Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Maybe I just didn't want to believe her. I was in denial that someone would actually try and remake a Brian DePalma film. It'd be like if some hothead decided to rewrite Lolita, or re-record Astral Weeks.
Thing is, Sisters isn't even among my favorite DePalma films (or what I consider to be among his craftiest work...), but it's still sacrilege.
Here's the poster (click to enlarge):
"From the Producer of American Psycho and The Crow..."
That "producer" would be Edward Pressman, he who produced the original Sisters as well as some other great films. However, why would they choose two of his worst films as a tag for Sisters 2K7?!? Hmm... maybe that's the realm of quality we can expect it to land in.
Doctor's performed brain surgery on a man in Germany, and when they went back to put the top of his head back on, they realized they'd left it in a defective refrigerator and that it wouldn't be kosher for reattachment .... OOOPS!!!!
So instead, they had to put a plastic dome on top of the poor guys skull.
Thing is... the court only awarded him 3000 Euros ($4100)?!?!
I'm not a fan of knee-jerk personal injury/malpractice lawsuits - doctors are human too, right? - but I think screwing up the top of someone's head is an offense worth some serious punitive damages.
"Experts" that testified in the hospital's behalf disagreed:
"The experts consulted by the court concluded the new skull roof was better than the original," a court spokesman said. (REUTERS)
Yeah ... uh ... there are a lot of things on my body that could probably be replaced by something that is "better than the original", but unless I elect to have that surgery I wouldn't expect the good doctor to just replace them.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Shearer told E&P that WPWG checked with a couple of Islamic experts to see if the "Opus" strips might be offensive, and they said the comics were OK. But he understands why some papers might still be wary. (E & P)
Ahhh... that's comforting. Editors running decisions by "Islamic experts". Nice going Washington Post et. al.
Here is the cartoon:
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Out on his trek to escape from the booby-trapped battlefield, Zack starts gathering stragglers: first a native Korean boy, then a black medic from another company, then a full company that includes a mute, a conscientious objector, and a man that lost his hair from scarlet fever. The men become a multi-ethnic, socially diverse unit; a microcosm of a united America in a foreign land. The group receive orders to set up an operations post at an abandoned Buddhist temple, and this is where they hold up for a final showdown.
Here, in the film's calmest moment, is where The Steel Helmet reveals its rooted humanity. A Korean POW is captured, and before the company can turn him over to command, he has brief exchanges with both the African-American medic and a Japanese-American soldier. The prisoner tries to plant cynicism and resentment in each soldier like a bomb by poking at their greatest pains. "You have to sit in the back of the bus in America, yes?". "You and your people were put into internment camps during World War II, yes?". Both men concede the sad truths, but their optimism is unflappable. In these minutes, The Steel Helmet, flicks off the cheap race-baiting in a film like Crash; 53 years later, Fuller still stands the wiser.
As the film ends, Fuller throws up a final phrase: "THIS STORY DOES NOT HAVE AN ENDING". It's a plea to the audience to not turn off when the lights come on. And while it's entertaining at a quick 84 minute clip, The Steel Helmet is social observation to it's core. Samuel Fuller has succeeded if this experience leaves a little hole on your memory.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A four foot long metal bench was taken from a police van and the convicted man was made to lie on it on his stomach, his fawn checked shirt pulled-up to his shoulders to expose his back and waist.
One police officer held his hands together beneath the bench, two others gripped his legs to ensure there was little movement.
Two police officers stood-by, their faces covered with balaclavas - each to administer 40 lashes.
Both men then lashed Ghanbari, taking the cane back behind their heads to guarantee maximum impact, each stroke leaving a distinctive red mark and bruising on his back.
Several wounds began to bleed.
------> Daily Mail
Being Bill, Murray was driving his golf cart around the streets of Stockholm after having tossed back a few.
Officers spotted Murray early on Monday morning in the slow-moving vehicle and noticed he smelled of alcohol when they pulled him over, Detective Inspector Christer Holmlund, of the Stockholm police, said.
"He refused to blow in the (breathalyser) instrument, citing American legislation," Mr Holmlund told the Associated Press. "So we applied the old method - a blood test. It will take 14 days before the results are in." (Guardian)
Go Bill, Go!
Mr Holmlund said it wasn't clear where Murray picked up the vehicle, or who owned it.
"It was a golf cart. How it ended up in this predicament I don't know," he said, adding that Murray was not facing any theft charges.
It is not illegal to drive a golf cart in city traffic in Sweden, Mr Holmlund said, but it is unusual.
Well duh it's "unusual". That's why we love the man!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I didn't know whose song it was, or even what it was. It was quite strange, I thought. There was the eternal "digga-digga chuck, digga-digga chuck, digga-digga chuck, digga-digga chuck, dig CLAP CLAP!" instrumental break that stuck in my head. Today, it's influence still lingers. I suppose the chords to "Blue Monday" are kinda for dance-pop what the chords to The Troggs "Wild Thing" is for guitar-pop.
In fact, two brand new dance-pop songs sample/lift the chords right from the song: "Shut Up & Drive" by Rhianna, and "20 Dollar" by M.I.A. Rhianna credits Hook, Sumner, Gilbert, Morris for the song, but there is no mention of them in M.I.A.'s liner notes (oddly, she credits Frank Black for a sample of "Where Is My Mind", which is there, but much less recognizable). Maybe the chords are so embedded in dance culture that M.I.A. didn't even realize what she was borrowing from. But do me a favor, listen to "20 Dollar" and tell me those ain't the "Blue Monday" chords.
Today, when I hear the original, it kinda creeps me out. "Those who came before me/Lived through their vocations/From the past until completion/They will turn away no more". Eek! It sounds how the Ridley Scott "1984" Apple commercial looked. It's a long way from Fats Domino's "Blue Monday". His song sounds joyful in comparison.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I think they look ridiculous. Couple those with the Cate Blanchett (as Dylan) clip I saw last month, and I've become very sceptical of this film.
When I first heard about I'm Not There, I was excited, but now ... well, I'm still looking forward to it, but I worry I might be laughing the entire time. (The clip of Blanchett had me howling it was so bad ... plus, David Cross rolls up as Allen Ginsberg and it starts to feel like a Mr. Show skit.)
The government of Nigeria's predominantly Muslim state of Kano has called for a one-year ban on local film-making to "sanitize" the industry after a sex video of a local actress circulated widely on mobile phones.
The eight-minute clip, recorded for private use by the actress's boyfriend on a mobile phone and showing the two of them naked, caused a public outcry among conservative Muslims in northern Nigeria.
The state's Filmmakers Association expelled 17 of its members for suspected involvement in "immoral acts such as drunkenness and fornication", even though they were not connected to the clip.
The actress in question has gone into hiding.
But the state's Directorate of Societal Orientation said the expulsions were not enough to clean up the industry.
Shooting of films in the local Hausa language should be suspended for a year, the directorate's Bala Muhammad was quoted as saying on the state-run News Agency of Nigeria.
Nigeria's hugely successful English-language video industry, known as Nollywood, is mostly based in the south of the country which is predominantly Christian and considered less conservative. (Reuters)
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Check out the silly trailer for the Alexander Aja (Haute Tension, The Hill Have Eyes remake) scripted, P2.
----------> CLICK HERE
This isn't to say females won't love Superbad - I sat next to one that did - it just makes me wonder if the ladies in the audience think us guys are laughing because of the Hawks-speed, foul-mouthed, potty humor, or if they realize that Seth and Evan's exchanges resonate with every man after the discovery of "magazine rack" porn.
Late in the film, Evan stands in the mirror, nervously facing himself with the fact that the girl he's been crushing on for 4 years finally wants him. "Calm down. She wants to su*k on your penis". It's great for laughs, but it's also a sweet moment of a young dude at the sexual crossroads. Although it's not portrayed as such in pop culture, a man losing his virginity - or becoming intimate - for the first time, is as emotional as woman claim it is for them.
Like most guys, Seth and Evan talk a good game when their hangin' with each other, but when going toe-to-toe with reality (i.e. the superior female) words will fail... and pathetically nose dive off our tongues. Which is doubly sad after so many private, mental, practice sessions.
Friday, August 17, 2007
This post is of a sexual nature.
Some may find the below content lewd.
An Israeli doctor has come up with a bra ... that goes under the skin!
If all goes well, Cup & Up could be available for use by plastic surgeons-next summer. However there was some scepticism from British experts.
They warned that there is a risk the silicone cups could harden under the skin and that women with larger breasts may feel the device pulling against their ribs.
Lisa Sacks (HAHA... her last name is "Sacks"!), a consultant plastic surgeon and a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: "The problem is the type of skin a person has.
"If you haven't got good quality skin you can do what you want, but your breasts will droop again. You can't stop gravity."
Ok. Outside of the obvious YUCK factor, there are a few variables the "Cup & Up" inventor, Dr. Gur, didn't think of:
1. Uh ... men like bras. Bras are sexy. Bras are fun to take off. Bras leave a mystery. If you don't have to wear a bra anymore it kinda takes some of the fun out of foreplay.
2. I already have a problem squeezing fake boobs (okay, maybe not "a problem". I mean, of course I would still touch fake boobs, and they do look pretty nice ... but real boobs are better), I can't imagine making out with a lady and you feel some plastic cup inserted in her breast! It would be like if you went for a guys crotch and he had a strap-on instead of a hard-on.
3. The feminists.
"We think the sentence is totally unreasonable. He was only expressing his opinion and that is within his rights under the constitution," Li told AFP.
Chen, 43, was arrested in September last year and has been detained ever since. No one at the court in Hangzhou city was available to comment.
Chen wrote many articles critical of the Chinese government on overseas websites, including essays that advocated democracy and constitutional rule, Li said.
Li, who has defended many press freedom cases, has also come under the scrutiny of authorities and was notified in June that his licence has been suspended for at least one year.
He said he suspected he was disbarred for taking on too many politically sensitive cases.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Don't worry though ... settle down, settle down. It was filmed as a TV miniseries, so it is digestible in spurts, much like Bergman's 5 hour cut of Fanny and Alexander (which makes the 3-hour theatrical version seem like child's play).
It's coming out in November. Maybe they purposely timed it to coinicide with Thanksgiving so you could enjoy your 5-day weekend, chomping on cold turkey legs and watching German cinema.
Criterion breaks it all down 4 U ------> HERE
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So, I empathized with a group of tenants in Newcastle, England when one of their neighbors played Wham!'s "Last Christmas" at high volume for 3 HOURS STRAIGHT!.
Not content with hearing one rendition of the George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley classic, Turner put his favourite tune on repeat - much to the disgust of his neighbours who were trying to sleep.
After putting up with the racket for several hours a neighbour, living nearby in Doncaster Road, Sandyford, Newcastle, cracked and called in the noise squad.
Turner saw his stereo confiscated and he was prosecuted by Newcastle City Council's Night Watch team.
Gosforth magistrates heard how he was visiting friends in a flat in Brampton Avenue, Walker, on May 15 when the night of hell started for tormented residents.
He played the classic hit by George Michael, whose hits with Wham included "Bad Boys" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go", relentlessly from 1am to 4am.
A city council spokesman said: "The music was so loud from the flat that officers could clearly identify the track being played as 'Last Christmas' by Wham. (Daily Mail)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
A police official in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, where outraged Islamic activists flung a bouquet, a satchel and other items at Nasreen during a Press event, said the author faces a charge of hurting Muslim feelings.
"A case was booked against Taslima Nasreen that her anti-Islamic views and writings hurt Muslim sentiments," city police official LK Shinde said.
Under the Indian penal code, promoting "disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will" between groups on the basis of religion is punishable by up to three years in jail.
Hmm... I wonder if the same standards stand for religious groups that promote "disharmony or feelings of enmity"?
Television footage showed activists of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen party, aligned with India's ruling Congress party in the state, hitting Nasreen with flowers and threatening to lob chairs.
A visibly shaken Nasreen was shielded by several organisers and escaped when police arrived and bundled her into a car, witnesses said. They reported slight bruising.
Three legislators from the party were charged with rioting, Shinde said.
Senior party member Akbaruddin Owaisi registered a case against Nasreen hours after the attack, saying she had made rude remarks about Islam. (Gulf Daily News)
Sick. These aren't just members of some extremist Islamic group. These are members of government behaving this way.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Some of the movie blogs are huffing and puffing over there being a third sequel and a silly storyline:
"We're told that the film is about the government who has trained dinosaurs to carry weapons and use them for battle purposes. Based on that, I can now safely declare that this franchise has entered 'ridiculous sequel mode'. Watch for more news soon."
BEIJING (AP) - Chinese state-run newspaper says head of toy manufacturing company at center of huge U.S. recall has committed suicide.
Despite the fact that no details have been released yet, color me suspicious on labeling this a "suicide" since, last month, the head of the Chinese version of the FDA was executed. Now that high lead content has been found in children's toys, it seems very possible - to me - that he was put to death as well.
Friday, August 10, 2007
But it has now emerged that the footage actually showed two Finnish-made Mir submersibles that were employed on location filming at the scene of the wreck of the RMS Titanic ship in the north Atlantic some 10 years ago.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
"All ages" shows are exactly that; and "that" is an audience mixed with adults and barely illegal 16-17 1/2 year olds. It's forbidden, and it may be taboo to talk about, but it's a shameful temptation many of us have felt.
Luckily, the best - and most morally straight - songwriters revert their lust into song ... sometimes great (The Pet Shop Boys' "Young Offender" & Weezer's "Across The Sea") and sometimes bad (Winger's "Seventeen" ... something tells me Kip Winger didn't resist that temptation).
Add The White Stripes "A Martyr For My Love For You" among the greats! It's a dark song, coming off like a journal entry Jack White absentmindedly sang into the mic while it was still recording.
Following a strolling guitar and organ intro that sounds right out of a ghost town's soundtrack, White sings:
"She was sixteen/and six feet tall/in a crowd of teenagers/coming out of the zoo/she stumbled/started to slip and fall/teeter tottered on the top/of patent leather shoes"
Whoa. Talk about some loaded imagery here: "teenagers coming out of the zoo", "teeter-totter", "patent leather" (ouch!).
The lyrics continue about Jack's intimidation and embarrassment of being so overly self-conscious about having a phone conversation with a 16 year old. Luckily the bridge comes in and brings him to his senses:
"I could stay a while/But sooner or later/I'll break your smile/And I can tell a joke/But one of these days I'm bound to choke/And we could share a kiss/But I feel like I can't go through with this"
Saved, and free from sin, Jack walks away singing the title of the song over and over. He maybe heartbroken, but at least he's saved himself from being tossed in with Jerry Lee Lewis and R. Kelly jokes.
Tell me that doesn't look like "elb"?!?!
I mean, come on! Can you see now how the Expos caps messed with my head as a child? "Dad, if they are the Montreal Expos, why do they have an E an L and a B on their caps??"
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Being a Mets fan, the guy will probably blow the whole payload on some white tank tops, gold neck chains, and some sweet rims for his Camaro.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Well, that's what he says in a LA Times interview:
Monopoly: The Movie?
Monopoly is still the most popular board game -- I might be misquoting! -- in the world. So it's really finding the universe for that game. Because clearly it ought to be humorous and for the family -- the funny way it brings out, particularly when your uncle suddenly gets Park Lane and -- in England, we have Park Lane, Mayfair and Barclay Square, what's it in America? Park and Madison? So you watch people change. You're witness to Jekyll and Hyde. Somewhere in that is a hysterically amusing and I think rather exciting film.
About our gilded age of greed?
That as well. Isn't that comical?
Sort of! Perhaps you can take cues from Clue.
I never really saw Clue. But I think it was quite clever. It was one of the first-ofs, wasn't it, where you kind of engage the audience? Listen, in this business you have to examine everything, every direction that media is taking us. Because media is taking us into where, more and more, people have more and more time for more and more leisure. What's happening is it's affecting this shift and change in cinema, both with the material you do and the audience driving movies. . . . Aren't you supposed to ask me about "The Company"?
Well, I'm curious, that's for sure. Maybe it will be like Honey...I Shrunk The Kids meets Night At The Museum.
I like how after Ridley Scott says "Isn't that comical?" the interviewer goes, "Sort of!".
And then we have Saw IV and the American Red Cross teaming up for a blood drive together. I didn't know this, but it's an annual event for the Saw franchise and Red Cross.
Collection totals have doubled year after year: during the 2004 inaugural drive, 4,200 pints were collected, in 2005, 10,000 pints were collected, and in 2006, 23,493 pints were collected, resulting in tens of thousands of lifesaving blood transfusions. (Starpulse)
OK.... so I completely made up that last paragraph ... OR DID I???? BWA HA HA HA HA!!
Wal-Mart, and others, have dropped their prices as well...
Well, in the spirit of competition Publix just said "BOO-YA! We're going for $0.00!" Beat that!
The price of FREE is only for 7 different prescriptions, but I am gonna be very curious to see the fallout from this. Will it shake up the market big time?? Will Publix lose tons of money?? Will more and more prescriptions continue to drop in price?? Will it worsen the problem of over medicating??
I'm not sure. I don't know the science of business trends, but they fascinate me (McDonalds image change - including the "better than Starbucks coffee" and DVD rentals - is my current fave...), especially when they involve the business of health care.
Monday, August 06, 2007
In India, some dude stole and swallowed an expensive piece of jewelry from a woman's neck.
After the police arrested him, they wanted it back, so they fed the guy 40 bananas ... 40!!!! (shouldn't Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International be complaining about this or something??....hmph...I don't know....) .
Anyway, the guy held strong and pinched it back. He started touching cotton, so they mixed in some Indian Chicken N' Rice to push him past the gates. And ... well, you know ... you've had Indian food before. It was a success.
The thing I wanna know is, will that lady actually wear that necklace again?!?! I mean, that is pretty sick if she does.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
When I was a kid, there were two hallowed records: Number of home runs in one season (Roger Maris with 61 in 1961) and Hank Aaron's all-time career record. Bonds is gonna own both of those now.
Thing is, I don't even care about the steroids. Yes, I think it taints the records, but anyone who loves baseball will tell you that regardless of the extra juice, Bonds is one of the all-time greats. Check him out in his rail thing Pittsburgh Pirate days. The man is a flat out brilliant hitter. Top 5 of all-time.
But he's also, probably, the biggest asshole ever to play the game. And that's why I can't stand to watch him replace Hank Aaron in the history books. People say he's got a big head from shooting up too much. Me? I think it's natural causes.
I'm not a fan of the Yankee's Alex Rodriguez either, but today he reached the 500 home run plateau, which means he could very likely pass Bonds one day. I hope he does. And I think even the worlds biggest Red Sox fan would nod with me - reluctantly, albeit - on that.
Whenever something major happens in baseball, me and my dad will call each other immediately. Mark McGwire breaking Maris' record in 1998, the insanity of the 2003 NLCS & ALCS series, the Astros making in to the World Series for the first time in 2005, etc., but when Bonds broke McGwire's mark in 2001, the phone didn't ring. I don't imagine it will tomorrow either.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Every loose-tongued use of the word "faggot", mockery of show tunes, or threat of physical violence to reject male affection, is set up only to be knocked down later, showing the ignorance behind such motivations. Like it or not, there are still men who feel uncomfortable playing basketball, or sharing Boy Scout duties, with gay men. The fact that Adam Sandler, writers Jim Taylor & Alexander Payne, and director Dennis Dugan feel the need to show real life resolution to these issues says a lot.
After Chuck (Sandler) is abandoned on the basketball court by his fellow firemen, Alex (Jessica Biel) says "we can get a court order to fix this", but Chuck responds "no. They aren't bad guys, they're just adjusting. They'll come around." And they do. It's a human solution to the type of problem that too frequently, today, turns to the judicial system for answers.
Maybe critics boo because they think this lets bigotry off the hook. It doesn't. Chuck and Larry believes in forgiveness, and personal growth. But critics prefer to see characters they disagree with be demonized instead of given some slack. (This is why the truly hateful Borat was so praised).
So take comfort in the fact that Chuck and Larry is performing so well at the box office. It's comedic platform, and wide-ranging appeal, will produce more of a pro-gay impact on the mainstream than Brokeback Mountain ever did.
oh!, and yeah ... it's pretty funny too.
Friday, August 03, 2007
"Through the storms and the light/Baby, you stood by my side/And life is wine..."
(yes, I know they were in The Yards together ... yes, I know it was the same director ... yes, I know it wasn't very good ... BUT THAT'S MY POINT!)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Never underestimate the power of a good music writer to bring on nostalgia for old records. I love it when someone can do that to me. Why does it sometimes takes someone else's excitement rubbing off on us to remind us how excited we once were about something???
Axl Rose was lying nude inside a Manhattan recording studio's darkened vocal booth, working out some unorthodox last-minute overdubs. Tape was rolling, and he knew something wasn't right. Beneath him was a cute nineteen-year-old stripper named Adriana Smith, who happened to be his drummer's girlfriend. "Come on, Adriana, make it real," Rose barked, pausing mid-coitus. "Stop faking!"
On that warm weekend evening in the spring of 1987, engineer Vic Deyglio had set up a top-of-the-line vocal microphone to capture the sounds of Rose and Smith having sex -- and at one point, he had to dash into the booth to adjust the mike as they went at it. "It was like a Ron Jeremy set in there," Deyglio recalls. Smith wanted to get back at Guns n' Roses drummer Steven Adler for cheating on her -- and had always liked the singer better anyway. "I would do anything Axl asked me to do," says Smith, now a forty-year old mom. "He's f*ckin' magical." Though she was drunk and giggly that day, Smith eventually gave Rose what he wanted: Her orgasmic moans -- which ended up high in the mix on Appetite for Destruction's final track, "Rocket Queen" -- are for real. But when Adler found out what had been captured on his band's album, the drummer "f*cking freaked out," Smith says. She was haunted by her recording session for years: "I ended up drinking and using drugs over this for a really long time, because I had this extreme shame and guilt and stuff."
To read the entire piece, go to the damn bookstore for once!!!
Oh .... and Scarlett? Let me just say, ... Ooooo La La!!!