Friday, January 29, 2010

It's 4:20 AM and my bathroom smells like popcorn

What an stupidly hilarious world I live in. Everything about my day has been of impeccable quality. When I rolled out of bed at the crack of noon and sauntered down to the radio station to interview a dude I was blasted with snow. It's like a blizzard outside again. Then I mailed some stuff and ate and then I played Call of Duty. I spent the remainder of the day playing call of duty. Then I played call of duty some more. I killed someone with a throwing knife, which basically completes my existence. Then we attempted to deal with a facebook mystery that appears to be ongoing. Then I ate two more times. One of them was at New York Pizza. It was greasy and stale. Then I played more Call of Duty. It's now 4:23 and I have absolutely nothing to show for my day except a rambling paragraph about how little I achieve on a day off. Tomorrow I have a class but I'm sure it can't be that bad. I'm getting a hair cut tomorrow too. I have a hair cut right now that's a mix between a shortened Charles Manson and Bill Murray. It needs to be lobbed off with a quickness. This blog entry seems pretty normal so far. Almost like a real blog! Like an online journal entry. Yeah... I learned in class last week (The one I'm going to tomorrow in fact) that blog is Log and something that starts with b or something combined. That's pretty cool so it's like I'm writing a ships log right now. RUNNING OUT OF MINI DONUTS! LOSING MORAL! 1 DAY REMAINS UNTIL WEEKEND! It's not apparent to me that I in fact have homework for said class tomorrow. This homework? Write a 2 page "disseration" on websites. 3 websites (of any kind) that we would like to share with the class that we find of significance. Without further ado, I'm going to slam my assignment like the fist of an angry god and hash it out right here on my blog. Here goes nothing. Spetznatz UAV online. I'm going to write 3 cool websites in a serious business style for class and guestimate it at 2 pages then paste it into word. Then the whole world can see the grand calibur of home work I'm doing these days. Seeing as we might want to share these websites with the class or something, I'm not going to list the chan'.

One site that I find remarkable is the newsite, Newsmap. The official URL is Newsmap organizes all of the news of the world, national news, political news, entertainment news, etc. into different colors on a grid in order of importance. For example, if a celebrity dies (in today's case JD Salinger) that will be on the largest squre of the entertainment section (which is indicated by a color index on the bottom of the screen). This is a VERY helpful tool for reading the news. You basically know what the largest story is immediatly in any given area and you get to focus in on it. So for someone like me, whose an entertainment journalist, I can simply look on a certain color and then I can check that I only want it to show the entertainment news. It will then enlarge that particularly colored section to fill the entire page by size order of importance again

*ADD time lapse*

Each colored square on newsmap is a link to another site where the news was posted, usually posted first. My one problem with the site is whoever writes or maintains the site sort of generalizes and decides for the masses which items of interest are the most important on the mainpage. For example, today's largest box is in the world's news section (the #1 world story always is) and it's on Obama and the health care reform. For those of us who frankly don't care about this issue and will probably not think about the effect it may have on us

*inserted for blog, I just dont give a shit about politics*

it's inconvienent to look at that way. I also see some redundancies sometimes on newsmap. There will be several articles linked to (and ranked according to importance) on the same topic. For example, during the Tiger Woods debacle, they had about the entire entertainment section based on singular conjections and pieces of evidence. Alot of the news that appears on this site is based on professional theory rather than hard fact. Currently, as of now being early Friday morning 2 days after the announcement of the Ipad, the consequences for the competitor Kindle, are being discussed in the largest panel and the side panels are also about Apple's current push for their newest device.
Like I said, this is a great site though and it's very useful for getting blurbs about news from every category in one place without a lot of scrolling, or any scrolling for that matter. All the links are right there and I've never had a broken link. The site is never slow. I think it's an ingenious creation because as a primarily visual learner,

*ADD Time lapse #2*

I really can break it down in terms of colorful links. Like I said though, my one problem with the site is the largely "chosen for you" facts and the news content appearing multiple times. I think in marketing the site they really chose to appeal to a strictly journalist crowd of writers looking for something quick to spark their leads or find them sources on a prominent issue, because the general public likes a few things not presnet here...more entertainment news, sports news and most of all picture content.

2. The second site I'm choosing to write down is encyclopedia dramatica. ED, as it is often called is 4chan's dictionary. Basically, the internet and the gamer communities over the past decade or so have been growing their own lanauge and abbreviations as well as inside jokes thare are only prominent in web communities. So if you see an offbeat youtube video that everyone is linking to or a dog head in the center of a rainbow while perusing pictures your friends posted on facebook (probably me) or something you saw on tumbler, chances are it came from one of the unholier sites on the web. Encyclopedia Dramatica is a guide to the "lolz". While the content is for the most part understandable, one fault of the site is that I think there's still a learning curb. For those unfamilar with the often juvenile and cruel sense of humor that the "internet" or at least its general populas has garnered ED can often seem like nonsense. Given that it's written by the opposite type of people as the type of people who would refer to it, I consider this sort of a sneaky trolling effort.

Most of the time, if I don't know what something means, I google it. When you google a "meme" or a particular item of internet fad humor, the first resource that comes up is encyclopedia dramatica. I think there's a certain acquired knowledge needed to even understand the definitions which are user-corrupted on encyclopedia dramatica. However, since the internet's "lexicon" draws from such obscure sources from a variety of websites, it would be more difficult to have actual users that provide meaningful content updates than it is on a site like wikipedia that's protected.

Wikis are generally, unopinionated and cold hard fact. Encylopedia Dramatica, is a corruption of a wiki. While informative, it's also a satire of itself and I find that brilliant. Hidden on the site are links specifically to pop ups and "land mines" for inexperienced users. (Basically don't click anything around the bottom of pages). Nothing seriously harmful is posted but nothing is held sacred either so don't be too shocked by the things you'll come across browing encylopedia dramatica. If you're looking to avoid the chaos of actually delving headfirst into the darker and most uncensored areas of the internet, but still grab the humor from those areas, ED is sort of like a best of the lolz compilation. For it to be truly user friendly sadly, it feels like you have to acquaint yourself with a desensitized mindset.

3. Gmail. I don't like email. I was never into email. I was never into sending mail period. The entire system of teachers emailing you and such was the only reason I was ever forced to use email. If I wanted to get in touch with a friend, I used a phone. Or I saw them in person. If someone says "Matt" I will turn my head slightly and say "what?" I had been against the idea of email entirely through the 90's and even past the turn of the century. About a year ago I started checking an email address I created to register for a site. I'm not sure how it happened but I think it might have been gmail's user friendly and well organized interface that really grew on me. Now one of the first things I check when I go online is my email, my gmail specifically.

It doesn't pop up a new mail item for an ongoing conversation. Instead, on gmail, you can simply see the number of replies in total back and forth on a message when a new one from that sender of that subject comes in and it will appear in bold font. The mesages are quick and easy to delete and the search feature is really a blessing for finding things that are lost. The contact list is automatically saved and appears on the side of mail box automatically as well. you don't have to add anyone to contacts and if you start typing one it will auto format it. Gmail also loads quickly with a separate loading bar embedded in its url so you know that if it's running slow, you can trouble shoot it without any delay. You can also change your background pictures on gmail to some pretty cool images. In short, I've never been much of an email guy at all but gmail has revolutionized the medium, much like its parent company google revolutionized the search engine format. I'm an avid fan and user of gmail now and it even has a pop up chat, similar to facebook and aim.

Holy shit I'm done. It's now 5:07. Sleep is for quitters. I'm going to go quit now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The most stellar and yet diabolical Diseny Villains

When I was a kid I was never able to get behind smarmy protagonist characters. It might be because Disney protagonists were always minorities or women (sorry kids) but clearly the characters that were the target audience of little boy's affection were the villains. The villains usually offered more intelligence, class and more blues-type musical numbers than the hero characters. Rather than simply combat a situation, they created the situation. I think the key to ANY successful story is a great antagonist, the opposite of everything the hero stands for. In the case of say, Tarzan you have an idiotic man who communicates with monkeys and swings around on vines while the monkeys bang pots and pans to the music of Phil Collins. Clearly the saving grace of this film is the devious hunter emptying rounds of his musket into angry monkeys. I think the villain characters, while often time not the most complex characters in the stories are well rounded and always overblown, nefarious and classically maniacal. In Disney Movies, the villains are archetypes of prejudice and hatred and everything shitty but hilarious. As a kid I thought they were bad ass and now I can see they're humorous satires of larger themes of the greater evils in the world. You'll know if you become a regular reader of my blog I'm a huge fan of lists. I love listing things. I love ranking things. I don't like READING statistics but oh damn do I loves me some lists. I think it's almost a compulsion at this point but I know that there are people out there who share my listing enthusiasm so without further list of the 10 best/my favorite Disney Villains. This one was tough to compile and all things were considered. I'm going to go ahead and include the efforts of Pixar in this as well.

10. Ursula-The Little Mermaid
No one likes a fat bitch. Especially a fat overbearing bitch with the lower body (or complex animatronic dress) made of black tentacles. She commands eels and has a huge mole on her face. She also has the sensibilities and the haircut of a butch lesbian. She wants Ariel's voice because she has a beautiful voice. Tell me that's not bizzare. I think one quality of a villain is that you can root against them and as insidiously stupid as every other character in this film is (from what I remember of it) except the Rastafarian crab, you can really come to hate Ursula. So there she is, perching her fat tentacled ass atop the backend of the list.

9. Chernabog-Fantasia
This one is a semi-longshot. I feel like I've joined the unspoken Disney nerd-fandom simply by calling this character by name, but believe me I would not have known it save for stumbling into it online. The disney theme parks also love to hype the shit out of chernabog on pins and posters. I mean he's basically a giant satan and it doesn't get more evil than that. I don't see chernabog as terribly evil though. He's just a giant bored guy with horns whose a nudist. At night he comes out of his mountain and he pokes and prods little demons and fucks with them for the lolz. Chernabog is not amused. Then he sets a bunch of ghosts on the empty town and watches them fly around. When he gets bored watching little people fly around and get burnt up he gets tired and goes to sleep. Sure he's a menacing figure and he could probably burn you to a crisp but I don't see anything terrifically bad about Chernabog. He's just makin lolz. And I respect that.

8. Cruella De Ville-101 Dalmations
Not Glenn Close. The original one. She's the definition of ugly old bitch. She wears coats made of dogs and she chain smokes. She has red high heels and a black dress to match and the hair cut of sweeney todd with a bony pig nose. She's just a huge bitch basically but once again clearly the most interesting character of the film. I'd go so far as to say she's a scene stealer but the canine crunchies commercial really is something grand. Cruella Deville is the Lady Gaga of the Disney Universe. Either her or that other crazy old hussie Ezra from the Emperor's new Groove. I thought that film broke the Disney mold too much though so screw it.

7. Captain Hook-Peter Pan
There are intimidating villains (which we haven't gotten to yet), trolling villains (like Chernabog) and the hilariously comical incompetent morons like Captain Hook. I LOVED Captain Hook as a kid. I loved the piracy. I loved that giant red coat. I loved the plumed hat. I think I was Captain Hook for Halloween one year. At any rate, he's a huge screw up who can't even defeat a group of children (even though in the live action version he killed RUFIO). He's afraid of a particular (and possibly the ONLY) crocodile in the populas of neverland and he employees a chubby old man to pilot his vessel. Clearly he fails at piracy but it's hilarious watching him do it. Eventually you kind of feel sorry for him getting shafted time after time. I was surprised when I watched the film again when I was older just how much life sucks for Hook.

6. Clayton-Tarzan
In the 90's the Disney filmmakers tried to touch on sensitive subjects, racism and environmental issues. Gone were the straight up fairy tales of yore, now we were dealing with topics such as POACHING. Clayton was by all accounts a poacher. And not just of elephants mind you. He killed motherfuckin apes, the closest animal kingdom relatives to human beings. He didn't give a damn if Tarzan thought he was an ape either, he'd kill him too in the same manner he killed his "father figure". Clayton is essentially that hunter from Jumanji with a more charming smile. He meets one of the most brutal ends of any disney villain too, being HUNG from a vine.

5. Judge Claude Frollo-The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Like I said, in the 90's Disney was involved in some tedious shit that was questionable at best bieng handed to kids but I sure didn't mind at the time. I don't think I could really get behind Frollo as a kid with his frumpy hat and his whole being old thing. Now that I'm older I can really appreciate how twisted and villainous this character is. He might be one of the most realistically horrible people in the entire Disney universe. Frollo kills gypsys. He hates em'. Racist and a judge to boot. Then he loves a gypsy but he even knows himself that it's adultery. Hell. He personally calls it LICENTIOUS. Then he hates his "servant" Quasi Modo and treats him like shit. At the end of the day he wants Quasi's girl to go burn in hell and he wants to light Paris on fire on a mad hunt to kill all the Gypsis. Crazy elitst bastard. He sings a song called HELLFIRE to boot. Not unsprisingly he falls off of Notre Dame. Saw that coming from the first five minutes.

4. Shan-Yu-Mulan
Mulan seems to be a fan favorite from my particular generation of kids. The "Be a Man" song in particular resonated among my friends and I've heard it recited many times even in my everday life. Mulan cross dresses and joins the army to defeat the Huns. Who are the huns? Large grey men. Large grey men lead by SHAN YU. He's a bad ass. You wouldn't want to mess with Shan Yu. Straight up possibly one of the fiercest motherfuckers in the Disney Universe. An avalanche falls on his head and he survives. He has a FALCON on his shoulder and he carries a highly ineffective and curvy sword. He burns down a village and laughs at the doll of a dead child. Cold hearted and big as a truck. How do you stop a beast like this? It took a rocket to take him down but he'll be immortalized forever in this largely unread blog post.

3. Syndrome-The Incredibles
With the Incredibles, Disney and Pixar tackled a great subject, a retro superhero film. At the same time, they added a twist on the cliche super hero plot. Mr. Incredible is boring and retired. The day of the heroes is over (trust me this isn't watchmen). He's brought back into action by a great villain...Syndrome. Syndrome was once a fanatical FAN of Mr. Incredible but now he's a techno-obsessed maniac who is bent on wiping out those who were gifted with powers and looking like a hero himself. He's hero worship to the point of being a villain. It's such a unique take on a super villain let alone a Disney Villain that I can't recall even hearing anything similar before. Syndrome addresses the villainous cliches and even goes on a brilliant "monologue" in which he has a self aware moment and acknowledges the fact that he's monologuing. Red haired and obnoxious, he convienently makes himself easy to hate too. Syndrome was a tough contender for these top spots but I'm going to have to give #2 to...

2. Scar-The Lion King
I really really waffled over giving Scar the #1 spot because he's just that great. He's Shakespearean in the sense that he kills off his own brother and then he tries to kill off his brother's son too. He's a scheming lazy bastard and he lounges with Hyenas of all creatures. He also sings the phrase, Quid-pro-quo, which you'd have to be pretty evil to include in a song. Lions are intimidating already. How do you take a story where the protagonist is a lion and make the villain scarier? Simple. Give him dark skin and a black mane of hair and let him enslave and imprison the other animals. Scars a pretty shitty king who doesn't know how to run the economy once it's up to him too, which speaks volumes for the modern audience and their complaints towards the presidents of the past few years.

and what could my #1 possibly be?

I bet you saw it from a mile coming.

I bet you already scrolled down because you like spoilers.

I bet you guessed it when you clicked on this post.

I'm second guessing giving this one the #1 spot instead of scar honestly .

oh well I really like him .

1. HADES! -Hercules
Hades, by nature is the devil. Unlike Chernabog who just tortures his minions and sicks ghosts on an abandoned town though, Hades literally lives in the underworld and chills with a river of souls. Greek Mythology has always been fun and they had the opportunity to make this a very dark character in a modernized and light hearted film. Instead they made the character threatening and yet charming and hilarious. One minute he'll be screaming and lit aflame pounding his minions and the next minute he'll sound like he's selling cars. I think the "car salesman" gag of Hades is one of the things that really "sells" the character for me. It's a very smart character trait with him "making deals." Making deals with the devil has been in many fictional stories to date and often times the Devil comes off as a nice guy before he stabs you in the back and shoves off acting like a dick. That's just the case here. Hades has a grand take over scheme that was never present in actual Greek mythology but he smooth talks his way into having his way and uses dirty tricks like poison. He's condescending and hilariou and his hair is made of blue fire. If these aren't enough reasons to convince you Hades is the #1 Disney Villain, he also has the best introductory line of any Disney Villain bar none, "You know I haven't been this choked up since I had a chunk of MUSAKA stuck in my throat!" If you enter on a terrible pun/culture spoof, you are destined to be a great antagonist. This is also true of the real world.

To be totally honest and fair though I'm not sure who I prefer though, Hades or Scar. You can say we have a tie, but for pure value of census and statistics, Hades will sit on the number one spot unless I have the energy to edit this post based on my whim and mood.

So there you have it. I'm always bad at saying good bye and conclusions and such so if you have anything to say post it, but for godsakes don't forward this around in emails. I've had enough of that sort of thing happening to me this week already and it's been harrowing experience. If you've stuck with me this far though, I salute you and I thank you for reading.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Defaming Star Wars one comic book and Video Game at a time.

This entry will be true to form. Straight up nostalgia and proof as to why we can't have it as good as we had it when we were given times in our life that were so good that we want them back. That's what nostalgia is and for me, Star Wars is nostalgia. So before I drop my rant like it's got a temperature above 75 degrees, let me tell you what Star Wars means to me.
Star wars means this to me.

And this:
And most of all this:

When I was 4 years old I was accomplishing little with my fledgling life. One could argue that I accomplish little now sitting around and blogging about how great shit used to be. But what made it great? What rocket my world to the extreme that it gave me a balance and a purpose and explained the concept of good and evil in terms that made sense to me?

It was Christmas time and I was being an annoying little fuck. Back then it was easy for my mom to get me interested in doing something time consuming. Now I can't even sit through a journalism class. I'm not sure what happened. Anyways there was a Star Wars marathon on television. I remember seeing Greedo in particular while sitting in my parents bedroom. I remember the sci fi. The aliens. The princess. The Hutt. It was love at first site. While I will be the first to admit there have been better movies made, Star Wars is my favorite franchise of all time and has given me more joy and a greater sense of wonder throughout my life than anything else I can think of. I owe a great deal of credit to star wars for my creative process, my ability to tell stories and even my ability in basic skills.

As a kid I'd learn my spelling tests up and down to earn new star wars figures if I got an A on the spelling quiz. That was mom's reward. Same with math. I would read the guides to characters in the 90's and learn how to write these in depth biographies of star wars characters.

You can get into a movie and come out of it and like it and forget about it. There are FEW franchises (star trek is dumb. Sorry) where you can create an entire behind the scenes mythos and market it. There are FAMOUS star wars characters whose names are never uttered in the film. Bib Fortuna. Dr. Evazan. Wicket W Warick. Then there are SIDE characters, aliens with minutes of screen time who all of America knows about. Boba Fett flies to mind. Greedo. Grand Moff Tarkin, etc. etc.

Star wars comics were the first comic books I ever read, long before Batman. As a kid Star Wars was everything to me and the sad fact is the experience that my generation had with Star Wars and the generations before me is being tainted by the ruination and whoring of the franchise. If you didn't grow up on Star Wars the way I did or even the way other kids in our generation did, you simply can never and will never be able to appreciate it to the fullest. I was lucky enough to see the Prequels while I was still a child craving more star wars anything. Now that I'm not so naive, I see 2 out of 3 of them as terrible films, though I'm becoming a little more forgiving to the first one. The point is...Star Wars fans are changing their attitude. The Star Wars that is being pushed and marketed now is now what we grew up with.

Clone Wars. Comic books. EXPANDED UNIVERSE. What the fuck is this shit:

Yeah I don't know who this subject of fanboy jerk sessions is either. Apparently she just won FANS CHOICE as the #1 most likely candidate of STAR WARS to become an action figure. Rumor has it she's in the oh so lame RPG style game, Knights of the Old Repbulic. In the 90's I was all for EXPANDED universe. Novels that take new characters and characters from the movies and add further story to them. Now that they've branched into the video game territory they find characters who use 1000 lightsabers, embody the spirit of the force and can blow a jedi holocron. Video Games lack creativity and when they try to get creative it just gets into that immature super nerd category. Take star wars as a film.

Pulp sci-fi, retro 70's and 80s. Star Wars was revolutionary for its time and gave us characters we could care about and stood the taste of time and became part of pop culture iconography. This KOTOR is only one part of the puzzle of the perversion of the franchise. Since the prequels, EVERYONE can be a jedi and wield a lightsaber. You might think I'm a fanboy blowing smoke but consider this, there's a reason why star wars is so popular and movies like He Man and Tron are not. Because it isn't campy. This is borderline anime and it IS campy. Did we need another Clone Wars cartoon? The 2004 cartoon by Tartarkovsky was probably the closest I've felt to a star wars vibe since the original trilogy. From the music to thep pacing to the quick animation it was truely artistic. Not this pixar crap, jedi-are-bffs-with-clones stuff that you have today. This is not why star wars is popular and it would be forgotten as some weirld cult film if it was. People don't know how to appreciate movie magic anymore.

I won't blame Lucas. Everyone has blamed Lucas at some point. I blame the fans. I blame the fans who don't know what's good for the franchise and continue to demand more of characters like hot anime chick up here. She has nothing in common with the series. She doesn't expand the universe in any way. So why include her? I don't think video games should deviate from the films. How about that? Battlefront is the only playable star wars game in that sense. I'm not just a bitter close minded fan. I've seen it all and I know what sells and I know what I like and this, trash, this clone wars-comic book, video game revival of star wars is worse than just letting it die. Let those of us who respect these films continue to hold them sacred and not belittle them with this crazy fan fiction. If you want to tell these stories that's fine. There's always thousands of hard sci fi garbage littering up the fiction section of the book store that you can slot your book into. You don't have to ride off a star wars title because you know it sells. Don't take these great films away from future generations. Unless it's too late.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Comedians who I believe should not have a career in the coming decade

I will be the first to admit I have a very niche sense of humor that can only be summed up by these two geniuses:Throughout the ongoing progression of this blog, you will most likely hear me gush over the comedic greatness of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. I'm under the firm belief they can do very little to nothing wrong, and even if it is wrong it will undoubtedly crack me up. So if you can buy into their sense of humor, as well as the humor on the likes of the comedy of Mitch Hedberg, Zach Galifinakis or other absurdist parody comedians, then we're on the same wavelength. If you like Dane Cook, then you're part of the typical crass and idiotic American Household but I don't blame you. My issues of contention are not with Dane Cook today. He's been talked to death. Bastard probably knows what he's doing too.

Today I want to talk to the worst things about the comedy industry. Or the worst people rather. On with it. I'm gonna keep this one short and bitter. Like a house cleaning midget.

1. Mencia. Mencia is a fat obnoxious, overrated and trendy stand up who basically tries to be George Lopez. Where Lopez differs from him though is Lopez does not talk DOWN to his audience. You're frequently reminded that Mencia thinks he's smarter than you and everyone else by his trademark and unfunny "DEE DUH DEE". I can't tell you how much that slogan makes me hate humanity and want to jump off a bridge while I'm set aflame. While Lopez focuses on Mexicans, particularly his family, Mencia belittles the Latino community of which he is a part of as a whole and then profits on it. Enough said.

2. Tyler Perry. Another fucking moron who profits on spoofing and exploiting stereotypes of his own race through buffonery. Movie after movie of cross dressing and "LAWDY LAWDY" and playing some kind of modern Mammy character he continues to make money. I'm not even sure what to make of his films. Comedy on a raw, racist level that tries to make some kind of heartwarming message that never hits closer to home than full house. His films continue to come out and I'm ASTONISHED whenever I see trailers for them as to how they conintue to let him produce this stereotypical and unfunny shit.

3. Jeff Dunham. I think the first three in a row here are proving that if you're going to make stereotypical and racist humor you 1. Have to make it true and situationally relatable. 2. Target every race and class like Dave Chapelle while at the same time parodying your own and 3. Acknowledge the racial content of what you're saying. This moron doesn't even KNOW what he's doing is racist. Let's see...the dead arab puppet is the first thing. Clearly because we're American he's talking down to us because he believes this is funny. It's not. His other puppets are just disgusting as well. What about the mexican chilli pepper? The white man in a track suit? Ventriloquism was never funny. This guy should be kicked in the balls for his lamer humor.

4. Demitri Martin.Wordplay. Non sequitors. Look at me. I'm a tame hipster with a mop haircut. This is hipster comedy at it's worst. Watch as this man draws lines on a tablet and expects us to laugh as he conncets them to obvious associations which our mind would already create in the first place. Don't under estimate America's intelligence. He's not George Carlin. Carlin interprets the meaning of words. This guy dissects words letter by letter and rearranges them. With practice I'm sure anyone could do that. Literary genius?

I have nothing more to say. Hope you enjoyed it. Comments welcome.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The world is improving and the herald of the new decade's apparent quality is the ANGUS BURGER

This entry is not true to form, and it has nothing to do with nostalgia. Rather here, I'm talking about something new and exciting. However, we could spin it towards nostalgia in that it's significantly better than what I remember. Sometimes the latest thing is actually pretty cool, and that's why America tends to gravitate towards it.

Behold the greatness of the McDonalds Angus Burger:

And like most things from Hot Toys and other manufacturers of fine product, "pics don't do it justice". I never thought I'd used the words "Mcdonalds" and "Greatness" in the same sentence except for in whatever month St. Patrick's day is in (believe me there will be blog about it). Going back to the pic, look at how dried out those tomatoes look...and is that an aramark chicken patty under that slice a' cheese or a hunk a' meat? And what's this on the top? I don't want any of that "Ciabatta" shit. Don't be fooled by this less than flattering image I lazily found on google after about 5 seconds of searching and skipping the better picture due to it not Sam Jackson would say "this IS a tasty burger!"

Upon first opening the burger from its bombshell you'll notice several things eye catching immediatly.

1. Seeds. Not just like the generic seeds you see on top of Wonderbread buns. I mean different varieties of grain grown in chemical labs for the corporate intent of McDonalds. It's serious business. Like seeds you'd find on rye bread. Thankfully none of those sausage seeds. Everything is wrong with those bastards.

2. Multiple slices of cheese. I'm a man who appreciates cheese. I appreciate cheesy jokes. I appreciate cheesy burgers. A true American man likes American cheese, and McDonalds piles it on. I'd like to secretely believe that while McDonalds exists in most countries, they devote the greatest amount of cheese to the customers in states. Just a little thank you to their roots. But cheese doesnt grow in the ground. Cheesy?

3. MAYONAISE! Some people connonate mayo with feeling sick or it's obvious visual association with a certain bodily excrement but I'll be damned if I don't love mayonaise. I pile it on in heaping quantities to every sandwhich I eat except an ice cream sandwhich, and even those sometimes too. Why? It tastes good. How ridiculous are you? The first thing I noticed opening the bun and sifting through the useless and yet extravagant garnish of vegetables was a heaping pile of mayonaise. Savor it.

4. Vegetables. Like I said these are essentially a garnish designed to be removed. Pickles don't belong on a burger. If you're like me you leave one slice of lettuce, a single "tomat" and a pile of onions. If you're even more like me than you think you are, you also have onion breath nearly 6 hours after consuming this burger.

So those are the immediate thoughts. You know what else? It takes more than a second to woof it down. Approximately two seconds. While it still slightly has a manufactured quality the more frequently I order it, upon first glance, the Angus burger feels like REAL burger at a real dining facility with a credible reputation. You feel like an important man when you strut up to the counter at mcdonalds "oh ho ho I'll take the angus burger please". They know you aren't fuckin around then. They nod to the people in the back and tell them to use the vice grips to handle this big meaty sombitch. Don't underestimate me handmaiden of snack wraps and supplier of milkshake...I come demanding one thing...ANGUS!

This is all for now. I'm not sure how this ties into nostalgia other than how I remember McDonalds used to give you paper thin burgers bathed in those weird little onion cubes and ketchup and this is clearly the better menu item. Real men eat angus burgers.

And now I fully expect Mcdonalds ads to appear on my blog. They've earned their spot unlike those "congragulations you won an ipod" assholes.

My picks for best and worst films of 2009 (dreadful year for cinema overall)

This one is a straight rehash from facebook. I'm lazy like that. You'll come to find through reading my blog entries that I'm a straight up procrastinator, though as one track on the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack (which is good by the way) implies through its title, the "mind rebels at stagnation". So while I try to be creative, I'm often reek of sloth in the fields of academia...who needs it?

So yeah. I don't really need to preface this much. I've talked to death about these films already but if I'm going to put it on this list, I probably thought it was exceptional. The sad fact is, the films on this list are probably the only ones I thought were exceptional or enjoyed all year. There really wasn't much going on in 2009 for cinema. Hopefully 2010 will bring it back. I'll also include a bottom list at the end of movies that I thought sucked. Enjoy

1. Inglorious Basterds-Perfect in almost every way (I have issues of contention with the plot towards the end) but I LOVE this movie. The acting on the part of Christoph Waltz has brought to life one of the best villain characters ever in the form of Hans Landa. He's devious and charming and he steals the show in every scene. Not to say the entire cast isn't great. Brad Pitt's east to imitate Aldo is also a memorable redneck and so is Hugo Stiglitz. The more I watch the film, the more I also enjoy Shoshanna and the less I enjoy Eli Roth as the Bear Jew. I love the chapters, the music, the linear structure for once and yet the brilliant tarantino dialogue going around tables in a manner that's more informative than self indulgent like most of his films. It's a triumph.

2. Watchmen-This movie caught some heat, including by me before it came out. I kept saying "how good can it be? the book is so good nothing can touch it!" How wrong I was. While it's true, watchmen will probably be forgotten by most critics lists I can not see why for the life of me. How can you encapsulate the spirit of a book, much less a comic book so perfectly that not only does it look the same but you feel the same sagging feeling of impeding doom watching it that you do reading it? The acting is great. Rorschach and the Comedian are exactly how you'd imagine them to be and even the side characters like Manhattan's ex girlfriend and Hollis Mason are perfect. If you haven't caught the director's cut, make sure you do because some of the extended footage is brilliant. The slow mo which was distracting and gross in 300 is artistic here and I have totally renewed faith in Snyder as a director. This a beautiful film about a beautiful book and it might be my favorite straight forward adaptation film of all time. Alot of people are hating on it saying "it's not true to the book it could have done did injustice to the book" in what way? You're not all Alan Moore so take a second to rewatch this movie and realize it's artistic brilliance. I was rereading through watchmen thinking how hard it would be to tackle such a complex piece of work and have it all make sense on the screen and incorporate more of what was going on than the text suggested and they really could NOT have done a better job.

3. A Serious Man-I recommended this film to my parents and they hated it. I guess if you enjoy movies like "The Proposal" with Sandra Bulloch performing Low by Lil Jon you're not going to enjoy the C brother's latest film, which is also a masterpiece. Thanks to Sy Ableman, the life of a Jewish man whose been stepped on his whole life is getting worse and worse. To quote the great filmmaker Jake Topkis "they had you right in the place they wanted the audience the entire time" and I couldn't agree more. The directing was just superb. One of the best directed films I've ever seen. This film takes cinematography and direction to the highest form of art and guess what? It's hilarious too. I laughed throughout. Of course you have to have a dark sense of humor to appreciate it.

4. Coraline-Thanks Henry Selick, I appreciate it. I really do. Not since Nightmare have I been blow away by some wimsy 3D stop motion weirdness like this and this is really a great film. I went to the theater by myself and not only was there depth in the picture thanks to supposed 3D but it was just a great story with great visuals and I loved it. I was completely taken with the film as soon as the movie ended. Like blown away. This just further proves that Tim Burton is losing his touch or had none in the first place too because clearly Selick is more than capable of making a beautiful film without him and I now consider Nightmare to be a work more of his. So it's an adaptation of a Gaiman book as well.

5. Paranormal Activity-Never has a film gone for realism in horror and done it so well. This film is terrifying. I don't know if you can get the same thrills out of a DVD that I got sitting in a theater with my friends who were equally scared but you can laugh at this film all you want...on some level it is CHILLING. It stuck with me too and I had trouble sleeping that night. What films have accomplished that on a horror buff like me? Very very few. I haven't liked a main stream horror film this much since The Strangers, which didn't scare me so much as amuse me. I was glued to my seat like a 12 year old. I hope yearly screenings of this return to theaters so audiences can continue to get that experience.

6. UP IN THE AIR!!!!! I had originally put Harry Potter as #6, but after seeing Reitman's new film Up in the Air starring George Clooney among others (also an appearance from Zach Gally) This one easily bumps Harry Potter out of the top ten list in terms of greatness and importance. Very solid film and I liked it alot. There's a bit of romantic comedy but there's also a bit of true life crisis elements and intensive thought and reasoning involved.

Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince-Easily the best film in the Potter franchise to date. This is saying alot since I'm not particularly fond of the book and I had pretty strong feelings for the 4th movie and book. (Yeah I know what you all think and I still think the 3rd movie is crap). The Cinematography here is just BRILLIANT. I dare say it's almost more than the franchise deserves in terms of creature designs and the dark atmosphere. It's just ..magical looking. So I guess they accomplished their goal. And Alan Rickman is always great in this role too.

7. Whatever Works-Woody Allen and Larry David working together. Larry David playing Woody Allen and dating younger women as he ponders suicide and counts his neurotic tendencies. Do I have to say more?

8. The Hangover-Zach Galifinakis has made a movie. I mean that in the technical sense that if not for Zach Galifinakis this movie would suck. I'm a huge fan of his work and he carries this film from start to finish with weird one liners and the kind of humor that only he can provide. He's a great man in the comedy film industry. The other actors are ok but I wasn't really paying much attention to them.

9. Drag Me To Hell-Sam Raimi delivers with a great slapstick horror movie complete with blood and flying limbs and puss and the kind of shit you'd expect from Evil Dead. It's been a long time and it's nice to see him doing something he's great at doing. From a one on one fight to an old woman to seeing people literally pulled under the earth, this film is a lot of fun. Memorable scenes to.

10. District 9-I'm struggling to include this film in any top ten list, even in the 10th slot but I guess that just shows what's happened to cinema in 2009. But don't get me wrong, this is a good film. A grotesque documentary style look at what would happen if aliens landed on earth. Probably the truest account of alien life we've seen to date on film because god knows the government would try to micromanage everything. The film seems heavy handed though once it gets confident and finds its stride at about the half way point, but still a great work of sci fi.

and now that that's said and done (as much as I enjoyed Gi Joe for entertainment value, in good conscience I can't include a dumb film like that in any sort of top ten list) I'm going to list the worst films of 2009, at least that I saw.

1. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen-Everything about this film is shit. As I once said, it's like wet fart. Like someone jumped on the projector and spread their cheeks and let it rip after eating a 3 course meal at taco bell. I can barely impart into words how bad this film is. I'd go so far as to say if you think this is a good movie than I have no business being friends with you and you should delete me from your friends list now. I pity everyone involved in this piece of shit except Michael Bay, who should probably go to hell for this (or previous offenses). John Turturro and Hugo Weaving deserve better.

2. X Men Origins Wolverine-complete with lolz and walking away from explosions, Hugh Jackman delivers a shitty and disjointed look at the earlier life of Wolverine. It's bad and it makes little sense and while I tried to like it at first, it's just a sad excuse for a superhero film.

3. Year One-I love Jack black so what happened here? I blame Michael Cera for sucking in everything. He's the only person who can appear in a tim and eric skit and I'm not laughing at them and he's done just that too. Go play a different character Michael Cera.

4. Public Enemies-It's not that this is on the same calibur as Transformers and the others, it's just that I expected SO much more. They shoot on a handycam. It's boring. It's like a made for TV movie with the song from the trailer reused several times throughout. What went wrong here? Johnny Depp is pretty wooden in the role. The only good part actually is Christian Bale. For such a bad actor I liked him in this part, which is surprising. I totally expected something great here though.

5. The Proposal-I explained what was wrong with this shitty romantic comedy somewhere else in my little article here.

This concludes the first blog post. Celebrate.