Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jon Lovitz: Get to Know Him

The AV Club’s Random Roles feature can be hit-or-miss, depending on how open the subject is to an examination of their cinematic C.V.

But they hit one out of the park with their Jon Lovitz feature.

Some comments:

  • If you ever did a movie with Jon Lovitz, he considers you a close personal friend.
  • He had a choice between SNL and filming “Mom & Dad Save the World”. Let that one sink in.
  • Him and Dana Carvey were the original stars of “Bad Boys”.  If you’ve recovered from the last bullet point, let *that* one sink in.
  • The interview comes to a screeching halt when NewsRadio is brought up. He really doesn’t like Andy Dick.
  • Pretty sure that if Woody Allen asked him to blow him, he would.
  • If it were up to him, Eddie Murphy would have won multiple Oscars.  Not for Dreamgirls or even Coming to America.  Nope, for The Nutty Professor franchise.


Podcast 12.002 – Loud Refrigerators, Just Letting it Be, and Boobicon

Goose packed up his Gateway 2000 laptop and microphones so we could go mobile with this one.  Either Goose’s wife can’t handle high levels of mirth or there’s possibly some other explanation.

Irregardless (my hot new word for 2011), our itch to record podcasts has again flared up. 

After the jump comes a lot of audio/visual references to references we made.

If you aren’t already subscribed, search iTunes for “Popcorn Trick” or click here.

UPDATE: It’s showing up in some people’s iTunes, but not others. What worked for me was right-clicking “The Popcorn Trick” in the Podcasts section and choosing “Show all available episodes”.  Also, removing and re-adding the podcast should work.

Enjoy yourself.

A live version of the intro/outro music Goose chose:

The full list of movies that I extracted from Comcast On Demand and sent to Goose (note the solitary exclamation point by Hot Dog):

  • Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid
  • Cop & 1/2
  • Darjeeling Limited
  • Deck the Halls
  • Great Outdoors
  • Hot Dog: The Movie (YES!)
  • Jack (Robin Williams as a kid in an adult's body)
  • Loch Ness (Danson investigates Nessie)
  • Nell
  • Nine Lives (Paris Hilton trapped in a Scottish castle)
  • Radio
  • Robot Holocaust
  • The Rock
  • Ski School
  • Ski Patrol
  • Street Fighter
  • Taxi
  • Three O'clock High
  • Time Guardian (Dean Stockwell, Carrie Fisher)
  • You Belong to Me (Lifetime movie w/ Shannon Elizabeth: Alex discovers that her young colleague Michael has an obsessive interest in her. Driven by her rejection, he attempts murder-suicide. She survives, he does not. He returns from the grave and she must fight his supernatural power)

The original storyboard for Dolly Parton’s “Straight Talk”:

Because we mentioned Paul Harvey, here’s possibly the best spoof of his unique delivery and aesthetic style:

“Be that as it may, Alex, those people have never been in my kitchen”

Here are both of the Gylne Tider videos:


And an example of what Michael Winslow could have done, if he were only given the chance:

And what may warrant its own blog post/podcast at some point soonish, the most underrated celebrity all-star charity video:

A trailer for what should have been Sherilyn Fenn’s primary Gylne Tider credit:

A trailer for Goose’s favorite thing of 2010:

Could not find an embeddable clip of “Louie”, but watch the poker scene and prepare to be blown away.  It manages to be simultaneously funny, insightful, moving, and then funny again.

Goose’s favorite album of 2010:

Cline’s favorite album of 2010:

Saw this live and it was awesome (“I don’t know. Take it easy, bro.”):

Goose made a brief mention of the pool scene. We use a GoPro camera for that scene.  This is all a circuitous excuse to show this awesome video of a GoPro attached to a turtle:

Thanks for listening and reading!  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Werner Herzog is awesome. Even fake ones. That is all. Merry Christmas.

"Grandma got run over by a...truck."

Obviously a video starring many of the Dallas Mavericks "singing" Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" would be easy to tear apart and make fun of. But you know what? I think it's great. Too often we view sports professionals as fun-hating, money grubbing robots. To see them act human is refreshing, and I applaud everyone involved. Of course, Jason Kidd is conspicuously absent, so fuck him.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Guinea Pigs. Cocaine. Wigs.

I'd like to meet Chad Holt, the subject of the documentary, Total Badass. Not hang out with him, mind you, but meet him.

Bridge Porn

I know, the title doesn't inspire much excitement. Bridges? But you'll be surprised. By the third bridge, you'll be telling yourself, "Hey, these bridges are pretty cool." But the sixth bridge you'll be saying, "Huh, I wish there were more bridges closer to me so I could check them out." And by the tenth bridge you'll be saying, "Fuck it, I'm going to Austria to cross that fucking thing."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tajazzle - The 3 Step System for Hot Women

Really, they couldn't just go all in and name the product "Vajazzle?"

I'm not 100% sure what the product is offering, but it seems like it's a 3 step system that includes...

1. A powder that makes you smell better made from the best all natural ingredients (horse hooves and cilantro? That's my guess).

2. Tajazzle syrup you're supposed to slather all over your private areas. And yet, wouldn't this form a paste-like substance then? That doesn't sound up to Tajazzle standards. Of course, I'm not a Tajazzle customer so who am I to question?

3. A bedazzler for you whoo-nay (for those women that think their tramp stamp just isn't making enough of a statement).

And why not? If you're that strikingly beautiful woman at the gym that just doesn't have any luck with men, Tajazzle will put you over the hump. At the very least you'll smell nice and be sticky in all the right places. And you'll be able to run at night in skimpy clothing and not have to worry about not being reflective!

ALF Bloopers

Who knew ALF was such a racist?

While I certainly don't know the context of some of this, I think some of the racist stuff is based on ALF (or the person behind ALF) pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome. I did enjoy that Andrea Elson, who played daughter Lynn, seemed to have no problem spewing profanity in front of the rest of the cast.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

RIP Steve Landesberg

If you don't know who Steve Landesberg is, then shame on you.

Deadpan delivery, the man was a great comedic actor. I feel bad that his death is what reminds me about how good he was on Barney Miller. And if you're not a Barney Miller fan, then shame on you more!

Hypnotizing Skateboard Video

I'm a sucker for speeding up and slowing down motion in film. And skateboarding seems to be the perfect activity to showcase that style. Take a look...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Caroling with GWAR

If you're going to do some caroling, why not do it in the style that everyone will love...the style of GWAR!

RIP Captain Beefheart

News struck late Friday afternoon that Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, passed away.

Now, I'll never be able to explain the man behind the name, so if you're interested, start out here. If you are a Zappa fan but have never heard of Beefheart, I suggest you look into him some. His influences on music are definitely felt today. While his masterpiece, Trout Mask Replica, may be one of the more difficult albums you could listen to, don't let it turn you off. Either give it another try (or ten), or check out some of his more accessible stuff.

And now for a sample of his sound...

Go on with your bad self, Captain Beefheart. I'm not even sure God will know how to respond to the concert you're playing for him right now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Russell Brand Goes Off

Regardless of what you think of Russell Brand, this is pretty amazing. See what he does when he's asked a simple question, in character, at a table reading for The Tempest...

The Live Action Yogi Bear Movie

Just imagine, as you're standing in line for the new Yogi Bear movie, how awesome it would be as a live-action movie...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Movie Trailer: The Mechanic 2010

Apparently, the Charles Bronson movie, The Mechanic, is being remade with Jason Statham...

I have nothing against Jason Statham. In fact, I enjoyed him both Guy Ritchie films he was in. Never saw any of the Transporter films, but they serve a purpose and I'm sure they're decent action films.

But I'm just not sure Statham can pull off Charles Bronson...

First of all, while the 2010 Mechanic has Donald Sutherland, and you really can't go wrong with Sutherland, Bronson's mechanic has a brash young Jan Michael Vincent.

Point Bronson.

Also, I find it extremely disheartening that while the remake trailer has over 577,000 views on Youtube, the original's trailer has 1,402. While I guess it's possible the remake will shed some light on the original, I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Ok Go Video

Unfortunately, they're never going to top their Rube Goldberg video. But I'll appreciate the creativity and the effort to push the boundaries. They might want to stop referring to themselves as a band and maybe pick up the title "performance artist."

They are doing right though.

The Vin Diesel Franchise Returns

While the action certainly looks faster and furiouser, I can't follow the Shakespearean plot they've set up. Looks like I'm going to have to go back and watch the previous 4. so I can go into this one caught up...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lego Gore

Remember when you would get your Legos out and build a boat or a car, and then the space Legos came out and you could build spaceships?

Yeah, this is nothing like that.

These are not your childhood Legos.

Manmade Roller Coaster?

Let me preface my editorial about the following video by saying this - in now way could I ever aspire to create what these college kids did. The accomplishment is truly astounding and they should be lauded for their ingenuity.

That said...

Seriously? Describing this as a roller coaster seems a little flimsy. I'd probably go with fully enclosed half-pipe experience, since, you know you kinda just go back and forth a bit. And really, calling it the Reverse Cow Girl? We get it college students, you're irreverent, and without your parents around to admonish you, the immaturity explodes like that dude from Monty Python's Meaning of Life. Also, maybe think about the video maybe for about 4 seconds before shooting it?

In fact why don't you just take a gander at the masters...

2010 Black List

Gaining more and more popularity every year, the Hollywood Black List is a subjective "best of" list of unproduced movie scripts floating around. Sometimes they get made, sometimes they don't.

Anyway, this year's list is out, and I have to say, I'm completely underwhelmed. It looks less like a list of cool, quirky scripts that take a risk, and more like a whiteboard on the lot of a major production company. Like most cool things in life, it appears (at least to me) the list has been compromised, and commercialism has reared its head, and swallowed it whole.

But take a look for yourself, and see if there's anything there that makes you get excited for film.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Riding Bikes into a Lake

Title pretty much says exactly what you're going to get with this video...

...except it's just really well done. Think Jackass style stunts, shot by talented filmmakers. Also, keep an eye out for:

brief sex appeal


Friday, December 10, 2010

Slow News Day in Louisiana

It's hard for me to take this picture seriously. I mean there's simply too many red flags...anonymous person...the destroyed camera, yet perfectly posed shot...the gaunt looking creature that still resembles a human...if you told me it was an attempt at viral marketing for The Walking Dead I would say kudos. But, I'll let you decide...

I'm sure safety measures were followed.

Remind me, if I ever travel to Russia in the near future, and I'm approached by a group of teenagers, and they suggest that I just have to try bungee jumping with them, that I shouldn't ever do it. Because this looks...well let's just say if they did it again I'd wager it would have a different result.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Psychedelic Heroin!"

Early 80s PSAs are great. Early 80s Drug PSAs are even greater. Like drugs. (I don't think I got the message of this PSA)

I enjoy the fact that the very first drug that is shouted out is PCP! Jesus Christ! I lived in the 80s and I don't remember the desire for PCP. But I guess I lived in the White Shadow world, and not the black girl's Madonna world.

Top Chef Recap: Thank God There Was No Ben Stiller Cameo

I know I'm 2 weeks late with my Top Chef musings, but let's blame it on the hectic holiday season.

At first, when I heard about the Top Chef: All Stars show, I was lukewarm on the idea. I thought it was nothing more than a gimmick, like the when Survivor would bring back players. But after the first show I was pleasantly surprised. These chefs had something to prove, and they didn't really care who they ticked off to prove it. Most, extremely confident in their skills, regardless of how they fared in their specific Top Chef episode, and they wanted to show it.

So it was no surprise when Elia was eliminated in week 1. It never seemed like she wanted to be there, she didn't cook with any enthusiasm, and honestly she was a boring character. That's not really an indictment on her personality either; I'm sure she's a great person and has plenty of vibrance (I would imagine a good chef would have to have this). I just think, once she stepped on the set, the memories came rushing back, and she didn't want any part of it all over again. Fair enough.

That's what made the elimination from week 2 such a shock - and a stark contrast. Jen, during her original season, showed off a lot of skill and talent, and that carried her far into the competition. Regardless of how difficult the situation of the challenge was (I understand the sleep deprivation was probably difficult for the chefs, but they all had to cope), she still took pork belly, what I consider to be one of the five greatest things on Earth, and made it not good. That's a pretty egregious offense.

Did I want her to leave? Nope. I always liked Jen and thought she had the ability to go far. Do I think the decision was controversial? Not really. Obviously, we can only rely on the judges reactions, but I don't buy any conspiracy to get Jen off the show. She has a great television personality, and if anything, I think the judges would try to keep her on longer. I think she made a bad dish, didn't want to admit it to herself, and lashed out a bit at the judges. Sorry to see you go Jen, I wish you weren't eliminated.

With that said, let's look at the rest of the chefs, and give some odds on how far they might make it...

Tiffani Faison
Odds to win: 4-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 10-1

Losing in the finale of her season, Tiffani has a chip on her shoulder and something to prove. I think she has a chance to go a long way here, even with her whiny "I thought T-Rexes ate EVERYTHING! Whaaaah."

Stephen Asprinio
Odds to win: 12-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 8-1

Stephen is a perfectionist, which will take him a long way, but I'm not certain of his cooking skills. I think he'll last long enough to show off his ridiculous wine knowledge, but after that, he's probably gone.

Marcel Vigneron
Odds to win: 3-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 25-1

Marcel, the villain's villain has so far taken a fairly low key approach up to now. Sure, he talked a little shit in an interview in episode 2, but that was to the camera and not to the other chefs. So far, he has been a team player (as much as he can be a team player) and has cooked well. I'm sure he's due for some drama (the previews suggest as much) but Marcel has a way of surviving them.

Casey Thompson
Odds to win: 12-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 5-1

Casey hit her stride right when she needed to in her season, and rode the wave all the way to the finale. But I don't think she has the ability to keep up with the talent with some of the other chefs in the kitchen now. Her palate, which is her strength, won't help her much in these early episodes, and I can see her getting eliminated in the next few weeks.

Tre Wilcox
Odds to win: 8-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 5-1

Inconsistency seems to be Tre's moniker this season. And he never does well with others, it seems. Left on his own, I think he can go pretty far, so it depends on how many "team" challenges there are that he has to get through.

Dale Levitski
Odds to win: 6-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 7-1

Dale might have been the biggest to make the finals during his season. Having an epiphany at the time, I think the show helped him find his love for cooking again. And he's definitely come into All Stars with a mission. Confident, catty and brash, Dale came to win. Do I think he can? No. But he surprised people before and I'm sure he can do it again. His problem might be that the drama (which seems to be higher with this group) within this season is too juicy for him to ignore.

Richard Blais
Odds to win: 3-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 20-1

My odds on favorite to win, Richard brings creativity and seems to cook with a purpose - using different techniques to support his cooking and not overshadow it. I think he was the favorite to win his season and was upset when he didn't. And he'll be the first to admit it. He definitely has something to prove.

Antonia Lofaso
Odds to win: 15-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 4-1

Antonia doesn't seem to bring much to the table. I think she's trying to fly under the radar, and while that can sometimes work, I don't think she'll be able to much longer. Some of the chefs involved here won't allow it.

Spike Mendelsohn
Odds to win: 9-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 9-1

Spike is an enigma, which is exactly the way he wants it. Probably the one chef that will play the most mind games, he has sneaky talent and I think his strategy is to try to guess what the chefs want and cook toward that. Whether that will work or not in the later episodes remains to be seen. But I think he views the show more as a reality competition than a cooking show. That will take him far, but I'm not sure it can get him the win.

Dale Talde
Odds to win: 10-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 5-1

Dale gets angry too quickly. That can't help his cooking. I think his technique is good, but wonder if he can cook on the fly when the pressure is there.

Carla Hall
Odds to win: 7-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 4-1

Much like Dale (the gay, muscular one), Carla came on strong late and made a surprise appearance in the finale of her season, which shows she knows what she's doing. Again, I think her season might have not been one of the stronger ones however, and I'm not sure she can handle the talent here. But she could surprise.

Jamie Lauren
Odds to win: 18-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 4-1

Much like Elia, I don't think Jamie wants to be in the competition. The hand cut controversy aside, I think she realized during the museum challenge, just how taxing this show can be, and doesn't want to put up with it. I think in a straight up cooking challenge, she would probably do well, but the obstacles the chefs have to deal with each week will be her downfall.

Fabio Viviani
Odds to win: 50-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 6-1

Fabio is in over his head. I'm sure he's a great chef, but I don't think he can compete on this level. He has a great accent and makes great tv, which is why I think he was asked back. He'll survive a few more episodes, but the other chefs already have started working against him in subtle ways, and that's going to explode soon. Which is a shame, because I like Fabio, and I think he just wants to cook without any of the bullshit that this show creates for the chefs.

Mike Isabella
Odds to win: 30-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 7-1

Another "middle" chef in the All Stars, I think Mike has talent, but he lets too much other stuff throw him off his game. Very little chance for him to win, especially with Jen off the show, who was with him in his original season and I think respected him and complimented him enough to help him keep going.

Tiffany Derry
Odds to win: 5-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 15-1

Tiffany, a great chef has big upset potential to make the finals and actually win this whole thing. Grounded, humble but hugely talented, I think she's got a chance here.

Angelo Sosa
Odds to win: 8-1
Odds to be eliminated next week: 8-1

Angelo is a true wildcard. Extremely talented, I think he tries to play the mind games, but he's too sensitive to be really effective with it. I think he thinks everyone else is playing mind games often when that isn't the case. That will be his downfall. Still, his talent will take him far.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hobo with a Shotgun

Not sure how to take this one...

On the one hand, I can get behind a trailer that was made into a movie, which this allegedly started as. I can also get behind Rutger Hauer movies. And Rutger Hauer playing a hobo sounds delectable.

However, on the other hand, these wink, wink nod to the audience movies don't do it for me. Other than Big Trouble in Little China, I can't think of a movie that succeeded in purposefully parodying the B movie. I thought both parts of Grindhouse failed (though for different reasons. At least Tarantino attempted to give us something different. Rodriguez just gave us gore and copied the structure of every bad late 70's/early 80's horror movie. But since we were in on the joke, nothing felt fresh or original. I guess it's ironic that the best part of Grindhouse were the trailers, which of course led to the making of this movie. We live in a Catch-22 world).

Anyway, I assume there is an audience for stuff like this, so I hope it succeeds, if nothing more for the creators of the movie. I will say this - it's hard to come up with a better title than Hobo with a Shotgun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Celebrity Cameo Videos to End All Celebrity Cameo Videos

Before I get into this in a little more detail, watch this video...

Back? Need a minute? 15 minutes? Smelling salts? Frankly, nothing would surprise me. This video is a trailer from the Norwegian show Gylne Tider. And apparently, the premise is exactly what the trailer suggests - 3 Norwegian guys meeting celebrities.

So, at least the above video makes sense. Not a whole lot, but it's Norway, it's dark a lot, and I can see something like this being popular. So popular that it would beg for a sequel, correct?

I'm not sure where to start. I like to think I could come up with a comparable list of B, C, D and Z celebrities, but honestly, I'm not 100% sure.

Here's my top 10 list of "perfect" celebrities that show up, in descending order...

10. Corbin Bernsen
9. Alberto Tomba
8. Rick Schroeder - 2 reasons his inclusion is awesome: 1. Because I bet he demanded to be called "Rick." 2. Because his credit is The Champ. It's a movie from 1979!
7. Larry Drake - Better known as Benny from L.A. Law. Though I really wish they went with Dr. Giggles there. (The doctor is out...of his mind!)
6. Jamie Walters - you know Ray, from 90210. The guy who hit Donna! And then went on to have an illustrious singing career...possibly in Norway, I'm not really sure.
5. Bud Spencer (Spaghetti western director) Umm...yeah.
4. Roger Moore (obviously if you're going to have a Bond villain in the previous video, you find the best Bond to follow it up)
3. Right Said Fred - Might be the biggest coup, since who would have any idea where to find them.
2. Rednex - Ooops, spoke too soon.
1. Phillip Michael Thomas (I swear this might be a computer generated image - the guy hasn't changed a lick!)

Some other random thoughts...

Seriously, they couldn't go Kerrigan/Harding? Was Kerrigan too hard a get? (Though Witt has aged very gracefully! Until she does that air guitar.)

Jason Alexander seems just a little too excited to be included in this.

Phillip Michael Thomas seems to have the perfect level of excitement to be included in this.

I'm fascinated how this comes together. Obviously, it's computer generated, and these celebrities aren't on some beach all lip synching a Beatles song. But how did this Norwegian television show get this footage. Do they interview these celebrities and on the way out, at the end, ask them to lip sync a few bars? And then did Phillip Michael Thomas ad lib the air guitar or was that in the script? Did David Faustino actually approach them? I need the answers to these questions!

Shocked Mickey Rourke didn't participate in the lip synching.

Jason Alexander has to be the biggest get right? He certainly doesn't need the exposure of something like this. So he's just doing this because...?

For celebrity that pulls the whole thing off with the most dignity (or least amount of dignity lost), I'd have to say it's a tie between Glenn Close and Judd Nelson. Understated and brief appearances. Kudos to you two!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Old People Fight Club

I love everything about this ad for Blu-Ray except the tagline "Don't mess with an original."

Are you kidding me? Old people reenacting Fight Club? That's absolutely the perfect idea to mess with an original! And these guys are good. Never mind the Brad Pitt guy - the people watching are pitch perfect.

Tom Bosley Working Out

Because it's Friday, and what could be better Friday viewing than the Happy Day's Dad going through an exercise workout?

At first, I couldn't understand why Tom Bosley would subject himself to something like this. But then I realized, just like every other male out there, if you have a chance to get closer to an attractive, spandex clad lass, you do it. Kudos, Mr. Bosley!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"I do extensive reading."

Don't ever doesn't matter if you hold office, if you've been elected by the majority...most times people are stupid.

NASA's Big Announcement

Today, at 2:00, NASA has scheduled a press conference. Some are speculating they might announce the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Others, not so much (arsenic based life forms? That demands a press conference?).

In honor of the press conference today, I have created a list of potential announcements...

After 43 years, after countless hours of number crunching, we finally figured out the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Roddy Piper was right, and we should indeed put on the glasses.

The ending to Moonraker was totally real, totally badass, and way better in actual space. Also, Richard Kiel actually was stranded in space to achieve the real poignancy.

YES! We faked the moon landing. Al that footage? It's actually Mars.

That space ice cream that sell at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum? Yeah, marketing gimmick. None of our astronauts eat that. In fact, we fucking hate the Smithsonian.

We totally made up the planet Venus.

Deckard wasn't a replicant! His lack of humanity and emotion was to show a stark contrast to how the replicants wanted to achieve human emotions! Idiots.

Yes, there's water on like 6 of the other planets in our solar system. Big deal!

On the other side of the sun, in the exact same orbit as our Earth, is an Earth 2. Everything is exactly the same there as it is here, except one thing: Rutger Hauer survives at the end of Nighthawks.

Seriously, we know it isn't PC, but we just can't take Stephen Hawking seriously when he talks

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GWAR really doesn't like Sarah Palin

Seeing GWAR is on my bucket list - but after watching this clip it seems like it might be more an act of attrition than an act of enjoyment. Not because of the political content, more because of the music content.

Ranking the Coen Brothers' Movies

Obviously this is a subjective list, so anger over it is fairly meaningless. I do like that the author put some thought into each entry, and I really can't argue with the bottom five. Where things get a little hinky for me is the low rating of Miller's Crossing (which I think was the first movie that showed the Coen Brothers were going to be around for a long time and weren't just "gimmick" directors.

I also think No Country for Old Men is ranked horrendously low, and also don't like the argument against it the author poses (the nature of the content?) However, I'd be hard pressed to bump a movie out of the top 5 to put it in there.

Anyway, check out the list here, and get angry (after all, this IS the internet) for yourself.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with Werner Herzog

The filmmaker Werner Herzog is an inspiration to me. Mostly because he's completely insane. Sometimes, being insane is bad. Like when you're a serial killer. But when you're a movie director, I think it's a great trait.

Anyway, here's an interview with the man. And if you've never heard of him or his movies, take a moment to educate yourself. Here's his wiki page, and here's a fantastic video of him commenting on his relationship with actor Klaus Kinski:

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Best Death Scene Ever."

At least that's how it's billed on YouTube. And while I don't usually buy into the superlatives of YouTube users, I'm confident this has been labeled correctly.

FBI Training Video

So yeah...

No one has ever accused the FBI of being "current," but this video really takes the cake. Apparently a training video to give local/state police precincts a better understanding of Satanic ritual killings (my memory could be hazy but the late 80s/early 90s these were prevalent in the news media), this shows you exactly how out of touch people really can be...

First, let's take a look at the set. Maybe it's just me, but a morgue or sterile medical setting seems slightly more professional than a 3-2-1 Contact set. But hey, I'm not a federal investigator.

Wardrobe? I'd like to tell you how the video ended, but the shirt gave me a seizure. I can only imagine the producer speaking to the guy the night before...

Producer: "Ok, so have you got the script?"
Investigator: "Yes, I've been going over it. Looks good. Actually, I do have a question though."
Producer: "Ok..."
Investigator: "What should I wear? Something conservative? A suit?"
Producer: "No, we don't want this to be too stodgy. We want it current, so the video has a long shelf life. So maybe a nice shirt or something."
Investigator: (hangs up). "Yes! Off to Chess King!"

The constant references to a "model" are a nice touch, until he pulls the sheet and reveals an attractive, actual model. I thought for sure it would be a mannequin, or at the very least some Resuci-Annie they borrowed from the American Red Cross. But no, they zigged when I thought they would zag. And we're all reaping the rewards. The model is pretty, and just the sort of person you would expect to be targeted by a Satanic cult. Her bikini is stylish (I'm wondering if she and the main guy went to the mall together, and when he made a right to the Chess King, she headed down to Hot Topic), and while the pen drawn tattoos certainly betray the realism they had going, (I guess she isn't a method actor) aside from the slight breathing, she makes a great corpse. You can tell the cameraman was a fan of her work, as he lingered about a beat too long on the breast pentagrams.

I think however, my favorite part of the video comes at the 2:10 mark. Up until this point we've been presented with a fairly straightforward tutorial on what to look for on a suspected ritual killing crime scene and corpse. What to look for in regards to body markings and particular scarring. And then we get treated to this gem...

"Another thing that is oftentimes done in ritualistic homicides, is a penis is placed in the mouth of the deceased victim."

Now, I'm obviously no crime scene investigator, but something like that probably is going to be observed before the cuts on the back of a victim's heel. You might want to bring up the mouth/penis chit chat a little earlier in the tutorial. Just give everyone a heads up (no pun intended).

I can only hope more of these videos come to light, and they necessitated more wardrobe changes. Please. I beg whoever might have access.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Um, So This Happened...

I'm assuming this is either a viral video for the Russian version of The Office, or some sort of marketing promotional video for a Russian sex boutique...

Stray observations...

  • One guy, and like 7-8 attractive women. It's a mail order bride service, right?
  • They spent like 6 minutes choreographing the dance moves right? It eerily reminds me of a night I spent at Ommegang brewery (4 people will get that joke).
  • No, I don't speak the language, so I'm not 100% what they're trying to promote, but I'm fairly certain they failed.
  • No, seriously, what's the deal with the Russian Michael Scott? I need to know his story.
  • You know this whole thing was the Russian Michael Scott's idea, right?

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Star Is About to be Born

Lyoto Machida, a light heavyweight in the UFC is scheduled to fight Rampage Jackson this weekend in the Octagon. Why should you care? Only because Mr. Machida is getting fighting advice from the one and only Steven Seagal...

Now, I'm going to assume once Rampage gets news of this, the fight will be off. But in the off chance that it isn't called, it looks like I'll be ordering UFC PPV this weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Movie Trailers: Battle Los Angeles

Ever since hearing this movie was a mix of Black Hawk Down and Independence Day, I've been intrigued. And now, here's the trailer...

Initial thoughts - I'm underwhelmed. While it certainly has some moments where it delves into gritty, urban warfare, I'm worried it jumps around too much all over the globe. Black Hawk Down worked because it felt tight, claustrophobic. You cared about the characters not because you knew who they were (seriously, character development was a dirty word on that movie), you cared about them because of the fucked up situation they were in. And this Battle: Los Angeles has the chance to up that ante.

Let's hope it's just a bad trailer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Michael Caine Impersonations About Michael Caine Impersonations

Looks like I have a new show to hunt down and watch...

I only wish they would have done Michael Caine in Jaws: The Revenge. Then my day would have been complete.

Politics Are Stupid

I’m not an overtly political person.

Yes, I vote. No I don’t campaign. My wife suggests I can barely match my clothes; I don’t think I’m the right person to help steer the country.

And yes, I hate it when people don’t vote. But I realize that’s a choice too, and I’m in no position to tell anyone what to do and not do. But yeah, I really hate it. It takes like 30 seconds. It doesn’t hurt. You can make a joke out of it if you want. And I can’t think of any reason not to do it. Remember New Coke? We could have been stuck with New Coke if people didn’t vote. And Coke 2: Electric Bugaloo (as my college roommate called it) was terrible. (Though if they called it Coke 2: Electric Bugaloo I probably would have voted for it. Because, c’mon – breakdancing movies are never bad references.)

Yes, I believe big business runs this country…way more than any Democrat or Republican. Policy is made more on their interests than the interests of the people. I’m pretty sure this belief is why I loved Rubicon (and that was my contractually obligated “Watch Rubicon” moment of this post).

Yes, I could go into minutely fine detail about conspiracies I believe in about the voting public and how little we know about the government and how it creates policy, but we’re all seen (or should see) 3 Days of the Condor. Redford did it much better than I ever could, and did it much more handsomely than I ever will be.

All that said, this past election and the current climate it’s created is stupid.

And it has nothing to do with the results on election night (well not too much at least).

It wasn’t hard to predict the democrats would lose some control. People are mad because the economy isn’t doing as well as it used to do, and, when in doubt, blame the people in charge. Right or wrong, that’s pretty much always going to happen. Attention spans are not are strong suit in this country, unless it involves The Simpsons.

I hate hearing the Republicans, immediately after winning, talking about getting the president out of office in 2012. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love spite. It drives many of my decisions. And it is not healthy at all. I don’t recommend it for anyone. But I also don’t represent people’s interests, or create policy that affects a large body of people.

I also hate that the Democrats are lamenting they didn’t have enough time for their programs/policies/whatever to work. The arrogance they displayed, up until they realized they were going to lose their all-power status, was kinda lame. And the message that we now must all come together…? Yeah, something, something dollar short.

I hate labels. I hate that politics have come down to “what team are you on.” I hate that the interests of the people are ignored while the people in charge throw marketing taglines out there, but deliver nothing. It’s not about winning or losing, guys. It’s about, you know, the people?

Politics are a game. Just like Monopoly. Democrats and Republicans are the wheelbarrow and thimble traipsing around the board. And we are the Chance and Community Chest cards. Sure, everyone wants to win second place in a beauty contest. But you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the real prize they’re playing for is 2 hotels on Boardwalk.

It’s a shame it’s gotten like this. Because I don’t think the country is divided as politicians make it out to be. At the end of the day, we want to see progress. And yet all we’re getting is victory speeches and promises that the “other guys” will be gone soon. And the victory speeches are even that good. Has no one ever seen “Victory?” Take a page from Pele. His speech is way more passionate than anything I’ve seen in the past 18 months – bad acting and all.

I’ll still vote. Because I like to vote. It makes me feel good. I like wearing a sticker the rest of the day. It makes me feel as though I did something important. I like getting a quizzical look from the older gentleman volunteering at the polls as I give him the double guns on the way out. I like the nice little rush when I walk out of the booth. I just wish the elected officials got that rush too. But watching the elections, and the back and forths, something tells me, they’d hate getting the double guns from me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Abandoned Amusement Park

If you've ever had the desire to head to an Amusement Park after hours, this video might change your mind.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hammer's Back!

Word to the wise - you don't diss MC Hammer. Jay-Z did recently (in a song from Kanye West - does someone have a flowchart so I can keep up?) and then this happened...

As far as diss tracks go, I dunno. I mean the visuals are certainly there, what with fat Jay-Z running through the woods, but the song...well it leaves a little to be desired.

Obviously Hammer saw an opportunity to become relevant again for a bit, and hawk his clothing line, so kudos to him for wrapping all that in a new song. But really, it feels a little forced, and not at all catchy. Next time you want to go for crazy, please consult the master:

YouTube Recommends...

Not sure what YouTube recommends for you, but this is what I get, and I felt I just had to share it with you...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Near Decathlon of Live Music

I go to a lot of shows.

More than most, less than some.

But never have I had this many of my favorite bands play back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back like I did these past 2 weeks.

9 shows in 11 nights.

2 in NYC, the rest in Philly.

Only 1 was a why-the-hell-not show.  The rest all featured an artists whose music means the world to me and I see every chance I get.

And they kept slotting into my calendar perfectly, like Tetris if it were designed by Bill Graham, rather than some drunken Russkie.

This is their story.


1. Tuesday, October 19th: Two Cow Garage @Mojo on Main, Newark, DE

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’re probably sick of me pimping these guys. They’re my favorite band that no one’s seen.  They write poetic songs sung with insistent, raspy vocals, giving it a Jason & The Scorchers drinking with the Replacements vibe.

Someone needs to tell me how a band capable of writing a wondrous mixed message of a song like “No Shame” isn’t at least filling small clubs.  The lyrics are all about someone ready to quit rock & roll and get a normal job.  He’s telling himself that there’s no shame in walking away from a fruitless pursuit of fame and fortune. But this is not a mournful tune.  It’s filled to the top with piss & vinegar. The song's protagonist never reveals his decision. But like the band who sings it, I don’t think he’s quitting any time soon.  At least I hope not.



Honestly, I couldn’t blame them if they did. I’ve never seen them play to more than 10-15 people.  Of course they still call down the thunder even with the sparse crowds. God help us all if they get a following.  They’re like Pol Pot in the early 60s.

I was heartened to see a full room at Mojo (formerly the East End) when I arrived in the middle of the proactively terrible second band’s set. As it turned out, most of those people were friends of the earlier acts. By the time TCG played, they were down to their usual dozen, and I think several of them were actually members of the earlier acts.

Sigh.  But the show still rocked, and I realized that the lead singer’s mannerisms and singing style reminded me of a young Elvis Costello. The set also included a cover of The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait”.  This is from an earlier show, but you get the drift:



2. Wednesday, October 20th: Greg Dulli @Johnny Brenda’s, Philly

There are 2 bands that I would donate large amounts of bone marrow to ensure that they reunite and resume blowing my mind. 

One is Sleater-Kinney (see way below).

The other is The Afghan Whigs.

Despite all my friends’ opinions and legions of unsatisfied women, I am not gay.  I would, however, go gay in a Five Hour Energy heartbeat for Mr. Greg Dulli.

He oozes charisma like really sick people ooze pus. 

His yowl comes from a bad part of Hell’s Basement, where all the hot demons make out

He’s also funny as hell.  After some early “whoo”s directed towards him: “I know, right? I see this every morning when I brush my teeth.”

But he saved the better portion of his wit for this girl at the front of the stage who was so excited that she screamed like the lead in a 1950s horror movie. 


At first it was kinda charming, then like most female sounds, it got annoying after a while.

About halfway through the show, him and his guitarist just started roasting her Jeff Ross-style:


Dulli: "Jesus, what do you sound like when you fuck?"

Guitarist: "No one's ever lived long enough to find out."

Dulli: “I want to use your voice as my car alarm.”

Guitarist: “You would find them dead by your car with blood running from their ears.”

Dulli: “It’s strange, she can only date deaf guys. ‘Yes, we can watch “Children of a Lesser God” again.’”

That’s right.  He made a Children of a Lesser God reference.

He’s always laid claim to my crotch, but now he had my heart.  To the shrieker’s credit, she seemed to take the jabs in stride.  Maybe she just loved the attention.

An early heckler gave him shit about the Reds being out of the playoffs (Dulli’s from Cincinnati).  He seemed taken aback at first, but then proceeded to gleefully needle the crowd about the Phillies, especially after they lost Game 4 of the NLCS during the latter part of his set.  He was, of course, lustily booed. “I wasn’t going to say anything about the Phillies, but you guys started shit.”

Oh, and the actual show? Good. It was semi-acoustic, which is not the ideal Dulli venue, but it whetted my appetite for when he returns next year with the full Twilight Singers band.

You can hear a little bit of the shrieker in these clips, especially the first one which drowns out the song at times.



3. Thursday, October 21st: My Morning Jacket @Terminal 5, New York City

Are My Morning Jacket the Best Live Act going?  Possibly.

All I know is that I hadn’t seen them live for a couple of years, and my soul was worse for it. Much worse.

I caught them at Penn’s Landing a few months back, and they reaffirmed my faith in them.  As if it needed any.

I head up to New York for shows sporadically, but a midweek jaunt up there necessitates a special event.  Either it’s a band I love who is skipping Philly (they’re assholes), it’s a special event-type show (e.g. The Decemberists doing Hazards of Love in its entirety at Radio City Music Hall), or it’s Marah (i.e. I get to see fellow fans/friends/foes I don’t see too often).

This show fell into the second category.  MMJ were doing 5 nights at Terminal 5.  Each night focused on a different album (Tennessee Fire, At Dawn, It Still Moves, Z, Evil Urges).  This was an easy choice for me.  ISM is almost definitely in my Top 10 Albums of All Time, possibly even Top 5 with gusts up to Top 3.

My friend Andrea surprised me by attending the show when she had originally planned to catch some random CMJ gigs and meet up for drinks afterward.  But she generously gifted the CMJ badge she had won from some blog to a fan who would get more use out of it and got a ticket for the MMJ show that I had thought to be sold out.

We had been having an ongoing battle over whether Terminal 5 was, in her words, “a shoebox”.  I had only been there once before for Hold Steady/Drive-By Truckers, and my memory of it was that it was rather large.  Maybe I got the venue confused with Chuck Klosterman, who I saw at that show. As I arrived, I was willing to concede that it was not as large as I remembered, but wasn’t ready to deem it of shoeboxian dimensions.

The beer selection seemed limited to MGD, so I opted for a Vermont (Vodka Tonic). A small, shitty one at that. 

We made our way out to the floor, trying to get to the other side of the sold-out room.  About halfway through we quickly realized that we had found the base camp from which we would ascend Mount Jimjames.  We also realized that it would be a dry base camp since it would have taken a herculean effort to fight our way out and then back in with drinks. By far the least I’ve drunk on an overnight trip to NYC in many a year.

The show started and an unusually raucous NYC crowd soaked up every last note.  The first set was “It Still Moves” done in order, and it was proven yet again those songs were not meant to be caged in a digital prison of 1s and 0s. Ideally, they’d be played on a cliff overlooking the ocean while the world ends.  But this was an acceptable Plan B.

The second set was notable for its covers, including Dylan’s “Tonight, I’ll Be Staying Here With You”, The Band’s “Makes No Difference”, and the legendary Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”.  The Dylan cover worked the best.  As much as I love “Makes No Difference”, if it isn’t Rick Danko’s falsetto singing it, it ain’t breaking my heart. And the campy cover of Mr. Richie was fun, but a little bit anticlimactic way to end the evening.






4. Friday, October 22nd: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (w/ Langhorne Slim) @The North Star Bar, Philly

The day after MMJ in NYC was a busy one.  I had taken the day off of work, so I used the opportunity to grab lunch with Brooklyn friends on the Upper East Side for lunch. I also took advantage of the time to trek up to Queens so I could look over the shoulder of an editor working on a film project of mine and give him bad advice.

By the time Friday night back in Philly rolled around, the the late nights were beginning to catch up with me.  I showed up during Langhorne Slim’s opening set and took a folded-arms, Missouri state motto attitude.  He did indeed show me, as I was pleasantly surprised by the energy he put out.

The room was pretty packed, but after Mr. Slim left the stage, he took about half of them with him.  I don’t mean that literally.  I highly doubt he took them into a series of unmarked vans and drove off to a compound which doesn’t exist on any maps for purposes nefarious or humanitarian. Because that would be weird.

I’m not a huge fan of The North Star as a venue.  Unless you’re right up front, the sightlines are terrible, the sound not much better. And because there’s no way for people to get back to the bar except to fight through the crowd, you’re dealing with people jostling you in both directions much more than at other, more open venues.

And because of Langhorne Slim’s alleged compound, the area in front of the stage opened up, and a hell of a good show commenced. The half that stayed was definitely into the show.

His vocals were muddy as hell, but every guitar lead was crystal clear. And for a change of pace, Jason was taking all of them.  Normally, I enjoy the back & forth he has with Browan Lollar, his regular and quite skilled lead guitarist.  But Lollar was on tour with Azure Ray.  So it was a rare and sweet opportunity to hear Jason’s formidable guitar work front and center.

Especially notable were a few covers (“Atlantic City”, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”) and some new songs.





5. Saturday, October 23rd: The Felice Brothers @Johnny Brenda’s, Philly

At the Newport Folk Festival earlier this year (my write-up), my friend Jarsh said of The Felice Brothers that he enjoyed their music.  But also that if you’ve seen one of their shows, you’ve seen them all.

While I can see his point, their unbridled and raucous musical joy never fail to leave me stoop-shouldered and grinning.

If Jarsh had been at this show, however, I think his opinion would have changed.

It was a dark, brooding set.  The rave-ups were much more the exception than the rule.  Songs were heavy on keys, though the undertone they added was more gloom than frivolity.

I’ve no idea whether this signals a permanent change in direction for them, or if they were just in a dark mood. As much as I love the stuff they’ve done, I’m intrigued as hell to see if this is them evolving from fun to something more nuanced.

And in a really weird scene of déjà vu (see the Dulli notes), someone in the crowd gave the band shit about the Yankees losing (they’re from upstate New York).  So of course the band responded by giving the crowd shit about NLCS Game 6 (Phils were losing at the time), asking what the score was, etc. Luckily for their safety, they didn’t pile on when word got around that the Phils lost.





6. Monday, October 25th: Marnie Stern @Kung Fu Necktie, Philly

This show was the only one I didn’t buy tickets for as soon as I heard about it.  In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the wisest thing to eschew a rare off-night during this run.  But I had kinda rested up the night before with no shows, and my friend Lindi would also be attending with her (other) friend Chris.

Wasn’t that familiar with Marnie’s stuff, but she was getting a lot of buzz.  I checked out a few YouTubes and was rather intrigued. She uses a distinct style of finger-tapping guitar that works beyond just gimmickry. Sure, it’s technically proficient, but unlike a lot of hyped Indy bands, it sounded like she brought the rock.

As I walked through the doors of the upscale scuzzy Kung Fu Necktie, I saw Marnie Stern punching the guy working the door in the arm.  Hard.  She had spunk, which I liked.

The opener was some kind of industrial band who afforded me the opportunity to learn what it would sound like to live inside a power drill.  The best thing I can say is that they were brief.

Marnie's set was impressive.  The sound wasn’t great, so her vocals kinda disappeared into the noise.  Her guitar work was impressive, and the band held my interest. Which may sound like faint praise, but given my level of familiarity with her work, it’s not.

As I tweeted that night:

I'm bad at deconstructing band math, but Marnie Stern kinda equals Zeppelin + Pixies + MUCH less annoying Yoko. I'm digging it.



7. Tuesday, October 26th: Corin Tucker Band @Bowery Ballroom, New York City

8. Thursday, October 27th: Corin Tucker Band @First Unitarian Church, Philly –

It was a dark, dark, day when Sleater-Kinney decided to take a permanent(?) hiatus a few years back.  I saw one of their last shows, and they indisputably left at the top of their game. They’re easily one of my Top 5 bands of all time, and if they ever deign to return in full force, I can see myself taking several days off of work and follow them around like some kind of mustachioed puppy.

They had many weapons in their arsenal, but one of my favorites was the piercing vibrato of Miss Corin Tucker.  It could shake you to your core in one beat and then warmly caress you the next.

As I tweeted during the NYC show:

If I could make pajamas from Corin Tucker's voice they'd be as soft & warm as flannel but simultaneously impervious to all metal implements.

So when she announced a solo album and tour, I was there with bells on.  And like a greedy trick-or-treater, I decided to double up.  I didn’t know the next time I would be able to hear her voice live again.

Corin’s first solo effort is quite good. It’s overall a lot quieter than S-K and a lot of the rough edges have been winningly smoothed over.  But don’t start playing “I Knew the Bride When She Used To Rock & Roll”, just yet.  There’s still a fierce backbone supporting the softness.

The Bowery show was weird.  Enjoyable? Yes.  Was I over the moon to be in a room with her playing again? Most definitely.  But the energy in the room was minimal, even by jaded New York show standards. As raucous as the MMJ crowd was, the Bowery audience was (I guess) reverent.  And that’s being generous.  Granted, it was a Tuesday night. But I would think that most of the people there were Sleater-Kinney fans, and S-K evoked high levels of passion from their fanbase.  That was not in evidence.

Meanwhile, back in Philly on Thursday, I was knee-deep in passion. The venue definitely helped, as a Unitarian church basement provided a level of intimacy lacking from the Bowery.  A crowd of similar size put tenfold more heart into their reactions.  And the show was better for it.  Corin seemed a lot more relaxed and into it throughout.  Especially in the encore:

  1. “Miles Away” with just her heart-rending voice and some light keys.  Both nights, this was a show-stopper. It almost made me wish she had done more of the quieter songs as stripped-down as this. The few up-tempo #s from the album worked well with the full band, but it was overkill on several of them.
  2. “Party Girl”, which I believe is an Elvis Costello cover.  To his song, she applies a torch singer’s fiery touch. Remember that scene in “A League of Their Own” where Marla Hooch sings her heart out to this nebbish guy? Well, this was a billion times better.
  3. And finally, a cover of Sheila E.’s “The Glamorous Life”, which is one of those covers you don’t recognize at first, and then about 45 seconds you’re all “OMG OMG OMFG!”.  Yeah, this was one of those.

One moment early on struck me hard. The way she sang the word “taste” in “Handed Love”, that was a moment I could be trapped in an endless loop to experience, and I would likely go mad.  Not from repetition, but from sheer joy.

And finally, I have to give props to Corin Tucker’s hotness. She’s one of those girls that is cute off-stage, but when she grabs the mike, straps on the guitar, and shakes her hair back and forth? In the words of Jay Sherman, HACHI-MACHI!

First is the fiery “Doubt”, followed by the 3 encore songs.  How can the same woman be responsible for the extremes of the first 2 videos? Fucking incredible.






9. Friday, October 28th: Lucero/Social Distortion @Electric Factory, Philly

And then there was 1.

Or, 2 rather.

Lucero & Social Distortion are 2 of my favorite bands who have 2 of my least favorite fan bases in one of my least-favorite venues.  So something had to give.

Lucero is a band that has definitely grown on me in recent years.  Their most recent effort, 1372 Overton Park, added some horns and variety to their sound.  They’re growing.

Social Distortion is largely coasting by on an impressive catalog.

In my mind, these 2 should be co-headlining. That was, however, not the case. It was overwhelmingly a Social D show, but as Lucero paced their way through a brief, 45-minute set, you could see little pockets of Lucero fans.

Social Distortion was solid and professional.  I particularly enjoyed the songs they played off of the criminally underrated “White Light White Heat White Trash” album. 

But my needle was pushing hard on E by the end of their main set, so I bailed before the encore.



That was one hell of a run.  Every show was interesting in its own right.  None of them were all-time favorites, but shit-eating grins still abounded.

My 2 favorites were probably the Philly Corin Tucker show and the Felice Brothers.

Will the fates conspire to ever provide me with such a run again?  Probably not.

But unless I’m dead or syphilitic, I’ll saddle up and ride again.