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8/29/2002 06:47:58 PM

My animated LEGO Trilogy shorts collection will be screening at the Bumpin’ Big Top at midnight this Saturday as part of a “Best of The Lost Film Festival” program for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. The entire program is also available on DVD, which will be sold at the screening and can be ordered from the merchandise section of the Lost Film Fest web site. Tickets are available online for the rather outrageous sum of $10 and I’m guessing they’ll be available at the door as well. The Bumpin’ Big Top is located on Wood St (one block north of Vine St) between 2nd and 3rd. Check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.

8/28/2002 12:12:51 AM

During a relaxing and uneventful four days in Ocean City, MD, I couldn’t say no to “The Metal Issue” of Spin on the rack at the 7-11, and shucks if I only own half of the 40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time. I know this is all a matter of opinion and everything, but I thought that even a rag as insipid as Spin might have put together a more sensible list, and might even have included some records that Billboard never heard of. How foolish of me. I haven’t heard the second Queens of the Stone Age album, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong ahead of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, nor, for that matter, does Korn’s Follow The Leader (?!).

8/18/2002 03:21:40 AM

After having been informed that an MP3 from the forthcoming Dillinger Escape Plan / Mike Patton collaboration is now online, I rushed home to download it. I had to listen to it like five times in a row. So far, it sounds even better than I had hoped (which is saying a lot considering how highly I regard the talent involved). The EP comes out on August 27 (on Epitaph Records, for some reason). Go get the MP3 here.

8/13/2002 09:57:27 AM

I drove 100 miles last night to see Andrew W.K. play in Towson, MD (near Baltimore). I found out about the show three hours before I left.

The show was opened by some crappy Seattle screamo pop punk band with matching tattoos called Vendetta Red, followed by the carefully groomed punkers Total Chaos (they’re still around and they’re still not joking), who were quick to inform the uninitiated that they are “a band that’s been around for a long time.” You know an era has come and gone when Exploited clones are covering Twisted Sister.

The uninspiring openers gave me a good chance to assess the crowd, which was an odd mix of whitehats and various phyla of high school outcasts, most of them self-conscious in the sort of way that would compel them to have a discussion about starting a mosh pit before actually doing it. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, maybe 30% of the crowd was female.

All social disparity in the audience vanished when Mr. W.K. and company took the stage and pummeled the inhabitants of the room into a large sweaty mass of concentrated positive energy. The show was everything I hoped it would be: loud, intense, and excruciatingly fun. They closed the show with “Party Hard,” at which point there were about 40 of us on the stage, smiles up and down, fists in the air, dancing with furious abandon. It was truly a night to remember.

8/8/2002 06:22:21 PM

At long last, The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season DVD set arrived yesterday. As with the first season set, the special features are pretty weak (I’m finding that to be the case on most DVDs now, actually), but those shortcomings are far outweighed by the fact that the season has been preserved in its entirety for consumer posterity. The commentary by various key players (Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, et al) is generally pretty good too. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take them a whole other year to release the third season…

Since I was so greatly pleased by the Simpsons DVD arrival, it was only inevitable that misfortune (however foolishly self-inflicted) should befall me shortly thereafter. Late last night I discovered that I had somehow managed to delete my Internet Explorer favorites file. I spent most of today rebuilding it from memory and I’m sure I haven’t recovered even half the URLs yet. Boo to that.

8/3/2002 10:04:38 PM

M. Night Shyamalan is smart. He knows people don’t want to see a movie about Mel Gibson struggling with his faith if it doesn’t somehow involve, you know, aliens and crop circles and shit. The slogan in the Signs commercials encourages you, “Don’t see it alone,” but I would shorten it to “Don’t see it.”

8/3/2002 02:05:11 PM

This month’s Exhumed Films event (which was last night) featured two films from Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna, the director/producer team behind 1985’s fantastic Re-Animator. For that reason, I had kind of high hopes for Dagon and From Beyond. And for that reason, I was doomed to even greater disappointment.

Like Re-Animator, both films were based on short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. Now, it’s only fair to mention that I’ve never actually read any Lovecraft, but having hung around role-players and comics dorks for years and having listened to much heavy metal, I think I get the gist of the kinds of stories he writes. From what I understand, the original stories, each based on a fairly simple concept, were likely not long enough to substantiate a 90-minute film, but feature-length narratives were dragged out of them kicking and screaming anyway.

Dagon was by far the worse offender of the two. For every twenty minutes of film, there was about one minute of actual plot, and those brief moments suffered at the hands of a drunken narrator with an unintelligible Spanish accent. Otherwise, we just watched as our hapless hero was chased and chased and chased and chased through the dramatic thunder and lightning by an entire village of zombie fish-people with bad makeup (which isn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds).

While From Beyond shared some of Dagon’s afflictions (namely the thinness of plot), it was much more enjoyable, due largely to its casting and stylistic similarities to Re-Animator. Great comedic performances by Jeffrey Combs and Ken Foree and some really fun makeup and effects (not to mention Barbara Crampton’s requisite nudie scenes) saved this movie from its script.

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