Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

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2010 SXSW Reports

They like to kick off the South by Southwest Film Festival with a kick-ass movie, so it’s fortunate that this year, someone actually made a movie called "Kick-Ass." If ever a movie was designed for the SXSW crowd — mostly young, male, and slightly g...
Survivors

The Kind of Movie That Neil Marshall’s ‘Centurion’ Is

Last night about 150 lucky South By Southwesterners were the first audience in the world to see "Centurion," the bloody new action flick written and directed by Neil Marshall ("The Descent," "Doomsday"). It was one of SXSW's famed "secret screenings,...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘The Bounty Hunter’

When you saw the trailer for "The Bounty Hunter," your first thought was probably, “Why did the Oscars expand the Best Picture category to 10 nominees? They’re only gonna need one next year!!” But how does a movie this original and daring get made? W...
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Circumstances Under Which I Would Willingly Watch ‘Little Fockers’

The first question you have when faced with the reality of a second "Meet the Parents" sequel, called "Little Fockers," is “Why?” But the second question is “Why now?” It’s due in theaters this December, six years after "Meet the Fockers" and 10 year...
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What to Expect from a George Lucas Musical

Out of George Lucas‘ Death Star-like headquarters comes word that the "Star Wars" creator/ruiner is producing a computer-animated musical, to be directed by Kevin Munroe ("TMNT") and written by David Berenbaum ("Elf"). All anyone knows about the plot...
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My 2010 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 21) Let us hie to Utah's icy climes and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, held each January in the frozen, picturesque wasteland of Park City and founded by a friend of Paul Newman's named Robert Redford. This is one of the worl...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2009

Choosing 10 films for my list this year was easy. The hard part was deciding which film should be No. 1. Was I prepared to declare any of these fine movies unequivocally the Best Movie of 2009? But on the other hand, did I want to wuss out and do a lame alphabetical list? The answer to both questions was no.
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2009

This is a thing that I do. I keep track of all the movies, TV shows, and books I consume over the course of the year, then add them up and reflect upon them. Why would I post something like this, something that is clearly only of interest to me and n...
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How to Plan a Movie Robbery

If we’ve learned anything from watching movies, it’s that complicated robberies — of banks, casinos, millionaires’ mansions, the Library of Congress, whatever — succeed about 98 percent of the time. This is no doubt due to the meticulous planning tha...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘Showgirls 2’

For some reason, a German man named Marc Vorlander is apparently making a sequel to the infamous 1995 laughingstock "Showgirls." Called "Showgirls: The Story of Hope," this chapter will focus on Hope, a minor character played by Rena Riffel in the or...
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Translating Hollywood Cliches

If you watch the TV talk shows, you know the routine. Someone involved with an upcoming film — usually an actor, but sometimes the director — does the Letterman/Conan/Leno circuit to talk up whatever the project is, usually offering very little insig...
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Our Fake Interview with Rob Zombie

We were planning to interview Rob Zombie in conjunction with the upcoming sequel-to-a-remake "Halloween II," which he wrote and directed. But then some things piled up on our desks, and we lost track of time, and, well, you know how it goes. So inste...
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Our Fake Interview with Dennis Quaid

Make no mistake — we could have interviewed Dennis Quaid if we wanted to. He’s practically on our speed-dial. But then we got to thinking about it, and we figured he’s probably doing a lot of interviews for "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," in which he ...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘The Proposal’

The trailer for "The Proposal" explains the plot very clearly: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, who hate each other, must pretend to be engaged in order to prevent her from being deported to Canada. It looks awful. Why would someone make such a form...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘My Sister’s Keeper’

On June 26, you’ll be able to see "My Sister’s Keeper," a tearjerker about a 13-year-old girl whose parents conceived her because their other daughter has leukemia and they thought it would be handy to have a genetic match lying around in case the le...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘Dance Flick’

The Wayans Brothers’ spoof film "Dance Flick" finally opens this week after being pushed back from February, no doubt thrilling the 20 or so people who are looking forward to it, all of whom have the last name Wayans. For the rest of us, we thought i...
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Cinematical Exclusive: The Changes in Store for the Oscar Ceremony!

The producers of this Sunday's Academy Awards telecast have been vocal about their intentions to change some things about the show. But apart from hiring a non-comedian, Hugh Jackman, as the host, they've been silent on what those changes might be --...
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My 2009 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 15) Gentlemen, start your lesbians! The 2009 Sundance Film Festival has commenced in the quaint mountain town of Park City, Utah, with 120 independent features and goodness knows how many short films scheduled to play here over...
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Cinematical Exclusive: Variety’s Layoff Memo

News item: Showbiz trade publication Variety lays off 30 employees. Cinematical Exclusive: The memo Variety sent to the affected writers. BIZ RAG SACKS HACKS Dear journo: While your perf as a scribbler has been boffo with execs ever since...
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A Real Hotel for Dogs Would Pose Numerous Logistical Problems

Look, I can suspend my disbelief as much as the next guy, but I am having a seriously hard time accepting the concept of the new DreamWorks/Nickelodeon movie "Hotel for Dogs." A hotel for dogs??! Now I’ve heard everything! First of all, I quest...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2008

For the fifth consecutive year, I kept careful track of everything I watched and read. As always, this inventory may not be of interest to anyone other than me, and you are excused if you don't want to read it. For the rest of you, it will be like be...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2008

As 2008 gets taken off the Current Events shelf and moved to History, let us contemplate the seismic changes the year has brought us. The United States elected its first black president. The economy took its worst turn in decades. A stripper won a sc...
Mother Nature

An Open Letter to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature: You are a filthy whore. You are a wanton, depraved trollop devoid of all virtue. Your scandalous harlotry surpasses human understanding. So utterly putrid are your offenses that decent humankind is sickened by the vile rankness that emanates therefrom.
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Suggestions for ‘Speed 3’ (Other Than Not Making It)

The folks at 20th Century Fox, having abandoned all hope of ever conceiving an original idea again, are allegedly looking at making "Speed 3." After all, the 1994 original was a big hit starring two no-longer-bankable actors, and the 1997 sequel was ...
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Attention Hollywood: No More Nazi Movies, Please!

I cannot back this up with actual statistics, but I believe more movies have been made about World War II than any other historical event. Dozens were made while the war was still ongoing, and hundreds more have been made in the 63 years since it end...
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Seven Outrageous Oscar Disqualifications

With the news that the musical score from "The Dark Knight" has been disqualified from Academy Awards consideration on the grounds that too many people were credited with composing it, outrage against the Academy's stringent, complicated rules has er...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone XVI

It is time once again to open Raven-Symone's mailbag (if you know what I mean) and make fun of the simple-minded children who write to her. I would have run a new edition of this feature sooner, but the volume of mail received at Raven's fake e-mail address has slowed to a trickle in recent months. Most of what she gets now is very generic ("Hi Raven, I love you!") or consists only of her fans inviting her to join them on Facebook or MySpace or Beebo or JimJum or Froofraff or whatever.
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Choosing Between ‘Saw V’ and ‘High School Musical 3’

It’s a fiendish dilemma worthy of Jigsaw himself. Next week, "Saw V" and "High School Musical 3" will hit theaters on the same day! How can a person with limited time and money possibly choose which one to see?! Don’t fret, Hector. We’ve got you c...
Clay Aiken

In Which Clay Aiken Fans Irritate Me

If you felt the world rocking yesterday afternoon, it's probably because of this: (If you're wondering how he has a son, it was through in vitro fertilization, and the mother is Clay's friend Jaymes Foster, who is a woman despite being named Jayme...
TIFF 2008

Dispatches from the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival

9/8/08 Film festivals have a reputation for disdaining mainstream Hollywood movies in favor of obscure, artsy stuff — a reputation that in many cases is well deserved, by the way — but the Toronto International Film Festival seems to have no such co...
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The Sad Decline of the National Lampoon Label

The producers of a 2006 disaster called "National Lampoon’s Pledge This!" are suing the film’s star, Paris Hilton, for failing to do her part in promoting the movie when it was released. It seems to me that not telling anyone she’s in a movie IS the ...
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Regarding the Movie ‘Bottle Shock’

Adjectives Actually Used to Describe Wine in the New Film "Bottle Shock": round woolly chewy unctuous Adjectives That Should Also Be Acceptable to Describe Wine, Then, If Those Are OK: blasphemous pouty ambidextrous runny bow-legged pentag...
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Other Household Items That Deserve Their Own Horror Movies

This week a creepy-looking film called "Mirrors" will hit theaters, and if it does its job, it will make audiences terrified of all reflective surfaces for months to come. You’ll see people walking around with their makeup badly applied or their hair...
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Relax, People: The Message in ‘WALL-E’ Is Harmless

“Environmentalism” has become a loaded word that divides people down political lines. Conservatives hear it and envision dirty tree-huggers who care more about plants than people, while liberals think of greedy corporations that see nothing wrong wit...
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So You Wanna Be an Internet Movie Critic?

Being a movie critic for the Internet is nice. Every morning, I drive down to Internet headquarters, punch the ol’ time card, and put in a solid eight hours. Then every Friday, the Internet writes me a check. The Internet is a great boss! All kidd...
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Animals That Need to Have Horror Movies Made About Them

A movie called "Rogue" was dumped into theaters a few weeks ago on just a handful of screens with virtually no advertising. Predictably, nobody saw it. This is a shame, because the movie was about a GIANT CROCODILE THAT EATS PEOPLE! So was last year’...
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Fan Rant: Quit Tossing in Extra Scenes After the Movie’s Already Over

Cranky Eric© sez ... Hey, people who make movies: Stop putting scenes after the closing credits. If you want me to watch it, put it IN THE MOVIE, not after it. It has been well established that when a list of names starts scrolling up against ...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone XV

(For complete background on this feature, read the introduction here. But here's the gist: I registered a fake e-mail address for actress/singer Raven-Symone and announced it here, with the disclaimer that it wasn't real, figuring dumb people would i...
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My 2008 SXSW Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Friday, March 7): Yee-haw, dude! I am once again in Austin, capital city of Texas and hipster capital of the South, for the South By Southwest Film Festival. This is only my third time at SXSW, but it's already one of my favorite annual event...
Academy Awards Oscars

Every Oscar Speech Ever Given

Thank you. Oh wow. I am continuing to express my disbelief as the applause dies down. Now that the applause has ceased, I begin my speech outright. First, let me make a transparently false claim of utter surprise at having won! I would also like t...

I Never Thought the Vanity Fair Party Was All That Great Anyhow…

By now you’ve heard the news, the dreadful news, that Vanity Fair has canceled its traditional Oscar-night party due to fears that the writers’ strike would ruin the Academy Awards ceremony. Many Hollywood types are positively despondent over the new...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone XIV

(For complete background on this feature, read the introduction here. But here's the gist: I registered a fake e-mail address for actress/singer Raven-Symone and announced it here, with the disclaimer that it wasn't real, figuring dumb people would i...
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My 2008 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, January 17): Have 12 months really elapsed since the last time we cavorted in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival? A look at the calendar confirms it. And here we are again, movie critics, journalists, filmmakers, showbi...
Batman MASH

Batman in the Operating Room: Why Some Comedy Isn’t Funny

Robert Reed was a classically trained actor whose most famous role was that of the dad on "The Brady Bunch." He was evidently a prickly fellow and constantly harassed the show's producers about its lousy scripts. I get the feeling that for him, worki...
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News Flash! The MPAA Rating System Is Complete Crap!

The MPAA rating system is totally screwed up, as everyone other than the MPAA itself knows. Savvy moviegoers have figured out the bizarre system of morality employed by the MPAA and have learned to disregard it as irrelevant at best, misleading at wo...
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Why Must Michael Bay Focus So Much on the Robots?

You probably visit Michael Bay’s website a lot. I know I do. How else will I know what Michael Bay is thinking? But I have to say I was disappointed in his New Year’s Eve entry. He wrote: “For the millions of viewers that logged on this year I wan...
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Only 165 People Paid to See Jessica Simpson’s New Movie

Think how sad you would be if you were Jessica Simpson. You’d have the failed marriage, the jacked-up teeth, and the fact that you’re kind of dumb all staring you in the face every day. And now you’d have something else to add to your list of woes: a...
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The Hobbit Movies Are Coming, But Will They Be Any Good?

Like most sentient beings, I loved the "Lord of the Rings" films. I didn’t convert my parents’ basement into the Shire or shave hair off the dog and glue it to my feet or write my diary in an elfin language or anything like that — but upon leaving th...
2007collage

The Best and Worst Movies of 2007

When 2007 began, some feared it would be a terrible year for movies, mostly because of the slew of "threequels" that threatened to dominate the summer. But as it turns out, 2007 was a fantastic movie year, one of the best in recent memory. For the mo...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2007

Whoever thought of measuring time in "years" is awesome! If time just continued endlessly, without starting over every 12 months or so, we'd be deprived of end-of-the-year features like this one. And then where would we be? This is simply my recou...
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Will Newspaper Film Critics Become Extinct?

All across America, daily newspapers are feeling the pinch as more and more readers turn to the Internet for their news, weather, and dangerously uninformed opinions. Circulation is down. Staff members are being laid off. And one of the most expendab...
Jason Lee

Money: Or, Why You Can’t Blame Jason Lee for Making ‘The Chipmunks’

Jason Lee is a funny guy. He makes millions of people laugh every Thursday night on "My Name Is Earl." He has talent. So why did he provide the voice of the title character in this summer’s awful "Underdog" movie? And why is he the main human charact...
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Seven People Not Being Considered for Justice League Roles

It was announced a few weeks ago that a Justice League movie was in the works, and the response within the nerd community was overwhelming: “We like Wonder Woman’s breasts!” Also, there has been some discussion of casting. The Justice League, if y...
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Using Oscar’s Unwritten Rules to Predict the Winners

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a lot of rules for the Oscars. For example, a film isn’t eligible if it was shown on TV before it appeared in theaters. Also, a film cannot be nominated as a feature if it is less than 40 minutes lo...

Hollywood Is Terrible with History

Historical epics have been popular in Hollywood ever since the early days of film. Why, one of very the first experimental films was a 30-second mini-scene of Thomas Edison dancing around dressed up as Cleopatra, although it’s possible this was inten...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone XIII

(For complete background on this feature, read the introduction here. But here's the gist: I registered a fake e-mail address for actress/singer Raven-Symone and announced it here, with the disclaimer that it wasn't real, figuring dumb people would i...
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The 5 Types of Idiots You Meet in Movie Theaters

Watching a movie is — or should be — a solitary experience. A good movie can draw you into its world and immerse you completely in the story. That’s why the screens are so big and the sound systems are so loud: to help you lose yourself in the action...
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An Open Letter to Eugene Levy

Dear Eugene Levy, First of all, understand that we love you. Ever since your days on "SCTV," you’ve made us laugh with your nerdy, larger-than-life characters. Your performances in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries — "Waiting for Guffman" and "...
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Fun with Bad Movie-Promotion Ideas

The Associated Press reported last week that a couple of Philadelphia TV hosts had apologized for a promotion that involved giving away a bullet-riddled jacket in conjunction with the movie "Shoot ‘Em Up." Such a promotion sounds only mildly tacky...
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‘Shoot ‘Em Up’: At Last, Truth in Movie Titling!

Editor’s Note: I hope you’ll enjoy a column from our newest writer, Eric D. Snider. Eric comes to us from a site cleverly named ericdsnider.com, but he’s been published in a number of venues including RottenTomatoes and EFilmCritic.com. His style is ...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone XII

(For background on this feature, read the opening paragraphs of the previous entry. But here's the gist: I registered a fake e-mail address for actress/singer Raven-Symone and announced it here, with the disclaimer that it wasn't real, figuring dumb ...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone XI

Some kids don't understand the Internet. They see their favorite celebrity's name mentioned in a movie review, and they think whoever wrote the review knows that celebrity personally. So they write to the reviewer and ask, "Do you have Raven-Symone's...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone Part X

Some kids don't understand the Internet. They see their favorite celebrity's name mentioned in a movie review, and they think whoever wrote the review knows that celebrity personally. So they write to the reviewer and ask, "Do you have Raven-Symone's...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone IX

For those of you just joining us, a while back I got annoyed with dumb people thinking that because I had reviewed someone's movie, that must mean I had contact information for that person. In particular, Raven-Symone's fans seemed certain I had her ...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone VIII

See the previous entries in this category (there's a list in the right-hand column of this page) for details. Basically, these are people writing to an e-mail address that they mistakenly believe belongs to Raven-Symone. If you do not know who Raven-...
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My 2007 SXSW Film Festival Diary

Day 1: Friday, March 9 Yee-haw! Throw a saddle on your cousin and paint a fence post! It's time for Austin's South by Southwest, the rootin'-est, tootin'-est film festival this side of the Mississippi! Actually, as I discovered last year -- and a...
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Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Liberty Will Prevail,’ ‘Let Us Unite’

This is it, kids: The last edition of "Bad 9/11 Poetry." I thought there would be another one, but I realized the other two poems I have were written by fourth-graders, and I'm not going to mock the post-9/11 literary efforts of schoolchildren. Of gr...
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Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone VII

Click the "Children's Letters to Raven-Symone" category at the right for previous entries, which give a fuller background. The basics: Kids and stupid adults think that if a Web site mentions a famous person, the site must somehow be connected to tha...
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My 2007 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 18): Do not be alarmed! The powerful smell coming from the mountains of Park City, Utah, is not biochemical or toxic in nature. It is merely the vigorous scent of independent film! (Yes, it smells like profanity and lesbians.)...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2006

America has been the world's film capital for nearly as long as there have been movies, definitely in terms of popularity and arguably in terms of quality, too. (Countries with smaller film industries might have a better ratio of good-to-bad simply b...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2006

I love the end of the year! I love lists and best-ofs and recaps. So in that spirit, in 2004 I started keeping a daily log of what I watched and read, the better to facilitate a late-December summary of my media-consumption habits. As I said in 20...
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The Real World: Modern Mormonism as Found in ‘Mobsters and Mormons’ and ‘States of Grace’

This article was written on assignment for Irreantum, a literary journal published by the Association for Mormon Letters. It was never published, however, due to some managerial chaos that ensued after the journal's editor died unexpectedly in 2006. ...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone VI

As regular readers will recall, this feature began after I was inexplicably pestered by Raven-Symone fans who wanted her e-mail address, despite there being no earthly reason to think I would have it. Weary of them, I finally registered a fake addres...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Ballad of 9/11/01,’ ‘Love Will Always Prevail’

Two more poems written by Utahns in the days after 9/11, submitted (unsolicited) to the newspaper I was working for at the time. By the way, we only have two more editions of this feature before the well runs dry. So those who don't like it only h...
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Perfectly Harmless Instant Messenger Statements That Will Get You in Trouble If the Government Is Spying on You

Perfectly Harmless Instant Messenger Statements That Will Get You in Trouble If the Government Is Spying on You i thought my jokes about congress would kill, but they totally bombed my dad's gonna blow up at me when he finds out i helped toilet p...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Freedom Flight 93,’ ‘Our Nation Weeps’

A couple more poems written by Utahns in the days after 9/11, submitted to the newspaper I was working for at the time. Freedom Flight 93 by Crystal Ann Pett Just like a normal day, I felt the sun arise me with it's rays. And from my heart, I ...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone V

I know you've been jonesin' for more Children's Letters to Raven-Symone, so here's another batch of them. I'll try to post them more often so we can get caught up. Basic background: I registered symone.raven@gmail.com and posted it on this blog, s...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone IV

Here are some more e-mails sent to symone.raven@gmail.com, an address that does NOT belong to Raven-Symone, but because Raven's fans are dumb (i.e., they are children), they think it does. So they write to it all the time. This entry has more details...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Our American Pride,’ ‘Open Letter to: Our Phantom Foe’

Some more Bad 9/11 Poetry for you to enjoy. The basic background is that average citizens wrote poems and submitted them to the Utah newspaper I worked for after Sept. 11, 2001, evidently hoping we would publish them. We did not. I am publishing them...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone III

Wow, we have a lot to catch up on here. These are e-mails sent to symone.raven@gmail.com, an address that does NOT belong to singer/actress/chubster Raven-Symone. Only stupid people think it does. Stupid people, and children. (I recommend this prior ...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Untitled’ and ‘Declared Tumble’

While combing through the digital catacombs of my computer files, I found something I'd forgotten about: BAD 9/11 POETRY. You see, after the 9/11 attacks five years ago, people who had theretofore never written poetry decided now was the time to s...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone II

Here's another batch of e-mails sent to symone.raven@gmail.com, an address that does NOT go to singer/actress Raven-Symone, but that a lot of people seem to think does. (For background, read this previous blog entry.) CHILDREN'S LETTERS TO RAVEN-SYM...
dearraven

Children’s Letters to Raven-Symone

The story so far: In July 2005, I wrote a blog entry about an exchange I had with someone who wanted actress/singer Raven-Symone's e-mail address. There was no reason I would have that information, of course; this was a kid who thought that becaus...
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My 2006 SXSW Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Friday, March 10): Austin! Capital city of Texas, and one of the least Texas-y cities in the state, from what I'm told. You don't hear as many Texas accents as you'd expect, nor see as many cowboy hats and giant belt buckles, nor witness as m...
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My 2006 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 19): For some people, Sundance begins on a Thursday. Those people are called suckas. Day 1's activities are limited to one (1) screening of a specially selected "opening night" movie, in a big gala whoop-de-doo usually hosted b...
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Possible Names for Rock Bands, as Suggested by News Stories in 2005

Possible Names for Rock Bands, as Suggested by News Stories in 2005 Schiavo & the Feeding Tubes Papal Deathwatch The Filibusters Interregnum & the Congress of Cardinals TomKat Box Office Slump Oprah's Couch Senate Confirmation Heckuv...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2005

This is the seventh year I've done a Top 10 list, and I've never had such difficulty choosing a No. 1. There were many good films this year, but nothing that stands out as the clear-cut winner. So while I'm happy with my No. 1 choice, the films in th...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2005

For the second year in a row, I kept a "media diary" in 2005: a list of every TV show and movie I watched, every play I attended, and every book I read. This enables me to look back on my media diet and see what I was consuming. (The answer: "Jeopard...
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My 2005 CineVegas Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Saturday, June 11): The most noticeable thing about Las Vegas is the heat. Some of the natives today were talking about how it's been "mild" so far this June, meaning it's only been around 90. Fiery Las Vegas hosts a film festival in June; th...
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My 2005 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005): The first day of Sundance is always a Thursday, and the only event is the opening-night film in Park City, which is preceded by a welcome address from festival founder and timid woodland creature Robert Redford. As a...
2005collage

The Best and Worst Movies of 2004

There were 293 films released in Salt Lake City this year. I reviewed 245 of them. Of the 48 I missed, only one was a major release -- "Vanity Fair," for which I missed the press screening due to illness and never got around to watching thereafter --...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2004

As Americans, we spend hundreds of hours a year consuming mass media. I am no exception. In fact, thanks to commercial-skipping technology and careful planning, sometimes I consume hundreds of hours of mass media in one day. But where is all that tim...
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Ten Words You Seldom Hear Spoken in Prayers at Church

Ten Words You Seldom Hear Spoken in Prayers at Church knapsack zesty ninja haltertop tetherball Value-Meal spicy holla bear claw pirate
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My 2004 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004): The first day of Sundance is the big gala opening night special whoop-de-doo where Redford blabs for a few minutes about the importance of independent film, and then they show a movie. Except this year, they weren't ...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2003

2003 was dominated by "Lord of the Rings," with "The Two Towers" occupying everyone's attention at the beginning, anticipation for "Return of the King" keeping us alive through the middle, and the actual viewing of "Return of the King" giving the yea...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Untitled’

More bad poetry inspired by 9/11. (See this entry for background.) Untitled by Sharee Thomas America Choice land, A gift from God. Freedom, Fought for and earned By generations of the past. Wealth, unparalleled, bought by sacrifice endu...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘I Love My Country’

More bad poetry inspired by 9/11. (See this entry for background.) I Love My Country by Lenore Allan Brinkerhoff A terrible blow to our great U.S.A. -- 9-11-01 we'll all recall that horrible day. 8:48 a.m. The first devastation on one great ...
bad911poetry

Bad 9/11 poetry: ‘Life Goes On’

Immediately after 9/11 happened, The Daily Herald (where I worked at the time) was bombarded with poetry written by locals who apparently believed that, in times of national emergency, The Daily Herald became a literary journal. We had a long-standin...
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My 2003 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 16, 2003): It was my fourth year of full-time festival coverage -- the advantage of being a member of the press in Utah -- but only the first time that I'd attended the opening gala in Salt Lake City. This is where people dress...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2002

Movie critics and normal people are living in peace and harmony. Glance at my list of the best movies of 2002 and you'll find no foreign films, no Sundance Film Festival entries, and only one documentary. If you're a regular movie-goer, you'll pro...