Sauce

I won a $25 gift card by winning the Kiwi trivia quiz at Borders. I’m really glad I won, because if I’d come first or second I would have ended up with a book about tramping.

A month or so ago I ended up doing the sports quiz with some friends. I miserably failed – something like six out of 40, but it was fun. Tonight I noticed a few people who were at the sports quiz were also there for the Kiwi quiz. So are there serial quiz attendees, people who show up every month hoping to score the big prizes? And more to the point, am I becoming one of them?

With my winnings I bought the Rough Guide to New Zealand, which is all part of my masterplan.

Oh, I also saw “Maid In Manhattan”. It’s obvious it’s the school holidays – cellphones were constantly ringing and beeping during the film. I have this theory about the films that Jennifer Lopez makes – there are J-Lo movies, and there are Jennifer Lopez films. J-Lo movies are the crappy, movie star, money-making exercises, while Jennifer Lopez films are well written, well acted and less crowd-pleasing.

“The Wedding Planner” and “Maid In Manhattan” are J-Lo movies. “Angel Eyes” and “The Cell” are Jennifer Lopez films. “Enough” might seem like a Jennifer Lopez film, but it’s actually a J-Lo movies, as “Out Of Sight” might seem like a J-Lo, but it’s actually a Jennifer Lopez.

(Actually, “Out Of Sight” is a really excellent movie. It’s one of my all-time faves, yo.)

Ok, back to “Maid In Manhattan”. J-Lo and Ralph Fiennes and the cute kid were all boring and predictable. The characters that interested me were Stanley Tucci and Amy Sedaris’ characters. He was the politician’s manager person, and she was there only to make Natasha Richardson’s character look less bitchy in comparison. But they were both bitter and disgusting and much more fun than the maid or the politician. Ah, but it’s a fairytale, so we mustn’t expect too much.

Blue skies

I saw two movies today.

1. “8 Mile”

Taryn Manning has the interesting distinction of having been in both the Britney movie (“Crossroads”) and the Eminem movie. “8 Mile” is everything that “Crossroads” was trying to be.

I saw it as Village Westgate because apparently it has the best sound, and indeed the movie did sound excellent. There’s a part where the Free World guys (the rival to Rabbit’s 31/3 posse) show up at the trailer park to give B. Rabbit some very un-funky beats. Their car has a loud stereo and it’s playing something with a loud, low ominous bassline that set the tone of the scene perfectly, without being cheesy.

The story wasn’t original, but it was subverted so it wasn’t packed full of cliches. Yeah, he meets a pretty girl who sort of becomes his girlfriend, but she sleeps with another guy, but that doesn’t make it the end of the world either.

Kim Basinger as Stephanie, Rabbit’s mom, was great. The movie could have been a great opportunity for Eminem to diss his mother, but while Stephanie was messed up, she also had good intentions and just wanted the best for her family, y’know.

The sex scene – OMG, was that perfect, or what? A friend of mine described it like this: “no fucking montage, no bullshit build-up, just quiet stamping factory sex.” Yeah, cos in the real world when people have really hot sex, instrumental songs don’t mysteriously start playing in the background.

The ending was very satisfying. In a lesser film there would have been a talent scout in the audience waving a contract, or a youth centre being saved from the evil developers. Instead all that mattered was winning the respect of a small club audience.

2. “The Hot Chick”

The movie page of the Herald was lying on the floor. There were two big ads sitting side-by-side. One was for the upcoming “Whale Rider”, the other for “The Hot Chick.” I realised that if I didn’t see “The Hot Chick” soon, there would be a point where I would actually pick seeing it over seeing “Whale Rider”, which seemed morally wrong.

So I saw “The Hot Chick” and it was really dumb and really silly, and had a bit too much of that thing that also happens in Adam Sandler films where something really violent happens and it’s meant to be funny, but I laughed. I laughed heartily. I feel so dirty.

Actually, going back to “Whale Rider”, I think the hype may have killed the film for me already. All these magazines and newspapers are doing massive features on it, just like with the “Lord of the Rings” sequel. It’s like “Whale Rider” is such a beautiful work of art movie, that everyone must go and see it, and if you don’t you’re a bad New Zealander. So therefore, I must rebel and not see it. I still haven’t seen the second “Lord of the Rings” movie yet.

Batman, world peace

I’ve been watching the 1966 “Batman” movie on DVD. I’d seen it a few times before, but I’d forgotten how funny it was. I think there was a period where I would have been like “urgh, “Batman” is so cheesy” (this probably coincided with Tim Burton’s gothic “Batman” movie in 1989), but that’s the whole point: it was meant to be cheesy.

The “Batman” movie is so funny. The dialogue especially is full of zappy lines. I would try to attempt to convey the humour when sexually frustrated Bruce Wayne goes on the date with the seductive Kitka (Catwoman in disguise), but words alone don’t convey the humour. Instead, here is Batman and Robin solving some riddles:

Batman: Robin, listen to these riddles. Tell me if you interpret them as I do. One, what has yellow skin and writes?
Robin: A ballpoint banana!
Batman: Right! Two, what people are always in a hurry?
Robin: Rushing people? Russians!
Batman: Right again. Now what would you say they mean?
Robin: Banana… Russian… I’ve got it! Someone Russian is going on slip on a banana peel and break their neck!
Batman: Precisely, Robin! The only possible meaning!

The basic plot involves The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman teaming up to form the United Underworld. Their plan is to dehydrate the members of the United World Security Council. The UWSC members are so busy arguing that they don’t notice the four super villains show up and dehydrate them into small piles of coloured dust.

Eventually good wins over and Batman gets the dust back, but sadly it gets all mixed up, so it’s off to the Batcave for it to be resorted. Finally the dust is ready to be rehydrated. Small metal stands on each chair hold a test tube with the dust for each member. Water is added and, zoing, the security council members are back.

I’m not sure what happened to the metal stands, but as none of the members say “hey, how’d this metal rod get up my arse!”, I assume the stands somehow disappear. Though it is possible that again the members are too busy arguing to notice a test tube up the bum.

But it is soon discovered that there’s a bit of a mix up. The security council members minds are in different bodies. Holy Freaky Friday! Batman observes this and comments, “Who knows, Robin. This strange mixing of minds may be the greatest single service ever performed for humanity.”

So, as the world is a little bit crazy at the moment, perhaps it’s time for someone to get Commodore Schmidlapp’s dehydration device, gather up the world leaders and mix things up for greater understanding and goodwill.

Bondage

19/01/03:

I saw “Two Weeks Notice”. It was a really good romantic comedy. I am currently incapable of writing more on it because I am listening to “Mistadobalina” by Del Tha Funky Homosapien and that is currently using up the part of my brain that writes interesting movie reviews.

But now I’m not listening to ooh ooh Mista Dobolina, so I can write some stuff about that film.

The soundtrack had two songs in common with “Catch Me If You Can”. Namely, “Come fly with me” and “The look of love”. In both films, the first song was used to underscore flying in an aircraft and the second song was used in a seduction scene. However, “Two Weeks Notice” made up for such unoriginality by using “Taking care of business” during the scene where, after eating a bad hotdog, Sandra Bullock’s character finds herself stuck in traffic, really, really needed to go to the toilet.

I was going to bitch about the use of “London Calling” in “Die Another Day”. When I first saw it I thought it seemed like someone had been like “it says “London calling” a lot. Let’s use that in the first big scene set in London! OMG! That’s be so kewl!!!”. But given what happens later in the film, to have a song with lyrics like “The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in,” is quite clever.

I’ve formulated a final opinion on “Die Another Day”. I like how it’s a classic Bond movie in that it’s extravagant and ridiculous. Not like the Bond movies of the ’90s where it seemed to want to be very sensible, “Die Another Day” was full of silly crap.

By the way, my two favourite Bond films are “Live And Let Die” (Bond blacksploitation, afros, voodoo, New Orleans) and “A View To A Kill” (Grace Jones, Christopher Walken, Duran Duran).

Hamilton Rock

Back in the day, when I lived in Hamilton, I used to go out and see bands play and drink beer. There was this exceptionally good month when I saw Captain Higiz play every weekend, four weeks in a row. There were so many excellent bands back then, MSU, The Hollow Grinders, Bwa Da Riddum, Trucker, Dean and a bunch of other ones that I can’t remember.

I then got into the Hamilton BBS scene and started writing reviews of the bands I saw shortly after I staggered home from the pub drunk, or sobering up. Yeah, I was pretty hard core back then, man. Here’s two.

Friday August 2, 1996, 1:32 am

“GUYS I HAVE FUCKED”

or

“RELAX, IT’S JUST A CONCERT REVIEW, DUDE”

Hi. Ok, heat deux of the Battle o’ the Bands was tonight at the Wailing Bongo I was there. I had three handles of Export and it was very nice.

First was Department of Correction. I didn’t see them, but they came second last year, so they might have been quite good, if you’re into industrial stuff.

Handle o’ Export Number 1: Trucker

Jamie, Paul, Stan and Paul II rocked very hard. They had the whole pop/rock thing worked out really well. Jamie’s guitar was chuggin’ along nicely, Stan provided little lead parts that sounded really good, Paul’s basslines were from the Planet of Sound and Paul II’s drumming was good too. They were so good that I symbolically had part of Jo’s beer to show that Trucker were worth more than just a handle.

Handle o’ Export Number 2: Disjecta Membra(ne)

Goth dude one, goth dude two and goth dude three and goth drum machine rocked the stage dressed in black. Goth dude three, the keyboardist apparently joined the band on Saturday, but more importantly, he is in my rock music class at uni. Goth dude one sang like the guy from Bauhaus and did some wheedly bits on his guitar, goth dude two played bass and goth drum machine kept a steady beat. A lot of their music was funeral stuff with scary organ music, but they did occasionally rock out, which caused The Goth Dude to get up and dance.

Handle o’ Export Number 3: Psyclops

Metaller 1, metaller 2, metaller 3 and Dylan the drummer had a big bad rock god thing going on. Every single guitar solo was wheedly wheedly weeeeee! At one stage one of the guitarists got so carried away with the sheer emotion of the wheedla that he jumped up on the speaker stack and let it rip. The thought occurred to me “Just because a person can type fast and accurately, doesn’t mean they can write well”. Oh yeah, Dylan the Drummer turned up at my 21st.

So the fascist judges went away and got pissed then came back and said the usual “it was a really hard decision, but in the end the best band won” which meant that they all suck so Department of Erection won. If the best band had actually one then Trucker would have won, so I don’t like the judges.

The whole gang was there. Sciflyer was there and so was David Hasslehoff, but most importantly, Biff Bangle was there and I was at one stage sitting a mere two metres from him.

And as for the title, there is some significance, somewhere out there. Just don’t start psychoanalysing it.

Party at Biff Bangles House, late ’96.

A thousand and one thoughts are buzzing in my head. They need to be written down.

Johnny Fist and the Horny Mormons were between songs. Someone in the audience yelled out “Play some Bryan Adams”. Another person yelled out “play some David Hasselhoff”. I was standing there thinking, “Hey, I can do that!”. May this whole rock thing isn’t as hard as it seems.

After seeing Biff Bangle drumming I am thinking of becoming a Buddhist, so that when I die I stand the chance of being reborn as the raw materials that might one day be made into a drum kit. I can only hope that Biff Bangle would somehow end up playing me.

I got to the party by following the cars and the music. I walked in and realised that I probably didn’t know anyone there. There were all these people with face paint, wigs and stuff walking around. There were sheets of silver stuff on the walls. I started to freak out. Like I was some really straight person stumbling into a dem of debauchery. Then I thought about it. If I’d known there was a wig thing happening I would have worn one. If I had ample supplies of silver stuff I’d stick that on the walls. No worries.

The party was throughout the whole house. The music people were in the front room with the bands, the happy people were in the lounge, the goths were in the kitchen, the stoners were beyond the kitchen. There seemed to be some action in the bathroom. I was considering going to the toilet, but I thought there would probably be a few people in there with drinks.

When Johnny Fist and the Horny Mormons were playing I caught myself air-guitarring. Not full-on wheedly shit, but my hands were just sort of in guitar-playing position.

And those rock songs were so good. Their version of “Smoke on the Water” was really evilly sexy. I’ve never felt compelled to describe a performance that way before.

What does it say about the youth of today that “Camel Walk” and “Miserlou” got everyone really excited?

Getting Reviewed

Through some freak of nature, my web site ended by being reviewed in the November 1997 issue of “NetGuide” magazine.

“Robyn’s Web creation efforts began in 1996 with some bad advice from her father. The site is much better today, but you can still check out the early efforts on the site. The “bits” section is particularly interesting, describing Robyn’s experiences on IRC and her first non-enthusiastic comment on her site.”

It’s an ok review, although it seems like all that was looked at was the Bits page and nothing else.

But what disturbs me is the context in which the review is presented. It shares page 89 with reviews of six other sites. The page heading describes them as “eight of the nation’s best personal home pages”. Apart from the fact that there are only seven, it should also be noted of the six others, all but one are total crap.

Ugly animated GIFs, Java that won’t go away, badly designed pages about complete shite. Stuff that makes the BadWickedEvil page seem normal. And in the middle is my page, probably seeming just as retarded in the company.

The rest of the magazine was pretty good. Interesting articles and reviews, and really good layout.

But as cool as it is to be reviewed (and it is cool), it’s kind of disappointing to be classified with dicks.