Archive for the ‘movie’ Category

Sorry to issue the high alert. Please rest assured that my Eggo is safe. The danger is only figurative.

For now.

But we still have to talk about some things.

First the Fat Boys break up; now every day I wake up, somebody takes something away. My childhood memories are under attack. Maybe yours, too.

There were the new Looney Toons a few years ago that WB called the “Loonatics.”

(Scare the hope and dreams out of children much? They made toys of those; in prisons, probably, considering how much they look like the original models were just sharpened into shivs.)

There was that Alvin and the Chipmunks with Jason Lee.1

(By the way, what are those? And is the new Theodore wearing ski goggles? Apparently he’s gearing up for the Giant Slalom life becomes after childhood.2)

Then they started committing to making movies out of some of my favorite games; out of some of my favorite memories.







But why?! Why are they doing this to me? Leave. my memories. alone. I expected to die with them intact, absent whatever frequent nights of drinking and tangentially related repression have cost me. I expected that when I was 80 or so, I could tell kids about Risk, a game of world domination, and that they’d assume I was just talking the crazy, not that they’d know it as the feature film starring Will Smith as Barack Obama.

I just want things to be the way they used to be. I want my baby back, baby back, baby back. And I don’t mean Chili’s baby back ribs;4 I mean the light in my eyes that is starting to dim.

I also want an explanation. Does no one have any ideas for movies? Because if paying people to sit in a room and decide things like “how to make Battleship a movie” is what Hollywood is doing these days, I, too, often have less developed ideas than chimps do and I can be out to L.A. by the end of the day.


1Why, Jason? Why?

2This ski reference was one big excuse to remember Picabo Street. Yep: just because.

3Neveryoumind that this whole Monopoly City Streets project between Hasbro and Google sounds awesome. Let’s assume that doesn’t shred my point to pieces.

4Barbecue sauce.


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homer screamI would like to be scared.

I probably shouldn’t have said that.  It implies that I, a dude, can get scared, when we all know that real dudes don’t get scared unless there’s a threat of a testicular nature.  I am a Real Man of Genius1 and I should carry myself accordingly at all times.

However, I would still like to be scared.

It’s that time of year.  There’s something amongst us.  I can feel it coming in the air tonight.  Oh, lord.2 And I want to celebrate it.  So I’ve started looking for movies.

I haven’t had a good run with “scary” movies.  I remember that I thought The Blair Witch Project was decidedly not scary.  Actually, I watched it with my mom, aunt and little brother and we all shared laughter, not fear.  I tried to watch The Others, but fell asleep.  I just had to know why there was a Saw IV a few years ago, so I made Miss Bianca sit with me through the first three and then went to the theater to see the fourth.  We were disgusted — seriously, seriously disgusted — but not really scared.

Now it’s 2009, there’s yet another Saw movie and I don’t really know where to turn.

Maybe Paranormal Activity?  Would that make me shrink in my seat like a willfully-single dude during the garter toss at a wedding reception?  I don’t know.  I hope so.  Because I’m out of ideas.

I remember how spooked The Exorcist had me for months.  At that point in life, I was still going to church under the religious watch of my father.  Church instills all sorts of impressions of what Satan is, but rarely visions.  And so that scene where the devil is dancing on the end of her bed was a complete metaphysical disaster for 8 year-old me.  I’ve grown far apart from that specific fear, but I’d still love to doubt whether I should turn out the lights for a few nights.

I could just adjust my Netflix queue, pushing a bunch of movies on “top ten scariest…” lists toward the top, but with less than a week before Halloween and a TV week featuring Community, Always Sunny, MNF, SYTYCD (twice), Top Chef, Cougar Town, Modern Family and playoff baseball, there’s no way I’ll have time to sift through supposedly scary movies.  I’d have to luck my way into a diamond in the rough.  I need one, solid scary movie that I can count on.

But it’s like movie houses are afraid of genuine fear.  Everywhere I look, there’s nothing but ironic fright and poor attempts at mysteries with disconnected plot lines.

Also, this has little to do with anything, but I’ve got a pretty serious hankering for some Ecto Cooler.  Eh?

ecto cooler




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poking the wall

(Warning: this post is not actually about Facebook.)

You could rank the anticipation of it somewhere between the second-coming and The Return of Jafar.

Facebook-The-MovieThat’s right.  The movie.

I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now.  I’m sure you have at least a dozen reasons why this movie should not be made.  I have a baker’s dozen.  But like I warned, this is not about Facebook.  This is about the movie.

So far, Columbia Pictures had its screenplay — courtesy of Aaron Sorkin — and its director — David Fincher.  But now, ladies and gentlemen, we are starting to see the formation of a cast.

The “film” is going to be based on the social network-founding trinity: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker.  In order, the actors who will play those roles:

Jesse Eisenberg
Andrew Garfield
Justin Timberlake

Yes, you read that correctly.  Justin Timberlake.  Bringer-back of sexy, serenader of señoritas and Emmy-winning SNL skit performer.

I’m not lying.  Read for yourself, if you must.  Variety.com doesn’t fail.

Now, look: Justin’s a pretty talented dude.  I don’t want to get on his bad side because, like Scarlett Johansson learned, what goes around comes back around.  And, honestly, every time you ask yourself¹ whether an NSYNC member should have extended pop’s stranglehold on the charts by becoming so successful at a solo career, remember that it could have been JC Chasez rather than Justin.  And imagine if you had to see JC Chasez on your TV multiple times a week.


But the real point is that they’ve taken a less-appealing-by-the-day social platform, made a movie about it and chosen arguably one of the top 5 stars in the world to be one of its featured actors.  There’s no way this doesn’t become an absolute spectacle.  And I don’t even mean the hype around the movie.  I mean the movie itself.

How so?

An example: let’s say you go see this movie (drunk; you and some friends each downed a pitcher before heading in).  You’re about 40 minutes in and JT says something about “poking” or how he’d “post it up, up against the wall.”  At that point, you know you might as well just leave because you’re not going to make it to the end anyway.  You’ll stumble out into the hallway, laughing hysterically and you won’t even want your money back because you haven’t laughed that hard in a while (totally worth 10 bucks).  You’ll pull out your phone, tweet about it and head to a bar where the bunch of you can continue wondering why anyone would let this movie happen.


¹And I know you do.

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You were supposed to be my One.  We gotta get back to the start.

I remember how it all began: me with a computer, but no TV in my bedroom, and you with a seemingly endless array of movie and TV titles on DVD.

You had my heart, Netflix.

Somewhere along the line, though, I became content being just one of your 10 million subscribers.  I stopped asking for more than just enough.  You see, there’s a difference between the bare necessities — the simple bare necessities that let you forget about your worries and your strife¹ — and the bare minimum.

I should’ve known better.  I knew the way you’d treated other men you’ve been with.²  And yet, I fell into your trap.

And now, I’ve had Dick Tracy sitting in a familiar, but stranded, red paper sleeve since the first week of July.

It’s not fair to me.  It’s not fair to Dick Tracy.  But I gotta let it go, baby.  I gotta let it go.

Sure, I could wait until that one night when the stars align, my schedule empties and there’s nothing I want more than a strong ale and to reconnect with the story of a yellow-overcoated detective this generation has forgotten.

But, Netflix, if you don’t know me by now, you will never, never, never know me.³  And if, after 7 weeks, I haven’t made time for Warren Beatty and Madonna — perhaps in the only film other than A League of Their Own that she hasn’t outright destroyed — then I will never make time.

Sometimes, you just gotta know when to walk away; or, to drop something back in the mailbox without having watched it and get something new from your queue.

This is that time.

I’m sorry Dick Tracy got caught in the middle.  I never meant for this to happen.

¹“Bare Necessities” – The Jungle Book
²“Luck Be A Lady” – Frank Sinatra
³“If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

(Note: the Disney drawing from Friday will happen tonight.  So tune in tomorrow to see if you won.)

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Throw your hands in the air!
*crowd thrusts hands*

And wave ’em around like you’re screaming for your life!
*crowd drops hands, wonders wtf is going on*

Cuz it’s Shark Week, mofos!
*crowd catches on, recommences hand-waving*

Shark Week _ Discovery Channel _ Shark Behavior and Conservation

That’s right: Shark Week.  It’s the week when the Discovery Channel strives to convince us that sharks are just misunderstood, intelligent killing machines and not just, well, mere killing machines, I guess.  It’s the week when the Discovery building in nearby Silver Spring, MD is adorned with huge shark-like features.

credit: adrants.com

credit: adrants.com

It’s also the week when I sit and stare at it all on my TV screen like it’s a three-car pile-up on the highway.  I don’t know why, but learning in explicit detail about all the ways a shark could interrupt my life expectancy is riveting.

After years of having watched the week-long infotainment special, I know exactly how to avoid/survive a shark attack:

  1. Stay on land.
  2. Do not go in any non-human-made water; not even to retrieve a loved one.  A real loved one would understand.
  3. Chivalry is not dead.  When it comes to shark-infested water, women and children go first.
  4. The only fool-proof flotation device is a continent.  Find one and stay on it.
  5. If all else fails and you are in the water with a shark because you have ignored rules 1-4, punch that bastard in the eye until it lets go or eats your hand.

Now that I saved your life, in honor of Shark Week, I would like to share with you another of my biggest fears.

ET the movieYep.  E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.

Not E.T. himself, but the movie.  I own it, but I can’t watch it.  It’s not because I have separation anxiety or anything, such that the symbolism strikes at any childhood issues.  Nope.  It’s that scene where they’ve got the whole house on lockdown and it looks like they’ve moved in the United Nations’ weapons of mass destruction inspectors to search the premises.

See?  See how I can’t even really describe the scene?  I remember them in some sort of bee keeper suits; but not your average bee keeper suits.  They were like suits for keepers who kept radioactive, alien bees.  And I hate bees.  And I remember them trying to quarantine everything in sight.  And the horror.  I remember the horror.

Am I anywhere near right on this?  Did this scene even actually happen?  I know I could just reach to my right about 5 feet, grab the movie and solve this.  Chances are that even if I am right, I wouldn’t be scared anymore if I watched it.  But that’s what Steven Spielberg would want me to think.  I’m not taking that chance.

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Bored out of my mind, I sat down Sunday afternoon to find a marathon on TV.  Actually, a TV marathon is the only marathon I’ve ever completed.  It takes a special kind of fitness.  It’s the only kind of marathon that is easier to finish the less you train.  My regiment is food-based: 30 minutes of chewing for every hour of viewing.

Doubtful my pride could sustain another Domino’s pasta bread bowl…

pasta bread bowl… I threw a DiGiorno’s in the oven and felt only marginally better about myself.

What did I watch?  VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs.  Awesome?  Of course.  But five things¹:

1. Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh’s The Show was number 51.

That’s a travesty of epic proportions.  Not even the top 50?  I can’t even count the tracks since then that have sampled different parts of this song.  Actually, some of the songs ranked higher on the list sampled it.

I couldn’t even find a video with the whole 6 minutes.  Why?  Bandwidth limits on genius.  The ranking was off by about 45 songs — easily.

2.  I heard Soulja Boy say the first rap record he ever bought was 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”  And you know what?  That explains everything.  Also: how old does that make me, then?  Damn.

3. There was a show on MTV called Celebrity Rap Superstar a couple of years ago.  I didn’t know until yesterday.  How bad was it?

That’s your answer.

4. I can still do the Kid ‘n Play.  All I need’s a house party.

5. But most importantly, where’s my kangol?  It looked like this

kangolstore.com - authentic KANGOL hats, KANGOL bags, KANGOL accessories… except the roo and letters were gold.  And the weirdest thing is that I didn’t lose it in 1987.  I lost it sometime after 2005.

Have you seen her? I want it back.²

¹For the best lists of five on the internet, though, go here.
²Yes: that is the entire point of this post.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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I usually can’t stand when people start a sentence with “I don’t do” and end it with an inanimate object or concept, like “showers,” or “mornings.”  Nonetheless…

I don’t do open water.

So it should it go without saying that I’ve never seen the movie by that name:

Yet for reasons unknown, I’m fascinated by the causes for the fear: the bigdamnfish that live beneath the surface.  For example, I’m always glued to my TV during shark week on the Discovery Channel and can’t wait until late this July when the Discovery building in nearby Silver Spring will be adorned with its annual shark head, tail and fins:

credit: adrants.com

credit: adrants.com

This same fascination led to me watching something like seven episodes of River Monsters on Animal Planet yesterday.  The entire, outward point of this show is to freak people like me out.  Actually, I think it said “Here’s f***ing with you, f.B” in the credits.  The host, Jeremy Wade, gets paid to assure people like me that despite what we may have considered our worst fears about open water in seas and oceans, there are actually man-eating, flesh-craving beasts of unimaginable sizes in the fresh water we assumed was safer.  These fresh water fish don’t play by the rules and, due to the oft murky water in which they live, can’t tell their anal fins from their pectoral fins, let alone my leg from a meal.

So what did I learn after seven hours?
1. Jeremy Wade is a heartless bastard.
2. I now also don’t do closed water, fresh water or any other collection of water not in a bathtub or loaded with safe-levels of chlorine.
3. Grey’s Anatomy actually bases some of its shows on fact.

Remember?  There was that Grey’s episode featuring a guy with a fish in his penis two years ago.  And guess who thought it was just some sort of Amazonian myth.  Yep: me.  But it’s not.

On episode number seven, yesterday — notice, it was the last episode I decided to watch — a guy was trying to urinate in the river.  And guess what?  A candirú swam up his urine stream and into his happy branch.  Frightened beyond belief, he looked down and the damn thing was hanging out.  By the time he got to the hospital, this 5-6 inches long fish was trying to gnaw its way out through the sphincter; through, the, sphincter.


Don’t judge me if, this summer and for the rest of my life, I avoid the kinds of adventures and experiences that include “risk of fish in penis.”  I fully plan to take some time here and there and have fun.  And hopefully that’ll include a resort or some beach-side vacationing.  But I will not — I stress, will not — allow my urethra to become a link in the food chain.  I’m just not that kind of guy.

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