June 2009

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] What?! Carolyn hasn’t seen it? Even as a non-alcoholic kid, I thought this was something *everybody* had seen.

PEOPLE: The two main characters/writers/directors are Rick Moranis (who most people know, tho this was his *debut*) and Dave Thomas (who’s surprisingly been in Weeds, The Simpsons, Arrested Development, King Of The Hill, Justice League, Mission Hill, That 70’s Show, Duckman, Animaniacs, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, SCTV).

QUIRKS: Technically a spinoff of SCTV, which laid the foundation for much of the comedy we watch today. (Larry David, Michael Richards, etc.)

POLITICS: Drink beer!
MORALS: Drink beer! Mind control is bad!

EXTRAS: Get the DVD. There’s an failed animated pilot for a Strange Brew animated series! Unfortunately they hadn’t caught on that they should probably sell this to AdultSwim, and not the “Saturday Morning Cartoon people”. If I was a trillionaire, I’d totally fund this. This series was eventually produced, and was quite funny!

BAD STUFF: Low production values and a bit dated. Some people might find the humor a bit corny. It’s not cutting-edge. Think of them as Cheech & Chong, but with alcohol instead of marijuana, and Canada instead of America/Mexico (yes I know Chong is actually asian. Have you seen his wife? Smokin’. And pretty funny.)

CONCLUSION: This is a great movie; an iconic classic. It should be as well-known as Cheech & Cong, Animal House, Revenge Of The Nerds, and other such “wasted”-comedy that was pouplar in 1983.

RECOMMENDATION: I consider this a basic film staple that most people would have seen. If you haven’t seen it — see it. It’s THE iconic 1980s beer-drinking caper comedy.

And if you saw it again, but can’t whistle the song that makes the hockey people go crazy and fight (I could)… It’s time you need to see this again.

ANECDOTES: The movie was a re-run to me last time I watched it, not in 2009, but in 1994, on the Virginia Tech campus. With Dan, and Chris Holm, among others. Beer was bonged (I did not participate in that, but did drink). Dramamine was taken to prevent puking (I never puke anyway). People had to vomit. I had to help them find the bathroom. This may have been the time people crawled under the seats, left the movie, and passed out on the hill by the ROTC dorm. I had the pleasure of watching Dan vomit into his mouth and then swallow it, since he was sitting in the movie seat next to me. I bet he would deny this. Then he walked around with a bit on his face. The best part was when he said Hi to girls that walked by. Good times! But Carolyn missed out, so she really needed to see the movie. Too bad it couldn’t be as chaotic as our glory days.

MOVIE QUOTE: Doug McKenzie: “Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours – a COP – had some, and HE PUKED. And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he’ll press charges.”
It’s safe to say Beavis & Butt-head probably had some influence from this movie. At the very least, I would think Mike Judge a fan of Strange Brew.

COINCIDENCES: (The Girl Who Lept Through Time, Strange Brew) Two movies in a row where written on a chalkboard/wall is the phrase, “Time waits for no one/man.” So the Japanese translation changed “man” to “one”. Same difference. First coincidence of 2009!

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Glen hated it. Predictable. (more…)

Not only is D.O.A. one of my favorite punk bands… But their latest album has a song, Police Brutality, that is relevant to what I frequently post about!

Buy their new album, Northern Avenger, at Sudden Death Records.

And D.O.A.: Please get over your fear of touring on the east cost! We need to see you here! Stop touring in Canada in California only! I want to go!! (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] The first movie we watched in 2009. After noticing we had hardly watched any anime in 2008 (2-5 movies, 0 series), we decided to kick off the new year with an anime movie.

QUIRKS: Time travel. Anime.

BAD STUFF: Like most anime, the middle is good, and the ending is unsatisfying.

CONCLUSION: Generic pass. If I could, I’d rate it like 2.5-2.75 stars on Netflix, so it will scrape by with 3 stars via rounding up. 5-6/10 on IMDB. Just another anime. This is why I don’t watch anime. Carolyn says it was more interesting than the average anime. With the time travel, it definitely was. But there were no huge robots or tentacle-laden monsters raping women until they explode. It was basically a highschool romance anime, with a sci-fi angle.

RECOMMENDATION: See it if you like highschool romance animes. If you’re only watching it for time travel, it will be kind of disappointing.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Time waits for no one.” (more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![Not listed in IMDB] [Not available from Netflix] A PFFR film by Alyson Levy.

PEOPLE: This is a PFFR production. You might remember PFFR from their groundbreaking shows Wonder Showzen, Xavier:Renegade Angel, or Delocated. Or possibly from their albums, such as United We Doth. They are a musical band that branched into television comedy.

Or maybe you just don’t know that you’ve been influenced by PFFR members — one of them, Vernon Chapman, is the voice of Towelie in South Park, and is listed as a producer in later episodes of South Park. He also wrote for The Chris Rock show, Conan O’Brien, That’s My Bush!, and Doggy Fizzle Televizzle. Check out PFFR’s website — crazy.

QUIRKS: This is a documentary, but also sort of a mockumentary. A lot of the interviews with Christian puppeteers appear to be real — you really can’t make shit like this up, even if you try. But it is interspersed with clips of someone (probably Vernon Chapmon?) making fun of the Christian puppeteers by acting like one. So parts of this documentary are actually mocking other parts. I’ll christen it a docu-mocku-mentary.

VISUALS: Creepy looking Christians in all weird shapes and sizes. None of these people really look normal.

MORALS: These people think they have morals by helping to convert children to Christianity via puppetry. Some of them actually believe they were not able to perform ventriloquism until they were touched by god and given the power to be a ventriloquist.

CONCLUSION: This was pretty damn funny — but insanely scary as well. In fact, I started to freak out while watching it. My pulse quickened, I started to break out in a sweat, breathing rapidly, and filling with adrenaline. Watching horror movies doesn’t do that to me. Watching actual people actually die in real life [on my tv] doesn’t do that to me. Faces Of Death doesn’t do that to me. Saw doesn’t even do that to me — it just makes me squirm for a bit.

But this shit? Fucking terrifying that there are people so deluded and devoted by fictitious sky fairies. I almost had to look away. The old guy just had a creepy-shaped face. I could barely take it.

RECOMMENDATION: If you can find this, it’s quite the gem to watch. Think: Jesus Camp, but less militant. And with a Wonder Showzen-style puppet making fun of the other puppets.


If you’re lucky, you can find this on bittorrent. Especially on the tracker that rhymes with the name of a human organ. PFFR is brilliant, and everything they do must be experienced. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore) brings us Adam Sandler starring in a script co-written by Judd Apatow (who seems to somehow be involved in every top-rate comedy coming out lately) and Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live). Also starring John Turturro and the exquisitely beautiful Emmanuelle Chriqui (who was in Detroit Rock City? really?). And keep an eye out for Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, Mariah Carey, and even George Takei (aka Sulu from Star Trek) who is finally able to play a gay man, even if only for a few seconds.

QUIRKS: The whole movie is one huge quirk!! An Israeli counterterrorism operative who wants to go to America to become a hairdresser? Ironically, he’s based on a real hairdresser who used to be an Israeli soldier: Nezi Arbib. And of course, lots of Israel Vs. Palestine jokes, jew, and arab jokes. And Adam Sandler’s huge… Well, you’ll see. I’m glad I know what faygelah means… And I’m glad I know what hummus tastes like. I’m surprised there would be people who don’t know what it is, but after having to explain falafel to an inordinate amount of people, it’s not as unrealistic to me that someone would not know what hummus is (see MOVIE QUOTE below).

Anyway, it’s not a serious movie, it’s a comedy. There are romantic elements, but it’s NOT a romantic comedy, it’s a straight-out comedy. With jokes pretty much throughout the whole movie. We were surprised at how funny it was, even if the humor was not perfect.

BAD STUFF: Some might put Adam Sandler in this category, but we wouldn’t. Some people might be offended by the various racial jokes, too. Too bad for them.

CONCLUSION: Frickin’ funny. I gave this 5 stars on Netflix, as keeping me laughing throughout a movie is pretty much the best case scenario for any movie. Gave it an 8/10 on Netflix, but if I were to rate it against other comedies, it would be a 9/10 or higher. Carolyn agrees.

RECOMMENDATION: If Adam Sandler doesn’t make you vomit, you’d have to be crazy not to laugh throughout this movie.

But some people are turned off by the ridiculous, and even want their comedies to be serious. Those people should put this back on the shelf and go watch a romantic comedy instead — because non-ridiculous, non-romantic comedies are rare. (Unless you count dramedy and black comedy.)

MOVIE QUOTE: Exec 1: What’s ‘humus’?
Exec 2: It’s a very tasty diarrhea-like substance.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian D really liked it. I think a lot of my friends would like this, actually. (more…)

yard sale Went yardsaling really late… Like past 12 noon. We expected there to be nothing left, and most sales to be closed down. Only spent $9.25 (+ gas).

One sale had a guy shake our hands and say God Bless You when we came. He didn’t really speak English — He dumped out a box of “zapatos” (shoes) but Carolyn wasn’t interested in the shoes they had. Then when we left, he asked if we were Christians. “Not anymore”, I said. Carolyn ignored him. He then said that Christ died on the cross for our sins. All of a sudden he knew English! We just walked away without looking back. Awwwwwwkward!

At least people’s signage worked well this week. Very few stupid signs that lead you on wild goose chases to sales that aren’t even there.

  • $3: spinning light – to replace the one on our fridge that broke. Though it’s a low-budget $20 model, like what we had in college.
  • $1: black sweater
  • $1: pink drink cozy with skull on it
  • $.75: green long-sleeve shirt
  • $.50: squeeze ball – duplicate of a gift I received.. really like this thing
  • $.50: purple fuzzy socks
  • $.50: gray long-sleeve shirt
  • $.50: yellow long-sleeve shirt
  • $.50: light blue short-sleeve shirt
  • $.50: light blue short-sleeve shirt w/ knot twist
  • $.25: joke remote control
  • $.25: clear mask

    Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

  • (more…)

     movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A vampire movie in HD? Okay.

    LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was an actor playing a vampire,
    whose unorthodox methods were to admire.
    But when he tasted blood,
    He felt his hunger flood–
    Causing some cast members to expire.

    HAIKU REVIEW: Making vampire films
    can become complicated
    with real vampire stars.

    PEOPLE: John Makovitch as Marnau. William Dafoe as Shreck — his creepiness in this movie is why he was selected to be The Green Goblin in the Spider-Man movies. Catherine McCormack (Braveheart, 28 Weeks Later) as Greta — Dafoe’s “personal heroin”. And yes, I mean heroin and not heroine. :)

    QUIRKS: A movie about making a movie. THE vampire movie, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, the “first” horror movie, from the silent film days of Germany, based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” book (1897). All the characters in the movie are based off of real-life directors and actors.

    It is based in part on the myth that Max Schreck was a real vampire when he played the role of Orlock/Dracula so well. Of course, the reality of the situation is that Max Schreck was already a theatre and movie veteran when Nosferatu was shot, and appeared in many non-Vampire roles before dying in 1936.

    I also wonder if “Shrek” was named after Max Schreck. If so, I gained a subtle cultural insight. Nothing is unique; everything is based on something else. If not, well — that’s quite a coincidence.

    VISUALS: No real visuals, other than William Dafoe’s incredible makeup and creepy faces. He was pretty much the creepiest Dracula ever. Most vampire movies are obviously fantasy, but this movie was shot to be in reality. And not a horror movie reality like Fright Night, but the real reality we live in. It’s a movie about filmmakers making a real movie that was made in life. This framework makes creepy Dracula that much creepier. People keep thinking he’s just an actor in the movie, but he’s really a vampire.

    MORALS: Snuff films are bad? If you find a real vampire in real life, you should probably just kill it…

    BAD STUFF: This movie is a subtle, slow-moving drama of sorts. It’s not epic fantasy excitement like, say, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or even Interview With A Vampire. It’s quite possibly the most subtle vampire movie I’ve ever watched. It’s a bit easier to fall asleep during than most. This doesn’t mean the movie’s bad; just be prepared for a different pacing algorithm than most films have.

    CONCLUSION: 3/5 stars on Netflix, 7/10 on IMDB.

    RECOMMENDATION: If you want a vampire movie that’s more on the creepy side, less on the fantasy side, and taking place in the infancy of film (the 1920s): You’ve found it. This is it.

    SIMILAR MOVIES: Most vampire movies are NOT similar to this. But what I did find that was interesting — is that the original Nosferatu movie has been re-scored by gothic metal band Type O Negative! You can get it on Amazon.com here. I’m totally putting this on my wishlist. There’s no way in hell I’d ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever watch a silent black & white film — but Type O Negative scoring it totally changes that.

    MOVIE QUOTE: F.W. Murnau: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Max Schreck, who will be portraying our vampire, Count Orlock. As you no doubt have heard, Max’s methods are somewhat… unconventional, but… I am sure you will come to respect his artistry in this matter.
    (and later)
    F.W. Murnau: If it’s not in frame, it doesn’t exist!

    FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian D loved it. Parthena, Christie R, Eric M, Glen, and Benj really liked it. Ian liked it. (more…)

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