Celebrity Birthdays Friday, August 31

First, go vote for your favorite Comedy Movie Quote if you haven't yet (this is the link).

Now read my post.

(As long as I'm giving orders, you also have my permission to disrobe if you are a lady. If you are a guy, I'm assuming you are already naked. I don't know why this is the case.)

Celebrities have birthdays just like you and me although their parties are a little bit cooler than drunken karaoke or drunken twister or drunken monopoly(so hard!). While us commonfolk will never attend the stars’ birthday bashes, we can at least secretly delight in the knowledge that the beautiful people are one year older and uglier - with the exception of ageless wonders Nicole Kidman, Mary Louise Parker, Diane Lane, and that red head from Desperate Housewives (rawr). Teri Hatcher used to be on that list until she decided to go on Extreme Makeover: Glamour Coke Whore edition.

Her dead eye makes me cold inside

Now for the roll call of celebrity birthdays on Friday, August 31, 2007.

Richard Gere – I’ve mentioned in the past how much I’ve admired Mr. Gere for his roles in Primal Fear and American Gigolo, but you’ve still got to hand it to him. This is a guy who churns out quality performances year after year. I’m also looking forward to a project he’s attached to called Hachiko, which is based on an incredible true story about a professor and his loyal dog. I’m not sure where the movie will be set, but the actual events took place in Tokyo, Japan where I actually got to rub my sweaty hands over Hatchiko’s (the dog's) statue.

Zack Ward – Mostly I remember Zack Ward as the goofball brother in the short lived comedy series Titus. Perhaps his greatest movie moment, however, was in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Specifically I’m talking about the scene in which he guns down a mutant dog, introduces himself in quite the bad ass manner, and then promptly gets killed by more mutant dogs. I’m pretty certain he was also the bully in A Christmas Story.

I couldn't find a picture of the mutant dog scene so I recreated it with my l33t photoshopping skillz. The red squiggly marks are blood.

Chris Tucker – Some people hate Chris Tucker but I’m mostly ambivalent about his film career, except for his role as Smokey in Friday – that role was special. By the way, did anyone see Rush Hour 3? I thought it was equally ridiculous and bland, but did you notice how Chris Tucker’s head has ballooned to Barry Bonds-like proportions? That cannot be healthy.

Deborah Gibson – I don’t know who she is but she has a sultry IMDB photo.

Buddy Hackett – I didn't know who he was either but apparently he used to be a famous comedian. I only know him as a reference in Tommy Boy.
“Hey Richard, maybe you were watching a movie with that funny comedian, oh, what's his name? Buddy Wackett?"
That was a masturbation joke in case you haven't seen the movie. I'm not sure what it is about masturbatory humor that always gets me off excited ejaculated laughing.

What do you guys think of the birthday boys (and girl)?


Comedy Movie Quote Contest

The Comedy Movie Quote Contest is here!

The Rules:
First check out the entries and then vote for your favorite "real life" comedy quote. This is the quote that you would most enjoy hearing on a normal day.

I'll announce the winner on Saturday at which time the "prize" will be revealed.

The submissions in random order:

1) "It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."
from Office Space
-submission by Sadie

2) "I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pull rank on you. I didn't want to have to do this. I'm with the Mattress Police. There are no tags on these mattresses."
from Fletch
-submission by Diesel

3)CAPT. OVEUR: You ever been in a cockpit before?"
JOEY : No sir, I've never been up in a plane before.
CAPT. OVEUR: You ever seen a grown man naked?
from Airplane
-submission by SQT

4)"Does anyone speak Jive?"
"Stewardess, I speak Jive."
from Airplane
-submission by Sarah

5) Melissa: You really love animals, don't you?
Ace Ventura: If it gets cold enough.
from Ace Ventura
-submission by Matt

6) (Any time people are (vaguely) talking about sex) "You mean, penis-in-vagina?"
from Wet Hot American Summer
-submission by Mike Spoodles

7)Teenager: Are you a cop?
Fletch: As far as you know.
from Fletch
-submission by Veebs

Good Luck!


Desperate Fan = Viewing Pleasure

Normally I don't like to steal videos from other sites (such as the consistently funny With Leather), but this clip was too good to pass up.

Watch this desperate fan lose a contest, but win a special place in my heart.

Let me know if you like clips like these and I'll keep sharing them.

Television Spotlight: The Pick Up Artist

VH1 is hitting the lonely, desperate male demographic hard in its newest reality show The Pick Up Artist. The Pick Up Artist or PUA (acronyms are a staple of this show) is led by supreme PUA, Mystery, and his wingmen Matador and J-Dog. I am not making this up. Their job is to take eight men suffering from varying degrees of social ineptitude and turn them into Master PUAs.

I’m going to reveal a few spoilers now so please look away if you don’t want to taint your macking viewing pleasure.

By the end of the one episode I saw (the 4th?), three of the eight lady killer wannabes had been voted off. They included Stephen “The Spoon,” who got voted off despite his incredible nickname, as well as Fred the 45 year old virgin (gasp!) and Scott the intellectual (no way!).

Pictured: Ladykiller

The remaining five contestants have proven themselves competent at Mystery’s pick up methodology which is so full of jargon that watching The PUA is a lot like watching a Star Trek episode.

The Greatest PUA in the history of the universe

First picture Mystery, aka Erik von Markovik (wise choice with the pseudonym Erik), and his wingmen Matador and J-Dog sitting in a dark room watching a large screen of his pupils, or away team, as they confront delicious female life forms. The pupils have invisible ear radios to hear Mystery’s directions (true!).

[Pupil sees an attractive female]

Pupil: Hottie spotted.

Mystery: Begin Step 1 of the Mystery Method. Begin Operation: Attraction.

[Pupil begins opening lines with female]

Mystery: Good work number 2. Commence with Operation: Comfort.

[Pupil begins moving closer to female]

[Female also begins to move closer to pupil and laughs at his “jokes”]

Mystery: We have reported 2 IOIs (Indicator’s of Interest). Begin Phase Shift to Seduction phase of the Mystery Model.

[Pupil initiates kissy face]

[Female turns shoulder and sticks out hand]

Mystery: Warning number two! Warning! Bitch Shield has been activated! I repeat, Bitch Shield has been activated! Abort, Abort!

Matador: Loser.

J-Dog: He sucks.

Despite the temptation to dismiss The Pick Up Artist as just another sensationalist reality show that objectifies women and idolizes the promiscuous male, there’s actually a much more wholesome side to the entire operation. A side that I call Operation: Inspire. You see, the Pick Up Artist isn’t about getting guys laid. Well it is, but in addition to getting guys laid it’s also about raising men’s confidence. And there is nothing more noble than raising men’s confidence while simultaneously teaching them how to get laid.

When I saw flashbacks to how the contestants started out, with their glasses and awkward shuffles, I saw how far they had come. I mean, the 45 year old virgin and The Spoon must have really sucked because they were voted off in the first couple episodes, but the nice guy intellectual really did show a lot of improvement. He no longer wore glasses. He had accepted that picking up women was his new purpose in life. Yeah, he had really come a long way.

So if you want to see a show about guys learning how to manipulate women into one night stands, then watch The Pick Up Artist. But if you want to see an inspirational show about guys learning how to manipulate women into one night stands, then you’ll also want to watch The Pick Up Artist.

Let me know if you see any more Pick Up Artist episodes because I'll probably miss them but my, uh, friend wants to know what happens.

P.S. Keep those Comedy Movie Quotes coming. Only one more day!


Comedy Movie Quote Contest

Keep those comedy movie quotes comin' because we're going to have a contest!

Haha, your fly is open. Also you're ugly. - Mean Gorilla

I'm going to choose, in a completely objective manner, the best comedy movie quote submission from each person (one per person). If you'd like to choose your own submission, just note it in the comments section.

I'll post the submissions here either tomorrow or the day afterwards and we'll vote for the funniest quote we would like to use in our sad, meaningless lives (yeah!). The prize is so good I haven't even thought of it yet.

And Remember, these are comedy movie quotes that you or someone you know actually uses. So ideally you'll also include the appropriate context to use your quote.

Check out the last post for some inspiration.

Happy submittin''!


The Greatest Comedy Movie Quotes Ever

I just spent three hours pouring over my favorite comedy movie quotes (yes, I have too much time on my hands) and the funniest thing happened: I couldn’t find any. OK, I’m exaggerating; I did find about fifteen movies with great quotes but I expected way more. And before you get huffy I should also clarify that I’m not talking about any old funny movie line, but comedy lines that you or someone you know actually uses in everyday speech.

For example, Animal House is a titan of comedy films but how often can you use this gem?

Otter: I'm sorry, I can only stay a minute. Can I buy you some lunch? Oh, you got your lunch. Well, how about some milk? Got your milk too. Can I just massage your thighs while you eat?

Unless your name is Richard Grieco, the answer is not very often.

The problem is that most movie quotes derive a lot of their humor from the film’s context, which is why I don’t get to offer thigh massages very often. Another difficulty is that you need a receptive audience, preferably people who have seen the movie you’re quoting. I don’t know about you, but the people I’d like to offer thigh massages to are not necessarily the ones who have watched a thirty year old movie about Greeks.

This doesn’t mean all great comedies go unquoted. Take Caddyshack. It’s also a pillar in the pantheon of comedy greats, but unlike Animal House, it has a more general context: golf. Anybody who’s ever been on a golf course knows that Caddyshack lines can be quoted ad nauseum, which is Latin for “so funny it’ll make you pee a little.” And guys who play golf, in general, have also seen Caddyshack, making Caddyshack quotes especially, ahem, quotable. Simple as that.

Here are some of my favorite comedy quotes that I, or someone I know, actually use in real life. I’ll also describe the appropriate context to use them in. And if you're the easily bored type, just skip to the bottom of this post and write in your favorite comedy movie quote that you use. If the mood strikes me, I might even collect some of the "best" and everyone can vote for The Greatest Comedy Movie Quote... Ever!


Appropriate context: When propositioning a woman.
Al Czervik: You're a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?

Appropriate context: When playing just about any sport.
Ty Webb: Just be the ball, be the ball, be the ball.

Appropriate context: Farting. This is a personal favorite of my brother.
Al Czervik: [breaks wind at a dinner] Hey, did somebody step on a duck?

Appropriate context: Anytime you lay a finger on a golf club.
Carl Spackler: Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!

Appropriate context: When something completely incomprehensible happens, but you want to make it look like a positive.
Carl Spackler: So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Major League:

Appropriate context: After a bad pitch or anytime somebody misses a target by a wide margin.
Harry Doyle: JUST a bit outside.

Necessary Roughness:

Appropriate context: After a fumble or a clumsy drop. By the way, it’s no coincidence these quotes are from sports movies. Sports are pretty much universal, even more so than math because math sucks.
Chuck Neiderman: Krimm breaks into the backfield. Fumble, FUMBALAYA, FUMBLERUSKI!

Appropriate context: Whenever you want to use a cooler way to say “party.”
Paul Blake: But I thought you said you wanted to Paaar-teee?

Royal Tenenbaums

Appropriate context: When talking jive.
Royal: You wanna talk some jive? I'll talk some jive. I'll talk some jive like you've never heard!

Appropriate context: Admittedly this is not a universal quote. But I like it so much that I make it work. And yes, I can be obnoxious to talk to sometimes.
Peter Bradley: [Eli is on drugs while being interviewed on television] Now, your previous novel...
Eli: Yes, "wildcat".
Peter Bradley: Not a success. Why?
Eli: Well... wildcat was written in a kind of obsolete vernacular...
[long pause]
Eli: ... wildcat... wild... cat...
[he stares into space]
Eli: ... pow... wildcat... I'm going to go.

Wet Hot American Summer:

Appropriate context: Whenever you want to show some affection to a loved one or potential loved one.
Coop: [to the girl he likes] I want you inside me!


Appropriate context: Anytime. I love this line.

Appropriate context: Whenever you want to explain a deficiency in a creative and somewhat disturbing manner.
Mr. Boorg: How many children do you have?
Roy: None that I know of. I mean, I'm unable to have children. Nasty cheese grating accident as a boy.

Appropriate context: Sometimes people just act stupid and it’s always good to have an excuse.
Ishmael: Okay, you want to bowl for some big money, eh? But I'll lose my entire bonus check because I'm so *bombed*.
McKnight Bowl Bartender: You get that way from ginger ale?
Roy: Nah, he was sniffing glue in the parking lot.


Appropriate context: Anytime. This is a quote that I use sometimes without ever realizing it.
Dante Hicks: I'm not even supposed to be here today!

Chasing Amy:

Appropriate context: For some reason, I use this quote a lot in my head, but it can also be appropriate when you’re talking about likes and dislikes.
Banky Edwards:[discussing porn preferences] Variety's the spice of life. I like a wide selection. Sometimes I'm in the mood for nasty close-ups, sometimes I like them arty and air-brushed. Sometimes it's a spread brown-eye kind of night, sometimes it's girl-on-girl time. Sometimes a steamy letter will do it, sometimes - not often, but sometimes - I like the idea of a chick with a horse.

Groundhog Day:

Appropriate context: After you’ve screwed up and you want to deflect attention in an ineffective manner.
[Phil Connors is stopped by the police after some crazy driving]
Phil: Yeah, three cheeseburgers, two large fries, two chocolate shakes and a large coke.
Ralph: [to Phil] And some flapjacks.
Phil: [to Cop] Too early for flapjacks?

Appropriate context: Whenever you want to slip a good line into your speech without anybody realizing it.
Rita: What did you do today?
Phil: Oh, same-old same-old.

I Love You to Death:

Appropriate context: Basically everyday in my entire life.
Joey Boca: I feel better now. I had a good crap. That's all I needed.

Appropriate context: When considering which board game to play.
Joey Boca: C'mon ladies, let's go... Monnnnnopoleeee!"

Tommy Boy:

Appropriate context: After physical injury.
Tommy: [Tommy running into a glass wall] Ow, That's gonna leave a mark.

Appropriate context: When a signature is called for. However, you run the risk of just sounding stupid in front of people who haven’t seen Tommy Boy. But if you’re quoting Tommy Boy, you probably don’t care about not sounding stupid.
Richard Hayden: I need your John Hancock.
[Tommy Boy scoffs]
Tommy: It's HERBIE Hancock.

Appropriate context: Anytime.
Tommy: Fat guy in a little coat. Fat guy in a little coat.

Big Lebowski:

Appropriate context: Anytime.
Walter Sobchak: This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!

Appropriate context: When an ironic answer is needed for a straight question.
Blond Treehorn Thug: [holding up a bowling ball] What the fuck is this?
The Dude: Obviously you're not a golfer.


Appropriate context: I like to use this line when my emotions are being played with.
Big Worm: Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions, Smokey.

Appropriate context: When somebody has been knocked the f*ck out.
Smokey: You just got knocked the FUCK out!

Ace Ventura:

Appropriate context: Talking about unnatural animal affection.
Melissa: You really love animals, don't you?
Ace Ventura: If it gets cold enough.

Appropriate context: Whenever somebody is taking a dump. Or peeing.
Lois Einhorn: Ventura, when I get out of that bathroom, you better be gone.
Ace Ventura: Is it number one or number two? I just want to know how much time I have.

Appropriate context: When somebody talks to you in a creepy voice.
Mr. Shickadance: [comes from behind Ace] Ventura.
Ace Ventura: Yes Satan.
[turns around and sees Mr. Shickadance]
Ace Ventura: Ohh, I thought you were someone else.

Appropriate context: When you are secure in your masculinity (not appropriate for female use).
Lois Einhorn: What would you know about pressure.
Ace Ventura: Well, I have kissed a man.

Appropriate context: When somebody is waiting for you.
Ace Ventura: If I'm not back in five minutes... just wait longer.

There’s Something About Mary:

Appropriate context: When Brett Favre is mentioned.
Ted: What about Brett Fav... ruh?

Appropriate context: When you screw up.
Pat Healy: What, you think yer shit don't stink?
Ted: No, I don't think, I mean, yes it does, no I don't...

Appropriate context: This is a difficult one to slip into a conversation naturally. The final “step into my office” part is useful when you’re humiliating somebody.
Hitchhiker: 7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 doors. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.
Ted: Why?
Hitchhiker: 'Cause you're fuckin' fired!

Appropriate context: Whenever the male reproductive organs are being discussed.
Mary's Step-Father: Oh man! How'd you get the beans above the frank?

Half Baked:

Appropriate context: Whenever the male reproductive organs are being discussed.
Kenny: No. NO. NO! Devil man! Devil 6-6-6, the mark of the beast! No! Naughty! Naughty jungle of love!

Appropriate context: Whenever drug use is being discussed.
Enhancement Smoker: You ever see the back of a twenty dollar bill... on weed? Oh, there's some crazy shit, man. There's a dude in the bushes. Has he got a gun? I dunno! RED TEAM GO, RED TEAM GO.

Appropriate context: Anytime.
Thurgood Jenkins: I be from Jamaica, mon. Lord have mercy.
Samson Simpson: What part of Jamaica?
Thurgood Jenkins: Right near da beach. Boy-eeee!

Nacho Libre:

Appropriate context: Whenever you want to squeeze your butt cheeks and look good.
Nacho: These are my recreation clothes.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby:

Appropriate context: When you’re thankful.
Ricky Bobby: I wanna thank little baby Jesus, who's sittin' in his crib watchin the Baby Einstein videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors.

Appropriate context: When praying (Christians only).
Ricky Bobby: Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces baby Jesus, new born, not even spoken a word yet.

Cool Runnings:

Appropriate context: When you want to show others that you’re cool because you’ve seen Cool Runnings.
Sanka Coffie: Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! COOL RUNNINGS!

Office Space:

Appropriate context: When discussing bleak job prospects.
Peter Gibbons: What if we're still doin' this when we're 50?
Samir: It would be nice to have that kind of job security.

Appropriate context: Anytime.
Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

Appropriate context: When discussing prison. A favorite topic of mine.
Rob Newhouse: Y'know, minimum-security prison is no picnic. I have a client in there right now. He says the trick is: kick someone's ass the first day, or become someone's bitch. Then everything will be all right. W-Why do you ask, anyway?

Whew, that’s my list. I know I missed a lot of good ones so please share them in the comments section. Remember, these are comedy movie quotes that you use or somebody you know uses.

After a couple of days I'll pick some of the best quote submissions and we'll hold a vote for the Greatest Comedy Movie Quote Ever. If that doesn't get you excited then you, my friend, are not very excitable.


Check out FilmSquish.com

I'm 80% certain I'm catching a cold so instead of going through the hassle of randomly typing letter and punctuation keys like I usually do, I'm going to let somebody else entertain you.

My recommendation/pimp out is for FilmSquish.com. Site creator Squish has a ton of movie reviews to peruse and a very fun weekly quiz game that you're welcome to participate in as long as you don't beat me.

Go check out his place and let him know that I sent you. That way he'll owe me "favors" that I can redeem in the form of oh-so-delicious foot rubs.

Don't say I never throw a bone to the ladies

And since some of my female readers complain about not getting enough eye candy, here's a picture of stud-in-training Zac Efron. He's so hot right now. My apologies for the blocking text but it's hard work stealing borrowing these fine pieces of ass art. I'm sure if you're properly motivated you can mentally remove the pesky letters while you're undressing him with your eyes.

Saturday Night Live Movies

Hot Rod seems like an adequate comedy, but as I sit here debating whether or not to go see it this week - while simultaneously contaminating my fresh oxygen with stinky farts - I’m reminded of some of my favorite Saturday Night Live related movies. I’m also reminded that my bowels hate me.

Where have you gone Chevy?

Vacation – This 1983 “family” comedy hearkens back to a time when shorts were short, cars were ugly, and Chevy Chase was still funny.

Favorite line: “Hey kids, anybody thirsty?!?”

Three Amigos – Three out of work actors get hired by a Mexican village to protect them from bad guys, unaware they'll be fighting for real. Hilarious!

Favorite line: “In a way, each of us has an El Guapo [ed. note: main villain’s name] to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be *the actual* El Guapo!”

Fire brings out the best in some people. I call them felons.

Tommy Boy: Probably my favorite movie of the bunch. Chris Farley was a frantic, lovable goof-ball genius and David Spade was his perfect foil.

Favorite line:
Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy; well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser, and your daughter's knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.

Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?

Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.

I used to tell people that I wanted to dress up like this as a joke, but deep down inside I just wanted to look cool

Night at the Roxbury: This is the film that hinted at Will Ferrell’s later flowering. It’s dumb, but funny.

Favorite Line: “Richard Grieco, you see right through me.”

Mean Girls: Ahh, Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay. Did you learn nothing from Rick James? At least you gave us Mean Girls before you lost your way.

Favorite Line: “Don't have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don't have sex in the missionary position, don't have sex standing up, just don't do it, OK, promise? OK, now everybody take some rubbers.”

Which SNL movies do you like?


Quick Superbad Review

I read somewhere (Ed. note: not Cosmo) that women decide if they’re going to make sexy time with a guy within the first fifteen minutes of a date. I’ve yet to confirm this rumor since none of my dates last longer than ten bucks, but I think the same concept can be applied to Superbad.

In case you haven’t heard, Superbad is the newest movie from the comedic imaginings of Seth Rogen (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up), Evan Goldberg (Knocked Up), and Judd Apatow (many, many projects) and it’s been a long time in the coming. A long, loooong time in the coming. Let me put it this way, when I first heard about Superbad I could still sing as a soprano. So like, since February.

Anyhoo, after so many months of seeing dick penis crotch Mr. Happy previews and clips of high school nerdishness, you probably have a pretty good idea whether you want to see Superbad or not. I’d say trust your instincts on this one. If you liked Knocked Up, you’ll like Superbad. If you have a penis, you’ll probably like Superbad. If you liked The Notebook you probably won’t like Superbad - or have a penis.

Penis spoilers

Those of you who choose to see Superbad will be treated to a crude teenage comedy that’s genuinely funny and, at times, heartfelt. It’s not as polished as Knocked Up (I never thought I’d ever write that), but Superbad manages to mine plenty of laughs from the fertile grounds of teenage adolescence. The best moments in the film come from those experiences we all faced growing up: the accidental boob grab, awkward conversations with the opposite sex, and singing exhibitions for coked out drug fiends.

For those who decide to pass on Superbad, I suggest popping The Notebook into the DVD player so you can tell me what happens. I was going to watch it, but after fifteen minutes it just wasn’t sexy enough for me.


Random Movie Thoughts

Check out yesterday's post on Race and Gender in the movies if you want something to sink your teeth into. It's a little longer and more involved than what I usually write, but that's because my brain is too small to keep it all bottled inside. Also I'm eager to hear what you all think.

But on to gayer thoughts.

Today I finally saw the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' vehicle, Swing Time, in its entirety. Now I know absolutely nothing about the seductive art of "dance" and I've been accused of having Elaine-like convulsions/dance -moves myself, but boy do I admire those two hoofers. There's none of that wiggling fingers and lightning fast cuts business to gloss over any dancing deficiencies - oh, no, these guys were the real deal.

Not the real deal

Gene Kelly may have been a more powerful tap dancer but nobody could beat Fred Astaire for pure grace and Ginger Rogers was a superb partner. She actually may have been better than Fred since she pulled off most of the same moves in heels and a dress and still managed to look ravishing.

Uncle Tom's Can Can

Quick Question: Is there anything more surreal than watching a black-faced Fred Astaire perform as a tap dancing black pimp named Bojangles?

The answer, in case you were wondering, is no.


Race and Gender on the page and in the movies

Sometimes I forget that there’s more to the internet than music downloads and celebrity gossip and, no, I’m not talking about naughty pictures of barnyard animals - I never forget about those. What I am talking about is a provocative discussion on race and gender in the publishing word (which got me thinking about race and gender in the movie world, but more on that later).

Apparently I confused myself whilst looking for a race-related picture

I first saw this discussion at the always fascinating Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin’ Blog although it was author David Anthony Durham who initially challenged readers to think about how their choice of reading material is directly shaped by publisher’s and bookseller’s categorization of an author’s race (and, presumably, gender).

If you think about it, just about any business will make use of people’s race and gender if it means making more money. Take television. Back in college I took a communications course that broke down the demographics of the actors and actresses on television shows.

One study on American television programming revealed that there were a disproportionately high number of men on screen compared to women. And of the female actresses, a disproportionate amount were younger women while the men on television had a wider distribution of ages. And it probably goes without saying that racial minorities were also underrepresented.

Think about that for a second. In the television industry, men are more likely to be hired for roles than women and younger women are more likely to be hired than older women. And good luck if you’re an aspiring actress who’s both female and a minority.

Now this kind of discrimination may not be news to you, but, just as in the literary world, it’s largely shaped by consumers’ choices.

You could argue till the U.S. Army withdraws from Iraq whether it’s the network executives or the viewing public who are responsible for the hiring bias towards television actors and actresses, but the bottom line is that networks are only interested in making money and that means airing shows that people will watch. And whether it’s intentional or not, people are watching shows that under represent women and minorities.

Now you might be wondering where I’m going with all of this. As it turns out, I’m hoping to use this discussion to win an argument I’m having with my dad.

But before I get to the argument, I’m going to assume that all of the results from the television study can be applied to the movie industry as well. It might be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll do a quick analysis of the current top ten movies (through the week of August 10th, 2007) and each film's top one or two lead actors and actresses to see if my shapely-gut-instinct is correct.

From Rush Hour 3 (number 1) to Daddy Day Camp (number 10) there are roughly fourteen “leads.” Eleven of the fourteen leads are men (or male voice actors). None of the female leads are older than Catherine Zeta-Jones (37) and only four of the fourteen leads are racial minorities (that’s including Catherine Zeta-Jones). And if we use our “lead” role here as a sample for the general population of movie actors and actresses then our results seems pretty consistent with television standards.

You're a lucky man Michael Douglas. Lucky I don't seduce your wife.

Now on to my bitch fight argument with my dad.

Not too long ago my dad told me how he was disappointed to see Marisa Tomei playing William H. Macy’s significant other in the “comedy” Wild Hogs. My dad reasoned that a role opposite an older, relatively “fugly” man signaled the end of Ms. Tomei’s acting career.

Basically, he and I are in agreement that Marisa Tomei will have a difficult time getting future work. But we disagree on the reasons behind the difficulty.

My dad believes that Marisa Tomei’s career up until now has been based on her looks (in addition to the requisite modicum of acting ability) and that her career will end when she is no longer appropriately attractive/desirable. Simply put, when she is no longer pretty, she will no longer work. Being cast as the love interest for an unattractive man (William H. Macy) therefore implies that Ms. Tomei herself is no longer an attractive actress and that her career will soon end.

Those leather pants have seen better days

My argument is that the success of Marisa Tomei’s future career is dependent on more than just her ability to look good. Going back to our understanding of acting gigs in movies, it’s possible to see that Marisa Tomei (and female actresses in general) struggles under a significant handicap. Remember how there are fewer roles for women than men? This means that, through no fault of her own, Ms. Tomei is less likely to find work than a comparatively talented male actor.

(Obviously we’re speaking in generalities here and even though Marisa Tomei is the subject of our debate, her name is being used to represent any attractive woman who continues to work as a professional actress beyond her early youth.)

Okay, I’m pretty certain I’ve gone on longer than is healthy, so now I’ll give the floor to you guys.

What I’d like to hear from you all is what you think on the matter. Am I full of hot air? Is my dad not seeing the big picture? Are we both missing the point completely?

Please share your thoughts so I can rest my poor aching head.


From Mono to Movie Quiz

I've been unusually sluggish today so, naturally, I thought I had contracted a nasty case of mono. But then I remembered you have to actually talk to a girl before you can get mono. Or lick a toilet seat. Or something like that. In any case, my lethargy - like the Germans - has sucked the fun out of life.

It's all fun and games with the Soup Nazi until you get sent to the Soup Concentration Camp

In an attempt to recapture the good times, I took a movie quote quiz and got my ass handed to me on a platter with asparagus and hollandaise sauce. And I hate hollandaise sauce.

I challenge you to take the Movie Quote Quiz over at The Movie Quote Quiz (of course) and good for you if you beat my 60% score. But between you and me, I'll probably be happier if you do worse (editor's note:that's the mono talking).

Let's talk about Unconscious

Ladies and gentleman, it’s official: I am now Big Time.

You know you’ve made it when unsolicited emails ask you to wield your awesome blogging powers in their aid. Since my ego is the second fastest way to my heart (the first being my small intestine), I will obey its orders and give a shout-out to the indie film Unconscious.

To be perfectly honest, I expected Unconscious to be a weak sauce student film shot entirely in black and white and about as comprehensible as Eraserhead. I was happy to be proven wrong on all accounts.

I am 60% certain this movie is not about date rape

Unconscious is a “whimsical period comedy” that follows a young woman as she questions the sexual taboos of early 20th century Spain while on the hunt for her missing husband. I know what you’re thinking, “Geez, if only I had a nickel for every film about a sexual awakening set in early 20th century Spain involving a missing spouse.” But from what I’ve seen (read: a 2 minute clip), it’s both funny and not a porno.

I wish I could say more about Unconscious, but I don’t have a free copy of the movie to review (editor’s note: hint, hint). The production values are obviously high and the use of subtitles automatically grants it indie film cred. And the reviews on IMDB are a very robust 7.8 which is actually better than such luminaries as A Hard Day's Night and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

So if you haven’t seen this film yet, you might want to check it out. Otherwise I think we can all agree that I am a media whore.


BMQ: Premonition Ending Explained

Not too long ago frequent reader Sadie asked (editor’s note: the following is sexily paraphrased),

“I am naked right now. I have many ice cubes to play with but I can’t get into the mood because I am confused. What the hell is up with the ending for Premonition?”
Never fear Sadie, because I am here to satisfy your curiosities. I rented Premonition to figure out just what the hell happened and I have an answer for you, though I can’t guarantee you’ll like it.

"I'm confused"

Spoilers creep below.

First, a brief back-story for everyone who wants to ruin the movie for themselves.

Linda (Sandra Bullock) time-travels in her sleep from past to present and back again in a near Groundhog Day reenactment. The major difference is that she does not repeat any day twice but instead moves through a single week from Friday to Monday to Saturday to Tuesday, and so on. As she flips through the days, she comes to understand the many strange conditions surrounding her husband’s death (which happened in the middle of the same week).

And now the explanations.

Very simply, the entire film can be summed up with a very famous expression.
“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Most of the details surrounding Linda’s husband’s (aka Jim) death are simply red herrings and the main focus of the movie is on Linda’s relationship to her husband. The crow, the daughter’s cuts, and the strangely prophetic police officer are ultimately unimportant to the film’s resolution. They exist solely to create confusion and raise the movie’s tension, which they succeed at quite well.

Now let's look at the final scene.

Jim is dead (and boy is he!) once and for all, and Linda looks strangely happy. This is supposed to make the audience question the outcome. Did Jim somehow survive that incredible fireball and limp his burned, adulterous little feet back to his loving wife and two darling children? Nope. He’s dead, baby. Linda’s content because she finally accepted her love for her husband and even though she basically killed him, she killed him with love. This may seem like a weak sentiment, but the film actually took great pains to explain it - remember how the priest explains to Linda that it was never too late for faithless whores her to realize what was important and to fight for it?

Linda decided that she did love her husband and even though he died, she is at peace with herself. The fact that she’s pregnant is a cinematic cop-out. Instead of trusting the audience to realize that Linda’s husband “lives on” inside her, the filmmakers (and Sandra Bullock) decided to take the notion literally. It’s silly and unnecessary and weakens what could have been a dramatic ending. The filmmakers simply got overwhelmed with the complexity of the idea and not only had to introduce a weak character to explain the entire premise (the priest), but they had to tack on a fetus to drive the point home.

Rather than get stuck in a bad movie ending, it might just be better to abort the whole thing. What? Too much?

Hope that explanation gets you in the mood, Sadie. I know talking about fetuses always does the trick for me.


American Graffiti Thoughts

As I write this, I’m currently watching suffering through Norbit. Before you think any less of me I have to point out that it was my cousin who bought it; if it were my choice I’d be relaxing in my handsome smoking jacket, sipping cognac while watching Lawrence of Arabia. But I guess Eddie Murphy in a fat suit is almost as good.

It's like looking in a mirror

Thankfully I have my memories of American Graffiti to get me through this ordeal. Written and directed by George Lucas, American Graffiti follows the misadventures of four young men on the night before leaving for college. As you might guess, hilarity and drama ensue.

My thoughts on the movie:

-Incredible soundtrack. This may be a no-brainer, but for somebody raised on the oldies this soundtrack was more enjoyable than a jello sponge bath.

-Apparently George Lucas used a number of supposedly flubbed scenes and I’m convinced that this freedom in his filmmaking contributed to Graffiti’s infectious exuberance. For example, according to the script a water balloon was supposed to hit a James Dean type character who’d get so upset that he’d chase down the people who threw it and get revenge by messing with their car. Instead, the water balloon catches the guy’s passenger smack dab in the face and the actors burst out in surprised and completely genuine laughter. George Lucas kept this take and used it in the movie, so when the guy and his passenger catch up with their tormentors, they’re revenge seems fun and lighthearted and entirely in keeping with the brimming excitement that was so prevalent in the film.

-It’s very creepy seeing Richard Dreyfuss look so young. Seeing him look that young is like seeing your parents naked. Oh god, now I’m scarred for life. Damn you Richard Dreyfuss.

-I don’t understand how Ron Howard is sexy. In Graffiti he’s got a steady girlfriend and gets hit on by other women and in Happy Days he always seems to get attention from the fairer sex. What gives? He’s scrawny, scrawny sounding, and kind of conceited. Is it just me or can somebody explain why Ron Howard got so much action. Thanks in advance.

-Wolfman Jack actually looked like a wolfman.

Watch out, he bites

-There are some stunning shots in this movie. Right before the final race scene, several cars drive up with the night sky gradually shifting into early dawn. As the headlights motor down the road there are some stunning images that got me pumped for the climactic race.

-Speaking of the climactic race, I was really disappointed in Harrison Ford’s racing performance. Everything I know about car racing I learned from the Fast and Furious franchise so admittedly I’m not a very good judge of racing authenticity but still. Han Solo would never crash the Millenium Falcon into an asteroid. Having him spin off the road for no good reason is practically blasphemy.

Those are my thoughts on American Graffiti. Agree or disagree, let me know. And stay tuned for my thoughts on the final movie in my marathon, Maid in Manhattan.


Dog Day Afternoon Thoughts

The other day I received a mandate from heaven ordering me to watch some DVDs. Actually my cable box broke, but people take you more seriously if you say that God tells you what to do. I suggest you try it whenever you want people to nod at your every word - just don’t be surprised when people ask you to lay hands on their genital warts.

As per the Lord’s directions I had a movie marathon and saw three films. The first film I saw was Dog Day Afternoon. Based on a true story, it follows Sonny (played by Al Pacino) and his pal Sal as they try to rob a bank. Hilarity and tragedy ensue.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the movie:

-Filmed in 1975, this is the performance that shaped Al Pacino’s career. There’s one scene where Pacino is screaming at the police to put down their weapons and the crowd of hippies/curious onlookers begins to cheer for him. The crowd feeds off of Pacino’s energy and you can practically see a conditioning experiment taking place in his brain. He screams, the crowd rewards him with admiration. He flails around and he garners critical praise. Forever after this movie Pacino will yell and flail and expect a positive reaction because he was trained so well by his role as Sonny. It’s too bad he frequently forgets that his incredible performance in Dog Day was as much about his heartfelt silences and subdued emotions as the screams and gyrations. Oh well.

The white flag is the universal signal for don't shoot my ass

-Fredo lives! (Until he dies a few years later in 1978)

-I hardly every notice the music in a movie but Dog Day was an exception, kind of; besides the opening sequence, there is absolutely no music. This made every conversation, every glance, and every scene so much more compelling without some halfway appropriate song telling me what I’m supposed to be feeling. I finally had the freedom to concentrate on the feelings and reactions the scene generated within me and it was as exhilarating and freeing as going commando. Or so I’m told.

-This is the way humor should be incorporated into a dramatic film. When the third robber decides to back out within the first five minutes of the heist, it’s unexpected, hilarious, and yet completely authentic to the movie’s tone and plot. Think Little Miss Sunshine but without the occasional feeling that the ongoing “quirks” were forced and artificial.

-This is my new favorite Al Pacino film. Of course, I haven’t seen S1m0ne yet.

[Editor's Note: Sorry, I couldn't help myself]

Agree or disagree with my thoughts? Let me know. And stay tuned for my thoughts on the second film of my divine movie marathon: American Graffiti.


Eraserhead Impressions

I lost a bet to my dad a while back and so I have to watch Eraserhead. Since my business card reads "Movie/Child Lover" (don't ask), I try to stay open-minded about all movies. But even for someone as accepting as me, it's difficult to not have preconceived notions when I choose which film I'm going to watch.
Here are some examples:

Gene Hackman - Any movie with Gene has the potential to be great but is practically guaranteed to not suck. Can you think of a role Gene Hackman wasn't good in? Me neither.

Al Pacino - Yelling.

Jean Claude Van Damme - There will be fighting, bad dialogue and at least one split. Probably a kick or two.

Martial arts training or an exercise in masochism? You be the judge

Kevin Smith - Smart, snappy dialogue, static shots and at least one Ben Affleck hooker joke.

Tim Burton - Enchanting imagery and a better than fair chance that Johnny Depp will make an appearance.

Carrot Top - Sucks.

All of this is my long winded way of asking if you have any thoughts, stories, interesting comments to make on Eraserhead. I'd kind of like to know what I'm getting into. After all, it is a David Lynch movie.


Television Spotlight: Fat March

Fat March is a new reality type show that challenges twelve overweight men and women to walk a 570 mile journey with the All American goals of losing weight and winning money. These may sound like the kind of accomplishments every red blooded American should aspire to, but there’s a catch (there’s always a catch): You must become a communist. Ok, not really, but contestants share equal portions of the final purse and actually win more money for every contestant that completes the journey. Adam Smith is rolling over in his bling encrusted grave.

For a while, Fat March fooled me into thinking it was a genuinely well-meaning show. After all, the prize money gets shared evenly and the challenges stressed teamwork over non-teamwork. Also, the trainers were perky and seemed to actually want their charges to succeed; when one former female rapper (still female, but no longer rapping) upped and quit, one of the trainers told her to her face that she was making a big mistake but that he respected her decision and couldn’t help somebody who didn’t want to put out the effort.

"You look tired. Go ahead and rest your breasts in my cupped hand."

But then Fat March revealed the vote off. I’m not clear on the exact procedure, but if enough contestants felt that somebody was holding them back from completing the journey, that contestant could be voted off. It’s important to note that nobody had to be voted off. It was simply an option if contestants wanted to be dicks or greedy bastards (ie:dicks). And despite the lovey dovey camaraderie that was almost sickening to watch through the hour long episode, the contestants actually did vote one of their own off the show and out of any prize money. And it wasn’t a wannabe diva or an annoying wannabe comedian (also on the show) or even the 400 pound dude who had to be ambulanced to the emergency room for breathing problems. It was a new father and a really nice guy who happened to have a sore foot. Oh yeah, and he was also a freakin' preacher.

How the hell do you vote off a preacher in a contest where nobody has to be voted off? I'm simply at a loss for words. I honestly have no choice now but to believe that everyone on that show is going to suffer for an eternity while burning in hellfire and listening to Michael McDonald.

I know what you’re thinking. “Matt, if you were on that show and you felt that your dear old grandma was slowing you down even a second, you’d vote her off so fast she’d crap her Depends."

Well maybe I would. But at least she’s not a preacher.


American Gigolo needs a new gigolo

American Gigolo was on TV the other night and I couldn’t resist a peek. Two hours later and I was still caught up in gigolo-mania. Yes, the plot was ho-hum and the wardrobe stolen from Cousin Eddie (National Lampoon’s Vacation, anyone?) but Richard Gere oozed enough charm and sex appeal to give even Brad Pitt nightmares. (Plus I like the word gigolo. Gigolo. Giiigolo. Gigooooolo. I could say that all day.)

But as entertaining as American Gigolo was, I still couldn’t completely get into it. My main beef was with Richard Gere’s gigolo arch-nemesis played by Bill Duke. Now Bill Duke is a pretty good actor and an even better villain with his dead fish eyes and infuriating grin. But Bill Duke is no gigolo. You have to be at least moderately sexy and Bill Duke is not a sexy man. He’s a creepy man.

I would not pay money for this man to make sweet love to me

Assuming I can pick any actor from any time in their career, here are my replacement choices to play Richard Gere’s bi-sexual gigolo arch-nemesis.

Kevin Spacey
American Beauty proved that Kevin can play an ambiguously oriented man and he was downright heinous in Se7ven. He might not be a real looker, but his pouty lips are underrated. Kevin Spacey would definitely be my first choice to be public gigolo enemy #1.

Daniel Craig – I know Daniel Craig is making a name for himself as the new face of James Bond, but don’t forget what an arrogant bastard 007 is. Now imagine him framing you for a murder you didn’t commit and then rubbing your face in it. Seems like a pretty good villain setup to me and you know he’s got the physical tools to be a real ladies’ man.

Now that is a gigolo

Jay Mohr – Going back to Jerry Maguire, Jay Mohr can be a Grade A A-Hole. He’s also got the blonde pretty boy looks to be a legitimate gigolo candidate. With Mohr in the role I’d expect him to be a slightly comedic, befuddled gigolo that reveals himself to be a conniving mastermind near the end of the movie.

Barry Bonds – I was trying to think of a sexy black actor that could be universally reviled and I immediately thought of Mr. Bonds. He may not technically be an actor (except for Rookie of the Year, and Nash Bridges?!?) but his ability to avoid arrest has got to count for something. And I may not be an excellent judge of man-flesh but Barry is still a darn sight sweeter than Bill Duke.

Have any more actors to add to the list?


Haiku to The Bourne Ultimatum

I just saw The Bourne Ultimatum last night and it actually provoked a physical reaction in me. Specifically, nausea and motion sickness. So of course I was inspired to write a haiku, though I should warn you that it will probably suck since it is my first attempt at poetry since that time I tried to rhyme "Nantucket" in elementary school.

The Bourne Ultimatum
By Matt

Spies fight, kill, feel sad;
My eyeballs also feel sad.

Chunks will be expelled.

All joking aside, The Bourne Ultimatum is a fast-paced, action-packed, hyphen-friendly movie that more closely follows the dizzying The Bourne Supremacy (also directed by Paul Greengass) than the slightly more intelligent first installment in the series, The Bourne Identity. It’s extremely light on emotion but delivers the action with fight after fight after fight.

Possible Side Effects to watching The Bourne Ultimatum:
Sweating, barfing, man-crush on Matt Damon

If you like lightweight spy thrillers and have a stronger stomach than me (very easy to accomplish) then you’ll probably enjoy The Bourne Ultimatum.

Hilariously Bad Movie Clips

This video of hilariously bad movie clips has been floating around the internetz for the last couple of months, but since I still think snap wristbands are cool, it's no surprise I'm a little behind the times.

Trust me, they're going to make a comeback

Thanks to the always entertaining Just Whatever for bringing me up to speed with these clips that are so bad, they're hilarious.

Do you have any more really bad movie clips? Please share.


BMQ: How did Tara Reid make it into any of her movies?

Stunning reader Sarah recently posed this Burning Movie Question (BMQ):

How did Tara Reid make it into any of her movies?

Excellent question Sarah. Tara Reid, a.k.a. the Bionic Woman, combines the acting ability of a garden hoe with the voice of Sylvia Brown and somehow turns this winning combination into regular “work.”

That is one skanky looking hoe

I’ve stalked her home conducted extensive research and I think I’ve hit onto her secret.

Tara Reid entered a Faustian pact with the devil for fame.

Perhaps this sounds a tad far fetched but stuff like this happens all the time in Hollwood.

Online Videos by Veoh.com
Another example of a Faustian pact

Remember how Goethe’s Faust received power and knowledge in exchange for his soul? Well, the deal went down when Dr. Faust attained the “zenith of human happiness” (from wikipedia). I guess the joke was on Ms. Reid when she hit her personal apex in her second movie, The Big Lebowski, and is now doomed to an eternal limbo filled with horrible, trashy movies that receive just enough publicity to prolong her suffering.

Here’s some evidence that Ms. Tara Reid's career has been given a talon-clawed hand.

1) Personal life marked with tragedy/ridicule

Wardrobe malfunctions. Drunken exhibitions. Star-crossed breast implants. If The Exorcist were remade today with the possessed little girl all grown up, she’d be Tara Reid.

2) Unnatural acting ability

It’s clear to everyone that Tara Reid does not have a very natural acting style. Some might say her acting is downright unnatural. And isn’t unnaturally bad just a synonym for unholy?

3) Career frequently deals with the occult

Return to Salem’s Lot. Urban Legend. Alone in the Dark. Tara's filmography is filled with more supernatural pieces of crap than Stephen King's stool.

Admittedly things look bad for Tara when the entire mess of her life and career are laid out like this but there is a silver lining. At least she's not Rosie O'Donnell. Then she'd really be screwed.

No matter what goes wrong in your life, you can always take comfort in the fact that you're not Rosie O'Donnell

I hope that answered your question Sarah.

And don't forget to keep sending me your Burning Movie Questions.