A Look Back Through the Ages by The BEAST's former Editors.

100 BEASTs of Gratitude
A brief note from the asshole in charge.
Al Uthman

Father Knows BEAST
A few unkind words from our founder.
Matt Taibbi

Outrage 101
A BEASTly education.
Paul Salamone

Me & My Buddy The BEAST
Chris Riordan

Viva El BEAST!
Recollections of an undocumented BEAST Staffer.

The Truth About our Intentions
The very 1st BEAST Editorial.

The BEAST Government Kids Page Review
Ian Murphy

Murtha's My Lai
Stan Goff

Call me Old Fasioned, but I Think the President Should be Killed
A BEAST Reader Opinion
by Gengis Khan

The BEAST Page 3 Deposed Nepalese Despot

Kino Korner
Da Vici Code, Poseidon, Just My Luck, See No Evil.

BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune...
in insult form.

[sic] - Letters
Judge Punch, toilet reading, and Moses in denial.

Still Scum, Still Sucking
Our local Rep, Tom Reynolds.
Paul Fallon

A Prank of Two Cities
The incredible true story of how we propositioned the mayorís wife and rigged the NHL playoffs.
Paul Jones

Top 10 Signs of the Impending Police State
Hey America, freedom's just around the corner... behind you
Allan Uthman

A Preview of this Issue
...By Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret!

I Know More Words Than You
An editorial of verbose contrivance.
Paul Jones

 
 

The DaVinci Code

I was not one of the millions who read The DaVinci Code. The fact that it was a hot topic for discussion among soccer moms while they drank their overpriced beverages down at the Starbucks in the mall was enough to put me off my lunchónot to mention make me want to confiscate every copy I could get my hands on to start the fire at my own Burning Man party. From what I heard it was about an intellectual whoís put on the trail of a conspiracy concerning the truth about Christ through a convoluted journey that was told with no style and even less panache. Oh, but it made you wonder what the truth really was. And of course when a book almost outsells the bible you can bet a watered-down screen version is on the way.

So weíve got a somewhat interesting premise, but execution thatís more farted up than a twenty-year-old couch with stiff acting and chase scenes similar to the other three dozen times this summer. I donít care if they take place in exotic locales and I care even less that all this frickin globetrotting is in the name of blowing the lid off the biggest snowjob in the history of mankind. I felt like I was watching The Beatles movie Help! after about a half hour. Oh, letís go to The Louvre. Now letís go to London. Anyone up for a jaunt to a hidden crypt? It was like going on a scavenger hunt with some scrawny Euro trash that couldnít score any coke and saw Raiders of the Lost Ark too many times.

For a movie that opens in the season of The Brainless and Light-hearted Romp, going to see and actually watching The DaVinci Code was just about more trouble than it was worth. But life imitating art can be really irritating sometimes. If youíve turned on a television for even a few minutes over the past few weeks, youíre aware thereís been controversy over this movie. It seems that some people have been taking their entertainment way too seriously and wellÖthat can be downright sad.

I had to battle five members of the local religious zealots just to get my ticket torn. I donít know how they got the permits for a steel cage match, let alone one in a movie theater lobby. I got bum rushed by some right wingers and next thing I know Iím surrounded by Jesus Freaks. They were going off about eternal damnation and hellfire if I go see The DaVinci Code. One of them had a gleam in his eye and I could tell he was getting ready to swing his picket sign. TheÖ head one I guess started reading from a phone book-sized bible very loudly and Gleamy was getting ready to trade in his nickname for Twitchy. Iíve been playing the Godfather video game a lot, and Iíve been itching for some hand to hand combat. In true strategic tradition, I punched the head one in the face. Take out the officers and work your way down the line. Grandma went down like a $20 hooker and Twitchy got a kick in the junk to hold him at bay while I put the subordinates down for a mid-afternoon siesta.

It was just Twitchy and me at this point. He shook it off and seemed a little pissed to say the least. He whipped out a replica of the Jesus brass knuckles Keanu Reeves had in Constantine. Iím sure he got them off G-Bay. I knew this could go south really quick and if he connected I was going to be in trouble. He swung and missed as I rolled to the other side of the ring and grabbed one of the picket signs. Twitchy jumped down on me, got a sharpened stick in his chest and promptly turned to dust. Some days itís great to be alive.

From there it was all downhill. The DaVinci Code wasnít as enjoyable as going Blade on pushy confrontational Christians, but the movie had its moments. Tom Hanksí hair was almost as mesmerizing as Audrey Tautou. The movie was explained on a level that even illiterate third-graders could understand, which was almost insulting, but if nothing else I didnít have to do any homework before seeing it. The movie looked good and justified combating religious fanatics. But then again, getting out of bed justifies battling militant religious lunatics, so you just take that any way you want toÖ


Poseidon

So here we goóthe first of the summer remakes. Weíve got Poseidonóthe remake of The Poseidon Adventure. Of course with remakes these days itís not a remake remake. It used to be that youíd remake a movie and youíd have somebody like Mark Wahlberg playing a role originally done by Cary Grant or George Clooney playing a role originally done by Frank Sinatra like in the remake of Oceanís Eleven. †A remake which brings me to the next point Iíd like to bring up about remakes and how the movies arenít remade, but the stories are. Now filmmakers donít even bother with redoing the characters, just the situations.

Which brings us to Poseidon. Was a remake of The Poseidon Adventure really necessary? Shit no. It was the Armageddon of its day. It was made by Irwin Allen who was one of the original popcorn salesman who made his millions on disaster flicks. He made movies that no one would intentionally watch by todayís standards. The original Poseidon Adventure is the kind of movie that someone would intentionally watch under only a few sets of unfortunate circumstances. For example, if you canít afford the movie channels through your cable provider and nothing else is on. Another instance under which you might watch that movie is if youíre visiting your great uncle who has a thing for Shelly Winters for some odd reason. And letís not forget if youíre the laziest person alive and the batteries in your remote control die while you compulsively change channels (because it is possible to know whether or not you want to watch something after 0.0105438942541335150 seconds and donít let anyone tell you any different). Ultimately, The Poseidon Adventureís only redeeming quality was its kitschy and dated production values as it aged horribly and if nothing else makes for a good comedy.

The same canít be said for Poseidon. It takes itself way too seriously, to the point of being off-putting. I canít stand people or things like that in real life, so why the hell do I want it in my entertainment? The cast consists of Josh Lucas of Stealth and Glory Road fame. You know who Iím talking aboutóthe guy who always looks like some kind of cleaned up white trash wife beater when acting in any scene that requires concentration or intensity. Weíve also got Kurt Russell, whoís like that uncle you loved when you were a kid, but since then youíve come to realize that heís full of shit. Kill a few Gennys with him and maybe you wonít mind so much. Richard Dreyfuss also stars, trying to prove to the world that heís not dead yet, but doesnít quite pull it off. There are also a couple of girls in it who you probably wonít see again until they show up for supporting roles on a Fox sitcom in a few years.

So how bad can a remake of a movie where an ocean liner gets turned upside down be, you ask? Letís ask director Wolfgang Petersen, as Poseidon has all the conviction of a high school term paper that was started the night before it was turned in. The movie looks like Petersen spent his lunch breaks with a .38 snubnose in his mouth while the regret of his high maintenance and expensive 22 year-old trophy wife slowly consumed him. Watching Poseidon is a lot like picking up a reissue of a CD you really like. There might be an extra track on it and hell, it might even be remastered. The problem is you already own the album, you know exactly what to expect and youíre just not sure if you want to piss away $15-20 on an album youíve already heard a thousand times. I say if you like generic disaster movies with trite dialogue, then be my guest. If nothing else there are women who are wet for 90% of the movie and you know what that meansórunny makeup, ratís nest hairdos and nipples trying to escape through evening gowns.


Just My Luck

Watching Just My Luck was almost comforting in an odd way. What about watching a teenybopper Lindsay Lohan movie could possibly offer solace, you ask? Well, I got exactly what I expected for oneóa mindless, yet vaguely amusing tale of someone with worse luck than mine, not-so-cleverly packaged for and geared towards teensówho in all likelihood see it by default because they donít look old enough to get into R-rated movies. I zoned out precisely when I expected to and snapped out of it occasionally, whenever Lohan looked hot enough to hold my attention.

Something else about Just My Luck that kind of leveled me out (or at least made me chuckle) was that it reminded me of the numerous study halls I had in the last half of my senior year in high school. My inner underachiever convinced me to take the path of least resistance, so there you go. Three study halls a day. I didnít put too much thought into it at the time, but a lot of the girls in my class read Cosmopolitan. You know--beauty advice, articles and instructions on how to be a total whore in the bedroom/tips on giving a better blowjob. At the time, I naively thought it was a ladiesí fashion magazine but it wasnít until years later when I first got together with my current girlfriend that I realized it was a manual for wannabe sluts. And teenage girls are reading this? Iím either getting old or I was born too late. Either way, thatís hot.

So the whole premise behind Just My Luck is that Lindsay Lohan plays an unnaturally lucky cosmopolitan professional who is not unlike Sarah Jessica Horsefaceís character on the dead-but-unfortunately-not-forgotten Sex and the City. After consulting her latest issue of Cosmo, she lets a cute (I guess) bowling alley janitor with really bad luck teabag her at a masquerade party and through genital-to-forehead contact, their luck exchanges. His luck turns around and she gets crab infestations through that crimson coif of hers. Bummer.

What had me howling throughout Just My Luck was watching little girls act like old tramps. It was an unofficial Disney version of an HBO show about gay men disguised as semen-soaked glamour hags. It was like watching ten-year-old girls putting on make up and looking like Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Janeóa horror beyond compare, more horrible an experience than waking up five minutes before work. And finding yourself next to Katie Holmes.


See No Evil

Iím not a big believer in karma, fate, kismet or whatever the hell you want to call it. At least I wasnít until I saw See No Evil. Itís the perfunctory tale of a bunch of juvenile delinquents who are sent to clean up an abandoned hotel where a steroid-jacked serial killer is holed up. Oh, and the cop who shot the lunatic is supervising the rotten little bastards. Ooooh!

So as you can imagine, the teens are picked off one by one by the killer, Jacob Goodnight, played by WWE wrestler Kane. One gets crushed by a safe, a vegan is eaten alive by wild dogs and another gets a cell phone shoved down her throat. I kind of liked that one, to tell the truth.

But the reason I mentioned fate earlier was because a question that Iíve been long awaiting the answer to was finally answered. Iíve always wondered when I was going to have to pay for all the terrible and rotten things Iíve done in my life. After all, See No Evil was directed by Gregory Dark, whose resume consists of porn flicks. This isnít a bad thing entirely, unless youíre rehashing David Fincher films and Nine Inch Nails music videos. It was while watching this movie that I came to the realization that there really arenít any more horror moviesójust really long nu-metal music videos without the music. And theyíre never going to stop, because thereís always a gang of nincompoops who scurry to the theater to see these things; eagerly shelling out their net worth for a reason I may never understand.

This just may do none of us any good. Film studios, like any other businesses, have only one goal in mind when making a movie and that is to make money. What you see on the screen is merely a means to an end. Whether the final product of a several month production is a modern day classic or forgettable crap is irrelevant. Its success is measured in two terms onlyódollars and cents. Itís simpleóanything that makes money you will see more of, regardless of its content and if it doesnít see dollar one it will go the way of the dodo. If said movie or film is inspirational, brilliant, controversial, offensive, art or otherwise, that is irrelevant and when the numbers come in those qualities may only be regarded as a bonus. Many movies made in this day and age are produced as a way to finance one in a series of beach houses, luxury automobiles or drug habits. They are the products of complacency. While the majority of todayís film listings consist of safe, non-threatening fluff that allows you to check your brain at the lobby, there are those out there who pour every ounce of heart and soul into what they do. And for that they are to be commended. What they do has been labeled as different, challenging and in some cases completely incomprehensible and while it finds a small cult audience it is usually swept under the rug if itís not seen on cable occasionally.

Itís our responsibility as filmgoers to seek out a film that invokes thought or something resembling it and take the road less traveled the next time we find ourselves renting a movie or rapidly changing the channel. In a future age when our ancestors look at the era in which we currently reside, they wonít look back and say those were the good old days. Presuming there is a future generation, they will view this point in cinematic history as the brink of annihilation, and look to our past as well as theirs for inspiration and entertainment.

After some scrutiny, I can no longer consider myself a film critic. As if I could ever call myself as such before. The title doesnít require muchóonly a certain level of articulation and the ability to peel through the layers of a film while both observing and explaining its inner and outer workings. I consider myself a product critic, in the same way that a restaurant critic wouldnít review a trip to a fast food restaurant. While a trip to a restaurant with a dollar menu may be a guilty pleasure or even an occasional reward to some, very few can argue that said restaurantsí fare can prove to be a substantial diet and in ample amounts fatal. The same can be argued concerning entertainment along these lines as it can also inspire dangerous thinking.† But then again, similar comments could also be said about substantial entertainment.

Good night, and good luck.

 

BEAST Blog

Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

e-mail the evil editors at sic@buffalobeast.com
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