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March 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

O, most rank of blasphemers!!!

Peter Chattaway begins his review of the new TEN COMMANDMENTS movie in Christianity Today thus:

Another year, another Moses movie.

Um … uh.

October 19, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 5 Comments

To paraphrase Mel Brooks …

It’s good to be dictator.

leeyoungae.jpgNorth Korea’s tyrant-god Kim Jong-il is apparently a big fan of South Korean actress Lee Young-Ae (known to US cinephiles mostly from two Park Chan-wook movies: SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE and JOINT SECURITY AREA). So big that South Korean officials planned to use her to butter him up.

“Chairman Kim likes to watch South Korean TV programmes. Among South Korean entertainers, he favours Lee Young-Ae the most,” an unidentified South Korean official was quoted as saying by the Joong Ang daily. “DVDs of South Korean movies and dramas, including those featuring Lee Young-Ae, will be included as summit gifts.”

But if I were Miss Lee, I would boost my security retinue or get the hell out of South Korea real quick, in case one day Kim gets jealous at South Korean cinema’s international prestige and decides North Korea’s needs a boost, like he’s given it in the past.

His obsession with developing North Korea’s film industry was so great that in 1978 he reportedly ordered North Korean agents to abduct a famous South Korean movie director, Shin Sang-Ok, and his ex-wife, actress Che Eun Hui.
The couple stayed in the communist state for eight years while making propaganda films. They escaped in 1986 and wrote a memoir about their saga.

I wonder if this movie was among the gifts the South Koreans gave to The Dear Leader:

Not to be outdone, in the category of “today, US-hating dictator; tomorrow, entertainment star” Hugo Chavez has released his latest musicalbum, that I’ll bet is already topping the Venezuelan charts.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has released a CD of traditional folk music that features him singing, and which will be distributed free inside the country, presidential sources said.
The CD, titled Canciones de Siempre which roughly translates to Songs For All Time, includes tunes that Chavez has sung during his regular Sunday Hello, President television and radio program.

Hopefully, it’ll be just as good as this album:

chavezbelafonte.jpgApparently the Chavez record is not available at Amazon, and there’s not a separate Amazon site for Spanish material, as there is for French, Chinese, Japanese and German. No doubt The Man trying to keep Chavez’s revolutionary truth away from The People. So I can’t buy the record, but I hope Harry Belafonte was asked to sing backup on the No. 1 hit single “Bush Is the Greatest Terrorist.”

Of course, in both cases, the dictator doesn’t allow artistic freedom, or the fruits thereof, for his own people. It’s good to be dictator. According to the article on Cinephile Kim above:

In July, North Korea reportedly ordered the shutdown of karaoke bars, online game rooms, video-screening rooms and Internet cafes as part of a battle to stem a flood of South Korean pop culture.

And at the other end, Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz has had a concert canceled by the Venezuelan government over his criticisms of Chavez, and Chavez continues to attack the independent press in Venezuela. (Good job, Bono.)

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Nerd score

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Surprisingly … since math was my favorite subject throughout my primary (seen above) and secondary schooling. And becausemovie geeks of my generation also tend to be scifi/comic nerds (or at least have had a phase). I shudder to think of the prospect of one day meeting Father Rob Johansen, whose site is where I saw this latest multi-pronged test. Check out THOSE scores.

BTW … we still won the Malvinas Falklands War. Go South Africa!!!

October 8, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

A baseball milestone in SanFran last night

Relief pitcher Chad Cordero saved his 100th game for (the franchise of) my hometown Washington Nationals, pitching the 9th inning and retiring the Giants 1-2-3 to hold onto an 8-6 win.

I watched the game at a sports bar last night, and the Nats made the game memorable by rallying from a 6-4 deficit with four runs in the eighth. And here’s the key call of the game — Felipe Lopez’s RBI double to the left-field corner, which gave the Nats a 7-6 lead.

August 8, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Speaking of idiotic mechanical computers

My friend Mark Adams sent me the screen capture below. He was interested in the 1940 THIEF OF BAGHDAD (as he should; it’s one of the most magical fairy tales ever made, and gorgeous to look at). The Blockbuster Web site said he might be interested in other movies. And boy, did he get a recommendation!!! (You will need to click on the picture to see the details.)

I hope, for the sake of not giving Mary grounds for divorce, that he ignored the recommendation. I’d have a hard time trusting any program that recommends Shaq’s KAZAAM on any grounds. But especially not because one is interested in a movie that actually is a masterpiece.

Though I still wonder why Mark, a Mavericks fan, had the NBA playoffs as one of his bookmarks.

June 25, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Short news bytes

lenin2.jpgSpeaking of GOOD BYE, LENIN … here’s a real-life example of the situation that the German film mined for comedy gold. A Polish men fell into a coma in 1988 and just now woke up. Instructive comments from him:

“When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere,” Mr Grzebski, sitting in a wheelchair while his wife held his hand, told Polish television. “There are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin.” …
“What amazes me today is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and never stop moaning,” Mr. Grzebski said. “I’ve got nothing to complain about.”

That doesn’t stop the Reality-Based Community’s Bright Young Things at Democratic Underground from complaining.
—————————————
Sometimes the toughest critic is yourself. At the first stop on their reunion concert, the Police sucked big time.

They quickly recovered, but then Sting got his footwork wrong as he leapt into the air to signal the end to a shambolic version of their rat-race rant “Synchronicity II.”
“The mighty Sting momentarily looks like a petulant pansy instead of the god of rock.”

Sez their drummer.

June 4, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

She’s baaaaaack

Forget the DA VINCI HOAX. Madonna, in her latest attempts at shocking, cutting-edge … yawn … envelope-pushing is having herself tied to a cross for her performance of “Live to Tell” on her latest tour. According to the New York Daily News, she defending herself by saying Jesus would forgive her (which is a reason to piss Him off in the first place, I guess).

But anyway, those journalistic pikers at the Daily News were not able to reach Jesus to confirm or deny this statement. But thanks to my brilliant journalistic acumen and deep sources at the Vatican, I was able to ask Our Lord to comment. He said:

Of course, I forgive her. But for SWEPT AWAY and SHANGHAI SURPRISE, the slut has to burn in Hell

*I stole that joke from a DC radio station. I forget which one.

June 1, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Mao, more than ever

maoposter.jpgMy friend Adam alerted me to this awesome film criticism site for people with a really ironic and ghoulish sense of humor. So naturally, I can’t take my eyes off the Maoist International Movement film site, and I have had hours of time-wasting fun.

I actually think we should keep a few Commies around, and put them in a theme park for display. This Maoist site, at which the critics are identified at most by code names, like MC-17 and PG-13, is a good step in that direction. It makes David Walsh of the World Socialist Web Site look sane. These Maoists are definitely worth a bookmark if you want the Chairman’s Revolutionary Nonrevisionist perspective on:

PATCH ADAMS: the plot points “agree [some] with the proletarian perspective of medicine. The bourgeoisie puts great emphasis on technical training and puts this above common sense and contact with the masses.”

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS: I think they liked this one, because they acknowledge that it “deserves not to be banned under the dictatorship of the proletariat.” (I repeat: I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.) Apparently, it shows the wizard school in a “crisis” situation where learning has to take place outside the context of the status quo system. Which Mao saw. And saw that it was Good.

TANK GIRL: On the down side, she “smokes, which is not MIM’s idea of good in a role model. Tank Girl does not have the advantage of Marxist science.” And “as an individualist Tank Girl’s class awareness appears limited and reactive.” But it gets better and is “overall objectively progressive. It is progressive because it is the story of wimmin and brown skinned persyns (“kangaroos”) fighting against monopoly capitalists.” It is all in all, “about the best culture were going to see under imperialism.” Maybe that means would prevent it from being banned under a dictatorship of the proletariat.

charliesdiaz.jpgCHARLIE’S ANGELS 2 and LARA CROFT, TOMB RAIDER 2: They “perpetuate gender oppression and inequality” by “pornographic portrayals of wimmin.” But not, not NOT from “some Christian purism or moral code.” No, no, no. But CHARLIE’S ANGELS 2 does have one redeeming facet. “In the end the evil Angel wasn’t put in therapy: they killed her, so at least Charlie’s Angels got that right.” Some Christian purism might be a good idea.

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON: Close, but no cigar … um … uh … close but no communal proletarian rice bowl. It has empowered wimmin, but “aesthetics cannot be separated from political content.” Durn it. And since, the film “fails to deliver any good reason for the wimmin — or the men — to use their [athletic] skill,” I guess it’s onto the Little Red Bonfire.

Some of the reviews were almost coy, though. I was actually surprised it took the Undercover Revolutionary Reviewer as long as it did, the second-last sentence of a 1,000-word review, to get to the (obvious) point that BLACK HAWK DOWN‘s “perspective is reactionary.”

My favorite quote is probably this one, about THE FARM. “Angola was transformed from an old-style slave plantation into a modern day slave plantation (prison) after the Civil War.” I’d never before realized that “police are key weapons in Amerika’s imperialist war against its internal Black, Latino and Indigenous colonies” in the “Amerikkkan Lockdown.” At the end of the same review, it laments the number of people who came to a screening but didn’t sign up to overthrow the state, because they were too racist to associate with the African Diaspora figures being oppressed in Amerikkka.

hammersickle.jpgYou can’t make this stuff up. You wouldn’t think it would be possible to attack Noam Chomsky from the left, but these people manage. Did you know that in POWER AND TERROR: NOAM CHOMSKY IN OUR TIMES, Chomsky is a “cop out” on capitalism and “misleads his audience about the reality of historical activism” because he doesn’t tell people to fight for communism — “an alternative … that has been tested historically and proven superior to capitalism”? I did not know that. Or that even Jean-Luc Godard committed historical errors. His TOUT VA BIEN (starring Hanoi Jane Fonda) “was too much in the direction of economic demands by imperialist country workers — this despite the fact that Godard separated from social-democracy and revisionism while showing how the imperialists exploit the Third World for the benefit of themselves and their lackeys.”

I’m too unsurprised to really be disgusted by the fact that Maoists would not care for such revisionist running-dog films from “Capitalist China” as Zhang Yimou’s TO LIVE, Chen Kaige’s FAREWELL, MY CONCUBINE, and Tian Zhuangzhuang’s THE BLUE KITE. The Zhang “downplays the tremendous gains the Chinese people made under Maoist leadership.” The Chen film “Includes typical revisionist history depicting the Cultural Revolution as anarchic and destructive.” And the Tian doesn’t do enough to emphasize “the important advances made in the Cultural Revolution.” But it does show unintentionally how good the Cultural Revolution was in fighting bourgeois reactionary liberal ideas — yes, you read that right.

Stop laughing, people. This site is real. I think. Oh … and did you know that MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING “may have had some progressive value in feudal times… [but] it’s hard to see this film continuing to have value today.” Or that SCHINDLER’S LIST is a “fitting Amerikan eulogy to one benevolent capitalist who saved people by putting them to work in his factory.” I gotta stop right now. I could be writing in this mode forever.

Just a word to my 5.5 readers (half of David Morrison’s) … if I *ever* start sounding like a right-wing version of that site, just go ahead and shoot me. And cite this post in defense; I’m sure you’ll get off.

February 19, 2004 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

St. Blog’s outsiders

killa.jpgFor the half of my readers who came here from film-criticism or entertainment sites, have fun with this — a picture of Father Bryce Sibley, for which the Good Padre asks us to come up with a caption.

My contributions were:

  • “I’ll *show* you much I loved KILL BILL.”
  • “Camille Paglia’s favorite priest describes what he did to Donny Cavazos.”
  • “And if you don’t have a knife, sell your cloak and buy one.”

January 16, 2004 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Some sicko perv …

… sent me a link to this game, which I must denounce as being in inexcusably bad taste about Michael Jackson, making light of this deeply troubling situation. I’ve wasted hours with it already

January 13, 2004 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

What is the Matrix?

No, and I haven’t seen it, and I probably won’t. Saw No. 1 on TV on a lark once, and it struck me as self-refuting sophomoric gibberish about the world somehow not being “real.” But I’m glad that someone sees the possibility for satire in this pseud claptrap.

Sci-fi films about how the world somehow isn’t real really turn me off. We know the world exists; the only philosophers who’ve tried to deny it did so by assuming it was (i.e. by typing or writing thoughts onto paper or cyberfiles that remained the same the next day, and the next year when the work was published). That is, refuting themselves. Even if, applied to the world, it is “true,” we could never know it and we couldn’t have any effect over even if we could know. I mean, who could possibly walk around day-to-day, *seriously* entertaining the hypothesis that the world isn’t real or is a trick by some evil demon or machine or whatever?

And by “seriously,” I mean acting on the assumption that the hypothesis is true; not engaging in intellectual wankery (anybody can do that; probably I better than most people). And yes, I know the “evil demon” hypothesis was entertained by Descartes during his MEDITATIONS; it was wankery then too. On an analogous point, I stopped listening to Jacques Derrida about textuality and the author’s death when he tried to stop the publication of an interview, claiming copyright protection — the ultimate appeal to “The Author-God.”

As I’ve written about ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and MEMENTO (I could also mention 8 WOMEN), I have no problem at all with films that hypothesize about (or even argue in favor of) living a noble lie as being better than an ugly truth. But that’s essentially a psychological-moral view. Not a metaphysical one. I check out when “unreality” gets undermined as applying to the world itself — I can never quite be sure about whether the opening sequence of SLACKER is a joke or not.

November 10, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

‘Twas always thus

If I’m gonna this much space and energy slagging Mark Shea, I should note that he has made a stunning archaeological find.

Apparently, the New York Times or the Associated Press or USA Today (they’re not sure yet; still working on the translation from Old Church Aramaic) were in business 2,000 years ago and producing masterpieces of journalism like this one, which Mark has very kindly translated.

October 28, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Le Rocque et Roulle

Donny Osmond gives an interview to Salon, (link requires you to look at an ad … down with capitalism!!!) which had this precious quote, that I could hardly stop laughing at:

Donny: … the irony of that was that yes, that was the kind of music I was recording and that’s what was selling, but I was into so many different other styles of music. In areas like France, for instance, the Osmonds were known as a heavy metal rock ‘n’ roll band.
Salon: Get out!
Donny: Oh yeah. “Crazy Horse” was our first release over there and it was a real, hard rock ‘n’ roll song.

Can you just see four French teenagers in a Citroen, driving back from a movie by The Genius Jerry Lewis, head-banging to “Puppy Love” like Wayne and Garth to “Bohemian Rhapsody”?

October 13, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

An activist protests her marginalization by —————-

Want to get into the press? Got a complaint? Want to have a complaint? Have hours of fun at this Web site.

October 13, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

My favorite comedian

rock1.jpgThis was Chris Rock at the MTV Video Awards, courtesy of the Associated Press. Let this man host the Oscars!!!:

“He’s trying not to be the next Kobe, and she’s trying not to be the next victim – here’s LeBron James and Ashanti!”

After 50 Cent’s performance of “P.I.M.P.,” during which he was joined onstage Snoop Dogg, the ubiquitous former pimp Bishop Don Magic Juan, members of his G-Unit posse and a bevy of half-naked women. “Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream’ speech – isn’t it nice to see that his dream has finally come true?”

“Our next presenter saves a lot of money on Mother’s Day. Give it up for Eminem!”

After Christina Aguilera performed “Dirrty”: “You’ll be hearing those songs at strip clubs for years to come.”

“Our next presenter is being sued by more people that the Catholic church. Give it up for P. Diddy!”

“Seeing Janet Jackson with Jermaine Dupri is like finding out about a sale a day too late” – on the romance between the bombshell Jackson and the diminutive hip-hopper.

After Coldplay’s somber performance: “Wow, I hope you didn’t slit your wrists to that one.”

On the super-dreadlocked “Get Low” rapper: “Doesn’t Lil’ Jon look like a black Cousin Itt?”

After a bighaired performance by Beyonce: “She might have had a little Seabiscuit in the hair, but she was kickin’!”

August 28, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

“Down with freedom!”

This is just too funny. Free Willy doesn’t want to be free.

Maybe an aquatic Jean-Jacques Rousseau needs to “force him to be free.” Seriously folks, what capitalist mystification or false consciousness has Free Willy has been reading? Maybe Marcus Aurelius or some other Stoic narcotic (them aquatic mammals is smart). Remember in Luis Bunuel’s THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY, when Spaniards are being executed by French revolutionaries, and they yell “Down with Freedom!” That was awesome.

August 21, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Una Giornata Particolare

No, I didn’t just get an Ettore Scola jones, though some friends of mine like him a lot.

This was an e-mail that a friend of mine at work received from Tammy Bruce, a libertarian lesbian and author of “The Death of Right and Wrong:”

“Wow, what a day. Jessica Lynch comes home, we nail [Saddam Hussein’s] two sadistic mutts, and the Eiffel Tower catches fire. I’ve been walking around with the silliest grin on my face all day long. ;-) “

July 22, 2003 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment