Beast Banner August 2008
ISSUE #129
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Features

ArrowA PROLEGEMONOUS EPISTLE FROM EUSTACE TILLEY
The New Yorker mascot on this Obama cover balderdash

ArrowTERROR ALERT!
The absolutely true story of how The BEAST smuggled al Qaeda into the U.S.
Ian Murphy

ArrowTOP 10 IDIOCIES OF THE GENERAL ELECTION--SO FAR
It's a list--you like lists!
Allan Uthman

ArrowZIRINTERVIEW!
Sportswriter Dave Zirin stoops to our level

ArrowTHE ASSHOLE DISEASE
The 'Empathy Deficit Disorder' epidemic
Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowSPECIAL IRAN WAR PREVIEW!
The sequels just keep coming!
Paul Jones

ArrowCATASTROPHE IN CHIEF
The end of the American empire
Stan Goff

Arrow7 DIRTY WORDS YOU'D NEVER HEAR TODAY
Carlin was one cool [expletive deleted]
Allison Kilkenny

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Phony Autistic Baby

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - We ridicule your letters

 

Swing Vote

Aw Jesus, I hate election years. I hate political comedies more, but the two always seem to be connected somehow. Either way, political comedies seem tailored to increase public tolerance of the fog of elitism and pretentiousness associated with politics. They also have a tendency to show worlds not unlike our own, yet so frighteningly different, where politics are fun and filled with colorful and outrageous characters.

Just like they are in Swing Vote, the story of an unemployed, beer-soaked Kevin Costner who, through a transparently ridiculous plot device, gets to solely decide who the next president of the United States. Oh, and his choices are Dennis Hopper and Dr. Frasier Crane.

So the media starts hounding Costner and his precocious daughter/moral compass, as do the candidates themselves. Costner becomes an overnight celebrity. He seems to be playing Larry the Cable Guy’s older brother, Bud. Then, guessing by Costner’s daughter’s speech about how everyone has the power to change the world, some heavy-handed, preachy, false hope message is on the way. If you don’t vote you’re a shitball. Yeah yeah, I get it. So how is some jabber-jaw 12 year-old going to sucker me into seeing this colossal turd?

She’s not. All I’ve got to tell myself, in the unlikely event of finding myself about to watch Swing Vote, is that the last time Costner and Hopper got together on screen we wound up with Waterworld. That’s a surefire boner killer right there. That shit kills boners dead.

Pineapple Express

I’ve been on Seth Rogen overload for the past year. Maybe it’s because when I first saw him in 40 Year-Old Virgin, I thought he was closer to 30. He had that old asshole I happen to know quality about him that’s kind of appealing. Then I found out he’s like 23 and I felt kinda lied to. Haven’t trusted the guy since. He tried it again in Superbad and I felt like he was insulting my intelligence. Screw him.

But then I saw the red band/R-Rated trailer for Pineapple Express, and now I feel a little forgiving. Whatever you do, don’t watch the regular “approved for all audiences” trailer. Watch the R-rated one online. Rogen’s a stoner who presumably wears a suit to work. James Franco is his dipshit dealer. Lumberg from Office Space is a shady cop who kills someone, while Rogen witnesses the deed. Stupid gets spotted, grabs his dealer and they’re on the run.

Zaniness ensues, of course. I thought I saw some hip hop breakin’ in there, some car chases, explosions, and some big jumps too. Small problem: It’s a stoner comedy. This usually isn’t a bad thing, as long as it’s out on DVD. Because who the hell wants to leave their own custom stinkhole in their couch if they don’t have to, especially when you can’t bring your bong to the cinema? This looks good, but I can watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas every week until Pineapple Express comes out on DVD. It don’t bug me.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Does annnnnnnnnnnnnyone knnnnnnnnnnnow how to cleannnnnnnnnn moderately chunnnnnnnnnnky puke off—actually out of a keyboard? The NNNNNNNN key keeps stickinnnnnnnnnng. I’m guessinnnnnnnnnnnng I’ll have to remove each innnnnnnnnnnndividual key but if annnnnnnnnnnyone knnnnnnnnnnnows of a shortcut I cannnnnnn take here that would be great. But I’m guessinnnnnnnnnnng I should just go buy a nnnnnnnnnew onnnnnnnnne. Or learnnnnnnnnnnnnn to type without usinnnnng the letter NNNNNNNNNNNNNN.

So $40 and a new keyboard later, I have to come back and tell you that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a sequel to a movie about 4 chicks who mail letters and a pair of swamp-ass jeans to each other. The first one to menstruate into them agrees to be tarred and feathered by the other 3. Then she gets a train run on her by whatever Whitesnake cover band plays down at the corner bar that night. There’s never a shortage of them. After she’s iced and passed out, she’s buried alive in a muddy grave and wakes up 2 states away. And the revenge she takes is always exacting. Always!

As much I’d actually go see that, this movie is actually about 4 girls with great personalities* who wine about guys and their lives as they share pants that they mail to each other. Why they all share these pants is beyond me. I don’t mind suspending a certain amount of disbelief but there’s no way in hell you’re going to get me to believe that Ugly Betty and that blonde can fit their respective haunches into the same pair of jeans. Ugly Betty’s in this movie, so it’s assumed people will see this. I won’t, but someone will. Mark my words.

Tropic Thunder

I avoided this trailer for weeks. Ben Stiller and Jack Black playing jerkoff actors who end up in the most disastrous Vietnam movie ever made sounds nothing short of heinous. Then I heard that Robert Downey, Jr plays an Australian method actor who undergoes surgery to make him black so he can play their black sergeant. I saw the R-rated trailer a couple months ago and I’ve been waiting ever since. Watch the R-rated trailer if you don’t believe me. This is a magazine. It’ll wait.

 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

When Revenge of the Sith came out 3 years ago, part of me was definitely sad that it was over. Anakin became Vader, the Jedi were vanquished and Luke and Leia were born. The End.

Not the end. More. Now Lucas has made a 3D video game you can’t control as he expands the Star Wars universe and makes more Clone Wars cartoons. It was briefly touched upon a few years back when Cartoon Network belted out 2 volumes of the Clone Wars cartoons. A few of the things that went on in the years between episodes 2 and 3 were kind of cool, but you get the point pretty quick. So now there’s a feature length movie that’s not going to touch, but poke on this period in Star Wars history even further. Oh, and lead into a regular series on Cartoon Network. Over 40 episodes in the can already.

I love Star Wars. Star Wars has been a part of my life since I was 2 years old. It was my first movie. I own 4, maybe 5 editions of the original trilogy. If George Lucas releases another version with so much as an added Wampa fart I will buy it, no questions asked. But it’s over, George. Let go. The Clone Wars ended. We need to get on with our lives and we need you to come with us, George. It’s time, George. Let’s go. I’m going to miss Mace Windu, too George. We’re all going to miss Mace Windu. But he’d want you to move on with your life.

Death Race

And here comes another chickenfucking remake. I’m so sick of remakes. If it’s a remake of a movie that wasn’t that great to begin with and an attempt at some kind of improvement is being made, I can kind of see that. But to remake Death Race 2000? One of the greatest cult movies of all time? As low budget and unrefined as it was, a remake is completely unwarranted. Pop off.

As much as the idea of Death Race 2000 being remade annoys me, it doesn’t entirely piss me off. We’re getting to that.

What does have me ready to start banging pots and pans at hard volume around the house at 3AM is the fact that Jason Fucking Statham is in this movie. This clown is like bank charges—no matter what painstaking steps you take to keep them at bay, they just keeping popping up. What’s the appeal of Statham anyway? What? He’s like one of 57 white guys on the entire planet that looks good bald. He’s not fat and sounds like he uses Lava soap as mouthwash? Seriously, I’d love to know why I should give a shit. This guy has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’ll do anything—I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about his exploits in the gay porn industry.

Statham, cockney accent and all, plays a NASCAR driver who goes to jail for the murder of his wife. The ballbusting warden, played by Joan Allen, holds a cross country—look, if you don’t know the plot behind Death Race 2000, or in this case, just plain Death Race, I can’t help you. I just can’t. And if you don’t see Death Race 2000, but just Death Race, then I definitely can’t help you. Don’t come back until you’ve seen 3 movies Roger Corman made.

The House Bunny

Sometimes I’ll watch movie trailers and they’re so abominable that I have to take refuge in another place. One place where I recently sought emotional refuge came courtesy of a friend of a friend of a friend who dated another friend. The smaller details aren’t really important here, but what is important is that one of these people has a mother who was so morbidly obese she couldn’t bear to wear a stitch of clothing between late May and early September of any given year because she was so hot. And not Monica Belucci hot either. I’m told this mother character made Gilbert Grape’s mother look like Myrna Loy.

I’ve never given the matter much thought, but it only makes sense that big people take big dumps. Generally larger people eat more, and the more you eat the more you crap. It’s just simple physics, man. But apparently this mother’s leavings were every bit as monstrous as she was. Every third trip to the crapper left a near-black anaconda that no amount of flushing would or could ever hope to banish or subdue. So the son or daughter (once you hear a twist like that, the smaller details vanish into the darkness) would have to fight and eventually break up this monster with a straightened coat hanger so it could be dismantled and sent to hell. Not made up.

And that’s where I went during the trailer for The House Bunny. This Legally Blonde rehash stars Anna Faris, who was in all 476 Scary Movies, playing an ousted Playboy model with no life skills who ends up as a house mother for a sorority of misfits and nerds. Faris teaches the girls to become attractive by taking off their glasses (you know, because every girl who wears glasses is stunning after she gets contacts) and the girls who have great personalities* teach Faris not to be stupid as she hopes to hook up with a brainy hunk who happens to be Tom Hanks’ son. So yeah, I’d rather think about the mashing of obese people’s feces than The House Bunny. I could be wrong, but at least with the poo I can keep a consistent mood going.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Brendan Fraser seems like a relatively decent guy who can’t make a good decision. It’s like he’s actually Encino Man and has managed to convince the world otherwise for the past 20 years. His career never shot through the ceiling but the hit left him with brain damage. How else do you explain him showing up in Monkeybone? Looney Tunes: Back in Action? And to that impressive and stellar resume we can now tack on a third Mummy movie.

But fuck that noise; I’m getting psyched for Dark Knight. I keep finding more and more clips that slowly unravel what the hell this movie’s going to be. I’m going to have a geek boner through the whole thing. I hope I don’t pass out from the excitement. It’s opening almost as I write this and I’m about to go blind from tunnel vision for The Dark Knight. I nearly painted my daughter up as The Joker the other day.

So how the hell am I supposed to get excited about The Mummy? A Batman movie where they finally explore the depths of human depravity and hell itself for its inspiration with a darkness that parallels Barry White reading Sylvia Plath in an opium den, and I’m supposed to give a shit because you brought in Jet Li and moved the action to Asia? And how about Asian “mummies?” Did Asians mummify their dead? I thought it was only Egyptians who participated in that practice. Anyway, Li plays the evil emperor who, along with his army, was imprisoned in stone thousands of years ago. And Rachel Weisz isn’t even in this! They replaced her with Maria Bello and the son’s a teenager now!

You honestly expect me to give a rat’s ass when The Dark Knight offers a performance by Heath Ledger that promises to be so severe that playing the role arguably had a hand in his death? Oooh, but Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has armies of the dead fighting in an open battlefield in a way that would be appealing to Lord of the Rings and 300 fans! Kiss my dick, Mummy! I wouldn’t poke a straightened coat hanger through this steaming pile if you paid me. Well, okay, I’d see The Mummy if you paid me enough. But it’s on a night where I work the big job. I take the night off and you pay me your initial fee plus what I’d normally make. All expenses paid, including a rental car of my choice. I’m fed before and will be made inebriated after the feature presentation. If someone would set me up like with a gig like this twice a week, I’d be set.

* Uggos



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