Archive for July, 2009

In Other News: Vacation

July 31, 2009

I will be going on vacation this week, but I am thinking I might be able to get some posts in. We shall see, but if not, check back in a week!


For those wondering, I am somewhere on the left edge about halfway up that photo. So if you’re stalking me, I just gave you a map.

UPDATE: Yeah, we got internet access. I’ll be posting for the Rocky Mountains, with one of the most spectacular views right out the window. I’ll be hiking, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors, but none of these are all day activities. I’ve been looking forward to this week to get some solid reading and writing in, so check up, cause I’ll be posting. From the Rockies. It is awesome.

Also, a little bit of self promotion, one of my favorite sites these days is Cracked.com. It’s hilarious sites, with articles ranging from the purely humor to the very informative and interesting (and still funny). I’m trying to get involved writing there, which anybody can do, but if you get an article published you get 50 bucks (which is awesome). But they also have this new thing out called ‘Cracked Topics’ which is essentially a humorous Wikipedia (kind of) that anyone can sign up for and write. They pick their favorite each week, and the winner of THAT gets fifty bucks. Now I have a ways to go to get an article published, and doubt I could ever win the Topics page contest, but I have written one that I’m going to promote just to get an audience there.

The Topic I chose to write on is Rule 34, a humorous internet that guarantees there is porn on the internet for anything in existence. I managed to write it without being to crude at all, and considering it’s my first foray at humor I think it turned out decently. Go ahead and click that link and let me know what you think here or there. Wherever.

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Ridley Scott To Helm A New "Alien"

July 31, 2009

Alien is a great science fiction movie. It’s a smart thriller, exciting enough to be action but intelligent enough to be respected thirty years after it was made. Aliens, the sequel, is regarded as one of the great sequels of all time, up with The Godfather part II and Toy Story 2. It was actually nominated for more Academy Awards than the original, when the Academy wasn’t quite so stuffy, and Sigourney Weaver was even up for best picture. Then, as is the way with so many great series, the third was only so-so and I don’t even know what you mean by “Alien Resurrection.” Winona Ryder? Who’s that?

Then there were the two cross over AVP movies. I only saw the first, and have to admit… It’s a guilty pleasure.

But there’s been rumor of a prequel or remake to Alien for some time now, and fans have had their fingers crossed that the original director, Ridley Scott, might return. And lo and behold, it was announced today that he has, giving this film a glimmer of hope and some solid credentials. It will be a prequel, it turns out. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

Why Twilight And [Some Of] Its Fans Are Retarded

July 30, 2009

For a while now, I’ve posted little jabs at the Twilight series and its insane fans, without giving any real substance as to why I loathe it so much. Or rather, why I loathe that it’s popular. There are thousands of bad movies and books out there that I’m sure I would hate, but don’t mention here, because they aren’t making Stephanie Meyer a millionaire and haven’t spawned a rabid fan base of absolute, maniacal, raving idiots that consists of emo teenage girls, and evidently adults that only read at a seventh grade level.

Firstly, in demonstration of the low mental capacities that infect many Twilight fans, I will look to poster-boy emo-vampire- man-hunk Robert Pattinson (notice I say many fans, not all, I’m being very careful here. Surely you, intelligent reader of this site who also enjoys Twilight, would not fall into this category). What does he think about the craze? How much does he love it?

Very little, in fact. “People ambush me and try and find out what hotel I’m staying at, as well as wanting to touch my hair. Everyone just screams and screams. It still feels surreal,” he says, indicating a distaste for the exact same raving idiots I’m talking about. “But Reed,” you say, “He’s a movie star. People go crazy over any movie star.” Okay, I’ll grant you that.

What about people who scratch themselves to bleed and walk up and ask him to drink it? “One time, there were these four girls, in Chicago I think, and they had all scratched their necks until they bled. And then when they came up to me they had these bleeding scabs. It was gross!” Pattinson says. That’s weird. No, no no, that’s beyond weird. That’s pure, unadulterated, funked up. But sure, that’s an isolated incident, no need to- “A mother recently gave me her baby and asked me: ‘Can you please bite her head?;” he continues. Are you kidding me? I’m sure Nicolas Cage has to deal with this all the time.

Okay, but still, isolated-“Anywhere we’d go for Twilight was a psychotic situation. The sound was deafening, and it’s thoughtless, as well…You get a slew of all these bullshit questions like, ‘What’s it like to kiss a vampire?’ and ‘How much do you love Robert?’ Then you’ll get one that’s actually real, but you’re like, ‘No, I can’t right now, I can’t even consider [it],” says that other star, Kristen Stewart.

That’s enough, methinks. “Thoughtless,” she said. I have never heard anyone involved with that other wildly popular (and superior in every way) fantasy series say anything close to that.

People tell me that I should like this series, because I like fantasy, love Harry Potter, and am a Superman freak. But liking fantasy and being entertained by stories of the supernatural hardly guarantees enjoying every little bit that the genre spits out. I love Dracula, the novel. It’s a fantastic, entertaining and disturbing book. I don’t like Dracula 2000, a movie that adapted the story to take place in space.

But I think I like that more than Twilight.

Twilight is atrocious, in every manner of the word. The story? I’ll admit, when you summarize the story to it’s absolute, barest manner, it sounds okay. But those bare bones are just, “Werewolves, Vampires, and a girl who loves one of each.” Alright, fine. It’s an old tale, and I have never been into vampire stories, but I can kind of see why people are. Then Stephanie Meyer decides to make changes. Vampires don’t die in the sunlight, they sparkle. Okay, that’s… That’s kind of stupid. But hey, a little originality, a personal twist.

Then it all goes to hell. Edward can read minds, but for dumb inexplicable reasons, he can’t read Bella’s. Meanwhile the tone is, as I have said many times, that of a sixth grader who has just experienced horniness for the first time and discovered what a thesaurus was.

The writing is truly miserable, and I’m not exactly Hemingway. I’m not the only one to say that, plenty of people with more literary credentials than writing on a movie blog have done that for me. But just to bring in the poster child, here’s what Pattinson has to say:

“When I read it … I was convinced that Stephenie was convinced that she was Bella, and … it was like it was a book that wasn’t supposed to be published, like reading her — her sort of sexual fantasy about some — especially when she says that it was based on a dream, and it’s like, “Oh, then I had a dream about this really sexy guy” and she just writes this book about it, and there’s some things about Edward that are just so specific that … I was just convinced that this woman is mad, she’s completely mad, and she’s in love with her own fictional creation. And I sometimes … feel uncomfortable reading this thing, and I think a lot of people feel the same way, that it’s kind of voyeuristic … It creates this sick pleasure in a lot of ways.”

First of all, I do give kudos to him for actually reading the source material, and managing to get through it. Now I haven’t read all the books, I can admit that. But I have flipped through them, and read a few chapters, just to see what all the craze was about. It doesn’t take long to see what he’s talking about. It’s all about Bella wanting to pounce Edward, in flowery, imbecilic language laced with chains of synonymous adjectives and cheesy teen angst. You know, stuff girls just eat up. Apparently. I had actually held them to higher standards.

“But it’s entertaining.” They say. “I know it’s dumb, but it’s fun to read. Is that so bad?” No. You’re absolutely right. Reading trash is fine, occasionally. Except few people acknowledge it as such, and those that do don’t read anything else. It’s not like they balance out Twilight with a nice bit of Dickens, or Hugo, or even the aforementioned actual-book-about-vampires “Dracula.” No. They put down the book and then pick up that other piece of feminine literary trash, Cosmo (Ba-zing!). That’s why I think it’s a shame that Transformers is going to be the number one film of the summer. Is it really so bad to want to be entertained by something dumb every once in a while? Can’t I just see some explosions? Fine. Except people saw this movie multiple times, and many would likely say a movie like Moon sounds stupid and boring. That, and it requires intelligence to do ‘dumb’ successfully. Do you really only want trashy entertainment, whether it be in the form of explosions or emo vampires, or do you want things like character development, plot, and so forth? If I showed you clip after clip of things exploding, you probably wouldn’t be entertained, no matter how much you liked Transformers, and slide-shows of vampires entwined romantically probably wouldn’t get you that same high. But we seem to be getting dangerously close to the time when those are accepted forms of entertainment. Hasn’t anybody read “Brave New World?” No? Just “Twilight” then, I see.

Pattinson has also said, “When you read the book it’s like, ‘Edward Cullen was so beautiful I creamed myself.’ I mean, every line is like that. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything. I think a lot of actors tried to play that aspect. I just couldn’t do that. And the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy, so that’s how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus, he’s a 108-year-old virgin so he’s obviously got some issues there.”

Seems to sum up this piece of garbage book nicely. I may not like the character he plays, but I’m liking Robert Pattinson more and more. Now I would never condone burning books, even bad ones. That’s too Nazi-esque for me, or “Fahrenheit 451.” (No? You started it, but then “Eclipse” came out. I see).

So basically he just brought the whole emo thing to light; as if we weren’t sure of it already. And while I didn’t like the movie, by all accounts it seems better than the book.

And now, the real clencher, perhaps the biggest reason why I hate that this series is popular. I can handle cheesy romance, even when it’s written really poorly. Romance novels are popular, I get it. But this particular story sets a horrible example for girls. “Bu-But it teaches chastity until marriage! That’s not a bad thing.” No, it’s not, if they weren’t symbolically screwing every other page. Or if it didn’t depict female sexuality as a terrifying force for evil.

But more than that, this series delivers some terrible messages. For one, in about two to three weeks after Bella and Edward start any sort of dating, she’s all ready for him to bite her on the neck and give up her very humanity, give up everything that she is. Really? What a great message for young ladies. Sacrifice everything that makes you, you, for the man you love; or claim to love, at 17 when you’re still emotionally immature and have only known him for a month. Whichever. And I know there’s always a fine line between ‘stalker’ and ‘romantic’ (and that line is usually how attracted to the guy the girl is), but I’m pretty sure it’s creepy that Edward went up into her room to watch her sleep. Romance is gazing at someone from across the schoolyard; stalking is breaking into someone’s house.

But that’s not where it ends! There’s so much more. In the second book, Edward leaves her and she starts a relationship with Jacob the Wolf-Man. She strings him along for the rest of the series, showing it’s okay to toy with someone’s emotions only if you’re doing it to get back somebody you love. (Oh, and also, at the end of the novels Jacob falls in love with a baby. Meyer writes it so it sounds all poignant, that he recognized his soul mate in her, but let’s face it, that’s pedophilia. No, sorry, that’s infantifilia, something so terrible it’s not actually recognized as a word, even though linguistically it makes perfect sense. But don’t worry, Meyer has made it so vampire/human hybrid babies grow up in, like, an accelerated fashion, so you know, it’s, like, all cool).

Later on in book two, when Bella is distraught at Edward’s absence and her poor plights of love, she decides she’ll just jump off a cliff. Fortunately Eddie boy swoops in to save her. Good timing.

Moral: If you really love somebody, but have lost him, go ahead and engage in self-destructive behavior to win him back. Thanks, Steph!

The entire books, which as I’ve already stated have bad plots and are poorly written, are all about a girl who wants a guy so desperately she wants to sacrifice everything that makes her her for him. Now I’m a pretty conservative guy, but this is some sick stuff. In the ultimate middle finger to feminism, and to literary merit, Meyer goes ahead and makes her a vampire in the end of the series. Oh, thank goodness. It’s real, true love.

No it’s not. It’s angsty, misogynistic, destructive garble that people are reading by the truckload. And I don’t like that.

How to write your own Twilight book.

This Week In Blockbusters: "Funny People"

July 29, 2009

We’ve been Hungover, and we’ve seen Bruno using a dustbuster in… innovative ways. This Friday, the third big comedy of the summer hits theaters… It’s the third film that Judd Apatow has been throth (that’s the ‘three’ version of ‘both’) the writer, director, and producer. The first two were The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. The former is one of my favorite comedies ever, while I thought its follower was rather forgettable. Hopefully, Funny People will deliver. Apatow, who has created an entire genre of comedy, is known for making risky comedy with a dramatic heart. For instance, despite the crudities in The Forty Year Old Virgin, Steve Carrel’s character Andy was a genuine, sweet-natured guy who you actually felt for. Apatow has said this new film is him trying to be “Twice as serious, and twice as funny. Wish me luck!”

The film is about an older comedian, played by Adam Sandler, who is diagnosed with cancer and takes under his wing a young up and coming stand up comic (Seth Rogen). Sandler isn’t known for his dramatic talents to the common public, who seem him as making dumb comedies where he talks funny and throws in fart jokes for good measure. But he has impressed my with his serious work, which I first saw in Spanglish, where I realized the guy could act. I’d prefer he’d do more of that, and less of Zohan, and it seems this film might be moving that direction.

I’m sure it will be funny, and maybe a little sad at times. I’m sure Sandler will yell, and Rogen will play the exact same character he always has, but I think this could be a pretty good move for the Apatow team.

Review: "The Ugly Truth"

July 26, 2009

The RomCom is a formula tried and tested, but The Ugly Truth, starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, breaks the mold just enough to be recognized as something different. It’s not a great movie, and it’s forgettable enough that by the time it was over I had already forgotten half of it, but I do remember enjoying myself.

Abby (Heigl) is the producer of a failing morning television show, once known for its intelligence. Mike (Butler) is the host of a misogynistic, sex-charged late night show called The Ugly Truth that gives people relationship advice, which usually boils down to “All men want to do is screw, so ladies, spread those legs,” except in an even crasser manner. In order to pull in some ratings, one of Abby’s bosses brings in Mike to do “The Ugly Truth” as part of their morning segment, and ratings immediately skyrocket when he talks dirty to the camera, makes it known that successful women intimidate men to impotency, and shows two girls wrestling in a tub of cherry jello. Abby, meanwhile, watches in horror.

She has troubles of her own though, because she has zero ability when it comes to romantic interactions. She has a ’10 list criteria’ and makes it known on the first date how many the guy fulfills, and reveals that she has done a background check on them. I don’t came godliness when it comes to the dating game, but is anybody really that stupid? We can hope not.

Anyway, once Abby meets her hunky next door (doctor) neighbor, and since all women are shallow, stupid money whores, she begins her attempt to woo him, with Mike’s help. His advice: be overtly sexual and play hard to get.

We all know how this ends; the more he helps, the more they bond, yada yada yada. The movie is an R-rated, crass romantic comedy. It’s not the filthiest thing I’ve seen, but it earns its rating. I wasn’t offended by it, in fact I thought it did the whole ‘vulgar’ thing really well. It’s really easy to mess up a movie like this, but I thought it handled the dirtier parts in a manner that seemed borderline realistic.

Now Heigl is fine for what she was required to do, but this movie belongs to Butler. He is a pretty impressive dude. I’ve seen him sing in the Phantom of the Opera and kick ass and scream a lot as King Leonidas, but I’d never seen him do comedy, and wasn’t sure he could pull it off. Turns out he’s a funny guy, and if there’s one thing that makes this movie passable, it’s him. If there’s two things, it’s him and the scene with the vibrating panties.

I can’t decide if the movie was trying to demonstrate that Mike’s simple, dare I say, ‘cocksure’ attitude about relationships is real, or if the “ugly truth” wasn’t so easy. Mike certainly doesn’t approve of his nephew mimicking his tactics, and when they talk it seems that he reveals that he blows out a lot of hot air for cheap entertainment. I certainly don’t approve of his message, that men have no heart and only testicles, and that women are shallow resume loving dependents. But I would like to think that wasn’t the point.

The characters aren’t particularly deep, and they are offensively stereotypical. But I have thick skin, and can laugh at offensive stereotypes, so if they want to claim all men are pig-headed and still make me laugh I can accept it. You’ll likely chuckle, and the leads have pretty strong chemistry, so if you have to go to the movies and have already seen everything else, you’ll be fine choosing this.

7/10

Color Me Stupid: "G-Force" Beats "Potter"

July 26, 2009

I didn’t think it was possible, but the new Disney movie G-Force, about Guinea Pigs that become spies, took the number spot away from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The latter dropped a whopping 61% in its second weekend, getting $30 million, while the rodents brought in $32 million. In third was The Ugly Truth with $27 million, and Orphan came in fourth opening to $12.8 million.

Is "The Dark Knight" Sequel More Developed Than We Thought?

July 24, 2009


I’m sure everybody involved in the franchise gets a little tired of it: “When will the next Batman movie come out?!

You know everybody from Christopher Nolan to Gary the third grip gets asked this question at every turn. Everything we’ve heard so far is, basically, “We need to see what Chris does.”

That is, until Comic-con, the mecca of dorkdome. Though as of late it’s becoming more and more “entertainment”-con, as any movie or popular series gets involved regardless of comic book status (including Twilight). When Gary Oldman was asked about the next movie, he said, “The next batman is next year, so I think it is two years away. But you didn’t hear it from me.”

Alright, Gary. It’ll be our little secret. Does this mean they have a script working, or at least an idea? Is Nolan on board? CAN I BE IN IT?

The New Book Of The "Twilight" Genre

July 24, 2009

More adults are reading “Twilight,” Stephanie Meyer’s shit-storm of a series, and its clones, than anything else. This is upsetting, for many reasons.

But it also makes for easy money. Dan O’Brian at Cracked.com has posted his hilarious idea for his contribution to the genre, linked here.

It’s funny, because it’s true.

Trailer: Cameron Diaz In "The Box"

July 24, 2009



What would you do for a Klondike Bar? How about a million dollars? When a family is told they could get that, for only pushing a button, it seems like a great deal. The catch, somebody in the world, who they don’t know, will be killed. Throw in a sick son for some motivation, and you’ve got yourself a what-would-you-do thriller.

The Box is clearly based on a famous Twilight Zone episode, as well as the short story with the original idea, called “Button, Button.” If the movie has an ending similar to those, it could be a pretty tense, nail biting movie.

We’ll have to see, won’t we?

12 Great, Funny, Sometimes Gag-Worthy Gross-Out Moments

July 23, 2009