, but like I said, they pretty much always stayed true to their style of humor and stories, instead of riding the more hip wave of cynical gross out borderline discriminating humor, even though Seth MacFarlane and Adult Swim get these days more viewers with that. They could make an episode about Bart raping Lisa for laughs, just to push the envelop, but they didn’t. And THAT’S what I meant about not selling out! The show may have inevitably changed a little over its 20+ years run, but it still did its own thing, instead of aping what other shows do.

    And normally I would agree with you about SOUTH PARK’s WOW episode, but all in all it was en episode, where THE COMPANY THAT MAKES WOW produced special in-game scenes just for this episode, which despite all its “satire” was about the kids thinking that WOW is so awesome, that they had to do anything to stop someone from ruining the fun for all.
    There is a huge difference between the early CHINPOKOMON episode, and the later WOAH-THE-PSP-/WII/WOW-IS-SO-AWESOME-THAT-WE-HAVE-TO-BLTANTLY-NAMECHECK-IT-OVER-AND-OVER-IN-OUR-SHOW! Seriously, what was the point about having a “real” PSP in the show? Couldn’t they just make up their own game? It was completely irrelevant for the story of the episode!

  565. My favorite part of that episode is how they animated the movement and gestures of the antagonist within the game. It seemed to really capture the attitude of the kind of guy you see online who just likes to stir up shit (eg. an annoying prick).

    Oh, and the part when Butters decides he prefers playing the Hello Kitty game. Butters rules.

  566. Tawdry:

    I’m pretty sure Vern reviewed HELLRAISER last year, just not 2. The real question is whether or not he’ll review REVELATIONS, staring Chunky Pinhead!

  567. CJ: I don’t see the WOW stuff as any different from other examples in the SOUTH PARK tradition of depicting real world stuff, whether it’s Britney Spears or Scientology. If they had made up their own video game, it would have appeared to me that they were compromising their point for fear of pissing off the corporation that made the game.

    I seem to remember Parker and Stone mentioning in the commentary track of that episode how cool the WOW guys were and how they didn’t ask them to change their script to depict their product in a more favorable way. I’m pretty sure that the WOW people were brought in after the script had been written.

    It was always a low risk undertaking anyway because, as you mentioned, Parker and Stone love that game and wanted to celebrate it (with some relatively gentle but gross mockery). I don’t think the episode was meant to be a satire.

  568. Hmm, i can’t find it either. I swear i read it…

  569. Yeah, but in those cases, Trey & Matt didn’t work together with Scientology or Britney Spears. And if one of the most popular TV shows in my target group wants to make an episode about how my product is so great, that you forget everything else about it, I wouldn’t mind some shit humor too.

  570. Something I’m finding a bit creepy with THE SIMPSONS in recent years is how they won’t age the kids, but they’ll do storylines with them that would make more sense for much older versions of them. Like the episode where Lisa, who’s eight years old, agonises about how she doesn’t know for sure yet what she intends to do for a living when she grows up. Or any episode about Bart getting a girlfriend, which turns into this thing about how women (as opposed to little girls) supposedly act in ways that men (as opposed to little boys) behave. Also Lisa has grown increasingly unlikeable in her self pitying, to the point that she comes across as really ungratefull, like the episode where she’s obsessed with finding one good Simpson in her family history, and is only satisfied when it turns out one of her ancestors freed a slave and later married him making Lisa one 64th black. Stuff like this basically equates to Lisa often thinking she’s the only good person in her family and she’s cursed to be part of it.

  571. ^supposedly act in ways that men don’t understand.

  572. CJ: Parker and Stone really like Primus, so they got Detective John Primus to do the theme song. They also like Radiohead and Korn, so they were glad to include those guys in the show. Didn’t Metallica also do that song in the movie where Kenny goes to hell? It’s probably significant that neither of these episodes were about how much Korn or Radiohead suck. I figure they have no qualms about using people they like in episodes that are more celebrations of their taste than they are criticism of some particular aspect of the world.

    I agree with you: the satire of Scientology would be drastically changed for the poorer if Tom Cruise were allowed to voice himself on the show, or if Kanye West performed Gay Fish. I just don’t see the Warcraft episode as anything near that level of social commentary. It’s more than a friendly goof, much like the episode where they become anime ninjas throwing weapons at each other.

    I think Parker and Stone also mentioned that they were too lazy to animate the warcraft stuff themselves. So there’s that too.

  573. Yeah, but again, having celebrities doing guest voices on their show (or let them appear on your soundtrack album) isn’t exactly the same as making a whole episode about the sheer awesomeness of a certain product, together with the company that made that product, nonetheless!
    The Simpsons had recently a whole Apple-is-awesome/awful episode, only that they were at least using the fictional brand Mapple, which is an easy way to spread the same message (whatever it was) like South Park’s WOW episode, without making the show look like Steve Job’s bitch.

    Oh, and Lisa Simpson has been an unsympathetic bitch who doesn’t appreciate her family for decades. I hate her. They always say Bart is the black sheep, but he is at least proud of being a Simpson.

  574. I’m probably guilty of cutting SOUTH PARK too much slack. I figure they have earned the right to coast after producing four of the most scathing episodes of cartoon satire I’ve ever seen: the Jennifer Lopez episode, the Mel Gibson episode, the Paris Hilton episode, and the Biggest Douche in the Universe episode.

    And, in fairness, even though they worked with Metallica, that didn’t stop them from mocking the band in the Napster episode.

  575. I think I reviewed Nightbreed but not Hellraiser. I was thinking of doing a marathon this year but I didn’t have time. I’m taking a brief hiatus from horror reviews after that last stretch but I’ll definitely do them some day.

  576. Jareth/CJ – the WOW episode aside South Park does have a lot of crass product placement, as a matter of fact last night’s new episode had Cartman pulling out a copy of Batman Arkham City for no reason and never mentioning it again for the rest of the episode (and that’s just one example of a bunch of other video game product placement), plus the “OWS” spoof revolved around kids occupying a “Red Robin” restaurant, which was so blatant it itself seemed like a joke (and don’t you hate it when you see ads for restaurants that aren’t even in your part of the country)

    I’m sure they get paid a ton of money to have video games in the show, since South Park is one of the few shows widely watched by the coveted “18 to 35” demographic who are probably second only to teenage girls in how coveted they are

  577. dna – since we had a pretty good NGE discussion, what are your thoughts on the Read or Die OVA?

  578. Griff

    I like it a lot, especially the last episode, the first two are just good entertainment, but the last is really exciting and original. I can`t stop comparing it to Alan Moores League of Extraordinaire gentlemen (the comic, off course), but it`s not that good. And the opening credits are awesome, I love the music. I also like the characters, especially Mata Hari (I think that`s her name?). Parts of it is kind of inspired by NGE, it uses the same classical music. Hmm, what else… It`s solid entertainment, that actually turns out to be a lot better than what I expected. But it`s far from a favorite, though. Why do you like it so much?

  579. casey

    No problem, I don`t dislike other people just because they don`t share my taste in movies.

  580. dna – I actually like R.O.D The TV a lot better, that’s specifically what I would call my favorite anime of all time, I do love the OVA too though

    to put it simply in both the OVA and the TV series (especially the TV series) I just flat out love the characters, just absolutely adore them, the plotlines can get very far fetched, but the fantastic characters grounds the whole thing

    plus the overall thing is just such a brilliant mixture of a British spy story, anime and a dash of Indiana Jones and Steampunk

    seriously, you have to check out the TV series, you wont regret it

  581. I’m 100% sure the Occupy Red Robin thing was a joke. I actually loved last night’s episode.

    And Matt and Trey are libertarians. They’re not super liberal iconoclasts. In fact, like half of the episodes of South Park are written on the model of Atlas Shrugged: South Park is a small, semi-dysfunctional town. They have some troubles, but they get along. Then, some outside force enters the town thinking they can ‘improve’ things. They take control and railroad in their ‘improvements’ which make everything suck. Then you get a long monologue from the protagonist about how he was always right intrinsically.

    They’re totally fine with capitalism and they clearly love video games. I don’t see why Cartman playing Arkham Asylum is all that big a deal. Woody Allen has his characters ramble about Berman and go see the Seventh Seal. Same basic premise.

  582. The “product placement” with stuff like Arkham City and the Wii and PSP just seems to me details in stories that use the fact kids place such importance on material goods as catalysts for stuff, because they’re kids who don’t know better. Best example of this is Cartman being unable to just wait for the Wii, so he tries to freeze himself to get through the rest of the weeks, resulting in him sleeping till the 25th century. I like that despite making the kids the focal point and the smart ones, they still from time to time use kid logic and perspective to drive certain stories. Like when they buy the ninja weapons and we see the anime-style fight scenes as they imagine them, or the head lice episode where they were all scapegoating each other and didn’t understand what having head lice really meant.
    Red Robin thing just seemed to be a spoof of how the real 99 percenters are doing this occupation with with national franchises, so a more regional one like Red Robin fits the humour of this version being a poor man’s version. And I’d rather have real brand names than obvious fake ones.

  583. so I saw A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas tonight and honestly, I was disappointed

    I liked the original and the second one a lot, but this one is not as good, I mean it’s pretty funny I guess, just not as funny (weed jokes are starting to get a little old I think)

    and it needed more nudity, seriously they had a scene with lesbian Nuns showering together (including a hilariously blasphemous shot of a Nun with cross shaped pubic hair) and it lasts literally only a few seconds, barely enough time for it to even register, I mean what the hell is the point of that? I expected a ton of 3D nudity and it barely had any, a real step down from the bottomless pool party of the second one

    so yeah, I feel pretty ripped off, I probably would have waited for blu ray but Hollywood has a strange quirk where they refuse to release Christmas movies on video until a year after they come out and I didn’t want to wait a extra year, but still…

    a shame, there was a lot of wasted potential here

  584. The bottomless party in H&K 2 featured the best ass I have ever seen on screen. The girl who opened the door…I haven’t seen the movie since its’ first release, but that image is burned into my consciousness.

  585. amen to that Tawdry, I’m still pretty pissed off about H&K 3 actually, I mean that scene was so ridiculously brief, it lasted maybe 10 or 15 seconds at the most, I just can’t understand why, it’s almost as if that in itself was a joke, as the if the director was saying “ha ha ha, you came to see nudity? well fuck you buddy, here’s a few seconds of it, aren’t I totally hilarious and clever in how I’ve wasted your time and money?”, I see on imdb that it’s a different director than the second movie, maybe that explains it

    my quest for nudity in the third dimension continues I guess

    I should add though that that was not the only problem with the movie, for one thing there was almost no political or social satire in it at all, the political satire in Escape From Guantanamo Bay was hilarious and to me felt like a great cap off of the Bush years, other than a tacked on reference to Occupy Wall Street (that I’m sure they added at the last minute) this one doesn’t seem to care about any current events at all

    so yeah, lesser humor and an infuriating lack of nudity, learn from my mistakes guys and don’t bother until at least blu ray

  586. Piranha 3D apparently had a shitload of 3D nudity. I hope you have a 3D tv and a 3D blu ray player. I think they should remake all those “Women in Chains” movies and release them in 3D. Chained Heat and Prison Heat being two of my personal favorites.

  587. Not to be all, “internet tough guy” and shit, but you do know that you can see 3D tits in, like, real life? They’re way more realistic than the ones on screen. They pop out at you and you can *actually* touch them. Unless you’re in a strip club…then you can’t.

    But like, if you play your cards right, you can do it for a lot cheaper than 15 bucks, you won’t have to wear those goofy glasses and they’ll be right in front of you for as long as you need.

    You should look for this thing called, “A woman.” I think Apple must make them, because they’re very ergonomic, sleek and they come in black and white. They don’t have wifi hook ups or video screens just yet, but I bet they’ll announce that model pretty soon.

    Actually, come to think of it, Women might be a Microsoft thing; they generally require double clicking…

    Anyway, wherever they come from, Women are available pretty much everywhere. A lot of people go looking for them at bars and dance clubs, but that’s like going to Wal-Mart to look for a good movie. I recommend coffee shops, record stores (if you got one), libraries, thrift stores, parks. Places you would actually go on your own.

    If you’ve got a cute dog, walk it around the park. They’ll come to you if you do it for long enough and look confused enough. I think their tracking processors are still a bit rudimentary because if you have a cute puppy in your vicinity, they will often attribute that cuteness to you, regardless of your looks. It’s kinda like when you’re playing Doom II and you shoot straight ahead, but it will kill a monster who is above you.

    But even with that flaw, the designers of Women have gotten really clever. Those things are advanced as shit. Sometimes I totally believe that they have emotions and thoughts, some of them are even pretty funny. But they still have the same problem as MoCap, the eyes are never quite right, so you can totally tell they aren’t real.

  588. Tawdry – that last post made my day. Thank you.

    Just saw “Panic Button” at the arts centre. Was not overly impressed. This is not the “Kill List”-beater I have been waiting for. Without wanting to spoil too much, the central premise of the movie requires that all four of the main characters be assholes. Other than that, this is just a horror-in-a-confined-space-themed remake of “Untraceable”. And “Untraceable” was better. “Panic Button” also suffers from some noticeably ropy acting, especially at the beginning. Ending is good, but otherwise… meh, it’s ok, worth seeing if it’s on TV and there’s nothing else on. Which there probably won’t be because, unlike “Kill List”, this one probably deserves its inevitable sink into obscurity.

  589. Tawdry, I appreciate your pep talk, but I think you’ve underestimated the degree of social impairment experienced by your online audience. Case in point:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9aZyJJNIo

    Actually, a buddy sent me that link after reading my comments earlier in the thread along with the note: “QUIT TALKING ABOUT FUCKING WARCRAFT, NERDLINGER!”

  590. Edit: I should have called them aWomen or iWoman.

    Glad to know the post made someone else laugh, usually things that make me feel clever are funny to me and only me.

    I’ve never played video games. I desperately wanted them as a kid, but my father was pretty much iron fist on the subject. Looking at that video…he definitely made the right choice.

    But before you praise my social adroitness, please consider that my previous post was about my vivid memory of a nameless actressess’ butt from a 5 year old movie, written at 10:30 p.m. on a Friday. Also, one of my main hobbies since I was 15 has been writing DVD reviews and doing interviews for film websights, so it’s not like I’m some BAMF. In fact, I’m geeky enough that my BAMF reference is a callback to my favorite X-Man and not, “Bad Ass Mother Fucker.”

    Which reminds me; you know who played Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United? Alan Cummings, who also starred in JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. Which you should all see and write about, especially if your name is Outlaw Vern and you run this websight.

    There, I think I’ve successfully washed off any whiff of Internet Tough Guy-ism.

  591. Actually, my favorite X-Man is probably Lana Wachowski or the love interest from The Crying Game (Spoilers).

  592. I apologize for the transphobia in the above statement, but my inclination toward wordplay is stronger than my need to be politically correct.

  593. My favorite X-Man is Francis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZXNMs8D-Ow&feature=related

    Make no mistake: He NEEDS that account.

  594. Tawdry – 3 points

    1. I suffer from extreme shyness, it’s hard for me to talk to any stranger in public, let alone women
    2. I live in a small town, so there’s not endless hip coffeshops or whatever for me to hang out in, it must be nice to live in LA where I’m sure you probably can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a few attractive females
    3. don’t you think I already know how pathetic it is I’ve never been with one of these “women”

    yeah, I know, I’m a total freakin nerd, there’s no need to rub salt in the wounds, I don’t mean to be all “offended by the internet”, I can take a joke, but that was kind of a low blow, I thought you were cooler than that

  595. Your bra bomb better work, Grifflinger.

    Just kidding, bud. Anyone who has found a home here at Vern’s place is cool in my book. Besides, the value placed on hooking up is so overdetermined it’s reached the point of preposterousness.

  596. I’m sorry, dude.

    I didn’t mean to write that as an assault on you at all. I’ve been editing a chapbook that’s largely about technology and intimacy and so my brain is on a wavelength of extended goofy metaphor about that specific subject. It never occurred to me that my post would hurt your feelings or be taken as anything on than a lark. I was just avoiding doing real work by writing something funny.

    As for you being, “Pathetic,” I think not.

    The written word means more to me than just about anything. You’re a couple of years younger than me and you write with much greater clarity than I could muster until about halfway through college. Hell, you’re probably more clear than I am most of the time. Your posts rarely have the glaring typos and grammar flubs that plague rants. Point blank; you have a higher aptitude for writing than I do and I had the advantage of lessons from two parents who spent 20+ years as editors for the LA Times. And a college education in a program that focused entirely on writing.

    You’re in a better starting position for professional writing, which you’ve said you want to do. Keep at that and you have the potential to do very well for yourself. You’ll quickly discover that girls will respond to good prose and poetry. There has *got* to be at least one open mic night in your town. Start going to that. You’ll get better at writing through performing, it will aid your social anxiety immensely and immediately and you’ll probably meet some cool girls, or at least expand your social circle and give yourself more opportunities to meet girls.

    I don’t think you’re pathetic at all. If I can be honest here, the fact that I tie my sense of self so directly to my ability to pull a girl and my estimation of her perceived social value in the eyes of society at large is far more problematic than your lack of a sex life. I posture as an, “Ardent Feminist” and can discuss theory at length, but my instincts and actions are clearly misogynistic in basis and signify a deep personal insecurity. My boldfaced hypocrisy is far more pathetic in the truest of senses.

    And while this might seem off topic, go read my post again. It’s *about* misogyny, specifically my own internal struggles with it. I’m smart enough to know better, but all too often, I lack the personal integrity to follow through on what I allegedly believe. On one level, I use the tension between thought and action as the basis for most of my poetic self expression. But often, I wonder how sincere it is. Am I making a meta-textual point, or am I just acting exactly like the frat boys I so abhor? I use irony to implicate that I am above the objectification of women, but is the humor of my previous post not still derived from snide remarks about women?

    Don’t worry about not having a girlfriend. Don’t worry about not being in LA. None of that matters. Keep reading, keep writing, keep thinking and I assure you, you will have the last laugh.

  597. And in the meantime: life is full of all sorts of relationships that can you can benefit from in so many ways. There’s no reason why you have to privilege one particular kind of relationship over the others just because it’s all they show on MTV or whatever it is you kids watch these days.

    That about does it for our community service today, eh Tawdry? What time do we have to check in with our parole officers?

  598. I’m going for the hat trick right now. Kicked one out of bed 15 hours ago, had one over for a shower-quickie 3 hours ago, and now I’m prowling the New Orleans pool tables looking for a lonely Alabama fannette to console after the big LSU OT victory to top off my Wayne Gretzky effort.

    My grimy feminism meets with Redman’s misguided feminism (from HOW HIGH: “How could I fail women’s studies? I love bitches!”) to form a libidinous form of misogyny that will only be stopped when I grow ugly, I fear. Also, I’m wearing a Burberry scarf and I don’t know whence it came.

    In conclusion, America has the best sports bars in the world and I encourage Griff to visit some of them. Nothing sexier & more inviting than a lass in a form-fitting foosball jersey pretending to know what the ramifications of an offsides penalty on 3rd & 4 are.

  599. Oh, and hi-5 to Tawdry for posting thoughts I have often articulated myself, though I think I skipped Doom II. Funny, clever stuff, brotherman.

    We share a wavelength, that poet & me. Next time I’m in L.A., we shall have to quaff & attack something together.

  600. Last note:

    I’m gonna go ahead and call the Childish Gambino album best of 2011. Shit’s hot, son.’m

  601. Cool. I’m all about high-fives and random, ill-advised adventures.

  602. apology accepted Tawdry and thanks for the pep talk and compliments on my writing skills, I really, truly appreciate it

    I found your post funny too, but seeing as how we are a more mature community than most on the internet, I figured there wouldn’t be any harm any admitting that my feelings were also a bit hurt, I’m glad to see this place is as mature as I hoped it would be

  603. Mouth: I actually downloaded all of Gambino’s mixtapes yesterday. He’s incredible and really inspiring too me. He’s got the style of Weezy and Drake, but with actual *content* to match. I didn’t even know it was possible to be so Joycean while still being coherent and heartfelt.

    He’s my favorite new rapper since Yellawolf, but he still has a ways to go. Too many lines about Speedos, cheese and his wallet. His insistence on reminding you of how ‘different’ he is is a bit grating.

    Also, his overuse of the “N-bomb” (god I hate typing it like that) seems out of place and insincere. He’s fairly ‘post-racial’ in his approach, so the word sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s clearly very, very influenced by YMCB – though he does it better than them – and his, ‘N-bomb this, N-bomb that’ moments highlight his style’s origin and thus feel doubly derivative. He’d do well to use the word more judiciously or politically, (“I sound weird like, ‘N***a’ with a hard-R” is more fitting, methinks).

    I donno who that nasally white guy is on a few of the tracks…dude can rap real well, “Clumsy archeologist/I’m about to drop a classic” is a great line, but his delivery is subpar.

    His work is invigorating, hysterical, shockingly heartfelt and singular, even as it clearly and openly derivative. I think I might go catch his show next week. He’s playing on my birthday.

    Cutestory:

    Those videos are fake. I was suspicious when I saw the too-perfect Princess Leia poster framed clearly in the center of the image but the torn shirt bit and the exploding keyboard settled it for me. I looked at the dude’s other videos and sure enough, he has no lisp and isn’t that much of a freakazoid. Dude’s got talent, it’s a great comedy bit. Unfortunately, his out of character comedy attempts are less memorable.

  604. Griff:

    I have terrible social anxiety too. I don’t know how to approach a girl at all. I almost never make the first move, or the second. I usually skip right to third base (*boom, hiss*). You know how awkward I am? I almost always ask permission before kissing a girl. I freeze up at parties and I’m halfway convinced I have very slight Aspergers. I’ve done well for myself because I’ve developed good coping mechanisms. I’ve learned how my brain works – or doesn’t work, in many cases – and how this correlates to those around me. Basically, I game my own system.

    I don’t meet girls the way most other guys seem to. During the whole of college, I never picked up a girl at a party and took her home. Keep in mind, THIS was my school: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asK7wzg6dLg . I have an extremely low potential for success in that atmosphere. It plays upon all of my weaknesses and none of my strengths.

    In fact, I have never had success when I’ve tried to go meet a girl. I never ‘try to meet women.’ Instead, I do stuff I would do anyway and end up meeting girls: discussing Marx outside of drama class, going to the mall with a group of friends, going to a New Year’s screening of Rocky Horror, attending a religious school youth group event, attending a community college journalism retreat, falling asleep in science class, watching South Park in the commons room, writing and directing short films, surfing facebook, performing at open mic nights, walking to get a burrito, hanging out at a friend’s kickback, looking for a book at the library, going on a road trip, waiting in line for a Saul Williams concert, doing Jury Duty. These are, in rough chronological order, the methods by which I have met pretty much every girl with whom I have ever had a fling/dated.

    Notice how *none* of those approaches corresponds to the cultural norm of how you’re ‘supposed’ to meet a girl.

    Do YOUR thing, follow YOUR interests. And it will happen. You’re at your most appealing when you’re confident and doing something you like. Play to the strengths you already have, and you have a great many, and you will magically move up two, maybe three points on that 1-10 scale.

    You’re never gonna pull a girl with whom you have nothing in common. So don’t try to emulate the mating rituals of those around you; it’s the wrong approach. And frankly, you wouldn’t have a very good time with those girls anyway.

    If you go out specifically looking to meet a girl/get laid, you’re limiting the number of events you can consider a ‘successful’ evening. As a result, you will be more stressed, less comfortable and more prone to panic attacks. (I’m just assuming you have panic attacks, since we don’t seem totally dissimilar). If you establish a very narrow set of choices for yourself, you put undo pressure on yourself to ‘perform.’ And since interpersonal relations are ephemeral, without the solid if-then logic of math or syntax, you can never figure out the ‘right’ path. You’ll end up second-guessing yourself, acting less cool/charming, and you won’t have a very good time.

    Go out with the goal of meeting five new people. Go out with the goal of having fun. Go out with the goal of having an, ‘Adventure.” If your goal is as broad as, “Try something new,” you’ll be open to a near-infinite number of possible scenarios for a ‘successful’ evening. This removes almost all pressure to ‘perform,’ (though the goal of, ‘Meet five new people’ will indeed be daunting the first few times you try it), and you’ll be more loose, charming/intelligent. And I assure you, you are *very* intelligent. This is probably your best asset.

    Girls and women are not some unknowable force of nature. They are just like you, but with tits. There’s a very good chance that there will be at least a dozen girls at any social event you attend who are lonely, looking for a friend/potential mate, and above average intellectually. The smart girls will probably be starved for attention from a guy who’s not going to stare at her aforementioned tits. You’ll have the best chance of success with these girls because, as you know, intelligence is a very isolating thing. There is less ‘competition’ for these girls because of social pressure, so they are more ‘attainable’. This isolation puts you in a much smaller pool of possible mates. But that’s not the point because it’s not about ‘ease of access.’ Rather, it’s about the fact that the same girls with whom you have the highest likelihood of success are also the same pool of girls with whom you will be the most emotionally compatible.

    I’m not giving you advice on getting laid here. I’m trying to give you advice on how to meet a girl with whom you can spend more than one night. I have no idea how to pull a one-night stand. I don’t do that stuff.

    If you see a girl, think of a reason to talk to her. Is she wearing a t-shirt for a band you like; ask if she’s heard their new album or if she knows when they’re coming to town again. Does she have totally hot steel-toed boots on; ask if they’re Doc Marten’s. Does she have funky neon hair; ask what the brand is because you’ve been considering doing yours. If she’s smoking and you see her lighting up; ask her if you can bum a cancer stick or a light. Does she have a book sticking out of her bag; ask her what she’s reading.

    Group dynamics dictate that we tend to think positively of those for whom we do favors and think negatively of those to whom we are cruel. Pick-up artists will tell you that you need to, “Demonstrate value,” but I don’t think this pans out. By asking her for advice/a favor, you predispose her toward wanting to talk because the discussion will affirm her individual value elevate her social status by granting her a position as an authority. She will feel good about herself and this will bleed over into feeling good about you.

    It doesn’t really matter what the, ‘it’ in question is. The point of the opening line is that it is specific to her and only her. I have no idea what the hell you do with a pickup line. I have no idea how a guy can have the gall to walk up to a girl and say, “You’re so beautiful, I just had to speak to you.” But I have found that, if you walk up to a girl and begin a *real* conversation about a shared interest it seems to work pretty well.

    You know, just like you would if you were starting a conversation with a guy. The fact that she is a girl is immaterial because your goal is not to get laid or get a girlfriend; your goal is to have an interesting conversation with someone new. If you approach a girl thinking about a potential relationship, you’re putting absurd amounts of pressure on yourself to perform and create an incredibly narrow band for potential, ‘success.’

    Don’t go for the girls you feel like you’re ‘supposed’ to go for. Go for the girls with whom you actually like talking. I’ve been with girls who wear a size zero and do modeling or acting and I’ve been with girls who wear over a size six and work as chefs. The physical element quickly becomes irrelevant if you actually like each other. To quote Tarantino/Avery, “That which looks good to the eye and that which feels good to the hand are rarely the same thing.”

    Do things to distract from your physical body. You’re ugly. Actually, you aren’t ugly, but your low self-esteem implies that you suffer from some level of body dysmorphia and thus *feel* ugly. I know I do. I’m 5”11 and 138 pounds (in my Doc Marten’s). You can see my ribs sticking out if I take my shirt off. My collarbone is incredibly prominent. I have bad teeth, a shitty haircut, a Jewish nose, an uneven complexion and thick eyebrows that creep toward a uni-brow if I don’t shave it.

    To combat this, I’ve taken to wearing a tie as a belt. I picked it up from Fred Astaire. It draws attention away from the features I don’t like (read; all of them) and focuses attention on something I can control. Plus, girls will sometimes walk up to me at random and ask about the tie. I’ve also taken to wearing an ironic moustache of late, but if you’re out of a major metropolitan area, that might not seem ironic.

    Pick something, whether it be a scarf, a t-shirt decorated with a homemade spray-paint design, a tie as a belt, a tuxedo vest from the thrift store, whatever. Anything will work, it just has to be something that stands out and draws attention to itself. You’ll end up thinking about this unique element of clothing and forget how utterly hideous you (wrongly think) you are. And even if it’s a hideously ugly sweater, you’ll feel less uncomfortable wearing it than you do in your own skin.

    Why have I written you 1500 words on this? I’m gaming my system.

    I’ve been trying to write a buddy cop comedy about a detective who is terrible with women and a pick-up artist. I like the juxtaposition of two opposing forms of masculinity, (the detective is a gruff Dirty Harry type and the pick-up artist is an effete metrosexual) and it’s a good way to discuss the internal dilemmas I outlined in my last post within the constraints of an easily digestible genre narrative. I’ve had the idea and the basic story beats for over a year, but I haven’t been able to write it because the methods described in the pick-up artist books I’ve read for research horrify me. So, I’ve recalibrated the concept to be about a detective who can’t talk to women and an, “Ethical pick-up artist.” It’s a fresher angle and more relatable to me.

    Still, I haven’t been able to outline the pick-up artist’s, “Ethical” method because that feels like work. Since I’m talking to you about something unrelated to character development/research, it flows more easily.

    I try to approach everything like that. It works real well.

  605. A lot of times, I wear a flower either behind my ear or in my lapel. Chicks seem to dig it.

  606. thanks for the advice again Tawdry, I really, really appreciate it

  607. http://www.npr.org/2011/11/06/141934309/first-listen-childish-gambino-camp

    Actually, I’m starting to get bored of this guy now.

    However, his website is occasionally interesting, like when he recently linked to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6QFwo57WKwg

  608. Odd Future show in New Orleans was straight, but Austin is where the crazy shit that I was hoping to see happened:
    http://exclaim.ca/News/odd_future_rushes_crowd_after_tyler_creator_beaned_by_bottle_in_austin

    So I was disappointed Odd Future didn’t go too crazy in NOLA, except for Left Brain allegedly punching a “f*ggot photographer,” as they were repeatedly addressed, and Tyler throwing water bottles at moshers and some other little things. And the sound quality of the vocals could have been better. Good crowd, teenagers smoking weed in broad daylight, reminds me of me 10-12 years ago, gives me hope for the future. I was hoping to witness a total implosion of all sanity, Odd Future’s last public appearance before they are all arrested or have terrible onstage skateboard accidents or disappear into the woods to become monks or something. One of them was rocking my kicks (black Nike AirMax 2011s with neon green trim), so that was something.

    Friends got me “VIP backstage passes,” with which we enjoyed up close & personal-like some band I never heard of for the first performance. The “VIP” part simply meant that $7 beers only cost us $5. And there were free bags of chips & bottled water. Yay.

    Then when it was time for Odd Future I joined the crowd in front of the stage. It was cool to be “backstage” and eavesdrop on the dudes just before they performed, but, thing was, there was no backstage, just a baseball field and a pile of xylophone equipment or whatever, so actually my pass got me to the grass at the side of the stage and up some stairs to a balcony thing stage right. But that was a nice balcony, even if it only held 15 people and even if I was told drinks weren’t allowed up there.

    TV on the Radio, with whom I’ve never been familiar, was excellent. My pass didn’t apply to The Raconteurs (holy shit they were nice and it’s so cool I got to see Jack White do his thing), but the crowd was live so I was glad to be 30-40 feet in front of the stage among the riffraff for that set.

    The more I think about it, the more I think it’s going to be a looooooong time before I see another concert with that kind of sprawling talent, appeal, and potential value as a time capsule moment.

    Mannie Fresh still sucked, though.

  609. I have seen HAYWIRE. That is all.

  610. Mouth, are you a punk rock guy? I try to understand why other white people like Odd Future so much and the best explanation I heard is that their attitude is not hip hop, it’s punk rock. They don’t have a point of view or ideas, according to this theory, their whole thing is just to rebel against anything and everything, call everybody a faggot or nigga every other word and make up slang that means nothing and act like a little kid in interviews and not really make any sense but if old people (me) get confused then it’s subversive or whatever. Maybe since I never really was a punk rock guy is why they just seem like the worst babysitting job ever and not great hip hop. It’s the same thing when I saw that movie Decline of Western Civilization, I didn’t understand why people were so into the Germs. The Odd Futures play their instruments better I guess but the attitude is similar.

    Every time I read about them I just think that N.W.A. were that same age. Odd Future are more prolific but even as experienced adults will they ever make anything even close to as good as the first three songs of Straight Outta Compton? Also, will they stick a banana up their ass and throw it into the crowd like G.G. Allin, and if not why don’t they fuckin go home and apologize to their mothers ’cause they got nothing new to show us.

    In other words, I don’t get it.

  611. Nah, I’m no punker or punk rocker, and I don’t get Odd Future either. I just wanted to see some crazy shit.

    I celebrate the freedom & success of their website & online persona and how they’ve turned that into a whole national image and concert tours and stuff. It’s all performance art to my eyes, and, though it makes me uncomfortable and though it’s mostly objectively bad (nowhere near as tight as young N.W.A.), there’s something to it right here right now. And it’s surely fleeting.

    (I might describe GG Allin’s act similarly, except I actively hate that gross out act nonsense. I might include Beavis & Butthead in this list, except I never thought they were funny or clever or insightful or important for one minute. Their “performance art” existence I would base entirely on the reactions of others and on the specific 1990s window in which they were confoundingly popular.)

    Going into the concert, I thought Odd Future was kinda like ICP for black people, but a tiny step up in talent & charisma, and, honestly, the crowd confirmed this. I mean, I use lazy labels like that for the purpose of description, and they shouldn’t be so limited by 1 phrase like that, but there’s not much to them. It’s a clash between medium, message, and the audience’s desire to make the most of that medium & message. Even if the show ain’t great, it’s an event. Even if the music ain’t great, it’s a forum for a segment of the population that doesn’t get much shine, so they make it big, bigger than it would be if not for youtube & well-timed, well-leaked moments of cred-building performances/outbursts.

    Same thing, you could say, with someone like Jimmy Buffett — not many of his concertgoers are die hard Buffett fans. His music kind of sucks. But people go there because they know other laid back beach culture-celebrating people will be there, and they can all get drunk and toss each other in blankets. To some extent, it doesn’t matter about the music so much. It’s just nice to see others of your ilk at the same setting, and you reinforce your community and remind each other why you like the same stuff.

    I’m baffled by a lot of the stupid shit Americans make popular; I can’t even stomach 15 minutes of a top 40 radio station or 10 minutes of mTV (unless it’s Next — is that show still on?). Wolf Gang ain’t “got nothing new to show us,” Vern? At least Odd Future has as the basis of their current popularity an emotional reaction. Their provocativeness is based in immaturity, but it’s something that’s pure & true to themselves (as dickish teenagers who just want to bullshit & party). And so they have substance in refusing to be substantive.

  612. This is why I love Werner Herzog. Because we all know that, even though it probably won’t happen, we can be sure that he wouldn’t be above doing it.

    http://www.movieweb.com/news/exclusive-werner-herzog-will-consider-directing-bill-ted-3

  613. so guys I’ve been playing the Metal Gear Solid HD collection tonight and HOLY SHIT is it awesome

    are there any other Metal Gear fans here? I’ve been having a Metal Gear Solid revival recently, I replayed the original playstation Metal Gear Solid a few weeks ago and now when I’m done playing the HD collection I’m gonna replay 4 (which I have not played since it first came out)

    man, I’ve forgotten just how much I love this series, it’s second to none when it comes to story, characters and gameplay in video games

    it’s incredible to think I first played Metal Gear Solid 2 ten years ago this month

  614. Griff, is it true that MGS1 isn’t on the HD collection? I could Google it but would rather ask a fellow fan. I still think MGS1 is up there with the very best games ever, pretty much.

    Have you ever tried playing the original NES games? They’re OK, the stories are pretty good and you can see the seeds Kojima laid down for the later games.

    As I’m an XB360 guy I’ve not played MGS4 but I did see the opening video with David Hayter as Snake and it more or less blew my mind.

  615. I actually think the ICP thing goes deeper. Tyler, The Creator’s first ‘real’ record was Goblin. That album is basically a LP length riff on “Guilty Conscience” by Eminem and Dr. Dre. But mixed in is a bunch of D12 stuff. D12’s lyrics are clearly derivative of ICP. You’re telling me The Slim Shady LP isn’t horrorcore? It is!

    Odd Future is a knockoff of a knockoff of a knockoff of The Insane Clown Posse, but in style, structure and form. They admit in their interviews that Eminem and D12 are bigger influences on them than Wu Tang of NWA or whomever. The postmodernist in me is kinda interested in the Black kids trying to act like White kids who were trying to act like other White kids who were so uncomfortable with their whiteness that they put on face makeup while they tried to act like Black kids. That daisy chain of racial codification results in a song like Yonkers. But here’s the thing; yonkers is INCREDIBLE. That song is utterly badass. But the rest of it? Not so much.

    But think about how there is a whole moment in culture that *is* jumping off of OFWGKTA. Kreayshawn, Childish Gambino are the first two. Expect more. ICP will have the last laugh, because mainstream hip-hop is about to become a convergence of Lil Wayne and horrorcore.

  616. I didn’t think the Insane Clowns invented so-called horrorcore, so I looked it up on the wikipedia. Apparently they started out rapping about typical gangster stuff but they didn’t have much success and decided to change to “horrorcore” like one of their local heroes, Esham (who it says appears on their first album).

    I don’t know, I’d prefer not to think about them. I love the first Gravediggaz album, though.

  617. I could never believe they got away with calling a character Solid Snake in a video game, that was for kids at least in the NES days. My friends and I sure had a giggle over that.

  618. We might put more thought into a day of posting comments here than Odd Future does in any of their musical endeavors.

    Their talent creeps out, and a couple of them got interesting voices, but just because I enjoy some of it or even if I agree with you, Tawdry, that some of it is “incredible,” I find myself in the Vern camp of not being impressed and also not wanting to ever have thoughts of ICP ever again for any reason except if I catch part of Soderbergh’s SOLARIS again one day.

  619. BTW: I suggest everyone look at Jason Segal’s performance in THE MUPPETS for our study of mega acting.

  620. True, ICP started out as the Inner City Posse before ‘evolving’ into ICP. They couldn’t get a foothold in gangsta rap. They misinterpreted this failing as a fault of their whiteness and not their wackness. So, they developed the facepaint shtick to SO foreground their whiteness that it became a non-issue. I don’t think they actually understood why this functioned, but they’ve played off of it very well.

    And while ICP didn’t invent horrorcore by any means, they were certainly the antecedent to Eminem’s style. Eminem never had a decade long beef with Esham or any other horrorcore artist. Just ICP. He was constantly in an imagined competition with them through most of his ‘golden age’ of creativity (Slim Shady LP, Marshal Mathers LP, the 8 Mile soundtrack).

    Despite being incalculably more talented than ICP, Eminem was still driven by them and artistically defined by their style. If you listen to ICP’s tracks from the late 90s and early 00s and compare them to Eminem’s, they’re clearly in dialect with one another And most of the time, I feel like ICP was leading the conversation.

    Goblin is a concept album, but the entire concept is just Guilty Conscience writ large. Tyler, The Creator is riffing on Slim Shady era Eminem in almost all of his tracks, openly.

    You can almost draw a straight line from Funk music to the roots of hip-hop (which began as DJs spinning two records to extend the breakbeat) to NWA, who sampled funk and jazz beats to create modern Gangsta Rap, to the East Coast versus West Cost style of the Biggie/Tupac era, to the birth of Horrorcore in Michigan, which developed as a reaction to the Coastal rap styles that excluded all of Middle America, to the development of ICP from within that culture, to the rise of Eminem, who mixed horrorcore with Dre’s West Coast flavor, to the inspiration of Tyler, the Creator, who mixes horrorcore with the ‘backpack’ rapper style of Kanye, (also from Michigan).

    Basically, Eminem is a mixture of Horrorcore and West Coast sensibilities and Tyler, The Creator is a mixture of Horrorcore and East Cost sensibilities.

    But a shocking amount of modern material can be tied back to two of the wackest Emcees ever to spit.

    I don’t think ICP is good, but I think they’re worth paying attention to. The symptomatic meaning of their popularity speaks loudly about many elements within our culture that we generally ignore. ICP speaks profoundly about modern conceptions of race and they do so openly specifically *because* no one takes them seriously. And isn’t that exactly what we should be talking about here? Isn’t that what we’re always talking about? The ways in which cheap, disposable genre content is given special dispensation to discuss major social issues because of its’ lowbrow trappings? The popular elements of culture that we most readily ignore are also, very often, the cultural elements that prefigure the largest social changes.

    Remember, when the printing press hit France, the streets of the Acropolis were immediately filled with pornographic pamphlets. Stupid, gross and crudely drawn images of nude women and sex, lewd jokes ect. But beneath the pictures, were discussions of politics. And these discussions were some of the first seeds in the French Revolution.

    I’m not saying ICP, Eminem, OFWGKTA is gonna lead to the Reign of Terror. But they are saying something. I don’t listen to any of these artists for pleasure, but I do pay attention, especially to the things that confuse me.

  621. Sacha Baron Cohen set to get a role in DJANGO UNCHAINED:
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118046046
    Sounds like a skeevy character bound for an asskicking, so he’d fit well.

  622. Hey guys, I think I just thought of a way to help out the economy:

    Move all national holidays, excepting Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s to a Monday. The savings from closing government offices for the equivalent of a furlow day could save 10s of millions a year, if not more.

    While most holidays fall on weekdays anyway, a better scheduled series of holidays could improve consumer spending. If you get a Wednesday off, it’s not very useful, but a 3-day weekend encourages spending at zero initial cost. Furthermore, a more regular schedule of 3-day weekends could improve overall morale by providing a consistent stream of things to look forward to. Carrot and stick and all that.

    This plan heavily favors salary workers over hourly wage-earners, but as the majority of hourly wage-earners would be working in jobs that wouldn’t celebrate the holiday, they wouldn’t lose the ability to earn essential income. Perhaps legislation could be written to include slightly expanded worker’s rights and grant hourly wage-earners access to overtime pay on these holidays.

    You would have to do an analysis of the potential loss of productivity against the potential increase in consumer spending added to the savings in government spending and do an analysis to determine if productivity during the week before and after the holiday was negatively effected. But it’s entirely possible that these 3-day weekends could improve productivity during the week before and after as well as overall productivity due to increased morale.

    Other than a few studies, which may already exist, and possibly some minor protections for hourly wage-earners, the upstart cost for this plan would be zero. You could conceivably put this plan into action for under one million dollars and save nine-figures during the first decade on government spending (10 million a year sounds reasonable). Plus, the increased consumer spending could have a cascading effect, as could the improved morale.

    Whaddyall think?

  623. If it means I don’t have to come in to work on Monday, you have my vote.

  624. Wait, I’m an idiot…they already celebrate holidays on mondays…

  625. Well on the plus side, that must mean your plan worked!

  626. It’s nice to see that Sasha Baron Cohen tries to do some different stuff from time to time. (Like singing in Tim Burton’s most violent movie or playing the bumbling adult comic relief in a Scorcese kids movie).
    But the to me more interesting movie related news of the week is that Tarsem (Singh) attached himself to the live action SAMURAI JACK movie, that is been in development hell for a while. I would prefer if Genndy Tartakovsky would finally be able to make his animated conclusion to the series first, but I think Tarsem would be an appropriate choice.

  627. I need to get caught up on JACK.

    I’m watching THE NESTING and it’s sufficiently creeping me the fucking out.

  628. *fuck out*

    Jeez.

  629. Gavin Smith of Film Comment loves THE RAID.  Covering TIFF, he wrote: 
    **”Most kick-ass movie?  The Indonesian action thriller THE RAID, directed by Welsh-born Gareth Huw Evans. … A jaw-dropping succession of gun battles and punishing hand-to-hand combat sequences ensue, each show-stopping smack-down unbelievably topping the one before.  Rarely have I seen an audience go as wild and get as vocal as I did that night in the Ryerson.  If somebody doesn’t release THE RAID here, then I give up.”**

    Hopefully, recommendations from Film Comment and the “mainstream” critics help ensure we all get to see Iko Uwais on the big screen soon, not just the big city folk of “limited release” land.  

    *********************

    Watching FA5T again, I confirm it belongs in the top 5 films I’ve seen this year.  It has 3 of the best action sequences of 2011, and that doesn’t include the Rock-Diesel fight that I like while some say was disappointing.  

    It still has huge flaws, moments of stupidity that are just that, stupid, not, like, surreal plot holes or meta-haha stupidities, but straight up, cheap nonsensical narrative shortcuts that have no business in a premium A or B class picture.  Despite all that, it’s a fantastic movie.  

    It’s like the figure skater who falls on her tutued ass, but then does a triple axel-triple axel-triple toeloop combo to wow the judges.  We remember the mistake, but we are impressed.  And then she accidentally roundhouses her skating partner for another deduction, but then they pull off The Iron Lotus and we love it so we score the couple highly.  

    Or FA5T is like a brilliant essay, making salient points in a dazzlingly eloquent manner, but it’s rife with spelling errors and comma splices.  It’s flawed, but still a great paper.  And movie.  

    Alright, that’s enough strained similes & metaphors for now.  

  630. THE KILLER INSIDE ME is a horrible movie. Stupid, murky plot. Stupid characters. A lot of ugliness and stupidity with zero payoff or purpose for being. It’s hard to follow what’s going on or why we should care about what’s going on, and when that happens in movies the only hope is for a badass ending to make something positive out of the whole ordeal, but here the ending makes no sense. I’m generally a Mike Winterbottom fan, but this was wretched stuff. The filmatism and acting is adequate, but the script is gibberish, simplistic where it should be compellingly complex, and off-puttingly murky where it should be compellingly clear. Worst well-made movie I’ve seen in a long time. Nothing to enjoy here.

    Avoid.

  631. I didn’t care for it either. I’m a fan of the novel, which doesn’t exactly make the protagonist’s motives much clearer, but at least it feels like you’re in the sick bastard’s head with him, not just watching him from the outside while he does inexplicable things. Affleck was very good but I felt like he was doing more of a characterization than a character. He had the behavior and the attitude down but not the motivation. I guess the point could be made that the character was a stranger even to himself so why should we understand him, but that’s no excuse. They obviously didn’t know what they wanted us to take away from it so they left us with some kind of fifth-generation BLUE VELVET kitsch thing, like, “Didn’t you know this was a black comedy all along? You didn’t? Oh, well, then…” *throws smokebomb, runs away in confusion*

  632. Yeah, this was one of those times where I told myself, “Dude, you’re never gonna find time to read the book. Just watch the movie and judge it on its own terms and it could be great, maybe…” Not enough hours in the day to read everything I wanna read, and the time crunch that defines my consumption of art & entertainment makes an experience like THE KILLER INSIDE ME movie all the more painful. Not tragic, but painful. You know, it’s a first world problem.

    I might have to join you in an immediate viewing of STEP UP 3D highlights to wash my mind of that mess. I also have access to a colleague’s new hardcover edition of Alan Moore’s NEONOMICON, which I plan to devour in the next couple days. I also have a backlog of 20 Buffy episodes to blog about on Vern’s SERENITY thread. I know he’s been pining for more of my “Nerdening of America” updates & analysis.

  633. Mouth:

    NEONOMICOM will fuck your mind in dirty, dirty ways. There’s a scene in it that’s the creepiest moment in comics, ever, imo.

    Also, once you’ve read it, search Bleeding Cool for the issue breakdowns. There’s some pretty crazy aspects of it that you don’t catch at first.

  634. Also, NEONOMICON should not be used to wash away the bad. I had to shower after finishing it.

  635. If I had an delicious Evil Dead themed birthday cake, would you call it a Necro-nom-nom-nom-icon?

  636. I still dig his stuff but I must admit, I miss the Alan Moore that used to be more of a jolly motherfucker; writing for 2000ad and DC and whatnot and talking about how he met John Constantine in actual real life.

    BTW, Gareth Huw Evans was on the Kung Fu Cinema forum recently talking about THE RAID.

    It’s still on for a 2012 US/UK release – possibly on the big screen first – with the BD/DVD having the option of original or Mike Shinoda soundtracks.

    Which is hardcore.

  637. Just a few hours ago I was bitching online again, about how much I hate the Mike Shinoda score (Okay, judging by the trailer [and…several Linkin Park songs]). Glad to hear that you have at least in some countries a choice. (I don’t hold my breath for such an option on the German DVD. Whenever it will come out.)

  638. The Chris Nolan Batman films should come with an option to use the soundtrack from the 1960s series.

  639. CJ: I’ll gladly send you a UK DVD.

    Caoimhin: I’d buy those. Might make the Nolan films better. I don’t mind his Batman flicks but I can’t really get into them.

  640. Thanks, man. But let me first wait a while if and when it’s gonna find its way to Germany.

  641. No problem, bro.

    Germany seems to be a lot like the UK when it comes to MA films: either a really nice version or a crappy bare bones one.

    Case in point: EASTERN CONDORS on DVD from Germany – easily the best version on the planet.

  642. so in case anyone cares I’ve been reading the new Stephen King book 11/22/63 and I can say without a doubt it’s the best King novel in years

    I don’t want to oversell it and I haven’t finished it yet, but basically I like every Stephen King book from the last few years, but I LOVE this one

    I think it’s simply because time travel is such an endlessly cool and fascinating subject and Stephen King tackling it directly (as opposed to it being a side thing in the Dark Tower novels or whatever) energizes the book and gives an edge that latter Stephen King novels sometimes lack

    it’s a cliche to say that he’s lost his mojo these days, but I would point to this book as proof that he’s still got it

  643. Griff, you shouldn’t say that until you finish it. I’ll be a fan for life, but even I know that every King book is his best in years until the inevitably disappointing ending.

  644. I’m watching a movie on Netflix instant called ARMSTRONG. Vern should definitely check it out. It’s by Menahem Golan and has all the craziness we love about Cannon films (though made in 1998!) cheap but real stunts, sincere hamminess and some fantastic nudity. Post Cold War action in Russia, extreme patriotism and ridiculous action.

  645. There are two things I remember about ARMSTRONG:

    1. The 10-minute chase scene where the chick runs through the streets of Moscow in a soaking-wet white shirt that shows off her nipples and never, ever dries out even a little bit.

    2. That part with the guy wielding two AK-47s at once.

    The rest of the movie is a blur, but those two moments are more than enough for me to recommend it wholeheartedly.

  646. It’s a weird time at the movies right now because there is quite literally nothing out. I’m going to watch the “Thing” prequel, not expecting too much for it – but it’s the Thing, how the hell do you fuck that up? – but there really isn’t any other half-interesting movie on right now at the cinema. It’s been literally months since that’s happened. Must be the pre-Christmas drought or something. The only movie that looked interesting was “Panic button”. Which, as it turned out, wasn’t half as interesting as its premise would suggest.

    Plus “The Thing” only comes out over here on the 2nd December, so you guys will all probably have seen it, rated it, declared it tripe and forgotten about it by the time I see it. Ho hum…

    Guess I’ll just have to lower my standards a bit. That said, feel free to blacklist my IP address from this site, Vern, if I happen to suggest watching / reviewing “Tower Heist” any time soon.

  647. Just discovered that the new Almodovar joint is playing locally tomorrow. Score.

    Plus, of course, TWILIGHT.

    TEAM MOUTH

  648. I’m just happy that soon that twilight bullshit will be over with

  649. It will all be worth it if they keep in the creepy as fuck “imprinting” thing with Jacob and we see a massive backlash against the series for it.

  650. Please tell me, as someone who would never touch a TWILIGHT book, more about this “imprinting”.

  651. Okay, so please bear in mind that I have never seen the movies or read the books. However, if you’re a dude like me, you’re gonna attract a few chicks with tattoos and blood fetishes, so you’re gonna hear a little bit about TWILIGHT.

    So what happens is, Scowly McBlanderson gets knocked up with Sparkles McVirgin’s baby, and it’s a monster or something. It’s eating her alive from the inside, so he vamps her up to save her. Problem is, now the baby can’t get out because only vampire teeth can break vampire flesh. So Sparkles bites his own baby out of his wife’s belly. Then Chesty McWolfboy takes one look at the baby and “imprints” on it, which is apparently something werewolf’s with shirt allergies do when they see their soulmates.

    Removing the supernatural elements, what we’re dealing with were is a scene where a guy bites open his own wife’s womb and a grown man fall in love with a baby. And this is supposed to be romantic.

    Teen girls are fucked up.

  652. Alright, sold. That’s some Cronenberg shit. I’ve got my tickets for tonight.

    I’ve somehow seen all the TWILIGHTS, but never in a theatre. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the story or characters or where it left off. The action scenes aren’t bad, and the creatures are funny, but there are too few such moments.

  653. If that’s real, than the photoshop on Chuck Norris is either a brilliant meta-joke, or horribly incompetent.

  654. Good Lord, it’s incredible… It’s like if The Thing had binged on 80’s action heroes!

  655. I looked online before posting and it would appear that the poster is indeed real.

    Clearly it’s a rush job and, for me, begs three questions:

    1) Where’s Jet?
    2) Why have they trimmed Sly’s goatee, and
    3) Why does Chuck Norris look like a disappointed chimp?

  656. Li is right under Crews but the shadow makes it look like he has lady hair LMAO

    That poster is pretty fucking surreal to see despite the shitty photoshop.

  657. OK looking at the poster again makes me feel racist towards Asian cause that is indeed lady hair and may not be Jet Li at all.

  658. The real star of that poster, as in the first EXPENDABLES, is Terry Crews’s gatpiece.

  659. I don’t know, I’m going with Van Damme’s sweet fur-lined jacket. It looks like something a Russian mobster would wear. Wait, he’s not reprising his role from NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER, is he?

  660. Thought we agreed not to let you get your hopes up, Majestyk. Let’s not go down this road, bud, expecting a new NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER. You’ll only be hurt come next August.

  661. Yeah, I’m digging JCVD’s jacket – he’s got a dignified, metrosexual Biggles thing going on and I approve.

  662. I’m not sure if that *is* Li or not. That could honestly be a girl…

  663. You’re right, Mouth. When I saw that jacket, I caught myself starting to dream again, and I had to remind myself of the atrociousness of the Li/Lundgren fight to get my hopes back in the basement where they belong, amongst all the other dusty, forgotten things with no purpose in this world anymore. This cold, cold world.

  664. I’ve never seen a poster with an “Also” before one of the actor’s names. “With’ and “And” and “Special Appearance by” I’ve seen, but never “Also.”

  665. They should have gone with “and introducing Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

  666. Chris Hemsworth is in this? His movies are gonna bank in 2012, prolly a billion box office easy between this & AVENGERS.

    At some point, he has to make a Thor joke.

    SCENE:
    *Statham challenges Hemsworth to a knife throwing contest.

    Hemsworth: {grins} “Actually, {picks up mallet} I prefer to use one of these.” *

    Audience groans, Stallone disavows dialogue as “ad-libbing” on director’s commentary.

  667. I thought it was Chris too since he’s an up and comer leading (action) guy and everything. So eventually he’d be known by just his last name like movie bad asses of the past but it turns out it’s his brother who I’ve never seen in anything. I think it’s deliberately misleading so that people could expect to see Thor in this and then be psyched when they see it’s just some cat that slightly favors him & shares parents with him instead.

  668. Poster’s like this make me wonder, since they’re all fitting in the photo by being behind each other and progressively higher, was this like a class photo they were all taking?

    To commemorate me taking the plunge and watching STEP UP 3, here’s a ridiculous dance contest from the latest episode of Z! True Long Island Stories:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF4K-edTHjw#t=138

  669. See, this is why I don’t follow pre-release news/hype. The trickeration got me. Now I feel dumb.

    TWILIGHT was… interesting. It answers the burning question, “What if Cronenberg were a 14 year old girl tasked to make a 2 hour long birth control PSA?”

    Funniest part was near the beginning, when Wolfy McBarechest surprises SkinnyJeans McBitesherlip at her wedding to say congratulations. He had been MIA from the plot for a while, so Bella hugs him and says, “Where have you been? We were about to put your face on a milk carton.”

    I giggled alone in the theatre, since apparently I’m the only person who remembers the plot of John Singleton’s last movie’s previews.

  670. Mouth – Chris Hemsworth or no, I’d be extremely shocked if Expendables 2 and the Avengers reached $1b combined. I don’t really see why the Avengers would be more popular than Iron Man and I assume this will be about as popular as the first movie, so I’d actually expect them to make about half that altogether.

    I feel a little gross talking about box office at all on Vern’s site, though, so I just want to point that out that seeing Norris on the poster is much more jarring than I expected it to be, and uncomfortably reminds me of that trend in the early 2000s where people were photoshopping his face onto everything.

    I mean, who gives a fuck about posters I guess, but this one gives me the sense that somebody pitched the movie as a joke and then suddenly it turned into a Thing and everybody was just too uncomfortable to say anything.

  671. I’m not interested in box office figures, either, Shandu, but when I thought of Hemsworth I thought it was kinda crazy that I didn’t know anything about dude before 6 months ago, didn’t even know he existed, and then he’d be blowing up bigger than Leo with TITANIC back in the day (which by the way is going 3D for a cash-grab rerelease in a few months. Do you think Cameron will clean up Kate & Leo’s shitty digital faces during that one water stunt scene? And do actresses have to give special permission to retroactively 3Dify their nipples?).

    EXPENDABLES made $274 mill worldwide, THOR $448 mill, so I stand by my billion prediction. You probably considered US gross only? I don’t know, they’re getting my $10 each, whatever.

    The finances don’t interest me except as a small piece of the overall anthropological-societal puzzle that we’re constantly trying to figure out in the grand game of understanding our fellow homo sapienses.

  672. Well, now we know Jet Li’s in it, but probly not very much since they didn’t even show him on the poster. Couture is named but not pictured, Adkins not named or pictured, although he’s definitely in it. The Hemsworth is some guy named Liam. No Mickey Rourke.

    Van Damme looks like a WWI Flying Ace. Arnold and Dolph look cool too.

  673. Liam Hemsworth is Chris’s brother, right?

  674. Yeah, that’s his brother and from what I’ve read, they were both up for the role of Thor.

    Talking about the Hemsworth that was Thor, did you see that trailer for SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN? Damn, this movie looks bad. And I loved my ass off when they showed him in one scene wielding an axe, like Thor wields his hammer, so that the audiences can remember where they know his face from.

  675. Also am I the only one who thinks that THE WALKING DEAD is the most frustrating show on TV right now? The ending of the last episode suggests that it MIGHT finally get interesting, but so far they spent the 2nd season with dragging out the story of one, maybe two episodes to 5 1/2 (the first one was extra long). I don’t need some zombie mayhem in every episode, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind one or two episodes without any zombies at all, but episodes 2, 3 & 4 can easily be summed up with “girl gone, boy sick, parents crying, blonde woman wants her gun back”.

  676. And why did they kill Otis that early? Every series, movie and radio show needs some Pruitt in them!

  677. CJ – something told me to pass on watching The Walking Dead despite how much I love zombies, I think I was just too bothered by the idea of something zombie related being constricted by FCC rules

    Mr. M – that scene in Twilight is why I legitimately despise that franchise and think all of the hate it gets is justified and not men simply hating something that appeals to women because it truly is some fucked up bullshit written by a twisted, fatass Mormon that doesn’t deserve to be as popular as it is and influence our next generation of women

    my hated of Twilight knows no bounds, I try to pretend it doesn’t exist most of the time

    also Mr. M – I’m still reading the Stephen King book, but I’m getting close to the end and I still maintain that this is the best one in years, it strikes me as old school style King, which I like a lot

    being a die hard Stephen King fan I have of course heard the old cliche that he can’t write an ending to save his life, but I think that’s partly true and untrue, I’ve read plenty of King books where I thought the ending was just fine (including IT, which is one of the most often cited examples)

    however there are a couple of ones that do have disappointing endings I will admit, BUT even the ones that do have disappointing endings, it’s not enough to ruin to the book and it’s still worth reading (Under The Dome is maybe the best example of this)

    mr Shandu Can Do – I’d like to thank you for reminding me of Gymkata, which is possibly the most illegitimately entertaining bad movie ever made and compliment you on the Gravatar of it, I really need to see that movie again soon

  678. Griff: The FCC rules are the least problem of THE WALKING DEAD. To be honest, like pretty much every other show on TV since CSI, it’s almost as gory as any HBO show. (They still can’t show nudity though, which is a shame, because two episdes ago was a pair of naked tits that I would have loved to see!)
    Season 1 was already just interesting enough to justify further watching, but season two was one huge, boring letdown so far. I wait till this season ends (because of the switching showrunners), but if it won’t get much better by then, I will give up. I got too many really good shows to watch.

  679. Season 2 is dragging certain things out too much, mostly through focussing on the same “main characters”. Glenn getting more to do here just underscores how little he was used in season 1, same as T-Dog. Darryl though has been a real treat in terms of how they’re developping him and this week’s stuff with him was good. I don’t need zombies all the time, just a bit more variety. The zombie genre is something I like despite not being a massive horror buff because aside from the genre aspects, the plots are typically driven by there being a problem that people have to solve, but it’s damn difficult to do with all the zombies. Getting supplies, reaching a safe place, in-fighting. Walking Dead’s just hung up on a few select things at the moment. CJ’s summary of episodes 2, 3 and 4 is pretty much spot on, barring a few twists here and there.

  680. Off-topic, but did anyone ever see HAUNTED CHOP SHOP? read the description in a Bathroom Reader book, and goddammit it sounds so awesome (which I doubt it is), I have to check it out.

  681. Correction: the title is actually HAUNTED COP SHOP. My bad!

  682. So “Expendables 2” has Stallone front and centre. The only way this has ANY chance of working is if the director can somehow coax a half-decent performance out of him this time. I’m not hopeful. I thought “Expendables” was undoubtedly the worst performance I’ve ever seen from Stallone, eclipsing even the so-bad-it’s-great performance he gave in “Judge Dredd” (where at least he was trying SOMETHING, even if it didn’t work.) His acting looked worse in “The Expendables” than Colin Farrell’s did in “The Recruit”. And as for examples of generally solid leading men getting it completely and utterly wrong, that’s saying something.

    That poster, with the nine stars holding slightly-different weapons each, makes me think of what a bad live-action movie of “Team Fortress 2” would look like. Or, as one previous commentor put it, if The Thing had gorged itself on eighties action stars. (Thanks, Jimbolo.)

    I went into “Twilight” with no prior knowledge of it, Stephanie Meyer, or the tween-fandom issue, whatsoever. I enjoyed the first movie but I thought it sucked that the movie ended before we got to see this horrible, horrible anti-heroine get her comeuppance. Then I read reviews that made it clear the girl was supposed to be the heroine. Suddenly the movie didn’t look as good. Haven’t seen any of the sequels anyway.

  683. Extended cut of The Expendables out on blu-ray next month:

    http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7532#comments

  684. Any thoughts on Tightrope (Clint!)? I’m Netflixing it, and so far enjoying it. Surprised to find it a bit sleazy, which is always an aspect I find intriguing.

    I did just watch The Dead Pool…so maybe it’s just better by comparison. I seem to remember it having a bad rep.

  685. anthony – i thought TIGHTROPE was pretty solid police procedural/thriller, with Clint willing to make his protagonist come off as too creepy for mainstream with his sex fetish. Ending was a slight letdown because it was rather boring compared to the rest of the picture.

    (I do remember Siskel & Ebert loving it. That clip might still be floating around on YouTube.)

    Also, did anyone else ever hear that story that Eastwood fired the original director (who also wrote the script) and directed the rest of it?

  686. RRA:

    Wow, that was a weird ending. I hate when a unique movie wraps up all anti-climatic. I kinda miss how movies could end that abrupt back in the day though. I think.

    It makes me wonder…slasher films had an obvious effect on THE DEAD POOL (or at least was commented on)…did Lustwig’s MANIAC have an influence on this or any other cop movies of the 80’s? I didn’t bother to check dates or anything, but are there other percieved examples of this? That’d make a neat essay.

  687. Saw JUSTICE (aka SEEKING JUSTICE, fka THE HUNGRY RABBIT JUMPS) featuring the Cage last night. No mega acting at all.

  688. I just read that this Seagal TV show TRUE JUSTICE will be on TV over here in January. Was this already shown in the US? I never heard anybody talk about it, since the trailer came out and nobody knew when it was supposed to air.

  689. CJ – TRUE JUSTICE has only been shown on UK and , I believe, Spanish TV, thus far. The first 6 or so episodes (there were 13 shot) are out on 3 seperate DVDs/BDs.

    I caught the first 2 episodes and they’re cheap TV, enjoyable enough but cliched to high heaven. They have some great Seagal moments in them, though (he wrote at least the first 2) – namely, everyone calling him “sensei”, much younger women falling instantly in love with him and having “huggy bear”-style strip joints where all the strippers are fully clothed at all times and also know plot points the other characters don’t.

  690. vern, any beans you can spill about the upcoming seagalogy updated edition? saw it while putting together my holiday wish list on amazon.

  691. Some dude is selling his copy of the first edition of “Seagalogy” for $76 through the Amazon marketplace. I like to think that he chose that particular price because it pained him to part with the book, not because he was opportunistically exploiting the fact that the first edition is no longer in print.

  692. Ok, I’ve seen two new movies – well, one new movie and one older one that came out on DVD last month. One was good, one was… not. Let me split this up into two posts because this will take time.

    Let’s go with the good one first, “The Ides of March”. I went in expecting a “Primary Colours” remake and was pleasantly surprised. I’d heard it was supposed to be good, but didn’t think it would be as good as it was.

    THE IDES OF MARCH. Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and Evan Rachel Wood. There are other good actors in it (Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a fairly major role, and Gregory Itzin makes a surprise appearance in a fairly critical scene) but this is mostly the Clooney / Gosling / Wood show, and all three are fantastic. The Cloon (who also directed the film) is excellent as a Democratic presidential candidate, both as the comsummate professional and also later on as a much more flawed human being. There’s a scene between him and Gosling near the end that rivals the traitor’s confession at the end of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” for creepily effective character work.

    Evan Rachel Wood is brilliant in this film. I seriously hate to bring the Oscars into this but she should get a “best supporting actress” nod for her work here, it’s that good. She portrays an ambiguous character with subtlety yet manages to give her role real depth. Without wanting to give too much away, a lot of what she’s said is unproven, and even at the very end we’re not sure how much of it is true – did she really use the money she was given in the way that she said? Was her remorse for threatening a good man’s career, or for lying to another man? In the hands of a less skilled actress and director, this character could’ve been the reason the movie failed. Instead it’s the reason it succeeds so well.

    Finally, Ryan Gosling. Remember how I said that Steven Seagal has only one expression, but he’s very versatile in using it? Well, that’s Gosling to a “T”. If they ever make another adaptation of “Who Goes There?” (the novella that was adapted by John Carpenter into “The Thing”), I want him to play the lead role, because I don’t think another actor could pull off what Kurt Russell pulled off in “The Thing” – making a character that sympathetic yet that ambiguous.

    Gosling does in “Ides of March” what Russell did in “The Thing”. At the start he seems to be taking on Dule Hill’s role from “Primary Colours”, but we soon learn that there’s a lot more to him than that. Again, there’s a HUGE amount of ambiguity about this character, right up until the end. He starts of claiming to believe that Clooney is “different” and needs to win. I fully expected the movie to chart his disillusionment with the Cloon, and with the political process in general; but in fact it goes in a very very different direction. So much so that by the end you’re not sure how much of what Gosling said was true, and how much was pure self-interest. Again, in the hands of a less-skilled actor and director, this role could’ve sunk the film. Instead it elevates it.

    I’m in two minds about Gosling. I’m not sure that he has the chops to continue to “carry” films that aren’t tailored specifically to his rather limited range. In this film and “Driver”, his takent, such as it is, worked extremely well. Going back to the Seagal comparision – Gosling doing “happy” would be like Seagal doing “wimpy coward”. I can’t imagine what that would look like. Put him in a romantic comedy or something and I think he’d be a disaster; but hell, he could surprise me.

    “The Ides of March” is a gripping, taut political thriller with a helluva lot of ambiguity of character and morals. This one will keep you talking about it for a long time after you’ve seen it. After “Kill List” it’s probably the best film I’ve seen this year, and I can’t recommend it enough.

    So that was the really really good one. Now let’s go onto the shit-stopper. New post for this I think.

  693. Yeesh, y’know, after “Ides of March”, I really, REALLY do not want to write a negative review of a film, especially one that a lot of people have praised. So I’m gonna leave this one until later.

    But “Ides of March”? See it unless the idea of a political thriller really, really puts you off, in the same way that a “mafia film” would put me off. Basically, unless the very notion of a political thriller makes you want to stay away from the cinema, you should see this film. It’s excellent.

  694. I love Clooney as a director, but I convinced myself to wait for dvd for IDES. Not enough hours in the day to make it to the theatre for all the good stuff, plus I follow real politics so closely lately I fear a movie about politics won’t have a chance to thrill me.

    Friends just told me they got us good seats to see Daniel Tosh do stand-up this weekend. Anyone else like this dude?

    COMPLETELY SERIOUS is a good set. It’s on Netflix instant. A lot of his Tosh.0 material is funny, too, from what little I’ve seen, except the amount of naked-gay-shock stuff gets out of control. His albums are damn funny, too.

    He’s got a bad rep from some people who are afraid to admit he’s funny because they don’t want to be associated with what they perceive is an audience of douchey fratboy types. Or they think he’s evil. Whatever.
    No other comic is making layered professional sports references like Tosh does. Come to think of it, he delivers jokes the way a lot of my friends & I talk to each other all the time. Wait, why the fuck are we paying money for this when our equally entertaining conversations are free?

  695. Mouth – I watch Tosh.0, it’s a pretty funny show, good time waster

    plus, it’s interesting to see all those viral video people again and see them discuss the aftermath of their sudden fame

  696. Mouth – we seem to disagree so often on films that I can imagine you being bored by “Ides of March”. (It’s not the kind of film that you hate.) Still recommend it though.

  697. I’m really liking the episodes so far of LIFE’S TOO SHORT(comedy fakeumentary about the life of Warwick Davis, written by Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant). The premise about Davis is funny enough, but like EXTRAS before it, the use of celebrities playing themselves is hilarious. For instance, Liam Neeson trying his hand at comedy:
    http://youtu.be/MKTh7zBIcrM

  698. I have an allergy against celebrities, playing an “outrageous” caricature of themself on TV shows. It almost never works, mostly because it’s always the same, which is why I try to stay as far away as possible from shows like EXTRAS, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, 30 ROCK or ENTOURAGE.

  699. What about STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMAN?

    …What do you mean “it’s not a parody”?

  700. I’m sure some of you guys were after Marcus Hearn’s book, The Art of Hammer. If so, it’s back in print and on Amazon.

  701. CJ- I can’t vouch for the rest of the show, but I did see the clip of Patrick Stewart talking about making a movie where he rips women’s clothes off with his mind from Extras and THAT was hilarious

  702. Ok, review posted in the “Captain America” thread: http://outlawvern.com/2011/07/26/captain-america-the-first-avenger/#comment-1786766 . A late contender for “worst musical score of the year”. It’s like Bernard Herrmann, never existed and we’re back in the bad old days where every single thing that happens onscreen has to be emphasized by a blast of orchestral noise. Yep, we’re back to ripping off the (inexplicably popular) scores for films like “E. T”. God help us all.

  703. Isn’t it somewhat appropriate that a matinee throwback should take a distinctly pre-Herrmann approach for its music?

    Ever seen that late period COLUMBO where Billy Connolly(!) is playing a conductor and says that when music for movies is done as it ought to be you never remember it? I really don’t know what the guy who wrote that one was thinking. Here’s the clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6L5aD3Ys_A

  704. Pacman – I know what he was thinking. You should be thinking about the film, not the music. If the music does anything more than add to the atmosphere, it’s a bad score. There are exceptions (“Sucker Punch” has a fantastic score, and you notice it) but not like this. And you CAN have a “classical” soundtrack without making it overwhelm the film.

    Hell, John Williams himself has done some pretty great film scores that don’t have the bits I object to in “E. T” or “Captain America”. Listen to the Auschwicz soundtrack from the “Schindler’s List” album. Can you remember the melody of that one? I’m betting no, you can’t, it’s all jagged strings and off-kilter beats. But you’d be hard-pressed to come up with an example of a piece of film scoring that sets the tone more effectively than that one does.

    Saying that it’s appropriate that a film should take a pre-Herrmann approach is like saying that it’s appropriate an old-style film should take a pre-Welles approach to its camerawork (in other words, the cameras are all held perfectly straight and facing the actors’ faces at all times. Yeah, that’s what things were like before Orson Welles came along and single-handedly revolutionized the film industry. I’m not kidding – try watching some old films and watch what I mean.)

    In movies like, for example, “The Big Sleep” – a classic movie with a score that makes me want to rip my ears off and shove them down my throat – the murderer’s identity is effectively revealed in the second reel by the jagged violins that play whenever he/she is around. The love interest has harmonious violins, the hero has brave persistent swelling orchestral beats, etc. This is what they did back then, because they didn’t know any better. There are great films, even classic films, that I find unwatchable to this day because the scoring is pre-Herrmann.

    So no, I can’t agree that it’s appropriate. That’d be like saying it was appropriate to force all production members to ride horses to the set each day because the movie takes place in the 1890s. That’s not an extreme example, not where Herrmann is concerned. He was, simply put, the most influential film score composer in history. Nobody had ever done what he did before he came along, yet everyone took notes from what he was doing. Without Herrmann you wouldn’t have Encio Morricone’s score for “The Thing”. You wouldn’t have ANY modern American or European horror soundtracks. You wouldn’t have most modern sci-fi soundtracks. You wouldn’t have most modern thriller soundtracks. As for foreign films, don’t forget that a lot of Herrmann’s most famous work was done for foreign directors – including the most famous British one. Not sure how much Asian film would be altered, but European and American? It’s all Herrmann’s influence.

  705. The only bit of the Captain American score I can remember is the “Star Spangled Man” theme, so uh, the film succeeds on the “not noticing” thing? Full blown superhero movies all need proper theme tunes in my opinion. Hopefully THE AVENGERS will have one and Snyder will get someone to do a non-Williamsesque one for MAN OF STEEL.

  706. Paul, TCM aired a special, “AFI Master Class: The Art of Collaboration: Port of Call Spielberg & Williams,” that might interest you.  Or it might infuriate you, watching 2 guys pat themselves on the back for making E.T., etc..  I recorded it, haven’t seen it yet.  

    I will renew my call for you to see THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS and CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS.  Your film music expertise is invalid until you study these soundtracks.  

  707. Mouth, if you’re looking for comedy, watch or listen to Bo Burnham WORDS WORDS WORDS.

  708. Stu – the weird thing is I can’t remember a single melody or harmony from that film, which shows just how unmemorable the score actually is. I can just remember mentally screaming at the film every time it threw in an overwrought orchestral beat, which was every twenty seconds or so. It’s just pure noise, signifying nothing, but if you notice it it just ruins the film. (Not that I thought the film was great even without that, but it might at least have worked as spectacle if it hadn’t been for the fact that the scoring was so insanely annoying.)

  709. Mouth – we don’t get TCM over here but I’ll see if any of it’s on YouTube. I will say that I have no problems whatsoever with Spielberg’s portion of that film. I think it utterly deserves its “classic” status. But Williams’ score is just so – horribly – overdone. “Dah DAAA dudududu dah DAAA. Da dah DAAA dudududu dah DAAA!!! SHUT UP!!! SHUUUT UUUUUUUP!!!!!”

  710. And Stu – most definitely I agree that superhero films should have a distinct theme. “Superman” proved just how well that can work. The difference being that that in “Superman”, John Williams didn’t feel the need to throw in a trumpet fanfare every time Clark Kent put a cup of coffee down on the table.

  711. I dunno if I always agree that music should be unnoticeable. Batman The Animated Series wouldn’t be half the show it was without it:
    http://youtu.be/qWRVxwpZvfU
    It’s very noticeable, but it’s a real vital part of the overall atmostphere they were going for.

  712. Zombie Paul – I couldn’t disagree more, I love big, bombastic, John Williams esque scores in movies and I think that one of the worst things about modern Hollywood is that scores like that have all but disappeared

    these days composers probably spend a week tops throwing together a few plinks here and there and calling it a day and when was the last time a movie had a main theme that you could hum and anybody would recognize it? (actually I can pretty much answer that, the first Harry Potter, by John Williams)

    that’s one of the many reasons why I loved Inception so much, the music was cool, noticeable, added to the movie and memorable

  713. I gotta side with Griff on this one. I mean I’ve definitely noticed my share of overbearing horror scores, but the idea that it can’t be memorable or noticeable just doesn’t even remotely fly at all. I mean obviously we’re dealing with Paul here and he’s using E.T. as his example of the worst score he can imagine, so I should stop typing right now, but that’s the magic of Paul.

    By this standard we have to consider Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, Ghost Dog, Shaft In Africa, Superfly, Halloween, Assault On Precinct 13, Batman, and Jaws to be horrible scores… all noticeable, all not just atmosphere, all memorable. First of all I don’t understand why those things are bad things, secondly I don’t understand how he gets the idea that Bernard Hermann is the opposite of that. I’m no film score scholar but come on, Psycho is possibly the most famous score of all time, and is incredibly noticeable and memorable and at least as bombastic as E.T. Have you heard that one, Paul?

    BOMP bommmmmmm… BOMP bommmmmmmm…..

    As for Captain America, I don’t remember anything about the music.

  714. Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. Need I say more? No.

  715. – Paul

    I know what you mean, I dislike most of Williams recent scores. I don`t think he`s a bad composer, he has written several of my favorite themes. But his way of using the score often makes me annoyed. A great score enhances the audiences feelings, it doesn`t tell them how they should feel. I think the score for ET is brilliant, cause it knows when to shut the fuck up and leave the feeling to the audience (if I remember correctly, is the scenes with ET dying without music), but when something emotionel happens, the score enhances it.

    I love Hermann and I can remember a lot of his themes, North by Northwest, Taxidriver, Psycho etc, so a strong theme doesn`t ruin a movie, it all depends on how it is used by the composer and director. Just think of the awesome beat in Mission Impossible, when Cruise sticks his explosive gum on the chopper and the Mission Impossible theme kicks in.

  716. James Horner’s work on THE NEW WORLD (2005) is magnificent, especially the opening scene, one of the best scenes in all the canon of the Films of Cinema. Not bombastic at all, but it crescendoes toward a high volume and high memorability better than any movie music in recent memory.

  717. I really like Michael Giacchino’s work on stuff like UP, STAR TREK, the CLOVERFIELD theme and TV stuff like FRINGE, which shows a bit of range, though his default seems to be whatever the equivalent of “bombastic” is for strings.

  718. My problem with John Williams is that he borrows so heavily from classical works without really transforming them significantly. And in every instance I like the classical work more than I like Williams’ rendering of it. Dvořák’s “Dumky Trio” sounds truncated and awkward when it is dropped intp E.T., and the “Mars” theme seems less two dimensional when it isn’t in STAR WARS.

    As I understand, Lucas’ wanted to use Holst’s “Planets” as music for his film in the way that Kurbick used “Zarathustra” but couldn’t figure out a way to sync up the pieces he liked with the cuts in his film. Williams was brought in like a blacksmith to hammer the music into a more obident creature.

    CJ Holden: It makes me sad to think that might be allergic to Carl Weathers on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. He was just gettin’ a stew on!

  719. so guys, I just have to share this with you all, I watched the Nostalgia Critic’s review of “Felix the Cat: The Movie” and ever since I’ve been listening to this song over and over, I can’t stop, it’s gonna be stuck in my head for a while

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsKxvYVYgLA&list=FLaI511E9DAWLBwZEMTXN40A&index=1&feature=plpp_video

    whoooo is the boss? the Duke of Zill of course!

  720. Jareth: I gotta admit that I like Carl Weathers in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, but while the way he plays it is seriously funny, it’s still unfortunately the same, old joke of “Haha, a celebrity portrays himself as a complete nutcase and/or pokes fun of his status as has-been.”

  721. CJ: I think it was very smart of the writers of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT to not let their celebrity cameos get out of hand. I can easily see Weathers, Andy Richter or Judge Reinhold taking their characters way over the top if given longer storylines to work with.

    AD also had one of the most impressive lists of famous guest stars playing distinct new characters with a minimum of showboating. I keep hoping to find a Judy Greer performance somewhere that is half as good as her stuff on AD. And, maybe it’s just me, but I now think of Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn before I think of him as the Fonz.

    I also think CURB does a good job keeping an almost casual tone to their celebrities. Ted Danson in particular always impresses me with how he manages to be so completely normal on that show.

  722. Vern – my point seems to have flown so far over your head, it’s blown off-course and is about to crash into China. Not sure whether that’s your fault or mine. Didn’t I cite “Psycho” as an example of a great movie score just a few posts ago? And who said scores shouldn’t be MEMORABLE? (Yeah, if it was me, I should probably qualify that.) NOTICEABLE, during the movie, yes. That doesn’t mean that the score shouldn’t be memorable. “The Dark Knight”, which has a fantastic score, is almost operatic in scope. There’s nothing un-memorable about that.

    First off, a movie score shouldn’t be noticeable, as a song, while you’re watching the movie. Doesn’t mean that it can’t be memorable as a piece of music in its own right. The “Jaws” soundtrack is very memorable, but for the right reasons. When the movie’s playing, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, which is to increase the tension and apprehension of the scene that it’s scoring. There’s a major difference between this and what I cited as wrong with “Captain America”. Or, indeed, “E. T”.

    How does the score for “E. T” enhance the film? It’s certainly not unintrusive – to the contrary, it’s a full-on assault on my eardrums. It’s incredibly, painfully, over-the-top, with the constant high notes and key changes. It’s also teeth-gnashingly saccharine. There’s no way that you could forget this music, during the film OR after it. Unfortunately it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons, to me. Can you not see how this is the exact opposite of the “Jaws” or “Psycho” scores? There’s nothing minimalist. It does nothing to add to the film – and, for me, it spoils it.

    Secondly, since this point seems to have gotten lost somewhere, let me state the difference between a SCORE and a SOUNDTRACK, as I see it.

    A SCORE is in a movie to provide atmosphere, mood, or to augment the tension of a scene. Nothing more than that. Are the “Jaws” and “Psycho” scores memorable? Of course, they’re great scores. Just like many of the other scores mentioned are memorable. Think of the Joker’s “theme” in “The Dark Knight”. That’s pretty much unforgettable. BUT – and here’s my point – you don’t notice them, as songs, while watching the MOVIE. They’re not intrusive. Think about the scene in “The Dark Knight” where the Joker rolls out of a jack-knifed truck, picks up a machine gun, and starts randomly firing chaotically. Listen to the music – if one could call it that – that’s playing while this is going on. It has no hook and no tune – it’s little more than an increasingly high-pitched whine with occasional percussive beats. And yet it absolutely captures the mood of the scene. That’s brilliant scoring right there. Is it memorable? Yes. Is it noticeable during the film? Well, you’d notice it was there, but in a way that ADDS to the film – not detracts from it.

    A SOUNDTRACK is something completely different. If you were to cite a movie with a great soundtrack, you could immediately think of something like “Pulp Fiction”. Nearly every bit of music in it is a pop song of some kind. This music enhances the film, but in a completely different way that a movie score would do. I think of a score as being more natural, more ambient, and present in a film for very different reasons to a typical movie soundtrack.

    Finally, I have nothing against John Williams, as a composer. I love a lot of his work. “Schindler’s List” – showing a far more restrained, subtle Williams than fans of “Jurassic Park” or “E. T” will be used to – is a fantastic subtle score. (If ever there was an example of Williams being possessed by the spirit of Herrmann, his brilliant work on “Auschwicz” would be it.) A lot of his work on “Indiana Jones” also falls into this category – in fact I’d cite the score as one major reason why the “Indiana Jones” films, especially the first one, are so well-regarded. Hell, even “Harry Potter” works for the most part – Williams’ score adds genuine creepiness to the leadup to the scene where Harry confronts Voldemort for the first time. All of these are examples of film scores where the music adds to the mood of the film, not detracts from it.

  723. Yeah, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT used celebrities way better than most other shows. I think it was a stroke of genius to not let Andy Richter portray himself as wacky caricature, but instead let him play his wacky brothers, while “he” didn’t show up at all in that episode. I also loved how they used Tom Jane, by letting him play himself, playing a character.

    I also have to say that I’m not against celebrity guest stars. It’s just the tired schtick of having them appear in a self ironic way, that I hate. It’s so difficult to do it right and most TV shows are satisfied with replacing actual jokes with “Hey, it’s celebrity XY! Applause!” followed by “Did you hear what he said? The realy celebrity XY would NEVER say something like that! Ain’t that hilarious?!”

    For me the holy grail of self ironic celebrity appereances is still Mel Gibson’s SIMPSONS episode. Maybe it is the most dated episode of the whole show so far (Gibson as beloved star, Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres are a couple, Robert Downey Jr having a shootout with the cops), but they way the writers used Gibson and took advantage of the show being an unrealistic cartoon, works so well together with his undeniable great voice acting job.
    (Bonus points for William Shatner in BOSTON LEGAL. He didn’t REALLY play himself, but Denny Crane was obviously modeled after Shatner’s public image and what could have been five years of wink-wink-nudge-nudge, became actually a hilarious and often unexpected touching performance.)

  724. Paul, I think I agree with you to a point, but if you’re trying to say that every great score blends unobtrusively into the atmosphere, you’re insane. Take JAWS, which you cite as a great score. In many cases, the score IS the scene. It wants you to listen to it, to notice what it has to say. There are plenty of examples of movies where the score takes over at key moments, becoming the voice of the movie speaking directly to you. Just off the top of my head, there’s SUSPIRIA, ROCKY, HALLOWEEN, 12 MONKEYS… You’re aware of the music you’re hearing while you’re watching the movie, because you have ears that enjoy hearing awesome music and because the movie wants you to notice it and get swept away in it.

    My point is, some movies and some scenes require an underscore, buoying the visuals in an almost subliminal way. Some need an overscore, ramming the point home in a way that only a piece of music can. To say that only one of these strategies is ever viable is not just wrong, it’s apparently so harmful that it makes you the kind of person who can’t enjoy E.T.

  725. I did mention that I agreed with you to a point, and that point is (and I think this is more what you were getting at before that whole COLUMBO quote hijacked the thread) that I dislike when a score works very hard and at very high volume to tell me something I already know. Basically any movie about Christmas, dogs, cancer, photogenic wars, and/or driven career women who need to learn what’s REALLY important have this kind of score. Yes, I get that reuniting with your estranged father is very emotional. I don’t particularly need the orchestra to keep elbowing me in the ribs to understand that.