Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Take Me To Your Dealer

The dangers of too much Mario Kart

Monday, November 27, 2006

Best Bushisms o' '06

I don't buy it that George W. Bush is a fully fledged moron. His dimwittedness is either a result of some kind of medical imbalance or a GOP strategy. Probably both. For example, check out this video on the decline of Bush's public speaking skills over the course of the last ten years. And let's not forget that, following his 1978 electoral defeat to Southern boy Kent Hance, a preppy Bush vowed never to be "out-Bubba'd" again. With this in mind, laughing at "Bushisms" because they highlight his stupidity only really serves to perpetuate the ruse that is being played on us all.

This preamble is merely to say that my picks for the top five Bushisms of 2006 are not ones that make him seem like an idiot, but rather ones that reveal what an arrogant, insensitive asshole he is. I actually think he peaked in this department on January 1st, so 2006 was all downhill from there (unless he pulls out something great in December).

I give you the top five:
  1. "As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel."
    --George W. Bush, after visiting with wounded veterans from the Amputee Care Center of Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1, 2006

  2. "I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake."
    --George W. Bush, on his best moment in office, interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, May 7, 2006

  3. "That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three -- three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?"
    --George W. Bush, while showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

  4. "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense."
    --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. April 18, 2006 (video clip)

  5. Bush: "Are you going to ask that question with shades on?"
    Peter Wallsten of the L.A. Times: "I can take them off."
    Bush: "I'm interested in the shade look, seriously."
    Wallsten: "All right, I'll keep it, then."
    Bush: "For the viewers, there's no sun."
    Wallsten: "I guess it depends on your perspective."
    Bush: "Touché."
    --George W. Bush gives a legally blind reporter a hard time for wearing sunglasses while asking him a question, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006 (video clip)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A friend with weed is a friend indeed

An oldie, but goodie...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Best DVDs o' '06

There are still one or two DVD releases this year that might warrant a place in this post - such as the upcoming disc for The Conformist - but here's my take on the best DVD releases of 2006. Discs were selected based on quality of the movie, quality of the transfer, quality of the extra features ... and whether or not I've bought them (hence the lack of overpriced Criterion releases!).


Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
One of Russ Meyer’s best films gets the royal treatment from Fox: a two-disc set featuring a superlative transfer and a wealth of extra features (including a deeply informative commentary by the film’s screenwriter, Roger Ebert). This is a one-of-a-kind film experience of the sort that they don’t make any more. Best DVD of 2006!

Werewolves on Wheels
A new outfit, Dark Sky is rapidly becoming one of my favorite DVD companies. This movie is a hybrid biker/horror film with an existential bent. I was expecting pure drive-in trash, but this film has a really striking atmosphere that raises it to a completely different level than the standard biker fare. A wonderful, surprise discovery for me.

Another wonderful discovery. As with most Mondo Macabro DVDs, this is a film I had never heard of before. It stars Klaus Kinski and is an off-beat, existential tale about the quest to find the elixir of life.

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death
A rarely seen American Gothic from the early-1970s. Another gem that I hadn’t seen before, and given a nice DVD release by Paramount.

The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set

NoShame Films has quickly become an indispensable DVD company, releasing both cult and arthouse films from Italy. This set features two gialli from the early 1970s: The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. Both movies are classics and this is a quality DVD release all the way down the line - although I could have done without the ridiculous Red Queen action figure that this set came packaged with!

The Beast Must Die
Another winner from Dark Sky. This film really surpassed my expectations. The premise is an Agatha Christie style scenario where you have to guess who the werewolf is. The film even has a “Werewolf Break” where you are given time to contemplate the different suspects. What did it for me, though, was the fact that they tried to add a blaxploitation element to this very British scenario.

The Big Racket
One of three Italian crime films directed by Enzo Castellari that Blue Underground released in April ’06. All three feature nice transfers and enjoyable commentaries by Enzo. This one is the best movie of the bunch: a terrific fusion of elements from Death Wish, Dirty Harry, The Wild Bunch and The Dirty Dozen.

Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion: Beast Stable and
Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion: Grudge Song
Episodes three and four of a series of insanely stylish 1970s Japanese exploitation flicks starring Meiko Kaji. How wonderful it is to have these on DVD.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Dark Sky has answered the prayers of many with this exceptional DVD: a two-disc set featuring a fantastic transfer and an enormous amount of extra features. The person at the check-out at Best Buy, unfortunately, didn’t realize there was a Texas Chain Saw Massacre from the 1970s and starting raving about the recent remake and how excited she was about the upcoming sequel. Oh, the youth of today!

Virgins From Hell
Mondo Macabro has released several grindhouse epics from Indonesia. This DVD edges ahead of their other releases by including a second disc with over an hour’s worth of trailers for Indonesian exploitation films.


The Devil's Sword
More Indonesian insanity from Mondo Macabro! DVD features a profoundly weird interview with the film's star, Barry Prima.

The Bollywood Horror Collection
Mondo Macabro strikes again, with this double feature of two obscure Indian horror films: Bandh Darwaza and Purana Mandir. Great stuff!

Dust Devil
A mammoth DVD set, featuring five discs for the price of one: two versions of Dust Devil, a soundtrack CD, and two discs full of documentaries made by Richard Stanley. Subversive should be commended for such an amazingly in-depth package, which is a treat for any fans of Stanley’s work. Now all we need is for Hardware to get the same kind of royal treatment.

Colt 38 Special Squad

A cracking Italian crime film and a great DVD package from NoShame. Included as an extra feature is an entire film which was never released (and thought lost) because the producer was kidnapped shortly after it was completed!

Richard Lester’s 1968 film is one of the great critiques of the modernist society. For some reason this sometimes gets billed as a comedy, but it’s actually a very serious film in the tradition of Last Year in Marienbad. Feels like it should have a Richard Lester/Steven Soderbergh commentary track ... but sadly it doesn't.

Succubus and Two Undercover Angels/Kiss Me Monster
Blue Underground revisits some Jess Franco titles that had originally been issued through Anchor Bay, substantially improving the transfers on all three movies. Taken as a whole, these films provide a nice overview of Franco's late-1960s work, ranging from deeply strange sexadelic art films to goofy sexadelic caper films!

The Other
Another fantastic piece of American Gothic from the early 1970s. It would make for a great double feature with Let’s Scare Jessica To Death. Paramount’s DVD provides a nice transfer, but there's a dearth of extra features.

Street Law
Another of the Blue Underground Enzo Castellari DVDs, this one starring the great Franco Nero in a Death Wish inspired crime film.

Black Belly of the Tarantula
The best of four gialli released by Blue Underground in March ’06.

Columbo Season 4, Season 5 and Season 6 & 7
I’m a sucker for Columbo. These all have solid transfers, and the shows themselves are rarely less than stellar. I can’t bring myself to put any of the season box sets in the top ten, however, because Universal has released all of the original seven seasons on DVD and has yet to include a single extra feature about Columbo. Surely Peter Falk must be willing to give an interview or some commentary tracks?

Putney Swope
One of the great films of the 1960s. Any fan of independent cinema should watch this. This DVD, issued by Home Vision Entertainment, is an improvement on the old Rhino release, but the transfer isn’t quite up to their usual high standards: the image is interlaced, and the framing seems a little too tight.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Best Films o' '06

I recently started trying to remember what were the good movies that came out this year. In what seems to be an annual refrain, I thought there was a huge shortage of movies that I could imagine filling the 5 slots open to be Best Picture nominees. Of course, this is still pre-December, with many of the contenders probably being held for late release. Not to mention the upcoming film this month that I have the highest expectations for, "For Your Consideration."

But when I took some time to think about the movies that came out this year, I was able to remember a bunch of 2006 releases that I enjoyed. So here is my early "Best O' 06", for your consideration.

Best Picture

United 93
The Departed
Borat: Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
An Inconvenient Truth

Rest of the Best

Miami Vice
Inside Man
V for Vendetta
The Prestige
Little Children
The Proposition
A Scanner Darkly
The Illusionist
Who Killed the Electric Car?

Worst Films of 2006

Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction
Lady in the Water
The Da Vinci Code
The Sentinel
Snakes on a Plane

Probable Oscar Contenders that I have not Seen

Flags of our Fathers
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hurts so good

Colbert's video "love letter" to the passing Republican majority is amazing. Like the Borat movie, it left me wanting more...more!

Porcelain deer for everyone!

Here (spread over two parts) is a spoof industrial film about Universal Studios made by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the pre-South Park days. Stallone steals the show.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Pelosi's minions unveil the Democrats' 25-point manifesto for the new Congress:

1. Mandatory homosexuality

2. Drug-filled condoms in schools

3. Introduce the new Destruction of Marriage Act

4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses

5. Osama Bin Laden to be Secretary of State

6. Withdraw from Iraq, apologize, reinstate Hussein

7. English language banned from all Federal buildings

8. Math classes replaced by encounter groups

9. All taxes to be tripled

10. All fortunes over $250,000 to be confiscated

11. On-demand welfare

12. Tofurkey to be named official Thanksgiving dish

13. Freeways to be removed, replaced with light rail systems

14. Pledge of Allegiance in schools replaced with morning flag-burning

15. Stem cells allowed to be harvested from any child under the age of 8

16. Comatose people to be ground up and fed to poor

17. Quarterly mandatory abortion lottery

18. God to be mocked roundly

19. Dissolve Executive Branch: reassign responsibilities to UN

20. Jane Fonda to be appointed Secretary of Appeasement

21. Outlaw all firearms: previous owners assigned to anger management therapy

22. Texas returned to Mexico

23. Ban Christmas: replace with Celebrate our Monkey Ancestors Day

24. Carter added to Mount Rushmore

25. Modify USA's motto to "Land of the French and the home of the brave"


Friday, November 03, 2006

Springtime For Hasselhoff

Following a year of personal-life meltdown, I was pleased to see that the Hoff's career is back on the upswing. When you think about it, the casting perfectly brings together all the things that define Hasselhoff: music, Germany, demonic evil. If only Mel Brooks can work in some green screen somewhere...

From IMDB:
Former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff is returning to the stage to play a bumbling director in the upcoming Las Vegas production of comedy musical The Producers. The actor will play flamboyant Roger De Bris in the new stage show, which is set to hit the city's Paris hotel and casino next year. Hasselhoff and show creator Mel Brooks made the shock announcement at a press conference yesterday morning, with funnyman Brooks insisting the actor was a perfect fit for the new production. Brooks said, "He has incredible comedic timing, terrific musical theatre experience and stage presence and he will be a perfect marriage with the role. And by the way, he has great legs." Hasselhoff stated, "I'm honored to be a part of anything Mel Brooks is a part of. He has always been my favorite man of comedy. He is a giant and it is a dream come true to be part of one of the greatest Broadway musicals in theatre history."