The best of Weird Al

When you mention parody pop video’s, Weird Al Yakovic’s name suddenly comes to mind. Here’s three of his best parody videos.

  • Eat it
    Eat it! — The most well known parody video, a shot-for-shot remake of Micheal Jackson’s “Beat it”.
  • Amish Paradise
    Fat — Weird Al redoes Jackson’s “Bad”
  • Smells like nivarna
    Smells Like Nirvana — It might have been the theme tune for every teenager during the very early 90’s and when grunge hit the mainstream; but it was perfect for Weird Al to satirise.

David Hasselhoff, Super Spy?

Hoff as Bond?

The Hoff has released another pop video, this time spoofing (although I’m not sure if spoofing is actually the right word) the James Bond films, either that or he’s trying to throw his hat into the ring as the next Bond.

Having seen this, ahem, “pop video” all I can think about is “all you need now is William Shatner as the baddie and you’re done! — Instant Cheese Classic!”

Having said that, this video does seem to be heavily based upon the Weird Al Yakovic parody song “Spy Hard“, which curiously, was the title song for the film “Spy Hard”.

Anyway, enjoy the Hoff as he croons about losing a name to a number and what-not. Also, check out Hoff’s masterpiece — none other than Hooked on a Feeling!

Links:

Screech wants you to save his home

Dustin Diamond, who played the character of “Screech Powers” on hit teen show “Saved by the Bell” has been widely reported to be going through a huge financial problem, and he’s asking his many fans and the general public to go out and buy a line of T-shirts from his website getdshirts.com.

As he says himself, he’s at risk of losing his Wisconson home — it has something to do with his “shitty credit” and his inability to get a mortgage or, one might sumaize, a job… In short, Screech recieved a letter stating that I had 30 days to pay $250,000.00 or get out.

Diamond complains that his family “stole his money” and that the money he made from a reality TV show where he boxed “Horshack” (Ron Palillo) has all but disappeared.

Dustin, who describes himself as a “stand-up comedian” has met quite a lot of derision and skepticism from people who describe Dustin’s antics as cynical. They point to the fact for many years he’s been using blue humor to get away from the Screech character, to distance himself from what many teens consider to be the person they grew up with; and perhaps could relate to — but Dustin is well known on some comedy circuits to take himself way too seriousily and get easily frustrated with audience members who try to goude him into the Screech voice.

Further, reviews of Dustin’s comedy scene indicate that he is over-relying on blue humor and that his skits have little else to go except to denegrate the other actors on the hit TV show, Saved by the Bell.

On June 15, 2006, he conducted a phone interview with the Toucher and Rich radio show on WBCN in Boston. Despite repeatedly attempting to promote the sale of his T-shirts to save his home, the hosts ridiculed him and would only refer to him as his Screech character. Diamond ultimately hung up in apparent disgust after making his frusturation apparent, and the ridicule continued after the hangup.

In short, some claim that Dustin has spent a lot of time distancing himself from the Screech character; and when he’s on his knees – he wants to milk it for all it’s worth; what’s worse Screech, sorry I mean Dustin, mis-spells “Screech” with an extra ‘e’ to, quote, “get around copyright issues”… me-thinks he didn’t think it through. Adding an extra “e” to the name of Screech won’t get him around the copyright issues any more than he can win over those people who want to take him down to the gutter.

Whether this whole thing is a publicity stunt, or is a genuine attempt to solve money problems I don’t know — but surely he can solve his money problems by selling an autobiography, going on another MTV reality TV show; or perhaps even getting the old Saved by the Bell crew together one more time… but I don’t that’ll ever happen.

It’ll be interesting if Screech, I mean Diamond follows up on his threats to sue the people involved, and if he can raise the money he needs to save his 250K home in WI.

Related links

Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards

SUNDERLAND ECHO PORTFOLIO BUSINESS AWARDS.

The awards dinner takes place at Sunderland Football Club on 26th October.

All businesses operating within the Sunderland Echo circulation area will be eligible to enter regardless the size, type of business etc.

The awards presented on the night will include:

  • Business Idea of The Year
  • Young Business Person of The Year (under 25)
  • Entrepreneur of The Year
  • Small Business of The Year
  • Special Community Award
  • Technology Award
  • Training Award
  • Employer of the Year
  • Employee of The Year
  • Overall Portfolio Business of The Year

For more information you visit
Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards

Best Hong Kong Fights

Here’s what I consider to be the best Hong Kong style fights of all time (with thanks to youtube.com);

  1. Jackie vs Benny ‘the Jet’ (Wheels on Meals)
    Considered to be one of the best on-screen fights of all-time.
  2. Jackie vs Benny ‘the Jet’ 2 (Dragons Forever)
    (note: does not play all the way through, unfortunately)
  3. Jackie vs Ken Lo in Drunken Master II
    Although this isn’t the actual full fight (it lasts twice as long), Drunken Master II is still considered to be Jackie’s best Kung Fu movie of all time – and rightly so; the Ken Lo vs Jackie Fight (when seen in full) is perhaps the perfect on-screen fight. It’s such a shame that when Miramax bought the rights to this classic movie they cut it to shreds. If you do buy Drunken Master II, ensure it’s the proper Cantonese cut (with subtitles, of course) and you’ll have an all-time classic movie.
  4. Donnie Yen vs Wu Jing (SPL)
    Donnie Yen with Police Baton vs Wu Jing with Knife. Brutal, but a very good fight.
  5. Donnie Yen vs Sammo Hung (SPL)
    Combines UFC style grapples, hooks and submission-like moves against Sammo Hung.
  6. Jet Li vs Billy Chow (Fist of Legend)
    Fist of Legend is a brilliant action movie and is one of many movies that inspired The Matrix. In this clip, why does Billy Chow (General Fujita) sound like “The Emperor” from Star Wars?
  7. Who am I?
    Chan vs Ron Smoorenburg
    So, okay Smoernburn was replaced by Bradley James Allan – but it’s still a good fight sequence, despite the monotonous soundtrack.
  8. “Brawl in the Mall” from Police Story
    When I first saw this movie in the very early 90s when it was part of a 5-day Jackie Chan fest at Christmas, it totally blew me away. Still considered to be the catalyst of what we now know to be the Hong Kong action movie.
  9. Police Story 2
    Chan vs Thugs in park. Man, I loved this as a kid.
  10. Once upon in China 2
    Donnie Yen vs Jet Li… although it’s all wire-fu, it’s still great!

Other honrable mentions;

  1. “Five Deadly Venoms” – One of the very best movies from The Shaw Brothers which started the whole trend of having a bad guy force where each guy has his own special fighting skill.
  2. “Enter the Dragon”
  3. “Story of Ricky” — Imagine if Paul Verhoven directed a Kung Fu movie, and you might just get an idea of just how brutal and over-the-top this movie was.

Is SPL Donnie Yen’s answer to Ong Bak?

SPL's highlight is Sammo Hung vs Donnie Yen

Editor Note: This is not a review of SPL (2005), but rather an article about where Hong Kong Cinema is, and where it’s going. For a review of SPL, please visit kungfucinema.com

An argument made by many Hong Kong action cinema aficionados is that the past 10 years of Hong Kong cinema (including those of Japan, Korea and Taiwan origin) have yet to exceed those produced during the profilic period between 1985 and 1997 era.

With actors such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li moving to the States, and directors such as John Woo and Ringo Lam trying their luck with “sober” action movies in Hollywood, Hong Kong cinema has had it hard trying to reinvigorate the action scene.

Hong Kong has moved from all-out action to a much more dramatic tone.
Films, like the brilliant Internal Affairs (due for a hollywood remake starring Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio) and the “Crouching Tiger”-style of films showcase Hong Kong’s transition from action to drama.

Whilst the highly visual “Hero” and the romantic “House of Flying Daggers” won many plaudits in the West, many still felt that action movies still haven’t moved on from the days of the John Woo’s and Ringo Lam’s of this world.

Until now.

Tony Jaa’s bone-crunching hit “Ong Bak” has awoken Hong Kong film-makers (especially Yen) and made them to started to take their martial art action movies much more seriousily.

Whilst the last ten odd years has seen action movies turn into “frivolous pop star vehicles” and romantic parodies; Ong Bak may have made film-makers wake up to the possibilities of combining “Internal Affairs” drama style with the Jaa-like action.

So along come Donnie Yen with his 2005 superhit SPL. SPL hasn’t hit the UK shores and has yet to receive distribution in the states, but the movie was one of the most talked-about films of 2005 and the hard hitting police actioner marked a return to the glory days of Hong Kong film.

Long before its release, SPL was being likened to Hong Kong’s answer to Jaa’s Ong Bak. But this comparison isn’t entirely appropriate. Sure, both films feature body-mangling martial arts action to wow their audience. But Yen’s fight work isn’t defused by show-stopping stunt work or propped up by the abilities of only a single actor. Rather, the film’s drama combined with superb fight sequences between Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen (including a brilliant knife vs baton fight) has made it a hit all around Asia.

Although having said that, Donnie Yen wasn’t impressed with Ong Bak, although it may have stirred Yen to start pushing himself forward as the next legitimate action hero seeing as Jet Li may or may not retire and Chan only with a few years left in him before he himself retires.

Yen’s argument over Bak’s success was, as he puts it;

“Donnie Yen: I think the film is a success due to several reasons, mainly because it has been way too long since movies of such ilk have been made. Let’s not talk about the movie content, rather we’ll talk about the fights. It’s merely rehashing what we’ve done before. And if we look at the style of martial arts, Ong Bak is strictly limited, only trading of fists and kicks. Some things we have done before can be found there, said it was Muay Thai, all that we see are but those few moves. Actually, I think well of that actor, he has remarkable skills. Yet, on the whole, it doesn’t present anything new. We have many wushu talents here, I don’t think Ong Bak is that exotic, it’s just a matter of timing, especially when we haven’t done anything like that in the recent years. The standards of our action films have great deteriorated, there is a lack of talents – I mean talented people who are not groomed in filming. This is the current situation in our market. I hope there’ll be more success stories like Kung Fu Hustle – even if it had little realistic martial arts …. and hope to see more of such action films in the future, and expand the market demands, so, newcomers will be given more chances.”

I think Yen’s sour grapes over Ong Bak can be taken with a pinch of salt as after several years of making less-talented screen fighters look good and making the occasional supporting screen appearance in lesser films he’s returning to the leading man status that many fans urge Hollywood to take up upon.

SPL could be a defining moment in Hong Kong action cinema and with a sequel is already in negoitations, I believe that action will start to take a much more pragmatic and dramatic turn.

Ever since the Matrix, movies have been trying to copy it’s bullet-time sequences, rather than create real innovation. This lack of innovation in action movies (both in the East and the West) have made audiences bored of the same-old, same-old. One only has to look at Mission:Impossible 3 to see the same old clich├ęs; the same old ideas and the same old action sequences with little dramatic storytelling or innovative action choreographing.

That’s why I’m hoping that films like SPL, and it’s sequel will create the innovation that action movies both in the East and the West have lacked and engage a whole new kind of unrivalled variety, and thrilling movie that audiences from all around the world can sit back, and enjoy.

As soon as SPL hits the UK, I’ll be certainly purchasing it!

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Worst Adverts on TV

What is the worst advert on TV at the moment? Many will remember that irrating Crazy Frog advert, but the thread on digitalspy has a lot of really crappy adverts….

BOGOF, Ocean Finance and the rage against Carol Vorderman’s “first loan” advert are just some of the adverts causing people to pull out hair. Some think that advertiser’s purposely create “awful” adverts so that they will be remembered… one only has to look at the current Frostie’s advert to know what I mean.

I’m currently reading some of the more crappy adverts on badadverts.co.uk; although the reviews seem to be highly cynical; I can’t help but laugh at some of the reviews. My favorite has to be the editor’s review of the Hugo Boss advert where he writes;

“[he] seems to think that the whole … world revolves around him and he can do whatever the hell he wants. “I’m not going to wear a suit!”, he inwardly screams in his faux non-conformist demeanour, “I’m far too up my own ass for that. Yup – I think I’ll go wearing whatever I damn well want – and stick two fingers up to authority and conformitism. I have utterly selfish ideals of a libertarian world where there are no rules and screw those who think otherwise ‘cos I’m wearing a specific brand of perfume, even though I’m too thick to see that by buying Huge Boss because others do I’m actually conforming to the very system I’m trying to rebel against”.