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.