Wednesday, December 20, 2006

so much little posting...

Seriously, what the hell's wrong with me? I should be a posting sensation but I've been feeling an indifference about posting. Weird but that's what happened. I've broken pledge after pledge to post so forget about me ever promising to post again.

Well, after only having two hours or so of sleep, I went with my mother to pay bills, browse at Oglethorpe Mall and Best Buy today and also to procure Christmas gifts for my sister and a friend of hers. We also picked up a whole publishing company of books (practically) from Barnes & Noble. Think of it as a sort of early Christmas present for us, the slavishly devoted readers, although I've been slack when it comes to that as of late. I may receive a few DVDs for Christmas. My mother's been hinting that she ordered a present for me online, oh excuse me, "A BIG GIFT", as she's been calling it. Anyway, after we came home from our excursion and ate some lunch around 2PM, I read Watchmen for a bit then took a nap until about 8:30 when Zach called. I then hung out at the apartment of his girlfriend, Amanda. She, Zach, and a mutual friend of theirs, Sharon, were making sub sandwiches. We ate, watched part of Disc One of Season 3 of Scrubs and then the mutual friend had to leave. After conversing for two hours or so, they called it a night at about 11:30, as Amanda has to drive to Marietta at 7AM this morning - you know the home for the holidays thing. Zach and I might hang out after the holidays, as he'll be sticking around Savannah.

Besides the books I'm about to mention, my mother got two true crime books. It's always been her cup of tea. Heck, she even got a Criminal Justice degree. She loves all things to do with the criminal process.

On the book list...

I'm currently reading this and...WOW! I was an avid comic book geek back in my formative years then fell away from it. This graphic novel is rich with deep characterizations, dense thematic material, and I can't wait to see where it takes me. The movie version of this is coming out in 2008. I thoroughly enjoyed the V for Vendetta graphic novel and this looks to be just the masterwork that others have deemed it. Alan Moore is amazing. In the Graphic Novels section at Barnes & NobIe I looked for Frank Miller's 300 but couldn't find it. Another day perhaps.

I plan to start reading this next. Bloodsucking Fiends looks like a dark comedy spin on vampirism. I'm always on the lookout for good vampire fiction. The Philadelphia Inquirer touted Moore's writing as reminiscent of Vonnegut. If that's even halfway true I'll be over the moon. I'm tired of lethargic, cliched vampire novels that think they're cutting edge by having their characters act like they're in a lame soap opera. In vampire fiction, I'm more intrigued about how a writer describes the process in which a human become a vampire and how they deal with being a vampire. If it's done poorly, it can be a boring, plodding affair that winds up being a waste of time for the reader. Witness Charlaine Harris's "Sookie Stackhouse" series. I invested time in almost all of those books only to be let down when it turns into a yawn-inducing Anne Rice Xerox with people transforming into dogs and werejaguars. I hope Christopher Moore doesn't let me down.

Yes, I know. After reading the synopsis, this book sounds it copies a bit from Dead Like Me. I'll let you know how this one turns out.

I really liked the novel Hannibal, thought the movie's rewritten ending was a total and utter copout (remember, Hannibal got away? The book has he and Clarice running away together as a couple). Even though Thomas Harris took a script he wrote of the same name and crafted it into novel form, I'm looking forward to this. The film version of this novel will hit theaters February 9th.

I, like the rest of the world, have been reading Stephen King novels as long as I can remember. Unlike alot of these very same people, I could never get into The Dark Tower series, try as I might. And like alot of authors, he's had some misses. Insomnia, From A Buick 8, to name two. I didn't like Cell. It showed promise then unraveled as the end of the novel approached. The synopsis of Lisey's Story puts me on edge a bit, as King in fantasy mode has never gelled well with me. Still, he is arguably the most popular author of the latter half of the 20th and early part of the 21st century and like a loyal baseball fan, I'll always be there to devour the latest offering and then offer my two cents.

Well, I'm going to tool around the old Internet for a bit and then read more of Watchmen before I hit the hay.

This is the really cool video for "Phantom Limb", the awesome first single from The Shins' forthcoming album Wincing The Night Away which will be released by Sub Pop Records on January 23rd. On January 13th, The Shins will perform on Saturday Night Live. Jake Gyllenhaal will be hosting. Music experts and cinemaphiles might remember that two songs by The Shins, "New Slang" and "Caring Is Creepy", appeared on the soundtrack to the 2004 film Garden State.

Monday, December 04, 2006

a whole lot of indie cinema is on its way to me...

In the coming days/weeks, I'll be receiving screener DVDs of upcoming indie films from

I'd like to thank Erik Martin at Palm Pictures. The titles I'll be sent will consist mainly of films yet to be released on DVD but some catalog titles will be in the mix as well. I'm not getting paid for this and I don't have to review these films (chances are I will anyway, though) so don't think I'll be a mouthpiece for their films. Even if I was paid by them, I wouldn't mince words excoriating a film I didn't like. From afar I've admired Palm's handling of their Director Series (compilation DVDs of music videos by visionary directors like Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, and Mark Romanek, to name a few) and will let you know what I think of these films in a straightforward, unbiased manner. The first title will be Michael Kang's The Motel. It debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was just nominated for Best First Feature at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards.

Well, it's happened. Our first official fireplace fire of the winter. It's getting in the low 20s here tonight. Excellent. Honestly, if it was that cold here every day of the year, you'd not hear a single word of protest from me. Summer can screw off; I'll gladly take cold weather each and every day of the year.

I went to bed at 8AM this morning and woke up at 3:30PM. What the hell is wrong with me?! I waited until the last minute taking out the trash, getting it to the curb, and then loading and unloading the dishwasher. Afterwards I wound up playing games on I really need to start behaving like an actual human being, one that gets up and goes to bed at a decent or somewhat levelheaded time. We'll see if that comes to fruition soon enough. Goodness knows I'd like it to. Hibernating like a bear is tacky.

Expect a review of The Fountain. Suffice it to say in this year of barely there movies, this was the best so far. No kidding. I haven't had that amazing of an experience in a theater in a long time...hell, probably ever. It was as if you were inside the film as it was unfolding and the theater dissolved away. And, no I was not under the influence of any mind-altering substances as I watched The Fountain. Go see it at the theater. You owe it to yourself.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

1993 says hello...

and what do you know...1996 has decided to greet you as well...

Friday, December 01, 2006

the thrilling week that's been...

Not too much going on at casa de black market wit at the moment.

I treated myself and my mother to the final showing of this, as it was the last day of it playing here in Savannah...

While not as good as Lost In Translation, I thought Sofia Coppola's latest film did an admirable job of conveying the aloof nature Marie had as a naive girl placed in over her head into a position of such immense power although she was not exactly a student of government after she was installed in the role either.

Kirsten Dunst was great in the title role, the costume design and Versailles were amazing, and no, the New Wave music from bands like Gang of Four, New Order, The Cure, Bow Wow Wow, and other songs by The Strokes, Air, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and others do not take you out of the movie but add an air to the film to give it some sense of relatability to the modern world.

At the age of 15 Marie is given away in an arranged marriage. While those around her ache for a new dauphin to carry on their royal heritage, Marie's new husband is more taken with hunting, his stable boys, and keymaking. She is hesitant at first but by the age of 20 she was accustomed to her lavish lifestyle of parties and the extravagance her station provided her as all the while the people of France were dying of starvation. The film gives a birds-eye view of the vapid nature of a head-in-the-clouds existence and what said existence can portend.

Marie Antoinette
does not discuss the political aspects of the Palace of Versailles or its country's affairs and while some may decry that fact I simply went in with the knowledge that I wasn't watching a biopic, that Marie Antoinette is not a history lesson nor does it aspire to be. Instead, it's a jaundiced look through the eyes of a girl and those around her who couldn't see the forest for the trees and that reason, coupled with their arrogrant opulence, created the end of a lavish, overblown empire too in love with itself to govern properly.

And I loved the soundtrack, FWIW. I just might purchase it. Maybe.

For Your Consideration is also playing here now. I love Christopher Guest films and I hope this one's great.

I'll be a year older tomorrow. 25 to be exact. 30 is ever approaching. Wow. As I'm wont to do each and every birthday, I'll be partaking of a film. The movie I'll be seeing is Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain. It's tanking at the box office because America is full of fucking idiots who'd rather watch offal like Deck The Halls and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause then actually stimulate some activity in that poor excuse for grey matter they call a brain. As a friend of mine stated, it'll go on to an amazing life on DVD when it will be rediscovered and heralded as a cult classic like Donnie Darko was and then people will go, "Damn! How come I never heard of it?" Well, slack-jawed yokel if you'd venture outside of your insular cocoon once and a while and actually see what else is playing at the theater instead of just following the herd mentality and blindly watching crap, you'd have known.

I received another check from the video store I formerly worked at. I'd given them BOD as far as $$$ went, as silly me assumed they'd take a few weeks to get things sent out. They first sent a check for only half of the 53 hours I worked the last week I worked there. A call to payroll later, a check was cut, and voila, all is well.

Psst...want to hear music that is the antithesis of all of the staid shit you always hear on the radio? Of course you do!

the future of rock and roll -

To those in the know, has been cranking out excellent music, breaking bands, and just being immense amounts of cool for eons now. Clue yourself in if you've not had the pleasure as of yet. Click the logo to travel to a land of music and honey.

Wednesday I received Sophie Scholl: The Final Days from Netflix. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Academy Award at the most recent Academy Awards, it's based on a true story about a college girl who dared to speak out against the Nazis in 1940s Germany. It looks really good, very captivating. I added the FOX series Profit to the top of the 'ol Netflix queue. The 1996 FOX series was cancelled after four episodes aired (eight were made). Adrian Pasdar (currently on NBC's smash hit Heroes and married to Dixie Chick Natalie Maines) starred in the lead role and volumes have been written about just how stellar this show is.

As I've been a slack bastard as far as this blog goes lately (TiVo's chock full, as usual, as I type this), I feel like an ambitious undertaking. For this month, the month of December, I pledge to post a movie review a week A pretty crazy notion, huh? It'll be a task, no doubt, but I think I can manage it. Expect a review of Michaelango Antonioni's 1975 film The Passenger later this week.

For now time for dishwasher unloading and loading and then sleep.

Friday, November 10, 2006

being blue never felt so good...

Here are my thoughts on the beyond amazing, lovely, and oh so awesome mid-term election results...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote Democratic Tuesday!!!

In just a day or so, we as a nation have the chance to reject the policies and procedures of a government that has ruled of its own accord, blindly shredding all precedents before it in an attempt to craft its own rules and declare itself, as Stallone put it in the detestable 1995 film Judge Dredd, "the LAUW!" And if I'm quoting a shitty Stallone movie from eleven years ago, you know my metaphor machine is running low.

Five years ago, Bush ran a campaign as a "uniter, not a divider" despite the fact that we could all tell that he was being forcefully shoved through the political wringer much like the little boy whose mother drags him to K-Mart for a family photo, pushing down his cowlick with her saliva-slick hand. After years of what any sane person could see was blatant incompetence on the part of those in power in D.C., it seems that the nation just may be waking up and finally seeing just how awful this country has become under Republican leadership. I sincerely hope that wake-up call translates into Democratic control of both the House and the Senate.

It's time to put our vote where our mouth is. While I vehemently disagree with Congressman John Barrow (D-GA, 12th District) on a whole host of issues (he's against the estate tax - which Republicans renamed "the death tax" to scare paraphrase Bill Maher, "it's for really rich old fucks who die..."), he voted for the flag-burning amendment, he supports a ban on same-sex marriage, and he's voted with Republicans alot - I'm still voting for him as all of that matters not. What matters in this very crucial election is electing Democrats and helping them keep their seats (the ones who are incumbents).

Today I plastered fliers from Democracy For America around the neighborhood. Others are getting out the vote with phone calls, emails, and good old-fashioned door-to-door campaigning. Whatever the method, I hope you're doing it or have done it. It's time to make these last few hours before Tuesday count. We don't want to be wringing our hands over missed opportunities come Wednesday morning. Now is the time to make every minute count. For five years of lies on top of lies, for every deception we've endured, for all the hateful rhetoric and disgusting entrenched corruption they've eagerly swum in, it's time to pay them back for their arrogant and power-abusing ways.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's The End Of An Era...

Well, well, well....I certainly have been absent from the world of blogging, haven't I? Well don't you fret, the no ones who read this. Since I am no longer have a job, I will be blogging at all hours...whenever the mood strikes me. Yes, you read that correctly. I am unemployed. Why, you may ask? I'd be delighted to elaborate.

We had a store meeting on Sunday, October 15th at 8AM. It started like any other of our previous store meetings. Our manager Cheryl told us that in the very near future, we'd be able to check in customer online rentals at the store, and they'd then get a free in-store rental. The criteria was explained, etc. Then there was a shift in what we were told. The topic of new store policies began.

Cheryl explained that fairly soon there was to be no more joking around, fraternizing with customers or fellow employees. No longer could we hold movies for regular customers. No loitering allowed. Also, they installed a software system on a brand-new PC in the breakroom. This software would start scheduling our shifts. Initially at the employee meeting a month ago, the corporate people said that it was totally user-friendly and that store managers could edit schedules and that it was flexible with employees and their availability. Guess what? That was a LIE. Let's say the software schedules someone Monday from 8AM-10AM and they have class or a family member gets ill or hurt? If you don't show up, you're fired. How's that for treating your employees right? Cheryl even asked one of their Human Resources guys, "What about employees that have school or church?" He smirked, she said, and replied, "Well, that's where we've gone wrong - putting our employees needs in front of the customers."

When we were franchise-run, even though I was part-time I could still get insurance. No more under corporate control.

Here's one of the big ones - let's say a loved one was rushed to the hospital. The last thing on your mind would be a late DVD rental, correct? So let's hypothesize that the loved one is released a week later and all is well. When you return the item, we're now supposed to say, "Sorry but you've got to pay us." Our modus operandi was to always make the customer happy. These guys see it another way apparently. No late fees to be removed -- EVER.

They don't want us to foster friendships with our loyal regulars. They don't want us to be family to our customers or our fellow employees. They want us to be soulless automatons. I'm not naive. The main goal of a business is to make money. However, our store has proven time and again through the years that you can marry profitability and personality and get a winning combination that equals in a pleasant and welcoming environment that keeps your customers coming back time and again, knowing that they're, to borrow Cheryl's always-on-target mantra "Welcome, Wanted, & Appreciated." In the six years she's run that store, our district manager never received a single complaint. It's qualities like that that show just how dedicated we as a staff, a team, a FAMILY have endeavored to make that a video store worth frequenting. Hell, we've even had people who live across town come in and tell us that they prefer us to the video store nearest to them and don't mind driving halfway across town simply because of our superior customer service.

For that reason, among many others, we all resigned. Friday, October 27th was the last day for Cheryl, Jeff, and I. I hadn't been off since last Wednesday and I really racked up some hours this last week - 12 hours on Tuesday, 14 on Friday - so blogging has been sparse. Larry, Steve and Ana were to work this weekend, with Steve's last day on Monday (and Friday our DM had Cheryl craft a perfunctory schedule for next week, culling employees from other stores -- an *hour* before she was to leave!; she cobbled something basic together, placed it on his desk for him to finish and then she and Jeff left) Ana and Larry's being Halloween. But then things can and do change, sometimes...

So today I went up to work to print a time card today at 2PM. A "This Store Is Closed" sign was taped to the inside of the front door, along with a hand-written-in-black-permanent-marker sign on the inside of the other door that read:

"This store will re-open on Monday, October 30th.

- Management"

Puzzled, I went home and after lunch I called around (Cheryl, Jeff, Larry). I called work and our District Manager answered. After a long pause (I initially thought I was talking to Steve), I told him I planned to return rentals and wanted a time card copy. He was frazzled to say the least. Jeff said he called as well to see what was going on and also assumed our DM was Steve Roberts. Then the other line rang and our DM told Jeff to hold on, as he needed to talk to him. Jeff immediately hung up and turned off his cell phone. Hmmm...I wonder what our DM wanted to speak with Jeff about? Hmmm? ;)

Jeff, Larry, James, and I went to see Saw III Saturday night at 7PM (we ran into our former co-worker Robin and her husband, who leave home for Ohio on Monday...Saw III was a great flick, by the way) and Larry filled in the gaps...

Steve was to open this morning as scheduled. He, however, was having issues clocking in on the software system on the PC in the back. He called Larry, who arrived shortly thereafter. Larry called Ana in to see if she wanted more hours and she came in. Steve then said that he'd had enough and was going home. Larry replied, "Well, I'm not going to work a double all this weekend with Ana." The three of them looked at each other and agreed in unison to end their employment right then and there. They left at noon, locking the door behind them. Larry said he called Cheryl and she laughed her ass off. Larry shredded our clock in/clock out info/ and apparently the drop box somehow moved away from the window.

I have some of my 401k saved up and I plan to just relax, take some me time off to cool my jets through the end of the year and then I'll get back out there looking for employment. Think of this as a new beginning for all of us. Not a time to mourn but a time to look onward and upward.

So there you have it.

As I think about more and more, I realize that while we treated that store like a home and it truly felt like one, it was not the store that made it feel that way but instead each other that created and fostered the truly dynamic fellowship that we all felt toward each other, customer and co-worker alike.

Cheryl is having a get-together at her house next Wednesday. Pizza will be served and it'll be a great chance for all of us to let our hair down and bullshit about just how clueless our former employers are.

Expect more and more blogging. I've got alot of things to watch and all the time I need to watch them.

We ordered Showtime today so that we can watch the second season of Masters of Horror. The first one was so-so (except for Takashi Miike's Imprint); hopefully Season Two will ratchet up the quality. We're also anxious to see Dexter, the drama about a blood spatter analyst in Miami who's also a serial killer - he only kills bad people, though. It's based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. I found the novel to be lukewarm but I hope the series isn't. The showrunner, a former Sopranos writer, was fired mid-way through the season, as Showtime wanted more humor in the series. Let's hope they're not fucking up a series that hasn't even gotten going yet.

My Saw III review *IS* forthcoming. I also need to see Marie Antoinette.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

my posting delay was not my fault this time...

More on that in a second. But first it's good movie time...

Bernardo Bertolucci has earned a reputation for being one of Hollywood's most interesting filmmakers. From the now infamous Last Tango In Paris to 1900, The Last Emperor, and Stealing Beauty, Bertolucci has moved effectively from one genre to the next. Some pigeonhole him as being too attached to "controversy" but that's really a moot point. He's able to accurately convey whatever themes he sets out to, and with a style and sophistication lacking in 90% of directors today.

The Dreamers is his latest. It relates to us something from Bertolucci's own life, being in the midst of the political uprisings of Paris in 1968. Based on Gilbert Adair's novel The Holy Innocents (and scripted by Adair), The Dreamers brings us the tale of Matthew, an idealistic American traveling abroad. He just begins to soak up the culture when he meets twins Isabelle (played with a heady verve by Eva Green) and Theo (Louis Garrel). They are protesting the funding loss of the Cinémathèque Française by the government. Matthew is slowly drawn into their intoxicating world of cinema, politics, and sex. But is there a world beyond the one the siblings have made for themselves? The twins devise movie pop quizzes with sexual games as punishment (City Lights and Bande A Part are but a few titles discussed, as clips from the films interject) and all the while Paris seems to quake with dissent on the streets below.

Much has been made of The Dreamers MPAA rating. NC-17. It doesn't get thrown around alot these days. Fox Searchlight decided to buck the trend and release the film as is to theatres. It didn't play that long as most theatre chains won't play NC-17 films. I find the whole thing funny as the sexual content in the film, while graphic and intense, is nothing pornographic. Yes, you see explicit closeups of both male and female genitalia and there is implied sex but the hype is much ado about nothing. It adds a sensual and intoxicating feel to the film, as these young people discover sexuality and film in their own way. (The twins parents are only seen in fleeting glances, dropping off a check before heading off to an undisclosed destination.)

The Dreamers is a romantic and beautiful look at the chrysalis that envelopes two lost souls who seem to be unable to function outside the four walls of their own design. One person tries to help dismantle those walls (Matthew) but it seems that he just adds more bricks. All three actors provide compelling performances and help to construct a very believable environment. You can practically smell the wine and cigarettes oozing off the screen. This is one of the very best movies in a long time.

I'm at work last Thursday when I receive a phone call from my dear mother who informs me that she, in her inifinite wisdom, decided to clean up the 'ol Dell computer of unnecessary and unwanted files. HOWEVER... When the prompt came up to erase files, she hit 'Y' when it asked her if she wanted to delete all duplicates. And just like that...voila! Our computer was toast. We had to replace the drivers. After much obfuscation, hand-wringing, and very nice and helpful customer support from Dell, we finally got our computer back up and running today. The title of my message sums it up quite eloquently...I was going through major withdrawals! It's sad to admit one is a slave to technology but oh well. On the bright side, I did catch up with my reading. Books are good companions when you're bored as I rediscovered.

My mother is having her "frozen shoulder" orthoscopic surgery tomorrow. She has to be there at 5AM; however, she should be home by noon as it's considered day surgery. I will be the doting son tomorrow when she gets home, making sure she's comfortable and that painkillers and a fresh beverage or snack are always at the ready.

I'm currently watching/listening to Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. He's the current-day Edward R. Murrow, shining a blinding light into the dark crevices that slimy politicos try to hide in. There's no one out there like him on television and he's been spot-on in covering Bush's idiocies, the Mark Foley scandal, and any other political horror we've had to endure.

You can check out my blog to see what I've procured from Netflix. I've got Lucky Number Slevin and American Dreamz from work to watch.

SPIKE TV's 2006 SCREAM AWARDS are broadcast tonight at 10PM Eastern, with an encore at midnight. It'll then re-air throughout the weekend. Tune in to see the best in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy entertainment given awards. I've also heard that they'll be unveiling clips from Saw III, the upcoming April release co-directed by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez, Grindhouse, and the first-ever DVD release of Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut.

A co-worker let me borrow Imprint, Japanese director Takashi Miike's episode of Masters Of Horror that Showtime would not air. It reconfirms Miike as a master of all things macabre and unsettling. After viewing it it is unquestionably the best episode of that Showtime series' debut season; hopefully Season 2 will up the ante. I just need to cancel HBO and re-order Showtime now.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

no luck at Target...

I went to bed at about 1:45AM or so. I woke up at 8:00 this morning. It was rather cool to have a morning to enjoy. I plan on doing that again real soon.

We have a new coffemaker. Our coffeemaker is dead. Target did not have Sean Lennon's new CD Friendly Fire, which streets today. I plan to stop by Best Buy soon to get it. Last week at Target I got Sam Raimi's 1995 film The Quick And The Dead for $5. I've never seen it but I love Raimi's work so I figured why not. As for today, I picked up new reading material at Target...

I can't wait to devour this book. I read the first few pages already. It reinforces what we all know: those in power in this country are clueless imbeciles. While I have my disagreements with Democrats from time to time, we've got to wrest control of the House and the Senate away from the Republicans this November.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Tales From The Darkside marathon on SCI FI last night. It's great to see that series return to television (re-airing, I mean).

Movie rundown...

Edmond -
it's based on the brilliant David Mamet's 1982 play of the same name. Directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), it stars William H. Macy as a man who decides to give in to his baser instincts. The film co-stars Julia Stiles. Edmond is raw and brutal, the film that Falling Down wishes it was. Macy is spellbinding as usual. It's his movie and he runs with it, crafting a man at the end of his rope with equal parts outrage and insanity. One of the best movies of the year with a great, great ending.

Feast - fun little horror flick. Mindless b-movie cheese.

Thank You For Smoking - brilliant satire and one of the best movies of the year.

The Woods - Lucky McKee's second film might get pegged as being one-note or unfocused but it's still a great horror movie. Bruce Campbell is effective, as always.

TiVo. Lovely, lovely TiVo. How I forsake thee so much. Want to know how much? Well too bad. 'Cause you're gonna....


  • Heroes (2 episodes)
  • How I Met Your Mother (1 episode)
  • The Class (1 episode)
  • Desperate Housewives (2 episodes)
  • Ugly Betty (1 episode)
  • Doctor Who (2 episodes)
  • Six Degrees (1 episode)
  • The Office (1 episode)
  • Jericho (2 episodes)
  • Smith (2 episodes)
  • Eureka (11 episodes)
  • George Sluizer 1988 film Spoorloos (The Vanishing)
Quite the ensemble, eh? I hope to get through some of these later today and tomorrow. I've also got Art School Confidential and 12 and Holding to watch, along with my Netflix films.

Veronica Mars has its Season 3 premiere tonight on The CW. If you don't watch or haven't been watching this show -- for shame! Jump in now. It's the best show on television.

Now I'm off to Target. Our coffeemaker is dying. And perhaps they'll have Sean Lennon's new CD Friendly Fire, which streets today.

Head on over to Daily Kos for the latest on Mark Foley-gate. It's sick and full investigations need to be implemented ASAP. Whoever in D.C. -- and it looks like a hell of alot of them knew for five years (Dennis Hastert -- I'm looking at you and your ilk) -- knew that a pedophile was walking the halls of Congress needs to be ousted also.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tonight history was made with the birth of.....

At 8PM Eastern tonight, television history was made. The merger between The WB and UPN became official. Both networks had been losing money and therefore decided to unite to garner a larger audience and actually make money. In my humble opinion the best series on the network are Supernatural and Veronica Mars and I'm looking forward to Runaway, which debuts Monday at 9PM on The CW. It stars Donnie Wahlberg as a man who takes his family on the run after he's framed for murder. I think The CW will do well and it'll be interesting to see just how their ratings do now that they'll have bigger and better market saturation and thus will be able to reach more viewers.

For all things related to The CW, head over to their official website at

Locally here in Savannah, Georgia, we'll be getting The CW via WGSA. WGSA began life as an independent, then was an affiliate of The WB from 1996-early 1997 as WUBI (WB 34). It then switched affiliations to UPN as UPN 13 and is now known as CW 13. Their website, which they never had before - ever - is now online. As of now it's just the official website of The CW with WGSA's logo as a border. I hope that changes. If not oh well but it'd be cool. Click the logo for WGSA CW 13 to see what I mean.

More later as always. I've yet to watch CBS's new offerings, Jericho and Smith. James Woods's new series Shark debuts tomorrow on CBS. Plus I have some lovely TiVo to get through and I'd like to take a crack at finally watching Eureka as I have 10 episodes of that stockpiled.

I have Blood (UK vampire-type movie about a girl with narcotic blood - you taste it you're addicted) and Hard Candy (teenage girl turns the tables on a potential pedophile) on the way from Netflix. Google them for further info. I tried to get The Proposition, a gritty, trippy Western written and scored by musician Nick Cave and starring Guy Pearce but they skipped it and sent Blood . There must have been a short wait while I slept, as there wasn't when I compiled the list initially. I also need to get Battlestar Galactica Season 2.5 (the second half of Season 2, of course) as I've been giving my mother a crash course in the series to prepare her for Season 3's debut on October 6th. There was a short wait for Disc One so I reordered my queue as they would have sent Disc Two if One was not available. I also need to watch the 1959 French film Pickpocket and mail that back to Netflix ASAP.

As for work, we're going corporate as of Monday. I will now be able to watch films before they street - but I will wait to see how well their indie and arthouse rental selections are before I cancel my Netflix subscription. We got three rows of The Proposition and while some think that buy was still made by the franchise, I doubt it, as as a franchise-owned location, our arthouse/indie fare never warranted three rows, except for Friends With Money.

this Saturday...I'll be having a FEAST...

But first, as promised, my Little Miss Sunshine review...

In the early '90s, music videos changed from a wall of keyboards, bad lighting, monotone lip-syncing, and Reagan era-decadence into mini art films, sometimes short and compact, at other times elaborate and moody. The 1990s brought forth a surge of talented directors to the music video world. Along with MTV staples like Mark Romanek, Mark Pellington, Kevin Kerslake, David Fincher, Spike Jonze and Samuel Bayer, husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris entered the fray. Little Miss Sunshine is their directorial debut and it is a sure-handed and confident slice of familial dysfunction that is also one of the year's very best films.

Young Olive Hoover dreams of being in a beauty pageant. When the opportunity arises for her dream to come true her parents Richard and Sheryl (Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette) load up their VW bus and head for California. Along for the ride is Dwayne (Paul Dano), the Hoover's mute-by-choice, Nietsche-reading teenage son, Edwin Hoover, Richard's father, and Frank (Steve Carell in a terrific performance), Sheryl's brother.

Abigail Breslin is adorable as Olive and aptly conveys both heartache and happiness without breaking stride. Paul Dano's Dwayne should also be mentioned. Dano embues his angsty teenager role with the right amount of bemused detachment and isolation that echoes perfectly the sullen teen attitude cliche we've all seen before, yet the script allows Dano to encase Dwyane with a sense there's something more going on there. It is a role that is played pitch perfect. And of course Steve Carell is masterful as Frank, a Proust scholar on the brink of giving up on life but pulled back by his own awakening. For Carell this marks a noted departure from the genre he's made his bread and butter on and he excels. Frank and all of the characters for that matter are not the paper-mache cutouts that populate most movies this days. They're fully realized people who want very badly to be a nuclear family and must go to great lengths to discover what that means to them in their own way.

Dayton and Faris are not Michael Bay (thankfully) and Little Miss Sunshine is shot in a very straightforward manner. The earlier dysfunction I spoke of is indeed a prevalent theme but it does not overpower the film to the point of tedium. Dark humor bleeds through from time to time yet there's still a bite to the proceedings and it makes for a great blend of humor mixed with the cynical disposition of the characters. Essentially Little Miss Sunshine offers up the common knowledge that we don't get to choose our family but if we take time to get to know them and cherish them, we'll all be alot richer for it. Instead of numbing your brain with the mindless tedium that usually populates the cineplex, seek Little Miss Sunshine out. It is an original, thoroughly alive film that treats its characters and its audience with respect, intelligence, and wit, something sorely lacking in most films these days.

I've been following this film ever since the making of it was chronicled on Bravo's Project Greenlight back in 2004. Well then came the Miramax/Weinstein Brothers divorce and the Weinsteins decided they liked the film and took it with them (along with their genre company Dimension Films) to their new film company, The Weinstein Company. It's been sitting on a shelf ever since, give or take the horror convention screenings here and there over the past year or two. Flash forward to now. Dimension Films will FINALLY be releasing this in two special "late-night screenings" this Friday and Saturday night at 10PM and later at selected theaters across the country.

Go here - - to find the theater playing Feast in your area this weekend.

I was at first dismayed because the only theater playing it here is across town and I thought that it was only playing Friday night -- when I don't get off work until 10PM. Well thankfully I get off of work Saturday at 6PM so Feast here I come. The many horror sites I frequent tout this film as an unpretentious throwback to the gory horror flicks of the '80s that we know in love. I get paid Friday so I will be grabbing a big tub of popcorn and a Cherry Coke and immersing myself in horror movie goodness.

Now, a bowl of Fruity Cheerios (if you've not tried them I pity you...honestly...they're made from whole grain, they have 25% less sugar than regular cereal, and they're flavored with real fruit juice -- so go buy a couple of boxes!) and then I'm off to bed.

Monday, September 04, 2006

the film that never existed (apparently)...

I was perousing Netflix about a week ago when I stumbled upon this film...

The film's tagline is "Love on the razor's edge of addiction."

The plot?

"20 years ago, Carl was responsible for genetically engineering a girl with narcotic blood. Now he's brought her home - and the boundaries between love and addiction are becoming increasingly blurred."

Now I'm always in the mood for a good vampire movie so I'm eager to see this one. Yes, it's made its way to ..1 on the 'ol Netflix queue. However after reading several reviews (most of them favorable), I cannot seem to find any substantial info on the director, actors...hell, IMDb doesn't even have a trailer nor does any other site. It's like this film just sprung up out of nowhere. Hmmm...pretty odd...Anyway it was made in 2000 but just came out on DVD in September of 2004.

Little Miss Sunshine was phenomenal. Expect a review in a fortnight or so. Congrats to the cast and crew of The Office and 24 for their well-deserved Emmy wins.

Blogging will commence later. I have to be at work at 9AM.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

watch brick....and here's my Emmy picks...

Expect a Brick review sometime in the next fortnight, the same thing with Little Miss Sunshine.

The 58th Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Comedy Series

Arrested Development
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
Two And A Half Men

Will Win: The Office
Should Win: The Office

I think that the buzz for The Office has risen. I just hope I'm right. Although the Emmy voters might give this to Arrested Development, for a terrific last season. Too bad no one was fucking watching.


Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Kevin James, The King Of Queens
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

Will Win: Steve Carell
Should Win: Steve Carell

Carell's star is on the rise, with high-profile roles in The 40 Year-Old Virgin and this summer's Little Miss Sunshine plus his lead role in next summer's Bruce Almighty sequel, Evan Almighty. This will cement his meteoric rise.


Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm In The Middle
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Stockard Channing, Out of Practice
Debra Messing, Will & Grace

WILL WIN: Debra Messing

I have no opinion here except that the overrated Will & Grace will win another undeserved award. Alyson Hannigan should have been nominated for How I Met Your Mother; likewise for the always awesome Jenna Fischer for The Office. That staid mediocrity always gets nominated shows how clueless the Emmy nomination people are.




24 should finally get recognition for its consistently excellent delivery of a taut, suspenseful drama series. Unfortunately, the buzz has built steadily for the show that will win tonight, so ABC's Doctors Screwing will eke out a win here.


Christopher Meloni, Law and Order: SVU
Denis Leary, Rescue Me
Peter Krause, Six Feet Under
Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Martin Sheen, The West Wing

WILL WIN: Denis Leary
SHOULD WIN: Kiefer Sutherland

Michael Chiklis took home the gold for The Shield in 2003, increasing the visibility of FX as a network willing to program gritty drama. Emmy voters may seize on that tonight. Still, Kiefer's been deserving of this honor for so long and he really should get this one. It's been a long time coming.

I have no opinion about the lead actress in a drama series category, as I never watch any of those shows so I cannot judge adequately.


Will Arnett, Arrested Development
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Bryan Cranston, Malcolm In The Middle
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace

WILL WIN: Jeremy Piven
SHOULD WIN: Will Arnett

While I love Piven on Entourage, Will Arnett made Gob Bluth a brilliant study in idiotic dysfunction and thus deserves the win here.



Itzin made the Commander-In-Chief look asinine and silly. Pretty true-to-life and therefore he deserves the win for doing such a brilliant job of a weasel under pressure.


WILL WIN: Megan Mullally, Will & Grace
SHOULD WIN: Jaime Pressly, My Name Is Earl

Again, staid mediocrity will win, as Will & Grace will take this. A shame, as Jaime Pressly made Joy a believable trailer park queen.


WILL WIN: Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
SHOULD WIN: Jean Smart, 24

Grey's Anatomy will pick up another but Smart's vivid portrayal of the First Lady on a razor's edge should get it.


WILL WIN: Hugh Jackman
SHOULD WIN: Stephen Colbert

Jackman won last year; he'll repeat that win here. Colbert certainly should win the Emmy, as he zeroed in on BS right-wing talking points, creating a spot-on parody of O'Reilly and his ilk.


WILL WIN: Flight 93
SHOULD WIN: The Girl In The Cafe

The five year anniversary of 9/11 will allow Flight 93 to win. The Girl In The Cafe was somber, emotional, brilliant, and lovely. Kudos to Kelly Macdonald for her breathtaking performance and she should win her nomination as well.


WILL WIN: The Daily Show
SHOULD WIN: The Colbert Report

It'd be nice to see Colbert win his freshman year. It won't happen.


WILL WIN: The Office - "Christmas Party"
SHOULD WIN: Arrested Development - "Development Arrested" (aka "Harboring Resentment"

The Office is always good; however, Arrested Development needs to win, for the best series finale I've ever seen.

And I think The Colbert Report should win the "Writing" category it's up for and The Girl In The Cafe should win the category it's nominated in. Sorry for the haphazard manner this is posted in...I'll try not to cram this in next time.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

now, where was I?...

As I was saying before Mother Nature reared her disruptive head...

I procured the following from Netflix last Friday...


These should make for an excellent double feature. Rian Johnson's directorial debut Brick was mentioned by me earlier this year when I lamented, once again, of how I had a dire need to see it in the theater but Savannah sucks through a coffee table when it comes to indie film. And, as always, my viewing of the film is relegated to DVD. In any case, I'm excited to watch it.

I'd always known he wrote the 1996 Troma film Tromeo and Juliet. But I was not a fan of James Gunn in 2002. I saw his 1999 film The Specials and thought it simply a lower-budgeted version of Mystery Men but lacking something. He wrote Scooby-Doo and I was lead down a path of distaste via Ain't It Cool News. But you know what? It wasn't all that bad. The sequel is another thing. In 2003 he wrote the remake of Dawn Of The Dead. It was a good horror film (and I'm Mr. Anti-Remake usually), one that I suspect would have gotten more respect had it carried any other title. Earlier this year he gave us his directorial debut Slither. He wrote it as well and supplied a very good horror comedy that came and went like a breeze in theatres. It's a shame as it was a really good throwback to '80s horror comedies like Night Of The Creeps.

His wife, Jenna Fischer, can currently be seen on NBC's hit series The Office. She plays Pam, the receptionist. In 2004 she made her writing and directing debut with the above mockumentary Lollilove, about a satirical version of James and herself who give out lollipops with inspirational slogans to homeless people in order to cheer them up. Advance word is very good on this one as well. I'll tackle these and post reviews after.

This was an experience to be certain. Jeff, our assistant manager, let me borrow it and I finally got around to watching it. It concerns a hidden subculture in which men run websites around overweight girls. They are the "feeders", the girls are the "gainers" and bets are taken on when these girls will die. A cop in Australia finds one such guy in America and heads out to stop him. It's a taut, unnerving film that I only recommend if you know that it's certainly unlike anything you've ever seen.

And now the long-awaited jury duty story...gather round children of the world for here goes...

I checked the Chatham County Juror website every night at 5:45, hoping to not get called. But lo and behold, Tuesday night mine was called: 528. So I arrived at the courthouse at 8:30, fifteen minutes early. I'd been through this before and took a seat in the jury assembly room on the second floor. I read the book I'd brought (Off Season by Jack Ketchum) and waited. The jury services lady told us that both cases that were being tried were criminal trials. We had The Travel Channel on a screen behind her for the most part. She gave us a ten-minute break after supplying us with our juror stickers. One group had their numbers written in pink marker, others in brown. I was one of the brown group. The pink marker crowd went up to the fourth floor; I'm unaware of their fate.

We were told that we'd be going into Judge Karpf's courtroom. We were led into the courtroom, where I noticed that I knew one of the bailiffs. He waved at me and smiled and I returned the favor. Twelve of us potential jurors were already in the jury box; the rest of us took seats in the gallery. The judge came in at that time. The defendant, a young black male, sat with his attorney. A blond female, presumably the prosecutor, was seated ahead of them. They all kept glancing back at us, sizing us up as we all know.

Judge Karpf told us about how important us showing up was and thanked us immensely. He was talking about the process of jury selection when a loud knock could be heard at a door attached to an alcove near the judge. A bailiff handed Judge Karpf a note written on paper from a legal pad. The judge said that he suspects he'd have to deal with a juror's issue, as there was another jury deep in their third day of deliberation on another case. If that happened, we'd have to go back to the jury assembly room and wait. He continued telling us about what was going to happen and, in a very cool move, said that even if we're not selected by no means does that mean we cannot stay. He added that our legal system is transparent and all courtrooms are open for the public....and that he'd really appreciate the company! ;) Judge Karpf then said that he doesn't labor under any false illusions that people would want to stay to watch -- just that he'd appreciate it, as it gets awfully boring in the courtroom! He was a really cool guy (maybe not if you're charged with a crime) with a great sense of humor and personality.

He surmised correctly. We were lead back to the jury assembly room, where the jury services lady forgot to turn The Travel Channel back on. The room was cool and it was still 11-something in the morning. Snores were abundant and I almost fell victim to slumber as well. Luckily, I had my book. She came back in and turned the TV back on. We were in there for about 30-35 minutes. The lady returned then, turning off the TV. She said the judge had something to tell us. He then entered, along with a bailiff. Judge Karpf said, "Unfortunately sometimes these things happen when we try to juggle too many things on one plate. We were making an attempt to try two cases at once. I had to pause to deal with one juror's concern on the other case when the case you were going to try was plea bargained." He said that the defense attorney had met with him and a deal was struck. The case involved a young man who approached a woman at a Garden City shopping center. He told her that he had several XBox video games he'd be willing to sell her at a severely discounted rate -- for about $140. They went to his car, she produced the money, and he took off with it. There was a camera in the parking lot and he was caught. He entered a plea and the judge accepted, so he got five years -- two served, three on probation. Judge Karpf thanked us for our service and told us we were free to go.

So no more jury duty for me -- until January 2008 at the earliest.

And now onto more musings from me...

A couple of books I'm eager to pick up...

I've yet to decide what I want to buy with my $10 juror check. I was planning on picking up the 1990 Bill Murray comedy (which he co-directed) Quick Change on DVD. It's his best movie and you need to see it immediately if you haven't. I still might although I would like to pick up a new book.

I spent several evenings in the company of two friends, Zach and Amanda. We just hung out and watched TV. A very cool time was had by all. Neither has seen Quick Change. I have it on VHS but cannot find it anywhere. I tore my room apart looking for it, to no avail, so I think I'll get that at Best Buy tomorrow. I need it for my DVD collection anyway.

Tomorrow the Fox Searchlight film Little Miss Sunshine will begin playing here in Savannah at Carmike Cinemas Wynnsong 11. I've been waiting for this film. It was directed by the husband-and-wife directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The duo has directed tons of music videos over the decades and along with Kevin Kerslake, Mark Pellington, David Fincher, Mark Romanek, and Spike Jonze, really helped define MTV during the early '90s. Their debut film has garnered terrific critical acclaim. I look forward to seeing it, especially Steve Carell's performance.

Well I've blathered tons for now. More later. Now, I'm off to view the films from Netflix, watch a little TiVo, and just relax and try to enjoy the last vestiges of my paid vacation. Check back closer to Sunday for my Emmy picks. And don't forget...THE MAN himself...Conan O'Brien is the below banner to be taken to NBC's Emmys site.

The 58th Primetime Emmy Awards

rain falls against the windowpane...

Wow...where the hell have I been, huh?

Well, I'm off until Monday, as I had to cash in the very last bit of paid vacation time because I'd lose it in September and ALSO because I had jury duty this week. More on that in a bit.

I also spent several evenings in the company of two friends, Zach and Amanda. We saw Snakes On A Plane Friday; I then saw it again with my mother last Saturday (thank you connections). It's mindless fun and worth watching only if you're in the company of a crowd. It's definite audience participation material.

I received the following from Netflix last Friday...


post to be continued later today as there's quite the hellacious thunderstorm outside.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

some people just don't get it...

Need New Army Recruits? Please Don't Ask At A Video Store....

I posted the above diary at Daily Kos. It's a record of what transpired Monday morning at work. It's a very interesting read.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

1995 was a good year...

for music, for it gave us The Rentals. Former Weezer bass player Matt Sharp's band combines unique, somewhat dissonant melodies with Moog synthesizers and hell any other instrument you can think of. Expect a new album from The Rentals in 2007. For now enjoy their hit song "Friends Of P." from their debut album Return Of (The Rentals).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

you need some brilliance...

September cannot come quick enough, as that is when Capitol Records will release Sean Lennon's sophomore album Friendly Fire. I'm a big fan of his 1998 debut album Into The Sun and I cannot wait to delve into his latest offering. Above you'll find a promo video for said album, with clips interspersed from music videos shot for every song on Friendly Fire. horror thirst is slaked...

Much has been written of director Neil Marshall's (Dog Soldiers) latest film, that it's a return to form for the often-maligned medium known as horror films and that The Descent is a taut exercise in claustrophobia. I can't wait to find out at 5 o'clock today. An employee of the theatre I'll be seeing it at came into work tonight (I worked 5-close Saturday) and said that he felt like he needed an oxygen tank afterwards, as the film was intense. Now that's a rave review.

I'm off today.

The Scoop review is forthcoming and I'll try to tackle Eureka ASAP as well.

Over at Markos and the gang have really done a bang-up job at following the Connecticut Senate race. I hope Ned Lamont receives the Democratic nomination but I'm afraid Joe "I'm a lobbyist whore who should register as a Republican" Lieberman might garner some muster. Even if he loses the bid, the asshole that Lieberman is plans to run as an Independent, effectively hurting the Democrats in the fall midterm elections. Check out Matt Taibbi's latest "Road Rage" article in this newest issue of Rolling Stone; it's a kick-ass piece that details why Lieberman is a totally clueless fuckhead who's only in it for himself and his inside-the-Beltway lobbyist sugar daddies...

Lieberman: Bush's Favorite Democrat

And now it's bedtime, for I'll not sleep the day away yet again.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

U.S. Vs. John Lennon Trailer

Fucking amazing.
I cannot wait to see this. Now if only Bush and his ilk could see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately that'll never happen as they're all too delusional.

Last December, I made my thoughts known on Lennon's assassination.

My John Lennon Post

Monday, July 31, 2006

expect a review of this *very* soon...

THIS is my most anticipated fall series. I've procured the 55-minute pilot; they added a few things since it was shot, as the episode that debuts on September 25th is 72 minutes long. This series is about ordinary people who wake up one day with incredible powers.

The official site is

The "Official Unofficial Fan Site" is

And there's another fan site at

I have to work tonight from 8PM-12AM and then do inventory from midnight until 5AM. Thankfully I'm off Wednesday.

And now, a lovely snack of peanut butter and banana sandwiches and some TiVo time.

just started this novel...

Touchstone Pictures will release the film version of this in limited release October 20. It was co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, and Michael Caine.

The trailer is here --
The Prestige Trailer

I'm only three chapters in but it's pretty darn good so far and I'm intrigued to see Nolan's take on the material.

And a quick stop at Google will allow you to discover that Heath Ledger has been cast as The Joker in the upcoming Batman Begins sequel, now titled The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan will again direct, from a script written by his brother Jonathan and a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Christian Bale will reprise his role as The Caped Crusader. No other casting details are available as of yet. The film will begin shooting early next year. I'm not quite sold on Ledger as The Clown Prince of Crime but I trust Nolan emphatically.

James Berardinelli's review of Neil Marshall's new horror film The Descent really has me geeked out. I was already highly antcipating this movie, as I really loved his previous film Dog Soldiers. The advance word is that this is a claustrophobic nightmare of maddening intensity and I can't wait to see it.

Expect a review of Woody Allen's Scoop fairly soon. I was able to see an advance screening early Friday AM (about 2AM) but got so busy with various other things I haven't had a chance to get that done. It's not as good as Match Point but it's still a pretty fun movie. I watched the amazing Nicole Holofcener's Friends With Money last night. It won't be out on DVD until the 29th but it's seven shades of cool and good and really brilliant cinema, despite an ending that has a small contrivance.

And in severely fucked news, I got a jury summons. I have to call the weekend prior to the week of August 21st to see if I'm called. Hopefully they won't call me but if history has taught me anything it's that I'm always fucking called for this and always get picked. Last time I showed my ass and pissed the judge off. I'll be a good boy this time, no doubt; I just don't want to be picked to be on the damn jury. I'll keep you posted.

Coming soon from Netflix...

Great critical acclaim has been thrown this film's way. I aim to discover it for myself. I also have The Libertine and Tsotsi from Netflix that I need to watch.

I procured this from work today as well. It was filmed in 2001 and although it's a loose remake of Jacques Tourneur's classic 1943 horror film I Walked With A Zombie, several online horror sites have said it's a fine little unpretentious horror flick.

As I'm typing this, VH1 Classic is currently airing the first 24 hours of MTV's existence, as it is now officially the 25th anniversary of MTV, despite what my blog post time stamp might say. (It's currently a few minutes past 12AM Tuesday morning now) Why isn't this airing on MTV, you might ask? Simple. The teens that watch it are too wrapped up in fucking bullshit like Laguna Beach and TRL to know anything about MTV's origin. I say fuck that and they should just air it on MTV anyway. Fuck those little snot-nosed brats. In any case, I'm about to rock out to "Video Killed The Radio Star" by The Buggles.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pearl Jam - Here's To The State Of Mississippi

Beautiful song reimagined by the always amazing Pearl Jam. This song is powerful, soul-searing, and oh so true.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

live what you believe...

In 1994, writer/director Kevin Smith broke onto the cinema scene with a caustic yet brilliantly original take on the trials and tribulations of what it meant to be twenty-something and working-class. Five movies later, Smith returns to his roots with Clerks II. Many sequels are borne of monetary obligation and suffer drastically from idealistic bean-counters whose main concern is not whether the film they're making is substansive, it's whether or not enough tie-in plastic cups are sold at Burger King. And yet as Smith's sequel will no doubt make considerable coin, he's embued his film with pathos and warmth. It's there, in between the raunch and vulgarity.

Twelve years after we left counter jockeys Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, we return to New Jersey. Since their previous place of employment went up in flames, the two are now slaves to the fast food grind at the Disney-themed fast food restaurant Mooby's. Becky (played wonderfully by Rosario Dawson), their manager, may have a thing for Dante yet he's planning to head to Florida with his fiance, Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach, Kevin Smith's wife). Randal's still his smart-ass, sarcastic-to-the-nth-degree self, and Jay and Silent Bob are still dealing, yet they're no longer using thanks to a stint in rehab. Trevor Fuhrman is new to the equation, playing a young Fundamentalist Christian Mooby's employee who Randal loves to torment.

Kevin Smith has become a media entity in and of himself. Yet his presence in the public eye tends to dilute the most overlooked fact about him: the man can *WRITE*. With Clerks II, he deftly blends the characters we know with a statement that rings very true. The main characters in the film are in their mid-thirties. Smith asks the question: do we grab the brass ring and step forward or do we do something that, while not particularly glamorous career-wise, makes us truly happy? In its very essence Clerks II holds the mirror up to its audience and allows them to reflect on what is to come, which is in their hands.

Some may denounce or dismiss the bawdy nature of some of the elements in the film but that's trademark Smith. This film is not Wedding Crashers. It's not Date Movie. It's wholly original and takes steps that other scripted-by-committee comedies wouldn't, mainly advancing the fate of the characters into different areas.

Clerks II is also a treat for those of us who've followed Smith's View Askewniverse, with cameos from many alums from his other films.

All in all, Clerks II is the best film of the summer. While achingly funny, it also manages to have a very big heart that beats with a rhythm and style that brings real emotion and tenderness to the fore, with caustic yet believable dialogue that only Kevin Smith-scripted characters can deliver. No matter what, it's a film that could have been a disaster. Those out there worried that this was a lame cash-in, worry not. Instead Clerks II is a delight and one that delivers on the hype and then some

Friday, July 21, 2006


I'll be seeing this at 7PM tonight, with the husband of one of my co-workers. He's a Kevin Smith fan. She unfortunately cannot attend, as she has to work tonight. I've been excited to see this for over a year now and finally the day is at hand! I'll be using the free ticket I earned thanks to Regal Entertainment Group's Crown Club Card, which accumulates your box-office purchases as points, which are then redeemable for concession items and movie tickets. By the way, head over to It chronicles the recent Kevin Smith/Joel Siegel dust-up. It's pretty funny. I agree - don't fucking make a scene if you walk out of a theater while the movie's still playing.

TiVo has amassed a treasure trove of TV for me. I hope/plan to get through as much of it as humanly possible ASAP.

Apple has posted the trailers for Alfonso Cuaron's Children Of Men and TMNT, respectively. Check those out here -
(And yes, TMNT is indeed an acronym for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". And yes, my by-then 25-year-old ass will be parked in a theater seat come March 30th, 2007 to see it.)
Someone online stated that the sci-fi drama/romance The Fountain, directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Hugh Jackman and Aronofsky's girlfriend Rachel Weisz (who just gave birth to their son recently) debuts its first full trailer in front of M. Night Shyamalan's Lady In The Water this weekend. I hope it's online soon, as The Fountain and Danny Boyle's upcoming sci-fi flick Sunshine are my two most heavily anticipated sci-fi films. As for Lady In The Water, I'll see it before it leaves theatres. The reviews have not just been bad -- they're downright atrocious. Only time will tell, however. My Super Ex-Girlfriend looks funny and anything starring Rainn Wilson (who's hilarious as Dwight Schrute on NBC's The Office) automatically garners my attention. I just don't know if I'll be able to see it in the theater so it'll probably be a decent DVD rental in the near future.

Alright rambly bits are over. Time to hit the hay, navigating through TiVo before I do so. I know I'm Broken Record Man when it comes to this (reviewing movies in a timely fashion) but expect my Clerks II review sometime this weekend. I also plan to start reviewing more movies on here. ALOT more movie reviews. Hell, that was part of the reason I started this damn blog two years ago! Plus I think TV reviews are in order as well. I've still got SCI FI's new series EUReKA to watch (the pilot) so I'll get that review posted this weekend also.

Friday, July 14, 2006

adjectives lose all meaning...

In the 1980s, films described as "family" or "children's" films were not mainly timewasters meant to keep the little ones engaged while Mom and Dad traipsed off to see something else at the theater or to make dinner. Nope. Instead, talented writers and directors used the medium to present films that articulated intelligent and well-written dialogue that was enjoyable for the entire family, not a mere segment. It mattered not if the film was animated or live-action -- more often than not what you got was quality. Films like Wolfgang Petersen's The Neverending Story, Richard Donner's The Goonies, and Richard Franklin's Cloak & Dagger all gave us characters we could relate to and situations we either would love to be in or would wonder how we'd get out of them ourselves.

Director Gil Kenan and his writers, Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, and Pamela Pettler, have crafted an unbelievably original yet wholly reminiscent tale of a domicile gone demonic. Monster House, the latest animated offering from Sony (and the first to successfully use motion capture animation), allows us to recall what it meant to be twelve and in those akward years of uncertainty and yet still clinging somewhat to our sense of child-like wonder. In the film, DJ, a young boy, and his best friend, Chowder, are afraid of Mr. Nebbercracker, the cantankerous old man whose house is rotting from the inside it seems. He hates children, especially when they get on his lawn. After Chowder's basketball accidentally rolls onto the old man's lawn, DJ tries to retrieve it. But Mr. Nebbercracker grabs DJ and yells at him, inciting a heart attack which kills the old man instantly. DJ feels responsible for the man's death. But soon thereafter, the boys notice that the house is...ALIVE...and will eat anything that crosses its path. The two buddies decide that they must do something and so, after enlisting the help of Jenny, a girl who goes to the nearby prep school, the trio set about enacting a plan to prevent the house from devouring anything or anyone else in their suburban neighborhood.

Kudos must be given to the animators. The motion-capture animation done in The Polar Express was pedestrian at best. Monster House remedies that with lush, vibrant colors and attention to detail that has to be seen to be believed. These characters are some of the best that have ever been created for this format, bar none. But the animation would be nothing without the actors, of course. Steve Buscemi is excellent as Mr. Nebbercracker, while Maggie Gyllenhaal is dead-on as DJ's wanna-be rocker chick babysitter Zee. Jason Lee shows up for a bit as well, in a funny bit as Zee's loser rocker boyfriend Bones. And Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder is inspired as the sage movie and comic book geek the kids look to for advice. However, the movie belongs to Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, and Spencer Locke as DJ, Chowder, and Jenny Brewster, respectively. These three actors embue their roles with wit, warmth, and genuine presence that is a refreshing change of pace from the vanilla characterizations alot of animated films have featured over recent years.

Many films this summer will offer overbaked scripts written by committee or explosions and catchphrases instead of smart well-defined characters. With Monster House, one of the best films of the summer, the viewer will remember what childhood was all about and how it made us who we are. The film also provides a savvy yet brilliant treatise on how the world seemed full of adventure and magic and was a sea of endless possibilities, just waiting for us to grasp them and make them our own. Except this time...well, the adventure is's a giant house....and it's mad as hell.

There will be sneak previews of Monster House this Saturday - check your local listings for showtimes; the film opens nationwide July 21st.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

currently reading and surfing and watching and musing....

I've been living at lately. I've also been making good use of Netflix as of late and have been making an attempt at clearing space on TiVo by watching things in a timely manner. It's a work in progress, really, but it's better than nothing.

I just saw Spaced a little while ago. BBC America's been running it. It's from the minds of Simon Pegg and Jessica Stephenson. Pegg is best known for co-scripting the 2004 rom zom com (that's "romantic zombie comedy" for those uninitiated out there) Shaun Of The Dead and alot of the cast from that film is in Spaced. It's really funny and full of pop culture references. I saw the first three episodes and it airs Fridays at 11PM Eastern on BBC America.

I saw Superman Returns Friday afternoon. A review *is* forthcoming; suffice it to say that I loved this film and thought it was even better than the Donner films.

Blade: The Series debuted on Spike TV last Wednesday at 10PM Eastern. It's pretty good and I'm looking forward to where David S. Goyer and his team take this. Alot of print and online media trashed it but I think they'd already made their minds up that this wasn't the movies so by its very nature it is somehow inferior. No matter -- I loved it and the TiVo Season Pass is set. Blade: The Series also set a Spike TV viewership record, with 2.5 million viewers tuning in. It was also the #1 cable series last week with Men 18-34 and 18-49. I hope the viewer retention is huge from week to week. I want them to renew this sucker (no pun intended)

And since I've been in a vampire mood as of late, I ventured out to Barnes & Noble on Saturday with my mother. We procured the first three books in the Charlaine Harris "Dead/"Southern Vampire"/"Sookie Stackhouse" series...


I'm twenty pages removed from finishing the first and then I'll be diving right into the second one (during my lunch break; I have to work 9-5 today). Mrs. Harris's characterizations and flavor make for an excellent read.

More talk of the horror films I've viewed recently (thank you Netflix...they were quite good) and other exciting minutae will follow later today once I've returned from work...

Monday, June 26, 2006

sorry about the delay...

Head on over to for really lively discussion of all things horror. You see those astute readers out there may remember my geeky ramblings about The Horror Channel. Click here to revisit them.

Well last weekend, the entire writing staff and tech team from bolted, in a sign of no confidence to the CEO, Nicholas Psaltos. They'd been strung along under false pretenses about where the channel was going. The CEO wants the "channel" to be broadband, online only, and freaked out when rumors started swirling. He fired a gentleman who goes by the board name Uncle Creepy and with that firing, the entire web staff resigned in a show of solidarity. So the news, review, and message board section of the site is back in the hands of Dread Central, the site that merged with THC a while back. It's a really nice atmosphere, with really cool people with wicked senses of humor.

I also have a Myspace page now --
Don't worry the eleven nobodies that read this site -- my blog's not going anywhere.

I saw The Hills Have Eyes, Kairo (Pulse), Night Watch, and Transamerica recently. All were very good. Kairo will be released as an American remake by The Weinstein Company this September, starring Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame.

Up next on the 'ol Netflix queue: Intruder, a slasher flick from 1988 co-starring Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell, I, Madman, about a girl who loves pulp novels and then her life starts mirroring the latest one she's read, and Alone In The Dark, a Jack Sholder-directed horror film about inmates in an asylum and their doctor. The lights go out and mayhem stars Donald Pleasance, Martin Landau, and Jack Palance.

As usual, TiVo is stuffed to the gills....*really stuffed*