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The Short Yellow Bus of Blogs

Netflix Viewings

This weekend was pretty much a stay at home (for the most part) and Netflix the days away. Most of my viewings were documentaries. Here is what I checked out and some quick reviews.

Directed by William Shatner, this little docu takes a look at the lead actors of each Star Trek show. Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard Star Trek The Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Ben Sisko Star Trek DS9), Kate Mulgrew (Katherine Janeway Star Trek Voyager ), Scott Bakula ( Jonathan Archer Star Trek Enterprise) and Chris Pine (James Kirk Star Trek 2009) all get their moments but with a running time of about 1:30 I felt it was a bit short to really get an idea of each actor. I think an half hour show would have given us a better sense of their lives and some of the pitfalls and triumphs. Still it was a nice little nugget for any Trek fan.

Both these film aren’t just documentaries about exploitation, they are big thank you’s with sloppy kisses and swift kicks to the nuts. Not Quite Hollywood takes you into the insane world of Ozplotation; genre films in Australia. Machete Maidens Unleashed brings us films made in the Philippines. Both these films showcase the best and worst (ok mostly worst) that came from these two countries and there are some gems out there. If you have never dipped your toe in the exploitation/ grindhouse pool then these two films can be your gateway drugs. Highly recommend them

A great film, that not only traces the rise and fall of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat but it also gives you a grand view of the freedom that the 70’s was known for. A time when sex wasn’t pushed down by death dealing disease and copious amounts of repressive assholes. Couples could walk in dance, have a buffet (not sure I would eat where there were free flowing bodily fluids) and engage in as much carnal pleasure as your little heart (and any other body part) desired. There were no judgments; tall, short, skinny, fat, any race, any creed if you got the nod, then you could have their bod. The interviews with former employees and patrons ran the gamut from awkward to hilarious. If you’re curious, take a peek don’t be shy and leave your inhibitions at the door.


November 23, 2011 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

He’s Back…Again

So yeah it’s been a while. I sit, I watch the screen and nothing comes out. Oh I dabble here and there. Typing a line here, throwing out a word there but nothing comes together to make a cohesive thought. It just seems like rambling; the stream of consciousness of a crazy person looking for attention.
I do love to write. I love coming up with thoughts that make one think, make one laugh or even make one cringe (confusion is a given when it comes to some of the things I’ve written) Mostly my writing has been little bits on Facebook and Twitter. Nuggets of thoughts put into an arena of safety because I’m afraid of boring the crap out of people in long form. 140 characters (a few more on FB) down and I feel good. But it’s only a sampling. I need to stop with the spoonful of sugars and make with the full blown 10 course meal. I can no longer let fear get in the way of what puts a smile on my face.

I turned 40 yesterday. For some this is a milestone; their moment of “Wow I can’t believe I made it this far” but it wasn’t like that for me. I don’t live that James Dean “Live fast and die young” lifestyle (Unless living fast means watching a DVD, having a glass of wine and being in bed by 10pm) But it did get me thinking, the same thinking some people get at 25, 30 35, 40 and hell even 50; What am I doing now? Where am I going? Don’t worry this isn’t going to be a woe is me blog, I am very content with my life for the most part. Could it be better? Of course it can be. 99% (and that was intentional) of us would say that and the 1% are just greedy bastards who can’t seem to get enough those money grubbing…Oh sorry, sorry that’s for a later blog. What I’m saying is that time keeps moving, people freak out when “THAT” age approaches whatever age it maybe (I know someone who freaked out when they were turning 21, there are some people who deserve repeated slaps) but you can either embrace it, welcome it into your home, make it some dinner and enjoy it’s company or you can barricade the door, turn off the lights like you’re hiding from kids on Halloween and pray the Boogie Age will go away but no matter what, it will find you and it will have its way with you whether you like it or not.

Yep that's what getting old is like.

Bottom line is you can’t let fear get in the way; fear of people not like things, fear that you’re too old. They say 40 is the new 30 and I get that. The 40 we hit now is not the 40 our parents and grandparents had, but at the same time when I think “I’m 10 years to 50” yeah it’s hard to not think that 40 is the way station on the road to senior citizen-ville. But at this point who cares it’s here and so I have to make the most of it. So no more fear, no more worries. Just writing and writing. I have some new columns I’ll be trying out for your reading pleasure. And please let me know what you think. I can’t say I will agree with your thoughts and I can’t say I will alter my writing style or humor (that’s like asking me to talk with a different voice) but I love discourse so let me have it, be as eloquent as Oscar Wilde or just tell me to Fuck Off, either way works for me.

November 11, 2011 Posted by | General Thoughts | 1 Comment

Our Next President

I just came back from Jack in the Box and this is the unedited transcript of a conversation between the counter person and the guy in front of me.

Counter Person: Hello what can I get you today?

Guy: There’s bacon in the bacon double cheeseburger right?

Counter Person: ummmm yes sir.

I weep for humanity.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | General Thoughts | 1 Comment

Hey Look More Oscar Predictions

Ok so I’ve been lazy.
Yes yes I know “where ya been”, “what happened to the blog, we totally missed it” I’m assuming that’s what you are thinking and even if you’re not, well, I will just live in my own little world and pretend that’s what you’re thinking.
I really can’t say why I played the invisible blogger for close to a year. I love to write. I know you can’t really count Facebook statuses or Twitter updates as writing but I always enjoyed trying to get people to laugh or put a thought in their head. But when it came to longer forms of scripture I would doubt myself. I would get an idea, start to write and think “this is shit, nobody would read this” and it gets deleted and I go back to gaining weight on my couch.

But now the drive is back, not lose weight mind you but to start putting words to paper or in this day and age watching them magically appear before my eyes. I’ve been in a holding pattern for too long and it’s time for me to get back to my love and that is writing whatever the hell I want. Actually this first blog will consist of two of my loves, and no the other isn’t vagina…that will come in a later blog. I’m talking about film, cinema, celluloid, the flickers as the old timey folk used to say.

The Academy Awards are coming up and once again I’ve decided to do something completely unoriginal, I will give you, my faithful readers (or is it reader) my thoughts as to who will take home the statue of the naked gold man. As I did last time I will tell you who I think will win, who should win and the dark horse films. Ready Kids…Oh wait before I being let me say this; the fact that Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, is NOT nominated is a travesty beyond reason and the Academy members should be forced to watch repeats of the Star Wars Prequels as punishment for this dastardly deed. Ok now that I got that off my chest, let us begin…

Who Will Win: The Kings Speech
– Come on it’s about a stutter, it’s about a stutter who is King and he must overcome the stuttering to be taken seriously. I mean that screams “Give me the Gold!!!”

Who Should Win: Inception-A totally original film, despite the Scrooge McDuck comparisons. You are sucked in from start to finish with its action, its drama and its touches of comedy. Great stuff

Dark Horse: Toy Story 3- No Animated film has ever taken home the big prize. This film was an emotional ride from the get go and while a win would be welcomed I just can’t see this breaking the glass ceiling. But no matter what, Pixar deserves every accolade it gets.

Who Will Win: Colin Firth (The Kings Speech)
– The Academy members are suckers for those with disabilities and add the fact that Colin Firth is a damn good actor and you are talking sure fire winner. Hell he could win 2 in a row if his next film is about an Egyptian Pharaoh with a bad case of pink eye.

Who Should Win: Colin Firth (The Kings Speech)– He did an amazing job and thoroughly deserves this.

Dark Horse: Jeff Bridge (True Grit)-Amazing performance in True Grit but I don’t see him nabbing it again from last year.

Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
– She gave an exceptional performance. Now I have never heard of this actress but I think she’s got a bright future ahead of her.

Who Should Win: Natalie Portman– Her performance is so engaging. She makes you feel every cut, every tear and every awkward moment.

Dark Horse: Nicole Kidman- There is no denying the talent but this was not so amazing that it screams Oscar, maybe Blockbuster Award.

Who Will Win: Christian Bale
– He really knows how to transform, he virtually unrecognizable in The Fighter. He took a role that essentially was second banana and made it shine.

Who Should Win: Christian Bale– As I said above he just disappeared in this role as he does with all his roles. This is a well deserved win.

Dark Horse: Mark Ruffalo– I really like watching him, he’s very engaging and just a natural but this performance really isn’t anything special. It’s good it’s not like it really stands out from the other things he’s done. He should have been nominated for either Shutter Island or Zodiac.

Who Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld
– In my humble opinion I think she stole some scenes from both Bridges and Damon. The characters confidence and drive beamed through the screen. And it’s not the first time a child has taken the gold. I see up there with Anna Paquin and Tatum O’Neal.

Who Should Win: Hailee Steinfeld– See above. I’m too lazy to type.

Dark Horse: Jackie Weaver- Haven’t heard much about her so my guess is she did a good enough job to get nominated but doubt she will win.

Who Will Win: Tom Hooper
– He won the Directors Guild award and when that happens its pretty much a lock for the Academy award.

Who Should Win (Christopher Nolan should win but since he’s not even nominated):
I am going to break a rule (and since it’s my blog I can) and say that Im split between Tom Hooper for Kings Speech and David Fincher for The Social Network. Both were able to take rather mundane topics; a kings stutter and Facebook and create enthralling and very entertaining movies. I will probably always lean more towards Fincher just because I’ve loved all his films and he just keeps getting better. But I’ll be happy with either one taking it home

Dark Horse: The Cohen Brothers– They won in 2007 and while True Grit is a good movie I don’t see it as a “Wow what an amazing” film.

Best Screenplay Adapted (Might I point out. I was using the Academy Award website to remind me who was nominated and the screenplay awards were listed below sound mixing and visual effects. That’s how much respect writers get)
Who Will Win: Aaron Sorkin
– He is an amazing writer, from a Few Good Men to the West Wing (and his other TV credits) to this. Who cares how accurate it is. When you hear the dialogue you are hearing the words of a master craftsman just like David Mamet and Shakespear.

Who Should Win: Aaron Sorkin– No need to repeat myself.

Dark Horse: Toy Story 3– I can’t recall any animated film taking home this prize. It would be nice to see it happen but I just don’t think it will be this year.

Best Screenplay Original:
Who Will Win: The Kings Speech
– A film that is the front runner for best picture, best director and best actors can, in no way, leave out the writer because guess what..without the writer there wouldn’t have been a picture.

Who Should Win: Inception– Give Nolan something. This film was a masterpiece of writing and filmmaking.

Dark Horse: Another Year– A film that really hasn’t been talked about that much. Although it would be nice to see an unknown take it home.

Ok so that’s it. I highly doubt anyone care who I think will win best sound mixing or set design and I’m sure most of you don’t care either and that’s ok. I hope to keep on writing and keeping you entertained.

See ya.

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

A New Day Had Dawned

My birthday just passed. And besides the gift of friendships and booze I got me a swanky new laptop.  So I feel that I need to utilize this little bad boy to it’s fullest. So get ready because “The blog is back”!!!

November 12, 2010 Posted by | General Thoughts | Leave a comment


I can’t recall the last time I saw a film where Angels were the bad guys, in fact I think Michael with John Travolta was the last time an Angel terrified humanity. Seeing the trailer for Legion got me all jazzed and I couldn’t wait to see the terror and action unfold before my eyes. Wasn’t quite sure why an angel would need large guns but I was open to anything.

What a mess.

That’s the exact thought that came to my head about an hour into this piece of drivel. The sad thing is, I love pre, post and everything in between apocalyptic flicks. The idea that God has had it with us and is about to pull the plug put me in a giddy mood to see some angel on angel action. I thought, at the very least, I could leave my brain at the door and have a good time. But apparently I would have enjoyed this film even more if I left my eyesight, hearing and any semblance of conciseness at the door as well.

Paul Benttany plays Michael, an Angel who defies God’s proclamation that humans are to be eradicated from the planet. He comes down and promptly cuts off his wings. Why? Don’t know, but I’m sure they’ll explain. He arrives at a diner populated by the saddest bunch of sad sacks to protect the unborn child of a waitress because said child will save humanity from it’s fate. How? Don’t know but I’m sure they’ll explain.. Then Angels, who have possessed humans, attack the diner. Why are angels possessing humans? Don’t know but I’m sure they’ll explain. Then another angel, Gabriel, arrives and seems to be the only angel that can now go near the newborn baby. Why? Don’t know, but I’m sure they’ll explain. I’m guessing you’re sensing a pattern here.

And there in lies the biggest problem for me, NOTHING IS EVER EXPLAINED!!!! Now I don’t need things spoon-fed to me and not every single solitary plot device has to be google mapped for me to figure out, but give me a little something. Why do Angels inhabit humans? Why did Michael cut off his wings especially when it would have been a lot quicker to convince people he was an angel and probably made fighting his fellow angels a bit easier? Why are angels afraid of bullets? Why do angels bleed and how exactly can they die? And why is God going through with this elaborate Lex Luthor-esque plan to kill an infant when all he would need to do is just make her miscarry? People tell me I over think this kind of stuff but I can’t help it when it’s pretty blatant. It’s like the writers were slamming away on their typewriters and someone else was reading each page and went “whoa whoa don’t you think you need to elaborate on certain items” and the writers went “Ahhh screw all that explaining stuff, we are giving them kick ass angels they won’t care about shit like that” As far as I’m concerned God did punish us by allowing this film to hit the theaters.

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Films | , | 1 Comment

Xmas in Vegas

Like there aren’t enough lights up in Vegas. I’m sure at this time of year Alaskans can see Sin City from their windows. I’m here, once again, celebrating the holidays with my parents. Even though this is considered the adult play ground, Xmas has a way of giving that family vibe. Even if you are driving past the row of strip clubs and nudie bars, as long as they have tinsel and Santa somewhere you get that warm fuzzy feeling and I don’t mean the strippers Va-J.J.’s

Everyone is in the Xmas spirit; those people that hand you hooker business cards seem to have a little more pep in their step, the waitresses don’t glare as much when you tip them a quarter and the bartenders have reduced the amount of water they put in your drinks, it’s a festive time for everyone. Although I don’t think I will ever get used to Santa working the door at a strip club.

Ok I’ve babbled long enough about the wonders that is Las Vegas at this most holiest of times. I want to wish my friends and their family a Merry Xmas. Remember when it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that counts. Except for fruit cake, there was no thought and there for is cause to beat up the giver.

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Avatar is nothing short of a masterpiece. I won’t go into any detail but say what you will about Mr James Cameron; he’s insane, difficult to work with, an ego the size of Texas, but you can’t deny the man delivers. His near Howard Hughes level of perfectionism is perfectly captured with all that you see on the screen; the beautiful planet, the flora and fauna, the inhabitants themselves, all painstakingly created to make a world that we hope exists somewhere. Then you add the human element and military weaponry that would make Rambo cream his fatigues and you have the culmination of James Cameron. It just feels like everything he’s done before was just a warm up to this. You have elements of almost all his films, neatly mixed together plus a heaping helping of Dances with Wolves. The film looks beautiful, the acting is great and the action sequences totally breathtaking. I am going to make this short and sweet because quite frankly there really isn’t anything I can say without giving away stuff so I will end this by saying “Damn you Cameron, you did it again”

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

Thug Life 101

We all aspire to be more than what we are. We look for things that bring us joy and that will inspire us to greatness. The gangster life has always had that sexy appeal. I mean if you take away the guns, killing, drugs and death it actually is quite an exciting existence. The white man has seen fit to try to incorporate this type of life and make it his own. Now while some have succeeded (Eminem and Michael Rappaport) others have failed miserably. Now while I don’t profess to be an expert in the urban gang life I think I can give you, my faithful readers, some helpful tips so you can bring out your inner gangster with some class.

Tweety Gangster
Let me say this: you simply can’t be gangster if your testicles haven’t dropped. It’s a point of fact that 99.9999999% of gangsters can shave. So if you can walk into Chuck E Cheese by yourself and no one thinks you are a molester you are too young to be involved in the life. But if you do choose to go down this road remember, in order to be taken serious as an urban street soldier, you should lose the Tweety Bird clock, maybe it’s me but I tend to think that cute little animated bird clocks takes away from the gun toting ruffian persona you are trying to show off.

The formula for Gangstism is Gangster + Autism – Dignity. You must be realistic if you are going to attempt this. Put on your proper gangster hat ware to the side and ask your self “Does this make me look like a car jacking badass or a terrifying woodland creature from Grimm’s fairytale?” If the latter, put the hat down, put on your polo shirt and realize that something’s were never meant to be.

gay gangster
Facial expression and body language can speak volumes. You are trying to look tough and for some this can be a challenge. Here we have an example of a man doing his best to seem intimidating; trying to strike fear in our hearts. Unfortunately his pursed lips and exposed belly help him cross the line from being cash stealing thug into Zima drinking back up dancer. Remember you are trying to look mean, not give Lance Bass a come hither look.

fat gangster
I don’t care how many tatts , arrest warrants, or items of bling you have; you can’t be gangster if you look like the staple guy from Office Space.

Gang signs are a vital part of the gangster persona. They are an indicator that you belong, that you “represent” as they say. When doing a group photo it is imperative that you and all your friends are in sync. Having the same or close to similar gang signs shows unity. In this case, the unity here is represented by the sheer retardedness of their hand signals. One guy looks like he just gave up and decided to show us a butterfly, another one seems to be giving the Vulcan salute and the rest are just crunching their hands up making them look less gangster and more arthritic.

Too much gangster
There is such a thing as too much gangster as represented by this gentleman who looks like the lone survivor of post apocalyptic South Central. He endeavors to fit in so much that he decided to try to appeal to every form of gangster there is, thus making him, in his own mind The Uber Gangter; an amalgam of past, present and future gangsters to come. This is a big no no as you should find the look that fits you best and stick with it because by going over board you end up being less of a trash talking street hood and more like Liberace.

Well I would like to thank you all for taking time to check out my little tutorial. Remember dreams can be achieved if you put your mind to it, never give up and in the immortal words of Casey Kasem “keep you feet on the ground and keep reaching for Westsiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide!!!”

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Terminator Salvation


So I was sitting in the theater all excited about this film. While I was skeptical at first about a McG Terminator film, after seeing the footage and getting bits and pieces of what the story entailed I was hooked. Not Star Trek hooked mind you but enthused nonetheless. So the film starts, it’s 2003 and we see Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) in prison signing his body away to Cyberdyne Systems and then waking up 15 years later to find himself in a completely different world. And then finding out that he is pretty much no longer human and how he has to deal with all these new revelations. I’m starting to get into this story. And then some guy starts talking, just yammering on for no reason. I’m thinking, “ Could someone please tell this guy to shut up, he’s interrupting, what is turning out to be, a great flick” But no one said a thing and this guy kept making his comments and even did some speeches and I was getting more and more annoyed. I just wanted to reach out and strangle this guy and I would have to if it hadn’t been for one little thing; that annoying guy, interrupting a good movie was one of the characters in the movie and his name was John Conner.

Now lets get this out of the way. I didn’t hate this movie. I did enjoy most of it. I enjoyed the Marcus Wright/Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) scenes, I enjoyed the giant robot with the cycles coming out of its leg and I enjoyed the little nods to the previous movies-although the Guns N Roses song was pushing it. There were some eye catching action sequences and I was excited about getting my first glimpse into Skynet. But the one person I couldn’t get past was John Conner. Now if the stories are true; Christian Bale was offered the Marcus Wright part but decided he wanted to play John Conner. In the original script Conner only appeared in the last 3 minutes of the movie, it was primarily going to be Marcus and Kyle Reese as the main characters. So he brings in Jonathan Nolan, co-writer of Dark Knight, to beef up the Conner part. Now seeing as the same two guys who wrote The Net and Catwoman wrote the original script, maybe a pass by Nolan wouldn’t be so bad. So he beefs up the character and we get a film that feels like there are two competing story lines going on. And unfortunately the good story line is getting beat out by Bale’s ego.

The John Conner we hear about in the previous films is this, almost, mythological messiah. He’s the guy that everyone talks about, the one that battled an army of Terminators all by himself with just a pulse rifle and pair of scissors. You hardly see him but you know he’s there; pushing you to go forward and you gladly do even if it means you’ll die. The John Conner we usually see is the whiney, self absorbed little brat that makes you wonder how he could be the leader of anything, let alone the savior of man kind. The John Conner we get in this film is more mature and starting to get his footing in terms of who he is to become. But there in lies the problem. The people are following him but you never really get an idea as to why, it’s just that they follow him. They feel he’s right and the those above him are wrong and maybe it’s that simple but I felt that something was missing, a strong enough reason for everyone to just ignore orders from their higher up to follow this guy, because that’s really who he was, just this guy. And that’s what saddened me. They had a really great story going with Marcus Wright and his relationship with Reese and the relationship with Blair (Moon Bloodgood); I would have loved to see that develop. They had the makings of doing something unique with this but all the Conner stuff drags it down.

A few other little things that bugged me included; the fact that Conner didn’t seem to be suspicious about his relative ease breaking into Skynet. They seem to know he was coming so wouldn’t Skynet have had Terminators positioned everyone to blow is ass to pieces and the same with Reese, they had him but just kept him locked up. I had issue with the Helena Bonham Carter bit at the end. It’s that idea of “well it’ time to put a face on the faceless villain” They did it with the Borg and now they did it with Skynet. It’s kind of ironic since machines are taking over and trying to wipe out humans but yet a human face is their representative. Like I said I didn’t hate but I was saddened to watch a film, that had the chance of being something special, brought down by ego and by people who just couldn’t say No.

A little side Note: I read this several times and I am curious to hear what people would have thought of this. It’s the original ending. Apparently Conner was going to die. He was fatally wounded in the final assault against Skynet. He lay dying and convinces Marcus Wright to take up the mantle of John Conner. Conner dies and they graft Conner’s face on too Marcus’s skeleton ala Face Off. So in the end John Conner, the savior of Mankind, the leader of the human resistance would actually be a Terminator. I’m not sure how I would feel about that; I mean it would be balancing that tight rope between awesomely shocking and totally retarded. So if you made this far, let me know your thoughts on this.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Films | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments