Archive for January, 2011

UFOs=The Rapture

The one rapture blog I follow is yet to post the video below, though I did find one that did.  I was skeptical that the rapturists would latch onto this as it might make them seem, you know, crazy.  I think it’s very likely fake. Though two separate cameras seem to have captured it below, they are obviously very close to one another, as you can discern landmarks in much the same place in each video.  It also seems that a light such as this descending in the middle of Jerusalem would have likely been seen by hundreds of people, police officers, at least, though I suppose it was after the Sabbath had started.  This article sheds a little light on whom may have been around.  I am also a bit confused about what it says about the rapture, as it descends on the Dome of the Rock, though I suppose the DotR is built on the ruins of the Temple Mount, so, you know, maybe that’s it.

UPDATE: Clearly a hoax

Bruce Lee on the 1960s Batman and Robin

As I prepare to go see Green Hornet again, I did some research into Bruce Lee’s role on the original Green Hornet.  Aside from giving me an even deeper appreciation of both Bruce Lee and Seth Rogen’s adaptation, the research yielded the following video where the Green Hornet and Kato guest starred on TV’s camptastic Batman and Robin, starring Adam West.  I though you should be apprised.:

Sundown: Vampire in Retreat review/amusing anecdote

Having watched, in (Lesbian) Vampire Killers, what I believe to be the only passable vampire comedy, I have now redoubled my efforts to beef up the evidence for my belief.  As such, JT and I watched the 1990 film, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat this evening.  This film has much to recommend it, including a stellar, though sadly, fully clothed performance by Deborah Foreman, the chick who asked Val Kilmer to pound a nail with a part of his anatomy in Real Genius.  The film itself is a kind of metaphor for modern Turkey with David Carradine’s Mardulak/Drakula (it’s an anagram, don’t ya know) standing in for Attaturk in secularizing/humanizing the muslim hoard/vampires.  Mardulak converts the vampires to a blood substitute in a precursor to True Blood, which it now seems I’m going to have to watch in its entirety.  This is not to compare Muslims to vampires, but the whole of religion to vampires.  We drink Jesus blood, etc…   There’s a hefty portion of X-Men, also, as the rival vamps want to continue their bloodlust, killing humans and in general wreaking havoc, leading to an epic battle with wooden bullets (could someone email Mythbusters?).  I also really liked the bit where the vampires wore clothes from the time period in which they were turned.  We didn’t get to know any of them that well, but the concept was good, in that I had that idea, also.

Bruce Campbell’s Van Helsing is largely wasted, but I did learn that Chris Sarandon provided the voice for Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is a small blessing in itself, I suppose.

The film is heartfelt and a bit heartwarming, but there are no laugh lines, at all.  Not funny in the least.  LVK is still #1 in my heart and in my funny bone.

If you want me to buy your DVD, make it unavailable in the US

That’s what Clerkenwell Films did with Misfits.  It’s not the Eli Wallach vehicle costarring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, just in case you were wondering, and it’s not available in the U.S., so naturally I bought the region 2 DVD, because, you know, I’ve got a region free DVD player and it’s kind of a big deal.

Anyhoo, Misfits is proper.  It’s about some 20-something juvenile delinquents who, in the course of community service, get struck by lighting that gives them superpowers.  These aren’t just any super powers, they’re very complicated.  For instance one girl causes any person who touches her to fall desperately in lust with her.  It turns out to be very similar to King Midas.  The other girl can hear people’s thoughts, which almost ruins her life.  The powers come and go, except for the lust/touch.

Beyond the powers, the show is about the cleverest thing ever and almost makes me want to revisit Dr. Who.  The second episode would probably earn an NC-17 rating in the U.S. (We fast forwarded past those parts) and it continually plays with superhero conceits like the notion of the supervillain/archnemesis.  There are secrets and suspense a-go-go, like if Breaking Bad involved invisibility.  I won’t give away any of the twists, but you need to watch this progrum.  Oh, that’s right, you don’t have a region free DVD.  Well, go to Amazon and buy one!  We watched 3 episodes tonight and only turned it off because JT was beyond tired.

Tamil Terminator

I know this is kicking ass all over the web, but it’s so over the top, I love it!

Princess of Mars

From this site, which I love: http://www.faithandgeekery.com/2009/06/18/greenlit-john-carter-of-mars/

I watched a bit of the State of the Union speech this evening, but when I bored of that, I decided to finish A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  As I am not a strong swimmer in the field of reading science fiction and the reading app I had downloaded to my phone (neither an android nor an iPhone be.  Alright, it is an Apple product) rather sucked at keeping my place while saying it had 626 pages, it took forever to read.

That said, it did hold my interest and I’m quite looking forward to getting JT to read it (after he commandeered Ender’s Game this weekend, which, I suppose, is the highest compliment a father can get, the son reading his father’s library book before the father does.) and even more looking forward to the flights of fancy Pixar’s Andrew Stanton can dream up in his adaptation.

As my brother, Dr. Detroit, opined, it is quite a swashbuckler.  It’s the type of story where most of the explanation of what’s going on unfurls around a campfire and most of the book is taken by action.  There are warring species of green, four armed Barsoomians and red humanoids who have navies of hovering ships.  Mistaken identity, revenge, war, death, mercy, and true love.

Throughout, it displays an unflagging optimism in the power of one man’s charisma to unite ancestral foes.  I already downloaded the second volume and will start it tomorrow.

A lot of the Filmation Flash Gordon looks very similar to He Man. Just saying:

R U joking? U have 2 c Season of the Witch, ok?

Ok, so JT and I saw Green Hornet this morning, which sits at 45% fresh in the RottenTomatoes rating. That rating is 55% bullschtick. Everyone knows by now that TGH is a bromance/superhero mashup, so I’m not going to bore you with a lot of plot summary. The biggest thing to know is that the movie is unfailingly felicitous. It’s quite funny in parts and the best fight scene is between Britt and Kato. I’m not sure why critics are having such a hard time with this movie other than the fact that most of them are not very smart or well read (seriously, read the review at that link. That guy slags Dawn Treader for having “Dawn Treader” in the title when the mother humping novel on which it is based is titled Voyage of the [mother humping] Dawn Treader. I’m not exactly sure what he would propose as an alternative.) or able to see the challenging of tropes unless the trailer tells them so. Allow me to elucidate.

Rogen has gotten much flak for not being very superhero-like in this movie. Everything from not being the superhero type. To be honest, Rogen plays Britt Reid as much like a guy who would actually be a superhero as one could imagine. He’s a narcissistic, egomaniacal hypocrite who has a really hard time admitting that his sidekick is the real force of the duo. He uses his newspaper to prop up the exploits of his alter ego while going after the D.A. for trying to manipulate the news media for his own ends. He is incredibly chauvinistic and needy. He’s kind of a douche.

That said, he is a work in process. Britt’s bromance with Jay Chou’s Kato is the emotional core of the story. Kato is as much a caricature of a pious person as Britt is of a douche (he is an orphan form Shanghai who taught himself to be a mechanic and he’s a super genius). Still, Kato’s loyalty to Britt feels geniune and it’s not hard to root for the pair, though Chou is largely responsible for that. Chou’s charisma owns every scene he’s in and he can be a big movie star. And Britt does make progress by the end of the film, though he’s more chastened than changed.

The other thing that apparently went over the head of most critics is the way this film annihilates a whole bunch of superhero tropes. The first super gadget is an espresso maker, for Chrissakes (take that, Iron Man). The bromance seems an almost overt send up of the homo-eroticism of Batman and Robin. Ditto Cameron Diaz’ attraction to Kato while spurning Britt’s advances. Refer back to SpiderMan and Batman, among others. The movie may be too deft in this annihilation, though I would call it subtle.

The 3d is fine, though it’s really only used to accentuate certain scenes, so don’t expect an Avatar style assault on the senses. Christoph Waltz is fun as the hapless supervillain (kind of reminiscent of the Monarch), but he realizes that the real villain is, in fact the Green Hornet and his lame attempts to adopt an alter ego (he dons a red leather sport coat and has a really cheesy catchphrase) is pretty funny in itself.

All in all, a solid movie, though not a typical one. Highly recommended, if you can stand having your mind blown.

Wow. I didn’t watch this beforehand, but I guess I could have just posted the video below.

(Lesbian) Vampire Killers

Vampire Killers stars Matthew Horne and James Corden, a pair who had already gained fame in Britain as stars of the sitcom, Gavin& Stacey. However, that fame has not yet carried over the pond, so they’re just a pair of British dudes, one skinny, one fat, who invite comparisons to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who are similar in many ways. (I haven’t yet watched G&S, but it’s in my streaming queue, so maybe this afternoon.) The comparison is somewhat apt, though Horne more closely resembles Joaquin Phoenix than a character from a Garth Ennis comic book (which is actually not fair, as the character from The Boys who resembles Simon Pegg is actually based on Simon Pegg). That being said, Lesbian Vampire Killers should not be compared to Shaun of the Dead, as it’s a different type of movie, altogether.

LVK is a big, wet, sloppy kiss to Hammer horror. The movie was famously written to fit the title, which often bodes ill for art (I’m still waiting for Silly Hillbillies from Mars), but seems to have provided inspiration here. That the scribes behind this film commenced their research by watching Hammer’s Karnstein trilogy is entirely transparent. The legend of Carmilla/Mircalla the queen vampires is used as the undercarriage on which to build the rest of the film. Not that that’s a bad thing. Lust for a Vampire, Vampire Lovers, and Twins of Evil (the last of which I haven’t seen) are seminal vampire movies which took the focus off of Bram Stoker’s creation and substituted the same mythology used in pulp fiction contemporary to Stoker. The result are three of the most iconic vampire films ever made.

LVK is not quite iconic, but it clearly has it’s moments. The title sums it up pretty well, but the plot involves a curse, an undead lesbian vampire queen, a sword with a cock for the handle, and a bunch of mythology the characters don’t even fully buy into. It mixes in a healthy dose of American Werewolf in London along with some other visual references (they’re only visual, this isn’t Scary Movie) and some good performances of a pretty good script to make for a surprisingly good time.

Corden (the fat dude) outshines pretty much everyone else in a spot on slacker-dragged-kicking-and-screaming-into-the-right-thing performance. He ogles the bounteous bosoms (though too few nipples emerge) and attempts to shag anything that moves (a task which remains unfulfilled even at movies’ end) as he stutters through.

By a wide margin, the most passable vampire comedy I’ve seen. I chuckled frequently.

Highly recommended, moreso if you are a Hammer fan.

UPDATE: Not on Netflix streaming, but apparently can be watched in it’s entirety on youtube.

Being Human

The first episode of the SyFy version of the British series Being Human interested me a great deal. While it doesn’t seem to envision the devolution into anarchy so well demonstrated by the underrated direct to DVD Jason Mewes vehicle, Bitten, the end of the first half of the pilot presents the three roommates, a vampire, werewolf, and ghost, with significant and ostensibly related challenges to overcome.

Like all monster mashups, involving a vampire, the series will suffer from the disparity between the vampire, who is usually portrayed as needing to kill his victims for sustenance, and the werewolf, who, in real life would be able to anticipate a full moon and would lock himself in an asylum or something every time one came around. (It’s the same disparity you see between superheroes with super powers, ie Superman, and ones who just dress up, like Batman. They are not comparable. They’re just not.)

The first episode presented a fairly elegant solution to this disparity. Along with some mystery around the vampire as recovering addict/serial killer metaphor, the circumstances surrounding the death of the human who became the ghost, and the presence of sleepy eyed Jacob from Lost, I’m caring about what happens to these characters and am looking forward to how the various quandaries are resolved.

The casting is pretty stellar, as the vampire looks quite vampirey and the werewolf looks suitably Michael J Fox esque. I don’t feel confident in rendering a definitive opinion at this point, but fingers crossed.

I stopped using toilet paper recently.

Inspired by this boingboing post by the guy who stopped using soap and shampoo and this clever response about the superfluousness of spatulas, I have stopped using toilet paper. I didn’t stop wiping my arse, mind you, that would be kind of gross. Having run out of toilet paper a few weeks ago, and feeling a hefty bowel movement percolating in my colon up through the sub cockles region of my heart, I did some quick research and chose an arbitrary point in human history to emulate for bum cleaning technology.

The point I chose was the point where basically anything lying around could be used to wipe one’s nethers. As it is winter, there are few leaves outside to do the job, which must have been a bummer for cave people in winter. However, glossy magazines are wholly inept for the job and cotton cloths are just a little gross and hard to store dirty. T-shirts and other articles of clothing are rendered basically useless, as there is a strong social stigma (which, with the right amount of dedication and crazy, could probably be overcome).

So, I settled on using newspaper. Newspaper is clean enough to hold a newborn baby, has a cleaning capacity that is not up to the evil of toilet paper, though it is surprisingly adequate for the job, it’s still recyclable, and it’s cheap as it is a technology whose time is rapidly passing.

My butt has never felt better, as I fairly enjoy my crack being caked with feces (which pretty much washes off when I take my 5 minute daily soapless shower), and the initial rash, evolved into a hard cover that actually is healthier than before and only occasionally bleeds, which I believe is probably releasing bad humours, anyway. I apply aloe from my aloe plant to the rash, thank you very much, as modern pharmaceuticals are, by their very nature, suspect.

My friends have not really commented on my new style, as I don’t see them much anymore. The decision is mine, I assure you, as they have refused to eschew such a wasteful technology as toilet paper, and I have refused to enable them. Dogs, in all their elegant simplicity, have become my friends and constant companions.

More on my selective vendetta against technology to follow.