Pestering our Overlords: NYC Welcomes the President - Matt Higgins

Greatest American Zero: Sabres Rattle for RNC Cattle- Al Uthman

Purchasing Power to the People: Slogans Sell at RNC Protests- Ken Barnes

Dogfight: The Gendered Degeneration of Politics - Stan Goff

Milk Spilled, Thousands Die: Washington Post Refuses to Cry - Matt Taibbi

Music Download Blues: What to do if You're Busted - Stephanie Cole


COBRA Joins Forces With al Qaeda

Barney Frank admits Heterosexual Affair, Resigns- Jake Novak

Local Man Wets Bed, Blames Dog

Racist, Sexist or Ludacris? - a PC Quiz

Special Ad Section (funny!)


Buffalo in Briefs


True Horrors of Local Bureacracy - Jonathon Chance

Notes from the Big House

Ask Dr. Rotten: Growing your best bud

Taste the Truth: our new food column- "Fats" O'Leary

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - your letters



Kino Korner


AudioFiles: Hives, Brand Nubian, MF Doom, Rise Against, Dillinger Escape Plan



I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

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Archives--Old BEASTs






© 2004 The Beast

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

I myself wasnít aware that the original gem Anaconda with a pre-J. Lo Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and Jon Voight necessitated a sequel. It was just a really dumb movie that had a few funmoments at best.

Cut to seven years later, where we ditch the actors youíve heard of, realizing that the true stars of a turkey like this are the computer-animated snakes. In short, Anacondas goes like this: a drug company wants this rare flower so they can sell tickets to the fountain of youth and make billions in the process. But the flower only blooms in one of the most treacherous regions in the world, where really, really big anacondas live.

Interested yet? Me neither. Go catch it during a double feature at a drive-in if you have to see it. That way you wonít feel too ripped off. And you can get trashed in your car while doing it!


My only experience with Jet Li came from playing the PS2 game Rise to Honor, but this is actually the first movie of his Iíve ever seen.

And what a way to start! The imagery was beautiful, from the red leaves battle to the tens of thousands of arrows flying through the air during the siege. And the Rashomon story setup was great in itself. If youíre a lazy bastard and donít want to bother reading subtitles, you should really check this movie out as the imagery tells the story, not the subtitles. Itís similar in ways to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, surpassing it in some respects while falling short in others.

Donít know what Iím talking about? Go see the movie, you lazy round-eyed dog! Remove yourself from my sight and see this movie!

Suspect Zero

Suspect Zero is a rigged game. There are some people who can figure out who the killer is within watching mere minutes of this type of cat-and-mouse-deranged-killer-stalking-his-would-be-captor-whose-ex-is-brought-in-to-help-solve-the-case thriller. But Suspect Zero gets too elaborate and devised for you to solve it before it reveals its secrets. Aaron Eckhardt is the FBI agent trying to bust the random killer, and Carrie-Ann Moss is the ex.

And thatís all there really is to it. Youíve seen this movie before and Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, and/or Morgan Freeman was probably in it.

Garden State

Garden State is one of those movies that create enough of a buzz when released in major cities to potentially ruin it for all us schmucks living in the secondary release district.

What does that mean? Remember when everybody on the planet saw Forrest Gump, Titanic, or Gladiator before you did and made it out to be the best thing ever? Then you eventually got around to seeing it and thought that they were all right, but nothing to merit a water cooler conversation over thirty seconds, because they were entirely too hyped and pretty much ruined for you. Itís the same principle here even if laziness and availability arenít the same thing.

But, as overrated as those movies are, you still have to admit that they are really good movies, despite what you may feel about them.

Garden State, however, isnít up there with those best picture winners. Itís more like the nephew of The Graduate once removed. Zack Braff (TVís ďScrubsĒ) wrote and directed this somewhat autobiographical tale of an overmedicated would-be actor coming home to New Jersey for his motherís funeral. Heís been made to feel the brunt of the guilt by his father, but as opposed to giving in, he gets wasted with his high school friends and falls in love with Natalie Portman.

Garden State sort of tries to go to the place where The Graduate and American Beauty have etched their respective places in film history, but ultimately passes out on the couch after smoking a joint and getting tired of looking for its keys. Itís got its moments, but will probably find its place on cable in a couple of years.

Open Water

It seems that some people are never happy. If you read the Kino section of The BEAST long enough, youíll get the idea that I am one of those people, at least as far as movies are concerned. If youíve read said reviews even once, youíve heard me gripe about how Hollywood makes the same six movies over and over again and relies on something resembling style as opposed to substance.

Well, Open Water does that to an extent. While it spares us the sentiment for the most part, it goes full throttle on the jerky camera movements that The Blair Witch Project made famous. Take Blair Witch, stick it in an ocean with some sharks, and youíve got Open Water.

Open Water follows the Blair Witch formula so closely it bores you to tears, makes you wish the annoying-as-a reality-show main characters dead, and renders only the last five minutes of the movie interesting. The only two† redeeming qualities to this film were 1) itís only 79 minutes longóso you donít have to be bored for very long, and 2) the Night of the Living Dead ending during the credits.

For me personally, watching Open Water was like being at an insurance seminar, with the exception that there was no buffet lunch at noon.

Exorcist: The Beginning (?)

Iím going to give you folks a brief history of the making of this movie in order to explain why I did not and why I will not see Exorcist: The Beginning. How can you review a movie you havenít seen, you ask? First, it happens in the industry more often than youíd think, and second, this isnít really a review.

A few years back, I heard that they were making a prequel to The Exorcist. Max Von Sydow was reprising his role as Father Merrin, and the Star Wars prequels hadnít left that bitter taste in my mouth yet. All was right with the world.

Then, last summer, I heard that the jerky mathematician from Good Will Hunting is taking over for Von Sydow, and Paul Schrader was directing. Schrader wrote Taxi Driver, and has crossed over to direct such underrated gems as Auto Focus and Light Sleeper. Still not bad. But it never came out last August like it was supposed to. What the hell happened?

Then I get a hold of the Premiere summer movie issue, only to discover that Warner Bros. had scrapped the whole Schrader project and started over with director Renny Harlin. In case youíre not familiar with the name, he gave us such classics as Die Hard 2, Cutthroat Island, Cliffhanger, the Sly Stallone treat Driven, and a few other movies that could be used as implements of torture in middle eastern countries. Basically, heís the Hydrox version of Michael Bay.

We started getting electronic press kits at the BEAST, and this one came with production notes that pretty much spilled the guts on the whole plot. In short, Iím going to pass on this one. Premiere also mentioned something about the Schrader version of the film potentially being released with the Harlin version as a special feature when the DVD comes out. Iím holding out so I can compare them somewhere down the line to see if Warner Bros. actually had any method to their madness.

Without a Paddle (0)

Seth Greenís crowning moment was when he actually never showed his face as the voice of Chris Griffin on the Fox animated series ďFamily Guy.Ē And Iíll be really generous when I say that Canít Hardly Wait has a special place in my heart.

But when you stick him with the contemptible Matthew Lillard and some other clown unbeknownst to me, the interest I never had in this movie was gone. Three childhood buddies camping in the woods looking for some loot? But youíve got to have some craziness ensue so you can get some cheap laughs in there! Canít do it, G.

But now that we get free passes from the studios, they send a private detective to make sure that I actually see the movie. And this detective carries a Glock.

As Mr. Wilkinson (at least thatís what the detective said his name was) sat behind me, a gun pressed into the back of my seat, I sort of felt like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange during his conditioning treatment scenes. I got sick like McDowell, tooónot from the gun aimed at me, but from the movie itself. Not even the supporting roles were doing it for me. I mean, whatís the deal here? Do studios intentionally put out horrible movies to meet some sort of crap quota every fiscal year, or is it some sort of tax break or write-off they get?

Every so often when I get bored with a movie, my mind starts to wander and wonder what it was like making the movie from an executive standpoint. Itís at that point where I start thinking of scenarios like the Mel Brooks movie The Producers, where Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were out to intentionally put on a shitty production.

When the movie was over, the detective asked me why I kept humming the musical numbers from The Producers, before releasing me into the custody of my editor.

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