Saturday, April 30, 2011

Question: What is your favorite Apatow film?

Pants down, it's Superbad. I think that movie is brilliant. In fact on my never-to-be-finished list of the Best 100 Movies of the Decade, it's in the top five.

Besides being funny as hell, Superbad has great tone, nostalgia and bum loads of heart. It works on every level a movie should work on from lowest brow to highest brow to uni-brow.

Short Answer: I also think a great film is timeless, and though Superbad clearly represents its era, it has that timeless quality about it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Question: Why do you think 45% of Americans, despite inexorable evidence, are afraid to concede that Obama was born in America?

There isn't much extrapolation to be done here. Nor is there insight, humour or poignancy.

The answer is simply that they are idiots.

Short Answer: Idiots.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Question: What are your thoughts on a two-tier healthcare system for Canada?

I'm not gonna get too fact-sy on this one; you can all go out and do the research yourself. There are, however, a few things that people may find surprising. We will use the good old USA as an example. First of all, there are a lot of statistics to support that American doctors see less patients, take more time with each patient, and in general, patients spend a lot less time waiting for tests. And yet, their health care system is always being questioned. This is the true rub of the two-tier thing, and why a place like Canada, with our high sense of morality and conduct (and righteousness) feels that separating into two tiers is somehow splitting the classes, like America seemingly has.

Newsflash, fuckers. We're already split. So, I do like the idea of some privatization, because then, if you're willing to pay, you can get your damn test or surgery. But I also respect and appreciate not only the spirit of universal single-tier healthcare - everybody gets the same - but also the pride Canadians seem to have in the tradition that we take care of our own.

This time, the answer is very complicated, so I'm going to leave it at this. In this bullshit, faux-democracy, party system, we often as citizens get trapped in these A vs B debates, when the real solution if further down the alphabet. When all systems are flawed, make a new system. That's what humans do best. Solve problems and advance the race. So, why not come up with something new that keeps the right elements of morality, but improves some of the bleaker statistics associated with either system?

Short Answer: It's not as hard as you might think, as long as people aren't assholes about it by using the debate to launch their opinions about other party platform bullshit. Just focus and get it done, and shut the fuck up. That's what you're there for, politicians. Perhaps, god forbid, you've forgotten.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Question: Did you ever root for Stay-Puft?

The marshmallow man?

No. I root for Bill Murray.

Short Answer: "Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown..."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Question: Who would make a better hoagie, a skeptic or a paranormalist?

To me, the hoagie is a specific kind of sandwich: crusty bun, deli meat, olive oil, sweet peppers. I would think a skeptic would have more of a respect for these types of accepted norms.  They think things are as they seem, unless proven otherwise. No one has yet proven that the hoagie is flawed, so why assume it needs to be fucked with? Whereas a paranormalist is gonna ask all kinds of questions and make up all kinds of bullshit, and before you know it: Blam! You got mayo on there.

No thank you.

Short Answer: Traditionally, a hoagie doesn't have mustard on it either. So watch yourself!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Question: What would you include in your disaster survival kit? (Keep in mind, Zombies and roving packs of cannibals are a possibility.)

People are so stupid. They think you need water to survive, but water comes in all kinds of stuff. You know you consume about a third of the water you need just from food? Yea, and besides, sody tastes better. So ya gotta have lotsa sody.

Snacks. It gets boring in survival situations, so you need different kinds of snacks. All-dressed chips alone are not going to get you through a long day.

Internet. Gotta have the Internet with you in case there's any kind of problem. Otherwise, you're good. In fact, your survival kit could basically just be the Internet, 'cause then you could order food online and get it delivered to the woods or wherever.

First aid kits are dumb. You don't need most of the stuff in there. Just fill it with nostalgic candies like pop rocks and lik-m-aids. Psychology is important in survival situations. Plus, if you meet any other survivors, and you want to make nice, are they gonna be pumped for a band-aid or some tasty fuckin' Runts.

As for the possibility of cannibals, that don't worry me 'cause I'll eat you first. I loves me some human.

And Zombies, I got two words for you: Shark Launcher.

Short Answer: I'm boned.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Question: Who would win in a fist fight, an atheist or a theist?

Right away, I'd think that the theist would be in trouble because he'd be assuming he was going to get divine assistance, while the atheist is about to man the fuck up.  But then I hesitated. 'Cause maybe the guy who believes in god has an element of calmness about him that the man responsible and accountable for his own life and decisions does not.  Maybe the faith relaxes you to the point that you become some sort of ninja, able to move and strike more quickly because your muscles are not tense. There's also an added element of tension for the atheist because getting beat by a 'god-boy' is the hetero equivalent of taking a thrashing from a girl on the playground.  And no, it doesn't matter that she had 'developed early'.

But if you take the argument about faith that far, you eventually get to the point that the theist probably doesn't have a clue how to throw a punch because god has always been there for him, and he thinks he isn't responsible for learning shit like that. Whereas the atheist has been nun-chucking his way through religious bullshit his whole life, and he's probably got a round kick queued up and ready for anybody who says anything about his immortal soul.

I guess the broader question here is: Is There a God? And even more importantly, if there is indeed a god, does he intervene on behalf of some righteous prick who's about to get his ass handed to him 'cause he couldn't shut up about his own beliefs at some guy's nephew's birthday party?

God probably lets loudmouths fight their own battles.

Winner: Atheist.

(NOTE: It's possible that any given fight between this pair could also have been started by a loudmouthed atheist, though in general that's less likely. The outcome would still be the same, 'cause boxing is the sweet science, and we know who's got science on his side.)

Short Answer: Well, yeah, if god created science, then I guess...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Question: What fantasy books would you like to see turned into a tv series or movie?

There was a time, in my youth, when I would have said, "None of them, please." But what I've grown to realize is that adapting something doesn't in any way, shape or form alter the original, unless you allow it to in your own mind. And if you do, you're a doorknob.

So, instead my answer is "All of them, please." Because the more they try, the better chance they'll get one of them really spot on. And over the last decade, Fantasy has been treated with quite a bit of respect in the realm of films, and TV in general has gotten way better, so I think now, as opposed to my often brandished youth, the chances of success are higher.

To answer more specifically, I'd love to see an adaptation of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, or my personal favorite The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Short Answer: Just seeing one episode of Game of Thrones gives me a lot of confidence moving forward with these sorts of Fantasy properties. If they could put together a Rome/Game of Thrones style version of Jack Whyte's  A Dream of Eagles books, we may punch through our collective jeans with the magnificence of it all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Question: What was the last thing you remember dreaming about?

I am the kind of person who has vivid dreams, but for some reason, when I read this question, nothing came to mind.  I guess nothing subconsciously exciting has happened recently. So, instead here's a poem I wrote about quite possibly the weirdest dream I ever had. WARNING! This shit is graphic.

Almost a Wet Dream, with me and Sid Haig

Cloris Leachman, rubbing her bra-less yet sweatered
boobs along Sid Haig's naked leg.
He lounges, stubby erection pointed straight up at the ceiling.
Jennifer Love Hewitt is there, her boobs out (finally) though she's younger, when
she didn't have the good sense to let them out.
Also, she's got a great little bum. Who knew?
She goes to work on him, and the star is her naked rump as it wiggles,
gleefully, mid-air.
Only problem is she doesn't want the moneyshot.  She squirms and dodges while
he tracks her with swivel-hipped radar.
She tries so hard to keep from under the gun that she passes out.
I'm there to revive her, though I grab her boobs just the same.
She awakens and asks why she's wet.
And I have to explain,
"It was Sid Haig!
Sid Haig did it!"

Short Answer: Hey, I can't be blamed if this is sick. It was my subconscious.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Question: What are your Top Ten all time favorite TV shows?

Deadly. Here's what I'm gonna do. Two for the price of one, because when I compiled all of my very favorite television shows, I had twenty. So here, first, is an:

Honorable Mentions Top Ten

10) Freaks & Geeks
9) X-Files
8) Battlestar Galactica (newer version)
7) Twin Peaks
6) Six Feet Under
5) Californication
4) Futurama
3) Seinfeld
2) Family Guy
1) Tales From the Crypt (Boobs and blood on television with guest stars and guest directors. Win, win, win, win.)

And by the way, that very much was in order. Now, the main event:

All Time Favorite TV Shows Top Ten

10) The Simpsons. Though we all admit the quality waned, some claim the show has returned to form of late. Honestly, I won't believe it 'till I see it, but just for the glory years alone, the most quotable show in history is on this list.
9) Dexter. This was a show I'd been waiting for my whole life. I'd thought of this sort of thing on various occasions over the years, the idea of really getting into a killer's head to the point that you see where he's coming from. This show is better than what I could ever have thought up (for once).
8) Star Trek: The Next Generation. I don't think Star Trek needs much of an explanation; you either get it or you don't. TNG is the best of the Trek tv shows.
7) Rome. Rushed and halting in the second season, the first season of Rome made me smile from ear to ear, just like a throat slit in a warm bath. Intrigue, war, passion and angry, sexualized Romans; what else could you want from an hour of your time?
6) South Park. I don't think you can say about many shows, let alone ones that last as long as South Park has, that they keep getting better every year. South Park does. More relevant, more scathing, more fearless.
5) The Office. I'd like to include both versions here. If that is blasphemy to you, then take into account that this would be much lower on my list if it was just the American office, and wouldn't make the top ten if it was the British one. Together, however, it is an incredible achievement. First in comedy, and then in taking something that ain't broke and fixing it for a very different audience.
4) 30 Rock. Tina Fey rivals Ricky Gervais in my mind on the Ultimate Pyramid of Comedic Genius. This show is fast-funny and smart-funny. These things are rare alone and near impossible to find together.
3) Extras. In case you were going to hunt me down and murder me because I said the British office isn't in my top ten, here's why. Extras just does it for me and for some reason, it has eclipsed the original office as my favorite Ricky Gervais vehicle. It's like when you hear an album from a band that just makes you want to listen to one of their earlier, better albums. I just love Extras.
2) 24. Naysayers be damned! This show kept me rooted to me seat (except for the mountain lion thing) for one hour a week for almost eight damn years. I saw every episode as it aired. I watched one on my honeymoon, and it was the highlight of the trip.
1) Arrested Development. This show is like all the greatest comedy shows of all time wrapped into a nice little package. It evokes Seinfeld, Curb your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, The Office, The Simpsons, Roseanne and so on. It also somehow manages to feel fresh and modern, while pulling no punches and taking ridiculous risks. The payoff is across the board hilarity.

Short Answer: I've only watched one season so far of The Wire, Deadwood and The Walking Dead and they are all promising, specifically The Wire, which undoubtedly will be on my Top Ten list when I finish it. Also, I've seen about six or seven episodes of Veronica Mars and only one episode of Game of Thrones and they're both absolutely incredible.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Question: If there was to be a movie made of your life, who would you choose to direct?

My life is basically like a 100 million dollar action extravaganza to begin with, so I'd probably get someone shitty like Michael Bay or Brett Ratner.

I'd never get to choose. I might get some points on the back end of I'm lucky, but they'd squeeze me out of the decision pretty quick.

Okay, honestly? Because my life isn't really a 100 million dollar action extravaganza to begin with (for those who choose to keep up the illusion, feel free to continue believing my life is a 100 million dollar action extravaganza, I ain't mad at ya) it would have to be a director who can capture the subtle substance of deep conversations and excessive couch sitting as well as extensive wall propper-uppery. Noah Baumbach? Wes Anderson?

Short Answer: I'd probably choose Noah Baumbach. I liked The Squid and the Whale a whole bunch. Just kidding! Zombie Hitchcock! Zombie Hitchcock!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Question: Horror movies are great; so are their soundtracks. What are some of your faves?

The soundtrack of a film can mean a couple of different things to me. The pop culture-y idea of a soundtrack, which is a disc you buy or download that has all these popular songs on it, that just happened to be licensed for some crappy rom-com; or the more direct definition, which is simply the music that accompanies a film. But when we bring horror into it, there's also a third category, which is movies that do a good job using their musicality (or lack thereof) to scare you and heighten your tension.

Some of my favorites from the first kind (lots of actual recorded pop songs) are The Lost Boys, Demon Knight, From Dusk 'Till Dawn and Demons.

When it comes to the second kind (the music that accompanies the film) Horror again splits off and does its own thing a little, because the main theme of a Horror film is often very important and can carry so much weight it alone can make a great soundtrack. Some examples of my favorite in terms of great themes are The Amityville Horror, Children of the Corn, Halloween and The Omen. We'll get back to overall musicality a bit later.

First, I'd like to talk about zombies. In my opinion, zombie movies consistently have the best soundtracks. It has something to do with the plodding, deliberate threat that the living dead represent. It inspires a deep, resonating, down-in-your-gut kind of music. The best example of this is probably - and no surprise here - George Romero's stuff. Why wouldn't the best zombie movies ever made have the best soundtracks? But there's also this strange offshoot that happened in Italy, where they love their horror and love their zombies. Directors like Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento and the Bavas began to use darker, pulsing, synth-based soundtracks sometime around the mid to late seventies (and maybe even earlier). The most popular of these are done by a band called Goblin, who did the music for one of my favorite soundtracks ever, Argento's Suspiria.

Earlier I mentioned that some great soundtracks in Horror movies are great because of they way they use sound to heighten your fear. The best at this, by leaps and bounds, are Asian Horror movies. In one movie, I can't remember which, they actually recorded the sounds of bones being ground down, among other things, so the sounds you heard would be so unfamiliar that you'd be put off simply by their existence. They also use a lot of silence, which is particularly effective when you follow that with a disturbing image and a big hit on that old Japanese string instrument I can never remember the name of. I think Pulse is my favorite, in terms of those types of soundtracks, but that might just be 'cause it used so much silence, and has a bit of a zombie end of the world feel as well.

Some filmmakers are so synonymous with the music in their films, they deserve special mention. David Lynch deserves some praise, for his soundtracks are always amazing and terrifying, but he's not always (technically) making Horror films, so I'm not sure where he fits in. The man who does fit in here is John Carpenter. Often writing his own main themes, if not entire soundtracks, his movies consistently have great music. Often simple, but also very primal, he is responsible for such gems as the aforementioned Halloween, as well as The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness and Prince of Darkness.

As for the rest, there are a lot. Many movies do a great job of keeping consistent moody music throughout, using elements of silence, big orchestral hits, a hint of popular music and a dab of repetitive theme. Some of my favorites are House of 1000 Corpses, Phantasm, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, The Haunting and Carnival of Souls.

Now, the best. Probably the greatest Horror movie ever made possesses, based mostly on its theme, the greatest soundtrack ever. Not only in Horror films, but in all of film. That of course is Jaws. Now hear the music in your head and nod along in agreement.

Short Answer: Buck stops at the giant shark.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Question: What would your autobiography be titled, and who would write the intro?

This is a funny one for me, because that's a go-to joke of mine, when a strange phrase is tripped upon, I say, "That's the title of my autobiography," and everybody laughs and there's a sound akin to a sonic boom as all the panties withing a three mile radius drop to the ground.

Problem is, I can't remember all (any) of those funny ones from over the years. Besides that, the whole joke is based on taking something that was tripped over by happenstance and making it funny, as opposed to making it up on my own.

Enough bitching, let's give it a shot. (It might help if after each one, you say, "Hey. That's the title of my autobiography," then think of me with a 'here comes a big laugh' type grin on my stupid face.)

Raw Nipples with forward by Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie.

I Know I Can't with forward by Elliot Gould

Is That Gouda? and Other Pertinent Questions with forward by Stephen King's wife.

Accessible Cleavage with forward by some one's unshaven Aunt.

Before Precedent, There Was Me with forward by Kevin Smith

My Name Was Writ in Mud with forward by Chief Eating Crow

Tripped Over by Happenstance with forward by Zombie Keith

I Can Do This All Day (& a few hours into the night until I get sweepy)
with forward by a cuddly teddy bear.

More Like... with forward by Tim Roth

Short Answer: Alright, you ready for this? It Was Me the Whole Time with forward by Jesus.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Question: Name 5 people you would like to win a day with, and where you would take them.

Is this even a question? Seems more like a demand. I guess I'll do it.

1) Salma Hayek. I would take her to bed. That is all.

2) Andre Agassi. I would take him to school on the tennis court. (No. No I wouldn't.)

3) Adam Sandler. I would take him to a comedy club, and make him do comedy for me.

4) Christopher Walken. I would bring him back to my place and record him saying a bunch of different stuff that I could use in the future. "Keith can't come to the phone right now," and the like.

5) Gary Oldman. I would take him to where ever my wife was and let him do her.

Short Answer: I'd probably let all of these people do my wife, now that I think of it. Including number 1. Mmmmm. I have to go, I've got something I have to take care of...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Question: When was the last time you used something you learned in high school?

I'm pretty sure that everything I know about social interaction I learned in high school and I'm not sure I learned anything else while I was there. Here's what I've used most recently.

Last week I saw a nerd and I pushed him down. It made me feel good about myself.

A couple of days ago, I was picked last for something, and decided to contemplate suicide in a flaky, non-committal way.

Just yesterday, someone who was supposed to teach me something turned out to be an arrogant douche who was just in it for the paycheck. That seemed fair.

Almost every day I take something that is meaningless in the grand scheme of things and blow it the hell out of proportion, not realizing that the little things are unimportant (unless they're the good little things) and that my life will get immeasurably harder as I move forward and the real problem is that my persona hasn't completely formed yet and for all my perceived bravado I'm barely creating a single atom of self-confidence throughout this ridiculous ordeal.

Another good lesson I apply consistently is that being good at sports makes you better than everyone else. Also true for having more money. And how much you pine after a girl directly relates to how much sex you'll get to have with her, despite whether or not she knows your name or of your existence.

Short Answer: Grammar. I use that shit every day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Question: What are your feelings on buffets?

I certainly do like them. I love variety, in all things, including foodstuffs. Though I must admit, it's hard sometimes not to come back with just a plate of bacon.

I do feel they are too expensive though. Going to a buffet is like an event for me. I won't eat for hours beforehand, I train in a montage to the song You're the Voice by John Farnham, I wear a lab coat and my friend wears a lab coat and we pour things out of beakers - it's intense. All so I can get my money's worth at the damn buffet.

I like the principal, though. Paying more for choice is something I can get behind. I wish other services or industries would get on the bandwagon. Brothel's do it. Hell, I'd have sex with a dirty hooker just to be able to choose which dirty hooker. That's fun, man.

Short Answer: Sometimes I try to plan my meals at a buffet, like create a five course menu for myself. But I always end up with a brownie on plate two or three.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Question: Should politicians be trained in statesmanship before running for office?

Plato said a lot of sweet shit. He was the first to draw a real distinction between statesmanship and politics, implying that politics was what happened when statesmanship failed. Statesmanship of course being the science and art of ruling and governing, to paraphrase Will Durant. Durant also said, 'The producer is at his best in the economic field, the warrior is at his best in battle, they are both at their worst in public office; and in their crude hands politics submerges statesmanship.' Or to quote the source (Plato himself), 'Ruin comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted by wealth, becomes ruler.' Pretty poignant and relevant stuff from somewhere nearer to the Pleistocene Epoch.  (Side note, I just spelled Pleistocene correctly on the first try. Snarf!) (Side-side note. In the sentence where I was gloating, just now, I spelled it incorrectly.)

Here's another bomb. (Sorry, I don't normally quote, but I've lifted a large percentage of my opinion on this matter from one of the smartest motherfuckers ever, so I think I'll try to stand aside, if only briefly.) 'Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy...cities will never cease from ill, nor the human race.' Plato!

What's funny is that democracy, with its crudest brush strokes, isn't that far removed from Plato's idea of utopia (missing out mainly on the point that everyone should be doing the thing they're best suited for, which by today's way of life, is a nightmare of confusion. We can all be whatever we want, right?). All we'd have to do is can the party system and let anyone, however numerous the amount may become, run for office, under the stipulation that they have a "degree" in statesmanship. Or in other words, they know how to sail before we make them captain of the whole damn ship. The major thing that worries people about this idea is that it creates a sort of ruling aristocracy; but don't we have that anyway? A small group of people making decisions for all of us, based on their own ideals? Well, the only difference would be that the aristocracy would be trained to make those decisions better, and not just for themselves, but for all. The only thing standing in the way of the viability of this system (besides the logistics of creating and running the statesmanship programs) is allowing for equal opportunity in terms of education. A true democracy would allow any man to receive proper education, despite his background. This would create democracy of a much broader scoop if anyone could be a candidate for office, and all of us could decide, amongst the widest possible reach of candidates, who that person should be.

Heavy stuff.

Short Answer: Rhythm is a dancer.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Question: Why are pill bottles so hard to open?

Conspiracy!  It's 'cause the government doesn't want your kids to be 'better' by taking all those pills. Then, they wouldn't be able to control them with Ritalin and aspartame and tootsie-pops!  We'd all have super kids who never got sick and they'd be running around lifting up cars superman style. And then they'd chase trains in that weird stop-motion way from the first Superman movie and that would be scary.

Short Answer: Also, if your kids could get into the chemicals under the sink they might become radioactive/atomic metahumans.  Ohhh-noooo, we wouldn't want that!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Question: Do you remember the last time you peed your pants?

Hey, I'm as self-deprecating as the next righteous jerk, but I gotta be honest here. I never peed my pants.  Ever.

Here's the thing. Pee goes in the toilet.

When I was a kid and wearing diapers, I suppose you could accuse me of peeing in them, therefore peeing in my pants. But really, that's bullshit because that's more like peeing into a napkin than peeing into your dungarees.  Plus, I was over that shit right quick. I remember crawling out of my crib to run to the bathroom at a very early age (while my grandma yelled at me for having my 'bird' out).

You know that thing where people just piss in their pants 'cause they're in water, like at the lake or a public pool? Yea, I don't do that either. I'm a dude, so I just whip it out. No need to piss up your trunks, people.

And in case there's a follow up question, no, I've never pooped my pants either. But we've all had our close calls...

Short Answer: I've laughed so hard I've cried; I've pooped so hard that I got stuffed-up, and I've farted so hard that I got the hiccups but I've never done anything hard enough to soil myself. Even though one time I think I soiled myself so hard that I decided to forget it ever happened. (And that may or may not have been just a few days ago.)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Question: Would you kick a highly paid hooker out of bed for farting?

If highly paid means I paid a lot, then there's a lot worse she could do and I wouldn't kick her out of bed. If instead it means 'high class' then there's a little more to consider.

I think renting (?) out the services of a high class call girl has something to do with fantasy. It's not just a quickie, or you would be paying quickie prices for less (clean, attractive, reputable) impressive examples of womanhood. So in the realm of fantasy, I'd think a giant wet-bugler of a fart is gonna put a damper on the experience.

Farts are great; don't get me wrong. But in the height of arousal, I could see instinctively laying the beats to Little Bo Peep when she drops a spider beside her.

Short Answer: Yes. Conceivably, yes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Question: How does it feel to take a proper slapshot?

It feels like climaxing while riding a unicorn over the grand canyon on a rainbow bridge.

Short Answer: Good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Question: Is Karl Pilkington a super-genius or a nutcase?

Neither. Both.

For those who don't know, Karl is the third member of the Ricky Gervais podcast (the other member being Stephen Merchant, Ricky's writing/directing partner) which has now been turned into an animated tv show. Karl also starred in the travel show An Idiot Abroad, where Ricky and Stephen sent him to the seven world wonders.

Sometimes I don't think Karl's stupid at all, but he comes across a bit daft. More accurately, he has a limited world view based on his own ways, and through the process of broadening them, or simply explaining why he doesn't comprehend something new, he trips over (or crafts) amazing comedy. People have actually accused Ricky and Stephen of creating the character of Karl Pilkington and writing the amazing things he says. This is absurd, of course, but the brilliance of the man is so stunning and yet unattributable to what he appears to be, I can see people formulating that idea.

Short Answer: He's neither. He's just a special little guy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Question: Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I respect the cat, first off. I can relate to an animal that wants you to fuck off unless it needs something. But I am definitely a dog person, 'cause after dealing with a long day of human bullshit, what's better than someone blatantly wanting to see you, to the point that they nearly wag their ass off? Also, dogs do amazing shit, like scraping their ass on the carpet and feverishly going after their own gonads. Cats lick their own stuff too, but they always make you feel like a perv for watching.

Short Answer: You can't really wrestle with a cat, but you can with a big friggin' dog.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Question: What is your least favorite ride at Disneyland?

This one is so easy. The It's a Small World After All ride is a trip through a nightmarish, mescalin-addled river of souls, defunct of all semblance of humanity, patrolled and populated by mechanical ghouls whose only purpose is to tear out your soul through song and repetition.

Short Answer: Plus, it had the longest line.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Question: Which movie are you more excited for: Captain America, Thor or Green Lantern?

Captain America looks a lot better than I though it would, but I still didn't get excited by the trailer. Also, Cap is my favorite character of the three, so I'm a little worried that director Joe Johnston is going to take a big dump on him.

I saw the extended trailer from Thor ages ago and though it looked pretty effin' good. I also thought, though they teased, they didn't give away too much. There's some questionable design elements, but Natalie Portman's in it, so cast advantage to Thor.

I love Ryan Reynolds. But the Green Lantern movie is a toss up. It's one of those movies where you won't know until the day you're in the theatre whether or not it looks good. You need to be in that world to be able to accept all the craziness, CG and plot wise. Mark Strong is in it, though. That's pretty big.

My answer is Cap. That's the one I'm most excited for. But it's also the one that evokes the most trepidation. Thor, to me, looks more promising, and Green Lantern, not even I know what that experience will be like.

Short Answer: Despite Mr. Johnston (who directed Jurassic Park 3, one of the worst pieces of crap ever put in front of human eyes), I'm most excited for Captain America.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Question: What are your Top Ten vampire movies and why?

This is a big topic for me, and I could probably do a Top Fifty, so I'm gonna try to keep it clean and traditional in this list, allowing for very few monster crossovers, or interpretations. (Sorry, no space vampires.)
Wait, now that I think about it, if I only get to do ten, maybe I should try to include some representatives of different sub-genres. Bleh. I'll do my best. Here goes something.

(This may be a strange place to bring this up, but here's the thing. I'm not a fan of old movies. Don't get me wrong, I watch a shit load of them, but I think, like anything, film has evolved. Modern films have more savvy audiences, so films of all genres need to be smarter with better dialogue and character development. The percentage of films from back in the day that were well executed on all fronts was good, but the overall amount of good films produced was low. People (old people) claim that movies were better when they were young.  That's nostalgia. Some of them were good, a few great, but did you see the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture this year? Holy shit, that's a lot of amazing cinema. Not sure how well some of that shit from before the sixties holds up in the face of Black Swan and True Grit, just to name a few - unless the movie was directed by Hitchcock or Kubrick. Don't be confused by idiot film nerds, there's a reason you know those names. Hitchcock and Kubrick are the best ever.)

10) Nosferatu (1922) There are a lot of big name vampire pictures that came before my arbitrary cut off point of the 'sixties'. Nosferatu is the one that best represents them in my opinion. I find Dracula from '31 to be savagely dated, and the Hammer Studios stuff is fun, but not as horrific as great vampire fare. Nosferatu is spooky and strange and worth a look.

9) The Vampire Lovers (1970) Along the same lines as other classic Hammer films, The Vampire Lovers is one of many grand, epic, low gore, high-lesbian content vampire films from around the same time period. Many people like Vampyros Lesbos the most, but they are wrong. The Vampire Lovers was my jam when I was a kid. Why? Titties.

8) Blade II (2002) I fucking love this movie. Only on a specific vampire list would I ever get to praise this film, 'cause it's not really a horror movie. It's just a pissed off black dude sword-raping vampires left, right and fucking center. Luke Goss is amazing as the bad vampire and has a sweet brawl with Snipes in a church mid-movie, then gives Wesley an elbow drop in the finale. This movie is not for horror or vampire movie fans, it is for fans of kung-fu, capoeira, crazy vampire beats and Ron Perlman.  Also the magnificent Donny Yen is in it as Snowman (and I think he may have choreographed the fights as well). No lack of blood here, either; if that's what you're all about.

7) John Carpenter's Vampires (1998) People missed out on this one. I think I know why. There was a bunch of shit being made around this time and I think it got bogged down. But check it out again. It has a lot of awesome texture. The main baddy is fucking amazing and should have been cast as Dracula when they tried that reboot (not the Francis Ford Coppola one - that was Gary Oldman and he's infallible). Seriously, this movie has a lot of elements that were simply copied in other, shittier films. It's about a group of ragtag vampire hunters, supported by the Catholic church (who are aware of the existence of the creatures). This group finds vampire nests and drag out the blood suckers with a winch and cable so they ignite in the daylight. But at the beginning of the film, they fail to find this particular coven's master. He rises out of the ground and proceeds to get one of the goriest revenges you'll see in a vampire flick. Anyway, you get the idea.  James Woods is at his profanity spitting best. James Woods!

6) Night Watch (2004) See, now I'm fuckin' up. This movie isn't really about vampires, so much as it's about the eternal struggle of good versus evil. But vampires do play a prominent role and the movie is incredible and under-appreciated. This is the film that launched the star of Timur Bekmambetov. It's Russian, has a big budget, and all kinds of originality. Good versus Evil is always fun.

5) 30 Days of Night (2007) Some people didn't get this flick. I honestly think to appreciate the immediate and deserved cult status of this film, you'd have had to watch a shitload of vampire/horror/worse movies. Yes it has a few flaws and the ending is a bit weak, but this movie delivers in ways that almost every other vampire movie you might fancy fails. It's scary, claustrophobic and the vampires are evil predators. No bullshit romance or aristocratic tendencies. Just feeding time! (Blood looks great on snow.) Plus, it's high concept. A simple and brilliant idea well executed by director David Slade, who's film Hard Candy is a must see if you haven't. And Ben Foster is entertaining as hell. What is he, a Cajun? I don't care.

4) Shadow of the Vampire (2000) Malkovich and Defoe in a movie about the filming of Nosferatu. But in this movie, maybe Max Schreck, the star of the actual Nosferatu, is more than he seems...

3) Let the Right One In (2008) Not Sweden's first foray into vampiredom, but by far the most successful. I've talked about his film on the blog before, so I'll be brief. If this were a list of horror movies that were also amazing films despite genre, this movie would be right at the top. Touching and bold, yet subtle.

2) Near Dark (1987) When director Katheryn Bigelow won the Oscar last year for Hurt Locker, I was dually pleased. First, fuck James Cameron and Avatar. Second, my love of Near Dark was somehow vindicated. This little, nearly unknown vampire movie was now part of the canon of an Academy Award winning director. The immortal Lance Henriksen is the daddy of a group of nomadic vampires, trying to eek out an existence with a van, tinfoil and some duct tape. Gritty and real, this is the dirty vampire movie you've been looking for. The scene in the bar is one of the best in the genre's history.

1) The Lost Boys (1987) For me, this is a slam dunk. The Lost Boys is well written, well directed, well performed and well delivered. It is fun, funny, scary, gross and memorable. Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Alex Winter, Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest and the dude who plays Grandpa make for an amazing cast. This movie is the most fun you can have watching people murder each other to drink their blood.

Short Answer: Looking back over this list, I can see how it could be considered controversial. My choices were varied and personal and I absolutely snubbed a bunch of the classics. So here's a short list of essential vampire viewing that I will entitle "Honorable Mentions" so you don't find me and try to drain my blood.
Black Sunday (1960) by the Italian master Mario Bava, Martin (1977) by the American master George Romero, Cronos (1993) by the Spanish master Guillermo Del Toro, Horror of Dracula (1958) the first of the great Christopher Lee's portrayals of Dracula for Hammer and Rabid (1977) by the Canadian master David Cronenberg. You could also check out some fun stuff like The Addiction (1995) with Christopher Walken, The Hunger (1983) featuring a lesbian scene between Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve, and From Dusk 'Till Dawn (1996) Tarantino and Rodriguez's take on the genre.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Question: If all human behaviour is due to an interaction between genetics, brain chemistry, past experiences, and current situations, is true freedom of choice not just an illusion?

Funny you should mention that. I was just reading Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza and that's kinda what he's all about. He's a 'no free will' philosopher (among other things. Some very smart people claim that if you are not a Spinozist, you are not a philosopher at all). His bag was that all our perceptions of things, because of our limited abilities, are flawed. Therefore, every decision we make is flawed. So, ride the wave, don't rail against shit you can't stop, and then you'll achieve the most a person can achieve - which if I'm not mistaken, is something akin to immortality through joining your advanced consciousness with the other advanced consciousnesses throughout time, not literally, but in a conceptual sense.  Like, if you've gotten to that point, you're part of something bigger.

Hard for a human to accept they have no free will. Takes a big brain to get on board with that. But a lot of philosophers, East and West, have been down with the 'go-with-the-flow' attitude when it comes to achieving happiness and enlightenment. In a very real way, that's what modern Christians (or specifically the born again variety) are doing when they give themselves over to God and God's plan. Take it out of my hands lord, so I can chill the fuck out.

Here's the deal. The reason, in my opinion, that the idea is so pervasive in Philosophy is because most thinkers had to tread lightly around the concept of God so they didn't get their heads removed or get burned at the stake. By practically being forced to include God in their philosophies, they often mangled him up with nature and the idea that God is the thing that makes the world work the way it does, as opposed to a bearded guy on a cloud getting prayers via text. I believe that the idea of a set path or plan comes logically from these musings about God and how to avoid death through blasphemy. If God set things in motion, who are we to change anything? Who are we to alter Nature's plan? Add the fact that we are flawed, that we do see things through our own tarnished templates, we are changed and formed by environment as well as built from genetic foundations and all of a sudden, you've got no-free-will-soup.  Everything we 'choose' is so textured and layered, it is viable, that we are not really choosing at all. Our blemished perception allows us to think and feel that we are choosing, but that, itself - the idea of choice - is quite possibly the greatest proof of fate and the lack of free will.

Short Answer: There are philosophers who genuinely believe in God, so I don't mean to be disparaging and imply they were all scared into including him. Also, please don't take my explanation of Spinoza as anything other than someone spewing memory through their own template. Check him out yourself for the real goods.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Question: Which movie do you most want to rewrite and why?

First off, it's hard to think of whether I'd like to rewrite a good movie from back in the day (for a remake...bleh), or a newer movie that sucked and should've had a better script.  Problem with choice two is that there's a shit-load of new movies that need better scripts, but when I watch them, and they suck, I'm not inspired to remake them, I just wish they never existed.(A good example is that Bogeyman movie that came out a few years back. So much fun could be had with that whole monster under the bed/in the closet theme, but the movie was a piece of random garbage with a terrible CG monster. Who would want to try that again?)  I guess a third choice would be movies that almost work, but let me down in some fundamental or specific way, but in that case, I wouldn't really be 'rewriting', I'd just be adjusting or editing. (A good example of this is Danny Boyle's Sunshine, which I thought was amazing for the first few acts, then turned into a steaming pile of soiled panties by the end.) So, I guess it has to be a good movie from back in the day, rewritten for a modern audience.

North by Northwest pops into my head, because it's a movie that everyone seems to like, and I don't.  But I don't think it's all that dated or flawed, so maybe it's not the right choice.  Plus I love Hitchcock so on this one I'm probably just being an idiot.  It really doesn't need to be remade.

Some other older movies are rattling around, but they're all too good to necessitate a remake.  I'm changing my mind, people.  I am going to go with a newer flick.

The new Clash of the Titans wasn't just garbage; it was the kind of garbage that you find in some hoarder's house next to a couple of cat skeletons. The movie had no beats, no characters and no right too be put on a big screen. I would rewrite the shit out of that, bringing in way more character stuff for Perseus in particular. Then, I'd have him beat ass all over the place and you'd actually give a shit. Nothing worse than unmotivated action, no matter how many scorpions or CG snake people there are. You gotta care, or its just pretty colors.

I could go into more detail about what doesn't work in the film, but luckily, I've forgotten the piece of crap. The point is, movies with fucking krakens deserve better fucking treatment.  With mythology, you have the best shit ever at your disposal.  Gods, Minotaurs, Medusa...are you kidding me?  A child or Michael Bay could make this shit work.  Well, maybe not Michael Bay.  (Though I love The Rock.) Craw!

Short Answer: Clash of the Titans was awful. But you know what was worse, now that I've finished this answer? The Expendables. If you're doing parody, do parody. If you're reproducing something, then reproduce.  But don't, ever, ever, ever, give me genre staples with no character and shitty dialogue. How hard is it to have a few dudes spew some brotherly love? That shit was leaden and forced.  Thank god for Jason Statham or it would have been one of a only a few movies I've ever turned off halfway through. (For me, the movie becomes acceptable from the scene where Statham lays waste to those assholes on the basketball court.  From there, shit picked up.  But the first 57 minutes - or so - were unbearable.)