Thursday, October 25, 2007


I'm now 23. Going to see "The Darjeeling Limited" tonight.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Best Halloween Ever

...and it was only the 20th of October. For a brief evening, L5P turned into something between Bourbon Street and Amsterdam, filtered through a dimension where zombies roamed the land. We became besotted in the streets, ate calzones with a ravenous frenzy, smashed pumpkins with capricious anger, all before 10:00 pm.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


This would make a fantastic gift...

Greatest YouTube Clip Ever

Also, my birthday is next Thursday. A subscription to Stop Smiling or Film Comment would be awesome.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I'm sorry, but...I've just got to write a little about Ann Coulter. She deserves no attention, and the day she gets assassinated, well, I'll attend the funeral in celebration. In case you don't know, she's a conservative ColUmNisT.

I've just spent the last hour watching clips on Youtube after typing in "Anne Coulter" (yes I spelled it wrong). It's like bad television, and actually is for me because I don't have cable. I'm sure hundreds of individuals, dozens of blogs, and other things have obsessively dedicated themselves to pointing out every single fucking stupid thing she says, every hypocrisy, lie, slander, etc. Here's one I've just made.

Here are some clips of Coulter on Hardball and Glenn Beck. The Beck piece references the Hardball piece, but watch both, especially the end of the Hardball clip.



In an effort to avoid ever responding directly to criticism or making a point, she persistently asks for "the context" in which her statements were made, otherwise she cannot respond to them. She's always asking for the entire sentence or the sentence prior, as if that will then clue her in to the fucked up logic she applies to her universe.

I've never been a fan before, but god bless Al Franken. In this clip, he dutifully provides Coulter with the "context" of a quote she wholly misused in her book "Treason." It's nothing but utter goodness. Watch the end where Coulter gets incredibly racist, it's ridiculous.

Chomp and Stomp 5k

So, while in the gym on Thursday, I run into Mark. I relay my usual dilemmas about being out of shape and so forth. He tells me about the Chomp and Stomp 5k coming up November 3rd.

I have missed Chomp and Stomp for the past two years because I've been working. It's basically a festival of great chili and beer. I have been looking for a 5k to train for. I think this is it, and it will be the first one I've ever done. As Mark said, I'll get to run and then celebrate with chili and beer (and a new long-sleeved shirt!). I am so excited.

I've begun training for this, but it's been kind of difficult. For some reason, I've got a permanent extra ten pounds stashed away (oh New Orleans...), so kick starting everything is a bit harder in many ways -- I'm running slower, I can feel how heavy I am, and now I've got a sore throat. That's unrelated to the weight gain, but it doesn't make breathing any easier. I was going to see "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," because apparently Casey Affleck grew up this year, but I just feel like shit. When I think about taking MARTA to Atlantic Station and walking and seeing yuppies walking around and sitting in that theater watching a movie that's 2 hours and 40 minutes, the pleasantness of staying at home with Henry drinking tea with honey, eating nice warm food, and watching a horror movie suddenly sounds incredibly inviting.

So anyway, my training has begun. And it's going well, so far. The next week will look like this:

Friday, October 12th - Run 1.5 miles or better (I ran 2 miles)
Saturday - Run 2 miles (check)
Sunday - Run 20 minutes
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Run 2.5 miles at the track
Wednesday - Run 25 minutes on the treadmill
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Run 2.5 miles
Saturday - Run 2 miles
Sunday - Run 25 minutes

These first two days have gone well. The runs feel very difficult at first, but by the end, they're ok. Essentially, the way I have it planned, I will increase my distance/time by a half mile/five minutes every week. The 5k is only three weeks away, so I know I need to really commit to the regimen I've laid out. Worst comes to worst, I run a slow 5k. Not a big deal. Here's the route I ran:

View Larger Map

It says it's .9 miles, so running both ways, it's about 2 miles (I run through the Path the first time through, and it's pretty curvy, I think it's can account for .2 miles). The weird thing is that my time for today was 17:09, which means I was running an 8:35 mile. That sounds a lot better than where I thought I would be at. It's hard to tell because if the Path doesn't add on that much mileage, and I really ran about 1.8 miles, which would put me at a 9:00 minute mile. Anyhow.

Other news, the Candler Park Fall Festival is happening right now. I wish had hundreds of more dollars so I could buy tons of artwork. There are so many talented people there! Plus, amazing food, Sam Adams, neighbors (Glen is a photographer! And his logo is the sweetest thing ever), and lots of Halloween-type art! We only went for an hour, but it was so inspiring.

My birthday is fast-approaching. It's weird. I'll be 23. Older than when Garry Kasparov become the world chess champion (he was 22). Slightly younger than when Orson Welles made Citizen Kane (25). Anyhow, I love birthdays. Mostly mine, though.

Finally, Josh and Berta are renting a cabin, and they're letting us city slickers tag along! I can't wait, I love excursions.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Horror Films

So I don't feel like doing full-blown reviews, but I have been watching many horror-genre items to get into the spirit. It finally feels cold!! I'm so weird, I take this weather as an opportunity to not wear socks with my shoes.

"1408" - as has been said, this is a pretty damn good horror movie, but nowadays (as an old man once said) it doesn't take much. The film revolves around John Cusack as a washed-up author of books that delve into the world of haunted locales. He's an uber skeptic, and eventually makes his way to a spooky, made-up hotel in New York, the Dolphin. Samuel L. Jackson is the hotel's manager, and he's really only in one scene -- he tries to convince Cusack to not stay in room 1408. But Cusack only sees the caution as a ploy to this challenge; Jackson is obviously building suspense so it gets a good write-up in his next book. However, Jackson bluntly warns, "It's an evil fucking room."

And how! The strength of the film lies in the fact that it does more than just stick Cusack in a room for 90 minutes. Slowly built up are certain biographical elements that come into play as the room becomes an acid trip/lucid nightmare gone bad. Again, it's mainly Cusack here, and there isn't any specific ghost haunting the room. The room represents a spin cycle of bad memories made manifest and, really, it's the bad trip of bad trips. The mental confusion, disorientation, loss of equilibrium, and the conviction that Cusack ultimately reaches are utterly delusional and handled very well. The tone of the film permeates every scene -- I was actually jumping with every phone ring, every dog bark.

"Cemetery Man" - This film is very strange. It's in the style of Italian horror cinema (I think; I've only seen "Suspiria" and I hated it). It was made in 1994, though it could easily pass for late 80s, due to the cinematography, which is all washed and reminiscent of "Evil Dead." However, the plot's very interesting. Rupert Everett, looking nothing like Rupert Everett, works the graveyard shift. At a graveyard. His job -- rekill the undead, who rise from the graves every night (why he doesn't just shoot them in the head before they bury them, I don't know).

After a few questionable zombie killings, the line between the living and the dead blurs for Everett. He knows more dead people than living, as he puts it, and his course turns starkly existential. He no longer knows, nor cares, who he kills. What's more is that this is all rather funny. His disregard for the living and an out-of-place visit to the doctor add levity to what could be really depressing. The film's rich with metaphors and symbolism, though they escape me at the moment.

"Creepshow" - I remember this from my childhood. A quick rundown: In order, they are "Father's Day," "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," "Something to Tide You Over," "The Crate," and "They're Creeping Up On You."

"Father's Day" is very forgettable, except for watching Ed Harris 80s dance. "Jordy Verrill" stars Stephen King. It's dumb. It's very, very dumb. King guffaws and jaw-drops his way through acting, and luckily we get to see him kill himself. It's too campy.

"Tide," however, is nothing but brilliant. Leslie Nielson and Ted Danson give amazing performances. Really. Nielson shows what a gifted actor he is. Even at the end, he looks like he is shitting his pants with terror. And the story is genuinely creative and creepy. I remember loving short horror stories as a kid -- Alvin Schwartz's books in particular. "Tide" is really clever and simple, which is why it's so great.

"The Crate" also has a very good storyline. It's just as good as "Tide," but lacks Leslie Nielson (though Adrienne Barbeau is superbly annoying). And "Creeping" is just fucking gross.

"The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror 1-4" - good lord, what can I say? These are the funniest Simpsons episodes out there.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Devil's Backbone

The Devil's Backbone (2001)

I don't have a whole lot to say about this film. It's by Guillermo del Toro, and it reminded me very much of “Pan's Labyrinth”. The film takes place during the Spanish Civil War and follows a young boy, Carlos, after he’s placed in an orphanage. Like “Pan’s Labyrinth,” del Toro centers the story on the children and the implications of this apparition.

It’s a bit more depressing, but not as sad as “Pan’s Labyrinth.” I think the latter provides a better perspective on children coping with the horrors of war. With “The Devil’s Backbone,” the story just isn’t terribly strong, and the tragedy is catalyzed by the war, but not caused by it directly.

The ghost, in terms of modern horror films and the prevalence of scary children/ghosts, is handled very well. And the child actors are really great. It’s kind of scary, but not really. Just creepy when Santi shows up. The final scenes are pretty frightening, however.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

OCTOBER/Extra Weird Sampler Review

So, it's October. Some people get Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as we approach winter, but I do not. It's like someone is lacing everything I drink with prozac. I feel so alive during autumn, maybe it's the crisp air, the cool weather, the fact that it's my birthday, or that it's Halloween, the only season so interlinked with movies (except Christmas and I guess summer blockbusters).

And because I have so much energy this month, I've decided to write as many horror movie reviews as I can. It would be nice if this blog became a venue for me to write movie reviews, thus leading to a lucrative career. I think the problem is I like to watch movies, but I don't like to analyze the hell out of them. Why can't you just enjoy the movie? And with that, on to my first review.

Extra Weird Sampler - Something Weird Video (2003)
"Warning!! This program contains violence, nudity, gorillas, wrestlers, and mutant sheep!”

Thanks to my good friend Mike, our recent "Welcome to October!" party, complete with pumpkin beer and autumn dishes, was better than I could have imagined. He brought this DVD ("I found it in some cheap bin at Fry's") that boasts having "Over 100 of the Most Amazing Movies Ever Made!" Well, really, just the trailers from those movies. And at times, they aren't even trailers -- they're scenes from the film. And even then, you can tell that it's the scene they spent all of their money on. This is visible in one trailer/scene where a Jason-and-the-Argonauts-type Greek battles a large foam dragon. And another where a man kills a women, pounds on her bare butt with a meat tenderizer, eats her butt, and pokes out her eye.

The latter is also an example of the types of films featured here: sexploitation, gore fetishes, rape revenge films, rape with no revenge films, monster movies, nudist films, burlesque films, and too many more. Pardon me for not remembering the titles of certain films. When the majority of the films feature the word "Blood" in the title, it gets a little hazy.

The titles that do make a lasting impression (and I suppose this is the reason for their being done this way) feature the title in some ridiculous way. For instance, "Kiss Me Quick" never had the narrator say the title. He would lead up to it, and then a female character (can I really assume that the people in this films are fleshed out enough (no pun intended) to be characters?) sensuously says, "Kiss me quick," in a hushed whisper. And then there was "Color.......Me.......Blood........Red."

These trailers are the obvious source of parodic fodder utilized by the guest directors in "Grindhouse," though when I saw the fake trailers in "Grindhouse," I remember thinking how over-the-top they were. The trailers on this disc are the hilariously real, and they are that much more ridiculous. The most amazing thing is what these films had in common. Lots of mingling feet. And cats. Cats play a big role in many of these films. Oh yeah, rape too.

The DVD is only $5 on Amazon. You'll be amazed how numb you will be to breasts and rape scenes. We were only able to watch an hour.