November 2013


FUKUSHIMA: ENENews.com – Energy News

In case you need a  news source that consists solely of the most alarmist articles related to Japan’s Fukushima disaster, here it is.

This won’t make you feel good to read. But I think it’s an important counterpoint to what mainstream media is posting about this.

Especially in light of Japan enacting new laws that reduce freedom of speech — laws designed to make it illegal to tell the world what is actually happening there. Laws decried by journalism organizations but advertised as “protecting the people” by the leaders.

Such censorship dictates that a site like this must be read — for spite reasons alone.

LINK URL: http://enenews.com

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Carolyn had seen this a bunch growing up, but I hadn’t. Or rather, I’d seen about 2 minutes of it, but refused to continue, because I only watch movies in their entirety.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Peeping tom garbage man endangers life of local woman by involving her in organized crime plot.

PEOPLE: Written and directed by Emilio Estevez (who I haven’t seen a movie of since Repo Man and Maximum Overdrive). Starring Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, and Keith David (Goliath from Gargoyles). The female lead is played by Leslie Hope — Jack Baeur’s wife Teri from 24, Season 1. Didn’t recognize her with 80’s hair. She looks much better with real hair, even 80’s hair. Pizza guy is played by Dean Cameron (we saw him in Sleep With Me, which might explain why he looked familiar). Bad guy played by John Getz (The Social Network, The Fly, Blood Simple, Superhero Movie).

Keith David in a comedy? It’d be great to overdub him talking about how he doesn’t value life, and would have snapped that guy’s neck like a twig in a second before he even knew it — over some Gargoyles video footage.

QUIRKS: Comedy caper with 2 bumbling surfer-dude garbagemen as the main 2 characters. Keith David should really get equal credit, though.

SOUNDTRACK: Not quite as horribly horrible as most.

Emilio Estevez’s locker has a Circle Jerks (and Pink Floyd) sticker on it. Apparently, the Circle Jerks starred with him in Repo Man. WHY DON’T I REMEMBER THIS? I love the Circle Jerks Greatest Hits album!!!!

MORALS: No, not really.

POLITICS: Toxic waste is bad! Stand up for the environment!

GOOD STUFF: Pretty feelgood. A wacky caper. Several elements coming together for an unpredictable adventure.

BAD STUFF: The jokes could have been funnier. There were also a couple of glaring plot holes that were a bit hard to swallow.

CONCLUSION: A decent 80’s feelgood adventure-comedy caper. A fun watch, but by no means a masterpiece.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. Seems like she had a nostalgia bonus. :)

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.5/10, Netflix: 3.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 2.9/5 stars–oddly lower).

RECOMMENDATION: Worth checking out.

MOVIE QUOTE:

James: What an absolutely beautiful day. Warm Sun, beautiful women…
Carl: And the air… is just right… for drinking.

Louis (Keith David): There are several sacred things in this world that you don’t *ever* mess with. One of them happens to be another man’s fries. Now, you remember that, and you will live a long and healthy life.

COINCIDENCES: **(Toxic Crusaders:Invasion Of The Biddy Snatchers, Men At Work) 2 videos in the same night with people having their boss appoint someone to watch them do their jobs against their will, also with plots that could not exist without toxic waste.

(more…)

“All Syrup Squishee”

Leave comments for the original picture poster (jackielebreux) here.
Largest size (for downloading) here.

mixed media on paper:
[ballpoint pen, copic markers, highlighter, and crayons]
8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
2012

Uploaded on: November 08, 2013 at 04:28AM

Courtesy of Slashdot, from a discussion about SocialFixer’s legal threats from facebook, I ran into some very general comments about society that I thought were poingnant and worth sharing. THIS WHOLE POST IS A REPOST; I DIDN’T WRITE IT.

Here we go:

Clearly justice is denied when one party can use the threat of a lawsuit
to compel another to capitulate, simply because they can’t afford to defend
themselves. Everyone knows it works this way. Why don’t more people object?

“For the same reason he doesn’t; You learn early in life if you stand up for what you believe in, authority will make an example out of you. So you learn to fly under the radar, and cherish those precious few moments in life when you can do good without being punished.

It’s youthful idealism to think people will risk their freedom, their home, their financial security, their family, to combat an injustice. Especially against a vastly better equipped adversary like a large corporation with an excessively-sized legal department and millions or billions of dollars to burn… and full access to a legal system that can take away everything you own and away from everyone you know, at the snap of a gavel.

The few people who can’t give up their idealism to become “successful” (that is, capitulate to the demands of the dominant social institutions of their era) very rarely manage to achieve social change — the Ghandis and Martin Luther Kings to the Che Guevaras, etc., in a socially acceptable fashion. The majority simply become homeless, outcast from the system, develop mental or physical illness, and die early, and generally alone. And then there’s the extreme fringe that, so frustrated by an inability to accomplish anything, take themselves out of the picture in a hailstorm of bullets or fire. Terrorism can promote social change, though it’s politically unpopular to say this.

But as you can see… idealism is not particularly practical, which is why few people practice it except in small doses.”

Your comment gives me a crappy black feeling deep inside my chest.

“As it should. We can’t claim to be living to the highest ideals of democracy as long as wealth inequity exists on the scale that it does. So long as men toil and tolerate meaningless labor, potential is being wasted. We have given a tiny fraction of the population wide freedom of choice and an affluent lifestyle, at the expense of putting the overwhelming majority into poverty. This is not sustainable, nor is it moral. But it is, nevertheless, the current state of affairs.

America has never lived up to its promise as the “land of opportunity” save for a brief period after WWII called the ‘golden era’. Prior to that, there was the depression, and before that the industrial revolution… where workers would fall into the machines and lose their limbs or worse, and that was pretty much it for them. There was no health care, no government assistance. Them, and their families, were suddenly dependent entirely on the charity of others, and many perished. And today, despite our technological advances, the inequities of our society continue marching forward.

Many, if not most, of our accomplishments in the area of civil rights were due not to a sudden enlightenment of our population and embracing of democratic ideals, but the more pragmatic issue of economics.

The end to slavery; We needed more workers, and frankly, slaves just don’t work that hard. They’re slaves. You get more work out of people by taking off the real chains and giving them a wage. By replacing the physical and concrete with an abstract, productivity improves. They are still slaves — they have limited options for employment and only long hours for only crumbs… but the illusion of freedom makes them work harder.

Women’s lib: Women moved into the workplace because during WWII, all the men were shoved into a meat grinder and many didn’t come back. Someone had to work the factories. Oh we talk about how it was a great stride forward for women’s liberty and feminism… but it wasn’t. Economics dictated it happen… it’s just that other people took credit for it.

In fact, with only a very few exceptions, economics created the circumstances in which these movements happened, and while we pat ourselves on the back and elevate our heroes… their names and actions would not have been possible, or remembered, without the backing of money. There’s a reason economics is listed under the social sciences, not the physical; Because it really is all about people. You want to understand a society — follow the money.

The fact is, America has never been a strong cultural center for the world. We are an economic power, not a cultural one. Our diplomats are predator drones and stealth bombers… not because we’re excessively militant but because military power is cheap when you have a large class of poor people. We can mobilize millions to go fight proxy wars on behalf of our economic interests — people talk about the high cost of the wars we’ve had, but compared to how much money we rake in from international trade, it’s chump change.

Until that changes; Until America has culture, not just money and rationalizations derived from it, you won’t see very many idealists getting very far in this society. We have the same potentiality in our people as the people of any other country; But we’re squandering it because right now, America’s business… is business.”

OKAY, IT’S ME AGAIN. I think the girl who posted this really nailed it. Had to share. (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, etc), who passed on directing it. Directed by David Slade, who went on to direct Twilight 3. Written by Steve Niles and Stuart Beattie (Pirates Of The Carribean 1-4, G.I. Joe:Rise Of The Cobra). The main estranged couple is played by Josh Hartnett (Sin City, Black Hawk Down) and Melissa George (Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror 2005, Camilla Rhodes in Mulhalland Dr., May in Dark City, Home And Away, Alias). Vampire Marlow is played by Danny Huston (Poseidon from Clash Of The Titans 2010, Col. William Stryker from X-Men Origins:Wolverine, 21 Grams, Timecode). The stranger [who sat in a jail cell] was played by Ben Foster (Angel from X-Men 3). That huge-ass trucker dude (Mark Boone Junior) was in Memento, Batman Begins, The Thin Red Line, Se7en, Die Hard 2. Jake Oleson (grandma’s son who works at the cop station) is played by TV actor Mark Rendall.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Husband performs heroics to save estranged wife, but dies anyway. Loser.

QUIRKS: Vampire survival.

Based on a 3-issue comic book.

Set in Alaska, during a time that the sun sets for 30 days straight; perfect time for vampires to lay seige to a town that can only be reached via airplane.

The vampires have their own language, created explicitly for the movie. It sounds really fucking cool, but it’s also quite melodramatic, so it can come off as cheesy at the same time. But it was a good idea: A language with clicks, like in Africa, and other hard Slavik-sounding gutteral hawking noises. Something that sounds ancient, vicious, and animalistic. It was a good idea. It’s fun to imitate. Two Beans does a great imitation.

The vampires are pretty mean and toothy; not like the sexy vampires so many movies of the past few decades have been using. They are animalistic, and (for the most part) unable or unwilling to speak in English — even if they were an English-speaking person who was ‘turned’. There are exceptions to this, though.

VISUALS: Nighttime throughout almost the entire movie. The funny thing is, they actually shot many of the night scenes during the day.

Snow + vampires. This is like Let The Right One In in that sense. (But not in any other sense.) For some reason, the snow here isn’t nearly as depressing, though.

WILHELM SCREAM: Yup! Heard it! When a guy is getting thrown off a roof…

MORALS: Honestly what I got out of this was — if you’re going to try to survive, FUCK OTHER PEOPLE. Just do it alone, or with one person to use as bait in case you need to make a break for it.

GOOD STUFF: This almost felt like a zombie survival movie! A lot of vampire movies involve hunting the vampires, and they rarely involve a whole town being held under siege. That’s usually in the realm of zombie movies. So this ends up being a vampire movie that feels like a zombie movie. That’s an interesting combination.

BAD STUFF: Definitely some plot holes. IMDB‘s trivia for this movie talks about some of them in specific. It’s a movie. You have to remember that.

CONCLUSION: I really liked it. it was a vampire movie, but it almost felt like a zombie survival movie. The isolated location helped add to the hopelessness. It was definitely entertaining. Running a bit on the long side, we still weren’t really bored. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s better than a lot of vampire movies…

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10 (low 8).
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Two Beans: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 4/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.6/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Check it out, because the sequel just came out this year.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Has spun off into 2 webisode series: 30 Days Of Nights: Blood Trails (rated 5.8 on IMDB) and 30 Days Of Nights: Dust To Dust (rated 6.6 on IMDB).

There’s also a sequel, to be reviewed tomorrow.

Some other movies that are mentioned as being similar: The Thing (1982), Storm Of The Century (1999), Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Frostbiten (2006).

MOVIE QUOTE:

Sheriff Eben Oleson: Hell of a day.
The Stranger: Just you wait.

Marlow: [speaking in vampire language] That which can be broken must be broken.

Marlow: [speaking in vampire language] There is no escape. No hope. Only hunger and pain.

(more…)

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

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] A bunch of stuff almost happens.

PEOPLE: From the director of Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan (Donnie Darko in Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, Zodiac, Rendition, City Slickers). Gemma Arterton as the Princess (Io in Clash Of The Titans, Kelly Jones in the St. Trinian’s remakes, Desiree in The Boat That Rocked). Ben Kingsley as Uncle Nazam (Schindler’s List, The Wackness). With Alfred Molina as the ostrich-racing shiek (Dr. Otto Octavius in the new Spider-Man movies, Solomon Solomon in Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Chocolat, Dead Man, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Ladyhawke).

QUIRKS: Based on the 1989 video game, Prince Of Persia. Except then Disney bought it and made them base it on the later Prince Of Persia:Sands Of Time video game sequels instead.

Basically, an action adventure with slight elements of fantasy — just enough to drive the plot.

VISUALS: Persian deserts. Fights. And some cool time manipulation that wasn’t used enough (2 minutes of time reversal total throughout the movie).

MORALS: Being royalty sucks.

POLITICS: Royalty sucks.

GOOD STUFF: A decent adventure movie, and, at 2 hours in length, drawn out enough to build the story decently.

BAD STUFF: The time stuff was cool, but they didn’t really use it much (or enough)…

Of course, being an adventure movie based on a video game, the story isn’t really unique — but it’s well executed.

A lot of people hated this, though. Seems to happen with any adaptation/remake (or any movie at all, really–I don’t know why haters keep watching movies. Go find a new hobby if you don’t like most movies you watch. I stopped listening to the radio because I don’t like most songs I hear there. Is that so hard?)

Oh, and fucking idiots who think that the dagger represents oil. No, it represents the dagger in the video game. It was a puzzle game about mystical times. There was no political message. And no, the Hashashins aren’t about Al Queda. They are about assassins; Hashashins are how we got the words “assassin” and “hashish”. Learn some fucking history: Both video game history, and etymologies of words.

CONCLUSION: Pretty good action/adventure / royal conflict with slight fantasy elements. Certainly better than your average movie based on a video game.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10. (A more reluctant version of the same rating as Clint.)

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.8/10, Netflix: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.7/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: If you like desert adventure, check it out.

SIMILAR MOVIES: I dunno. The Mummy?

MOVIE QUOTE: King Sharaman: A great man who would have stopped what he knew to be wrong, no matter who was ordering it.

(more…)

Alright everybody, could you please head on over to: http://cheezburger.com/56305665 and upvote my Sad Trombone Cat meme?

 

You can also give it a thumbs up on YouTube:

This took my wife and I several months, and we’d really like it to become a front-page Cheezburger meme! Can’t do it alone, though. Please upvote us on one or both sites! :)

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