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El Fishbulb Diablo & Nordling Chime in regarding BUTT-NUMB-A-THON 6!

Hey folks, Harry here with the first 2 BNAT recaps to come flying in. Hoping for more. Whether it blew you away or not - there's an awful lot to react to. Also check out Matt Dentler's Blog, he's the master programmer of SXSW! I'll be back after more rest...

Hola Harry, Moriarty, Quint, Jay et al.

Once again I have made myself and my brethren proud by surviving my second straight Butt-Numb-A-Thon with nary a scratch, wayward glance from aggressive strangers, kitten bite, or any other such unfortunate event. In short, I rule. Alrighty then, enough with the self-fellating, and on with the report. I know there are at least 9,233 people out there who wished they could have been here in Austin this weekend who were sadly denied permission by the Big Red Machine Himself. Therefore, I am hoping that my little contribution can somehow help those poor poor bastards feel some of the joy that I and my wife and friends enjoyed today/yesterday.

Last Tuesday I quit my job, packed my bags, and had one more good nights sleep in my old home before leaving forever on Wednesday morning. My wife and I had decided that BNAT was the perfect excuse to quit our jobs and begin the process that will eventually move us to Japan sometime next year. So, we headed out on the long drive from San Diego to Austin, journeying through the vast desert that is the American Southwest. We passed from the friendly confines of our down home Blue state of California straight into the heart of Incumbent Country. Despite my preconceived notions and poor gas mileage, the trip was wonderful. Long, semi-exhausting, but wonderful. Driving through the desert is highly recommended. We arrived Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and headed down the street to play some pool at Buffalo Billiards, get drunk, and pass out in our oh-so-near-to-the-Alamo-Drafthouse-Hotel. One good night sleep later and we stroll down to the theater, meet up with our local friends in The Line, and pass the first security check of the night.

After Harry's introductory remarks, the Festivus for the Restofus began! And it is here we join the play by play.

(Trailer): The Slumber Party Massacre. Hot chicks, blood, lots of T n A. No Problem.

(Clip): Putney Swope. Goddamn, I have no idea what I just saw. I remember a young teenage interracial couple from the 70's singing about the first time she flashed her beaver and got soul kisses, before suddenly turning into what appears to be a commercial for an anti-acne cream ("He's so out of sight! And so are his pimples ")

(Trailer): Stunt Rock. A BNAT Classic, "It's a Deathwish at 120 Decibels!"

Here we received our first feature film, the first full length stop-motion animation film released theatrically and the first ever Rankin-Bass film. It was, in fact, the one and only:

Willie McBean and His Magic Machine! All you need to know is that there is one sexy little Mexican monkey who "cannot speak one word of English, senor." And that if it weren't for Christopher Columbus, America would be "nothing but a bunch of trees and a couple of teepees."

Next, two young and very gracious young guests were brought on stage to discuss their upcoming Holiday film, which we saw immediately afterward. It's title:

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events I must say that I didn't know anything about the book series and hadn't actually planned on paying to see this movie. That being said, I recommend this film to all. It is moody, silly, sad, funny, and surprising at almost every turn. Jim Carrey is fantastical as Count Olaf and the trailers do not do his performance justice. All three children are also wonderful in their roles while Jude Law does enchanting work as the narrator of the story, Lemony Snicket himself.

Afterwards we were presented to two clips from the upcoming Dreamworks CGI picture, Madagascar. It looks fun and highly energetic but all I really have to say is: Dreamworks, if you are listening, make a film entirely of the Penguin Commando Unit and do it PRONTO!

(Trailer): The Pirate Movie!!!! I've probably seen this move fifteen times but not since I was about seven years old. What a great fuckin' movie and what a silly ass trailer.

(Trailer): Black Beard's Ghost: Disney's fun pirate ghost movie (ooooh, pirate ghoooosts!!!)

(Trailer): Yellowbeard: This got a lot of laughs and I can remember ne'er a detail. So sad.

(Trailer): The Ice Pirates: The greatest Pirate Movie of All Time? Possibly.

(Feature): The Black Swan: The greatest Pirate Movie all time. I must say that I now think so. And remember: You gots to say Jamie-Boy THREE times to get the good lovin's from the finest dames.

Did you know that, just like Bob Harris, Sammy Davis Jr. made a kickass Japanese commercial for Santuri whiskey? I do.

This next exclusive presentation proved the incredible graciousness of the studio and filmmakers involved. We were treated to a slide show (a BNAT first) of production artwork and stills from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We saw some beautiful shots of the Heart of Gold, Marvin, Deep Thought (imagine an enormous Buddha-like computer with it's monitor shaped head in it's hands resting in the middle of the jungle). We also saw the first look at the Vogons which looked, remarkably, exactly like Vogons, all the while without appearing at all how I pictured them. But I dig it. I dig it deep. This movie is going to own all of our puny non-planet sized brains soon enough.

(Trailer): Footprints in the Sands of Time. Lizards with glued-on horns. Giant footprints. Dames.

(Feature): Blonde Venus. Damn, that Marlene Deitrich is one fucked dame. Hot though.

At this point we became intrigued when 3D glasses are passed out.

(Feature): {In 3-FREAKING-D!!!) Miss Sadie Thompson: The most beautiful 3D presentation I've ever seen. This movie was very entertaining and just bloody gorgeous. Also, if you are a rapist, just kill yourself already and make it easy on everyone else. Finally, Rita Hayworth is one fucked up dame. Extremely hot though.

(let me quote directly from my notes for a moment, if you'll bear with me.)

"There is a totally bullshit forty five minute security delay to ensure no recording of whatever the hell the next film will be. This had better be fucking Star Wars or some shit. Weren't we already searched on the way in? This is fucking ridiculous

..This is a very long break and many people are getting annoyed."

Finally we all made it inside to sing Happy Birthday to the Host of this evening's festivities, Harry Tiberius Knowles.

Up next came a taped introduction from Stephen Spielberg and Tom Cruise for the trailer for The War of the Worlds that most of you have seen by now.

(Trailer): The Mutations: Have ya seen it? Have ya? Have ya? As of right now, I hadn't either.

(Trailer): Welcome Home, Brother Charles: They tried to take everything, even his manhood!

(Trailer): Voyage of the Rock Aliens!!! This elicited the best response from the audience yet. Things are going great!!!

(Clip): 69 Minutes Krakatoan Wedding Spectacular. Masturbation is the perfect way to get married. Huge laughs. Things are going GREAT!

(Feature): Andrew Lloyd's Webber Phantom of the Opera. The Security Delay of nearly an hour was for this?? Hmm, it's not a good sign when, upon the announcement of the title, nearly a half of the audience boos loudly. To be fair, close to a quarter of the crowd were cheering while the rest stood stolidly Swiss.

This film is a bit of a mixed bag. Overall I think I liked it, having not seen the musical. The major weaknesses were the choreography, Minnie Driver, and anytime the Phantom appeared any closer than as a distant shadow. This guy induced some serious groaners with his e-mot-ing. Some strengths include the cinematography, Christine (ooh, yummy), and some of the music was actually kinda sweet. Alas, it is also too long and people have become grumbly. Things aren't going so swell for some.

(Trailer): The Ring 2: New trailer. Not a huge fan, I don't care, don't remember any details, and don't ask me any more questions!!!

(Feature): The Mutations!!!! Lots of freaks in this one and we got to learn all about them from the writer/producer of the film, Robert Weinbach. This guy was absolutely fucking cool. He told us all kinds of anecdotes about the casting of the actual "freaks" and how he would smoke a joint walking the streets of London with "Popeye," the man who could pop his eyes out of his skull. He liked to pop his eyes at the hotties and watch them faint on the street from shock and fright. Also, he told us the story of having decided to name the Traveling Freak Show Company "Lynch & Burns" just days before hearing that his friend, Robert Lynch had burned to death. (Get it, Lynch .Burns, freaky huh?) What I think is even freakier is the fact that during his speech I suddenly picked up a pen and drew a small circle on a napkin and then enveloped it in a square. No sooner had I finished the square than Mr. Weinbach said that Robert Lynch used to work at the "Circle in Square" Studio. That freaked me out in a trippy way. And I have witnesses! Anyway on with the show.

(Trailer): TROG! Nonono, lemme try again TRROOOOOOGGGGGG!!!!! Starring Joan Crawford!

(Trailer): The Muther's "Fighting Females Unleashing Their Fury on the Devils!"

(Feature, Tim League's pick): Toys are NOT For Children. Fuck You, League (from my wife). You Rock, Tim (from my buddy JJ). All the women were in the bathroom discussing how fucked up men are after this one, while all the men were laughing about what a fucked up piece of exploitation we just saw. But seriously, fuck you, League. NUDITY SHOULD BE FUN GODDAMIT!!!!!

(Feature, Moriarty's Pick) LayerCake. Moriarty kicks fucking ass for programming this movie. It kicks so much ass I can barely take a shit without some foot flying up my puckerdumper. It will be premiering at Cannes this year but we saw it first. Therefore, we are better than all people in Cannes! Afterwards, Tamar Hussan came out to discuss his part as an associate gangster in the film. He will be appearing in Batman Begins as well as a number of other upcoming films. Watch this name, Tamar has charisma to burn and a great physical presence.

(Clip, from Producer Eli Roth) 2001 Maniacs. Mountain Men ain't so innocent ain't they? When was the last time a good drawn and quartering scene appeared in multiplexes anyway?

(Clip): Casshern. Futuristic Japanese Sci-Fi Oddness that made little sense if you were not on Ecstasy. Comes out next Fall.

(Feature): ONG BAK!!!!!!!!!!!! Fucking Coolest Movie of the BNAT!!! Fucking Coolest Movie of the Year!!!!! Fucking COOOOOLLLL!!!!!!!!! When Lord, When o? when will I be able to crack open a man?s skull with my elbow?!? You people cannot wait to see this and you don't even know it yet. For those of you who have seen it I say, "Wasn't that FUCKING SWEEEETT!!!?!?!?!?"

It was clear that the night was coming to an end after this film ended. Breakfast was long gone, sinking deeper into the bowels of our contentedness. We knew there would be only one more film, but what would precede it and WHAT WOULD THE FINAL FILM BE???

(Clip): The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This was mostly a behind the scenes look at the WETA progress being made on the design of the film. Some of the creatures looked frighteningly similar to LOTR while the Minotaur stood out as an exceptionally cool design.



The final film of the evening will be


Kung Fu Hustle by Stephen Chow. This was a greatly fun cartoon-like kung fu action comedy. There were so many sweet moments of flips, high kicks, and multi-person ass-kicking that would have been so much more impressive if we hadn't just seen exactly the same thing done without ANY wires or CGI during Ong-Bak (Which totally fucking ROCKED, by the way). Still, despite my tiredness I had a lot of fun with this film. I even think it's a better flick than Shaolin Soccer, which I loved (although admittedly I only ever saw the US theatrical release).

Well, that was BNAT. It was fantabulous and I highly recommend it to anyone who can experience it. It's like wiping your ass with silk, I love it. So, as a tribute to the first trailer of the evening, I am at my friend's house watching Slumber Party Massacre on DVD. Dig that shit baby.

That is all for this reader/writer/seer/believer for tonight. I have to get back on the road tomorrow morning and haven't slept for about 37 hours. So goodnight to y'all (Hey, this Texas dialect is easy as hell to pick up!)

Take heart me mates and let out a fine AAAAARRRRRR for yer ol'pal Fishbulb.

Yours Truly; the Honorable and Deadly,

El Fishbulb Diablo

Next we have a 6 time BNAT Hall-of-Famer...

Nordling here.

This year it was a bit difficult to write a list of what I've learned at BNAT 6, because I learned so much. I learned that pirates shave their pits, and that dragons are gay. The 11:15 train will kick your ass if you're not careful, and that apparently in 1870s Paris people vogued and did the robot. I decided to become Buddhist, because Jesus just can't kick ass like Buddha can. So many things, so many things... this year, I'll just list my favorite moments, a few words about some films, some incidentals, and I'll be done with it.

- Moriarty, two words, man. IRON GIANT. Wear that DVD out. The perfect start.

- Steven Spielberg sharing birthday greetings.

- The HITCHHIKER'S slide show. My excitement for that one went up tenfold. I think Douglas Adams is in heaven right now grinning and nodding.

- MADAGASCAR looks much better than I expected, and ninja penguins kick ass.

- Wow, that was a great WAR OF THE WORLDS teaser.

- 2001 MANIACS shows for the first time, truly, what it's like to live in a red state.

- LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS was charming, funny, scary, and everything a great children's film should be. Jim Carrey's having a lot of fun, but he's given a really nice script to work with this time. It was also nice to see Emily Browning and Liam Aiken pop in and talk a little bit about the film. It's one to check out this holiday season.

- I dared not fall asleep during TOYS ARE NOT FOR CHILDREN because I was extremely afraid of what my half-sleeping dreams would be like. Tim League is going to pay.

- PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Well... it looks good. Okay... man, it's terrible. I'm sorry, to people who are fans of the play, you might find something to like. But Gerard Butler's voice is just not right for the role. I guess he's working with the "Those who can't do, teach" motivation. In fact, I winced pretty much everytime he opened his mouth. And goddamn, Joel Schumacher, does every statue have to have nipples and plumber's butt? If you think the Gotham City fetish look was awful, wait till you get a load of the Opera House... There was much laughter in many scenes that weren't supposed to be funny. I know some reviewers have this pegged as a Best Picture nominee, and that might be true, but it's just one sloppy film. It doesn't make sense, with the limitless possibilities of film, to bind this musical to the feel and look of the stage play, especially when you can see the potential of something really great. There are moments, fleeting moments, when the film is working, and then we get a shot of people voguing. No, I'm not kidding. I don't like booming music giving me the signal, "Okay, this is the part where you get really emotional, because we're telling you to with these really loud trumpets." It's bad. Real bad. It's "Going to beat ROCKY HORROR for midnight shows" bad. The only person that doesn't come out of this completely smelling of shit is Emmy Rossum, who really does the best with what she's given. At times, you feel badly for her that she's giving a terrific performance in a film that completely fails her on every level. I will say this, this is the film that generated the most discussion in BNAT 6, so take that as you will.

- LAYER CAKE is one terrific gangster film, and Daniel Craig oozed coolness in the role. A tight script, and it's A LONG GOOD FRIDAY gritty. Tamer Hassan, thanks for coming, and best of luck.

- Nice to meet some readers of the site, like Henchman Mongo, as well as other writers like Devin from CHUD. Hope to see you all again soon.

- The minotaur from THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE looked photo-real. Nice.

- Rita Hayworth. 3-D. Sweet.

- Marlene Dietrich in BLONDE VENUS. Sweet.

- Maureen O'Hara in THE BLACK SWAN. Sweet.

- ONG BAK. Goddamn, that was a fucking movie.

- I wondered, as I watched the climax of THE MUTATORS, whether one could get stoned on the smoke of the man-plant as he was burned alive.

- Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE wants nothing more than to entertain the hell out of you, and it does. I didn't know what to expect with this one, but it delivered. Your cynicism won't help you here. Part gangster film, part Looney Tunes cartoon, part martial arts orgy, it's funny, has tons of film references for the geeks (THE SHINING spoof was especially cool), and is just really FUN.

- As BNATs go, I really enjoyed this one. I didn't know what to expect after last year's, and this was more of a return to form. Seeing 3-D Charles Bronson though - didn't expect that. I had high hopes for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA which it completely failed to deliver, and I didn't know what to think about A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS before I saw it, and it satisfies on every level. Make sure you look out for LAYER CAKE when it gets released in the States, because it's an awesome debut by Matthew Vaughn. And please, release KUNG FU HUSTLE as is. Don't mess with it. It's total eye candy fun. See you next year, hopefully!


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