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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why?

I like t.A.T.u., but not even the promise of new songs is enough to get me to see this dreck:

How many trailers last 4 minutes? Two seconds into this one and I was finished, though I urge you to stick around until the end--it might be the best part of the movie. Sorry, two-time Academy Award nominated director Roland Joffe--I'll just wait to buy the soundtrack used at CD Warehouse. Read the rest of this article.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do You Remember These?

Hey, guys. Remember Saturday mornings, fly paper, and your daddy's socks? SingSnap member John_sings does. And so do the Statler Brothers. In fact, that ditty John's singing is the Statler Brothers' very own "Do You Remember These," one of rock and roll's bestest ever "list" songs. ('Member when kids still said bestest? Now they raid ice cream parlors in Jordache-clad street gangs and flirt openly in the classroom. Never would'a happened in my day, I tells ya.)

What else do the Statler Brothers remember? Oh, plenty! Things like knickers to your knees, wait your turn, dirty bird, little moron jokes, and…um… frog in your arm. Who doesn't remember those things? Who doesn't want to listen to a song that lists them? Nobody, dammit!

(click the "A" button on the player to see the words)
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Killer Plant Smack-Down: The Results

Last month I read Scott Smith's The Ruins which inspired May's Killer Plant Smack-Down. I fully intended to include the movie version of Smith's book in this feature, but, alas, my viewing of the film has been continuously hindered--first by it's disappearance from theaters, next by the distance to the $1.50 theater from my house compacted with my extreme Memorial Holiday laziness, and finally by tonight's 2-hour LOST season finale. Oh, well. From what I've read I'm not missing anything anyway. To the results!!!

For: an interesting story with some genuinely moving moments; good candidate for summer blockbuster remake--I'm looking at you Jackson. Spielberg. Lucas. (OK, prolly not Lucas)

Against: in reality, if the Triffids, as they appear in the film, had their "day," mankind would totally just laugh at them--they look ridiculous!



For: very attractive naked ladies; very attractive naked ladies engaging in sexual activities.

Against: a protaginist who looks like what you might imagine waits behind the glory hole in your local porn shop's men's room; three sets; poor editing that produces sex marathon sessions that last for days; for a comedy, not very funny; shitty looking killer plant.





For: a cheesy musical score and literally NOTHING else!

Against: actors that makes even Keanu Reeves look like Sir Ian McKellen; actually makes you stupider as you watch it.







For: witty script; wonderfully wacky characters.

Against: loses steam toward the end (Seymour is hypnotized by Audrey Jr.); yet another shitty looking killer plant.








For: remains fairly interesting throughout, thanks to some of that world-famous Japanese overacting; hot Asian girls in bikinis.

Against: snickering mushroom people do not a proper horror film baddie make.




And the winner...as if you didn't figure it out weeks ago: The Little Shop of Horrors! This film was literally shot in two days and it still trounces every other movie in our smackdown (although, to be fair, Killer Plant Smack-Down had a whole lot more to love than the Pinocchio Smack-down, which took me two months to complete--it's hard to want to continue with something when film after film sucks so hard). Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday Morning Music: Black Kids - "Hurricane Jane"

This one's got it all, folks: Misleading band name? Check. Confusingly androgynous lyrics? Check. Superfluous blasphemy? Check

But seriously, the staccato guitar introduces a wholly compelling rhythm that's crowned with a slinky synth hook that perfectly punctuates the decadent desperation of the lyrics. What more could you want? A dude with a cape? You got it! Plus, a Sam Cooke reference!

Favorite lyric: "I put what I want, when I want, in my body.
I'm never gonna give what I take."
It's not clear what he's putting in his body, but apparently if feels like karate. Awesome.

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The Last of Little Louross

Say good-bye to Louross, kids. I knew calling him this year's winner was a longshot, but I had faith in the little guy. I've always been a fan of little things--runts of the litter, Ramiele Malubay, the Keebler elves--so I aimed high. At the time I wasn't aware Louross was incapable of cooking a steak properly. That was my bad. You made me look like a fool, Louross. Thanks a lot!

Matt (fat reality show contestant, not fat blog artiste) doesn't need anybody to make him look like a fool, he does a damn fine job of doing that himself. How he made it to the Top Six I may never figure out, though it may be safe to say that Matty is Ramsay's favorite punching bag in the history of the program. And there's nothing America loves more than watching a sloppy, rubber-faced fat guy don a skintight wetsuit and take a surfing lesson. Anybody agree that the only reason the red team won the Cooking Relay Race Challenge was so Ramsay could see Corey and Christina in bikinis?

Also, I mentioned to my wife last night that none of the contestants are cool this season, you know, like, hip or whatever. Last year's Black Gordon Ramsey, Rock, was edgy and slightly nuts (plus, his name is Rock--C'MON!). Bobby can't even come close to that level of hipness (also, Bobby always looks like he's going to fall asleep during interviews). Rock's competition, Bonnie, was blond, prissy, and cute, but not annoying, a factor that sets her apart from former-enemies/dual-leaders of the red team, Christina and Corey. Plus, remember the tattooed guy? Tattoos! This seasons contestants are catty, sloppy, untalented, or Matt--where's the cool? Sigh. Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Transmissions from Reality Hell

Once, in my younger days, I visited the North Carolina State Fair and watched a goat take a shit. It was nothing short of fascinating, the Dippin' Dots-shaped turds dropping gently into a tidy pile. I remember thinking, "I wish my bowel movements could be like that." If humans shat like goats we wouldn't need to use toilet paper, therefore, our Earth wouldn't be in the state that we find it in currently. But I'll let the hippies expound on that.

I often dog-sit for my sister when she goes out of town and one particular weekend not long ago, about an hour after taking Roxy outside to drop a deuce, I noticed Maltese-sized dookie logs tangled in the fur around her hindquarters. So ensnared were these stink-nuggets, I had to cut them out with scissors, a disturbing activity to say the least.

Why all the poop talk? Well, reality television is a lot like animal crap. Don't believe me--here's the evidence.
This Memorial Day, the E! Channel showered America with a load of shit of the "tangled in the fur" variety. You know, the kind of stuff that stays with you, taints your usually happy dreams, causes you to curl up in the fetal position, rocking and babbling "why God" quietly to yourself in some desolate corner of your basement.

From the network that gave you The Anna Nicole Show and Ryan Seacrest Productions comes Denise Richards: It's Complicated. You know what, Denise, it's really not that complicated. You need money. Hell, you've got ten dogs, three cats, and a corral of sex-crazed pigs. Denise Richards spends most of her days (if we're to believe the reality show about her life, of which she is an executive producer) searching for herself on the internet. For this, she needs two (TWO!!!) assistants. The first episode has Denise going on a date with a "normal" guy (i.e. not a "bad boy with a big dick," Denise's favorite kind) who is more interested in reviewing her sad film career then getting to know the "real" Denise ("a Mid-west girl who lives with ten dogs and her father on a farm."). And when that gets boring, how 'bout some pig sex?
E! followed this Memorial Day treat with another Marmaduke-sized turd, Living Lohan, the ongoing story of award-winning mother Dina Lohan and her brood. Lindsay's three-train pile-up of a family is going to kill her career quicker than the booze and STDs. What a shrill, obnoxious pack of celebrity wannabe jackals. Dina spends the bulk of the first episode calling tabloids and threatening them with lawsuits, which made one thing abundantly clear to this viewer: if Lindsay ever cleans her act up, Dina's out of a job. I won't say Ms. Lohan is happy that her daughter seems to be in a perpetual alcohol-soaked downward spiral, but those all-night exploits and stints in rehab seem to give Dina's life some kind of sick meaning.

Vh1's Celebrealty line of programming exemplifies the "goat turd" variety of realty television: it's crap, but it's cute, bite-sized, and fun to watch. Watching Flavor Flav take a never-ending line of skanks (65 over three seasons) on wacky dates is perpetually entertaining; seeing D-levelers who've let themselves grow fat and unhealthy climb towers and run up mountainsides is intriguing; and witnessing Bret Michaels miraculously avoid contracting herpes week after week sends one's spirit soaring on the wings of well-endowed eagles. Vh1 has cornered the market on what I like to call "goat-turd programming," and E! could learn a lot from Public Enemy's diminutive hype-man when it comes to consummate mindless entertainment.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Killer Plant Smack-Down: Film 5

Title: Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People

What the heck?: Equal parts LOST, Super Mario Brothers, and anti-drug PSA, Matango tells the story of seven strangers picked to travel on a yacht and have their lives taped…wait, sorry. Seven Japanese people (a whiny Playboy living on his parent’s money, an eccentric writer, a sultry lounge singer, a college professor, the professor’s student/girlfriend, a crazy dude, and the yacht’s skipper) become shipwrecked on a deserted island after a storm at sea. Left with a limited amount of the food, the seven, constantly-squabbling characters venture into the jungle where they discover scores of mushrooms but little else. Upon reaching another shipwrecked vessel, the crew attempts to piece together the mystery of the island while trying to find food, satisfy their sexual cravings, and refrain from killing one another with a magic gun that never runs out of bullets. Oh yeah, there’s also some mushroom people.

What’s to like: more thoughtful and character driven than other 60’s horror films.

What’s to not like: takes a loooooong time to really go anywhere; mushroom people = not scary.

The truth: The Mushroom People don’t want to hurt you, they want you to join the party. These guys love to laugh—in fact, that’s all they do. Sure, before one eats enough island mushrooms to become a true Mushroom Person, he/she resembles a hideous burn victim and can get kind of pushy, but even these hulking mutants have your best intentions in mind—they’re just directing you to the party, it’s your problem if you’re gonna keep shooting at ‘em and stuff. Hell, the Professor, the only one of our heroes(?) who escapes, wishes he could go back, eat a buttload of magic mushrooms, and laugh it up with all his mushroom buddies. After all, they seemed like some fun-guys…

Sorry.


Next time: The Final Results!
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An Open Letter to John Hagee



Dear John Hagee,

I'm guessing you’re a bit perplexed by the recent hullabaloo about comments you made almost 10 years ago about Hitler and the Jews. Yeah, yeah, I know. Your recent persecution by the media is all a devilish plot that Jesus himself promised would plague those who preach the truth ("You will be hated for my sake" and all that), but I'm guessing you'd still like to know why this particular statement--a statement that, unlike many of your pronouncements, is at least defensible as a "Biblical" worldview--would be the one causing you the most trouble. Right? Maybe?

Well, I have no idea why the Hitler statement was chosen as Teh Cra8ziesT Thang EvaR, but as someone who's been following your career for about 15 years now, I think I can offer some insight into why people are upset by it. First of all, I know what you were trying to say. You never meant that Hitler was a "good" person or that God willed the Holocaust (though for all the world it sounds like that's what you're saying). You were simply stating that even the Holocaust was a part of God's plan for his chosen people. According to your interpretation of Jeremiah 16, God sends fishers to entice the Jewish people to live in Israel and hunters to drive them to Israel. Though you didn't phrase it well, I have no trouble believing that you were simply restating a classic religious (and not just Christian) response to the Problem of Evil. God doesn't will bad things to happen--he certainly didn't ordain Hitler--but He reclaims the Evil for "good" purposes, like returning the Jews to Israel (I guess). Even though it sounds horrible to say God "sent" Hitler to hunt the Jews, driving them to Israel, the Bible itself affirms that God does indeed punish His chosen people. 40 years in the wilderness was certainly punishment for something, and the Bible asserts that God didn't just allow it, but caused it to happen. So you see, unlike the political pundits yakking away about how horrible you are, I understand that your statements can be traced back to a legitimately Biblical worldview--a worldview that millions of Americans tacitly accept, including many of those cretinous pundits.

So why are you being demonized while millions of Americans affirm that God is responsible for lots horrible things, including flooding the whole goddamn world? Well, part of it is that the Holocaust is just too recent of an event . Some survivors are still around, so we can still feel the destruction it caused. Sure, it's disingenuous to believe God almost wiped out the human race but take offense to the notion that he killed your grandfather, but it's just human nature. Whether we want to admit it or not, The Flood to us is just a story. It didn't really happen. Millions of us may say we believe it, but we don't. It's just a fable ancient people told that may or may not tell us something important about ourselves or God or the nature of the universe.

I think the real reason people are upset is that it reveals what an asshole you truly are. The fact that you can't understand that it's too soon to talk this way about the Holocaust shows your true and total disregard for the feelings of the Jewish community that you profess to love. Sure, you affirm that the Jews are God's chosen people, and you support the defense of the state of Israel, but Jewish people to you are just pawns in a great celestial war between God and Satan. And it's this great celestial war that you've built your theology and your megachurch on. I have no doubt you truly believe that the Jewish people play a role in the Second Coming of Christ and that you, John Hagee, have a glorious reward waiting for you in Heaven if you can help pull the whole caper off a few years sooner. You're dying to get a piece of the action, Mr. Hagee, and that makes you a Monstrous Douche. Maybe that's a little harsh, but you're the one who threw your hat into the political ring by endorsing John McCain. You've opened yourself up to all sorts of criticism, and I'm pretty sure you're loving it--each malicious criticism is a shiny new jewel in your crown. Just be careful your crown doesn't become a millstone.

Yours,

Jonathan

photo from Flicker
under a Creative Commons license
the photographer does not endorse GEP and is not affiliated with GEP in any way


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Sunday, May 25, 2008

'08 Summer Movie Report: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

First of all, let's get one thing out of the way: there will never be an Indiana Jones movie better than Raiders of the Lost Ark. Everyone knows this already, so let this be the last time we discuss it here or anywhere else. Agreed? Let's move on.

While probably the fourth best of the series, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still proves that Indiana Jones can kick ass even at the ripe old age of 83. He still looks good in the jacket and iconic fedora and is still pretty mean with a whip.
Area 51 and El Dorado (The Lost City of Gold) factor into this latest adventure and while it drags at times (particular in the beginning and parts of middle), I still found myself thoroughly entertained. I mean, it's an Indiana Jones movie, for God's sake. If you like Indiana Jones you'll totally be into it (I mean, hell, who cares that there are CGI monkeys, Indiana Jones is back on the big screen, people!) and if you don't, then you have no soul, sir. CGI monkeys aside, what you do get for your nine dollars-a motorcycle chase that ends in a library, a battle royale in the rain forest, an encounter with some nasty flesh-eating ants, yet another ancient temple full of booby traps and a freaky, forgotten tribe--is amazing. Along with Harrison Ford, Karen Allen returns as Marion Ravenwood, Indy's on-again, off-again old-lady and mother of his underachieving son, Mutt Williams, played by Shia LaBeouf with a pompadour. Cate Blanchett plays the villain, a wannabe-psychic, sword-brandishing Commie desperate to reach the lost city before our heroes.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a good, old-fashioned romp and while nowhere near as good as the series earlier entries (even the much unfairly maligned Temple of Doom), it still excites and bewilders.

GEP's Grade: B-
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Summer of Horrible Comedies: GEP's Summer Comedy Preview

That's right, friends, I have perhaps hastily dubbed this summer's comedy season "The Summer of Horrible comedies." Am I being fair? Oh, I don't know. Seems like every summer has its share of Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy and--what, no Robin Williams this year? Shit. Maybe I am wrong. I guess I'll have to take a closer look.

As far as I'm concerned, this year's summer comedy season starts on June 6th with the release of Kung Fu Panda and You Don't Mess with the Zohan . Yes, some comedies have already been released this year, most notably Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Baby Mama, and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, but these movies get a pass because they were either good or featured Neil Patrick Harris, and summer doesn't officially start until June anyway. Also, Sex and the City is not a comedy.

Here we go:

June 6

Kung Fu Panda: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, and Jackie Chan (for some reason) do some animal voices. Jack Black is a lazy panda. Blah Blah Blah.

Why it'll probably suck: Well, it might not. Jack Black's panda seems charming enough, and the animation looks good. It doesn't look as annoying as Shark Tail or Shrek the Third. Then again, I can't think of a Dreamworks animated film I've actually liked. This doesn't really bode well for the Summer of Suck. Can I call it that now?

You Don't Mess With the Zohan: Adam Sandler is an unconvincing assassin who fakes his death so he can become an unconvincing hair stylist. Fake accents abound. Rob Schneider looks like he has a fake nose and is in what one might describe as "brown face."



Why It'll probably suck: This one's gonna be easy. Let me just look up who wrote this ridiculous--shit. Robert Smigel? Judd Apatow? What's going on here? Actual funny people wrote this thing? Well, I guess it might actually have its moments. I can say that I didn't see one thing in the trailer I thought was funny. I like Adam Sandler fine, and I love Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel, but this still looks like garbage. Prove me wrong, Zohan!

June 20

Get Smart: Steve Carell? Alan Arkin? Hiro from Heroes? The Rock? They go on some adventures and remake an old TV show.

Why it'll probably suck: Peter Segel, director of The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and 50 First Dates isn't completely clueless, but his presence doesn't exactly inspire confidence. The biggest clue, however, that this one comes up short is the scene in the trailer where the lady's on the phone and her kid's trying to get her attention by saying, "Mom! Mom!" and she goes, "Shawn, Shawn, Shawn! See how annoying that is." That's the scene that kills it for me. Movie moms should encourage their young children, not mock them. They also should be super horny.

The Love Guru: Another fake nose and some weird visual effects. I guess you can call this is a cross between Zohan and Kung Fu Panda. Oh, and Mike Myers. I won't see this film.

Why it'll probably suck: This movie is guaranteed to suck. It's also guaranteed to make billions of dollars. So guaranteed, in fact, that it's opening on the same day as Steve Carell: The Movie. Look, I don't hate Mike Myers. He seems like a nice guy and he really is a funny person. I just hate the idea that just because he comes up with some crazy character that Oprah will love and will make a lot of people a lot of money they have to make a movie out of it. Is there something wrong with me? Can't Mike Myers just have a funny little possibly racist character that he does at dinner parties for his friends? Does he really need another hour of Oprah couch time, shyly accepting her expert fellatio while cracking jokes in an Indian accent in front of hundreds of screaming MILFs? I guess if millions of people told me my annoying movies were hilarious, I'd make more of 'em too, but I'm still not going to watch this movie.

July 2

Hancock: Will Smith is a superhero who can't stop boozing it up long enough to actually be a hero. He probably falls in love or something too.

Why it'll probably suck: This one's billed as an Action/Adventure, Drama and Romance, but the trailer is filled with jokes--dark, disturbing jokes. Will Smith smacks a little girl to the moon--literally to the moon. He throws a whale into a boat. He insults children. He jerks off atop a building and accidentally shoots down a traffic helicopter. He puts a man's head in another man's ass. He watches YouTube. You get the idea. It looks awesome.

July 3

The Wackiness-- "It's the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip-hop. Set against this backdrop"…Josh Peck gets laid!

Why it'll probably suck: At first I thought this was the new name for Drake and Josh in New York!, but it's not. Josh is skinny. Drake is missing. How can it not suck?

July 11

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D: Another one of those "I can't don't know English right!" titles like Borat: Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theater, but this one stars Brendan Frasier as, well, some guy who goes to the center of the Earth, which is pretty much an excuse for him to encounter just about every kind of action movie cliché you can imagine.

Why it'll probably suck: I honestly thought this was the 3rd Mummy movie that I'd been hearing about, but I was wrong. This is a Walden media joint (the weirdoes who brought you The Lord of the Narnia movies), and it screams family entertainment. 'Nuff said.

Meet Dave: From the producer of Wild Hogs, director of Good Burger and creator of All That, comes a movie about little people living inside Eddie Murphy's head.

Why it'll probably suck: This is about as high concept as a comedy can get. "Imagine Eddie Murphy living inside Eddie Murphy's head! It writes itself!" That's just it. Nobody writes it, allowing Eddie Murphy to run wild making up silly "I don't understand the world!" dances and handshakes, talking like a robot, and letting tiny CGI renditions of himself crawl into his various orifices. This is Eddie Murphy at his Robin Williams-est. Be afraid.

July 18

Space Chimps: Talking monkeys! Dancing scientists! Singing monkey! Someone involved with Shrek! Space!

Why it'll probably suck: Same as Kung Fu Panda. Maybe it will. Maybe it won't. Probably OK for kids.

And that wraps up the first half of the Summer Comedy Preview. Join us next time when we'll explore Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, and The Happening. Read the rest of this article.

What the WTF?!?

What better way to celebrate our 100th post than to present a new feature? What the WTF?!? will explore the everyday weirdness of life in these United States. Or whatever.

I pretty much despise contemporary country music. I especially hate the jingoistic nonsense released by artists like Toby Keith. And let's talk about Toby Keith for a minute. He looks like a bully. He's always got that snarky grin on his fat, grizzled face, like he could go from complementing your new snakeskin boots to beating your Yankee ass in mere seconds. I just don't trust him.

So imagine my surprise this morning when as I was aimlessly channel-flipping and I came across the video for his song "I Love This Bar" and I...GASP...liked it.

I don't mean I like the video--it's your typical goofy video for a typical novelty country song--but I genuinely like the song, mostly because of it's simplicity. Keith isn't threatening Muslims or preying on our 9/11 sorrow, he's just singing a catchy song about a bar he enjoys hanging out in occasionally, and I can't hate him for that.
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Killer Plant Smack-Down: Film 4

Title: The Gardener: AKA Seeds of Evil

What the hell?: Here is the Netflix description of Jim Kay's The Gardener:

A creepy gardener (Joe Dallesandro) who has the ability to turn himself into a tree spends his spare time feeding his plants human flesh -- which only makes them crave the taste of blood. Obsessed with a beautiful woman who resists his affections, he sends her a bouquet of his people-eating posies and lets his bloodthirsty blooms do the dirty work.

Wow! That sounds awesome! Let me tell you about the movie that I watched, which was presumably Jim Kay's The Gardener:

A creepy gardener (Joe Dallesandro) who can kind of turn himself into a tree and does so once right before the closing credits, is hired by a mousy married lady living in a nondescript Latin country to improve the status of her garden. He cultivates some weird plants , but he never feeds any of them human flesh...at least not on camera (nor is it even hinted at by anyone ever). He does send a bouquet of flowers to a woman in the hospital. Whether or not they are blood-thirsty there is no way to tell. They do asphyxiate her. Oh, this movie is dumb.
What's to like: a delightfully schmaltzy musical score; a running time of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

What's to not like: the worst acting this side of a community theater production of Once Upon a Mattress; an inaccurate Netflix description that made this movie sound halfway decent.

The truth: Poor Carl! He has no people skills, men tend to dislike him because of his rugged good looks, and he can't seem to find his shirt. Also he may or may not be a witch doctor who teaches plants to kill. What I do know is that he can sort of turn himself into a tree, which in the end doesn't really help him out that much. Let me set the scene: Ellen Bennett (our hero, I guess?) has finally discovered that Carl is creepy and weird (something the rest of us figure out the first time he lumbers onto screen and passionlessly delivers his first lines of dialogue) and possibly murdering people, so she has decided to pump him full of lead. Even after three bullets the shirtless gardener is unharmed, in fact, he is energized enough to start his final tree transformation. After becoming a tree, Ellen promptly covers him in gas and sets him on fire. So, is having the power to become a tree really all that beneficial? I think Carl would even say no.

Total crap!

Next time: Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People
Then we wrap this blessing up and declare a winner! Be there!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

'08 Summer Movie Report: Speed Racer

While you were at home on the edge of your couch frothing at the mouth to see which David would become our next American Idol (yawn!), me and fellow GEP contributor, Jonathan Cook, headed to our local multiplex to check out the Wachowski Brother's box office failure Speed Racer. With a little tweaking and a major time decrease, this strikingly beautiful-to-look-at picture could've been the film to beat this summer (which Jonathan has dubbed "The Summer of Horrible Comedies").
Visually this is the most stunning film I've seen in a long time--it's bright, candy-colored, and popping with energy. The races are thrilling and the various cars are amazing, full of hidden weaponry and such. The problem here is the plot, in the sense that there is waaaaaaaaay too much of it. The PG-rated film is aimed at families with small children and the Wachowski's script shows just how little they know about small children. I might be wrong, but I'm not sure kids are really that interested in shady corporate dealings. There are monologues so lengthy and convoluted that even I had a hard time following the story. There was something about stocks (kids love stocks!), some stuff about the evils of selling out to the Man (kid's especially love parables about selling out!!!), and new, pointless characters introduced every couple of minutes. Thankfully these boring moments are intercut with the antics of Spritle and Chim-Chim, Speed's little brother and Speed's little brother's pet chimp, respectively. Once these antics grow stale (and that does not take long, dear reader), any moments spent away from the track make one more nauseous than the frantic racing scenes themselves.

The cast, for the most part, is spot on. Christina Ricci is a delight as Speed's sexy live-in girlfriend, Trixie. In fact, she's a little too sexy. Speed and Trixie's sexually charged Mach 5 chat at Inspiration Point would make me squirm had I been surrounded by small children. Plus, Trixie looks an awful lot like Speed's mom played by Susan Sarandon, which brings a tinge of creepiness to her scenes with Speed. John Goodman is appropriately fat as Pops Racer, Kick Gurry's Sparky the Mechanic is appropriately useless in ninja fights, and Pauli Litt achieves maximum annoying in his portrayal of Spritle Racer, arguably the most irritating cartoon character in the history of animation. Matthew Fox is quite good as the super-cool Racer X, though he does have an odd, clipped way of speaking. Perhaps his mask is on too tight? Emile Hirsch makes an OK Speed Racer, though the child-actor playing Young Speed, an ADD addled scholastic underachiever, is dead-behind-the-eyes terrible. It just wouldn't be a GEP movie review unless we viciously insulted an innocent child.

When the trailer first appeared a couple of months back, Jonathan and I had opposite feelings about Speed Racer--as a fan of the original cartoon, I thought it looked neat; Jonathan thought lame. Somewhere in hour two of the film (oh yeah, Speed Racer, a movie for children, is over two hours long! WTF?), Jonathan admitted that what made him hate the trailer, primarily the seizure-inducing cross-country races, was exactly what he loved about the movie. I couldn't agree more. While in no way perfect, Speed Racer is a must for fans of visual effects and plain old coolness.

GEP's Grade: C+

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The Slow Burn of Shame

I fell asleep voting for David Cook last night. I only got through once. Each season Beauty and the Geek tries something new to entice viewers and contestants alike (unfortunately this seasons "a-twist-an-episode" concept led to me abandoning the show). Flavor of Love stays fairly predictable, but it's got Flavor Flav at it's creamy center, so you know something entertaining is going to happen at least once or twice an episode. Even What Not the Wear throws viewers a curveball once in awhile (mother/daughter, husband/wife, etc).

Fox's Hell's Kitchen, on the other hand, keeps things simple, safe, and the same season after bloody season, and it's starting to wear on this fan's reality television dulled nerves. Yet another banal challenge led to another prize we've seen before. Producers tried to create some drama (will Louross add the veal to his dish or will he sacrafice a win on principle alone?), but the episode as a whole was pretty lousy.

Jen (annoying as hell, but probably the most consistent chef) moved to the men's team to fill in the Ben Gap and proved she was the only thing keeping the women's (and Matty) team together, while Matty, proving that last week's string of personal victories was a fluke, proceeded to slice the top of his finger off and repeatedly overcook the beef for some visiting (fake) food critics.

Can I just mention the scallops? I am a huge scallop fan who happens to be spoiled because I am married to the world's premiere scallop chef. The scallops that come out of Chef Ramsay's kitchen appear overcooked to me and we all know the tragedy of overcooked scallops. I don't know...it bothers me is all.

Anyway, get more interesting, Hell's Kitchen!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

David vs. David-Who Should I Vote For?

One poorly-worded ad is calling it "Double D-Day," but I'm just glad it's almost over. Tonight on American Idol's penultimate episode, David Cook battles Lil' Davey Archuleta for the the title of Artist Soon to be Dropped by Their Label. It should be on heckuva a battle, as long as by "heckuva" you mean "predictable," "dull," or "stagnant." I mean, I like the Davids, they're stand-up dudes, but aren't they consistent to the point of blah? Cook rocks stuff up, that's his thing, and I'm kind of over it. Haven't second-rate Christian pop-punk bands been doing that with boy band songs for years now? It's old. And The Arch, the young man I picked to win it all so many months ago, makes me sleepy. Who would buy an Archuleta CD? That's right--your grandparents-and how many of your grandparents own CD players? Go ahead, call 'em and find out.

Anyway, I find myself at a crossroads: David or David? I can't decide who to cramp my finger pressing speed dial for tonight, so I've turned to my friends and family for help. So, who do I vote for?

Jen (the wife):
With a major election coming up so quickly, one must look at all sides of the issues in order to be an informed, educated voter. Part of me wants you to vote for the Arch, simply to raise awareness of vocal fold paralysis and to show America the people with this disorder can still be excellent users of voice. But, he really just sucks. He reminds me of Clay Aiken - I can see him finding his niche on Broadway or dinner theatre or something else as equally gay. I think you should vote for David Cook. I really do like him. I like his voice, and I think he's cute. I think he could really do well in today's market - he has a sound that is popular with the kids today. In all seriousness, he actually gives off the facade of being a real musician with talent and the ability to create music, rather than just burping back what the producers give him.
Hope this helps sweet cheeks! Don't stay up too late trying to get your vote in!

Mom (the mother):
I personally think David Cook would be the better choice, since he is older, more in tune to the current music, and he's entertaining and knows how to make the songs his own. I love David A., but I think he is too young and appeals to the teeny boppers and older generation. I think you need to be able to reach all ages, and I think David Cook is the ticket.
Love ya

Kristen (the sister):
David Cook b/c I want to shatter teeny-botters hearts when their cutie-pie loses. Just kidding--I just think David Cook is the most charismatic (and he's got a huge cranium--we need more rockers like that).

Nathan (a friend):
As you know, I'm not a big proponent of voting or other activities
that involve arbitrary decision-making. However, since you asked, I
am telling you to vote for David Cook. Two reasons you'll be voting
for this David: he scrawled "give back" or something on his hand, and
the "Cougars 4 Cook" audience sign. Two reasons you won't be voting
for the other David: He seems too young and too sweet. I just don't
find him masculine enough to be a male American Idol. Anyway, when Archuleta loses, hopefully the crushing defeat will accompany a tumultuous adolescence and he'll come back as a man in 10 years with alt.country/soul record featuring Lil Wayne.

Looks like the experts (and Nathan) are picking Cook to take it all this year, but I'm still not sure. I do know one thing, no matter who wins, I could've spent the past few months doing a lot more with my time. Sigh.
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Go, Speed Racer, Go...Or Not

Oh poor, poor Speed Racer.

So sorry to see the kids just aren't taking to you anymore. Iron Man is kicking your tail still and even It Happened in Vegas is beating up on you. All good things must come to an end, even though you never really had much of a beginning.

As I gaze at the movie listings in the newspaper I see that in just the week since you made your debut the theaters have dramatically decreased your showings.

Let's see - at the theater down the street from me I count Iron Man with 24 different showings per day; It Happened in Vegas with 20, and The Chronicles of Narnia (The new flavor of the week) with 34. But you Speed Racer? You are getting a lowly 12 showings today. So sad. Soon you will be gone altogether and not even Christina Ricci's tattooed bird boobs can save you. I assume next week Indian Jones will probably lay you down in the time capsule you just awoke from.

You may have gone nowhere with audiences Speed, but at least you went fast.

R.I.P.

-jordan

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Stop Already: McDonald's is at it again

Do you like folk music? You do? Well, guess what, McDonald's hates you.

Having taken the hipster community down a notch or two with their Confessions of an Ex-Hipster radio ad campaign, McDonald's is now targetting fans of folk music. In the newest spot, titled Confessions of an Ex-Folk Fan, a young woman speaks with shame about her days listening to protest songs and dating "filthy beatniks." Then she discovered the new coffee drinks at McDonald's and she's all better, ready to buy her mini-van, stock it with offspring, and drive to the soccer field. Thanks, McDonald's, for fixing another independant spirit.

I can just imagine a meeting of the McDonald's marketing team: "All right, guys, we've lambasted hipsters and fans of folk music...who can we get next? Henderson, put down that double-quarter pounder with cheese and think dammit! What d'ya got for me, Mayhew? Hippies? Dirty, long-hair, sandals, shells around the neck hippies? Love it! All right, let's do some blow!"
Actually it seems like someone at McDonald's thought, "Who likes coffee? Oh, beatniks, hip kids, and weirdos...let's make fun of them." But isn't coffee universally loved by all people, no matter their social standing? Why is McDonald's focusing on and attacking these particular sub-groups? So far these stupid radio ads have focused on groups that the McDonald's corporation obviously feels don't have their acts together and like a loving Papa Bear, McDonald's has decided to help these citizens reach their true potential...through coffee. So, whose next McDonalds? Is Confessions of an Ex-Confused Goth Kid or Ex-Performance Artist on the way? How about Confessions of an Ex-Poet or Ex-Online Blogger? These people need to fall in step and get in line, preferably inside a McDonald's. We must conform and our beverage of choice must be an iced-hazelnut-decaf latte from the local McCafe. Bullshit! C'mon, McDonald's,

STOP ALREADY!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I appreciate when the creators of things I enjoy have the good sense to stop. Jerry Seinfeld chose to end his show rather than continue on into possible crappiness; the LOST gang is wrapping everything up in two more seasons; and the creators of long-running comic strips like Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side had the class to quit before overstaying their welcome. Unfortunately, others, like Jump Start creator Robb Armstrong, would rather continue to ruin our Sunday mornings by seemingly giving up. Take today's entry in the ongoing story of Joe and Marcy:


Let's examine this further, shall we?


1. So a magical lamp has just appeared out of thin air and Marcy is okay with that? If I walked into the dining room this afternoon and saw an artifact sitting on the table that hadn't been there earlier in the day, I would freak out. "How did this get here?" I'd ferociously question my loved ones. "We must dispose of this diabolical engine of the Dark One!" (This is how I talk at home). What does Marcy do though? Picks it up and rubs one, or rather, two out. Which leads to...


2. Are those baby genies? If so, can they grant wishes yet, because, hell, there are two baby genies there which, as far as I'm concerned, means six wishes! But maybe they're not genies. I'm sure you've noticed the passing resemblance to Marcy's children. Is this perhaps a chilling vision of things to come? Will the fruit of her loins soon suffer a tragic crib death? Is this a supernatural warning from the Beyond?


The point is, Jump Start has been around for a long time (too long, I'd argue) and it's starting to fray around the edges. This Sunday's strip is a perfect example of the laziness that seems to be running rampant through the oldies as of late (Marmaduke, BC, Dilbert, occasionally Fox Trot). Take a page from Bill Watterson, guys, and quit while you still have some credibility, so people can look back at your work fondly and not have to explain to their friends, "I only like the early stuff--I stopped reading when it turned to shit." Read the rest of this article.

Killer Plant Smack-Down: Film 3

Title: Please Don’t Eat My Mother

What the hell???: The Little Shop Horrors-meets-soft-core pornography, Please Don’t Eat My Mother tells the story of local pervert Henry Fudd and the man-eating plant he unwittingly buys one afternoon while on his lunch-break. The plant, who has a sexy female voice and refers to Henry as “darling,” is initially satisfied eating only plant food (Pro Pro Grow) and flies, but is soon demanding frogs, canines, and after viewing some of Henry’s pornography collection, curvaceous ladies. Fat slob Henry, convinced his smoky-voiced temptress will someday let him hump her, does the plant’s bidding, securing a job at the pound, hiring call girls, purchasing a male man-eating plant, and taking a young couple he’s been spying on hostage. Though the proceedings sound dark and sinister, the film itself is a d-grade comedy with lengthy scenes of young couples copulating interspersed throughout.

What’s to like: The young ladies are attractive, usually nude.

What’s to not like: How about I answer, first, with some quotes from this yuk-fest:

Henry: (purchasing the plant) What do I feed it?
Overly Affectionate Homosexual Florist: Oh, lots of love, sweetheart. And if it farts, try some alphabet soup so you can understand it.


OK, first of all, really Henry? What do you feed it? It’s a plant—try sunshine and water. And OAHF, your joke doesn’t even make sense. I should point out this very offensive gay stereotype is obsessed with farting, saying of Henry’s later purchase, a male plant with homicidal tendencies, “This plant is so healthy I could’ve sworn I heard it fart once.” Oddly enough, the two plants do emit multi-colored smoke from time to time, but I don’t know if I would call it farting.

Henry: (to his plant) I’ve never had frog legs before.
Plant: Having seen your mother I can understand why.


Yet another asinine attempt at a joke. How would the appearance of someone’s mother clue someone in to what foods a person has eaten in his lifetime? One of the many failed jokes that appear in this travesty of cinema.

Young Man #3: (to his wife after sex) That was really beautiful, hon. Did you feel as good as I did? Was your climax bigger than usual?”
Young Woman #3: Maybe.


This conversation eventually escalates into fight that ends in the husband getting shot to death. There’s no time to mourn though, because Henry needs the body for plant food, and the until-ten-seconds-ago-in-love wife is more than happy to help drag the corpse next door and screw Henry’s brains out.

Plus, the plants look like shit. And there are only three sets-an outdoor flower shop, a living room, and Henry’s bedroom, which is decorated simultaneously for an elderly woman (black and white photos of bygone days) and a creepy, porn-loving virgin (centerfolds taped to the wall).

The truth: Simply put, Please Don’t Eat My Mother is a blatant rip-off of Roger Corman’s Little Shop, minus the witty script and talented actors. The movie is simply a platform for overlong, borderline hard-core sex scenes that apparently go on for days. Seriously. There are three separate scenes of one couple that we are to believe are occurring on three separate days, though each time we rejoin them they are picking things up from where we left them the scene before. And Henry wears the same damn Cosby sweater in every single scene. Lazy. It’s a lazy movie with some nice tits and no laughs. A complete waste of time!


Next Time: The Gardener
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Generation X: 20 Years Later

Originally I was going to title this column "Don't call me a Generation Xer," because the term "Generation X" is thrown around too often, and as time has gone by, the term is being directed at the wrong group of people for the wrong reasons.

Mostly it is a clich̩ used to describe any college kid. My mother has used it to describe anyone my age Рthose born in the late 70s and early 80s. But upon learning the actual origin of the term, one's definition of what this 'X' is changes, and it becomes more difficult to pigeonhole who belongs to it.

The label "Generation X" came into our pop culture exactly 20 years ago, from a book written by then 28-year-old Douglas Coupland – "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture." Coupland got his novel's title from the final chapter of a sociological book on American class structure. The book named an "X" category of people who wanted to hop off the merry-go-round of status, money, and social climbing that so often defines modern life.

Coupland felt this group had much in common with his three main characters, Claire, Andy, and Dag – a trio of 20-somethings living out in Palm Springs, CA, who are overeducated, underemployed, ironic, cynical, and withdrawing from society in order to find their individual identities. They dislike most institutions and doing what their families expect of them.

The dialogue of the book is interspersed with neo-logisms like "McJob," which is "a low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one," and "Lesslessness - a philosophy whereby one reconciles oneself with diminishing expectations of material wealth: 'I've given up wanting to make a killing or be a big shot. I just want to find happiness and maybe open a little roadside cafe in Idaho."

The three characters weren't meant to represent the 48 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 30, just a subgroup. However pundits and marketers defined 'X' as anyone in that embittered age group. A post-'80s generation of young adults, who resent the baby boomers for embarking on a decade of greed and saddling the Xers with a crippling recession.

Coupland said X was not based on a chronological age but rather a way of looking at the world. However, around the same time of his book's release also came the film "Slacker" and the new music genre of Seattle "Grunge" and alternative-rock, which started off the next big youth trend of the '90s. The media and the advertisers took Coupland's title and ran with it. From then on every 18 to 30 year old has been tagged with the Generation X label as if a day hasn't passed since Coupland's book was first published.

A few years ago you may have seen the commercials for WorldCom, where they claim the members of "Generation d," which is described as "the generation that grew up digital" are now working for their company. And let's not forget Pepsi's attempt to target the market with their '90s slogan "Generation Next." I think it's sad to see corporations define our generations' tastes for us.

It's now 2008 and Generation X is being overlooked to "Generation Y" a.ka. the teen market and their $125 billion allowance.

In a 1995 "Details" magazine article Coupland announced the end of his generation due to the relentless attempts of Madison Ave. to define what X is. "Once people think they've pigeonholed you, they'll also think they can exploit and use you." wrote Coupland.

When asked by Wired Magazine to give a style for what Generation X means, Coupland said "I think it started out being pejorative, and now it's like Kleenex or Jell-O. Semiotically blank I guess if you identified with the characters or the themes in that book you might be "X," but even that's corny."


-jordan
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Killer Plant Smack-Down: Film 2

Title: The Little Shop of Horrors

What the hell??: Hopeless nebbish Seymour Krelboin has one last shot to keep his job at Gravis Mushnik's Skid Row flower shop.  He must impress his boss with the plant he has grown using seeds he purchased from a mysterious Japanese man on Central Avenue.  The plant, named Audrey Jr. after Seymour's love interest and fellow shop employee, at first fails to illicit any positive reaction, being seemingly half-dead, but Seymour is given one week to nurse it back to health so it will be ready for the string of admirers a flower-eating weirdo promises Mushnik will flock to his store to see such a plant.  Seymour, who fancies himself an amateur horticulturist, at his wits end and being berated by the plant ("feed me--I'm hungry!"), accidentally cuts himself one evening and finds Audrey Jr. requires human blood to bloom. Audrey Jr. soon begins to thrive as various Skid Row citizens (a railroad cop, an unstable dentist, a prostitute) disappear. Mushnik, aware of the fact that Seymour is committing the crimes and feeding corpses to his plant, keeps his mouth shut because of all the new revenue, while Audrey Fulquard, Seymour's dim-bulb lady-love, falls deeper in love with her nerdy paramour.  In the end, a guilt-ridden Seymour, whose crimes have been uncovered by some truly hideous sunset blooms, feeds himself to Audrey Jr. taking her apart from the inside.

What's to like: The characters that populate the world of Little Shop are amazing.  From by-the-book detectives Joe Fink and Frank Stoolie to Jack Nicholson's masochistic Wilber Force, the never-ending cavalcade of wacky characters enriches this darkly comic tale of murder and deception.  The screenplay is full of delightful wordplay delivered with expertise by every actor involved.

What's to not like: Hmmmmm...it could've used some Broadway-style musical numbers. Someone should get on that.

The truth: The Little Shop of Horrors is clever and goofy--it is so goofy, in fact, that it contains a banana peel gag, one of the hallmarks of true goofdom.  It makes you miss the horror-comedies, or rather, quality horror comedies (think Evil Dead as opposed to the Scary Movie series) of yore.  Definitely worth viewing--a guaranteed good time for all involved.  In fact, while I was watching it I decided that when I have a child and he/she is old enough, this will be his/her first horror film...you know, if it's OK with the wife.
Next time: Please Don't Eat My Mother
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

America's Next Top Model-Cycle 10: The Finale

And the winner is...

Whitney, the first full-figured winner of ANTM. It took them 10 years to let a fat girl win (in all fairness, she's really not that fat...just fat in terms of models). I was glad that she won; I would rather have her cause promoted than any of the other 'causes' that have come and gone throughout the cycles (especially the fake-assperger's of last cycle).

This year's fake fashion show had a little more star power behind it - Donatella Versace designed the clothes, hence the extended shots of all of the other models. I guess she designed the itsy bitsy speedos as well (or Mr. Jay was allowed into the editing room).

It was nice to see Saleisha actually getting some work in a real fashion show, unlike all of those crappy ones they showed during her commercials throughout this cycle.

Some things to fix for next cycle:

1. Less product placement after the episode that promotes that product. If I saw one more can of 7-Up I was going to scream. No one likes 7-Up, and seeing wannabe models drink it is not helping its cause.

2. Lamest go-sees ever. Please go back to the individual go-sees where 4 or 5 of them have to navigate crappy transportation and ridiclous language barriers and absurd time constraints.

3. Tyra mail - please do NOT run the ticker next season. We know the models can read (and if they can't, we don't care because they look pretty.). And the Tyra Lisa Tyra-mail in Rome was pretty lame, too.

4. Tyra needs to take her meds regularly and consistently. She was even more whacko than usual. Please, prescribe her stronger drugs before she ends up like Paula Abdul.

5. Keep Paulina - she's fierce.

6. Keep the glitter away from Ms. Jay.

Quote du soir:
'the first ever juicy booty to make it on the runway' - make up artist in reference to Whitney.

Also, note the cheekbones on the one, the only, noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker.

'til next cycle
-ll



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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clash of the Titans

Archuleta needs you, boo. You couldn't have scripted a better episode of a reality cooking show than last night's (as promised) explosive Hell's Kitchen.

To be honest, it wasn't any more "explosive" than any other episode in the four year history of the program, but it was still pretty good. The Ben vs. Matt(y) conflict reached epic proportions during Ramsay's Fourth Annual Palate-Off. The challenge: trade off naming the ingredients of a classic clam chowder during a blind taste test. The winner: Matt. As much as I've slagged Matt in the past, I couldn't have been happier with his victory. Ben is a smug asshole and it was nice watching him fall further from grace. Plus, the win endeared Matt to his new team.

Ramsay has wanted to send Ben away from day one and last night he finally got his wish. After a disastrous dinner service in which the only stand out was Matt(!), the men's team was collectively placed on the chopping block. In the end, Charlotte's own Petrozza was deemed a "gentleman," Louross said something about staying funky, and Ben (along with his stupid facial hair) was cut from the team, much to the delight of this fat ass...

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Put your hand inside the puppet head

We saw Avenue Q again last Sunday and it got me thinking about my favorite puppets (it also made me question my decision to major in English/Literature in college, but that's for a my therapist).

Tom Servo, Crow, and Gypsy: Deep down I'm sure MST3K is one of my main inspirations for this blog. This was my favorite show when I was in middle school. I remember watching it whenever it was on--morning, noon, and night. My favorite episode is Pod People and I've literally watched it hundreds of times. I'm surprised the VHS tape still works.

Kate Monster and Princeton: Has there ever been a cuter puppet couple. True, Kermit and Miss Piggy were the first inter-species puppet couple, but Kate and Princeton are better singers and they have no problem having intercourse in front of a theater audience. Princeton's struggle reminds me of my own just after college which is probably why Avenue Q means so much to me. It's also the first Broadway show I actually saw on Broadway.

Sifl and Olly: In high school we didn't need drugs, man. We just needed Todd's basement and a VHS tape packed with Sifl and Olly episodes. To this day the best show featuring sock puppets, Sifl and Olly provided America with ridiculous songs that would stick in your head for weeks, the Precious Roy Home Shopping Network, and the term "crescent fresh." One of my only positive memories of high school. It truly was a show for all the chicks and the dudes in the universe...the universe USA.


David Liebe Hart: Not technically a puppet, but one hell of a puppet master. David Liebe Hart's songs about staying focused in school, father and son relationships, and extraterrestrial greetings provide some of the most memorable moments on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! He's been around forever and apparently performs outside the Hollywood Bowl. Salame, David. Salame!

Punch and Judy: Punch and Judy have been making spousal abuse fun for centuries. British children adore the antics of horrifically-deformed, baby-killing, wife-beating Punch and why shouldn't they? Sometimes you need to revel in a puppet's miserable existence to feel good about yourself. It's called schadenfreude people!

The Muppets: From Sesame Street to Fraggle Rock, from The Muppet Show to The Dark Crystal, people love Jim Henson's Muppets. And why wouldn't they? With such an assortment of creatures (frogs, Doozers, Skeksis, monsters, whatever the hell Scooter is, pigs in space, etc), the Muppet Universe reflects our own multi-cultural world, only with spontaneous singing and genuine concern for one another's well being. Makes you think--but not really.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

May Smack-Down Revealed...

April showers bring May flowers, and this May those flowers could very well kill you. That's right, our May Movie Smack-Down is a...



Killer Plant Smack-Down!
Title: The Day of the Triffids

What the Hell?: A meteor shower renders everyone in the world blind but an American naval officer, a runaway orphan, an alcoholic marine biologist and his beautiful, British wife, and an assortment of French people. Not only that, but giant killer plants called Triffids are stalking the newly blind and eating them whole. While Bill Masen (the Navy dude) and Susan (the precocious orphan) travel through Europe searching for survivors and just narrowly escaping Triffid attacks, Tom Goodwin (the marine biologist) and his wife Karen (hot) try to find a way to kill the Triffids. In the end, Bill gets his band of survivors safely onboard a rescue submarine and Tom discovers the Triffids dissolve into green slime when they are blasted with sea water. This discovery makes it possible for mankind to defeat the man-eating plants from space. Good for you, human race! Too bad you're all still blind.

What's to like: Even though this is a cheesy horror trifle from the early 60's, it has some genuinely moving scenes (a freshly-blind pilot begging an absent ground control to talk an airplane full of blind passengers safely to the ground; Susan excitedly asking her new blind friend "Isn't it wonderful," when Bill gets the lights back on; a blind couple trying their very best to continue living life as usual in the Spanish countryside).
What's to not like: The Triffids themselves are the low point of this feature. They're slow moving and lack any true design. Also it kind of bothered me that a radio announcer reporting the plague of worldwide blindness is also able to give quite an accurate description of the monster-plants that are roaming around consuming people. How the hell does he know? How does anyone know?

The truth: The Day of the Triffids takes place in a simpler time when a nurse would light your cigarette for you at the hospital and the field of marine biology focused solely on the dissection of sting rays. This is a movie that could benefit from a big budget Hollywood remake, and I don't often support that kind of thing. It's a great story and while the human actors were actually pretty good, the whole thing deserved better Triffids. Get on it, Peter Jackson.

NEXT TIME: Little Shop of Horrors
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