50 States/50 Bands: Hawaii to Maryland

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Suffering from insomnia one night, a vision came to me. It was, of course, not particularly useful. It was a vision of me recommending a musical act from each of the 50 states. More motivated than I have been in years, I sat down and hammered it out. Eons came and went. Civilizations rose and fell. Now I'm ready to share my baby with the world in five easy to digest posts. Naturally, the list reflects my own personal biases, so bring on the arguments. In some cases, there was no band or artist I liked from a particular state, and you can generally tell which ones those are.

Those download recommendations with an * can be heard on TMS Radio - so tune in and have a go.


Hawaii - Don Ho - I've got nothing. Jack Johnson was the only other name I recognized and I can‘t in good conscience tell you to download anything he put out. I’ve predicted his music will lead to post office shootings.

Download - Tiny Bubbles

Idaho - Paul Revere and the Raiders - I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Illinois had better bail my ass out.

Download - Indian Reservation

Illinois - Smashing Pumpkins - Thank you Land of Lincoln. If you were a nerdy, angsty, or gay teenager in the 90's, you owned a lot of Smashing Pumpkins. If you were nerdy, angsty, AND gay, well then bully for you. Their new basist is my neighbor's employee's former girlfriend - take that Dark Helmet! Don't waste your time with their "comeback" CD Zeitgest - stick to the good stuff.

*Download - Zero

Indiana - Michael Jackson - Before his nose fell off and his penchant for touching boys became public knowledge, Jackson was an unstoppable force in the music industry. Last I heard, he was living in Bahrain as a guest of one of the princes there and dressing as a woman (seriously).

Download - Smooth Criminal

Iowa - Donny Brazile - Isn't that Al Gore's old campaign manager? No, thats Donna Brazille. Whatever. Its this asshole or Slipknot. I've made my choice. I think he hit on Brant Brown's fiancee, but I don't remember.

*Download - Wastin' Mine

Kansas - Martina McBride - Another state not giving me much. This country songstress has pretty much been hijacked by the right wing because of the song Independence Day. I guess they don’t know its about an abusive relationship and not “Amuhrika”.

*Download - Where Would You Be

Kentucky - Dwight Yoakam - Dwight left this godforsaken place long ago, but they don’t have much else there. Dwight is carrying on the “Bakersfield Sound” and is one of maybe two or three country artists putting out good music right now. I saw him in concert at an Indian casino - the man is a showman. Dwight also has a bit of an acting career. You might remember him as Doyle Hargraves from Sling Blade.

*Download - Louisville

Louisiana - Louis Armstrong - Louisiana produced all the great jazz artists, but I don't like jazz and they haven’t done much else. Louis is the best of the best.

Download - We Have All the Time in the World

Maine - Vacationland - I don’t know who these people are, but wikipedia says they were compared to Guns N Roses and Marilyn Manson. Good enough for me.

Download anything since I don’t know what they sound like.

Maryland - Good Charlotte - The most famous band to come out of this state. Take that how you will. While the notion of Good Charlotte inspires mockery, they can turn out a catchy song or two every couple years.

*Download - Dance Floor Anthem

Underrated/Overrated: Condiments Edition

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Underrated

Ranch: How can you not love ranch? In fact, now that I think about it, Ranch probably isn't underrated. It's probably rated about where it should be. Remember in college when you would go buy 5 Jack's frozen pizzas for $10 and then dip each slice in ranch? What? You still do that? You son of a bitch. You probably also listen to Babyshambles.
Sour Cream: Or as I call it, 'Mexican Ketchup'. I love shoving this milky white cream sauce in my mouth.

Salsa: Good for you and good to eat. But let the record show that not all salsas are created equal. The best salsas are chunky with a smoky flavor and just enough spiciness to make your weiner tingle. The rule of thumb is go with the smaller, more obscure brands or even the homemade shit in your grocers deli area. If you consider 'Tostitos' to be the cream of the crop, well then I have news for you. You are a fucking idiot.

Sauerkraut
: Pussies need not apply. Nothing beats abusing a foot-long brat with this cabbage-y bullshit and then rubbing the leftovers on your hot, sunburned chest. Wash it all down with a hearty German ale and then go karate chop a stack of 2x4"s in half.

Mustard (Yellow): I hate getting mustard stains on my clothes (think: crotch area) but Sweet Baby Jesus does it taste good going down my esophagus. This, not ketchup, should go on a hot dog. Also goes well on both turkey and ham sandwiches and can be used as an alternative 'dipper' to ranch, especially for tater tots.

Guacamole: One could argue that guacamole has almost reached the tipping point and is becoming overrated. This is bullshit.

Coming from Iowa, no one eats guacamole. 'What should I put on my tortilla chips?' asks the man in the straw hat and Hawkeye Starter jacket. Looking confused and smelling of gin, he grabs Tostitos Salsa (Mild) and a jar of Cheeze Whiz. To Iowans, guacamole is about as exotic as people of color or cable tv.

To clarify, the stuff I am endorsing is not the toxic looking pre-made stuff you find sitting next to the potato salad at Hy-Vee. No friends, I'm talking about the good shit. Homemade, or at a restaurant made table side. In 2004 I gave up 'raising the roof' for Lent. Unfortunately during this period I was introduced to table side guacamole. Roofs were immediately raised. I punched our waiter in the chest and pinned him down until he gave me the recipe. In 2004, I spent 3 nights in jail. My cellmate smelled of steak sauce and Marlboro Reds.

Overrated

Ketchup
: The granddaddy of condiments remains one of the most overrated. Put in on a hamburger maybe but that's it. Fries? You clearly aren't a potato purist. That is almost as sacrilegious as putting gravy on homemade mashed potatoes. If anything, dip your fries in ranch and call it a day. Ketchup on a hot dog? Uh, North Korea called and they want to know if you've stolen America's nuclear blueprints yet.

Pepper (on salads)
: "Would you like some fresh ground pepper on your salad?" Hmmm...I don't know. Would you like my fucking fist in your face?

Mayonnaise
: Oooh, I have a better idea. How bout' I just find a doctor that will perform a preemptive triple bypass on me right now?

Vinegar
: What the fuck am I supposed to do with this? Seriously. It smells bad. Vinegar, what purpose do you serve? I once had a dream that I was on Kid Rock's tour bus and he was dipping his fries in vinegar. We became engaged in a heated argument over this act of defiance and it ended with me getting kicked off the bus and having to hitch a ride back into town.

Steak Sauce: Unless you are ordering a steak from Bonanza, using steak sauce is pretty much inexcusable. You either don't know how to cook a steak properly or have Down Syndrome. A good steak doesn't need any sauce. Jesus. This infuriates me. If the restaurant you are at even has steak sauce on the premises you should immediately leave said premises shouting, "I wouldn't eat here anyway."

Here is a helpful analogy for all the horny men (and lesbians or curious co-eds) out there...Eva Mendes comes up to you, fully naked. She wants to pump. She smells flowery. But then you say to her, "Hmmm...you know this is gonna sound really weird, and I don't want things to get awkward or anything...(cough)...but uh, could you just put on this Barbara Walters mask while we pump? I know, I know, it sounds weird but it's just my thing. Trust me, I'm a much better lover if you'll just wear this. What? It doesn't really matter where I got it, now does it? Just put it on. Please. Wow. This is taking too long. Boner. Gone. I'm out. I wouldn't eat here anyway."

Ketchup is the work of the devil.

Monday Afternoon Hangover: Week 12

3:05 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Alright stop bugging me assholes. Here's Week 12. Better late than never I always say. At least I got it in before tomorrow night's game.

Green Bay 37
Detroit 26
I was too busy downing copious amounts of turkey and stuffing to care about Thanksgiving games. Favre continues to cheat death and play like a 29 year old. Whether you hate him or not, you have to respect what he's done this season. Of course in today's cynical world of sports fandom, there's part of me that is almost expecting an HGH scandal to eventually sprout up.

Dallas 34
New York Jets 3
You know I'm sure when the 2007 schedule was being formed this looked like it would probably be a good game as did Indy and Atlanta. Little did we know that Packers-Lions would be the biggest contest of the holiday. Dallas destroyed the Jets. Come on New York, you're not gonna win any games with just 3 points*.

Indianapolis 31
Atlanta 13
In honor of this game being broadcasted on the NFL Network, I will only be showing my writeup to 10% of my readers.

Northern Iowa 38
New Hampshire 35
Pretty much no one saw this game. Unfortunately for them they missed out on one hell of a game. That performance was better than anything I've seen the Hawkeyes do in 3 years. New Hampshire's offense was rolling with QB Ricky Santos and appeared to have things wrapped up, leading 35-31 with a little over a minute left. UNI, with no timeouts mind you, was able to drive down the field and score on a 15 yard TD pass by Eric Sanders to Montari Leonard who made an amazing juggling catch in the end zone with 7 seconds left. Eric Sanders is my pick to take Kurt Warner's torch, once his bionic body inevitably gives out. Sanders should start working on the face stubble right now.

UNI now faces Delaware in the quarterfinal game. I know nothing about the Fightin' Blue Hens, except that Mel Kiper has their QB Joe Flacco ranked #5 overall at that position.

Oakland 20
Kansas City 17
Losing at home to the Raiders? I think that may be the Chiefs' official rock bottom of the season. Even worse was listening to the damn announcers blather on about the Chiefs loving this Brodie Croyle kid and how he's gonna be a big part of their future. Really? I'm sure the Chief fans love completions and touchdowns even more.

Minnesota 41
New York Giants 17
Wow, who needs Adrian Peterson? Mongoloid Manning threw more TD's for the Vikings than Tarvaris Jackson did. Nice work shithead.

Tampa Bay 19
Washington 13
Bruce Gradkowski picked up the slack for the injured Jeff Garcia who left the game with what has been described as a "lower back bruise". After the game Jeff responded with "Owww! My backside hasn't hurt this bad since I came back from that cruise this past summer."

Seattle 24
St. Louis 19
Holy shit, there are too many games to cover here. I miss the bye weeks. So much for St. Louis running the table for the remainder of the season. I guess I forgot for a brief moment that Marc Bulger's body is in fact made from balsa wood.

New Orleans 31
Carolina 6
The Saints win big over the absolutely putrid Panthers. Carolina has now lost 5 in a row. At least Marcel Marceau Carr and his white gloves are back for us to mock. In other news, I nominate Reggie Bush and his lack of productivity for the 2007 most overhyped player to greatly disappoint.

Cleveland 27
Houston 17
Numerous years of top draft picks appears to finally be paying off for the Browns. The combination of Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow have given Derek Anderson a potent receiving corps to work with. Did you know Jamal Lewis is only 28? For some reason I was thinking he was like 32. He also appears to be running his best since coming back from prison, as he's once again averaging over 4 yards per carry.

Cincinnati 35
Tennessee 6
I think the Titans have realized just how horrible they really are. Meanwhile the Bengals put on a performance many thought they'd be capable of all season. Chad Johnson did some lame TD celebration with the television camera. I still think the "carried out on the backboard" was the best celebration to date.

Jacksonville 36
Buffalo 14
Jacksonville continues to roll with David Garrard at QB. Garrard has still not thrown a pick this season, helping to maintain a solid 103.1 QB rating. Buffalo is one of those AFC teams that is currently on the playoff bubble along with Tennesse and Denver. Honestly all three of those teams have been pretty lousy lately. With 5 weeks to play it may be a little hasty but I'm ready to ink in New England, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indy, Jacksonville, and San Diego for the playoffs.

San Francisco 37
Arizona 31
I'd ask the Governor and Chaim for their thoughts on this game but they're too busy putting the finishing touches on a Neil Rackers voodoo doll. Meanwhile Kurt Warner puts up Xbox-type numbers with a ridiculous 484 passing yards. If it weren't for Walt Harris' 2 picks I would've thought the Niners were using some radical new 6-5 defense.

Chicago 37
Denver 34
Devin Hester is bigger than Jesus.

San Diego 32
Baltimore 14
Well the Ravens are now only 3 more losses away from fulfilling the Governor's 10 loss prophecy. The Chargers manage to win again, despite the crippling effects of Norv Turner's coaching.

New England 31
A.J. Feeley 28
I watched Asante Samuel return an interception for a TD on the Eagles first drive and immediately turned the channel. "More of the same," I thought. I turned back later and was actually shocked by the score. What the hell New England? Why aren't you running up the score? And how does A.J. Feeley essentially put up the best game against the Pats so far this year? This game left me with more questions than answers.

*Pittsburgh 3
Miami 0
My apologies to the Jets. 3 points won't win you any games, unless you're playing the Dolphins. I didn't bother to tune in, but for fantasy managers who were depending on this game to give them points I'm sure it was agonizing.

NOTE: I'm officially tired of writing and don't feel like looking up the stats to determine the Nutcups and the Flamers. So instead I'll list my favorite and least favorite players on Tecmo Super Bowl.

The Golden Nutcup Team
Wear it with pride fellas!

QB - Warren Moon, HOU
RB - Christian Okoye, KC
WR - Sterling Sharpe, GB
WR - Art Monk, WAS
TE - Marv Cook, NE (I once played a season using him as my RB. Much better than John Stephens)
DEF - Pittsburgh


The Flaming Bag Team
Don't put them out with your boot, Harold!

QB - Steve Grogan, NE
RB - Keith Woodside, GB
WR - Ricky Proehl, PHX (Good God, were you slow!)
WR - Perry Kemp, GB
TE - Ron Heller, SEA
DEF - Detroit (Unless you were doing the noseguard tackle trick with Jerry Ball, these guys were worthless.)

Thursday Night Pick
Loser = Cable customers. The NFL Network needs to die as soon as possible. Someone explain to me why this channel is even necessary? Man I can't wait to watch this game in the form of highlights on ESPN.

War Criminal: Yellow and Lance Armstrong

11:37 PM | Comments (0) | by Brant Brown

This War Criminal covers a couple items. The genesis lies in the yellow "Live Strong" bracelets that have long outworn their welcome. If your mother or little brother wears one, or a genuine cancer survivor sports the accessory, I am fine with that. What I am not fine with are the douchebag frat guys that continue to wear these things as some sort of status symbol. It's as if they're telling me that because I'm not wearing one, I am clearly living an inferior life and am in cancer's corner. Nothing could be further from the truth. What have you done to deserve the privilege of wearing that bracelet Mr. Delta Upsilon? You paid two dollars at the checkout counter of a 7/11? How noble of you, you jackass. These guys should be herded up with all of the people that put a yellow "Support Our Troops" ribbon on their vehicle. Yes, we know you support our troops. No matter how misguided and costly this war is, who doesn't support the troops? OK, maybe John Walker Lindh, but seriously. These blanket gestures mean nothing.

As far as the yellow bracelets go, yes, they were brought to us by God's greatest gift to mankind, Lance Armstrong. Lance, screw you. Seriously, I don't even know where to start with you. Fine, you survived what is possibly the easiest cancer to beat. Really, I do admire anyone that takes on cancer. But you've done your Tours, you've done your motivational speaking, you brought even more awareness to a terrible disease. But listen up, because we need you to do a couple more favors for us.

First, please stop trying to run in marathons. Take a page out of Michael Jordan's book. You peaked at one sport, let it be. Quit trying to show everyone else up. Second, for the love of Christ, stop these shenanigans with the Olsen twin (I'm not sure which one it is, nor do I care to research it). But Jesus man, you have children. Just don't. What do you do, sit at home watching Full House reruns and think, "Yeah, I'd hit that". Well, it's a good thing you only have one testicle. The semen power of two balls would surely break that frail girl's uterus.

Please Lance, for all of us, lower your profile, settle down with a nice supermodel and/or actress, move into a gated community, and be quiet.

So what have we learned in these precious few moments? People are always trying to look better than you and anxiously await any opportunity to rub their superior qualities, whether warranted or not, right in your face. Don't sit there and take it. Tell them to fuck off and live a happy life. Just don't forget to "live it strong, brah".

Cubs of Yore: Steve Trout

9:25 AM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Nickname: Rainbow, Trouser

Played for The Cub: '83 - '87

Random Write-up: The original Cub "Crafty Lefty", Steve Trout pitched and was often (always) photographed wearing a pair of tinted sunglasses and a pretty dope man-perm. Don't believe me? Then check out this, this, and this. Oh my Lord!

Steve was the son of Dizzy Trout, who was a former major leaguer and former 27 game winner for the Detroit Tigers. Steve was selected as the 8th overall pick in the 1976 draft by the White Sox. Steve was a pivotal cog in the Cubs rotation during the magical 1984 season, going 13-7 with a 3.44 ERA, and pitching 8-1/3 innings in a game 2 victory in the NLCS over the Padres. Before Ted Lilly this year, Steve was the last Cub lefty to start a post season game.

Perhaps a mediocre pitcher at best, he had some decent seasons, and posted career numbers of 88 winds wins and 92 losses, with a career ERA of 4.18, amassing 656 strikeouts in just over 1,500 innings of work.

What the hell?: Steve is the last Cub to throw back-to-back complete game shutouts, which he did in 1987, blanking the Padres and the Dodgers. Clearly he owned the state of California. Reggie Jackson once claimed that Steve was the toughest left hander that he ever faced.

Was very popular with all of his teammates (Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Mariners), and was known as an eccentric, fun-loving and zany guy. Allegedly challenged many of his Cub teammates to burrito eating competitions. Luckily this was before Hector Villanueva came along.

Also of Note: Has dabbled as a pitching coach in the minor leagues in the past, does charitable fundraisers, wrote a book about him and his father, and now focuses on his own business ventures over at SteveTrout.com. Be sure to check that out and sign up for his pitching clinic, where you can stay at his own home!! Oooooo-doggy!!!

By the Way, Jock Was Traded

7:52 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Since we're never punctual with anything, I thought now would be a good time to report that Jock Jones has been traded to the Detroit Tigers for Omar Infante. Although we basically got Neifi 2.0 back in the deal, parting ways with Jock is probably for the best.

One thing's for sure. Thunder Matt will certainly miss all the times Jock sweetly sung old Smokey Robinson tunes to him on road trips.
"Being with you, being with you...."

Actual Baseball News (For Realz)

1:26 PM | Comments (0) | by Rotofunk

The Cubs have signed Kerry Wood to a 1-year deal. Exact details of the contract haven't been released, but it's rumored that the deal has no incentives and comes in at $4 million.

I am very excited. I've loved Kerry Wood for as long as he's been a Cub. He's a gamer, he's tougher than a coffin nail, and he doesn't put up with your crap.

Kerry Wood Highlights:

- 20 strikeout game vs. the Astros
- Busted up Sammy Sosa's boombox
- Was money in the 2003 playoffs until Game 7. And after he lost the game, he wanted to take the blame for the loss. That is classy.
- Signed below market value with the Cubs 2 years ago saying that he felt bad that he'd been hurt so much during his time in Chicago and he wanted to make it up to the team.
- Has never, ever smiled

In other news, the list of potential players for the Hall Of Fame was released today. There's no sure-fire first ballot players, so it's probably going to be a pretty crappy class, if anyone gets elected at all.

I'd like to show my support for Jack Morris. The guy won 254 games over his 18 year career. If he would have just won 2.5 more games per season, he would have been at 300 and a lock for the Hall. I'm sure that his bullpen blew at least 2-3 games for him every year. I know you can say that about most any pitcher, but seriously, the guy was good. He was a 5-time All-Star, he was the highest paid pitcher in the Majors for 4 seasons, and he ranks 8th in baseball history for most wild pitches. And he holds the record for most consecutive Opening Day starts at 14.

But more impressive than all of that was his class and tact when dealing with the media. Once when getting questioned by a female member of the media after a postgame shower, Morris quipped:

"I don't talk to women when I'm naked, unless they're on top of me or I'm on top of them."

Jack Morris - Total Class

War Criminal: Neil Rackers

7:08 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Thats now the 2nd game you and your sorry leg have cost Arizona this year. Today you spoiled a 484 yard day by RoboKurt. Asshole.

War Criminal: Black Friday

8:37 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

What's that? You pushed a lady down to get the last $10 toaster? Awesome!

What the hell is wrong with you people?

TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #27 Tommy Boy

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Title: Tommy Boy
Year: 1995
Genre: Comedy
Main Actors: Chris Farley, David Spade, Brian Dennehy, Rob Lowe, Bo Derek, Dan Aykroyd
Ranked: Dave Thomas #4, Daft Funk #21

Synopsis
Tommy Callahan Jr. (Farley) returns to his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio after finally graduating from college to work at his father's auto parts factory. Big Tom (Dennehy) shows Tommy the new state of the art brake pad division and surprises him with the news that he's getting married to a much younger woman. Sadly, his dad suffers a fatal heart attack during the reception leaving the future of the company in Tommy's hands. With the future of the company and everyone that works there resting on success of the new brake pads, Tommy and Richard (Spade), Big Tom's right-hand man and former high school classmate of Tommy, hit the road and try to sell enough to save the day.

Reasons This Movie Kicks Ass
Where to begin? Chris Farley is what makes this movie. There was a time that any SNL alum could put Farley in their movie, and it would become an instant classic (Wayne's World, Billy Madison, Dirty Work, etc. Hell, even Coneheads was decent). But what really makes this movie kick ass is Farley's pairing with David Spade. Farley takes care of all the physical humor, and Spade fires off stinging one-liners for 90 minutes. When you also factor in that this movie covers fat jokes ("Fat guy in a little coat!"), masturbation jokes (Spanktravision, anyone?), incest jokes ("Ewww...doin' his mommy..."), this movie really does have something for everyone. And by "everyone" I mean males 13-25.

Everyone knows that one of the biggest reasons that this movie kicks ass is because it's chock full of quotes that can be used in everyday situations. Need to see if that stall in the men's room is occupied? A simple rap on the door with a well-timed "Housekeeping?" should do the trick. One of your friends say something that doesn't quite make sense? "What was that? You're trailing off. And did I hear a "niner" in there? Were you calling from a walkie talkie?"

And the single greatest thing that this film taught me? It's ok for 2 guys to sing The Carpenters together on a long roadtrip.

Monster Role
While Spade delivers a number of memorable lines, again there's no question that Farley makes this movie a classic. I can launch into the "Here comes the meat wagon" speech or start singing fat guy in a little coat and everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about. I think it's pretty much required to run through the housekeeping bit every time you stay in a hotel. Maybe I can put it best in the words of a timeless song.

Como una promesa, eres tú, eres tú.
Como una mañana de verano.
Como una sonrisa, eres tú, eres tú.
Así, así, eres tú.

Make Your Weiner Tingle Moment
This is next to impossible to choose, but narrowly beating out "Fat guy in a little coat" (too short) and the deer coming back to life in the back of the car (another instant classic) is the part when Tommy steps in to help Richard sell some break pads using some model cars, a.k.a. the "Truck Tire" scene. If you didn't laugh to yourself just now at the mere mention of that scene, it's time to go buy a sense of humor. Holy shit, is there a funnier 45 seconds in history? Going from trying to sell break pads to setting fires on an office desk and destroying property in under a minute? Classic.

Watch this movie if you like...
Clip-on ties, cow tipping, bees, talking into fans, thin candy shells

A Thunder Matt Movie Minute: The Psycho Sequels

3:32 AM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

The DVD three pack is one of mankind’s greatest inventions. I firmly believe it will go down in history with sliced bread, the cotton gin, and the atomic bomb. While at a DVD store that shall remain nameless, I stumbled across a real gem: a three pack of the Psycho sequels for $12. Trooper that I am, I watched them all so I could tell you about them.

Psycho II (1983) - Twenty two years after being locked in an asylum for murdering people as Mother, Norman Bates is free and heading back to the motel. Lila Loomis (Vera Miles reprises her role from the original) isn’t too happy about it since her sister was among those Norman murdered. The hospital sets Norman up with a job at a local diner (why I don’t know…he owns a motel) where he meets a young girl (Jennifer Tilly’s ugly sister Meg) and strikes up an awkward friendship. Her name is Mary Samuels, which should set off alarm bells with anyone anal enough to remember the alias Janet Leigh used in the original.

By some cosmic happenstance, Mary ends up living in the house with Norman. Then the murders start again. The sheriff starts nosing around, but seems pretty convinced Norman has nothing to do with them this time. One of the first to go is Mr. Toomey, played ably and sleazily by Dennis Franz, who Norman fired as motel manager after discovering he was running what Norman refers to as “an adult motel”. The film is probably worth watching just to see how awful and over the top Franz is in the role.

Well, events unfold and the bodies pile up. Its actually not Norman killing people believe it or not. You can check out the film to see “whodunnit”. The end reveals an interesting twist though. An old lady who worked with Norman at the diner comes to chat with him and tells him she’s Norman’s REAL mother. It seems she got pregnant, but let her sister raise Norman when she got carted away to the nuthouse. Unhappy with the concept of a living Mother, Norman bashes her over the head with a shovel, killing her.

The film is tense and interesting, but rife with bad acting and corny dialogue. Three stuffed birds out of five.

Psycho III (1986) - The stuffed corpse of Mother returns and Anthony Perkins takes over as director in the third installment of the Psycho series. A young suicidal nun and a dirt bag musician end up at the motel. The dirt bag gets hired as Norman’s assistant and the suicidal nun moves in to cabin one and ends up as Norman’s love interest.

Mother doesn’t like this one bit and instructs Norman to start killing again. One by one the pretty young girls coming by the motel get slaughtered and conveniently, Norman always has an alibi, false or not.

While all this is going on, a nosey ass reporter is snooping around. She knows Norman’s backstory and thinks he may be behind the disappearance of the old lady from the diner. She tells both of Norman’s young guests in time and the dirt bag shares her suspicions. He manages to steal Mother and leaves Norman a note from her. Confused and excited, Norman heads to the cabin where “Mother” said to meet him. Well, you can imagine what happens when Norman finds the dirt bag with his beloved Mother.

Nosey reporter finds herself in the old Bates’ house being stalked by Norman. It seems she’s managed to dig up quite a bit of dirt. The old lady from the diner was lying about being Norman’s mother! She was actually Norman’s aunt and killed his father out of jealousy. Norman, hearing all this and haunted by the latest tragedy (watch and see what it is), finally snaps and instead of butchering the reporter, he starts stabbing Mother’s stuffed corpse. The police come to haul Norman off.

Outside of Perkins, Psycho III is hamstrung by a pretty bad cast. He is SO good as Norman Bates though you don’t notice after awhile. For the first time, the day to day insanity of Norman’s life is on display for all of us to see and it makes Psycho III the best of the sequels. Three and a half stuffed birds out of five.

Psycho IV (1990) - Falling in the “they should have left well enough alone” category, Psycho IV is told half in flashbacks of Norman’s first murders, including the murder of Mother that started it all. Norman, only a few years removed from the last film, is out of the asylum again and calls into a radio show hosted by the always weird CCH Pounder. She’s discussing boys who murder their mothers, and this mysterious caller “Ed” seems to know a lot about it. As Pounder and the psychiatrist she booked as a guest talk to Ed, they realize its Norman Bates. They’re worried though because he’s said he has to kill again.

It seems Norman has a wife now and feels he has to kill her. Its not Mother this time, its all him. You see, she’s gotten pregnant and he wants the line of Bates’ insanity to end with him. Pounder fails to talk him off the ledge and he tells his wife to meet him at the old Bates house for a big surprise…

But I digress. As I said, half the movie consists of flashbacks of his first murders. We see him kill a young girl who wants to have sex with him, and then an old cougar woman who wants to have sex with him. For a creepy ass 15 year old who never speaks, he seems to have a lot of game. Mother (already dead at this point) won’t have any of those “filthy girls” around her son though. The final flashback we see is when Norman kills his mother and her boyfriend. As you will remember, he knocks them off with strychnine.

Perkins, as always, is solid as Bates and in general the acting is better than the other two, but this film has too many holes in it. For one, if he spent 22 years in the loony bin the first time, how did he get out again in only a couple years? Second, things in Psycho IV contradict what we’ve learned in the first three films. In III, we learned that Mother’s sister killed Norman’s father out of jealousy. Here we’re told he died from bee stings. In the original, the old sheriff’s wife says Norman found the bodies of his mother and her boyfriend together in bed. Here, after murdering them, he drags their bodies to the basement.

By the way, did I mention Henry Thomas plays young Norman Bates? Yeah, that kid from E.T. He’s not that bad, but I can’t get over the notion of him in the role. Believe it or not, when I finished watching Psycho IV, I found E.T. on the family channel.

Even with all the issues I’ve already mentioned, the real problem here is Olivia Hussey’s portrayal of Mother in the flashbacks. Its too out there. I mean, she’s supposed to be a psychotic bitch who abused her son mentally and sexually, but she’s just too horrible. Its painful to watch her performance.

One and a half stuffed birds out of five.

War Criminal: Patriots Fans

1:04 PM | Comments (0) | by Rotofunk


God dammit. I've held my tongue long enough.

I can no longer stand Patriots fans. it takes a lot for me to say that I "hate" any kind of fan, but I can honestly say that I HATE Pats fans.

There are tons of fans I "don't care for". As a Bears fan, I don't care for Lions or Vikings fans. I really don't care for Brett Favre or Packers fans. I also don't care for fans of the Pistons, Jazz, Pacers, Brewers, Cardinals, Astros or Red Wings. The only kind of fan that I come close to hating is Yankee fans, but Patriots fans have passed them in my book.

Did you read that correctly? Patriots fans are now more annoying than Yankee fans have ever been.

When the Pats got caught spying on the Jets in week 1, and all of the Patriots fans leapt to Beli-cheat's defense, I didn't really care. A certain amount of blind faith is allowed sometimes (this coming from a Cubs fan).

When the Patriots started blowing out opponent after opponent and claiming that they weren't running up the score, I put it behind me. After all, Houston did score 28 points in garbage time against the Titans a few weeks ago, so "technically" you need all the points you can get in the NFL.

Even last week when the Pats were on a bye and their fans were still trolling message boards leaving comments like "Yeah, you know you'll miss us this week. The NFL isn't the same without us!", I didn't lose my cool.

So what pushed me over the edge?

Toward the end of the Pats-Bills game Sunday night, buddy to the Saloon E-Claire's Cream Puff put up a post about how it's unsportsmanlike for the Patriots to keep running up the score every week. This post was up right about the time the game was officially over (as opposed to 25 minutes into the game, when it was "unofficially" over). Not 2 minutes later, the following comment appears:

"Sorry,if the Bills can't stop them, even with the Pats third and fourth running backs in there, what more do you want them to do, take a knee?

Besides the last TD was "given" to them by the Bills offense.

BTW - Dick Jauron's high school team, Swampscott High, went defeated for 10 years, partly during his time there, and won by much bigger scores. And didn't Nebraska just score 73 points? And these are amateurs, not pros."

If you're anything like me, you read the following comment and decided about halfway through to stop forming the rebuttal in your head because there were just too many points to make. But I'm going to dredge through this thing just to prove a point. War Criminal is not a term I throw around lightly.

Douchebag: Sorry,if the Bills can't stop them, even with the Pats third and fourth running backs in there, what more do you want them to do, take a knee?

Daft Funk: First of all, don't pretend like the Patriots had their 3rd and 4th string running backs in as a favor to the Bills to try to keep from scoring. Their #1 and #2 guys were hurt. And none of that matters because the Patriots were throwing the ball most of the night. I don't expect them to take a knee, but here are 2 things they could have done to not come off as such colossal pricks:

1. When you're up by 28 and you've got 4th and 1 in the red zone, just kick a field goal and be done with it. You can't make the argument that going for it is more sportsmanlike because there's a chance you could not convert and it would give the Bills the ball back. Come on...we know how good the Patriots are. There's no way they won't pick up the 4th down and they know it.

2. If you do decide to go for it, put in your subs. I would have all the respect in the world for the Pats if they would have not only taken Brady out when they were up by 4 touchdowns (or 5...or 6...), but also send in their second string linemen and wideouts. Every NFL team has a bunch of backup linemen that only get in on special teams that would love nothing more than to come in and play a few quarters, especially on a nationally televised game.

Douchebag: Besides the last TD was "given" to them by the Bills offense.

Daft Funk: Hey dipshit, read the post you're commenting on. No one said anything about the turnover that the Patriots ran back for a touchdown except you. You know how sometimes when you're arguing but you know you have no real evidence to back yourself up, you start refuting points that no one ever brought up just to save face? Yeah, that stopped working in 3rd grade. I'd like to give you a B for effort, but that comes with the D- you get for being terrible at life.

Douchebag: BTW - Dick Jauron's high school team, Swampscott High, went defeated for 10 years, partly during his time there, and won by much bigger scores.

Daft Funk: How can a team go "defeated" for 10 years, but still "win by much bigger scores"? You're starting to lose me, Sully McPatsfan. I'll assume that you mean "undefeated" and I'll begrudgingly give you credit for making a point. However, when the best point you have in an argument is that because a coach may have run up the score when he coached high school it's ok for another coach in the pros to do the same to him decades later, you're probably going to lose.

Douchebag: And didn't Nebraska just score 73 points?

Daft Funk: If Johnny pushed his sister off the tree fort, would that make it ok for you to do it too?

Look buddy, you may not have noticed it (or you may just be in denial (or you may just be hopped up on meth)), but the current system in college football is set up so that a team can actually improve their rankings by running up the score on other teams. All college teams run up the score as high as they can to get more attention, which can mean a better ranking, which can mean a better bowl game.

Douchebag: And these are amateurs, not pros.

Daft Funk: I have to hand it to you. To succeed in making only one true statement in the course of an argument, but having that statement completely contradict everything you were trying to say takes a lot of talent. Either that or a lot of inbreeding. You're right in saying that high school and college players/coaches/teams are amateurs and not pros. So if anything, they should be excused from running up the score more than a professional team would, because they aren't in that top level. If you're an amateur at anything, and you fuck something up, no biggie. But if you're a pro, you're at the top of the heap and it's your responsibility, whether you like it or not, to set an example.

Look, this could have just as easily been a War Criminal about Tom Brady, Bill Belichick or the Patriots in general. But I chose Patriots fans to single out for one reason. This rebuttal came literally minutes after the Patriots game had gone final. That means that there are Pats fans out there that will search through Blogger to see if anyone is saying anything negative about their beloved Patriots the second the damn game is over, so they can dish out their own brand of Patriots Charm. After that, they probably go back to jerking off into their Wes Welker jersey while simultaneously watching Bill Simmons on E:60, reading his columns and listening to his God-awful podcasts.

I'm sure there may be a few logical Patriots fans out there. But from my experiences with them, I assume they all look like this. Or this. Or this.

Score One for Death!

9:45 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

As I've said before, our ticket for the bus to hell is pretty much guaranteed at this point with various posts and the creation of the Fantasy Hurricane League. Well we've officially upgraded our bus tickets to our own personal limo to hell with this latest brainchild.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the TMS Fantasy Death League.

Now this is far from an original idea. If you Google "death pool" you'll see this sort of competition has been going on for quite a while. So before you go all high morals on us just remember that there are plenty of other sick bastards out there as well.

So here's the premise....

1) There are 8 members to the league: Myself, Brant, the Governor, Chaim, the Hundley, Daft Funk, Dave, and Mr. Thomas Buzanis himself.

2) Each member has a roster of 74 people which consists of 70 famous people aged 60 or older that were randomly assigned to them, as well as 4 wild cards that were picked in a special four round draft. The wild cards could be any famous person under the age of 60.

3) Each member scores points if one of his people go belly up. Points are awarded based on age and go as such.

Age 95-99 = 1 point
Age 90-94 = 2 points
Age 85-89 = 3 points
Age 80-84 = 4 points
Age 75-79 = 5 points
Age 70-74 = 6 points
Age 65-69 = 7 points
Age 60-64 = 8 points
Wild Card = 20 points

4) The death 'season' started last week and will conclude at the end of Thanksgiving day 2008

5) We will keep tabs on any scoring throughout the league as various folks kick the bucket. Speaking of which, Governor Gray Davis already scored some points. More on that in a second, first here are the rosters. (Note: You obviously have to click on them in order to view them. Wild Card picks are denoted in orange highlight).













As mentioned, the Governor scored the first points with the death of baseball legend Joe Nuxhall.

From the Associated Press:
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Joe Nuxhall, the youngest major leaguer at age 15 and later a beloved broadcaster as "the ol' left-hander" in Cincinnati, has died. He was 79.

Brought up by Cincinnati to pitch during World War II - just out of junior high classes, he unraveled at the sight of Stan Musial in the on-deck circle - Nuxhall worked more than six decades for the Reds. He continued to pitch batting practice into the 1980s and was a member of the team's Hall of Fame.

While he won 135 games, it was on the radio where he became best known. On a franchise filled with Hall of Fame players and big personalities, Nuxhall might have been the most popular of all.
5 points awarded to Governor Gray Davis. R.I.P. Joe.

TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #28 The Burbs

12:15 PM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Title: The Burbs
Year: 1989
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Main Actors: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, saucy redhead Courtney Gains, and yes, Brother Theodore
Ranked: Chaim Witz #2, Dave Thomas #23

Synopsis
A bored suburbanite (aren't all suburbanites, by definition, 'bored'?) named Ray Peterson (Hanks) takes a week off of work to lounge around in his bathrobe, take naps and feign productivity when his wife is around. However, Ray's plans of lethargy are disrupted by the arrival of some strange new neighbors, the Klopeks. And of course, who can have a peaceful vacation with Corey Feldman living next door? Soon after the arrival of the Klopeks, the old guy down the street goes missing. The fact that the Klopeks live in a decrepit old house that frequently emits weird noises immediately casts them under suspicion. Your classic case of racial profiling. Going against the advice of his wife, Ray teams up with a couple of other neighbors, the chubby and neurotic Art (Ducommun) and clearly insane Rumsfield (Dern) to bring some good old fashioned vigilante justice to their once peaceful suburban streets.

Reasons This Movie Kicks Ass
Tom Hanks has certainly had sexier starring vehicles. If 'Saving Private Ryan' is his Bentley and 'Big' is his Land Rover*, then 'The Burbs' is his first car, an oversized, two-tone Chevy Caprice Classic that he drove until it would drive no further. Sure it wasn't fancy, and the A/C was spotty at best, but dammit if he didn't love that thing to death. He put over 200K miles on that bad boy. He lost his virginity in the back seat. That car smelled like hope, ambition and day-old Wendy's. That car is The Burbs.

As a comedy, The Burbs isn't the funniest movie you'll ever see. It's not really 'funny ha ha' per se. More of the 'stroking your beard with a knowing smile' funny. And as a horror movie it isn't particularly frightening. In fact, if you actually admit to being scared by it, you would be mocked and teased relentlessly. Pussy.

So what makes it so good? Hard to say. It's just got a certain unassuming 'feel' to it that makes it eminently watchable. The characters are bizarre and eccentric, the set pieces (the neighborhood looks oddly like Wisteria Lane) are simple yet effective, and there is no shortage of classic one-liners. It's very Twilight Zone-esque. I say this never having watched 'The Twilight Zone'. Plus, it has Rick Docommun in a prominent role. For my money, the man is the Brando of our generation.

Monster Role
Bruce Dern as the bat shit crazy Nam' vet gives a performance that is arguably the greatest thing ever filmed on celluloid. This lone performance solidified his permanent place in my Top 5 Actors list. No, I'm serious. I rented 'The Glass House' just because he was in it. He delivers his lines with panache, the perfect blend of pent up anger and dry wit. Don't believe me? Try reading a few of these Rumsfield quotes, taken completely out of context and without explanation, and try not to pump your fist enthusiastically.

"Smells like their cooking a god damned cat over there."

"'Bout a nine on the tension scale there, Reub."

" That really burns my ass."

"Oh-ho! Hans! A fine Christian name. Hans Christian Anderson! What are you, Catholic?"

"Walter. I know you're in there. That scum-sucking, barking rat of yours has just taken his last dump on my lawn. I find one more- just one- and I'm gonna catch him and staple his ass shut."

"Don't you make a move sonny. I was eighteen months in the bush and I could snap your neck in a heartbeat."

Ray Peterson: Night vision goggles? What's next, we bug their phones?
Mark Rumsfield: That can be arranged.

Make Your Weiner Tingle Moment
Like I said, this ain't a laugh-a-minute Judd Apatow flick my friends. It's a collection of mildly amusing ones that slowly build in momentum, eventually climaxing into a tsunami of entertainment. You know people that say they don't like baseball because 'nothing happens'? These people lack patience and book smarts. These people would probably not like 'The Burbs' either. It's a comedy of subtlety and wisdom.

That said, I love how every scene where Art (Ducommun) walks into Ray's house he just helps himself to whatever food is in the fridge, whether it's ribs or pancakes (sometimes both at the same time). And the scene where the Petersons and the Rumsfields bring brownies over to the Klopeks to welcome them to the neighborhood is one for the ages. The look on Hanks face when he has to eat the sardine on top of the pretzel is as dramatic as any scene that he had as the AIDS guy in 'Philadelphia'. I'm appalled this scene hasn't been included in those clips packages they show at the Oscars each year. Maybe I'll start a petition to have that included. Just as soon as the Writer's Strike is over.

Watch this movie if you like...
Bathrobes, Vietnam, Corey Feldman in his prime, Tom Hanks when he still had street cred, baseball, pancakes, ribs.

*'Bosom Buddies' would be this vehicle.


Monday Afternoon Hangover: Week 11

9:15 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

We popped a couple extra vitamins and had one of Mel's "power shakes" which I'm pretty sure is just Ovaltine, a banana, and some blueberry schnapps, so we're feeling good. Good enough in fact to bring you the Hangover a little early today.

Houston 23
New Orleans 10
Here's a brief look back at the Saints season thus far.

"Hey, what the? Man, these guys suck! Finally a win! Hey look at that, they really are good. They- wait, wait, no.....no they still suck."

Also Andre Johnson's triumphant return to the field had fantasy managers all over the world shouting "Praise Jebus!"

Green Bay 31
Carolina 17
You know, the sports media's fawning over Brett Favre is a little easier to stomach when the guy is actually playing well.

Not much else to say. Green Bay kicked the crap out of a team that actually started a quarterback older than Favre.

Northern Iowa 48
Southern Utah 10
The Panthers finish the season with another cupcake as they gear up for the playoffs. UNI earned the #1 seed in the field of 16 for the I-AA playoffs, meaning their first three games would be played at home. If they make the finals, I hope they get a rematch of their 2005 championship game against Appalachian State.

What's that? Yeah, they play in a college football playoff. I know, weird how that works huh?

Arizona 35
Cincinnati 27
Bionic Warner is keeping the Cards playoff hopes alive with another win. Arizona moves to 5-5 and remain just a game behind the Seahawks. In other news the Bengals are committing crimes yet again. This time it's theft, as they're stealing their fans money and not providing a decent product in return

Indianapolis 13
Kansas City 10
Don't let the score fool you, this game was even shittier. Is it in all announcers' contract that they're not allowed to say Manning looks like shit? Yes Wayne and Clark dropped a few balls, but how many times did Peyton rifle a ball that was way off target? Injuries or not, Indy shouldn't have looked that bad.

Jacksonville 24
San Diego 17
The Chargers had a chance to tie it in the final minutes but Philip Rivers had something to say about that as he threw his second pick of the day to seal their fate. At this rate we could be seeing the Jags and not the Colts at the top of the AFC South at some point.

Minnesota 29
Oakland 22
Chester Taylor ran 22 times for 164 yards, and yet Cedric Benson could only muster 2.6 yards per carry against the exact same defense last week. That's how much Benson sucks.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you Daunte Culpepper. The only QB that can throw for 300+ yards and still completely blow.

Philadelphia 17
Miami 7
With McNabb getting hurt, I thought for sure the '79 Buccaneers would be busting out the champagne as they remained the only winless team in NFL history. But alas, Miami is just that bad. No sign of Ricky Williams. Why is he still playing anyway? Does he still want to, or is he being forced to play, like Finch in "Wildcats"?

New York Giants 16
Detroit 10
The Giants continue to be successful despite starting that retarded kid at QB. Kitna was upset saying, "that is not a better football team than us." Oh I see. That was just pure luck that Strahan sacked your ass 3 times and you threw 3 interceptions. I'm the asshole, I'm the asshole here. You know what? Forget it, I would never- I would never eat here.

Cleveland 33
Baltimore 30
What the hell? What kind of crazy ass field goal was that? There must've been some divine intervention there, which would definitively prove that God hates the Baltimore Ravens as much as the rest of us. That or it's some of that good ol' Art Modell karma biting them in the ass. Either way, it tastes pretty sweet to me.

Tampa Bay 31
Atlanta 7
Atlanta started Byron Leftwich, who threw two picks and lost one fumble. They then yank him for Joey Harrington, who actually plays a little better. It's definitely dark days in Hotlanta my friends.

New York Jets 19
Pittsburgh 16
Yikes Pittsburgh. What the hell happened here?

Dallas 28
Washington 23
The return of Santana Moss certainly gave Jason Campbell and the Redskins an added spark. But it wasn't enough as the Cowboys were Romo-tastic! Wow lame. I feel Romo-sexual for saying that.

St. Louis 13
San Francisco 9
Woooo! The Rams win their second straight game to bring their win total to...........two! I'm calling it now, the Rams are going to run the table the rest of the way and finish 8-8 to win the NFC West. When everyone is in shock at the end of the season, just remember I called it first.

Seattle 30
Chicago 23
Grossman threw the ball pretty well. Unfortunately it was never successfully caught in the endzone. Also screw the Seahawks and their uniforms. What the hell is up with that neon puke green? They should've just stayed with the classic silver, blue and green. It was good enough for Dave Krieg wasn't it?

New England 56
Buffalo 10
Wow NBC. You had a chance to pick a game for Sunday Night and this is what you took? I don't care if Buffalo does have a 5-4 record, we all knew damn well the Pats were going to destroy them. Hell, tonight's MNF game looks more appealing to me. Also to all of you that said Randy Moss would be a distraction and a nuisance in New England, repeat after me, I - AM - A - MORON. It is looking quite possible that Randy will do as much in one season with the Pats that he did in two with Oakland.

Chip Wesley 1
Beowulf 0
I. AM. BEOWULF!!!!!!

Really? Well, I. AM. NOT. WATCHING. THIS. MOVIE!!!!!!

The Golden Nutcup Team
Wear it with pride fellas!

QB - Tom Brady, NE (373 yards, 5 TD)
RB - Chester Taylor, MIN (22 carries, 164 yards 3 TD)
WR - Terrell Owens, DAL (8 catches, 173 yards, 4 TD)
WR - Randy Moss, NE (10 catches, 128 yards, 4 TD)
TE - Donald Lee, GB (5 catches, 49 yards, 2 TD)
DEF - Tampa Bay (7 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 INT, 2 fumble rec.)


The Flaming Bag Team
Don't put them out with your boot, Harold!

QB - Byron Leftwich, ATL (2 INT, 1 fumble lost)
RB - Rudi Johnson, CIN (8 carries, 25 yards
WR - Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (1 catch, 5 yards)
WR - Drew Bennett, STL (1 catch, 9 yards, pissed in Bulger's cereal)
TE - Randy McMichael, STL (1 catch, 4 yards, helped Drew piss in Bulger's cereal)
DEF - Buffalo (50 points allowed)

Monday Night Pick
Denver. With no running game and Vince Young very capable of not breaking 100 passing yards, I cannot with a clear conscience take the Titans.

Poor Man's War Criminal: ABC's MLS Cup Broadcast

1:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

I suspect a big part of soccer's struggles in the US can be traced to the absolutely atrocious coverage of the MLS on TV. Sunday's coverage of the 2007 MLS Cup on ABC is a perfect example. ABC is boasting that its broadcast in HD, has 21 cameras, and an on-site studio. That hardly tells the whole story though. Here are some issues:

1. The game wasn't promoted. Had my TV not been tuned to ABC when I turned it on Sunday morning, I likely wouldn't have seen the game. I knew it would be on at some point, but didn't know it was on at 9am PST. My Sunday morning ritual of watching The NFL Today would have continued and spilled right into watching the crappy Chargers/Jags game. Did anyone see a single advertisement for this game?

2. The announcers are awful. This isn't just an ABC problem, its MLS wide. American soccer announcers are boring. If we can import Beckham to bring some excitement to American soccer, why can't we bring in some English announcers to show some real passion?

3. Those announcers, Eric Wynalda & Dave O'Brien, never tell you who anyone is. This is probably the first time many people have seen the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo. They should be saying the players names every time they touch the ball to help you learn the teams.

4. They get Jimmy Eat World to play halftime, but don't carry the performance on the broadcast. Like it or not, the halftime shows at big events like this can bring in a lot of casual fans. I realize ABC needs to sell adtime, which is limited in a soccer match (there are no commercials during the two halves), but they didn't cut away to show ads! They cut away from the halftime show to do a countdown of the best MLS plays of the year.

FYI...Houston defeats New England 2-1 to win their 2nd straight cup. The Revolution have now lost the championship game 4 times in only 12 years of the MLS. FINALLY something you Boston haters can latch on to.

You Make The Call

6:03 PM | Comments (0) | by Rotofunk

Kevin Love............................................or............................................Kevin Love

TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #29 Snatch

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Title: Snatch
Year: 2000
Genre: Action, Comedy
Main Actors: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Vinnie Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina
Ranked: Brant Brown #15, Chip Wesley #12

Synopsis
OK so, the movie takes place in the seedy underbelly of London, where folks deal in stolen diamonds, dogfighting and unlicensed bare-knuckle boxing. Frankie Four Fingers (Del Toro) and his crew steal a incredibly large diamond in Antwerp. Frankie then heads to London to sell the stone to Doug the Head, only one of his counterparts in the heist tips off Boris the Blade, aka Boris the Bullet Dodger, who then hires a couple of small-time crooks to rob Frankie. Oh and then there's Turkish (Statham), who with his sidekick Tommy, manage a fighter named Gorgeous George. George is slated to fight someone managed by London mob boss Brick Top, but before the fight, Tommy and George head to a camp full of Irish gypsies (referred to as 'pikeys' throughout the film) to purchase a caravan. The deal goes sour and George is forced to fight Mickey (Pitt) who manages to knockout George with one punch. Now without a fighter, Turkish is forced to use Mickey instead, and as payback, Brick Top tells him to throw the fight. Then....ah Christ, I hate writing synopses! This story is too convoluted to explain. Anyway there's plenty of shenanigans that take place and Turkish's story and the story of the diamond somehow become intertwined, and somewhere in between there's a dog that swallows a squeaky toy, Vinnie Jones plays a badass as usual, and Brad Pitt speaks pikey gibberish. If you've seen "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" they plotline is pretty much the same.

Reasons This Movie Kicks Ass
Well for starters there's the title. As juvenile as it sounds, it's still funny to ask people, "Hey, have you seen Snatch?"

Like I said, the movie is a lot like Guy Ritchie's previous film "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels", in that their's multiple storylines that somehow become intertwined and connected, except this time he had a much bigger budget and tossed in some American actors. The movie is fast-paced and visually pretty sweet to look at. There's plenty of humor mixed into some truly twisted scenes. Hell Brad Pitt playing the pikey boxer Mickey is worth the price of admission alone.

One thing for me that makes the movie is the soundtrack. Looking at my personal Top 30 I submitted for the TMS 30, I noticed the vast majority of films on my list had a soundtrack or score that I thought kicked ass, and Snatch is no exception.

Monster Role
Like I said, Brad Pitt as Mickey was awesome. Between his crazy pikey gibberish, which anyone that's a fan of the movie can sheepishly admit they've tried to imitate and failed miserably, and the fact he's tough as petrified shit, Pitt pretty much steals all the scenes he's in.

Vinnie Jones as Bullet-Toothed Tony is also pretty good, and I'd give him credit had he not played virtually the exact same character in "Lock Stock".

Knock Your Dick in the Dirt Moment
I've already mentioned that I enjoyed the soundtrack, and for me the evidence is in two scenes that used the songs perfectly.

The first being the scene that uses "Angel" by Massive Attack. That song has been used numerous times in films and tv shows, but Snatch is the one movie to truly 'nail it' as far as incorporating it properly. I can't really explain the scene without giving spoilers, but it always gives me goose bumps.

The second scene is the final fight at the end with Brad Pitt and one of Brick Top's fighters, which uses the song "Fucking in the Bushes" by Oasis. Perfect song choice as it gets you incredibly pumped up and builds the excitement leading to the film's climax. Now whenever I hear that song, I can't help but get all fired up and start sizing folks up like I'm gonna fight them. Of course if I actually picked a fight with anyone it would sadly end with me crying in a crumpled nerd-heap in the corner.

Watch this movie if you like.....
having ADD, "Lock Stock", bareknuckle boxing, people being fed to pigs (oh yeah I forgot to mention that part), proper use of Oasis and Massive Attack songs in film, Brad Pitt being a dirty gypsy, British shit in general.

Why the fuck do I want a caravan that's got no fucking wheels?

A Thunder Matt Movie Minute

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

No Country For Old Men

"A movie so scary that you will pee your pants and punch a small child."

The phrase 'knock your dick in the dirt' has risen to prominence in recent months here at the Saloon. Now, I could be a douche and take all the credit for coming up with such a poetic, awe-inspiring piece of prose, but in all honesty I think it was Nikki Sixx who I heard coin the phrase during some VH1 special on Heavy Metal. Perhaps it was a Behind the Music. Either way the 'dick' part was bleeped and I just assumed it was 'dick'. Looking back, one could surmise that he used some other euphemism instead of 'dick'. Take 'cock' for instance. Perfectly acceptable. Penis. Unlikely, as that seems too technical. Really the options are endless. Rod, chowder dumper, flesh twinkie, eight inches of blunt fury...I could go on, but fact is, most of you have stopped reading by now. Where was I? Oh yes. 'Dick in the dirt' just has a pleasant ring to it. Maybe it's the alliteration. Anyway, the last thing you want to do is beat a phrase (or in this case, a dick) into the ground (or in this case, the dirt).

But ladies and gents, "No Country For Old Men" knocked my dick in the dirt.

Based on the book by famous recluse Cormac McCarthy, "No Country" has a fairly simple premise*. The year is 1980. A hunter (Josh Brolin) stumbles across a brutal murder scene in the Rio Grande and finds a giant stash of heroin and a suitcase filled with two million dollars. He wisely chooses the money over the heroin. He makes a few unfortunate decisions and soon finds himself being hunted by a serial killer who goes by the name Chigurh (Javier Bardem), who is in turn being hunted by a world-weary sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones).

Directed by the Coen Brothers, this one is certainly more Blood Simple than it is The Big Lebowski. But even with this serious material, their dark humor and smart dialogue are still on display, which is good, as it helps ease the tension. It's not until after you chuckle that you realize your whole body had been tensed up and that you may have even forgotten to breathe.

The first hour and a half is a atmospheric thriller of unparalleled greatness. Javier Bardem, whose haircut makes him a rather unlikely candidate for a Monkees cover band, is great as Chigurah, the most terrifying screen presence since Hannibal Lecter. Josh Brolin is equally great as the unwitting hero, trying to stay one step ahead of this force of evil. Tommy Lee Jones, who was actually born with a Sheriff's uniform on, is solid too, like a cold glass of 2% milk.

The last half hour of the film is an abrupt and quite jarring shift, in both plot and tone. It is one of those endings that critics and pseudo-intellectuals will probably rave about, but will cause general movie going audiences to scratch their heads and let out a collective 'what the fuck?' It is both ambitious and ambiguous. Some people will love it. Others will probably abhor it.

Personally, I'm torn on the ending. At first I was frustrated. Dammit. How could such a great movie have such a unsatisfying ending? Alas, I am beginning to have a change of heart on this one. For one thing, I can't get this movie out of my head. That has got to be a good sign. I'm jonesing to see it again, like Pete Doherty looking for his next fix. Right now I am about halfway through the book (a quick read) and the ending supposedly stays true to the book. I think (or hope) once I finish the book, I will be able to make more of an informed judgement about the movie and hopefully the book will answer some of my nagging questions. That said, I highly recommend reading the book first, then seeing the movie. I imagine that the ending wouldn't be so jarring had I read the book first. If you can't read (in which case, why are you trying to read this?), listen to the audio book.


Either way, "No Country" is one of the better movies of the year, and one that I think will be looked upon as a 'masterpiece' given time. The cinematography is top notch and the score is minimalist. In fact, there really is no score or music. Even the closing credits roll over a quiet black screen. The only thing to be heard at the end was the sound of me whimpering followed by the large, mustachioed man in the seat next to me asking me to please get off his lap. Picking my dick up off of the dirt, I kindly obliged.

Thunder Matt Rating: 4.25 Spittoons Out of 5, upon initial viewing. This could go as high as five upon completion of the book, coupled with a second viewing and the completion of my GED.

*I say 'simple premise' on most of my reviews mainly because I hate typing up a synopsis. I usually just crib it from IMDB.

50 States/50 Bands: Alabama - Georgia

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Suffering from insomnia one night, a vision came to me. It was, of course, not particularly useful. It was a vision of me recommending a musical act from each of the 50 states. More motivated than I have been in years, I sat down and hammered it out. Eons came and went. Civilizations rose and fell. Now I'm ready to share my baby with the world in five easy to digest posts. Naturally, the list reflects my own personal biases, so bring on the arguments. In some cases, there was no band or artist I liked from a particular state, and you can generally tell which ones those are.

Those download recommendations with an * can be heard on TMS Radio - so tune in and have a go.


Alabama - Alabama - Go figure eh? Three decades of harmonized country pop even your grandmother can love.

Download - Reckless*

Alaska - Jewel - Folk pop princess who once proudly lived in a car. She’s pretty much done at this point because the average Joe was too dumb to realize her 2004 CD “0304” was ironic and not an attempt to sell out. Morons.

Download - This Way*

Arizona - Jimmy Eat World - While there isn’t much “Arizona” in their sound, these guys are great. Their music takes me back to a time when I wasn’t such a bitter asshole.

Download - If You Don’t, Don’t*

Arkansas - Johnny Cash - You may not know it, but the Man in Black hailed from Arkansas. No blurb can suffice here, but he survived decades of cocaine, booze, prison concerts, and ultimately a rebirth thanks to Rick Rubin.

Download - The Man Comes Around*

California - Red Hot Chili Peppers - This is a given since they released a CD called Californication a few years ago and half their songs mention the state in some way. Now that they’ve finally given up on the rock/rap thing, they’re putting out the best music of their career.

Download - Otherside*

Colorado - John Denver - The late John Denver could have gone here or under West Virginia. He gets put here because Colorado hasn’t turned out any other famous musicians - and he adopted the last name of Denver for christ’s sake. Beyond that, when I hear "Rocky Mountain High", I don't think about West Virginia.

Download - Take Me Home, Country Road*

Connecticut - Liz Phair - What can I say? Connecticut sucks.

Download - Supernova

Delaware - George Thorogood & the Destroyers - Thorogood will one day burn in hell for releasing “Bad to the Bone” on the world.

Download - Cocaine Blues

Florida - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Bored with dominating the Southern rock scene, in 1997 Petty appeared in The Postman and currently has a recurring role on King of the Hill. What the Heartbreakers are up to today? Who the hell knows…

Download - Runnin’ Down a Dream*

Georgia - R.E.M. - College rock band and their reclusive lead singer with dubious sexuality makes big. My favorite band, R.E.M. taken their 80s roots (country rock) and 90s style (glam rock) and created a hybrid. Get off your ass and go buy their last CD, Around the Sun. You won’t be disappointed.

Download - Leave*