Thursday, December 31, 2009


These are the other three dudes that run with me, and we thought it would be fun to just add in whatever we felt like.

Mine starts around the 3:10 mark.


I fell for this hook, line and sinker. If the actual movie had been half as good as this trailer, it would have been probably the greatest movie ever made. But it wasn't. The actual film paled in comparison to this masterwork of a trailer.


A couple of weeks ago I was really looking forward to putting together a bunch of different "Best of the 2009" lists. Then every single person with access to a computer started doing exactly that and I started to get sick of reading them.

And naturally, this made me not want to have anything to do with any "Best of..." lists at all. But now it's New Year's Eve, I'm bored and I've started thinking of different categories for things.

So here it is. The most random collection of half-assed "Best Of's" that I can think of.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


This is one of the better "mash-ups" I've seen. I think Scrooge is the best part.

Friday, December 25, 2009


This is the only Christmas movie that matters. I watch it every year—sometimes more than once.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


It was two days before Christmas, so what did I do? Why, I went Christmas shopping of course.

Christmas shopping doesn't stress me out at all, for some reason. I usually get the most important stuff out of the way fairly early on, but I always, always, always leave the smaller stuff—brother, secret santa,etc.—until it's almost too late. If I can't find what I'm looking for? That's what Gift Cards are for.

Gift cards have three meanings, and I'm sure everyone on the planet knows what they are. But for the sake of filling space, I'll fill you in.

Meaning Number 1: I tried too hard to find something special, personable and just for you but I got frustrated when I couldn't, so I just got you a gift card. I really needed to get the hell out of the mall and be done with shopping. I promise you that I really did try.

Meaning number one accounts for roughly one-third of the gift cards purchased and you can tell when someone feels that way. The "I'm so disappointed in myself for actually handing you this envelope with plastic money" look on their face usually says it all.

Meaning Number 2: You have really specific taste and no matter what I get for you, there's an 85% chance you'll return it anyway. So here's a gift card. Buy yourself what you actually want.

This is another third of gift cards out there. It's usually accompanied with a shrug of the shoulders and a shake of the head. It's then met with a polite smile and an internal thought (like on Blind Date) that says, "Thank Christ I don't have to wait in that return line tomorrow."

Meaning Number 3: We're not really friends, but I'm obligated to get you something. This is me exerting the absolute least amount of thought or energy on your gift, because you really don't mean all that much to me.

Meaning number 3 is generally reserved for co-workers, rarely seen cousins, nephews, other relatives and old 'friends' on your "people I've been exchanging gifts with for years and I'm not quite sure how to get out of it" list. Everyone has at least one of them a year, and that's where that $10 Home Depot Gift Card that you can buy in line at the supermarket comes in handy.

I'm just as guilty as the next guy, because I buy a few a year. Most of mine fall under Meaning Number 1, but I think that's because I always wait until the last possible minute to go shopping.

I do this because I love people watching.

There are things that are far more entertaining, but people watching has to be one of my all time favorite things to do. And Christmas time at the mall is the absolute best place to do that. I have seen women get in shouting matches over the last something or other (which I thought only happened on bad sitcoms, but it's very, very real—and kind of awkward to watch). I've also seen men and women following other customers around the store, hoping they put down an item, because it's the last one and they were 10 seconds too late. Watching other people stressed out and upset is funny to me. Now that might make me a bad person, but as long as I'm entertained nothing else really matters.

And that's the true spirit of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009


"Writing a novel—actually picking the words and filling in paragraphs—is a tremendous pain in the ass. Now that TV's so good and the Internet is an endless forest of distraction, it's damn near impossible. That should be taken into account when ranking the all-time greats. Somebody like Charles Dickens, for example, who had nothing better to do except eat mutton and attend public hangings, should get very little credit." - Steve Hely - How I Became a Famous Novelist

That about sums it up.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Last year, I was the editor of Red Pulse, which is the now-defunct University of Utah A&E magazine that everyone hated, apparently. Oh well. I liked it, but then again, it was geared largely towards my tastes, interests and things that I thought other people should be checking out. Apparently my tastes were very different than the rest of the campus population, because people loved to talk shit about me through the great anonymity of the Internet. But I had fun, it was a good learning experience and I had a lot of good writers that helped me out. I can't complain too much.

One of my favorite issues was our coverage of the Sundance Film Festival. It was the first time I'd ever had a press pass and it was a lot of fun. I didn't get to see any celebrities or directors or anything like that, but I did see a lot of movies. The only downside was that I was only able to get up there three times and I missed a lot of what I wanted to see.

This year will be different though. I was able to get a press pass again for the 2010 Festival and this year, that's all I've got. I don't have class or a newspaper to help lay out or Ed Board meetings to attend. Plus, I can afford to take a couple of days off work and see as many movies as I possibly can.

This is what I plan on catching for sure.

"The Runaways" - The band biopic starring Bella. No idea how it'll be, but worth a shot.
"Howl" - James Franco as a young Alan Ginsberg? Sure. What the hell.
"I'm Pat ____ Tillman" - The NFL player that died in Afghanistan under mysterious circumstances.
"Douchebag" - It's a comedy, and I'm seeing this thing based on title alone.
"Holy Rollers" - A Hesidic Jew that becomes an Ecstasy smuggler.

There's bound to be more, but those are the ones I'm looking forward to as of now. I'm sure once things get closer I'll have a whole list.



I've been trying to listen to as many albums (got The Blueprint 3, new Muse and Them Crooked Vultures yesterday) and see all the movies I can (waiting on Avatar and Up In The Air) before the end of the year, simply because I want to make a 'Best of 2009' list. And that way, my blog will be just like the other 40 billion people out there with access to the internet. Mine will probably be exactly the same, but maybe a tad bit funnier than some. At least, that's what I'd like to think.

But I've been so focused on 2009, that I just barely realized we're entering a new decade in a couple of weeks. That means I'm going to have to do a 'Best of the Decade' list, too. And that one is going to be much harder.

This didn't hit me until the new issue of Rolling Stone showed up at my house. It's the best of the 2000's issue and I haven't opened it yet. I can almost guarantee that I will not agree with 75% of what's in there. I can see Arcade Fire or TV on the Radio somewhere close to the top and the Jonas Brothers on the list because they have to be. They'll probably praise one or two shitty Britney Spears songs because she made a "comeback" too.  I'm already disappointed with their poor selections and I haven't even read the issue yet.

But at least they did it.

I don't even know if I'll be able to. I'll most likely spend way too much time thinking about all the different categories and aspects of such a task and not be able to come up with anything. And somewhere around the end of March I'll have a definitive list that I'm ready to post, only to realize that I'm almost four months late on it and just give up.

That's the most likely scenario.
How do you even choose the best of the decade? That's probably how I'll spend winter break. Staring at my computer screen, silently debating the merits of whether the three (sometimes four) insanely brilliant Muse songs make up for the other seven forgettable tracks that everyone will skip over (as is the case on every album they put out) makes them a better band than, say, Crime In Stereo.

This is what I'm worried about this holiday season.

(edited to add: Flipped through the issue. Arcade Fire is no. 6, TV On The Radio is 48 in albums. Britney Spears - "Toxic" is no. 44 in songs. No Jonas Brothers on the list, thank Christ.)


I've been trying to read a lot more lately. Sure, I still read 5 or six comics a week but I'm trying to get back in the swing of reading more actual books.

That's not to say that comics aren't books, because some of them are better written and more creative than half the novels on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. But still. I used to plow through one a week, but that was during the time when I only worked two days a week, didn't have school or a million other things occupying my time.

I'm back on it now.

Just finished this -

I really liked it. Definitely not as good as some of his earlier stuff and this one is a little bit more pretentious, but still an entertaining read. The Terminator 2 chapter was the best.

Now, it's on to this. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I know I'm a couple of years late on this, but it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
(and sorry about the ads and the age verification thing - it's the best copy I could find)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1) Scott Howard has the worst jump shot ever. How could anyone lead a team to that many great victories with a complete lack of skill?

2) Coach Finstock is the smartest man alive.

"There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never go near a lady with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese."



Monday, December 7, 2009


The Fugitive was on the other night. I turned it on about halfway through and caught the rest of it. When it was over, it started up again right away. Not having anything else to do, I started watching it again. And I watched it all the way through. There are three reasons for my doing this.

1) I don't have much else going on. Well, that's not technically true. I do, I just have a tendency to put it all off until the last minute. As I'm writing this, I should be writing another City Weekly article, but Clear and Present Danger is on and it got me thinking about this.

2) The Fugitive is just a very well-crafted chase movie. It's entertaining as hell.

3) Harrison Ford is the man I want to be when I grow up.

But the main thing I was thinking the entire time I was watching The Fugitive (twice)?

What the hell happened to Harrison Ford?

This is a guy that's had an amazing career in movies. Not many actors can say they have a place firmly cemented in film history, but Harrison Ford can say that a few times over. I mean, he was Han Solo for Christ's sake. Not only that, but he's Indiana Jones, too! Two of the most iconic characters ever created and he played them both. You add in Jack Ryan and Dr. Richard Kimble and that's a god damn legacy.

But as I watched Ford jump from the top of a bus just before it's hit by a moving train, I started to wonder what happened to him. He hasn't really done anything that great in close to 15 years. Take a look at his IMDB resume:

American Graffiti (1973) - Bob Falfa - While he didn't knock anyone's socks off, people at least recognized him after that. I think so anyway, it was like 7 years before I was born.

The next few years were kind of quiet, but then, BAM!

Star Wars (1977) - Han Solo
Apocalypse Now (1979) - Colonel Lucas
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Han Solo
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Indiana Jones
Blade Runner (1982) - Rick Deckard
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) - Han Solo
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - Indiana Jones
Witness (1985) - Det. Capt. John Book
The Mosquito Coast (1986) - Allie Fox
Working Girl (1988) - Jack Trainer
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - Indiana Jones
Patriot Games (1992) - Jack Ryan
The Fugitive (1993) - Dr. Richard Kimble
Clear and Present Danger (1994) - Jack Ryan

A few of the low-key movies were left off, but look at that list! That has to be one of the most impressive bodies of work any actor has ever had. For damn near 20 years this guy was making good movie after good movie.

Harrison Ford was the ultimate badass. If he and Bruce Willis had starred in a movie together somewhere around 1993 with Ridley Scott, James Cameron (pre-True Lies) or Richard Donner directing, it would have topped the all-time great action film list hands down.

But after Clear and Present Danger, he just fell off completely. Air Force One was alright, but nowhere near the quality of the others. Hollywood Homicide? Six Days, Seven Nights? Firewall? What the hell happened?

Here's what happened - he got too old and either didn't know how or didn't want to adapt the the changes. At some point around the late 90s, there was a shift in what passed as a believable action hero, and Harrison Ford wasn't it anymore. People wanted to see Will Smith battling aliens in a suit or Keeanu Reeves dodging slow motion bullets. As soon as that happened, Harrison Ford was hung out to dry.  But he didn't take that too lightly, so he started taking starring roles in movies that were mediocre at best just so he could play the hero. The other big stars of the decade either fell away completely or adapted to remain successful. Then again, a few of them decided they wanted to play politics or make torture porn starring Jesus, but that's a whole different story.

There was a section in the book Rebels on the Backlot where author Sharon Waxman writes about Steven Soderbergh and the preparation of Traffic. Everyone wanted Harrison Ford to play Robert Wakefield (a role that ended up going to Michael Douglas), but he wouldn't commit because Wakefield didn't win in the end. He wanted the script to be rewritten (I think) to make him the hero.

The thing is, the entire point of that movie was to shine a big light on what everyone seemed to be ignoring at the time: The war on drugs is one of the most pointless wastes of money ever. No one is going to win because it's never going to end. At no point in time will anyone ever be able to clap their hands together and say "Well, we got 'em all." Not going to happen.

(And yes, I did just steal a David Cross joke.)

That story sums up exactly what happened. Ford refused to play anyone that was remotely vulnerable. He has the chops to play these characters, he just won't.

And it's too bad, because he needs to do something. God knows no one wants to see a 70-year-old Indiana Jones swinging through the jungle again. We already had to sit through that once.

Now excuse me, The Fugitive is starting again.

And I still want to be him someday.


It's finally done and ready to go. I worked hard on this thing and I'm really happy with the way it came together, so download it and give it a listen.

It's 11 unreleased tracks from 11 local bands around Salt Lake City and a few from Ogden. Mostly hardcore, but the majority of the bands are pretty diverse. So download it and give it a listen.

It's free. You can't pass that up even if you try.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gwen & Harley

I'm testing this to see if

A) Posting from my phone actually works
B) If that Twitterfeed thing works, too.

We'll see.


Katy Perry and Disembodied. Who woulda thought?