Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 25 Films of the Decade

You can actually tell a lot about a person by their choice in movies. I've noticed by looking around that my list is pretty fucking different from some others I've seen. I wonder why that is...So here is my list fuckers. In no particular order (actually they are in order of release dates).

1. Snatch
I needed a film like Snatch to come out after Fight Club. You don’t understand. I needed it.

2. Wonder Boys
A smart movie with a great cast about *gasp* writers? Holy shit.

3. O Brother, Where Art Thou
Fuck you other musicals. O Brother is the reason you exist.

4. Requiem for a Dream
Disturbing, yes. Great performances, yes. Jennifer Connelly’s bush, yes.

5. Shrek
Fuck you cartoon movies that work for adults. How about a cartoon movie for adults that works for kids?

6. O
You want a Shakespeare film that will tear your heart out? Here ya go. With a cast that was nothing if not impressive.

7. Donnie Darko
A giant rabbit? Time travel? Death after losing your virginity? What?

8. Amelie
Fuck you Juno. You want a smart, simple film with a wonderfully cute lead star? Here ya go.

9. 28 Days Later
Thank you for re-inventing the zombie genre. Thank you for bringing horror films back. Thank you for being fucked up.

10. The Salton Sea
You want the vest Val Kilmer performance since Willow? How about the best performance of Vincent D’Onofrio since Full Metal Jacket? How about a wonderful performance from Peter Sarsgaard? How about if they are all meth heads and you watch a great detective story? Cool.

11. Old Boy
You want a movie that ends with you scratching your head and wondering just how perverted and fucked up the world is? Here ya go.

12. Ong-Bak
Tony Jaa is the future of martial arts. Tony Jaa has reinvented the martial arts genre. Tony Jaa must be some kind of god to pull off the shit he does.

13. Garden State
One of two romantic movies I own. One of two soundtracks I possess. Probably the greatest actress of my generation working off one of the most original scripts in awhile.

14. Saw
Whether you like it or not Saw reinvented the horror genre and pushed the limits of what is acceptable.

15. Shaun of the Dead
Finally a parody of films made by geeks for geeks. Even better? Zombie films.

16. The Notebook
Few movies make me cry and fuck you this movie makes me cry. Not to mention I feel that it could quite possibly be one of the best love stories ever. With the most perfectly compatible on screen couple.

17. Night Watch
What’s that? Fuck you Hollywood the Russians can do your mutant/superhero movies better than you can? That’s cool.

18. A History of Violence
Wait…so you can have a pretty brutally graphic film and also make it a great one at that? No way. Real actors who can, you know, act and still throat stomp the fuck outta someone? One of the best sex scenes and likely one of the most painfully realistic? Nice.

19. Serenity
*sniff* So many TV series have tried to branch over into film and they all fail miserably. I don’t care if you think you can find something better. Few series’ had the devoted audience that “Firefly” had, to turn it into a movie was to merely say “Thank you” to them but I have to say, “No, thank you for letting us see the crew and ship one last time.”

20. The Departed
Wait a minute. Leonardo Dicaprio isn’t a little bitch? Wait a minute…he can play a badass? Get the fuck outta here. Look at the rest of that cast too. Did Martin Sheen just swan dive off the top of a building and go splat right in front of Leo? Does Mark Wahlberg have a gun in front of Matt Damons face? Suck it Jason Bourne.

21. Children of Men
Have you seen this movie? Have you seen it? If you have I don’t really need to say anything else.

22. Half Nelson
Because sometimes even the good guys are bad guys and yet still good.

23. 300
Name a movie that has visually changed film this much since The Matrix. Go ahead…I’ll wait.

24. Taken
Not only did this film show that Liam Neeson is still alive. But it is basically a giant fuck you to the Bourne and Bond movies because here is a movie made for likely half of those budgets, with an actor much older, that still kicks the shit out of both of them. Which just goes to show you that no matter how much money you throw at something doesn’t mean it is going to be quality.

25. Avatar
What Star Wars was for me growing up. Should Cameron actually turn this into a trilogy. I can see this becoming the Star Wars of future generations. In a few more years visually the newcomers will give two shits about Star Wars. Ask a young adult now what the best gangster flick is and they will likely tell you Scarface not The Godfather. In another ten years it will be Avatar as the best sci-fi series, not Star Wars. Avatar will simply appeal to them more.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Movies Will Rot Your Brain: Part III

Jimmy and Judy:
I actually had to look the film up on IMDB. I suppose that says something when a movie doesn’t stick in your head very long. Anyway, this one stars Edward Furlong (looking rather fat and old) and Rachael Bella (she of the fantastic tits). It is billed as a Natural Born Killers like movie but where some people say it actually surpasses NBK I say it never hits the mark. If I’m correct Furlong plays like a 20 year old Jimmy who is equal parts sociopath and Wes Bentley’s character Ricky from American Beauty. He is an outcast from high school who films everything…I mean everything…and usually only does things intended to illicit a reaction. Take, for example, a small clip of him fucking a black prostitute. During the act he says to her “You like that nigger?” and then asks her afterwards how she felt about him calling her a nigger during sex. He meets up with Bella’s Judy, a more awkward, shy teenage girl who is outside of the social clicks in school. In one scene, reminiscent of Lea Michele’s character Rachel Berry in “Glee,” a fellow student pours a drink on her head. They meet up, he breaks her out of her shell, they fall in love…people die, cops die…there is drug use, rape, and eventually duel suicide ala Thelma and Louise or The Devil’s Rejects. The film is shot using handheld cameras so it feels like a home movie the entire time, the entire time. Worth watching if you’re bored, otherwise don’t waste your time.

The precursor to Amelie by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Delicatessen is a very unusual film with a Sweeney Todd feel. Let me begin by saying that this film stars one of my favorite French actors Dominique Pinon (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie, Alien: Resurrection, The City of Lost Children), he was the ever funny clones in Lost Children and probably the best role in Resurrection I like him for his ability, and for his usual overwhelming humor. The only other actor in the film that I really recognized was Jean-Claude Dreyfus, also from Lost Children (in which he plays Marcello, the flea operator/trainer). How does it go? The premise said it is post-apocalyptic but I got the feeling that it took place after World War II. Anyway, a former performer is forced to seek other means of occupation. He takes a job working as a handyman for an apartment building but the residents hold a wonderful secret. He is not the first person to have the job, nor is he expected to be the last…see…the butcher who has a shop under the apartments kills the handymen and the apartment shares in the meat. It is a funny story and beautifully shot. However, if you don’t like the pacing of Jeunet’s films you’re likely to not like this one either.

Powder Blue:
Is an ensemble flick that pretty much fails. It features Jessica Biel, Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Lisa Kudrow, Patrick Swayze, and Kris Kristofferson. So think of it like a poor mans Crash. The premise? Biel is a stripper/single mother with a dying son who falls in love with Eddie Redmayne (named Qwerty Doolittle...yep) who is a shy loner that runs a funeral home (aka would never happen in a fucking million years). Forest Whitaker is a man who apparently killed his wife in a car wreck and is trying to get someone to kill him because he can’t commit suicide. Slap in Lisa Kudrow as a love interest to Whitaker and Alejandro Romero as the scene stealing and best part of the fucking movie transsexual prostitute Lexus (who is his guiding light). Ray Liotta as the father of Jessica Biel that she never knew because he was in prison his entire life (also dying). Patrick Swayze as the sleazy 80’s hair metal band reject that runs the strip club (a strip club mind you the likes of which I have never seen in my entire life and, Swayze, dying in real life). Kirstofferson just has a bit part as a liaison with Ray Liotta. How was it? I actually kind of liked it, but that might have been because not only does Biel get the naked time, but she also performs a strip tease while crying (yes…I’m demented). Of course I could say she is not as hot as the Natalie Portman stripper in Closer but I would be lying. Biel is without a doubt the hottest celebrity stripper I have ever seen.

The Edge of Love:
Why did I watch this? I know I wanted a love story (which I didn’t really get) and I wanted to look at hot women. Why did I watch this? The films stars Keira Knightly (a singer), Sienna Miller (a mother and…whore?), Cillian Murphy (a soldier who gets PTSD), and Matthew Rhys (as the poet Dylan Thomas). Set during World War II. Let me begin that saying Keira Knightly, who I originally thought was hot looks like a fucking skeleton, put her in a relationship with Cillian Murphy and they look like a concentration camp couple. The movie follows a weird love triangle between Rhys, his wife (Miller), and his best friend (Knightly). When Knightly realizes that she can never really be with Rhys she hooks up, marries, and gets pregnant by Murphy. However, while Murphy is off to war they move to the coast, Rhys/Miller in a house right next to Knightly/Murphy. It follows the friendship of the women, the weird friendship of Rhy and Knightly, the actual love that exists within Murphy and the fact that pretty much everyone cheats on everyone with the exception of the dedicated father/husband/soldier. It was crap…and I got tired of looking at skeletons. Rhys put in a really good performance, Murphy makes a fantastic drunk, and Miller is fucking hot. That’s pretty much it.

Lakeview Terrace:
Oddly, I really enjoyed this movie. It stars Samuel “The Motherfucking Man” L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson (Watchmen “Angels in America”) and Kerry Washington (Who it appears I should have seen in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, Miracle at St. Anna and yet I can't recall her). Wilson and Washington play
Chris and Lisa, a fairly newlywed interracial couple who move into a nice neighborhood. They soon find themselves under the racist eye of Jackson, Abel Turner, a police officer with a habit for brutality and a “strong” moral upbringing…widowed with two children, who lives next door. The film follows the dynamic between the two and the ultimate negative climax. The actor was good enough, the look and feel of the film worked well with one another, and the story made sense (even though it is not original). I liked it, it was a good popcorn movie.

The Girl Next Door:
Holy fuck. So I’ve had two people tell me I need to see this film, both women (Jenn and ashes), and all I can say is you women are nuckingfutz. The film, based on the true story of Sylvia Likens, is pretty fucking demented. It is not outright gory, it is not even very visual, it is the dialogue and the knowledge of what is taking place that makes this movie so downright fucked up and disturbing. This isn’t your Elisha Cuthbert The Girl Next Door. Blythe Auffarth as Meg, Daniel Manche as David, and Blanche Baker as Ruth. Ok…here goes. The story is thus. Meg’s parents die in a car wreck and so her and her younger sister move in with a relative, Ruth, while living there she develops a friendship with David. Meg, 16, soon finds herself chained in a basement where she is beaten, tortured, mutilated, and raped by Ruth, her sons, and her sons friends (including two females). There is no real reason for this. There is none really given. Ruth (which, by the way Blanche Baker gives an amazing performance) is just mentally fucked up and she believes she is teaching the children what whores and vile creatures women really are that don’t grow up keeping their legs closed. Examples? I’m not giving you any. David tries to save her but can he or does he manage to in time?

The Vanguard:
Ray Bullock Jr. stars as Max in this post-apocalyptic zombie film that takes place in rural England. As far as zombie films and independent films go, it’s not too shabby. Max is alone out in the woods where he faces “Biosyns” (they’re fucking zombies), living alone we basically hear an internal monologue for a large portion of the film. Soon there is a military presence (in the forms of “Trackers”), I don’t really know why the come into play. Apparently the military (part of a corporation) is going to waste the whole area anyway and their job is to basically kill any survivors, so it doesn’t make sense why they just don’t waste the whole area to begin with. We meet up with some other survivors. We find out that Max is the cure to the disease (ala I Am Legend) with some really weird story. Bottom line, it’s a good zombie film done on a small budget. Watch it just to see Max go after some zombies duel wielding hatchets.

Written by Neil Gaiman and done by the BBC in 1996 “Neverwhere” (a six episode mini-series) is pretty much what you would expect. It is a fucked up story involving what seems like an underground magical like world that we don’t see but that exists around us. Well, not that we don’t see it, we just don’t pay attention to it. It stars a whole lot of people I don't know. Gary Bakewell (Richard Mayhew), Laura Fraser (Kate in A Knights Tale as Door), Hywel Bennett (Mr. Croup), Clive Russell (Mr. Vandemaar), Paterson Joseph (Marquis De Carabas) and Tanya Moodie (Hunter). It is a murder mystery involving Door. She is trying to find/avenge who killed her father, Mayhew is an “ordinary” guy that gets drawn into it, Croup and Vandemaar are apparently immortal bounty hunters, the Marquis is a guy who knows things, and Hunter becomes her bodyguard and is a woman that is considered the greatest warrior of them all. Considering its done by the BBC in 1996 you would think it sucks. However, just because it has its cheesy moments does not deter from the fact that the series is quite good.

Tooth and Nail:
It has Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones as post-apocalyptic cannibals. Do I really need to say anymore? Fine. A group of survivors are trying to survive (marvelous concept huh?) and are then pursued by cannibals. There are really only two sets. The streets and a hospital. The cast is a relative group of b-movie actors, for example, Rider Strong ("Boy Meets World," Cabin Fever, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever). The story is stupid but fun. The gore is not that great and not that bad. It’s an interesting flick. Watch this one too if you get bored.

Starring James Marshall and Cuba Gooding Jr. Gladiator is the better version of Fighting and Lionheart. I thought the story was better, the acting was better, and the fights were well done. It kind of takes a page from Rocky even and mixes the elements of the story of Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby. A good film if you want to watch a movie about underground fighting from 1992. The premise? Marshall’s dad has a gambling problem, when he disappears and can’t pay an underground boxing promoter covers the debt in exchange for Marshall having to fight for him. Gooding plays a rival, but better, boxer who is not only already has a baby, but is intending for the underground boxing to help him get mainstream.

I honestly don’t think Dustin over there at Pajiba even watched the movie. So let me argue some of his points and then move on to what I thought. "it’s really just a film about the out-of-control hormonal insanity of teenage boys, and the lengths they might go to in order to fulfill their sexual appetites.” Ummmmm not so much. The film is, at its core, a love story and a coming of age tale. Bet you weren’t expecting that were you? "But honestly, all I saw was an excuse to chain up a naked woman and brutally rape and fuck her for 90 minutes." Where did that happen? I can’t count how many rapes scenes there were but I wouldn’t say more than 5? Even if there were you stopped paying attention to them, they kind of didn’t have any relevance after the first one but I will get back to it later. "While one of the high-school boys feels a little guilty about, you know, repeatedly defiling the undead woman, the other one thinks, “Hey! I can get my jollies off and I can charge admission so that others can use this motionless hole of pleasure!” Bingo: Sex slave! So, of course, a few of the school jocks are brought in for a rapin’ good time, too." Two

points here. One, when he says one of the boys feels guilty let me say that boy never rapes her, and he does feel guilty, its one of the core points of the movie. The jocks? Were not brought in for a raping good time. The jocks were brought in for revenge. Now…let me tell my version of a review. The main star of the film is Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) who reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix. Rickie and his best friend from childhood J.T. (Noah Segan-Brick, The Brothers Bloom) are loners, they skip school one day, go drinking, and shamble through an abandoned mental asylum. In the asylum they come across a woman chained to a table Rickie leaves, J.T. sticks around. J.T. figures out she can’t die when he rapes her and accidentally breaks her neck. He brings Rickie back to show him and wants him to join in using her as a sex slave, Rickie is against it. Wanting someone to think like he does J.T. invites Wheeler (Eric Podnar) into the mix. This is all subtext to a love story between Rickie and JoAnn (Candice Accola-"The Vampire Diaries"). They used to date when they were younger but JoAnn became popular (dating a jock) and while she moved on he continued to love her. When her boyfriend sees Rickie’s obsession he and his friend beat the shit out of Rickie and Wheeler. Wheeler, in self defense tells the boys about a “sex slave” he has. The jocks make them take them to her. While the boyfriend Johnny (Andrew DiPalma) is apprehensive his friend Dwyer (Nolan Gerard Funk) is not. What ensues is a lot of death. The ending felt a little out of place and the film just wasn’t that great. It was actually kind of boring. Plus, the love story took away from any film that was attempting to be horror. I don’t know what Dustin watched but it wasn’t what I watched. This film was just dull. It wasn’t that graphic (yes there was a lot of nudity however “brutal rape” was watching some high school kid hump a woman that just laid there), it wasn’t that violent (the most “violent” part came at the end, or when Johnny punched the zombie)…it was just a bad film. The best performance of the film comes in from Noah Segan…his transformation of J.T. was pretty disturbing

Bright Young Things:
Stars: Miles (Michael Sheen-Underworld), Nina (Emily Mortimer-Lars and the Real Girl), Simon (James McAvoy-Wanted, Atonement)and Adam (Stephen Moore). I don’t know if there was a single “bright” person in this entire fucking film. Boring is what it was. At least I thought it was boring. The film follows some rich fucks around and one guy who is a wannabe rich fuck (that would be Adam). It follows their lifestyles, their drug use, their culture. Adam is a writer who wants to make it big but usually just turns out being broke as fuck for the most part. He ends up selling his girlfriend (who he loses in a day to a rich guy) to pay his rent only to buy her back when he gets back from the war (from the money owed to him by a drunk general). He is the star of the film. The girlfriend would be Nina. Simon is a journalist who is basically a gossip columnist, when his job is up for grabs it goes to his friend, Adam, when Adam loses it it goes to another friend, Miles. Dull. The only bright side to this film is Michael Sheen, who plays a wonderful gay man and who truly shows any emotion in the movie. The rest of the cast plays out lifeless and without any acting credibility. Don’t watch this. Unless you want to see a gay Michael Sheen…which isn’t that bad.

Buddy Boy:
Is another weird fucking movie. It stars Aidan Gillen (Shaghai Knights, "Queer as Folk") as Francis and Emmanuelle Seigner (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Ninth Gate) as Gloria. Francis is a loner, has a job developing photos, and helps his alcoholic mother. Gloria lives across the street, has seizures, and is a vegetarian. She falls in love with him…he spies on her. While spying on her it appears he goes nuts. He sees her kill men and eat them. No…really. Twice that I saw (I came in around the middle of the movie) he storms into her house and rips her kitchen apart because he thinks he sees her cooking people. The first time is during a party and he wields a knife, the second time he comes in with a gun and yet both times she still calls him and confesses her love for him. It costars Mark Boone Junior ("Sons of Anarchy") as Vic and Susan Tyrell (Powder, Fat City) as Sal. Sal is…you’ll have to watch it for me to discuss that part. In fact, I can’t really tell you much more other than what I’ve already told you or it would totally ruin it for you. It is really slow…if you can get past that you’re in for an interesting mindfuck. The feel of it kind of reminded me of Bug with Ashley Judd only not as well done.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
I don’t really need to say much do I? Other then it appears I need to read the book again because to me this film didn’t seem anything like the book.

Sherlock Holmes:
I don’t think it is necessary for me to tell you the cast, or the story line because I am sure you already know. Being that it just came out you can find reviews for it anywhere, so just let me give you my opinion. BORING. I watched a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes yesterday and I felt it had more life then this. Why? I can’t really tell you. Maybe because I found it rather predictable? The mystery was no real mystery to me. In fact, the only murder I couldn’t understand was the bathtub. Even when he explained that one I didn’t understand why that one had to be so “special.” I also liked the technique of Holmes thinking things through before he does them, like the boxing match. Ritchie uses this element twice in the beginning of the film and then abandons it. I couldn’t understand why you would do that. I also felt that RDJ’s performance was weak. I’m wondering if all the people liked the film because the “wanted” to like it or because they actually did. It wasn’t exciting, funny, serious, sad, happy…it wasn’t even a good detective movie or buddy cop performance. The villain was filled to the brim with clichés… I’m not going to continue unless it is to say that my favorite scene was with the explosions and them getting tossed around yet, shouldn’t they have died?

There are no words to express the film orgasm I had when I watched this movie. The story was typical and I can see the comparisons to Dances With Wolves but goddamn if I didn’t leave the theatre wanting to turn around and go see it again. I felt like a kid in a goddamn candy store. The way my imagination took off is something in itself. Not to mention that I fell in love with a cgi character, Neytiri. I would have her blue babies any day of the week.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Awww Fuck All

Life is…
Life is a giant fucking shit steaming pile of swamp ass that likes to pick you up and give you a swirlie in a toilet bowl of spaghetti vomit and period blood…
Maybe half my life is like that…

Right now I have two aspects of my life. The side of me that is stressing to the point of wanting to kill myself, and the side that is telling me calm down, deal with it, don’t freak out, you’ll solve this problem…you always do. I’m trying to listen to the later more than the former. I’m actually doing ok with it but as the days slowly creep more towards the 5th of January I’m going to start to lose it. That is when rent is due. I was hoping to have the money, right now I have half of it. I turned in around a dozen applications to “real” jobs, jobs I was actually interested in, and I didn’t get a response from any of them. I haven’t tried for a shit job because I don’t really want a shit job. However.

My old boss picked the restaurant back up. He was hoping to re-open the first of week of the year but after some legal issues he doesn’t know when he will be able to open. This kind of fucked me. One: I never went and applied for un-employment for several reasons. A) Every time I got there the line was fucking ridiculous. B) That stupid part of me felt like I was a loser. C) I didn’t feel like going through the bullshit you apparently have to go through. D) I was working. Two: I was looking forward to them opening when they planned because I would be able to cover my rent on time, pay what I owe for utilities, and possibly do something with my life next month. Three: How would I cover rent you ask? If the restaurant opened the first week of January that would mean I would have to go in to do prep work. Which would mean getting paid.

As is I have enough money to get me a pack of cigarettes. That’s it. So I will still have half my rent. This is the first Christmas since I was 17 that I haven’t been able to buy presents. I’m usually the one that gives lavish gifts too. It really sucks.

Then there is the second half of this holiday season and this is the one that depresses me the most. I will have no one to kiss on New Years for around the 7th year in a row. The last time, was a friend of my sisters (albeit a hot friend) who saw that I didn’t have anyone to kiss so she came over and made out with me. But haven’t you been in relationships? Is that the question you have? Yes. However I may have mentioned that I haven’t had a relationship last longer than a year. I tend to start dating someone in January or February and the relationship ends by November or early December. The holidays are like the super silly season for me. Anyway, that means it is going to be another kiss less year for me. I don’t know why that particular aspect/detail bothers me so much, it just does.

I know she hasn’t talked about it but let me just give this a nod to those who are wondering. It appears Trouble and I aren’t attempting to date anymore. She spoke her mind, she told me what she truthfully felt, she didn’t hold back. I didn’t want to hear it. That was that. We, or I (I can’t really speak for her), had a problem with the distance thing, and a problem with attention (or lack thereof). It makes sense. It is kind of hard trying to get something started with someone you have never actually met in real life. Friends though. Not going to lose that. She is still a cool person and a hot Jibette.

Look at me. This is coming from the guy who still has an enormous crush on another Jibette and can’t lose it no matter how hard he tries. I’ve tried. Trust me. I’ve started talking to her a lot again. What can I say…I think she is perfect. Yet again…someone I haven’t met in real life.

The problem there is I have not…in over a year and a half…found a single female here that I want to date. I cannot find the combination of beauty, brains, and class that I want in a woman. Around where I live we get attractive idiot whores. That may sound harsh…but that seems to be the case. If I go to Atlanta I get more of the girls in my style but outside of my price range. Where the girls hang out…the type I like…I tend to not fit in or they tend to vary to two degrees. One degree is money (as in they want/need money from a guy) the second is drugs (as in they are in the phase I lost 7 years ago). Fuck. Guess you could say that maybe it also has to do with my friends. A lot of the women I would be interested in don’t hang out with my type of friends. I’m not really in a position to make new friends though. Nor would I be able to I think. I’m not really open to “new” people. I also tend to frighten most “new” people the first time they meet me.

I’m being positive goddamn’t. I don’t know where this depressing shit is coming from, I really don’t. I have been happy the last two weeks. Even though things have still been moving backwards I have maintained this aura of positive. I’m thinking about that fucking kiss. That goddamn midnight kiss. All these years. Fuck.

I’m going to go see Avatar tomorrow. The sci-fi geek in me is geeking out. All I keep hearing from my fellow dorks is that it is amazing. So hopefully it will be just that.

I’m 15 pages into the behemoth that is Mein Kampf. Jesus. This is going to take me forever to read. Thankfully I have a few smaller, faster reads to do after this one so I will be able to catch up again. The sad thing is. Even in those 15 pages I can see how Hitler kind of makes sense. Maybe not in the direct sense that he is talking about, but in uniting a country. Letting all the people come together to be one. That would be ideal even in a country like ours.

Well…I guess I’m done. I just wanted to share.

Monday, December 21, 2009

#7 The Gray Man

Another book in one day. Woohoo! I always consider it a good sign if you can read an entire book in a day. Wait...maybe that is just saying that I'm unemployed. Whatever! I consider it a good sign. The book in question is The Gray Man by Mark Greaney. At 456 pages it is not exactly a small book, but it's fast paced and entertaining which makes it that much easier. However, it is also nothing new.

The book follows the "Gray Man" otherwise known as Court Gentry. He is your typical, or not so typical, super spy/badass assassin. Think Jason Bourne on steroids. Former CIA he gets burned (like "Burn Notice" and Jason Bourne) and turns to a life of assassinations to pay the bills. however he only assassinates "bad" people. Right...like that would work. He is also considered number one in the world at what he does. The plot? He assassinates a dude, dude's brother wants him dead for it, company needs dude's brother for a muti-billion dollar contract, company uses their connections to find his handler, kidnap handlers family for leverage, send like 12 squads of elite badasses (including one solo North Korean assassin) from different countries after him, let the games begin. Other then the fact that the book is typical, which I will get to momentarily, there is also some code of honor being a "hunter." Think like some weird Samurai code.

How is it typical? Well, like most spy/assassin stories it has all of the exact same elements (minus the sex). Some highly trained dude in various martial arts and weapons is getting fucked over. Said dude kills everyone. Typical. A little not so typical is that he actually gets fucked up along the way (think Diehard). By fucked up I mean he falls down a mountain, gets shot, gets stabbed, walks on glass, etc. Shit, the guy gets a blood transfusion in a car on the way to go kill more bad guys. No, really. Greaney's writing, and character, reminds me a lot of Matthew Reilly's Shane Schofield/Scarecrow series. For those who don't know about that series Scarecrow is a Marine Recon guy who gets put in the most fucked up situations. He is badass though, and usually kills everyone. It's not just the character though. The way he writes, the scenarios, the talk of different weapons and nationalities, and the pace all remind me of Reilly. Especially how the characters end up managing to survive situations that no human being should possibly live through. Another comparison? In this book the bounty put on the Gray Man's head is 20 billion dollars. In Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly a group of assassins is hired to kill Scarecrow...for a bounty of 18.6 billion dollars. How one man could be worth the double digit billions is way beyond me. I kind of wonder if Greaney read that book and wanted to make his character sound a little more intimidating than Reilly's. Note: Scarecrow came out in 2003...The Gray Man came out this year. Another example? He prefers the same gun as James Bond, the Walther P99.

On the back cover to the book it says, "In researching The Gray Man he traveled to seven countries, and trained extensively alongside military and law enforcement personnel in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combative tactics." My only comment is that sounds like a large waste of time, and money. Most of the information he found in his research you can do online in a matter of hours. Trust me, I know. I did research for a short story I did once about an assassin. Who...like these guys, it totally awesome, survives insane situations, and manages to get shot at by a variety of different guys and girls with different guns. You can simply go online and look up any country, their special forces, what kind of training they do, and what kind of weapon they prefer. From there if you don't know a particular weapon all you have to do is look it up, see how it works, then go look for a video of someone shooting the gun to describe the recoil and what it sounds like. It might take you a little while, but you don't have to travel all over the fucking world. Wanna have a battle take place in Paris? Just Google Earth the motherfucker and you can find street names, see what the building look like, etc. Maybe I just know the poor mans research.

Anyway. Greaney is a good writer for this sort of thing. The book is a great book in this genre. It's a fast book so consider it excellent for an airplane ride or a road trip. I can't say he, or the book, really puts anything new into this style but what the hell, who really does anything "new" anymore?

By the way, you have no idea how many times I actually used the word "badass" in this review and had to go back and delete them. You have no idea. I also read that someone has bought the movie rights. So expect another Bourne Identity/Transporter/Crank/Hitman movie to come out eventually.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

#6 The Caves of Steel

Finally I managed to get through a book in a day. Thank you Jeebus Isaac Asimov. I can’t really say that I am a “fan” of Asimov, at least in the same sense that I can say I am a fan of Stephen King, until this book I had only read two of his works, I, Robot and Solar System. I have another one of his to read later, Nightfall, and while I guess technically I should have read that one first I couldn’t turn down a good robot story. I love old school science fiction for one reason (The Caves of Steel was written in 1954), that is their predictions for the future that constantly turn into reality. I also love reading older stories like this to find comparisons in later works of fiction, both in film and literature. At 209 pages The Caves of Steel is not a wordy book, and its fast pace only heightens this perception. It is a detective novel, first and foremost (and infinitely better than my last read Watchers of Time), with a wonderful story involving “Spacers” and robots as a background. Let me also say that I am watching Blade Runner as I write this because of the detective story, combined with the use of realistic robots (although not called androids in the book), reminded me of this book (by the way Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick wasn’t published until 1968).

A quick summary of The Caves of Steel goes like this. A murder happens in the “Spacers” compound (Spacers are humans but humans who had colonized planets long before and are considered superior intellects). Modern Earth has become a serious of vast, enclosed, cities (this one takes place in New York). There is no money but rather a caste system. Robots are being incorporated but are being met with hostility. They ask a human detective Lije Baley to work alongside a practically human robot Daneel Olivaw to solve the murder. The story has many plot twists, racist undertones, and environmental one’s as well. However, like I said, the fast pace keeps it moving along swiftly and he doesn’t bog you down with unnecessary information. I highlighted several portions in the book and I would like to share them with you in regards to how his science fiction became realities and/or were used in later works.

“He wore spectacles because his eyes were sensitive and couldn’t take the usual contact lenses.” The regular plastic contact lenses that most of us know came out in 1948. Soft contact lenses didn’t come around until 1971 and then contacts that we are able to wear overnight didn’t come about until 1971. Let me repeat that The Caves of Steel came out in 1954. There was even a moment in the book where Lije tells his son that he would have no problem wearing his contacts overnight. Me personally, I don’t remember contact lenses becoming really popular until the late 80’s and early 90’s. So here is Asimov, in 1954, talking about a society that predominately wears contact lenses. In fact the example of the commissioner wearing spectacles plays out later in the story as being “odd.” (the picture is from "Story Parade" the episode "The Caves of Steel" circa 1964) “I don’t think I’ve showed it to you before. Come over here and take a look. In the old days, all rooms had things like this. They were called ‘windows’…He turned to the window and so did Baley. With mild shock, Baley realized it was raining. For a minute, he was lost in the spectacle of water dropping from the sky…” Now, the first thing that came to mind when I read that passage was the scene in Equilibrium. I don’t know if you remember the scene but it is when Christian Bales character wakes up (after getting off the medication) and tears the screen off of his window to watch the rain fall during a sunrise. The look on his face says that what he is looking at is something that can only be compared to sheer beauty. In the book it even says that Lije, at 42 years old, had only seen rain (or nature for that matter, including the sun) a few times in his life. “Their I.Q. rating, Genetic Values status, and his position in the Department entitled him to two children, of which the first might be conceived within the first year.” Now you can look at this instantly and think of China’s “One-Child Policy,” maybe Asimov got the idea from them? The “One-Child Policy” wasn’t instituted in China until 1979. I think this idea has also been prevalent in other works of fiction, perhaps Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, I can’t remember exactly if it deals with a policy of children but the dystopian view of society prevalent in The Caves of Steel is. This idea can also be seen in many other works, the four that most drove home in my mind while reading were Equilibrium, The Fifth Element, Minority Report (also written by Philip K. Dick in 1956), and Gattaca. Asimov also uses a system of traveling on moving walkways (created in Switzerland in the 1970’s). These moving walkways (some traveling up to 60mph) were how people moved around the city. There is actually a section of the book where a person jumps from walkway to walkway to avoid being detected (think the scene where Tom Cruise jumps from car to car to get away…only more intense). There are many, many more but I find that would only be tedious to your eyesight. Needless to say however, it’s obvious the influence of science fiction writers.

If you’ve seen Bicentennial Man or I, Robot you would know a bastardized and atrocious version of Asimov’s work. In fact, if you’ve seen either you may remember the Three Laws of Robotics (by the way, Asimov has been given the distinction of coining the term “robotics”). The one that is prevalent through both films is the very first law, “A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” Remember that rule. It plays heavily in most of Asimov’s work. Before I end let me go back to the notion of a human cop with a robot partner, a robot partner who is, for all due respect, emotionless. Think Robocop while he may not fit the “ideal” notion it works (except for that no harm humans clause) and, after doing some research, I found that there was a 1977 TV series called “Future Cop” that dealt with a human cop and his android partner. Of course the whole off the wall partner thing is just a random thought, after all, look at “Alien Nation.” As well, if you’re further interested Asimov did a whole series of Lije Baley, four books to be exact, with The Caves of Steel being the first one in the series.

Friday, December 18, 2009

#5 Watchers Of Time

By all accounts I should be sleeping. In all honesty I haven’t been sleeping much lately…even more so than usual in fact. I don’t know what it is. I went from not being able to fall asleep until 4am to 5am and now it’s rolling around to 6am. Ohh well, I wanted to pump this bitch out to ya’ll considering I just finished the book and it’s taken me over two weeks to read the damn thing. Partly because I’ve had to trudge through it, the other reason because I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. The book, is called Watchers of Time by Charles Todd (although according to his website by his mother Caroline as well). Don’t let that confuse you though, by his picture I would say he is in his 40’s or 50’s. All together they have written twelve Ian Rutledge books based in England after World War I. This one, the fifth book, comes in at 421 pages.

The book follows an inspector for Scotland Yard, Ian Rutledge, as he pieces together the murder of a priest in Osterley, a small town where everyone knows each other. Through his investigation he is plagued by a wound (received in I’m assuming the novel before), the war he fought in, and a ghost, called Hamish. Hamish is a soldier that served under him, who saved his life, and now haunts him. The investigation takes him into the private lives of the townspeople, causes him to step on the toes of the town constable Blevins, and pushes his levels of endurance. It also takes you back in time to a more simpler time, with simple people.

What I liked about the book. While being the fifth book in the series, and having never read any of the others, I was able to flow into the character. Kind of like Anne Rice does with The Vampire Chronicles, Todd does the same. We are told of his past, we are told of his inner demons, we are told of Hamish, and we are given enough to know why he does what he does. I found that most of the women in the story, even the older ones, still have this “beauty” to them that I wouldn’t expect (my favorite being Trent…which will make sense). Now knowing I wonder if that’s his mother at work. All the women speak of duty and responsibility, they tend to like the lives they lead, and go about their “womanly” ways as is expected of them. Even when they hint to prostitutes there is no real obscene look at them, in fact, if anything they are complimented for being “hard” and “survivors.” I also liked the set descriptions in the novel. You are easily able to paint a picture of Rutledge’s surroundings. Enough that by the end of the story the layout of the town is easily in your head. If I had anything else to say it would be that I liked the ending, I was genuinely surprised, and sometimes that is a hard thing to accomplish. Now, what I didn’t like.

I really didn’t like the book as a whole. I felt that if he/they had managed to keep the pacing in say the last hundred pages of the book, that it would have read much smoother. It just plain bored me. Let me say that again. Pacing. Pacing would have to also be my biggest complaint, there were so many times while reading it that I simply just wanted to go to sleep (and I started reading wide awake). Another would actually be the character of Hamish. Hamish seems less of a ghost to me and more of his subconscious. Half of the story Rutledge walks around about ready to pass out. Hamish is the one that finds little clues that he doesn’t pick up on, Hamish is the one that tries to offer him the advice of the normal, everyday person. When Rutledge pushes a woman into mental anguish it is Hamish that tells him he needs to back off. Again, not so much a ghost, more his subconscious. The authors have been praised for their use of time related instances in their books. In this case it is the sinking of the Titanic. That’s cool and all, but I felt it was a little much. Like they are almost trying to force you to connect with the time period. By making you read that and go, “Hey, I know what they’re talking about with that there Titanic. I can totally follow along now.” I remember reading this early on, “We’re used to drunk and disorderly, petty theft, and the occasional wife-beater who won’t learn his lesson.” I laughed. I remember reading Caroline Norton’s English Laws for Women in the Nineteenth Century (which she wrote in the 1850’s) and then reading that passage and laughing. True, Watchers of Time takes place in 1919, but I don’t imagine that the rights of women had really changed that much. If you can believe what the internets say the first Battered Women’s Shelter didn’t come about in London until 1971. Not to mention a small country town? Yeah…I don’t think too many women came forward about their husbands beating them. I also felt that they might harp a little too much on World War I. Yes, I realize that the book takes place shortly after the war, but with the inclusion of almost every male character having been in the war with an injury of some sort? That’s not really necessary. Hint: They even have a tortured sniper. Even more tortured for the fact that they didn’t “condone” being a sniper. They didn’t consider it manly.

I think what pissed me off the most about this book is that I am tempted to actually go get some of the other books in the series. Why? I think because I really started to like the character of Rutledge (who bored me to begin with). I also really fell into the book the last hundred pages. I think I have been deceived and that deception is making me want to read more. Bastards…the both of them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Movies Will Rot Your Brain: Part II

Here I go again on my own…
Yeah fuckers, it’s round two time. Yes…I’m kind of drunk while writing this.

À la folie... pas du tout (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not): Yeah, I went on an Audrey Tautou kick, the film co-stars Samuel Le Bihan (who I know from Brotherhood of the Wolf). The premise? Audrey is fucking crazy as shit and becomes obsessed/stalkerish with Samuel there. The film takes a unique perspective on the story though because it stops about halfway through and shows the beginning from his point of view. I liked it. It was kind of nice to see her as a villain.

Hors de prix (Priceless): Audrey Tautou again. I really liked this film. It was kind of a romantic comedy but not really. The film deals with a woman,
Irene (Audrey) who gets in relationships with men strictly for the money. The more they can give her the better. She thinks Jean has money but he really doesn’t. When she finds this out she takes him for broke. In a twist of fate he begins to do the same thing she does with an older woman. How it plays out? They quickly become friends/partners in crime until she finds out that she actually loves him. I didn’t give anything away, that part is kind of predictable, but its how the story unfolds that really tells the tale.

Le battement d'ailes du papillon (Happenstance): Again…Audrey. This film kind of plays out more of an intertwining story like Pulp Fiction or Amores Perros. You meet a lot of characters, hear a lot of tales, but it eventually boils down to who is right for who. I liked it…even though I wanted to kill the guy who plays Luc…or…well…the character of Luc.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: Imagine if Jason, Freddy, and Myers were real. Take a guy who wants to be like them and considers them his hero. Turn it into a documentary and this is what you get. I fucking loved this movie. While it was pitched as a horror film I saw anything but. It was a unique perspective, especially when it kind of goes into detail of how they (the guys who slaughter) manage to rig the situations to their advantage. An example…they cut the tree branches reaching out from the second floor so if you try to go out they snap and you fall to your death. I found this film immensely entertaining.

The Alphabet Killer: Sometimes I wonder how films get made. First of all, let me name drop. Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Timothy Hutton, Michael Ironside, Bill Moseley, Carl Lumbly. How? How do you turn this into a piece of shit? The film is based on a real serial killer…that’s about where it ends being cool. An example of retarded? The first girl is killed three years before the last…the medallion the first girl is wearing is still in the car of the killer three years later. Yep. Not to mention Dushku playing a schizophrenic lady is just, well, dumb. PLUS SIDE: You get Dushku topless. I almost had a “Buffy” nerdgasm.

The Perfect Witness: Take Mr. Smith (that Dane Cook/ Kevin Costner movie), make Wes Bentley the Dane Cook character only a filmmaker instead of a photographer and put in Mark Borkowski in for Kevin Costner and there ya go. I actually liked it better than Mr. Smith though. There were some what the fuck moments in the plot, but overall I really liked it. It was new…and I felt it had the look/feel of a film like Seven. I still watch movies like this and it makes me go, “What the fuck happened to Wes Bentley? He had so much potential.” An example of a what the fuck moment? He/they kill a girl in her apartment and yell at the top of their lungs. I’m not talking a concrete apartment. I’m talking a regular apartment. Cops would be called. They aren’t.

Descent: First I get period water drinking…now I get the most brutal rape scene in a film. It’s not the rape of Rosario Dawson…it’s the rape of the guy who raped her. Yeah. This film is very emotional, and pretty powerful. I didn’t understand the reason/un-explained descent of her into a drug phase but thankfully it doesn’t really focus on it to much. The beginning of the movie, and the end, can make you cringe. The rest just seems like a desperate attempt at an explanation that doesn’t work.

Let the Right one In (Låt den rätte komma in): It was good…I liked it…but I wouldn’t consider it a great horror film. For one, I didn’t really see the horror in it. Where was it? Because it dealt with vampires? What I saw was a weird, and at some points uncomfortable, love between young kids (I think they were around 11-12 years old). I kind of got an Gus Van Sant Elephant feel with the film.

Rise: Blood Hunter: Let me name drop again. Lucy Liu , Michael Chiklis, Carla Gugino, Marilyn Manson, Nick Lachey, Elden Henson, Fran Kranz ("Dollhouse"). Again? A piece of shit. Really. The only thing this movie shows is
that they are all horrible actors, at least in this film, especially Liu when she says lines like, "Turn around slow, emphasis on slow." Basically it’s a Blade that’s not a Blade. Liu is a reporter that accidentally (they meant to kill her) gets turned into a vampire. She turns around and starts killing them. Unlike Blade though she also decides to take human victims whenever she needs food. The part that really made me give up? She pees. Now why in the fuck would a vampire need to pee? BONUS: If you like her, which I do, Liu is topless a good deal of the movie, fully nude a few times, and runs around in her underwear quite a bit too.

My Name is Bruce: Directed by Bruce Campbell and pretty much costarring Ted Raimi the film is about a town that gets Bruce Campbell, thinking he is like his characters, to come and destroy the demon of the town. This film is priceless because not only does it make fun of Bruce himself but also of pretty much every film he’s ever done. If you are a fan of his…just watch it. If you’re not a fan of his…don’t bother.

With that I am off to sleep.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Movies Will Rot Your Brain

First of all let me begin by saying thank you to Trouble. Were in not for her allowing me to use her Netflix to watch movies I would likely be going insane right now from lack of alcohol. No shit…I haven’t drank since Monday. Sadly, the downfall to not drinking is that I typically have not been falling asleep until 5am. This is not very conducive to waking up to go to the insanely busy unemployment office…or finding a job in general. However, I am passing the time with movie watching. That being said I felt I would share the films that I have watched over the last 3 days. By the way if sentences don't make sense or my grammar is even more atrocious then it usually is...you can suck my balls.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans:
I thought the film was fairly boring, definitely the weak link of the trilogy. Considering they tell us the story…twice…in the previous films of how Lucian became the leader of the Lycans, you would think they could at least keep the story straight. For example, I’m pretty sure Sonja was either a blonde or a brunette. I’m also pretty sure they never mention her as a badass. Let’s not forget the scene where Raze also fights Lycans…chained up and human mind you…and actually kicks their ass. Really? *yawn * I’m also not a huge fan of Rhona Mitra.

Chinjeolhan geumjassi (Lady Vengeance):
The third of the vengeance trilogy behind Old Boy. I liked the film. I felt it dragged in many places, especially in the school at the end, but I liked it. I would have to say I prefer Old Boy to this one mainly because it was full of action, Lady Vengeance, on the other hand, is more about character development. The scenes of her in prison were the most interesting for me to watch.

Tôkyô zankoku keisatsu (Tokyo Gore Police):
I made it about 15 minutes into this piece of shit before I turned it off. The acting was horrible. The cinematography was terrible. It looked like shit, it sounded like shit…it was shit. Not to mention I am really…really…not into that over the top blood spouting like you see in the Kill Bill movies. The main character is riding in a subway and a guy rubs her ass. What does she do? She takes him outside and cuts his hands off with a katana then opens an umbrella to keep the blood from getting on her. Yeah…not my bag. It seems they are really popular in Japan. The director, Yoshihiro Nishmura, has apparently made this type of film his bag of tricks. With The Machine Girl, about a girl with a machine gun for an arm, and Samurai Princess, the only thing I can remember about that one is that it stars a porn star.

I really enjoyed this flick, which is basically a story about love. The main character, an artist, gets dumped by his long lasting girlfriend for another guy. In grief he can’t sleep and therefore gets a job working a night shift at a supermarket so he can at least get paid for his insomnia. While working there he figures out that he has the ability to stop time and falls in love with the check out girl. The reviews I read for it said there was a lot of nudity…there wasn’t. If I recall there was only one moment where he stopped time, stripped female customers down, and drew them. I also read in some reviews that people bitched that the women were all “supermodels.” Granted, none of the women were obese, but there were some that weren’t rail thin. Anyway, I digress. I think this was a wonderful little film and I would have to recommend it.

Дневной дозор (Night Watch):
Sadly I couldn’t see the first film in this apparent trilogy called Day Watch. The film is basically the age old story of good vs. evil. In this case the Light vs. the Dark. There is a truce that has been going on for, if I remember correctly, a thousand years. Both sides have a police force to make sure that the opposite side doesn’t fuck up. They are called the Day Watch and the Night Watch. I can’t believe this film is Russian. You want to talk about a mutant/superhero movie? Fucking eat your goddamn heart out Hollywood. Fuck off! The acting was decent, the story worked (even without having seen the first one), and it was entertaining as fuck. I got the feel/look of the first two Blade films mixed with a LOTR feeling. The plot would be confusing for me to tell…shit…basically there are two “Great Ones” who, if they meet/fight, will be the end of the world. The father of the evil Great One who is also the lover of the good Great One is the main character whom we follow as he tries to avoid the apocalypse and find the Chalk Of Fate that will allow him to change destiny.

Se jie (Lust, Caution):
Why the fuck I decided to start a Ang Lee movie at three in the morning is fucking beyond me. I have no idea why. The movie was typical Lee. If I was going to have to compare the love story in this one to something it would have to be the love story between Jen Yu and Luo Xiao Hu in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon simply for the love/lust/hatred. The main plot follows a group of college actors who, during World War II, decide to kill a fellow Chinese man who is a traitor to their country. The main character becomes the concubine of the man and eventually falls in love with him. I won’t give any more then that away.

Anatomie de l'enfer (Anatomy of Hell):
What. The. Fuck. Did. I. Watch? It started out with a non-simulated oral sex scene between two men. From there it goes to gaga land. The plot…from what I could gather…is that a woman is trying to entice a gay man and/or figure out why all men hate women at the same time. I don’t understand how the guy was even gay when within the first ten minutes he got a blowjob from her and got off, but whatever. The main male character is played by Rocco Siffredi who, from what I read, is a porn star. It’s just weird. I found that critics specifically talked about a scene in which he goes outside, grabs a rake, and sticks it in her vagina (handle of course) while she is sleeping. He passes out and she wakes up to find the rake still sticking out of her. Boy did the critics go nuts on that scene. Me personally, the one that made me gag, she pulls out her tampon…dips it in a glass of water…and they both drink it. *explosive vomit* I was seriously staring at the screen going “Oh god no…don’t do it…don’t do it!”

They tried to make a point that she had found a gay man to test this out on yet I didn’t get the impression at any point that he was gay. First, the blowjob. Then, the first night he comes over to watch her he ends up sleeping with her (which was also really odd, he would come over, she would fall asleep, he would fuck her). That made no sense. The movie makes no sense. Ohhh, let me not forget when he fucks her and pulls out a geyser of blood, then proceeds to jerk himself off…with the blood…while she talks about how he now feels that he is tainted. WOW.

I got a lot of echoes of The Salton Sea with this film. However, while I thought it was good I also feel it was severely flawed. One…I was in the drug culture in high school. The lingo in this fucking film was just way to far the fuck out there. Two…it made no sense that he would hide the body. If he loved her, why would he hide her body. I mean I understand that he wanted to find out what happened to her but why hide her body? Three…why even set it in high school? I think this film would have been so much better if they had set it with adults. That being said. Yes, I understand it is a take off of the old detective movies and a slight addition of A Fistful of Dollars. Yes, I understand its still an awesome movie. No, I will probably not buy it. I won’t say much more…the film has a lot of plot twists that I don’t really want to go into. By the way, my favorite scene, the fight with Bryan…the school jock.

American Zombie:
When I first got onto Netflix I looked up zombie movies and about had a nerdgasm. I’m holding off on most of those for nights of drinking. Anyway, I remembered that I wanted to see this movie awhile back so I decided to go ahead and watch it. What’s it about? Shot documentary style it discusses zombies living in L.A. We learn there are three types of zombies. Brain dead killing machines, slow with limited mental capacity zombies (who are used as slave labor) and ones that can pass for human. We follow four different ones, two men, two female. One of the female’s is artsy…makes funeral flower arrangements. The other is vegan, and works at a health food place, and wants to be “living.” Another male leads an organization to help zombies. The last one works at a gas station and is basically a fucking stoner. I really liked the film up until the point where they make zombies “evil.” I liked the daily interaction and how they were basically like your normal everyday joe. I don’t know why they decided to go all freak out at the end.

So there ya go. I’m going to pass the fuck out now. Someone wake me for the S.E.C. Championship. If its not before the Big 12 Championship make sure I’m awake for that one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Jaws by Peter Benchley rakes in at 278 pages. It’s a fairly quick read, I managed to get through it in a few hours with a pause for food and to watch a few minutes of Zombieland. I was wanting to watch the movie again before writing this review so I could kind of do a comparison like I did with Different Seasons but by the time I finished the book I realized there was no need. It says on the front cover, “Powerful…His story grabs you at once.” -The New York Times Book Review I can’t really agree with that…I think the book started off pretty fucking slow (the intro is brilliant mind you), and slowly got its legs about halfway through.

There is a huge difference between Jaws and Jaws. At first I thought it was simply because there is that gap between a book to film translation. Then I realized its not the gap, it’s the fact that the characters actually have personalities. In Jaws the fucking shark is the real star, everyone else is just a supporting actor to it. Not to say the movie isn’t fantastic, I fucking love it (especially the performance of Robert Shaw). Hell, even my mom said she refuses to get into the ocean to this day because of the film. This is just another one of those cases where the book is actually better then the movie. Let me see if I can explain.

When it comes to the characters you pretty much got the same ones you deal with in the film. There is the Amity Chief of Police, Brody, who is actually a much larger asshole then the Brody that is portrayed by Roy Scheider in the film. The Chief of Jaws has a love for his town, a love for his wife and family, and a love for his job. Other then that he could honestly seem to give a fuck less about you, his friends (he has a friend of 15 years die and barely bats an eye), or any of the tourists. Then of course the ship Captain Quint is almost the same as that of Jaws the only difference being that there is no great war story of a sinking ship with sharks. More than likely the biggest difference in characters is Hooper (who was played by Richard Dreyfuss). Hooper in Jaws is young, arrogant, cocky, and comes from a family of money. He doesn’t really care who he steps on to get things done and he honestly doesn’t “care” about anyone. He is in it for himself and no one else. If someone goes down to feed his infatuation with the shark, so be it. You still have the other rounding out of side characters but Ellen Brody does have a much larger role in the book, however, that fits more with plot.

There are several key differences in the plot from the film to the movie. So let me kind of brush on these without hopefully giving too much away. One, there is town corruption with the mayor that actually involves a mob connection. It is this reason that, like the movie, the town council is so key on re-opening the beaches for the summer crowds. There is more of a dynamic between the townies and the people that visit during the summer that borders on racism. In regards to Ellen she has a whole character struggle of once being that rich woman who came for the summer to being a townie, and in a way, is having a midlife crisis and trying to rediscover herself. Don't forget, she's also described as a total fucking MILF in the book. Included in this struggle is an affair with Hooper. I can understand why they took it out of the movie, even in the book it doesn’t really seem to belong and the only result is an unwanted tension between Hooper and Chief Brody that never really pans out or develops into anything but an annoyance. Brody’s children aren’t even in the book that much. In fact, if I recall correctly, there are actually only two instances in the book in which they are involved. Last but not least is the grand finale. I remember the ending to Jaws seemed to take forever, they were out there on that boat trying to hunt down that shark….chasing it…chasing it…chasing it. In the book, the actual chase of the shark only lasts for a few pages. Now they go out there, I think, four days in a row but unlike in the movie, even though Brody wants to do it, they never stay the night out on the water. There are a few more deaths, one I wasn’t expecting and then it happened (I actually went “cool”), and a few more plot twists that I’m leaving out. YES, the scene where Brody is throwing out chum and the shark just appears behind him is in the book. NO, he doesn’t blow the fucking thing up, it dies like a normal shark.

Overall Benchley’s Jaws doesn’t even really deal with the fucking shark. Its more a look in the life of the people involved. The look in the life of a small town. At the end you’re not left going “Fuck Yeah!” You’re left more with a sad feeling that nothing has really ended. Brody hasn’t really triumphed. He’s going to go back to the little life he has and continue to be the way he has always been. Rich tourists will continue to come and continue to leave and the town will continue to tick. On the back jacket there is a quote from The Philadelphia Inquirer that says, “RELENTLESS TERROR…You’d better steel yourself for this one. It isn’t a tale for the faint of heart.” I realize this book came out in 1974, but I never saw the terror. Except for maybe the naked lady swimming in the water at the very beginning of the book…that part is pretty creepy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

UhOh I'm In Trouble

Shit! Job hunting is depressing. I think the most depressing part is trying to find something I will actually enjoy doing. There doesn’t look to be much out there. I’ve found a few more freelance writing gigs that I’m applying for and I applied to about five places today. It would likely be more were I not just looking for things that I might actually be interested in doing. It is depressing though.

So guess who missed going to the unemployment office today because he slept too late? Wait for it... Can you guess the reason why I slept too late? It kind of sucks that she’s all an early bird and shit…I never get to say something first. I wonder if it will continue to be like this. Her spoiling my fun of being able to discuss something before she does. I know, I’ll have to drug her and then write my blog before she regains consciousness. Oh right…

So I finally got a new phone yesterday and guess who the first person I both called and texted was…go ahead…guess. Yeah, it was Trouble.

I went to the movies with my parents yesterday and saw Ninja Assassin. Not bad, it had a mass amount of blood though, and the “healing your wounds” bit was a little much for me but whatever. So after the movie I went by and got the new phone. Then I went back to the rents house and took down the Christmas decorations for them out of the attic, ate dinner, and watched some stupid fucking SyFy movie called Hammer of the Gods that featured Zachery Ty Bryan (yes, from Home Improvement) as, get this, Thor, and Daz Crawford (he played Lighthammer in Blade II).

So after the parents house I headed over to a friends and called her on my way there. Now…I sat outside in front of my friends house for 2 hours on the phone with her. I spent enough time there to realize that “Metalocalypse” and “Venture Brothers” was a rerun before I headed back to my place. When I got home we talked on the phone from 12:48am to about 6:45am. We talked about a lot. We ended the conversation…right before she went to work and I went to sleep with some rather graphic…ummmm….hey look over there, something shiny. What? Oh right. So let me explain something to you really quick.

I hate talking on the fucking phone. Hate it. Hate it with a fucking passion. Its why I text so much. In fact, before talking to her on the phone yesterday, I’d only used 200 minutes of talking time in 2 years. Yesterday, I talked to her for a total of 433 minutes. Double what I’ve talked on the phone in two years put together. And yes, I actually just looked that up on my phone and did the math.

Did I enjoy it? Yes. I never once felt like I wanted to get off the phone or that the conversation was lagging. Did I even notice how long I’d been on the phone? No, I have no clock in my room and so I never even paid attention. Do I regret it? No. Part of me does though because I wish I had let her try and sleep.

What did I learn? That we have a lot more in common then even I originally thought. That we are kind of expressing the exact same feelings about one another at this point. That I can’t wait to meet her. That I am amazed at her personality, life, and intellect. And that she has an incredibly sexy voice…like sexy, sexy. Like make my ears drool sexy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

500 Days Of Bullshit

Ok…so this blog is going to end up being about sex…maybe some thoughts on the concept of love…but first…

I cleaned house today…yeah…its ummm been awhile. However my bathroom is now nice and sparkly and my bedroom is entirely picked up, the bed is even made.

I also just finished watching two films. Nine (the animated one) and 500 Days of Summer. I really wish I had watched the latter when everyone was talking about it on Pajiba. Wait for it…you’ll see why.

Nine I liked. If not for the visual quality I liked it for the simple story line. There was nothing too overtly complex in it and overall it was just a decent film. The ending however. What the fuck is supposed to happen? Are there some humans still alive? I can see the concept of new life beginning by the rain coming but what new life is there?

500 Days of Summer…hrmmm. How did I fell about that one? Bullshit. Straight up cough syrup bullshit. Now I suppose the best way to go about this is to diagram it a little bit for you so I don’t end up writing an article that could rival the Pajiban Morton.

The Good:
---Penis shouting scene in the park. Why? Because I found it rather charming and unique. It was cute. Something I could actually see myself doing. Which isn’t to say I might not have already done this.
---Vagiant the title of the fake movie. When they go to see the movie and it says “Half Vampire-Half Giant…Vagiant“ That’s like the greatest fucking movie title…like ever.
---When he goes off at the office meeting. I liked it because who wouldn’t want to do that at their job? While this scene was also quite predictable, I felt it would have worked better if they used that Expectation/Reality thing here. I.E. what he really wanted to do and what he ended up doing. Why? Because with this fucking economy who is really just going to up and quit their job.
---Tennis ball transition into the song. I really liked that. I even went “That’s cool” out loud as I was watching it by myself.

If you can’t tell. The beginning of these sentences are my notes that I took during the film.

The Bad:
---Cliché first time having sex dance number…complete with cartoon blue bird? Really?
Really? Do I even have to describe how balls fucking shit retarded that was? Not to even mention unnecessary. Stereotypical (oh look how happy I am, I just got laid!). And just fucking…modern.
---The staring at the phone and debating to call scene. Again. Typical. What do most movies show after a breakup. Person holding the phone. Walking around debating to call. Can’t sleep. Here’s a thought. Have them fucking go to bed and then call them in the morning when they have a fresh perspective asshat.
---Punching the douche bag at the bar. Oh look, guys over there insulting you and your girl whatcha gonna do? Oh right, man up and punch him in the face. What’s gonna happen? Oh right, the little fucking hipster chick is going to get upset at you for being all manly. Pffft. Blow me.
---Spilling his guts to the hot chick on the blind date? When the fuck does that happen? Like ever? It doesn’t. No guy in their fucking right mind would ever start spilling all the shit about his ex to a girl he’s on a blind date with. He’s going to keep his mouth shut, take her to dinner, maybe a couple of drinks, and then home. Where he will cry into his fucking pillow until he passes out.
---See her after being broken up and heart broken and they go right back to talking and laughing? What? What? How many times am I going to have to mimic that outcry right there? Fuckity fuck fuck. No. No. If you see an ex that you are heartbroken over you don’t start talking to them. You turn around and walk the other fucking direction.
---Going to architecture…Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I wrote that one down because it was the first one to pop into my head but I’m sure there are others. Ohhh. Life is in the shiter? You’re tired of being miserable? Well go do that thing you always wanted to do. Damn the results or your chances!
---“I really do hope that you’re happy.” Bullshit you lying sack of crap. You hope she has like a four headed baby or her vagina rots out. You don’t want her to be happy. The fact that she is happy is only going to piss you off even more.
---Then meets the girl at the interview…and her name was Autumn?…gay. YEP, that was my note. How fucking retarded and cliché was that shit? Dumb. How about this. Guy goes to interview and gets the job. End the goddamn movie with him looking out a window in his new office buidling sketching a fucking skyline again.

The Really Good:
---Geoffrey Arend as McKenzie…I’ve liked that fucker since he did that really weird role in Garden State.
---Richard McGonagle as the narrator….His voice was just badass.
---Chloe Moretz as Tom’s sister Rachel…”Don’t be a pussy.” His sister was like the most badass youngest sister in the world. Even though they usually don’t exist. Especially at her age. It was cool.
---Last…Zooey just passed Emily to me as being the hotter Deschanel.

So I’ve always wondered if I’m too obsessed about sex. Not really obsessed. They say the average male thinks about sex every fifteen seconds. I’m more like every nine. Its not just that though. I find myself sitting at bars picturing a dick in every females mouth that I see. Wondering what their face would look like with a dick in it. If said face would actually look good looking up at you or if you should run away. When I find the good ones I think about what they would look like looking up at me…or behind at me…during sex. If they pass that muster then I think about what they would look like during sex. What actually surprises me is that I get to that point and some girls still fail. Because thoughts can run through your head on whether or not that girl ends up looking like she’d be a dead fish or if she would actually be into it. If she likes just plain old sex or if she’s willing to get a little freaky with it.

I wonder how many people have gotten to this point going what the fuck?

Don’t let this necessarily impede your judgment of me. I do have a soul. I’ve never had a one night stand. I don’t date a girl just for their looks…ok, there was that one time but she was really, really attractive. Typically when I go for a girl they have to have brains and looks. Am I a bit selfish in that department? Yes. However, I’ve also told myself I would never settle. I honestly think there are many of my friends, and some family, who are married to the person they are with for the simple fact that they didn’t think they would ever find anything better. I don’t care if I’m single the rest of my fucking life. I will refuse to settle just to settle. I would rather spend my life waiting to find that person who is right for me, then simply take the best that I can get.

That’s probably the reason why I haven’t had a relationship last longer than a year. I hit about six months (by that point you should already know most of their tics), before I go, “Can you put up with this the rest of your life. I mean that sound she makes when she first wakes up in the morning (no lie, I had a GF that would make a sound like a fucking goose every morning), can I deal with that the rest of my life?” If the answer is yes…I continue. Once it gets close to that year point I re-evaluate again. Only this time its, “Can I see this working out? Is there a future here? Or are we just wasting each others time?” I have yet to get past the second evaluation.

Most of the time my relationships work like this. I do everything and anything for them. They step on me like I’m a piece of shit. No lie. True story. I even had one girlfriend that demanded that I “treat her like a princess.”

So…love. I am always the last person to say “I love you” in a relationship. Sometimes there’s a couple of months gap. I didn’t even start telling my sister I loved her until I was around 19 and even now sometimes I don’t want to say it. That word has bitten me on the ass and fucked me over so many times…I’m pretty fucked up huh? Case in point. I actually pretty much fell for my last ex on the first date. The first week we started dating I told her I loved her on the third date and she said the same to me. That was it folks, that was it, I thought that was the one. Before you ask…yes, I am over here. Yes, it took me over a year.

Dating. Yes, as she has already stated, it appears that Trouble and I are text dating. Haha. This is a new one for me folks. I’ve never dated someone I met online. Nor have I ever dated anyone without having ever met them. Nor have I dated a woman of a delicious color. I can say this though. Despite her original thoughts we have a lot in common. She has expressed what she doesn’t like about me and I can completely understand. I do really, really want to meet her though.

Now all I have to do is find a fucking job. What am I worried about? That’s going to be super easy right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#3 Different Seasons

It will appear a new tradition of mine to include the page number of the book. In this case Stephen King’s Different Seasons rings in at 497...at least the version I have. The book, which came out in 1983 (the year after I was born), features the tales of “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” “Apt Pupil,” “The Body” (a.k.a. “Stand by Me”), and “The Breathing Method.” I read this on the plane on the way to Seattle, on the way back from Seattle, and just now at home. Typically it takes me a good half a day to read a Stephen King book, whether that be The Long Walk or The Stand. He is my favorite author, I have twenty-seven of his books and therefore I devour his books when they come out. Lately, not so much (since his accident his prose has…suffered), which is why I have Under the Dome but I haven’t cracked it open yet. However his older stuff I read with reckless abandon. I mention this to let you know that while I am a Stephen King nut, it took me awhile to get through the book. Allow me to explain.

ShinyKate, in her review of King’s The Mist, actually sums up my first complaint of this book and I’m going to give you her quote to start. “What I think spoiled it for me was having seen Darabont's film adaptation. It's usually the other way around, but this time--for me, anyway-- the book [paled] in comparison to the movie.” Most of the time, and I say that loosely because its more like all of the time, a book to film adaptation sucks ass for the sheer fact that the book is ten times better then the troglodyte version that gets put on the screen. In the case of “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” and “The Body” their film versions, The Shawshank Redemption done by Frank Darabont and Stand by Me done by Rob Reiner, are far superior in many ways. However, Apt Pupil, done by Bryan Singer, is the typical piece of shit compared to the book (despite the fact that a gay Jewish man played a Nazi), however I liked it before I read it. My second complaint is that he seems to stretch the stories out. Not just telling us what we don’t really need to know, but sometimes actually having a short story within the short story. In “Shawshank” it’s the continuation of Reds’ story that really isn’t necessary. In “Apt Pupil” it’s the tale of the Jewish man that recognizes Dussander in the hospital. In “Stand by Me” there are actually two literal short stories, Stud City and The Revenge of Lard Ass Hogan (which translated way better on screen because it just “fit” better then it did in the book). In “The Breathing Method” it’s really two separate stories. One should be titled The Breathing Method and the other The Club (which, by the way, would have been awesome in The Twilight Zone). So I guess I will continue to tackle this through individual stories.

“Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”
In almost everyway this reads identical to the movie. With the exception of a few things that I think overall are important but I suppose not so much to the bigger story…then again…maybe. I won’t give them all away but I suppose a few will heighten your interest in reading it considering how close it is to the film. Spoilers: How about, for example, that Andy gets raped by the Sisters? If you remember in the movie it flat out states that the Sisters never touched him, that he always fought them off. Not one of the first times…they got him. Or, for example, the younger guy that Andy teaches and who then gets killed for knowing the truth of his Andys wife’s murder? Yeah…he doesn’t die. He gets sent to a cushier prison in exchange for not testifying about what he heard. Last but not least in this slight spoiler, Red…is white. Ha-ha./Spoilers Overall the read is wonderful. The story actually allows you to get more of a back-story on a lot of side characters in the film. It is also told from Reds perspective, which gives you a lot more about the goings on of Reds life then it does Andy. The story is Reds. He just happens to be telling you the story of Andy.

“Apt Pupil”
Ohhh sweet Jesus what a clusterfuck fest the movie was compared to the book. The only comparison? Former Nazi talks to a young boy who is interested in what happened, Nazi has a heart attack, Nazi kills himself rather then go to prison when a former concentration camp recognizes him in the hospital. Yep…for the most part that is about it. The Todd of “Apt Pupil” starts out at thirteen, not about to graduate high school (although the story follows him to that point and, granted, the Todd of Apt Pupil is still only 16). While this may not seem as a big deal look at it from this perspective. At thirteen your mind is still much more susceptible to change. You are more vulnerable to being corrupted. You’re goo. This makes for the transformation of Todd in the novella much more disturbing. In the film they try and make it that Dussander completely mindfucks Todd. In the book it begins the other way around. Now for the fun again. Spoilers: Again, I’m not going to give you a lot, for the simple fact that I really, really want you read this instead of judging the story on the movie. So lets go with the fact that by the end of the book both Todd and Dussander have become serial killers…oh yeah. Or how about that Todd doesn‘t just crush a pigeon with a basketball but repeatedly runs over its head with his bicycle…slowly? Then again there are little things. In the movie Dussander goes outside to smoke and leaves Todd in the room with French when they have their meeting. In the book French lets Dussander smoke in the room and Todd is not even on campus./SPOILER Again, not anything serious…well, other then that first one. The story does get a bit long winded at times. Note the complaint I marked awhile ago. Overall though it is a very entertaining look at the way a person can change when molded by their own environment. Especially if that environment is by choice. When the star little preppy mamma’s boy turns into a stone cold psychopath, watching that evolution is something amazing.

“The Body”
Can’t really say much. Other then a few little character changes there really isn’t much to say. Spoilers: An example would be that Teddy in the book (he was played by Corey Feldman in the film) doesn’t really have any ears and he has to use a hearing aid. His father stuck his head to a stove. Also you may remember in the movie that they take a short cut through marsh and get covered in leeches. The story version? They just went for a swim because it was hot as shit outside. /Spoilers. Like I said, no big deal. This coming of age tale had several very redeeming qualities about it though. For instance the story almost seems to have been written more of like an autobiography. The character of Gordie shares a lot of common ground with King himself. While its known that King has written himself into stories (hello the Dark Tower series) this was different. It only provided in giving the reader a more personal feel to it. Another thing that is very prevalent in this one is King’s technique of using his other books in a newer one. An example of this would be in IT when the town bully is dying on the steps of the library and Christine from Christine pulls up and drives off with him. Let us not also forget to mention Derry and Castle Rock, Maine. The one that got a chuckle out of me in “The Body” was this one, “But these dogs never attacked Milo Pressman, the dump-keeper, because Milo was never without Chopper at his heel. Chopper was-at least until Joe Camber’s dog Cujo went rabid twenty years later-the most feared and least seen dog in Castle Rock.” Ahhh, Cujo, one of the first things that I read by Stephen King.

“The Breathing Method”
I don’t really want to tell you too much about this one. It is by far one of my favorite King stories. But let me go back to what I stated before. This should really be The Breathing Method and The Club. The Club would follow an old man who goes to a club for old men, where he can find books that were never published yet were said to have been and walk around in what appears to be a small place but has an endless amount of rooms and a timeless butler. The other, The Breathing Method, is the story of a doctor who has an unwed single mother in the 1930’s as a patient. The story describes the strength this woman has against the odds. The almost love that begins to form between them. And the crazy fucked up shit that happens when the baby is born. Its King. Its some fucked up crazy shit.

In conclusion? If you love The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me you may not want to buy the book. However, if you’re like me and get it for $1.50, read “Apt Pupil” and “The Breathing Method” and skip the other two. Its not a great book, but it is a good one. I miss Kings old way of writing. I miss the gory detail he used to get into. I miss the fucked up crazy shit he used to write that now seems more subtle and subdued. I guess coming close to death really does change people. He is likely now afraid of death. Which is becoming more and more obvious in his work. It was good to go back to Old School King.