The Sixth Kid In The Hall

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

Lots to go over. First and foremost…

fort90forums ver 1.0 RIP (2007-2009)

It’s official: the forums are dead. At least the incarnation most are familiar with. Long story short, while doing a routine back-up, before upgrading to the next version of the bulletin board software, something simply went awry. As a result, the entire thing became corrupted somehow, and all attempts to salvage it have been unsuccessful. Oh well.

What next? Time to rebuild of course. Sucks that so much good stuff has been forever lost (especially my top ten list of cartoon girls I’d love to bang, a truly epic thread if there ever was one, plus we never did figure out the identity of forty90), but all of us can pitch in to help all make the new forums bigger, stronger, faster, and better. Yet, when that might be is somewhat up in the air. I make no bones about the fact that I’m dreadfully internet illiterate. Granted, I have a real knack for unearthing kooky crap, that’s sorta what I’m known for (a trait I’m perhaps a bit too proud of), but when it comes to understanding the ones and zeroes that actually keeps the whole show going, I’m hopelessly lost, and the two hours I spent trying to figure out phpBB earlier this afternoon was frustrating to say the least.

But when it does finally go live, which should be by the end of this week, there will be numerous changes. First and foremost, it’ll be hosted on my end and not Mike’s. Bottom-line is that the dude’s too damn busy these days to help run some message board for some schmo pal of his. So from this point on, I’ll be bothering Jason when it comes to administrative assistance! And since Jason is the talent behind the stellar look of this site as a whole, I’m hoping to pretty up the message board at last, something that kinda fell to the way side with the first version. Though Mike will still be around as a fellow admin, as before.

When the switch is officially turned on, I’ll definitely give everyone the head’s up. And here’s hoping to see the return of some old faces mixed with some new ones. Truth be told, it was getting a tad bit stagnant near the end, so when things came crashing down, I simply thought to myself “well, it was nice while it lasted” and figured my life would continue without a forum to call my very own. But where else can I can drop game related musings at the drop of a hat, random and batsh*t inanely awesome pics and vids, plus poke fun at hipsters and Willamsburg in general in one central area? Anyhow, stay tuned!

MoCCA Follow-Up

I guess a follow-up to the prior weekend’s debacle might be in order. For starters, when I posted my bitch-fest, I figured that I’d be one of the lone voices of distention as usual. The weird thing about cartoonists sometimes is their penchant for being overly positive about stuff after the fact, like shows, even if they were actually complaining the whole time while in the midst of it. Not this time though. Apparently, lots of people felt the same exact way, if not more so. Hell, even the ultra positive Dave Roman was critical of the entire affair and that dude never complains about anything!

It was a fairly hot topic (excuse the pun) for most of last week. Evan Dorkin perhaps summed it all best over at his LiveJournal. That’s not to say that it hasn’t had its defenders, with my favorite being “it’s summertime, it’s supposed to be hot in New York City”… seriously, give me a f’n break. But most people have generally been on the outraged side of the fence, perhaps due to the fact that a number of individuals actually became ill because from the extreme temperatures. Thankfully none of my crew got sick, though I must admit, it really did leave myself, Katie, and Hilary drained for most of the followingweek. But I only became legitimately pissed off after reading this, in which Evan points out the absolutely asinine penalties for those that reserved a table for next year and who might have to cancel. I’m actually one of those idiots that never reads the fine print, and while I don’t expect to pull out of the show, the thing is, because none of us knows when it’ll be exactly, whose to say that it won’t conflict with something on one of our ends?

Oh, and last night, MoCCA charged me for next year’s table. Something that generally happens much later in the year, like in November. Curious, very curious. Just wish… you know… the date for the show was actually known. I really hope the “take the money and run” vibe I’m getting turns out to be completely unfounded.

There’s That Flick That Combines Up-Skirt Photography And Ninja Skills. And It’s Four Hours Long.

Also last week, the New York Asian Film Festival 09′s full schedule was finally unveiled! Along with the poster…

… As usual, there’s a TON of awesome stuff to see. Like way too much good stuff. Currently, there’s like twenty-five different flicks that I would love to catch, but I know realistically speaking, that ain’t gonna happen; my brain would completely melt near the end. So a far more realistic 18 is on my must watch list at the moment, which of course is subject to change. At the very least, because I’ve totally missed out on every single summer blockbuster thus far, I’m more than ready to spend a good amount of time at a movie house; at one point, my plan was to get a ticket for a movie at the AMC 25 on a weekday morning, and just theater hop the entire day through, to catch Wolverine, Star Trek, Terminator, Up, and anything else that I’m forgetting. But now I’m just saving myself for the NYAFF. Though I’ll be catching the new live action Transformers flick with Dave Maruo, who insists on seeing it while on some kind of psychotropic drug, plus there’s Harry Potter 6 of course. I just hope the forums are up by then, to have yet another FHW (Fucking Hermione Week). The last one was pretty sweet.

Back to the NYAFF; the ones that seem to hold the most promise thus far is the movie where the characters in it write a book, and its characters write a book, and its characters write a book, and its characters write a book… and so on… the one based on a novel centered around a woman’s odyssey to have a split tongue, the one about two music dorks that totally miss the end of the world cuz they were in some basement, listening to some old punk album, the one about a hard boiled Hong Kong detective who uncovers a plot by all the women of the world to kill all the men of the world, the one about a real life plan accident in 85 and the reporter from the small local paper’s attempt at uncovering the real facts (mostly because its by Masato Harada, easily one of my fave Japanese directors, and the dude behind The Shadow Spirits, which might have been the best film I saw all last year), the one about a dead astronaut’s clone arriving at his wife’s doorsteps, plus the sequel to last year’s runaway hit, Tokyo Gore Cops, aka Tokyo Gore Night!

Though the one that looks the most exciting is the four hour long epic about some dude who tries his best to become closer with his ultra conservative father whose just become a Catholic priest by becoming a gigantic perv, developing all sorts of sophisticated (and graceful) manners to take up-skirt pics of women. And who later falls into love with a girl that reminds him of the Virgin Mary or something. Anyhow it’s called Love Exposure, and while most Japanese horror flicks simply make my eyes roll, when it come to their sexual comedies, I’ve almost never been disappointed, with this one looking to be the grand daddy of them all. Meanwhile, the festival is also showing a bunch of short softcore exploitation flicks, known as pink films in their native land, which I’m super interested in, though I have to draw the line somewhere. There’s also a bunch of movies that fall in the genre that Tokyo Gore Cops is the clear king of the hill off, that being the totally f-ed up blood, guts, and even more guts flicks, basically the Japanese equivalent of Evil Dead. I’d say about five in total, with each having some kind of connection to TGC, like it being from the same writer or director. Which to be totally honest seems a tad bit overkill. At the very least, there’s more stuff from mainland China and other parts East this time around, plus the HK classic The Longest Nite is getting a special screening, and that’s a absolutely must see for anyone that hasn’t witnessed it yet. I’d go, but I’ve seen my DVD copy like a hundred times already, no joke.

So yeah, for those who’ll be wondering what’s happened to me in the next two weeks, there ya go.

The Enchanted Forest

Late Friday night myself, Dave Roman, his wife Raina, Steve Flack, plus other friends, all went to the UCB Theater to see “The Sixth Kid In The Hall” aka Kevin McDonald perform his one man show “Hammy & The Kids.” I’m not just saying this just for the purpose of this report, but Kevin happens to be my favorite cast member, and the Kids In The Hall also happened to be one of my favorite all time sketch comedy shows growing up (unlike SNL and even SCTV, it honestly has not aged a single bit), so this was quite the thrill to say the least.

And how awesome was it? Very! The show kicked off with Kevin’s recollection of his childhood, as the son of a raging alcoholic dad whose name was Hamilton, or Hammy as he liked to be called. Remember the sketch Daddy Drank? That was based on the old man, virtually word for word. Naturally, the audience also got to learn what led Kevin down the path of comedy, all starting with the laugh he got while tripping and falling during mass as an alter boy (the priest was less than pleased with his Chevy Chase impression). This led to his decision to go to acting school later in life, where he was promptly kicked one month later by a professor that accused him of being an actor with “just one leg”, with the ironic part being that this particular person himself was an actor who had lost one of his during some stage mishap. But Kevin immediately found himself in Second City, where he encountered Dave Foley and a bond was immediately formed. They would perform all around Toronto alongside other improv troupes, until encountering another that consisted of Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney, and because those four immediately clicked, they then started doing stuff together. The funny part about the fifth member, Scott Thompson, is how he would attend their shows and just jump up on stage to become part of the show, which eventually gained him an official spot. Various other people would come and leave (according to my Comedy Central newsletter, which I received somehow back when the network was struggling to find its footing, the group at one point consisted of ten people, including a black guy and several women), but the core was those five guys, and I guess how they became known as the Kids In The Hall is some well know tale that I personally was not familiar with, but the song that Kevin performed helped to fill in the blanks quite nicely.

I guess it should be no surprise to anyone that the best parts were all the fun little behind the scenes anecdotes during his days as a Kid, such as the inspiration or starting points for certain characters, and just his interactions with fellow cast members in general. Like how he once live with Scott Thompson, and one day when coming home, there was Scott trying to put out a fire in the kitchen, totally naked. Apparently he was trying to boil some eggs, then got aroused, then went to the bedroom to masturbate, which took too long, and thus a grease fire developed. Along the way, we hear of Hammy’s state of affairs at the moment; despite having a very strained relationship, Kevin tries his best to maintain some kind of relationship, though nothing is ever good enough for his father, who takes such things like his son’s penchant for dressing up as a woman for the stage and television not so well. We also hear Kevin addressing his own dysfunctions, such as his severe passive aggressiveness, all of which can be attributed to having an alcoholic dad. The final days of the Kids are recounted, in which there is severe in-fighting across the board, making the writing of their film script all the more difficult, primarily the last week before the studio heads show up to hear about the ending, which had yet to be written. Making things worse, aside from the fact that one of them had walked off (I forget if it was Bruce or Dave), was how Kevin gets a phone call from his father from a hotel room where he’s holed up and literally drinking himself to death, who wants to finally “get into it” with his estranged son.

Upon first hearing about the show, myself and Dave were both somewhat afraid that the entire thing would just be some ultra bitter rant session from McDonald, which as entertaining as that might have been, would have also be on the depressing side. But not the case here, though hearing him address his sick father and the misery that was forced upon him, such as the aforementioned personality quirks, was didn’t bum the audience out either. The entire show from top to bottom was refreshingly honest, never preachy or overly sentiment, and basically avoided all the pitfalls that 99% of one-person shows generally succumb to. I guess the best part was the last part, in which McDonald reveals how the entire gang is getting back together again to film a new series! Coming this fall I believe. Nice to hear that the Kids are all right. Sorry, had to say it.

A SD Fighter In A HD World. Also, Japanese People LOVE Their Dogs.

The next day was spent at Chinatown Fair with Dave Mauro and Joe Salina, since it had been some time since we kicked it at the arcade. I forget if I mentioned this before, but a while ago I encountered King of Fighters XII and was amazed by how bad it looked in person. And once again, the game looked like ass; here’s a very close up shot to help illustrate my point:

According to Dave, the problem is with the contrast, as in the monitor that’s being used has its set way too high. But I would like to assume that the folks running Chinatown Fair would be well aware of this; no other machine has any other similar issue. Strange. At the very least, it’s going to look nice as hell on my standard definition set! As well as Dave’s Astro City. Speaking of which, both myself and Joe are insanely jealous that Dave was able to nab a Japanese 360 from eBay for the ridiculously low price of $135. WTF? Which will be going into the cab, to run Death Smiles of course!

Anyway, I finally played a bit of KOF XII, as did Joe, and… Here’s the thing: I consider myself a King of Fighters fan, but I’m mostly into its diverse and wacky cast of characters, the storyline, the overall vibe of the series. But as for how it plays, some are clearly better than others. And that’s how it is with everyone, hence why everyone still loves KOF 98 so much, and a ton of credit has to be given to SNK for their willingness to experiment (whereas Sf4 frankly bores me to death since it’s the same ol, same ol). But something about this latest one just doesn’t click with me, don’t know why. According to Joe, it plays a lot like KOF 2001, which I’m not familiar with. But at the same time, it definitely does have a very Korean vibe. Not helping is the rather paltry cast of characters, though I’m well aware of how that’s going to be rectified. Still, no Kula Diamond or Vanessa, no sale. And I’m still not a fan of Athena’s gigantic animu eyes. Another odd thing is how the game just ends after five rounds. No big boss or anything. Your time is heavily emphasized in the game… perhaps Joe and I didn’t plow through our five rounds fast enough?

Meanwhile, right next to it was BlazBlue, which simply looked gorgeous. And as much as I’ve always loved the silky smooth look of Guilty Gear, the characters themselves have always been a bit on the boring side, IMHO. Yet everyone in BlazBlue looks insanely cool, plus the backgrounds are simply magnificent, along with all the other little graphic flourishes. Unfortunately, it might not look so hot on Dave’s arcade set-up, let alone mine, since it’s apparently a HD game, period. Meaning on our 4:3 montiors it’ll have letterboxing, plus who knows how it’ll look down-sampled to 480p. Guess we’ll both find out at the end of this month! Neither Joe and I bothered to give it a while since some Korean dude was clearly kicking everyone’s ass, and the steep price was just too much for us, especially since neither of us were going to last all that long.

Also on-hand was Tekken 6, which I’m equally excited about. Too bad no one chose the sheep stage (with its amazing BGM) while Joe and I were looking on. Namco’s actually coming to town in a few weeks with it and various other upcoming titles, so expect a full report when the time comes! As for Dave, he kept himself entertained with SF4. The set-ups they have seem rather pointless now considering that they lack all of the home version’s characters, which is like 65% of the cast. So you’d think it would simply be a chance for those who had honed their skills at home to show them off in public, no? Not really, but even still, Dave would have dispensed with them with much ease in any occasion.

… Afterward the three of us, along with another pal of Dave’s, all had lunch at Restaurant 69, my fave dirt-cheap joint in Chinatown. Then it was off to Piano’s for their four-dollar margarita specials. Very long story short, I had WAY too much to drink. Now, I’m the type of person who finds tales of extreme drunkenness to be, among things, pretty boring, but since it was such a major part of this past weekend… I distinctly recall asking Joe if I should have a fourth, even though three had gotten me to that sweet spot where you are totally drunk out of your mind, just at the edge of having too much and possibly getting sick. Of course I had a fourth, and when Dave and his pal decided to go home, that just left myself and Joe, out and about and completely hammered because Piano’s was getting too crowded. It wasn’t sunny that day, but just it being still light out was pretty annoying. Finally we stumbled into some dive joint in the East Village and planted ourselves in the back, where they were projecting old 80s porn. I went to bathroom when I thought I was going to be sick, but didn’t throw up. I next went to the bar to ask for a glass of water, and after a few sips asked Joe to excuse myself once again. This time, it came pouring out, and all over the place. Once I had composed myself, I told Joe that I really needed to go home and asked for his help hailing a cab. Thankfully once came along almost instantly, and I curled myself into a ball, hoping to sleep through the trip since the rocky NYC roads can make even a sober person sometimes queasy. I then woke up near my destination, but that still wasn’t close enough, so I asked to be excused two blocks away from my apartment, just so I could throw up on the spot. It was highly embarrassing to say the least, but the cabbie was totally understanding. It was the longest two-block walk home ever, as I could barely move. Once I passed the McDonalds that just around the corner, I seriously contemplated just sitting down right up front and taking a nap. Best part was how it was clear that I was this drunken idiot in the middle of broad daylight and no one around me could have given a rat’s ass. That walk up the four flights in my building was pure torture, but I eventually made it to my bed, where I promptly passed out. And also missed all of Katie’s calls, who knew I was pretty out of it, which caused a certain amount of concern, so she rushed to be by my side. She’s simply the best. I was apparently babbling like an idiot for much of the night, but attempts to record it via her cell phone proved unsuccessful. Needless to say, that’s the last time I drink so much for a long time to come. But it’s been kind of a tough and odd past couple of weeks, so I needed to get shit out of my system as well.

BTW, I would learn the next day that a bunch of folks had gotten pretty zonked on margaritas as well on Saturday (even Katie had one when she was out with a pal of hers, before having to rush home to make sure I hadn’t died). But yeah, Saturday afternoon’s hijinks more or less put the cap on any other potential plans. That means I didn’t do jack when it came out to the Come Out & Play Festival (I did have plans to check out the real live Pitfall, so epic fail on my part). Instead, on Sunday, Katie and I went out to Mitsuwa for some Japanese fine dining and food shopping. Since nothing cures a nasty hangover than a nicely breaded pork cutlet covered in katsu sauce and authentic Japanese rice.

It was also a chance to hit the Japanese bookstore and look at the magazines. Naturally, the game rags are my favorite things to flip through, while Katie loves their pet specific periodicals. Call it reverse racism, but I find these strollers for dogs in Japan the cutest thing ever, but meanwhile, if I ever saw the same in Park Slop, I’d probably grab a rock…

Though my fave kind of dog happens to be the very Japanese shiba inu, mostly because they always look like they’re smiling!

… Even when they’re being humiliated by their insane owners. Speaking of Japan, that trip back later this year seems less and less likely as time marches forward, but that’s okay, since Katie and I have tentative plans to go there ourselves after she’s down with grad school. The top of my list of things to check out? The giant, life-sized Gundam that I’m sure many of you are all sick and tired of seeing, but I’m not…

… For additional pics, simply go here, here, here, and here. That one, the shot from a train, simply takes my breath away. I just hope it and the rest of Japan is still around by the time Katie and I can make the trip! Since, you know, North Korea and all.

Well there’s tons more to get into, like E3, which I haven’t even addressed as of yet. But me thinks it best to wrap things up here and wait next time, so till then…

  • http://tinycartridge.com eric_c

    that scott thompson story is f’in hilarious. hilarious! my wife and i actually bumped into him and the kids a couple years ago on the street, and mr. thompson was extremely nice, taking some time to talk to us and just generally being awesome. really great guy, that buddy cole.

  • http://www.enemyonbothsides.com Fitz

    So much wrong…lost forever…

    Or until it gets rebuilt wronger than ever.

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