Saturday, February 19, 2011

This is so embarassing...

I don't even know why I'm sharing it.

Go look at my HTML school project monstrosity here.

Try out the links and let me know if there are any problems. I have to debug it and submit it by 5PM Thursday.

Thanks - and be merciful.

Originally posted on July 27, 2006 on Myspace.

Hahahahahahaha! I gotz skillz.

Double Feature

So I had this bright idea to do a double feature today. Decided I would re-watch White Lightning- starring Burt Reynolds, followed by its sequel Gator - which I have never seen before.

White Lightning
- is an early pre-mustache Burt Reynolds film that kicks all kinds of ass. Burt is a freaking bad-ass and actually acts really well in this flick (rather than just mugging for the camera and laughing like most of his 70's flicks). In fact I'd say this is Burt's best early role next to The Longest Yard. But it isn't just Burt that makes this flick so damn good. Ned Beatty plays the meanest, sweatiest, southern sheriff in film history here. Beatty's performance is so real and intimidating - well it is just Oscar-worthy. The score to White Lightning is a great 70's action score with hints of swamp guitar. The screenplay is on fire with some of the best country-fried but hard-boiled dialogue you're likely to find. But it is really the directing by Joseph Sargent that sells this movie for me. Sargent gives the swamps and country around them a 70's grit and realism that really makes you feel the southern heat and taste the moonshine. Sargent would later bring his eye for realism and detail to The Taking of Pelham 123 (a personal favorite of mine).

White Lightning kicks unholy ass - so imagine my surprise when the sequel Gator turned out to be one of the biggest turds of a movie I have ever watched.

Gator is directed by Burt Reynolds (there is your first warning, right?). The story takes place several years after Burt's character's adventure in the first film. In this one Gator has given up running moonshine in hot-rods, to simply brew it in the swamp with his dad and daughter. But of course the Feds come in and threaten to arrest Gator's dad unless Gator helps them clean up a county down in Florida that Gator's childhood friend is ruling over as crime boss. The premise is simple but okay - it is the execution and the bizarre 'sensitive' portrayal of Gator in this sequel that ruins it.

Reynold's plays Gator like he plays The Bandit and it annoys the hell out of me. Gator is a tough, no nonsense, ball of seething rage in the first movie. In the sequel he's a wuss - plain and simple. And he doesn't even get to drive a hot-rod! The movie seemed to avoid car chases at all costs. Which sucks. I don't want to see Gator sneaking around the town carrying an old lady's cat while she fumbles with the keys to the file room. I don't want half the movie dedicated to the New York Jew (fish out of water) Federal Agent. What the hell is that crap? And what's with Gator bedding down with the news-lady women's libber? That sucked! Gator actually almost cries at the end! WTF?

In the first flick Gator bangs his buddy's Mongoloid-Yet-Oddly-Seductive Swamp-Rat-Hoochie-Mama. And when the bad guys have the drop on him, Gator coaxes them into trying to rape her so as to mask his escape attempt. The Gator of White Lightning does not cry, he doesn't tell some upwardly mobile broad " he loves her". The real Gator breaks shotguns over bad guy's heads and kills them with his amazing driving skills and suped-up engines. In the sequel Gator runs from trouble every chance he gets - the White Lightning Gator was a man's man who met trouble head-on (nay he sought trouble out!). Where in development hell did this sequel derail? What the hell were they thinking when they made Gator a 'sensitive' type? Don't they realize no one fucking cares what Gator's favorite color is? Or his philosophy of the ocean? Seriously I kid you not - he talks about his philosophy of the ocean in this movie! I felt like screaming at the screen!

Ack, I am so fucking disappointed! Gator sucked and I will never watch it ever again! Don't waste your time on this piece of shit movie - just re-watch the original instead.

Originally posted on July 26, 2006 on Myspace.

I saw 'Gator' on television again recently (2010) and it is just as offensive to 'White Lightning' fans as ever!

The Return of Editors (& Darpino)

Well, it’s been forever since I’ve had anything to post here (thanks to my busy syllabi and sporadic travelling) but now as the summer semester comes to a close I’ve got some time for fun.

And just in time to see Editors return to the 930 Club!

A concert I highly recommend to each and every one of you who like great live music. When I saw them play a few months ago they were the opening act for Stellarstar and they stole the show. That was one of the best sets I’ve seen all year. Tomorrow night Editors return to DC as headliners and I can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us!

This show is not to be missed.

@The 930 Club

Originally published on July 26, 2006.

"The Constant Gardener" (2005)

Finally rented this one tonight. I don't see what everybody has been fucking complaining about - this was a terrific fucking movie. Start to finish - it is solid - good story, good pacing, great direction, and some awesome performances.

The direction and cinematography in this flick are masterful. I almost couldn't believe how sweet this movie looked. Very cool, will have to keep an eye on this director - also did the very good "City of God".

Originally posted on July 20, 2006 on Myspace.

The Kraken Wakes!

Saw "Pirates 2" last night for my birthday. I gotta say, it was a great summer movie. The first half was pretty damn funny and the second half kicked ass.

I seem to be one of the few people who liked the cliffhanger ending and I friggin loved the Kraken! Giant monsters rule in all forms.

If you like the first "Pirates" you'll really dig this one too.

Originally published on July 20, 2006 on Myspace.

"Laying Down The LAW" by MHD

Bodies spilled out of the side-slapped bus, spread across the highway like sacks of meat spit out a giant sprinkler. A column of black smoke rose out of the bus from the rocket strike. From inside the bus, a bloody hand beat at the spider-cracked windshield trying to escape the creeping flames.

On the lakeside road, some of the children started to stir. The broken and bruised began to scream in pain. Others did not, incapable of speech, their mouths fused shut with molten seat covering and ravaged flesh.

Across the lake, Tom and Howie jumped up and down in glee, the now-useless LAW tube dropping out of Howie's left hand.

Originally posted on July 20, 2008 on Myspace.

Some brief fiction writing.

A Legacy of Brutality

Ah hell, I just found out that Mickey Spillane died today.

Spillane wrote like a broken record - repeating the same story elements over and over again for years. But I liked those story elements - a whole lot. In fact Spillane is one of my second-tier heroes.

Of course everyone knows he was the originator of Mike Hammer - but for the last two years I have been reading lesser known novels by Spillane.

I just finished reading "The Last Cop Out" - which was the story of a serial killer taking out mafia members in a really spooky way (ala the Punisher) and the Cop who gets tasked with taking down the mob and the killer before their crossfire kills some innocent square types. Like all Spillane novels it was jam packed with over-the-top violence, tough-as-nails gunmen, and dames-to-kill-for.

Spillane was the master of gun-metal gray literature and he'll be missed.

Originally posted on July 18, 2006 on Myspace.

"A Scanner Darkly" (2006)

Went to see Linklater's latest, an adaptation of one of my heroes - Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly".

First off I have never really liked Linklater as a filmmaker and the problems I have with him continue right through "A Scanner Darkly". That said, the movie is the most faithful adaptation of a PKD novel ever put to screen. And that is pretty cool and worth watching just for that simple fact.

The movie is pretty good. The animation really serves some of the story elements, while at other times it seems extraneous and distracting. Robert Downey Jr. kicks ass in this movie - he captures Dick's character of Barris completely - Downey is Barris - which is awesome. The animated use of the scramble suits is pretty amazing, in fact it is incredible how well that part of the story translates through animation. You actually feel the characters through their scramble suits. (For those who know the book you will be amazed, for those who don't - you'll see what I mean when you see it).

The movie's first half is actually amazing in the way it captures the novel. However the second half chops so much of the novel out that I think the ending kind of sucks ass. I'd be curious to hear reactions to the end from readers and non-readers.

It seems to me that Linklater really connected with the druggie conspiracy theory first part of the book, but totally missed the themes and ideas of the second half of the book. The second half of the movie only works if you've read the book and know the info that has been left out of the flick. At least in my opinion anyway.

A lot of the poetry and soul of Dick's story is missing from this flick and that is my biggest complaint. However, seeing a PKD (for the most part) being put on screen word-for-word (technically / finally) is really fucking cool. Hopefully it will lead to future accurate adaptations - albeit with a little more soul..

Originally posted on July 16, 2006 on Myspace.


Man, my good mood has dropped like a depressed stock broker in '30s. It's a good thing DC ain't got no tall buildings.

Originally posted on July 14, 2006.

Life Is Short

I found out today that a good friend of ours passed away this weekend. His name was John Taggart, he was Greta's age and they knew each other for years. Some of you might have met John at our Tim Burton party - he was the artist who drew a Mars Attack alien and taped it to a baseball cap as his costume. Some of you might have seen that drawing hanging in our front room up stairs - his gift to us.

John's passing is a grim reminder that life is often short and full of the unexpected. John was a great guy and we will miss him.

Originally posted on July 12, 2006 on Myspace.

His drawing still hangs there.

Weird History

So I'm reading this book called "Chasing Villa" about Pershing's invasion of Mexico to kill Pancho Villa in 1916 - and the book is great - just what I needed - a really technical on-the-ground blow-by-blow account of the traditional US Cavalry's last major operation ever. The politics of this story are insane - Mexico and the US on the brink of a major war - Mexico plunged into revolution - Germany trying to get Mexico to join them in WWI. It's nuts. But perhaps the craziest thing in this story was when General Pershing hired a team of Japanese assassins to kill Pancho Villa!

WTF? Are we talking like Ninja's being hired by the US Army to assassinate a Mexican Bandit? That is insane. I fully intend on getting more information about this. More to follow!

Originally posted on July 10, 2006 on Myspace.

I will write a book about this someday.

Hit The Road Jack!

I'm off to Tucson for a few days to visit Scott. Adios amigos!

Originally posted on July 6, 2006 on Myspace.

Happy Trails

I'll be terrorizing Nashville all this week - so don't expect any email replies or witty banter coming from the Michael camp til Thursday.

Via con dios companeros!

Originally posted on June 256, 2006 on Myspace.

Down In It

Boy, I’ve had one crazy busy week. So today I’m playing catch-up on concert reviews. First up TV on the Radio, Bauhaus, and Nine Inch Nails at Nissan Pavilion.

Before I knew Bauhaus were there, I wasn’t going to attend this show. I was a huge NIN fan back in the Downward Spiral heyday, but I swore off seeing NIN live after seeing the two most perfect Nine Inch Nails shows there could ever be; the infamous Woodstock ’94 ‘Mud’-set and a kick-ass one in Louisville that transformed Muhammad Ali Gymnasium into a charnel house of music inspired violence. When Trent took his band to large Arena level type shows in the mid-90′s, I figured it would pretty much be the end of what makes his live shows really great. Sincerity, integrity, and emotional honesty. Which is pretty much what was lacking on Tuesday at Nissan Pavilion.

I ended up breaking my 10 year boycott on NIN shows because I got a free ticket for this one in the mail. It was promotional ticket giving me a perch on the lawn behind the pavilion. Somehow I managed to upgrade from the lawn (ie: concert Siberia) to the pit (ie: best spot in the house). Which worked out nicely for me to see Bauhaus, who I have always wanted to catch and never have.

First up though was TV on the Radio who were in a word…lame. Sounding like shoegazer backed Fishbone – they were just a noisy mess. But some of the crowd seemed to dig it. I predict their 15 minutes of fame will expire sooner rather then later though.

Bauhaus took the stage with a tremendous guitar squeal from Daniel Ash that actually startled me. It sounded like a T-Rex eating a Jet Airplane. Pretty neat. Their set was frigging fantastic. The band’s instruments sounded so great coming out of those giant arena speakers. They were tuned perfectly and thrashing it up. It was kind of surprising to hear what a complex racket those guys play on each song. Daniel Ash was really rock-starring it up wearing an albino-wookie fur vest, leather pants and Willy Wonka TV Room sunglasses. His glam image next to Peter Murphy’s slowly disintegrating goth stoicism was a hilarious contrast.

Peter Murphy is a rock god, after seeing this show there is no denying it. He took the stage in some stuffy old gothic suit get-up and through the set removed pieces of it til he was a bare-chested wild man. He reminded me of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” His antics on stage were masterful, using just about every colored spotlight on stage for a different dramatic effect. At one point he’s crucified bathed in red, at another he’s screaming into a blinding white spot from an inch away. The guy dances and moves like an evil yogi on acid. Just wild to watch. And his voice, that was the real treat. His deep goth tones cut through the bass and guitar fury like a howl from hell.

It was cool to see Bauhaus in this setting. Mainly because they didn’t bring along any stage-show other than themselves and their music. No lavish sets to distract the eye like when they are headliners. This was Bauhaus stripped down to the basics and their music shined.

Nine Inch Nails on the other hand presented an extremely sophisticated stage set featuring one of the most incredible light shows I have ever seen. A huge chain-link fiber-optic light fence separated the band from the crowd. Another huge bank of screens backed the band and the inter-play between the fence in front and the screens in back sandwiching the band was super cool to watch all night. Each song had an intricate and unique light/image sequence that was mind-blowing.

While I thought the light-show was great, I had a mixed reaction to the music. First off – the guitarist for the current NIN line-up is an annoying monkey-boy fucker who should concentrate more on playing his instrument than doing crazy Jackie Chan-like moves with it. That guy ruined all but one of the songs from Pretty Hate Machine and all the songs off The Downward Spiral. The only times the guitar sounded right, were on the new songs which I assume he helped workshop with Trent and the songs off of Broken. The band played most of the songs off of the Broken EP and that was definitely the highlight of the show for me. It was the only time they sounded 100% into what they were playing and they put on a show of force that really did that awesome, angry EP justice.

The rest of the set-list was basically a greatest hits set, I think they played every single they have. Which was okay but a little boring. Mainly because Trent seemed like he was going through the motions on songs he sings over and over, ad nauseum. There was no soul in the music, no heart, no connection. The crowd of frat-boys and Jenny Jones Show goths loved it, and sang along enthusiastically but there seemed to be a lack of emotion that existed in The Downward Spiral days. I left the show with the impression that NIN have evolved from the great angst-vent band they used to be into a dark-tinged party band. A process which began when “Closer” shot into the stratosphere in ’94.

I probably won’t go see Nine Inch Nails live ever again after this show. It was fun, but didn’t come close to the shows in the early 90′s. Bauhaus was certainly worth it though. So who knows, if NIN dig up another awesome old opener then maybe. Any one know if Joy Division are talking reunion? Nahhh.

Originally published on June 16, 2006.

I did see NIN live one more time after that. They opened for a Jane's Addiction reunion shoe in Camden, New Jersey. I was in the pit there also. NIN set was a 'farewell' set and Trent performed in blue jeans and a black t-shirt with minimal stage show. It was the most raw I have seen NIN live and it was bloody brilliant.

Undead on Air

I’m heading out to Nissan Pavilion later tonight for the Bauhaus/Nine Inch Nails show – with a review posted here shortly after. But for now I wanted to announce a few related items.

First, if you wanted to go to this show but couldn’t get a decent seat – Ticketbastard released a whole bunch of tickets on Monday night. I scored a Pit seat last night after weeks of finding no better than Lawn. So try your luck, you might score one yourself.

Second, Trent Reznor(NIN) and Peter Murphy(Bauhaus) will be performing a special live set on DC101 between 5-5:30 this evening. Apparently these collaborative radio sets have been great so far – featuring the icons re-recording classics by both bands while swapping vocal duties. Pretty neat.

Originally published on June 13, 2006.

Gasp! Shock! Horror!

Surprise, surprise - The Omen remake is actually decent! I saw it Saturday with Diamond and we both really liked it. For once it is just a straight-up remake. A nice, modern, slick retelling of a classic evil story. No fancy BS - no MTV hyped-pace. Just a good old fashioned version of The Omen with a great fucking cast and a director with a keen eye for mood and striking cinematography.

I expected this to suck and only saw it because I knew Diamond was real keen on seeing it. But it was really good.

I'm sure everyone out there is now thinking I'm nuts, but this was a good movie - and refreshing because it is better than a lot of the horror drek that's been coming out

Originally posted on June 12. 2006 on Myspace.

"The Gun is Good! The Penis is Evil!"

This weekend at AFI’s Silver Theater in Silver Spring, DC film freaks will have two opportunities to see one of the most bizarre films ever made.

John Boorman’s flawed psychedelic masterpiece ZARDOZ, starring Sean Connery (in a red loin cloth no less!), is playing at 12:30pm on Saturday and again at 7:30 Sunday night. The showings are part of AFI’s month long Sean Connery retrospective.

ZARDOZ swings for the fences with it’s acid inspired, pseudo-philosophy filled screenplay and Boorman’s over the top trippy visuals. The story centers around Zed (Connery), a barbarian, who hitches a ride inside a flying stone head that vomits firearms. Zed rides the stone head back to Shangri-la where he encounters a race of immortal telepaths who decide the fate of post-nuclear holocaust humanity. Zed has the audacity to ask ‘what if humanity wants to decide their own fate?’ and of course things go down-hill from there.

ZARDOZ plays with a straight-face, taking itself very seriously, but how seriously can an audience take Sean Connery dressed up like Barbarella wielding a six-shooter against evil telepaths from the future? ZARDOZ comes across like a cross between 2001 and Yor: The Hunter from the Future and makes for a heck of a good time. Really! Just watching the trailer for ZARDOZ brought the house down at my birthday party a few years ago.

ZARDOZ is a real mess of a movie trying to be a mind-fuck and has the unique distinction of being the only film to ever make me puke. I can not believe I’m going to get the opportunity to see it on the big screen this weekend. Seriously folks, if you want to see a real film oddity – this is the one.

Originally published on June 9, 2006.

Action Extravaganza

G and I re watched "Where Eagles Dare" tonight. Leaving out the few lame historical errors in the first 20 minutes - the rest of this movie is bloody brilliant! I always forget how much action there is in this flick. From the cable-car fight to Clint two grease-gunning it at the top of the stairs to the awesome twisty-turny mind-screwy plot to the unlimited supply of dynamite bombs - this movie rules. Clint is the freaking angel of death in this flick. I love it!

In other movie news - check out this slick-as-hell Transformers movie countdown clock!

Originally posted on June 8, 2006 on Myspace.

"The Proposition" (2006)

Saw "The Proposition" today. That's the Aussie western penned by Nick Cave.

It was pretty good, pretty slow but good. It's getting a lot of press for being super hardcore with the violence and whatnot, and I guess for the mainstream Key Theater middle-aged art-movie snob set it is shockingly violent. But really it isn't all that rough. The movie is more of a mood-piece with a very basic premise. But they did a great job of re-enacting the lawlessness of 19th century Australia. The Aborigine stuff was very cool. And the dude from Sexy Beast gave a great performance. Plus a terrific supporting role by John Hurt - he was absolutely the best part of the movie.

This one is worth seeing, but don't go out of your way (ie. hassle) to catch it in the theater like Diamond and I did today. Save it for DVD.

Originally published on June 4, 2006 on Myspace.

Hey Pal, What's With The Mohaska?

Got to see "The Untouchables" in the theater last night at AFI Silver - awesome. DePalma, Mamet, Armani, Morricone, Connery, Deniro. I used to have a poster for "The Untouchables" in my room. I friggin love that movie.

It's showing as part of a Sean Connery retrospective this month. Next up, I'm going to see "Outland" AND "Zardoz" on the big screen! OMG! So excited!

Hope 'Zardoz" doesn't make me puke again.

Originally posted on May 31, 2006 on Myspace.

Movie Crap

Watched a bunch of old favorites this weekend.

"Ferris Buller's Day Off"
"Spies Like Us"
"Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins"

One more and I think I will officially be reliving the 1980's.

Also saw X3 and it was okay. Not great but not awful either. Just okay. I was actually pretty happy with the end product after all of that production angst with the evil studio exec. It was about as good as it could be with that dark cloud hanging over it.

Originally posted on May 31, 2006 on Myspace.


LOST is the best show - ever! That season finale was fuck-yeah good!

I'd start babbling like an excitable chimp here about all the great stuff they packed that episode with, but I know none of you watch it - so it'd be a waste.

But hot damn that was fucking great!

Originally posted on May 24, 2006 on Myspace.