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ISSUE #136
 
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If Obama's a socialist, why are we broke?

Features

ArrowDR. STRANGELOVE EXPAINS THE ISRAEL LOBBY

Arrow GIVE ME IDIOCY OR GIVE ME DEATH (WEB EXCLUSIVE!)
Ian Murphy attends a local teabagging

ArrowONE LUMP OR TWO?
Fake Fascism & Phony Outrage
Allan Uthman

ArrowPHILOSOPHER JOHN R. SEARLE STOOPS TO OUR LEVEL

ArrowSTUPID, or HOW TO LOSE MONEY RUNNING A SPEED LAB
Part 5: Back to Berkeley for the Big Epiphany
John Dolan

ArrowCREDIBILITY DEFAULT SWAP
Obama: The best pitchman Goldman Sachs ever had
Matt Taibbi

ArrowTHE LORD CLOWN HAS RISEN!
A Beaster Miracle!
Ian Murphy

ArrowBEST NEWS CHANNEL IN THE WORLD
You should watch AlJazeera English, but you can't
Anchor Downs

ArrowBLACKBEARD BLOWBACK
As fun as shooting pirates is, it may not be smart
Allison Kilkenny

ArrowA NEW OR GENTLY USED ECONOMY
11common sense ways to beat the recession

ArrowPARANORMAL ESTATE
Money tight? Make up some stuff about ghosts
Eileen Jones

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Unintentionally Hilarious Metaphor

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

 

Fast and Furious

Iíll openly admit to breaking the seal about 8 minutes into the original THE Fast and THE Furious and spending most of the time in my friendís bathroom pissing my brains out and my life away. Combine this with the banana schnapps and past expiration date rum my friendís uncle would push on us and I couldnít tell you what that goddamn movie was about. Car thieves and an undercover cop out to bust them maybe? I donít know, at that point all I had on my mind was taking a nap underneath my car.

So the two following Fast and the Furious movies, Iím told, were dogshit rehashes that maybe one of the original actors who wasnít Vin Diesel came back for. So now the gangís all back for Fast and Furious. At the opening of the trailer and with a touch of irony, Diesel and crew set up an elaborate gas heist from a moving fuel tanker in South America. And Jesus, Iím bored talking about this already.

I donít know if you listened to any new albums last year, but the running theme throughout the year seemed to be that of the too little too late variety. Metallica, REM, The Cure and Counting Crows all put out albums which seemed to gravitate back to their respective so-called signature sounds. After years of experimental droning and generally disinteresting offerings, these bands got back to the supposed basics and put out albums that wouldíve quickly been categorized as more of the same crap had they put them out 10 or 15 years prior. But because of the nonsense they let drip out of their distinctive musical cornholes after the fact, last yearís releases were regarded as (and I truly hate this phrase) returns to form. And I think thatís what weíre looking at here with Fast and Furious--a crappy movie that wouldíve been crappy and disappointing if it was a direct sequel, but because it came out after what Iím sure were even worse sequels it will somehow be considered good. Itís the Death Magnetic of movies, except that Metallica actually did legitimately kick ass at one point.

Aside from fuel theft and an uneasy alliance between the antelope-eyed Diesel and some pretty boy, I couldnít tell you what this movieís about. More cars, Iím guessing? I always avoid this kind of flick because you get the jagweeds with the tricked out Ford Focuses revving their engines in the parking lot after the movie. Then you always see them at Dennyís like 15 minutes later, proving that your night was destined for the shitter from the get go.

Dragonball: Evolution

Without doing even the slightest amount of research to find out where the hell the idea for this turd came from I would ask only one question: video game or anime series? And after a small scrap of what just might pass for investigative journalism it turns out anime series is the answer. And said series on which this live-action tax write-off is based isnít even a cool one like Cowboy Bebop or... uh, Cowboy Bebop.

Honestly, Iíve only got a vague idea as to what Dragonball: Evolution is about. Some bad guy named Piccolo needs some balls to take over the world. And thereís a character named Bulimia in this movie. Watch the trailer. Iím not even making this shit up. And if my eyes werenít deceiving me, I thought I saw Chow Yun-Fat in the trailer. I know they canít all be Hard Boiled, but that doesnít mean they have to be Bulletproof Monk either.

Then I want to say one of the other characters was named Darth Rubbentug. Or Darth Dryrub. Really, what is this? How the hell is a loud and obnoxious anime cartoon series going to translate to a live-action movie? Aside from loudly and obnoxiously? Is somehow sticking the word evolution in the title somehow supposed to make it all better. Thatís like serving dogshit at a restaurant, but because you threw the word premium in front of the dogshit on the menu that somehow justifies it or somehow makes it enticing.

Hannah Montana: The Movie††

After that big gums and tiny teeth disease rotting Hannah Montanaís brain causes her to get into a shoe fight with Tyra Banks, start up a gluttonous meth habit and allow herself to get fingerbanged by a Hispanic busboy, Billy Ray Cyrus makes her check into rehab at the local slaughterhouse in her hometown of Gonad Lick, Kentucky. And thatís a real place too. Google it.

And whatís even more entertaining is the fact that the big gums and tiny teeth disease has made Hannah Montana think sheís Gladiola Mason, and with that overinflated sense of entitlement the persona brings, she expects the world to kiss her puckered little ass. So instead of trading blowies for drugs, she rides horses and wears cowboy hats and if she can get that monkey off her back and recover from the horrific big gums and tiny teeth disease that threatens to ruin Montanaís career forever, Billy Ray will give her the blonde wig and matching bedazzled buttplug back.

Actually if Hannah Montana: The Movie was about her descent into Lohanland, I would gladly see it in a heartbeat, even if only to keep chasing that schadenfreude dragon that seems to dominate my life. But since it seems more like a fable, cautionary tale or some other shit about living double lives, split personalities or poor fashion choices compounded with some touchy-feely what matters most squeaky-clean morality play, Iíll probably just walk into the theater, soil myself heavily, and leave my pants behind as I slink out an an emergency exit. And if I think of it, Iíll scream something about my gums growing and my teeth shrinking.

Obsessed

Picture perfect married couple. Freakshow temp at his job who cranked up the crazy and ripped off the knob. Sending sexy photos via office e-mail freakshow. Trying to grab dudeís wiener when heís taking a leak freakshow. Lingerie under a trenchcoat at work freakshow. Breaking into his hotel room, getting nekkid and trying to off herself freakshow. Get my drift? No? Christ, youíre sheltered. Breaking into Beyonceís house and starting some shit freakshow. Steal a copís gun freakshow. Go to Civil War recreations freakshow. Have a St. Patrickís Day party where you serve Mexican food two weeks after the fact freakshow. Making regular purchases out of Fingerhut catalogs freakshow. Polish yardsale freakshow. JESUS CAMP FREAKSHOW FOR CRISSAKES!!!

Every movie has its selling point. That one thing thatís supposed to get your fat ass off your couch and into a theater seat. But with Obsessed Iím having a little trouble figuring out what the hell that ass factor is. Beyonce as the wife? The chick from Heroes as the stalker? It sure as shit isnít that trailblazing plotline. While I was trying to figure this out I remembered that I might as well try and figure out which tampon to run with. Because Iím not going to waste so much as a shiny ducket on tampons or Obsessed.† Although I heard if you dip a tampon in formaldehyde then stick it up your butt youíre in for a memorable night. But who am I to trust a suburban high school student?

Observe and Report

I think itís safe to say weíre all Seth Rogened out. And if youíre not Seth Rogened out, you either donít know who the hell he is or youíre smoking more dope than he does. Over the past few years weíve seen Rogen play some variation of the same stoner slacker character who gradually morphed from that guy who had you laughing your ass off until you passed out that one time into your asshole roommate who canít keep his greasy digits out of your pickle-flavored Pringles.

But now weíve got Observe and Report, in which Rogen plays a dopey, inept but surly mall security guard (picture a bipolar Paul Blart off his meds) whose personal mission is to stop a flasher at his mall that terrorized some chick Rogen wants to bang. Said chick is played by the actually funny Anna Faris. Ray Liotta plays a police detective that Rogen clashes with and yeah, the whole thing sounds boring as shit. But in the family-unfriendly red-band trailer for Observe and Report Rogen is talking to himself in pretty much the same way that Robert DeNiro was talking to himself in Taxi Driver. Faris is a trainwreck sauce fiend and at the end of that trailer Rogen is humping away on a passed out Faris. When he realizes sheís out cold and stops, she slurs ďwhyyoustoppingmotherfucker?Ē

Observe and Report looks like its got the potential to be a work of pure comedic genius on the same level as His Girl Friday, The Lady Eve or Gus Van Santís version of Psycho. Rogenís character seems demented enough, in his early Ď90s Cosby sweater Merry Go Round wardrobe, to emanate the random fucked up humor little seen in this day and age. At the same time, I get a vibe off Faris that tells me I could get sick of her character in under 10 minutes. Then the whole thing could be as painful, traumatizing and mortifying as watching two fatties share a pair of fundies and actually attempt coitus. And even worse, refer to it as coitus.

Crank: High Voltage

I know the idea of a sequel to a movie where the main character died, starring the same character who died, is pretty stupid. Especially when the trailer to the sequel shows him falling out of a helicopter or some other kind of aircraft and landing on a car. Now I never saw the original Crank. Seeing a movie named after something I call my dick isnít a priority to me. Would you expect a girl to go see a movie called Cooter? Granted, it would be awesome if she did, but thereís no way in hell you can expect it.

The only incentive I had to see Crank was that Jason Statham, that grumbling McActor who somehow pulls off being bald and white simultaneously, dies. Now he doesnít? Now he gets his heard removed and replaced with a battery-powered one. Seriously. I know he was poisoned in the first one and had to keep his adrenaline level up to keep from dying. Now heís got to keep electrocuting himself in this one to keep the ticker going? Iím all up for the occasional serving of insane ramblings of a syphilitic brain but aside from a completely implausible resurrection followed up by a total repeat of the first movie? The only thing this movie seems to have going for it is that it doesnít seem to be taking itself too seriously, but if that downy-eyed Amy Smart was in the trailer and sheís being passed off as an attractive woman Iím going to have an easier time believing a guy can survive landing on his back after falling out of a helicopter. In which case the whole thingís blown for me already. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

17 Again

The system is eggs. If youíre not a teenaged girl and you see the trailer for 17 Again you will mutter the system is eggs to yourself. Hereís the plot in exactly eleven words: an asshole somehow goes back to do it all over again. Matthew Perry as a failed father and human being is magically made 17 again and is played by (and hereís where the teenage girl thing applies) the candy-assed pretty boy from those High School Musical movies who wears more makeup than your aunt Martha. Oh, and Iím sure he spends more time on his hair than your aunt Martha too.

And Iím sure heíll have to convince his loser best friend that the guy who pukes in his pickup truck every Friday night is now really a 17 year-old kid so heíll help withÖ whatever. And of course the guy in question wonít go back to his real age until he learns some invaluable lesson or does some incredibly good deed like getting his nerdy sonís dick wet or taking his gargantuan daughter to the promódo you even care about this? Iím not trying to get confrontational or anything, Iím just asking an honest questionódo you really care about the plot of this movie? Iíll admit I couldnít give a shit. Iím just wondering if I can stop now. Because whatís the point if neither of us care about the movie 17 Again. Yeah, Dangle from Reno 911 is in it but beyond that neither of us cares, so whatís the point of going on with this review. Okay? Okay. Bye.

State of Play

Ben Affleck plays a senatoróno shitówhose assistant (with whom he happened to be riding the proverbial hobby horse) is murdered, and Russell Crowe plays a reporter with little regard for his own personal hygiene. Or maybe this is a period piece from the early Ď90s and Croweís character is still in his grunge phase. Iím going to stop talking about State of Play right there. In the not too distant future, I expect there will be a Russell Crowe DVD box set called either The Neglible Years or The Boring Years. This set will be chock full of the nutless milquetoast post-Gladiator era movies that can only be considered exciting by someone who just retired or thinks Kathie Lee Gifford is doable. This DVD set will come with a cyanide capsule, just in case you make it through the whole thing, come to the realization that your life is a joke and this is the sick, sick punchline. And yes, State of Play will undoubtedly be included in that set.††



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