December 2013

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Technically, this movie is a spinoff of Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

PEOPLE: Produced by comedy movie mastermind Judd Apatow, but written & directed by Nicholas Stoller (director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, writer for Yes Man, 3 eps of Undeclared). Co-written by Jason Segel (writer of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eric from Undeclared, Jason from Knocked Up, Mike from SLC Punk!, Sydney from I Love You,Man).

Starring Jonah Hill (who seems to be all over the place now–Funny People, The Invention Of Lying, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard, Superbad, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Grandma’s Boy, Click, I Heart Huckabees) and Russell Brand (reprising his Aldous Snow character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall; he was also in St. Trinian’s 1). Russell’s rockstar ex-girlfriend is played by Rose Byrne (Troy, Dorme from Star Wars:Attack Of The Clones, Cassie from Sushine, Scarlet from 28 Weeks Later). Jonah’s girlfriend was played by Elisabeth Moss (who was in the awful Anywhere But Here that we saw in the plane on our honeymoon, and is in that show Mad Men everyone keeps talking about).

Hell, even P. Diddy / Puff Daddy / Sean Combs / whateverthefuckhe’scallinghimselfthesedays is funny as the big record company boss.

Also with a small part by Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and many other famous celebrities involved in the music industry (Kurt Loder, Christina Aguilera, etc). Other notable people show up too, like Aziz Ansari. And Kristen Bell is in it for 5 seconds–as Sarah Marshall! Lots of people are credited as “themselves”, as this movie is about celebrity attention and as such uses a lot of real media people in it, albeit briefly.

And of course, a scene with Carla Gallo — Lizzie from Undeclared! Took us a minute to recognize her all “stripper-ized” and crazy. She keeps getting all these really small roles in really good comedy movies (I Love You,Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superbad, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Funny People). They need to give her bigger roles!

PLOT SUMMARY: Fanboy gets to accompany out-of-control has-been rock star to reunion show.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Jonah Hill gets ass-raped multiple times, pukes a lot.

QUIRKS: Sex. Drugs. Rock N’ Roll. This has it all!

Some hilarious drug humor!

VISUALS: Some hot girls… Lots of sex… But nothing really too explicit. You’ll see more in a National Lampoon or Troma movie.

SOUNDTRACK: Yeah… Don’t go into this thinking the songs are going to be great. Russell Brand is not a great singer. It’s a shame they had to use original music for this movie, but it makes sense, because he’s a fictitious rock star and not a real one. Unfortunately, made-for-a-movie songs just aren’t as good as actual classics. There’s also a lot of REAL songs used in the soundtrack — even good songs, like Sex Pistols‘s Anarchy In The UK — but they’re barely prominent.

MORALS: There’s one buried deeply amongst the drug-fueled adventure. I guess they have to put something of redeeming value in there, to make it more profound… There is a slight romance angle related to this. Fortunately, it’s NOT the primary part of this movie. This is NOT a romantic comedy, it’s a straight-up comedy.

GOOD STUFF: Frickin’ hilarious!

BAD STUFF: The most times I’ve ever seen a character vomit in a movie.

The ending ended up trying to be more dramatic and profound, so it lost a few pionts there.

Also: INCREDIBLY BAD TITLE. I passed this up several times before checking it out, simply because the title and summary sounded really bad.

CONCLUSION: Don’t let the WORST. TITLE. EVER. fool you — this movie is full of laughs, sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.

Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars (low 5 stars). IMDB: 8/10. But upon re-watching the movie a couple years later, Clint upgraded it to 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9.6/10 (a 10! but a low 10). “I went in thinking it was a college fraternity comedy… boy was I wrong, and pleasantly surprised.  When it started with the music video, I was just like “WTF is going on?”  And then it all went uphill from there. It was only 9 out of 10 until the jeffrey party scene.  That scene was the best!  Non-stop awesomeness.  It earns .6 points from just that scene.”

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.0/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars–pretty damn accurate).

RECOMMENDATION: See it! Don’t let the bad title stop you!


“When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.”

“If he tells you to stick the drugs in your ass, you stick them in your ass.”

“What you did was very spiteful, but it was also very brave and very honest and I respect you for doing that. But the content of what you said has made me hate you. So there’s a layer of respect, admittedly, for your truthfulness, but it’s peppered with hate. Hateful respect.” (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched alone, without Carolyn, who had seen it back in 2008.

PEOPLE: Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Racist becomes Jesus.

QUIRKS: Angry old racist man. Racism. Hmong immigrants. Inner-city gangs. Spirituality. Redemption.

GOOD STUFF: Clint Eastwood was excellent in this. A 78-year-old “action hero”? Yes, it can be done.

BAD STUFF: A drama about overcoming gang violence. Those types of movies always strike me as cliche messages of hope and inspiration. But hey, I’m a cynic.

And of course, the whole Jesus thing was a bit thick for anti-spiritual types like myself… They didn’t need to bash us over the head with it when [highlight for spoilers] Clint Eastwood died in the same position as Jesus. WE GET IT.

I can’t believe people complained about the acting from the Hmong actors. I thought the kid did a good job playing a clueless socially awkward Asian kid. People said his performance was painful — he was playing a character who was painful to watch in real life! So it’s supposed to be painful! DERP.

CONCLUSION: Not my type of movie, but undeniably great nonetheless. I actually don’t like or watch films starring Clint Eastwood, and am pretty let down by films directed by Clint Eastwood–could *barely* stand The Unforgiven, and think it’s awful compared to what most people think of it. But in this case, I have to acquiesce that this is a great film.

Clint: Netflix: 4.4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10. Almost a 5/9, but I just can’t bring myself to rate it that highly.

Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. She watched it in a distracted group setting on a ski trip, so it wasn’t the best setting to take it in.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.4/10 (#93 of all time–and coincidentally exactly what I rated it), Netflix: 4.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars–it’s like they know my anti-Clint Eastwood bias).

RECOMMENDATION: See it! Even if it’s not your type of movie!

SIMILAR MOVIES: Several people have pointed out some similarities between this and The Karate Kid. I see their point. I didn’t think this myself, but I see their point.

Also: Gran Torino 2!!


Walt Kowalski: [to Father Janovich] The thing that haunts a guy is the stuff he wasn’t ordered to do.

Walt Kowalski: Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.

Walt Kowalski: Yeah? I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house… and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack fucks like you five feet high in Korea… use ya for sandbags.



Leonard The Committed: The ultimate “get off my lawn” guy! Lets look 40-50 years into the future. Emo kids will have grown up and retired. Like all good Americans they will have heart disease and will be taking a blood thinner due to it. When someone steps on THEIR lawn, it’s going to get ugly when they cut themselves to mask the pain.

Stacy: First time I saw this was with a roomful of people [the ski trip Carolyn went on, with Angel, Greg etc], and we got so into laughing/WTF-ing at all his racist comments that the end really blindsided us all. Now when Louise and I watch it, it’s an actual tear-jerker.

Greg Z: @Stacy: I was THERE, yo! Perfect description of the viewing experience. It was a great movie!

TwoBeans said it was a really great film.

Jon B only gave it 3/5 stars.

Debbie M gave it 5/5 stars.

This Dilbert comic totally reminded me of a moment of my life!:
The comic is funny, because Dilbert’s boss simply thinks he can crumple up his problems, throw the piece of paper away, and have them solved.

We all know the real world doesn’t work like that.

Or does it?

I left TJ to return to Woodbridge High School — best decision of my life, since that’s how I met Carolyn.

1994 - Carolyn - senior pic

I made the right call.

This happened one quarter through 10th grade. Leaving at 7AM and arriving home at 5PM only to have 3 hours of homework was not cool. Having classes that were harder than AP classes — but not getting college credit for them because these were the “normal” classes — also not cool. (I ended up taking AP classes in high school. Not a lot, but enough to spare me the year of CS classes that causes most Virginia Tech CS students to drop out.)

So anyway, this was a good decision. That grading period [Fairfax had four 9 week periods, Prince William had six 6 week periods] was the worst in my life. I even had my only F, ever. In Spanish 3. Which was odd, because I ended up doing just fine in Spanish 4 at Woodbridge. The point being: TJ was a lot of extra work, with very little benefit. I got into Virginia Tech based on my 740 math SAT score, and it didn’t really matter if I took magnet school classes, or normal school classes. Most people I knew ultimately dropped out. Those who didn’t ended up in the same Virginia Tech classes with me. One even told me he wish he’d dropped out, since he did a lot more work to get to the same place.

1994  - NOT Woodbridge High School - 0530 - NOT Clint's Senior 1992 pic - cropped & artifacts removed - upgraded 2010/12

I graduated–the same as everyone else. But I didn’t waste as much of my childhood on pointless overachieving, and ended up much happier than most of them.

SO ANYWAY, there I am, in Woodbridge High School, on my first day there, sometime around approximately November, 1989.

I had my first 6 weeks report card in my hand.

I didn’t really like those grades — they were really, really bad grades.

So, much like Dilbert’s boss in the above comic, I threw the paper away.

Beavis - garbage man

Beavis — in control.

Guess what? My report card was blank for that grading period. It only showed up as 6 weeks missing under the Prince William Count system, even though I had missed 9. The 2nd 6 week grading period, I was there for half of that, so I got within 3 weeks (I about tripled my GPA, and for some reason made a switch from Spanish 3 to Spanish 2–even though I had already taken Spanish 2 at TJ. So I ended up taking 5 yrs of spanish by graduation: 1, 2, 2, 3, and 4).

Yes — I got to throw away my grades. FOR REAL. MY REPORT CARD WAS BLANK, AND IT WAS FINE.

1989ish - Spanish class - mi abuelo

maybe the fact that this is what I did during Spanish 2 class didn’t help

Ironically, it was my bitch of a Spanish 2 teacher who was the only one to penalize me for having a blank report card period. I had a tie between my semester grades — let’s say an A and a B. Rather than rounding up, she chose to round down, because of the blank I had. Didn’t matter that I’d already passed Spanish 2 in the first place. This was the same bitch who gave me detention for walking into the class with gum — even though gum was allowed in all other classes. It wasn’t enough that you spit it out when asked, she considered it an offense if you didn’t remember this instantly upon walking into the class. BIIITCH!

20061110 - TAMPONS - no, not really - Big Red made me bite my tongue - 108-0864

I *SUFFER* for my gum habit! And it’s WORTH IT!

Anyway — this Dilbert comic satirizes the concept of being able to solve one’s problems by such a simple method as throwing away a piece of paper.

But truth is stranger than fiction — I’ve done what Dilbert’s boss did above. And it worked!

That, my friends, is what the SubGenius concept of SLACK is all about!

20080705 - X-Day at Brushwood - 162-6214 - Bob mousepad



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

PEOPLE: Directed by Joon-ho Bong, this is the first Korean movie I’ve ever seen by somebody other than Chan-Wook Park. Starring Kang-ho Song, who was the priest in the movie Thirst, Dong-Jin Park in Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, and one of the assassins in Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. Suffice to say, I instantly recognized him, what with him being in 4 of the 5 Korean movies I’ve ever seen.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Police corruption and ineptitude causes innocent retard to die while failing to stop serial rape-murders.

QUIRKS: Korean serial killer murder mystery. Based on a true story. Yes, even the part with [highlight for spoilers] a retarded suspect being killed by a train. Police abuse of authority and corruption vs. good policing. Country vs. city cultures. Korean 1980’s. And some dark comedy interspersed with the mostly-dramatic storyline.

VISUALS: Shot really well; great cinematography. Looks as good as any Hollywood A-movie. Great to see in HD.

POLITICS: It seems that this movie was a commentary about abuse of authority police tactics, and how they actually obstruct justice more than bring it about. Some of the characters had revelations as such, and changed their behavior accordingly. The “good cop” was the one who praised how the Americans FBI investigators think, saying it was much better than the way Korean investigators think.

There’s also a deeper political level that only Koreans understand — described HERE, with spoilers.

MORALS: Forcing people to confess doesn’t actually make them guilty. It just helps people feel like justice was served, even when it was not. This still goes on, every day, in every country, because people have a punitive streak in them, and don’t feel good unless somebody’s punished. It doesn’t matter if it’s the wrong person; people will believe what they want to believe, because they’re assholes. And this happens the most to mentally disabled people — like in this movie.

GOOD STUFF: The ending scene — I did not realize it until I read the IMDB comments, but part of [highlight for spoilers] him looking into the camera after visiting the original crime site is the director knowing that the real serial killer — never caught — would probably see this in the theatre. The character is looking at the serial killer. This is the director’s way of trying to get the real killer to finally confess..

BAD STUFF: The ending is going to piss off some people.

CONCLUSION: Very well done, and more interesting than I normally consider mysteries, especially [highlight for spoilers] considering that it never gets solved.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.1/10, Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 2.9/5 stars–I guess Netflix thinks we hate Korean films).

RECOMMENDATION: Worth checking out, if you can stand watching foreign films with subtitles.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Some say Zodiac is like this movie, but that’s probably a superficial comparison.

MOVIE QUOTE: “There’s a reason people say I have a shaman’s eyes.”

OTHERS’ RATINGS: A lot of people who liked Chan-Wook Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy listed this movie in their top 5 Korean movies ever. That’s how I heard about it — reading IMDB forums for Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy, and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance.

Quentin Tarantino put this in his top 20 favorite movies ever (#15).

Karl Hungus review.

Matt D says: “You’ve learned well young Skywalker. great flick. Check out Bong’s first film Barking Dogs Never Bite. Its a black comedy about an apt building where someone is stealing and eating the dogs.” (more…)

* I wish I were more selfish, that I cherish the desires of my self. I wish I were more prideful, that I value my own opinion instead of giving into that of others. I wish I were more wrathful, that I would take rightful offense against those who don’t respect that which is mine. I wish I were more gluttinous, that I trust in my body and keep it strong first. I wish I were more lustful, that I respect the call that sings in my blood. I wish I were more jealous, that I accept the example I see in others’ lives and use it to drive me to add more experience to my own life. And I wish I were the right TYPE of slothful, that I not work to fill another’s cup when it is my own that I ought to value more highly.

* It seems that all of what we call Virtues are traits that subvert and sublimate the individual to the Other, to let Them control us, use us, discard us. It seems all we call Vices are what keep us as ourselves.

* I seek no blissful non-existence dressed up as a Nirvana. I seek no dissolution of the Self in some Unity with some higher God. I have no wish to be lost in the crowd, no wish to be a cog in the machine, no wish to be a forgotten and overlooked and unimportant cell in some Body of some Christ.

–excerpted from Rev. Cyclohexane, but some of the finest shit I’ve ever read by anyone ever (more…)