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I’m Sure His Skeleton Will Have Time Lord Bones: A Review of “Doctor Who Series 6”

I’m Sure His Skeleton Will Have Time Lord Bones: A Review of “Doctor Who Series 6”

This review contains spoilers.

The Doctor is in America! He has a cowboy hat. But River Song shoots his hat off his head. This woman is so reckless with guns. I saw her shoot a dude that was just walking behind her without even looking over her shoulder. Everybody on the show just seems to accept it, like “Well she seems to know what she’s doing.” It’s like if a little kid had a flamethrower and a handwritten note that said “FLAMTHOWER XPURT” and he was lighting houses on fire but all the adults just shrugged and said, “Who are we to stop him? He has certification.”

Anyway, the Doctor gets shot in the face with a laser by a little girl in an astronaut suit and dies before he can regenerate. Man, they just let the kids run wild at Space Camp these days. But it’s a version of the Doctor from two hundred years in the future, so whatever. I’m sure his skeleton will have Time Lord bones or something and another British guy will emerge from his ribcage.

Then the current Doctor goes to the White House and meets President Nixon. He fights some aliens called the Silence because you forget them after you see them. Also, a bunch of stuff happens with River Song and Amy Pond being pregnant and the little girl in the space suit again. There was way too much going on in one episode. It was like being on the haunted house ride at the fair where things keep getting thrown out at you while you ride in a cart. Hideous aliens! Amy’s mysterious pregnancy! President Nixon played by a man who looks nothing like him! Now the little girl is a time lord?! Also, Rory! Come to think of it, things getting thrown out at you while you ride in a cart is considered a traditional wedding in my hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia.

The Doctor ends up on a pirate ship because a beautiful siren surrounded by glowing green light is luring sailors away after marking their hands with a black spot, much like the girl stamping hands for reentry at any rave near a naval base. I went to a rave on New Year’s Eve once and danced all night by myself while my friend drunkenly sat in a nearby chair. Of course, dancing all night by yourself while your friend sits drunkenly in a nearby chair is also considered a traditional wedding in my hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia.

Turns out the siren is a spaceship’s medical bay artificial intelligence and it thinks the sailors are sick or something so the Doctor says hey pirates want some advanced technology and gives them the ship even though up to this point they were the robbing and murdering kind of pirates. Then the Doctor answers a distress call on a trash planet and the TARDIS gets put inside a woman, marking the first time that phrase has been used to describe the actual transmutation of the TARDIS software into a living human’s brain and not a Doctor Who fan’s nickname for her vibrator.

Then the Doctor goes to a factory where people are having clones made of themselves and using them as avatars for dangerous factory work. But the avatars come to life! I wish my Xbox Live avatar would come to life, maybe it would justify the five dollars I spent on Mass Effect 2 dragon armor for him. Also, the two dollars I spent on the lightsaber he waves half-heartedly when I turn on my Xbox. “Oh hello! Yes, I’m…really enjoying…this lightsaber you bought for me. And the armor. There’s no one for me to fight here, but it’s nice to just…wave it. Back and forth. Whoosh. When the inevitable war against Xbox Live avatars comes, I’ll be the first line of defense.”

The mid-season finale was particularly crazy. First of all, Amy Pond has been a fake avatar Amy this whole time. Second of all, the real Amy is pregnant with a baby version of River Song. Third, the baby River Song is a Time Lord because she was conceived inside the TARDIS. Fourth, a woman with an eyepatch has stolen the baby River Song to use her as a weapon against the Doctor. It could have been worse, though— usually when an old woman missing an eye steals a baby, it’s to put in a stew.

You know, it seems like just because you conceive a baby inside a vehicle doesn’t mean the baby would take on the traits or abilities of said vehicle. But far be it from me to go against Doctor Who’s airtight baby genetics logic. See you in September, Doctor Who!

The Hurt Locker

Imagine my shock when I realized this movie was not about the contents of actor William Hurt’s high school locker. William Hurt is one of the finest audio-book narrators of our time. His reading of Stephen King’s ‘Hearts in Atlantis’ nearly moved me to tears in my office chair. Maybe that’s what Hurt Locker means, when you’ve been so captivated by a William Hurt performance of an audio-book that your very heart becomes locked in place, unable to beat for a moment.

Ranger Sergeant First Class William James loves defusing bombs so much he’d rather be feeling around under a rusty old car for bomb parts than hanging out with his family. How do I know this? He confesses his true feelings to a baby.

Can you blame the man? Babies very rarely require expertise in improvised explosives. Yeah I know. Their diapers. Improvised explosives. I get it!

James reminds me of the soldier in 28 Weeks Later who push starts a car and sacrifices himself in the nerve gas. Wow I’m adding spoilers for other movies now. I’ve might as well start going directly to theaters, stand next to the guy taking tickets and hand out brochures about the end of the movie and who dies.

James takes off his protective bomb suit so much when he’s defusing bombs he might as well just wear cargo shorts and a torn Myrtle Beach shirt out on missions. Or a summery halter top, Daisy Dukes and Old Navy flip flops.

And instead of being a dude he could be a sexy lady. And instead of defusing actual bombs she could defuse Jägerbombs.

Spring Break!

Julia

Tilda Swinton bare asses her way though the first quarter of this movie as a boozy oversexed tosspot. She spends the rest of the movie fully clothed as a boozy kidnapping tosspot who steals a wealthy old man’s grandson as a favor for her crazy Mexican neighbor.

I wonder if Tilda Swinton was like ‘We’re doing this movie with me showing my boobs and wearing crazy art lady jewelry or we’re not doing this movie at all.’ Her character Julia dresses like she’s always five minutes away from going to a gallery opening or a pottery class.

Julia tries to pull the old double cross, flees to Mexico and pretty soon she’s best friends in the world with the boy she just stole. He must emit some kind of pheromone that attracts kidnappers though, because Mexican thugs steal him away from Julia. She doesn’t even have time to take a drink or get naked- she’s gotta rescue that kid!

Saul Rubinek, (the actor who played Daphne’s fiancé on the show Frasier) plays a man in love with Julia who has no idea what to do with her tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

Conan O’Brien jokes about looking like Tilda Swinton- he should go as ‘Julia’ for Halloween. Andy Richter could go as the kidnapped boy.

Next stop Spoilertown:
So it turns out she grows to love that little rich kid. I like that the first thing he gravitated toward when she let him buy his own clothes in Mexico was a blazer. You can kidnap the boy out of the mansion but you can’t kidnap the mansion out of the boy.

‘Julia’ portrays Mexico as a filthy slum with plywood doors on everything. The first dude they meet in Mexico turns out to be a swarthy criminal, with swarthy criminal friends.

They should have put in a wealthy Mexican businessman character to balance it out a little. Like maybe he breezes through one scene with a briefcase, saying “No time to talk, I’m on my way to an important meeting in much nicer part of Mexico, which exists.”

District 9

If you had to distill this movie into one minute it would be Peter Jackson shooting a futuristic laser gun into the air and yelling ,’I do not care for human rights abuses and racial intolerance!’

In District 9 an unlikely friendship develops between one of a million lobster looking aliens (called prawns) stalled out over Johannesburg/segregated into a shanty town, and a government worker who gets sprayed in the face with their most precious liquid. (Which incidentally is also the plot of ‘Red Light District 9’.)

Here are some bullet points regarding the film you don’t want to read if you haven’t seen it yet:

• So these aliens have developed futuristic guns and ships but they can’t be bothered to put on clothes? Even the ones who make an effort to hide their shame wear crude rags. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from raunchy college sex comedies and biopics about geniuses, it’s that smart people wear clothes. Often they have suede patches on their elbows. These aliens mostly had gross bug stuff on their elbows.

• Prawns understand humans and humans understand prawns? Sure, twenty years is a long enough time to learn a language, but I’m assuming the prawns’ clicks and grunts are a more advanced language than ours, since everything about them is advanced, except for their refusal to wear pants. This isn’t like learning another branch of human language. This is the product of another species physiology. If I dropped a sign language speaking chimp off in France and gave him twenty years I don’t think he’d be signing Proust by the time I got back.

• A little prawn kid somehow has access to the innermost workings of the alien mothership: He was born here on earth. All he knows is dirt and shantytown tin walls. But set him down in a spaceship and he’s pressing buttons and pulling levers like he just graduated from alien lobster space tractor trailer driving school. I don’t buy it, movie! The codes and sequences needed to pilot a complex alien craft not to mention turn on all mechanized battle suits in the area could not be performed by an adolescent with ten keystrokes on a monitor. If that were possible, don’t you think that all the prawn children would be constantly activating the battle suits? If I was a kid, and I knew a computer code that could fire up a weaponized suit of robotic armor anytime I wanted, I’d be using it for everything. Make me some hot chocolate, robot armor suit. Play second player in Super Mario Brothers, robot armor suit.

What I’m saying is that any adult with common sense makes an effort to ensure that children are locked OUT of dangerous technology. They don’t have little kid bulldozer booster seats so little kids can drive bulldozers, and sophisticated humanoid species do not leave the keys to the ship in the pinchers of their larvae.

I know, I know, movie- you’re not really supposed to be about the technology, you’re supposed to be a thinly veiled commentary on the horrors of apartheid. I get what you’re trying to say. Mankind can be cruel, without mercy. The weak and exploited need a protector. Only through empathy for our fellow man, no matter how “alien” their culture may seem to us, can we put an end to injustice and racism.

And only through stopping for a second and asking ourselves if we really think a little alien kid could activate an entire fleet of mech warrior suits with a few simple commands can we put an end to scenes where the entire plot hinges on said kid having the same programming abilities as a nuclear scientist.

Big Fan

Robert D. Siegel, the man who wrote ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Big Fan’, sure does like athletics and having his main characters suffer from serious health problems. The wrestler with his heart condition, Patton Oswalt’s character in ‘Big Fan’ with his brain damage- the next movie Siegel writes is going to be about diabetes and star Wilford Brimley as a major league baseball player.

This movie could have been called ‘The King Of The Sports Weirdos’, because that’s kind of what Patton Oswalt’s character is.

Writing his sports notes, calling into sports talk shows, masturbating under a sports themed blanket- SPORTS! Well, just NY Giants football, actually.

He ends up stalking his favorite quarterback all the way to a fancy strip club, and then gets mercilessly beaten for his trouble.

One quick aside about the stripper who tries to solicit a dance from him as he sits enraptured by his hero, pre-pummeling: I would have gotten a dance from you, beautiful stripper, no matter how much I wanted to hassle my favorite football player.

I wonder if this is how a Star Wars nerd would feel if he followed George Lucas into a strip club and Lucas stabbed him with a lightsaber. I bet all the ladies in the club would be blue and the Cantina Theme would be playing.

Anyhow everybody is like hey sue that guy send him to JAIL but Oswalt’s character doesn’t want to ruin the one aspect of his life that brings him happiness even though the personification of that happiness kicked his ass so hard his head swelled with blood.

My only issue with this film is I waited in vain for Oswalt’s character to encounter the giant propellered air blower alluded to by the title, the climate controlled massive bladed ‘Big Fan’ I’d been anticipating the entire movie.

One thing about the end of the movie aka a spoiler: Yeahhh Michael Rapaport! As soon as he turned out to be playing Philadelphia Phil I nodded to myself on the couch. Yes, I said to myself, who else could it have been?

Also I have to admit, if I was chief of the pun police, and I heard someone else make that ‘Big Fan’ pun, I would have to stab them with a lightsaber.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Well, Batman, looks like you’ve captured your brilliant mad arch-nemesis the Joker again. Where you gonna put him? Arkham Asylum? Hope he doesn’t break out and cause any havoc. I mean, he broke out all those other times, but surely he won’t—oh wait he’s out. And it looks like he’s freeing all your other worst enemies too.

If I was Batman I’d build a bat-prison in the bat-cave and put the Joker there. Or maybe a bat-prison on the bat-moon. Just a metal bat-box with some bat-oxygen in it and a year’s supply of bat-treats.

I’ll tell you where I wouldn’t put him- a crumbly old building he broke out of a million times before.

Batman is super ripped and bulky in this game. I thought Batman kept himself lean in spite of his muscular frame- so he could skulk around in the dark and detect stuff. Seems like with these giant power muscles he’d struggle a little bit to even turn his head.

The character design for this game is all about muscles. Muscles and naked ladies, that is— Harley Quinn is dressed like a clown pin up girl and Poison Ivy didn’t even bother putting on pants for this whole Batman killing party. She couldn’t have made a mini dress out of leaves or something?

Seriously, though—everybody Batman punches in the face has an amazing physique. Lot of people sporting no shirts, too. Cause that’s how I’d prefer to fight Gotham City’s most determined crime fighter. With the exposed skin of my torso and endless optimism. (To be fair, Batman called shirts.)

When you get knocked out in ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’, a cut-scene comes up in which one of the game’s bad guys gloats at Batman’s soon-to-be corpse, stuff like ‘nice try Batman, time to DIE!’. In one of them, the Joker walks up and says dismissively, “Someone finish him off” and walks away.

Wait- what? You’re the Joker- you and Batman have been fighting one of the most epic battles in the history of pop culture rivalries and you have him bleeding and helpless in front of you. So here’s your chance to do some CRAZY MURDER to Batman, and you hand it off to some henchman you just hired the other day in a gym bathroom?

Which brings me to the final boss battle aka a spoiler: Why would the Joker inject himself with toxins that make him a big muscle freak? He doesn’t like brute force combat, he’s more of a ‘slice a smile in your face with a skinny knife’ kind of maniac. He’s also vain- why would he take anything that would mutilate his body to that extent? His ribs were bursting through his chest- he’d seen it have that effect on other people.

Not to mention the fact that he had Batman’s oldest and dearest friend Commissioner Gordon as a hostage. Here’s an idea: inject Gordon with the toxin and make Batman fight him.

What’s going to really get Batman where it hurts- fighting a bigger meatier Joker at the end of a long line of fighting big meaty dudes or shedding little bat tears in his cowl as he has to fight for his life against a twisted version of his best pal Commissioner Gordon? How cool would that be as a feature in a game? ‘Press X to keep from crying into your superhero mask.’

Speaking of crying, I’m sorry I said all those critical things about you, Batman video game. The fight mechanics and the parts of the story that involve the other villains are amazing.  The Scarecrow making Batman hallucinate all of Bruce Wayne’s deepest anxieties made manifest into a playable level; or Batman just hanging out on a gargoyle waiting to swoop down on some dumb bare chested dummy with a machine gun- I have to give credit where credit’s due. This game is well crafted.

I guess it’s just that if you want to tell me The Joker’s crazy, you need to make me think he’s crazy. In this game he just wants to be strong.

Spooner

This book is partially set in Milledgeville, Georgia and written by an author from Milledgeville, Georgia. Too bad books can’t understand words, because then I’d say “Hey book- crazy coincidence- I”m from Milledgeville, Georgia!” And then the book could ask me what year I graduated high school and if I know its cousin, the newspaper.

I read another review of this book that said it had a lot of laugh out loud moments, but I listened to the audio-book, and as much as I’d like to say I brayed like a donkey laughing out loud at it with my big headphones on, I did not. Not that it wasn’t funny, but it was mostly a kind of subtle funny, in that most of the book concerns itself with the exploits of charming fuck-up Spooner and his polar opposite stepfather Calmer, whose cup runneth over with common sense and gentle kindness. Come to think of it, it’s not that Spooner is charming, it’s that he’s so good-hearted and befuddled by his own horrible instincts for every decision in his life that I guess I was charmed by that part of his personality.

No doubt due to his work as a charming down on his luck southern man in the show ‘My Name Is Earl’, I couldn’t help but picture a bearded Jason Lee as Spooner, and because of his general onscreen disposition as an actor I imagined Gary Sinise to fill the role of Calmer.You’re welcome, people who have a hard time imagining what actors to choose to represent characters from books in their heads.

Spooner was written by author Pete Dexter.

World’s Greatest Dad

Robin Williams tricks a whole high school into thinking his dead son was great, and tricks a goth girl into thinking Bruce Hornsby is great. Also, Alexie Gilmore dances briefly around in her underwear, and then her underwear becomes pivotal to the plot.

This movie features one of the finest school mascots ever committed to film- “The Fighting Pugs”.

I give ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ my highest recommendation. Written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, who I am slowly growing to admire.

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr plays S. Holmes as a foppish dirty brawling genius and Jude Law is his best friend Watson with a neat little mustache. You better believe some rakish hats get worn while they run around London punching every criminal’s filthy Dickensian face.

Here’s a word of advice to you if you want to commit a crime in Holmes’ London: Don’t bother. He knows you stuffed that unwashed silverware in your filthy waistcoat and he’s willing to wrap a rusty old timey ship’s chain around your knees and knock you down on some cobblestones.

Grime!

To Sleep With Anger

It’s hard not to get spooked by Danny Glover as Harry, the world’s worst house guest. Unless you like having the Devil over to sleep on the floor of your guest room. You can’t blame this southern religious family for taking him in- they used to know him back in the day when everybody carried charms and drank corn liquor and didn’t go to church. But the next thing you know Harry is throwing unsavory parties with his weird old friends stopping by and getting mad when you touch him with a broom.

One thing’s for sure- he loves killing chickens. And dressing in nice suits. And knives. And slyly acknowledging murders he may have commited in the past.

Plus, babies hate him.

As you may have guessed, he wears out his welcome.