Tuning Out Is Not an Option

The Guardian: “Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan ‘prolong the shock of capture’, he said. Female guards were used to taunt male prisoners sexually and at British training sessions when female candidates were undergoing resistance training they would be subject to lesbian jibes.”

Scalia Erodes Free Speech for AP Reporter: “As Scalia spoke, a United States Marshal stepped in front of Denise and demanded that she turn over the digital recording she was making to back up her notes. She tried to say no, but the marshal ignored her and erased Justice Scalias words from memory on the spot.”

CNN: Judge orders couple not to have children.

I’m sorry if there hasn’t been a lot of book news lately, but when we live in a nation that restricts personal freedoms, obstructs the press, and teaches unnecessary sadism (later enforced) to soliders, it’s a bit difficult to dance a joyful jig.

Oh, and Van Helsing is easily the worst movie of the year. If you want vampires, see the old Universal horror films, any of the Hammer horror films, Near Dark, hell even Lust for a Vampire, anything other than this cinematic turd. I am convinced that Stephen Sommers will become a dreaded name in the annals of cinematic history. The film is so dumb and condescending that when we see a half-constructed Eiffel Tower framed prominently in an establishing shot, we also get a title card that reads “PARIS.” No shit? Paris? I mean, here I was thinking we were looking at that Paris hotel in Vegas or something.

So spineless is this film that there are no nipples on the flying vampire ladies. The film is an unrelenting headache of noise, futile shock moments and ADD editing. It’s something of an unintentional achievement to throw in Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and a wolfman and not offer a single compelling moment. Kate Beckinsale is neither attractive nor capable of emoting beyond the level of a stale Saltine cracker. (Witness her bland delivery as she hears her brother howling in torture, which suggests an actress whose idea of human experience doesn’t extend beyond the hauteur of a Parisian catwalk.) Hugh Jackman does what he can, but not even Laurence Olivier could bring dignity to jejune dialogue like, “Guess it’s time to leave.” And Richard Roxburgh is the dullest Dracula I’ve ever seen. Lousy accent, even lousier delivery, the kind of inept thespian you expect to pop up at 3AM on the Sci-Fi channel, not some big-budget Hollywood movie. Think Wild, Wild West applied to Universal horror. Yes, it’s that kind of pain.

Thank goodness I saw this with an amazing moviegoing pal


  1. So we should be holding our entire military system culpable, and the mindset behind it. We’re basically making monsters to protect us from other monsters. Great.

  2. Check out the old 80s anime “Vampire Hunter D” – it’s about a million times better than VH was – and you can see how much of it they ripped off in terms of style (D and VH are clones of each other).

    But it’s a wayyy better story. Kinda surreal, but kinda cool.

  3. VHD is definitely cool, although my memories are, admittedly, close to 15 years old. And, Tom, you referring to Hollywood monsters or human ones? 🙂

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