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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (review/addendum)

It's taken me a week to get myself to really sit down and write this review of the new Indiana Jones movie. Since I already posted a big blog entry about Indiana Jones here, I'm not going to post the trailers or pictures like I usually do in blog entries such as these.

I'm going to do my best and not post any spoilers for any of you out there that have yet to see this.

Plain and simple, I enjoyed this movie. I had a lot of fun in the theater. It may have been mostly because of nostalgia but that's fine. It was great seeing Harrison Ford back as Indiana Jones. 19 years later and I think it still works. I think everyone in the movie did a decent enough job for the movie as a whole. My least favorite was Cate Blanchett, to my surprise. I love her as an actress but her performance in this movie was borderline kabuki theater for me. I'm sure this is what George Lucas and Steven Spielberg wanted.

It's no surprise to me that George Lucas still has a tendency toward the hokey dialogue and the far fetched in regards to story. But all that aside, this movie still moved like an Indiana Jones movie to me. It resonated from the original concept that the story was derived from the 1920s and 1930s cliffhanger serial comics.

Some of what happens in this movie is indeed outlandish and far fetched. But if we really dissect the past Indiana Jones movies, there's very similar outlandish elements to those stories.

The one thing I could have probably had less of was the CGI. There's a certain scene with monkeys in the jungle that was a bit distracting. But it wasn't THAT bad.

There's something about Shia LeBeouf that I don't like. I'm not sure what it is. I believe he's a pretty good actor. My best friend thinks I don't like him because he is the actor I wanted to be 10 years ago. As if I were jealous. I'm not sure if that's it. I think it's safe to say that's not it.

He does a good job here in keeping up with the chemistry with Harrison Ford. I've even heard rumor that they will be making another Indy movie with Shia starring. We'll see. I hope not.

Bottom line, I enjoyed the movie. There were definite Spielberg moments that called back to different cinematic 80s movie moments. I'm thinking of the bike chase sequence in particular.

Sure, different choices could have been made but given the fact that this script went through 5 different versions and 5 different screen writers, I think the overall package was done pretty well.

I give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5....if I had stars of course.

Evil Dead The Musical Posters

The link below is to teknohed's blog who got this from Neatorama
who in turn got it from Ads Of The World

So here's the link I am referring to, even though you can find the same content in the links above.
The Evil Dead Musical Has Funny Posters

Is that the layers of internet echo you were referring to, Ryan?

Saul Williams

I recently found out an old friend of mine who is an actress and singer just got married to Hip Hop Artist/Spoken Word Poet Saul Williams. I was surprised and thrilled by this. Saul Williams is one of those few hip hop artists that always blows me away with the words he speaks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

John McCain on Ellen

If I have an argument with someone on opposing views, the least I'd do is have my own sense valid reasoning and points to make to back up my side of said argument. John McCain chose the 'sweating balls' approach.

What a douche.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I feel like a kid again

I remember when I was a kid, feeling an air of excitement that made it difficult to go to bed. This usually happened the night before a trip to Disneyland, the last day of school, on my birthday, and when I knew I was going to see certain movies.

Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark came out in 1981 and I was 5 years old. At that point in my life, I only knew Harrison Ford as Han Solo and just barely. I was only 5! The way my memory works, my early childhood movie experiences are a Steven Speilberg/George Lucas/Robert Zemekis clusterfuck. There was Jaws and E.T., which I had both seen in the theaters around the same age. There was the Star Wars trilogy. There was the Back To The Future movies and the Amazing Stories television series. I didn't know Harrison Ford as Deckard from Bladerunner. I had never seen American Graffiti by that age. But, I have come to understand this love of movies I have now had started at that age.

Indiana Jones and Han Solo melded together in my head as one person. This great cocky funny hero. I wanted to be both of them. I had a list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember on my list was Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, and Indiana Jones.

So now here we are, two days away from the 4th Indiana Jones movie, and I'm feeling a familiar sense of excitement I haven't felt in quite some time. It's the feeling of excitement I was looking for when I went to see The Transformers movie last summer. It's the same feeling of excitement I will probably be searching for when The G.I. Joe movie ends up coming out. But...I am pensive about that. The Transformers and G.I. Joe hold a place in my heart as an integral part of my childhood...but in the realm of make-believe and toys. I am an only child and a lot of my time was spent by myself playing with these toys. I wrote the script in my mind as the action played out in real time. Needless to say, I did enjoy the cartoon yet I am concerned a big budget movie for G.I. Joe may fall short of my expectations.

Indie, on the other hand....well it's a reunion of sorts for me. I can only really compare this to the excitement I felt when Star Wars Episodes 1-3 were released in theaters. Yes, I was one of those people who saw them each at least three times in the theater. All of us adults sitting there trying to reach out and grasp pieces of what made our childhoods grand while seeing kids enjoying it now as we had in the 80s.

The other day, they had a Indiana Jones marathon on The Sci Fi channel. I had plans that day. Things I needed to get done. Yet, when I heard mention of "The Ark" and "Abner Ravenwood", those plans seemed obsolete and I was stuck on the couch watching this movie that is now 27 years old. Entertained like it was the first time I had seen the film. Recalling the year I had seen it in the theater and the subsequent years I had watched it Pinecrest Summer Camp during the extra hot smoggy San Fernando Valley days.

Today, I spent a good portion of an hour searching for information on the new Indiana Jones movie online. I made it a point to not read spoilers but get a general idea of the how people who have seen it, view it. I then decided that a great way to spend my Thursday night after work is to see the movie.

As soon as I bought a ticket online, I felt butterflies in my stomach. It's weird, I wasn't expecting that. I have a ticket. The theater is so close to being sold out already and I know I will at least see this movie three times in the theater.

Star Wars and Indiana Jones were the movie going beginnings of my childhood. They mean the beginning of the blockbuster to me. I don't remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater that gave me the thrill and excitement that Indiana Jones did throughout the 80s and early 90s for me. Iron Man and Batman came close, but in different ways.

So here I am, two days away from seeing the new Indiana Jones movie, and I'm feeling like that 7 year old kid who could not fall asleep the night before a big trip to Disneyland.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Showgun Assassin

I just recently finally watched Shogun Assassin. You can see in this film the elements that were later used in Big Trouble In Little China and Kill Bill Vol.1 and 2.

Bad ass movie!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There's a racist in my family

Needless to say, I'm a bit put off by what my mother informed me of yesterday.

I was watching last night's episode of The Daily Show. There was a segment in which Jon Stewart was talking about how Clinton won overwhelmingly in West Virginia. He went on to discuss how the media was describing West Virginia's majority being white blue collar workers who did not graduate college. Jon wasn't believing this. He then played a few clips of people who live within the state. Clips of stereotypical looking small town types denouncing Obama for his race, for his middle name, for him being a Muslim.

It pissed me off. How fucking stupid can you be? I mean, they should just say they're not voting for him because they're ignorant. Because, to not vote for someone over those reasons, you have to be ignorant. His middle name is Hussein. So what? He isn't a Muslim. That's misinformation right there. What makes me more angry is the concept that you're a Democrat but would rather vote for McCain than Obama if Obama gets the nomination.

How the hell does this even make sense? Doesn't that infringe upon the basic Democratic beliefs that uphold this party? Might as well start referring to you ignorant people as "Liebermans". I'm not insinuating Joe Lieberman is ignorant. But he was once a Democrat and endorses John McCain. put two and two together.

What made me even more pissed off was what my mother told me. She recently had a talk with my cousin in law. She's an older woman who reminds me of a cross between Dolly Parton and Tammy Fay Baker. She has bedazzled cowboy hats and porcelain dolls in every room of her house. She is obsessed with soap operas and somewhat scares me.

She apparently told my mother that if Obama gets the nomination, she would vote for McCain. Why? Well because he's black, because he's a terrorist, because of Reverend Wright, because she heard somewhere Barack Obama is a violent man.


I heard somewhere McCain has a bad temper. I heard somewhere Bush was an alcoholic and had a cocaine problem. I heard somewhere the Earth was flat.

Some are truths and some aren't.

But seriously, maybe you should really investigate and educate yourself before basing beliefs and ideas on heresay.

I can't stand Hilary Clinton but if she got the nomination, I wouldn't hesitate to vote for her come election time. I'm not ashamed to admit that. But to state you won't vote for someone because of ignorant stereotypes and misinformation just makes me sad. It should make the individual sad.

They already are sad. But not in an emotional state. They're probably too ignorant to recognize a sad emotional state instigated by such sad affairs.

I'll go weep in the corner now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scarlett Johansson does Tom Waits

Obviously I pick Tom Waits. For those who don't know, Scarlett Johansson will be releasing her album mostly comprised of Waits' cover songs. I took a listen to what she has on her profile here Anywhere I Lay My Head

My first thought while listening to the tracks on the profile was that it vaguely reminded me of The Cocteau Twins. Then I heard a hint of David Bowie (he is featured in the background of a few tracks) but his voice is diminished to a hint of an echo. Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio produced this album. I can hear the TV On The Radio sound a little on here. It still sounds too gothy shoegaze for my tastes.

Of course, I think Scarlett Johansson is hot and the idea of her doing a Tom Waits cover album makes me happy. Part of me doesn't even care if the album sucks. I mean, it's Scarlett Johansson. She's a great actress, she's gorgeous, and she likes Tom Waits.

What more could I ask for?

I suppose I can ask for it to be good. But from what I heard, it's not horrible.

The Empire Strikes Barack

Fucking brilliant.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Kids In The Hall "As Live As We'll Ever Be"

Tonight I got the chance to see The Kids In The Hall perform live at The Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. I have been a fan of theirs since the early 90s. My high school years from 1991 to 1994 were pretty much spent quoting lines from the show, watching Twin Peaks, and being a disgruntled misunderstood teen. Well, I'm not a teen anymore.

I've never been to The Orpheum Theater before and damn this place was beautiful. I love the feel of an old vaudville theater. Apparently Judy Garland performed there at the beginning of her career. I took pics with my cell phone but for some reason they won't load.

My seat was about 6 rows from the stage in the Orchestra section. It was fantastic! I brought in a notebook with me to keep track of what they did.

When the show finally started, the lights dimmed and an announcer's voice told the audience that to understand how they decided to tour, you need to see the meeting they had before the touring started. This video then started to play on the screen at the back of the stage:

When the sketch ended, Kevin came running out on stage in his underwear and an apple in his mouth. He was chased by Marc, Dave, Bruce, and Scott. He threw the apple into the audience and then they all bowed to the audience, everyone was cheering.

On with the show!

The first sketch involved Dave and Kevin playing a married couple, Kevin being the wife. They were visiting their friends, couple played by Marc and Bruce. Bruce played the wife who just had a baby. The baby was a hateful baby. This sketch was completely new material and had original characters not seen on the show before. It was pretty damn funny. I'll try to not give too much info for those people who might be reading this who have yet to see them perform live but are planning to during this tour. I'm looking at you, San Francisco!

The next sketch brought Scott Thompson out as Buddy Cole. The crowd went nuts! He sat down at his stool, sipped his martini, and proceeded to explain to everyone how Jesus Christ was actually a homosexual. He then read from The Bible: The King James Musical Version.

The next sketch involved some of my favorite characters from the show. Bruce and Marc came out as the inspirational salesmen dressed in suits. I don't remember the characters' names. But they were hysterical in selling the new product the "Gut Spigot". It's purpose, to suck the fat out of American's bellies and then use that fat to fuel cars to get us off of our dependency on oil. You could see they were having a lot of fun in this one and Bruce kept cracking up.

Then Kevin and Dave played two drunks in a bar during last call. Dave explains he has a time machine and travels back in time every three minutes so the bar never closes. Kevin doesn't believe him. Dave then travels back in time by putting on a helmet thing behind a white sheet at the back of the stage and comes back three minutes in the past to order another beer.

We then find Kevin and Marc as Jehovas Witnesses who come to a house where Bruce answers dressed as Gavin. Priceless. One of the highlights for me. I'm sure you know where this scenario is going.

After this sketch, Kevin then came out with a guitar and sang to the audience a song he never finished writing. He explained it was because they cut some scenes last minute so they didnt want to end the show early. Sad, cuz I would have loved to see Hecubus live.

Scott and Bruce then came out in a sketch bringing back Kathy and Cathy. I never remember which one is the one with the K and which one is the C. They meet at a restaurant and Bruce's Cathy admits to being on a new diet. The Crystal Meth diet. Another insanely funny sketch here.

The next was a monologue by Marc McKinney spoken in a film noir style and I swear to God this was a monologue featured on the show in Season 3 o 4.

From here, we are brought to the next video projected on the big screen at the back of the stage. For those of you who have yet to see this, I now present to you Carfuckers:

We're then on to the next live sketch which features Dave who comes to Kevin because he suspects his imaginary girlfriend is cheating on him. It turns out she is, because Kevin is imagining her too and professed his undying love for her in his mind.

Scott then came out as the redneck thug character he played in many sketches on the original show. Him and Marc proceeded to perform this sketch live:

The only real difference I noted was at the end of the sketch, the chicken lady shot bouncing balls out of her crotch which was supposed to signify eggs.

We then find Bruce and Dave in a sketch. Bruce plays Dave's wife and they sit next to each other with a blanket covering their laps. Bruce then says, "It's your Bday. BJ for your Bday!" and then gets to it under the blanket. She (Bruce) then says to Dave how she finds it to be so pro feminist of him to accept just one blow job a year. He then excuses himself and walks to the back of the stage and puts on the time machine helmet and travels back in time 3 minutes.

The next sketch involved all the kids in a very gay sketch involving canadian gay marriage, Marc as a professor with a weird accent, and Bruce as Inga the Swedish drink trollop who only knows how to speak in baby talk.

This was followed by Bruce coming out in a piano tie. There's 80s disco/hip hop music playing. He starts rapping and dancing showing how he danced from 8th grade to 11th grade. He is then joined by Marc and Kevin who are dressed as 80s teenage girls and then Scott and Dave in acid washed jean jackets as teenage boys from the 80s. It turned into a massive rapping dance fest. Hysterical!

We are back to Dave in his time machine but this time tries to do something meaningful and travels back in time to Germany to kill Hitler. He meets Hitler who is still a young art student and off handedly puts it in his mind that he hates Jews after Hitler buys him a beer.

Then Kevin comes out and introduces Rick McCluster: SuperDrunk played by Bruce with his sidekick The Bartender played by Dave. This was one of my favorite sketches of the night. The more drunk Rick McCluster gets, the more his super powers show themselves. His sidekick is always there in a bowling shirt and a martini shaker. Marc played the villain and Scott was the damsel in distress.

This led to the show ending and the kids getting a standing ovation. Of course they came out with an amazing encore which entailed Marc as the headcrusher. He brought out a camera and proceeded to crush random audience members' heads before bringing out his prisoners, the other four kids, and proceeded to rip on each of them until he finished them off by crushing their heads. Until finally he was left to finish himself off and crush his own head.

This followed another standing ovation and the end of the show. Fucking brilliant. I'm so glad I went. I would refer anyone to go see them live. I hope what I read was true that they are working on new material and possibly a sequel to Brain Candy.

That's the end of this recap/review. I'm spent.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jesus Camp

The next movie I received from Netflix was Jesus Camp. Like many of the movies on my Netflix list, I had originally wanted to see this in the theater when I saw the preview. My original impression of the film was that it looked thought provoking but I knew it was going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. It did.

The movie is a documentary that follows three different kids as they go to Evangelical Summer Camp called "Kids On Fire" which is thrown by the church's minister Becky Fischer. From the beginning of this film, this woman scared me. There were a few parts of the film where she talked about training these children to be soldiers in God's Army. As well, the denouncing of Harry Potter is still amusing to me. I've heard this before when I was dating my last girlfriend. Her hardcore christian friends were denouncing Harry Potter because it promotes worlocks and black magic which is a bad message to send to kids.

Right, well I disagreed. Of course, I was outnumbered and no way was I to win that argument.

At one point in the movie, they brought out a man named Lou Engle who was the "head profit" or some such. This guy looked like he had just graduated rehab and had the voice of someone who's smoked chimneys instead of cigarettes and drank whiskey including the glass bottle. He led a prayer session that was focused on George Bush. This film took place in 2005 and it was around the time Judge Alito was sworn into the Supreme Court. The prayer was focused on overturning Roe Vs Wade and making abortion illegal. He put red tape on the kids' mouths that had the word "LIFE" written in bold letters and passed around these tiny baby figurines which were to also signify the babies that pro choice people were killing.

But what I found most amusing about this film was the part where one of the kids visits The New Life Church in Colorado which has the largest amount of Evangelical churches in the country. The founder of the church was there and speaking to the crowd. His name is Ted Haggard. He spoke of sinning and was very outspoken against the homosexual community and what not. He would meet with Bush and his appointees every Monday, or so the film said.

What I found amusing about this was about two or three months after this was released, Ted Haggard was involved in a bit of a scandal. You see, Ted Haggard's personal masseur had been engaging him in gay sex for three years and also sold him crystal meth. Apparently the guy only became knowledgable about Ted Haggard's true identity around this time and felt it was sick for him to be denouncing the homosexual community when he was leading this other life.

Haggard went on to resign as president of the church and then admitted to some of the allegations.

It's stuff like that and the Larry Craig scandal that really makes me laugh. But what didn't make me laugh was the overall message in this movie. The the separation of church and state has become such a thin line in this country during the Bush administration's two terms. That Evangelicals believe in the rapture and creationism. I know people have the right to believe whatever they want but to believe that Jesus will come back soon and take you up into heaven is one thing. To then act like all the resources on Earth are there for the taking and for you to waste because you're not going to be on this Earth much longer since Jesus will come back and take you up to heaven is a different story. It made me wonder if Bush even truly cares about this country at all or is truly swallowed up in his own greed and the same thought process that I was taking in while watching this movie. It would explain his past actions. But I'm not quite sure if I can come to that conclusion.

I did enjoy the movie even if it made me sick and I disagreed with Becky Fischer's beliefs and the camp she trains these soldiers for the Army Of God at.

I'm not going to give this movie stars.

Oh...and did I mention they cry a lot and speak in tongues in this movie?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Another reason I like Tom Hanks

Iron Man aka The Beginning Of The Summer Movie Awesomeness

I saw Iron Man this weekend. I was excited before seeing the film about as excited as I was after seeing it. Not only was this movie badass, but it signifies the beginning of the summer movie season.

Robert Downey Jr. played such a great Tony Stark. I actually saw this movie twice this weekend and it was just as good the second time around. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, stay till the end of the credits.

Some trailers I saw before the film that I can't wait to see are:



And let's not forget:

For those of you living under a rock, here's the Iron Man trailer

This movie obviously gets 5 stars from me.

Two Things That Made My Monday!

I sign into my computer at work and find in big letters on the NIN blog on MySpace that there's a new album for free download. I nearly crapped my pants. It's called The Slip. It awesome. Download it, everyone. It's free. The Slip

If the new NIN wasn't enough, I then get a link to this video:

He's having a frickin' tour!?!? Dagnabbit! It starts the week of my birthday. I just may have to trek over to Phoenix to see him. I need to see this man perform live before he is no longer performing!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Political Distractions

I'm annoyed with all this bullshit I've been seeing on the news recently. This is a Presidential Campaign. Yet America is focused on the moron pictured with Barack Obama above. As a white man, even though I am trying to view this with unbiased eyes in regards to race, I'm embarrassed for Obama and embarrassed for the white working class votes that Clinton is starting to gain because of this fiasco.

It's simply retarded. If the news is going to go on and on about Barack Obama's racist preacher, why not bring up the flipside?

Yeah Billy Graham. Why not talk about him? Why not discuss his ranting on the Jews controlling the media? He has gone on record saying this, in a sad attempt at an apology:

“I go and I keep friends with Mr. Rosenthal at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know. And all I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.”

Yeah, Jerry Falwell. Why not talk about him?

He had gone on record about 9/11 saying, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

Yeah, Pat Robertson. Why not talk about him? He believes natural disasters like Katrina and whatnot are caused by "unnatural actions" in regards to behavior partaken in the gay community.

I mean, come on, talk about a catch 22. I understand how Rev Wright's views of America can be shaped by his youth and how the African American community struggled to come up from the oppression and poverty that was a reality for him when he was my age. I also think he went overboard. But this affecting Obama's campaign is ridiculous.

If the media is to focus on Wright and his views and how that reflects on Barack Obama's electability and character, why is the media not really discussing John McCain's preacher John Hagee?

This is a quote from Pastor Hagee: It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God's chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day.

Fine, apparently he also hates Catholics and Muslims. But shouldn't the media and the American public be more resourceful and think here? No, of course not. Because white christian republican based preachers are expected to say such things. Rich and white, no one questions. People just roll their eyes and accept it as a reality. But a black preacher, rut roh! Look out. Angry black man of God, now that's news material.

If this genuinely affects the race and puts Clinton in the nomination, I'll seriously be at a loss for words. I'll further be tempted to cut out my tongue and completely lose the ability to form words if McCain wins.

Lastly, I find this picture below funny and ironic.