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Archive for January, 2008

Okay, I know no one wants to move to LA. It’s ugly, full of jerks who are more attractive than you, et cetera. What could make you move there?

Being paid to live there, a la Alaska?

No? Okay, what else…

Being assured that you can have your pick among Hollywood B-listers at the local SpeedDate?

What? Lorenzo Lamas doesn’t do it for you? Fine. What about….

POT VENDING MACHINES!!

Yes, you stupid stoner, of course I knew that would do it for you.

As we know, people across California can finagle prescriptions for the sticky-icky that are legal!…at the state level anyway…illegal at the federal level, but who cares?

And now you can get it at a shiny, futuristic-looking machine like this!

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I have weed in me.

So I guess this post is really an excuse for you to meet Robert Miko, who gets pot to help with his, um, anger management.

Miko is taking marijuana instead of pharmaceuticals to help him with anger management, he says. Without it, he says he’s surly and violent. With it, “I’m friendlier, I’m compassionate, I’m not angry, I love people. I look at life and I love life.”

Yes! Because you’re stoned.

Don’t mind me, I’m just totally jealous.

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A beautiful graphic illustrating pot’s patriotic qualities.

But we must remember the dangers inherent in the drug that the TV is always reminding us of. You might accidentally let your baby brother drown! Or you might shoot your friend in the head. If I could have all the dead friends back that I accidentally shot in the head while I was stoned… well, let’s just say that I would have enough to start a Polyphonic Spree tribute band.

Let’s take a visit to ‘Above the Influence,’ shall we? Um, do they require drug tests for their employees? Because there is no way that whoever made ‘Stoners in the Mist’ wasn’t stoned when they did it. After a Nature Channel-style intro, you can explore the island of stoners in the mist.

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This guy explores the stoners in the mist.
I wonder if he will fall in love with them the way Jane Goodall did with the gorillas?

In ‘Social Activity,’ you see a short clip of a perky, got-it-together boy talking to a totally stoned out of her brain girl with brownies in her hair. Delicious!

Marijuana is bad.

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I’ll get you so high.

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As the writers strike continues and various awards shows are cancelled, here are a few more signs that the Devil is holding Hollywood hostage with a pitchfork:

  • Sundance apparently blows.
  • Other directors are definitely being considered for The Hobbit. Not that I think Guillermo Del Toro is a bad choice, but seriously, Peter Jackson might turn down the Hobbit so that he can make a live action version of Tintin? Are you fucking kidding me?
  • Paul Haggis’ crapfest Crash is being turned into a miniseries.
  • The New Kids on the Block are a bunch of reunion-teasing jerks. It’s on? It’s off? Give it to me straight! And please, don’t have Danny break it to me if there’s no tour. At least give me something nice to look at while I’m hearing bad news.

The man-baby of Satan and Bruce Vilanch.

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the last 2.5 days temping in (literally) a supply closet with nothing but the internet and your right hand to keep you company. And what’s that hand good for? Clicking! (what?)

I clicked the shit out of the internet, and in so doing, found a lovely soul who posted all of Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style. I watched all 9 parts. Here, a synopsis and critical look at the 1992 classic. You’re welcome!

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Nice face, Jessie.

Intro: Will Smith’s “Summertime” plays in the background while an Aaron Spelling-worthy montage of bikini babes titillates us. Classy AND effective!

Plot #1: Kelly’s grandfather owns a little hotel in Hawaii that is getting sabotaged by the huge resort nearby! They face foreclosure! Who can save them but the intrepid gang WITH the help of the grandfather’s lawyer, who is Brad from Teen Witch! (aka Dan Gauthier, nominated for BOTH a Daytime Emmy award and Soap Opera Digest award, thank you very much)

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Dreamboat headshot, Dan.

Lawyer Handsome starts to hit it off with Kelly. Who doesn’t? She’s easy on the eyes, easy in other ways… et cetera. The grandfather witnesses and sanctions the flirtation. The problem? Um, she’s 17!!! This does not get dealt with explicitly (huh huh). Not in part 4 of 9 when he invites her onto his yacht and rubs suntan lotion on her shoulders(!), and not in part 6 of 9 when they have a passionate french kiss! Ew! Wouldn’t a LAWYER know that it is illegal to do the nasty with someone who is NOT YET 18?? Gross.

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Back when cameltoes were babely.

Plot #1 winds up when we find out that Hunky Lawyer has been playing Kelly and is selling out the grandfather to the big richies up the hill. Jerk gets his comeupance, but not quite as much as he deserves. For being a pedophile. Blatantly.

Plot #2: At the airport, Zack falls in love at first sight with Andrea, a beautiful thick-eyebrowed girl who gets picked up by a jerk in a limo who turns out to be the heir to the resort owner’s fortune and who wants to marry Andrea and provide for her forever. Over the course of the 2 times she and Zack run into each other, Zack falls deeper and deeper in love. After a romantic lunch he finds out that (!) she has a 4 year-old daughter! Zack is into it and builds huge sand castles with the baby. As he tells Slater while they are backstage changing their grass skirts between scenes in the Authentic Hawaiian Spectacular that they are putting on for the guests of Kelly’s grandfather’s hotel, “You know how much I loved Kelly? Well, I love Andrea more.” Wise, sage Slater points out, “You’ve only known her for 10 days [preppy].” Zack, unswayed, proposes to Andrea that he drop out of school (because he is almost 18!!) and they live together. She declines his kind offer.

Movieprop.com has some interesting things to say about the patterns that Zack runs into with his girlfriend history. Too old, too young, homeless, female wrestler, motorcycle girl… the path of true love never runs straight for poor preppy.

The other thing to remember is that this episode came out 5 years AFTER the Growing Pains Aloha I and Aloha II episodes, wherein Mike falls in love with the beautiful Hawaiian tour guide. Doesn’t she have a kid too?An interesting pattern with these mainland boys. But then, I guess Zack Morris really is a blonde version of Mike Seaver, no?

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The Seavers in Paradise. (Tracy, it wasn’t you, it was the shorts!!)

Plot #3: Blah blah blah, Screech is thought by a tribe of local indigenous people to be the 6th generation descendent of their more beloved chief, and he will deliver them from the evil resort owners (again!) who want to demolish their homes and build his expansion on their sacred land.

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Kevin!!

This plot is obviously boring, and of course poor Lisa does not get a plot of her own. So sad. Is it not enough that she’s the only black girl they’ve ever known, EVER? Or the only black person wherever they are, EVER? Whatever. She squeals at Screech a few times.

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I deserved better plots!

Oh, what she does do is bet Slater and Jessie that they can’t go the whole vacation without fighting.

Plot #4: Lisa bets Slater and Jessie that they can’t go the whole vacation without fighting. They call each other mama and bubba and lose $100 to Lisa.

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I hate you.

Plot #5: Mr. Belding leads a trip of school principals who happen to be staying at the evil resort… the gang tricks them into moving into Kelly’s grandfather’s resort. Blah blah blah.

Conclusions: Nobody gets convicted for soliciting sex from minors!

Here is the link to Part 1 of 9. Go watch it yourself.

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Bad news, guys. Recent studies have shown that mercury levels in tuna (sushi) have reached a new high. According to this New York Times article:

…results of the lab tests, which were conducted for The New York Times and showed that tuna samples from the Gourmet Garage and four restaurants had unusually high levels of mercury — above one part per million. The federal Food and Drug Administration can move to have fish containing that much mercury taken off the market, though it rarely does so. The four restaurants are Nobu Next Door, Sushi Seki, Sushi of Gari and Blue Ribbon Sushi.”

I know, it’s really sad. And what’s even sadder is it appears the sushi samples were taken from four star restaurants, which means, who knows what’s going on in the “discounted” raw fish I occasionally purchase from the .5 star restaurants I pass on my way home from work. At this point in the game I may have already ingested a thermometer’s worth of merc. You should be worried. For me.

Seems as though some people do not share my (somewhat worrisome) feelings on the subject, though. Take Sara B for example:

…despite being warned about the potentially dangerous effects of eating massive amounts of raw tuna, [Sara B] continued to purchase 12 pieces of tuna and shares with the reporter, “It’s something I enjoy,” she said. “I don’t eat sushi every day, so in moderation is it really a problem? It sounds like one of those everyday things they tell us could be harmful. Last week, what was it, caffeine for pregnant women is harmful? That’s common sense.

I see your point, Sara B, however, you just bought 12 pieces of tuna sushi which is a pretty intense purchase, in general. I sense a sort of “all or nothing” mentality going on here, therefore I don’t think I want to use your words as guidance. Also, I’m almost positive it did not just come out last week that caffeine isn’t good for pregnant women. I think the nation, as a whole, found this out in 1997 when Jamie was banned from drinking coffee during her pregnancy on “Mad About You.”

I realize Sara B probably wasn’t being serious, but I don’t like the comparison she used. And if she was being serious, well, as the wise Katherine Heigl once said in response to Isaiah Washington’s homophobic slurs at the ’07 Golden Globes, “[She] just shouldn’t talk. Ever.”

(That was a harsh statement, but I just think Katherine Heigl is ridiculous and I like to slip in quotes of hers whenever I see an opportunity to do so.)

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But on the flip side:

[Deborah C], a management consultant who lives in Greenwich Village, avoided tuna at lunch at Megu, a restaurant in TriBeCa whose tuna had 0.87 parts of mercury per million in the study. She ordered Kobe beef. “What is safe to eat these days?” she said. “I’m going to think twice about ordering certain things, like tuna.” [Ms. C] said she had been eating sushi twice a month. “I don’t think it’s very good if you’re eating it a lot.”

Ah, yes. The ol’ Kobe beef fallback. I know it well, as I’ve used it many a time. And by many a time, I mean I’ve never even been to a restaurant with Kobe beef on the menu. But I have heard good things about these Japan-raised cows. Good tasty things.

Also:

Eddy S, 23, a trader at Deutsche Bank, who like [Deborah C] was weary about ordering tuna after hearing the statistics. “had lunch with two friends at Blue Ribbon Sushi, at 119 Sullivan Street, near Prince Street. Its tuna had the highest mercury level in the study, 1.4 parts per million.

[Mr. S] had heard about the findings before they arrived, and the first thing he said, before anyone in the group had had time to study the menu, was: “Don’t get tuna. I think it’s serious.” One of his friends, [Myriam T], 23, of Paris, said: “What’s going on? Why can’t I order tuna?” She ordered something else.“We had eel, shrimp, crab and vegetables,” [Mr. S] said later. “I’m going to eat less sushi, in general. I eat sushi three times a week, but I don’t eat a lot of raw fish, mostly California rolls.”

I like Eddy. Seems like good people. Likes to look out for his friends, et cets. But um, California rolls? I know, I’m judging way too hard here. Like, WAY too hard. But California rolls are universally known as the sushi that non sushi eaters eat, which is fine. And, Eddy’s non-loving feelings towards raw fish works in his favor in this particular situation, as he isn’t really compromising anything by ordering cooked food. However, shouldn’t the New York Times get the opinion of people who do actually eat raw fish? Yes? No? Maybe?

The article then ends with this:

[Ms. B], a retired teacher from Staten Island, had made her reservation [at Nobu] weeks ago — she had never eaten there, and did not want to pass it up after she heard about the study. “I said, ‘Let’s go to Nobu anyway, and if I don’t want to eat tuna, I don’t have to,’ ” she said. “So I ate tuna. But a small amount.” She shrugged. “If I become iridescent from it, I become iridescent from it,” she said. “I’ll glow in the dark.”

True. Dat.

So, I have one final question…exactly how much mercury is TOO much mercury? I know that no mercury is good mercury, according to science anyway, and documented mercury-related deaths. But what amount of raw tuna does one (say, female) have to eat in order to become at risk of giving birth to a baby with three eyes or an extra limb? I’d like to know what I’m dealing with here. For the sake of my unborn child.

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January continues with what looks like a bunch of shitty releases. There’s no way that you’ve seen all the recent Oscar hopefuls. If haven’t seen There Will Be Blood, I highly recommend that you check that out before any of the below. Or No Country for Old Men. Or Atonement. Or Juno. All the same, here are some new movies coming out this weekend.

Meet the Spartans: This is a truly puzzling concept for a movie. From the title, it would seem that it is a spoof of 300 and Meet the Parents. Meet the Parents, however was just spoofed in the equally stupid looking Date Movie. And 300, if anywhere, should have been spoofed in Epic Movie (also dumb looking). None of this should matter though, because you shouldn’t see these movies anyway, because they look like total shit. The trailer features jokes from movies that came out several years ago (You Got Served) as well as “Britney Spears is crazy” jokes. Basically, if you’re annoying douche of a coworker who makes stale pop culture jokes all day could make a movie, this would probably be it. Oh yeah, and Kevin Sorbo is in it. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.

Rambo: I still haven’t made up my mind on whether this is going to be the best bad movie ever made or simply the worst. Either way, I’m sure I’ll end up seeing it at some point, if only to hear Sylvester Stallone try to connect words to form full sentences. Among my favorites from the trailer are “When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing,” and “live for nothing, or die for something.” Rambo, in addition to fileting people alive, is apparently quite the philospher. What is sure about this film is that it promises to be an insanely violent and painful experience. And who knows? He’s made sequels to Rocky and Rambo. Maybe he’ll finally read the romantic sequel to Tango & Cash (Tango & Cash 2: It Takes Two to Tango) that I’ve sent him so many times. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.

Untraceable: There’s a serial killer who is using the internet. They use the word “cybercrime” a lot. The director, Gregory Hoblit, has made some decent thrillers (Primal Fear, Fracture) but that’s not enough to make me see this in theaters. The movie stars Diane Lane and Colin Hanks. It’s playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.

How She Move: Another in the ever-growing stepdancing genre, this one is about a girl who must move from her private school back to a public school in her old neighborhood after the death of her sister. She joins an all-male dance group and before you can say Step Up 2 the Streets (which I believe comes out this February), she is sliding on the ground and flipping over people in slow motion. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days: This Romanian film won both the Palme D’Or at Cannes, and has won many other awards across the world. It takes place in a 24 hour period, and follows a woman who is trying to negotiate an illegal abortion during the communist Ceaucescu regime. It is my pick of the week (it doesn’t have much competition). It’s playing at the IFC Center in Manhattan.

Otherwise, Persepolis is opening tomorrow at BAM, and there is a midnight screening of Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas at the Landmark Sunshine in Manhattan.

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Dear God,

I am writing to request an immediate halt to your slaying of my childhood heartthrobs. While I understand that you have a certain job to do, and that includes striking mortal terror into our hearts, I really must insist that you leave the bonnie-visaged men of my youth unscathed.

It all started out last week when you shuffled Brad Renfro off this mortal coil.

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Brad Renfro was a child actor and one of the first boys I knew to be “hot.” Of course, I was too young at the time to have loins, so this knowledge was imparted to me by friends, rather than my drive to reproduce. Nevertheless, I’ve been a devotee of his work since growing ovaries. He was in my favorite movie:

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But today, God, you further broke my heart by robbing the world of the stunningly handsome, painfully talented Heath Ledger. He died this afternoon under (currently) murky circumstances – in Mary-Kate Olsen’s apartment, no less. I was shaken earlier this year by his unexpected departure from Brooklyn, following his separation with his wife, Michelle Williams. But really, this is too much.

When my teenage heart first went a-flutter:


And when my grown-up heart pretty much fell out of its heart-hole (or “chest” if you’re a doctor):

 

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So, God, I really must insist that you stop killing all these men. They are important to me.

Respectfully and fearfully,

Recklesley

 

Update: Gawker disagrees with the NY Times about Heath Ledger kicking the bucket in an Olsen’s apartment. Let it be known there is some controversy on the subject.

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*This article contains spoilers. Don’t read it if you plan on seeing Cloverfield. 

Manhattan is often the target of scary monster movies. Aliens blew it up in Independence Day, Godzilla has destroyed it, those infected monster things in I Am Legend have had their fun, hell even the Muppets have taken Manhattan. Most recently, a monster that looks surprisingly similar to the one in Joon-ho Bong’s The Host has decided to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

I find it interesting that monsters are so drawn to Manhattan. There’s no room to stretch out, cabs are constantly running into your toes, and fucking tourists will never stop asking for directions. Why do they keep coming back? Obviously Manhattan is one of the most recognizable cities in the world, but how do monsters know that? Are they getting the same tacky postcards with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty on them?

Faced with the monster problem in Cloverfield, the Manhattan kids immediately hatch a plan: let’s get the fuck out of Manhattan and into wonderful Brooklyn. They start to traverse the Brooklyn Bridge, only to have it be knocked out from underneath their feet.

So what message did producer J.J. Abrams wish to convey with this monster movie? That New York will have a lot of trouble recovering from September 11th? That our pollution of mother nature will only result in a giant angry monster that births other little monsters and the destruction of the world? That the military industrial complex may secretly be behind some of the great disasters in American history? No. J.J. Abrams is saying, move to fucking Brooklyn. Brooklyn! Where cabs and tourists never visit, where the buildings are small and less attractive to monsters and where there are plenty of great places to hide.

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