10.30.2008

9 Most Bizarre Crispin Glover Moments

Only 9?
..Really?

If Only It Were This Easy

Takes a while to load, but it's totally worth it
.
Much love to OHN, where this was first seen.

Highly Recommended Ebert of the Ebert

I know we keep jocking the guy, but he just keeps killing it.

10.27.2008

Highly Recommended Horror for your Hallowed Holiday

When a day comes along where the average person has completely acceptable excuses for:
・ eating copious amounts of candy,
・ dressing like a fool,
・ talking about something other than the upcoming election, and
・ feeding the aforementioned need for all things zombie...

... that day is going to be Highly Recommended. But maybe the bestest best thing about Halloween is that it's a chance to dust off those horror movies - the good, the bad, the way-too-scary-for-a-weekday-evening film selections that seem to need an excuse of their own.

So here at HRTotM, we've banded together to give you a good selection of our favorite horror films to watch as you prepare your tricks and treats. Enjoy, but remember... DON'T GO IN THERE!

Monster:

I've never really been into the guts and the gore - Jason and Freddy never did it for me back in the day and Eli Roth certainly doesn't do it for me now. My sleepless nights are usually the result of the psychological horror flick - the one that crawls into your head and messes with you by forcing you to put yourself in those pictures, by encouraging your mind to go down roads you'd just as soon leave overgrown and unexplored. Hitchcock, of course, was the MASTER at this, and I could probably just list a ton of his films right here and be done. But for my money, the movie that most clearly crawled into my consciousness and took a firm hold was David Fincher's Se7en. Most films like this get to me after some reflection - I'm on the way home from the theater, mulling over the characters or the particularly good lines or the lighting or whatever, and something resonates and stays humming for weeks and weeks. Se7en, though, had me so worked up during the film, that (as little spoilage as possible here, in case there's somebody on the planet that's missed it so far) toward the end, when the killer intones "I can't wait for you to see what I've done," I tried to leave. It was only due to my sense of good theater citizenship, my long legs, and my friend's refusal to get the hell out of my way that I stayed for the mind-enema that was the ending. There are lots of good clips I could post, but the opening sequence maybe showcases Fincher's genius the most - it primed me for an amazing flick the first time and it gets me stoked for what's to come still to this day.






Satorical:

There are so many shitty horror movies it makes me sad. There are perhaps 50 good ones and a dozen sublime ones. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is somewhere in there. I saw it during the day with the sun shining in through the windows when I was 27, and I still had to steel myself through the whole thing because it was so fucking relentless. The original Dawn of the Dead is super-smart, hilarious, and truly disturbing all at the same time.

But for me, even those two movies take a backseat compared with the brilliance that is Halloween. What made this movie fantastic was that, like Alien, it was more of a suspense movie than a gorefest. There is actually very little blood in Halloween compared with most any other horror movie. I probably first saw this when I was about 10, by staying up late and watching HBO on the sly from my folks. I only watched snippets before getting freaked out. Even as an adult, however, with the lights off, this is a scary movie. A fairly low-budget flick, there are not tons of creature effects, but long stretches of silence and normalcy, as the characters go blithely about their lives. The audience sees occasional glimpses of The Shape, and knows something bad is coming, but not exactly what. When night falls, the 70s isolation of suburban streets is as much an enemy as The Shape himself: phones can't be dialed fast enough, and there aren't enough cars on the road or people around to notice when someones gone missing until it's too late.

Finally, the music, by director John Carpenter himself, is about as simple as it gets: a creepy melody for the theme at the beginning, and only pounding single low piano notes as The Shape comes home.

In a time when so many movies are viewed in tiny increments as some type of living room wallpaper, this is one that demands uninterrupted viewing of its 90 minutes, in the dark. Turn it up loud, and let the movie work on you.





Werdna:

For Halloween movies, I'm under qualified. First, I like Dracula films (Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing might be my favorite of those, the Bela Lugosi film is better cinema but not as much fun).




I also like Army of Darkness, but it is as campy as they come... Does the Bride with White Hair count as horror? I thought that would be fun to watch on Halloween.

I'm so bad at Halloween movies. I guess I could go with the Nightmare before Christmas, or is that a Christmas movie? Maybe I'm not cut out for the Halloween retrospective.


Hex:

The question that always comes back for me when I consider horror movies is -- "Does it stay with you?" Is there something about the scares that a movie delivers that finds it's way into your secret fears. What made Halloween so lasting in my opinion is not only the suspense factor that Satorical spoke about, but the scenes where you'd see a shadowed hallway and then suddenly a shaft of moonlight would reveal that The Shape was standing there the whole time with a huge knife -- and then the next afternoon you'd realize that there were plenty of dark corners in the place you lived, and the first thing that jumped into your mind was the idea that some silent maniac could be hiding in one of them.

It's the way that certain vulnerabilities are presented to us through horror films that make our skin crawl. This to me is also the reason the genre has taken such a dive lately, because it's all too easy to just present people with images of things that they dislike, and turn it into a deathtrap (there's a scene in SAW II involving a pit of used hypodermic needles that a person has to dig through to find a key. The idea creeps me out because I don't like needles, but luckily I don't have a pit of needles in my apartment, so the discomfort of the scene is over as soon as the movie ends).

The things that stay with me the most are the situations where the things you trust become the things you need to fear. Films where the killer is among you, or the threat is within. Which is why for my money, despite the fact that it's special effects are starting to look a little dated -- the psychological component of John Carpenter's The Thing cannot be topped for pure jump out of your seat fun. Parts of that movie are so subtle that they make the shocks that follow seem like deeper cuts.

Plenty of movies have tried to re-use this formula along the way, but all too often when the plot turns from "trying to figure out the problem" to the "team up to fight back against the bad guy" theme it becomes utterly unbelievable and over-actiony.

What this movie does so well is take characters who seem to have their stuff together and push them to a point where they can't be trusted -- even if they're not the alien. You never really know who to trust, exemplified by an ending that implies an even bigger battle for survival between the two toughest guys in the camp that Carpenter leaves hanging for us to consider, but never actually resolves -- leaving the door open not so much for a sequel, but for the worry that one of them actually made it out of that place alive -- meaning the thing might still be among us.




Of course there are many more great scare films to choose from out there -- so if we've left out your favorite, feel free to tell us about it in the comments!

Dead Walking in their Masquerade

It frightens me (no pun intended), but we're fast approaching the time when zombies are mainstream. They've already graduated from the relative obscurity that is the regard of niche-horror movie fans, and they've got a firm death grip on that sort-of acceptable underground cool movement. If dressing up like a Star Trek character makes you a nerd, but a Darth Vader bobblehead on your desk just makes you a geek, then zombies have entrenched themselves firmly in the geek-o-sphere. But the movement is growing, and I'm worried that somehow MTV is going to get involved. Or a CBS reality show. In short, it feels like zombies are about to go all Hot-Topic on us.

For the time being, though, the undead are undeniably awesome. And even though it acts as a good example of the coming mainstream doom of the genre, there's something special about 880 people in Austin - doing the thriller dance.

Poladroids

You need a Mac for it to work (Windows version coming soon), but here's a cool idea -- import pictures from your digital camera into this app to change them into a ready-to-print Polaroid-style output.

And how's this for authentic -- you only get to do 10 treatments per software session, just like the number of exposures you were limited to with the old film cartridges.

My New Favorite Band



Mute Math.

Filled with awesome.

They're out of New Orleans- you can check the bio here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mute_Math

10.26.2008

10.24.2008

Truthful Title Cards

Instead of starting your favorite TV shows with those boring old title cards that give you the name of a given show, how about a little dose of truth?

10.23.2008

Becoming the Whedon Geek

Let me get a few things out of the way here before I begin.

1) Kristy Swanson is Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I hear that TV show was good but it didn't have Kristy Swanson so I never really got too interested.

2) Yes, I made fun of Firefly once. Well, a lot, but it was all contained into a single weekend. I have since apologized and I say again, I'm both really stupid and really sorry.

3) I owe our readers another apology, because I recommended Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog to everybody I know, but as far as I can tell, didn't do so here. Again, stupid and sorry.

All of that said, Joss Whedon is a geek's dream come true. He's reverent about all the right things but seemingly cares little about mainstream critical acclaim or overt, large-scale commercial success. He has a solid fan base that are just excited to see what he thinks of next, and he seems equally excited to deliver it.

"It", in this case, is a new series called Dollhouse. It's a FOX mid-season replacement (which is a sick plot twist in and of itself), about some super-secret operatives whose missions are so sensitive that the operatives themselves get their brains scrubbed after having done the deed.

That sounds pretty cool, maybe a little too Alias-y for good measure on face value.. but this is Joss Whedon we're talking about. It's scheduled to start in January and run on Mondays before 24... probably with less torture, but who knows?

Oh, and did I mention who is playing the lead?



Eliza Dushku as a cover secret agent? Joss Whedon's brainchild? Another chance to hate Fox when they inevitably screw it up?

I'm on board.

10.22.2008

The PeevePile

Is there something that really annoys you? Post it in the Peevepile -- a website where people are encouraged to let fly with the things that drive them nuts.

One note -- Hopefully one of your peeves isn't the color pink, because for whatever reason, they've got A LOT of it happening over there.

10.21.2008

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

As predicted, John McCain's odd little tongue wag at the end of the final debates was simply too much temptation for the Photoshop nation to resist. Like any other doctored-photo meme, some of the results aren't really worth writing home about -- but there are some classics in here.







Lots more on the page to see.
Enjoy!

Rockin' Out 1987-Style


Here's a little Billy and the Boingers to get you through the week.

10.17.2008

Hopefuls Roasting Hopefuls

Every year the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner is held in New York as a fundraiser for Catholic charities. It's been a campaign stop in election years since the 60's - and recent years have seen some pretty humorous speeches from the candidates.

Typically these things don't really do it for me... the speeches are carefully crafted to be funny without being risky. They're written well and are usually pretty humorous, but they generally come across like a blues album by Rush - all the right pieces, none of the right screw-ups.

So maybe it's just because we've been inundated with the specially crafted campaign messages more than normal this time around, or maybe it's that as a moderate democrat I can't help but kinda like John McCain too, or maybe it's just that this year, they were ACTUALLY funny.

But I laughed, a lot.

McCain speaks:



(the video poster stuck some anti-Obama ads at the end, sorry about that, it was the only place I could find the whole thing)

...and then Obama speaks:



If only we could give a pass to the entire election arena and allow all of the discourse to be candid and real - then you wouldn't need Leo DiCaprio and Sarah Silverman to tell young people to vote.

Lottery Fantasies

It's election time, which means free money for everyone! Click the link below to see what the candidates' proposed tax plans mean for you:

Gimme!

Please note that by the time the actual budget is passed and the total bailout costs accounted for, this won't mean squat.

10.16.2008

Staying in Character

The best moment of last night's debate was right after it ended. As both candidates got up to leave, McCain finally exhaled, visibly relieved that the debate was over. Really visibly relieved:

I expect someone to Photochop this into McCain as Godzilla on the rampage by the end of the day.

10.15.2008

Upside Down Dogs

The day has come: Dogs are finally making their move.


Cat humor has ruled the Internet for as long as most of us can remember. Sure you'll see a dog joke here and there, but it's always been sort of a paltry second banana to the sheer force of funny cat gags. But now, today -- right effing now the people over at upsidedowndogs.com are taking a stand.

No mas.

And it's hard to argue with the cuteness of these opening salvos, or the love it's getting from ALL corners of the web (Satorical, remember that email I sentcha? yeah, I figured out why I wasn't getting any replies..).

So if you've got a dog, and you've been frustrated at the way you've been left out of the Internet animal funny picture game, now is the time. Get your camera, flip your pooch, and get in on the ground floor, because this one is gonna be bigger than hula hoops.

Oh Boy

This certainly explains a lot.

10.13.2008

"The REAL Real Barack Obama"

Looks like McCain's finally found something he can use against Obama:



Stick around to the end, it's worth it.

Sarah's Smash Shack

Why, why, why do they not have one of these here?

Here's the basic idea: You go into this store. You sign up, pay your fee ($25 bucks for a basic session. Group discounts.), put on some protective gear (goggles, jumpsuit, whatever) and then you go into one of two private rooms where you are able to THROW, SMASH, and DESTROY an array of breakable objects without fear of reprisal. They even have a way to put music from your MP3 player on the speakers in the room where you're going berserker.

You're even allowed to BRING IN YOUR OWN STUFF to break.

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

As a matter of fact, we just added a new team member who lives in San Diego where this thing is. I feel a need for a correspondent report. Hell, I feel a need for a road trip.

10.11.2008

Hey, Wanna Play Some Plinko?

Let's be honest here -- If I ever got on The Price is Right, Plinko is the game I'd want to play. It's easy, you've got a shot at big money, and there's no wacky choices involved where you could screw yourself out of some big prize by choosing the mystery box.

So yeah, if I was there -- I'd want to play me some Plinko.
But um.. clearly not anywhere as much as this woman does.

10.10.2008

CERN's Large Hadron Collider Webcam

Not as directly informative as some other sites on the subject, but still worth a peek.

I promise.

The 8 Phases of Dating

Slightly bitter version of the same relationship joke people have been telling for years (albeit with a few more poop jokes this time around).
Still worth a smile, though.

10.08.2008

O's for Obama

Sometimes there are events that can only really happen in New York. Sometimes there are events that can only happen in Florida. And then there are the things that you hear about them and you instantly know they came from somewhere else.

Thus it is with O's for Obama -- described as a one-of-a-kind Obama rally and fundraiser as only San Francisco could produce.

There will be DJs, all-night dancing, sensual performances, and the main event of the evening,
An Orgasmic breathing experience.
So apparently there aren't going to be O's for Obama -- as much as there are gonna be oh-oh-ohhhs, in form of a guided breath-gasm experience (!?) lead by by one Destin Gerek, who is apparently.. or that is to say he is most famous for.. um, you might remember him from...
Well really does it even matter who the hell he is?
ps - No word if Destin is going to be leading any "Mmmmm's for McCain" rallies anytime soon, but honestly -- I'm not even sure I'd want to know who might show up at that one.

10.07.2008

Google's Mail Goggles

As technology makes us more an more accessible to one another, it carries the unfortunate burden of, well, making us more and more accessible to one another. Let's face it - there are times when it would be a good idea if you didn't have a way to immediately contact your current or former lover, or his or her best friend, or anybody's mom.

And while they haven't invented anything to keep your cell phone in your pocket, Google has unveiled a nifty new gmail feature that might keep you from drunk-emailing.

When it's enabled, gmail will allow you to compose your scathing commentary on how he/she never really cared about you and your friends at the bar/rave/common room are the only ones that really understand you - but when you click "send"...

...math problems. Several of them that you have to complete in a minute. If you can't, you should wait.

I suspect this would be particularly useful before composing emails that might one day be important.

Educated Finger in the Wind

We all know that the popular vote doesn't mean squat in the US Presidential election. If you don't know why, ask Al Gore.

That's why when most polls ask people who they would vote for, and one guy is leading by 8 points or whatever, it doesn't tell you a whole lot. The polls need to say something about electoral college totals to signify who will actually win.

The problem with most electoral polls, though, is that they can be off, either through bias or poor methodology. FiveThirtyEight works to create a more accurate picture by examining a wide variety of electoral polls, weighting them based on their merits, and thereby coming up with a more robust set of numbers. Scroll down the right side of the page to see the state-by-state poll results; there are 35 separate polls considered for battleground state Ohio.

As of 10/6/2008, this is how 538 calls it.

However, after the last two elections, I'm taking nothing for granted.


10.05.2008

Hoping Roger Ebert Lives Forever

Both Hex and I love Ebert. Here's yet another reason why:

Movie Answer Man
BY ROGER EBERT / September 11, 2008

Q. Yo dude, u missed out on "Disaster Movie," a hardcore laugh-ur-@zz-off movie! Y U not review this movie!? It was funny as #ell! Prolly the funniest movie of the summer! U never review these, wat up wit dat?

S.J. Stanczak, Chicago 

A. Hey, bro, I wuz buzier than $#i+, @d they never shoed it b4 hand. I peeped in the IMDb and saw it zoomed to #1 as the low$ie$t flic of all time, wit @ lame-@zz UZer Rating of 1.3. U liked it? Wat up wit dat?

Getting Geeky

For the Netflix freaks out there who hate instant viewing in Internet Explorer, IE Tab is a Firefox add-on that toggles an IE engine in Firefox. Presto! You can watch Netflix instant movies in FF. You're welcome.

The real news, of course, is that Netflix says instant viewing is coming to the Mac before the end of the year. Woohoo!

If you're still reading, Hacking Netflix is full of geeky wonderment for Netflix users.

NSFW Sunday Guilt Trip

It's dumb that in order for an issue to have credibility, people who are exceptionally good at faking everything need to weigh in.

However, it's appropriate, it's a little raw, it's maybe what we need.



Voting is highly recommended.

10.03.2008

LOLpalin



Also, (a day too late) this.

10.02.2008

Michael Bay Wants Things to Be Awesome

Normally I'm the first one in line to pile on this guy, but I have to admit it's sorta cool to see Michael Bay poking fun at himself here.

Perhaps he's actually writing his own twitter feed too?

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