Revisiting Blood In The Face In The Wake Of The Overland Park Shootings

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The neo-Nazi in his summer plumage.
Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. (AKA Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr.) will likely be hit with federal hate crime charges in addition to murder for the shootings at the Jewish Community Center in the Overland Park suburb of Kansas City:

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, could be charged as soon as today in Johnson County District Court, where he probably will face murder counts. District Attorney Steve Howe said information about charges could be released this morning.
[...]
Miller has made statements to investigators, but authorities would not reveal those comments Monday. The southwest Missouri man long has been known for deeply anti-Semitic and racist statements. He was a Ku Klux Klan grand dragon at one time and founded the White Patriot Party in the 1980s.

I thought the shooter's name sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it until they showed some clips of his WPP days. That's when I knew where I'd seen him: in a 1991 documentary about white supremacists called Blood in the Face. I rewatched it earlier this week, and was struck by how the filmmakers didn't take Frazier (or others in the movie) very seriously, and how big a mistake that might have been.


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Five Things Fast Food Restaurants Shouldn't Show on TV in Their Dining Area

Categories: Film and TV

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How sad could the Red Wedding be? Weddings are so happy!
Because I eat an unhealthy amount of fast food I spend an unhealthy amount of time in fast food restaurants. While this is terrible for my life expectancy, it's been great for my TV watching. While I own a TV and pay for cable, aside from food competition programming, professional wrestling, and Dance Moms, I don't watch much television at home. If it weren't for the recaps we run here, I'm not even sure I'd know what Game of Thrones was other than a thing that makes people act weird on Twitter.

So the fact that my roommate and I found ourselves at our local fast food fried chicken spot recently was absolutely normal. What was not normal was the fact that their TV was tuned in to a Game of Thrones marathon. GoT is not the type of thing one expects to watch when trying to enjoy some biscuits and chicken strips. Sports? Sure. News? Boring, but OK. Graphic sex and violence? Not so much.

While I wasn't personally offended because I'm a grown up, this was a family establishment, and some parts of the show were not meant for the eyes of children. Needless to say, the whole situation got me thinking on the subject of other things not to show in restaurant dining rooms. Pay attention, fast food restaurant remote control controllers.

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Reality Bites: Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives

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Wow. Such dude. Very Flavortown. 10/10
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

Like most people, I've eaten at restaurants. As luck would have it, I've also been to several of the eateries featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I recall meeting the owner of one of them (not in Houston) who loudly and profanely cursed host Guy Fieri for selecting his restaurant, then loudly (and profanely) complained about the "new clientele" the show had drawn in. I hadn't gotten my food yet, so I didn't ask a) why he agreed to do the show in the first place, and b) if he was returning the new customers' money.

But this appears to be an uncommon response, judging by the fact the majority of the restaurants featured on the show prominently display links to the show. Like it or not, Fieri is one of Food Network's biggest stars, and arguably its most recognizable (provided Giada De Laurentiis isn't standing nearby in a bikini). A visit from His Goatee-ness can boost significantly boost a restaurant's business.


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TV Has So Many Daddy Issues

Categories: Film and TV

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So mean to your kids! All they want is your love.
(WARNING: Spoilers) Last week saw the conclusion of the fifth season of FX's most underrated show, Justified, and fans of the program finally got the confession they have been waiting to hear for five years. In an attempt to get the youngest of the Floridian Crowe family, Kendal, to fess up to not shooting U.S. Marshall Chief Art, Raylan Givens has one of the most honest heart-to-hearts in the entire series. Within their exchange, Raylan admits that most of his reason for doing what he does (shooting bad guys) is that he had such a corrupt and, overall, crappy father. Raylan became a marshal more or less to piss off his father, or maybe it was really to get his attention.

Viewers of the show have been keen to this since the first time we met Arlo Givens, but Raylan may not have had the self-awareness prior to this moment. Or maybe he just never wanted to say it out loud because then it's for serious.

This season Raylan had a slew of father strife, this time with the man he really considers a parental figure, his boss, Art. Their relationship saw a sad decline in trust after Raylan admitted to being part of a death that was perhaps less than "justified." The demise of this father/son-type relationship was tough to watch through this season's emotionally lost Raylan. Disappointing your "dad" hurts.

Justified is far from the only drama dominating the airwaves that features characters whose motivation is spurred by their padres. Television right now is filled with a lot of wannabe tough guys who are really just trying to impress their pops. There are a lot of daddy issues going on.

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The Mammalian Fascism of Peppa Pig

Categories: Film and TV

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Having a four-year-old I watch a lot of children's programming. In fact, it's the only television I do watch these days outside of Doctor Who, and if you want to call Doctor Who a kids' show I won't argue with you. It's fine though. Not every person has managed to turn arrested development into a paying gig like I have.

So anyway, I was watching Peppa Pg with the Daughter With One F because it happens to be on these days when we're eating dinner. I've seen a dozen episodes, but finally something disturbing became apparent. All the sentient talking animals are mammals, and I think there's something sinister behind it.

Seriously, there are no avian or reptile named characters. There are pigs (obviously), dogs, cats, zebras, cows, sheep, and gazelles, but there are no ducks or lizards or chickens or turtles. What animated show doesn't have a goofy, slow-talking turtle? Why the kind where the populace is secretly ruling the internal world through species-based oppression.

The episode that finally tipped me off was number 27, "Freddy Fox". In it, Freddy demonstrates a keen sense of smell, and tells various children what they smell like. One of them, he says, smells like eggs.

Mammals almost never lay eggs, and since previously he'd mostly remarked on dietary items that means that Freddy is alluding to the fact that eggs are a staple food stuff in the Peppa Pig world.

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Game of Thrones: "A Royal Wedding Is Not an Amusement."

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It's like rain/On your wedding day
So that happened.

In the unlikely event you're unaware of the events of last night's episode, I'll refrain from revealing anything until after the jump. Suffice to say, after the last four episodes of Game of Thrones, I'm willing to add a new item to the list of classic blunders: never get involved in a land war in Asia, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never attend a wedding in Westeros.


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Reviews for the Easily Distracted:
Oculus

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Title: Oculus

Another Introspective Art House Flick From WWE Films? If they were smart, they'd have found a way to make the Ultimate Warrior's ghost the antagonist.

Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film: Two-and-a-half Aerosmith albums out of five.


Brief Plot Synopsis: Young man released from mental hospital 10 years after killing his father is met by sister, who promptly asks him to kill again.

Tagline: "You see what it wants you to see."

Better Tagline: "Objects in the mirror are grosser than they appear."


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Film Podcast: Only Lovers Left Alive Is One of Our Favorite Movies This Year

Categories: Film and TV

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Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive.
On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, this paper's film critics discuss Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, starring Tom Hiddleston and David Gordon Green's Joe, starring Nicolas Cage.

"I loved this movie so much," says film critic Stephanie Zacharek of the vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive. "It might be my favorite Jim Jarmusch movie...This movie, especially being made at this point in his career...this movie is filled with mournfulness for all of these things that seem to be kind of floating out of our culture and out of grasp -- the idea of actual books where you can turn a page, or records that you put on a record player and listen to, opposed to just downloading music and having it exist in some invisible cloud library somewhere."

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The Ten Best Movie Performances by Nicolas Cage

Categories: Film and TV

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Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in Joe.
As video-on-demand continues to become the preferred route of distribution for a certain kind of independent film, much is being made of Nicolas Cage's willingness to slum for a paycheck, with recent examples including already-forgotten, small-screen-friendly items like Seeking Justice, Trespass, Stolen and The Frozen Ground. (His character names in these projects -- Will Gerard, Kyle Miller, Will Montgomery and Jack Halcombe -- are as interchangeable as the titles of the films.) Aside from citing the obvious appeal of doing work for money (a defense Cage himself brought up in a recent interview with The Guardian), it's also possible to back Cage by acknowledging the consistency with which he's taken on "serious" roles over the years.

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Why I'm Totally on Board With the Announced Goonies Sequel

Categories: Film and TV

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"Join the remakeventure."
So this is finally happening:

The Goonies director Richard Donner revealed last week that a sequel is currently in the works. Sean Astin said in 2012 that he was "1000 percent certain" that a sequel would happen and that he was willing to bet his children on it, so this news bodes well for both Astin and his children.

Ain't it Cool News has now reaffirmed that The Goonies 2 is "very real" and claims that Donner, Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus are co-producing the film and actively looking for writers and directors. This means that Donner and Columbus are not planning to direct or write the sequel themselves, as they did with the original. As far as the plot goes, the producers apparently want to focus on the children of the Goonies and include cameos from the original characters where possible.

Boy, that sounds promising, doesn't it? Normally I'd use this space to rant about the strip mining of our cinematic heritage by idiot studio execs who couldn't wipe their own ass without focus group approval and the ongoing absence of original ideas in Hollywood, but this is The Goonies we're talking about, so who really cares?


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