Friday, October 30, 2009

'Twas the night before Halloween, I'm thinking aloud...

I may be babysitting for my nephew tomorrow evening. I say "may" because when I called his mom to talk about it, she said she wasn't feeling well and might not be going out.

She's going to see how she feels after taking him trick-or-treating that afternoon. (I was momentarily rankled that he'll be going while it's still light out...then I remembered he's going as Darth Vader, so visibility is a factor.)

Anyway, if I do end up going over, I was thinking it might not be a bad idea to pick up a few scary--but appropriate for children--movies on the way.

So, I went in search of some films in the PG range (he's seven) that got high rankings on the old Tomatometer.

You know what I found out? Film ratings sure seem to have changed (not that I'm suggesting the MPAA is anything but consistent and well-reasoned).

Bear in mind, all of these are movies that, theoretically, I could've plunked down money at any theater in the land and seen all by myself (in one or two cases, did) when I was my nephew's age or younger.

Jaws. Ok, one of the great movies no question but...really? My poor nephew's already afraid to get his face wet when he goes swimming. Pass.

Sleuth (original, with Olivier and Caine).This I don't think would scare him too bad, but I also don't think he'd find it very interesting.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, Kaufman version).

Are you crazy? The "photo novel" version of this alone gave me the creeps when I was a kid.

And when it comes to bleak endings, I might just as well show him the ending of Saw IV.

...and that is never, ever going to happen, at least not for another decade.

Phantom of the Paradise.

Again: Powerful if flawed movie, but so not something I think anyone should see before they're (at least) old enough to drive. Watched that trailer? PG?

Poltergeist. Yeah, his parents would forgive me for that.

Swamp Thing. Ah! Now we're talking. Now that's a kid's horror movie (and the one I actually saw in the theater when I was nine or ten).

-providing you watch the version with Adrienne Barbeau's topless scene edited out, of course...

Stepford Wives (1970s version). Somehow, I think the intended antifeminism backlash satire might be lost upon the kid. And that's probably a good thing (come a long long way baby, etc).

BTW, listen to the narrator of this trailer. Isn't that Tony Perkins?

Twilight Zone: The Movie. No, but more because it's kind of crap than really all that Photobucket

Anyway as we all know, the freakiest part of this movie is not on the screen.

(Trivia: The third and fifth season Simpsons Halloween episodes have good spoofs of Zone episodes that were also adapted for this film, one of which, in turn, stars Nancy "Bart Simpson" Cartwright)

If not these, what then?

Originally uploaded by
A Harry Potter movie might not be a bad fave is still Order of the Phoenix, and I don't know if he's seen it.

Coraline I know he's seen a few times.

I have a lot of fond memories of Bedknobs & Broomsticks, and here's one now...

I don't know if it would hold up for a 21st century child, but it has just been re-released on DVD...

Side note to self: It's not really a Halloween movie, but you must show Tristan Tron some day. Photobucket (esp. before this comes out)

Front Desk
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John(ny) D

Maybe we'll just watch (if anything) one of his many Pixar DVDs...

Speaking of Willis, did you know she was made by Mattel?

(Another one of those jokes I deserve to go to hell for...)

The tendency of the universe towards balance

Brace yourself, it seems Lindsay Lohan may've been missing the feel of rough hands upon her breasts, and has switched back to boys again (take down her flag!).

But, have no fear, those of you who will miss a lesbian pairing of which many are skeptical:

This January, 90210 will embark on a major same-sex storyline that will pair the show’s token lesbian, Gia, played by Rumer Willis, with another major (and heretofore straight) female character.

(BTW, I want you to know I thought up the idea for this post before I knew there were photos of Lohan and Willis kissing. It's all an amazing coincidence.)

Producers are shocked--shocked!--to think that anyone could think this was a desperate ratings ploy.

“This isn’t a fling,” insists executive producer Rebecca Sinclair. “We’re coming at this [relationship] from a genuine place and not going, ‘Let’s do a titillating story that will grab some promotion.’ This is a real aspect of teenager life that’s interesting… And there’s been a real void in the 90210 universe in terms of gay and bisexual characters.”

I wish I knew...

...who this model was.

There's Something In This About All Women, #21

Damn, am I the only one?

Deborah "the artist formerly known as Debbie" Gibson showed some ab at a recent event:

She's getting a lot of love for 'em from the writers and readers of this site, but I'm having trouble feeling it. Call me unreconstructed, but I prefer my women a little softer, even cushion-y, like, oh, say, this:

Deborah Gibson should pay attention to this Debbie Gibson person.

On the other hand, at least it looks as though she got that rock-hard ab body naturally, as opposed to...

(and for the Playboy pics, some Photoshop may have been involved).

Worthy of note

Something's been bothering me a little bit lately with all the talk about how Fox "News" leans to the right and is not really a news organization. There seems to be this compulsive, knee-jerk need to then add something like: "But of course, the left has MSNBC."

Even people I like and respect have done this, like Jon Stewart on last night's Daily Show. But I don't think it's right to cast the two organizations as any kind of true equivalent of each other, and not just because I'm a Democrat.

Greg Sargent agrees:

Sure, MSNBC has Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Schultz. But it’s debatable, to begin with, that they are polar opposites — in terms of their ideology or their relationship to reality — of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

Debatable to say the least. I don't watch Schultz's show, but Maddow and Olbermann I do. They are smart people, and their shows promote smarts. From everything that I have seen, read, and heard of Fox "News," their people are dumb (or cynically pretending to be so) and their shows promote dumbness.

What political party they support has less to do with it than some people think.

Still and all, I would totally date Courtney Love if given half a chance

Look at it this way: The conversation would never be boring. It might not always be incoherent, but it would never be boring.

Also, check out those sexy lips.

That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

(Pumpkin) Heads-up


Just wait 'til next year, Charlie Brown. You'll see! Next year at this same time, I'll find the pumpkin patch that is real sincere and I'll sit in that pumpkin patch until the Great Pumpkin appears. He'll rise out of that pumpkin patch and he'll fly through the air with his bag of toys. The Great Pumpkin will appear and I'll be waiting for him! I'll be there! I'll be sitting there in that pumpkin patch and I'll see the Great Pumpkin. Just wait and see, Charlie Brown. I'll see the Great Pumpkin. I'll SEE the Great Pumpkin! Just you wait, Charlie Brown. The Great Pumpkin will appear and I'll be waiting for him...

Taking a larger view

Some of you may be wondering when all the talk of Saw is going to die down around here. The answer is: Not yet, but soon.

I wanted to point you towards this article, which seeks to place the franchise within the context of the horror genre.


“I like the ‘Saw’ movies,” said Brad Miska, editor of, one of the most popular Web sites for horror fans. Miska said his review of an early screening of the first “Saw” helped to convince Lions Gate to release it.

“I liked the character of Jigsaw, and I think there was a cool mythology attached to it,” he said.

“I don’t really believe in the torture porn genre,” he said. “I don’t think it really exists. It was just made up by certain individuals who don’t understand the horror genre.”

The article just went up today, but seems to have been written before VI came out. I say that because they quote producer Mark Burg saying:

“They thought the ‘Rocky’ series would go on forever, but once he made a bad one nobody came to the theater. It took Sly (Sylvester Stallone) years to get his core audience back.

... People pay a lot of money to go to the movies, and they want to be entertained. You have to make a good movie and deliver or people won’t come.”

It's funny you say that, actually...a popular theory among the fans is that at least one reason why VI has, thus far, failed to live up to its moneymaking potential, is because V was so terrible it chased moviegoers away from the theatres.


Is it me, or in this picture, does Elizabeth Hurley look like a baby threw up Pepto-Bismol all over her?

A question for those brothers who have sisters, or vice-versa

Is it considered normal for young women to go shopping for Trashy Lingerie while in the company of their brother?

(case in point: Brooke Hogan)

Even after death, her timing's still good

Bea Arthur left $300,000 to a charity for homeless gay youth.

Just when I thought that Joe Lieberman could not possibly surprise me anymore

I've long thought that Lieberman was a two-faced boob who doesn't even know (or care) what party he's in; undeserving of respect. It was Al Gore's selection of him for VP that, more than anything, made it impossible for me to vote for him in 2000.

But anyway, because of long holding these opinions, I was not exactly surprised, yesterday, when he announced he would vote, and join any GOP filibuster, against the public option.

No, the surprise came this afternoon, when I learned that the state of Connecticut, which Lieberman represents in the senate (for the moment)...has a public option. His constituents already have, that which he will deny to the rest of us.

Do you guys happen to remember my previous discourse on whores?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A choice of responses

Former “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston has revealed she is scared of botox because it makes people “look harder” and incapable of expressing emotion.

1. Attaway, Jennifer! Everybody knows pretty girls like you are suppoed to make the opposite sex "look h-" oh, excuse me.

2. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to've hurt Virginia Madsen too much.

3. Then again, there is the whole Demi Moore/Heather Thomas thing. Let them be a lesson to you, Jennifer!

OMG, how utterly vile

Remember the Family Research Council? They're the KKK-connected, anti-gay conservative "Christian " group the president of which, I always find it amusing to relate, shares a name with a famously closeted gay actor: Tony Perkins.

Here's their latest idiocy: Since we don't know how many gay old people there are, we shouldn't bother to worry about their getting care and attention, medical and otherwise.

Now, I know this is an overused phrase, but seriously: Wrong on so many levels...

Dear Mrs Winehouse: When people said...

...that you should take better care of yourself, this is not what they were talking about.

Amy takes her new plastic tits around the block for a spin.

Please, won't someone think of the bigots?

Last night, Stephen Colbert took on something I'm sorry to say is happening in the very state in which I live...

The Word - Don't Ask Don't Tell
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorReligion

You know, every now and then it strikes me that Jennifer Aniston is very pretty

I mean, as if this were a new thing...

Natalie Portman is annoying

And not in a good way.

Latest evidence: She's against eating animals, which is fine. But like more than a few people who are against eating animals, she doesn't quite put her ideas across as well as she might:

...consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma, which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don't believe in rape, but if it's what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it).

Talking of absurdity, Miss Portman, you do realize that if you flip that idea, it means that since I had lunch at Burger King yesterday, I might as well've stopped off on the way home to get a good rape in, doesn't it?

For that matter, Portman is one of those who signed the petition to have charges dropped against Roman Polanski. So her making reference to overlooking a reprehensible crime out of consideration for other ideals may not be the smartest thing she ever did.


The Judy Blume Quiz

Score: 73% (8 out of 11)

Now I just have to find quizzes for Harriet the Spy and The Outsiders...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

He never!

Ok--here's something I observe with minor annoyance: The latest article on how Paranormal Activity basically beat up Saw VI and took its lunch money.

That's not the part I observe with annoyance. I just observe it, as it seems to be a fact (most evidence suggests). But you will have noticed that I sometimes have a bug in my bonnet about inaccurate reportage.

The $14.8 million estimated weekend total had to be a disappointment to Lionsgate, the series, sponsor. "If we end up with at least $20 million," David Spitz, the company's executive VP and general manager, told the industry blog The Wrap, "we'll be talking about Saw VII, this time next year." Oh, no — a fright season without Jigsaw luridly dismembering nubile teens? Say it ain't so!

Ha ha, your sarcasm is very amusing, Richard Corliss--but Jigsaw has absolutely never "luridly dismembered a nubile teen." First of all, the victims are rarely dismembered--luridly or otherwise (I'm not saying never, but rarely).

And second the average John Kramer subject is in their early 40s. In six movies, the closest he's ever come to testing a "nubile teen" is Daniel in Saw II.

I don't know about Richard Corliss, but "nubile" isn't the word that jumps to my mind for Dan, although the character is a teen. What's more he wasn't "dismembered" in any way, shape or form, in fact he's one of a very small percentage of people to live all the way through a Jigsaw "game."

Is my making this entry petty? Yeah, probably--but I don't mind if Saw VI went down because it was overmatched, or because of what the series has become. I have definite opinions on much of that as well (and for your pleasure, I won't be talking about all of them here).

But, I don't like it when a critic I'm not convinced has watched a single movie in a series that, overall, I still love, takes a swipe at it that seems to have it confused with Friday the 13th.

Kind of puts House always talking about Cuddy's ass into perspective, doesn't it?

You know...for all that I try to speak up when I see injustice to girls and women here in my part of the world (and I do), there are times I'm very glad indeed that, if I ever have a daughter, she will be an American. This is one of those times.

A female Saudi journalist was sentenced to receive 60 lashes after the network she worked for aired a talk show featuring a young man boasting about his sexual conquests.

LBC’s offices in Saudi Arabia were shut down over the incident for airing programs “contrary to morals and ethics.”

As god is my witness, I have no idea how I feel about this

About what?


...Barbie Doll versions of Debbie Harry & Joan Jett, that's what.


(There's Cyndi Lauper, too)

I could die from all this irony

Not only has Saw VI recieved the best reviews since the original movie, as noted yesterday, but...

It was the worst opening ever for Lionsgate's "Saw" series, whose previous low was $18.3 million for the original movie

I don't think 3D is going to save the series

Hollywood gasps as 'Paranormal Activity' sends 'Saw VI' to a box office grave

The main culprit in "Saw's" demise was the continuing phenomenon of "Paranormal Activity."
An even more impressive comparison, "Paranormal" knocked "Saw" off its expected perch while playing in 1,000 less theaters.