Welcome
back to the site after a weekend of naughtiness and repeated
kicks to the solar plexus and a Monday that included not
getting fired and an unexpected tryst in the closet with
your boss’s daughter. I hope all is well in your neck of
the woods.

The
official CHUD.com softball team, The Chewers played a doubleheader
this past Sunday and swept it to get our record to a respectable
2-1. Thanks to the small gaggle of local folks who came
to support us. We play again this Sunday at 1:30 and 2:30
and would always love to see more folks out there.

In
other news, I think that the new Harry Potter film
may rank right near the top of the heap in recent memory
of films with damn near impeccable set design, production
value, and jaw-dropping aesthetic cinematic beauty. It was
flat out DIRECTED. I hope Chris Columbus watches
that film and jumps into a pool of angry carp. It just showcases
how much a difference it makes when a big franchise is willing
to let a visionary take the helm. Imagine if the James Bond
people took their heads out of their assholes.

DVD
titles worth getting this week:
City
of God, Mystic River, Field of Dreams: SE, The Dead Zone
#2.

DVD
titles I’m afraid I’ll buy:
Playmakers:
The Complete Series.

Now,
on with the Leak!

Your
Take On Gossip.

Gossip
is shit. There, I’m sure that tainted any potential responses
I get from you folks on the matter. It. Is. Shit.

That
said, I cannot believe how many people ask me through email,
IM, and regular human conversation about trivial stuff like
who’s fisting who, who’s in the closet, and what actresses
can see behind them thanks to their latest facelift. I guess
it’s part of this cycle of pain where more and more reality
shows probe deeper into people’s lives [The Swan
may be the most ruthlessly impure], more and more magazines
[Movieline, EW] give space to irrelevant chatter, and the
legal trials of entertainers get more ink than the numerous
and far more pressing matters of our country’s state. Look
at that screen capture from an early May IMDB [quickly becoming
one of the worst sites for news, though it is the best resource
around] update and you’ll get my drift.

Stupid
stuff like the headline above about Michael Jackson’s drawers
do little but give uncreative talk show hosts fodder for
their monologues. What good do they do us? Are they supposed
to inform parents not to allow their kids to go up to the
Neverland Ranch as if people in Peoria should have that
fear? Are they to teach us that even if you like ‘Beat It’,
there’s always a chance the ‘it’ might be your kid’s divining
rod?

You’ll
never see that kind of stuff on here, but I am interested
in getting to the core of this infatuation with gossip for
a future article. Is it because seeing these other people
suffer makes our own lives look better? Is it because we
like to watch car crashes? Is it because we’re simply vegetables
who’ll watch whatever the TV gods hand down?

Share,
please. Help me to understand.

If
you’d like, SEND
A LETTER
with your comments on this noise.

Punch
This Film.

Let’s
ruminate about this…

Great
old puppet show from a guy bold enough to use the name "Gerry".
Nostalgia and its powerful allure. Puppets. Space. PUPPETS.
What more do you need?

Well,
apparently you need to ape the Spy Kids movies.
I’m sure most of you you will agree that we don’t need more
films trying to ape the Spy Kids movies, at
least not REAL movies. Let’s be frank (Langella). It is
very easy to make films for thirteen year olds. The film
world of today doesn’t feel like kids need or deserve people
like Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg, and the like making movies
for the young folks. Instead, they find a trend and ride
it as if were Shannon Tweed in 1987. Whether or not Thunderbirds
was a ever a straightforward flick or if it was
reconfigured in post-production to be a kiddie flick is
irrelevant. The fact is that the film hitting theaters looks
so much like an abomination that the Hulk is already starting
to shed his purple pants in anticipation. Have you seen
the TRAILER
for this thing? It’s an affront to intelligent people the
world over. What were they thinking? It seems the only puppet
in this incarnation of Thunderbirds is Jonathan
Frakes himself.

Kids
are great but the need to populate big films with child
protagonists only works if it’s natural. I don’t know where
it all went wrong but this film looks like a long walk off
a short dick.

If
you’d like, SEND
A LETTER
with your comments on this noise.

The
Beat of a Different Drummer…

I
wonder if the film business would allow for another Stanley
Kubrick to come into existence today. There’s no shortage
of freedom for visionary filmmakers to stake their claim
and people like Aronofsky, Fincher, and their ilk certainly
have the chops to endure and people like David O. Russell
certainly have the tortured genius bit squared away.

That
said, there was one Kubrick. I wonder if the film business
as it is could allow for someone like him to survive creatively.
All those takes. All that time. The meticulous genius. Those
crazy eyes! I just can’t see the man fitting within the
studio system anymore. Even Woody Allen seems to be shrinking
away to smaller budgets and less freedom of choice these
days and he’s a guy who can crank out a film a year, though
they aren’t exactly the Woody Allen flicks of yore.
Were
Stanley Kubrick to pounce out of film school or whatever
little Kafka-esque dimensional portal of origin, he’d either
have to work strictly in the indie world or stand up straight,
take his medicine, and sell out then and there.

If
you’d like, SEND
A LETTER
with your comments on this noise.

The
Fact this Exists is Hilarious, Part 7.

If
you’d like, SEND
A LETTER
with your comments on this noise.

Mailbagsukidoji:

They
say that the Internet is filled with fools, but we’re out
to prove them wrong. Of course, who are these "they"
people we always hear about? Of course, your comments are
the lifeblood of this column. Please keep them coming. Don’t
be afraid to hold back.
Regardless,
here’s another batch of letters from the great Sewer Chewership
out there. To send a letter, CLICK
HERE
.

Denis
Leery.

Mark
Writes:
Nick do you think that Denis Leary is a pompus,
arrogant asshole who has not said a funny thing in years
also? I used to think he was funny but now he just runs
around in some films and appears on the unfunny "ToughCrowd"
and spouts his Tobey Keith version of America. When is he
going to get back to doing funny films like "The Ref"
or comedy specials like "No Cure for Cancer" the
recent pompus ass makes me long for those days.

Also one other thing. What do you think will happen to alot
of these actors who have no careers but still seem to be
in the news because of the partying they do? Like Edward
Furlong, Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, Andy Dick, Balthazar
Getty,Tara Reid; the list goes on and on. Why do people
even call thse guys celebrities anymore? They never do anything
and only party.

Nick’s
Reply:
I used to love Denis Leary and think the Bill
Hicks/Denis Leary argument is trite and a crutch. I’ve listened
to both extensively and there is crossover material but
not enough to write the man off. That said, I haven’t seen
any of his work from the past several years nor heard any
comedy from him to know if he’s still decent or not. The
Ref
earns him a lot of leeway, but I’m just indifferent.
I am sad to say that I used to love Dennis Miller to death
but find him a bearded puppet these days. As for the other
group you mentioned? Screw ‘em. What they do off camera
is irrelevant to me. Of the bunch, I’d like to see more
of Getty because he looks like the lost Earth X Charlie
Sheen.

DVD’s
Revenge.

Bob
Writes:
I read your column every day, and a few days
ago, you commented on DVD’s and how they come with that
farking tape on every side of the case and how you have
to have a masters degree in cosmetic surgery just to get
all the tape off of the case without ruining the plastic
of the case itself. I whole-heartedly agree with your "plea"
to the makers of these stupid stickers-on-cases, and agree
that stores should take more measures to ensure theft prevention,
especially since 90% of all the DVD’s that I get (online
included), have that security metal thinger inside.

However, today, I hit the last straw. Granted, there’s really
nothing else I can do but rant (are there e-mail addresses
of people at these companies that we can mail or something
so our claims don’t go unheard?), so I will. I bought a
DVD online, and I got it today. I got the plastic open to
reveal my pretty new present to myself and saw the single
sticker going across the top. Greedily I grabbed it by the
"open" tab (after about 10 tries with my thumbnail,
which, of course, made a nice rip in the polyurethane, and
pulled it off, and coming off with it, was about half of
the top of the j-card insert for my movie! The sticker RIPPED
the paper sleeve, ruining the top part of my new DVD that
wasn’t even OPEN yet!!! Oh boy, was I pissed.

I feel your pain, and I want them to stop. What’s it with
these people doing it with Playstation 2 and Xbox games
now, too? Is there a huge theft ring that I’m unaware of?
Hell… put ALL the games behind the cases at every regular
retail store (there are electronics reps anyway), like at
EB and such, and have them hand out the games. Problem solved.

However, this problem will go unsolved, as it seems to be
getting worse, not better (every side now has these stickers
on AAA titles), and I’m just going to have to live with
ripped inserts. Unless they make all the inserts glossy,
but that’s just wishful thinking.

Thanks for letting me rant. Love your site. :)

Nick’s
Reply:
You read the column every day? I wish I could
WRITE the thing every day, but I’m a small puddle of suck
of late. As for the security stuff, it’s really simple.
If people paid and trained their employees better, the shrinkage
would wane. If there was a system where the security devices
were ON THE DISC ITSELF, shrinkage would wane. Those new
snaps on the DVD cases are annoying but they make it harder
to get in the case, so I assume that would help. Instead,
we have to deal with Sticky McSticks and his sidekick RESIDUDE.

Secret
Wart.


Steve Writes:
About your comment on the ‘Secret War’
comic. You state that it lacks the premise of the original.
What original? There has never been any other ‘Secret War’
comic unless of course you are confusing it with ‘Marvel
Super Heroes Secret Wars’? If so let me just say this: Different
comic.

Different story. Neither book has anything to do with the
other so comparing the two is pointless, and (dare I say
it?) a little ignorant. Know your material before bashing
the hell out of it. Unless you were trying to be funny?
If so my sincere apologies.

Nick’s
Reply:
I’m not confusing it with the old ‘Secret
Wars’ comic, because it was that very comic that inspired
this new series. I read a few interviews with the writer
and the gist was that they liked the idea but didn’t like
the Beyonder. You know, because he was unrealistic. You
know, unlike people whose limbs stretch or guys who turn
to ice and freeze everything. The beauty of the Secret Wars
idea is that it is a match where the scereny and trappings
of a particular comic are stripped away to allow us to see
what a battle would be like between these characters. No
periphery. This new comic has no heart.

The
Message Boards Gestapo.

Carly
Writes:
I like you site! How long does it take to get
verified?

I tried to join.

Nick’s
Reply:
Who knows? I’ve made it so once again not Hotmail
or Yahoo accounts can register. There are other sites that
provide free email, and it’s a bitch to sift through. It’s
a shame we have to, but so many people on our message boards
have grown irritating that it needs to be. I’m in the process
of giving the boards a little shot of vitality, or euthanasia,
depending on how you look at it. Either way, the motives
are pure.

The
Hate After Tomorrow.

Randall
Writes:
Love the website …blah blah, on your rant
regarding the Day after Tomorrow, there was another scene
bothering me. If its so damn cold how could Jake Glylenlynlynhallababa
character climb around the giant ship with no gloves on?
I understand adrenaline and all that but you freeze to metal
in cold weather. It didn’t even seem cold … where were
the shivering people? Anyway those are my pet peeves about
the movie.

Nick’s
Reply:
"Where were the shivering people?".
It’s questions like this that haunt our society. Really,
where are the shivering people these days? I remember when
I was a kid, you could see people shivering up and down
the landscape. Literally, you couldn’t go twenty paces without
someone knowing your name… and shivering while they did.
I don’t know where the shivering people have gone, Randy…
but I intend to find out.

Swarm.

Chad
Writes:
While there is a lot of hate for TDAT, I enjoyed
it. Then again, I adore the goofy idiocy that was/is The
Swarm, so what the heck do I know? I didn’t think it was
as poorly made as Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and/or The
Swarm, but it came nowhere near the heights of The Towering
Inferno or The Poseidon Adventure. I think it hovers around
Earthquake. It was just what I was expecting from Roland
Emmerich – big, loud, and monumentally stupid.

Now I’m off to watch Bubba Ho-Tep and The Towering Inferno
this weekend.

Nick’s
Reply:
Look at the budgets for the films you mentioned.
Adjust for inflation, adjust the amount of marketing for
each, and then think about it. The other films are little
70’s shlock. Emmerich’s film is a BIG SUMMER FILM that is
masquerading as some giant piece of entertainment. Well,
they got the GIANT PIECE part right.

The
Rhetoric After Tomorrow.

Susan
Writes:
You might have also added that preaching should
occur in religious venues, not movie theatres. The heavy
handed moralizing about fossil fuels, evil North American
consumerism, the treatment of third world countries and
our need to be more friendly made me ill.

Nick’s
Reply:
I was waiting for Steve Seagal to show up at
a podium to tech me about the environment. Oh, and how’s
about no preaching happening anywhere? That’d be neat!

Lack
of CNN.

Bob
Writes:
What up with the CNN column? I haven’t seen
anything new for awhile.

Nick’s
Reply:
Seek and ye shall find. There’s a new one up
now. I’ve had a problem with my email client, resulting
in two columns flying off into the ether. One of them was
turned into my CHUD rant about The Day After Tomorrow.
The other will run next Tuesday. Thanks for actually noticing.

In
Defense of Comics.

Brendan
Writes:
Hey wassup? I know this is in response to your
59th Steady Leak column. I know I’m a little behind, but
I’ve been busy, and I just read it tonight after seeing
it referenced in your 60th article of the leaky kind.

Some of the pints you brought up are quite valid. The Batman
runs have been quite annoying, (as if we needed Loeb to
write ANOTHER 12 issue Mega Villain SpectacularTM with a
murder mystery to be solved) and never liked Bart Sears
or his freaky shiny people. In defense of Cable and Deadpool,
Liefeld is only drawing the covers of those comics and not
the issues themselves. I happen to like them, but then Deadpool
is one of my all time favorite characters. He’s just been
horribly mistreated my Marvel.

I do disagree that "comics suck right now". I
think that over the last few years they have gotten nothing
but better as the "big two" continue to bring
in outside talent that can bring a fresh take on characters
or comics in general.

I like lists. So to prove my point, a list of the top 10
reasons why comics don’t, in fact, "suck right now".

1. Mark Millar.
It’s hard to pinpoint what this man does so well that makes
me read all his stuff and love it. There’s just something
about the pace and urgency of his stories that grabs me.
The first volume of the Ultimates was a great take on some
classic characters, and his run on The Authority was as
thought provoking as it was ultra violent. Tough to do.

2. Brian K. Vaughan
Y The Last Man is rivaling Ennis’ Preacher series as the
best thing ever put out by Vertigo. The concept is fresh,
and the story arcs are short enough that new readers can
jump on and be caught up pretty quick without having to
re-read all the back issues. Runaways is also a great comic
by this promising new talent.

3. Ashley Wood
Automatic Kafka was a blast, and so is anything else put
out by this highly unique artist. His work is easily recognizable
and wholly unique, with sometimes 3 or 4 styles used in
one issue.

4. IDW

The flagship for good horror comics and helped greatly by
Steve Nil’s imagination, I’ve loved 95% of what these guys
put out. From the licensed stuff like Silent Hill to Nil’s
own Wake the Dead and Remains, you’re sure to see most of
this stuff in theaters before the end of the decade.

5. Amazing Spiderman
Week after week this title doesn’t let me down. John Romita
Jr.s pencils are amazing as always, and Straczynski’s take
on the old web slinger is the best this comic’s been since
Michelinie’s run in the 90’s.

6. Ennis on Punisher
What took Marvel so long to make the Punisher a MAX title?
With Ennis at the helm this book has new life, and the latest
issue was one of the goriest things I have ever seen in
any comic. Ever.

7. Demo
The best independent comic out there today, Brian Wood and
Becky Cloonan’s Demo tackles how young people deal with
special powers in an extremely realistic fashion. Becky
changes her art style to fit each story and, like life,
they rarely reach happy endings, if there’s closure at all.

8. TPBs
Miss a few issues of something you wanted to read and it
has since sold out? Want to catch up on a book you’ve been
hearing good things about? It’s easy to do those things
now, just wait a few months and the Trade Paperback will
be at Barnes + Noble. This is how I’ve caught up on a ton
of books that I missed when they started. A trend I hope
continues.

9. Bendis
Say what you want about the man, cause I’m sure he doesn’t
care. I’ve read every book he’s put out since he "went
mainstream" and have yet to find a dud. Some are better
than others, true, but even a bad Bendis book is better
than anything a lot of writer’s best stories.

10. The Prices
Before you delete this, hear me out. Comic prices are one
of the few things that have been steady in this country
over the last few years. Movie Tickets? 9-12 bucks in most
places. Gas? 2 dollars and change. Even milk has gone up
significantly in the last few years. But comics have been
holding steady for a while now. If anything they’ve gone
down since that insane "variant holographic $4.95 for
22 freaking pages" craze of the late 90’s. At least
I know how much I’ll be spending every week at my local
shop. Can’t say that at the gas pumps or the supermarket.

Anyway, thanks for reading this too-long rant. I just wanted
to put my two cents in, as I’ve been enjoying the hell out
of my comics for the past few years. I hope a decade or
two from now we look back on this era of comics the same
way we look back on the Golden Age. As long as we can hold
off the spider clones that is.

Brendan Wilson

p.s. Thanks for the Bubba Ho-Tep DVD. As soon as my lousy
brother gives it back I plan to watch it.

Nick’s
Reply:
1. Millar. He’s good but stretched too thin.
2. Vaughn. No. Never. Y: The Last Man is to Preacher what
Colin Farrell is to Robert DeNiro. 3. Wood. Good artist,
no doubt… but his work could just as easily be in books
like Brom or Giger and it wouldn’t matter. 4. IDW’s fine,
but like Oni they aren’t going to change the world. 5. Spidey.
I love Romita, but find myself glazing over after a few
issues of this stuff. 6. Ennis. I’m flat out tired of the
Max stuff. Look, I can be profane too! Cock. Shit. Ass.
7. Have to admit, I’ve never heard of it. 8. Trades ARE
the comic biz now. It’s a beautiful. 9. I have no love for
Bendis, though I do dig some of his stuff. 10. The prices
were high in the 90’s and they still are. Thanks for writing.

Nerve
Struck.

Eric
Writes:
You know, I never get too offended by some of
the arrogant crap I read on this site. Self important ramblings
and arrogant posts go hand and hand with any internet site,
It’s a given. I even snicker whenever I hear some of the
growing complaints that Nick, Devin and their inner circle
have started to hold themselves too far above the common
CHUD rabble. Honestly, although some of the self proclaimed
lap dogs like Kirby, Matchstick and Bateman have become
nothing but pompous trolls who add nothing to any thread
besides declaring themselves better than everyone else,
I haven’t really ever been offended by Nick or Devin like
some other people have.

Then Nick had to go and let slip with some feelings about
the average chewer in the latest Steady Leak. I quote –

"3.
Make sure you’ve got something interesting to say. If you’re
just writing because you like the sound of keyboards clicking,
perhaps it might be better suited on one of the dozens of
pointless "Name your favorite________" threads
on the message boards.

May
not seem like much, but it is if you really read it. This
is what Nick feels of the average Chewer and the things
they discuss on the message boards. This is what we are
to him. We’re not movie obsessed supporters of the site
who enjoy bullshitting about films. We’re just dullards
who post pointless threads because we like hearing ourselves
type.
Maybe you need to step back and unclench your head from
your own ass and pay some respect to the people who keep
your site and your dreams of being somebody in the biz afloat.
You have a tremendous amount of goodwill towards your site,
so maybe you should get down off your throne and recognize
the commoners who are here because we respect you, your
opinions and what you do.

Sure, some of our threads and posts may seem dull to you.
They may not be witty or insightful and you’ve seen them
done a million times. To us, it’s a community discussing
things that we love and gauging each others’ opinions. We
discussing films and what we love and hate just for the
sake of discussing what we obsess about with like minded
individuals. Some of us, although we love and support your
site, we aren’t trying to kiss your ass or gain your favor.

We’re here, forming a community because we like to "hear
the sounds of keyboards clicking" as we discuss films.
We could do it on AICN. We could do it on Dark Horizons
or Poop Shoot. We could go over to fucking Scorched Planet
and discuss it if we wanted to. We choose to come here.
Maybe try and appreciate us, ALL of us, instead of spitting
in our faces with comments like that. The minute we all
take our pointless banter somewhere else, this site becomes
pointless.

Nick’s
Reply:
This is one of them times
where someone takes a sentence and interprets it for their
own purposes and uses it incorrectly as a way to unload
venom. The point of my comment was simple and made perfect
sense. Let me elaborate:

The
Chewer column needs to be something new. Something they
cannot get ont he message boards or in the other columns
on the site. What I was doing was setting it up so I didn’t
have people dismissing the column as a clone or as redundant.
It wasn’t because I don’t respect or care about my readers.
On the contrary. If you’d been a fly on the wall of my office
the past two days you’d have seen me stuffing envelopes
and handwriting addresses on hundreds and hundreds of movie
screening letters for the readers. I do care, and I don’t
think light of the readers which is why the column should
be something special if it happens. There are elements of
the message boards that I don’t respect, trends, and people
who just vomit forth tons of pointless stuff just to inflate
their visibility and post counts but as a whole I think
we’ve got a great little community. Judging from your letter,
it appears you have a problem with me. Such is life.

Whedonesque.

Ken
Writes:
I feel bad for you. You have that rare condition
of not really liking Joss Whedon and his efforts. Sure the
first few seasons of Buffy and Angel knocked your socks
but starting with Firefly and now Buffy S6 and Angel S3
you’ve cooled off to the shows. I don’t understand how you
give Angel S3 8/10 when you don’t like the majority of the
show. Pregnancy=bad, Connor=bad, Not enough Wolfram &
Hart=bad, prophecy mumbo jumbo=bad. That’s just about the
entire season. I expected a Jeremiah rating.

No point arguing Buffy S6. It’s like Devin, you love him
or hate him. The musical episode alone makes the set a must
buy.

And with your wife not liking Buffy I hope this rare genetic
disorder skips a generation. It be a shame in 15 years when
teens all over the world are discovering Buffy, Angel, and
Firefly for the first time, like every generation "discovers
Zepplin and The Beatles", yours doesn’t like it. It’s
not fair to put a kid through that.

And what’s up with Andre Braugher getting Best Supporting
Actor? That should go to Alexis Denisof or James Marsters
who kicked major ass in their seasons. Brauger should have
atleast tied for Best Actor. But like the Emmy’s he’s overlooked.
Atleast Dennis Franz or Jimmy Smits didn’t take his award
this time.

I hope you get better in time for Season’s 4 of Angel and
7 of Buffy. And if you miss Wolfram and Hart you’ll love
Season 5 of Angel.

Nick’s
Reply:
Huh? Have I not given plenty of praise to Whedon
shows in the past? I’m critical of them, yes. I’m not an
automaton pacing in tune to the Joss’s piper, but I like
the shows. Comparing the shows to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin…
well, that’s the sign of fanaticism ruling the mind. You
hope I get better in time for the next seasons? As if I’m
a broken machine because I don’t agree with you? I hope
the friggin’ SHOWS get better.

SPAM
OF THE DAY.

John
Writes:
There is a move to put Ronald Reagan’s portrait
on the U.S. Dime coin. Over 80 members of Congress have
co-sponsored a bill to do just that.

Do
you agree?

Nick’s
Reply:
I agree that you’re the sheath of a Sherpa’s
dick, if that’s what you mean. The guy’s pompadour hasn’t
even settled yet and you’re sending out whoring mail about
shoving his face into my dough? Stiff yourself.

Shameless
Self-Promotion Dept:

Since
so few of you read the message boards, I’m going to pop
in a few self promotional tidbits here from time to time.
The great thing is: You can avoid this section if it bothers
you.

The
archive of my CNN.com articles is right HERE.
A new one appears every Tuesday. The latest is Far East,
Far Out
, right
here
.

Song
of the day: DREAM AGAIN, by PKG. This is a BRAND
NEW
song, the first recorded with our new drum
kit and keyboard, a straightforward rocker in the vein of
Van Halen and Kiss. That should alienate most of you, but
what the heck… By Nick, Micah, and Steve. Click HERE
to download and HERE
for a place to comment.


‘IF
CHUD Ran the Movies’, by Nick Nunziata

See
you tomorrow!