All posts by Ian Belknap

As I Lay Dying: Step Up To Free Laundry, Man-Child

As I Lay Dying: Step Up To Free Laundry, Man-Child

In which Jason and Ian Belknap review the trailer for As I Lay Dying.


Hi, Ian. Can I be honest with you? I’ve never even read As I Lay Dying. So I don’t know who’s going to lay dying in this thing. James Franco, maybe? He seems like he’d be good at laying down and dying.

Kick-Ass 2: At The Center Of Whom Burns A Molten Core Of Attention-Lust

Kick-Ass 2: At The Center Of Whom Burns A Molten Core Of Attention-Lust

Jim Carrey quite clearly fears painting himself into a Rip Taylor-style corner.

Yeah. Boom. How’s that for a thesis statement?

Stop shame-shaking your head at me, man. You think I don’t know?

Look, Judgey – just hear me out, OK?

Jim Carrey—his mounting desperation to avoid the Confetti Cannon of a Rip Taylor Fate impels him to adopt evermore implausible grabs for Versatility and strained claims at the Legitimacy that will never come.

Because for every Eternal Sunshine, there shall remain a Cable Guy, for every Truman, there shall persist an Ace Ventura.

Masters of the Universe: Is That, In Point Of Fact, Frank Langella In There?

Masters of the Universe: Is That, In Point Of Fact, Frank Langella In There?

In which Jason reviews the trailer for “Masters of the Universe” with Ian Belknap, former Fact Checker for The Encylopedia Show , and Founder and Overlord of WRITE CLUB.


I feel like Skeletor is throwing away a big opportunity to ghost-ride the whip here. If you aren’t familiar with the parlance, ghost riding the whip is when you put your car in neutral, turn the volume up on your stereo, and exit your vehicle to dance beside it as it rolls forward.  Much like Mitt Romney’s inauguration speech if he’d won the 2012 election, it’s a “Jesus, take the wheel!” kind of scenario, except with more Ray Parker Jr. samples.

“Hey ghosts, could you steer my PT Cruiser? I just need to hop out and twerk for a second. What? Your hands are incorporeal?! I thought you were a poltergeist! Look, just try to scare the car in the right direction. And would it kill you to put on a bed sheet with eye holes in it? People are going to think I’m dancing in the street next to a moving vehicle with no driver and I’ll look like a crazy person.”

Food for thought: Ray Parker Jr. is more afraid of ghosts than he’s ever been in his entire life.

Anyway, does Skeletor think he’s too good to hop out and ghost ride his own hovercraft? Maybe he’s the ghost, and every vehicle he occupies is constantly considered to be in a state of being ghost-ridden, and it’s his minions who should be dancing.


These are all excellent points you’re making. If “excellent” is understood to mean “scattershot observations that fail entirely to miss the most salient aspects of a thing.”

I for one would ask: “How are we to know that this is actually Frank Langella in there?” How are we to know? The credits that roll at the end of the picture? The somnolent voiceover in this trailer? His IMDB page? The voice (allegedly) issuing forth from behind that skull mask that looks to be made from some kind of luminous extraterrestrial snot? At least THIS Amazon summarizer has the COURAGE to ask of Langella’s memoir “Dropped Names” “How did Brooke Astor lose her virginity?”

Look, I’ll be the first man to stand tall and agree that there can be no more pure expression of “a being of utter evil” than the ability to shoot unconvincing fuschia lightning out of one’s fingertips in a command chamber festooned with gold lamé, as he does here. That’s not the issue. That much is clear. The credentials of the character are unimpeachable. But the people have a right to know: IS that Satellite- and Fangoria Chainsaw Award-nominated actor Frank Langella inside that snot-skull? I mean – at the risk of coming as the “Langella Birther Movement” within the mediascape of the nation of this trailer – I think we can all agree that it doesn’t take a whole lot of convincing to get Dolph goddamn Lundgren to put on that Linda Evans wig and spray tan, wriggle into that light bondage gear (Sidebar: BILLION dollar franchise idea: “Fifty Shades of Dolph” – you’re welcome), and pretend to be Adam, Prince of Eternia. And where the fuck is Battle Cat, by the way?

But Frank fucking Langella has come to STAND for something, goddammit. I mean, we’re talking about the guy who captured our hearts as Lieutenant Hudson in the 2005 Ja Rule picture Back in the Day. OK, maybe not our hearts. But some fleeting portion of our attention, for sure. That portion devoted to late-night BET-sightings of Frank Langella, at any rate.

As to this business of ghost-riding, which I believe was the initial subject of your inquiry: this seems a fantastic way to blow the minds of passersby. Provided you were somehow able to assure that the only passersby were plucked from the ranks of those whose minds are also blown by guys like this.