Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Lunchdate at the Comic Shop with Extra Napkins

Sometimes I give my wife a hard time. Okay, I give her a hard time A LOT. But, she deserves it. Okay, maybe not, but still…

I guess it comes with marriage that you begin to nitpick each other (sometimes quite literally) and the ribbing is endless when you are both annoyed, intrigued, amazed, and flat out embarrassed by the little ticks that your life mate has.

For instance…napkins.

Now, this isn’t just for her. This goes for all you napkin-loving hippy-yentas out there. Yes, we all know that I am an Army/Infantry/Blood-Drinker/Baby killer that bounces bullets off his ball sack and eats live rabbits like they’re Jalapeno poppers from Popeye’s chicken, so naturally, when I go to a restaurant or sit down at home to enjoy my meal, the very LAST thing I’m concerned with is a napkin.

Think about it…you’re wiping away small fractions of your lusciously prepared meal…why not lick it off your fingers like the Viking brute that you are?

My Point: When out and about and sitting down to eat somewhere, my belly HOWLING for sustenance, my focus is eternally on the food. And when it arrives my chief concerns are:
A) Side of Ranch…STAT!
B) Where’s my fucking drink refill?
C) How fast can I get this down?

But not my wife. No, before anything can proceed beyond the lips there must be napkins. Not A napkin, but many napkins. Enough to make a tent after the meal is done. We’re camping out at Red Robin. Refill the fucking bottomless fries. We’re putting your hospitality to the test.

Now, for an exceptionally messy meal I can certainly understand the importance and/or urgency of a napkin…but not for every occasion. I don’t need a napkin with my coke. I know it’s fizzy. I know that there is condensation. I’m all set.

The worst thing you could do is send my wife off to GET napkins. The bitch will bring back the whole dispenser, emptied out into each of her pockets and ready for easy distribution. People will actually walk up and take the fucking napkins out of her as if she were the dispenser.

“Whoa, check it out…a female mannequin napkin dispenser…dude, get some napkins…and cop a feel while you’re at it…”

And you’ll find that it’s usually the really prissy little hippy bitches that will grab the most napkins. They want to make sure they ‘dab’ away and wipe the unhealthy greases from their fingers completely with the five trillion napkins they use as the TREES ARE CRYING and the monkeys in the rainforests pack up and move and the cure for AIDS is lost forever so that we can all get that glob of ketchup off our fingertip.

This does not mean I am opposed to napkins or their use. I will, in fact, utilize a napkin. I’ll even put the motherfucker on my lap at the restaurant, letting everyone know that I’m a sophisticated white boy with manners galore.

But usually…I just use my wife’s napkin.

I have a laundry list of things that have piqued my senses of late (like napkins and their excessive use) and perhaps this will come out a little misguided, but fuck it, I think like only two people read my fucking blogs anymore anyways…however, I have things to say…they need to be heard. You will be better off, trust me.

Next up: DVD Bins.

What the fuck? I mean, really, this is a fucking phenomenon. Wal-Mart is the master of this shit. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but they are the most brilliant and twisted motherfuckers on the planet. Seriously.

If you’re a somewhat normal person who frequents a Wal-Mart then you know what I’m talking about. You know your eyes light up the same as Christmas morning when you see that fucking bin. 2 for $11.00 sends your eyeballs to your chin and you jump in like a maniac on the amazing race, looking for another clue or some shit.

I mean, really, what the hell are we looking for? Seriously, they’re not gonna throw in a season of Smallville, or the director’s cut of Sin City, or Star Wars: Episode 3. Dude, you’re gonna get fucking gems like “Bedazzled” “Striking Distance” and “Along Came a Spider.”

Now, if you just looked at the aforementioned titles and are about to get on the defense and sprout out a “…but I liked that movie,” then you are wrong. Nobody likes those movies. Nobody. I don’t care how many millions of dollars they made.

No one sits around talking about great Bruce Willis movies and mentions “Striking Distance.” They will get punched in the face. By me. Yes, I’ll be there. Even if you’re in Canada.

Even better than the fact that people are digging in these bins looking for that gem of a movie, that fucking long-lost great from their childhood that starred some no-name fucker and gave them their first boner, is the people themselves.

The conversations are awesome.

“I bought ‘Passenger 57’ already…did you see a ‘Pushing Tin?’”
“Naw…Ooo, but here’s that Steven Seagal one you were looking for…”
“Which one?…Oh, hell yeah, ‘Fire Down Below,’ that’s a fuckin’ classic.”
“Oh wait…look…this is that one with that bitch from ‘American Beauty’ that shows her tits…where she’s homeless and shit and goes to Harvard…”
“Hell yeah, put that in my cart…”

Obviously, the entire DVD bin thing is working because people are buying up bullshit that they WOULDN’T EVEN RENT, let alone watch on HBO, but all of a sudden the bin comes a callin’ and they’ve been looking for the piece of shit for years.

“Finally! ‘Frogs’ on DVD!”

Now, I don’t view the DVD bins as a sign of Christ’s second coming, but I do find it highly entertaining and I love to witness the social distortion that takes place in and around the bin.

What bothers me is this: I have actually gone looking to buy an older movie and couldn’t find it on the shelves and was forced to take the plunge. And there it was…fucking “Hamburger Hill”…buried and bearing the price tag of six bucks.

To keep the drones coming back for more, I think Wal-Mart would benefit from advertising an actual prize inside the bin…namely a Jenna Jameson feature length porn tossed deep into the abyss of the bin once a day…every teenage boy and perverted old man in America would tear that fucking bin apart…and maybe finally get their copy of “The Last Starfighter” in the process.

And speaking of porn.

Look, I’ve got issues. I’m a flawed human. Deeply flawed. I blame my genes. Really, everything is mom and dad’s fault.

However, on this one I’m gonna go ahead and blame my porn addiction on society. I mean, let’s face it…Now, more than ever in our society, SKIN is IN. Or out, depending on how you look at it.

Pornography, or the visual stimuli that promotes it, is everywhere. Everywhere you look seems to lead to the thoughts a la dirty.

That being said…we are ALL doomed. Sex no longer sells…It’s free trade now, motherfucker.

So, being the F-R-E-A-K that I am, I found myself venturing into the ‘forbidden’ zone of the comic book store (which is obscured only by a ‘beaded’ curtain) and began to peruse of the pornographic, yet artful and informative, comics and reading material.

People, there are some fucking crazy porno comics out there. I tend to shy away from many of them. But, on this particular day I was feeling bold (a.ka. perverted and ‘in heat’) and decided that I would buy an adult comic book.

Now, I should note that, even though we’re all cozy with the porno shit these days, it doesn’t stop you from feeling like the lowliest pervert on the planet when you’re in that section. Even more so is the fact that you are looking around to choose your porno poison.

It’s as if there is an angel on your shoulder looking over every book you pick up. And it’s not like you can open them up to see if it fits your…taste. No, they’re all in child-safe plastic bags. You take your chances with these books.

And that fucking Angel, man. He’s onto you. Every book you pick up you hear this guy in your ear…

“Oh, ‘Head’…how nice. You really gonna take that up to the counter and pay for it?”
“Goin’ for ‘MILFs in Heat,’ huh? Seriously, you should be ashamed…”
“Nice…’Teens in Love’…what are you, a pedophile now?”
“There you go…’Demon Bitch’…I’m sure they’ll allow that through the pearly gates when you die…”

Once the sweat dries and you decide to pay for your book, as if you’re crossing into some new territory in your life, overcoming a lifelong obstacle, the angel never shuts up. He’s yelling at you to reconsider, to stop being a perv, and you’re yelling back at him, which makes you look even more shady.

I approach the line and stand, waiting for two kids to buy their pack of role playing game cards. I calm myself and start running the facts through my brain…I convince myself that I’m exercising my right to choose and all that other Free Country stuff that we usually toss around when in a moral question.

I set my books down, leaving the adult book on top of the rest of my ‘normal’ books. I do this to let the clerk know that I’m not ashamed to buy this book. It’s nothing to me. It’s second nature. Like buying the newspaper and a coffee every morning. This is my routine. Get used to it.

The clerk in question today is a native Alaskan (a.k.a. Eskimo) who speaks with a slight lisp. He’s a big motherfucker, who, honestly looks like he’ll leave the store and hold up a cardboard sign on the side of the road after his shift looking for spare change and a cheeseburger.

Yes, I realize I’m an asshole for saying that. But, I made up for it by giving him a dollar later that day at the corner of Spenard and Arctic. And what was left of my Diet Coke.

Okay, FIRST and FOREMOST. A word about Comic shop owners/employers. Unless you are an uber geek like myself, then you’ve probably never stepped foot into a comic book store. You’ve probably only laughed and thrown slurpees at those that do. And thanks for ruining my Daredevil jacket by the way you insensitive fuckers.

The thing about ‘comic shop people’ is that they are fucking WEIRD. They ARE the uber of uber geeks. They are the equivalent of movie critics when it comes to comics and gaming. They know every issue of their favorite character’s books and swear by them as if Jesus Christ Himself created them.

They are the freaks, geeks, losers, and nerds. Imagine a store owned and run by Napoleon Dynamite and his friends. That’s a comic book shop. And beyond that they are generally dicks. Not every last one of them, but they all have that chip of weirdness on their shoulders that is undeniably annoying and sad at the same time. It’s as if they are in the “safe-nerd zone” where they are untouchable. They are in their element. They are Gods here.

And checkout is always a fucking surreal experience. I mean, they actually make it painful with all their nervous ticks, weird personality traits, and off kilter remarks. These are the weird kids that you would never normally talk to at school. And now you have to. And they say EXACTLY the kind of fucked up shit you’d expect. They also, in true weirdo fashion, bring their personal problems to the checkout experience.

“Man…I’m in SUCH a bad mood right now. My life is like misery. Peanut butter doesn’t make sense and jelly is just not jelly at all. Fuck. Dude, the art in the new Superman is KICK ASS by the way.”

“Yeah, I just want to hand you my credit card, you can run it through, bag up my shit, complete this motherfucker and get me the fuck out of here. Let’s just NOT talk at all. Howabout that, Columbine?”

Anyways, this guy, this comic shop clerk, has the audacity, the gall, the motherfuckin’ cajones to LECTURE me about the placement of my comics.
“Next time if you could put the adult book at the bottom of the stack when the kids are around…”

The angel on my shoulder starts laughing hysterically. He covers his face and points at me. I try to muster a response to my native friend. All I can get out is a rebellious “Sure.” Like, yeah, that would be no fucking problem, dick.

Not another word is exchanged as he finishes ringing up my books. He puts them in a bag and I walk out, my mind still reeling from our little exchange. Naturally, it takes me a few minutes of reflection to come up with the response I failed to give.

If they want their adult books stacked underneath the ‘safe’ books then why don’t they inform their customers? And further still, the book in question merely had a portrait shot of a blonde female with ZERO nudity and an ‘Adults Only’ sticker on it.

What did he think the kids were gonna see exactly? I didn’t break open the bag and say, “Hey kid, you ready to kickstart the mess that your brain will become after you’re exposed to porno?”

No, I merely walked up to pay and got humiliated by a drunk native with an overly concerned conscience for “the children”. The books that are lain out for all to see have WAY more racier images on their covers than my true-to-life porno comic. The new issue of Wonder Woman shows more tits. Seriously.

As I stood outside contemplating the events that had just transpired, the two brats that were in danger of being exposed to my perverted buying habits were tearing open their role playing cards and flipping through them like a heroin addict fixing his shot. And there, on the cover of the card packs, is a drawing of a woman with a piece of cloth jammed up her ass and nipples ready to do battle with a piece of glass.

I look at the angel on my shoulder. I biff him in the forehead and spit in his face. Yeah. I think the comic shop clerk’s intentions were in the right place, but I doubt he’ll ever realize how wrong he was.

Which is why the next time I saw him on the corner of Spenard and Arctic I sped the fuck up and splashed a whole puddle of water on him while simultaneously jutting my cup of hot fucking coffee in his face, mixed with the muddy water so he’ll never understand why he got freezing cold wet and burned about the neck and head at the same time.

The last thing I’d like to comment on is restaurant conversation. Otherwise known as “Me eavesdropping on everything you say so that I can write about it in my blog.”

While eating breakfast this past weekend at a place in downtown Anchorage, my wife and I happened to catch onto two twenty something ladies’ conversation and I found that, upon comparison to past eavesdropping, there is a pattern that transpires amongst women when they are on a lunch/dinner date: Namely, the making of plans that are so ridiculously over the top and obviously never going to happen yet still discussed as if set in stone.

EXAMPLE: My wife will come home after her numerous ‘lunch dates’ with all her lady friends and I’ll be bombarded with the results of said date.

“We’re going to start doing lunchtime Yoga and start rock climbing on Mondays, nature photography on Wednesdays, and we’re also gonna work to get our periods on the same cycle so that we’ll always be in a similar mood and we’re also going on the South Beach Diet for one month and we’re going to start holding each other’s hair when we barf up everything we eat after lunch. I mean, we both do it anyways, but now we both know, so why not help each other out, right?”

Okay, obviously an exaggeration. Or is it?

At our splendid little breakfast where our twenty something duo sat nearby we learned that they would be starting a fucking wine garden business, become pilates instructors, start making charm bracelets to symbolize child slave labor, and will plant 100 trees in 100 days. And get their periods on the same cycle.

Now, I’m not picking on women. Men talk some crazy trash sometimes on their lunch/dinner dates, but mostly they both just point out girls to check out to each other and grunt and moan about how they’d ‘bone that chick hardcore’ even though they’re on complete pussy lockdown back at home.

This is why Hooters has such allure to men. We can go and eat some decent food, watch sports (if you’re into it), and stare at a waitresses assets in scantily clad clothing while downing a beer. It’s not because we intend to land that waitress. We just want to satisfy the main urges that drive us on a daily basis without sacrificing the sanctity of our pussy lockdown at home.

Anyways, back to the big plans. It is merely an observation…a fascination and wonder as to why women are so damn busy. While we’re eating chicken wings and rooting for the Red Socks and staring at orange clad ass, women are planning a ‘help the homeless’ campaign, having a bake sale for kids on Ritalin, and starting up a lab in their garage to assist in finding a cure for breast cancer.

Do I have a point? No. I have an observation. It is an interesting thing to watch the two sexes interact with members of the same, almost as much as the opposite. My wife had nothing to offer when I asked why women are so prone to making big plans for the future. Nor do I have an answer as to why men are usually just in the moment, staring at stems and fun bags.

We each have our own quirky and oddball ways of doing things, but ultimately, what separates us is what draws us together. For men and women it’s the differences that make us attracted to one another. It sounds all too simple…and it is.

The lesson to take home kids, is thus:

Save a few trees for the sake of mankind and the monkeys and the rainforests and lick your damn fingers once in a while; Don’t be afraid of your perversions when standing at the checkout line and especially, don’t be afraid of the ignorant weirdo that’s ringing you up…he’s just pissed that you stiffed him on your console change while waiting for the light to turn green; And finally, don’t make plans to go to the moon when you know you’ll never even try on a spacesuit…and watch out for the weirdo sitting next to you, reading the porno comic and licking his fingers clean…he’s listening, watching, and probably recording everything you say and do.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Look, Up in the Sky!

Superman Returns

Directed by: Bryan Singer
(X-men, X-men2, The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil)
Starring: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey, James Marsden, Frank Langella

Obviously, as both a fan of Superman, in both comic book, film, and TV form, I was eagerly anticipating this film. As I stated in my earlier post…it was a long time coming. With a 20 year build up of anticipation and expectation, Superman Returns has a lot to live up to.

The only question is, does it?

And I’m sure you’d like me to answer that right off the bat and just say “Hell yeah!” and throw up a high five so that you can sit back and relax and read this review without getting uncomfortable.

Like you’re gonna get in that much of a tizzy over Superman.

Well, I do. But, I’m kind of a dork and totally cool with that. I could still kill you in more ways than you could imagine, so BACK OFF.

I liked Superman Returns a lot. There’s a lot to like. I didn’t love Superman Returns. I’m not going to profess my heartfelt thanks and offer a muddy-kneed blowjob to Bryan Singer and crew for crafting the perfect piece of fanboy celluloid heaven and beg for more.

The truth is, the creative team did a good job, not a GREAT job. They did not outdo themselves or knock it out of the park. They did a really nice job of bringing the last son of Krypton (this is how we dorks reference Superman) back into the realms of coolness and out of the realms of comedic guest stars and hammy peace films.

Superman is most definitely back and in probably the truest form ever…meaning that, notwithstanding the superb F/X, this could very well be Superman 3, made only a few years after the original sequel. The style, the casting, the music, the story, everything feels very “Donner-ish” (For those not in the know, Richard Donner was the director of the first and kinda/sorta the second Superman films – deep breath).

And that’s no surprise, as director Bryan Singer has continued to confess his love of the Donner Superman films and his deep respect and admiration of them that has spawned this love letter of a follow up.

I won’t go too deep into the storyline, but here’s some tidbits: Superman has been away for five years, searching for any remains of Krypton, while Lex Luthor is again scamming away at a real estate plot to take over the world and kill Superman, and then there’s Lois doing…news stories and shit. Oh, and she has a kid…who is about five years old…hope I didn’t give anything away with that.

Anyways, the world has supposedly gotten along just fine without ol’ Supes and then he comes back all dramatic like in a pretty kick ass space shuttle rescue sequence and slowly makes his way back into the good graces of God’s Green Earth.

This film is long and most people aren’t feeling it, but it is over two-and-a-half hours long and that’s a good little trip.

Here’s what’s good:

Brandon Routh – yes, the question lingered: Could this no-namer pull off one of the biggest roles in cinema? Well, yes and yes. Routh completely embodies Christopher Reeve, albeit a younger, fresher faced version, but he does a really nice job and for me, gets me excited to see what he’d do with an even meatier Superman story, rather than the gooey one he’s dealing with.

F/X – awesome. They’ve (Hollywood you nimrod) have finally gotten to the point where a man flying is believable onscreen and doesn’t look like a Neo-video game. Although there were a few instances where I questioned whether a shot was CG or not, it moved fast enough that the question didn’t stick around long. The cinematography is crisp as hell and the detail is super sharp. There is no messy CG, which is common in many low-budget escapades (Fantastic Four-cough-cough)

Music – John Ottman (also serving as an editor on the film) does a great job of bringing back the Williams theme, while incorporating his own unique blend into the genre. It’s a rousing and heartfelt score that builds nicely on the original.

Opening Sequence – Just like the original films, only better. A really nice touch.

That damn kid – Dude, I was worried about this brat and his unkempt hair, but I’ll be damned if he isn’t one of the most normal onscreen kids of all time. He acted and talked like a five-year-old kid, not some annoying Culkin that has a one-liner written by a 30-year-old screenwriter every two seconds.

Superman Shot in the Eye with Bullet – Nice. Flippin’ Sweet even.

Here’s what’s not so good:

Kate Bosworth – Yeah, she’s attractive and talented, but she’s not Lois Lane. Lois Lane, in all her incarnations has one thing that is nonexistent in Bosworth’s interpretation – spunk. She’s got attitude. She’s snappy. Neurotic. None of that here. She’s just way too normal and doesn’t embody anything that is Lois Lane.

Not Enough Lex – Yeah, he’s got some decent screen time, but he doesn’t quite reach the heights that he could have. I mean, c’mon, you got Kevin Spacey. Let him walk off the leash a little more. He gives some great stuff here, but there could’ve been more.

Parker Posey sucks – Lame. Sorry, but she should’ve been A LOT more evil and believable. She was a big, predictable softy. SnoozeVille.

James Marsden – Okay, so maybe Singer was feeling bad that he turned down X3 and left Marsden to basically cameo in that ho-hum film long enough to die and decided to give him a bigger part in his new film. But, it’s such an unnecessary and thankless role. I almost feel bad for Marsden, but he’s a rich, Hollywood actor, so I don’t.

Here’s what sucks:

Not Enough Action: For a $200 plus budget you get some decent action, but nothing that qualifies that cost. I am still waiting on the Superman movie that rivals the action bar set by the Justice League cartoon series. That may sound odd, but the action in those cartoons is far better than ANY live action superhero movie out there. I’ll take the Pepsi Challenge on that one.

I want to see Superman punch a supervillain like he does in both the comics and in Justice League. For once, give us a big-screen fight that can raise the roof and make my boner shoot out of my pants and knock the popcorn out of my wife’s hands. Let’s not forget that Superman was introduced in “ACTION” comics.

My idea: Bring in Brainiac or Doomsday and just tear it up. A knock down, bad ass brawl across Metropolis…that would be the shit.

Trim some fat while adding some muscle: Some of the lovey-dovey crap could have been cut down a bit and beefed up with either some action or back-story. I know I’m playing Monday-Morning-Quarterback here, but that’s the way it goes when you’re critiquing a film. Trust me, I’ve done the same to my own low budget “masterpieces.”

Henchman…what, they aren’t allowed to talk? – Zak Penn, who is a pretty funny actor, is completely wasted here. I mean, it could’ve been anyone there. Why not just hire bums off the street and cut back that $200 million plus budget? Seriously. A little more personality in your toss-away henchman would be good. Let’s not forget how entertaining Otis was in the first series of movies…

That’s about it on the suckiness.

All in all, I think that Superman Returns is a great start. It gets you excited about Superman once again, reestablishes his place on the big screen and hopefully will catapult him into the GREAT Superman movie we’re all still waiting for.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film and there were many times where I thought “That was pretty fucking cool,” but with the lack of action and the weak supporting characters and softer, not-so-original or crafty plot, this cape could have flown better.

However, I am being nit-picky and this is still a good film. I look forward to seeing it again, but I don’t think I will try to beat my record of theatrical visits (Die Hard – 14 times) with this one.

It’s a fun ride and it’s great to see Superman back in top form…Now, let’s all fanboys hold hands and hope for that REALLY kick ass Superman film to come along and not try to convince each other that this one was IT. Again, it’s good, not great, but open for SO much potential. Here’s to the future of Superman.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Next to MI:3, this one looks to be my favorite of the summer. I am a big Superman fan and have really gotten into the comics and the TV show "Smallville" in the past year and am really looking forward to this film.

For those not in the know, Superman Returns takes place somewhere after the events of Superman 2 (although they won't be referencing that film in this version). Think of this as a psuedo-sequel/re-imagining of the Superman films.

Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men outings is the director of this one and it looks like he has remained very true to the Superman mythos, not really deviating from anything or changing anything too crazy.

The Superman franchise has gone through a tailspin of attempted incarnations over the past twenty years, none of them getting off the ground (the closest being Tim Burton's crazy vision with a black costumed Superman portrayed by Nicolas Cage).

While the producers struggled to find the right creative team (with a laundry list of directors coming and going from the project) they settled on Singer, confident in his vision, follow through, enthusiasm, and reputation for doing justice to comic book material (a la X-Men)

Anyways, check out this trailer (the third and final one, I'm guessing). It's worth watching just for the last five seconds. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

World Trade Center trailer

Following in the footsteps of United 93 is "World Trade Center" which stars Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, and Maria Bello, which is about Port Authority officers trapped in the wreckage of the WTC while trying to rescue people.

I think it looks quite good and the promotional department has obviously decided not to inform the public that it's directed by Oliver Stone, who is known for brewing controvery out of just about anything.

However, this looks relatively controversy free. We'll see, but it certainly looks like it will be good.

Check it out at: http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/wtc/

Never too soon to remember the past

United 93
Directed by: Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy)
Starring: A bunch of people you won’t recognize

It’s too soon! It’s too soon! It’s too soon!

Oh, shut up. There will never be a “right” time that would please the masses as no two people have the same mourning process. For me in particular, September 11th will always remain a deep wound to my soul and psyche, a day which catapulted me into the real world and out of the self indulgent fantasy I was living.

I’m not saying that we need to go into production the day after a major event transpires, but then again…why not? In the preservation of history the one thing that always blurs the lines is time. We wait so long that details are forgotten, memories faded, and suddenly we’ve got people fighting over what really happened.

I think five years is a good wait and it’s time to start putting these films out. When I think of how I felt on September 11th and, most importantly, how I felt when watching people’s reactions to it, I think that we all need a good reminder of what that event has meant to this country and the world at large.

While the nation is deeply emblazoned in war due to the flaming turmoil in the middle east and so many crying for peace when they don’t even understand what war is, it’s time to give them a wake up call they’ll understand…unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) this wake up call will come in the form of movies.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the OEF/OIF war movies, and hopefully we’ll get a filmmaking team with balls and integrity to tackle it (and if we don’t, then yours truly will do everything he can to make sure those that served get a just portrait onscreen). Why do we always try to bury the past and forget the lessons we have learned? Because it’s SO hard? Come on.

I have spoken to a lot of people about war and politics and continuously find that the majority are completely misinformed and have never researched the events they claim to know so much about. Unfortunately, most people’s opinions and viewpoints are dictated to them from CNN and MSNBC headlines…They’ve never taken the steps to learn more about the world in which they live in beyond the fruitless headlines.

What United 93 represents is a call to detail, a call to attention, and a call of rememberence.

United 93 is an important film.

The only way to describe the film is INTENSE. My heart was beating fast throughout, even though I knew the outcome, I knew the ending, it didn’t matter. The old feelings came back and it reminded me of why I joined the military and why it’s worth the fight.
The film begins with the terrorists of Flight 93 preparing, praying, and shaving the night before and then just kicks the day off, like any other day. People make small talk and go about their business. There’s no grandstanding or scene stealing. It’s as if the director, Paul Greengrass, put a camera crew on that plane on September 11th.

What surprised me was the scenes of the air traffic controllers and every other agency that monitors the skies, working together and figuring out what the hell was going on. I wasn’t there, obviously, so I can only say that it felt absolutely true to how it was. From what I understand, Greengrass pieced the film together through all the facts that we have of that day, which, surprisingly, can nearly be accounted for minute-by-minute due to the varied pieces of equipment that captured it: photos, surveillance cams, flight recorders, cell phone calls, air traffic control, etc.

You feel the frustration and intensity as planes are suddenly not responding to their controllers, confusion is rabid as each agency shares information and tries to piece together just what the hell is going on. Because I am ignorant of how all things FAA and agencies of the sky work, I can only assume, based on seeing this, that they did everything they could have done at that time.

If it were post 9/11, those fucking planes would have been shot down, no doubt. But, what people must understand about that day was that America had NEVER seen an event transpire like it. EVER. Even though they later go authorization to hammer down and shoot the planes out of the sky it was too late.

Frustration is something I think many people will feel throughout this film, but you must take into account where this country was on that day and not where it is now. Most likely every person acted to the best of their ability given the time and the scenario.

While the air agencies bounce back and forth on the first two planes hijacked, Flight 93 carries on like normal. However, the terrorists (all sitting in first class) are edgy and wide-eyed, nervous, and anxious, ready to pounce. You feel that anxiety throughout every second before they make their move. You know what’s coming, you just wish that there was something that could’ve been done.

And then it happens. The first plane hits the WTC and the scramble begins. What the fuck is going on? Was it an accident? Was it intentional? Watching the different agencies try to figure out what’s happening feels so true to how things work. We have all encountered these things in our lives. We look back on big events and nit pick on how we could’ve done it better. These guys never had that chance.

When the terrorists finally make their move on Flight 93 it is pure and unrelenting intensity. My heart was on fire. You feel these people’s pain and fear and terror. Never have any of these people thought about or prepared for such an event.

As a soldier, I could easily tell you what I’d do right now if that happened on my flight. But if I were on that flight at that time, I couldn’t tell you exactly what I’d do. I know I’d fight, but I sure wouldn’t have a plan of action like I would now. And why? Because I have the benefit of both what these people went through and military training. And I wouldn’t have had military training if these people hadn’t gone through what they did on that day.

They have very little time. They start calling home and you fear for each and every one of them. They are young, old, male, female, black, white, all races, religions, etc. They are people in a serious fucking situation. When they discover what has happened at the WTC they put it together. They know what’s coming.

One by one, they begin to form a small group of men, band together and prepare to take the fight to the cockpit. They find a man onboard that has flown small engine planes before and prepare him to jump in and take over the controls.

Then, with great courage and ferocity, they attack, taking out one of the terrorists who was holding a fake bomb and then chasing down the others to the cockpit. The terrorists inside the cockpit, seeing that they are about to be overrun, begin to turn the plane (all of this can be read on the flight recorder transcripts, which you can find online) making it difficult for the passengers to get in.

They are so close and I have no doubt that the passengers truly made it that far as in the film, especially after reading the transcripts. They struggle all the way to the ground, when the terrorists realize that they’ll never make their target and simply crash the plane.

To me, this was a film about a country losing its innocence and waking up from a nightmare to a whole new world. The emotions, the reactions, the fear, the sadness, and the tragedy, and ultimately, the courage of those that sought to begin the fight against terrorism on the very day that it decided to declare war is beyond admirable.

This film conveys every emotion you most likely felt on September 11th 2001. It reaches a level of intensity that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before when watching a movie.

This isn’t a movie that you’re going to pop into the DVD player to enjoy on a Friday night, any more so than say, Schindler’s List. This is something so much more. It’s a testament, it’s a historical document to an extent, and it glamorizes nothing. It tells the story as best as it can with the information we have and it takes you back to that day as if it were this morning.

It’s a shame that more people don’t flock to the theaters to see a film of this magnitude and importance but will go in droves to be lectured and lied to by the bloated moron Michael Moore, with his deranged, uninformed, pieces of heresay garbage on celluloid.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Jumping on the Couch with Tom Cruise

Mission:Impossible 3
Directed by: J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias, Felicity)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Maggie Q, Keri Russell

It's been ten years since Tom Cruise graced the screen with the reimagining of sorts of the Mission:Impossible TV show (thus beginning a tirade of mostly tragically bad TV-to-movie translations) and reigned supreme in box office gold. Then came the more action-themed sequel which seemed to be more of a catering job to the directing style of action auteur John Woo.

Now, a decade later, has the franchise been reinvigorated or has it been flattened like most other movie franchises?

Not surprisingly to me, knowing the thought, care, and meticulousness of Mr. Cruise's career choices, the franchise is now beaming with new life thanks to the third entry in this "American James Bond" series of films.

I say "not surprisingly" because whether you are a Tom Cruise fan or Tom Cruise hater, there's no denying that the guy has chosen some of the best roles/films/creative teams in his long-standing career, creating a body of work that represents a staple in both American pop culture and some outstanding entries in the world of film.

Now, yes, I am a Tom Cruise fan. I don't care if he's crazy, if he jumps on Oprah's couch, calls Matt Lauer "glib," or buys a baby scanner to check out his kid. It's none of my business what Mr. Cruise does with his life. If the media wants to latch onto his antics and blow them into epic proportions and take money from the drones that have no life but that of living through US Weekly or IN Touch, then that's on them.

I pay $10 bucks to see Mr. Cruise onscreen, not in his personal life. So what if he believes aliens are his God(s)? I don't give a shit. Now, if he molested children or had massive plastic surgery to become a black man or did something truly OUT THERE, then yeah, maybe I'd have trouble watching the guy onscreen, but seriously...he jumped on Oprah's couch...Oh my! What a crackhead! I've seen guys do way more crazy shit when under the influence of new pussy...We all lose our fucking minds when we're in love.

The reason I'm going into my "defense of Tom Cruise" rant is because I've heard so many people reluctant to see the movie because he jumped on a couch. And yet they flock to see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, two people that are way more weird to me than any Tom Cruise tale of craziness. I just don't understand it.

Quick story: I'm at Barnes and Noble and I'm buying the new copy of Empire magazine, which is a British movie magazine, which coincidentally, has Tom Cruise on the cover for MI:3. The checkout girl asks me if I like Tom Cruise. I say, Yeah, I like his movies, he always does good ones. She's like, shocked.

She asks me "don't you think he's crazy?" and I say, "maybe, but I don't care. I just want to see his movies." Again, she's shocked. She tells me she's definately not going to see the movie because of Tom and his craziness. Now, I'm shocked. She's gonna bypass this movie because she THINKS he's crazy?

I tell her that J.J. Abrams is writing/directing it and go further to explain that he created Lost and Alias, two critically acclaimed shows with huge fan bases. She says, "Oh, hmmm....well, maybe it might be good..." Yeah, damn straight. My wife stood idly by and later told me she thought the girl was flirting with me, but I don't buy it. Plus, being ignorant is not the way into my pants. You have to have a crisp ten dollar bill and a box of doughnuts for that.

Short history: Originally, MI:3 was to be directed by David Fincher(Fight Club), but because the shooting and release schedule were so tight he felt it would be rushed and would rather do it right or not at all. Fair enough. Then Joe Carnahan (Narc) came onboard and later left due to creative differences, which seemed largely in part to his script, which apparently was extremely dark and not in the vein of the franchise.

Why the history lesson? Again, in defense of the project and to get the facts straight to those that don't care to research the filmmaking process and instead listen to bullshit rumors from magazines with no clout that distribute heresay like condoms at an abortion clinic.

All right. We're clear on my feelings on the whole "Tom is Crazy" shit and the general timeline of the franchise. Good. On to the movie.

There are many ways to describe this film. I'll only go into two. ONE) It's a unique blend of the first and second films with a touch of energy that is lacking in both TWO) The perfect summer action movie.

Listen, you probably won't see a better action film this summer. Yeah, Superman will probably be the tits, but it's not really an action movie. X-Men 3? Seriously, I'm very worried for that one, because being able to see the shit before you smell it still lets you know that it's shit. I mean, you want guns, gadgets and kick ass stunts, MI:3 is your absolute best bet and it will deliver in spades.

We pick up with Ethan Hunt (Cruise) who is now a trainer at IMF (Impossible Mission Force) and is no longer a field agent. He is engaged and living a fairly simple life, even though his job is still secret to anyone not in his line of work, including his new fiance (Monaghan).

When one of the agents that Hunt trained is captured, he's enlisted by the new IMF point man (Crudup) to go in to get her. Hunt agrees and goes to rescue the agent (Russell) and thus kicks off the movie's energy and draws us in and never lets us go.

Naturally, many, many things go wrong and Hunt finds himself on the lamb again, working "black" as they call it and enlisting the help of loyal teammates. Kidnappings, double crosses, cool gadgets, and a kick ass cast round out the speeding bullet that is this film.

A lot of people have raved about the film's chief villain played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and I agree to an extent. Although he's a vile and relentless villain he doesn't get enough screen time to put him on the all-time best bad guy list. He's good, but not that good.

Ving Rhames is fine as the only returning character from the franchise, Luther Stickel, the computer hacker, and the remaining supporting IMF team, comprised of Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys-Myers, and Billy Crudup are a colorful and fun bunch. We don't learn too much about them and that's fine. Their actions and playfulness make for good screen time.

And then there's Mr. Cruise. Look, love him or not, the guy can act and he brings an emotional intensity to the role of Ethan Hunt that was nearly vacant in the prior outings. This story is truly about Hunt, both professionally and personally, and the stakes are beyond high for him here. Cruise pulls it off, as usual, and with an even greater feel for the role. He is the American James Bond. He may not be Jack Bauer level bad ass, but it would be one helluva fight.

Special attention must go to J.J. Abrams. He has crafted an action/spy thriller that plays on the Mission: Impossible mythos in pure modern day perfection. Abrams's work on Alias and Lost has proven that he has the chops to deliver thrills with a deep core and he once again demonstrates that here. The plot may be simple, but the characters and their interaction is the strong suit here. They always say to play to your strenghts and Abrams does just that here.

The action sequences are numerous and most definately live up to the impossible part of the film's title. Sure, most of it wouldn't, couldn't, or shouldn't happen. But, the movie is called mission: impossible, not mission: probably not possible.

There were many times where my eyebrows raised and I felt a slight tug in my pants as the action sequences got going. I started to get the old feelings back...back when Hollywood made good action movies...movies with lots of intensity and action and more than anything, CHARACTERS. Not vacant muscle-bound stoic morons with one-liners, but multi-dimensional heroes that fuck up and do their best to pull out of their peril on top. This is the kind of action movie I'd like to see more of.

Another great thing of note: The rating. It's PG-13 and I honestly have no complaint. I'm an R-rated movie kind of guy. Usually, an R-rating guarantees that you get the material straight as oppossed to censored, but I never once felt that what I was getting was watered down by the MPAA. I felt that they delivered exactly what they wanted us to see and I was very happy with what I saw.

In the end, I seriously doubt I'll see a better movie this summer and in all honesty, I'm surprised that I feel that way. I am stoked for a few summer entries on the way, but now it's got competition. Serious competition.

So, if you're shying away from this one because Tom Cruise jumped on a couch on daytime TV or because he wants his wife to be called "Kate" instead of "Katie" well, you're missing out on a great film. I don't want to hear any bitching and moaning about how there are no good summer movies from you, especially if you're avoiding them because of a movie star's personal life...if that were always the case, then you'd be doing a lot of reading, because, guess what, just like the average joes of the world, celebrities are just as fucked up as the rest of us.

Stop your judgmental, ignorant whining about celebrities and their personal lives and go see the movie for a damn good summer ride. Or go sacrifice yourself and pretend that seeing Lindsay Lohan in "Just My Luck" is a better choice...because she is SO much more normal than Tom Cruise.

Movie Grade: A+

Monday, April 03, 2006

Horror continues to "Slither" away

Directed by James Gunn
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks

There is a divide that continues to bridge between myself and the majority of film critics and moviegoers as either my taste is maturing or slumping, because I simply can’t understand why some movies are loved and adored and others are forgotten and lost.

So it is that I gave Slither a chance. It looks like a Netflix movie, which is what many movies look like. (A Netflix movie is one that is not worthy of a trip to the movies to sit through…it’s worth a Netflix rental where you can fast forward through the whole thing if it sucks major balls or if it’s a movie that is so obviously bad you’d be too embarrassed to be seen in a theater watching it, let alone say the movie title aloud at the ticket counter).

However, many critics, namely those that call themselves horror fans, and even a few ‘name’ critics, gave the film a positive review, noting that the gore and sci-fi/horror element is played up nicely.

I saw a few clips online of the gore and thought that it looked very intriguing. Boy, was I duped.

Now, not only do trailers show the best parts of the movies, but the “exclusive” online clips show the only worthy two minutes of the movie. What a shame.

Now, those that know me, or my writing style in particular, know that I lean towards the R-rated world of work, not out of sheer shock value, but because it’s the world we live in. The real world is actually the unrated director’s cut, 24 hours a day. That’s a no-brainer. So, I’ll never write a Spy-Kids sequel. I’m fine with that.

What I’m getting at is, and I believe I’ve brought it up before, is that if you’re going to have an R-rating, then make it worth it. For Gods sake, your movie is practically doomed with an R-rating as it is, you may as well make it worth it…you’ll bring in a bigger audience with word-of-mouth in doing so, especially if you do it right.

I remember the old school horror and action movies of the 80’s that generally delivered on the gore, violence, nudity, and language of an R-rated movie. Where, oh where, have they gone?

Martin Scorsese saturates his films with as much of the R-rated glory as he can (for applicable movies) and lets the MPAA work with that so that the subtle cuts he makes after they shoot him down allow him to retain as much of the original content as possible. This is admirable.

A great model for the R-rated filmmaker would be Paul Verhoeven, who directed the original Robocop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and Basic Instinct. This is a man that OWNED his R-rating, as should all filmmakers. Starship Troopers isn’t a great movie by any means, but it lives up to the gore and nudity that makes an R-rated movie an R-rated movie. Robocop, especially the director’s cut, is a powerhouse of an R, eclipsing most modern hardcore R-rated movies. Total Recall is on the same playing field as Slither (or could be) thematically, but plays the camp and the gore quotient the way it should be.

Slither, on the other hand, is the opposite of this technique. Even with its few seconds of decent gore, it still never touches the realms that it could have. And you may say, “Well, maybe not everyone has the same limits of what is excessive or not.” And to that, I say, there’s only one way to find out…and that’s to push it.

Slither teases us, both with its ad campaign and with its actual presentation that it’s going to be a good gore-fest, but it fails…miserably. It fails to live up to the R-rating it’s been sentenced with.

I don’t think that all horror movies are the same or that they should all have the same level of gore/violence/nudity/language (GVNL…I’m not gonna type it out every time I reference it, so remember this acronym). However, for those that fall into an excessive area of GVNL, due to its subject matter/story/effects, etc., the envelope should be summarily pushed.

Slither gives us plenty of ‘icky’ moments, but nothing that lived up to what it could’ve been. I’m sure on the set they were like, “Yeah, that’s good, man, this is gonna be so gross onscreen,” but I think that they were too busy giving each other hand jobs that they forgot to look at the dailies and see that, “Oh shit, man, maybe we should go a little further…that’s kinda tame.”

Do it right, horror-filmmakers. You’re fucking it up. That’s my message to the current trend of horror filmmakers (with the exception of a rare few). I have yet to see “The Hills Have Eyes,” but I was very impressed with Alexandre Aja’s “High Tension” which is that rare horror film that pushes it just enough to shock you and scare you instead of giving you a hand job without the orgasm.

Own your work. That’s one thing, as an artist, I was always told. Don’t apologize for it and don’t change it because it offends a few people. Stick to your vision. I understand that studios get involved on many films, but come on, Slither could not have cost enough to make for a studio head to freak out about. That’s the beauty of lower budget horror films. Take advantage of it.

Oh, sorry, did you want to talk about the movie? Fine. A meteor carrying slug-like aliens lands on earth, infects humans, turning them into zombie-like aliens and it’s up to a small-town police officer to stop them. Simple.

The script is playful and witty and I thought that it might turn out to really be fun, but instead it self-destructs with its own satisfaction. They must’ve really thought that they nailed it without letting someone else take a look first.

Nathan Fillion (Serenity) is just fine as the cop and the beautiful Elizabeth Banks (The 40-Year-Old-Virgin) is completely underused as a woman whose husband is infected by the slug aliens.

By underused, I mean, she is filmed in such a way that we see how beautiful she is, the camera tilts down to give us a sixth grade view of her ass and we get small, subtle peeks, the kind that you’d find in a PG-13, giggle-inducing vomit fest.

Banks is perfect for the role, but its not explored or revealed enough. It’s an R-rated horror movie. We have the shower scene with the fog inside the glass encased shower covering up all the bits we want to see and of course there is the nightie she wears that teases us even more. It’s a horror movie. The nudity is expected. It’s what makes a horror movie raw, to see characters at their most vulnerable in the most extreme conditions.

Yes, I enjoy the sight of female nudity. As a red-blooded HUMAN MALE, yes, I’m fucking guilty. Shoot me, stab me, burn me at the stake, I confess.

Now, I remember as a kid, when I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies. The prospect of actually seeing one was that I’d see the stuff that was supposedly too much for my young eyes, such as boobs, bush, and blood. (The Three B’s) Oh, and the word “Fuck.”

Not all R-rated movies need to have these equations in them, but generally, I think many moviegoers will look for that rating in hopes of the prospect of the three B’s + Fuck. Mostly male moviegoers, but still…I honestly don’t know what you ladies want in your movies. I constantly ask my wife what kind of movies she’d like to see but I don’t get much in response.

I think most women want to see deeply involved emotional films or comedies (romantic or not). Although I’m not pigeonholing the female audience because they account for a huge portion of box office, but I do claim to be out of touch to their needs…and lets face it, with horror films…the audience is predominantly male. So be it.

However, with all that said, what we have in Slither is a film that has failed on all fronts to bring forth an R-rated Sci-Fi/Horror film that delivers on its R-rating and its story potential. Too simple, too dumb, and too toned down. I’m sure the filmmakers would balk at me saying that, but it’s true.

I yearn for the Evil Dead/High Tension/Dawn of the Dead/Robocop ETC, ETC, films that can bring out the sheer horror, gore, and violent titillation that makes horror films scary and enjoyable. We don’t need campy b.s. horror that doesn’t deliver on the level that it’s applying for.

And please, enough of the lead villain getting blown up and splattered all over the place…it’s quickly becoming the now clichéd “drop the villain to his death from high altitudes” ending. Screenwriters and filmmakers alike that work in these genres need to be working overtime in creating something new and exciting…because I’m giving them a run for their money the second the opportunity comes my way.

No one will ever write a review of my films saying there wasn’t enough GVNL. In horror, the expression of “having too much instead of not enough” is paramount.

Movie Grade: F

Friday, March 31, 2006

My Vendetta against V

V For Vendetta
Directed by: James Teague
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman

I personally felt that this film was a little over hyped. There are a lot of films that hit the market and have a pre-built fan base (Batman, Superman, X-Men…y’know…the “men” people) where the foaming-at-the-mouth fans are just dying for justice to be done to their beloved comic book/novel/TV show/ whatever.

Seriously though, who the fuck read V for Vendetta? Besides the fat smellys that live and work at the comic book store? For those that don’t know, Alan Moore is the writer and co-creator of V for Vendetta and has written lots of other comics and won awards and is a crazy liberal Brit that hates Hollywood and everything to do with the system. Which may be the sanest thing about him.

Because Hollywood is a joke. But that’s another story. Anyways, Moore and his collaborator/artist David Lloyd went about to create a thought-provoking tale of a fascist regime being disrupted by a “terrorist” by the name of “V” who wants to end the regime and bring about a more fair and balanced society.

Sounds simple enough and from what I hear the graphic novel is filled with Moore’s radical, philosophical views. Good enough. Most comic books are. Especially today.

What bothers me about V for Vendetta is the liberty the screenwriters/filmmakers have taken to link the themes of fascism and terrorism with the current climate of the world, most notably drawing parallels with the U.S.

The U.S. is obviously being compared to the “dystopian England” and the ruler of this nazi-like regime is supposed to mirror President Bush. And of course, we have the views that Christianity is involved, making all other religions seem evil. Then there are the homosexual overtones, namely the regime’s control over the gay population, meaning their execution of said homosexuals (a la the nazi’s to the Jews).

Then, of course, there is our protagonist, who is a terrorist. He sets out to destroy the “regime” by using acts of terror; blowing up buildings and killing various people.

However, the people he kills are people that tortured or were involved in the torture of people that were taken into a “concentration camp” where numerous experiments were tested on them, including himself. V was once one of these experimentees now out for blood.

So, in reality, he isn’t fighting for a just cause or a free society, he’s fighting for revenge. The revenge, however, he believes will lead to a free society. Or something like that. He never really says if he wants a “free” society, he just seems to want the current regime to end. (Does this sound familiar? *cough* liberal)

In true terrorist fashion, “V” as he refers to himself, simply wants blood and through that vengeance he thinks he will bring about…something…for the repressed people of England.
Let’s not forget that we also have the resident Dick Cheney look-alike, who of course, in the liberal-minded world, actually controls everything from the inside, including the President himself. And wouldn’t you know it, ol’ V strangles the life out of him at the end. Of course, the truth of the matter is, V is a lot more resourceful than any liberal, as most liberals are only as brave as to throw a rock at an armed and shielded police officer or to write a few harsh words in a poetic prose that nobody understands.

In short, we’re safe from the sissies. There are no liberals at war. What does that tell you?

Okay, I’m getting sidetracked. With good reason. So, hang in there.

Now, Natalie Portman. Oh, Natalie. Natalie “Stop Wars” Portman. Why, why, why? Why do you have to be so hot and talented and so mind-fucked by the Hollywood regime?

I understand that you’re from Israel. God help you, that place is fucked up enough as it is. But, you live and work in America. It gives you millions of dollars and you take your little Hollywood spotlight and turn it into your radical platform to let us all know that, hey, I’m cute, so you should listen to my mind-numbingly naïve beliefs about the world.

So, you say, Paul, why are you giving us your right wing bullshit review? Well, because a) I am right wing b) right wingers may not be perfect, but we’re the most sane of all of them and c) V for Vendetta is offensive to my right wing radar.

Natalie will be referred to as “Stop Wars” for the rest of this review. So, Stop Wars is this little Brit Bitch who works at a TV station and is rescued by V one day from a bunch of “Gestapo-like” police who catch her after curfew. For whatever reason, V takes a fancy to her (probably the supple little ass) and takes her under his wing, so to speak.

V goes one by one, killing everyone that was somehow involved in his torture at a concentration camp, each character resembling a version of some political figure today. They even go as far as to have a priest who arranges to have girls dressed up in Bonnet-like outfits delivered to his room for sex, which, of course, V must attend to. Naturally, we have Stop Wars all dressed up in this hot little get-up, sent in to tantalize the horny priest. I don't know about you, but Stop Wars in that dress, looking as hot as she did could very well entice any man into a "sinful" situation. Not that I'm giving the thumbs up for the Priest, but hey, if it were me...

We are treated to a handful of characters that are repressed from the government and of course, they’re all homos who read the Koran and collect porno. I’m not kidding.

The movie really tries to get the audience wrapped up in the homosexual themes of love and acceptance, because, of course, it’s now forbidden. So, naturally, just about everyone is a repressed homosexual because of it.

Stop Wars is caught one day while trying to escape the Gestapo (again) and is put in a prison where she is tortured for information, starved, and fed notes through her cell from another prisoner; a gay woman who wants to write about the love she shared with her girlfriend.

What? Seriously, I’m not kidding. Stop laughing, it’s true.

Then, the bombshell. It was V all along who captured and tortured her. One day he opens the cell and tells her she is going to be executed. She accepts her fate and says she’s not afraid to die. V tells her that she is now truly free and reveals that it was actually him that was torturing her and feeding her the notes (homo-hope) and that she is now ready to face the world (and strap bombs to her chest and blow people up).

So, from this point, V sets in motion his plan to kill the President and Vice President, brainwash the public into dressing up like him and marching to Parliament, where they will be treated to its destruction.

I’m not a right wing nut, but seriously…can we spell L-I-B-E-R-A-L-F-A-N-T-A-S-Y?

Of course V is dead from his end battle, so it’s up to Stop Wars to pull the lever on the train full of explosives (and V’s body…of course) and to send it screeching into Parliament and blowing it up, turning Stop Wars into a terrorist herself.

And we’re supposed to applaud this?

In the end, Stop Wars lends us her voice over, saying that V gave the people hope. I was seriously shocked. Hope? By blowing up the government, murdering people, and creating all out chaos?

I would love to see a sequel to V for Vendetta that takes place the day after they blew up Parliament and see how much hope is circling. I’m not saying that the people were happy with their “regime” but if you want to draw parallels to radical change in a society that has been repressed for a long period of time, turn on CNN (or Fox News if you’re me) and you’ll see.

It takes time and it’s a painful changeover. Perhaps hope exists in what may come, but normally there is a deep and difficult divide before a society can change its ways. We are learning the hard way now. And we are actually proactive about it. V didn’t rebuild or help in any way to form a new government. He just blew shit up and threw his knives. And recruited more people to blow shit up and throw knives.

Now, the film. By filmmaking standards, it’s pretty entertaining. The action sequences are pretty cool, even if their literal translation is kind of ridiculous. The music score by Dario Marianelli is the best I’ve heard so far this year and it deserves to be in a better movie.

Overall, though, the aesthetic portion of this film can’t save its story, which is ridiculous and not well thought out at all. In typical liberal fashion. I feel as if I’m watching someone’s opinions translated into a comic book film to brainwash the masses. However, since my brain is on the “right” track, that’s not going to happen.

Unfortunately, there are tons of V for Vendetta websites that celebrate this. Sure, it’s a bunch of moronic teenagers that are looking for a venue for their angst (like most teenage comic book readers) but it’s surely not the best venue.

But, it’s a comic book movie, Paul! Oh, shut up. No shit. That’s what it’s supposed to be. But if the extreme liberal creator of this story won’t even endorse it, what does that tell you?

Enjoy this movie as a piece of propaganda on terrorism and you’ll have a good time. Try to enjoy it any other way and you’ll find yourself cringing like I did. Unless you're a liberal. Then, you're fucked.

Right now, Insurgents in Iraq are watching this movie and clapping and cheering. Soon we will see a tirade of them running amok in the streets of Baghdad wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and screaming in Arabic “Remember, Remember the 11th of September!”

Calm down, I'm kidding. They wouldn't dare wear a mask...right?


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snake Eyes is not a myth

From time to time, as some of you may know, my creative side gets the better of me and I'll belt out some work that may or may not be worth a crap. That being said, below is a picture I did of the famed character "Snake Eyes" (of G.I.Joe). He's a bad motherfucker and I think this picture captures just that. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kill the Bitch

Match Point: movie review
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Scarlett Johanssen, Emily Mortimer, Brian Cox

What, you don’t want to read my review of the new Woody Allen movie? Why not? You don’t like Woody Allen movies? Hmm. Well, neither do I. Except this one. So quit bein' choosy and read on you freakin' brat.

Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a Woody Allen movie for the very reason that it IS a Woody Allen movie. They all seem rather wordy and boring and pretentious, but I couldn’t say that unequivocally because I simply don’t know.

However, when it comes to Match Point, I do know. When I saw the trailer for this movie I thought it looked like a good “Fatal Attraction-like” thriller. Then, I saw Woody Allen’s name on it and was taken aback. It did not look like his normal coffee table dogshit. It actually looked interesting.

And it has cheating.

My wife and I, or rather, my wife, like the cheating movies. Infidelity is inherently interesting and sparks those feelings that regularly pulse through your brain when you’re attached to someone in a monogamous relationship. It’s great to watch the events unfold onscreen and, hopefully, not be able to relate to them in any type of nostalgic way.

And it’s good to look over at your significant other and put them in the situation of the characters onscreen.

“I swear, if you ever did that I’d…”
a) Cut your dick off
b) Blow your brains out
c) Take everything you have and leave
d) Kill your whole family
e) Burn your action figure collection

Anyways, Match Point involves an Irish Tennis Pro (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who moves to England and meets some well-to-do folks at the Tennis Club he is teaching at and is quickly involved in their circle of life. He meets a woman (Emily Mortimer) and falls in love. Mortimer’s brother is engaged to the striking, American beauty Scarlett Johanssen, playing a struggling actress/sultry seductress. The Tennis Pro is instantly smitten, but still deeply cares for Mortimer.

Rhys-Meyers is dedicated to seeing Johanssen in every way he can. He is a sneaky little snake throughout the entire film and does everything he can to cover and slither his way through life, while manipulating everyone around him with every twist and turn of emotion and wording he can get through. And the truly interesting aspect of it is that he does all this without being utterly nasty about it. You actually kind of like the guy and want him to do well.

Eventually he marries Mortimer after Johanssen and the now-brother-in-law split. He starts to move on, but as fate would have it, he sees Johanssen again and simply can’t help himself. The pursuit is on again.

From this point on the affair is in full swing and it’s great to watch Rhys-Meyers snake his way through every situation and close call of being caught in the act. He handles it remarkably well and even though suspicions arise, no one truly believes that he is actually up to no good.

As with marriage, comes the pressure of squirting out a kid, and so Mortimer puts the squeeze on Rhys-Meyers for a rugrat. They try, but obviously all the good baby batter is being wasted on Johanssen, so…

…You guessed it, Johanssen gets knocked up first. BAM! Now, Rhys-Meyers is truly fucked and Johanssen’s sultry seductress becomes a raving psychopath that wants her Irish Tennis Pro all to herself and to raise her bun in the oven together and to once and for all leave his wife.

Rhys-Meyers, obviously in what some would call a “pickle,” decides there’s only one thing he can do…

Kill the Bitch.

I audibly laughed in the theater when he goes to get his father-in-law’s shotgun and plans out the crime, clumsy as it may have been. Here is a man that has shown absolutely that he has a conniving will and the cunning of a fox that would allow him to commit such an act and yet you somehow don’t want him to do it. You feel that there is something that would make him change his mind.


He kills the bitch. Blows her away. He kills the neighbor as well, robbing her to make it look like a botched robbery. Everything seems to have fallen into place.

He returns home and settles back in like nothing ever happened. He tosses the jewelry that he robbed from the neighbor and tosses it into a river, a single ring bouncing off the railing and falling back to the ground. This is to signify the “match point” that is associated with Tennis, where you can either win or lose the game with that one shot.

We are led to believe that the ring will cause him to “lose” the match. However, it turns out that it actually saves him.

After he kills Johannsen I actually wanted him to get caught and go to jail. But then, I thought about it some more and as the movie progressed to its conclusion and kept pulling the audience in either direction, I wanted him to get away with it.

The police get involved and one of the detectives figures the whole crime out in his head down to the intricate details. I figure that Rhys-Meyers is done. But no. The ring. The match point ring was picked up by some other criminal who was killed in another robbery, thereby linking him to the two deaths that Rhys-Meyers actually caused.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he gets away with it. I felt a pang of victory, although I don’t know why. Perhaps, because too many times we’ve seen the same movie where the husband or wife is punished and sent to prison and will feel sorrowful and repent his sins and that’s life.

Match Point gives us another take and it’s refreshing. It also gives me hope. Why you ask? Well, now I feel that I can have an affair and get away with it. Yep. That’s right.

So, if there are any women out there that want to have an affair with me, its game time, baby. It will be sweet, passionate, hot, dirty, and ultra-secretive. But…and this is a big but…

…If your ass gets knocked up and you go all psycho on me…

…I’m fuckin’ killin’ your ass with a shotgun…

Movie Grade: A

Friday, February 03, 2006

Where the fuck have I been??

I’ve gotten, like…two complaints that I haven’t updated my blogsite in a long while. I don’t want to be one to disappoint my fans, so I’ll give a brief update and hopefully crank out some ramblings over the weekend.

So, no I haven’t been kidnapped, had an operation, gone to a school, or began protesting with Cindy fucking Sheehan. I’ve just been…busy.

I promise to only spend one paragraph on the boredom that is my current state of transition in the Army (boring because it would take too long to explain everything, including the acronyms…I’d basically have to send you to boot camp and smoke your ass).

Fuck. Okay, two paragraphs. But, that’s it.

I have been in the same Company and Platoon since I arrived at Fort Richardson in 2002 and was offered the opportunity to “switch it up” and I took it. I am now part of a super secret squirrel outfit that is body guarding the CSM (Command Sergeant Major) and BC (Battalion Commander…I tell you these so that you’ll remember and I’ll never have to tell you again…take notes.)

Fuck. Seriously, three paragraphs and I’m done with the Army shit.

Yes, bodyguard. However, this allows me to do some bad ass training that I wouldn’t otherwise get (driving school, sigarms [fuck you, I’m not explaining…google it], blackhawk handgun school, submarine sabotage, experimental super soldier serum drug enhancements, penis enlargement (intimidation of the enemy), and razor-edged boomerang throwing school (take off an Insurgents head “Aussie-style”).

May as well go for four. You two deserve an explanation.

So, now I am in a super-secret organization and have a lot of pressure to perform at the top of my game, which is the reason for my absence (coupled with some bullshit field problems). We do PT (physical training…do I really have to tell you this?) twice a day and it’s pretty hardcore and grueling. We have to maintain a certain average that is not the norm for the majority of infantry soldiers. We have to jump through walls and shoot lasers out of our eyes, too.

I like odd numbers. Let’s keep it going. I like where I’m headed, even though I don’t know where that is. It just feels good and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up straight and do the Macarena.

Big changes for me and I’m all for it. Before I came into the Army I worked out six days a week with martial arts on Saturday. I was lookin’ and feelin’ pretty good and lived under the notion that joining the Army would make me look like Ryan Reynolds (more on him later).

The recruiters duped me. I should’ve known, watching them dunk doughnuts into their coffee as they told me how cool the Army was, that my physical transformation would be born of a whole different animal.

Upon arriving to Fort Rich I was thrown into a bit of a depression, seeing as I had no idea what to expect and didn’t like what I came to know as the Army way of life.

However, over time (and multiple deployments) I have begun to get myself back to where I want to be and this new job will allow me to leap forward to my goals and beat the shit out of Ryan Reynolds with a flick of my eyelashes.

Anyways, this has also caused me to change my diet immensely and man o man do I miss the carbs! Anyone who knows me well knows that I love doughnuts more than Keira Knightley in white silk panties and spiked on Ecstasy. Keira or toasted coconut doughnut? (it’s not donut you bastards! Stop butchering my language!), Keira or toasted coconut doughnut?…Keira feeding me a toasted coconut doughnut while in white silk panties and spiked on ecstasy AND the new episode of 24 playing in the background.


One thing of note; Could Hershey’s have picked a worse time to release the candy-coated kisses AND the peanut butter-filled kisses? Don’t they know what I’m going through? Those insensitive motherfuckers! I’m trying to think green and organic and they’re tossing the wonderful world of processed carbs with the pure beauty of chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…

Where was I?

Right. Fuck Hershey’s. And Ryan Reynolds. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Ryan Reynolds. He’s funny and a good actor to boot and has a great penchant for action roles. I look forward to seeing where his career goes. But, much like women hating Lindsey Lohan and Jessica Simpson for setting a body image bar that far surpasses that of a large majority of women, Ryan Reynolds does the same to us guys.

Girls dream of the six pack and sweet pecs and bulging biceps all in a nice, cut frame (is this how gay guys describe men? Fuck, I knew I shouldn’t have seen Brokeback Mountain). Men dream of…well, there’s no mystery there. We like chicks. With boobs. And a nice booty. And doughnuts. Oh, and a great personality.

Anyways, as America grows larger, which is in my view the natural course of things as body types have changed over the ages and always will, the struggle to become or maintain that perfect Adonis figure has become a nearly unattainable goal. However, I am of the belief that you can accomplish anything with dedication, will, and good old-fashioned hard work. And liposuction.

And so it is, that I am challenging Ryan Reynolds to a graphic design competition. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I’ll whomp his ASS!! Take that Ab-ripped fuck face Van fucking Wilder! Yeah, watch me control the mouse, oh yeah…oh snap! Did you see that? Uh huh, you know it, Photoshop just done whupped up your chiseled ass!

What else did I want to talk about? Oh yeah…Superman. Since I began watching “Smallville” on DVD (19.95 everywhere during Christmas for all seasons…nice) I’ve kind of become “Smallville” obsessed and with the new Superman movie coming out this summer I’m even more jazzed (hey, let’s start using jazzed again…make it happen people).

Anyways, “Smallville” is laced with a nice layer of cheese but packed to the max with Superman mythology that most of the teenage girls that masturbate to Tom Welling don’t get because they’re too busy gossiping about the 90210 melodrama. Well, this cat is well known as a “comic book nerd” or “fanboy” and I get worked up on the same level over the comic book melodrama. So, we’re even I guess.

Oh, and fuck Tom Welling! He’s just like Ryan Reynolds! I wish NASA would invite them on a shuttle cruise and send those bitches into orbit somewhere along the Milky Way so we can all get fat and get a McDonalds IV that just pumps pureed Double Quarter Pounders into our bloodstream while we play video games and masturbate to internet porn AND NOT FEEL GUILTY AT ALL!!

Okay, all joking aside, Tom Welling is pretty cool. For those of you that don’t watch “Smallville” I’ll include a copyrighted picture so that Warner Brothers can sue me for my action figure collection and you can see who the fuck I’m talking about. I’m not gonna go into a rant about “Smallville” but it is a really fun show. I highly recommend it.

Also, if you’re not watching “24” then you’re not allowed to read my blog anymore. Seriously. Yes, you. Get out. Now. Go catch up then you can come back. For real. I’m not fuckin’ around. I’m not gonna explain my Jack Bauer references to those of you out of the loop. It is still the best fucking show on television and, YES, I do have to say fuck a lot because nothing drives the point home like a good “fuck.”

In other news, I’ve decided to never masturbate again.

Okay, enough with my “Dave Chapelle moments.” I’m not crazy. I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.

All right, so onwards to my wrap up (yes, it has to end sometime). I saw some movies but they aren’t really worth reviews. Underworld: Evolution…more of the same but not enough. I can’t even remember the other one I saw, so it must have sucked like a Hoover with a full bag.

I’m going to see “Match Point” this weekend because the wife and me like movies about cheating. I may audiotape the conversation on the ride home and translate it to my blog for your enjoyment (how many of you are left? I need a headcount…and no that has nothing to do with blowjobs).

That’s it. My world keeps turning and I haven’t gone missing “Chapelle-style” nor have I turned my back on my expansive fan base. I’m still in love with you all and hope you keep coming back for more of my guiding wisdom, insight, and offensive humor.

And I’ll say “fuck” as much as possible.

Oh, you should watch this fucking trailer. You’ll laugh. Maybe pee a little.