The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pine Scented Shit

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Well, just a few minutes ago, my brother and I walked back in after having sat down to watch "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and, I can say that this was easily the best movie of this franchise. It was a huge improvement over "Revenge of the Fallen." It was even better than the first movie.

I hated it.

Yes, I went in with full intent to savage it, for your entertainment. I wasn't there as a fan, I was there as an amateur critic. Yes, I went in biased as hell against it. And honestly, the movie didn't even meet the low expectations. More on that in a moment. But for now, I will talk about the few things I did like, before I move on to everything else.

I liked Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime a lot more than I expected to. It helps that it was Leonard Nimoy. It also helps that Sentinel had an actual motive in this that we could understand. He wanted to save his world. I still don't know what Megatron wanted with the cube in the first movie, it was really generic. The Fallen was even more generic, with no understandable motive beyond wanting to blow up the sun. So, Sentinel was a huge step up. I'd like to see this particular interpretation of the character return in other "Transformers" fiction. And just to show how honestly positive I'm being, I don't grade on a curve. I actually liked this character.

Shockwave was really cool. I would have preferred to see a lot more of him. But what we saw, I liked. He was genuinely menacing. So was his giant Sarlaac pet. I wish he was given a lot more to do, and I would have liked it if they had gotten David Warner to voice him, as Corey Burton suggested after he turned the part down. But, I guess Warner would have been wasted since Shockwave only had two lines. I'll get to that in a moment.

I think my favorite character in this movie, and in any live action "Transformers" movie had to be Laserbeak. He was pretty creepy. I liked his design. I liked that he was an assassin, and he killed annoying characters like Deep Wang. Ugh, more on Deep Wang in a moment.



Oh, and I loved seeing Buzz Aldrin. The real Buzz Aldrin make a cameo in the movie.

And now, everything else. Where do I start?

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really despise Sam Witwicky, and I despise Shia Labeouf (hereafter known as Shit the Beef) as that character. I wanted to see Sam die violently within two minutes. He spends most of the first half of the movie whining and moaning about how much his life sucks because he can't find a job. I suppose this was done to make us relate to him, especially considering the current economy, and how high unemployment is. Like Sam, I too have a college degree, and I to am having a lot of trouble finding a stable job. But, what does Sam have?

- He's living in a beautiful apartment in Washington D.C. that is two stories, and has ceilings twenty feet above the floor, so Bumblebee can walk around in them.
- He is living with and fucking an underwear model played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who is happily paying all of his bills.
- He has a medal of honor from President Obama.
- The Federal government paid for his Ivy League education, so he has no student loan bills.

Yes, being unemployed sucks. But don't give us that "woe is me" act, Sam Witwicky. You are still living the dream life. Shut the fuck up, and be fucking grateful. Most of us are really struggling. Piece of shit crybaby. I was really, really, really hoping they'd kill Sam off in this thing. Forget Skids and Mudflap, Sam Witwicky is the most annoying character in this franchise.

Skids and Mudflap weren't in this thing, but they were replaced by robots almost as annoying. Wheelie comes back, fuck me. He was joined by... what was his name? I just call him the Treasure Troll. He even had that hair.

Speaking of hair, they had this scientist/inventor who I guess was supposed to be Wheeljack, but no name was ever mentioned. He was annoying too, and he literally pulled these new anti-Decepticon weapons for the humans to use straight out of his ass. Was that supposed to be funny? I asked this question a lot.

Another time I asked that question was during the Deep Wang scene. The Asian character is named Jerry Wang, and then he assaults and almost ass-rapes Sam in a men's room, while whispering "Deep Wang, deep wang." I was so happy when Laserbeak killed this prick. My brother said "Thank you!"

John Turturo's ex-Agent Simmons returns, much to my chagrin. They didn't show us his ass and balls this time, but he was still annoying. I was nodding and agreeing with Bill O'Reilly when he called him a pinhead. This was a character I didn't need to see again, and he contributed nothing at all to the movie.

And then there was his bodyguard, played by Alan Tudyk. Tudyk played this overly effeminate gay character, straight out of the stereotype playbook. It was almost as bad as Skids and Mudflap. Bay did the impossible, he made me hate Wash. Do you know what I ended up wanting to see? This!



Optimus Prime, once again, did not feel like Optimus Prime. As in "Revenge of the Fallen," he was just so bloodthirsty and violent. Yes, I get he's fighting a war against a dangerous enemy. But they gave him dialogue that's fit for a Decepticon. Lines such as "we will kill them all!" and "die!" as he killed Shockwave. And then, he executed Sentinel at the end while Sentinel was begging for his life. That's fine if it's a character like Grimlock, or Ironhide. But that is so not Optimus Prime. After Megatron blasts Sentinel, he asks Prime for a truce, and Prime kills him. I liked Optimus in the first movie, when Megatron died he said "you left me no choice." He took no pleasure in it. But as of the second and third movie...

This Optimus Prime is an evil, vindictive asshole. When the government kicks them off the planet (they never really leave), Optimus just sits back and lets Chicago be destroyed by the Decepticons, at least a million people die in this. An entire city is destroyed, and all so we can "learn our lesson" that the robots with the red eyes are evil. Optimus lets a million people die. If that's not evil, I don't know what is.

Megatron was, once again, completely wasted. He's barely in the first movie, and then he dies at the hands of Sam Witwicky of all characters. In the second one, he's nothing but the Fallen's bitch and gets curbstomped with his master, quite easily I might add, by Optimus Prime. And then, in this one. The first time we see him, he transforms in Africa and announces to all the animals, "all hail Megatron!" Really? Are you expecting the animals to bow to you, Megatron? And then, he barely does a damn thing except get bitch-slapped by Sentinel Prime, allow the underwear model to manipulate him, and then when he and Optimus fight, Optimus... who has just had his arm chopped off by Sentinel Prime, kills him in three seconds. He cuts off Megatron's head, and his face is still attached to the axe.

"GIVE ME YOUR FACE!"

Okay, Optimus doesn't say that this time. And considering how unintentionally hilarious that was in the second movie, part of me would have been a tad disappointed if Megatron didn't have his face cut off. I have this scene in my head of Optimus placing Megatron's face on his wall, next to the Fallen's and other Decepticon faces and saying "at last, my collection is finally complete." Or is it, Sam mentioned earlier on that Laserbeak tried to cut his face off, and I said to myself, "no Sam, that's Optimus's job."

But Megatron is the Big Bad of the entire franchise, and he was such a puss in this series. He was even more pathetic than the Megatron of the G1 cartoon, and that's saying something. How do you pull that off? He deserved a lot better than his showing in these movies.

The rest of the robots are all, when Sentinel killed one of them, I had to turn to my brother and ask if that was Ironhide. They're all so interchangeable. And the Decepticons, forget about it. Shockwave is the only one that really stood out. Everyone looked the same, and had the same Megatron-like face. I kept forgetting which one was Soundwave. Oh, and Soundwave has a hentai tentacle mode. I guess he's been to Japan.

In his review, Spoony said that the movie is better if you walk in ninety minutes late. And he's not wrong, but the last hour, clearly the best part, was actually not as good as I expected. Bay reigned in the shaky cam, and you could actually see what was happening this time. But everything was really underwhelming. Throughout this movie, he evoked imagery similar to the Challenger blowing up, and September 11th. And while many directors do similar, it falls flat on its face because you don't give a damn about the characters. It's all exploitation, but an audience will overlook it if we care about the characters who are in jeopardy. We don't.

This especially stands out when the Decepticons are about to start executing the Autobot captives. Bay wanted you to feel something during this scene, but we spent so little time with these characters, we felt nothing. The Transformers were barely guest-stars in their own movie. I was just watching it, and I didn't care. I yawned. And I shouldn't. No one is coming to these movies to see Shit the Beef, or the underwear model, or John Malkovich, John Turturro, or any of these people. We come to see the Transformers, and we barely get them.

The scene where they are in the skyscraper that is tipping over. Imagine how much better it would have been if you actually liked these people. And never mind how comical it is that Decepticons don't look in side windows to see them hiding behind desks and columns, and they all fall through a lot of broken glass, and the underwear model's hair is still perfect, her makeup is still perfect, and she has no cuts of any kind. She looks like she stepped off a runway.

Okay, as much crap as I'm giving Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, she was leagues better than Megan Fox. While Fox came off as nothing but fake and skanky, at least Rosie was somewhat charming. She was by no means offensive, like Megan Fox was. And she was actually pretty sexy. She was a better actress than Megan Fox also. She was by no means a good actress, but she didn't detract from the movie like Megan Fox did. Although, I laughed at that scene where she stares at the camera with Megan Fox's old "DURRR!" expression while things are exploding behind her and around her for thirty seconds.

Okay, I have another question. Sentinel Prime and the Decepticons bring Cybertron into our atmosphere, and the planet is at least five times larger than Earth. You look up into the sky, and all you see is Cybertron. And yet, it's still daylight out. Still bright day. Shouldn't the sun have been blocked out, shouldn't it be pitch black? Will someone out there who knows more than I do enlighten me?

Starscream dies like a bitch in this, which is appropriate since he is a bitch. But he dies at the hands of Sam Witwicky, who is swinging from his eye. Uh... what? As bitchy as Starscream is, he doesn't deserve this. That was such a lame way to go. And while I am at it, no where in this entire movie franchise did Starscream ever even attempt to betray Megatron. All he did was suck up to him and kiss his ass. Just call him Cyclonus and be done with it!

Oh, and about half way through the movie, Sentinel Prime delivers an ultimatum to the world. "We just want a few resources to restore our planet. Banish the Autobots, and will leave after we have taken them" and guess what, the humans do it! And then everyone acts shocked that the Decepticons lied! Really. Really. The Decepticons lied. Who woulda thunk it?

And while I am adding to my list of grievances, at the beginning of this film, they intercut archive footage of Kennedy with an actor playing him. The actor looks nothing like the real Kennedy, and it is obvious, especially when they are cutting back and forth between them. Either just use archive footage, or just use an actor. Don't do both. And this was not necessary either. Kennedy was only in this thing for maybe ten seconds.

Bay had to again show off his fetish for the US military. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the US military. I have nothing but the utmost respect for our armed forces. But this was downright pornographic. He wanted to show this cool scene of marine in these new parachute suits gliding into Decepticon-occupied Chicago, and while it was cool, it was pointless. Maybe three hundred troops fly in, and only twelve make it. The troops who do make it in, sneak in on foot, or come up out of the water. The para-troops were entirely pointless, and sending them in when an entire armada of hundreds of Decepticons controlled the airspace of Chicago is just terrible military tactics.

And, as much as I liked Sentinel and Leonard Nimoy, I hated that they felt the need to keep reminding us that "Spock" was in this movie. From the very beginning where Wheelie and the Treasure Troll are watching TV. "Oh, this is the one where Spock goes crazy" to Sentinel's "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" as he's about to bring Cybertron to Earth. Huh... what many? Cybertron is a dead world. The Earth has the "many." ugh.

And Sam's parents. Oh fuck, those parents. Well, his dad isn't so bad. But his mom. I cannot stand his mom. In the first movie, she asks if he's masturbating; in the second, she eats these pot brownies and behaves in a manner that no one who is high or stoned ever does; and in this one, she suggests to her son's face that he gets these girls because he has a big dick. That is not cute or funny, that is fucking retarded. I was really, really hoping she'd get eaten by a Decepticon.

I could keep on going, but I won't. I will close it out with the following thoughts on this trilogy.

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There were three decent movies in this franchise somewhere. But they made the mistakes of hiring a director who didn't give a shit about the Transformers, or even the craft of filmmaking. They turned the title characters into barely present guest stars, and chose instead to focus on Shit the Beef as the most annoying movie character since Jar Jar Binks. The comic relief was never, ever funny.

I believe good live action "Transformers" movies are possible, and maybe we'll get them with the inevitable reboot. Just get a director who cares, and remember that the Transformers are your stars. Not some dweeb and his supermodel girlfriend. No one cares about them.

This trilogy sucked.

If you absolutely must see a movie about war this week, with characters you care about, great comic relief, and two great romantic leads, see this one:

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And before anyone says "how dare you compare these two movies. Bay isn't trying to make Oscar winners, you pretentious douche" then let me remind you that Michael Curtiz didn't set out to make one either. He wasn't trying to make anything except the best movie he could. What was the quote? I know I'm getting this wrong but "we were contracted to make forty movies that year, and all "Casablanca" was at the time was number twenty-three."

Put a little effort into it. Create characters we care about, create a decent story. You can do that with anything, even Transformers. And if all you Transformers fans think that all you need is robots hitting each other and explosions, well, you're the ones reducing a great franchise to little more than "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots." Not I.

Or, if you must see transforming robots this weekend, go watch the three-part "The Ultimate Doom." Similar plot, a lot of stupid, but not anger inducing stupid.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dilemma Solved.

My brother says he's paying for my movie ticket. So, some time soon, not sure when, but within the next week, I will be seeing "Dark of the Moon." Here's what my brother said:

"Greg, we love it when you bitch about bad movies. It's hilarious. Do it one more time."


So, god help me. Keep an eye out. I have no excuse. And if I can entertain you all with it, so much the better. I'm going to see this as an amateur critic, not as a fan.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bitch vs Biatch!



The ultimate debate for Spider-Man fans. Who is the nastier gal. Betty Brant from the Spider-Man comic books. Or Sally Avril from "The Spectacular Spider-Man." My friend, Josh Bertone settles it here.



And, just to plug everyone involved:

The Spider-Man Crawlspace
The Amazing Spider-Man Classics Podcast
Bertone Hates Betty

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bags



This post will contain spoilers for the season premiere of "Weeds" not to mention preceding seasons. Just so you all know.

It's been three years since Plan C. Nancy Botwin surrendered herself to the FBI, and falsely confessed to the murder of Pilar Zuazo to protect her middle son, Shane. Her estranged husband: drug kingpin and Tiajuana mayor, Esteban Reyes was arrested too; and Shane, Silas, and Andy escaped to Copenhagen. Or, for those of you who want a brief visual aid:



Yeah, that was quite the cliffhanger. I waited almost a year to see what happens next. I honestly wasn't sure, had trouble predicting this one. Would it pick up immediately after the previous season ended as all previous seasons did? How was Nancy going to get out of this? Would she talk her way out? Would it become a prison show? Well, all of predictions were off.

Season seven opens up three years later, as Nancy faces a parole board where she is released from Danbury Federal Prison (my grandfather did time there, twice) and sent to a halfway house in Washington Heights, smack dab in the middle of New York City. This is, of course, much to Nancy's chagrin as she was expecting witness relocation. It turns out that Nancy made a deal with the FBI and testified against her husband. Although, we soon learn that Esteban was found dead in a prison yard a week prior to Nancy's release, and that his cartel has been shut down,hence why the FBI feels she no longer needs protection.

On the other side of the pond, in Copenhagen, Shane is dumped by his much older, psycho girlfriend and marionette partner, Renata; Silas is working as a male model; Andy is a tour guide; and Doug is, well, Doug. Kudos to them, they made lives for themselves. Now let's see how these lives get torn apart.

Nancy moves into her halfway house, and gets out for two hours to conduct her first post-prison business. Calling her estranged sister, Jill, on skype, who has custody of her youngest son (by Esteban), Stevie who addresses her only as "Aunt Nancy." Jill and her husband have gotten custody after both parents were sent to prison, and are raising Stevie as their own. Literally. Nancy asks Jill not to tell anyone she's out yet, so Jill does the exact opposite and refuses to let Silas, Shane, and Andy see or talk to Stevie at all.

As the episode closes, Shane buys plane tickets to New York for himself, Doug, and Andy; Silas doesn't want to come back to New York, as he is unhappy with his mother. To put it mildly. Nancy is trying to get back into some kind of business as her former cellmate gave her directions to find a trunk full of weapons.

A very strong start for a new season and a newer status quo. It moved by very fast and was over before I knew it. It left me with a lot of questions, of course.

Esteban's death seems a little too convenient. I'm wondering if there is a twist here. I'm not expecting him to turn up alive, but I think there is more to it than we know. He was a great character and a pivotal part of the series for three seasons, and I hope his exit from the series isn't a throwaway line. Although, I am wondering what happened to Guillermo. He was arrested with them.

I can understand Jill, who always had a bad relationship with Nancy, being reluctant to allow Nancy anywhere near the kid. Nancy is a screw up, and that's an understatement. But to only show the kid a picture and refer to her as "Aunt Nancy." That's low. What's even lower is not letting the kid's brothers communicate with him either. This actually angered me. And I know this is going to be a source of conflict as the season progresses. To be honest, Stevie is probably better off without Nancy. But, this isn't the way to go about it.

So, is Nancy going to become an arms' dealer now? I doubt it, but I think she has something to trade if she wants to get back into the drug trade, which we all know she's going to. Prison may as well be crime school, so it will be interesting to see if she has gotten any better at it.

Well, I'll be tuning in next week, same pot time, same pot channel.

Do I Go See it?

So, I have a bit of a dilemma here. I like to critique movies. Good, bad, and ugly. So, do I go and see "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" or not?

Usually, with bad movies like this, when critics correctly massacre them, some idiot fanbots accuse said critics of going in with an agenda. I tend to like to give critics the benefit of the doubt, and assume they don't do that. But, I usually agree with critics anyway. However, if I go and see Michael Bay's latest crapfestic spectacle, I will admit this: I am doing so with an agenda.

Cons: I reveal myself to be a biased critic with an agenda; I put more money in Michael Bay's pocket.

Pro: I end up entertaining some of you; I piss off a lot of fanbots.

But the larger question is this? Can I really do it for a third time. Is it worth enduring two and a half hours of Michael Bay's schlock again? Do I suffer just so I can trash it?

Do I?

Should I?

Let me know what you think I should do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bad Mothers - The Ultimate Taboo?



With season seven of "Weeds" starting in just a few days, I thought I would take a look at it's deeply flawed protagonist, why so many people seem to despise her, but why find her to be a breath of fresh air. This post isn't about "Weeds" so much as it's about a larger and disturbing attitude in our culture towards pop culture.

Bad mothers in pop culture are few and far between. They exist, and pop up every now and then, but no where near at the same frequency as bad fathers. Look at Homer Simpson, for example. There are a thousand Homer Simpsons out there. And that's in comedy. In drama you have your Darth Vaders and your Norman Osborns. Bad fathers are a dime a dozen.

But fictional mothers always seem to be the moral centers in pop culture. Always. Look at Marge Simpson. Look at Lois Griffin (while I have long since stopped watching "Family Guy," I hear Lois has stopped being this, to the complaints of many people). Look at June Cleaver. Look at Carol Brady. Look at just about every single sitcom there is. Most dramas too. Disney practically invented the Missing Mom trope to create unidealistic situations.

Among the "Gargoyles" fandom, there is also this whole notion that Demona has to be redeemed just because Angela (her biological daughter) came into her life. Nearly the entirety of "The Gargoyles Saga" (the largest fanfiction project in "Gargoyles" fandom, maybe the internet itself) revolves around this. Demona has a practically overnight change of heart, stops trying to wipe out humanity, and becomes a good mother to Angela. And it's not just TGS, from what I used to read years back, almost every other fan author was doing this too. But, I've dedicated plenty of entries to Demona, so back on to the general topic.

Frankly, I'm sick of it. For me, the moment came a few years ago, when in film school, I pitched an outline for a screenplay I'm writing where the central character is pretty much the most evil mother on the planet. If I had a dime for every suggestion I got to "tone her down" or even, and this one makes me laugh every time I think about it, "make it the dad instead." I held my ground, which resulted in some pretty unhappy screenwriting teachers. Then, an accomplished writing professional who I am closely acquainted with encouraged me to go even farther with it than I already had. Of course, that particular friend of mine has written a particularly evil mother or two in his widely-seen works.

Which brings me to Nancy Botwin. I think the character is fantastic. She is a terrible mother, and while I do not advocate this in real life, that doesn't mean she isn't constantly a fun and fascinating character to watch. I think that Mary-Louise Parker said it well:



And she is right, she is 100% right. It is taboo, and I have seen people freak out at her character and other bad mothers in fiction, all the while letting bad father's slide. Let me share a couple of examples.

"Nancy Botwin is one of the most disturbing characters in popular culture. She is a borderline personality on steroids. She makes my skin crawl. She makes it impossible for me to continue to watch."


"Mary Louise-Parker's Nancy is now the show's worst offense. She started off selling drugs to support her family, then continued just for the, well, high she got from being in dangerous situations."


"Nancy Botwin has always been morally shaky, but, similar to Don Draper's current descent into depravity on 'Mad Men,' most of the fun came from rooting for a deeply-flawed main character. In recent seasons, Nancy is just someone who had a wild tequila night where she drunkenly stole the Worst Mother Award away from Betty Draper, turned it into a bong and beat her sons half to death with it."


"The repeat process of her being a bad mother is very grating....I understand it is part of her character, but seeing her always make this selfish decisions that poorly effect the family makes you lose faith in her."


There are many more out there, but you get the idea. And these aren't just internet commenters, I have seen such things from critics and writers. But again, none of these people ever complain about bad fathers. While watching "The Sopranos," all I ever heard was just what a badass Tony Soprano was. The only time anyone ever cried foul on him was when he killed his nephew, Christopher (who was the biggest degenerate in the entire series). I loved Tony too, but he was a worse person than Nancy. Was he a worse parent? That's debatable.

But, what it comes down to for me is, why are we looking to TV for examples on how to live? If you are relying on Showtime to provide role models for childrearing, then perhaps you should look elsewhere for the problem to begin with. You can enjoy a character, while taking them as a negative example. How not to live your life, so to speak.

It all comes down to the puritanical roots within this country, I think. There is a sexist undercurrent to all of this. Everybody needs to stop relying on TV to set an example for the rest of the world. Grow up and get a sense of humor! Obviously someone is doing something right if it gets a reaction, but that reaction is disturbing to me.

So now, I leave you with the Bad Mothers' Corps.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ugly Without & Ugly Within


I hope you're re-thinking your taste in women, kid.

I made my previous post about an hour before I heard the news. Now, I'm not usually interested in Hollywood gossip. But getting blacklisted by Steven Spielberg, well, that's interesting.

I remember when Megan Fox said she quit. I didn't believe her, but I remember. I also remember all of her fanbots chiming in to defend her and repeat the lie over and over again. Why does she have so many fanbots? Probably because they secretly hope that she will one day have sex with them, I don't know.

Megan Denise Fox's primadonna, unprofessional attitude are matters of public record. From blowing off an invitation from the King of Jordan while filming "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" in his country. This was a feast thrown in the honor of the entire cast, and she just blew it off. That's just crass. And let us not forget being the only one to turn down a guided tour of the interior of the Pyramids of Giza, a once in a lifetime experience, because it's "too boring" and then being nasty to a crew member's daughter who looked up to her and wanted to meet her. Not to mention many other examples of documented unprofessional behavior.

Of course, the final straw was when she compared director, Michael Bay, to Adolf Hitler, because he actually made her work. Not that it showed, but he made her work. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I despise Michael Bay's movies. I think he is the worst director in Hollywood. This has nothing to do with Transformers fanboyism, I remember when "The Rock" first came out, and I turned to my friends and said that movie was crap. I will call Bay many things. Untalented, a hack, a man-child. But Hitler? No. Never. And if I ever did, you'll be justified in smacking me upside the head for it.

I've always thought Megan Fox was stupid, but wow. Did she even know who her boss was? And I don't mean Michael Bay, I mean her ultimate boss. Here's a hint, Megan, he made this movie:



Megan, did you even stop to think? How well did you think that would go over.

Notice you don't see Megan Fox in much of anything anymore. "Jennifer's Body" was a flop. "Jonah Hex" was a colossal flop. That movie she did with Mickey Rourke bombed, and Rourke even said it wasn't good. Hmm, I guess she was never much of a draw. Well, obviously those don't help her career. But she was blacklisted by Steven Spielberg, no casting director in Hollywood will ever touch her now. Well, that's not entirely true, there's always Syfy.

Of course, the Megan Fox fanbots are defending her tooth and nail now, and showing their true colors in the process. Do you know what words are being used to defend her and attack Spielberg? Here's a few samples. "Jew!" "Zionist!" "Kike!" "Christ Killing Maggot!" Just to name a few, and those are the ones that make me shiver less than the others.

Yes, Hollywood is a closed-gated community and you can't piss off the wrong people. I'm sure my remarks about Michael Bay don't help me, but I am actually defending the man in this. Megan Fox made me defend Michael Bay, that's how wrong I think she is. Thankfully, at this point, I think I am free to say anything I want about Megan Fox without having to worry about being blacklisted by anybody. And I think I will include her fanbots in this.

Megan Fox is the Sarah Palin of the movie industry. These two have so much in common.

1. Their idiocy, for instance. While Palin is arguing that the world is only six thousand years old and burns books, Fox is arguing that sexual objectification is "empowering" and lying about her non-existent tête-à-tête with a lesbian hooker.

2. Both women are tolerated by the Republicans and their fanbots because of the way they look. Palin is considered a very attractive woman for a politician and Fox is considered a very attractive woman for an actor. Other than that, both are talentless and worthless in their chosen professions.

3. Both women indicate that they are quite happy being the national sex toy and embrace the type of bimbo femininity adored by regressive knuckle draggers. Both women let you know that they'll do whatever their party friends/fanbots desire.

As long as a woman is stupid, non-threatening and fills out her bra nicely (in Fox's case, thanks to Mr. Plastic Surgeon), the dregs of society are downright charmed.

But, and at this point, I may as well get this dig in. Megan Fox is not hot, never was, and only the most crass and tasteless human beings could ever find attractive. She is as ugly a person as she is a terrible person.

No one with taste will miss you, Megan Fox.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Soul Crushing Realization.



Megan Fox played Mikaela Banes in Transformers. It's widely accepted that she fucked Michael Bay to get the part. I mean, cleaned his "Ferrari." Suuuure.

Mikaela Banes = Michael Bay.

Michael Bay fucked his own Mary Sue.

Or did I just blow your minds?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Peculiar Olympians

I would like to take a moment to plug my friend's blog, "The Lair of the Pterobat," and in particular, her series called "The Peculiar Olympians."

In her words:

“The Peculiar Olympians” is a series of blog posts about my most favourite fictional characters. They are each here for some combination of sympathy, empathy, inspiration, humour, quality, staying power, and/or significance to my relationship with fandom. These are not all the characters that I like, but they are the ones that have stood out to me the most. The list is also alphabetical and nothing more.


She got me thinking about what a list of my own, along these lines, would look like, and who would be on it. Well, here is a tentative, but probably incomplete list.

Rick Blaine (Casablanca)
Nancy Botwin (Weeds)
Michael Corleone (The Godfather)
Niles Crane (Frasier)
William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting (Gangs of New York)
Death (Sandman)
Demona (Gargoyles)
Edmund (King Lear)
Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings)
G'Kar (Babylon 5)
Charles Foster Kane (Citizen Kane)
Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill)
Hans Landa (Inglourious Basterds)
Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski (The Big Lebowski)
Loki (Marvel Comics)
Magneto (Marvel Comics)
Megatron (Beast Wars)
Londo Mollari (Babylon 5)
Lucifer Morningstar (Sandman/Lucifer)
The Monarch (The Venture Bros)
Dexter Morgan (Dexter)
Daria Morgendorffer (Daria)
Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin (Marvel Comics)
Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)
Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly/Serenity)
Ellen Ripley (Alien)
John Sheridan (Babylon 5)
Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)
Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop)
Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Tamora (Titus Andronicus)
Viola (Twelfth Night)
David Xanatos (Gargoyles)

Those are the definite members, but this is by no means complete. There are a bunch of other characters who will likely get on, we'll see. Arthur Mitchell from "Dexter" is another candidate, I hated the guy but damn did he make an impact on me.

But it is fun to think about.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Last Word On This...

As some of you know, my last blog post was rather controversial. I expected that. What I did not expect was the guy to accuse me of making an ethnic slur against him. Well, you've read my previous posts, you know that I never once used any kind of racist or ethnic slur.

So, when Brian Bartoccini aka K7OP discovered the blog entry, he complained. Naturally, and he accused me of making a slur about his ethnicity. I did no such thing, nor would I ever do any such thing. We had a back and forth where I pretty much offered him the option where if he stops lying about me, I'll stop telling the truth about him. He ignored it for a long time, thought he could somehow blackmail me with it, but obviously he had no idea with whom he was dealing.

First, he went back to s8 and only said that he EXAGGERATED, which could mean anything. He was playing dumb with the grammar. Well, it was like a good, old fashioned Mexican standoff. He expected me to blink, and I did not. He thought his serious charge of racism would break me. And it didn't.

Finally, after several hours of him stalling, and back and forths, he admitted in s8 to lying. And well, if he wants to talk about slander and libel, lying about racism is a very serious charge. Calling someone a racist is a very, very, very serious charge.

So, I agreed to remove the two previous posts, and at this moment I will... shortly. I want to wait and see what he says and does first. But to everyone reading this, keep in mind. He lied about racism, and he admitted to lying. And he only admitted to it because it was the only way I would remove my previous posts.

His word is not worth a damn thing. And that's all I have left to say.

EDIT: Both entries have been removed. However, PDF files of both entries, along with all of the comments, have been saved and are available to be viewed should he start lying again. I wish I had a PDF of his now deleted rape fantasies, but I don't. I do, however, have plenty of witnesses for those, and his confession to those rape fantasies in the PDFs.

EDIT #2: He can't stop. He just can't stop. Check the comments to THIS entry. First he admits to being a liar, I'm sorry, he says "I am lier." And then once he realizes that only I can remove his comments, he begs and keeps begging for me to remove it. I don't. He goes away for a few hours, and now he's come back and is pretending to be his mommy, and as of this edit, he's still keeping at it. Anyone who thinks that's his mom is even dumber than he is, and I'm not sure that's scientifically possible.

EDIT #3: And he's still going. He still wants me to delete the comments where he admits to being a lying sack of shit, but now he's adding that if I don't, his parents will punish him. For a moment, let's pretend that's true. I don't see the downside in this for me. Really, what's the downside? He should never become a negotiator, because hostages would die.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Targets

Well, after a long hiatus Cartoon Network has finally... posted the new episode of "Young Justice" on their website without actually airing the damn thing on television. I could ramble about how absurd I find this, but I think I'd rather ramble about the damn thing.

Or rather it was up. Looks like Cartoon Network finally realized the mistake and took the episode down. It's been pulled off YouTube as well. I think this was definitely a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.


This is a show that, I swear, gets better with each episode. I've been enjoying the Red Arrow character since the first episode, so I really dug this episode. He had a lot of character development, and while I can't see him joining the team yet, I do think the door is open for it.

Sportsmaster and Cheshire both make welcome returns. And Cheshire is a character that has really grown on me. I love the chemistry she has, not just with Red Arrow, but with everyone. Kelly Hu is doing a magnificent job with that character. So are the writers and animators. She just personifies the sexy badass, and I am eager to see more of her.

As for Sportsmaster, well, I still don't know too much about him. But I am told he is a D-List villain in the comics who is really shining in this series. He's intimidating, badass, and I guess I'm eager to see more of him to. And while we're talking about villains, for the first time in this series, two of the DC Universe's A-List villains have finally been formally introduced.

I was really happy to see Ra's al Ghul, he's one of my favorite Batman villains. Oded Fehr did a great job with his voice, even if I'll have to take some time to get used to it. I guess David Warner's voice has just imbibed itself into my brain for that character, that Fehr has a lot to live up to. But I enjoyed his performance and I am eager to hear more of him. I also enjoyed his skills not just as a leader, but as an assassin. With just pure skill he knew Red Arrow was watching his meeting with Cheshire and Sportsmaster and from where. Very cool. This is why he's the master of the League of Shadows.

And then, there's Lex Luthor. Lex is a character I have never, ever liked. I'm not quite sure why, it's like oil and water with me. I've always thought of him as the poor man's David Xanatos, even years before I ever met the character of David Xanatos. I don't know why. That being said, I did enjoy Mark Rolson's performance as Lex, he brought a lot of charisma to the role. Clancy Brown did the same thing for Lex Luthor too, loved the performance even if I still didn't like the character. Will this version of Lex break the mold and make me like the character? Time will tell. But Greg Weisman managed to make me like Venom, a character I've always detested. Again, time will tell.

Also, looks like we can finally, officially, identify two members of the Light. Oded Fehr voiced L-2, and Mark Rolston voiced L-3. May I just say, and I understand that this might be a bit petty, how ecstatic I am that Lex Luthor is not L-1? If these numbers are indeed a rank, then I would have been disappointed if Lex, again, took center stage. That's one of the reasons why the "Justice League" cartoons disappointed me, because they put too much emphasis on Lex Luthor (who already had that in the Superman cartoon that preceeded it) and not enough on a guy like Vandal Savage, who's appearances in "Justice League" really impressed me and who I felt should have been the main antagonist of that show.

The school scenes were pretty fun, although I was wondering why Superboy needed it, or a secret identity at all. But then, knowledge aside, Superboy could definitely benefit from learning more social skills, so I understand it. Miss Martian too, who seems to have learned everything about interacting with humans from a 50's sitcom.

And who is that, voicing the teacher. Hmm... someone couldn't resist now, could he? ;)

BTW, I loved the origin of the Conner Kent alias, and where they all think the "Kent" part came from.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Rare Case of Professional Jealousy



Okay, I absolutely love "Weeds." I am addicted to this series. I am a stoner for this show. I don't think I can stretch this metaphor any further without making you all groan, so I will stop.

I am also very, very jealous of this show, and Jendji Kohan, who I think is absolutely brilliant. Why? Because this is very much a show that I would have created. It is full of tropes I love, and it deals with a lot of issues that interest me and hit close to home for me. No, I am not a stoner, I don't deal drugs, and no one in my family does... as far as I know. But, it's the little things which I will get to in a moment.

Strong female protagonists interest me. All my life, I have been lucky to be surrounded by strong, independent, and talented women. None of them are superwomen, they make just as many mistakes as any man does. Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker), depending on how you look at her, is strong, independent and talented. She also makes a lot of mistakes, to put it mildly. She sometimes reminds me of a woman I care for, although the woman in question is most definitely not a pot dealer, or involved in any illegal activity.

Some more of the personal things that appeal to me, the two sons are culturally mixed. Jewish father, and gentile mother. Along with some of the, ahem, prejudices from the older Jewish side towards the shiksa. There was a lot of that in my family towards my Brazillian Catholic mother from my Jewish father's family. I'm not going to get into the specifics, but it's still there. I also tend to think that the late Judah Botwin was a better

I spent my childhood in Briarcliff Manor, which is rich/upper middle class white suburbia on steroids. So, I appreciated the town of Agrestic and what Kohan was mocking with it, at least in the first three seasons. These towns are filled with nothing but smiling, backstabbing phonies and friends of convenience. "Weeds" nailed the suburban culture to a tee. And I hate suburban life, so it's nice to see it properly displayed and given the crap it deserves.

And, on an even more personal note. I've had a weight problem most of my life. I'm not obese or anything, but I've been heavier than I should be. It comes and goes, I lose and then I gain it back. It's tough. Some family members, while well meaning, haven't exactly been as helpful as they think they are. I'm not saying they treat me the way the character of Celia Hodes treats her overweight daughter, Isabelle, but I can relate. And I find it all hilarious anyway. But, I think we've all known Celia Hodes at some point in our lives, for me she was the mother of a childhood friend.

Also, criminality interests me. It always has, as a subject. I will admit, there is a family background in that life, nothing that ever involved me personally, and nothing that has been an issue in twenty years or more, but I am not getting into that. Suffice it to say that as the series progresses, Nancy Botwin ends up getting deeper and deeper into the underworld. She starts out as an upper class suburban widow trying to make ends meet by selling pot to her white, middle class friends, and ends up... well, that would be telling. And as a long time lover of gangster movies and "The Sopranos," I found this stuff fun and interesting.

A lot of it, from the dramatic and dark to the funny and absurd often feels like my thought processes on screen. I cannot quite explain it, it's just this personal feeling when a work of art really speaks to you. I love how it can be laugh out loud funny one moment, and dark and dangerous the next. I love that juxtaposition, love it. I don't know if I'm talented enough to ever pull it off to this degree, but I love it.

I also love that the show changes, the characters change, the situation and settings change. I know some dislike that sort of thing, but when life is in a constant state of flux anyway, I like it when TV doesn't have permanent status quos. So, yes, I have enjoyed all six seasons of "Weeds" and I eagerly await the seventh season. Is it the final season? Not sure, but I have a feeling it is.

So yeah, I am very professionally jealous of this series. Both because it was the show I would have made, if given the chance, and because Jenji Kohan did a better job than I ever could with it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Am I Finished With Mainstream Comics?

Okay, granted I feel this way at least once a year, but I have never been less interested in the Marvel Universe than I am now. I just cannot find myself caring about what's happening with any of the characters I've grown up with. Right now, Marvel has an event called "Fear Itself" going on. What's happening? I honestly couldn't tell you, because I cannot muster up enough energy to particularly care.

I'm not a DC Comics reader, never really have been. But, if I were, I'd likely be angry about the entire universe being seemingly rebooted. I don't really have a horse in this race, and I've been watching it from afar. I really don't care one way or another, but I empathize with the people who do. And I've heard arguments for and against, and both sides make their point. On the other hand, it now feels less intimidating to go back and read Geoff Johns' "Green Lantern" which I have heard wonderful things about.

But, what it comes down to for me is just how I think character development and storytelling has been sacrificed in order to "maintain characters for future generations." Well, let's be fair, a lot of comic book professionals have been honest and upfront about that. That's the justification we've gotten for the retcon of the Spider-Marriage.

Yes, it's been several years but "One More Day" broke the illusion for me, while I was always aware of the illusion, and had seen through it before, that was the beginning of the end. Nowadays, comics seem to be coming to an end for me. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

I know a lot of people are ecstatic to see Steve Rogers back as Captain America, but I'm not. We've had over sixty years of Steve Rogers as Captain America. Why not let Bucky keep it? That's growth, that's change.

Magneto is one of my favorite characters in all of comics, and it pains me to say this, but maybe Grant Morrison had the right idea to finally try and finish him off. I don't approve of the execution of said idea. But, well, think about how absurd it would be if Hitler came back to menace and ravage the world for the fiftieth time. Magneto and Xavier's days are over, and it is time to pass the baton. It seems like they've been trying to do this lately, but it's only a matter of time before the old status quo is back.

This all hit me recently when I realized that although I am a writer, I do not particularly have any desire to write for mainstream comics. Not when my story could be hijacked by the next event, or knowing that anything I write can easily be hand waved away by the next writer. Maybe this is egotistical of me, but nothing matters in mainstream comics.

I think this is why, after all these years, Greg Weisman's "Gargoyles Universe" still appeals to me. There, change matters and is long lasting. Death isn't a joke. Actions have consequences and there would never be returns to status quos. Actually, that's why creator-driven work appears to me more now in general than the mainstream characters who are now marketing faces. And ironically enough, I wonder if that very thing I love about it was a mark against it, as I've heard it's harder to follow than the others.

I'll admit, I'm not into "Ultimate Spider-Man" and I likely never will be. But a friend of mine explained the appeal to him along similar lines. It's one writer doing what he wants to do, without having his vision interfered with. I may not agree with the elements of that vision, but I definitely see the appeal and can understand it.

I'm not saying I want to give up comics cold turkey. But I find the titles that appeal to me are outside the mainstream. "Kill Shakespeare" for example interests me, and is right up my alley. It's not bound by the same things the mainstream titles are. I guess that's why I still like some of DC's Vertigo titles. I want to read something where actions have consequences.

I'll always love the Marvel superheroes and villains, and universe. But I find myself more excited for the adaptations on television and film than I do the source material. It's not operating on the same constraints, these things won't be running years from now and they know it. They can adapt the best, ignore the worst, and present something new at the same time.

Like I said, I feel this way every now and then, I know it's likely I'll pick up some mainstream comics again some time. But lately, I'm just not feeling it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fongaluli - A Review...

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You know, I never thought I'd review a softcore flick. But, this one was just too absurd, even by softcore standards to not mention.

Okay, so this thing is called "Fongaluli" and it was made in 1974. The production values are about on par with "Manos: The Hands of Fate" except maybe a little worse. The lighting was worse, the special effects (if you can call them that) were worse. And they had to be using the cheapest booms in the world, assuming they were recording sound at all. Actually, I think they dubbed in the dialogue later like in a Godzilla movie.

The star of our story is Professor Vertsisa, who is having these weird psychedelic dreams about naked women with animal heads. Think porn stars wearing the cheapest rubber masks in the world. Well, the prof eventually falls in love with a lobster, and feeds it some juice called "Fongaluli" from a weird magic island, and turns the lobster into a naked human girl... who he feels up and says he wants to make babies with. After she learns to walk on two legs, she turns back into a lobster, and they need to get more "fongaluli" as the prof has only a limited amount.

So, they go back to the island and are walking on the beach, only it's not a beach, it's a giant naked woman they are walking across. The giant decides she wants the prof to pleasure her, so he walks inside her vagina and uses her clit as a punching bag to get the giant off.

Lobster Girl, while human, learns all about pleasuring herself and how awesome being human is because lobsters don't experience pleasure. They don't have girl parts and erogenous zones. Of course, they're also running away from giant lizards and such, which are actually just regular animals filmed from down angles. Isn't it great that Orson Welles invented shots like this?

After a series of misadventures involving island native cannibals, a jerkass sailor who deflowers Lobster Girl, ghosts, and then a witch, the prof gets turned into a lobster, and Lobster Girl returns to her lobster form, where they both finally have sex on the beach before going home to meet Lobster Girl's mother... who is the best cook ever.

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And just as Lobster Girl's lobster mom is the best cook ever, this is clearly the best movie ever. If you ever wondered what would happen if Dr. Moreau, Timothy Leary, and Hugh Hefner would do if they ever got together to make a movie, this is your answer.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Class Is Back In Session

So, my brother and I went and watched "X-Men First Class." This was the shot in the arm the franchise needed, especially after the previous two disasters. While I have seen a lot of people calling it "The Dark Knight" of the franchise, I'm not going to go that far.

Let's start with my X-Men background. I think X-Men has always been a great concept, but I think it has a history of being very poorly handled, and I'm including and emphasizing the source material in this also. I'm going to be blunt and say it's not a good comic book. Okay, it's had a lot of brilliant moments here and there. Most of what Chris Claremont did during his initial run was good, even if I wish I could have been editor and taken a red marker to ideas like the Shi'ar and other goofy stuff that I felt had nothing to do with the core concept. Grant Morrison's run was largely brilliant, even if I have my disagreements with some of his story and character decisions. And I loved what Joss Whedon did. But overall, 90% of X-Men canon sucks.

But, really, when I think of the X-Men comics, I think of a bloated, mismatched, poorly thought out and executed mess. I think of time travel stories that were abused and pushed to absurdities, as well as stranger and stranger mutant powers that I don't buy. I also see attempt after attempt to re-create Wolverine with mediocre characters like Gambit and Cable, who were introduced as these "kewl, badass guys with mysterious pasts". Not to mention lame villains like Apocalypse who had too many writers trying to explain who they are and what they want, and contradicting each other. If you're going to create a character, know who they are and what they want before you stick them into a comic book. X-Men has been really bad about this.

Oh, and... *ducks while the Gambit fans throw things at him. Listens, waits. Gets up, ducks back down as one more brick is hurled and stands back up again.* That's right, I said it. ;)

I also hated the cartoon on Fox Kids *ducks again as a kitchen sink is hurled at him* and liked some of "X-Men Evolution" and some of "Wolverine and the X-Men" even though I disagree with several of the creative choices of both shows. But they both did the smart thing and streamlined X-Men. Which is what the first two movies did as well, and the less said about "X-Men 3" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" the better.

I liked the plot. As with the first two installments, it's not an idiot plot. Actually, it was pretty ambitious for a superhero film. I really enjoyed the period setting, and how three-dimensionally human everybody was.

James McAvoy was fun as a younger, more playboyish Charles Xavier. I liked his character arc as the movie progressed, as he grows into the man we know he will become. I thought it was well handled.

Michael Fassbender was the real star of the movie as Erik Lehnsherr. He stole the show. If this movie was based on an earlier script for what was "X-Men Origins: Magneto," it really shows. This is the guy I've read in the best comics to feature the character. This is how I've always envisioned Erik's journey to become Magneto. This movie successfully did in one movie what George Lucas failed to do with his three "Star Wars" prequels. If you're a Magneto fan, you will love this movie. Especially the ending.

Okay, I'll admit, I was hoping the name Max Eisenhardt would be worked into his origin, with Lehnsherr being his alias, as the comics did (because Erik Lehnsherr is not a Jewish name), but I can understand that would have confused people to give him three names (although, movie goers can easily accept Kal'El, Clark Kent, and Superman)

Kevin Bacon was nice and sleazy as Sebastian Shaw. While Shaw will not go down in history as the best comic book movie villain, he served his purpose exceptionally. I liked how they interpreted his powers, and how he influenced Erik. And I smiled that they even got the name "Hellfire Club" into the movie.

Mystique was always awesome in the first two X-Men movies, but this is the first time she really gets any characterization, and I liked it. If you wanted to know why she was Magneto's lieutenant and lover in the first two movies, this movie will show you. Her character arc was very well done. In a sense, Erik was really the only one who accepted her for who she was, and encouraged her to be herself.

There are way too many characters for me to go through them all point by point. But I thought they were mostly well done. I was wondering how they would justify Emma Frost's usual attire, and they did.

Speaking of the costumes, you can tell superhero movies have come a long way, because now they're no longer embarrassed to put their actors into colorful costumes. I understand why X1 and X2 did what they did, since they opened the doors for the previous decade's superhero films. Had they been made now, you'd see more traditional costumes. So, I don't begrudge them. That being said, I wish Ian McKellan was wearing that helmet, instead of the one they put on him. You'll understand when you see the movie, I'm not necessarily referring to what you think I am.

Matthew Vaughn is good at this, might I say. He took a terrible comic book in "Kick-Ass" and turned it into a terrific and fun movie. And he took a franchise that was on life support and breathed new life into it. I want to see where they go next now. I am looking forward to their next movie.

I think credit should also be given to Bryan Singer for returning to this franchise, even if he was just in the producer's chair this time. And I am especially grateful that he pulled a Greg Weisman and banished the installments he had nothing to do with from continuity. Seriously, X3 and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" are now gone, and I for one don't miss them. I doubt anyone else will either.

It's not a perfect movie. I know some people are comparing it to "The Dark Knight" which I think is a stretch. Honestly, it exceeded everyone's low expectations, and that is, I think, making the movie now look better than it actually is. It's not a great movie, but it is a very, very good movie.

I give it an A-