One of the joys of Saturday afternoons when I was a kid was kung-ku theater on the then-independent WDRB-TV in Louisville, Ky. (It was preceded by giant monster theater and followed up later in the evenings by Fright Night, but that's a different stroy.)
Anyway, this afternoon I managed to relive the pleasure by taking in one Jakie Chan's wilder pictures, Fantasy Mission Force, on DVD. It's a bizarre and somewhat incoherent flick that throws everything, including the kitchen sink, Chinese hopping vampires, flying Amazons, a photo of James Bond, Jackie Chan, Jimmy Wang Yu, and a young Brigitte lin into the mix. Teleport City's Keith Allison sums it up well in his review. The Unknown Movies has a similar take.
My review of the spotty Jackie Chan film City Hunter (based on a Japanese manga and directed by Wong Jing, with whom Chan reportedly clashed) is now posted at Destroy All Monsters.
Although my blogging has been way L4m3 of late, I'm pleased with the pickup in my work for DAM. In particular, I think both this review and the prior CD review of Japan For Sale Vol. 4 are especially strong. With a bunch of review material remaining on my plate, I certainly hope this trend continues.
Professor Cooper joins those of us insisting that John Kerry not be targeted for recrimination. He goes on to make this spot-on recommendation:
Bob Shrum should never be allowed near another Democratic presidential candidate. He was central in shaping the themes of Al Gore's campaign in 2000, and he was central in shaping the themes of John Kerry's campaign this year. I'm not suggesting that Shrum's guidance was the sole reason for Kerry's loss, or for Gore's. But both Gore's and Kerry's campaigns were criticized for their thematic weakness, and it's indisputable that neither candidate's message caught fire with the electorate. Shrum's message--at least the particular way he shapes it for his candidates--is a liability for the Democratic Party. He needs to go.
Many of us, I'm sure, are disappointed over the electoral victory of George W. Bush. And why not? It's a moment that's sure to shame America for decades.
But fear not, my friends. All that means is that the appropriact precedent will now be not his father but Richard Nixon. And in honor of that sentiment, we present the Godfather of Soul himself with an appropriate tune:
Last night, I felt like letting my mind decay with some Asian exploitation films. I popped in Kei Mizutani's Sumo Vixens, an insanely silly (and cheap) movie whose plot I'm sure you can guess. (Heck, the title pretty much gives it all away.)
I dropped by Best Buy on an errand today and looked over its sale DVD rack. Since today was payday, I picked up five DVDs for a mere six bucks each:
sex, lies and videotape
Henry and June
All except the last are pretty good films. As for Johnny Mnemonic, it's such an incredible train wreck of a movie that it's entertaining in its own way. It also has 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, so it isn't a total loss. But it is, indeed, such an unmitigated disaster that I was surprised star Keanu Reeves took on the role of Neo in the cyberpunk-esque The Matrix.
I hardly ever watch TV, but tonight PBS' Soundstage featured one of my lovely wife's favorite performers, Dan Fogelberg, performing live. We greatly enjoyed the one-hour concert telecast, which featured a mix of his well-known songs from the 1970s and '80s to ones off he latest CD. Fogelberg performed with great energy and sincerity, and amazingly, although his voice doesn't have quite the range it did when he was younger, he continued to sing in the familiar keys -- and for the most part, quite successfully. Impressive.
Two days of new reviews in a row! Today my review of Tofu Records' Japanese music sampler CD Japan For Sale Volume 4 was posted over at Destroy All Monsters. I have the most trouble with music reviews, but this one turned out pretty well, I think.
For my part, I agree with the Moose: The second Bush term will see many chickens come home to roost. A number of shoes are scheduled to drop after the election, and I'm confident that the American people will soon realize exactly what it is they have bought by electing Bush. The comforting thought behind the risk of running against Bsuh was that a defeat would mean that Bush may finally, finally have to take responsibility for the impending disasters of his policies. (Of course, the prospect of him appointing Supreme Court justices make that cold comfort.) A Kerry term -- especially with a stronger GOP presence in Congress -- would have been an uphill battle, and he would have been quickly blamed when the seeds of disaster that Bush has sown finally sprouted their rancid fruit. But now, while I'm sure right-wingers will still blame Clinton for future economic doldrums, terrorist strikes and deteriorating foreign policy situation, it'll sound as increasingly hackneyed to the general public as it does to the intellectually honest.
I remain confident in Bush's incompetence. Even in the unlikely case that Bush and his Administration, as columnist and boob David Brooks predicted, tries to govern in a bipartisan fashion for a change, his ineptitude will inevitably win out.
And no recriminations toward Kerry -- He remains, in my book, a genuine hero who ran an impressive (and so nearly successful) campaign against a bunch who didn't scruple to subject him to the vilest distortion and outright slander. Kerry can be proud of his campaign. Bush can't, but I suspect he and Rove don't care very much, after all. To the contrary, as I said, expect to see more of the same. We've known for some time that the GOP can't blaze a path to electoral success by being honest about its agenda; now that they know how well dishonesty works, I'm sure they'll stick with it.
Blogger was bloggered this morning; here's the entry I wrote, but couldn't get to post.
This morning the election still hangs in the balance, with it all coming down to Ohio and the results of provisional ballots, some of which were apparently cast when overwhelming turnout swamped the polling places. At this time, the results are:
Bush 254 28 51% 58,145,268 Kerry 252 20 48% 54,607,146
It's both surprising and shocking that Bush seems to have won the popular vote; his totals exceed the indicators of many pre-election polls. It's also an embarrassment for the nation, to have 58 million people vote for an Imperial president who favors torture.
I remain hopeful that Ohio will go for Kerry -- I wonder if people would have stayed in long so long to vote for Bush -- but it will no doubt be the subject of much controversy. Meanwhile, the expectation game proceeds apace, with the Bush campaign expressing confidence in the Deibold factor and Kerry keeping the faith.
One of the worst results of a Bush victory -- besides the unappealing prospect of four more years of incompetent leadership -- is the vindication of the Rove/Atwater style of campaigning. Bush ran one of the most dishonest and negative campaigns in recent memory, distorting both his own shoddy record and his opponent at every turn. A Kerry victory could have repudiated this kind of loathsome tactic, but given its evident successes, Rove is likely to be hailed as a genius and the GOP further embrace his vile ways.
If Kerry loses, the comfort remains that Bush will be the one to have to face the impending disasters of his foreign and domestice policies, with no scapegoats avialble. Given that Cheney is an unlikely candidate in 2008, a second Bush term will, I predict, prove the last for Republicans in some time.
I'll be checking in from work and keeping my fingers crossed.
Unsurprisingly, but still disappointingly, former Bush budget chief Mitch "Defecit" Daniels will be Indiana's next governor. Of course, the drawback to electing a Republican governor is having a Republican serve as governor, and it's pretty clear that Indiana has chosen wishful thinking over fiscal responsibility. That said, Daniels ran an excellent campaign, including the brilliant slogan "My Man Mitch," which lent corporate crony capitalist Daniels a populist air. And former lietenant governor Joe Kernan at first seemed unclear as to whether he wanted to continue in the office.
I voted this morning at the elementary school near my home. It was an optically scanned paper ballot (you better believe I filled in those black dots completely!). It was a great pleasure to vote for John Kerry, Senator Evan Bayh and Governor Joe Kernan.
I voted at about 7:30, and was surprised that there was a short line. (There were only two voting stations.) I asked the poll worker if they were busy, and she said that usually after they've been open an hour, there's no line, and about 20 people have voted. Today I cast the 32nd ballot. It appears as if turnout will be high even here. Of course, it won't help Kerry carry the state, but I have my fingers crossed that Kernan will pull it out against Mitch "Deficits" Daniels.
The election is tomorrow. I'll be casting my vote first thing in the morning. I've been looking forward to this moment for four years. Regular readers of this blog (all four of you) will have no doubt about who I plan to vote for. I'll be glad when the election is over, especially if, as I expect, Kerry wins.
As a bonus, here's another wallpaper based on Halloween--indeed, another collage of images of the Shape--courtesy Horror Attic. I promised Cecilia she could stay up and watch a monster movie -- probably an old Universal flick -- but after that Halloween is the movie of the night, of course. (Update: No, it isn't...Cecilia fell asleep halfway through Dracula, and I expect to follow suite now. Me==old. Oh, well.)