...randomness surrounding Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard, and other great indie rock bands; a quasi objective look at "my" sporting teams; the random horror film; plus other crap as we see fit...all with a Pittsburgh based feel.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The 3 Best Films Ever

Well. At least for their respective years, imho. And surprise! They're not from the horror genre. Long week of being sick and confined, and I can't recommend these 3 more highly. In order of viewing this week:

The Visitor (2008)

Richard Jenkins is fabulous. Touching story as well. From that dude that did The Station Agent. I know the year ain't over, and there will be plenty more from 2008 to see, but something really good will have to come along to knock this off my "Best" List...

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

Can't believe it took me this long to see this. And I hate to knock Funny Games outta the top spot, but this film was simply amazing in every single way. The story is incredible, the photography and direction are the best you'll see (the first half hour or so from the lead's perspective is unreal!!!). And the acting, including an AMAZING performance from Mathieu Amalric, is top notch...

The Fire Within

aka Le Feu Follet for the French speaking folk

Yep. The same year that brought us Fellini's 8 1/2. This blows everything away. May just be one of my all-time favs. Louis Malle puts Godard and Truffaut to shame with this masterpiece. And make sure you get the Criterion Collection DVD, packed with goodies...including a 1/2 hour documentary with a perspective form Mathieu Almaric, and another 20 minute piece about Louis Malle's "Fire Within."

Anyone who has dealt with depression, or knows someone who has, this film is even that more powerful. We're watching it again tonight.

Warning: definitely not a "feel good movie." But if you like the type of film that truly puts you in the shoes of the lead character...this is it. Incredibly well shot. This is a MUST see, and I'm ashamed to say I hadn't seen it to this point. Not a trailer, just a scene...

And "23 Juillet" would be a kick ass band name. I'm googling...

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'll Drop My Pants To That!

Apparently EC does it's best to represent Pittsburgh, by being a week behind the rest of the world. Two weekends back, during an Italian Serie A fixture, Catania unveiled their newest weapon to increase free kick productivity, dropping their shorts.

Granted, the shorts don't go down to the shins or anything, which leaves a bit to be desired, comedicly speaking. But, anyone willing to forgo protecting their balls to help the team effort gets the gold star from me. Even the kid who got nailed in the face in last week's video still cupped the junk for the second throw-in.

Finally, the Southside Works Cinema has been running a monthly installment of cult classic midnight movie viewing, with Monty Python and the Holy Grail on tap for December 6th.

I will be in attendance, as should you be. On the schedule for upcoming cult classic movies is one of Gary's favourites, Rocky Horror Picture Show. Mr. Smith always prefers going as Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

House By the Cemetary

The Italians do horror and soccer better than no other. I absolutely adore Lucio Fulci's classic Zombi 2. So, naturally, I really enjoyed his work on House By the Cemetery. You will, too...

Now HURRY!! Get these films into your Netflix Q by Monday morning so they can be delivered in time for Thanksgiving. What else are you going to watch with the family? The Detroit Lions?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eaten Alive

now there's a Thanksgiving concept!

Watched this one on a whim while we were down in Nashville. And there's definitely a family theme if you pay close attention. If you liked Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I highly recommend his follow-up Eaten Alive (1977)...

Interesting trivia note: Neville Brand, who plays the "villain" in the film, was the 4th most decorated soldier in WWII.

Robert Englund (better known as Freddy), also makes an early appearance, playing the white trash character, Buck.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Celebrate Thanksgiving by...

watching some horror.

Was having an in depth discussion about the 1980 classic Zombie Holocaust the other day, and it occurred to me that Empties Crushed was rather lacking in its horror posts throughout October. As much as we watched the horror last month, we never really relayed any quality insights to our readers.

So we'll try to bring the best of what we saw from last month, knowing that y'all will be spending some quality time with the fam next week. And nothing says quality family time like...

Zombie Holocaust, a.k.a. Doctor Butcher, M.D.

If you've made it this far, here's the entire "propeller" scene...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Man tries to pay bill with spider drawing

I've gotta party with this guy. WAY to funny...

:: Man tries to pay bill with spider drawing ::

Thanks, Dallas!

Right on Roger! Exactly effin A...

More stuff from Ann Arbor, thanks to bsfgbv! I know, I'm a slacker...still have 3 more shows worth of to post. Soon. In the meantime, enjoy...

"Psych Threat" followed by "Zero Fix." Post GBV, can't think of a better 1-2 rawk punch to open a Bob show. Discuss amongst yourselves...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

YES! In da face!

Thanks to Yost for that. I'm still cleaning up the spit off my monitor. Something about balls hitting face that really makes me chuckle. Gets me every time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Sixty-Four Million Dollar Play

As the newest reporter for EC, I feel I have the duty to put into numbers how much Mr. Green's inability to know what pass he's talking about, cost people around the world.

"An estimated 100 million dollars was wagered worldwide on the Pittsburgh/San Diego game, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com. Approximately 66% of that money was on the Steelers; with only 34% on the Chargers.

"If the touchdown was properly upheld, Steelers bettors would have won about 32 million dollars instead of losing big. This admittedly incorrect call resulted in a 64 million dollar swing in favor of the bookies." [Emphasis added.]

Thanks pal, did me a solid one there. I hope you called up your buddy Tim Donaghy after the game to collect on your "Who can affect the money line more publicly and get away with it" wager.

The last time Mr. Green pulled off a crime this big he was in the Billiard Room with the candlestick.

However, Good Guys now a game up on Baltimore, so it's a wash.

Finally, Reading FC update time.

Third Place in the Championship League, one point out of second. When the promotion comes, y'all better guard your asses, we'll be coming at ya like a chainsaw.

The NFL is fixed, documented source confirms

After reading this, I'm even more confused:

Green (ref), in a postgame interview with a pool reporter, said that call was errant -- even though his explanation for the confusion was almost as confusing as the play itself.

"We should have let the play go through in the end, yes," Green said. "It was misinterpreted that instead of killing the play, we should have let the play go through."

Green said the confusion occurred because there was a misunderstanding about whether Rivers' pass or Tomlinson's lateral was in question.

"The first pass was the one that was illegal, but it only kills the play if it hits the ground," Green said. "That was incorrect to have killed it at that point. The ruling should have let the play go on. That's just the way that it played out. We believe the second pass (by Tomlinson) was legal."

Green was asked why, since the first pass by Rivers did not hit the ground, the officials decided after huddling that the play should have ended there.

What?!?! Somebody please explain this to me. A question about Rivers' first pass being illegal? I'm seriously lost. So in the New Age NFL, you can no longer block, tackle, or have your QB throw a forward pass.

Want more proof? Phil Simms was speechless after the play. You know...when the man who has an expert analysis opinion about every second of the 3 hour game...has no explanation, that something is afoul.

The source? Empties Crushed
Documented? Anybody with DVR capabilities.

In other NFL news, Abraham Zapruder filmed Roger Godell on the grassy knoll.

"Because" is the precursor to an excuse

And we don't make them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Type Slowly

Dear Matador Records,

Please send me my Brighten the Corners re-issue...soon. Preferably, before Friday. That would be swell! I've got some Canadian pals coming to visit this weekend that I'd like to impress. You know. With my whole...record collection. And shit. I guess I could play the digital version...or the old CD. But how much fun is that?

In exchange, I promise not to make fun of Cat Power anymore. Chan Marshall has an incredible stage presence!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Horsey-face is Out for the Season

Real Madrid's loss. Barcelona's gain. EC likes that.

For a brief 'My Teams' update:

Liverpool: Prem, tied for 1st (minus G differential)
Inter Milan: Serie A, tied for 1st (game in hand)
Barcelona: La Liga, 1st place
Toronto FC: not so much

It's gonna be a glorious year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

There was something in the air that night

The Beloved is already without the best CB on the Planet, and now Deshea Townsend is out. Who's gonna take his place?

Is the answer Jesus?


Ladies & Gentlemen....FERNANDO BRYANT!!!

Who's pumpt NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Your daily ESPN Sportscenter Cliff Notes: the Steelers are suddenly thin at the Cornerback Position.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Scott Hartnell You Hack!

Only a turd like Hartnell would try to dump the puck and take out the goalie in a fricking shootout!!!


Too. Funny. And another Win over the dirtball Flyers.

Here's the deal with Ben Roethlisberger

For the yinzers who championed Tommy Maddox over Kordell, move on. Nothing to read here. But here's the scoop on Ben, starting with the good...

With all due respect to TB, Big Ben has more raw talent than any QB who's ever worn the beloved Black & Gold. He's got the size, the arm strength, passing touch, and the athletic mobility to be one of the all-time greats. And when his head is in the game, he makes great decisions. That's the QB we cheered from the day they called his name on draft day.

The problem with Ben:

Ben is more concerned with being "the QB of the Pittsburgh Steelers" than with winning games as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben likes everything that comes with the title, "Quarterback." He loves the spotlight and the fame, the fact that chics who nothing about the game will faithfully wear his jersey. He's also got tremendous athletic ability, which he relies on in lieu of hard work.

Ben's the dorky frat boy...the child who thinks that just because he joined a club, he has gained instant credibility in the cool arena. While Ben is looking for his baseball hat (and don't forget to flip it backwards), Peyton Manning is studying film.

Yes, the Steelers O-Line is brutal. But Ben's inability to make reads, poor timing with receivers, and constant happy feet in the pocket are clear signs he's not mentally prepared on game day. Throw in the fact that he doesn't even practice all week, and still gets the start on game day...it's just a big recipe for disaster.

The good thing about Ben is his knack for inspiring motivation in himself. After living off his new found popularity as a Superbowl winning QB in 2006, a season that very much resembles this one (by his play), Ben bounced back with a monstrous 2007. But once again in '08, he has floundered.

Is he hurt? Maybe. But if that's the case....GET OFF THE EFFIN FIELD!!!!! Just because you display the painful grimace after every interception, that doesn't make you "a leader." But this goes back to my main point. Ben is selfish. He's more worried about being called "the leader" than he is with being the leader. If his best interests were in that of the Steelers, he would've stepped aside last week, and handed the ball over to the QB who gave us the best chance to win last week...Byron Leftwich. Instead, Ben sat out the majority of the practices leading up to the game, and predictably struggled. That's the Ben I take issue with.

He's clearly the Beloved's QB of the future. Although that doesn't mean he should've played last week. Hopefully, Ben grows up sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your little hood rat friend...she's been calling me again

Late notice on this, kids...

but the one and only Hold Steady will be playing at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead tonight. Drive-By Truckers will also be on hand. Early show, and we're not quite sure who will open for who. EC will sadly be missing this one, so the rawk will have to go on without us, I suppose.

I don't quite get the choice of venue, but as our not-so-favorite saying goes, "it is, what it is." Hopefully, attendees won't be sitting in their seats too long (EC Tip of the Day: just because there's a seat, does not mean you have to sit in the effin thing!) Oh...and Carnegie Music Hall does not have a liquor license. So if you prefer to have a pop with your rock...don't be too disappointed. I think they offer Twizzlers, though.

From the 2006 record, Boys and Girls in America, CHIPS AHOY!....

Shout out to friend of the program, Larry, who I believe will be in attendance! You go, dude. You go.

Because You're All Growns Up

Jordan Staal. Can't even legally have a piece of booze. The consummate center of trade rumors. Finally came of age tonight in the what could be called the greatest regular season win in Pens recent history. Down 5-2 in the 3rd against the Stanley Cup champs on the road. Down 2 goals with @ 4 minutes to go. One of the Pens top players from the their very own Stanley Cup roster sitting on the opposing bench (Marian Hossa, you bastard). Enter Staal. Scores the natural hatty in the 3rd, draws a final second penalty that follows the Wings into the OT, then snatches Pavel Datsyuk's purse, and feeds one to Fedotenko who buries it past a clueless Chris Osgood.

**** Bar Ref's note: it appeared the Referee on the Ice missed a diving penalty on Osgood, but the point was moot since the game was over. Clean up your scuba gear, Ozzie! We've got to announce the #1 Star of the night. ****

To borrow a Hudsonism: Get out of your sofas and applaud the gladiator performance of the day....JORDAN STAAL....

I couldn't help but think of this scene, with Jon Favreau as Staal. Our little baby's all growns up...

I'm quite sure the Pensblog will do a much better job at capturing the moment, so be sure to check them out tomorrow.

Jot this game down in the memory banks, kids. Remember the Thanksgiving night comeback in Ottawa, last year, which launched our Beloved for the rest of the year? That was this game. The dirtbag Flyers are up next on Thursday. Have fun.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

27th Three Rivers Film Fest

Kicked off Friday. Get your tix at the Crazy Mocha.

Due to some scheduling conflicts, I've got my eyes on these 3 here:

The Pool. Directed my Chris Smith, who did the ever-so-hilarious American Movie from 1999. Won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance...

Repo! The Genetic Opera. Paul Sorvino and Paris Hilton?! A cameo by Joan Jett. Sold...

Three Monkeys. Winner for Best Director at Cannes last year...

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Worst Lead in Hockey

5 goals.

Yeah. I'm bitter pants. Placed my first NHL wager of the year last night. The Flying Penguinos minus 1.5 pucks, +170. Up 5-Nil, under 2:00 to play in the 2nd period. 5-4 Final. Loser.

But Eric Godard beat some more ass last night...

I just imagine Steve MacIntyre as Riley Cote here, and all my troubles go away. At least for about a minute.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Steelers back in the Superbowl

If the Baltimoron dopes can win a Superbowl with Trent Dilfer and zero offensive help, the Beloved can win a Superbowl with the most pathetic O-Line in the NFL. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. At least until next week.

Reasons for optimism:

The NFL is SO watered down this year. Pre-season Superbowl favorites? The Cowboys stink, The Colts stink, the Chargers stink, New England stinks. Our entire division stinks. The best two teams in the league to date: Tennessee and the Giants. But who's really in awe of those two?

Recall when Ray Ray and offensive genius Brian Billick won the Superbowl? The NFL stunk. New England hadn't really started their tear. Same for Indy. They played Kerry Collins and the Giants in the Superbowl for chrissakes. And they stunk.

The Steeler D is just as dominating. ESPN probably wouldn't admit as much, because there's no Ray Ray, and no forced antics. But when healthy, this unit is just as formidable. And they've done it the past few weeks without the best CB in the league (Bryant McFadden). When B Mc gets back? Forget about it.

And this "daunting"schedule coming up?

  • Colts at home. WIN. The Colts stink. And it's at home.
  • Chargers at home. WIN. The Chargers stink. Norv Turner stinks. Plus he's got crap on his face.
  • Cincinnati at home. Please.
  • at New England. Questionable. But Matt Cassell stinks.
  • at Baltimore. WIN. Ravens can talk about contrived "bounties" all they want. They stink.
  • at Tennessee. Potential L, but we'll exact revenge in the AFC Championship.
  • Cleveland at home. See "Cincinnati at home. Please."

That gets us the #2 seed, a first round bye, and a win at home in the AFC Semi's. Go back to Tennessee, who won't be able to run on the Beloved. Kerry Collins' true colors show. Steelers go back to the Superbowl where they'll play someone in the NFC...who will stink.

And if things go array? We just turn to Byron again.

In other sporting news, there was some sort of blockbuster trade in the NBA yesterday, and EC is not contemplating the ramifications.