Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chris Christie and President Obama Tour Hurricane Damage

A fine bromance. Image from source, Washington Post
It's got to be a bit irksome to Mitt Romney and his supporters* that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been so effusive in his praise for President Obama. Even worse, Christie has openly dissed Romney. So, one of their big (no pun intended) heroes seems to have gone to the dark side. I'm not fooled for a minute that Christie has become some sort of reasonable guy. I think he's usually a prick. But it is an interesting turn of events during a really bad situation.

[Excerpt]

President Obama, Gov. Chris Christie touring storm damage together in New Jersey

President Obama visited one of the hardest-hit areas in Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path Wednesday, joining New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) — one of his most outspoken critics and a chief surrogate to rival Mitt Romney — for a tour of the damage the storm inflicted on the Garden State. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Romney "Storm Relief" Donations Staged

Poser. Image from source, Think Progress
Ugh. I know that some conservatives are peeved, because there has been criticism of Mitt Romney's "Storm Relief" (*cough*) events. The Red Cross prefers donations of money or blood for disasters like this, because processing donated items requires so much overhead. This legitimate point is seen as griping and sniping by the right. Okay, fine. What do you say, Right Wing World, about the fact that much of the event was staged, with the campaign itself buying a bunch of groceries at Walmart, and then letting event goers to "donate" those items? Harumph.

[Excerpt]

Romney Campaign Staged Donations At Storm Relief Event

. . .Just to be safe, campaign aides reportedly spent $5,000 at a local Wal-Mart on supplies that could be put on display. When supporters arrived at the rally-turned-relief event, they were treated to the 10-minute video about Romney’s life, which was first unveiled at the RNC. The event ended with supporters lined up to hand over supplies and meet Romney. But according to BuzzFeed, this donation process was also staged. . .

Read more at: ThinkProgress

Please Note: Chris Christie Said Nice Things About President Obama

This is not a DC Comics "Elseworlds" comic. It's not an alternate reality news post. New Jersey Governor (and irascible behemoth) Chris Christie has had nice things to say about President Barack Obama regarding Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone/General Bitch Sandy. It's an odd thing in today's hyper-partisan politics for a prominent opposition-party leader to give kudos to a sitting president. And it makes me wonder if Chris (P90-X and fit and trim by 2016!) Christie might not be sort of sitting out this race, in anticipation for the next one.


"Star Wars" LucasFilm Bought By Disney

You know what? I see LucasFilm being bought by Disney as a good thing. Yes, as a liberal, I'm often disturbed by mergers and acquisitions. The board game of Monopoly often seems quaint in a world where the news media is essentially owned by about five people. But in this case, I think it's good.

Image from source.
Let me explain. I'm a comic book/horror/sci-fi fan from my zygote days. I'm a DC Comics, Universal horror, Starlog, Fangoria, Dr. Demento geek from the late 70s-80s-90s-00s-10s. Warner Bros. got Mad Magazine and DC Comics a long, long time ago. And though they've had successes, they've been a bit weak lately. But when Disney acquired Marvel Comics, I think they pretty much ruled the geekiverse. Not that Marvel didn't already have a leg up, but the contrast of successes on the Marvel side to the DC side doesn't even compare.

Now, when we get to Star Wars, we have another rivalry. I'm a Star Trek guy. I loved Star Wars 1, 2 and 3 (retroactively IV, V and VI), but Trek was always where it was at for me. And you know why? Because the Trek universe had Star Trek, Star Trek The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager, Star Trek Enterprise, and eleven feature films. Star Wars had three movies, three inferior prequel movies, and a whole lot of fan wanking.

But Disney can probably fix that. Hey, they turned a really lame theme ride into a juggernaut called Pirates of the Caribbean. And they got The Muppets too, and turned that into another hit movie. I think you could do worse than to be acquired by Disney.

[Excerpt]

‘Star Wars’ + Disney = Mashup Gold

Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm and planned release for Star Wars Episode 7 has sent the Internet into hyperdrive.. . .

Read more at: Mashable


Halloween Horrors': Friday the 13th

Okay, one more Halloween Horrors repeat. It's not like I couldn't write a new post on the subject, I could recite it in my sleep. But it would be a paraphrase of what is below, so what would be the point? The fact is, the Friday the 13th movie series is the highest grossing horror franchise in history. And so, no Halloween movie suggestion list would be without it, even though the movie series kind of sucks. And I love every installment. I'm a horror movie masochist that way.

Original post from October 2011.


Photo from Wikipedia.org

Sprinkled throughout this blog is ample evidence that I am a horror movie nut. That's in addition to being a comic book/superhero nut, a 70s ABC-TV nut, and a far-left loony moonbat political nut!

With Halloween coming up, there will undoubtedly be a heavier focus on the horror movie nut side of me. Previously, I commented on how much I did not want to see Rob Zombie's re-imagined Halloween. I still don't, but I'm sure someday I'll get the DVD. Anyway, unlike the original Halloween, I'm not sure anyone would put Friday the 13th in the "classic" category. At least not good classics. The series is loved with a heavy dose of nostalgia, and not a lot else.

Sure, it's iconic, was amazingly influential, and made a whole lot of money for both Paramount and New Line studios. But the Friday the 13th string of movies was easily the hollowest, least plotted, acted and impactful storywise of the horror movie franchises (Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Hellraiser). Each Friday film pretty much follows a mindless killer, stalking stupid people.

There were variations along the way. And if you try to assign a real-world continuity to the films, you'll give yourself a headache that feels like a machete in your skull. Here are some short recaps (star ratings do not relate to the real movie world, only within the horror movie genre!):

Friday the 13th - The first film is by far the best. Jason does not appear (outside of a possible hallucination), but his storyline is set up. Notable for Betsy Palmer's iconic performance as Jason's mother. Sets the tone and atmosphere for the first four to seven movies. Genuinely scary for the uninitiated. Plus, Kevin Bacon. ***

Friday the 13th, Part 2 -Almost as good as the first, though very short (especially considering the recap at the beginning). Notable for Amy Steel's strong performance, the VW bug scene, and the guy in the wheelchair. Struggles to find a reason why Jason didn't drown, and why he was motivated to start his killing spree. Though the explanation is weak, it is used as the basis for the rest of the series. **

Friday the 13th, Part 3 - This (originally) 3D installment is one of the weakest, with very little story, and shots that were intended for the 3D audience. Most notable for hand-walking guy's death, and Jason's acquisition of his iconic hockey mask.  I initially thought this installment was terrible, but it's better in retrospect. *

Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter - Yeah, right! It's the best of sequels, and could have served as the finale, but there was more money to be made. Jason ventures out of Camp Crystal Lake, and seems to meet his end. Considering that this was 1984, I'm sure you know that it wasn't to be. Plus, Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover? ***

Friday the 13th (Part V): A New Beginning - Close to as good as part 4, reviled by fans for its plot twist, but very much in line with the tone of the first four movies. And Corey Feldman only wishes he grew up to look like John Shepherd!  Woof. **

Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives - Yeah, I guess he lives. Often considered one of the best sequels, it left me cold. It felt like a different studio picked up the reigns. This edition has a vastly different tone from the first five films, and the gory kills just aren't there.  But I guess the MPAA is to blame for that. *

Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood - They throw a psychic girl into the mix, and tack on a ridiculous ending, which puts Jason into the same scenario as the end of the last movie--making this one irrelevant. On the plus side the tone of the first five movies is back. And for you gay fans out there, this one is known as FriGAY the 13th for the high number of gay actors in the movie. *

Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - The tone is still there, as Jason stows away on a cruise ship bound for New York. Most of the action is on the boat, and there are some great scenes. But it feels like the series is running on fumes. And that ending. What the hell? *1/2

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday - Speaking of Hell, New Line Cinema took over the franchise from Paramount here, and it is very, very obvious this was made by others. Some of the feel is still there, and the film is undeniably fun. Adds a bunch of new story elements that wreck any (already strained) continuity from the first 8 films. Also ignores the end of Part VIII. Fun anyway. And it sets up the movie after the next one.**1/2

Jason X - Tenth installment puts Jason in space, with no context to the rest of the storyline. Continuity-wise has no home, and is akin to a comic book "elseworlds" or "imaginary story." Has its fun parts, but utterly skippable. But the cryogenic scene? Priceless. *1/2

Freddy Vs. Jason - I loved it. They took the monster from the best horror franchise (though it had run out of steam) and the worst (but still loved), and pitted them against each other. Truly, one of the best outings for this type of movie in a long, long time. That said, not the least bit scary. Plays like gory comedy. ***

Friday the 13th (Remake) - I was right that they couldn't really mess up the remake. It's a hoot. The twist--apparently--is that most of the characters you kinda want to see dead. And Jason is given a much heftier back-story. Unfortunately, they still don't explain what happened that made Mrs. Voorhees think he died when he didn't. Still, I'd put this in the top three with the first two installments. I don't know if there will be a part 2 (actually XIII), but I'm game. ***

Halloween Horrors: Rating the Horror Remakes

If this post seems familiar, it's because I ran it last year, and just this weekend ran a Blast from the Past featuring many of the movie trailers for these remakes (and their originals). You see can that here. And if you're interested in watching any of these on Halloween night, read on. . .

ORIGINAL POST:

I've finally over the last year or so, gotten to viewing a slew of the new remakes and reboots of classic horror films.  There have been quite a few, and some are better (or worse) than others. Here's a handy guide for you, to help you out with your holiday video viewing.  (*Star ratings are for within-the-genre only)

Greenlee Gazette Modern Horror Remakes Guide

The Thing (2011) - This one is almost brand new, having only been around for a couple of weeks. Apparently it isn't tearing up the box office records, but then neither did the 1982 installment. If you liked the original, I can't see why you wouldn't like this one. There is no big Kurt Russell-type star. But it's basically the 1982 version, spruced up, and with improved effects. It has genuine suspense, and in some ways is more satisfying than the original one was. And if you hate the cold? You'll have a little more to shiver about. The 2011 Thing is more gooey, and more gross, so of course I recommend this one. Be sure to watch through the end credits. Something happens there that could potentially make this one inappropriate for this list. But whatever. ***

Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007) - If there was ever a horror series that needed a change, it was Halloween. Though the original is an all-time classic, and there are a few enjoyable sequels sprinkled in there, the last three sequels run the gamut from bad to worse.  But Zombie's reboot of the franchise isn't promising. The movie itself is fine, and if it had no legend to live up to might be be rated higher.  It is tied to the previous series--interestingly enough--by having the star of parts 4 and 5 as one of the actors.  But you won't be scared by this one, and anything promising for a new series is trashed by the immediate Halloween II remake, which is bizarre and confusing, trying too hard to shoehorn in supernatural elements.  You could certainly do worse, but you can do so much better by renting or buying the original.  **  (Sequel: No *)

Friday the 13th (2009) - This reboot had no real legend to live up to.  The Friday the 13th series is an interesting mixture of nostalgia and "so bad, it's good" in the pantheon of horror, and literally couldn't be wrecked.  Also, Jason Voorhees' character and back-story were already muddled, and continuity between editions was so loose, re-starting the story is no big deal.  You might call it more of a ret-con than a reboot. Anyway, this is by far the highest quality, best produced edition of the series.  You've never seen such clarity and crispness in a Friday film, which were usually muddy and dark.  Acting is better than the original series, and the effects are fun.  This is really a remake of Part 2 of the original, which was one of the better original sequels, and it's not bad.  They fleshed out Voorhees' background, adding in a couple of odd elements, neither improving or detracting much from what we know. It has a few surprises, and a couple of jolts. But scary? Not so much.  More fun than later Friday sequels (except for maybe Freddy vs. Jason). Amazingly, this film still doesn't explain why Jason's mother thought he was dead, how he survived, or why he was there to witness his mother's death!  Any future sequel would play like an extension of the first series, rendering the reboot kind of moot.  ***
Image from Wikipedia

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) - This one had me the most worried, going in.  The original Nightmare is an undisputed classic. Sure it was low-budget, had some problematic acting, and is hopelessly mired in the 80s. But it was so original, mixing the dream world with reality, relateable nightmares and a terrifying villain in Freddy Krueger. Later sequels kind of neutered Freddy though, so a reboot, Wes Craven's New Nightmare was made several years ago.  New was not a success, even though it was critically praised, so this remake came to be, recasting and rebooting the entire franchise.  It's a mixed success. There's a new guy playing Freddy, and while he did a fine job, Robert Englund is a tough act to follow.

This isn't like the other horror franchises, with masked killers.  Englund is Freddy. That's the toughest aspect to get around.  I was surprised that they didn't focus on Nancy's house much at all, which was an iconic aspect of most of the original series.  Also, Freddy is made more creepy and disgusting than scary.  He was always a "child killer" but the implications of that were obscured before. Here, he's very definitely a pedophile and killer, which makes you more queasy than terrified.  All in all, a decent remake, but the original is still better. **

The Hills Have Eyes - You couldn't really damage the original in this Wes Craven flick.  Hills falls into the Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Wrong Turn sub-genre of films, with ordinary people finding themselves in desolate places ruled by murderous, cannibalistic mutants/hillbillies/inbreds.  It's nasty, it's bloody, and you will want to cover your eyes in parts.  If you like it messy and nasty, this belongs on your rental list. The sequel falls right in line, playing like an extension of the first. Not Shakespeare, but what horror is?  *** (Sequel **1/2)

April Fool's Day (2008) - The original is a personal favorite, though not very well known. By the same people as the Friday the 13th series, April Fool's Day was a novel twist, with better acting, humor and an interesting premise of a "murder mystery weekend" going horribly wrong (or did it?).  The "remake" is really in name only. There's some decent gore, and even the acting isn't too bad. But it's a terrible movie. No stars.

Image from Wikipedia
The Last House on the Left (2009) - Another remake of a Wes Craven film, and this one is better than the original.  The old one was gritty and dirty, and disturbing, feeling almost like 70s porn.  This one is more standard-issue modern horror, but more disturbing than your typical slice & dice.  The acting is terrific, with Tony Goldwyn (Ghost) and Garrett Dillahunt almost unrecognizable as the bad guy, Krug (apparently based on the same bully of Craven as Freddy Krueger).  The film--though it does have a few typical "oh, they wouldn't do that" horror movie moments--is quite engaging and suspenseful, and is only marred by an ending that seems kind of out of left field.  It's satisfying, gory and nasty, but not entirely believable. Overall though, the best of this list. ****

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - Unlike the other remakes in this list, I've never seen the original Tobe Hooper film.  I've caught a handful of the sequels though, and this one is better than any of those.  Some decisions by main characters are completely unbelievable, but that's a critique of most horror films, so it goes with the territory. This one plays like a better-produced installment of the never-ending original franchise.  **

There are others, of course.  George Romero's Dead series of zombie films has the unique distinction of having different folks produce remakes of each of the original three movies, and even sequels to them.  There's Prom Night, Psycho, Children of the Corn. . .but a good rule of thumb is this: get the original.  It's almost always better.

Blast from the Past: Cult Horror Movies

What is a cult horror movie? Well, it would usually be a movie that isn't a mainstream franchise, like Friday the 13th, or Halloween.They're a little more obscure, a little out of the mainstream. Sometimes they worm their way into the public consciousness, but usually? If you like these movies, you're a rare breed.



Halloween Horrors: Top 10 SCARY Horror Movies

Back in the early days of the blog, I posted a series of lists of my favorite Halloween films. Since we're there again, I'm reposting some of them. With a few updates and additions.



Image from Wikipedia.org

There are as many "top 10" horror movie lists as there are horror fans. And for the list to have any relevance, you have to quantify what you mean by "horror." There's the kind of movie that really scares you, and keeps you up at night. There's the kind that makes you laugh (yes, horror can be funny). And there's the kind that is just iconic--they might not scare you exactly, but leaving them off of your list is heresy.

So, because I'm unable to whittle all of those types down to 10, here is one that is just focussed on the really scary horror movies. Hopefully, you can use this for your Halloween night suggestion list.

Greenlee Gazette Top 10 Scary Horror Movies

1. The Exorcist (1973) - This is the granddaddy of all scary movies. Even better if you're Catholic (so I'm told), or have ever had a devil dream (which I have). Loses none of its punch, 35 years later, except for a few anachronisms that remind you: "Hey, this is a 70s movie," like lighting up cigarettes in a hospital! You know the movie has really got something when it can effect a completely non-religious cynic like me!

2. The Hitcher (1986) - Maybe not strictly "horror," but definitely scary. The first time I watched this, I was on the edge of my seat for the whole film. Rutger Hauer is one of the scariest villains ever on screen. Sometimes the tension is almost unbearable. Though C. Thomas Howell's 80s 'do might take you out of the moment. But, skip the sequel and the remake, seriously.

3. Dawn of the Dead (1978) - The greatest zombie movie of all time packs in the gore, shocks and scares. Possibly the best low-budget horror movie of all time. Even Leonard Maltin thinks so. Mall culture may be dying, but not quite like this! The sequel looks newer and snazzier, sure, but the original can't be beat.

4. The Omen (1976) - Creepy, scary and right up there with The Exorcist for religion-inspired nightmares. That little Damien kid is the archetype for all scary horror movie children. Yet another where you can skip the remake, but the first two sequels have their moments.

5. Halloween (1978) - The godfather of slasher flicks, this film will actually make you jump. Great suspense, good payoffs, and an incredible score. Jamie Lee Curtis is the best movie scream queen in cinema history. The first remake was okay, but not this good (and not scary). But if you like this one, Parts 2, 4 and 5 are pretty good. The rest are rubbish, as is the remake of part 2.

6. 28 Days Later (2003) - A modern update of zombie movies--sort of. It will scare you, and give you a vague discomfort hours later. The sequel? Nah.

7. Phantasm (1979) - This (extremely) low-budget film has more scares than some entire horror franchises. The Tall Man is one of the creepiest villains ever on film, short of Dick Cheney.

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Sure, you may have forgotten that the series started out scary, but the first film in the franchise delivers the scares, and an eerie nightmare vibe. First time viewers will have a hard time sorting out dreams from reality. Some of the sequels are good, but none are as scary.

9. Hostel (2005) - This is in the current trend of "horror porn," where the camera lingers on the cruelty and gore. But it is undeniably scary, and will freak you out. The sequel? Not so much.

10. Hellraiser (1987) - The series has been diluted by the countless sequels, but the original still gives me the creeps. Pinhead and his Cenobites will tear your soul apart! Again, sequelitis robs this one of its novelty and creepiness. So, avoid them if you're looking to get frightened.

Oh, My-y-y-y!!! George Takei Endorses Barack Obama!

George Takei--most famous for playing Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek TV and movie series--is something of an internet phenomenon. He has almost three million Facebook fans, and has an eye and ear for offbeat humor. He's also got quite the story to tell about his treatment during World War II. And he's backing Barack Obama, and encouraging others--particularly Asian Americans--to do so as well. So, on all counts, I endorse George Takei!

Why is Mitt Still Lying About Jeep Moving to China?




Honestly, the Mitt Romney for President campaign started with an ad that was a lie (which is still on his web site), and it seems to be wrapping up with another whopper. Why does he get away with this?

[Excerpt]

Misleading Romney Auto Ad Backfires With Media


Mitt Romney’s final attempt to swing Ohio polls in his direction is a bit too much for a number of political reporters, and is now facing an aggressive response from the Obama campaign. . .


Read more at: Talking Points Memo

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mitt Romney Transmogrifies Campaign Event Into "Storm Relief"

Image from ThinkProgress
When mother nature decides to muck things up, she doesn't care if there is a political season a'going on. For President Obama, this means the spotlight is right on him, and he's going to have to step up. He did, and arguably would have anyway. And so far, he's managed not to step on a political landmine. For Mitt Romney, it's probably a little more awkward, if not quite as dangerous. He can't really do anything, so he's trying to morph his campaign temporarily into a relief effort of sorts.

Of course, gathering canned goods and other items sounds good and feels good, but it isn't what disaster relief organizations want (what with having to process, inventory, clean, transport, etc.). So, it's a bit of a misstep, but difficult to criticize because of the sentiment. But it would seem that Mitt wasn't completely successful at dialing back the politics. And that's bad too.

Anyway, who knows if this will effect the election at all. And how weird is it that even in the face of a Frankenstorm hurricane in late October, neither side is much talking about global warming/climate change?

[Excerpt]

Romney Campaign Plays Convention Video At ‘Non-Political’ Storm Relief Event in Ohio
Despite promising to avoid political events while millions of residents in the northeast suffer through the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney made stop in the crucial swing state of Ohio on Tuesday morning and engaged in the very kind of electioneering his campaign pledged to forego. . .


Read more at: Think Progress

Halloween Horrors: Top 10 CLASSIC Horror Movies

It's time for another repost of my regular Halloween movie tips. Since we're almost out of time, I'm going to post a few, so here we go. . .


Photo from Wikipedia.org

All right, I've covered my favorite scary horror movies, my top funny horror movies, even the bad horror movies., and now it is time for a list of all-time classics. These movies may no longer scare as much as they once did, but they must not be missed, if you are a true horror fan. If you haven't seen any of the movies in this group, do yourself a favor, and add them to your Halloween viewing list! It's a pop-culture imperative!

Greenlee Gazette Top 10 CLASSIC Horror Movies


1. Psycho (1960) - Already reviewed here, this movie still ranks as the all-time classic. It's very nearly perfect. It may not have the unrelenting gore of Hostel, or the outright laughs of Shaun of the Dead, but this movie still contains enough humor and horror to qualify for all three of my lists. A must see, but avoid the remake.

2. Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Another of the best 60s horror films. Very high-brow, and stylishly shot. Ruth Gordon is one little old lady you do not want living next door.

3. Jaws (1975) - Not strictly a horror film, but has more scares than some whole lists of movies. It might not work for Halloween, but wait a few weeks, and then pop this one in for a refresher on what a good scary time you can have any time of year. The sequels get progressively worse, so stick to this one, and maybe Jaws 2.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1969) - In a slightly different league from the first three on this list, this low-budget, black and white film still deserves a spot on the list. George Romero squeezed every last cent out of his budget, and delivered a film that can still scare (and disgust) you, almost 40 years later. This film is in the public domain, so watch out for bad prints. Also avoid the colorized version, and the remake. The sequels though, are pretty good, particularly the original Dawn of the Dead. The ending of this film might tick you off though.

5. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - The first movie set the tone, but the sequel hits it out of the park. Outstanding, nearly flawless horror film. Trust me, if you haven't seen it, it is a must. And if it weren't for this film, there might never have been a Young Frankenstein!

6. Alien (1979) - You might have thought it was just a sci-fi film, but don't be fooled. This is top-shelf horror, it's just that the haunted house is a space ship! Even better that it sets up one of the best sequels in history, Aliens.

7. Suspiria (1977) - Creepy, and moody and very, very foreign in tone, this movie will wig you out. A little astray from the other movies in this list, and not for all tastes, but still a classic.

8. Carrie (1976) - Possibly the best strictly horror adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Piper Laurie is an anti-religionist's worst nightmare. Sissy Spacek is probably the most sympathetic psychopath ever. Also started the "surprise ending" motif for horror movies for years to come.

9. The Last House on the Left (1972) - Another low-budget cheapie that delivers a wallop. Seriously, you will have a pillow in front of your face during some parts. Wes Craven is the master. The remake is effective, but can't match the gritty intensity.

(1986) - Yes, I know, a sequel. But part one is in my "scary" list, and this one is so good, I still consider it a classic. Eerie, moody, and Fred Krueger isn't quite an anti-hero yet. Plus, once again, Wes Craven is at the helm.

Previously:

Echo Chamber: Strange Similarity in 4 Anti-gay Political Ads

Improbably, there are four different states with marriage equality (or the banning of same) on the ballot. You'd think they'd be out of states by now, right? And good grief, what drives these people to give a flying fig about my marriage? When do I get to vote on your rights, anyway?

But, improbably again, it is somehow "all about the children." There is no logical link from same-sex marriage to harming children, but there you go. Apparently, informing children of the existence of married gay couples is the end of the world. Or something.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Blows Apartment Building's Face Off

She huffed, and she puffed, and. . .

Joss Whedon: Vote for Romney, Vote for Zombie Apocalypse!

Image found at BoyCulture.com
It would be fair to call me a Whedonite. I'm Whedonesque. I'm ridiculously Whedon-affected. I'm a Joss Whedon completist--when it comes to video recordings at least--and would follow him almost anywhere. Who is Joss Whedon you ask? Only the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods and. . .let's see, what else? Oh yeah, Marvel's The Avengers.

Joss wants you to vote for Mitt Romney. If you want a zombie apocalypse, that is. . .



Found at: Boy Culture

Halloween Horrors: Greenlee Gazette's Top 10 FUNNY Horror Movies

Every October, I run a series of Top 10 lists of different types of horror movies for Halloween for the people who likely missed them in years past. So, if you're looking for some Halloween horror, but you'd like it tempered with a bit of humor, here are ten options for your movie night!

Shuan of the Dead wins funniest horror movie of all time.
Image from DraftHouse.com


Yes, horror can make you scream and laugh. Some of these films are straight-ahead comedies with horror thrown in. Some are horror with comedy thrown in. And some may be unintentionally funny. But if you like your scary movies cut with a little bit of humor, these are the films for you.

Greenlee Gazette Top 10 Funny Horror Movies

1. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - This movie is a horror spoof, but it doesn't spare the shocks, or the gross-outs. It's probably the best horror spoof ever made (I don't count the fantastic Young Frankenstein, which is more spoof than horror). It helps if you like British humour.

2. Fright Night (1986) - This film isn't quite a spoof, but it is surely an homage to the old "chiller theater" TV programs of years gone by. Excellent performances, lots of laughs, and a shock or two. It does suffer a bit for its obvious 80s fashions, though.

3. Army of Darkness (1992) - The third of the Evil Dead series was the most mainstream, and more straight-ahead comedy. I recommend getting Evil Dead 2 (which is sort of a higher-budget remake of part 1) in tandem with this one. A classic.

4. Final Destination 2 (2003) - This horror film isn't exactly a comedy. But try not to laugh (maybe nervously) at the inventive and gory kills in this one. Better than parts 1 or 3 by a long shot. And some genuine thrills.

5. Critters (1986) - Riding the Gremlins and Ghoulies wave of the 80s, this New Line Cinema (A Nightmare on Elm Street) offering offers thrills and laughs--most intentional. Actually manages to be cute and scary.

6. Psycho II (1983) - The sequel to the all time classic is not the fright-fest it could have been. Tony Perkins is clearly playing it for laughs. And he gets them. Avoid any further sequels and remakes.

7. April Fool's Day (1986) - One of my all time favorites. Every holiday got its horror movie in the 80s, and this one has a novel twist. Gamely played by actors a notch above the typical horror flick. I recently re-watched this one, and it still holds up. I haven't yet seen the remake, though I've heard nothing good about it, so look for the date on the box.

8. The Car (1978) - James Brolin fighting a car possessed by the devil. This one could have made my "BAD" horror list, but it does have some shocks. But, just try not to laugh when The Car kills the tuba player. . .

9. Freddy vs. Jason (2003) - The terror is long drained out of both of these series, so the kills are mostly for laughs. A good time anyway. But who really won?

10. The Blob (1986) - I've blogged about this one before, and it is one of my favorites. Funny mostly for Kevin Dillon's mullet, and the general 80s vibe. Still has a few shocks and is most enjoyable.

PREVIOUSLY:
Halloween Horrors: Psycho
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 FUNNY Horror Movies
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 SCARY Horror Movies
Halloween Horrors: Overlooked Horror Films
Halloween Horrors: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Movies I Can't Wait to See: Friday the 13th
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 BAD Horror Movies
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 CLASSIC Horror Movies




Blast from the Past: Battle of the Horror Movie Remakes!

Just about every successful horror movie begets sequels, imitators and if enough time goes by, remakes. This isn't unusual, really. It's been going on since the original monster movies were sequelized, teamed up, reimagined and copied. These days, a horror "reboot" is considered a big event among horror fans. More often than not, the remake displeases the hardcore fans, while gaining a few new ones. By the time they remake the remakes of these movies, fans of the current remake will be displeased too! Anyway, here they are, the trailers for the original "classic," and its (somewhat) modern day counterpart.


Friday the 13th, 1980 & 2009



Halloween, 1978 & 2007



A Nightmare on Elm Streeet, 1984 & 2010



The Last House on the Left, 1972 & 2009


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974 & 2003



The Thing, 1978 & 2011



My Bloody Valentine, 1981 & 2010




And that's probably as many as I can post without choking everyone's web browser. Other famous examples include Psycho, I Spit on Your Grave, The Amityville Horror, The Fly (which is old enough for yet another reboot), Dawn of the Dead (along with most of the Dead series), The Crazies, Piranha, Prom Night, April Fool's Day, The Omen, The Fog, The Hills Have Eyes, The Hitcher and many, many others. In all cases, the original is worth viewing. And in most cases--excepting April Fool's Day, The Fog, Halloween II, Prom Night and The Fog--the remake is worth a view too. Your mileage may vary, but avoid the ones I just listed, just. . .trust me.

Happy Monday and Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Happens In Vegas: Romney Photoshops Henderson Crowd



Oh, my word. I understand why politicians might want to inflate their momentum. You know, make it seem like there is more wind in their sails than there really is. Sometimes these things are more about perception than reality. For instance, in the first debate, President Obama did badly. But the legend grew that Mitt Romney did fantastically, unbelievably, amazingly WELL!!! Not true. The whole affair was a stultifying, sleep-inducing, unenjoyable slog. But the legend will live on, regardless of what happens on November 6.

Mitt Romney's Henderson rally. If the lower image
looks a little odd, your eyes are not deceiving you.
Image from source, The National Memo.

But if your campaign is going to fudge the facts. . .tart up history in a frilly frock if you will. . .do it right! This attempt at crowd inflation is a sad, sorry affair. It should never have been allowed to see the light of day. Then again, the Romney campaign has seen fit to ignore fact checkers, and continue campaigning with known, provable falsehoods, so why not?  If Toto pulled back the curtain, and Romney was really Professor Marvel, they'd move along as though it never happened. And their supporters hate the President enough to go along with it.

See the key to the Photoshop Fun at: The National Memo




Friday, October 26, 2012

Julie Brown as Victoria Jackson: Don't Vote for Obama!

It must be difficult to parody a person who is already a self-parody. But leave it to Julie Brown--who has actually employed Victoria Jackson in the past on her show, Strip Mall--to send up what we can only hope is a send up itself. If you've never seen one of Vicky's real political songs, trust me that it's not worth looking up. It will eat your brain. . .

What Happens in Vegas: Sen. Harry Reid OK After Multi-Car Wreck

Image from 8NewsNow


Glad to hear the Senator is okay. Sounds like it could have been much worse. Hang in there, Harry!

[Excerpt]

Sen. Reid in Good Condition Following Crash

. . .Initial reports had Reid being taken to the hospital by members of his security detail. The apparent chain-reaction crash happened about 1 p.m. north of Sahara Avenue and involved six cars, including two Las Vegas police vehicles, two civilian vehicle and two Capitol Police vehicles. . .

Read more at: 8NewsNow

Halloween Horrors: Greenlee Gazette's Guide to Halloween (Movie Franchise)

With Halloween (the holiday) fast approaching, I figure it's time to bust out my old movie reviews, and possibly write up some new ones. I'll start with my viewer's guide to Halloween (the movie franchise!).


Here's my take on the Halloween movie franchise. Keep in mind, the ratings are genre-specific, and don't necessarily apply to other movies in general.
Image from Wikipedia

Halloween (1978) - John Carpenter struck gold with the original in the series. He created the faceless killing machine (Michael Myers), the "you're dead if you have sex/drink/party/do drugs" horror cliche. And Carpenter's score for the film is amazingly creepy. Easily the best in the series, in fact the best of the genre. And Jamie Lee Curtis was fantastic, as was Donald Pleasence. ****

Halloween II (1981) - Picks up immediately after part one, and holds very close to the tone and the quality. More gore, more violence and more inventive kills are a consequence of the other (copycat) slasher pix being made at the time, and cause many to dislike this entry. Curtis and Pleasence still are in top form, and Michael Myers seems to utterly meet his end. In fact, unless you're fanwanking, you can't really explain his later resurrection. Also notable for the fantastic soundtrack, an improvement on the original. Great to have on the stereo to creep out the trick-or-treaters. ***

Image from Wikipedia
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) - The creators decided to drop the storyline, and try a different sort of Halloween movie, which was pretty good, but disappointed most fans. It had nothing to do with the previous films, other than the producers, and similar eerie music. Had it been successful, there were supposed to be other unrelated, Halloween-themed movies in the series. The film had one of the coolest logos in the whole series, as seen in the image on the right. **

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) - They went back to the original story (and dropped the roman numerals), which continued the storyline of Michael Myers, and ignored the ending of the second movie, where Michael Myers clearly died. The great thing about Halloween 4 was that the characters reacted like normal people--trying to get the heck out of dodge--and died anyway. Very close to the tone of the first two, and a great performance by Pleasence. ***

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) - OK, but weaker than the previous films. Continues the storyline from part 4, but adds a psychic angle, shifting the tone of the series. **

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) Dropped the number, and tried to add new elements that weren't in the previous films (Michael was a Druid?). The series was running out of steam. *

Halloween: H20 (1989) - 20 years into the franchise, this entry tried to reinvigorate the storyline. Donald Pleasence had died, but Jamie Lee Curtis was back, and much of parts 4, 5 and 6 were ignored. They even brought in Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee Curtis' real mother, and star of Psycho). H20 was an improvement, but the concept was really running on fumes. **

Dreadful. From Wikipedia.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002) - The less said about part 8, the better. Updates the series for the internet era. Not an improvement. Don't bother. *

Halloween (2007) - This film was ultimately unnecessary, as the original was impossible to top. The attempt to reboot the series, and bring it into the 21st century isn't a total misfire, but is kind of pointless. As far as remakes go, it isn't bad.  Malcolm McDowell does an okay job as Loomis, but nobody can replace Jamie Lee Curtis.  **

Halloween II (2009) - Terrible. That is all. Zero Stars

So, to sum up, if you want to rent any of the films in this series, go for the original part 1, probably part 2, and if that isn't enough for you, part 4 and the first remake. Beware 6, 7 and 8 as well as the second remake, and only rent 3 for the curiosity factor. And there you have it. Happy Halloween!

OMG! Obama Birth Video by Obama's Father IN KENYA!!!


Oh the humanity hilarity! The birthers have been going on so long about forgeries and fakes that "prove" President Barack Hussein Obama wasn't born in Kenya, they've gone and created a video that "proves" he was!

Or at least, that's what I assume happened. It is possible, I suppose, that this was produced by someone on Obama's side, to send the birthers right over the edge. It's "real" enough to convince a conspiracy theorist, but fake enough to spot if you are unindoctrinated. The flaws in the video--gleaned from user comments, personal research and some good old fashioned reason, include (but are not limited to):
  • The Kenyan flag shown in the video wasn't in use when Obama was born.
  • The picture of Mrs. Obama is from a 1964 passport.
  • Mrs. Obama's maiden name is used, and is written in marker, something that wasn't in use in 1961.
  • The "newborn" Obama is enormous, and his "umbilical cord" seems to be held in place by one of the people in the video.
    The scratches and dust in the video match special effects filters found in video editing software.
  • The placement of the photograph, chart, flag and calendar are very conspicuous, as though they were placed there to "prove" the "film" is real.
  • The mother doesn't look like Mrs. Obama.
There is more to be found surely. But isn't that enough? Birther fraud and fail. And doesn't it make you wonder if this is what Donald Trump was really going to release?

Video and much commentary found at: ObamaConspiracy.org

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rachel Maddow Discusses the Debates with David Letterman

Can't help it, love Dave, love Rachel. Here you go!



Could An Electoral Tie Give Us Romney/Biden?

In the clip below, Rachel Maddow--always very instructive as well as entertaining--outlines a horrifying possible outcome of the Nov. 6 election: a tie. What happens in a tie? Who decides the President? Who decides the Vice President? And how could that all lead to a Mitt Romney/Joe Biden White House? Horrors!


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Born to be a Liar (Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

Boy, you can't turn around without another Rocky Mountain Mike (of The Stephanie Miller Show) song parody! More times than not, they're ripping on Mitt Romney, which is fine with me. This one comes from Patrick Hernandez's Born to Be Alive!

And since I can't keep up with Mike, here's one I missed from yesterday, this one to the tune of The Reflections' (Just Like) Romeo and Juliet.
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chris Kluwe's Pro-Marriage Equality Radio Ad

Image from Minn Post
I've never been a football fan, but this guy is great, and so is his message.

Gloria Allred Uncovers Romney Scandal?

Image from source, Gawker
I don't know what it says about our politics that the big story of the day was the dueling "October Surprises" of  professional douche nozzle Donald Trump and professional ambulance chaser Gloria Allred. It would seem that Allred's surprise had a little more meat on the bone than did Trump's, and a lot more to do with the election. But I don't think this one is going to take off.

On a side note, before you believe anyone who casts this as right vs. left, "both sides do it," please do keep this in mind: Gloria Allred has no constituency and no particular gravitas on the left. Donald Trump is a Conservative Superstar.

[Excerpt]

Gloria Allred’s ‘October Surprise’: Mitt Romney Lied Under Oath to Help Staples Founder Keep Money From Wife in Divorce?]

RadarOnline broke the news yesterday that attention-happy attorney Gloria Allred was on her way to Boston for a court hearing aimed at unsealing sworn testimony given by Romney that could potentially harm his campaign. . .

Read more at: Gawker

Donald Trump's HUGE Announcement Flops

Image found at KultureKritic
Donald Trump would get no attention from me, were it not for the fact that his fumbles and foibles cast a shadow on the Republican Party, and afford me a bit of schadenfreude. The man is nothing short of a buffoon, but he enjoys a place in the pantheon of "Conservative Superstars." That illustrious group includes nobodies like Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurtzelbacher, pundits like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, and quasi-politicos like Sarah Palin. None of these people is worthy of adulation, but they get it anyway.

The one thing the Conservative Superstars live for is to get their name in the news cycle. Palin just did it, by using the racist term "shuck and jive" when referring to President Obama. Coulter did it by calling him a "retard." But that's small potatoes to Trump. Trump makes news. Trump announces in advance that he's going to make an announcement! Trump stirs up anticipation in Right Wing World, getting them to salivate, and twitch with anticipation! When Trump postponed his announcement for 15 minutes from the earlier noon, I thought Right Wing World would just lose it!

Then, when they were right on the edge--almost there, you might say--Trump dumped a buzzkill. A lame ass, barely veiled racist challenge to President Obama. No secret. No scandal. A ridiculous call for school records. Pfffft! This pompous windbag has finally deflated.

[Excerpt]

Donald Trump’s ‘Major’ News Now Twitter Laughingstock

Donald Trump today pledged $5 million to a charity of President Obama’s choice, provided the president makes public his college applications and transcripts and releases his passport history, a far cry from the October-surprise bombshell Trump had promised. . .

Read more at: ABC News

In Case You Missed It: Daily Show's "Bullshit Mountain I: The Phantom Menace"

Jon Stewart's takedowns of FOX "News" are always a sight to behold. Monday night's installment was no different. Sorry that I'm a bit delayed getting to it. If you didn't watch it, do so now!

Gay Republican Groups Endorse Romney?

In all of my years blogging (and long before), I've never sussed out what makes gay Republicans tick. I mean, I was one in my youth, nominally. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George H. W. Bush in 1988. And even though I voted mostly Democrat after the tragically anti-gay 1992 Republican National Convention, I don't think I changed my party affiliation until maybe 2004? But, I was never a died-in-the-wool conservative and/or Republican. I was a moderate, and identified as R only because my family always did.

But that '92 convention, with the always disgusting Pat Buchanan turned me to the left. And the right kept pushing me there. Or rather, the Republicans kept going so far to the right, that my moderate positions are now--by comparison--left wing. As a gay man, I of course identify much more strongly with progressive ideals, liberal politics. Conservatives always seem like they're trying to "out-mean" each other. While the "far left" (really just "the left") can rub me the wrong way with hyper-sensitivity, political correctness, green-this and that, and all of the stereotypes, I'd much rather cast my lot with them than with a party that in its platform actively wishes to discriminate against me. 

Mitt's "support" for gays goes way back. Image
from New Now Next.

So, what are we to make of conservative gay groups? Their very existence hinges upon two things, a) being gay and b) conservatism. The Log Cabin Republicans are a gay first, conservative second kind of group for the most part. GOProud--though it has the gayer sounding name--is more a big C conservative, tiny g gay group. Both of them have endorsed Mitt Romney. I don't understand why. At all. At all. At all. And I was going to write more than just this introduction telling you why. But you know what? Part of being a good blogger is knowing when there are better bloggers, and here is what John Aravosis of AmericaBlog (one of my inspirations to start blogging) with what amounts to my take on this odd phenomenon, but with much better writing.

[Excerpt]

Gay GOP group: Vote for Romney, he hates you

What a bizarre endorsement.  The lead gay Republican group, Log Cabin Republicans, told gay voters today that they should vote for Mitt Romney, unless they care about their civil rights, then they shouldn’t.  It was a self-contained flip-flop worthy of Mitt Romney himself. . .

Read more at: AmericaBlog



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meanwhile, on Facebook: Idiot Romney Voter!

It needs to be a named law: "If you're trying to insult a group of people (especially online), you will make a foolish mistake that proves that you are the idiot." It may be a corollary to Murphy's Law, but it needs its own name. Poe's Law is taken. So is Rule 34. Godwin's Law too. Dare I make the idiot rule "Greenlee's Law?" Nah, I'm sure someone has already taken it, and that's kind of like being Lou Gehrig, Mr. Parkinson or Mr. Alzheimer. Anyway, the idiot rule applies here (and yes, I initially misspelled "idiot" in the headline!).


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