Archive for: June, 2010

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Wolverine and his brother Sabretooth get born in the olden days. Lil’ Wolverine can regenerate and push claws out of his knuckles. His brother can grow filthy ass fingernails at will. Wolverine kills his real dad by accident. A montage ensues! Cigars get chomped on. Even better, they’re the cigars of WAR.

Now the brothers are on a team of mercenaries with Ryan Reynolds and his amazing swords. And a gymnastically inclined fellow who can shoot guns while doing flips. Pshaw. I could strap a revolver to a dolphin and get the same result. You picked the wrong SeaWorld to fuck with, son. One time I fed a dolphin some fish at Six Flags. He never hooked me up with any people food, though. What do I look like, a dolphin waiter?

Oh, guess who else is on the team— teleporting ass Will.i.am in a cowboy hat. Only problem is, every time he disappears, he keeps coming back and reappearing again. Wolverine’s old boss Colonel Stryker says let me put metal on your claws, okay? Then he recites a poem:

Let me put metal on your claws/let me get in your drawers/ Wolverine let me hold your paws

Wolverine gets adamantium bones, which is better than the experiments they did on Don Draper where they gave him Mad-Men-tium bones. Just makes him drink and smoke a lot. Next thing you know, Wolverine is all “Schkkk” and “Flckk” with the claws. Wait I forgot what happens next.

Oh yeah his girlfriend gets murdered in the woods because he’s a lumberjack but they found him, I don’t know how but they found him RUN FOR IT MARTY! Ryan Reynolds gets turned into Deadpool, a villain with all the powers of the other mutants.

SPOILER ALERT

So the brothers team up to fight him on a nuclear reactor. Oh right— Wolverine’s girlfriend was never dead. She was a skin hypnotist. One touch and you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. I guess Wolverine was mostly coming.

Colonel Stryker kills his girlfriend and shoots Wolverine in the head so his brain will have to regenerate and he’ll forget all the bad stuff that Stryker did. That’s pretty surgical shooting there, Tex. When Wolverine comes back to life he can remember how to talk, motor functions, the English language, how much he likes cigars, etc. But not the events of this film.

WHERE’S MY GUN? Ha ha I kid. I watched this movie on HBO HD hungover and enjoyed it.

The Road

Uh oh somebody broke the whole planet. Now it’s mass hysteria: fires and cannibals and ash sandwiches. And Viggo Mortensen is a man trying to keep a little kid alive in all that. Hey kid, have some crumbs and spiderwebs. Hope that holds you for a month.

At least Mortensen had Gandalf’s help the last time he was trying to keep a little person alive in that much smoke and sadness. This time it’s just him versus roving bandit gangs and starvation. Oh yeah and he’s already dying anyhow, of some kind of coughing disease. No wonder, he’s using plastic bags and duct tape for shoes and bandages. Guess CVS probably isn’t open. Y’all got any band-aids? Oh, it’s a cannibal house now? I guess the skulls on sticks outside should have tipped me off.

Well, well- if it isn’t Robert Duvall, playing against type as a grizzled old man. Usually he’s so flamboyant and foppish, but he’s all rugged grit in this role. He really goes to town on a fruit cup in one scene. I’m not sure why I added that, but he really does get fruit cup everywhere.

And look who else it is, it’s Viggo Mortensen’s backside and testicles, playing against type as a grizzled old set of testicles. Usually they’re so flamboyant and foppish, but they’re all rugged grit in this role. His “fruit cup” really goes to town in this movie.

The end of the world I pictured in my head was more hellish than the one in the movie. I was thinking darker skies, blacker soil on a desolate Earth. Ruination. Pits and ribcages. A kingdom of bones into which this father and sun must carry the spark of compassion and love. Death. But not for you Gunslinger, never for you. But hey, who am I to ask, “could you make your apocalypse a little more miserable? Right now it’s got a ‘living inside a wet autumn leaf’ kind of feel but I think it could go darker.'”

Viggo Mortensen and the kid break into a house looking for food and find a cellar with a padlock on it. It’s not full of your grandma’s preserves. Unless your grandma was into capturing and eating people, and in that case your grandmother was a witch. As a kid in preschool nothing scared me more than the idea of a witch cooking me in a cauldron. When the Hall & Oates song “Maneater” came on the radio, I’d get scared thinking of a stringy haired witch who lived in a cave and only came out at night, presumably to eat people, as evidenced by the “watch out boy, she’ll chew you up” line.

Hall & Oates had taken to the radio to warn us all: there is a man-eating woman, she comes out in the evening, she eats children, mostly boys, and we should all exercise caution. I guess I assumed they had narrowly escaped her no doubt bony clutches and had written a life saving song about it.

I like the idea of Daryl Hall and John Oates collapsed on a rock in a dense jungle, breathing heavily, faces scratched, clothes torn. “Did we lose her?” asks Hall. “Shhhh quiet for a minute!” says Oates. A tattered black shape flies high overhead, cackling madly. Hall & Oates don’t move a muscle. “Okay,” says Oates, “I think it’s safe to go back to the boat.”

Borderlands

I thought about Borderlands as I was drifting off to sleep the other night. In the game I was using my phasewalking ability to electrocute an armored military unit called the Crimson Lance, causing them to yell in their squawky voices, flail around, throw up their hands and die in a puff of electricity. So like Scrooge McDuck counting gold coins in his head before he slipped into dreams of large bosomed lady ducks, I counted the kills I made in Borderlands before I dozed off.

Then again, the next night I was thinking about fried ice cream cake, which is something I came up with at lunch with my friends. It’s a piece of ice cream cake you dip in batter and fry. I also invented a service where you hire a priest to stand outside of a strip club and forgive you as you are walking out. You’re forgiven! And you’re forgiven! Aaaaand you’re forgiven!

The only thing I didn’t like about this game is deciding which gun to keep and which gun to sell, because there are so many to choose from. I kept obsessing over having the best of all the guns. My favorite weapon was a Double Anarchy submachine gun. Other guns came and went, but this was a gun I felt like I could settle down and grow old with. Congratulations, Borderlands, I’m reminiscing about video game weapons.

Most games, I couldn’t give a damn what I’m shooting someone with. Oh does this shoot lasers? No, it shoots little needle things. And this one just says prerecorded businessman cliche phrases when I pull the trigger. (pulls trigger) “Maximize our SEO!” “It is what it is!” Maybe somebody could make a gun for priests that forgives people. Wonder what ammo you would load it with. Probably confetti.

Borderlands is looking pretty with those cel-shaded graphics. Very stylish. Like an ad for an uptown condo. All it needs now is a skinny lady holding a cosmopolitan. If I see a woman in an ad holding a fancy drink and a big glittery purse I assume if I hung out with her she’d be really mean and boring.

Here comes a spoiler:

This whole game, you’re running around killing bandits on a desert planet, picking up weapons and shields, looking for this mythical place called The Vault. To be honest with you, I thought the Vault was going to be full of amazing weapons and loot. Nope. It’s got a squid creature from another dimension in it. That ain’t right, video game. If you call something a vault, it better have treasure or a dead body in it. I’ve never heard of anyone keeping a big space jellyfish in a vault, not even the seafood bank where you can get a 3% on all shrimp you deposit.

But like the ocean voyage you must take to reach the seafood bank, what made Borderlands great was not the destination, but the journey. Skully Skeleton, the mossy skeleton from a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean I mentioned in my review of Wonder Boys and The Lovely Bones, once traveled all seven seas just to deposit a silver backed shark into his seafood bank account. Then he found out his account was overdrawn by one hundred lobsters. Funny story- that shark ended up being the best man at Skully’s wedding to a a Polynesian belly dancer.

THE END

Cast Away

Tom Hanks wears a big Christmas sweater. He works for FedEx motivating Russians. Hey Russians move those packages faster, nyet! Nyet! He gets on a FedEx plane and it crashes on an island. Ain’t gonna need that sweater now, Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks makes fire. Tom Hanks steals a dead man’s shoes. Tom Hanks makes a spear out of a stick. Tom Hanks is now an island man. He finds a volleyball in a Fedex package, puts a bloody hand-print on it and names it Wilson. Now he has a best friend.

Four years go by and Tom Hanks grows a beard and dreadlocky-hippie hair. Look who’s ready to go to Bonnaroo! He gets really good at spearfishing. He stuffs Wilson with sticks. Now Wilson has a new hairstyle made out of sticks. I wish I could get a haircut with sticks in it. Oh my, look at my edgy summer do’!

When I was a kid my grandmother would take me to get my hair cut by a chain-smoking woman named Dean in a Southern ladies’ beauty parlor in the back of a house. I’ll never forget the Georgia heat baking the pavement outside the screen door as we walked into the velveteen darkness of the front hall, inhaling the scent of baby powder and hair products, antique furniture still and silent as a tomb in the main parlor. Whoops, I accidentally started writing my memoirs there for a minute. Dean refused to give me a rat-tail, no matter how cool it looked.

A big chunk of a port-a-potty floats up on the beach and Tom Hanks says that would make a good sail so he makes a little raft and sails away from the island. One thing I liked about the island is there were no smoke monsters or time traveling or caves of light. Mostly fish and coconuts, like the inside of Aquaman’s walk-in closet.

I’ll tell you what Tom Hanks’ situation reminds me of— the Tori Amos song Cool on Your Island. Prepare to have chills run down your spine as I quote a Tori Amos lyric like a 1994 college feminist studies major:

We could buy an airplane/Build a home in the sand/You could tell your secrets/I could understand/But then by the morning/Comes crumblin’ down/And as your leavin’/Wait

If you changed “buy an airplane” to “crash in an airplane” and “tell your secrets” to “tell your secrets to a volleyball”, you’d practically be reading the script for Cast Away. I say they should change the title of the movie to Cool On Your Island.

When he gets back to the real world he delivers a package to a lady who makes art with wings on it. She kind of looks like Tori Amos a little bit. You know they are going to get together, but then again he did just buy a new volleyball so only time will tell if he cuts his hand open to make a new friend. Oh, who is the best man at your wedding? A blood caked volleyball with some sticks coming out of it. Who is the Maid of Honor? A Lady Speed Stick deodorant tube stuffed with flowers and rocks.

Feed

Feed

In the year 2034, twenty years after the 2014 zombie uprising, bloggers are respected licensed journalists and are required to carry firearms for zombie killing. Everyone has to take a blood test to get in and out of their cars or houses or hotels. I’m glad my car doesn’t test my blood before I can exit, the window motor is broken and the windows are stuck in the up position, so I’m not sure I’d like to add zombie blood testing to its crippled electrical system.

I once had a car that leaked antifreeze and oil onto the engine, causing smoke to billow out from under the hood. That car was missing its driver’s side window altogether so I had to put a tarp over it. One day I got caught in a thunderstorm outside a Krystal, with rain pouring into my car and black smoke pouring out of my hood. Then a pretty girl pulled up next to me. Oh hello, I’m just over here role-playing that I’m Captain Planet and I’m giving my two best friends Fire and Water a ride to the recycling center. Let’s go on a date and eat a sackful of Krystal burgers.

Georgia and Shaun Mason, a brother and sister blogging team, are following Senator Peter Ryman around on his presidential campaign. He’s a pretty stand up guy, but people keep trying to kill him with zombies. If I was trying to assassinate somebody, I’d use bullets, zombies or no zombies. No wait, I’d use an awesome sword. With a donkey on the hilt. The donkey sword would be a coveted weapon indeed, forged by a mule in the light of the donkey moon.

I know the Senator is supposed to be a lantern jawed All-American guy, but in my head he was portrayed by John C. Reilly, about which imdb.com had this to say:

With a homely mug, lumbering gait and unruly mop of curly hair tailor-made for offbeat character work, John C. Reilly played a host of seamy characters to great effect over the years.

Damn, imdb.com, he’s not Shrek. You can pull some punches. Why not just write, “with his ass ugly face that even a mule’s butt would beat in a beauty contest, and neanderthal body that’s just an ungainly collection of mismatched parts, John C. Reilly is a good actor.”

I also pictured Olivia Thilrby as the sardonic blogger Georgia Mason and Tyler Labine from the underrated show Reaper as Shaun Mason. Labine because he seemed perfect for the affable slow-to-anger Shaun and Thirlby because I could picture her wearing dark glasses everywhere and hunting down the truth. Also, she doesn’t get cast in enough stuff, even book characters in my head. Sadly, the pay for that kind of thing is negligible.

Now there’s a business idea: actors and actresses charge people to picture them in their heads as book characters. $200 per role. That’s an easy two hundred bucks right there. John C. Reilly could buy buckets of water to put out the villagers’ torches after imdb.com incites a riot against him in his castle. Burn the monster! Down 1000% in popularity this week! See why on IMDBPro!

Feed is a good zombie book in a crowded genre of zombie books. It really drills down into the details of the technology required to keep a zombie outbreak under control, and how the media would handle information in a world under constant viral threat. I even got sad when a character I liked got bitten by a zombie. I don’t consider that a spoiler, because if you’re reading a zombie book and no one gets bitten by a zombie, then you might as well be reading a book about zombies who bow and say, “How do you do?”. What a gentleman- he removes his hat AND his head for a lady!

The Office | Season Six

So Pam and Jim had a baby, huh. We have a baby in the office where I work. We call him Spacebaby. He’s a plastic doll and he’s the filthiest thing you ever saw. Sometimes we put a lamp over his head and pretend he’s getting his hair done. We made a rule, too- nobody can touch that baby. Except his wife. And his boyfriend. That’s right- Spacebaby is freaky. But only on the weekends. He calls them “freak-ends”.

Michael Scott starts up an illicit affair with the married manager of a sports bar this season. For some reason she finds him irresistible. Earlier today I tried to use the word “irresistible” and said “un-resistible” instead. You’re welcome, Dictionary King.

Kevin gets compared to the Cookie Monster, in an unflattering fashion. I’m an Oscar the Grouch man, myself. He’s green, he’s fuzzy, he lives in a studio trash can, he’s a grouch. I’d like to see Oscar walking around more, though. Maybe in a dress shirt, tie and suspenders. A dressed up Grouch for modern times.  But I guess anyone living in a trash can doesn’t have a suit lying around.

Dwight Schrute signs a contract to make a baby with Angela but then Pam’s attractive friend Isobel finds him un-resistible for reasons beyond my comprehension so he tries to get out of it. So I’m to believe, The Office, that Dwight is so desirable that a beautiful woman would wade into his baby contract baggage to kiss his (forgive me for saying, but) strange and off-putting face?

I once read an article in the 90’s in Details magazine about how some women will have sex with ugly men because of their sexual prowess and their primal, hairy-knuckled charm. There were all these testimonials from women along the lines of, “his brow was sloped and he had a potbelly and his back was covered in hair but he was dynamite in the sack!” Yeah, maybe the sack you filled with dynamite and stuffed him in before you threw it off a cliff.

Dunder Mifflin is purchased by printer company Sabre. Kathy Bates plays their CEO. She’s got two big dogs. Hey it’s the end of the paragraph! What are you doing here so soon?

Andy romances Erin the secretary this season. She’s as cute as a button. What if you put an already cute button on the tip of a baby kitten’s nose? Does it somehow become cuter? Do you have to amend your statement? “She’s as cute as a button on the tip of a baby kitten’s nose.” What if the baby kitten with the button on his nose fell asleep in a teacup? Now what do you say?

“I’d tap that.” That’s what you say. “That” of course referring to “that ass”, not the kitten dozing in a teacup. Though I suppose you could gently tap the kitten on its fuzzy head until it wakes up and groggily blinks its eyes at you.

Maybe I should get a cat.

Crazy Heart

In Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges’ aging country singer gets “crazy hard” for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s small town newspaper reporter. Bridges plays Bad Blake, an old-ass musician dragging his cowboy-hat-wearing bag of bones from crappy venue to crappy venue, pausing to throw up from drinking and smoking and also to have sex with middle-aged groupies (hey it’s the Sparkle Motion mom from Donnie Darko!) he meets in bars.

Younger, hotter journalist Jean (Gyllenhaal) asks him for an interview, but he demands that she direct all questions to his manager, aka his ancient road-dusted penis. Then they start dating. He’s a drunk, though, so she gets mad at him pretty quick. Stop drinking, you old handsome drunk!

Blake’s protege Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) is successful and famous, so Blake is mad about it. Until Tommy offers him a chance to open on his big tour. I have to tip my (cowboy) hat to Colin Farrell, he did a pretty good job playing a country singer. Weird ponytail, though. Put a quiver of arrows on his back and some pointy ears and he could have been cosplaying an elf from Lord of the Rings.

Robert Duvall plays Bad’s old friend and fishing buddy Wayne. If I was into cosplay, I’d cosplay Robert Duvall. You can keep your anime cats and Doctor Who scarves, I’m going to get a short sleeved dress shirt and baseball bat and go to Dragon*Con as Duvall’s Texas preacher “Sonny” from The Apostle. Holy Ghost Power!

Spoiler Alert

Bad Blake loses Jean’s young son in a bar and it costs him the relationship. I mean, that’s all well and good that it got his life back on track but he looked away for a split second and that kid was out of sight. What’s he supposed to do when the boy goes into a back room with no exits and then vanishes? I would have been like, “It ain’t my fault your kid can teleport, lady. Now gimme a kiss.” Is it too late to add another song to the soundtrack?

It aint my fault/your kid can teleport/maybe you should/chain him to a heliport

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Lex Luthor fighting for….GOOD?!! (rubs eyes, blinks in amazement) Even Superman can’t believe it. Until he uses his x-ray vision to see Luthor’s heart is on the wrong side of his body, so he’s clearly from an alternate dimension where good is bad, everyone’s organs are reversed, every Waffle House is a Huddle House and every town’s City Hall is an IHOP. Guess I’m in the mood for pancakes.

Luthor-2 crosses over into our dimension and says hey Justice League help me out with your villainous counterparts! The Justice League says OK we’ll come to your weird second Earth and fight the evil versions of ourselves. The evil doppelganger Justice League calls itself the “Crime Syndicate”. Nice creative naming there, criminal superheroes. If I had been in charge of naming it I would have called it “Super Crime!”. Give me all your money on account of SUPER CRIME!

Not for nothing, but the Crime Syndicate isn’t really as evil as they could be. They talk like Mafia gangsters and seem preoccupied with who controls what territory. If dark-hearted men with God-like powers really held sway over the world, I don’t think they’d act like Tony Soprano. You’d be seeing shrines built to their honor, people feeding them grapes, concubines chained to a marble dais, graven images- the standard Gods walk among us package. Even Jabba the Hut managed to get a slave Leia and he never even got any exercise, much less superpowers.

Hey Crime Syndicate-here’s a free tip on how to defeat some dimension hopping superheroes if they ever show up in your alternate Earth looking to take away your Super Crime. Take some civilian hostages and make their families fight the Justice League to get them back. Now those super dummies are running around trying to find non-lethal ways to fight off a mob of desperate people, your absolute power is reinforced and you can eat pancakes at city hall with Carrie Fisher in a metal bikini.

You know who was truly a villain? Batman’s sinister counterpart OwlMan. The final battle/philosophical debate between him and Batman was like watching Carl Jung fight Nietzsche in a bat suit. I think the heaviest line of dialogue was when Batman asked Owlman how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and Owlman said that choosing to destroy the original Earth from which all alternate Earths originated, thus eradicating all reality, was the only choice that has any effect at all. Then he bit the Tootsie Pop.

You know, if I was that kid in the Tootsie Pop commercial, I wouldn’t trust an owl just because he was wearing a mortarboard cap. I don’t even think I know of a University that would admit an owl. Even if they did, there’s no degree for Candy Studies. That owl is running a straight up Tootsie Pop scam, with SUPER CRIME.