Category Archives: Life

No girls allowed!

I’m kinda steamed, kids. I’m annoyed, I need my fangs milked (not a sexual innuendo…this time), and I’m about to start pointing fingers. If you’re the reactionary type, maybe skip this one…

 

DC Comics is doing a line of Joker-themed variant covers for their books in June. The cover to Batgirl #41, has been cancelled. It was cancelled because of whining. Take a look.

jokerPersonally, I think it’s pretty great. For long-time fans, it’s instantly evocative of Alan Moore’s classic story The Killing Joke, a story that was extremely important for Batgirl. It provided something that most comic book characters never get; character progression. After The Killing Joke, Batgirl as we knew her was gone for decades, and Barbara Gordon was forced to find a new niche in the DC Universe as Oracle, a character that was interesting and popular.

Even if you’re not familiar with this story, the cover is visually striking. The mind immediately begins to wonder what’s going on. It’s sinister in a way that’s so playful as to make it more sinister. It makes the viewer concerned for Batgirl’s welfare, wondering how she’ll overcome this situation. It accomplishes what art is supposed to; it makes you feel something.

Just kidding, it glorifies violence against women.

Seriously, people were so incensed by this one simple image, that letters had to be written, tweets had to be tweeted, shitty blog posts were posted (ooh, how meta), all about how misogynistic this was. It should be noted that it was also pointed out how awful it was that Joker’s gun is pointing downward, further hinting that maybe Barbara was molested during The Killing Joke…because it couldn’t possibly be just how a pistol would happen to hang if the hand holding it was draped over someone’s shoulder. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

Are we supposed to pretend that in the gritty, violent world of costumed weirdos who live for little else than beating each other senseless, that women are somehow safe from all harm now? It kid of solidifies The Joker’s status as a villain if he can just show up and torment anyone he wants, doesn’t it? No, he can only get into fistfights with Batman. That’s safe an inoffensive. He can also cave in the occasional Robin’s skull with a crowbar, so long as said Boy Wonder is, in fact, a boy. Come on people, when did we decide that villains have to be politically correct?

Well, congratulations, idiots, the cover has been cancelled, you can go about your fantasy life that bad things in fiction only happen to people you want it to.

And while I’m working so hard at alienating fifty percent of the world’s population, I want to touch on something else. Ghostbusters.

It seems that humanity has collectively given up on Bill Murray agreeing to do Ghostbusters 3. That’s a shame, but something we all have to deal with, and we dealt with it in a pretty okay way; it was announced that a new, all-female cast would be rebooting the franchise. My sphincter immediately tensed up at the thought of another reboot, but I was impressed by the cast, so I made peace with it. Funny ladies are funny ladies, I wasn’t really looking at it as any kind of progressive thing, other than progress for the Ghostbusters franchise. Then the unspeakable happened…which I’ll speak of now.

It was announced that a second Ghostbusters movie was being produced, with Channing Tatum and probably Chris Pratt attached. Wow, thought my simple and terrible man-brain, Twenty-five years of no Ghostbusters, and now we get two? That’s great, right? No, it’s apparently awful! How dare men get to be Ghostbusters too! Internet opinion-spewers like charming Nerdist spokesbeing Jessica Chobot expressed their disdain at this terrible act of male oppression. Speaking of which, I’d just like to compare credentials here for a second…

Eat your heart out

Eat your heart out

I don’t get it. How is everyone getting something a bad thing? I understand how women should be happy that they’re getting represented in this, but then why are men not allowed to want that too? Sounds to me like equality isn’t equal. All this ballyhoo is really getting us nowhere.

Recently, on aintitcool.com, contributor Jeremy Smith wrote an article about Neil Blomkamp’s upcoming Alien sequel. He criticized Blomkamp for having reservations about his qualifications. Good for him. If you’re as much of a rookie as he is, approaching a beloved franchise like this should be a humbling and nerve-wracking proposition. It’s nice to see an artist not approaching their craft like a damn narcissist for a change. But Smith bellyaches that the task wasn’t given to a woman filmmaker. I’m sorry, I didn’t know this was an issue here. Blomkamp did some sketches, the studio was blown away by them and quickly contracted him to make something out of it. Should they have instead said “This Alien concept art is brilliant, too bad they weren’t done by a woman, then we could make a movie!” If you think the answer is “yes”, go away.

So what’s the takeaway from this? Well, probably that I’m some sort of cro-magnon man. But if you’re of rational mind and not tragically brain-damaged, it’s that none of this shit matters. Art should be shocking sometimes, otherwise it’s not art. Two Ghostbusters movies? Two Ghostbusters movies, people, that’s awesome! A new Alien movie that could be really cool? I don’t care who makes it, that’s great too! I’m not saying I don’t want movies starring or made by women, just the opposite, they recently announced a new Star Wars movie entitled Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones. That sounds like a movie about a female X-Wing pilot, and that sounds amazing. I can’t wait for that. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is, we should all unbunch our panties, and stop listening to bloggers.

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Beloved franchises…that actually mostly suck

We have a lot of long-running entertainment franchises these days that have developed rabid fan followings. With increasing frequency, these franchises crap out sequel after dreadful sequel that are instantly thrown on the pile of loathsome offerings that make us wonder why we ever liked this shit. This usually occurs with film franchises, television tends to get cancelled quickly when it goes to seed, but sometimes this phenomenon occurs within other media. Here now, I take a look at some of these franchises that were terrible far longer than they were good.

HELLRAISER

Look, an Ouya!

Look, an Ouya!

I loves me some Hellraiser, it was one of the most innovative and imaginatively brutal horror series around…briefly. There are nine Hellraiser movies. The first one is great. The second one is quite good. The third one…happened. The fourth one was better than it should have been. The rest were a dumpster fire. Cenobites that throw CDs, kung-fu cowboy demons, and scripts that had Hellraiser stuff hastily tacked on in order to retain the license have made this franchise a fucked-out shell of the genius it once was. One of the sequels even involves Hellraiser being just a big video game…that’s clever, sadly Frankie Munez must’ve been been too busy to be in that one. Too bad Lance Henriksen wasn’t. It’s ok Lance, we still love you.

This series is set for a reboot soon, under the guidance of creator Clive Barker. This is one of the few times I’ve been looking forward to a reboot. Seriously, CDs? Who throws CDs? Maybe the reboot will have a guy throw MP3s…not sure how that would kill people.

Play Freebird...you piece of shit.

Play Freebird…you piece of shit.

HIGHLANDER

I can't find it in myself to make fun of this, it's just too cool.

I can’t find it in myself to make fun of this, it’s just too cool.

Highlander was awesome. It had a rockin’ Queen soundtrack, cool swordfights, and an interesting concept that stirred the imagination. Then Highlander 2 happened. Then everything else Highlander happened. That was a shame. The Highlander sequels involved aliens, wizards, time travel, the Syfy Channel, all kinds of horseshit that’s known to ruin franchises. There have been 4 theatrical releases, a made for tv movie, two television series, an animated series, and an anime movie. Also, the first movie was good.

Some people really liked the TV series, well, the first one, not “The Raven”, but there are also people who enjoy having entire fists shoved up their assholes. Seriously, look it up. Whole human fists.

Just like a fist up the ass, Highlander well overstayed its welcome and ruined all the goodwill it had earned, making us wonder why we ever liked it in the first place. Oh yeah, the Queen soundtrack.

THIS, on the other hand...

THIS, on the other hand…

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Radical!

Radical!

Man, Sonic the Hedgehog was cool. The running fast, the loop-de-loops, the snarky attitude, the…blast processing, it was great. Then the 90’s ended. Sonic hasn’t had a really good game since Sonic and Knuckles, once the days of 2D platformers ended, Sonic found himself a man without a country. Unable to hang in an era of 3D games and polygons, Sonic hasn’t fared well, yet we just can’t seem to stop making bad attempts to make him seem relevant again, despite more failures than successes.  As painful as it is, it may be time for Sonic to hang up his red sneakers. There’s a farm upstate he could go live on. There’s room to run around there, and other hedgehogs to play with…he’ll be much happier.

Yeah...shit got weird.

Yeah…shit got weird.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

Yaaay!

Yaaay!

Pirates of the Caribbean was a great movie. It was a fun, lighthearted adventure full of interesting characters and cool action. Then they made more of them, and Johnny Depp owes me six hours of my life back. The first sequel, Dead Man’s Chest, wasn’t too bad, but then At World’s End happened, and we were subjected to what felt like days of Jack Sparrow looking for a fucking peanut, and the filmmakers desperately trying to make Elizabeth Swan seem like a likable and important main character, as opposed to an insufferable bag of shit. I had actually forgotten about the latest entry in the series, and I paid money to see it in a theatre, which means I left my house at some point. 25% success rate is not a good number to base your series on.

When I said "grow a personality",  you didn't have to be a dick about it!

When I said “grow a personality”, you didn’t have to be a dick about it!

These are just some of examples that jumped to mind in my sweaty, gravy-induced stupor. I’m sure there are plenty of others out there that eluded me. I contemplated Heroes, but since I haven’t finished it yet, it’d be based on hearsay, and that’s just unamerican, so sound off and tell me some franchises you think were more shit than shinola!

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Love that show!…hate that guy!

As I find myself unemployed once again, I find my TV watching time increasing again. Shocking corollary, huh? Still, I find myself thinking about how some of the shows we find ourselves watching for countless hours seem to have protagonists that aren’t necessarily all that likable. Now I’m not talking about shows like Breaking Bad, where part of the drama is watching the main character slowly change into someone worse than he was when he started. Also excluded are shows like Hannibal and Dexter where we know the protagonist is a monster, but they show us that they’re also a human being. No, what I’m talking about are cases where we’re, so it would seem, supposed to like these characters, but they just…well, suck.
Also, be prepared for spoilers.
WEEDS
She's like, almost 50...sexy, sexy Grandma...

She’s like, almost 50…sexy, sexy Grandma…

 
This one almost fell into that Breaking Bad “watch them go bad” category, but it played out differently. It starts innocently enough, suburban widow sells pot to make ends meet, but the main character, Nancy very quickly turns into someone we don’t like. Not so much because she’s doing something unscrupulous to get by, but because she becomes a self-centered, morally bankrupt little bitch in record time. Between her ruining the lives of everyone around her and fucking any shitheel that can further her selfish whims, she makes Walter White looks sympathetic.
It doesn’t help that this series ran too long for it’s own good. What took 8 seasons that drug on at times, probably could have been cleaned up into a more enjoyable 4 or 5 season run. By the time the series less than satisfying, but still emotionally draining finale rolls around, Nancy has, by way of massive head trauma (seriously), calmed her shit down, but the damage had already been done.
 
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Oh my gawd, can you believe how low the thread count is on these prison sheets?

Oh my gawd, can you believe how low the thread count is on these prison sheets?

 
Like any good honkey, I binged on two seasons of Orange is the New Black, and shall feel a profound emptiness until more is released. That being said, I noticed that the main character, Piper, quickly went from sympathetic fish out of water to someone I desperately wanted to see get shanked with a sharpened toothbrush handle. 
With it’s well-defined characters, it can be easy to forget that everyone on the show is some kind of lowlife (otherwise they wouldn’t be in prison), but despite Piper’s relatively mild crimes, being screwed over by former lover turned inmate Alex (who’s also a grade-A piece of shit) for muling drugs, her “oh no, I’m a normal girl in harsh surroundings, whatever shall I do?” routine gets real old real fast. Compound that with her straight up cheating on her Finance’, and she goes from annoying to legitimately shitty. Add to that that her cohort, Alex somehow manages to be mindbogglingly pretentious, even in fucking prison, and you’ve quite the pair of fuckups.
Like WeedsOrange is the New Black is the brainchild of Jenji Kohan, who seems to have a knack for compelling dramas starring terrible people.
 
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
 
Why yes, I am that guy from Starship Troopers.

Why yes, I am that guy from Starship Troopers.

 
I’m giving this one partial credit. Most of the cast are relatable, and even likable. The main offender here is Barney Stinson. Egomaniacal, womanizing, conniving, suit-fetishising Barney. Originator of the “Bro Code”, Barney is that friend we all have that would take a blowtorch to your genitals if it’d somehow let him squeeze your sister’s boob. Now stop and think about what kind of situation would cause those particular circumstances. Makes me glad I don’t have a sister. I don’t want my dinky melted just so that bastard can get his stupid paws on that bitch’s filthy tit. God, I hate her.
Nevertheless, everyone loves Barney. I think that’s because he’s not real. I’ve known people frighteningly like Barney in real life, and they’re a lot more fun when they’re trapped in the magic picture box.
And now to secure my spot on the couch…
 
THE GILMORE GIRLS
 
Baphomet and Mephistopholes, bouncy bouncy bounce...

Baphomet and Mephistopholes, bouncy bouncy bounce…

 
Oh damn, it feels good to say it. My wife is a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan. Seriously, she’s like nine feet tall. It’s fucking terrifying. I consider myself a Gilmore Girls survivor. I’ve sat through more hours of this show than I can count. I felt like that poor dude from Clockwork Orange.
 
La la la la lalala la la...

La la la la lalala la la…

 
Seriously, there’s something about this show that feels like a million angry bees in my head that just found out the game’s been rained out. Like…bees that are Raiders fans. I get that this show is not for me. I am not the target demographic.. That being said, I’m not the demographic for mydol either, but boy does it make me feel peppy. 
The thing that seems to elude most people though, is that these bitches are pure fucking evil. I have no problem with strong independent female protagonists, girl power, bubblegum, stickers, all that shit. Good for you, ladies, you can vote now. I vote you make me a sandwich. Regardless though, these women are fucking jerks. Think about it. Every male character in the show is either made a fool of, or manipulated terribly before these succubi get bored and ruin their lives. Take the example of Dean, brother of Dean. Strung along by Harpy the younger for months until the town bad boy shows up. at which point she dumps him like a sack of things you dump. Only when Pouty McHeroes leaves and rejects her and Dead, Brother of Dean is happily married, does she decide to bone him, thus ruining his new freedom…she also leaves him again.
This show could have been called “Two Hot Demons”, and it would have made just as much sense. The degree of shittyness that these two display over the course of…of fuck, the wife’s coming!

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Some Random Stuff…

I had one last post about horror movies to cap off October right, but WordPress decided to shit the proverbial bed and not publish or save it. Basically, watch the V/H/S/ movies, they’re pretty cool. There, now you’re all caught up.

I was going to blog about some other things, but my laptop charger decided to also shit where it sleeps in spectacular, smoke-filled fashion. That’s what I get for buying cheap, Chinese electronics. I’d say buy American, but don’t even get me started about America right now. There are a lot of things that you probably shouldn’t get me started about, but feel free. Also, my desktop, never one to be one-upped, decided to also poop the linens, hence the lack of posting.

I don’t have a lot to say about much, but I do have a little to say about a lot, so here goes nothing…

I was going to return to my roots, and post a picture of Katherine Heigl’s underwear…for the hits…but there don’t seem to be any more. Surely the end is nigh. Also, why is the end the only thing that ever seems to be nigh. I ordered a pizza from Domino’s twenty minutes ago, doesn’t it seem like maybe that’s nigh too? No, just the end.

I’m not going to dignify recent TV related events with an opinion, but I’m also of the opinion that the world would be a much happier place if people would stop feeling ways about things, or at least stop talking about them. It’s bothersome. Also, we’ve all been played like good little marionettes. Look at the birdy, kids, and ignore the wolves.

The new Robocop remake comes out soon, and that bums me out. Not just for the reason that it should bum everyone out, but because I’m sure they still won’t explain how he poops.

People seem touchier about things than they did wehen I was a kid, but about vastly different things.

Once the rest of the states legalize marijuana, can we start rallying to legalize cocaine? You know, a real man’s drug? Shit.

Jersey Shore kinda stopped being funny when they all got sober. That should say something about us as a people.

Once upon a time we all had jobs and watched shows about fictional things to unwind. Now we havve no jobs, and watch reality shows about people with jobs and wish we were like them.

New York banned ecigs so that people wouldn’t get confused because they look like cigarettes. You know what? I fucking want those people to be confused! First you get confused, then you learn something. If you don’t learn, then go dance into traffic and let the collective IQ go up a point or two. I’m tired of molly coddling the stupid. We’re impeding natural selection by protecting idiots. It’s not good for society.

“Children, God has bore a son. As such, you’re getting new bikes.” How did that happen?

I feel like Peter Jackson should get a tattoo of my battered face on his neck. Maybe I’ll talk about that next time.

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MARTYRS

Martyrs

 

October marches on and with it, an increased desire for horror. This time around, I’ve forgone the usual creature feature fare for something truly scary on a much deeper level. Martyrs is a French film from 2008 by Pascal Laugier. It never really got a big release here in ‘merica, which is a shame, because this is a deeply upsetting movie, but also really makes you think. What’s an even bigger shame is that there’s a ‘merican remake in the works. Bigger still on the shameometer is that it’s reported that the ‘merican ending will be happier and more hopeful. You’d kind of have to see the movie to understand why that’s such a bad thing.

The story seems a simple enough affar about a girl who escapes imprisonment and abuse and is put in an orphanage. She befriends another orphan, and years later finds the people responsible for her childhood abuse and seeks revenge. This sounds like pretty standard fare. Not too thrilling, but servicable. What follows however is a deep look into the one thing that every person, believer and skeptic alike has pondered: is there an afterlife? The long and veiny of it is that there’s a secret organization looking to find a martyr; someeone who, in the face of unbearable agony at the brink of death, sees what lies beyond. They hope to uncover the ultimate secret. Do we ascend to the realm of a just and loving God, or are we wrapped in the pretentious and snarky tendrils of the Spaghetti Monster?

Tasty be thy name

Tasty be thy name

What follows is an amazing display of brutality that’s genuinely difficult to watch at times, culminating in one of the most gut-wrenching tortures seen in a horror movie. All of this is wrapped in a story too deep and thoughtful to simply classify as “torture porn”.

There’s not a lot more that can be said about this without giving away things best left experienced firsthand. If you’re looking for a horror movie, there’s not much more horrific on a visceral or spiritual level than Martyrs.

...just because.

…just because.

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Unpopular Opinions…

Oh yeah, I gots ’em. I think tonight would be a good time to discuss some opinions that many people (possibly even YOU) just plain won’t agree with. Then I’m going to explain why I’m right, so you too can join the path of rightness and agree with me. I’ll spare you all the explanation of why every girl I went to high school with was a lesbian,, and you get +2 smart people points if you get that joke without having to ask.

P.S., we can”t stop here, this is SPOILER country.

DON’T BRING BACK FIREFLY

All our friends are dead, but please, let's entertain you.

All our friends are dead, but please, let’s entertain you.

That’s right, don’t! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Firefly,, it was a great show that should have run at least ten seasons, but did you see Serenity? I did. It wrapped the story up nicely. Sure, there are plenty more stories you could tell about those characters..but I kinda don’t want to see them. Part of what makes Joss Whedon such a great storyteller is his ability to balance an ensemble. He did the impossible with The Avengers, applying his trademark “everyone gets a piece of cake, even Milton” style to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

That being said, why would you want to watch a show about a spaceship full of sad people flying around missing their newly dead friends? That’s just messed up, bro.

ENOUGH WITH THE DAMN ZOMBIES

Braaaaaiiiiiins....grow some...

Braaaaaiiiiiins….grow some…

I used to love zombie movies. They were great! You also had to burn a few calories to find them. There just weren’t that many zombie movies back in the day, at least not like today, but when you found one, even if it was awful, it was pretty great.

Nowadays, zombies vare just plain fucking everywhere. When the Xbox 360 launched, Dead Rising was a must-play curiosity, just because of concept (the game itself was maddening, but that’s not the point). Now you can’t swing a dead, well, a reanimated dead human without hitting another zombie game. Not only that, but woe be unto any game that ships without a zombie bonus mode or a zombie-themed DLC.

It’s done. It’s over. Seriously. Let’s move on to something else for a while…how about mummies? Besides, you know you’ve beaten a dead (zombie) horse enough when even Star Wars is getting in on your trend.

Surely you can handle just ONE more...

Surely you can handle just ONE more…

Which leads me to…

THE STAR WARS PREQUELS WEREN’T THAT BAD

Joy? No, we apparently hate that here.

Joy? No, we apparently hate that here.

Sit down junior, and let daddy explain! I know defending the prequels is like saying that Hitler was “kind of cute”, but let’s take a moment to consider this one.

I was watching Attack of the Clones not long ago because the remote was all the way on the coffee table, and I was pretty damn comfy (yes, Episode 2 comfy), when it dawned on me. There were a hundred Jedi running into battle with lightsabers to fight a hundred robots with laser guns…what part of that is bad? If you answered anything but “not a damn thing”, then you need to put your pinky down and drag your pretentious ass to the nearest grain thresher for reprogramming.

No, the prequels were not as good as the OT, but that just makes them bad Star Wars movies, not bad movies, and people seem to love those, just see any zombie movie made after 2003. (see, callbacks can be fun!)

BACON AND BEARDS ARE NOT MEMEWORTHY

No memes for back hair though, and THAT takes talent

No memes for back hair though, and THAT takes talent

In other news, salt is salty

In other news, salt is salty

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, but if you can’t find anything better to obsess over than bacon annd beards in the year 2013, then you’re obviously a time traveller from a future so fantastical that you have a right to be jaded by such duldrum like smartphones and porn with clowns in it. (98% of men on Earth can grow a beard, as well as some women). Also, we’ve known bacon was delicious since World War I. Grow up.

Yes, you.

Yes, you.

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An Evening with Uncle Lloyd

I know it’s been a while since I’ve put out a new entry, but I have a valid excuse; college is hard. Still, this reminds me of the best homework I’ve ever had. Story time kids…but first, Katherine Heigl in a bra…

Now that I’ve secured a few more hits, it’s on to the topic at hand. So in my first semester of film school, I was given the assignment of choosing someone in the film industry and writing (but not necessarily sending) what they called a “mentor letter”. Basically a letter asking for guidance and bladdy blah, whatever. I chose the lovely and talented Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma Entertainment, and creator of the Toxic Avenger.

Why him? Mostly because I had always been a fan of his movies back when I was way too young to be watching them, and he always seemed to come across as a down-to-earth kind of guy, plus I respected his ability to make such classics in a truly independent way.  Fast forward a couple of years, and Lloyd is a guest at Gencon. After taking his “Make your own damn movie” seminar, I go back to the Troma booth in the exhibit hall, and there he is, jawing away with fans, posing for pictures, and confirming my suspicions of down-to-earthitude. I mentioned to him my assignment, and he said that I should have sent the letter, as he would like to read it. He handed me his business card, and I walked away starstruck.

Fast forward to next semester, and I am assigned to find someone in my chosen field and interview them. Great, I thought, this assignment obviously wasn’t made with the film majors in mind, then it hit me. I pulled out Lloyd’s business card and hoped for the best. Graciously, he agreed to be interviewed, and we set up a time for me to call him. With my pre-assigned questions in hand, and butterflies in my stomach, I called. The following is a transcript of the interview…

 

1. What products and/or services do you provide?

“I make movies, and write books.”

 

2. How long have you been in business?

“Troma entertainmennt has been in business since 1974.” It’s the longet running independant film company.
3. What is the ownership structure of your business? (sole proprietorship,

partnership, corporation)

“Closely held corporation.”
4. How did you choose the name for your business?

“Troma is from ancient Latin. Book 2 of the Anied, meaning excellence in celluloid.”
5. Who are your direct competitors?

“The major conglomorates.” Sony, newscorp, viacom, Disney
6. What was the most difficult aspect of opening your business?

“Being taken advantage of by crooks, liars, and lunatics in the movie business, of which about 2% are reliable.”
7. What is the biggest day-to-day challenge in operating your business?

“The biggest challenge for Troma is we are independant and the rules protecting against monopoly have been done away with.”

(He actually started by answering “Trying not to shit my pants”, but I thought maybe I’d leave that part out…in hindsight, I kind of regret it.)
8. What is your biggest reward in operating your own business?

“I think the biggest reward in my business is the satisfaction of creating art. I’m an artist first and a businessman second.”

 

I thanked him for his time, and he actually stayed on the line and chit-chatted for a little while. Needless to say, I got an A on that assignment. A few months later, Lloyd returned to Gencon, and I took his seminar again. He was nice enough to pose for a picture with me and my homework.

I guess the moral of the story here is that sometimes you just have to go for it, I never thought I’d get to interview one of my industry idols, but lo and behold it happened, but enough of this uplifting horsepucky, go buy some Troma DVD’s!

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