Friday, January 30, 2009

Vintage Violence by John Cale

Vintage Violence, John Cale's first solo album following his departure from the Velvet Underground, is one of my favorite albums ever. Cale wrote and recorded the music in 3 days, around the same era he was producing The Stooges' first album, The Stooges, along with Nico's The Marble Index. Vintage Violence is mostly a pop album with elements of folk, and I can't describe the album better than Rolling Stone magazines' Ed Ward (sad, I know) who stated that Vintage Violence sounds "like a Byrds' album produced by Phil Spector marinated for six years in burgundy, anise and chili peppers". Actually, I'm not entirely sure what the fuck that means but the Phil Spector part is fairly accurate. If you have to pay $.99/track (I understand, we are living in a recession) then I'd recommend "Hello, There", "Cleo" and "Bring It On Up." Goodnight everyone.

RATING: 93%

Subliminal messages


When I was a kid, my friend Jason had a mom who was crazy. She probably still is. She gave me the book Media Sexploitation to read. As a result, I find pictures of phalluses in all sorts of advertisements and no, not because I'm looking for them. Ads often contain strange visual elements that suggest things. For instance, in the image to the left, Sinbad is wearing a shirt that features what is undeniably a huge black swastika. Look at it. Concentrate. This proves my long-held theory that Sinbad is a white supremacist.

Rating: Get off of my billboard, secret alien conspiracy! %

P.S.- You can't spell "amusement" without "semen." Our children are in danger.

Gays who dislike Britney Spears


You don't have to be a Log Cabin Republican or a log-sawing lesbian to be a homosexual who dislikes Britney Spears. Gay men are often thought of as these brave souls who risk social consequences by being honest and genuine, men who know how to tell it like it is and encourage honesty. Bullshit!

I often find myself in small enclaves of gay men who are more faithful to Britney than to any other female icon-- Madonna, Cher, Judy, even Mary Immaculate. If I so much as make an innocent, honest comment such as, "Yeah, Slave 4 U was fun back then, but this new album is just the same old crap she's been doing since the nineties," I am met with looks of horror, as though I'm picking my nose in church and then eating it.

Bottom line: the woman has a poor singing voice, which is why her voice is fed through seventeen filters before we hear it. She's a great entertainer and even, occasionally, a minor provocateur, but her cult refuses to believe that the Empress is naked, even when she is.

So the next time you're gay, if you feel like criticizing Britney, lift your pitiful voice up, because she certainly will.

Rating: I forgot what I'm actually reviewing%
Oh, right: You rock, nonconformist homosexual% (marry me in Canada%) [93%]

[Image courtesy of http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/famecrawler]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reviews Reviews Reviews

So there's yet another blog called Reviews Reviews Reviews. This one only reviews restaurants in the Philippines. I guess that's what you'd call a "niche blog." I think the title is pretty misleading, though. It should just be Reviews. I bet we review more top meat than they do. Chris Loll is a regular bear for his top meat.

RATING: 60%

(Picture from forums.cybernations.net. You wouldn't believe how much stupid Star Wars shit comes up when you google "clone".)

Final Crisis

Firstly, there are no spoilers here. Secondly, I've been told that there's a fine line between genius and madness. Unfortunately, in the case of Final Crisis, someone has erased it. This was the total antipodal-opposite of decompressed storytelling. It's like someone writing a smart, funny, cognizant review on this website, except they used only SAT words and left out all the vowels. Sure, a few people died, heaven and hell, earth and time were redefined and blended, but what it really showed me was that with his taste for frenetic pace and the weird, Grant really, really, really should write an awesome Flash title, where everything gets good and fast and weird. Final Crisis was everything - good, bad, and ugly - all at once, all the time.

At any rate, I feel like I have descended into an orrery of words (not worlds!) and icons and fifty years of superheroics have been chopped into confetti and blown over a Macy's Day parade running in reverse.

RATING: 62% (but in actuality, ihavenoidea%)

(image courtesy of comicvine.com)

Spaghetti

You know spaghetti. It doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't taste especially good. Whenever Sarah and I can't come up with anything else to eat, or we want to make something that requires very little effort and is cheap, we make spaghetti with a jarred red sauce and ground turkey. With just a tiny bit more creativity (let's swap spaghetti noodles for gnocchi! how about adding spinach?) it wouldn't be quite so boring. But it also wouldn't be quite as easy. You know, like your mother.

It is the plain vanilla ice cream of dinners.

It is mediocrity.

It is the moon.

RATING: 50% (this means that it is better than Crisis on Infinite Earths, but worse than Changin' Tires on the Road to Ruin)

ALTERNATE ENDING: Here

(image courtesy of plus.maths.org)

Peanuts

Peanuts are a simple sort of legume that everybody likes except for people who can die as a result of being within several miles of one. Peanuts can be roasted, salted, boiled, candied, chocolate-covered, buttered, or salmonellied. I like them in the shell as a snack because breaking them open takes a little extra time which allows me to savor the idea of Peanut for a little longer. I also delude myself into thinking a peanut is a healthy snack because they are low in carbs. Too bad they are way high in fat (whoops).

RATING: 79%

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crisis On Infinite Earths

I suppose if you're a comic book company that's been around for 46 years you might have a real clusterfuck of continuity. So what better way to resolve that problem with a brand new 12 issue clusterfuck called Crisis on Infinite Earths? Back in 1985, DC had a problem, because different writers over the years had done different things with their characters: Superman was the last surviving Kryptonian or maybe it was Supergirl, Batman caught his parents' killer or maybe he didn't, The Flash was something who even knows. Anyway, they had this event to get everything on the right track but there's no use explaining it because even though I read a lot of comics and just read the whole thing, all I remember about it was that it was 12 issues of beautifully drawn nonsense in which Flash and Supergirl die. DC continues to have these events to straighten everything up every few years but who cares, they're largely incomprehensible even if they kill Batman.

RATING: 39%

Reviews Reviews Reviews!!!

Sometimes I try to Google the site and find out where it ranks in the organic search results (hint: it doesn't). But a site that I'd consider a precursor to R3 makes the list on page 2. Someone beat us to the punch long ago. But I doubt Brent Newland would find this site funny either. They failed to realize the geniusness behind arbitrary ratings, but some of the reviews are not bad. Is this your old site, Glenn?

RATING: 25%

Rayanne Graff

Rayanne Graff is the daughter of an alcoholic, histrionic mom and an absent father, and she's the best friend you've ever had. You current best friends are boring, goody-two-shoes cheerleaders on the Yearbook committee, and you are drawn to Rayanne's effusive spirit -- the way she doesn't care what people say about her, the way she sleeps around and doesn't apologize for it, the way she is friends with the elusive Tino. Your mom doesn't like Rayanne, and that makes you like her more. Rayanne hooks up with your intense boy-crush, but you have to forgive her because it's not like he was getting any from you, anyway. She is a lavish flash of intense light in your otherwise dreary world, and yet she can be so vulnerable that you need to forgive her flaws and you just want to help her figure things out. Rayanne comes with a faithful sidekick of her own, who will welcome you into the fold, but you can never replace Rayanne. She will dye your hair red in your bathtub and change your life forever.

RATING: 83%

Scientology

Scientology is a cult in which Tom Cruise believes that Xenu, dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, brought billions of people to earth 75 million years ago in spacecraft that looked like the Douglas DC-8, dropped them in or around volcanoes, and blew them up using hydrogen bombs. The disembodied souls of these victims hang around in modern times, glomming onto people and harming them spiritually. These days, the Church of Scientology uses techniques like "training" and "auditing" in conjunction with pseudoscientific devices like the electropsychometer in order to brainwash its members and get money and/or work out of them. I used to think L. Ron Hubbard was just an unscrupulous megalomaniac and a bad writer, but after reading about Gorilla Goals, the Obscene Dog Incident, Coffee Grinders, and Ice Cube Incidents, I find myself wondering if he weren't maybe schizophrenic as well. In conclusion, Scientology is not only cold, manipulative, greed-driven, exploitative and dangerous, it's also stupid and trashy, and is pretty much the worst "religion" ever.

RATING: 2%

(Image from home.snafu.de. Check out H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time" for pulp science fiction that's smarter and more fun, without the brainwashing and spiritual pretension.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 2 Disc 4

"Armageddon Game" - O'Brien and Bashir are helping some aliens get rid of biological weapons, but things go all screwy and O'Brien gets real sick (Boring).

RATING: 25%

"Whispers" - O'Brien comes back to the station but everybody's weird like what, they're robots now or some garbage?

RATING: 68%

"Paradise" - How come every planet in Star Trek is hella boring? Sisko and, you guessed it, O'Brien end up on a planet that has given up all technology in favor of farming and being boring assholes.

RATING: 53%

"Shadowplay" - Odo and Dax find some lame colony in which the people like farming, number less than 100, which doesn't differentiate it from any other post-TOS colony. Oh, they're holograms, spoilers.

RATING: 47%

Vince Offer

Infomercials are absolutely bizarre and strangely compelling, and the new kid on the block is spazzy douche Vince Offer. You may know him as "that jerk with the headset selling ShamWow." I know him as THE FUTURE. Yeah, so he's a former Scientologist also known for making a (reportedly) awful movie. He sold his bad movie through infomercials? Is he a genius or a moron? Yes? What kind of world do we live in? Spoiler alert - I own four ShamWows. I know, I am America.

Anyways, if you haven't seen the ShamWow or SlapChop infomercials, I think Seth Stevenson said it best when he said Vince possesses "smooth-talking condescension". I wish I was that insightful, but more than that, I wish I had that headset and sense of delusion that V.O. (that's what I call him) seems to possess. I can't decide if I want to punch him in the mouth or give him twenty-five dollars. And I think that's the idea.

RATING: 61% (which means that he's better than Fire & Ice (or The Cutting Edge 4), but worse than loving Bob Seger)

(image courtesy of mmo-champion.com?)

Hats


Hats were invented in Russia to keep people's heads warm. Since they were made of fur, they became an immediate symbol of the nouveau riche, or the nyeuwu richsky as they say in Russia. They were also a symbol of division, and ancient Russian members of PETA threw a mixture of red clay pigment and sea water onto the hatted in protest against the killing of innocent mink.

Nowadays, hats look pretty stupid on most people when it's warm out, unless the hat wearer is a Jewish dude, in which case hats are required and not a laughing matter. Black people, on the other hand, look amazing in hats anytime of year.

Rating: toasty scalps (56) %

Monday, January 26, 2009

UTD Campus Construction

So they're building like 3 new buildings at UTD right now, and you can't get anywhere without going 10 minutes out of your way because the entire campus has been chopped up by huge machines. This would be fine, except there are these douchey signs all over the place that say "UTD: Pardon Our Progress." That isn't an apology, guys, it's an imperative, and a self-congratulatory one at that. A nice thing to say to the paying students who are putting up with your fucking detours and incessant jackhammering would be, "Sorry for the inconvenience." Unfortunately, I'm now going to have to find an alternative alcohol-free spot to enjoy neo-brutalist architecture in the company of BMW drivers talking on cell phones.

RATING: 13%, but it was only about 16% before they started digging giant holes everywhere. FUCK I hate Dallas.

(Photo of $85 million Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Building from www.telecomcorridor.com.)

Bob Seger

I pretty much think Bob Seger is the shit. He's from Detroit and performed there in his early career, so he's about as American as they come. He also formed the Silver Bullet Band (just like another American icon, Coors Light) and came out with the album Night Moves. There was also the hit "Mainstreet" on that album, which has heartland America written all over it. This dude is so fuckin' American. I love him. I want to marry him.

RATING: 90%

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fire And Ice: The United States, Canada And The Myth Of Converging Values by Michael Adams

The main problem with this book, which uses statistical analysis of social trends in the United States and Canada to examine the differences in each culture, is probably the problem with a lot of books written out of studies: it feels as though it could have been a nice, taut twenty page article that's been stretched out to (barely) book length to increase marketability. Sure, Adams' prose is entertaining, but he travels in circles for 146 pages and reuses the same analogies over and over (I think he compared American inner cities to Blade Runner at least five times). The basic message is this: American society is spiraling ever deeper into a crime ridden nihilistic society that believes self pleasure is the ultimate achievement whereas Canadian society is already a utopia in which every citizen is holding hands and doing their best to make it even more of a utopia. I agree with a lot of what Adams says in the book, but whenever he strays from numerical analysis into his own bizarre form of synthesis it sort of seems as though he's interpreting American society from the movies they make he complains are poisoning the Canadian youth. He often sounds less like a statistician and more like somebody's crotchety grandfather who wishes kids wouldn't play so many of those violent Nintendon games. Who knows, though, I haven't lived in Canada for 15 years, maybe it has turned into a multicultural heaven totally void of racial or economic strife of any form.

RATING: 38%

Bioshock

I know I'm late in heaping praise on this game, but Bioshock is an amazing game, everybody was right. I'm not really that much into first person shooters anymore, but the way this game seamlessly weaves a great story into the gameplay (that is, no cinematic sequences) makes it stand out from mindless army shooters like Halo. Without giving too much away about the plot (part of the allure of this game is getting the mystery to unravel as you collect diaries, read phrases written on the wall in blood etc), you play as a survivor of a plane crash who finds, in the middle of the ocean, an artificial island that is the entry point for a vast underwater city. The city, Rapture, is deserted except for many crazed deformed people who want to kill you and a man named Atlas who wants you to help him rescue his family from Andrew Ryan, the megalomaniac who created the city. Along the way you can also pick up "plasmids," which are basically mutant powers. The game is often terrifying but always engrossing, and I recommend you pick this one up.

RATING: 83%

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Scheherazade is, of course, the name of the princess who tells the tales in Arabian Nights, and it is also unrelatedly the title of this symphonic suite by late 19th century Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov. Nah, just kidding, he based it around the classic tale. It's not by definition a tone poem, since it doesn't follow a specific narrative, although he does give the dastardly sultan of the tale a theme that competes with the lilting theme for the princess. It's bombastic and exciting, but NRK moves it beyond mere showmanship by implementing key changes that pull a lot of emotion out of the affair. If you're a philistine, you can just tell yourself it's the newest score to National Treasure or something and you'll enjoy it, I swear.

RATING: 79%

Notorious

It's me again, reviewing from the cinematic graveyard. Except I was completely psyched to see this movie, even though I was pretty sure it was going to be crap. But if you go to see this movie expecting Oscar-caliber performances, that's a little naive (Angela Basset as Biggie's mom notwithstanding). Biggie's son plays 'ittle bespectacled Biggie, and there is enough B.I.G. music throughout to make any fan happy. My friend complained that too much of the movie was the actor rapping as Biggie, but he doesn't do a bad job. I feel like the movie wanted me to be on Team Faith Evans but that will never ever happen; I will always be on Lil' Kim's side because I would sure as hell be pissed if my man dumped me to marry a bleached-blonde he'd known for four weeks, and then continued to string me along for the rest of his life. Naturally, [maybe not co-producers] Faith Evans and Voletta Wallace are portrayed as saints, and the shooting(s) of Tupac are seen as just simply shocking to Biggue & his entourage. Do you remember where you were when you heard Biggie was shot? I was getting dropped off at Sunday school. If you remember too, you owe it to yourself to see this movie, if only later on Showtime or whatever. If not, you'll probably think it blows. Although it's always fun to see a movie featuring Brooklyn in an era when black people used to live there.

RATING: 56% (no better or worse than Bride Wars)

Fable II

Fable II is generally regarded as a pretty awesome video game, and as someone who likes pretty awesome video games, I was happy to make it my first purchase for my new XBox 360. What I didn't know: Fable II is like a cross between Diablo and The Sims, and certainly not as awesome as many people make it out to be. There are also a couple of truly, almost game-breakingly annoying things for me: (1) it substitutes plot for story, which I find just about unforgivable in an RPG (2) no one in the game appears to talk to you or really look you (you meaning your stupid emotionless avatar) in the face. If this happened in real life...oh wait it does happen in real life, but that's not the point.

Frankly, if I wanted to become a real estate maganate, slaughter innocent townspeople, and have bad aim during surprise encounters with curious beasts - well, I'd send away for one of those infomercial info-kits and start getting involved in adjustable rate mortgages. In Texas.

RATING: 45% (which means that its better than the jump-in-the-air-profile-photo, but MUCH worse than Fallout 3, which there's no review for, but trust me on this)

(P.S. - The gambling minigames are truly awesome, and I only wish a casino would be smart enough to institute a couple of them as a one-off deal. I'm looking at you, Snoqualmie!)

Drunken Negro Head cookies

If you've ever wanted to know what it takes to run your Greenwich Village bakery out of business in a hurry, here's the video for you. Apparently this gentleman, a true American patriot if there ever was one, is selling these fancy (word of the day) cookies to celebrate the inauguration, or racism, or something. Anyway, I have not tasted the cookies, but I have seen this video on every NYC based blog on the internets and on the evening news. So if you're in the area and want to try them you better act fast because the bakery is probably going to be hit by a maltov cocktail sometime in the next 48 hours. Video highlights to look for include when he is all, "yeah, drunken negro heads, was' the big deal?" and when he proclaims that he can't possibly be prejudice because his brother in law is Cuban. Brilliant.

Rating: nopointsforyou!%

Bonus tip for Village residents: Get your damn coffee from the Mud truck.

Mirrors

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Jack Bauer was a night watchman at a haunted house? Well I did not, but now I know because I watched this movie last night. See, Jack Bauer (I never actually figured out the character's name) is a down and out cop who was traumatized because of some sort of shooting incident and is not allowed to be a cop anymore (or something like that). He's also a recovering alcoholic and an insomniac (or so it would seem, the background story isn't exactly well developed). To make ends meet he takes this night watchman job at scary burned out department store place, and that's when scary things start to happen. And what's behind the scary? Mirrors. Of course, because everyone knows that mirrors are terrifying. What with their reflectiveness and ability to rip people's jaw right off their face and what not. So some freaky shit happens, Jack's friends and family start thinking he is crazy, he has to look for something called esseker, and well let's just say it ends with a fancy explosion, some fancy Jack Bauer gun action, and a fancy "surprise" ending. Despite the cheesy premise (mirrors, really?), there were some sort of scary moments and I wasn't entirely bored.

Rating: 66%

Eddie Bauer Leather Belt

HOW TO MAKE AN GENUINE EDDIE BAUER LEATHER BELT:
1. Get a cow.
2. Feed it nothing but fish for several months.
3. Set it on fire.
4. Cut a 38" strip off the charred animal (40" if it's right after Christmas) and tie it around your waist.
5. Slump lower in your chair as the people around you wrinkle their noses.
6. Smile! You just saved $50!
7. Nod your head to the Eurotrash beat of Ace of Base.

RATING: 10% right now, but the belt is currently frozen in a sealed bag full of baking soda, and I have high hopes.

(Image from exc.images-amazon.com.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

GLP's Westminster

Certain tobaccos impart distinct flavours to their respective blends. Virginia is toasty, grassy or lemony; burley is nutty and often sprayed with fruity essences; "oriental" or "turkish" tobaccos vary considerably, but often taste floral, citrous, or leathery; perique is piquant, and tastes like stewed fruit, salsa and chrome; latakia--the most distinctive "condiment" tobacco of all--smells like road tar, burning camel shit and funeral incense, and tastes like it smells, except saltier.

Westminster is a full-bodied English blend comprised of virginias, orientals and Cyprian latakia. Compared to the rarer Syrian latakia, which has a smoky transparency and a hint of overripe pomegranate, the Cyprian leaf has a darker, almost opaque quality and a slight mustiness. I think I prefer the Cyprian, although the fullness of either can be off-putting. The virginias taste like toast. The orientals taste like a petting zoo full of goats and llamas. It smokes very cool, and the flavour is consistent throughout the bowl, although I usually end up tossing the last 1/4 (bad for the pipe, I know, but it tastes like wet ass). Overall, Westminster has more balls and nicotine than Esoterica Tobacciana's Penzance, another notorious Cyprian heavy hitter. If it's cased (i.e. flavoured) at all, I can't tell.

Some people (English people, I imagine) can smoke an English blend all day long. I like one once in a while, on a cloudy, chilly day when I'm feeling nostalgic and/or a little sad. Don't ever smoke Westminster indoors with other people around unless you like making lifelong enemies. In fact, you probably shouldn't even smoke it while you're on the phone.

RATING: a bittersweet 80%--Don't smoke latakia, kids, unless you really want to smell death.

(Image from smokingpipes.com. Also, that petting zoo is in Houston *cough cough*.)

Ultimates Vol. 2: Homeland Security

Mark Millar's run on The Ultimates, Marvel's updated Ultimate Universe version of the Avengers, was great. You have to get past the fact that every member of the team is an asshole and acts like they would have belonged in the Bush administration (past tense finally). For instance, this version is famous for a scene in which Captain America, after being asked to surrender by the alien big bad, says "Surrender? You think this letter on my head stands for France?" Also, they get the Hulk to attack aliens by telling him they all said he was gay. The only thing that really gives these moments a sort of pass is that I think (?) Millar is being ironic, although every book he does is like this. Anyway, the action is terrific, and the book is a very fast read thanks to Brian Hitch's exorbitant use of splash panels.

RATING: 85%

Robertson Screw and Screwdriver

The Robertson screwdriver has a square head, so it's easy to use one-handed and the screw heads almost never strip. You can also leave the screwdriver sitting in the screw and go to get a plate of poutine and it'll still be there when you get back. Unfortunately, the one thing Canadians do better than designing great products is making awful business decisions (anyone remember the Avro Arrow? Probably not), so almost no one uses these things outside of Canada, preferring the Phillips screw or other such pičovina. Well, don't bother asking us for help when you're drowning in money, America, because we'll just laugh and throw a bunch of trees, water and cheap natural gas at you.

RATING: 91%

(Image from wikimedia.org.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bride Wars

Since we're in the cinematic graveyard portion of the year, I went to see Bride Wars. Surprise: it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be! From what I could tell, Bride Wars is the story of two lifelong friends who go to the same wedding planner. Once the wedding planner realizes that they are actually in love with each other and that their mens are just identical-looking props (my friend called them bad copies of Matt Damon), she books their weddings on the same day. She claims it was all a mix-up, but she's the best wedding planner in the world and she knows how to spot those closeted in-love lezes and gently coax them out of the closet. When both girls are too shy to take the initiative to suggest that, instead of two separate weddings, they just marry each other in one massive ceremony, feelings get hurt and suddenly they're not going for jogs together anymore. Kate Hudson stress-eats and Annie Hathaway reverts to her days as pole-dancing, sexually-confused college girl. Finally, when Anne sees how hot Kate looks in her wedding dress, she can take it no longer: she jumps on Kate and the two lay panting in the church aisle. The only thing missing is a post-coital cigarette. Anne finally dumps her man and then, in a big fuck-you to Proposition 8, these two women miraculously knock each other up. And you thought it was just another chick flick!

RATING: 56%

(Photo courtesy of awesome site I just discovered, dorothysurrenders.blogspot.com)

Vanishing Point

#34 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

As far as racing movies from the 70s go, Vanishing Point may be the weirdest and also best. The movie follows this driver, Kowalski, who has to drive a Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in basically a day and a half. So he starts going full speed, cops follow him, car chases, etc. What sets this movie apart from the rest is that it is full of all these bizarre mystical elements that are supposed to be representative of American culture, including a snake handler in the desert who helps him fix his car, a Radio DJ who turns him into a rebel celebrity, and a lot of flashbacks demonstrating the ways in which death has followed Kowalski his whole life. It's a great movie with a lot of great car chases, even if the snake handler gets eaten by some stupid hole in the ground (Spoilers).

RATING: 91%

The Thin Red Line

#35 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line is visually stunning in every way, imaging that from a Terrence Malick film. I've always liked it better that Saving Private Ryan, because while although Ryan does do a good job of demonstrating the horror of wartime violence, it seems somewhat in love with the graphic detail of it, like Sam Peckinpah's Wild Bunch. Malick's film is also considerably less hokey, and deals with a small group of soldier's personal thoughts while caught up in the larger grisly mechanics of war. Somebody once made the argument to me that this film is irresponsible because the soldiers are demonstrating doubts about being involved in the only inarguable war, World War II, but I think that argument is bunk because this film demonstrates the actual realistic thoughts that individuals would have in this situation, not the jingoistic infallible patriotism of so many other WWII movies. Anyway, it's amazing so check it out.

RATING: 91%

The Original Star Wars Trilogy

#36 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

Well, duh I guess. We can all acknowledge that the prequel trilogy is pretty bad, from any point of view. Politics, trade disputes, whining, Jar Jar, almost no humor or any other emotion, senate disagreements, kid Boba Fett, UGH. But the original trilogy is still amazing because it never takes itself seriously, and also has the voice of Han Solo winking at the audience about how ridiculous a movie about laser swords and furry monkeys flying space ships is. They're still great fun even if Boba Fett gets eaten by some stupid hole in the ground (Spoilers).

RATING: 93%

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Black Adder

It's easy to say that Rowan Atkinson is a comic genius, but that's because he is. Sure, sure, Mr. Bean was way too popular, but who else even tries to do silent physical comedy these days? But before all that, he created and starred in a series called The Black Adder for the BBC. The first series focused on the character Edmund, played by Atkinson, who is second in line to become king of England at the end of the 15th century. He is an unlikeable, self centered, conniving twat, and the show is hilarious. I guess I like Red Dwarf better, but that's just because there's space and robots (bias).

RATING: 82%

Universe X Vol. 1

Universe X is the sequel to the pretty good alternate-future-of-the-marvel-universe book Earth X. I wish they had just stopped with Earth X though. This one is fine I guess but it's way too dense, and the novelty of seeing alternate designs of characters we love has worn off. I guess if you really love the Marvel Universe and all its history you might as well buy it, but fair warning this is only half the story and it's $25.

RATING: 62%

Radishes

Radishes are ok vegetables, but I think they get lost in the avalanche of all the better root vegetables out there. They don't have much versatility, and are pretty much best raw, but a radish is a tasty thing to eat in a salad or chopped up beside a sandwich. If you tell people you like radishes they'll probably look at you like you're a murderbot (robot designed specifically for murdering). Don't worry though, radishes are totally worth it.

RATING: 70%

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The jump-in-the-air profile photo

There is a phenomenon that has taken root and has grown, swiftly as a malicious tumor, on social networking sites. I did a quick scan of my friends on Facebook, and before I'd even gotten through the B's, I found three people who each had a profile picture of either themselves or them and a group of their friends jumping up, paused in mid-air by the snap of a digicam. "Lookit us!" these assholes seem to proclaim, "we're flying!" I get it. It's a neat trick made possible by shutter speeds that our 1000-speed rolls of Kodak could never accomplish. It's a neat visual. But once it's done, it's done. If you can jump, and you have a camera, you can capture one of these images. So some people have tried to think of variations on the tired theme. Freeze-jumps in exotic locales have become popular. Freeze-jump on a beach in the Bahamas. Freeze-jump on a drawbridge in merry old England. Guess what? It all looks the same. People who post freeze-jump profile pictures are the same people who list "Lolita" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" as their favorite books and "All About My Mother" as their favorite movie. Gimme an L! Gimme an A! Gimme an M-E! What does that spell?

RATING: 19%

Peanut Butter

Man, fuck all that government FDA bullshit! I don't give a good God damn about some fucking salmonella garbage, so the only way you're prying my peanut butter away from me is from my cold dead hands. The government's always talking shit like "don't eat tomatoes," or "don't eat green onions," or "don't eat puppies," but I say they are forgetting a little old thing called the First Amendment that guaranteed us Freedom of Eats. Everybody always gets scared about sickness, but I myself am scared of a nation in which I can't eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich in peace. So chew on that 44th president, your first task is to stop fucking with deliciousness.

RATING: 89%

Frost/Nixon

I'm not in my 40's, I wasn't around during Watergate, and Nixon was dead by the time I was 12. That having been said, I thought that this was a pretty cool movie, and that Frank Langella pulled off one of the more remarkable film characters I've seen in a while. He played Nixon with gravitas, power, and sympathy...and he shook his jowls and fired off peace signs like you wouldn't believe.

As a whole, I liked the movie's cast a lot - it's hard to go wrong with Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt in the supporting roles, and Michael Sheen was fun to watch as super-optimist David Frost. And even though there weren't any explosions, car chases, or super-heroes, I got really worked up at the points in the movie where you're supposed to get worked up...which is kind of the idea behind dramas like this, I think. Anyways, it was great, and I'm looking forward to the sequel, "Frost/Nixon 2: Laser Swordfight".

RATING: 91% (which means that its better than Burn After Reading, but worse than Orange Juice)

(image courtesy of wikipedia, dude)

Lube-flavoured lube

Lube-flavoured lube tastes kind of like coconut and kind of like nothing, and kind of like orifice. It's not as fancy as ID or Jiffy lube, but it's free if you steal it from the hospital while you wait 3 hours for socialized health care to provide you with a physician for 5 minutes. Grab a handful of cotton balls too--you'll need 'em where you're going.

RATING: 75%

(Image from conceptsinconfidence.com.)

The Lookout

Who would ever have thought that the kid from 3rd Rock would turn out to be such a great actor? Weird- not many child stars have it in them. Despite the fact that the poster to the left looks like it was made for a generic late 90s action movie, The Lookout is a pretty great, quiet thriller. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a guy in his 20s who caused a deadly car accident in high school, and his resulting head injury prevents him from performing a lot of everyday tasks or interacting with people without sometimes blurting out totally inappropriate phrases like "I think about fucking you all the time." So naturally some bank robbers decide to take advantage of him and his job as a bank janitor, and thrillingness ensues. It's more of a character piece, and like I said JGL holds the whole thing together with his performance. Jeff Daniels is also good as his blind roommate the end.

RATING: 79%

Continental Airways






THE GOOD:
-No emergency water landing
-Free bowl of cornflakes and carton of cream o' land 2% milk
-Cheap
-It's in the past now

THE BAD:
-Mean, surly flight attendants (I think one of them said, "Get your seat up, cracker")
-Breakfast banana rotten in the middle
-Had to sit through most of City of Ember with no sound
-Frightened, shrieking infant 3 rows up simultaneously heartbreaking, irritating

THE UGLY:
-Fellow passengers all from New Jersey, all obese, all clad in sweater vests and pleated pants
-Adjacent passenger sneezed and coughed without covering mouth, used Blackberry during takeoff and landing despite being asked not to
-Tail seat in very last row, downwind of airplane lavatories

RATING: Continental Airways 60%
Jersey's intestinal health 10%
City of Ember: Bill Murray, are you fucking kidding me%

(Picture from securitykarma.com)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Whitey Album by Ciccone Youth

Ok, Ciccone Youth is really Sonic Youth, you guys figured it out. The Whitey Album was Sonic Youth's first real pure experimental album. It has a lot of songs that have no words, one that has no music and just words, one that has no music or words, and a lot of other weird covers and samples of 80s songs that I hardly believe would have been legal after Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records, Inc. The album accurately reflects the 80s: misdirected excess that occasionally results in accidental genius. I can't recommend this album to you, but here are some tracks and if you like them then I guess you can buy the album, although there are at least a dozen other SY records you should pick up first.

RATING: 59%

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake with none of its' borders touching Canada. Coincidentally it has the nicest beaches of any of the Great Lakes. I'm not implying anything, but put 2 and 2 together, and I bet you'll get 4. There's a lot of fish, like salmon, in Lake Michigan so if you're a fisherman you'll probably get off on it. These days whenever I think about Lake Michigan (rarely) I usually think of Saul Bellow.

RATING: 67%

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

#98 on Chris' Bottom 100 Movie List

$33.8 million? Jesus wept.

RATING: 1%

Appaloosa

Two buddies (Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen) move into a lawless town run by some outlaw and his gang. Some whore (Renee Zellweger) strolls into town and gets on Ed Harris. But being a good law man don't make for a good husband, so she tries to get up on Ed Harris' pal Viggo. Viggo is a good buddy and he's like "Fuck, I can't do this to ol' Ed" (even though, surprise, he is attracted to her also). I hate to digress, but there is nothing appealing about Renee Zellweger. Anyway, there's some pretty realistic shootouts and people getting shot so you'll probably like that too. Check it out, it's a generic story, but a pretty good movie.

RATING: 78%

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coq au vin

Coq au vin is chicken stewed in red wine with a bunch of other stuff like onions, carrots, mushrooms and pork belly. It's delicious but kind of expensive to make. Also, it's really rich so try not to wash it down with Jager shots on your birthday or you might feel kind of sick. Don't refer to sex during menstruation as "coq au vin" because that's gross and besides, it's a sin to touch a menstruating woman.

RATING: 90%

(Image from http://2.bp.blogspot.com.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

$1 Amazing Cocaine Flavored Doom

COMBINATION!

RATING: 22%

(photo courtesy of trains)

$1 Gingerbread House

The biggest sign that something is seriously fucked with America is that you can't eat gingerbread houses. Give me a break! This is what we do to laugh in the face of the poor and starving countries out there, make delicious looking confectionery dwellings to wave in the face of children and then say eating is forbidden? That's total bullshit. It also probably didn't help that the house was bought for a dollar two and a half weeks after Christmas, but if it was new I would have liked to eat it, thank you very much.

RATING: 23%

Amazing Spider-Man: Round Robin: The Sidekick's Revenge

Spider-man! Punisher! Darkhawk! Moon Knight! Nova! Night Thrasher! Early 90s! Garbage!

RATING: 17%

Friday, January 16, 2009

ID Flavored Lubes

Some people view lube as a purely functional item, and to that I say, that's too bad, because there are lubes out there that are made to taste like all sorts of fruit and tropical Tiki beverages. I know we're in a recession and all, but can you really come up with an excuse not to have a sampler pack of ten different flavored lubes? Our parents could only dream of a time when lube came in flavors like Wild Cherry, Passion Fruit, Watermelon, and Bubblegum; it's a sin for these lubes to exist and for us to spit in the face of product evolution by not using them. Flavored lube is a great introductory item for your goodie drawer; if you produce a huge purple dong on the first date, your date might scream and run (unless you mention the dong specifically on your Cragislist ad, in which case, kudos to you for your foresight). If you take out some Pina Colada flavored lube, though, who's going to be offended? The picture to the right makes it look like a chapstick. And apparently ID has evolved itself to include a pump top -- genius. Just brilliant. It's time everyone learned what the girls and gays have known for a long, long, time.

(Photo courtesy of cheaplubes.com. Yes, that's a real site. Thank me later.)

RATING: 91% (deductions for the glycerin, which may or may not be a problem)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cocaine

Cocaine is responsible for Escape from L.A., "Chair Model", The Tommyknockers and the Columbian necktie. When the cops came to my school they told us it's really expensive and only kind of fun. Plus, it's super addictive and if you get caught with it you go to jail for like forever so don't do drugs, kids.

RATING: How the fuck should I know%

(Image from http://popularwitch.files.wordpress.com.)

Doom Patrol: The Painting That Ate Paris

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Grant Morrison is a great writer/psychopath. A good idea for comic book companies is to let Grant Morrison write comics, because he comes up with some great shit, but to never ever let him anywhere near mainstream continuity (Final Crisis). Doom Patrol is Morrison's playground, and probably the best place he could showcase his talents. In this volume, the Doom Patrol, a bizarre set of reject heroes, goes up against the Brotherhood Of Dada, who have obtained a painting capable of swallowing cities. Richard Case gets a great chance to demonstrate his artistic prowess as our heroes navigate the painting's various art movements, and later gets to make up all kinds of bizarre creatures when AntiGod is destroying the world. It's a lot of fun and probably the weirdest book to ever feature a love tryst between a giant superintelligent French gorilla and a disembodied brain.

RATING: 91%