Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Here is a piece I wrote about the unending series of comedies about guys who won't grow up. This was actually the brain-child of another writer at the paper, but he didn't have time to do it, so I got the assignment. A couple notes: I actually meant to include Martin Mull's line about "Hollywood is high school with money" but forgot to do it. Miraculously, it appears in the story anyway. Now that's a good editor! Also, the little sidebar at the bottom doesn't make sense the way it appears online. This is what it should actually look like:

Subject: Randy Dupree (Owen Wilson) of You, Me and Dupree

Diagnosis: Second-degree mooch

Symptoms: After losing his job, subject crashes on the couch of newlyweds Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson, extends his stay indefinitely, and nearly burns their house down.

Recommended Treatment: Forcible removal from the premises. Repeat as necessary.

Subject: Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) of Failure to Launch

Diagnosis: First-degree mooch

Symptoms: 35-year-old subject still lives at home with parents Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw. They want him out.

Recommended Treatment: Hire Sarah Jessica Parker to lure him out of the nest. If that doesn't work, one visit to Bradshaw's "naked room" should do the trick.

Subject: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) of The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Diagnosis: Late bloomer

Symptoms: Subject's apartment contains custom-made videogame chair and thousands of vintage action figures, including Aquaman and the Six Million Dollar Man's boss, Oscar Goldman. No woman has ever crossed its threshold.

Recommended Treatment: Nookie

Subject: Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon) of Fever Pitch

Diagnosis: Fenway fanatic

Symptoms: During the late fall and winter months, subject is a perfectly well-adjusted math teacher. During the spring and summer, no woman can replace the Boston Red Sox in his heart.

Recommended treatment: Prolonged exposure to Drew Barrymore and a World Series championship

Subject Dewey Finn (Jack Black) of School of Rock

Diagnosis: Terminal rockage

Symptoms: Subject is unemployed, has been kicked out of his band, and is living rent-free with best friend Ned and his girlfriend. This does not rock.

Recommended treatment: Pose as a substitute teacher and share the power of rock with the youth of America

(Also, I don't know why the "wrestling in Jell-O" line appears twice.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

As promised, here is my Lady in the Water review. I guess now that it's being so unmercifully drubbed, it would be cooler to pretend to like it. But no.

Also, My Super Ex-Girfriend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Oh so much work. I need a vacation. And I’m getting one in about a week. Just a few quick notes:

It seems I don’t have to move out right away. In a more lucid moment, my landlady informed me that selling the house is just something she’s considering, and probably won’t get around to until next year. Nonetheless, the wheels are in motion and I don’t want to wait around, so I’m looking to move around October-ish. You know, as soon as it’s not 100 degrees every day.

I took Maury to the vet a couple weeks ago for his yearly shots and whatnot, and they spotted a tooth that was infected. Yesterday I brought him in to have it extracted. This was a whole procedure with anesthesia and IV drips and blood draws and injections and alla that. I’ve never had this much medical care in my life as this dog. As it turns out, they pulled out not one tooth but twelve! His mouth was just a mess, apparently, but he never let me know. So he was really out of it last night and still groggy this morning and probably hurtin’, although he has some nice pain pills. Supposedly he’ll be better than ever in a few days, able to eat solid food and everything. Poor boy.

My review of M. Night Shyamalan’s monumental fiasco The Lady in the Water will run on Friday, but nothing I wrote can improve on this line from the Philadelphia Weekly: “Watching the movie feels a bit like walking in on your roommate while he's masturbating … to a picture of himself.”

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sorry, fans. A couple of last-minute assignments have been sprung on me this week and, well, they pay better than Moonshine Mountain, so you, the loyal reader, must suffer. But all is not lost - here are a few reviews to tide you over:

A Scanner Darkly

Army of Shadows

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Casual Friday is more like Traumatic Friday today, as Moonshine Mountain is being forced to relocate. I don’t mean the actual blog, which will still be here, I mean the proprietor of said blog, that being me, who has to move. My landlady informs me that she is going to renovate my house and sell it, without me in it. So scramble I must for new living quarters. Is it too soon to take up residence in a retirement community? I think I’m ready for some amenities. Pool, jacuzzi, basketball court, 24-hour on-call masseuse, stuff like that. I’m just not meant to be homeowner in this life, I don’t think.

Anyway, some linkage:

Here is my review of gritty no-budget thriller Cavite

The Eyeball Kid is a Tom Waits blog with news of upcoming tour dates, none of which are anywhere near me.

Salon has a fun little oral history of Slacker.

I guess that’s about it. I’ll do a Deadwood two-fer next week to catch up. As for the Red Sox – well, I know I made fun of it, but can we go back to interleague play? After tying a record by going 16-2 against the National League, the Sawx promptly dropped their first three games against the no-longer lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They did manage to win the finale last night and remain in first place, three games ahead of the Yankees. After a weekend series against the 2005 world champs in Chicago, it’s the All-Star break. I’ll recap it next week from the homeless shelter.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I’m thinking one of my future Bottom Shelf columns for the High Hat should tackle the Peyote Western. This means I would someday have to sit through Zachariah. Since I’ve already survived Renegade, that might not be so bad. This is a French oater that seems largely inspired by the Simpsons episode where the coyote speaks to Homer in Johnny Cash’s voice. In reality it’s based on a comic book by Moebius called Blueberry, unread by me.

To the extent that I could make heads or tails of the movie, it seems to star Vincent Cassel as Mike Blueberry, a cowboy whose French accent we are meant to accept as Cajun. (I believe this tactic was utilized in several Van Damme films, to similar comical effect.) As a teenager, Blueberry was traumatized by the violent death of a whore he loved and had known all of 45 seconds. Many years later, he seeks vengeance on the apparent perpetrator, an especially raspy Michael Madsen. Mostly, though, he hangs out with his Indian friends, who blow smoke into him and send him careening about in wild computer-generated hallucinations.

I may have been hallucinating also, but I believe I saw: 1) Ernest Borgnine as a wheelchair-bound sheriff; 2) Eddie Izzard as some sort of freaky Prussian geologist; and 3) Juliette Lewis singing “Danny Boy” and skinnydipping in full-on, spread-eagle fashion, though thankfully not at the same time. I don’t know much about director Jan Kounen, but I do have the feeling that, if he were alive today, Sam Peckinpah would kick his ass.

One more note: for the third week in a row, I have watched and reported to you on a western that features Geoffrey Lewis in the cast. This was unplanned and remains unexplained. This is who I’m talking about:

Now, granted, it’s not surprising he would turn up in Bad Company and The Culpepper Cattle Company, as he appeared in approximately 539 westerns in the ’70s. In Renegade, he plays the father of Juliette Lewis, which he, in fact, is. So I guess that explains it as well as anything.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Yeah, I'm way behind, but besides the holiday my excuse is that I was working on this review of the new Showtime series Brotherhood. A big disappointment. Gangsters + Providence city politics should = highly watchable show. But no. It's not TV. It's not HBO either.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Screw it, we're taking a four-day weekend here on Moonshine Mountain and we ain't doin' nothing but drink corn squeezins and dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe. I'll catch up on everything later in the week. It'll be more exciting that way. Suspenseful, even.

Happy 4th o' July! Except you Canadians and Canadian sympathizers.