Mailbagsukidoji:

Your letters. My smartass replies.The Steady Leak
may not be so steady these days, but your letters have been, so I must
share them and answer them so that the wheels keep turning on this
crazy little bitch. Feel free to ask whatever about whomever or
whatever, and I’ll do my best to answer it. Letters in here might be
positive, negative, or indifferent and I’ll try to maintain a balance.
Please keep sending them in (SEND A LETTER), as it’s you who fuels this column.

I’m
doing a decent job of doing one or possibly two of these letters
columns a week, but I think it might be a little better if you guys
just ask random stuff instead of things just relating to the column or
the recent letters installments.

Provided
it makes sense and applies to entertainment in some fashion, send me
whatever questions you’d like! Also, since the Leak is less frequent
than I’d like, I’ll toss a few value added things in here from now on.

With that said, here we go….

Today’s Photo From Life:


I never understand how people A.) Make such a big deal about showing up on TV during a ballgame and B.) Talk to someone on the cell phone while they are as if it’s some amazing moment. Watch the game, you’re supposed to be a Cardinals fan!

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The Fact This Exists Is Hilarious.


It ain’t milk if a Horlicks it.

Serenity #1.

Mitch to the left!Patti writes:

This is an email apologizing to Devin for the nasty
behavior of some of the more dedicated fans of Serenity and Firefly
towards Devin.

As usual, it is normally the most passionate of
fans who respond to articles on firefly and unfortunately, sometimes it is blind
passion. They overlooked that Devin liked the film, but he only commenting on
the behavior of some of the fandom. Unfortunately, some took this very
personally and chose to respond in a way that only re-affirms Devin’s points.

It also does not help that Joss encourages the fans
to express their devotion, perhaps not always realizating the intensity of that
devotion.

Please assure Devin that not all Browncoats have
lost their minds. Most of them are quite nice and polite and all that jazz.


Nick’s Reply: I agree. It never fails that the extremes in fandom paint the rest as freaks. Happened with Mr. Lucas, Mr. Roddenberry, and I’d expect time to do the same for other creators. The problem I have with a lot of diehard fans is that they wear blinders and have glossed over this site’s several years of positive and mostly "orgasm" free coverage of Whedon.

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Movie Passes

Mitch to the right.Ben writes:

Nick thanks for the Movie passes to Domino even though I didn’t enter that contest,….I did not know any answers,…so I didn’t apply, but I did want to see that movie…..As I emaild you before,…I love your website,..I am turning all my movie buff friends on to it from here to NYC,…CHUD is great, and I respect your decision to change your movie entry methods….Keep on CHUDDING,….you do make a difference to those of us who do really visit your site for more than free stuff, thats all just gravy on the steak…

Nick’s Reply: I picture you at a street corner chain-smoking as you write this. All those periods. Just on the brink of spazzing out. Rain Man and shit. Anyhow, I appreciate the note, and I will keep on CHEWING, not CHUDDING.

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Serenity #2.

Mitch to the left!Gabriel writes:

Nice editorial. I
agree with pretty much all of it – though in Australia at least, Universal is as
responsible – if not more – as the Browncoats. The only way they seemed to want
to promote this movie was through the Fox-axed-it-but-the-fans-brought-it-back
angle – to the point where I thought: if I have to hear this story once more,
I’m gonna scream.

I know this is the
way they went about it; having had some contact with the publicity team in
Sydney: I was even told by an editor of the entertainment section on my paper,
when he asked if I’d write a piece, that the publicist "suggested we do a story
on the fans", because our paper hadn’t done that story yet. In actual fact, we’d
run a 1500 word piece two weeks previously – almost all of which dealt with
Whedon’s and Firefly’s fanbase. The company here didn’t seem remotely interested
in promoting it any other way. I told the publicist I wanted to do a story about
session 416, as a different way into the movie – she wasn’t at all interested
and refused me a one-on-one interview.

(Though I did manage
to get one and wrote two short pieces for different
sections.)
Anyway, all moot at
this point, though it seems to have opened quite well in these parts. As you
pointed out though, that won’t matter when it comes to making a sequel.
I agree about the
movie itself too: much better as a TV show than a movie.

Here’s hoping Joss
can put his talents to better – and more popular – uses in the future.

Nick’s Reply: Honestly, I think what Joss ought to do is step away from chick-empowerment flicks for a while. He’s talented enough to do whatever’s out there but seems gravitationally pulled towards similar material. I think to a lesser extent (as his range isn’t the same) it’s what hurts Kevin Smith. I’d love to see Whedon do a thriller. A giant adventure flick. Anything but another chick-centric quirk-a-thon. That is why I am not his agent, nor of no real significance in the grand scheme of all things Joss.

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Religion.

Mitch to the right.Rob writes:

You got some harsh feedback on the religion rant in the last Leak, so
here’s a little good feedback!

I’m glad you’re on that ship, of creationism being dumb and the unfortunate
state of affairs where religion is being crammed down people’s throats. The
only thing I like being crammed down my throat is cupcakes.

I think it’s unfair for people to turn the tables and call you
narrow-minded. You were voicing an opinion but not forcing anyone to believe
it. While I was driving through Mississippi on my way to Gulfport two weeks
ago, a nice old man told me I was going to Hell because I didn’t accept Jesus as
my Personal Lord and Savior.

He was voicing his opinion, too, but he also insisted on berating me and
giving me a cross that would save me from eternal damnation. Point is, he was
going out of his way to make me feel bad about the choices in my life.

What the fuck gave him that right? He’s in the exclusive God Club, and
therefore better than me? Balls, I say.

Does creationism deserve to be taught in schools? Sure. It should work
like this: 99 percent of the year should be dedicated to evolution and
scientific theories that have been proven to the best of the ability of some of
the greatest minds on the planet. Then, the idea of creationism can be
introduced as thus: "There’s also this theory called creationism. It’s kinda
cool. Anyway, back to reality." Seriously though, it’s an interesting theory
and worth discussion but not legitimacy.

Believe what you want to believe, but something that really goads me is
that the Bible is revisionist history. After the Romans got all big on the
Catholicism train, the hatred toward Romans in the Bible was toned down. On top
of that, the entire thing contradicts itself. How can you base the total of
reality on a book where the entire first half contradicts the entire second
half? I have examples (at home but I’m at work), of the man, JC himself, saying
one thing in one book, and saying something completely contradictory in the next
book. And Song of Songs is softcore porn.

To people who want to live their life by the word of the Bible, I say thus:
Sure, the book tells you to hate gay people. It also tells you that if your
child misbehaves, they should be stoned. (I’m sorry, I don’t have the chapter
and verse).

My point is, the next time your kid mouths off, if you’re a good Christian
or Catholic or whatever, you will hit him in the face with a brick. Or is it
easier to pick and choose?
Anyway, keep on fighting the logic fight. I liked it. I was all tingly
after reading it. Fostering debate is better than cramming. Anyone who tells
you voicing your opinion in your own opinion column is wrong is probably a
Communist, or at least a Republican.

Nick’s Reply: When Mr. Sarte said that Hell is other people, he wasn’t kidding. I wanted to vent and I did. Some religious folks got bent out of shape, but they needed the exercise anyway.

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Screenings #2

Mitch to the left!Glasskey writes:

The free movie screenings are deeply appreciated. Seriously! It’s just
that in the instructions for the Domino movie passes, it said to write that
city info and other stuff on the INTERIOR envelope, and on this Doom webpage,
the complaint is that people didn’t write their info on the EXTERIOR envelope.

I know most people in the general public are doofuses and no doubt screw up
those SASE envelopes all the time, but I really do try to follow the
instructions to the letter (so to speak); I guess what I’m saying is, I hope you
don’t punish those people who sent in SASE’s for Domino with the requested info
written on the interior envelope. Cause I really want to see that movie.

Thanks again for putting in the effort to send passes to movie
screenings!

Nick’s Reply: I’m not punishing anyone, unless by punishing you mean killing hours upon hours of my time doing screenings that I get no benefit from. If that is the case, I am a glutton. This method allows me to do it on my turns and send the passes to the people who I feel most deserve it, not just the ones who know my address and have the contest page bookmarked. That said, I am spending the weekend watching playoff baseball, drinking coffee, and mailing breastloads of Doom passes. I am starting to see other (barely) movie websites’ names on passes, so I think the studios are spreading the love around more (plus some local reps are obviously biased). It works out perfectly as CHUD.com eases out of the movie pass distibuting business.

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From a Cyrus.

Mitch to the right.Cyrus writes:
I am a loud and proud Cyrus. I have never hurt anyone or
wish to hurt anyone…………..until now. Well, not really. I would like to
know how you came to the assumption that anyone named Cyrus hurts others? Wasn’t
it Cyrus that was killed in the Warriors? Although Cyrus is a great villain name
used in hollywood,(hollywood doesn’t deserve a capitol C in my eyes right now)
we, or I, do not hurt others. Much, or intentionally. I actually get hurt when
watching crappy movies these days. I do admit the Billy Ray Cyrus era hurt allot
of people, namely , ME!!! How many times have I been called Billy Ray or given a
nickname because of that mullet of a bastard. So to clear it up. People going by
3 names no matter what they are always evil, 3 names with Cyrus included,
possibly evil. Cyrus as a first name and spelled correctly, that’s right you
posing Real World Punk!!, Alllllllll Good.


Nick’s Reply: Sigh. Russ?

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Serenity #3.

Mitch to the left!Gio writes:


I’ve been following the Browncoats vs. CHUD review
debate for a few days now and without getting into Serenity’s stand alone merits
I think there is more than one reason why this movie isn’t doing as well as was
expected by some. Given the fanatical loyalty Joss Whedon inspires in his fans
and the (relative) success of BtVS and Angel one could reasonably assume JW
would have been able to recruit most of that fan base for his latest venture.
Instead feelings are running high at some of the bigger web groups and forums
where disgruntled Buffy fans are vowing not to go and see Serenity because they
feel JW ‘abandoned’ their show to go running after his new pash "Firefly" to the
detriment of the girl that brung him! These people say they felt so let down by
the emotionally bankrupt ‘iconic moment’ ending of Buffy (Starbucks anyone?!)
that they no longer trust Joss to deliver the goods when it comes to giving them

the satifying closure they ‘need’ despite his promises to do just that.

A crazy theory? Maybe, but if all the Buffy and
Angel fans bought just one ticket to go see Serenity, neither JW nor his
browncoats would have to worry about making the magic $80 million target they
need for a sequel, and yet so far that isn’t happening!

Nick’s Reply: If all the people that have read this site sent me a dollar I’d be able to have a CHUD office building in the city with a rum fountain and 24 hour whores, but fans often are lazy and you can’t expect that from them. I have a feeling many of those fans are waiting for video or godforsaken torrent downloads of his flick. Laziness, man. It’s the worst. For example, if every person who has read Hellblazer were to promise to see Constantine, it’d have been a huge failure. Film and its high budget and marketing costs need Joe Public to ante up. That said, the new Serenity ads ar emuch better, though comparing it to Star Wars hurts as much as helps these days.

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Serenity #4.

Mitch to the right.Jessica writes:

I gotta say I’m almost grateful to you for writing the last two
articles about ‘Serenity’ and its fan-base. I don’t agree with every assertion
you made, but this part -

"As for the idea that I don’t like the very
concept of the Browncoats – guilty as charged! I don’t like any self-identifying
pop-cultural group. I find it bizarre and troubling. Trekkies make me feel
creeped out, and that was before seeing the excellent documentary about the
phenomenon. I am a fan of
Buffy and Angel, but I wouldn’t
include myself in a fan group. I love
Lost and watch it
religiously, but I wouldn’t consider myself a Lostie. I don’t like to categorize
myself by my musical tastes or my reading material or the sneakers I wear. The
desire to be included in a group, the desire to become part of a big pop
cultural movement like that – I don’t get it.
"

- I’m glad somebody finally said it. I was a big fan of BtVS, thought it
was a great show, and often got on the Internet to discuss it and everything.
But I never wanted to worship it, or to become totally defined by being a fan of
it. In a twisted sort of way, I always thought that taking it that far belittled
the fact that it actually was a very good show in the first place. I agree that
it’s creepy and wierd and disturbing and wrong. I cringed the first
time I heard the word ‘Browncoat’ applied to a Firefly fan, but I’ve never been
able to articulate why. And I’m a bit dissapointed in Joss for encouraging this
sort of fandom. Anyway, good luck to you,

Nick’s Reply: Dane Cook does a joke about brown coats. As for getting so deeply entrenched in fandom, I also don’t get it. Even this site’s best and brightest (called Chewers) are just a group of creative and funny people, and there’s no real weight to it. It’s just that products or places or projects that attract a certain demographic give them a sort of shared "thing". It’s really, REALLY cool when handled well. Look at the Big Lebowski festival they do.

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Religion #2.

Mitch to the left!Sean writes:

Just to say right up
front, that I am an extremely religious person. I am a Christian who attends
Church weekly and reads his scriptures, although not as often as I should. I
think you are both right and wrong. You will see a tightening of our rights and
it may even be in the name of religion and morality. However if the majority of
Christians would pull their heads out, they would realize that George Bush is no
Christian. He has done as much to subvert the cause of peace loving people in
this country and others as the hated Bill Clinton. Just because someone says he
is a Christian does not mean that he is. Judge a man by his works, and both the
men and women in both parties of government, have put forth bitter fruit.

The point is that I
agree that losses of freedom and rights will be blamed on the religious right,
just like the same would be blamed on the Godless left if a Dem was in charge.
Honestly, it’s simply the work of those that care more about power than the
people in the country.

The truth is that
those that follow just because of a label, whether it is
Christian, Atheist, Democrat or Republican are to blame. It’s sad because
Christian’s should know better. In fact, Vox Day makes a great point on his
blog: "On an increasingly tangential note, I also wonder, when Paul repeatedly
warns that the Church will be attacked by many enemies within, why Christians
spend so little effort contemplating who those treacherous wolves in sheep’s
clothing in their own local church might be."

And like always,
CHUD is the best movie site on the web. Thanks for leaking on us again. I wish
it was more often (maybe you need to take a diuretic), but I will take whatever
I can get.

Nick’s Reply: Thanks for the words. I wonder how people are going to respond to a Scientologist president?

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Fountain.

Mitch to the right.Pat writes:

Any clue
what’s going on with The Fountain? Lots of ominous mentions in some recent
magazines that it’s going to be released 2006 and not this year (even though
Aronofsky said in a Comic Con interview that it *WILL* be released this year)
and that gooey website still hasn’t been updated. Also, the graphic novel was
scheduled to be released on Nov. 2 but some people have reported that when they
went to pre-order it they were told it wasn’t going to be released until
January.

I’ve been
waiting so long for this movie (being a huge Hugh Jackman fan) and I would love
it to be released by the end of the year to get some recognition (especially
since we’ve heard great things about it and the performances) and not buried in
January.
Thanks for
any info.

Nick’s Reply: I have to keep my trap shut in regards to this. Here’s what I know: Darren is hard at work on it and head-down in it. Its release date is as-yet undetermined but if it come sout now or later it’s not because of anything but the most sincere reasons. There’s a lot of confidence in this picture, and if it hits in winter, spring, or summer it’ll be a significant movie. Not something that is hard to peg down. Just hang loose, we’ll have some info and stuff from this one in the future. In the meantime, stop using a bold font that messes with my web broswer.

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What’s a Mary Worth?

Mitch to the left!Kevin writes:


I love CHUD and I love RON and I love the Podcasts and I loved the way you kicked as on that panel in San Diego, but those Mary Worth spoofs you’re doing are the most twisted and hilarious things I’ve ever seen in the CHUD world. I just felt you needed to know.

Nick’s Reply: Kevin is referring to the "Mary Worth War" Lewis Cox and I are embroiled in, a sort of Photoshop dance-off. It’s not a CHUD thing at all, and questionable in terms of good taste and fairness towards the folks who do the strip. It’s just little doctored-up comic strips that can be seen HERE. I am glad you like them though I’m sad it’s not something home grown that we did all ourselves that does it for you but I have to admit that these are killing me too. I love the flexibility of these things and I wish we had the blessing of the Mary Worth folks to do these for real on the site. That said, it’s just a little goof I’m glad some folks are digging.

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Serenity #5.

Mitch to the right.Daniel writes:

You say that no one
will make that mistake twice regarding turning DVD sales and fan support into a
major release, but you forget Highlander 2… While it was an amazingly horrid
movie, it blows that theory out of the water.. Also see the Crow… How many
sequels have there been?
 
It can happen… I’m
not a "browncoat" but I have plenty of friends who are… I enjoyed the movie
immensely, only having ever seen the pilot… It had a lot going for it and I
think there’s more in the offing.. Call it just a gut feeling…