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Journal Archives from April 2006
 
Shatner Bio

The Uncle has shared this with me - my apologies if everyone else has seen it already, but how'd these snakes get on this plane!

Last night I watched a Biography special on the man himself, William Shatner. As expected, the 1 hour show delighted and amazed, and reminded me how incredible and impossible it is that he has done, and continues to do, such an incredible variety of things. If I, in my life, manage to accomplish even a reasonable percentage of the kinds of things that Shatner has done I will consider it more than a spectacular success.
Posted by charlie on April 28th 2006
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Chewy Perez

When we did the Tremors marathon, one of the many many delightful things was noticing a guy named Jesus 'Chewy' Perez in the credits. At the time we were delighted in thinking that Chewy was the name of the awesome mexican guy who appears in several of the movies but finally meets his end at the...hands...of an 'ass blaster'. Now fast-forward to tonight, where we're watching the Carlos Mencia: No Strings Attached special on Comedy Central. Just now, like a second ago, Carlos was doing a bit about religion and how women in his church were giving him shit about not being enthusiastic enough. He did an awesome rant about his culture worshiping the sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, the sky, the earth, and fire then being invaded by Europeans with a message from God through the Pope with the Bible saying that they were to be killed and their religion supplanted, and after having their whole culture destroyed they're still the only people in the world who name their kids 'Jesus'! Then he said "Then I heard Jesus yelling 'Yeah Carlos! Tell that stupid woman!' but then I realized it was my cousin Jesus in the back of the room. Good ol' Chewy".

WHAT!? I almost got whiplash with my triple take...could it be?! I mean, maybe this is a typical name and nickname combo, and I'm just proving I'm a stupid gringo, but I will still delight in my find and feel that there must be a connection, however absurd.

Here, for the Doctor Who fans, is a fantastic audio file from a prank phonecall show in Britan (Dead Ringers) where they try to prank Tom Baker. But he's so awesome, he just wins.
Posted by charlie on April 25th 2006
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GI Joe Convention

The Uncle called tonight, with a dilemma. It seems that this year's GI Joe convention is taking place in New Orleans. That's right - I guess it had been planned for quite some time, then the shit happened, but the plans didn't change. Now while it is somehow poetic to have such a convention in what is basically a demilitarized zone, The Uncle had wisely decided not to go, but recent news was challenging his wisdom. Apparently Sgt. Slaughter is going to be in attendance, and this was very nearly the breaking point for our friend. He called me, needing advice, and while I'm generally not the best person to talk someone down from doing something dumb, as I come from a position of great weakness on many such topics, I felt I could contribute to this one. An additional point to keep in mind is that if he were indeed to go to the convention, he would then bitch out on a commitment he made to us to go see a Tom Jones concert that same weekend.

I described a scene for him, wherein he arrives in New Orleans, excited, wide-eyed with wonder, enthused, alone, and having just spent at least $300 on a plane ticket, taking a $50 taxi to his $400 hotel, where he would have the opportunity to set up the $270 special edition convention figure set on the hotel room minibar. At the convention, which will probably consist of a giant dealer room, an eating area, and 10,000 excited fans, the breaking point will be the chance to catch a glimpse, perhaps even an audience with the Sergeant, so he would no doubt do whatever was necessary to get in the autograph line. As a prequel to what was to come, I reminded him that it has been many years since the glory days, and we can't be sure how time has treated Sarge. After waiting an untold time in that line, he would finally reach the pinnacle, the purpose of this trip, and the reason for the $1000s spent, and the long flight and hours spent. He would shake the Sergeant's hand, and Sarge would look him in the eye and he would know. He would know that The Uncle had sold out his friends, and was there by himself, and had no honor. Sarge would know at that moment, and then The Uncle would know in the next. Dazed and staggered, he would stumble off the autograph stage, towards the front doors. He would walk outside, squinting against the sudden blinding sunlight, and when his vision began to clear, he would see the refrigerators and cars in the trees, the debris of shattered lives, and probably a couple guys in stormtrooper suits, and think about his encounter with Sarge, and it would be more than any man could bear.

I told him all this, wanting to spare him the pain, and I think he understood. Some lessons we have to learn for ourselves though, so we'll see.

Oh, and today's Internet Aneurysm was the only google image result for "excited fans gijoe".
Posted by charlie on April 20th 2006
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9th Doctor

Last night we finished watching the first season of the new Doctor Who, featuring the ninth doctor played with amazing skill by Christopher Eccleston. Sadly, as most probably have heard, he quits after season one, which is really a shame as I got quite into his portrayal and mannerisms. Thanks to some sneakiness, we got the episodes from the internet, meaning the direct BBC ones. Not only has sci-fi barely made it half-way through the first season, but they also have been cutting out scenes, so it's nice to get it right from the source. For my money, the show got better and better every episode, and taken together season one is a really impressive body of work, with some of the episodes being quite moving, surprisingly. This has, of course, renewed my on-again off-again, never fully researched or realized interest in Doctor Who, and I'm enjoying looking into books, tapes, older episodes and of course one of my most excellent possessions, a Tom Baker 4th doctor scarf made and given to me by a dear friend.

Again thanks to the magic of the interweb, we just now finished watching the first episode of the new season, just now airing in England. The new, now tenth Doctor, David Tennant, I think shows great promise. I was skeptical at first, and still need to see more, but I think that's generally been the way it has gone for the last 29-odd years; whenever The Doctor regenerates, the fans are dubious of the new guy, but it generally works out...well, most of the time. I hear that Tennant is a life-long fan, and he's trying hard to be like Tom so I'll give him a fair shot.

Having been looking around the BBC radio for Doctor Who audio pieces, I managed to discover the Bruce Dickinson Rock Show! Very excellent, and something worth listening to at work. And finally, enjoy this Internet Aneurysm about not one, but two competing midget KISS tribute rock bands.
Posted by charlie on April 18th 2006
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P.K. Dick Robot

I find it delightful that Dave Chappelle's Block Party is perhaps the highest rated movie at rottentomatoes.com. Now the crime of it all is that I haven't seen it yet, expecting perhaps that it would be a little too much like The Luau which, while a good time with a bbq salmon dinner, I wan't looking to see on the big screen. My fatal flaw in reasoning was not considering that Chappelle is involved, so I really must make sure to see this, and better in the theatre to add a little more to the bottom line and show Dave that he's the man.

During coverage of Wired's NextFest, I saw one of the most astounding things ever - a company had created a next generation robotic machine, which was made to look like the Science Fiction novelist, visionary and condemner of the human condition, Philip K. Dick. They had the robot set up in a cozy living room from the 70s. The perfection of seeing a robotic replica of the person who, through their writing, inspired Blade Runner, along with countless other spectacular films, is enough to set one right on edge, but then to push you right over it, you find that the robot is programmed with what sounds to me to be one of the most outstanding AI programs ever created. Populated with data from his written works, as well as life-imitating physical mannerisms, the result is the closest I've ever imagined to a 'replicant' that I've seen in my lifetime. And it gets better...

About a month ago, while on tour, the robot (or at least the head) vanished under mysterious circumstances. The story goes that the designer was on a whirlwind world tour, country hopping and showing off this amazing creation at the request of companies and nations everywhere, when on day 14 of a sleepless journey on his way to Google's headquarters, he left the carry-on containing the head of pkd in the overhead compartment of the plane, and transferred, continuing his journey! Upon realizing what he'd done, he attempted to recover the bag, but it has never been seen again. The greatest suspicion, I believe, as suggested by the creator himself, is that the bag was discovered by an overzealous airport security guard, and that the robotic head of Philip K. Dick, appearing to be a bomb in the x-ray machine, was remote-detonated...by a robot. It's the only scenario that I could have ever imagined that would possibly trump the creation of the robot in the first place. Somewhere pkd is pleased at what we have become, and if you have read his work that's not a compliment.
Posted by charlie on April 10th 2006
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Uncle Update from LI

The Uncle has this to say:

Update from Long Island

You already know that I met Cassanda Peterson, the mortal disguise of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark at ICON. She was selling pictures of herself which she would then autograph and 2 DVDs. The offerings were Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Elvira's Haunted Hills.
The first time I saw Mistress of the Dark was one fateful sunday afternoon on a local tv station that is sadly no longer in existance. Channel 11 WPIX I believe. Every saturday and sunday they would show these phenomenal movies; movies I would later come to appreciate for how unique and different they were despite severely limited budgets. I clearly remember watching one double feature of Flash Gordon followed by Invaders from Mars while in sixth grade. I must have been 12 years old and the year must have been 1995 for those of you keeping count. Remember, this was pre-DVD. So while many of the movies I am about to list seem unremarkable (most can be obtained right now at Bestbuy for $5.99), they were decently rare at the time. I remember them showing (and me watching) Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, Red Sonja, all 4 death wish movies, Action Jackson, Berry Gordy's the Last Dragon, The Wraith, The Gate, and others I can't remember. 80's B-movies one and all, and a goldmine for someone like me who missed out on them the first time around.
Anyway, Mistress of the Dark is one of those movies that deserves a huge cult following but does not have one. If I had to wager a guess, the studio that originally released it most-likely tried to sell it as a horror movie, and it blew up in their faces. Then again, perhaps I am overestimating the demand of individuals to pay money to see Elvira's breasts. Make no mistake; Mistress is all comedy. Go ahead and name drop Army of Darkness and Reanimator. You won't impress me. Talk about the outdoor cook off scene in Mistress and you have my full attention.
I decided to NOT get Mistress because I know I am going to pick up Anchor Bay's fright fest six pack. Designed to look like a six pack of beer, this $23 box set contains SIX DVD films (Mistress, Sleepaway Camp, one of the killer tomatoes movies, one movie with Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr. on the cover and 2 others I can't remember). I decided to spring for Elvira's most recent movie, 2002's direct to DVD feature Elvira's Haunted Hills. I really should have thought twice when the 2 main stars of the film are Elvira and Richard O'Brien. You know, the guy who was the butler in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was also one of Timothy Dalton's men in Flash Gordon.
How is the movie? I have only watched it half way through. Sample joke: Man (to Elvira) "The villagers say this castle is haunted." Elvira: "Who listens to the village people anymore?" Another issue that warrants an entire article on itself; Elvira's breasts. I'm not going to take this article that far, but this is a topic that bears repeating. Elvira's breast size wildly fluctuates throughout the picture, sometimes within the very same scene. I am no filmmaker, but aren't there continuity people whose entire responsibility is to watch for things like this? Many people may be happy just to see Elvira's breasts, but these continuity errors just take me out of the movie and get me wondering things like "how on earth does her breast size keep changing? Did she use different techniques and camera tricks almost like a magician?" Then there was the Elvira burlesque song with sexual references that even third graders would groan at. Elvira, we get the point. You like to have sex. I immediately identified with Richard O'Brien's character who was covering his ears during the scene.

In all fairness, I haven't completed the movie. Some of the jokes made me laugh despite myself. But I hold Elvira to much higher standards. Sometimes, it is wise to stick with a sure thing. I would like to end this rumination with a quote from Elvira's Monster Rap; "Monster rap, everybody clap, everybody move, and everybody snap."

Posted by charlie on April 4th 2006
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X-Panders Mystery Box

BREAKING NEWS: A mystery box, labeled 'X-Panders', discovered in the depths of the Preserve! Witness the unveiling!

Also, watching the last episode of The League of Gentlemen, I was astounded to see Christopher Eccleston show up as a crazy cat guy, making a cat theatre in competition with the town's dog movie tycoon. Yes, that's right, 2005's Dr. Who, though he was to quit after one year as the doctor; I have enjoyed what I've seen of his episodes so far. The new fellow is David Tennant, who honestly seems like he'll be even more awesome, so we'll have to wait for that to make its way across the pond.
Posted by charlie on April 3rd 2006
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