Monday, March 31, 2008

Skittles Conundrum

Can someone please explain to me what is going on in this commercial? I've watched it a few dozen times now, mulling over what matter of creature the main character is supposed to be, and have yet to make sense of this spot.

I've had a few people write to me and tell me that the man with the crutch is a living piñata. I really couldn't get that from his outfit. I thought he had been attacked by bees. I supposed that a living, working, man-shaped piñata is perfectly logical.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kishi Seeks Attention

Our poor cat, Kishi, was raised by our golden retriever. Unfortunately, now she's on the outs with Abby and just can't get the big dog to pay her any mind.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Head Scratcher

This is the strangest review I've read from one of our local movie reviewers in a long time. Tom Long's review of DOOMSDAY -- I thought the movie was a fair, fun watch though sometimes its cross-referencing went too far at times. I felt like I was doing my own version of "Pop Up Video" with all of the references that Andrea and I kept throwing out as different films were imitated.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Is There Such A Thing?

Is there such a thing as a "Best of" Cashiers du Cinemart? I mean, the 'zine has been labeled as a "mediocre fan publication" so I wonder when people suggest that I wrap up things with a "Best of" book what would be considered "Best"? I'm very open to suggestions (and not just fishing for compliments). To refresh your memory of what all has been in every issue, visit the archives on

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Down But Not Out

Last week I came to a decision as I was driving home from my local Credit Union where I had taken out a loan to pay off my credit card debt.

I just can't do it anymore. I am a fiscal dunderhead and can't seem to make a profit from my admitted "hobby publication," Cashiers du Cinemart. Apart from the first issue of the zine when I was using the copier at one job and mailing meter from another, I never managed to break even on an issue. With each increased step of quality, the costs grew. Sometimes these were offset by revenue from advertisers and distributors (though individual sales were always countered by postage costs).

With the combined decline of independent distributors, higher postage and postage rates, and the lack of interest from advertisers, Cashiers du Cinemart has become a money pit for me. I won't be gauche and get into my EBIDA, suffice to say that there's far more money going out than coming in.

That said, after fourteen years of writing, laying out, editing, and publishing Cashiers du Cinemart, I have to throw in the towel.

The idea may continue in some form or another in the future. I'm still not fully committed to web publishing for longer articles, holding on to the idea that print remains the best medium for reading. I'm looking into options of various "print on demand" services that will eliminate some of the heartache and headaches of publishing and distribution while passing on the cost to my faithful readers. For that, my bank account will thank you. In other words, there may be a Cashiers du Cinemart #16, but it sure won't look or show up like the last fifteen issues. The zine may be down, but not completely out.

I never got into zine publishing to make money, but I certainly didn't get into it with the intention of taking out a loan every few years to pay off the last issue or two.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support. Stay tuned for future developments!

Addendum: I'm not giving up writing by the way. I tried putting in pieces at a few places in the past and found that I'm too highbrow for the lowbrow rags and too lowbrow for the highbrow rags. I'm all about the midbrow, I guess. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Noircon Update

Here's my review of BLAST OF SILENCE.

Blast of SilenceIt's being shown at the Philadelphia Film Festival:

  • Saturday, April 5 @ 9:30 PM (Ritz East Theater 2)
  • Monday, April 7 @ 5:00 PM (The Bridge: Cinema DeLux)

I'll be attending (and possibly speaking) at the April 5 screening. Come on out!

This Week's Movie Reviews

This week's film reviews from

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Kevin Smith meets Sweeney Todd

This was my favorite scene in Jersey Good -- a very underrated Kevin Smith film that was buried under anti-Affleck backlash.

Awkward Sounds of Skizz and Scott in Commercial

Technically speaking, the use of just ONE Steadicam to achieve this effect in "real time" was a challenging experience but resulted in a cinematic first!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spooky Encounters: A Gwailo's Guide to Hong Kong Horror

Somehow Daniel O'Brien's book Spooky Encounters came out without me noticing. I picked this book up a few weeks back and just couldn't put it down. O'Brien gives the most comprehensive history of Hong Kong horror films during the Golden Age of HK filmmaking (roughly the '70s through 1997) I've had the pleasure of reading since the second issue of Colin Geddes's groundbreaking zine Asian Eye.

At 180 pages, Spooky Encounters is jam-packed with information, reviews, and comparisons of HK Horror. O'Brien breaks topics down into the history of HK Horror, the Mr. Vampire series, the influential films of Tsui Hark, Category III blends of sex and scares, and the last days of HK Horror films in the wake of the '97 takeover. O'Brien ties the popularity of films back to their native HK box office gross which provides an interesting insight on how these films were received at the time compared to their legacy (or lack thereof).

O'Brien's prose makes the book easy to read. Moreover, his writing is clear and concise which helps to make sense of some of the more obtuse film plots and the use of Eastern legends in others. O'Brien doesn't take the easy road of gushing over the food films and demonizing the poor ones. His tone is even-handed though he doesn't shy away from taking some laugh out loud potshots when necessary. One of my favorite lines comes from his review of JULY 13TH / QI YUE SHI SAN ZHI LONG PO he writes, "While Alan and Laura appear to be back together, the enigmatic ending hints that their happiness will be short-lived. It also suggests that Wellson Chin and Abe Kwon didn't know how to end their film."

Highly informative and well-crafted, Spooky Encounters is a must-read for genre fans and cinephiles interested in an under-appreciated movement of cinema.

Apologize to My Mule

A classic scene from A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.