I did it. I finally sat down and watched Transformers 3.
And there isn’t a drug on this planet that will make me forget what I just saw.
Let me be perfectly honest. I detest Michael Bay movies. They’re vapid, shallow affairs that could only ever be truly appreciated by a 14 year-old boy who’d never seen a breast in real life and has an unhealthy fascination with fire. Also, it helps if said 14 year-old thinks fart jokes are funny.
That being said, this movie was a big step up from Transformers 2. That compliment, however, is a bit like saying that getting kicked in the happy sack by a steel-toed boot is better than getting kicked in the happy sack by an out-of-control 18-wheeler. You’re still getting kicked in the happy sack.
I’m not going to go into too much detail, mostly because I have Charcoal Streets to edit and I need to find a BIG drink. Suffice to say, at least Bay wasn’t jerking the camera around like the was jerking… you know what? Too easy. I’ll just say that at least I could see the action. I’m fair. Plus, the music was pretty good.
Everything else sucked a fat one.
It’s bad enough this movie somehow managed to get good actors. It’s worse when the movie makes blatant references to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and somehow thinks its subtle. It’s bad enough when every woman aside from Sam’s mom looks like a model and somehow manages to wear clothes one size too small. It’s bad enough when the human stories feel like they’re tacked on and the movie has five or six genres it tries to get off the ground, kind of how Bait 3D tried to cram five movies into one.
In short, the only way to watch this movie is to fast forward to the fights. That’s it. End of story.
Speaking of “end of story,” the film just ends with a devastated Chicago and the heroes standing around with a “huh” look on their faces. I’m sure I had the same look on mine.
Let’s wash that feeling away with a trailer for the new horror film Mama. Let’s hope it’s good.
Ladies, you’re as much to blame as the men. I’m serious.
July 16, 2012
Women, we need to talk.
To say that women have had body issues is like saying the Titanic suffered from a leaky bulkhead. The triggers are everywhere: movies, magazines, sexism, and the prevalent belief that women can’t be powerful, confident, AND beautiful. It’s enough to make you sick. Recent incidents have made me think it’s not just the men, though.
Ladies, you need to pick up the slack.
I’m convinced that women put themselves down more than men put them down. That’s not to say men don’t do their fair of damage. I’m saying that women need to at least put themselves up on a pedestal. It’s not a matter of being conceited or full of yourselves. It’s about knowing what you’re good at, knowing that you’re a beautiful person, knowing that no one can put you down but yourself at the end of the day.
Look at these actresses that play “ugly” people on TV. Seriously… skew the makeup a little, put on some frumpy clothes… and that’s enough to qualify otherwise beautiful women as unattractive? I watch science fiction and even I find that one a stretch. Warp drive’s more believable.
The thing that really set me off, though, was the protest at Teen Vogue earlier this month. Young women protested the magazine’s use of photo-manipulation to make the models look “prettier.” They felt it sent the wrong message. It does. And how did this all end? Vogue invited some of the protestors up to talk… and gave them a five minute lecture on how they should try harder to be prettier.
Just imagine the alpha bitch at any high school and you get the idea of what these protestors sat through.
Then you have actual websites that track how skinniness… and one particular website has targeted Kate Upton as too fat.
Beauty is a matter of attitude. How well do you handle yourself? It’s not entirely about how thin, fat, toned, blond, brown, or short you are, and it has zero to do with the size of your breasts. Your beauty is something you dictate. A confident woman is ten times more attractive than someone who is insecure. A woman who is kind and laughs is more beautiful than a woman who is cold and distant.
Ladies, you have to be nicer to yourselves just as men have to learn to not be superficial. Feeling good about yourself is not narcissism. Saying you are beautiful is not being conceited.
We all need work. Let’s start by calling the women in our lives “beautiful.” Not because we need to build them up. Not because we need to balance anything out. We should do it because they truly are beautiful.
And now, let’s enjoy some much-needed humor this Monday morning. Enjoy!
Ladies, please stay. Guys, you can leave. Actually, guys, stay for this one. This is our fault. All of us. Yes, even the ones who are single right now. Actually, especially the ones who are single right now.
Is this what we’ve come to? It’s not bad enough that we’ve Photoshopped the hell out of perfectly good-looking women. It’s not enough that we’ve agreed on some perfect weight and figure everyone woman must achieve. It’s not enough that “young and blond and cocaine-chic” is standard for any actress who wants to break into Hollywood or stay there. You have to have the same facial structure and body type. The more plastic, the better, eventually.
What happened, people? Look at older actresses. They have their slight imperfections, every one of them. Jennifer Connelly, for example, has those big ol’ eyebrows that would make Robert Pattinson envious. Even someone like Marilyn Monroe, despite actually being quite thin yet well-rounded, is not a sexual icon because everything fit together perfectly or she had no imperfections. It was the way she carried herself.
It’s those little imperfections that make a woman beautiful. It’s everything. Mind, body, and heart. My fiancée is a beautiful. Everything about her is gorgeous. I love the little beauty mark above her lip. I love the way she looks just as she wakes up and smiles. It’s not just her looks, either. I love when she, as she puts it, “gets girly,” and giggles when she’s normally very sarcastic and blunt about things. I love hearing her laugh.
Ladies, young women, and girls, you’ve been done a disservice. You’ve been told you’re not young enough, thin enough, white enough, dark enough, any number of things. You’ve been told to get liposuction or get your stomach stapled. You’ve been told to dye your hair to match some unnatural hue. You’ve been broken and beaten and made to feel like crap. Now, someone took the time to show everyone what “beauty” is based on a series of polls and bad photomanipulation.
You’re beautiful. You don’t have to look like Kim Kardashian. In fact, even looking like Kim Kardashain can’t hide the sheer ugliness inside. If there is any ugliness in you, it’s personality-based. No matter how much you hate your hair, your stomach, your breasts, your legs, or anything else, a body that’s been splayed over every magazine cover on Earth won’t help you.
It’s been said every woman has her own special beauty. Don’t be ashamed of what you perceive to be your imperfections. They may be part of what makes you unique.
Guys, don’t forget to tell someone close to you she’s beautiful. Every day. Don’t let them forget. Ever.
And now, so we can all just feel a little better, here are some people getting hurt because of stupidity. Their own.
It’s been a LONG week. I’ve got sunburn over my entire face and I feel sick and tired like… well, it’s just been a rough, long week. To make up for it, I’m bringing you a LOT of links full of epic randomness, as well as some short films, AND I’ll be writing a flash fiction for Monday, AKA the holiest day of the year. See you Monday!
I think we can all agree that children’s drawings are creepy by themselves, but make them into stuffed toys in real life and they are totally cute. Yeah, I called these beasts of nightmare cute. You gonna argue?
The Divide is the classic tale of nuclear war and the people who survive in an underground bunker and must fight their own demons. And it’s got Michael Biehn. Sounds good to me!
I’ll admit I don’t play a lot of video games, but I’d be wierded out too if I saw any of these creepy game glitches.
And speaking of cheese and blood, an 18-year old filmmaker named Emily Hagins from Austin just got distribution for her vampire film, My Sucky Teen Romance. Looks interesting and is defiantly written with the genre in mind.
Apparently, they’re filming a new Resident Evil movie and two dozen or so extras were injured. I read this story and the only thing I got out of it was… Michelle Rodriguez is in it? Didn’t she die in the first one?!
I’m not going to give it away, but… okay, just watch this commercial and a) try to guess what it’s selling and b) try to guess the ending.
And finally, as promised, a short film by the creator or Trick ‘r Treat, as well as some creepy and really cool promos. Enjoy, and I’ll see you on Monday, Halloween 2011!
If you take a shot whenever she bites her lip in a movie, you'd be dead from alcohol poisoning by the second reel.
October 19, 2011
Aside from starring as one half of an abusive relationship based on sparkles, Kristen Stewart has also helped to turn vampire fiction into something slightly less tame than a Lisa Frank trapper keeper. Now, though, she’s gone and taken a swipe at her teachers.
All of them. They failed her! When she was young and acting, she did not receive the support she should have received! In a recent interview, Stewart claims she had to drop out of traditional school because her teachers would not accommodate her life. When she was away on shoots, her teachers did not send her work and they counted her as absent when she was gone. This, she says, made it impossible for her to continue a regular education.
Yeah, those teachers really dropped the ball. How dare they do THEIR JOB?
See, Kristen, here’s what you fail to realize. A teacher has to keep watch over many students. Teacher gives out work. Students take work. Students study and use the tools given to them. Teacher continues to teach and build upon previous lessons, accommodating the lesson as needed for special cases.
Special cases might include things like ESL students, students who do not have a solid grasp of English yet. For example, I will give a full lesson in English. If, after the lesson, an ESL student has questions, I will be more than happy to review with them and, if needed, go over it in Spanish. That’s a reasonable accommodation.
Having a teacher mail work to a location so a student can finish it on her own schedule as she works? Not so much. If a student is sick or has to leave for a family emergency, that’s a situation beyond the student’s control. A compassionate teacher would probably mail or email work out to the student.
But acting was a choice on your part, Kristen. You chose to pursue an acting career at eight. You chose to go to jobs that required you to miss school. If you wanted to do this, fine. Get homeschooled. Nothing wrong with that choice.
Just don’t blame your teachers for not catering to your particular needs. They have a job to do, as do the students. Students need to put forth the effort. If I decided to become a blogger in high school and wanted to spend all my time researching and writing and not going to school, I wouldn’t expect a teacher to not count me absent or send me work.
Kristen, you already starred in a (shamefully) hit film series. You’re set for life. Stop whining that American educators did not serve your wishes (not needs) and hand you your education. You made your choice. Now shut up.
And now, let’s look at someone DUMBER than Kristen Stewart.
The Thing is one of those classic films that really changed the genre. The special effects showed a graphic representation of alien invasion on a biological level. The sense of paranoia created by not knowing and actually caring who had been infected by the Thing made it not only deeply disturbing, but also unleaded nightmare fuel.
So how did the prequel/remake stack up?
I’m going to try and not give away any spoilers, but here’s the lowdown on the original 1982 film.
An American research station in Antarctica finds out that a nearby Norwegian outpost has been decimated by… something. They investigate and find evidence of an ancient starship buried in the ice. However, as a coming storm threatens to cut the Americans off from all contact with the rest of the world, they slowly realize that something from the Norwegian camp made it to the American outpost. It can perfectly mimic whatever it consumes. And not everyone is human anymore.
The prequel actually starts days before in the Norwegian camp. After finding the alien ship, they call in a paleontologist, Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). When she arrives, the team removes an alien corpse from the ice and begins to study it, but soon things take a turn when the alien wakes up and escapes. Soon, the team can’t be sure who is still human or not.
The movie is FUN, and I mean that in the best way. One thing I liked compared to the 1982 film is that the prequel actually has happy, likable characters. Kurt Russell is dour and jaded and shell-shocked, and everyone else is pretty much just as dark. The Norwegian team, though, is actually having fun with their work, making it more jarring when the bodies start piling up. Winstead is actually really good in her role as an archeologist-turned-Amazon and she adds some heart to the film.
Because of the changes in special effects technology, the monster is much faster and interacts with the victims much more prominently. We get to see some very freaky transformations that don’t have to cut back and forth between different models. Plus, we FINALLY get to see how the thing absorbs someone and changes them, and it’s the kind of thing that would make the Marquis de Sade gag.
Best of all, whoever wrote the script actually paid attention to a little something called continuity. We get to find out what the hell the creature the American team found was and we got to see why the Norwegian camp was such a warzone, including finally explaining the corpse that apparently killed itself in the radio room.
Once the action gets going, it gets going, too. While it starts with the same kind of paranoia as the original, it soon turns into a chase to stop the creature, and it’s much faster than the original film.
Let’s face it: it’s a foregone conclusion than pretty much every character you see is going to die by the end of the film. They have to. There are only so many ways to tell this story, too, and if anyone is smart enough, they do what the characters do to try and weed out the alien. This unfortunately means that the general plot is a dead giveaway. You know the broad strokes of what will happen.
By having the creature take a center stage in the action and featuring all sorts of close-ups and extended transformations, the film obviously needed to step the game up. While early reports said that the film was going to use as little CGI as needed, the final version is FULL of CGI. Not only that, but it’s not revolutionary in any way. It looks okay. It’s not a bad computer effect, but it’s the same thing that’s been done over and over again.
Does the 2011 film stack up to the remake? Yes and no.
It was a really fun movie overall. I enjoyed the action scenes and was concerned with the welfare of every character. I thought Winstead and the rest of the cast were very good at their roles.
However, I do want to address something else. As io9 pointed out, a lot of viewers are complaining that the Thing in the prequel doesn’t seem to have any plan, unlike the original film where it was trying to leave Antarctica and infect the rest of the world. True, but I actually thought it made sense. In the prequel, the monster’s just woken up. It’s weak. Even if it infects other humans, it’s still an alien to our culture and our ways. It’s probably more scared than anything.
By the time we get to the sequel, it’s had time to adapt and it makes the great escape plan of looking like a dog so others will take it in. Even at the end of this film, it finally wised up and decided to try to blend in to get rescued as a human.
Would I watch it again? Probably. It’s not a terrible film by any means, but it does have the added weight of having to live up to one of the standards of the genre, so that hurts it.
Go watch it. If you saw the 1982 version and loved it, this is a nice addition to the mythology. If you’ve never seen the Kurt Russell version, do yourself a favor and do so now before seeing this one.
It’s Mexican Independence day! To me, this is a bittersweet holiday. Yes, it marks Mexico proclaiming itself a sovereign nation. On the other hand, the country is enslaved by the cartels. Right across the border, just a few miles from where I wright this, two people were tortured and publicly displayed for writing negative things about the Zetas. We have a long way to go, but I’d like to start by ending this stupid war on drugs.
And speaking of things that were probably influenced by drugs, let’s get some links out there and catch up with the week’s stories.
To all the new freshmen in college, please, for the love of Bob, don’t do this.
And speaking of bad decisions, could celebrities please stop taking naked pics of themselves with their phones? You, the thing that can be hacked? Unlike that camera that you need to physically get to retrieve said pictures? The reaction to Scarlet Johansson’s leaked nude pics has ranged from everything from an FBI investigation to the internet having a collective seizure. Because the internet, as you know, has been seen naked boobs and butt.
Nancy Upton entered a contest for American Apparel. She satirized what I can only describe as really unflattering images of women that look like they need a sandwich. Her pics were… well, they were unique. She’s confident, has a sense of humor about herself and the company, she looks wonderful and natural, and she won the contest by a large margin… and now American Apparel is saying they won’t go with her because she’s not targeting their demographic. Hypocrites, anyone?
Disney does not have the best record when it comes to acknowledging the audience’s intelligence. However, some of their older animators didn’t react too kindly to the higher-ups changing the name of a movie to make it more descriptive since audiences “might not get it.” The result is pure sarcasm and gold.
And finally, Nice Peter came out with another Epic Rap Battle. Mister Rogers all the way! Represent! And I’ll see you all on Monday!
It’s not that I’m ungrateful for getting a teaching job this semester. I just wish I got more than 20 hours with which to prepare. Still, I’ve done a class like this before, so it should be pretty easy. And now, to catch up with the week’s stories and everything else I can’t cover in regular posts, here are the links.
You’re welcome, internet.
George Lucas can’t help himself and is making MORE changes to the original trilogy. This time, he’s given Vader an extra “NOOOOO!” at the climbatic fight in Return of the Jedi and he’s altered Kenobi’s krayt dragon call. What else? For my money, if I’m going to shell out money for remastered movies, how about getting all the dialogue redone for the prequels? I mean the words themselves AND the delivery.
Forget Cliffnotes. THIS is how you condense a literary classic.
I want this library. Now. I know I had a birthday a week ago, but I still want this. Seriously, if you all get together, you might afford it if a third of you donated a kidney. You can decide who.
Rick Santorum, the man who really wishes he wasn’t on Google, now thinks the gay community is on a jihad against him. Make up your mind, man! Are they Muslims or gays? Or gay Muslims? Or gays who turn Muslims? Why not just say their communist Muslim gays?
And finally, if you can text, text “PRETTY” to 69491 every day this month, I would love all of you. I’d have your baby. One collective baby. Anyway, check out Pretty Visitors on Facebook, Youtube, or if you’re in Texas, try to catch one of their gigs. Tony, the front man, is one of my oldest friends, and he and the band deserve the exposure. I will work to help expose them to the world. See you tomorrow so we can discuss the wackos from this article a little more. Apparently, we didn’t get their argument.
And speaking of things that are fun and bring us joy, every time a new harry Potter movie or book comes out, without fail, we get the psychos. Pat Robertson is already out in full force, but this gentleman takes the cake. Yeah, he’s a comedian, but the scary thing is that I’ve heard people who talk like him.
The Amazing Spider-Man is coming out next year, and we’ve already been treated to a blurry teaser filmed in a movie studio. That doesn’t mean we can’t look back on the old cartoon and guess at the kinds of things we can expect from a darker take on our favorite web-slinger.
The Meat-Wearing One released a new song, “Judas,” that she sings as Mary Magdalene. The lyrics are found here, and you can hear the song by clicking the video below.
Let me start by saying that I cannot listen to this song more than three times because the music’s just… ear-splittingly horrible.
But let’s look at the lyrics for a second. It’s basically a love song to Judas Iscariot. Okay. Weirder things have been done in the name of art. And who was Judas Iscariot? Why, he was only the man responsible for the greatest betrayal in all of Christian teaching! He kissed our Lord Jesus Christ and sentenced him to death. How DARE she sing a song, as a harlot no less, to the man who killed Jesus?
Well, it’s more complicated than that.
If you believe that Jesus was prophesized to die, that his death was needed to save the world, then I propose that Judas was nothing more than a patsy. Judas was framed. Think about it. If this had to happen, if there was no way to avoid it, then he had no say in the matter and was therefore a victim just like Christ. Anyone would have fit the bill. In that sense, the lyrics touch upon the subject by having Mary Magdalene forgive Judas and apparently love him.
That’s not enough for some people. Cue Right Wing hysteria and outrage:
Oh, the number of things that are wrong with that statement… But first, let me wash off after those last ten pseudo-pervy moments…
Lady Gaga does not have a problem with religion. As was stated in the interview, she’s exploring her own religious background. She’s not going after Muslims, as Donohue suggested, because she’s not deconstructing Islam. It’s the same reason I’m making Charcoal Streets a deconstruction of Hispanic Christian beliefs. That’s my background. I’m not about to use European mythology because, frankly, I’m only about one-eight French.
And someone else already cornered the faerie novel.
Donohue then laments that, while Gaga has talent, she’s part of a pattern of artists that seem to go after religion. Why, oh, why, won’t the artists leave him alone?!
Maybe it’s because, again, WE LIVE IN JESUS LAND. Look, I have my qualms with religion in general. And yes, I guess some of the things I say in Charcoal Streets could be applied to organized belief, but I’m targeting Christianity (and I can’t believe I’m writing this) much like Lady Gaga is looking at religion in her song.
It gets even better when Donohue says that Christians don’t enjoy the protection of Muslims because Muslims will react violently if you mock or criticize their religion. Well, yes and no. While I concede that a lot, if not most, Muslims would be offended by something as supposedly innocent as an image of the Prophet, and I’ve explained why that’s actually a really stupid belief, that’s not the point. Just because members of another religion are willing to behead people for the slightest religious offense does not mean that ALL religions are off-limits.
Furthermore, the belief that artists don’t need to criticize religion really misses the point. It’s movie Imperial Stormtrooper-like accuracy. Of course artists need to go there. Hell, I LIVE there. Artists, as John Lennon said, point a mirror to society. That’s our job. If you don’t like what you see, close your eyes and be happy in the darkness.
You can’t lament that radical Muslims will kill you for criticism, then turn around and say you wish you had that kind of protection. You can’t lament that radical Islam has no tolerance, then complain that someone is looking at your religion through an artistic lens. This sums up the Right Wing’s stance to a T.
“Critique anything you want except my own beliefs and stances.”
Also… “You hang out with Bill Donohue, I’ll buy you a beer, honey, and maybe we can straighten you out.” Did anyone else feel dirty after hearing that? Like, “stepped in gum and had to clean it off with my fingernails” dirty?
Anyway, let’s get some links up in!
Just in time for Easter, check out the latest blog from the Cheezeburger network… Sketchy Bunnies!
And finally, Weird Al is one of my personal heroes. He takes pop culture apart and gives us back comedy gold. It looks like Lady Gaga didn’t like his newest parody and so didn’t give him permission to use it… but she finally said yes! Take a listen to “Perform This Way,” which takes a few swipes the Gaga, but it’s all in good fun. Have a good Easter weekend and I’ll see you Monday.