17 May 2009

The greatest (and as far as I can tell only) Denzel Washington impression EVER!

I've never seen anyone do a Denzel impersonation, but this guy has it down cold!!! (and his Morgan Freeman isn't bad either)

14 May 2009

"Be Italian!!!!"

OK, so Bruno is gonna be hilarious, Star Trek will, I'm sure, be hugely enjoyable and The Road looks fantastic.


My MOST aniticipated movie of the year IS. THIS.

Though this 2009 Sundance AUDIENCE Award winner (which means that it WILL be great) looks pretty awesome too.

7 May 2009

The New Statesman - Comic Relief 1988

I've always loved Rik Mayall (The Young Ones, Lord Flasheart from Blackadder, The New Statesman) and I REALLY love this New Statesman Comic Relief special from 1988 (especially the part when Alan turns into Rik from the Young Ones).

I remember watching it as a kid on the night and re-watching it again and again (I used to "tape" every year's comic relief telethon) over the next few years.

Eventually I lost or threw out the VHS tape on which I taped this and have been looking for it ever since, both on DVD or on YouTube.

Someone finally uploaded this a few months ago, so here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Note: If you didn't live in the UK in the 80s much of this will go over your head, but I think you'll still find it funny anyway

4 May 2009

No medicine for Creationists

Here's a video clip I uploaded to YouTube today of Bill Maher's closing monologue on this past Friday night's show. Essentially he says that Swine Flu is a virus. It EVOLVED. And if any creationists contract swine flu, they're not allowed to come running to science for medicine...they have to "pray it away". Genius.

3 May 2009

Texas and "Evolution"...in the same article!!

From an article by Christopher Hitchens in this week's Newsweek (again, the red highlighted parts are mine)...

[L]ast week [the] Texas...Board of Education, in a muddled decision, rejected a state science curriculum that required teachers to discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" of the theory of evolution. Instead, the board allowed "all sides" of scientific theories to be taught...

...It's not just that the overwhelming majority of scientists are now convinced that evolution is inscribed in the fossil record and in the lineaments of molecular biology. It is more that evolutionists will say in advance which evidence, if found, would refute them and force them to reconsider. ("Rabbit fossils in the pre-Cambrian layer" was, I seem to remember, the response of Prof. J.B.S. Haldane.) Try asking an "intelligent design" advocate to stipulate upfront what would constitute refutation of his world view and you will easily see the difference between the scientific method and the pseudoscientific one.

But that is just my opinion. And I certainly do not want it said that my side denies a hearing to the opposing one. In the spirit of compromise, then, I propose the following. First, let the school debating societies restage the wonderful set-piece real-life dramas of Oxford and Dayton, Tenn. Let time also be set aside, in our increasingly multiethnic and multicultural school system, for children to be taught the huge variety of creation stories, from the Hindu to the Muslim to the Australian Aboriginal. This is always interesting (and it can't be, can it, that the Texas board holdouts think that only Genesis ought to be so honored?). Second, we can surely demand that the principle of "strengths and weaknesses" will be applied evenly. If any church in Texas receives a tax exemption, or if any religious institution is the beneficiary of any subvention from the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, we must be assured that it will devote a portion of its time to laying bare the "strengths and weaknesses" of the religious world view, and also to teaching the works of Voltaire, David Hume, Benedict de Spinoza, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. This is America. Let a hundred flowers bloom, and a thousand schools of thought contend. We may one day have cause to be grateful to the Texas Board of Education for lighting a candle that cannot be put out.

2 May 2009

First 100 v. Past 8

In the week that Obama passed his first 100 days as the big man (and done a pretty good job according to every major media outlet with the exception of...can you guess?... it starts with F and ends in s....anything yet?...I know, I know, the suspense is killing you....it rhymes with Mox Pews....anything yet?), I started to marvel at the change the US has undergone in such a short period of time.

In just 100 days, significant progress has been made on the saving of the economy (stimulus package and budget), the advancement of stem-cell research, the engaging of DIMPLOMATIC relations with other world leaders - even ones who we're supposed to "hate", the awesome rescue of Capt. Phillips, etc. For the first time since January 2004, more Americans now feel that the country is headed in the right direction than in the wrong direction (48 percent to 44 percent).

There haver been a few missteps, too. He needs to stop cowtowing to the gun freaks in both parties and get serious on some sort of progressive gun control and make ALL involved in the shameful torture accountable.

Then I think about the eight years prior to this 100 days.

The past eight years STILL absolutely beggar belief. I don't even have a huge problem with people who voted for George W. Bush in 2000 (though obviously, I thought then and think now that they were crazy). But to those who voted for his administration again in 2004, that's what I just can't get my head around. Really. After the first four years of W's administration, I can't believe there was even a question. Don't get me wrong, John Kerry was a poor Democratic nominee but the fact is that the Democrats should've won by a landslide with ANYBODY.

It's telling that almost everyone who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 were totally convinced they made the right choice and continued to do so until the very end of his second term. I now hear from a lot of them that "Oh, well, he wasn't the greatest President" and "He made mistakes" and "He doesn't speak for most Republicans". So where the fuck was this humility from 2000 to 2007? Will you only admit you were wrong when you stare defeat in the face?

Though I (and other Dems and/or people who didn't vote for Bush in 2000 or especially in 2004) do, admittedly, take a certain smug delight at being proved right, my intent isn't to gloat at Obama's landslide victory and subsequent 69%-of-the-country-approved good job (okay, maybe I want to gloat a little bit). More, it is to seriously question the judgement of those who actually voted for the Bush administration a SECOND time after everything that happened. That his approval ratings plummeted to 23% should tell you something. That 79% of Americans are now (according to last week's poll, and this number keeps rising) glad he's gone should tell you something. That you voted Republican is not the problem. That you voted for THIS Republican AGAIN is something you'll have to forever live with...

Classic scenes from the movies part 5

For the return of classic scenes from the movies, I've chosen as this part's theme British gangsters. The first clip is from the Steven Soderbergh masterpiece The Limey. In it, Terence Stamp plays an East End villain who comes to LA to find out who's responsible for the death of his daughter. Atmospheric, with a beautiful use of cinematography and lighting, Soderbergh crafts a wholly-original yet, at the same time throwback, gangster flick long on both style and substance.

In this scene, Terence Stamp's character goes to a shady warehouse to try and find the whereabouts of the man he suspects to be responsible for his daughter's death. After brazenly walking in to the warehouse and shouting the odds at the small-time hoods inside, a few of the muscle-bound henchman throw him out into the street and this is where the fun begins.

The next scene, from Guy Ritchie's oft-imitated, oft-quoted comedy masterwork Snatch, is actually a small compilation of scenes featuring local "villain", Brick Top, played with a true ruthlessness by the underused-elsewhere Alan Ford. So funny and quotable are his scenes throughout the movie, it's impossible to pick just one so I found this collection on YouTube.

Because Ritchie has since found it impossible to come anywhere near the heights of this, his most famous and best-loved film, it's easy to forget what a good writer/director he is. Yes, his most successful films run along the same theme (fast-talking, profanity-fuelled gangsters - this, Lock Stock, RockNRolla), but his ear for whip-cracking, hilarious and brutal dialogue, combined with his over-use (but in a good way) of flashy techniques such as jump-cuts, freeze-frames, fast-zooms makes him one of the most entertaining film makers around at the moment.

If his upcoming take on the Sherlock Holmes legend can come anywhere near the heights of this (and with a still-Iron-Man-hot RD,Jr., and RockNRolla's Mark Strong as the villain, it bloody-well should), Ritchie should finally see an upturn in box office receipts (something that has always eluded him, even including Snatch).

Muhammed "I'm 'Ard" Bruce Lee. Genius.