Hump 5

Yesterday, I went to Hump 5, The Stranger’s annual amateur porn festival. I missed the first year, but have gone every year since. This year was the awesomest! The best in terms of entries overall compared to other years. And also awesomest because because I took my girlfriend. Sharon’s awesome for going with me (and for lots of other reasons). But enough mushy stuff, porn!

  • Dance Belt – Two very cute girls and one guy do a naked spoof of Beyonce’s Single Ladies. Awesome part was the naked guy running the camera was visible in the mirrors at the dance studio where they filmed it. I voted this one the funniest, but it was close.
  • Citizen Came – Total A for effort here. Documentary of a guy who attempts to masturbate 10 times in one 24 hour period. This is what happens when your girlfriend is in rehab for 28 days.
  • Full Swap – Fuzzy security cam action of a swinger apartment. Boring actually.
  • Boys Beware – After the success of Getting a Leg Up In Porn a few years ago, a couple of people this year did their own 50s style documentary porno. This one, about the dangers of homosexuals didn’t inspire me. To cliché
  • Read My Lips – You’d think porn and books would be an automatic winner for me, but this wasn’t the most inspired.
  • I’m Hard – Animation of a rapping dick. Dumb.
  • The Good Book – Very bad porn plot about a nun who reads the book of Mormon and gets punished by her priest. They were enthusiastic though.
  • How to Please Your Man – Larry King hosts a blow job expert on Larry King Live. With clips from Larry King artfully spliced in. Another A for effort.
  • Beyond Gay – Lynn Shelton’s entry, not starring Lynn Shelton. She’s the director who made Humpday, a documentary about two straight guys who made a gay porn for a previous Hump. Dan Savage challenged her to make an actual entry for Hump, and she did. The best dialog of all the entrants, but the decidedly unsexy topic of a lesbian and a fag trying and failing to get each other off but failing because they are not into each other.
  • Incubus – Every year there’s one of these types of entries, something that looks really good and really like someone’s film school project that they decided to enter into Hump. Maybe I just have a bias against entries that don’t look amateur enough for my view of an amateur porn festival.
  • Dumpster Humpster – Sex in a dumpster. Kind of a magical dumpster like the Narnia wardrobe, that’s bigger inside than outside. They overplayed loaves of bread in a faux-sexy way, and the bread dough was bad. A for creativity though!
  • Sex Moves 102 – I think the only entry this year that had both gay and straight sex. Just some made up sex moves with accompanying demonstrations. Really liked this one and up there for both funny and sexy categories.
  • Violet Uprising – Really really creepy puppet sex. Really well done, but since the categories were funny and sexy, and not creepy, I couldn’t in good conscious vote it for either.
  • Maximum Overload – Cliche plot. Surprising actually, since the porn in Hump is usually kinda creative in ways that real porn isn’t. Guy goes into virtual reality to have sex with V.R. girl. Roommate bumps the power cord, and the girl comes out of V.R. and the guy is stuck inside it. Cute participants. Pretty well put together.
  • Trolley Tryst – Dan Savage’s short version: Sluts ride the SLUT. It’s exactly what you’d think it is. Someone had the guts to have sex on the SLUT, with several helpful people to film (at least one on the streetcar and one in a vehicle alongside). Those streetcars aren’t that big. You can’t go to the back of the train to do this and hide, though the streetcar did appear empty except for the driver. Gutsiest entry this year. Top 3 for sexiest.
  • Guess Who’s Cumming to Dinner – Eh. Delivery boy. I need say no more.
  • The Password – Tell me the password or I will torture you with S&M. With lines even more wooden than actual porn. I had to look away when the needles made an appearance.
  • The Modern Housewife – The second 50s style documentary this year. Susie goes next door to borrow some Saran Wrap while her husband is away. Lots of creative uses of Dow Chemical products. Totally hot lesbians. Really pretty funny.
  • I Went To a Party and Had a Dream – Guy falls asleep on the couch at a party while multiple other couples have sex on the other end of the couch. Kinda boring except the last scene, which was an outtake of the girl on the other end of the couch projectile cumming on the pretend asleep guy (and thus had his eyes closed so he didn’t see it coming).
  • Our Ruinous Love – Clips of various things I would never ever try. Kitchen implements. Traffic cones. Anal hook. Saran wrap. Here’s the thing, either you got to turn me on, or you really need to show how turned on you are. This did neither.
  • Fuck – The absolute worst entry this year. Only entry that I thought nothing positive of. At least all the others had something going for them, funny, creative, gutsy, sexy, etc. These guys took a creative idea and made it bad. Evil nemesis poisons two cops johnsons so that if they lose their erections they die. No one gets naked. No style to the dialogue. Hated this so much.
  • Cyclust – Sorta stop motion photography style. Two cyclists meet riding and then go have sex. I love the pictures where the two were just smiling at each other, totally into each other. Voted this one for Sexiest just for that. I love seeing two people into each other.
  • ET2: Dark Territory – Animation. ET returns. Elliot’s all grown up. Shocking. And diabolical.

The Wrestler

I forgot to say I saw the Wrestler. I thought it was a pretty good, but really depressing movie. Micket Rourke plays a broken down formerly popular wrestler reliving his glory years in independent wrestling shows around New Jersey. I thought Roarke did a pretty damn good job acting. Marisa Tomei was good as well, though I wouldn’t call the performance Oscar material. Roarke was deserving of an Oscar (not necessarily over the other nominees though).

Granted, it’s depressing, but what I liked about the film was the applause as a drug aspect. Randy the Ram just couldn’t let go of being the star, no matter how faded. Gives up family, a naked Marisa Tomei, and perhaps even his life, just for one more toke on the pipe. Though in his defense, Marisa Tomei gets her shit together to show up only when it’s really too late. Is he supposed to walk away when he’s already at the curtain and the rest of the show is out front? For his sake, probably best though.


Rhona Mitra at the LA Comic Book Convention 2009
Rhona Mitra at the LA Comic Book Convention 2009

Did Doomsday
even make it to theaters? Laura raved about it, so we watched it when I hung out with her. I’m all for suspension of disbelief, but that only goes so far. The plot made no sense whatsoever. It stars Rhona Mitra (I’m going to use her picture instead of a DVD cover cause the movie was forgettable and she’s hot) as an orphan turned super-commando in Britain. In this future world, a virulent disease started turning Scotland into a nation of zombies, so the UK sealed it off. That’s when Mitra was orphaned; she escaped, mom didn’t. Years later, the disease has reappeared in Britain, but satellite photos show survivors in Scotland, implying the Scots must have discovered a cure. Mitra gets sent back to find it, battling Mad Max wannabes and medieval re-enactors for the privilege. As things go along, Mitra removes more and more clothing and ends up doing most of her fighting in a black tank top.

As high camp, I’ve seen worse. The director, Neil Marshall, uses every opportunity to show exaggerated gore. The Mad Max guys are over the top, as are their sworn enemies the guys who have reverted to medieval times. Apparently everyone likes to have gladiator-style arena fights for entertainment. Or at least Neil Marshall would if the world fell apart. What makes me wonder is why he included Bob Hoskins as a pseudo- good guy? Pretty much everyone else is a ruthless bastard. Why the exception I do not know, particularly when he gets almost no screen time or much of a part of the plot.

Rhona Mitra photo by Joits used under the GFDL per licensing here.

Gran Torino

Back to posting, and I have some catching up to do.

A couple of weeks ago Jason and I went to see Eastwood’s new movie, Gran Torino. From the title, I would have expected a Fast and Furious type of car movie. And I couldn’t figure out how the hell Clint Eastwood would fit into that.

Anyhoo, I thought it was a pretty decent movie. Simple, well-told story. The characters ride a well-trod road, but they do it well.

By the way, it’s not a car movie. It’s a keeping kids out of gangs movie. You probably knew that already.


Kanal DVD
Kanal DVD

Sunday I watched a second movie in the Andrej Wajda Criterion Collection, Kanal. Really good film. I liked it even more than Ashes and Diamonds. It’s even more depressing, but I didn’t like it for that.

Set during the Warsaw Uprising, Kanal tells the story of a 40+ man unit of the Polish resistance. At first they take over an apartment building where they intend to rest for a bit before fighting the German army. Several of the men have lovers, including one who is somewhat part of the unit. The Germans attack, and the unit loses half it’s men. Afterward, they are ordered to travel to downtown Warsaw via the sewers to reinforce the rest of the Polish resistance there. The largest part of the movie is them crawling through filth in the sewers, trying to find the proper way out. Wouldn’t want to come up amid a German army encampment.

My favorite thing about the movie? Teresa Iżewska’s character Stokrotka. She’s a blond who’s schtupping Tadeusz Janczar’s Lieutenant Jacek. She doesn’t exactly travel with the men, but travels through the sewers out of downtown Warsaw to meet up with them. During the first battle scene though, Jacek gets himself shot while disabling German mini-tank. Stokrotka accompanies him as the unit heads back through the sewers to Warsaw. Being injured, Jacek can’t keep up, but Stokrotka knows the way, so it isn’t quite the problem you’d expect. The irony about the whole thing is that while the men almost uniformly treat the women as lesser-than, Stokrotka is by far the strongest of the entire group. They get freaked out by the sewers and filth, but she’s the one bravely soldiering on, telling them it ain’t so bad, that they’ll make it through. She more or less carries Jacek through when he starts becoming delusional from his wounds. The tragedy is that she’s in love with the oblivious Jacek, who thinks she’s so tough that she’d never fall in love with anyone. He’s too bull-headed to see what’s in front of him.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to the film than that, but that’s the reason to watch it. Oh, for sure it’s a good depressing Polish war movie. If you are into that. But Teresa Iżewska is a terrific actor playing an awesome role. That’s the best.

Taphouse Grill

A friend of mine, formerly of Seattle, was back in town last night to visit. To celebrate, a number of us had dinner at Taphouse Grill in downtown Seattle. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t particularly thrilling.

The first issue is one most people have dealt with: the bill. After collecting money, we were short $100 on the bill. I think the primary cause of that was all the beer our table drank. Taphouse Grill’s gimmick is having 160 beers on tap. But the beer isn’t cheap, and people (at least in our group) don’t keep track of how many they drink. I’m a non-drinker, so I have a pretty easy time of keeping track of my alcoholic intake. We made everyone pitch in again and got it all covered.

The second part of the suboptimal experience was the atmosphere. The bar has a nice mixture of locals and downtown hotel tourists, which makes for good conversation. At least if you are sitting at the bar and want to make conversation. However, the cavernous ceilings at Taphouse Grill cause a lot of echoing. I had a pretty hard time hearing.

And lastly my food was very undistinguished. I had Garlic Chicken Penne. Outside of the garlic, it would be a normal run-of-the-mill chicken penne dish. Nothing special, nothing bad. But I could barely taste the garlic in the mixture. In fact, when I picked out a roasted garlic clove or two and bit into them, I could still barely taste the garlic. Somehow the palce is picking the most unflavorful garlic ever, or they are somehow leaching out all the garlic flavor before using it in the food.

Now I don’t want to say this was a bad experience because it wasn’t. These things are all typical for having dinner in a restaurant. I’m of the opinion that a restaurant should be giving me something I can’t get at home for the money I pay, no matter what items on the menu I choose. Even if I’m not drinking, the remaining menu should still be better than a boxed Lean Cuisine dish. And it wasn’t.

Ashes and Diamonds

Ashes and Diamonds thumbnail
Ashes and Diamonds

I forgot to write this up the other day, but Michelle brought over a three DVD collection of Andrej Wajda. I know very little of him, other than he’s an obscure Polish filmmaker. Perhaps not so obscure to the film elite, but obscure to me. This is part of the Criterion Collection for Wajda, so someone thinks he’s important. (A quick read of his Wikipedia entry shows he’s a fairly big deal. I’m just too provincial I guess.)

We watched Ashes and Diamonds, set in post war Poland. The communists are in control, but haven’t completely solidified their dominance. Several members of the underground are assigned to kill an important regional communist official, but they shoot the wrong people. Before they can correct their mistake, one of the young men falls in love with a bartender while staking out the official. He wants to get out and go do schmoopy things possibly before he even finishes the job. The film is mostly about his conflicted decision. As best I can tell, that is.

The movie is kind of depressing, but I enjoyed it. Lots of symbolism, most of which I didn’t get. Stuff like lit glasses of alcohol symbolizing youthful optimism. I think the ending is supposed signify the futility of idealism, but the manner in which the ending happened seemed so abrupt and disconnected from the rest of the story that it detracted. In other words, if this idealism is futile, why not have the idealism lead to the depressing ending? But it doesn’t. The depressing ending is actually pretty random. Maybe I just missed something.

Better connected all around was the story of the communist official. One of the sub-plots is one where his son, raised by estranged family, has joined the underground. The depressing ending for the communist official is much more connected to his relationship with his son.

I have two others in the collection that I need to watch.

Quinn’s Pub

To start off the new blog, I will give a short review of Quinn’s Pub on Capitol Hill.

I arrived around 5 p.m. today. Even at that time, the noise level was fairly high. I have problems hearing over background noise, so I do favor slightly quieter restaurants. However, the table was narrow enough that I could hear my dinner companions, so I wasn’t too put out. By 8 p.m., I was straining a bit to hear.

Our server left a little to be desired too. One of our party hemmed and hawed a bit while ordering drinks, and the server just walked away without so much as an I’ll give you a couple of minutes to think about it. He also walked away without getting orders from everyone at the table more than once. He was quite cheerful. Overall the service was satisfactory, just not ideal.

The strong part was the food. I had a Sloppy Joe as an appetizer, and it was quite tasty. The meat in this sandwich is boar meat, which made for something different. I ate the house-made sausage plate with mashed potatoes for my main course, and that was one of the best sausages I’ve ever had. Rather than a strong overwhelming flavor, theirs is subtle and not too spicy, which allowed me to taste the flavor of the meat.

I would definitely go back.