It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

When dim people get too much time on their hands...

...they run around trying to change the name on Tube stops in London, simply because they're jealous of a certain North London team's popularity and long term success. I'm referring to one loony by the name of Damien French, whose job as an author is so taxing that he has taken on the mission, in his voluminous spare time, of getting the name of the Arsenal Tube stop on the Piccadilly line changed back to its original designation of Gillespie Road.

Pull the other one Damien. No? Serious? To quote Michael Palin in the Pythons' Cat Licence Sketch, "You are a loony."

Apparently, this hardly working loonific author has gotten 2,999 other people to sign his petition. French is a Chelsea fan, which leads me to believe that either he simply got people to sign the thing at Stamford Bridge after a particularly boring Chelsea match, or that the petition has a lot of names like "D. French", "Dam-ee-en French", "Dame Ian French", and "D.F. Chelsea" on it.

One can see the desperate ineptness of Monsieur French's Quixotic quest when he offers up quotes like, "There's no such place as Arsenal and as far as I know it's the only football club that has a station named after it. If they are prepared to move down the road to Cash Burden Grave then surely they should have to give up naming rights to their own station."

"Cash Burden Grave" is meant to be an amusing pun on the Gunners future home of Ashburton Grove. The Islington Gazette should be a little more careful with the way it tosses around suggestions that certain people are actual writers. To be fair, the paper merely said that French was an "author", which means he could be sitting at home 8 hours a day writing out the ingredients lists for Heinz soup labels. Don't laugh, it's not as easy as it sounds. Oh, never mind, you're right...laugh away.

Also, "Cash Burden Grave" is just about the same distance from the station as the Gunners current digs of Highbury, according to sources at the club, demonstrating that while Señor French claims to be a lover of Islington history, his grasp of Islington geography is on a par with that of Genghis Khan.

Herr French also claims that the club's name of Arsenal is "warmongering". I suppose a really impressive and authoritative name for a football club is that of a district of the city known mainly for posh flats and a big antiques festival (Went there once... the cheapest thing in the whole show was a tiny, rust-covered £25 spoon. Every other single thing was £200 or above, including the fork next to it.) Nothing says crunching tackles and rocketing volleys like the word Chelsea, right? Wait a minute, wasn't Chelsea Barbie's friend?

French even goes so far as to claim that he knows a number of Arsenal fans and that they break into two camps, "Some think I'm a thorn in their side because deep down they know I'm right and others think I'm pathetic and chasing a lost cause." I'm guessing that the word "some" in this case means "My imaginary friend Bob, who likes Arsenal and who I beat up when I'm blotto." Just for the record, I fall into the latter camp.

Fortunately, the nice people at the London Underground have made it clear that they have no plans to change the name of the station any time in the next millenium. They issued a statement which read in part, "We have no plans to revert the station name back to Gillespie Road as the station will continue to play a key role in getting fans to matches when the club moves to Emirates Stadium."

That's 60,000 seat Emirates Stadium, which will be the second-biggest football stadium in London after the new Wembley. Mr. French should talk to Chelsea owner Roman Abromovich about that. Maybe Roman can talk Ken Livingstone into getting Fulham Broadway station changed to Roman Abromovich Station, or something like that. What? Chelsea Station you say? The Fulham locals would never stand for it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Best Picture This!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also known as the Oscar Whores (but not by me, I assure you) released their nominations for this year's awards ceremony. The biggest and most prestigious award is the Best Picture award, because it is the only award that goes to producers, the self-important blowhards. I shall continue the annual tradition I started last year and attempt to summarise the highly complex, intricate, and exploitative plots of these films for you.

While I have your attention, don't forget our annual Live Blog of the Oscars! I'll be there, or here, as the case may be. I don't know about any of the others. Stew? Jorge Carlito? Zimpter, care to trek down to the Kodak Theatre and get a quote from Wanda Sykes?

Where was I? Ah yes, and the Oscar will go to... well, one of these:

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Brokeback Mountain

Two sheep ranchers, pretending to be cowboys, go off into the mountains on a "camping trip". In the mountains they find a magical Vought Corsair, which they fly off to a land of enchantment, mystery, and showtunes: the legendary (at least according to Variety) Brokeback Mountain. Upon arriving there though, they discover that it is entirely populated by ex-rodeo clowns, everyone of them as butch as Clint Eastwood. Disappointed, and slightly unnerved by being surrounded by so many clowns (who wouldn't be), they are guided back to the real world by the spirit of Emmitt Kelly. They settle in Haight-Ashbury and use the profits from the plane to open a little shop, where they sell postcards to passing hippies, in-between romps in the sheep dip. Emmitt sweeps up the shop at night, including the lights.

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Capote

This intense biography of the famed author starts with the publication of his memoirs, entitled Brokeback Mountain. He then sets off to explore a notorious murder case, but is sidetracked by a smudge on his Berluti shoes. After several attempts to clean off the shoes, including one attempt where he takes peyote and is visited by the ghost of Jim Morrison, who is flying a Vought Corsair (which is very peculiar as Morrison is actually alive at the time and living two blocks down the street from him in Los Angeles, California), he finally removes the smudge with a generous application of Mr. Clean. He then sets off to write In Cold Blood, the masterpiece which earns him enormous sums of cash, all later blown on fancy-pants shoes and a peyote farm near Barstow.

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Crash

What do a Brentwood couple, a store owner from Iran, An African-American filmmaker, his wife, two romantically involved cops, a couple of middle-aged Koreans, two car thieves, and a locksmith from Mexico all have in common? They're all in this film. Aside from that, they are all squashed flat when the VW Van they are traveling in, on their way to a Kenny G concert, has a P-51 Mustang fall on it. You thought I was going to write Vought Corsair, didn't you? Well, you're correct, it wasn't a P-51 Mustang, it was a Vought Corsair after all. Fancy that.

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Good Night and Good Luck

The true story of how Edward R. Murrow (George Clooney) and Joe McCarthy (George Clooney) battled it out over McCarthy's increasingly paranoid insistence that Joe Stalin (George Clooney) was a communist. The veteran newsman and silly Congressman take to the ring to settle the score. Murrow relies heavily on the grizzled experience of his ageing cornerman Mick (George Clooney) and his loser brother-in-law, Pauly (George Clooney). Joe McCarthy, being the cheating bastard the filmmakers depict him as, relies on the massive military firepower of the Vought Corsair (George Clooney) to turn the tide. along with his star-spangled boxing trunks (George Clooney). Murrow wins the battle when, at the last minute, McCarthy slips on a banana peel (George Clooney), and is chopped to bits in the Corsair's propeller (Clooney, one more time). Afterwards, Murrow comments on how much the two men had in common, as their last names both begin with the letter M.

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Munich

After the horrible hostage crisis at the Munich Olympic Games, about which there will be no jokes thank you very much, the Moussad (The Israeli Secret Service) sets out to punish the perpertrators. This too, is not particularly amusing to most people, and in fact the whole bloody film is incredibly serious and morbid, except for the part where Yasser Arafat stubs his toe while trying to board a Vought Corsair. That part demonstrates what a slapstick comic genius Speilberg could be if he weren't so busy depressing the hell out of everyone to prove he's a "mature" filmmaker. Lighten up, Steven! Bring back the comic romps of The Sugarland Express, ET, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Duel, Jaws, and War of the Worlds. (Not 1941 though...let sleeping dogs lie, my friend.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

At Last, the Noblest Poet Translated

Those of you familiar with the poetry of my homeland country are no doubt familiar with the one we call Noblest Poet, that is the national hero of my country, Feosucio Gordito (1785-1865), who wrote so many beautiful poems that make the childrens to run screaming to mommy for comfort from the crumbling foundations of emotional well-being. Well, at last, I have translated some of these previously untranslated goldenest jewels of the language of Mankind, and here present to you the two sacredest poems of Feosucio Gordito.

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The Agonizing Discovery of Disillusionment

Upon the broken stones of a thousand centuries,
the thick limbed water dwarf flings his pasty torso,
yellowish nails savaging the softest wet stones,
for he digs into the very heart of life to find the prize,
There it sits, before his eyes, beneath his thighs,
the prize, a goodly size, a bag of moldering fries, yes,
fries, the prize, golden delicious to his gushing pink eyes,
Hiss goes the Devito, hiss forever, as he eats the rotting food.
Life has disappointed every single human being once again.

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The Best You Have to Offer is Not Good Enough

A mewling brown form thrashes in the canyon of the Cosmos' hope,
Its silkeny skin melting as the rain falls like boiling wax,
For every vain dream is dissolved by the falling waters of reality,
And every tender skin peels back to reveal a bloated sack of man,
A blubber-legged fading actor with sacred words on his disgorging tongue,
the frustrated moon cries out the name, Devito, Devito, Devito,
and every single sacred stone crumbles in the eggish sea. Sea. See.

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Oh, my dearest damp goodness, I got a tear in the, how you going to say, eye. I must go wipe it away with papel hygenico. Bye.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chuck Norris Blogs...People Die

Oh, just as a follow up, I discovered that Chuck Norris apparently had a weblog at one point. Rumour has it that it was shut down due to the horrendous number of casualties caused from people simply reading the thing. I managed to track down some entries via a few contacts who are still recovering from the roundhouse kicks to the face the weblog delivered. (The ones that aren't dead, I mean.)

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Chuck Norris' Secret Plan to Win the War on Terror

Step 1 - Track Osama Bin Laden to his secret lair in Vietnam.
Step 2 - Surprise him by slowly and menacingly rising out of the nearest river.
Step 3 - Roundhouse kick his ass into an early grave.
Step 4 - Go bowling.

posted by Chuck Norris - 10/27/2004 10:07 p.m.

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Chuck Norris' Favorite Hobbies

1. Inflicting Pain
2. Distributing Pain
3. Causing Pain
4. Dealing Out Pain
5. Administering Pain
6. Dispensing Pain
7. Meteing Out Pain
8. Croquet - And by Croquet, I mean using those nifty little mallets to deliver some serious pain.

posted by Chuck Norris - 8/14/2004 8:04 p.m.

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Chuck Norris Is Feeling Introspective

Sometimes, after a hard workout on the Total Gym, I wonder why I feel so totally driven to deliver heinous punishment to wrongdoers and villians, to pound their skulls into soft toffee, and split their spines open with my martial prowess. I wonder why the world is so violent, and why I, in my inimitable way, must contribute to that violence by ending the lives of so many through roundhouse kicks and smashing forearms to the throat. I wonder if perhaps there is another way, a way that eschews brutality and callous force, a way that reaches into the very soul of another human being and touches them, moves them to change their selfish viewpoint, and look outside themselves.

Usually though, this pisses me off and so I kill a few dozen guys with my bare hands and feet to make me feel better. Also, the blood makes my skin smooth and shiny.

posted by Chuck Norris - 5/5/2004 3:29 p.m.

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Chuck Norris Is Handy Around the House

For those of you who enjoy helping with domestic responsibilities, but don't want to look like a wuss, here are a few handy tips that I use at home:

  • Having trouble getting tough stains out of the rug? Be tougher, you wimp. A few well placed foot stomps will wear down any stain. One side-effect you have to watch out for is unintentional holes in the floor. Concrete isn't all it's made out to be.
  • Have a dog that keeps leaving little "presents" around the house? Show him who the real Alpha Male is. A few roundhouse kicks to any pooch's head will let him know what the cold price of failure is. One potential downside is that if you put too much fear or pain on your dog, they will REALLY soil the carpet...and don't overdo it, as blood is even harder to get out of a carpet than poop.
  • Nothing makes a family picture stand out like a frame made of human finger bones.
  • Dusting is a completely unnecessary task. A regular regimen of roundhouse kicks will generate enough air flow to remove a layer of dust up to ten inches thick.
  • When making Quiche Lorraine, I always find that the bacon tastes fresher if I've killed the pigs with my own bare hands.
  • A small apron will keep you from getting too dirty. If you're worried about someone making fun of you, just remember that people can't make fun of your apron if you're strangling them with it.
  • If you're looking to refurbish your plush furniture, nothing says both style and comfort like denim.

posted by Chuck Norris - 2/3/2004 7:41 p.m.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The World According to Chuck Norris

I had no idea Chuck Norris was so formidable. I mean I knew about the martial arts, the movie battle with Bruce Lee, and his hot-selling fitness products, but according to some sites on the Internet, Chuck Norris makes Superman look like a limp daisy with an inferiority complex.

The most enlightening one I've come across is www.chucknorrisfacts.com. (Warning, there are some expletives and off-putting material on the site...definitely not for juveniles.) My favourites from this site are the following two:

"Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits."
"Crop circles are Chuck Norris' way of telling the world that sometimes corn needs to lie the **** down."

The last one is vulgar but does explain why no one ever sees flying saucers around crop circles, but someone always manages to report a lone ginger-haired figure in denim, sprinting away from the scene. The man keeps busy. No wonder he's so fit at age sixty-something. Even Jack LaLanne in his prime could not keep up with the roundhouse-kicking, throat-smashing energy of Iron Chuck. In fact, Chuck would probably kill him, just for trying.

Of course, seeing an informative list like the one at Chuck Norris Facts, always makes me want to contribute something to that already vast body of knowledge. So, after much research, being personally beaten to a pulp by Mr. Norris on several occasions, and watching every episode of Walker, Texas Ranger both forwards and backwards and (lest you doubt my dogged resolve) in Betamax, here are a few nuggets I was unable to unearth about this legendary cult figure:

Some Additional Chuck Norris Facts
Compiled by Earl Fando

  • Chuck Norris doesn't give blood. He takes it.
  • Neil Armstrong was not the first man to set foot on the moon. Upon further exploration, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin found the corpses of 457 men Chuck Norris had roundhouse-kicked who wound up there.
  • The only thing we have to fear is not fear itself. The only thing we have to fear is Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris can prove a negative. The proof involves a roundhouse kick to the face.
  • Most Americans do not know that there is a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The text of the Amendment reads, in part: "Chuck Norris is the primary branch of government. The others are just twigs."
  • 911 is Chuck Norris's cell phone number.
  • If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around to hear it, was it kicked down by Chuck Norris? Yes. Always. The reason there is no one to hear it is because Chuck roundhouse kicked them to death and just caught the tree on the follow through.
  • Chuck Norris makes Barbara Walters cry.
  • Chuck Norris had to make himself cry when he was born by giving himself a roundhouse kick in the arse.
  • The atomic bomb was not invented by the Manhattan Project scientists. It was invented when a young Chuck Norris, visiting the research site, kicked a malfunctioning soda machine in anger.
  • Chuck Norris never uses talcum powder. Chuck Norris uses ground cayenne pepper.
  • Chuck Norris won the Heavyweight Championship of the world with his "roundhouse-kick-a-dope" strategy.
  • Chuck Norris' cologne is the scent of death.
  • The Soviet Union collapsed because Chuck Norris accidentally booked a flight for Tblisi, Georgia instead of Atlanta, Georgia, and they all thought he was coming after them.
  • Chuck Norris is forbidden by federal law to flex his bicep, because the vibrations disrupt air traffic throughout North America.
  • The legal definition of a concealed weapon in all 50 states is "Chuck Norris in a mask."
  • Chuck Norris once killed an entire platoon of Nazis by flaring his nostrils.
  • Chuck Norris once kicked a man so hard he disintegrated into subatomic particles. He calls this move "a love tap".
  • Chuck Norris likes Grape Nuts without sugar...or milk.
I'm sure there's much more, but that's all I had the time for between blows to the solar plexus and cranium.

Stew's Movie Musings

Since I have been a bit lax on my postings of late, Earl has demanded that I "get your kiester in gear or be flung headlong from yon balustrade." Not knowing exactly the height of said balustrade, I decided to come up with a vehicle for some of my humor. So I want to welcome you to the first of Stew's Movie Musings, where I will take a film that I have seen, hope to see, don't wish to see, will pretend to have seen, or make up and review it in a manner that may at times make Roger Ebert blush and Pauline Kael spin in her grave. At least that's my hope.

Big Momma's House 2

The first film I wish to tackle is the aforementioned Big Momma's House 2 (The Quest for Cash) the much anticipated, at least by the criminally insane, follow-up to Big Momma's House. Martin Lawrence once again gives a tour de force performance, and by that I mean it is about as forced a performance I've seen since he did Bad Boys II (Money Runnin' Low). The plot of BMH2 is very simple to understand, just think Beverly Hills Cop II and The Pacifier only with Eddie Vin Murphy Diesel as a large, flatulent woman in orthopedic stockings.

Two of the elements that made Big Momma's House at least palatable (and I use that word hesitantly), Paul Giammati and Cedric the Entertainer, are absent here and who could blame them. Paul was probably sitting on the set of Lady in the Water practicing Oscar acceptance speeches and threatening to do his Tony Clifton impression if Lawrence called one more time. Cedric must have insisted that he had to keep his schedule open should the Academy Awards committee call him to be host since Chris Rock was so popular last year. Needless to say both should be considered for special Academy recognition for being smart enough to avoid this stinker.

Being the optimistic sort I tried hard to find anything even remotely satisfying or redeeming in this movie. The best I could come up with is that it was probably better than Black Knight and that "no animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture". I have heard rumors that Martin is trying to model his career after the Eddie Murphy of the mid 80's, a dubious distinction considering some of Eddie's scandals of the same time period. Just let me say this, I watched Eddie Murphy in the mid 80's, you sir are no Eddie Murphy of the mid 80's. Early to mid 90's maybe, but not the 80's. I mean how can Lawrence hope to attain that mantle when one of his characters hasn't even been used as inspiration for a Harold Faltermeyer techno instumental tune. On that account, I feel he falls miserably short.

Anyway, take what I have said in this review as you wish. If you still desire to go see the movie, well I give you my best regards and would just remind you not to eat any particularly spicy meals beforehand. If you determine that I am a loony (which I am), that it is the height of comedic cinema this year, and throw your hard earned money at it; be warned, Black Knight 2 may well be just around the corner.

Monday, January 30, 2006

For the really meaningful awards this season...

...we turn to the Razzies, the Hollywood awards that reward the abysmal and incompetent. I should clarify that by pointing out that the awards are actually given for being abysmal and incompetent... just so you don't confuse them with The People's Choice Awards or The MTV Movie Awards.

Tom Cruise was nominated for Worst Actor. No it wasn't for his portrayal of a suspiciously overdone love-sick, couch-caroming, middle aged, thespian cultist with a mania against psychiatry. His performance of that nutter has been stupendous. Rather, it was for his portrayal in War of the Worlds, of a self-absorbed, bitter, narcissistic, divorcee' construction worker on the run from aliens with death rays.

All right, so the only difference between the two roles is Katie Holmes and Oprah's couch. Still, I think the Razzie people are being a bit harsh here. Almost anyone would get upstaged by a charming and talented little tyke like Dakota Fanning. Tom might not have done so badly if he hadn't kept muttering "Damned Thetans!" under his breath everytime an alien came into view, or ad-libbing that humans could easily defeat the alien menace if we'd just "poison their goblets of Tranya with Zoloft."

Other notable Razzie nominations were:

  • Jaime Kennedy received a Worst Actor nomination for his wooden portrayal of Jim Carrey in Son of the Mask. One judge was rumoured (by me, here) to have suggested that "Shatner would have done better."
  • Hillary Duff got a double nomination in the Worst Actress category for "trying to grow up way the hell too fast" in Cheaper by the Dozen and The Perfect Man. Judges also wondered why her smile seemed twice as big as usual in all her recent music videos, but acknowledged they couldn't give her an award for that.
  • Jennifer Lopez was nominated as Worst Actress for Monster in Law, but most observers are pretty sure she got the nod because of the methodical and sinister way she turned Ben Affleck into a complete loon.
  • The Worst Picture nominees are Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Dirty Love, Dukes of Hazzard, House of Wax, and Son of the Mask, all distinguished by their clever titles and original premises.
  • Katie Holmes objected to being included in the Worst Supporting Actress category with fellow nominees Carmen Electra, Paris Hilton, Nicole Simpson, and Ashlee Simpson, stating that she at least has "a frickin' ounce of talent."