Saturday, March 27, 2010

10 title ideas for porno-ized versions of time-travel movies or shows (besides The Sperminator)

Leela hates alien monsters and clothes.
(Photo source: a Doctor Who-themed Pinchbottom burlesque show photo gallery posted by io9.)
10. Army of Hardness

9. The Anal Countdown

8. Doctor Screw: Last of the Time Whores

7. Timecock

6. Deja Screw

5. Sluttierhouse-Five

4. Hard Trek IV: The Voyage Bone

3. Peeing Erica

2. Hot Butt Grind Machine

1. Come There in Time

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Robert Culp (1930-2010)

I was surprised to learn a monkey wasn't involved in Robert Culp's death.
Learning about the I Spy and Greatest American Hero star's death yesterday was a bit of a shock because Culp was a terrific (and Emmy-nominated) action show lead and such an underrated comic actor, even though he was also responsible for this:

That's no Asian. He looks like Cornelius from Planet of the Apes if he suddenly felt the urge to cheat on Zira and pick up some human chicks by passing as human.
That's why watching most older TV shows can be such a pain in the ass for me. I have to put up with lame bits of yellowface and brownface in everything from Bewitched to I Spy, where Culp, who was once married to half-Vietnamese actress and frequent I Spy guest star France Nuyen, played both his regular role of Kelly Robinson and a Chinese warlord in an episode he scripted (Culp also wrote frequently for TV, a little-known fact pointed out by Film Score Monthly label head Lukas Kendall in his excellent liner notes for FSM's I Spy CD).

Earle Hagen and Robert Culp
Yellowface aside, the understated I Spy was groundbreaking TV: it envisioned itself as more like a feature film than a TV show (the title sequence even began with the rather cocky "Sheldon Leonard Presents"--Nick the Bartender wants to conquer the spy fiction business!); instead of recycled library music, it featured completely original score music every week (courtesy of the late Earle Hagen, whose I Spy theme is one of my favorite TV themes of all time); it favored location shooting in foreign countries(*) over studio backlots; it took a chance on a stand-up with no acting experience named Bill Cosby and made him the first black lead in a prime-time drama; and it gave birth to the buddy action comedy, years before Butch and Sundance. Even The Greatest American Hero--Culp's other classic buddy comedy series and the show where I and countless others from my generation first saw Culp the snarky, over-the-hill action hero--is a descendant of I Spy.

Robert Culp enjoys what I assume is another embarrassing story about Russell Cosby.
(*) I doubt any of the five major networks would allow the Culp/Cosby show--which once had to pay the Yakuza a ransom for a show crew member they kidnapped while the crew was shooting in Japan--to be filmed all over the world today like it was in the '60s, because of inflated network TV budgets and certain other obstacles. Instead, 24 tries to pass off L.A. as Washington D.C. and New York (rather miserably), and Alias (which was slightly more convincing) dressed up the Disney backlot to look like Madrid or Casablanca, among other cities. I assume the latest episode of Lost, which flashed back to Richard Alpert's original home on the Canary Islands, never even left Hawaii.

Culp had great taste in sci-fi and horror scripts. His guest shots on the original Outer Limits were among the highlights of that series ("The Architects of Fear," "Demon with a Glass Hand"), and his hard-to-find-but-YouTube-able 1973 TV-movie A Cold Night's Death--one of those thrillers where the twist ending isn't as shocking as the film thinks it is, but the journey to that ending is still entertaining--would make for a great double bill with John Carpenter's The Thing (it features an unsettling synthesizer score by Gil Melle of The Andromeda Strain fame). On a similar note, who can forget Culp's creepy performance when Bill Maxwell got possessed by an evil ghost chick in "The Beast in the Black," the Greatest American Hero ep I remember most fondly?

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Paisa Paisa" from De Dana Dan (translated into English)

Paisa rules everything around me. PREAM! Get the paisa. Rupee rupee bill, yo.
Here's another English translation of the Hindi lyrics in a track from A Fistful of Soundtracks' Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday "Chai Noon" block that's become a favorite "Chai Noon" track of mine (even though this particular tune rips off the synth line from Usher's "Yeah"). It's the partially-in-English "Paisa Paisa" ("Money Money"), a musical number composed by the British Sikh trio of RDB (Rhythm Dhol Bass) for this past winter's De Dana Dan (pronounced "day duh-nah don"). The hottie during the number is Katrina Kaif. Her movie is a Bollywood clone of the unfunny 2000 Norm MacDonald/Dave Chappelle farce Screwed that's twice the length of the MacDonald/Chappelle version--it's 162 minutes long! WTF? Only in Bollywood.

Someone ought to do a "Paisa Paisa"/"Yeah" mash-up. It'd be as sweet as that brilliant mash-up of "Yeah" and Harold Faltermeyer's Beverly Hills Cop theme.

"Chai Noon" airs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at noon-1pm and early Wednesdays, early Thursdays and early Fridays at 4-5am on AFOS. To log on to AFOS, hit the "Play" button on the widget on the right side of this blog.

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"Paisa Paisa"

Nitin, a.k.a. Indian Norm MacDonald:
(Repeated 12 times) How nice. How wonderful is money.
Why do you think only about money?
How nice. How wonderful is money.
How nice. How wonderful is money.
Tell me something, why aren't you afraid of that Lord?
(Anjali) Money, money.
What's so great about money?
I can pile them up before you.
(Anjali) Money, money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.

Anjali:
Hey, why can't you see?
I'm not the girl you want me to be.
My love is priceless, baby.
Money can't buy me.
Hey, why can't you see?
I'm not the girl you want me to be.
My love is priceless, baby.
Money can't buy me.

Nitin:
You don't care about anything.
Compare love with money.
How nice. How wonderful is money.
How nice. How wonderful is money.
Every time you show a new face.
You never reveal the secrets of your heart.
(Anjali) Money, money.
Lord says, don't cheat lovers.
(Anjali) Money, money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.
(Anjali) Money, money.
(Anjali) Money, money.

Anjali:
Hey, why can't you see?
I'm not the girl you want me to be.
My love is priceless, baby.
Money can't buy me.

Nitin:
A penny earned, a penny lost.
Money is never loyal to anyone.
How nice. How wonderful is money.
How nice. How wonderful is money.
Only love is true in this world, which can never be bought.
(Anjali) Money, money.
The wealth of love is the only priceless thing in this world.
(Anjali) Money, money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.
I'll shower you with money, if you agree to be mine.
(Anjali) Money.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The best new TV theme right now, hands down

I saw an actress do a dead-on Luis Guzman impression on a talk show a while ago. I'm hella pissed that I can't remember who the actress was. I love a chick who can bust out a Luis Guzman impression.
If you're wondering about that terrific Bill Withers joint that opens episodes of HBO's new Big Apple fashion industry dramedy series How to Make It in America, it's not by Bill Withers. Like all other great TV themes (and most of them these days belong to shows from ad-free HBO, where opening themes are actually allowed to last more than 10 seconds), the tune beautifully sums up the show's premise and tone, even though it wasn't written especially for HTMIIA. It's the very timely "I Need a Dollar" from Stones Throw soul artist Aloe Blacc's not-yet-released album Good Things.

Aloe Blacc
"I Need a Dollar" is also one of the tracks on what has to be a first in both TV history and hip-hop history: a mixtape (instead of an official soundtrack) of a show's featured songs that was circulated by one of its cast members (in HTMIIA's case, Kid Cudi) before the show even premiered. The full version of Aloe Blacc's HTMIIA theme can be heard during "The F Zone" on A Fistful of Soundtracks (Mondays at 4-6am, 9-11am and 3-5pm and Fridays at 5-7am, 9-11am and 3-5pm). To log on to AFOS, hit the "Play" button on the widget on the right side of this blog.

Five favorite curse word substitutes that aren't "frak"

De La Soul
The other morning, the surprisingly not-so-awful 1993 made-for-cable action comedy Taking the Heat turned up on my TV in the background. It starred the very attractive Lynn Whitfield as a slit-skirted rookie NYPD detective assigned to escort wimpy murder witness and love interest Tony Goldwyn to court while mobsters attempt to bump him off on the hottest day of the summer. (It's too bad Whitfield never became the action movie star that she should have been because in Taking the Heat, she's as fierce as Pam Grier, running around sweltering New York and Toronto locations in heels--and on horseback at one point--and never once taking those heels off.)

The late New York radio DJ Frankie Crocker acts as a Greek chorus during Taking the Heat. I didn't grow up listening to Crocker on the radio, so whenever I hear his voice, I think of "Crocker!"--Prince Paul's way of half-assedly bleeping out the obscenities during the sketches(*) on one of my favorite albums, De La Soul Is Dead.

(*) In an earlier post, I said a skit is "some lame, amateurish thing kids perform at a summer camp or church." It's also a usually unfunny and thankfully short comedy bit that's the most common example of filler on a hip-hop album. The difference between the skits on most hip-hop albums and the skits on De La Soul Is Dead is that the DLSID bits are slightly longer, which makes them qualify as sketches, and genuinely funny.

I hate censorship in any form. (According to Cursebird, I swear like a Scottish comedian.) But when you can't fight the censors, sometimes you have to come up with ingenious ways to depict rough language without attracting the attention of those uptight [Crocker!]s. You can make up your own curse words a la Mork & Mindy, the 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Hill Street Blues, Red Dwarf and motherfrelling Farscape, or you can conceal the curse words in foreign languages like on Firefly and Caprica. For my money, South Park, Archer and TNT's Southland opt for the best method, which is to have the actors utter the obscenities and then bleep out all of them, except for "shit," "goddamn" and "pussy." (Before he died, George Carlin was probably relieved to see that some of the words he once famously put on a pedestal are now safe for basic cable.)

Who's the person who tweeted that nerds should stop adding the rather clunky-sounding "frak" to normal everyday conversations? Buy that person a drink. The masterminds behind the following five euphemisms also deserve a drink because they perfected the art of sneaking in expletives.

'What do you know about music, hamster penis?'

1. "Crocker!" (De La Soul Is Dead)
For some inexplicable reason, the tracks on De La Soul's insult humor-filled second album are uncensored, while most of the sketches are not. They feature Black Sheep member Mista Lawnge as the voice of "Hemroid," a playground bully who steals a cassette copy of DLSID from one of his victims and becomes frustrated by the album's lack of violent lyrics while listening to it ("Van Damme! What happened? What happened to the pimps? What happened to the guns? What happened to the curse words? [Crocker!] That's what rap music is all about, right?"). Prince Paul's intentionally half-assed censorship of the swear words in the sketches is part of what makes them funny. He covered up most of the cursing with a soundbite of someone saying "Crocker!"--a reference to the legendary DJ. "Crocker!" isn't the only curse word substitute during the sketches. There's also the memorable "Put the tape back in, natal wart!"

2. "melonfarmer" (the syndicated TV version of Repo Man)
Like me and millions of others who hate watching feature films on channels that aren't TCM, IFC or Sundance, Alex Cox considers the practice of redubbing profanity in movies to be ridiculous, so he had some fun with it by taking what could have been a completely unwatchable commercial TV butchering of his cult classic Repo Man and making it somewhat entertaining. The TV cut contained intentionally lame new dialogue like "Flip you, melonfarmer!"

Yvonne Strahovski from 'Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler'
3. "smeg" (Red Dwarf)
One of the few elements Ronald D. Moore's Galactica unfortunately retained from the inferior 1978 original was the fake swearing, which sounds like a Mormon's idea of how people curse (in fact, that's what it was--Glen A. Larson is a Mormon, so I blame them for the creation of "frak," which the '70s version spelled as "frack," and "felgercarb"). Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, the creators of the sci-fi Britcom Red Dwarf, coined a slightly more inventive swear word 10 years after "frack" by replacing "shit" and "fuck" with a word they claimed they didn't know already existed. (Do not click on the link in the previous sentence if you're enjoying your lunch, smeghead.)

4. "Ooh la la!" (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson)
I like how The Late Late Show's way of dealing with Ferguson's French has been to cover it up with a well-placed French flag and his cheesy imitation of a frog. Because of Ferguson's year-long goal to learn Spanish, the flag was recently changed to a Spanish one, and "Ooh la la!" is now "¡Ay caramba!"

'What the French, toast?'

5. "lint-licker" (Orbit Gum ad)
Treme staff writer and Undercover Black Man blogger David Mills is spot-on about the homewrecker lady from his current favorite commercial, whom he refers to as "a cross between Karen Carpenter and a cheap French oil painting." Her way with a euphemism makes the Galactica and Caprica cast members sound like lints.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A sneak preview of The Palace: So This Is Where the Asians Hang Out?

The next arc of The Palace is coming to this blog after I give my somewhat sore wrist a break for a few weeks.

An early sketch of day one of The Palace: So This Is Where the Asians Hang Out? by Jimmy J. Aquino

From hell

I'd love to hear what Paul Mooney would have to say about a TV studio logo that scared millions of white folks shitless.
Like Sam Rockwell during a memorable moment in one of my favorite movies from last year, the indie sci-fi flick Moon, I've been checking out some Bewitched reruns lately (damn, sitcoms are so much better written and produced nowadays than they were in the '60s, thanks to showrunners who have smartened up and realized the canned laughter that filled Bewitched and countless other single-camera sitcoms is so lame and annoying). Bewitched reruns conclude with a certain TV studio logo jingle that's the subject of an amusing mockumentary short, "The S from Hell," which I stumbled into on Scrubbles.net. The short was made by music video director and Ping Pong Playa storyboard artist Rodney Ascher, who screened it at Sundance earlier this year. The jingle that scarred for life the littlest viewers of Screen Gems productions like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie was composed by Eric Siday in 1965.

Any person who shits their pants because of a logo jingle is a wuss. The mockumentary pokes fun at that wussiness by interspersing soundbites of actual interviewees discussing their phobia of Siday's logo music with silly footage of a giant S from Hell chasing a little girl (the French-made "Logorama," which nabbed a Best Animated Short trophy at the Oscars earlier this week, also unleashes the evil side of another corporate logo that's known for creeping out kids--Ronald McDonald).

The synthesized jingle for the Screen Gems and mid-'70s Columbia Pictures Television logos is scary? It's not scary. It's just weird-sounding, like that Dominic Frontiere-penned '60s Paramount Television logo jingle known as "The Closet Killer," which sounds less like a fanfare for a stately mountain and more like music for a scene in which a man discovers his wangus has just been chopped off.

These days, the Screen Gems logo opens the Resident Evil flicks and movies like First Sunday and Armored, which are targeted to young black moviegoers who would laugh their asses off if they found out the Screen Gems logo used to give white kids nightmares.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some factoids about The Palace: Theatre of Crud, Chapter 5--for the one or two readers who actually give a shit

The Palace: Theatre of Crud, Chapter 5 by Jimmy J. Aquino
I modeled Chapter 5 of Theatre of Crud after an actual panel from Watchmen (located on page 18 of the 1986 miniseries' fourth chapter, "Watchmaker," a.k.a. the Dr. Manhattan flashback issue, to be exact).

Watchmen, Chapter IV, 'Watchmaker,' page 18
However, I drew the feature film version of Laurie Jupiter instead of the original Dave Gibbons interpretation of Laurie because the Malin Akerman version is far more attractive and has a better-looking crimefighting outfit. It really brings out her ass.

There are only two things the Watchmen feature film did better than the original comic: the climax, which doesn't include a ridiculous-looking squid, and Silk Spectre II's fashions. The outfits worn by Silky in the comic would have been constantly mocked by the alternate Earth's equivalent of Go Fug Yourself.

Laurie should kick the shit out of her stylist. From Watchmen, Chapter VII, 'A Brother to Dragons,' page 6.
"This pantsuit with the front pockets. Is she supposed to be a cobbler? Does she have an awl in there?," snarked Carr D'Angelo in a Comic Book Resources recap of the miniseries. "I do love Gibbons as an artist but he really doesn't draw sexy women."

Just like how Silky's fugly pantsuit didn't make it into the 2009 movie, there were tons of gag ideas I wrote down for Theatre of Crud but ended up not drawing. They included "Rich Little impersonators," "Steampunk Kanye" and "A Teabagger gets teabagged by a teabagger, or as Studio Ghibli calls it, Pom Poko." I drew a strip in which Joe, who's wielding a Filipino knife, kidnaps Rush Limbaugh, but I wasn't satisfied with it.

One of my favorite AFOS e-mails: "Film music is fun and vital"

If I weren't so broke, I'd hire a model chick to recreate this LP cover for me on camera so that I could turn the image into a logo for AFOS.
Here's an excerpt from a listener e-mail I was lucky to hold onto before my PC died last year. From August 18, 2005, Vincent Bernard, who sometimes posts comments here and says he prefers A Fistful of Soundtracks over Sirius XM's Cinemagic channel, explained to me why he can't stand most film and TV score music DJs and was spot-on about them:
... all those other film music DJs are the most unhip, unfunny bastards I've ever had the misfortune to hear. They make film music out to be some kind of once-removed relative of classical music, which it isn't! Film music is fun and vital, and not beholden to the rules of classical which is one of the reasons I love it. You make it even more fun with your commentary, giving us a little well-researched history and your opinions of new as well as older music. You've introduced me to CDs full of new music. Artists I've never heard of like Yoko Kanno (I now own all the Bepop albums because of you) Riz Ortolani, Gert Wilden, Jerry van Rooyen (all from your "Sleazy Listening" ep.) You've even rekindled my interest in some of the old masters like Herrmann, Barry, Morricone and Schifrin.
Adrian Younge's recent Black Dynamite score, which I've been praising--and streaming--constantly, would probably never get any airplay on the channels or programs that Vincent finds irritating because it's not classical music. The Black Dynamite score, my favorite score from last year, is film music at its most fun and vital.

Robert Emmett is a great example of a DJ who champions film music without taking it so damn seriously (another example: the Wax Poetics magazine folks, who put together an incredible film music-themed issue at around the time their record label division released the two Black Dynamite soundtrack albums). Emmett hosts The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show (Saturdays 9am-noon on KFJC or at the Los Altos Hills station's spot on the iTunes Radio dial, under Eclectic) and was once one of several guest programmers whom I enlisted to assemble special "Movie Music Mixtape Month" playlists for the college radio incarnation of AFOS. The playlist he submitted to me was as eclectic as his Norman Bates playlists. It ranged from The Misfits to Intinti Ramayanam. Norman Bates, a program I first tuned into when I was in high school, is a must-listen--even though it's often sprinkled with Broadway show tunes, which aren't my cup of tea (the only musicals I can stand are either satirical ones like South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut or musicals that come out of Bollywood).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Metric is streaming a sneak preview of their Scott Pilgrim music

Emily Haines and Josh Winstead of Metric at Coachella 2008. Photo by AP.
Universal's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's popular comics by one of my favorite newer filmmakers, Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright, doesn't come out until August. But you can get a sneak peek of the star-studded soundtrack, thanks to the Toronto band Metric, which posted on Facebook this weekend one of several original songs they contributed to Pilgrim.

An early pic of Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Photo by Kerry Hayes.
Metric provided the sounds for The Clash at Demonhead, one of the title bassist hero's fictional musical rivals, while Beck will represent Scott's own band Sex Bob-omb, and Broken Social Scene will represent another fictional band, Crash and the Boys.

Like everything else I've heard from Metric, "Black Sheep" sounds terrific. Hit the "Become a Fan" button on their Facebook page to hear "Black Sheep."

[Via Wright and Robot 6]

The Palace: Theatre of Crud, Chapter 8

The Palace: Theatre of Crud, Chapter 8 by Jimmy J. Aquino