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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Aren't fans the ones you DON'T punch in the face?

Part III of the Buyer's Guide will be up...when it is. Work stuff prevails, and all that. However, that's not going to stop, at the very least, a quick take on my end. Here's some titles for a future Amy Winehouse greatest hits album...provided her career (and her body) last long enough to justify one.
- Amy Winehouse's Greatest Hits

- Pull No Punches

- Through the Crack(s)

- Oh, Beehive

- No, No, No (which is what record execs should be saying to a greatest hits album at this point.)

- You Know That I'm No Good

And as a bonus, a title for the (probably not) future CD from her live performance at the Glastonbury Festival.

- Amy Winehouse: Live and Swinging

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kids Protest the Darndest Things

Part III of "A Buyer's Guide to Music" will be on its way shortly, but first I wanted to talk about something that really pissed me off today. Before I do though, I'd like to make a couple things clear...

- Yes, gas prices are teh suck.
- Yes, I do enjoy television.
- No, I do not hate all kids.

That having been said, this morning the bastion of cable news sensationalism decided to run a warm and fuzzy human interest story. That's right, Fox News is at it again.


It looks like we're being forced to endure yet another case of someone's kids doing something so precoious, so goddamned fucking precious, that the world has to see it otherwise it won't be as cute as it would have been just being seen by mommy, daddy, and the backwater hick town they belong to. Nope, the home of the Mormons, Salt Lake City, Utah; has produced yet another reason NOT to move to this god foresaken wasteland of humanity and entertainment: the kids are protesting gas prices.

Now, a good protest every now and then is fine and dandy. It's nice to see kids being motivated into doing something that should be for the betterment of humanity. But this is where little Sadie and Pyper (Pyper...with a Y? You're shitting me! Fucking trendy parents.) Vance got it wrong. Their big gripe is that their parents cancelled their cable television service. That's right, these little tikes (actually...tykes. Gotta use that Y, or else they aren't special!) are upset because Mommy has effectively barred them from Drake and Josh, Hannah Montana, The Jonas Brothers, and The Naked Brothers Band, in order to fill her tank with gasoline. Even more annoying, their signs have those misspellings that are seen as cute with children of a certain age, but look like a bleak sign of illiteracy in anyone over the age of five. Sadie's 9, Pyper is 7; so guess what? It looks like mommy and daddy should move to an actual state where the school system doesn't teach them that the Dinosaurs and Gays were all killed by God with a huge prehistoric meteor, but instead teaches them how to fucking read and write PROPERLY! (Extra LOL: The kids were said to have used campaign signs to make their little makeshift messages. How much do you want to bet they were McCain or Clinton signs they used?)

For fucking shame, these children are so deprived in this iPod, YouTube, "Vox Populi with their heads up their asses" society because THEY CAN'T WATCH CABLE! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo! I know EXACTLY what was going through those Fox News "reporters" minds when this happened..."Aww, how sweet is this? These kids are protesting the high gas prices everyone else hates, and can't do anything about. Maybe if we show a good closeup of these precious gems marching with their misspelt signs, we can get adults off their asses to do the same...or at the very least warm peoples hearts instead of freezing and removing them anytime Karl Rove shows his ugly assed face."Fox and Friends ran the story because, like every other morning "news" program, they're not interested in real news. They want the fluff pieces, they want the charming facts, they want the interview that makes M. Night Shymalan NOT look like a douchebag of epic proportions. They want to make you feel GOOOOOD. And how better to do that than to march these mutants on television and make them semifamous. Also, where were these kids when the big price hike started last summer, and the months before that? It's not like gas prices just all of a sudden jumped these past few months, this has been an almost two year pain in the ass we've all been dealing with, and now when the shit hits the fan and their parents cancel their cable TV, NOW they start to bitch about gas prices?

I think Mr. and Mrs. Vance should have sat their kids down, instead of put them on television. They should have looked them square in the face and said, "Look kids, you're part of a generation made up of mostly vapid dumbasses. It is the fault of us parents that you have turned out this way, because we grew up/"matured" in the 80's, the "Me" decade. We demanded so much of society and got so much from society, that we decided somewhere along the line that you should have that too. The only problem is instead of you fucking it up with drugs and sex, you've done it with the media and the internet. As a result, you've all become quite the enfranchised, entitled little shits, and we're going to put an end to it. We cancelled the cable, because we need to gas up. You can't go anywhere or do anything with out gas, and frankly you should be getting your fucking asses out into the real world anyway. Play with friends, read a book, swim in a lake for fucks sake. Christ, take an interest in the world around you before you're labeled as a gluttonous shitbag and take advantage of by the truly manipulative and intelligent people of your generation who'll surely hold office when you become of age. Think for yourself, we're not here to raise fucking sheep." That's just me though, and if I were saying that to my kids I wouldn't have swore as much, or made them sound like quite the Satan spawn.

Still, at least the biggest irony is that Fox News is on cable...so if mommy and daddy want to watch their little shits on the news, sitting comfortably in their laps as Fox and Friends exploits their little wholesome (but still childishly selfish) ways, they'd have to get someone else to tape it because they don't have cable. Mr. and Mrs. Vance, do yourselves a favor...keep your goddamn children off the television, and take them to see Wall-E, maybe the films message will strike a little humility into their (and your) PR minded skulls.

I'm Mr. Controversy, Satelite Dish FTW!

Rejected From Cracked!: A Buyer's Guide to Music, Part II: The "Best Of..." Album

Continuing the series I started on Wednesday (http://mrcontroversy.blogspot.com/2008/06/rejected-by-cracked-buyers-guide-to.html) I bring you Part II from the my Buyer's Guide to Music. Part III will arrive later this afternoon, followed (hopefully) by a rant on Gas prices.

The "Best Of..." Album

When it works...: The greatest hits album was...well, a hit. People loved it and they wanted more, literally they're writing in requests for songs they thought you greviously omitted from the original collection. That's bound to happen with a career spanning several decades, with hits charting in numerous holdings on the Billboard charts. There's just too many damn songs everyone loves from some of the biggest artists, that you pretty much HAVE to put out another albums worth of tunes. Yes, even a couple bad albums in order to keep up with the current musical trends (while keeping yourself relevant with the kids) cannot stop the "Best Of..." album from happening. "Best Of..." albums, if done right, can be showcase a more diverse (if not, completely successful) array of hits, and even in some cases will include live versions of the songs you love that were already on the last compilation.

Example: Frank Sinatra, Nothing But The Best

While it is VERY true that there is no shortage of Sinatra albums out there, the man has so much material that there is no such thing as the "definitive" single disc. With a career that spanned about fifty years, give or take a few, and so many hits that it makes the end of The Godfather look like Wall-E, you can infinitely repackage them into different compilations and yet not have too many complaints. A typical 20 song playlist holds a vast amount of combinations to display the work of his career, and you have enough choices that you can even put out a couple theme albums. (He has two love song compilations out there, which is more than most artists. Usually they stop at one and call it a night.) There's plenty of greatest hits and best of compilations for The Chairman, and there'll be plenty more because the mathematics are on his side.

When it gets ugly...: Ok, so not everyone that's hit the ten year plus mark in music deserves a "best of" Cd. In fact when your career revolves, for the most part, on a handful of hits, you really shouldn't be shitting on the goodwill of your fans by putting out ANOTHER compilation disc that includes the majority of the songs from the last compilation disc. If you haven't put in at least 20 years, or ten albums, worth of material out there, then frankly you should have been more careful with the greatest hits album. Fuck you, go home.

Example: The Eagles, The Best of the Eagles

Anyone who loves the Eagles has "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1985". Hell, that's one of the cassettes/CD's I can remember merely by the cover art, because my father LOVES the Eagles and he doesn't have this album. Why? Because if you look at the track listings, there's a massive overlap between the two, and on top of that there's songs on this album that should have fucking been on the first compilation in the first place. Who, tell me WHO, puts out an Eagles greatest hits compilation and fucking forgets Hotel California?! This just makes you feel stupid for buying the Greatest Hits album, and thus forces you to buy ANOTHER CD. Plus, this is an IMPORT CD, so you need to pay extra fucking money because France obviously LOVES the Eagles more than America.

Next Stop: The "Very Best Of..." album

Apologies for the slight delay

Got a little busy with work stuff yesterday, so I was unable to post Part II of the Practical Guide to Buying Music. Well, you'll get two entries of that today, plus a nice rant that's NOT about Hollywood for a change. However, I will do Hollywood a great service today (or at least attempt to) by putting out a message on their behalf...

Fucking go see Wall-E this weekend. Wanted can wait. Don't argue with me on this, goddamnit, gas is high and Wall-E deserves to be a hit. Just do it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"...and that stranger is Larry King"

This might be seen as sucking up, but I actually just read this article and figured I'd link to it because I enjoy Deus Ex Malcontent quite a bit, and think this is a pretty good interview. http://www.gelfmagazine.com/archives/insolence_is_bliss.php

P.S. Chez, I'm sorry I haven't purchased Dark Star Twilight yet. I'VE ABANDONED YOUR CHILD! I'VE ABANDONED YOUR GIRRRRLL! (Ok, nothing to be sorry about, but just had to throw in the reference there.)

P.P.S. To anyone who thought this was merely a post to suck up...fuck you. It's to suck up AND to plug Deus Ex Malcontent, in hopes of rocketing myself to some degree of Net Notoriety. Get it right!

"Nigger, cunt, faggot, Zigheil, Scientology, baby-rape and meh."

From Cracked's Michael Swaim, a fine tribute to George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television". Here's "Seven Words You Can't Say On The Internet".

Rejected By Cracked! : A Buyer's Guide to Music, Part I: The Greatest Hits Album

I'm a "contributor" to Cracked.com, and when I say "contributor" I say that I'm given the privilege to submit an idea that I have for an article into a forum where...everyone else has an idea too. It's very competitive, and what you write isn't always going to make it to print, or even get looked at. Case in point: I proposed an article called "A Buyer's Guide to Music", which was inspired by one of Esquire Magazine's "Rules" they publish in their magazine. I expanded the concept and fleshed it out into a full fledged article, and so far (the concept sample has been posted since June 6th) no one's even commented on it and it's only been looked at about 12 times (counting my pulling it up right now).

This isn't to sound bitter or anything, tons of better concepts have been greenlit and plus some times the material in question isn't up to the editorial standards of the people you're submitting to. There's numerous submissions and not all of them will make it, or even be commented on, which is pretty much what anyone sensible would expect. Nevertheless, I wanted to be able to publish these bits because I kinda like them, and sometimes I don't know what to write for the entry of the day. So, I decided instead of letting a perfectly good concept go to waste, I'll just post it here in installments. (If I didn't break it up, it'd be a massive post, and we all know that wouldn't be fun to slog through.) If this is a success (read: i'll end up doing this anyway, success or not, but the encouragement would be killer.) I will start posting some of my other material on Cracked.com that doesn't look like it'll ever see the light of their home page. (And yes, Oscar Movie is in there.) Without further ado, I give you...
A Buyer's Guide to Music

Esquire magazine has its own little set of "rules", and one of the "rules" in the June 2008 issue concerned music. The rule dictated a hierarchy of quality for compilation albums from the catalogs of musical artists.

- The "Greatest Hits" Album

- The "Best of" Album

- The "Very Best" of Album- The "Singles" Album

- The "Ultimate Collection" Album
The rule did not delve into any specific detail about why these releases are ordered the way they are, and forgot several categories that are equally as poisonous.

- The "Covers" or "A Tribute To..." album

- The "Comeback" album- The "Duets" album

- The "Box Set" album- The "Now That's What I Call Music" album

Every one of these albums can be deadly, if done incorrectly. Let's find out why in this guide for those who haven't mastered the arts of waiting, and/or downloading new tracks individually.

The Greatest Hits Album

When it works...: Greatest Hits Albums are concentrated AWESOME. They can take you through a musician/musical group's career effectively and remind you why you liked them in the first place. The memories of your favorite songs alone, plus the discovery of some songs you didn't know of or remember is worth the price of the CD alone. And the best part: If you're a HUGE fan of theirs, you can just bring this one CD in the car with you and not have to haul all "X" albums with you in the car, and constantly have to change the CD player to hear your favorite songs from all of them. If you're not a fan, but want to get acquianted with their music and don't know where to start, start with the Greatest Hits album so you can get a proper feel for their style. Simply, Greatest Hits albums are an almost perfect catalog of a band's history.

Example: The Rolling Stones, Forty Licks

This is a pretty kickassed CD, with the favorites of die hard fans (Beast of Burden), general music junkies (You Can't Always Get What You Want), and anyone who's played Guitar Hero (Paint It Black). These are the songs you hear in the Coke commercials, the episodes of House, and movies about the Devil or psychic posession. Plus, you get to hear songs people probably forgot about, but are still very good, like "Anybody Seen My Baby" or "Get Off Of My Cloud". You know, the songs you couldn't really fuck or get high to.

When it gets ugly...: As we've seen in the past (http://www.cracked.com/article_15714_9-most-unnecessary-greatest-hits-albums-all-time.htmlmost-unnecessary-greatest-hits-albums-all-time.html) not everyone deserves a greatest hits album. Some don't have enough material released to even warrant a Greatest Hits compilation. When you don't have enough material out there, you tend to rely heavily on a very limited past catalog, which leads to less diversity in the line up because they only have so many albums to pull songs from. This massive overlap almost eliminates the need to buy multiple albums from the artist's catalog, because their catalog could fit on a bar napkin, complete with track listing and average star rating and price on Amazon.com.

Example: Britney Spears, My Prerogative

With only four albums out at the time, still kinda hot, but still future trainwreck (or as she put it, "Not a girl, not yet a woman") Britney Spears had to resort to covers, remixes, and new material no one had heard yet. How is it a greatest hit if no one has heard you sing it before? How do we know it's not just some shitty filler track that's gonna make our ears bleed? Also, how is covering someone else's song on your "greatest hits" album a "greatest hit". It's certainly not your greatest hit, it's only the greatest hit to the person who sung it. So it has no place on your goddamn Greatest Hits album. Don't you know you're robbing Bobby Brown of his Coke money, bitch?

Tomorrow: The "Best Of" Album

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Baa Baa Charlie Blacksheep

It's amazing what people in politics will say. As you all probably know by now, McCain campaign strategist Charlie Black has been reported as saying that another attack on America would be a, "big advantage" to his campaign. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Politicians make their own personal gains off of the pains of the nation, but isn't this a little too transparent to work, much less too crass and insensitive to the fears of today?" Well, I look at you and say, "No."

Hey, whether you like it or not, this is a good strategy. It's reverse psychology! It's exactly what Bush used to get into office. It's going out there, looking the American public dead in the eyes and saying, "Yeah, I'm unfit to lead this country. What's it to you, pilgrim?". McCain is going to continue to blunder, mishandle things, and generally be a cranky old son of a bitch, and it's going to work.

The American public doesn't want to be told the truth, it wants to be lied to like the dirty, dirty whore it is. That's why we love our tabloids, think country music should be the basis for our domestic and foreign policy, and make movies like Disaster Movie and Sex in the City number one at the box office. We're not a nation of thinkers, hell no. We're a nation of flash and pizazz. If you don't got the grin to win, then you ain't gonna win, Jim. It worked for W, and it'll sure as hell work for McCain.
How long is the Republican party going to let itself be represented as the Keystone Kops in the media? How long are they going to stick to the same stupid assed rhetoric that may have gotten them elected before, but has also gotten them into a world of trouble and turned them into the hugest political pariah this side of Judas Iscariot. (Those goddamn Republicans won't listen to you unless you throw them some scripture with their truth.)

The rhetoric in question is simple: "Fuck the public, we have an image to maintain. We're protecting all of your asses from the terrorists who are just baying at the doors of this great nation, and if you don't like how we protect you then move to Canada, you fucking Commie! And if one of our guys screws up on the job, and says or does something stupid, we're not gonna fire him just because YOU think we should. We'll fire him when we're damn well good and ready."

This is the rhetoric that lost the Republicans control of Congress in the 2006 midterm election. If they had just fired Rumsfeld a little earlier, and managed some spin control, like they always do, than they might not have had their asses handed to them by anything as strong as a stiff breeze. This die hard, "we're always right, and we're always looking out for you", attitude has got to stop. I mean, it's even unattractive in Democrats. Just look at Hillary Clinton's campaign for the candidacy this year, that's all the proof you need.

The American people are so wary of politics because of the same reason they're wary of celebrities...they always get away with whatever they do. No matter what happens or what allegations are made, as long as you have the right friends, you're never brought to task. Punishment is for the commoners, the underprivileged, because it keeps them in line. But if you've made it to a certain point of society, then you don't have to worry. All it takes is a pat on the back, some greased palms, maybe a conciliatory gesture like going to rehab or community service, but sure enough you'll be back on the campaign/awards season trail in no time.
With that, I present to you the five things that (probably) have to happen, in order for the American Public to regain faith in the system...

5. O.J. Simpson is tried, and found guilty of obstruction of justice and evading police custody...by lying his ass off and having his lawyers back him up. The surviving members of the "Dream Team" will be codefendants, and unless they've published at least TWO "mea culpas" explaining their regret for defending O.J., then they will be found automatically guilty. All will be sentenced to life without chance for a Larry King interview...and their sentence will be served on the Moon.

4. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Yes, I'm still on that. You're gonna have to get used to it, because you'll be hearing about them a lot before August gets here.) are kicked out of Hollywood after their film, Disaster Movie, generates the worst reviews of the year.

- "After watching Disaster Movie, I feel like watching The Love Guru fifty times a day for the rest of my life. Fucking clown shoes!" - Massawyrm, Ain't It Cool News
- "A film with the attention span of a butterfly and the subtext of a Denny's placemat, Disaster Movie is the equivalent of two people standing in front of you, reenacting your favorite scenes from your favorite trailers, and looking at the audience just BEGGING for a laugh." - Dustin Rowles, Pajiba.com

- "Seltzer and Friedberg must have been the two of six Scary Movie writers who sat in the corner and played Paper Football, while calling each other various derivations of the term"fag" and seeing who's farts smelt the worst. Strangely enough, this is what made it through the "Notes" phase of their script's production." - Mr. Controversy, MrControversy.Blogspot.com

- "Call me crazy, but I kinda liked it. It wasn't perfect, but I think it contained....WHAHAAAUUUGH (sound of symbyotic parasite controlling Roger Ebert's thoughts, thus clouding his mind and judgement, separating itself from his mind and dying.)... a warning that our pop obsessed culture should learn from its choices and demand better product. I hated, HATED this movie!" - Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com

The two former scourges of Hollywood now sleep in the alley, turning tricks for food, and seeing who's farts smell worse.

3. Britney Spears retires from showbusiness to raise her kids...after a healthy stay in a proper rehab center, run by none other than Kiefer Sutherland. (This is in no way a comment on Mr. Sutherland's sobriety, I just think he could Bauer Britney into sobriety herself...think of it as Scare Straight meets 24.)

2. Paris Hilton is involved in an accident due to her own incompetance (she forgets how to order a cheeseburger) that claims her life.

1. Senator Barack Obama wins the presidency by a landslide in November. He selects his cabinet, and includes Alan Arkin, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, Dennis Haysbert, Hugh Laurie, William Shatner, James Spader, Candace Bergen, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Mr. Controversy. (What departments they're all secretary of, I'll leave to you all.)

So, Senator McCain, if you want to make America happy and give yourself a chance to be president, either make all five of those things happen or clean up your act and resign. I promise that if that happens, you can be president...of my fan club. Until next time, I'm Mr. Controversy, and please, blog safely.

A Lesson to be Learned

From IMDB:

"Aaron Seltzer and writing partner Jason Friedberg have written a biopic of "Liberace" which they sold in January of 1999. It's still deep in development. They've also written and sold several other spoof comedy scripts, such as; "Raunchy Movie" and "Remembering the Titans On Any Given Sunday Gives Me The Varsity Blues". They've also completed adaptations of "Little Green Men" and "The Year Without Santa Claus", plus "H.R. Pufnstuf" and a draft of "Scary Movie 3: Episode I - Lord of the Brooms". All scripts are currently stuck in development."

Lesson to be learned: If you keep trying, and working hard, you'll eventually just annoy the fuck out of everyone. At least if you're Friedberg and Seltzer. And to think...these assholes wrote Spy Hard, which was actually a funny movie! Until I find a subject other than these two numbskulls to write about, consider this your lazy post of the day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Time Takes Us All..."

Waking up this morning, I turned on the news to find that one of my teenage idols, comedian George Carlin, had passed away this weekend. It was a sucky feeling to wake up to, but one that is sadly all to prevalant in the news, with so many passings of celebrities in the last few weeks.
Everyone has their story to tell about the first time they listened to George Carlin. Everyone remembers that first album, that first belly laugh, and the first joke of his that stuck in your mind so much that everytime you heard it, it still brought you to tears with laughter. I'll never forget the profound impact George Carlin had on me, and the first time I listened to one of his comedy albums. A friend of mine back in high school played segments from "Jammin In New York" and "What the Hell Am I Doing in New Jersey?" in the library the one day, while we were hanging out before classes. His material on the first Iraq War, the Regan Administration, and general everyday life was so funny to me, mainly because he had the most creative use of profanity, along with a general sense of discomfort with modern society. When you're in High School, you're either a popular kid who loves how the system works, or you're an unpopular kid who wants to shake the system to its very core and do it with a smile on your face.
George Carlin made me very much proud of my outcast station in life.
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge his passing. After some time in rehab, Mr. Carlin (or George, as he'd probably be demanding to be referred as) seemed to be doing ok. He went into the hospital yesterday complaining of chest pains, and not long after died of heart failure. Some would say it's fitting...that his comedy displayed a lack of heart or soul or concern for his fellow man. I say that's bullshit. Yes, his message was vulgar, crude, and sometimes bitter, but it was because he was one of those people who knew what the world was once like, and he demanded better. He demanded better from the politicians who were ripping off the little guy, he demanded more from the general public who were smug in their hipness and "political correctness", he demanded more from religion and its figures, who are all to happy to stand idly by and say "faith prevails" when shit goes down.
He didn't care for the sycophants, the phonies, and the manipulators in the world. He DID however care for people who knew better or who didn't know better, anyone who wasn't the cause of the ills of the world. He cared for those who wished things were better, and became a voice for a generation that was fed up with the Establishment and its constraining rules. He defied the FCC, he defied "conventional wisdom", and he came up with aces in the end. His material, no matter how vitrolic or bitter, taught (and will continue to teach) people to ask for more from those in power, and to tell them right to their face when they were wrong, as opposed to cowering in a corner and muttering to themselves. Whatever the case, he may not have believed in God or Heaven, but if they do indeed exist, he's there and he's making them all laugh.
Rest in Peace, George Carlin. May a worthy successor take your mantle, and lead a new generation, to dare to ask for only the best the world can give them.

Ten Reasons You Should Have Seen Get Smart This Weekend

10-8: Anne Hathaway. I don't care about the age difference, her and Steve Carell worked well together. And, as always, she's in that category of "classy hot".

7. The movie is extremely quotable. Some of my favorites include: - "Would you believe, Chuck Norris with a BB gun?"
- "...If you were thinking "Holy shit, holy shit, the swordfish almost went through my head", then yes."
- "...We don't jam staples in people's heads. That's CIA crap!"

6. The supporting cast is hysterical. I'm eagerly awaiting the Bruce and Lloyd direct to DVD movie. Score 1 for the tech geeks.
5. It blended parts of the aesthetic of Alias with the original Get Smart, and on top of that it referenced the original without going overboard.

4. Patrick Warburton's cameo at the end.

3. Steve Carell's Maxwell Smart isn't a complete bumbler, but still manages to trip up where it counts. Still, it was good to see a "spyfish out of water" movie where it didn't depend on him being a complete idiot, only to unrealistically win the day at the end.

2. The theme song. Always will be, and always has been, awesome. The revamp is quite nice.

1. The Chief kicks major ass. Alan Arkin stole all of his scenes, and frankly, I'd like to see The Chief go out on more missions. Bravo for breaking the stereotype of having a kick assed boss and just letting him sit behind a desk the whole film. (Think we could get a gun in Judi Dench's hand for Bond 23? I want to see her clip some bad guys. Just asking is all.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pairity, Volume 2

Point: A tried and true formula, updated for today without sacrificing its past incarnation, as well as throwing in nods to its origins.

Counterpoint: A tried and true formula, rehashed yet again with a new ethnicity to mock, and the same old dick, shit, and midget jokes used in other projects of the like.

Advantage: Would you believe, Point, by $25.2 million? Congratulations to Get Smart for showing that there's still people who know the difference between right and wrong choices at the movies. Let's hope they know what they're doing and show up to theaters on August 29th and strike a blow for the movie going public...

Friedberg, Seltzer, it's on. I'm gathering some forces, and I'm going to show that there's still intelligence in the world. There are other, better movies being released on the same date as yours, and I'm going to educate everyone I can on them. Even if you hit number 1, it'll be out of people's desperation. You're being released in AUGUST, the beginning of the second shit movie season of the year. If anyone had confidence in your product, you'd be released either between May and July or Novemeber and January. Your success is in most part due to lack of competition. Well you're not as lucky this time. We succeeded with M. Night Shyamalan, we succeeded with Mike Meyers, and you're next. This world deserves a better class of blockbuster...and I'm gonna show it to them. So now, I have one huge question for everyone out there who's reading...

Who's with me?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bring it the fuck on...

If you're seeing Get Smart this weekend (WHICH YOU SHOULD! I'll give you ten reasons tomorrow.) you're going to see the Disaster Movie trailer. Jesus fuck, did it hurt. They're stooping to making fun of movies before they even SEE them, just going by the trailers. Sex and the City and Hancock are BOTH featured in the film, as well as a stupid fucking gag from Zohan, only executed by Juno! Three out of those four movies were IN PRODUCTION around the same time as this one. They weren't even in theaters when this shit happened, unless they seriously just shoot this shit three months before release. It's an aneurysms crossed with a heart attack, multiplied by a tax audit. OH, and while we're at it, I totally fucking called the Juno bit in a little parody of "movie" movies I wrote, Oscar Movie. (I'll publish the script if anyone is interested in reading it.)

Anyway, that's not the evil, glee inducing half of it...it's being released in August. That's right, the big boys behind the retardation of American Cinema are going to be making their first summer release. And all I can say is this...


I don't care what I have to do, I'm going to undermine this film as much as I can. This is not going to be forgiven, forgotten, or even accepted. It HAS to stop.

Until next time, I'm Mr. Controversy. Let the mayhem begin.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Harlan Ellison, Professional Ass Kicker

One sad note before we begin, legendary actress and dancer Cyd Charisse passed away yesterday. The woman who danced with not only Gene Kelly, but Fred Astaire as well, danced her way into the hearts of many a moviegoer in Hollywood's Golden Age. I'll never forget her pas de deux in Singin' In The Rain with Gene Kelly. Rest in peace, Ms. Charisse.

I'm sorry to follow something so somber with something so bitter, but it's for the public's own good...

Harlan Ellison is a fucking genius. I might be one of the "amateurs" who's trying to undercut the professionals (unintentionally, I assure you) but you have to respect a writer who's done as much as he has and talks like THIS to the Hollywood system. This is a short clip from a film done about Mr. Ellison, "Dreams with Sharp Teeth" and boy if this doesn't make me want to search this out, I don't know what will.

This much I know, this is the guy I want to grow up to be. Brilliant and respected, but with enough edge and balls that I know what's best for me while helping others. Warning: this video is extremely quotable, and you're going to probably want some stationary, t-shirts, or plaques made up with the genius that is Harlan Ellison. Just pay him first before you do anything...you might not like him burning your house to the ground.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In Memoriam: Goodbye Stan Winston...

God damn it! Not too long after the passing of Tim Russert, the world has lost yet another respected craftsman, visual effects pioneer and all around awesome guy Stan Winston. If you're a kid of the 80's like me, or if you're just a huge fan of 80's-90's movies, then you're more than familiar with Mr. Winston's work. Terminator, Aliens, Predator, Jurassic Park. Those are just a few of the movies that his Oscar winning/nominated work has graced, mastering not only practical effects, but also blending them with CGI effects so that there's only a seemless, awesome presentation. He was scheduled to start work on Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, and had been fighting a battle with Cancer that hadn't been heavily publicized.

And now, his valiant fight has come to an untimely end. Everyone from James Cameron to Frank Darabont has poured their hearts out on Aint It Cool News, reflecting on a great man and his passion for his work and fast cars. (You can find that article here: http://aintitcool.com/node/37106) What hurts so god damn much about this is I knew Stan Winston's work. Growing up as a movie geek, I knew he was behind the scenes of some of my most feared nightmares. He scared the shit out of me with robots, he scared the shit out of me with aliens, he even managed to make the Predator the ugly motherfucker he's always been. Most recently, he helped make the world believe a man could fly again with his work on Iron Man.

But he also made me, and many others, believe in dinosaurs living in our time. He made a whole new generation want to study, or in other cases (mine) want to be, dinosaurs. Even his work on A.I. wasn't scary, but equally disturbing and heartbreaking, and he made only true geeks want a Super Toy Teddy. His work ethic was to bring practical effects in whenever possible, and to bridge the gap between CGI and actual reality so you couldn't really see it. If he had worked on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Jar Jar Binks may not have existed, or if he did he wouldn't have been so cartoony looking.

Stan Winston didn't use effects as an excuse, he used them as an enhancement. He proved that imagination is a powerful thing, and used the right way you could bring people places they never even dreamed of. He proved that if you actually give a shit about your work, and did it the right way, you could get everything you could want out of life by just showing up to work in the morning and going back to your family at night. He will sorely be missed. Stan Winston, you are a boyhood hero of mine, and may you rest in peace.

If anyone is interested, apparently this is a photo album of some personal photos from Mr. Winston's photo collection. http://tinyurl.com/5jrk7u The password is "mainstreet". If there's an appropriate tribute to a great man's work, then this is it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Memoriam: Goodbye Tim Russert...

This past Friday, the world of Journalism lost a great man. One of the last journalists anyone could call friend, Tim Russert, collapsed in his office and died of a heart attack at age 58. His son had just graduated college, and his passing was even more untimely, seeing as it was the Friday before Father's Day and Russert had two best selling books about the rewards and virtues of fatherhood.

I did not know the man personally, nor was I a regular viewer of Meet The Press, so some might think my paying tribute to him is hypocritical, nothing more than me jumping on a news story. I think that opinion is wrong, because as someone who has admired what journalism stood for in its golden age (and what it could stand for these days if it had more discipline and less flash) I have to say that I admire Tim Russert for what I know of him. He was dedicated to his family, he covered the news as well as anyone like Bill O'Reilly should aspire to, and he is remembered fondly by his collegues and the news watching crowd.

It is truly a shame that journalism has lost Tim Russert, but there are two greater shames: that the world has lost a truly great man, and that a young son has lost his father. My condolences to his family, however small they may seem in the scope of all the condolences that have come before and will come after, are nonetheless sincere. Rest in Peace, Tim.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Abusive Relationship with Hollywood, Episode 4 (Epilogue): Roger Ebert, WHAT THE FUCK?! or "This really fucking pains me to do this..."

One of the only critics I've ever agreed with, for as long as I can remember, is none other than the iconic Roger Ebert. I was a huge Siskel and Ebert fan when I was a kid, and I've even gotten used to Richard Roeper filling the seat that long held the man who was so dedicated to movies that he bought John Travolta's leisure suit from Saturday Night Fever. My girlfriend even shoots back at me, "Thank you very much, Mr. Ebert", when I criticize a movie. Put briefly, Roger Ebert has been my hero in film criticism.

Which saddens me even more to think that maybe, he's lost his mind. While trolling for news on The Happening and its impending cultural damages, I came upon the fact that Roger Ebert gave the movie I plan to watch as a comedy THREE STARS. He even said:
"What I admire about "The Happening" is that its pace and substance allowed me to examine such thoughts, and to ask how I might respond to a wake-up call from nature. Shyamalan allows his characters space and time as they look within themselves."(http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080612/REVIEWS/545929629)

Ok...one movie. I can't agree with him on everything, and I will give him that. After all, he hated Resident Evil Apocalypse and I thoroughly enjoyed it as a:

"big popcorn-y spectacle that featured a Jill Valentine so hot, I needed to remove my clothing during the showing I was at."

(Ok, I didn't really say that, but it was quite a fun movie. Clothing on and all. I swear.)

But then, while looking at his website, I stumbled upon his review for "You Don't Mess With The Zohan", which opened:

"The crowd I joined for "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" roared with laughter, and I understand why. Adam Sandler's new comedy is shameless in its eagerness to extract laughs from every possible breach of taste or decorum, and why am I even mentioning taste and decorum in this context? This is a mighty hymn of and to vulgarity, and either you enjoy it, or you don't. I found myself enjoying it a surprising amount of the time, even though I was thoroughly ashamed of myself. There is a tiny part of me that still applauds the great minds who invented the whoopee cushion." (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080605/REVIEWS/806050306)


You mean all of this?! You mean you didn't print either of those without at least once laughing to yourself, thinking "this is total horseshit, but let's see what everyone thinks"? You seriously weren't under any drugs or weren't just having an off day at the movies? Wow. Roger Ebert, what the fuck happened to you?

I am not happy in making the accusation that Roger Ebert has lost his shit, but I am indeed saying that Roger Ebert may have lost some of his shit after his surgery. I do not hate the man by any means, in fact he still is an idol to me in film criticism. Hell, he likes Dark City as much as I do, if not more, and he's done commentary for the damn movie twice. We both loved Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and we both abhorred

But he hated "21", calling it:

"...nearly as much fun as watching an insurance professional compute actuarial tables."

But perhaps one of the biggest divides in the opinion of Roger Ebert and myself is that of "Speed Racer".

Ebert: "Speed Racer" is a manufactured widget, a packaged commodity that capitalizes on an anthropomorphized cartoon of Capitalist Evil in order to sell itself and its ancillary products. Corporate partners in the venture include General Mills, McDonald's, Mattel, Topps, LEGO and Target, who have furnished no promotional consideration for mention in this review.

Myself: "This movie is one giant cartoon, a living, breathing, amazingly entertaining cartoon. It's a film heavily dependent on your inner child, and whether or not they're stuck at summer camp for eternity, or if they're sitting in the living room reading comics and drawing cool designs for rocketships. I don't have to tell you which one will enjoy the film more...when Speed raced through the final finish line, in a brilliant explosion of light and sound, there were no words for how amazing it was."

I'm sorry...I really, really respect Roger Ebert, especially now that he's working through his recouperation from his surgery, which has helped him curbstomp cancer so far, but this is just...frightening. One of the most respected critics actually gave an M. Night Shyamalan film past Signs a positive rating. I mean, Roger fucking Ebert, the same man who said about Lady In the Water:

"The key to deciphering M. Night Shyamalan's fractured fairy tale, "Lady in the Water," is to remember that it is rooted in the mythology of Stephen Colbert and "The Colbert Report." It is a warning to Mankind about the dire threat posed by ferocious topiary bears in America today, and a salute to the gigantic, soaring eagle who swoops in to rescue Wet Ladies from pitiless ursine jaws and claws. Colbert oughtta sue. As a bonus, there's a naked water nymph and some angry tree monkeys with mohawks... You think I'm making this up? No, but I wonder why Shyamalan felt he needed to, given the half-hearted way he's presented his sodden fairy tale in this movie." (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060720/REVIEWS/60720002/1023)

He gave that film one and a half stars, which was a step up from The Village's one star, which was earned by being, "...a colossal miscalculation, a movie based on a premise that cannot support it, a premise so transparent it would be laughable were the movie not so deadly solemn." (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040719/REVIEWS/40719002/1023)

I don't care how deathly solemn it is, I'm going to see The Happening and I'm going to LAUGH!

All of these reviews aside, I still maintain respect for Roger Ebert, and I will not completely write him off as out of his gourd just yet. But I will say this, if he doesn't like Wall-E...I might just have to reevaluate my opinion of his movie criticisms.
I'm Mr. Controversy, and it looks like Roger Ebert might be teaming up with Chuck the Movie Guy to kick my ass.

My Abusive Relationship With Hollywood, Episode 4: M. Night Shyamalan's The Crappening or M. Night's Career Has Nuked The Fridge

For some reason, Adult Swim's video links are being retarded, and where there should be a video, there's a big fucking eyesore. So instead of embedding the video, I'm going to include the actual link to the video below where it actually should be. Fucking technology! (Thanks to Chris L., my soul has been restored.)

Yesterday, Chez over at Deus Ex Malcontent reposted a past entry of his blasting "auteur" M. Night Shyamalan, in "celebration" of his new "film" The Happening. (You can find it here:
http://www.deusexmalcontent.com/2008/06/short-attention-span-theater-welcome-to.html) In the comments field, I had posted, at least what I thought, was a funny comment about the story, in which Mr. Pazienza mocks Mr. Shyamalan's prose and filming style:

"Mr. Controversy said...
Very clever...but where's the twist? Might I suggest...

- his career died before it even started.
- his weakness is water. (This counts twice, seeing as he used it twice.)
- "Night" is really the monsters, and he's living in his own dream world concocted willingly from his own mind.
- M. Night Shymalan is from another world...a world where Uwe Boll is apparently God.
- He watches his latest movie, which causes him to kill himself.

What's scarier: the fact that those twists are lifted from his films, or that they oddly fit?(except for the last one, that's just wishful thinking.)"

For the record, I don't think James Newton Howard is that bad of a composer, but one could say that the style of the music he submits to an M. Night Shyamalan movie is very fitting of the movie...something that's always a different variation on the same old theme. In the case of Mr. Shyamalan, here is his process:

- Drop the viewer, in media res, into a brand new situation and let them start to ask themselves questions and become intrigued, as they follow the characters (who represent the audience) through the film.

- Introduce some dark and ominous happenings that challenges the viewer/characters into figuring out its purpose and its origins.

- Have your character go through some sort of transformation that makes them a better, more ideal person. BECAUSE THAT'S WHY ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING...THEY ARE A WICKED PERSON AND THEY NEED TO CHANGE!

- Oh, and don't forget...

Here's how those of use who can cut through his bullshit see it:

- Drop your unlucky bastard of a viewer into a situation without any prior explanation, because you don't have the skill to completely set it up without fucking it up. (Besides, people LOVE ambiguity. It helps them believe they "thought" through your picture.)

- Introduce some bullshit monster/event/happening that fools the viewer into taking every red herring you drop for them and making them think it's a clue.

- Have your character go through some sort of transformation that makes them a better, more ideal person. BECAUSE THAT'S WHY ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING...THEY ARE A WICKED PERSON AND THEY NEED TO CHANGE!

- And of course, we can't forget...

That's not to say I've hated every movie of his. I actually enjoyed Signs somewhat, and Unbreakable was his best film to date. (The one that, ironically, would have been a trilogy.) Unfortunately, M. Night is a one trick pony, on top of being a complete narcissist. His one trick..the "twist"ending.

Malcolm Crowe was dead, Mr. Glass was a supervillain, Graham finds his faith again and Merrill swings away, The Village was really some rich white people's way of living in a world without modern convenience/guilt/violence, The Lady In The Water prophecizes M. Night Shyamalan's "influence" and assassination, and The plants are the villains. If you need a reason to see an M. Night Shyamalan movie, I've just taken that away from you. His twists are ones that aren't really all that impressive, and he always...ALWAYS has a part in his films.

Lady In The Water was his shark jumper though, and even I could see that without seeing it. Instead of a simple one scene cameo like he ALWAYS does at some critical juncture in his films, he's a MAIN FUCKING CHARACTER! And not only that, he's an author who not only "wins one for the little guys" against a bitchy critic, but also will write something that'll inspire hope and peace in the world...too bad the fucker gets clipped before he sees his influence on everyone. This was the movie Disney wouldn't even buy, and they made the fucking Shaggy Dog remake! So, what does M. Night do when someone isn't interested in his "fairy tale for Adults"? Does he go back to the drawing board and rewrite the script so maybe he'll have a better shot at selling it to Disney, further strengthening a preexisting business relationship? Nope. Does he try to polish the script and sell it elsewhere? Half right. Does he take the same fucking shit one of the biggest studios in the world passed on, and sell it to a new, more gullible partner?

I don't know, why don't you ask Warner Brothers, they'd know better than me.

Lady in the Water was M. Night's biggest flop EVER...well, until the jury weighs in on The Happening. It's not just "snobby" film critics either, most movie goers seem to be adverse to our friend's brand of "suspense", or what passes for it when 24's not on the air. (Though, Sex and the City did score a number 1 opening weekend, so if they'll go to see that I'm sure there will be people interested in The Happening. I pray that these two groups do not intermingle and breed.) Sadly, as I may have pointed out before, I might have to ride the bomb on this one and go see it. My girlfriend is interested in it, seeing as she was a big fan of The Village, which goes to show that even intelligent, well minded people like my wonderful girlfriend, have been duped by this man's machinations.

However, some people's tastes just aren't refined enough to punch this guy's lights out for making shitty movies, and instead they pretty much do all but blow him on camera. This interview from Chuck the Movie Guy is hysterical proof of such an incident. It's such a circle jerk for both men involved, but then again the Internet is good for such things. "Night" gets to flaunt his "process", while Chuck gets to actually sit down with a "Hollywood elite" without anyone even knowing who the fuck he is. (How do these people do it?!) Though, like any good circle jerk, it's hard not to get any on someone else and not have them be offended. Chuck the Movie Guy, Mr. Shayamarama, you've both gotten some of your filth on me and I feel dirty. I must destroy you both now. The bullshit needs to stop. Openly ridicule him, make sure he knows that if he keeps making movies, we'll keep laughing at them. THIS MAN IS NOT TALENTED! He talks about the power of storytelling, and he can't remember his own fucking story! Maybe then we'll be rid of the great menace that is M. Night Shyamalan. Until then, laugh it up! The Happening looks like the comedy hit of the year!
"My movies are not like Hollywood movies." No, they're MUCH shittier. May you share a cell with Uwe Boll...in Hell.
Until next week, I'm Mr. Controversy, and I'm hoping Chuck the Movie Guy doesn't come looking for me, because he looks like he could rape me in my sleep and have no remorse afterwards. Plus, he looks like he'd be a challenge in a fight.

Oh, and dear readers, the twist of this article...I kept using the word happening on purpose, and putting any derivation of the word happening in bold, so people would just happen to realize that this happens to be mocking the new M. Night Shyamalan film...The Last Airbender. What-a-twist!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Abusive Relationship with Hollywood, Episode 4 (prologue): Mister Night

Look at this face. Look at it. It says "Oh, you know you'll see my movie. My reputation preceeds me and you know you'll be sorry for it. You know I'm a magnet for shit and you'll go into my movie thinking "What's he done this time?". Either way, I'm rich, and you're not."

You know what I say? Fuck him. Go see the movie. Go see The Happening. Only, instead of seeing it alone, go with some like minded friends. Go, see the movie, and MOCK THE SHIT OUT OF IT! Don't sit quietly and let your mind slip, fight back. Make rude comments. Laugh at inopportune moments. Do whatever you have to to subvert this bastard's work. Let's show M. Night that his films are good for only one thing...MST3K fodder!

And if you take my advice, please, post some interesting stories in the comments box. We all want this bastard to fry, so let's turn up the flame.

For those of you interested, tomorrow's column is going to be about this hack's career and how it relates to My Abusive Relationship with Hollywood. I'm Mr. Controversy, and until next time, go see The Happening.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pain In The Ads or The Bottom Left Corner of the Screen is a Whore

I had been told about this "radical" new ad strategy TBS has employed to promote the Bill Engvall show, and frankly I'm surprised there isn't a boycott on TBS as we speak.

Imagine, you're watching your favorite episode of Family Guy, and it gets to that really funny Mort Goldman part. You're ready to watch and laugh, when all of a sudden, THIS happens...
(Note: Bonus Annoyance Points go to The Love Guru...for fucking existing ten years after it'd actually be considered funny!)

WHAT IN THE GREAT NAME OF JESUS FREDERICK HORATIO CHRIST WAS WHAT?! Bill Engvall is going to pause the fucking show I'm watching right now (you know, the one I'm actually interested in) so he can go and talk about HIS goddamn show (you know, the one I actually DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT!) I don't care if you can start and stop any show you damn well please, so I can see your sister and you flaunt your inbred family tree! I really don't want to see you and your illegitimate spawn when I'm trying to laugh. You don't make me laugh, in fact in the Northern parts of the country you make hardly anyone laugh. So do me all a favor, get off the fucking television, take your family with you, and let me watch Family Guy in peace, or so help me I (and the American public) will take a run at you like Larry The Cable Guy at a bikini contest.

It's no secret, cable networks have been getting pushier and pushier with their advertising. At first, they put their logo on the bottom of the screen. I get the purpose of that. People don't know if they're watching Sci Fi HD when they're flipping channels and haven't memorized the channel line up, plus at least it was transparent or small enough that it didn't obscure anything in the program. So, the bottom right hand corner of the screen was claimed.

Apparently, that wasn't good enough. The left hand corner was bare, and the cable networks again had a great idea: let's put up the name of the program our viewers are watching. Again, if you're flipping through the channels and haven't memorized the cast of The Mummy by now, it's nice to know that the networks are kind enough to say, "Hey, we're in the middle of The Mummy. You want to watch it with us?"

Then, things took a turn for the worse. The lower left hand corner of the screen became a slave for advertising, the first step being advertising other shows on the same network. USA, TNT, TBS...all three have little graphics that pop up after a commercial break (because we REALLY want more commercials when we go back to the actual program we're sitting down to watch!) advertising other shows or their own website, or sometimes other products sponsoring the program currently on.

As if this wasn't bad enough, everyone has their own special way of letting us know what else we should be watching. USA will sometimes have their characters stumble into frame, do something very "in character", and then show us the name and time of said show. This is after, and only after they tell us what we're watching now, and then later. The most annoying display though, was when they showed the Indiana Jones trilogy the weekend before the movie opened. While watching Last Crusade, the bottom left hand of the screen would come up with what was on, what was going to be on, an ad for a new show, AND the icing on the cake, an ad telling me I could buy the Indiana Jones DVD rerelease in stores that Tuesday. La-di-fucking-da, I already own the movies!

TNT does this Rolodex like thing, where it shows you what's on, flips a page, shows you what's coming on, flips a page, and stops on one transparent graphic telling us the suggested show that they just rolodexed us into hearing about. TBS does the Rolodexing too, but also tells us about their website full of games, info, show schedules, etc. USA has adopted plugging its website, games, etc. when I'm trying to fucking watch House reruns.

What's the final phase of this trend going to be? They could sell off the top corners of the screen and start to advertise with those. Or even worse, you're about to watch a classic movie on television. It may be something you've seen, it might be a new experience. You settle down, you turn on the TV and sure enough it starts without fail. All of a sudden, the stars turn to you and start cramming the finest new shows from the network of choice down your throat. THEN, the movie starts again, but there's a split screen view with one half showing the movie and one half showing clips, interviews, and what have you, all to do with that other show. Plus, the soundtrack is split into two channels. Those who want to watch Casablanca, sit on the right side of the screen. Those who want to hear about fucking Bill Engvall, sit to the left. Guess which side is going to have the Cyanide Kool Aid and rabid attack dog?

I know cable networks are trying to be successful, but frankly when you stoop to huge stunts that interrupt the show people are currently watching...that's just enough to cancel my cable subscription and rent your stupid show on DVD. I'm watching your network already, if you want to sell me on another show, then sell it to me properly goddamnit. Stop advertising during the actual show portion of the show. If feel you didn't use your commercial block to its fullest potential, plan your commercial blocks more wisely then. Don't take out your financial inadequacies on me.

Lewis Black agrees with me, and I agree with him on the news crawl bit he did on CNN. What annoys the shit out of you on network/cable TV? The comments board is open, and it is your friend. Until next time, I'm Mr. Controversy...how much does it cost to buy ad space in the top left corner?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Escaping The Flood

Earlier, I had written a rant about my then current lot in corporate life. ("I believe you have my" Life") In it, I talked about my misfortunes in finding a new job and the seemingly unceremonious end to the job I currently hold. Well, I'm happy to say I've been brought onto the very ark I was building. Things are in process for me to join the new company by the end of the summer. Even though I bitched about being left behind, I feel bad about it now because I've been taken back into the fold. (Plus I'm trying to cover my ass and make sure no one thinks I'm ungreatful for this opportunity.)

Whether I had this new job lined up or not, it's been an interesting almost year. (My anniversary here is June 25th.) I've met new people, had corporate ups and downs, and it's been quite an experience. Making contacts, learning the business, and having those days where I didn't even want to leave the warmth of my bed. It's the experience any of us have had with our jobs, but it's those very experiences that make us grow as people. They make us strive for excellence and make us go out there and find what we really want in life, while at the same time helping us remember that what we have for now isn't so bad either.

Like the song says, "you can't always get what you want." Until I can, I'm going to enjoy getting what I need.

"Like a blind man at an orgy, I was going to have to feel things out."

Writer block has stricken me temporarily, as it does in the morning, but until I come up with something funny, behold...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pairity, Volume 1

Point: The bigger the Bible, the more God loves you.

Counterpoint: Not even song, dance, and superstition can save you from an asswhooping, especially when delivered by a complete fucking psychopath.

Advantage: Counterpoint, via a bowling pin.

P.S. I am the third revelation.

My Abusive Relationship with Hollywood, Episode 3: Redefining "Disaster" or, "THIS is all it takes to sell a movie these days?"

I don't know about the rest of you, but I had a wonderful weekend. After my family's early celebration for my grandfather's impending 7oth birthday, Danielle and I left for an overnight in Egg Harbor. We stayed at a nice hotel, had a great breakfast the next day, and dealt with the somewhat sweltering heat as we walked through Smithville's various shops. It was a great weekend, good enough that I wasn't dreading work too much. I was content with the illusion of a Monday with out the world hammering me over the head with its stupidity.

Boy, the Internet sure is good for ruining even one's simplest expectations.

Watch and burn. Burn in the hellfire that is Dreamworks Animation's latest grab at parent's money. Yes, from the studio that inflicted the Shrek franchise and the probably soon to be franchised Kung Fu Panda, comes this fall's greatest cinematic abortion since Sex and the City. (I can hear the distant cries of, "Let it go!". Never.) This trailer is all about the unnecessary. Unnecessary annoying early to mid 90's pop song (repopularized by the offspring it has indirectly created), unnecessary close ups of animal ass, and unnecessary usages of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer. Oh yeah, and unnecessary sequel.

And with that, I have something to say to some of those involved in the film...

Ben...you restored part of my faith in you with the Tropic Thunder video you did at the MTV Movie Awards, and you used to suck at those too! I'm not so sure I'm going to go see Tropic Thunder now, or if I do, I'll close my eyes when you're on screen and pretend Robert Downey Jr. is playing your part too. (It'd probably be cooler/funnier that way.) Point is, restore my faith again.

Chris...your career is dead. Go back to directing films, Head of State was pretty damn good, all things considered. Or go back to stand up, people laughed at you there, right? Just stay away from the animated films.

Ms. Smith...stop riding your husband's coattails. The only movies I can remember seeing you in, and NOT wanting to kill something were The Nutty Professor and The Matrix films, and that's because of the surrounding casts. Do not doom yourself to be labeled as a "black hole" of acting, like Hayden Christensen. Gloria the Hippo is ANNOYING! Don't let yourself be labeled as such.

Mr. Schwimmer...you were an asshole in Band of Brothers, and you did a really good job with it. I forgot Ross, and saw an asshole. A well acted, well fleshed asshole; but an asshole nonetheless. Try some more drama, I hear you're pretty good with it. Oh, and maybe some dark comedy. Don't let this film sink your career, you're too talented.

Borat...you're shit is still funny...NOT. PLEASE go back to Ali G, or create a new character! The Lemur King deserves to be eaten by The Lion King. Oh, and you didn't get enough credit for Sweeney Todd. You were quite good as Pirelli. Could you do something like that again? Maybe play a role where your real accent is featured. It's ok, we know you're a real person behind the characters. We can accept that.

It's not just kids movie that suck now though, because adults have to wade through their own mountain of shit to find something entertaining.

That's right, from the mentally retarded duo who can't seem to stop making shitty films that teens will voluntarily go to, since they can't get into R rated films, come Disaster Movie. Omar Aviles from JoBlo.com summed up this new niche of film pretty well: "...a series of barely coherent pop culture references and spoofs in which Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Minnillo strut around in skimpy outfits." That's all these movies are...one long chain of tenuously connected contemporary films with played out jokes that merely require that you know what they're talking about to "laugh". To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson: "Enough is ENOUGH! I'VE HAD IT WITH THESE MOTHERFUCKING RETARDS AND THEIR MOTHERFUCKING MOVIES!"

It really seems like some of the movies out there today not only appeal to the lowest common denominator, they are also poorly sold to the public. A fair amount of getting people to see your movie is selling the film the right way, and some of these movies are only selling themselves on fumes. The "Movie" movies are capitalizing on two different things: gullibility and brand recognition. Teens are gullible to see this film, because there's nothing else that's good under the PG13 label at that time of the year. (Remember, these movies are typically released between January and Late April, one of two "mostly shit" seasons of films.") They also recognized the brands of different movies, being used in a clusterfuck of a mash up that promises to be funny in how it references the films at hand.

Here are some basic sales pitchs for this type of movie movies, let's take Meet The Spartans for example:

Hey guys! Did you see 300?

(If Yes) We have all the kick assed action of 300, AND we remembered to bring the funny! Oh, and we have a Transformers joke in there too. Yeah, we're PG-13, but the PG stands for "Pretty fucking Good" (The F is silent). We don't have any pansy ass shit in this movie, but if you're not satisfied we pushed the envelope further with an Unrated cut on DVD. And let me tell you, you thought the PG13 version was hardcore, whoo-boy wait'll you see the Unrated DVD in about six months. I swear you'll remember to buy it on the day it comes out, it's that good. So, I can count you in for opening night?

(If No) What? You weren't old enough to see it?! Well, did you see Transformers?! I knew you'd say yes! Well, you can come see our movie, it's rated PG-13! We have all the kick assed action of 300, AND we remembered to bring the funny! Oh, and we have a Transformers joke in there too. We have a Britney Spears joke too, just in case you haven't grown tired of those. OH, and this kick assed Paris Hilton joke we were gonna save for the Unrated DVD, but we HAD to include it in the actual movie so we just airbrushed a bikini on our actress and knocked one of her eyes out of alignment so she'd look all dead eyed like Paris. So, I can count you in for opening night?

Basically, kids are sold this movie because there's nothing else out there at the time of release, and they planned it that way. The "movie" movie has become a brand of itself...the only problem is it's a brand that capitalizes on other brands to make its brand. (Think of a new jean company that basically sewed together the factory seconds of Levi's, Lee, and Wrangler to make a "new line of jeans".) And since all the kids show up opening weekend, because once again there's nothing good at the cineplex, these movies have relatively high openings for the season they open during.

I have a message for Jason Fredberg and Aaron Seltzer (whose namesake is about as funny as his writing):

You want to prove your movies are "funny" and "popular"...open up against a big movie. Slate your next film against the Harry Potter film during the Family Movie season in November. Open it during the "prestige" picture season in December. Hell, postpone it until next summer and take on some of the big dogs. I guarantee you'll get your asses kicked, because people will have options, and when people have options it's hard to fuck up. When there's no option but to see your shitty movies, of course people are going to see them and of course you're going to make a killing. Put your money where your mouth is, or sit in the back of the class with Uwe Boll where you belong.

Hollywood, don't let these douchebags take over modern Cinema...put an end to the "Movie" movie, put an end to the shitty kids movie, look at what you're greenlighting carefully, and stop generally retarding the public by letting shit like this get made. Or suffer this now humoristic, but possibly fatalistic possibility...

Not all hope is lost though. For kids,

and definitely for adults as well...

And on a final note, look for my own "movie" movie, Oscar Movie. I'm currently drafting it, hoping to film it, and have submitted the pitch to Cracked Magazine. (I'm not even kidding.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Nut Shots are funny again

For awhile, I believed that the nut shot became the lowest form of humor. Endless hours of America's Funniest Home Videos, countless stupid romantic comedies, and YouTube turned something that was so pure...(Note:The original "Man Getting Hit By Football" video is nowhere to be found in YouTube. So, I had to go with an AMV with the original sound dubbed in.)

...into something so cheap.

The nut shot seemed pretty dead. Then, the nutshot started to come back...

But even then, there was still doubt that it would be resurrected in live action media. Not anymore, not any fucking more because hope came from the most unlikely (and pretty damn likely) of sources. Behold the "viral video" for Tropic Thunder.

Yes, nut shots are funny again, and thanks for Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, and surprisingly funny again Ben Stiller. This not only gives me hope for comedy, but it also gives me hope for Tropic Thunder not sucking. This is genuinely funny, and I think it's mostly because of Iron Man (Hey, that's how he's credited on the poster, it can't be argued.) Panda helps too, but Stiller surprisingly erases the collective memory of his latest suckfests to show us a glimpse of the comedic genius who used to be.

This could be the beginning of something wonderful. A comedic renaissance of epic proportions. Or it could just be a temporary pass from the hell that is modern comedy. In closing, I would like to nominate the next person who should get the now patented Robert Downey Jr. Nut Shot O' Doom (working title):

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A massive display of "pwnage"

"This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight."

Well, Ms. Clinton, the funny thing is...the American public made its decision last night, and you're not it. In what should have been her concession speech last night, Hillary decided she was going to make no decisions. She also been recently noted for saying that she was also concerned with the unity of the Democratic party, and that if a Vice Presidential nomination were to drop into her lap, she most certainly wouldn't kick it out of bed.

A very audacious move, but keep in mind the Democratic Party has become the party of audacity. Only where Senator Obama's audacity is one of hope, Ms. Clinton's is one of a powerful lust for power. Her wheeling and dealing has been all too public, and there is a high level of transparency to her actions. Ms. Clinton wants back in the White House. She's very clear on this point, and the point that she will do ANYTHING in her power to get her there. VP, cabinet member, and if all else fails she'll become part of the custodial staff.

Why? Because she has a huge chip on her shoulder. She is the first female to run for president. Her husband had an eight year term that some romanticize, while others chastise. Mix all this in with her previous career as a successful senator, and you've got someone who thinks they're ordained for power, destined for greatness. Well, Ms. Clinton, you are not destined for greatness. And before anyone points it out, I have noticed that I call her "Ms." instead of "Senator". My reasoning: Ms. Clinton stopped being a senator the minute she said she was "in it to win it", which she didn't. People like her have a one track mind when it comes to their ambitions. Everything and anything gets poured into the big dream, and all of her energy burned in this one bright flame that consumed all it could around it. She is a puppet master, trying to manipulate the strings of anyone who'll allow her the opportunity, and she's gotten some pretty powerful people behind her that way.

Even James Carville, a man who was portrayed as a brilliant, no nonsense strategist for the Dems, looked pussy whipped in an interview this morning on Good Morning America. When asked about a pledge he made to write a check towards Senator Obama's campaign if he won the nomination, he replied "If my gal tells me Senator Obama is the nominee, I'll get out my checkbook..." (Note: That is a rough paraphrasing of what Mr. Carville has said. It is not a direct quote.) Well, Mr. Carville, I have something to say to you...

Why did Senator Clinton lose? Very simply, in my opinion, she was too negatively viewed by a significant portion of the public, and on top of that she had very little room to maneuver. Ever since her husband's tenure in office, she's been seen as the person who was truly running the White House, and ever since his leaving office people have thrown her name onto the short list of potential candidates for the general election cycle. It didn't happen in 2000, that was Gore's turn to fail. It didn't happen in 2004, she was too busy being Senator and it was Kerry's folly that year. 2008 seemed like a last chance, seeing as our friend isn't exactly getting any younger. Her negativity is generated from her previous reputation from her husband's presidency. That stretches all the way back to 1992...16 years people have known Hillary Clinton, and 16 years she's built an image of a dominatrix who strongarms opponents and will do anything short of sacrifice Chelsea and Socks to Satan himself to get what she wants.The point is, Hillary should have ran earlier if she wanted to actually win, because people would have still been interested in the concept of her being president. The more time passed, the more people's opinions of her as a presidential hopeful cemented, and the more they cemented the less wiggle room she had to maneuver with the voters. She didn't try to sway the voting public to her side soon enough. She waited too long, allowing people to make up their minds about her, and once people have made up their minds it's really hard to change them without some sort of massive force.

She only moved to New York so she could run for Senator, and being senator of a big state is usually a good way to get yourself eventually thrown into a presidential contest. All she had to do was wait...which she did. And she failed...EPICALLY. Now, she'll huff and puff until she'll get her way, which she won't, and she'll be forced to lower her expectations and take what she can get.

Well, I think it would be an unwise move to put Ms. Clinton into ANY position of power in the Obama White House, should there be one. Ms. Clinton's manipulations should be stopped here, and limited to the great state of New York, where they truly know how to take out the trash, as they will eventually with her. She has already damaged the credibility of her husband's name, the Democratic party, and what's more the electoral process of the United States of America. Her actions should be punished, and Senator Obama should find a suitable running mate for his campaign. Say, a twentysomething wunderkind from New Jersey, full of dreams, hope, and tenacity, who happens to blog in his favor. 0:)

Whatever happens next, ladies and gentlemen, should be interesting at least. The election of 2008 is going to be hotly contested, bitterly fought, and eventually one man will claim the prize of the highest elected office in this nation, besides becoming a fucking American Idol. Let's make sure the right person wins. Let's make sure we make the right choice for the democracy and the security of our country. Please...
Vote Denny Crane for Vice President
As an added bonus...
A little something to rub the salt in the wounds of Ms. Clinton's supporters. A video that could be called a tribute to mediocrity at worst, and a complete clusterfuck of lame at best.
And for the Obama supporters out there, a little booster. We've heard it before, we'll hear it again...
Next stop...the Democratic National Convention. Yes we can...yes we WILL.

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