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ISSUE #130
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The Russians are coming!

Which should be our gooaal?
Ian Murphy

John McCain's fraudulent legend
Allan Uthman

Professor Robin Dunbar on your primate brain and its societal limitations

Check it our, maggots!

Seymour Hersh

Bringing a camera to the DNC? You might be a terrorist
Allison Kilkenny

Bruce Ivins: Patsy, madman or more?
Ian Murphy

Matt Cale


ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Dictatorial Facial Hair

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Your letters


Bangkok Dangerous
The Women
Burn After Reading
Righteous Kill
Lakeview Terrace
My Best Friend's Girl
Miracle at St. Anna
Eagle Eye

Bangkok Dangerous

Nicolas Cage puts on his worst hairpiece, or best drowned rat hat, to date in Bangkok Dangerous, a remake of what was probably a much better Thai film from 2001. Before I get into the plot specifics, who names these goddamn things? Really. Is this supposed to be broken English? Broken Thai? What? What is this? Was the title of this movie created through a poorly-executed madlib made up during a recent Tropic Thunder picket?

No, no. Let me try! Let me make one up! How about Anus Coleslaw? Fresno Sepsis? How about Allegheny Complacency? Missoula Surprise? Translucent Ding-Dongs? So maybe it’s not so easy, but did they have to stop at Bangkok Dangerous? It makes you think the story’s point of view will be coming from a full retard.

So, those plot details. Cage plays a lonely hit man with a bad dye job musing about how killing people for a living doesn’t afford much room for a social life. He kills without question, hesitation or mercy. But his pussyness creeps in when he gets a case of yellow fever for a 9-year-old boy or girl (it was really hard to tell in this trailer), mentors a street punk and throws a job. By doing so, some kind of On the Waterfront parallel is drawn and the bile starts creeping up in your throat.

It goes without saying that those who paid for the hit don’t appreciate this kind of shoddy workmanship none too much. Cage and his sudden sense of morality combat their mortal adversaries while tearing up Thailand and blah blah blah blah. Seeing Bangkok Dangerous in action just reminded me that I should really watch Shoot Em Up again sometime soon. Although I should stop to raise the point that the best Nicolas Cage movies are definitely the ones where he’s got bad hair. Adaptation? Now that I think about it, his hair’s usually bad. Forget I brought it up.

The Women

Here we go. Get a bunch of talented or somewhat likable actresses together, make them all play crazy people, find a classic movie from 1939 to defile, and suddenly the seemingly endless wait for the Sex and the City movie on DVD doesn’t seem like the hellish eternity it once did.

The wax museum comes to life when Meg Ryan and her freakishly unnatural new lips get cheated on by their husband. Annette Bening as the older classy best friend, Debra Messing as the professional baby machine, and Jada Pinkett-Smith as the token black girlfriend, all get involved and plan some kind of big comic intervention/confrontation on Ryan’s behalf.

But Meg Ryan knows the other woman and it’s Eva Mendez. Eva Mendez. With that mole, she looks like she’s got syphilis on her face. Or poop! That and I always feel like I have to look closer because it looks like she never bleached her upper lip. She’s not that hot. She looks like she takes big shits too. Big, greasy corn-throttled shits. Hell, I bet she’d clog up your toilet as soon as look at you. Granted, it wouldn’t take much to get me to cheat on Meg Ryan, but if there’s a definite possibility of getting my ass handed to me in a divorce it’s not going to be over Eva Mendez. Natalie Portman, sure. Megan Fox, Tina Fey, Julianne Moore, Kristen Wiig, Winona Ryder, the one girl on the Taco Bell commercial, Kate Winslet, Cloris Leachman, Monica Bellucci, Jenna Fischer—all yeahs. All hell yeahs. But Eva Mendez? She’s got poop on her face. And that’s gross. That’s really gross.

Burn after Reading

Earlier this decade the Coen Brothers fell into a total rut of boredom, self-indulgence and an apparent painful lack of enthusiasm. We sat through a static film noir flick, a dud of a romantic comedy and a top-heavy remake which cleared the way for the mammoth No Country for Old Men. And I think that last one qualifies as atonement.

But after wiping the slate clean, it looks as though the Coens are ready to make us laugh again. How the hell are you not going to laugh at Burn after Reading, a movie whose major elements are the CIA, physical fitness and internet dating? Brad Pitt finally stops taking himself seriously by playing a total cheesedick with an affection for tall hair and iPod armbands. Frances McDormand and Pitt blackmail a CIA agent played by John Malkovich with a CD of his memoirs or secret files or something. I’m guessing George Clooney plays some kind of fixer who’s sleeping with Tilda Swinton, JK Simmons is some kind of middle management type and Brad Pitt gets what appears to be a broken nose.

Now I’m not saying I saw The Big Lebowski here, but I have definitely missed that Coen Brothers brand of humor. Sorry, it’s harder to rip apart the ones that actually look good.

Righteous Kill

Remember when the prospect of Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino starring in a movie together was enough to send even the most casual filmgoer into a raging tizzy? A brief transitional shot with the two of them in The Godfather II was the only brief taste we as fans had, until 1995’s epic crime drama Heat. Even then, all this clash of the titans resulted in was a few-minute diner scene and a final chase/showdown sequence between the two. As great as Heat was, we couldn’t help but want more than about 10 minutes of shared screen time.

Those scenes were kind of like seeing a commercial for something you wanted for Christmas when you were a kid. You’re psyched, then Christmas morning comes and DeNiro and Pacino are nowhere to be found. So you try again next year. And the year after that. Hell, let’s say you wait 13 years total! You care a little bit less with each passing year until you eventually forget about it. Then Christmas morning rolls around and you open a box of Spider-Man pajamas like the ones Richard Pryor wore in The Toy. Great, but you wanted that nose hair trimmer from the Sharper Image catalog.

The only thing more overdue in my life at this point than those Spidey PJs is a movie starring DeNiro and Pacino. Righteous Kill has the pair starring as veteran homicide detectives who investigate a series of murdered criminals they took down but went free. Before you start wondering who in the world the killer could be, DeNiro starts looking like a suspect and the two make a pact to keep DeNiro from going down.

Righteous Kill is a lot like running into that girl you used to be soooooo into back in the day. Since you last saw her, she’s gained about 50 lbs, pumped out a few kids and looks like she may have lived in an opium den for a few semesters. She’s really glad to see you, but I guarantee you’re going to wake up to her 6 year-old poking you on the forehead asking if you’re his new daddy.

Lakeview Terrace

About 15 or 16 years ago, I kind of had a thing for Madeline Stowe. Something about her did if for me in Last of the Mohicans. Then it wore off after a couple of years and that was that. But during my Stowe phase, she was in a movie called Unlawful Entry. She played one half of a couple who was being stalked by a crazy cop played by Ray Liotta. I want to say the cop was obsessed with Stowe’s character, but who really gives a shit? Seriously.

This was the first thing I thought of when I saw the trailer for Lakeview Terrace. So now Unlawful Entry is being remade, but the producers will never admit to this. If you called those clowns out on what we’ll call “the abundance of parallels”between Unlawful Entry and Lakeview Terrace, they’d surely whitewash the whole thing by feeding you bullshit about social relevance making it a completely different movie. And if one of those pricks had the ass to use the words “post-9/11 world,”I swear to God I’d rip their endocrine system out of their body Gary Busey-style.

If you take the time to watch the trailer for Lakeview Terrace, you’ll notice the tried and true “crazy neighbor starting shit”stencil has been pulled out and dusted off. An interracial couple moves in to a fancy LA neighborhood and their crazy neighbor Samuel L. Jackson goes from passive-aggressive prick to full-blown dangerous asshole in no time at all. But are you ready for the kicker? He’s a cop! So any attempt this young couple makes to get this jerk to stop is thwarted, since the lunatic is five-o and well-versed in the law.

So let’s get down to the nutmeat of this thing. This plot’s got more skidmarks on it than wherever the hell they held that last Indy 500. And not the same kind of skidmarks. I’m talking about the kind you find in Eva Mendez’s underwear--big, long, jagged and stinky. Beyond that I’m guessing some candy-ass screenwriter got a parking ticket and had an axe to grind. Just a theory.

My Best Friend’s Girl

Oh fuck me. Fucking Dane Cook. God, I hope he goes away soon. He’s spent, stolen or borrowed all the stand up material he could, then when the well ran dry he started acting. He’s not bad, and is actually even somewhat tolerable, if he’s in the background with less than 15 minutes of screen time. But some goddamn mongrel decided to put him behind the steering wheel and it’s been a road trip to Douche City with no pee breaks whatsoever since. Cook won’t shut the fuck up, but you’re finally getting to the point where you can almost completely tune him out.

Then he does a movie with Jason Biggs. If the name doesn’t ring any bells for you, the word piefucker might put things into perspective for you. Oh, him! Yeah. It’s as if Adam Sandler did it with a hermaphrodite and Biggs got pooped out shortly after. He wasn’t a cute baby either.

So Cook and Biggs are in My Best Friend’s Girl together. Biggs is his usual wussy self, who somehow manages to date and eventually scare away a not-so-repellent Kate Hudson. But Biggs’ best friend Tank (yeah, Tank), played by Cook, specializes in scaring girls back into dating their exes by making a complete and total dickball out of himself.

The gags are a series of yawns and the only things going for My Best Friend’s Girl is the fact that Kate Hudson is kind of… cute in it and the impression that Alec Baldwin is going to dole out some comically bad advice. (“Guilt is just one more thing trying to asphyxiate us during sex.”) Being asked to sit through Cook and Biggs for the sake of Baldwin and Hudson is like being lured to a female-oriented sex toy party with cake. I’m sure it’d be penis-shaped, but cake is cake. As long as it doesn’t smell like a public men’s room after dark, what can go wrong?

Miracle at St. Anna

Remember a few months back when Spike Lee opened fire on Clint Eastwood for not having any black characters in Letters From Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers or Whatever the Fuck? Then you may also remember Clint telling Lee to “shut his face.” And when Clint Eastwood tells you to shut your face, you shut your damn face.

And if you see the trailer for Lee’s newest, Miracle at St. Anna, you just might think that Lee’s face should’ve stayed shut. Some old black guy guns down an old Italian guy and it turns out it has to do with something that went down during WWII. Then we get into the dealings of an all-black platoon behind enemy lines in Italy. Some head taken off a marble statue somehow heals people and it’s worth a shitload. Part mystery (why did the old dude gun down the other old dude?), part war story, all avoidable. And I’ve just been taken over by a complete and total lack of interest in this movie. Good night.

Eagle Eye

The last Indiana Jones movie (of which he was one of the few highlights) was a clear indicator that the tidal wave of Shia LeBeouf may or may not be on the way. I’m guessing between the guy’s ability to flip over a sport utility vehicle while half in the bag and the fact that he’s just so damn likable, we’ll be seeing a lot of him. But not if he keeps this shit up.

I’m talking about Eagle Eye. It’s about a streetwise hustler who gets inexplicably framed as a terrorist. Afterward, he’s pushed in the direction of his mother and the pair is forced through a gauntlet of peril which will ultimately force them to do the unthinkable. What the unthinkable is, I don’t know. That’s why they call it the unthinkable. You can’t think of what the hell it is. Think about it. I haven’t.

That I’ve got no problem with. But what’s sticking in my craw is the whole digitally-disguised voice spouting cryptic and apparently omniscient instructions like it’s The Matrix. That malarkey is sure as shit going to make the eyeballs roll, but that’s by no stretch of the imagination the worst of it.

Look, I’m in no frame of mind to think about or deal with this right now. I’m vaguely interested in Eagle Eye but if I were watching this trailer in a theater, I’d be twitching in my seat until the projectionist started up The Dark Knight.

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