Saturday, January 14, 2006

Kermit and Lindsay, Together At Last


Go to No Smoking in the Skull Cave and check out Becca's take on what it would be like if Lindsay Lohan hosted The Muppet Show. That's right, after a loooong hiatus, Action Figure Theater is finally up and running again with the first episode of a brand new story (and if I seem a little too proud, I did suggest this storyline to Becca after seeing the Lindsay Lohan My Scene doll at Meier). I laughed my ass off. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Film Week

A review of the movies I've seen this past week.

VALENTINE (2001)
Yet another lame Scream knock-off. The twist was predictable (as they tend to be) but okay. We saw this movie because Becca's all over David Boreanaz right now; he's not a terrible actor at all, but he's never really used well in anything. At least the movie was populated by hot chicks--Katherine Heigel, Jessica Cauffiel, Jessica Capshaw, Denise Richards, and Marley Shelton (whom I love). Nothing to write home about, but not a complete waste of time, either. **1/2 stars.

BODY SHOTS (1999)
I really liked Michael Cristofer's Gia and Original Sin, but this is a total wannabe-Brett Easton Ellis piece of shit. A terrible cast of ridiculous actors offer "deep" ruminations on relationships in the nineties, then we get a he-said/she-said version of a date rape. Which side is right? Well, that's never answered; apparently, the question is important enough on its own. Or is the point that we'll never know for sure? Or are they both right in some way? Either way, I call it mental masturbation that's afraid to make any real point. The screenplay thinks it's "daring," that's for sure. The only thing I liked in the movie was Tara Reid, back in her pre-American Pie days of trying to be a serious actress. She deserves credit here, too: it was courageous of her to play a rape victim, to do such a graphic, brutal scene on-camera, and to do it in such an unapologetic, unsexy way. But the rest of the movie isn't up to it. * star.

CASUAL SEX? (1989)
So bad, I don't know how to describe it or even why to. No stars.

THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER (2005)
It's a twofer: David Boreanaz AND Tara Reid. She seems barely conscious of what she's doing, and he rightfully looks as though he hates himself for even appearing in this piece of shit. The movie equivalent of Crow fan-fiction. No stars.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Arrested Sex?


Last night I watched the premiere of Heather Graham's new series, Emily's Reasons Why Not. Color me unimpressed. I love Heather Graham, I truly do, and I don't know why she has so much trouble getting into anything good. Her acting style is a little different, true; she's naturalistic, not realistic, and sometimes her matter-of-fact-but-enthusiastic delivery seems a bit arch (actually, my own theory is that it only comes across as arch because the other actors around her are rarely able to keep up with it--British actors are better at it; she and Colin Firth worked well together in Hope Springs, though it wasn't a very good movie). But when directors use it in movies that are a little...removed from realism, she does very well. And, yes, I still think she deserved a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Boogie Nights.

Anyway, her new show. I think it's great that she's proactive about producing her own vehicles. If a woman wants to get a decent role in anything, she really has to these days (why doesn't any studio want to make The Accidental Virgin? It'd be a perfect vehicle for her). But does she have to produce something so cliched and lame? It has its good points, don't get me wrong. Heather's good and likeable, the show has a lot of energy and hits the ground running (and doesn't stop), and I prefer single-camera shows without laugh tracks, so we're good there.

But the bad points are there, too. It's silly, it's not as bold as it thinks it is. She has the requisite swishy gay friend, which is always irritating (especially when he's as badly acted as he is here). It's like someone tried to mix the supposed sophistication of Sex and the City with the funny pacing and creative energy of Arrested Development. And then, ruining most chances of it being any good, they put it on ABC.

So, I don't know, maybe it'll get better. I'll keep watching it, of course, because I like Heather Graham and it's not like there's anything on Mondays anyway. But I keep thinking of what they really could have done with it on HBO. Somehow, I think it might be more about Emily and how she relates to men, rather than how much like Bridget Jones it could be and how many lame rom-com cliches they can stuff into a half-hour of television. Posted by Picasa

Planning the Year in Advance

And the movies just keep on continuing to suck. I've taken a look at the movies that are coming out this year, and all I can say is, I'm underwhelmed. Truly. Man, I remember a time, ten years ago or so, when Becca and I would be out at the movies every weekend. Now we tend to go once every four or five (though we sometimes see two in one day). Well, there are a lot of classics I can finally catch up with, at least. Here's the few movies I actually want to take the time to see in the theater. Provided the trailers don't suck.

American Dreamz: Hopefully, this satire is a lot smarter than it sounds. The Weitz Brothers did make About a Boy... though they did make In Good Company...
Charlotte's Web: Julia Roberts as the voice of Charlotte will be flat, monotone, and emotionless, but I'd like to see this done well.
Coin Locker Babies: Asia Argento AND Liv Tyler? 'Nuff said.
The Devil Wears Prada: Anne Hathaway. I adore her.
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown: The first movie was surprisingly funny, despite the lack of anyone talented in the voice cast...
Idiocracy: Mike Judge directed this SF comedy about a future where people have become dumber. Like today, only in the future.
The Last Legion: Assuming it gets a theatrical release. I'm always interested in Rome.
Meet the Robinsons: Disney's next CG film. Though I faield to see Chicken Little...
Nacho Libre: Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler. Excellent.
Open Season: The comic strip this is based on is occasionally funny. Hope it's not as bad as most DreamWorks CG movies.
Over the Hedge: Yet another CG comedy; could we try a different type of animated film?
The Passion of the Clerks: Kevin Smith sells out. Again. Yet again.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Loved the first one, ready for more.
She's the Man: But only because Amanda Bynes is in it.
Sin City 2: The first was incredible.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Will Ferrell in a comedy about NASCAR. I'm so fucking sick of NASCAR. But I like Will Ferrell. 2005 notwithstanding...
Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny: One of my favorite albums is the Tenacious D album.
Tristan and Isolde: I know, it looks silly, but it's by Kevin Reynolds and I did love The Count of Monte Cristo.

And there's my year in advance. Saves time...

UPDATE 2007: Well, even that was hopeful. I only saw four of these movies in the theater: The Devil Wears Prada, The Passion of the Clerks (which ended up being simply--and wisely--called Clerks II), and She's the Man. The fourth was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which is everything that's wrong with Hollywood these days. I really wanted to go see Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, but it came out when I was totally broke. I saw American Dreamz on DVD, and it sucked. So did Talladega Nights, and Tristan and Isolde was a misfire. I saw Over the Hedge, and it was really good. I so no longer want to see Charlotte's Web, Ice Age 2, or Nacho Libre. At some point, I'll probably see Idiocracy and Open Season. Coin Locker Babies, The Last Legion, Meet the Robinsons, and Sin City 2 got pushed back to sometime in 2007.

Yeah, um, great year at the movies...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

My Mom's Recipe

I wouldn't recommend making these more than once or twice every half-year (if that), because they're REALLY bad for you, but my mom used to make these as a kid. I haven't had them in years, but now that Becca has the recipe, she made them last night and they were fucking great!

COFFEE COOKIES

Bring to a boil the following ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1/2 cup milk

Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in:
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
1/4 cup peanut butter (any kind)
3 cups oatmeal (real oats, not instant)

Once thick, drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool.

You don't even have to cover these things up; they're so sugary and bad for you that they just harden and sit there forever. Man, can't you just feel the heartburn? Can't you just imagine your heart actually stopping for a moment as you eat this junk? Oh, fuck, I love it.

Becca's were so perfect, I wanted to call my mom last night and tell her: "Becks just made coffee cookies. I don't need you at all now!"