Nov 30, 2007

Semi-stolen post

After ajooja's post earlier this week regarding the AFI top films of all time, I became inspired to write a similar post. Instead of using AFI's list, I decided to use the people's list aka the IMDB Top 100 films of all time. It's pretty ridiculous, in some ways. I love The Shawshank Redemption, but #2 all time? Get real kids! Anyway, Slyde and I compare how many films we have seen on various "best of" lists. I usually beat him only because of the number of foreign films on the list and the fact that he hates foreigners. Especially Canadians.

So here is the current IMDB Top 100 list. I've shown the films that I haven't seen in italic Red, and I've added a few notes where I thought applicable.

  1. The Godfather (1972). - Solid pick.
  2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  4. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966) - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for you non-Italian types.
  5. Pulp Fiction (1994) - not even my favorite Tarantino flick, but okay.
  6. Schindler's List (1993) - something about Holocaust films that I can't get into. Oh yeah, the horror of it all. One day.
  7. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - the best of the bunch. Well done, kids!
  8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  9. Casablanca (1942)
  10. Shichinin no samurai (1954) - The Seven Samurai, by Akira Kurasawa. Awesome film!
  11. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - Hard to prefer just one of these, but okay.
  12. Star Wars (1977)
  13. 12 Angry Men (1957) - wouldn't this have looked better in the #12 slot? Huh?
  14. Rear Window (1954)
  15. Goodfellas (1990) - certainly not my favorite Scorcese film.
  16. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  17. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - there we go.
  18. Cidade de Deus (2002) - the Brazilian "City of God". Been meaning to see this one for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it.
  19. C'era una volta il West (1968) - Once Upon a Time in the West.
  20. The Usual Suspects (1995)
  21. Psycho (1960)
  22. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) - Brilliant, brilliant Kubrick film.
  23. No Country for Old Men (2007) - plan on seeing it soon. Maybe tomorrow.
  24. Citizen Kane (1941) - Rosebud, my ass!
  25. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Nice!
  26. North by Northwest (1959)
  27. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - and then there were three.
  28. Memento (2000)
  29. Fight Club (1999)
  30. Sunset Blvd. (1950) - Carol Burnett's spoof on it was funnier.
  31. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  32. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  33. The Matrix (1999)
  34. Taxi Driver (1976)
  35. Se7en (1995)
  36. Apocalypse Now (1979) - Way too high on the list for my liking.
  37. American Beauty (1999)
  38. Vertigo (1958)
  39. Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001) - Nope, haven't seen it and dont' really want to.
  40. Léon (1994) - aka The Professional
  41. The Departed (2006) - only seen it about 20 times now.
  42. American History X (1998) - Great acting by Norton, but #42? C'mon!
  43. Paths of Glory (1957) - early great Kubrick film.
  44. Chinatown (1974)
  45. M (1931) - I've seen parts of it, but certainly not enough to say I've seen it. I'd love to see it, though.
  46. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  47. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  48. The Third Man (1949)
  49. A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Awesome!
  50. Laberinto del fauno, El (2006) - aka Pan's Labyrinth. I have it recorded, but still haven't been inspired to sit down and watch it.
  51. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  52. Alien (1979)
  53. The Pianist (2002) - See my thoughts on Schindler's List.
  54. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) - Very nice!
  55. The Shining (1980) - Go Kubrick, go!
  56. Double Indemnity (1944)
  57. L.A. Confidential (1997)
  58. Leben der Anderen, Das (2006) - aka The Lives of Others. Never even heard of this one, to be honest.
  59. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) - the animated Spirited Away. I've seen bits and pieces, just not the whole thing.
  60. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  61. Untergang, Der (2004) - aka Downfall. About the last days of Hitler in WWII. ???
  62. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  63. Boot, Das (1981)
  64. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  65. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
  66. Requiem for a Dream (2000) - Always been interested in seeing this, but it hasn't happened yet.
  67. Metropolis (1927) - saw it in film class, otherwise it would have been in italics.
  68. Forrest Gump (1994)
  69. Aliens (1986)
  70. Raging Bull (1980)
  71. Rashômon (1950) - another great Kurasawa film!
  72. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  73. Rebecca (1940) - one of my favorite Hitchcock films.
  74. Hotel Rwanda (2004) - human suffering and films I haven't seen seem to go hand in hand.
  75. Sin City (2005)
  76. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  77. Modern Times (1936)
  78. All About Eve (1950) - what about her?
  79. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Kubrick rules!
  80. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  81. The Great Escape (1963)
  82. Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957) - The Seventh Seal. Another film class entry.
  83. Amadeus (1984) - how great was Tom Hulce in this? Where the hell did he dissappear to?
  84. On the Waterfront (1954) - I coulda been a contender...
  85. Touch of Evil (1958) - have only seen the scenes from Get Shorty. "Your'e going down, Orson!"
  86. The Elephant Man (1980)
  87. The Prestige (2006) - Fine film, but not an all-time great.
  88. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - haven't seen the remake yet, does that count.
  89. Jaws (1975)
  90. Vita è bella, La (1997) - Life is Beautiful. Hey! A WWII film about prison camps that I have seen.
  91. The Sting (1973)
  92. Strangers on a Train (1951) - hmm? A Hitchcock film I haven't really heard of.
  93. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  94. Ratatouille (2007) - too new, but I will se it.
  95. The Apartment (1960)
  96. City Lights (1931) - people love Charlie Chapman.
  97. Braveheart (1995)
  98. Batman Begins (2005)
  99. The Big Sleep (1946)
  100. Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988) - Damn! Another Foreign film I haven't seen.

So that's it folks. A grand total of 16 out of the top 100 that I haven't seen, and most of them for the same reason. No interest.

How many you got

Unsexy update - watched Ratatoulle over the weekend. Bam! Another one bites the dust!

Nov 29, 2007

I promise

No more football posts (this week)! I swear!

That being said, my newest, favoritist TV crush (move over Pauley Perrette) has become the lovely and talented Kristen Vangness from Criminal Minds.

Smart chicks in glasses are just yummy! Right, Gia?

Nov 28, 2007

BCS Mess - Part Deux

If you were bored enough to read my last post then you may remember that we predicted the final BCS rankings due out on Sunday and the BCS bowl games associated with them. Let's start with the obvious problems from each team.
  1. West Virginia - The play in the Big LEast. It was a better conference this year, er, well for a while. South Florida, Connecticut and Cincinnati all stepped it up some, but were eventually proven to be lesser teams. On the plus side, no one seems to be able to stop their spread offense running attack. Pat White is incredible.
  2. Ohio State - What a boring season. After playing nobody all season long (Kent State in the middle of October?), they lose to a decent Illinois team in the second to last week of the Big-10 season. Oh, and no conference Championship game. Bleah!
  3. Georgia - Too bad, so sad. Losses to unranked South Carolina and Tennessee kept them out of the SEC Championship game. But they are good...real good. Six straight wins over quality opponents to finish the season. Well, there was that Troy game.
  4. Virginia Tech - That early season blowout loss to LSU really stands out when you look at their season. Wait, how the hell did I rank them ahead of LSU? Oh thats right, I generally don't know what I'm doing. And the ACC blows!
  5. LSU - Despite what Les Miles says, those two losses did count. Even though both occurred in overtime. And just why couldn't the vaunted defense of Dorsey and Company stop Kentucky and Arkansas when it really mattered? Fuck you, Les Miles!
  6. USC - They lost to Stanford. Hell, even Notre Dame managed to beat Stanford this year. And Notre Dame sucked! On the plus side, they have a quarterback named Booty. Hah!
  7. Kansas - an incredibly unimpressive schedule leading up to last week's loss to rival Missouri keeps them out of the National Championship debate. I do, however, like the way that they spanked Nebraska after years of getting spanked. WTG!
  8. Oklahoma - Just how they hell did they lose to Colorado and Texas Tech? They seem so much better than that. Probably just mystique, because their schedule wasn't so much more difficult than Kansas. Only two ranked teams all year long before their matchup with #1 Missouri this weekend, and one of those teams was Missouri back in October.
And it goes on and on. OK, so how do we fix it? Let's introduce the B.E. Earl BCS Fix-it Plan. Yeah, I know...not a very impressive name, but I didn't have the funding for hardcore research and polling. Well I did, but the it was spent on real hardcore porn and the pole was something different all together. See what I did there? Ahem, anyway.

B.E. Earl BCS Fix-it Plan
  • Institute a Championship game in the PAC-10, Big-10 and Big East. Or get rid of them in the other conferences. Either way you need to make it fair. If Missouri didn't have to play another game this week, like Ohio State, then their #1 ranking would be assured. I like the idea of every conference having to play a game for the Championship rather than having it granted to them because of their regular season record. This can be done. Add a 12th team to the Big-10 (huh?) like Notre Dame (c'mon Irish, it's time) and voila! Would go a long way to validating some teams regular season records.
  • Add the Cotton Bowl and the Gator Bowl to the BCS bowl system. These are two bowl games with history and some prestige, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal. A bit more money and cache goes a long way.
  • Keep the same BCS ranking method that we currently have.
  • Invite the same 10 teams that you would in the current method.
  • The Cotton Bowl and the Gator Bowl will feature the bottom four teams per the BCS rankings of the the above mentioned 10 teams. They will play in those games and that is it. No chance for advancement. Hey, they should have played better in the regular season.
  • The #1 and #2 seeds will get a first round bye.
  • Remove all conference affiliation in the BCS bowl games. No longer will the ACC play in the Orange Bowl, the SEC in the Sugar Bowl, etc...
  • The #3 seed will play the #6 seed in one of the bowl games (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange) on New Year's Day and the #4 seed will play the #5 seed in another. The winners will move on.
  • The next week the number #1 seed will play the lower ranked winner while the #2 seed will play the higher ranked winner in the remaining two BCS bowl games.
  • The BCS Title Game will be played by the winners on the Sunday before the Super Bowl.
Here is how this year's mess would have panned out:

Dec. 31st/January 1st
Cotton Bowl #7 Kansas vs. #12 Arizona State - winner doesn't advance
Gator Bowl #8 Oklahoma vs. #11 Hawaii - winner doesn't advance
Rose Bowl #3 Georgia vs. #6 USC - winner advances to next round
Fiesta Bowl #4 Va. Tech vs. #5 LSU - winner advances to next round

January 7th/8th
Sugar Bowl #1 West Virginia vs. remaining lower ranked team
Orange Bowl #2 Ohio State vs. remaining higher ranked team

January 27th
BCS Title Game

There are some obvious flaws with this system too. How do you market the two bowl games in the second round without knowing the teams playing? Oklahoma, after winning the Big-12 title, doesn't get a chance to play for the National Title. Unbeaten Hawaii doesn't either. Lots of issues. But better than the current system, I say.

Phew! Glad I got that outta my system.

Nov 27, 2007

BCS Mess

Merely writing this one for my own enjoyment, as I'm probably the only one here who is enjoying this year's NCAA football mess. I was reading Dan Wetzel's column on Yahoo! Sports earlier. He proposed a 16-team playoff system incorporating the champions of all 11 Division I, er sorry, FBS conferences with 5 at-large teams. Yawn. Real shocking column there, Dan! Pretty much what every sports pundit has been dreaming about for years, but it ain't gonna happen. Not in this lifetime. 3 extra games for those teams who reach the Championship? No "traditional" bowl games? Dogs and cats sleeping together?

No. It won't happen. There is too much money invested in the current bowl system for this to work, but I do have a plan that might be a decent middle ground to Dan's plan and the current system.

The Current BCS system
  • A number of "human" polls are combined with a number of "computer" polls to come up with a weighted "BCS" poll for the top teams in the land. No reason for the "quotes". I just like 'em. The humans and the computers often disagree, just like in The Matrix, but for the most part they are pretty close. Humans will rank Hawaii at #10 and the computer will assign them #14 so they wind up with a weighted ranking of #12. I'm fine with that.
  • At the end of the season, #1 will play # 2 for the Championship in the BCS Title Game. It doesn't always work out. In the 2003/2004 season Oklahoma lost their final game, the Big 12 Championship, to Kansas State but still managed to make it to the BCS Title Game because of it's strong computer ranking. USC, also with 1 loss that year, didn't get the chance to play LSU, but won the Rose Bowl against Michigan. So the Associated Press final poll had USC on top, while the BCS Title Game was won by LSU. Co-champs! It sucked and everyone knew it sucked. It's been pretty good since then, but this year could cause more headaches.
  • 8 more teams play in the other BCS bowl games. The Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Generally the rules are; the PAC-10 and Big-10 champs will play in the Rose Bowl (unless already playing in the BCS Title Game in all cases), the ACC champ will play in the Orange Bowl, the Big-12 champ will play in the Fiesta Bowl and the SEC champ will play in the Sugar Bowl. The remaining at-large teams will come from BCS and non-BCS conferences if applicable. This year, Hawaii (a non-BCS team) currently is eligible for a BCS bowl game. But all that is mere bullshit. None of these 8 teams have any chance of becoming BCS National Champs. These games are more like exhibitions. Fodder for schools that want to end on a winning note, but no real significance.

Let's play a little game. We'll make 2 assumptions: 1) Top-ranked Missouri loses to #9 Oklahoma in the Big-12 Title game. Why not? 2) All the other favored teams wins their matchups this weekend. Again, why not? The BCS rankings next week might look a little something like this:

  1. West Virginia (11-1) - Big East Champions
  2. Ohio State (11-1) - Big-10 Champions
  3. Georgia (10-2)
  4. Virginia Tech (11-2) - ACC Champions
  5. LSU (11-2) - SEC Champions
  6. USC (10-2) - PAC-10 Champions
  7. Kansas (11-1)
  8. Oklahoma (11-2) - Big-12 Champions
  9. Missouri (10-2)
  10. Florida (9-3)
  11. Hawaii (12-0)
  12. Arizona St (10-2)
  13. Illinois (9-3)
  14. Clemson (9-3)
  15. Oregon (9-3)

The BCS poll probably won't look like that because the computers love Kansas (even though they lost to the only good opponent they played all year), so I'm not sure about LSU, USC and VA Tech leapfrogging over them. Also, I have Missouri falling from #1 all the way to #9 even though that is unlikely. But you can't have them ranked higher than the current #9 Oklahoma who would have beat them twice in my scenario. Well, we humans can't. SkyNet may differ.

Either way, you could have three Big-12 teams and three SEC teams in the top 10 after it is all said and done. Yuck! Anyway, assuming this final BCS ranking to be correct let's predict the BCS bowl game invitees, shall we?

BCS Title Game - #1 West Virginia vs. #2 Ohio State - without a Big-10 Title Game, THE Ohio State University gets to sleepwalk into the title game. Missouri cries "unfair"!

Rose Bowl - #6 USC vs. #7 Kansas - with no decent Big-10 opponent, USC gets a Big-12 runner-up. I just don't see Kansas hanging with the really big dogs.

Sugar Bowl - #5 LSU vs. #3 Georgia - why not? Let's see who really is the best team in the SEC.

Fiesta Bowl - #8 Oklahoma vs. #11 Hawaii - a repeat of last year's Boise St. upset over Oklahoma? Maybe. That game last year was easily the best of the bunch.

Orange Bowl - #4 Virginia Tech vs. #12 Arizona St. - the Sun Devils deserve consideration so let's give it to them.

Who did we leave out? Oh yeah, 3-loss #10 Florida and 2-loss #9 Missouri. The BCS may not leave them out, especially Mizzou, but I just don't like including 3 teams from any one conference in the BCS bowls. And hey, if Mizzou can't beat Oklahoma just once this year then frankly they don't deserve to be in it. They still have this weekend to prove themselves, and I think the BCS would breathe a sigh of relief if they do win.

Tomorrow: How I, Earl, plan to fix this whole mess. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

UPDATE - I've revisted my original rankings and made some changes. No one is going to catch Georgia this year, so there is no way they slide.

Nov 25, 2007

Ain't he unglamo-rays!

Anyone old enough out there to remember the original Marvel Superheroes cartoons? Me neither since they were first aired in 1966 aka "the year all things began". For me, at least. But I did watch them in re-runs back in the early 70's and I have never been able to get the theme songs out of my head.

Hold on...go here and listen to them. Please ignore that horrible Batgirl song. Blech. It should not even be on this page as the rest are all Marvel cartoons. And the Amazing Spider-Man cartoon really isn't associated with The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man or The Sub-Mariner. It was its own separate show. The others may have been too, but when I saw them in re-runs they were packaged as "The Marvel Marching Society" or something like that. Fond memories galore!

You just can't beat lyrics like:

Tony Stark makes you feel
He’s a cool exec with a heart of steel.

As Iron Man, all jets ablaze,
He’s fighting and smiting with repulsor rays!

Amazing armor! That’s Iron Man!
A blazing power! That’s Iron Man!

I know that Slyde is really going to be the only one who appreciates this post. Oh well, he needs some loving sometimes too.

Nov 23, 2007

And we can build our dreams...

...with suspicious memes!

Got tagged by Diva (and Liz) the other day. Normally I would just ignore it, but apparently the young ladies of Canada really want to know what is going on my little mind. Makes me kind of suspicious. Hmmm?

The Rules:

  • Write a list of things of which you are suspicious. Any number of them will do. Even the number 0 works. This is the first meme that can be done without even doing it. In fact, you're doing it right now.
  • Include the list of rules, if you feel like it.
  • Link back to the person who tagged you. Or not.
  • Tag however many people you want to tag. You can skip this step.
  • If you acted on rule four, leave comments on their websites to let them know that they have been tagged. This step is also completely optional.
  • Feel fantastic.

OK. I'm going to make this real simple. No big list. No painstaking details. Just gonna type for awhile about what makes me suspicious. First things first. Rules. Especially rules like the ones above. There are six of them, but four of them are completely optional and the last one can be accomplished by the simplest of things. I took a nice crap earlier and man did I feel fantastic afterwards! See? So lets call a spade a spade and change those rules to "suggestions".

There. That made me feel better.

But you know what really makes me suspicious. Canada and Canadians. They look like us (mostly), act like us (mostly) and talk like us (mostly). Yet there they are, right above us, ready to pounce. We'll never see it coming. One day we will be wiping our asses after a really fantastic crap and they will attack. French will become a second language for the Northeast states and we will all learn to say "aboot".

And the worst part about it will be the emergence of hockey as a national pastime. Hockey and curling. Anything with ice, really. Isn't it cold enough up there most of the year? Why the hell would you want to create ice indoors? For sporting events? Sickos!

Note - Tongue firmly placed in cheek here, if ya couldn't tell. I'm crazy aboot Canadians! :)

Nov 21, 2007

Then allow me to retort...

Sometime around two years ago, I started a silly little tradition with my friend Peter. I took him to this Belgian beer bar called Vol de Nuit in NYC and he absolutely fell in love with all beers Belgian. Especially Leffe Blonde.

The next time I was at that bar, with a different set o' friends, I ordered myself a Blondie. While I was enjoying it, I thought it would be funny to snap a picture of our table with our beer prominently displayed and send it to Peter. Ya know...just to rub it in. "Ha ha...I'm enjoying this wonderful Belgian beer and you suck!" kinda thing. I'm a dick like that.

This first time, Peter responded with his own picture. A screenshot of a cartoon with the caption "YOU...are a douchebag!" And that, my friends, is how all good traditions start. So now whenever I have a Leffe Blond I feel the need to snap a picture of it, or of me drinking it, or of the bottle prominently displayed between Gia's boobs (I'm especially fond of that last one). I then forward the pic and wait for the inevitable response. Generally a hilarious one. The last time I did it, he sent me a picture of his refrigerator. Filled with Belgian beers, natch!

I only mention it because, for some reason, my Mother has been keeping Leffe at her house lately. So the past two weekends I have been able to engage in my favorite infantile game of tag.

To quote Mr. Jimmy Buffet:

"I'm growing older, but not up!"

Nov 18, 2007


It came and went.



Nov 16, 2007

Sad Sports Bullets

Lots of craziness happened in the sports world yesterday:
  • Barry Bonds was indicted by the Federal government on 4 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. OK, I get it. They want to get this guy. I don't blame them, but does it really warrant a possible 30 year jail-term? I know lying under oath is a crime, but its not like he killed someone! And why haven't they gone after Rafael Palmiero, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, etc... with the same zeal?
  • Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees have come to agreement on the terms of a 10-year $275 million dollar contract. Not sure how to feel about this one. On the one hand, I like that A-Rod came back to the Yankees with his tail between his legs and without Scott Boras. On the other hand, THE YANKEES ARE PAYING HIM $275 MILLION OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS! This shit has got to stop. They only losers in this deal are the fans who can expect ticket prices at the new Yankee Stadium to rise to the equivalent of a mortgage payment. FUCK!
  • BCS #2 Oregon lost their starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Dennis Dixon to an injury in the first half of last night's game with Arizona. Then they lost the game. They had to. They were ranked #2 in the BCS and that's what those teams have done this year. Dixon's backup is Brady Leaf, younger brother and lookalike to Ryan Leaf. He sucks too.
  • Derek Jeter may owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to New York State for misrepresenting his place of residence in Florida (to avoid state income tax) for a number of years. Poor guy. He may have to cash in on some savings bonds that his grandmother gave him for his first communion.
  • There were some NBA game played last night. I think. It is unclear at this moment if Stephon Marbury and Isiah Thomas have made up and kissed. Or made up and harassed a female employee of MSG. Oh, and this just in: Phil Jackson should be chastised for not being funny rather than making "Brokeback Mountain" jokes. Doesn't he realize that is so two years ago?
  • There may have also been some NHL games. As I don't live in Canada, it doesn't affect me one way or another.

Nov 14, 2007

A not-so-quick joke

I'll post about my night out in NYC tomorrow or Friday, but in the meantime I bring the funny.

This is one of two jokes that I can always remember, and one that I think is genuinely funny. So here goes:

The Dead Cow

Once upon a time there was a farmer who worked his land with his wife and his three adult sons. They had one cow who provided them with milk, and he loved that cow. One morning he wakes before the dawn to begin his day. He goes outside to feed his cow and he sees that it had died sometime during the night. The farmer is distraught. He goes into the barn, finds a length of rope and hangs himself to end his misery.

Soon afterwards the farmer's wife awakes only to discover the dead cow and her husband swinging from the rafter's in the barn. She too finds a length of rope and hangs herself as she just couldn't bear to go on without her husband.

Next, the oldest son awakes only to find the dead cow and both his parents dead in the barn. He looks around, but he can't find any more rope. So he decides to go to the stream that runs through the farm and drown himself. Just as he is about to end his misery, he spies a beautiful nude woman lying on the rocks on the opposite side of the stream.

"I am a magical watery nymph. I have powers over life and death and I can bring your parents back to life" she says. "All you have to do is have sex with me five times in succession. If you can do this, I will bring your parents back from the dead."

The oldest son decides to give it a go. Once, twice, thrice, four times he is able to satisfy the magical nymph. But he cannot complete the deal, failing upon trying for the fifth time. She refuses to bring back his parents, so he drowns himself in sorrow.

Next, the middle son awakes. Dead cow. Dead parents. Dead brother. Nude nymph. She makes the same deal with him, but this time he must have sex with her ten times in succession. Like his older brother, he fails after coming so close. He, of course, drowns himself.

Finally the youngest brother wakes up. Dead cow. Dead parents. Dead brothers. Nude nymph. Once again she makes her deal, but this time she ups the number of times to twenty.

"No problem" replies the boy.

"No problem? You mean you actually think you can do it?" she asks.

"Sure thing." he answers. "But I need to ask you one question before we start."

"Of course, what is your question?" asks the nymph.

"How do I know it's not gonna kill you like it killed the cow?"

Nov 7, 2007

Joss Whedon is the shit!

I was having trouble sleeping last night so I turned on the old boob (hehe) tube to see what was on. Lo and behold, one of my favorite films in the past few years was just starting. It's Serenity, and if you haven't seen it, then well...I don't like you very much!

For those of you not in the know, I am a huge fan of all things that are Joss Whedon. Well, I don't like men the way he does, but that's beside the point. I was first turned on (hmmm?) to Whedon with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The TV series, not the film. Well, he wrote the film too, but the producers changed the tone of his original script and it came out like crap. Not nearly as good as the TV series. It's spinoff, "Angel", was created by Whedon as well. I'm a huge "Buffy" fan (as I've mentioned a few times), but I had no idea that the Fox-TV series "Firefly" was created by the same genius as well. Fox didn't give "Firefly" a chance, but Whedon got to make a sequel for the big screen. Thus Serenity.

So if you haven't seen this little screen gem, do yourself a favor and add it to your NetFlix queue. I'll leave you with a little post I wrote for Slyde's blog back when Serenity first came out. He loves it when I do shit like this!

By B.E. Earl
10/06/2005 6:27 PM EST

Hey kids! It’s Earl again as Slyde is apparently way too lazy/busy to contribute to his own site. I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts about the new film Serenity which opened up last weekend to so-so business here in the ‘ole U.S. of A. Serenity is a sequel, of sorts, of the late, great Fox television series “Firefly” created by Joss Whedon. Now one thing you have to know is that I am a late convert to the cult of Whedon, but a cultist nonetheless so I may not be the most objective kid in the sandbox. I’m actually not going to give you my review of the film (which I thought was fantastic), so hopefully my objectivity, or lack thereof, won’t come into play. No sir, my intent is to give you some background info on the television show so that you might be better prepared when you go see the film. AND YOU WILL GO SEE THE FILM! Sorry, got taken over by Satan there for a moment. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

The Setting
Firefly” is set roughly 500 years in the future. The human race has moved on from the “Earth that was” or the planet that we currently call home. You see, our numbers had swelled so vastly that we needed to colonize other worlds and solar systems. The last remaining great economic powers of old Earth were the United States and China. Just about everyone speaks both English and Chinese, although it seems that they only slip into Chinese when yelling at each other or cursing (maybe to slip past the old Fox censors, eh?). The main governing body of the galaxy is the Alliance.

The Alliance runs the central planets in the system with a closed fist, but the outlying planets govern themselves mostly in a fairly straightforward metaphor for the United States during the time of the Old West. In fact, “Firefly” is as much of a Western as it is a piece of Science Fiction. The territories are hard places to live, but they do have a sense of independence from the Alliance. The Alliance does not appear to be the obvious evil that the Empire was in Star Wars, however, there is something dodgy about it. So dodgy that a group of planets fought a war against the Alliance in order to guarantee their own independence. It didn’t work as the Alliance won, and the freedom fighters suffered enormous casualties.

The Ship
Serenity is not only the name of the film, it is also the name of the Firefly-class spaceship that many of the characters of the show and film call home. It’s a fairly cool-looking hunk o’ junk that is used mostly as a cargo ship by the crew, although it is that cargo that often gets them into trouble. You see, the crew of the Serenity works a bit outside of the law. They’ll handle smuggling jobs, illicit transport, and even outright robbery to make a living. We’ll talk about that in a bit. The boat (as they refer to Serenity) is also named after a famous battle in the previously mentioned war. It was the battle that finally broke the backs of the freedom fighters leading to an overwhelming victory by the Alliance.

The Crew
Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) – Mal is a former soldier with the losing side of the war with the Alliance. He, in fact, was one of the survivors of the battle of Serenity Valley along with his second-in-command, Zoe. Mal has got a lot of issues. He’s obviously not happy with the Alliance and he is constantly being tormented by his inner demons. His choice to turn to a life of smuggling is just another way of thumbing his nose at the oppressive Alliance. However, he appears to be a good man with a heard of gold, ding! He’s also quite in love with Inara, a prostitute who lives on one of the shuttles of the Serenity. Secretly, of course.

Zoe (Gina Torres) – Zoe, as previously mentioned, is a former soldier who followed Mal into a life of smuggling. She is the consummate warrior woman, clearly not someone whom you would want to mess with. She is unwaveringly loyal to Mal and she wears her leather outfit quite nicely, thank you.

Hoban “Wash” Washburn (Alan Tudyk) – Wash is the pilot of the Serenity, and the husband of Zoe. He’s mainly there for comic relief. We don’t know much about his past, but it doesn’t appear to matter that much. He wears Hawaiian shirts and has plastic dinosaurs about his console, and that is about as much as we need to know.

Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite) – Kaylee is the resident mechanic on board the ship. She’s a bit of a spitfire whose mechanical skills appear to be more intuitive than learned through any formal education. She is the wide-eyed innocent of the crew, even while possessing a more-than healthy sexual appetite. Kaylee is fun.

Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin) – Jayne is the muscle on the crew. Although he doesn’t really have a title, he was jokingly referred to as the public relations officer. He’s simple and downright mean, but you want to have him on your side in a firefight. He also has, on more than one occasion, shown an inclination towards turning on his fellow crewmembers, and he can be bribed to switch sides if the money is right.

Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin) – Inara is a prostitute who rents out one of the two shuttles on board Serenity in a mutually beneficial agreement between Mal and her. You see, prostitutes are a bit different in this world then they are in ours. Companions, as they prefer to be called, are treated with incredible respect by the civilized worlds. They go through a tremendous amount of training to become a companion, and they are incredibly bright and knowledgeable in many areas. Having a resident companion on board is beneficial to crew for her contacts and the doors that those contacts can open. She also lends an air of respectability to the otherwise rag-tag group of travelers. She is also quite in love with Mal, secretly of course.

Shepherd Book (Ron Glass) – Damn it was nice to see Ron Glass working regularly again. The well-named Book is hard to read by his cover. He is a man of religion, but he has admitted that Book is not even his real name. His mysterious past has something to do with either a military, political or consular post within the Alliance. He is Mal’s conscience on the ship.

Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Mahar) – Simon and his sister, River, are fugitives from the Alliance. Simon came aboard Serenity with his sister as his cargo. He was eventually found out by Mal the rest of the crew, although Mal agreed to keep him and his sister on board as crew. Simon is a brilliant doctor who gave up a great career to save the life of his sister. He’s also kind of boring.

River Tam (Summer Glau) – River is a gifted teenager who was taken by the Alliance at a young age and manipulated into a tool that they could use for a number of reasons. She has some psychic abilities and she is quite the talented fighter. She is also an absolute mental mess. In whatever procedures the Alliance used to enhance her abilities, they also managed to strip out some of her brains ability to operate in a so-called normal manner. She is highly sought after by the Alliance because of her abilities and the secrets that she may have stumbled onto. Secrets that could hurt the Alliance at its very core.

Okay. Now you are ready to go out and see Serenity. It has been rumored that if this film grosses more than $80 million worldwide, there will be a sequel or two. Joss Whedon had apparently scripted out 5 seasons of “Firefly” and he still has stories to tell. So go see it. You don’t want me to use my Satan voice again, do you?

Nov 5, 2007

Just a few things...

On a kinda slow Monday afternoon here in New York:

  • Saw another movie over the weekend whose review doesn't really belong on MovieGrenade, but it's not a great film either. I really don't know how I feel about it. It is called Brick, and it is basically a new take on the 40's style private detective film. The filmmakers took all of the elements of that genre and integrated it into a modern high-school setting. The dour hero constantly getting his ass kicked, the strange villains, the odd sing-song dialogue. It was just weird. And the main drug dealer, the Pin played by Lukas Haas, basically wore the costume of the vampire from the 60's/70's soap-opera Dark Shadows. Really weird! Here's a bit of dialogue from the film: "See the Pin pipes it from the lowest scraper for Brad Bramish to sell, maybe. Ask any dope rat where their junk sprang and they'll say they scraped it from that, who scored it from this, who bought it off so, and after four or five connections the list always ends with The Pin. But I bet you, if you got every rat in town together and said "Show your hands" if any of them've actually seen The Pin, you'd get a crowd of full pockets." I couldn't stop watching it. Can't tell you if it was good or bad, but it was certainly worth watching.
  • Made a (un)healthy batch of sauerbraten this weekend for a family get-together. Twas a whole lotta fun. Chowed it down with bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, hot German-style potato salad and lots of other goodies. Yum! Oooh, and warshed it down with some pretty good Belgian and non-Belgian beers. Leffe Blonde, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, etc... It was all good! Those last two were courtesy of Gia. The young lady knows her beers!
  • The New England Patriots continued to show why Boston can suck my ballz! I really hate it when Boston becomes the center of the sports world here in the States. At least BC lost.
  • Got a chance to talk about my favorite series of fantasy novels over the weekend. Although I really hate to lump them into the "fantasy" genre. People immediately think of Dragons and Hobbits. Blech! Anyway, it's the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogies from Stephen R. Donaldson. The link above can tell you much more about them than I want to in this small space, but they are wonderful. I first read them when I was in high school over 22 years ago, but I recently re-read them and they are still just as good.
  • Syd has been rejuvenated after his recent shaving adventure. He is much more energetic and is climbing and jumping up on things that he never would have considered before. Must have been annoying carrying around all that hair.
  • I'm with Slyde on this one. My boycott of "Heroes" starts tonight! It should have started last week, but I was weak. Although I have to say that I did take a phone call halfway through it and I was flipping back and forth between it and the football game. Couldn't tell you what happened, but that can be said for every episode this season. It's been extraordinarily ordinary.
  • The Amazing Race started again this weekend, and it has the usual cast of odd characters. The gay couple, the old/young combo (two of them this season), the freaky couple, etc... My favorite are the freaky couple. A "dating" duo of Goths from the Kentucky area. I say "dating", because the male Goth is clearly gay...through actions and his own words...yet they insist that they are "dating". Not that there is anything wrong with that. I got Gia to watch it with me, but I don't think that will continue. She found it too stressful. Imagine that!
  • Going to see Young Frankenstein, the Broadway musical next Tuesday. Roger Bart, Megan Mullaly and Andrea Martin. Psyched!
And that's all I got. Have a great Monday evening, y'all - Earl

Nov 2, 2007

The Cat post

No, not you Kat.

I'm talking about Syd. We finally got Syd groomed the other day. He's getting up in years and he doesn't take care of himself as well as he used to. Hence he started to get a bit matted in some areas. Plus, due to his ginormous size (he's large), there were areas that he just couldn't reach. We tried grooming him ourselves, cutting out the matted areas and constant brushing, but it just didn't work. We felt professional help was needed.

Here's a before shot. No one can crash out like Syd can crash out. He stayed in this position or positions similar to it for about 4 hours one day. He must have had a rough night.

And here's an after shot. Not the best one in the world because he hates getting his picture taken. Hard to see, but we left him hairy on his legs, tail and head. The rest of him would make a Marine proud. Just stubble. He's so happy now without all that hair. His energy level is way up and he now seems able to clean himself in those areas he previously could not reach. We are all thankful for that. By the way, that is my sexy pajama-clad knee that you see in the foreground. Rowr!

One side effect of his grooming that we did not foresee is the reaction of our other cat, Sammi. She might be a bit dim because there are times that she doesn't recognize him in the Emperor's new clothes. Granted, she has a bad eye so her sight isn't the best in the world, but don't cats go by smell most of the time? So they've been fighting a lot.

Oh, and he has become a bit weird about being picked up since we groomed him. Maybe he thinks we are going to take him away to the bad place again. I don't know. Last night I picked him up and he started a low growl. I knew this wasn't good so I immediately placed him down. Then he attacked my feet. No real bites or scratches, he just kinda pounced on my feet. Then he must have felt bad, because he followed me around the house for the next 10 minutes laying down at my feet every time I stood still. It was hysterical.

Crazy cats.