Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stupid Thing of the Week (sorta)

A young cousin came over today and showed me how, through the magic of the internet, I could get the soundtrack to INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM in mp3 form. I had the record as a boy, and still feel a heck of a lot of fondness for the movie* and its music.
So, I downloaded the soundtrack (my cousin told me that they're not called "soundtrack"s anymore, but that I had to search for them under "OST"s. That mildly irritated me), and just started listening to it while doing some paperwork. Well, the title track started up (the one called "The Temple of Doom") and I was reminded of, several years ago, how I had made a cassette tape of several of my favourite John Williams movie tracks, and had taken it with me away from home. I would put it and other instrumental tapes on quietly at night to put me to sleep (I still do it with the SAVING PRIVATE RYAN soundtrack), thinking nothing of it.

Well, one night, a new roommate of mine turned on the light and started to rouse the others about what was playing. He became somewhat hysterical that I was listening to a cult of devil worshippers reciting their chants to Father Satan, and instead of laughing the incident off, it made me rather angry with the new roommate.

I handled it the best way I knew how: instead of explaining what the source of the music was, I began to mutter "Kali Ma protects us, we are her children."

Rish "Short Round" Outfield

*Which reminds me: I put the DVD in the other week, just to test out my sound system, and ended up watching TEMPLE OF DOOM all the way through to the end, really surprised by how great it is, after all of these years. And after all your many insistences that it's not a very good movie. It's nice to be right for a change.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Babysitter of the Year: Part IV

It's probably best you don't ask.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bottom Five Jim Carreys

So, as I said earlier, since YES MAN opens today, I wanted to know what everybody's least favourite (or Bottom Five) Jim Carrey movies are.This time, I went ahead and sent his IMDB filmography, to job people's memories. It was interesting to see that he was in films like THE DEAD POOL and PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED.

So, my five least favourites would have to be:
I worked on FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, so I dragged my family to it when it came out that holiday season, thinking that a) it would be amusing, and b) they might see me in it. Neither was the case.

But ohhhhhh, how I hated HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (and still do).

The first to respond was Prison Guard Johnny. I am distressed to see ETERNAL SUNSHINE on his list, but hey, to each his own. John's list:
27. The Majestic
26. Earth Girls are Easy
25. Batman Forever
24. Me, Myself, and Irene
23. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Jeff the Chemist sent a list, but prefaced it with the fact that he hasn't seen any of them. It was:
1) Dumb & Dumber
2) Ace Ventura 2
3) Ace Ventura
4) Cable Guy
5) Rubberface

You know, I might have to disqualify him on this one.Beta Ray Charles wrote:
5. The Majestic (not really bad, just not memorable)
4. The Number 23
3. Fun with Dick and Jane
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
1. Ace Venture: Pet Detective

No Nickname Rhett sent me:
1. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
2. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
3. The Cable Guy
4. Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
5. Me, Myself, & Irene

Merrill wrote that he hasn't seen enough Carrey films to make a full list, and only sent these two:
1. Man on the Moon
2. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

Similarly, tyranist reminded me that he's only seen five Jim Carrey movies all the way through, and won't list the ones he loved. So, his list consisted of:
1. Batman Forever
2. The Majestic

Even worse, Evil Cousin Ryan sent only one title:
1. Batman Forever

And I have it on good authority that he not only really liked that movie when it came out, but actually owns it.

So, I guess our "winners" are:
All in all, this wasn't a very successful list. I may need to take a break for a while.

Rish "Rubberface" Outfield

Majel Barrett R.I.P.

I really like Star Trek a lot. This may come as a shock, but I've gone to a Star Trek convention before. Perhaps it's a shock that I've only gone to one, but hey, Patrick Stewart was there, and I defy you to proclaim that not cool.

So, it was with sadness today that I read that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the "First Lady of Star Trek," passed away. She was seventy-six, and died of leukemia.

Majel Barrett has done more episodes of "Star Trek" than anyone. My guess is she's done twice the number that Michael Dorn has done, and he's got, what, ten years under his belt?
I was a fan.

I loved Lwaxana Troi. Even the mudbath episode.

Having never met her or gotten to work on any of the films or series (I once changed my clothes in William Shatner's chair, but that's probably best left unmentioned), I don't have a whole lot to say on the matter.

Apparently, she's gonna be the computer voice in the J.J. Abrahms TREK film. Maybe it won't be so bad after all.

Rish "Nurse Chapel" Outfield

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stupid Thing of the Week

As you know, usually my blog consists of either a) me talking inanely about a TV show I watched, or b) me admitting something that makes me look bad.

But I'm going to switch it up a bit and make a little boast here: I have never, in my long, utterly worthless life, seen an Uwe Boll movie.

Nope. Never happened.

In case you are new in town, Uwe Boll is a German director who is not only technically insane, but is regarded as the world's worst film director. Under his belt, he's made such films as ALONE IN THE DARK, BLOODRAYNE, FROGGER: THE MOVIE, POSTAL, BLOODRAYNE 2:DELIVERANCE, SEED, E.T. THE VIDEO GAME: THE MOVIE, BLOODRAYNE IV:RELIVERANCE, HOUSE OF THE DEAD, CUSTER'S REVENGE: THE MOVIE, and BLOODRAYNE 3: THE PREQUEL TO BLOODRAYNE IV. He tends to write and produce his films, as well as threaten to beat up their detractors.I don't like video game movies--and frankly, neither should you--so I'd never felt the need to see any of his films (even though I was tempted to see BLOODRAYNE if only to mock it). And it doesn't hurt that the guy is infamous for having more films on the IMDB's Bottom 100 list than Ed Wood, Roger Corman, and all the Wayanses put together.

Well, here's where the Stupid Thing of the Week comes in. I was at tyranist's for our weekly Wednesday get-together, and he wanted to watch Boll's "Dungeon Siege" movie. His rationale was that a) it had Jason Statham in it; b) tyranist has a mad crush on Jason Statham; c) tyranist happened to have it on his TiVo; d) I enjoyed playing the "Dungeon Siege" game; and e) a maaaaaad crush.

I told him I didn't want to see it, and gave him the whole "I ain't nevah seen no Uwe Boll movie" argument. Which he didn't believe. He taunted me, and when that didn't work, tried to convince me I like both Claire Forlani and Leelee Sobieski. Which I don't.

Then tyranist began to beg and plead, really making an arse of himself to get me to watch it. Finally, he told me John Rhys-Davies was in it, and said he'd let me tell my John Rhys-Davies "Don't look at my dick" story again.

I guess I'll never tire of that one.

I told him I'd consider watching it if, at the point in the movie that it got really stupid, I could tell him to turn it off. He probably had no intention of going along with it, but he agreed, and we began to watch, deep breath . . . IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE.So, now I've seen an Uwe Boll movie.

And to make matters stupider, I didn't think it was all that bad. Oh, it wasn't a good movie, not by any stretch, there wasn't a line of memorable dialogue throughout, and certain scenes either didn't work or seemed almost to have been inserted in the wrong place of the story. But there were a couple moments that were pretty good, the special effects were actually passable, and most of the actors fared pretty well (heck, even Claire Forlani).

Maybe it had something to do with Uwe Boll not writing the screenplay (makes me wonder what an adequate director might have done with the material), or maybe it was my expectations of absolute crap that kept me from absolutely hating it (I don't recall ever telling tyranist that we'd reached the point where he needed to turn it off).

Or maybe it had something to do with me falling asleep in the middle and having one of those alone-on-an-island-with-that-Waverly-Place-girl dreams when I should have been watching Matthew Lillard doing his drunken Paul Lynde impression.

Oh, Ray Liotta was truly awful, and I pity him. And Kristanna Loken (and her gaggle of damn lesbian tree witches) just plain sucked. But I didn't find ITNOTK:ADST as terrible as say, THE SCORPION KING 2, THE HAPPENING, or even X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE.

So, who's stupid now?

Rish "It Was A Rhetorical Question" Outfield

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top Five Jim Carrey Movies

You know, I've learned to dislike Jim Carrey lately, and I'm not really sure why. His new film YES MAN opens next week, and even though I think it looks terrible, I thought I'd stay positive, and ask everybody's Top Five Jim Carrey movies. If all goes well, I'll ask for least favourites next week (especially if YES MAN is bad).

My list:
My cousin Ryan was the first to respond (even though he was the last one I sent the request to, just to keep things fair). Unfortunately, he only watches video game movies and/or flicks where dumb guys fight, so he could only send the five Jim Carry films he's seen.*

His list:
1. The Truman Show
2. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
3. Dumb and Dumber
4. Batman Forever
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

To my chagrin, tyranist was next to respond . . . with the exact same situation. He claims to have only seen five Jim Carrey films also, and they are:
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. The Truman Show
4. The Majestic
5. Batman Forever
I guess I'm not the only one who has a problem with SeƱor Carrey.

Corrupt Hollywood Lawyer Ian sent me:
1. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
2. The Truman Show
3. Bruce Almighty
4. Simon Birch
5. Peggy Sue Got Married

Something tells me he checked a filmography first.

Jeff the Psychotic Chemist sent this list to me (but it wasn't in any order and may also have just been a list of Carrey films he'd seen):
Once Bitten
The Truman Show
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Bruce Almighty
(though I never saw the whole thing)

Merrill sent me (which is surprisingly close to my list):
1. The Mask
2. Dumb and Dumber
3. Liar, Liar
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. The Truman Show
Prison Guard Johnny sent me:
1. Liar Liar
2. Ace Ventura
3. Dumb and Dumber
4. Ace Ventura II
5. The Mask

"No Nickname" Rhett sent along:
1. The Majestic
2. Liar Liar
3. The Grinch
4. The Mask
5. The Truman Show

So, it appears our winners are:

I do look forward to the bottom five, way more than I do to seeing YES MAN.


*I wonder if that means I need to use this list again next week.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Babysitter of the Year: Part III

My sister told me under no circumstances should I give the baby Coca-Cola. I'm not sure of the reason, but I made sure to honour her wishes.
I think I'm getting better.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stupid Thing of the Week

So, there's a guy at work who has gotten on my nerves, almost from the beginning. The man is a gigantic oaf, with a squinty mongoloid face and about eighty teeth. But it's what comes out of his mouth that really gets to me.

I might not have given him a second glance if he didn't have the charming tendency of inferring that his other male coworkers are homosexuals. Sure, I used the word all the time when I was fourteen, but after living in L.A. and broadening my views, I cringe when I hear "faggot" tossed around like "dude" or "bro" or "man" or "funster."

And I am aware of the hypocrisy of using the word "fuck" the other day and yet criticising someone who uses "faggot." But, the real dealbreaker (you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means) was when I heard him say, "Are you cereal?" the other night. I cringed, because it's perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever heard (and I hear people say "irregardless" and "nucular" and "and "They give no shit"* all the time).

And I'm vaguely aware of it being used in an episode of "South Park," so I'd let it go, except that last night, I heard him say it two more times.
Overloud Moron: What time is it, bruh?
Other coworker: Almost five.
Overloud Moron: Are you cereal?

I have no words to describe how asinine that sounds, except, perhaps, to quote "South Park" myself.

"What the hell would you know you fat sweaty Mongoloid?!"

Thank you,

Rish "Are you serial?" Outfield

*Actually, "they give no shit" is a pretty cool saying. Can I take that one back?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Some More Angel Wednesdays

I really have enjoyed watching "Angel" this season. But I haven't felt the overpowering need to blog about it.

I suppose, on the offchance that all copies of the show are lost, along with every other synopsis and review, that I ought to continue blogging these, though.

After all, we're so near the end.

Next up in my recap recaps is "Destiny," written by David Fury and Steven S. DeKnight.

It features a flashback to the first time Spike met Angelus. And wouldn't you know, they hit it off immediately. Angelus is happy to have another guy around to chum around and slaughter with, and it occurred to me that I had never seen Spike and Angel as friends, in any episode that I can remember.

Well, their friendship doesn't really last, as Spike tells Angelus how happy he is to have a purpose in (un)life and that he considers Drusilla to be his destiny. Angelus then goes on to have sex with Drusilla, mocking Spike, and when Spike attacks him, Angelus soundly thrashes the younger vampire.

Back in the present, Spike gets a package in the mail. When Harmony opens it for him, there's a new burst of light . . . and suddenly Spike is corporeal again. He immediately grabs Harmony and makes up for lost time.

Harmony starts bleeding from her eyes and turns evil . . .er, and later, it happens to Gunn too. All sorts of things start going wrong around the building, and Eve proclaims that it's because there's a problem with the universe: there are now two hero vampires with souls to fulfill the Shanshu Prophesy.

Wesley is off marrying Willow, so they go to Sirk (I looked him up the first time through), the ex-Watcher in the Records Department. He's got a copy of the Shanshu Prophesy in its original language, and explains that all the translations have been incomplete. According to the original prophesy, the balance can only be repaired when the destined vampire drinks "from the Cup of Perpetual Torment," which has been recently found in a condemned building out in the Nevada desert.

Sirk says the cup is in a destroyed opera house in Death Valley, Nevada. So both Spike and Angel head off to reach it, both insisting that they are the destined vampire.

What follows is the mother of all battles: Spike versus Angel, both physically and verbally. Spike thinks he's better than Angel because he went out and earned a soul, and Angel had one forced upon him. Angel thinks he's better than Spike because he didn't get a soul just to impress a girl. Spike thinks he's better than Angel because he got to sleep with Buffy lots of times, and Angel only got the once. Angel thinks he's better than Spike because every time Buffy was with Spike, she really wished it was Angel.

They punch and throw each other around, and Spike just keeps getting back up. Spike thinks he's better than Angel because Angel works for an evil lawfirm now. Angel thinks he's better than Spike because Spike is too dumb to know the difference between good and evil.

It's an exhausting battle, and it only comes to a close when Spike picks up a broken board and impales Angel with it . . . through the shoulder instead of the heart, though he could have killed him. Spike staggers to the cup and drinks it.

It is full of Mountain Dew.

They return to Wolfram & Hart, realising that Sirk's translation was a lie. The ex-Watcher is gone, and Eve tells them that the Senior Partners stepped in and rebalanced the universe as best they could. Angel confesses to Gunn that Spike finally beat him after all these years, because he wanted it more than Angel did.

The coda of the story shows us where Eve goes at night: she has an apartment with her co-conspirator behind this whole thing, laughing about how easily she tricked Angel and Company. Her partner turns out to be good old ex-lawyer Lindsay McDonald, chuckling about their future plans. The end.

This was a much better episode than I've described (both times), and the fight was very impressive. I don't suppose we need any more flashbacks to Angel or Spike's past after this one. Except for whatever I'm not remembering.

That brings us to "Harm's Way," written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, who are the showrunners on Joss's new series "Dollhouse."

I have almost nothing to say about this one, and I figured that, the moment Joss and Company got the word that "Angel" would not be renewed for a sixth season, that we would no longer get any light and stand-alone episodes like this one. We shall see.

This was a Harmony-centric episode . . . and I never wrote it up. In fact, this post sat for a couple of years because I apparently lost interest before finishing it. Shame.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Top Five Dealbreakers

So, I was having a conversation not too long ago about "dealbreakers," a term I coined for actors or actresses that I dislike so much that, if there's a movie coming out and it has one of them in it, I just won't see the movie. Or worse, there's a movie that sounds like it might be good, then I find out who's in it, and I decide to pass.* It was an interesting conversation, since one of the people my friend considered a dealbreaker actually used to guarantee I'd go see the movie.

I explained this, and asked people to give me their Top Five Dealbreakers. Only one person responded. So, I amended the request and asked people to give me five actors/actresses they despise. Only one more person responded.

My cousin told me that there simply aren't actors that do that to him, and, with the exception of Pauley Shore (and maybe the late Rodney Dangerfield), he likes everybody. Not surprising for someone who likes every movie he sees.

But I am just so very critical, judgmental, and easily-irritated, that I could make a Top Twenty list of Dealbreakers, not just five.
So, here you go:
1. Vin Diesel
2. Mark Wahlberg
3. Owen Wilson (who I couldn't remember the name of and so called "The blond bottle rocket shanghai noon guy")
4. Steven Segal
(though he's not really such a factor anymore, is he?**)
5. Reese Witherspoon
6. Kate Hudson
7. Michelle Rodriguez
(sorta makes FAST & FURIOUS a non-issue for me)
8. Catherine Keener
9. Madonna
10. Ashton Kutcher
11. Vince Vaughn
12. Cameron Diaz
13. Thandie Newton
14. Keanu Reeves
15. Ben Stiller

And lots, lots more.

Tyranist was, of course, the one who responded right out of the gate. His list:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Cameron Diaz
Meg Ryan
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Abigail Breslin

My buddy Rhett also sent a list of celebrities he's sick to death of, which is a fair response, I suppose, to my second request. It was:
1. Rosie
2. Anna Nicole Smith
(apparently she did more for mankind than we can even imagine with how she has been immortalized)
3. Lindsey Lohan, Madonna, and Britney Spears
4. Brad and Angelina
5. Tom and Katie

Merrill sent me a couple names, because I complained that no one participated in this one. His list:
Vin Diesel
Jean Claude Van Damme
Steven Segal
Molly Shannon

(almost but just not quite) Steve Carell
(another who's getting there)Will Ferrell

Well, this was probably a failed attempt. I won't bother to tally our "winners." At least Merrill had the right idea on his.

Rish Diesel Outfield

*An example would be: last year, I heard the plot to SHOOTER and thought, "Dang, that sounds like it's gonna be right up my alley." But then I found out its star, and I thought, "Oh, that's too bad. Guess I'll skip it."

**Fairuza Balk, Rosie Perez, and Molly Shannon could all join him on the "they really don't show up anymore, so why count them?" list.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Stupid Thing of the Week

Today, for the first time, I got to run the big box smasher at work. It's a big metal cage that you fill up with cardboard, then turn on the hydraulic, which compresses it down with a whir and a clang.

As I pushed the button and the smasher came down, I said, "You're terminated, fucker!" The looks on the faces around me ranged from confusion to utter horror, but not a single soul laughed.

Rish "Box Crusher" Outfield