Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Hopper

I had come to appreciate Dennis Hopper on a whole new level within the past several months. I watched both Giant and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which he filmed very early in his career in 1956 and 1957, respectively. And though they were only his third and fourth film roles, both of these were supporting roles with meat to them. He held his own with the likes of Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. With his recent passing away at the age of 74, one of the very few links to the old Hollywood is gone.

Very little of this will be mentioned in the obituaries on his career. They'll instead start where most people do with Hopper: 1969 and the watershed of Easy Rider. Any mention of his early years will focus on his friendship with James Dean, with whom he would work with in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. And after watching the two of them together in Giant, I must admit that, in my opinion, Hopper was the better actor of the two.

So instead of wondering what kind of career Dean would have had had he not crashed his Porsche Spyder in 1955, I would prefer to marvel at the career Hopper did have. It was a long, strange trip, and we're all the better off for it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Harry Potter and the Cheap-ass Wraith Costumes

Coming Soon has relayed a group of pictures surreptitiously taken at the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For those who haven't read the book yet, the pictures are spoilers for the ending, so click with care. One pic I can show you here is this one, which was taken outside of the shooting location as some of the lead actors made their way in from their cars:

Just so we're clear, these are pictures of actors using grey blankets to hide their makeup jobs from the public. These are not spoiler pics of actors whose characters have been transformed into Dementors.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost Finale and Link Roundup

Yes, I'm really anxious to see the finale tonight. And to make things easier for that post-finale Internet session, I'm posting some important links I'll be using. Feel free to use them yourself if you're as big a friggin Lost nut as I am:
Television Without Pity's Lost page

Lostpedia entry for "The End"

Filmfodder's Lost blog

Slate's Art Section

The A.V. Club's TV Section

EW's "Totally Lost"

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I'm postings this video for three reasons:

1) It was only several weeks ago that I was explaining the difference between turtles and tortoises to Mrs. Mosley, so this video is timely.

2) To highlight tomorrow as World Turtle Day.

3) Rocketboom's Molly is just adorable, ain't she?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

That is NOT Karen Allen!

Via Metafilter, some Euro-Pop mixed in with some vintage 80's Sci-Fi:

Amari - Tiger from Francesco Calabrese on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Have you ever wanted to reach in and smack a commercial?

I've become a bit of an Everything is Terrible addict of late. Their latest artifact is one of the few items they have posted that I have a clear memory of watching on TV:

The reason I remember this commercial so well is because it's one of the most insulting things I've ever watched. Even as a teenager, I saw how ridiculous this argument was. You can replace the joint with a bottle of vodka and it doesn't change a damn thing. There are very few problems with drunk doctors or cops because there are clear reprocussions for such violations of their positions. Apparently, the folks that made this commercial either figured that these would mysteriously not apply to pot smokers if it were legal or that viewers were dumb enough not to think of this counter argument. As I said: Insulting.

And, by the way, if you want to do a serious scare commerical, then don't get the same goofy voice-over guy who did all those game and toy commercials back in the day. It kinda muddles your already crappy message.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You'll have plenty of time to think it over while you're in traction

The recent story about the kids in the American flag t-shirts is a classic example of a story that is easily misinterpreted without giving the proper context (Although I haven't checked, I can only imagine how FOX News is handling this one). It all boils down to intent, and from everything I read, these boys had the intent of starting some shit at their school.

For those that still can't understand the offense, try this: Go into an authentic Irish Catholic bar on St Patrick's Day wearing an orange T-shirt. After that, I think you'll understand.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Television shows on DVD are tricky things. There have been several instances on this blog of me heralding the arrival of a show and announcing that it's greatness means that it's as good as mine. But these statements haven't always played out well.

In the case of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., my wonderful wife purchased the box set for me. The set was stolen in the tragic theft of 2007, but we did not replace it. In the end, my enjoyment of the series had waned considerably in the intervening years (despite the awesomeness of Bruce Campbell). And even when I saw it at BJ's for a ridiculously low $20, I didn't have near the desire to own it that I once did.

Saturday Night Live and The State never even got that far. I hesitated on both of these sketch comedy shows not because I think my memories of them are rose tinted (though they might be), but because I sat down and wondered how much I would really watch them. I came back with an answer of "not enough" and thus they remained unpurchased.

Then there are the shows from my childhood I haven't even mentioned on Acrentropy: WKRP, The Bob Newhart Show and Barney Miller, just to name three. All three have been released on DVD and I have resisted laying down money for all of them. Again, it's not a doubt to their quality in this case, but just a matter of shelf space and utility.

And then there's Daria. My Amazon order for the complete Daria box set (it was released yesterday) shipped out this morning. There's just something about that show that triggers a special part of my memory (in addition to being hilarious). I don't go into these things as lightly as I used to, and I consider Daria to be a solid addition to our DVD collection.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

"Realistic" dieting

This past week did a number to my diet and to my weight, so I find myself starting from square one. In this spirit, I clicked a story on Yahoo yesterday titled "10 Simple Tricks for Eating Less". I tend to get a little cynical and cranky about such articles, but seeing as I had just fallen off the wagon, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Most of the tips I already knew. Some, like the drinking of more water, I plan on adopting. And then there was the last one which said, I quote:
"Quitting chocolate entirely is nearly impossible and will most likely result in a weak moment of binge eating. When you get a craving for sweets, eat one M&M instead of the whole bag. The tiny bit of naughty food will satisfy your urge and keep you from obsessing over the sweet treat for hours to come."
Excuse me. I'm trying really hard not to be negative, but one M&M? Are you freaking kidding me? The only way this would ever ever work is if it were the size of the talking ones in the commercials.

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Even though I was mostly bored by Rodriguez's contribution to the Grindhouse double feature, I have to admit that Machete looks like a lot of fun. I wonder how many teabaggers will go see it?:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: May 2010

The original Stephen King short story that 1408 is based on was a hoot. I actually listened to the audio version, which is read by King himself. The most memorable line was from a mysterious voice on the phone that terrorizes the protagonist: "This is ten! Ten! We have killed your friends! Every friend is now dead!".

Well, you had to be there. And King says the line perfectly.

Anyway, the point is that our good friend Sam doesn't get such menacing lines as this, which is a pity. But his role of Hotel Manager Gerald Olin (which, if I remember correctly, was practically nonexistent in the short story) allows him to give dire warnings to John Cusack's skeptical writer Mike Eslin:

Mike Enslin: [Olin gives Enslin the room key] "Most hotels have switched to magnetics. An actual key. That's a nice touch, it's antiquey."

Gerald Olin: "We have magnetic cards also, but electronics don't seem to work in 1408. Hope you don't have a pacemaker."

Mike Enslin: [into his tape recorder] "General manager claims that the phantom in room interferes..."

Gerald Olin: "I have *never* used the word 'phantom'."

Mike Enslin: "Oh, I'm sorry. Uh, spirit? Specter?"

Gerald Olin: "No, you misunderstand. Whatever's in 1408 is nothing like that."

Mike Enslin: "Then what is it?"

Gerald Olin: "It's an evil fucking room."