Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gorillaz on Colbert Report

From last Thursday's show, Gorillaz and Bobby Womack perform the new single "Stylo."
Tres cool.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rock Notes

The first two Katrina and the Waves albums have been reissued. With bonus tracks. For some reason.

The world is officially useless now.


Random Twink

Sammy Case

Monday, April 26, 2010

Today in the Nooz

AP: Wife: 'Dexter' star 'fully recovered' from cancer.
NEW YORK — The wife of Michael C. Hall says the "Dexter" star is "fully recovered" from cancer and has returned to work.

Jennifer Carpenter said Friday that Hall was "incredibly brave" when he announced in January that he was undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the lymph nodes.

The 38-year-old Hall went into remission and continued treatment at a health facility near Los Angeles.

Hall won a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award earlier this year for his portrayal of Dexter, a serial killer who targets other murderers. Carpenter stars on the bloody Showtime hit series as Dexter's seemingly unknowing sister.
Now, first of all: Yay! I'm really glad Michael C. Hall is on the mend.

And secondly: Boo! I love how the headline—and the first sentence—only makes sense if you make Jennifer Carpenter, who is also a star of Dexter (which is reported in the LAST LINE of the story), only Michael C. Hall's wife.

She's the wife, he's the star...oh, and also, she's a star of the same show, too. By the way. Not that it matters. Because she's the wife.

As Deeks said when I emailed this to him: "WTF? Wife first, actress and star in her own right second."

Even, "Wife: 'Dexter' co-star 'fully recovered' from cancer" would have made a huge difference. That's just how easy it is.


Bless the Child

There are a lot of reasons a movie ends up being a being a piece of crap. An incompetent director, for example, can sink a film. A talentless cast of actors will do the same. A sloppy, incoherent script is a proverbial albatross, as no amount of acting, direction, scoring or dance numbers can overcome a clunky story. Of course, there are times when all these elements come together in some sort of perfect storm of film making and a movie of unimaginable suckitude is loosed upon the world.

But perhaps the worst reason for a film being utter crap is laziness. Clearly, that's what happened here.

This is typified by a bit of dialogue late in the film: An agent with the Ritual Homicide and Occult Related Crime Division™ of the FBI looking at some voodoo scribbled in the dirt notes "That's a Druid rune spell straight out of the sixteenth century."

What? No.

Okay, contest time: The first person to tell me everything factually wrong with that sentence wins a prize**. If the script writers had done this, they'd have saved themselves some embarrassment.

Incoherent dialogue aside, the performances here are wooden and uninspired from the top down. I wonder if everyone involved here was working on this film as a court-imposed community service. It all seems so half-assed, as if those involved are here because they have to be, not because they want to be.

Jimmy Smits stars as New York cop, stepping outside his comfort zone as an actor here. Kim Basinger attempts to have her Oscar revoked, taunting the Academy by playing a not-very-bright doctor and guardian to the second coming of baby Jesus, failing to convince as either a doctor or mother-figure. And odder still, Ian Holm shows up briefly to deliver dialogue from The Usual Suspects, his sole bit of characterization being a wheelchair.

And then there's Rufus Sewell as former child actor turned self-help guru/Satan's minion. (Like Kirk Cameron, only not as big a douche.) Part Deepak Chopra, part Aleister Crowley, he heads a Scientology-like cult called The New Dawn. I guess calling it Golden Dawn would have been too obvious. His performance is, sadly, not very good. In his attempts to be simultaneously suave and evil, charming and Satanic, he fails completely and just comes across as an overacting doofus.

The story itself is a poorly assembled amalgam of other, mostly better, films. Obviously, the film owes much to The Omen, The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, but also makes odd nods to The Empire Strikes Back (huh?) and latter day Satan-fests like Stigmata (ummm, why?). It's a film that has no ideas of its own, and can't even be bothered to throw some new polish in those it's borrowed.

A few days before Christmas a child is born as a mysterious star appears in the sky. This star hasn't been seen in a couple thousand years, and wise folks, particularly elderly black women on buses, portend this is the sign someone special has just arrived. Soon after (like five minutes later), Maggie O'Connor's long lost junkie sister arrives at her door, newborn under her arm. Not realizing she's in a ham-fisted movie, Maggie (Kim Basinger) is unable to put two and two together, and never realizes the young girl is more than just your ordinary crack baby. Maggie's sister disappears moments later, leaving her daughter in her sister's care.

Six years later, the girl, Cody, isn't quite like the other kids. She appears autistic, or, more accurately, movie-autistic, which is a whole separate condition. Movie-autism is manifested by the young girl pounding her head into the wall (thereby driving away all of Maggie's dates (men as such insensitive assholes!)), re-animating dead animals, curing cancer and spinning dinner plates with her mind. How this is going to help her become a prophet or savior or whatever it is she is supposed to be, ain't exactly clear.

Nonetheless, Eric Stark (Doofus Sewell) wants her. His plan is to turn her evil, make her some sort of Antichrist. Now, I've seen at least half of The Omen movies, and I know for a fact that the Antichrist is born, not made (see: Karl Rove). This movie can't even get it's mythology straight.

If Stark can't turn Cody, he'll kill her. He and his henchmen have already snatched up six kids all born on the same day and killed them, just to be sure she's The One. (No, not Neo.) Stark arrives at Maggie's house with her sister in tow, now all clean and sober and recently married.

Stark and his new wife abduct the girl and it's up to Maggie to save her. She enlists the help of Agent Travis (Jimmy Smits), from the Ritual Homicide squad to help. NYC apparently has the world's worst cops, as he's the only person that notices all the murdered kids were born on the same day. Really, the NYPD needed the FBI to point this out to them? Things just ain't been the same since Serpico retired.

Okay, so it's anyone's guess how this mess will play out. Will the cute girl turn evil and plunge the world into darkness? Or will she remain good and true and save us all? Will Travis shoot Stark to death? Take a guess.

What I will tell you is that there are some profoundly ridiculous moments in this movie. Cars explode for no reason, angels appear as janitors and save flowers, a man has knitting needles jabbed in his eyes, and Christina Ricci is attacked by demons, beheaded, and then disappears. Mercifully, her time on screen is short. Kim Basinger doesn't fare as well, as much of the movie must be propped up by her performance, and she clearly doesn't seem to give a shit.

And if she doesn't care, how is the audience supposed to?

Directed by Chuck Russell • R • 2000 • 107 minutes

** There is no prize.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Somebody thought it would be a good idea to remake Maximum Overdrive. Now, it can be said it takes a fair amount of guts to remake a great film. But what does it take to remake a turd? Not much, if this film is any evidence.

For those of you not familiar with the plot of Maximum Overdrive, allow me to sum up what's going on here: Trucks have come to life and have trapped a group of people in a roadside diner. I know it sounds stupid written down like that, but that's because it is. Yet this is the premise of the very short story it was based on, and the same basic plot of the original film.

This time around, instead of Emilio Estevez and Pat Hingle, we get Timothy Busfield of thirtysomething and no one you've ever heard of. Busfield plays Ray who runs the truck stop with the help of his teenage son and his father's old army buddy. An amorous married couple, a local tour guide and her three clients (a former military man, his tomboy daughter, and a new age hippy) are trapped with them.

There's also a pair of "redneck" truckers, but they aren't central to the plot so they get knocked off pretty quick. Same goes for a postman (killed by a remote control toy truck!) and an electrical worker; these two death scenes don't even feel like they're from the same film, and seem to exist only to ratchet up the body count a couple notches and pad out the film's lrunning time.

And while the premise is adhered to more strictly than Maximum Overdrive (for example, there are no killer soda machines or self-firing machine guns), there is an incredibly dumb scene where a hazmat suit inflates itself and chops up a pair of rescue workers with an axe. The cause of the trucks (and hazmat suits) coming to life is never explained in this one, other than to say it may have something to do with Area 51, which may be nearby. But that's a million times better than the UFO-hiding-behind-the-comet thing from the original.

After much "suspense," and a handful of deaths, and lots and lots of footage of trucks, Ray and company manage to make it to safety where they are whisked away in an awaiting helicopter. But oh, the horror! When Ray goes to thank the pilot for his derring-do, he finds the cockpit empty. The chopper is politing itself!

Hmmm... Yeah, go ponder that one a bit. I'm not sure what it means, since the copter saved them. Maybe it means trucks are evil, helicopters are good, and people are just pawns in their escalating rivalry. Or not.

This is a not very good remake of a not very good film based on an okay short story. If you're looking to be entertained, go read the original six pages this was based on. Trucks doesn't even have the it's-so-bad-it's-good thing working in its favor.

Directed by Chris Thomson • R • 1997 • 95 minutes

Monday, April 19, 2010

Children of the Corn

If you've ever driven through Iowa or Nebraska or any of those corn farming states, then you know the true meaning of boredom: endless stretches of highway, corn, and fuck all. This film does its best to capture that feeling. Hell, it may have surpassed it, proving to be even more boring than an actual drive through Iowa.

At one point in the film, the lead comments "Things just aren't happening fast enough." No shit. Don't think we hadn't noticed.

Things start out well enough, with all the adults of Gatlin, Nebraska being slaughtered one day by the town's children. Under the thrall of child evangelist named Isaac, played by the super-creepy John Franklin, the kids have been convinced to murder all the adults because... well, I don't know why, that isn't ever explained. They just do it, going all Manson Family and hacking them to bits.

It's a pretty good setup. Unfortunately, that's about it for bloodletting for the rest of the film, save for the next scene:

Because this is a Stephen King story, you can count on at least one kid getting killed along the way, preferably in the most gruesome way imaginable. Three years later, one of the boys decides to flee the confines of adult-free Gatlin, and run off to the next town. Too bad for him, Isaac's right hand man, the also-super-creepy Malachi, catches wind of his plan and slits his little throat. But that ain't enough, he's then shoved out into the road where he stumbles into the path of Burt and Vicky’s station wagon.

Burt (pre-thirtysomthing Peter Horton) throws the boy's body in the trunk and heads off looking for town. He and Vicky spend the next five minutes driving in circles, past cornfield after cornfield. If you ever want to experience what it's like to get lost in the Midwest without actually visiting here, just rent this movie: you'll see a lot of corn, a lot of asphalt, and you'll say to yourself over and over "I wonder if we’re getting anywhere."

Burt and Vicky find their way to Gatlin, but the town is deserted. There's corn everywhere, and the lawns are all still mowed, but otherwise, the place is a ghost town. Burt wanders the town and investigates. And investigates. And investigates. This goes on for about thirty minutes. The town is deserted. Yes, we knew that at the beginning of the film, but I guess the director just wanted to hammer that point home.

Eventually, the kids abduct Vicky (Linda Hamilton before James Cameron got his mitts on her) with plans to sacrifice her to He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Jesus, it's about time. An hour into this thing and something finally happens. So who is He Who Walks Behind The Rows? I don't know. He's never shown, aside from being a lump moving under the dirt, which I think, technically, means his name should be He Who Walks Beneath The Rows.

So, now Burt must rescue Vicky from the clutches of Isaac, Malachi, and He Who Walks Behind The Rows. But frankly, by this point, I've pretty much stopped giving a shit what happens.

There follows some weak special effects, and an explosion, but He Who Walks Behind The Rows never shows himself so we don't get to find out if he's a demon, or a monster, or some sort of satanic gopher. But, like I said, by this point I stopped giving a shit.

Directed by Fritz Kiersch • R • 1984 • 93 minutes

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today In Baby News!

Everyone knows I love babies, right? That's why I am bringing you the latest and greatest in baby, toddler, and infant-related news stories. Check this out! Know what's a hot new name for kids now?


That's right:

Also hot this year: Sookie (*shrug*), Dashiell, and Piper. Just FYI, I'm going to name at least two of my babies Dashielle. More names here.

p.s. Bonus Atreyu action:

[Cross-posted, with a tip of the bonnet to IQB.]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Or, A Step To The Right

In L.A., Hurley goes on a blind date, gets stood up, but meets Libby. She asks Hugo if she remembers him. He's all, "No, should I?" Libby is still a patient in the Santa Rosa pysch hospital. Later, Dez "accidentally" bumps into Hugo at Mr. Cluck's and tells him to find Libby. So Hurley does. Then he takes her on a picnic at the beach. He still doesn't remember anything. Then the kiss. And he starts to remember. Dez's plan is coming together. Or something. On the island, Ilana pulls an Arzt and blows herself up with dyn-o-mite. So Hurley takes charge and says it's obviously a sign they shouldn't try to destroy the plane. Then he says Jacob says they have to go see Locke. Alpert is all "fuck that" and he ain't going. Neither is Ben. Or Miles. But everyone else heads to Locke's camp. Hurley later confides in Jack that he was bullshitting about seeing Jacob again. Jack says he knows, but Hurley asked him to trust him, so he is. Hurley leads them to Locke's camp and says "We need to talk." Meanwhile, in L.A. Dez watches Locke then when the moment is right he runs him over with his car. WTF?

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Think I Need To Clean My Desk



A church sign near my home, that reads, "The Easter Bunny didn't rise from the dead."

Oh, I disagree:


Thursday, April 08, 2010

RIP Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols and all-around musical guru, died of cancer at his home today in New York. He was 64.


For those who can't see the image, it's a car window written with that paint that is usually reserved for JV Volleyball teams and Just Married announcements.

It reads "I Heart Vag".

Go team!


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I Get Letters

... From Jesus!
From: Jesus
Subject: Discover the love of God; Jesus Christ wants to give you salvation and eternal life
Date: Apr 7, 2010 12:15 AM


He has already paid the price for you.
You just need to receive Him into your heart and confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life and your Savior.

Invite Him today to enter your heart. ¡Dare! And now follow this prayer:

Lord Jesus:
- I confess I am a sinner and I invite you into my heart.
- Forgive my sins.
- I give in to you.
- Thank you for this eternal life that you're giving me right now.
- I now confess you as my Lord and Savior.
- Fill me with your Holy Spirit.
- Make your will in my life; help me to find you and obey you.

Read the Bible and find a Christian church to be taught the Word of God.

Go to:

God bless you.
God bless me indeed!


Just Like Bees

World air traffic, over a period of 24 hours, as viewed by satellite. Awesome. Totally awesome.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Or, A Jump To The Left

Quickly: On the island, Dez is thrown in some giant electromagnetic stargate bug zapper. It should have killed him but it didn't. Because he is special. He comes out sort of "enlightened" and agrees to help Widmore save the island. Or something. Then Sayid shows up and kidnaps him. Meanwhile, in the alternate timeline Dez has to babysit junky Charlie who shows him all they are experiencing isn't real. He does this by crashing their care into a marina. While they are drowning Charlie holds up his hand and it "Not Penny's Boat" is written on it. They don't die, and Dez meets Farraday who is not named Farrady, but Daniel Widmore, because for whatever reason he changed his name in the real time line he hasn't in this one. Got that? Anyway, Farraday is a piano player but he had a dream about astrophysics and tells Dez about alternate realities and that he thinks he set off an atomic bomb. Dez then decides to track down the people on Oceanic 815 and show them that this reality isn't... ummm... real.

Elian, All Grown Up

I bet he wishes he still had a cell phone.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Breaking Bad: I.F.T.

Jessie is in full meltdown mode, calling Jane's voicemail over and over just to hear her. Meanwhile Gus negotiates a temporary and very shaky stay of execution for Walt. But as his Mexican contact tells him, the twins may not honor the deal. Of course, this means Gus has to figure out a way to get Walt cooking again. Sklyer tries to get Walt out of the house, but the cops can't do anything since he's not abusive. Walt calls her bluff but she refuses to narc on him. Hank goes round the bend and beats the shit out of a drug dealer in a bar. Sklyer bones her boss. And tells Walt. Everyone is falling apart. All of which can be traced back, one way or another, to Walt's meth manufacturing. When Jane's voicemail box finally disconnects, the only thing Jessie has left to do is to start cooking.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Highly Classified!

Yeah, I know the other one was a total scam, but this, this one is for real:

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation <>
Subject: FBI Fund Notification (Highly Classified)
Date: Mar 31, 2010 9:48 PM


DATE: 31/03/2010


This is to officially inform you that it has come to our notice, the Federal Bureau of investigation that the sum of $10.5 Million USD is contained here in the United State Of America, in your name. And we have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper verifications and proof to show that you are the rightful person to receive this funds. In Collaboration with our finance company, these funds will be released to you immediately your present proper documentations to us.

As a matter of national security, we are to serve and to protect the United States of America. The only advice we can give to you as at this time is to try your best to provide the required document so that your funds will be released to you. We have done our verification on your Identification Record and checked your criminal records, the only document remaining now is the FBI Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST) to satisfy us that the money you are about to receive is free from Terrorism and Money Laundering act. You are to forward the documents to us immediately if you have it with you, but if you don't have it, you are to contact us for assistance on getting the required documentation for you.

You are hereby advised to contact us, by replying to this email for inquires on how you can get the Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST). Note that you are to do this immediately if you really want your fund to be released to you and also if you don't want any legal action to be taken against you. Your funds will remain in our custody and will only be released to you upon the confirmation of the required document.

FBI Agent Nicholas Richard
FOR:FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller, III
I think the first thing I am going to do with my $10.5 Million USD (minus whatever fees associatied with the FBI Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST)) is buy a yacht. And hire a crew. And dress them up in little sailor suits designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier. But before I do that, I need to go tell my boss to go to hell. BRB.

The Biggest Assholes On The Planet

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, AKA White Wolf and Running Bear.

A rep for the couple [tells TMZ that] Spencer decided to give up his previous moniker, King Spencer, because it was "too much of a burden to have to carry the weight of royalty. "

Instead, Running Bear claims, he and Heidi "are getting more in-tune with our spirituality ... and will be known as the name our creator has given us – our true native-AMERICAN names."

Go to hell, the both of you.