Scenes I Love: A Face In The Crowd

Located below is the famous Vitajex advertising montage from Elia Kazan’s 1957 film, A Face In The CrowdEverytime I see this, I wonder if maybe American audiences in the 50s were smarter than we give them credit for. 

Then again, A Face in The Crowd was a notorious financial and critical failure when it was first released.  It’s actually one of the best and most influential movies ever made.  Certainly, it’s one of the few Kazan films that still seems artistically relevent today.  It should also be noted that A Face in the Crowd features Anthony Franciosa years before his starring turn in Dario Argento’s Tenebrae, Andy Griffith playing a villain, the film debut of Lee Remick, Walter Matthau as a tv writer, and Patricia Neal having a nervous breakdown.  Supposedly, a very young Rip Torn is somewhere in this film as well but I’ve never been able to spot him.

Satoshi Kon’s Final Blog Post

The sudden passing of Satoshi Kon this past August 24, 2010 was a shock to anime and non-anime fans of his work. No better words were spoken to describe his contribution to the medium he so loved than one posted here last week.

I, myself, never realized that he was the one who had directed the very mature anime works I had seen and found to be on the level of any live-action production by such luminaries as Aronofsky, Nolan, Cronenberg and many other masters of their craft. The suddenness of his death has shocked the anime community and even almost a week since it happened his passing away and his legacy still the talk of the community.

His legacy is undisputable and will forever remind fans of anime just how much his talent will be missed. Satoshi Kon was able to leave behind one final document which has been posted in his blog posthumously by his loved ones. These last words from Satoshi Kon brings to light one man’s personal and intimate perspective on one’s mortality. It’s almost as if life was imitating art this time around. To try and describe any more of this man’s last words cannot be done as I lack the insight and grasp of the English language to give it the proper due.

Below is the link to Makiko Itoh’s site who was kind enough to translate Satoshi Kon’s final words.

SOURCE: Makiko Itoh’s Blog Satoshi Kon’s last words

6 More Exploitation Trailers: The Late Edition

Hi, Lisa Marie here.  I apologize for being a day late in continuing my series of posts devoted to some of my favorite exploitation and grindhouse film trailers.  Unfortunately, I got caught up having a fight with a troll over on my other blog and I ended up running behind.  The lesson here is that trolls are not worth the trouble.

But enough time wasted on dumbfugs and toadsuckers.  Let’s talk exploitation with six more of my favorite trailers.

1) The Candy Snatchers

Sadly, this DVD is now out-of-print and the people selling it on Amazon want you to pay something like $80.00 for it.  That’s a shame because The Candy Snatchers is, arguably, one of the greatest films ever made.  This is one of those movies that I desperately need to review but I’m still struggling to find the right words to express just how brilliant this movie is.

2) Django Kill

This trailer doesn’t really do justice to Django Kill which, quite frankly, is probably the strangest, most surreal western ever made.  Yes, this film is even stranger than El Topo.  However, I still like the pop art feel of this trailer.

3) The Raiders of Atlantis

This is one of Ruggero Deodato’s non-cannibal movies.  It’s actually surprisingly enjoyable in a very silly sort of way.

4) Burial Ground

Also known as The Nights of Terror, this is one of the more infamous examples of the Italian zombie genre.  To be honest, this is an amazingly trashy, stupid movie but once you start watching, you can not turn away.  This is another film I’ve been meaning to review for a while as I think it’s actually the most political of all the Italian zombie films.  People tend to get some caught up with the whole incest subplot that they miss the whole Marxist subtext.  And yes, the movie does include a title card that contains the word “profecy.”

5) The Teacher

I love this trailer.  It is such a relic that I almost feel like it should be put in a time capsule.  Plus, that whole “She corrupted the morals…” tag line is just so priceless.

6) Boss

When this 1975 movie was released on DVD, it was titled Boss.  Well, that’s only half of the original title.  I’ve never seen this movie (as the only westerns that interest me are Italian-made) but this trailer has always stuck with me because of the whole “Did I just hear that?” factor.  However, after I first saw this trailer, I did some research and discovered that the movie was actually written and produced by the film’s star, Fred Williamson.  So, that makes me a bit more comfortable with it.

Highschool of the Dead: Episode 8 – First Impressions

Madhouse’s anime series adaptation of the very popular manga, Highschool of the Dead (In Japan known as Gakuen Mokushiroku) is now 2/3’s into it’s first 13-episode season run. The reaction to the series has been pretty positive, but there’s definitely been some mixed to negative reactions to how the series’ animators from Madhouse has wholly embraced the ecchi nature of the manga. Some have even called it fanservice overload. I’m guessing they said the same about the manga when they first read it and thought the anime would tone things down.

My reaction to such criticism is “live with it”. There’s a reason why the manga has been so popular despite some long-delays from the manga’s writer and artist. For good or worse the manga and the series will succeed and fail because of it’s very ecchi nature. To expect the anime to actually tone down that particular aspect of the original manga source would be self-censorship and takes away half the fun of the manga. To continue complaining about the series because of its fanservice even this deep into the anime and still continue to watch it just speaks nitpicking and “grumpy old man syndrome”.

Now this eight episode does cut back on the fanservice after the some very heavy doses of it from the last couple episodes. There’s still enough of it that its not all about the zombies, but blatant fanservice sequences was very absent from this last episode. There are some very hilarious and awesome use of “bullet time” effects during the latter half of the  episode when the group gets trapped by an oncoming horde of zombies. We also get to see more great kick-ass action from the senior-class member of the group, Saeko Busujima, as she bokken smashes her way through the wall of zombies to try and distract them away from the main group. Takashi helps her out and it’s with his shooting and Saeko-chan’s acrobatic fighting that the bullet-time effects get put to good use.

This particular episode actually combines at least chapter 8 and 9 of the manga and it looks like the anime writers may be looking to start condensing the latter chapters of the manga into one episode. This maybe Madhouse’s way of hedging their bets in case ratings for the series doesn’t get a second season greenlit. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen and we get a second season to see the anime through right through the end. The manga is still going and with the anime series’ release it looks to gain more readers.

So, even with the naysayers dumping on the series because of the fanservice (even though they still continue to watch) I do believe the series has done well in adapting the manga. Some of the characterizations may seem a bit off as the series’ writers try to balance action, fanservice and quiet character moments, but with most shonen anime series sometimes characterizations take a backseat to what its audience want: the visual stuff whether they’re action and/or fanservice.

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Probicus Parley
A Starcraft 2 Daily


Angry Baby Steps – When in doubt, move out, and the significance of getting Blink early:

I’ve been playing way too many team matches. I jumped back in to two 1v1s today, a loss and then a win, and it showed. I encountered the same trend in both, and I’d like to talk about it.

In my first 1v1 I was up against Terran. I thought “oh my god reapers”, because that’s what you have to think in 4v4 matches, so I went straight for a forge and three cannons before I even scouted the guy. Stupid, stupid, I know, but I’ve played like 40 team games since my last 1v1.

No reapers, no worries, but I immediately felt the setback. Here I was with two gateways and an expansion at the ready, six stalkers with blink to my name, and I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was up against. I sent in a probe, he died to a bunker at the other guy’s neck. I could have attacked. In the very least I could have sent one stalker on a suicide run to see what he was making. But no, I said screw it, my resources are pouring in now, throw down two more Gateways and start spamming stalkers.

I had about ten stalkers when he hit me, up against a bunch of marines. He won out with a few to spare. My cannons could have taken him, but by then it was too late for me. An expansion lost and two gateways beyond the range of my cannons, I packed up and moved on to the next match.

As it turns out when I had those initial six stalkers he had four marines. He’d scouted me early, he’d seen the cannons going down, he knew he had time to spare. Four barracks went down with reactors attached before he ever started massing units, and if you haven’t noticed yet reactors take a really long time. Those stalkers could have in the least decimated his supply line and given me a fighting chance.

My next opponent was zerg. The ling rush is a more realistic fear (in fact it’s probably the most practical way to scout Toss anyway), and again I started tossing down cannons. He sent a wave, they fell, and he reacted just like the other guy. “I have plenty of time now, I’m going straight for hydras/mutas.”

This guy made the mistake though of throwing down a couple sunken in case I countered his rush with zealots; he assumed that was the only unit I could mass any time soon. Well there I was in the same boat as last time pretty much, this time three gateways but no expansion, no stalkers yet because I went “omg six lings” and threw down like four more cannons. I did have a templar archive.

My (very) late scout saw an expansion going down, and I decided hey, waiting around didn’t work last time, so I started researching Blink immediately and resolved myself to go at it with what I had when the research finished.

Turns out he only had lings and those sunken. Just like the other guy he had taken my cannons (didn’t hurt that I started a bunch more during his attack after all) as a sign that I was just going to sit on my ass and let him build up. Stalkers with blink destroy lings without speed, and well, that was the end of it. I just blinked around his sunkens, took out his tech tree, and held position where I could snipe drones forever without a sunken scratching me. gg

What I took out of this was not that you should try to confuse your enemy, screw that. It’s a roll of the dice whether he falls for it, just one step up from cannon rushing. What I learned was that if you screw up big time early on and know that he knows it, you might as well try to retaliate as soon as possible. Maybe it doesn’t work for the pros, I don’t know, but at least in Gold league I was in back to back situations today where my own mistake could have won me the game.

I’m not recommending putting yourself in positions where your opponent rightly thinks he can easily overrun your base in a couple minutes, but if you find yourself there, don’t get flustered, take immediate advantage of it. There’s no sense waiting around to die, and there’s no harm in attacking with five or six units if the situation demands it.

From the other perspective, if your first assault puts you at a clear advantage over the other guy but doesn’t realistically end the game, don’t just think “oh I can tech up now” and quit making units for two or three minutes. Always maintain at least a token mobile force.

On a final note, in both cases I could not have won without Blink. In the top tiers your opponents should have a mobile force so you might want to reconsider, but if you have reason to believe the guy you’re up against doesn’t, Blink can be the game ender. I really like the idea of getting this upgrade early.

Review: The Walking Dead Volume 3 (by Robert Kirkman)

[Some Spoilers Within]

Safety Behind Bars is the third collected volume of Robert Kirkman’s excellent The Walking Dead comic book series from Image Comics. This volume collects issues 13 through 18 and it continues that journey and travails of surviving in a world overrun by the undead. As the tagline of the books proclaim, in a world ruled by the dead we are forced to finally start living. This is so true in Safety Behind Bars as Kirkman and returning artist Charlie Adlard tell the story of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors as they come across what they think will be their salvation from the threat of the hungry dead: an abandoned prison complex.

The last we saw Rick, Tyrese, Lori and their ragtag band of survivors they had just been forced off the the presumably safety of the Herschel farm after the tragic events which transpired within its fences. But Safety Behind Bars starts off with the group discovering an abandoned prison complex that may just solve their shelter, safety and food problems. Once again, Kirkman’s writing is tight and to the point. The characters of Rick and the rest of the survivors continue to evolve as the days and months pass by in the journey to survive. What they find in the abandoned prison is both safety and danger, but not in the way of most people thought it would come in. Sure there are still zombies both inside and outside of the prison’s security fences, but as the enormity of the crisis finally crashes on everyone — that there won’t be a rescue — the survivors reach the threshold of their breaking points to the detriment of everyone involved. It’s especially tragic for Tyrese as a tragedy pushes him to act on his base instincts in an act of vengeance that is both understandable and horrifying.

More people are introduced to the group in the form of surviving group of inmates left behind by fleeing prison guards. This new group acts to change the group dynamics and even add more conflict to what Rick and his group thought was going to be safety from the dead. Instead, human nature — as Kirkman sees it — causes more problems and danger than the dead represent. The events of The Walking Dead has really changed everyone involved and we lose more people to both living and the dead.

The volume ends in an even bigger cliffhanger than the previous two collected volumes. Like the best drama series on TV, The Walking Dead hooks you in with great writing, well-drawn characters and a great hook that pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go. Whether the upcoming AMC and Darabont-produced tv adaptation of this series follows this particular story-arc is still up in the air. To deviate from the prison would definitely involve a new story-arc that surpasses what Kirkman has written in these 6-issues and that would be quite a tall order.

10 Reasons Not To Sit In A Theater Full Of Old People

This is the most difficult post I’ve ever had to write.

This is largely because I wore my glasses (instead of my contacts) last night because I knew I was going to be sleeping over at Jeff’s place.  Now, it’s the morning and we can’t find my glasses.  So, while he continues to search, I am sitting here trying to write despite being blind.  Seriously, as I type this, my face is less than half-an-inch away from Jeff’s monitor.  If I squint real hard, I can kinda sorta make out the letter-shaped blobs that are blinking in front of me.

In other words, there might be some typos in this post.  Sorry — I’ll correct them once I can see again.

This post came to me last night as we were watching the new Robert Duvall film Get Low at the Regal Keystone Park 16 in Richardson, Texas.  Get Low is a good movie and Duvall gives a brilliant performance but, from the minute we first found our seats, I realized that I was literally the youngest person in the audience. 

I suppose I should define just what exactly this article’s definition of “old” is.  Originally, I was thinking of old as being anyone who is older than me (that is, anyone born before 1985).  However, that would include Jeff, all three of my sisters, and just about every other contributor to this site.  So, I revised my definition. 

From now on, old is anyone over the age of 40.

With that cleared up, on to this list:

1) Old people never show up for the movie on time.  Seriously, the first 20 minutes of Get Low were pretty much dominated by fat old people wandering around in the dark, searching for a seat.  Considering that movies never actually start when they’re supposed to and even then there’s about 15 minutes worth of commercials and trailers, there’s really no excuse for being that late.  Beyond, I guess, the arrogance that comes from being old.

2) Old people are mean.  It’s true!  And who wants to sit in the dark with a bunch of mean people?

3) Old people reek of buttery popcorn and stale nachos.  Listen, I like popcorn and I like butter on my popcorn.  And I like nachos too though I prefer the real thing as opposed to the lukewarm American version.  And, sometimes, I’ll get some popcorn to eat during the movie.  That, in itself, is not a sin.  That’s just being American.  However, I don’t use popcorn as a substitute for any of the major food groups.  But my God — what is the deal with old people who come waddling into the theater late and, of course, they’ve got a giant tub of popcorn in one hand and a giant tray of nachos in the other.  And since they waddle, what that means is that every step they take means that popcorn is going to be flying everywhere.  And then, once they do find a seat, they seem to feel the need to shake their giant tub of popcorn every few minutes as if to remind the rest of us that they’ve got a giant tub of popcorn and we don’t.  I mean, seriously, it’s time that the obese old people of the world accept the fact that not everything has to revolve around them.

4) Many old people are obese.  Before anyone says anything, I don’t feel good about writing that.  Obesity is a legitimate health concern and it’s often more the result of low self-esteem than anything else.  If I had enough money to get every obese old person liposuction, I would.  But I don’t and it doesn’t change the fact that obese old people make it difficult to enjoy a night out at the movies.  Whether it’s the fact that it takes them forever to find a seat and sit down or just the fact that they remind me of death, the grotesquely obese can be an issue.

5) Old people can’t drive.  This is less an issue when you’re watching the movie but definitely a concern when you’re trying to leave the theater afterward.  I mean, I understand that cars worked differently back in the Middle Ages but  seriously, we’ve reached a point where the engine’s not going to explode just because you tap the accelerator a little.

6) Old people can’t hear.  I love movies that are full of twists and turns.  What I can’t stand, however, is when I have to listen to the person behind me explaining all those twists and turns as they happen just because her companion is too freaking stubborn to get a hearing aid! 

7) Old people always want to do the whole Roger Ebert thing.  By this, I mean that after the movie ends, old people always want to sit there and go, “I didn’t like that…” or “The plot was too predictable.”  Okay, good for you, you’ve got an opinion.  So do I.  But I, at least, try to express my opinions in an interesting way.  “That plot was too predictable.”  Seriously, with all your years of life experience, you can be more witty than that.

8 ) Old people make weird noises.  Seriously, if you have to clear your throat that many times, you should probably be at the ER instead of the movies.

9) Old people don’t respect your privacy.  Seriously, what me and a friend choose to do while the movie is playing is our own business.  Keep your eyes on the screen, you old perverts.

10) Old people create awkward situations.  Seriously, no disrespect is meant by this but if someone in the audience dies while the movie’s playing, what is my obligation here beyond calling 911?  Is it acceptable for me to then watch the rest of the movie once I’ve called 911 or would that be considered a faux pas on my part?  I mean, what if it’s a really good movie?

Song of the Day: War of the Thrones (by Blind Guardian)

Again the power metal lads from Germany, Blind Guardian, appears for the fourth time with one of their newest songs for Song of the Day. The song of which I speak of is the second ballad of two that Blind Guardian composed and produced for their latest album, “War of the Thrones”.

While metal bands have done ballads in the past and will continue to do so, Blind Guardian has shied away from the power ballads of most metal bands and have instead opted for the kind of folksy ballads that troubadours and traveling bards of the Middle Ages and the Age of Renaissance played much in inns and royal courts across the lands. In fact, the band has seen themselves more like traveling bards (but with a power metal kick to their music).

“War of the Thrones” definitely sounds like something a traveling troupe of bards would play at a royal court. Even the subject matter which inspired the song is from a historical fantasy series of novels by fantasy writer George R.R. Martin whose A Song of Fire and Ice many have seen as the American Lord of the Rings. The band never shies away from the fantasy aspects of their songwriting and with this song they embrace this aspect of their band’s sound.

The song’s lyrics has themes and ideas from Martin’s fantasy series. From the raging war for the throne of Westeros which has engulfed the lands south of the Wall to the sinister “Others” beyond the wall whose march will raze the Wall which keeps them from the warring kingdoms in the south. For fans of Martin’s fantasy series the song should be a delight as it brings up imagery from the books. For fans of Blind Guardian it’s a nice addition to their growing folksy ballads which goes hand in hand with their faster and more complex work.

War of the Thrones

Nothing will grow here
Icy fields – blackened sorrow
Legacy of a lost mind
Feed my void
What you’re waiting for

I’m too late
It is more than a game
The river reveals
Now I’m in between these lines
I cannot escape it seems
Sail on, my friend

All I ever feel is
All I ever see is
Walls they fall
When the march of the Others begins

All I ever feel is
All I ever see is
Rise and fall
When the War of the Thrones shall begin

While I sit there in silence
Come and talk to me
I can’t free my mind
It is all I’m begging for

While I sit there in silence

Will it ever end?
Will I find what I’m longing for?
Will I ever walk out of shadows so grey?
I’m condemned, I am hallowed
Icy fields they won’t hurt anymore

Will you walk with me?
Any further
There at world’s end
It’s me
I sing

I cannot escape it seems
Sadly I sing

All I ever feel is
All I ever see is
Walls they fall
When the march of the Others begins

All I ever feel is
All I ever see is
Rise and fall
When the War of the Thrones shall begin

Watch the river it flows
(Now and ever)
I cannot believe in more
And now my time will come
Carry on

Will I ever learn from the past?
Will I fade away?
Will I ever stay where the shadows will grow?
There is luck at the gallows
I will free my mind
Soon it will show

Let it rain
There’ll be no spring
My dream is a mirror
It reveals a matter of lies

All I ever feel is
All I ever see is
Rise and fall
When the War of the Thrones will begin

All I ever feel is
All I ever see is
Rise and fall
When the War of the Thrones has begun

Leave a fee for the tillerman
And the river behind…

Film Review: Winnebago Man (dir. by Ben Stienbauer)

Yesterday, me and my sister Erin saw the documentary Winnebago Man at the Dallas Angelika.  The Angelika is absolutely my favorite theater in the entire world.  It’s also just about the only place in Dallas that you can see offbeat, out-of-the-mainstream movies like Winnebago Man.  Add to that, the Angelika is located right next to the Mockingbird DART rail station and it’s right next to the Townhouse Irish Pub.  There’s also a Virgin Megastore, an Urban Outfitters, and a Victoria’s Secret (among other stores) right next to the theater.  So, for me, a taking the train to see a movie at the Dallas Angelika is like a scaled-down version of one of those “shopping spree” montages that always seem to turn up in romantic comedies.  It’s like catch the train, shop for lingerie, see an art film, get drunk on Guinness, and then take the train back home.  What could be better?

Well, there is one problem with the Dallas Angelika and that is that it is located right next to Southern Methodist University.  For those of you who aren’t natives of Dallas, SMU is where the rich kids go to major in Business, Rohypnol, and youthful fascism.  Going to the Angelika means you’re always going to have the risk of having more than a few SMU toadsuckers and dumbfugs in the audience with you.  You can always spot them because they’re the ones who make it a point to laugh the loudest at the most obvious of jokes.  I guess it’s their way of trying to convince the rest of us that they actually are capable of semi-intelligent thought.

Quite a few of them were in the audience for Winnebago Man.  Erin and I were unlucky enough to attract the attention of two of them.  They sat down in front of us and, as we waited for the movie to begin, they turned around in their seats and asked us if 1) we lived nearby and 2) if we wanted to “hang out sometime.”  And while I’m certainly not a stranger to occasionally lowering my standards for the sake of a good time, I do have a problem with people who ask me if I want to “hang out,” as if I should just be so flattered to have the opportunity to be a part of their social circle.  So, I smiled and said, “No, but my sister’s available.”  Erin still hasn’t forgiven me.

Now, you may be wondering why these two idiots would have any interest in seeing a documentary not entitled Jackass or Girls Gone Wild.  Well, once the film started, it quickly became obvious that they (and most of the other SMU blackshirts in the audience) were fans of the original Winnebago Man video that inspired this documentary.  That video consists of outtakes of a man named Jack Rebney attempting to film a promotional video for Winnebago.  In the outtakes, Rebney continually forgets his lines, angrily curses, complains about the heat, and continually fights with an intern who, at one point, literally throws a towel at him.  An excerpt from the video can be found below:

Now, I have to be honest.  Up until I first saw the trailer for this documentary, I had never heard of the “Winnebago Man,” (also known as the Angriest Man In The World) and I’m almost as addicted to searching YouTube as I am to divulging TMI details of my life on twitter.  However, apparently, the Winnebago Man is one of the most popular videos on Youtube.  As director and narrator Ben Stienbauer explains in this documentary, a large part of the appeal of the Winnebago Man outtakes is that you’re literally seeing the worst day of Jack Rebney’s life.  Not only is he making a video promoting the Winnebago (or as I call them, Murdermobiles, because it’s impossible for me to imagine anyone other than a serial killer owning one) but he’s apparently doing it in the worst heat possible and getting attacked by flies as he does so.  It’s hard for the viewer not to relate his bad day to her own bad days.  However, what  really makes the video memorable is that Rebney doesn’t just quietly accept the heat, the flies, and the frustration.  Instead, he fights back in the only way he can — with constant variations on the “F” word.  Just watching the excerpts included in the documentary, I found myself wishing that I had simply told the two guys sitting in front of us, “Do me a kindness and fuck off.”

The documentary Winnebago Man beings with Ben Stienbauer telling us how he first saw the footage in the early 90s (in those pre-youtube days, it was apparently passed around on VHS tapes) and how the sight of angry, dehydrated Jack Rebney came to obsess both him and several other filmmakers.  Eventually, Steinbauer decides to try to track down Rebney (though he initially believes that there’s a good chance that Rebney’s dead) to find out what happened the day that infamous Winnebago video was filmed and whether or not Jack Rebney is indeed the angriest man in the world.

The first half of Stienbauer’s film is taken up with the search and for me, this is the best part of Winnebago Man.  Stienbauer makes for a likable protagonist and the aspiring detective in me loved watching as he explained, step-by-step, how he went about finding the elusive Jack Rebney. 

Even better, Stienbauer devotes a good deal of Winnebago’s Man first half examining why and how people become internet celebrities.  As Stienbauer correctly points out, most Internet celebrities are not known for being succesful.  Instead, they — like Jack Rebney — often become famous as a result of having something humiliating and degrading happen to them while being filmed.  One example that Stienbauer makes effective use of is the infamous “Star Wars” kid who became the most popular video on YouTube and ended up having a nervous breakdown as a result.  In many ways, Internet fame is the cruelest fame because not only is it a fame based on failure but the failure is usually very personal.   Stienbauer himself admits that there’s a certain morbidity behind his desire to find Jack Rebney.  He wants to see is Rebney has survived being known as the “Winnebago Man.”

Well, Stienbauer does find Jack Rebney and it turns out that Rebney has survived.  In his 80s, Rebney is nearly blind and lives an isolated existence in a cabin on a mountain.  Stienbauer finally visits his idol and discovers just who exactly the angriest man in the world really is.

For me, Winnebago Man is far less effective once Stienbauer actually finds Jack Rebney because it turns out that, in real life as opposed to in outtakes from a 20 year-old promotional video, Rebney is kind of a pain.  While Rebney first attempts to present himself as being a calm, rather mild man (in an attempt to counter his angry reputation), he soon starts to make regular phone calls to Stienbauer (all of which were, of course, recorded by the filmmaker) and gradually, he reveals his true self.

What is that true self?

Well, he’s kind of an asshole, to be honest.  He’s essentially an angry, incredibly boring old man who still can’t get over the fact that it’s not 1955 anymore.  When Stienbauer asks him what he wants to do with his Internet fame, Rebney says he wants to deliver a political message to everyone younger than him.  That message, by the way, is that Dick Cheney’s a crook.  Well, no shit.  Thanks for sharing.  Rebney doesn’t seem to get that my generation figured that out way before his generation did.  In the end, Jack Rebney just comes across as an angry old crank who wants to complain about the world being fucked up when he’s a part of the group that fucked it up in the first place. 

I mean, thanks for trying to tell me how to live my life but I think I’ll survive quite nicely without the advice.  Quite frankly, I don’t have much use for the Jack Rebneys of the world.

Winnebago Man is an interesting documentary that examines just what exactly it means to be famous in today’s world.  Though Jack Rebney himself eventually proves to be unworthy of such interest, the story of how Ben Stienbauer tracked him down and the “relationship” (it’s never exactly a friendship) that is created as a result is fascinating and thought-provoking.  I remained interested in Jack Rebney’s story even as I found myself wanting to ask him to do me a kindness and shut the fuck up.

Probicus Parley 006

Probicus Parley
A Starcraft 2 Daily


This is worth watching even if you don’t play the game. I want to post up a replay I watched about a week ago of an absolutely epic Starcraft 2 match, Toss against Zerg. This might be the most ridiculous SC2 match played to date.

The game pits MasterAsia, one of the top 5 zerg players on the US server, against protoss player TTOne, a pro from Brood War. If I remember correctly this is a 1v1 Quick Match, not a planned encounter. The match lasts a little over an hour and can be downloaded as a replay here:

The four youtube videos that follow condense the game down to about half an hour, with commentary provided by HDstarcraft. You can probably skip the third video without missing much, but definitely watch the final few minutes. The word epic was invented for events such as these.