Archive for: August, 2010

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Eric Bana is naked every time he uncontrollably leaps around in time, like if Quantum Leap starred a bachelorette party stripper. Did any of you ladies need something put right that once went wrong? Speaking of stripping, me and some friends were trying to find bad movies to watch on Netflix and we settled on a movie called Ghost In A Bikini. To be fair, it was categorized as horror. I’ll tell you what’s horrifying- seeing some dude sucking on a lady’s nipples a minute into the movie. More ghost, less bikini! Well, more bikini, too. More clothes in general is what I’m saying. Not that I’m horrified by the act of nipple sucking. Babies won’t shut up about the whole thing, but honestly I don’t see the hoopla. All I’m saying is, Netflix- don’t say it’s a horror movie and then show a skin flick. What if I’d shown Ghost In A Bikini at my church group’s weekly horror movie showing? The deacon’s Fangoria cap would have flown right off his head and he’d be spitting holy water all over the youth minister’s GWAR shirt as soon as he saw that errant nipple.

Rachel McAdams is about to marry the time traveler and then poof he time travels right out of his tuxedo. Then he shows up old as hell. Even the bride’s father is like, damn he’s old as shit! Is it even legal to marry an ancient mummy? Then the old version of Eric Bana disappears and the young Eric Bana is back and he’s all, “Oh hey did I miss anything? Let’s dance to Broken Social Scene’s cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart, even though that’s an odd song choice for a public ceremony celebrating our plans to not have a doomed romance.” Then they’re on their honeymoon and jumping up and down on the bed in their wedding clothes oh hell no they’re not he gone he time travel! Shazam bitches!

I got fitted for a tuxedo yesterday at Men’s Wearhouse. One of the employees looked like a silver haired Andy Warhol. He was so fabulous he made Ziggy Stardust look like Richard Nixon. And he made Richard Nixon look like David Bowie. He made a lot of things look like other things. I bet if you dated a girl that worked there she’d talk about him all the time. Oh, you won’t believe what Fabuloso said today! Fabuloso got his cape caught in the tie thresher today! What?! What is a tie thresher?

Spoiler Alert

You better believe the time traveler’s wife is the time traveler’s widow before the movie is over. You know, for a guy with an amazing ability to travel through time, he uses it almost exclusively to hang out with his wife. That’s like being able to fly and then using your flying ability to fly your girlfriend to a late showing of Sex and the City 2 at the dollar theater. Which, by the way- Fabuloso hated. He was screaming and throwing popcorn at the screen and waving his opera glasses around. He was like, Ooooooweeeee! Then he pulled his ascot out and started rubbing the movie theater manager’s bald head with it. That dude does not know how to act at the movies.

Where Even the Water is Death (Red Dead Redemption)

Where Even the Water is Death (Red Dead Redemption)

The first person I met in Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer mode shot me dead where I stood. I took two steps toward him like a newborn baby and he pumped me full of lead. I had entered Red Dead Redemption’s Free Roam area, where you can ride a donkey around and interact with strangers on Xbox Live. Unfortunately most strangers on Xbox Live are horrible trolls with high pitched troll voices and little troll nicknames like HALOxxx_KILLSPOT23 or MURD3RCL0WNHEADHSH0T_HANNAHMONTANABESTOFBOTHWORLDS. Even the nice ones are impossible to understand. This one dude asked me to join his posse. I was talking to him on my super cool Xbox controller headset. “This is my first time playing multiplayer,” I said. “How does a posse work?”

“Ha, ha” he said, “they’ll do that.”

“Who’ll do what?” I asked. “You got to…you got to….go there.” he replied. What? “Are you talking to me?” I asked. Silence. His horse stood in front of me. I rode in circles around him. Me: “What is our posse about to do?” Him: “It’s hard the first time.” No shit, Yoda. I should have put a knife in his ribs.

Later, I was playing a co-op mission with strangers. In the lobby, waiting on the mission to start, everyone was punching each other. A blond man chased me and punched me until I fell in the dust. Then a woman punched me. Everyone was punching me. The man jumped and down. The woman ran in circles. This was my team.

When the mission began, everyone whistled for their horse. I accidentally got on the blond man’s horse. The blond man shot it in the head so I couldn’t ride it and I fell on the ground. They rode off and left me behind and I had to run and run to catch up. When I got to where the fighting was, most of my team was dead and one guy refused to leave a cannon he found, shooting it in roughly the same spot over and over and over. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! “I’m a cowboy!” I imagined him thinking to himself, “I like the cannon cause it boom and big kid pants.”

I saw on my radar one of the other players had become Most Wanted. I tracked him to the saloon in Armadillo. He was hiding out on the second floor. I walked into the first floor of the saloon. He shot me in the head and I died. I reappeared near the saloon. I came up the stairs on the other side. I peeked over the window to aim at him. He put another bullet in my head. I reappeared again and tried the outer balcony. I crouched next to the entrance and poked my head around. BAM! I was dead yet another time. I left him alone. Let some other fool go after him. But my pride, oh my pride stung.

I hunted another fugitive the next day, chasing him over the plains. He must have seen my dot on the radar racing toward him and known it was coming. “You don’t know what’s coming, son. Oh, you’re gonna get got!” I said to him in my mind and also out loud. I pulled out my Volcanic Pistol. I arrived at his dot on the radar. He was nowhere to be seen. I activated dead eye and shot a man off his carriage. An innocent man, it turned out. My quarry was hiding behind a rock. I got got! I didn’t know what was coming, son!

I was riding a raft with my friend Sam, holding off wave after wave of enemies. I stepped off the raft into the river. I drowned. OH I’M DEAD I yelled into my stylish Xbox headset. I couldn’t help but think of how this must be what hell is like, a hot dusty place where the mad and the evil and the foolish fight endlessly but never truly perish, reappearing moments after death. A place where even the water is death.

I appeared in a Mexican town having traveled there instantaneously via wagon wheel. I materialized next to an old Mexican woman who was not another player, just a character in the game. I brandished my rifle at her. She held up her hands. I holstered my gun and whistled for my horse. I rode away. Another player had become Most Wanted.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

In Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Ben Stiller’s kid gets the floor plans of the Smithsonian’s underground federal archives from the Smithsonian website. I went to the Smithsonian website and didn’t see any links for “detailed maps to a literal treasure vault of our most valuable and important works of art”. I did see a link to their twitter account. Maybe they tweet the map? Find us on Facebook! Also, find our most priceless items and wander in whenever you please because our lowest level night watchmen have key card access to our underground bunker of artifacts and paintings. PS… no cameras! We literally leave the Smithsonian abandoned and unobserved for the night so Ben Stiller can run around with Amelia Earhart. Seriously. Your grandmother’s AOL email account is more secure than the Smithsonian at night. A rare diamond wrapped in a silk bow thrown into a hole dug in the ground and filled with hobos and pawn shops is more secure than the Smithsonian after the sun goes down.

The kid gives Ben Stiller directions over the phone for a few minutes and is never seen in the movie again. He doesn’t even show up at the end when Ben Stiller goes back to his job as the night guard and lets the general public in after dark so they can mingle with the magical museum displays that come to life. Not only has he decided to unveil a verifiable water-to wine-walking-on-water-Harry-Potter-just scored-ten-points-for-Gryffindor miracle to any man, woman or child who walks in off the street, but he neglected to invite his OWN SON to the grand opening of this colossal mistake and possible herald of the end of civilization as we know it and the dawn of the age of magic. If that kid doesn’t end up a museum arsonist, then I just don’t know how museum arsonists are made in this world. Other than beating him with a Magritte painting and giving him a pack of matches and saying, “Hey kid why dontcha go burn down some museums or something? With these matches.” Who is going around trying to turn kids into museum arsonists?! Carmen Sandiego, I bet.

When Owen Wilson’s little cowboy was trapped in an hourglass and hourglass sand was falling on his head, why didn’t he get out of the way? He just stood there and let sand fall on his tiny cowboy hat. Maybe it felt good like being in a hot shower. He didn’t really react to it at all.

Director: Okay, Owen Wilson, now in this scene you’re about to drown in hourglass sand. Your life is in danger. Of ending. Because of the drowning in the hourglass sand.
Owen Wilson: Yeah, sure. I’m just going to act really chill about it and not wave my hands around or scream or cry into my tiny cowboy hat.
Director: Brilliant.

Later, Owen Wilson is rescued by his Roman soldier friend. A Roman soldier rescues a cowboy from an hourglass. Sounds like a powerful metaphor, right? Or a scene from a movie that’s king of all the other movies. Bum ba bum bum bum! All rise for the movie that’s king of all the other movies! Please turn off your cell phones and melt them into the basic metals and alloys with which they were made. Now fashion jewelry out of them and present the jewelry to the movie that’s king of all the other movies. Now shut up. The previews are on.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

I bet when Tom Clancy pours gravy on his mashed potatoes, it’s out of a pistol. He keeps the butter in a pair of military issue binoculars. And instead of napkins he dabs his mouth with a manila folder full of CIA classified documents. Also, he eats dinner in the dark wearing thermal goggles.

When he’s done he pats his belly and yells, “Tooooooooom Claaaaaaancy!” Then he kisses a bullet. Then he kisses his own hand. I had a discussion with my friends at work about how it’s fun to kiss your own hand but nobody believes me. Go ahead. Kiss your own hand. It’s really fun. Also a good argument stopper. If you’re having a fight with someone, start kissing your own hand. Check mate.

So, in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction your daughter is dead but she isn’t dead we lied to you and also this private military organization you worked for is bad now, so shoot everybody in the head. Put on this bulletproof vest. Bash this dude’s face in a toilet. Climb this pipe. Save a scientist! She’s wearing a lab coat so you know she’s all into some science and shit. And glasses!! Extra smart. Kill these soldiers! Don’t ask why! Leave a trail of bodies! What are you some kind of lady? You’re Sam Fisher damn it! Haul your distinguished middle-aged-graying-templed ass over to the White House and save the President! Put some Touch Of Gray® in your hair. Sit in a bathtub with your old naked wife in a Cialis ad. Play Roger Sterling in an episode of Mad Men. Put on these goggles. No, not your swimming goggles. The ones that can see heat signatures through walls. Okay, now put on your swimming goggles. Kiss your own hand.

Now you’re at the Lincoln Memorial. Giant Abraham Lincoln is sitting on his big ivory chair. Or is it marble? It doesn’t matter. You aren’t here to learn about stonemasonry, you’re here to sneak up on a businessman or a politician or something and slam his head into a speaker and also a table. That’ll teach him to wear a suit! Actually, no one has ever successfully learned to wear a suit by being physically assaulted in the face. Fun fact: Abraham Lincoln could teach a man to tie a tie by kicking him in the shin.

Spoiler Alert

When you’re done saving the President you have a choice whether or not to kill the mole who set everybody up and was feeding information to the bad guys. I shot him in the face because why not, he just showed up in the game and now the game is asking me whether or not to kill him. Am I wearing judge’s robes? I don’t give a shit. If you say he’s bad, video game, yeah go ahead and kill him.

Greenberg

The last time I watched a Noah Baumbach movie was with this girl I was dating who wasn’t that into me. One time we got really drunk and she said, “tonight is the night I’m going to invite you into my bed.” Ahh yes, I drunkenly thought to myself. An invitation into the bed. You are cordially invited, sir. Phil Collins “No Jacket Required” invited. Aaand absolutely nothing happened. I slept in my rumpled clothes. The next morning I caught a glimpse of her underwear clad butt Scarlett-Johansson-lying-on-her-side-in-the-opening-scene-of-LostinTranslation-style and thought, ‘well, that’s the last I’ll see of that.’ Then I walked home hungover and sad. Like Phil Collins “I Wish it Would Rain Down” sad.

So Greenberg (Ben Stiller) had a nervous breakdown and now he gets to stay in his brother’s really nice house, walk his brother’s big friendly dog and have sex with his brother’s improbably sexy young assistant who brings him whiskey and ice cream. Oh no, Greenberg! How will you manage?!

First of all, Greenberg is supposed to be facing the perils of aging, but he’s still a really good looking guy with all his hair. He doesn’t have a potbelly. He’s got all his cool hair. Looks to me like he won the middle aged lottery. Second of all, he talks all this shit to this beautiful girl and she still loves him and sleeps with him. Third of all, he’s supposed to have just gotten out of a mental institution but it must have been the most laid back insane asylum ever. Maybe he overheard someone at the Apple Store say, “it’s really crazy in here today” and took it literally.

Yesterday in the Apple Store I went to pick up a repaired iMac for my office and got halfway to my car when I realized they forgot to give me the power cable. So I went back in and said, “You forgot to give me my power cable!” This greasy haired dude with giant holes in the lobes of his ears who wanted nothing more than to escape me and my cable was all “well you can wait in line at the genius bar” and I said, “Hey- I’m not interested in waiting in line for something YOU forgot to give me.” So he went in the back and brought me a cable and I got back to the office and found the old cable which had been there the whole time, so now I’m going to take the extra cable and plant it in the ground and hope another iMac grows there. Or maybe a beanstalk that takes you up to the Apple Store that giants use.

But I have to admit Greenberg really hit home for me. I’m a grown man with adult friends who are having children and getting married as I while the days away playing video games and wearing t-shirts. I’m also notorious for refusing to drive anywhere, and wouldn’t you know it Greenberg has his friends drive him around everywhere. You might not get much out of it, but Greenberg for me was like looking ten years in the future if I don’t get my act together.

Unless that cable blossoms into a tree that grows Apple products. Then I’ll be set for life. I imagine Steve Jobs hanging out underneath it in a shining white toga. “Jason,” he says, “tonight is the night I’m going to invite you into my bed.” Nooooooo!

Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass got lost in the mail, so I reported it to Netflix. So they sent another disc. Then the old disc showed up. But I didn’t know that and tried to OnDemand it with Comcast. But OnDemand was broken. The whole world of buying and renting movies is a spinning wheel of broken splinters. And on that wheel rides the oxcart of our hopes and dreams. And pulling that oxcart is the ox of freedom. I could have kept the disc I reported lost in the mail but instead my heart was pure and true, so I sent it back to Netflix. They should give me a medal of valor because I really enjoyed Kick-Ass.

Not to mention I was hungover when I watched it. If you want to feel better the day after drinking too much, you have to eat a hearty meal. Real manly food. Like a bag of mashed potatoes served out of the front of a bulldozer. Or a steak wrapped in a tie and garnished with a cufflink and every time you take a bite a stripper punches you in the face. I had a regular old hamburger with my girlfriend and her amazing Chinese Crested, Spacedog. A titan of testosterone am I.

Speaking of a punch in the face, “A Punch in the Face” would have been a fine title for this movie. Haven’t seen it? It’s super violent and bloody. So if you clutch at your lacy underthings at the sight of awesome fights, then maybe you should reinforce your garters because a lot of this movie is stabbing and burning and shooting.

That pleasantly round faced kid from Hot Tub Time Machine is in this movie. I bet he got at least one kiss from a fan as a result. Not me, though. I’ll never kiss someone just because they were in a movie. Unless it’s a movie about kissing me. Working Title: Smooch Patrol.

I felt like Big Daddy’s mustache extensions were gross. But I think spirit gum is gross. Just a weird minty caramel goo on your face. Makes you feel like you had a threesome with a Werther’s Original and a York Peppermint Pattie. Also, Hit-Girl made weird faces when she was murdering criminals. Like a Japanese doll and one of those kid beauty pageant contestants and an actress in a soda commercial acting all refreshed all rolled into one off-putting expression.

Spoiler Alert

In some ways this movie was really Big Daddy’s story. It’s his crusade for revenge against D’Amico that Kick-Ass gets swept up in and ultimately finishes. I like stories where the main character tries to escape a mundane existence and stumbles into events bigger than himself- oh, you want to get off the boring farm and have a life of adventure? Here you go, kid: you’re a Jedi and the son of the most powerful and evil man in the galaxy. What’s that you say? You’re tired of taking care of a dumb old pig and want a life of adventure? Turns out that pig is the key to a cauldron that makes undead warriors. You’re welcome.

I beg your pardon? You’re sick of tending all these oxen? I’ll have you know that’s the ox of freedom! And that’s the callback, folks. Goodnight!

Stephen King’s It (movie)

I had an upsetting dream about getting my feet stuck in a bag of pistachios last night and then today in the grocery store I got stuck in line behind an elderly woman who smelled like old wet towels. She took twenty minutes to write out a check! On the drive home, my air conditioning failed in the summer heat and I held my face up to the vents blowing out hot air hoping for a miracle. I guess I think my face can heal air conditioners. The Cold Air Kid, they’d call me. Maybe I’d get a blue superhero outfit with puffs of frosty air around the muscles. Sorry, I meant “muscles”.

So here’s my review of the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s “It”. As opposed to the movie about Stephen King’s “thing”, starring Tim Curry as Stephen King’s penis.

The ponytail that actor Richard Thomas was wearing was so crazy that it startled me when he turned his head and revealed it. Do you know what it takes to surprise me with a ponytail? Other than this movie, it takes an actual pony hiding in the bushes ready to swat me with its tail. And to that pony I say: have as many sugar cubes as you like, for you have gotten the best of me in our game of barnyard hide and seek. Whereas to Richard Thomas I say: you look like a Whole Foods cashier with a hard drive full of upskirt pictures. To his credit, he was much better in Wonder Boys.

Harry Anderson not only is in this movie as Richie Tozier, but he has a Berkeley Breathed mustache. Or a Bill Watterson mustache. The kind of mustache that funny men of the 1980’s and 1990’s seemed to take to. Or the dad from Calvin and Hobbes. For a brief shining moment, that sort of mustache was actually kind of cool and commonly worn by shabby men of the comic arts. Not so much anymore. A beard is still safe territory, though. Because it’s what your face wants to happen! If you just leave your face alone, a full beard will arrive like a weary traveler looking for a home. All other facial hair styles are contingent on the year and social conventions and fashion and what not, so time travelers take care to do your research.

A young Seth Green plays the kid version of Tozier. It’s weird but you can kind of see the origins of his voice work on Family Guy and Robot Chicken when he does the wacky voices his character requires. You can also see the origins of the cage that Tim Curry will inevitably be locked in and placed miles beneath the surface of the Earth because he is completely convincing as a horrifying monster. Someone needs to wrap him in a bag of pistachios and throw it in the ocean because he is truly terrifying. Sorry, Tim Curry’s loved ones. You know you were thinking it.

Oh yeah- the amazing John Ritter is in this movie rocking a leather vest. Ponytails, vests, mustaches- the costume designer must have just got back from a magician’s conference. Or a country music line dancing conference. Or some horrible combination of the two. I bet they would call it The Magic Line. The only problem with that is that in order to dance you need to get within twenty feet of a woman, so… sorry magicians!

The monster at the end [spoiler alert] is pretty lame. I remember watching this with my mom when it first aired in the 1990’s and she yelled, “Come on!” at the screen in disgust because of how cheesy it looked. Yeah mom! To hell with those bad special effects! My mom demands better standards from the prop department. That thing looked like the ant from Honey I Shrunk the Kids after ten years of stripping in ant strip clubs. The Thorax. The Broken Antenna. The Heavy Crumb. It’s a seedy world in the ant adult entertainment industry. Stay in school, ants! Also, aunts.

Red Dead Redemption

I was playing Red Dead Redemption and I was sneaking up on a gang of bandits in a crouched position. I moved very quietly up a hill to get the drop on them from above. I drew my gun to fire on the bandits when my horse stuck his head in from the side of the screen. Hey, I’m your horse! Whatcha doin? Horse stuff? Sneaking up on some hay or grain?

I was looking to kill a corrupt lawman. It was raining. I had finally tracked him to a riverbed. My horse was in the lake. I whistled for him to come. The horse stayed in the lake. It is better in the lake, my horse seemed to say.

I reached the town of Blackwater. I had completed all the missions necessary to wear the U.S. Army outfit. I just needed to buy a scrap of fabric from the Blackwater tailor. My horse was blocking the door to the tailor’s shop. Whatcha buying? Horse clothes, maybe? I could use a hat. I’m your horse!

I was riding my horse over the plains and the rocks and the dust and the sunlight looked like the art on a tin plate my great-grandmother used to keep in her kitchen cupboard. Minus the revenge seeking cowboy, I guess. She used laminated photographs of desert scenes as placemats for dinner plates. I wonder if my great-grandmother would have rather lived in Arizona or Mexico.

I saw a donkey in Mexico and immediately jumped on it and rode it around. But it was too fat and slow so I left it by a Mexican brothel. If I was a donkey, I’d want to spend my days dozing in the shade of a Mexican whorehouse. If someone didn’t pay I’d bite their pocket until money fell on the ground and the prostitutes would bring me papayas and hang flowers around my head.

I was playing poker in Blackwater in my elegant suit and I tried to cheat but was caught by Bunk Trimble and challenged to a duel. I didn’t have the heart to kill him so I shot him in the arm. I slept in a room above the saloon and came back down the next morning for a more honest round of cards and Bunk was still there and it was like nothing had ever happened. I thought it would be cool if he was the great-great grandfather of William “Bunk” Moreland from The Wire, but then maybe characters from video games aren’t allowed to be grandfathers of characters from television shows.

Spoiler Alert

I had read on the internet that Marston died at the end of the game, but I was hoping it was some idiot on an idiot website who was trolling or didn’t know what he was talking about. But when John Marston left the barn I knew it was over.

Later when his son Jack Marston was riding his horse and wearing his guns, I had him put on the U.S. Army outfit but then realized he would never wear the uniform of the men who killed his father. So I had him ride to his family farm, lay down in his childhood bed and turned off the game.