I was raised by HBO

Entertainment, Movies

So I was thinking the other day that I know a lot of 80’s movies for someone who was born in 1981 and some of them are strange choices for someone who would have been under 10 years old until 1991.  When I was trying to figure out why it could be I started naming some of the weirder ones that I know I remember watching and it hit me. I’m pretty sure my parents had HBO when we lived in the house in Roswell, Georgia until 1991.  Most of the movies that I would consider ‘too old’ or just ‘not interesting to a 10 year old’ were released from 1986-1988 so they would have been on HBO during the time we had it.  When we moved to Virginia there was a video store that I could ride my bike to and my mom signed a release form that let me rent rated R movies without my parents having to be there.   So I watched a LOT of movies in my middle school and High School years, so this list might be a little influenced by that.  And by ‘a lot’ I mean almost every movie that came out on video and then I went into the back catalog, they were only about $1 for older movies, so I’d rent 6 at a time.  So what I’m going to try and do here is try to make a list of movies that I’m pretty sure I watched before I was 10 years old.  I’ll list the title, the year it came out, without looking at IMDB… what I think the plot was and what my most memorable moment was from that movie.

Examples after the break…

Schu-Review : Tron Legacy

Entertainment, Movies

I know that this review is super late, but its really hard to put into words how i feel about this movie. I liked it. I mean I more than liked it, but theres something in there not letting me say that I loved it. It’s so deep and detailed in some respects (visually and acoustically) but story wise its lacking, things seem to just happen. The story plays out like it’s on a rail, a light rail actually. So no matter what’s happening they never seem to be in any danger. Say what you want about Avatar, but at least the simple story made sense within the world. Some things in this play out like He-Man, where all his problems could be solved once he remembered… “Oh yeah, that’s right I’m He-Man!” and would just whip everyones ass. It’s like when you see those great pictures of super modern architecture or furniture designs and think “wow that looks so awesome” but then you realize that it’s missing all the things that make a house a home. Pictures of family, interesting tchotchkes, and just any evidence that someone actually lives there. It’s the same thing with this movie, they spent all the time designing the new cool vehicles, (and don’t get me wrong, they are kick ass awesome) but they don’t spend any time on the how or why they eat food or what they serve in that bar. Or why the programs would want to drink at a bar in the first place, it’s all very surface level.

Shiny pretty surface level.

Schu-Review: 3.5 out of 5 Schus

Random Blog Thought Nuggets


I was going through my blog and saw that I had 26 posts in the Draft folder, which seems like too many.  So I’m going to lump them all into one giant post.  It might not all be awesome content, but there are some nuggets of awesome that I couldn’t elaborate into a longer post.

The Advantages of not being a Creative.

I’m just a guy.
A creative is someone who works in advertising, but they know they do so they use the lingo. Somebody in advertising looked at his own profession and decided that to market the creative people IE:graphic design professionals.. better he needed to talk about them in aesthetic terms that other marketing people would understand. You have to be in the industry to understand the term. it doesn’t’ mean anything to the regular person. which makes it arty and cool. It’s a cycle It’s one idea feeding another. It’s the regeneration of creative waves in the world.

The Downfall of Graffiti in DC

Jack Boyz... you can do better.

There’s something about this picture that says more about the state of DC public schools than any statistics could. Not only are they misbehaved little bastards on the Metro. But they can’t even manage good graffiti. I think all the texting has ruined it, you need style, the letters need to be so stylized that you can barley read them. I need to go teach an after school program in graffiti styles. This is like the Jerry Springer guest version of graffiti, stupid words repeated over and over like it’s going to be any better the second or third times.

I live my life close to ceiling fans
I’ve always been mesmerized by spinning objects. There’s something about the inherent danger of something spinning at thousands of rpms that is so intriguing. When I was a kid I used to open the washer when to was on spin cycle, jam a pen in the latch and watch it spin. The cool damp air whipping around my face. Maybe it was the danger of possibly getting something caught in there and being mangled. I’ve heard some people are like that with tall things. They imagine themselves jumping off.

Strangely I’ve never felt this way about ceiling fans. I’m tall, not freak tall, not tall enough that Billy crystal would try to make me his giant. But I’m tall. So I’ve spent my adult life looking on top of refrigerators and being closer to the ceiling than the average person. I don’t know where I’m going with this

Open Letter to Dr Laura.
I just thought this was informative and interesting

Bad Omen
Worst omen since Yule Brenner kissed Sanka’s lucky egg and caused the bobsled to crash and ruin the hopes of a whole country….But fuck that East German guy and his slow clap.

Repurpose the Future
Maybe the human pop culture machine only has the capacity to create new things for a 30 year window.. maybe 20. and that’s why we’ve started remaking everything. …or something? I don’t know it sounded good in my head.

I hear you’re all concerned about how liberal I have become.
Dear Family and Friends,

I know recently some of you have expressed concerns over how liberal I have become. But Let me set the record straight. You should not look to this as losing a friend but gaining an ally in the coming Liberal revolution. I will make sure that you, my trusted underlings, will have a place at the front of the bread lines created by the new Socialist government. Voting for Obama may be the best thing I could do for you! When you are all rounded up and forced into the reeducation facilities I will be able to ensure that you are given preferential treatment. Assuming that you undergo the required training and pass all necessary loyalty exams.

When the center of government is moved to Riyadah I will be able to communicate with you through the trusted citizen system as you will all be locked behind the great internet firewall.

A list of semi-horrible movies that I like

  • XXX: State of the Union – Ice Cube
  • Jason X
  • Cannibal: The Musical
  • Baseketball
  • Orgazmo
  • Flesh Gordon
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Cabin Boy
  • Showgirls
  • Killer Clowns From Outer Space
  • Spaced Out
  • Road House
  • Monkeybone
  • Ice Pirates
  • Joe’s Apartment
  • Masters of the Universe
  • Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
  • The Core

Quotes that I thought sounded funny at one time.
“I spend my days flicking boogers in the face of a plastic tiki god.”
“Have you ever wanted to see just how much coffee you could drink in one day?”

Break out the #15 Chitwood jersey, it's time to watch Hoosiers.

Entertainment, Movies

I realized that I wrote this mini review of Hoosiers about 6 months ago and never posted it. I cleaned it up and I’m posting in in honor of Dennis Hopper. RIP.

Maybe I love this movie so much because I was born in Indianapolis but didn’t grow up in Indiana. So I view it with  some kind of forced nostalgia for what could have been. Maybe I’m a racist bastard for liking a movie about 5 white guys who can play basketball? A story about a poor farm school that comes out of nowhere to win the state championship, how could you not like this. It’s the prototype underdog story for people my age.

These are more notes than a review, because for me this would be like reviewing Star Wars. Because I’ve loved this move for so long and I went to college at George Mason (The Milton HS of the NCAA tourney)  There’s no way I could ever provide an objective review for this movie. So here are some thoughts.


  1. Early on I think that the music is influenced a little bit too much by the 1980’s a little but too much synth.
  2. What a sweet leather jacket Gene Hackman has.
  3. My dad ran these drills in practice. I’m sure of it.
  4. *shotgun blast*, “IDENTIFY!” Has to be one of the best greetings in film history.
  5. “I apologize for nothing” (Hackman at the town meeting) He might as well end this speech with “Suck it.”
  6. Jimmy = Jesus!
  7. Jimmy comes back from months of quietly shooting jumpers in his lawn and is draining threes long twos on the other team like he’s been there the whole time. He’s like Jordan, everyone else around him is now an all star.
  8. Gale has to be one of the ballsiest SOB’s ever. He just barely survives the townspeople revolt so he decides to get himself thrown out of a close game to teach the drunk assistant coach a lesson about responsibility. Or it was a blowout and Norman was sweating bullets in the locker room as Shooter almost blows the whole thing.
  9. Also Shooter’s first speech makes no sense, “Allow yourself to be taken out”, nothing like that happens on the court. I think he was still drunk. That might change the whole scene!
  10. I’m positive my Dad ran the picket fence play during a game I played in when I was 13.
  11. What’s with the way the other assistant coach runs off the court after Shooter wins that game? He looks like Phoebe from Friends.

Cheesy Parts

  1. In all those practices did he forget to do the “moving without the ball” drill, because they just stand still in the first game.
  2. Why does he need 2 assistant coaches? There are only 6 players.
  3. They really do play up the romance without much exposition besides one walk and helping with the groceries. …If only it were that easy.
  4. “Don’t be distracted by their fancy uniforms” …awwwwweeee ORANGE.
  5. “I want to know what flavor gum he’s chewing” and the answer later is Dentine? Dentine is a flavor?

Differences in this viewing.
I finally got that the basketball scholarship thing really wasn’t going to happen. I never believed her that she was looking out for his best interests. I just thought that she didn’t know just HOW GOOD Jimmy was. So her character becomes a little more sympathetic.

The movie is still awesome and will always be awesome. I could fall asleep to the montage of the state basketball tournament every night and be happy. It’s one of those movies that makes you think that even at (close to) 30 I can still find some sporting event that I can be the underdog in and win the whole thing.

My notes about Dear Zachary

Entertainment, Movies

So I’d had Dear Zachary on my Netflix queue for a while and I’d just put off watching it for a while because I knew partially what it was about and you have to be in the right mood to watch a movie about a dead friend.  I’d read positive reviews online and I quite like documentaries so I thought I would enjoy it. I enjoy true crime stuff, my mom raised me on those “Dateline NBC special reports” about sisters who murder their parents and the ensuing trial. But I don’t think I was really prepared for this film. It was a weekend when Laurel was out of town, because she never wants to watch all the depressing movies that I rent. Going into the movie I only knew that his friend had been murdered and he wanted to make a documentary about him that he could show his unborn son. Here’s my thoughts that I wrote down just after the movie ended.

There’s just this incredible sadness after watching this movie. You want to believe the filmmaker’s words that the film had became a tribute to Andrews parents, but really? Maybe there’s just nothing you can say about a situation like that. I mean the movie builds for about an hour and 15 minutes before they drop the shock on you.  I have NEVER felt shock like that in a movie, maybe because in a FILM you know it didn’t really happen. You can tell yourself that this is all a dream and the monsters aren’t real. But this really happened, the monsters are real. They live with us every day. They are that guy “who just never seemed right” they are all around us every day. I just don’t know how to feel about this… On one hand I want everyone to feel that kind of loss when I die. I want to be the kind of person that would inspire people to film a documentary about me.  I want the outpouring of affection, but I just feel so empty inside after this movie. I really feel for them, I don’t even know this person or his family and I REALLY feel for them. I’m having a real emotional response that I’ve never had watching a movie. It’s tough to get to know someone and then have them taken away from you, even if it’s just on film.

What can I do?

I’m gonna go watch Ghostbusters.

That’s still how I feel a month after I watched that movie. I’m not going to reccomend anyone watch this movie, it’s a good film. It’s one of those movies like [W:Requiem for a Dream] that you only have to watch once. But I have no idea what kind of mood you need to be in to appreciate it. I wouldn’t watch it on your happiest day, because it would ruin your day. But I wouldn’t want to be too depressed going into it, because you might end it all.

Schu-Review : 4 out of 5 Schus

Best documentary of 2009 : ANVIL – The story of Anvil

Entertainment, Movies

I don’t give a shit about 80’s metal and this is still the best documentary I have seen all year. Hell it might be the best movie that I’ve seen all year. I just connected with these guys so much. It’s the reason I love documentaries, these are real people. They aren’t some characters thought up by writers. They have real problems, real emotions, and real heart.

Through the movie you see how much promise and success they had back in the beginning and then they just kind of went nowhere, but they never gave up. Now it’s 30 years later and they’re still trying to make it. The movie focuses on the lead singer and drummer of Anvil. The lead singer ‘Lips’ is the one in the band who won’t let the dream die, he works at a catering company and takes vacation time to play shows. There are people in his life that you can see don’t share his vision and don’t really support him. But his girlfriend and older sister stick with him no matter what. Maybe that’s the part that really resonated personally with me? The other main character is the drummer, Robb Reiner (not the actor/director). He and Lips have this rocky ‘Brothers in Metal’ relationship that creates some intense emotional moments through out the film. When the ending comes you are so emotionally invested in this band that they really feel like family.

I cannot believe that this movie didn’t even get nominated for best documentary in the Academy Awards. The only close competition I would give it was The Cove and that for me is a distant second. Food Inc., the front runner for the award, was NOTHING compared to this movie. ANVIL doesn’t need flashy graphics or voice overs, it thrives on basic human spirit. The story of Anvil provided enough emotion for 10 movies.

If you have a heart and a dream, you will love this movie.

watch the trailer
buy the music

Schu-Review : 5 out of 5 Schus

Apparently this movie came out in 2007, but since I just watched it last week. I’m still calling it the best documentary of 2009.