Beast Banner March 2009
ISSUE #135
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If socialists are going to take your money, it might as well be us.

Features

ArrowTHE BEAST ENLISTS THE GHOST OF SLAIN BLACK PANTHER LEADER FRED HAMPTON TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE LACK OF A FEBRUARY 2009 ISSUE
Hampton comes alive!

ArrowTHE IDIOT MACHINE
Author attempts to hold Bush crony accountable, winds up covered in poop
Ian Murphy

ArrowDESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS
No relief from Republican math
Allan Uthman

ArrowA CONVERSATION WITH THE 10 TRILLION ROBOTS THAT ARE CALLED DR. DANIEL DENNETT
Reknowned atheist prof. deigns to speak to The BEAST

ArrowSTUPID, or HOW TO LOSE MONEY RUNNING A SPEED LAB
Part IV: Every Flake a $20 Bill
John Dolan

ArrowBOUGHT, FAT & LAUDED
Someone stop Tom Friedman before he types again
Matt Taibbi

ArrowGOD HATES PHELPS
WNY to Westboro weirdoes: Talk to the hand
Ian Murphy

ArrowAIR FORCE DUMB
Chemtrails: The nonexistent killer
Alexander Zaitchik

ArrowCELEBRITY POP QUIZ!
Paul Craig Roberts fails to apply himself

ArrowEXTREME MAKEOVER: GITMO EDITION
Improving our nation's curb appeal

ArrowASK MUZZAMIL HASSAN
Relationship advice from the founder of Bridges TV

ArrowGOP CHAIRMAN CALLS OBAMA SPEECH 'WIGGIDY-WHACK'
Rap battle threatened
Josh Righter

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
One-armed midget

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

ArrowBEAST-O-SCOPES!
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Your letters

 

 

Watchmen

If youíve asked yourself when the hell all these comic book movies are going to stop coming out already, I think youíre about to get your answer. You see, Watchmen is the Atlas Shrugged of the comic book world. If that comparison doesnít work for you, how about Ulysses? War and Peace, maybe? Itís not so much that Watchmen is incredibly long and even more so in the boring department. Hell, its not even mandatory reading for college classes or something that only aimless masochists with seemingly unlimited attention spans read. But the graphic novel of Watchmen is pretty sweet.

The problem with turning Alan Moore and Dave Gibbonsí landmark comic book/graphic novel is that its so incredibly complex, dense and convoluted very much like the aforementioned novels. And with any elaborate work of fiction the damn fool making it has his work cut out for him if heís going to make even a halfway decent let alone faithful adaptation. And when the original writer doesnít even want his name on the goddamn thing after declaring the story unfilmable, well good luck pal. Good fucking luck.

After all, weíre talking about such an involved story that not only takes place in an alternate reality (where Richard Nixon is still president) on the brink of nuclear devastation, but a tale that also includes its own thorough in-depth and epic mythology. In the foreground a vigilante investigates the murder of one of his former teammates, which in itself doesnít sound that interesting but the trailer for Watchmen offers an orgy of visual feast after visual feast set everywhere from Manhattan to Antarctica to Mars. Yes, Mars.

This is the comic book movie all the fanboys have been waiting on for decades and its entirely possible that if Watchmen fails the whole comic book movie thing will come to a head and for the most part fade away. Watchmen looks like a size 6 girl with a size 2 outfit. Itís going to be fun not only watching her try to get into it, but seeing her walk around in it. But that moment of truth wonít happen until she sits down. It may be a monster embarrassment, but itís sure to be an entertaining watch.

All About Steve

Iím guessing that All About Steve is supposed to be a romantic comedy but I didnít think it looked romantic or comedic. What I saw was Sandra Bullock dressed up like a retarded drag queen with autism get set up on a blind date by her equally socially awkward parents. Turns out her dateís not a total chode and she likes him but since heís a cameraman for some kind of news network he got paged to cover some kind of storm mid-date. So Bullock stalks him across the country with her bad make-up, worse hair andóHold up a second. Is Bullock supposed to be quirky in All About Steve or is she supposed to look like shit? Because Iíve got to tell you that this trailer cancelled the next 12 boners I had on the docket, whether they were planned or impromptu. I get that her personality is supposed to embarrass anyone who bears witness to it but Iím guessing that with the badly-dyed shitty shag thing sheís got going on is supposed to imply that thereís a beautiful person underneath the painful personality. But the silly putty make-up job and the fact that Bullock, 1994ís Ugly Person of the Year is one of the many celebrities clearly not meant for hi-def has me confused. Why are they doing this to people?

Thinking about All About Steve leaves me with reflective and mixed feelings. On one hand I feel for the poor bastard whoís going to have to take his she-beast to this piece of shit to smooth over some minor wrong he may have committed. On the other hand Iím also thinking of the feminine equivalent of a cheese dick who would voluntarily see this color-by-numbers crime against humanity and I suddenly realize they deserve each other. And that this was originally going to be called Ugly Betty: The Movie.

Race to Witch Mountain

Do you remember in the Ď70s when Disney would make those dogshit live action movies? They were never beyond a PG rating and always starred some hasbeen C-list celebrity like Eddie Albert or Sandy Duncan? They also had one of like 3 plotlines they stuck with, a happy ending and were most popular with squeaky-clean families at drive-ins on Friday nights. But only after everyoneís plates were clean and their homework was all done.

Those movies had a certain charm that might suck you in when you wake up under the spell of complete and total discombobulation somewhere other than your own bed. You used your couch cushions as blankets and youíre wearing piss-drenched jeans and puke caked on your shirt again. Oh, and a couch spring has been jabbing your sphincter for the last 3 hours. At this point why wouldnít you watch a movie about an alien cat with a light up collar being hunted by the military?

So what is the Disney dream machine regurgitating this time? The Rock (who can call himself Dwayne Johnson all he likes, but until he hits me with a Peopleís Elbow Iím still calling him The Rock) plays (get this!) a cab driver who picks up (wait for itÖ) twoÖ special children with fantastic abilities being hunted by not only a shadowy government agency but an alien bounty hunter who disappointingly isnít Boba Fett. Oh, and I guess these kids are supposed to be aliens and have to get someplace to either get picked up by the mothership or, I donít knowÖ do something wild.

Iím aware of the audience its geared toward, but Race to Witch Mountain looks like ass. And not the luscious and juicy kind either. Iím talking about the kind thatís flat, discolored, displaced and unknowingly but regardless has tiny fields of dark tufts of hair growing up from the bottom, underneath the cheeks. Oh, and thereís tons of those gross cellulite dimples too. The take it or leave it kind. And Iím not saying that something like that doesnít have its place. Everything does. Unfortunately that place happens to be a 105-minute window between the time the bar closes and the sun rises. If anyone whoís had less than 15 drinks had to deal with that scene in decent lighting theyíre looking at the quickest beeline to celibacy ever.

Last House on the Left

I recently saw an episode of Under the Influence with Elvis Mitchell on TCM where he interviewed Quentin Tarantino. Aside from needing to be on cheap speed to merely follow the conversation it was a very educational even if you only heard of a quarter of the movies Tarantino and Mitchell discussed. But right off the bat, Mitchell asked Tarantino what he thought was the scariest movie was, to which he responded Last House on the Left.

And the gist of his rationale was because the movie was something that could and has happened. Machete-wielding human meatloaves in hockey masks and escaped lunatics from prison hospitals were entertaining enough, but a home invasion just seems more plausible if not likely. The Cliffs Notes Edition says that Last House on the Left is about 2 dopey, boy-crazy girls who meet a guy (or boy as girls like to call them) in the city, end up going back to his place looking to score some weed despite the ďdonít talk to strangersĒ warning from the parents. Sure enough heís part of a group of escaped criminals who beat up, rape and make the girls do some dirty, surprising and if it wasnít for the truly disturbing factor of this movie, hot things to each other. Oh, then the criminals kill the girls. With me so far?

Then the criminalsí getaway car breaks down, whoíd have thought, right in front of the parentsí house who are waiting for the very girls these criminals did in to come home. I mean, holy shit, right? Then in an act of Holy Shit to the next power, the parents get some pretty gruesome fucking revenge. Iím talking removing dudeís junk gruesome. Oh, and this was Wes Cravenís first movie which he made in the early Ď70s. Sleazy and beautiful grindhouse cinema.

Just because a movie looks like it was made for $28 doesnít mean it needs to be remade. Last House on the Leftís griminess only adds to the atmosphere and general feel of the movie. A sleek remake is sure to remove some of the mighty eye-teeth that Cravenís original proudly and unsettlingly bared. A slick and certainly denutted remake isnít what this movie needs. A directorís cut released in theaters with more of the seedy nastiness worked in that would keep even the most twisted of motherfuckers awake is what this movie needs. Thankfully thatís hitting shelves in late February. Have fun at the movies, Iíll have fun with the real nastiness at home.

Duplicity

Corporate a-holes and their unquenchable greed got you down? In the mood to see them get their comeuppance and catch a fun love story? Yeah, me neither. But just so no oneís running the risk of thinking Duplicity is a sequel to that Michael Keaton piece of shit from the Ď90s, Multiplicity, hereís the scoop: Julia Roberts and Clive Owen play ex-CIA and MI6 agents respectively. They meet, they ball, then Roberts mentions that some corporate showdown thatís supposed to happen between her boss and what coincidentally turns out to be Owenís boss. They team up for some hucklebuck grift against their corporate masters, come up with a plan to grab the money then live happily ever after.

Which in itself doesnít sound too bad. Iím actually kind of sold, but then things start heading toward Mr. and Mrs. Smith territory, and Iím guessing by the bouncy theme music theyíre going to dry hump the Oceanís Eleven thing. Frankly Iím surprised George Clooneyís not in it instead, seeing as how the Tony Gilroy, who directed Michael Clayton, is directing Duplicity. If they didnít turn it into a date movie for soon-retiring upper-middle class couples I might actually go see this movie, but then again I donít want to spend the extra bread to have to get bent in the parking lot beforehand. Because if this movie is going where the trailer suggests it is, I canít handle this movie straight. Just so we understand each other. And I just decided Iím not doing it. I canít handle Julia Robertsí head on a big screen. And HD on cable might take an even worse turn.†

I Love You, Man

You hear the terms bromance, man-date and man-crush getting thrown around a lot these days. I donít know if these are things that women are pressing men into doing so they wonít fart into the couch cushions as much or if the supposedly fairer sex is trying to convince the male collective that its secretly gay. Whatever it is, I ainít biting.

Take I Love You, Man. Itís a comedy from the 40 Year-OId Virgin/Superbad/Pineapple Express crowd. Paul Rudd is a guy about to get married, but has no guy friends to be his best man. His fiancť (Jimís ex-girlfriend on The Office) makes him hang out with random guys to scare up a best man and eventually he finds the guy who Iím presuming wound up forgetting Sarah Marshall. He teaches Rudd not to be a bitch anymore and turns him into a real guy. The Pixies are playing during the trailer and itís all cool, man. Get out the beer already. But what Iím guessing the trailer isnít letting on to is that Ruddís fiancť is going to start bitching about him hanging out with Sarah Marshall guy too much and is going to turn into a wingnut spewing ultimatums.

Iím sort of hopeful about I Love You, Man and I would probably call into work if I got free passes and Iíd most definitely see it for free. If neither of those things happen Iím sure itíll look great in HD a year from now when itís on cable or several years down the line under unforeseen and certainly uninteresting circumstances. If nothing else this movie doesnít have Seth Rogen in it so you get a little break. Until then Iíve got batter fish to fry.

Knowing

Oh Nicolas Cage, when are you going to stop? Oh yeah, thatís right. You donít ever have to stop because people are stupid and will keep seeing your mostly bad and usually dumb movies. And Iím sure you decide on the bad movies you make after the gutted vintage television you keep in the closet of your guest room tells you† to make them. Yes yes, weíre all slaves to the gutted TV in your guest room closet and the hypnotic $269,000 wigs you wear in your terrible movies. To you Iím sure the movies you make are all varied blips in what you like to call your body of work ,but to the audience theyíre fires to be put out or piles of dogshit to be avoided. So what did that wacky TV of yours tell you to do this time?

It sent you down the path of Knowing, a psychological thriller for math geeks in which unavoidable world disasters are supposedly predictable, and weird shadowy albinos are at work making them happen. In the movie youíve got kids who call them The Whisper People (and she even whispers when she speaks of them--gasp!) and you tell your son with his fear of dying that his death is something you will ďnever let happen.Ē Your words, by the way.

Okay, so in the trailer for Knowing (not The Knowing, just Knowing) the shitstorm to end all shitstorms is falling down around humanityís ears in a way that looks just fake enough to not take seriously, and youíre promising your kid immortality? Did you figure this out before or after you discovered you could make pebbles float in mid-air? This movie looks like The Number 23 raped The Da Vinci Code. Or vice versa. Now that I think about it, Da Vinci Code seems more like a top. And maybe Roland Emmerich pleasures himself as he watches. Either way itís creepy and dumb. Like Cageís wigs.

Adventureland

Okay, Iím about to pose a question here but I donít want an answer unless you can say youíve seen all of the following movies: The Squid and the Whale, Superbad and whatís the other one? Uh, just those two then. So Adventureland looks like The Squid and the Whale fingerbanging Superbad in the back of a car parked behind a Target store. Or maybe itís the other way around as far as whoís doing what to whom, but someoneís definitely got a finger in someone else.

Some awkward but supposedly likable college grad canít go on a trip through Europe and has to work at a shitty amusement park. He meets the chick from the gay emo vampire movie, his bosses are on SNL, it takes place in 1987 and yeah. Ryan Reynolds also stars so itís going to come off as a rehash of Waiting. Adventureland looks like raunchy comedy disguised as a sensitive coming of age tale. Just when I thought I couldnít care any less, along comes Adventureland. Thanks, I was beginning to feel human again. Thanks a lot.



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