October 2009


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched this with Parthena & John The Canadien around Halloween 2009.

HAIKU REVIEW: Satan’s trapped essence
reminds me of lime jello
swirling to its doom.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Spiritual toxic waste spill claims needless lives, breaks mirrors.

PEOPLE: Written & directed by John Carpenter (Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China, In The Mouth Of Madness, Starman, Christine, The Thing, Halloween, They Live). And don’t miss Alice Cooper’s (silent) role as “Street Schizo”.

QUIRKS: Spiritual/supernatural/religious horror.

VISUALS: Not spectacular, but there are a few moments that are extremely, extremely creepy if you saw this a bunch as a kid. There were moments I’d forgotten — like the mindless typing of “I live!” into the computer over and over — that instantly touched on creeped-out parts of my brain that had not been accessed for many years. The scars definitely remained.

SOUNDTRACK: Nothing notable other than the Alice Cooper song that shares the same title as the movie … But the audio of the “broadcasts” that Brian receives in his dreams [from the future, 1999] is sampled in the beginning of Marilyn Manson‘s Gary Numen/Tubeway Army cover song “Down In The Park”.

MORALS: Handle toxic waste with care!

BAD STUFF: The first 20 minutes just seemed like a bunch of random people saying a bunch of random spiritual/metaphysical bullshit that was supposed to cause you to be worried and scared.

This movie was NOWHERE NEAR as scary as I found it to be back in 1987:

I used to have to TRY to not think about the “future broadcast” parts of the movie. Now, they just seem like a silly device to try to get us to be more scared of the evil force, without having to show it actually be scary. Still a very creepy memory, though. I guess Marilyn Manson agreed, if he sampled it…

I had to move mirrors out of my room because of this movie. Now, it seems like there are only a few seconds of “scary mirror stuff”, and they just weren’t nearly as scary as they were back in 1987. I will be watching the horror movie “Mirrors” soon, to try to bring fear of mirrors back into my life.

This is part of why I tend to only want to watch “modern” movies that have come out in the last 20-30 years. I just think things lose their edge. What was scary or cutting-edge 20 yrs ago often isn’t today. There’s a reason I have no interest in old horror movies.

CONCLUSION: I always considered this one of the scariest horrors I’d ever watched as a kid. Unfortunately it did not stand the test of time.

This is a bit related to why I prefer newer movies over older movies, and would often rather watch a bad new movie than a good old movie.

This possibly only gets rated as high as I’m rating it due to nostalgia reasons. This scared the SHIT out of me, made me remove mirrors from my room, caused me to try not to think of parts of it when I went to sleep.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.3/5 stars, IMDB 6.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Go back in time and watch this movie when you’re 12.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Similar to other spiritual horrors, like The Exorcist, The Omen, Bless The Child, or even Dust Devil to some extent.

MOVIE QUOTES:

This is the type of metaphysical/spiritual/philosophical bullshit you have to swallow for the first 20 minutes of the movie:
Professor Edward Birack: “Let’s talk about our beliefs, and what we can learn about them. We believe nature is solid, and time a constant. Matter has substance and time a direction. There is truth in flesh and the solid ground. The wind may be invisible, but it’s real. Smoke, fire, water, light – they’re different! Not as to stone or steel, but they’re tangible. And we assume time is narrow because it is as a clock – one second is one second for everyone! Cause precedes effect – fruit rots, water flows downstream. We’re born, we age, we die. The reverse NEVER happens… None of this is true! Say goodbye to classical reality, because our logic collapses on the subatomic level… into ghosts and shadows.”
…basically, there’s a lot of justification that is basically trying to assign a psuedorational justification to why you should be scared, since the movie isn’t as scary as it wants to be.

This is one of the creepy things:
“Voice: This is not a dream… not a dream. We are using your brain’s electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. You are receiving this broadcast in order to alter the events you are seeing. Our technology has not developed a transmitter strong enough to reach your conscious state of awareness, but this is not a dream. You are seeing what is actually occurring for the purpose of causality violation.”
–quote also sampled by Marilyn Manson

That extremely creepy scene would have worked better if they had related it to the events of the movie more, instead of randomly showing it at seemingly random intervals throughout the film.

COINCIDENCES: (Prince Of Darkness, Drag Me To Hell) 2 movies in 2 nights that are hell-themed horrors where people had things distributed unwillingly into their mouths.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Parthena really liked it. John The Canadien thought it was hilarious (?!?!?).
(more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] I had this on VHS, but I got it around the time that I stopped watching VHS movies. So, finally got around to watching a dvd of it, 5+ yrs later…

PEOPLE: Joe Pesci plays a mobster (of course). Andy Comeau is the main character, who comes off as a poor man’s John Cusack. Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer, from the movie, as well as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Hot Shots!) kept reminding me of Elizabeth Banks for some reason. George Hamilton (who was in Dynasty for a year) plays an uppity parent, along with his alcoholic wife, played by Dyan Cannon (Ally McBeal). David Spade, Todd Louiso (from Snakes In A Plane).

QUIRKS: I think the title pretty much says it all. Throw in mobsters and Mexico, and you have a recipe for a passable comedy.

Also, they have the song “Mr. Sandman” in it, which I just saw Gene Ween Band perform live last December.

And a really bitchy grandmother…

And a surreal dream sequence thrown in for no reason other than to make us giggle and use up their special effects budget :)

VISUALS: Heads… so many heads…

CONCLUSION: This was a decent comedy that had us laughing. The situations were unique. It only really gets a 3 star / 6/10 “generic pass” from us, but we weren’t disappointed. It met our expectations rather precisely. And it’s NOT a romantic comedy; though there IS a romantic relationship to be mended, it’s NOT central to the plot.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like comedies, and are annoyed at how many comedies are romantic comedies… This is a good one to watch. It certainly entertained us.

MOVIE QUOTE: Tommy Spinelli: “Don’t ever fuck with a guy looking for heads.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Benj liked it. (more…)

[UPDATE: NOTE: For the purpose of this post, and to placate those who want to get into gritty details: Any time I say “agnostic”, I mean “strong agnostic” as defined HERE.]

One of the things that bugs me about religion in general… Is that the very basis of it all is a foundation built upon assumptions that have no evidence to support them. I’m talking about “faith”. It’s just about the poorest foundation for any belief system. Idealism can sometimes work as the foundation of a belief system, though it’s not always logic. Practicality can as well — though it runs the risk of becoming calculating, almost reptilian. Even cynicism can be a logical foundation for a belief system. But faith? Pffft. What kind of idiot builds their belief system on that? (Hopefully not you. But if so: Don’t try to convince me. You’d be wasting both our time.)

This applies to atheists too.

How do you know God isn’t lurking somewhere, unless you can go there and see? You can’t. Nobody can. It would take a God to disprove God, which is a Catch-22. There’s no logic in that. It is quite annoying when somebody says, “I conclusively know the nature of the entire universe, and, knowing all, can say there is no god.”

Who do you think you’re kidding? Not me. To believe that there’s no god actually requires a hefty serving of… FAITH! Silly atheists.

But despite the fact that atheism makes the same mistakes as theism — at least their god is a god of reason, and not arbitrary faith and dogma. Atheists don’t tend to do a lot of the stupid shit theists tend to do. There’s not nearly as much to criticize them on.

Once I saw a big atheist brouhaha (which I can’t spell) about religious altars being put at the roadside where people died. How dare state money be involved? But seriously, guys. If my family member was killed in a car accident… And they allow a memorial to be put up in the very spot it happened… I would hope that it would involve whatever that family member would want. Even if it’s a pentagram dedicated to our dark lord Satan. Or (*gasp!*) a cross.
I’ve also seen some atheist newsletters that made me feel… Like I was exposed to a cult. They were into their non-belief just a little too much. Unsubscribe. Now.
But that’s about it. No religious wars. Nobody convinced that they will get sex for suicide bombing. None of this mystical bullshit that gets forced down our throats all the time. One nation under god? Really? Fuck that.

In the end, the most logical thing to do is to do nothing. Make no assumptions. You’ll find out. Or you wont find out, and blackness will envelop you as your soul and consciousness ceases to exist forever. What’s that feel like? I don’t want to know. But I’m not going to comfort myself with some b.s. sky fairy, nor am I going to be so cynical as to deny the possibilities that may be out there.

Agnosticism. It’s how I’ve always referred to myself, when not referring to myself as a SubGenius. On paperwork and such. (It always creeps me out when paperwork asks that! None of your business!)

agnostic
Etymology: Greek agnostos unknown, unknowable
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

Yup… That’s pretty much what I just said. (more…)

I hadn’t cut my hair since January… Why?

1) I don’t really care.
2) I prefer longer hair…. Though it’s harder to manage, I don’t understand people’s obsession with having their hair under “control”.
3) The fact that my next haircut was FREE simply meant I was that much more irresponsible in NOT getting it, and I reveled in that.

But when I started parting it in the middle — because there was too much to brush back nowadays — Carolyn objected. A lot. At least 1 person complimented, but at least another person joined in Carolyn’s chorus that the part in the middle was not working. So fine. I’ll get the free haircut!

Anyway, I actually took a picture this time:

This shall be my last professional haircut, as the price seems to have gone up from the $15 I paid for 30 years — to $30 — all in the past few years. I’m buying clippers and doing it myself, or having Carolyn do it. Ryan Mitchell has recommended WAHL clippers. If anyone knows of a good model number, I’d love to know. I researched WAHL clippers for a good hour or so and there’s simply TOO MANY CHOICES. Help needed :) (more…)

Next Page »