Wednesday, September 29, 2004

F*ck The Vote?!?

I'll be getting into more political topics in the weeks ahead (preview: I'm not voting for Dubya, but Kerry MUST NOT win), but in the meantime, check out Votergasm, a site with the novel idea of...

Damn, I've been voting since I was 18 years old and I never got any "pork barrel" benefits. DAMMIT!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

An e-mail that sounds dirty when it's not. (I think.)

"Set up lunch with me on my calendar and I'll take you where ever you want to go."

I replied to her, "You may want to reconsider your last choice of words there. {8P"

Monday, September 27, 2004

George Lucas vs. the Stormtroopers

My thoughts below on the whiners who just can't seem to get over changes made by George Lucas to the Star Wars films are echoend in the Box Office Mojo commentary, "George Lucas vs. the Stormtroopers". A snip:

Before the DVD's release, there were signs of hostility -- not merely to the esthetics of his changes, a legitimate grievance -- but primarily toward the concept that the creator owns his work.

Foes had mobilized long before the trilogy hit the market, circulating an online petition demanding that Mr. Lucas reverse what he considers improvements. During the Hollywood DVD premiere, one reporter indignantly told a Lucasfilm executive that Star Wars does not belong to the man who created it.

When the DVD went on sale, a newspaper columnist's headline commanded: "Stop messing around with our Star Wars." Another dubbed Luke Skywalker's creator "Darth Lucas." When Mr. Lucas' detractors oppose his right to change Star Wars, they mean it; they oppose the artist who dares to regard his work as his own. They do not recognize rights.

Freedom is based on rights. Without the right to property, one has no rights. With generations being taught that stealing software, music and movies is acceptable, many no longer acknowledge private property. One Star Wars fan told a newspaper: "Each and every one of us thirtysomethings that spent our allowance on multiple showings of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi are now the true owners of this work of art."

Read the whole thing.

In other news, got the videos watched, but decided to enjoy the nice weather instead of cooping up in a dark theater to see "Shaun" and judging from the box office numbers, everyone else either had the same idea or went to see the critically-panned "The Forgotten".

Friday, September 24, 2004

Hyp-mo-tize yourself!

Sorry to be scarce, but I've been busybusybusy and am too not-on-it to blog usefully, so weird yourselves out with this interesting optical illusion and I'll catch y'all on the flip, mmmkay?

Weekend entertainment plans:

Movie: Shaun of the Dead

TV: Desperate Housewives

Video: Coffee & Cigarettes, Mulholland Falls, maybe some Star Wars or THX-1138.

Tatu drops lesbian guise

They weren't really lesbians? Really?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Loving Star Wars; Hating George Lucas

Since Star Wars is a big thing at the moment on DIRKWORLD (the Death Star of blogs!) and I've made some posts about it, I want to tee off on the culture of Lucas-bashing that's been in vogue since about 1997 with the release of the Special Editions of the Original Trilogy (OT). Yeah, some of the "fixes" were a little hinkey - Greedo shooting first, the redundant Jabba scene (which repeats info and dialouge from the Greedo scene) - but as anyone familiar with the genesis of "Ep. 4 - A New Hope" knows (be sure to watch the "Empire of Dream" documentary on the extras disc), it's a miracle that they got the thing finished BADLY, much less in the epoch-making form it did. George Lucas has said, "Movies aren't finished; they're abandoned.", and as the technology caught up to his original ambitions, he was able to buff up the films to his satisfaction.

A lot of people griped then and now that the OT is available on DVD, they're recycling their whines in articles like A fan's agony over George Lucas' digitally altered 'Star Wars' trilogy. Generally, their complaints are about how their warm and fuzzy childhood memories of the OT have been destroyed by Lucas' unwillingness to leave things alone and because he won't yield to their will, he's an evil greedy man who only coincidentally created their favorite movie ever. Waaaaaaaah!!!! Sheesh. Grip, get one they should. (As Yoda would say.) Should Lucas be hectored into doing the fans will? Heck, no! If they don't like what he's doing, they shouldn't buy the damn DVDs and collectively STFU!

Memory is a tricky thing. How well does the reality of the past match up with the rose-tinted, idealized version of the past you may have stored between your ears? The restoration job on these DVDs - I'm talking the removal of dirt and scratches, not the additions and revisions - is stunning and it's like watching a whole new movie for the first time. Was the sky of Tattooine that blue in 1977? Was there that much detail in the snow on Hoth in 1980? Is it really a loss of innocence now that they've FINALLY fixed the gawdawful matte lines on the Rancor Beast in "Jedi", something that they didn't do in '97, though they'd recomposited the snowspeeders in "Empire" so that you couldn't see thru them? (Something that was done to mitigate black matte lines back in the bad old days of optical printing.)

Forgotten in the whimpering of the put-upon dweebs is that these changes are only relevant to them and those of THIS GENERATION. The children of the future aren't going to know the difference and wonder WTF grandpa is yammering about when he babbles, "Han shoots first. Han shoots first! Beefcake. BEEFCAKE!!!" A child born today will sit down in front of a 110" OLED wall-screen and watch the sexology (wasn't that a Prince album?) in hi-def from front to back and only be troubled by the fact that Ep. IV's effects were so much worse than Ep. III's and why Yoda went from being a lousy puppet in Ep. I to a kickass CGI effect in Eps. II & III, only to get all puppety-looking in Eps. V & VI. All the things that people complain about today - like the replacement of the Emperor in "Empire" to redubbing Boba Fett's voice with Temura Morrison's, thus connecting Jango Fett with his cloned son - will go unnoticed when leaving things untouched would raise more questions. "Daddy? Why does the Emperor look and sound different?"

I don't recall people complaining that Spielberg was ruining their memories when he erased the guns from "E.T." when it had it's 20th Anniversary and that was a far more egregious revision IMNSHO. Revising the past to match modern political correctness and mores would lead to erasing the World Trade Center from any movie it appeared into and the outright burning of "Gone With The Wind" for it's portrayal of slavery in the sense that it existed and the white folks didn't self-crucify themselves to assuage their guilt. Bleah.

If movies are never completed in Lucas' mind, is he really changing anything or is he just on an endless post-production schedule? If we choose to purchase copies of his work in progress, why is he the bad guy?

Russ Meyer R.I.P.

I have to admit that I've never seen a Russ Meyer's film - like "Faster Pussycat Kill Kill" or "Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens" - but it bears a mention that he favored women of a certain level His starlets made Pamela Anderson look like Selma Blair. Speaking of which, the way they've got Selma made up for the new John Waters flick, "A Dirty Shame", is precisely what Meyer was known for:

Got cookie?

Roger Ebert was a friend and wrote "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" and has a real informative tribute which reveals:

His films were X-rated but not pornographic. Meyer told me he had two reasons for avoiding hard-core: (1) “I want to play in regular theaters and keep the profits, instead of playing in porn theaters and doing business with the mob.” (2) “Frankly, what goes on below the waist is visually not that entertaining.” For Meyer, what went on above the waist was a lifelong fascination; he cheerfully affirmed his obsession with big breasts.

Take that, Hef!

Maybe I'll put on the ol' trenchcoat and rent some smut this weekend. Naw, I'll be watching Star Wars!!! Geek trumps horndog!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bet you can't draw a circle.right

Etch-a-Sketch simulator. (Found at Pepper of the Earth - linked at right)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

When film fans first heard about the new DVD format, they had two reactions:

1. Cool!

B. When's Star Wars coming out?

For a long time, the answer to the second question looked to be somewhere in 2006 as George Lucas said that he wanted to finish the prequels so that all six films would come out together and/or he was waiting for the hi-def blue laser DVD format to be introduced. Even as late as 2000, he'd only released the first four movies on VHS meaning that the man who was trying to drag cinema into the 21st Century with THX audio and digital cameras and projection was releasing his films on the worst format available. Eventually, he relented and put out Ep. 1 on DVD and EP. 2 followed the theatrical run by the normal period of time, but all along the geeky fanboys and plain old fans just wanted the Original Trilogy and great cheering was heard when it was finally announced to be coming out on Sept. 21, 2004.


The reviews have been quite positive and I'm thoroughly stoked about getting it except for one thing...

F*cking didn't ship my order until Sunday night. Farging bastages!!! It's floating around the UPS center in Maumee, OH and isn't slated for delivery until tomorrow! I had a meeting rescheduled specifically to allow for maximum Star Wars wallowage and Amazon has stranded me up the creek without a lightsaber!!!

It's bad enough that Hermione wimpered "But there's only two episodes left." in claiming the PimpVision for her ritualistic viewing of "Nip/F*ck" (as we call it), but add on top of that NO DAMN DVDs and this is an INTOLERABLE situation!!!! DIRK SMASH!!!!!!


I ended up dashing over to Beast Buy at 10 am to pick up a copy along with all the other geek losers. (There's a lot of us out there, so don't laugh - you may know one.) When the Amazon copy comes tomorrow, I'll just take it back to Beast Buy for a refund. Problem solved.

So, why the hysterics a few paragraphs up? Well, face it, to just grouse about a minor inconvenience is just so....typically bloggy. Need to punch it up, dontcha know?

May the Force be with you.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Gabba Gabba......whoa.....

The Ramones were one of the greatest and most influential bands in music history. Period. Sure, the Beatles, Stones, Who, Led Zep and others were also monumental, if it wasn't for the Ramones, it can be argued that most of what is called punk wouldn't have turned out like it did and there wouldn't have been a speed-metal with acts like Metallica (pre-Black Album, that is).

Johnny Ramone passed away recently, joining Dee Dee and Joey in Rock & Roll Heaven....or would that be Hell? After reading The Ramones : Johnny's Last Stand at, it was surprising and kinda sad to learn that the band pretty much HATED each other for most of their career. I'd seen them 4 or 5 times over the years, including their "Adios Amigos" farewell tour - all C.J.-era tours, post-Dee Dee - and while I always felt they were possibly phoning it in a bit, they never sandbagged a gig and you'd never know that they disliked each other so much they wouldn't bother wasting the energy necessary to brawl over their differences.

Very sad stuff.

DIRK™ REVIEWS IT FOR YOU: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Short Version: Sci-fi that looks and feels like 1939 created with genuine 21st Century technology with fine results.

Long Version: With special effects-driven blockbusters becoming more obvious marketing vehicles and lame stories calculated to draw in sufficient numbers of the targeted demographics, movies that just seem to ENTERTAIN seem to be getting rarer and rarer, but Sky Captain pulls it off nicely as it serves up an honest-to-gosh, old-fashioned popcorn movie with ray guns, giant robots and a visual style ripped from the pages of old Buck Rogers comics.

You can look up the plot details elsewhere, so I'm just going to comment on the notable bits. First off, the most amazing thing isn't the production design and look of the film. No, the most special effect is that they somehow made the loathsome and tubercular Gwyneth Paltrow into an actually tolerable, almost cute and plucky heroine. Considering how much screen time she occupies, she could've been a deal-breaker, but it works out in the end. Jude Law is his usual solid and too-good-looking self, Giovanni Ratfacei actually looks right for once and Angelina Jolie-Belligerent, well, what can I say, with only one eye showing and covered in a leather uniform that covers everything but her face, she's hotter than most actresses are naked – I want a "Franky Cook and Her Flying Legion" movie NOW!!! Chop chop!!!! Make it so!!!!

As the story traipses from 1939 New York City to Nepal and Shangri-La to a mysterious island with dinosaurs and an army of robots stocking a space ark (roll with it), it's like a couple of months worth of Saturday afternoon matinees strung together. It seems wrong to compare this to Star Wars, but it's got the same attitude, so check your cynicism at the door, OK? It's a MOO-VEE – not a way of life. Relax. Trust me when I say you'll probably forget that you're watching actors amidst nothing. Sure, your mind will tell you it can't be real, but if you don't think about it, it's just neat places they're going.

Writer-director Kerry Conran labored over his hot Mac for years to cobble together the 6-minute demo reel that scored him $70 million in major studio funding, two Oscar winners and an Oscar nominee and a big blue room for them to play in, adding all the sets and effects in post-production with CGI. When George Lucas used similar "virtual studio" techniques for his Star Wars prequels, the critics slammed him, yet they've now decided that SkyCap's director is a revolutionary pioneer in cinema. (Yeah, right.)

I give it an 8/10 – worth catching at a matinee show. I'll be buying the DVD when it's available.

Good morning. It appears that CBS may be gettting around to acknowledging that the may have been duped *cough* by those darn memos. Next up: Sammy Hagar was a bad idea for Van Halen. Still, it's good to see that the Photoshop Phreaks aren't laying off the LOTR comparisons:

(Love the eyes.)

On deck: Sky Captain review and other assorted stuff & nonsense.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Well, I'm "5000 G" until Monday, but I leave you with a totally gratuitous picture of Angelina Jolie.

You're welcome. :)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Sex Sells.

Unfortunately, that's not what's for sale. Drat.

Hey, Dan....what's the frequency now, bitch?

Unless you've been living under a rock (or a typical American voter) for the last 10 days, you're aware that CBS News, 60 Minutes and Dan Rather finally told one lie too many - do a Google on "The Wall Within" for a previous example of Rather telling tales about Viet Nam - and have been righteously shredded by the Blogosphere. Details can be found at many of the sites listed at right, so I won't rehash here, but here's a graphic that sums it up nicely (hat tip to Hugh Hewitt's site):

Well, now what?

I've been threatening to do Dirkworld™ for years, even reserving the URL, and as I started compiling daily e-mails to the Current Significant Other™, Hermione, I realized that those compendium of news, links and comments were a proto-blog of sorts and maybe switching over to an honest-to-gosh blog - currently the most passe thing on the Interweb (trendspotting ain't my bag) - would be a good way of achieving both goals.

Yeah, but now what to say?

Hmmm....we'll just have to see, but I'd appreciate it if I ever drift into navel-gazing drool state, that someone would kindly tap me and remind me that writing like Alanis Morrisette or Morrissey lyrics isn't particularly interesting. Thanks in advance.

I'll be away for the weekend, hanging with H and seeing Sky Captain and (hopefully) Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence. Don't miss VH1's "When Star Wars Ruled The World" (Sat. 10pm) and the rerun of the Lindsey Lohan episode of Saturday Night Live (if you have to axe when this is on....) which was solidly funny and had the LEGENDARY "Debbie Downer" sketch. I hadn't laughed that hard since the Jeopardy sketch in which Sean Connery took the "Anal Bum Cover" (i.e. "An Album Cover") category.

Testing, testing, 1-2-3...

Blog (n) - Contraction of "web log", aka "The intersection of voyeurism and narcissism." as I have been known to characterize them in the past.

Well, that was then. This is not then.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Welcome To Dirkworld!