Monday, July 2, 2012

Taking A Holiday!

With the Fourth of July coming up this week, we're not going to post anything new until Tuesday July 10th! Feel free to leave your thoughts here. Have a happy and free Fourth!


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Anonymous said...

We totally buried the lede yesterday. The debate piece on verbal comedians was the 300th CommentaramaFilms article... and no one mentioned anything! And there was no cake!

P.S. The Outland Blu-Ray reviews should be out any day now. There's a (presumably new) commentary by Peter Hyams that's been included.

I'll keep you posted, since I know you're a fan. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I forgot to mention that even after we discussed it. :(

Yep, yesterday was the 300th piece we've done at the film site! Hurray! Let's hope for many more!

ScyFyterry said...

Happy Fourth Andrew! You've earned a break! :D

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Terry!

K said...

Happy Independence Day.

BBQ steaks, corn on the cob and scads of illegal fireworks.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks K! Same to you!

We've got steaks planned plus BBQ'd corn on the cob. Yum!

Doc Whoa said...

I agree with Terry. You're due a well-earned vacation! Thanks for the blog! :D

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I was thinking about this earlier and it might be one reason why things are so polarized, at least as far as entertainment is concerned.

Why does everything have to have a philosophy?

Don't get me wrong... as a creative person, I certainly value the idea of aspiring to greatness and seeking meaning in one's work...

...but in my Twitter feed, there were three separate entertainment media articles about Magic Mike. "What's it all mean?" "What does this film say about today's women?" Etc. It's a movie about male strippers - who gives a shit?!

With the Internet and today's 24/7 media-saturated culture, everyone who has an opinion now has a platform and too many of those opinions are treated like the gospel. AND too many people seem to value the opinions over the actual product being opined about.

I see it online, not only on BH but other sites as well (right and left). "Movie X sounds interesting but Website Y and Journalist Z like it so it must suck." Find out for yourself!!

Yes, there will always be people who read in between the lines (like that article I sent you about The Shining being a metaphor for Native Americans)... but now that sort of scholarship has filtered down to everything and it's killed a lot of the fun associated with this little hobby.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Doc!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You ask'um big question.

At a fundamental level, everything needs a philosophy or it will devolve into nonsense. Fiction, like real life, needs a set of rules to run its reality and those rules derive from the creator's assumptions about right and wrong. And the more you wish to connect with the public, the closer those rules must be to things the public believes.

But that's a different question than what you're asking.

What you're really asking is why everything needs to make a statement. The answer is that it doesn't. But most of Hollywood does try to make a statement because Hollywood is very political and because creative types like to try to influence others with their works.

But even when there is no statement intended, there is an entire industry of deconstructionists out there who revel in finding meaning whether it's there or not because it makes them feel clever to claim to have solved some puzzle other people didn't even know was a puzzle.

As for relying on particular critics or whatever, I don't do that, but it is a valid test. There are certain people whose prejudices I know and when they say they like something, I know it will suck.

Anonymous said...

You're right - my question and subsequent rambling didn't quite cohere. :-)

There is definitely an industry of deconstructionists out there and their newest member is that girl who called me "anti-intellectual" because I failed to see the genius of SNL's "Dick in a Box" music video!

As for critics, I suppose I can't disagree. I actually came across an interesting article about critics which I'm saving for the next link feature. Some people think they're useless but others think they actually serve some sort of purpose. We'll find out later this month!

As for philosophy, remember my color montage video for art class? We needed to write "Artist Statements" and I had nothing to say. It was a fun exercise and I wanted to do it. (The statement examples our teacher provided for us were downright pretentious.)

The teacher gave me the names of a couple of video artists and I basically had to reverse engineer my statement, in essence, retroactively find my inspiration!

I told her I was uncomfortable about this and her reply was, "You'll be doing it a lot!"

AndrewPrice said...

The theory on critics is that they are useful because they are supposedly consistent. Thus, if you know you hate everything Critic A has recommended, then you know to skip what he recommends in the future.

I personally don't go in for that because I like to make up my own mind and because I know few people are sufficiently consistent to use as a barometer like that -- though some people are sadly consistent about having their taste up their butts.

As for the deconstructionists, it's an easy way for stupid to feel smart. Rather than build something, they just need to find something that kind of looks like something else and then they can claim to have great wisdom because they discovered the truth behind the thing they're examining -- and they can never be proven wrong. It's a sucker game.

You will find that a lot of artists (especially professional ones) are pretentious. They see no joy in the creative process, they only see joy in being seen as important. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Last comment for now. I have to go eat something...

A couple years ago, you did an "Ask Commentarama" feature based on a question I had about young people and getting involved in politics. You said the following...

"Stop sending the pale-white, home schooled kids in the suits and ties who quote Cicero like it’s cool, but have never seen a television and look intensely nervous sitting next to the minorities."

Looks like one of those kids is thinking differently today.

I'm sure he's a nice kid but all I can say is, "HA!!!" :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Let's be honest... children are trained seals. They will spit out what parents insert into their brains. This trained seal apparently went to college and got new handlers. He's as stupid as he ever was -- probably dumber actually because now he thinks he's thinking independently when he clearly isn't.

In ten years, he will realize he was brainwashed in college and will switch again once he gets out in the real world and bad things happen to him. . . like FICA.

People really need to stop elevating children to some status as representatives of pure thought. They aren't. They are parrots.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. The point I was making in response to your question back then was that conservatives need to stop isolating themselves from the culture. They don't have a clue how stupid they sound to people who aren't part of the cult. And holding these weirdo mini-mes up as an example of how conservatives connect with youth is the perfect example of how out of touch they are with reality. No one outside of the loony end of conservatism sees these kids as a good thing, and they have ZERO influence on other kids.

You might as well complain that the Beatles are too loud.

Anonymous said...

I got your point and it was much appreciated; I just wasn't expecting to read about that kid ever again, let alone his political "conversion."

AndrewPrice said...

Just wait until he comes out of the closet. ;)

Anonymous said...

...Or not. :-)

One last thought... I've been cruising Reddit for the last week or so. I'd heard of it but I never actually went there - it appears to be a repository of links, stories, and photos, all user-submitted, across a wide spectrum of categories.

I'm tempted to post a couple of links for this site... however Reddit doesn't appear to be very conservative-friendly (to the extent that it's political) and I'd hate to see this site overrun by an angry mob, so to speak.

So yeah, I'm not gonna do it. End of story. Just a thought. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I've checked out Reddit and found it to be incomprehensible quite frankly. It's like a junk drawer.

But if you feel like posting a link, be my guest. I'm pretty good at chasing away troublemakers and it's easy to delete their asshole-ish comments.

Kit said...

Saw BRAVE today. Very good movie. Not Pixar's best but pretty good.
Trailer: LINK

Had a bit of a Little Mermaid vibe to it, in my opinion.

I recommend it, especially if you have a daughter. I have a feeling it is a perfect mother/daughter movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Here's an article on that kid with some comments from people who met him in 2009. It would say this sounds pretty accurate:

“Holy fucking shit,” said an attendee at the CPAC conference who met Krohn before he delivered the speech, in an interview with TheDC. “The most annoying 13-year-old I have ever met. He was a braggart. He said something like, ‘Maybe when this is over you can watch me on Hannity later tonight,’” referring to the Fox News program.

Krohn’s mother, Marla Krohn, an actress and middle-school drama teacher, has not escaped similar criticism. On, where Krohn’s self-published book “Defining Conservatism” still sells, numerous reviewers blamed her for allegedly coaching her son and using him for publicity.

The New York Times ran a profile of the Krohns in 2010 — when Jonathan was still conservative — that included numerous details about Marla’s controlling involvement in her son’s life, including her refusal to let her son own a cellphone and her insistence on barking at her son while he was being interviewed by local news stations.

“Krohn was smug, condescending, and obviously completely ignorant of what he was saying,” the attendee said. “When I spoke with him, I got the impression he was merely repackaging what someone else had told him. He was smart, but almost Stepford-Wife like in how it seemed like he was being used. It was creepy. … He kept talking about the book he had written and how many radio shows he had been on.”

The source then paused, thought for a second, and delivered a summary denunciation of Krohn’s intellect and contributions to the political discourse: ”To be clear, the fact that he was being used did not make the kid any less of a douche.”

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I heard mixed reviews. I heard that some people thought it was politically correct feminist crap. Other thought it was very pro-family. Any thoughts?

Kit said...

I would say pro-family and probably a bit feminist, but that could come from the fact that the focus is on the mother and daughter and their relationship, so the emphasis would naturally be on them and not the men of the household.

Kind of like saying Finding Nemo is anti-women because its all about the father and the son.

"Crap"? Far, far from it.

In short, its a Disney Princess story without a Prince and because its about a Mother/Daughter relationship, it works.

Kit said...

And who is Krohn?

Sounds like some Hyborian Age god. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Krohn is some zombie conservative kid who wrote a book on how conservative he is. He spoke at CPAC and did the talk show circuit doing his best little robot impersonation. Scott mentioned him in response to a comment I made a long time ago about conservatives embarrassing themselves when they point to these little clones as examples of how hip conservatives can be and how they can relate to "the young."

Well, Krohn has now turned liberal and Politico is trying to make a big deal of this. Scott pointed this out and provided this link: LINK

Kit said...

"As for philosophy, remember my color montage video for art class? We needed to write "Artist Statements" and I had nothing to say. It was a fun exercise and I wanted to do it. (The statement examples our teacher provided for us were downright pretentious.)"

Ugh, I'm right there with you.

I remember going to a summer film camp and the instructors (who were nice folk) showed us some short films by previous students there and it seems that a lot of them were about "Karma".
Or, to be more precise, every plot involved some snotty rich person treating some poor person like dirt then getting comeuppance. Once it was an okay, interesting story, twice, seen it but okay. 4, 5 times? Its stale.

Also, film camp ruined Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" for me. I can't stand that music now. Heard it one too many times set to moody, depressing student films trying to be "clever".

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go bang my head on the wall until I get that damn tune out of my head.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Angst is the new black and irony is the last refuge of the uncreative.

It turned you against the "Moonlight Sonata"? Your film camp sounds a lot like Clockwork Orange! LOL!

Kit said...

"Krohn is some zombie conservative kid who wrote a book on how conservative he is. He spoke at CPAC and did the talk show circuit doing his best little robot impersonation. Scott mentioned him in response to a comment I made a long time ago about conservatives embarrassing themselves when they point to these little clones as examples of how hip conservatives can be and how they can relate to "the young."

Well, Krohn has now turned liberal and Politico is trying to make a big deal of this. Scott pointed this out and provided this link: LINK"

Oh yes, now I remember hearing about him. I vaguely remember wondering just what the big deal was with the kid and not really caring enough to find out.
Seems I was right not too.

Kit said...

To be fair, there were some fun short movies made at film camp. One involved a stolen iPod and the thief getting gut-punched by the owner. It was silly, written right there on the fly, and freakin' hilarious.
I'm also kinda proud of the one I made. Probably bad, but its not "pretentious bad". Though it is black and white.

The bad ones tended to either be poorly made schlock, which was okay if it was just silly and stupid, or pretentious poorly made schlock, which was unbearable.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The problem is that a lot of the conservative leaders are desperately out of touch with America, and when they find some little clone like this (white kid, black suit, reads only philosophy and never has an impure thought), they latch onto these kids as proof that they aren't out of touch, i.e. that this is the "real America" the media won't show you.

So they take these little nerdlings and hold them out as examples of how cool conservatives can be and then send them out to attract the other kids to conservatism. And it never dawns on these dinosaurs that these kids are creepy as hell and NO ONE respects them or wants to be like them. They are seen as defective freaks... future serial killers with a masturbation problem.

Well, this freak (Krohn) has now left his handlers and found new handlers in college, who reversed his nerd polarity and now he's a liberal. So Politico is trying to score points since the silverbacks at CPAC held him up as a shining example of what we're all like. When the reality is, he was never anything more than an empty vessel to begin with.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Next time you go, let us know... we'll slip you a script. ;)

Kit said...

"white kid, black suit, reads only philosophy and never has an impure thought"

"reads only philosophy"? Sounds dull. Nothing wrong with readin' philosophy but you need to read or watch something that is just dumb fun for no other reason than it is fun.

You like NEW GIRL? Taylor Swift? I I like Taylor Swift's music because it is fun to listen to. I love NEW GIRL because (1) I find it funny and (2) I find Zooey Deschanel to be the definition of cuteness in a girl. And I love that theme.
I watch Doctor Who because I love the character of the Doctor. I like watching this lonely man traveling around time and space saving planets and peoples from all sorts of evil and strange threats.
I love reading Bernard Cornwell because I like reading about Sharpe tearing through bloody French frogs.

Okay, I went off on a rant there. Hm.

Now, don't let the sunshine fall from the sky
Just find the sunshine in your own mind . . .

Kit said...

I want to clarify, I am not saying New Girl and Taylor Swift music are dumb fun. I find both to be quite fun and not dumb. They were just an example of stuff I like simply because I enjoy it.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Right there is the problem. The types of things you mentioned are simply not things these kids are prepared to accept into their world. They see pop culture as corrosive and refuse to engage. They don't own televisions. They don't read for fun. In fact, they don't have fun of any kind. And yet, these kids are held up as conservative ambassadors to youth culture.

Kit said...

"Kit, Right there is the problem. The types of things you mentioned are simply not things these kids are prepared to accept into their world. They see pop culture as corrosive and refuse to engage. They don't own televisions. They don't read for fun. In fact, they don't have fun of any kind. And yet, these kids are held up as conservative ambassadors to youth culture."

Andrew Klavan one time gave a speech to I think the Young America Foundation and it was about the Culture and how important it is. The kids, mostly business majors, were bored.

Here is the story:

Here’s a story to the point. As an artistic solitary, I was more or less shocked and confounded when I first started receiving invitations to speak. One of my earliest efforts was before a largish group of conservative college students at an event for the Reagan Ranch’s Young America’s Foundation. Well, they were college kids, so I figured they’d be interested in liberal arts stuff and I delivered a learned disquisition on the development of the idea of the individual in western culture. About halfway through, I looked up and saw a sea of glazed eyes and blank faces and realized, much to my dismay, I was dying the death. Afterward, a small handful of admiring students followed me out of the room to praise my talk. I was gratified, but asked them why I had bombed so terribly with the rest of the audience. They responded, “These are conservative college students! Except for us, they’re all business majors!”

Depressed by the experience, I went home and called a friend — the then more-or-less obscure internet curmudgeon Andrew Breitbart.

“I just tried to talk culture to a group of conservatives!” I wailed.

Andrew laughed wryly and said, “Welcome to my world.”


Kit said...

They don't see the culture as important when it is probably the MOST important thing.

They might praise "culture", as in the Greek and Roman Philosophers, Adam Smith, and Sophocles, but they crap on pop culture, which is the field from a civilization's which the enduring cultural legacy grows.

Pop Culture is simply the culture that is popular at a given point in time. In Elizabethan England Shakespeare's plays were pop culture. Ditto on Sophocles in Ancient Greece.

If you don't engage pop culture and try to shift it to the right then not only will you probably not like what grows from its fields but you, your children, your grandchildren will probably suffer because of its harvest.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Now we know what really happened to Justice Roberts.

"When #Fringe rescues our Justice Roberts from the other Earth, man he's going to be pissed about what his double did."

Jonah Goldberg

I have a twitter acct. because reading Iowahawk, Treacher, and Adam Baldwin is fun and informative.

Turns out Jonah is pretty funny too.

Warning: reading these guys is addictive. Not to mention the hilarious hashtags they start or the liberal ones they crash, LOL.

Hashtags, for those not familiar with the term is like a common site that anyone on Twitter can make up where folks can go and contribute (or whine or write something completely off topic) their two cents.
Be it Obamamovies or Obamadogrecipes or whatever you can dream up.

Of course, if a big time celebrity like Iowahawk starts one, lots of folks will play.
Whereas I might get one.

Anyways, there are several different ones involving Obama in or making movies (in response to his administration "helping" to make sure the SEAL Team Six flick, oh...I'm sorry, the Obama flick about how he killed Osama (which version is anyones guess) is "accurate."

Somehow, I get the feeling they'll leave out the parts where Obama made stupid mistakes that hurt our national security so he could look cool to his hollywood pals.

Unfortunately, I can't recall the hashtag I read these in but there was some real zingers in there.

Lyin' King
President Evil
Zero Dalmations
Tax Driver
Choom Patrol

Anyways, if you see Iowahawk in particular recommend a hashtag, or suggesting we crash a liberal hashtag it usually is hilarious with lots of hijinks.

Sadly, the liberals there don't think it's funny. Particularly anything that also contains some truth like references to Fast n' Furious, or all the companies that have gone under after Obama gave them millions of taxpayer dollars (I think it was billions irt Corzine who magically made it disappear. What a fancy magician that guy is).

I have no idea why this bothers liberals. There's some funny and creative stuff to be found out there.
Okay, I lied. I do have an idea, several, acually, but I'm working on being more concise (too late Ben!).

Yes, well...there's so many ways to mock Obama, Biden and company on twitter. Expect to be reported if you play, though. :^)

Suffice to say I was a Twitter naysayer for a long time until I discovered Iowahawk was taking his show on the road there.

It's amazing how much information some conservatives can pack into those 140 characters (or whatever it is. I forget).

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ah, just got caught up on the discussion.

I concur there are some conservatives who are simply out of touch with culture and basically live in a closed loop.

No idea how may but I would venture to say it's not the majority of conservatives.
However, they are loud, like any small group of prudish, sanctimonious and smug activists.

Quite rude, too. I've some articles at BH that are written by liberals who happen to have a conservative view on a particular subject.

Well, instead of being polite and having good manners or politely disagreeing there were some commenters that just savaged them.

It's almost always the same ones, too. Many of which never watch tv or films and yet feel compelled to go to BH and constantly tell everyone how out of touch they are, as if they will get new recruits in their 'don't have anything to do with culture' cult and let's be as obnoxious and insulting as possible while we do it.

Idiotic twits.

This kind of bad behavior drives away any liberals that are actually thinking for themselves, and who we might have a few things in common and some good discussions with.
Although, on disqus this will probably never happen anyway. Most conservatives, myself included don't comment at BH because the commenting format is so screwed up (really? There's nothing better?), which leaves the die hard idiots who apparently have lots of time on their hands since they don't do anything other than brag about how stupid they are and then demonstrate that fact repeatedly.

BTW, I bet there are more than a few Paulbots in their merry little cult.

I'm not saying no one should disagree with guest writers, but one should do so politely instead of acting like a Daily Kos liberal who doesn't watch tv.

That said, there are plenty of funny conservatives who are in tough with our culture.
As I mentioned ealier, many are using Twitter, probably because it's so much better than disqust.

You can also find them at blogs like this one (I can name several others as well).

Based on my experience, most conservatives I have met have a great sense of humor. Unfortunately, they also don't have a lot of time to be heard on the internet or hardly anywhere else, other than work, home, Church (not that all the folks I know go to church), fishing, and get togethers.

Then there are some that fall in between the idiots and the normal folks.
Some have clergy that rail against hollywood all the time and most of the entertainment business. And sometimes they do have valid points but they're doing it wrong.

They have no sense of perspective or any idea how to have a positive impact on our culture other than to be indignant and sanctimonious.

Instead of doing like that one church that helped make Fireproof and a few other decent films that had positive messages without preaching at the audience, they just complain and call for boycotts or outlawing free speech.

Yeah, that'll show them. The sad thing is, some folks take that crap to heart and regurgitate what some televangelist or pastor said (I'm not saying all televangelists or pastors (or priests, etc.) do this, but some do. Alot).

And they look like fools to most people when they say something like "Harry Potter teaches kids witchcraft" when they themselves never read the books or watched the films.

I do think this is a minority of conservatives, however. But again, they are loud and the MSM likes to give them publicity so they can smear all conservatives.

As for the groups you guys mentioned, I have had no experience with them but I have heard the same things about many of their members.
What a dreary existence.

I have a difficult time even grasping the idea of living without fun or humor.
I sure wouldn't hold humorless conservatives as a standard to asspire to.

Anonymous said...

"When #Fringe rescues our Justice Roberts from the other Earth, man he's going to be pissed about what his double did."

Ha! If there were more Fringe references like that, maybe the show wouldn't be ending this season. :-)

Kit -

I never went to camp but at film school, whenever they would show us student films from previous classes, they were always dark tales about tortured artists. Our class actually filmed a couple of comedies but the results were mixed to say the least!

Anonymous said...

USS Ben -

I actually like Disqus because there are no thumbs down options. Call me crazy but I'd always get paranoid whenever I saw I had a +5, then an hour later, it was a +3, or worse, a negative rating. Of course, life is too short to worry about such things. :-)

As for BH, this is obviously not unique to them, but so many people write articles and 90% of the comments are, "I don't support Hollywood!" Really? That's all you have to say?

This is actually something I've been thinking about. People talk about Hollywood like it's one brand. But it's an industry - the brands are every actor, actress, director, and film. Nolte likes to use the Charmin reference: "Why would I give money to Mr. Whipple if he insults me?"

Well, you wouldn't. But you wouldn't give up on toilet paper completely! If an actor insults you, you don't boycott the entire entertainment industry. (I realize it's just semantics but this is just a pet peeve of mine. And maybe I'm wrong.) :-)

Anyway, it doesn't help that most of the good BH writers have long since vanished. And I can tell things are bad when legit movie/TV reviews and interviews get a few dozen comments but a bullshit story about Scientology gets over a hundred! Very tabloid-esque.

P.S. While my friends like to make fun of them, I have to respect the church that's making those movies like Fireproof. I don't see myself ever watching those movies but kudos to them for actually doing something productive and walking the walk.

Kit said...

"bullshit story about Scientology gets over a hundred!"

I ain't a Scientology fan by any means and after reading the article googled/binged the Tom/Kate divorce and there are some, shall we say, interesting and suspicious things about it (rumors of men following Katie around, Katie heading off two Chelsea, NY an keeping low) but these are from sources like TMZ, The Sun, etc.
As they said on Yes, Prime Minister "Sun readers don't care who's the Prime Minister as long as she's got big tits."

But my big pet peeve with the writer is they treated opinions as if they were fact. She would reel of statements without backing them up with any proof. Maybe its because I just finished a History paper last semester but my brain kept going "sources?".

Even your typical gossip columnist will cite sources, heck, even the National Enquirer does, yes 90% of the time they're anonymous sources, but they CLAIM A SOURCE!

Kit said...

The comments at BigHollywood do make one depressed. Kind of like the youtube comments.

And can you name some examples of liberal writers getting blasted in the comments at BigHollywood?

"Anyway, it doesn't help that most of the good BH writers have long since vanished."

Still waiting for one guy's Robert E. Howard follow-up to his series on J.R.R. Tolkein. True. One of the biggest guys at Breitbart now is Ben Shapiro. Now don't get me wrong, I like the guy's work on exposing how biased Hollywood really is but I'm sorry, the guy's reviews and writings turn me off. Especially when he's writing on movies.
His "10 Most Overrated Directors" is pretty much is Work of Shame. The response in the comments to it was not pretty as his number 1 most overrated director was none other than Alfred Hitchcock.

I think his problem is that he states in the affirmative too much.

Now, in interviews he seems like a nice enough guy and I've heard good things about his book PRIMETIME PROPOGANDA (but I've never read it).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, when Shapiro talks about film (as opposed to politics), he shows just how inexperienced he is. I do, however, give him credit for a decent list of the top 10 film composers.

As for Scientology, I'm not exactly a fan myself but at the end of the day, I couldn't care less. Having said that, when I lived in LA, one of my co-workers at MGM mentioned that the Church of Scientology purposely places ads in the various industry trade publications and casting sheets, presumably in order to rope in new people who are just off the bus.

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, I just heard that Andy Griffith has died. :(


Kit said...

Andy's dead. Never agreed with his politics* but his show was great and he gave us TV's greatest dad.

R.I.P. Andy Griffith, here he is singing: LINK

And here is a cool use of the Andy Griffith theme: LINK

*I don't boycott actors or actresses because of their politics, unless their politics involved sitting on an NVA anti-air gun in the middle of the Vietnam War.
Though I'll make an exception for the movie that is Henry Fonda's swan song. :-) (Really want to see that movie!)

Kit said...

"As for Scientology, I'm not exactly a fan myself but at the end of the day, I couldn't care less. Having said that, when I lived in LA, one of my co-workers at MGM mentioned that the Church of Scientology purposely places ads in the various industry trade publications and casting sheets, presumably in order to rope in new people who are just off the bus."

Doesn't surprise me.

Do you think it fits the description of a cult?

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I don't think the majority of conservatives are out of touch at all. BUT I would say a majority of the important figures in political conservatism are -- particularly religious conservatives. A classic example is Pat Robertson, who still seems to be fighting against the evils of Elvis's hip shaking and doesn't know what Mac&Cheese is.

The problem seems to be that a large number of the professional activists on our side utterly disdain the culture and try to live in a bubble based on only an untrue, rosy view of the 1950s. So they are constantly putting their feet in their mouths when they talk about anything in the culture, women, youth, etc.

Yet, the won't admit they are this badly out of touch. Instead, they like to give it one of these: "those other 300 million Americans are the ones who are doing it wrong and soon we will all return to the right way."

Of course, they are losing the young because of this, so they try to do outreach to the younger generation. But that's when they start sending these zombie nerdlings. And they genuinely believe that these kids will inspire the rest of youth-America to be more like them. Hardly. And in the process, they end up driving more young people away from conservatism.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I rarely boycott actors for their politics, but there are a couple I just can't take anymore.

I was disappointed in Griffith that he would pimp for ObamaCare and I wondered how much of that was him and how much he was just duped. But outside of that, I've always had intense goodwill toward him.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I agree about BH. It's too bad that too many commenters over there just went nasty at every liberal contributor (and sometimes the conservative contributors) rather than trying to win them over and show them the error of their ways.

As you know, this statement: "Harry Potter teaches kids witchcraft" drive me f**ing nuts. Anyone who believes this has to be the world's biggest retard. And yet, I have fought with people who believe this time and again. These fools don't even realize that witchcraft isn't real!! Ahhhh!!!

And I have to tell you, the most startling thing which bothered me about Palin was that she went and got a blessing to protect herself from witchcraft. Are you f***ing kidding me? Are we really supposed to trust someone like that? Hell no.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, et al -

There was a great SNL sketch in the late 80s where Corbin Bernsen was the host and I guess they were doing an L.A. Law parody. Phil Hartman showed up as Andy Griffith and his impression is still one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

"Your honor, I don't know spit 'bout lawyerin'!"

Kit -

I don't know if Scientology is a cult or not. I'm not qualified to say. I guess I belong to the "Where does religion end and cult begin?" school of thought. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Kit and Scott,

On BH, I am stunned how many people go there just to whine that they don't pay attention to Hollywood. That's like going to an NFL site just to keep posting that you don't like football! WTF? What's worse, these idiots are proud of their ignorance and repeatedly post comments like: "I aints never seen it, buts I knowd its antiamerkcan evil garbage and you all is supportin it bys talking about it." F-you, go back to your compound.

As Scott knows, I have no respect for the top 10 posts because they are deeply cynical. They are meant purely to generate comment count rather than provide anything worth reading. They are even engineered to cause controversy by the exclusion of obvious choices and the inclusion of someone who shouldn't be included.

Moreover stating the opinion as fact (and doing so obnoxiously) is the oldest trick in the book for getting people to react. It's an easy way to get 300 comments.

Kit said...

"As you know, this statement: "Harry Potter teaches kids witchcraft" drive me f**ing nuts. Anyone who believes this has to be the world's biggest retard. And yet, I have fought with people who believe this time and again. These fools don't even realize that witchcraft isn't real!!"

I live around people who hold this opinion and I've learned to just go "I respect your opinion but I think you are wrong."
The goofiest are the claims of Wicca in the book. The magic in the books has NOTHING to do with Wicca, Wiccans might want to claim it is (they need the press) but there are clear differences. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was far closer in its portrayal of the religion and even it was way off.

Wicca is a paganist religion developed by a retired British civil servant in the 1950s.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Scientology is a cult. In my book, religion stops and cults begin when it ceases to be about the relationship between man and God and instead becomes about the control of the members of the organization.

darski said...


No Trek Tuesday!!!!!

I'll be fine, no really... well really soon... maybe... um... erm...*thud*

AndrewPrice said...

darski, LOL! Sorry! But I really needed a week off.

We will be back next week rested and refreshed with much more to offer!

P.S. I'm glad you're enjoying the Trek articles. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Wicca is a joke. It's a made up "religion" created in recent vintage which pretends it's actually ancient. It's tenants are nonsense, to the extent it has any at all. It's gibberish... superstition masquerading as philosophy. It's the ultimate in elevating EMOism over substance.

darski said...

To all my American friends... May God bless and keep y'all as you celebrate your 4th. Enjoy!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks darski! And thanks to all our Canadian friends for being such excellent friends and allies over the years! :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew, Scott, et al, irt Scientology, I would hafta agree with Andrew. They have a long and sordid history of intimidation and threats towards members that try to leave.

Particularly if prior members attempt to spill their "secrets."

I think I read somewhere that it's actually banned in Germany? I'll hafta look it up. egardless, I concur that reporting without verifiable and reliable sources is tabloidism.

I know it draws comments a higher traffic, but I really think it hurts credibility when sites resort to it.
Conservatives know better and there's simply no excuse.

IRT Wicca: it's just a New Age version of witchcraft. I assume to avoid all the icky animal sacrifices.
I'll second what Kit said too. Like Scientology it's entirely made up and there's ample evidence to support that.

Good description of a cult, Andrew. Cults are all about controlling their members.

Incidently, some former Christian churches have become cults.
Which is totally opposite of what Christianity is.
Once a church becomes a cult it's no longer Christian because the flock are following a man or woman rather than God.

I would say the same thing about other established, major religions, with the exception of fundamentalist Islam which is tailor made for cultism and for radicals to take over (not Sufi Islam, which has demonstratably been peaceful).

Andrew, IRT some republican leaders and people like Pat Robertson I concur.
They couldn't be more out of touch if they tried.
Naturally, the press loves conservatives like that because it fits their false, preconceived notions of what a conservative is: a hypocritical fool that spouts nonsense.

And we have republican politicians that do the same thing sometimes (Lindsay Graham, McCain, McConnel, etc.. Not all the time but enough to make conservatives look bad if the press wants to (and they do).

The thing is, most conservatives denounce them when they do this.
But how many liberals denounce their candidates or civil leaders (Jackson, Sharpton, Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Holder, Leahy, Biden, Kerry, etc., etc., when they say something stupid or hypocritical?

Very very rarely does that ever happen. And the MSM are quick to bury those ledes.

Kit said...

Ben, its not banned in Germany. They just don't give it tax-exempt status as they consider it a business.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, You have a real way with words! LOL! "I assume to avoid all the icky animal sacrifices."

You're right, it's basically new age religion packaged in a fake "sinister" past for people who need drama, but it cleaned up the ugly parts of the sinister past -- like animal sacrifice.

I agree about cults too, they become about the leader rather than God.

Scientology isn't banned in Germany, though they have thought about the idea a couple times. It's not considered a religion either. The German government only affords it "business" status. And you are right, there have been hundreds of claims of them trying to punish people who try to leave.

I totally agree about the press and the RINOs on the conservatism issue. They basically take all of our fringers and elevate them to "conservative spokesmen." But at the same time, they dismiss any comments made by the leftist fringe (guys like Farrakhan) as "oh, he's on the fringe, he doesn't speak for liberals." It's hypocritical, but it is the reality we face. It would be best if conservatives could get a younger generation of leaders who aren't divorced from the culture and start to use them as spokesmen.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Kit and Andrew: Thanks! Now I remember. Pretty bad not to be recognized as a church and lose that non-profit status.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I agree. I think there was more too, like allegations of fraud made by the German Government, but I don't fully recall.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Scott: The thing is, BH's comments doesn't have to be either disqus or the old rating system. They could have just regular comments like other independent sites.

Is Disqus better now? It's been awhile since I tried commenting there.

Kit said...

Well, several Scientologist leaders, including L. Ron Hubbard's wife, were arrested about 20-30 years ago for trying to steal government documents from the IRS.

K said...

@USS Ben: "People talk about Hollywood like it's one brand. But it's an industry - the brands are every actor, actress, director, and film."

Hollywood may be an industry as you say, but when the culture it pushes is near monolithic then it becomes a brand.

To use your analogy, if every fifth roll of toilet paper, regardless of which company produced it, was highly impregnated with hydro-sulfuric acid, you'd go back to Sears catalogs in the old outhouse - not to mention being someone more cranky about toilet paper companies in general.

I agree that it isn't "Hollywood" per se, it's the left culture. It's just that the left culture is the new "Outer Limits" - they have control of the verticle, the horizontal and the philosophical underpinnins of nearly everything that comes on your TV and movie theater.

AndrewPrice said...

K, I agree. I get Scott's point that it's wrong to punish everyone for the actions of a few, but the thing is that Hollywood acts in a nearly monolithic manner. And if doesn't want to be punished for the actions of the few, then it needs to divorce itself from them. But it doesn't. Instead, they just keep casting these people over and over and letting them direct pictures and they never force them to remove these offending messages.

There comes a point where your own refusal to separate yourself from nasty people and their words and deeds can legitimately be considered ratifying those words and deeds, and I think Hollywood has reached that point.

Anthony said...

I saw Madagascar 3 last weekend with my family. I wasn't expecting much (skipped its prequels) but I was really impressed.

I found it vastly more enjoyable than Brave. Interestingly, my daughters (7 and 11, biased towards all things princess related) and my wife liked Madagascar 3 a lot more then they liked Brave.

What I enjoyed about Madagascar 3 was the fast pace, some inspired scenes (one memorable scene indicates that music has more healing power than I ever realized), characters that play well off each other and a spectacular climax.

I won't go into spoiler territory, but given the title I expected Brave to have more in the way of adventure than it does and a character action at a key moment comes across as incredibly false (wildly out of character, done only because if the character had acted differently, the movie would have been a lot shorter).

Kit said...

I've seen the movie, which moment was false?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I haven't seen either Madagascar 3 or Brave yet, but I did see Madagascar 1 and I liked it a lot. That's interesting that your daughters liked Madagascar 3 better. I would have thought they would be the target audience for Brave.

Kit said...

Saw the first MADAGASCAR and didn't think much of it outside of the penguins. It was just a bunch of movie parodies lumped together.

Which is why I didn't see 2 or 3.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I wouldn't say it was a great film, but I was thoroughly entertained watching it. I don't remember it now, but I liked it when I watched it.

Anthony said...



I thought the scene where the princess gave her mother the magicked pie which was supposed to change her mind was unconvincing.

As far as the princess knew, the pie was supposed to change her mother's mind about marriage but when her mother ate it all of a sudden she was in pain and was so sick she couldn't stand unassisted.

Rather than mind changing magic, it was behaving more like a poison, but that didn't concern the princess, who just kind of lugged her mother upstairs, asked her a time or two if she had changed her mind about the marriage, then put her on the bed and started to walk away, at which point her writhing mother fell off the bed and well, you know the rest.

Kit said...

Ok, I didn't think so.

I got the feeling she may have thought that was just a short-term side effect of the spell.

Kit said...

Of course she also wasn't, in TVTropes terms, genre-savvy enough to know that you SHOULD NEVER TRUST THE WITCH WHO LIVES ALL ALONE.

Didn't work for Ariel, not gonna work for Merida.

My only problem was that they should've brought the witch back to be defeated and that she should've played a bit of a larger role.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, et al -

While I understand everyone's point, the last thing I'll say about Hollywood is that there seems to be a false sense of equivalency, at least as far as BH is concerned.

Once in a blue moon, I'll read a headline "Comedian XYZ bashes Republicans!" and my initial reaction will be, "WHO?!" Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo... have at them.

But the third rate D-list comedian who makes a joke during a 2:00 AM comedy special isn't quite the same thing! :-)

And some people are more "Hollywood" than others. Spielberg? Sure. Kevin Smith. Not so much. But again... it's all semantics and to the average Joe, they're all the same.

As for Madagascar, I haven't seen any of them and, like the Ice Age movies, I actually lost count of how many sequels there are. Two? Three? :-)

Kit said...

"As for Madagascar, I haven't seen any of them and, like the Ice Age movies, I actually lost count of how many sequels there are. Two? Three? :-)"

That's what I love about Pixar, they don't do pointless sequels!

And thank God Despicable Me doesn't have a sequel! Great movie and the charming story wrapped itself up neatly. There is no need for a second one. That would be just dumb!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I don't know that I agree with your example. If it was only some minor comedian, then I would agree that expressing anger at Hollywood wouldn't make sense. But it's not just some minor comedian. You're talking about the major players, some of the biggest actors, thousands of smaller actors, people behind the scenes (look at the Bush head thing), award shows, critics, media reporters, etc. This isn't an isolated thing, it's a full-on assault.

And while I sympathize that a guy who makes sets maybe isn't political at all, I can't really excuse the industry just because he might get hurt.

I thought Ice Age sucked.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I enjoyed Despicable Me and I think a sequel would have annoyed me to no end.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, media reporters. They might be the worst of all.

Moving on...

I thought Ice Age was rather cute... a pleasant surprise. I haven't seen any of the sequels. Sorry to hear you didn't like it.

I haven't seen Despicable Me but they're working on a ride at Universal. Last time I was there (a few months ago), there was a "Coming Soon" sign posted, next to some large sculptures of those alien guys.

And I'm sure they're working on a sequel. What was the last successful kids movie that didn't have a sequel?! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Despicable Me was cute because it didn't follow the formula all the much -- it kept diverging. Overall it did, but not minute by minute. Ice Age struck me as just an intensely generic film.

Yeah, media reporters... ugh. Crack whores deserve more respect.

Anonymous said...

Since this is an open thread...

Crack whores also deserve more respect than the parents of this kid.

(You needn't watch the video - everything you need to know is in the headline.)

Crack Whores said...

Yea we do. We are also tired of the stereo typing that goes on about hardworking crack whores.
For instance, I still have half my teeth and I shower at least once a week whether I need it or not.

Media reporters are the scum of the earth (and they usually will shortchange us crack whores which should be illegal).

Crack Whores said...

Oh, and happy forth! Support your loco crack whores! Without us as competition hookers would charge a lot more so show us some love baby.

Crack Whore said...

Scott, that's just wrong! I would never do that to my kids!

Another Crack Whore said...

Can someone tell me whats so bad about a man date? My pimp was complaining about it on the 28th of last month.

Which surprised me because I didn't know he was, you know, into that sort of thing.

Maybe he just had a bad man date. But then I heard the same thing on the news.

Is there a national outbreak of bad man dates? because I haven't noticed anything odd about mine, other than the ones from the DNC that is, but that goes without sayin.

Different Crack Whore said...

Girl you a fool! They talkin about healthy man dates! If you graduated junior hi you wood know that.

Another Crack Whore said...

Who are you callin a fool fool? If they are so healthy why is Leroy so mad about it? Hmm?

AndrewPrice said...

What the heck happened here? I step away for a few minutes for dinner and a crack whore convention breaks out???

AndrewPrice said...

Scott... wow. What in the world?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'm shocked...shocked I say.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Apparently, it was your wise crack that started it, Andrew, LOL.

AndrewPrice said...

My wise "crack"? LOL! Bravo Ben! Bravo!

Kit said...

Nice going, Andrew. Now we got trolls.


AndrewPrice said...

I'll buy some troll-away spray! We'll solve this pretty quickly.

Rodney Crack Whorefield said...

We get no respect, no respect!

AndrewPrice said...

Ok, now this is getting silly! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Don't look at me, I just posted a link!

AndrewPrice said...

Well... it was quite a link. ;)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thank you Andrew, but I can't take credit for that phrase (made by the metaphysic funnyman Gagdad Bob who has an uncanny talent of coming up with similar gut busters), only for remembering it. Which is quite a feat these days, lol.

Jimmy "Cracked" Corn said...

Did I hear someone say "crack"?

Kit said...

Crack whore, or KRANKOR?!?!?!

Cracklin Oat Bran said...

Take the Cracklin' Oat Bran money back guarantee challenge for 90 days and say goodbye to constipation.

Cracklin' Oat Bran: For all your plumbing needs.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Kit: LOLOL! That is a hilarious one! They should have oscars for the non-intentionally funniest films.

AndrewPrice said...

Crack Corn? That's the farmland version of crack? I guess the modern version would be "Jimmy Smoked Crack and he didn't care."

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Thanks for the link! I am so happy that show hasn't been forgotten. :)

Crack Whore said...

It's true, crack oat bran works. I smoked some this morning and I'm not constipated or nothin.

Jimmy Crack Whore said...

I resemble that statement!

Ugly Georgetown Law Student said...

This is a War on Crack Whores!

K said...

The Despicable Me sequel is on the way, unfortunately. They're using easy to produce teasers featuring the minions advertising it before BRAVE and a bunch of other movies for that matter.

Like you I'm not expecting much. They caught lightning in a bottle on that one. Not to mention being actually non PC. I doubt they'll keep that tone.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Where there's money to be had, I guess they will always figure out a way to make a sequel. I'll skip it though. I think it can only hurt the original.

The minions were funny. And yeah, I loved that it wasn't PC. That's so rare in cartoons these days.

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching the third Transformers film on Netflix Instant. In a word... stupid. Unintelligible. But miles ahead of the awful second film.

Having said that, I noticed something about a third of the way in. The film wasn't as visually or editorially clusterf---ed as Bay's last couple of movies. Then I remembered something I'd read: the demands of shooting in 3-D meant Bay had to reign himself in for once. On a scale of 1 to 10, if Bay is usually a 20, this film has him stuck at 16 or so!

Also, this movie just had some weird stuff in it. I guess that's what you get with John Turturro, John Malkovich, and Alan Tudyk with a gay German accent! The movie is almost - ALMOST! - worth watching for these guys but they've done better work elsewhere.

Shia was fine. I'm not a member of the haters brigade. (We awkward Jews have to stick together!)

His lovely co-star, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, was not terrible. Considering she's a model by trade, she could've been worse!

And unlike the second film, this one had a couple of jokes I liked. At one point, Shia's doting mother presents him with a relationship book titled She Comes First with a suggestive picture of a fruit on the cover. Not very appropriate for kids but I chuckled. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I never bothered with III because I couldn't make it more than 20 minutes into II before I gave up. These are films designed for retards and I felt my IQ drop just watching them.

And Shia can kiss my ass. I don't want to see him on film.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew:'re not a Shia fan? :^)

Scott: I concur 3 was better than 2 but ultimately not worth watching.
Gay German accent...LOL! That's an accurate description.

I only watched 3 because my wife bought it for me, thinking I liked the series.
I thought the first one was okay, not great but okay and a lot more humorous than the other two (which is probably where my wife got the idea I liked the series. Plus I used to watch the cartoons with our kids).

I learned a long time ago it's insane to tell my wife the truth if I don't like a gift she buys (I made an exception when she got me the Care Bears Movie. Gotta draw the line somewhere).

Kit said...

Despicable Me was a nice, pleasant movie.

No need for a sequel.


AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Strangely... no. ;)

Kit, There's always need for a sequel as long as people will pay to see it.

K said...

Andrew: You made it 20 minutes into Trans2??

You're a better man than I. After renting 2 I could only watch 10 minutes - max. And that was with at least 5 minutes on fast forward.

And I agree, Shia is the evil anti-Elvis.

Anthony said...

I watched the first Transformers movie for Megan Fox. I couldn't differentiate the robots when they were fighting each other due to the often similar coloring and all the jump cuts.

Transformers 2 was so horrendous (aliens from outer space have come to Megan Fox's leg) the three times I've come across it on cable I've flip away from it and the fights seemed even more confusing than the original.

I actually was able to sit through Transformers 3. The action scenes were actually coherent and while I watched at at home on a lowly 2D HDTV I got the sense that it would have been something to see in 3D.

Problems? Shia Lebouf is more prominent than ever (watch Shia Lebouf's job search!) and while the new girl was as talented an actress as Megan Fox, she wasn't quite as easy on the eyes. And while the plot/dialogue is better than the second movie, its better in the sense that a hard kick to the groin is better than castration.

I'd like to know what pixie dust Lebouf sprinkles in the eyes of directors which convinces them they need him for their action movies (If I were Indiana Jones I would have demanded a DNA test).

AndrewPrice said...

K, I have a high tolerance for not getting off my butt. So it was more inertia than any thought this film would get better. But at about the 20 minute mark I simply had to turn it off.

And I'm the kind of guy who can watch all the crap on the Sci-Fi Channel. So when I feel compelled to turn off a movie, that's bad.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, LOL! Well put! Definitely a hard kick to the groin!

I have NO IDEA why directors think Lebouf is someone they should cast in action films? He is entirely unsuited to the role. The only thing I can think is that he's someone connected to Spielberg and maybe that gives him more chances?

I couldn't tell the robots apart during the fights in the first film either. They were just a huge blur of shiny things. That film at least had a minimal plot which I found entertaining enough to watch.

Fox really is worthless as an actress. She's better suited as a stripper.

Kit said...

Shia Lebouf has talent, its just a comic acting talent instead of action-hero.

Don't know why Hollywood doesn't get it.

Proof of Lebouf's talent, look here:
Go to around :47 for a look at Shia Lebouf's comic ability

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Shia isn't my thing when it comes to comedy, but he's definitely better suited to comedy than action.

Kit said...

"I have NO IDEA why directors think Lebouf is someone they should cast in action films? He is entirely unsuited to the role. The only thing I can think is that he's someone connected to Spielberg and maybe that gives him more chances?"

Exactly. The kid has talent, it's just in COMEDY.

Kit said...


I can understand different tastes. I will say, that his Louis Stevens was one of my childhood heroes.

Who else would start a gerbil-racing game in detention? :)

Now I thought he was decent in the first TRANSFORMERS as the character was suited to his role but I haven't seen 2 or 3, so I'll leave the commentary on that to you guys.
On INDY 4, I thought he was one of the better parts, but that's saying so, so, SO little as the movie is an embarrassment to the Indiana Jones trilogy.
Not STAR WARS prequel embarrassment-level, but pretty darn embarrassing.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Hollywood often miscasts people and I don't understand why. Maybe they seem different in person than they ultimately come across on film?

I watched that show sometimes. I like Ren better, but that's just me. I'm actually surprised she didn't have a better career afterwards. :)

I thought he was decent in Transformers I because he was suited for the role -- nerd boy thrust into action role. But since then, he's been playing straight action and he just doesn't have it. And yeah, Indy 4 stunk.

Anthony said...

I saw the last hour of the Dark Crystal yesterday (I saw it years and years ago, but forgot pretty much everything about it). Its pretty dreary for a family movie.

Everybody (good and evil) aside from the elf-like protagonists would have fit comfortably in the court of Jabba the Hutt.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I watched it the other day too! LOL (small world).

I remember seeing it as a kid and really loving it, but when I watched it the other day I had no idea why I would have loved this movie. It was dreary, unpleasant, and just struck me as very uninteresting.

Kit said...

I have to say, here is another point in BRAVE's favor: The song "Into the Open Air" is probably Pixar's best song since Peter Gabriel's "Down to Earth", maybe even "You've Got a Friend in Me".

Down to Earth: LINK
You've Got a Friend in Me: LINK
Into the Open Air: <a href=">LINK</a>

Kit said...

Into the Open Air: LINK

Got it.

AndrewPrice said...

Hey, Kit any thoughts on our little changes? New title image, new (bigger) font, and everything is being made evenly justified.

Kit said...

Like it.

Looks film-y.

AndrewPrice said...

That's what I thought too. ScottDS came up with it. I like it.

I'm going to start using bigger photos in the film articles too. I think it's time to step up the visuals around here. :)

Kit said...

More visuals would be kinda cool. But not too many, it can be distracting. :)

Also, it would be cool to see a post on Pixar or Disney in general.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Don't worry, we won't do too much -- just bigger pictures mainly. There isn't enough space on the screen (or in the storage) to do too much else.

I'll see what I can do about doing some Pixar/Disney stories. :)

Kit said...

Or DOCTOR WHO, considering next year is the 50th anniversary of the show's beginning.

AndrewPrice said...

I do need to talk a lot more about Doctor Who. I've been rather derelict in that.

Anthony said...

Saw Once Upon a Time in Mexico (again) last night. Robert Rodriguez is kind of uneven, but when he is good, he is very, very good.

'Once' isn't as awesome as Sin City or El Mariachi, but some good action scenes, interesting perfomances (nods towards Johnny Depp) and nice cinematography (Salma Hayek and Eva Mendes don't hurt either) make it fun to watch.

tryanmax said...

As a child of the '80s, I thought the Transformers movies were a total rip-off.

First of all, what is the point of a Transformer? That's right! They transform. Very good. Now, there certainly is a lot of transforming in the movies, but it's always shown in such a way--lots of camera panning and extreme closeups--that the viewer can't ever really appreciate the transformations! Certainly there's a lot of CGI mechanical stuff going on, but on screen, it's a garbled mess. In a way, it's almost like a special effect throwback. Show the car, zoom in on something incomprehensibly mechanical, zoom out to reveal robot! That could have been done decades ago.

The second major problem with the Transformers is that they all look like a horrible mess in robot form. This comes from a place that really appreciates the (ill-exploited) approach to the actual transformations. The way the original toys and cartoons transformed didn't make a whole lot of sense, mechanically speaking. The more involved transformations fix that. But if these robots can turn into sleek, shiny automobiles, why do they have to look like a scrap heap in robot form? Why not make them look like robots?

I find both of these things so egregious, I'm not certain if a good storyline could have made them forgivable. Perhaps. But let's face it, the original cartoon was launched to sell toys. I never expected much in the way of story from a movie. But at least try to sell some toys! They look like they're selling the latest Ginsu multi-slicer.

tryanmax said...

Oh, and Megatron never turns into a gun or a tank or anything. He could have done worse than to turn into a M777 howitzer during a key battle. Just sayin'.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I really loved Desperado, but only liked Once. I thought a lot of it was great, but somehow it didn't quite come together enough for me.

And you're right that he's uneven. I'm actually one of the few people who seems like Planet Terror a lot. I think he hit the right level of camp for that to be a really enjoyable film.

rlaWTX said...

cool design changes...

I liked Brave a lot. I think the spoiler issue was more that the daughter thought magic was good - she followed the dang will-o-the-wisps after all - and never considered not getting exactly what she wanted (rather accurate for teen girls' attitudes). The men in the movie were goofy, but the story wasn't about them (and aren't teen boys and men who are trying to show off pretty goofy? just sayin'). And the little boys were key in getting things done, so I disagree with the "feminist" designation.

Shia makes my head hurt.

Oh, and Scott mentioned Magic Mike at the beginning of this thread - his point had nothing to do with the movie itself, but I gotta say it was interesting - for more than the really good looking guys removing their clothes. It took a look at the seedy side of the lifestyle too. And, I decided that I much prefer strippers on the screen than in person (when I was 19 a friend's mom decided my friend needed a bachelorette party - so her mom & aunt took my friend and I to some male strip club - everything pretty much looks the same and was rather embarrassing to both me and my friend - however her mom & aunt were pretty in to it all. yeah, I'll take the screen version - better looking guys & and nothing shaking anywhere near me!)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I personally thought the effects were horrible. Yes, they looked all flash and they sort of fit with the people, but you couldn't tell what was going on and it all looked alike -- huge blur.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Thoughts on the new design?

tryanmax said...

The new header is nice, very slick. I'd tighten up the drop shadow behind the title for increased readability, but all-in-all, very pro!

I'm always playing with the zoom on my browser, so the font size doesn't really affect me. Did you widen the article column at all? Or am I imagining that?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, In my experience, strip clubs are pretty vile in real life. Hollywood does a much better job of making them seem fun and interesting.

I haven't seen Brave, but I recall a large number of conservatives calling it feminist garbage -- though I don't know if they had seen it yet.

I'm glad you like the changes! I think it looks more modern.

tryanmax said...

Also, this is one instance of a good use of shiny reflections. As a rule, they are overdone, but the reflection under the film strip is subtle, tasteful, and--most importantly--accurate. Good job on that.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Scott did the title. I think he did a really good job. A little less shadow might work, but I wouldn't want to lose the kind of intensity to the name.

No, I didn't widen the column. I would like to, but with most people using screens at 1024 or less, I decided I can't go over 1024 total. That seems to be standard too for the bigger blogs. But more space would definitely be appreciated.

I think it just looks wider because the font is a much wider font so it makes the page feel "stretched".

By the way, if you or anyone else has any ideas for changes, I'm always happy to hear those! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, I think the shiny works nicely. Sadly, we can't take credit for that, that was in the image we found. But Scott did add the images to the cells, which was done very nicely.

tryanmax said...

All the same, kudos to Scott for selecting a tasteful stock image as a base. Sometimes that alone is the whole battle.

I'll think about any suggestions I might have, but I really like the clean look of the blog. "Busy" lends itself to meddling, but it's harder to tamper with "clean."

AndrewPrice said...

I agree. In fact, the changes I made are meant to make it look "cleaner" -- eliminated titles on some of the sidebars, justifing the text (still working to update 300 old articles), wiping out a couple needless things, etc.

But I also like adding things like the translate button -- things which do add value.

I've also decided to make the pictures larger (which is proving to be a real pain in the past articles) because I think a film site should have better visuals.

That will make the articles seem longer, but they aren't.

AndrewPrice said...

I should add, will "unfortunately" make the articles seem longer. I know that long = bad on the net.

tryanmax said...

Belated thoughts on religion vs. cult and the Wicca thing:

Whatever good or ill comes from the Conservative Christian voting block, they certainly don't do themselves any service by searching for eee-vihl under every rock while ignoring the evils that are plain to see.

Take Harry Potter. How much energy was wasted (to no avail) trying to quash a storybook about magic whilst the gay lobby was advancing (with great success) into the marriage arena? In other words, self-described Christians are nonpareil when it comes to letting their guard down and being distracted.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. Conservative Christians are their own worst enemies in most ways.

They obsesses about things they should ignore while ignoring bigger, more important issues. Sometimes, they're even on the wrong side for various misguided reasons -- like the new flirtation with the environmentalist movement.

This not only makes them blind to the important trends that they should be fighting, but it also turns people off. When religion is about making the world better, it has undeniable appeal. When it becomes about stamping out a fantasy book, trying to shut down forms of entertainment of which they don't approve, and trying to control what people do in their own bedrooms, then it loses people fast.

Moreover, they really run into problems with the arguments they use. Basically, you have to be a true believer for their arguments to work. And that's the worst way to try to win people over. What's worse, there are other better arguments to support everything they want, but they ignore those in favor of the old "the Bible tells me you're going to Hell" crutch because that's the most meaningful to them -- and they never realize how completely meaningless that argument is to everyone else.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, exactly. One of my biggest pet-peeves right now (and I don't have many) are those billboards with Bible quotes that are signed "God." Talk about preaching to the choir!

But moreover, it's as though most Christians haven't even been to Sunday school, let alone read the Bible. How else could they have missed that whole "do unto others" message?

"Lemmesee? You think I am evil scum and you hate how I live so you want me to hang out with you and a bunch of other folks just like you so you all can "fix" me? And I have to get up early on my day off? No thank you!

Satan said...

tryanmax, I don't really see what the problem is. Can you help me out?

tryanmax said...

One other thought related specifically to "the Bible tells me you're going to Hell." As I told you the other day, I'm an annihilationist, so I don't believe in Hell in the eternal sense. If there is a Satan (which there would seem to be, he just commented) then I think that is one of his most clever tricks, to devise the concept of Hell. It makes it really hard for Christians to square the circle of how a loving God could punish people eternally. But it's dogma, so very few will consider the possibility that it is wrong.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree about the billboards. For one thing, speaking on behalf of God requires a lot of hubris.

For another, how will that convince anyone who doesn't already believe? If you want to sway people, you need to speak to them in terms that make sense to them. How does telling people "this is what God wants" work if they don't believe in God or don't believe in your interpretation?

And without trying to open a can of worms, there are a lot of Christians who seemed to miss the point to what Christ taught. Christ wasn't a judgmental asshole who told people they should micromanage each others lives. Quite the contrary actually. Yet, there are a LOT of Christians who think their job is to police everyone else without even looking at themselves.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm not so sure that's the real Satan who commented, though it's hard to tell. ;)

I don't believe in Hell either. I think it's a construct meant to make the ideas of good/evil/salvation/damnation easier to grasp, when the reality is much more ephemeral.

Can O' Worms, Inc.* said...

Andrew, please do open a can of our fresh, top-quality worms. The canned worm market has really taken a hit lately. (Those mud slinger people get all the business in a down economy.)

*possibly tryanmax

AndrewPrice said...

Dear Can, I knew you'd be along soon! LOL!

Sorry to hear you're suffering in this economy. Maybe we can invade China. Then your market would be booooooooooming! ;)

tryanmax said...

Me, I'm always getting Satan confused with his cousin from down south, Say-tahn. LOL

AndrewPrice said...

That's understandable. I understand that in California he goes by the name "Stephen Spielberg."

tryanmax said...


AndrewPrice said...

Shocking isn't it? How else can you explain it?

Anonymous said...

I wish more stories like this one received attention so people would realize that many actors are actually perfectly nice people... or in this case, freakin' awesome!

In other news, don't get me started with the religion stuff. I personally don't have a dog in this fight (whatever floats your boat, man) but an aunt of mine is, shall we say, "exploring her options." I guess Judaism isn't doing it for her. Long story short, she thinks we're all going to Hell. My dad's attitude is basically, "So I can be a good person, volunteer, give blood, provide for my family... but if I don't believe what you believe, I'm basically f---ed?" :-)

AndrewPrice said...

"Judaism isn't doing it for her" -- LOL! Nicely put, Scott, with so much innuendo crammed into so few words. Bravo!

Unfortunately, that's the problem with a lot of religion -- it fosters an us versus them mentality. And people ignore the fact that Jesus or Mohamed or whoever said "be excellent to each other" and they instead decide that Jesus/Mohamed/et al. really meant "join us or die scum!" And then they start picking at differences and soon they're wishing death to people who agree with them on 99.9% of the program because they've decided that 0.1% makes the other person a dangerous heretic.

Talk about elevating procedure over substance.

tryanmax said...

Scott, I wonder what Lady Michelle would have to say about the fast-food lunch Mr. Perlman sprung for. Actually, that's not as funny as I thought it would be, b/c you know she'd have no compunction about it.

That's a totally cool story and I wish it got more publicity, too. Not just because it shows actors are decent people, but folks with money, as well. After all, a Hellboy-sized value meal doesn't come cheap.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, well, loves flies out the door when money comes innuendo. :-)

To be fair, she's had plenty of crap in her life and religion has helped, so much so that even I can see it. She wasn't always a relatively normal, conversational person. And she's taken up cooking... and she's good at it!

But she's still a mess and since Grandpa is no longer with us (he coddled her for way too long), she is now doing some things for the first time. Taxes, banking, rent, various bureaucratic tasks... she's doing it all by herself for the first time (or she just ropes my dad into it, much to his ever-increasing annoyance!).

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

I'm sure Michelle Obama, like most Americans, would ask, "Hell who?" And then she'd suggest a healthier meal option. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

A Hellboy-sized value meal! LOL! That makes me hungry.

Actually, Perlman has always struck me as a really good guy and this is the sort of thing which confirms it.

I would like to see more Hellboy movies too.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That's a negative side-effect of a happy marriage, actually. People begin to specialize in terms of which tasks they handle. So when one person leaves or dies, the other person is often at a loss trying to figure these things out. At least your father is there to help, which is good. Without someone to help, old people often fall victim to scams.

Anonymous said...

My aunt - who's not a senior citizen yet - never married! Grandpa simply held her hand for waaay too long (like the first 50 years of her life).

I do agree with you but it doesn't apply here, at least not yet.

AndrewPrice said...

Ah. I misread that. So she's available, huh? ;)

(Actually, I kid. I just sent an e-mail to Katie Homes and I'm sure she'll be responding to my date request any minute. So I'm spoken for!)

Anonymous said...

Remember the "ugghhh" sound Sideshow Bob made when he stepped on all those rakes? That's the sound I made when I read the first line of your post. :-)

Good luck with Ms. Holmes.

AndrewPrice said...

Thank you Sideshow Scott! :)

Actually, I hate to say this, but I think Katie Holmes is kind of creepy. She's got that whole Stepford/"I belong in a cult" thing going.

tryanmax said...

She's got that whole Stepford/"I belong in a cult" thing going.

I can work with that.

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Great! If she responds to my e-mail, I'll forward her to you. :)

tryanmax said...

On second thought, I don't think I could afford the maintenance costs. Though I have a friend with aspirations of becoming an imagineer. Maybe I can work something out in time.

AndrewPrice said...

You think she's a Muppett?

tryanmax said...

Perhaps I'm confusing The Stepford Wives with something else. ???

AndrewPrice said...

?? I doubt it. Stepford Wives are zombies. That's pretty much what Katie looks like. She's got the glazed eyes and the Manson Family grin.

Oh wait, you're talking about the remake? Yeah, I think they made them into robots in the second film. But in the first, they were just brainwashed.

tryanmax said...

Looks like I need to watch them both back-to-back.

AndrewPrice said...

I didn't care for the second at all. But given that your film blog is about remakes, it might be a good idea! :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I like the new format! Kudos Scott!

Hi Andrew!

Actually, Mohammed did pretty much say "join us or die." Several times, throughout the Koran.
He did mix in a few good sayings, but that never matched his actions, if the historical records are accurate.

I know the Sufi version of Mohamed is different from what most Muslim fundamentalists believe so perhaps that's the version you used in your example.

Jesus otoh makes your point (you also could've used Buddha I suppose).

Jesus also spent a lot of time among the sinners, even speaking and eating with (gasp!) prostitutes.
He didn't condone the lifestyle but it didn't stop him from helping them or breaking bread with them.
That was a very big taboo in those days!
Apparently, it still is. Far easier to attack books, music, tv or video games I guess.

I find it interesting that the people Jesus spoke out against were the hypocritical Pharisees and Saducees (not all of them, just the hypocrites. He actually stayed with one Pharisee for awhile and associated with him often), (plus, Jesus beat the crap outta the money changers in the Temple).

However, He spoke to the people in parables. He taught wisdom and helped the outcast. One thing he didn't do, he didn't try to stifle free speech.

A lot of Christians (obviously!) never grasp that.
In fact, Christianity, like Judaism, promotes liberty. It's all about free will.

Incidently, I find it odd that the Christians who wanna ban books, video games, and films they don't like have much in common with liberals who wanna do the same (but for different reasons), such as Hilary and Tipper Gore (who have backtracked a lot from their crusade of the 90's to purify our children and stop the evil video game and music companies).

Far too many Christians are content to be sheeple and blindly follow what I consider to be con men or radicals that preach anything but what Jesus or the Apostles said, often for their own personal gain or nefarious purposes.

There was a reason people wanted to follow and be around Jesus, and far too many Christians have forgotten that, if they ever knew it to begin with.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Oh, and congrats on the 300th episode!
No 8 or 16 episode seasons around here! :^)

Now your excellent articles can go into sindication!

BTW, I fully intend to comment on all of them when I get a chance. I have read some I didn't comment on but at the time I didn't have the time to comment.

If I could only get into one of then time loop thingies I would have more than enough time, LOL.

Anonymous said...

USS Ben -

I mentioned to Andrew that we were close and sure enough, your last comment was comment #15,000!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Great, Scott!

Hurray! Is it a coincidence that a time loop comment was #15k? I think knot. :^)

BTW, to show my appreciation I'll donate 15% of the prize money to the Commenterama charity: Adopt A Film.

As we all know, there are many, very good films that should be viewed more than they are.
Sadly, these poor, disadvantaged films suffered from bad marketing, bad titles or...well, who knows?

The point is to find these fine films a home where they'll be loved and cherished (unlike those red-headed step child films that only deserve a beating).

tryanmax said...

Ben, aside from simple human nature, I think the association taboo lingers also because of a mistranslation (or at least an overly broad interpretation) of 1 Thessalonians 5:22. It is more commonly translated "Abstain from every form of evil" but the King James Version in all its forms reads, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." Now, some quibbling can be done over the accurate translation of individual words, but even the KJV translation fits with scripture if one takes "appearance" to mean "wherever it shows up."

However, the "find sin under every stone" crowd promotes an interpretation that means one should avoid any action that could be misinterpreted. I've even heard this verse twisted further in conversation to say, "Abstain from even the appearance of evil." This forces an interpretation which goes against the entirety of scripture which encourages boldness and admonishes timidity.

On a separate but related topic, your allusion to the Crusades (among other things) makes me almost want to stop calling myself a Christian. I believe the early Church called themselves "Jews of the Way" or something like that. I don't know if I'd go with that particular moniker, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the term "Christian" isn't tainted at all, just an accurate description for a group of people who claim to follow the teachings of Christ but do a lousy job of it.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I concur. Jesus never tried to stifle free speech, nor did he turn his back on anyone. He believed in telling people the truth, and letting them make up their own minds to come to him -- not in browbeating anyone, not in ostracizing or attacking non-believers.

I probably shouldn't have used Mohamed because you're right that he's a shit. He has very much preached that nonbelievers should be eliminated.

In terms of Christians and liberals, I have to say that I honestly think that if the left hadn't embraced atheism, the religious right would happily be the religious left today.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Thanks! 300 is a lot of articles already! And 15,000 comments is a lot. Feel free to comment on any articles you wish. :)

Adopt a Film! LOL! What a great idea!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Interesting points.

First, you make a great point about the appearance of evil. To avoid evil would mean not engaging in it. To avoid the appearance of evil would mean not even being seen in a place where someone could think you are doing evil. Thus, the first would say don't be a prostitute, whereas the second could be warped into don't be seen with prostitutes or even don't let your government do anything which suggests that you live in a country which allows evil.

I guess it would depend on your mindset, but taken to an extreme, this would certainly justify attempts to control everyone around you.

As for the term being tainted, I'm not sure how to respond to that. A lot of very bad things have been done in the name of Christianity and a lot of bad things continue to be done in the name of Christianity. But the "product" itself isn't tainted, it's the people who have misused it.

To give an analogy, it's like being a Raider's fan. Most Raiders fan are just genuinely fans of the team. They do it right. They follow the team, they enjoy the games, and they get excited when the team wins. But others hide behind being a fan to do violence. So being a Raider's fan gets a bad reputation. But the answer is probably to disavow those other people rather than to stop being a fan.

tryanmax said...

That's a good analogy with the Raiders fans. On the other hand, so many tenets of mainstream Christianity are so far afield of the actual "product" it almost pains me to share the name. And since they're not going to distinguish themselves from the product, then perhaps the product needs to be distinguished from them.

There is an overlooked tenet of Christianity about being "set apart" (which, incidentally, is the literal translation of the word "holy"). This is my conundrum.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's a good point To extend the analogy, it would be like the bad Raider's fans being put in charge of the official fan club.

I don't know what to say really. I see your issue. It's obvious to most outsiders that many (most) Christian churches aren't actually teaching Christ's philosophies but no one seems to care because they're quite happy with their versions. So what do you do? I'm not sure. I guess the best thing to do is to go your own way and let people know why. Maybe you'll wake others up?

tryanmax said...

Well, I certainly wouldn't be the first.

AndrewPrice said...

True. And you certainly won't be the first to be called a cultist or told you're going to Hell for not following the crowd.

tryanmax said...

Well, obviously hell doesn't worry me.

AndrewPrice said...

Clearly. And I doubt being called names will worry you either. Independent minded people usually don't worry about that at all.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tryanmax and Andrew:

I concur. I lean more towards a misinterpretation. Usually by folks that don't read the Bible much, and take things outta context.

I always took that passage to mean churchgoers ought to be mindful of their own appearance, such as how they dress, not to walk around in public drinking a bottle of Night Train, and stuff like that.

It definitely don't mean to go out and tell non-Christians how screwed up they are.
Often, some people like doing this because it makes themselves feel better, temporarily.

Jesus was very clear about what He thought of people that say "well at least I'm not as bad as he is" kind of crap.
Besides, that sort of attitude is anti-Christian or anti-Christ-like.

Nowhere in the New Testament do we find Jesus kicking folks when they are down.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

IRT the crusades, I never understood why so many present day Christians are ashamed of the crusades or treat it like a dirty word.

The crusades was a response to Muslim agression and I believe it was necessary to stop the Muslims from taking over Europe.

Yes, some of the crusaders went too far, but that happens in all wars, particularly in those times.

As for the word Christian being overly saturated, I concur. There's a lot of self described Christians that are not Christ-like in any form or substance.

The only thing Christians can do is let their actions speak for themselves as much as they can.
And, a holy sense of humor goes a long ways, IMO.

Perpetually joyless Christians bring everyone around them down.
But folks flock to the genuine thing.

My grandmother was that way. So full of joy it affected everyone that came in contact with her.
I swear she had a glow to her face and you couldn't help but smile when you saw her.

She helped a lot of women turn their lives around in jail, where she was a sheriff's deputy.

Those are the kind of qualities Christians would do well to emulate.
Afterall, we are supposed to represent the Christ.
I strive to remember that more often and that's how I picture a Christian in thought and deed.
Emphasis on the deeds or works (which doesn't deny grace but is, rather a result of grace).

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I couldn't agree more. I think that's the very point of the problem: it makes some people feel better to look down on others.

And that goes 100% against the point Christ was making, which was that you and God have this special, personal relationship, and all you need to do is believe and understand what he wants for you. There is nothing about policing other. Sure, he asked that we guide others, but he never said to hate them or mistreat them or force them.

Taken in it's true form, Christianity is perfect. It's only once people start misusing it that it goes wrong.

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