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.