.The Set Up…

I asked and you spoke… the Leak stays!

But please, keep the comments coming and keep the Speed Round alive with posts on the MB thread or email link devoted to it. Also, please consider buying a CHUD or RON shirt so I can afford to eat in San Diego. Email me for details.

Since we last met, I’ve been busy on a screenplay that I simply must purge in order to continue living. I really want to tell this story and it’s been punching me in the eyes for a month now. Thanks to the guys who have been giving me feedback on each revision and making sure it’s a Hiding Out for the 00’s.

It’s summertime, but things are a little askew. The theaters don’t yet have a "Killer App" of a film and they aren’t going to get one. The weather is weird and the Florida Coast seems destined to get slapped down as if Richard Tyson was waiting for it after class. Add to that the bullshit going on in London and the fact that I just saw Natalie Portman on Sesame Street and you have a summer that just plain sucks.

At least the Yankees and Braves have started to turn it on…

Otherwise, thanks for reading and on with the Leak.

"It Sucked".

.I cannot tell you how many people come out of a theater and turn out to be fools of the highest order thanks to their asinine and stream of lack of consciousness jabber. After the War of the Worlds sneak, we overheard this eloquent conversation from two twenty-somethings:

Dude: Man, that was RETARDED.

Guy: Yeah, I think we had to read the book in high school and it was dumb too.

The next week at a softball game, one of my teammates said that he saw War of the Worlds and that it “sucked”. That’s the review. It sucked. Especially the idea to focus on one family, that really sucked. Retarded. Sucked. How many hours of creative sessions and millions of dollars were spent so someone could say that the film was retarded and aren’t you supposed to say that the film has special needs? The film may have had Down’s Syndrome or something, but it’s kind of rude to call it retarded. I wonder if they delivered the film cans in a short truck.

Look, you buy the right to say whatever the hell you want with that ticket stub. That’s how I feel, and I’ve argued with film producers about that very fact. The audience, once they make that financial commitment, can say whatever they want. The people that walk out of free screenings… well, sorta. Still, it makes sense why so many Are We There Yet? Type movies get made. Because 70% of the audience are going to get MAXIMUM VALUE for their dollar and those same people know as much about movies as I do about being a fashion designer simply because I buy clothes.

How many movies actually SUCK? How many Spielberg movies actually suck? Very few. Even Hook, which I hate… didn’t suck. Neither did The Terminal, though it was boring. Sucked is a special term that applies to a small group of films and sorry Charlie… War of the Worlds isn’t one of them. Shit, The Puppet Masters isn’t even one of them. Retarded? Even less films are retarded. I don’t know, Gummo? Cecil B. Demented? Maybe, but maybe not.

People, you earn the right to speak your mind but please, if you’re going to do it near me or someone else with an inkling of what goes into a film… THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.


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The Commentary That Wasn’t.

Here’s a secret. Me, Moriarty from AICN, Mr. Beaks, Ryan Rotten, The Inspector from the old cherished version of Creature Corner, and Dellamorte (MB regulars know the name) recorded a commentary track for a DVD for a horror sequel hitting DVD in the near future. This was several months ago, mind you. Well, it got axed. It’s not the most beloved film of all time but one we all appreciate. I won’t name it as the studio’s legal department put the kibosh on it and sent it to a watery grave and thusly ending the first ever legit commentary track I’ve ever been a part of. It makes me sad, partially because I think I got a few good jokes off but also because it makes me wonder what other special features are out there in limbo getting no love from anyone.

Apparently, this kind of shit happens all the time. Featurettes are put together and for one reason or another (irate filmmaker, legal worries, etc.) they never see the light of day. It’s something that costs money, time, and brainpower yet the customer (who I still think is the most important participant in a retail endeavor) gets it in the arse. It makes me wonder if a "definitive" DVD we pay good money for should really be considered all that definitive. It makes me wonder if there should be a more stringent governing body out there keeping track of what materials exist and what keeps them from making it to a DVD. You know, like maybe there can be a point system determining the steps to "Definitive". If they use 30% of the existing materials it can be called a "Bonus Edition", 50% allows for a "Special Edition", and maybe 75% can be considered the "Ultimate Edition". 95% – 100% grants for a truly "Definitive Edition", but who the hell wants to see a three hour documentary on the guy who cleans the lint out of Don Ameche between takes?

Look, our commentary wasn’t golden or anything. There was a lot of stuff that didn’t work, to omuch IMDB trivia regurgitation and nowhere near enough of the Rotten one (who’s a class act). But know this: Beaks mentioned Claudell Washington.

For that reason alone, you guys are missing out, and you honestly didn’t need to miss out. A "fan appreciation" track for ________________ would have made the disc a lot more fun.

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The Fact This Exists is Hilarious.

I like fishing as much as the next guy, unless the next guy is the suckfossil who’d buy this hunk of sleep.

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Comic Con!

Friends of CHUD, Dave, Devin, myself, Russ Fischer, and Sean Fahey will all be in San Diego next week representing CHUD.com and all that is good in the world. Now is the chance for us to hang out, grab some suds, and talk about how Ghoulies is the best thing since charcoal.

Enemies of CHUD, you can pretty much wipe all of us out in one fell swoop…

Provided you have a missile launcher that fires Badass Seeking Missiles (BSMs).

If you’re in or around that fine city from the 14th – 17th, look us up. You know our email addresses at we’re staying at the hotel in the Gaslamp area with a lot of rickshaws in the courtyard.

I love Rick Shaw.

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The Dissing at the Tavern.

.I know about couth. I know about attire and common sense and I am mostly a great customer for a waiter or waitress. I tip well, I crack jokes and keep them on their toes and I order the more pricey stuff more often than not. I also recently stopped dry humping the hostess stand, which should please them further. That said, I had an incident recently that caused me to stop visiting what was once one of my favorite post-screening haunts: The Tavern at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead. Let me set the scene…

Land of the Dead. Great screening, and I came out of the theater electrified. Thrilled to death. I was in extreme casual mode with shorts and a t-shirt coupled with my favorite tan colored golf hat. I was casual, but I didn’t look like a fan of deer hunting or anything. I was a little trashier than the typical Phipps resident but I certainly am known in that area as a pretty connected guy with a little value to his name. Our group gets sat at a table and I have to take a call from the West Coast, which keeps me out of the game for 5-10 minutes. I sit down, order a drink and begin perusing the menu and chatting up the humanoids about the film. For about ten minutes. Then, we order our food and continue chatting. 15-20 minutes later our food arrives and we begin to chow.

Shortly after, the manager or some glorified waitperson walks over to me and tells me that they have a “no hat” policy at the restaurant. 40 minutes into our stay there! I didn’t see a sign and the hostess certainly didn’t mention it. Nor did my waitress in the five trips she made to the table.

Obviously, I wasn’t pleased. Honestly, I had no idea I was wearing a hat but at that point I wasn’t going to take it off and look like a redneck who uses a hat as an excuse for not showering. The staff of the Tavern did not do their job before I sat down or before I ordered, but still they felt I was obliged to take my hat off. Shit, if they’d asked me at the appropriate time… BEFORE I SAT DOWN AND BEFORE I ORDERED $25 worth of food and drinks, I’d have excused myself and found another place to eat or visited the restroom to make sure I didn’t look like Jan Hammer’s worst nightmare at the table. Instead, they screwed up and wanted me to pay. Additionally, the guy obviously LIVED for moments where he could exert his very limited power and he seemed to enjoy it way too much. Like those hack mall security guards do.

I got pissed. They dropped the ball. I got a To Go box and paid my check (I even tipped her 18% even though she was a personality vacuum) and left, vowing never to return.

I don’t often wear hats. I rarely wear them at a dinner table, but if you’re going to tell me I’m an unworthy customer or too untrendy for your joint you fucking do it BEFORE I commit to spending my evening there. So, I get punished and in return they can kiss my ass for eternity. We used to go there almost weekly when the CHUD crew made the effort to hit screenings and that shit adds up.

Was I wrong? Oh, and SCREW YOU, TAVERN.

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.This happened a while ago but it still chafes me. Oprah Winfrey is a lot of things. She also is a lot of shapes. I think she’s actually not a woman whose weight fluctuates often but rather a Skrull. Think about it. It’s explain an awful lot. I’ve complained about her a bunch in the past, but my ire doesn’t stem from a man’s disdain at a woman who has more command over our women then we could ever hope for but rather her all-powerful presence over mass media and the touchy feely bullshit she masks her oily ways. I truly think she’s a dangerous presence and whenever I see her show on the television I feel my sperm dying a coward’s death and I wonder if there’s any real truth to her being all that genuine and caring. I don’t have any firsthand experience but when I see stars embracing her and talking about how much they love her I really think they’re appealing to her cadre of local lemmings and their ticket/album/book/dvd buying power instead of the amorphous magnate.

CNN ran an article a few weeks ago about Oprah’s comments that she had a racist experience, which she called a Crash moment after the recent film. Why couldn’t it have been a Cronenberg’s Crash moment?

“So I got out of my Bentley and a truck smashed it on top of me, turning a good percentage of my flesh to The Color Purple. Next thing you know, some stedman is fucking my leg gash and he didn’t even ask for my autograph…”

A snippet from their article:

The New York Post, in its Monday Page Six gossip column, reported she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately."

In comments to CNN, an Hermes spokeswoman categorically denied that allegation.

"There was never any discussion of North Africans," she said. "The story is not true."

The spokeswoman said Winfrey came to the store 15 minutes after closing and a security guard informed her the store was closed and gave her a card, telling her she could come back the next day.

Surveillance videotape of the encounter supports the store’s account, according to the spokeswoman.

Well of course it supports their account. What store other than a severely redneck location would even broach such a dangerous topic such as race? I don’t know what the problem is. A store has posted hours and if you don’t abide them why should you expect special treatment. Now granted, I’ve had a few situations where a store treated me like shit but I never expect them to go above and beyond even though I’m obviously a boon to the visibility of the store and perhaps Atlanta’s most shining and awe inspiring celebrity. I mean, who gives a filk about Michael Vick and Chipper Jones? I do free screenings of Sorority Boys!

Bottom line, you’d think someone with Oprah Winfrey’s considerable power and influence (notice I didn’t mention girth) would know better than to drop a race card at such an innocuous situation. All because she wanted to buy Tina Turner a watch. Come on, the lady needs a watch like she needs another hero.

Someone has a Scrooloose, and it ain’t me.

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If CHUD.com Ran the Movies

Bastardization by Nick Nunziata. All apologies to the makers of Dark Water.

News Attack #20

Give me a hand. What’s more depressing, seeing everyone you love eaten by insects or watching the nightly news? For me it depends on if the insects are arboreal. To save you the heartache, I browsed the US news section of CNN. Here’s a quick rundown…

1. The Headline: Hurricane Dennis Heads to the Keys.

Nick’s Take: Dennis is a bullshit name for a storm system. Imagine if you got killed in Hurricane Dennis. It’d be a wasted life, no? Dennis doesn’t wreck your town, he eats your cake and has loose stool. They seem to be really arbitrary with their choices for tropical storms, only insisting to go up the alphabet with these suckers. Storms that jeopardize lives need to have evil and tough names. My suggestions, from A-Z. Hurricane Asskicker. Hurricane Braineater. Hurricane Cockripper. Hurricane Deathbringer. Hurricane Evicerus the IVth. Hurricane Faceimmolation. Hurricane Godcrusher. Hurricane Hatingyou. Hurricane Incubus. Hurricane Jarts. Hurricane Killfrenzy. Hurricane Lifepuncher. Hurricane Marauding. Hurricane Ninjastrike. Hurricane Obliteratron. Hurricane Pallcaster. Hurricane Q: The Winged Serpent. Hurricane Rape Apartment. Hurricane Slithernipples. Hurricane Tenpounddeathadder. Hurricane Uh-Oh. Hurricane Vivisect-a-thon. Hurricane Whipass. Hurricane Xoaldus. Hurricane You-Killer. Hurricane Zero Survivors. Next year, they can call me and I’ll give them some more. Heck, I just remembered Henry Rollins’ awesome El Nino bit. His is better than this, I promise.

2. The Headline: Body Found at Recycling Factory.

Nick’s Take: Duh! Reincarnation.

3. The Headline: Light-Rail Train Strikes, Kills Man

Nick’s Take: This headline makes it seem like this train appeared from a shady alley, kicked a guy’s ass with Elite Ramming Action and then fled the scene. Most train fatalities aren’t pre-meditated. In fact, even the lamest outdoorsman can spot the tracks of these dangerous wild creatures. This is not news. If the headline said that the train killed a man AND THEN struck him, I’d be rapt with attention. Fucking thing goes Locomotive on him, slips some kind of poison in his drink and then sizzles over him, that is news. People dying when hit by oppressive forces of metal… not news. Shit, I could do that in my sleep.

4. The Headline: Serial Rapist Pleads Guilty to 2 More Aurora Cases.

Nick’s Take: Rape isn’t really that funny, despite my willingness to use The Accused as a reference of high comedy for myself and massive discomfort for most others. It’s what I call my rapier wit. Serial rape is less funny, unless it’s cereal rape because who doesn’t want to force themselves into the Trix Rabbit if just for a moment. What is funny is that the offending penis forcer in question is named Brent J. Brents, a fact which makes his parents accessories before the fact just in principle. Rumor has it that when asked for more details, the rapist sold out his accomplices Mike X. Mikes and Timmy P. Timmies and pinned the crimes on them.

5. The Headline: Police: Former Worker Kills Self Inside BGE Office

Nick’s Take: A guy showed up at his old job and murdered himself, which irks me. Why deal with the commute one last time? I mean, if you got fired and you want to make a statement, show up and take a nice large mastershit on the human resource department guy’s hands while he’s typing a memo on how to spot sexual harassment. Jerk off into the keyhole. Punch the mailroom. Kick the oldest lady in the building right in her wrist. But shoot a few windows out and then send yourself caterwauling into the abyss because you got laid off? Something tells me that this guy might need some counseling. Heck, if you simply must depart the planet ex post facto, do it in the privacy of your own home. Or at Arby’s. Don’t deal with the commute again, and don’t give these people any reasons to act all grieved and shit while the news crew is around. Well, I guess you wanted to make a statement because you had to be seen to be bereaved.

6. The Headline: Missing Teen’s Mom Apologizes To Aruba

Nick’s Take: That shit is going to take some time even if Aruba is such a small country. Even without Sidney Ponson, there’s still a lot of folks out there. Now, I think that the gal who’s missing is quite cute even though she’s from Alabama but they have spent way too much media ink on the missing case of one white girl. I mean, if she were ugly or a little brown… would it still be the kind of item that gets new ink every day? Either way, instead of apologizing to countries, the frightened parent might be better off talking to mercenaries or bounty hunters. Shit, she could even apologize to them if she wanted to.

7. The Headline: Gov. Bush ends inquiry into Schiavo’s collapse.

Nick’s Take:And only about 6 months too late!

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You Trust Me? Trust These!

Here’s 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: Constantine. I just love it. Can’t explain it. Maybe I had low expectations and maybe I just needed a comic flick that was mean and didn’t cater to the mainstream. Either way, I really dig this sonavabitch.

Book: Peaceable Kingdom – Jack Ketchum. Ketchum’s great, but I forgot how great he was in small doses. He rocks the planet here, one of the better short story collections.

Album: Deadbeat Hero – Doug Stanhope. I think Die Laughing may be better and more vicious, but this shows a comedian at the top of his game and racing with confidence. He may be the best scathing hate poet there is.

Website: Playmobil’s Viking Products. I’m starting a collection of these. Not because I refuse to grow, but because they are better than family.

Video Game: Battlefield 2 (PC/XBOX). The demo alone rules my soul, I can only imagine how good the finished and polished game will be.

Trade Paperback: Death: The Time of Your Life. So underappreciated. I’d actually take this over the original Death trade.

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The Nick Edit #9

There was enough interest in this idea that I decided to make it a regular part of this column. My edits on existing films. I’ve already said a few times that Denzel Washington should have been "wearing" one of his own personal assbombs in the climax of Man on Fire, so his death would have had an explosive punctuation mark for his enemies and also have the audience leaving the theater in a state of numbness (the good kind), but alas…

I also have mentioned that I turn off Michael Mann’s Heat a short time before the ending because I feel that DeNiro’s character is the hero of the piece. He’s the one who needs to win. He has the most ahead of him. In my cut of the film the smart and resourceful Vincent Hanna just misses getting his man, leaving us to wonder if some time down the line the two may again cross paths.

So now, I will attempt to come up with proposed edits of films that I think would make a world of difference.

Cinderella Man (The Nick Cut) – I love Paddy Considine, but he has no use in Ron Howard’s film. He’s a sidekick character for a while, then he’s an abusive husband, and then he’s used as someone to represent the sadness in the film. The victim. He’s never fully realized and he goes from being an asshole to the biggest fan of Crowe’s titular puncher. His fate is pretty much pointless except to give the film some semblance of grit because we already know what’s going to happen in the fight. While I think the love story between Zellweger and Crowe isn’t strong, this movie wastes a good character actor and would be better and leaner had his fifteen minutes been exised.

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Today’s Photo(s) from Life.

I would kill to live here and my address would be #4 Skin Alley.

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The Speed Round, #11

Here’s how it works. Ask me ANYTHING. Do it either through THIS EMAIL LINK or on THIS MESSAGE BOARD THREAD. That’s the complex nature of this section.

Q: Which is the greatest comedy album of all time– 2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, or Steve Martin: Let’s Get Small ?

A: Neither. I’m a big fan of many comedy albums. Carlin has a handful of great ones, the first Dennis Miller. Hedberg’s last. Stanhope’s Die Laughing and Deadbeat Hero. Stephen Wright’s I Have a Pony. Eddie Murphy: Comedian. There’s no shortage.

Q: Who’s the better comedian, Eddie Murphy (in his prime) or Dave Chappelle?

A: I’m not a Chappelle fan, but if it’s black comedians I’ll take Pryor, Foxx, and Cosby over both of them. Speaking of great black comedians, Larry the Cable Guy.

Q: You recently caught an advanced screening of Serenity, what’s the verdict? Do you believe the film can make enough at the box office to justify sequels?

A: Devin is egging me on to review it, so I guess I will.

Q: Is that enough?

A: Nope.

Q: What happens in a meadow at dusk?

A: Paulie Walnuts.

Q: Would you ever use the word ‘cunt’ on the main site?

A: Well, I guess so now. Personally, nah.

Q: Who’s your favorite Gilmore Girl?

A: Gary Gilmore.

Q: Which is better, the Avengers or the Defenders? (Whitehead made me think of this.)

A: Fuck the Defenders.

Q: What excately are you doing for MEG? What type of producer are you?

A: Right now it’s a lot of waiting and talking and discussing theoretical stuff and waiting for certain things to happen and making sure everyone is getting along. It’s been well over a year now and I’m still baffled by the "hurry up and wait" world of film. I will be much more of a producer in the coming months and what kind I end up being is TBA.

Q: Should Ben Affleck still be allowed to play Jack Ryan?

A: Yep, as long as Liev Schreiber comes back.

Q: Given you are a Braves fan and I am Indians fan, your opinion of racial stereotypes being used for team mascots?

A: I don’t have a problem with it. People are just looking for reasons to get offended. That said, I no longer follow the New Mexico Jew Killers.

Q: If you could only go to one website for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: MLB.com.

Q:Edit: just heard this on an XM radio commercial.. Which came first: the black hole or the galaxy?

A: I think The Black Hole came out in 1980, so that.

Q: I just bought MEG and The Trench, should I start reading them tonight?

A: Not at the same time. I’d say toss that copy of MEG aside until the new one hits. Then read THAT one.

Q: What current commerical makes you hit rewind on the DVR just so you can watch it again?

A: I don’t have a DVR, but if I did the only commercials I can really get behind are ones with double anal.

Q: What’s the worst song you have heard this week?

A: Anything by Lenny Kravitz, Michelle Branch, or God help us all… Hollaback Girl.

Q: Who would in a "bitter beer face" contest – Devin or Robert Blake?

A: Blake, if he were in Lost Highway mode.

Q: Will RON ever introduce an imaginary, talking cat who is a really a stuffed animal and a child who likes to pee on automobile emblems?

A: No. But, we do have an upcoming story featuring a rape by a statue!

Q: Is THE INCREDIBLES the best superhero movie around?

A: It’s good, but I really, REALLY like Unbreakable.

Q: How are you today, sir?

A: Covered in musk

Q: Just how much does terrorism suck?

A: It is a really shitty thing. Funnily enough, weren’t we sort of terrorists back in the day too? Seems like we were way back when America was more theoretical.

Q: French getting the Olympic snub – hilarious or just typical?

A: The Olympics are total crap. I could care less. Especially now that baseball got the shaft.

Q: Will the Braves make a move at the All-Star Break ?

A: They really don’t need to. I can’t believe it, but they’re as exciting right now as they have been since 1991.