Monday, July 20, 2009

check out this...

...awesome giveaway at The Story Sirens.

-danielle

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dead...They're All Dead









Holy shit...I think we can write June 2009 off as the worst month for the entertainment world since...ever.

First, David Carradine was knocked off (scroll down for more). About two days ago, Ed McMahon died at the age of 86, health problems attributed. This morning, I was woken up (rather rudely) by my sister, to tell me that Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett had passed away not 20 minutes earlier of anal cancer. And now, 7:00, my sister once again comes running out to tell me that now, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop himself, had died of cardiac arrest, aged 50.
Well...what can I say?

Monday, June 8, 2009

RIP--David Carradine 1936–2009



Last Thursday, David Carradine--best known for his starring role in the cult 70s TV series Kung Fu and as the eponymous Bill in the every-kind-of-awesome-known-to-man-and-several-known-only-to-the-Martians Quentin Tarantino-directed Kill Bill (although he was most prominent in Part 2, only doing glorious voicework in Part 1)--was found dead in his hotel room on the set of a new movie called Stretch. After failing to show up for a cast dinner, someone went up to check on the 72-year-old veteran actor\martial artist and found him hanging from his neck, with his hands tied behind his back (along with *ahem* other things). Whether it was suicide or accidental (a botched attempt at autoerotic asphyxiation (forgive my spelling, I can't even pronounce this word correctly)) remains unknown. Bangkok (where he was at) police tell the BBC that it was a hanging, while Carradine's publicist tells American reporters that he died of natural causes (um...no).


His lawyer, meanwhile, stated on Larry King that he was killed by a band of 'secret sect of kung fu ninjas'. Yes, you read that right. No, I am not joking.


Here's what Wikipedia has to report on this certain matter:


On Friday 5 June, the Carradine family lawyer Mark Geragos spoke on Larry King Live and dismissed claims of suicide, stating instead that David Carradine could have been murdered by a "secret sect of kung fu assassins", after it was revealed that Carradine had been attempting to uncover groups working in the martial-arts underworld.


He was not kidding.


So either this is a very bad lawyer, or David Carradine was a lot more awesome than we once thought.


My one regret? That one of his last roles was as a coma patient on that crappy House knock-off.


-----------------------------------


Here are some more brief reviews of movies I have just seen.


The Brothers Bloom--The sophomore effort from Rian Johnson, the director of Brick, which starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who cameos as a man in the bar the Brothers go to celebrate a successful con--the camera closes in on his face for a minute. Another girl from Brick who's name I forget has a minor role as a groupie). Starring Adrien Bordy, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, and Rinko Kikuchi. About 2 con men brothers, the scheming Stephen (Ruffalo), who plans the cons and fancies himself a character in a novel, and the younger romantic Bloom (Brody (he's never named)), who is tired of living only as the characters his brother writes for him. After a few months estrangment, Stephen convinces Bloom to pull of 'one last con' (God, I know. How many times have you heard that one?), with the help of their accomplice, silent explosives-expert Bang Bang (Kikuchi), who is said to only know 3 words in English. The target: wealthy but lonely eccentric Penelope (Weisz), who collects hobbies and enjoys making pinhole cameras out of watermelons (My God, the quirks!). In an increasingly complicated plot that deserts the original plan entirely, Bloom finds himself in love with Penelope (of course).


I liked this movie. Rachel Weisz deserves at least a Golden Globe, she's just so goddamn funny in this. Adrien Brody (or rather, Adrien Brody's sad-eyes) wet-blankets his (their) way through relatively unscathed (I kid. He was actually very good). Mark Ruffulo seems slightly out of his element as the conniving, light-hearted Stephen. Rinko Kikuchi has literally three lines in the entire movie, but her expressions are just fucking hilarious. Slows down in the third half to focus on the actual con, and the ending in bittersweet (no spoilers, I'm afraid), but all in all, an indie in love with it's own quirks and proud of it, that's funny, smart, and blah, you know the whole fucking thing, my hands are hurting. Maximilian Schell as the sleazy former mentor Diamond Dog, Robbie Coltrane as the brothers' rival\accomplice The Curator, Ricky Jay as the narrator (who only appears in the beginning, even though you think it's going to be a recurring thing--he sounds like he knows something you don't, it's weird). Rating: 9

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Random Compilation

Since it has been many a month since I have graced my 3 followers with my presence (and myself, since it would appear that I am my own follower), plus my sister who keeps telling me that you all are 'outraged' (her words) that I haven't been writing anything (I believe 'bitch fit' also worked it's way into that conversation, but by then the subject matter had changed to Oprah and A Million Little Pieces), and despite this gross hyperbole, I will write many short reviews of various things and ideas I have happened upon since my last blurb.

Susan Boyle--Yes, the British sensation who is being treated as a small child dressing in drag at his parents' dinner party. An interesting, amusing spectacle. She is a fanatastic singer. Will everyone please get over how she looks?

Miss California--I don't care about the gay marriage thing. I don't agree with what she said, but it was an opinion. I can respect that. Her subsequent lies concerning photos of a nekkid nature are just ridiculous.

Prop 8--I know, that was, like, a year ago, but I just got the numbers for how much the church spent on trying to get it passed. Many a zero, friends.

Runaways Vol 1--A comic created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrien Alphona for Marvel (later worked on by such cult favorites as Joss Whedon and Terry Moore) follows, originially, the offspring of a team of supervillians called 'The Pride'. Upon discovering their parents' secret, and subsequently their own hidden powers, they run away to try and undo the damage their parents have done, while also attempting to figure out what their parents are up to and....well, yeah, all that stuff you'd expect. While it is obvious it was written, as usual, by grown men who only have an inkling idea of how teenagers actually talk, it is much better than other Marvel comics I have encountered. None of the principle characters have costumes (with the exception of eleven-year-old Molly, but it's really just a cut-up curtain), they only use their 'superhero' names half the time (which is a shame, because some of them are actually very good), and the storyline isn't completely half-assed. The romantic subplots within the group, I could do without, but I guess that makes the big reveal have a bigger impact. I don't really know how to review a comic, but I liked it. Rating: 7

Movie: Lars and the Real Girl--There are so many ways the makers of this (forgive me for saying this) adorable indie starring Ryan Gosling as a young man who develops a relationship with a mail-order, life-sized sex doll (Bianca) could've made it exploitive, sexploitive, gross-out, mocking or just bad. They, fortunately, didn't, choosing to approach it with enough sincerity and care to create a touching little world where a town comes together to pretend Bianca's real, for the sake of the eponymous Lars. It never veers into (again, forgive me) silly or cutesy. Gosling gives an amazingingly understated performance, along with Emily Mortimer as his well-meaning and pregnant sister-in-law, Paul Schneider as his guilt-ridden older brother, and Patricia Clarkson as the family doctor, who doubles as a psychologist. Rating: 8

Book: I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone--About a girl who's mother ditches when she's a toddler to 'follow the music' of the rising punk scene, as she grows to have her own punk band. As they rise to fame, she (I'll quote the back cover here) 'tries to find the song that'll bring her mother home'. This was an okay enough book, but one thing that bugged me throughout was the fact that every minute of every day from the age of 14 is spent obsessing about the absentee mom she doesn't even remember. Literally. Not just thinking about her every once in a while, when she's playing a song or whatever. Every. Single. Minute. She can't go a page without talking about how her mother abandoned her, messed up her ability to hold down a relationship, blah blah fucking blah, we get it. You miss your mommy. Get over it for five seconds. Christ, I'm rambling again, aren't I? Anyway, if you can ignore that fact, which I'm probably making a bigger deal than it is, than it's a perfectly okay book. Better if you're a fan of music (many obscure references). Rating: 6

American Idol--God, who the fuck cares? This show mass-produces a heap of identical singers, with the exception of a few 'originals' (read: gay, parent, oddly-colored hair, army veteran, all four), all of whom take singing so seriously it's annoying just listening to their interviews. From tryouts on, they blubber on about how much they want this, they want this so bad. Butchering songs by people more talented then they, either annoyingly modest or obnoxiously confident ("I am the next American Idol"), hamming up their vocals for all their worth, and dropping in how mad awesome the others are when they're voted off. I'm being picky, yes, but I just really hate this show. If you, right now, have the urge to leave a comment about how amazing the show it, and how I'm just jealous/ignorant/pathetic/etc, then kindly leave it and never come back here, because you are not welcome.

Nadya Suleman 'Octomom'--She's an unemployed, single former stripper who purposely got inseminated with eight kids, even though she already had 6 under the age of ten, and then begs us, America, to show her sympathy and give her our money. And she's in negotiations for a reality show. Ahem.


That was nice. I'm done for now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sequel to Donnie Darko Must Be Stopped


For those of you who haven't heard, Donnie Darko is the greatest film ever. EVER. The entire thing just never gets boring, and you feel smarter for just getting it the second time.
Of all the movies that don't need sequels, Donnie Darko is at the top of the list. But guess what this Chris Fisher person is doing. Making a motherfucking sequel. About the nonexistent little sister. With that Gossip Girl guy. And that Twilight guy. And Elizabeth Berkley.
I've seen the viral videos. They're kinda cool. The trailer? Like a crappy horror movie. It goes to DTD, but still. Holy Fuck.
Speaking of bad movies, there is a petition circulating to make Uwe Bol retire. Sign it here: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?RRH53888
For the future of cinema, stop these two atrocities. It's too late of S. Darko, but Uwe Boll can still be stopped!

Pop Culture Gimmicks

You all know them, even if you've never put a name on them. In books, it could take the form of 2nd person narrative (you look around in wonder, etc.), versed poetry, or breaking of the fourth wall. In television and movies, it may be special effects, shaky camera work, abrupt endings (especially in series finales, which I will no doubt get to eventually), or, again, some form of wall-breaking. These can either go wonderfully well or horribly awry, depending on who's handling the material. Here are a few:

Meta-References
This is very similar to breaking the fourth wall (a term dirived back in the days when people still went to plays and called them 'theatre'. It goes back to Shakespeares' A Midsummer's Night's Dream, when the character Puck would directly address the audience, talking through what would've been the stage's literal fourth wall), but instead of outright talking to the members of the audience, it references people from the movie or show or play, either they themselves or things they've done. For instance, if Madonna were to do a movie which involved some sort of female-bonding-type dance sequence in a kitchen involving makeshift spoons\microphones, and the song she'd be lip-syncing to were, say, "Material Girl" or "Vogue", this would be a meta-reference (also acceptible: one of her gal-pals saying that Madonna's character sounded 'nothing' like the singer). How it went well: F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, "The Beautiful and Damned", in which a novelist character complains about how every girl he meets asks him if he's read "This Side of Paradise". This is, if you skipped this entire paragraph and can't see what's coming next, F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel. Also seen in 'Fight Club' (movie). How it sucked: That whole "Ocean's Twelve" abortion where Julia Robert's character attempted to pull off a scheme the guys cooked up where she pretended to be--well, you can guess. Also present is Bruce Willis and that very annoying 'My-God-How-Could-You-Possibly-Think-That-Would've-Worked-The-Nose-Is-All-Wrong' schtick. Also see Meta-jokes, metafiction, metafilm, meta-language, meta-discussion, meta-knowledge, frame story, story-wthin-a-story, etc.

Deaus ex machina
Literally translated as 'god from the machine', is a plot device in which a person or thing appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty. The overall consensus is that this is borth a cheap and lazy way to neatly end a story, often featured in high school short story assignments and the lesser, Direct-to-DVD horror flicks featuring a cast member from Gossip Girl or whoever. How it went well: Shakespeare used this technique quite often and, as expected, kicked it's bitch ass. The famous 'aliens-destroyed-by-Earth-bacteria' ending to War of the Worlds. Also, Adaption. by Spike Jonze and starring Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper (who won an Oscar for his role), used this, but it's okay because they knew it, and in fact referenced it (the device) several times. The fact that they used it was ironic, so they can be forgiven (meta references which are too complicated to explain are present as well). How it sucked: Most everywhere else that's not a TV-MA-rated cartoon.

Shaky Camera
This is the technique seen in movies to add realism to the whole thing, such as the Jason Bourne series, but is also used as the extremely gimmicky 'found footage' film, as in 'Cannibal Holocaust', 'The Blair Witch Project', 'Jimmy and Judy', and 'Cloverfield'. How it went well: Blair Witch, Jimmy and Judy, Cannibal Holocaust. How it sucked: Cloverfield.

Shocker Series Finales
The series finale is what a TV show is most remembered for--that is, if it doesn't come out with a spin-off show at the last minute. That's why the creators always try to leave a mark. You know--everyone dies, everyone's happy, everyone leaves, whatever. I could go on the very best of them, and there are plenty--The Prisoner's head-scratching, 500-new-questions closer, Mary Tyler Moore's sentimental goodbye, Blake's 7's bloody example how you don't fuck with imaginative producers, the end of a war that the soldiers of M*A*S*H have been fighting twice as long as everybody else, Dinosaur's sobering and unsettling foreshadowing to the cruel extinction of the prehistoric characters (with a lovely enviromental message to boot), St. Elsewhere's drastic retcon, Kids in the Hall's grave-dance, Mystery Science Theatre's...thing, the X-Files' end-of-the-world scenario, the Sopranos' mid-sentence blackout, Six Feet Under's closer that seriously needs some Vicodin, both of the Life on Mars' (BBC and CBS versions), Roseanne's last-minute confession, and Newhart's hilarious awakening from an eight-season-long dream. The only bad ones are the ones that didn't know they were cancelled--the cliff-hanger, especially.

Retcon
The undoing of an already established fact, whether intentionally or not. This is often seen in sitcoms, shaping a character's age to fit into the recent storyline. How it went well: Roseanne taking back the ludicrus final season, as well as pretty much everything after the 3rd season, SNL's disowning of the recent past's seasons via Madonna. How it sucked: That Dallas thing. What the fuck was that?

Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
Named after the Happy Day's character that disappeared without a trace, he was followed by little Judy on Family Matters (and look how she turned out), Donna's two sisters on That 70's Show, and a million other places, mostly sitcoms. Not a gimmick, but ridiculous all the same.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Book Review: Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer


You all get the basic jist of the series. I have one thing and only one thing to say of this book: Glorified Shit.
She spends pages and pages describing how Edward beautifully shone in the sun or whatever, and yet gives a measly five pages to his siblings' much cooler back stories (like Rosalie's, which sounds a lot like Kill Bill with vampires. Kill Bill! With Vampires!).
The main characters have no personalities to speak of. Bella seems to not exist before she met Edward, and continues to not exist whenever he's gone. As for him, all he seems to do is be hot and resist eating Bella.
Severe, almost offensive masochist undertones. This freaky kid sits at her window every night, nearly kills her on several occasions, leaves her for months, but she can forgive him every time because he loves her. Sounds like an episode of Oprah. Or 60 Minutes, depending on how far this scenario has progressed.
For the men who read this series to maybe get some vampire action, it seems like by the time Meyer got to the sex, she realizes people are reading this now and cuts off. Sorry. Spoilers.
Speaking of Meyer, it seems like she's using the worst possible example of a Mary Sue (idealized and perfect to the point of annoying) character: the author surrogate. Who the author wishes she were. Let's look at Bella for a minute: Brown hair. Brown eyes. "Soft curves". Clumsy (because, of course, every character has to have only one flaw in their entire being, and apparently, clumsiness is considered the perfect flaw, because it's not an actual flaw). Let's look at Meyer--oh, wait. We don't. Look at a picture of her when she was 17. Except for the curves, which I believe she says to flatter herself, you've got what Stephanie Meyer visioned Bella as.
Jacob is my favorite character, because he's the only one who realizes that Edward is a jerk, possessive stalker. So, when Meyer realizes this, she has to immediately villainize him via kissing Bella. So now everyone's against him, and his plans have been foiled. Do you see how stupid this is? Do you?
And yet, Bella is also an ingenious way of luring in readers, which I have to respect Meyer for, whether she intended it or not. Bella is the perfect blank screen, the girl so flat and vague she could well be any girl in the country. And that's what every girl in the country likes to think.
Finally (and this is just speculation), have you ever gotten the feeling that Edward can control his 'hunger' fine, and that he's just avoiding doing it with Bella? Now why, oh why, would Edward not want to fuck Bella? She's, according Meyer, heavily coveted by every male in her school, despite her plain at best looks and numbi9ng personality. She's his supposed soul mate. She's practically tying herself to his bed with nothing on but furry handcuffs, lube, and bunny ears. WHat could possess a beautiful, sparkling teenage vampire who goes on extended mountain 'hunting' trips with his adopted brothers not to hit that?
What oh what?

End of the World Crisis


As many of you know, the planet Earth is very sensitive. One might even call it a pussy for it's overreaction to any sort of change. And this goes for civilization--the intelligent and organized life that inhabits Earth--as well. We have set up a system that, yes, works--until the next economic\enviromental anything.

Think of all the things that could horribly dissrupt our carefully built civilization: crop failure, economic depression, supervolcano--yes, that's spelled right--nuclear war, a technological rebellion via superintelligence--again, not a typo--overpopulation, global warming, climate change of any kind, massive tsumnami, ice age, antibiotic resistance, mutual assured destruction, peak oil, experimental accident, global pandemic, famine, fucking terminators, for God's sake!

And that's just organized civilization and\or humanity. Earth itself is threatened from a great many things, not excluding stellar evolution (which predicts that, in about 5 billion years, the sun will become the red giant and literally fart out--but not before burning us all to death), a meteorite collision, alien invasion or annihilation, the opposite of red giant, white dwarf, which would leave earth frozen already before gravitional pulls drag us into said dwarf, black hole ignoring the boundaries of personal space, long-term planitary movement, or, again, nuclear or atomic anything.

I could go on about an apooclypse on the universe. But really, this is exhausting.

Many have put dates on the eventual desruction of the world as we know it. A good number of religions have bet on 2012. Sire Isaac Newton has said that it will be no earlier than 2060. The agricultural effects of ovverpopulation is estimated to make a huge difference around 2050 (granting that the current birth and death rates stay at the same steady pace as is). Transhuman thinkers are varied, but are certain on the existential risks of certain technologies they've created. Apocolypses are popular in popcultures, including zombie, alien, and religous (see Armegeddon).

This isn't, however, a new development in the public eyes. In a poll done SciFi.com, virtually all Americans believed that some sort of doomsday scenario could realistically impact the human race, and that many feel that such a scenario is likely to be man-made. Others believe that a series of chemicaal accidents within the outermost edges of the emptiest space will cause a reverse Big Bang, one that will wipe out itself (itself being the universe).

Douglas Adams, author of the single greatest books series ever--The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy--said that the world will end and start over once the meaning of life was discovered, and that others belive this has already happened.

The end of days has always been of morbid fascination to people. We have created clocks and countdowns to the end by nuclear war. Countless books, movies, and artworks have been dedicated to the subject of the ultimate annihilation. Every dispute between every nation brings us closer and closer to a worldwide final genocide. If the world doesn't agree to disagree, if an equilbrium can't be brought about, man-made mass destruction is immenent. Natural and enviromental causes waver just behind.

What is the only things major religions agree on? Armegeddon. What is the one thing that united Earth in the Watchmen movie? Nuclear bombs on all major cities. The threat of some kind of statistically plausible end both seperates and unites us. Seriously. The only thing that can gets us to shut up and stop fighting like 12-year-olds is total annihilation and death.

Face it--to be educated on our own power just doesn't cut it anymore. Now that aliens and zombies and meteors and weather and total nothingness are in the picture again, it appears that we're screwed no matter what we do and how much we know.

The Doomsday Clock--concerning aforementioned WWIII--is currently at 5 minutes to midnight.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Movie Review: State of Play


A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman's assistant falls in front of a subway - two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it's worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story. Summary from Internet Movie Database (IMDb)



It's both complicated and engaging, with great acting and a believeable plot.



Russell Crowe headlines as Cal McAffrey, the overworked, old-school journalist contrasts with Rachel McAdams' eager-beaver blogger-turned-serious-reporter Della Frye nicely, their constant squabbling adding to much of the film's dry humor--but make no mistake, their isn't any of that 'love connection' shit that one might see in lesser films. Ben Affleck performs surprisingly well as young senator and former college roommate of McAffrey, Stephen Collins, who, in the beginning of the movie, breaks into tears during a televised conference, seemingly minutes after finding out about the 'accidental' death of his head researcher and mistress (Maria Thayer, in what would've been called a crucial cameo if she had been a bigger star--regardless, since I've recently seen Accepted, it was a cameo to me). I, not being used to seeing Affleck in anything terribly good in years, was surprised to see him holding his own against Academy golden kids Crowe and Helen Mirren--naturally fantastic as world-weary editor to the drowning Washingtin newspaper. McAdams, as the naive representative of the new and improved news world, gives a believable, determined, and strangely sentimental performance. Michael Berresse plays a sociopathic assassin who owes his life to Collins, setting in motion the events of the movie. But perhaps the most shocking turn is Jason Bateman as a bisexual club promoter, in what actually is an extended cameo.

The plot is intriguing and well-paced, as fueled by these excellent performences, with an appropriate amount of twists. Based off the 2003 six-part BBC miniseries of the same name which I have not seen, I'm going to assume it lives up to it's founder's standards. The end is slightly under-played in an abrupt reveal and shootout with only a computer screen to tell the viewer the aftermath, but this can easily be ignored.

Rating: 9

E! Network



You can tell from the explanation point that they don't shit around. But, oh, wait. They do. So much.
Where, oh where, should I begin? The two hags on the Daily 10, Cass something and Debbie something, who, like many other fluff news presenters, think they are cute, funny, and witty, when in actuality they are annoying, old (on the wrong end of 35, I'd presume), and have the intelligence of pillows soaked in grape juice? The countless reality shows centering on the various 'misadventures' of a has-been Z-lister and his\her family? The fact that they are the host of Ryan Seacrest?
Or maybe the sense that, whenever they're on a red carpet--Oscars, for example--they are the equivelant of that loser uncle at a Bar Mitzvah that nobody really wants there, but he's in town and you have no real excuse not to invite him, so you humor his anecdotes that always end in some variation of 'blowjob', and his over-eagerness to join the conga line, and the aroma of feces wafting from his rented blue tux?
I feel I've made my point. The only things worth watching on this network are Chelsea Lately, staring the second woman ever to have a late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately, Chuy, her nugget, and a varied three comedians at the round table, and The Soup, a clip show reviewing that week on television, often reality TV, hosted by Joel McHale, Mankini, Spaghetti Cat, and (lately), whatever celebrity feels like stopping by, including Evan Rachel Wood, that passionate guy from Dancing With The Stars, the writers of Mad Men, and Brian Cranston and Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad (this is one big run-on sentence).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The State of Television

I'll cut right too it--we, as a species, are at an all-time low. Scientists are spending their time making boner pills and hair-care products. We can't survive without our thousands of unneccesary electronical whatevers. And, unfortunately, the idiots of the world are being rewarded with money, fame, and reality shows.

This TV season and on, reality shows will dominate our screens. From modeling to cooking, from washed-out celebrity families to washed-out celebrity dancing, fat-asses loosing weight to skinny-asses gaining weight, and every housewife in between, there is no doubt that people love watching people. Is it the voyeurism? The relatibility? The sense of superiority one feels when watching douchebags do what they do best--scare away any aliens flying near our desolate little blue planet?

And while we encourage these useless idiots, good shows are being pushed away, down the oblivion that is late-night reruns.

For example, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles--an engaging and suspensful show--is being cancelled for sure due to miniscule ratings. Then again, it is Fox, who is notorious for not letting a show get out of two seasons. After being moved to the Friday Night Death Slot, preceding the new Joss Whedon show Dollhouse (also very good). This cannot be directly blamed on any one reality show, but my point remains valid--the quality of the already flailing TV schedule is going down.

Here are a list of other in-danger or already-dead good shows: Reaper, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Medium, Cold Case, Scrubs, Without a Trace, and The New Adventure of Old Christine.

It's not just reailty TV either. Teen dramas are stinking everything up, too. Gossip Girl, 90210, the upcoming Melrose Place remake...Gossip Girl is overrated and obnoxious, the latter two have had their run, now give some other shows a chance. Sigh.

Maybe I'm, once again, being picking. I can't control what people like. Or maybe I'm just bitter that my favorite shows are being axed. Whatever. Feel free to ignore this page once more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sidebar Review--Alfie's Home


Holy fucking Christ. This has to be the most disturbing children's book to ever be self-published by a therapist without a degree and an advocation of the 'gay reform program'

You can find the book here: http://www.b0g.org/wsnm/articles/Alfie

In case you don't feel like excerting yourself, it's about one boy's fucked-up childhood, what with his parents constantly screaming at everyone else, and his pedo uncle touching his boyhood, and him (gasp!) maybe being gay.

But don't worry. He goes to a shrink who informs him that his so-called fagocity was nothing more than his need for his Daddy's love. So now he's not gay! Hazzah!

Also, PedoUncle apoligizes for his many months of tatering our hero's tots by bowing his head and crying, apparently. This is enough for the eponymous Alfie be happy forever, now that he talks to his father and he isn't gay and he secretly glows at what Bubba is no doubt doing to Uncle right now.

So, Richard A. Cohen, Mr. Same Sex Attachment Disorder, Ex-Gay Except For That Time In New York (thank you, Wikipedia), I do not know what you intended out of this book, but I do know that it did not have the desired effect.

If you'd be so kind as to not write a children's book ever again, we'd all be willing to throw you a parade.*

Oh, and by the way, if Alfie hasn't yet killed himself, sodomized his paroled uncle with a crowbar, or strangled a prostitute, let him know we all feel for him. Truly.
PS That is a picture I found on GoogleImages. That is not my hand. I am a girl, thanks.












*Offer expires last week

Book Review: Saga by Conor Kostick

In the sequel to Epic (2007), a Booklist Top 10 Fantasy for Youth, the Dark Queen infiltrates New Earth’s central computer system, erasing the role-playing game called Epic. It’s replaced with Saga, designed to enslave New Earth’s populace. In Saga, Ghost, a 15-year-old girl with no memory of her first 9 years, is part of an anarcho-punk airboard gang. Strange things have been happening in Saga—strangers are appearing, then disappearing into thin air—and Ghost’s gang eventually learns what readers already know: Saga is not a real world but a sentient computer game. When Eric arrives in Saga as his avatar Cindella Dragonslayer, he joins forces with Ghost and her gang to stop the Dark Queen from destroying New Earth. Amazon Summary.

As mentioned, this is a sequel to a book I, in retrospect, should've read before this one. But I was browsing the library, and saw this one first. So whatever.

Throughout the reading of this novel, something was bugging me. The basic storyline was good, the chracters not annoying. What was it that kept me detached from the whole thing?

Oh, yeah. It sucked.

Let me elaborate: it was written like a mix between bad fanfiction (see fanfiction.net to see what I mean) and Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (fear not--you'll hear my exact thoughts about her and her little vampires some other time). I just didn't notice, as I read it at a time when I didn't obsessively notice these things.

Saga contains the textbook examples of a bad book: 2-dimensional characters, melodramatic bouts of post-breakup (there is no breakup, but I'm using it as an example) angst, ridiculously detailed account of the characters' physical appearences in one shot (as opposed to sprinkled throughout and when appropriate), the characters' own obsession with exclaiming their self-given label (as evidenced: when one character, the token imp male, upon him and the other cyber-folk 'gang' that headline the majority of the story winning an admittedly awesome death race for fame and a rise in status, looks into the news camera that shows up and dedicates the win to all of the "anarcho-punks out there!"), the almost sickening amount of Mary Sues, among other things.

I know, the whole world isn't like ours--a New Earth and an entirely fake world with it's own personality--but I highly doubt you'll be respected as an 'anarcho punk' (which they, might I add, are not) if you go bitching about it all the time.

Even the intercuts the Saga's Queen are horribly abusing the thesaurus on the author(a computer programmer--hm)'s computer. Between these over-descriptions and the gross under-descriptions of things that actually matter--for example, neatly summing up a person in a one-to-two word category ('punk', 'nerd', 'girly-girl', etc.), we have the equivelent of some dumbass, discredit-to-their-species teenage girl writting a harrowing account on what would happen if Joe Jonas would break up with Bangs McCoy (Girl With Really Red Lips??) on Camp Rock ( http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4929303/1/Confessions_of_a_broken_heart by Rocker-Chick-12345--who is both a Republican and a wannabe-emo\poet\cool person--forgive my bitter bias, but I read this girl's profile and Jesus Fucking Christ).

This is running long, isn't it? Bottom line--while a satisfying sequel for fans of Epic, for new readers, there is nothing you would find here that you couldn't find on some of the shitty Sci-Fi posts of Fictionpress. Maybe a little better. Whatever.

Rating: 3

PS No offense to said Rocker-Chick-12345, if she is so inclined to sue for defamation or something, but you were a very conveniant client. My sister sent me an email with a link to her story, which led me to her profile, the contents of which sent me in a vengeaful rage about the idiocracy of teenagedom and the decay of our future as a sprecies, which wasn't that great to begin with, and---I'm doing it again, aren't I? Whatever, I was in a bad mood to begin with when I saw that, so, sincerely, I apoligize if you were to catch wind of this and be offended. You probably won't, as this is ridiculously under-seen, but just in case.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fight Against "Tyranny"


We all know Republicans don't have the greatest track record (read: Bush). In fact, the last eight years have been so embarassing that you'd think conservatives would sit down quietly and give Democrats a shot.

You'd think.

In actuality, it would appear that the Republican party are, as always, going to be immature douchebags. Shocker.

First (and this was brought to my attention by The Daily Show), they began a campaign against Obama after his tax increase (or before--I've been on vacation), saying that they are fighting against the 'tyranny' of the Obama presidency. Mind you, this isn't even a year into it.

Because Obama has some nerve being a democratically-elected liberal who doesn't agree with you on every issue!

To quote Jon Stewart (I know--I'm so uncreative): "That's not tyranny, that's losing." These rich, hyper-conservative self-described patriots are not only hypocritical, but downright preschool(ish). When liberals spoke out against Bush, they were communsists and unpatriotic, even though Bush might have run the worst presidency in recent history (including an ill-advised war and over 5 billion dollars in added nation-wide debt). However, they, by protesting Obama's 3% Tax Hike (the horror), they are true Americans, likening themselves to be a more repressed and tyrannised (I'm using 'tyranny' way too much in this post, but this is how these people are actually talking) than England. England. Otherwise known as that tax-obsessed monarchy with a history of batshit-insane rulers killing five-year-olds for breathing the royal dog's air. We are now, apparently, worse off because, again, Obama is trying to fix the clusterfuck Bush left with a relatively miniscule tax increase.

Obama, unlike Bush, was elected democratically--taking home both the popular and electoral votes. You cannot argue that you're not being represented by your government, because guess what? Democrats haven't been represented in the last eight years! You've had your fucking turn!

Now, I'm sure, to you, this is a courageous fight against communism (and Nazism, according to a clever rendition of Obama with a Hitler suit and mustache) that, once you've won your fight will be turned into an uplifting biopic sponsored by the resurrected Nixon (now serving his 6th term), and winning the Big Five for the 67th annual Academy Awards. It's not. Stop throwing such a Texas-size hissy fit.

I almost forgot: this teabagging business. I don't know, and I don't want to know. Don't be cute, Joe the Plumber, it doesn't suit you.

What would you do if you saw real tyranny? If you were in a country where you didn't just brag about totally getting arrested any minute, you actually do. The beaten-by-a-suited-man-with-lots-of-rings, held-for-6-days-with-no-food-in-a-dungeon-with-skeletons-chained-to-the-wall, 1984-style arrested. If you were in such a place for one hour, you'd come back, buy an Obama T-shirt, pay your taxes, and shut up. We're the Man now, bitch. And if you don't like it, maybe next election you should get off your recliners, pause your DVD box set of COPS or An American Carol or whatever, and vote.

I know, after eight years on your pedestals, you're unaccustomed to the sudden liberalization of your precious government--but it could be worse. You could be Canada.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Movie Review: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Movie: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Val Kilmer (Willow), Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye)


Why I Watched It: Hello--a satire on all film noir? AND Robert Downey? A must-see.


Review: While running from the police after his partner is shot dead during a break-in gone awry, petty thief Harry Lockhart bursts into open auditions for a cop film, and in the midst of his grief and panic, is invited to a call-back and flown to LA. Here, he meets Gay Perry, a sarcastic private detective who agrees to tutor him on his role for the film, and is reacquanted with his childhood friend, Harmony, who is now a struggling actress. A series of deaths, including the apparent suicide of Harmony's long-estranged sister, delve the three into the underbelly of Los Angeles to solve them, eventually giving way to a much more complicated Old Hollywood-style mystery
From the first scene, a flashback to a magic show he and Harmony performed, Harry (in a voiceover) makes it known that he's aware he's in a film. That is what originally hooked me on this movie--I'm a sucker for meta-fiction. But that is not the only thing. The dialogue is consistantly witty and funny, especially from Robert Downey Jr. (of course) and Val Kilmer, who both give excellent perfomances. Michelle Monaghan, as Harmony, is surprisingly enjoyable (I had seen Made of Honor and Eagle Eye before this, which is why I was skeptical, as both of those royally sucked shit).
The plot is well-paced and only slightly ridiculous (anything remotely unbelievable is immediatly addressed by the ever-present narrator, who frequently freeze-frames and corrects himself or the story). The director, Shane Black (usually seen directing big-budget Lethal Weapon films in no particular order) directs with ease and without the awkwardness normally seen when action directors try to transition to independant anything. You laugh when you're supposed to laugh, and so on.
My one complaint isn't some of the pitch-black humor (child abuse, molestation, gruesome desposal of corpses), as with most people I know who've watched it, but some of the dialogue, which, much of the time, only seems there for the purpose of showing off the actors' rapid-fire verbal skills (again, especially Downey Jr.).
Other cast members include Corbin Bernsen (Psych) as shady billionaire Harlan Dexter, Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You) as casting director Dabney Shaw, Dash Mihok and Rockmond Dunbar (I have no idea where these two are from) as Mr. Frying Pan and Mr. Fire, respectively. Shannyn Sossamon (Wristcutters: A Love Story) appears as the never-named Pink Haired Girl, who's purpose cannot be revealed without spoilers.
Overall, an original neo-noir mystery and black comedy, with witty "I get it!" humor and perfectly deadpan performances, that follows the atypical "girls and guns" format. I would not, however, recommend watching it twice, during which time the dialogue and plot will stale, and Monaghan's Harmony grows more and more shrill and annoying.
Rating: 8

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Books Review: SATAN: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kasslar, JSPS

Author: Jeremy Leven

Genre (s): Comedic supernatural, biblical satire.

Description: Funny shit.

Summary: Alas, poor Satan. He's not happy. No one seems to like or understand him; people have got him all wrong. And his relationship with God is a hostile one. Unloved and misunderstood, he's come back to Earth in search of a psychotherapist; he's prepared--if cured--to deliver the all-important Great Answer.



Why I Read It: The title kicks ass.

Review: (Spoilers) From the very first chapter, when his father dies in front of him, leaving behind memorable last words ("Go to hell"), you know that Sy Kasslar, soon-to-be-PhD is destined to overall failure. This may just be me, but his constant misfortunes in life (finding out that his new wife is a batshit-insane, bipolar bitch, becoming a psychotherapist only to eventually have it all taken away by a patient with a grudge, his children being taken away by said batshit-insane bitch-bride, etc.) overshadowed the intercutting sessions with the misunderstood Prince of Darkness (who, as it turns out, is the pompous God's brother, and therefore Jesus's uncle). Most of the time, this book is funny, but I both loved and hated the end (especially the penultimate scene in which the Great Question, aka the meaning of life, is answered).
By the way, JSPS stands for Just Some Poor Sap.
Rating: 7

South Park Review "Eat. Pray. Queef"

I had one problem and one problem only with this episode: the writers thinking anyone--anyone--would think a queef was funny.

What is a queef, you ask? When air gets blown out the vagina, I answer. Yeah. Exactly. Picture that in your head.

Now try to look at your mother.

Yeah.

As a person of the female persuasion, I speak for myself, my sister, and every female we know: THIS IS NOT FUNNY!. !!!.

The episode was good. I respect Matt and Trey (we're on a first name basis. SO.) and their intended feminist message, about the double standards of men and women and all. But couldn't you talk about shopping or sleeping around or... something? We don't think queefing is funny. WOmen do not talk about this like their periods or whatever. In fact, we avoid the topic as much as possible. You know why? We think it's disgusting shit too. We really do.

Nobody on this doomed little planet thinks queefs are anything but uncomfortable to do and hear.

So.

Signed,

Every Female Who's Ever Existed.

Movie Review: Clerks II




Summary (From IMDb): The sequel to Clerks picks up 10 years later. "It's about what happens when that lazy, 20-something malaise lasts into your 30s. Those dudes are kind of still mired, not in that same exact situation, but in a place where it's time to actually grow up and do something more than just sit around and dissect pop culture and talk about sex," Smith said during an interview at his Hollywood office. "It's: What happened to these dudes?"

The sequel to the indie sleeper hit Clerks stars Rosario Dawson and a bunch of other people you've never heard, excluding the nice little cameo by My Name is Earl's Jason Lee.

Overall, I didn't expect much, seeing as how all sequels suck shit (except the Dark Knight, which was awesome...and Mad Max), so nothing would've disappointed me. Having said this, I immensially enjoyed this film. Sure, the guy who played Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloway) continues to play his role with the natural ease of a Disney star or a Youtube viral video, and the 'interspecies erotica' might've just been a ploy for shock value and attention from the increasingly-obscure director and writer, Kevin Smith, but it was very enjoyable.

Rosario Dawson held her own as The Best Boss Ever, Becky, who freely discusses her sexual exploits for everyone to hear, and the actor who played Eli, the ultra-Christian LOTR fanboy with a secret horse-fucking fetish (forgive me for not remembering his name. And also, too late, but SPOILERS. Sorry) was hysterical. Jay and Silent Bob were, as always, my favorite part of the movie, with Jay's Buffalo Bill dance and Silent Bob's penultimate speech (which, granted, wasn't a speech, but a proclamation of how he had nothing to say and how Jay was being an idiot).

Kevin Smith casting his own wife as Dante's shrill, annoying, and skeletal-looking fiancee and former 'popular girl' (because I can totally see that) was an extemely bad move, however. And I'm not saying that the main characters Dante and Randal should've been recast, per se--it's just that, in the ten years between the original and the sequel, you'd thonk they would've gotten some fucking acting lessons. I get it--Dante is used to stage, Randal hasn't even done anything substantial since 2000, but Christ.


That's not fair. Jeff Anderson was tolerable.

Rating: 5, maybe a 6 if I got drunk and watched it again.

Introductionary Post

Hello. I have nothing to say.

I'll review shit, and sometimes my sister will help (she'll let you know it's her), and you'll like it.

So there.

~Ripley (I like that name right now. This is interchangeable)