March 2011


I don’t think it’s a dick move to remember Pearl Harbor right now.

I think it’s a dick move to think that the tragedy in Japan has anything to do with Pearl Harbor whatsoever.

I think it’s a dick move to think there’s a giant sky fairy out there punishing people for what happened 70 years ago (or at all).

But natural tragedies do not erase history, either. 70 years don’t make lost lives not worth remember. The fact that they put on a uniform doesn’t make their deaths not worth remembering because “they knew the risks”. It’s more important to remember when man killed man, than when nature killed man, because man killing man has malicious intent, and nature killing man does not. (Forgiving and forgetting is for Christians who want to get slapped a second time while forgetting history. Ask Palestinians if WW2 is really over for them.)

A lot of the people talking about Pearl Harbor right now are assholes — but that doesn’t automatically make it “ignorant and stupid” to remember Pearl Harbor, unless they are using God or karma as their explanation.

In summary:

Japan tsunami is god’s revenge for pearl harbor == you are an asshole.

Remember pearl harbor == you value american lives. Possibly more than those of the Japanese. I may not agree, and your comments are ill-timed, but that is your prerogative. It’s not “ignorant and stupid”, it’s just different.

–This message brought to you by the Council Of Telling Both Sides Of An Argument That They Are Both Wrong (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link (get all 5 discs!)] [Wikipedia link talking about the dubbing] Super Milk Chan! One of the most brilliant adult cartoons ever created, and the only one whose brilliance only shines in the *second* English dub, not the original Japanes audio OR the first English dub found on Cartoon Network (For Netflixers, Disc 2s are good, Disc 1s are bad).

Why is Super Milk Chan so brilliant? ADV Films (R.I.P.!). They sometimes take artist license, and create a localized dub where they re-write jokes to be funny instead of stupid. Super Milk Chan isn’t actually that funny in Japanese (or in the literal/1st English dubs). It is ADV‘s sense of humor in rewriting the jokes that made this show a triumph. The Super Milk Chan ADV 2nd/Adult dubs can actually be considered a “remix” of the original cartoon. One that’s actually funny. (Similarly, some of Sealab 2021 can be considered a remix of Sealab 2020.)

After re-watching all of Super Milk Chan for the 2nd time in a decade, I realized that these localized funny-dubs are a rare thing indeed. One must actually do some digging to find out if anything else has been done like this. I read up a lot on Super Milk Chan and ADV films to see if they had ever given the “Super Milk Chan treatment”. From what I could gather, the only other series to receive as through of a treatment from its dubbing process as Super Milk Chan — is GHOST STORIES, the series that this post is about.

So we got it, and we watched all 20 episodes! Rather quickly!

PEOPLE: Mostly a Japanese production involving people nobody’s heard of… But the ADV dubs involve a few voice actors we know:

Hilary Haag (Milk of Super Milk Chan) stars as Satsuki, one of the main characters. Rob Mungle (Milk’s gay landlord from Super Milk Chan) plays Amanojaku. There was a character named Amano Jyaku in Urotsukidoji (Legend Of The Overfiend), and it was not until watching Ghost Stories that I realized that an Amanojaku is actually a class of Japanese mythical beast. It’s weird to watch an anime in 2011 that teaches me something about anime I watched in the 1990s…

Here’s a strange thing: BOTH Tetsuko’s from Super Milk Chan star in Ghost Stories. Marcy Bannor, voice of the gritty, funny Tetsuko from the 2nd/Americanized dubs plays Satsuki’s and Keiichirou’s deceased mother. But Monica Rial, voice of the gentle, not-really-funny Tetsko from the 1st/literal dubs played Momoko. Hearing both Tetsukos in a single episode?! Priceless.

PLOT SUMMARY: High school kids deal with ghosts in their haunted school. Plot-wise, this series is actually lame. “Ghosts” and “cartoons about kids” have rarely been a good pairing. At least Scooby Doo was kind of unique. BUT THEN THEY RE-WROTE THE DIALOG TO THE SERIES, MAKING IT GOOD IN SPITE OF THIS PLOT.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] School district endangers students’ lives.

QUIRKS: Horror anime re-dubbed with American humor.

In Episode 1, their cat gets possessed by a demon that wants to kill them. So yes, one of the main characters is a talking cat. And he’s a pretty good character too. His character evolves over the course of the series.

“Short Bus”, the kid who is re-dubbed as possibly being retarded (at the very least, being *called* retarded), doesn’t really talk until several episodes in. He just cries in this crazy, high-pitched, whiny cry that is HILARIOUS HILARIOUS HILARIOUS. Carolyn & I have spent many minutes trying to imitate “Short Bus”. I am normally excellent in mimicry, but it was a sound I could not make until I had some practice. Carolyn’s still better than me at it. He is hilarious though. Especially at the beginning.

The one girl — they re-wrote her as a devout Christian. Her dialog is hilarious. The only flaw here is that she is more of a supporting character than a main character, so there’s not as many chances for Christian-bullshit hilarity as there could be.

They break the 4th wall a lot, especially near the end of the series. With some of the later episodes, the dialogue involves directly talking about how the show makes no fucking sense at all. I’m sure this is a lot easier to swallow than watching the original Japanese audio, because the original series just looks awful. Just awful.

VISUALS: Indistinguishable from any other generic anime.

MORALS/POLITICS: Devoid of morals and politics. This is just some kids trying to get through their day. Perhaps there is a stupid ghost-related moral: Don’t lock ghosts up in schoolbuildings. Think of the children. Use on of those boxes from Ghost Busters instead. Or a Pokemon pokeball.

GOOD STUFF: My God… No anime on the face of the planet would ever have these kids saying what they are saying. But ADV is quite willing to dub this over someone else’s shitty anime, resulting in hilarity that is far more mature than the original series. THIS IS NOT FOR KIDS!

BAD STUFF: This series failed in Japan. It was poorly written and full of plot holes. It was just poor television.

CONCLUSION: Brilliantly hilarious and irreverent, this series was redubbed in such a way as to make fun of itself, and make it better than it originally was. It’s a remix cartoon, like Space Ghost Coast To Coast, SeaLab 2021, or Super Milk Chan. Any fan of the Super Milk Chan 2nd/Amercanized/funnier dubs should automatically and by default love the ADV dub of this series. They rewrote a character to be a devout Christian, they rewrote a character to be retarded (“Short Bus”, they call him), they rewrote everything because the original series is actually awful. ADV made it brillint. Too bad ADV went out of busines last year — after 17 years of dubbing anime :/

RATINGS:

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. Starts with 7/10 episodes, reaches its stride with 8/10 and 9/10 episodes, and ends with 10/10 episodes.

Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. “But the last 25% of episodes were 10/10. I must be a fan of breaking the 4th wall, because I always find it funny. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and Toxic Crusaders comes to mind.”

The native public rating for this series is: IMDB: 7.5/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: It’s kind of hard to find DVDs of the ADV Americanized Dub — but Netflix [see link at top] appears to have them in stock. The first few episodes aren’t as outrageously funny because it takes them a bit to hit their stride. But once they hit it, they hit it hard.

SIMILAR SHOWS: Super Milk Chan (Americanized 2nd Dub).

SHOW QUOTES:

Satsuki Miyanoshita: You can mess with me… you can pick on little brother and friends… but don’t FUCK with my cat!

Satsuki Miyanoshita: [after realizing they’ve traveled back in time] HOLY TIME MACHINE BATMAN! It’s 1973!
Hajime Aoyama: Holy pre-Parkinson’s Michael J. Fox Christopher Lloyd Back To The Future plot ripoff device! where’s my DeLorean?
Satsuki Miyanoshita: Pre-Parkinson’s? You are so shockingly hateful.
Hajime Aoyama: I don’t feel sorry for him, he was in “Light Of Day”. [*shudders*]

Phone Recording: [Satsuki attempts to call the Ski Lodge] The number you have dialed is no longer in service. HEY! MAYBE IF THEY PAID THEIR FUCKIN’ PHONE BILL YOU COULD CALL AGAIN!
Satsuki Miyanoshita: Asian trash, can’t pay the phone bill.

Satsuki: [answers phone] “Milk speaking! … I love doing that.” (a direct homage of Milk-Chan answering the phone in Super Milk Chan)


^ Hilary Haag, voice of Super Milk Chan. More like Hilary Hotttttt.

(more…)

in India, the destitute & homeless often use Cow dung as a fuel (probably the only free fuel) to bake bread with. (This is also common in some other areas of the world.)

I always figured it would kind of taste bad — with a particular “smoked shit” flavor. I prefer Mesquite.

But then, they worship cows as holy in India.

So if you were a marketeer, you could simply say, “Holy shit smoked bread”. (more…)

The Matrix trilogy, backwards: Keanu creates robots out of exploded debris, uses them to create humans out of corpses, then removes said humans from their uncomfortable underground dwelling and places them into comfy chairs, where their minds are left free to dream in a comfortable simulated world.

At some point, a red pill is vomited. (more…)

  • Internet memes–namely funny pictures with captions–have reached a new level. This is sort of a combination image search engine / meme generator.For every term entered, there is ONE and ONLY ONE image response that will come back. If you enter a new term, it has to generate it. Then it is stored for future users.

    Entering things, getting the picture, and the ‘fuck yeah’ caption — is surprisingly fun.

    And of course you can enter your own name and try to trick it, etc, etc

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

PEOPLE: Noomi Rapace kicks ass!!

QUIRKS: Based on a book, as is the whole trilogy. Some differences (spoilers).

POLITICS: Adopting a punk look [highlight for spoilers] for a court case is actually a good strategy.

And, of course, don’t expect the government to always look out for you.

And there’s something to be said for the way mental patients are treated. I think it’s wrong to not allow people a connection to the outside world. I think that places way too much power in the hands of those who run such establishments. Let the crazies on the internet — what are they really going to do, if they are locked up in an asylum?

BAD STUFF: I’m a bit concerned that there is a TV version of these movies that is 6 parts, and 1.5 hours longer than the movies. It’s an edit of the movies — which means the theatrical releases are trimmed down. Granted, these are 2+ hr movies, but still: I think I’d like the whole thing, please.

This one may have less action and thrills than the previous 2. More time is spent tying up all the loose ends than, for example, having lots of chase scenes and violence.

CONCLUSION: While possibly not quite as exciting as the first two installments in this trilogy, this was still a great end to a great trilogy! It’s all one, very long story. And everything is finally tied up and resolved! I just wish I could see the missing 1.5 hours that are only available in the TV-edit versions of this trilogy.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. I rated this higher than the other 2 movies, despite thinking they were all comparable. I think it may be that these movies are better than I initially realized, and that the trilogy actually makes the first 2 movies better. They are greater than the sum of their parts. Perhaps I need to go back and raise my old ratings… The trilogy as a whole is definitely 4/5 stars, 8/10!

Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. Same as she gave the other 2 movies.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.9/10, Netflix: 4.0/5 stars (Netflix didn’t have a prediction for what our rating would be).

RECOMMENDATION: If you came this far, you of course must finish the trilogy! It’s really one story!

Outlaw Vern’s review. (more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Not available on Netflix as of 1/2010.] Watched in 720p.

PLOT SUMMARY: The 2nd installment of the Swedish mystery-thriller “Millennium” trilogy, based on a trilogy of novels. Lisbeth Salander is being framed for a series of murders, and must try to maintain her freedom in the face of everyone wanting her either dead or imprisoned.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Inept police cause extra people to die by not believing ex-convict journalist.

PEOPLE/QUIRKS: The same characters from the last movie, including the androgynous/goth/punk beautiful Noomi Rapace, who probably could have played Joan Jett in that movie.

And a new, scary, blonde hulk robot of a man. He makes a decent villain, even though he is not the main villain.

BAD STUFF: Different director — this is apparently a made-for-TV movie, though it doesn’t have that look or feel at all. The 3rd movie in the trilogy will suffer the same fate.

Some complained that the whole movie sucked compared to the first. Neither Carolyn nor I rated this any differently than the first. (We even rated different from each other both times, but consistent with ourselves.)

For me personally, the only flaw is that these movies are more mystery than thriller. I find mysteries a bit dull. Conspiracies are interesting, however, and that helps make up for it. And of course Lisbeth is a VERY interesting character.

VISUALS: Some nice lesbian sex near the beginning.

MORALS: Sometimes journalists know more than police. The sooner the police realize this, the better.

GOOD STUFF: It’s nice to see aspects of the first film continued in this one. More backstory to Lisbeth’s character is given — you finally get to see why she is so “crazy”. The story with her “guardian” is continued, as is, slightly, the story of her relationship with Blomkvist. We also get some backstory to another person in her life, a female ex-lover of hers.

CONCLUSION: A good continuance of an already-interesting story.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.0/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you watched the 1st movie, you should watch this one as well.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Looking forward to third installment, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest aka Luftslottet Som Sprangdes. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched in HD; I did not realize this was Swedish when I picked it up. Several people have commented that the correct translation of the title is actually “Man Who Hates Woman”

Anyway, this is the 5th language I’ve watched in 2 weeks: English, Korean (Sympathy For Lady Vengeance), Japanese (Battle Royale 1 & 2), Spanish (Sleep Dealer), and Swedish (this film). Also, British (Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel), but that doesn’t count.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Serial killing leads to family separation.

QUIRKS: Swedish. Based on a book. The main female, a punk/goth/emo bisexual chick, is the coolest character in the movie. Journalism and hacking are parts of the movie — lots of Unix screenshots (even if it is MacBook)! This is more or less a serial murder mystery. But there is also some unrelated story about the female’s life as well. And one part of that (her revenge) is possibly the best part in the movie.

BAD STUFF: This is more or less a serial murder mystery.

CONCLUSION: This was a well implemented story. A slow, dramatic mystery. Read Ian B’s more thorough review of it here.

RATINGS: Clint: Netflix: 3/5. IMDB: 7/10. Better than average and well done, but not exactly my thing.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5. IMDB: 8/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like mysteries, or want to explore the complete trilogy, this is worth watching. It’s well-executed. Look for the 2nd film The Girl Who Played With Fire aka Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden, and the 3rd film The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest aka Luftslottet Som Sprangdes to continue the exploits of Mikael & Lisbeth. I actually didn’t know this was a “trilogy” until writing this review… If I had known that, I might have been a bit more forgiving while watching it.
(more…)

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

PEOPLE: Directed by Andrew Currie, who has done other “weird” zombie movies before (Night Of The Living). He co-wrote it with Robert Chomiak, who strangely has mostly written anime like Mobile Seed Gundam.

The wife is played by Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity from The Matrix, Disturbia, Memento, Chocolat) — and we totally didn’t recognize her! She’s a good actor! The aloof husband is played by Dylan Baker (Dr. Curt Connors in the recent Spider-Man movies, Bill Maplewood from Solondz’s Happiness, The Cell, Kinsey, a doctor in Requiem For A Dream, Planes,Trains & Automobiles).

Timmy, the kid — possibly a reference to Lassie — is played by Kesun Loder aka K’Sun Ray. Though he hasn’t had much of a career yet, he is pretty much the main character of this movie, so he deserves a mention for the good job he did as 13-year-old a kid actor.

Fido, the zombie, is played by Billy Connolly (The Boondock Saints 1-2, Indecent Proposal, Lemony Snicket’s). His acting is quite awesome — but I really credit the writer-director for making the choices as to how zombies should behave and act.

Henry Czerny (Director McCready in the A Team movie, Clear & Present Danger) played the ZombCon director of security. I guess he played directors a lot.

“Hot zombie” Tammy is played by Sonja Bennett, who isn’t as hotter than most people in real life as she was hotter than most (actually, all) zombies in this movie. Talk about making you question yourself… She was also in Young People Fucking, a good sexual comedy. Maybe that has something to do with her role in this movie…

Narrated by David Kaye, who is the narrator for G.I. Joe: Renegades (a cartoon we are currently watching), and was Optimus Prime in a lot of the mid-grade later Transformers animated incarnations, as well as Professor X & Apocalypse in X-Men: Evolution, Megatron in Transformers:Beast Wars/Beast Machines,

PLOT SUMMARY: The IMDB one contains spoilers, so here it is, copy-pasted, without the spoilers: “In this savage satire of American society, we find ourselves following a little boy, Timmy Robinson (K’Sun Ray), through an alternate version of the white-bread 1950s of big-finned cars, houses with white picket fences, and prejudice, except that instead of Blacks there are zombie servants animated by space radiation, but kept under control with Zomcon zombie collars. Timmy is delighted with the family’s first zombie (Billy Connolly), whom he names Fido, although his father, Bill Robinson (Dylan Baker), is terrified of zombies, and only bought Fido at the urging of his wife, Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss). Bill is only interested in golf and in funeral rights to make sure that they will all stay dead when they die, and not become zombies themselves. Fido becomes Timmy’s best friend, while the neighborhood playboy (Tim Blake Nelson) keeps a young female zombie named Tammy (Sonja Bennett) as his girlfriend. Fido runs afoul of prejudice, circumstance, hardware faults in the Zomcon collars, and neighborhood bullies. Before we are done, there is murder and assorted other mayhem…”

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Kid’s dad sucks more than a dead guy.

QUIRKS: Set in the oh-so-ridiculous 1950s. Zombie comedy with a political satire angle.

VISUALS:

Definitely looks like a nice and cheery 1950s. I imagine bright yellow when I think of a color for this movie. Don’t ask me why.

There aren’t a lot of zombies in this movie — mostly just Fido — so special effects didn’t come into play as much as one would expect when one hears “zombie movie”. They did a good job on the zombies though — they even had a hot zombie minor supporting character. No stupidly bad fake cgi blood, or anything like that.

MORALS: Just because you can enslave something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Actually, there are a few morals to this movie. Some political, some very basic, like don’t hurt something that can feel pain, even if it’s in that something’s nature to kill you and eat you.

POLITICS: There’s actually a lot of underlying politics here… A whole hidden social commentary on both women’s rights, and slavery. It really makes sense that this movie was set in the 1950s, because that is the most modern decade before real civil rights reform. The zombies in this movie are definitely symbolic of past slavery in America.

It also has a great depiction of overbearing corporatism.

GOOD STUFF: Satire mixing with black comedy creates utter genius.

BAD STUFF: Nothing!

CONCLUSION: I think this is the best zombie movie we’ve seen since Deadgirl! Putting zombies in a 1950s domesticated setting brings up all kinds of issues related to past slavery in America, and there was also a feminist and anti-corporate angle to this movie as well. Above all, IT MADE US LAUGH, a lot, and was an extremely enjoyable story. This movie is more or less perfect. We found this to be up there with Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead as one of the great zombie comedy movies of all time. I think it’s funnier than both, Carolyn thinks it’s somewhere between Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead. Suffice to say — this one was overlooked by zombie fans, and most certainly should NOT be overlooked. This is a must see! Hell, this movie is quite likely even enjoyable to people who dislike the concept of zombies in movies.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10.

PERFECT RATING AWARD! (We do rate movies highly, but this is very rare.)

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.9/10, Netflix: 3.5/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.1/5 stars–not high enough).

RECOMMENDATION: If you rated Zombieland or Shaun Of The Dead 5 stars, you might want to check this out.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Leave It To Beaver + Shaun Of The Dead? Lassie + Zombieland? Deadgirl (only for being simularly zombunique)? I don’t know. This is actually a pretty goddamn unique zombie movie.

MOVIE QUOTES:

School Children: [singing] “In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best.”

“I’d say I’m a pretty darn good father. My father tried to eat me, I don’t remember trying to eat Timmy.”

“Now, I know you’re not supposed to have a hand gun until you’re twelve… but it can come in real handy. ”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: A couple friends saw this — I know Christie did. I don’t really know what they think, though.

Sister Decadence: “I thought this film was great!”

iDRMRSR: “I agree with this poast!” … “I prolly watched this because I am kinda gay for Carrie Ann Moss moreso than for the zombie angle. I’m not a big horror freak or animated stuff, not so much as I am sci fi and WTF indies. But when they have additional characteristics, like some actress I’m gay for, well, I’ll cross ovar!”

(more…)

I seem to have invented a new kind of trolling. It’s called winning.

Dominion is won by whoever has the most victory points (estates, duchys, provinces, and colonies) when the game ends. The game ends when either all the colonies or provinces are gone, or when 3 different cards in the game are completely gone.

Board Game Meetup 6 year anniversary cake

Dominion Province card cake

 

So yea. This guy got mad at me for buying the provinces so quickly, and also mad at me for buying 3 different cards out while I was ahead and winning. It wasn’t til the 3rd game that we had a full, long game. He beat me by 1 point because I lost track and ended the game a turn too early. But it was funny — he still got all mad at me for winning! Here’s the log: (more…)

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