Monday, November 28, 2011

The Genius of Misfits

So my man Arvell kept pressuring me to watch this show Misfits, and to be honest he was getting a little obnoxious about it, but my viewing plate is pretty full, considering that I'm an international celebrity and stuff, but to get him off of my back I finally got around to watching this British TV show, and while Misfits isn't the best show I've ever seen, I can say that without fear of recrimination that creator Howard Overman's show is still pure, unadulterated genius. That you have just read, my friends, is called a run-on sentence.

But what is it that makes Misfits a study in genius exactly? Imagine you want to make a show that features folks with superpowers, and you don't have a lot of money. What do you do? You get creative is what you do. Note that my observations are based solely on the six episodes of season one, so I don't know what may or may not have changed in the following two seasons, but season one takes place largely in one location, that being a community center. Community centers usually have lots of stuff, so you can work wonders with that one location when armed with a little creativity. Then you have the powers that our anti-heroes possess such as turning invisible, or hearing peoples thoughts, or making people horny. I don't think you need ILM on board to have people pretend not to see the invisible guy who's right in front of them.

But the concept is the easy part. The hard part is good story telling, clever writing, and engaging characters... all things way cheaper than expensive effects, but far more difficult to come by, no matter how much money you have. Misfits has all of that in spades.

This takes me to my main point of this nonsense, where people on the evil internet bash the American film and TV industry, an industry which often rehashes British and other foreign shows instead of making their own shows, I.E. The Office or Prime Suspect, and countless other shows and movies. Americans lack creativity they say, since far too much of our entertainment consists of copies and remakes. Not true I tell you. There are over 300 million people in this country so I'm pretty sure somebody out there possesses some creativity, however one industry is State Supported while the other is Profit Driven. Or in other words, one is free to create while the other is beholden to advertising. So... are you going to risk your high paying network or studio job on a fresh, new, creative concept that might crash and burn and potentially drive away advertising dollars, or are you going to go with something that's been done already, that people a few miles away seem to like a lot that nobody here has seen yet? Unfortunately, we know the answer to that, unless you subscribe to HBO, Showtime or Starz which creates fantastic original shows, but derive their profits from subscriptions and not advertising.

I have no solutions to this problem since this dilemma can only end when America ceases being a profit driven marketplace, which will only happen when America ceases being. Nobody outside of Al-Qaeda wants that. Just letting you know why things are the way that they are. Ooops, gotta go, Torchwood is on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Best team in the NFL?


Probably not, but it's time to talk some LIONS FOOTBALL!!! It's no secret, the Lions are my team and even in the 0-16 season I did a few episodes of Totally Twisted Flix decked out in Lions gear to show my support despite their futility. But after the comeback against the snakebit Vikings last Sunday, we're starting to get a little bit of much needed national love.

Mind you, had the Lions had lost that game I would've been fine with it. It's not like we expect them to go undefeated and it was a road game against a tough opponent in place they hadn't won since Bill Clinton was president, but they pulled it out in spectacular fashion, and while we try to take these things one game at a time... but as fans expectations are starting to get a little high. My hope at the beginning of the season was that The Lions go 10-6 and maybe squeeze into a wildcard spot, The Packers being the class of the division, if not the entire league, but realistically I was seeing 8-8. Right now 8-8 would end up being a bit of disappointment since that would mean playing sub .500 ball the rest of the way. I did warn my fellow Lion faithful that it wouldn't be beyond our team to go 8-1 and lose the next seven games, but we are banking on that not happening.

That's saying a lot for a team that lost every game three years ago, a feat that made them a sub-expansion team since even expansion teams find a way to win a couple. Thus, for this turnaround, we have take our hats off to GM Martin Mayhew who learned well at the hem of the esteemed Matt Millen on exactly what NOT to do when building a football team. And while the Lions are one Calvin Johnson twisted ankle from falling back to the rest of the pack, I'm thinking that's not going to happen either. This also means we're looking into the future, which is silly and unwise, especially for a Lions fan, but we're doing it anyway dammit! Because in this future that I'm seeing, the playoff bound Lions will end up facing either the NFC East or West division winner, the Pack and the Saints getting first round bye's, and the chances are the Lions will have a better record than whoever those division winners are. This future is telling me that the Detroit Lions are getting a second playoff win in fifty-five years... that's what the future is telling me. Who am I to discount the wisdom of the planets?

Crazy talk? Hell yes it is. But now, we here in Detroit can talk crazy, where for well over a decade we couldn't talk at all. Life is good. Oh, and we don't really watch a lot of movies during football season so updates will be low. Not that anyone cares about that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hail to the Craptastic!

There are great movies, but these are very few. There are good movies, and they are more numerous. The fat part of the bell curve is filled with mediocre movies, then there are bad movies, and those are very numerous as well. There are also terrible movies, and while these are more plentiful than great movies, they do show up less frequently than the others. But the rarest of movie, the kind we will be discussing today, is the Craptastic movie. The Craptastic movie is one that achieves a level of incompetence and awfulness that brings one a level of unbridled joy that is almost impossible to describe and the true Craptastic movie varies from watcher to watcher. The reason the Craptastic film is rare is because it is really difficult to pull off. It can't be planned, it can't be mapped out, it MUST happen accidentally on the organic level, and this is why there are so few. So for your perusal, we have my personal list of some of the most Craptastic movies ever made.

10. The Jail - A Woman's Hell

That woman getting flogged in that picture is dead already. She died in solitary but the sickest warden in the sickest prison in all of Manilla will not be denied her flogging pleasure. Thus we have Master Bruno Mattei's last movie, his epic homage to the WIP, 'The Jail: A Woman's Hell'.

What makes this movie Craptastic? Every woman in prison movie cliche ever created, plus strip club scenes, with the addition of these strippers thrust into 'The Most Dangerous Game' where they will be hunted by blood thirsty big game hunters. Like hunting strippers is hard.

Craptastic Moment? A poor stripper is shot twelve times and we were thankful that at least she wouldn't be tortured. We were wrong.

9. Perfect Hideout

A couple on the run busts up in the crib of some dude to hideout, only to find out that he's a crazed serial killer who got there before they did.

What makes this movie Craptastic? Uh... Billy Zane is the star? How about that, huh? But what truly makes 'Perfect Hideout' Craptastic is that it has to be one the funniest 'thrillers' I've ever had the pleasure of sitting through. Yes, it's terrible on almost every level, but when a movie can inject this much unintended humor into such a short time span, it is some craptasm that has to be experienced.

Craptastic Moment? Quite a few, but I think we'll go with the cop / killer standoff where the cop kept telling the killer how he should blow him away, his gun trained on his forehead, while the killer calmly walked towards a kitchen knife and using his previously unknown circus skills, throws the knife through is chest. The stupid cop has suddenly stopped talking.

8. 2012 Supernova

It's 2012 and a Supernova is sending evil neutrinos across the universe to end life on earth as we know it. Unless we can nuke it! Hell Yeah!

What makes this movie Craptastic? From our friends at The Asylum who have made a number of crap movies, and even a few decent ones, but this is one of the rare ones that qualifies for Craptasm. Sure the movie is about the impending end of the earth, but that's not going to stop Iranian Terrorist, inbred Hillbillies, stereotypically drunk Russians, evil Chinese, bratty teenaged daughters and bad special effects from getting completely into the mix.

Craptastic Moment? That's an easy one. I hate it when I'm trying to draw up an equation to save the planet earth from destruction, and I'm attacked, out of the blue, by a Ninja. I hate that.

7. Hyenas

Brought over on slave ships by the WHITE MAN, these hyena hybrids are roaming the countryside causing a ruckus. Typically, the White Man gets the last laugh in all of this since the Hyena hybrids are all white now. Damn.

What makes this movie Craptastic? There is a lot of Craptastic goodness in this terrible movie my friends. First of all it's not a werewolf movie, because werewolves are played out and stuff, but it's a Hyena movie! That's sweet. This movie has Mehsach Taylor in it. Designing Women? Meshach Taylor? Ah, forget about it. This movie has a Mexican / White guy battle subplot in it, just like 'West Side Story', that has absolutely nothing to do with Hyena Hybrids. And when the Hyenas are human, the stand around and laugh hysterically like a bunch of idiots. Hyenas everywhere are insulted.

Craptastic Moment? Again, very easy. You have to make to the end but when star Costas Mandylor does this one thing in this movie, the award of the Craptastic is cemented in stone. I can't ruin it for you. Must be experienced organically.

6. Zombi 3

That detached zombie skull right there? It's flying through air, on it's own power, about to eat someone. That's awesome. Anyway, a scientist has created a viral weapon called Death One. It gets out and turns everybody into zombies. This scientist is shocked that this happened, even though he named his virus Death One. Dumbest Scientist Ever.

What makes this movie Craptastic? I don't who directed this for sure, Lucio Fulci gets the credit but rumor has it that previous nominee Bruno Mattei had a hand in it too, which would explain why this movie is so horribly wonderful. This movie features the worlds most useless final girl who does nothing but scream and collapse, and it also features zombies that sprint, climb trees, levitate, swim, drive cars, pick locks and most importantly... they rock the mic. The first and last zombie movie that features a Zombie D.J. Come on now.

Craptastic Moment? Our useless final girl, seeing her man is turning into a zombie searches for a glass of water because all turning zombies need a glass of water. But he's not thirsty anymore. At least not for water. He's Thirsty... For Her Blood! He actually said that.

5. Chained Heat

That's a crazed inmate assaulting a tranny right there. Where are you going to see that kind of action? So Carol, played by a completely miserable looking Linda Blair, is sent up the river for hitting some guy with her car. Her sentence? To be groped, raped, assaulted, probed, raped, slapped, and abused at the second worst female penitentiary ever in existence. We've already discussed the worst.

What makes this movie Craptastic? The awesome cast for starters. Blair, Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Henry Silva, John Vernon, Sybil Danning, and Robert Miano for starters. The fact that back in '83 they released this movie the same week that 'Revenge of the Jedi' got released is another reason. This one was far more entertaining as it turns out. The fact that this movie is about as incompetent as any piece of semi-modern cinema can realistically hope to become. This movie is wonderful and it's damned sleazy.

Craptastic moment? If you've seen it, you already know. The Boom Microphone. That Mic logged more screen time than Linda Blair. And it had a better attitude.

4. American Ninja

He might have amnesia, but he hasn't forgotten how to Kick Ass! That would be Joe, as played by the legendary Michael Dudikoff, In the film that started the White Guy Ninja Craze of the 80's, AMERICAN NINJA!!!

What makes this movie Craptastic? Wrong question. The real question is 'What Doesn't make this movie Craptastic?' because American Ninja will destroy your soul it's so awesome. But while Michael Dudikoff and the late Steve James are devastating in this epic, this movie truly belongs to the bad guy, The Black Star Ninja, a character who provides so much comic relief and ass kicking murderous mayhem that he must be experienced first hand.

Craptastic moment? The easy answer is the whole movie, but we'll go with Black Star Ninja training his ninja students by murdering them. We're told it's an honor to be murdered by Black Star Ninja, but I don't remember seeing any of his students volunteering for that honor.

3. American Ninja II: The Confrontation

Somebody on a tropical island is stealing Marines! It's time for Army Rangers Joe and Curtis to lace them up once again to get to the bottom of this nonsense since The Marines can't solve their own damn problems.

What Makes this movie Craptastic? I honestly thought, in my heart of hearts, that no other White Guy Ninja movie could top the craptasm that was 'American Ninja', until I saw 'American Ninja 2' and discovered that this was even more Craptastic! Why are they stealing U.S. Marines? So they can bio-reengineer them into ninja terrorist drones and sell them on the open market. That's pretty darned nutty as far as plot devices go. And again, our main bad ninja, whose responsible for training these ninja drones, demonstrates the ninja drones skills by completely murdering these ninja drones. Whose gonna buy them now?

Craptastic Moment? When Joe and the bad Ninja Tojo Ken had their big battle and Joe was totally wearing Tojo Ken out, this alleged pulled out a shotgun, from who knows where, and started blasting at Joe. Not very ninja like. The shotgun did match his Ninja outfit however. It even had a ninja tassel on it.

2. Mega Piranha

In an effort to cure hunger, voluptuous Dr. Sarah, as played by former pop star Tiffany, has decided to genetically re-engineer some fish to make them bigger. Like Piranha. Dr. Sarah is stupid.
Now it's time for super badass special ops badass Jason Fitch, as played by the legendary Paul Logan, to save the day. By drop kicking those fish bastards.

What Makes this movie Craptastic? You knew it had to make the list somewhere, and that's The Asylum's 'Mega Piranha'. We've already discussed, in length, in many venues about how awesomely incompetent and entertaining Mega Piranha is so we won't waste any more time on it, but if there's something to be learned then that is don't experiment on making a fish bigger that can kill you while it's still small. Tilapia? Perch? Salmon? Something people actually eat?

Craptastic Moment? So many, but we'll go with the end. While it looked to us that there were still plenty of skyscraper sized Piranha left in the ocean, that didn't stop our heroes from high fiving each other in glorious celebration at their wonderful non-victory.

1. Undefeatable

Anna has left her abusive husband Stingray who rapes her while calling her mommy. Stingray will then proceed to kill Anna even though she's nowhere around. Thus if you have red hair and a flowery looking dress, you're in a lot of trouble. Stingray's big mistake was killing the sister of hardcore gang banger / diner waitress Kristi, as played by the legendary mistress of mayhem Cynthia Rothrock. The problem is that Stingray is undefeatable. And I don't think undefeatable is a real word.

What Makes this movie Craptastic? Do you understand how craptastical a movie has to be, to be more craptastic than 'Mega Piranha'? Well here it is. The acting is terrible, director Godfrey Ho is legendary in his ineptness, the action is extremely suspect, the story is completely insane... and every second of this movie works together like a finely tuned Beethoven Concerto. Undefeatable is so devastatingly awesome that I couldn't watch another movie for a week because I knew nothing else could compare. I had to decompress from Undefeatable.

Craptastic Moment? Again, pretty easy. Next to last scene, before everybody enrolls in college (it's complicated), Stingray gets both his eyes gouged out. Hero #1 yells 'I'll keep an Eye Out for You Stingray!' followed hero #2 yelling 'See Ya!' People, it don't get no better than that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Armstead's perfect Fried Chicken


In the movie 'The Help', Minnie the Maid, wonderfully played by actress Octavia Spencer, made the statement that there is something about Fried Chicken that makes everyone feel good. Or something like that. Never have truer words been spoken. We're talking real live, authentic, home brewed fried chicken over here. While KFC is decent chicken and all, if you have more than four pieces in a sitting you're not going to be feeling real good for a while. What you may not know is that your boy Armstead, that's me, makes arguably the greatest fried chicken wing in the history of existence of the universe. Arguably. Unlike KFC, if you eat twenty of Armstead's chicken wings, which is recommended for health reasons, the only thing you will be thinking about is that twenty first chicken wing. For real. And here's how it's done.

The ingredients are simple. Grab about a dozen chicken wings, obviously. Not dings, but full wings. This isn't BW3. The fatter the wing the better. Get yourself about three cups of flour, some popcorn salt (found at most dollar stores), onion power, garlic powder and black pepper. You'll need about a cup of hot sauce... not Frank's or Louisiana because it's too thick, but something they sell at the dollar store that's more watery, and make sure you get the hottest available. It won't make the finished product hot, but it will integrate the flavor better. And you'll also need about a cup of soy sauce. And one of those empty Country Crock butter tubs. Anything will do, but I prefer those.

The key to this is the hot sauce, soy sauce wash. Others use an egg wash, I use this. Put the hot sauce and the soy sauce in a bowl, mix it up real good and drop you wings in the wash and roll them around real good like.

With the wings still in the wash, put your flour in the tub, cover the flour with a coating of the popcorn salt... don't go heavy on this... then a covering of onion powder and a covering of garlic powder, then a good five shakes of the black pepper. Shake it all up.

When frying, I use a deep fryer. Personally, when I batter my chicken, which this recipe isn't, I pan fry in my skillet, but when flouring the chicken I use a deep fryer. Not everybody has an electric deep fryer, so pan frying does work, just be very careful if you've never done it. Too much vegetable oil, pan frying and an electric stove set too high=house fire. And another note, the older the oil your using, the better the chicken will be. Brand new vegetable oil will make for a beautiful looking piece of chicken, just a little less flavor.

So your soaked chicken is well covered in the wash, you pull it out of the wash, drop it in flour mix and shake it all up. At this point your chicken is potentially great fried chicken, but the key to realizing that potential is in the actual frying, and that's when things get tricky for the uninitiated. If you have a decent deep fryer a lot of the guess work in frying is removed from the equation, but as we pointed out, not everybody has one. So you get your oil nice and hot, if it's a gas stove I'd put it on medium, hell if I know what to do with an electric stove since I despise them,but if a small drop of water dances on the oil, it's generally ready to fry.

Drop your chicken in the oil, I have no time restrictions for you since it has to pass your personal eye test, but I know you know what good Fried Chicken looks like. If you pan fry, make sure you flip your chicken. Once the eye test has been passed, drop your chicken on a paper towel to soak up the extra oil... expensive paper towels since cheap ones will leave paper on your chicken... no one wants that. And always eat a piece first to make sure it's okay before you continue on with the rest of the frying process. Just in case you need to tweak your flour mixture or adjust the heat on the oil. But please, stop at one or no else will get any. You've been warned.

There you go, best fried chicken wing ever. I can't tell you if it works with other pieces of the bird because all I ever fry is wings. I use my rotisserie for the rest of the bird, and if someone makes a movie about rotisserie chicken, I'll give up that awesome recipe too.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Touchpad MADNESS!!!


Last Friday when I went to sleep I didn't want an HP Touchpad, just like nobody else on the planet Earth wanted an HP Touchpad. In fact I didn't want any kind of tablet since I don't particularly have a use for one. Then that Saturday when I woke up... since nobody on the planet Earth wanted an HP Touchpad... HP discontinued the HP Touchpad and had a fire sale. $99 for an HP Touchpad. I figured 'why not get an HP Touchpad'. What I didn't realize is that $99 is the sweet spot for massive insanity, chaos, mayhem, and essentially the end of society as we know it. As it turns out I'd have a better chance at a romantic interlude in Paris with Gabrielle Union while Salma Hayek is waiting at the hotel for us to finish up, than getting a $99 HP Touchpad. Oh wait... That's Paris thing has happened already. Forget I mentioned it.

So I place an online order at this poor beleaguered resale outfit Onsale.com, through Amazon, for my Touchpad. Clicking 'buy now' was the amount of effort that I was willing to expend for this thing I didn't want a day before, and I don't need now. Tragically I never got a Touchpad, and I'm good with that, but what has been fascinating is watching my deal site's and peoples tireless purists for the $99 HP Touchpad. You could stand in line at Best Buy, get there real early before they open and get a ticket that will allow you to buy a Touchpad, or you could keep refreshing the HP site and hope like hell it comes back online for a few seconds, or try one one Wally's joints, his Mart or his Club which don't have any, or travel to the business stores, Staples, Offices Max and Depot, and badger the red shirts into relinquishing the ones YOU KNOW they are hiding in the back and plan to sell on Craigs List. You could do that. Or you could just buy an Ipad or a Galaxy.

But most of the anger and hostility has been levied at poor Onsale.com. Those idiots had the nerve to run out of stock of this thing that nobody wanted the day before. Where Onsale screwed up was that they couldn't update the Amazon order section to let people know that they weren't getting their orders and that it was eventually going to be cancelled for most. This gave people hope. And when that hope was destroyed, Onsale being the last chance for these poor people to get this thing they didn't want a few days earlier... Onsale has to pay. Thus Onsale, which by all accounts has been a solid online retailer, has seen their approval rating drop to unprecedented depths. You'd think they were President Obama or something.

Now these $99 dollar things that nobody wanted are showing up on Ebay and Craigslist and many other sites for a little less than they used to cost originally. And now people are buying this thing they didn't want a few days earlier. HP executives are baffled. Yesterday you thought you loved your mom. Today, you'd kidney punch your mom to get in front of her at Best Buy to buy this thing you didn't want. That nobody wanted.

Monday, August 15, 2011

3D Shmee Deee...


I'm reading one these trade magazines I get, because I'm like a really important Multimedia Professional and stuff right, and an article in this periodical is bemoaning the dropping stock prices of companies that provide 3D for movies and the poor sales for 3D TV's and the like. They observe that for the latest 3D movies, like Pirates 4 or Thor, that 60% percent of audiences opted for the regular old 2D version as opposed to the 3D versions. They theorize that because of the economy, maybe the public just isn't willing to pony up an extra 3 or 4 bucks for the 3D premium. Maybe. Or maybe the 3D in these movie suck. I'm no market researcher, but I think that's your answer Mr. Stock Analyst.

Now I didn't say the movies suck, though some surely do, but the 3D in these movies suck. Out of the fifteen or so movies I've seen in 3D, three of them have had decent 3D. 'Avatar', 'Beowulf' and 'Resident Evil: Afterlife'. That's about it. That leaves another dozen or so that suck. Off the top of my head... 'The Last Airbender', terrible movie... and I remember the credits being in 3D. 'Clash of the Titans'... terrible movie, awesome 3D credits and little else. Thor... good movie, crap 3D. I think I've put the rest out of my head because I can't remember them. Except 'Hoodwinked 2' in which the 3D sucked so bad I just took my glasses off and watched the movie regular like, and only to put the glasses back on when the screen got blurry and stuff.

Thus when the opportunity presents itself, I always opt for 2D. Conan, Fright Night, Toy Story, Tron, Narnia, the Green Hornet, Kung Fu Panda, the Green Lantern, Rio, Priest, Drive Angry... all seen in 2D and I'm pretty sure I didn't miss anything watching them in 2D outside of wearing a second pair of glasses on top of the ones I already have to wear.

It might be a little too late, but I'd be looking to move that 3D stock from your portfolio if I were you.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Remembering Al Leong - not that he's dead or anything.


Who is this handsome fellow right here? Well if you grew up in the 80's and the 90's and watched a bunch of mindless action flicks while you were growing up, then you know exactly who this cat is. You might not know his name, but you know the face and you certainty know the Gallagher-esque hair-do. This gentleman is Al Leong and he sports a Fu-manchu.

I don't know in Mr. Leong's long and illustrious career if he got a chance to have a starring role in a movie, in fact if we go over the movies we've seen Al Leong on, he rarely even got the opportunity to speak. And on the rare occasions when we did hear Mr. Leong speak, when he wasn't forced to recite his lines in broken English, his diction was much closer to that of a Harvard Law Professor but alas Harvard Law Professor's tend to make for bad Asian Thugs which is probably why they made him keep his mouth shut.

In fact if you were to peruse Al Leong's filmography a large number of his characters were actually named 'Asian Thug'. If you were making a movie in the 80's or the 90's and you needed an Asian Thug, you either used Al Leong or waited for Al Leong to finish being an Asian Thug in that other movie so he could be an Asian Thug in your movie. Who could forget Al torturing Martin Riggs in Lethal weapon, doing battle with John McClane in Die Hard or his greatest performance, his closing fight with the late Brandon Lee in Rapid Fire. Dolph Lundgren, Jeff Speakman, Van Damme, Kurt Russell, Carl Weathers... big mean dudes who have probably all had to kill, at one point in their careers, an Asian Thug played by Al Leong.

We haven't seen Mr. Leong in a while, his last known credit being listed as Confessions of an Action Star, which of course we have seen, and no one knows where he might be because the real Al Leong is as mysterious and as private as the Asian Thugs that he played back in the day. We hope he is well and we hope to see him again, kicking the asses of a new generation of action stars, before eventually being killed.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lost before it even got started.


I live in the state of Michigan, Detroit specifically, and it's no newsflash that the state is struggling no matter how many ultra-cool commercials we show with Eminem in them preaching about a Chrysler. The big news locally is that our governor is on the verge, if he hasn't done so already, of eliminating or severely reducing the extremely generous Michigan Film Credit that was put in place by the previous regime.

In brief if you make a movie in Michigan, for every dollar you spend we will give 42 cents back. But I think you only get that entire 42 cents if you use 100 Michigan residents for your production, but I might be mistaken there.

Now I'm not here to myopically support this tax credit because there are issues with this thing which I am way under qualified to discuss, but with everything else in this great nation of ours it centers around money and how it's distributed. But what I do know is that for the last few years we have actually had a movie industry right here in the great state of Michigan.

In the last couple of weeks alone I have seen and reviewed a good half dozen movies that were shot and set in and around the Detroit area. 'Stone' with Robert DeNiro, 'Vanishing on 7th Street' with Hayden Christensen, 'Gun' with Val Kilmer and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, 'Game of Death' with Wesley Snipes, the 'Mechanic' remake and the 'Swat' sequel just to name a few of the many productions which have setup shop in town, and naturally it's all because of these tax breaks.

I'm not an accountant, I can't tell anybody with any degree of certainty what financial benefits or lack thereof these productions have meant for my state, but I can tell you from a personal standpoint that the emotional benefits have been immeasurable. There's nothing like watching places you know, places you've been, seeing people you know on a movie screen. Watching movies made in Detroit and in Michigan in general makes me feel good. And if people are feeling good then people stick around as opposed to picking up a going elsewhere to find a career like an awful lot of our young college grads are doing. Particularly the ones in the arts.

It's a little too late at this point because what's done is done because many of the productions that were on the way or were in pre-production have packed up shop and moved elsewhere. Uncertainty, I'm told, is a bad thing in the movie business. This is one reason why we movie-watchers are forced to watched sequels and remakes and remakes of sequels. Oh well, being a player for a couple of years sure was fun. I hope the governor has a plan.