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vol 8 - issue 05 (jan 2006) :: entertainmental
RE: VIEWS (LOOK)
Compiled by the staff of TLC
Above image by Kathrine Berger

Here's what we're reading, watching, loving, and hating. Click on the title to buy it on Amazon. Then buy some beer and invite us over to watch it.


 
A TIME FOR BURNING (Docurama)
 
Documentary pioneer Bill Jersey filmed A Time For Burning in the mid-Sixties, following a progressive Lutheran minister’s quest to eliminate society's segregational barriers and establish an "exchange program" between his church and some of the black churches in the neighborhood. But the true "love your brother" philosophies of his Christianity began to fail him as the less-tolerant members of his congregation began to resist and reject the program, leading to his eventual dismay and resignation. This should be required viewing for every man, woman, and child. Period.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
HIPSTERS AND ROBOTS IN HEAVEN/SCRUMPTIOUS (Self-Published)
 
Cayetano Valenzuela and I-Sac are two unique, yet slightly similar artists splitting the pages of this independently-released mini. Valenzuela's Hipsters And Robots In Heaven is a collection of illustrated moments in time, teetering between the real world and the imagination. Occasional bits of dialogue sneak in, but for the most part, it’s simply a beautiful display for his style, which looks like a cross between fashion illustration and Aeon Flux, only better. I-sac’s half-- Scrumptious-- is a catalog of illustrations depicting the fairer sex in his illustrative style, which has all the elements of an artist I used to envy in college. Hopefully, the both of them can find a place on bigger bookstore shelves and gallery walls. Hopefully, you can find a place for them on your reading list in 2006.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
QUEEN VIKTORIA AS A BOOK (Amaranth Press)
 
Queen Viktoria and I have known each other for almost a decade now. There was a point when we became convinced we were twin alien siblings, and many a point when we would sit on bicycle racks along Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue, pretending to be bicycles, yelling at passing taxis. Which will make it all the more amazing when you read her first book, Queen Viktoria As A Book. There’s something to be said about someone with an amazing sense of fun and humor, who can pour their heart out with the utmost seriousness. Queen’s poems are the kind that itch to be read aloud, the kind that recreate every moment of her life story she’s telling with perfect visual clarity. And the kind that make you wish you could hear the artist herself tell them to make it even more personal.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
MARK SIMPSON - SAINT MORRISSEY (Touchstone)
 
By the time I was going to college I was already a huge Smiths fan. But within months, I met a D.I.Y. hairdresser who took away my skater-boy clothes, put me in somewhat saggy jeans and button-up shirts, and gave me a pompadour that was the rival of any Smiths fan. In fact, my biggest connection to Morrissey was our shared hairline, which receded as my devotion to him did. So when I got Mark Simpson's book, Saint Morrissey, it was a chance to revisit a lost love. Or perhaps to open old wounds. Either way, Simpson puts me to shame as a Morrissey fan. The book is not just a timeline biography of pop music's most dynamic hero, but it's more of a close look at how much of himself Morrissey has put into his work. Simpson makes a good argument that Morrissey has put all of himself into his work, to the point that there really is nothing left for him to enjoy privately. I read Saint Morrissey cover to cover, and while it definitely helps to be a fan, you don't really have to love Morrissey to enjoy this in-depth look at pop music's champion and destroyer. In his book, Simpson is clever enough to randomly end paragraphs with some quoted Morrissey lyric, but I won't do it because "that joke isn't funny anymore".
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Neogeo the Prophet

 
 
Take the comedy of a fresh young Bill Hicks (circa his first Letterman appearance), add the intro monologue from his later HBO special, and sprinkle on some of the weird video edits from his Revelations broadcast that either amused or terrified the drug crowd, and-- presto-- you have Sane Man. Previously available only on VHS, this rough, dirty, lo-fi underground tape was meant to be Bill's first "fuck you" to homogenized commercial television. It all started from here.
 
THE GRADE: B+
 
- Staff Member #716

 
LASZLO BORSAI - THE DEATH OF WIZDEM (Nothingmoments Publishing)
 
Reading The Death Of Wizdem is like reading The Catcher In The Rye while blasting old Black Flag and Circle Jerks albums from your stereo. It’s a semi-autobiographical account of nom de plume Laszlo Borsai as he comes of age in mythical Strawberry Town. No, wait. That sounds kind of lame. He doesn’t really "come of age" so much as he has the kinds of experiences that make for really good David Fincher movies. It’s got all the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll you’d expect from the description I’ve given thus far, with a cast of characters that would make David Lynch’s casting director giggle with glee.
 
THE GRADE: B
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
 
Yes, this is a film about birds. Parrots, to be specific. But you forget they’re birds when you watch it. Filmmaker Judy Irving and the film’s guide, Mark Bittner, do such a fantastic job showcasing the birds’ personalities that you begin to think of them as you would human actors. And you become so interested in their story, so invested in what’s happening in the documentary that it almost kills you when Bittner finds himself in an unfortunate situation that might possibly remove him from the birds. What happens? See the film. It’s worth it. The DVD also provides you with enough bonus features to turn a viewing into a two-night event, offering updates on the flock, origins, deleted scenes, and more.
 
THE GRADE: A+
 
- Vinnie Baggadonuts

 
 
This freakish black-and-white film is about a boy named "Coney Island" and the strange people he encounters in his everyday life. His mommy (who farts and is criminally insane) and his daddy (who is naked throughout most of the movie) are divorced, and Coney is trying to cope with a life that seems void. This movie is pretty fucking disturbing, but also sickly entertaining. I thought the gangbang scene was pretty interesting in a creepy way. When the movie was over, I felt like I needed a bath.
 
THE GRADE: A
 
- Eric Adkison

 
 
Even the most casual of Chaplin fans will be captivated by this amazing collection of behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes, and interviews. If you’ve never been exposed to the greatness of Chaplin, this two and a half hour DVD will instantly convert you.
 
THE GRADE: A+
 
- Night Watchman

 
 
A big smile stretched across my face when I got the newest (and final) collection of Viva La Bam in the mail for review. I’m a sucker for those idiots-- they make me laugh every time. Of course, there is nothing particularly new with this collection. You get the same old antics and destruction that you’d expect from Bam and Co. But one of the highlights has to be the two-episode insanity from the fourth season, when the whole crew goes to Europe to celebrate Phil and Ape’s anniversary. Still, I have to admit that there is a part of me that is happy that this is the last call for the show. As the seasons went on, the antics just seemed a bit more ridiculous, and in some cases even hard to believe that they were anything but scripted (like the episode where Bam and his pals get day jobs). Still, there is more good in this three-disc set than bad, especially when Don Vito shows up. After all of the crap he’s put up with from Bam, that fat fuck deserves his own show.
 
THE GRADE: B
 
- Wayne Chinsang


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