Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Drive-In theaters

Tuesday June 6, 1933
The first Drive-In Theater opens!
Showing "Wife Beware"
Yes, that was the name of the first movie shown at the very first drive-in. 'Wife Beware' was the story of a woman who marries O.J. SIMPSON. Ha ha ha ha! Wow, I should write for Leno. He would love that joke.

Hey Leno, I have some more jokes for you:

The concession stand workers were great at the first drive-in. Today, they are not as great. I went to a concession stand, and the worker spilled my pop corn and my soda. Finally, I said 'listen former vice president DAN QUALE, stop spilling things.'

Oh, Jay will love that! Here's one more:

At the gate of the first drive-in they issued paper tickets. I hope there were no HANGING CHADS!

Yes, That should make Jay very happy.

Now, back to the drive-in.

The First Drive-In Theater was invented by Richard M. Hollingshead.

Hollingshead wanted to create a way for families to attend movies without the hassle of getting dressed up. In the 1930s it was common for people to wear their 'Sunday best' to the movies EVEN if it was a Tuesday. As movies became more popular, the clothes were worn more and more. By the time Sunday rolled around, the clothes smelled and needed to be cleaned.
Hollingshead envisioned a theater outside, where people didn't have to wear smelly clothes. Plus, he figured if you had to watch from INSIDE the car it would be very hard for others to smell you.

Hollingshead tested his concept by hanging a sheet on his property and putting a projector on top of his car.

Thus, the drive-in was born! In the 1950s, America fell in love with their cars and the drive in became even more popular.

As the 1970s approached families stopped coming to the drive-in. Instead, the drive-ins specialized in seedy horror films and other trashy films.

By 1980, things had gotten very bad at the drive-in. Attendance was way down and inventions like VCRS, Cable TV and transforming toy robots added to the decline of patrons.

In the 1990s the amount of drive-ins closing slows down. Many drive-ins reopen and some new ones are built.

Today there are about 435 drive-in screens remaining. This is a far cry from the peak, of close to 4000. Still, in the past 15 years about 50 theaters have reopened and about 30 have been built.

Let's take a look at three of them:

Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre
Orefield PA
Second Drive-In Built & Oldest Existing Drive-In Theatre in America. Opened 4/15/34. You enter from the front of the theater, next to the screen. They still have the old fashioned drive-in speakers at Shakweilers. If you'd rather you can listen to the movie on your car radio. The screen is pretty big, and the concession stand prices are very low. The theater is only open in the summer. Shankweiler's has a lot of charm, plus it is cool to see the oldest ANYTHING. Except naked man, it would not be cool to see the oldest naked man.
Tickets are $5 for a double feature.

Vineland Drive-In Theatre
La Puente, CA
Quite possibly the best drive-in theater ANYWHERE. Located less than a half hour from the heart of fabulous Los Angeles, California, Vineland boasts 4 screens and truly state of the art picture and sound. The screens are large and picture is brighter than most drive-ins.
Tickets are $7 for a double feature.

Delsea Drive-In
Vineland, NJ
Not affiliated with the Vineland theater and that is a shame. This theater re-opened after a decade of sitting vacant, and looks like... it just spent a decade of sitting vacant. The concession stand has not been built yet, so a small cart serves up SOME food, and port-a-johns replace a functioning bathroom.
Let's hope the oldest naked man is not in there.
Tickets are $6 for a double feature.

Throughout the years filmmakers have used drive-ins as settings for films. Let's look at three of those, too:

Targets
1968
Boris Karloff plays a retiring horror movie actor decides to make a final public appearance at a drive-in. That night, a serial killer goes on a shooting spree at the drive-in.

Drive-In Massacre
1976
A killer stalks his victims at a drive-in. The film ends with a voice over telling you the killer is in 'this drive-in.' This effect doesn't work very well on home video.
The credits boast some very silly names. It was directed by Stu Segall, written by George 'Buck' Flower and John F. Goff. It starred Newton Naushaus, Douglas Gudbye and Norman Sherlock. I don't have a punch line or anything. Those are just funny names.

Dead End Drive-in
1986
This takes place in the future when the Government rounds up all the young people and makes us live in a drive-in.

Man, I can't wait for that day!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Dear bunchojunk: Think outside the bun

Once again, bunchojunk answers letters to those who seek advice.


Dear bunchojunk,
My fiancée has a dog that is NOT housebroken. I can not live like that. We will have to live together after the wedding, what should I do?
-Problem dog owner to be

Dear Problem,
If the dog is not housebroken, then move into an APARTMENT. GET IT? It's not in a house, so it doesn't need to be HOUSEBROKEN. Isn't that funny?

Actually, my advice is, drive out to the country and let the dog go. When he wonders about WHERE the dog is, tell him that the dog went on a cruise. If he finds out the truth, tell him the housebroken joke. He will laugh SO HARD he will forget all about the dog.
-------------------------------------------------------------


Dear bunchojunk,
My boss smells really bad. It is difficult for all of us to deal with. Sometimes he will come back from a long weekend and he will smell so bad, that I take off work, just to be away from him.
I can't think of a solution that will not get me fired! What should I do?
-Can't stand the smell

First off, I don't smell THAT bad! Second, come back to work! I need help writing wacky answers to people's questions.
--------------------------------------------------------------


Dear bunchojunk,
My teenage son is gaining weight, rapidly. He used to be very thin, but now he is starting to get very heavy. None of his clothes fit him anymore. It really is becoming a problem for his health, he is tired when ever he climbs the stairs.
What should I do?
-Weight watcher

Dear Weight,
First thing I would do is get rid of the stairs. Find a ranch house where he will be more comfortable.
Second, he will need to find more appropriate clothes. I would recommend a muumuu or perhaps a discarded circus tent. This way if he wants to make people laugh he can look down his shirt and say "hey the lion tamer is performing!"
They will still be laughing AT HIM, but also with him as well.
Finally, all-you-can eat buffets will be your best friend! Use them!
--------------------------------------------------------------


Dear bunchojunk,
I need to buy my mother in law a birthday present. She always complains that everything we get her is too cheap and she expects more from me. What should I get her?
-Help wanted

Dear Help,
This is a very good question. Gift giving can be very tricky. I have found that if someone complains about your gift, you should say "yeah, and it's stolen, too."
Then call the cops and they will bust them for possession of stolen goods.
Man, I can't wait for Hanukkah!
---------------------------------------------------------------


Dear bunchojunk,
My wife is becoming addicted to the computer. Every night she spends hours and hours looking at website after website. How can I get her to stop! I need to have my wife back!
-Missing her


Dear Missing,
Send her this link: bunchojunk.com. She'll be sick of computers COMPLETLY after about 10 minutes of this nonsense.

Do you have a question for bunchojunk? Post it below.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Pastamania! 1995-1996



On Labor Day 1995 the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota welcomed its newest eatery: Hulk Hogan's Pastamania!.

The Mall of America opened in 1992 and is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the WORLD (take that Gupreets' Camel-a-rama in downtown Libya!)
The mall is host to hundreds of shops and attractions including Camp Snoopy.
Camp Snoopy is an indoor theme park with over 30 rides and seven acres of fun. That's 4.5 acres more fun than Gupreets' Camel-a-rama in downtown Libya. The mall is also host to the four story Lego Imagination Center and the NASCAR Indoor Speedway.

See, the Mall of America is not just a mall, it is a tourist attraction. People vacation at the Mall of America. It is special.

Regular malls, are all the same. Really! Every mall has a KB Toy and Hobby that looks EXACTLY the same, a GAP that looks exactly the same (the same as other GAPs, not the same as KB, although that would ROCK!) But, the Mall of America is DIFFERENT.

Being so different, it seems like the PERFECT place for something as odd as Hulk Hogan's Pastamania!.

Pastamania! was basically a food court pasta stand. They served several different kinds of pasta and other American-ized Italian foods.
The restaurant was small and located near other, bigger restaurants. However, it's proximity to Camp Snoopy should have brought in crowds of young Hulkamaniacs looking for 'pascetti.'

Pastamania! opened for business as part of a big Labor Day celebration at the Mall. In addition to Pastamania!, wrestling fans had another reason to rejoice: WCW Nitro had its premiere episode live from the Mall.

Hulk Hogan, in his pre-NWO stage, was the WCW's biggest draw. He cleverly turned the show into a Pastamania! infomercial casually saying the word 'pasta' like a Smurf says 'Smurf.'
If you had played a Pastamania! drinking game, where you drank a shot of vodka every time he said 'pasta,' you would be DEAD.

On the card, Hogan fought against Big Bubba. Hogan claimed his Hulkamaniacs (fans) were now Pastamaniacs. That is pretty big leap.

Fan: I like you, Hulk.
Hogan: Good, then you like pasta, too.
Fan: I don't like Italian food.
Hogan: Yes, you are a Pastamaniac.
Fan: Uh, how about just saying I like baked potatoes? They have starch in them.
Hogan: Look kid, either you admit to loving pasta, or I am going to beat you with a can of Spaghettios!

So, they were Pastamaniacs, and Pastamania ran wild, THAT NIGHT.

The mania did not last long. Soon after opening weekend, the restaurant sat (mostly) empty night after night, the Hulk Hogan merchandise collected dust at the souvenir stand, and soon, Pastamania! closed forever.

The Mall of America still hosts a throng of theme restaurants. Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Rainforest Cafe and Kokomo’s all serve food with a smile. But, NONE of them serve kids pasta called Hulkaroni.

Maybe Pastamania! will one day re-emerge like a phoenix rising from the... uh... pasta. Perhaps, its day will come again.

Until then, I hear Bam Bam Bigelow's Tuna Loaf Cafe is coming soon to Gupreets' Camel-a-rama in downtown Libya.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

William Howard Taft: The 350 pound president


In 1909 American's went to the voting booth and elected William Howard Taft. Taft was 5 feet 11.5 inches tall and weighed over 300 pounds on election day. Under the guidance of English physician N. E. Yorke-Davies, he lost 70 pounds over the next year and a half. But two years after that, he was once again over 300 pounds He weighed 335-340 pounds when he left the White House. He then lost weight rapidly, dropping to 270 in a year and a half. The summer before he died, he weighed 244 pounds.

Click here for a graph depicting his weight through his adult life.
Taft was the heaviest man ever to hold the office of the Presidency, and unless Michael Moore is elected in 2008, he will hold that title for 100 years.

Taft once got stuck in the White House bathtub and had to have an oversized version brought in for his use.
Could you imagine the headlines if this happened today?

President Bush to have new bathtub installed for the late President Taft

That would be a hard decision to explain.

But, there was more to Taft's presidency than his weight.

Born in 1857, Taft was more interested in law than in politics. Still, he found his way to political appointments.

President Roosevelt made him Secretary of War.

Secretary & war? Words that don't really go together. Sorta like 'nurse chainsaw’, ‘battle maids' or 'Bon Jovi & talent.'

In 1907 Roosevelt chose Taft as his successor, and he was nominated at the Republican Convention.

Taft called the campaign "one of the most uncomfortable four months of my life." This was probably more due to the fact that he mistakenly wore his shoes on the wrong feet for the entire campaign.

In 1912, the Republicans re-nominated Taft. Angry with Taft, Roosevelt left the party to lead the Progressives party.

This split the Republican vote and led to the election of Woodrow Wilson.

Taft briefly served as Professor of Law at Yale until President Harding made him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taft held this position until just before his death in 1930.

Taft felt being appointed Chief Justice was his greatest honor. He once wrote: "I don't remember that I ever was President." He also wore his shoes on the wrong feet for three months.


TRUE FACTS ABOUT TAFT:

Taft is the only President to also serve as Chief Justice in the Supreme Court.

Taft was the first president to throw the first baseball of a season.

He was the first president to own a car.

William H. Taft is one of two presidents who are buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Taft was the last president to have facial hair.

His funeral was the first to be broadcast on the radio.

William Howard Taft was a seventh cousin twice removed of Richard Nixon.

Taft fractured his skull in a carriage accident at age 9.

Taft kept a cow on the White House lawn to supply him with fresh milk. He was the last president to do so.

THINGS I JUST MADE UP ABOUT TAFT

Wore a fake mustache. On days when he was sick the Vice President would wear it.

Is the subject of the Carly Simon song 'You're So Vain.'

Was the first President to go Trick Or Treating. He dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard Of Oz.

Liked to wear a hat made out of tin foil. He said it kept "those Panamanians from listening to my brain."

Had several sons, all of whom were named George.

Would start Supreme Court sessions by saying "Order in the court. I'll have ham and cheese." Then he would laugh until his nose bled.

Could play the fiddle with his feet, but not very well.

Was the first President to admit to 'smoking crack.'

Started a war with Istanbul over an ill-conceived 'I got your nose gag.'

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Smitty D gets a haircut



The door creaked as it opened. Two older gentlemen sat in the corner playing chess. They stopped and looked at the door. There stood Smitty D.
"Hello old men! Hello chess board!" said Smitty.

"Yeah, hi." Grunted the old man in the cheap suit. His opponent just smirked.

"Hello Smitty D." Said the King.

"Good to see you big boy!" Said the Queen.

"Moo!" Said the little horsie guy.

"Moo?" Thought the old man in the cheap suit.
Then he grabbed the horsie guy, put him on a hamburger roll and ate him with some fries.
"I need to get a haircut." Said Smitty.

"Just a hair?" Said the old man in the suit. "Why only one!?! Ha ha!"

His opponent was still smirking. Then, suddenly, he slumped down in his chair and fell over dead.
"Is he dead?" said Smitty.

"Yeah, I guess. Help me carry him to the closet" said the old man in the cheap suit.
"The closet?" Asked Smitty.

"Yes" he replied "we will throw him in there with the rest of the old dead guys."

And they did. Then Smitty D got a haircut.

The End

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The mountains of Disneyland

In fabulous Disneyland California, there are 4 mountains. The mountains are each different and unique. Let us take a look at them:



Matterhorn Mountain:
Based on the famous mountain of the same name, the Matterhorn has been taking guests on a thrilling ride for almost 50 years. The ride is a bobsled ride through the snow capped peak. In the old days of the Skyway, that ride used to go right through the mountain. Along the ride you are chased by a big white furry monster. He looks like a villain from Scooby Doo.
When the ride opened singer Lena Horn was very popular. A favorite joke of the day was "Matterhorn? If it's not Lena Horn it doesn't matter." Not funny? Remember, people back then were amazed by the hula hoop.

Splash Mountain:
Located in Critter Country, this mountain is home to Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox from the film Song Of The South. You ride in a giant log and eventfully take a plunge into the bottom of a Briar Patch. When you splash down, you may get soaked from the plunge.
In case you are wondering Br'er means Brother. Brother and Sister are Christian terms of kinship especially prevalent in the South. Disney released a film in 2003 called Brother Bear this means that Disney has two Brother Bears: Br'er Bear from Song of the South and Kenai from Brother Bear.
We found this partial Script from the upcoming film Br'er Bear vs. Brother Bear.

INT. Cave- Day
Br'er Bear is sleeping, Brother Bear walks in.
BROTHER BEAR
What are YOU doing in my cave.

BR'ER BEAR
I was just sleepin'.

BROTHER BEAR
I'll let you sleep... PERMANANTLY!

The two bears clash violently each scratching at each other with their claws. Suddenly, Br'er Bear falls to the ground. Brother Bear GROWLS, triumphantly.
We hear the sound of glass shattering. Brother Bear turns to see:
WINNIE THE POOH
You knocked him down, why don't you try knocking me down.
BROTHER BEAR
Bring it!


Big Thunder Mountain:
Once the home of Nature's Wonderland and Rainbow Caverns, Big Thunder is home to a rip, roaring mining train. This is a fast and rickety rollercoaster.
For those that have never rode Big Thunder Mountain, think of it as a tamer version of the NJ Rail Commuter train, WITHOUT that odd cheese smell.

Space Mountain:
Inside this futuristic Dome is one of the most famous roller coasters in the world. A small rollercoaster that feels much faster than it is due to the darkness it is presented in.
Although the creators of Disneyland rides strive for realism, Space Mountain is not very realistic.
In order to find out what a real 'space mountain' would be like, we asked NASA. They never responded so we asked a guy at the mall who was wearing glasses.

Me: Excuse me! You in the glasses! You look pretty smart.
Man in glasses: I have an IQ of 100.
Me: Wow! A perfect score! What would riding a mountain in space be like?
Man in glasses: Well, I think you would feel a slow burning in your lungs as the oxygen was replaced by space air, and then your eyes would turn to dust. Then as you got to the bottom of the mountain the space air would pull you back up.
Me: That sounds even BETTER than Space Mountain!


And those are the mountains of Disneyland.

Monday, August 23, 2004

WWF New York 1999-2003


It was a bizarre time in American history. Professional wrestling was so big, that the WWF opened their own theme restaurant. But, they didn't open the restaurant in some mall in Ohio. They opened it in Times Square.

A Brief History of Times Square:
Long before it became common practice to name EVERY stadium in the country after a brand of shampoo, this intersection was named for the New York Times.

This concept sent shockwaves across the nation leading to Utah's famous 'Scholastic Weekly Reader Square' and Wyoming's 'That Flyer Bob Sends Out With Everyone’s Birthday Square.'

Soon, Times Square was bustling place full of theaters and tourist attractions. The 1929 Stock Market crash and the Great Depression substantially hindered tourism. During the 1960 and 70s criminals took over. They erected a sign proclaiming it Crime City USA. Everywhere you looked criminals stood wearing their black and white pajamas and matching masks, dragging their ball and chain behind them.

In the 1980's and 90's the city and store owners pushed the criminals out and made the area a tourist friendly area again.

THEN THE WWF SHOWED UP.

The restaurant was an amazing place, actually. It was housed at the Paramount Theater, and used the classic exterior to it's advantage. The marquee showed flashy video highlights of upcoming events. Inside, there was a large gift shop in case you needed a teddy bear shaped like Hulk Hogan. I know I did.

The restaurant was located downstairs, and featured an amazing array of television screens of every size and shape. TVs were everywhere you looked, it was like King Kong picked up a Circuit City and shook the contents out into the restaurant.

Wrestling highlights were shown on the monitors. During live events, the crowd at the restaurant would routinely be shown to the nationwide audience. Special guests, autograph sessions and live events made the restaurant interesting.

The food was the standard hamburgers and chicken menu that most themed restaurants feature. It was no better or worse than any other. Sadly, they did not give the food WWF themed names like 'Val Venis' Tuna Noodle Casserole' or 'Golga's Frito Pie.'

It's also sad that you can't get good Tuna Noodle Casserole or Frito Pie in Times Square anymore.

In addition to the array of TV sets, the restaurant featured a small display of WWF memorabilia. Legion of Doom shoulder pads worn by Droz were on display, along with Stephanie McMahon's TV wedding dress. There was also a display showing the size of Andre The Giant and The Big Show's hands. Andre's were bigger. (By the way, for non-wrestling fans, it should be noted that 'The Big Show' is a person, not an actual show.)

Over it's short run, WWF New York went through several changes. When the WWF became the WWE, WWF New York changed it's name to The World. When the XLF (Xtreme Football League) debuted, they were showcased there. When the XFL folded all references to it's existence were removed and anyone that dared mention it's name was beaten with the imprint of Andre The Giant's hands. Police would then be baffled by finding the finger prints of the deceased star on the victims. It was the perfect crime.

During it's brief time as The World, the restaurant showcased a magic show featuring Criss Angel. What Criss Angel was most famous for (other than his stupid first name) was a stunt where he stayed in a tank of water for a day or two. Criss, I know Aquaman. I have worked with Aquaman. You, Criss are no Aquaman.

WWF New York closed forever on Tuesday, March 4, 2003. Scholastic Weekly Reader Square is still open. Viva la Weekly Reader!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Going back in time, again

To read the junk about Back to the Future click here. If you already read it, get ready for PART 2!

Back to the Future's two sequels were filmed simultaneously so as to prevent Michael J. Fox from aging further. Despite his youthful looks, you can't play a teenager forever.

This ploy has also been used by ABC for the past 5 years to keep the 'Dick Clark still looks like a teenager' myth perpetuated. For those that did not know, the Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve celebrations have been pre-taped to run through 2015. If you were wondering what happened to Clark. It seems that after looking young, for so many years, Dick Clark aged rapidly during an episode of The Other Half and turned to dust. Then he was accidentally snorted by Danny Bonaduce.

The film opens exactly when the other one ended. One MAJOR difference, Claudia Wells has been replaced by Elisabeth Shue. Shue is a decent actress, but for some reason she is AWFUL in this film. Every single line she says sounds like it she is re-dubbing a karate film. Very bizarre.

At the end of the last film Doc showed up in the Delorean, and crashed into the McFly's trashcans. For some reason he chose broad daylight to reappear. Marty, still hung over from the most harrowing week of his LIFE, doesn't want to go with Doc. Marty wants to spend time with Jennifer. Doc refuses to listen, and INSISTS that Marty come with him.

Poor Marty. HE JUST GOT HOME! In the past week he has endured 2 time jumps, was almost RUN OVER by Biff's car and he was shot at by Old Man Peabody! Last night alone he was locked in the trunk of a Chevy, endured the Hill Valley lightning storm and ALMOST made out with his mother!

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD DOC, LET HIM SPEND TIME WITH JENNIFER!

Doc decides, instead, to bring Jennifer along. They hop into the Delorean and blast off to the future. Suddenly, Biff exits the house hopping up and down like a school girl (a school girl that likes to hop.)

BIFF: Marty! You gotta check out these new matchbooks I had made up for my auto detailing.

This is really stupid. Much later in the film we actually see the matchbook cover. On the front it says 'Biff's' in cursive. On the back it says 'Auto Detailing' in plain print. Not really that exciting. Jeez, Biff became really lame after George punched him.

Biff notices the flying Delorean and we are off to the future. Doc re-emerges INTO oncoming traffic. First he crashed into trash can in broad daylight, now he almost gets them killed. Does Doc put no planning whatsoever into his time jumps? Or, is he just a really bad driver?

Elisabeth Shue starts doing her best to screw up the movie when suddenly Doc shines a flashlight in her eyes that kills her. OK, she isn't dead, just unconscious for MOST of the next two films. After Doc knocks her out, Marty asks the question moviegoers are still asking today.

Marty: Well then, what did you bring her for?
Doc: She saw the time machine. I couldn't leave her there with that information.

Doc then lands in Hill Valley in the year 2015. Doc and Marty pull Jennifer out of the car and put her on top of the GARBAGE. Hmmmm, maybe she IS dead!

Marty: We can't leave her HERE!
Doc: Relax; it will just be for a few minutes.

WHAT? So you can't leave her in 1985 with the knowledge of a time machine, but you can leave her in the GARBAGE in the year 2015? With the knowledge of a time machine?!?!?!?

If you look closely at the garbage you will see it is composed primarily of laserdiscs. I guess someone waited reeeeaaaaallllly long to make the jump to DVDs!

Doc gives Marty some future clothes to wear, including a 'size adjusting jacket' and sneakers with 'power laces.' I am frightened of the year 2015. I hate to think of the grotesque stories of children being strangled by their own jackets and having their feet severed by faulty laces.
Marty is being sent to the Cafe 80s to prevent his kid from being involved in some hoodalihoo with Biff's grandson Griff. So he enters the cafe where he finds Ronald Reagan arguing with the Ayatollah about weather he should or should not order the "hostage special." Mmmmmm. So Marty orders a Pepsi.

WHAT?

Marty, Mr. 'can I get a Tab or a Pepsi Free' suddenly drinks regular PEPSI? SINCE YESTERDAY?!?!

Griff and the gang burst into the Cafe 80s at the same time as Marty Jr. After a (thankfully) brief Abbott & Costello routine with dad and son McFly, Griff invites Marty to join him in some shady activity. Marty says no, until Biff calls him chicken. Marty is enraged!

Marty: Nobody calls me chicken!

Marty did not seem as mad when Griff's grandfather tried to sexually assault Marty's mom! Why is chicken such a major insult to Marty McFly?

I wish we could ask Doc Brown to explain these bizarre occurrences, but since he is a fictional character, I asked a guy who pretends to be Doc for the Universal Studios Hollywood Backlot tour.

Me: Why is Marty so bothered by being called chicken and why is he suddenly interested in drinking sugar laden soda?
Guy pretending to be Doc: Dude, do you want your picture taken, or what?

So, Marty says no to Griff, is called chicken and starts a fight. Next thing you know we are in the middle of a hover board re-enactment of the 'Biff tries to KILL Marty' scene from the first film.

Griff crashes into the clock tower, Jennifer is pulled out of the garbage by the police and Marty buys the SPORTS ALMANAC.

The Gray's Sport's Almanac. Fifty years of sports statistics, 1950-2000. Every single sporting event covered in a book the size of a Highlights magazine. The print must be TINY.

So Jennifer is taken home where we find out that the electronic window is broken, because the repairman called Marty chicken. I'm not kidding. This chicken thing is a HUGE subplot! How do you get called a chicken by a repairman anyway?

Marty: This is where the screen is broken.
Repairman: Would you like to sweep up Dick Clark?
Marty: No.
Repairman: What are you chicken?
Marty: The streets shall run red, with your blood, repairman! No one calls me chicken.

So, they hydrate a pizza, George McFly hangs upside down and Marty Jr. watches 75 channels at once. We also learn that fax machines and pagers are plentiful in the future, and Elizabeth Shue will NOT age well.

It is at this point that the film starts running at full speed. Biff steals the time machine and cause a shift in the space time continuum. This causes the alternate 1985.

Let me say this about the alternate 1985: if Biff ever took over in the real world WE ARE ALL DOOMED.

In alternate 1985 motorcycle gangs ride side by side with tanks. TANKS. Chalk body outlines are EVERYWHERE and Sammy Hagar plays incessantly. It is like living inside Dee Snider's head.

Marty tangles with Biff, learns about the death of George McFly and is forced to travel back to 1955!

For reasons not clearly explained, Alternate 1985 Biff took the Almanac to himself BEFORE his 18th birthday. It just so happened that it was the SAME week Marty had visited. I wonder if Biff now has sugar cravings and is chicken intolerant.

Everything comes to (what seems like) a conclusion at the dance. It is weird to watch Marty stumble into the previous film. It kind of makes you dizzy.

Marty burns the Sports Almanac causing everything to go back to normal. We see this in the changes to the newspaper and Biff's matches:

Biff's Pleasure Palace changes to Biff's Auto Detailing
Local author murdered changes to Local Author Honored
and
Emmett Brown Committed changes to Emmett Brown Commended

This is the most amazing coincidences known to mankind.
1.Biff's Pleasure Palace changes to Biff's Auto Detailing
Let us assume that, even as a millionaire casino owner, Biff would STILL be drawn to the same matchbook maker that he would use as a 'run of the mill' car detailer. What are the odds that the printer would have used the SAME matchbook for the alternate order? He had to have made the order at the same minute of the same day. Even if he did, we would assume that he ordered MANY, MANY more matchbooks for his Pleasure Palace. Logically, the matchbook should have changed from Biff's to some other random business.
2.Local author murdered changes to Local Author Honored
Since when does 'Local Author Honored' headline the newspaper? Murdered, sure. But, honored? If it did, we have to assume that Biff murdered him on THE WAY to his ceremony of honor.
3.Emmett Brown Committed changes to Emmett Brown Commended
Again, why do people getting awards make the paper? This one really makes me laugh. The photo also changes, so instead of two men fitting him for a straight jacket, they are shaking hands with him, in what appears to be the SAME HALLWAY.

Then, just as they are ready to wrap the whole thing up, Doc is struck by lightening, and the Delorean goes into the future.

More bad driving by Doc? Perhaps, but I thought the car had to be going 88 miles per hour AND get struck by lightning! They made that VERY clear in the last film.

I have heard it explained that the lightning bolt propelled the car 88 miles per hour instantly. Then the lightning ordered matches for Biff and honored local authors. It's the least it could do.

The film ends with a cliffhanger. Many audiences didn't like that, but the heck with them. I left wanting more, and I wanted to eat the 'hostage special.'

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The greatest Burts and Berts of all time

Throughout history many a powerful man has been saddled with the Moniker Burt. These brave men have persevered and excelled while non-Berts have fell by the wayside. Many a small child has looked at a poster on his wall and proclaimed "I wanna be like Burt."

It is with this in mind that we have chosen 10 of the greatest Berts and Burts of all time. We have assembled them, so that you, wallowing in the mediocrity of your non-Bertness will look to them for hope. That is unless your name is Burt, and then, good for you.

The greatest Burts and Berts of all time:

10. Burt Ward:
Burt Ward portrayed Robin, the Boy Wonder on the TV series Batman. Robin was actually Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne's youthful ward.
Taken in by Bruce after his parents were murdered, he was a crime fighter. His religion was never mentioned, but he often used the word 'holy' to describe things.

9. Francis Burt
The first governor of the Nebraska Territory. Burt County, NE is named after him.

8. Burt County, NE
Named after the first governor of the Nebraska Territory.

7. Burt Bacharach
Famed singer and songwriter. Never lived in Burt County, NE.

6. Burt Tansky
President and CEO of Neiman Marcus he shepherded the store to international prominence through a combination of uncompromising quality in merchandise, unwavering commitment to customer service, and a host of retailing innovations. He also looks like Gordon Jump.


5. Q-Bert
Berts don't get much better than Q-Bert. The video game icon is also the number 2 'Q-' just behind Q-Tip.

4. Burt Young
As one of the stars of the Rocky series, Burt Young made quite an impact. As Paulie, Rocky's long suffering brother in law, Burt was always the center of attention.

3. Bert
Ernie's best friend on Sesame Street. Bert may be a nerd, but he is PROUD to be a nerd, and that almost makes him cool. Bert has a paperclip and bottle cap collection AND is obsessed with pigeons. He is only one obsession away from a Star Trek convention.

2. Burt Reynolds
The legendary Burt Reynolds. Wearer of one of the greatest mustaches of all time (take that Selleck!) Burt has graced the screen in close to 100 films. He takes a backseat to no one... except Burt Lancaster.

1. Burt Lancaster
The 6' 2" Burton Lancaster was one of five children born to a New York City Postal Worker. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. Let me repeat that:
He WAS A TOUGH STREET KID WHO TOOK AN EARLY INTEREST IN GYMNASTICS.
He starred in many classic feature films and had the kind of star power few others have. He was one helluva Burt!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Ballad of Bill and Joe: Volume Three

Scooby Doo, how do you do?

Scooby Doo. The mere mention of his name awakens a primal fear in people everywhere. No wait, that's Robert Blake.
Scooby Doo is a cartoon dog created by Hanna Barbera. They actually created Scooby Doo by accident when they started work on a cartoon series about an angry Ogre and his talking donkey. The networks hated the Ogre, but loved the donkey. They insisted that he become a talking dog.

But, does Scooby ACTUALLY talk?

Think about it. In ALL of the episodes of Scooby Doo, have you EVER heard him engage someone in conversation? Not really. He generally just throws in a wisecrack every few minutes, usually repeating what was already said.

Shaggy: Like, you guys need to get your mind out of the gutter. I said THESBIEN!
Scooby: Reah, resbien.
Velma: Why are you all looking at me?

So, is Scooby really a talking dog or just sort of a canine parrot. I vote for parrot.

Shaggy, his buddy, is modeled after the character of Maynard Krebs from Dobie Gillis. Maynard was portrayed by Bob "Gilligan" Denver. Shaggy is a beatnik, not a hippie.

Fred is the leader of the group. He is in charge and thus he always decides how they should split up.

Fred: Shaggy, you and Scooby check downstairs. Velma and Daphne will check upstairs with me.

I'm on to his plan. He gets the two girls and Shaggy stays with the dog. He is lucky beatniks are too lazy to fight.

Daphne is the attractive one and Velma is the smart one. However, in Velma's defense, it must be pointed out that her skirt was SHORTER than Daphne's. SEXY!

The crew was perfect. Everyone watching could relate to SOMEONE (except Robert Blake) and there were not too many people to confuse audiences.

The came Scooby Dum, Scooby Dee and Scrappy Doo.

I am not sure how the Scooby Doo family tree looks, but I find it odd that Scrappy Doo shares the surname Doo with Scooby, while Scooby Dee and Scooby Dum share the given name of Scooby.

As the series progressed into a bizarre 'all talking dogs and beatnik' series, Fred, Velma and Daphne were all rendered useless and made infrequent appearances on the (then named) Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour. Without Mystery Inc., the show had no need for mysteries. Instead plots focused on things like Scrappy's birthday party and ants showing up at a picnic. Yes, it was the golden age of animation.

A few years back, Warner Brothers created a live action Scooby Doo film. The film was hailed as "the greatest Freddy Prinz Jr. film in months." It was a big success, but far more mean spirited than its TV predecessor. As with any hit, a sequel followed. The sequel was lots of fun and stayed closer to the original series in story and tone.

In between the films the animated versions of Scooby and Shaggy appeared in the film Looney Tunes: Back in Action berating Matthew Lillard (who played Shaggy in the film.) The scene takes place in a cafeteria, but does not showcase Scooby and Shaggy's eating skills.

In the cartoon, they would make the most amazing sandwiches EVER. They would poke their heads into a refrigerator and come out with a huge sandwich featuring:
2 slices of bread
lettuce
a tomato
cheese
ham
a turkey leg
onions (whole onions, not slices)
4 different colored items. These were presumably different kinds of meat.

After making the sandwich, they would flatten it and then put the WHOLE thing in their mouth and swallow! No need to chew, just swallow. Turkey bone and all.

What kind of digestive system did they have? They must have been constipated ALL the time.

Scooby Doo appears in the different Universal Studios theme parks around the globe. He also is in Virginia at Paramount's King's Dominion. At PKD they have Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion. In this ride you sit in a car and shoot ghosts that pop out at you. Every rider gets scored based on how many ghosts they hit. Sadly the ghost of Scooby Dum is never in range.

This concludes the Ballad of Bill and Joe. I hope you learned something.

Don't miss:
The Ballad of Bill and Joe: Volume One
and
Part two

Monday, August 16, 2004

Mr. Payback: An Interactive Movie

In 1995 a truly unique movie experience graced 90 screens in 22 markets. Mr. Payback: An Interactive movie was written and directed by Back to the Future scribe Bob Gale.


The film was truly interactive. Each theater that showed the film was equipped with over $80,000 of interactive brickity brack to allow viewers to interact with the movie.

The film itself was only 20 minutes long, but the price of admission granted you all day access to the movie. Once a minute the audience would be asked to choose one of three choices on the controller mounted on their arm rest. At the end of the film, it would simply start over, except the interactive possibilities made each viewing different.

The story consisted of Mr. Payback being summoned to torture wrongdoers. Villains in the film ranged from racists to a man who sexually harasses his employees.

The film boated one of the COOLEST b-list cast EVER.

Paul Anka
The legendary musician makes one of his few big screen appearances in this film. His other film credits include his fine performance in Captain Ron and his stunning turn as Pit Boss #1 in 3000 Miles To Graceland.

Eddie Deezen
Funny man Eddie Deezen plays Phil The Guard. I bet this led to many bad jokes on the set:
Anka: Who do you play in this film?
Eddie: I play Phil The Guard.
Anka: That's good, but don't let the Guard's wife catch you feeling him.


Robert Englund
Freddy Krueger himself appeared in this film! I bet this also led to some funny moments on the set.
Anka: Who do you play in this film?
Englund: I'm sorry, I can't talk now. I have to go feel the guard.


Frank Gorshin
Gorshin is best known for his role in Batman TV series. The Riddler AND Freddy Krueger! Who can stop them!

Ice-T
Ice T is best known for picking the WIMPIEST beverage for a nickname. Seriously, iced tea? That is even wimpier than being called Strawberry Milk.

Christopher Lloyd
The man who played Doc Brown. Perhaps he could stop Freddy and The Riddler. Or at least he could shout 'jiggowatts' at them.

Cheech Marin
Somewhere Chong was sitting at a table for two, weeping.

Thomas Rosales Jr.
Listed as one of the GREATEST MINOR MOVIE CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME! Click here for more.


Mr. Payback received mixed reviews, and the format was never again tried. Some audiences loved the format. Shouting at the screen was encouraged, as was jumping around and talking to other audience members. One of the big complaints about the film was it's (slightly) adult themes. Sadly the format of the film appealed to children, but the content of the film was a little too mature.

The film has never been released on home video, but I have my fingers crossed for a DVD release. DVD would be able to mimic the controls used in the theater.

Plus, It has long been a dream of mine to control Paul Anka.

Cinderella and the Governor

Hurricanes were hitting Florida.
Wars were being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The country is heading into a Presidential election.
New Jersey has a gay Governor.

OHMYGOD! New Jersey has a gay Governor!

Image hosted by ImageHost.org
New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey announced that his "unique truth is that he is a gay American."

Oddly enough, it took 2 marriages and the threat of blackmail for him to announce this.

2 MARRIAGES!!!!

Dontcha think one would be enough?

Ex-wife: Why do you want to divorce?
Jim: You know, this whole being with women thing isn't right for me.
Ex-wife: Oh, so what are you going to do now?
Jim: I think I'll get married again and have an affair with a guy who's name sounds like a river in Egypt.
Ex-wife: Oh, well, good luck with that.

Golan Cipel. That is the name of his lover. GOLAN CIPEL. Doesn't it look like a 'word scramble' or a Wheel of Fortune phrase that is 4 letters from being solved?

His name is too strange. Let's call him G-Money.

The other love story that interested me lately was the movie A Cinderella Story it starred Hilary Duff and some guy who will one day have this conversation:

Person on the street: Hey! I know you! Weren't you in The Lizzie Maguire Movie?
That guy: Uh, no. Do you need your pool cleaned or what?

Don't feel too bad for him, pool cleaning is a very lucrative business.

Or, maybe he will become a huge star. He has had two memorable roles before this:
Tristan on Gilmore Girls (sadly this show has NOTHING to do with the movie Happy Gilmore!)
and
Lindsey Lohan's crush in Freaky Friday.

Wow! Lindsey Lohan AND Hilary Duff! If he does a movie with Avril Lavigne he will have made the trifecta.

Hey! The name 'Avril Lavigne' ALSO looks a word jumble.

The coolest thing about A Cinderella Story is the website. On it you can have Hilary Duff read a love story to you about people you know! It is a neat feature using some kind of futuristic computer technology.

Or maybe Hilary Duff is just sitting there at a desk reading stories LIVE. Jeez, acting is tough! Hey! Go become a pool boy! It's not too late!

We decided to have Hilary tell the love story of Jim McGreevy & G-Money, click here to hear it.

In A Cinderella Story Hilary plays a girl who falls in love with the coolest guy in school. Sadly there are no talking mice or fairy godmothers in this version. It does contains some great Botox humor:

Mom: I'm very upset about this
Girl: You don't look upset.
Mom: It's the Botox.


GET IT! She couldn't show anger due to BOTOX! Before the movie I saw a trailer for The Kranks where Tim Allen gets: BOTOX! Wow, I guess Botox is the new viagra!

The most revered version of Cinderella was the Disney version. This featured a cat named Lucifer and several talking mice. I am not sure why Lucifer couldn't talk. Maybe he got his tongue!

GET IT! MAYBE HE GOT HIS TONGUE! SEE HE IS A CAT. 'THE CAT GOT HIS TONGUE!' BUT, HE IS A CAT, SO HE GOT HIS OWN TONGUE! HA HA HA!

Not funny? Try this:

I am not sure why Lucifer couldn't talk. Maybe it's the BOTOX!


Still not funny?

I am not sure why Lucifer couldn't talk. Maybe his "unique truth is that he is a silent American."


Now THAT is funny.

What is your unique truth?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Overactor's delight

A head-to-head comparison of two of the GREATEST OVER ACTORS OF ALL TIME

AL PACINO: Born in the South Bronx in 1940. Has made over 35 motion pictures.

His GREATEST MOMENT IN FILM was in a film he wasn't even in:

Saturday Night Fever:
John Travolta stands in front of an Al Pacino poster in his underwear.

He then utters the following line:

"AL PACINO! Attica, Attica, Attica!"

I wanted to stretch out 'AL' in that quote to stress the first name like 'ALLLLLLLLL.' But, that could have been pronounced 'All Pacino,' which may be a great amount of Pacino, but it is not the line in the film.

"AL PACINO! Attica, Attica, Attica!"

Quite a bizarre moment in film history. To have Travolta shouting Pacino's name as he stood in his underwear. Priceless.

Pacino is also mentioned in the very funny film Plump Fiction. Sandra Bernhard says that loves cappuccino so much that she wants to change her name to Al Pacino because it sounds so much like cappuccino.

Pacino is mentioned in one of the most BIZZARE academy awards speeches ever. This was Dustin Hoffman at the 52 Academy Awards.
I'm up here with mixed feelings. I've been critical of the Academy...and for reason. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be able to work. I refuse to believe I beat Jack Lemmon, that I beat Al Pacino, that I beat Peter Sellers. I refuse to believe that Robert Duvall lost. We are a part of an artistic family. There are sixty thousand actors in this academy-- excuse me, in the Screen Actors Guild, and probably a hundred thousand in Equity. And most actors don't work, and a few of us are so lucky to have a chance to work with writing and to work with directing. Because when you're a broke actor, you can't write, you can't paint, you have to practice accents while you're driving a taxicab.

Uh huh. So he refuses to believe that he won, and seems to be only thankful that he doesn't have to practice accents while driving a taxicab. Oddly enough, I assumed those were the cabbies REAL accents. Maybe they aren't foreigners at all, just good actors!

Dustin Hoffman may or may not have OUT acted Al Pacino, but he could not OVERact like Pacino.
But one man can!

Charlton Heston: Born in Illinois in 1924 and started making films almost 30 YEARS before Pacino.
Charlton has retired from acting and was president of the National Rifle Association. As President of the NRA he said the phrase "From my cold, dead hands" so much people started thinking he was an animatronic figure from Walt Disney's The Haunted Mansion.

The phrase was used as part of his speeches. He would say:

"The only way you can take my gun is to pry it from my cold dead hands."

Or, you could toss a basketball at him. He would probably set the gun down to catch it. Then you could grab his gun. Of course, Heston could probably beat you silly with the basketball so I wouldn't try it.

Heston also has several movie titles that sound like dirty movies, but they aren't:
Original Sin (1989)
President's Lady, The (1953)
Mountain Men, The (1980)
Fun of Your Life, The (1975)
Gray Lady Down (1978)
Last Hard Men, The (1976)
Agony and the Ecstasy, The (1965)
Oil Town (1962)
Naked Jungle, The (1954)

Yet, what is most interesting about Heston and Pacino, is their overacting.

Al started his career in 1969 but did not begin overacting until 1979's And Justice For All this was the film with the famous line "I'm out of order, your out of order, hey, the dirty sounding Heston films are out of order!"

Heston started overacting sooner in his career, but didn't hit his stride until he made The Ten Commandments. Playing Moses, it would be hard to UNDERACT.

Here are their best overacting performances:

AL PACINO:

Gigli (2003)
I must admit I have not seen this one, but it's a safe bet he overacts in this.

S1m0ne (2002)
Al Plays Victor in this film, about a man who creates a digital lady.

Devil's Advocate, The (1997)
John Minton (AKA SATAN) is one of the greatest parts ever put on screen. Al's overacting highlight comes during the death of Eddie Barzoon.

Scent of a Woman (1992)
Easily the pinnacle of Pacino's overacting. In this film he ends EVERY SENTENCE WITH 'Hoo-Ahhh!'

Scarface (1983)
Say hello to a little overacting!

CHARLTON HESTON


Crossed Swords (1978)
In one of his many 'regal' roles he plays King Henry VIII.

Antony and Cleopatra (1972)
Julius Caesar (1970)
He played Mark Antony in both of these films. Double your acting double your role.

Planet of the Apes (1968)
Get your stinkin paw off my cold dead hand!

Agony and the Ecstasy, The (1965)
As Michelangelo

El Cid (1961) .... Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar
Touch of Evil (1958) .... Ramon Miguel 'Mike' Vargas
A pair of films where Heston was MEXICAN!


Buccaneer, The (1958)
President's Lady, The (1953)
Here he played Andrew Jackson 2 times! Once as President, once as a General. Generally he was overacting.


Clearly, thus far, Heston is the victor. Heston's body of work holds soooooo much overacting, can Pacino overtake him? Only time will tell.

Both actors starred together in the 1999 film Any Given Sunday I am stunned that the camera did not EXPLODE due to excessive overacting!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Breakin' all the rules

The B-Boy Summit is celebrating it's 10th anniversary.

I thought B-Boying would never last. Ten years ago if you had said that B-Boying would be around for another ten years I would have said "Get outta my way I have to take these valuable Beanie Babies to my vault!"

The B-Boy Summit was created in 1994 to create a community oriented Hip Hop Event.
This years event will be the 10th and final
Many hip-hop artists, breakers and DJs will be on-hand including Grandmaster Caz, Crazy Legs, Jean Grae, Floor Lords, Rock Steady Crew and many more.

I once met Crazy Legs. His legs really are crazy! They often will jump into a vat of potato salad. The legs also talk to themselves... in Polish!

In all truth, I loved breakdancing. I really thought it was cool. I am not sure why it didn't survive. Sure some people still do it, but gone are the days when guys would carry a cardboard box with them so they could breakdance on the corner.

Once, in the 1980s breakdancing was IT! Everyone loved breakdancing. In 1984 there were THREE competing breakdance films!

From the IMDB:

BREAKIN':A struggling young jazz dancer meets up with two break-dancers. Together they become the sensation of the street crowds.

BEAT STREET:An aspiring DJ, from the South Bronx, and his best friend, a promoter, try to get into show business by exposing people to hip-hop music and culture.

BODY ROCK: Chilly is just a guy from the streets with a talent for break-dancing. When his wicked moves catch the eye of an industry pro, Chilly finds his dreams of fame and fortune coming true, for better or for worse.

The plots sound similar, but the three films could not be more different. Uh, actually, they were similar.

In Breakin' Kelly, the jazz dancer, meets Ozone and Turbo.

YES, THEIR NAMES WERE OZONE AND TURBO!

This was another aspect of Breakdance culture I like. EVERYONE GETS A NICKNAME! Think about that! If you take ballet do you get a nickname? NO! But, breakdancers do! Here are some breakdancer names I just made up:

Pickleshoe
Andre The Pants
Canned Hands
Auqatastic
Sgt. Mucho Mucho
and
Spork from Ork

If you are ever asked to throw down in a breakdance battle feel free to use one of those names.

Now, Breakin' was probably the most successful of the three. It spawned a sequel with the GREATEST SUBTITLE EVER: Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo!

What is a boogaloo? Who knows? No one! Still, an ELECTRIC boogaloo is the best kind of boogaloo you can have. I guess.

Breakdancing movies have been in the decline over the past 20 years. Recently the makers of You Got Served tried to make a breakdance movie comeback. It didn't really electrify the nation like the films of 20 years ago.

Oh, well. I guess I will wait for You Got Served 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite. For many years Elvis Costello used this as an alias. Now, it's the name of a strange movie.

Napoleon is a geek that lives with his brother and grandma in Idaho.

I have never been to Idaho, but according to this film, it is a bizarre place that where time has stood still, then fell down and rolled over. Every scene is full of a weird mix of cars, clothes and music from the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s.

I loved it. It was Dyn-o-mite!

I miss Jimmy Walker. He was funny.

I wonder if he was ever on the cover of Dynamite Magazine.

If you don't remember Dynamite, it was a kids magazine available through Scholastic Book Club in the 1970s and 80s. The issues were packed with celebrity interviews and odd cartoons. Here is an interview with Jimmy Walker that I made up:

Dynamite Magazine: Jimmy, what is it like to be so cool.
Jimmy Walker: I wasn't always cool. When I was a kid I was a little uncool.
DM: No way! You were a dork?
JW: Hey! I said I was a little uncool. I never said I was a dork! Get out of my trailer.

In addition to hard hitting interviews, Dynamite also had weird cartoons. Here is one I just made up:

Title: What a bummer!
Mom: Where are you going son?
Son: To school.
Mom: But, son, it's saturday!
Son: Oh shucks.

Anyone else see Napoleon Dynamite?

Revealing the ending of The Village

Here we go again. M. Night Shamarockshake has created another movie. Like his previous films the only thing anyone cares about is the ending. How will he surprise us?

His first film was called Praying With Anger it was released in 1992.

Really, that was his first film.

Praying With Anger is about an 'alienated, Americanized teenager of East Indian heritage is sent back to India where he discovers not only his roots but a lot about himself.'

That's all I know. I assume there is no twist ending, but it is possible. Perhaps what he finds out about himself is that he is actually not Indian he is Bangladeshian, and he is not a teenager he is 20, and he is not a man he is a cyborg... a vampire cyborg. That would be cool.

In 1998 he made Wide Awake.

The plot for Wide Awake is 'A fifth grader goes on a search for God after his grandfather dies. Along the way he gets into tons of trouble at Waldron Academy an all boys school. Also he is aided on his search by a sports loving nun.'

By the way the nun is Rosie O'Donnell.

Let me repeat that:

THE NUN IS ROSIE O'DONNELL!

That is a surprise twist if I ever heard one!

Now in 1999 he made The Sixth Sense in it Bruce Willis babysits for the ALWAYS CREEPY Haley Joel Osment. In the end the biggest surprise was that Haley was considered to be a 'leading man.'
Let us delve into his post Sixth Sense career:

Secondhand Lions: This, his most recent film played in theaters one year ago. Haley had turned the corner from Creepy Kid Lane to Awkward Kid Street. I used to visit that town, they had a good comic book store.

Jungle Book 2: A fine job reading lines in this enjoyable sequel.

Country Bears: Not such a good job (in an otherwise AWESOME film) reading lines here. Most of his lines are delivered in an odd fashion as if he was adding a question mark to the end of every sentence.

Hunchback of Notre Dame II: Yes, Disney loves the sequel. He does decent voice work here, but the movie is mediocre.

Artificial Intelligence: Steven Spielberg in this dopey mish-mash of every sci-fi and fantasy film ever made. Haley is good simply because he ALWAYS READS HIS LINES LIKE A ROBOT.

Pay It Forward: I never saw this, opting to see the other Hallie: Hallie Kate Eisenberg in Beautiful. I stand by my decision.

M. Night (remember, we were talking about HIM) then made a film called Unbreakable this was a great film, but audiences seemed disappointed that the TWIST ENDING was not bigger.

Signs was next, a solid film with a (surprise) TWIST ENDING. This time, even at the end the twist was so cryptic that no one could have guessed it. It also doesn't make THAT much sense.

This brings us to The Village, and now I reveal the SURPRISE ENDING.

While out on an adventure in the woods Joaquin Phoenix finds a shiny piece of metal in the dirt. He digs and digs around it to discover that it is the HEAD OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. Then he and Tyler Durden travel to Oz to find out that Keyser Söze is just a man behind a curtain: a Bangladeshian vampire cyborg man behind the curtain!

A bunch of fakes

I came across an AMAZING web phenomena, websites that document and categorize FAKE Dr. Pepper.

This isn't just one site, there are TONS of sites for you to check out. I hope you like them:
Fake Dr. Pepper.com
Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?
The Authoritative Dr. Soda Page
The Fake Dr. Pepper Round Up
The Dr. Beverages page
The 'I'm a Pepper' test
Dr. Pepper and the Impostors
The Quest of the Dr. Thunder clones
The Dr. Pepper rip-off page
Fake Dr. Pepperland
El Genero

Why! Why is fake Dr. Pepper such a hot commodity? I have no idea. I am fascinated by fakes. Always have been.

Remember Milli Vanilli? I thought they sucked. I hated all their music. I could not stand them!

Then, I found out they faked it.

That was cool! The American public was FURIOUS! How dare they pretend to be singers! Only Guns N Roses are allowed to do that, Milli Vanilli.

Milli Vanilli was the created by German producer Frank Farian. Who had previously worked with German sensations Der Kerrpets, Herr Mostrutti, and Heil Domortitsch. I just made those names up, but they look as real as the actual titles.

Seeking to fuse European dance-pop with elements of American rap, Farian assembled a number of session musicians and vocalists, including rapper Smiity D., Kevin Hobel and Byron Callus. I made those names up, too. The real names were: Charles Shaw, Johnny Davis and Brad Howell. I like my names better. Especially Smitty D.

However Farian knew his group was to ugly to be a success. So he hired models Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, to pretend to be the group in videos, concerts, etc.

Can you imagine breaking that news to the session musicians.

Farian: Guys! We are going to record an album!
Group: Yes!
Farian: Yeah, but I hired some better looking guys to pretend to be you.
Shaw: Man, this sucks! You would never do this to Smitty D.!

So, when it was finally revealed Milli Vanilli had to give back their Grammy Award. This I don't understand. Why wasn't the Grammy given to the people who ACTUALLY sung the song? Aren't Grammys give for musical achievement? Are the ugly not allowed to have them? Weren't the Grammys just proving Farian right?

Who knows. All I know is it's Smitty D.'s world, Milli Vanilli only lived in it.


ASHLEE SIMPSON UPDATE:
Fans of Ashlee Simpson were SHOCKED after Ashlee Simpson had a Milli Vanilli moment on Saturday Night Live.
Saturday Night Live fans took a brief break from writing "It's Pat" fan fiction to see Ashlee Simpson get caught on stage as a guide track played behind her.
Ashlee Simpson went on to blame her band for playing the wrong tune, and later blamed acid reflux for the guide track all together.
NBC also took the occasion to blame acid reflux for the fact that the show has not been funny since 1996.
Not to miss her moment in the spotlight, Sinead O'Connor announced that when she ripped a photo of the Pope on SNL during a 1992 appearance, she did it because she had learned that the Holy Pontiff had acid reflux. She was demonstrating, she said, her desire to 'tear up acid reflux.'
If only they could all get together with the great Smitty D, they could start a coalition to stamp out this disease!

Monday, August 09, 2004

The taxman cometh

I went to a wrestling event this weekend.
It was pretty good.
I was glad to see Ric Flair.

Still, it was kind of sad to see him LOSE to Eugene in a half empty arena in Trenton NJ.

It was kind of like seeing the Queen of England be forced eat dog food... uh... in a half empty arena in Trenton NJ.

The event was great, but there was something missing.

NONE OF THE WRESTLERS TODAY HAVE JOBS!

See, in the late 1980s to mid 1990s most wrestlers had a job.
Like Irwin R. Shyster.

Irwin was an IRS agent, and a mean one at that. Irwin would audit people ALL the time. For no reason. If Irwin was on your case, expect to be buried with paperwork!

But, a simple 9-5 job was not enough for Irwin.

After a long day of tax collecting Irwin would wrestle. He wrestled on the weekends too! Man, I wish I had that energy.

Irwin R. Shyster liked his job so much that he changed his initials to I. R. S.

Or maybe that was his real name, and he was predestined from birth to be a tax collector.

Actually, Irwin was longtime wrestler Mike Rotundo. Throughout his career, Mike had MANY names including:
V.K. Wallstreet
Mike Wallstreet
Captain Mike
and for reasons I don't understand: Mike Rotunda

However, it was as I.R.S. that he was at his silliest. He brought a briefcase into the ring, and wrestled in a red suspenders and a tie.

He had a job.

Today, wrestlers with a job are rare. Sure, The Undertaker is technically an undertaker. But, when was the last time he had to comfort grieving widows? Has he ever talked someone into purchasing a more expensive casket for their loved one? Is he listed in the yellow pages under 'funeral services'? Does he ever get spam emails saying 'we can help you keep your customers happy' and then he replies back 'my customers aren't happy! They are dead!'

No, I bet he doesn't.

There were plenty of other great wrestlers with jobs in the past. Big Bossman was a prison guard, The Goon was a hockey player, and Repo Man repossessed cars.

And there was Thurman "Sparky" Plugg.

Thurman was a race car driver. He was portrayed by Bob Howard (best known as Bob Holly.)


Thurman "Sparky" Plugg was considered to be the dumbest name EVER (this was before Sean Puffy Puff Daddy P-Diddy Combs) and the gimmick was just as dumb.

See Sparky was a race car driver who just happened to have the last name Plugg. Conviently, his nickname was "Sparky."

Next time you see a phone book, turn it to 'p' and see if ANYONE has the last name Plugg. I bet there are NONE. Couple this with the odds of that person becoming a race car driver AND a wrestler and the odds of probability are ASTRONOMICAL. You would have a better chance enjoying I-Robot.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Me and Andy


Many thanks to Geezer for this cartoon of me stealing ideas from Andy Rooney.

He also sent one of me stealing undergarments from MICKEY Rooney (I'll keep that one to myself.)

Don't vote

Declare yourself. This is the newest movement out to make sure every 18-24 year old votes.
Declare yourself has gotten funny men like Larry David, Ray Romano and even Jay and Silent Bob into a series of commercials to 'get out the vote.'

Like all the movements before this one, Declare Yourself will fail.

According to Declare Yourself's (I know, it's bad grammar) web page: in 1972 49% of those 18-24 voted. In the last election only 36% voted.

HOW COULD THIS BE!

In the last election cycle the movement was MTV's Choose Or Lose. They tried to get out the vote. They claim to have REGISTERED 18 MILLION NEW VOTERS for the last election.

MTV pulled out all the stops for the last election, you couldn't go to a sporting event or theme park without them trying to register. 18 to 24 year olds were BEGGED CONSTANTLY by their favorite rappers and movie stars to go out and vote. Even the WWF (now WWE) got into the act, having Triple H and The Rock plead with the 18 to 24 year olds.

Unfortunately, once they realized that they couldn't vote for Triple H or The Rock, THEY NEVER VOTED.

Well, maybe this isn't such a bad thing. Really, do you think someone who needs Jay and Silent Bob to encourage him to vote should DECIDE THE FUTURE OF THE FREE WORLD?

On the last American Idol, over 200 million votes were cast. This was because the 18-24 year olds CARED who won! THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

I think that these young people should EMBRACE their apathy, and let cable TV know BEFORE the next election.

That way we have more time to watch Reuben and Clay.

Antz iz one of ze weirdest filmz ever

This is about the movie Antz. Phil Collins is not in this film, nor did he do any music for this film. However, I will guarantee 1 Phil Collins' reference before it is over!

In 1998 Dreamworks released Antz. This HAS to be one of the strangest films ever made! Most adults dismiss this film as a kiddie flick, but it is far from that.

Antz had a successful run at the box office. It spent two weeks at number one and raked in over 90 million dollars! Unfortunately, Antz success was over shadowed by the success of A Bug's Life just one month later. A Bugs Life ended up making over 160 Million.

Still, have you noticed that A Bugs Life is the black sheep of the Pixar community? They mention EVERY other film they made in the ad campaign for The Incredibles:
NARRATOR: From Pixar, the makers of Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. They have also made the commercials for Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo! They also made several short films including Knick Knack and Geri's Game. Plus, when they were just starting out they made a commercial for a car wash in Pittsburgh. Also they have made over 50 home movies including John Lasseter's Family Picnic and Shelly's 10th Birthday! Now they present The Incredibles!


Jeez! It must be tough for Antz to be in THAT shadow!

Well, here's the story:

Woody Allen is an ant.

Let me repeat that:

WOODY ALLEN IS AN ANT!

This is the coolest film EVER! Woody plays Z. Man, they were really pushing this whole 'letter Z' thing. Seriously, would Ants have been a bad title? Does a Z make things sound more whimsical? I bet some moviegoers went to the film thinking it was a hip hop film like Boyz In The Hood or Biker Boyz or 8 Milez or Mrz. Doubtfirez. The Z does sound hip.

So, Z is depressed until one day he meets the Princess (voiced by Sharon Stone) and convinces his buddy (Sylvester Stallone) to switch jobs with him.
Z is a worker ant, but Stallone is a soldier ant. Now they switch. Stallone takes to the worker ant job very well. He starts digging tunnels and soon he is dating J-Lo (OK, it's a cartoon ant VOICED by J-Lo, but doesn't EVERYONE in Hollywood get to date J-lo? I bet it's Stallone's turn.)

Z on the other hand fares poorly. Z is a horrible soldier. General Mandible (Gene Hackman) sends Z into battle where he meets Barbatus (Danny Glover). After a fierce battle with the termites, Z's entire platoon is dead. Danny Glover is decapitated, but Z comes home a hero.

However, Z goes on the run with the Princess. Gene Hackman sends Christopher Walken after them.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but this film is BIZARRE. The ants meet 2 wasps who are W.A.S.P.s, they get stuck to a shoe, they see amazing Pepsi product placement and Z comes face to face with Abe Lincoln! To top things off the word 'hell' and 'damn' are tossed around as casually as hair tonic at Phil Collins house!

See! I keep my promises!

Have you seen Antz?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

In 1949 Walt Disney Pictures released The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. It is an odd film by Disney standards.

For starters it is two stories. The Headless Horseman and The Wind and the Willows. The stories are completly unrelated. I suppose neither one was long enough to fill an entire 90 minutes. Of course, that never stopped the makers of White Chicks, but that's another story.

In the film, Mr. Toad is a little frog who becomes enamored at the idea of owning an automobile. His quest for wheels causes much hilarity.

When Disneyland opened up in fabulous Anaheim California, Mr. Toad was one of the original rides. A few decades later Walt Disney World opened in Florida. It too opened with a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

The ride was rather unique. It involved a bizarre high speed journey through colorful sets illuinated by black light. Along the journey you get hit by a train, you die and go to hell.

I'm not kidding.

Granted it is the Disney version of hell, but there is no denying that it was hell. Devils with pitchforks, fire, and Hitler high fiving John Belushi.

OK, the Hitler thing wasn't there. That's at the Carousel of Progress.

The ride in Walt Disney World (to be referred to as WDW from here on) was VASTLY different than the one in Disneyland (to be referred to as Kangaroo Bob's Chicken & Ribs from here on).

For starters in WDW the ride let out in 2 directions. Each direction offered a DIFFERENT ride. The one at Kangaroo Bob's Chicken & Ribs only has one side.

Fantasyland was the home of Mr. Toad in both Florida and California. The exterior of the building, however was different. WDW offered a midevil tent structure and Kangaroo Bob's Chicken & Ribs offerers a large ornate brick and concrete building.

Sadly, WDW's Mr. Toad was torn down in 1998 to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Despite the "many adventures" claim, it is only one ride, not 2 like Toad was.

Over the years, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride has (probably) become even more popular than the movie it was based upon. It is frequently referenced in TV and movies.

For example in the Kevin Smith film Mallrats the following exchange takes place:
Tricia Jones: I heard that you were going to propose to Brandi Svenning at some theme park. When are men going to learn that women want ROMANCE, not Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...
Brodie: Hey, now, be fair. EVERYONE wants Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.


Or this quote from Saturday Night Live:
Christian Slater: (when asked about his dating techniques) I'm crazy! I'm like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.


Or this quote from Titanic:
Jack Dawson: You're going to die an old woman, warm in your bed, not here, not this night.


I know, that had nothing to do with Mr. Toad, but I love that quote. It always makes me cry!

Other Quotes that make me cry:
Mother Teresa: The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.

Julie Andrews: All love shifts and changes. I don't know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time.

Bill Clinton (to Monica Lewinski):It doesn't matter what anybody says; you just deny it."

That still brings a tear to my eye.

So, in closing, WDW is an emptier place now, without Mr. Toad. You can. however, still enjoy Mr. Toad and his wild ride in Kangaroo Bob's Chicken & Ribs!

Related Junk:
The oldest theme park in the world
Sesame Place
Kangaroo Bob's Chicken & Ribs, Arkasas

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I have seen the future... and it sucks

Dippin' Dots. Ice cream of the future.

I had some of this stuff. If you have never tasted Dippin' Dots, it is hard to explain. Basically it tastes like cold Styrofoam covered in vanilla syrup. Mmmmmmm.
It is really bad, but it has been around for a while now. You have probably seen Dippin' Dots for sale before. They generally are sold in vending machines at malls and movie theaters. The machine makes the 'ice cream' in front of you.

Dippin' Dots bills themselves as the 'Ice cream of the future.'

I wish I could call up Doc Brown and have him travel to the future to prevent this 'ice cream' from happening. I'd also tell him to keep Marty out of this. Seriously, WHY WAS MARTY ON THOSE MISSIONS? I understand in the first one he was fleeing the terrorists, but after that Doc should have taken the keys back. All Marty did was make things worse. In fact, who's to say that Marty's interference didn't CAUSE Dippin' Dots!

It's hard to trust a skinny teenager who drinks Tab.

FUTURISTIC JUNK:
Back to the Future
House of the Future

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Ballad of Bill and Joe: Volume Two

Romancing the Flintstone
Let's ride with the family down the street
Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet
When you're with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
You'll have a gay old time

A gay old time, indeed. Not the gay old time you would have at Gore Vidal's house, still it would be fun.

Now when it comes to the Flintstones, people have many questions:
How did man and dinosaur co-exist?
How come the animation looks so choppy?
Who is Gore Vidal?


Gore Vidal was born in late 1925 to Gene Vidal, Gore spent much of his childhood with his grandfather, Senator T.P. Gore of Oklahoma. Gore published his first novel, "Williwaw", when he was just 19. Gore found soon found his books on bestseller lists. In 1960, he (unsuccessfully) ran for Congress, backed by celebrity supporters, such as Paul Newman.

Questions like these are nothing new. With all Hanna Barbera cartoons people wonder:
How did they make so many cartoons?
Why did they all seem to be modeled after live action TV shows?
So, what's the deal with Gore Vidal? Is he gay?


In short, yes. He is gay, and old. It was a cheap, and rather insensitive joke. Let's put it behind us.

When you say "put it behind us" is that another cheap and insensitive joke?
Yes, yes it was.

One of my favorite aspects of the Flintstones was the NAMES. Everyone's name HAD to be a kind of rock:
Fred Flintstone
Mr. Slate
Barney Rubble
Even the guest stars would have rock names:
Tony Curtis was Stony Curtis
Ann Margaret was Ann Margrock
Elizabeth Montgomery became... uh... something with rock in it.

Too bad they don't make new Flintstone episodes today. You could have many of today's stars show up WITHOUT changing their names:

Stone Phillips: Could have guest starred in a news-themed episode. Of course He would be a replacement for Tom Brokaw (Tom Boulderkaw) who would bow out when he realized how stupid Boulderkaw sounded.

Kid Rock: He could be in an episode playing a guy with a serious identity crisis (is he a rapper? Is he a rocker? A patriot or a rebel? An actor, a country singer or a motorcycle expert?) Then he could help make the cat stay out for the night.

The Rock: He could play the cat.

Matt Stone: He could show up and spend five minutes explaining that he is the co-creator of South Park. Then Fred could punch him for what he did to the art of animation.

Truly, no one did animation like Hanna Barbera. Genius!

On the Flintstones animals served one purpose, to serve man. That was it. They would be everything from a dishwasher to a staple gun. They did their jobs obediently without attempting escape. The could talk too, but they never spoke to the humans, only to the audience. For example, if Fred was using a toucan to de-pit a bowl of cherries, the toucan would turn to us and say

"This job's the pits"

Yup. The sad life of animal's in the Flintstone era. Plucked from their homes, separated from their families and forced into slavery. Yet they still try to make us laugh!

Yes, appliances with hearts of gold.

The Flintstones also have the LONGEST RUNNING NOVELTY CEREAL EVER!

The longevity of Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles is nothing short of AMAZING.

Think about it.

In the store on any given month you can find DOZENS of novelty cereals.
Spider-man: Spider Rings Cereal
Mickey Mouse: Magix cereal
Democratic national convention: Kerry Puffs of Wheat

But who long do they last? Weeks, maybe a month.
Not the Flintstones cereals. They have lasted so long that there are knock offs!

I am not sure why these cereals lasted SO long. It can't just be taste. Granted these taste REALLY good, but so did C3POS.

No, the success of these cereals is due to one thing: Fred's monopoly on the supply has created artificial demand.

See, every commercial for these cereals is the same:
Barney wants cereal
Fred won't give it to him
Rather than spend $3 and get his own box Barney builds a spaceship and pretends to be a robot to 'trick Fred out of his pebbles.'
Barney looses his disguise and is humiliated
Barney falls on his sword

IS IT ANY WONDER WHY PEOPLE BUY THIS STUFF! It is so rare that Barney can't even get a box! Barney lives NEXT to Fred! If he can't get it, HOW CAN YOU TURN IT DOWN?

Still, it's part of this nutritious breakfast!

Continue to: The Ballad of Bill and Joe: Volume Three

Other related junk:
The Ballad of Bill and Joe: Volume One
Jurassic Park
He-Man, the toughest cartoon man ever
Cereal and other breakfast junk

Monday, August 02, 2004

I'd buy that for a dollar

Robocop. Part man, part robot, all cop. This movie was part sci-fi, part action, all movie. Ahhh, I should have quit after the first one.

Robocop was about as violent a blockbuster as you will ever see. People get hit by cars, robots shoot people. IT IS AWESOME.

My favorite part, however, is the 'I'll buy that for a dollar' guy.

If you don't remember, he was a guy who keeps popping up and saying 'I'll buy that for a dollar.'
I am not sure WHY I found this so funny. Maybe it is, simply, that I WILL BUY ANYTHING FOR A DOLLAR.

THE DOLLAR STORE:
I am sure every town has one. It is a fantastic place.
Did you see that Michael Jackson documentary where he goes into a store and just spends MILLIONS of dollars on tacky furniture? That is why we like dollar stores! It makes us feel like Michael Jackson without having to go to jail.

When I walk into the dollar store, this is how I shop:

Me: I need some batteries, oh look! These have German writing on the package! I'll take two.
Cashier: Sure.
Me: Wow, look a lighter with Spongebob on it! Is this authorized?
Cashier: I don't know, but they don't work very good.
Me: They don't? Too bad. Well, I will take some. Oh, video tapes! I want this biography of Jimmy Carter and the Grandma Aerobics. Actually, let me get an extra one for my grandma. Where is the cologne?
Cashier: On the back wall.
Me: Mmmm. This smells sorta like CK One. Do people still wear CK One?
Cashier: Uh, sure.
Me: Then I will take 5.
Cashier: OK, that's $8
Me: Here's $10. Keep the change.
Cashier: Sir, this isn't money. This is just a piece of green construction paper with the words "this is ten dollars" written on it!

Yes, dollar stores are thriving. There seem to be new dollar stores popping up on every corner.

The Dollar Theater, however, is DYING.

In Bucks County PA (not TOO far from Philadelphia PA, but far enough that you don't have to deal with sweaty tourists looking for a greasy cheese steak and the famous broken bell) there is the Pennsbury Dollar Movie Theater.
This theater shows films for a dollar!

What a difference that makes!

Whenever you see a bad movie at a regular theater, the first thought is that it "wasn't worth the admission price."
Well, admission prices are HIGH. With movie tickets going as high as $8, $9 even $10000 dollars in some areas.

Sorry about that the zero was stuck on my keyboard.

Anyway, this particular theater is an enigma. Built in 1974, the Dollar Movie, has hosted many of the great films of the past 30 years FOR JUST A DOLLAR. If you had a dollar for every Police Academy film they played over the past 30 years, you'd have enough dollars to see every Lindsay Lohan film they showed this summer. But that would not be enough to save the theater.

The Pennsbury Dollar Movie Theater is CLOSING.

Yes, August 29th will be the last showing. To find out what film they will be showing, just see what film comes in #8 at the box office two weeks earlier.

It's easy to see WHY the dollar movie is closing. On most nights the theater runs close to empty. The two movie houses have become a bit run down. Each seat contains the BO of 30 years of theater goers. Nonetheless, it will be sad to see it go.

At least I can still do Grandma Aerobics.