April 2008

So Friday night I had this dream inspired by the latest South Park episode, which had terrorists take over a theme park. In my dream, terrorists took over this office building / compound I was at. It was not particularly pleasant; I guess you could say it was a nightmare. I would try to get away from the terrorists, and then they would kill me, and I would die. But like a video game, or Groundhog’s Day, I kept coming back to life. I was basically in a terrorized frantic race for my life, and death was not any form of release, because it would start over. But, building upon my memories, I systematically eliminated which paths would lead to my death. Going down a hall, I might remember that hiding in the first 3 rooms ended up with me killed all 3 times…So I would try the 4th room. Unfortunately, the terrorists found me every damn time. I’m not sure how it ultimately resolved; I don’t typically remember my dreams, and when I do — it’s just quick flashes here and there. I caught a large glimpse of this dream, when compared to others. (more…)

Even one of Arizona’s Senators thinks there was a 911 cover-up…. Whatever did happen, we are not getting the full story of. (WTC7 collapse didn’t have a single page in the 911 commission report, despite it being one of 3 steel structure to ever collapse from fire?) And of course there’s the predictable backlash from people who have already decided they know for sure what happened (I guess they know OJ was guilty/innocent too!). The comments on the original story are basically to the effect of “to even consider otherwise is craziness”. Of course, kindergarteners will think you are crazy if you say Santa Claus is just one big conspiracy. There are further comments from people whining that the WTC buildings were designed to withstand only small “office fires”, which is just more FUD. Actually, if you watch the PBS documentary about the buliding of the WTC — The WTC was SPECIFICALLY designed to take jet impacts (I can’t remember for sure, but I believe the architect said multiple jet impacts), after a plane hit the Empire State Building and caused a scare prior to the WTC being built. I think we need to build another WTC and fly some planes into it and see what happens, as a research project. At the very least, it would make a great Pay-Per-View event! (more…)

It’s a crazy day today! Check it out… The Jessica Rabbit picture is a realization of many childhood fantasies! (more…)

does IMDB let me hotlink?I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] Carolyn & I are both big Arrested Development fans, and love the character G.O.B., played by Will Arnett. When we saw Janeane Garofalo at the Arlington Drafthouse, she made sure to emphasize that she thought Will Arnett was one of the funniest people right now, and that he was responsible for her back injury — from falling over laughing. Thus, we decided to get some Will Arnett movies. This is movie 1 of 3 for our Will Arnett Theme Week, which consists of The Solomon Brothers, Let’s Go To Prison, and Blades Of Glory. We are watching them in order of IMDB rating (lowest-to-highest; this movie received 5.0/10 on IMDB.)

PEOPLE: Bob Odenkirk directed this, and we are big fans of his comic sensibility (Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!; Tom Goes To The Mayor; Mr. Show). This was an added bonus to the whole Will Arnett angle that got us here in the first place. It was written by Will Forte (who voiced Abe Lincoln in Clone High, and can be seein in various Tim And Eric shows), and also starred Kristin Wiig (Knocked Up). It also had a bit part played by Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office), who has been popping up in movies that we watch a lot lately (both her and Kristin Wiig were also in Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story).

BAD STUFF: The movie is not at all realistic. It’s a comedy. It’s not a romantic comedy, though there is pointless a romantic sub-plot that is basically an excuse to get Swedish beauty Malik Akerman on the camera for a bit. It’s about having a baby — and Carolyn & I hate babies and children. I think I originally passed this up when I ran into the Netflix page many months ago, because the idea of two men trying to have a baby was not at all appealing to me — I had enough of that with My Two Dads. Fortunately, when I looked at the names involved, I changed my mind.

CONCLUSION: I never would have thought to make the comparison, but Carolyn pointed it out to me: This was waaay better than Knocked Up. This was a hilarious comedy!! Knocked Up was amazingly funny during the first half, but basically declined into a romance movie that could barely even be called a romantic comedy. The 5 of us in the room for Knocked Up (Us + Mark I, John The Canadien, Evan) were all disappointed. Suffice to say that with The Brothers Solomon, I came in with lower expecations, and they were again surpassed. The two main characters are two brothers who live together (and are mistaken as a gay couple at least once). They were home-schooled at the north pole after their mother died. In other words, they are incredibly and completely out-of-touch with reality — much like G.O.B. in Arrested Development. They act like total spazzes, and there are a few VERY VERY DARK jokes in the movie. I wont go into it, but me & Carolyn laughed out loud many times, at least once to the point of having to rewind because we couldn’t stop.

In other words, it’s hard to put words into what makes this so funny — but it is mostly the ridiculous acting, and ridiculous situations. Even the opening hospital scene is quite dark in the humor — [highlight for spoilers] They get a call from their dad at the hospital, but on their way contest a late fee at the video store. When they get there, the doctor says they missed their father going into a coma by 10 minutes. The doctor then keeps gradually revising the number downwards, until we reach 4 minutes, where there is zero doubt left that the reason they missed their dad’s final moments of consciousness was because they went to the video store on the way. “Dad would have wanted us to contest those late fees!” Suffice to say that most of the humor isn’t dark, it’s out there, in-your-face, ridiculous-acting by clueless characters — These guys easily could have been the protagonists of Dumb And Dumber, except that in this movie, they are looking for a baby instead of for romance.

MOVIE QUOTE: “I think we maybe need to broaden our search to include less conventional methods of having a baby.” “Like anal?”

I stayed up late last night and poured the net for cool flickr links… And if anyone is wondering, the NIN single is encoded VBR. (more…)

[IMDB link] From the writers of Heathers, one of my favorite movies of all time, comes an incredible gimmick: A man receives an email containing a list of names of everyone he has ever had sex with, and everyone he ever will have sex with. At first he thinks it’s an April Fool’s joke. Of course, his wife-to-be is only [highlight for spoilers] number 26 out of 101 on the list. Hijinks inevitably ensue. That was all I needed to know to know I’d probably enjoy this. I love a good gimmick movie. Little did I know that it would be deeper than expected, and exceed my expectations by a remarkable amount.

CAST: The leading man is played by Simon Baker, but I do not really know of him. Notable to me was Winona Ryder‘s presence, playing a character that has similarities to her character in Heathers. I was also very surprised to see Mindy Cohn (aka Natalie Green–the fat chick–from The Facts Of Life) playing Simon Baker‘s lesbian secretary. It was quite fun to to see her go to a club with the intention of [highlight for spoilers] hooking up with these 2 famous lesbian models, only to have Simon Baker “cockblock” her.

BAD STUFF: There’s only one bad thing about this movie: The 2 major sub-plots seem like they are a bit stretched to relate with each other. However, this is already a completely unrealistic movie to begin with, so this is no detriment. I actually don’t think there’s anything else bad about this movie. However, some people will doubtlessly view it as a bad romantic comedy; as an excuse to parade a bunch of beautiful women on screen; as a flimsy fantasy movie that never really explains the premise; or as a repeat of What Women Want, only with fate instead of mind-reading. But they would all be wrong.

ORIGINS ARE UNNECESSARY: Sex & Death 101 isn’t about the origin of the sex email — The movie in fact goes out of the way to NOT tell you how the email is generated, by having a government agent explain the origin of the sex email in the vaguest possible terms, ostensibly for national security. Word for word, the explanation was: “Some people you don’t know found some things you don’t know in a place you don’t know… And these things have been very useful in making a new thing – one that apparently knows everything.” And that’s all you’ll ever know. And that’s all you should know. This is a gimmick movie, and a gimmick shouldn’t really need so much explanation when it is a given.

Sex & Death 101 isn’t about sex, either. Granted, dudeface gets laid [highlight for spoilers] 75 times in the movie — but you have to realize that having the list literally drives him mad. There’s even a voice-over at one part, where he declares, “This is when the madness started.” At one point, he considers [highlight for spoilers] having sex with a corpse, just to prove to the list that the list doesn’t control him. And this is the actual central theme of the movie: Fate. Immutable and unchangeable fate, and what you can do to escape it.

FATE: Imagine knowing the future and being helpless to control your own fate.
Imagine burying the list because it drives you mad.
Imagine digging it back up again.
Imagine the conflicts that would come to mind when faced with the toughest of choices: Do you decide to accept the rare gift of knowing your destiny, and live a helpless life, unaltered by changes that you try to make, knowing exactly where you will end up? (“The Destination” approach.) Or do you decide to forsake that knowledge, and live life knowing that you have a defined destiny — but then purposely going out of your way to ignore that destiny. (“The Journey” approach.) And here’s where the real conflict is — Neither “The Destination” approach nor “The Journey” approach are acceptable to a reasonable individual.

“The Journey” approach still acknowledges your immutable fate, but leaves you wandering like The Fool (from Tarot carts). You may wonder if the person you are with is going to be “the one”. After all, your own emotions are absolutely meaningless; the list still controls you, and you know it — even if you don’t know the names. Are you going to waste years in a relationship with someone, knowing that the list is what ultimately controls who you will be with? Aren’t you curious about what’s going to happen next? The answer is right there. All you have to do is… Switch over to “The Destination” approach.

But “The Destination” approach sucks too! Now instead of wondering if the person you are with is “the one”, you know that they aren’t. And since you know who all the next people you’re going to have sex with, you could exhaust the list really quickly. The last name implies death, doesn’t it? Do you really want to rush to the end of that list? Choose: Sex, or Life? “The Destination” sucks as much as “The Journey”. It is best for one to never receive such a list.

IN SUMMARY: I actually found this movie to be surprisingly deep. Although the ending is not a surprise, and you will probably see it coming, I still found it incredibly powerful and moving. I left this movie incredibly impressed, and my mood was elevated for days on end. Heathers ruled, so it’s no surprise that something just about as good came from writer Daniel Waters. I’ve watched around 90 movies so far in 2008, and I’d place this near the very top. I give this no less than a 9.5/10 and 5 stars on Netflix.

MOVIE QUOTE: “I’m certain that some very interesting things will occur this evening… Your penis going into her vagina will not be one of them. But have a lovely evening.” (No, it’s not as low-brow of a movie as that quote makes it sound.)

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