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ISSUE #131
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Features

ArrowA DISASTROUS MESSAGE FROM ANDERSON COOPER
Live from wherever it's windy

ArrowGENERAL ELECTION: THE BOARD GAME
An extremely tedious and depressing activity for Americans from 35-73!

ArrowPALIN-DRONES
It's official: Women are idiots
Allan Uthman

ArrowCARPOCALYPSE NOW
An inebriated survey of hard-working Americans
Ian Murphy

ArrowGOD: STILL DEAD
Pharyngula's hellbound PZ Myers chats with us about religous idiocy, bigotry and other American pastimes

ArrowTHE DESKS OF IWO JIMA
An American tale from the heart of Huckabee
Clint Eastwood


ArrowBIGFOOT TAKES GOLD IN MEN'S FREESTYLE NEWS FILL
Warning: May not be true
Steve Gordon

ArrowWHY REDNECKS RULE THE WORLD
Aside from all the guns, of course
Joe Bageant

ArrowKRISTOL BALLS
Bill Kristol, revolutionary feminist
Allison Kilkenny

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Subtly Racist Contrived Voting Bloc

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

ArrowPalin-Scopes!
Your completely accurate horoscope, in the form of koans about the Alaska Governor

[sic] - Your letters

 

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Yippee, a fish out of water—

Let’s get something straight right now: If you ever spot me in real life, I want you to kick me in the shin. Don’t cripple me, but get your point across. If I get kicked a hundred times a day, I will have deserved it for using the term “fish out of water”in describing the plot of this movie.

In How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Simon Pegg plays a British entertainment journalist imported to a New York rag. Apparently, he’s got no public filter and/or is socially retarded. It’s got a few women in it who aren’t as cute now that you’ve seen them in HD, and Jeff Bridges in a wig worthy of Nicolas Cage himself.

And why will you someday watch this on cable, you ask? I know you didn’t ask, but Hot Fuzz earned Simon Pegg a few more missteps, and sometimes Kirsten Dunst looks hot. Just sometimes! She’s kind of like ice cream, or any other white translucent dairy product. They’ve got to be photographed just right or they’ll look really gross; like a rotten apple head. (Remember those pictures of the nachos you used to see onscreen sometimes before the previews at the $1.50 theaters? Yeah, I rest my case.) Even though Megan Fox kind of looks like a melanoma case waiting to being diagnosed, she’s got this young Liz Taylor thing happening. As much of a leather handbag as she’s sure to resemble in the future, she doesn’t look related to Keith Richards right now. But if I get an HDTV before this hits cable, I’ll never watch this movie, for fear of turning to stone from looking at Dunst’s erection-killing case of butterface.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

I say this with love and concern, Michael Cera: Cut the sensitive crap! That shit don’t fly, son! Sometime in the late ‘80s, women started complaining that men weren’t sensitive, didn’t cry enough and didn’t wear enough pink. I grew up believing that shit, Michael Cera! I ate up that be sensitive and respectful garbage with a pitchfork and a shovel! That scene is a one-way trip to Bullshit Heights, son! So is acting incredibly awkward. You’re quickly becoming to awkward what Woody Allen is to neurotic. You actually make Allen look like Lee Marvin, now that I think about it.

Superbad was funny because there was enough going on, and your awkwardness was negligible. It even worked at points. Then we had to sit through an abysmal viewing of Juno if we were interested in what you did next. Say, something not awkward. The only thing that movie did was test my capacity for hatred, and I passed with muddled greys and dark hues, not flying colors. So now you’re flitting it up in the Manhattan night, filled with zany wonder, teetering on the edge of a new and impending whirlwind relationship with a bird poop-faced but otherwise cute girl? Come on. The narrator of the trailer even says you’re sensitive. Come the fuck on, man! Is the fact that the two main characters of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist are named after the characters from The Thin Man just supposed to be a happy coincidence? Dude! I’m fucking dying here! Then there’s this ex drama crap getting thrown in? I’m getting the shits just thinking about this thing.

Is this because you look like a bird? Is that it? Are you the bird that pooped on that girl's face? Tell me all of this is happening because you look like a bird and I’ll drop it right now. Tell me, you prick! Say what again! Look man, just go do the Arrested Development movie because that’s what everybody’s waiting on anyway. When that’s done, go get tanked and flip over a sport utility vehicle, then show up on a third-string basic cable reality show—make sure it's Celebrity Rehab. After that, maybe Quentin Tarantino will hire you for a film paying homage to the genre in which you were once a prominent figure. Stick in a Geico commercial or two; then we’ll talk.

Flash of Genius

Booooooooooooring! Boring! This movie looks really boring. A series of things happening. Any movie that takes place over several years with say, a lengthy and drawn-out court case, is usually just a lot of waiting. It’s Capra without the Capra.

Flash of Genius is the surely embellished true story of the college professor who invented the intermittent windshield wiper. According to the trailer, he was just about to sell it to Skinner from The X-Files and the Ford Motor Company, but they reneged on the deal and a few months later next year's models have, you guessed it, intermittent windshield wipers.

What follows is said court case as The Little Guy takes on a big bad corporation that’s got nothing but time, money and an army of lawyers who could easily kept the case tied up in litigation hell until the end of time. All the while his modest family offers their unconditional love and support. It is taking everything I’ve got to not douse myself in gasoline and drop the match in my lap right now. Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Dermot Mulrooney and Alan Alda star. Whoosh!

An American Carol

If you’ve ever wondered how bad things can truly get, you’re about to get an answer. You’ve got a sweaty comedy that not only parodies Michael Moore using Chris Farley’s equally sweaty brother, but does so using the plot of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” I puked so much during the trailer for An American Carol that the lining in my esophagus is badly corroded.

All of that in itself isn’t exactly a war crime, but sticking a country star-turned-actor playing one of the spirits and yodeling a song about how it kicks ass to be an American is the proverbial fart in the unventilated compact car you need to appeal to the lowest common denominator. If it was a rappa-ternt-acta I could go along with that. Those dudes are all spectacle and that’s cool. But if you stick a country star in front of a camera they somehow feel the overwhelming need to magically transform into the unfortunate corn-fed sonsa bitches they like to croon about.

This trailer looks so disjointed, random, out of context and rambling that you’d think I had something to do with it. Frasier Crane plays George Patton, Jon Voight plays George Washington, Dennis Hopper shows up and if the Zuckers have anything to do with this movie you can bet your wrinkly sack that Leslie Nielsen will be there. An American Carol looks like such ass. And the dimply, varicosed cellulite on that ass is a Bill O’Reilly cameo. But to beg the original question, things could definitely be worse--O'Reilly could be the star.

City of Ember


What the hell is this shit? Did someone find a pair of Fritz Lang’s filthy underwear at the same time they recently recovered that missing Metropolis footage a couple months back, smear it on some film stock and hope for the best?

This movie looks like the boring real world scenes from the Matrix sequels. You know the ones: Everything was either the color or poop or cement and you'd swear everyone there was in a Benetton ad at one point in their lives. I know City of Ember is about an underground city, but really. To be more precise, it's about an underground city at the end of it's 200 year lifespan. A pair of kids who may or may not be siblings find clues which I'm guessing allude to the fact that the surface of the world may just be inhabitable after all and some big, bland conspiracy is at work. And there looks to be some Harry Potter or Narnia idolatry afoot as well.

With that being said, I've got two more things I'd like to say about City of Ember. First, what the hell is wrong with you, Bill Murray? Why are you playing some kind of president or emperor of a city of mole people? Remember that stretch in your career during the ‘90s where no one (including your family) gave a shit whether you lived or died? You know that mistakes are made to be learned from, right? Did you forget why exactly you had to make a comeback or should we sit down and watch Larger Than Life again? Did you lose a bet and it was either the Mayor of Ember or voicing another Garfield movie? The other thing I want to say about this movie is that its trailer actually made a recent trip to the emergency room, where I waited three grueling and sleep-deprived hours to get staples in the side of my head, seem exciting and vigorous. I would love to meet the insane bastard who okayed this movie and have a long conversation with him. I do want to know about the CIA and the mind-control devices implanted in his teeth. And I do want to know about how Gaaaahd told him to make this movie. Even though it's a case of six in one hand half a dozen in the other, I'll listen to the inane mumblings of a yet-to-be-diagnosed schizophrenic, but I won't watch City of Ember.

Quarantine

Aw Jesus, here we go. Another horror movie disguised as a recovered crime scene video/snuff film. Some dippy dame (sorry, a lot of TCM lately) who isn’t too threateningly attractive rides along with the local fire department for some crap ball TV show or something. She goes along to a call with some sick old woman in an apartment building when OH FUCK SHE’S A ZOMBIE AND SHE JUST BIT OFF A HUGE CHUNK OF THAT FIRE FIGHTER’S NECK! SHIT!

Those kinds of scares never seem to work out in print.

As the trailer for Quarantine continues, it looks like one of the tenants is some kind of bio-terrorist with a boner for the Apocalypse. Oh, and the building’s been sealed off and...quarantined, so those closed in are left to fend for themselves in the dark. Yay! You know what? I don't feel like talking about a banal movie that's torn pages out of every playbook down the line—all the way from Val Lewton to Blair Witch. So I'm going to ramble on about something that may or may not actually benefit you: Go download the new Nine Inch Nails album, The Slip. It's free at nin.com, it's a great album and it sounds incredible. I know what you're thinking, I'm not 19 anymore and I stopped wearing all black years ago. I know, I know. I feel exactly the same way but since Reznor got off the smack and started putting out more than an album a decade his shit's gotten a lot better. Download it now, thank me later...

Max Payne

Now what the hell is this crap? This is just a series of photoshopped clips ran in slow motion schplotzed together in a way that makes little or no sense. I see this trailer and I now understand how old people get confused and frustrated. The worst part of this trailer is the score, created by someone who was passionately in the throes of an Ennio Morricone and Staind kick, and created badly at that.

Seriously, what the hell is this crap? This is crap from hell! And what's with the bat people!? Do you honestly think I want to see those Sin City sequels so badly that I'd spread my cheeks for the first action crapfest with muted tones and a lot of guns? For a movie based on a video game no less? Pligga nease!

W.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that doesn’t want to see W. I’m still trying to figure out exactly why I want to. I’m sure there’s another part of me that thinks as the life of George W. Bush is examined, there’ll be a magical explanation as to why the last two presidential administrations dragged every American man, woman and child through the goddamned ri—

I told myself I wasn’t going to do this. I promised myself for Pete’s sake! Have a drink... take a deep breath. Good, good. It's only a movie after all. How much do you see in the movies that's actually real, let alone could actually happen? Even the ones supposedly based on a true story? Think about it, man! Look at that cute little Toby Jones playing Karl Rove. If the filmmakers were looking for anything resembling historical, or any other kind of accuracy, that saucy little dish wouldn't be playing a bridge troll like Rove. This has got to be a joke, man!

Honestly, this trailer for W. looks like a made-for-TV movie with a better cast. The George Thorogood song at the start didn't offer much encouragement, but when you consider who this movie is about it all makes perfect sense. I'll probably see the actual movie, maybe even sooner than later, and cringe in horror during every scene. I expect the whole thing will be like the opening scene from United 93, in the sense that I'm probably going to be a tense ball of rage, knowing everything that's going to happen while being paralyzed to do anything about it. But with Oliver Stone directing, you're going to expect that anyway.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Oof! I like to think of myself as the kind of person who's got a high threshold for bullshit and stupidity, but getting through the trailer for High School Musical 3 was a real bear. I know its got the word musical in the title and I should expect as much, but do the filmmakers need to be so bracing and unflinching about it? When tragic style, hideous dialogue and genetically-engineered twentysomethings playing teenagers are the least of your worries, it's pretty obvious how much trouble you're in for. And I haven't even gotten to the singing and dancing yet.

So yeah, the singing and dancing. By nature I generally hate musicals, but the sweaty pretty boy singing in the middle of the basketball court had to be dropping a deuce mid-song. And his girlfriend who got naked for a cell phone camera last summer was—wait a minute, wait a minute. I get it. This is hell. This is my hell. Now I've got no problem with the gay community by any stretch of the imagination, but High School Musical 3 looks really gay. I'm talking fisting scene from Caligula gay. I mean bath house after gay men's choir practice and before Sex and the City at Jayjay's condo gay.

I also understand fully this movie is geared towards teenagers who don't have the sense that Gahd gave the common kumquat. I'm also of the understanding that the teenage girls will go to see HSM3 are going to have fodder to fiddle with their parts afterward. Especially from that sweaty, singing pretty boy who wears too much makeup. Is that the one chick from Hanson? Not that I'm looking for this, but can't the putz who put this trailer together at least feed us more than it's senior year, here's some songs, these tards are never going to see each other again and they're all sad about it? By the way, I had an inebriated conversation with Gene Kelly the other night and he's really pissed about all these High School Musical movies. And that guy had more physical and acrobatic chops than all these donkey dicks put together. He was like Jackie Chan with rhythm. Would you want to mess with a pissed-off Irishman who's been dead for 12 years? Yeah, didn't think so.

Saw V

Are these bone smokers even trying anymore? Really, man. What have we got here? What have we got? Some horseshit smeared on a screen, some haunting music, some pious lyricism and some douche with his head stuck in a goddamned Lite Brite? How the hell do you expect anyone to give a crap about or get scared by that? Oh, what’s it going to do? Burn the pattern of a spaceship into his face with really hot colored plastic pegs? I can see it now—if you don't find the key to the door in that vat of dirty baby diapers, used tampons and congealed cookie dough, we're going to make another Saw movie.

These movies are like bad reality game shows at this point. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Tila Tequila had a cameo in Saw V. Didn't the main villian die like three movies ago? Jigsaw, Turtletaub, Mendelbaum? What was that chode's name again? Why do these movies keep happening? Why doesn't someone make this madness stop? The Saw franchise is like a pizzeria chain that specializes in week-old pizza. Who eats week-old pizza anyway? Do you know anyone that eats week-old pizza? I sure as hell don't! Day-old—sure. Two day-old—ehh. Three days old and you're bordering on kind of gross, but week-old—hell no! Why do you keep doing this, Saw? Why, I ask you! When are you going to stop? You're just being dumb! Stop being dumb! You're killing Halloween! When are you going to stop killing Halloween, Saw? You're being a dick! STOP! BEING! A! DICK! YOU! DICK!!!



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