Friday, June 25, 2010

MST3K Friday: Poopie! (part 1)

A while back, the folks at Best Brains put together a blooper reel from MST3K appropriately titled "Poopie!". Here's part 1:

"I don't fink on soul brother."
"Pancakes! Oh, I blew it."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Maltin's Movies: Paths of Glory (1975)

Kirk Douglas produced PATHS OF GLORY, and hired young Stanley Kubrick to direct.  It remains one of the most haunting - and uncompromising - antiwar films ever made, a powerful illustration of both the folly, and the hypocrisy, of war and politics.

Awesome, awesome movie.  I first rented it a couple years ago when I was going through all the Kubrick movies.  Kirk Douglas gives a great performance.  As always, you can't take your eyes off Kubrick's splendid cinematography.  Watch for the future Mrs. Kubrick as a singer late in the film.

An example of Douglas in action:

Friday, June 18, 2010

MST3K Friday: The Touch of Satan

"You're lucky." "Your death will be quick."

"This is where the fish lives."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks

I've been a little deficient this year in blogging the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I blame that on lots of travel and work stresses.  But I'm happy to congratulate Jonathan Towes, Patrick Kane (right), and the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks on their victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games.

Not only am I excited that these fantastic young players won The Cup, but I WAS THERE!

A friend of mine has season tickets to the Flyers.  So when he called me the Monday before Game 6 and asked if I wanted to go, I didn't even wait 2 seconds before I gave him a "hell yeah!"

It was a great time.  I've been to several Flyers playoff games before and recommend anyone who has the opportunity to take advantage of if.  Even if you're not a fan of either team, the atmosphere is second to none.  The game itself was outstanding too.  The Blackhawks were firing on all cylinders, dominating many facets of the game.  But the ever scrappy Flyers managed to hang in there and Scott Hartnell scored a goal with just under four minutes to go in regulation to send the game into overtime.

The Flyers missed several opportunities early in the extra period to force a game seven in Chicago.  Unfortunately for them, Patrick Kane scored at 4:06 of overtime to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win and their first Cup in 49 years.  As with many people in the stands, I didn't even realize the puck was in until Kane threw his gloves into the air and sprinted toward goalie Anti Niemi.

My buddy was obviously heartbroken, but we stayed through the presentation of the Conn Smythe Trophy and most of the Stanley Cup celebration.  For the rest of my life, I will always be able to say that I've been to a Finals game and have seen the Cup awarded.

Congratulations Blackhawks!

Friday, June 11, 2010

MST3K Friday: The Incredibly Strange Creatures

Clips from Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became-Mixed Up Zombies.

"You know what I'm looking at right now? That exit sign."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Justified: Bulletville

Last night brought the close to season one of “Justified”. It was a great finale, but didn’t feel too much like a finale. I guess that goes along with the understated tone of Elmore Leonard’s work.

Let’s go through the main plot points of the episode. Bo gets mad at Boyd for destroying his ephedrine shipment. Bo kills Boyd’s flock. Boyd starts to question his newfound faith. Wynonna and her husband have split up. Miami is mad at Bo for losing the shipment. Bo convinces Arlo to kill Raylan in order to appease Miami. Raylan thwarts Arlo’s attempt. Raylan almost single-handedly wipes out Bo’s entire crew. Boyd aligns himself with Raylan.

Lots of stuff. Lots of good stuff. One of the big questions about Boyd this season was about his jailhouse conversion. Walton Goggins did a good job of playing it down the middle where you didn’t know if the conversion was real or Boyd was just using it as an angle (much like his white-supremacist angle in the pilot). This episode shows that it in fact was real, but in losing his flock, Boyd may have lost his way.

Raylan was back to his badass form from the first couple episodes. He gets the drop on just about everyone and proves that his father is the most despicable piece of trash of all time. There was a great moment after the confrontation where Arlo calls him “son” (like he did all season) and Raylan says “don’t call me that.” Timothy Olyphant’s delivery of that line was just perfect.

There were conclusions to a lot of the ongoing threads, but stuff was left open for next year. Will Boyd and Raylan stay on the same side? Will Raylan and Wynonna get back together? What about Raylan and Ava? And you know Miami can’t be too happy with Raylan a) being alive and b) taking out even more of their crew.

Friday, June 4, 2010

MST3K Friday: I Accuse My Parents

I always loved the theme song Tom sings.

"Can I show you something in a size me?"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Drink Before the War, by Dennis Lehane

In the opening book of Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro series, Patrick and Angie are tasked by a state senator to find some missing documents that were most likely taken by a recently disappeared cleaning woman.  What they find could touch off not only a political scandal, but a race war in the streets of Boston.

Lehane's debut has all the hallmarks of the classic PI novel:  wisecracking detective, violence, and plot twists galore.  Like all good PI stories, there is the perceived crime and the actual crime.  The perceived crime is the missing documents and the actual crime is what the recovery of those documents will cover up.

All the characters, no matter how minor, are very well rendered.  Patrick Kenzie on the surface seems to be a typical wisecracking detective, but you get the sense that the jokes are his way of covering up the pain, rather than proving how much of a tough guy he is.  Kenzie has a strong support network around him - from gun dealers to low-level government clerks to reporters.  Some may feel it's a cop-out to have the timely information just a phone call away, but any good detective (and anyone who grew up in Boston like Kenzie did) would most likely have a network of friends and informants to help him out.  And you get the sense that these people have lives going on outside the world of the book.

I greatly enjoyed A Drink Before the War, and look forward to reading more books by Lehane.

Highly Recommended.