Saturday, September 30, 2006

Favorite Bond Girls #2: Claudine Auger

Favorite Bond Girls #2: Claudine Auger

Domino(Claudine Auger) The luscious mistress of Emilio Largo (second in command of the evil SPECTRE organization), Domino seeks revenge after she discovers that Largo is responsible for her brother's brutal murder.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Favorite Bond Girls #1: Britt Ekland

Favorite Bond Girls #1: Britt Ekland

Casino Royale the next James Bond is coming out on November 17th and I have to say I couldn't be less excited and this is coming from someone who has every Bond movie on DVD, I even have all the soundtracks! The trailer is laughable and Daniel Craig could not be more of a pussy if he tried, while filiming he's broken multiple limbs and he can't even drive the stick shift Bond car so they had to make one in automatic. So it's gotten me thinking about the brighter days of Bond and in honor of those fond memories over the next couple of weeks I will start posting pics of my favorite Bond girls. Enjoy!

Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) – This beautiful-yet-inexperienced British intelligence officer plays a crucial role in helping Bond track down Scaramanga's private island off the Chinese coast.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The 8 Great Scenes in Bad, Bad Movies

Let's face it, we've all seen our share of bad movies, but what hurts even more than seeing a flat out bad movie is seeing one with a great performance or an unforgettable scene. So here is a list, in no particular order, of the greatest parts of a few bad movies.

1. Eric Bana vs Brad Pitt in Troy- Troy is a terrible, terrible, laughable movie but there is one bright shining moment a non-stop riveting fight scene between the Greek Achilles (Brad Pitt) and the Trojan prince Hector (Eric Bana). It's almost worth watching the movie just to catch this sure to skip over the near naked greased up Orlando Bloom at all costs however, it's frightening.

2. Watson Can-Cans in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes- How can a comedy directed by Billy Wilder be so badly paced? It's an okay movie but nothing in it ever surpasses the energy of the first twenty minutes. Holmes played by Robert Stephens and Watson played by Colin Blakely attend a performance by a famous Russian ballet company, after the show Holmes goes backstage to speak with the prima and Watson gets to know the other ladies of the company leading to a frolicking can-can you will never forget...the rest of the movie however, you will forget.

3. Bruce Campbell has a smoke break in Crimewave- Sigh... this movie should have been great. Directed by Sam Raimi and written by Raimi with the Coen Brothers Crimewave was meant to be a spoof of the film noir genre but the producers wouldn't let Raimi cast Bruce Campbell in the lead so it ended up starring a talentless no-name and falling quickly into obscurity. The only scene of note features Cambpell in a bit part smoking a cigarette and through the magic of effects the smoke transforms into a woman. Visually brilliant.

4. A legendary flub in Jaws: The Revenge- This one is not intentional but it will provide much laughter. Everyone knows the Jaws films are about a killer shark stalking a family around the that's some shark...and in the fourth movie it finds the family in the Caribbean. Helping the Brody family defeat the toothy foe in Jaws 4 is the man who never said no to a paycheck Michael Caine is Hoagie Newcombe. Good ole' Hoagie is a pilot and at the end of the movie lands his hydroplane on the surface of the ocean a good 50 yards from shore. He gets out of the plane and some how manages to get to shore without getting wet. Now that's talent.

5. Jason Isaacs vs Mel Gibson in The Patriot- Okay I like this one, a lot actually, far more than I should...despite the fact that it's totally historically inaccurate or that Mel Gibson's kids don't age a day in several years but I love silly cheesy movies. In any case the stand out scene is between Mel's character Benjamin Martin and Col. William Tavington played by Jason Isaacs. In an earlier scene Tavington killed Benjamin son and meeting again for the first time Benjamin promises Tavington "When this war is over I'm going to kill you." and well to give away the ending, he does and apparently single handedly wins the American revolution. This man deserves a holiday.

6. A musical number in 8 Heads in a Dufflebag- 8 Heads is a throw away Joe Pesci comedy from the early 90's but it does have one bright spot. Pesci who works as a hit man has whacked you guessed it 8 people and has their heads in a bag so he can exchange them for his paycheck. In one wild dream sequence the heads come to life and sing a little song. It's magic.

7. A sophisticated foreigner in Kate and Leopold- This is a bad movie any way you look at it, but it shouldn't be. The plot in a nutshell: Meg Ryan plays a faux-smart modern girl in a modern world, Hugh Jack man plays a 19th century man whose somehow traveled forward in time. Of course they fall in love but there are complications along the way, one such complication is Kate's boyfriend/ boss whom Leopold one-ups in grand style. This is not a great movie but Hugh Jackman is so strong in it, it's worth watch just for him alone.

8. Brad Pitt dies in Meet Joe Black- This movie is so bad I couldn't make it thru the whole damn thing but it did give the world one thing Brad Pitt being horrifically run over by a mini-van. My boyfriend and I were so amused by this death scene that we re-wound and watched this scene over and over again. If you play close enough attention you'll notice the van has no driver. Sometimes I love DVD.

If you have any great scenes from bad movies please comment, I'd love to hear what there are!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Top 50 DC Covers

IGN has a pretty neat post about the top 50 DC comic book covers of the year, click here to check it out.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Overlooked Movies: Meet the Feebles

"The only thing I heard is that there was a screening in Los Angeles of 'Meet The Feebles', for Universal. I wasn't there, I wasn't even in the country, but Universal wanted to have a look at the film and Lisa Henson - Jim Henson's daughter, she's an executive at Universal - saw it and apparently enjoyed it. She was quite shocked when she saw Kermit nailed on a cross!" ~Peter Jackson on Henson reaction to Meet the Feebles.

Meet The Feebles, a puppet tragedy of gross proportions, relates the fateful events that lead to the infamous Feebles Variety Massacre - a day that rocked the puppet world! Bletch, a cigar chomping walrus, has his hands full with his cast of egocentric show-biz stars. When you've got an incompetant panic stricken fox as a director, a junkie knife throwing frog, and a hare with a fatal disease as MC, things do not look sunny. But Bletch's biggest problem is with his star and long time lover, Heidi the Hippo, who suspects that he is having an affair with a Siamese cat called Samantha. With two failed suicide attempts and her mental balance totally destroyed, Heidi makes an unannounced entrance centre-stage.....armed with a machine gun!

Click here to watch the trailer:

"The Puppet Spunk Hits The Fan"
"Hell Hath No Fury Like A Psycho Hippo With A Heavy Machine Gun"
"Welcome To The Jungle!"
"Sex, Drugs And Soft Toys"
"More Carnality From The Director Of Bad Taste"

Fun Trivia:
Director Peter Jackson couldn't locate blank rounds, so the M-60 used in the movie is firing live ammunition.

When the Feebles Variety Hour finally goes live, one of the audience members is wearing the alien costume from director Peter Jackson's previous movie Bad Taste.

This film was shot with standard 16mm color film stock, which has a TV-Monitor aspect ratio of 4:3 (or 1.33:1). So all VHS and DVD editions that look like they are "pan and scan" are really fullscreen.

All dialogue in the film was recorded before the production of the film to make shooting easier.

Fun Quotes:
Bletch: Have you thought of a name for it, yet?
Trevor: I was thinking along the lines of..."Dennis does Daisy".
Bletch: No. That's lousy.
Trevor: How about..."Anal Antics"?
Bletch: "Anal Antics"... yes. It will appeal to the intellectuals. Do you think it will do as well as our last release and win the Hooker Prize?

Heidi: Eat lead you man-stealing slut!

Robert: I thought you were nice.
Lucille: I am nice.
Robert: No your not, you're loose! And you drink!
Lucille: No...
Robert: You're nothing but a loose lush Lucille and I never want to see you again!

Click here to watch one of the most twisted scenes ever to grace the silver screen...yes it's the Sodomy floor show:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Great Film Icons #3: Cary Grant

Once told by an interviewer "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I." Archibald Alexander Leach, better known by his screen name, Cary Grant, was born in Horfield, Bristol, England January 4, 1904. An only child (before he was born his parents had had another son who died in infancy), Leach had a confused and unhappy early life, his mother Elsie was placed in a mental institution when he was nine. His father never told him the truth about his mother only learning she was still alive in 1935.

Many have blamed losing his mother at such an early age on his insecurity in his relations with women and a secretiveness about his inner life. These insecurities, by his own admission, led him to crave applause and attention and to create a new persona that would attract it. He left school at 14 after being expelled for investigating the girls' bathroom. Lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter he joined Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians. He learned pantomime as well as acrobatics as he toured with the Pender troupe in the English provinces, picked up a Cockney accent in the music halls in London, and then in July 1920 was one of the eight Pender boys selected to go to the US. Grant spent two years traveling with the troupe in the 1920's and when the troupe returned to England, Grant decided to stay in the U.S.

After some success in light Broadway comedies, he came to Hollywood in 1931, where he acquired the name Cary Grant and went on to star in some of the classic screwball comedies, including The Awful Truth with Irene Dunne (the pivotal film in the establishment of Grant's screen persona), Bringing Up Baby with Katharine Hepburn, His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell and Arsenic and Old Lace with Priscilla Lane. These performances solidified his appeal, and The Philadelphia Story, with Hepburn and James Stewart, presented his best-known screen role: the charming if sometimes unreliable man, formerly married to an intelligent and strong-willed woman who first divorced him, then realized that he was — with all his faults — irresistible. He gave his entire fee for The Philadelphia Story (1940) to the British war effort and his entire salary for Arsenic and Old Lace ($100,000) to the U.S. War Relief Fund.

Grant was one of Hollywood's top box-office attractions for several decades. Howard Hawks said that Grant was "so far the best that there is. There isn't anybody to be compared to him". He was also a favorite actor of Alfred Hitchcock, notorious in his dislike of actors, saying Grant was "the only actor I ever loved in my whole life".

Click here to watch the trailer for North by Northwest:

In the mid-1950s, Grant formed his own production company, Grantley Productions, and produced a number of movies distributed by Universal, such as Operation Petticoat, Indiscreet, That Touch Of Mink (co-starring Doris Day), and Father Goose.

Grant is one of the few hollywood giants to acknowledge his age, 59 at the time he filmed the romantic thriller Charade, felling he was too old to play the love interest for Audrey Hepburn, who was 25 years younger, he demanded that the script make clear that it was Audrey pursuing him, not vice versa. He also added a number of wry jokes denoting the difference in age. He also turned down roles opposite Audrey Hepburn in both Roman Holiday and Sabrina; later he starred with her in Charade. In Roman Holiday, the offered role ended up going to Gregory Peck, and the role in Sabrina went to Humphrey Bogart.

Click here to watch the Charade trailer:

Ian Fleming modeled the James Bond character partially with Grant in mind. He turned down the role of James Bond in Dr. No, believing himself to be too old at 58 to play the character.

Grant's personal life was complicated, involving five marriages and speculation about his sexuality. (Though in all of his divorces, especially with Dyan Cannon, none of his soon-to-be ex-wives brought the subject up.)

In 1932 he met fellow actor Randolph Scott on the set of Hot Saturday, and the two shared a rented beach house (known as "Bachelor Hall") on and off for twelve years. Rumors ran rampant at the time that Grant and Scott were lovers.

Authors Marc Elliot, Charles Higham and Roy Moseley consider Grant to have been bisexual, with Higham and Moseley claiming that Grant and Scott were seen kissing in a public carpark outside a social function both attended in the 1960s. Scott often referred to himself, jokingly, as Grant's wife. Many studio heads threatened not to employ them unless they lived separately.

image hosted by

In his book, Hollywood Gays, Boze Hadleigh cites an interview with homosexual director George Cukor, who said about the alleged homosexual relationship between Scott and Grant: "Oh, Cary won't talk about it. At most, he'll say they did some wonderful pictures together. But Randolph will admit it – to a friend."

Many writers seem to have no doubt about the actor's bisexuality. Although Grant had many gay friends, including Cukor, William Haines, and Australian artist Orry-Kelly, he never outed himself. Will Hays, author of the Hays Code which censored "indecent" references in films, including references to homosexuality, admitted to keeping a "Doom Book" of actors he considered "unsafe" because of their personal lives. As gay film director James Whale discovered, being named on Hays's list could instantly end your career. When Chevy Chase joked about Grant being gay in a television interview with Tom Snyder in 1980 ("Oh, what a gal!") Grant sued him and won. Grant also complained to writer/director Peter Bogdanovich about the Chevy Chase incident, emphatically insisting that he was not gay, and that while he had nothing against homosexuals, he was simply not one himself.

Regardless of his sexual orientation he was the first actor to use the word "gay" (meaning homosexual)on screen, in an ad-lib during a take for Bringing Up Baby (1938), that was kept in the film. Its meaning was not fully grasped by censors and so it slipped by the Hays code. In the scene Grant appears in a pink dressing gown, telling an incredulous observer, "Because I just went gay, all of the sudden!" The script initially had Grant saying, "I suppose you think it's odd, my wearing this. I realise it looks odd. I don't usually ... I mean, I don't own one of these." However Grant ad-libbed with a line of his own.

Randolph Scott wasn't the only notorious rumored affair Grant was involved in, it is also said that while filming The Pride and the Passion, despite the fact that he was married to actress Betsy Drake, he fell madly in love with Sophia Loren. When Sophia Loren visited Los Angeles during the filming of An Affair to Remember, Grant inundated her with dozens of phone calls and hundreds of flowers - even though she had called the affair off.

Still in love with Loren when it came time for them to film Houseboat. She went to director Melville Shavelson, in tears, complaining that Grant was chasing her again -she had told Grant she was in love with Ponti, but he didn't believe her. Loren later married Ponti.

Grant was young enough to begin the new career of fatherhood when he stopped making movies at age 62. One biographer said Grant was alienated by the new realism in the film industry. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he had invented a man of the world persona and a style--"high comedy with polished words".

image hosted by

In the last few years of his life, Grant undertook tours of the United States with "A Conversation with Cary Grant", in which he would show clips from his films and answer audience questions. It was just before one of these performances, in Davenport, Iowa, on November 29, 1986, that Grant suffered a stroke (November 29, 1986), and died in the hospital a few hours later.

He was nominated for two Academy Awards in the 1940s, and was honored in 1970 with a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1981, he received the Kennedy Center Honors. His acceptance speech:

"You know that I may never look at this without remembering the quiet patience of directors who were so kind to me, who were kind enough to put up with me more than once, some of them even three or four times. I trust they and all the other directors, writers and producers and my leading women have forgiven me for what I didn't know. You know that I've never been a joiner or a member of any particular social set, but I've been privileged to be a part of Hollywood's most glorious era."

Pak-Man Fever 2

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pak-Man Fever

Here is the first installment in my sad, sad attempt at creating a comic strip. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Girls With Guns # 12: Betsy Russell

Yes number 12 is good old Avenging Angel herself Betsy Russell, I love that bad, bad movie!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay Dies

The Hungarian actor first gained recognition as a bodybuilder in the 1950s, winning the Mr. Universe title in 1955, and went on to star in a series of Italian fantasy-adventure films, starting with The Loves of Hercules in 1960. Hargitay played the heroic title character in the film, in which he starred alongside his wife, screen siren Jayne Mansfield.

Hargitay was performing in Mae West's muscleman revue at New York's Latin Quarter nightclub in the late '50s when Mansfield supposedly told her dining companion that she would have a steak "and the man on the left."

The blonde bombshell wed Hargitay in 1958 and the couple had three children, Mariska and sons Miklos Jr. and Zoltan, before splitting up in 1964. Mickey Hargitay also had a daughter, Tina, with first wife Mary Birge.

When Mansfield died in a car crash in 1967, Hargitay sued her estate for more than $275,000, claiming the actress had agreed to pay child support in their divorce settlement. That same year, Hargitay married his current wife, Ellen Siano.

The Budapest native fled Hungary for America in 1947 to escape the Soviet military draft. He ended up in New York and got his big break when West spotted him on the cover of Strength and Health magazine in 1953.

Hargitay went on to appear in films and TV shows with titles (once translated into English) such as Revenge of the Gladiators, Primitive Love, Bloody Pit of Horror and Rites, Black Magic and Secret Orgies in the Fourteenth Century.

A young up-and-comer named Arnold Schwarzenegger portrayed the strongman in the TV movie The Jayne Mansfield Story in 1982.

"He was a role model of mine for being a successful immigrant who came to this country and pursued his dreams," the actor-turned-governator said Monday. "Mickey was an accomplished bodybuilder, 1955's Mr. Universe and had a successful acting and film career as well. Maria and I want to express our sincere condolences to Mickey's family, including his wife Ellen and his four children, Mickey Jr., Zoltán, Mariska and Tina."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Mother of All Music Memes

What’s a great late night song?
1. Golden Hours by Brian Eno
2. Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed
3. Redemption Song by Joe Strummer

Name 5-10 wistful/bittersweet songs:
1. Comfortably Numb- Pink Floyd
2. The Gypsy's Wife (live version) by Leonard Cohen
3. Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harem
4. How Fortunate Is the Man with None by Dead Can Dance
5. Friday Night, Saturday Morning by The Specials
6. Boulder to Birmingham by Emmylou Harris
7. Leaving Today by The Divine Comedy
8. Lady Stardust by David Bowie
9. You Can't put Your Arm Around a Memory by Johnny Thunders
10. 2HB by Roxy Music

The 4 Best Songs Ever Written:
1. To Be By Your Side by Nick Cave
2. Cosmic Dancer- T. Rex
3. The Wait by The Band
4. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

3 Current Favorite Songs:
1. We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in Morning by Gram Parsons
2. My Way by Sid Vicious
3. Age of Consent by New Order

Classic Early Evening Drinking Music:
Early evening drinking music? Shouldn't that be late night drinking music? If that were the case:
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain by Willie Nelson
Barstool Mountain by Johnny Paycheck
Luckenbach, Texas by Waylon Jennings
Must've Been Drunk by George Jones and Merle Haggard
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson... oh hell anything by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones...

3 All Time Faves That Never Get Old To You
1. Highwayman by the Highwaymen
2. Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter or Lee Hazelwood and Nacy Sinatra
3. More Than This by Roxy Music

Song You Want (or did) To Play At Your Wedding:
I'm not sure.

4 Records You Really Dug from 2005:
1. Illinois by Sufjan Stephens
2. Funeral by The Arcade Fire
3. The Best Little Secrets are Kept by Louis XIV
4. Rhytham and Gangster by Snoop Dog

Favorite Records From This Year So Far:
1. Confessions on a Dance Floor by Madonna
2. Idlewild by Outkast
3. On an Island by David Gilmour
4. All the Roadrunning by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler

Good Angry Songs:
1. Hey Joe by Patti Smith
2. Stigmata by Ministry
3. Closer by Nine Inch Nails
4. Crowds by Bauhaus
5. The Nightstalker by Shadow Project

One of Your Favorite Lyrics:
From David Bowie's Diamond Dogs:
The Halloween Jack is a real cool cat
And he lives on top of Manhattan Chase
The elevator's broke, so he slides down a rope
Onto the street below, oh Tarzie, go man go
Meet his little hussy with his ghost town approach
Her face is sans feature, but she wears a Dali brooch
Sweetly reminiscent, something mother used to bake
Wrecked up and paralyzed, Diamond Dogs are sable-ized

5 Cover Songs Arguably Better Than the Original:
1. Don't Think Twice by Waylon Jennings
2. Common People by William Shatner
3. Pappa Was a Clock (it's a mash-up of the music from Coldplay's Clocks and the vocals from Pappa Was a Rolling Stone. Perfect song.)
4. What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone
5. When I'm 64 by Keith Moon

Ironic Song to Brutally Murder Someone to in a movie:
I Wanna be Your Dog by Iggy and The Stooges

Great Dance Song You Maybe Never Realized Was a Great Dance song Back in the Day:
Not sure I can answer this...

Good Album to Clean The House To:
Electric warrior by T. Rex

Good Dining Music:
The Boatman's Call by Nick Cave

Good Album To Love On Each Other To:
At Last by Etta James

A Good Album To Put You In the Mood (that is NOT Sade, Marvin Gaye or Barry White):
Roxy Music's first album

Good Album To Sleep To:
Watermark by Enya or Avalon by Roxy Music

5 Good Rock Songs That You Can Dance To:
1. Meet Me At Mary's Place by Sam Cooke
2. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
3. The Martian Hop by The Ran-Dells
4. Raw Ramp by T. Rex
5. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco

Song That Is Too Damn Sad:
Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen

Great Love Song:
As the World Falls Down by David Bowie

Honorable Mention:
Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James

Song To An Ex That Isn’t Meanspirited:
Girl of The North Country by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

Song To An Ex That Is Kinda Meanspirited:
Don't Think Twice by Waylon Jennings

Song to Listen to While in The Country Looking at Stars:
All These Things That I've Done by The Killers

Song to lose your Mind to:
Ant Rap by Adam Ant

Song To Cry In Your Pillow to:
Alone in This World by Moby

Songs That Make You Feel Amped and Inspired:
1. Third Uncle by Brian Eno
2. Freebird by Lynrd Skynard
3. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin
4. Hazel Eyes by The Darkness
5. Don't Stop Me Now by Queen

Great Semi-Obscure B-side:
Sleepwalking on the Highwire by Siouxsie and the Banshees (B-side to This Wheels on Fire) or Dear God by XTC (believe it or not this was a b-side)

Song That Makes You Miss Your Mom:
Mary by Oingo Boingo

That’s Baby Makin’ Music (No, Really):
1. The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove by Dead Can Dance
2. Stripped by Adam Ant
3. Love's Secret Domain by Coil

Criminally Underrated Band That Didn’t Get Attention and Then Broke Up:
Not sure.

Best Screw You I Am a Teenager in Pain Song:
We're Not Gonna Take it by Twisted Sister

Feel No Shame, Great Current Pop Songs:
1. Dear God Please Help Me by Morrissey
2. Idlewild Blue by Andre 3000
3. Knights of Cydonia by Muse

Album No One Would Expect You To Love:
Rhythim and Gangster by Snoop Dog

Album No One Would Expect You To Dislike:
I have no idea.

Album No One Would Expect You To Really Know:
My musical taste is kind of all over the place I can't think of anything.

Emo Album You Actually Like:
Evanescence- Fallen

Good, But Overrated Cause Of Indie Revisionism:

5 Desert Island Discs off the top of your head (30 sec clock):
1. Another Green World by Brian Eno
2. Electric Warrior by T. Rex
3. Substance by New Order
4. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie
5. The Singles Vol 2 by Bauhaus

3 Contemporary Artists That Were Your Faves 10 Years Ago:
Not sure they count as contemporary but they still release albums so...
David Bowie
Peter Murphy
Graeme Revell

Music That Makes You Feel Sophisticated:
What a silly question.

Fave Electronic Record You Own:
Sexplosion by My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult

Hip-Hop Song You Know All the Lyrics Too:
Signs by Snoop Dog

Random Album You Loved In High School But Are Afraid To Admit It:
Not really afraid to admit it but there was one year I listened to REM's Out of Time pretty much straight but hit my REM limit sometime before Automatic For the People came out.

Album You May Have Listened To More In High School than Any Other Album:
Disinigration by The Cure

If You Could Enter A Wrestling Ring to a Song It Would Be:
Bubble Pop Electric by Gwen Stefani

Album To Clear A Room With:
Anything by Michael Bolton

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Joachim Fest Has Left the Building...

...and that is my super-adult way of saying he has died.

Joachim Fest, a journalist and historian who worked closely with Adolf Hitler's architect Albert Speer on his memoirs and wrote one of the best-regarded biographies of the Nazi dictator, has died at age 79, his newspaper said Tuesday.

image hosted by

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, where Fest worked for two decades until 1993, said he died Monday at his home in Kronberg of unspecified causes.

Born in Berlin in 1926, Fest was the son of a teacher who lost his job for his opposition to the Nazi regime.

In his memoirs, "Ich Nicht," or "Not Me," due for publication in German next week, Fest recalls his father's reaction when he told him he was volunteering for the armed forces in 1944 in order to avoid being conscripted into the fanatical SS.

His father sent him a letter in Freiburg, where he was studying, saying that "one doesn't volunteer to take part in Hitler's criminal war, not even to avoid the SS," Fest wrote, according to an excerpt released by the FAZ newspaper.

Fest was captured during the war, serving time in an American prisoner of war camp.

After the war, he recalled talking to his father again about his decision to volunteer.

"You weren't wrong," he remembered his father telling him. "But I was the one who was right!"

After the war he worked as a journalist in radio, television, newspapers and magazines. In addition to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he worked with several other respected German media outlets including Der Spiegel magazine, and Norddeutschen Rundfunk television.

"Joachim Fest was one of the greatest journalists and publishers of our age," literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki told Der Spiegel Online. "His book on Hitler was without a doubt one of the most important books on the subject."

Fest gained close insight into the inner workings of Hitler's Third Reich in working with Speer, the Fuehrer's favorite architect who became minister of armaments and was instrumental in keeping the Nazi war machine going until the end.

Speer was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Nuremberg tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Following Speer's release from Berlin's Spandau Prison in 1966, Fest worked with him as the general editor of his controversial memoirs published in 1970, "Inside the Third Reich" and later, in 1976, "Spandau: The Secret Diaries."

Fest's biographical portrait "Hitler," published in English in 1974 the year after its German release, is widely regarded as the best, among many, on the dictator.

Other works included "Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich," which was the basis for the acclaimed 2004 film "Downfall," "The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership," and "Speer: The Final Verdict."

In recent weeks, Fest was extremely critical of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Guenter Grass, who admitted in August that he had served in the Waffen-SS during World War II after years of keeping it quiet.

Fest said Grass had seriously damaged his credibility as a moral authority in Germany.

Overlooked Movies: Gunga Din

Only an audience can give validity to a film, and as a filmmaker you are constantly searching for this community of acceptance. There's nothing quite as unresponsive as a white sheet at the far end of an auditorium in front of an arrangement of chairs. The audience gives a film credence, they draw from their knowledge to determine whether what they're watching is valid. There is always that moment of truth when you've finally put the film together, and you're running it in a theater and being subjected to what could be the very unfriendly scrutiny of the audience. Sometimes you discover they're with you, and that's great pleasure. And also during that voyage of discovery you're finding where you're sailing a different course from the audience, a lesson that's not to be forgotten. ~Gunga Din Director George Stevens

Based loosely on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, this takes place in British India during the Thuggee uprising. Three fun loving sergeants are doing fine until one of them wants to get married and leave the service. The other two trick him into a final mission where they end up confronting the entire cult by themselves as the British Army is entering a trap. This is of the "War is fun" school of movie making. It has the flavour of watching Notre Dame play an inferior high school team.

Barbaric Splendor - Gasping Magnitude - Adventure !

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's Heroic Lines

Out of the stirring glory of Kipling's seething world of battle they roar--red-blood and gunowder heroes all!...

Swaggering sons of battle!

Fun Trivia:
The "bridge over the deep chasm" scene where Annie, the elephant, shakes a rope bridge trying to cross was actually filmed on a bridge 8 feet off the ground. The background was a realistic painting of a chasm.

The battle between the Thuggees and the British Indian army was added when RKO considered the ending too bland.

Originally, Grant and Fairbanks were assigned each other's role; Grant was to be the one leaving the army to marry Joan Fontaine's character, and Fairbanks the happy-go-lucky treasure hunter. Grant wanted to switch; the producers relented and the actors were more appropriately recast.

Howard Hawks was the original director, but was fired from the project after his previous film, Bringing Up Baby (1938), was a box office bomb.

When Sgt. Cutter (Cary Grant) receives an invitation for Sgt. Ballantine's wedding, Cutter expresses his dissatisfaction with his first name, Archibald - Grant's real first name.

Budgeted at $1.915 million, this was the most expensive film RKO had produced to date.

Fun Quotes:
Sgt. Archibald Cutter: You're mad!
Guru: Mad? Mad. Hannibal was mad, Caesar was mad, and Napoleon surely was the maddest of the lot. Ever since time began, they've called mad all the great soldiers in this world. Mad? We shall see what wisdom lies within my madness. For this is but the spring that precedes the flood. From here we roll on. From village to town. From town to mighty city. Ever mounting, ever widening, until at last my wave engulfs all India!

Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Now get me some tools. Something to rip these blinking bars out.
Gunga Din: Already bring all tools could find. Is this satisfactory, sahib?
[holds up a fork]
Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Look... What do you think I want to break out of - a bloomin' pudding? Now go on, get something big.
[Din returns with an elephant]
Sgt. Archibald Cutter: What are you doing, Din?
Gunga Din: The large tool you asked for, sahib.

[Sgt. Cutter confronts the Thugs in their stronghold]
Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Well if it ain't young toadface. Fancy meeting you here.
Guru: Vile dog! For that insolence you shall grovel before my son. You shall grovel, I say!
Sgt. Archibald Cutter: Look here! I'm a soldier of her Majesty, the Queen. I don't grovel before any 'eathen.

Bonus-- The Quotable Cary Grant:
"Everyone wants to be Cary Grant; even I want to be Cary Grant."

Visiting his agent Grant intercepted a telegram from a journalist writing a profile asking "How Old Cary Grant?" Grant sent a reply saying "Old Cary Grant fine, how you?".

"I probably chose my profession because I was seeking approval, adulation, admiration and affection."

[Following his failed marriage to Barbara Hutton]: "She thought that she was marrying Cary Grant."

Cary Grant receives his only Oscar, an honorary Oscar (1970).

Girls with Guns #11: Tomb Raider Model Karima Adebibe

Karima Adebibe

Monday, September 11, 2006

My highly wrong crush on Daniel Radcliffe continues...

The second season of Ricky Gervais's new show Extras is due to air on HBO sometime soon. Here's a clip from the new season featuring a really hilarious Daniel Radcliffe. I'm really excited that he's getting involved in non-potter roles, I think he's a really talented guy...oh and there is my highly wrong crush on him. Anyways check out this scene:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Crafted with Love

Too funny not to post...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Unemployed Skeletor's Blog of Evil: Part 9

Many short blogs this time...

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 26 part 1

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 26 part 2

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 26 part 3

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 27 part 1

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 27 part 2

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 27 part 3

Unemployed Skeletor's video blog of evil # 27 part 4

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What's that I hear...

...why it's the sound of a million fan boys crying in outrage...

So have you heard about this one? Apparently CBS & Paramount are putting the original Star Trek back into syndication remastered in high-def featuring updated visual and audio effects. These new versions will begin airing on September 16th on over 200 stations.

What's been changed? The press release lists the following CGI alterations:

Space ship exteriors -- The space ship Enterprise, as well as other Starships, will be replaced with state of the art CGI-created ships. The new computer-generated Enterprise is based on the exact measurements of the original model, which now rests in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Show opening -- The Enterprise and planets seen in the main title sequence will be redone, giving them depth and dimension for the first time.

Galaxy shots -- All the graphics of the galaxy, so frequently seen through the window on the Enterprise's bridge, will be redone.

Exteriors -- The battle scenes, planets and ships from other cultures (notably the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers) will be updated.

Background scenes -- Some of the iconic, yet flat, matte paintings used as backdrops for the strange, new worlds explored by the Enterprise crew will get a CGI face-lift, adding atmosphere and lighting.

Not to mention the original Alexander Courage theme has been re-recorded with new vocals and the famous William Shatner "Space the final frontier" monologue remasterd.

What is the deal here, didn't Paramount learn from the outraged Star Wars fans that messing with a classic is always rejected by the fans? Or is it even more incideous than that? Did they just cook this whole thing up because having released every Star Trek show on DVD and afraid of falling revenues they wanted something else for fans to buy? God forbid Paramount isn't raping the fans for money every chance they get. Sometimes it's hard to be a fanboy.