Friday, January 29, 2010

How Hollywood Thinks

I've dealt with this subject before but it seems time to bring it up again. This is Amanda Seyfried.

You may think she's really cute. If you do, you're wrong. By Hollywood standards, she's hideous. Casting directors thought this girl was enough of a chowder face to play Megan Fox's ugly friend in Jennifer's Body.

Oh dear lord, I think I may puke. I really want to jack off to Megan Fox but how the hell am I supposed to do that with that Gollum look-alike sitting next to her? Come on, glasses? GLASSES? I think the only reason her parents didn't drown her at birth is because she wasn't wearing those glasses when she came out of the womb.

Now for the kicker. I have proof that Hollywood makes better movies than any other country on the planet. There's a new movie called Chloe financed by the French and set in Paris though it's an English language film. Check out what she looks like in that movie.

Ugh. Sure, she got rid of the glasses but, you know, lipstick on a pig and all that. In Chloe, we're supposed to believe that Amanda Seyfried is a prostitute so alluring that she not only seduces Liam Neeson but also manages to get Julianne Moore to switch teams. Uh huh, like we're supposed to believe that blond Sasquatch could seduce anyone. If you want to get really grossed out, here's the red band trailer for that movie where you see her in various stages of undress. I must warn you that this video is what's known as Not Safe For Work so it's an awesome thing to watch on your company's computer if this is your last day there.

I just can't figure out what the French were thinking. Maybe they have some sort of socialist program over there that forces film companies to cast a certain number of actresses whose faces look like ground meat. You know, like Amanda Seyfried does.

And that, my friends, is How Hollywood Thinks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Look At My Briefs -- 1/28/10

There is now something in the world called an iPad. This means the world is looking for security and meaning, something it can only find in another edition of my brief comments on various subjects I like to call Look At My Briefs.

So, Sam Worthington may star in a Dracula movie that mixes the Bram Stoker story with the real life drama of the guy Dracula was based on, Vlad the Impaler. This is what Variety said about it:
Universal is keeping the logline under wraps, but story explores the origin of Dracula, weaving vampire mythology with the true history of Prince Vlad the Impaler and depicting Dracula as a flawed hero in a tragic love story set in a dark age of magic and war.
I can't wait to see how one takes a guy whose contemporaries saw fit to stick him with a nickname like "The Impaler" and transform him into a hero, flawed or otherwise, in a tragic love story. We've all had bad breakups. Most of us don't do anything to rate being called The Impaler.

I wonder if they've also maintained the mindbogglingly stupid feel of the original too.

Dear makers of Lost: As your final season is about to begin, you may think it would be super cool to leave several questions forever unanswered. "Hey, let's never tell them what the Smoke Monster really is or how Jacob lives so long. Ha ha." If you do that, you'll only have yourselves to blame when you are sitting on an international flight next to me and I don't shut the hell up about any of that. Also, it would be a really, really bad idea to send everyone to the "real" Earth where they can live simple lives and fuck Neanderthals.

It's not a good sign that I keep forgetting what's coming out in theaters this week. I honestly can't remember now. I could look it up but that seems like cheating.

Oh great, another fucking zombie, wait, it's a zombie TV series. Looks interesting too. It's being developed by Frank Darabont, the guy who made The Shawshank Redemption into a nearly perfect movie and who also made The Mist into something I wanted to use for target practice. What does that mean? It means we don't have anything close to a guarantee on this show's quality. This does look like it has potential anyway and I suppose that's all we can ask.

The movie business really can be a rhetorical knife fight sometimes. The director of Saw VI, Kevin Greutert, was hired to direct Paranormal Activity 2 but was yanked from that project when Saw franchise owners Twisted Pictures decided to exercise their option to have Greutert direct a seventh Saw film. I'm sure Twisted Pictures saw this as a way to give a huge middle finger to Paramount for daring to make a horror film that way outperformed their dumb little series of torture porn films for a fraction of the budget. What they ended up doing was rehiring the guy who had a hand in tanking the Saw series while denying him a chance to do the same thing to Paranormal Activity. Frankly, I can't see Paranormal Activity 2 being any good unless everyone who buys a ticket automatically gets a free blow job while the movie is playing.

Ah, turns out this week's big budget offerings are the Mel Gibson comeback film Edge of Darkness and the new romantic comedy Leap, The Ugly Truth? The Proposal? Never mind.

Zelda Rubinstein died Wednesday. Or did she? Oh, right, this site doesn't have sound effects. Some chains rattling right about now would have been cool. Please reread this paragraph's first two sentences and imagine a wolf howling or something. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

School of...I Don't Know

Now and then things just get stuck in my head. Something will occur to me and I'll obsess over it no matter how hard I try not to. This happened recently after I saw Avatar and started wondering about the nature of the planet that Pandora was orbiting. As I don't have James Cameron on speed dial and thus have no way to check and see if any of my thoughts or conclusions were true, it was a pointless exercise yet I did it anyway. Now I have a similar problem.

I saw that the Jack Black movie School of Rock was playing on cable over the weekend and I started wondering what sort of title you would give a pornographic version of that film. For the life of me, I just can't think of anything. As with the Avatar thing, this is completely pointless but I just can't stop thinking about it.

This is what my thoughts look like right now: "School of Rock...School of Rock..." over and over again. At first I thought School of Sex would work but it just doesn't seem right to me. I've thought of and rejected School of XXX more than once. It's not bad but most people would probably think it was the porn version of that Vin Diesel movie. I suppose the plot would be something along the lines of, "Girl wanting to star in porn but having no idea how to go about doing that meets a teacher who shows her how." So, School of Porn? No, I just can't quite accept that.

I was thinking maybe the answer would be something that rhymes with rock but none of those work either. I thought School of Sock but that makes no sense. School of Wok would be awesome if it would about cooking Chinese food and not learning how to comfortably take a dick up your ass so that got rejected. School of Jock would have been nice since porn does tend to center around that area of the body covered by a jock strap but it would really be more fitting for a movie about trying out for a sports team.

I guess I just have to accept that there is no decent porn name for School of Rock and that the several days I've spent trying to come up with one have been a huge waste of time. Sorry for bothering you all with this. I'll be back tomorrow with a real post.

Update: SCHOOL OF BLOW JOBS! Wow, that was so obvious. Why couldn't I think of that before? The most logical porn name for School of Rock is School of Blow Jobs. Really, there is no other choice.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


If your biggest problems are that you're feeling too good and life is going along swimmingly, The Lovely Bones is the movie for you. In this film, a sweet, pretty, happy and lovable 14 year old girl is raped and murdered by a serial killer, an act that sends her ghost to a dreamlike afterlife while her family descends into dysfunction and depression.

Roger Ebert pretty much covered my feelings about the film's supernatural aspects. Irish teen Saoirse Ronan (a Gaelic term meaning "unpronounceable name") plays Susie Salmon, the girl destined to meet her end at the hands of Stanley Tucci's character George Harvey, a vicious killer who takes pleasure not only in actual murder but in both elaborately planning the act and vividly reliving it again and again. As Ebert pointed out, when Susie dies it's presented as a plus for her. She goes to the In-Between, a place that's not-quite Heaven but still pretty cool whose nature is limited only by Susie's emotions and imagination. The one thing that really ruins the good time she's having in what she describes as her perfect world is her ability to observe her family and her killer from where she is. The only other person there is an Asian girl her age who goes by the name Holly Golightly. She said changing your name is one of the things you can do in Heaven. Isn't that just awesome? I know I can't wait to die now. I'm going to call myself Billy Lee Hotpants. Holly encourages Susie to take the plunge and move on from the In-Between to an even cooler place but instead she remains for years both observing and feeding her family's downward spiral.

Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz play her parents Jack and Abigail. It's established early on that Jack is someone who never gives up on a goal once he sets it and this is proved true once he decides to personally investigate his daughter's death. His obsession sets his family into such a tailspin that Abigail says the hell with it, leaves and gets a job in an orange grove. Don't worry though. The kids' coarse, vulgar, functioning alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon) comes to take care of them. I can't remember who but someone on Twitter correctly referred to her as this movie's version of Jar Jar. There's a comedy montage in the middle of the movie with moments like putting too much soap in the washing machine that are more in line with 1970s television than with a tragic drama made in 2009.

The movie's not all bad. I have no problem with any of the acting. Director Peter Jackson lets us all know once again that he has the ability to take what's in his imagination and put it on a movie screen. Poor Susie's afterlife is an extended dream sequence that is often a feast for the eyes.

Still, it's hard to get past the fact that we're depressed from the moment the movie starts right up until it tries to tell us that the film's final moments are actually a happy ending because Susie's cruel death wasn't so bad since she's in a great place where the landscape transforms at your whim and you can change your damn name.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Legion of Stupid Heroes

If I were a staunch Christian, I'd probably find Legion very offensive to my beliefs. Basically, God decides to destroy mankind by having angels possess people and turn the world into a George Romero film. A renegade angel thinks this is wrong and decides to defy God and save a baby who, for some dumbass reason that's never fully explained, can stop the angels from killing everything. This movie makes the argument that God, seen by his followers as perfect and wise, is flatout wrong in his judgment of humanity and that one of His angels knows more than He does. As I said, if I were Christian, I'd find this sacrilegious and would hate it. As I am not religious, I'll just have to hate this movie for its abject stupidity.

Legion opens in some generic city with the angel Michael (Paul Bettany whose presence here indicates he didn't save much of that DaVinci Code money) dropping in from Heaven, cutting off his wings and collecting an amount of weaponry normally only held by radical cults who do so to show everyone how peace loving they are. He's confronted by two police officers who, for some reason, don't accept his "I'm trying to save the world" explanation when a building blows up and he comes walking out of it. One of the cops then does that head shaking thing you've seen many other times in movies and television to show they're being possessed. Turns out he's being possessed by an angel. You can tell because angels are beings of light and beauty and wonder and the possessed humans have black eyes and baby teeth so yeah, angels. Anyhoo, Michael kicks some ass, steals the cop car and heads out to the desert to find a girl named Charlie.

Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) is a waitress in some desert town called Paradise Falls, an odd name since there is no water in sight. She works for diner owner Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid whose presence here shows he didn't save much of that G.I. Joe or Day After Tomorrow money). Her job duties seem to be whining nonstop about her eight-months-along pregnancy and being the object of unrequited love for Bob's son (Lucas Black), a kid he must have hated so much that he stuck him with the name Jeep. They join a cast of colorful characters who gather at the diner just in time for the end of the world. After an incident with an old lady who perhaps thought everyone would be impressed with her imitation of 28 Days Later, Michael shows up and informs them that a big old buttload of angels is coming to kill Charlie and her baby because they baby will save the world. I don't think they ever said why her baby, who the baby's father was or anything like that. No time to ask stuff like that anyway as the possessed show up and we find out that angels, creatures older than time who once stood toe to toe with the armies of Hell, are easily dispatched by an AK-47. Then more stuff happens. The End!

If Legion sounds familiar it's because they've basically ripped off The Terminator. A powerful warrior comes from another time and place and battle other powerful warriors bent on destroying humanity. I wonder if James Cameron is pissed about the way other filmmakers are now profiting from the work he ripped off from Harlan Ellison a quarter century ago.

Legion is yet another dumb movie about dumb people who do dumb things such as when the angels tie up a hostage and leave him out in what's obviously a trap yet people go running out after him anyway. A movie like this can only be redeemed by action sequences so exciting that you can't take your eyes off the screen, a state of being that does not exist in this film. As I said, you can hate it because it's stupid or offensive or what the hell, find a new reason all your own.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bizarro World Movie Reviews -- The Tooth Fairy

There are movies we see as children that stay with us throughout our lives. They play a role in guiding us, helping to shape our values and becoming at least a small piece of who we are. Films like Wizard of Oz, E.T., Willy Wonka and Mary Poppins are part of our lives and stay with people who see them as children long after they've grown into adulthood. Parents often take great pleasure watching these movies with their own children, an act that both passes on part of the legacy of their youth to the next generation and allows them to become children themselves again if only for a short time. Now, at the dawn of a new decade, a new film has arisen to join that vaunted pantheon of precious children's movies that will be watched and treasured for decades to come. That movie is Dwayne Johnson's The Tooth Fairy.

I imagine the movie's tagline, "You Can't Handle The Tooth," will become a national catchphrase for decades to come as the movie seeps into our culture and our history. Right now we all get the pleasure of speculating which scenes will become iconic touchstones that will make us smile when we think of them.

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson who used to wrestle under the name "The Rock" and here it's obvious why as he is the Rock upon which this movie builds the dreams and wonders that delight the movie going public. He plays Derek, a hockey player who almost tells his girlfriend's daughter that the Tooth Fairy is a myth and is punished for that by becoming the Tooth Fairy. This, however, is but a fraction of his character. Johnson creates one of the most bizarrely lovable and utterly fascinating characters to ever appear on the silver screen. There are times on screen when an actor literally cannot be seen acting and instead somehow becomes the character he or she is playing. Some examples of this are Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, Robert DeNiro as Jake LaMotta and now Dwayne Johnson as Derek the Tooth Fairy.

I feel sorry for future generations who will not have been here, now, when the phenomenon known as The Tooth Fairy began. This means it is our responsibility to tell the children to tell the world that there is a bar to reach, a standard that they must not only meet but surpass, a perfect star in the brightest part of the heavens that contains the best part of humanity and that the only way they can ascend and actually touch this star is to follow the lessons and principles set down so long ago by an actor named Dwayne Johnson and a character called the Tooth Fairy. This is not only how we will truly be able to "Handle the Tooth" but also how we will become worthy of doing so.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Look At My Briefs -- 1/21/10

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since I last did my brief comments on various subjects I like to call Look At My Briefs. Well, hard to believe unless you have a calendar.

My knee jerk reaction to a U.S. version of the British science fiction show Torchwood is to simply assume it will suck, especially since the original U.K. version second series was basically a broken show that didn't get fixed until last year's five episode powerful mini-series Children of Earth. Then again, the article in THR says that Russell T. Davies is on board, at least in some capacity, and that John Barrowman may reprise his role as Capt. Jack Harkness so, I can't see it. American network television would never allow some of the stuff Torchwood has done, especially the Children of Earth storyline. It was too brutal.

It took until the second commercial break for me to give up on Fox's The Human Target. It just wasn't any good. A predictable plot combined with lame jokes with just a dash of flat out stupidity tossed in made me think it would be a good idea to turn off the TV and read for a while. The stupid happened when the titular character, Christopher Chance, spotted a poisoned drink meant for the woman he was hired to protect. He then leaves the drink, a piece of evidence that could have identified the killer, laying around and an innocent person drank it and died. Even Jackie Earle Haley's menacing performance as Guererro couldn't get me to watch this after that epic moron moment.

I don't think a remake (at least they're not calling it a reboot) of True Grit should have been done. That being said, if there's one thing that could get me excited over this it's that it's being made by the Coen brothers. Maybe if Quentin Tarantino had done it I'd be even more interested, but not by much.

The movie Extraordinary Measures comes out tomorrow. This is being marketed as a true story about a couple whose children were dying of one of those diseases that hardly anyone gets so hardly anyone tries to find a cure for it. They manage to find a researcher from Nebraska played by Harrison Ford who seems to be their only hope. This actually did happen. A real life couple found out their kids were dying and contacted pretty much the only guy on the planet who could help them. This person was not a minor researcher from Nebraska but rather a prominent doctor at Duke University from Taiwan. So yeah, a true story.

Normally the only way to read an extended rant at a movie site saying that Martin Scorsese, David Lean, Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock are four of the most overrated directors of all time is to go to the comments section where it would have been written in all caps by a guy called JackEnOff69. At Big Hollwyood, however, you can read this sort of trolling on the front page. The good news is that the normally compliant commenters at Big Hollywood are giving the writer, future serial killer Ben Shapiro, such a spanking that editor John Nolte felt he had to defend him and, in the process, shows us all why his filmmaking career never took off when he glorifies movies like Saving Silverman and Deuce Bigalow over the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Good filmmakers try to copy the style of Alfred Hitchcock. Makers of movies seen by pretty much no one try to copy the style of Saving Silverman and Deuce Bigalow.

For reasons unknown even to me, I have a soft spot for religiously themed action films (odd since I'm not at all religious) which is probably one reason I liked The Book of Eli. This is why I'm holding out hope for tomorrow's release of Legion even though hope is fading due to the fact that, as of this writing, no reviews have shown up on Rotten Tomatoes. This means it probably wasn't made available for advance screenings which means either the producers are trying to hide the fact that it's horrible or it's so awesome that the producers wanted to give other movies coming out this week a break and not have what surely would have been a record setting number of stellar reviews ruin their chances for making money. I wonder which scenario will be true.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Got A Problem With That?

Taking the day off because I feel like it. And I'm busy with work and these damn lizards. I may have made up either the part about the lizards or about having a job. I'm too tired to remember which right now. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I don't have much time today so I just want to touch on a couple of subjects. You may be thinking, "Is this like that Look At My Briefs thing he does on Thursdays?" To that I say HA! It's completely different. Today is Tuesday.

First off: Really? Not only will there be a Saw VII but it's going to be in 3-D? Taste is subjective and a matter of opinion. One person can love something another person hates and vice versa. This does not make one person or the other stupid or wrong. That being said, if you are a fan of the Saw series, you are both stupid and wrong. They are simply horrible movies. Even the first one sucked. I state this as a matter of fact. If your opinion is that they are good, entertaining films, I would compare that to having an opinion that 2+2=5. Glad I cleared that up for you.

Second: Really? Avatar won the Best Picture Golden Globe? Speaking as someone who really liked Avatar, I say, "Really? Avatar won the Best Picture Golden Globe?" Avatar is good and it shows us all what can be accomplished in movies, how a vision can be plucked out of a filmmaker's head and put on the screen. However, it isn't in the same timezone as Inglourious Basterds or Hurt Locker. Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino took their combined $80 million budgets and used them to make movies that kept me more involved in their stories than James Cameron and his $200 million budget did. I defended Avatar's derivative plot but it was still a derivative plot that doesn't compare to the tense story of Hurt Locker or the originality of Basterds.

Anyway, those are your approved opinions. Please start expressing them to others at your earliest convenience.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Who Would Jesus Brutally Hack Up?

The Book of Eli is a very good action film with very odd religious overtones. Sure, it's warmed over Road Warrior but it's really good warmed over Road Warrior.

The movie opens in some sort of atmospheric forest chock full of dead bodies that are sure to attract vermin. This is what a lone bow hunter is counting on as he sees a cat come along that thinks it's really lucked out as it starts munching on some dead guy's foot just before it gets an arrow in the gut and becomes a meal for Denzel Washington's Eli. Eli is a nomad wandering the country thirty years after a nuclear war destroyed everything including all the annoying busybodies who nagged us to disarm. I bet their last thoughts involved wishing they'd spent more time getting laid. Anyway, Eli quickly establishes himself as a superior fighter as he almost effortlessly takes out a band of thugs who try to rob and kill him. Eli then wanders into what I think are the ruins of Flagstaff, Arizona that has become one of humanity's first attempts at rebuilding civilization. By that, I mean a megalomaniac named Carneghie (Gary Oldman) has gone into full Bartertown mode by convincing a gang of well armed toughs to help him throw together a feudal dictatorship. You may get shot at any moment but, sadly, it's still better than facing the gangs of cannibals that roam the landscape outside of town.

Eli only wants to buy some water, get his iPod recharged (seriously) and continue on his mysterious journey. Naturally, this means some asshole used to pushing people around makes the mistake of trying it with Eli. Carneghie decides he wants a guy with Eli's combat skills to work for him but Eli wants no part of it even when he's offered a night in bed with Solara (Mila Kunis), the world's last hot girl. I've grown to like Mila Kunis over the past few years which is odd since I used to find her annoying. These days, though, I usually like it when she shows up in a movie even if the movie isn't that good. Solara makes the mistake of letting Carneghie know that Eli has a Bible and this is where the movie gets dumb. Apparently, after the war, all survivors everywhere decided to burn all Bibles. Why they would do that and let copies of The Da Vinci Code survive is beyond me. Eli said some people thought the Bible was responsible for the war. I just read a story a few hours ago about survivors of the Haitian earthquake meeting in a church with no roof to sing the praises of the God who allowed them to be survivors but, if this post-Apocalyptic world didn't destroy all its Bibles, the movie would be denied a major plot point so into the bonfire they went.

Carneghie wants the Bible because he thinks he can use it to rally the weak minded masses to his cause. Eli, being the pious and religious man he is, shoots his way out of town with the book, just as Jesus would have done. When Solara catches up with him down the road, he tells her that, thirty years earlier, a voice told him to keep the book safe and head west so he's been heading west ever since along roads that are amazingly intact considering there has been zero investment in highway infrastructure since the war.

I won't even give a clue as to what it is but the movie has a big twist ending that involves the nature of the book. Frankly, I think it makes the whole story impossible but it did explain a few things I was wondering about and, even if you hated it, I don't think it makes the basic action/adventure part of the movie any less entertaining.

What I really want to discuss is the odd penchant for people to claim that the movie has a deeply Christian message. Let me break that Christian message down for you. God so loves his children, the people of Earth, that He only allowed 99% of them to die horribly in a nuclear holocaust. For the sake of His beloved children who survive, the Lord Our God will make sure that only 99% of them are thugs, thieves and cannibals who mercilessly rape anything female. But do not worry, Children of God. Your Savior, Jesus Christ, will send a knife wielding fanatic to spread God's message of peace and love by using a machete to chop up anyone who tries to stop him. Also, don't be gay or have premarital sex. Amen.

Despite its flaws, The Book of Eli is a well done action film. Don't ask it to make sense or teach you anything and you should have a good time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

How Avatar Is Polluting Our Precious Bodily Fluids

Attacking Avatar has become something of a cottage industry. A while back (yesterday), I complained about it. Since then, I have become convinced that their accusations have some merit. I now think Avatar is the most evil thing in the history of anything ever. I believe this must have been James Cameron's intention when he first started developing the movie years ago. In fact, I bet the reason he got into show business almost three decades ago was so he could someday destroy our way of life with this movie. Here are the ways in which Avatar is a thing of evil that is trying to kill us all.
  • RACISM -- It's hard to tell if Avatar was written by James Cameron or the Ku Klux Klan. I'm sure it's now their favorite movie of all time. Avatar's message is that a primitive people who still use wooden spears can't defeat a technologically advanced race capable of dropping bombs that can destroy their entire city in minutes. So...primitive, non-white people can't throw a spear hard enough to penetrate a metal gunship or build a structure powerful enough to stay up after 1000 pounds of TNT are dropped on it? Nice work, Grand Dragon Cameron. But wait, it gets better. It turns out that the only one who can help these people is...A WHITE MAN. Sure, he's in one of their bodies and he's probably the only guy in existence on the side of the Na'vi who has intimate knowledge of the human army's capabilities, what its weaknesses are and how those weaknesses could be exploited by the residents of Pandora so, um...WHITE MAN. Very nice, Cameron. Can't wait to see your big screen 3-D adaptation of Mein Kampf.
  • DEPRESSION -- It was reported this week that people were becoming depressed after seeing Avatar. Supposedly Pandora is such a cool place that they want to live there but can't since the technology that would allow people to do that is at least five years away. James Cameron is clearly trying to get us all so depressed that we kill ourselves leaving him the last man on earth. This would be the fulfillment of his lifelong dream to truly be King of the World.
  • THE ECONOMY -- In the three weeks since its release, Avatar has made over a billion dollars making it the second highest grossing movie of all time. This means it is sucking money out of the world's economy during the midst of the greatest economic collapse since the Depression. James Cameron simply has no soul. Why didn't he wait to release this movie until next month when the economy will surely be up and running again? Or rather, it would have been up and running had we not all just given our money to James Cameron. He truly has no soul. He's probably happy when parents say to their kids, "Sorry sweetheart, you can't have your H1N1 vaccine. Daddy spent that money so he could see Jake Sully cram his magic ponytail into a flying dragon for the fifth time."
  • ANTI-AMERICANISM -- Avatar is the most un-American movie since Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs preached to kids that America was so evil it deserved to have giant food dropped on it from the sky. Avatar is set on an alien world. Why not set it in America? Also, the human soldiers are the movie's villains. They are not American soldiers. They are a paramilitary force in the employment of the corporation that mines the planet. America is never even mentioned. Thus, you can see why Avatar is un-American.
  • NERDS -- Avatar has created a new generation of nerds. They see the movie then head straight to the nearest bookstore trying to find Avatar related graphic novels they can read while eating their Avatar Happy Meals. Some were nerds already but many were perfectly normal jocks who will become sedentary basement dwellers who will be dumped by their hot girlfriends. Who will be there to hook up with those hot girlfriends after their former boyfriends start spending all their time on the internet having heated discussions about Pandoran evolution? James Freaking Cameron, that's who. He has all the money and now, he has all the women.
All of this is a body blow to the planet's psyche yet it's just a portion of what that movie has done. I didn't get into the dangers of Avatar based religion or how Avatar makes ice cream taste funny but I think I proved my point. Ask yourself this: if Avatar has done this much damage, can we as a species survive Avatar 2? Write your representatives in Congress today and tell them to repeal the First Amendment so we can prevent that from ever happening.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Look At My Briefs -- 1/14/10

Here we are, well into the year. The post-holiday season is in full swing. It's cold, dark and depressing. The only way we as a nation can possibly overcome this is to read another edition of my brief comments on various subjects called Look At My Briefs.

One of the ways you can tell that you are a true cultural phenomenon is when a massive backlash forms against you. In the case of Avatar, I've read that it's Un-American, anti-military and racist (against a fictional race)*. This guy called it the worst movie ever made when it couldn't even seriously be called the worst made that came out that week. Now is trying to tell us that Avatar is causing depression. Supposedly, people are getting depressed because they want to live on Pandora and can't because they're on that planet's no-fly list or something. Their evidence consists almost entirely of anonymous internet comments. This makes me look forward to CNN's next article in which they "prove" that anyone who disagrees with commenter JakEnOv69 is an epicfail gaywad because he said so and fellow commenter EZSleeZee agreed.

It must be awesome being a cast member on Lost. Just because your character dies doesn't mean you'll never be on again. It's easier to get rid of government union employees than it is a Lost character.

This post from MTV has good news and bad news. The good news is that Moon director Duncan Jones has a new movie in the works. The bad news is that Moon, one of last year's more interesting films, has been repeatedly snubbed so far for awards this year. Snubbed in this country anyway. At least the British have some taste.

I know I'm supposed to write a ten paragraph screed in defense of Conan O'Brien, curse the ground Jay Leno walks on and compare NBC to Hitler with Hitler actually looking to be the better of the two. However, as I have not watched either Leno or O'Brien in years, I can't bring myself to care. If I had 100 hours a week to watch television, I'd probably add Conan to my viewing lineup but I don't so I can't bring myself to care too much either way.

At first I thought the upcoming film Repo Men was a remake of the 80s cult classic with Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton. A quick bit of research, however, showed that not only is it completely different but that it has, in my mind, one of the stupidest sounding plots in the history of anything.

*Racism charges vary between criticism of a white man leading a non-white people, a charge that has made me shelve my idea of doing an Avatar remake set in Earth's desert and calling it Lawrence of Arabia, and complaints that the Na'vi themselves are portrayed as racists because they hate the people who invaded their land and started shooting at them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reboots Are Made For Gawking

Many of you have probably already heard that the next Spider-Man movie will be made without director Sam Raimi or any of the cast from the other three films and will instead be one of those "reboots" that are so popular with the kids these days, like YouTube videos about cute little kittens. Or sexting. This has given me an idea to make this site more popular. Starting in 2012, Clear's Own will be completely rebooted. My plans include changing the author "Michael Clear" from a mature adult approaching middle age into a teenager with Taylor Lautner's body. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that.

I've said before that I'm not a purist. There's no reason a decent Spider-Man movie couldn't be made by other people. Sure, it's unlikely, but stranger things have happened. On the other hand, I think I'll skip this movie and wait for the next Spider-Man reboot in 2015.

All that being said, I am so tired of hearing that some movie franchise is being rebooted. Is the movie industry so shallow and lacking in ideas that they have to keep recycling the same stories over and...oh yeah, they are. Sadly, I don't know what to do about this. I could start a worldwide boycott of reboots that would change the film industry as we know it but that would take too much work so I'll go with Option B: devote my daily blog post to the subject of reboots. Which you're reading now.

Oh well, may as well skip to Stage 5 and accept things as they are. At least we've had successful reboots like Star Trek, Batman and James Bond to console us as this trend continues. In the years ahead, I'm sure we can all look forward to reboots of Die Hard, Harry Potter and...Oh Dammit, they're going to reboot Twilight someday. If God is merciful, we'll all be buried in the cold, cold ground when they do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things I've Learned From Watching Movies Part 79

Jackie Chan shows us it's possible to become an international super spy capable of taking down vast criminal networks despite the fact that he is apparently a rock stupid human being who has never before had contact with children.

After the Apocalypse, there's only going to be one guy who's really any good at fighting.

Man oh man, the Bible really got a lot of shit wrong.

Popular mythical figures are actually very silly creatures.

Message to all you killers out there: if you are planning to brutally murder someone whose is related to Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Gerard Butler or anyone who's ever been in a big budget action film, you may want to rethink your actions.

As we saw in Leap Year, intelligent and highly competent career women are fully capable of turning into certifiably brain damaged idiots at the drop of a hat when dealing with their romantic lives.

Cold weather makes you retarded.

The most effective type of lawman is a rule breaking psychopath who shoots indiscriminately.

STAY OFF THE FUCKING MOORS! People been telling you this since the 1930s yet no one ever listens.

The human race is way too stupid to couple up effectively. It's amazing we ever reproduced.

Is there such a thing as too many zombie movies? Hell no!

When a movie's plot summary contains this line...
Two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster. know that it can be fully summed up with just one other word: Quality.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Irish Thing

Have you seen The Proposal or The Ugly Truth? Then you've seen Leap Year. You've also seen approximately 80 bazillion other movies just like those three. The names and settings change but it's always the same plot. A man and a woman, usually involved with other people, meet and instantly and utterly loathe each other but circumstances keep throwing them together. They slowly start to connect, realize they like each other in spite of themselves but are suddenly thrust apart but end up overcoming various character flaws which facilitates a joyous reunion at the end. Hell, in two weeks we're going to get the same damn movie only then it's going to be called When In Rome. What makes movies like this worth watching is likable actors telling funny jokes and doing funny things. The Proposal had that. Leap Year does not.

Honestly, it's like the filmmakers went out of their way not to be funny. I think I laughed maybe six times in the 97 minutes that made up Leap Year and those were more chuckles than full on belly laughs. I can't believe Amy Adams, a woman born to star in romantic comedies, made such a dull, unappealing one. Regular readers know my affection for Amy Adams. I keep her DVDs prominently displayed just in case her car ever breaks down outside my house, her cell phone dies and she needs to come in and use my phone. Then I'll say, "Oh hey, you look just like that woman from Enchanted," and she'll say, "Yes, that's me." One thing leads to another and we're married in six months. Does that seem unbelievable? Sadly for Amy, it's far more realistic than anything that happens in Leap Year.

Amy Adams plays Anna, a stuck up yuppie perfectionist who makes a living making apartments suitable for realtors to show to prospective buyers/renters. You wouldn't think there'd be a lot of money in a profession like that but she can afford things like multiple pairs of $600 shoes so I guess you would be wrong. Or maybe she gets the money from her cardiologist boyfriend played by Adam Scott, a man who was so funny in Step Brothers but, if memory serves, is given absolutely nothing funny to do in this movie. Anyway, Anna is told by Rom-Com Standard Character #7, also known as the female lead's jaded, world weary best friend, that boyfriend Jeremy was spotted leaving a high end jewelry store so they assume he has purchased an engagement ring and dismiss all other possibilities. It turns out they shouldn't have done that as he bought her diamond earrings instead, gave them to her then flew off to Ireland for a medical conference. When she hears there's some old Irish tradition that a woman can propose to a man every four years on February 29, she suddenly ceases to be the intelligent woman she's been up to that point and flies off to Dublin on the spur of the moment.

She must not have seen as many romantic comedies as I have because she's actually surprised when bad weather forces her flight to divert to Wales. She takes a boat to Ireland and winds up in Dingle, hundreds of miles from Dublin. This is where she meets Declan (Matthew Goode). He runs the local pub/inn/taxi service. Despite having the market on all three of those professions cornered in Dingle, he's having money problems, a fact that could have some thing to do with the fact that he treats customers who walk through his door as if they have leprosy. Why does he do this? Because it was convenient for the script for Declan to be a surly, unlikable A-hole, especially to Anna. Anyway, despite the instant dislike they have for each other, Declan ends up driving Anna to Dublin.

I've never been to Ireland but, if this movie is to be believed, it is made entirely of narrow, unpaved roads and has a population of 20. Anna and Declan are wind up staying in one tiny room after another in which normally private things like showering suddenly become group activities. Circumstances like that are likely to lead to murder but in this case it leads to such an intense mutual attraction that Anna begins considering dumping the guy she came to Dublin to marry, leave her successful business in a big city like Boston and become a tavern owner's wife in a small village that almost certainly has little need for a professional apartment stager.

Naturally, it all works out because that's what happens when screenplays aren't so much written but rather created by Microsoft's Rom-Com Generator 2010. As I said, the biggest problem isn't the preposterous, derivative plot but rather the utter lack of humor. Other than the occasional pretty shot of the Irish countryside, very little happens that is memorable unless it was memorably bad. I'm shocked that the author of such movies as Made of Honor and Surviving Christmas couldn't write a funnier screenplay but I suppose flukes like this can happen.

If you'll excuse me, I'm not going to file this away as a Microsoft Word template so I can change the names and reuse this review later this month for Kristen Bell's When In Rome.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January Thaw

As I said yesterday, it's odd to see two movies coming out the first week in January that are being at least decently reviewed. This is not the natural order of things and I don't like it. In the beginning of time, God decreed that the worst movies of the year were supposed to come out in January yet Youth in Revolt and Daybreakers are both holding their own so far on the Tomatometer. Hell, Ebert even gave three stars to the Amy Adams rom com Leap Year. True, the majority of critics hate it but I agree with Ebert quite a bit of the time which makes me scared to see that now because I don't want to end up writing a review that reads, "Leap out of your chair and go see Leap Year." Something like that is even more likely because Amy Adams is in it and she and Rachel McAdams both have the ability to cloud my mind and make me give a movie they're in 14 stars out of a possible 4 even if it sucks.

The reason January always has the worst movies is because of the fact that everyone blew all their spare cash in the previous month on X-Boxes for their whiny little brats combined with high school and college kids being busy with school starting back up. This means that in December you get movies like Avatar and Sherlock Holmes until the calendar swings into January when you get new Dane Cook comedies and the latest Resident Evil sequel.

Despite some decent reviews for these movies, the list of upcoming films looks like a typical January. You have Book of Eli, a warmed over Road Warrior story, a story about crazy angels called Legion and The Spy Next Door, a movie that I want to like because Jackie Chan is in it but, come on. I mean, come the hell ON. An international super spy has to take care of some kids? Maybe they're thinking, "Cameron took Dances With Wolves and made loads of money with Avatar. Maybe we could take Vin Diesel's The Pacifier, redo it with Jackie Chan and make a billion dollars." Oh, let's not forget When In Rome which is Leap Year set in Rome with Kristen Bell instead of Amy Adams so, if nothing else, they can probably count on the three star Ebert review.

Who knows? Maybe all these movies will be good and HA HA HA HA sorry, I can't go on. No, this week was a fluke. Flukes happen. Soon the natural order will be set right and we'll be treated to junk January films that no one will see because they weren't really meant to see them. February will come and we may get decent movies again. Until then, we can all go see Avatar a third or fourth time. That is God's plan and we should not question it. So shall it be written, so shall it be done.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Look At My Briefs -- 1/7/10

It's a new year and, if you're reading this, it means you have also lived long enough to bear witness to this exotic future world. To celebrate, let's all partake of another edition of my brief comments on short subjects called Look At My Briefs.

Some of you may remember how much I loved the Swedish film Let The Right One In, the story of a boy who befriends a girl that turns out to be a vampire. It was an intelligent, serious and violent film that was blessedly free of characters who sparkled or werewolves with six pack abs. An American remake called Let Me In has been given an October release date. Now we start the waiting game to see if Hollywood proudly upholds its tradition of taking intelligent foreign films, crapping on them and adding chase scenes. Good news: the plot synopsis is similar to that of the original. Bad news: it's an American remake of a foreign film which means it is subject to the previously mentioned proud tradition.

Caprica, a show set 50 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica about the creation of the Cylons, is premiering this month on Sceyefae. I saw the DVD of the pilot and it looked okay but I can't get excited about a story that I know eventually ends in a combination of Von Danikenism and Deus Ex Machina 50 years later.

Youth In Revolt and Daybreakers are getting surprisingly good reviews considering they're both coming out the first week in January, a week usually reserved for what turns out to be on of the year's worst movies. Could this be the start of a trend? Oh wait, what's this? Phew, I was getting worried for a minute.

This trailer for Kick-Ass is lousy. This redband clip concentrating on Hit-Girl, however, is at least better than the other trailer. It still doesn't make me overly optimistic about the movie's prospects but I'll admit there's now a glimmer of hope. The action was cool and who doesn't enjoy seeing little girls portrayed as foul-mouthed homicidal vigilante psychopaths? Coincidentally, the kid playing Hit-Girl is also playing the vampire in Let Me In. Circle of life and all that.

I predicted that Big Hollywood's anti-Avatar attitude would change once the film made money and that they would change their tunes and say that the movie was actually a very conservative film. If I ignore the fact that this Leigh Scott article isn't meant to be serious, I can say I my prediction was accurate so that's what I'm going to do. Hurray for me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baby Hollywood's First Year

Regular readers know the delight that Big Hollywood has given me over the past year. It was this day, January 6, 2009, that they first went online. BH is a group blog that tries to show a conservative perspective on the happenings in show business. As a progressive, I have enjoyed it because it's often delightfully insane, or at least it was. When they first started they had prominent right wing names like Ben Shapiro truly bringing The Crazy with an article about rap music that would have been relevant he been a 60 year old man writing it in 1985. Unfortunately this early spirit was not to last as Big Hollywood started publishing one post after another from a group of nobodies talking about how the reason you'd never heard of them was because they were conservatives and Hollywood won't give a job to anyone who thinks tax cuts increase revenues. That theme started looking foolish after outspoken conservative Kelsey Grammer was given his second post-Frasier mediocre sitcom so instead they basically started abandoning their main theme and allowed around 40% of their content to have nothing to do with show business which is why I mostly stopped devoting two full posts a week to them and mostly just give them a paragraph per week, if that. Still, they seem to be on the upswing (check out Adam Baldwin's recent defense of Brit Hume's religious nuttery for the most recent example) so, without further ado, I shall present what I think are the best examples of the lightning and madness that has been Big Hollywood over the past year, breaking it down by their most commonly used themes.

SEEING THINGS THAT AREN'T THERE -- To many Big Hollywood writers, entertainment is like a pair of pants that don't fit. Some people won't admit their pants don't fit so they pull, yank, stretch and eventually cut holes in them so they'll fit then insist they look good. Likewise, these people want movies to be something they're not so they twist their meanings around to suit their agenda. This is how 300, a mindless, badass action film with no political axe to grind became the symbol of conservative toughness. It says a lot about an ideology that claims to hate gays yet lionizes men in loincloths wrestling on a battlefield. The finest example in the past year, however, belongs to a review of the movie Taken written by insane racist Debbie Schlussel. In her eyes, the movie's Albanian villains were "clearly" Arabs despite having been named several times as Albanians and having their speech translated by an Albanian dictionary. She also described their employer as a Sheik even though they worked for a tuxedo wearing French gangster. I assume the reason Big Hollywood published this is because it was so epically stupid that it made the rest of them look smarter as a result.

CONCERN TROLLING -- Big Hollywood loves to show how much they care about Real Hollywood by giving them helpful advice about which movies make the most money. Coincidentally, if this advice were taken, it would eliminate from the big screen movies that conservatives don't like. Big Hollywood is constantly advising actual professionals to stop making Iraq War films or movies with sex and violence not for the sake of conservatives who don't like those but because they care ever so much about movie studios' profit margins. I hold up the work of Dr. Ted Baehr as this year's finest example of concern trolling. Baehr is an evangelical Christian who likes to helpfully tell Hollywood that clean films makes so much more money than dirty, filthy ones. True, family films are usually the year's biggest hits but movies like Inglourious Basterds also make money while many clean family films lose money.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS -- To Big Hollywood writers, everything must be ideologically pure. They would fiercely reject that that they are practicing Political Correctness since that is supposedly a liberal term but the endless quest for purity can't be described any other way and there is no one on Big Hollywood more fiercely P.C. than their Editor-In-Chief John Nolte. His recent jihad against Avatar is a good example but I have a better one. The new Sandra Bullock film The Blind Side should have been lauded by BH and in fact did receive a good review from Pam Meister. Nolte, however, ignored the fact that the movie is about a white, Southern Republican NRA-loving family whose Christian decency causes them to open their home to a black street kid who has no one else. Instead, he focused on less than five seconds of the film devoted to a mild jab at George W. Bush. He also saw the new animated A Christmas Carol and ignored that this was probably one of the more pro-religious versions of this story ever made to, again, concentrate on a single line about religious hypocrisy. I can see why that so enraged him since the same sentiment was expressed by one of history's most infamous Socialist creeps.

BATSHIT INSANITY -- This was a tough one. I really wanted to give this to Dirk Benedict's rant against...well, to this day I don't know what the hell he was talking about. Something about Mickey Mouse not being immortal because he had surgery. You read the whole thing and try to figure it out if you can. In the end, though, Victoria Jackson really had no competition. She's the only person from Big Hollywood to actually rate her own label. I can't bring myself to choose from her body of work, though. It's like asking what sort of meat tastes best when deep fried or, more aptly, what sort of incredibly stupid meat tastes best when deep fried in crazy sauce. I suggest you read her entire Big Hollywood oeuvre. In it you'll be treated to the work of a woman who wonders why it is that shop clerks quietly smiled at her while she harassed them with right wing talking points, inadvertently threatens the woman whose is third in line for the Presidency and is unable to look smart even when engaging in imaginary conversations with people she's never met. This woman whose greatest show business achievement is that she managed to get through six years on Saturday Night Live without creating a single memorable character now distinguishes herself with the combination of thinking that her writing makes her look good and her inability to write in a way that make her look good. Or smart. Or sane. Or decent.

Happy birthday Big Hollywood. Here's hoping you find your way back home and publish some articles criticizing Harry Potter for being a Satanist or for making Lord Voldemort a dark wizard instead of a Muslim.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who's Last

Doctor Who is currently the best show on television. It is also one of the best shows ever made. Harlan Ellison wrote an introduction in 1977 to a novelization of the Doctor Who story Genesis of the Daleks in which he declared it to be the best science fiction series ever, beating out even Star Trek or The Twilight Zone. And he was right, in my opinion anyway. It premiered in 1963 and ran until 1989 to be revived in its current incarnation in 2005.

Jumping ahead to January 1, 2010, we have now seen the final episode of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor and, frankly, I don't think it could have gone any better. While I disagree with a recent survey naming him as the best Doctor, he's had a hell of a run and will be missed. If not for the fact that Steven Moffat, one of my favorite writers in any medium, was taking over as showrunner I'd probably be one of those people vowing to never again watch Doctor Who. I'm wondering now if, somehow, a threat like that from me would have somehow kept Tennant in the show. That would have been cool even though I then would have gone mad with power and forced them to do something really crazy like give the Doctor breasts.

Doctor Who fans have known for over a year that this was coming. The Doctor received no less than three different prophecies in the past year that implied his life would soon end but that didn't make it any easier when it happened. If you're familiar with the show you know that Timelords like The Doctor don't really die, of course. Since 1963 when the actor playing the Doctor decides to leave the show all they have to do is fatally injure the character and Regeneration kicks in. All wounds are healed but the Doctor looks completely different. One thing that was really driven home this time around is that this isn't just a cosmetic change. The new person has all of the Doctor's memories but, as has been witnessed over the years, the personality is different. The one who was there before, in a sense, no longer exists and it is like death. This point was driven home and made Tennant's exit more emotional when he Regenerated.

The two part finale was exciting overall as the Doctor's arch enemy, the Master, returned from the wreak havoc in the Doctor's life with yet another insane scheme (that works, for a while anyway) to dominate the world but that story is just an extended introduction to the long, emotional goodbye to David Tennant at the end. When he begins to change, you start getting choked up and then he turns into the new Doctor, actor Matt Smith, and BAM it gets fast paced and exciting. There's no more time for tears as the Doctor checks to see if he still has fingers, fingers he'll need because HIS SHIP IS ABOUT TO CRASH.

So yes, Doctor Who will go on and it will almost certainly be good with new people both in front of and behind the camera. I'll miss David Tennant and producer/showrunner Russell T. Davies but I missed Christopher Eccleston when he left and it all worked out. If fact, here's how all that went.

"Wow, Christopher Eccleston is great."

When he first got replaced by David Tennant: "Who's this douchebag?"

After a few episodes. "Wow, David Tennant is great."

When he first got replaced by Matt Smith. "Who's this douchebag?"

We'll find out this spring when the new series starts how long it will take for Matt Smith to stop being a douchebag and start being the Doctor. I do wish I could go back in time and somehow convince David Tennant to stick with the show. I won't be doing that, of course, because it's impossible. Seriously, if I ever tell you I did that, do me a favor and lock me up.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I apologize folks. I took Friday off because of the holiday but I just don't feel well enough to write anything today. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I wish you all well in the upcoming year. I had planned to do a full length post today. You can see how well that worked out.