Monthly Archives: May 2008


Poor Scott McClellan.

He has become the Jose Canseco of the War on Terror. The poor fool with the access that told us what we already knew:

An administration drunk with it’s own invincibility and sense of history and a country in a state of rage against a world that felt it was okay to say: Death to America waged war against a dictator whose departure from the world scene, regardless of the death and destruction that followed was  a good thing by manipulating the people’s fear and hatred and the press’ need to sell copy.

I feel for the poor bastard. He’s just trying to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. And all we can do is sit back and wonder why he would do that?

Movie Review: Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tan-tanata-tan-tan-tan, tan-tanata-tan-tatan-tan-tan!

He’s back, he’s grayer, he’s older, but he’s still Indy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this well done film.

I must admit I was a little bit nervous that the guy who had Geedo shot first in the re-release of Star Wars, and the guy who replaced the guns with walkie-talkies would destroy this film, but somehow, they didn’t.

What was special about the movie was that unlike the last two elements which were pastiche’s of themselves, this film managed to go back to the essence of the film which was an homage to genre matinee films.

In this case, the genre involved Soviets, paranormal events, UFO’s and a lot of running in the jungle.

What made the movie, beyond the fine acting, the well crafted albeit silly plot,  was the decision by Spielberg and Lucas to not just use green screen. Many of the scenes were augmented with computer graphics, but the fact that the actors, for the most part, interacted with a three dimensional world, rather than imaginary objects in front of a green screen, improved the acting and the visual appeal of the movie.

Cate Blanchett continues to demonstrate why she is a goddess of acting, stealing every scene she was in.

Harrison Ford, continues to prove that if the role calls for a little bit of  acting, and a tough guy, even at 64 he can do the job.

For those who care, a few elements of the overall arc of the four movies are resolved.

Movie Review: Iron Man

Amazingly, I saw that film twice.

Amazing because every other film adaptation of comic books, with the possible exception of Batman Begins, has been a colossal disappointment. The writers, producers and directors show so little affinity with the source material that they manage to destroy the film and the franchise in one fell swoop. In many cases you have to wonder, did they even bother to read the comic book or do they consider the material beneath them?

Comic books are silly. They are stupid. They are not meant to be deep. They are meant to be fun. The good guys are good. The bad guys bad. And people running around in silly suits is normal. These are stories of myth. This is not literature. This is not deep.

So I was shocked to watch a film that was done well, that was faithful to the source material, that understood the source material, that understood the main character, and was unashamed of the source material.

As an example every version of the costume looks like a version that appeared in the comic book. The origin story is pretty darn close to the actual adapted to another dirty and unwinnable war American soldiers are dying in.

Of course, only after I recovered from the shock of the experience did I learn that the reason this happened was because Marvel took over complete ownership of the process that produced the films. Bravo Stan Lee for protecting our heroes!.

Kudos must also go to Robert Downey Jr who put on a masterful performance as Anthony Stark.

Movie Review: Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

I will never get back the two hours I spent watching that movie.

On the one hand Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay made me laugh. I mean, it actually made me laugh. There was the usual collection of ethnic, sexist, drug, sex jokes. And some of the jokes were actually ridiculously funny.

And this film was about half a scene from being a porno.

So it was almost worth the money and time I spent. I got to laugh, and I got to see scantily clad women.

On the other hand, the original was brilliant in how it skewered ethnic American stereotypes and the pervasive racism in our society.

This film was not that brilliant. It tried to challenge some conventions, but it lacked the visceral punch of the original. At times it felt tired, and worse, at times the actors looked tired of the film.

So whereas Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle is in my DVD collection, this film will not have that honor.

TV Review: Burn Notice

My neighbor, Harry, strongly recommended that I check out a new television show called  Burn Notice.

Given how much TV I already watch, the thought of yet another hour of my life pissed away in front of the idiot box did not intrigue me. But Harry, whose taste in television maps closely to mine, was adamant that I had to watch this show.

So I fired up the TiVO system and got it on my list of things to watch. And watched it.


Burn Notice  is set in Miami, the TV land of over-saturated colors, pretty people, women who view clothing as a way to enhance nudity, and bad guys who dress way, way, way too well.

In this series, the lead, Jeffrey Donovan, plays the role of a CIA spy, Michael West, who got burned. Which loosely translates to: fired. A fired spy is a problem. His old friends no longer trust him or can associate with him. His old enemies have no use for him. And because he’s a spy he can’t just write his resume and describe his work experience of the past 10 years.

So our spy is trapped in Miami, surrounded by a drunk FBI agent Sam Axe played by Bruce Campbell,  a brother, Nate Westen played by Seth Peterson, who suffers from a gambling addiction, an ex-girlfriend, Fiona Glenanne played by a very attractive Gabrielle Anwar,  who likes to blow things up and a set of handlers whose job it is to make sure that our ex-spy never really finds out why he got burned.

In many ways Burn Notice is a superficial remake of The Prisoner. The village is Miami. The reason Michael Westen is in Miami is a mystery. Only someone in the CIA (our ever-present #1) knows why Michael Westen is in Miami. Every so-often the CIA or FBI handler (the #2) whose job it is to ensure that he stays in his place changes. And like in the Prisoner, our spy has to figure out why he is where he is all on his lonesome while surviving in a city with no money, no job experience and no friends.

This is great television.

Added some links

Shut up!

I grew up in Europe where waiters were expected to serve you not talk to you.

This charming albeit irritating habit waiters in the US have to chat grates on my nerves. I wish I could just tell them:

Dude I am not spending 70$ for the privilege of talking to you. I  am spending the money for the priviledge of talking to my friends. Please just shut the Fuck up!