I got a spam email today with the subject line “You like to see beautiful chicks naked!” and while I usually delete such messages unread I couldn’t believe how uncannily accurate the sender had been in his prediction. How on earth could someone I have never met possibly know such a thing? He must be using some sort of complex targeted marketing software or something. Anyhow, I was so surprised that I went ahead and read the email and then replied with my credit card number. Boy, if that guy could guess the other two things I like (raspberry sherbet and NASCAR) I would be absolutely astounded.
Posts from May 2002.
The Bad Review Revue
[Undercover Brother] “The most excruciating 86 minutes one might sit through this summer that do not involve a dentist drill.” — Renee Graham, BOSTON GLOBE
“Lopez, say the word, girl, the next time you’re offered one of these barrel scrapers: Enough!” — Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE
“Spirit‘s narration comes to us courtesy of Matt Damon, who, having played a horse’s ass in some of his earlier movies, perhaps thought it wise to inhabit the entire nag this time around.” — Peter Ranier, NEW YORK MAGAZINE
“Best watched through squinted eyes and slotted fingers … The New Guy is an ugly-duckling tale so hideously and clumsily told it feels accidental. Surely, no one planned something this disastrously unfunny.” — Robert Wilonsky, LA New TIMES
[Life or Something Like It] “Oh, please. Stop and smell the manure. ” — Stephen Hunter, WASHINGTON POST
The other day I dialing the phone to call a friend and I began to think about the phrase “dialing the phone” and how this used to refer to the specific action you would have do to call someone — namely sticking your finger into the hole in a dial and turning it — but now all the phones are touch tone which renders the phrase “dial the phone” a total anacronism despite the fact that everyone still says it including kids who may not even realize that phones used to have actual dials on them but they are so used to saying “dial the phone” that they don’t even stop to wonder why the word “dial” means “push the buttons on the phone” and this realization made me feel kinda old all of the sudden even though I am only 31 and then my friend answered his phone and said “hello” and I couldn’t for the life of me remember who I was calling so I panicked and hung up and then I felt dumb.
Speaking of Google, have you seen this crazy, experimental thingiemabob they have called Google Sets? You enter a few items from a set and the program extrapolates other things that belong to that set. What an odd application. Works like a charm, though. When I entered “Sleepy,” “Sneezy,”, “Dopey,” “Bashful,” and “Doc,” it returned a list that included the names of the remaining seven drarves (“Grumpy” and “Happy”). And I learned about a few more dwarves, some surly cousins that the seven don’t like to talk about: “Lefty” and “Maleficent”.
I presume you saw the Google / Dilbert logos, designed by Scott Adams. It’s wierd: Adams manages to crank out a hilarious Dilbert strip each and every day, but whenever he strays one inch from his “Workplace Politics” theme he somehow manages to become remarkably unfunny. Don’t believe me? Check out his “experimental comic” Plop, The Hairless Elbonian.
I’m feeling a little under the weather, so I’m drinking echinacea tea this morning in lieu of coffee. Echinacea tastes awful but apparently has some astounding curative properties. As near as I can tell, here’s how those curative properties work: if you deny yourself coffee and instead ingest this disgustingly foul substance each time you get sick, eventually you body will learn to never, ever get sick — not unlike a housecat who gets squirted with water whenever he pees on your slippers.
As further incentive I’ve decided that, from here on out, I’m going to reward my body with a jelly donut every morning that it is not sick.
The jury got the drift [of the porn movie] after about 30 minutes and asked that it be stopped. “Kind of the same thing over and over,” bailiff Lori Meyers muttered after the jurors left for another break. As they went out, Chatham marched in with a pile of exhibits: copies of several newspapers, including the Dallas Observer; recent issues of two girlie magazines, Penthouse and Hustler; two porno tapes in their box covers and the R-rated Hollywood hit Basic Instinct.
“Oh, boy,” the court reporter chirped. “More movies!”
This Dallas Observer article — about a Texas county which keeps arresting the clerks at porno shops and the young legal eagle who keeps thwarting the procecution — is more interesting and well-written than a wheelbarrow of airport “Legal Thrillers.” Via Jerry Kindall.
Hey Lucas, here’s the one-line summary of my review that you can use in your Attack of the Clones newspaper ads: “Holy crap, this movie didn’t suck!” raves Matthew Baldwin of defective yeti!
I hated Phantom Menace. Hated it. Hated it. Hated. And I swore I was not going to go see Attack of the Clones in the theater. The way I saw it, Lucas owed me a movie after tricking me into squandering my eight bucks on that first heapin’ pile of Jar-Jar infested crud, so there was no way I was going to spend another dime on this saga until I got a free pass and an apology from Georgie.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I of course went to see Attack of the Clones last week. Resistance is futile. But here’s the thing: I liked it! Which isn’t to say that Clones is a good movie. It could be good. It could be great, even. Or it could be awful. I haven’t the foggiest idea. By the time I actually got into the theater my expectations were so low that had Attack of the Clones been a shot-by-shot remake of Beaches it still would have exceeded my wildest hopes.
Most of the Clones criticism is dead on. The dialog is usually stilted and sometimes atrocious. The first half of the movie is mostly exposition and drags. The plot is much more convoluted that it needs to be. But what most reviewers seem to be willfully ignoring is that this stuff — dialog, exposition, plot — is just the packing peanuts around the real movie: starship combat, lightsaber fights and 87 gazillion alien races running around like termites on a log. Plus, the romance between the protagonists is much more palatable than you’d expect based on the trailers and the reviews. Yes, it’s maudlin and over-wrought, but these are teenagers fercrissakes — who amongst us, at the age of 17, wasn’t prone to uttering syrupy garbage in an effort to bed a galactic senator?
When the movie works it works surprisingly well. Ewan McGregor’s impression of Alec Guiness is downright eerie, a scene blatantly ripped out of Gladiator is exciting, and Yoda kicks cosmic ass. Best of all, I think Lucas has finally got most of the backstory out of the way, which means that the next installment should be nothing but fun. Attack of the Clones may not be the best movie I’ve seen, but it did manage to do the impossible: it got me excited about “Star Wars” again.
The US Department of Phrases and Superlatives today announced its intention to devalue of the adjective "Extreme." "Because the market has become dangerously oversaturated with 'Extreme' products, we have decided to devalue the term by reducing its meaning from 'exciting, exotic, exceptional or adventurous' to merely 'mundane'" said DPS Spokesman Alfred Kent. "After this adjustment, 'Extreme' will have roughly the same level of superlativeness as 'radical,' 'awesome' and 'hilarious'." Kent added "This correction will also apply to 'Xtreme,' 'X-treme' and any other stupid mispellings." Panicked consumers flooded 7-11s around the nation in the hopes of exchanging their Extreme Doritos, Right Guard Xtreme deodorant, Kraft Extreme Cheese Easy Mac and Cheese, Capri Sun Extreme Juice boxes, Ritz Xtreme Cheese Bits Cracker Sandwiches, Schick Xtreme III razors and Xtreme Big Gulps before the devaluation takes place at midnight tonight. Members of the rock group "Extreme" will also be deported.
At the teriyaki joint near my house, you can pay an additional $1.25 to “Sumo Size” your meal.