Mail Vol. 5

To Whom It May Concern:


Sincerely yours,

A Zombie

Again, I'm a bit confused. But I think what Mr. or Ms. Zombie meant to ask was "What else do you have to tell us, Brent?" See, I speak fluent zombese. You kinda have to if you are to visit the fabled city of Zombopolis.

Anyway, there's not a whole lot more to tell. My back is feeling better, after I just took it easy for a couple days, and used the heating pad and stretched a lot. I didn't go to the Star Wars Celebration, since I really couldn't get away from work at the time, and my money can be spent in better ways. Rikki and I went to a White Sox game when she was in Rosemont for Sesame Street Live, which was way fun, since we had to take the L all the way through the city. Good times. And umm..... er...

Work is good, but too much drama for our easy job. I fail to see why people just can't come to work, do their job, and go home, without making a huge production out of it. It's not like we're coal miners or something. Oh well. And upon further review, I posted a whole thing about this back in late March. Some things never change, I guess.

Also, time is going fast. It's almost May, which means I need to figure out if I want to go on vacation this summer, and start saving money. Kelsey and I have talked a little bit about going to Vegas to visit Becky, although I'd be willing to road trip somewhere, too. Maybe both. I know I definitely want to make it a priority to go to Wizard World Chicago this year, which is August 5-7, perhaps to make up for my Star Wars trip. It's much closer, I could see Kevin Smith again, and I could stay with the folks for free, unless they've disowned me. Just kidding!

That's about it for now. I'm going to see Hitchhiker's Guide tomorrow, and then helping Brian and Collette move on Saturday, as well as working both days. I'll try to make my updates more frequent, perhaps by bringing my laptop to work more often. Obviously I got a lot done today.. . Peace.

Mail Vol. 4

Brent, me matey,

Speaking of Kevin Smith, how was that speaking thing you went to? Arggghh!! Shiver me timbers and avast the mainsail!!

Yo ho ho,

A Pirate (name withheld)

First of all, how did you know I was writing about Kevin Smith in that last e-mail reply? Are you a psychic pirate? Meaning either are you a pirate with psychic powers, or do you specifically pirate psychics? Like, steal their ESP and whatnot. Im confused. Also, you signed your e-mail with your real name, which is something a pirate should never do, since the Royal Navy can run your file at the bureau and start harassing your multiple families you have at each port. So, Mr. John Silver, I'm withholding your name to help you out.

On to Kevin Smith, though. It was one of the coolest events I've ever been to. It was at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake, IL, and it's a tiny place, not much bigger than Waukesha Civic. I think there were something like 750 people there, or close to that, and pretty much anyone that wanted to ask a question got the chance, as he spoke for SIX AND A HALF HOURS!! He went basically nonstop from 7 pm until 1:30 am, with the only break being when a fan recited the entire carpenter and the walrus speech from Dogma, and Kevin walked offstage. The man is a machine. And he told so many funny stories, I can't recount them all here, but the one he ended on was the kicker.

I think the question was about whether he would ever make more serious movies, with less juvenile jokes an so forth. Well Kevin went into this long spiel about how he's just not that type of writer, etc. And he said "I could never make The Passion of the Christ, because my version just wouldn't fly with the audience. I'd have Jesus, up there on the cross, and suddenly, a gang of ninjas swoop into and start kicking the centurion's asses, chopping limbs off left and right. And one ninja goes up to pull the nails out of Jesus, and Jesus says, "Hey, stop! I'm supposed to die for the sins of man!"

And the camera zooms in on the ninja,

"Not on my watch."

At which point Kevin ends the show. Brilliant.

See, all you haters out there, even Silent Bob likes ninjas. I need to make a graphic of him saying "I'm Kevin Smith, and I approved these ninjas." And he can be holding a little ninja action figure in his hand. That'd be sweet.

Mail Vol. 3

Attn: Brent
Subject: EIII

Dude, blip, beep, how totally psyched are you for Episode III? Blip blip?

--Robot model NF-74

I don't know why your robot noises were typed in your e-mail, unless you needed to convince me that you are, in fact, a robot. But I am totally psyched. Not as much as I was for Episode I, but I had a whole lot more free time on my hands back then. I ordered 10 tickets for the midnight Ultra Screen show at Westown, so Kelsey and I, Brian and Collette, Tim and his sister, and 4 other random people can go. I'm trying to take the whole day off work, so I can just go sit at the theater all day and be a geek. It's an inventory day, though, so we'll see. The trailer before Robots was totally badass, and I've watched it a couple times since, plus I've heard good buzz, albeit from weird places (a guest at work who played through the Lego Star Wars Xbox game, and Kevin Smith's blog.) So yeah, suffice it to say that I'm pretty amped up. And let it be known that if I have some sort of pissed off look on my face on May 19th, and I seem to be sulking about, it's probably not a good idea to mention the words "star", "wars", or "Lucas" anywhere in my general vicinity. Thanks.

Mail Vol. 2

Dear Brent,

What's the deal with the movie reviews? I know you've seen stuff you haven't put on the site... SLACKER!

Love, Mr. Chimpers

Mr. Chimpers, I presume, is one of those super-intelligent monkeys that knows sign language, and apparently how to send e-mail. I don't know why he's so interested in movie reviews, since monkeys aren't allowed in most theaters, but s'ok, I get the point. My last e-mail kinda goes along with this one, but for you sticklers out there, here are some brief reviews of movies I've seen recently.

The Ring 2

See how easy that was? Why couldn't I have done that weeks ago? Oh, you want more... sigh... fine...

The Ring 2

While The Ring is one of my favorite horror movies of all time, I had doubts going into its sequel that it would even come close. Horror sequels, on the whole, are pretty bad, as it's a hard task to recapture the excitement and the unknown of the first movie. A great example of this is the Alien series. During the first movie, you barely get to see the creature at all, and when you do, it's terrifying in a very real way, even though you can pretty much tell it's just a guy in a suit. And along the way, as Aliens, Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection came along, you saw more and more of the aliens, and you were less and less scared. The movies, especially with AVP, became more sci-fi action than sci-fi horror, as the creature lost its visceral impact, and the audience, in some strange way, accepted it as a hero, not a villain. OK, off topic there, but you get the point. Once you've shocked the audience once, they're not going to fall for it again. Yet, that's exactly what Ring 2 tries to pull off. There is nothing here we haven't seen before. The only new twist on the story is that Samara tries to possess Aidan, instead of just killing everyone. Big deal. I give it a D.

Sin City

This is one of the coolest flicks I've seen in quite some time, and further proof that I was right to choose Robert Rodriguez as a favorite director. (I had begun doubting myself with all those Spy Kids movies.) He literally brings the Sin City graphic novels to life, using the same dialogue, shots, colors and jaw lines, in Marv's case. I can't wait for the DVD of this to come out, since the making of has gotta be spectacular. Like Sky Captain, this was entirely shot in front of a green screen, but that's where the similarities end. Hyper-violent and the most true-to-source comic book movie ever made, Sin City embraces the inner geek, and says "This one's for you, bub." Throw in a cast that looks like some fanboy's wish list, and you've got me wishing for a sequel. Do Family Values so Miho can be a rollerblade ninja! This one gets an A.

Raging Bull

I don't think I need to go too in-depth on the story of Raging Bull, as most people have probably already seen it. In short, based on a true story, Raging Bull tells the story of the rise and fall of boxer Jake LaMotta, both his athletic career and his personal life. Robert De Niro famously went through a physical transformation for this role, developing, over the course of two hours, from a muscle-bound boxer to an overweight comedian. That he was willing to commit himself that much to the film is definitely a testament to De Niro's respect for the craft, as well as his respect for Scorcese. And for everything he has done, this is one of De Niro's most iconic roles, right up there with Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II. He runs the gamut of emotion, from the ecstasy of winning a title belt, to the agony of being forced to throw a fight, after which he breaks down into a sobbing fit of such raw emotion that I was surprised it was De Niro. Our caricature perception of De Niro these days is heavily influenced by impressions of him, ((squints) You talkin' to me? I heard things. Lil bit.) so it's easy to forget that when he tries, he is probably the greatest living American actor. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, though. I don't know, I'm not in charge of these things. I was most taken by the choreography of the fight scenes. Scorcese said that he blocked them like dance numbers in a musical, and I can see that come through. It?s fascinating to watch. Raging Bull obviously gets an A.

Kung Fu Hustle

Stephen Chow is awesome. I've seen Shaolin Soccer, and now this, and I am convinced that he is making the best live-action anime the world has ever seen. He understands, unlike so many other filmmakers and action stars, that a lot of kung-fu flicks are like Bugs Bunny cartoons: unrealistically violent, yet essentially harmless. He understands that, and accepts it, and even flaunts it. When he performs a Buddhist Palm move that blows a hole in a building in the shape of a three-story palm, we are seeing Dragon Ball Z brought to life. Two assassins in this movie attack their targets by playing a harp, and the audience accepts it as fact, since the whole movie is like on big episode of Trigun. And it's great! Chow does fall into the plot trap of most of these movies, though, by introducing way too many masters, and a character in desperate need of redemption, and a love story. It's too complicated. Kung Fu Hustle is still the most FUN I've had watching a movie since Anchorman last summer, but it gets a B, for plot clich´┐Żs.

And more to come, such as Hitchhiker's Guide.

Mail from my adoring public, Vol. 1

Hola amigos. I know it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but things have been pretty hectic for the J-Man.

Ok, enough on the Jim Anchower crap. Let's get down to business.

I'm gonna take this time to answer some of the thousands of fan e-mails I've received since my last post. People really did miss my near-daily update of the site, as I am a role model for ninjas and zombies the world over. Except zombies don't know how to use computers, so that doesn't make any sense at all. (Ed. Note: All fan mail is made up.)

Dear Brent,

Why haven't you updated your blog in, like, 3 weeks? Do you hate me?

Love, A Ninja

Well, Mr. Ninja, sir, I don't know. It's not that I lost interest, but I did write this great review of The Ring 2, with all kinds of in-depth analysis and whatnot, and which then was promptly erased by blogger, never to be seen again. So I got a little frustrated, since it took me about an hour to write, and poof, it's gone. So now I'm writing all my posts in Word, which I can then copy and paste into the site. I don't really have much more faith in Microsoft products, but it is possible to rescue Word documents if something goes wrong.

As for your second question, I could never hate a ninja. I love all ninjas equally, unless they're also turtles, in which case I have learned to dislike them. Are you a turtle? If you are, I dislike you, but I don't hate you. Thanks for writing.


random post. i need the address.


The one where Brent is a feeble old man

So I took the day off work today, because the last two days I worked, I was in agony by the time I left. I must have strained/sprained something in my lower back, because I was having problems bending over, and eventually, walking. So I went to Walgreens and I bought a heating pad, and a massager, since it was on clearance, and I've spent all day today resting, and giving myself therapy. I went on WebMD and got some stretching exercises, too, since they basically said that my symptoms didn't necessarily require a trip to the doctor. If it doesn't get better, or stays like this for weeks, well, then, yeah, I guess I'll have to go. It does feel better right now, though. I hope I can just maintain it. I go to Crystal Lake tomorrow to see Kevin Smith, so that's basically just sitting all day, and then Monday I have to move the wall. Hopefully I'll feel a lot better then.

I intended to watch a bunch of movies today, but I started Elektra, and just got soooooo bored, and I got distracted by my computer. I spent a bunch of time this week working on Kelsey's birthday present, and I finished that off today. Today is her birthday, and I can't be at her party, so I feel like an ass. I know she's not mad at me or anything, but I feel like I should have played through the pain, Curt Schilling style. But I probably just would have made myself miserable, instead of healing like I should be. Plus, she says she's bringing me cake, so I don't feel left out. Sweet.

The other thing that sucks is that I haven't been able to see Sin City. I guess I'll go on Tuesday night or on my day off on Wednesday. Sigh.

Wrestlemania is tomorrow, and the tentative plan is to get it when we get back from Illinois. I say Cena over JBL, HHH over Batista, Undertaker over Orton, Michaels over Angle, Edge wins the ladder match, Eddy over Rey-Rey, Big Show over Akebono, and, for some ungodly reason, Trish over Christy.

Anyway, back to the heating pad. Seacrest out.