Tag Archives: Rant

Bobcat Strikes Again

Just when you think he couldn’t get stranger…

Too many people know Bobcat Goldthwait from his lesser accomplishments – several Police Academy films, that screeching banshee voice (too many people missing the great jokes within) and lighting Jay Leno’s chair on fire (in retrospect, something more people wish they did). But Goldthwait, who occasionally returns to the stand-up stage, has made his mark as a television director, and with three unique films in five six , as a screenwriter and filmmaker as well.

It seems like a billion years ago that Bob made Shakes The Clown, “the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies“, but it holds up twenty years later as a raucous and psychotic comedy. If you laughed at the gang-fight in Anchorman, you might want to check out the movie they lifted the idea from.

But while his later movies have been funny, they have mined humor from uncomfortable and disturbing situations. Consider the sick relationship in Sleeping Dogs Lie, the creepy father-son bond of World’s Greatest Dad, and finally this year’s God Bless America, which on first pass sounds like a cross between Repo Man and Natural Born Killers. Goldthwait’s newest film reportedly kicked ass at the Toronto International Film Festival. I can’t wait to see it. (Goldthwait told the L.A. Times that he thought the gun-happy film “was his own Springtime For Hitler”.)

Many people bailed on Bob after it seemed that his career would be a series of loser films like Burglar and Jumping Jack Flash. But Goldthwait, 50 next year, has found his true calling as a filmmaker with a unique voice.

As one of the biggest Kinks fans on the planet I am thrilled that he is making Schoolboys In Disgrace with the full cooperation of Ray Davies. Maybe Bob will get The Kinks the recognition they deserve…and get his own in the process.

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Labor Day

How appropriate.

Seems like only yesterday I was returning from the abyss and getting my blog legs under me again after a couple of weeks of madness. Then even more ridiculous work assignments came down the pike, and not being a slacker, I dove in. As I finished up this weekend the irony of the holiday was not lost on me. I mean, we’re supposed to take a day off, right?

“The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties…”

So here we go again, folks. I’m writing August off as a bad dream – or the worst summer vacation ever – and starting fresh with September. It might take a day or three to finish up September’s first couple of posts – a TGIF celebrating upcoming albums from familiar favorites, a couple of Under The Radars and New Albums – but skipping your medication isn’t right. And I do want to make certain that you return from the holiday primed to hear one of 2011’s best albums, a (ahem) refreshing slab of rock’n’roll.

So strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Don’t miss out.

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Ninety-Nine And A Half Won’t Do

When I started The Prescription, my goal was to write every day for one year.

Hell, I didn’t even know if that was possible. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to get into the blog game, it’s that I wanted to get my writing chops back. Sure, a well placed snarky email on a mailing list might give a moment’s satisfaction, but those are wisps of thought quickly gone and leaving no footprint. So I gave myself a challenge, and like most challenges, it is a lot different from the way you initially envision it.

But I made it. So I figured what the hell…how about another year?

The truth was that the release was gratifying, as was the steadily growing stream of emails and comments (written and in person) from those who enjoyed a piece or disagreed with a take or were inspired to write something of their own (my favorite reaction, bar none). Some days it was a little more difficult to carve out the time, but I pounded away and was proud of the fact that I was churning out some decent copy day after day. People got confused by the sidebar calendar – aren’t some of the dates supposed to look different from the others?

So after two years were in the books and I saw the number of posts climbing, I set my sights on one thousand consecutive posts. I didn’t even calculate what date that would be, but I figured a lottery ticket purchase – maybe even a palm reading – wouldn’t be a bad way to tempt fate on that celebratory day.

But sometimes life bites you in the ass.

Now before I seem like an alarmist, let me tell you that I’m a blessed man. I have a wonderful family, great friends, good health and have never wondered where my next meal was going to come from. There have been tough times, sure, and there were periods of my life when I was flat broke or worse, but I have never been hopeless. And yeah, I’ve had dark days; anyone who hasn’t just isn’t paying attention. So when things happen – and they always have – I’m pretty good at juggling them and getting on with the daily grind, including pounding out an essay on this or that in this very space.

What started three weeks ago as a sudden and involved work committment morphed into an insane number of working hours that found me working from early morning until damned near the next morning, bleeding into the weekends and snaring my thoughts if and when I slept. Add in family issues and other obligations and suddenly I was not only juggling the balls, but spinning the plates, tap dancing and probably throwing in jazz hands just to keep the attention of the hard-to-please. Lack of sleep became fever dreams. Something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be my family or my obligations.

At first I hoped it might be a day or two, but days turned into a week and then another. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am on email several times a day and have replied at all hours of the night, but recently days have passed between log ins. Haven’t seen a TV show during prime time; hard to do when you are still in the office at midnight. I had jotted thoughts on this book and that album and these comics but was stretched so thin that I would often fall asleep in the chair with a pencil in my hand, too tired to even make it to the keyboard.

Sure, I could have probably tossed up a couple of quick thoughts, but that’s not my style. I want to shoot for one hundred percent. Ninety-nine and a half just won’t do. So the streak stopped at 934 posts, not 1000.

And today, another begins.

Thanks to all of those who shot a note over asking about me; I’m slowly working my way through a mountain of emails so don’t take my lack of response as anything other than what it is. Looks like things have settled down (from insane to very busy), but my mind is clear (some say blank) and it looks like my schedule will once again permit breathing room for this labor of love. Have a lot to write about, a lot to listen to, a lot to enjoy. Life is good. Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

See you tomorrow, and hopefully every day after that.

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Emmy Thumbs

That’s thumbs both up and down, as it looks like the voting academy finally started to recognize that basic cable programs are pretty much kicking TV’s ass right now. Yes, Mad Men had gotten tons of accolades (and deservedly so), but TNT, FX and USA have been pumping out quality programming with interesting characters and solid casts without getting their due. I’m still burning over the fact that The Shield got their attention in the first season but then fell off their radar after that despite six seasons that raised the bar every year. But we shouldn’t cry over spilt blood.

This year’s list of nominees did provide some surprising nods that put a big smile on my face. But as always, there were some jaw-dropping announcements that just made me shake my head. So for this week’s TGIF, how about Ten Emmy Thumbsfive up and five down?

(01)Justified: Walton Goggins got screwed over so many times on The Shield that I lost count, and I was afraid that his dynamic performance on Justified was going to be overlooked as well. But thankfully voters woke up and nominated him along with series lead Timothy Olyphant and the amazing Margo Martindale (who might have given the single best performance on television this year).

(02)Louis CK: Not only did he grab nods for his show and his acting, but his comedy special picked up two nods as well. Denis Leary had to watch The Job get ignored before hitting it big with Rescue Me; let’s hope Lucky Louie opened the door for a long ride with Louie.

(03)The Good Wife: a strong show that appeals to men and women, and Alan Cumming got a well-deserved nomination along with star Julianne Margulies.

(04)Robot Chicken: Some of the absolutely gut-bustingly funniest shows on TV are buried in the Adult Swim section of the Cartoon Network. Seth Green continues to amaze.

(05)Parks And Recreation: The pendulum on Thursday’s NBC comedy block has clearly swung to the newer half of the evening, with Community and P&R really stepping up their game. Amy Poehler is great but Nick Offerman should have been a no-brainer nominee.

(06) – Um…where are the nominations for The Closer, Castle, The Walking Dead, Treme, Fringe and just about anything sci-fi related?

(07)Modern Family – great show with a great cast. But did every single adult cast member deserve a nod? You couldn’t slide in anyone from Community or Parks and Recreation? Have you not seen Children’s Hospital?

(08) – Category Blunders! Since when is SNL a comedy series and not a variety show? Kristin Wiig gets a supporting comedy actress nod? Hosts of the show are guest actors? How about people like Mary McConnell and Cloris Leachman, who are cast members in the shows they were nominated for as guests?

(09)The Good Wife – like Modern Family, a good show, but let’s get real. Christine Baranski and Josh Charles are good actors, but…the best? There are at least ten people on Sons of Anarchy alone that blew them out of the water, and that show was completely overlooked again this year

(10)Mariska Hartigay. Really? Really?

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Emmy Time!

And you thought Justice was blind?

Wow – looks like Emmy might have gotten a few things right for a change.

With Breaking Bad being out of the mix this year, does that open Best Actor? Will the old guard hold court or will the new shows start knocking off the dinosaurs? Will long running but Emmy-less favorites who are leaving shows get the sentimental vote as recognition for previous oversights?

HBO pulled in a whopping 104 nominations. The next most was CBS with 50.

Basic cable is in the house! Do they have a chance?

Here is the list of nominees. Tomorrow’s TGIF will look at the worthy nominees and the glaring omissions.

Snark attack!

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Forward, Into The Past…

We take so many things for granted. And we forget that not so long ago, so many things were very different.

Twenty-five years ago today, a Supreme Court decision made homosexual acts between consenting adults illegal.

 Bowers v. Hardwick was eventually overturned, with the presiding judge stating that  “Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled.”

Next month, gay marriage becomes legal in New York State, the sixth state to pass the amendment. Interesting cluster of states (see map above, details here), resembling most political issues where the coasts and the middle of the country are polar opposites.

I get both sides of the argument. I do believe that everyone should be free to pursue their own religious and social beliefs, regardless of gender. And I can appreciate the fact that religious people believe in the sanctity of marriage as a heterosexual union between man and woman.

But what tips the hand for me is my belief that any union of two people making that level of commitment should receive the same rights, tax breaks and social status. If marriage is such a religious institution…why are we voting on state and federal levels? Faith is a personal pledge that should have nothing to do with politics. It should be the same with love.

And people, we have much bigger fish to fry.

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Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!

I was flipping channels and caught the end of the Get Smart movie starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, and while it was mildly entertaining, I couldn’t help think how it paled in comparison to the brilliantly written series.

Of course, I can watch that whenever I want – a majestic box set.

And it made me miss Mel Brooks. Yes, I know he’s alive, and a spry 85 at that (pickles are nutritious, you know). But Woody Allen keeps spitting out films at a rapid pace, occasionally hitting the high marks again. But he’s long since given up zany comedy. Most of today’s comedy films are so broad and cliché that they quickly fade from memory. But the world of today is a crazy, insane place. We need crazy, insane comedy.

We need Mel Brooks now more than ever. I know he has lost so many of his reliable company; Harvey Korman, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise, Rudy DeLuca, Madeline Kahn, Ron Carey and Kenneth Mars have all left this mortal coil.

But as Mel himself would say, “we have much to do and less time to do it in.”

Happy Birthday, Mel! Now get busy

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