Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Horse And A Zebra Fell In The Mud...

...but a horse, a zebra, and this [via Fark] came out.  ROFL THEY HAD TEH SEXES IN MUD

Nice picture, but the Sun fails in two of its responsibilities:

1) They conveniently hide the fact that the zorse isn't a particularly momentous development.  It's no different from other equine hybrids, like the mule.  If a frog fucked a babboon, and a green amphibious monkey who spoke sign language had popped out, that would be news.  This is just the circle of life.  (Well, not the circle, cause the poor bastard's sterile.  But you get the idea.)

2) They don't make it clear that this phenomenon is unique to equine animals.  Without that disclaimer, everyone's gonna go around nailing horses and zebras to see if they can make a real-life Mr. Ed.  People, please don't go out and fuck a zebra tonight.  I beg you.  It's really not as great as it sounds, and your offspring won't talk.  (You'll be lucky if it can breathe.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Better Not Transfer Your Essence Into MY Huge Powerful Body

Robotix was one of my favorite toys as a kid, if not THE favorite. While searching for a commercial on YouTube as a response to Lehr's post on Legos, I found this nugget of brilliance:

I don't remember there being a cartoon. I presume it was short-lived; this would have been right in my TV-watching wheelhouse, and I have no recollection of it. Probably just as well... those fuckers don't look anything like the toy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Insane Driving Update

I've been making a concerted effort to drive less aggressively of late.  Much as I enjoy darting through traffic at 80 MPH, it usually generates enough angst and tension to affect not just my commute but the rest of my day.  Besides, remembering to chill out and relax is generally a good thing in my case.

That doesn't mean I can't appreciate a quality piece of crazy driving when I see it.

This morning, someone on Colesville Road (north of Silver Spring's world-renowned Arts & Entertainment District) tried to make an illegal left onto Dale Drive, jamming up traffic in the left-hand lane a bit.  The car immediately behind the illegal turned, a tan Camry, jerked into the center lane, nearly ramming into a little Honda Insight (an early hybrid model).

Having watched this situation develop from a few cars back, it was obvious that the Camry was entirely at fault, having pulled an obnoxious and dangerous move on the Insight.

Now, if it were me driving that Insight, my gut reaction would be to exact revenge by speeding up, passing the Camry, and darting straight in front of it kamikaze-style as the Camry had just done.  As Dwight Schrute would say, tit for tit.  Then I would have pulled up excruciatingly slowly to the next light. in order to remind the Camry that he's my bitch, not the other way around, and eventually gone on my merry way.  That's what I would have done.

So imagine my satisfaction when the Insight driver does exactly what I would have done.  Awesome!!!  Justice was served, and I didn't even have to pull a nutty myself!  I got to live vicariously through some other nutbag who flipped out.  (The cake, which I both had and ate, was delicious.)  Just a great way to start off the day.

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect A 50 Million Dollar Opening Weekend

Director Sir Ridley Scott, a certifiable genius for his work on classics like Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, and Gladiator, has signed on to make a movie out of Monopoly.  The board game.

There's no way this can be good.  Clue pretty much nailed the "okay, fine, it's a board game, but we made it really funny" genre.  How can this possibly turn out okay?

I am reminded of the moment in Idiocracy where Luke Wilson watches a movie called Ass, which consists of exactly that, and nothing else, for 90 minutes.  One ass.  It won the Academy Award.

Monopoly is the next step in that direction.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Babies Gone Wild

If you've ever wondered how to remove a baby's inhibitions, here's your answer: take them to Applebee's.  The article doesn't tell the whole story, though: after polishing off the margarita, the toddler ordered a round of Cuervo shots, chanted "show your tits!" at his mom, and cried loudly when given Camels instead of Marlboros.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Movies Movies Movies

First, a plug for Day Watch, which just got a limited release in ten American cities.

I like cryptic sci-fi.  Really thought-provoking stuff, like 2001, or Solaris.  These stories most closely resemble science fiction in its written form, raising thoughts and ideas about ourselves by letting human emotions play out; the setting just happens to be fantastic and hyperreal.  That subgenre fits The Fountain like a glove.

The subject matter is very similar to Solaris, in that the science fiction elements are just a vessel for saying something elemental about the desire to revive lost love.  Is the story a little simplistic, or predictable?  Maybe a little bit.  But the way the story reaches across time, and the way in which it reaches its three-headed climax, will cover up for a lot of that.  And the earnestness with which Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman's characters deal with their predicament really sells it.  It's not the message, it's the way it's delivered.

Visually, it's a breathtaking film.  Darren Aronofsky and Matthew Libatique are officially 3-for-3.  The moments grounded in reality (as opposed to floating in a bubble) are believable, and the fantasy visions are beyond beautiful.  Sitting at home, watching on TV, I shouldn't have a shovel-to-the-face "whoa" reaction to a visual.  That should be reserved for seeing The Two Towers at the Uptown or something.  But they managed to make me say "whoa" anyway.  That's masterful.  I sorely regret not seeing this in a theater.

Highly recommended.  Four and a half cancerous monkeys out of five.

The original worked because it was light and fun, and had an all-time great acting performance.  The second worked because it still had good ideas, most notably the Kraken, but narrowly escaped being crushed under its own weight.  This third one doesn't do much of anything.

It's a big mess, primarily because it doesn't pay off on the second film's cliffhangers in any meaningful way.  The resolution of those cliffhangers is lumped in with everything else that gets addressed.  Its total indifference to the events of the second film make questionable conclusions like Back To The Future Part III and Matrix Revolutions look masterful by comparison.  At least those movies actually continued a story!  At World's End is more like a big checklist of things they've been meaning to tell us, delivered just like that: a list.  Each character acts only because the story requires resolution, not because they require that act as a participant.  Everything that happens is done simply for the sake of having something happen.  This was not the case in the first film, and was less the case in the second than the third.  Sad.

What really bothers me is that all the expositional busy-work chokes the main characters, to the point where they're devoid of any charm they may have had at first.  Jack's fun, but what of everyone else?  Even Barbosa could have been put to better use.  We don't learn anything new about anyone this time around.  They could have made this same exact film without any of the ridiculous story machinations.  Why put them (and us) through all the bother?

Worst of all, no more Kraken?  It was the best part of the second movie, and they can't give it an encore performance?  It appears in the third, but not in any perilous way.  That, my friends, is just silly.

Lest we be unfair, At World's End did have some good moments, particularly the brilliant Davey Jones' Locker sequence.  And you couldn't make Jack Sparrow unentertaining if you tried.

But that didn't stop the people behind this piece of shit from trying anyway.  How do you make the guy who's selling all those tickets an innocent bystander?  How can a film about the greatest pirate in history depict zero notable acts of piracy on Jack's behalf?  It has more wooden eyeball jokes than acts of piracy.  End of story.

This wasn't a surprise, but it was disappointing nonetheless.  Two and a half Krakens out of five.

Fun stuff.  Almost as good as the original.  Lots of fun, though perhaps not quite as much as Eleven.  Still, it delivers on the three things you need from the series: wit, insane visual touches, and awesome music.

The dry, snappy dialogue is a given at this point.  What's different this time around is that the antagonist (Al Pacino) is the one who gets the majority of the great lines.  And that's fine... we know what the Eleven can do.  Toss in a little banter for Pitt and Clooney, bust Damon's balls a little, make sure Casey Affleck and Scott Caan get to yell at each other, and you're all done with the good guys.  But Pacino's the guy who gets the prime cut.  He exposes all the ways in which Andy Garcia's performance in Eleven could have been better.

The visual flair of the series has pretty much peaked here.  The color choices were ingenious.  My whole spiel in the Best of 2006 post, wherein I applaud A-list directors slumming it to produce pulp masterpieces, is appropriate here as well (if not to the same extent).  Does Steven Soderbergh have better things to do?  Absolutely.  But he seems to be having fun.  And Out of Sight, technically, was kinda beneath him too, if you think about it.  So I'd just assume let him keep on slumming it.

The music, as always, is brilliant.  I'm thoroughly confused as to how Out of Sight and the Ocean's movies haven't made David Holmes more of a household name as a film scorer.  Considering how many Hollywood-cool movies come out every year, how few of them use orchestral scoring, and how uniformly brilliant Holmes's work is, I'm surprised that he doesn't get/produce more work than he does.  With no proper album work since Bow Down To The Exit Sign, his cinematic work is our primary source of music from him.  How many mediocre flicks could be elevated behind a kick-ass Holmes score?  Put this man in charge of your crappy movies' soundtracks!

All in all, very good movie.  Given that even the disappointing Twelve has grown on me, I expect this one to grow as well.  Three and a half episodes of Oprah out of five.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Quotes That Make Me Want To See A Heretofore Unseen Movie

I've never seen (or read) American Psycho.  I've heard it's excellent, but it never struck me as the kind of movie I'd need to see.  Rich piece of shit gets bored, becomes serial killer.

However, that all changed once I became aware, mere minutes ago, of the following Hall-of-Fame caliber quote:

Don't just stare at it... eat it.
Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.  I have no idea what it's referring to, but I have a few theories, and I like every single one of them.  Man, I've got to see this movie.

Hmmm... actually, I wonder if knowing the actual context will ruin everything.  It may just end up disappointing me.  Because what could live up to its out-of-context brilliance?  Okay, better not see it after all.  But I still get to keep the quote!

I guess I'm just a sucker for any comeback that commands the other person to eat something.  I don't know why it works, I just know that it works.  Sure, you can trace it back to an old classic like "eat shit and die," or the ever-popular "eat a bag of dicks," which is fast approaching "douchebag" as a go-to put-down in the lexicon of the American elite.  But as far as I'm concerned, there's just an innate joy in telling someone, violently and angrily, to eat things.

(Aside: this feeling first made itself known while watching an episode of Arrested Development wherein a (very) young George Michael Bluth, dressed as the Tin Man, watches an episode of Oz without realizing that it isn't a show about Dorothy and the Wizard.  Pretty clever, but what really banged the joke home is the unseen convict who screams, through the television, "EAT IT, BITCH!!!"  Kills me every time.  Top 5 moment of the series for me.  Wouldn't have worked as well without the prison equivalent of "abbondanza!")

Anyway, at some point in the next 3-6 months I will be able to slip "don't just stare at it, eat it" into an otherwise innocent conversation, and glide for a moment or two on the wings of double entendre deliciousness.  Just knowing that this day is coming is enough to clear up my case of The Mondays.  Ahhhhhhhhhh.