Friday, August 31, 2007

Movie Review: Sherrybaby

O.k., so here's the thing. It's not that I didn't like the movie. I mean, on some level I liked it o.k., I guess. It's just that this happens to be one of those movies that was better in theory than in practice. I mean, for starters you've got Maggie Gyllenhaal in it, who gets a lifelong pass for me on the strength of Secretary alone and then, to top that all off, you've got the Trejo. We all know how I feel about the Trejo. I've made it abundantly clear that the Trejo is awesome. And I have to stop right there to ask the following question: There is a documentary abou the Trejo and nobody told me???? Even though everybody knew that it would be right in my wheelhouse??? And then I have to find out about it through TigerladyT, as she makes an offhanded comment about it all "Yeah, I just netflixed the documentary on him awhile back. It was really good." and then I Kyle's mom it, all "What What What?!?!?" and she's all "Yeah, the docu on Trejo." and I'm all flabbergasted and an almost guilty feeling overcomes me because how could I, a Trejo Enthusiast, not know about a Trejo documentary? Ahem. Back to the point.

So if someone was to stick both of these very awesome actors that I like and respect in a movie together, what could go wrong? Alot apparantly, a whole lot.

It's not that they weren't working their butts off (although the less said about Trejo's butt in boxer shorts, the better off we all are), but you can only do so much with the material you're given and as far as I'm concerned, the material is weak. Super weak. I can't speak to how true to life Maggie's performance is, and, not that I'm knocking on authenticity or anything, but at some level it just didn't work, again not Maggie's fault but more the fault of what her motivation was at the time or what the script was asking of her.There were so many scenes that just felt overwrought and then there were others that just fell flat.

And then there were was one scene in particular that was unneccessary and kind of sickening.
The scene with her dad, which establishes the character's motivations toward drug use because of past abuse, was just there for the shock value. I get that it was somewhat of a plot pusher, but the way in which it was shown... look it's not like I'm some prude, or I don't get the director's artistic decisions or whatever, but no. First of all, I think they established early on in the movie by forcing the character into a lot of unsavory sexual relationship, that there was some form of abuse in the character's past. I was already aware of it before that scene. That scene didn't prove anything other than that she was in a screwed up family/ And I'm not saying this sort of thing shouldn't be portrayed, because it does happen and people have a right to put it out there, but I think there's a line in which things like that are maybe said not shown. It wasn't an artistic decision I would've made if I were in the director's shoes is all.

But then it was just left there. She never mentions it, it's never mentioned, it's just dropped while the movie rambles on its conclusion, which was what exactly? Look I don't need my hand held and I don't need it all in a nice tidy box, but I needed something that the movie just didn't feel like providing.

Shoalin Monks vs. Ninjas

O.k., so I read this story. I was lead to this story by the tag "Shoalin Temple: Our Monks could beat up your ninjas." which totally caught me because; Awesome. So I'm thinking this could be great, but then I read the whole story and it sounds, well, very high school. The Shoalin monks are up in arms because of some he said, she said crap posted on the internets? And they are demanding an apology for something somebody posted on a forum? Really? *Head Tilt* Really?

Is this what years of Kung Fu teaches you to do? Do you think this is how James Carrodine would've handled the situation? Let's just take a step back and ask ourselves WWGD (What would Grasshopper do)? I think the answer is obvious, he would've tried to turn the other cheek and walk the path to nonviolence, then he would've kicked some ass. So I ask the wonderful Shoalin Monks to do the right thing in this situation: Challenge some Ninjas to a duel and then make it a Pay-per-view event and above all else, let me watch, because Awesome.

But I must note from watching that one episode of Samuari Jack where he goes to the Shoalin Temple over and over, that the best and most likely outcome is that instead of fighting each other, They end up showing each other your best Water Beetle, become friends and then try to find a portal in time so that Jack can go back in time to destroy Aku. I'm just saying.

Assholes with Cats

I realize the world is full of assholes. In the close to three decades I've been on this earth, I've been around more than my share, so I don't usually comment on them. But today I came across a special brand of asshole-ry that has pissed me off enough to write.

We've had these neighbors for close to a year. They lived across the street from us, and although there were signs of douche-baggery, I didn't give them much time or space in my thoughts. Well apparently a lot of people in our HOA did and raised enough ruckus that their landlord renting the house out to them called paid to their bullshit and had them move. I hadn't really registered an opinion on this fact other than "meh, whatever" until this morning.

The main crux of the issue is their cat. It is this lovable calico-ish cat. Any time I was out in the neighborhood without my dog Kissinger by my side, the cat would be rather personable. It would come up while I was at the mail box and I'd pet it and it would pur and it was just a sweet cat with a nature and personality probably not well suited for the dilweeds it was living with.

This morning as I started my morning walk with our dog Kissinger, I spotted another neighbor standing in dilweed's yard. I asked what was up and she informed me that the neighbors left their cat. That's right, up and left the thing on the stoop, with a little tray of water and food and moved. No note, didn't go to the neighbors about the situation or anything, just left the cat alone, on the stoop of the house, terrified and anxious.

My heart plummeted. I asked what would happen to the cat and the neighbor informed me that another neighbor had offered to take it in. I said I'd happily take it if it didn't work out with the other neighbors because no cat, no dog, no animal in which we as humans have decided to take on as pets, which in my mind means a member of the family should be left so cruelly, should be abandoned and not looked after by someone. If you had the presence of mind to take in an animal at some point, you better damn well have the presence of mind to continue care for that animal even when an inconvenience such as moving gets in the way or don't get a pet at all. It's a simple fact. If these owners knew for a fact they couldn't take the cat to wherever they were going, fine. Beat down a couple of doors in the neighborhood and see if anybody would be willing to take it in. Do not, I repeat DO NOT leave the thing on the front porch and expect it look after itself, you uncaring jerk-wads of the HIGHEST ORDER. GRRRRRRRR!

I hope the cat gets a better home and people than it got before, I hope the douchey neighbors don't come back in an effort to get the cat back for the simple fact that I will have to give them a piece of my mind and it will not be pretty. I don't and haven't really gotten adamant about animal rights on this blog for various reasons. I didn't register an opinion about the Vick dog-fighting scandal because it wasn't my place. But as a loving owner of a dog, a wonderful, sweet natured by previously abused dog who is now a (somewhat) well-adjusted (yet still neurotic) member of our family, I am going to register an opinion about certain responsibilities and rules we as pet owners should respect and abandoning a sweet cat on your doorstep is one of those things you just DO NOT do.

If you're reading this today and are as angry as I am, consider donating a little time or a little money to your local no-kill animal shelter or SPCA. Let's undo a little of the bad karma that bad pet-owners put out there by acts like these.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's my birfday!

So, yeah, today's my birthday. Woo. (Streamers falling down, confetti in the air.) It's not that I could care less, it's just that more important, pressing things in my life have seemed to make having a birthday less of an issue.

For instance, this time last year? If pressed I would've asked for the Invader Zim box set (which I have now) and some other pop-culture related ephimera. Today, right now? All I want is a nap, a long, beautious, wonderful nap that last from here to Thanksgiving, followed immediately by a siesta and capped off with a bout of sleeping so furious and grand it makes Rumpelstilskin's sleeping fest look like naptime in a romper room. Is this wrong?

Don't get me wrong, any pop-culture donations (up to and including the new My So-Called Life DVD set) are welcome and appreciated, but if you could find a way to conk me out until, say the new Prison Break season starts, I'd really appreciate it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Boys: Season 2

O.k., we all know how I felt about it last season, how it's this wierd paradox for me and every time I see Kyle Howard, I have all these complex emotions, because there are too many complicated memories of wierd movies he did as a kid, blah blah blah. But I still like it, which is odd, because we had put off watching any of the season 2 episodes until they were just sitting there on the Tivo, pouting at us. So we finally broke down and started watching them the other night and I think we've finally caught up on the season. Which brings me to my point, which is that I have to apologize to Fighting Nun for something:

Dear Fighting Nun;

I'm sorry for trying not to squeal when Jeremy Sisto suddenly appeared in the episode and ending up letting out a little mouse squeak any way because, well Sisto. I know I should be able to control that better, but Sisto. I wasn't prepared for Sisto. And yes, I know what your arguement is going to be, I didn't squeal at all during the episode and a half of Kidnapped that I watched, I should have impulse control but see, I have an arguement for that. I was prepared for the Sisto then. I knew he was on the show and was going to be all badass. I had a system of checks and balances to keep the Sisto Squeals at bay. (Yes, that's its technical term, yes I've been diagnosed). And finally, after five seasons of Six Feet Under, I was able to keep my squeals to a minimum when Billy unexpectedly showed up in an episode and I wasn't prepared for it. It took awhile and I thank you for being patient. I know my wierd thing for Creepy Jesus is hard to handle, but it's Sisto.

But last night? Sisto just showing up all scruffy and rough? It took me a second, because his first scene was of him on a computer screen, so I couldn't tell it was him until I heard his voice. My inner monologue went something like this: "Is that? Nooooo. Couldn't be. Oh my god it totally is. It's SISTO!" And then, well. I had no place for it. I let a little squee slip. He has the effect on me. And his character? Although somewhat douchey by the end, was totally perfect for Jeremy to be playing. That dash of mysteriousness, that hint of something deeper. It's Sisto. And God, the way Jordana Spiro's character kind of became all melty and cute-voiced whenever she talked to him? I totally get that, because hello! Sisto!!! And, O.k. Thorn? Awesome name for Sisto. It's the kind of awesome name you'd expect a hot, you-still-have-somewhat-unrequited-feelings-for ex-boyfriend to have.

My only complaint? Other than the douchey way his character left things with the main character? Please tell me the bloaty thing he was going through was for the role and he's not suffering from the spread. Because that would really depress me. It's the Sisto! He's better than that. And if it's actually for his new stint on Law and Order or Law and Order: Criminal Intent or some such crap I won't be watching, well then I have actual incentive not to be watching. Not that the Sisto isn't still worthwhile in all his forms, but I don't watch and of the Law and Order shows and now that Jerry Orbach's no longer with us, it would be even harder for me to tune in. I'm weird that way.

So, sorry Fighting Nun. And sorry for a three paragraph treatsy on the subject of Sisto as well. I'll try and do better next time.

Anyhoo, My Boys, Sisto. Good Combination.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Superbad Four Word Movie Review

As good As Advertised.

One more word: Seriously.

A few more: I mean it. Hilarious.

And four more words for good measure: McLovin is my co-pilot.

Monday, August 06, 2007

My latest TV obsessions

Before I get started, I know I've been away for awhile. I've been all over the place and yet totally stationary all at the same time. The one constant, it should come to no one's surprise, has been TV. You'd think polishing off the last Harry Potter book would've deterred or curbed my TV enthusiasm in some way (Yes I read it. Yes I loved it. Yes I want to read all seven books altogether again. And, because I am probably required, by law to say this: Yes Fighting Nun, you were right about that thing in the book. You called it. You are a smart, smart man. Now shut up about it.) and it did in some ways. I didn't really pay attention to Monk this week for instance. And, I haven't watched Psych for awhile. I mean, I missed the historic Lou Diamond Phillips's Abs episode (well I haven't it missed it exactly, it's still on Tivo, but anyhoo). But the crap, er I mean, TV I have been keeping up with? Well it adheres to my strict rules of mindlessness, as you might expect. Below is a run down of some of the stuff I'm still watching or have decided to tune into:

1. Ninja Warrior - You should not be surprised at this one, not in the slightest. The funny thing is that even after months of almost total overexposure, what with G4 playing like a bajillion episodes back to back and me watching said episodes in continued rotation, I'd be sick of it. But it's so to the contrary. My love for this show hasn't diminished but has instead blossomed. And it's specifically because this show is more subtle than you might think. There are so many layers to this show, so many carefully planted mini-dramas planted manipulatively that are at work in this show, you might as well be watching a soap opera. I came for the super hard tasks and the wild, bone-crushing eliminations, I've stayed for the carefully planted backstories and profiles. The beauty of the show is the regulars, the guys who have made repeated attempts to best the Ninja Warrior course. Thier repeated attempts and their profile thingies have had a peculiar side effect on me. They've gotten me to care, to care about these strange contestants a half a world away who I wouldn't give a hoot about otherwise. There's Professor Ninja Warrior (who was not on Wikipedia's entry of Ninja Warrior all stars! For Shame) for example, one of my personal faves, a third grade teacher somewhere in Japan who goes on the show to teach his kids by example, or something. His class would show up to the competitions and if he failed, they'd be all distraught and he'd bow to them all "Sorry I failed you", and then I just become a puddle of goo. Then there's the gas station attendant (recently turned Manager!) Shingo Yamamoto who always loses his cap on every stage, and then the crab fisherman turned massage therapist Kazuhiko Akiyama who has a degenerative eye desease (talk about pulling the heartstrings), the only man (that I can recall) every to best the whole Ninja Warrior course.

And then, of course, we have Yamada. Oh Yamada. Never have I seen a more well documented case of sad sackery in all my life. Well, that's not exactly true, a true sad sack does not have six pack abs and can't crack you like a walnut with his forearms, but the picture they paint on this guy isn't pretty. When I first started watching this show, Yamada was Mr. Ninja Warrior, he started talking at schools and everything. But over successive episodes, that guy's back story has been all over the place. At one point he was a propane distributor, at another, a construction worker, and then sadly, he wound up a Hot Dog vendor for a Japanese baseball team. From there, the show seemed to not only document his rather odd string of jobs but briefly highlighted roller coaster with his family the show seemed to document. First his family supports him and is at all the tournaments, then they are a little shamed by his showing, then there was this dramatic reveal in one of the episodes that they weren't showing up at the competition, and supposedly there was a letter he left in which he stated he wasn't a great husband, father or son, but he was a warrior and it was all very melodramatic, and everything was just crazy. And then, to top all that off, his subsequent perfomances have been heart breaking. Wikipedia lists his long line of Ninja Warrior failures better than I can (getting disqualified for wearing gloves. Yeesh!) He is the epitomy of heartbreak and has become an important reason for my continued support of the show. I am compelled to find out what happens. Yamada, don't forsake me!!! Anyhoo, so my point? It's still Me and Ninja Warrior sitting in a tree.... that's how blissful I am.

2. Rock of Love with Brett Micheals - Dude, I know. No, I seriously know. But dude. I've seen some trainwrecks so therefore I know from trainwrecks, but this is a trainwreck. It's a trainwreck, plus a three car collision and apparantly a collegan and silicon plant explosion and I should know better. And yet....

3. Scott Baio is Forty-Five and Single - Speaking of knowing better. I mean yeesh. And this show has no qualms about showing extremes. One second I feel sorry for him, the next second I think he's the biggest douche who ever douched. I mean, he's gotten reamed by his comedian ex-girlfriend who was on stage, he had a woman drive away from him as fast as she could. But then he would either give historic evidence and even evidence in the present tense why he would deserve such treatment and he's back to being a douche.

The one thing I don't not get at all about this show? That he's good friends with Jason Hervey. Jason 'One of my claims to fame is that I had a bit part in PeeWee's Big Adventure forever and a day ago' Hervey. Jason 'I was the most despicable Arnold on Wonder Years' Hervey. I'm just going to say this. Scott Baio and Jason Hervey are two 80's tastes that DO NOT taste well together because Yeesh.

4. The Two Coreys - Speaking of two 80's taste that no longer go well together.... O.k., I admit it. When this show was first proposed, I was seriously kind of psyched. But now that it's here, I'm actually kind of meh about it. That's not exactly true. My emotions roller coaster during this show. One second it's all cheesy goodness and the next its really heartbreaking. Like they already raped and pillaged all the fun loving nostalgia I had for them with bial like Rock and Roll High School Forever and that one utterly dispicable movie Feldman did regarding a post apocolyptic society and a drug war when it was totally obvious he was on drugs, and then that utterly dispicable movie Haim did with Allen Thicke, and then that other utterly dispicable movie he did with Wallace Shawn (Oh Wallace, why did you forsake me that once?). The point isn't to tear the remaining nostalgic love apart but to try and build it up. But if their brainstorming for a possible Lost Boys sequel that was featured on the show is any indication, they are attempting to drop a bomb on it, hoping to explode it to pieces. I mean, o.k. I'm not saying that there isn't room for a sequel, because my little chirpy ass was all excited a few years ago when I had heard of a possible Goonies sequel, so I have relatively little room to talk about not messing with total classic 80's movies, but still. If it's got to be done, it has to be done right. You can't just get The Coreys all amped up and call it a movie. And if we're being honest, the Corey's didn't make that movie. It was everybody else. Sorry. Just get a few of the principles. I'm sure the guy that stole Julia Roberts out from under Keifer needs some work, and what's-her-bucket, Jamie Gurtz needs some work after Still Standing. I know Keifer was killed off in the first one, but bring him back too. It shouldn't be hard. But if there is another Lost Boys only featuring The Coreys? I will seriously bring the hellfire. I'm not sure yet. But seriously.

Oh, and just to set the record straight, even though we're only tangentially on the subject. Haim is the superior of the two Coreys. Don't get me wrong, I love Goonies and always will, but Haim is the better Corey. Fight me on the fact if you must, but I'm with Team Haim, well you know, if I actually have to choose a team....

5. Confessions of a Matchmaker - Thanks Joe R. That is all.