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  xFriday, March 26, 2004

not impressed

I haven't been blogging about the Meta Topic of the Week, the testimony of counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke. though I've been following it closely. I do want to note, however, that Clarke's testimony seems to have drawn blood, as National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice seems to want an opportunity to get in the last word.

My response is simple: Big deal. Although Rice has missed no opportunity to take her case to the press, and has, as the story indicates, spoken with the panel before, she consistently refuses to testify under oath, as Clarke has done. The commission should hold the line on this one: Rice should be welcome to try to rebut Clarke's testimony, but only under oath. No oath, no dice.

Josh Marshall has more.

Update: According to MSNBC, commission spokesperson Al Felzenberg said the panel will likely agree to meet privately with Rice, but the option of requiring her to testify under oath remains open.
“I imagine that at some point along the way it will happen,” he said. But he said the “commission needs to discuss” the request that Rice not be required to testify under oath.

...Rice may not get her wish, however, because the commission could insist that any new appearance, even if in private, be conducted under oath. A source familiar with the commission’s operations told NBC News that the panel has consistently required anyone rebutting sworn testimony to be similarly under oath.

The commission definitely needs to hold the line on this request. Clarke testified under oath; if Rice wants to rebut him, she must do the same.

  xThursday, March 25, 2004

zombie movie post of the day

night of the living dead

Anyone who's done any shopping among cheapo DVD racks knows that there are a gajillion versions of Night of the Living Dead out there. (And of course, they vary wildly in quality.) That's because due to an oversight, the film was not properly copyrighted, placing it in the public domain. You can even download the film here -- perfectly legally! If you had a DVD burner, you could even release your own cheapo DVD version of the flick. c00L!

(via BoingBoing)


love hina dating sim

love hina dating sim

Here's a funny (and rather profane) Flash-based dating simulator based on the characters from the Love Hina anime series. It's complete with sound and animation. I haven't played it to the end, but I doubt it's safe for work.

(via Wirehed Magazine; cross-posted at Destroy All Monsters)


new at dam

My review of the early Kinji Fukasaku film If You Were Young: Rage is now posted at Destroy All Monsters.

  xWednesday, March 24, 2004

evening of the dead

dawn of the dead

Last night, my lovely wife and I sat down to watch our new DVD of Dawn of the Dead. It's a great presentation of one of my favorite movies (horror or otherwise) of all time.

Reviewer Nathan Shumate has a point when he contends that Dawn benefits from the somewhat grubbier presentation of videocassette, but I must say that the DVD's pristine picture was most impressive. I did notice, though, that the film doesn't seem to have suffered terribly from conversion to the pan-and-scan format in my Anchor Bay videocassette.

While many are quick to point out Dawn's black comedy and satirical comment, the film is somewhat slighted, I think, in how nightmarish it is. Indeed, it's all the more impressive because it's so relentlessly horrifying despite its humor and social comment.

I decided to just watch the film the first time through, without listening to the commentary (although I'm still greatly anticipating that session). The disc also contains a pleasing collection of extras, including, of course, trailers and TV spots. It's amazing what an impression the one that started with what appeared to be a rising sun that instead proved to be the bald, scar-faced signature zombie made on my impressionable trailer-watching self.

There's also a great collection of promotional photos (including this one) and advertising. This bonus is especially groovy, as it reproduces drive-in newspaper ads from its release. It's also interesting to recall that Dawn was playing concurrently with Alien -- another film that was noted for its moments of gore (indeed, if memory serves me right, Time or Newsweek did a cover story on gory films back then -- ha! How innocent we all were!), but quite a different film overall.

I also note with interest that the remake of Dawn of the Dead took the number-one box office spot from The Passion of the Christ. I can't tell you how validated this makes me feel.


busy week

Sorry for the dearth of posting lately -- things are good, but we're very busy under a tight deadline at work, which means I need to save blogging for after we put The Girls to bed. Then, of course, other priorities -- sleep, recreation, and the need to pop out to the grocery -- are liable to intervene. I'm working on getting my schedule in some kind of order and do intend to link a number of items of note very soon.

  xMonday, March 22, 2004

bizarro world

Today was a stange day in the annals of so-called "Liberal Media" history. The Wall Street Journal unleashes this devastating compilation of the lies inconsistencies in Administration statements about 9/11, on Page One.

Meanwhile, the New York Times buries its reporting of Richard Clarke's take on the Bush Administration's stance on terror up to and past 9/11 -- by Judith Miller, yet! -- deep inside. And the Washington Post devotes op-ed space to Condi Rice for a "rebuttal" on the very day she refuses to make the same claims under oath before the 9/11 Commission.

Go figure.


busy morning

test pattern

It was a busy weekend, and it's proving to be a busy morning as well. Blogging will begin as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.


cheapo reasonably priced dvd alert

dawn of the dead

Saturday I dropped into Best Buy to pick up some more blank CD-ROMs. I’d intended to get nothing else, but there was a big display of Anchor Bay’s recent DVD release of one of my favorite films of all time – horror or otherwise – Dawn of the Dead. And for only twelve bucks, yet – cheaper than at Amazon, yet! The crack could be heard for blocks as my willpower snapped, and I grabbed it up. (There were only three on the shelf, after all.)

I'm particularly looking forward to listening to the commentary track by director George Romero and effects artist Tom Savini.

I was also pleased to discover this Best Buy had several copies in stock of a special preview DVD for the upcoming Hellboy movie. I wrote up a quick examination of the disc over at Destroy All Monsters. The short version is, the promo DVD showed great promise that the movie won’t sux0rz. As a fan of Mike Mignola’s comic, I’m pleased and cautiously optimistic.


weekend update

This weekend was a busy one, socially speaking, and provided a great opportunity to visit with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I obviously didn’t’ get much blogging done – which, unfortunately, includes the promised Friday political round-up. Sorry about that.

Saturday afternoon I got a package of groovy review goodies from Musashi. It included two anime soundtracks – the Love Hina Best Collection (music from the Spring and Xmas Specials), and the second Neon Genesis Evangelion OST (sure, I’ve long since downloaded the latter, but it’s groovy to have an official copy). I also got a DVD from Geneon Entertainment, formerly known as Pioneer Entertainment. It’s a DVD of Panda! Go Panda!, a thoroughly kawaii children’s show directed by Isao Takahata from characters created by Hayao Miyazaki. I haven’t had a chance to sit down with it, but it’s passed the The Girls test – they watched it twice in a row on Saturday afternoon.

Which is good, because my lovely wife and I needed to prepare for having a couple of friends over for dinner. I made a turkey breast, stuffing, yams and green bean casserole (the traditional kind, with cream of mushroom soup and those canned French-fried onions). It was a very pleasant evening, during which an amusing incident occurred.

Regular readers (all four of you) will recall that I’ve given up drinking for Lent. I was getting a beer for one of our guests. I’d just opened the bottle and went into the living room to fetch his glass. My lovely wife, seated at the dining room table, heard a muffled “mmph! mmph!” and saw me run into the kitchen, from which a loud spitting sound could be heard. She laughed, because she could tell what had happened…

…yes, the beer started to foam up, and I automatically slurped up the foam before it could spill on the floor. I immediately realized that I was perilously close to violating my Lenten vow, what with having a mouthful of beer and all, so I rushed into the kitchen to spit it out and rinse my mouth with water.

Sunday I drove with The Girls to Columbus, Ohio for the christening party of our friends Mark and Vanessa’s daughter Vivienne. She’s a lovely baby at four months old, and it was a pleasant opportunity to visit with some of the crew from my home town of Louisville. Mark has decorated the house with an impressive collection of horror movie posters and other memorabilia, and his DVD collection humbles my own. The girls were very, very good, especially contending with a three-hour car trip each way.

Not long after we put The Girls to bed, I pretty much just crashed out, which is good – it ensured I was adequately rested up. As I’ve said, I’m woefully behind in my blogging, but I can only cite busy-ness, not fatigue, as an excuse.

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