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House leaders move to protect House leaders.
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A quck & fatal introduction to science for the logically challenged.
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A decent excuse for us to get hammered.

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Chertoff to Buffalo: We're 51.4% Behind You
Homeland Security budget cuts reveal predictable pattern.

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Kino Korner
X-Men 3, The Break-Up, The Omen.

Your cosmic fortune in insult form.

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Tech support, smeared scientists, & Hitler equivalence.

A Look Back Through the Ages by The BEAST's former Editors.

100 BEASTs of Gratitude
A brief note from the asshole in charge.
Al Uthman

Father Knows BEAST
A few unkind words from our founder.
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Outrage 101
A BEASTly education.
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Recollections of an undocumented BEAST Staffer.

The Truth About our Intentions
The very 1st BEAST Editorial.

The BEAST Government Kids Page Review
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Murtha's My Lai
Stan Goff

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A BEAST Reader Opinion
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Still Scum, Still Sucking
Our local Rep, Tom Reynolds.
Paul Fallon



X-Men: The Last Stand

I’ve got a list that I like to refer to as my punch in the face list. I’ll admit I ganked the name but I had the concept all along and I’m sure I’m not the first. The list is some 50-strong and contains people from all walks of life—the spectrum covers everyone from white trash comedians to sensitive musicians. Hell, even people who wear designer sweatpants as they drink $6 cups of coffee while gallivanting in public can be found there. Not even “The Boss” is safe from my quiet rage.

My list grew by 3 while I watched X-Men: The Last Stand, or X3 if you want to be cool about it. I watched this movie that the 16 year-old comic book geek in me who never truly died was looking forward to and I got angry. I wasn’t upset because this is allegedly the last X-Men movie, but because of the way it was done.

If you weren’t keeping score, Bryan Singer is the name of the gentleman who directed the first two X-Men movies. He did so in a way that was not unlike watching a gymnast walk a tightrope without a net below. All skill, no huckster theatrics and done in a way that made you want more. Singer also did a great job with the first two installments considering he had about a dozen characters he had to make work and somehow appear interesting. Most comic book movies don’t pull that off when there’s only one character to focus on. Daredevil, anyone?

So Singer dropped out to do the upcoming Superman Returns and punch in the face addition #1 Brett Ratner takes the helm. If you’ve seen any of Ratner’s other movies you’re aware that this guy could screw up a cup of coffee. The only thing he’s done that was even slightly interesting was Red Dragon and that’s because Hannibal was so bad that anything would’ve been a step up.

But the problem comes when punch in the face additions #2 and 3 show up—co-writers of X3 Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg. They’re like Ratner’s idiot buddies who tell Ratner in mid-act to do the thing pantless. Then they start throwing more plates on stage and yelling at him to wrap it up so they can all go shoot a game of hoops or go play quarters at some sports bar with quarter drafts.

X3 starts off all right enough and with an interesting premise. A cure has been discovered for the homosexual—I mean mutant gene, and the war between mutants and the regular slobs is starting. Then a ridiculous explanation for the return of Jean Grey, thin storylines and the pitiful execution of new characters Angel and Beast drag X3 down to dare I say… Fantastic Four country.

The performances don’t help either. Halle Berry lets her wig do her acting for her because she already got her Oscar. Hugh Jackman looks like he’d rather be fruiting around in a musical the whole time and the actors whose characters were killed off probably begged to be once they read the script. Famke Janssen looked really bored for someone who was allegedly the most powerful mutant in the world. Maybe she was thinking about killing her makeup artist. While I can appreciate the 27 hours a day that Kelsey Grammer had to sit in a make up chair to play Beast, I just felt like I was watching a less neurotic Frasier Crane.

Someone I used to know gave me a piece of good advice once. He said when you’re talking to someone you’re trying to sleep with that you shouldn’t discuss things you’re really, really into with them because you’ll come off like an obsessive wingnut. Even though he’s giving shout outs through online personals now, he was right. When all is said and done that’s where X3 shit the bed. It just smells like a pile of dirty laundry that 12 cats take turns sleeping on and body odor. An unhealthy Jessica Alba shrine. Noxema and puppy shit. Yeah, you get the drift. There wasn’t very much room left for another sequel, but I’m sure there will be one despite the milquetoast ending. Underused characters, a weak script and substandard special effects are no impediment when enough money’s involved.

The Break-Up

It would seem that every summer there’s a movie that’s built around a hyped-up couple whose exploits you’re familiar with if you follow checkout line gossip. A few years back all you heard about was Ben and J-Lo. Last year it was Brad and Angelina. And this year we’ve got Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. These couples are always seen on tabloid covers and talk shows for months before the movie they’re starring in actually hits theaters, to the point where you’re so sick to death of looking at them by the time their movie hits the multiplexes, you don’t want to hear either of their names for as long as you live.

So this year’s couple movie is The Break-Up, which stars Aniston and Vaughn as a couple who… breaks up. Things get box-office-record-breakingly interesting when you throw in the fact that this couple owns a condo together and neither one of them wants to give the place up. Vaughn plays the same idiot man-child he’s been playing since Swingers. The guy who you’d really have a good time hanging out with until you go his house and he spends the rest of the night fighting with his girlfriend. It was kind of fun for about 2 or 3 movies, but I think I’d rather try and watch him play Norman Bates again. Which brings us to Aniston.

Jennifer Aniston admittedly looks good under Raymour and Flanigan showroom lighting, but, despite her soap opera royalty status, she’s got a face that looks like a 70’s goalie mask. I think Gerry Cheevers should sue. Aniston plays that woman, all-too-familiar to dysfunctional losers, who doesn’t want a boyfriend, but a project. A real fixer-upper. The Break-Up is a mirror into any relationship that’s older than 3 years. He gets complacent and she gets pissed off that he doesn’t listen to her. And if you want to blow your dough on that, then be my guest.

So for the rest of the painful running time you’ve got Aniston and Vaughn trying to make each other jealous and passive-aggressively trying to screw each other over. I think the audience was supposed to care whether these two nincompoops were supposed to get back together, but I’m not really sure.

The supporting cast had its moments. We’ve got the now-behemoth Vaughn-sidekick Jon Favreau as the idiotic, ill-advising best friend. The guy looks like he can and has eaten a whole can of Crisco through a straw in less than a minute. The helium-huffing Joey Lauren Adams plays Aniston’s sister or some vaguely important character who serves the same purpose.

All I could really think about while watching The Break-Up was if there’s actually some fake & baked Paris Hilton wannabe a-holes sitting around in a room in L.A. somewhere figuring out how to make more movies like this based on the scandal sheet formula. They’ve got pictures of random celebrities tacked up on the wall like they’re the FBI trying to bust some crime family. They’re all chewing gum with their gaping word holes opened and they’ve got “writers” at Us magazine on the payroll acting as fixers and consultants. Then that bored me and I was really hoping that The Break-Up would take some kind of a War of the Roses turn that never happened. I went home and told my girlfriend about it when the movie was over, but she didn’t listen. She never listens.

The Omen

There’s almost no dignity in seeing, making or starring in a movie that was made for the sole purpose of being released on June, 6th 2006. 6/6/6. That’s the kind of idea that someone can only have after a cathartic dump when their blood sugar is lower than George W’s approval rating. So to make matters worse, we’re talking about a remake of a ‘70s horror movie here, The Omen to be precise. Make no mistake as this whole frightening-for-all-the-wrong-reasons ordeal gets worse, but I don’t want to hit you with too much at one time.

The original Omen wasn’t a horror movie. Oh sure, it dealt with Satan, devil worship, the possibility of the world ending and Rottweilers, but it wasn’t scary. It was supposed to scare the tar out of you and be another Exorcist, but that never quite happened because there were too many funny things going on. Gregory Peck’s wardrobe. with the math teacher elbow patches, was too much of a distraction, as were his soul brother sideburns. And this cat was supposed to be a U.S. Ambassador? You’ve got to be putting me on, Jim!

Then we’ve got all the parts that were supposed to be scary. The one that springs to mind is the scene where Lee Remick takes her child/spawn of Satan to the zoo and all the monkeys go batshit because they sense evil. That was just plain hot! Then the nanny—remember her? It’s Damien the Devil Boy’s birthday party and she’s standing on the ledge and before she jumps, she says with the biggest shit-eating grin I’ve seen in my life, “Look at me Damien! It’s all for you!” I laugh my ass off every time I see it. And…and…and the look on Remick’s face… excuse me a….moment. God that was awesome! I know this is up for debate, but the scene where the hippie photographer’s head goes rolling like a honeydew off a produce truck when that sheet of glass comes flying out just might be the best part of the movie. The ’76 version of The Omen was the best movie the Marx Brothers never made.

Now as far as the remake of The Omen, I can say that it is scary because Julia Stiles stars in the Lee Remick role. I’ve carved Halloween pumpkins with more symmetry than this dame’s head has. She could’ve easily voiced The Devil, but this wouldn’t be the first time a bad casting decision was made in a remake. Stiles strikes me as the kind of gal who would eat 15 cigarette butts out of sheer boredom then fart them out in a product that would instantly burns the eyes, nose and throat. When I think Stiles, I don’t think of the wife of an ambassador, I think of the girl you call when you’re completely drunk, your standards are at their lowest and you’ve got an itch that really needs to be scratched. Speaking of bad casting, no one screams modern-day Gregory Peck like Liev Schreiber!

The only decent thing about seeing a remake is that the story gets tweaked a little bit just to make it interesting. Even the 1998 remake of Psycho changed some aspects of the story around to make it minimally interesting, but director John Moore couldn’t even be bothered to do that with The Omen. This movie was basically the motto of the mundane worker—Same Shit, Different Day.



Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

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