.The Set Up…

Who’s this guy writing the Leak, you ask? Well, it’s just me. The same asshole. I’ve been away for a few weeks, at least in the the sense that applies to the web. I’ve had a bunch of things pulling me in a few directions and they haven’t stopped. I’ll still be scarce around these parts but thankfully Devin and Dave and Russ and George and the rest of the zippersuits around these parts have done a better job than I would have been doing anyway.

But, the Leak must go on. It’s the easiest way I have of keeping people caught up with the bullshit I’ve got cooking and it serves as a decent way to purge myself of the piss and vinegar that rises to the surface. There are changes coming to this site, though. Scroll down for some of that noise later in this column.

Oh, and don’t see Be Cool. What a pile of shit that was.

Otherwise, thanks for reading and on with the Leak.

The World Wide Web of Crap, CHUD.com Edition #1.

  • It is much easier to complain than compliment.
  • When in doubt, blindly bash Ain’t it Cool News.
  • There is no leeway for folks for whom English is a second language.
  • People equate having a Blog with being a webmaster.
  • Being able to use a fake name allows you to ignore the rules of civilized conduct.
  • It is easier to write a post complaining about a noisy advertisement than to click the "sound off" icon on the ad itself.
  • It’s fine to obsess over Joss Whedon properties but if you love George Lucas you will be the hated.
  • Everything made before 1970 is shit.
  • Everything made after 1970 is shit.
  • The image of all "geeky" web denizens as filthy kids typing in their parents’ basement is accurate.
  • If an actress isn’t work jerking off to, she is a shitty actress.
  • If you loved a film as a kid, you still have to defend it to the death even if it’s total shit.
  • Never badmouth Radiohead. Ever.
  • God forbid you enjoyed a film like 2 Fast 2 Furious or The Mummy.
  • It’s cool to post while drunk. It’s cooler to post the next day apologizing because of how drunk you were.
  • Why send in a news scoop when you can post it on the message board instantly?
  • There can never be enough Star Wars discussions.
  • Dream Casting Rules: They have to look EXACTLY like the character is drawn or described. They have to be a cult icon. They have to have litto to no value to a movie studio. See Glenn Danzig, Bruce Campbell, Fred Topel.
  • Everyone is an authority on box office.
  • When in doubt, bring up MEG in a negative manner.

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The N-Bomb.

We’re pretty much the least racist website around, so imagine my surprise when a bit of hate mail arrives over Devin’s use of the word "Niggaz" in the subheading of one of his articles on February 22nd. Almost immediately one of our black readers sent in a missive calling us on the use of that most taboo of words. Now, if Devin’s piece had used the word in a negative manner or casually dropped it when describing someone of color I’d be right there in Devin’s face about it. But he didn’t. He used it as a reference to NWA, the band that made Are We There Yet? a possibility. There is racism everywhere, both to whites and blacks and people whose heads are shrouded in turbans and every other group that exists, and there’s certainly racism on the web. We’ve seen it firsthand. But, not here.

I mean, you can make ethic jokes here. I think it’s healthy, provided the emphasis isn’t on being hurtful. George Carlin told a joke in the 80’s about Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and used that word to splendid result. Dick Gregory wrote a book with that word that won awards and scared the cleaning ladies at Steve Murphy’s house (I bought him the book for Christmas last year and apparently it caused a stir), but you’ll never see it used on the main site.

So, before you get offended at the stuff we write, think about the context and where you’re reading it. You ought to know better.

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The Fact This Exists is Hilarious.

Um, DUH!

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TV on DVD Gets Out of Hand.

Go to Best Buy and enter the aisle devoted to television shows on DVD. Place your jaw in its socket and proceed directly to a safe distance. Perhaps their seven book literature section or the cell phone section where nerds can co-exist in harmony.

It’s gone too far. Just because you CAN release season sets on DVD doesn’t mean you have to. Is someone asking for The Jeffersons? Murphy Brown? The Flip Wilson Show?

Who says to their mate/Real Doll, "Honey, we need to watch Home Improvement all weekend?"? If they exist, why haven’t they been sterilized? I’m all for shows coming out on DVD, but they should be released in the order of anticipation there is for them. Until the D&D cartoon is released or It’s Your Move or the rest of Larry Sanders, I beg some legal person somewhere to find a law that prohibits too much Flip Wilson from invading a man’s life. What about Peter Berg’s short-lived Wonderland show? Chicago Hope, even. Anything but Murphy Brown.

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Craven the Hunted.

I’m about six years late with this rant, but if I remember correctly it’s one I’ve been saying to friends since the initial excitement of Scream wore off. Wes Craven is not a name whose presence above the credits of a horror film does little to excite me, and though I’m a horror junkie who has seen most of his films I don’t like being told when I’m in the presence of a "Master of Horror". Especially when there’s little to no merit for the title. Yes, that includes the currently undeserving Eli Roth. The fact that Peter Jackson raved so mightily for Cabin Fever makes me wonder what halfling’s weed he’s been toking on.

I like to decide if Wes Craven is a master of the genre, I like to decide if Cendric is really entertaining, and I think it’s my place to decide if Bob really is a builder. Let’s look further…

The Horror Output of One Wes Craven:

Last House on the Left – As rape and murder flicks go, I gues it’s decent. It also has a very ominous name, a horror flick a lot of us were told to steer clear of because of its extreme nature. Of course, that was back in the day. It’s actually a pretty unremarkable effort but important in the grand scheme of 70’s horror. Not to be confused with 70’s bush.

The Hills Have Eyes
- It introduced the world to the sex God that is Michael Berryman, and for that it is untouchable. The fact that hills have eyes is also a revolution. I hoped that Wes Craven would have delved into Mountain Mouths and Cloud Ears, but sadly took his Berryman and went home.

Deadly Blessing
- I never saw this one, but it involves Amish people so we’re pretty much guaranteed of some pretty impressive beards. For me, that’s enough. I secretly hope that this film is about the Amish equivalent of an African lullabye that kills, where Jacob says something like "Dear Lord, we accept your gifts to our FUCKING MURDER, OHHHHH GODDDDD!" while churning his enemies like butter.

Swamp Thing
- Durock. I think I speak for society when I say that sometimes, Durock is enough.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
- Totally great. Plus, it marks the introduction of John Saxon to the youth of the 80’s. They were never the same again.

The Hills Have Eyes II
- Piss poor. Berryman should have sued, as they portrayed him as a bald, crazy-eyed freak instead of the upstanding gentleman he is Also, why couldn’t this have been called They stHILL Have Eyes or The Hills Have More Eyes, or Return of the Optic Hills, or perhaps Hills Looking At You, Kid or Little Otik? Instead, they had to compete with the similarly themed television show The Hills Have Street Blues.

Deadly Friend
- There’s a reason Bill Walton often screams "The best use of a basketball since Deadly Friend!" during NBA telecasts.

The Serpent and the Rainbow
- Actually, my favorite Wes Craven film. Not just because I front the Zakes Mokae fanclub, but because it’s a mature and rewarding effort. It was treated poorly at the time, but it’s a fabulous little voodoo flick. I still cringe at the thought of Bill Pullman’s pierced pullman, though.

- This is a comedy. No one appreciates it for that, but it is. I saw this a dozen times in the theater (well I worked there, so I had the time), and found many things to love about it. Was it great? Nah, but it featured Pete Berg and Mitch Pileggi and that is a duo almost as potent as Heat‘s DeNiro/Pacino pairing.

The People Under the Stairs
- One of the most excruciating theater experiences of my white life.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
- It is hip to classify this as the great precursor to Scream. It’s also hip to say that Heather Lagenkamp fuels your nightly masturbation ritual. Be that as it may, this film isn’t all that great.

Vampire in Brooklyn
- I forgot Craven did this film. I also forgot about the pre-teen molestation of me. Until I saw this title listed in his filmogrpahy.

- Fun flick. Fun COMEDY. To call it anything more is an offense to you, me, and other comedies like Music of the Heart.

Scream 2
- Dogshit, though Liev Schreiber is always good.

Scream 3
- Dogshit cubed.

- Worse than a buddy cop flick featuring Devin Faraci and Don Murphy.

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Earning Your Keep.

I think Hollywood has a weird distinction in that there are some professions that become more lucrative once someone has passed their prime. For example… directors. I think if we chose a lot of the directors we dig, we’d discover that either they didn’t start making the big coin until after they’d done their best work or have found more profitable careers making big studio pictures or doing glossy television stuff. That’s weird, because in most professions, unless you’ve been with one company for a long time you’re earning the most at the time when you’re providing the best service at whatever it is you do. It’s almost like you pay your dues in Hollywood and then your quote rises at roughly the same time your creative wheelhouse shrinks.

I hope one day I can sit in waiting, turning down offers that I’d currently cream for, but I don’t see it happening. My lack of talent has nothing to do with it!

But somehow, people are able to leverage their output in a way that allows for the business to reward them for past successes. You don’t see it as much with actors, because once they lose their youth or status their quote drops. Directors seem a little more immune, though I don’t think folks like John McTiernan have seen their value rise in recent years. It’s not a standard, but it is a bizarre phenomenon I’ve seen happen from time to time of late.

Here’s hoping we all get a raise tomorrow and with decreased demands to boot.

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If CHUD.com Ran the Movies

Bastardization by Nick Nunziata. Thanks to Waddell for idea help. All apologies to the makers of Deep Blue Sea.

News Attack #16

Toby Keith or not Toby Keith, that is the question. Everytime I go to Target I see the Shock’n Y’all CD leering at me like an imp with elephantitis and I wonder why I can’t find one Phish album there. Or Kiss’s Revenge disc. Oh yeah, it’s because Toby Keith is a sandblaster to the nuts of the world. But, he is a real American. He has the yellow ribbon to prove it. Me, I’m a decent American. I cover french fries with American cheese to show my dominance and I drive a Japanese car with American interior. That said, today I
went over
CNN.com to see what was
in my fine world. Here’s a quick rundown…

1. Someone stole a shitload of gas from a Pennsylvania gas station. Normally, this would be considered a crime but after today’s $32.45 fill-up I call it reciprocity. Note to the people saying that great stuff is happening in Iraq. Look at your BP station’s marquee.

2. A young lady in Denver has been arrested after her story weakened under scrutiny. What was first believed to be the suicide of her father became twisted into her shooting him a second time after his first attempt left him alive. Now, authorities think she may have shot him both times and I’d be not a bit surprised if they change their mind next week to indicate that he died in Vietnam and was never Macauley Culkin’s father..

3. Detroit, the city of hard-hitting news reporting. Smoke in a dorm led to it being evacuated. This is the news item. Better yet, the act of non-firefighting is described in this passage: "Firefighters broke into a wall and aimed their hoses inside in an attempt to
extinguish any flames, although no flames were found, according to Local 4.
" This is not news. News would be if smoke in a dorm led to the place being declared a party zone or if an outbreak of runaway brine shrimp forced the evacuation of a dorm. Fires happen all the time, and more often than not people choose a coughing exodus over their own personal barbecuification. Even more surprising is the presence of fireman who arrive to send the smoke and fire back to the fiery chasm from whence it came. Folks, if you don’t have worthy news, just devote the column space to prose about why my genitals deserve their own talk show.

4. Florida is all sorts of wrong as it is. I just spent a week there so I know. A news item from Pompano Beach is loaded with all sorts of gross misuses of both the English language and a 70 year old vacationer. Apparently, this elderly woman was enjoying her game shows one day when a clean cut young man knocked on the door and after being allowed in, got his rape on. The first paragraph of their news item reads: "Deputies say a man forced his way into a beachfront apartment early this morning
and raped woman, and though neighbors heard her screams, no one did anything to
" He raped woman, which would certainly explain why thou art loosed. Not a woman, but WOMAN. I think there’s a special jail for people who rape an entire sex. Adding insult to insult, the article mentions that the neighbors heard her screams but thought little of them. "Probably just some ancient being raped", they might have wondered. The fact someone would do this is bad enough, that people would hear the screams and raise the volume on Maury to cover it is worse.

5. Speaking of Florida, Christians are rallying against the removal of a feeding tube keeping a brain damaged woman alive, a decision her husband is what she’d have wanted. Dying peacefully rather than living as a void. Her father disagrees, saying the decision to take the tube out is exactly like what the Nazi’s did to Jews. Stop. Breathe. Read that again. This gentleman compared the mercy killing of his daughter to what happened in Nazi Germany. God, if you are listening to these prayers and want to intervene, perhaps you can choose which family member REALLY deserves the brain damage.

6. An earthquake shook a town near San Diego recently. This is the news item. That is not news. It’d be news if the earthquake prepared Amaretto Sours for the town or if the earthquake’s mighty attack resulted in a catapillar surplus in the town. Maybe if the earthquake shook the town until the town realized that it shouldn’t forbid its youth from dancing it’d be news, but as it stands it’s called nature. Earthquakes shake shit. It’s their JOB.

7. A man in Omaha murdered two people because they "punked" him. Someone, give Ashton Kutcher this man’s address, please.

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The Slipcase Is Your Friend.

I don’t understand how people can complain about that extra cardboard sleeve some DVD manufacturers are shiving on top of their new products. It’s more stuff, and not more in the sense of the snaps on cases or additional stickers meant to scare off thieves and customers. This is actual stuff! Oftentimes, it’s the same exact artwork as on the DVD case but it’s nice and it doesn’t hurt anyone. I’ve noticed that Barnes & Noble doesn’t feature these cardboard cases, like on titles like Hero or The Incredibles. Thankfully, they have much cooler I, Robot cases featuring a surplus of droid and no Will Smith to be found.

Studios are giving us less and less stuff in our DVD cases, let’s not complain about a little extra, ok?

[note: Russ Fischer. You deserve whatever grief Devin gives you. I just saw your Incredibles review.]

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You Trust Me? Trust These!

some flat-out recommendations for you. Stuff I’ve already seen, read,
heard, or clicked on and found to be utterly lovely. I’m going to try
not to choose obvious things like The Watchmen or Fight Club or Faith No More’s Angel Dust, ’cause you ought to know by now! Have at. If you like this, it’ll continue:

DVD: Atlantis.
Totally cool Disney flick that came out at an unfortunate time. The concept art book is actually better than the movie, but this collector’s edition set is so much better than people gave it credit for being. Plus, MIGNOLA!

Book: The Descent – Jeff Long. You won’t find Cole Hauser in this cave, but that doesn’t keep it from being creepy, unique, and surprisingly epic in scope. In theory we’ll see this film made in our lifetimes.

Album: Stoner Witch – Melvins. Probably the most underappreciated band to come out of the Seattle scene and one of the coolest, weirdest, and most bad ass rock trio albums of the past couple of decades.

Website: John Rogers’ Blog.
We love John almost as much as we hate Catwoman, and his little section of the web is often a fun place to go, especially if you want the inside scoop on Warren Ellis and Rogers’ on/off sex affair with Mr. Dave Davis.

Video Game: Out of This World. A classic, CLASSIC old game from the 16-bit era. A lot of games ripped this sucker off, including some we’re still seeing in stores today. Plus, any game where a bizarre companion says "Mansohba!" is always good.

Trade Paperback: Aliens: Labyrinth. It’s not perfect, but it’s creepy as heck and would have made for a more interesting spin on Aliens and medical experimentation than was eventually used in the fourth film. Killian Plunkett’s art takes some getting used to, but at the end of the day it’s a winner.

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Your letters. My smartass replies.This
is the letters portion of our show. This is where you send in your warm
and loving regards, your scatching and accusatory venom, your puzzled
wonderings, your bullet point issues, or whatever the heck else floats
your barely seaworthy boat.

only things you can be assured of is that I read every feedback letter
and try my damndest to balance the ones that make it to this column.

Your grammar and usage of punctuation may be commented on, but that’s
part of the fun isn’t it?

Come around here often?

RON Hate.

Mitch to the left!Clay writes:

In your release of the third arc of RON, you had mentioned that you hadn’t been getting much feedback on RON. Well, it’s probably because most people are suck-ups who won’t tell you what they really think.

The RON comic is, put bluntly, terrible. I’m not sure if all the "jokes"
are inside jokes and are funny to you, but I’m pretty sure no one else gets them. And when I do get them, they’re not funny at all.

The only decent thing about it is the artwork. The characters, the writing, the "jokes" – it’s all terrible.

That’s about it… I thought someone should let you know…

Nick’s Reply: Thanks for the letter, though I’m very careful how I deal with information I get from people named Clay.

Come around here often?

The Crawl

Mitch to the right.Jack writes:

Can I read you unsubtle horror script. I’m sure its better than Exorcist

Nick’s Reply: Here’s the thing. It was good. Then it was really good but disjointed. Then I added sixty pages and it was a giant tome of evil. Then I trimmed it from 150 to 90 and I got rid of all the character development and it because a series of gross things. Now, I’m rewriting it with a very clear idea of what it needs to be. After that, I may let people read it.

Come around here often?

Liking the Humor.

Mitch to the left!Kevin writes:

"…oyster glimpse."

Dude, you’re killing me.

Nick’s Reply: I hope to murder you again sometime.

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Hitching a Ride.

Mitch to the right.Alec writes:

I must respectfully disagree with your comments regarding the sucess of
Hitch.This movie does set a precedent, whether you see it or not. While
releasing a romantic comedy on Valentine’s Day weekend is not a huge risk,
releasing a romantic comedy starring two minority actors is a risk. While Will
Smith is a highly successful actor in the box office world, he has never
headlined a film that did not have action or science fiction that was intended

for huge dollars at the box office. In fact, I-Robot and Ali are the only two
previous films of his that he headlined alone, without Martin Lawrence, Tommy
Lee Jones, or Gene Hackman. This film was huge because it proved that Will
Smith, and Will Smith alone, can get a large number of people to see his movies,
even when he does not have a gun and is not making wisecracks at aliens. His
star has elevated even higher now and that should be acknowledged. While I agree
that the movie promotes the usual white men can’t dance stereotype, I also think
that the movie might be good or at least as entertaining ass any other romantic
comedy. As far as precedent, can you name another romantic comedy starring two
minorities that soared so high at the box office? Hitch outgrossed The
Preacher’s Wife in its opening week.

Finally, please attempt to reserve judgment on a film until you see it.
Hitch may be a good movie, but you are already writing it off. You would not
want people to write off Constantine, which has gotten negative reviews.
However, I saw it last night and thought it was one of the best times I have had
at the movies in a while. I loved where it went, in terms of spirituality,
action, effects, and in getting one of the best, if not the best, Keanu Reeves
performance ever. I hope more movies are made as hard and uncompromising as this
film was for most of its duration. I would also hope that all the Keanu haters
did not judge this film before seeing it, or dismiss its $11.5 million dollar
friday as no big risk, as a Keanu actioner where he wears dark is no big thing
for February or any other month. A good movie is always a good movie and a good
opening is always a good opening, nomatter what its about or who it stars.

Thank you foryour time.

Nick’s Reply: Some stars transcend racial stereotypes when it comes to box office. Granted, the racial stereotype seems to favor minorities right now, though Chris Rock said it on the nose when he bashed the pointless "Black Films" audiences are handed. Hitch to me was as easy a bet as there is.

Come around here often?

Pet Care.

Mitch to the left!Andrew writes:

The purpose of laws like this is for the protection of animals. In your mind you’ve conjured up the very opposite of what most real life situations that required this law are like. Most times when a residence has an overabundance of animals (i.e. 5+ cats, dogs, etc) the animals are malnourished and living in their own filth. Other times, in the case of dogs, they are so-called ‘back yard breeders’
who follow AKC guidelines loosely at best and often times keep breeding dogs with health problems.

Granted, it is another fee for the local government and can be see as meddling if you really are a conscientious pet owner the act of filling out a form, sending in a $20-30 processing fee and obtaining a license should be a minor thing.

I hope you can see this perspective on the issue. Maybe it’s just a sore spot for me currently living in Miami and seeing irresponsible pet owners continually leaving dogs locked up in sealed cars in sunny 80* weather.

In any case, I really enjoy reading your site and wish you all the best in everything you do.

Nick’s Reply: I hear ya. Keep in mind that the News Attack is simply a humor column for me. I often don’t try to make bold, sweeping comments that I actually want to happen. I just see something that can be turned around into a joke and run roughshod.

Come around here often?


Mitch to the right.Andrew writes:

How can you get stuck into poor little Devon Aoki like that. You know she’s going to be a good Miho come April time when she does that thing that make any woman look sexy, wield a sword.

Nick’s Reply:
Swords don’t make women look sexy. That’s fanboy hooey. Women make women look sexy, not deadly instruments. Speaking of deadly instruments, have you seen Death Flute 2? Incredible flick. Oh, and Devon Aoki is proof that the Photoshop "spherize" filter can have real-life ramifications.

Come around here often?

Dan the Apostle.

Mitch to the left!Dan writes:

I love your site. I know everybody writes that, but hey, needs to be said. I’ve shopped around the net and find CHUD to be the sharpest, most well-written, and the most informative. But all ass kissing aside, I got a little problem. Hypocrisy. Yours, to be precise.

I’ve written you before, maybe five or six times. A couple of those letters were just musings about movies I’d recently seen (AVP was one of them) and things I would have done differently. Now, I’m no director, I’m not affiliated with the motion picture business in any way besides being a huge fan of movies. I see a film I almost like, I start thinking about ways I would have done it. It’s my right as a fan, isn’t it? I don’t expect the studio to yank the film from theaters; they’re just after the fact ideas. So I write in to you guys to share them, see if maybe other patrons of CHUD will read them and find them interesting. Maybe they won’t; I don’t really care. I just thought to throw them out there for the hell of it.

But what’s this? You put both my letters in the Steady Leak and scorn them, saying that suggesting ways to change movies is stupid and pointless. And now you’re climbing up on your soapbox (bet you got some pretty taut calves from stair-stepping that thing all the time) with “The Nick Edit” in which you suggest things you would have done to improve movies. Granted, you choices thus far have been slightly better movies than AVP, but what’s the difference. Did you include an entire section of the Steady Leak to something stupid and pointless?

Or just include a section on something fun, something to keep the old creative juices swirling.

Hey, it’s your site, you can do whatever the hell you want. I’m just a fan who would hate to go elsewhere for my movie news. Perhaps opinions are better left to the message boards.

Thanks for the time.

Nick’s Reply: Thing is, The Steady Leak is a collection of a lot of things. The Nick Edit section is a response to requests from readers. Someone asked me to do it, so I did. Even though I lately feel that the readers as a whole are a bit lazy when it comes to helping improving the site and communicating with us, I’ve just come to realize that the majority of the letters I get from people bitching about movies come from a place not grounded in film knowledge but knee-jerk reaction. I think that stuff needs to be qualified to have merit. It’s why I don’t engage in film discussions with the folks who IM me, because you simply cannot know where this person is coming from without a little discussion and research. Micah Robinson’s opinion on a film comes from a shitload of research, but how am I supposed to know what Cyborg811’s brain is filled with. I’m sorry if I slighted you in your emails. It’s probably a case where I saw an opportunity for a quick joke rather than the desire to spend any more time ruminating about AVP.

Come around here often?

Jaa Rule.

Mitch to the right.Matt writes:

Just wanted to write and say great
job with the Tony Jaa interview. I saw Ong-Bak this weekend and it had been
awhile since I had been dazzled by a martial arts movie in our post Matrix wire-fu world. Knowing that he
really did all of what was shown on the screen was completely impressive. My
jaw literally dropped multiple times during the film. I was very excited about
it afterwards and will of course have to watch it again for the Spielberg and
Luc Besson messages. I was a bit disappointed to hear that it took 8 years to make this movie, I hope the next
Tony Jaa film comes out a little faster after Ong Bak’s success.

Keep up the good work, hope all is

Nick’s Reply: Thanks! Jaa was a terrific guy to meet, and when he gets involved with films with an actual plot and some storytelling, he’ll be a legend in every sense.

Come around here often?


Mitch to the left!Bosley writes: