25 July 2006

Miami Vice; Yes it stinks.



Being a father, I have seen first hand that personality traits are passed down via genetic lines. My son does not live with me full time, yet he exhibits many of my personality traits. Being a movie goer, I have seen that there is a genetic predilection to alcohol abuse. This is the only rational explanation I can come up with for the stinko big screen version of Miami Vice. Michael Mann must have taken after Big Ed and drank like a fish through the whole production.

I have no personal vendetta towards Michael Mann, as a matter of public record I am fan of his projects. I forgave Mann for his meddling with Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, because the finished product of Manhunter stood on its own two feet. Remember William Petersen’s airport scene? Petersen is gazing out a rain streaked window, talking to himself about catching the Tooth fairy. His face is half lit and half shrouded in darkness as he utters the phrase, “It’s just you and me now sport” captures the essence of the Will Graham character. Crime Story, The Keep, Heat, Last of the Mohicans, and Collateral are all stunning and memorable in their own rights.

It was with this in mind that I caught the preview of Miami Vice tonight. I expected a hard nosed update to the 80’s pastel TV series. What I saw was hard alright. Hard to view, hard to listen to, hard to follow. Mann shows very little in the way of character development and dialogue in the script. The few lines Collin Ferrell and Jamie Foxx get are trite and delivered like they were waiting on a paycheck in the mail. Oh, did I forget that in most scenes Foxx and Ferrell didn't seem to notice the other was in the room with the other? The two should have ordered Midnight Run on Netflix to see what a good buddy picture was all about before filming.

Visually, Mann tries to capture the sometimes grainy look of scenes in Heat. This is done to the extent that Mann uses the exact same camera angles for following Tubbs and Crocket’s Ferrari as he did in the Di Nero/Pacino chase sequence. The editing also leaves something to be desired. Either the guy in the projection booth mixed up the reels, or Mann was hoping the Ouija Board you brought to the theater would help you connect the plot line dots.

I beg you, if you’re thinking of seeing Miami Vice; send me just half the money you would have spent on tickets. At least you know it’s going to a good cause.

22 July 2006

Sith'd

In the land of geeks the one with the award and a $1000 purse is king. That would make my buddy Scott Hallgren king, for scoring Sith'd . A short film entered into the Atom Films/Lucas short film fan contest. (Yes I know I've mentioned Scott a couple of times in my recent blogs. I'm sure some of you out there are thinking, "If you like him so much why don't you stop writing about him and marry him." Well he's already taken and I don't bat that side of the box; no matter what my mother use to think about me.)
Last night at Comic Con in San Diego, Sith'd took home the Best Comedy Award. So check out the above link. You'll laugh so hard you'll wet your pants.

14 July 2006

Cyril's Revenge

What happens when a blood thristy woodland creature gets into your bathroom? Check out my homage to Psycho
to find out.

13 July 2006

A Scanner Darkly - A Review of Sorts


Last night I snuck into a preview of A Scanner Darkly with my good friend Scott Hallgren. Scott is the master of the manor at Scootman Music. He is toying with the idea of writing your own personal theme music. Wouldn’t it be cool to pull out your own personal theme song on a date? If I had my own personal theme song I’d know what Shaft felt like. Damn right! Shut your mouth, I’m just talking about ….

Oh A Scanner Darkly. Originally written as a novel in 1977 by Phillip K Dick, Scanner explores drug addiction, conspiracy theory, eroding civil freedoms, and big business corruption. Dick was quite the paranoid addict himself. After a bad trip on sodium pentothal in the dentist’s chair in 1974, Dick began to have visions and paranoid episodes. Dick had always thought he had some type of mental illness, possibly schizophrenia. It seems that if he wasn’t ill before the 1974 episode, the Pentothal trip turned into the trigger for his full blow psychosis.

Dick began to envision the FBI and KGB plotting against him. Letters were written to both agencies about their harassment and mistreatment of Dick. The Soviet Government got a few letters beseeching them to stop using Dick in their mind control experiments. Visions of a past life as a 1st century Christian named Thomas began to crop up. As well as a home break in that Dick attributed to the FBI wishing to steal documents from him.

A Scanner Darkly echoes Dick’s own struggles with addiction and paranoia. The film centers on undercover cop Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) descent into the drug culture as a part of his job. Bob’s lines of fantasy and reality become so blurred, through the drug use, he starts to develop his own psychosis. Without giving too much of the plot away, there are the twists and turns one would expect out of a tale of a whacked out dope fiend.

There is a ring of honesty about the film. I came away thinking I had glimpsed into what it must be strung out all the time. The rotoscope animation only compounds the feeling of addiction’s half step out of sync with a "real" point of view. (The amimation was not too far off the XBOX game XIII ) The disorientation was achieved as an overall backdrop, rather than stark visual blows seen in Naked Lunch or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The overall appeal of the post 9-11, conspiracy in every pot society will cheer Scanner. Yes there are other forces at work on Keanu, yes the police state is out of control and big business is corrupt in this film. Yes the folks that think Bush lied and Osama Bin Laden is a lamb will think this film is just what the doctor ordered to wake everyone up. Of course they’re wrong. The great thing about delving into the world of conspiracy and government manipulation is that no one ever knows who is being played and for what reason. Maybe the conspiracy is to make the masses think there is a conspiracy. Go see the movie, and make up your own mind while I try to fashion an aluminum foil hat for my own protection against the bisexual CIA cowboy that works for Michael Moore.

12 July 2006

Vonnegut's Butt-Hole and Blue Star Ointment

More often than not, my mental processes follow along these lines: My left brain fires off a highly unlikely connection between two events/items/person and then my right brain takes over to research this connection. Usually this connection turns out to be crap. This connection is no exception.

The initial connection was the symbol Blue Star Ointment uses and Kurt Vonnegut’s picture of a butt-hole in Breakfast of Champions. Somehow, I thought these two works of art were the same. Upon doing my homework, I came to find that I was wrong.

So why am I writing this blog? Partly because the Blue Star Ointment wallpaper I found on their web site is quite funny. The other reason is that if you go to this page on the Blue Star web site, you can download all sorts of wallpapers, themes, and icons. Now why in the name of all that is holy would you put a wall paper of a crotch rot cream on your PC? That would go over well at the office… Judge for yourself.

Vonnegut's Butt Hole Drawing


Blue Star Ointment Downloadable Wallpaper




11 July 2006

CDC Announces First Case of U.S. Bird Flu in Florida


AP Wire Service
Dateline- 11 July 06; Fantastiga, Florida
Story: CDC officials are baffled by a spontaneous outbreak of the Bird Flu in the Warren G. Harding trailer park.
"I just woke up and they were all dead, dead I tell you. I ain’t seen that much dead pink stuff on my lawn since they came through filming Miami Vice.", said Etta May Johnson a long term resident of the park.
Howard Gitchugome of the CDC suggests that everyone stay away from eating plastic flamingo meat. “If you must eat flamingo, please make sure to heat it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The CDC also stressed not to panic. Unless you eat raw squab or are listening to Barry White with one of our avian friends you have no chance of catching the bird flu.

03 July 2006

02 July 2006

How are capital punishment, Old Yeller, and Pippi Longstockings linked?

For those of you that saw my briefly posted Old Yeller blog the other day, I’m sorry. On review of that piece I decided to pull it because it was crappy. For those of you that didn’t see it, the piece was allegorical in nature. I had written about an alternate ending to Old Yeller that was to express my views on capital punishment. In the wake of Paul Reid’s stay of execution, I felt I had to write something. It was my civil duty.

As most of my thoughts go it was half clever thought that just didn’t fly.

Instead of trying to rewrite the piece, I’ve decided to eat ice cream and hug every stuffed animal in sight. I might even try to watch Pippi Longstockings.

Holy crap!! This is beginning to scare me. In looking up the link for Pippi Longstockings, I have found something dark and dank. There are a number of Pippi Long stockings movies and DVD’s out there.

Pippi Longstockings - Pippi Goes To The Fair/Pippi enters a Horse Show/Pippi takes a Train Ride/Pippi enters a Flower Show

Pippi Longstocking: Pippi in the South Seas

Pippi Longstocking: Pippi on the Run

The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking -The TV Series

The plethora of Pippi does much more psychological damage to me than the staying of Paul Reid’s execution. At least Reid is locked away in prison, but Pippi is available to the world. Go figure.