GEEK CHIC Seems like hipster bashing has replaced trailer-trash cracks as the new way to get laughs. By now we've all watched the Hipster Olympics, "brought to you by Pabst Blue Ribbon," on YouTube and chuckled vindictively as a clique of Williamsburg, NY, brats in tight pants posed for MySpace photos as part of the competition.
WHAT IS IT?Beowulf may be raking in box office bucks worldwide, but its monster has been making his own rounds. Crispin Hellion Glover and I holed up in Chicago's House of Blues to wait out a snowstorm and talk about the second installment of his It trilogy, It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.
Twenty years ago Fine codirector David Brothers handed Glover a script penned by a man with severe cerebral palsy. This wasn't a touchy-feely autobiographical affair nor a trite story about overcoming diversity to make the world a better place. Read more »
TRIPLE FEATURE It may be hard to fathom now, but Burt Reynolds was probably the biggest movie star of the 1970s. Other actors of his generation have gained more prestige, made fewer flops, or carried above-the-title status to the grave or today (like Robert Redford, who arguably has zero marquee value left). Reynolds put up a feeble fight as his career ebbed into TV shows, supporting roles, and self-parody. But he had many hits, both high- and lowbrow. He was the first since Bing Crosby to be the top box office star five years in a row. Read more »
RINK MASTER Even before South Park anointed Brian Boitano the coolest ice-skater ever to strap on blades, I was a fan. As a wee junior high schooler, I cheered his triumph at the Battle of the Brians at the 1988 Winter Olympics. (In your face, Brian Orser!) Now a full-time pro, the Bay Area native and resident is gearing up for one of his most ambitious undertakings: the "Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular," the first ice show to be held at AT&T Park, with rink legends like Dorothy Hamill and Viktor Petrenko and a live performance by Barry Manilow. Read more »
GAMER I had the fortune of winning a PSP in a contest a few weeks ago, and in my hunt for an inaugural game for the system, I spotted Jeanne D'Arc on a shelf in a local toy store. Because the cover sports an awesome girl with a sword and because no one does medieval European history like the Japanese, I picked it up.
Jeanne D'Arc is historical fantasy with a plot that seems a little too familiar. Read more »
CULT FILM GODBlood Feast, Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome, and The Gore Gore Girls between 1960 and 1972, Herschell Gordon Lewis ruled the drive-in with a steady stream of exploitation movies, made on the cheap for crowds unafraid to experience the kind of special effects that earned Lewis the nickname "the Godfather of Gore." Nowadays, the 81-year-old is a highly respected authority on direct marketing (check out his column, Curmudgeon at Large, at directmag.com), but he's proud (if bemused) that his films continue to thrill audiences today. Read more »
HORNS UP Dethklok, "the most brutal band in the world" and stars of Adult Swim's juggernaut of animated murder, Metalocalypse, are touring in support of their recently released Dethalbum (Williams Street), which peaked at number three on the Billboard hard rock album chart and reached number 21 on the Billboard 200, making it the best-selling death metal album of all time. Read more »
SEVENTIES FLASHBACK The '60s were all about changing society. When that didn't pan out, the '70s went all inwardly focused, pursuing pleasure and spirituality. Both goals frequently commingled as fads, cults, and pop religio-psych fixes. The Age of Aquarius dawned no more: Planet Self-Help was rising, and exotic waves washed across the shore of American consciousness.
Perhaps nothing in that era's landscape of seekerdom spread its populist wings farther or became a more dated Me Decade punch line than Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Read more »
SCREAM QUEEN What kind of a woman tempts both Dracula and Frankenstein? Gorgeous Veronica Carlson, that's who star of Hammer classics Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). Now an artist and devoted grandmother living in Florida, Carlson's coming to town to share her memories of the golden age of British goth horror as part of this weekend's "Shock It to Me!" film fest. Read more »