Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Idiossey

Someone sent me a link yesterday to this piece by David Burge. It's a satirical look at the rise of Obama done in the style of an epic poem. It appears on Breitbart's Big Hollywood, so it leans right, but it does a good job of skewering both sides.

My favorite passages are about Obama's speech distancing himself from Rev. Wright during his "race speech" of nearly a year ago:
When the Demos people saw the Chicagomon they shrugged,
but Obamacles was taking no chances for the general battle;
He had no more further use for the Chicagomon and thus he summoned
Underbus, the destroyer of memes. One by one he disposed them,
The Jeremiad and Phlegeron and Ayres, all sacrificed to Underbus.

I hate the phrase "throwing someone under the bus", but that part made me chuckle.

Also, check this bit out about McCain (hereby known as "Crustius") naming Sarah Palin as his running mate, the eventual attacks on her from within his own camp of advisors, and the complaints about liberal media bias:

True to the prophesy of the Doritos, wily Crustius had a secret trick up his toga.
From his rock-strewn shipwreck he summoned Palina, huntress of Wasilla,
Whose fertile loins had many odd-named children bore,
Bristol and Trig, Dakota and Algebra, Calculus and Physed,
And yet she retained the visage and figure of a goddess.

Palina emerged from the sea, springing fully formed from a clamshell,
Brandishing the spear that had slain a thousand antlered beasts.
Once mutinous, the Crustonauts were instantly heartened,
For now they and sensed a chance at victory.

...

Palina was undaunted by the minions and thus she battled gamely on.
But at last she was attacked by Crustius himself;
For so addled and contrary was the wizened sailor
That he had forgotten which side he was on.
Vanquished Palina returned to Wasilla to fight another day,
While Crustius sails again, forever seeking the elusive Sirens of Media.

Even the smaller events such as Cheif Justice Roberts flubbing the oath and people throwing shoes at the White House during President Bush's last day are mentioned:

Now behold him, brave Obamacles,
Who strides triumphant down Pennsylvania Avenue,
With Victimia at his side in a gown of golden brocade,
Hewn from the finest hotel draperies.
Behold his ascent to the marble dais to swear his oath,
Which Justice Roberts flubs; so dazzled is he
by our hero’s pure magnificence.

And behold the crowd whose number has grown to a million,
Mocking limping Chimpos [George W. Bush] as he flees to Brazos exile,
Tossing their sandals at his edifice, only to stop to hail the conquering hero.

So, keep an open mind and check it out. It is certainly gave me a few laughs.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We're Playing Basketball!

Random silly basketball videos:



Did that guy just take a step off the defender's chest?





Worst. Airball. Ever!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh, What a Weekend!

I planned to watch and review Killer's Kiss this weekend, but didn't get the chance. I knew Saturday would be full because I got together with some friends I haven't seen in a long time. Since the last time all of us were together, the three of them each had a baby girl. So, that night was spent with food, friends, and three adorable baby girls - all under one year old.

Sunday was set aside for the Penguins and the Steelers, so I thought I might be able to squeeze the movie in while only missing part of the Eagles game. But that wasn't meant to be. Jim called during the first intermission of the Penguins game.

"Hey. Tim's here." (Tim is one of his college friends - and now the chef for the Eagles). "He brought way too much food. You want to come over at three for the game?"

I always say the only thing better than free is free food.

So after a half dozen Teriyaki wings, some smoked ribs, sausage and peppers, and a heaping bowl of chili, the time for movie watching had passed. Hopefully later this week I'll get to it.

In the mean time, I stumbled upon an article about the 75th anniversary of Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man and another Guardian list on the 100 crime novels to read before you die. I haven't done a complete tabulation, but I've already read a good number of those.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Killing (1956)

Ex-con Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) masterminds a daring racetrack robbery which can result in a $2 million payoff. He has a team of inside men, outside men, thugs, designated distracters, and crooked cops ready, but the scheme is complicated by the intervention of his inside man’s wife.

This is a fascinating film noir from director Stanley Kubrick and writer Jim Thompson. The cast is outstanding and the story is complex yet simple to understand – perfect for a noir. Kubrick’s direction is great (natch) and I loved how the story was told in a non-linear way.

Sterling Hayden is menacing as mastermind Johnny Clay and you can believe that he’s smart enough to plan the heist. Noir staple Elisha Cook, Jr. plays a teller at the track who is dominated by his overbearing wife (Marie Windsor). It was interesting to see Cook as this type of character instead of the tough guy (or wannabe tough guy) that he plays in most other noirs.

A lot of people say The Asphalt Jungle is the ultimate heist film, but I think The Killing is. The Killing deals mainly with the planning and execution of a major heist. The fallout is shown and provides a great amount of tension in the last portion of the film. I haven’t seen The Asphalt Jungle in a number of years (probably more than four), but I remember most of the film’s focus is on the police investigation and double-crossing in the aftermath. I want to revisit Jungle sometime soon, so maybe I’m wrong. The only thing Jungle has over Killing is an appearance by a very young Marilyn Monroe.

On a side note: now the only two Kubrick-directed films I haven’t seen are Spartacus and Killer’s Kiss.

Noir of the Week's entry on The Killing can be found here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cheesy Movies

I spent a fun New Year's Eve with my brother watching some old Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies. First up was The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy. If you can get your hands on this one, watch it. It's a classic. The movie itself is laughable and the riffs where outstanding. It's an early first season episode, so there's Dr. Larry instead of TV's Frank and Servo has a different voice. Definitely enjoyable.

Second was The Unearthly. This one is noteworthy because it has 2 shorts in front of it. The first one (Posture Pals) talks about the importance of good posture. The second one is great. Appreciating Your Parents is everything a 1950's short should be! The movie itself is about a doctor trying to discover a fountain of youth. Be on the lookout for Z-movie favorite Tor Johnson and his signature line "Time for go to bed".

We ended the evening with Gunslinger. This Roger Corman classic stars Beverly Garland (who recently passed away) as a marshal's widow who takes up his badge to avenge his death. One of my favorite parts is early on when two horses are standing motionless to the side of the camera. Once they get the cue, the actors ride them 10 feet and dismount. Other filmmakers would've reshot the scene so it would look like the cowboys were riding in from far away, but not our hero Corman!

Then I spend New Year's Day in hockey-land. First was the Winter Classic. Then more games of NHL09 than I can count. Then the Penguins/Bruins game. I should probably check myself into rehab or something.