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August 2008 Archives

August 31, 2008

Book Review: The Timewaster Letters

When I first started reading, the book made me laugh consistently. Each letter is a miniature comic gem, and in many cases the oblivious responses enhance the humor. However, like every piece of humor that gets its laughs at the expense of others, the more I read, the more I considered the dark side. While a few of the recipients seemed to, at the very least, find amusement in these odd letters, the overwhelming majority are just innocent folks who just happen to enjoy halibut or have a job affiliated with insulation. These letters, then, become a slightly more highbrow version of a prank phone call. I felt bad for the recipients, who mostly replied in good faith, and I felt guilty for finding “Cooper”‘s letters so funny.

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Film Monthly, Reviews

August 24, 2008

Stargate Atlantis and Other Disasters

On Thursday, news broke that Stargate Atlantis would conclude its run at the end of this season, its fifth. I stopped covering the show in November when my consistent disappointment led me to repeat the same thing week after week….

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

August 31, 2008

Labor Day Special

Just kidding. There’s nothing special about this column except that there was barely anything on TV this week. Eureka (Sci-Fi) — I won’t lie and say I suddenly don’t mind the love triangle, because even a mild declaration like that…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

August 17, 2008

Attention, Readers: Watch The Middleman

I’m not kidding. It’s hilarious. ABC Family, Mondays, 10PM Eastern. Burn Notice (USA) — They’re just toying with me now. My long-desired body-slam of the crime-of-the-week and overarching “who burned me?” storylines might be right around the corner, but now…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

August 10, 2008

Minor Nitpicks

Burn Notice (USA) — Last season, I had a minor quibble with this otherwise excellent show: their reliance on have pat, unbelievable resolutions to the problems-of-the-week. They stick Michael with these bad-ass, take-no-prisoners criminals, and then by the end it’s…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

August 3, 2008

Mad Men and Eureka Return

Burn Notice (USA) — This episode gave us an interesting look at something that Burn Notice hasn’t explored much — Cold War-style spy games. Andrew Divoff (who appeared on Lost as Mikhail, the eyepatch-wearing immortal psychopath) lent support as the ring-leader of…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

August 15, 2008

Fresh Outta High School 9

I can’t deny the high expectations built up from the first eight in the Fresh Outta High School series, but I still tried to maintain objectivity when I popped the DVD in my player. I don’t intend to sugarcoat my opinions, so if you consider yourself a fan of this series, you might want to sit down. Fresh Outta High School 9 might be the biggest disaster of 2008.

What an absolute embarrassment for all involved, from the cast to the production crew. Everything that made the previous films special, different, innovative — up in smoke. What remains is a horrific amalgam of poor direction, fresh-off-the-street (or -boat) acting and shoddy production design. I’d like to try to find an explanation for what went wrong.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

August 29, 2008

It’s a Young Girls Thing #7

Two weeks ago, I rode director Greg Lansky hard for his inept sequel, Fresh Outta High School 9. Unlike other filmmakers of limited means, Lansky opted to coast on past successes by attempting to insert an inferior product. Well, I wasn’t swallowing it, and It’s a Young Girls Thing #7 might do a good job of explaining why.

You see, the uncredited director hired by Legal Pink Productions did a fucking phenomenal (in more ways than one) job of using his limitations to his advantage. With the exception of some sloppy production design (scenes two and four shared the same room, swapping out chairs without making an effort to mask the distinctive and unattractive bamboo glued to the wall), It’s a Young Girls Thing #7 gives audiences exactly what they want, but this doesn’t satisfy the director. He pushes everything a little harder (in more ways than one), and I thank him for it.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

August 1, 2008

King Cobra

“Hi, my name is Creampuff. At least, that’s what they call me, anyways. And this is the story of how I ran away, lost my virginity, lost my virginity again, ran away again, got kidnapped by bikers and turned into a rowdy biker bitch. Hope you like it.”

When I heard Creampuff’s (Page Morgan) opening narration, I came very close to leaping to my feet and applauding. Why? Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is a brilliant premise. Imagine an exploration of a sheltered, naïve girl thrust (in more ways than one) into a world of debauchery and depravity rarely witnessed on film. Imagine it. Imagine the level of character depth and thematic insight required to do justice to such an ambitious concept.

Imagine it, because if you watch King Cobra, you won’t see any of it.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

August 8, 2008

Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Mom!

After having extensive practice with their Cuckold series, the blood-brother team of Grip and Cram Johnson have perfected the awkward three-person adult film with Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Mom! Equal parts character study, race-relations exploration and full-blown (pun intended) comedy, the film’s assured direction and improvised dialogue make it quite an achievement, both artistically and commercially.

A study in contrasts, the Johnsons have decided Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Mom into an anthology of four parallel stories. In each, a shocked young-adult child discovers his mother in a compromising position with an African-American “gentleman caller” (as Vanessa Videl euphemistically refers to partner Byron Long). The shocked offspring watch with a mixture of horror and fascination as the Nubian princes ravage their mothers with aplomb.

Having one of the three members of the scene remain fully clothed and able to shine as an actor or actress, the Johnsons step up the inherent drama of forbidden sexual liaisons. The dialogue, improvised by each actor (who were clearly given little more than character “types” that they flesh out on the spot with unparalleled brilliance and wit), ranges from laugh-out-loud funny to heart-wrenching. The reactions of the sons and daughters, and the interaction between them and the mothers and “Negroes,” make the film worth watching.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

August 22, 2008

Screwing Asia

“Oh, big American cock. Can’t get enough.” This line, uttered by Keeani Lei, opens Screwing Asia, and it does the job of summarizing Frank Marks’ grim depiction of race relations in the U.S. The film cannot, by any measure, be considered a high-quality endeavor, but it does have some fascinating moments that manage to simultaneously undermine and support Marks’ filmic treatise.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

August 31, 2008

Stan McKagan Proposes a Ban on Breast Implants

CANOGA PARK, CA — I’m very surprised that, with the recent admission of several websites that video and subscription-service sales have gone down, no one has yet stated what appears to be obvious to me. The cause of all these problems are fake breast implants.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prowled the Internet for a new erotic adventure to enjoy, only to be taken in by misguided reviews declaring, “This bitch has perfect tits!” Perfect tits, I always think, stroking my soul-patch in deep contemplation. I have to see this. As soon as I click on the link, the cover photo or screenshot captures throw me into a fit of rage and disappointment. Of course they have perfect tits — they’re 100% fake.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

August 30, 2008

Harry Brown

Author: Gary Young Genre: Drama/Action Storyline: 5 Dialogue: 8 Characterization: 6 Writer’s Potential: 8 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Recommend Logline:An elderly ex-marine takes matters into his own hands when a gang of crack-smoking thugs murder his best friend. Synopsis:Grainy, blurry…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 1:35 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage