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Sunday, December 12th, 2004

America, F**k Yeah!

There’s just something about puppets that’s inherently funny (and creepy). Things that you would give a second thought to if a human was doing it, like cursing a blue streak or getting cut in half by a samurai sword, are exponentially funnier when its done by puppets. It’s just true. Team America: World Police being a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Considering it’s from the creators of South Park and the amount of controversy that surrounded its release, one might have expected Team America to be far more scathing than it actually is. Right-wingers expecting to be attacked by Hollywood may have been surprised to find that it’s actually the Hollywood activist liberal types that get satirized the most here – that is of course, if they could have bothered to see it before setting up picket lines outside the theatres. No, instead of ripping social commentary, you get a pretty damned funny gross-out film. With puppets.

And the puppetry is quite remarkable, only looking clumsy when it suits the filmmaker’s purpose. The puppets themselves are pretty creepily lifelike, at least as much as a marionette can look lifelike. It’s mostly the use of soft latex of some sort for the skin that conveys this impression, making it just that much more creepy when the puppet is blown up, disemboweled or otherwise terminated. Oh, and the puppet sex. Oh the puppet sex. Certainly not deserving of the X-rating they were threatened with, but pretty damn graphic.

Another day, another year-end list. This time, the NME’s. Note that their “Acts to build up in 2004” list is interchangable with their “Acts to tear down in 2005” list.

Feist fans should check out this electronic press kit video for the European market. It’s artfully done and contains clips of live perfomances and interviews with Leslie Feist and Chili Gonzales about the making of Let It Die. Very nice.

I picked up a shiny new LCD monitor for myself yesterday. Not so much an early Christmas present to myself as a necessity – I’ve been having mild to splitting headaches on an almost daily basis for about a month or so, mostly from (or so it seemed) eye strain due to my old CRT monitor. Whether it was a glare thing or a refresh rate thing or what, I dunno, but it certainly seemed to be aggravating whatever was going on. The LCD certainly seems to help (though I had to crank the contrast and brightness way down to keep it from buring a hole through my skull – these things are bright!) though I think the root of the problems now is some sort of sinus thing. Maybe an infection, maybe a family of voles has taken up lodging in there, I don’t know.

np – Yo La Tengo / Summer Sun

By : Frank Yang at 9:58 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Agnes says:

    That puppet sex scene is perhaps the most hilarious scene captured in any movie this past year–perhaps tied with Napoleon Dynamite attempting a "sweet jump" and damaging the family jewels.

  2. Rachel says:

    I don’t know, Napoleon Dynamite kicking ass and taking names dancing on stage is up there, too. Saw the Magnetic Fields Friday night in Austin. If you ever get the chance, they put on a bang up show. They were filming the show, so if you see a little brunette girl with glasses (surprisingly, I was the only one)c’est moi!!!

  3. Eugene says:

    Frank – samples from the new Wedding Present can be heard here.

    http://…/

    Just thought I’d mention it.