An Open Letter to Nicolas Cage

Dear Nic,

Nicolas CageI recently caught your performance in Ghost Rider. Actually, I think I may have dozed off for fifteen or twenty minutes, shortly after the goth kid is interviewed on the eye of hell after you save her from the mugger, but I definitely got the gist of the film. Kind of cute casting Peter Fonda as a motorcycle Satan, by the way.

Anyway, here’s what I wanted to let you know:

You’ve convinced us. You’re Elvis reincarnated. Never mind that you were about thirteen years old when he died. We’ll just say that his spirit went from that toilet at Graceland straight into little Nic Coppola.

I understand now that you married Lisa Marie just to protect your little girl. I totally get why you’ve chosen the roles you’ve chosen. You’re the King. I believe you.

I guess that means you can stop now. You’ve got nothing more to prove.

No more swaggering across the screen. Enough with that lip curl. You can proudly wear your black belt and chow down on those banana and peanut butter sandwiches. Nobody’s going to question your authenticity.

Feel free to send me a scarf soaked in your sweat if you like. TCB, baby. Thank you very much.

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So Good You Can’t Even Tell

Warner Bros logoI finally got around to watching The Dark Knight on DVD last night. Fairly impressive, but I’m not here to write about the film itself.

I was struck by a promotional video that ran before the feature, right after the god-awful reworking of Casablanca into a warning not to pirate movies (Shame on you, Ilsa).

The promo featured big, impressive, immersive shots from some big Warner Bros. movies, including A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, Goodfellas, V for Vendetta, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Batman Begins. For the most part, these were shots intended to make the audience go “oooh,” like Neo stopping a barrage of bullets (ooh), or the Houses of Parliament exploding (ooh).

The voice-over that went with these big visuals went as follows:

Something has come along that changes our movies.

It changes the way you see them, hear them, feel them.

It changes the experience.

It opens our eyes to something new.

We invite you to dig deeper, to find things that you’ve never experienced before.

This is the difference between watching our movies and living them.

Experience our movies on Blu-ray.

This is how our movies are meant to be… lived

Blu-ray logoOK. It was a promo for the glory, the splendor and the majesty that is Blu-ray. Fine. But it raised a few questions for me.

As I’ve already mentioned, these were big, impressive images. I was watching on a standard DVD, on an eye of hell that’s neither HD, plasma, giant, or even flat, with the sound running through a stereo that’s about 30 years old — well, the speakers are only about 10, but there are only two of them. And I got the message that I was supposed to be impressed by these images.

So if I’m impressed, how are they supposed to sell me on ditching all of my equipment and getting a Blu-ray setup? Obviously, they can’t show me how a Blu-ray image is better than what I’ve got if they’re showing it to me via what I’ve got. Maybe they should have lowered the quality of the images they showed me, like I was watching on a pitiful portable picnic player, as little Alex might point out. Then they could have told me that if I wanted to experience the true gorgeousness and gorgeosity of the pictures and properly hear the angel trumpets and devil trombones, I’d best upgrade.

Or I suppose they might have added a few lines to the voice-over (I think it might have been Kiefer Sutherland, using his “this is America” Bank of America voice rather than his “tell me now or you’re dead” 24 voice, by the way), like

Do these scenes look good to you? Then you’re an idiot. This stuff is pure crap. You can’t see how good these scenes really are, because your hardware is shit.

There needs to be some comparison if I’m to be convinced that what I don’t have is better than what I have. Remember the theme song to WKRP in Cincinnati? The first few bars were engineered to sound like AM radio, and then it opened up to something fuller, so even though you were listening to the whole thing through a tiny, tinny monaural speaker, you could hear the difference. You got the message that AM radio sounds like KRaP.

And there’s that last line in the promo: This is how our movies are meant to be… lived.

Is it really? Have they forgotten about movie theatres, many of which still have bigger screens and better sound systems than the average living room? Are they suggesting that this is what the filmmakers had in mind?

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Well, Blow Me Down. Please.

Hey kidz, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day today, and you know what that means. It means you’re supposed to talk like a pirate, smartass.

And don’t forget to pay a visit to Cap’n Dyke, the Lesbian Pirate Queen.

Yar.

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The Small Print

CIALIS is indicated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

cialis-logo.pngCIALIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Tell your doctor about your medical conditions and all medications, and ask if you’re healthy enough for sexual activity. Don’t take CIALIS if you take nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain, as this may cause a sudden, unsafe drop in blood pressure. Don’t drink alcohol in excess (to a level of intoxication) with CIALIS, as this may increase your chances of getting dizzy or lowering your blood pressure. CIALIS does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

The most common side effects with CIALIS were headache and upset stomach. Backache and muscle ache were also reported, sometimes with delayed onset. Most men weren’t bothered by the side effects enough to stop taking CIALIS. As with any ED tablet, in the rare event of priapism (an erection lasting more than 4 hours), seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury. In rare instances, men taking prescription ED tablets (including CIALIS) reported a sudden decrease or loss of vision. It’s not possible to determine if these events are related directly to the ED tablets or to other factors. If you have a sudden decrease or loss of vision, stop taking any ED tablet and call your doctor right away.

Individual results may vary. In clinical trials, CIALIS was shown to improve, up to 36 hours after dosing, the ability of men with ED to have a single successful intercourse attempt. CIALIS has not been studied for multiple sexual attempts per dose.

When taking CIALIS, under no circumstances should you attempt to have sex before taking a walk through the wilderness and locating the tandem outdoor bathtubs.

couple in outdoor bathtubs

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It’s Just Not Cute Anymore

Paul McCartneyDo you remember ?

I do, but just barely. I think I was about six years old when the band broke up, and I’d only known about them for a year or two at that point. At the time, I was a fan. My older sister had a couple of their records — I know that was one of them.

I may have lost my taste for their music by the time I was 11 or 12, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t accept the fact that they hold an important place in the history of popular music. My seventh-grade music teacher certainly never failed to point out something they (or their producer) did that no one else had ever done. And everyone knew not just the band, but the individual members:

These aspects of their individual personalities can be seen in their lives and careers in the years after the band broke up. Lennon married a conceptual artist and became deeply involved in the peace movement. Harrison’s interest in Eastern religion can be heard on albums like All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World and of course The Concert for Bangladesh. Ringo continued to be Ringo, I suppose.

McCartney remained cute. He formed the band Wings, and included his wife Linda in the group, not because she could sing or play an instrument (she couldn’t — great photographer, though). He just liked having her around. That’s cute. Wings did release Band on the Run, which many people viewed as a pretty well-done record, but for the most part during the 70s and into the 80s he put out some cute stuff, like “Silly Love Songs,” “Let ‘em in,” “Cook of the House” and “Coming Up.” He did the theme song to a James Bond film, featuring the memorable line “But in this ever-changing world in which we live in”. That’s either stupid or cute, and given the source, I guess it was generally deemed cute. He made that god-awful film with Tracey Ullman, and she put him into a video she made, in which he mugged it up as the cute one.

Well, now it’s 2007. McCartney turned 65 earlier this week. And what are we seeing on the eye of hell these days? McCartney hawking his new single in an advert for iTunes.

Everybody gonna dance tonight
Everybody gonna feel alright
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

Everybody gonna jump and shout
Everybody’s gonna sing it out
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

If he was ten years old and he performed that for his dada and mum, that would be cute. He isn’t ten years old. He’s 65. This is just sad. Does he really want to be remembered as the composer of “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday” and this?

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