Friday, December 23, 2005

The Ringer

Speaking of bad movies, I just watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night. No, not R Kelly and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie...the remake starring Depp.

Everything they changed from the original, made it bad. They really should have left it alone and done it just like the first one. They changed the ending which I felt in the original really drove the point home that being a good person may not seem like you get rewarded, but really you do. This ending was just kind of tacked on limped to the obvious conclusion. And the new songs they created for this movie just flat out sucked. Pretty much unbearable. They also hired one midget as the oompaloompa and digitally replicated him a thousand times. Kind of weak. Place it in the "Bad" column on the list below.

Speaking of questionable content:

Am I missing something here? Where is the protest? Where is the outrage?

No one is raising a stink over the new Johnny Knoxville movie, The Ringer.

Knoxville plays a guy who fakes being retarded so he can win the Special Olympics. Kind of funny, has potential of being funny, but like a cigarette getting too close to a balloon, I cringed thinking of the anticipatory backlash; only to find there isn't any.

Sure, I'm know someone is pissed, but if they're not on CNN or splashed across the Yahoo home page, brother, they just don't matter. And they aren't, so they don't.

But why not? Is it because the filmmakers assuaged everyone's concerns by telling them the mentally challenged kids in the film will be portrayed positively and the bad guy (Knoxville) will be portrayed as well, a bad guy?

People just don't have it in them anymore I guess. Remember when The Last Temptation of Christ hit the theaters? Oh man, it was as if someone made a movie where Jesus butt fucks Mary and finishes in Joseph's mouth. People were sooooo pissed! But retarded people? Ehh. Who cares right?

In The Ringer, a priest kicks Knoxville's ass after he confesses what he's doing with the Special Olympics. What would it take for you religious nuts to get off your fat asses? Have the priest rape Johnny Knoxville and finish in a nun's mouth? Fuckin'-A you people are sick if that's what it takes to raise a little cane about making fun of retarded people.

I think the Farrely brothers need to take a break on the retards. It's been their bread and butter more often than not; the mentally handicapped used as comic foil to make the normal people look like the real retards....we get it already! Fuck.

Well that's cool. If the rest of you folks who, at the drop of a hat, will protest the opening of a new Subway because the sandwiches remind you of hot cock won't get off your duffs, I will.

I'm protesting the Farrely's because I want the hour and a half back I spent watching Say It Isn't So, a "comedy" the brothers produced. It was awful and it depicted incest in a bad light. Gotta stand for something I guess.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Best and Worst MOVIES of 2005

My picks for best (and worst) movies of 2005…in no particular order

If it isn’t out on video, chances are good that I haven’t seen it. I hate going to the movies. All those drooling numbskulls who make up the bulk of the movie going public give me the horribles.

No, I stay inside where it’s quiet; the wine flows freely and there’s no one kicking my chair that I can’t put in his crib for the night. I can count on one hand how many movies I’ve seen in the theater this past year: three. Star Wars Episode III, March of the Penguins, and the Constant Gardener. Star Wars was very hard to watch the second time around on video, the penguin movie was a very flawed documentary which suffered from way too much hype and the Constant Gardener was just plain good overall.

So, if it hasn’t come out on video yet, I haven’t seen it. So the 40 Year Old Virgin, Narnia et al will just have to wait. Here’s the rest:

The good:

Murderball: Pretty good doc on wheelchair rugby players. Included are excerpts from a training video on how paraplegics have sex!

A Dirty Shame: A fun John Waters movie that had some good moments. “Let’s go a-sexin’!!!!” Selma Blair’s boobs should win a special effects Oscar.

Sin City: Stylish, violent and intriguing. They did a great job bringing it to the screen. Jessica Alba’s character should have been nekked like in the books.

Team America: World Police: Great take on war time America. All the lefty actors got all upset about their portrayal in this but the righty war hawk assholes got it just as bad. The extended puppet sex scene was worth every penny.

The Corporation: a fantastic doc on how Dick Cheney is sticking it up our asses without lube or a kiss.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou:Not my fave Wes Anderson movie, but it had its moments. Loved the Bowie songs in Portuguese. Pretty sure it came out last year.

The Bad:

Kicking and Screaming: Not very good. Basically just a bunch of wacky situations someone thought Will Ferrell could make funny. Didn’t happen. There was a funny part with Mike Ditka and “Bing Bong” though that was cracking me up days'd just have to see it.

Batman Begins: a big step up from the last Batman atrocity but still just kind of bland. I just saw it and I’m not really sure what it was about. I can’t look at Katy Holmes the same way ever again. And tell me again why there always has to be a love interest in these movies? Batman doesn't date, so I'm guessing it's to deflect the obvious homoerotic imagery that pervades this type of film.

Fever Pitch: Jimmy Fallon sucks and I don’t care about the Red Sox or their fans so this really didn’t do anything for me. If they kept this as originally written about English soccer fans, it would have been better.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Have you ever read the book? It’s kind of lame and so was the film version. I love the actors in this and it looked good, but after awhile, I just lost interest. Mice? Come on.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Please believe me that I only watched this because my wife rented it and if I ran off to watch hockey, she would have been pissed. It was painful to watch but not as bad as watching Spanglish or Crash. There are some hot chicks in it and some conveniently resolved conflicts but not really my type of film. I only tell you this because I want our dialogue to be open and honest.

The Ugly:

Spanglish: a shrieking, obnoxious mess of a movie. Whoever thinks Adam Sandler can do a serious role needs to remove the ether rag from their face. He is just awful in this claptrap that left me wanting all of the characters to die. One more strike and you’re out Sandler.

The Longest Yard: Strike Three!!! Just a complete waste of my time. I always stuck up for you Sandler, but not anymore. The guards are white and bad and they are racist. The inmates are black and good even though some are there for violent crimes against humanity. I saw more character depth in the cardboard cutout of Elvira at the liquor store. Please, I know this is a remake, so couldn’t you have punched it up just a little? I mean it was already written! I want that hour and a half of my life back. Being in this movie is keeping Chris Rock awake at night I’m sure.

Crash: What a piece of shit. Ever heard of something called racism? Me either until I was beaten over the head with it by Crash. Terrible shit. Anyone who praised this movie has only experienced racism through episodes of Friends and John Singleton movies. Looking at you Roger Ebert. Ebert loved this which leads me to believe that he’s lost his fucking mind. It's one thing to do an edgy film about a controversial topic, and it's another thing to do a completely obvious, hamfisted and preachy after school special masquarading as a legitimate movie. Total shit.

Land of the Dead: I love zombie movies and since the latest burst of zombie movies (Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead) were so good, I figured this would be as well. Wrong. This was not only the worst zombie movie made in a long time, it’s one of the worst movies made in a long time. The premise was pretty good, but they just pissed down their leg when it came time to make this turd. The characters and actors are better on the Sci-fi Channel’s horrible original movies than in Land of the Dead. Any time you see John Leguizamo’s name pop up in the credits, you know you’re fucked.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Like You Care....a best of 2005 in music

My picks for best albums of 2005…in no particular order.

I don’t buy too much new music these days. I get most of my stuff from friends and the library. And since getting new stuff from the library takes awhile, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not going to be up on all the newest stuff these days. That’s cool. That’s what happens when you get older. Slower, balder, (not fatter because I’m in sweet shape) and just generally more out of it. It’s a sad day when you find yourself with the same far away look in your eyes you remember your tired mom having when you were young.

Anyway, I don’t even have a top ten because I couldn’t think of 10 albums that came out last year that would qualify. I even had to submit a couple of albums that came out last year that I liked just to round it out. I did however include two albums that I thought sucked balls in 2005 (yet a ton of people somehow thought were great). As always, it never ceases to amaze me how much the American public’s taste is firmly planted in its ass. The same goes for most rock critics. Put a piece of goofball shit out with a catchy name and everybody will soil themselves trying to be the first one to praise it (please see Sufjan Stevens below).

Attention Rock Critics and Hipsters: I know you want to be the first to be “in on” the “next big thing.” I’m sorry, but there will be no “next big things” because news travels too fast these days and everyone is in the know by the next morning. So stop trying; it’s pointless. Please spend your time more constructively by trying not to suck so much. Thank you.

Spoon – Gimme Fiction:

When the first lines of “Beast And Dragon, Adored” hit you, the whole album settles in like butter on a pancake. And even though I heard “I Turn My Camera On” in two separate TV shows, it’s still one of the jams of the year.

The Game – The Documentary:

Most hip hop is borderline comic theater, and while The Game dabbles in the usual absurdity that rap music is famous for, the beats and Game’s vocals on The Documentary make this better than 90% of the hip hop out there.

Shout Out Louds – Howl Howl Gaff Gaff:

I just loved this album from the very first time I heard it. Some friends gave me a copy….I mean I bought a copy at the store…and I haven’t stopped listening to it.

Beck – Guero:

Got it from the library, put it on the ipod and set to working one night. As the dawn approached, “Hell Yes” came on and I was invigorated. Doing the robot is so passé, but you can’t help but move your arms in a robotic stylee when this shit comes on. The rest of the album ain’t too shabby neither. Muy bien guero. Even if you are a scientologist now.

High On Fire – Blessed Black Wings:

Some of the best metal to hit my ears in awhile. I saw them live earlier this year and it’s unfathomable how one guitar, a bass and a drummer can make such a fucking racket. Awesome. It’s what will be playing when the world ends.

Gorillaz – Demon Days:

Obviously I’m running out of albums and I’m not putting the latest Franz Ferdinand on here because 1) I haven’t heard it and 2) I didn’t think the first one was very good. Based on the great song from the ipod commercial, the Gorillaz get a nod. Plus the song “Dirty Harry” is a great jam that gets my infant son dancing. Can’t beat that.

The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan:

Most of this is good, but it’s fairly uneven compared to previous work. “Blue Orchid” is wicked bad and “My Doorbell” is a nice change of pace. Ok, it’s a pretty good album and I always give high marks to a band for changing up the formula when it’s the last thing you’d expect them to do.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah –CYHSY:

This is the one that a lot of people had on their year end lists. It’s not my favorite of the above records, but it has a unique sound that grew on me instantly. It’s theatrical and kind of goofy, but it never gets annoying like some of the crap people like.

Honorable mentions (albums that came out before 2005 that I liked)

Ween – Quebec (2003):

“Transdermal Celebration” is all you need to know.

Explosions in the Sky – Friday Night Lights Soundtrack:

A soundtrack to a movie about high school football? Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. This is a latter day instro masterpiece.

Some albums that sucked in 2005:

Sleater-Kinney- the Woods:

Unfortunately I hated The Woods by Sleater Kinney. I’m a fan of the band and this album was hyped more than an episode of the Apprentice (i.e. loads of advertising and praise yet total boring shit), but it completely falls flat on its ass. I get the feeling that if you’re around long enough and people feel sorry for you, they’ll eventually glad hand you till no end just to give you what amounts to an indie-rock, lifetime achievement award. This album blows. It’s boring, takes the band in no new direction and at times the production sounds like it’s coming out of burned out speakers. Boo-hiss ladies.

Sufjan Suckass- Illinois:

Anybody who likes this crap can blow me. This is a fucking joke and yet 99% of the year-end lists I read have included this as their number one. What the fuck are you dullards thinking? This is the worst, college-rocker bullshit I’ve ever heard. This sounds like a joke version of that terrible music Jonathan Richmond wrote for the There’s Something About Mary soundtrack. This is a perfect example of your wannabe-hipster music geek, wanting so badly to fit in with the cool kids, that he’ll (she’ll) freely give credence to some terrible music just because one or two assholes said it was good. No, this shit sucks hole and anyone publicly claiming to like this is my enemy. Show me 100 hipsters looking for the next big thing and I’ll show you 100 people looking up the ass of the person next to them.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Jack Black: Patch Adams

My man the Filthy critic had a great line this week about Jack Black at his site:

"Jack Black continues to reassure us that our generation has its own Robin Williams. He's not a good actor, but god damn if he doesn't do ham better than Hormel. Two years and he'll be Patch Adams."

I like Jack but that line was too funny not to give a hearty high five to. Patch Adams...who convinced Robin Williams that this is the direction he should go in? Oh yeah, he probably convinced himself.

For more Filthy check him out at

For more of me, stay tuned.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Not a War on Christmas, but a War on Christians

I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong. It’s my favorite time of year. And not because I’m honoring the birth of Christ like all those very pious and moral Christians who are constantly reminding us how bad we all are from the rarified air of their Hummers, cutting people off in the Wal Mart parking lot.

No, I love Christmas because it’s the natural winding down of the year; a time to reflect on and look forward to the next one. I also love the fact that I can get together with friends and family, take time off from work and drink a bunch of free booze. That’s pretty special too.

Yeah Christmas rules and it rules because just about anybody can get down with it. I figure that Hindus, Jews and Muslims totally dig getting a couple of days off even if they don’t slobber at the feet of OUR LORD and SAVIOR. Hell, I don’t believe in that shit, but I’ll be the first one to say “happy birthday Jesus, thanks for the Best Buy gift certificate and all the free hooch.”

So it’s funny to me how all the self righteous fuck heads know as the American Christian get so bent out of shape about “taking Christ out of Christmas.” Don’t you think if Jesus could look down on all of this he’d be completely stoked that people of all races and religions are wishing each other well at office Xmas parties and kicking back on HIS birthday? I’d like to think so.

So fucking what if someone avoids saying “Merry Christmas” or the hardware store has a sign that says “Happy Holidays?” Jews and Muslims need garden hoses too right? Why should they be excluded just because their Messiah hasn’t risen from the dead and his believers aren’t up everyone’s ass with their neurotic badgering?

A recent letter to the editor in the Rocky Mountain News showed just how much the American Christian sucks. Some crazy freak wrote in because she was upset that Lowe’s had the words “Happy Holidays” up instead of “Merry Christmas.” As I stated above, Jews need garden hoses right? Well, it’s just words right? Because Lowe’s chooses to not alienate other religions doesn’t mean they don’t respect your mentally ill, Christian beliefs. It’s just words, so why is the American Christian’s faith so visibly shaken by this type of thing?

If someone said “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanzaa,” I wouldn’t bat an eye. I’d say “thanks, you too,” and keep on keepin’ on. No one’s going to say that too you, unless you’re Jewish in a place where Jewish people hang out, but only a dickhead would get offended by this. The American Christian is so threatened by this subtle change, that they have to let everyone know about it by being that wet fart in church: Nobody wants to hear it.

If you have to stick anything on your car that tells people what religion you are, you fucking suck. Put a Broncos sticker on there or a decal of your favorite band, but if your religion is so important, why are you cheapening it by sticking some shoddy plastic symbol of it on your car? If you have to advertise this type of thing, you’ve got some serious fucking problems.

So yeah, I’m taking the Christ out of Christmas because his believers have ruined the party for the rest of us. It's not a war on Christmas, but a war on Christians because they suck sweaty manhole. I’m going to celebrate Christmas because I think it’s a great time to honor friends and family. A great time to give thanks for another year of life and better things to come. I’m going to celebrate Christmas because it’s part of who I am and who I’ve become. I will not honor the Christian ideal of Christmas because it’s outdated and kind of fascist to think everyone, including people whose religions are thousands of years older than Christianity, should celebrate something they don’t believe in. Have fun with your family and friends, enjoy the time off and have a free drink on Jesus.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Boondocks

If you’re not one to watch Cartoon Network, get thee over there now and watch the Boondocks.

Yes, I know. Most grown men who watch Cartoon Network fall into these three categories: Seemingly normal at first, yet strangely too obsessed with cartoons from Japan and other odd animated shows. These guys will seem weirder and weirder to you as you find out what they’re into. Yeah, they’re harmless, but what is exactly wrong with someone who LOVES Japanese cartoons? You won’t feel the same about this person after you have the misfortune of looking through his DVD collection and having no idea what you’re looking at.

The second kind is a helpless dork who thinks nothing of breaking out quotes to various cartoons and feeling no remorse as perfectly sane women slowly recoil in fear. Quoting your favorite Simpson’s line (“it tastes like burning”) is great fun with the right group of guys, but if there’s any women there you need to impress, just pack your genitals away, you won’t be needing them.

The third kind of guy is the one who thinks he’s really cool for watching the great programming on Cartoon Network and feels he doesn’t fall into the above two categories. He keeps his mouth shut around most people about liking this stuff and it pays off in social dividends the other two can’t imagine. He might even be a bit delusional but he figured out a long time ago that talking about cartoons will never get you laid.

Anyway, you don’t have to be any of these fucking geeks to like the Boondocks. The Boondocks is based on the daily comic strip of the same name that has now been given new life in the form of an animated half hour show.

What Doonsbury did for skewering the political world, the Boondocks has put a similarly large foot in the ass of pop culture, centering mostly around the world of hip hop and the African American experience.

This is some great shit and it’s almost shocking how frank and raw some of it is. One episode had so much talk of anal rape in it that my wife made me turn it off…actually I turned it off because I was starting to laugh so much every time they mentioned it, that she was getting really pissed. But aside from the obvious laughs, the Boondocks is social satire at its finest; exposing the truth behind the stereotypes and making fun of everyone anyway. Check out the Boondocks on Sunday nights on Cartoon Network. link


Sunday, December 11, 2005

because i'm so fucking lazy

i was trying to keep updating the Hooligan site, but it didn't have a fancy interface to make it easy to post my important information.

so i bit the bullet and started using this.

here you go: the launch of War Time Smile, my new journalistic ejaculation on the small-of-the-back tattoo of the world.

Transmissions from War Time America

War Time Smile is a name for an unrealized magazine project that I had a great delusion about launching in the past year. One day I’d think “yeah, I’m getting back in to the magazine business!” And the next day I say to myself, “I would be nuts to start another magazine.” Back and forth, back and forth. It was always like this. One foot in the middle of it all, and one foot out the door.

If you’ve ever read any of my complaints about The Hooligan, the number one white hot needle poking me in the butthole was selling ads. And there was no fucking way I was walking all over town, begging small businesses to spend money on ads. I was always proud of the Hooligan and felt their money was well spent, but fuck that. If you want to read this, I don’t have to track down the guy at the record store for his ad and possible payment. Not going to happen.

So here we are. Free for me, free for you. As I mentioned above, I stopped posting to the Hooligan site because I didn’t have an easy way to post my “fresh takes” on pop culture. It was literally a pain in my balls because I had to jump through too many hoops. And since I didn’t know how to write my own program to make it easier for me, I am utilizing this nice free program….someone else can make money off of this because the lack of headache I’m feeling writing this is worth every penny….or worth every non-penny.

War Time Smile is taken from a misheard lyric from the Jawbreaker song “Save Your Generation” from the album Dear You. I always thought he sang “War Time Smile” and felt it sounded grand and sad at the same time. As America plunged headlong into war, I thought it would make a great name for a magazine. Well, that didn’t happen but here is the digital version. The world has changed, the world is exactly the same.