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…of the new theme is up! Here it is:

Check out all of the headers (so far) here,


…that I wrote for “Variety” right here.

Bob Saget narrates my life,


…right here:

“Fillmore: The Last Days” – After more than a decade of being the venue of San Francisco, The Fillmore hosted its final concert on July 4th, 1971. But unlike a normal concert, this farewell played out over the span of five days and included some of the biggest names in the music business including the Grateful Dead, Santana and Jefferson Airplane, among others. This documentary, originally released in 1972, depicts the events of those final Fillmore days including footage of the fans, the acts, and the man responsible for the entire event: legendary rock impresario and Fillmore owner Bill Graham. The quality of the film is pretty good, especially considering that it’s nearly 40 years old, but the sound isn’t the best. Still, the DVD is a nice glimpse at the last breaths of the late-sixties psychedelic music scene of San Francisco.

“Fast Company” – A Cronenberg classic that was mostly unknown in the States is now on Blu-ray for all to enjoy. A quick-paced story about fast money, fast women and fast cars, “Fast Company” is kind of like if “The Fast and the Furious” had a freaky mutant baby with “Talladega Nights.” Personally, it’s not my favorite Cronenberg film (it’s a far cry from “The Fly”), but I’m glad I finally got to see it, especially in all its high-definition clarity.

“Living Colour: New Morning, The Paris Concert” – I first started listening to Living Colour in the seventh grade; that was 1988. For some reason, it took me almost fifteen years to finally see them perform live and, even though it took a long time to catch them, I’m glad I finally did. This disc captures a two-hour performance of Corey, Vernon, Doug and Will still rocking shit in 2007 in Paris at the New Morning. All the classic tracks are here (including my favorite, “Love Rears Its Ugly Head”) as are a few of their newer hits. And the whole thing was filmed in HD so, for those of you who own sweet-ass HDTVs, you’re in luck. Yeah, Living Colour may very well be reaching the 30-year mark of their career (they formed in 1983), but they can still put on a great show; this DVD captures exactly that.

“I’m Rick James: The Definitive DVD” – Long before Rick James was a punchline on “Chappelle’s Show” he was rocking the funk out of life! Yes! With over two hours of material, “I’m Rick James” collects live performances, interviews and promotional videos filmed at the peak of his career. Sure, the peak of his career eventually came back to bite him in the ass, but James could rock both spandex and Jheri curl better than anyone else back then! Of course, some of the performances are laughable looking back on them (especially the terrible music video for “Glow”, a track that is almost void of lyrics and shows James doing a horrible impersonation of a moonwalking Prince), but in his prime there was no one punkier or funkier.

“Crude Impact” – Looking to have the shit scared out of you? Watch this documentary about the impact of oil consumption on the Earth. This movie will inevitably get the “An Inconvenient Truth” comparison, and I guess that’s fine; but unlike that film, “Crude Impact” focuses more on the damage already done than what lies at the end of the terrifying path we’ve been taking over the past century. The toll that oil drilling and consumption has already taken on both the world and its inhabitants is truly mind-blowing; so much, in fact, that parts of the movie almost left me thinking, “Well, we’re fucked, so that’s that.” But the importance of the documentary lies more in its depiction of how much of what we use in our daily life is either made from oil, or uses oil to get into our home. The film is admittedly not a feel-good hit and you will not walk away from it feeling better about the world. But you will walk away from it thinking about it, and isn’t that the point?

“Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth” – The dark mind of Harlan Ellison has spawned everything from episodes of “Star Trek” to full-length novels, and this documentary looks at the man, the brain and the sometimes contentious mouth behind that work. Directed by Erik Nelson, the film goes past the expected “genius writer” angle and instead tries to go deeper into why Ellison’s writing works on such a broad scale. Featuring interviews with some of Ellison’s closest friends and fans, from Robin Williams to Ron Moore to Neil Gaiman, the film shows how his work has gone on to influence other creative people working in the worlds of both entertainment and literature. The best part is Ellison himself, who comes across as having no care in the world about anything, swearing like a sailor and not apologizing for any of it. My hero! There are a few extras included on the disc, but the best is a 50-minute feature called “Pizza with Mr. Ellison and Mr. Gaiman,” which is exactly what you think it is.

“Crips and Bloods: Made in America” – Stacy Peralta may very well be one of the original Z-Boys, but if he keeps making films like this he’s going to be remembered as one of the most exceptional documentary filmmakers of his time. Switching from skateboards and surfboards to the Crips and Bloods, Peralta hands us the history of the Los Angeles gang scene and its effects on the very psyche of those living within its boundaries. Narrated by Forest Whitaker, “Made in America” starts at the birth of the Los Angeles street gang mentality, back in the fifties when African American children were denied access to other neighborhood organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, and takes us through the Watts riots of the sixties, the Rodney King riots of the nineties, and to the scary current status of gangland in South Central today. Featuring interviews with members of both the blue and the red, this film answers the questions of why kids join gangs in the first place, and what can be done to show them that there is an alternative.

“Scholastic’s Treasury of 25 Storybook Classics: Fairytales, Magic… and more!” – If you’re a princess, you’re going to want to own this set of children’s stories! Or if you happen to be the parent of a little princess. Of course, I’m neither the parent of one, or one myself, so that makes this review kind of creepy. Still, the folks at Scholastic have released this four-disc set full of stories that I’m sure all kids will like, but it’s definitely geared more toward younger girls. The first disc features some classic fairy tales as turned on their head by author James Marshall: “The Three Little Pigs,” “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “Hansel and Gretel” are collected, among others. The second disc features six Hans Christian Andersen tales including “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Disc three is titled “Rapunzel,” which is a fine story on its own, but not as fine as my two favorites from the disc: “The Talking Eggs” and “Princess Furball.” But my favorite disc in the set is the fourth disc which features the bizarre tale of Strega Nona, an elderly woman who helps her fellow villagers with everything from their aches and pains to their love lives. Another fun story from this disc is “Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman.” So whether you’re a little princess yourself (it’s okay, you can admit it) or you happen to know one, pick this up. If you like loud machines and huge monsters, however, see below.

“Scholastic’s Treasury of 25 Storybook Classics: Dinosaurs, Trucks, Monsters… and more!” – Now, if fairytales and prinesses aren’t your thing, and you find yourself being more interested in things like man-eating sharks and noisy steam shovels, this four-disc set might be more up your alley. The first disc is devoted entirely to dinosaurs! From this set we learn about their bones, how they say goodnight, and how they eat their food. All things every kid should know, right? The second disc features stories about kids! How appropriate! Stand-out stories are “What’s Under My Bed?” and, my favorite, “The Island of the Skog.” The third disc gives us two stories, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” and “Wee Gillis,” both of which are fairly entertaining, but neither of them are as good as the fourth disc’s main story, “I Stink!” a story about a smelly and loudmouthed garbage truck! Is it any surprise that this would be my favorite story of the batch? “Trashy Town” and “Arnie the Doughnut” are also fun tales included on the six-story disc. So if you (or your offspring) love noisy machines and big creatures (or vice versa for that matter), this is the set to get. If you’re more of a fairytale/princess type, however, see above.

“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” – I was never a fan of Joss Whedon until Dr. Horrible came along. I never got the infatuation with his work, but have no shame in admitting now that the “Sing-Along Blog” is nothing short of brilliant. Not only that, but the DVD release of the Internet sensation and the bonus material that comes with it is just as good. For those of you who don’t know, let me give you a quick plot breakdown: Billy, also known as Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), is a supervillain with two things on his mind: world domination and winning the love of Penny (Felicia Day), the woman he sees frequently at the laundromat. Of course, Billy’s archnemesis, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), constantly gets in the way of both goals. And all of this is set to music. Genius. But what’s even more genius are the disc’s special features. Like the film itself, the commentary is also sung to music which you’d think would become jumbled or confusing, but it works remarkably well, telling us the story behind the story… all in verse. Also included are behind-the-scenes featurettes, blooper reels and a few hilarious interviews with members of the Evil League of Evil. In all, just a very smart idea with a flawless execution. I guess that finally makes me a Joss Whedon fan, huh?

“Vanilla Fudge: When Two Worlds Collide” – I remember listening to Vanilla Fudge as a kid, so I thought this DVD of one of their live shows might (at the very least) spark some nostalgia in me. Sadly, it didn’t even do that. Maybe it’s because only two original members remain (Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice), or maybe it’s because watching a bunch of sixty-something retirees jam together will never sound the same as it did coming out of my dad’s old stereo. I guess for my parents’ generation this might be one to pick up, but you can probably pass on it if you were born after 1970.


Man… I honestly don’t even know where to begin.

What transpired last night may be old-hat to regular Hollywood types, but it was a bizarre whirlwind for a bald Hungarian from Milwaukee.

So, yeah… let me start from the beginning.

Jorge came over early in the day and wanted to take a quick nap before leaving. I worked on some stuff while he slept, and around 6PM we finally left for Grauman’s.

Now, keep in mind that this is rush hour in Los Angeles, and we’re going to a blocked-off road that is literally packed with hundreds of screaming people. We were supposed to pick up our tickets before 6:45PM, and the doors were supposed to be closed at 7PM.

Luckily, these times are more suggested than they are set in stone. Of course, we didn’t know that and therefore found ourselves running from the parking garage to the red carpet.

Numerous fans approached Jorge during this sprint, asking for pictures and autographs.

Fan: “Mr. Garcia, can I get in a photo with you?”

Jorge: “Sure, as long as you can do it while we’re moving.”

So, needless to say, there are a few photos out there from last night that (if you didn’t know the story) appear as if fans are taking part in a marathon with Hurley from “Lost.”

We finally got to Grauman’s and were ushered into the press area. It was… how can I put this? Insane.

There were people everywhere: in the stands above us, across the street holding up photos of Hurley for Jorge to sign, yelling at us from every direction. There were a brillion cameras, a frillion video cameras and a zrillion screaming human beings.

It was at this point that I started to look around and realize that pretty much everyone around us was a celebrity.

“Oh, there’s Napoleon Dynamite,” I remember thinking. “And Simon Pegg. And Tori Spelling. And Hank Azaria.”

It was weird. I mean, it wasn’t exactly a starstruck moment, unlike the TRS. But it was something that I can only describe as being bizarre.

There were people everywhere. It was madness.

Here’s Jorge looking at fans across the street who were yelling his name:

Jorge Garcia at the "Star Trek" Premiere

And here are the photographers:

Photographers at the "Star Trek" Premiere

Seth Green was in line in front of us:

Seth Green at the "Star Trek" Premiere

As was Jon Heder and a guy I’m assuming is either his clone or his brother:

Jon Heder at the "Star Trek" Premiere

Here are a few more pics of the craziness that was happening in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard:

Fans at the "Star Trek" Premiere

"Star Trek" Premiere

Press at the "Star Trek" Premiere

Eventually, Jorge made his way onto the carpet with J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie. Here’s a picture of them, followed by a short video of them making their way off the carpet:

Jorge Garcia, J.J. Abrams and Katie Abrams at the "Star Trek" Premiere

After the photo area we were shuffled to a section where Jorge took a few quick questions from television and radio reporters:

Jorge Garcia doing some press at the "Star Trek" Premiere

As he did that, I walked around and shot a few more pics. Here’s senior citizen Spock (Leonard Nimoy):

Leonard Nimoy at the "Star Trek" Premiere

Followed by young whipper-snapper Spock (Zachary Quinto):

Zachary Quinto at the "Star Trek" Premiere

Finally, we made our way inside walking under the “Star Trek” spike:

The "Star Trek" spike in front of Grauman's at the "Star Trek" Premiere

And this, my friends, is where the evening got really weird.

First, Grauman’s Theatre is just an amazingly beautiful place to see a movie. It’s small like old-school independent theaters, but has a large screen and a great sound system. It’s kind of like a Model T that’s been souped-up with hydraulics and a sweet stereo system: an up-to-date classic, if that makes any sense.

The interior of the space is just as impressive, featuring a gorgeous ceiling. It was dark in there, but I managed to take a quick shot of it here:

The ceiling of Grauman's at the "Star Trek" Premiere

We were taken to our seats. Two rows up from us: Simon Pegg. To the right of us: Matthew Fox. Directly across the aisle from us: Jonathan Frakes who played Captain Riker on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (Thanks, Jocco!)

And sitting directly behind us… Samuel L. Jackson. And he was looking directly back at me.

Almost like a fart that accidentally slips out during the quietest part of a play:

Me: “Oh! Hello.”

Jorge turns around to see who I’m saying hello to and has about the same exact reaction.

Jorge: “Oh, wow! Hi there.”

Samuel L. Jackson: “Turn the fuck around and shut the fuck up, motherfucker!”

Actually, that’s just what I wish he had said because it would have made for a better story. What he actually said was:

Samuel L. Jackson: “Hello.”

I turned around and noticed he was there with a younger girl. I assumed it was his daughter, which was verified when Jorge shook his hand and said:

Jorge: “It’s really nice to meet you. I’m Jorge. I’m on a show called ‘Lost.'”

Samuel L. Jackson: “Yeah, that’s what my daughter just told me. Nice to meet you.”

My turn now, putting my hand out:

Me: “I’m Justin. I’m no one. I’m just here with him.”

Samuel L. Jackson: “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger!”

Yeah. I wish. Instead:

Samuel L. Jackson: “Nice to meet you.”

So yeah, I geeked out a little bit. In my defense, so did Jorge. At one point he leaned over to me and whispered:

Jorge: “I feel like we should offer to switch seats with them.”

By the end of the night, we agreed that meeting Jackson was the high-point of the evening. We also agreed that it was kind of intimidating spending two hours sitting in a dark room with him directly behind us.

The best Samuel L. Jackson Moment (SLJM) came just as they lowered the lights. The movie was supposed to start at 7PM and they kept flashing the house lights to try and get people to take their seats. Unfortunately, this was having no effect on people.

Every time they’d flash the lights it would appear as if they were about to start the movie, at which point Jackson would say something like, “About time,” or, “Let’s start this.” Finally, after the third or fourth time, he began to get frustrated.

So when they finally lowered the lights at 8PM (an hour late) and everyone quietly scattered to their respective seats, Jackson could be heard loudly over everyone else’s whispering, saying:

Samuel L. Jackson: “Well, it’s a good thing this movie didn’t start at 7 o’clock like it was supposed to because these motherfuckers would’ve missed it!”

As long as I live, that phrase will be forever stamped into my brain. Sweet Jesus.

“Pulp Fiction” is in my top five films of all-time, and Jackson is probably the coolest person I could have met from that movie. (Sorry, Travolta.) So I show no shame in admitting that it was very cool to be able to shake that man’s hand.

J.J. Abrams got up and introduced the cast from the movie and they all stood up to accept their applause: Chris Pines, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Eric Bana, Winona Ryder, et al.

A few of the original “Trek” guys were there, too, including Spock, Chekov and Sulu.

While Abrams was introducing everyone I gave a quick glance around the crowd and noticed that Doogie himself was sitting in the row behind us a few chairs down: Neil Patrick Harris.

When I was a kid, especially in high school, people used to call me “Doogie Howser” because they thought I looked like him, and maybe back then I did. Now, not so much. The years have been kind to Doog and not so kind to Shady.

Finally, after hours of anticipation, the movie began.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I don’t really like “Star Trek.” I know a little bit about it that I’ve learned kind of by proxy from being friends with my old college roommate, Jocco. But science fiction is, quite honestly, a genre I’ve never really enjoyed.

But since I was sitting in a room with everyone affiliated with the movie I decided that I wanted to watch it completely unbiased.

And I can say without shame or an ounce of sarcasm that “Star Trek” is a great fucking movie.

What’s great about it is that you don’t have to be a “Star Trek” fan to enjoy it. In fact, Abrams talked a little bit at the beginning about how he was never really a fan growing up. The same goes for a lot of the actors and other people associated with the film. This isn’t a “Star Trek” movie made by fans; it’s a “Star Trek” movie made by people who were just trying to make a good movie.

So, very much in the same way that “The Dark Knight” works on many levels for both Batman fans and non-fans alike, this movie is just a solid story from beginning to end. It has great character structure, an interesting story and (of course) great sound and visuals.

It was so good, in fact, that Jorge and I agreed that we’d both go again after it opens next Friday, this time taking my girlfriend Kathy along. That means that I will have to pay to see it which, if you know me, rarely happens.

After the movie we made our way to the after-party which took place in some warehouse/parking lot just off of Highland.

The party was a free fest. They had free everything! Free food! Free booze! Free Slushies! They even handed out free “Star Trek” drinking glasses which I think were sponsored by Burger King. Why do I think that? Because this huge Klingon King was walking around the party:

The Klingon King

We saw a few people at the party we hadn’t seen at the movie theater including Chuck (Zachary Levi), McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Malcolm in the Middle (Frankie Muniz).

Jorge ran into Robert Weide who had directed him in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Weide said I should go over and have a conversation with Greg Mottola (director of “Superbad”) because it would be like having a conversation with a mirror.

This brings up a good point: There was a fair share of bald men with dark-rimmed glasses there last night, including “Lost” writer/”Star Trek” producer Damon Lindelof. On our way to the theater I joked with Jorge that if anyone came up to me wanting an interview with Damon, I was just going to go ahead and do it.

Of course, I didn’t really think that would happen. I mean, what are the odds, right?

Well, apparently the odds are pretty good, because throughout the course of the evening I was approached three times about how much someone loved my work on “Lost.”

“I just love your show,” they’d say as they tapped me on the shoulder.

“Oh. I’m not him. But he’s here somewhere.”

Bald white men with glasses are the new Asians: We all look alike. I’d like to go to lunch with Mottola and Lindelof and really freak some people out.

Before we left for the premiere I had told myself that I wasn’t going to ask people for photos, mostly because I’ve seen firsthand how Jorge sometimes gets bombarded.

But on our way to the after-party I found myself regretting not asking Samuel L. Jackson for a photo, so I told myself that if someone cool was at the after-party and it felt alright, I’d ask maybe just one person for a quick pic.

And here is my one:

Christian Slater and Justin Shady at the "Star Trek" Premiere after-party

Somewhat because of “Heathers” but mostly because of “True Romance.” I love that fucking movie. Christian had talked to Jorge earlier in the evening and he seemed really cool and down-to-earth so I figured, eh, what the hell.

And that was pretty much it. We went to another party at Crown Bar for about four minutes (and was given a nice shot of Patron), but quickly left when we realized we couldn’t even hear ourselves speak.

We made a quick late-night stop at Benito’s for some 2AM tacos and made our way back home.

Before I wrap this up, I want to leave you guys with two images. They had one of those photo booths at the party where you dress up in goofy outfits and get your photo taken. I like to think of these next two photos as our prom shot, something to print out and keep in a frame for decades so we can constantly be humiliated by them.


Are you ready for your exam?

Two dorks walk into a Hollywood premiere after-party...

Thanks for the night, Jorge! I had a great time and really appreciate it.

Live dong and prostate,


PS: Before leaving yesterday, I had a theory that Trent Reznor was going to be at the premiere. I thought that might be the case because he had made a few joking comments on his Twitter page that he might have to cancel the May 8th tour date for Nails because it was the opening night of “Star Trek.” Then he followed up with something like, “Got it figured out.” So yeah, I kept an eye open for him last night but didn’t see him anywhere. Then, this morning, Kathy found this online.

Motherfucker. I knew it!

Because if you don’t, you just missed Neil Patrick Harris saying, “I love this burger so much I wanna sew my ass shut.”

And now Regis Philbin just did a cameo and screamed, “Daddy needs his meat!”

Fucking. Awesome.

Am I a writer for that show?


Old Poop!