... I know somebody I need to buy one for. Jesus Christ, I wish they'd shut up already. We get it! You're impressed with the fucking tapwater! God!
Anyway, mixed bag of reviews this week.
A couple'r'three books I read:
No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey To the Inner Circle of the Hell's Angels - Jay Dobyns and Nils Johnson-Shelton, Three Rivers Press 2009.
Unputdownable account of an ATF agent who managed the almost-unthinkable and infiltrated the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle club, posing as a hitman/debt collector for another club. On the way Jay got so wrapped up in the case that he lost his real self and almost lost his family, too, by becoming the outlaw biker he was posing as. The book is extremely well-written and compelling, full of both honest self-criticism about bad things he did and a fair amount of bragging (but hey, anyone brave enough to infiltrate the Hells Angels has the right to crow a bit). The Hell's Angels come across as sympathetic yet pathetic, criminal yet noble in a way... and that seems like a fair assessment. You admire Jay's bravery, yet also feel he's a rat, even though he was doing his job, and you admire the Hells Angels loyalty and stand-up attitude, yet also despise some of their behavior. There's lots of interesting detail and I liked this as much as I did William Queen's account of infiltrating the Mongols MC, Under And Alone, which is also recommended (and probably not going to be filmed, unfortunately, because it was a Mel Gibson project). And to give the other side equal time, you can't go wrong picking up any of Sonny Barger's books.
A Hells Angel supporter posted a documentary against him, starting here:
Suck It, Wonder Woman! : The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek - Olivia Munn, St. Martin's Press, 2010
A series of essays (and pictures, which is a big selling point 'cuz the woman's gorgeous) on various funny things, some true stories about her experiences as an unpopular child, and others as a too-pretty-for-her-own-good adult (Hollywood types always seem to be masturbating at her, showing her collages of their girlfriend's vaginas (which she describes as looking like "sloppy open-faced Reuben sandwiches"), or acting in various other horrible ways). And a few things are just funny bits (what to do when robots invade, zombie sex tips) or advice (humorous yet sincere), things she did on Attack of the Show, and obsessing about pie. It's nothing terribly profound or fall-down funny, but she's highly likeable and it's consistently entertaining. A must for any Olivia Munn fan, and if you're not one of those, what the fuck's wrong with you?
Olivia Munn as a rebellious Southern teenager ("It itches sometime!")
Olivia Munn as a Bond girl ("Don't stop, don't you stop at all you dirty pay-nis!")
Olivia practicing smiling (I don't know why this one cracks me up so bad, but it does)
Olivia and vagina juice ("Some people have a problem with me saying awesome things....")
The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee - Sarah Silverman, Harper 2010
One of the world's funniest women explains how childhood humiliation warped her into a comedienne who can innocently say shocking things (which much of the public frankly doesn't understand -- there are layers to what she does) and cause controversy even when she's not trying to. Biographical info is shot through with jokes, so even though it's sometimes hard to separate her comic persona from her true self, I think you can kind of make it out here, and she's much more of a sweetheart than she'd have you believe in her act. Not likely to disappoint any Sarah fan, which you should be.
Discussing the book:
Another discussion of the book
Early standup footage (brilliant! "You look like Rocky...")
Jewish People driving German Cars:
Some movies I watched:
Call of Cthulhu (B&W, 2005) Some talented guys wondered what it might look like if someone had decided to adapt H. P. Lovecraft's work back in the silent era, so they made this film. Despite having a very low budget, I believe they pulled it off beautifully, and Lovecraft seems to work better silent. He's still pretty close to unfilmable, since part of his power is drawing pictures in your mind that are more awesomely horrible than anything you could see in a film, but this movie may be as close as it can get. Using old-school techniques (miniatures, stop motion, forced perspective, etc.) with judicious use of green screen and such, they manage to deliver a convincingly old-looking film with some surreal elements (which are often courtesy of budget-cutting tricks working in their favor). Working from papers let to him, a professor researches a cult based on a dead-but-dreaming god, Cthulhu, who may be more real than anyone dared imagine. His research goes from accounts of unholy rites in a Louisiana swamp to a confrontation in a frozen ocean. It's only about 45 minutes long, but that keeps it moving, and it's a very impressive effort, worth seeking out for Lovecraft fans or any aspiring filmmakers who want to see what you can do when you have more ambition than money.
Good news! They're working on "Whisperer in Darkness," too - trailer looks great!
Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (C, 1966) aka Kommissar X : Jagd Auf Unbekannt. West German/Italian entry into the Kommissar X series of James Bond ripoffs, based on some German espionage novels. A woman hires high-end playboy/detective Joe Walker to find a missing nuclear physicist, while another woman (named Bobo) wants him to protect her from a jealous fiance. Both women have hair-helmets the color of silver tarnish. Joe takes the nuclear physicist case, even though previous guys contacted for it were killed by car bombs and exploding tennis balls. Joe is nearly shot by a sniper rifle disguised as a radio. People around him are killed with poison darts, and he tracks bad guys to their hideouts by giving out transmitter rings. After a few fistfights, shoot-outs, and seductions, Joe is captured by a megalomaniacal old man on an island full of massive amounts of stolen radioactive gold and an army of identical blonde go-go girls who've been drugged into a state of robot-ness. After a girl helps him escape, Joe and the all-girl army fight the bad guys and his henchmen, trying to stop the island from blowing up despite booby traps and electromagnetic fences that steal Joe's gun. Not to be taken too seriously, but it keeps moving and has 60's style to burn.
Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, The (C, 2005) I have a fascination with the truly pathetic, so when something reminded me of this guy I had to seek out this documentary on his career. Jim Helwig and his "Ultimate Warrior" character pretty much ruined WWF wrestling for me when I was a kid, because his character was so silly and corny that it seemed to make a sad joke out of the whole business. I wasn't ever a mark who thought wrestling was "for real" - I was already old enough to recognize what was going on - but the "Ultimate Warrior" gimmick was just too much. It's not all his fault, because the WWF was already becoming too cartoonish to not insult one's intelligence, but Ultimate Warrior was the last straw with his obvious lack of in-ring skill, inability to move a plotline, his incoherent idiotic rants (he never made sense and he never shut up, and that's a bad combo), and all that dayglo aerobicize shit and the silly little "I'm getting power from the warriors in the audience!" dances he'd do were just too much to put up with without scrambling for the remote to see if maybe the Freebirds or Long Riders were having a match on another channel. At least you could still pretend their stuff was legit. Anyway, what used to annoy the hell out of me now seems hilarious, and the Ultimate Warrior is the Manos Hands of Fate of the wrestling world; it just doesn't get any worse. When you add to that that his life seems to just be a snowball of pitiful narcissism, it gets even funnier. They're pretty rough on him in this documentary, with all of his unprofessionalism and ingratitude toward the people who were the only reason anyone ever heard of him is laid out like a coprophagia buffet. Interviews with Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bobby Heenan, Ted DiBiase, Chris Jericho, Mean Gene Okerlund, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and others spell out the whole history, complete with footage from matches from both WCW and WWF stints, and Warrior promos (they need to put out a whole disc of those -- I almost pissed myself laughing at the torrent of stupidity this grown man was babbling). The documentary unfortunately doesn’t go into his life after wrestling, which got even more bizarre and pathetic, when he got completely lost in his own ego and worship of this extremely lame, corny concept, changed his name legally to “Warrior,” and became a conservative pundit, spewing racist and sexist swill, and selling nonsensical comic books (in one issue, he raped Santa Claus!) This guy exists for no reason but to be laughed at, especially when you consider the amazing amount of work, pain, and dedication he had to put in to become... that. I mean, no doubt, the guy’s physique is incredibly impressive, but when he used to make himself into a clown, it’s just funny. But, he made a ton of money off of it, so, what the hell if it’s lame? Even if you’re not into wrestling, this documentary should prove fascinating and almost too silly to bear. Warrior put in litigation against Vince McMahon for some of the things in this documentary, and it wouldn’t surprise me much if there weren’t some unfairness in it (as Bobby Heenan said, nobody in the wrestling business likes the guy), but Warrior’s so goofy that seeing him at all was enough to crack me up.
Go take a pee before you watch this one... "Now you must deal with the creation of all the unpleasantries in the entire universe as I feel the injection from the gods above!" "Come in, where nightmares are the best part of my day!"
Whole thing online starting here:
Here's a review of the "Ultimate Warrior Rapes Santa Claus" comic book, which is too hilarious and weird to believe.