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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 a film journalist/critic for Cocktails & Movies and CinemaBlend, as well as the author of several short stories such as "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: mikereyeswrites@gmail.com

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vamp-O-Rama 4/5: "Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story" by Christopher Moore

Vamp-O-Rama is back on track with another entry into the canon of all things bloodsucking.  Finally, the series of vampire novels is drawing to a close, the next review being the last of this round.  (Yes, "this round", there's a tentative list for "Vamp-O-Rama 2: Raising the Stakes!" already drafted.)  After which, I have several book marathons to choose from, after a resting period of a couple books.  (I might even try to knock off "Men Who Hate Women" trilogy by Stieg Larsson, so as to give myself a reality check.)  For now though, enjoy sinking your teeth into this latest review.

From his picture and in interviews, Christopher Moore looks like a cross between Jimmy Buffett and Dave Barry.  From his writing, he takes after the likes of Douglas Adams (particularly with his humor) with a pinch of Elmore Leonard (particularly in the multiple thread storylines he weaves).  Now, usually when you describe an author in combinations, it could mean that they're uncreative (as well as very, very marketable), but in Christopher Moore's case he's not only very marketable, but he makes other people's formats his own twisted playground of enjoyment.

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (the first in a trilogy) tells the story of Jody and Tommy: two crazy kids in the city of San Francisco who have proclivities that trend towards the night.  Tommy, fresh off the bus from Incontinence, Indiana, works the night shift at a Safeway supermarket, so he doesn't have a choice.  Jody is a newly turned vampire, so neither does she but for altogether different (more life preserving) reasons.  Through a chance encounter, these two begin a rather interesting relationship that will lead to a body in the freezer, a boat being blown up, and a couple incidents involving bronze statue art.

Fiends is a lightweight read that breezes by, with no small thanks to Moore's way with prose.  He mixes heavy doses of dark humor with dramatic moments that show his general concern & attention towards the characters.  This really shines in the way Jody is written, particularly her role as a sort of "Angel of Death" figure. Having Jody prey only on those who are dying is a novel way to work around the inherent unlikable feeding habits of vampires, while at the same time not resorting to having them feed exclusively on animals.  (Suck it, Cullens!)  Mostly though, this is a book all about quirky characters and the ways they weave and move between each other in order to push the Universe along its not always merry way, and there are a lot of quirky characters to be found here.

While this book is fun to read, it does feel too much like a first entry in a series.  As is the case, there are some threads that aren't completely resolved by the end of the story, as well as some threads that just don't get much development to begin with.  (The only rival vampire plays a minor role in the plot, the "other girl" is dispatched of as quickly as she's written in, and the "cure" subplot dies out without even a word.)  Again, this is the first in a series, so naturally loose threads are to be expected.  It'd just be nice if they weren't as gapingly open as these threads are.

Moore sticks to the vampire canon quite well, but throws in the fun little plot device of a vampire learning their powers through trial and error.  Here, there is no mentor in the shadows and Jody is left with only a burnt arm due to UV exposure to start her quest for knowledge.  Jody and Tommy go through vampire lore and test out everything we've been told vampires can do, which sometimes ends with rather interesting results.  Indeed, while Moore pays homage to the rites of vampiric passage, he also pokes a healthy amount of fun at them, and this is just another reason why this book is so much fun to read.

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story was recommended to me by my friend Dave B., and I have to say that after being exposed to this book I'll definitely read Moore again.  Not only do I want to finish the Jody and Tommy trilogy, I also want to discover some of his other, more offbeat works.  This isn't a perfect book, as it feels a little watered down to make room for two more installments.  It is, however, a captivating and quick read; and for that I can recommend it as a Beach Read and a pleasant distraction.

Let's stake this bitch!  Just one final Vamp-O-Rama title to go!

1. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
2. The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
3. Vampire Zero by David Wellington
4. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
5. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! (5/24/10)

We return to the working week with a dreary, but hopefully brightened Monday.  Ready to take it all down again?  I thought so.  You may GAAAH when ready.

- We begin this week with some breaking news: THE BIEBSTER IS DOWN! REPEAT, THE BIEBSTER IS DOWN!

Anyone else find it convenient that this was covered by a German news broadcast? I bet he'll remember what Germany is now.

- Shrek Goes Forth, Forever After, the Final Chapter in IMAX 3D topped the charts this weekend at the box office.  However it brought in a paltry sum compared to all of its predecessors, signalling that the Shrek franchise is probably over and done with.  Which is good, because if they followed the logical progression of events, we'd see a Shrek 2 clone on the horizon, thus opening ourselves up to a Shrek 3 clone.  Which then opens the fucking Pandorica.  (I hope you're goddamn happy Dreamworks.)  Here's this week's Futile Box Office Predictions:

1. Sex and the City 2
(Where is your God now?)

2. Shrek Goes Forth, Forever After, the Final Chapter in IMAX 3D
(No, seriously, where's your fucking God?)

3.  Iron Man 2
(It looks like the tactic that made the first film soar at the box office, as well as lackluster to lukewarm reviews, has killed the sequel's chances at even coming close to The Dark Knight's cape and cowl.  Plus with Inception coming out, it looks like Chris Nolan wins the Summer again.)

Lovable Loser of the Week: Iron Man 2, because while it was a decent follow up to the first film, there were so many squandered opportunities.  (Plus Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle were robbed of any significant storyline development/screen time.)

Loathable Winner of the Week: Sex and the City 2: Win, Place, Show, because while crude oil pumps into the water and worldwide economics are taking a front seat in the news; is it really a good time for four aging, horny bitches to flee the country in pursuit of decadence?  If you REALLY wanted this, why don't you just go read the stuck up DABA Girls website?  Seriously, there's better things to be doing.  Fuck your horse show.

- Things to Look Out For This Week on Mr. Controversy:

Another entry in Musical Anatomy
*A review on Bloodsucking Fiends
*A "best of" 24 series retrospective
*More Sex and the City mockery

- Bonus Points to whoever starts a chant of "That's My Horse!" or starts singing "Amazing Horse" if they happen to be at the movie theater when Sex and the City 2 is playing.

- This Week in MSN's "DO NOT WANT!" file: Abdul & 'Idol' finale (Although you can bet there's some fans out there who'd trade Paula for her replacement.  Personally, I can't tell the difference.) | Heidi Montag & 'Transformers'  (The funny thing is, Optimus Prime would look more real than Heidi Montag any day of the week.)

- I made one of the RiffTrax guys laugh.  Bill Corbett actually retweeted my #LesserBooks entry on the entire Harry Potter series.  I'm now Crow Approved!

- Speaking of Twitter Trends, let's start a new one.  Your mission: log onto Twitter & help trend up #80'sFacts.  I'll start.  "80's Fact: If you couldn't dance, wear pastels, or didn't watch Nickelodeon...you were fucked as a kid." #80'sFacts

- Has anyone gotten sick of BP making excuses yet?  I think I could go for another week of halfhearted apologies mixed with feelings of regret and actually trying to look like they give a shit.

- 24 ends tonight, and Lost ended last night.  My guess at the ending of Lost: A polar bear sitting in a leather chair, whilst wearing a smoking jacket and holding a snifter of brandy, stands up and says to the survivors, "I bet you're all wondering why I brought you here.  Allow me to explain."  Cut to: LOST.  24 will reveal that the bear was Jack Bauer, and the island was his own personal playground where his God like powers are allowed to manifest themselves at full strength.  We then get two hours of Kate and Kim making out to the Benny Hill theme.  (Or a raging 80's sax solo.)

And to play us into this week, here's John Debney's awesome Iron Man 2 theme, "I Am Iron Man".  A question for all of you Soundtrack Geeks out there: does this or does this not sound like a Jerry Goldsmith tune?  Nothing against Debney, the score to IM2 blows the first film's score out of the water (and it's a fun listen) but I think it sounds like a rather cool throwback to Goldsmith circa Capricorn One meets Goldsmith circa Total Recall.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Friday Video - 4/21/10

I originally had a different video scheduled for today, but I saw this video and had to share it.  There's an AT&T ad using the song "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and as such this song has awoken childhood memories.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the first instances of "read the book, then saw the movie" that I can remember, and it all occurred randomly in Third Grade.  Needless to say, I have a deep love for the writings of Roald Dahl and the film this book inspired.  Little did the Third Grader in me know that there's a line of new candies called "Wonka Exceptionals", which includes the infamous (but until now nonexistent) Scrumdidliumptious Bar.  (They're as good as they sound, kids, trust me on that.)

This whole confluence of events and thoughts had me thinking, life is win.  Life (no matter what condition it's in) is win, simply because you are living.  Frankly, there's worse things you could be doing.  So thank you all.  Thanks to the readers, to the passers by, to the trolling anonymous haters and fans, and to my friends & girlfriend (who have commented on here at some point or another).

One final note, I've used this Pixar fanvid instead of the actual Willy Wonka scene because I think it deserves any views we can throw its way.  It's a nice, heartfelt tribute & it's well worth your time.

"If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it."

Not to screw the previous (and no less important) selection for today's festivities, here's the original selection for today's Happy Friday Video. 

Weird Al is a musical legend, partially because he can take other people's songs and turn them into something completely different and humorous.  The other half of his legacy would be his own unique sense of humor, which shines through in interviews and his original work.  And now thanks to the Internet, he doesn't have to wait to record/release a song on an album two years after its relevant...not when he can leak it to the Internet!  Your Happy Friday Video this week is off his Internet Leaks EP.  Please enjoy "Ringtone".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Musical Anatomy: Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Not everyone has my sense of humor, and not everyone reads to the end of the page, so I'm gonna make this quick.  I do not really think Miley Cyrus is a terrorist.  If she's terrorising anything, it's Top 40 airplay.  This is all one big joke, not to be treated like an actual news story.  Honestly, if you've read me long enough you know that this is just my type of humor.  So to reiterate: Miley Cyrus is a harmless little Pop Tart, and this is all one big setup.  This is what happens when people don't have senses of humor...we're not allowed to have nice things.]

America, we are at war with terror, and as such I have to say there's been something on my mind that's been troubling me.  The song "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus has been out for some time now, and it's been a hit.  Little girls are nodding their heads and moving their hips; pedobears are running through the woods to get a look, and every now and then you'll hear parents singing the song to themselves because earworms are made to burrow deep.

But I fear Destiny Hope Cyrus, aka Miley ("Smiley") Cyrus, is not as clean cut and innocent as the media thinks she is.  No, I think she's waiting for the right moment to trade in that makeup for a balaclava, those cowboy boots for combat boots, and (most damning of all) that mic for a gun.  Miley Cyrus, I fear, is a terrorist.  The scary thing is, I don't think she's the only one.  No, Party in the USA, which seems like just a harmless tweenie bopper rock anthem to read Twilight to, is quite possibly an encoded message to wake other sleeper agents in Hollywood and have them rally behind her.  Don't believe me?  It's all embedded right in the seemingly cotton candy flavored lyrics.  Look for yourself:

I hopped off the plane at LAX
with a dream and my cardigan
welcome to the land of fame excess, (woah)
am I gonna fit in?

Right on the out, she informs us that the primary target is LAX, which puts Los Angeles in the crosshairs.  Also, who brings a cardigan out to LA, one of the sunniest cities in the world?  That's right...terrorists.  "Welcome to the land of fame, excess" shows how she sees Hollywood as all terrorists do...a glittering, decadent palace of egos, avarice, and debauchery.  "Am I gonna fit in?" signals her want, nay need, to blend in with the locals.  Here's a hint: lose the cardigan.

Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to the right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

So a cab will be the method used for an attack, and since she's there for the first time it's safe to assume that her driver will be working with her for plotting the event.  Afterwards, she'll dispose of her comrade and ditch the taxi in the L.A. Basin.  (Which gives us checkpoint number 2 to monitor, should we lose her at LAX.)

My tummys turnin and I'm feelin kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous,
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio
and a Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on

Now she's named Jay Z as the first collaborator in her plot, and she's starting to feel the pressure every terrorist has before embarking on a terror campaign.  But once she realizes she's not alone, she relaxes and resumes her activities.


So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin' my head like yeah
Moving my hips like yeah,

And I got my hands up,
They're playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, It's a party in the USA
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

Young Miley envisions the world and what it will be like after her glorious actions have been carried out, her reign of terror secured, and her legacy staining the landscape of America.  Her head nodding and hip moving symbolize the power she feels she holds after rediscovering her terrorist swagger.

Get to the club in my taxi cab
Everybody's lookin at me now
Like "who's that chick, that's rockin' kicks?
She gotta be from out of town"

Fear starts to set in yet again as Ms. Cyrus arrives at her second target, an unidentified club.  As she steps out with her cardigan, the crowd starts to look at her shoes as well.  The collective mood of the room is "Something doesn't add up".

So hard with my girls not around me
Its definitely not a Nashville party
Cause' all I see are stilettos
I guess I never got the memo

Cyrus looks at her surroundings a little closer, and spots a couple crowd members toting stiletto knives on their person.  She realizes she's out of her element and isn't back home in Nashville, which further gives her a case of pre-attack jitters.  (Most teenage girls feel that way before their first terror attack, Miley.  It's natural, just ask Selena Gomez.)

My tummys turnin' and I'm feelin' kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the D.J. dropped my favorite tune
and a Britney song was on
and the Britney song was on
and the Britney song was on

And here is where her resolve reappears...when her fellow Southern compatriot, Ms. Spears (a suspect under much scrutiny over the past couple of years) is named as the second collaborator.  Who's next Miley?  Katy Perry?  Nickelback?  Dare I say...is J. Biebs in your little circle of anti American sentiments?!  I suggest we detain Ms. Cyrus and all of her compatriots for a little interrogation session.
(Repeat chorus x2, resist urge to overthrow government.)

Now that that's all over and done with, I have a confession to make...that whole Jay Z thing was bullshit.  He's our mole in the Cyrus Underground for National Terror, and he's provided plenty of intel for us including the development that Katy Perry is weaponizing Pop beats, Synth lines, and shallow/annoying girl talk.  But what of the video?  Will this look more like a terrorist training camp video or an episode of America's Funniest Home Prostitutes gone wrong?

For those who want to play along at home, you know what to do: cue up the video & watch along with the time coded remarks!

00:02 - Little do these unsuspecting movie-goers know that when they buy their ticket for Iron Man 2, they're really buying a ticket to a screening of "The Last Song".

00:06 - Our first boot shot of the video.  Keep an eye out and count along at home, this chick has a fetish for cowboy boots that'd make Quentin Tarantino's foot fetish look like a mild occupation.

00:08 - The video's equivalent of a Hero Shot/Big Reveal.

00:10 - That is the sound of another teen starlet's neck being broken.  Fun fact: Miley got the song done in one take, so as not to run out of necks to snap.  Bitch is fierce when it comes to competition.  (For the record, that's Demi Lovato's neck snapping.)

00:13 - Boot shot number 2

00:15 - Boot shot number 3, which is the first of action shots with the boots.  I wonder if this is product placement, or just a convenient way of saying "We don't have much to show on camera here, and we know showing you Miley's gopher face isn't exactly worthy of 3 minutes.

00:18 - "Jorge, I have a feeling we're not in Arizona anymore.  Be free!"

00:25 - Miley (not so) subtly shows us how she's practicing for life after The Disney Channel.

00:26 - Anybody else think the Asian girl standing next to/interacting with Miley is some sort of backhanded apology for that photo incident?

00:31 - Boot Shot number 4.  All of you boot enthusiasts better grab that second box of Kleenex.

00:32 - Shit, she's brushed her hair back so many times I'm starting to confuse her with Kristen Stewart's stunt double.  (You know, the one that does all the acting.)

00:54 - This is starting to feel like a meeting of the Junior Tea Baggers.

00:58 - Out of the lack of darkness comes Flip Man and His Merry Band of Gyrationists!

01:01 - Still think they should have had Lil' Jon joined in on all of the "YEAAAH" moments.  It would have made me laugh more.

01:17 - Just when you thought it was safe, in comes Boot Shot 5.  This is turning out to be quite the drinking game.

01:21 - Miley shows the court where the bad man touched her...in her achy breaky heart.

01:22 - Ok, so it's one shot per Boot Shot, two shots per Hair Brush, and three shots when she's dancing in front of a U.S. flag.

01:28 - Hair Brush!  Two shots!

01:30 - Boot Shot!  One Shot!

01:34 - Show me a girl who looks like a stripper on the pole when she's nervous, and I'll show you the Queen of Mixed Signals.

01:41 - And now, for the unveiling of the biggest flag ever filmed that's NOT part of a Michael Bay movie.

01:45 - If you're drinking (and who wouldn't if they had to slog through this shit) you may as well just finish up and pour another glass or two.  You get the picture.

01:50 - It has come to my attention that Miley Cyrus is a limited performer.  At most she can stomp boots, make obscene (yet seemingly benign) hand gestures, brush her hair back, and rock in place whilst cradling a mic.  Has anyone run a paternity test to see if she's the long lost daughter of Steven Tyler?

02:03 - To paraphrase famous New Jersian Jay (hetero life partner of Silent Bob), that girl is being awfully forward with that microphone.

02:06 - If that's not imagery that evokes a revolutionary signalling an uprising to the masses...then I've probably  been drinking and you should pay no mind to it.

02:11 - Miley looks like quite the jailbai...er, jailbird here.

02:14 - I guess this is a Tea Bagging Terror Skank Training Camp video after all.

02:17 - Miley's stepped into the Thunderdome with all of the pretenders to her crown and the friends of all the pop starlets she murdered.  They have one unified focus...to become America's Next Pop Tart.  "Many Pop Tarts enter...one Pop Tart leave."  Let the battle commence!

02:25 - That guy doesn't look like he wants to violate a cage full of scantily clad gyrating women.  Not at all.  Nope.  He's reciting the gospel in his head.  Either that or he's a spy for Flip Man!

02:30 - I guarantee you this is what Sarah Palin's fundraisers are going to look like running up to the 2012 Presidential Election.  It's tacky, it's gawdy, there's expensive clothes and Patriotic compensation for lack of actual substance.  Just like a Sarah Palin speech, people.

02:45 - Miley for President!  (If you want a laugh to carry you all throughout the Nuclear Holocaust.)

02:55 - FLIP MAN RETURNS!  And no one rejoices!

02:59 - With Flip Man comes his Band of Gyrationists!  Again, no rejoicing over here...especially when it looks like this guy's terrorizing diners at the local grease truck.

03:03 - Hair brushing and boots!  DOWN THE BOTTLE, FUCKERS!

03:07 - Seriously, was this guy bored or something?  The concentration of Flip Man action towards the end of the video really upsets the balance of skanks to flips.

03:08 - Ask not how Miley Cyrus became famous.  Ask what you can do to make Miley Cyrus culturally irrelevant.


03:14 - Spinmeister!

03:15 - Lazarus!

03:17 - Flip Man and Son of Flip Man!

03:20 - Miley's not only promising you a Party in the USA, she's threatening you with one.  So shape up!

03:21 - And Miley "Sopranos" her audience abruptly.  It is assumed that this is the moment where she is detained for questioning by the Coallition Opposing Cowboy boot Kicking.

Well, that sucked as promised and that's all for this installment of Musical Anatomy. One last note before I go, the funniest part about Miley's video is that when I tried to find a working Embed code, I wound up looking at Yahoo's Canadian site.  The video slated to air after this one?  "Get On Your Boots" by U2.  Crazy, right?!  Well, it's time to detain Miley Cyrus!  And I think I know just the guy to hire...

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! (5/17/10)

Weekends are like good movies...over too short, and always making you wait for a sequel.  Monday's here, and it's time to break on through to Tuesday.  Hang on kids, time to GAAAAH our way out.

- Hate Mail  supreme rained in on the Bieber piece on Friday.  Ok, so when I say "rained in" I mean only three messages that were posted by either one person or a co-ordinated group.  Still, fun stuff, and it makes me eager to write the Miley Cyrus Musical Anatomy piece.

- Iron Man 2 earned itself another weekend at the top, with Robin Hood and Letters to Juliet bringing in Second and Third place finishes respectively.  Don't forget, this week is the last to see Iron Man 2 in IMAX before Shrek invades all locations for the little ones.  (But some screens might still be doing Midnight Weekend showings.  Check your locations for details.)  Here's this week's Futile Box Office Projections:

1. Shrek The Final Catastrophuck
(Does anyone really know what the name of this movie is?  It seems to be changing quite often.  So far we've had Shrek Goes Forth, Shrek Forever After, and now Shrek The Final Chapter 3D.  Nevertheless, the kids will flock, it'll make money, I'll weep for animated cinema.)

2. Iron Man 2
(Go ahead...YOU try to tell Tony Stark he's a failure.  I dare you.  He'll just show you up, and make  you cry like a bitch.)

3. Macgruber
(Ladies, you're gonna get dragged to this one, and boy does it look "Direct to DVD"riffic.)

Lovable Loser of the Week: Iron Man 2, for losing all of its IMAX screens to the big green idiot, so as to rob it a true chance of competing with Dark Knight, who had a several month window of release.

Loathable Winner of the Week: Shrek the Final Chapter 3D, because it'll strike a blow against storytelling in children's films and win a victory for Pop Culture references/3D everything.

- A Waitress was fired recently for mocking a couple that tipped her lousily through Facebook.  Meanwhile that horrible bitch that marched out the door and yelled at my friends and I for stiffing her due to really poor service was probably never fired.  I know, Service Professionals get paid shit but when you screw up big on an order and cause a problem, don't expect much.  Still, fired for Facebook griping?  This is why companies need more transparent Social/New Media guidelines, as well as more company integrated Facebook access for employees.  You keep track of employees, possibly keep negative comments in house, and generally promote a sense of community for your workforce.

- This Week's MSN Headline Lulz:

Delta pilot & concealed weapon | 'Vegetable Viagra'? ("How to Defend Yourself Against Fresh Produce" classes will benefit from this.  Their memberships will quadruple.)

'Lost' actor's 911 call | TV chef & murder plot  (Let it go, people!  Lost is over...it's run its course.  You want more Lost?  Fine, here's what you have to do.  Get drunk and start reading Franz Kafka and any college Philosophy course text books you have lying around.  Tape up a picture of a Polar Bear to your wall, and sit in front of the window so the sun's hitting you and Voila...Lost.)

- Glee has been announced in the Post Super Bowl Spot for next year's telecast on Fox.  Yep...now I have another reason to never watch the Super Bowl again.  (Besides Bruce Springsteen's camera hump.  The nation is still plagued by nightmares of it to this day.)

- Twitter Celeb of the Week: @justchristinah - she's fighting Cancer, but her sense of humor and her spirit to fight are still very much in tact.  She could use a bigger fan club, and I'm sure she'd appreciate the people to talk to.  Just saying.

- Summer is almost upon us, so go out and find a nice, huge beach read.  (And if any Libraries out there want to get rid of any plastic jacketed Hardcovers with light sand in them, I'll be glad to help take them off of your hands.  It adds character to the book, IMO.)

- Seriously...Save New Jersey's Libraries.  They've been there for you, now it's your turn.  Fuck budget tactics and preserve free reading/viewing/listening.

And now, your opening act for the week...Tom Jones and the Cardigans.

As an added bonus (and as a little bit of humor for Non-Bieber fans) here's a video from YouTube's own MakeMeBad35.  Not all of his stuff plays, but this definitely plays if anything for the best friend/psychiatrist and some of his reactions.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Musical Anatomy: Justin Bieber – Baby

That's right kids, after unexpected delays Musical Anatomy is back! Just when the music industry thought it was safe, it's time yet again to tear apart a stupid song like soft bread. Before the fun starts though, I'd like to once again mention that I've drawn some hate mail for my previous analysis of Kei$ha's "Tik Toc". Which of course is awesome! With pieces like this, I consider it my job to upset the fans of the musical acts in question. Mostly because I like to think that the people that read this blog are the fine types of people that don't enjoy these acts and welcome their skewering...and of course, my ex and her spies. (Don't ask me how THAT works, it just some how does.)

This installment's target is none other than Pedobear bait/inexplicable pop star Justin Bieber. This little shit popped onto the scene recently, and at 16 he's poised to fall into obscurity a year ahead of schedule. Seriously, how do little girls find this pussy attractive? I look at his face and I'm inspired to either punch him in the face, or ask him an important question...

Is he a horse? Could he have been sired through some bastard miracle via Mr. Ed and Sarah Jessica Parker in her early days? (Sorry, Matthew Broderick...your wife is scary. You, on the other hand, rock.) We'll never know, so for now...it's time to spin some pain. You know the drill: the lyrics get picked apart, then the video gets MST-ed in a lovely crafted, properly timecoded frenzy of hatred. I'm warm all over thinking about the damage I'm about to do. (Or it could be the spilt coffee. That's a contender at that.)
Ohh wooaah Ohh wooaah Ohh wooaah
You know you love me, I know you care
Just shout whenever, And I'll be there
You want my love, You want my heart
And we will never ever-ever be apart

Ok, this kid's 16. I want that firmly ingrained into all of your minds. This kid can barely learn to drive at this point, and he's already throwing out the L Word at random intervals. Have video games completely passed this kid by? Did he look at the Football team and think, "Nah. I'd much rather cut off my balls than play a sport"? (If so, then how the fuck did he NOT get hooked on Video Games?!) This just proves why girls love Justin Bieber...he sounds about as controlling as a male lead from Twilight.

Are we an item? Girl quit playing
"We're just friends" What are you sayin?
Said there's another and looked right in eyes
My first love broke my heart for the first time,

"Are we an item?" Excluding paparazzi, who the fuck uses that term. "Are we an item?" Yes Justin, you're indeed an item...a spiked dildo specifically designed to penetrate the ear drums as painfully as possible. At least, that's what it sounds like when you started wailing at the top of the tune. (Though to be fair, the kid's lost his girl to another, so maybe this is his way of dealing with the pain. Much like a wounded Swan, the Bieber whines itself to sleep.)

Chorus: And I was like Baby, baby, baby oohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ooh
Thought you'd always be mine, mine

If I were a person of lower intelligence, I'd say that chorus is catchy. But being of superior (not perfect) intelligence, it sounds like a rat clawing its way out of a cat's asshole.

Baby, baby, baby oohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
Thought you'd always be mine, mine

Somewhere, a poor cat is in immense pain.

oh oh
For you, I would have done whatever
And I just cant believe we ain't together
And I wanna play it cool, But I'm losin' you
I'll buy you anything, I'll buy you any ring
And I'm in pieces, Baby fix me
and just shake me til' you wake me from this bad dream

Again, this kid is 16, and he's promising a ring?! Am I missing something here? People of Canada, are you really this advanced in your personal timelines that you're married by 18, have kids by 22, and retire by 40? There's a fine line between precocious and not understanding adulthood, and much like the Olsen Twins before him, Justin doesn't understand which is which.

I'm going down, down, down, down
And I just can't believe, my first love won't be around

(repeat chorus, poke eardrums with spiked dildo for fun)

Kid, you're gonna find that your first love is statistically never going to come back to you, and even if she did, it's not a sign that she's the one...it's just a sign that you were stupid enough to get fooled again. Go and find someone else, and stop obsessing over this girl who you probably dated for half an hour between periods. (Adolescence works like that.)

Luda, When I was thirteen, I had my first love
There was nobody that compared to my baby
And nobody came between us
that could ever come above
She had me going crazy
Oh I was starstruck
She woke me up daily
Don't need no Starbucks
She make my heart pound[wwwhhhooo]
and skip a beat when I see her in the street
and, At school, on the playground
But I really wanna see her on a weekend
She knows she got me dazing
Cuz she was so amazing
And now, my heart is breakin'
But I just keep on sayin'..

Oh Luda. Luda, Luda, Luda. You truly are the Al Pacino of the music industry. You've really hit a new paycheck whoring low here. (And I happen to like that Taio Cruz song you're featured on.) I guess you were right when you said you were only going to break our collective hearts. We should have listened, us foolish foolish listeners. How am I supposed to trust your recounted tale of your first love at thirteen when you've proven yourself incapable of handling my heart, as well as the hearts of all the other disappointed listeners out there.

(Repeat Chorus, gouge eardrums out of necessity.)
(Now I'm all gone)
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Yeah Yeah Yeah
(Now I'm all gone)
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

(Now I'm all gone)
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Now I'm all gone, gone, gone, ooh
I'm gone

Justin Bieber, I wish you were more than gone...I wish you never existed. Please tell me the video is (somehow) more easily accessible than the song. (/falsehope)

00:01 - Justin heeds his mother's warning to "bundle up, otherwise you'll catch cold" and ignores the fact that the camera is on.  J. BIEBS DOESN'T SEEK YOUR APPROVAL, MOM!

00:15 - This video has been filmed in "Overbearing Stalker-Vision".  Apparently, the kids LOVE the Overbearing Stalker Cam.

00:18 - "Ok, seriously...how gay is it to sing a love song while bowling.  Honestly, if he can't bowl worth a damn, how is he going to respect you, Maria?"

00:21 - Acting people...something only one of these kids can do without looking at the camera.

00:22 - $10 says he hired a stunt bowler.  (Hope he doesn't screw us on the Canadian exchange rate if he wins, the little fuck.)

00:24 - "Phew! For a moment there, I thought I was going to have to make up with the Jonas Brothers.  Joe's such a little bitch when it comes to apologies."

00:25 - Ok, NO kid gets that excited about bowling.  I'm calling massive bullshit on this, unless this is another one of those Canadian differences.  I swear, it's like they're an alternate dimension and the border is a rift between our two worlds.  (Which would explain Robin Williams and Mike Meyers.)

00:27 - Justin Bieber is still sad he was beaten out for a part in The Karate Kid remake, as shown in his "Wax On/Wax Off" technique.

00:31 - I think Justin just flashed the International Distress Signal.  Either he's being held captive against his will, or he's signaling the cameras to turn off so he can go on a Christian Bale style rant.

00:33 - That guy in the back, center frame...he totally just creamed his pants over a frame of bowling.  The wobbling pin is symbolic of his orgasm.  Sneaky move, Bieber.  Sneaky.

00:39 - Apparently Justin's been studying at the "Jacob Black School of Women Management".

00:41 - It's not effective!  She begins to shank him with a pocket knife and berate him about how to truly treat a woman.  (Those Team Edward bitches are savages, I tell you.  Savages!)

00:42 - Justin Bieber died for your hormonal music sins.

00:46 - If at first you don't succeed...break into song and push the issue.

00:48 - EMO HULK SULK!

00:58 - Does this kid NOT learn?  He goes in for another physical attack, and she pushes him away yet again.  If he keeps it up, he's gonna end up grabbing her ass and she'll deck him one proper. *pause* PUSH YOUR LUCK, BIEBSTER!

1:03 - At this point, I'm surprised that girl hasn't busted out the Pepper Spray on this little fucker's face.


1:14 - That girl in the back looks like she's just given the kill order.

1:16 - That is officially the gayest thing Justin Bieber has ever done...

1:17 - ...which leads to the creepiest rape face.

1:20 - Lame canned enthusiasm, FTW!

1:29 - When Bieb-O-Rama doesn't get his way, he tends to rock out with his cock out to relieve the stress.


1:35 - Either Justin Bieber's been learning how to roll from old Star Trek reruns, or that's how all Canadian Kids roll.

1:37 - Boy, this video really is subversive.  (Oh, and if you ever intend on "going down", I'd lose the zig zag motion and do something other than freeze framing the "Vagina Doorway" scene from Patch Adams for sex ed.)

1:43 - You know what it's time for, kids!  It's a Hate Crime Dance Battle!

1:58 - That dance move will keep this kid a virgin safer than any D&D game ever will.

2:00 - Jedi Mind Trick FAIL!

2:02 - Yes, Canadians can Line Dance.  What's next on Canadian MythBusters, eh?

2:13 - With a might shout of "LUDA", Captain Chris "Ludachris" Bridges zooms onto the scene.  Ready to do battle with fresh beats and funky rhymes at his disposal, he'll school ya'll suckas!

2:17 - "Nope...not time to shave just yet.  Curse this Puberty thing!"

2:25 - This is the easiest game of "What's Wrong with This Picture?" EVER!

2:28 - Michael Jackson finally got his wish...he's a little White Boy, just like South Park prophesied.

2:55 - "I rejected you previously, and I regret I'd made an error in judgement.  Due to your suitable dancing skills, and foppish haircut, I shall allow you passage into my vagina when we are both of legal age.  Until then, let us commence the tradition of awkward glances and pop dance moves."

3:05 - The kids put on their interpretive dance production of Penthouse's Caligula, and everyone rejoices.


3:19 - Forgive my naivety, but if I may...

The song is supposed to be about J. Bieb moaning about how his first love broke his heart.  Now, they haven't set up the video as one big flashback, so it's safe to assume that he's singing about events in real time, much like all other artists in music videos.  That in mind, why the fuck is he walking away with the girl?  He's either singing about something that already happened (which shows the director failing at setting the scene for his concept) or that Justin Bieber is a fucking liar.  Your choice, World.

3:30 - Justin Bieber flips off  his audience British style to signal his content while confusing all of America's teenage girls.

3:34 - We end the video with King Kong waiting in the shadows to steal Justin's girl and bring us to the sequel.  Expect forty minutes of podracing, breakdance fighting, and the revelation that Justin Bieber is, in fact, Ellen DeGeneres's son all grown up.  (It'll be based off of an episode of Lost.)

Well, that was sufficiently painful and I don't think I'll be doing that again.  Oh who am I kidding...Miley Cyrus is next on the chopping block!  That's all for this installment of Musical Anatomy.  Until next time, fuck this Bieber noise.

Vamp-O-Rama 3/5: "Vampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale" by David Wellington

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Never fear, Vamp-O-Rama is back and so far the streak of vampire books that don't suck continues.  In addition, I'm trying something new with this entry, so bear with me if the layout looks a little weird.  Now that Amazon has this neat "Amazon Associates" program, you can click on the hyperlink I'll be providing for the book's title in order to research/buy it on Amazon.com.  In exchange, I'll be handsomely (or meagerly, depending on how many of you click and buy) rewarded with Amazon.com gift cards.   Why?  So I can buy more books to review and advertise.  It's not selling out if you're endorsing it to begin with.  On with the show.
By the end of Vampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale, the book has more than lived up to its sub-header.  Indeed, a serious amount of blood and violence is to be had when reading this story that plays out more like a police procedural that just happens to have vampires in it.  (Think CSI crossed with 30 Days of Night, and you have a vague idea of what to expect.)

The third in the Laura Caxton series, we find our protagonist mourning the death of her partner Jameson Arkeley, after he gives himself over to "the curse" of vampirism in order to save Laura's life during a horrific vampire battle at Gettysburg.  Her mourning is short lived as a string of crimes involving the dearly not-so departed former U.S. Marshall's new found vampiric pride begin to occur.  Confession time: I haven't read 13 Bullets or 99 Coffins: A Historical Vampire Tale, the two books that precede this tale in the timeline, but I feel I must attempt to do so at some point in the future, because I can sense the character development of Ms. Caxton being present, I just don't have the context to fully appreciate it.  It is clear though that Laura has evolved into more of a hard edged vampire hunter, following in her mentor's footsteps as she tries to find them on the path of destruction and bloody personal business he's laid before her.

While this book tended to be a bit slow in comparison to the previous two entries in this marathon I've been running, I enjoy the fact that there was more of a procedural detective story element about the novel.  If you really looked at it the right way, you could even call it Silence of the Lambs...with Vampires, because Caxton feels eerily close to Clarice Starling in both her Blue Collar roots and her dogged determination.  (Plus the mentor/predator relationship between her and Arkeley is undeniably shaded similar to the Clarice/Hannibal relationship from the Harris novels.) 

In terms of unique additions to the vampire mythos, there are two particularly interesting new ones: the process of conversion (you have to commit suicide before becoming a vampire, and that's after direct eye contact and a one day waiting period) and the upkeep of a vampiric lifestyle (you can still age if you don't feed).  Both devices help the story break away from the typical "invincible and patient" vampire cliches.  These aren't armchair strategists, they're vicious and impatient fuckers that'll use any means (and an army of "half dead" minions) to get your blood.  Filled with a healthy amount of detective work, personal intrigue, and bloody carnage; Vampire Zero is not a waste of time.  The key is to go in expecting a more realistic, more atmospherically heavy vampire book; as opposed to the more stylized horror you're used to.

Only two more books remaining in Vamp-O-Rama!

1. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
2. The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
3. Vampire Zero by David Wellington
4. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
5. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Happy Friday Video - 4/14/10

Back in my High School days, a couple of friends of mine and myself all enjoyed the novelty songs that would be played on Doctor Demento's radio show.  We didn't listen to the show on the radio, but some of the guys had the box sets and they'd make their way to our ears through the wonders of the Compact Disc.  Star Trekkin', Daffy Duck's Rhaphsody, and eventually this selection, all would grace my CD Walkman and my constantly changing pair of headphones throughout the halls, bus rides, and Newspaper meetings I'd attend.  Looking through the track listings I see the names to some of the songs and don't even remember ever listening to them.  Others I remember like the back of my hand, lyrics and all.  This is one of the latter.  Here's National Lampoon with Deteriorata.
(Also, in case anyone was interested in browsing/buying that set, here's its Amazon listing: Dr. Demento 30th Anniversary Collection: Dementia 2000.  Yes, more whoring.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! (5/10/10)

Chalk up another weekend in the tally book and please divide it by nine, it's time to muscle our way through another Monday.

I'm thinking of bowing out of 1 Book 1 Twitter before I even get started. I'll still read American Gods (as well as Neverwhere) at some point, but the book club is in full gear & I feel I'll be too far behind. As such, Vamp-O-Rama is back on.

- Iron Man 2 is the unsurprising champ of the box office this weekend, with A Nightmare on Elm Street and How to Train Your Dragon bringing in the second and third spots respectively. I love seeing Dragon keep its wings, and of course I need to see Iron Man 2 as soon as possible. What's even better is Babies couldn't even muster more money than The Losers, which has sadly been living up to its name recently. Inspired, here are my Futile Box Office Predictions:

1. Iron Man 2

2. Letters to Juliet
(It's counterprogramming to Iron Man 2, the standee has been in the theater for months, and you know the girls are going to want to go see this one.)

3. Robin Hood
(Because Russell Crowe still has some draw.)

Lovable Loser of the Week: The Human Centipede, which still isn't in wide release. I want to be creeped out big time!

Loathable Winner of the Week: Letters to Juliet, because this summer looks like one where Hollywood happens to have its period, and thus floods the market with chick flick tentpoles, instead of just the usual negligible chick flicks. Sorry guys, you're getting dragged to this during the weekend.

- Besides a few key releases, Summer 2010 looks like a shitty year for Summer movies.

- Here's this week's MSN Headlines That Make You Want To Cut Yourself: Demi Lovato & 'Grey's' 'Twilight' & baby names

- Twitter Celeb of the Week: @ebertchicago, because if anyone should be leading the charge against the Tea Party, it should be he that put two thumbs into Cancer and beat the living hell out of it.

- Fuck you, Teabaggers. You're doing more harm to this country than anyone else.

- Swagger Wagon = the worst ad campaign since The Fantanas. (And while we're on it, The Fantanas are still looking for one more? Why? Because nobody's given a shit to enter to be the next one, that's why!)

- The Human Swagger Wagonpede...think about that.

- I can't wait for Outdoor Movies to start up again. One of the most fun parts of the summer is seeing a movie for free out in the open air.

And now, to play us into the week, I give you Patton Oswalt's My Weakness is Strong. He is fast becoming one of my favorite comedians, and who better to help bitch our way into things than The Sad Boy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Friday Video - 5/7/10

This one goes out to all of my friends in Great Britain who, happy or sad, have Conservative candidate David Cameron as their new Prime Minister. (Unless the News has steered me wrong.) Whoever manages to be the new PM, they'll have to go through this tough git to get anything done. Ladies and Gentlemen, if Malcolm tells you to fuck off, what do you do?

Also, in case you hadn't noticed, Iron Man 2 opened today. I haven't seen it yet, so don't ask me how it is; but to close out the week let's get some AC/DC blaring on the computer speakers. Go ahead! Turn it up in the office and headbang. I won't judge. I'll even join you. Happy Friday, everyone.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! (5/3/10)

- Things to Read: "Lazarus" by John Connolly, as included in the anthology The New Dead. A reimagining of Biblical lore via Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It's beautifully written, extremely short, and a promising start to a book I'll be reading in the next Reading Marathon, "Zomb-O-Rama".

- A Nightmare on Elm Street took the box office crown this weekend (unsurprisingly), while Iron Man 2 made a killing in the International Box Office this weekend (unsurprisingly). Meanwhile, Furry Vengeance died a quick death in 5th place (surprisingly). Here's this week's Futile Box Office Predictions and Trophies:

1. Iron Man 2
(Anyone who tells you otherwise loved The Back-Up Plan.)

2. How to Train Your Dragon
(It's going to lose IMAX screens, but 3D screens will still be friendly to our friend Toothless. Plus, it's made it this far without falling too hardly, so why not let it ride out its time in 3D.)

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street
(I'd like to think that slightly negative word of mouth would kill this film, but I have a feeling it'll hang on for at least one more weekend due to the morbid curiosity factor.)

Lovable Loser of the Week: The Human Centipede - First Sequence, for not having the bigger "midnight movie" market that it deserves. It's an unsettling oddity...so naturally a lot of people are going to want to see it. Get on a wide release platform, IFC!

Loathable Winner of the Week: Babies, which looks to do for reproduction what Oceans did for environmental awareness. Meaning it'll hit a limited target audience, and everyone else won't give a shit because Iron Man 2 is out!

- Adam Shankman should NOT be allowed to direct Oz the Great and Powerful. Why? Four words: Bringing Down the House. That doesn't scare you? How about two more words: The Pacifier. Still not phased? Ok...how about "Cheaper by the Dozen 2"? What type of sick individual are you? You're testing my sanity, aren't you? Fine...one last attempt, and this one's a double whammy. Bedtime Stories, and almost anything done by Zac Efron. Oh...now you're scared? Well you fucking should be.

- The Time of Angels = Cheapest Cliffhanger Ever! C'mon, guys! (Needless to say, it was pretty badassed.)

- Green Day has officially sold out. Every time I hear some commercial for American Idiot, I keep thinking how horrible it is that Antidisestablishmentarian Rock Music has so quickly turned into "Pop Rebellion" musical theater. It cheapens us all, and makes Green Day look like the new paycheck whores of the music biz. May Trent Reznor beat you into submission with his mighty angst.

- Caffeine...I love you so.

- The Nook is being pimped at your nearest Barnes and Noble location today. I think the girl in the front knew she had a sale, if it weren't for the fact that I'm saving for the whole package. (The device, replacement plan, cover, rechargable battery, maximum memory chip, etc.)

- Vamp-O-Rama will be on hiatus after Vampire Zero's completion/review. I will be taking part in 1 Book, 1 Twitter's Book Club reading of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. This is my first Gaiman, so I'm pleased to finally be exposed to the man's work, as well as joining in on a huge social media experiment.

- British General Elections will beat the pants off of American Elections for entertainment. Replace the rumors with blisteringly direct attacks of character and policy (and on national television to boot) and you've got something that's quite marvelous to watch.

- The "Runaway Couple" from Ohio are fucking assholes. You don't dump your wive via text message, you don't abandon your one year old daughter and husband, you don't make everyone think you've been abducted, and you don't bury your head in the fucking sand if you really want to get away. Watching these two interview on GMA was more painful than Andrew Young and his wife getting their asses kicked. If GMA makes you look like a couple of dipshits, it's your own damn fault.

- Twitter Celeb to Follow: @JohnLarroquette - the man is part DJ, part raconteur, part actor, part Noir enthusiast, all entertainment and class.

And now, to kick start the week here's the Dutch Swing College Band with the Tiger Rag!