Archive for March, 2008

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Appleseed Qualify 2008 1

March 30, 2008

The RWVA’s Appleseed Project is coming to Wisconsin again – and I’m not ready!  I don’t know whether I will be by the time it happens in May, but I’m going to give it the old College try.

So – I get in the car and go to the closest high-power range in my area, buy an annual range pass, and get my butt shooting.  The good news is I suck a little less this year…

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I zeroed the rifle as best I could last year before the snow fell, and that really made a difference (last year at Appleseed I was shooting other people’s targets!) Not to get too boast-y though; this was at 25 yards.  The funny (strange) thing though was what happened to my magazines.  I’m shooting a M1A, and I was having misfeeds all day, to the extent that I think the rifle busted the plate inside the magazine!  I’m sure that’s not right – but I’ll have to do further research on it before I can counter what’s going on.  Part of the preperations for next weekend is my filling some other mags with ammo and letting them sit for the week loaded – maybe that will help.  Gotta reread the Rifleman manual again too.

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Review – Living Doll

March 30, 2008

living-doll.jpgAll filmmakers thinks about the question – “what does it take to make an edgy film?”  And subject matter seems to be the easiest (read “cheapest”) way to do this.  Todd Solontz (Happiness), I believe, was the first to attempt to make a child molester sympathetic, and that was seen as edgy in the day (Me, I just think it’s sick).  Before that though, there were sporadic attempts to make necrophilia sympathetic.  Yes, really.

 Jorg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik had too much “German documentary” feel about it to enjoy (if “enjoy” can be a term to refer to these films).  Would there ever be, I wondered, a good film dealing with the problems of the necrophiliac?  Apparently the answer is no, because I just finished with the eye wash after watching Living Doll.

The short synopsis: It’s Christmastime in the Big Apple. Nebbish coroner’s assistant/med school student Howard (Mark Jax, the poor man’s John Cusack) is in love with Christine (Katie Orgill) who sells flowers in the building he works in.  She doesn’t know he exists, though, so the love is unrequited.  One lucky(?) night, Christine ends up in the morgue, where Howard gets a Great Idea…instead of throwing away a perfectly good dead white woman like that, bring her home and develop a relationship with her!  We then get a good dose of decent makeup FX, scenes of outwitting the landlady (Eartha Kitt, slumming), scenes of dealing with the troublesome maggot and rat problems besieging our happy couple…you get the picture.

I blame this atrocity mostly on one of the co-directors, George Dugdale (Peter Litten being the other).  He helped write the screenplay, along with Mark Ezra. It was produced in the UK, where I gather one can get money to do these sort of films more easily, and was produced by Dick Randall, a noted exploitation producer (and his last film).  The movie is too sick to be considered “so bad it’s good”, too slickly produced to be a real Grindhouse film, too relationship-oriented to be a horror film (they even put in a revenge plot to have a little bit more conflict in the film). Just a disaster all round.

The only actor that comes off looking good in this film is Gary Martin (playing it slightly gay: in one scene he can be seen wearing a “Little Shop of Horrors” play tour jacket).  The most thankless job in this movie was Katie Orgill’s role of Christine.  Little more than a spectacular nude body (that they show off a lot – you want more than that, go rent the movie, you sick fuck) and a vehicle for the progressively more decayed makeup, I can picture her being so pissed at her underuse that the had to get another actor (Nicola Turner) to finish the role.  I do have to give these guys props for actually shooting some New York footage to make it seem like it’s set in New York, rather than going the Slime City route and not showing New York at all.

Funniest part of the movie: There’s a music cue used in it that was also used in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil!  I laughed hard at that, but other than that, this shitty film has nothing.

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Wimps!

March 27, 2008

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Went to South Park Studios to see if they would finally show Mohammad in the episode “Cartoon Wars Pt. 2” and this is what I saw…so much for the brave stand.

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Review – Punishment Park

March 27, 2008

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I was all set for a night of good old-fashioned anti-government movie watching – Punishment Park was being shown on the Sundance Channel the other night.  With a smile on my face and a fresh tinfoil hat on I sat down to watch…one crappy movie.
The short synopsis: A television team back in the 70s informs us in voiceover that the US, rather than imprisoning political dissidents, is letting them try for freedom from all charges if they can survive in the California desert long enough to reach an American flag about fifty miles away from their release point, while also managing not to get caught by a crew of cops and soldiers.

Sounds pretty hard to screw up the premise, right?  The problem is, the director, Peter Watkins, spends way too much time on why the dissidents are being arraigned, and not enough on their struggle to both elude the cops and get to the flag.
The docu-drama style of the film worked well for the most part, except for some glaring errors.  Watkins made sure to ground his film in a particular time period, which probably seemed to him at the time to be a good idea.  So he got that shot of a portrait of Nixon, not thinking that Nixon, perhaps, wouldn’t be around for him to kick around a couple years later. He has some of the actors playing dissidents mention Vietnam, too.  Not the way to make your film evergreen…(I’ll bet the director of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes regrets having all the dogs & cats dying of a mysterious disease in his movie…in 1983).
A couple of embarrassing moments in the film as well – a sheriff who seems to be the head of the posse to hunt down the dissidents seems to be holding a class(!) for his students in how to use weapons. Perhaps this is a clue the film was written by a Brit –  I quote the sheriff: “The (shot)gun has no choke on it whatsoever. So consequently, the buckshot just flies out at any and every direction.”

 I quote him again: “They have a shotgun. That is the most dangerous weapon I can imagine.”

I dunno – I can imagine quite a bit!  You don’t see much of that kind of ignorance in American films…

 Also: what kind of wimps were they back in the 60s, anyway? At two distinct points in the film, dissidents get access to firearms – and finally! I’m saying to myself, those hippies are going to give the Man what for! – when one set of them takes a German Soundman hostage, rather than, I dunno, shoot at the cops.  Another set rushes some snipers, gets hold of a high powered rifle, then the rifle seems to disappear from the film. 

WHAT…THE…HELL?! 

Hippies couldn’t have been this limp – they lack even the urge to give a little payback to their persecutors? Another quote from an actor playing a dissident: “I can’t see the good in fighting back.  If they kill me, what difference would any politics make. I would be dead.”

Another lapse of logic (swipe for Inviso-text) – the cops (no surprise) were lying when they said they’d release anybody who reaches the flag.  One group of dissidents gets beat down for their trouble, a la DNC conventions.  However, the lapse of logic in leaving any dissidents alive escapes me.  We hear in the film that part of the reason Punishment Park exists is that the US can’t build prisons fast enough – granted.  We also know from the rest of the movie the society in this film is very 60s conservative.  So why isn’t Punishment Park being used as an ad hoc capital punishment center?  To the best of my knowledge, 60s-era America wasn’t shy about the death penalty elsewhere.  Maybe Watkins  couldn’t find the stomach to implicate society as a whole?  Maybe he thinks Americans are barbaric, but not THAT barbaric?

Don’t waste your time, sez I.

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Hilarious!

March 19, 2008

(Via Zombietime – http://www.zombietime.com/five_years_too_many/ I finally understand it all now…He even has his own Wikipedia entry! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Chu img_9947.jpg 

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The Magic Kingdom’s Biometric Machines

March 17, 2008

disney-finger-scan-epcot-center.jpgVia BoingBoing (March 15, 2008 entry) – I remember reading about these a few months ago.  What a wonderful way to indoctrinate our children into the Panopticon State!(I got the Surveillance Mickey from BoingBoing too and cleaned it up in Photoshop) mickeys-gaze.gif 

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Gimmicky, yet clear

March 13, 2008

(via BoingBoing)The ACLU has a counter up for new terrorists identified by the US’ Terrorist Screening Center…http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/watchlistcounter.htmlJust a matter of time before you, dear reader, get added…disney_security-1.gif