Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Existensial Star Wars....In French

Brilliant doesn't even begin to cover this. Thanks to the folks over at Topless Robot for this incredible video.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My lifelong obsession with punk rock girls started with just a few. Exene Cervenka, Dale Bozzio (yeah I know she beat cats but this was before that), Chere Currie, Joan Jett and Poly Styrene. These were girls that were beautiful but also pissed, spirited and incredibly talented. They inspired me with their music and, as I said, allowed me to develop my crush on punk rock girls across the board. This week Poly Styrene passed away at 53 after a battle with cancer. This was not only a loss to music but to the idea of non-conformity.

Stryene, whose given name is Marianne Elliot-Said, put together X-Ray Spex after releasing a reggae single in 1976 on GTO. Like most early punks, Said was inspired after seeing the Sex Pistols, so she put an ad out and the X-Ray Spex were born. The band only released one album, Germ Free Adolescents, which instantly became a classic and one of my personal favorites. There was a passion in the album, same as other punk bands, but it lacked the pretentious bullshit sneer that so much British punk suffered from.

After the band broke up Ms. Said stepped out of the spotlight and focused on battling personal demons including Bi-polar Disorder. She never stopped creating and being an outspoken voice against conformity or letting woman assume a certain role in the world of music. The later X-Ray Spex reunion and album wasn't the big return they wanted but it proved Ms. Said could still kick ass.

I've played the band's album all day and my thoughts go out to Ms Said's daughter and other family members. She was a hero to a movement and lit a path that many have followed. She will be missed.

RIP Poly Styrene


When I was a little kid my first pangs of musical interest were set by my father. He was always listening to something, usually country or show tunes, sometimes blues and even a few rock jams in there. One artist he was particularly fond of was Phoebe Snow. He played her records constantly and I began to get wooed by Ms. Snow's magical voice. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a fan at the age of six but I do remember her name being bandied about at parties and get togethers my parents had.

As I got older and started appreciating music full time, I went back to Ms. Snow's recordings and really became a fan. I also found great respect for her story, leaving an incredibly promising career to tend to her daughter Valerie who was born with severe brain damage. Ms Snow would release the occasional album but she didn't tour and didn't push herself. In 2008 Valerie passed away and Ms. Snow returned to her career to try and deal with the pain. Recently she suffered a brain hemorrhage and complications from that ended her life at sixty.

I remain a fan of Phoebe Snow and incredibly respectful of her story. She was a great talent with a beautiful voice. She will be missed.

Top 5 News Items I Don't Care About

After many many months on hold, I'm back with five news items I could give a flying fuck about.

5. Lord Of The Rings Movies To Return In June To Theaters

I know I'm alone in the world but I really didn't like the Lord Of The Rings films. I tried, I worked really hard to try and be down with the hype but at the end of it all, as my good friend Andy says, it was 9 plus hours of people walking uphill and bitching. Then, for some reason I still can't figure out, the uncut versions were released and suddenly it was 12 hours of uphill bitching. Now, in order to juice the last bit of money possible from these dry ass movies (thanks Steve Harvey), AMC Theaters will be re-releasing all the movies again for people to sit and stare at. I'm sure lots of pissed off Nerds will be heading home to build a bomb for my car for saying this. Hopefully I'll have 12 hours to make my escape as these idiots pour over the re-release of Uphill Bitching Featuring Bling....oh, I mean Lord Of The Rings.

4. Double Bilbo Action

I know, I know, a second Lord Of The Rings shot seems mean spirited but I gotta be me. Apparently now, besides whatever actor is sabotaging his career by becoming part of a movie that's had more hold ups than South Central Los Angeles by playing the young Bilbo Baggins, Ian Holm will return to play old Bilbo. I'm assuming as book ends to this upcoming Hobbit movie. This will probably bring the whole told massacre to fifteen hours. My favorite was how Peter Jackson swore he would never do the Hobbit. Apparently the big monkey failure was enough to make him re-think that. Whatever, who cares?

3. More Faster And More Furiouser Fiver Or Sixer

So as America continues its journey to show the world it is the stupidest nation in the world, the fine citizens have decided to really push the goal forward but making More Faster And More Furiouser Part Five a super success. Apparently muscle bound cavemen talking tough and flashing guns while blowing shit up is what America wants to see. Now, on the heels of this shit storm comes news that the "actors" from this abortion of a franchise will return for another installment. The only way I'd watch this movie is if Vin Diesel admitted the truth and spent the entire film dressed like Captain Caveman and shouted that at the start of every car chase.

2. Bill & Ted 3 Has A Script

Seriously? Really? Didn't the utter failure of Scream 4 teach any of these Hollywood scum that nobody gives a rampant shit about a sequel twenty years later. First of all this is Bill And Ted.....I'll say that again....Bill And Ted. There was no reason for the first sequel and this makes even less sense. Are the old now? Did Wild Stallions become the biggest band ever? How will they replace George Carlin? No matter what it is, it isn't a movie that needs to be made.

1. The Avengers Started Shooting And This Was A Publicity Still

I'm not particularly pissed that The Avengers started filming because I've gone on and on about my problems with the film. My biggest issue is this shitty nudge-nudge-wink-wink photo with directors chairs for the members of the team. Really? Fuck you Marvel, just make the movie and stop being cutesy. You don't care about comic book fans, you don't care about comic books, so stop pretending you're "down".


Snow White All Over

This is a photo of a girl with an all over Snow White back piece. From this angle you can tell she's probably really hot and has a great sense of humor and loves Disney. Best part is if you're lucky enough to fuck her from behind and she's into it, you can bust a nut on either Snow White's face or the Evil Witch.


Eatin' Gelato, Eatin Gelato, Eatin Gelato, Stare At The Wall

This is a most awesome sticker from one of my favorite places in Cincinnati, Dojo Gelato. Not only is their gelato amazing, but it comes in really interesting flavors. My personal favorite is either Mexican Vanilla or Cap'N'Crunch. I mostly get my tastings from Findlay Market, I've never been to the actual Dojo Gelato store. If you live in the area or you're visiting definitely check them out.

Monday, April 25, 2011


So I watched a couple of episodes of this new show called The Breakout Kings. The plot centers on a group of convicts that are brought into a special program to help cops find other convicts that have broken out of prison. The gist is that each convict they help catch will shave some time off of their own sentence. So week in and week out the show opens with some type of prison break and then our heroic team takes them down. The first time I watched it, I hated it. I decided I'd watch it a few more times just to make sure I hated it. Yep, the show is awful.

For the last few months I've been convinced that Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior is the most melodramatic and badly written show on TV. Turns out I was wrong. True Suspect Behavior is awful (Forest Whitaker should get an Emmy for Ham Of The Year within a subcatagory of Look At Me Look At Me) but at least it's not cliche to the point of being unbearable. The Breakout Kings feels less like a show and more like something put together via focus groups and marketing meetings. Toss in a rousing game of darts, where producers throw them at cliched character profiles to see who is who, and you start to get the idea.

First of all there's the plot. Is anybody else out there tired of these "Special Program" film and shows? It seems like nobody in law enforcement can do anything on their own so they have to bring in Special Programs. This special program makes less sense than all of them. Show in and show out the convicts don't do much but add comedy relief and look good. Thus far not one convict insight has helped do much but edge the plot along slowly.

The characters are also incredibly cliche. It's to a point that you wonder if maybe this show is performance art and they know how bad it is. Here's a breakdown of the cast. I don't remember character names, that's how bad the show is.

Black Cop Leader: Head of the "Special Program". Incredibly well dressed and groomed especially for a cop's salary. He is the smooth alpha male leader, equipped with street tough one liners and yet careful insight. He has his demons to battle but he's really a good cop with a dark view who wants to do right.

White Cop Flunky: He's the Joe Beer Drinker aspect of the cast. Big, burly, badly dressed and unshaven, he's the guy who goes to the cop bar, a real one-of-the-guys type. Tough and with bad attitude but deep down loves his partner and wants to do right. Uses terms in a bad New York accent such as "Scumbag" and "Dirtbag".

Black Convict One: Good looking, street smart but with an educated edge to him. He gets the streets and is the super alpha male of the group of convicts. Always says the right thing and his no-nonsense logic is supposedly vital to whatever it is the team is doing.

Hot White Chick: The girl who is too hot and too well put together to be a convict unless she was arrested in Milan for impersonating a model. She's way too street tough to have the manicure and haircut she has. She always bests the guys with that "Go Girl" sneer and when she beats them she always gives that come-hither look. Probably the most unbelievable character in the cast.

Smart White Guy Nerd: Hacker with cool haircut (apparently they style hair in prison) who is socially awkward and incredibly smart. This combination makes it okay for everybody in the cast to pick on and insult him. He also is always quoting some kind of "Nerd Thing".

Hot White Secretary: Bumbling and awkward, we know she's not hot because she has her hair in a bun and wears glasses. Obviously if you stripped away the painfully over-compensating demure outfit she's a raging hot lady but once again Hair-in-bun-and-glasses. She serves no purpose other than to have another hot chick in the show.

On top of the bad characters there's also really bad dialog. The White Cop "Howyadoin" guy refers to the convicts as animals and you get lots of "You're not out here to do (insert something), you're here to do what we tell you), or some variation of that. Lots of quick quips from the convicts as they engage in banter with their opressor cops. The criminals are usually one dimensional, either way too good looking serial killers or violent offenders who stay too quiet or make too much noise to actually be violent.

The worst are the outlandish prison breaks. If these idiots could really plan something that extravagant and well executed, I doubt they'd be in prison. Breakout Kings also tries too hard to be edgy and cool. Usually that kind of things comes out naturally through the stories and characters e.g. The Killing or Supernatural or Breaking Bad. Here it's like watching CHIPS as seen through the camera lense of an NYU graduate that spent most of his life making in-store videos for French Connection or Ambercrombe. I realize it's the first season but thus far the Breakout Kings can't escape from it's own cliched characters and plot devices.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


In 1996 Scream was released to great fanfare. During the hype fans gave the film the mantel of ushering in of a new era of horror. The Scream era was hipper and more aware era, showing how irony and movie knowledge could be injected into scary movies. No longer would characters in horror movies act as though the horror genre didn’t exist; now it would be an intrical part of every horror film to follow. The problem with Scream came with the convoluted sequels and, sadly, the fact that it did usher in a new age of horror. Since the original Scream the horror genre sank to a hollow low, taking the self-aware ideas in Scream and exploiting them until whatever original ideas the series had, was lost.

Fifteen years after the first film, the gang that survived Scream is back for Scream 4, and a whole new generation will be sucked into what Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson promise to be a new trilogy. I must warn anybody that was the same age, as the original players from Scream will feel ancient during this movie. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette all look good, but they also look old. The new film centers on Neve Campbell’s character Sydney returning to Woodsboro, her original home and site of the murders, to promote the self-help book she’s written. As soon as Sydney arrives in town the brutal killings start up again and off we go.

Scream 4 has a number of things going for it and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The film has lost the self-importance the second sequel possessed, and isn’t nearly as convoluted as the third. It’s the same kind of scary, good time fun that made the first Scream such a classic. The murders are outrageous, the dialog witty and the twist ending is sufficiently surprising. The new cast of young people on the chopping block are still pretty but much more technologically advanced, something that plays heavily into the structure of the movie.

Two major problems keep Scream 4 from being outstanding, and oddly enough one is old and one is new. The new problem is that the movie misses the opportunity to do to the current genre of film what the original did for that era. Scream 4 should have been a straight a to z horror movie, without any of the nods to other movies or self-aware one-liners that peppered the first trilogy. It would have said, in a subtle way, that the filmmakers realize what they started with the first films and now they want to reinvent the genre out of the repetitive mire it was responsible for creating. This should have been a movie about a slasher that left all the other hip nudge-nudge-wink-wink stuff at the door.

Instead Scream 4 is overloaded with it. It felt as if every scene was either slightly or overly saturated with references to the “rules” of other horror movies but how the new rules are the old rules without rules, etc. There are still film geeks who guide us through the maze of understanding modern horror but who seem outdated. In the era of digital downloads, netflix and youtube, the idea that we need specialists in this kind of thing is rather antiquated. Scream 4 didn’t need to remind us how hip it still is, it could have proved that by stepping out of its own shadow and not being so hip.

The “old” problem comes with the victims. For a film that seems so set in teaching everybody the rules of surviving a horror movie, none of the characters in Scream follows them. Somebody says the first rule of surviving horror movies is to never go out alone, yet the first thing a character does is strut on out into the empty house by him or herself. For every rule laid down, there’s a character that does something incredibly stupid to break it. This issue has stood against what the Scream movies try and accomplish since the original movie.

Overall Scream 4 is an enjoyable movie, one good enough to interest me in the next one. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson finish the ending off in such a way that you’ll be flummoxed as to how the next movie will continue, making it all the more intriguing. I’ve always had a crush on Neve Campbell, so it was nice to see her back again. If Scream 5 can forget it’s own hipster legacy and allow for the characters to be a little less foolish, it might once again revitalize the current lost art of making horror movies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I CAST YOU OUT (My Problems With Thor)


Recently, in the never ending quest to shill shit through a beloved character, 7-Eleven put together a big behind the scenes trailer for the new Thor movie. I've watched it a few times and come up with some frame-by-frame issues I have with the entire flick. I figure rather than just ramble on about it, I'd use this for some structure. Here's the trailer:

Now, here are my problems with it, scene-by-scene

Why does Asgard look like Vegas? There's more gaudy gold here than in any of Liberace's wet dreams.

Way to make Odin, the kind of the god, look like a feeble old man forced by his kids to play dress up. I kept waiting for him to ask for soft yogurt or pudding.

Apparently Odin doesn't so much strip Thor of his power as he demagnetizes him. I was also curious why he casts him out wearing clothes from The Gap.

First off, Kenneth Branagh looks old. Secondly, who the fuck cares what the producer has to say? This is the same dick who walks through Comicon on his cellphone with a new Thor t-shirt on that his assistant bought him. The type that relies on terms like "Richness of the characters" or "True to the source material" to mask the fact that he doesn't know shit about the character.

Did Natalie Portman just says Thor was from another planet? Actually looking at the scenes that follow during the producer's sloppy blowjob on the set designer, Asgard looks a lot like Naboo from Star Wars Episode I (aka rape my childhood). So did this "brilliant" designer just lift Naboo and decide to make it look like a Vegas theme park? Was it Natalie's idea?

Natalie Portman has never been to the desert?

Nothing like a guy from another country pontificating on the charm of a small country town. It's like when Americans go overseas and refer to everybody as foreigners.

Wow, you built a town. Clearly from this we can garner that you know a lot about the character and the history behind him. I mean you can't install fake computers into a fake town unless you've read a lot about Thor.

I want to introduce Jamie Alexander to my hammer...ohh yeeaaaahhhhhh

I do love that after a full minute of prattling on about the set and the explosions and the visuals, Kenneth tries to talk about focusing on the human dynamic and the passion, which is a Hollywood way of saying unnecessary love interest.

Why does Thor always look constipated?

Did we really need the Reservoir Dogs/Armageddon tough guy walk scene with the gods? Why is Loki looking at the jewel from Jewel Of The Nile?

Why is Heimdall black? I didn't realize Norse Gods had an overabundance of black folks in their ranks. Not to mention he's NOT black in the comics. Guess if it works for the Kingpin and Nick Fury, it'll work here.

I do like the ending WWE move from Thor.

So that's it. It seems like this movie is all about the effects and the visuals because nobody here knows anything about Thor. The guy they go to play him is all wrong, but that may only be because Thor shouldn't be brought to life.