Friday, August 31, 2007
But then there's Ronny, who only has two pictures on his page. One is a classy, straightforward shot of him in a nice suit:
And the other also has him looking classy in a suit... and standing proud in front of a giant machine gun-toting robot.
Lookin' good, Ronny. Lookin' real good.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The choice was a great one because (a) the film was featured in the clip show and (b) it was one of the few titles featured that actually had a number in the title. An added bonus is that this is one of my very favorite films.
VSL is really a great site and it's nice to have their updates emailed to me every day. So go and take a visit over there. It's worth it.*
*(And, no, they're not paying me)
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"The tragic lesson of Katrina is what will happen when men and women who openly despise our government -- who brag they plan to weaken it until they can drown it in a bathtub -- are allowed to govern. After telling the nation that they and only they could keep us safe from any and all threats, the neo-clowns were caught off guard by a Weapon of Mass Destruction called 'water,' arising from a storm that could be seen lumbering toward the Gulf Coast from the surface of the moon for a week. Choose your leaders wisely; these neo-GOP idiots couldn't run a rib-joint let alone the United States of America. And sooner or later, given the chance, it will be your town they drown in the bathtub."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
As sad as this news is, my hand compulsively keeps snapping up in a Strangelove-esque manner and types out "I'd be depressed too if I made You, Me and Dupree".
Damn, did it again.
In all seriousness, here's hoping Owen Wilson gets better. The man has a lot of talent and a lot to live for. And if his recovery prevents him from making yet another film with Ben Stiller, so be it.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I am so, so, so sick of hearing this crap week after week. The three Republicans who said they did not believe in Evolution are to be held partially responsible for stuff like this:
As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.Sixty years ago, America was seen by the world as a noble superpower. Thanks to people such as this, we are now the heavily armed retarded guy that lives up the block.
But don't tell that to the good people of Waco, who were "visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence," according to the Waco Tribune.
Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College's Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.
But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."
The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.
At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled "We believe in God!" and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they'd always suspected.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I think most of you know what I'm talking about.
Christopher Walken broke out through his 1978 Oscar-winning turn in The Deer Hunter. His character, Nick Chevotarevich, personified the concept of the walking wounded. One watches that film and connects so firmly to the character that we're right alongside Robert DeNiro in his determination to find his old friend again on the backstreets of Saigon.
After that, Walken had steady work. He famously got a chance to show his dancing chops in Pennies from Heaven. He also starred in what is considered to this day to be the best film adaptation of a Stephen King novel, The Dead Zone. In 1985, he got his first big chance at scenery chewing as a James Bond villain in A View to a Kill. Though I don't think this was the moment I'm looking for, it did mark a beginning for his playing heavies that could be simultaneously scary and hilarious. Witness his drill sergeant in Biloxi Blues, his drug kingpin in King of New York or his memorable mobster in True Romance.
And then we have 1994's Pulp Fiction, which I think most people would point to as the moment. His monologue about the fate of a gold watch immediately became legend, and in a way it signaled a far bigger career change than John Travolta's role in the same film. But I don't think it was even this moment that was the moment for Walken.
No, I think it all comes down to Saturday Night Live.
Although they may not think of it in these terms, most people who watch Saturday Night Live can intuitively place hosts into one of three categories: The totally lost, the willing participants, and those that fit right in. From his first appearance on SNL back in 1990 (he's hosted six episodes total to date), Walken has consistently shown the cast of regulars how it's done.
Walken's most famous SNL work, the "More Cowbell" sketch from 2000, has now become a pop culture catchphrase. But my personal favorite is "Ed Glosser: Trivial Psychic", which he did on his second hosting in 1992. He played a guy who predicted non-consequential events, which was obviously a riff on his role in The Dead Zone. Walken's pitch perfect performance is done utterly, completely straight. He grabs a coworker dramatically by the arm and tells him that they are going to accidentally leave a cup of coffee in a cab later on that afternoon. The guy shrugs it off, saying it's no big deal, but Walken stares at him intently and with conviction pleads, "You don't understand! You're wasting coffee!"
And that's the key, I think: his utter earnestness with which he plays these characters. Comedy, it has been said, is a serious business, and Mr. Walken understands that more as a dramatic actor than many comic actors do.
Mrs. Mosely and I went to the movies several months ago and saw three trailers in a row for what look to be very sophomoric and stupid comedies. However, the third one, for the upcoming Balls of Fury, had the saving grace of Walken in full Chinese regalia as the Master of Ceremonies. At the end of the trailer, he raises a fist level with his head and states "Represent". I've gone on and on before of how there's nothing more embarrassing than white guys trying to be hip, but Walken is one of the very few men who can get away with it. The man has talent.
Friday, August 24, 2007
The current National Geographic magazine reports that less than two percent of the world's population has natural red hair, created by a mutation in northern Europe thousands of years ago.
Global intermingling, which broadens the availability of possible partners, has reduced the chances of redheads meeting and producing little redheads of their own.
It takes only one red-haired parent to produce ginger-headed babies, but two redheads obviously create a much stronger possibility.
If the gingers really want to save themselves they should move to Scotland.
An estimated 40 per cent of Scots carry the red gene and 13 percent actually have red hair.
Some experts say that redheads could be gone as early as 2060.
Well, in that case...
...enjoy 'em while they last, boys!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
|When we are in the tavern,||Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring|
|we do not think how we will go to dust,||Once Upon a Time in the West|
|but we hurry to gamble,||Run Lola Run|
|which always makes us sweat.||Croupier|
|What happens in the tavern,||Ocean's 11|
|where money is host,||Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels|
|you may well ask, and hear what I say.||Henry V|
|YOU MAY WELL ASK, AND HEAR WHAT I SAY!||Beauty and the Beast|
|(pause)||The Great Escape|
|Some gamble, some drink,||The Sting|
|some behave loosely.||Drunken Master|
|But of those who gamble,||The Odd Couple|
|some are stripped bare,||Knight's Tale|
|some win their clothes here,||Metropolitan|
|some are dressed in sacks.||Monty Python & the Holy Grail|
Here no-one fears death, but they throw dice in the name of Bacchus
|HERE NO-ONE FEARS DEATH, BUT THEY THROW DICE IN THE NAME OF BACCHUS!||Guys and Dolls|
|First of all it is to the wine-merchant||The Adventures of Robin Hood|
|then the libertines drink,||Tom Jones|
|(pause)||Dirty Rotten Scoundrels|
|one for the prisoners,||The Shawshank Redemption|
|three for the living,||Zorba the Greek|
|four for all Christians,||Elmer Gantry|
|five for the faithful dead,||The Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl|
|six for the loose sisters,||O' Brother, Where Art Thou?|
|seven for the footpads in the wood,||Barry Lyndon|
|eight for the errant brethren,||The Blues Brothers|
|nine for the dispersed monks,||Ladyhawke|
|ten for the seamen,||On the Town|
|eleven for the squabblers,||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf|
|twelve for the penitent,||Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade|
|thirteen for the wayfarers.||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy|
|TO THE POPE AS TO THE KING||The Shoes of the Fisherman|
|THEY ALL DRINK WITHOUT RESTRAINT!||The Lion in Winter|
|(long pause)||The Fiddler on the Roof|
|(long pause)||Big, Fat Greek Wedding|
|The mistress drinks,||Sliding Doors|
|the master drinks,||Gosford Park|
|the soldier drinks,||She Wore a Yellow Ribbon|
|the priest drinks,||Pale Rider|
|the man drinks,||Shakespeare in Love|
|the woman drinks,||All About Eve|
|the servant drinks,||Remains of the Day|
|with the maid,||Clue|
|the swift man drinks,||Blazing Saddles|
|the lazy man drinks,||The Big Lebowski|
|the white man drinks,||The Untouchables|
|the black man drinks,||Raisin in the Sun|
|the settled man drinks,||American Beauty|
|the wanderer drinks,||Yojimbo|
|the stupid man drinks,||Dumb and Dumber|
|the wise man drinks,||The Princess Bride|
|The poor man drinks,||The Treasure of the Sierra Madre|
|the sick man drinks,||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof|
|the exile drinks,||Anastasia|
|and the stranger,||Strangers on a Train|
|the boy drinks,||Rumble Fish|
|the old man drinks,||The Godfather|
|the bishop drinks,||Caddyshack|
|and the deacon,||Waterworld|
|the sister drinks,||Two Mules for Sister Sara|
|the brother drinks,||On the Waterfront|
|the old lady drinks,||Sunset Blvd.|
|the mother drinks,||Hamlet|
|this man drinks,||Miller's Crossing|
|that man drinks,||Ghostbusters|
|a hundred drink,||Star Trek VI|
|a thousand drink.||It's a Wonderful Life|
|SIX HUNDRED PENNIES WOULD||Pennies from Heaven|
|HARDLY SUFFICE, IF EVERYONE||Fantasia|
|drinks immoderately and immeasurably.||Titanic|
|However much they cheerfully drink||Strange Brew|
|we are the ones whom everyone scolds,||Withnail and I|
|and thus we are destitute.||The Hudsucker Proxy|
|May those who slander us be cursed||Barfly|
|and may their names not be written in the book of the righteous.||Easy Rider|
|IO!||The Deer Hunter|
|IO!||Bridget Jones' Diary|
|(long pause)||Animal House|
|YO!||Lost in Translation|
And, yes, to answer your question, it was a lot of damn work.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
May I present: "Getting drunk and losing all your money ... at the Movies"
Friday, August 17, 2007
Sorry to say that, unlike the first one, this one has nothing to do with numbers. But for those jonesing for some number goodness, here's a number-themed post to tide you over.
You've got to start somewhere, don't you? Even the Internet Movie Database started small. Specifically, it started as a Usenet FAQ back in the late 1980's. It has grown since then to one of the most recognizable and used databases on the Internet.
On this database, not only can you look at individual page entries for movies and television series, you can also look at individual entries for each and every person (actor, director, cinematographer and even best boy grip) involved with creating that title.
But they had to put these in one at a time when they created it, and you can tell this by looking at the URL of a person's page. For example, Michael Caine's URL ends with "nm0000323", which means he was the 323rd person to be entered into the database.
So who was "nm0000001"? Why, none other than Fred Astaire. Now, Astaire was a great hoofer but only a fair actor, so why number one? A result of alphabetics, apparently. He is followed by Lauren Bacall, Brigitte Bardot and John Belushi in the second, third and fourth slot, respectively.
(Incidentally, I'm certainly not the first one to study this aspect of IMDb, as you can see here.)
This first set of alphabetical people ends with Victor Young (a composer during the 30's, 40's and 50's) at number 82. At 83, it starts over with a guy named Alan Miller. In his short list of credits, he has been an assistant director for Link (a thriller about monkeys starring Elisabeth Shue), an editor for Serengeti Symphony (a documentary about Tanzania) and a writer of African Bambi (another nature documentary that is shooting right now).
After Miller, we get back to some familiar (albeit random) names again like Gong Li at 84 and Armin Mueller-Stahl at 90. But let's take this opportunity to salute Alan Miller, who through some happenstance (or perhaps he was simply a friend of one of the IMDb programmers) ended up in the first 100 amongst the greats like Marlon Brando and Orson Welles. Salut!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
"The man's legacy is a conservative movement largely discredited and disunited, a president with lower consistent approval ratings than any in modern history, a generational shift to the Democrats, a resurgent al Qaeda, an endless catastrophe in Iraq, a long hard struggle in Afghanistan, a fiscal legacy that means bankrupting America within a decade, and the poisoning of American religion with politics and vice-versa. For this, he got two terms of power - which the GOP used mainly to enrich themselves, their clients and to expand government's reach and and drain on the productive sector. In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51 percent. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51 percent, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country. Such a choice was and remains despicable."
"Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency. His divisive politics and elevation of corrupt mediocrities to every branch of government has turned an entire generation off the conservative label. And rightly so. It will take another generation to recover from the toxins he has injected, with the president's eager approval, into the political culture and into the conservative soul."
On March 20th, 2003, the United States invaded and occupied the sovereign nation of Iraq. In the time since the invasion began, there have been 1,000,000 civilian casualties, which is roughly 4% of the Iraq Population at the time of invasion.
So, now that we have caused the deaths of 997,000 more of the people that didn't attack us on 9/11, can our troops come home now?
Friday, August 10, 2007
"Reading about Mitt's claim that his five sons are serving the nation by driving the Winnebago through Iowa, I was put in mind of the once-famous Sulllivan Brothers, five Iowa boys who were all in the navy during WWII, were all serving on the same ship, and were all killed at the same time. I hadn't thought of the Sullivan Brothers in years. After their deaths, the military put in a rule that blood relatives could not all serve in the same unit. So the Romney boys should not all be riding around in the same Winnebago."
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The catching was slow and they looked back to check their lines. They saw what appeared to be a seal with its snout out of the water, but they didn't think any seals were around their fishing grounds and they kept watching.
Soon they realized it was a deer trying desperately to keep afloat and obviously losing the battle. Fearing the whitetail would get snagged in their lines they cranked in their rigs. Then the deer headed straight for the boat possibly thinking it was a spit of land.
But as it got closer and saw the two fishermen aboard, it had second thoughts. With its nose barely out of the water, it appeared to have been swimming all night, said Campbell. "Since the fish weren't biting, we thought we'd give it a hand. Bo grew up around cows, was really handy with a bow line and lasooed the deer on the first attempt."
They got it close, Bo grabbed the neck, Chad got a good hold on a flank and "we barreled over backwards to the deck — and before we knew it, Bo was on top of the buck in velvet and had him hog tied like a calf."
Chad, said they feared the deer was going to "kick the hell out of us in a 22-foot center console boat," but they were lucky, it was too exhausted to resist, "We hit the gas and ran him to the closest beach, Kent Point, where I beached the boat and we carefully unloaded our catch on the sand. We untied him and jumped back.
"Too weak to stand, he just sat there quivering. We picked him up again and put his feet underneath him, but he still couldn't walk or stand. We left him sitting there looking at us. Before we left, I looked him in the eye and said 'See you on opening day; payback time.'
Now here's the thing: I don't have any objections to the whole "payback time" comment. I can understand the motivations of the hunter, and all this seems perfectly fair. He saved the life of this deer and given him a chance to live his life a little bit longer.
I also don't have any objections to the fact that they were hesitant about saving it. Like he said, a live and kicking deer on a small boat is not the most ideal of situations and could quickly turn dangerous for the occupants. So no foul there.
No, my main gripe was the one reason the guy made for helping the deer: "Since the fish weren't biting, we thought we'd give it a hand". So, I'm guessing from this that if they were having even moderate luck catching fish, they would have sat back and just watch the deer drown.
These are the same type of guys who would tell their wives, "I'd love to stay for the delivery, sweetie, but I got tickets to the game".
Monday, August 06, 2007
Not a whit, Mitt.
You see, the man is a proud member of the Republican party. What is he proud of? Well, being part of the party that's for lowering taxes and shrinking government. But, you see, fiscal responsibility has waned on the Republican agenda for the past seven years. Nowadays, it's all about pushing buttons, and Republicans do that through their allegiance with Conservative Christians.
And that means beating to death the topics of abortion rights, gay marriage and the separation between church and state. This is a country founded by Christians for Christians, and nobody is going to tell them any different. And when the Republicans go on a tear on this topic, Romney is one of the guys standing right alongside them cheering.
Except that, lately, he's realizing that the others are staring at him through the corner of their eyes with looks that say, "Of course, you're not really a Christian, are you now?".
He thinks they're all in the same club, but that's just not the case for the party of exclusion. No, you have to be the right kind of Christian to be one of the GOP, and they'll let you know that some goofy faith founded by a nineteenth century con artist ain't gonna cut it, especially in the primaries.
To be fair, there is plenty of infighting in both parties right now, but Romney's particular troubles are bittersweet. The guy really thinks that they like him. And he may just be able to get to the Republican nomination, but it will be due to everyone else's weaknesses and not his own strengths. He'll get in there because he's just Christian enough ... in a pinch.
It's almost enough to give you warm fuzzies, ain't it?
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
His staff drastically reduced and his organization nearly broke, McCain flies commercial instead of on private jets, carries his own luggage and relies on supporters to drive him to events, including one that pulled away from a Rotary meeting last week with a flat rear tire.
It's a far cry from the "Straight Talk Express" tour bus that once was packed with reporters, staff and hope.
When the Republican presidential hopeful made his first trip to New Hampshire earlier this year, the plush bus had Dunkin' Donuts boxes in the cabin and gallons of coffee for hangers-on and key supporters. His aides — and spare baked goods — traveled in a van behind.
At town halls, his U.S. flag backdrops were steamed clean of their wrinkles and a bevy of volunteers clamored to hand out stickers.
Now, the Arizona senator and Vietnam War hero travels without staff or with a single aide and rarely with national media crews. Last week, he arrived in Manchester, N.H., on a commercial flight. He carried his own bags through the airport and his top two aides in the state drove him to his hotel. The entire event was captured for local television.
On Monday, he missed a fundraising breakfast in Pittsburgh because his commercial flight was canceled.
Sad. And appropriate.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Gone in Sixty Seconds is the Jerry Bruckheimer car-fest (and the cars in this Bruckheimer film, by the way, do not transform into robots) that stars Nicholas Cage as a guy who needs to steal fifty high-end cars in one night. Lindo plays Detective Castleback, and he lets Cage know that he'll be watched closely in the next couple of days.
Det. Castleback: "I tell you what - from here on out, if you walk across the street outside of a crosswalk, if you roll through a stop sign, if you use an aerosol can in a manner other than directed ... I mean, I don't care. You make one slip, and I will put you away for good."