A Prank of Two Cities
The incredible true story of how we propositioned the mayor’s wife and rigged the NHL playoffs.
Paul Jones

Top 10 Signs of the Impending Police State
Hey America, freedom's just around the corner... behind you
Allan Uthman

A Preview of this Issue
...By Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret!

I Know More Words Than You
An editorial of verbose contrivance.
Paul Jones

Kino Korner
M:I:3, Stick It, RV, United 93.

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

The BEAST Page 3 Postponed Mushroom Cloud

[sic] - Letters
Judge Punch, toilet reading, and Moses in denial.


I'm with Stupid
Why Tony Snow is the perfect choice for press secretary.
Allan Uthman
The BEAST's Greatest Misses
Exposing our bloopers for all to see.
Ian Murphy
Thanks, Artvoice!
A message of grtitude to Jamie and Mike.
Pyramid Scheme
Fat-bottomed diet chart serves US RDA of misinformation
Kit Smith
VP Cheney Takes Time off to Fuck Himself
Clayton Byrd
Raising Children: What can you do?
Childcare tips for the uninformed.
Josh Righter
Kino Korner
American Dreamz, The Sentinel, Silent Hill, The Wild.
BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune...
in insult form.
The BEAST Page 3 Republican Hood Ornament

[sic] - Letters
Bong hits, federal charges, superfluous praise.


Achtung Doobie!
Buffalo Cops fight drugs in canine massacre.
Oh Lawdi Lawdi!
Bob Wilmers' free market field holler.
High Office
Giambra makes sense on drugs; electorate stunned.

 

 

Mission: Impossible 3

I don’t know if I’m the only person going through this, but I’m beginning to feel as if I’m some kind of magnet for excessive displays of gross stupidity. There was a woman in the southtowns some days ago who clipped my car while yammering away on her cell phone. During the obligatory pullover, her insincere apology was met with a donkey dinner (see also good old fashioned ass-chewing). A couple of weeks ago, there was a mousy Arby’s employee who beat the crap out of my chicken sandwich as she tried to get it though the little door before dropping it between the drive thru window and my car. Let’s not forget the bible-thumping mongoloid who insisted on reading the bible aloud in a restaurant, when all I wanted was a peaceful meal. Me and my unwarranted sense of entitlement.

Perhaps my breaking point came that much closer when I accidentally caught “TRL” on MTV (OMG!). Admittedly I wasn’t there to witness this hellish event firsthand, but I couldn’t have been more horrified if I was there in person. Longtime friend of The BEAST and Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise was on the show mugging and plugging for Mission: Impossible 3. During his visit he went into high energy berserker mode, freaked out some firefighters into letting him hitch a ride on a fire truck and tried to make friends with Kanye West. West looked straight ahead in blessed ignorance as Cruise howled, “see you in Harlem, brother!”

Yeah. That’s good soup.

The reason I bring all this up is because it proved to me that this stupidity I’m trying to dodge is not exclusive to this area. This gave me a minor sense of relief, but I was now aware of the problem’s scope. It all came full circle as I watched Mission: Impossible 3, and I am now even more aware what a great actor Tom Cruise actually is.

Over the past year or so, Cruise has either entered the late stages of dementia or is trying to come across as such to control Hollywood through a tight grip of fear. Picking fights with Matt Lauer, Brooke Shields, and meanspirited alternative newspapers as he carries on like an A-hole on Oprah, while allegedly knocking up impressionably desperate third-string toddlers pretty much sums up his personal resume lately. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cruise was found serving cups of his own urine after stealing a kids’ lemonade stand in a UPS uniform while singing ELO songs.

Oddly enough, Cruise reprises his role as super-spy extraordinaire Ethan Hunt, who has to stop a megalomaniacal lunatic from… I don’t know, doing something really bad. But Cruise doesn’t let his apparent madness bleed over into non-real life. The plot of Mission: Impossible 3 is essentially a rehash of the second installment except John Woo’s direction is replaced by that of J.J. Abrams of “Alias” fame, whose capabilities include making Jennifer Garner look like a human being. So yeah, I see why he was picked up. The whole thing is basically a downgrade—a C-list director and a C-list leading lady (Keri Russell) to go along with his C-list baby momma. Sorry. I’m doing it again.

The only saving grace of Mission: Impossible 3 is Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the bad guy. He obviously signed on to this stinker before he got the Oscar, kind of the same way that Jaime Foxx must have done Stealth before Ray. But if nothing else, Hoffman does a great Tom Cruise imitation—you’ll swear you can hear the neurons misfiring as he recites his uninteresting dialogue between drawn out car chases and contrived gunfights in exotic locales. Let’s not forget the lackluster subplot involving a droll engagement.

The first two Mission: Impossible movies were kind of interesting in the sense that they were different types of movies from each other. The original being an almost Hitchcockian mystery sprinkled with some action and the second being a balls-out action flick. This third one is more like drinking flat pop with leftover Chinese food that wasn’t done quite right and you’re only eating because payday’s still a few days off. While you’re watching reruns on TV.

Mission: Impossible 3 rings in the official start of the summer movie season. For the next four months you can expect to see half-assed comedies and the same action sequences over and over. The only mental stimulation you can hope to pay for during the summer months is from a hooker who happens to belong to MENSA. The movie that kicks off the summer movie season is also a good indicator as to how the rest of the summer will be. A cinematic groundhog’s day of sorts. There’ve been times where I’ve been willing to endure a couple hours of so-called entertainment as a trade-off to escape the sweltering heat of summer in this city. If this movie is any kind of gauge as to how the rest of this movie season will go down, I think I’ll take the option of molting on my uncomfortable couch.

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds and leave only a residual wafting of Easter egg farts. Kind of like Mission: Impossible 3.


United 93

If you talk to various people and ask them what they remember from September 11th, 2001 when watching the news and seeing black smoke billow out of the twin towers, they might say the whole thing looked like a movie. They might say the whole thing seemed more like Independence Day than the morning news. Then there were those of us who were too shocked to comprehend what a catastrophe like this would mean throughout the following five years. This is not to mention those for whom the deal didn’t sink in right away for as they sat at the corner bar and asked themselves why, sipping away on dollar drafts. I was in a daze myself that September day, but I found the clarity to ask myself when a bad TV movie depicting the whole upsetting thing would come out.

I’ll admit that United 93 looked like it was commissioned by The White House to drum up support for a war that makes the cast of the audio-visual squad in a Bible-belt state look like the cast of “Desperate Housewives.” Maybe we all needed a reminder, and seeing a powerful re-enactment of the whole thing would make us think that sending this country straight to hell is actually worth it. Who knows? Maybe this movie will actually make the president’s approval rating shoot up to an acceptable level.  

Well, it took nearly five years, but here it is. United 93 tells the story of the hijacked flight that was meant to turn George W’s rumpus room into an inferno, but ended up getting taken down in the middle of Nowhere, PA. Thankfully, it’s done pretty well, even with Paul Greengrass, director of The Bourne Supremacy, behind the wheel. It accurately recaptures the confused miscommunication and horror of the day in question. No recognizable actors are used and thankfully it doesn’t bother with character development or monologues about what people wanted to do with the rest of their lives or their kid’s little league game they’ll never get to see as they look at pictures of their families and weep.

For as much as the passengers of Flight 93 as well as those who died in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are respectfully mourned and missed, I can’t help but think how this movie didn’t need to get made, now or ever. How about this? How about a movie where instead of a plane hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 it was a missile. No burning engine fuel, no singed papers flying around in the wind and not so much as a landing gear getting extracted from the wreckage at the Pentagon.

Or how about this? How about the idea of explosives being planted in the twin towers? That’d make a hell of a movie. Because everyone knows that engine fuel doesn’t burn hot enough to melt the steel framework of a building. But explosives will do the job. And while we’re at it, we can stick a remote transmitter on the planes to set off those explosives after a certain amount of time. This way when the buildings fall after an hour or two (because those buildings can burn for a week straight without falling) after we’ve had enough dramatic imagery, they can fall straight down like it was a controlled demolition job. You know, because it’s not like the building would actually buckle over from where the planes hit, seeing as how the buildings were so solidly constructed. Think about it. I haven’t.


RV

A few days before I saw RV, the newest Robin Williams movie, I saw Williams on a “Daily Show” appearance. He came out, as usual, like he did eight lines backstage and started going off on the Bush administration. Williams had an extended dialogue going with Jon Stewart and admittedly the whole thing was very amusing. However, there was one thing about the interview that raised a red flag for me—Williams never talked about the movie he was allegedly promoting.

Watching RV, it was abundantly obvious to me why Williams never so much as mentioned the movie in his conversation with Stewart. It’s terrible! It’s a sorry rehash of National Lampoon’s Vacation minus the humor. It’s a graduation party without the money. Christmas without the presents. A high-maintenance girlfriend without the shimmy-sham. A trip to grandma’s without the apple pie. A hangover without the buzz and unacceptable behavior. Bad gas without the enchiladas. A trip to the strip club during skank shift. Rotten rotten rotten.

This is not to say that RV has no place in the world. Of course it does. If you’ve got ill-behaved kids, you can make them watch this movie. Send a copy to Tom Cruise when it comes out on DVD. Speaking of when RV comes out on DVD, it would make a wonderful coaster. Expensive, but wonderful. I’m sure that tying someone down Clockwork Orange-style and making them watch every frame of RV with their eyes clamped open would let them know how you feel about them.

Isn’t Williams Jewish? I’ve never met a stupid Jew. He needs to go back to temple. Maybe he needs to put on the rainbow suspenders for inspiration. Where’s the Robin Williams I saw on the last HBO special? The one who had to be hopped up on E, went through 72 gallons of water and had the energy of a box full of pissed off kittens? Why can’t he be surly in his movies anymore? Why does he have to play the husband to a wife and kids the producers picked up on the Jersey turnpike spitting on windshields for change and selling rotten fruit? Is it because Williams is beginning to look like a shrunken apple head and it all came together right then and there? RV is as small, dank and loathsome as Williams’ career.

There is just one thought I kept in my deteriorating mind that got me through RV. It was thinking of Williams dressed up in hip hop gear drinking Boone’s with Martin Mull. And Mull saying every 3 minutes, “I’ve really got to go. I’ve got to be there early to make the donuts.” Unfortunately I made the mistake of leaving my flask in my back pocket, making the fashioned hooch completely undrinkable. I didn’t catch the elevator this time, but I definitely got the shaft. Although I was inspired to write a letter to “Myth Busters” challenging them to find out if Williams’ movie career is still alive. At least that’s the urban legend.


Stick It

A review in two parts

Part One: An Open Letter to Jeff Bridges

Dear Jeff Bridges,

I recently saw your latest movie, Stick It, and it left me heartbroken. I wasn’t moved to tears because of some half-assed storyline about a gymnast who gets back on her destined path, but I was emotionally distraught because you were in it.

Why, Mr. Bridges? Why? The reason I ask is because you were The Dude in The Big Lebowski. That role alone earned you the love and respect of thousands if not millions of followers. The Dude showed us that everything could be okay with the proper attitude and that nothing in this world was worth getting bent out of shape over. Even if your best friend was clinically retarded. You showed us that it was okay to listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival and that bowling is actually both a physical and philisophical exercise. And above all, you told us it was possible to pay for a 69 cent container of half & half with a check and get it on with a gorgeous redhead all within the span of two hours. From the moment I saw that modern-day masterpiece, a film among films, you had my undying respect and unconditional platonic love. When the credits rolled, I said to myself, “I would kill for Jeff Bridges.”

The only reason I could think of as to why you would agree to appear in Stick It would be for the money. Are things really that bad? I’ll admit I know very little of your personal life, but did your significant other kick you out? Did you have nowhere to turn?

I say this to you, Mr. Bridges: If you ever need anywhere to go, you’ve always got a place in my home. Admittedly, I’ll probably get bounced from my home because of it, but we can find another place and I’ll support you. You can get your head straight or do whatever you need to do and I will be the wind beneath your wings, sir. Make no mistake, this is not a Brokeback Invitation. My admiration for you is not without its limits, but those limits are extreme. I just want you to know that there is someone out here who will keep you from going to the place that will not let you enter with your pride intact. I’m here for you, Dude. We all are.

With love and squalor,

Michael J. Gildea

Part Two: Maccio’s Birthday

In life it’s best to balance out the negative with the positive. Or the extraordinarily strange. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Stick It. Any movie that makes a point of pushing the fact that it was done by the makers of Bring It On is really scraping the resin out of the bowl. Going on trial for crimes against humanity truly seemed more appealing, but I got lucky this time. It just so happened that it was my co-conspirator Tom Maccio’s birthday and he seriously wanted to see Stick It because he heard “it had boobies.” The man bangs amateur porn stars and he wants to see a teen-geared movie because he heard a rumor that he’d see boobies. Given the PG-13 rating, I had serious doubts that he’d get what he anticipated, but I had an assignment from that human paraquat of an editor of mine and I knew there were no other set of circumstances under which I would see this movie.

Picking up Maccio at his stately Lackawanna residence would be the first major obstacle I would have to overcome, actually sitting through the movie being the second. Adding this to the fact I was doing this on his birthday would only strengthen the challenge. Maccio’s one of those people who likes to be pampered on his birthday. He had two ex-girlfriends over one year. On his insistence, one hand-fed him grapes and the other fanned him with an enormous leaf from a palm tree as they all watched “Degrassi Jr. High” for the entirety of his special day. Fortunately, Maccio never imposed such self-entitled and eccentric stipulations on me, but that was not to say I was entirely off the hook.

When I took advantage of Maccio’s open door policy, he was sitting on his couch in the wraparound safety shades you often see on senior citizens when they’re driving. He once told me they “keep the pain out.” Maccio was also wearing a white speedo. Yes, white. He was listening to Stravinsky and watching badly-lit low-grade VHS ‘80s porn. Or maybe it was one of the DVDs with no chapter selection. There was also a considerable amount of ball scratching going on. I was used to that, given his genetic handicap, but what disturbed me most was what was on his coffee table. There was a bowl of edible underwear in the middle. Also on display was a rye bread bowl with a half-dollar-sized hole in the middle and about a dozen empty cans of SoBe No Fear Gold scattered around the room. I remember the last time Maccio drank too much of this piss. A motorcycle drove by and he started writhing in pain, shrieking, “I got dog ears, man! I got dog ears!” Last but not least was Festus, the pet goldfish with piercings and an even worse attitude than Maccio’s.

Surprisingly, we made the movie on time, but what wasn’t surprising was that Stick It was worse than catching chlamydia from an overweight skank after a bender of non-alcoholic brew. The majority of the cast looked like Tijuana bordello whores who successfully shoplifted from American Eagle. I wept though a majority of the movie (see Part One) and Maccio told me to quit being such a buzzkill as he complained about the movie’s soundtrack. “There’s no excuse including Down syndrome for that level of musical incompetence,” he complained as he came up with creative ways to take out members of the band Fall Out Boy. We were loud, we were obnoxious. But no one messes with the guy wearing the grandma shades because you’ve got no idea what the hell’s behind them. And Stick It was nowhere nearly a good enough movie to run that risk.

I still for the life of me can’t figure out why Maccio wanted to see a movie about an athlete who gets back on her path after hanging out with a bunch of extreme sports miscreants. Even he must have known there would be no boobies in a movie that even teenagers don’t want to see. Did he want to reaffirm the belief that there’s always hope? Did he want to freak unsuspecting filmgoers out with his behemothic ways? I suspect that he just wanted to push me to my limits under the convenient guise of the anniversary of his spawning, but when I asked him he just told me that gay people aren’t gay. “They’re just bored.”

 

BEAST Blog

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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