Saturday, November 30, 2013

I drive truck, break arms, and blog about movies. It's what I love to do, it's what I do best.

Well, I set myself a goal to complete NaBloPoMo this month, and I can now pat myself on the back after a job well done. Just like the time that Lane and Monique fixed up that old Camaro. Just like the time Danny Larusso learned how to 'wax on, wax off.' Just like the time Frodo put that ring in Mount Doom. Okay, not quite on par with that one.

My only regret is that I wish I could make an exciting montage. If only it could be more exciting than typing on a keyboard. The good news is that December is National Spelunking Month, so I will have more exciting footage for that one probably. 

Yup, kinda like that.

One life goal accomplished, a few more to go.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Mr. Boddy threatened to send those pictures to my dear old mother, the shock would've killed her. Much like moshing.

I remember looking up the movie Clue on IMDB one day just to see what everyone has been up to. Sadly, some have passed away in recent years. I always thought the guy that played Mr. Boddy (spoiler alert: he's the one who dies) was an interesting character. His name is Lee Ving. In my search I found that he was the singer and rhythm guitarist for a punk band called Fear

This band was loved by John Belushi, an SNL alum and all around crazy person. He somehow convinced the people at SNL to have Fear perform on a live show on Halloween in 1981. How did anyone think this was a good idea? As you would expect, things did not go as planned. The crazy kids started doing this newfangled thing called 'moshing' and some stuff got damaged, including an expensive camera. Moshing has been frowned up ever since that fateful day.

Here is the best video I could find of that performance:

I can just imagine my parents watching this at home with us rug-rats running around and not being able to make sense of what they were seeing. You were seeing the future, mom and dad!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

He is a rambunctious Australian, ain't he?

Did you know that Ryan Kwanten was born on this day in 1976? Do you know who Ryan Kwanten is? Well he plays Jason Stackhouse in the delectable HBO series True Blood. It was recently announced that this series was renewed for it's seventh season, which will be it's last. It's bittersweet, but I think it's time for it to end on a high note instead of dragging out to a slow death (I'm looking at you Simpson family). 

Looking through Kwanten's Wikipedia page, it appears that he's been in some interesting films, some look sort of low budget, but they look like they are right up my alley. I think I will check out Red Hill first. I'll add that to my list of movies to watch between naps during my Christmas vacation.

A professional actor in a tear-jerking scene.

Atta boy, Stackhouse.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tetsuuuo! I like your movie.

So I was just flipping through the channels, minding my business, and one of my favorite episodes of South Park was on. It's the Scientology one where Tom Cruise is in the closet. [Side note: I was so tempted to stop by their "church" when we visited my friend Chad in L.A.] I actually started thinking about the first time I saw the South Park movie in the theater. I remember seeing a mom with her, I don't know, 10 year old kid watching the movie too. Interesting choice. That movie's a definite hard 'R.' Bang up job with the parenting there.

While this is a great animated movie, my all time favorite, hands down, no question about it, is Akira. I remember watching this movie twice in a row with my friends. It was just so cool. We had to watch it again because we weren't sure what we had just seen. I don't think another movie has come along like it in the past 25 years.

You might want to get that checked out.

Those futuristic bikes are pretty cool. Maybe I'll start a gang in six years? Nah.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hail to the king, Balls.

I remember having my grunge wardrobe picked apart by my co-worker on my first day on the job when I was a college freshman. I had been at school for about five days. He wasn't brutal, but it was enough to make me wish I would have given up on flannel my last day of high school. He was an art major, so maybe that explains it. Black t-shirt and jeans. An entire wardrobe summed up with just two items.

I thought that I was pretty cool for having seen Army of Darkness in high school and was able to quote much of the film. This co-worker of mine, let's call him Balls, had also seen the movie and claimed to be a bigger fan than me. We watched it at one of his frat house parties. Now, get all of those images of Animal House out of your mind. These guys were into comic books, films, The X Files, board games...I don't think I need to continue. As you may have guessed, I was in friendly territory. Mostly. Believe me, there is still a lot of one-upmanship among film geeks. What's worse? When we sent to see Romeo + Juliet with Balls' theater geek friends. Almost unbearable.

They're not taking us to the pit...they're taking us to a lecture on iambic pentameter. 

While the flannel has disappeared, Army of Darkness still remains one of my go-to movies when I need a distraction.

- Dapper

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm here to talk to you about the Thanksgiving Initiative.

I bet many of you think that ThanksKilling is my favorite Thanksgiving Day movie. You are wrong, sucker! It's actually Home for the Holidays starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr., that girl that killed My So Called Life and Steve freakin' Guttenberg. You will actually recognize a few others as well. Personally, I think the whole film is pretty solid. Yes, cheesy in some parts, but Hunter and Iron Man have so many good scenes it's worth the price of admission. Definitely check this one out in between football games and family shouting matches this holiday season.

How did this haircut ever go out of style? 

Seriously, did Angela Chase end up with Brian Krakow or Jordan Catalano? I guess we'll never know. 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

We're just gonna outwit the paparazzi, X-Men style.

Hugh Jackman and I are going to be drinking buddies some day. That is a fact. He visited Iowa recently (read more here) and I'm sure he's going to buy a vacation home here soon. What month he will vacation here is unknown, because every day of the year the weather is always better somewhere else. But I digress. He's Australian, so he would probably do it on a dare.

I think it's just natural that he would want to hang out with someone who has enjoyed everything he has done (yes, even Van Helsing) and can talk for hours about films. I will have to brush up on my rugby knowledge though. And my drinking.

Those are some dapper sideburns. And fierce. I tip my hat to you, sir.

That's not a knife.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Oh, that's a quarantine flag. Warning that there's Black Death aboard. And an annoying kid.

I know that it's a pretty cheesy old family movie, but there is something endearing about the Swiss Family Robinson. It also has pirates, which is cool. The treehouse that they build to live in is ridiculous though. We always tried to copy what they did when we were kids and playing outside. Not possible. We didn't have the advanced skills in engineering and architecture. We had duct tape and twine. 

How long did it take to make those window panes?

It's cold here in Iowa. Time for some Swiss Miss.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Dapper machine: zero defects

Well, it's cold and flu season once again. I hope my antibodies are doing their job. It's showtime little guys. This reminds me of one of the most memorable scenes from Fantastic Voyage. I don't recall much from this as I saw it probably 20 or 25 years ago (jeez, I'm old). But I do remember when the white blood cells attack one of the crew members and kill him. Science!

When I saw this movie I was old enough to know that the plot was pure fiction...but somehow I thought there might be a chance. And I would be more than happy to be on the maiden voyage with Raquel Welch. And some real scientists who knew what they were doing so we wouldn't die horrible deaths.

I am more familiar with the cheesy semi-knockoff called Innerspace. I think this and Three Amigos are the only acceptable Martin Short movies. I also have a thing for 1980s Meg Ryan.

Is this anywhere near the Islets of Langerhans?

Stayin' alive

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You can't stay in here all day dreaming about heroin and Ziggy Pop and pikeys.

I was considering graduate school in England for a little while when I was still in my mid-twenties. Probably get a nice flat with a lift. I don't know if I could have actually gone through with it or not though. Alas, I had other reasons to stay in Iowa. 

Lately I've been watching the British series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Each episode is deliciously addictive. I think it is brilliant that the running time for each show is 90 minutes. It allows for a bigger story to develop, but the writing is excellent so pacing seems spot on. On the exact opposite end of the British television spectrum, I've also been a huge fan of The Inbetweeners. Check it out the next time you fire up Netflix. You would be in good company - Prince William and Catherine saw the movie in the theater. It is unknown whether they received the Queen's approval or not.

This is for all you Cumberb!tches.
God save the queen.

There are many great films that take place in Great Britain. For some reason or another, two of my absolute favorites are Snatch and Trainspotting. Love him or hate him, Brad Pitt as a pikey is one of the best characters of all time. Trainspotting is a little more serious but is a fun ride nonetheless.

I wouldn't make any deals with this guy either. Or anyone belonging to a caravan club, I suppose.

Periwinkle Blue.
- Dapper

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You can be my wingman any time, Kilmer.

I opened up my daily email from Amazon and saw that I could buy the special edition of Willow for about $58.99. Are you kidding me? It was a good movie, but oh my, that's some serious lettuce.

Now, I wouldn't actually buy that movie at that price. Few would. I'm sure I could find a better price somewhere else. It might be some weird fluke with the Amazon site. Who knows? It doesn't matter - Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop online. It's highly advanced robot brain does a pretty good job of keeping track of me these days too. It might even know me better than I know myself.

It probably knows about the time I practiced sword fighting with a stick pretending to be Madmartigan. Fighting all sorts of trees and bushes that looked exactly like goblins and trolls attacking our farm from the north.

This is basically what I looked like. With a stick for a sword, armor made from a cardboard refrigerator box, but the same rugged good looks.

Keepin' it real.
- Dapper

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy and farmers.

Growing up on a farm I was forced to do lots of boring yet character forming things as a kid. One of those was the yearly journey to the seed store. If you are new to farming, you may not know that the crops don't just grow out the ground naturally, they need to be planted. The machine that plants the seeds is called a planter. Stay with me here. The farmers also buy the seeds from the seed store. Well, maybe they buy everything online these days, but back when I was a kid that wasn't an option. Farmers are fancier nowadays.

Now, this wasn't just a simple grab and go. Oh no. We had to make time for my dad to grab a Snickers bar and some complimentary coffee. Sprinkle in some conversations with other local area farmers and you've successfully killed two hours of your life.

My brother and I were bored to tears. Sometimes we would amuse ourselves for five minutes by purchasing some soda in a glass bottle from a machine that was made right after the Gettysburg Address. Okay, probably not that old. My point is that life didn't move very fast at the seed store. These old guys were probably still talking about the the JFK assassination. Who knows? I was a kid - I wasn't paying attention.

In many ways this store reminded me of the Old West. There were worn, wooden floors. Wooden chairs. And at the loading dock it looked like someone could pull right up with their wagon and pick up their goods. I think there was a hitching post just outside, but that's probably just my imagination filling in the blanks.

I suppose it wasn't so bad. It would have been worse to grow up on Tatooine and be a damn moisture farmer for the rest of your godforsaken life. And then seeing the crispy bodies of your aunt and uncle after you get back from a joy ride. Oh, and learning that your real father is a sith lord. Okay, I guess it could have been much worse.

Yes Luke, wearing terrible clothing is one of our customs.

Live long and prosper.
- Dapper

Monday, November 18, 2013

But you can't be any geek off the street, gotta be handy with the trash if you know what I mean, earn your keep!

I don't think my brother and I are going to star in a major film in the near future. If we did though, I would prefer it to be more like The Long Riders than Men at Work. Nah, I kid, I kid. I actually enjoyed Men at Work when I was a young lad. There is some strange chemistry between Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen which I enjoy. There is also some strange chemistry in that "Irish Spring" sweater that Sheen wears in the second half of the film.

The Martin Sheen offspring duo are pretty good in the movie, but I think that Keith David really nails his role. Definitely the best actor in the movie, in my humble opinion. And these are two Young Guns he is up against! There are some really good lines in this movie so I suggest you check it out if you haven't already. 

 Somehow I could never make this sexy look work for me.

I know what a phrenologist does now.
- Dapper

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More amazing than the time Frodo Baggins came over to your house to use the bathroom?

It's a cold and wet day here in Iowa, which makes me think I could just step outside and venture into the Pacific Northwest. I'm thinking about gathering up my childhood buddies and going on an adventure to try and save the Goon Docks. Maybe find a pirate ship along the way. And a creepy old skeleton named Chester.

I absolutely loved The Goonies the first time I saw it. It was just an unbelievable adventure, with everything at stake, and a chance to save your 'hood. There are also some very interesting characters along the way. My favorite was Data. I know, I know, Mikey, Brand and Mouth probably got more ladies. But I would rather be the weird kid with all of the toys. Maybe I should rephrase that. I liked inventing stuff when I was younger. I'm pretty sure I came up with Pinchers of Power before I saw the movie.

This is one of those movies that always makes me happy when I watch it. It takes me back to a simpler time.

Seriously kid, you are scary good at speaking Spanish.

Fun fact: They call an SUV an ORV. Silly. Oh yeah, if you have a chance to see the deleted scene with the octopus or whatever, do it after a couple shots.

It's OUR time down HERE.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm sorry, did I break your concentration with my sweet tunes?

For some strange reason my lady and I haven't gotten to the movie theater as much as we should have this year. I know, it's depressing. So we're watching Django Unchained that we rented from the local video store. Nah, just kidding, we got it from a Redbox by a gas station. We did not need any human interaction with this transaction.

I've talked about this before, and will probably talk about it again, but dammit, Tarantino knows how to select music for his movies. I also love that he mixes genres and uses lots of songs that are basically unknown or were popular decades ago. He and Wes Anderson are just on a different level.

You look like a fan of K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies. Okay, maybe not.

Stuck in the middle with you.
- Dapper

Friday, November 15, 2013

I love poetry, and a glass of scotch, and, of course, my friend Lovecraft here.

A few weeks ago I was reading a lot of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. That man knows how to turn on the creepiness. He's so descriptive and patient enough to draw you in slowly and keep you engaged. The stories aren't very long, so you get to the frightful ending in a relatively short time. I was doing some research, and I realized that I don't think I've really watched any movie that was based on his work. It looks like most of them are kind of cheesy horror movies. Maybe I'm wrong. I will add Re-Animator to my massive Netflix queue though. Hell, it could be there already for all I know, my queue is still out of control.

Lovecraft was a pioneer of "horror fiction" or "weird fiction" but never popular during his lifetime. One of his best known works is "The Call of Cthulhu" published in 1928. I love reading his stories because they don't seem like they were written decades ago.

Is it time for a large production of one of his best works? Or would that ruin the feel? I will just have to bang out a script over the weekend and see where it takes me. I think the best thing to do is to lock myself in the basement with the lights off. A single candle burning in the distance casting curious shadows everywhere would be a nice touch to get the creative juices flowing.

This could be a difficult casting decision.

Creepy time.
- Dapper

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yeah, well, uh, just keep your Power Gloves off my memories, pal, huh?

There are lots of movie and video game tie-ins these days, but perhaps my favorite is when we were all introduced to Super Mario Bros. 3 in the movie The Wizard. I was pretty much addicted to video games when this movie came out, and I also loved The Wonder Years, so there was no way I was going to miss this one. And then toward the end when I saw Mario dressed like a raccoon it BLEW MY MIND! What did it all mean!?

Now there are Tomb Raider movies, Star Wars video games, and so on. Some are good, some are not so good, but none have left such a lasting impression as The Wizard. Sure, it was just a 100 minute ad for Nintendo dressed in cheesy 80's garb, but I didn't care. I wanted to be that weird little kid that was insanely good at video games. It would be my warp whistle outta this town.

You can probably just throw that right in the garbage.

It's-a-me, a-Dapper!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Did you know there's a guy living in our closet? You've seen him too? He had a stupid hat.

Unfortunately, my first roommate at college was a gigantic tool bag. He danced around to Mariah Carey music and wore some weird, big, ridiculous "Cat in the Hat" type hat on his stupid head. He also took the hard drive out of his computer during Thanksgiving break so that no one could hack in and steal his dumb secrets. What? That doesn't even make sense. I moved in with some other friends for the second semester. I just couldn't take it any more.

Maybe he would have annoyed me after awhile, but I would rather have shared a room with Chris Knight from Real Genius. Oh, the hi-jinks that would have ensued! Sure I might have gotten roped into creating a giant space laser, but it would have been worth it.

Fun fact: the guy that plays Lazlo Hollyfeld (Jon Gries) also played Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite and Ben Linus' dad on LOST.

Nope. Not getting laid tonight.

Everybody wants to rule the world.
- Dapper

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I've always found that writing comes from a great inner pain...or procrastination at your day job.

"To make a great film you need three things - the script, the script and the script." - Alfred Hitchcock

I think there's a lot of truth in this statement. However, if there is anyone to learn script writing from, I don't know if it would be Hitchcock. Apparently he involved himself in this process deeply and drove some of his writers crazy. Some loved it though. I think I do my best writing when I can start a screenplay, get about 20 pages in, and then not visit it again for 6 months. 

Lately I've been using Adobe Story for script writing. Mostly because it ties in with the other Adobe software pretty well. Now if I could only get rid of this annoying day job, I would have more time to write.

Believe it or not, this is on my wish list (sans broken leg).

Working on a plot twist.
- Dapper

Monday, November 11, 2013

Don't accidentally cut my ear - I ain't got time to bleed.

"Okay, time to get your ears lowered a little bit," Paul said to me as I sat waiting in my worn leather chair.

Walking into Paul's Barber shop in my hometown was like stepping into a timeless room for men, and men only. When my brother, dad and I would get our monthly haircuts, my mom and sister weren't allowed. (Pretty sure this is a science fact.) His shop was in a mini mall or strip mall kind of place, which looked unassuming from the outside, but once you walked in you were transported to another world. Another realm where you discussed tobacco, whiskey and woodworking. Sharing feelings would get you thrown out on your pansy ass and bring great shame to your family.

One item in particular always caught my attention. Or, should I say, stack of items. Pretty much in plain view, but out of reach from 8 year old hands, was a nice tempting pile of magazines containing scantily-clad (or no clad whatsoever) women. I never got to peruse Paul's magazines, but I did use one as a writing surface when I was asking him questions for Career Day. It was just some silly assignment when I was in eighth grade. "Hey kids, just venture around our small town and interview people whose jobs you would like." Is 'no one' an option at this point? I already knew I was going to be an architect in New York City. Don't slow me down, Teach. 

Anyway, so I decided to interview Paul. I slowly walked into his shop with my terribly photocopied sheet of paper full of questions like "What is a typical work day?". As I started to write down his answers, I was struggling to not poke holes in the sheet. Paul handed me the current month's edition to use to write on. "Just don't look at the centerfold," he said with a chuckle. I wanted to appear like this was no big deal, but I was probably a sweaty mess. Mrs. Wilson would probably wonder why my paper was all wrinkled and the ink was smeared. I never got a chance to look inside either. So close, but no cigar.

So, along those lines, here are a few movies I probably shouldn't have watched as a kid.

Used Cars
Nudity, adult references, and lots of swearing. But still funny to this day. Thumbs up!

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Nudity, killer dressed as Santa Claus, that's about it, but isn't that enough?

I couldn't find a decent image for this movie. Maybe that proves my point?

This one is probably not as scary now, but it kinda implanted terrible nightmares in my brain as a child. I've already blogged a bit about this one. I still can't stand cockroaches.

Time for a tumbler of whiskey.
- Dapper

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Whatever happened to playing a hunch, Scully? The element of surprise, random acts of unpredictability, funny movies with dogs on speed?

I am a huge X-Files fan, so when I heard they were making a movie back in the day (Fight the Future from 1998, not the second one) I was really excited. My friends and I were going to see this movie, no question. It just so happened that this movie was part of a double header at the local theater with a relatively unknown movie, There's Something About Mary

Yeah, we had the Internet in our college apartment at this time, but I don't remember there being too many sites that would leak info about upcoming movies. If there were, we were definitely too lazy to check them out. Now we check out most movies before we go see them using all sorts of movie sites. Casting news about movies coming out in 18 months seems to blow up Twitter. My point is, we knew literally nothing about this movie. I barely knew who Ben Stiller was. Hell, we hadn't even seen any trailers for this movie. 

But, wow, was I surprised. I can't remember laughing more at any other movie than I did at There's Something About Mary. Somebody in this theater was literally going to piss themselves. I prayed that it wasn't going to be me. So many memorable scenes: Warren fighting with Ted, Ted's zipper incident, Dom's craziness, that chick from Night Court - and that's pretty much just the first act. I had to re-watch the movie later to see what Ted and Mary were talking about when Mary had the 'stuff' in her hair. There was just too much laughing in the theater. No one saw that coming. Later I saw that scene in the trailer, and I thought it was a shame. High quality cinematography like that needs to be kept a secret.

Something tells me this can only end badly.

So, after that amazingly funny experience, we got to see the X-Files movie. I thought it was pretty good. I'm glad it tied in with the TV series. It was cool to watch the next season because the first episode started right after the movie.

I'm pleasantly surprised that we went out on a limb and saw a movie we knew almost nothing about. Even with all sorts of websites and tweets available, I still think it's important to take a chance sometimes. That's how we found Hot Tub Time Machine.

Fun fact: W. Earl Brown who played Warren also played Dan Dority in Deadwood. Two extremely different characters. He was also in an episode of the X-Files. It's all circular.

I still believe.
- Dapper

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I love Diwali too, but I'm gonna mace you in the face!

Tonight we are heading to Diwali Night at the University. As you probably know, Diwali is a five day Hindu festival - the "festival of lights." There is also food. Actually, it's a lot of fun and very entertaining. There are lots of talented Indian students who participate.

One of my favorite Indian actors is Kumar Pallana. Wait, who is that you ask? Why didn't I say Mindy Kaling or Aziz Ansari? Well, they are both great, but as I've said before, I have an unhealthy love for Wes Anderson movies. And Kumar has been in four of them. Unfortunately, he died last month at the age of 94. It's sad, but that's a long life and I'm sure he had many stories to tell (you can read more here). 

Here he is in Rushmore (start at about the 50 second mark).

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi

- Dapper

Friday, November 8, 2013

Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe before punk concerts?

One thing I learned at a very young age is that you don't wear the concert t-shirt at the concert. I didn't learn this the hard way or anything; I had some good advice from my friends. The first concert I went to was the band Live in Omaha. I probably wore flannel or something. But the first real concert where I felt like my clothing was on trial was The Suicide Machines opening for the Descendents.  Yeah, it was a cool club in a somewhat rough part of Omaha. The problem with this concert was that I didn't really have an acceptable punk rock t-shirt, like NoFX or The Dead Kennedys or The Pixies. I had to wear my Green Day Dookie shirt (yes, with a flannel over shirt). I think it was just 'barely acceptable' because the band were 'sell-outs' and all. But, it would have been much worse if I would have picked up a Descendents shirt and wore it with new creases for all the world to see.

I imagine that I could get into a very good discussion about this topic (and many other extremely important ones) with the guys from High Fidelity. A classic John Cusack movie, with a great performance by Jack Black.

Yeah, this guy definitely has an opinion on the matter. And you are stupid.

Stay cool.
- Dapper

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Celebrate. You mean you wish to celebrate with me? Very well, I accept.

This is a very special day for someone close to my heart. I feel like Westley and she is Buttercup. I hope she had a wonderful day.

How can you not like The Princess Bride? Great story, great acting, family friendly, and Fred Savage. Wonderful! This is another example of a movie that I saw a few years after it came out. We didn't have cable at our house so I had to catch bits and pieces at a friend's house. I don't think I saw the entire movie from beginning to end until I was in college. Even when I watch it today, it makes me feel young again. I also wonder how hard it would be to become the Dread Pirate Roberts. Because that would be cool.

As you wish.
- Dapper

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kip, I know a lot about...cyberspace? You ever come across time travel? Easy, I've already blogged about it.

Welp, Blockbuster decided to close up shop today. End of an era I suppose. I'm old enough to remember renting the original NES console along with the damn video game. I did this until I could save up the $80 required to buy a system from KB Toys.

It's funny to think that Quentin Tarantino got started in a video store. Kevin Smith also shot Clerks in the video and convenience stores that he worked. I remember seeing this classic as a teenager and was instantly blown away. I just loved the dialogue and the raw, independent look of the movie.

But while these stores served a purpose at one time, I think we're in a better place now. These were great places to get some movie advice from some film geek, movie nerd, or part time adult movie connoisseur. But now with the Internet, any idiot with opinions can blog about movies (should I maybe rephrase that?). Sites like YouTube and Vimeo allow a wannabe filmmaker to distribute their creations. Hell, you can create a whole damn movie on the phone in your pocket. Technology is wonderful.

So, what's my point? I don't think I have a point. I think it's just interesting how technology changes the arts and other creative endeavors. Now I'm going to see what's on Netflix.

Oh yeah, one of my favorite scenes:

- Dapper

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Get busy raining, or get busy raining

Okay, so there is some song about rain in the month after October and not lasting forever, and something about hearts changing. You know what I mean. It was funny before, but I will try very hard to not stoop that low. But it's so difficult.

Yeah, so it was raining today, in November, but that actually got me thinking instead about all of the cool scenes in Sin City that involve rain. That's one of my favorite movies, for lots of reasons. But mostly it's because it's so visually stunning. The rain looks cool too - kind of real, but kind of animated. The graphic novel was truly brought to the big screen.

Along those dark lines, there are some cool rain scenes in The Crow. I know, I talk about this movie a lot, but what can I say, I'm a child of the nineties. Okay, also from that year, The Shawshank Redemption, when Tim Robbins climbs out of the poop tunnel. It's even on the movie cover, for Morgan Freeman's sake!

Don't worry. Those new scars will just blend in with the old scars.

 - Dapper
(Did you get it? Morgan Freeman? He played God. How do I come up with these gems?)

Monday, November 4, 2013

I need all of you to stop what you're doing and read...cannonball!

I just had a friend help me with some car repair stuff. I wish I had developed that part of my brain that really understood mechanics and the internal combustion engine. The extent of my knowledge on these subjects was any jargon I might have picked up from watching Gone in 60 Seconds (the original, of course) and extended viewings of The Cannonball Run with my dad.

Let's ponder this for a moment. In this race across the country, where would I sit shotgun? I admit that it would be cool to hang out with Roger Moore and his dry English wit. Or Burt Reynolds and his impossible mustache. Cripes, or even those two hot 80's chicks and their black Lamborghini Countach. All of these would be fun, but I think the winner would be Jackie Chan. Hanging out with him going 90 across the country would be like injecting Red Bull mixed with night terrors right into the bloodstream. Totally worth it!

- Dapper

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Get 'em a Garbage Bag! Yeah!

It's only a few days after Halloween, so I think it's still legal to discuss this recent event amongst friends. I think my worst costume that I ever wore when I was young was a California Raisin. I'm pretty sure I had something else in mind for Trick-or-Treating that year. It probably consisted of some tissue paper cape and some cheap plastic mask with a small pea-sized hole for air and pretty much nothing else. So why the last minute change? Well, it started to rain and we thought it would be a better idea to just cover ourselves in a garbage bag. Genius, right? I just remember raisins being purple and not black. But besides that small detail, we still got candy.

This is by far the best costume I have ever seen. Just in case you missed it, Billy Zabka (who played that bastard Johnny in Karate Kid) dressed up as his character from the movie for Halloween this year.

This gives me hope for humanity.
- Dapper

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I Love the Smell of Ginkgo in the Morning

Today was full of yard work fun. Raking ginkgo leaves, piling brush into my truck, and taking it all to a faraway land to become compost. I got up way too early for a Saturday. I felt like just a simple man. 

I was reminded of the life of Jobe Smith in The Lawnmower Man. And like him, I am now using virtual reality to become a genius. 

You can either surf, or you can blog!
- Dapper

Friday, November 1, 2013

I Have Crossed Oceans Of Time To Transcribe To You

I quote Dracula about once a month or so. On Halloween, it's once an hour. 

So, I'm challenging myself to take part in NaBloPoMo this month. That's right, a blog post each day this month. I would do NaNoWriMo, but I'm not into masochism. This is the best I can do, America.

"I'm going on an adventure!" - Bilbo Baggins


Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Work and No Play Makes Dapper a Dull Blogger

Autumn in Iowa is a wonderful time of year. For a few days each year there is a magical time between the sweltering heat of summer and the soul-sucking cold of winter. I get a chance to cheer on my favorite football teams - the Iowa State Cyclones and the Minnesota Vikings. One thing I do not like is pumpkin-flavored-everything-time. I find it pedantic. And disgusting. Mostly just disgusting.

Since it is Halloween (or Samhain by you purists) today, and it is by far my favorite holiday, I thought I would talk about scary movies and my experience at a haunted bed and breakfast.

A few years ago, my fiance and I foolishly put our lives into our own hands and stayed at a haunted bed and breakfast. True story. We were going to be in Minnesota for a wedding reception so we decided to fire up the ol' Google machine and find out if there were any nice Bed and Breakfasts in the area. Oh cool, there are few to choose from. Neato, one of them is haunted and operated by a psychic. It took us all of three seconds to book that one. Our giddiness soon turned to trepidation. Why the hell did we want to sleep some place where ghosts were frolicking about? No turning back now.

You don't have to be Zak Bagans to tell me that there were some unexplained activities going on in this house. There were too many occurrences of objects moving, unexplained powerful smells at odd times, and the fact that we actually saw a ghostly human figure. Twice.

The first figure we saw while we were driving to get something to eat. It was early dusk and we thought we saw a hitchhiker or someone out wandering on the road. We couldn't see who or what it was, and when we got close enough to it, it had vanished. Not too long after that we went through an "only one stop sign" size of town and heard an old timey police siren.

Our second experience with a spectral being from another realm occurred when we got back from the wedding reception. It was pretty late and no one else was up (lame) so we had to unlock the front door and try to make it back to our room without having our life force sucked out by whatever demons were lurking around every dark corner. We saw an old farmer type with a hat across the dining room and near the kitchen. He was gone in a flash. We ran back to our room at this point, opened our door and quickly locked it behind us. We slept with the lights on that night and I got about 45 minutes of good sleep.

So, if you had a bloody ice pick to my neck and forced me to pick my favorite Halloween movies, these would be it.

The Shining

This is my ultimate favorite. I absolutely love this crazy axe scene. A close second is the big wheel scene when Danny runs into the sisters.


I picked this one mostly because of its history. This was the first movie that we illegally watched as children. And by that I mean that we saw it without our mom's consent. This movie kept my sister and I up all night, scared out of our wits. My bedroom had become some sort of terrible nightmare factory after viewing it. There was no way I was going back in there until it was safe again. I still can't un-see the cockroach scene either.


Tim Curry was so cool in Clue. And he was such a loveable harmless transvestite in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why would he turn into an evil clown, hell bent on haunting the dreams of children everywhere? This is another movie I shouldn't have watched as a kid.

Honorable Mentions
The ExorcistRead about the weird stuff that happened behind the scenes too.
Rosemary's Baby
The Omen
Paranormal Activity
The Ring.  The goddamn Ring. Yeah, I've written about this before.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Sleep tight.
- Dapper

Monday, September 2, 2013

Man, That Scrawny Kid's Faster Than Walt Flanagan's Dog

When I was younger I was an unseasoned basketball player. Of course we were all kids at this time, so maybe I'm being too tough on myself? Nah, some kids had skills, but I really didn't. I had plenty of practice shooting hoops on the farm, but I struggled at set plays, defense, and general confidence dribbling the basketball.

Before practice I would kill time at my friend Kevin's house playing an X-Men themed board game with some other nerds. This was before comics were cool; before Robert Downey, Jr. donned the Iron Man suit, before Chris Hemsworth was sexy Thor. It was not the coolest thing to do. I wasn't even cool enough with the losers to know who most of these characters were. Rogue? Sure that sounds cool. I'll be that guy. What, it's a young woman? Dammit.

I can't put my finger on it, but Kevin's basement had a unique smell. And that smell became a taste. Like accidentally licking a penny that fell out of someone's shoe after a marathon. So picture this, I would leave this smelly, crazy house and venture into the shitty, piercing cold Iowa climate. I was nervous just thinking about whether or not I would remember where to set a screen or if I would have to attempt a layup with my left hand. It was possible that I would embarrass myself or the family name. My goal was to participate without really being noticed at all.

We're all friends here, so it's easy for me to tell you that the coach didn't like me very much. He kind of poked fun at me a little bit. Let me just say that the guy with anger management issues wasn't really there to teach us naturally un-gifted players. I never figured out what this guy's deal was with me. Oh well, I guess I'll just go on living.

On a related note, a little while later when I was in high school, I ran track. In one particular race I found myself neck and neck in a battle for second place with this other kid. This same coach was one of the people keeping time on a stopwatch at the finish line. I ended up getting third place. I may have been cheated. I may not have. I still think I got cheated. I met that other guy playing soccer a few years later. He was pretty cool actually. So, now I will casually segue into the positive section of this post.

Fast forward to the summer after 8th grade. I already had a few years of soccer (futbol, for my international readers) under my belt. And I was pretty awesome (not to brag). But now I was finally able to play soccer with the high school guys. Some of them were actual men, I was merely a boy at this point, with upper body muscle aspirations. This one guy, Mark, liked to force us to play with our shirts off and tell us how white and puny we were. But I did have a tan. It went from my elbows to my fingers. Okay, I would play along. Vengeance would be mine.

Once my friend Steve and I got out on the field, no one was making fun of our size anymore. Steve was making the older guys look like Swiss cheese. I was showing my speed on defense and literally (yes, literally) stopping everything that came my way. Every single game after that initial practice, I started on defense. No joke. Most games I played the whole damn thing.

I was just more suited to the flow of the game of soccer, no set plays like in basketball. My favorite part of the game was utilizing the slide tackle. I was actually nervous the first time I tried it, but after some 'positive affirmations' from Mark, I just did it. Man, that was great. If things got heated, you just went cleats up and made a half-assed attempt at the ball. That was my favorite form of communication in those situations.

As you can see, I had a mixed bag of experiences with sports in my youth. But it ended on a good note. Now I bring you some of my favorite sports movies.

Slap Shot
"Old time hockey."

Happy Gilmore
"The price is wrong, bitch."

Major League
"Just a bit outside."
"Give 'em the heater."

The Color of Money / The Hustler
There aren't too many movies about pool. These are both pretty awesome. (Bonus points to me for listing two more Paul Newman movies.)

Karate Kid
"Get 'em a body bag! Yeah!"
"Sweep the leg."

The Super Nintendo Hockey Scene in Swingers

Okay, not really a sports movie, but this is one of my favorite scenes in cinematic history. Let me explain - in college, my friends Chad and Andy and I would play a shitload of NHL '95. I would always play Roenick and the Blackhawks. Andy loved Gretzky and the Kings. And then we saw this scene in Swingers and pretty much lost our shit. I was just like Vince Vaughn! 

Honorable Mention - Drago from Rocky IV
"I must break you."
(Did you know that Dolph Lundgren has a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering? That's badass.)

Stay strong.

- Dapper

Friday, March 29, 2013

Adventures in Movie Watching: Part III

Image by Tonya Moore Design

One of my favorite movies of all time. Pop this movie in if you're feeling money, or even if that feeling has not yet come to pass. Stay tuned beautiful babies for a longer post on this one.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Adventures in Movie Watching, Part Deux

Photo by Tonya Moore Design

Luckily my favorite pair of warm socks came out of this unscathed.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Don't blog angry!

How can anyone be angry on Groundhog Day? The sights! The sounds! The insanity! [True, it is insane. How much peyote was necessary to come up with this idea?] And since Phil predicted an early spring this morning, it won't be too long before I am released from this frozen Hell. 

1993 was a crazy year. Groundhog Day was released - officially changing the "holiday" forever. I was a Freshman in high school. I was shedding all of that stupid kid crap and becoming an adult. Well, that's what I thought anyway. I don't think I became an adult until sometime in my late twenties. When I think back, there are very few days from my high school years that I would want to repeat and repeat over and over again. 

However, I can think of several days from the summer after high school. You see, I spent most of those days hanging out with my friends, doing nerd stuff, eating shitty food and pretty much abandoning all forms of responsibility. I know what you are thinking - what about money? Did you just mooch off your parents like some loser? Nope, we had that covered. Our fearless team individually contracted with a seed corn company to detassel corn on our own. We had officially hit the big time! Walk a mile through a corn field, then hackey sack at the end - hit repeat. And making bank in the process. [Don't know what detasseling is? I'll have to tell you about it sometime.]

Bill Murray is an icon. Here are my favorite characters he has played. Honestly, there are just too many to mention. But here are my absolute four six favorite.

Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters I and II

Steve Zissou, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Bob Harris, Lost in Translation

Raleigh St. Clair, The Royal Tenenbaums

Herman Blume, Rushmore

Ernie McCracken, Kingpin

Honorable Mention: Walt Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom. Go out and see this movie now if you haven't already.

Time waits for no one. Get busy living, or get busy dying. Unless you're stuck in an endless loop, then just take that time to learn French and polish up on your chainsaw ice sculpture skills. Later.