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

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis dead at 85

Actor Tony Curtis, who rose to fame during the 1950s and went on to play widely varying roles in more than 100 movies of equally widely varying genres and quality, died of cardiac arrest at his Las Vegas area home on September 29, 2010. He was 85.

Curtis is perhaps best remembered for his comedic roles, such as his turn as a cross-dressing jazz musician in "Some Like It Hot" and a globe-trotting adventurer in "The Great Race".


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Roleplaying Game Update

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to design a little role-playing game just for the heck of it. Well, as soon as I announced that, I found myself with honest-to-God real work that took the place of my just-for-fun project.

But, with the rush jobs behind me, I'm hoping to devote time to the game project again. As mentioned, I'll be posting bits and pieces of it in this message forum, as I type them up. Comments, positive or negative, are invited.

For extra ease of reference, here are links to the posts that have been made so far.

The Highways of Horror

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's your basic knowledge of religions?

Every time I've been in the car today, talk radio hosts have been taking about a Pew poll that supposedly shows a startling level of ignorance on the part of Americans when it comes to basic knowledge of religions. Apparently, many Americans don't know what Ramadan is, what religion Mother Theresa was, or what Biblical figure led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt.

I went and took a little online quiz associated with the survey, expecting it to be hard. It turns out to be so basic that I think whoever scores significantly less than I did--and I got 14 out of 15 questions correct, which means I scored better than 97% of the public--should be very ashamed of themselves.

(And I'd even argue that the question I missed is badly done, because there are two equally correct answers among the multiple choices. Take a good look at Question #14 and tell me if you agree.)

Take the quiz by clicking here. There's no registration or any log-ins needed. And be a sport and post your score in the Comment section below. Tell us how many you got right, and where you fall.

'Thank You for Smoking' is an hilarious satire

Thank You for Smoking (2005)
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, J.K. Simmons, William H. Macy, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello, David Koechner, Sam Elliot, Rob Lowe, Robert Duvall, and Katie Holmes
Director: Jason Reitman
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Follow the adventures of Nick Naylor (Eckhart), chief lobbyist for the tobacco industry, as he advocates for the rights of smokers and tobacco companies while serving as a good role model for his son and hanging out with his best friends Polly (Bello) and Bobby (Koechner), lobbyists for the alcohol industry and gun manufacturers respectively. (Together, they make up the MOD [Merchants of Death] Squad.)

"Thank You for Smoking" is a hilarious satire that skewers American business, politics, pop culture, family life... it touches on just about every aspect of life for the American middle- and upper-middle class.

Aaron Eckhart is the single true star of this film, and he is perfect as the lovable rogue Nick Naylor--the Sultan of Spin who could argue that black is white and make it seem sensible. He is supported by a crisp, well-written script, a tightly edited and well-paced film, and a supported by a group of actors who are perfectly cast in their roles. William H. Macy as the obnoxious crusading US Senator is particularly good, but Rob Lowe as a slimey Hollywood producer, Katie Holmes as a sexpot reporter, and Maria Bello and David Koechner as Nick's best friends--his only friends when he hits a rough spot--also turn in excellent and funny performances.

"Thank for Smoking" is a movie that most thinking adults will watch with a constant smile on their face. The exception would be particularly demented anti-smoking Nazis who will almost certainly be upset by the lack of preaching, annoyed that all the characters are likable, and frustrated by the happy ending for Nick and his pals.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coming Soon: Nine Days of the Ninja Blogathon

In November, legendary assassins will be lurking in the shadow-filled corners of Cinema Steve and the associated blogs Shades of Gray, Terror Titans, Watching the Detectives, and Movies You Should (Die Before You) See when the Nine Days of the Ninja Blogathon strikes like a throwing star to the forehead!

All the revealing posts about these secretive Magicians of Death will be indexed in in this space. It would be extra Ninjalicious, however, if the masked marauders showed up not just on my blogs but also in other places on the web.

If you would like to participate in the Nine Days of the Ninja Blogathon, all you have to do is send me a link to a ninja-centric post you make between November 1 - November 9, 2010, and I will link to it from the index post here. If you let me know of your intention to participate ahead of time, I will post a link to the blog where the post will appear. (The same is true if you help promote Nine Days of the Ninja by putting the logo and the top of the post along with a link to this post.)

And have no fear. While Ninjas may be lurking everywhere, there is no proof that they killed David Carradine to protect their hidden ways. Screw your courage to the sticking post, and join me in shedding light upon the Ancient Ninja Secrets!

Gloria Stuart dead at 100

Actress Gloria Stuart, a leading lady in Hollywood in the 1930s who found modern-day fame playing a shipwreck survivor in 1997 movie "Titanic," has died, age 100.

Her daughter, Sylvia Thompson, told the Los Angeles Times that Stuart died Sunday night in her home in Los Angeles. She was diagnosed with breast cancer some five years ago, but had survived the disease.

Lovers of classic movies know Stuart primarily from her roles in "The Old Dark House" and "The Invisible Man".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

When cave men and fire monsters attack!

Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules (1962)
Starring: Reg Lewis, Margaret Lee, and Nello Pazzafin
Director: Guido Malatesta
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

During the Ice Age, a peaceful tribe of hunter-gatherers are attacked by and threatened with genocide at the hands of a civilization of evil cave-dwellers, led hy their horny chief (Pazzafin) and his hard-on for the beautiful Moah (Lee). Will Maxus (Lewis), wandering hero and science wiz, be able to save them... and perhaps invent the shirt?

"Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules" is quite the misleading title. First off, there are no "fire monsters" in the movie (there are two-three monsters, but none of them have anything to do with fire... heck, the only reason one even menaces anyone is because stupid savages attack it!). Second, how can a film be about a "Son of Hercules" when it is set thousands of years before there ever was a Greece or a Hercules? (Of course, in its original inception, the film wasn't about a "Son of Hercules". That whole bit, along with the jaunty theme song, was added when the film was packaged for broadcast on American television. But, still, there are no fire monsters anywhere in this film.)

The general plotline here is that of just about every other Italian muscle-man/low-fantasy film from the 1950s and 1960s: The good people are menaced by the bad people--particularly the good people's women!--and they seem doomed for cetain until Maciste/Hercules/Ursus/Samson/Atlas/the-hero-of-many-names-and-few-shirts shows up to to flex his pecs, hurl some boulders and save the day. The film even offers not just one but TWO very lame dance numbers, with the extra one perhaps making up for the lack of an evil queen to seduce and trick the hero into captivity. (Every other standard of this sub-genre is present in the flick, however.)

Overall, the film is a relatively dull affair, although I did find the hero (named Maxus in the "Sons of Hercules edit, but Maciste in other versions) to be refreshingly intelligent when compared to some of the other "Sons" (not to mention Hercules himself) and the caveman trappings to be a nice change of pace. I also found the death scene of a couple of minor characters to be oddly moving... although I may just have been in a sappy mood when I watched this flick.

If you're a hardcore fan of Italian fantasy flicks, "Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules" might be just the fun bit of nonsense you're looking for. Others might find it a nice addition to a Bad Movie Night line-up... there are countless moments where even the dullest wit will be able to fire off a joke or two ala the robots from "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Everyone else can probably find better things to waste their time on.

(BTW, I do want to warn you about the theme song. It usually takes me about two days to purge it from my head and stop humming it whenever I watch a movie that opens with it.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One of the greatest anime movies ever?

Lum - Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

I just recently rewatched one of my all-time favorite Japanese cartoons for the first time in over five years. It was the second theatrical release based on Rumiko Takahasi's first hit comic book series, "Lum--Urusei Yatsura" (UY means "Obnoxious Aliens" in Japanese).

"Beautiful Dreamer" is every bit as good as I remember it. I don't necessarily recommend it to those unfamiliar with the cast of the "Lum" comic books, but I nonetheless place it among my all-time favourite animated features.

In this curious film, Lum, Shinobi, Ataru, and the rest of the central cast of the series find themselves the only beings left in perhaps the entire world. They later realize that the entire world has been reduced to a 2 km area around Ataru's house... and that's when things start to get really strange.

This film grabbed my attention immediately. The plot seemed to be something well beyond the standard 'Lum' wacky comedy that I'm used to from the graphic novels... there was a mystery here, and from the outset I was interested in seeing how it would be resolved. As the mystery deepend, the film actually started to get rather creepy--something I'd never thought possible for this particuarly property--and the mix of humour and mild horror was extremely effective. Even as the mystery reached its resolution, the creepiness deepened and for a time I wondered if it was going to be possible for the filmmakers to restore the light-hearted Lum-verse to its previous state.

They managed to do just that, and with a very ... and with a highly satisfying ending. What's even more remarkable, over the course of 'Beautiful Dreamer,' they breathed more life into Lum and Ataru than I thought could be possible; they've always been rather one dimensional characters to me--not it a bad way, but that's all they needed to be. But in 'Beautiful Dreamer,' we are shown another facet of Ataru, and Lum's character deepens as well.

Click here to read reviews of graphic novels by Rumiko Takahashi at the Shades of Gray blog.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Clint Eastwood goes White Trash

Every Which Way But Loose (1978)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Geoffrey Lewis, Sondra Locke, Beverly D'Angelo, Ruth Gordon, and John Quade
Director: James Fargo
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Committed white trash bachelor Philo Beddoe (Eastwood) was happy living in a shack behind his best friend's mother's house that he shared with the his pet orangutan Clyde and making a living driving trucks, fighting in no-rules, bare-knuckle fights arranged by his best friend Orville (Lewis), and occassionally refurbishing and selling motorbikes and cars. But then he met and fell in love with Lynn Halsey-Taylor (Locke), a young singer he sees perform in a bar. When she mysteriously vanishes one morning, Philo believes her crazy boyfriend forced her to go away, and he sets out in search ofher, with Clyde and Orville along for the ride and a group of angry bikers he picked a fight with in hot pursuit.

Unlike most other Clint Eastwood comedies, "Every Which Way But Loose" is actually funny. And, if one buys into the strange, slightly off-kilter lower working-class world it exists in--it's got a cute story that will keep you smiling and laughing as it unfolds. The filmmakers even manage to pull off a somewhat happy ending, something I was certain they would not be able to do. (It's obvious almost immediately that the girl Philo falls in love with is ust interested in taking him for whatever money she can get and that his quest to reunite with her will meet in heartbreak, and while it does do exactly that, the film still stays upbeat to the end.)

With fun performances from Clint Eastwood and Geoffrey Lewis, augmented by the hilarious live-action cartoon characters that make up the hapless Black Widow biker gang led by Cholla (a very funny John Quade) and his tatooed beer belly, and the toughest little old lady to ever pick up a shotgun, Ma Boggs (Ruth Gordon) this film is a sprawling, chaotic mess of bad jokes, fist-fights, Tarzan impersonations, and random bits of insanity. The only weak link in the film is Sondra Locke who isn't quite up to the nuanced performance her part calls for toward the film's ending.

If you can stand the many country western songs featured in this film, I think this is a film the entire family can enjoy together. The younger kids especially will get a kick out of Clyde the Orangutan.

You can read more reviews of Clint Eastwood movies at Watching the Detectives by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Basil Fawlty lives?

I remember reading somewhere that Basil Fawlty of the British comedy series "Fawlty Towers" had its origins with an encounter with a real-life hotel manager as crazy as the legendary character portrayed by John Cleese.

Apparently, the Basil School of Hotel Management thrives even today, as reported in "USA Today"...

A British couple says they were kicked out of their hotel after the hotel manager accused them of writing a negative review on TripAdvisor [...]

"We had been there a day when they said we couldn't get back in our rooms because they were re-carpeting, and we didn't complain. All we asked was if we could have an extra towel," said Adrian Healey, 33.

Here's a link to the full article: Hotel ousts couple after accusing them of writing negative TripAdvisor review -

'A Fistful of Talons' equals karate nonsense

A Fistful of Talons (1983)
Starring: Billy Chong, Ying Bai, Hilda Liu and Feng Tien
Director: Chung Sun
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

An obnoxious young martial artist who enjoys tormenting Manchurians in the decade following the fall of the Ching Dynasty (Chong) becomes intrigued by a mysterious traveler (Bai) and decides to follow him. Along the way, he becomes engaged to and skips out on a young woman who raises eagles as a hobby (Liu), and becomes embroiled in a plot to restore the Ching Emperor to power.

"A Fistful of Talons" is a movie rushes headlong from fight scene to fight scene, hardly ever taking a break from slap-stick flavored confrontations to life-or-death battles with the future of China at stake. It's a film that I found surprisingly entertaining, given that I found the "hero" to be an obnoxious git.

This is a film that has all the strengths and weaknesses of the best Chinese martial arts movies from the late 1970s and early 1980s. On the plus side, the fights are peformed by real acrobats and martial artists with little or no use of wires and trick photography. On the downside, the film is a little incoherent in the area of plot, and, like so many other Chinese action movies of this period, it ends literally when the hero strikes the killing blow against the main villain. And if there ever was a movie that needed a denoument, this is the one.

Did Jerk Boy and the girl he promised to marry resolve their differences (and get married)? What happened with the Seal of the Emperor, a major maguffin throughout the film? Did Jerk Boy become a more serious participant in the Republician effort, or did he stick with harrassing random Manchurians? Moreso than in any other early 1980s martial arts film, I was left after the obligatory still-frame and "The End" title card wanting to know how the story ended. I wanted to know the answer to those questions and others. Because of that, the film teeters on the brink of a 7 rating, as it clearly drew me in, despite my dislike of the "hero". But because I don't get that ending, I'm keeping my rating on the low side.

If you like martial arts movies, be sure come back in November for Nine Days of the Ninja.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tectonic Tuesday: The Hiatus

Since April--not counting the requisite, culturally sensitive break for Ramadan--I have been undertaking a one-man effort to spread the truth revealed by the Imam, the most holy man in all of Iran and possibly the entire world, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi. It was He who revealed that immodest women cause earthquakes, as I explained in this post.

For the time being, however, I will not be posting weekly Case Studies. With the new Mohammed Mondays series at Shades of Gray, and Nine Days of the Ninja coming soon to all the blogs, I just don't have time to do the indepth research needed to keep Tectonic Tuesdays going. And I don't want to do anything but the most thorough job when it comes to the threat of immodest women, a threat even greater than global warming. (Al Gore would never get involved with shoddy research, and I want to be just like my role-model in crusading.)

But, as I put Tectonic Tuesday aside, I want to leave you with a few immodest women to watch out for.

A Rogues Gallery of Immodest Women

Beyonce is a fine singer, an actress of questionable talent, and a threat to the very ground beneath your feet when she prances around in next to nothing.

Carmen Electra, model-turned-actress, may tickle your funny bone in a range of comedies now, but how will you feel when her immodest ways brings your home down on top of you?

Even when she's dead, the threat of an immodest woman isn't lessened in this day of DVDs and streaming video. Ann Sheridan passed away in 1967, but many of her movies are still wildly available. And each time they are watched, an earthquake may be triggered!

Angie Harmon (currently starring in the "Rizzoli and Isles" television series) is a threat few consider. She keeps her clothes on most of the time, but she always portrays successful professional women who don't obey the demands and commands of men. Can anything be more immodest than that? (Plus, she's a Republican.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

'Orgazmo' is a turn-on for comedy lovers

Orgazmo (1997)
Starring: Trey Parker, Dian Bachar, Robyn Lynne, Michael Dean Jacobs, and Ron Jeremy
Director: Trey Parker
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Joe Young (Parker), a dedicated Mormon missionary ends up a porn star and a real-life sexual superhero. Will his virginal girlfriend back in Utah (Lynne) understand, or will Young's double-life end in tragedy?

If you have enjoyed some of "South Park"'s crudest moments, you'll love "Orgazmo." If you like absurdist humor, you'll also love "Orgazmo." If you can picture a movie that mocks religion, the porn biz, the film industry, and everything in between, you'll find that "Orgazmo" is everything you imagined and more.

This film displays Trey Parker's ability to take pot-shots at everything and everyone at this finest. It also features some of the funniest and crudest jokes and gags to ever appear on film, and despite this, it manages to remain a fairly clever and intelligent movie.(Well, as intelligent as amovie can be with a superhero whose midget sidekick wears a dildo on his head.)

One of the best aspects of the film is the character of Joe. He's naive and he's in one hell of an awkward situation that keeps getting worse, but Parker's script never demeans or mocks him. As such, it avoids a mistake that ruins many comedies that tackle religion. The film pokes fun at Mormon stereotypes, but it never gets vicious toward Mormons themselves, and as such the film remains funny and enjoyable.

This is not a movie for those who are easily offended, no matter what their political, cultural, or sexual orientaton... but it is a movie for the rest of us. Jack Mormons may be especially amused by some of the films digs at Mormon and Utah culture.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

'The Bloody Judge': Jess Franco's Best?

The Bloody Judge (aka "Throne of Blood", "Throne of the Blood Monster", "The Witch's Trial" and "Witch-killer of Broadmoor) (1970)
Starring: Christopher Lee, Leo Genn, Maria Rohm, Margaret Lee, Hans Hass, and Milo Quesada
Director: Jess Franco
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A hypocritical judge (Lee) illustrates why a little rebellion among the peasantry can be a good thing every now and then.

Loosely based on the final months of notorious and controversial historical 17th century British hanging judge George Jeffries, this film is probably the best work I've seen from Spanish director Jess Franco. The plot is coherent and engaging, the camerawork and sets are fairly decent, and there's actually a few well-staged action scenes. To top it off, the characters are even interesting... as repulsive as Jeffries comes across, he is emerges as a fascinating character... and Maria Rohm's pure-hearted peasant girl (who is forced to have sex with the vile Jeffries in exchange for her sister's life) is a character that the viewer can feel real pity for.

Unfortunately, the film also has all the hallmarks of some of other Franco's pictures, such as unnecessary torture scenes and nudity and just general crap thrown in to guarantee an R-rating at the very least. (Franco must have been the role-model for the fools who were in charge of "Snakes on a Plane" as far as that approach goes.)

Interestingly, this film would have been stronger if a scene that apparently was only included in the German-language version of the movie had been in all the edits. Although repulsive for some of its sexual/torture content, it does make some later part of the film seem a little less unmotivated plot-development wise.

This "lost" scene and other bonus material included on the "Blue Underground" DVD release of the picture actually makes up a very worthwhile package for fans and scholars of "exploitation cinema" and other B-movies. It's material that gives excellent insight into rare insight into the production and marketing processes that went into these multi-national European productions of the 1960s and 1970s. (Yeah, the liner notes are a little ridiculous--the reviewer who wrote them seems to hold Franco's body of work in much higher regard that a sane person should--and the interview with Christopher Lee makes him seem like a pompous ass, but it's all very interesting.)

For more reviews of movies with Christopher Lee, visit Movies You Should (Die Before You) See, Terror Titans, and Watching the Detectives.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Molly Norris becomes a non-person,
thanks to Muslim terrorists and their good friends in US government and media

Molly Norris, a cartoonist who drew fairly harmless and inoffensive cartoons in a local weekly paper, had her life destroyed because of idol-worshiping psychopaths bent on honoring their false God--The Prophet Mohammed (may piss be upon him)--with the blood of innocents.

Molly Norris never drew The Prophet Mohammed (may piss be upon him), nor did she create "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Yet "Muslim holy men" have called for her head, the murderous idolaters who follow them are willing to follow their order, and the government of the United States of America is unwilling to do anything to protect one of their own citizens who has committed no crime whatsoever. In fact, the United States of America, through our state department, seems to be doing everything it can to validate the twisted and evil beliefs of Mohammadans around the globe. How else can you explain the apologetic stance taken over "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" and the official "great job, guys!" that was sent to Pakistan when they blocked web access to their nation around May 20, 2010?

The sick freaks who claim to be Muslims, and who honor The Prophet Mohammed (may piss be upon him) above even Allah himself, have destroyed Molly Norris. They have silenced her, completely and utterly. They might as well have killed her. And all the magazine that used to print her cartoon has to say about it is "we wish her the best."

You can read what will probably be one of the very few acknowledgement of complete and utter capitulation by the American media to terrorists, as Seattle Weekly editor Mark D. Fefer offers good-byes and so-longs to one of their victims.

I'd be surprised if any other media outlet even has that much to say, because they are too busy making excuses and offering justifications for the terrorists. And because they believe that if they bow to the terrorists, they will make them go away... like Fefer, they suffer under the delusion that appeasement will do anything but spur the madmen on.

If I had enough cartoons, EVERY DAY would be "Draw Mohammed Day" from here on in. This can't be allowed to happen. It shouldn't be allowed to happen to anyone, especially someone who didn't even DRAW the syphilitic pedophile known as The Prophet Mohammed (may piss be upon him).

A Return to Game Design

As some of you may already know, I used to be a full-time game designer. You can see my name in roleplaying game books from TSR, Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf, West End Games, Decipher and many other publishers, mostly from 1994 to 2004.

I sat down yesterday with the intent to design a "30-Minute Roleplaying Game"--where I give myself 30 minutes to devise and type up a super-simple RPG--but I found myself with ideas that I liked too much to put in such a quick little mini-game.

So, instead, I'm going to try something completely new for me. I'm going to try to design a game in public.

Each day, I will spend an hour or two working on it, and each week day, some new bit of mechanics or setting information will be posted to the message board connected to the website I've established to support my upcoming book, 150 Movies You Should (Die Before You) See. (I don't want to clutter Cinema Steve with too much RPG stuff... for all I know, I'm the only one here who cares about such geekery!)

I will, however, toss out the general setting here. Feel free to comment. If it sounds too silly, maybe I'll think of another backdrop/framework for the game to unfold within. (This is but one of three different settings that I think the game I have in mind will work for.)

The Highways of Horror
A Roleplaying Game of Phantoms and Fast Cars

The disembodied spirits of the dead roam the earth in packs, craving electricity wherever they can find it to keep their shadowy forms intact. They hunger in particular for the bio-electricity generated by human bodies, but they will drain anything. The only way to stay alive is to keep moving, to keep ahead of the hungry ghosts. And to do that, you need a fast car. Welcome to the United States of America in 2013 where the dead travel fast, but you can survive by putting the pedal to the metal and barreling through the night at 90 miles an hour.

(BTW, if you're interested in seeing what a "30-Minute Roleplaying Game" is, drop me an email at with the header "SM-30" and I'll send you one in pdf format, free of charge.)

Legal Notice: The text in this post is Copyright 2010 by Steve Miller. All Rights Reserved. The Highways of Horror is a trademark owned by Steve Miller.

In the Interest of Fairness:
Bin Laden's Twitter Feed

With this post, I am attempting to change. I am attempting to reach out to those I've hated, and I hope that they might find it in their hearts to do the same. You can read on to experience the beginning of a new phase in my life, or you can simply click here to access the inner thoughts of Osama bin Laden Himself..

A New Beginning For An Old Dog...

Over the past twenty years or so, I have said many unkind things about Muslim terrorists, euphemistically referred to as Jihadists, Islamic militants, the government of Iran, and hairy drag queens.

In recent years, most of my comments have been directed at Osama bin Laden and the members of the social club he founded, al-Qaeda. I have described al-Qaeda as the largest support network for pedophiles and zoophiles the world has ever known, and I have stated that most of its members are so filled with self-hatred over their repressed homosexual tendencies that they are bent on destroying themselves and the universe twisted enough to spawn them. Osama himself is not self-destructive, obviously. The world would be a much better place if more al-Qaeda members would follow the example set by him and the first wife in his harem, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

But I digress. My intent today is to turn over a new leaf, to reach out to Muslim terrorists, Islamic murderers, and fans of Osama bin Laden everywhere.

While there is overwhelming evidence in favor of my statements and conclusions, it is still unkind to refer to those brave Lions of Islam as self-loathing homosexuals. After all, they can't help their sexual orientation, and it's not my place to "out" them.

The whole Koran-burning bruhaha during the week leading up to September 11, the ongoing controversy of the Victory Mosque that some Muslims want to build a couple of blocks away from where the World Trade Center once stood, the sage words of President Barak Obama, and comments from noted deep thinker and filmmaker Michael Moore has convinced me that I need to give "the other side" a voice on my blogs.

To that end, I am featuring a syndicated feed from Osama bin Laden's personal Twitter account. The feed will be featured near the top of the sidebar here, and at the Terror Titans blog, because what better place for the world's foremost terrorist and modern Islamic thinker to have a spotlight than at Terror Titans? (Especially since these blogs get an average of 20,000 visits each month.)

I'm hoping that I can be a small part in building bridges and understanding between Western Civilization and the pack of barbaric homosexual pedopheliac rapists that populate the back-countries and universities throughout the Muslim World.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tectonic Tuesday: Milla Jovovich

When the Imam of Imams Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi gave the world his Allah-inspired revelation--"Many women who do not dress modestly [...] spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes."--he could very well have been thinking of Milla Jovovich.

Seventeenth Case Study: Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich was born in the Ukraine in 1975, but immigrated to with her family to the West as political refugees, eventually settling in Sacramento, California. At the age of 11, Jovovich began a successful career as a photo model, and she quit school at the age of 12. In addition to modeling, she has stated in interviews that she spend her teenage years engaged in drug use, shopping mall vandalism, and credit-card fraud. She also first endangered the world at the tender young age of 16 where the combined outcome of her photo shoots, an appearance on tacky sit-com "Married...With Children" as a slutty foreign exchange student, and her mostly disrobed role in "Return to the Blue Lagoon" triggered earthquakes in California and on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Jovovich and her wanton ways may also be to blame for the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, but such a connection is mere conjecture and may not be worthy of associating with the Grand Imam Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi's life-saving vision.

The only reason that Jovovich hasn't caused more devastation on Planet Earth is because she is strangely ignored by the film community, be they fans or critics. Instead, the attention goes to the equally threatening Angelina Jolie--whose lifestyle of sex, drugs, and boyfriends galore, as well as on-screen persona is actually somewhat tamer than what Jovovich has led--but that hasn't stopped Jovovich from causing earthquakes in 1997 (with her appearance in a costume consisting of nothing but Ace bandages in "The Fifth Element" bringing about the Qayen quake that left 50,000 people homeless), in 2002 (when she first appeared in a torn dress as zombie-killing lab-experiment-gone-wrong, Alice, in "Resident Evil" and caused the earthquake in Central Alaska that almost resulted in a massive ecological disaster by threatening a major oil pipeline) and in 2007 (when she reprised the role of Alice, wearing an even more revealing outfit in "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and triggered a massive earthquake in Sumatra).

Although she is now married and has children, Milla Jovovich is continuing to endanger the world with her immodest ways. She will perhaps bring about unimaginable devastation in the wake of her fourth "Resident Evil" movie, which is on track to being the most-seen and biggest grossing of them all.

When the earth cracks and cities crumble, it will be due to the immodesty of Milla Jovovich.

For more of Milla Jovovich being immodest, click here to visit Shades of Gray.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just add water?

(Visit The Charles Band Collection for reviews of films with Phil Fondecaro.)

'The Big Picture' is far from perfect

The Big Picture (1989)
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Emily Longstreth, J.T. Walsh, Michael McKean, and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Director: Christopher Guest
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

When film-student Nick Chapman (Bacon) wins a prestigious award and is immediately given a movie to direct by a studio executive (Walsh), he thinks his career is rocketing along. But, after selling out with lightning speed, he discovers how fickle and phony the business and people in the movie industry are.

Although the story of "The Big Picture" is one that's been told a hundred times over, it's retold here with great charm, humor, and a cast where every actor is excellent and at the top of his or her game. (Kevin Bacon, J.T. Walsh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Micheal McKean are particularly good in this film. Leigh truly rocks as a kooky artist.)

Unfortunately, the first act of the movie really drags for me, partly because it consists almost entirely of scenes featuring people being awkward or indifferent, but mostly Nick is such a dunderhead. Basically, in the first case, the director is trying to show us that Nick is about of his element, and that he is feeling starstruck and awkward, but it's done too many times and it feels over done. Maybe that's because I've been on both ends of that situation--the one feeling awkward and star-struck AND being the person who had to suffer through encounters with the awkward and star-struck that I feel this way. Plus it annoyed me throws his friends and fiance overboard for one film deal and a slutty B-actress. I felt like Nick's film school nemesis deserved more success, because he was a self-absorbed prick from the beginning, while Nick turns into one almost overnight. I initially found it impossible to root for Nick, and I found him too repulsive to be funny.

Things get better as the film goes on--once Nick gets kicked in the teeth by the soulless and fickle Hollywood Movie Machine and then later inadvertently turns it to his advantage--but that first act was so hard to get through that it really dragged the whole movie down.

Although I've had very few dealings with the real-life people being mocked in this film, I suspect there is much truth in what is portrayed. It certainly explains how some of the crap I watch and review gets made. It's a fun movie, but I would have enjoyed it more if the first act had been stronger. (Or maybe weaker? Perhaps the actors were TOO good during that part of the movie?)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kevin McCarthy dead at 96

Kevin McCarthy, an ubiquitous character actor whom all of us have seen in many television and film productions made during the past sixty years, passed away on Saturday, September 11. He was 96.

McCarthy appeared in over 200 movies and television episodes, not to mention numerous commercials for Twix candy bars and "Weird Al" music videos, but he was best known for his role in the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Whether he was portraying a cowboy, a greedy television executive, a police detective, or a doctor, his presence was always one that viewers welcomed and enjoyed.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never forget.

I had written a rant, but I've deleted it. The pictures here, as well as El-Marco's photo essay linked to in the post immediately beneath this one, say far more than my virtiol ever could.

I am glad that decent American Muslims recognize the awkwardness of the end of Ramadan falling on September 11, the day when the worst of the worst that follow their faith attacked all of us. Here in Washington, a number of Muslim leaders have called for subdued Eid festivals, or even for postponing them until later in the coming week.

It's a shame the front-men for the Muslim extremists who want a Victory Mosque built in lower Manhattan have no such respect for the feelings of other Americans. (And if it was anything BUT an intended Victory Mosque, they wouldn't call it "Cordoba House.")

Remembering and Understanding 9/11

Here's a link to a great photo essay from El Marco's Looking at the Left blog, on this ninth anniversary of the terrorist plane hi-jackings and mass-murders in New York City and Arlington.

Remembering and Understanding 9/11

Contemporary Sunni and Shiia Islam take their place in line behind international socialism and national socialism/fascism as the latest models of ruthlessly violent group insanity to threaten Western civilization. For western leaders to believe that Islam is less dangerous than communism or nazism is to commit a terrible error. There are a number of aspects that make 21st century Islam infinitely more dangerous, the fanatical suicidal religious impulse being one and the proliferation of nuclear weapons another.
--El Marco

Friday, September 10, 2010

'Dan Candy's Law' is a different western

Dan Candy's Law (aka "Alien Thunder") (1973)
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Kevin McCarthy, Jean Duceppe, John Boylan, Chief Dan George, Gordon Tootoosis, and Francine Racette
Director: Claude Fournier
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A Canadian Mountie's obsession with hunting down and bringing to trail a Cree Indian (Tootosis) who killed his friend and colleague (McCarthy) ends up triggering a confrontation between rebellious Native Americans and the Canadian army. Will Dan Candy (Sutherland) get his man, and at what cost?

"Dan Candy's Law" is a quiet, almost gentile movie--despite the cussing, gunplay and ultimately cannon fire--that is through-and-through Canadian western. Instead of the scorching heat of a desert southwest, we have the chilly windswept northwestern plains of Canada. Instead of a shoot-from-the-hip renegade vigilante sheriff, we have a tall-tale-telling Mountie who, even while disobeying orders from his superior, is trying to uphold the law and to bring a fugitive murderer to justice before a court.

Based on a true story of a NWMP officer Dan Candy who spent a year tracking a Cree Indian who stole government cattle and killed a police officer while escaping custody, the film is sympathetic to both the police officers and white settlers and the Native Americans who have been displaced. It's a film that's probably a lot closer to reality than most westerns that are made, even to the point of the way it unfolds slowly and quietly, except for moments of chaos and violence.

Donald Sutherland is particularly excellent in the film, and his character is a fascinating one, particularly for a western. More often than not, movies center on vigilantes who are out for revenge more than anything else, but the anger of his friend's murder subsides, Candy returns to being a true professional who stands for law and order on the frontier. Up to the very end, he is dedicated to bringing in his suspect alive, if possible.

If you enjoy the western genre, "Dan Candy's Law" might be a nice change of pace for you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

'He Was a Quiet Man' is a well-done drama

He Was A Quiet Man (2006)
Starring: Christian Slater, Elisha Cuthbert, and William H. Macy
Director: Frank A Cappello
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

A deranged office worker (Slater) is going to act on fantasies of murdering his co-workers, he becomes a hero when he shoots another man who was "going postal" at the office. Finally noticed by his boss (Macy), he gets promoted, he becomes the most important person in the life of a pretty co-worker who never noticed him before (Cuthbert)... a violent tragedy has turned his nightmare life into a dream. But is it a dream that can last?

"He Was a Quiet Man" is a film featuring some excellent performances by all its principles--Christian Slater plays another quirky, unbalanced character but he does it in far more restrained a manner than ever before, and he's probably better than he ever has been before--and features a "too good to be true" fantasy story that is made successful and put into perspective by a one of those rarest of things: A twist ending that actually works.

The script is mostly well-written, with an unsual romance story at its core that fits well with the overall quirky nature of the film. However, there are times when it gets redundant and goes overboard with driving home story elements, as if the filmmakers either doubted their own abilities to communicate, or the audience's intelligence and ability to comprehend.

Read more reviews of films with Christian Slater at the Watching the Detectives and Terror Titans blogs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I was right AND wrong about "Auschwitz."

As I mentioned previously, I wrote an email to Uwe Boll to ask about "Auschwitz", because I was confused by the existence of a preview for a movie that doesn't exist according to his resume at IMDB Pro.

I was RIGHT in-so-far as no one had bothered asking whether this was a real movie or not.

"You are the only journalist asking me anything," Boll wrote. "Everybody else is just writing and guessing."

I was, however, WRONG in my speculation that the preview was some misbegotten attempt at promoting "Bloodrayne: The Third Reich."

In the time-honored method of budget-minded B-movie producers everywhere, Boll shot a second movie back-to-back to back with the WW2-themed third entry in the "Bloodrayne" series and that movie is "Auschwitz."

"It will appear on IMDB soon," he wrote.

Boll went onto explain that he was hoping to show the Holocaust as ugly as it was.

"I made the movie because there is not one movie made that shows the holocaust as it really was," he wrote. "All the movies made show us the SPECIAL people, the heroes, but nobody focused on the subject matter. This is what I do in my movie,
and I think in times where 50% of the planet basically say THERE WAS NO HOLOCAUST - I think it's not so bad to show that AUSCHWITZ happened."

He further added that part of the movie will be a documentary.

So, love him, hate him, or be completely indifferent towards him, it seems that Uwe Boll is putting forward something approximating a serious film. I think that deserves some consideration.

On that book-burning asshole in Florida

I wasn't going to give Reverend Terry Jones any more publicity than he's already getting, but since I was asked my opinion on him at lunch, I might as well express it here, too.

I think anyone who's visited Cinema Steve more than once knows the level of contempt I have for the Muslim extremists who threaten to kill anyone who they don't agree with or don't like. It's a contempt that approaches hatred. It's only slightly more severe than the contempt I have for other terrorist and fascist movements, because the Muslims assholes--more often than not--seem to have the tacit, if not outright, approval of their social and governmental institutions. (Sure, the Pakistani and Saudi dictators get upset when the filthy dogs turn on them once in a while, but for the most part they're happy to fund and encourage their psychopathy.)

But that contempt extends to book-burning assholes like the Reverend Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center. He is no better than some demented Muslim imam who encourages the murder of cartoonists, because he, too, is trying to destroy ideas through violent means.

What is needed is more reading, not less. Banning and/or burning books is NEVER the right answer. Thankfully, Reverend Terry Jones represents a tiny minority of Americans. His asinine "Burn a Koran Day" this September 11th will appeal to few outside his demented little flock of 50. Unlike state-sponsored Muslim "holy men" who call for murder and mayhem from their platforms in Iran and Saudi Arabia--and whose see their calls answered all around the world--no respectable American has done anything but condemn Jones and his barbaric behavior.

(Although I feel dirty for being on the same side as Obama and his mouth-pieces, here I am. Thank you, Reverend Jones, you degenerate, syphilitic waste of space. It's just a shame that the Obamatons are so morally corrupt that they will call Koran-burning "un-American", yet support the burning of the American flag as acceptable political statements. Each is equally disgusting in their symbolism.)

Uwe Boll making movie about Auschwitz?

I woke up this morning to find corners of the web abuzz over a preview of a very strange next project for director Uwe Boll: a movie about the Holocaust, or at least one of the key death camps run by the Nazis, titled ""Auschwitz".

Here is the clip that's the subject of the talk (and it's not a pleasant one, so beware):

What I find odd is that Boll has no such film on his resume. He has three films in varying degree of production, yet none of them are "Auschwitz". Can it be that this is actually a weird attempt at promoting the upcoming "Bloodrayne: The Third Reich" movie?

I dropped Boll a line through his production company, as I saw no sign that anyone else has done so yet. Watch this space, as I'll report back whatever I hear.

Click here for Uwe Boll's response to my query about "Auschwitz".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tectonic Tuesday: Lindsay Lohan

Regular readers know of the Allah-inspired warning given us by Imam Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi: "Many women who do not dress modestly [...] spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes."

It's rare that such immediate and definite proof of the truth of his words can be found than what happened last week. Can anyone doubt he's right after this latest proof? Is it time to stop the Tectonic Tuesdays project, or will it continue to be necessary to post pictures of immodest women?

Sixteenth Case Study: Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is a fallen child star who is so pathetic that she wasn't even on the Tectonic Tuesday's research team's list of possible candidates, although perhaps she should have been... like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, she spent her early career working on Walt Disney Corporation productions. She displayed a great deal of promise and her talent was unquestionable in films like "The Parent Trap" and "Mean Girls," but she threw it all away when she chose the life of a booze-addled party girl over that of a working actress. Despite repeated chances to get back on the straight and narrow, Lohan continued to flaunt both common sense and the courts showing her leniency following her intoxicated brushes with disaster and the law, and so she proved herself to be the dullest kind of immodest woman: The Stupid One.

But with the release of "Machete", where Lohan appears naked (with her hair strategically spirit-gummed to her breasts in a false pretense of maintaining some modesty), Lohan proved exactly how deadly even the most pathetic immodest woman can be. As she appeared on over 3000 movie screens across the United States this past Friday, a massive earthquake struck New Zealand. The cost in human lives and property is still being assessed, but parts of the island nation are still inaccessible.

Disregarding Lindsay Lohan as a threat was a mistake. She will most likely visit even greater terror upon the world, as her next movie project has her portraying a 1970s porn movie actress. The earth with tremble, buildings will fall... and all because of the immodesty of Lindsay Lohan.

The Strange Case of Kyle Dubois

That smiling face belongs to Kyle Dubois, one of the dumbest people currently walking the face of the Earth. I wonder if he's a true moron or just run-of-the-mill stupid.

The Daily Mail Online reports Kyle's claim to fame: "An American student whose heart stopped after he deliberately electrocuted himself in a science class is suing his teacher for not warning him it was dangerous."

You can read the full article here. No doubt you will have the same questions that I had when you're done.

How does one get to be 18 years old and not know that electricity is dangerous?!

How can one be 18 years old and have so little pride that one wants the whole world to know that one is a complete moron?

How do parents fail so miserably so as to raise an idiot like Kyle Dubois of Dover, New Hampshire?! (Or maybe they succeeded. Perhaps his condition is congenital, and they should be lauded for keeping him alive this long.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

'Kung Pow: Enter the Fist' is a masterful
collection of lunacy and special effects

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)
Starring: Jennifer Tung and Steve Oedekerk
Director: Steve Oedekerk
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

"Kung Pow: Enter the Fist" is a tale of two movies. First, there was a weak Kung Fu flim from the 70s. Then, writer Steve Oedekerk got his hands on it, wrote an all new storyline and English dialogue for redubbing, rearranged many of the scenes (and shot a few new ones) accordingly, tricked himself into the film in place of the original hero, and performed other CGI manipulations to produce a truly hilarious spoof.

The story is of an orphan who becomes a martial arts expert (chosen weapon: a matched pair of gophers) who is on a quest to find Master Pain, the villain who killed his parents when he was but a baby. Never has a quest been so insane, however.

You won't find any highbrow humor here--and I suspect that there will soon be a study issued that watching "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist" causes the IQ of viewers to drop at least a dozen points--but it is repleat with hilarous quotable lines, nonsequitors, and jokes that will first leave you wondering if you witnesses what you think you witnessed and then have you howling with laughter.

It's definately a film for lovers of base, stupid humor, and for anyone who's ever mocked one of those truly craptacular Kung Fu movies from the 70s. If you belong to either grooup, you'll have fun. If young belong to both, you might even enjoy watching "Kung Pow" more than once.

(BTW, the DVD has a whole raft of hilarous and interesting extras, with the "Long-lost Book on Tape Version" being particularly funny.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

'The Shooting': An overlooked Western gem

The Shooting (1967)
Starring: Warren Oates, Millie Perkins, Will Hutchinson, and Jack Nicholson
Director: Monte Hellman
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

A retired bountyhunter and tracker (Oates) is hired to escort a mysterious, and dangerously insane, woman (Perkins) through desert badlands. During the trip, they meet up with a hired killer (Nicholson) and the bountyhunter realizes that he is guiding the woman to an execution.

"The Shooting" is a quirky western the oozes atmosphere, mystery, and strangeness from every frame. Many questions come up about the characters and the situations they're in, but virtually none of them are answered. The ending, although in perfect keeping with everything that's led up to it--and not terribly surprising if you've been paying careful attention as they film unfolds--only heightens the questions and mystery. That sort of approach is one that bothers me in most cases, but in this film, it works.

Well-acted, well-filmed (even the day-for-night campfire scenes are tolerably well done), and unfolding with the steady, deliberate pace of a well-told suspense tale, "The Shooting" is an overlooked classic of the western genre. If you liked "Pale Rider" or "High Plains Drifter", I suspect you'll appreciate this movie as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Muslim "holy man" calling for murder

Here's the words of Imam Feiz Muhammed, calling for the beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Wilders is a bit of a tool, but that is not justification for calls for him to be murdered. (Of course, calling for beheadings isn't something unusual for this psycho.
Remind me again why assholes like Feiz Muhammad deserve any respect whatsoever?)

Here's a a link to some more background on this blood-thirsty Muslim freak from Australia. You can read more of his own words while there.

Fatwa: Australian Imam Urges Muslims to Behead Geert Wilders

Oh yeah, before I forget... here's a little mockery of the Prophet Mohammed (may peas be upon him):

(An early entry in the long-running Jesus and Mo comic strip.)

The website for the book inspired by the blog...

I was asked to make a website for my upcoming book he editor of my upcoming book, 150 Movies You Should (Die Before You) See.

Please check it out by clicking here. While you'll find link back to this very space, you'll also find the opportunity to watch a classic Bela Lugosi movie and some brand-spakin' new message forums. (All that's in them right now are little posts I've been making, partly as tests, partly because I abhor empty space. You should see my office.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

John Nolte: Al Gore Lied, James J. Lee Died

From conservative columnist and film reviewer John Nolte:
Today’s Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore Lied, James J. Lee Died

The topic is the whack-job terrorist who took hostages at the Discovery Channel's offices and who was subsequently shot dead by police.

My mother commented that she thought it was a shame that "the little man died." She felt that it would have been better for all if he had received the treatment he so desperately needed, because he was obviously sick in the head.

She may be right. Me, I'm taking joy from the fact that he's dead. Anyone who chooses the path of terrorism to advance their agenda deserves to have their carbon footprint reduced to Zero.

I wonder how long it will take the Huffington Post to start condemning Al Gore for inspiring violence. They seem quick to blame right-wing media figures for all sorts of things they have nothing to do with. Here, we have a guy who specifically stated he was inspired by Al Gore's movie. I was expecting to see my "daily brief" full of condemnations. But nothing yet.

I guess I'll have to be content with Roger Catlin treating the little freak with the disdain he so richly deserves.

Weird factoid: I'm seeing the "little man" referred to as Jason Jay Lee in some articles. Was this former parasite's name James or Jason?

It's good to have something to fall back on

Just call me Swami Yurmurda. It worked for this guy, so why not me?

By the way, I've made a website to help promote my upcoming book, 150 Movies You Should (Die Before You) See. You can visit it by clicking here. You can even watch a classic Bela Lugosi movie there (well, for the next month... a new film will be featured come Oct. 1.) :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Environmentalist terrorism on a new scale

Madman Takes Hostages at Discovery Channel Building, Demands Programming Changes

Once again, the environmentalist movement shows itself to be a fertile breeding ground for domestic terrorists here in the United States.

To read the words and demands of James Lee, the whack-job (alleged) hostage taker, click here.

By the way, Lee cites "An Inconvenient Truth" as a source of inspiration. And I think Lee may have inspired me. I think I may have to start ending all my posts with "These are the demands and sayings of Miller."

Mushroom Hunter Massacre!

I see a horror movie in our future, be it a slasher film or a cheesy monster movie!

Mushroom hunter massacre claims 18 lives in Italy

(Although it may already have been made.)