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A remake of ‘The Stepfather’? Why?

October 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Some cinematic purists were upset when a remake was made of the 1973 political thriller The Day of the Jackal. The original, starring Edward Fox as The Jackal, stood the test of time, they said. So, the “remake” was renamed The Jackal. I liked both, but the Sixties version certainly was a great, if not superior, film.

And now, the 1987 horror/thriller The Stepfather has a remake.

Why?

I saw the original, and it was absolutely creepy. Terry O’Quinn was marvelous as the serial killer who kills off his family and moves onto another one in search of a perfect family. The scene where his stepdaughter’s teacher visits him under the guise of looking for a house to buy is, well, chilling.

It makes you think they must really be hard up for movie ideas in Tinsel Town if they’re making remakes of great older movies that don’t need a remake.

Here’s the trailer for the original film…

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Nobel Peace Prize, Limbaugh and Rams…

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I have read that the Nobel Peace Prize nomination deadline was back in February–just a few weeks after President Barack Obama took office.

Wow.

I’m still trying to understand how a man who’d just gotten into office and barely had enough time to appoint a Secretary of the Department of Teleprompter Maintenance department could win such a prestigious award.

Getting passed over so that Obama could win were a Chinese dissident and an Afghanistani woman who has risked her life to ensure girls receive an education in her country despite threats by the Taliban.

This shouldn’t be surprising: back in 2007, Irena Sendler–a Polish woman who helped save 2,500 Jews from extermination during the Holocuast–was passed over in favor of Al Gore for his Gospel Against Global Warming.

You know, I’m working on fiction and hope to get it published someday. Maybe I’ll receive a Nobel Prize for Literature for my potential…

…So, it looks like Rush Limbaugh won’t be a part owner of the St. Louis Rams. Too much controversy. It’s pretty bizarre. We can allow an owner (Art Modell) to rip out the hearts of Cleveland football fans, we can allow an owner (Al Davis) who’s turning the Oakland Raiders from a once-feared franchise to one that’s a warped caricature of itself, we can readmit players who do drugs (Michael Irvin), mistreat dogs (Michael Vick), show disrespect to police officers (Randy Moss), but God save us from conservative talk show hosts who love football and who want to be successful in a business venture.

Yes, Rush was wrong for letting his addiction to OxyContin get out of hand. No arguments from me there. But didn’t the NFL allow Brett Favre return after rehab for his painkiller addiction?

Truck drivers law–is this for real?

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

My brother-in-law, a truck driver, was talking today about a new law that, if passed, would require truck drivers to have 20/20 vision and to not be overweight.

I like to think this is either a very bad joke or an urban legend. Some feel that if passed, it would eliminate about 90 percent of truckers on the road.

Yes, being the right weight is nice, but in that profession, often you eat on the go. You don’t have time for a hot, well-balanced meal, especially when you have a load to deliver and a deadline approaching like the high-beam glare of an oncoming vehicle. And as for the eyesight (my bro-in-law’s around 20/10), what’s the problem if a person wears corrective lenses?

I’ve been told by a few people that you can get a pilot’s license even if you don’t have perfect vision. My late Uncle Gene, who wore very thick glasses, was a licensed pilot.

“Laws” like this seem to come from career politicians who spend far too much time in Washington and not enough time in the real world.

Richard Zowie has several blogs, including a writer’s blog, Christian blog and a satirical blog. He blogs about the Dallas Cowboys exclusively at http://americasteam.info. To comment on this blog posting, post a response below or, for a private response, go to fromatozowie@gmail.com.

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From A to Zowie: It’s Harvest Time once again!

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

From A to Zowie 

It’s Harvest Time once again! 

By Richard Zowie 

We’re approaching October 31, a time when many Americans will get sick on Halloween candy, will slice open a trick-or-treat apple to see if it has any sharp objects, have Harvest parties or rush to a video store or online to Netflix to check out a spooky film. And if you’re one of those Americans who likes to get things done well ahead of schedule, you’ll probably have your Christmas shopping by then.

I fall into the third and fourth categories. As a teenager, I loved horror films, particularly the slasher ones. Those days are thankfully past me. The last gory film I saw was a few years ago–more for nostalgia purposes. As I watched, I realized something: far too much budget in those movies is invested into gore, blood and guts and not enough into an actual story line. This is why I like suspense and thrillers a lot better. More surprises and a little less threat of a cheesy sequel. These days, if I want to see lots and lots of the red stuff splattered, it’s Heinz-57 on tater tots. Yum yum!

Maybe you’re like me and like to be scared without seeing all kinds of unnecessary gore. If so, check out these movies:

when_a_stranger_calls

When a Stranger Calls (either the original or remake; both are good)

Alien (one of my all-time favorite taglines: “In space, nobody can hear you scream.”)

The Sixth Sense (M. Night Shyamalan builds suspense perfectly)

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 original, NOT the terrible remake)

So, being a man of an overactive imagination, I wondered what else could make for modern-day scary films. Here’s what I came up with, borrowing titles of real movies:

Clear and Present Danger (from the Tom Clancy movie)–Due to a strange glitch in the electronic ballots that replaced butterfly ballots, socialite/reality television star Paris Hilton is elected president of the United States. True to her career, she becomes the star of the reality show O-24, a show in which viewers can have access to her activities in the Oval Office 24 hours a day. Controversy erupts when Hilton is caught perusing Vogue magazine and admiring herself in a mirror when Secretary of State Alec Baldwin is trying to brief her on how the war’s going in Afghanistan. Congressman–both Democrat and Republican work to draft emergency legislation calling for a new constitutional amendment allowing for the recall of presidents.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev makes headlines when he meets Hilton and asks, “Chto znachit, kogda President Hilton govorit, ‘Ehto zharko!’?” (“What does it mean when President Hilton says, ‘That’s hot!’?”)

Dead Silence (from the movie about the ventriloquist whose dolls come to life)–Kanye West, fresh off his interruption of Taylor Swift’s award acceptance speech, is ordered by his record label to not utter a single word for an entire year. Or they’ll make him go up to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and ask her for an autograph of her book. The question is: can he do it?

The Beast Within (from the 1982 movie that, well, it’s a revenge story that had [at that time] really cool special effects)–Something terrible is going on in Hollywood. Amidst all the ultra liberals there’s one prominent liberal who is a closet conservative. Who is this evil Republican? Can they be found? Can they be stopped before they give Hollywood a bad name?

Final Destination (from a lame movie about a bunch of unlikeable punks who try to cheat death)–Documentary maker Michael Moore flies again to Cuba in hopes of making another documentary about how evil America is, how much of a paradise the People’s Republic of Cuba is, blah blah blah. Only one small problem. When he’s ready to return to America, he learns his passport has expired. The officials refuse to renew it for him, and Moore is forced to live life in a real socialist country to see if his fake-u-mentaries are really true. Finally, he tries to make it back to America on a makeshift raft.

Sicko (one of Michael Moore’s fake-u-mentaries)–A documentary that looks at why Hollywood seems to have so much love for convicted child molesters like, um, Roman Polanski while acting in extreme indignation at Mel Gibson for saying deplorable things while drunk. Guest appearances will include wisdom from Woody Allen, who’s currently married to his ex-girlfriend’s daughter. 

Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and now works in Michigan as a writer. From A to Zowie’s blog can be found at http://www.fromatozowie.wordpress.com. 

Farm Town on Facebook

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

For all those who’ve sent me invitations for Farm Town and Mafia Wars on Facebook and might be wondering why I’ve been mute in my reply, it’s for this simple reason:

No time.

Sorry.