Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted
I’ve gotten too old for stand-up comics who direct their humor at college kids. Wait, now, looking back at all the stand-up I’ve ever liked, I think I was too old for it when I was too young for it. My humor tastes always ran to either the surreal or the sub-textual or the shocking and, in fact, so did the tastes of all the other college kids I knew. Nick Swardson
’s new comedy special possesses none of those qualities but I suppose, for something that has ‘farting’ even in the title, it’s not so bad. Kids these days, I tell you.
has been appearing in bit roles in TV and movies since 2000 but never got much notice until his reoccurring character on “Reno 911”
, the gay rollerskating prostitute who consistently denies his obvious
sexuality. It’s kind of like Nick
himself in this special, who tries so hard to get in good with the boys with all his talk of beer and video games, even going so far as to assert his heterosexuality out loud just like that character, that my personal gaydar was going into the red. Stay tuned for future ‘coming out’
announcements or conversion to some psychotic hard-core religion; mark my words.
All that piss taking aside, for all his juvenile material, Swardson
earns more than a few chuckles throughout and I’ll be damned if he didn’t make me laugh out loud in the finale. It’s only when he gets away from trying to prove what a big drinker/womanizer/pot smoker/video game player he is that Swardson
starts getting into some genuinely hysterical material, and it’s worth watching the rest for.
“Seriously, Who Farted”
isn’t the work of a comedian at the top of his game, but it might be the work of a comedian off to a good start. He’s a guy who feels like he could go either way, getting more interesting and experimental or becoming just another banal drunken college crowd pleaser. This is worth a solid RENT
but skip all the extras except the short “28 Days Later”
which is just mildly amusing enough of a parody to be worth the three minutes or so of your life.
Click Here to Buy Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted?
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
No, not the Tim Burton “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
garbage, but the original film. Okay, to be fair, author Roald Dahl
hated the film and it sank in theaters in its original release. It wasn’t until over ten years later that the film was re-discovered on TV and video that it built to the cult phenomenon status it has today. Still no excuse for the remake, if you ask me though.
The story of a crazed candy maker who opens up his mysterious factory for the first time in decades to let in five contest winning children to one by one be picked off in shocking ways because of their own greed, is one that has frightened children for decades. It’s “Saw”
with candy traps and a lesson for out of control kids: behave or Willy Wonka
will come getcha!
Maybe it’s not that extreme but I know it scared me as a kid. Scared me straight. “Willy Wonka”
may be about imagination and love and all that but it seems to me what it’s really about is testing limits, something every kid does. Some parents who let their kids do pretty much anything they want don’t understand that this is gonna screw them up much worse than a firm smack on the hindquarters will. Willy Wonka
knows. Willy Wonka
watches. Willy Wonka
, is always there in the shadows. He punishes these kids with what they think they love best. Guarantee not a one of those brats mouthed off again after that.
This Blu-Ray edition of the film gets it right, fixing the film up marvelously although certainly not flawlessly; lots of grain is still there and some of the pure white/black contrast is a little flat, but it’s a fantastic step up from any version available previously. There is, strangely, nothing new for the blu-ray except the 37 page booklet that comes with the hard backed case. What there is, though, is nice for folks who never owned the 2001 re-release that these extras are from, like a commentary track with all the actors who played the kids as well as a 30 minute documentary on the making of the film. For those who love this classic, or want something that’ll really look great in HD or just have kids that need to be taught a lesson, “Willy Wonka”
is a BUY.
Click Here to Buy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Blu-ray Book) [Blu-ray]
Wow. I saw this ‘family friendly’ horror in the damn theater back in 1987, precisely when I was the exact wrong age for it. Here I was, horror fan just discovering the bloody and shocking works of the Italian Giallo
film makers when this horror-lite comes along to the cineplex. I think I actually booed at the end. I certainly wasn’t entirely wrong to see the bad here, as there is MST3K
sized amount of material ripe for the picking on, but there was a charm that was lost on the young gore-hound Cyrus
, in his first film role, is unrecognizably young, playing a kid named Glen
who discovers a smoking hole in his back yard that leads..dum da DUUUUUM....to hell. His parents go out of town for a few days leaving his older sister in charge, which of course means, party. Dorff
hangs out in his room with his nerdy metal head buddy Terry
and that night, during the sister’s wild and crazy pastel colored party, things start to go weird and wrong. Terry
discovers, by reading the liner notes to a heavy metal album (!), that they’ve accidentally opened up the gate and hell will be unleashed on Earth unless they figure out how to close it up again.
The bad you can already detect in the synopsis by the all-too-eighties premise of having heavy metal guys somehow be clued into the nature of the beast and including ancient summoning texts in their liner notes. In my experience, all that those guys had disturbing knowledge of was hair products. Even more unsettling was the work of writer Michael Nankin
, who didn’t know the first thing about kid-lingo and apparently couldn't be bothered to find out. There are streams of insults back and forth between the children that are amongst the most awkward lines of dialogue probably ever uttered. The frequent use of ‘fag’ doesn’t help either and in fact is the one thing keeping this from being appropriate ‘Goosebumps’
style horror viewing for kids today.
All that being said, and the mediocre acting and whatnot, there was still definitely some fun creative stuff going on here. The stop motion and forced perspective with the little adorable demon things running around causing trouble is a major appeal of the film and is used creatively. I was surprised to find myself really getting into it all as the battle ensued and everything got kind of surreal with evil versions of the kids, eyes in hands, dogs and cats living together, total anarchy. I gotta say though, for an ‘old one’
this demon has GOT to be the dork of his school. Defeated by a little kid. Please. This dude would have been kicked out of the Cthulu Modeling School
in his first semester,
The new Lionsgate DVD looks pretty darn good, despite the amount of grain left in and comes with two cool featurettes although no appearances by the original actors, just the special effects guys and the writer and director. Apparently, no one can even FIND the kid who played Terry
who also starred in the sequel (now apparently having changed his name for reasons unknown to ‘Twelve Twenty’
). To no one’s surprise, “The Gate”
didn’t exactly make anyone’s career but for those in the mood for a good 80’s movie night party, this might just hit the spot as a RENT
Click Here to Buy The Gate