Friday, October 10, 2003
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I'm not just trying to be contrary, but I'm not all that sure I'm pumped up to see Kill Bill.
I saw Reservoir Dogs on tape in the summer of 1993, and was duly impressed as any 18 year old with a penchant for violence in their movies would be. I really dug that movie. And I was one of the geeks who got to see Pulp Fiction months in advance of it's release when Tarantino brought the film to Austin for a Q&A. I even offered him a buffalo wing when I had my two second chance at .. actually, I don't know what it was, but for a few seconds I was standing there talking to Tarantino and Linklater all by myself and I ducked out of the conversation after offering Tarantino a buffalo wing (he politely declined). But then the whole Tarantino-is-everywhere thing happened, and while I still like those two movies, I got a little sick of hearing the man's name everywhere for my remaining film school experience.
And Austin is nuts for Tarantino, and he returns the favor, so he's there all the time, and you hear about it all the time... and I was kind of non-plussed by Jackie Brown and Harry Knowles' reviews are usually ridiculous and I'm way burnt out on Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman and... and... And I think that unless someone tells me there's a good story to Kill Bill and not just a lot of fight scenes, I may take a pass.
Somebody, please... I mean, really, if I want to see Kung-Fu, I can see Kung-Fu in a million different varieties and not hope for an homage to do the stuff justice. If I want Samurai action, I've got Kirosawa. But something tells me I'm wrong. Something tells me this movie is going to be all right.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Big news, Leaguers! Melbotis's Mum has surfaced. Jenny "I used to be named Perkins" Vanderpool popped up in my e-mail box! Jenny is an A#1 gal, and an indie film producer of sorts who left her pooch, Mel, in my care when she went to study film in NYC.
Well, she's in Austin now, and the city is damn well lucky to have her back. Mel is happy, too, but he cannot type nor does he know that he is no longer in Austin (I haven't the heart to tell him).
Anyhoo, Jenny's pretty great, so any Leaguers in Austin who know Jenny should e-mail me for contact info.
BTW, was watching a rerun of The Daily SHow from Wednesday night tonight and Steve Colbert ALSO used the Carl Weathers connection. Sigh. I feel like such a hack.
Brian Bentson of "that boy ain't right..." is in Austin, TX for the first time and is creating a travelogue. It's an interesting take from an outsider's perspective and has neat photos of lots of old League stomping grounds.
But he didn't like the BarBQ at the Salt Lick. Clearly, he's not to be trusted...
People, the League is not sure what to make of Arnie being Governor. We're both horrified and giddy, tittilated and exhasperated....
The truth is, I am a huge Arnie fan. I saw both End of Days and The Sixth Day in the theater. I had no doubt that Arnie possesed the charisma to win, but what will he do about water rights? a looming multi-billion dollar deficit? I dunno. BUT, Leaguers... as I say, I love Arnie. I feel like I'm watching an experiment going on, the ultimate reality show. Can you take a guy off the street with lots of activism and a luxurious lifestyle and make him a successful governor? Well, Leaguers... we're going to find out!
The real question is: after Ventura and Arnie, what other Predator star will run for office? Do I hope... do I dream... is it fair to wish upon a star for Carl Weathers! My God... the possibilities are endless... Apollo Creed in 2004!
Arnie and Carl confer about Carl's run in Ohio
And on the continuing thread about Halloween:
RHPT.com has sent me the following, and I think it falls squarely in with TOYS THAT SHOULD NOT BE
Look, I don't really believe children are magical little beings who are full of the future, light and innocence. Mostly i think they're little menaces who can't think ten minutes in advance. As a childless "grown-up", I get sick of not being able to use four letter words everywhere, or being able to wander around nude. It's dumb little kids who make us enforce these rules, and I'll not have it. I'm an American. I should be able to be able to wander out to get the paper butt-naked and cussing a blue streak without the cops coming to get me... I know you agree, Leaguers, but (as I learned) those facists in the City of Chandler Police Department do NOT agree with my viewpoint.
Anyway, people deal with their children in many different ways, and Halloween is a prime example. Growing up in Texas, Halloween was a sort of muted affair thanks to the decision fundamentalists made to decry the getting of candy in a clown suit as some form of demon worship. I don't know how these people got onto me, but they must have been reading their Chick Tracts.
At any rate, Randy forwarded this to me today, and I would encourage all Leaguers with kids to jump on this opportunity to turn your kid into a walking nightmare participating in a joke for which they are too young to really understand. Make sure you get that matching Ho costume for your daughters, or the whole theme just won't live up to it's potential.
Returning to the Chick Tracts... Leaguers, I can't encourage you ENOUGH to fully explore the world of Chick Tracts and how the comic format can be used to freak people's shit. Cartoonist/ Nutjob Jack Chick prints these tiny comics you're supposed to hand out to people you see them committing a sin (such as those little sinners who are going trick or treating...). After reading the tract and realizing the vile implications of the sin (or the unbelievably horrible fate which could await those committing the sin), these people are to come to their senses and, i guess, read more Chick tracts.
Chick really has it in for gays and Halloween, and loves Jews, but isn't so crazy about Catholics.
Yes, it's a topsy, turvy world of moral relativism when one really delves into the working mind of Mr. Chick.
As if Hell wasn't enough of a punishment (I personally am not looking forward to all the tooth gnashing...) many of the tracts also have a fate in mind which Jack Chick has, himself, dreamed up that he would appear to like to visit upon the sinner. More impressive is the occasional unfortunate circumstance which has only a tangentially causal relationship to the sin which could be easily avoided and allow for a long future of sinning (see Halloween tract...).
Any description I share with you doesn't really do the tracts justice, but I invite you to explore the site in it's entirety. If nothing else, his assumptions about other people and how they tick leads one to believe Jack Chick has spent his years confined to a small basement with a single light bulb wherein he produces each one of the tracts by hand in an ink made of his own blood (instead of allowing for the sin of photocopying).
Anyhoo, he suggests you get a stack to hand out as Halloween gifts to Trick or Treaters, so I plan to mix those in with my Smarties so the kids can have fun and go to bed weeping and emotionally scarred.
Oh, and Halloween Apple Jacks are just gross. Took a perfectly good cereal and added those little sugar cake toppers to it as far as I can tell.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Last night, in what turned out to be a Herculean effort to avoid the California Recall vote's everlasting coverage, I turned to Turner Classic Movies. I am without environmental cues (such as dropping temperatures, cooler winds, lines outside Lucy in Disguise) which have traditionally informed me that Halloween is a'coming. I've been getting prepared, but I've felt almost as if I've been in a vaccuum.
But last night was Karloff night on TCM. Sa-Weeet.
As much as I love the original Karloff Frankenstein, they followed it up with Bride of Frankenstein. Folks, if you haven't seen these two movies, you absolutely should, because they're both terrific. While not "frightening" by today's standards, the ideas in these two movies are so fantastic and out there that you can see how they generated countless imitators.
Everything from story structure to the look and feel of the labs has not just cemented in people's minds what a mad scientist's lab looks like, but, indeed, what a laboratory looks like. And the "cautionary tale" aspect of both movies may have worked all too well as an object case of why man should not tamper with nature, reflecting in everyday life, even down to how we vote (and our feelings on if we should clone dinosaurs...)
How these movies veered off into lesser and lesser sequels is no big secret... we've seen it happen with virtually every franchise. Modern adaptations always come across as pale imitations of this original... perhaps because nobody plays "desperation" with the gusto Colin Clive utilizes in chewing up the scenery.
I'm glad I caught these movies now. I'm so ready for Halloween that I'm moving into a strict Candy Corn and Frankenberry diet until November 1.
This is the band that my brother plays bass for upon occasion. It's been said in the past that I do not show proper respect for his musical authority. Well, dammit, Leaguers, here I am promoting the work of my bro and his colleagues.
thanks to Randy for forwarding this disturbing piece of life-affirming news....
9:02 AM |
Saw a strange report on the news last night. They were describing how poverty figures have gone up, as in the descrepancy between highest and lowest income earners has increased, and more folks are now living at the low end of the spectrum than in recent years. THey then followed this up by showing a graph of luxury items these people own, by percentage. Included in the list, and floating somewhere in the 90% range from what I recall, were items such as "color TV" and "microwave."
Now, I don't know when the last time anyone working for this network went to the grocery store was, or checked out the price of microwave ovens, but it struck me as pretty damn strange that microwaves are still considered to be a "luxury item". Especially when you're working all day at your minimum wage job and don't necessarily have time to prep a full four course meal over the top of the oven, let alone FIND food anymore that isn't intended to be microwaved.
Secondly, can you even FIND a black and white TV anymore? There's something so... bizarre about being angry about people for being able to afford a color TV over a black and white in the year 2003, that I can only assume this network was appealing to insane old misers.
This poll didn't seem to take into account where these items were procured (salvation army, rent-to-own, gifts, used items from friends) or the fact that you can get a brand new microwave or color TV for an incredibly low price these days. Oh, and most Americans have somehwere in the neighborhood of 10 credit cards, which is driving them further and further into debt.
Granted, the fact that 21% of this population has a computer (only numerical statistic I remember exactly because it kind of blew me away) was a higher number than I expected, but if they're referring to the Apple IIe in the corner versus the new Power Mac with surround sound, it's kind of difficult to take the survey entirely seriously.
I guess, perhaps, the network was suggesting that even our poverty stricken have a fairly high standard of living, which, in comparison to, say... well, pretty much everywhere else, is probably somewhat accurate. But it sure as hell came off as "why are these people whining? They got themselves a color TV set!"
Do we Americans want our poor REALLY poor...? like living in a mud hut or having to scavenge for food or whatnot? We've got ideas of what poor looks like in America from watching old movies with nuns in them and stuff, and throw something in here about lifting and bootstraps and the picture is fairly complete. But what this poll also doesn't take into consideration is that this is the number of people they could FIND, who had permanent addresses and who respond to questionairres. These are not people who live in their cars or in the weeds down by the train tracks off Airport near my old apartment. Or the people who don't have electricity because they happen to live under, say, an underpass. I'm fairly certain those folks didn't have color TVs they were stowing away. Or a computer or whatever.
Anyway, it caught my attention.
Oh, and while the Colts did have one of the most amazing turnarounds I've ever seen on Monday Night Football, that referee's call on the first field goal attempt was horse hockey. Hell, they showed he was wrong on the jumbo tron and he STILL didn't relent. Anyway, you can't take away what the Colts did in the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter, but it sure made their victory seem a whole lot more hollow.
8:01 AM |
Monday, October 06, 2003
Why, hello, old friend! It's not that your arrival is a total surprise, but I didn't expect to see you! No, not a'tall! Mayhaps I should have known you'd be drifiting 'round these parts, given the recent circumstances, but, honestly, it's been a while. Yes, yes... it's been quite a few years since you came 'round to say "Howdy! Hello!" Well, old friend, it's good to have you back!
What are you calling yourself today? Ahhhhh.... Miserable Failure! It's been too long.
Yup, just walked out of my exam. Whoops! Well, maybe better luck next time.
6:12 PM |
Quick reminder that about the Halloween movie contest. Frankly, I haven't received all that many entries, and I'm getting a little concerned that I may be forced to watch old Laverne and Shirley reruns on Halloween.
Now, the contest rules are pretty straightforward. THese rules can be found to the left
<--------- = left
Everyone is eligible, but I'm going to lock up a winner by the 15th, so if you've been sitting around thinking about creeeeeeeppyyyyyy movies, now is the time to turn me on to whatever it is that scares the bejeezus out of you.