Saturday, May 28, 2005

Netflix 43: Secretary

That was odd. And Sexy.

Funny, I never would have thought anything involving James Spader would be sexy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

My favorite seat ever.

My favorite seat ever.

Netflix 42: In Good Company

I don't got much to say about this movie. I just really liked it.

Topher Grace is gonna be in Spidey 3. That's awesome.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Netflix 41: The Sandlot 2

After being burned by both "Aladdin and The Return of Jafar" and "Aladdin and The King of Theives", I've done my best to avoid any sort of direct-to-video sequels, as tempting as they might be. But one day, while browsing the list of upcoming DVDs on the web, I was shocked to see this one. So it quickly jumped to the top of my Netflix queue. "The Sandlot" is a benchmark movie for boys of my generation. No matter what he shows up in, poor Patrick Renna will always be "The Great Hambino".

The reason why I was willing to give this direct to video sequel a chance was because it had the same writer/director, and you know why: IT'S THE SAME FUCKING MOVIE! EXCEPT SHITTY! It's like someone took the script to "The Sandlot" and ran it through a broken photocopier. You know, the one at the library that always messes up just what you need to know for a test. That one.

The only good thing about this movie is that someone found a kid who is the spitting image of the late Jonathan Brandis. Someone quick, sign this kid up for the direct to video sequel to "Sidekicks". God knows Chuck Norris needs the money.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Netflix 40: Kiki's Delivery Service

'Twas cute and well done. Thumbs up all around.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Netflix 39: Streets of Fire

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On my way back from LA, something caught my eye on VH1 Classics. It was video for "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" by Fire, Inc. It was a full energy power ballad, obviously written by the great Jim Steinman, and featuring hot chicks, cool cars, explosions and Micheal Pare. It was from the film "Streets Of Fire". When I got home, I wondered why I never saw this movie. I looked it up on the internet. I saw it was directed by Walter Hill. Why the fuck haven't I seen this movie?

The movie starts off with a bang. In another time, another place, the eternally beautiful Diane Lane plays Ellen Aim, a badass rocker chick playing a benefit show in her rundown, wrong-side-of-the-tracks hometown. Suddenly, the Bombers, a biker gang lead by the always evil Willem Dafoe busts in, stops the show, and kidnaps Ellen. Now, it's up Tom Cody, Ellen's estranged ex-boyfriend, to put together a ragtag gang and travel across town to save her.

Why don't they make action movies like this anymore? The 1980's action flicks brought us so many badasses. Tom Cody. Remo Williams. John Maclaine. Snake Plissken. John Rambo. Dutch Schaeffer. Ashley Williams. If I could make a movie right now, it would have to be a throwback action flick. With large explosions, great actors slumming it to play the bad guy, and a kick ass hero that will go down in geek history as the guy we all wish we were.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Matt enjoys his fame.

Matt enjoys his fame.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Marks of the allergist.

Marks of the allergist.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Steve saw Episode 3.

Walking into this flick, my expectations were low. To succeed, it only needed Darth Vader, and Darth Vader killing some people.

In that regard, it's a success.

But on all other levels? It's a bit of a mess.

We all know the standard problems of a George Lucas movie post-1999. The dialogue is abysmal, mostly because perfectly fine lines go on a few words, or in some cases, sentences too long. Hayden Christiansen turns in a performance of Van Der Beek-ian proportions, as Ewan sleepwalks his way through another Star Wars movie (at one point early on, Obi wan stops in the middle of battle and questions "How did we get into this mess? We're smarter than this!" and I wondered if this was scripted, or if Ewan just slipped out of character and ad-libbed it). Characters from previous movies are shoehorned in for no other reason than to wink at the camera, and illicit applause from the audience (although, it seems Chewbacca isn't as loved as we all thought, since he garnered no applause from the audience).

Did I enjoy myself? I guess, but not for the reasons Lucas intended. Things that were supposed to be dark and meaningful were laugh out loud funny.

On the positive end, the Yoda fight scenes were toned down from the spastic green gremlin we saw in Episode 2, to a more calm and wisened Jedi master. The destruction of the Jedi was just as I was hoping it would be, dark and messy.

In the end the main flaw is that Lucas seemed to rely on the other Star Wars media to tell parts of the story, that made sense to me, but to people who might only see the movie, they won't get it. For example: General Greivous is not as cool as he should be. They make no mention of his origin, which is interesting and could have been touched upon, and you have no idea he has killed many Jedi. If these spots could have been touched upon, he would have been seen as a more credible threat, rather than eye candy.

The biggest letdown: the birth of Darth Vader. As if Lucas didn't pussy-ify Anakin enough in Episode 1 and 2, he brings James Earl Jones down with him, and what should be a memorable, dark scene had me doubled over in laughter.

In the end, it's better than the first two, but still not a good movie.


I went to LA, and all my sister got was this lousy shirt.

Things I Didn't Do In LA.

I didn't go to a Scientology center.

I didn't hear any 2Pac.

I didn't read "The Great Gatsby".

I didn't take the Universal Studio's Backlot Tour.

I didn't buy any oranges on the freeway.

I didn't see any celebrities.

I didn't go to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.

I didn't call Anna Musso.

I didn't use my tickets to "The Price Is Right".

I didn't try Fatburger.

I didn't see a movie at the Arclight.

I didn't see XXX: State of The Union.

I didn't go in the ocean.

I didn't go in a pool.

I didn't go in a hot tub.

I didn't use my bathing suit at all.

I didn't go to the museum that houses the Cheers set.

I didn't get a new pen.


Day 7: Full Circle

I woke up periodically between 7 and 10, finally topped off with Kieran kicking me off of his couch, and telling me I had to leave. After a quick shower, last minute packing, and saying goodbye to one of Kieran's room mates, we were off to the airport.

But we had something to do first...

We then made the trip over to Long Beach airport, finishing up our week long discussion about what was wrong with everything. I noticed a sign stating that tonight's "A Current Affair" was having a story about Bigfoot, so I had to call my friend Chris who works over there to congratulate him.

After arriving at the airport, we said our goodbyes, and I headed to the gate. I creeped out a hot chick who thought I was staring at her, when all I was really doing was trying to make out the sports headline on the back cover of her New York Post. Alright, maybe I was staring a little, but I was really interested in what stupid move the Yankees were going to make. As I slumped down into a chair, ready to crack open the Kevin Smith book. I could hear The Dream Academy's "Life In a Northern Town" pumping over the lounge speakers, and I could feel the camera pulling away, the closing credits beginning to roll.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Day 6: "Yes, Steve, they're all hookers. Hookers with hearts of gold."

The day began slightly afternoon. We were both fully recovered from the Cheesecake Factory fiasco the day before, and woke up starving. We decided to head out and grab some lunch, but first Kieran had to remove the duct tape from the side of his car.

We decided to hit up the Baja Fresh, a quaint Mexican chain owned by Wendy's that's not on the east coast. I had a Mahi Mahi taco, and a shrimp taco, and got a souvenir cup.

Afterwards, Kieran decided to take me too this wacky museum called "The Museum of Jurassic Technology".

It was closed. So we just went to the Getty.

The Getty is a great art museum containing many classical pieces, all in a giant building in the California hills.

It also has a great of view, except when there is smog.

The Getty isn't actually that large, and we ended up seeing the whole thing in a couple of hours, so we left there, and ended up at the only other thing I planned on seeing in LA-

Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash West! I geeked out, and took tons of photos, and bought a signed copy of Kevin's critically panned new book.

We ended up back a Kieran's place, where Kieran went from this:

to this:

and off we went to Angelino's for some Italian food.

Afterwards, Kieran drove me past this house, where the owner decided it would be in good taste to have over thirty miniature statues of David in his front lawn.

And at X-Mas, they all wear Santa hats!

We topped off the night at the Standard, a most excellent hotel bar in downtown LA.

The place had a most excellent view, and they had a giant projector showing "The Empire Strikes Back" on a building across the street.

On the way back, Kieran decided we should go for a ride down Mullholland Drive, which was awesome...

...except for the fact that we took a wrong turn at the end of the road, and ended up getting lost in the Valley.

After finding our way, we made a quick stop at a local fine eating establishment.

where I purchased two Big Bites, and loaded them up with free condiments.

We ended up back at Kieran's place, where we attempted to watch "Fletch", but exhaustion overtook us, and we passed out halfway through.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Day 5: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

It was another late start, as we woke up past noon. We sat around Kieran's house for a while, and I made an botched attempt to blog. We decided to head to this fancy mall called "The Grove", where we would dine at a fine eating establishment called "The Cheesecake Factory".

Before we left Kieran had to fix his car. From the moment I got here, Kieran had two problems with his automobile: one, as the result of a vicious prank, all his door handles were slathered in vaseline, and two, the panel on his trunk door that held his plate was falling off. So, he finally decided to tape it on, using some bright red duct type. My idea to add a red duct tape racing stripe down the sides was sadly dashed.

Everything I've heard about "The Cheesecake Factory" is true. My lunch of a cheesesteak and a slice of cheesecake nearly destroyed me. We then tried to walk our lunch off in the mall. Malls in LA are awesome, because they are like Disneyland, except without admission or flumes.

I noticed that "The Grove" was located right in front of Studio City, where the Plinko machine lives. I made Kieran walk with me over to the gate, where I picked up tickets for us for Tuesday's "The Price Is Right." Sadly, Kieran put the kibosh on that immediately when we were informed that we had to be there before 6AM. I agreed only because you must have two forms of identification on you to be considered for being a contestant, and I only had one with me in LA. Next time though, I'm so there.

We then took a ride over to Melrose, so I could visit the legendary Golden Apple Comics. It was such a letdown that I didn't even take a picture of it.

We drove past this, which made me smile.

We headed back to Hollywood Blvd, to catch "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" at the El Capitan. On the way, I snapped a picture of something I forgot to grab a shot of the other day. This building houses Stephen J. Cannell Productions. He created the A-Team. He's awesome.

The El Capitan is Disney's showcase theater, Every major Disney release plays there, and usually has some sort of special accompaniment.

For "Hitchhiker's", they had an assortment of props on display in the lobbies.

I really enjoyed the movie. I started reading the book once when I was 11, and stopped only because I was lazy.

I was a really stupid 11 year old.

After stopping at the mall across the street to pick up a present for my sister, Kieran and I picked up his friend Prini, and drove over to The Dresden Room for drinks.

The Dresden was featured in the movie "Swingers", and contains the world's most awesomely bad lounge singers, Marty and Elayne. We talked about the week, and gossiped about Kieran's friends. I purchased a t-shirt, and we were on our way. We dropped Prini off, and Kieran and I had a great conversation of the way back to his place about what's wrong with everything, which we continued on his couch, before I decided to check my email, put my Spider-Man pajamas on, and call it a night.

Yes, I wear Spider-Man pajamas, and no, there is nothing wrong with that.


Day 4: I Gotta Say It Was A Good Day

Today was the day where I actually planned something in advance. The second thing I did after buying my plane tickets was buy tickets to a Dodger game. I've always felt some sort of attachment to the Dodgers, mostly because of their Brooklyn roots. I've always had a major appreciation of their past players, such as Koufax and Drysdale, and Kirk Gibson's magical home run is one of my favorite childhood baseball memories. Sure, the fact that they moved from my hometown to here stings, but lately, I'm feeling that moving from Brooklyn to LA wouldn't be that bad.

After finding parking, dropping the extra tickets off at Will Call, and picking up some Dodger Dogs, we mad way to our most excellent seats on field level. Not bad for $23. My mood soured slightly though, as I noticed in the distance, that the Yankees had blew yet another lead.

It was a pretty boring game. Not much really exciting happened, and it was against the Rockies. I spent some time around the 4th Inning exploring the stadium, and looking for something for my dad in the gift shop. I found nothing exciting, not even the Gagne number shirt I was planning to pick up for myself. The stadium has this really great look to it though, very much of the era it was built. Being the fourth oldest stadium in baseball, it has a great sense of history.

The game got really exciting around the top of the ninth, as it looked like a fight was going to break out. Sadly, the game ended before it got really crazy, and the Dodgers won by a slim margin.

After the game, Kieran had some school work to get done, so he dropped me off at my friend Tanya's, since she lived close to the stadium. I told him to call me when he's done, and then we'd head out for the night.

If you really know me, I'm sure I've told you about Tanya. Anyway, she's one of the only people I know from film school to actually uproot and move west. She was also the only one actually in town this week. She's currently working with the guy who directed "Dogtown and Z-Boys", doing research for his new project of California gangs. She gave me the brief tour of her small place in East LA, and we searched for a sushi place on the net. She finally just decided that we should go to the mediocre one nearby, and we headed over there. Of course, not only was she reading about LA gangs, but she also decided that she should immerse herself in the culture, and listen to the music as well. Here I was in East LA, with Ice Cube's "The Predator" blasting from the stereo of a tiny Subaru with New Hampshire plates. I feared the looks we would get at stoplights. When I had to explain to her what "The Chronic" (the album, not the narcotic) was, I knew she needed to do more research.

We had mediocre sushi, discussed movies and life, and made a stop at Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. We headed back to her place where we watched some "King of the Hill" before Kieran called. I said my goodbyes and told her to give me a call if she wanted to meet up again before I leave.

As Kieran and I rolled out, he informed me that no school work had actually gotten done, since no one else showed up. The plan was to go to a bar tonight, so he could meet up with his friend's to discuss the work, but first we would have to pick up his friend Nick, where we would have time to watch "The Simpsons".

Kieran informed me that Nick lived in 90210. I was excited that not only was I watching "The Simpsons", but I was watching it in 90210. On the way out, Nick informed us that Kieran was wrong, and that 90210 was actually a few blocks away.

Stupid Kieran.

We ended up at Shatzi's that, a German restaurant/bar that is owned by Governor Schwarzenegger. There, we met this crazy guy who had somehow ended up sitting with Kieran's friends. I later found out he warned Kieran to "watch out for it," with "it" meaning either peyote or past lives. Before he left, he handed us all his card. If I ever need a henna tatoo on Venice beach, I know where to go.

Afterwards, we dropped off Kieran's friend Marina, and Nick decided we should make a stop off at Taco Bell. Kieran had a brilliant idea, and decided we should swing by the legendary Pink's hot dog stand instead.

And what a hell of a great idea that was. I had a Pastrami Reuben Dog, Kieran had fries, and Nick had both a Chili bacon dog, and a Chicago style brat. We groaned our way back to Nick's place, and then Kieran and I headed back home, where we both collapsed.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Day 3: Some people stand in the darkness...

When I woke up on Saturday, I was shocked to find out somehow, I had slept until 2pm. Well, actually, I had woke up at 1, and just felt it would be stupid to get up before Kieran did. Unfortunatly, he did the same. So both of us, just laid around until 2pm, when he made the first move.

Since most of the day was gone, and we had to go to Kieran's friends gallery opening latter that night, no major trips could be done. So, Kieran drove us over to the Third Street Promenade, where after enjoying some California Pizza Kitchen, I made a halfhearted search for shoes.

As we wandered down the outdoor mall, we made our way to the pier, which is where I finally saw one of the few things on my list of things to see in California -


After some more browsing, we headed back to Kieran's place for a little while, where we got changed into snazzzier duds, and made our way over the gallery. After hitting major traffic snares along the way, we finally arrived and parked in front of some nice gentlemen in cowboy hats standing in front of a raucous Mexican bar (or, as they prefer to call them, "cantinas").

The show was the extension of a class project on reinventing the skyscraper. The idea was to take the Ground Zero space, and use new-fangled technology and techniques to build a new skyscraper that looks nothing like the norm.

I was kinda shocked to learn that most of the work done by students at Kieran's school is extremely conceptual, and doesn't have that much basis in real science. It makes for pieces that I considered more artlike, and Kieran and I discussed this at length on the way home that evening.

As one of the few outsiders at the event, I was asked for my opinion a lot. It was tough trying to make sure I didn't say something out of line or insulting, especially since I didn't mean it. I ain't too good with the words, and such,

Also, I learned that if you hold a reception in a bad neighborhood, homeless people will come in and drink the free wine.

We made a quick stop at a restaurant that seemed way too nice for the area, where I enjoyed a hearty hamburger, and learned the Yankees actually managed to win a game.

Afterwards, we made a quick stopover at the Super A to pick up some alcohol and nachos before heading to a houseparty. I purchased Dr. Pepper and a Star Wars scratch off lottery ticket.

Kieran's friend Nick got way into the nachos.

Someone brought an actress who had a recurring role on "Six Feet Under" to the party, where she felt it was her duty to liven up these stuffy architecture students by getting people on top of the loft bed and pouring vodka into their mouths. Kieran was dragged into the madness and got most of it poured in his eyes.

The party grew too lively for the neighbors, so we were forced to retreat to another apartment with more reasonable neighbors. Surprisingly, the party grew more chill than before. After a few hours, we decided to call it a night.

I also noted that we were parked near an eating establishment named "BURGERS N" SHIT".

I Love LA.