Don't Feed the Aliens
Huddled masses threatening our borders.
Allan Uthman
The Persecution Rests
Local Judge takes aim at fake religion.
Paul Jones
March Mayhem!
Clash of Civilizations bracketology.
Good News from Iraq!
Brought to you by the DoD.
Phillips: Head-Screw Driver
Fearmongering for fun & profit.
A. Monkey
Litterbox Lunacy
Do cats make the craziest people?
Kit Smith
Friends Confused by Man's Defense of Kevin Costner
Scott Borchert
Dammit, Gannett, We Hate You
Hoping Current was just the first domino.
Full Court Press
New Fed Courthous: A "quality of life crime."
Kino Korner
Ultraviolet, Failure to Launch, 16 Blocks, Hills Have Eyes, Block Party.
BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune in insult form.
The BEAST Page 3 Afghan Christian Convert
[sic] - Letters
Wal-Mart fans, loathsomeness and celebrity plagiarism.


Operation Told You So
No one could have anticipated the Iraq disaster, except the 40% who did
Allan Uthman
Iraq or Iran?
Which are these pundits pushing to invade?
NSA's Big Rig?
Did the NSA help Bush steal the vote?
Bob Fitrakis
TV Highlights
Ian Murphy discusses "America's Next Top Model" with his penis
Gorilla My Dreams
The Monkey Does Drag.
The Nobel Nazi?
Scientist's Legacy gets Freedom Fried.
Kit Smith
Authorities Relieved Church Fires Were Joke
Josh Righter
Get Off Ma Land!
A BEAST Reader Opinion
Best of Buffalo?
Former Staffer Exposes Artvoice Reader "Poll."
Ready, Set, Gentrify!
Elmwood Village Hotel: Good Neighbor?
Erin-Go-Blah
What Adams Could Have Told Higgins.
Album Cover Reviews
A Skin-Depth Look at 3 New Releases.
Chris Riordan
Kino Korner
Ultraviolet, Failure to Launch, 16 Blocks, Hills Have Eyes, Block Party.
BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune told through harsh insults.
The BEAST Page 3 Improvised Explosive Cola
[sic] - Letters
Thievery, hoser supremacy, drowning retards and bad songcraft.

 

 

The Inside Man

Spike Lee’s new heist film/joint is a lot like a bank robbery in itself. Or at least much like planning one. You’d need a good crew to begin with I suppose, and with a crew like Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen I’d imagine there’s not much you couldn’t get done. But without a mastermind plotting the caper you’re not going to get very far.

In theory it should’ve all gone smoothly, but if you’ve seen even one robbery movie you’re aware that every single variable has to be planned for. You’ve got to take into account everything from the fat beat cop who gets his morning donuts and coffee at the bakery across the street to the exact second that rush hour traffic starts on the closest escape route and everything in between. This is usually done with scenes where members of the crew wax poetic about what they’re going to do with the money once the job is pulled as they’re parked in an inconspicuous car on surveillance. Thankfully, Lee spares us this sentimental garbage.

Now I’m not talking about the ultimate plot on the part of Owen and his gang of criminals robbing the bank and baffling Washington’s detective to the point of calling in Foster’s… you know, I can’t even think of what the hell her character was supposed to be aside from someone with serious connections.

This is where it starts going downhill, which is disappointing considering the talent involved. There’s some serious shit about to happen and Lee throws vague characters, bad math and Christopher Plummer as the evil old corporate baron that he will undoubtedly play until the end of his days as his audience dwindles. All of this is acceptable until you realize you’ve been taken for a rube. For essentially the entire film, you’re wondering what the hell it’s all about.

And of course when the payoff is finally delivered, it’s either going to be The Greatest Thing Known To Man or the biggest steaming pile you ever caught whiff of. There’s no in-betweens with this kind of gig. And what the pile better known as The Inside Man smelled of was incoherent ideas passed off as genius. A slight whiff of unfinished thoughts that would’ve been otherwise finished if Lee was actually trying to say something instead of going for commercial success and an excuse to work with Washington again.


Stay Alive

Creeping Baby Jesus, it’s like they’re not even trying anymore! If you’ve seen The Ring, you know all about a mysterious videotape being circulated around that kills anyone who watches it. And if you’ve seen even one Nightmare on Elm Street movie, you know all about kids who are being slaughtered by some kiddie-killing maniac who hunts them in their dreams. So let’s scrape the resin out of the bowl and put a new spin on things by introducing video games. And to make things worse, let’s tack on a PG-13 rating.

You know the drill: a bunch of malcontents on the edge of a teenage society all start playing a video game where if you die in the game you die the same way in real life. That concept didn’t scare me as much as the sight of Frankie Muniz’s face, or when the teenager working in the projection booth cranked the sound up at the insistence of a contract with the studio. It was as annoying than a spoiled child of indulgent parents. Hahahahahahaha, Taylor! You’re soooooooo funny the way you sneak up on me!

Stay Alive is the kind of movie that you’ll see with a clear conscience for one of two reasons:

1) You’re a teenager who hasn’t hit that much-anticipated growth spurt and for the life of you can’t fool the movie theater staff into thinking you’re in fact 17. Oh, and mom’s not picking you up until 5:30 and nothing else you can get into is up.

2) You lost a bet where the stakes were indeed high. You just thought you were so damn cool and so damn smart and now look where it got you. You’re watching the Lizzie McGuire of horror movies. Who’s laughing now!?


V for Vendetta

There’s a really big problem with translating a story from a comic book to a film or a movie. In all probability, you’re going to make a movie that not only is awful, but likely piss off the source material’s main fanbase. But let’s say you don’t blow it and you make something great—there’s a sequel that probably won’t be.

Comic book movies—both PG-13 and R-rated types—are about to meet their grave. The question to ask is if we’ll be graciously spoon-fed our last delicious bites or if well have a 55-gallon drum of cud crammed down our throats.

The reason I mention the food is because when I saw V for Vendetta I had a taste in my mouth the whole time. I hadn’t eaten in hours and drank a few glasses of water, so it wasn’t a residual aftertaste from a dollar store menu. It was more like bad food I’ve never really eaten. Well, not so much bad, but just really… plain. Like a boiled hot dog or no-frills stuffing. Then I realized what it was: This movie took place in England. I mean, this is a country that considered The Spice Girls spicy. I’ll admit I always liked Baby Spice because she looked like a baby female Yoda with just the right level of thickness, but I definitely wouldn’t call her spicy. And I’m probably one of four or five straight guys in existence who will admit to thinking that Sporty Spice’s mother was worth meeting. Yeah, the tattoos were pretty gross, but I didn’t mind the chiseled thing so much and she had that little chipmunk face. Plus she could sing better than the rest of them.

Point is if you dwell in their culture too much you’re going to need to up your vitamin C intake. I dated an English exchange student in my youth. Hey man, I really dug the accent, but after about two and a half months I felt like I hadn’t seen the sun in years. Is rickets an STD? How about scurvy? I want to say it is, but I’m not 100% sure.

Despite the fact that V for Vendetta tells a story that could easily pass for The Ghost of Christmas Future in our Real Life World of 2006, it mixes Orwellian, Dumas-derived and Christ themes in a way that I’m assuming are supposed to make us all stand up and yell “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” And I got the point of the movie too, so you can stop writing your nasty e-mail now. I’m talking about how I was not only subjected to a bland British culture (and this was after years of Big Brother censorship), but sat through a movie that defeated the purpose if my coming to the theater in the first place: TO GET AWAY FROM THIS NONSENSE!

I got cable for the first time in about five years maybe six months ago and I catch more CNN lately. I accept the fact that I alone, or even us collectively are essentially powerless to fight, let alone stop what is happening in our world. But I do not accept going to a temporary escape pod and have this madness stare me in the face.

Many years ago during my first bid in retail hell I was on the can one day and a co-worker bothered me for something that required me to cut my time on the throne as King of Twosieville short and do something that if he had a little common sense could’ve pulled off on his own. And while I realize that others have it off way worse, I considered that a violation of not only my basic human rights but the basic rules of common courtesy and decency.

That’s how I felt watching V for Vendetta. Oh, it wasn’t all bad. The sparse fight scenes weren’t bad and Natalie Portman was pretty hot with a shaved head and an on-again-off-again British accent. She was like Sinead O’Connor, just not as drunk and ornery. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! And I know you’re not going to believe this, but the word “terrorist” was actually used in this movie. That’s like hearing a Stones song in a movie—which by the way V for Vendetta has.

This flick was supposed to come out about six months ago right after the London bombings last fall. They held off on its release because they wanted to let the wounds heal. I’d ask what about us but if they held off on this movie’s release for every tragic thing that happened in this world, it wouldn’t be seen until our highly advanced descendants opened some kind of time capsule.

V for Vendetta is based on a comic book/graphic novel by Alan Moore, who also wrote From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He’s disowned the film versions of all three of his stories. I haven’t read any of the books and have seen both movies, so I can’t say what the hell he’s talking about. If there’s nothing else up and you really want to go to the movies then go for it.   


She’s the Man

As I was watching She’s the Man, I had just begun the downward spiral to a complete and total physical collapse. I was completely aware of everything that was happening around me, but powerless to do anything it. But that’s an absolute necessity when you watch a movie like She’s the Man.

The big thing about this movie is that it’s a loose, modernized adaptation of Shakespeare’s cross-dressing classic, “Twelfth Night.” Slather that one in honey, bread it with crumbs of whatever the kids are into these days and stick it in a pressure cooker. Remove the clever dialogue and most of the plot, and tack on a few soccer games. My body was shot and my mind was soon to follow.

I tried to suspend disbelief and remind myself who this movie was geared for--teenagers who just don’t give a shit and don’t remember this same movie from the ‘80s. Go to the mall with their friend from the same neighborhood and eat in the food court before whatever crappy movie opens that weekend—long as its rated PG-13.

So what makes this movie the garden variety Shakespeare adaptation is that you’re looking at Amanda Bynes and her big apple head the whole time. Her cheeks are like perfectly round ass cheeks trying to take over her face, which can be oddly attractive on a female, but when she starts cross-dressing it’s a nightmare. “Androgynous” will be one of the words used to describe Bynes when see her on the inevitable “I Love the ‘00s” VH-1 series. So instead of seeing Amanda Bynes, WB princess, you see a very convincing portrayal of a gay boy.

About a half hour into She’s the Man, I became so overtired that I couldn’t even black out. It was like in A Clockwork Orange when Malcolm McDowell was strapped into the chair with his eyes clamped open. It was like night terrors. If you’re lucky you’ve only got to endure that horror show for maybe thirty seconds or so. For me it was 105 minutes and I didn’t even have Ludwig Von to keep me company.


Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector

I know and have known people who have traveled down South. I’m talking Deep South here, not Florida, the old folk’s home of America. There are people living south of the Mason-Dixon who are still pissed off they lost the Civil War. I mean they hold a genuine, bona fide grudge because their ancestors got their asses handed to them almost a century and a half ago.

If you’ve heard some of the yarns spun, you’ll know damn well that these people have been plotting ever since slavery was abolished to kick some Yankee ass and get some payback. And contrary to popular belief, Southerners aren’t as stupid as their redneck stereotypes would portray them to be. If they can fashion together some cheap corn liquor, they can certainly take the country back. If you don’t believe me, look at a map from the last presidential election and look who’s in office right now. I know it’s very exhausting, but I hate to say it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets any better.

Don’t believe me? Then take yourself a gander at a true nightmare come true. “Blue Collar Comedy” (almost certainly originally titled “White Trash Comedy”) alum Larry the Cable Guy has his own movie. I can picture Robert E.Lee and Stonewall Jackson looking down and mumbling under their breath, “good, good, excellent” as they twiddle their fingers with glee as this douche bag straight out of Dante’s Inferno stands as an abominable testament to the end of The American Way of Life as We Know it and everything wrong with it.

The way he shows off his flabby guns and talks. It makes me sterile just thinking about it. This cretinous hillbilly is too big to stop right now and as a result you get a better part of an hour and a half of dick, ass crack, fart, trailer trash, cat shit and otherwise repugnant jokes. Admittedly that’s for the most part all well and good, just not when it comes from a redneck troglodyte who requires in his audience a crystal meth addiction, an IQ beneath 72 and a permanent residence in a trailer park to understand or appreciate his…novelty.

If you like Larry the Cable Guy, then you’re going to think you’ve died and gone to heaven when watching Health Inspector. If the cheap corn liquor hasn’t completely robbed you of the required amount of brain cells needed to stop you from wasting your money and 90 minutes of life while they collectively call you back to the light, you should save your money.

 

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

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