Live Blogging Mannequin (1987)

I’m not even sure if I’m doing this right, but what the hell? I’ve started taking notes while watching movies to then use for posting on the site, but sometimes a movie isn’t good enough to rank a full-on post. Well, I know you ravenous readers can’t get enough of my content, so I figured I’d “live blog” some flicks. First up on the list? The 1987 epic fantasy (I guess) flick starring Andrew McCarthy, Porky’s star Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty and James Spader.

So, the basic idea of the movie is that Kim was an Egyptian (yes EGYPTIAN) princess back in ancient times. Somehow she ended up not dying when she should have and has appeared to different people throughout history, kind of like a muse. So, who does she pick in the late 80s? Hard on his luck Andrew McCarthy who ends up becoming an inspired window display designer for Estelle Getty’s NYC store after he saves her life from a falling sign. It turns out that Kim’s spirit is inside of a mannequin that only comes to life when no one else is looking (in theory). Andrew’s displays really get people excited and business is booming, which makes the rival store angry. The rival store employs James Spader as a buttoned-up 80s business guy and the mean sergenat from the Police Academy movies plays a paranoid security guard who knows something’s up. Meshach Taylor also plays an artsy over-the-top gay fellow window designer. I think. He’s Andrew’s friend. It’s a weird movie to say the least. Anyway, here’s my notes:

*Haha, white Egyptians.

*Animated opening![kind of like Grease.]

*Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty AND James Spader? SOLD!

*Wow, that is a YOUNG Spader. [I mistook McCarthy for Spader for the first 10-15 minutes as you’ll see in a few more notes.]

*This dude [McCarthy] has it ROUGH. Yet, this is still less heavy handed than Spider-Man 2. [Yeah, I’m the one guy who doesn’t like Spidey 2]

*Wow, Estelle Getty looks young too.

*That’s a hell of a way to get a job, catching a sign.

*Haha, woops, THAT is Spader. The main guy is Andrew McCarthy, makes sense.

*Lamar Burton, interesting. [Lamar Burton had nothing to do with this movie, I thought Meshach Taylor was Reading Rainbow’s Burton.]

*Felix Maxwell looks and sounds familiar.

*Hey, he’s from Ohio!

*Oh wow, this was shot in Boscov’s, I’d never heard of them before moving out here. [And now I can’t even remember where the Boscov around here is. Nanuet maybe?]

*Estelle looks like a younger version of the rappin granny from Wedding Singer.

*I think Felix is from the Police Academy movies. [I got this one right.]

*Hahaha, she says “Where do they hide all the musicians?” just before they music really kicks in. [I have no idea what this refers to.]

*Dress up dance number! It would take a really long time to actually do this. [Kim and Andrew are hanging out in the store after hours when no one is around and doing this huge dance number with tons of costume changes reflecting different eras. It’s both kind of impressive and ridiculous.]

*Haha, can you imagine being one of these people so excited about a window display? OMG, they’re f**king riding f**king bikes!!! ahhh!!!! [I know people like the window displays at Christmas, but you’d think Andrew had Whitesnake AND Poison in these displays.]

*Rambo the bulldog is super cute.

*”Tonight we nail that little fart blossom.”

*Haha, hang gliding inside! [Yup, in the store. Happened.]

*I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for your co workers to think you’re banging a mannequin. [Andrew keeps carrying this mannequin around and his coworkers are starting to think he’s weird. I guess they’re right, actually.]

*Can other people hear her? [This isn’t really addressed in the movie. There’s a scene where Andrew takes mannequin Kim behind closed doors and they apparently have sex. So, can they hear her? I’m not sure. Either way, let’s hope Andrew isn’t too loud when in the throws of passion.]

*”You know I would never bother you when you’re getting a piece of wood” – Lamar [Still didn’t realize it’s really Meshach Taylor.]

*Sure creepy foreign guy, I’ll have sex with you. Hahaha he can’t get it up. [Andrew has this ex who works at the evil store. While she’s tasked with figuring out the secret to his window success, she’s teamed with this sleazy guy with a generic accent who keeps trying to have sex with her. Eventually, she sees Andrew with someone (I think Kim in mannequin form) and decides to finally do the accent guy. It doesn’t go as planned.]

*They’re passing dozens of people who could be looking at her, yet she’s still human. [Andrew’s got Kim riding on the back of his motorcycle. When one of the other main characters sees them, she looks like a mannequin, but when they’re just driving down the street she’s alive. SO, you’re trying to tell me that NO ONE is looking out their windows and seeing her? Plot hole!]

*What would happen if they were having sex and someone walked in? [Consider this my Brody moment while watching this crazy movie and drinking mojitos.]

*I love that they think they can ruin an essential nobody by showing pictures of him rolling around with a mannequin even though it clearly looks like he just fell on her, if it was Tom Cruise I could understand, but it’s just some dude.

*Woah, awesome slide move by McCarthy, it’s like calculator bowling. [Andrew’s getting chased by the bad guy’s goons and slides right into one of them on his knees.]

*How did this movie get made? [And I don’t mean the special effects.]

*Why is there a conveyor belt for mannequin destruction leading to a wood chipper? More importantly, why can’t he lift a freaking mannequin out of the shredder? [Sorry, I’m trying to think logically. And, hey, maybe department stores do have these kinds of things, I have no idea.]

*Holy shit, that guy saw her! She’s human around other people!!!! [Yeah, I was excited that it finally happened, I’m a sucker for happy endings.]

*Hahahahaha, they got married?! [They’ve only known each other for a few months at best. Oh and she’s magic.]

*”We can build this dream together…” love that song “Nothing’s gonna stop us nowwwwwwww!” [I looked it up, it’s called, unsurprisingly “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship. As a bonus, here’s the video, with Mannequin footage!]

Advertisements

Diggnation Celebrates 200th Episode

I can’t exactly remember how or why I got into podcasts, but I do know that Diggnation, starring Digg.com founder Kevin Rose and star of just about every podcast on the net Alex Albrecht, was one of the very first I checked out.



For those of you who I haven’t convinced to watch it yet, Diggnation is a video podcast that goes through some of the top stories on Digg. Kevin and Alex read the stories from their laptops, usually on a couch in one of their places, but sometimes at a live event, and drink some beers.

Sure the topics are interesting, but what keeps me coming back week after week is really Kevin and Alex themselves. They seem like the kinds of guys you could really hang out with and just bullshit all day long. It’s also fun to see a couple of guys who are only a couple years older than me really making this internet thing work for them. Plus I, of course, like that they’re able to drink while working, which is really living the dream.

Anyway, all of this is a way of saying congrats to two guys who will probably never see this site for four years of solid entertainment. If the show sounds ever remotely interesting based on my shaky-at-best description or if you trust my opinion for any reason, check out the brand new 200th episode which looks back over the past 199 episodes and also offers up some new stories. Enjoy!

Portal and Peggle

As you might be able to tell with my various posts, I go in spurts as to what medium I’m devouring at any given time. Sometimes it’s horror movies, other times it’s trades. Recently I’ve been spreading my intake pretty thin, but I have taken the time to watch some flicks, read some trade and play a couple of video games. This post is about a few of the games I’ve been playing on the Xbox 360 (you can do more than watch movies in this thing, did you know that?)

First up, I just finished Portal last week. I know, thanks for the welcome into 2007. I grabbed the Orange Box used after getting my Xbox in December and have been playing Portal on and off for a while. It took me a while to really get into the game, but once I did, I was in like gangbusters. That is until I got to the very last stage of the game. I got kind of frustrated after getting stuck on a previous level (I actually figured out how to beat that level on my way into work one morning and had to wait until I got home that night to actually test and prove my theory), so once the very last battle started giving me trouble, I took a break. Well, last week I finally beat that bad boy and am pretty proud of myself. I’m not usually one for puzzle games, but the crazy amounts of ingenuity that the creators put into the basic gameplay and overall physics of Portal is ridiculously impressive. If I had an award show, I’d give them the grand prize for awesomest video game. Seriously, it’s amazing. Plus, at the very end, you get rewarded with a song. If you haven’t beat the game yet, you don’t really deserve to see this, but it’s already on the internet and this game is a couple years old so what the hell? Enjoy the jam:

The game that I’ve been currently addicted to is called Peggle. It’s available on Xbox Live as a downloadable game as well as PC and the DS. It might be on more platforms, but these are the ones I’ve already heard about. My boss Justin Aclin of Hero House fame turned me onto the demo last week. I got hooked and bought the full game last night with the intention of watching a movie on Netflix Instant Watch, but ended up play this puzzle game for two hours.

Before trying to explain the game you should probably just check this out:

The game is kind of like a mix between Snood, Plinko and pachinko. The point is to shoot a ball and hit all the orange balls and bricks. The blue ones also give you points, but they’re just there to bounce off of. The green ones do cool things on different stages to assist you and the purple/pink ones give you a point bonus. Aside from the thrill of figuring out the best way to work the puzzle, the real upside to playing the game is the extreme closeup as you either hit or miss the last ball, followed by bombastic music, bonus points and a rainbow telling you how many points you’ve gotten. I can’t remember how many gamer points it cost, but I’m far more glad I bought this thatn Braid, which I’m afraid I’m too dumb to figure out without a walkthrough.

Oh, you might have asked yourself what pachinko is. To be honest, I only know that it’s kind of an upright pinball played in Japan (I think) with ball bearings instead of larger balls. Oh and also what I gleaned from this amazing collection of Nic Cage commercials.


Apocalypse Now-ish

Hey gang, hope you’ve made peace with your respective makes because things aren’t looking so good for humanity.

Now, I’m not one to put much stock in end of the world theories, but, when faced with overwhelming evidence, even I have to take another look at the facts. And things look grim to say the least.

First off, as you all know I’m sure, the economy is in the crapper. Sure, things look better and worse on a daily basis, but we’re talking about the first worldwide crash in our hyper-technological society. I’m not sure if that makes sense. Want to know why?

Because it’s ridiculously hot. Maybe this is just a local thing, but it was like 90 degrees this weekend after being in the 60s and 70s all week. Forget global warming, this could be global burning. Plus, the A/C in my freaking office isn’t working and I’m feeling light headed (which might explain this rant).

But hey, heat and a bad economy, that’s nothing new, right? True. So how about we mix a little pig flu in? I don’t care to actually read the link to the Center for Disease Control, but my grandmother-in-law swears that you can get it from eating pig. I’ll be honest with you folks, if it’s between getting the flu and eating bacon, you better get a bucket ready, because I’m eating that bacon. I’m the guy that heard a report on NPR about the Taco Bell E. coli scare a few years back and went right to the drive-thru and got myself some T-Bell. Hey, living clean isn’t for everyone. Also, how funny is it that there’s a blog called Food Poisoning Law Blog? That might be a sign too, but probably not.

What’s that? You have science to refute those claims? I believe you. I also believe what I heard on the radio last night (NPR again, yeah, I’m cultured like that, especially now that Wendy Williams plays so much freaking music). One reporter who lives in Mexico City said that the usually friendly people of MC have become highly suspicious of their neighbors, expecting them to get them sick. Well, we’re pretty much like that already here in the states on a good day. Add in the fact that people are afraid to fly anywhere and the inevitable conspiracy theories attesting that the flu was unleashed by man for nefarious reasons and you’ll get a pretty paranoid populace.

So, to sum things up, the world is full of poor, scared, sick and increasingly desperate people in a huge, hot economic pit in which pigs are slowly killing us. But that’s not all. The incredibly lame-looking movie Obsessed, which they didn’t even advertise as starring Beyonce, one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and Heroes “star” Ali Larter until the last few commercials I saw, was not only the biggest grossing movie of the weekend, but also scored record earnings for that week in April.

Maybe it’ll be this Friday’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine that lights the last flame to the powder keg before complete anarchy sets in. Well, it’s been nice knowing you all. I was hoping to make it until the Lost finale, but we shall see…

Some Thoughts on Horror Fandom

I’ve been a horror fan for a pretty long time now. Well, relatively speaking. For a brief history of my horror past click here. For reference this was in the mid 90s. So, while there weren’t a great deal of good, new horror movies coming out in theaters (many of which I couldn’t have gotten into anyway) I tried to catch up on the hits (and misses) of decades past.

There was a sense of exploration and newness to this whole new genre of movies that I had very little experience with. I scoured the internet for Best Of lists, bought Creature Features (my still-used guide book for all horror movies pre-1999) and rented just about every horror movie I came across (they weren’t organized by genre, just pure alphabetical).

Not having any fellow horror movie fans as friends and not being too keen on message boards (still not), my journey through the world of horror flicks was a mostly solitary one, with little to guide me but Creature Features (I still read the write-up on any movie I rent and put a dot next to the movies I’ve seen). I did have friends who had seen a lot of these flicks when they were younger and I was able to convince them and my less horror inclinde friends from high school into holding Friday the 13th horror movie marathons to varying degrees of success, but no one else was really on my same learning curve. Plus, when you try and get everyone you know to watch Sleepaway Camp, non horror fans start looking at your movie choices with hesitation.

By the time I went to college I felt like I had a pretty good knowledge of horror movies, more than most people I talked to and I did meet some fellow horror-philes in college, but it wasn’t until I met Rickey Purdin during my Wizard internship that it felt like I met someone who I was on equal footing with.

He and I have watched countless horror movies together and argued about even more (for instance he liked the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and I did not), but, in the end of the day, we’re both pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to likes and dislikes.

I guess the point I’m getting to in a roundabout sort of way is that my experience with other horror fans was limited and that I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into as far as fandom goes back when I was 14. When I started reading comics, I saw the kinds of people who read comics at the comic shop and read about my “brethren” in Wizard, distorted as either of those lenses may have been. But it’s not like I had to go to the horror shop to get tapes, it was my local video (yes video) store. Horror fans are truly in a league of their own. Sure they’ve got conventions just like most of the other “nerd” subdivisions and websites devoted to their very existence, but there’s one big distinction I’ve seen that only takes place with horror fans.

We’re kind of jerks.

The funny thing about horror movie fans is that you don’t really get any credit for watching the classics. It’s the equivalent of knowing how to read when it comes to comics. It really just puts you on the ground floor. You might think you’re big dog in the horror park because you’ve seen Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws and Night of the Living Dead, but guess what? That just gets you in the door. Your mettle really gets tested in the longer franchises and the more obscure flicks. Sure, you’ve watched Halloween, but no one cares. That’s basic. Have you watched all the Halloween movies around Halloween? No? Well, have you sat through Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers? No again? Then sit down kiddo, the grownups are talking.

Okay, that’s a little mean, but it sounds about right, right? In the comic book world, you’re in pretty good standing if you’ve read Watchmen and Dark Night Returns. Sure, those are the basics, but you’re not really in the game until you’ve checked them out. From there you can move on to pedigree books like Sandman, Starman, Preacher, Authority, etc. Your fellow fans won’t give you crap because you haven’t read Extreme Justice or Guy Gardner: Warrior (though you should because it’s awesome, Ben agrees).

I guess you find some similarities when you get into music fandom. But it’s more along the lines of “Oh, you like Led Zeppelin IV? Awesome, check this out.” Sure you get your weirdos who are total snobs and only interested in talking to you if you’ve listened to Jimmy Page’s work with Paul Rogers in The Firm. But it seems like that kind of mentality is more the rule than the exception when it comes to horror. And I kind of like it. What other group of fans honors the good, the bad and the ugly with the same regard?

I’d like to think that if a young horror movie fan came up to me and told me they really liked Night of the Living Dead, I’d be able to nicely suggest they check out 28 Days Later or Return of the Living Dead without being too judgmental.

But, hey, who am I kidding? These damn kids should just go to their video store, or more likely scan the internet and Netflix, and check out all the horror movies they can stomach. Hey, that’s what I did when I was coming up.

TV Time 4/20-4/26

You guys know I love TV, so I figured I’d write about it in one big post (unless something really knocks my socks off). So here’s a quick rundown of what I watched this week on the idiot box.

MONDAY
8:00-9:00PM
Unfortunately both Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were re-runs last week. Still had fun watching these episodes again, though.

10:00PM
Castle is really growing on me. It’s the one procedural in our weekly line-up, but damnitall of Nathan Fillion isn’t super-charming. His partner is even growing on me (she kind of scared me the first few episodes). What started out as a show we’d watch because nothing else is on has turned into a new weekly favorite.

TUESDAY
9:00PM
I’m really glad Fringe is back. I actually missed it while it was on hiatus, plus, it’s really the only thing we watch on Tuesdays. This episode was interesting enough on its own, but also offered a deeper level of mystery and connection that will hopefully explode with craziness as the first season wraps.

10:00-10:20PM
I caught about 20 minutes of The Unusuals. I really liked what I saw, but wanted to watch Josie and the Pussycats without falling asleep, so it lost out. I’m still rooting for the show’s success.

WEDNESDAY
9:00PM-10:00PM
As all the Losties know, there wasn’t a new episode last week, but a clip show. This one looked at the Oceanic 6 and showed all the flashforwards and flashbacks in chronological order. It wasn’t necessary to watch, but it reminded me of a few things I had forgotten. I’m still not clear on the time frame of Locke visiting Jack, Locke getting killed, Jack flying around with a scruffy beard and Jack running into Ben at Locke’s showing. It seems like there’s too much time there for all these events to happen in a realistic fashion. I’m not saying they don’t have everything figured out, it’s just nagging at me a bit. I’m sure there’s an explanation.

10:00PM-11:00PM
The Duel 2 continues to offer up a level of conspiracy that is always hilarious. I’d really love someone who has studied game theory to either analyze the show or, better yet, make it onto the show. I myself did not take the game theory class my college offered (too much math and science for this English major), but it sounded fascinating when friends would talk about it. Without getting into spoilers, the guy duel was pretty intense. Unfortunately, the guy we were rooting for didn’t win, and thus the status quo continues.

THURSDAY
8:00-8:30PM
I don’t talk about My Name Is Earl a lot, but it’s a consistently good show that I enjoy every week. I’m impressed that they’ve been able to keep such a solid show going with what seemed like an easily exhausted premise, but I’m always happy to see Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly (anyone else remember Poison Ivy 3?), Nadine Velazquez (Catalina) and Eddie Steeples (Crabman)every week.

8:30-9:00PM
Last week’s Parks and Recreation was the best episode yet. But that’s not really saying much. To be completely honest, we’re only still watching this show because it’s between two other shows we like and I’m pretty sure nothing else is on. I wish they would keep the cast, scrap this concept and just start over because watching Poehler act like a Michael Scott clone for 22 minutes is just painful.

9:00-9:30PM
We finally get a resolution to the doomed-from-the-start Michael Scott Paper Company and it was a lot more fist pumping than I thought it would be. That being said, I was totally worried that Michael would screw things up in the meeting.

9:30-10:00PM
30 Rock is awesome. As much as I love the plots and larger jokes, it’s really the smaller jokes that get me. Like when Kenneth is passing out and says something like “My name is Dick Whitman.” Awesome. Or a few weeks back after seeing the world through Kenneth’s eyes and then seeing the real Liz walk-running like a Muppet. I am a bit worried that Tracey and Jenna are turning into cartoon characters instead of actual real characters. Oh, I’m also sad to see Salma Hayek leaving the show, both because she was really funny and hot.

10:00-11:00PM
I totally meant to watch all of Harper’s Island last week. After all, it’s essentially a show about a slasher killing wedding guests off one by one on an island. I was all into last week’s episode (the second of the season I believe), but I fell asleep in the last 10 minutes and completely missed the ending. Luckily, this week, I didn’t fall asleep. I’m not sure yet how I feel about Harper’s Island. I’ve given up watching my favorite Girl Next Door Bridget on her new bikini-filled show Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches to check it out. I did have a hard time keeping track of the characters (lots have the same hair color and look too similar). But I think I’ll stick with it for now.

FRIDAY
8:00-10:30PM
After sloshing through the first 20 minutes of The Spirit (more on that later), we gave up and watched some Cartoon Network. Saw a Batman: Brave and the Bold episode that focused on the Blue Beetle legacy (even showing Dan Garret, the Golden Age BB!). As always, it was a rad episode. Then I checked out an episode of the Clone Wars CGI show that was kinda cool and made me want to check the show out on DVD. After that The Soup was awesome.

Later that Night…
We watched the end of the Red Sox/Yankees game. Being from New England, Em is, of course, a Red Sox fan and hates the Yankees. Being something of a Tiger’s fan and initially not being all that happy about moving to New York, I hated most NY sports teams (and still do, really). So, even though I don’t particularly like the Sox, I like watching the Yankees lose. And lose they did. In overtime. This reminded me of college when Em would come over and we’d watch from inning 8 or 9 on of the Sox World Series. Now, that’s baseball.

SATURDAY
While hanging out in Nyack we kept an eye on the game. Didn’t see the end, but the Sox took it.

SUNDAY
8:00-9:00PM
Em and I have become pretty big fans of the Amazing Race. We stumbled upon it when The Simpsons was in reruns last season, but this is the first season we’ve watching, mostly, from beginning to the soon-to-be end. Better than every reality show game except Real World/Road Rules.

More Baseball
Em fell asleep watching the game, but I was in it till the end. A dude freaking stole home! I’ve never seen that before. It was awesome. See for yourself:


The Yankees play the Tigers next, so hopefully I can see them get beat up on Detroit style (but without guns and knives).

Vicki’s My New Best Friend

Why, you ask? Because she used computer magic to take my crappy Man Cave plans and turned them into a 3D room (or some technical term I don’t know). Check it out after the jump.

So, here’s my original, boring plan:

And here’s Vicki’s awesome version:

This is just one of a few pictures. You can see the Jam Zone better in the others. I guess it also works as a slide show? I should really know more about this internet stuff. You can check out the whole shebang here.

So, sorry everyone I’ve known longer, but this is super awesome.