Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stuff I'll Always Watch

Going through the many choices of crap on digital TV to clog up my optic nerves, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect upon some of my favorite stuff to watch. This list is in no particular order, but each one is dear to my craven little heart.

1) Nazis, Neo-Nazis, & Assorted Knuckle-Dragging Thugs: There seems to be a surfeit of documentaries & speculative shows on that perverted Austrian midget and his legions of jackbooted thugs. While it can get tiring to see the same shit about the Waffen SS, or Eichmann, every now and then there will be something different like the extent of Hitler's drug addictions. Then again I can never get tired of seeing what troglodytes racists can be no matter if they're Klansmen or Aryan Supremacists.

2) Goodfellas (but only on Lifetime): Ah, the Holy Trinity of mob movie goodness - DeNiro, Pesci, and Scorcese. How can you lose? From any number of points, "Goodfellas" is a masterpiece, and it would be criminal to see it in anything less than letterboxed and uninterrupted. I have the special edition DVD with commentary by the real Henry Hill and the Federal Agent that arrested him. What the hell this magnum opus is doing on Lifetime is beyond me. Seriously - How the blessed fuck is seeing "Now go shine my fuckin' shoes" empowering to women? Bad enough that you have to watch something like this in anything less than the original film aspect ratio, but to have all the profanity and violence neutered? Why not show it on some holy roller channel? It's like a big road accident in slow motion - with commercial breaks. You have to watch the bodies go splat. And no matter how many times the same travesty is on TV, you have to watch to see the cinematic equivalent when a nearsighted mohel (on crank) performs a bris. And let me ask one more time - how is "Goodfellas" a chick flick?

3) Discovery Health Channel's (& The Learning Channel's) Freakshow: Yeah, I said it - freakshow. I mean no disrespect to people who are genuinely trying to make a better life out of what shitty cards fate had handed to them, but when Discovery Health Channel has a special called "Trash Can of Skin," you're forced to watch out of morbid curiosity. That particular gem was about an English lady who had rapidly lost a massive amount of weight after stomach reduction surgery. Unfortunately here skin was so distended, all elasticity has gone and thus a wide tract of skin had to be removed in a groundbreaking surgical procedure. The leftover skin filled up a trash can (thus the title). You think that's bad, you should see "Half Man, Half Tree." And before you think I'm being particularly morbid, which are you more inclined to watch, "Valerie's Circumferential Body Lift Odyssey," or "Trash Can of Skin?" I thought so. What's worse is that Discovery Health Channel made "Trash Can of Skin" more appealing to wider audiences by making it part of its "Medical Incredibles" series with an equally touchy feely title.

4) The Godfather Epic: It's a little known fact that there's a shitload of footage that even the most devoted fans haven't seen, like Don Vito Corleone going with his sons to visit his old consigliere Genco at his death bed. Or seeing a young Hyman Rothstein start work with Vito Corleone, or even little bits like seeing more wedded bliss between Carlo and Connie or seeing Anthony showing an interest in his father's work only to be harshly rebuked by his mother Kay. Now you may wonder why this footage hasn't seen a proper restoration and home video release. It kinda sorta did a long time ago as "The Godfather Epic." The first two movies (there wasn't much cut out of the 3rd) were re-edited chronologically to start with young Vito Antonio Andolini and end off with Don Michael Corleone at the end of "Godfather, Part II." It was shown on NBC a long time ago, and while legitimate copies of "The Godfather Epic" have disappeared, it's sometimes on Bravo once in a blue moon. Actually, I kind of suspect that being the greedy fucker that he is, Francis Ford Coppola is holding out for participation in a grand restoration of "The Godfather Epic" until Paramount throws him a shitload of dough. Some people will say that the movies are fine the way they are, but having read the original novel by Mario Puzo, I want to see something closer to what Mr. Puzo wrote instead of Coppola's interpretation.

5) Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, and other Kaiju Goodness: Maybe it's having grown up watching "Kaiju" (giant monster) movies & shows, but good lord, I love watching cheesy giant rubbery monster movies. OK, I doubt if there is a giant rubbery monster movie that isn't cheesy, but as far as I'm concerned, the cheesier, the better, and keep the property damage cranked up high.

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