Archive for November, 2008

This may not be the best place to approach actual tragedy, but, in case you didn’t already here this:

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled To Death on Black Friday

This actually happened. Ugh.

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Several of us here at Brooklyn Skeptic have been following the new HBO Series True Blood, which deals with modern-day vampires in Louisiana who are “coming out of the coffin” due to the invention of a new synthetic blood that vampires can drink in lieu of biting people. From the get-go, the show has been clunky, often poorly scripted, filled with stereotypes and incredibly insane story lines. Here is a list of the five most ridiculous things that happened on this season of True Blood.

  1. Sam is a dog – Not only are there vampires on this show (and apparently werewolves), but there are also shapeshifters. After a lot of annoyingly obvious hints that Sam was, in fact, a dog, he finally gives Sookie a surprise by waking up naked on the foot of her bed. And now he does it all the time. In the finale, he rips off his shirt while running to save Sookie from Rene, in the same way Superman would loosen his tie before running into a phone booth. The only question is, when fighting against a murderer, wouldn’t he have more luck as a regular man than as a border collie? 
  2. Vampires have dirty sex – In one of the hammiest moments of the show (and possibly television, ever), Sookie runs into a cemetary in slow motion wearing a flowing white dress to find her vampire lover Bill. She is scared that he has been killed in a fire along with several other vamps. Suddenly his hand pops up from the dirt of the cemetary and he emerges, naked, covered in what one can only guess is worms and maggots, to have sex with Sookie right there. I’m assuming they were trying to show the passion the two characters had for each other, but seriously, this was just fucking gross.
  3. Vampire blood gives you crazy boners – Vampire blood (V-Juice, as it’s so delightfully called) is used as a drug for humans. It’s effects are like combining extacy and viagra in that it makes you hallucinate and improves your sex life. The catch is, you should only have a drop or two. Jason Stackhouse, being the dumb redneck that he is, drinks a whole vial of it, fearing that the cops will catch him with it. It gives him a boner that won’t go away. He spends most of the episode (and it’s the dominant storyline in the episode, if you can imagine) trying to masturbate his problem away, before giving up to go to a doctor and get it drained. It was a sick, stupid episode.
  4. Actually killing a vampire is pretty damn gruesome – I used to be a big Buffy fan, and since the show wasn’t on HBO, when vampires were staked, they kind of disintegrated, and blew away with the wind. On this show, that’s not so true. One thing that I truly appreciated about the show is that they didn’t just run around staking people. The vampires are real characters here, not just target practice, so when they actually stake the bartender from Fangtasia (vampires like puns), and Eddie, the sweet vampire played by Stephen Root, shit got real. In the case of the first, it was like someone opened a pipeline inside the guy’s body, as blood just poured out of him and all over Sookie. It was at the beginning of the episode, and definitely had me hooked for the rest. In the case of Stephen Root’s Eddie, a weird, web of blood sprays all over Jason. It was a really sad moment, made all the more real because of how graphic it was.
  5. Rene is totally a serial killer, him – everybody’s favorite Cajun-accented, one-liner spewing Rene ended up being Drew Marshall, a crazy guy who kills fang-bangers and does not have a Cajun accent. How do we learn this? Arlene’s kids find some vampire porn of his in the garage, which he conveniently keeps alongside a “Cajun Dialect for Actors” tape. This was the most ridiculously stupid plot twist I’ve seen on television in a long time. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he also had a copy of “How to Convince your Friends and Loved Ones that You’re Not a Serial Killer but Instead an Eccentric Cajun Guy with a Goofy Goatee.”

All this being said, I can’t wait to see how crazy/stupid season 2 will be. Oh, and if Lafayette is dead – I’m coming after you Alan Ball.

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The Plot: A dog star is shipped from a Hollywood soundstage to New York, and he thinks that the plot of the TV show he’s on is real. Also, your dreams of a Travolta/Miley Cyrus collaboration have finally come true.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Normally I like my animated films to be Pixar and Pixar only. I don’t know what this “Walt Disney Studios” is, but apparently they release animated films too. And this doesn’t sound like it’s half bad. While I’m sure it can’t compare to Wall-E, the little hamster in a ball is damn adorable and the reviews have actually been pretty okay. There’s plenty of better films out there, but if you’re looking for some light fun, this shouldn’t be too bad.

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street, Cobble Hill Cinemas.


The Plot: Vampires give shadowy looks and hit on girls almost a century their junior.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: I think the only person on the Brooklyn Skeptic team that actually wants to see this is recklesley. I tried to read the first book but got pretty bored, pretty quickly (to be fair, I don’t actually know how to read and there were no pictures). The reviews so far are mixed as well. This movie is going to do insanely well despite this, and I’m sure all of the book’s sequels will be made into movies. People are all talking about how the film uses vampirism as a metaphor for teen lust. But seriously, this kid is actually supposed to be 107 years old, and he’s hitting on high school girls. Do they ever address this? I hope so. Remember how awkward it was for Kirsten Dunst in Interview With The Vampire?

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Park Slope Pavilion and United Artists on Court Street.

I Can’t Think Straight

The Plot: Hint: the title is a pun. It’s about gay people.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Probably not. Considering I’m just hearing about this movie for the first time, I doubt there’s much to it. It sort of looks like a middle eastern version of Imagine Me & You. This is writer/director Shamim Sarif’s first film. If she wants to be successful, she should stop making movies with puns in the title.

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Quad Cinemas in Manhattan.

Lake City

The Plot: A guy who is on the run from drug dealers returns to his home town.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Doesn’t sound like it. While it boasts a pretty awesome cast member (the always incredible Sissy Spacek) the reviews have been pretty terrible, especially attacking a poorly-written screenplay. The film also stars Dave Matthews, who has had a pretty bizarre acting career. The acclaimed musician of The Dave Matthews Band starred in Because of Winn Dixie, and then has random cameos in Adam Sandler movies I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and You Don’t Mess With the Zohn (where he plays a homophobic redneck). Is he trying to start an actual acting career, or is the guy just bored?

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Quad Cinemas in Manhattan.


The Plot: Michael Rapaport plays a guy who begins an experimental drug program and develops what he thinks are super powers.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Probably worth renting. The reviews have been mixed, but I really like the idea of an independently made, low budget superhero movie. It’s also interesting that Michael Rapaport is playing a sweet-natured main character. The only Michael Rapaport I’m used to is a loud-mouthed dickhead supporting character. Also, it’s not everyday that redheads get to be the protagonists in film. Think about it. Maybe this is worth seeing…

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Landmark Sunshine in Manhattan.

My Sitcom Sucked.

My Sitcom Sucked.

Otherwise, the fantaastic A Christmas Tale opened today at BAM, Happy Go Lucky is playing at Brooklyn Heights Cinema and The Boy In The Striped Pajamas opened at Cobble Hill Cinemas. There’s a midnight screening of The Cockettes at Landmark Sunshine and IFC Theaters is screening Child’s Play at 12:10 tonight. Enjoy!

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Right now, you’re asking yourself, “what on earth does a gun-toting, hokey-loving, horseman of the apocalypse have to do with a twinkle-toed merry-maker?” If you would just turn your attention to the following evidence, I’m sure you’ll have no problem figuring it out:

Watch me.

There were a few weeks there when critics heralded the inevitable demise of SNL. After the election, they argued, when Tina Fey went back to 30 Rock and could no longer carry the show with her spot-on Palin impression, SNL would cease to be culturally relevant and we’d all just go back to doing drugs on Saturday nights. What JT shows us, however, is that SNL never has to go down that road – as long as Justin Timberlake will regularly make surprise guest appearances on the show where he hosts better than the host, performs better than the musical guest and is funnier than all of the regular cast members combined.

See? It’s easy. If Tina Fey can carry an entire episode with one two and a half minute sketch every other week, a little Justin magic once per quarter can stave off the death knell for SNL indefinitely.

Oh, and may we never forget.

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Ah the Christmas Gap ads. See your favorite stars (like um…Jason Biggs and uh…Sandra Bernhardt) dance around to festive tunes in front of a white background, while sporting knit sweaters and scarves. Nothing says the holidays quite like the guy from Six Feet Under playing We 3 Kingz (they added a “z” to let you know that this is seriously hip), or Napoleon Dynamite humping air. Way to go Gap. Now even the air we breathe is unpure.

The only interesting thing they did here was reverse the gender roles in Baby, It’s Cold Outside, so that Selma Blair is trying to coax Dwight from the Office into staying at her place, and not the other way around. I remember watching White Christmas as a kid and thinking that Bing Crosby was trying to date rape Rosemary Clooney, especially when she utters the line “Hey what’s in this drink?”

Thanks Gap, Merry Christmas!

Alright fine, this one is freaking adorable.

Alright fine, this one is freaking adorable.

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Quantum of Solace

The Plot: James Bond is pissed off. Seriously, why’d you have to go and piss off James Bond?

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Most probably. In what is surely the most puzzling film title since Synecdoche, New York (and by the way Sunshine Theater, please don’t correct my pronunciation, especially when you’re wrong), Daniel Craig resumes his role as Britain’s ultimate super spy. Casino Royale was an incredible reinvention of the Bond franchise, comparable to the way Batman Begins reinvented the caped crusader. Unfortunately Quantum of Solace is not getting as much praise as Dark Knight received. All the same, critics seem to be agreeing that it is a worthy installment. The film also has a new director. Marc Forster, director of quirky comedies like Stranger than Fiction, wrist-slitting dramas like Monster’s Ball and flaming shit-piles like Finding Neverland, has taken over for Royale (and Goldeneye) director Martin Campbell. The writing team of Robert Wade, Neil Purvis and Paul Haggis remains the same. I just said “Purvis” and “Haggis” in the same sentence. Gross. 

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street, Regal at Union Square.

Paul Haggis.

Paul Haggis.

Slumdog Millionaire

The Plot: A kid tells his life story after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Definitely. This is already getting some of the best reviews of the year. The screenplay was adapted from the novel Q and A by screenwriter Simon Beaufroy, who most recently scripted Ms. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The director, Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) is one of the most criminally underrated directors working today. Seriously, name a bad movie he’s made. If you named The Beach or A Life Less Ordinary, then I guess you’re right. But two out of ten isn’t bad, right?

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The Angelika.

A Christmas Tale

The Plot: A family comes together when their mother is diagnosed with cancer. So it’s a lot like Royal Tenenbaums. Only it’s at Christmas. And it’s French.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Yes. Wow! This is a good week. Brooklyn Skeptic came back just in time. This film stars the amazing (and still incredibly good looking) Catherine Deneuve, as well as Mathieu Amalric (who is also playing the creepy villain in Quantum of Solace). This is being marketed in the United States with a trailer featuring goofy Christmas music that probably belongs in something like Love Actually (sorry Reckles). I somehow don’t think this is the holiday romp that people will expect, but something slightly more somber and interesting. In any case, definitely worth seeing.

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The IFC Center.


The Plot: A documentary about America’s addiction to oil.

Is it Worth Eleven Dollars?: Again I would say yes. The film won the audience award for best documentary at Sundance, and director Josh Tickell seems like a less annoying version of Michael Moore. Plus, if you watch the trailer, Luke Perry is in the movie! It must be said though, Luke Perry most likely contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer a lot during the 90’s with his hair products alone.

I brought this out from under my pillow, just for you.

I brought this out from under my pillow, just for you.

Where is this playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: I can’t seem to figure that out, but I’ll get back to you.

Otherwise, the incredible Rachel Getting Married is at Cobble Hill Cinemas (as well as BAM). Also, JCVD, the film about Jean Claude Van Damme has just started at Brooklyn Heights Cinema (they’re finally getting a new-ish movie!). In Manhattan, there’s a midnight showing of Grindhouse tonight at the Sunshine, and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome is playing at midnight at the IFC Center.

And finally, We Are Wizards, which is a documentary about the creative drive that has been inspired by Harry Potter, is playing at Cinema Village on 12th Street. It features BS faves Harry and the Potters.

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Puppies Will Save the World.

There’s a live streaming web cam video (I have no idea if I said that correctly) of six puppies up on the web. A San Francisco couple set up the site to keep an eye on these heavenly little creatures. People are going nuts over these puppies, though. Have you seen them? Here, check them out: Pups.

Did you go? Are you at the site? Are you dying? Are you dead? Dead from how fucking adorable these puppies are? I swear, this video could end wars. End world hunger. Bring countries together. Does the White House know this video exists? Because it should.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. I figured this would be like every other puppy video on youtube. Cute but boring after the first 30 seconds. But this is different. I now find myself glued to the computer screen. Like, I just keep it on. In the background. While at work I like to just look up and see what these guys are doing. What insanely precious position they’re in. Who’s chewing a squeaky toy, who’s sleeping on top of who. It’s out of control. It’s like “The Truman Show” only with puppies.

So just check it out. If this does not warm your heart even a little, well then you clearly have no soul.


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My soul, once hardened and foul, like the crust on dirty dishes, has been soaked (in democracy), scrubbed (with voting) and it sitting ready in the drying rack of my heart.

Yes, I did miss writing impenetrable metaphors.

Now that we Americans can once again claim that we value our ideals, our country and the rest of the world, I am ready to start tearing shit apart again with crude, slightly simplistic explications of irrelevant things (a.k.a. blogging). But before we get to that, here’s a nice trip down memory lane: Brooklyn Skeptic on Mr. President-elect, Barack Obama.

Seriously though, folks. Thank effing god. I think we might be okay after all.

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