Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Maury Chaykin

Maury Chaykin (1949-2010) was a character actor who worked extensively in film and television over the last 35 years. Though born in America, Chaykin started his acting career in Canada and would go on to do countless Canadian films and television shows. Chaykin is part of the "oh hey, it's that guy" school of character actors, having been in more than 150 movies and television shows but never having gained serious name recognition outside of movie geek circles. You may remember Chaykin as the witness in My Cousin Vinny who says the line "No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits."

Rating: Take pride in your grits%

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Wicker Man

This is a movie about a devout Christian cop from Scotland who goes to some weirdo pagan island to solve The Case of the Missing Girl. It's ok, but it's totally revered as one of the best horror movies ever made by basically everybody who ever lived on Earth in all of history, which is not an accurate assessment if you ask me. It's complex though - on the one hand, this Christian cop is kind of a dick when he hears about the kids being taught pagan faith instead of about Jesus etc, but on the other hand *SPOILERS* they burn him to death as a sacrifice to their harvest god which isn't so hospitable in my humble opinion *END SPOILERS*. One other lasting contribution this film made to society is that it spawned a remake, which spawned BAM!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Adolescent Sex by Japan

This album by Japan, Adolescent Sex, is a pretty good post- punk record. Imagine New York Dolls with way more keyboards. As always here's some links to songs of theirs, but I'd like to point out that we'll now get the most unintentional search result hits since Laurie posted that review of a picture of preteen boys wearing tight pants. In conclusion, welcome, perverts!


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Moon is a pretty good movie in the subgenre I just made up called "Space Crazy Movies." Those are movies that take place in space (or deep in the ocean, like The Abyss), and feature one or more characters going crazy OR ARE THEY? Also, like 2001, Sunshine, Solaris, and RocketMan starring Harlan Williams. The plot is Sam Rockwell is mining for moon rocks alone and then starts going crazy OR DOES HE?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee

I'm not sure if it qualifies as a genre unto itself, but I love semi-serious autobiographies written by comedians. The first one I can remember reading was Drew Carey's Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined, which alternated between dick jokes and dark, personal anecdotes. Sarah Silverman devotes a large chunk of her book to her family history, her early battles with depression, and her bed wetting issues (hence the title). There's not a whole lot in the book about her comedy career, though she does take time to discuss some of her more controversial jokes/performances and there is a chapter devoted to her TV show, The Sarah Silverman Program. David Cross' book (I Drink For A Reason) could have been much better had it been written in a similar fashion.

Rating: 86%

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brooklyn Brand East India Pale Ale

A Beer For Every State #8 - New York

Although their lager is way better, this is still an ok IPA from America's only brewery with a black brewmaster. Best enjoyed nowhere near New York, so you can pay less than $13 for a six pack.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Post Office

I'm no expert on the works on Charles Bukowski, but Post Office is the the third Bukowski novel that I've read in the last two years. I started reading his novels (I'm not too interested in his poetry) after I had read something on the internets that suggested that Chuck Palahniuk's fans wouldn't know a good book if it bit them on the ass so they should pick up Bukowski's Ham on Rye. Seeing as I couldn't stand the Palahniuk novel I was reading at the time, that sounded like a pretty good idea. Post Office is Bukowski's first novel to feature his semi-autobiographical stand-in Henry Chinaski, though it focuses on a period of his life that comes after the events of later novels such as Ham on Rye and Factotum. I'll avoid ending this review with any hyperbolic praise for Bukowski, as most of his fans are wont to do, all I'll say is that there is already another Bukowski title lined up on my Amazon wish list.

Rating: 90%

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eating the Dinosaur

Eating the Dinosaur is a collection of essays written by Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman is an author who's work I had been more or less avoiding for the last few years. His name always seemed to pop up in articles and on websites that I liked, but I always found the praise of his work to be a bit fawning and his responses in interviews to be a bit off-putting (which sorta comes up in one of the book's first essays). Though, in the end, I quite enjoyed the book and found his essays both entertaining and interesting (even the ones about sports). Topics discussed in the book include: journalism, the similarities between Kurt Cobain and David Koresh, basketball, voyeurism, time travel, Garth Brooks' alter ego Chris Gaines, football, ABBA, laugh tracks, Pepsi's advertising strategies, irony, literalism, the lyrics of Rivers Cuomo, and a critique of the Unabomber Manifesto.

Rating: 89%

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apocalypse Now

#23 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

This is a movie about how war is bad and we shouldn't go to war. Just kidding - it's obviously a very complex film filled with characters who discover that whatever morality they thought they possessed needs to be discarded or revised because of their environment. I know everybody's probably seen this movie, but I want to mention that I got the chance to see the Redux cut in the theater back in 2001, and even though that edit is pretty pointless, the movie is the most visually gorgeous I've ever seen in the movie theater. So see it in a theater if you can, or go spend all your cash on one of those 100 inch HDTVs, Professor Moneybags.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Daredevil Vol. 12: Decalogue

This storyline starts with a support group meeting in a church basement to help people whose lives have been affected by Daredevil in some way. Eventually, it turns out one of them has a demon baby living inside of him, and thJESUS I'VE NEVER EVEN READ THE ILIAD WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE???


Fantastic Four: Foes

Fantastic Four: Noes.


Monday, July 12, 2010


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It only took twenty-three years, but they finally made a decent sequel to Predator. Predators goes out of its way to make you remember just how awesome the first Predator movie was by recycling some of the original film's score and by putting the Predators back in a jungle setting. Despite the occasional pause for some exposition, the movie keeps up a good pace, moving from one action scene to the next. The special effects are good, with lots of 'splosions and minimal crappy CGI. The performances from the human characters are also uniformly good, even That '70s Show's Topher Grace (no, really).

Rating: 87%

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Black Dynamite

This is a pretty awesome homage/parody of 1970s blaxploitation films that came out (briefly) in theaters last year. It so closely matches the style of a lot of those films, including intentional production mistakes and degraded film stock, that I felt if I didn't know it was just made and couldn't recognize actors from today in it I would have just figured it was made back then. The only real giveaway is that Michael Jai White, who plays Black Dynamite, has like 7 black belts and is pretty great in all of the fight scenes, unlike Rudy Ray Moore, who clearly had little to no athletic ability. I'd tell you the plot, but that seems like work so just rent it or watch it on Netflix Watch Instantly (paid advertisement).


Saturday, July 10, 2010

La Roux by La Roux

I've found that a lot of radio pop lately has been employing common late 90s electronic music moves that I would have loved back when I tracked, which is cool but also embarrassing because if I pick somebody up in my car and I'm blasting this or Nelly Furtado it's tough to come up with excuses. Well, as for La Roux, the 80s-style synthpop and charming androgyny of this group is extremely catchy. That's my excuse? Um.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Superman/Batman Vol. 1: Public Enemies

Since the mid 80s, Lex Luthor had been redesigned as a rich megalomaniac who would rather manipulate things through use of business savvy and politics than by putting on a ridiculous green suit of armor and punching his way to satisfaction. In the early 2000s, DC Comics even had him elected president of the United States, and the comparisons between Luthor and another dubiously elected president were unmistakable. I MEAN GEORGE W. BUSH GET IT? Anyway, in case you aren't somebody who thinks W. is analogous to a supercriminal, then you're in luck, because archconservative Jeph Loeb undid all of that in six issues and had Luthor back in his idiotic green armor and deposed as president. I guess he seriously broke the modern characterization of Luthor as a more subtle criminal and everything, but it is actually a pretty fun story if you like liking things.


Cassette Tape Memories: Island Tape One

I made this tape in the summer of 2004, and yes, I guess it's a little embarrassing that I was still making mixtapes in 2004, but my purple Pontiac Sunfire only had a tape deck, so na. I was working as a bag boy at a grocery store, and had just realized I didn't want to go to med school, but would rather get a poetry MFA (you young idiot). The conceit of this tape was songs I'd like on a desert island? I still like all of them I guess, but my desert island list would probably be mostly different now.



I Wanna Be Your Dog - The Stooges
Deceptacon - Le Tigre
Judy Is A Punk - The Ramones
Atomic - Blondie
Open Season - Imperial Teen
Connection - Elastica
Egg Man - The Beastie Boys
Blur The Technicolor (Poker from Stud to Strip Mix) - White Zombie
These Eyes - The Guess Who
What's the Frequency, Kenneth? - REM
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting - Elton John
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
Hey Ya - Outkast


Teenage Riot - Sonic Youth
Crimson and Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells
War Pigs - Black Sabbath
Patti Smith Math Scratch - Thurston Moore
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Holland 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel
Down In The Park - Tubeway Army
I Am A Scientist - Guided By Voices
Freedom Of Choice - Devo
Straight to Hell - The Clash

Blockade Billy

Nobody hates Stephen King more than the people who don't actually read his stuff. Next time you're talking books with a bunch of people, try telling them that you liked It and/or the Dark Tower series and see how well that goes over. King's newest short story/novella Blockade Billy combines his love of baseball and grisly horror with the attention to detail that goes a long way to really flesh out his work. Since I'm such a big movie dork, I couldn't help but think of the story as though it were Major League told using the plot device from Citizen Kane with a horror twist. You can probably still find copies of Blockade Billy at Wal-Mart for 30% off the cover price, because I'm pretty sure they have a hard time selling books that don't involve sparkly vampires.

Rating: 84%

(Image from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Schlitz Beer

A Beer For Every State #7 - Wisconsin

Schlitz is the beer that made Milwaukee famous in the same way that killing and exhuming women in order to make a lady suit out of their skin was the act that made Ed Gein famous.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cassette Tape Memories: Bull by Bootsauce

This is a really, really awful fucking album by a really, really awful Canadian band who would have never been on the radio if it wasn't for CanCon requirements. The main thing I remember about this tape was that at a friend's birthday party in grade seven Internet John, our friend John A. and I lipsynched the song "Touching Cloth" from this album in a lipsynching contest. We were the dorkiest kids in our grade, and nobody expected us to break it down with fake guitars and everything, so we won like 13 bucks! Then the birthday kid took the money and got drunk on wine coolers. That's ok, though, because while he was puking behind his house the rest of us were playing girls v. boys kiss tag and the drunk kid's girlfriend kissed me (score I guess?). So the lesson is if you like terrible RHCP cover bands and wanting to kill yourself, this album is for you.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Commodore 1541

Hey, remember floppy disks? No, not the 3.5" ones that you used to trade copies of Wolfenstein 3D back in the day. I'm talking about the old 5.25" bad boys. I recently came across an old Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive, which at one time was quite the piece of gear, capable of handling single sided 5.25" floppy disks with a storage capacity of 170 kilobytes. According to the faded price tag on the box (it was bought at Zellers), the unit originally cost $341.99. Just think about that next time you're shopping for an external terabyte hard drive.

Rating: Obsolete%

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