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

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle dead at 71

Peter Boyle, who was the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71.

Boyle died Tuesday evening at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, said his publicist, Jennifer Plante.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Tale of Two Careys

From the Department of Attention Whores...

Mariah Carey and Mary Carey enter legal cat-fight over name

Mariah Carey is threatening legal action against Mary Carey, because the adult entertainer is planning to trademark her similar-sounding stage name.

The singer is worried fans might confuse the two performers if Mary Carey's application to trademark her name for audio and video recordings is successful. However, the porn star - real name Mary Cook - insists she's not intimidated by the Grammy Award winner, saying, "It's kind of funny because I'm a porn star and I've been being myself for a long time. I think she's being silly."

Cook's lawyer David Beitchman insists the singer stands little chance of winning a court battle over the names. He says, "My first thought was, does Mariah Carey realize what her lawyer is comparing her to and are they seriously concerned? Do they seriously think the fans are going to be confused?"

It's been a while since I've been aware of Mariah Carey doing anything noteworthy--other than a movie that was utterly, totally awful. Is this her way of getting back in the public eye? And if it is, why is she helping someone whose biggest claim to mainstream recognitiion has so far been a rather amusing run for the California governership to a share of that spotlight? (I would have voted for her if I could. At least there would be someone who's honest about being sleazy in American politics for once.)

But, since fading pop-star Mariah Carey is insisting on sharing the stage with rising porn-star Mary Carey, I figured I'd lend a hand. Readers, please meet Mary Carey:

Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Measurements: 36DD-24-36

Biography for Mary Carey (aka Mary Ellen Cook)

Cleveland native Mary Carey was born into what could be charitably called a dysfunctional family. Both of her parents were mentally handicapped (her mother had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic) and she was taken away from her parents by her grandparents when she was three months old. After her parents divorced, her mother moved in with Mary and her grandparents. At seven years of age the family moved from Cleveland to Florida, and the next year Mary was legally adopted by her grandparents.

Mary continued in Florida with the dance lessons she had started taking in Cleveland, and was a straight-A student in school. Her stage debut occurred at 12 years of age when she performed "The Nutcracker" with the Miami City Ballet, and she was bitten hard by the performing bug. Her dancing skills were honed by attendance at a prestigious dance school, and she was being offered dance scholarships from many different institutions. Then, at age 16, her grandfather developed lung cancer and died within a few months. Her grandmother's Parkinson's Disease worsened, and on top of that her body began to develop and she no longer had the thin, flat-chested body considered desirable for a ballerina. She was told to lose weight and get a breast reduction, but instead decided to leave ballet altogether and tried out for and won a place on the dance team at Florida State University, where she was enrolled. In the meantime her grandmother's health deteriorated even further, and soon their financial situation became precarious. In order to keep their head above water, Mary looked around for a job that could pay the kind of money they needed, and found a job as a model on an adult Internet site. From there she landed a job as a stripper. She saw that the strippers who commanded the big money were the featured girls, and an agent told her that the best way to become a featured stripper was to get a following doing porn. She traveled to Los Angeles and made the rounds of the adult-film producers and studios, eventually landing a job with Playboy TV.

Just prior to the recall campaign against California Governor Gray Davis, Mary signed a contract with Kick Ass Pictures, and as a publicity gag they came up with the idea that Mary should enter the field of a dozen or so candidates trying to replace Davis, so she soon publicly declared her intention to run for governor. The stunt worked out far better than they had hoped for, as Mary's bubbly personality and sense of humor about herself, her profession and the campaign itself - not to mention her beauty and spectacular body - endeared her to the California public. Although some political pundits wrote her off as a joke, her "campaign" received extensive coverage in the statewide media and she drew enthusiastic crowds at her appearances. Although she didn't win the election, she did manage to garner more than 11,000 votes. After the election Mary continued to turn out videos, which continue to sell well, and she is, besides Jenna Jameson, one of the porn stars most recognized by the general public.

On June 14, 2005, she attended the President's Dinner in Washington, DC, an annual fundraiser put on by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Mary and her boss, Mark Kulkis of porn production company Kick Ass Pictures, also attended a lunch prior to the event.

I am amused by the fact that a porn star's first major entertainment gig was a part in "The Nutcracker." (Oh, and at the risk of annoying a particular lady out there... is there something about dancers and the "adult entertainment industry"? The only dance major I'm still in touch with from college went on to become an exotic dancer and is currently managing the establishment she danced at for nearly a decade.)

And here is the other lovely lady of the moment... Mariah Carey.

Height: 5' 7" (1.70 m)
Measurements: 34BC-22-35 (before implants in 1998)

Biography for Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was born in Long Island, New York on March 27, 1969. Her parents are Patricia Hickey (Irish-American) and Alfred Roy Carey (African-American/Venezuelan). Her mother is a former mezzo-soprano New York City opera singer and a freelance vocal coach. Patricia was also Mariah's vocal coach. Her father was an aeronautical engineer.

Mariah's mother Patricia discovered Mariah's talent in 1972 while rehearsing at home for her New York City Opera debut as Maddalena in Verdi's Rigoletto.

Patricia said, "From the time Mariah was a tiny girl. she sang on true pitch; she was able to hear sound and duplicate it exactly. I missed my cue, but Mariah didn't. She sang it - in Italian - at exactly the right point. She wasn't even yet 3." From then on, Patricia began coaching Mariah.

Mariah is noted for her spectacular vocal range that spans five octaves. Her highest octave is two octaves higher than normal soprano. She also impresses with the way she sings in long, intricate phrases in the Whistle register range (as heard on such songs as "Emotions", "Anytime you Need a Friend", "Dreamlover", "Bliss" and "O Holy Night".)

Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School where she was referred to as "Mirage Carey" because she hardly ever showed up for class. She also studied over 500 hours of beauty school and hair salon prior to becoming a singer.

Early on, she worked a variety of odd jobs to support herself, including hat/coat-checker, hostess, hair sweeper in hair salons, and waitress. She stated that she got fired from all her jobs because of her attitude and was concentrating of becoming a backing singer and mixing demos.

In June of 1990 Mariah made her debut with "Mariah Carey" which entered at #73, but on August 4 1990 it reached #1. Her 1990 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and spawned an extraordinary four consecutive #1 singles: "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry," and led to Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist.

Carey's 1993 album titled Music Box went ten-times platinum. On September 30th 1995, she made music history. Her single "Fantasy" from her 1995 Daydream album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female artist to accomplish a number one debut in the U.S. Her other Daydream's single "One Sweet Day" remained for 16 weeks at the top of the charts. She is the only artist since the Beatles and Elvis Presley to have so many #1 singles and albums.

With "Heartbreaker", the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow and also her 14 #1 single, she became the only artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s, and with "Heartbreaker" at its 60th week atop the Billboard's charts, she pushed ahead of the Beatles's 59-week record as the only artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart.

Following "Heartbreaker", her second single "Thank God I Found You" also from her Rainbow album became her 15th #1.

In 2001, Mariah signed an $80 million deal with Virgin Records for four albums, but bought out the following year for $28 million. The primary reason being the failure of her Glitter album and film. She then signed a three-album deal with Island/Def-Jam Records. Around this time, she suffered a physical and emotional breakdown, and spent seveal weeks recovering in a Connecticut mental hospital

"We Belong Together" from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi became her 16th #1 single and was also her first #1 without any guest artists since her song "My All" (also a #1 single) captured the top spot in May 1998.

The single "Don't Forget About Us" also from her 2005 album Emancipation of Mimi became her 17th #1 single, tying her with Elvis Presley's 17 #1 singles. Three more Grammy Awards were gained from The Emancipation of Mimi album.

Mariah Carey has also been recognized for her charity work with and for children. In 1999, she won the Horizon Award at the Congressional Foundation Awards. She continues to be involved with Camp Mariah, a serene escape located in Fishkill, New York for inner-city youth to embrace the arts, introduce career opportunities, and build self-esteem.

In other Mariah Trivia, she was #28 on FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2006" supplement. Maybe that's why she's worried about being confused with a porn star? Maybe there's a "Playboy" or "Hustler" layout Coming Soon to a Newsstand Near You? The breast implants may have been part of a long-term goal of making it in the porn biz?

(Biographies taken from Internet Movie Database, with some rewriting and expansion done on the one for Mariah Carey. They are used without permission, so maybe I'll be hearing from everyone's attorneys?)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Different standard for 'indie filmmakers'?

An artsy-fartsy friend of mine took me to task for being too harsh on the "indie" films I review for this page. Her take is that there needs to be a different standards for "studio films" and "indie films."

Given that many of the films I've reviewed here fall into the category of "indie" films ("White Zombie", for example, qualifies as an "indie" film), I considered her point. And then I dismissmed it.

Calling yourself an "independent filmmaker" is not an excuse to make a crappy movie. If you have a budget of $1.95, you can still have a decent script and you can still have a movie that's technically sound, if you know what you're doing. You may even be able to have decent actors, if you don't cast your girlfriend as the lead. Calling yourself an "independent filmmaker" is also not a rationale for attempting effects and stunts that your budget can't handle... whether you've got $1.95 or $1.95 million dollars, you need to be realistic about what you can accomplish with the tools and talent at your disposal.

I think it's right and proper to judge "studio films" and "independent films" on the same level, so long as one is considering first and foremost certain things that every movie has, no matter how it's made.

Incompetent and bad filmmaking should be judged harshly no matter who is doing it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Platonic Ideal of a clueless critic
manifested to write a review of 'Grudge 2'?

On the topic of "The Grudge 2", "New York Post" movie critic V.A. Musetto wrote:

"The movie is utter junk, suitable perhaps for late-night TV, but not for the thousands of big screens on which it opened yesterday. The distributor, Columbia Pictures, knows it has a fiasco on its hands, which is why it didn't bother to screen the movie in advance for critics. Still, teens - lured by advertising and the fact that Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar are in the cast - will probably flock to theaters this weekend in hope of being scared witless. Instead, they'll be bored witless [...]"

Did Musetto even bother to see the movie? And if he did, how did he manage to see it without being in an auditorium full of teenagers? Maybe he hit the earliest possible screening, while they were all still in school?

I share his opinion the movie is junk, but if he'd seen the film with its obvious target audience, like I did, and if he had listened to them talk as they filed out, like I did, he would be forced to recognize that he needs to widen his outlook a bit.

V.A. Musetto obviously has no idea what appeals to teenagers. He shouldn't be kidding himself (and his readers) that he does. Like so many other "professionals", he seems to be unable to look past his own likes and dislikes and admit that he isn't the target market for every movie that's made.

I agree "The Grudge 2" is crap--I gave it a 3/10 ( :rotten: ) in my review--but I wasn't blind to the fact that everyone around me in the theater seemed to be having a good time. Then again, I'm not wrapped up in an over-inflated opinion of myself.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mickey Spillane dead at 88

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Mickey Spillane, the macho mystery writer who wowed millions of readers with the shoot-'em-up sex and violence of gumshoe Mike Hammer, died Monday, July 17, 2006. He was 88.

Spillane's death was confirmed by Brad Stephens of Goldfinch Funeral Home in his hometown of Murrells Inlet.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fans to the End... and Beyond

A German football (soccer, to all you Americans) club is planning to set up a cemetery for fans who want to take their love for the game to the grave.

Hamburg SV chairman Christian Reichert said the cemetery would be built opposite the stadium and have room for more than 150 graves.

"It won't be full of colourful headstones and we don't want to turn the graveyard into a bazaar for fan merchandise, but it will be a place for true fans to find their final resting place," said Reichert.

He added that memorial stones to some of the club's greatest players would be erected in the cemetery - and a display of the club's emblem made from flower beds.

If the football club gets a grounds map like in this movie, they'll be set!

Friday, July 14, 2006

But who will protect SMART journalists?

First the article, my comments follow.

Journalist Groups Condemn Israeli Attack On Lebanon TV Stations

Two international journalists' organizations, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontières) and the Committee to Protect Journalists, have condemned Israel's attacks Wednesday on television stations operated in Lebanon by the al-Manar television network.

Al-Manar had been the first to report on the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the demand by Hezbollah terrorists that Israeli release Arab prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for the two captured men. Following the attacks on its stations by Israeli missiles, al-Manar called for international organizations to "protect the freedom of journalism." Geneva Conventions prohibit attacks on civilian targets.

The Israeli foreign ministry responded that the "station has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hezbollah and has also helped the organization recruit people into its ranks."

But the Committee to Protect Journalists commented: "While al-Manar may serve a propaganda function for Hezbollah, it does not appear ... to be serving any discernible military function."

Okay. the Committee to Protect Journalists obviously doesn't have anyone smart enough in its ranks to either a) remember how a sentence started by the time they finished it, or b) to read and revise the comments they issue.

If al-Manar is serving a "propaganda funciton for Hezbollah, then IT IS serving a "discernible military functiont," YOU IDIOTS!

(Or maybe the Committee to Project Journalists believe that Hezbollah is a union of men who have a strange genetic defect that causes them to expel rockets from their asses at high velocity whenever they fart. Such a belief is almost as sensible as the statement "al-Manar may serve a propaganda function for Hezbollah, it does not appear ... to be serving any discernible military function.")

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Another self-centered Hollywood star....

Earlier this year, Ashley Judd underwent a 47-day program at a treatment center in February to deal with issues of her past including depression and isolation. The 38-year-old endured a "chaotic" and "dysfunctional" childhood and slept to combat depression and exhibited a "compulsion to clean."

Oh, sure. Go to "rehab" and get your problems straightened out, Ashley. But did you stop to think about ME and MY needs?!

You could have stopped by my place first. My apartment is a total pig-sty, and I think everyone could have benefitted from someone with a "compulsion to clean" dropping in. I would have even let you sleep your depression off on my couch.

But now what will I do?!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Samy Naceri gets it backwards
as far as 'debasing Islam' goes

I was looking for information on a supposedly respect-worthy French actor by the name of Sami Naceri. This was among what I found:

On October 22, 2005, on Thierry Ardisson's very popular program "Tout le Monde en Parle" (France 2 TV), Salman Rushdie was attacked by prominent French actor Sami Naceri.

Naceri, a self-professed Islamist, accused Rushdie of debasing Islam. He added that if an imam were to ask him to kill Rushdie, he would put a bullet in his head. He then pointed an imaginary gun at Rushdie's head. Rushdie took off his microphone and left, saying that this was the last time that he would appear on a French program. None of this was aired; Ardisson edited out the disturbing scene.

Last year, Naceri, shining example of a follower of the Relgion of Peace that he is, was imprisoned for cutting up a man's face with a glass ashtray because of a few minutes delay in a meeting (according to Wikipedia).

If there's someone who doesn't deserve a career, it's this jackass. I don't care how good his films supposedly are. I won't be looking for them, and I won't be posting about them here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Aaron Spelling dead at 83

LOS ANGELES - Aaron Spelling, a onetime movie bit player who created a massive number of hit series and highly acclaimed television movies, from the vintage “Charlie’s Angels” and “Dynasty” to “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place,” died Friday, June 23, his publicist, Kevin Sasaki, said. He was 83.

Spelling died at his home in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke on June 18.

Friday, June 16, 2006

'Nacho Libre' is comedic take on epic plot

Nacho Libre (2006)
Starring: Jack Black, Hector Jimenez, and Ana de la Reguera
Director: Jared Hess
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Nacho (Black) is a friar and cook at an impoverished Mexican monestary and orphanage... with secret dreams of being a professional wrestler. A chance encounter with an impoverished street thief (Jimenez) gives him the inspiraction to start a double-life and earn money to purchase better food for the children: The bum will become "The Skeleton" and Nacho will be a mysterious masked wreslter--together they will be a tag-team that will rise to the very top of the wrestling world!

This was not a movie that looked interesting to me until I saw Jack Black offering to kick Steven Seagal's ass with his fabulous wrestling moves. I still went in not knowing much more about the film than it featured Jack Black as a wanna-be professional Mexican wrestler.

I'm really surprised at the way critics are mostly panning this movie. Not only is "Nacho Libre" a hilarious comedy, but it's got a script that even the most snobbish intellectual (even well-read psuedo-intellectuals!) should be able to enjoy. Pay attention while watching, and you'll see that the storyline pretty much follows to exactly "The Hero's Journey" as outlined by Joseph Campbell. How can a well-read person NOT love a movie that takes a clownish figure through the entirety of archetypal hero's tale (even giving Black's character his own Enkidu?) in the context of bush-league Mexican wrestling and a run-down orphanage.

Jack Black once again appears as his standard loveable loser character, but most of his shtick is limited to his appearances in the wrestling ring, and a disastrous attempt to show off his fighting prowess to the lovely Sister Encarnacion (de la Reguera) without revealing his secret. Because it's in small doses, it becomes some of the most hilarious parts of the film.

Black is supported by an able cast, a well-paced script, and a story that's too subtly clever for the majority of American film critics. These elements all add up to a film that will end up standing as one of the best comedies of 2006.

I highly recommend this movie, especially if you're walking around with a B.A... and I recommend it even more highly if have any interest in seeing how "the hero's journey" is being used in yet another great bit of storytelling.

Oh, and I recommend it even if you're just looking for a damn funny comedy. It's been a while since a film had me laughing so hard my eyes were tearing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Val Guest dead at 94

Science-fiction moviemaker Val Guest has lost his battle with prostate cancer in a Palm Desert, California hospital. He was 94.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Critics worried about hidden camera
pedophile busts... are they worried on a personal level?

Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen journalism professors and TV critics express concern about a series of "Dateline" reports that feature the luring and busting of child-rapists (or maybe just would-be child-rapists).

The reasons for why they're upset has mostly been because "Dateline" supposedly paid those who set up the sting, although some have also been bent out of shape over the lengthiness of the reports.

It seems to be that ANYTHING that raises awareness of the sort of sub-human scum that are out there intent on raping kids, and ANYTHING that gets these creatures into the justice system where they belong, is a Good Thing.

I can't help but wonder... is the real reason these professors and critics are upset is that they're nervous if they're going to head to a house for a little under-age nookie only to find TV cameras and cops waiting for them?

NBC Draws Fire for "Dateline" Pedophile Reports

NBC plans to air four special editions of its magazine show "Dateline" on Wednesdays beginning tonight and continuing through the May sweeps.

The specials show "stings" in which alleged pedophiles operating in Internet chat rooms are lured to houses in several cities, only to be confronted by "Dateline" correspondent Chris Hansen and then arrested by local police -- all captured by hidden cameras.

The new broadcasts follow three similar ones that aired during "Dateline's" regular time period earlier this year. TV writers could not recall any previous television news magazine devoting eight entire programs to a single subject.

While drawing praise from groups like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the programs have also been roundly criticized by several journalists' groups, particularly, the Poynter Institute, the respected journalism school based in St. Petersburg, FL. Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the school, told today's (Wednesday, April 26) "Los Angeles Times", that colleagues were particularly concerned about tonight's episode in which members of the group Perverted Justice, who are paid by NBC to pose as juveniles and lure marks to the house, were also deputized by the local sheriff.

"By working with a group that has been deputized, "Dateline" is essentially partnering with local law enforcement," McBride said. "Even if the outcome is a desirable outcome, in the long run it undermines their ability to serve as a watchdog."

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Coca-Cola Blak = Coca-Cola Yuk!

Coca-Cola Blak, a Carbonated Fusion Beverage (Junk Food Review)
Rating: One of Ten Stars

I love Coke (and Cherry Coke, and Black Cherry Coke and Vanila Coke and Lime Diet Coke... and so on). I love coffee. I think they are two great tastes. However, they are not two great tastes that go together.

At the grocery store today, they were selling something called "Coca-Cola Blak" for 75% normal price. The bottle says that it's a "Carbonated Fusion Beverage." What this means is that its Coke mixed with coffee, and it's pretty damn disgusting.

I've tried it at room temp. I've tried it out of the fridge, and I've tried it over ice (where most Coke beverages are at their best). In all cases, "Coca-Cola Blak" is a clear illustration of why you should never pour Coke in your coffee.

I pour milk in my Coke. I pour just about any fruit juice you care to mention in my Coke. Similarly, I drink all sorts of fru-fru coffees, I always take lots of cream and sugar, and I've even experimented with fruit juice in coffee (with little success, I might add). So, I like weird stuff. But this "Blak" drink is something I will not be trying again. It's a sour-tasting liquid that leaves a bad taste in your mouth after it goes down.

Reportedly, this concoction tested well with consumers in France before it was inflicted upon the US market. I think we can add Coca-Cola Blak to the list of reasons we should be tankful we're not French.

If you can get one of those little 4-packs for ca. US$1.50 like I did, you can try it for yourself. I recommend you take my word on Coca-Cola Blak not being fit for human consumption.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dan Curtis dead at 77

Television producer/director Dan Curtis has died. He was 77.

Curtis was diagnosed with a brain tumor four months ago and passed away at his home in Brentwood, California on Monday, March 28 - 20 days after his wife Norma Mae Klein's death from heart failure.

The director/producer was best-known for his Emmy Award-winning mini-series War And Remembrance, and horror movies including "The Night Stalker", "Burnt Offerings", "Trilogy of Terror", "Shadow Of Fear" and the hit supernaturally themed soap opera "Dark Shadows".

Curtis leaves behind two daughters, Cathy and Tracy.

(On a personal note, my brief dealings with Curtis and his staff in 1997 were some of the most enjoyable of my career. I'll always be a little sad that the "Dark Shadows Roleplaying Game" never came together.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Isaac Hayes speaks for himself,
says Isaac Hayes spokeswoman

It's official. Isaac Hayes has replaced Tom Cruise as the Biggest Scientology Clown.

In what is probably the last gasp of the 'South Park'/Chef/Isaac Hayes controversy, Mr. Hayes has come out to deny rumours that he is a stroke-ridden vegetable and that he does the bidding of his Scientology overlords in all things and that he speaks for himself.

Actually, he didn't really say that. A spokeswoman did.

Here's a free tip to Mr. Hayes: If you want to show that you make your own decisions and speak for for yourself, don't do it through a "spokeswoman."

"Isaac Hayes Speaks For Himself," Says Isaac Hayes Spokeswoman

Isaac Hayes has denied a report by gossip columnist Roger Friedman that he suffered a stroke in January and that his current condition was the actual reason for his decision to quit the animated series "South Park".

Through a spokeswoman, Hayes also denied that Scientology "handlers" were behind his sudden departure. She declined to comment on the opening episode of the series, which aired last Wednesday, in which his character, Chef, appeared to be killed off.

The spokeswoman acknowledged that Hayes did check into a hospital earlier this year because of high blood pressure and exhaustion but that he is now doing well.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

'Find Me Guilty' is okay, but not great

Find Me Guilty (2006)
Starring: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver, and Alex Rocco
Director: Sidney Lumet
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

When life-long gangster Jackie Dinorsio (Diesel) is offered a chance to escape a 30-year prison sentence by turning state's evidence against his former Lucchesi Crime Family associates, he refuses to turn on those he considers his friends. Instead, he turns the biggest organized crime trial in American history into a vehicle to express his view of family values within the Family.

I like lawyer/court room movies. I like Vin Diesel, and I really liked him in "The Pacifier". I walked into "Find Me Guilty" really wanting to like the movie alot. Unfortunately, I found it a little lacking.

Some critics have complained that the movie turns morality upside down--the mobsters are basically the good guys here (with one exception--mob boss Nick Calabrese, played by Alex Rocco), while the federal prosecutor is a complete rat bastard--but I really didn't mind this aspect of the film, because the character of Jackie Dinorsio is the point of view from which the story is told, and he is truly convinced that all his criminal associates truly are "good fellas." The weakest point in the movie to my mind was the lead prosecutor was portrayed as so over-the-top that he brought down the rest of the movie. (Why did he have prison guards harass and beat up Dinorsio on the night before the Big Final Trial Witness was to appear in court?) Every other lawyer portrayed seemed believable, but the prosecutor did not. (Being that "Find Me Guilty" is based on the real-life 21-month RICO trial of a dozen or so New Jersey mobsters, perhaps the real-life prosecutor really was such a over-dramatic jerk... but he should have been toned down, because he was out of step with the rest of the performances in the film.)

"Find Me Guilty" is definitely Vin Diesel's show, and he manages to truly get the audience to feel sympathy for the wise-cracking Dinorsio, who, in the face of all the facts around him, continue to cling to his notion that there truly is love and respect shared between mobsters. To the very end, Dinorsio hangs onto this idea and continues to espouse it as he mounts a defense of himself and his buddies as his own attorney. In fact, the only friends that Dinorsio seems to have is the lead mob attorney (expertly played by Peter Dinklage) and the presiding judge (Ron Silver) who seems to develop some affection for Dinorsio as the trail unfolds; but Dinorsio never notices. If he does, he doesn't let it show.

There are plenty of chuckles in "Find Me Guilty", but I would have liked for more belly-laughs in the film. I recommend it if you enjoy mob movies or court-room dramas. I don't think it's a great movie, but I think my time watching it was well-spent.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A history of Gary Glitter,
child-molesting scumbag

NOTE: Back in November, I posted what I thought was the complete tale of pedophile and alleged child rapist Gary Glitter. Turns out, it's an ongoing and unfolding tale.

New chapters will be added to the bottom of the post as they appear.

Today's addition (3/15): "Gary Glitter to appeal sentence for molesting two young girls."

Well, I thought the sentencing of Gary Glitter would be the last we'd hear of this piece of human garbage. No such luck. First, he borrowed a page from the "Michael Jackson Playbook for the Pervert Who Wants to Play the Victim" and declared he was set up by sinister conspirators... this after his many "defenses": "I was sleeping with the girls to protect them ghosts! No, wait! I had my tongue down her throat because I was teaching her English!"

Well, the latest chapter sees Ole Hairy Gary filing an appeal to his sentence. I wonder... do judges ever EXTEND sentences when they're appealed? Sure would be nice if a judge would lock Gary up for the maximum amount of time.

And now... "The Saga of Gary Glitter, Child-Molesting Scumbag"

Here's the tale of in internatiional pedophile who may finally be getting what he so richly deserves. Since at least the 1980s, it appears he's been having sex with children.

In 1999, pervert and third-rate ex-popstar Gary Glitter was convicted for possession of child pornography, with extra consideration for being stupid.

From the BBC...

Pop star Gary Glitter has been jailed for four months after admitting to a collection of 4,000 hardcore photographs of children being sexually abused.

Friday, November 12, 1999 Published at 15:35 GMT

The BBC's Stephen Cape reports: "Gary Glitter is tonight behind bars"The admission comes just hours after the rock idol was cleared of eight counts of sexually assaulting a teenage fan nearly 20 years ago.

Solicitor Henri Brandman said Glitter would appeal against the sentence. He will be placed on the sex offenders register.

Reappearing at Bristol Crown Court, Glitter admitted 54 offences of downloading porn from the Internet dating between 3 January 1997 and 18 November 1997.

He replied "guilty" in a strong, clear voice after the first count was put to him and his voice became less clear with each subsequent charge.

The judge, Mr Justice Butterfield, described the pictures in Glitter's vast library as "filthy and revolting" and of the "worst possible type".

Glitter as glam-rock starThe charges came after a member of staff spotted the material on Glitter's computer, in for repair at PC World in Bristol.

Mr John Royce, QC, told the court that a technician tried to correct the fault and in order to see if he was successful had to look into a file. But what he found, said the QC, was "disturbing".

A police sergeant arrested Glitter when he returned to collect his computer.

An initial examination of the computer revealed that it stored "the most appalling images" of very young children engaged in most humiliating sexual acts, said the QC.

The examinations, said Mr Royce, revealed firstly that he had downloaded the material and secondly "that it was carefully, deliberately and enthusiastically done".

More than 4,000 such images, mostly of young girls but many of young boys, were found.

Mr Royce said they showed "very young children, some appeared as young as two, in the main ranging from three, four, five and six up to possibly about nine or 10".

In mitigation the defence said Glitter had downloaded the pictures soley for his own use and was simply in possession of them, but the judge rejected this, saying Glitter had diligently visited sites worldwide.

News of the initial arrest prompted further allegations of assault in a newspaper - dismissed by a jury earlier on Friday.

The singer had always denied four counts of indecently assaulting a girl in the early 1980s when she was under 16.

He also denied four charges of serious sexual assault against the same girl, who is now 34 and married with children.


After the verdict the Press Complaints Commission said it would investigate revelations that a newspaper paid the woman who made the allegations.

The court was told that the woman had taken £10,000 from the News of the World in exchange for her story and would receive £25,000 if the star was convicted.

The judge had branded the pay-out "highly reprehensible". He said: "It is not illegal but it is to be greatly deprecated."

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, has also called for a full report from the judge over the payments.

Gary Glitter, charged under his real name, Paul Gadd, smiled as the not guilty verdict was greeted by cheers in the public gallery. He turned to the jury, put his hands together and said "thank you".

The woman told the News of the World that she had met the artist aged 14 when he invited her on stage and she sang a song with him.

The woman claimed that the friendship, which was encouraged by her parents, developed into a sexual relationship.

The jury was told that during their stormy relationship the star convinced her he was serious about their affair and would threaten suicide if the woman tried to end it.

The woman told the court that she went to the News of the World in 1993 to "get him to leave me alone". She received £10,000 for revealing that he was "bald and a wig-wearer".

She then approached the newspaper again after hearing of his arrest.

So, what does a harmless guy who just had some misconstrued art photos on his computer do after spending time in in the pokey for possession of childporn do? He immigrates to Cambodia, childporn capital of the world and choice vacation spot for pedophiles everywhere!

And what does this perfectly upstanding gentleman do once he's in the Far East? Fast-forward to 2003...

Gary Glitter deported from Cambodia, entered Thailand

Former pop star Gary Glitter has now entered Thailand after beeing deported from Cambodia for paedophilia.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was detained there on 26 and 27 December and was deported on December 28, the Foreign Office said.

He is understood to have been deported to Thailand.

Glitter's lawyers are understood to be challenging the deportation. After he was detained, the decision to deport him was taken by the Cambodian authorities.

British officials had no involvement in the decision, the Foreign Office said.

Foreign Office officials were unable to say exactly why Glitter had been detained and then deported. He was convicted in Britain in 1999 of downloading child pornography from the Internet and served half of a four-month sentence before being released.

More than a year ago he moved to Phnom Penh, which has gained a reputation as a centre for paedophilia, and Cambodian police have had him under surveillance.

The country's Minister for Women's Affairs, Mu Sochua, last year called for him to be expelled because of his conviction in England but the government said that would not happen unless he broke Cambodian law.

So... even the Child Pornography Capitol of the World couldn't tolerate this guy, this shining example of humanity. (Okay. Let's drop the sarcasm... this stupid scumbag.) I can't help but wonder what laws he broke, after moving to the center of pedophelia in the primary tourist spot for child molesters?

Of course we don't know WHAT lawys he broke to get himself deported, but it probably wasn't jaywalking or removing the tags from his matress.

But there's more. Glitter continues to be man of singular idiocy and uncontrolled urges.


Glitter may face firing squad death


Disgraced Seventies rock star Gary Glitter could face death by firing squad after he was accused of having sex with a girl aged just 12, police said.

Sexual intercourse with a 12-year old regardless of whether there is consent is still considered rape under Vietnamese law, with a maximum penalty of death before a firing squad, according to the police.

The revelations come after two girls, aged 12 and 18 years old, told the police they had sex with the former singer - real name Paul Francis Gadd - at his rented home in the southern resort of Vung Tau in Vietnam.

There were conflicting reports that the second girl had not yet turned 18. Under Vietnamese law, sexual contact with a minor carries varying degrees of penalties, depending on the charge.

"Obscene acts with a child" can lead to up to 12 years in prison while child rape carries the maximum penalty of death before a firing squad.

"Having sex with a 12-year-old girl, regardless of whether he had her consent, is still considered child rape under Vietnamese law," a police officer said.

The 61-year-old former singer was arrested on Saturday at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City as he tried to flee the country. He left his rented home in Vung Tau a week ago amid allegations about his relationships with two teenage girls. The police had been searching for him since.

Glitter has been taken back to Vung Tau for further investigation by the police. He has not been charged with any crime but remains in custody at a jail outside the coastal city, police said.

Vung Tau police said they were continuing to investigate the case and will be questioning him further. The case has been highly publicised in the state-controlled media, which had reported that Glitter was seen in Vung Tau with several teenage girls, whom he invited to his home, since moving to the area in March.

Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper reported today that the two girls were invited to Glitter's home, where he paid them for sex. The 12-year-old told police she had sex three times with Glitter, who paid her £5.50 each time, the paper said.

Continuing to solidify his image as a pervert and an idiot, Glitter cooks up the lamest defense ever... "I was not diddling little children, I defending them from ghosts!"

From the AP...

Gary Glitter's Ghost Story Defense
Mon Dec 12, 4:00 AM

Gary Glitter is pulling out the ghostbuster card.

The "Do You Wanna Touch" singer, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has confessed to Vietnamese authorities that he let an 11-year-old girl sleep in his bed. Ah, but there's a twist: According to his lawyer, Glitter claims that he shared his bed with the girl not so he could molest her, but because she was afraid of ghosts.

According to published reports, Glitter, a convicted sex offender, offered up the spooky tale during police questioning.

"[Glitter] answered that when this girl [and her aunt] came to his house, he put them in the guest room. But in the middle of the night, they said they were very afraid of ghosts and they cannot sleep. So they came to his room and slept there," Glitter's Vietnam-based attorney, Le Thankh Kinh, told the Associated Press.

Kinh, who sat in on the interrogation, noted that this wasn't the only time they wanted to snuggle up to the one-time hitmaker, famed for the sports-friendly anthem "Rock and Roll Part II."

At another time, when Glitter had told them emphatically that they could not enter his bed, "the girls explained to him that in Vietnamese families, the father, the mother and the children sleep in one bed," the attorney said.

Glitter also admitted to being with several other girls, but denied touching them inappropriately.

"He said he think they are like his grandchildren," Kinh added.

In any case, it looks like "Grandpa" Glitter has a lot more explaining to do. Previously he told officials he was merely tutoring the youth with their English.

Investigators working the case have reportedly spoken six females, ranging in age from 11 to 23, who claim they were intimate with the crooner.

Because officials consider Glitter a flight risk, it's possible he could remain behind bars for at least another month before his request for bail is granted. The entertainer however has been permitted to leave his cell to visit with British consular officials, though it's not known what was discussed.

It seems like the firing squad is almost too good for this piece of trash, but now it looks like The Gary will be dodging the bullet. Maybe we'll be seeing the Ghost Defense become popular elsewhere.

Vietnam Cops Complete Gary Glitter Probe

From Associated Press
December 26, 2005 8:15 AM EST

HANOI, Vietnam - Police in southern Vietnam have completed investigation into former British rocker Gary Glitter's alleged obscene acts with a child, his attorney said Monday.

"It's likely that the findings of the investigation will be handed over to him this week," Glitter's Vietnamese attorney Le Thanh Kinh said in a telephone interview.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, is being held at Phuoc Co prison outside the coastal Vung Tau city on suspicion of engaging obscene acts with a child, an offense punishable up to 12 years in prison.

He was seized while trying to board a flight to Bangkok from Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 19.

Kinh said no additional charge was raised by the police investigators.

Police earlier said they were looking into a child rape charge, an offense punishable by death, after medical tests on the girls including an 11-year-old and 12-year-old showed evidence of intercourse.

The case will be passed to provincial prosecutors for review. It will take a month for prosecutors to decide whether to put Glitter on trial.

Charges have been filed, and the odious Glitter is now in front of a court.

Glitter Molestation Trial Opens in Vietnam

By TINI TRAN (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press

March 02, 2006 7:39 AM EST

VUNG TAU, Vietnam - The trial of former British rocker Gary Glitter opened Thursday on charges that he molested two underaged Vietnamese girls at a seaside rental home in southern Vietnam.

The former glam rocker has been accused of kissing, fondling and committing other obscene acts with a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old at his residence in the southern port city of Vung Tau last year. He has denied the allegations.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, wore black pants, shirt and cap as police escorted him through a scrum of reporters Thursday morning into the yellow concrete courthouse in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

Glitter held up two fingers in a victory sign and said only one word: "Innocent."

The trial is closed to the public but the verdict will be read publicly on Friday. He faces three to seven years in prison if convicted.

The former rocker has said he was teaching the girls English at his home and considered them "like his grandchildren."

Teaching them English while Frenching them....

And now, the final chapter.

March 2, 11:00pm, PST

Gary Glitter jailed for child abuse

A Vietnamese court has convicted former glam rocker Gary Glitter of molesting two under-aged Vietnamese girls and sentenced him to three years in prison.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was found guilty of committing obscene acts with a 10-year-old and 11-year-old girl at his rented seaside villa in southern Vung Tau last year. The judge also said Glitter would be deported from Vietnam after serving his sentence.

The court, in its verdict, cited graphic testimony from the girls that Glitter had fondled and molested on multiple occasions in his rented home and in nearby hotels.

In reading out the verdict, Judge Hoang Thanh Tung condemned Glitter's actions. "Caring for children is to care for our future...but Gary Glitter's acts went against this," the judge said. "He sexually abused and committed obscene acts with children many times in a disgusting and sick manner."

The disgraced British rocker showed no emotion while the verdict was read out, but threw the court into disarray by proclaiming his innocence afterwards.

"I haven't done anything. I'm innocent. It's a conspiracy by you know who," Glitter shouted, apparently referring to British tabloid newspapers that had tracked down his presence in Vietnam.

Reporters and onlookers, allowed into the courthouse in southern Ba Ria-Vung province to hear the verdict following the closed two-day trial, pressed towards Glitter in a scene of pandemonium as police fended them off and escorted him out of the building.

He has 15 days to appeal. His lawyer Le Thanh Kinh said Glitter would be eligible for parole in a year, after he serves one-third of his time.

Glitter, who looked visibly thinner since his arrest, has been held at Phuoc Co prison outside Vung Tau since November 19, when he was caught at the Ho Chi Minh City airport trying to board a flight for Bangkok. Police confiscated his laptop, which had hundreds of pornographic pictures on it.

His fall from grace began with a conviction in Britain in 1999 for possessing child pornography. He served half of a four-month jail term. He later went to Cambodia and in 2002 was expelled from that country, but Cambodian officials did not specify any crime or file charges.

Like any "man" who can only get off when raping little children, Gary Glitter can't take his punishment like a man.

Child Molsting Rocker to Appeal Conviction

From Associated Press
March 15, 2006 11:39 PM EST

HANOI, Vietnam - British rocker Gary Glitter has decided to appeal his three-year sentence for child molestation, his lawyer said Thursday.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was found guilty of committing obscene acts with a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl at his rented seaside villa in southern Vung Tau last year. He was convicted and sentenced on March 3 at a court in Vung Tau province.

"He told me he was innocent so he has to appeal to clear this matter," attorney Le Thanh Kinh said Thursday.

Kinh said he met with Glitter at Phuoc Co prison on Wednesday and that his client signed the appeal petition, which will be forwarded to the appeals court in Ho Chi Minh City.

One final note... Gary Glitter seems to have taken a well-earned place in popular culture. According to the Wikipedia...

"Gary Glitter" has become a well-known piece of vulgar Cockney rhyming slang. (Gary Glitter = shitter, meaning anus or toilet.) eg. "He takes it up the Gary" or "I'm gonna use the Gary".

Check out the entry at for a summary of all the above.

Friday, March 3, 2006

Dirty cops must silence witness in '16 Blocks'

16 Blocks (2006)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Mos Def, and David Morse
Director: Richard Donner
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Broken-down, burned-out NYPD detective Jack Mosely (Willis) is given a simple assignment: Escort a prisoner, Eddie Bunker (Def), sixteen blocks from the police station holding-tank to the courthouse so he testify before a Grand Jury. The prisoner has to be there by 10am, because if he isn't, the Grand Jury is dismissed and the prosecutor's case will fall apart. But even in New York traffic, two hours to cover sixteen blocks should be easy, right? Well, not if the witness's testimony is going to expose police corruption reaching from the streets to highest pinnacle of power within the NYPD.

"16 Blocks" is, basically, a lesser version of the story told in the classic movie "The Gauntlet". Here, like in that film, a cop who is just marking time until retirement manages to summon up whatever spark first inspired him to join the police and do the right thing against ever-increasing odds; a major difference between the Eastwood character in "The Gauntlet" and Mosely is that he is aware that other cops are trying to kill his charge from the outset, and that this is what sparks his desire to overcome in the first place. Another difference is that while the witness in "The Gauntlet" was annoying, Sandra Locke's character at least had some likable qualities to her. There is nothing particularly likable about the character played by Mos Def in "16 Blocks"--not even his oft-stated dream to leave crime behind and become a baker, because it never once rings true--and his nonstop babbling and truly obnoxious voice becomes nerve-grating more than once. Finally, there is a difference in intensity... in "The Gauntlet", here's a sense of ever-increasing danger and pressure. That never occurs here... the film reaches a level a few minutes in and stays there, despite the many shoot-outs and close calls between Mosely and his pursuers.

Bruce Willis gives a great performance as a man who is way past his prime and in over his head; there are several times where his facial expressions say more than any lines of dialogue could. Unfortunately, his co-star, Def, is so annoying that I found myself wishing someone would shoot his character now. Willis also has the problem that he's in a movie that doesn't seem to go anywhere. There's a great build-up to the moment when assassins take a shot at Bunker, and it feels like the film will get even tenser when Mosely realizes that his old partner (Morse) and other detectives that seem to come to his aid are actually part of the plot to silence the witness... but instead the momentum seems to stall. The film coasts through the roughly one-and-three-quarter hours of real-time as Mosely struggles to deliver Bunker to the courthouse alive, eventually coming to a sputtering halt at its ending.

"16 Blocks" had a lot of potential, but it never really lives up to its promise; like its hero, it seems to be coasting, but unlike the hero, it never finds its "spark" or redemption. It is a film that any big time Bruce Willis fan should check out--he is quite good in it. The rest of us are probably better off picking up a copy of "The Gauntlet" if we haven't seen it yet.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Followers of the "Religion of Peace"
embarrass themselves again

So... what is it about the "great" religion of Islam that causes so many of its adherents to behave like two-year-olds when they don't get their way?

Here's some advice to Muslims around the world: If you don't want to see cartoons of Mohammad being printed, stop murdering random and innocent people with your psychopathic suicide bombers. While you're at it, grow up.

BTW, my comments above don't apply to Palestinians. The majority there are clearly sick individuals who deserve the destruction they wish upon others. How else can one explain their electing Hamas as their leaders? The moment ALL nations cut of aid and trade relations to those rabid dogs won't be a moment too soon. The Palestians are beyond hope of redemption.

Muslims Again Protest Muhammad Caricatures
By QASSIM ABDEL-ZAHRA (Associated Press Writer)

From Associated Press
February 03, 2006 11:06 AM EST

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Tens of thousands of angry Muslims marched through Palestinian cities, burning the Danish flag and calling for vengeance Friday against European countries where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were published.

Angry protests against the drawings were spread in the Muslim world.

In Iraq, thousands demonstrated after Friday mosque services, and the country's leading Shiite cleric denounced the drawings. About 4,500 people rallied in Basra and hundreds at a Baghdad mosque. Danish flags were burned at both demonstrations.

Muslims in Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia demonstrated against the European nations whose papers published them.

The caricatures, including one depicting the Muslim prophet wearing a turban fashioned into a bomb, were reprinted in papers in Norwegian, French, German and even Jordanian after first appearing in a Danish paper in September. The drawings were republished after Muslims decried the images as insulting to their prophet. Dutch-language newspapers in Belgium and two Italian right-wing papers reprinted the drawings Friday.

Islamic law, based on clerics' interpretation of the Quran and the sayings of the prophet, forbids depiction's of the Prophet Muhammad and other major religious figures - even positive ones - to prevent idolatry. Shiite Muslim clerics differ in that they allow images of their greatest saint, Ali, the prophet's son-in-law, though not Muhammad.

Danish Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen, in a meeting with the Egyptian ambassador, reiterated his stance that the government cannot interfere with issues concerning the press. On Monday, he said his government could not apologize on behalf of a newspaper, but that he personally "never would have depicted Muhammad, Jesus or any other religious character in a way that could offend other people."

Early Friday, Palestinian militants threw a bomb at a French cultural center in Gaza City, and many Palestinians began boycotting European goods, especially those from Denmark.

"Whoever defames our prophet should be executed," said Ismail Hassan, 37, a tailor who marched through the pouring rain along with hundreds of others in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

"Bin Laden our beloved, Denmark must be blown up," protesters in Ramallah chanted.

In mosques throughout Palestinian cities, clerics condemned the cartoons. An imam at the Omari Mosque in Gaza City told 9,000 worshippers that those behind the drawings should have their heads cut off.

"If they want a war of religions, we are ready," Hassan Sharaf, an imam in Nablus, said in his sermon.

About 10,000 demonstrators, including gunmen from the Islamic militant group Hamas firing in the air, marched through Gaza City to the Palestinian legislature, where they climbed on the roof, waving green Hamas banners.

"We are ready to redeem you with our souls and our blood our beloved prophet," they chanted. "Down, Down Denmark."

Thousands of protesters in the center of Nablus burned at least 10 Danish flags. In Jenin, about 1,500 people demonstrated, burning Danish dairy products. Hundreds protested in Jericho, and protests were held in towns throughout Gaza.

Fearing an outbreak of violence, Israel barred all Palestinians under age 45 from praying at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site.

Nevertheless, about 100 men chanting Islamic slogans and carrying a green Hamas flag demonstrated outside Jerusalem's Old City on Friday afternoon. The crowd scattered when police on horseback arrived, and some of the protesters threw rocks. Police broke up a second demonstration at Damascus Gate with tear gas and stun grenades.

In Iraq, the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, decried the drawings but did not call for protests.

"We strongly denounce and condemn this horrific action," he said in a statement posted on his Web site and dated Tuesday.

Al-Sistani, who wields enormous influence over Iraq's majority Shiites, made no call for protests and suggested that militant Muslims were partly to blame for distorting Islam's image.

He referred to "misguided and oppressive" segments of the Muslim community and said their actions "projected a distorted and dark image of the faith of justice, love and brotherhood."

"Enemies have exploited this ... to spread their poison and revive their old hatreds with new methods and mechanisms," he said.

The drawings were first published in September in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The issue reignited last week after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Denmark and many European newspapers reprinted them this week.

The Jyllands-Posten had asked 40 cartoonists to draw images of the prophet. The purpose, its chief editor said, was "to examine whether people would succumb to self-censorship, as we have seen in other cases when it comes to Muslim issues."

The 12 caricatures have prompted boycotts of Danish goods, bomb threats and demonstrations in front of Danish embassies across the Islamic world. Muslims have also directed their anger at other European countries, with Palestinian gunmen briefly kidnapping a German citizen Thursday and surrounding European Union headquarters in Gaza.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying the caricatures are an attack on "our spiritual values" which have damaged efforts to establish an alliance between the Muslim world and Europe.

Hundreds of Turks emerging from mosques following Friday prayers staged demonstrations, including one in front of the Danish consulate in Istanbul.

"Hands that reach Islam must be broken," chanted a group of extremists outside the Merkez Mosque in Istanbul.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, more than 150 hardline Muslims stormed a high-rise building housing the Danish Embassy on Friday and tore down and burned the country's flag.

Pakistan's parliament unanimously voted to condemn the drawings as a "vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign" that has "hurt the faith and feelings of Muslims all over the world." About 800 people protested in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, chanting "Death to Denmark" and "Death to France." Another rally in the southern city of Karachi drew 1,200 people.

Fundamentalist Muslims protested outside the Danish Embassy in Malaysia, chanting "Long live Islam, destroy our enemies."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw criticized European media outlets for republishing the caricatures as demonstrators prepared to take to the streets of London.

And speaking of Jack Straw... maybe he's trying to get his hands on some of that Middle Eastern bribe money that George Galloway has been living high on.


Straw attacks 'cartoon' publication

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has launched a fierce attack on the decision by some media outlets to republish the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

The images first appeared in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, and another showing him saying that paradise was running out of virgins.

Media organisations - including the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV - as well as several European newspapers showed the controversial drawings, some with defiant headlines. British newspapers did not publish the images.

The cartoons have caused outrage across the Muslim community as Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet to prevent idolatry.

Danish products have been boycotted in the Middle East while angry demonstrations have taken place throughout the region.

Muslim demonstrators in Britain are due to meet at the Regent's Park mosque in central London before marching to the Danish embassy in Sloane Square.

A further protest will be held outside the Danish embassy in London, organised by the Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Mr Straw said: "There is freedom of speech, we all respect that, but there is not any obligation to insult or to be gratuitously inflammatory. I believe that the republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong."

But Mr Straw praised the British media for showing "considerable responsibility and sensitivity" in its approach to the issue. Mr Straw continued: "There are taboos in every religion. We have to be very careful about showing the proper respect in this situation."

The BBC defended its use of the images and said it used them in its news output to provide context and explanation. "We are reporting the controversy over the cartoons in our news output to give audiences an understanding of the strong feelings evoked by the story," a spokesman said.

Monday, January 30, 2006

German cannibal goes to the big house
(where they have big pots)

I wonder if he'll get to be a trustee working in the kitchen. Maybe he'll guide the Germans back to a path where they find... um... creative uses for prisoners. (Giving a creature like this anything less than life in prison indicates a society that has some serious sickness at its heart. Although I suppose there's comedy value that he was convicted of manslaughter, as that is literally what he did.)

From the AP, Jan. 30...

German Cannibal Sentenced to Prison

KASSEL, Germany - A German who confessed to killing, dismembering and eating another man who allegedly agreed to the arrangement over the Internet was convicted Friday of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.

A state court ruled that Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert, had no "base motives" in the crime - sparing him a murder conviction.

Prosecutors had sought a life sentence, calling Meiwes a "human butcher" who acted simply to "satisfy a sexual impulse."

The defense argued that since the victim volunteered to be killed and eaten, the crime should be classified a mercy killing, which carries a five-year maximum penalty.

Before the verdict Meiwes looked calm, chatting with his attorney and occasionally grinning for cameras allowed inside the courtroom before the session began.

When his trial opened Dec. 3 in the central city of Kassel, Meiwes confessed in detail to killing Bernd Juergen Brandes, 43, in March 2001 at Meiwes' home in the town of Rotenburg.

Brandes traveled from Berlin in reply to an Internet advertisement seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption." Meiwes testified that Brandes wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness.

"Bernd came to me of his own free will to end his life," Meiwes said in his closing statement in court on Monday. "For him, it was a nice death."

Still, he said he regretted the killing.

"I had my big kick and I don't need to do it again," he said. "I regret it all very much, but I can't undo it."

A grisly video he made of the act was shown to the court during a closed session.

A doctor testified that Brandes died from loss of blood and that the medication, along with a half-bottle of liquor and 20 sleeping pills he took beforehand, could not have lessened his pain.

Several experts have testified that Meiwes was fit to stand trial and was not mentally ill.

Police tracked down and arrested him in December 2002 after a student in Austria alerted them to a message Meiwes had posted on the Internet.

"If I hadn't been so stupid as to keep looking on the Internet, I would have taken my secret to the grave," Meiwes said in his closing statement.

UPDATE: When moving this article to its new home here at Cinema Steve, I decided to see how life has been treating Mr. Meiwes. I discovered that since entering prison he has become a Vegetarian and has joined the Green Party (Jailbird Chapter)... and that he had NOT been released from prison as I had expected to find.

From Wikipedia....

In April 2005, a German court ordered a retrial after prosecutors appealed his sentence.

The prosecutors believed he should have been convicted of murder. Among the questions courts answered is whether Brandes agreed to his killing, and whether he was legally capable of doing so at the moment, taking into account his apparent mental problems as well as his significant intake of alcohol. Other aspects of the retrial determined whether Meiwes killed to satiate his own desires (in particular sexual desires), and not because he was asked to, which Meiwes has repeatedly rejected during testimony.

At his retrial a psychologist stated that Meiwes could reoffend and still "had fantasies about devouring the flesh of young people." On May 10, 2006, a court in Frankfurt convicted Meiwes of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Armin Meiwes, enjoying a good meal....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I feel like chicken tonight

Just when I thought there was no way for Pamela Anderson (whose IQ is certainly lower than her artficially inflated bust-size) to appear any dumber, I hear about her quest to avenge the cruelty to chickens!

I think it's been at least five years since I last ate at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), but I drive by one at least twice a week... and I think I'll be having a two-piece combo meal with mashed potatoes and gravey for dinner tonight.

Something as stupid as this makes me boycott boycotts.

Pamela Anderson loses battle over Col. Sanders bust

Pamela Anderson (best known for artifical breasts, bad movies, and worse TV shows) has lost her bid to get the bust of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) founder Colonel Harland Sanders removed from the state Capitol building.

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has written to the actress/model explaining the bust will stay put, despite Anderson's claim that Sanders is a symbol of cruelty to chickens.

In his letter, Fletcher wrote, "Colonel Sanders remains a Kentucky icon. His success story has been an inspiration to many. The industry he began has employed hundreds of thousands of workers over the years. His business and his legacy have been good for Kentucky."

Anderson has fired back at Fletcher, calling Sanders' company one "that mutilates God's creatures."

The actress has teamed up with animal activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to urge fast food fans to boycott KFC until the company agrees to clean up its slaughterhouse policies.

I urge fast food fans go get themselves some Original Reciepe Chicken! And I urge movie fans to ignore whatever remains of Anderson's sorry excuse for a career.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Muslim comedian bombed at final show

Albert Brooks doesn't need to look for comedy in the Muslim world, because they're dishing up some real bombs when it comes to jokes.

From (full article and here)...

An article in the Saudi Gazette of June 21, 2005, titled "Saudi Suicide Bomber was a Comedian," reported that one of its on-air employees was martyred in a terror attack in Iraq: "Al-Majd channel acknowledged this week that Saudi suicide bomber Muhammad Shazzaf Al-Shehri, who attacked the Al-Hamra Oasis Village compound in Riyadh on May 12, 2003, was a math teacher and a hired comedian for the television station."

It further stated: "Just as the Ministry of Education was shocked to be informed that one of their own mathematics teachers was a suicide bomber, and just as King Saud University was also shocked that one of its former students and associates was a suicide bomber, Al-Majd channel also is shocked that one of its freelance comedians was a suicide bomber."

Responding to claims that Al-Majd is a "hatching ground for terrorists," a statement by the network defending the channel's integrity, as reported in the Saudi Gazette, explained: "The programs on the TV screen will speak out our innocence."

(Note: There's an interesting similarity between the name of the station in question and "Mad TV.")