Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

June 1 - 15, 2005

Issue #76

  .........................Buffalo's Best Fiend
   

The CyberCloset
A Chance Encounter

by Allan Uthman

 
Monkey Business
A Different Kind of Crusade
by Matt Taibbi
 
Jack Davis vs China
Trade Protectionist Gets His Party Started
by Matt Higgins
 
War on Drugs or Just War?
Plan Colombia Stays Aloft
by John Myers
 

Newsreek
Anonymous Sources Under Fire--Sometimes

by Matt Taibbi

 

Lonely Revolution
Free Buffalo, but Nobody's Buying

by Matt Higgins

 

Are You an Evil Genius?
Take the Quiz
by N. Sorrenti

 

Get Your Blog On
Helpful Tips
for Newbies

 
  
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Buffalo in Briefs
Separated At Birth
Page 3
Blind Date Scenario
Beast-O-Scopes
Kino Korner
[SIC] - Your Letters
 
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Movie Reviews by Michael Gildea

Star Wars: Episode IIIĖRevenge of the Sith

Sometimes youíll see a spoiler warning in a movie review. This means that the clown whoís writing the review doesnít want to blow the ending for you. This review for Star Wars: Episode IIIĖRevenge of the Sith will not contain one of these disclaimers for a few reasons:

1) By the time you read from this rag, Episode III will have been out for at least two weeks. Maybe youíre one of the nicotine-stained and grizzled sons of bitches sitting at the bar partaking in your Thursday afternoon ritual of drinking Genny drafts, eating off-brand pork rinds, and wondering where the hell you went wrong with your godforsaken life as you blow the paycheck you just cashed. Or maybe youíre sitting in some dimly-lit Allentown bar on the off chance that really cute chick will show up again this weekend, and youíre reading this to distract yourself from the fact that thereís the very strong possibility that youíre going to go home alone and fall asleep with your own DNA in your navel. Again.

Whatever your lot in life is, youíve either already seen Revenge of the Sith and know what happens or you just donít care.

2) I donít especially care if I blow it for you. Youíre reading the BEAST. If you donít know the score by now, you obviously donít get it. Besides, thereís not that much to blow. If youíve seen Star Wars Episode IV you can pretty much figure out whatís going to happen. Even if youíre not that dipshit who didnít show up to the midnight show with a home-made Millennium Falcon helmet, youíll be able to put two and two together on this one. Anyone who was in the last two Star Wars movies and wasnít in or mentioned in Episode IV is going to be dead. Dead I tell you! Dead, dead, dead!

3) Those disclaimers are really, really gay. If you canít make the simple decision of going to see a movie or not, then you richly deserve to have the goods blown for you.

So here we are. End of an era. A mullet-donning Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. Luke and Leia are born. The whole thing will happen through a series of scenes with excruciatingly horrendous dialogue as otherwise competent actors freeze because theyíre sitting in a green room and not on an actual set.

And thatís pretty much it. Stiff acting in a set of scenarios taken right from scripts stolen from the after school specials archives.

If you stop to think about it, George Lucas really is a genius. Between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, heís lowered expectations so much.† Itís like getting below a 2.0 on your last two report cards, then finally bringing home a GPA above 2.5. You pull that off and youíre getting a crisp two-dollar bill and your cheeks pinched by your great aunt Phyllis.

And oh how rosy Mr. Lucasí cheeks are! With Revenge of the Sith, heís pulled down whatís definitely the best of the prequels. Itís got nowhere nearly as much of the entitlement and stupidity of Phantom Menace, just a tinge of the political malarkey of Attack of the Clones, but it does drag a bit toward the end. The battles between Anakin and Obi-Wan and Yoda against the Emperor are a bit anticlimactic, but theyíre made up for with the killing of the Jedi (the scene where Darth Vader is about to grease a bunch of young Jedi is especially disturbing). Watching the remaining Jedi get taken out reminded me of the scene in Platoon where Willem Dafoe bought it. But for every up, there is undoubtedly a down.

The scene in the last ten minutes where a skinny wooden Canadian is transformed into the real Darth Vader is fascinatingóright up to the point where he asks about the fate of Natalie Portmanís character. The ďNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!Ē he belts out is remnicient of that one R. Kelly video where heís banging his mob bossís wife. You know the one. ďLook at me! I did this to you!Ē

ďNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!Ē Then he goes and visits her in the hospital and she dies. Great stuff if you havenít seen it.

Otherwise, youíre going to hear a lot of talk that this is the best Star Wars movie ever. Thatís really stupid. Revenge of the Sith is definitely the best of the prequels and MAYBE better than Return of the Jedi (very big maybe there), but itís definitely not the best of the bunch.

So what do Star Wars fans have to look forward to now that itís all over? Well, thereís always those glibly inconsistent novels involving obscure or fabricated characters made up from the smallest mention in the movies. And Iím sure that Mr. Lucas will adorn fans with numerous DVD reissues of the films for years to come. There have been seven versions of the trilogy between VHS and DVD formats released over the last twenty-seven years, so Iím sure that Lucas will belt out at least a good three or four more before he becomes one with the force.

 

The Longest Yard

A summer movie season is a lot like a potluck dinner. Thereís the main course, usually a blockbuster that everyone likes. Youíve also got the gelatinous, dissatisfying macaroni salad thatís the ďthingĒ of whoever made it (usually Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer). Then thereís the dried-out brownies with the powdered sugar, and the store bought, formulaic cherry pie that you either wind up forcing down or chucking up after regretting your first bite.

And what would a pot luck be without the chips that some cheap douchebag brought out of obligation or convenience?

The Longest Yard is the chips to this summerís cinematic potluck. It is the prepackaged remake; something to gnaw on, but not something to make a whole meal of. Something thatís there not because someone slaved in their kitchen and toiled over it, but because it was easy.

In case you changed the channel the second you saw Adam Sandlerís dopey head and simply couldnít bear the sight of it, The Longest Yard is about a once-great quarterback who goes to jail and is made to play in a prison football game where the prisoners play against the guards. And itís a remake.

As usual, Adam Sandler plays Adam Sandler playing a (insert profession here). Sandler hasnít figured out yet that heís been doing this for about ten years and itís getting older than Burt Reynolds. Reynolds, incidentally, also stars in this remake of a movie he did three decades prior. You know, to give the flick some street cred. I think he was the only performer who didnít just act like his patented persona. But this remakeís still basically a less edgy and far less interesting version of the original, and the original wasnít that great to begin with.

The Longest Yard is one of those movies that you get bamboozled into seeing after youíre promised funny stories and candy. Then thereís a point in the movie where you just look over at the shyster who dragged you to the godawful piece of crap, gawking maliciously at them as you devise and plot their painful, but completely justified, demise at your own hands.

The meathead convention taking place in that particular theater will be your own personal hell for the duration of the movie. Itís only worth sitting through if you know for a fact that youíre going to get laid that night or youíve been promised dinner afterward. Of course, if you picked this movie for that big date and you do get lucky, donít let her sleep over because sheíll probably wind up cutting your penis off in the middle of the night.

And as for the lovable black giant you see in the preview, he did rape and kill those two chillren. And no, he canít bring mice back to life.

 

Madagascar†

Maybe Iím showing my age here, but does anyone actually remember when cartoons were hand-drawn and not computer programs? Oh sure, itís pretty impressive what can be done in the world of computer animation, but enoughís enough.

You know the deal. Silly animals with celebrity voices in a predicament that all works out in the end. Madagascar basically runs like a computer program and is less than engagingówatching your hard drive defragment is more entertaining. Dreamworks, the studio responsible for this movie, couldnít put together another Shrek installment in time, so this is what you get. Kind of how when you just drop in at your momís house and she doesnít have anything in the fridge for you to eat. ďLeftovers again, Mom?Ē

Iím (and Iím pretty sure that anyone else whoís running on at least five of six cylinders is) willing to accept that movies like Madagascar are more geared toward children, but filmmakers should at least make them somewhat entertaining for an adult whoís been emotionally guilted into seeing this sort of fare.

As far as plot goes, thereís a group of zoo animals with no survival skills who wind up in the wild. So yeah, itís like a computer-animated version of ďSurvivor.Ē And just as dull.

Youíre probably better off buying some colored pencils and some paper to make your own cartoon. Do it after youíve gone through like six martinis just so you can see the emotional damage youíre doing to your children; so youíll have a document of your filthy, filthy dependency and the destruction itís causing to not only yourself, but your loved ones. Then look at† that picture your youngest made of mommy or daddy passed out on the floor because he or she cried themselves to sleep after failing to break the plastic vodka bottle over the edge of the table to stab junior in the throat because he broke the burnt sienna crayon. If that doesnít tug at the old heartstrings, then itís Miller time! See you at the intervention.

 

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