Pointless
Feeding the ultimate troll.
Al Uthman

Bananarama
Belafonte can't shake tally-man past.
Christopher Famighetti

A Small Rabbit out of a Big Hat
Pentagon media moguls cancel Zarqawi.
Stan Goff

Al Qaeda Idol
Vote for the next #2!

The BEAST Conservative Q&A
Answering questions that plague Republicans.

Five Questions...
for WGRZ anchor Ron Plants!

Coping with Road Rage
What can you do?
Scott Borchert

Hammer Hits Hollywood
The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress
Movie Review by Matt Cale

Stormtrooping for Dollars
Blog by boys in blue bodes badly for Buffalo

Power Tool
Brian Higgins, the enemy within

Page 3 Lesbian Superhero

Kino Korner: Movies
Nacho Libre, The Lake House, Tokyo Drift, Garlfield, Cars & A Prairie Home Companion

BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune in insult form.

[sic] - Letters
Moses mania, junk science, vegan carnivores, & retroactive plagiarism


Reaching Around the Aisle
House leaders move to protect House leaders.
Al Uthman

Hunger Striking for Osama
Churchill was right; Gandhi was a terrorist.
Alexander Zaitchik

BEAST Science for Hicks
A quck & fatal introduction to science for the logically challenged.
Ian Murphy

The BEAST Aeronautic Defense Technology Roundup
What's new in death from above.

The Great Genesee Cream Ale Challenge
A decent excuse for us to get hammered.

I Always Knew Canadians were Terrorist-loving Bastards
A BEAST Reader Opinion.

Man's Death Offset by Fantastic Accumulation of Possessions
Josh Righter

Artvoice “Sour Grapes” E-mail Determined to be a Forgery
Who's behind the malicious hoax?

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

 

 

Nacho Libre

My Old Man always had this thing about comedies. He loves everything from the classic Caddyshack to the 1990 Crime Against Humanity Spaced Invaders. And there were plenty of other milestones and turds in between, but as I watched a lot of the ones that fell into the latter category with him, he would sit there and howl like a banshee if he wasnít giggling like an idiot. He looked like he got hit with the smilex from the first Batman movie, it was so bad. And through most of these movies he would look over at my unamused face and tell me, ďitís so stupid its funny.Ē

Needless to say, I never understood it. I just thought he lost his mind and was willing to let it go at that. But lately in my older age Iíve come to understand my father a bit more. I comprehend more and more why he did the things he did when I was younger, and when I watched Nacho Libre, I finally understood what my father meant when heíd shriek to the point of embarrassment as he said a movie was stupid.

Nacho Libre stars Jack Black as a Mexican monk who secretly becomes a pro wrestler to make better food for orphans. The concept in itself is pretty dumb and could go either way, but when you have Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) directing, thatís when things get enjoyably effed up.

An appreciation of completely random humor is necessary to enjoying Nacho Libre. Jack Black doesnít play the traditional unofficially coked-out screwhead that he holds a pending patent on. His character Nachoís idea of hitting on a woman (a nun, no less) is asking her back to his quarters to enjoy some toast, which would flop in any other movie made by almost any other director. But when tossed onto the screen by the director of Napoleon Dynamite, itís gold.

If you watched Napoleon Dynamite and spent more time scratching your head or mentally composing a shopping list, you shouldnít bother with Nacho Libre. Itís just as disjointed as Hessí last movie and relies or bizarre humor just as much. If youíre a wrestling enthusiast, Iíd recommend huffing some paint thinner and drinking cosmic quantities of Red Bull for maximum enjoyment of this movie. Just remember that itís illegal for anyone over 14 to wear a mask, if youíre feeling Ray Mysterio at any point.


The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

When I saw the trailer for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift all I could think of was some drunken, coked out bet between some Hollywood studio executives. If you havenít seen the preview for the movie, itís inherently ridiculous. First and foremost, itís the third in the series where the actual actors co-star with muscle cars. Yeah, a real staple in the IROC (Italian Retard Out Cruising) community. Strike Two comes from Lilí Bow Wow not only starring in it, but playing a character named Twinkie. (By the way, I know he goes by Bow Wow now, but heíll always be that pint-sized wannabe thug to me and I donít care if Master P is his daddy.) But probably the worst of Tokyo Driftís moving violations is the fact that itís seemingly based on of the idea of greasing your tires with Crisco as you change gears and jerk off the emergency brake.

Watching Tokyo Drift was a lot like watching Cowboy Bebop after shotgunning three cans of Jolt back to back before mainlining coffee and Pop Rocks. Part of what helped me eventually focus was pondering the possibility that no one in the states would let the producers make another Fast and the Furious movie in the states.

If you ever do some stream of consciousness web surfing, youíll eventually end up at a website called Engrish.com. Itís dedicated to the phenomenon of misconception that the Japanese have of American culture. Kind of like when you see some dipshit with a Japanese character tattooed on his neck. He probably doesnít know what it means. Oh sure, he truly believes that it means strength, but in all reality it probably means garbageman or Pathetic Roundeye Gaijin Douchebag. Engrish.com proves what little the Japanese know of our culture through a hilarious gallery of T-shirts, billboards and other cultural artifacts.

Unfortunately, Tokyo Drift shows that Americans are equally guilty of cultural misinterpretation as well. We get a peek at the western perception of eastern bathhouses, sumo wrestling and girls in schoolgirl uniforms. Iíll admit that I know next to nothing about Japanese culture and as far as itís concerned I donít know what the hell Iím talking about.

But Osaka Bob does. Osaka Bob lived on the streets of Tokyo for a year and a half back in the Ď90s. I donít know why they donít call him Tokyo Bob instead, but who am I to screw with a nickname? He infiltrated every aspect of their culture and thereís nothing you can ask him about that he wouldnít be able to explain in great detail. He drank snake sake from a bottle as he (presumably) swore in Japanese during transitional scenes that were (Iím guessing) supposed to develop the characters and show off the country. If he wasnít swearing he was laughing like a fool. Like a goddamned fool!

After all, The Fast and the Furious movies amount to is a rehash of a horrible Ď70s movie premise that only pouring ice water down your pants can erase from your consciousness. I mean, what does it tell you if even Vin Diesel wonít come back for a second movie and pretty boy Paul Walker wonít come back for a third? As far as the cast, it consists largely of people youíve never heard of and when the verdictís out, you will probably never hear from again. But if kung fu legend Sonny Chiba is lucky, you wonít spot him through the exhaust fumes.

And on a closing note, I was privy to the spectacle of dingbat motorheads/NASCAR enthusiasts in the parking lot after the show. God knows I just had to see and hear them talk shop and revved the engines on their tricked-out Ford Focuses. And they alwaysóand I mean ALWAYS tear ass two blocks to the nearest Dennyís so they can look tough as nails while styling wifebeaters and eating a Grease Loverís Skillet. A friend of mine who is just as into music as I am into film admits that he doesnít hate most bands, just the fans and Iíll admit the same here. I didnít hate Tokyo Drift. Donít get me wrong, it was terrible and sitting in on an AA meeting seems more appealing in retrospect than sitting among the Tokyo Drift crowd. But I just didnít see the point when all was said and done. After all, what do you think would be more funódriving like an idiot or watching people drive like idiots? †


The Lake House

As much as I donít like admitting to it, Iím an on again off again fan of Keanu Reevesí work. Heís done some decent action movies, like The Matrix and Constantine. If youíve seen Point Break, The Devilís Advocate, Johnny Mnemonic, Bram Stokerís Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing or Speed, you know the manís an accomplished comedian. And if you caught The Gift, youíre aware that he can even act from time to time.

But itís the sagging-ass romantic dramas that Reeves occasionally does that really get to me. Not because theyíre romantic dramas, but because theyíre romantic dramas that star Keanu Reeves. Iíve seen spokesmen for Big Tobacco who were more convincing as moralists than Reeves is as a leading man in a romantic drama. I donít and wonít buy that at any price. No, sir.

But the producers of Reevesí newest romantic drama The Lake House have a new trick up their sleeves. They realize a story that only tugs at the heartstrings alone isnít enough. Desperate office working women who are depressed that American Idol is over until the fall need more than a truly happy ending or an incredibly tragic one to rope them into the theaters. No no, they need a gimmick! Every movie needs a gimmick these days. Pick a movie, any movie. Every movie listed on the marquee these days is a sequel, computer animated, a remake, based on a video game/comic book or otherwise gimmicky.

In the case of The Lake House, it not only stars Keanu Reeves, but it re-pairs him with Speed co-star Sandra Bullock. You knowóbecause seeing those two in a crappy action movie together twelve years ago wasnít bad enough, so lets stick them in an even worse romantic drama as either a punishment against them or their audience. I donít know. Maybe Reeves is still under the impression that itís still 1990 and he has to keep doing this sort of movie to retain his Tiger Beat cover boy status.

So what do we, the audience, get for our trouble and overprices tickets? We get a dumpy rehash of the Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour sap trough Somewhere in Time. The plot goes something like this: Reeves is an architect with daddy issues who goes to live in a house his aloof architect father built. Bullock is a doctor who goes to live in the house two years after he moves out. But heís living there exactly two years before she moves in. Somehow they have the same dog and send love letters to each other through a mailbox that can raise its own flag and send mail years into the past or future. Eerie. Very eerie indeed.

At some point of my viewing The Lake House, I started thinking about how I wish I watched Donnie Darko again and how much more rewarding The Lake House wouldíve been if the two main characters involved were uggos. Think about itótheyíre mailing each other and when they finally do meet, theyíre both attractive. Or supposed to be attractive, but whatever. Itís kind of like if youíve ever posted or answered a personal. You correspond with this person forÖ oh, letís say a couple weeks, a month if youíre cautious. Youíre obviously interested enough to write back in one form or anotheróbut when you eventually meet and you see those fat little sausage fingers, the lazy eye, the resemblance to Darlene from Roseanne, the rose tattoo on the vein-ridden ankle and get called ďdudeĒ more times than you care to remember? Well thatís when biology takes over and youíre running for the hills.

The Lake House would be a vaguely interesting movie if it didnít have more holes in it than Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Time travel is usually an intriguing enough concept, but itís also one that a screenwriter has to really think through before laying it out. But instead of, I donít know, ACTUALLY THINKING, writer David Auburn seemed to rely on star power as opposed to critical and rational thought. Considering these starsí lowbrow appeal, this is a commercially wise move. I can picture (not really) running into this guy and asking him how half the crap in this movie was actually supposed to happen and I see this guy stammering or quickly replying something to the effect of it not mattering then telling me that ďSandyĒ looked angelic. Bah!


Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties

If you go to www.tomcruiseisnuts.com, one thing is for certain---you will laugh yourself sterile. In addition to your dayís required intake of random nonsense, youíll also uncover some true nuggets of wisdom. Take this one for instance. In the quotes from Tom Cruise, namely in the Tom on Tom section, the first one reads, ďIím usually nervous to meet people that I admire because what if theyíre not cool or something?Ē If thatís not pure gold I donít know what is.

Cruise would be right if I actually thought of this and actually stood a chance of meeting people I admire. At least in a celebrity capacity. Iím talking about Bill Murray here. The manís always struck me as incredibly cool and when he did the first Garfield movie, I told myself that at least he didnít show his face in it. The movie was generally dumb and anything thatís got Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt as two of the main characters has got to be the stuff that nightmares are made of. It was like the part in Ed Wood where the one producer looked at Woodís footage and thought it was a joke concocted by Billy Wellman. But this was cleverly disguised as a kidsí movie, and because Bill Murray had something to do with it all was forgiven. †So now we toss the fat, decades-too-late computer-animated cat over the drink to Europe and throw in a case of mistaken identity and weíre all supposed to piss ourselves with laughter. Iím not sure what brought this on, but I donít like it.

Speaking of what brought this on, what couldíve brought this on? Not only do we have Bill Murray voicing a computer program when thereís clearly no need, but weíve got another would-be grade-A disappointment if you look at who co-wrote Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties. It was co-written by Joel Cohen. I saw this and I started having chest pains. I thought of the director and co-writer of such latter-day classics as Fargo, Millerís Crossing, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona, and The Big Lebowski. Part of me died when I saw his name in the credits and I quietly sobbed throughout the entire feature. I watched Garfield through teary eyes. I knew that his resume started dropping off over the past few years, but I had to ask myself if things really got this bad. Fortunately, I did a little research and found that itís a completely different Joel Cohen. This guy wrote Cheaper by the Dozen. BEAST publisher Paul Fallon is currently preparing a frivolous lawsuit I have every intention of filing against the producers of A Tale of Two Kitties.

I didnít enjoy A Tale of Two Kitties for the near-death experience I went through for nearly an hour and a half. Iím all for an emotional reaction when I see a movie, but you donít pull cheap shots during the credits and send people into panic attacks. Iíve got to call bullshit on that one. Then thereís the title. Come on! When youíve got to resort to a sorry play on words while referencing a Dickens novel that the vast majority of your audience hasnít and probably wonít read, youíre either suffering from a case of big fish in a small pond syndrome or you need to adjust your dosage. However, there is good news. If youíre a parent, youíve probably seen movies such as A Tale of Two Kitties a dozen times already and your soul is all but dead. Youíve lost the will to live/fight and on your kids 18th birthday youíll find out it was never yours.


A Prairie Home Companion

Just a heads up, and you can take this any way you want, but this is going to be a pretty short review. Reason being is I donít really have anything bad to say about A Prairie Home Companion. The few episodes I caught of the Prairie Home Companion radio show Iíve enjoyed very much and itís always done its jobóto make me and its listeners forget it was going to be over soon and also about our generally mundane lives as it entertains in an incredibly witty, warm and correct way.†

A Prairie Home Companion tells the story of the last episode of the show (donít worry, its not going off the air) and its best efforts of creator Garrison Keillor to keep it business as usual before a parking lot is made out of the showís theater.

There are a lot of great performances by Woody Harrelson, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, andÖ Lindsay Lohan. Yeah, I thought I was in Bizarro World when I saw Lindsay Lohan in a Robert Altman film let alone an actual movie, but more likely itís a sign of the upcoming apocalypse. Either way it was nice.

Thereís lots of great improvisation, namely between Streep and Tomlin, but itís definitely Altman whoís running the show. He creates this incredibly warm atmosphere despite the impending doom the show is facing thought great characters and Keillorís wonderful dialogue which returns from the brink of pretentiousness on just a couple of occasions.

I was really surprised as to how much I enjoyed this film. But what surpassed my enjoyment was my puzzlement as I canít for the life of me figure out what a hell a treat like this was doing being released in the Season of the Blockbuster. I guess A Prairie Home Companion is the prize at the bottom of that box of sugar-coated, indigestible Cracker Jacks.


Cars

Summertime means schoolís out, which also means that there are leagues of ADHD-ridden kids demanding extracurricular entertainment. There was a time when this problem was remedied with a summer reading list, summer camp or Ritalin. Now, instead of mental activity, physical exercise or a somewhat socially unacceptable medication, you can sit the little bastards down in an air-conditioned theater and treat the symptoms instead of the problem.

This summerís CGI extravaganza is Cars. Itís basically the same milquetoast kids crap rehashed from last summer except instead of being about humans, ogres, toys or insects, all the characters are, well, cars. A hotshot car that gets knocked back to the boonies to get its groove back with all the other burnouts and blahblahblah. Oh sure, the animation was impressiveóactually, it looked just like the Pixar animation that every other computer animated cartoon employs. All execution and no real style.

But I had a real problem with Cars. I couldnít figure out if it was a recruiting film for the next generation of NASCAR fans or a remake of the 1991 Michael J. Fox vehicle Doc Hollywood. Owen Wilson plays the hotshot car that ends up in the backwoods of a ghost town with some yokel residents voiced by Paul Newman, George Carlin and Bonnie Hunt.

I had the fortune of taking a mouthy kid to this, to see if Iíd enjoy one of these newfangled movies with someone for which it was intended. I took my friendís 8-year-old daughter Sarah and all she did was bitch about how ďgayĒ it was. She complained that Cars had none of the oomph that other Pixar films such as The Incredibles and Toy Story had. She just wanted to go see An Inconvenient Truth so she had some idea what her future held and whether she should bother aspiring to anything in this life. And she was the one who brought the Doc Hollywood comparison to my attention. Sarah was kind of a drag throughout most of the event, but the thing that made the whole day worthwhile for me was that she also found it funny that Larry the Cable Guy played a retarded tow truck in Cars. She threatened to leave if she heard the words ďgit Ďrí done.Ē Now that I think about it, I did briefly date her mom for a spell there back in the Ď90sÖ

 

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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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