October 2011


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

PEOPLE: NOT the same director and writer as Cabin Fever 1. Eli Roth has nothing to do with this. This is Ti West. But the thing is, Ti West has disowned this film after making it! Lionsgate apparently re-cut the film to eliminate most camp references, and tacked on another ending. But then he later apparently admitted most of it is exactly how he made it.

Rider Strong (Boy Meets World, Carl Jenkins in Roughnecks:Starship Troopers Chronicles) is only in this for a few seconds–don’t be fooled. It’s been years. The main character is Noah Segen (Deadgirl, bit part in Fanboys, the 2007 Picture Of Dorian Gray–not the one we saw). Cute girl Cassie played by Alexi Wasser (Chloe from Melvin Goes To Dinner). Deputy Winston from Cabin Fever 1 is reprised by Giuseppe Andrews (Lex from Detroit Rock City, Jason from American History X, Howard from Pleasantville). Slutty high school stripper played by Regan Deal
Also, one of the actors has the same name as my uncle: Michael Bowen, the principal.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Government executes sick victims.

QUIRKS: Non-serious horror gore. Straight-to-video sequel. High school-based, whereas the first movie was, I believe, college-age-based. People keep saying this has a 1970s or 1980s feel to it, but I didn’t particularly notice.

VISUALS: Interesting animated near-opening and closing segments. Cartooning up the beginning and end helped set the feel for this movie — Don’t take it too seriously. Of course, people bitch about this, or whine that they only did this because they didn’t have enough money, blah blah. But I liked it better that way. Cartoons rule!

SOUNDTRACK: Chosing Ramones‘ “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” was more appropriate here than any movie ever!

MORALS: If you’re a douchebag, your girlfriend might leave you. DERP.

Also: Don’t drink bottled water. haha.

POLITICS: Don’t trust the government to be on your side during an emergency. (See also: Hurricane Katrina.)

GOOD STUFF: Making it high school instead of college actually made it more interesting. It started off slow, mostly about the characters. But y’know? I kinda liked the backstory. It was a good buildup, and then it was mostly, a gore-fest. Some of the vomiting blood was ridiculously perfect-streamed. It definitely made you cringe, and feel grossed out, uncomfortable, and with adrenaline from how horrible this infectious disease was. I think the movie achieved its goal quite well, even if it wasn’t any kind of masterpiece story.

The pacing is really weird: It starts off like a high school comedy / coming-of-age film, and then everything goes apeshit once prom happens. This could be a feature, or a flaw. I kind of enjoyed it, it almost made me feel like I was watching a high school comedy… And then the blood & gore started. Very slow buildup.

There were a lot of outlandish elements included in this… It had some Troma-esque aspects, but with better production and better acting.

BAD STUFF: It definitely had its flaws. It started off slow (but I didn’t mind). There were many cliches, but isn’t that expected?!

CONCLUSION: This really exceeded my expectations. It was kind of slow at first, and more of a comedy… Then it became a total bloodfest. I haven’t felt this uncomfortable since watching Jackass or Saw.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars (a low 5 stars). IMDB: 8.4/10 (a high 8).
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. “I don’t like feeling that uncomfortable. This is a different kind of adrenaline. Different from Saw or Hostel or even Jackass. This is more psychological. It deducts a point for freaking me out and making me think my fingernails were falling out.” [That makes me like it more. -Clint]

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.5/10 (ouch!), Netflix: 2.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars–cool that it knew we’d like it, even though the majority of people didn’t.).

RECOMMENDATION: Most people seemed to not like it, but most of the hate seemed to come from a few categories of lameness. 1) People who said the original was better, therefore this sucks. It’s a sequel! Besides Star Trek 2, almost every sequel isn’t as good as the original by most people. Who the hell watches a sequel and then gets disappointed when it isn’t as good as the original? C’mon, get real! 2) People who thought it was too disgusting. Uhhh, it’s a horror movie! It’s supposed to make you feel bad! If you want to feel all happy, go watch a comedy or an adventure! You’re in the wrong genre! Oh, you want horror movies to scare you without disgusting you? Those are your own limits; they’re your fault, not the movie’s fault. 3) People who automatically hate it because the director disowned the released version. Uhh — none of you have seen the director’s cut, because it doesn’t exist. So you’re automatically going to hate something over the politics? Lame. 4) People who complained that it was too gross to be a comedy, and too campy to be a horror. You have a valid point, but I still find that close-minded. It’s like, all comedies have to be funny throughout. All horrors have to be horrible throughout. Nothing can be mixed! I guess that explains a factor of why people hate Twilight so much — how dare they mix Vampire/fantasy with angsty teenage romance. I don’t see the Twilight haters hating on all the other angsty teen romance movies; just Twilight because they dared to put vampires in it. For me, that’s the only way to make an angsty teen romance watchable: Mixing it up with another genre.

So my recommendation is to check this out, and fuck you if you don’t like it.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Parts of it reminded me of Quarantine.

COINCIDENCES: (Zombie Strippers, Cabin Fever 2) 2 movies in the same week with diseased strippers.

ANOTHER REVIEW HERE.

the beginning starts off like a high school comedy movie

she was a brunette in Melvin Goes To Dinner...

(more…)

To the best of Carolyn & my ability, these are the most complete lyrics for this song to appear on the whole Internet….We started with the only post on the Internet about finding the lyrics, which is HERE. That message board isn’t allowing new signups, either, so if someone’s gotta take this topic over, it’s gonna be me.

For Star Control 2 fans, this is a song that used the Melnorme theme as the basis, but is about alcoholic robots (much like Bender from Futurama.)

Here’s the original Melnorme music:

No clue if this link is authorized or not, but everyone seems to have this song already. But if you can’t find it, it seems to be here on FilePlanet.

What is the matter?
My circuits are fried!
Servos malfunctioned,
I am scrambled inside!
Too much memory to process those bits
I know it’s happening in potato juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

Robots are jumping,
maybe? ’cause they’re young? (drunk?)
I’m getting dizzy, and hearing strange sounds
My wheels are clogged
There might be some dents
I ran into a wall and got up again
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

We’re wacky robots
We go to a pub
Refuel for culture?
and throw away the mug
When we go riding down the street late at night
You better watch it if you get in our way
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

If you’re organic, then we think you are scum
We hope you’re ready for anhilation!
If we were able to, we’d kill you right now!
But on potato juice, we just don’t know how!
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

-*-

Okay Internet… You are now complete again. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] I’ll pretty much watch any zombie movie, if it’s in HD and is current.

HAIKU REVIEW: Small towns really suck
at surviving zombie swarm
terrorist attacks.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Local racism and religious fanaticism leads to complications.

PEOPLE: Produced and directed by Arabs. With the beautiful and charismatic Janette Armand as the Iranian girl. But really, nobody involved with this movie is anyone known. It’s a small, independent film, by a small production company that’s only done 2 films.

QUIRKS: Zombie comedy apocalypse terrorism, racism, gayness, fanatical Christians, coming out to your mom, post-911 hysteria. Three sets of characters, whose stories basically converge by the end of the film.

VISUALS: Decent to watch, even if watching it in HD exposes a lot of fakeness with the special effects. However, because it’s also kind of a comedy, guts that don’t quite look real sort of work — one is reminded of Troma during those moments. Still — there’s definitely some gore in here for people who want it. And a lot of blood splatter.

MORALS: Usually it’s don’t trust your government in movies like these — but actually, the government did nothing wrong here. The moral of THIS zombie movie is: Don’t trust your redneck neighbors, don’t trust the church-goers either. People hide behind their moral authority and do evil things while thinking they are good. Religion, paranoia, and nationalism are major causes of this phenomenon.

POLITICS: A big gay angle, dealing with how gay couples must act different in small towns, must fight Christian persecution, must go through major anxiety just to say who they are to their own parents. A big religious angle, showing how religioinists act completely illogically in the face of a crisis — it’s a terrorist attack, not the Rapture. A big racism angle with how people can’t deal with Arabs, and will ask an Arab person about their “home country” even if they’ve lived in America their whole life. A bit post-911 angle, with how paranoia rules the zeitgeist and makes people irrational, and how attacks are used as justification to beef up the security police state. Although this movie came out in 2009, it takes place in 2003 — making the post-911 mentality that much more relevant.

BAD STUFF: It’s political and this might throw off people not expecting it. It’s a comedy, but it’s nowhere near as funny as most comedies, because we’re dealing with the politics and the zombies. It’s also nowhere near as scary or thrilling as a zombie movie that sets out to ONLY be scary or thrilling. One could say that this movie attempts to do too much, and thus falls flat, scattered in several different directions. I prefer to look at it as encompassing a combination of aspects that I’ve never seen in a movie before, thus giving me a unique experience — even if it was far from perfect.

CONCLUSION: As far as zombie comedies go, it’s definitely no Zombieland. But it makes up for the lack of comedy with politics and thrills — this is directed and produced by Arabs, about how a small town stuck in a post-911 mentality would react to a terrorist attack that creates zombies. It doesn’t work perfectly, but it definitely works. It’s certainly better than some zombie movies I’ve already seen, such as Night Of The Living Dead 3-D.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6.4/10. “It was OK. A little bit on the gratiutious gore side at the beginning… The political angle was kind of fun…”

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.1/10, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars–very accurate!).

RECOMMENDATION: Zombie-completists or people interested in politics should check this out.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Uh… every zombie movie? Well no, not really. Maybe a zombie movie like Fido, which also has social implications, would be a better comparison.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Ohhhh, Iraaannnn.” (more…)

(more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Not available on Netflix.] After watching the 5-star horror movie Mirrors, we all decided to watch the original Korean movie it is based on. So a lot of this is from the viewpoint of comparing this version to the American remake (with Keifer Sutherland).

PEOPLE: A Korean movie. The first movie directed by Sung-ho Kim, who also wrote it. Starring Ji-tae Yu, who was Woo-jin Lee in Oldboy, had a bit part in Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. Ju-bong Gi was also in Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance.

PLOT SUMMARY: IMDB’s here. The original plot most certainly differs from the Mirrors remake. They are very similar, but with different backstories. Hollywood adds a wife and kid, of course.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Failed cop fails at stopping serial killer.

QUIRKS: Psychological horror. Murder mystery. Creepy mirrors.

VISUALS: Quite good. The film quality didn’t quite seem as modern, and it didn’t feel as digitally polished as Mirrors did — but that may be because I watched this one in DVD quality vs watching Mirrors in BluRay quality. It may have been more elegant than Mirrors, however, having lots of shots where you don’t quite realize you’re watching a mirror until they pan out at the end of the scene.

GOOD STUFF: Definitely some moments that make you jump. A fairer sense of ultimate justice by the end of the movie, when compared to the remake.

BAD STUFF: Not quite as adrenaline-pumping as the remake. Of course it’s the trendy film critic thing to always say you like the original better than the remake, but in this case I think the remake was a scarier movie. This one, however, doesn’t stretch credulity as much, and has more elegant pacing — so a lot of people will prefer the original for that evening. After all, the remake’s final “boss battle” is kind of Evil Dead-ish, which is totally incongruent with the tone of the original movie.

CONCLUSION: A great Korean psychological thriller! Mirrors are creepy as hell. A bit less campy and more consistent than the American remake, but not quite as scary.

“That’s some NIGHTMARE SHIT right there!!” –something I said during the movie, during a hallway chase scene where the other guy got WAY too far WAY too fast, during a single shot where the camera never changed — I still don’t know quite how they did that.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars (that’s 5 stars). IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Parthena: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.5/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: a mere 6.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Get versed in some American mirror-related horror and such first. Watch Prince Of Darkness (and possibly laugh at it), then Dark Mirror, then The Broken, then Mirrors. After that, watch this to see what Mirrors was based on.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Oh look! Mirrors 2 is out! And you can get this movie with it for free when you purchase it!

(more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Not available on Netflix.]

PEOPLE: Buncha BBC British people most americans have never heard of.

PLOT SUMMARY: A zombie outbreak happens during the filming of the UK Big Brother show; the people in the Big Brother house don’t even realize what happened. Carnage ensues.

QUIRKS: OMFG A ZOMBIE MINI-SERIES?!?!?!?!?! I found out about this after watching The Walking Dead pilot. I thought, “Damn?! Are there any other zombie TV shows? I think The Walking Dead is the first ever!” And that’s how I found about about this zombie TV show. But I would technically call this a mini-series, not a tv show, due to the fact that it was aired several nights in a row, and not stretched out over a season. Plus, the story pretty much completely concluded.

VISUALS: INSANE levels of shaky-cam. I don’t mind shaky-cam very much, but it annoyed me slightly here… So those who really hate it would probably really hate this here.

MORALS: In a crisis, fuck other people. Except you won’t survive without them. But also, fuck them.

GOOD STUFF: John The Canadien’s review does a good job summarizing things. So I don’t really see a point in duplicating his effort.

BAD STUFF: Starts off a bit slow, but then the action crescendos VERY quickly.

CONCLUSION: Finally, a zombie SERIES!!!!!! YES!!!!

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
John The Canadien: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Two Beans: 4/5 beans.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.1/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Great zombie stuff! Must see!

SIMILAR MOVIES: The only other zombie TV series: The Walking Dead! Of course, you could say this is similar to most other zombie movies. And the reality TV aspect brings the movie Live! to mind. Live! is a great movie.
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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a spirit named Ink,
who was quite a bit of a fink.
A battle between evil and good
That ended about how it should
And then they revealed the great link.
[meh.. not my best limerick.. truthfully, I’m getting tired of writing these]

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Spirits injure and hospitalize neglecting father and neglected daughter.

PEOPLE: Starring Chris Kelly, who totally looks like Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli from Heroes). Jessica Duffy (a hot newcomer) in a significant role.

QUIRKS: VERY strange chronology–some of the strangest in any movie I’ve seen. Dual timelines where “1000 years can be a day, a day can be 1000 years”. This creates paradoxical situations that you have no choice to accept. The movie is non-linear in ways that aren’t even revealed at first.

There is definitely a lot of symbolism regarding his connection to his daughter [highlight for spoilers] in both timelines.

Shot on a meager $250,000 budget.

Quite surreal.

VISUALS: The visuals really reminded us of the movie Avalon: Lots of blown out highlights, and various single-color schemes used for various scenes. This was more colorful than Avalon’s near-constant sepia, though. There were actually some amazing otherworldly effects for the parts that took place in what I call The Gloom / The Twilight (a concept established in the Night Watch / Day Watch fantasy movies). Though it’s not technically The Gloom from Night/Day Watch–it’s the dreamworld. Same difference as far as I am concerned. Trippy other dimensions!

The Incubus guys reminded me ever-so-slightly of some of the bad guys from The City Of Lost Children.

A great movie to watch in HD!

MORALS: Kengwis at IMDB says it well: “No matter how safe you feel, evil may find you. But no matter how far you’ve fallen, redemption is possible.”

BAD STUFF: A lot things weren’t ever explained–like why the Incubus are what they are, how they became that way, what their agenda is, who the Storytellers are, and why they all exist in that realm. The dreamworld, which is much like The Gloom / The Twilight from the Night Watch / Day Watch movies, isn’t really explained until near the end.

The movie itself was a bit scattered. It would have had to have been 2.5 hours (instead of 1.5 hours) to adequately explain everything, but the movie was tortuously slow and enigmatic during the first 40% or so, so it’s a lose-lose situation.

I would have perhaps structured this movie so as to be a bit more obvious. Then again, several twists were very well-hidden due to the deliberate obfuscation of the plot and chronology. In fact, there are even [highlight for spoilers] characters who are other characters that you don’t realize. Ink turns out to be you-know-who, and ‘guardian angel’ Liev means Lion in Russian, implying that Liev was Emma from the suicide timeline, and tying in to her telling Emma that she was a Lioness. A lot of people figured that spoiler out before the final reveal, but I’m quite glad that we didn’t.

Nonetheless, this film is a great piece of art that is unfortunately flawed in a few ways. It most certainly had the potential to be a 5/5 star movie, but failed to reach that potential. Much like The Fountain.

CONCLUSION: Not quite the fantasy movie that I expected. It was more of a fantasy-drama than a fantasy-adventure. Damn confusing and surreal. Flawed, yet incredibly poetic. This might benefit from another watching. I give this high recommendations despite my average rating.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Though I think if I watched it again it might improve to 7/10. I doubt it would gain another Netflix star, though.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.5/5 stars (4.3/5 stars for people who rate like me–WRONG!), IMDB: 6.8/10.

And visually? This movie is pretty close to a 10/10.

RECOMMENDATION: People tend to either love this, or hate it. Carolyn & I were one of the rarer “in-betweeners”, who simply liked it, didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it. If you could stand The Fountain, you could definitely stand this. Read the similar movies section below; if those elements appeal to you, you should check this out. If you love a visually unique movie, then DEFINITELY check this out.

SIMILAR MOVIES: As said above, the visual style reminded me of the movie Avalon. But the fact that there were these “others” who had their own war between light and dark in a Twilight/Gloom realm next to our normal world felt exactly like Night Watch and Day Watch. But the ethereal soul-searching in a visually stylized world made it feel like What Dreams May Come.

However, it was more like The Fountain than anything else. The pacing, the content. The connected souls, the confusing passage of time, the confusing leaping back and forth, and the confusing count of how much total time is passed. Even the way they had voices talking without a character on the screen, almost in the viewer’s ear, felt like The Fountaion, as did the spiritual elements (though they were accented less here than in The Fountain, which often came off as psycho-spiritual bullshit).

Similar to The Fountain, we still had no idea what the plot was 1/3rd through the movie. But eventually it all came together in a way that made sense, and was more coherent than The Fountain.

It’s also a bit reminiscent of Neil Gaiman-based movies, like MirrorMask.

The fact that I wrote this much also speaks about how interesting this movie is. (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Same director as the last Saw movie [he edited Saw movies before he directed them]; same writers as Saw 4 through present. Most of the same cast, but with a few new characters.

PLOT SUMMARY: A group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek help from a Jigsaw survivor self-help guru who’s become famous for surviving his Jigsaw ordeal. Detective Hoffman is dead set on killing Jill (Jigsaw’s ex-wife), and police seek to protect her.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Witness intimidation leads to complications.

QUIRKS: Visceral horror with squeamish and disturbing scenes. Had to be re-submitted 6 times to get an “R” rating. (Yay Hollywood censorship!)

This installment has the most returning characters of any Saw movie, as well as the most traps and highest body count of any Saw movie.

VISUALS: I thought the blood was a little too pink… But other than that, the traps, sets, and everything else in this movie were up to the normal, brutal Saw standards.

Did not get a chance to see this in 3-D… But I don’t see the point of Saw being in 3-D as much as other movies.

SOUNDTRACK: There was an Ozzy song?!?

MORALS: Appreciate your life! Seems to be the moral of all Saw movies, though detractors don’t seem to know, notice, or realize this.

GOOD STUFF: Being able to disturb and unsettle Clint: An accomplishment. That fish hook scene? Jesus Christ. That was the worst. And thus, the best :)

BAD STUFF: Carolyn said it wasn’t as interconnected with the other movies as much as the other ones, but I disagree. This movie changed all the previous Saw movies (via retconning). Every Saw movie changes all the previous Saw movies. This one had a lot of connections to every other Saw movie, especially Saw 6, Saw 1, and Saw 3-5.

Also… During that final trap, I couldn’t help but think [highlight for spoilers] that he could have maybe put those hooks through his jeans instead of through his pectoral muscles. Perhaps that final trap was a bit weaker than it should have been. Or maybe he was scared that he was being watched. That’s actually pretty logical, now that I think about it. Don’t break the rules if you want to beat the trap.

People complain about plot holes with every Saw movie, but in fact the story told by the 7 movies is extremely complex, with tons of retcons, and this confusion tends to cause people to not understand why things are happening.

There was a bit of a slow part in the movie before the main trapfest that would represent the rest of the movie.

CONCLUSION: A fitting end to my favorite horror franchise ever! An improvement over Saw 6, which was an improvement over Saw 5. This really wraps just about everything up a nice package, while simultaneously changing the meaning of the events of all previous Saw movies (something every Saw movie does). Well done.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
(Only Saw 5 got a lower rating of 4/5 stars from us.)

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.8/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.6/5 stars–right again, Netflix!).

MOVIE QUOTE: “These are my scars… ’cause our minds will heal, but these scars will never go away. These scars shan’t be a symbol of shame… they should be worn as a badge of courage!” (more…)

A slice of life, John L Kuliecza’s blog summary of us hanging out last weekend, including references to Burger King, Rammstein, botany, South Park, Food Party, Tetris, The Office, Depeche Mode,Tim And Eric, King Diamond and Ween:

Area Couple Communicates Using Samples From A Rammstein Remix

Someone should invite this guy to parties just to summarize the events therein, because I love his summaries.

Manually blogged because delicious.com betrayed its loyal users and stopped links-of-the-day. (more…)

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

PLOT SUMMARY: Retarded guy gets released from mental hospital and integrates back into society — which in this case is an ass-backwards poor redneck town in Arkansas.

HAIKU REVIEW: Don’t go full retard!
Tropic Thunder taught us this…
Thorton won’t listen!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Full retard recidivism.

PEOPLE: Written, Directed, and Starring Billy Bob Thorton — who is much less recognizable in this film than in most. His performance is excellent, and he went all in: He put broken glass in his shoes to make his walk more awkward!

Dwight Yoakam?! Whoa. And John Ritter (who we KNEW was familiar, but couldn’t place, and had to look up in IMDB mid-film). This time he IS gay, and not just pretending to be gay like in Three’s Company. Lucas Black as Frank the kid. Natalie Canerday as the mom. Strangely, her character’s name in Biloxi Blues is the same as her real name. Weird.

QUIRKS: Rednecks. Drunk assholes. Redneck homophobia. Childhood friendship. Mental retardation.

VISUALS: Apparently Thorton insisted that no red be shown in the movie, as he hates red in movies (unless they are about the Revolutionary War). We did not notice this.

MORALS: There’s a lot of interesting moral issues in this movie. Pseudo-spoilers ahead: Karl’s character did what he did for good reasons, and in a way leveraged his mental disability in such a way as to escape the harsher punishment anyone else would have gotten for his actions. And he improved the lives of those around him. The punitive justice junkies will say this is why anyone who takes a life should be kept in prison indefinitely, and that this movie is an example of why. However, I view this movie as an example of why you DON’T throw away a human life just because they took one. When Karl was released, it was pretty clear he wasn’t going to be a threat. And he only did what he did at the end because he knew it would improve everyone’s lives. And it did. Yeah, if someone murdered Carolyn, I’d murder them. I’d want them dead. Personally. But I don’t think society would actually benefit from either of us being kept in prison after we are reformed. The largest prison population on the planet does little to deter murder, which is unfortunately part of the human condition.

BAD STUFF: Sloooooooooooow drama. Loooooooooong and sloooooow. It was actually supposed to be 20 minutes longer. Wow.

CONCLUSION: Definitely a touching and interesting story — but slow-moving, long dramas aren’t quite our thing. Billy Bob Thorton’s performance was possibly his best ever, but that doesn’t stop us from rating this a mere 3 stars — lower than every single Netflix friend who rated it. This is still a “must see” of a movie, however, as it is referenced and spoofed in many other works.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Carolyn was amazed at his “opening monologue” explanation of his past misdeeds, and how it was mostly one long take with no cut whatsoever.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 4.0/5 stars (3.3/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 8.0/10.

RECOMMENDATION: This is an important movie to check out, simply to see Billy Bob Thorton’s performance. Plus, it is spoofed/referenced a lot: South Park (Cartman quotes lines in S5E08: Towelie), Family Guy (Stewie parodies Thorton in S4E17), Scream 3, Me Myself & Irene, Bring It On, 30 Rock, Doctor Doolittle, and more. Anything referenced that much really needs to be watched by comedy fans so as to get the comedy. I’m glad we did, even though it wasn’t especially enjoyable for us.

SIMILAR MOVIES: This is a remake of a short film by Thorton called Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade. It has a 7.7 IMDB rating compared to 8.0 for this one. Apparently it has overtones of To Kill A Mockingbird, but I wouldn’t know. I might have seen that when I was 10. Netflix recommends Rain Man for people who liked this movie.

MOVIE QUOTE: Karl: I like them French fried potaters.

Karl: There were these two fellars standin’ on a bridge, a-goin’ to the bathroom. One fellar said, “The water’s cold” and the other fellar said, “The water’s deep”. I believe one fella come from Arkansas. Get it?

Karl: I don’t think anything bad ought to happen to children. I think the bad stuff should be saved up for the people whose grown up. That’s the way I see it.

Karl: Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a Kaiser blade.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Tatiana loved it. Ian, Dad, Susan, Christian, Benj, and even Glen really liked it. Looks like Carolyn & I are the only ones among our Netflix friends to give this only 3 stars. (more…)

Fun with FormSpring! Here are my 2 favorite answers to this question I posed to all my friends on FormSpring:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could only chuck wood in a very inefficient, bureaucratic way? (more…)

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

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Impotent con-man steals money for his son, then dies.

PEOPLE: Christopher Walken (the movie Click, Stepford Wives, the movie Envy, Blast From The Past, True Romance, etc) as the dying dad. Alessandro Nivola (Timecode) as the ex-grifter son. Sharon Stone as the ex-beauty queen they visit. Dean Cain (Superman from Lois & Clark) as a random douchebag. Amanda Peet (Saving Silverman) as the girlfriend.

QUIRKS: This is NOT a comedy; it’s more of a drama with the *occasional* comedic element.

Christopher Walken reminded me of a combination of myself & Carolyn’s Dad, or something.

This is really a movie about regret, grifting, and reconnecting to one’s father (because the father is dying).

MORALS: People might not be who you think they are.

BAD STUFF: Both Netflix and IMDB bill this as a comedy and then a drama, but if anything, this is 99% drama, 1% comedy. Incorrectly thinking you’re going to be laughing a lot is a great way to set people up for disappointment … This is evil marketing.

SOUNDTRACK: The director’s vision was thwarted by greedy record companies who wanted $1M just to use a Rolling Stones song.

CONCLUSION: A quirky drama that was somewhat entertaining, but ultimatley disappointing because it was billed as a comedy, and was NOT a comedy.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.4/5 stars, IMDB: 6.8/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t watch this for the comedy. If anything, watch it for the drama.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Big Fish.

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Another old computer story. During the 2 Virginia Tech years that I lived in Pritchard Hall, I ran a BBS on the data lines they provided to the dorm. (If you don’t know what a BBS is, click the word BBS for an explanation. This was how people socialized online before the internet came about.)

B&B - SubGeniuses - Bob Bob Bob

Sample BBS advertisement for a SubGenius BBS. Good luck finding a Flying Spaghetti Monster BBS ad. Haha.

My BBS‘s name was On Earth As It Is In Hell, named after a live Samhain bootleg 7-inch vinyl I bought at Smash Records, itself named after lyrics from The Misfits song Earth A.D.

On Earth As It Is In Hell - logon ANSI

On Earth As It Is In Hell login screen. No graphics here, this is all text with ANSI color codes.

It was the most popular message board in Virginia Tech during the 1st of the 2 years I ran it, though during the 2nd year, the internet began to really take off, and lowered my usage. I can’t imagine what the World Wide Web would have done to my BBS; that didn’t come about until I stopped running it.

On Earth As It Is In Hell - ASCII zip comment made from ANSI login screen

On Earth As It Is In Hell login screen, ZIP-file comment version

ANYWAY, the software was WWIV, which I had paid $50 to license and modify the C source code to. I’d spent my whole summer after graduationg high school modifying the BBS code, so that it would be ready for deployment when I got to college.

19930805 - Fish Tank BBS - Dave Nelson was the sysop

My friend Dave N's BBS's ad. He ran WWIV, and together we used obscure modem protocols that nobody else used to become the first gateway for outside messages to reach the Virginia Tech BBS scene. We had nationally syndicated message boards, with his BBS being my BBS's contact point. I was the only BBS in Virginia Tech to achieve this. We had WWIV "email addresses", where we could be contacted internationally -- long before we had real email addresses (which was 1992).

(side-note: It really didn’t help that my parents pulled the pointless bullshit of disallowing me from taking my own computer to college, citing that I “wouldn’t have enough time” to use it, which was very typical bullshit, and completely false. Of course they insisted on buying the $3,000 DEC Alpha station that I said was unnecessary…and that computer was more of a timewaster than anything. Four hours to figure out how to compile Nethack, when you could download it and run it on a PC without compilation? Funk dat!)

blacklights are cool .. so is nethack .. 106-0630_IMG

Nethack being properly played on Carolyn's PC -- no compiler-fu knowledge necessary! Unix is great, but I've got other things to do, like USING my computer instead of tinkering with it.

I was always a mischief maker online — and still am to this day.

I got my first death threats within a year of getting online, in 1988. I got assaulted several times, including while sleeping at my best friend’s house, and while waiting in line for a Testament concert in 1990. At least once, I couldn’t return to my own dorm room. But as the saying goes — “Though they paint the wall to stop my pen, the shithouse strikes again!”

20050723 - Clint cut himself shaving - 100-0005 - Clint bleeding, funny face

Fortunately, I was never assaulted THIS badly. But I do suck at shaving...

I had certainly pulled my share other mean tricks before, as depicted in this ANSI art about me, created by Where The Wild Things Are sysop Jerry Hinn:

This guy named Batman was so lame. My handle was Satan. I used my high access to change his colors to black on black, then created a message board he didn't have access to, and posted the logfiles of him flailing around the BBS, unable to access anything, typing in the darkness of black-on-black text. lulz!

FINALLY, I GET TO WHAT THE SUBJECT IS TALKING ABOUT

I’d pulled my share of mean tricks, and this was another. It was a code modification called DELAYED USER DELETION.

Rather than deleting a user, you simply set his access level to -1, or some other technical fudge. The modified code then checked the user’s access level when they logged on. If it was -1, it would display a message to them, and then delete their account. In this way, I had the technical assurance of getting THE LAST LAUGH.

20091231 - New Year's Eve Chili Cook-Off - Clint - lurking - (by Parthena) - 4236959431_56ce3968f6_b - 2 - original version

Beware--I always get the last laugh.

But that’s not enough. I had to add insult to injury. I used an ANSI art of a big middle finger as my closing message.

Mark + Mask + middle fingers 104-0456_IMG

...and the horse you rode in on!

I also tacked on 4,096 Control-G’s to the end.

Remember Control-G? It’s the beep character.

Back in the DOS days, beeps were loaded into some sort of buffer, and could not be stopped. You had to wait it out. And you could barely type or use your computer or get any responsiveness whatsoever when this happened.

1998ish - Clint's room - screens & clutter - 1

My equipment shall defeat yours!

By flooding their computer with literally thousands of beeps, I wasn’t just deleting them. I was filling their room with loud noises that would bother whoever else was around, AND I was forcing them to have to physically reach for their power switch and turn their computer off. It was my final FUCK YOU to anyone I deleted. Hopefully I woke up their roommates, and they had to get up out of their chair to turn their computer off. HA HA.

best...reboot...ever - A-Bit modified BIOS replaces EPA logo with pot leaf - 112-1288_IMG

Have fun rebooting, assholes!....... I bet you guys don't even know how to modify a BIOS logo...... pfft......

Years later, I ran into people at a party who had been deleted from my BBS. But they refused to tell me who they were. Hahaha.

I wonder if they got hit by the Control-G-bomb??

20070113 - Clint's 33rd Birthday party - 109-0974_Ben - after being forceably subdued

Most assholes I run into at parties do not come from my BBS past.

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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A new entry in a fantasy franchise that is now old enough to legally drink! An R-rated, Highlander anime!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Stubborn man fails to enact revenge for 2,000 years.

PEOPLE: Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who has done a lot of popular anime, such as Vampire Hunter D, the X series, “Program” from The Animatrix, Ninja Scroll, and Demon City Shinjuku. Apparently this movie is very typical for this director. The English voice for Amergan, the taunting spirit, is Scott McNeil, who plays Wolverine in the excellent Wolverine & The X-Men cartoon, as well as Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, Beastman in the 2003 He-Man cartoon, Rattrap in Transformers:Beast Wars, Reboot, Spider-Man Unlimited, and even starred in a couple episodes of the live action Highlander TV series.

QUIRKS: Takes place in 2187, with many flashbacks dating back to the Roman empire and all periods of time in between. Profanity. Nudity. Violence. Blood. Gore. And the bad guy is cooler than the good guy, Colin Macleod (NOT the same immortal from any of the other Highlanders).

VISUALS: Decent animation, what with it coming from a well-known anime director, and not being dumbed down for children.

MORALS: Revenge consumes you. Especially if you are immortal, and totally suck at revenge.

BAD STUFF:

At the beginning, I was like, “OMFGWTF is this crap?! Monsters?” But apparently what I perceived as a “monster” is just the “impossibly muscular” way Kawajiri animates villains. The first 10 minutes had me debating with Carolyn as to whether to abort this entirely — something I do with only about 1 out of every 500 movies. However, we stayed the course, and it ended up being much more interesting than the intro sequence.

Some of the voice actors were terribly bad, like the little kid. This is probably better watched with Japanese audio and subtitles, but our copy did not have that option.

Despite the IMDB trivia claiming that, “Unlike most anime, the mouths of the characters in the film were drawn to match the English dialogue,” the lip-syncing was poor enough that I instantly assumed it was originally Japanese language. So I think they failed at that.

And it had a spiritual angle that I don’t particularly remember being so prevelant in the original Highlander movies. Sure, immortals can’t kill each other on holy ground — that was established in Highlander 1 — though that may be my fault for having a bad angle. However, I don’t like spirituality, and view it as a bit hackneyed when used in movies. Still, they did an alright job with it.

CONCLUSION: While the first 10 minutes were cringe-inducing, this ended up being pretty damn interesting! I never watched the Highlander sequels, but most people think this is better than everything but the original Highlander movie.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. “It really was a search for vengeance!”
Yet another movie where Carolyn & I give it the same numerical IMDB rating, but where I give it another star. NOSTALGIA POWER!

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.6/5 stars, IMDB: 7.0/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Highlander fanatics who also like animated movies should check this out. Just don’t expect it to truly tie in to the Highlander franchise. After all, Highlander 1 pretty much concluded the story, so technically anything past that is bastardy.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Gargoyles fans might notice that this entire movie bears a striking resemblence to the dystopian, dirty, urban version of Manhattan depicted in the Gagoyles episode Future Tense. New York is an island — just like Manhattan in Gargoyles — with most people living poor, destitite lives, complete with technology-driven troops that ravage their rights, a huge fortress resembling Xanatos’s skyscraper, and even something resembling the Eyrie Pyramid! Plus, Markus addresses the masses via a huge screen, much like Xanatos doing so in Gargoyles. If this is a coincidence, it’s one of the biggest ones ever. Assuming the episode doesn’t get taken down, you can view it here.

And a LOT of people are saying that this is at least better than any of the Highlander sequels. A lot of people are saying they liked this, even though they hate anime.

I have never watched the Highlander animated series… But after this, I think I’ll give it a shot. Then again, I just read that nobody’s head gets chopped off in the cartoon — immortals just GIVE their quickening to other immortals. That sounds kind of lame.

And since we just watched Outlander, we couldn’t help but notice a few similarities, like him being in a clan that was all like, “You are an outsider, but fought by our sides, so we honor you!” Much like Outlander. Or Beowulf.

MOVIE QUOTE: Colin MacLeod: I loved Moya and you killed her.
Marcus Octavius: I loved Rome. Things die. It is the way of life. All we do is try to find a reason to go on, build it again. I have found mine. Why don’t you find something?
Colin MacLeod: Mine, is to bury you.
Marcus Octavius: I wonder, who is the bigger fool?

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s a behind-the-scenes clip:

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/yard sale sign/ Our first time with a map and a plan! A local community yardsale was happening. I heard about it in the newsletter they put in my mailbox.

I emailed the coordinator. After hemming and hawing about participating myself, I got her to send me a spreadsheet of participants. I found the website http://batchgeo.com/ — which lets you paste a set of addresses into a field and puts them all onto a google map. So it took all of a few seconds to have a map printed out.

We traced out a route — and also analyzed it and determined that had we driven without a plan, we most certainly would have missed some. Plus, it turns out some sales didn’t have signs. Some poor coordinating — but we knew where they were due to the map.

We also ran into copies of the same map while yard saleing, as I had sent the link back to the coordinator, and she had used it in her promo flyers. WE’RE CONTRIBUTING TO THE COMMUNITY, lol.

However, the community sale was kind of underwhelming. We got through all 14-15 sales in a mere 90 minutes. (2 weren’t set up yet, so they were skipped.)
We got up around 7:15AM, made it out driving by 8:00AM (which turned out to be a bit too early) and went out until 11:22AM. However, we spent 9:32AM-10:30AM eating, going to K-Mart for a prescription and some soda, and buying $150 of stuff at the ABC store, so the total yard sale time was only 2 hours, 24 minutes.

Spent $12.00 plus ~$5.48 gas for ~21.3 miles of driving (14.2 mpg @ $3.65/G), for a total cost of $17.48.

We bought 14 items (17 if you split the 2-level plastic shelf, trash cans, ice cube trays) for a total estimated value of $155.44, leading to a profit of $137.96. To earn that much after taxes you’d really have to earn $197; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $57.48/hr as a couple or $27.74/hr per person.
Lower than average wage this trip, despite an higher than average number of sales visited. It must be getting to be that time of year where the only sales being thrown are those that are being thrown as an afterthought as opposed to a necessity. The stuff just isn’t as good. Or maybe we’re all shopped out for this year. We were actually cold during a lot of this trip — so yard sale season is just about over.

20110917 - yard sale booty - 1 - IMG_3514

the haul

  • $2.50: liquor set, wooden lockable medieval style treasure chest, opens up to 2 decanters and 4 small shot glasses, all with amber glass. Sold on Ebay as “Vintage Apco Wooden chest Decanter set with shot glasses made in Japan” for $42 with shipping. Very nice set! (just the box without the liquor glassware would fetch $15+)Originally did NOT want this for me, but got it as a gift. Gradually, I realized I have to keep this for me even if I initially didn’t want it. This thing kicks ass. Though maybe I’d have given it to Dirk if he were still alive.
20110917 - yard sale booty - 0 - liquor chest - IMG_3515

my picture of it

https://i2.wp.com/img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/3/8/3/0/1/5/webimg/505100938_tp.jpg

Ebay's picture of it -- i like my dark glass better

  • $2.00: golf: putting green + automatic ball return, 19th Hole Eagle Deluxe Combination Set Model 1902-C made in 1963 (EV:$$10.44 using their shipping cost estimator to change the shipping to my zip code instead of the UK – can’t believe someone actually paid $58 shipping to ship this from US to UK! Item itself was $1.29.)

https://i0.wp.com/fastcache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2007/05/medium_laser_trainer.jpg

  • $2.00: golf: putting trainer, GreenHawk LPT Laser Putting Trainer  (EV:$16, used to be sold on Amazon)

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqF,!l8E4u8dco3bBOOg+!UQkw~~0_12.JPG

  • $2.00: dvd burner, Philips, dvd8801/96;9305 046 68096, manufactured 5/2006 (EV:$25 if it works) – wtf kind of model # is that? Stupid OEM label b.s. probably
  • $1.50: trash cans (2), brown, step-lid, 7.5″x13″x13″, “SimpleHuman CW1331 Plastic Slim Step Can” (EV:$$36) – replaces some smaller trashcans in our house, allowing for even greater levels of procrastination
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/rkL_L9J0_JAJGz8-lr6gTbFk3prgfFbdsr4jUt5tAMOJgQYiTDtzNV7rxVueE8DkhugWaSzhgWPXI0WuocdFozVTOfkEJFixn_Q2eBydxSOcil44BpfRvLQMSuGdRhvYRafZz6SILcUcZWipQRLl0nPSEpCo32EfPQQw6uvz

can't believe i found the exact same trashcan online

  • $0.50: shelf (2 levels), 24″x12″x7″h/ea, plastic, comes apart, white (2) (EV:$8)
  • $0.50: lamp, clip-on,1(EV:$comparable lamp for $11) — with “party light” decorated colored light bulb ($4, same bulb we bought on previous expedition, but with different colors)
https://i1.wp.com/static.www.odcdn.com/pictures/us/od/sk/lg/687876_sk_lg.jpg

comparable to this

  • $0.50: ice trays, white (2) (EV:$1) – the quest to replace harder-to-twist with easier-to-twist trays continues
  • $0.25: cube, purple (EV:$0.50) – just something to put stuff in
  • $0.25: flip-flops, purple, Creatology, size 7-8  (EV:$1)
https://i2.wp.com/i53.tinypic.com/142blt0.jpg

Carolyn, how many pairs of flip flops do you need?!?!

  • FREE: spray bottle, hot pink (EV:$0.25) – Carolyn needs a spray bottle, and has for awhile
  • FREE: flower pot, black, plastic (EV:$0.25) – Carolyn wanted this for something

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person). (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] “It destroyed his world. He won’t let it destroy ours.”

NOT-THAT-UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Destroyer of endangered species brings monster to an unsuspecting violent people; becomes king.

PEOPLE: Directed/written by Howard McCain, co-written by Dirk Blackman — both also wrote Underworld:Rise Of The Lycans. Starring James Caviezel (Passion Of The Christ, The Count Of Monte Cristo), Sophia Myles (Underworld, From Hell), and Jack Huston (Twilight 3, Shrooms). With John Hurt (Hellboy 2, V For Vendetta, Dead Man, The Black Cauldron, and Winston Smith in the 1984 version of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four), Cliff Saunders (another Boromir?!), Ron Perlman (Hellboy!).

QUIRKS: Basically a fantasy action movie with a tiny sci-fi twist: the monsters are aliens.

VISUALS: Vikings, plus a bad-ass glowing space monster. Decent.

MORALS: Maybe you shouldn’t kill endangered species just to take their land…

POLITICS: Better to be a king… than not. :)

BAD STUFF: For a sci-fi meets fantasy movie, they didn’t really have much sci-fi tech or anything. In a sense, this means the premise was wasted.

It was at times hard to keep track of how many monsters there were… but isn’t that part of the fun?

There are some perceived plot holes, but some of them are actually answered in the deleted scenes — bad call to cut those. For example, [highlight for spoilers] there are deleted scenes where he goes back and checks on his distress beacon, only to find out the rescue ship hasn’t arrived yet — which explains the “hole” of why the rescue ship didn’t show up until the end of the movie. Also, when he holds his breath for an unrealistic period of time, it is because there are deleted scenes where he drops down bags of oxygen to replenish his supply while he is underwater. Apparently there are 27 deleted scenes(!).

Whatever foley artist created the fire/torch sound effects needs to be fired. Real fire is not so trebly (too much treble!) that you feel like your speakers are clipping the waveform!

Also, the plot is pretty cliche. Those who like to try to ruin their movie experiences will probably try to guess what will happen — as this person did (spoilers!) — and very well may be right.

Finally: Ron Perlman fans will be disappointed that he’s barely in this movie. “Why did he choose to take this role?”, people keep asking. Maybe he’s not hoisted up on his ego, and is quite willing to play small parts. He was still pretty badass, crushing skulls with his hammer.

CONCLUSION: Despite its flaws and generic-ness, I still really enjoyed this.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (3.5/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 6.4/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like mindless action movies, here’s another! And it’s not completely mindless, either. There’s some moral relevance here. The good guys are also the bad guys, in a sense.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Similar to Beowulf in ways, but with a sci-fi twist.

At least one person calls this Planet of the Apes meets Beowulf, Braveheart, Predator, Mad Max 2, LOTR. Many call this a rip-off of The 13th Warrior — but we never saw that.

Haha, someone made a song based on the first battle in the movie:

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