- Several dozen new individual volumes have been added to
section B of the Encyclopedia. They are highlighted in yellow. I
know that Section B is getting clumsy, but I need to keep plugging
through all the individual volumes before I can see how to create
the main Encyclopedia page. It seems to me that there is still a
great benefit to having everything on one page, even though it is
not so beautiful to look at, so I am keeping that in mind.
Havoc is a vision of the differences between the real world of urban
Latino gangstas and the bored mainstream teen culture, which emulates
gangsta styles in order to impress their peers and fight off their
boredom. The dramatic conflict centers around two girls from upper
middle class families who become involved with the tattooed roughnecks
of the barrios. The story begins with a antagonistic conflict on beach
turf, proceeds to a dangerous drug-buying expedition into East L.A.,
which tempts the girls with the allure of the bad boys, and eventually
leads them back into the barrio for the initiation rite into the
Latino gang, which is basically an advanced version of spin the
bottle. Of course, the consequences are disastrous for many of the
Many of the story's main storylines end unresolved. The Latino gang
leader is marched off in cuffs to face a questionable rape charge, but
his ultimate fate is not shown. One of the girls tries to commit
suicide and (presumably, but not certainly) fails. The gangs meet one
last time, and shots are fired, but that particular scene takes place
in a blackout, and the result is left to our imagination.
The film is driven by an intense gangsta
soundtrack and a dark, grungy look, with many scenes occurring in
alleys and backyards at night, or in dimly-lit clubs and hotel rooms.
The gloomy, threatening ambiance is meant to accentuate the sense of
danger felt by the "fish out of water" when they leave their
comfortable, expensive homes and come face to face with real gangstas.
The sub-text of the film is the struggle of young people to achieve a
sense of belonging, and the extreme lengths they will go to find a
peer group to supply the kind of familial support and acceptance that
they don't get at home or from their peers.
The director has previously established a reputation only for
documentaries and is new to fictional films, but the team which
created Havoc was not without a heavy lifter. It was written by Stephen Gaghan, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA
for his script for Soderbergh's Traffic, and was once offered the coveted
job of adapting The DaVinci Code. (Gaghan actually finished off the
script after the original author was killed in a private plane
accident.) This film, despite the final draft by Gaghan, is nowhere near
standard. It is basically the
2005 version of those 1950's films where the sweet cheerleaders in bobbysox would ditch their quarterback boyfriends to hang out with
some guys with leather jackets and duck-tails. You remember those. The
hoods and the jocks would come to blows. Meanwhile, the former
girlfriends of the hoods would make life miserable for the
cheerleaders who stole their boyfriends. All of those same elements
are present here, updated for the new millennium.
I would have told you that the film is annoyingly predictable,
especially in light of the expectations generated by the standards of an Oscar-winning author, but one
particularly trite device takes the film beyond the status of mere
annoyance and places it squarely within the pantheon of flat-out
irritation. While all the events unfold, a student filmmaker from the
suburban group is making his own documentary film, in which he asks
the usual Dr. Phil questions of his contemporaries and gets an
assortment of jaded, cavalier, and shallow responses.
I'm not sure if the documentary-within-a-film
device is more hackneyed than the evil twin, but even if not, it must
surely edge out amnesia, last minute rescues, and evil dwarves for the
runner-up spot in the Miss Cinema Cliché pageant. It almost goes
without saying that the evil dwarves get the congeniality award.
The biggest news about this film is not
what is in it, but what is not. In the past year or so, the prevailing
internet meme has been that the uncut version of this film had an Anne
Hathaway masturbation scene with some surprisingly explicit close-ups,
and a scene where she walks around naked showing everything front and
rear. Did these scenes ever exist? I am not in a position to say. Are
they on the unrated DVD? Not at all. Everything in the unrated DVD has
already been widely circulated on the internet. In terms of nudity, it
includes only female breasts and male buttocks. In terms of sexual
activity, it portrays and suggests copulation of various types, but
that is not unusual for an R-rated film. At one point, a threesome
scene seems to include penetration in both of Bijou Phillips's lower
orifices, but Bijou's lower body is obscured by another man's head.
Nothing is shown explicitly. There is an inordinate amount of drug
consumption and foul language, but we've heard all that before. In
fact, if this "unrated" cut were to be submitted to the MPAA, it might
earn an NC-17, but I would not be surprised at all if it were to
receive an R.
"Crowe as mad as hell over temper claims." And
if you claim he has a temper, he'll kick yer fokkin' arse!
- The article also includes this fascinating tidbit:
"At the AFI awards he will sing a duet with Marcia
Hines. The pair will sing Testify, a song Crowe wrote
about the phone-throwing incident."
- I'd have to say, even without hearing it, that it
must be the "Un bel di" of phone-throwing songs.
- By the way, Russ, if you're reading the blog today,
here's an August 2006 event you may want to sign up for
early. You're welcome in advance.
Modern Art Is Crap ...
Dennis Leary's video for "Asshole".
Jessica Simpson Blames Split on Mensa Society
Satirists find humor in Nick and Jessica split
Colbert Report: "Oil: Here Today, More Tomorrow"
- "Pay no attention to the media's fact-based smear
campaigns and watch this piece on oil production."
Urban Legends: The top shopping day of the year is ... the
day after Thanksgiving.
- Turns out this is FALSE.
- (Fireworks explode. Mariachi music starts up. Guns
fire in the air. Guys yell "eee-haw.") This is the first
time I can remember Snopes having debunked anything that
I formerly believed!
- The correct answer, at least since 1995, is "the
last Saturday before Christmas." There is one potential
exception. When Christmas itself falls on a Sunday, the
last Saturday before it obviously falls on Christmas
Eve. That last happened in 1994, when the biggest
shopping day was Friday the 23rd.
"The top ten things I, Dave Letterman, am grateful for."
- "Being named Modern Maturity's 'Sexiest Man Alive'"
- "People with nothing better to do on a Thanksgiving
than to sit in the audience of a third-rate talk show"
- "CBS keeps paying me even though I stopped trying
Did the Pilgrims land on Plymouth Rock because they ran
out of beer?
- "In an age when so many have lost their moral
compass, it's comforting to know that people in the old
days had their priorities straight."
Jay Leno: Cops Dealing with the Public: "A short piece
where police file clips display what the cops have to go
through during motor vehicle stops"
This is a pretty cool little musical montage:
Paris Hilton doesn't change facial expressions
Headline o' the day so far:
Jungle Day 5: Penis Eating
Mr. Miyagi waxes off ... 'Karate Kid' actor Morita
dies, aged 73
- His acting was memorable, but I think humankind will
always remember his uncanny feat of having remained 73
years old for more than 30 years.
"Scientists discover singing iceberg". Oh, wait. That
was just Björk.
Production on two new Pirates of the Caribbean films has
been halted because of raids by real pirates!!!
Further proof that we live in a post-ironic world. This
is NOT from a satire site. It is a real news story:
Former FEMA head Michael Brown to start a consulting
business on emergency planning
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
"Bikini Chain Gang "
Bikini Chain Gang (2003) is a Fred Olin Ray effort written and directed by him, and produced by his wife. It is a comic spoof of the Women in Prison genre. Beverly Lynne is wrongfully convicted of armed robbery when the "Livng Dead Bandit" sticks up the bar she is waitressing in, and her boss, angry over her refusal to give him head, tells the police she was in on it. The prison has the usual lesbian prisoners and horny Matron. When Lynne is about to be given a new trial, the Livign Dead Bandit visits the matron, wanting Lynne killed. The plan doesn't quite work, and we learn the identity of the bandit, but not before everyone has sex with everyone else.
It is a three B performance from Beverly Lynne, Nicole Sheridan as the matron, and Belinda Gavin, Jassie and Brooke Taylor. IMDb hasn't discovered this one as yet. Fred had tongue firmly in cheek on this one, and never pretended that it was anything more than a lowbrow soft core sex comedy. This one barely meets genre requirements. C-.
Pat's comments in yellow...
Throwing It Out Windows - After waiting in line until midnight or paying
thousands of dollars online, some buyers of Microsoft's new Xbox 360 game
console are complaining that they're malfunctioning. Problems include
various error messages appearing, the screen going black, or the unit
overheating. Microsoft said such problems are "par for the course" for a
* ...If it's from Microsoft.
* "360" refers to the circles you make as you go to the store, bring it
home from the store, take it back to the store...
* They may be overheating from friction because geeks have been rubbing
their thumbs against them for 72 hours straight.
* Kids will know what they're getting for Christmas if the box under the
tree starts smoking.
* Teenagers looking to have fun over the holidays will just have to commit
actual grand theft auto.
NEW YORKERS DON'T KNOW THEY'RE FAT
Who's Going To Break It To Rosie O'Donnell? - A study by New York City's
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that 1 million New Yorkers
are obese, but nearly two-thirds of these obsess New Yorkers don't think
they are obese.
* That's because two-thirds of the people surveyed were men.
* They think they just feel huge because their apartments are so tiny.
* This explains why New Yorkers mistakenly think that 200 people can fit
on a subway car.