Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back in the saddle

I've been sick as a dog (whatever that means, but my dog is currently not feeling well, so I guess the phrase applies) and have been M.I.A. at work and on blog for almost a week now. I'm back to feeling close to normal again, thank goodness. So long, stomach virus!

So Lionsgate distribution can go f^c# themselves because they're dumping Midnight Meat Train into 100 theatres nationwide and the closest theatre is some craphole in Lynchburg. I'm furious, and so are numerous horror freaks who are busily bitching away on imdb. I'm right there with them, I don't understand how Lionsgate could really lose by opening a film like this one wide. I'm so angry, and I'm not driving to Lynchburg.

As some of my fellow bloggers have already announced, David Byrne will be visiting Newport News! He's hitting the Ferguson Center on September 18th. If you're in the area, be sure to go cause Byrne puts on a great show. I caught him in D.C. on his "Look Into The Eyeball" tour and it was excellent. Tickets for the show at the Ferguson Center go on sale Aug 4. John Tesh is also visiting the Ferguson Center, but I would recommend drinking the special Jonestown Kool-Aid before even considering that concert.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No fair

I'm so peeved. Really, really peeved.

Why in frickin' frack do crapfests like Strange Wilderness (an impressive 00% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) , The Love Guru, Zohan, etc, open in wide release and play on thousands of screens while deserving films flounder in obscurity?

Yes, it's an age-old question for film buffs like myself, but I'm really getting irritated. The movie I have been most excited about this year (nope, sorry, it's actually not The Dark Knight) is Ryuhei Kitamura's adaptation of Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train. I saw the preview at a theatre in January. I got excited in January, despite the fact that the release date wasn't until May. Then some kind of bull went down at Lionsgate and they have now pushed the release date back to August 1st. Rumour is that the film will only show on about 100 screens and will be released on DVD shortly thereafter.

Now, I understand why films like The Mongol and The Fall aren't given a wide release. However, a film like Midnight Meat Train as well most horror movies have a modest budget and are able to recoup expenses and make some money at theatres without having to reap blockbuster profits. Gore hounds like myself are eager to plunk down $$$ for our blood fix. This one is a puzzler. The preview makes the film look slick and moody and creepy, it doesn't bear the appearance of direct-to-video junk. Early reviews have been positive. Barker fans are chomping at the bit and writing letters to Lionsgate pleading for a wider release. Ryuhei Kitamura's reputation has always been good and his films have a following well outside of his native Japan. I'm so baffled!

Plus, Midnight Meat Train may very well be my favorite movie title of all time. So let's all cross our fingers...August 1st...please...

New look

First and foremost, Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

Too bad I'm stuck at work today. It's very slow and boring, so I decided to revamp my blog for a little bit. I'm stuck in an Art Nouveau state of mind lately, so I'll steal from my great love Aubrey Beardsley and dedicate this to him, long dead and not forgotten.

Someday I'll do some nice Photoshopping and really spiff up this cruddy blog. Until then, I'll stick with this for a little bit.

This week has been very crazy. Must be the moon. I hacked off all of my hair, finally going for that Speed Racer Trixie 'do that I'd been considering. I'm very pleased with the results, it's rather Louise Brooks. I'm sending prayers to my mom and dad who are struggling with some intense family drama again. My heart goes out to them. My surrealism class is over and I'm once again free to watch whichever movies I choose! Hurrah! Hellboy 2, here I come!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Totally awesome

Yesterday while I was eating lunch, I missed a ticket order phone call. When I miss the phone, the call rings through to the voice mail system and customers are encouraged to leave their name and number so that I can call them back to get their order. A man left his name and phone number, so I called. He answered the phone with the following greeting:

"Hello! Totally awesome super sweet stuff!"

I was a bit taken aback, but I continued with business and got his order. Before he got off the phone, I asked him if indeed his business is called "Totally Awesome Super Sweet Stuff" or if that's just the way he likes to answer the phone. I'm delighted to report that it's the former and they specialize in novelty items, particularly rubber duckies! Visit the website at http://www.tasss.com/! Their top seller appears to be a Jesus action figure.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I got my husband two tickets to see Weird Al Yankovic in Richmond last Tuesday. I'm not really a huge fan but I've always enjoyed his spoofs. Matt was so excited and we kept hearing about what a great show Weird Al delivers. I'm delighted to report that there were no disappointments last Tuesday.

The event was at The National, a renovated old theatre that recently opened in its new incarnation as a rock venue. It has the same owners as The NorVa in Norfolk, a venue I frequent pretty often that boasts really nice acoustics. The National may not have the exemplary acoustics, but the facade inside around the stage is gorgeous, boasting carved Greek-inspired detailing. It's also easily accessible off of the interstate.

Weird Al looks bizarre. I think he's had a lot of "work" done. He looks very different that he did twenty years ago, but I don't think it's just a product of age. His nose is very slender and the area around his eyes has a strange look. It was distracting to me at first, but I got used to it after a few songs.

It was a "greatest hits" show, and Weird pulled out all the stops. It was a multimedia event with a ton of video interludes featuring skits and clips from tv shows. There were costume changes for almost every song. He ran the gamut from "Eat It" to "Amish Paradise" to his latest hit, "White & Nerdy". He even played "The Saga Continues", his ode to Star Wars by way of Don McLean's "American Pie" backed by a group of dancing storm troopers. I suppose it was all one could hope for in a Weird Al performance.

The audience was populated with nerds. Nerd families, nerd children, nerd rockers, nerd oldies, nerds like Matt and nerds like myself. It was nice not to be in a sea of hipsters like at the Rilo Kiley show where I saw people wearing those damned skinny jeans than I saw in freakin' Brooklyn, NY. There were no pretensions at the Weird Al show, just good spirits and good humor.

Despite the years and all the changes in pop culture and the media, Weird Al has really kept on top of the game.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New obsession

My new obsession is the show Carnivale. I'm a few years behind on this one, but I'm happy I finally discovered it. It's consuming my whole life, and happily so!

Also, tonight is the Weird Al show in Richmond. Happy early birthday to Matt!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


This is my art. It's been slow today at work. At lunch I had a cup of rice pudding and it tasted nasty. After playing with it for a while, I made art with it outside. I think I'll start a revolution of pudding art.
Cleaning it up wasn't as much fun as making the art.

The Surreal Life

This class is consuming my life. All I do is watch movies, but now it's all very specific to a very different subgenre. My brain is melting, my brain is melting!

Tonight is class #2 out of 4, so I'm halfway there. I still have a long way to go. I'm mapping out my last two classes. The film that I keep coming back to over and over again is Terry Gilliam's Tideland. I know my friends at Punchbuggy Blues and ekroblog had quite the experience getting to see a screening of Tideland with Gilliam present (you lucky #!$^$#*&$!!!!!, I'm so jealous!). Critical reactions to Tideland were mixed, to say the very least. It seems that reviews were either glowing or completely damning. Visit Rotten Tomatoes where it received a 28% rating and reviews that range from "horrendous and terrible" to "I hated this film" to "drearily awful".

I loved it. Loved it.

Now, upon first viewing I was left scratching my head and wondering if I even liked it at all. Now over a year later and after watching it a second time, I love it. It's the kind of film that could be looked kindly upon as a cult classic in a decade or so, but it's never going to be widely loved. It's rated R for "bizarre and disturbing content, including drug use, sexuality, and gruesome situations - all involving a child, and for some language." There's also all kinds of weirdness involving taxidermy and a mentally challenged man in an old scuba diving uniform. It's brilliant. The plot goes something like this:
Jeliza-Rose is about 10 years old and her parents are junkies. When mom O.D.'s in bed, she and dad flee to his childhood home on the prairie. Dad promptly O.D.'s in a chair. Jeliza-Rose is left to her own devices in a dilapidated house with no one but her Barbie doll heads to talk to. Then she meets her neighbors, Dell and Dickens. Dell wears all black, has one good eye and excels at the art of taxidermy. Dell's brother Dickens is mentally challenged and he and Jeliza-Rose become fast friends.

It's a deeply strange and unsettling film. It's challenging and funny and unique, and it's one of Gilliam's finest films. After my friend had told me about the film screening, I immediately ordered the novel by Mitch Cullen. After having read the book prior to seeing Gilliam's version, I didn't find the film too shocking or insane. In fact, it's a rather faithful and loving adaptation that actually tones down some of the more sexual aspects of the novel.

I'm really anxious to see the film again. It's stuck in my head and burned into my skull. Perhaps I love movies that generate such strong and powerful reactions. However, if you rent the DVD then skip Gilliam's introduction, it's really douchey. Oh, and if you are delicate in constitution and don't like seeing children in uncomfortable situations or have a weak stomach, then Tideland isn't for you. Heeeheheeeee!