December 29, 2007

It was a wonderfully weird and wild Christmas.
Not quite as wonderfully weird and wild as an Addams holiday, but close enough. And thematically, my daddy got me a yearly planner full of classic original Addams cartoons which is deliciously festive!

Merry post-Christmas and a Happy upcoming New Year.

I leave you with a few favorite Addams film quotes...

Gomez: I hope that one day you'll know the indescribable joy of having children, and of paying someone else to raise them.

Morticia: And our credo: 'Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc'. 'We gladly feast on those who would subdue us'. Not just pretty words.

Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they're real lemons?
Pugsley: Yes.
Girl Scout: Well, I'll tell you what. I'll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?
Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

Morticia: You have enslaved him. You have placed him under some strange sexual spell. I respect that. But please, may we see him?

Debbie: I bet you wish it was still just the two of you, don't you?
Wednesday: Or less.

December 19, 2007

Why I love Christmas.

"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more."

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
to hear sleighbells in the snow..."

Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights, please. 'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 13, 2007

Excerpt from 'A Stage Manager's Memoir' by Gabrielle
copyright 2007 Unpublished Press

"You could have a sphere made of titanium with no discernible flaws or joins of any kind, one that had been tested in the freezing airless expanse of space and the hyper-burn of re-entry into Earth's atmosphere to no ill effect, one that had been shoved off the back of a speeding semi-truck into an oncoming envoy of armored tanks and that had emerged unscathed, and if you gave that sphere to an actor for a prop it would be irreparably shattered within two hours. And the actor would say they 'hardly touched it' and have no actual idea how the breakage occurred."

December 8, 2007

A man wrongfully imprisoned.
His wife and daughter taken.
Upon his release, he becomes a murderous barber sworn to vengeance.
His amorous accomplice a baker.
In her famous meat pies, the corpses.
Tim Burton.
Johnny Depp.
Helena Bonham Carter.
Alan Rickman.
Stephen Sondheim's music.

Sweeney Todd
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Merry bloody Christmas.

I'll be first in line.

December 7, 2007

Why Love And Hate Are Such Close Bedfellows
An Illustrated Pondering

My love for Sharon Stone is what's commonly referred to in these parts as 'legendary'. Good (Casino) or bad (Beautiful Joe), hot (Basic Instinct) or cold (Sliver), underrated (The Quick and the Dead) or roundly hated (Catwoman), I've seen it all. I love this woman irrationally. She is the very embodiment of Glamorous Insanity. She is fabulous and probably nuts. She is an opinionated but charity-minded force of nature. She is wonderful. She either has an agent who can't stand her or picks scripts by employing the questionable "eeny meeny" method, but no matter the project she's usually better than the material and frequently shines in spite of it. I don't care what her seemingly innumerable detractors say, she is talented. She's a good actress who just happens to often appear in appallingly unwatchable films. She's beautiful. She's brainy. She's madly outspoken. I love her.

While many might say that her greatest crime is being in more box office misses than hits and not having the good sense to retire, I have a very different opinion. I hope she makes movies until an impossible age. I hope she's around at least as long as Jessica Tandy. No, her greatest crime in my books is that she's a frequent and unrepentant fur-wearer.

Admittedly, she does rock the fur in many fabulous couture ways. Examples...

Fur Bathrobe.
Or the Norma Desmond 'I'm ready for my closeup but I don't want to look like I tried' casual-glam of fur trim.

Sheer Fur.
Only Sharon could evoke the allure of naughty exposure and sense of being swaddled in luxury in a single outfit. This gives the 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' campaign a run for it's money, really, by doing both.

Fur For Peace.
Since she wore this slinky little critter to the Nobel Peace Awards Dinner, I named it appropriately. Nothing says 'I applaud your selfless contribution to humanity' like silver fur.

The notion that all her fur is faux has crossed my mind. Then again, this is the same woman who didn't use a crotch-double in Basic Instinct and who reportedly sued a plastic surgeon for hinting at work she might have had done so I'm not thinking she's really into faking things. And though I hate fur, I was willing to overlook it all in the name of living and letting kill because she wears a lot of fur to charity events in which she raises untold millions for worthy causes like children without winter coats and AIDS research and the like. But then she wore this:

Fur Duvet.

I am hard-pressed to imagine a scenario in Greater L.A. which would require one to wear an actual quilt of fur. She looks like an uber-chic cavewoman who has just rolled off the bedrock, wrapped herself in the sabre-tooth tiger skin that her husband Grawg killed last week in preparation for winter, and sauntered fabulously into some time-warp that deposited her at a gala event. How can she even carry the ponderous weight of it? Somewhere a very large, very naked, very pissed-off bear is swearing vengeance on the entire Stone clan.

Seeing her in fur is like being offered chocolate wrapped in a steak. It's akin to being given the keys to a brand new car that eight skunks have just fought and died in. Do you see what I'm getting at? There's no way around the contrary emotions. I want to wrap her in my arms and yet the thought of touching that dread fur makes my flesh crawl. It's like getting a beautifully wrapped gift under the Christmas tree and tearing it open to find tarantulas inside.

My point is that seeing Sharon perpetually swathed in fur forces me to experience admiration and repulsion simultaneously. It has been said that love and hate are not opposites but actually similar passions and that slipping into one while immersed in the other is very common. It might be why there are crimes of passion committed by one lover against another. It's very likely why the person you love can sometimes drive you absolutely batty with anger. Love and hate are different sides of the same coin. What you adore you may also be compelled to loathe and what you can't abide might slip under your radar and suddenly demand all your affections. Like recovering from an addiction, what you passionately love with unconscious force becomes what you studiously avoid like the plague. You never truly hate the substance. You learn not to indulge but deep down you are always struggling against your love for it. And that love, ironically, is what drives you to hate it. Love/hate. Like Sharon in fur, it's a very fine line to toe.

December 4, 2007

What amuses me today is this...

Nothing predates Jesus.

Look, I don't watch The View. I don't watch TV at all and even if I did, you couldn't pay me to watch The View. But every so often the absolute vapidity that forms the base of the show finds me online and works against my better judgment to amuse the hell out of me.

Sherri Shepherd (whose name I only learned from YouTube just now) thinks that nothing pre-dates Christianity. Purportedly the hosts were discussing Epicurus, a Greek philosopher born in 341 BC, and the following 'conversation' ensued:

Whoopi: ... probably when he was around there was no Jesus Christ stuff going on.
Sherri: No, no, they still had Christians back then.
Sherri: They had Christians 'cause they threw 'em to the lions.
Whoopi: I think this might predate that. I think this might predate that.
Sherri: I don't think anything predated Christians.
Joy: The Greeks were first. The Greeks came first, then the Romans, then the Christians.
Sherri: Jesus came first before them.

So many questions, so little brain cells with which to properly ponder them. What do Americans learn in school, anyway?

It's great to believe strongly in Jesus but it would also be good to employ some of the grey matter God so liberally handed out when doing so. Many things predate Christianity. Many things predate Jesus. 'BC' is generally accepted as meaning 'before Christ' and refers to the time period prior to the birth of Christ while 'AD' stands for 'anno domini' which translates loosely to "the year of our lord" and refers to the time period beginning with the birth of Jesus and which we are still currently in. Therefore the year 341 BC would, in fact, predate Jesus by a good three hundred and forty-one years. Which is just plain historic fact and not some demonic myth made up by the purveyors of heavy metal and Harry Potter to test the faith of those in the Bible belt.

Additionally, I do believe it was most often the Romans who are associated with having thrown Christians to the lions and not the Greeks. The ancient Greek civilization generally refers to the period from 750 to 146 BC and is the time that greatly influenced the Roman Empire which succeeded the Roman Republic somewhere between 27 and 31 BC and lasted arguably until 476 AD when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed and not replaced. Therefore it was historically impossible for the Greeks to have thrown Christians to the lions since Christianity wasn't born until Jesus walked the earth. And it's not like I had to play KISS albums backwards at double-speed while carving six-six-six into my forearm to figure this out either, Sherri. I bet she still believes the earth is flat. Oh, she's on the fence about that. My bad.

I'm fairly certain Whoopi Goldberg only barely restrained herself from bitch-slapping Sherri and I have to ask myself why she did. For inexplicable reasons, many people watch The View and if the hosts have that little education, how can they reasonably expect to enlighten the mass public even incrementally? I'm not asking for life-altering revelations and historical lectures from The View, for godsakes, but I would expect slightly more intellectual capacity than your average Starbucks frappuccino on a daily basis.

Which is probably where I've gone wrong, actually.

November 28, 2007

Greenpeace is currently holding a contest to name humpback whales that travel along the Great Whale Trail. They've selected 30 names from submissions made by the public. And do you know what name is currently the overwhelming leader at 73% of the vote?

Mister Splashy Pants.


Yeah, I wish I could say I voted for one of the 29 other meaningful names. How awesome will it be to hear Greenpeace seriously reprimanding Japan on their whaling practices by imploring them to "please, think of Mister Splashy Pants"?

November 27, 2007

Isn't she beautiful? That little girl, named Lakshmi after the four-armed Indian goddess of wealth and beauty, is too adorable. She was born with a "parasitic conjoined twin" attached to her lower half which means she was the developed and surviving twin but had two extra arms and two extra legs on her own body. Born into a poverty-stricken rural family in India, she was worshiped as a reincarnation of the goddess Lakshmi she's named for but when too much attention came her way and circuses expressed interest in her, her parents kept her in hiding. They looked into getting her surgery but could not afford it until Dr. Sharan Patil and a team of 30 doctors at Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore donated their time and talent to help Lakshmi. That's a whole lot of trauma for a two year old! But you'd never know it by looking at her smile.

Those dedicated doctors recently completed a risky 40 hour surgery on Lakshmi to remove the extra limbs and realign her organs, spine, and pelvic region. They are happy report that the surgery was a marked success and little Lakshmi, now with only two arms and legs each, was recovering nicely earlier this month.

You can't always predict the cards life will deal you and I have to admire her parents, poor as they were, in protecting her from exploitation and raising, from all appearances, a perfectly happy baby despite her extra limbs. They weren't in it for anything other than her well-being. I also think it's beautiful that babies born with deformities in those regions are regarded as reincarnations of deities instead of dismissed as freaks.

There's a lesson in there somewhere but I won't point it out for fear of being too overt.

November 25, 2007

This, my friends, is a Kindle.

It's made by and it's like a book but it isn't. It's for all those people who would absolutely find time to read if only reading didn't involve all those pesky books.

Actually just today, as I was reading my book while barefoot on the roof in the sun, it occurred to me that the only way things could get any better would be if I were reading my book on a "revolutionary electronic-paper display" that could provide "a sharp, high-resolution" image "that looks and reads like real paper". I would probably read so much more frequently if I had a device whose screen could approximate the experience of reading words on real paper.

You can take the Kindle everywhere you can take a... book. And it only weighs a little less than a, you know, book. Also, there are no monthly wireless bills or service plans unlike... well, not unlike books. So. There you go then.

I hope somebody invents a holowaterbottle so I can virtually quench my thirst and handily carry around a stupidly expensive gadget instead of those pain-in-the-ass real bottles.

I feel 90. "Back in my day, sonny, we used to read books! We didn't have any of these fancy-assed gizmo do-dads that you kids have today. And we had to read our books while walking to school barefoot in the snow. Uphill. Through eel-infested waters."

November 21, 2007

I added a new link under the 'M' in the vampire part of vampirenomad. Go on, click it. CLICK IT! Okay see? Now you're at Anjelic, a very respectful and well-maintained Anjelica Huston website. "Why?" you're asking. Because I'm now one of the two webmistresses of Anjelic. The fabulously talented Jenn owns it and I am her new co-webmistress. So when you see updates by Gabrielle there, that's me.

No, I don't have enough to do already, apparently.

What's your favorite Anjelica Huston movie? (This will give you an opportunity to check the venerable IMDb - the 'I' in vampirenomad - to figure out what movies she's been in before you answer. See how easy I'm making this?)

I won't tell you my favorites until you answer. I asked first so that's totally my right.

November 19, 2007

What freaks me out? Not a lot. Okay, except, you know...

What did you think it was a picture of? I've always been terrified of pink-hued skies. No, wind. I have ancraophobia. Fear of wind. And I live in Wellington!

I don't even know what kind of spider that is. It's the first one that came up in Wikipedia because I couldn't handle a Google Image search. That's just too many spider visuals on one page. *shudder* So physically small, so emotionally large on absolute fucking terror.

It's a privilege. Not a right.

Tom Cruise.
He had me at "Xenu".

Whatever this is, it's freaking me out.

November 17, 2007

Guess who else is on strike?

New York City stagehands, that's who. And they have effectively shut down all of Broadway save for eight shows. Hahahahahahaha!! Ah, I support them all. The writers, the stagehands, all of them.

It pretty much sucks to be an American these days.

Well... not that it's ever been Utopian...

In a completely unrelated conclusion, I leave you with the following quote from Family Guy's enfant terrible Stewie: "And finally, anyone who uses the terms 'irregardless', 'a whole nother', or 'all of the sudden' shall be sent to a work camp."

November 15, 2007

So VampireNomad, how was Mr. Brooks?

Well, for those of you who hate to scroll, the Coles Notes review is this: It had an interesting premise that was needlessly complicated by unrelated plots. It actually sort of sucked. But Marg was great.
For those of you who want a bit more of an explanation, I aim to please...

Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks
was a movie comprised of what I assume was the writer's favorite premise and four distinctly separate and not very well developed plot arcs that were presumably woven into and around said premise in an effort to 'amp up' the story and provide 'twists'. Now if the premise had been left unsullied by all the variously unrelated plot threads and the story had focussed on said premise, thus allowing the main characters to fully flesh out their backstories and plumb heretofore unknown depths in their psyches, Mr. Brooks could have been a decent little movie. Even a good one.

The premise: Mr. Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) is the successful CEO of a box-making company who is married to the lovely Emma (Marg Helgenberger) and has just been named Man of the Year. The couple have a seemingly well-adjusted daughter in college, a flash house with a pool, and an apparently affectionate relationship. However, Mr. Brooks has a secret side. He is also a killer. He gets off on murders. He is addicted to it, like one might be addicted to alcohol or porn, and thus, in his secret life, he is also the serial killer known as The Thumbprint Killer. The murderous part of his psyche operates as an invisible friend with whom he constantly talks and is played by William Hurt.

The plots:
1) Mr. Brooks is trying to quit his murderous ways and, after a two year break in his thumbprint killings, decides on just one more double-homicide to cap his career after which, to the dismay of Marshall (his murderous psyche as embodied by William Hurt), he will quit. However, things go awry when a voyeuristic neighbor of the murdered couple (Dane Cook) sees the killings and blackmails Mr. Brooks into taking him along on the next murder. Or else he'll tell the cops and Mr. Brooks' oblivious family.
2) The cop who has been tracking the thumbprint killings for years, Detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), is a $60 million dollar trust fund baby who eschews her wealth in favor of gritty police work and is currently embroiled in a bitter divorce with her hunky younger soon-to-be-ex husband. She recently put away a serial killer called The Hangman who, you know, hanged his victims in creatively grotesque ways. The Hangman has recently escaped custody and is hell-bent on exacting revenge on Tracy and maybe on her ex-husband which prompts him to try to bilk more money out of the divorce settlement.
3) Mr. Brooks' daughter Jane drops out of college, reveals that she's pregnant by a married man, and moves home. In short order some out of town cops arrive on the Brooks' doorstep to interrogate Jane about an axe murder committed in her dorm at college. Mr. Brooks (and Marshall) discover that Jane has 'inherited' his murderous addiction which spirals him into both despair over having given his beloved daughter his curse and hope for the baby she hasn't yet decided to have. He decides to commit another axe murder at her college (which is across the country) in disguise which, since Jane is safely at home, would get her off the hook by way of an alibi.
4) Mr. Brooks and Marshall have differing opinions on whether or not Mr. Brooks is to blame for the murder Jane committed as well as on how Mr. Brooks intends to solve all the various plots in his life. Mr. Brooks doesn't want Emma to know he's a killer, he wants to stop killing, he wants Jane to stop killing. Marshall wants Mr. Brooks to keep killing and not take Jane's guilt onto himself and most of all doesn't want Mr. Brooks to blow off Dane Cook because in prison neither of them would get to kill anymore. Mr. Brooks actually doesn't want to stop killing either though he says he does. He doesn't want to stop talking to Marshall. He also doesn't want his daughter to end up in prison. Etc. Etc.

These plot threads all tie together in only the loosest of manners. The cop, Tracy, has entirely too much of her own story going on in a movie called Mr. Brooks. The divorce from her ex-husband and the Hangman storyline felt like parts of another movie that didn't get made but that the director really liked so decided to splice into Mr. Brooks. The filming style even looked different which was unnerving, to say the least. The connection is explained away by Mr. Brooks and Dane Cook's voyeur neighbor seeing the Hangman in a parking lot while they are out stalking their intended random victim who may (or may not as the filming wasn't exactly clear) have actually been Tracy's ex-husband. Tracy doesn't actually have any input into the Mr. Brooks storyline despite the fact that she is the primary investigator on the Thumbprint Killer cases. She spends the entirety of the movie alternately pursuing Dane Cook's character and getting battered emotionally by her ex and physically from the escaped Hangman. Daughter Jane's storyline is completely removed from both the Mr. Brooks/Dane Cook blackmail murder angle and Tracy's dual stories. Jane's story has more in line with Mr. Brooks' murderous inclinations as embodied by Marshall but because there is so much going on in the other plots, little development is given to Jane herself outside of her father's angst over her apparently similar deadly addiction.

The problem of Marshall is the most significant and irritating in the film. While I like the idea of having the murderous psyche physically embodied for narrative purposes, it's neither an original idea nor a well-executed one. Norman Bates did it far better in Psycho, by way of example, and what Hitchcock has already done should never be attempted by lesser directors with hackneyed scripts. Moreover, the split personality killer angle has been done so many times that Adaptation pokes fun at it through Nicolas Cage's character: "The only idea more overused than serial killers is multiple personality."
If you're going to do it, though, at least think it through. William Hurt as Marshall is never explicitly explained away but one gets the idea that he embodies the murderous or at least the ethically damaged part of Mr. Brooks' psyche. In that respect his first appearance is the most accurate wherein he nags at Mr. Brooks from the backseat of the car to just go see the couple he's been watching but trying not to kill. One would expect to only see Marshall either when Mr. Brooks is actively preparing for a killing, while he is pulling the trigger, or directly afterwards when he is basking in the high of the kill. One would perhaps also see internal debates personified when Mr. Brooks is alone - with Mr. Brooks trying to extricate himself from Marshall's control. But that is precisely where things go awry. Instead, Mr. Brooks and Marshall are inseparable with Marshall present even in discussions that have nothing to do with murder and in locations in Mr. Brooks' public life where his secret would be actively hidden. Additionally, Marshall never pulls the trigger nor is he responsible for the bulk of the planning. Instead he is a sort of reference for Mr. Brooks who selects victims on his own and carries out the killings with Marshall as more or less just a buddy along for the ride.

There's also what I call the Family Guy problem with Marshall. He's in the backseat of the car when Mr. Brooks and his wife Emma are driving home after the Man of the Year banquet. Mr. Brooks engages in conversation with Marshall and even adjusts the rearview mirror to avoid meeting his eyes, but his wife doesn't notice a thing. It's accepted that she wouldn't be able to hear Marshall - he doesn't actually exist outside of Mr. Brooks' head - but wouldn't she be able to hear her husband's responses to him? And wouldn't things adjusted by Mr. Brooks be noticeable to those in the real world? Family Guy perpetually plays the Stewie/Brian relationship for laughs as Brian seems to be the only one in the family who can understand Stewie unless plot demands that suddenly Lois hear something Stewie said. It works in an animated comedy setting but in the instance of Marshall and Mr. Brooks it's just distracting.

Overall Mr. Brooks would have benefited from having two of its four plots excised completely to allow for the characters to be developed past the point of mere suggestion and for Marshall's appearances to have been given some sort of structure so that his role is more accurately defined. It also would have benefited from a lead other than Kevin Costner since for the entire first half of the movie he spoke in this haltingly precise diction that sounded like somebody still learning English reading aloud for the first time. William Hurt was wonderful as Marshall - sarcastic, needling, and distinctly unsettling - but ultimately wasted without proper definition. Demi Moore is a sort of bitter and pointless version of what I assume she'll actually be like in a few years when she's going through an ugly divorce from Ashton Kutcher. Dane Cook has the on-screen charisma of a wall. I'd rather watch Keanu Reeves. Marg Helgenberger, in the few scenes she had, was beautifully natural as the loving and oblivious wife. However I have to say that the film actually would have been better served by a no-name actress in the role because Marg is most recognizable from CSI and in a killer movie where police procedural and forensics are so obviously ignored it's grating to have an actress known for crime solving and capable analysis relegated to a simpering support role.

I don't give stars unless they're warranted anymore. Not even for the purposes of ratings. So I'll just say that I've definitely seen worse movies but that's not a recommendation. This is an overdone premise that doesn't really shed new light on the genre and badly needed an editor.

November 14, 2007

If the writer's strike doesn't end, eventually all movies will be silent reels of only semi-related images of celebrities narrated by that annoying mouth-breather who sits in the middle of every theatre and offers inane commentary in between chomping popcorn. So every theatre experience will become that much more special. ('Special' like the short bus, not 'special' like you've always been told by your parents you are.)

"Oh man, Jack Nicholson is totally the bomb. Whatever the fuck, Leo! Whatever the fuck, he's such a pansy. DUDE! Did you like see Bourne Supremacy? That rocked. Matt Damon totally rocked in that... WHOA! Shot him in the face. Saw that coming. But it was still like BAM! Cool shit, man."

That would be your experience in The Departed, by way of example. Only smellier. And with less leg room.

Tomorrow I am voluntarily going to see a movie that I anticipate will more or less largely suck. Why? Because I'm a loyal fan, that's why. The same reason I went to see On The Line. Okay, that was temporary insanity but this is different. This is for a much more worthy cause. Marg Helgenberger. That's right, I'm a big Catherine fan. (Balthazar snickers every time he hears her name because he thinks it sounds like 'Mark Hamburger' which is just childish. But it's also why I've started calling her Catherine even when she's not on CSI.) Anyway, Catherine is in the Kevin Costner vehicle Mr. Brooks as his loving wife, Emma Brooks. So no, she's not playing Catherine. But there is death in it! However I doubt very much that she will interrogate a suspect by unbuttoning her blouse or saucily use reverse forensics to solve a crime. The movie is all about Kevin Costner being a serial killer whose murderous impulses are embodied by William Hurt. Or something. Anyway, it will very likely be terrible but I love Marg so I'm going to see it. Because being a fan is like being a friend - it's cheap to only be there in the good times, you know? The bad times are when they need you the most.

That said, I will not be supporting the 'Tom Cruise And Xenu Take Over Hollywood One Cliched War Movie At A Time' effort Lions For Lambs even though Meryl Streep is in it. I hope Meryl can forgive me but I just... can't. I swore after War of the Worlds I was through with Tommy Boy and I stand by my convictions. I'm already voluntarily subjecting myself to Kevin Costner. What more do you want from me?!?!

Perhaps if the writers do stay on strike my favorite actors will take up silent screen careers. (I said 'silent screen' not 'mime', Skotty. I know you're just acting out because I'm voicing support for Catherine again. Who, by the way, is a REDHEAD.) I'd like to see that, actually. Long epic films with just scores to back them and no dialogue to get in the way of all that beautiful acting. It would also put Botox out of favor because one can't act silently without facial expressions unlike now when you can sort of ignore the lack of feature mobility by focussing on the overly dramatic vocal intonation.

I'll let you know how Mr. Brooks is. By the way, it also stars Demi Moore as a hard-boiled detective and Dane Cook as a weird voyeur. So if you had any charitable thoughts about it before that last sentence, you can banish them now. I know what I'm in for.

November 10, 2007

"To begin... To begin... How to start? I'm hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. So I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana nut. That's a good muffin."

And that, courtesy of Nicolas Cage's neurotic writer in Adaptation, is the answer to the eternal question of "Why don't you publish something?"

In support of writers everywhere - those on strike with the WGA and those around the rest of the world who, like me, procrastinate in written format for a "living".

November 6, 2007

How Does the Writer's Strike Affect Me?

*blank stares*

Oookay... let's back up a bit, shall we?

Did You Know There's A Writer's Strike On?

Well there is. A Hollywood writer's strike. The WGA, or Writer's Guild of America (comprised of WGA West Board and WGA East Council), has gone on strike as of yesterday, November 5th. Technically for you North American readers that's today. If you were previously unaware of the strike, now you know. And, as G.I. Joe famously said, "knowing is half the battle". Though I have to point out that he couldn't have said that without a writer which brings us back to...

How Does the Writer's Strike Affect Me?

Do you watch Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Tonight Show, or The Late Show? Then it's already affected you. Those shows - and other shows like them that depend on daily scriptwriting to function - have all been immediately put into reruns. If you don't watch any of those TV shows but are fond of, say, 30 Rock, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, The Office, or Heroes (to name just a few), the strike will take a few weeks or longer to affect you. Studios have known about the possibility of a writer's strike for quite some time now and have been stockpiling scripts the way squirrels stockpile nuts for winter. So pre-filmed shows will potentially have the ability to last for months before running out of material to film. Of course the quality of the material they've stockpiled might be questionable but if you regularly watch Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives you won't notice quality from a kick in the head anyway so you're fine. (Just opinion, folks: everybody is entitled.) Eventually scripts will dry up and shows will one by one be forced into reruns. Well everything except reality TV, that is. So that's the good news, I suppose, from a certain standpoint. If you like reality TV there will be a whole lot more of it being made in the coming months. If you're like me and consider reality TV to be a particularly vicious ring of hell, we're heading towards a TV apocalypse.

How Will It Affect Me If I Only Watch Movies?

If you don't watch TV, the strike will take a lot longer to affect you. But rest assured, in time you too will be affected. The first sign that things aren't quite right in filmdom will come during the holiday movie push when, without shows like The Tonight Show and The Late Show on air for promotional purposes, the push will be lost and some films may find their release dates altered. Ditto for the Oscars and attendant Oscar buzz. Slowly film productions will start to be affected as projects that had been planned but not written will have to be bumped and fewer films are greenlit pending the outcome of the strike. Then, come June when the existing SAG contract expires, if things with the WGA are not resolved, the SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) may strike in solidarity with the writers. If the SAG strikes, the whole world will know because actors can't do anything that isn't highly publicized and also you can't really film much without actors. But what you need to know right now is that the WGA strike is the first step. Because you can't film anything without a script and there are only so many nuts stashed away in studio storehouses, if you know what I mean.

Who Is Opposite the WGA in Negotiations?

The AMPTP, or the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. The studios, networks, producers... you know, "Big Hollywood".

Can You Sum the Issues Up in A Brief Entertaining Soundbyte?

Sort of. It's got a lot to do with the issue of new media. "It's too new!" Revenue from and residuals for internet and cell phone content, to be exact. There's currently no deal in place to allow writers to profit from their work when it appears online. Also, DVD residuals. But that's summation without the entertainment side of things. So instead let Jon Stewart explain it to you thusly.

You may not care about a writer's strike. Fair enough. I'm just giving you the heads-up. I consider you all, pretty mortals, to be on a need-to-know basis. You are, after all, the ultimate point of all TV and movie production because you are the ones who watch and/or purchase the end result of all production in Hollywood. Without you there wouldn't be a Hollywood. As consumers, you have the power to make shows and films hits or misses. If this strike lasts long enough, you also have the power to tell Hollywood that you won't come back once it's resolved because your time is too precious to be wasted. Pretty impressive, eh? Never forget that all things ultimately rest on the shoulders of us little people.

November 2, 2007

Reason #291 Why It's A Good Thing I'm Not Independently Wealthy:

Do you see that? That's an ordinary room in a regular old 21st century house - any old room that you or I might rent/purchase and fill up with things like books and laundry and hand-me-down furniture. OR... turn into a complete replica of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D Transporter Room. Because why wouldn't you? Do you see that? Dude turned his house into the transporter room! *jaw drop*

If you have more money than brains, you too can turn your house into the Enterprise. All you need to do is contact the ex-DJ-turned-sci-fi-designer who runs 24th Century Design. Go on and visit his site. I promise you'll be floored.

Captain's Log Stardate 02112007.1
Commander Balthazar remains on shore leave while I (wo)man the bridge alone. Earlier today we had a near run-in with a postal worker but as it turned out, he was delivering to the neighbors. Drafty today. Also, we're out of bananas.

So the house would be exciting but the logs wouldn't necessarily follow suit. However, if any of you are wondering what I want for my birthday... now you know.

October 31, 2007

Halloween. The Sacred Holiday.

Last night I locked myself in my Crypt with a fellow vampire and his lovely lady and we watched two horror movies. BOO! They weren't gore-fests or even particularly frightening but they fit the atmospheric bill and that's what counts.

I'd never seen Misery and like most Stephen King adaptations (and books, in my opinion, because I'm really not a fan) Misery is more bore-fest than gore-fest but what it does well, besides cater to King's love of small town freaks and writers in crisis, is offer Kathy Bates as a singularly disturbing nurse/captor. She's so disturbing that by the end of it even ridiculous turns of phrase like "cock-a-doodie" become spine-chilling. The term 'batshit insane' has never been so wonderfully personified.
I'll never tell anybody I'm their number one fan now. Ever.

The Lost Boys.
Probably the most terrifying thing in The Lost Boys is the 80s style. Jason Patric's sunglasses sent me into hysterics. But The Lost Boys is a classic among classics. Not only does it feature both Coreys (Haim and Feldman who was our generation's Jack Black) but Kiefer Sutherland as a biker vampire. Vampires, the 80s, and the Coreys. It's not scary but it's awesome in the way all 80s nostalgia makes you want to rock the air guitar and break the neon out of the back of your closet. I must admit that the scene where the vampire dying in the bathtub caused all the sinks and toilets to geyser blood was incredibly cool. And... come on... KIEFER. Who gets to say things like "It's too late, my blood is in your veins" and "You'll never grow old, Michael, and you'll never die. But you must feed!". I don't watch 24 so I can't fathom a cooler Kiefer Sutherland than this. Except perhaps in Flatliners.
Vampires. Rock gods of the 80s.

Happy Halloween all! And remember, if you're going to Psycho, do the original. I offer the same advice for the upcoming remake of A Tale of Two Sisters. The original is wildly bizarrely beautiful and genuinely creepy. Don't wait for Hollywood to dub it for you. Rent the original.

October 22, 2007

Vampires hate doing things during the day. There are several reasons for this. Probably the most compelling is the whole sunlight-turns-us-to-ash thing which, admittedly, is a pretty big motivator to become a night person. But there's also the thing about humanity being sort of annoying unless, say, you're hungry. And the over-crowding that happens during the day which mercifully clears up at night unless you are the sort of vampire who likes hunting in nightclubs. And of course there's the fact that the concept of morning was invented by a true masochist or possibly just somebody incredibly antisocial who seriously loathed the world. What earthly good are mornings really?

Anyway, today, contrary to all my strong and deeply rooted impulses to the contrary, I had to get up at the wholly ungodly hour of 8. O'clock. In the morning. Which, since I only went to bed/coffin at 5.30, has made for a pretty damn bleary day all told. The world as a whole needs to be more sympathetic to vampires and stop scheduling everything in the unholy light of day. With all the PC movements busting our asses for every damn thing these days, you'd think vampires would be catered to a bit more.

I'm just saying. There's only so much coffee and virgin blood can do. This daylight thing is just intolerable most of the time.

October 14, 2007

Wild South China Tiger Sighting

An incredibly rare sighting of a young, wild South China tiger - with accompanying photographic evidence - has surprised tiger researchers who feared the subspecies was extinct save for those living in captivity. But a farmer in Shaanxi province handed in the photos earlier this month of what has now been confirmed as a South China tiger. The last recorded sighting of a South China tiger in the wild was in 1964.

This is WONDERFUL news! I had to do a happy dance after reading that. My heart is beaming. Come on little tigers, you can do it! Don't let us wretched humans keep you down. We suck. You absolutely need to stand your ground and come back. I'm rooting for you.

October 11, 2007

Last night I watched the CSI Season 7 episode "Redrum" and if you haven't seen it then you either don't watch CSI or can't be bothered watching TV as it actually airs and just watch it on DVD when the mood strikes like I do so haven't yet reached this episode. Either way, there will be spoilers in this post. So read on only if you have seen the episode, don't care if you ever see the episode, or generally like spoilers. (Here's one for you: King Kong dies at the end.)

Right off the bat I'm geeky enough that I like the title of the episode. (You had me at the title. *dramatic sniffle*) "Redrum" is totally "murder" spelled backwards and since this was the infamous "reverse forensics" episode it's wittily appropriate. It also references The Shining which is just brilliant. Though, sadly, no creepy little children with imaginary friends living in their fingers intoned "Redrum, REDRUM" in the episode. I don't know how that would have fit into the plot but it would have amused me.

The most significant thing to say about the episode is: How in HELL was this ever going to work? The CSIs make their living unearthing minute details with painstaking patience. They also don't have lives, which is a prerequisite for the level of exhausting research they put into solving every crime. They are the forensic equivalents of the Hardy Boys cross-bred with MacGuyver. There isn't anything they can't figure out. So falsifying a crime scene in order to smoke a criminal out of hiding is not only employing questionable ethics that probably violate constitutional rights on some level but is also doomed to failure when a key part of the plan involves not telling the very CSIs you need to verify the crime scene to begin with. Reverse forensics? Who comes up with this shit? Liev Schrieber, that's who.

I know Torch has a hate-on for Catherine (whom I absolutely and shamelessly love) so this episode is probably one of his favorites. Catherine goes along with Liev Schrieber's inane reverse forensics plan, lies to all her loyal CSIs, loses the criminal due to the shady nature of the idea of reverse forensics, and winds up with a bunch of disgruntled CSIs who no longer trust her and have to clean up her mess by actually solving the real crime. As if Sara needed any more reason to hate Catherine. (Classic line when Cath asks Sara to comment on how she feels in the wake of the deception. Sara: "If I have anything to say to you, Catherine, I will say it in private." COLD!) I can just picture Torch rubbing his hands in glee as Catherine's bizarre affinity for new guy Liev Schrieber (I predict he won't be around long enough to require me to be on a character name basis with him) drags her further into the hole with her fellow CSIs. However because I love Catherine I have to defend her by saying that she had very little recourse in the reverse forensics deal since it was ordered by the under-Sheriff. And she repeatedly stated that pulling the wool over her CSIs eyes would be not only impossible but that she hated doing it. So I forgive her. Torch?

Other classic Catherine Inadvertently Fucks Up episodes include "Weeping Willows" where her reluctance to tell Grissom that the suspect in their current homicide investigation hit on and injured her at the same bar and on the same night he supposedly snatched and killed his victim and "Inside the Box" where she used the lab for a personal DNA match against blood evidence to determine that Sam Braun was her father thereby providing lawyers with fodder for a mistrial.

Reverse forensics is a lot like eating a meal before you prepare it or, you know, reviewing a film before you watch it. Believably faking a crime scene on a show where the characters have been set up as exacting perfectionist nerds is completely implausible. Sort of like how Star Trek: TNG's "ship in distress" episodes had to really work to come up with a virus/attack/infiltration that would disable not only all the mortal crewmembers but Data besides. It's a pointless exercise.

I still love Catherine, though. And in time, Nick will forgive her. Maybe when Liev Schrieber's character inevitably dies or is transferred and she inexplicably mourns his passing/leaving. (Note to the CSI writers: Catherine making goo-goo eyes at Liev Schrieber is not only painful, it's not remotely believable. This is the woman who voluntarily dated Krycek from The X-Files, performed her own sexual assault kit in "Built To Kill", and was previously a coked-up exotic dancer. Do you really think repressed nerdy suits are her type? Really?) Nick will soften. I know it. No, Torch, YOU shut up!

October 10, 2007

"Justin Timberlake, Linkin Park and Beyonce Knowles join American Idol star Chris Daughtry as the nominations leaders for this year's American Music Awards."
(via the venerable IMDb)

And I thought I was completely out of touch with today's music.

All I'm saying is, if you've ever questioned whether or not entertainment industry awards institutions were more motivated by fiscal gain and corporate mandates than original artistry and the creative process... well... Chris Daughtry, ladies and gentlemen!

October 3, 2007

The Raping of My Childhood

Not content just to create unwanted and wholly unnecessary sequels, nominate superficial and obvious social commentary films for the highest of awards, only praise actors who can play "handicapped" or "ugly", and continue to concern itself over the affairs of Lindsay Lohan, Hollywood is also continuing to branch out in the genre known exclusively as "The Rape and Pillage of Gen X Childhood Loves".

Contributions to this new genre include (but are not limited to) The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers, How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, The Dukes of Hazzard starring Jessica Simpson, Scooby Doo starring Freddie Prinze Jr, Miami Vice starring Michael Mann's ego, Nancy Drew starring Emma Roberts, and even Transformers starring that kid whose name I refuse to learn. Transformers I can forgive because it kicked ass and because really, how else did I expect giant robot vehicles from space to look? Well, exactly. Like that. Like, um, giant robot vehicles from space. But the others are unforgivable. (Much like Diddy's new fragrance.)

Not content to bask in the glory of all the childhood staples so far mangled beyond recognition, Hollywood has another on offer:

If you don't recognize the poster, God has seen fit to bless you. But I'm here to destroy that peace of mind by telling you that it's a live action version of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Well... by "live action" I mean the usual slew of Hollywood wannabe actors roughing it alongside a blue screen upon which will later be rendered terrible CGI versions of what used to be innocuously cute animated chipmunk pop stars. Alvin and the other Chipmunks are now some sort of Scooby-Doo-esque hip hop nightmare. That's right. I did indeed say "hip hop". Note the 1980s-esque Run DMC jackets they sport on the poster. Jason Lee inexplicably stars as the sole human with an acting resume. (Though doubtless this movie will take care of that in short order.)

Dear Hollywood,

I protest this wanton abuse of my childhood for purposes of unholy fiscal gain! I protest taking every single one of my Saturday morning memories and flushing them through the open sewage that doubles as Hollywood film-making today! I AM MAD AS HELL AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!!

Listen up, Hollywood. It's bad enough that you gave Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Costner Oscars. It's certainly bad enough you named Titanic as Best Picture over L.A. Confidential. It's atrocious that you made sequels to Daddy Day Care and Miss Congeniality and have one in the works for National Treasure. But my god I have to draw the line somewhere. To quote Jean-Luc Picard, "the line must be drawn here"! It's drawn! Consider this the line! Rape your own reality shows. Loot and plunder your own recent archives. But leave my childhood alone, dammit!

I hope for your sakes that Horton Hears A Who is spared by the fact that it's animated but the double whammy of it starring both Jim Carrey and Steve Carell doesn't exactly inspire me with hope. Hollywood, it's time to face facts. You suck. Either let somebody with a decent original idea have a go at making a movie once in awhile or fucking retire.

Call me if you need some scriptwriter names. I'm serious about this. Straighten up. Get your collective lips off Paul Haggis' and Brett Ratner's asses and start actually reading things before you greenlight them. Sequels are not a foregone conclusion. There was usually a reason something was animated in the first place. Dane Cook is not a real star. Got it? And stay away from Jem. And don't touch The A-Team.

The Pissed Off VampireNomad

September 27, 2007

I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum.

September 26, 2007

I know you've always wanted to be a Baldwin brother and now I can point you in the direction of a website that offers the very next best thing. Baldwinization. For the right fee anything is possible.

Don't miss the description for The Alec or the FAQ page.

The internet. Where dreams become reality.

September 24, 2007

Last night as Balthazar and I were re-watching GalaxyQuest (it's a favorite for when we're, um, really tired because it's even funnier then), I suddenly realized it was about me. Well, specifically this part of it...

Brandon's Mom: Where are you going with those fireworks?
Brandon: Well, the Protector got super-accelerated coming out of the black hole, and it, like, nailed the atmosphere at Mach 15, which, you guys know, is pretty unstable, obviously, so we're gonna help Laredo guide it on the vox ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman candles for visual confirmation.
Brandon's Mom: Uh, all right, dinner's at seven.

I elbowed Balthazar and squealed, "OMIGOD, that was totally me when I was growing up! I DID THAT! My poor parents." Balthazar just looked at me and shook his head. Man, it's sad to realize that if Patrick Stewart had ever contacted me over a mistakenly-switched communicator and said that Star Trek: TNG wasn't just a TV show but was all real, my reaction would have been "I KNEW IT!" just like Brandon's was. I was an enormous dork growing up.

Who am I kidding? I'm still an enormous dork. And this comes as a surprise to exactly none of my friends. I'm really the only person I've been fooling all these years.

By the way, I wore my Team Zissou beanie the other day and I felt inexplicably powerful in it. Like I could confidently have piloted a sub into the ocean deeps and identified five or six previously unknown species of marine life, no problem. Rusty, if you ever make it out this way you totally have to get a Team Zissou beanie so we can chart the waters of Wellington harbor to an eclectic soundtrack together. We'll be like Steve and Klaus. Balthazar can be like Eleanor Zissou: the sane one who mostly stays out of pirate attacks and random rescue expeditions but ensures that there are funds available for Team Zissou beanies when needed.

September 22, 2007

The tried and true gossip post about concert and hotel rider demands is an age-old gem. How much truth is in the "backstage diva" reports? Well... come on... truth isn't actually the point. The point is when yes men, ass-kissers, studios, and fans spend 24 hours a day telling you how fabulous you are and how much they adore you, wouldn't your head get over-inflated too? I'm not defending outrageous diva behavior (more to the point, I don't care what they do), but I am saying I probably wouldn't be exempt from it myself if I were constantly petted and praised all day long. I would, however, be a lot more creative about it than they appear to be. Even if I wasn't a diva and still a relatively normal person, I'd be tempted to demand completely asinine things just to see how far yes men would actually go to satisfy my needs. Incredibly tempted. So a sample of a possible backstage rider for me would probably read as follows:

Full range of Lord of the Rings action figures, Elves only.
2 x tigers with expendable handlers
Silver Aston Martin on call; must have headlamp rocket launchers and Invisibility Armor
20 x bouquets of Gerbera daisies; thirty-three petals per flower only
2 x bowls of peanut M&Ms; one blue only and one red only
5 x kittens; Persian, Siamese, or Burmese with yellow eyes only
Full scale replica of Michelangelo's David statue
Original of Botticelli's Birth of Venus painting
Masseur; preferably George Clooney or Marton Csokas
World newspapers with no sports sections
Marching band escort along corridors
Star Trek door chime SFX for dressing room
Coffin; solid oak, velvet lined
12 x sliced avocados arranged to resemble Canada
12 x bananas; monkey peeled
Blood of virgins; room temperature

I'd likely have a reputation as more of a loon than a diva, but if you're going to go big with demands at least have some fun with it. I mean really, draping everything in white linen and paying some lackey to run around behind you smoothing out the wrinkles is just... dumb.

September 15, 2007

I first saw this video on a friend's Facebook wall. I peed myself laughing.

Herbal Elements for Men.

Seriously... these are tears of total and utter amusement.

September 11, 2007

I knew I recognized the stylized picture of Gina Gershon from her In Search of Cleo album cover.

Gina's new CD artwork.


Mark Ryden's painting entitled "Rose42" from his Blood exhibition.

Gorgeous. Gina and Mark Ryden. Two long time Crypt favorites coming together in perfect harmony. It's reminiscent of when John Cusack and Kevin Spacey finally took my calls about working together and made Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I don't care what critics say, my imagination is a brilliant casting agent.
I want.

September 3, 2007

An Actress A Week
This is my newest brainchild for The Crypt. A new stunning and wildly talented actress of stature (no dewy starlets in my world; I'm all about the finest wines, aged and rich) to explore each week. I want to share their brilliance with you! Maybe there's something you've missed. (Maybe not. We can debate that in the bites.) Anyway... the inaugural installment features, for no particular reason as they're not arranged in any particular order, Sigourney Weaver. (I know, you were totally expecting Sharon Stone, weren't you? HA! I live to surprise.)

Sigourney Weaver

It would be enough of a contribution to pop culture (and iconic status) if all Sigourney Weaver had ever done was Ghostbusters, Alien, and GalaxyQuest. But she hasn't. She's also done gritty important things like Gorillas in the Mist and savagely raw things like Death and the Maiden and gently hilarious things like Tadpole and achingly underrated things like A Map of the World. She is a force to be reckoned with and not just if you're an Alien Queen. (Though especially if you're an Alien Queen.) She's pretty much the only reason I watched The Village the whole way through. And that's saying a lot.

Memorable Lines:
"Let's get out of here before one of those things kills Guy!" ~ GalaxyQuest
"Are you the Keymaster?" ~ Ghostbusters
"Get away from her, you bitch." ~ Aliens
"Ben, you're boring me. I have a husband. I don't have a need for another one." ~ The Ice Storm

Five Favorite Roles:

5. Lady Claudia Hoffman - Snow White: A Tale of Terror
If you haven't seen this little gem of an adult horror-drama take on a classic fairy tale, you really must. Everything about the film is pitch-perfect – from its moody evocation of the actual time period in which the classic tale is set to the casting (Sam Neill, Sigourney Weaver, and the luminous Monica Keena). The best part about it, though, is that Sigourney GOES THERE with her performance. She is the sort of imperiously wicked and perversely deranged stepmother that made fairy tales so horrific to begin with. She is almost sympathetic in the early parts of the film and then just spirals into twisted wickedness with utter abandon.

4. Gwen DeMarco – GalaxyQuest
In a movie full of brilliant performances and screamingly funny parody, Sigourney stands out because Gwen is the studied opposite of nearly every character she has ever played in her career. Gwen DeMarco is a complicated mix of blonde moments, narcissism, ambition, sincerity, concern, and ineptitude. She is, in short, the polar opposite of Ellen Ripley and the fact that Sigourney plays them both (and with deft comic timing in GalaxyQuest) is nothing short of genius.

3. Janey Carver - The Ice Storm
There's something incredibly beautiful about Sigourney when she's playing carelessly seductive or haughtily indifferent and Janey Carver is both. She's also very tragic and deeply injured down in the buried part of her that she doesn't let show – as all characters in this amazing film are – but it's the icy and saucy confidence that floor you and the seemingly bored way that she conducts her brazen affair that make her the more riveting. Sigourney's stature – both physical and emotional – give soul to what could have been a very unsympathetic character.

2. Linda Freeman - Snow Cake
Linda Freeman is a high-functioning autistic character who could easily have been played for either laughs or sympathy, relegated to being 'the different one' or 'the pitiable one', but the script and Sigourney never let that happen. Linda is absolutely authentic, unable to escape the trappings of her autism and not at all concerned about it. Instead of imbuing Linda with identifiable 'normal' reactions to garner more understanding or sympathy during the film, Sigourney allows her to be absolutely genuine and forces everybody else to see things her way instead. It's a daring and stunning performance.

1. Ellen Ripley – Alien
What is there to say about Ripley that you don’t already know? Ellen Ripley is an icon. Long before Angelina Jolie embodied the virtual Lara Croft, long before Jennifer Garner’s Sydney kicked ass in Alias, long before Michelle Pfeiffer growled as Catwoman even, Sigourney Weaver's Ripley made it okay for women to not only be ass-kicking take-charge heroes, but to be distinctly nuanced and female while doing so. If you haven’t seen Alien or Aliens... damn... for godsakes, watch them. Right now. Because you haven't seen real action until you've seen Ripley.

August 29, 2007

As I was logging in to update The Crypt my eye caught the blogs recently updated thing on the Blogger homepage and noticed that a blog called "uncut penis" was listed.

Now I've completely forgotten what the hell I was going to write. Chances are it wasn't important. Not in the face of a blog called "uncut penis".

To be fair, maybe it's written by a Rabbi who performed one bris too many in his time as a Mohel and has rebelled.

August 23, 2007

Hollywood is full of celebutards and stars getting arrested for various things every day (driving the wrong way down a freeway exit ramp while stoned, driving under a license suspended for DUI, driving angry, driving drunk with a pocketful of cocaine, driving drunk and racist, etc, etc) but none of these so-called "professional entertainers" has yet found a way to get arrested in style. Until now.

Hollywood, pay attention. If you're going to drive drunk and get arrested, do it like Bill Murray. Bill Murray was arrested in Stockholm, Sweden for driving a GOLF CART while under the influence. The cart was not on a golf course at the time of the arrest. Nor, the arresting officer noted, did Bill Murray display "obvious signs" of intoxication "like when someone is really tipsy". He refused a breath-analysis, citing American legislation, so they took a blood sample. He then signed a document authorizing a police officer to enter a guilty plea on his behalf if the case goes to court. Then he was pretty much on his merry way, free to fly back to the States with stories to tell about the time he was drunk but classy in a golf cart on Stockholm's streets.

I don't advocate drunk driving. Or actually drunkenness at all, from a personal standpoint. But by god if you're gonna do it, do it with style! Do it with a little pizazz. Do it like Bill marthafocking Murray, man!

... golf cart... priceless... *laugh*

August 20, 2007

When I went in to touch up the paint onstage in the Studio this afternoon, I discovered something terrible. The set is painted with "gravel" but the paint pot the designer left me for touch-ups is "espresso". So either brown is the new grey or the stage will just have to look rugged for awhile.


August 17, 2007

It's probably a good thing I wasn't allowed to watch much television in my formative childhood years. I've recently discovered that I'm incredibly impressionable, even at my non-tender present age, when ideas are presented to me in audio-visual format. My parents, being psychic, must have foreseen this and limited my early television viewing to preempt the path of my future. Though they must have underestimated the subversive effect Sesame Street would have on me as even now I firmly believe I am a vampire. (Though I don't count.)

I was allowed to watch The A-Team when I was a kid and that just made me want to be "the girl" of the team. I once dove into the open side doors of my friend's dad's van while it was moving just to make sure I could do it if a quick getaway was ever required. I'm lucky I'm not brain dead, never mind a military fugitive.

I was also addicted to Star Trek: the Next Generation throughout high school leading to impressive stories like the time I wrote a letter of application to Starfleet Academy and the time my friend Dave and I drove all the way to Seattle just so I could attend a convention and get Marina Sirtis' autograph. Or, my personal favorite, the time we swindled funding out of our church youth pastor to host a no-holds-barred Trek party.

I thought I'd left such childish pursuits behind me when I made the very wise (and surprisingly easy) decision not to watch television anymore. I hate TV. I hate the endless drone of the ads, the arbitrary times, the No Mans Land of eternal Wings and Married With Children re-runs, etc, ad nauseum. I like some TV shows, though, so I'm a big believer in DVD collections. I have seen The Sopranos in it's entirety and all of Rome as well. And since I didn't walk away from either series hell-bent on whacking people or annexing Egypt, I figured it was television in it's pure form that caused all the issues in coping with reality.

I was wrong.

I decided I'd learned enough about forensics from CSI that nobody would ever find where I buried that body but... jokes, people. I do, however, find myself believing that I too could summon the meticulous patience required to sort through a metric ton of rubbish to find a single hair when I watch CSI. Even though, in reality, I have a hard time sitting still for the entire 47 minutes the show is on.

And worse, movies exhibit the kind of subconscious mind control over me that is generally reserved for alien invasions or, you know, hypnosis seminars. I have gone white water rafting exactly once in my lifetime and I was in a giant raft with about ten other people, one of whom was a guide, along a heavily-populated touristy stretch of river near Queenstown (the same river that doubled as the Anduin in LOTR, if you must know). I was provided with a wetsuit, instruction, witty quips along the way, a hot shower, and a bowl of soup at the end. Plus a bus ride back to town. Nonetheless, having recently watched The River Wild three times this week, I am now totally convinced that I too could safely take my husband, dog, and child (??) down a series of raging rapids in between camping in the rough at night and offing the baddie with aplomb based solely on my lone whitewater experience and total lack of physical preparedness. Just like Meryl Streep. Because if movies have taught me anything it's that if Meryl Streep can do it, so can I. Actors are just real people too, man. Jaguar shark? Bring it on! Handbook for the Recently Deceased? Consider it read! Woody Allen? Okay... even I have limits.

I'm just a believer, man! I'm a believer. *claps hands so the fairy won't die*

August 8, 2007

At 1:30 am when I should have been sleeping to prepare for the start of rehearsals on yet another new play this morning, I was instead sitting up with a friend watching The Witches. Fuck sleep, man. That's serious entertainment right there! Worth every sleepless second. Though I can tell you that if I had seen Anjelica Huston peel off her lovely (if imperiously made up) face when I was just a kiddie, I would have shit myself in terror.

From this:

to this:

And the accent! Oz and I were peeing ourselves laughing. We both love Anjelica and since I've seen just about every film she's ever made and know she can nail any accent she likes with total authenticity (her Irish is gorgeous), this one cracked us up. German? Austrian? Dutch? Transylvanian? She must have been aiming for "a little bit of everywhere". She succeeded brilliantly.

Here's the part that confuses me. The Grand High Witch (Anjelica) wanted to turn all the kids in the UK into mice with a magic potion. Okay. That's bad how? I mean... they're kids. And mice are cute. And they could still talk when in rodent form so really, where's the loss? This is up there with not understanding why the Baroness Von Schrader in The Sound of Music was so terribly wicked for wanting to marry the rich hunky widower and pack all his kids off to boarding school for me. It's a solid plan, man. Maria's the insane one in my books. Seven children? Where's the Grand High Witch when you really need her?

August 5, 2007

Do you know I'd never seen Ghostbusters until two nights ago? How did that happen? I thought I'd worked my way through great 80s movies and Sigourney Weaver's entire filmography. In any case, the oversight has been remedied. I cried with laughter. What a classic!

"Listen! Do you smell that?"

And now I wish more people came to the door so I could open it in high couture 80s glam mode with "Are you the KEYMASTER?"

Last night... or early yesterday morning... theatre schedules are very biologically confusing, even for a vampire... we watched Beetlejuice. I love that movie more every time I see it. And I can't believe I've never gone as Lydia for Halloween!

Just now we watched Death Becomes Her. If you've never seen it, you really should. Madeline Ashton is the prototype bitch for Meryl Streep's brilliant The Devil Wears Prada character. Even if you don't find the black humour of Death Becomes Her appealing (and trust me, it's very funny), Meryl is an absolute GENIUS in it. And Bruce Willis plays wildly against type to great effect as the hapless Ernest Menville.

I had three days off, you see. By "days off" I mean half-days. Days where I only work one show instead of two in my endless theatre schedule. It's amazing how after months of back-to-back shows and seven day weeks, three half days feels like an entire vacation! I love it! *grin*

Now, everybody...

"Shake, shake, shake senora, shake your body line... shake, shake, shake senora, shake it all the time... okay, I believe you! Jump in the line, rock your body in time..."

August 3, 2007

It's been awhile since I've updated. I blame seven days of work a week and Facebook. *shakes fist at unending work weeks and Facebook*

And this isn't even a proper update. It's a tease. I'm just toying with you now.

"Oh look, she posted something new! There's an update! Oh... it's an update about how there hasn't been an update for awhile. And she's taking the piss out of me for reading it and hoping for an actual update. Fuck, I hate her."

It's okay to hate me because I'm slacker tease with too much reality in her life.
Or because I'm beautiful.
Just don't hate me because I update too often.

July 20, 2007

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

Some of you visitors to the Crypt search for random things and end up here by chance. By HAPPY chance, of course, but still more or less accidentally. In the past month, three things have brought you here:

"lady vampire"
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil memorabilia"
"goddess thirsts"

I guess that's me in a nutshell.

July 17, 2007

Oh McDonalds, how I hate thee! *shakes fist*

I dislike both Shrek the Third and McDonalds but together they have conspired to create something viciously tantalizing - the mint chocolate milkshake. Zounds! And curses! How can two things I hate spawn something I want to consume? (God that sounds terrible.)

I used to love the orange chocolate shakes and the special St. Patrick's Day Shamrock shakes at Mickey Dees. Then I went off the whole McD experience because a) I became a vegetarian, b) the "food" started giving me gas and stomach cramps, and c) I watched Super Size Me. Cured. I quit McDonalds cold turkey and never looked back. But those shakes... those shakes, man... like booze they call me, the siren song of the thing that is wickedly bad for me that I want want WANT...

I'm tempted but so far I've resisted the temptation that is the Shrek shake. Goddamn you McDonalds for your evil ways!! *shakes fist again*

So out of curiosity and in an effort to curb this longing I visited the McDonalds website. There they have this nifty thing called a 'Nutrition Calculator' where you can find out exactly what is in any item on their menu. Did you know the milkshakes are comprised of low fat milk, sugar, milk solids, glucose syrup (containing sulphites), maltodextrin (containing sulphites), vegetable gums (412, 407, 407a, and 466), mineral salt (452), and flavor. ? No, me neither. But I assure you that list is both off-putting enough to cure my craving and more complex than I ever assumed McDonalds "food" would be. Back in the day I had an ex-boyfriend who harbored a theory that all McDonalds food was made from two basic ingredients - McSolid and McLiquid - and that each item on the menu was created by combining different percentages of the two ingredients together. For example, the Big Mac (being solid and meaty) was 95% McSolid and 5% McLiquid whereas the orange juice (being a drink) was 92% McLiquid and 8% McSolid. It really did seem like a workable theory despite the fact that he was in all other ways an absolute wanker. So quite frankly, I'm surprised at the complexity of ingredients in the milkshake. Though even more put off than if it was merely a combination of McLiquid and McSolid.

As a perplexing side note, sulphites are defined as "compounds that contain the sulfite ion SO32−. They are often used as preservatives in wines (to prevent spoilage and oxidation), dried fruits, and dried potato products" and that "asthmatics and people with allergies to aspirin (also know as salicylate sensitivity) are at an elevated risk for reaction to sulfites". Thank you, Wikipedia. And no thank you, McDonalds.

July 10, 2007

Torch is absolutely right. I forgot to mention Scorponok in my review of Transformers. To make amends, here's a picture of Scorponok kicking American soldier ass in Qatar. I would like to point out to Scorponok that he missed Josh Duhamel and there is no way in hell you can convince me that Josh Duhamel is a tougher hombre than Scorponok. Still... minor detail... that was one in-fucking-credibly cool Decepticon attack right there.

July 4, 2007

The new Transformers movie is IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE! What a hot damn motherfucking ass-kick of a movie! Shit, man. YOU MUST SEE THIS.

The plot is something about... um, some horny kid... and GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS... and a cube?... the AllSpark?... something... soldiers and lots of explosions... I'm pretty sure the cube is important. Whatever. The plot isn't the point and you so know it. The POINT is that Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, Ironhide, Ratchett, Barricade, Megatron, Starscream, Bonecrusher, and Frenzy are all REAL! THEY ARE REAL! This isn't a movie, it's a fucking dream. Goddammit, the first time Prime rolled through the inexplicable and omnipresent New York mist (??) and transformed I just about wet myself in glee. Not much of the "story" makes sense until all the Autobots assemble to kick Decepticon ass. And then all you need is the biggest screen and sound system possible and the ability to not blink and you're set. Seriously... this movie... I wept with joy... it was... man, it was just EXACTLY what Transformers should look like when they're real. Honestly, Michael Bay's total inability to find depth or profundity in anything and absolute lack of nuance and subtlety have at long last found the utterly ideal outlet: giant robots from space that transform into cool cars and planes at speed while blowing things up.

There are so many ways Hollywood could have fucked this up (see Miami Vice, Dukes of Hazzard, Nancy Drew for reference to childhood loves raped and pillaged to satisfy the bloodlust of the almighty dollar) but Michael Bay's complete inanity and orgasmic love of things that go KABLOOEY in the night paid off big-time here. Transformers is (to misquote Marilyn Manson) 'the new shit'.

The plot makes almost no sense. There's nothing in the way of subtext or backstory. The people are stereotyped robot fodder. None of it matters, man. All that matters is seeing Prime transform and utter the single greatest line since "All that matters is what you do with the time that is given to you": "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." FUCK YEAH MAN!!

I really think I was meant to be born a boy. You couldn't pay me to watch When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle or Steel Magnolias but 300 and Transformers make me vibrate with excitement. I like to think I'm a new breed of woman: the type who loves makeup and 'just talking' AND explosions and hot chicks in fast cars.

Moral of the post: Go see Transformers.