Top Ten Movies With Appearances by Saved by the Bell Alumnae

Has any television show or movie ever cursed the film prospects of actors the way Saved by the Bell has? Can you imagine anyone involved in the show doing anything but living in the Indiana/California high school known as Bayside? No. You can't.

We'll grant Tiffani(-Amber) Thiessen some cred for vamping it up as Valerie Malone on 90210, and Liz Berkley, no one's faulting you for trying to shake off your SBTB image. M-P Gosselar & Mario Lopez, as much as you blew us away with NYPD and Pacific Blues, respectively, Dead Man on Campus and Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story are one thing: Lark Voorhies - you got engaged to Martin Lawrence and still couldn't even get into one of his mediocre movies! As for Dustin Diamond, we'll let him off the hook this time. [Of the series' stars, only Dennis Haskins managed to do anything of note - and that was sit next to me at the coffee shop in the South Bend (IN) airport. Unfortunately, people tell me this doesn't count as a "movie".]

The Perfect Combination

The current season of 24 has had its ups and downs, a decent kill count, and its share of torture pornography. But President Charles Logan, in all his weak-kneed, turkey-gobbled power has really shined as the anti- David Palmer. Then the real reason it hit us: President Charles Logan of "Day 5" is in fact, the spawn of Don Knotts (R.I.P.) and good ole Tricky Dick, the perfect combination. You be the judge.

Trip-Hopping on UPN

So The Fifth Element was on TV today. We all knew Tricky, one of trip-hopping Bristol, England's favorite rappers/raspers, played a small role as Right Arm (!), Gary Oldman's henchman. He was well cast, because, well, Tricky just looks like he's from the future. Those hairstyles, those jawbones, those mascara-frosted eyes.

Anyway, being familiar with the film careers of various other 1990s UK electronic musicians (jungle fiend Goldie in The World Is Not Enough, for instance, where he coincidentally appears as a scary semi-futuristic henchman-type dude. Not to mention Snatch, henchman there too). Anyway, we just had to check if Tricky had been in anything else.

And oh, has he ever.

The Week In: Cartography Discovery -- Supercities of the Future...NOW!

In the vast majority of movies where the world is wrought with overpopulation and technology to the extreme, shots from space always show the earth covered in gigantic supercities that span miles and miles. The future is closer than it appears. While we may not have hoverboards or chips implanted into our bodies (well, not all of us at least), our metropoli may be taking steps to dominate the landscapes. Eat it, nature.

The Week In: Commercial Aviation -- And Then There Were Two

Damn, I’ve got to get to Russia, soon.

For those of us more interested in the section of the Expedia email revealing what plane is making the trip than, say, that the flight leaves at 6:30 in the morning, this week’s announcement of the conglomeration of all Russian aircraft companies was a call to action.

The Lobbyist and the Swede

Admit it, you've spent more than a few moments browsing your life away on Yeah, yeah, you started trying to find out who directed Casablanca. But you ended up looking at what the spawn of Joe Piscopo is working on. And that's ok.

This feature will compile those utterly useless tidbits of information for you, so next time you're having a conversation with someone, you can say, "Did you know someone made a documentary about Stephen Tobolowsky?"

An Ode to Running

I run for several reasons, none of which involve my health.

For one thing, running is useful when late. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie that I didn’t run to. This was especially the case during a ten-day visit to Paris where I was often running to movies, from other movies. (If you’re wondering why I would be doing this during a ten-day sojourn in Paris, you should read David Sedaris’s chapter, “The City of Light in the Dark” in his book Me Talk Pretty One Day.)

For another thing, I often run for lack of teleportation. That is to say, teleportation has not been invented yet, to my knowledge, and it is sometimes unacceptable to me to think about how much time I am wasting in getting from one place to another. By running, I can speed up the interim period, and then pretend that it never existed.

Here’s why I bring this up.

Cinema No Moss

One of my dream jobs is to curate for an art cinema. Of course, it would have to be the art cinema du jour of a major city, frequented by the filmmakers whose films I program. Until then, I will use this as a forum for my series ideas. If any curators out there see something they like, contact me at


Colorless Colorfulness: Gilliam & Jeunet's Cinema

Until fairly recently, artists and art critics have viewed color as a secondary mode of expression, associating it with superficiality and instability. In the nineteenth century, realist painters contained color within the boundaries of line, arguing that this is the natural order of things. In the 1940s and ‘50s, realist filmmakers tended to use black and white for its associations with rawness, grittiness, and “the real.” David Batchelor has called this history one of “chromophobia,” wherein artists and critics fear color for its associations with the foreign, the superficial, and the unstable.

Kobe B. Battle!: Bryant v. Beef

Cosmodrome HQ recently had a little greenery added to its décor: a large potted plant left on the curb. Before getting thrashed by the cat, the tree was dubbed Kobe. Half of Kobe’s acquaintances replied, “You mean after the basketball guy?” while the other half responded, “You mean after the beef?” Thing is, we didn’t rightly know. So we’ve decided to lay it down, have Bryant and Beef duke it out in our heads so that our tree can have the more radass namesake. Let’s get it on!

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