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Archive for February, 2008

Comic Gold? (Four Yorkshiremen Rip-Off)

Posted by samgr on February 29, 2008

You’re goshdarn right it’s comic gold. Check out Cailin’s YouTube channel for some other things we did. We also made a pretty bad live-action Oregon Trail video which hasn’t made it to the internets yet.

UPDATE: Credit where credit is due, the structure and concept of this video is stolen pretty directly from the Four Yorkshiremen skit, which I’ve always thought was pretty amazing. I love it because it’s actually incredibly simple; the whole thing is basically one simple escalating joke, but it builds at just the right pace to be hilarious. Note; a lot of people think this is originally a Monty Python skit; it’s actually not. It was written before Python, in 1948, by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and MARTY FELDMAN! Igor! Awesome! Check this out:

And here’s Monty Python doing it in 1974, plus a hilarious tribute from 2001 including Eddie Izzard and (randomly) Alan Rickman:


Posted in Humor, Marty Feldman, Monty Python, videos | Leave a Comment »

The Lost Dickens Novel: Dinosaur Destroys London

Posted by samgr on February 24, 2008

Thought this was kind of cool. I’m reading Bleak House, by Charles Dickens, and the first page includes this crazy description:

“LONDON. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.”

This has to be one the first mentions of dinosaurs in literature, right? The first part of Bleak House was written in 1852. Awesome! Dickens stays on the bleeding edge. It’s also great because it’s basically a one-sentence-long description of what would be a pretty incredible monster movie. A Megalosaurus (based on Victorian-era reconstructions of course) attacks Victorian London. Mr. Micawber is devoured screaming.

Posted in books, Charles Dickens, dinosaurs, prehistory | 1 Comment »

The Oscars

Posted by samgr on February 23, 2008

As usual, I haven’t seen many of the movies that got a lot of major nominations. I have seen three of the best picture nominees though. I would certainly be cool with either “Juno” or “No Country for Old Men” winning; they were both great movies. I would be sort of weirded out if “There Will be Blood” won, though.

As I’ve said before, I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was great and all, but I’m still unsure what exactly it was in the service of. The movie was very long, intermittently interesting, and I’m just not certain I know what the point was. I would likely be roundly abused for saying this to many people, but I think “Juno” and “No Country” were both much better movies—the now ubiquitous “Juno” backlash be damned. I don’t think much of turning against movies when they get more popular, and therefore not as hip. Hell, I still like “Titanic” (which completely invalidates my opinion about all this I’m sure…)

Anyway, I have no one particular outcome that I’m pulling for in any of the awards, which I sometimes do. Last year, all that mattered to me was that Alan Arkin won best supporting actor, and he did! Life was good.

So… that’s that I guess. I’ll watch it for John Stewart.

Posted in movies, reviews | 1 Comment »

Daniel Plainview vs. George Hearst

Posted by samgr on February 20, 2008

PlainviewBattle of the psychopathic old-timey tycoon misanthropes! Who will come out on top?

Category: Facial Hair
Edge: Has to be Plainview. He rocks the mustache, while Hearst never really looks completely comfortable with his beard, which he grows over the course of the show.

Category: Weapon of Choice
Edge: That’s one for Hearst. Pick over bowling pin, no question.

Category: Historical Accuracy
Ultimately unclear. Hearst was a real dude, obviously, but was he really that much of a bastard?

Category: Henchmen
That would be Hearst again. 300-pound Pinkertons are a lot more intimidating than small deaf children.

Category: Hilarity
Edge: Oh man. Plainview without the tinest shadow of a doubt. Please see this video if you don’t know how drainage works.Hearst

Category: Critical Acclaim
Edge: It’s Plainview by a mile. Everyone and their mom calls him a “towering performance.”

Category: Bastard Factor
This is tough. I have to say Hearst, who seems to rack up a higher overall body-count, and also to be more comfortable with being cruel just to relieve boredom.

Hearst by my accounts. More personally unpleasant, and springs from vastly more interesting material.

Seriously though, these two characters are weirdly similar. They’re both scary turn-of-the-century psychopaths who claim to be single-mindedly interested in digging for natural resources, but really just want everyone around them to fail and to knuckle under. That seems like such an incredibly specific “type” that the coincidence is strange. I dunno.

Posted in Deadwood, movies, reviews, television | Leave a Comment »