Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #01

And #01?

How about A Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis by Tom Waits.

I prefer the album version over this, mainly because the laugh-track audience members are a bunch of jerkoffs.

Anyway, Merry Chistmas.

And if I did have all the money I used to spend on dope (cigs) I would probably buy me a used car lot, too.

Drive a different car each day depending on how I feel.

Seriously, dude's awesome.


Merry Christmas.

One more time.






Goodbye.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #02

Another year has come and gone.
I don't know if this year has pleased or not,
but time will tell sooner or later.
I did make some noise here and there,
unreality wise.
In real life, though, I'm still stuck
in this tiny doldrum made even more
unspectacular by a little trip to the ER
today. I think I'm fine.
Time will tell about that, too.

I think I let little things get to me--
yeah, the pools and spurts of blood
pouring out of my leg
kinda bum me out a little--
when I really shouldn't.
I think I just need to suck it up.
Suck it up and say, "Okay,
okay, World. You stated your position clearly,
now I'm gonna state mine.
Get in the fucking car! Now!"
Okay, so quoting Stand By Me to the
theoretical world is sorta odd,
but it's the holiday.
It's Christmas.

It's Christmas.


This post goes out to everyone
and no one. It's for those who
say, "More later," and those
who halfway mean it.
It's to the family, the friends,
the young, the old, the X;
it's for the heart I wish you
the best. For my heart,
I wish you the best.

The hell's with the rhyme(?), but anywho. . .

Usually, I'd be up with the pope and
wrapping up gifts and making my chocolate,
peanut butter, oatmeal kickass cookies.

This year, I'll probably tidy it up early,
prop my leg up (a little Christmas varicose mouse
came out to see if Santa had come this morning;
hopefully all the blood is cleaned up by now),
and drift off for another Christmas Eve.

It's Christmas after all.

I hope it has found you all in spirit.
I really hope it has.


I guess this is about the best time to do this, if ever tonight.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodly good night!

TTPOC: #03 Review: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

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Yule Crack Up!



National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) tells the story of one man's attempt to have an old-fashioned happy family Christmas. A holiday classic, Vacation is an excellent comedy that should be in everyone's collection. It just seems it isn't Christmas without it.

Chevy Chase stars as Clark W. Griswold (reprising his role from the earlier vacation films), a Romantic at heart who will stop at nothing to get his family into the real meaning of Christmas spirit. But as his house quickly fills up between warring in-laws, his nitpicking children, an uninvited cousin-in-law (with family and RV in tow), animals going ape, and a year-end bonus check up in the air, he's finding out that the holiday is driving him insane.



'Tis The Season To Be Merry!


A far-ranging comedy, from the toilet to the heartstrings (it was written by the wonderful John Hughes), Christmas Vacation works on so many levels because we've all been there in spirit. Sure, our cousin-in-law may've never emptied his shitter into our storm drain, and maybe an asshole uncle has never burned down the Christmas tree, but it's all about nerves, and I bet anyone has had his balls (her toes) stepped on by a relative at some point in time.





And that's the point of this comedy or any good story when dealing with issues of an everyday nature. The normal frustrations of a family Christmas (finding the perfect tree, getting a sudden headache, not getting what we wanted or expected) is amplified to a Godly power of ten here. And it shows us the true spirit of the holiday season—namely that shit happens, so just suck it up and be thankful for having family and friends to be able to hold company with.

Chase plays his character well, moving in an almost manic fashion about the spectrum of sanity. His eyes outplay his words in many memorable moments, which are always an excellent indication of someone adding more than just breath behind a line of script. The big rant about his boss is awesome, especially the huffing call for Tylenol at the end of it.





Chase is supported here by a talented cast, which includes Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, William Hickey, and Brian Doyle-Murray among others, and each helps the production get the most out of Hughes's script. Randy Quaid stands out as Cousin Eddie, a man described as having a bigger heart than brain. A likable character, Eddie's equipped with enough persona and peculiarities to have a script all his own ( not the abomination fourteen years later, mind you, but a Hughes script. Seriously, wtfwt?).

As far as comedy goes, most of the bits here hit solidly, with only a few odd or flat. The only real aspect of it I don't really care for is the whole grating Yuppie couple next door bits. Some of it's okay, but I guess it just feels kinda out of place.






A holiday movie with tons of laughs, a good heart, and some memorable moments, Christmas Vacation is a necessity for this time of year.

For its Era/Genre/Etc.: Awesome
Overall: Great.





Aside: I just fair used the hell out of Ms. Scorsese. Yowza!

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #04

Friday the 24th is a Christmas inspired slasher game. You're Jason Vorhees and the elves have stolen your bubblegum. Dodge presents as you hack the little suckers to juice.

Merry Christmas!

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #05

Mr. Garrison's Seasons Greetings From South Park. Unedited, of course.










Freaking awesome. Must confess that even for a Youtube vid, it does leave a tad to be desired.

Yeah, the quality is sort of blah...but the concept is there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE2jFqCpZio

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #06

A Charlie Brown Heavy Metal Christmas:





Pretty cool. Music is "Perfect Night For A Hanging" by Tourniquet.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #07

Rudolph's Revenge is a very, very, very simply drawn shooter, which gets a bit difficult after about sixty of the little bastards. Fire away as Rudolph takes revenge against dive-bombing caterers to Santa's razor whip.


Or something.





It's pretty cool and sorta festive.



The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #08

The greatest Christmas outburst ever!






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGxyIhsSAow




A review of Christmas Vacation will come tomorrow. It's one my Christmastime favorites.

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #09

A Christmas Poem by some dude named Richard E. Hardacre.

It's pretty funny, pretty true, and not safe for work/children/anyone who wants Santa to come two days from now.


That means you!!!





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK_jIUZyOFI

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #10

Christmas Eve Sarejevo by Savatage.
That's right, not TSO, it's by Savatage.
They should mention the fact that this song comes from the great
metal opera disc, Dead Winter Dead. At least get it some exposure.
Everyone should check it out. Great story, great music!

Anyway...





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iY4Tom6-wM

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #11

MadTV's take on Rudolph w/ a Scorsese touch.

Raging Rudolph.








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-qM78XinyE


I remember this one from the way back. I kind of miss the old episodes of MadTV that used to be syndicated late-nights a few years ago. No cable / No fun : (

Anyway, woot! Christmas!

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #12

Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero



No embed allowed, so just click Al's pic to see the vid.


The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #13

Merry Christmas from the Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job!













http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwfaceTfwYs

Friday, December 21, 2007

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Ol' Red by Blake Shelton:






Awesome song. Pretty good video, too.

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Turret Wars!

It's an okay tower defense game. Cool weaponry. Its main knock would be no bestiary/immunity guides and no way to tell, as far as I can figure, how much damage the creeps can take.

But it's pretty cool; plus, you can choose different landscapes to defend.


Enjoy!



http://www.victorygaming.com/development/games/turret_wars.html

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Review: Assault On Precint 13 (1976)

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Got a smoke?



Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) is ninety minutes of raw filmmaking that blends elements from a classic John Wayne western and George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead and creates an exhilarating picture about man rising and risking all for survival when outnumbered dozens-to-one. It's ninety minutes of excellent suspense and action.

Above all, it's ninety minutes of kick-ass entertainment.

Austin Stoker stars as Ethan Bishop, a lieutenant out on his first night of duty, who has just been given the boring task of watching over a police station that's in the process of being relocated. As the night comes on, events come together that will eventually lead to a balls-to-the-wall second half you'll hardly forget.

The first event comes with the unexpected arrival of a prison bus transporting three prisoners that needs to pit when one of the men becomes ill. On board is Napoleon Wilson, a smooth-talking, sardonic, smart-ass murderer played perfectly by Darwin Joston.

Later, after a father gets a bit of revenge on a group of thugs who've killed his daughter, he runs for help, which means he runs into the sleepy little station. Freaking out and developing shock, he leaves the lieutenant and the staff puzzled to the hell coming for them. Unlucky for all involved, it seems the area's local gangs have joined forces through a blood truce and oath, forming a stop-at-nothing army called Street Thunder, and they are ready to die for the destruction of mankind.



Unlucky for all involved, they've followed the father to the station.

Under siege and quickly losing hope of rescue, Lieutenant Bishop turns to the convicts and the staff to help take up arms to defend the station from the crazies who've come for their blood.

Assault on Precinct 13 is a finely crafted work of suspense and action by the great John Carpenter, which really makes the most within its duality of genres. As often is the case, Carpenter's score becomes as big a character as some of the flesh and blood folks on the screen. From the simple, iconic repetition of the main theme to the scenes of sadness and shock, the music here works like a Morricone score; it not only ties the audience's eye and ear to the levels of scene, but adds entertainment to otherwise long and silent sections of the movie.

One of the brightest spots of the production comes from the actors. Made on a shoestring noose, Carpenter extracts wonderful performances Stoker, Joston, and Carpenter regular Charles Cyphers.



The standout amongst them, for me, is none other than Laurie Zimmer, in the role of Leigh, the abandoned station's secretary. A strong, icy portrayal, it's hard not to be caught off guard to her beauty or her tough-girl tone. Easy on the eyes and quick on the trigger, Zimmer is a helluva a find that Hollywood apparently did not ever see. She didn't have a very long career in the business. Very sadly.

Joston's Napoleon Wilson is awesome. Laid back and smooth as shit, Wilson is a one-lining machine, keeping the action strong and the mood just a shade chipper than the whole gang-of-zombie-like-hoods-attacking-random-people-for-seemingly-no-reason scenario should normally be. His mellow persona makes the movie ten times better than if he'd been played any other way.



The only slight knock against the film would be some of the cinematography in spots, mainly because of the pain-in-the-ass it is to do anything related with photography in a dark setting, and it looks like the print is a bit too underexposed to see in spots (especially at at least one key part). Other than this small quibble (and perhaps Wilson's back story could have used just a little tweaking to unwind a touch of the ambiguity), Assault on Precinct 13 is a badass film by the talented Carpenter.


For its Genre/Era/X: Awesome.

Overall: Awesome.

Rated R for violence.


.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dolphins Wins!!!

Dolphins Wins!!!
That sounds so retarded, but it's accurate, fools.
It was a team effort.
Fifty-some-odd folks marching into glorious battle
As one.

Okay, so it was an overtime squeaker.

Here's a sexy Miami Dolphins cheerleader, so zippit!





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB-jTNg52QI

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dolphins Wins!!! Dolphins Wins!!! Dolphins Wins!!!

Is it the greatest day in sports history?
No.


But dang it, we got a win.

Friday, December 14, 2007

NP: Basil Poledouris - Battle of the Mounds



A Christmas review next week.
I haven't watched it yet, but it's gonna be something classic (modern or otherwise).
Four days of work left before break.
Eleven days till Christmas.
Then, the new year.
Then, my birthday.
Then, who knows?

Posting may be infrequent soon.
They have been since I went back to work, I know,
but that's the nature of it.

I keep thinking about snow.
Thinking about snow.
I want to see snow.
My paternal grandpa died ten days after I turned five,
and we had the biggest snow that year.
I don't think it's been matched since.

For a while, I used to go "work" with him and Dad
after "play" school
(pre-school before there was such a thing),
but I can't remember much more about those days
than the scent of the cigarettes
that would catch up to him in time.

I keep thinking about that snow.
I can't remember shit anymore, but that snow,
that snow.

They were calling for some this weekend,
but it looks like we're going to get 35-degree rain.

If that ain't shit, I'll kiss your ass.

We'll probably get ice and lose power.
Yeehaw!

Just gotta keep thinking about that snow.
That snow. That snow.




Merry Christmas, Folks,
Merry Christmas.


Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Megadeth - Sleepwalker:







The lead track from their newest album, United Abominations, Sleepwalker is pretty goddamned awesome. Enjoy!





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0_ls9fOavg

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Review: Death Wish II (1982)

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Death Wish II (1982) is a good example of a film that in its own time was groundbreaking in its brutality, but one that quickly became obsolete by the direction of film making and the system in general.


Charles Bronson reprises his role as architect Paul Kersey in the first of four follow-ups to the original revenge flick. Five years removed from the gritty New York of the first film, Kersey finds himself in Los Angeles trying to get beyond his vigilante past and on with his life.


He has a new girlfriend, played by Jill Ireland (Bronson's wife in real life), is about to land a high-end contract, and has just been granted the release and custody of his daughter from institutionalization. (She was cruelly raped in the original.)


It does not take long for trouble to arise, however; a gang of hoodlums (featuring a young Larry Fishburne) robs him as he's trying to buy ice cream for his daughter, find his address off his license, and commits one of the most brutal rapes (against Bronson's maid) ever filmed. Later reading about it, and finding that a lot had to be cut for an R-rating, it makes one wonder just how much farther this envelope was pushed. Just brutal.




In fact, I can rather see why Ireland's character was not the one in the position to be attacked, being Bronson's wife and all.


To top it off, the five hoods kidnap his daughter, rape her, and then watch as she runs through a window to her death.


Knowing the police would be of no help, Kersey enters a double life. By day, he's known as architect, father, mourner—by night, stocking-capped killer badass. From here out, it's setup after setup, tracking the scumbags and laying waste to them with eyes narrow and cold.





Michael Winner returned to direct this decent follow-up, which only hits a few hitches along the way (some weak dialogue in spots, a little poor acting in others, a weak score by none other than Jimmy Page) as it gets us from normal man to vengeance personified.


What was probably unique to its time, Death Wish II has aged poorly. (This could be due to the print. I watched a Goodtimes release, all choppy in its SLP (LP) mode.) The late-seventies vibe, the look of the print, the setups for some of the revenge seems sort of too well worn nearly thirty years later. Sadly (commentary on the angle at which filmmaking has headed, perhaps?), even the brutality, specifically the rape's viciousness, seems outdated as more and more films have sought to push that envelope since.


Though the third act slows the pace to a crawl, there's just enough thrill in the vengeance bits to recommend at least one viewing of this film. It isn't for everyone. Weak stomachs will probably churn. Some people may get sick at the film's politics of vengeance over the judicial system. And some folks may just not care for blood, rape, and cold killings on a Sunday afternoon.


Bronson's performance/persona saves the film and makes the vengeance entertaining and satisfying. He is simply awesome. I give this a borderline recommendation.


For its Genre/Era/X: Great

Overall: Good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An Optical Illusion

An Optical Illusion:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You may have to click through to the actual image to see her spin as your brain tells her she should. UPDATE: *I think I got it fixed.*

I'm borderline retarded, so she always starts out clockwise, but I can make her go counter with a few thoughts this way or that.

It's pretty cool.



Work's been hell the past week or so--short-handed, tired, Christmastime folks getting all Christmas-sy with their bug-up-the-ass spirits, and I'm beginning to be all out of bubblegum.

Rejections from November have been slow to come, which is nice. In fact some have been really slow for about a year now, which sometimes makes me wonder if I'm on the b-list. ::Wink:Wink::

Just kidding.

I just need to be more patient with myself.
I just need to look forward, down that road, down that path.
I just need to break out and say pretty plush expletives at the sky.
I just need to not be me all of the time.


So, yeah, like I was saying, the nekkid-lil-miss-miss silhouette spins about, and your mind's processor tells her which way she should rotate.

Monday, December 10, 2007

NP: Morphine - Gone For Good

This is a nice little video of Morphine's sad little song.






The Video was created by a guy named David Kalb.
Excellent work!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOQXuA_x_0o

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dimebag - RIP

The anniversary of Darrell Abbott's passing is tomorrow, so I thought I'd throw a vid and some respect up on the page. A helluva guitarist, this is far from his best work, but I like how he and DAC (David Allan Coe) fused on this album.

Rest In Peace.

Rebel Meets Rebel - Nothing To Lose
:






.

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Blind Guardian - Mr. Sandman:







A pretty wtf video from this excellent band.




Their "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" CD is some of the best Power Metal ever, and it kicks ass too! (A given.)








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDFmNgmaEe0

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Megadeth - She Wolf (Live) :








Awesome solo work on display.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JgrFTXC2vQ

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Review: Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)


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Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) is the story of Neal Page's hellish journey home to be with his wife and children for Thanksgiving. Part road-trip, part slapstick, and part perfectly pitched for the holidays (and each facet adding to the charm of this gem), Planes, Trains & Automobiles is a highly entertaining film that is not only a top-tier comedy but could just be the best Thanksgiving movie ever made.

Steve Martin stars as Page, a white-collar commuter, who has been spending too much time on the eastern seaboard working and not enough time at home in Chicago living. With the holiday coming up he has sworn to make the most of the long weekend and to get back in time for dinner. Everything seems perfect, he thinks, just have to get to the airport, get on the plane, and get home.

But everything is hardly ever perfect, and it just so happens that the perfect storm of inconvenience has pinned a bulls-eye to Page's chest—the perfect marriage of a western front of ice and a nomadic Eastern pull from a shower ring salesman named Del Griffith (played by John Candy).

And with that, as they say, hilarity ensues.

With each new incident, each new conflict (iced-over airports, booked-up hotels, stolen cash and rental cars, etc.), the story moves onto setup after setup as the two men try desperately to get to Chicago. And so it goes, stop to stop, from planes to trains to automobiles, and so the viewer goes, happily along with the two comedic greats playing well against each other.

Written, Directed, and Produced by John Hughes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles is a smooth, quick-paced comedy that explores the bonds developed between strangers in times of personal crisis, where one of the men (Page) is a Type A tightass cynic and the other is a warm-hearted, outgoing lug, whose biggest deficit is that he doesn't know when to quit (talking, helping, etc.).


Those aren't pillows!


Martin plays Page to a T, as really only Martin can. His meltdown at the rental car company is one of the greatest bits ever put to print and still draws healthy laughs after so many years. The only puzzling aspect about this scene is that it takes an otherwise hard-PG movie and turns it automatically into an R. (Yes, the nudie pics in the taxi, yes, but there have been nude scenes in other films of a hard-PG before, and we're talking about pics.)

God, I hope they don't remake this (really, they've "remade" it a few times already, but I'm just being hypothetical), but I can't help imagining some jackass exec is sitting around with a fan-script and just cutting the hell and guts out of this film just to save a PG-13 or a PG rating.

Morons.



'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.


Candy's Griffith is played masterfully by the late, great comedian, and watching him transform from the annoying chatter-box fat guy (the stereotype among the elites in the arts) into the very kind, even though flawed, man he sees himself as being is one of great pleasures of the movie.

There are moments in Planes, Trains & Automobiles that really grab for the viewer and they mostly revolve around Candy. The performance is made even more bittersweet just thinking of what a talent he was and the reminder attached that he is no more.

An excellent film made by excellent actors and the often wonderful Hughes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles is a must for anyone's holiday pleasure. Sweet and funny were never put together so swell.


For its Genre/Era/X: Awesome.

Overall: Awesome.

Rated R for Language and Nudie Pics and Themes. (Hahaha. . .Seriously, WTF are Themes? I joke?)


.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You Said It, Mike. . .

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another Week On The Docket

with no place to go.

I'm back working,
back with my head down,
pile-driving through to each Friday.

Last week was filled with rejections from Thanksgiving.
That's always fun.

The computer situation killed a lot of creative momentum.
This too is fun.

I wrote myself into a corner on the script,
sort of have the idea out of the corner,
but trying to write it out,
I'm not sure exactly where the hell I am
in speaking of terms of time.
I think one of the problems is I have the main character
too loose with what should be a serious tone.
While that is one of the points, it is only a first draft
and will be subject to much, much revision.

I just realized I haven't written too much fiction this year.
There's been a short-short about baseball (and other stuff)
and some graphic stuff that I haven't typed up.

I guess this script counts as something.

I guess the dozens of poems count for something else.

Something else.

Did I waste another year?

I don't know.
I need to get some sleep,
get my shit straight,
and try to start it all over again.

Everything all over again.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Football

Tomorrow is going to be a great day for football.
At least, it should be.
Go Tech, Tenn, Sooners, Pitt,
aaanndd Frog.


?

Randy Travis - The Hole

Randy Travis - The Hole:







Maybe we could learn a little lesson
Maybe this'll shine a little light
Cause there's no healthy way to mess with
The line between a wrong and a right

Use the one chance you've been given
Cause once you're in the ground and cold
It's too late to start livin'
You see you can't dig out of the hole
--Randy Travis


Great song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHMWiISHd5s

Tom Waits - The Piano Has Been Drinking

Live on the Fernwood 2 Night parody talk show from the 70s:














http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gwUtEEjZJ8

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Consequences of Silence

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The 'puter is alive.
Programs are slowly getting in place
like good little pawns along the ranks.
No review again this week.
Maybe Friday, I'll be back
to somakinda foolery.
Featuring Tom Waits and Randy Travis.
That's right.
Tom Waits AND Randy Travis.

Later there, Stumbler-upons and friends.
Later there.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

An Office Space Re-cut Trailer:







Pretty good. Not Shining or Sleepless In Seattle good, but just a step lower.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Son Of A. . . Or, I Can No Haz A Cheeto?

It's called a RAM module.
Mine developed about a thousand errors
and fisted my poor computer's nethers.
Submissions will be a day late.
Postings are pretty much through,
until I can get back on my home-sweet-home system.
Hopefully, the little upgrades I'm planning
will sustain its life for another third-of-a-dozen years or so.
Hopefully, it doesn't turn out to be more than this.
It did boot, though, with only one DIMM, so who knows.
Was going to write up a Thanksgiving Review for today,
but it will be postponed until next Thursday.
I've got to get back to subs. I'm lucky
to be crafty enough about the chips
to be able to even do this.

And no, you can has no cheeto today.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is about the way it goes. . .







I chuckled getting it this evening, anyway.



.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Morphine -- The Saddest Song:






Pretty cool song. Good band. Check them out.






My biggest fear
is if I let you go
you'll come and get me in my sleep
Come and get me
"The Saddest Song" by Morphine from the Album: Good


Timewaster Fridays Presents:

On the next "24"









from 1994.


Awesome!

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

King Diamond Live In Zlín (Where? New Zealand? Zlin? What? Okay. . .Czech Republic, gotcha.)

Anyway, this is one of my favorite tunes of theirs (his), so without much lip:

King Diamond - A Mansion In The Darkness








It's a bit rough in spots, but otherwise nice for a Friday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKMnaOz8G7w

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Bloons Tower Defense 2


Your Enemy: Slimy Balloon (Bloons) Bastards.
Their Goal: Make it from A to B.
Your Allies: Badass Warrior Killer Monkeys (With Darts).
Your Goal: Annihilate The Enemy.




A fun twist to tower defense games, and it's pretty fun.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review: Tommy Boy (1995)

Tommy Boy






Tommy Boy (1995) tells the story of one man-child's attempt to save his family's business and the livelihoods of its three hundred workers from being wrested away and closed by a major manufacturer. It's the story of the little man overcoming great obstacles to rescue the preciousness of life.

It's about a fat guy in a little coat.

Chris Farley stars as Tommy Callahan Jr., a recent college graduate (only seven years to get his B.A.) who comes back home to work under his father at the family business making brake pads and other auto parts. Upon returning, Tommy's father (Brian Dennehy) announces that he's met someone new (Bo Derek) and that they're going to be married.

Happiness abounds for Tommy: he has a new job, a new brother (Rob Lowe), and a new lease on his frat-boy life. That is, until a heart attack strikes his father down and leaves the future of the business in the wind.

With the banks refusing to negotiate on a loan and with his world coming apart, Tommy decides to put the company on his shoulders, go out into the world, and try to sell enough brake pads to save the day. Begrudgingly along to keep him on track is Richard X (David Spade), who while seemingly playing the straight man, has many of the funniest lines in the movie.

The story from here is pretty much standard. You probably already know how it ends without even reading any further, but what keeps this picture afloat is the play of Farley and Spade, the banter, the little jokes, the cute and gruff Michelle (played by Julie Warner), and the performance by Rob Lowe.


Julie Warner Paying Respect As Farley Gets His Posthumous Star


While some of the writing and direction here are a little flat at times, what makes Tommy Boy really stand out is Chris Farley's performance. Pretty much playing infantile to a T, Tommy warms to the screen and our sensibilities, and for ninety minutes entertains us. Farley makes us want to believe in Tommy's journey.

Watching this it is hard not to be reminded of the great Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Maybe it is the command both John Candy and Farley had on their rotund salesman characters. Maybe it's the fact that much of the "Road Movie" section of Farley's piece could have been copyright infringed straight from the Steve Martin starring wonder. Whatever the case, many of the scenes in the car end up paying off f

or some decent laughs and keep the action moving.

Many people split on this movie. It just might be one of those love it/hate it situations, but Tommy Boy is hardly a waste of ninety minutes, if one. A mix of situations from other movies (some better, some worse), Tommy Boy plays pretty much like a clip reel of highlights. Most hit, some miss, but in the end you feel good to have at least seen Farley at his best before his death in 1997.

For Its Genre/Era/X: Great
Overall: Great.

Aside:

Why didn't Julie Warner get more roles during the 90s? She's attractive. She could play sweet or tough. And she has a nice presence before the camera. What happened?

It's sad. Really sad.

But apparently, she's working now, which is great.



Available now at:



Review: Collateral Damage (2002)

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A tale of unused talent.


Collateral Damage (2002) is an average action flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that shows us the length one man will go to avenge the loss of his family. Schwarzenegger stars as Gordy Brewer, a firefighter with the LAFD and former Explosives & Arson expert, who after watching his wife and child die in a terrorist bombing finds himself alone in the battle to get justice for their deaths.


Upon learning that the terrorist is part of a socialist guerrilla outfit (the ALC) in Columbia (and recognizing the bomber as being at the scene of the explosion), Brewer becomes determined to catch the sonuvabitch at any cost. The only thing standing in his way is bureaucracy. Elias Koteas co-stars as Peter Brandt, a CIA spook, who promises to do everything to help, but really, like everyone, is pretty much trying to save ass.


Cliff Curtis turns in a solid performance as Claudio Perrini, (El Lobo, The Wolf, the cocksucker about to pay and pay hard. (It sounds better on paper.)) He's the head of the ALC and wants the Americans to quit interfering with their affairs. The typical bad guy.


So anyway, the Senate Intelligence Committee shuts down all CIA operations in Columbia as a matter of allowing the terrorists to negotiate with the local government. When Brandt breaks the news to Brewer, the widower leaps headlong into action and into the jungles of Columbia determined to bring the bastard to hell.


And so it goes, exploding set pieces, violent assaults, rather unbelievable stunts and gimmicks—the usual Schwarzenegger flick.


But alas. It's not.


I think what makes and made all of Schwarzenegger's movies so great over his trek were his abilities to ham it up, throw out one-liners with the hand grenades, kick ass and take names, and leave the dead behind as paper dolls burning.


Here, they humanize the action hero. While this would work with someone like Mel Gibson, Arnold just seems too damned odd moping about the various set pieces of doom. While it's okay at first (the first act made me actually say, "wow, dude's actually putting some acting into this"), it really isn't supposed to be that way. He's Arnold Schwarzenegger, for Christ's sake. Which I guess is why the rest of the movie is so uneven and eventually kind of a waste.


For starters, Andrew Davis is an up-and-down kind of director, and this is definitely on a down. There's a scene early on, when Brewer's running from militiamen, fleeing into a river, and over a waterfall, that was so damned fake looking that I wanted to cut out my eyes. And it was made in 2001, so there is no excuse for the crappiness of the computerized effects.


Now, what really bothered me about this film was what I felt was the misuse of an excellent cast. Either casting got screwed up and scheduling became a conflict, or someone is a very bad judge of what the hell they are doing. First off, where is the buddy in this picture? Oh, you mean he is spread over a couple different characters? Oh, you mean there really isn't one go-to guy to have his back and crack a few jokes, shoot some folks, and die or get seriously injured about the third act?


No.


I understand the concept of being the lone protagonist who will stop at nothing, but he sure does find himself teamed up quite a bit. (An excuse to have more than two pages of dialogue? Perhaps.) If they wanted a buddy picture, then they, as a team(s), should have been cutting through these assholes like shit through a goose. If they wanted a lone wolf hunting prey tale, they should have either cast unknowns or done without the banter between his jumping points.


That's why I think Arnold Schwarzenegger was miscast. This was someone else's pic.


Who else? John Leguizamo. I'm very indifferent to the personalities he brings to the screen, very up, very down. Here as Bantering Buddy #2, he is pretty much in the mid-range. He does provide one of the lighter moments in the film, but it's just not for him. Or us.


Who else? John Turturro. Seriously, what was that? You got an actor of his caliber going "Hi!" and "Bye!" within like ten—twelve minutes. He's a likeable character, too. It's like sense evaded the set. Or the writing room.


Who else? Miguel Sandoval and Harry J. Lennix as FBI agents, who aren't given much to work with and even less screen time. Lennix is an especially gifted actor, and I'm only saying that after seeing him in just a few works. His turn as Aaron in Titus is awesome.


Who else? Raymond Cruz. Ding! The badass warrior killer from Clear and Present Danger. What a perfect companion to help Brewer go into the jungle and kick some. . .oh, you mean he only gets one minute of screen time and most of the time just standing there as part of the foreground/background like a tree in a kindergarten production of The Wizard of Oz?


Who else? Elias Koteas. His character is so wrapped up in ambiguity that there is no way for the audience to feel any kind of connection with him, whether good or bad. He's just there, with not much to work with, and even less to show for it.


Who not? Francesca Neri, a beautiful actress from Italy. She's sort of a cross of Calista Flockhart and Kyra Sedgwick, but much more attractive. And she's hot in this! Good acting from her. Very cute woman and tough here.




So, does this mean it's crap?


Yes and no. Compared to others in its genre and era, I'd say yes. But it does have some nice acting in spots, good action in others. There's an excellent twist to it all, but in the end is rather mediocre.


For its Genre/Era/X: Okay.

Overall: Good.


Rated R: for violence and a bit of cussing.

Running time: About 110 minutes.




Production Still 2002 Warner Bros.
Neri Picture
2001 MGM

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies (ABC) is on.
I'm gone.
2 reviews tomorrow.
I'm too tired to type anymore.
ever.
I guess.
Probably not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"The Lasting Moment of Our End"

"The Lasting Moment of Our End," a poem, appears in the current issue of Gentle Strength Quarterly. Leilani Squire edits this journal. Check them out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

30::30: It Is Complete

I just finished my latest 30::30 (been about a year.)




Preliminary Titles and Themes:

* 30. "Untitled." Child praying to keep his family together.

+ 29. "The Farmer's Daughter in the Sweet Virginian Fields." Cinquain run about a farmer's secret.

+ 28. "Deep on Down That Sweet, Sweet Earth." Unfinished business in this life.

+ 27. "In the Kroger Parking Lot, She Gives Me Pause." Broken Judicial System.

+ 26. "The Moment Before the Shot, She Exhales." Sweet Cinquain Sniper Action!

+ 25. "Proleptically Pronounce." What if the voice inside your head saying, run, goddamit, run! was just screwing with you?

* 24. "Love on a Poker Table Before the Cancer Took Her Away." Sorta how it sounds cinquain...

* 23. "A Debuting Actor Meets His First Fan in a Busy Bar Ten Miles From Home." America's Most Wanted.

+ 22. "Untitled." Ghostly poem love affair.

* 21. "Since Childhood We Try And Fail, Try And Fail." It's about the ramifications of looking the balls into one's hands.

* 20. "The Only Reason She Looks Up To You Is Because You're A Foot Taller Than You Used To Be." Paranoia.

+ 19. "It Was Love, You Fool!" Ghostly poem love affair.

* 18. "Mantitties and the Teeth Within" Vampirism poem love affair? I mucked up this otherwise humorous poem. Stupid me.

+ 17. "Untitled." Lost love on a new liver.

+ 16. "Henry, Get Yer Ass On Back To The House!" About selling out to humor rather than facing the truth.

* 15. "Serious Life." Car crash and responsibility.

+ 14. "Untitled." A sex tape and a deadly past presents:

+ 13. "The Day We Walk Away." Saying goodbye without saying a word.

x 12. "Cold Heart Through A Cellar Window." Editorial Decisions on Holidays.

+ 11. "A Month Shy A Homecoming In Norfolk." Vietnam suicide.

+ 10. "I Accept No Worry For Your Daily Sins." Inexperience in this fiction.

x 09. "From X to Y in Love." VT Massacre.

+ 08. "Cruelty of her Heart in Loving Me." Some decisions affect everyone.

+ 07. "The Muse Takes Us On Vacation." Straight into a mountain cinquain.

+ 06. "Wango Tango Foxtrot." I'm half-tempted to leave it as "wango" in stead of "whiskey." Basically how it sounds. A contract killer poem melds parallel with a "childhood fear" poem. Experience/Innocence? Not really. More like opposing feelings grinding without grease.

x 05. "Untitled." Feelings about publishing.

+ 04. "Denise and the Number." The frail mind wanders away from the situation at hand.

* 03. "Winter's Here, Cold And Wet And Wanting To Have Sex With Your Daughter; Are You Gonna Let Him?" The title, though awesome, will probably change since it's a kinda serious poem about loss.

* 02. "We Wake the Baby Cold About the Boards." Spooky Cinquain.

* 01. "Kittens for Sale in Philly." Getting beyond the violence.



Keys:

+ Good enough, I believe, for this go-round of subs

* Good enough, I believe, for typing up and, with maybe one good revision, down the road sub-able

x God, no.


For those who do not know, 30::30 is basically an exercise in pumping out writing, while keeping the mind flowing. Much of what comes out is crap, surely, but it keeps your mind pressed for time and output. Even turds will shine with enough polish. It's just a fun little exercise.


.

Happy Veteran's Day



Happy Veteran's Day, Dad!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Dolphins Will Win

No Cheerleaders, No Quit.


We will win today.




Such a disappointing season, but they'll be back and rolling some year soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NP: Therion - Wine of Aluqah

No Text.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Friday, November 9, 2007

Nothing...


hahaha.


I never got into Friday Night Lights, but if it floats for you...

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

A very old, but very funny, beer commercial:

Swear Jar:









http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJJL5dxgVaM

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Desktop Tower Defense


It's a towers game. And it is awesome.

I recommend the easy level in V1.2 and the medium level in V1.5.

This game will waste hours of your time, but really--it's Friday; you weren't doing dick anyway.

That's:
Desktop Tower Defense


Enjoy.

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

A music video for the morning.

Kinda interesting and a little groove to the tune.

Morphine - Early To Bed










Link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zw1Bli1jbc

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tomorrow

.

Thoughts on tomorrow.

I guess I'll start revising tomorrow in time for this "quarter's" sub period.

Seventy or so poems.

Three or four stories. (I'm actually impressed some of them (Sept.) haven't come back as fast as they usually do. I just wish some (one) of them could have looked like they had actually been read all the way through. Then again, I did get some poems back that looked like some kid had tossed them in his backpack with his PB & J sammiches. So, yeah. It floats. It Floats.)

I'm actually tempted to stop sending
some of the stories out,
because I know they're too long,
I'm unknown,
and a couple of other reasons
that pull at my curlies.

I've some journals in mind.
I'll scramble for others.

I really like these deadlines I set.
Some would probably snort at my rejection of
the process of simultaneously submitting.

I just like it because every couple of months
I get to go back over my work, drop what doesn't
work for me or won't *wink-wink* work for others.

Of course, I'm probably limiting some things, but
I've got a little bit of time left, I suppose.

And I hope.

I hope.



.

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Name Is Earl (8:00 - NBC),
The Office (9:00 - NBC),
and Scrubs (9:30 - NBC)
are three of the best shows on television.

Review: The Changeling (1980)



The Changeling (1980), by today's standards, is an outdated stab at the ghost story directed by Peter Medak and starring George C. Scott. Even in 1980, it was probably still outdated. With relatively little gore, no nudity, no sex, no f-bomb explosions, no CGI, no buckets of blood, and very little violence, The Changeling is like a throwback to a simpler time of grandpa's speculative tales about the fireside on a dark and inclement night.



It is outdated and greater than 98% of anything produced today.


After his wife and daughter are killed in a horrific accident along a slick, snow-covered road in New York, John Russell, a composer, takes a job as a lecturer at his Alma Mater in Washington. Looking for a place to live while he teaches and tries to move past the tragedy of losing his family, Claire Norman, an agent with the town's historical society (played by Scott's wife, Trish Van Devere) thinks she has the perfect place for him.


Owned and preserved by the historical society, the old mansion seems to be the perfect place for Russell to get back to composing. Then, like all things in life, the little peculiarities of the house begin to show themselves. Loud banging erupts throughout the house at 6:00 A.M., doors open by themselves, muffled noises like the cries of a child's voice call out to him—something or someone is reaching out to Russell for help. All of this leads to the discovery that Russell is not the only resident in the mansion and that there might have been a generations-old plot involving murder and deceit that still haunts the house.


Supported by a cast that also includes Melvyn Douglas, Scott tears through this script as only Scott can. He's great here, playing a father, at a loss to his family's tragedy, trying to piece together what has happened to cause this presence in the house to exist.


What makes this film outdated is the fact that the shocks and chills come from excellent tension, excellent sound scoring, an excellent pace, and perfect use of the viewer's own fears as the facilitators of the frights. There's great filmmaking here, with many little scares sprinkled throughout the first hour or so.


The only thing that perhaps hinders the movie from complete ghost story excellence is a somewhat sloppy final act, where the rush to politics that so many movies of its era delved into leads us so astray that it almost detracts from the greatness of the beginning. Then, as to make up for it, they put a twist on the ghost that relatively makes little sense to the trek of the plot but is a little bit of fun with the fright in mind.


The camera work here is decent, some of the shots at night are excellently dark, but even then, I felt, for two of the scares definitely, that they should have lightened it up just a tad more, because I honestly had to go back once to even see what the hell I was looking at.


The music is excellent. I love piano-led scores, and this one helps pace and intensify the movie in all the right spots.


Though the last little bit diminishes the shimmer just a tad, this is still a first-rate suspender of disbelief for about two hours. In all, Scott gives a great performance in a ghost story that provides enough chills to get us past some of the nagging questions in the end. But since I'm still thinking about these questions now, maybe it was intentional.


Though gore-hounds have pushed this type of film aside, sometimes the greatest things in life are just a little outdated.


For its Genre/Era/X: Awesome.

Overall: Great.



Rated: R. (I actually thought this was PG, but I am wrong apparently. Two scenes were very shocking at the time (still unsettling today) that bumped it up. Like I said, no nudity, little violence, no blood really, and no language.)


Links:

Changeling Poster:
http://www.impawards.com/1980/changeling_ver1.html

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What the hay...

OMFG!!! Behind You!!! Behind You!!! He's Behind You!!!


Click to Enlarge


I need to make a little gif of these pictures with T-Cat Wannabe, Mr. Frank.

The little sniper didn't even stand a chance.



I've to go before I rip my brain out.

Movie Review Tomorrow.
Another "biggie" from the shelf.
Stay tuned.


"Paint the Devil on the Wall"

I'm too boring.


Click to enlarge as it's a bit better quality.


Here's the snake that inspired "And The Black Snake Smiled For Mary," which appears in the current issue of Kaleidotrope.

I killed its companion three days before it came.
Bad luck and good have eerily mixed since.
I shot this one in a different manner.
The blue jays still shit on my car.
The ungrateful, squawking bastards.

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pushing Daisies isn't on, so heck if I know.

Criminal Minds can be okay sometimes.

CSI: NY as well.
Gary Sinise is a great actor,
and Melina Kanakaredes brightens every frame she's in.

I saw one episode of Back to You a while back.
It wasn't too too bad for a first season job.
I might recommend it.
Grammer was great on Frasier and Cheers.
Fred Willard is always funny.
Heck, I might watch it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Tuesday, November 6, 2007

.

8:00 P.M. CBS - NCIS
9:00 P.M. CBS - The Unit
10:00 P.M. ABC - Boston Legal

The last two have been sorta ho-hum so far this season, though.

Monday, November 5, 2007

NP: Morphine - Rope on Fire

I'm feeling better today.
Got two days of work this week.
Enough to get another SD Card for my camera.
Woohoo!


Might make a home movie and try editing it over the computer.
I haven't made a video in years.
It should be fun.
Just need to borrow my nephews and niece sometime.
I've had a short Spaghetti Western rolling around the lobes.
Nothing new, just fun.
Was thinking about doing something with stop-motion.
Possibly .gif based. Partially .gif-based.
My problem is the music.
My weak-ass score is perfect for what I can visualize,
but I don't think I can get it transferred cleanly (or in any kind of Stereo).
It'd be fun.
Just in time for Christmas?
That would be sweet, but dreaming.
Dreaming.

I'm stoking that metronome now.
Sousa's a step or so in front,
but his shadow's worth stalking in cut-time.

Anyway. Anyway. Anyway.


All the wheels are coming loose.
A close-up shot of a burning fuse.
The sky is filled with question marks.
Will the chains come apart?
And these few seconds that I've left to go.
Flames and chaos down below.
And the earth opens wide.
Got to climb a rope on fire.
--Morphine



Aside:


The coolness of being retarded about revision:

I completely remember this line:

My weak-ass score is perfect for what I can visualize,
but I don't think I can get it transferred cleanly (or in any kind of Stereo).

being a big deal in a dream I had months ago.

A dream about my words coming back to be used against me.

As if that could ever happen to anyone.

Deja woot double-time!

.

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Monday, November 5, 2007

8:00 P.M. - NBC - Chuck
9:00 P.M. - NBC - Heroes
10:00 P.M. - Nothing.

I missed the first season of Heroes, and my interest in this show is starting to wane.

You've Come For Cheeto?

I'm feeling ill again.
My back and head and just seeming blah right now.
Submissions are coming soon.
17 or so days.
Half will be places I've tried before.
Some I've gotten some kind, non-form, words from before.
Some who deal harshly in choppy form.
Some new places to explore.
I might even change up my bio for them.
Accentuate the *insert word at an earlier date*

Huh?
Yes.
Then, onward and disappear.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

NP: The Haunted - Medication

.


The medication knocks the edge right off
and every step away from feeling this
is beauty in its own right.
The sidetracks and your skilled manipulation of my senses
left me down - but I've been down before.




.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shotgun Posts Tonight

I'm not sure what I did today, but time went flying.
My back still hurts.
Some poems got rejected at 10:45 P.M. Halloween Night.
That was fun.
Nothing's on TV.
Nothing's on the Nets.
I think I'm running a fever.
I think I better go.


Picture of something random to take our souls to sleep:




Oh, it's Mike.



I am not a cat-blogger; they're just easier targets to shoot at the moment.

Dear God, I'm not one, right?

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Another wtf video from College Humor:


Hand Vagina








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQtKnDGhxmk



Beautiful, Sick, and Hilarious rolled into a tiny little minute of entertainment.


.

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Rome Puzzle.


At only fifteen levels, this is a somewhat weak time-waster, but it has some replay value, which makes it good if you've got about thirty-to-an-hour to kill. I was only hoping for more closure to it than what it's got.




Have Fun!