Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Shopping, Child Labor, Letters To The Editor, & The "Merry Christmas Satan" Conspiracy

Eins I'm done my Christmas shopping, thank God. Last week I did a stint in Halifax and another stint in Bridgewater. And yes, I know I keep bitching about how much I hate Bridgewater, but when you live where I do, your shopping options are limited. I'm just glad it's all over with, I'd hate to have some shopping left to do this close to Christmas.

Zwei Maybe I'm the only one who sees this, but is everyone working at Zellers/Wal-Mart either under 16 or over 60? I know Wal-Mart makes it a point to hire the (for the lack of a better word) elderly, but they also hire a lot of punk ass kids too. The 16 year old kid behind the counter at Wal-Mart's video section in Bridgewater kept calling me sir. I'm 24, for God's sake. And I don't think someone who is buying an armload of kung fu DVDs qualifies as a 'sir.' Now while it is true that I have all the necessary equipment for such a title, I'm hardly distinguished enough to warrant being addressed as such.

Drei I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the Police Academy movies. When I hit Zellers last week I found a cheapo double sided DVD with Police Academy 2 and 3 on it. So I made and effort this past week to watch both movies. Fellow Police Academy aficionados will note that these particular movies in the series were the only ones to feature Art Metrano as Lt./Cmndt. Mauser, the bad guy/fall guy/foil to Steve Guttenberg and his whacky band of co-horts. All other movies in the series featured G.W. Bailey as the belovedly hated Capt. Thaddeus Harris. And if anyone other than me is still reading this now I've written all that, I'll be surprised.

Vier My letter to the editor of the Chester Clipper did in fact get published in this week's copy of the paper. I'll try to get a scan of it here on the site in the next week or so. I've already had two people stop me to talk about it. Yay for me.

Fünf I don't know if anyone else has noticed this one either, but I keep hearing "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys everywhere I go. It was on the PA at Zellers, it's on the radio and it's even in one of the newer holiday themed Coca-Cola commercials. The only reason I bring it up, besides the fact that I am a Beach Boys fan, is that the lyrics sound like the Boys are singing "Merry Christmas Satan." Now, I checked around for the real lyrics and nothing I've seen would suggest that this is somehow a Satanic Christmas song. But every time I hear it, whether on TV or in a packed department store, I can't help singing "Merry Christmas Satan" during the chorus. I urge you all to find and listen to this song and tell me whether or not you hear them singing "Merry Christmas Satan."

Sechs I'm like this close to 1000 hits. I hope to break that mark before the new year. Here's mud in your eye.

Super Happy Fantabulous Bonus Stuff

First off is an older clip of Siskel & Ebert fighting. I guess those guys didn't really like each other too much. Ebert comes off like a total douchebag. Hilarious stuff. (This Link No Longer Works)

Secondly, since apparently nothing says world peace like Smurf genocide, a Unicef commercial where so many of your favorite childhood characters are killed by falling bombs. The people behind Unicef are sick bastards. Warning: this European ad may upset those who still love all things Smurf.

And finally, a funny music video making fun of Emo kids. If you hate Emo kids, you'll love this clip. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"You Got To Know When To Hold ’Em, Know When To Fold ’Em."

After waiting and waiting, I finally got to play some poker this week. I got the call last Wednesday night for a Texas Hold 'Em session. This was my first real opportunity to sit down with some people and play poker in more than a year. Lately, in an attempt to quench my thirst for poker, I tried playing online. But, it doesn't quite do it for me playing the game that way. It's just better when you're face to face with your fellow players. There's something about the ability to feel the chips in your hand and to sing "The Gambler" to a player who absent-mindedly counts their chips in the middle of the game.

Back when I was living in Fredericton, I would refer to playing poker as "Operation: Take Steve's Money." This referred to Steve, one of our usuals around the poker table. Steve and I got along alright, but we weren't exactly friends. He had a habit of telling stories about himself, how much money he had, the great places he had been, etc. But the one thing I liked about Steve was taking his money. To me there was no sweeter sound than sweeping up Steve's chips after he blabbed on and on about his backpacking trip through Europe.

So, I was pretty stoked to play when the call came through. But since I had never played with this group of guys before, I was playing on the defensive. I didn't want to give away any "tells" and I was also trying to make up for being anything but a pro at Texas Hold 'Em. I figured I'd keep them guessing and that way I'd probably get invited back for another game. While I was a little disappointed with my performance, the game lasted around five hours and everyone involved had a good time. In the end I only lost seven dollars, so I felt pretty good about the whole thing.


The first two links are to some funny phone calls. Having worked previously at a call centre, I'm quite familiar with the types of people making these calls.

Call One is from an older woman trying to buy a computer. This would normally be a difficult enough process for the uninitiated, but it also seems she had been getting the run around from an automated phone system for awhile before leaving this voicemail. My favorite part is when she starts bitching about the "younger generation."

Call Two is from some woman who thinks 911 can help her with her taco situation. She keeps calling the male operator "bitch" and screaming for assistance with her taco. One of the operator's first questions to her is "are you drunk?" I can't decide which is funnier/scarier though, the woman on the line or the tone of the 911 operator. Either way, this call must be heard to be believed.

And now for the piece de resistance, a clip from the 1972 Bruce Lee classic Return of the Dragon. This clip contains the epic battle between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, that's right Chuck freakin' Norris. In this clip, our two heros throw down in the ruins of the Roman Colosseum. Now, I will warn you that the video contained in this link is pretty choppy, but you'll at least get a glimpse of the greatness that is Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Chuck totally throws down some amazing roundhouse kicks.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No Line For Walk The Line

I went on an impromptu trip to the movies last Thursday night. Some friends and I saw the new Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. Now, I've been a casual fan of Johnny Cash for a number of years now. I'm no fan of country music, but to me Johnny Cash has always been one of those artists capable of transcending genres. So, I was more or less eager to see Walk the Line. This did unfortunately mean that I had to go to Bridgewater, one of my most hated of places. But I put such hatred aside for a few hours for one of my more loved of activities, going to the movies.

Bridgewater recently built a new multiplex near their impossibly shitty mall. This came a number of years after they closed their last multiplex, which was located inside an impossibly shitty mall (oddly enough, I'm talking about two different malls). I was expecting a crowd, it being cheap night and all, but I was somewhat pleased that there was virtually no one there and as my title suggested there was no line for Walk the Line. Such mild pleasure was soon sullied upon finding out that a box of Milk Duds and a coke cost about as much as my ticket did.

As for the movie itself, it was pretty good. The acting was fine and whatnot. The singing was also fine. Reese Witherspoon really surprised me, as I have never really cared for her in any movie I've seen her in. My one problem with Walk the Line though was that it was a bit too long. The movie was about two hours and fifteen minutes long and you could really start to feel it after about an hour and a half. Now, knowing what little I know about Johhny Cash's life, I knew going in that this was not a story that could easily be wrapped up in ninety minutes. And even with the time they had, they only covered a portion of his life and accomplishments, which was a little disappointing. But, I still maintain that Walk the Line was a smidgeon too long.

Now I wouldn't let my minor nitpicking dissuade you from seeing Walk the Line, if you haven't already seen it. In this dismal year of movies we've had, Walk the Line is a refreshing change from artsy crap and brainless popcorn movies. Casual fans and hardcore Cash fanatics will all find something to enjoy in this movie. Even if you don't really know anything about Johnny Cash, you should probably see this movie. Even if your only exposure to Johnny Cash's music comes from having drunkenly sang "Ring of Fire" at somebody's house party, you should probably see this movie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"There's Someone On The Wing!"

Eenie I went Christmas shopping last night. I made the mistake of thinking I was going to find what I was looking for in, of all places, Bridgewater. My first stop was Zellers. I don't know if you've been in a Zellers store lately, my guess is you haven't, because it is a depressing thing to behold. I remember when I was a kid in the '80s and Zellers was like the holy mecca of department stores. Nowadays, it is a commercial wasteland. The stores are virtually devoid of customers and those few people who still haunt the aisles seem to be at the intellectual level just above common household grime.

Meenie The second stop on my ill-fated shopping trip was Wal-Mart. I hate Wal-Mart, but as I have said many times before, I cannot argue with their deals. I got a copy of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai for $2.50, I'm no economist but that is one hell of a good deal. They had Kung Fu DVDs for $1.48 a piece, I bought at least three. So, while I failed in buying anything I was looking for in regards to presents for other people, I did manage to spend a few bucks on myself. That might make me a bad person, but at least I'll be able to watch Blood of the Dragon on some cold winter afternoon.

Miney I must say though, that the best purchase I selfishly made for myself last night was a Twilight Zone DVD featuring the Shatnerific episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." This has to be my favorite episode of the Twilight Zone. It features a young Shatner (circa 1963) boarding a plane with his wife after he was released from a sanitarium. During the flight, Shatner becomes convinced that there is a gremlin on the wing that is trying to sabotage the flight. Unfortunately for our hero, no one else can see the gremlin and he is repeatedly regarded as a lunatic by his fellow travelers. It's a great episode. It was redone for the Twilight Zone movie that came out in the '80s, with John Lithgow playing Shatner's part. Simpsons fans might recall a segment from Treehouse of Horror IV called "Terror at 5 1/2 Feet," which was essentially a remake of this classic Twilight Zone episode.

Mo Finally, I just wanted to mention that for the first time ever, I have taken it upon myself to write a letter to the editor of my local paper, the Chester Clipper. I'm not sure if they'll publish it. Time will tell, I suppose. But fear not, faithful blog readers, if I am published I will tell you all about it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

South Park, The Black Pearl & That Crazy Woman Everyone Is Talking About

1. Over the last few days I've been catching up on the new season of South Park. We never get the new episodes until they're a few months old, but with the help of the net, I can at least try to keep up. This season has to be even crazier than the last one. In the first episode alone Mr. Garrison gets a sex change, Kyle becomes a tall, black kid and his father has surgery in order to become a dolphin. There was also a great anti-hippie episode and an episode on Scientology ("Tom Cruise, why won't you come out of the closet?"). Some of the racial humor seems to really be pushing the boundaries of what is tasteful/necessary, but other than that it is all good.

B) I had a great weekend. I call it a weekend but it really started on Thursday night for me. After having a few drinks with some friends, we went to a bar in Western Shore called the Black Pearl. Now, I'm not much of a bar person so you have to understand that I went to this bar under mild protest. We thankfully arrived about 30 to 45 minutes before last call, so I didn't have to deal with the place that long. I hesitate calling it a "hick bar," but if you've ever been to a rural Canadian kick-and-punch you know what I'm talking about. It was karaoke night, which meant everyone was belting out there favorite country music songs. What I thought was funny though was that the first song that came blaring over the PA after the karaoke was over was "Ain't nuthin' but a G thang." Go figure.

III Let me first say that, as a general rule, I don't watch reality TV shows. But over the last week or so I kept hearing about this crazy woman who was on Trading Spouses. I put it off, thinking that just about anyone who would agree to be on such a show must be a little unhinged. Then I saw this clip. At first I thought, "wow, that woman is seriously crazy, but maybe the family she was with were like total devil worshippers or something." It's always been my opinion that reality TV shows do little more than show us how little people can stand and tolerate each other. So, I actually watched the episodes that lead up to the infamous meltdown clip. I couldn't get over what a messed up religous zealot this woman was. The family they put her with were no more than new age hippies. Now, I don't like hippies, but they did seem like generally nice hippies. The zealot woman was just so warped I couldn't get over it. She honestly believed that God had been nailed to a cross. Last time I checked (and I will admit, it's been awhile) God and Jesus were supposed to be two seperate people.

I had had a long conversation/debate with some friends over the weekend about religion. I had been defending religion to some of my friends. (Incidentally, I won the debate with an analogy that culminated with me saying, "you can't get KFC without the Colonel on the bucket." Make your own assumptions as to how I managed to work that into the converstaion.) But now, I feel kinda bad for trying to put a positive spin on religion. I still maintain that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but it's crazy people like her that make religion look bad. I mean that woman was/is seriously fucking bonkers. And thankfully, I'm not the only one who thinks that. Google "trading spouses crazy woman" and you'll find at least a dozen or more blogs and articles about this whacko. There is even an mp3 out there that uses a few of her choice soudbites, it's the "Picard Rap" of religious fanaticism. (Right click and select "save target as" to get the MP3)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"My Heart's As Warm As A Baked Potato."

Good News Mine eyes have seen the glory that is Cannibal! The Musical. This was Trey Parker's first full-length feature from 1996, brought to us by (who else but) Troma. God bless you Lloyd Kaufman. Cannibal! The Musical tells the story of Colorado's most famous cannibal, Alferd Packer. It's the kind of movie that only Trey Parker could have made and it's damn funny. I've been trying to find this movie ever since I saw a trailer for it on a copy of the director's cut of Surf Nazis Must Die. So, if you liked Orgazmo or Team America, you should definitley check out Cannibal! The Musical.

Bad News It looks like they're going to cancel Arrested Development. I guess Fox needs to make room for more When Animals Attack! and Celebrity Boxing specials. It's a damn shame too, Arrested Development is the smartest live action show that's been on TV in years. There are internet petitions out there trying to save the show, though it's debatable how serious those things are taken. So, watch it while you can. Get your Bluth fix in before it's too late.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Outwitted By Whitey

Pictured above is the stray cat that comes to my house, whom I have named Whitey (for obvious reasons). He/she/it's been coming to the house for the past few months and only recently has become tame enough to let me get near it. So last night I happened to look out on the back porch and notice Whitey there staring up at me. I assumed Whitey was hungry so I put a little food out in a dish for he/she/it. But no, Whitey just stared back at me like I was crazy. So thinking Whitey might be lonely, I pet he/she/it for a minute before going back inside. As I'm closing the door Whitey runs up like he/she/it wants to come in. So I open the door and Whitey turns around and walks away. I then go to close the door a second time and he/she/it does it again. Now, I've always known cats were more fee-spirited than dogs, but I'm pretty sure that Whitey was fucking with me. I'd have been pissed if Whitey wasn't so cute.

I happened to be pretty hung over yesterday so all I could do was watch movies, consume copious amounts of liquids and pop acetaminophen. I started off by watching SLC Punk!, a movie I love more and more every time I see it. I always say if you're going to do a movie about punk rockers, you have to get the music right. After I finished that I thought I should watch a movie that I've been wanting to see for a long time, that being Eraserhead. Going into this movie, I honestly didn't know what to expect. And what I saw confused the shit out of me. I can't being to tell you what it's about and I'm not sure that anyone could. What I can say is that it is one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. Now, I've seen a couple of David Lynch's other movies, I thought Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr. were particularly good, so I kinda knew what I was getting into. But this movie out-weirded anything I had seen before. All in all, my Eraserhead experience boils down to this: am I glad I watched it? Yes. Did I understand it? No. Will I watch it again? I doubt it. Should you watch it? At least once.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"And How Did You Feel, Being Denied These Hungry, Hungry Hippos?"

Last night I watched the director's cut of Donnie Darko. For the most part the director's cut didn't add a lot to the movie. There were a few new scenes, some passages from "The Philosophy of Time Travel," some altered dialogue, some new cut scenes, some changes to the audio mix, and (unfortunately) a few changes to the soundtrack. Overall, I was disappointed with the director's cut. The deleted scenes didn't really add a lot to the story and the new cut scenes that were inserted whenever Frank appeared seemed a bit too Matrix-y for my taste (seeing as I hate The Matrix and the influence it's had on newer movies). But the main reason why I didn't like the director's cut, and yes it may seem a little picky, is that they changed the opening song from Echo and the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" to INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart." I fucking hate INXS. Plus the Echo and the Bunnymen track just fit the opening so well. Now, if you were a fan of the original version, I do recommend watching the director's cut, just so you can say you've seen it. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. But I don't recommend getting rid of your old copy and trading up for the new DVD.

Bonus Fun Links

First off is a hilarious video. This was taken from a foreign talk show (possibly Swedish), where the host tries to hold back his laughter over a guest's funny voice. I have no idea what they're talking about, so it might actually be quite cruel of the host to laugh, but since I have no idea I think it's hilarious. Crank up your speakers and check it out while it's still available. Click here to watch.

Secondly, is an article written by some guy who claims to have met Mr. T at a Starbucks. Whether this happened or not isn't really important. What is worth noting though is that the guy wasted such an amazing opportunity by asking Mr. T the world's dumbest question. Click here to read the article.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Odds & Ends

1. I recently tried to write a little something about how I came to be in possession of an American flag bearing the likeness of John Wayne. After three or four attempts and more than an hour of staring blankly at my computer screen, I gave up. But in the interest of anyone reading my blog (whoever you are, you magnificent bastards) I thought you should at least get an opportunity to see this bizarre piece of western memorabilia. I apologize for the less than stellar quality of the pic, but I'm not exactly a professional photographer.

2. I was in the local dollar store not too long ago when I heard something pretty bewildering. I was scouring the aisles for ten year old comic books and 58 cent Kit Kat bars, when I hear a voice from a few aisles over, "How much is this?" A few seconds passed and then a baffled cashier replied, "A dollar." I had to stop for a second and make sure I wasn't crazy or drunk. I was sober and I have yet to be declared mentally incompetent. So what I want to know is whether the woman was totally foreign to the concept of a dollar store or had she entered the store without knowing where she was. I mean, dollar stores are hardly a new concept and this particular store has been in town for a number of years. It's virtually impossible to even approach said store without noticing the vast array of signage indicating that you were in fact at a "dollar store" and everything did indeed cost a dollar. Whatever the reason may be, I can only pray that this woman does not have children.

3. I urge you all to see The Searchers, a movie that has only recently come to be among the greatest movies I have ever seen. Not just a great western but a great movie. John Wayne shows that he can actually act and not just be a larger than life screen presence. The supporting cast is also amazing, featuring a number of members of John Ford's stock company. And never has the west looked so good. John Ford's depiction of Texas, while actually being filmed in Utah, makes me pine for horse trails and wide open spaces.

4. I watched Land of the Dead the other night and I'm officially getting old because I whole time I was watching it I kept thinking that it was just too gory. When I was a teenager there was the 3B code for horror movies: blood, boobs, and more blood (or any combination thereof). But there were a few times watching this movie where I winced at the gore factor. As for the movie itself, it was alright. Personally I think it's sacrilege to complain about a Romero zombie movie but I will say that this movie didn't live up to his other masterpieces. In my opinion Night of the Living Dead will always be the standard to which all other zombie movies are compared. So, if you're in the mood to watch a great zombie movie watch "Night," if you're in the mood to watch a decent zombie movie you haven't seen, watch "Land."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Good Grief."

Halloween is officially over. I tried to make the best of it. I even handed out candy to the little trick-or-treaters of my community. Greedy little brats. Some kids barely even put the effort into their costumes. One kid just put on a Darth Vader helmet long enough for me to throw a can of expired Mountain Dew Energy into his grocery bag. (Yes, Jared, if you're reading this, that's what we did with the case of free pop.) The darn kid didn't have a cape or a lightsaber, he wasn't even wearing black. What's wrong with this generation?

To keep up with the spirit of the season, I watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown this afternoon. I hadn't seen it since I was a kid and I almost didn't watch it today. But, I'm certainly glad I did. I'm sure I don't need to explain how awesome it was. You've probably seen it countless times as well. I will say that I felt bad for Charlie Brown though, not for the typical football gag, but because all he got trick-or-treating was a bad full of rocks. I'd have thrown those rocks back at those lousy sons-a-bitches, but I was an angry kid.

If you haven't seen this already, I have another gem from the Onion's AV Club. Click here for some pics of characters from the original Dawn Of The Dead in yarn-form. Pretty neat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

When Worlds Collide

I never knew that two of my all time favorite movie stars, Lee Van Cleef and Dick Miller, had ever shared the screen together. But thanks to my most current obsession, Mystery Science Theater 3000, this fact became known to me. It was in 1956 that these two giants of the silver screen would be brought together by Roger Corman (who else?) for a movie entitled It Conquered The World. A movie wherein Van Cleef and Miller come to do battle with a most heinous monster from Venus. B-movie enthusiasts and trivia sticklers may object to my reveling in the combination of these two actors, since they are only on screen together for a few moments. But what glorious moments they are. Above is a picture of the dastardly monster that threatened our heros and below is a picture of them together, before they faced said monster.

Thank you Roger Corman. Thank you for bringing together two of the best damn actors who ever lived. And thank you MST3K, for allowing me to see their union.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"Fox Knows How To Put A Shine On A Rotting Chicken Corpse."

The best show on TV right now (after The Daily Show, CSI, South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy and reruns of The Real Ghostbusters) has got to be The Colbert Report. And by "on TV" I mean downloadable from the internet. I can't watch The Colbert Report on an actual television because I don't get Comedy Central, but thanks to all the good internet pirates out there I haven't missed an episode yet. The show has just wrapped up its first week of episodes and I must say, so far so good. Many a good laugh was had and Thursday's episode had cameos from Lisa Loeb and David Cross. Stay strong Colbert, I'm rooting for you from the comfort of my parent's basement.

Friday, October 21, 2005

So Long Sweet Chucks

R.I.P. Black High-Top Chucks 2003-2005 "We Hardly Knew Ye."

It's a sad day for me. I'm sending my pair of sweet chucks to the great shoe bin in the sky, aka footwear heaven. They were good shoes. Sure, they offered no arch supoort. They hurt my feet. They started to fall apart almost hours after I first put them on. And they smelled like month-old goat cheese kept under a bridge. But damn it, they were good shoes. I'll miss you chucks. Say hello to sneaker Jesus for me.

And now the Western Roundup...

In case you were worried that I haven't been watching far too many movies as of late, I present a quick run down of some recent western viewings.

My Darling Clementine. John Ford's adaptation of the legend of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. They say that this is probably the least historically accurate telling of the events but really, who cares? John Ford is one of the all-time greatest western directors and this movie is quite good. It stars Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, John Ireland, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, and a woman named Chihuahua.

Rio Grande. Another John Ford movie, this one starring John Wayne. There isn't much of a story to this movie, but it has awesome scenery and quite a few good jokes (and yes, people could be funny in 1950). But at the same time, not even the Leonard Maltin featurette can make up for the multitude of musical numbers in the movie care of the "Sons of the Pioneers."

My Name Is Nobody. Essentially the Three Stooges version of a spaghetti western. This unfortunately would be the last western that Sergio Leone attached his name to. Not even Henry Fonda could save this movie. Bad jokes and bad dubbing abound.

Hang 'Em High. This has got to be on of my all-time favorites. Clint Eastwood and Pat Hingle take on cattle rustlers, murderers, drunks and one giant Swede. You can see seventies Clint yearning to break free, but he still brings a taste of sixties-spaghetti western Clint to the table.

And finally, Django. I had really high expectations for this movie, which might be why I wasn't totally thrilled with it. Sergio Corbucci (the other Sergio) weighed in with his adaptation/pseudo-ripoff of Kurosawa's immortal Yojimbo, much like Leone did with his masterpiece Fistful of Dollars. But Corbucci is no Leone and most definitely no Kurosawa. This movie is always hyped for it's violence, but it definitely got outdone in that department when The Wild Bunch came out three years later. Django does have a lot going for it, but it's not quite all it's made out to be. Spaghetti western enthusiasts will enjoy it, but your casual western fan doesn't really need to seek it out.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Who You Gonna Call?"

The whole reason I wanted to post today was to talk about The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Nearly every year Teletoon has a thirteen day countdown to Halloween, in which they try and show as many Halloween related programs as possible, or so they claim. Thankfully, part of that tradition means dusting off a few episodes of The Real Ghostbusters. I remember being totally obsessed with the show as a young lad. I was in the right age demographic and I must have seen the movie fifty times or more before first grade. Every day after school I would watch an episode of the show that my parent's lovingly taped for me while I was at school. As I recall, it came on at noon followed by Fun House.

I still love the show, even as a semi-adult. As an indication of my obsession/devotion to all things Ghostbusters, I recently got BearShare just so I could get episodes of the show. In two days I've downloaded more than forty episodes. At night I secretly pray for a DVD release of the show, but I fear it may never happen. And while BearShare is a pretty shitty P2P program, it's worth it just to know there are other geeks like me out there trading episodes of Ghostbusters.

I also downloaded the Garfield Halloween Special. I can't remember the last time it was on TV. Maybe kids today don't appreciate Garfield the way kids did in the eighties. Damn kids today with their B-daman and their cell phones and their fundamentalist Christian values. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Garfield. It's a great Halloween special filled with ghosts, pirates and freaky old people. I suggest taking the time to find it and check it out. I know it used to scare the crap out of me as a child.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Son Of Knight Rider

I was flipping through the movie channels on the satellite dish the other night and I happened to catch a few minutes of To Live And Die In L.A. I almost laughed my balls off when I saw William L. Petersen. Granted the movie is twenty years old, but man it was like seeing a clone of David Hasselhoff. Since I'm a big fan of CSI (the Las Vegas one, not one of the spinoffs), included here is a comparison of William L. Peterson during the To Live And Die In L.A. era and David Hasselhoff during the Knight Rider era. Note the creepy similarities.

Separated at birth or the product of genetic cloning? You tell me.

And finally on a completely unrelated note, I saw this on the Onion's A.V. Club webpage and I wanted to link it here in case anyone was interested. It's a link to a page containing some Mickey Mouse comic strips from the 30s in which Mickey contemplates commiting suicide. Damn, it is messed up. So click here if that sounds like your kinda thing.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"That's An Insult To Both Of Us. It Makes Me Stupid And You A Whore."

I thought I was the only person in the world who enjoyed watching Chuck Norris movies, thankfully I have some equally crazy friends. Not long ago, I was at a party talking shit with a friend when he told me that was a Chuck Norris fan. So, I had to ask him if he'd seen The Octagon. He hadn't, which is no surprise really, so I launched into my pro-Octagon spiel. "Ok, imagine it's 1980 and Chuck Norris goes up against a group of terrorist ninjas in a training facility shaped like an octagon. Oh yeah, and Lee Van Cleef is in it too." Normally, such a description would be met with a blank stare and then I would be asked to leave the party. But, I knew I was in good company, because not only was my friend intrigued but he suggested that we should get together for a screening of The Octagon. And so we did.

I won't get into a lengthy review of the movie, because really what's the point? If my description hasn't already told you all you need to know, then this movie isn't for you. I will however share with you a thing or two that I learned from watching The Octagon.

1) Despite claiming to be masters of illusion and camoflage, ninjas are incredibly easy to spot. As they generally wear entirely black outfits in broad daylight. They are also prone to hiding in trees with no leaves.

2) Trap doors and sliding doors are all operated manually.

3) Chuck Norris' inner monologue is a much better actor than Chuck Norris himself.

4) Chuck Norris' nipples (CNN) get far too much screen time than should be allowed by law. Despite being one hairy SOB, Chuck has no qualms about going shirtless and giving everyone a long look at some CNN.

5) Terrorist training facilities are incredibly well lit, even at night. Though, night only seems to last about 30 minutes.

I hope this helps all of you. If I can educate just one person out there, then I did not sit through The Octagon in vain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Burt Lancaster VS Burt Reynolds

Somehow over the Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving, bitches) I managed to watch two Burt Lancaster movies and three Burt Reynolds movies. I had not intended to do so, it just kinda happened. So now, dear readers, I present to you the epic battle of the Burt's....

In this corner, from New York City, Burt "The Master" Lancaster.

First up, Lawman. I can thank the discount rack at Wal-mart for bringing me this movie. I can always seem to justify dropping ten bucks on a DVD when I'm staring at a discount rack. Whether or not this was a smart decision in the case of Lawman, well the jury is still out on that one. I liked it but not too much. It definitely is a post-Leone western, you can smell a hint of spaghetti in there. Also, in one of the first shootouts there is a significant spurt of blood that is obviously thanks to being made in the post-Wild Bunch era. Lovers of movie violence owe Peckinpah a great deal of gratitude.

Secondly, Gunfight At The O.K. Corral. After reading the back of the DVD case, I knew there was no way I wouldn't enjoy this movie. It's an entertaining adaptation of the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holiday folklore, more entertaining than the more recent adaptations of these characters/historical figures. It has an amazing cast: Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, a young ass Dennis Hopper, DeForest Kelley and Lee Van Cleef (Hell Yeah!). Plus, there is just something great about hearing Kirk Douglas call his girlfriend a slut in a movie that was made in the fifties.

And in this corner from Waycross, Georgia, Burt "I Was Bangin' Loni Anderson Back In The day" Reynolds.

I said three movies, but really only one in its entirety. Namely, The Longest Yard. I have never seen the original and I honestly never thought I would see this one either. It would probably be legally irresponsible of me to suggest that you pirate this movie (and in case the MPAA is reading this, I rented it and I have witnesses) but what I do suggest is that you shouldn't pay for the opportunity to see it. Convince a friend to rent it for you. While it doesn't suck, I actually laughed several times throughout, it is a no-brainer. You will not have to think at all while watching this movie, in fact if you do think you risk ruining it for yourself. On the positive side there are many good gags and "celebrity" appearances in this movie. Lots of wrestlers and former NFLers (or so I'm told), plus never have I seen Courtney Cox with such ample cleavage. But for a better and funnier football movie I suggest another Adam Sandler vehicle The Waterboy.

Other Burt Reynolds appearances this past weekend came in the form of catching the last halves of 100 Rifles and Smokey and the Bandit. I will refrain from commenting on 100 Rifles because I didn't see enough of it to really understand what was going on or what it was about. As for Smokey and the Bandit, if it weren't for Jackie Gleason's performance as Sheriff Buford T. Justice I would have to go into an amazingly long rant about how this is the worst movie in existence and a how it is a showcase for everything that was horrible about America in the seventies.

Buford to Junior: There is no way, no way that you came from my loins. The first thing I'm gonna do when I get home is punch your momma in the mouth. Normally I would consider such talk of spousal abuse wrong, but coming from Jackie Gleason you can't help but love it.

And the winner by a knockout is Burt "The Master" Lancaster.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"There Are No Demigods, You Fucking Pagan!"

So I was watching The Sting the other night for the first time and the whole time I'm watching it, I keep trying to figure out where I recognize Ray Walston from. Finally it dawns on me that not only was he Mr. Hand in the unforgettable Fast Times At Ridgemont High but he was also Pops in the mostly forgettable Ski Patrol. This got me thinking about how I personally hate skiing but I do enjoy ski related comedies. So, I tried to come up with a top five list of my favorite ski comedies, but I couldn't. There just aren't five movies that I like that fit in that category, at least not that come to mind. So, I was forced to compromise...

Quammy's Top 4 Ski Related Comedies

1. Better Off Dead
2. Ski Patrol
3. Ski School
4. Hot Dog: The Movie

On an unrelated note, I finally saw Million Dollar Baby. Now, there really is no reason why it has taken me this long to watch the movie. I love Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. And yet I've just now seen it. My theory is that I am prone to shy away from critically praised movies. To me, critically praised often means utterly deplorable. But, thankfully Clint is the man with the golden touch. Million Dollar Baby was an excellent movie. Not even buddy from Undeclared with the fakey Texan accent could ruin this amazing movie.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Here There Be Pirates

I have been spending far too much time on the internet as of late. Damn you, soulseek. It would be bad enough if I was just spending far too much time on the internet but to make matters worse, I'm currently living in my parent's basement. Post-University success, thy name is basement life. Luckily the Devo bootlegs, rare Eric's Trip cassettes and the's albums are making up for it.

But as long as the pirate ship is three sheets to the wind, there will be bootlegs. Speaking of which, I just finished watching Wedding Crashers. I'm not one for romantic comedies, with the exceptions of romantic comedy horror movies (aka Hormances) like Shaun of the Dead and Dead Alive. But with the frat pack at the helm I was game for this flick. Plus Vince Vaughn is the man and this movie is only further proof of that fact. All gags and romance aside, the movie has a pretty good cast including Christopher Walken, Owen Wilson, Henry Gibson, the rapping granny from The Wedding Singer and fellow frat packer Will Ferrell.

I guess it all boils down to this: as depressing as my current situation might be at least I won't be without the Nintendo Teenage Robots album any longer. Hey fellow soulseek freaks, look me up, I'm quammy902. But don't try and upload your shitty Asia bootlegs to me, I don't swing that way.

Friday, September 30, 2005

"Know How I Knew You Were Gay? You Like Coldplay."

I just saw The 40 Year Old Virgin and man, that shit was hilarious. Speaking as a professional geek, I have to say that they hit all the marks. Steve Carell is so good in this movie, he even topped his performance as Brick Tamland in Anchorman. One of my favorite scenes comes as Carell's character begins to sell off his massive action figure collection and he starts saying goodbye to Aquaman. It's rather emotional. Poor Aquaman.

I didn't have any other reason to post, other than to extol the comedic excellence of Mr. Steve Carell. But since I'm here, I'll vent a little. So, I'm watching Much Music the other day. I don't normally watch Much anymore because all they play is crap and all their VJ's are flamingly gay. It actually sickens me how low Much has sunk in the last few years. They're almost as bad as MTV now. But it so happened that they were talking about Tim Burton's new movie The Corpse Bride. I was intrigued since I am a huge fan of stop-motion animation. But then Mr. Homosexuality himself, Devon Soltendieck, comes one and whines about the CGI in the movie. HELLO DOUCHEBAG IT'S FUCKING STOP-MOTION ANIMATION FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! Needless to say, it angered me to no end. So, I just had to bitch about it and write douchebag in really big letters. Sorry for the rage.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In Space No One Can Hear Leif Garrett

I was in the mood for some sci-fi flicks recently. I had been watching so many westerns lately that I felt a brief change of pace might help whet my cinematic appetite. So, with a quick trip to the video store (and I'll spare you my rant against video stores), I rented the latest incarnation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. I had already seen this movie once, but I wanted to check out what they did with the DVD. I must say it was pretty snazzy. Some throw away deleted scenes, some "making of" specials and the usual fare. But, the disc did have a cool random function (ie: the improbability drive) thats takes you to seemingly hidden bits and random parts of the movie and the extras. I was quite pleased with the treatment this flick got on DVD.

Following that newer foray into sci-fi flicks, I went back to one of my favorite decades for movies: the 1980's. So, I watched the original TV miniseries V. For years I have seen bits and pieces of the series, but I had never seen the TV movies that started it all. I rather enjoyed the original movie. It had elements of Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" as well as being an obvious retelling of Nazi occupation. Plus, Robert Englund kicked ass and he wasn't even Freddy Kreuger, simply amazing. There were lots of other notable 80s and TV actors in the movie, like Jason Bernard, Evan C. Kim, and the Dad from Boy Meets World. I've got the next part of the V series, The Final Battle, and I'll be watching it as soon as I have about 5 hours that I can spare.

Finally, on a sad note, I saw a Lee Van Cleef movie I didn't overly enjoy. God's Gun, a spaghetti western from the mid 70s which featured Van Cleef (in two roles), Jack Palance and Richard Boone (of Have Gun - Will Travel fame). Now, I'm quite familiar with poor dubbing, but this mvoie had notably poor dubbing. Worst of all, the American actors (like our man Lee Van Cleef) were dubbed into English by other people. I find it very distracting to see Van Cleef in action and hear him speaking with someone else's voice. Even the voice they used for Jack Palance was way off. God's Gun was really slow and had lots of potential that was simply wasted. Too much time was spent on young Leif Garrett's character Johnny, who goes mute for seemingly no reason. Personally, I was shocked that I didn't absolutely love a movie that had not one but two Lee Van Cleef's in it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"Back Off, Man. I'm A Scientist."

Quammy's Top 5 Things, in no particular order, that make the first Ghostbusters movie great:

1. Rick Moranis. His character is friggin' hilarious. There is a great sequence in the movie where Moranis' character Louis is having a party. Since he's an accountant, all of his party guests are also clients of his. So whenever someone arrives, he goes into a spiel about the guest's income and tax needs. The majority of the party sequence is one long continuous shot as he walks around his apartment. Apparently, the bulk of his dialogue in this scene is also improvised, which rocks considering he name checks Nova Scotia, oh yeah.

2. Smoking. It's 1984, so everybody is smoking. To me it sucks that nobody smokes in movies anymore. Why are people so uptight about this? Thankfully, this movie is over 20 years old, so all our heroes smoke. We probably would have thought less of them if they hadn't.

3. The Music. Thank you Ray Parker Jr. I'd like to know how many hundreds of times I've heard the theme song to this movie. I can only imagine. I also love the Mick Smiley track "Magic," which plays after that jerk Walter Peck lets the containment unit blow up and all the ghosts start flying around New York City. Thanks to the 99 cent bin at Backstreet Records in Fredericton a few years ago, I will never have to be without a copy of the soundtrack on vinyl.

4. Ecto-1. The Ghostbusters' trusty transport. This vehicle alone is likely the reason I love old cars. Especially cars with tail fins. Someday I shall own an old Caddy convertible from the 60s with tail fins and big headlights, or maybe an amphibious car.

5. Reginald VelJohnson. You may remember him as Carl Winslow from Family Matters, but to me he will always be Sgt. Al Powell, one of LAPD's finest, in Die Hard. Sure, he may have only been in Ghostbusters for like two and a half seconds, but this appearance marked one of first times Reginald would play a cop on film. A typecasting which would follow him for the bulk of his career. Seeing his brief cameo in this movie always brings a smile to my face. Watch for him as he announces that the Mayor of NYC will see the imprisoned Ghostbusters. Don't blink or you will miss him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Good, The Bad And The Poorly Dubbed

Seeing as I still haven't found a new job, I've been watching a lot of movies lately. Though in all fairness, I probably would have watched as many (if not more) movies were I still employed. But I needed an opening paragraph, so here we are.

The Good: Silverado. After searching several malls, two provinces and numerous pawn shops I finally acquired a copy of Silverado. I have to hand it to my Father, after much persistence he located a store in the Bridgewater Mall that carried the Silverado gift box set. I mean, of all places, Bridgewater. If you are from the maritimes (especially the South Shore), and you probably aren't, you would know that Bridgewater is the last place you are likely to find anything outside of a stabbing or a sexually transmitted disease.

All Bridgewater bashing aside, I must say that Silverado was worth the quest. It was a really entertaining new-style western. Despite being from the eighties and being entirely without the presence of Clint Eastwood it was still quite enjoyable. The notable cast includes Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner (who I did not hate in this movie), Brian fuckin' Dennehy, and John Cleese. Yes, John Cleese in a western. Silverado had all the great elements of a classic western with some good revisionist touches as well. It even had a guy getting shot and then falling from a rooftop, what classic western doesn't have that?

The Bad: Point Blank. I wanted to like this movie, I really did. It was based on the same novel that spawned one of my favorite newer movies Payback. But, I was just seriously bored while watching this movie. I know it's super old and probably employs various art house cinema techniques that I'll never understand, but any movie with Lee Marvin and (introducing) John Vernon should have kicked my ass. I'll go ahead and ruin it for those who haven't seen it by saying that this is one of those movies where the main character may-or-may-not-be dead the whole time. Boo-urns. Plus, whenever I see John Vernon I just want him to be yelling "Delta House!!!"

The Poorly Dubbed: The Kid With The Golden Arm. Another Shaw Brothers classic like Five Deadly Venoms and Five Fingers of Death. While not quite as good as those other kung fu flicks mentioned, Golden Arm was not without its charm. My copy was (of course) a super cheap DVD reissue, so the picture quality was very poor, but still watchable. The Shaw Brothers movies are always a cut above your average kung fu flick so Golden Arm is no exception. Plus, what other movie has an alcoholic secret government agent fighting guys with names like Silver Spear, Iron Robe and Bronze Helmet? Seriously, I'm asking.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Everybody Has The Right To Be A Sucker Once."

Tequila is the devil's nectar. I was having a great time drinking with some friends on Friday night before it was all brought to a horrible end, courtesy of two shots of Prairie Fire, a hellish mix of tequilia and tabasco sauce. Even now I cringe at the thought of its firey taste. Perhaps, before consuming said shots, I should have stopped for a moment and inquired, "what are these?" But they were both gone before I realised what I had done. I knew as soon as I had finished them that they had finished me. Luckily, I made it a few feet outside of the pub before spilling my guts behind an old boathouse. Only today am I getting over the hangover. I don't drink that often, so when I do I always end up paying for it the next day.

In my weakened state, I could do little more than watch TV and movies all day long. So I got around to watching Two Mules For Sister Sara at some point during the evening. While this movie is not part of the Spaghetti cannon of movies, it does come close. It has an excellent score courtesy of Ennio Morricone. It was shot entirely in Mexico (amazing scenery) and directed by Don Siegel. Clint Eastwood's character definitley smacks of the "man with no name," but a lot of westerns from the late '60s and early '70s seemed to draw from Leone's trilogy. While this movie was not as good as the Leone westerns it still has a certain charm.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me

It's my birthday today, I'm turning/I turned 24. I've been a little depressed as of late, seeing as I've moved from my rathole apartment in Fredericton to my parent's house in Chester. But there is far too much booze to drink and far too many movies to watch to keep me down. One of the bonuses though of being at home, is that I can have some quality time with my father watching movies. The old man loves westerns, which is just further proof that I'm turning into him as I get older.

My sister, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, bought me a copy of the new Ghostbusters boxset for my birthday. I can recall being quite obsessed with Ghostbusters when I was a kid, but how many young boys circa 1985 weren't? The boxset looks pretty sweet. It has both movies, some deleted scenes, and two episodes of the oldschool cartoon. I urge you to seek it out if you are a fan.

And finally, I should like to share with you a recent dream I had. I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do I'm always amazed/confused/amused. So, in my dream, I'm standing at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (a place I have never been). I walk past some of the famous handprints and look up to see John Wayne standing there. I walk up to the duke, shake his hand and tell him that I'm a big fan of Rio Bravo. He thanks me, smiles, and I walk away. Then, in my dream, I stop and ask myself, "wait a second, isn't John Wayne dead?" Maybe I've been watching too many westerns lately.

Friday, August 26, 2005

"Somebody Once Wrote That Revenge Is A Dish That Has To Be Eaten Cold."

Quentin Tarantino must have seen every movie ever made. I can't watch a Kung Fu flick or a Spaghetti Western without feeling like I've seen it all before in Kill Bill. Case in point: Death Rides A Horse. If you've been reading this blog at all (and who might you be by the way?), you would know that I'm a big Lee Van Cleef fan. So, I'm watching Death Rides A Horse and it's all there: the music, the revenge line, the close up on the eyes with visions of betrayal flashing in the background. So much Kill Bill. But then again, I can't really blame Tarantino for lifting so many great parts from so many great movies because if I was in his shoes I'd do the same thing. Seriously though, if you check out the movie connections link on IMDB for Kill Bill Vol. 1, there are over one hundred movies referenced, I've seen maybe twenty of them.

All in all though, Death Rides A Horse was awesome. It had a good revenge theme going, not unlike The Grand Duel. Also it had great music from Ennio Morricone and of course a great performance from our man Lee Van Cleef. I picked up this movie on a cheap Lee Van Cleef doublesided DVD, the other side featuring Beyond The Law.

Just like the wave of cheap Kung Fu DVDs that sprang up after the Kill Bill movies, it's good to see a lot of cheap Western DVDs have begun surfacing as well. There are certainly some good and obscure titles available right now, mind you there is a lot of crap out there too. The print quality on these movies isn't always the best and I'm not a big fan of the full screen format, but I just can't argue with great (and cheap) Spaghetti Western DVDs.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Abbott & Costello Meet Chuck Norris

I think I was born predisposed to be a fan of the old school Universal Studios Monster movies. I can remember being obsessed with The Creature From The Black Lagoon for years before I even saw it. I love those new DVD boxsets they have out now. I bought the Black Lagoon collection (the second movie has Clint Eastwood's first screen appearance) and will probably pick up more of them in the future.

I mention the old Universal movies because I just watched Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein the other night. I first hear about this movie after reading an interview with Fred Dekker. He mentioned this movie as being an influence on his 1987 movie The Monster Squad. Now, I have to say that Monster Squad is one of my all-time favorite movies. As cheesy and totally 80s as it is, it still ranks near the top of my favorite movies list. So after I read the interview, I decided that I had to see the Abbott & Costello movie. Hence the recent purchase on an Abbott & Costello boxset.

The movie was pretty funny, all very classic old-timey humor (it was 1948 after all). The movie had Abbott & Costello meeting up with not just Frankenstein but Dracula and the Wolf Man as well (played by Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney respectively.) There were a lot of similarities between this movie and Monster Squad which made me enjoy it all the more. Even Dracula's cartoony transformation from bat to vampire was awesome. Lon Chaney seemed underused, but was still at the top of his game. No Mummy or Gillman like in Monster Squad but an enjoyable horror comedy all the same.

Also, I recently watched Good Guys Wear Black. Ever since I saw The Octagon a few months ago, I've been watching a lot of old Chuck Norris movies. Now, The Octagon kicked ass, but Good Guys was a little dull. I will say that Norris does do a really cool jump kick through the windshield of a speeding car. But this movie is short one Lee Van Cleef and a buttload of ninjas. Every action movie should have some ninjas in it somewhere, am I wrong?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"My Name Is Quammy. I Have A Problem..."

I buy too many DVDs. It's scary. I went out yesterday with a shopping agenda. But, by the time I got home it had all gone to hell. I planned on looking for Silverado and The Searchers. I picked up The Searchers but Silverado was nowhere to be found. I ended up buying seven other DVDs, SEVEN. A Sonny Chiba flick, a Wes Anderson flick, a Lee Marvin flick, an Abbott & Costello boxset, another western (with Robert Duvall I think), the first Naked Gun and the first Beverly Hills Cop. And I almost bought that new He-Man collection that's out. Damn.

Out of those purchases, I decided to watch Beverly Hills Cop first. I've seen all the Beverly Hills Cop movies before, in fact I still have all of them of VHS, but fuck it. This movie always makes me laugh. There's a heck of a cast in it: prime era Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Bronson Pinchot, etc. I'd say it almost has a John Landis feeling to it, not to discredit the actual director though. I wish Eddie Murphy was still this funny. On a side note, there is great gag where Murphy's character is walking down the streets of Beverly Hills. He sees this couple in crazy-80s leather outfits (a la Michael Jackson) and he doubles over with laughter. What's really funny is that Murphy wore a similar get up in his classic stand up video Delirious. What was with all that 80s leather anyway?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Monday, August 15, 2005

"If You Want A Guarantee, Buy A Toaster."

Just finished watching The Last American Virgin again. I'm a sucker for 80s teensploitation flicks and I was first drawn to this one because of its connection to Devo (spot the guy wearing the trademark red Energy Dome and a New Traditionalists-era t-shirt). For the most part this flick is pretty generic: the house party, loads of T&A, the comedic quest to lose one's virginity, etc. But at about the 60 minute mark this movie takes a hard right turn into seriousness city. I won't spoil anything, but the first time I saw it I remember being totally thrown for a loop. A recommended flick for fans of 80s movies, for sure. As far as star power, there was the guy who played Troy in Goonies, Diane Franklin (who whould later star in one of my favorite John Cusack movies Better Off Dead), and the chick who did the voice of Samantha Stanky on the Simpsons.

I also recently watched some Clint Eastwood flicks. Being the obsessive movie enthusaist I am, I feel it's my duty to see as many Eastwood flicks as I can. So I rented The Rookie the other night. Sadly, not one of Eastwood's better pictures. Some quality moments and explosions but not all gold. I mean Raul Julia as a German, what were they thinking? I also caught the last half of Joe Kidd on TV, looked like a decent western. It had John Saxon, Robert Duvall, and Eastwood with his full-on 70s asskicking swagger.

And since I've already ragged about this on IMDB, I should mention I saw the latest Bruce Willis flick Hostage. This movie was alright for the most part, but it has an unforgivably crappy ending. Serious suck.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God Bless The Discount Bin

I had some gift certificates for Wal-Mart, so against all my better judgement I found myself at the mall the other day. Within a stone's throw of the doors there were some large, brightly colored and boldly marked bins of cheap DVDs. God bless these discount bins. I might hate Wal-Mart but I can't argue with cheap DVDs. So I went about scouring the bins. I picked up a requisite Clint Eastwood flick, yet another Police Academy DVD, and the '80s remake of The Blob.

I like both versions of The Blob. The original is great. Steve McQueen is the quintessential cool '50s guy with a hot car and his best girl. The effects hold up well considering how old the movie is. And I just love old school Horror/Sci-Fi movies from the fifties. So many great movies about giant bugs, flying saucers, and fantastic robots. The remake was gorier than I remembered. But considering I've only seen it on TV before I can understand why I didn't remember the nastier parts. Lots and lots of melted bodies.

On a different note, I just finished watching Play Misty For Me, Clint Eastwood's first directorial effort. A decent seventies thriller. It's a very transitional movie for Eastwood, he's moving away from his western image of the sixties and into his tough/cool guy image of the seventies. Not my favorite Eastwood picture but not a dud by any means.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"Son Of A Bitch, I'm Sick Of Those Dolphins."

I read this article on today about The Life Aquatic and I couldn't get over how negative it was. Then I checked out the movie's page on IMDB. The discussion boards were a veritable battleground. Harsh critics against the defenders of the faith. So much hostility. Personally I love the movie, but I had to see it more than once. I've probably seen it five times now and I find it gets better every time I see it. It just has so much going for it: Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Wes Anderson's brilliantly subtle style, Mark Mothersbaugh's music, Seu Jorge doing Bowie songs in Portugese, and cool stop motion animation. For me it's right up there with The Royal Tenenbaums, people need to stop crapping on Wes Anderson.

But speaking of Bill Murray, I watched Caddyshack again the other day. Picked up a VHS copy for $3 last week from the good folks at Digital World, the best pawn shop in Fredericton. I buy so much stuff there I get a 20% discount. They call me "Obscure Movie Guy."

Finally for all the Kung Fu movie fans out there I would recommend watching Fists of Bruce Lee if you get the chance. While it does not have the real Bruce Lee it does have Bruce Li, who was in other good flicks like Blind Fist of Bruce. Fists has some kick ass seventies music, including Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die." Other highlights include: Lo Lieh with a killer metal hand, Ping-Ao Wei the effeminate gangster, and a crazy honkey with nunchucks.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Is It Wrong To Like The Police Academy Movies?

I must have been eight or nine years old when I saw my first Police Academy movie. In the years since I have seen all of the movies numerous times (except for Mission To Moscow, once was enough). Now, I'm not trying to praise or defend the series in any way. If you're going to watch a Police Academy movie, you know exactly what your in for. These movies can get pretty lowbrow and just plain dumb at times. And yet, I always get a laugh out of them. I love how the '80s had this entire genre of academy/school movies. Though out of the bulk of those movies the Police Academy series had to be the most successful and dear to me. They had so many great '80s comedic actors: Bob Goldthwait, Tim Kazurinsky, G.W. Bailey, Michael Winslow, etc. Heck, Steve Guttenberg was the A-List guy for most of the series, that guy was everywhere in the '80s. I particulary love the first four movies. In my opinion, once Bob Goldthwait left the series the movies started to tank. Until recently I found it kinda hard to find copies of these movies. But now, thanks to the endless supply of DVDs out there, you can pick up most of the movies for around $7 a pop. Truth be told though, I'll still hang on to my VHS copies of the first two movies. Those two big plastic clamshell cases are displayed with pride on a shelf somewhere right now.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Subtitles & Matte Paintings

I kinda went el-cheapo when I got my Kurosawa DVDs and only now am I regretting it. I watched Seven Samurai the other day. The film print was fine but the subtitles nearly drove me mad. Periodic spelling mistakes, cryptic translations and a crippling lag between the spoken dialog and its appropriate subtitle. If the Criterion DVDs weren't $50 a pop I would have picked them up. But instead I picked up cheap copies off Ebay. In fairness though, Seven Samurai's subtitles weren't nearly as bad as those on the Lord of the Wu Tang DVD I got at Wal-Mart for $4.

I watched The Thing again recently. Picked up the newest DVD version which had an interesting documentary about the flick. Some amazing stuff about the Albert Whitlock matte paintings used in the movie. One of the things I hate about the new digital era of film making is that great stuff like Whitlock's work gets lost. I hate CGI for the most part. Film techniques peaked for me with Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Monday, July 04, 2005

"NPH Wouldn't Do That."

Something got me thinking about C.H.U.D. today. I don't know what brought it to my attention, but before I knew it I was on IMDB defending the director's cut of the movie. C.H.U.D. has been one of my all time favorite movies for a few years now. One of my guiltiest secrets is that I own at least six copies of it. I won't bother explaining why I have six copies of the movie because its really not that interesting. Needless to say, I really like the movie.

I watched Harold & Kumar again. For a stoner-buddy-comedy its damn funny and smart. It has all the right gags, hilarious guest stars (a few choice Canadians actors among them), and excellent replay value. The movie is all over the place and yet it follows and incredibly simple linear path. Plus, NPH tripping balls.

I've been trying to cut down my movie collection lately. I had earmarked a stack of old VHS tapes, when I noticed I hadn't even watched a few of them. So, last night after work I toss in Mannequin. I was sure I was going to be praying for death within fifteen minutes. But when the movie kicked in and I recognized all the choice '80s actors I was hooked. Besides Andrew McCarthy, there was G.W. Bailey, James Spader, and Estelle Getty. It was so '80s it hurt. I honestly put the tape back in the keep pile after I watched it. I love 80's movies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My Faith in Zombie movies has been Resurrected

I've been bummed out by zombie movies lately, but my love of the genre has just risen from the grave. And while I know that that was a lame thing to say, I couldn't think of any better way to begin a zombie movie related rant. I just watched Shaun of the Dead again. I cannot say enough good things about this movie, it's fan-freakin'-tastic. Though, I remember when it first came out it was acclaimed as being the first horror/zombie/romantic comedy film. I even heard the horrible buzz term "Zom-Rom-Com" being tossed around. I would prefer to call movies in this genre "Hor-mance" films, as opposed to "Zom-rom-coms." They're like date movies where everybody dies. But, I have to say that the distinction of being the very first horror/zombie/romantic comedy would have to belong to Peter Jackson's flick Dead Alive. Possibly the most disgusting movie ever made. My favorite part is the lawnmower sequence.

So, thanks to Shaun of the Dead, I'm actually excited about zombie movies again. I think I might even watch Land of the Dead when it comes out. I had pretty much decided to bail on the movie when I heard that John Leguizamo was in it. I figure Romero might have one good one left in him, who knows. It couldn't possibly be any worse than Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Not to suggest that Romero had anything to do with the RE flick, but merely to emphasize how unbelievably bad that movie was.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"I Second The Nomination."

I'm about 45 minutes into The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance when I'm thinking to myself, "this is a damn fine western." And then sure enough, as if to seal the deal, the man himself appears. Lee Van Cleef, a veteran of some of the greatest westerns ever made. Like his role in High Noon, Van Cleef plays the strong, menacing, silent type. A hard nosed, squinty tough guy. He might have only had a few lines in Liberty Valance, but they were damn fine lines. It wasn't great just because of him though, the rest of the cast was superb, at least by more traditional standards. I especially enjoyed watching a drunken John Wayne stumbling about, trashing a saloon and burning his own house down. And while I haven't seen too many films by John Ford as of yet, his name is always up there with the great American directors and this film certainly lives up to such a reputation. Liberty Valance is a classic western, filled with great themes of honor, liberty (no pun intended), justice, compassion, civility and (dare I say it....) friendship. And now that I've just read that last sentence I know that I am too tired to type rationally anymore.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Beloved Remakes & The Perils Of Full Screen

Just finished watching Karate Warriors, a remake of Yojimbo, featuring '70s martial arts film god Sonny Chiba. I've made it my mission as of late to watch as many Yojimbo remakes as I can get my hands on. As for Karate Warriors, overall it was a decent flick with some kick ass fight sequences and great slow-mo camera tricks. Though, the whole time I was watching the movie I was getting pissed off with my DVD. I've gotten used to the usual quality of the post-Kill Bill wave of cheapo Kung Fu DVDs floating around all the discount bins. Said quality is often poor at best, but I would kill for a better quality copy of this movie. The DVD I watched was a craptacular full screen transfer, which made some of the fighting difficult to follow. It also had some of the worst audio I've ever heard, the quiet parts were too quiet and the loud parts were too loud. Though, despite my obsessive nitpicking of the DVD I would definitely suggest that fans of Sonny Chiba check this flick out. Good story, good fighting, and classic seventies kung fu music.