Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Akira, Animated Feature Film (1988)
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

In a dark future, Japanese youth gangs ride around on motorcycles and scream each other's names in high-pitched voices. Meanwhile, military men do McGruff the Crime Dog imitations. Oh, and pale psychics cause freaky things to happen and inanimate objects to attack, and some youth gang member gets amazing powers that may destroy all of Japan.

Yes... it's the storyline of "Akira", the most overrated Japanese cartoon ever. I saw it in the movie theatre when it was first released in the US, and it put me off the whole manga/anime thing for several years thereafter. "If THAT was the best, then what sort of crap must the other material be?" I thought. Thankfully, I discovered the works of Kosuke Fujishima, Masamune Shirow and Rumiko Takahashi, material that truly *is* among the best that Japanese pop culture had to offer.

"Akira" does have some impressive animation, but the story and script are very lacking. I really have no idea why people were so impressed with this badly put together mess.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A character witness of low character

I think the spirit of Perrry Mason must have been in the court room.


Character witness goes to prison

A Chilean woman giving evidence for a friend charged with drug-dealing ended up in prison after admitting it was her all along.

Yamilet Contreras was supposed to be a character witness for her friend, Guillermina C, in court, Las Ultimas Noticias reports.

But Contreras, 43, from Arica, got nervous on the witness stand and ended up contradicting herself repeatedly.

In the end she confessed that the cocaine found with Guillermina C, also 43, actually belonged to her.

Contreras went straight from the witness stand to prison and has been charged with drug dealing and perjury.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Marie Adeline Calkins: The Litter Box Arsonist

Cat owners: There's a right way and a wrong way to deal with your cat's litter box. Marie Adeline Calkins demonstrates here the WRONG way to do it.

Woman Sets Fire Because the Little Box was Full

October 15, 2004 02:56 PM EDT

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - Court documents filed in Clallam County Superior Court tie an alleged arson in an apartment complex to a smelly cat litter box.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Marie Adeline Calkins, 63, with first-degree arson, accusing her of setting a fire Tuesday in her apartment on South C Street. No one was injured.

She told officers she lit the fire because "she was depressed and upset that her kitty litter box was full and smelled," court papers said.

Judge George L. Wood set bail at $50,000 and ordered a mental health assessment.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Teresa Jones Smith and the Great Escape!

Teresa Jones Smith, 44, of Lexington, N.C., was trying to break her boyfriend, Roger Johnson, out of jail so she toted a blow torch and other tools into the visiting room. Here she attempted to cut through the Plexiglas shield that separates prisoners from visitors, but attracted guards' attention from the noise and smoke.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Slayers: The Motion Picture

"Slayers: The Motion Picture" is set some time before Lina hooks up with Gourry and the other characters from the three seasons of the "Slayers" television series. She is a little younger--but still feared as a short-tempered and powerful spellcaster-- and she is the reluctant partner of Naga, a lanky sorceress whose bust size is in direct inverse proportion to her IQ. The pair travel to a distant island where they become embroiled in a mystery surrounding the butchering of an elf village before recorded history.

This was a so-so effort that is something that is great for the kids and presented all the basics of the "Slayers" series in a fairly concise package. Still, I don't think the package was concise enough. One of the things I've liked about as much of the 'Slayers' series I've seen so far is that the episodes are all swiftly paced and tightly plotted. Gag follows upon gag upon fight scene... there's hardly ever a quiet moment. There were almost too many quiet moments in "The Motion Picture."

The movie also failed to capitilize on some of the cooler elements that were introduced; wouldn't a bit more time spent in the past have been more interesting than beating up local thugs on the pier? I for one would have liked to learned more about the elves and the kid who appeared to be an ancestor of Gourry.

Despite my complaints, I think this is a worthwhile animated film. Fans of fantasy, fans of quality animation (as one might expect from a theatrical release, the animation in "Slayers: The Motion Picture" is gorgeous), and fans of Japanese cartoons in general will find much to enjoy here. It might also serve as a fine way to introduce your friends to "The Slayers" franchise, even if I think the TV series is vastly superior to this film.

Friday, July 2, 2004

If you think your job is bad...

... just remember that you could be working as the personal ass-wiper for Abu Hamza, evil scumbag (or, perhaps more accurately, shitbag) and Muslim "cleric" jailed in England for aiding and abbetting terrorists.


July 2, 2004
If being a Wimbledon ball-boy is one of the cushiest jobs in the world, then this must be one of the worst -- Abu Hamza's bottom wiper.

The Muslim extremist -- dubbed Hook -- has no hands and is unable to look after his own personal hygiene in Belmarsh jail.

So, says the Mirror, he has got a £30,000-a-year nurse, called Harry, whose job it is to do it for him.

"He's known as Dirty Harry," a prison source says. "This guy has got one of the worst jobs in the world. His main reason for being there is to clean Hamza's backside.

"Everyone's having a laugh about it, but Hamza can't be left unclean. It would be a health hazard."

Hamza has had his two metal hooks removed and been given two special £5,000 replacements because it was feared he could use the originals as weapons.

But how bad is the food in Belmarsh prison that Hook requires a full-time bum wiper? And who is this mysterious Harry?

UPDATE (20100: Abu Hook remains in Belmarsh Prison while the United States tries to secure his extridition to be tried on crimes there.

For a full backstory and more updates on the leaking sack o' shit that is Abu Hamza, click here to visit the Wikipedia page about him.

Abu Hamza: He's full of shit,
as Official Ass-Wiper Harry will confirm.