Opinions and Facts

Tim Burton


Johnny Depp. Stop motion animation. Great cast. The Corpse Bride.
Skin on*.
*”skin on” is one of the many catch phrases that have cropped up between my cousin and me (we seem to be catch phrase machines when we’re together). It came from a restaurant menu who served their potatoes “skin on”. We decided that this sounded like an affirmative reaction. Later, due to another restaurant menu, we decided that a good response to “Skin on!” was “Bone in for flavor!”



Go see this movie. Now. Freakin’ hilarious. Incredible cast. Whoever found this script deserves a HUGE bonus.



If you hate seeing this country slowly turning into George Orwell’s “Big Brother”, I highly encourage you to go to www.StopFCC.com and register. At the bottom of the page they now have a link to an ACLU page where you can fill in a form to send a fax to your senators. It even has pre-filled in text if you can’t be bothered to work up your own. I added the following paragraph just to add my own personal input.

People have a choice. A choice to change the channel, or turn off the radio or TV. People should continue to have the choice of whether or not they watch or listen. Don’t take this choice away from those who want it, merely to please those who do not want it. Just as forcing people to watch something they find offensive is wrong, so is eliminating the choice so as to please those people. If I find chocolate ice cream offensive, I can choose not to eat it. I do not think that the correct course of action is to ban chocolate ice cream across the world.

It’s so easy, that there’s really no excuse. Believe me, I’m one of the laziest people around, and I found it effortless. Support free speech and all that. Don’t let the government make your choices for you. Grrr.

Could I be any happier with the Academy Awards?


Only if Johnny Depp had won best actor. Aside from that, I’m as happy as a hobbit in a hole with table full of food and a bag of Longbottom leaf!

Dude. The Darkness.


One of my lovely Valentines gifts was “Permission To Land” by The Darkness, which I had listened to, and wanted ever since.
The Darkness so totally rocks. You’ll simultaneously be laughing your arse off and wondering if this band is a joke, but at the same time you’ll be rocking out to some kick ass songs. You’ll also start saying “arse” if you don’t already. They’re like a mystery in an enigma, in a paradox, wrapped in a tasty tortilla.
We’re going to see them here in Austin in April.

I like you Arnie!


This is a rare occasion. Heath gets political. Very rare, and something I usually don’t really care to do and in fact probably avoid, but I vast tidal wave of anti-Arnoldness is drowning me.
I’m quite puzzled by all the Ah-nuld hating going around. I just don’t get it. Everywhere I look it’s someone dissing Arnold and expressing indignation or disgust at his election as governor. I just don’t get this. He seems quite intelligent, personable, and politically knowledgeable. More so he seems like something that I, personally, have found very rare; an open minded republican. Most republican’s I’ve met in my life have been very closed minded, biased individuals who wallow in self-righteousness and take great joy in dismissing liberals as some lower form of extremely stupid life. They seem to just blanketly agree with the republican side of all issues, which I find hard to believe. While I may be fairly liberal, I don’t just automatically agree with all democrat opinions, and disagree with all republican opinions. Well, this is a whole other rant I don’t really care to get into, but the point is that Arnold actually seems to have some liberal friendly views instead of just voting like an automaton who must be 100% absolutely on one party’s side or the other.
I do understand the surface entertainment value of the fact that The Terminator is now governor of California, but past that, I don’t really think he’s getting a fair shake. It reminds me of when an actor tries to put out a music album or a musician tries their hand at acting. Many times people automatically put this stigma on them and just assume that they’re going to be incompetent and laughable in their new role. I think this is exacerbated by the fact that Arnold is already stigmatized by many in his role as an actor. People jump on the “Arnold is just a stupid action buffoon who can’t act” band wagon, which is a whole other argument that I disagree with. You may not like “action” movies or whatever, but to boil that down to “he’s stupid and can’t act” is just unfair. Has he put out some crap? Sure, most actors have. However he’s also put out many movies that define the genre itself (which also suffers from unfair stigmatizing by intellectual movie snobs everywhere). As I said, it’s fine if you simply don’t like those kinds of movies, but just because you personally may not like them doesn’t mean that they’re crap, stupid, or just for dumb testosterone filled flesh bags either.
I don’t think there’s anything ridiculous or worthy of eye rolling about his being governor. Is it amusing? Yes. Are there many jokes to be made? Absolutely. Is it some kind of ridiculous travesty? I don’t think so at all. I just find it kinda sad, that he’s got some very promising characteristics, but most people have already put him on trial, found him guilty, and thrown a rope over the highest tree limb not based on anything other than “but he’s AH-nuld! The Terminator! Come on!”

“Weird Al” Yankovic has a new album out


…and it frickin’ brilliant as he always is. Brilliant on many levels. First off, his parodies, which is what he’s best known for, are great as usual. The fact that he and his band can so perfectly copy the sound and production of the song is a testament to their talent. Al’s originals are, in my opinion, where he’s vastly underrated. I usually find his original songs even far better than his parodies. not only are they hilarious, but many of them are just plain great songs musically. Some of the arrangements and parts are just genius and on par with the best of any non-comedy rock or pop song. There is, of course, a polka parody medley, and also several extras you can play on your computer too. I highly recommend this album. It’s called “Poodle Hat”.
There is, of course, a polka parody medley, and also several extras you can play on your computer too.

Steve Martin is brilliant.


For so many reasons, but in particular right now for his page in People’s 50 Most Beautiful People issue –

“It’s very hard being one of the most beautiful people. Having this kind of beauty is actually a burden. Sometimes I go to a party and not one of the other 49 most beautiful people is there. this makes me feel very solitary and alone, because it means I am the most beautiful person in the room.
If I’m going to a party where I know there will be ‘less beautiful people’, I try to ‘dress down’ in order to hide my beauty. But this seems to actually have the counter-effect of actually making me more beautiful. I guess me and dungarees are a pretty potent combination.
I try not to lord my beauty over others. This is very hard. I try not to mention that I am one of the most beautiful people, but somehow it always comes out. I will usually only bring it up when I’m asked to do a task, like open a garage door. People seem to enjoy my beauty and are genuinely happy for me, because after I mention it, they always say ‘How nice for you.'”

“Adaptation” by Charlie Kaufman


Overall this movie didn’t do a whole lot for me, but yet I feel a strange dichotomy towards it because it definitely scores points for originality, brilliance and bravery. Bravery because I think a great majority of people who see it probably won’t “get it” and will think it’s just a waffling, struggling, boring movie that cops out and goes Hollywood in the end. Those people are missing the entire brilliance, and point of this movie, and yet even though I tout it’s great concept and originality, it still was just kind of ok to me. Not something I would want to see again. I’m not sure how to reconcile these two feelings, but that’s just how it is. For a full and detailed analysis of this movie (which naturally is nothing but big nasty spoilers, so don’t go here until you’ve seen it if you don’t care about being spoiled) check out this site.

David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive


This movie belongs to a genre my wife and I have made up, called “mind fuck movies”. It really should be a genre. This movie is right up there with the best of them. It will most likely leave you with your jaw agape, scratching your head after the first viewing. The more you think about it, the closer your head will come to exploding. However, upon my second viewing I believe it all came clear to me. Suffice it to say, if you like mysterious movies that totally mess with your head, check it out. Now onto the spoilers and my analysis…
So upon my second viewing I noticed one shot that I hadn’t noticed before which locked a lot of things in place for me. The opening shot in fact. I guess without knowing the story, this little shot just flew by me unnoticed the first time, or I just attributed it to Lynch’s weird, artistic randomness. The opening shot is a blurry shot, from a first person perspective, of someone lying down on a pillow. Fast forward 2 hours and Diane Selwyn wakes up on this same pillow. The first 2 hours of the movie is Diane Selwyn’s final dream. The last part of the movie is a combination of flashbacks to what really happened, mixed with “current” shots of Diane dealing with her guilt and coming unglued as her world falls apart. Diane (who is Betty in the dream) won a jitterbug contest and came to L.A. to try and be an actress. Unfortunately she found this much harder than she expected. She got involved with Camilla Rhodes (Rita in the dream), who later left her and got together with a director (Adam). This crushed Diane, and was the beginning of the end for her. Camilla invites Diane to a party, where, it turns out, she and Adam announce that they’re getting married. This is the final breaking point for Diane. Diane hired a thug to kill Camilla. The thug told her that when the job was done, he would leave the blue key in a pre determined location. What the key went to, I’m not sure. We see the key on Diane’s table meaning that Camilla has been killed. We also see one of Diane’s friends come by for her stuff (I believe this to be Diane’s ex from the tense vibe between them, and the general feel of the situation). She also mentions that 2 detectives were looking for Diane. Most likely because they suspect some involvement in Camilla’s murder, I think. Diane, now dealing with the guilt added to her unraveling mental state, goes over the edge and kills herself.
The dream portion of the movie is incredible to me in that it actually does an incredible job of exemplifying something that’s fairly intangible; the strange ways in which our minds concoct dreams. Many of the characters and elements are merely things that were on her mind, but twisted and put into some other role in her dream. I’m sure most of us have experienced this. Your mind places some random person you saw that day into a seemingly random role, or takes some concept that you were thinking about earlier, and applies that theme somewhere else. Everyone she saw at the dinner party takes on some role in her dream, because her mind needs to put faces on these players, and these faces were the ones most recently on her mind. A random cowboy becomes head of some conspiracy. “Rita” has people attempting to kill her, drawn from the fact that Diane has put a hit on Camilla. “Rita” has a purse full of money, just like Diane had in the real world to pay of the thug. All the various facts stored in Diane’s mind are twisted and re-applied in this dreamland. Diane overheard Adam saying that in his recent divorce, he got the pool and his wife got the pool man, and thus this is manifested in the dream.
The dream is also sort of a “perfect world” in Diane’s mind too. She has an awesome audition that impresses casting directors. She is together with “Rita” who has no memory and therefore it’s like a fresh new adventure where they are both starting anew, and “Rita” can be whoever she wants her to be. Adam has an absolute crap day, which you have to wonder if that’s Diane’s mind wreaking some vengeance. In the real world we hear that Diane lost a leading role to Camilla, but in the dream the only reason “Bettie” loses the role is due to a vast conspiracy. Then there’s the blue key. The blue key, in the real world, symbolizes Camilla’s death to Diane. She sees that key, and knows Camilla is dead. In the dream, once Rita is about to insert the blue key into the box to find out what’s inside, Bettie is suddenly gone. Perhaps Diane was starting to come out of the dream at this stage or couldn’t bear to be there when Rita found out what the blue key unlocked; her own death. Rita turns the key, the camera zooms into the box as if sucked in, then the box drops to the ground. Just as the key was symbolic of Camilla’s death in the real world, it also brought an end to Rita.
Diane wakes up. That was the last dream she’d ever have.

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