I’m writing this as Hurricane Ivan wetly slaps my portion of the country. A gorgeous pear tree just got shattered across the street and my bizarre Asian neighbors nearly imploded at the sight. They spend 18 hours a day in that yard making it immaculate (seriously, ants have to sign a waiver before entering) and now they’re in their garage watching the storm batter their favorite place. I don’t know these people, but I know that my Doberman wants to either rape their Chihuahua or eat it… possibly both and not in that order. It’s hard not to feel sorry for them though. Their main hobby just got punched in the teats. It’d be like my DVD collection melting or the school bus routes in Dave Davis’ neighborhood changing. It’s a weird thing. The last big hurricane took the roof off my Aunt Irene’s house and we all see how many people are losing their homes, belongings, and lives to this stuff. It’s pretty scary. Roland Emmerich is writing a screenplay about it. That’s scarier.
So, while we’re not the ones to wish good tidings on anyone… be smart and be safe. Wind and rain can kick even Chuck Zito’s ass.
On with the Leak!
The World IS Flat, Part One.
According to IMDB Pro’s "STARmeter", the picture to your right showcases "what people are interested in, based not on small statistical samplings, but on the actual behavior of millions of IMDb users. Unlike the AFI 100TM or Academy AwardsTM, high rankings on STARmeterTM and MOVIEmeterTM do not necessarily mean that something is "good." They do mean that there is a high level of public awareness and/or interest in the title or person."
It tells me that something is rotten in Denmark (© William Shakespeare by way of Quentin Tarantino). While these things are more for entertainment purposes (even though it’s a "pro" site), it makes me wonder how much tangible importance "buzz" has. Lindsay Lohan has sprouted ample curves in recent years and there are no doubt thousands of young men firing rockets into tissues on her behest as I type this, but it’s unfathomable to think she’d carry more weight than a Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks on any chart outside of Teen Beat or Black Inches magazine.
It’s nothing against IMDB. They do some incredible work. It’s just a weird offshoot of the business that lives somewhere between the black and white reality of the trades and the binary bullshit of HSX. Paris Hilton is on there, for the love of small mammals. Paris Hilton, the living Real Doll™. Sienna Guillory? Come on… That’s an imported crayon, not the epitome of movie star wattage.
It seems the more I learn about how this weird business operates the more I am handed that defies logic and forces me to scramble back to St. Charles Avenue without passing GO.
Listening to the public around me before, after, and friggin’ DURING movies I hear stuff that makes me believe this is closer to the truth than what we see in Variety or are told from Exhibitor Relations. It makes me want to pull my brain out and put it under my seat, because things sort of exist in a vacuum. Maybe the world is flat. Maybe we did fake the moon landing. Maybe Joe Pesci didn’t have a facelift. Maybe we are to view this business as a 12 year old girl does the boys around her. Love is instant and instantly transferred to the next cute guy. Names are scribbled in sparkling gold marker and crossed out the following week and replaced with another. Perhaps the CEOs of Sony and Disney have those little origami things in their hands and are going to pull the tab that reveals who they currently are hot for and it’s… Jenna Malone!
No shortage of stuff baffles me in this world, let alone the movie business. I guess it’s just another thing to pop into this rambling sinkhole of a column.
If you’d like, SEND A LETTER with your comments on this noise.
Star Encounter Spillage…
This may be bad form or absolutely great. Either way, I’m doing it, so if I’m banned from doing interviews you’ll have some damning evidence of such in Verdana text right here. In our quest to provide you with as much one on one interaction with famous people as possible, we often meet with stars out junketing their film, doing PA tours, or just dry humping us for the sheer delight of it. In between the margins of talking about their film careers, their current project, and in Devin’s case… which ass they have ink on, we get an idea of how we view them as people. How they treat us, what think seem to think of doing press, and what they’re like in person. I figured I’d share my take on a few and if you like it perhaps it can be an ongoing feature. I know Devin has tons of fun tales. I can only imagine what Fred Topel has seen.
Bear in mind… this is an opinion. These are the worst human circumstances to get to know a human being in. Junkets are stressful, frenzied, and you never know if you’re the ninety-seventh person they’ve dealt with, if their agent just told them that they failed to get a role in Rhinestone 2, if they’re on crank, haven’t slept, or just got out of bed with a hooker who not only turned out to be the same sex as them but was a mountain lion that was the same sex as them.
Still, here’s my useless take on a few.
Morgan Freeman – Mr. Freeman wanted no part of me or my compatriots from "the Internet". He had just finished a scene outdoors in the cold and obviously wanted to relax in his trailer with a hot toddy and the soundtrack to Body Shots. No question was intelligent enough, and they all had to be turned around back at the interviewer. Was he intimidating? Yes. Was he friendly? No. Is he one of the greatest actors wearing skin? Shit yes. It doesn’t taint one iota of my opinion of him. He’s tall as shit too.
Jason Schwartzman – Here’s a cool guy. He is loose and natural and laid back and was very enthusiastic about his then-band Phantom Planet. He even gave me his CD a few weeks before it came out. I liked him before and I liked him after. Growing up in show business can ruin a person but he seemed to take it all in stride. He’s small. He could almost be an action figure.
Sunny Mabry – When I spoke to her, it was before she’d had a chance to do much. Now that she’s in Species 3 I could bend her ear for hours. "Did you go to a SILvan learning center to train?", "Did you call Whip Hubley for advice?", "Will critics call this Feces 3?". It was a little nervous for both of us and I found it hard to compile questions that were interesting and the more filmic they got, the worse off we were. She was pretty though. I remember tight jeans. What I forgot was my tape recorded. It lives on somewhere in the Buckhead Ritz Carlton… haunting it with my awkward Sunny Mabry interview.
John Travolta – This one’s fresh on my mind since it happened this week. I wrote a fan letter to John Travolta sometime around 1980. I was a huge fan back then. I knew every line from Grease and was one of the many people anxiously awaiting Staying Alive. In fact, there was a rumor that he’d be in First Blood II and it’d have probably burst my heart from sheer joy if it’d happened. Of course, I grew up and Mr. Travolta appeared in Kirstie Alley films. Then, he came back and the love was rekindled. This older, bigger Travolta was still bad ass and I can honestly say that even after a series of mediocre films I’ve been in his corner. Yes, we’ve been guilty of cracking a Scientology joke now and then but I was utterly impressed with the man when we met. He was charming, cordial, and said all the right things in regards to fiulm, his career, and beyond. After the interview he actually took the time to help calm some of my airline fears and I have to admit that I think he’s a solid guy from my brief time with him. He’s not as tall as I expected. He enjoys iced tea, though.
Robert Patrick – This surprised the living dick out of me. This guy is incredible. He came into the interview room loud and brash and larger than life and it was beautiful. He had a tight t-shirt, a stogie in his jaw, and was as animated as anything Miyazaki’s ever dreamed up. You’ll see in my interview next week how cool he was but I realized something that no casting director has never realized… the Robert Patrick offscreen is better than anything we’ve thusly seen onscreen. Here’s hoping that changes. He’s a spark plug. Note: He may not know this, but he’s the Earth X incarnation of Martin Sheen.
Kevin Smith – Here’s a guy I really liked in person. There’s the Kevin Smith that does public speaking and the guy who sits in a room and relaxes and as biting and funny as the guy can be in front of hundreds, it’s obvious that he’s a regular guy and a cool cat in private. Fanboys would probably ruin that vibe, instead asking minutia about Eliza Dushku’s scent… but Smith’s a winner from my few times dealing with his humanity.
Paul Rudd – There’s bad ass and then there’s Paul Rudd. In that order. This guy is better than sex without strings.
James Cromwell – There are few people I’ve met who carry as much weight as Jamie (as he likes to be called). If you only know him as a pig befriender or the guy who gets hated in Eraser, then you’re mistaken. The guy is an actor’s actor and a classy gent to boot. I thought I was going to be way out of my league and intimidated by him, but he turned out to be a really centered and hip dude.
The Rock – Most charismatic and engaging person I’ve ever met in my life. bar none. I hate wrestling and I hate The Scorpion King, but this guy is a beacon of personality and energy that I found myself in awe of. Incredible.
Chris Tucker – Dead serious. No shit. It threw me for a loop. Uncomfortable too. I think I like it about him now, that he wasn’t "on" 24/7 but at the time it just left me cold.
If you’d like, SEND A LETTER with your comments on this noise.
The Fact this Exists is Hilarious, Part 27.
Hilarious… and fucking BRILLIANT!
If you’d like, SEND A LETTER with your comments on this noise.
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.
Pack Yer Bags, We’re Goin’ on a GILF Trip.
Writes: Holy Mackerel, I just glanced up and saw today’s
CHUDMAN…the GILF. It’s absolutely one of the funniest
things I’ve ever seen on the site, and that’s saying quite
a bit. Thanks for the laugh, and keep up the good work.
Nick’s Reply: Thank you! The CHUD Man is one of our least appreciated features and that is saying an awful lot. It has incredible competition for that honor.
Brad Writes: I don’t know if this has been done to death but what’s up with TV morality? I was watching a particularly gruesome episode of CSI last night. They don’t hesitate to show dismembered corpses (and membered corpses too) in various states of decay, but you will never see that corpse’s nipples [1.](if the cadaver be a woman). They’ll show guts ripped out and bullets entering brains but not the nipple. As if nipples are somehow more disturbing than clinically presented grue.
Nipples are great. It’s like the old joke: How do you make 3 pounds of fat look good? Put a nipple on it. Is there some kind of petition I can sign, or rally I can join, or product I can boycott in order to increase the nipple quota on TV? Even if its just a hint of nip?[2.]
I should qualify this by adding that I am Australian[3.]. But even so, our TV programming is predominantly imported from the U.S (Don’t get me started on how the Free Trade Agreement is arse raping the quota of Australian-produced programs screened with a big, spiky pineapple). And though we have more than our fair share of moral crusaders trying to dictate what us free-thinking adults can watch, the average Aussie has no aversion to a slip of nip or a suggestion of pube.
On another note: Death Race 2000 is the most fucked up movie I’ve ever seen[4.]. I think they should remake it. (With extra nipple)
yet another note: Give more reviews to Jeremy Slater[5.].
That guy is funnier than a nipple on an arse cheek.
Thanks, love your site[6.].
Nick’s Reply: [1.]Pervert much? [2.]I agree that they’ve got their heads up their asses as far as what should and shouldn’t be shown on television but I think people will always have that anal retentive gene when it comes to THE CHILDREN even though most kids have showered with their parents and seen the silly and alien apparatus hanging from or up in us. [3.]Steve Murphy wants to screw you. [4.]See more movies. [1.]Jeremy’s only here because of affirmative action. The law says we need a gay dwarf on staff and he’s it. Don’t push your luck. [6.]I’ll try to.
Kevin Writes: I finally had a chance to view the Sin City footage. It’s quite disappointing. As I watched the handful of actors scream, ooze, and seethe their dialogue through facial prothesis, I had the overwhelming feeling that neither of those guys could act tough enough to fill the shoes of Frank Miller’s characters. They’re all pampered Hollywood pussies. Don’t get me wrong. I like most of those actors, especially Benicio Del Toro. His performance in "Way of the Gun" is understated gold. He brought some bona fide man shit to that role. I just don’t get the same vibe (I’m so hip) from the Sin City piece.
solution – animate that thing! The source material is screaming
to be animated. A gritty noir such as Sin City would be
a much needed shot in the arm to an industry laden with
anthropomorphic fish movies. I liked "Finding Nemo"
as much as the next guy, but there is room for more adult
fare. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think this
flick is going to be a mega-nutpunch. I hope I’m wrong.
Nick’s Reply: Well, it’s too late to animate the movie now. It’s happening. I saw the footage and while there were some nice moody shots and all… I had no love for what I saw.
Sean Writes: "Get out of the cagglaallalaglglaaaa!"
work, Nick. This is easily the best quote the site has ever
used. I can’t believe I’m not the only one who finds this
particular line of dialogue to be friggin’ hysterical! I
say it all the time…and no one knows what the hell I’m
Nick’s Reply: I love that line too. Me and my buddy Brian used to do hundreds of variations on the line and it’s pretty much the only thing I can tolerate about What About Bob?. The film was on TBS recently and all I could think about was hoiw stupid I was for liking the film in theaters. Oh, and Bill Murray’s wardrobe? Yentl wept.
Writes: In Steady Leak #80 you said you hated Alex Gonzalez.
Which one and why? And cut Selig some slack. Because of
him we have the Wild Card. Without that some great baseball
moments would not have happened and the sport would be in
financial trouble w/ so many teams out of it by August 1st.
Also do you have a take on the possibility of Joss Whedon
Nick’s Reply: Alex Gonzalez (the Marlin) just has this air of asshole-ness about him that infuriates me. He looks like he just doesn’t give a shit. Plus, he tends to hit homers against the Braves and is a member of the team I hate most (never lost a playoff series) on Earth. I think Joss Whedon’s not ready for X3. I like him, I think he’s doing good work with the comic, I just don’t think he’s ready for it. I hope he proves me wrong, but I’m not excited at all for the project at this time.
Aaron Writes: Just another e-mail from the one person who seems to care about this project. Kurt Wimmer has finished filming Ultraviolet and we still have got no coverage, no set photos, no nice pics of the svelte Milla Jovosomething, who dare I say, in my mentally addled opinion, has something that might be described as potential, sort off, in a way. But then Resident Evil Apocalypse hasn’t come out here (Australia) yet so that may well poison the whole thing. Anyway, I know you guys only get what gets set to you and what you steal but, any idea when we might here something? Nick’s Reply: I’ll get you an update soon. I promise.
Writes: Sure, the CSI looks great, but it’s also
deplorably stupid. However, that might just be something
symptomatic of the times we live in – an emphasis on
style over substance. CSI and its offshoots, Gary Sinise
or not, are really just noisy, overly elaborate and the
characterizations are wafer thin. I can’t stand the
show. All of the jump cuts and cool editing can’t gloss
over the fact that the show is insipid. Granted, it’s
still just TV, but knowing and working with the police as
I do, I know at least one who’s routinely annoyed by
the show, saying it actually impedes people formulating
a real image of police work. Like him attending a crime
scene and somebody not understanding why he isn’t lifting
prints like they do in CSI. Of course, CSI is just entertainment,
but I think we owe it to ourselves to demand better. Even
if the CSI technical folk were working on major features,
we’d still be in the same boat – great looks,
empty head. The advancements don’t necessarily amount
Nick’s Reply: I enjoy CSI to some extent, though I haven’t ever seen their Miami, New York, and Boise spinoffs so they could suck ram dick and I’d be none the wiser. William L. Bowlegged is too good to ignore.
From the pages of Sci-Fi…
Writes: Just wanted to let you know that I’m a huge
fan of your site. A Sci-Fi magazine article was where I
first read of the words chud.com. It was either written
by you or Devin, I’m sure one of you remembers (or not).
Anyway, I’ve visited chud just about every day for the past
four years and it just seems to get better and better with
Nick’s Reply: Holy shit, you’re the guy who read my column! I did the RANT column for the last few months of the magazine’s former (and better) existence, and the wheels came off and we were homeless. That’s something common in the magazine world. I’m glad you found the site through there and I hope we can continue to improve and be that rare place that doesn’t "jump the shark" unless we already have.
Holding out for a Hero.
Writes: I did not know exactly where to send this email,
so I thought I’d try you. I just got done watching the movie
Hero, and was blown away. In my opinion it rivals Crouching
Tiger in many ways. While the action scenes are not as breath
taking as Tiger, the directors use of color and camera angles
make this one of the most aesthetically pleasing movies
I have ever seen. The landscapes were beautiful, and the
costuming was amazing. I am not sure if any of you on the
site have reviewed it yet, but if not when you finally get
to see it, you are in for real cinematic treat.
Nick’s Reply: Because I honestly never thought it’d see American screens, I bought an import at the San Diego Comic Con a year and a half ago. I loved the movie and was glad/surprised to see Miramax give it a decent release. I like it better than Crouching Tiger in many respects, and hope all of our readers who aren’t too cool to read subtitles caught it during its recent run.
Wrong Email Address?
SettingCaptivesFree Writes: Greetings!
Wow…what a lesson! God is so awesome in how He has dealt with our sin problem through the cross of Jesus Christ. I hope you are in awe of this great gift of grace, too![1.]
You know, the cross has everything to do with breaking the power of sin in our lives, because it is through the cross of Jesus Christ [2.]that our sin has been forgiven and it is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ that we have power to overcome. So the gospel is extremely important in our path to freedom from overeating.
We praise God for the gift He has given us in His Word, the Bible. We love Gods Word[3.]! In 1 Corinthians 15:54-58, we read the following:
"54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory[4.]."
"O Death, where is your sting[5.]?
O Hades, where is your victory?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord".
This declaration of victory over sin and death finishes the chapter that began with the gospel (verses 1-4 of chapter 15). This shows us the value of the gospel, that the end result is our victory! Victory in Jesus Christ[6.]!
It is our hope as you continue through The Lords Table [7.]that you will grow more and more to treasure both the cross and the victory the gospel brings to our lives.
Nick’s Reply: [1.] Have you seen The Passion of the Christ? It’s bitchin’! [2.] Actually, the cross is Jesus’ least favorite place. I think there are other things that make people proud of their Christian heritage and what the scriptures have taught you. The cross… well, it HURT. [3.] Who is Gods? Some geometrical relative of Zardoz? Don’t be tossing Hieroglyphics at me before my morning coffee! [4.] Yuck! [5.] Recording albums and Disney soundtracks at a steady clip, I’m sad to report. [6.] Michael Caine and Stallone were awesome, weren’t they? [7.] Lords probably owes some copyright dough to Gods. Folks, the only reason I included this email in here is because its subject was this: "FEEDBACK: STEADY LEAK". Holy holies.
Alien vs. Freelance.
Writes: Hey Nick. Just a couple of quick words, first
of all to say that I’ve loved the site for a long time (it’s
at the top of mt Favourites list!), and that I am looking
forward to the upcoming changes. Howeve, screw changing
the background colour[1.].
I’ve found CHUD to be the consistently the easiest movie
news site to read because you don’t have to feel like you’re
squinting into a lightbulb anytime you want to read something.
I very much hate the stark white backgrounds of most sites,
and I hope I’m not alone in thinking that the black background
is way better…
Anyway, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about Alien vs Predator
by now, but I saw it today, and I just had to sound off.
I had never really disliked Paul WS Anderson before today
– Event Horizon and Resident Evil weren’t exactly great
films, but they had plenty of style and visual flair. This
has been enough to redeem him in my eyes, but this movie
really changed my entire view on the guy. He took a concept
that could have been a perfect match, and promptly pissed
all over it. I mean, what the fuck?! Everything about the
movie just made me cringe, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t
the only person who just… who just died a little inside…
First of all, he claims to be a huge fan of both series,
but it’s all horseshit. If he’d have watched Alien, he’d
have known that the scariest thing about that creature was
that you hardly ever saw it[2.].
If he’d have watched Aliens, he’d have known that having
characters you care about is the crux of the whole movie.
If he’d have watched Alien 3 (and this is a point that really
gets to me), he’d have known that fucking Michael Bishop
(the "real" Bishop toward the end of the flick)
was the basis for the Bishop models, not friggin’ Weyland!
If he’d have watched Alien: Resurrection… well, he’d have
wasted two hours of his life. And if he’d have watched either
of the Predator movies, he’d have known that the Preds are
stealthy, unseen hunters… not fucking pompous gods that
come to Earth and order shit around[3.].
These examples just came off the top of my head, and Paul
Anderson had all the time in the world to think about that
shit. How Anderson keeps getting these sweet directing gigs
is really beyond me, but it’s really starting to become
quite annoying. At least give the guy shit like xXx or Riddick
or something… not stuff that has potential!
But hey, enough of my bitching for now; the last thing I
wanted to talk about was DVD reviews. I see a few titles
that haven’t been reviewed on the site yet, but I really
don’t have the time to commit fully to a tight schedule.
Do you accept "freelance" work, or would I have
to quit my job to get some word-space on CHUD[4.]?
Nick’s Reply: [1.]My experiments have led me back to black (more on that in the next letter), so the background will indeed remain as is. [2.]Wrong. The scariest thing about the creature is that it knows what Yaphet Kotto tastes like (more on that in the next letter). [3.]How dare you! The Shit Around is what I order at Wendy’s every time! [4.]I’m feeling out some new reviewers (more on that in the next letter), so I think we’re doing alright. As for "freelance", it depends on your terms. We can’t afford to pay people, and most of the people who want to contribute only want to do fun stuff like editorials and reviews, stuff that is all about pushing their opinions out there. That’s cool, but it sometimes dilutes the editorial focus of the site. What we need is people who aren’t above writing news items, reviewing magazines, and some of the less fun trench work. At least, that’s the case right now. No offense to her, but Eileen kind of disappeared and left us hanging. So, we’re scrambling a little.
SPAM OF THE DAY.
Cock Writes: Huge black cocks pound squealing white
Nick’s Reply: Black Cock speaks truths. I think that Black Cock probably needs a little work in the grammar department, because a sentence as compelling as that one needs others surrounding it to really have the full impact. I don’t feel that the squealing white bitches’ true experience is complete without further description. I know that Black Cock obviously is passionate about his/her words but to really drive home the impact of what huge black cocks can achieve, you just can’t leave us hanging. Black Cock, tell us more!
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.
‘IF CHUD Ran the Movies’, by Nick Nunziata
See you soon!]]>