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.


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)


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.


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!


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!!!


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!



The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: #11

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

Raging Rudolph.


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!


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.



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Review: Assault On Precint 13 (1976)


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!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

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

Is it the greatest day in sports history?

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.

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!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Review: Death Wish II (1982)


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!


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.)


Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Megadeth - She Wolf (Live) :

Awesome solo work on display.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Review: Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)


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.


'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.

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