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

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Matinee: The Laundromat

Greetings thrill-seekers... I'm actually showing a movie at Cinema Steve today! It's a short little item, one you can watch right here and now. It's even educational! (Read on after watching the film for why I say that.)

Photo by Sporto

The Laundromat (2010)
Starring: Zoe Simpson and Tom Proctor
Director: Drew Daywalt
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Horror films and comedy often rely on reversal of expectations for their impact. "The Laundromat" manages to both be funny and frightening at the same time by playing on horror movie tropes and the expectations they arouse in the viewer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Television Set Upgrade!

A friend of mine got a new TV, so she gave me her old one... which was far newer than the 25+ year-old Montgomery Ward-branded set (with "electronic remote!") that I have been watching things on. It was a great gift, and I'm grateful.

My new television set... it's like a drive-in movie in my own living room!

It's one of those new-fangled widescreen jobbies with crystal clear, razor-sharp HD picture, and great stereo speakers built right in... and now I'm finding myself more grossed out by some of the gory horror flicks I watch for review purposes than I ever have been before. And I thought watching CSI in HD was a Bad Idea....

I suppose I should be extra grateful, because it's kinda-sorta doubling as a diet aid, given that I know have to assume that there is not going to be any eating while watching films from distributors like Chemical Burn or Maxim Media. :)

In honor of the new television, I offer you the Weird Al song I thought of when I first fired it up some weeks ago. It's not quite the set from the song, but it continues to blow me away. And my fear that my vast collection of PD cheapjack DVD digital tranfers would be unwatchable has turned out to be unfounded. Even they look better on the new screen!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Man-baby's quest to ban Tintin comic book fails

Score one for the good guys.

The dumb lawsuit filed by a hypersensitive, dimwitted cry-baby over "Tintin in the Congo" has reached the end of the road. At least for now. With a sane conclusion. This happened a few months ago, but I just found out, and since I posted on the earlier stages of this story, I figured I'd bring you all the conclusion.

On February 10, 2012, the Brussels Court of First Instance rejected the suit that demanded that "Tintin in the Congo" should be banned and its publisher sactioned in its entirety, and politely told the complainant, Bienuvenu Mbutu Mondondo, to grow up and fuck off. Unfortunately, the court dismissed a counterclaim by the publishers of Tintin that the Man-baby should pay them for wasted time and cout-costs.

The mind and maturity level of  Bienuvenu Mbutu Mondondo.
(Artist Representation.)
An op-ed piece was published in "the Guardian" last month that I hope someone forwards to any and all would-be censors and overwrought hysterical P.C. fanatics before they start trying to use the courts to force their diseased viewpoints on those around them. Click on the link to read it:

Effort to ban Tintin comic book fails in Belgium by Jogchum Vrielink

By the way, i'm aware that the Man-baby has appealed the ruling... and, as far as I know, his even more laughable criminal charge against the publishers and distributors of "Tintin in the Congo" is still pending in court.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury dead at 91

One of the greatest short story writers the world has ever known, Ray Bradbury, has passed away at the age of 91. He was one of my favorite writers from the time I was 10 years old, and he remains one of my favorite writers to this day.

Bradbury wrote over 600 short stories and 27 novels over the course of his career. Meeting him in 1980 was a thrill for me... such a thrill that I stupidly forgot to ask for his autograph. His writings were a major part of my wanting to become a writer, and I still re-read "Something Wicked This Way Comes" every year in October.

I also love the fact that I had an article in the same issue of "Amazing Stories" as one of Ray Bradbury's short stories (issue #601).

My respect for him as a writer never wavered, and my respect for him as a man grew ten-fold when it became apparent to me that he was dismissive of the politically correct crap that has crept into every aspect of life... and that he wasn't afraid to stand up and call bullshit on hacks like Michael Moore and other phony champions of "little people."

Another one of the greats has left us... but his stories are still there for all of us to read and enjoy. If you haven't already, I encourage you to get to know the works of Ray Bradbury.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lady Gaga and the Indonesian Monsters

I am not a big Lady Gaga fan. To my ears, she DOES sound like the 1980/90s Warmed Over with the sexuality cranked up and a heavy smattering of nightmarish weirdness thrown in, at least as far as the videos go.

There are certainly far worse acts currently recording on major labels these days... and there are certainly very few who are starring in videos as interesting as those being produced to support Gaga's releases, but Old Fogie that I am, I still lean toward Madonna, Ace of Base, and Eurythmics in my tastes. I will grant, though, that Lady Gaga does have a sound that's larger and more epic than any of those acts she reminds me of.

However, I reflexively support any artist who is shut down by bigoted religious zealots and indifferent law enforcement establishments who allow them to get away with their campaigns of intimidation, violence and murder. So, therefore, this week, I am a supporter and fan of Lady Gaga, because her Indonisia concert, which was to have taken place this Sunday, June 3 in Jakarta, was cancelled because Muslim Maniacs threatened murder and mayhem. (Click here for details.)

Over 50,000 tickets were sold in advance for the concert. And all it took were a few assholes intent on forcing what passes for their values on others to cancel it.

Here's her special message to the "Little Monsters" in Indonisia, and to the government forces that claim to be secular yet who allow barbarians straight out of the 13th century to dictate what concerts they can and cannot go to. (This was the opening bit from one of Lady Gaga's three Singapore concert.)

Here's the video for "Bad Romance." The wife of a friend (who is a big Lady Gaga fan) showed it to me about a year ago now. It's an amazing bit of film.

And here's a funny Lady Gaga spoof that shows that I must not be the only one who is mildly baffled when watching her:

Finally, you can compare Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" to the spoof song.