Twist Street

Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers, Julian R. Eastman, & Me

6 notes

Stretch (2014): New Joe Carnahan movie, made on one of those Blumhouse no-budget deals, except it went direct-to-video. Probably a smart move— I don’t know if Patrick Wilson is a huge theatrical draw (though I really liked him in that Space Station 76 movie earlier this year), plus it’s kind of a mess, kind of all over the map. But it’s also in one of my very favorite genres— it’s a “one crazy night" movie.  I fucking love "one crazy night" movies.  
Patrick Wilson plays a limo driver; Chris Pine plays the guy he drives around, this kind of douchebag Tyler Durden by way of Burning Man rich guy. I really enjoyed Chris Pine in this— I liked him when I saw the Lieutenant of Innishmore on stage but I’ve never really seen him have that kind of malevolence since then in a movie, until this one.  But it’s mostly Wilson playing the Griffin Dunne / Jeff Goldblum part, having to run around Hollywood and After Hours it up.  He’s by himself a lot (I like Wilson fine but it’s kind of a bummer they couldn’t have done more of a buddy thing with Pine). And that’s the movie.  
Oodles of bits that don’t work— a LOT of not-great voiceover, too much voiceover like narrating stuff happening on screen for idiots; a few too many “no way that happens” moves in the plot that were hard to swallow; one of the plotlines farts its way to an ending, and the less said about another plotline the better.  I don’t know if I’d call the “story” overall the strong part really.  But I don’t even remember what the story was with Into the Night and I remember liking that one too.  
I don’t know— I just like seeing people survive crazy nights in movies.  Adventures in Babysitting, Cheap Thrills, Before Sunrise, Collateral, Go, Harold & Kumar— I like all those. Besides the “everybody’s had a crazy night or two" thing— I just think it makes for fun movies. They always kind of have that same “the whole world is a madhouse" backdrop, they’re all set at nighttime and sort of romanticize how people’s facades come down at night— people’s venality gets all primary colors at night, and they all just kind of… the characters aren’t sitting around and crying all that much to mama, a sad trumpet player or three in Collateral aside (I remember that movie mostly being Tom Cruise murdering trumpet players and glaring at coyotes…?), because they’re too busy trying to survive some crazy-night shit. Stuff’s always happening.  People are always running somewhere or another, or trying to have sex, or murdering someone, or just doing them some hardcore babysitting. Like, in that movie Gladiator, they had to murder Gladiator’s wife or whoever because otherwise, he’d have just been some weird asshole— he wouldn’t have had any reason to gladiate.  But if Gladiator had to survive one crazy night, instead? They could’ve let Gladiator’s wife live! It’s just a fundamentally more humane genre, from a Russel Crowe perspective, if nothing else…
So yeah, I wouldn’t really call this one a good movie (I just thought the voiceover was grating), but I had fun with it for what it is I guess, low budget guy movie nonsense for a Thursday night.  Or there was just enough likable stuff in a flawed movie that I was okay with it.

Stretch (2014): New Joe Carnahan movie, made on one of those Blumhouse no-budget deals, except it went direct-to-video. Probably a smart move— I don’t know if Patrick Wilson is a huge theatrical draw (though I really liked him in that Space Station 76 movie earlier this year), plus it’s kind of a mess, kind of all over the map. But it’s also in one of my very favorite genres— it’s a “one crazy night" movie.  I fucking love "one crazy night" movies.  

Patrick Wilson plays a limo driver; Chris Pine plays the guy he drives around, this kind of douchebag Tyler Durden by way of Burning Man rich guy. I really enjoyed Chris Pine in this— I liked him when I saw the Lieutenant of Innishmore on stage but I’ve never really seen him have that kind of malevolence since then in a movie, until this one.  But it’s mostly Wilson playing the Griffin Dunne / Jeff Goldblum part, having to run around Hollywood and After Hours it up.  He’s by himself a lot (I like Wilson fine but it’s kind of a bummer they couldn’t have done more of a buddy thing with Pine). And that’s the movie.  

Oodles of bits that don’t work— a LOT of not-great voiceover, too much voiceover like narrating stuff happening on screen for idiots; a few too many “no way that happens” moves in the plot that were hard to swallow; one of the plotlines farts its way to an ending, and the less said about another plotline the better.  I don’t know if I’d call the “story” overall the strong part really.  But I don’t even remember what the story was with Into the Night and I remember liking that one too.  

I don’t know— I just like seeing people survive crazy nights in movies.  Adventures in Babysitting, Cheap Thrills, Before Sunrise, Collateral, Go, Harold & Kumar— I like all those. Besides the “everybody’s had a crazy night or two" thing— I just think it makes for fun movies. They always kind of have that same “the whole world is a madhouse" backdrop, they’re all set at nighttime and sort of romanticize how people’s facades come down at night— people’s venality gets all primary colors at night, and they all just kind of… the characters aren’t sitting around and crying all that much to mama, a sad trumpet player or three in Collateral aside (I remember that movie mostly being Tom Cruise murdering trumpet players and glaring at coyotes…?), because they’re too busy trying to survive some crazy-night shit. Stuff’s always happening.  People are always running somewhere or another, or trying to have sex, or murdering someone, or just doing them some hardcore babysitting. Like, in that movie Gladiator, they had to murder Gladiator’s wife or whoever because otherwise, he’d have just been some weird asshole— he wouldn’t have had any reason to gladiate.  But if Gladiator had to survive one crazy night, instead? They could’ve let Gladiator’s wife live! It’s just a fundamentally more humane genre, from a Russel Crowe perspective, if nothing else…

So yeah, I wouldn’t really call this one a good movie (I just thought the voiceover was grating), but I had fun with it for what it is I guess, low budget guy movie nonsense for a Thursday night.  Or there was just enough likable stuff in a flawed movie that I was okay with it.

Filed under Movies I Saw in 2014

9 notes

Trailer for that new Chris Rock movie Top Five.  I’ve really been looking forward to that one after all the early reviews it got— that’s just some cast; plus, I dig that it kind of looks like his Boomerang (which Rock was in, for 5 seconds— not as memorable as “one rib”)…

Filed under movie trailers.

1 note

Edited by Scharpling and Wurster themselves, the box features 75 calls on 16 CDs, including 50 previously unreleased or unaired ones. It comes with a 108-page hardcover book featuring essays from Patton Oswalt, Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham, Julie Klausner, and “Best Show” associate producer Michael Lisk (better known as A.P. Mike), an interview with Scharpling and Wurster by Jake Fogelnest, and “notes on the evolution and inspiration behind each bit.”

The box also comes with a USB drive (inside a Radio Hut cassette) with all 75 calls and four hours of bonus material, a fold-out map of Newbridge, Philly Boy Roy and Timmy von Trimble Paper Dolls, postcards, and temporary tattoos bearing “Best Show” catchphrases.

If you pre-order the box set via Numero, you’ll receive a piece of the actual phone Wurster used to make the classic “Rock, Rot & Rule” call.
"Numero Group to Release Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster’s The Best of the Best Show Box Set" 

Filed under comedy nerdery excitement!

14 notes

Thinking about it lately:  I think it’s really neat they’re going to make more Twin Peaks, especially because I was one of the people not disappointed when they made more Arrested Development.  A Before Sunset for those characters / actors just sounds pretty fun.  But boy, it’s going to be a bummer seeing Kyle Maclachlan be Evil Cooper a bunch because I really liked Good Cooper a lot when I was just a wee young lad, coming up in this world, a young shoe-shine boy, one jump ahead of the breadline, one swing ahead of the sword, etc.  I haven’t rewatched that show all that much since Bob coming out from behind the couch is still one of the scariest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen, so I’m just going off memories, a couple Bravo repeats aside (aka the second time I saw Bob coming out from behind the couch and said “aaaah!  hell no not doing this to myself again”).  But like, there’s the whole basic appeal of a “guy in a suit” sorting out baddies, plus I remember really liking the whole Diane thing, plus a good guy who just fundamentally likes coffee and pie still seems like a really, really good idea to me as a way of getting me to root for a character, plus I just liked that whole Windom Earle part of that show after America stopped watching, that he had his own Moriarty.  Plus, Kyle Maclachlan could tie a cherry stem with his tongue, right?  I don’t know— it’s been the years so some of my memories are fuzzy… There was just a lot to like there, even before you bring in all the goodwill I feel towards that guy from being Paul Atreides of House Atreides or from Portlandia.  
It’s going to be really— just a tough watch if that guy’s, like, choking out Heather Graham or whatever.  I mean, it’s worth it if they manage to get Josie’s soul out of that endtable— I really think America’s been waiting to see that plotline get resolved.  But if he’s all murdering underage ladies, I think that might be a little tough watch.  Sure, he played kind of a bad guy in Showgirls, but I don’t know— I just sure hope they figure out a way you get to root for Kyle Maclachlan… 

Thinking about it lately:  I think it’s really neat they’re going to make more Twin Peaks, especially because I was one of the people not disappointed when they made more Arrested Development.  A Before Sunset for those characters / actors just sounds pretty fun.  But boy, it’s going to be a bummer seeing Kyle Maclachlan be Evil Cooper a bunch because I really liked Good Cooper a lot when I was just a wee young lad, coming up in this world, a young shoe-shine boy, one jump ahead of the breadline, one swing ahead of the sword, etc.  I haven’t rewatched that show all that much since Bob coming out from behind the couch is still one of the scariest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen, so I’m just going off memories, a couple Bravo repeats aside (aka the second time I saw Bob coming out from behind the couch and said “aaaah!  hell no not doing this to myself again”).  But like, there’s the whole basic appeal of a “guy in a suit” sorting out baddies, plus I remember really liking the whole Diane thing, plus a good guy who just fundamentally likes coffee and pie still seems like a really, really good idea to me as a way of getting me to root for a character, plus I just liked that whole Windom Earle part of that show after America stopped watching, that he had his own Moriarty.  Plus, Kyle Maclachlan could tie a cherry stem with his tongue, right?  I don’t know— it’s been the years so some of my memories are fuzzy… There was just a lot to like there, even before you bring in all the goodwill I feel towards that guy from being Paul Atreides of House Atreides or from Portlandia.  

It’s going to be really— just a tough watch if that guy’s, like, choking out Heather Graham or whatever.  I mean, it’s worth it if they manage to get Josie’s soul out of that endtable— I really think America’s been waiting to see that plotline get resolved.  But if he’s all murdering underage ladies, I think that might be a little tough watch.  Sure, he played kind of a bad guy in Showgirls, but I don’t know— I just sure hope they figure out a way you get to root for Kyle Maclachlan… 

Filed under All I Ever Write About on this blog is Television...

9 notes

Hollywood makes money sensationalizing the norm. They can take any situation no matter how good or pure and turn it into a nightmare. We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear’. Clowns to killers, I choose not to play into any of it. The more attention we give it just gives it more fuel.
Glenn Kohlberger pka Clyde D. Scopepresident of Clowns of America International, attacking the new killer-clown season of American Horror Story.

Filed under Our Times Are At Their Darkest.

9 notes

Mr. Alien Diary - 10/14/2014:  My attempt to play the new Alien game have kind of hit a rough spot.  First, I have spent most of this game hiding inside of a locker.  All I do is run from locker to locker, trying to hide from Mr. Alien who wants to give me a xenomorphic swirlie.  It’s not one of those games where they program a pleasing series of events for your entertainment and pleasure; instead, Mr. Alien just does whatever it feels like, which is interesting in theory, but what Mr. Alien feels like doing all the time?  Walking around my locker, hoping to murder me.  And when he goes away, I can’t really tell where he’s gone or how far he’s gone so it’s like… might as well just stay in the locker.  I put the difficulty down to zero and still, I’m just spending the entire game in a locker and/or getting murdered, repeatedly murdered.
One time these people were walking by my locker.  I could’ve saved them but instead I just watched as Mr. Alien ate them all, from inside my locker.  So.  That’s on me.  My bad.
Anyways, then it came to this stretch where a siren goes off, and you have to run through a series of hallways to an exit.  So I take off into a run but I don’t notice that Mr. Alien is drooling from the ceiling, and he jumps down and murders me. Then I run, avoid that spot, and … again. A different drool spot a few feet down the hall.  The hallway is covered with these drool spots you just have to either spot in a split-second or memorize like some 80’s laserdisc game.  Mr. Alien is a drool machine! But if you make it to the end of this run, you end up in a room that explodes into fire.  And you have only have, like, 40 seconds to get out before smoke inhalation murders you.  And if you die, you go all the way back to the beginning of the hallway to make that damn run because this game doesn’t do auto-saves.
So I run around this fire room a FEW times, trying to get out, and keep getting murdered by smoke inhalation— there’s no hints what to do that I can see.  I then go to Youtube because Youtube is the solution to all video game puzzles.  And it turns out I should’ve ran TOWARDS the fire because there’s a ladder there, under the fire…?  My mistake was avoiding fire.  Great game design!   So I go back to the ladder, jump on and… it says hit E to climb the ladder.  (A in the picture).  And I hit E and… I use a wireless keyboard.  I can’t hit e fast enough to climb the ladder on this keyboard so my character just keeps dropping off the ladder until she chokes to death.  (I was getting choked to death by robots before and it let me hit e— i never managed to make them stop choking me; I thought that was a very bold design choice, like, a lesson about the futility about fighting robots…?).  So now I’m at a part of a game I can’t pass because keyboard…??  Cliffhanger!  Maybe I’m supposed to hit other keys besides E, and it’s just being, like, subtle or…?  
This is what I’m doing for fun!

Mr. Alien Diary - 10/14/2014:  My attempt to play the new Alien game have kind of hit a rough spot.  First, I have spent most of this game hiding inside of a locker.  All I do is run from locker to locker, trying to hide from Mr. Alien who wants to give me a xenomorphic swirlie.  It’s not one of those games where they program a pleasing series of events for your entertainment and pleasure; instead, Mr. Alien just does whatever it feels like, which is interesting in theory, but what Mr. Alien feels like doing all the time?  Walking around my locker, hoping to murder me.  And when he goes away, I can’t really tell where he’s gone or how far he’s gone so it’s like… might as well just stay in the locker.  I put the difficulty down to zero and still, I’m just spending the entire game in a locker and/or getting murdered, repeatedly murdered.

One time these people were walking by my locker.  I could’ve saved them but instead I just watched as Mr. Alien ate them all, from inside my locker.  So.  That’s on me.  My bad.

Anyways, then it came to this stretch where a siren goes off, and you have to run through a series of hallways to an exit.  So I take off into a run but I don’t notice that Mr. Alien is drooling from the ceiling, and he jumps down and murders me. Then I run, avoid that spot, and … again. A different drool spot a few feet down the hall.  The hallway is covered with these drool spots you just have to either spot in a split-second or memorize like some 80’s laserdisc game.  Mr. Alien is a drool machine! But if you make it to the end of this run, you end up in a room that explodes into fire.  And you have only have, like, 40 seconds to get out before smoke inhalation murders you.  And if you die, you go all the way back to the beginning of the hallway to make that damn run because this game doesn’t do auto-saves.

So I run around this fire room a FEW times, trying to get out, and keep getting murdered by smoke inhalation— there’s no hints what to do that I can see.  I then go to Youtube because Youtube is the solution to all video game puzzles.  And it turns out I should’ve ran TOWARDS the fire because there’s a ladder there, under the fire…?  My mistake was avoiding fire.  Great game design!   So I go back to the ladder, jump on and… it says hit E to climb the ladder.  (A in the picture).  And I hit E and… I use a wireless keyboard.  I can’t hit e fast enough to climb the ladder on this keyboard so my character just keeps dropping off the ladder until she chokes to death.  (I was getting choked to death by robots before and it let me hit e— i never managed to make them stop choking me; I thought that was a very bold design choice, like, a lesson about the futility about fighting robots…?).  So now I’m at a part of a game I can’t pass because keyboard…??  Cliffhanger!  Maybe I’m supposed to hit other keys besides E, and it’s just being, like, subtle or…?  

This is what I’m doing for fun!

Filed under Mr. Alien Diary Man is the Deadliest Game.

53 notes

Anonymous asked: I'm not trying to be a jerk, but why are you so worked up over the GamerGate douches? There will always be men who look for any excuse to harass women. It's not right and it needs to be stopped, but it's much larger than GamerGate. I'm not disagreeing with your stance on being anti-harassment....I guess I'm just curious why GamerGate in particular has you so upset? (I hope that's not confrotational....I'm just genuinely curious.)

It’s not confrontational, Zodiac Killer— I obviously have a very weird dirtbag energy where that stuff is concerned (especially because I don’t want to clutter people’s dashes so I’m always just sort of erupting in “and another thing!" after ingesting a LOT of this stuff, more than I want to admit to).  I guess part of it is having seen it go from the very start because it started at a time when I was looking at twitter a lot to keep up with Ferguson.  And just seeing it go on and on from there, all the times I thought it was finished and it lurched back to life to attack more women like a horror movie slasher… I feel pretty invested just in wanting to see the whole life of the thing…?

Any other world event is too horrifying for words, so it’s a comparatively lower-stakes mental thing, to hide from having to think about cops murdering people or folks getting beheaded.  (And a lot of that stuff, I just can’t talk about as openly for all kinds of different reasons, not least of which is I probably all the time think all kinds of things that young tumblr moppet people would probably find pretty pretty offensive— I mean, I don’t even feel comfortable talking about Gone Girl that much, and that’s a movie about made-up people)

There’s the “the nerds are the bad guys now” part.  Thethe nerds won; oh god yuck" aspect.  Like, I used to wish people liked comics more and now i can’t go to the movies without them all being about dumb-ass Thor or whatever, and people screeching at ladies who give those movies bad reviews, and it’s terrible.  I have a certain fascination with watching people become bullies and justify their behavior with how the “jocks" treated them in high school (p.s. nobody cared they existed in high school)…

There’s some personal stuff— I’ve read some of the victims for years, people they’re attacking based on one whole thing they’ve written.  Or look, I very much know that experience of writing something and having people yell about something that doesn’t resemble what you wrote.  All the cretins who think arguing You As a Person is a vital way of disagreeing with you.  I know specifically what happens if you try to write about how nerdy media trades in sexist imagery and constantly celebrates violence towards women.  So with gamergate, these are people who do something I admire (better than I’d have done it, with a couple of them), getting a very-worst-case nightmare scenario treatment for months. If you write about nerdy crap on the internet, you probably have plenty of moments of “why am I even bothering I should get as far from these fucking people as my little legs will take me" but you dust yourself off and you do it anyways because you’re a weirdo and what else are you going to do, your laundry?   So to see a massive "don’t bother with these gross people fucking run RUN" play out at this scale (and people keep going anyways and refusing to quit) is … hard to describe in words.

And yeah, there’s probably something in there that’s reflecting something about me that I hate about myself.  I’m a person who has hyper-obsessed about nerdy crap in my life, and often has cared more about nerdy nonsense than I do about people’s feelings (and would probably make most of the same choices again because I don’t really have the “making people feel good about themselves is the ultimate thing that matters" parts that normal people probably have). I’m a lousy crappy guy in a lot of ways.  I even get why they don’t like certain kinds of think pieces, because even though I happen to like that kind of think piece quite a bit, I do have a certain suspicion about people who don’t seem very in touch with their own vulnerability. All the internet writing the premise of which is "I’m the good guy now let me tell you cretins how to be more like me"…? All the people who think they’re the Good People— all the hyper-defensive people on the internet who make “not all men" jokes or whatever. Anyways, so I guess some part of me looks at those people and it’s like looking in a circus mirror.   (I think the difference being… For me, finding out how I’m a piece of shit is usually pretty fun because… I’m trying to have a human experience of life, and see getting older as a series of humbling events— I’m not trying to “win” anything, or I’m hoping I’m trying to “win” less, at least.  Whereas those folks are trying to win— they’re on some hero shit…)

I don’t know. Plus, goddamn, those people are grade-a nuts. (There’s a couple folks who I really genuinely no-joke believe should be on some kind of Snowden-y watch list— people who think they’re in the middle of a military operation, like they never 100% came home from Nam and video game journalism ethics is their First Blood Part One or whatever).  I’ve spent no small amount of time in my life gawking at weirdos on the internet and this is some kinda apex, these are the apex predators of internet weirdos.  There’s a Jezebel article explaining how they operate like a hate group and it’s like… Watching a hate movement juxtaposed with, like, video games…?  *video games?* Other instances of men being terrible aren’t going to have that level of ludicrousness to them— they’re just going to be terrible, not terrible and bone-deep ridiculous.  (Especially If you go deep and look at who they are when they’re not gamergating, it’s a whole world of ludicrous sadness, some of these peoples’ lives).  So even though I hate these people, in a very real way— I wish these people bad things in life, I do enjoy it as a confirmation of my overall worldview of the world being a relentlessly absurd place…

Filed under Man is the Deadliest Game.