In any given group social gathering, a conversational lull is bound to occur. Someone in the group pulls a new topic out of his/her butt and steers the conversation in a totally different direction. I feel like I always end up being that person. Lately I’ve gotten in the habit of reinvigorating dying conversations by using the same old segue: showing everyone in the group a picture of my husband Ryan’s taint. By showing everyone in the group a picture of my husband Ryan’s taint, I help establish that we’re on the same page and share common goals and dreams. That’s what Ryan’s taint does to people. It’s the glue. It’s the tie that binds. It’s like Xanax.
In which Jason and Chris Alonzo review the trailer for The Secret Of The Sword.
Did you notice that the world of He-Man and She-Ra seems like a violent, Cormac McCarthyian place? Every character in The Secret Of The Sword seems to be shooting a laser, firing a crossbow, or clanging a sword against something. People seem to literally be firing wildly into the air at all times on Eternia. At one point someone fires a bolt of energy at an unarmed king seated at a dinner table. Is there no cornbread for old kings?!
In which Jason and Mat Catastrophe review the trailer for Grand Theft Auto V: Michael.
Looks like our Grand Theft Auto V mobster has a few issues to work out with his therapist. He can’t choose between the chaos of a life of crime and the stability of being a family man. You know, the real Grand Theft Auto is the grand theft of his autonomy to be a criminal.
That’d be a good New Yorker cartoon caption, right? Maybe a guy in a burglar mask on a therapist’s couch could say it. Or the therapist could say it to his lady companion as they observe the thief from the sidewalk as he tries to jimmy a car door open with a coat hanger, tongue halfway out of his mouth. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone in a New Yorker cartoon stick out their tongue. Do the people in the world of New Yorker cartoons even have tongues? I guess they just open their mouths and serif fonts just spill right out.
Imperial Trouble returns with guest co-hosts Jack Walsh and Beau Brown! Topics include the definition of a midwife, what Jason did during the hiatus, the two types of puppets, The Ghastly Dreadfuls, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Everyone reveals a weakness.
The most involved I ever got in politics was in 1985 when I wrote a letter in crayon to Ronald Reagan on green and white computer paper I took from my family’s Commodore 64 printer.
We had hundreds of pirated games for the Commodore 64 on floppy disks, including a game called Space Taxi, a game about a taxi flying through space picking up passengers from giant candy canes and enormous beach umbrellas.
If you touched a candy cane with your Space Taxi, you burst into flames and you and your passenger died a fiery death. If you ran into a passenger with your landing gear down, he yelled, “HEY!” and exploded. If you managed to get your passenger from the candy cane to the beach umbrella safely, you made $1.87. These are all details I included in my letter to President Reagan, in case he wanted to incorporate Space Taxis into his “Star Wars” missile defense program.
The reason I decided against mailing this letter to Ronald Reagan is because shortly after I wrote the letter, I saw an old woman die right in front of me. Like, not the moment I set down the crayon, but pretty soon afterwards. If I’d been a little quicker on the draw with getting my letters to the President in the mailbox, we might have enormous candy cane satellites circling our planet, and $1.87 is all you’d need to take a space taxi to the moon.
Pauline took knitting lessons from my mother every Saturday in the living room and I’d watch cartoons in my He-Man Underoos. The thing about He-Man Underoos is, you’re Inception-ing your own underwear by having a drawing of a man in his underwear on your underwear.
Some purists might say, “He-Man is not wearing underwear. He is wearing a furry loincloth.” To which I say, is not the loincloth the Neanderthal that evolved into the Homo-Sapien of Underoos, tighty-whiteys, and eventually, boxer briefs or boxers, depending on how tightly encased you’d like your Masters of the Universe to feel? We all have to show our bare legs and the undersides of our butt cheeks to the world at some point in our lives. What we don’t have to do is let the world decide for us what counts as underwear and what counts as bathing suits.
So it’s Saturday morning, I’m in my Underoos, and my mother is teaching Pauline how to knit in the living room. I’m not putting on pants, because an old woman learning how to knit is no reason to stand on ceremony. If she didn’t want to see my pale, skinny legs, she shouldn’t have waited until her golden years to finally getting around to learning how to knit. Come to think of it, seeing me without pants on might have been what gave her the heart attack. Any of my ex-girlfriends will tell you, the sight of me in my underwear is not for the faint of heart.
Midway through her knitting lesson, Pauline asks for a glass of water. She takes one sip and begins to choke and claw at the air like a Space Taxi passenger on a collision course with a skyscraper-sized beach umbrella. ‘Man,’ I think to myself, ‘she really doesn’t like the taste of our water.’ I mean, I know well water tastes different than city water, but there’s no need to get dramatic about it.
I realize something more serious is happening when my mother frantically dials 911.
Now, even in the middle of a big city, with its delicious water, getting the kind of immediate medical attention that a heart attack requires can be difficult. When you live on a winding dirt road deep in the middle of the woods on lakefront property, it’s nearly impossible. In fact, it was quicker for the hospital to send an ambulance by boat.
My mother grabs a big white bed sheet and says, “Go down to the dock and wave this sheet around so the ambulance boat can see you.” I say, “Let me put on pants first.” And she says, “GO. NOW.”
I’m standing on a dock in only my Underoos, waving a white sheet around. Our neighbors come out to their docks when they hear the sirens of the boat ambulance. Everybody in the whole neighborhood, it seems, has bought a ticket to my impromptu burlesque performance. I want to wrap the sheet around my waist, but the boat ambulance driver might mistake me for a topless Lady Justice statue, and if the ambulance driver is a young John Ashcroft, he might insist on having curtains installed on our dock so no one has to look at my just, righteous nipples.
I wave the sheet as hard as I can and yell, “HEY!” like a guy being impaled on a Space Taxi’s landing gear. I have changed my attitude about my underwear. My underwear is now a beacon. My underwear is a tight white lighthouse literally guiding a ship to shore. I am now He-Man, and my underwear is now a loincloth.
The paramedics arrive and pronounce Pauline dead at the scene. I put on a pair of pants. The lighthouse has gone dark.
I never mailed the letter to Ronald Reagan. I now lived in a world where a safe and boring activity like a knitting lesson held the potential for violent death and forced exhibitionism. Telling the President about my favorite video game dropped to the bottom of my priority list.
Ronald Reagan died of Pneumonia after years of Alzheimers on June 05, 2004. I think we should all take a moment to wave a bed sheet in our underwear on the docks of our hearts in his honor, and in honor of the nice old woman who died while my mom was giving her a knitting lesson, and the unsent letter that would have revolutionized the 1980’s “Star Wars” missile defense program.
And that is why I never got involved in politics, and why I never take my pants off near women who are learning how to knit.
Robin Williams is driving a little wooden boat around on a lake in Switzerland. He’s wearing a really thick sweater. Seems like that sweater would just drag him down to his watery grave if he fell into the lake. Then he crashes his boat into a pretty lady’s boat. Instead of capsizing and dying a soggy woolen sweater-related death, he goes on a picnic with the lady. “Soon.” the sweater thinks to itself.
Robin Williams marries the boat woman and they have two children with androgynous haircuts. His wife runs an art gallery so she has a haircut like He-Man. “By the pageboy of Grayskull! I hang the paintings!” Then their children get killed in a car wreck. Then Robin Williams gets killed in a car wreck. He is survived by his wife’s bangs and his sweater.
Then Robin Williams goes to Heaven! Everything is made of paint because he loves paintings so much. I love macaroni and cheese but I don’t want to live in a house made of it when I go to Heaven. Also, his dog is there. Even though Robin Williams gets to fly and run really fast and manifest physical objects with his thoughts, his dog has no special powers and has to keep being a regular dog. Maybe the dog is in dog purgatory. He probably rejected dog Jesus but lived a good life anyway.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. shows Robin Williams the ropes in Heaven. Robin Williams asks him if there’s a God. Cuba Gooding, Jr. says yes, God’s up there “shouting down that he loves us and wondering why we can’t hear him.” An affectionate hobo with laryngitis on some scaffolding might have that problem, but God can probably make himself heard whenever he wants.
Turns out whatever Robin Williams’s wife paints on Earth appears in his Heaven because they are soul mates. So he sees a tree that she painted come to life and bloom flowers. Good thing for him she doesn’t paint Tijuana bibles starring Scrooge McDuck or Harry Potter/Draco erotic art. Guess that’s the kind of thing that shows up in R. Crumb’s Heaven.
Also, Robin Williams won’t take his trenchcoat off in Heaven. With all the lakes and clouds and dripping paint it looks pretty humid up there. He’s got to be burning up in that thing. Then he meets a beautiful Asian woman. She takes him to a steampunk beach where everyone wears lace and flies around. Apparently they’re flying away to help people be reborn as babies on Earth. Hey, I’m here to help you become a baby! How? I don’t know, but look at my crazy parasol! And I got some goggles and a top hat! Now go get in a vagina!
There’s also steampunk dudes riding penny-farthings wearing white gloves. Where are you guys going? To the art-collective bicycle co-op to drink PBR! Then a mermaid flies up out of the water into the sky. I don’t want to tell you how to do your mermaid business, but the whole reason you have fins instead of legs or wings is so you don’t have to take to the skies. Grass is always greener I guess.
Then the hot Asian woman tells Robin Williams that when she was alive she overheard her father say Asian women were “lovely and graceful” so that’s why she looks Asian in Heaven. Then she reveals she’s actually his daughter. Here’s a tip— if you’re going to be giving your dad the “welcome to Heaven” tour, don’t choose an appearance that gave him a boner when he was alive.
Back to Robin Williams’s wife on Earth. She’s eating frosting and contemplating suicide. That Hieronymus Bosch painting over her bed probably isn’t helping. Let’s see, I’ve got 400 thread count sheets, a white noise machine and an enormous depiction of the souls of the damned being devoured by bird headed demons. Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream!
Cuba Gooding, Jr. tells Robin Williams his wife committed suicide and he can never see her again because suicides go to Hell and nobody has ever brought a suicide back from Hell before. Robin Williams is still wearing his trenchcoat. They go to Heaven’s library to get a “tracker” to find his wife. They find Max von Sydow floating in the air reading a book and wearing a fur coat and flamboyant hat. Guess he’s reading up on how to dress for The Players Ball.
They take a boat to Hell through a crazy storm and a bunch of dirty naked people come up out of the sea and surround them with arms outstretched. Must be what it’s like to be in front of the Michael Franti and Spearhead stage at Bonnaroo. Then Cuba Gooding, Jr. reveals he’s actually Robin Williams’s son. Robin Williams must have mentioned that Snow Dogs gave him an erection at one point when he was alive.
Max von Sydow and Robin Williams find his wife in a filthy Hell version of their house and Max von Sydow says Robin Williams has three minutes to talk to her and after that he’ll go insane, like the five second rule for food, if every time you ate a dropped piece of toast you had to look into a soul-destroying void of madness and depravity. Which is actually how the Little Miss Sunbeam bread logo was created.
Anyway, Robin Williams refuses to leave his wife’s side even though he knows he’ll lose his mind in Hell. You know what else he refuses to leave in Hell? His coat. Anyway, his sacrifice saves his wife’s soul and they both go to Heaven. What about all the other suicides in Hell? Oh, sorry— you need a spouse or loved one to risk their sanity on your behalf in order to leave Hell. What’s that you say? Your life of loneliness and inability to find someone to love you drove you to suicide in the first place? Get back in the fire, loser!
Ultimately, What Dreams May Come was a beautiful movie with gorgeous visuals and flawed logic, unless you’re the founder and CEO of Burlington Coat Factory, and then it’s a triumph of the human spirit. The end!
This review contains spoilers and cursing, but not necessarily in that order.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 starts off with Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione at Dobby’s grave on the beach. And they gave him a little tombstone! It says, “Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf.” Seems like there’d be a lot of Muggles at the beach. If Harry Potter and his friends are trying to keep the wizarding world a secret they probably shouldn’t bury an elf that close to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cafe no matter how free he is.
Then Harry Potter breaks into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault to get a golden cup that Voldemort put a piece of his soul in. Voldemort sure does like putting his soul in ornate lockets and elegant drinkware. Maybe instead of trying to rule Hogwarts he should be a manager at Barneys New York. Also, Helena Bonham Carter is the worst as Bellatrix Lestrange! She overacts being evil so hard she makes Skeletor look like Sir Laurence Olivier playing Richard III.
Harry, Hermione and Ron break into Hogwarts to tell Snape to get the fuck out. Snape flies away in a puff of black smoke. Seems odd that all the evil wizards have to trail a cloud of smog behind them just because they serve Voldemort. Thanks a lot, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. I love spitting out black fumes every time I fly to wizard Target to get some Claritin and toilet paper. Do you think just once I could get from Point A to Point B without looking like a chimney sweep’s ghost is fucking the smoke monster from LOST in the middle of the sky?
Speaking of ghosts, Harry has to convince the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw to tell him where Voldemort hid a tiara that he also put his soul in. Man, Voldemort loves gaudy jewelry. He’s the Joan Rivers of dark wizards! Helena Ravenclaw does a lot of heavy breathing for a ghost. Calm down, lady— you don’t even have lungs! The last time a ghost hyperventilated this hard Boo Berry cereal was discontinued.
Then Voldemort kills Snape so he can use the Elder Wand, which is the strongest wand in the history of wizard kind and still sort of belongs to Snape because of the whole murdering Dumbledore thing. Apparently if you kill or defeat a wizard, his wand becomes loyal to you. First of all, that’s the opposite of loyal. Loyal would be helping the wizard not get defeated in the first place, not hooking up with whoever wins the fight like some hoochie mama watching rednecks brawl in a Sonic parking lot at one in the morning.
Anyway, before he dies Snape asks Harry to collect his tears in a bottle because the tears contain Snape’s memories of thirty-odd years of getting cock blocked by Harry’s father. Harry’s father seems like a real jackass. All he did was bully Snape and hang out with Lupin and Sirius Black, who were much cooler and far more interesting. And when Voldemort showed up to assassinate Harry Potter, Harry’s father was really easy to kill. Voldemort probably murdered him with an Avada Kedavra Curse while he was reading Wand Polish magazine on the toilet, which is either the most boring wizard magazine or the most pornographic. Meanwhile, Harry Potter’s mother was busy deflecting killing curses from “You-Know-Who” and unwittingly filling every vault and safety deposit box in Snape’s spank bank with reasons to go on living in his business of being the loneliest, bravest character in the entire series.
Snape doesn’t even get to be in the circle of Harry Potter’s dead friends and family who wish him well before he goes to face down Voldemort. Well, he only dedicated his entire life to keeping Harry Potter alive and ensuring the entire planet wasn’t enslaved by evil wizards despite his painful unrequited love for Harry’s mother that haunted him every waking moment of his life. Even in the afterlife the Potters are too cool to invite Snape to hang out with them. He should find a more appreciative family to protect/lust after/stalk.
Finally, Ron and Hermione kiss, Neville Longbottom turns into a badass and Harry Potter kills Voldemort with the Elder Wand. Then Harry breaks the Elder Wand in half and throws it in a river. That’ll teach you to be loyal, wand. Thanks for saving my life, good riddance!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is my favorite of the Harry Potter films, due to the gorgeous visuals, excellent pacing and superb acting of Alan Rickman, whose nuanced performance as Severus Snape made Sir Laurence Olivier in Richard III look like Skeletor in Sir He-Man the II. The end!
I was reading the user reviews on iTunes for Battle: Los Angeles, because I was wondering why it had such a low score. People kept writing reviews like “critics are dumb, this movie is awesome!” One guy wrote, “Critics sure can be buggers!” I pictured him in a rocking chair on his front porch, doling out homespun-country-mouse wisdom on the iTunes Battle: Los Angeles page from a laptop he made out of corncobs. Whatever you say, dummy. Let’s call up the New York Times, Joe Everyman has something to say on the internet! So someone criticizes the critics for critiquing, and now I’m criticizing that critique of critics, resulting in a Möbius strip of everyone’s an asshole.
Anyway, Aaron Eckhart is a Staff Sergeant in the Marines! He’s jogging down the beach, but a bunch of younger Marines jog past him, because he’s old! I know how he feels. I walk three and a half miles every morning in the park, and hot girls are always running past me. Though sometimes I hear that really fit people are attracted to out of shape people. Not these girls, though. Not even a second look. I guess my girlfriend wouldn’t like it if I was lurking in the park trying to pick up joggers. Fortunately for her, I’m nowhere as good looking as Aaron Eckhart. Or unfortunately for her.
Aaron Eckhart is retiring, but he’s going to get one last platoon ready for combat. But he got his last platoon killed so nobody trusts him. Everybody second guesses him to his face all the time. Hey Staff Sergeant, you aren’t going to get us killed, are you? Hey Staff Sergeant, you aren’t going to pour lighter fluid on our backs and then throw matches while yelling “I surrender, burn them all!” are you? Hey Staff Sergeant, you aren’t going to confuse bananas with guns and give all the monkeys at the zoo loaded .44 Magnums, are you?
When the aliens arrive, everyone thinks it’s just harmless meteors crashing into the ocean, but then BAM! Aliens with warships hell bent on killing all humans! In the mid-80’s toy manufacturers did something similar with two He-Man action figures called Stonedar and Rokkon. They were these rock guys that showed up as comets to help He-Man. They could transform into rocks and then back into guys who were covered in rocks. I don’t even like wearing pants in my apartment, I can’t imagine if I could never take off my clothes and also my clothes were made of rocks. I guess that’s the sacrifice you have to make when you want to disguise yourself as a boulder. If Skeletor ever tries to ruin a picnic in a national park, he better get ready to be mildly startled when some nearby rocks tell him to put down that ham sandwich!
The aliens are really hard to kill! Aaron Eckhart captures one of them and cuts away at layers of alien body parts until he finds its jellyfish center and stabs it. That’ll teach you to sting people’s legs at the beach and then those people get their ex-girlfriends drunk and make their ex-girlfriends pee on their legs and later find out from a park ranger that only saltwater will ease the sting of a jellyfish, not urine or fresh water! That was a friend of mine, not me. I would never let anyone pee on me, no matter how many invertebrates had stung me with poison barbs.
Then everyone finds out the aliens are here for our water! To paraphrase a news reporter in the movie, they need water to “fuel their ships because nowhere else in the universe has water.” First of all, if you’re an alien race and you’re building your technology for traveling around the universe, you’d probably make fuel out of common materials found throughout the universe, not something so rare you’ve got to murder an entire planet just to start your space jalopy. There’s a reason my car doesn’t run on scrolls with William Shakespeare’s signature and Gutenberg Bibles, because I enjoy driving without having to commit mass genocide in order to acquire these items from another culture. Also, the thruster exhaust on the alien ships was fire, not steam, so how could their ships be running on water, unless they figured out a way to turn water into fire? Maybe the aliens were taking long hot baths, and the “fuel” was them recharging their emotional batteries.
The Marines shoot down the alien command center ship and it makes all the smaller alien ships crash into the ground. Alien Engineer: Say, should we consider programming these drones to operate independently in case they lose contact with the main ship? Alien Commander: I told you not to interrupt me while I’m in the tub. And that’s how the aliens who designed their ships to run on fuel they couldn’t make themselves and networked all their ships to one enormous target in the sky and had vulnerable jelly hearts somehow managed to lose the war against humans. Rest in peace, world’s dumbest aliens!