May 2010

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a groundbreaking engineer
who made an antenna quite queer.
But then the ghosts came
and made Wifi quite lame.
Instead of engineering, he should have just had a beer.

HAIKU REVIEW: Japanese horrors
have ghosts instead of killers.
That’s the big diff’rence.

PEOPLE: Screenplay co-written by Wes Craven. He was slated to direct it, but unfortunately bailed out. Starring Kristen Bell (aka Elle from Heroes, also in Fanboys) and some other minor actors. Hey Compn–it had Brad Dourif too.

QUIRKS: A remake of a Japanese horror movie. And from what I can tell about Japanese horror, it’s not really all that different from American horror. You just substitute ghosts in place of serial killers.

Basically — a computer “virus” rapidly spreads, causing mass suicides. Ghosts in the wifi. They’ll get ya. Basically, once you use your computer and get “infected”, you’re going to die pretty soon. It really reminds me of The Ring in that sense — “see something and then die a few days later”. In fact, Bob Weinstein canceled the movie at one point for being too similar to The Ring.

But then, later, things get really bad. It approaches more of the level of the [non-Japanese-related] horror The Signal. Since wifi is a signal, and hardware gets “infected” by this evil signal, in the end it was a matter of escaping everywhere that the signal could reach — so it went from being more like The Ring to being more like The Signal.

GEEK MOMENT: Seeing someone hang themself with network cable instead of a phone cord. It’s about time.

VISUALS: The ghosts aren’t as visually disturbing as The Grudge. Carolyn still was reminded of The Grudge a lot — but not as much as I was. She says some of the ghostly shapes reminded her of The Grudge twisting; but I disagree. They’re just the standard Americanized depiction of creepy Japanese ghosts, as seen in The Grudge and The Ring.

But what was seen on the computer screens was kind of disturbing. “Do you want to see a ghost?” If my computer spontaneously said that in a way that doesn’t look like it’s coming from any specific application — I’d probably head straight for the power switch. Though if it was someone else’s computer, I’d probably go through with clicking on it to see what happens.

And oh yeah — if I ever have a dead friend IM me… I’m going to freak out a little.

BAD STUFF: It’s not a bad movie at all. There aren’t a lot of characters, but it really picks up at the end. The [highlight for spoilers] non-happy ending surprised me a bit, as I really thought they were going to [highlight for spoilers] succeed at stopping the ghosts.

CONCLUSION: 40% The Ring + 40% The Signal + 10% The Grudge = Pulse. We really liked it compared to most horrors, so it gets 4/5 stars on Netflix. But it’s not super groundbreaking, so it only gets 7/10 on IMDB. Carolyn gave it 8/10 on IMDB. Maybe I’m just not remembering it as good as it was. However, IMDB itself only rates this movie 4.4/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like technological, ghost, or Japanese-remake horror: Here’s another one. And it has a sequel, so if you like this, you might get 2 movies out of it.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Signal. The Ring. The Grudge. If you liked all of those, you’re probably guaranteed to like this.

MOVIE QUOTE: Thin Bookish Guy (Brad Douriff): “The whole freakin’ city is going insane, and we’re acting like it’s nothing. Well, it’s not nothing. It’s something we don’t understand, and it is coming for us.”
Goth Girl: “You’re freaking us out, man.” (more…)

Just so you know the basis of some of my various viewpoints:

Firstly, respect [i.e. dressing nice to get respect in public; “general public respect”] has always been a hilarious concept to me. A system of respect based on the quality of someone’s clothes is simply a social more of formalized superficiality.

Until they come up with merit badges that say something like “Saved a kid from a house on fire”, I’m not going to ever know if someone is worth of ‘respect’ simply by looking at their clothes. All someone’s our clothes tell me about you is that you’re willing to spend money on nice clothes. [Which can be taken several ways.]

Jeans at an interview — different kind of situation. Professional is business; clothes are an investment. [You’re buying into their world. Unfortunately, you have to play by their rules.]

But outside of work? Pffffft. I’d *much* rather hang out with the person in sweat pants at Wal-Mart than the person in a suit & tie. [Why the fuck are you all dressed up in a tie to go to Wal Mart? Don’t you hate being choked every second?]

And see? The fuckers even have me doing it! I’m saying I’d rather hang out with the sweatpants person, even though that judgment is completley based on their clothes! ARRRRRGH!! I want no part of this system!! It’s a virus!!

I used to be so unware before professional life. 8th grade spirit week I talked to a friend at the bus stop for the entire wait — before noticing he was wearing pajamas [for spirit week]. Too bad we’re forced to notice — by the viral system of superficial competition for this elusive ‘respect’.

Respect by random strangers who only know what clothes you are wearing may feel good, but it means absolutely nothing. It is a hollow, meaningless feeling. Which, when I stop to think about it, is perfect for the general public. People love to be all sentimental and assign meaning where it isn’t — the prime example being religion. But even those who are spiritual and not religious looooove a good hollow statement. So I can see why people would love “general public respect”; it’s another meaningless easy feelgood mechanism.

I, of course, wouldn’t wear jeans to an interview–but only in the same way that I wouldn’t choose to walk through an all black city neighborhood at 2AM. It’s not that I’m racist and hate black people — I don’t. But I’m scared of black racists who hate white people, and more of them are going to be in an all black neighborhood. (Sorry if this seems crass. Race is such an awkward subject.) In a similar vein, I’m scared of superficial people who hate those who don’t meet their standards, because they’re takin’ all this “respect” I’m supposed to have. Therefore I have to be aware, even though I would rather be blind.

I see no reason to bathe or brush my hair or teeth if I’m going to taco bell… ’bout the only way i wouldn’t enter would be if i’d literally just rolled around in shit.

That, however, would be pretty damn funny.

And obviously — if you’re going out to try to impress people at a club, or hanging out with friends, you don’t want to be offensively unpleasant.

But do I need to buy more clothes to win my friends’ respect?

I sure as hell hope not.

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “yeah, I should have just trusted my first vibe, I know right away if i like someone”. I cringe at how many people have based their decisions using clothes.

It’s not like I’m unaffected. It’s not like I haven’t been swayed. But it certainly isn’t going to be how *nice* your clothes are. In fact, if you have a $500 fucking handbag, I am going to think worse of you than someone who appears to be an actual homeless person.

Have you ever heard a conversation sort of like this:  “wah wah i don’t want photos of me drunk online” / “why?” / “some employer may see it and my chances are narrowed” / “Well, do you really want to work for that kind employer in the first place?” And I pretty much agree with that.

Well, do you really want the respect of someone who truly thinks like that in the first place?

I’ve also heard that we are simply doing the rational thing to maximize our opportunity based on peoples’ first impression. Sorry, I can’t just reduce the idealism out of the equation and only think of it in practical terms. That argument is akin to “don’t hate the playa, hate the game”. But you can’t have this game without a bunch of people conspiring to play it together.

And yes, it’s a game. People are wearing costumes to make other people feel certain ways. There is no real substance to these interactions.

Remember that kid who did extra credit and messed up the curve? That is exactly what every impeccable dresser does to society. They mess up the curve. They raise the bar — unnecessarily – for the rest of us. They become the “Joneses” that we all must keep up with. They make us look that much worse in comparison. They cause us to keep less of our wages, as we now have to pay for dry cleaning, pressing, ironing boards, and other things to keep up with their fastidious superficial obsession. They ruin everyone.

In closing, the idea that the general public owes us something for how we dress, or that we owe them something for how they dress — is, to me, just a dangerous dishonest superficial control virus. (more…)

Carolyn: "The big one in the middle was totally hissing at me. " ........ Clint: "ducks hiss?" ........ Carolyn: "Canadian geese do. Those things are mean. Ask Tabbitha."

Tabbitha, on geese:

“I am tickled that my pure and poignant hatred for geese (especially of the Canadian variety) has made enough of an impression on others that it can be referenced in a caption.

Geese are evil and must die. Fucking geese. I spit on you, flying oversized rodents. If only there were flying oversized snakes that could sqeeze the breath out of them mid-air and swallow their twitching goose bodies whole.”

“So many geese. So few opportunities to kick them in the head with my Doc Martins.” (more…)

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