Tim Burton’s Greatest Mistake?

Johnny here is trying to figure out how to get his soul back from Burton.

March 19, 2012

I was excited when I heard Dark Shadows was going to get a movie adaptation. First of all, it was being directed by Tim Burton. Second of all, it starred Johnny Depp, though that’s kind of a given at this point. Burton and Depp did a great job adapting Sleepy Hollow, one of the great horror comedies of all time as far as I’m concerned. Burton has a good track record (even considering Alice in Wonderland) and he has a style that would lend itself to the campy soap opera.

And then I saw the trailer. If you missed it in the last article, here it is. Keep a tissue handy. You may cry like I did.


I’ll admit I’ve never seen Dark Shadows. I wish I had. It was one of those shows that had a good amount of camp to it but managed to hold its own despite a hectic schedule and soap opera storylines. The fact that it’s still watched and talked about today makes me think it’s something to put on my Netflix queue. In fact, two of my favorite shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel could be seen as spiritual successors to some of the things Dark Shadows started, namely using supernatural themes

But this?

I’m getting flashbacks to Alice in Wonderland. I love Burton’s style. It’s like a child’s fantasy on acid. My on artwork was influenced by the darks and playfulness and the way something cute might become something horrific at any moment. Lots of black, lots of white, a little gray, and let the creepiness do the rest. Burton, though, seems to be forgetting the lesson he learned from Sleep Hollow.

If you change something, it better be to make the end product superior.

Sleepy Hollow by ~Mize-meow on deviantART

Sure, the old series was full of little mistakes and the production could have used some polishing, but at least it tried. Now, instead of a drama, we’ve got what looks like a fish out of temporal water story. We’ve already got the same tired joke of the visitor from the past getting freaked out by television and the very unfunny mix-ups with modern slang. So far, I haven’t seen anything that tells me this will build on the original series’ legacy or form. There’s nothing groundbreaking about it.

Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. Alice in Wonderland was an atrocity. This looks no better. Next thing you know, someone will take Quantum Leap and make it into a zany buddy comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Jack Black. Ooh! How about we bring back Law and Order but make it a musical comedy starring Zac Effron as Lennie Briscoe?

Hollywood, cut it out before we, the fans, decide to pool our resources and invest in a neutron bomb.

And to clean out the broken dreams, here is every episode of Itchy and Scratchy, all in one place.

Divine by Zero: Halloween 2011!

October 28, 2011

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!

Instant Awesome? Just Add Liam Neeson

This man's VOICE has had more three-ways than you've had one-ways. Just accept that you are a lesser man.

July 29, 2011

I mentioned the Battleship movie a few months back. Reports indicated Tom Arnold and Rihanna were going to star in the adaptation of the classic game. Well, Arnold is nowhere on the IMDB page, but Rihanna sure is. The trailer came out and I expected to see all the cheese of Snakes on a Plane and the cinematic potential of Meet the Deedles.

Are you ready for this?


Now I actually want to watch it. I’m willing to ignore the Transformers-like sound effects and alien sequences. I’m willing to forget that this is based on a board game that’s only slightly more complicated than tic-tac-toe. Why?

Liam Fraking Neeson.

Seriously. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed that the man’s mere presence in a movie trailer make me want to watch it. How can we forget the earworm-like effect of this:

Before that, we had Neeson virtually act out an entire trailer by himself in Taken. The entire set-up is one of the most famous monologues and coldly-calculated threats I can recall hearing in a movie in some time. It’s chilling, efficient, and brutally honest. It breaks every rule of “show, don’t tell.” He basically tells us the entire set-up to the movie, its backstory, everything… AND IT WORKS.

Oh, and the rest of the movie’s pretty cool too.

Then we had him give the introduction to the highly-anticipated Batman Begins. His brief monologue oozes class.

But what is it about Neeson? It’s like he’s the sweet leaf basil of movie trailers. Adding a little to the mix can’t hurt. I’m convinced Liam Neeson can make ANY trailer better.

Just read the following and imagine Neeson saying it in a deep, mysterious voice like he does in Taken:

You, Paul Rodriguez, and you, Jimmy Falon, are the chosen ones. Without your strength and ability to make a kick-ass chicken enchilada, our world is doomed. If you do not act, the aliens will come here. They will find you. And they will make you watch Jersey Shore until you bleed out the ears.

Snooch to the nooch, motherfuckers. Peace out.

Now tell me you wouldn’t want to see that movie if you heard that in Liam Neeson’s voice. I swear the man could make Jersey Shore sound like a Shakespearean comedy if he tried.

See you Monday, and enjoy some video of idiots getting hurt. It’ll balance out all the awesomeness you just saw or else you’ll explode.

Divine by Zero: Rebecca Black and Mega Man Remake Godzilla

July 21, 2011

The voting is coming along nicely both here and on Facebook! keep going, guys. And when you’re done, please help yourself to a link or two. They’re on me.

I know, I know. I spoil you guys.

  • 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.
  • Rick Perry, possible GOP presidential candidate, started out as a Democrat. Hey, it IS Texas. He probably switched because they use liberals for target practice down here.
  • 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.
  • Speaking of airheads, here’s Palin TRYING to look sexy. The result is akin to a mildly retarded beagle thinking it’s a ballerina.
  • And on the heels of the last article, Jon Stewart addresses Fox’s handling of the hacking scandal. See you Friday, folks, and keep voting!

Divine by Zero: Batman Rises Against Palin’s Movie

July 19, 2011

It’s going to be an interesting two weeks. Mary and I are moving in August. I have to get things for the high school summer camp. I started The Weekly Muse, and I’m getting ready to get a podcast up and running once I figure out the software. In the meantime, expect articles on time and general weirdness on the Facebook page and the Twitter feed.

And now, on to the randomness!

  • Who are the most violent people in the world? The answer might surprise you.
  • Herman Cain, a man who has whined about race more times than anyone in recent memory, now claims it should be legal to ban mosques from being built. His rationale? Islam combines government and religion and is therefore illegal.  By that reasoning, his party’s insistence on combining the Bible of law would make THEM illegal.
  • The Thing stands as one of the great horror films of the 80’s a truly disturbing movie where anyone could be the enemy. The paranoia made it awesome. That being said, and given my caution when it comes to sequels or remakes of classic works, I’m actually a little optimistic about the prequel, strangely also titled The Thing. Here’s the first trailer, and let’s hope it doesn’t suck.
  • Rebecca Black is coming back. And I think I just gave them a slogan. D’oh!
  • The new photos from the reboot of Spiderman have me thinking that they might actually know what they’re doing. Spidey looks, well, like he does in the comic. The costume changes are odd, but at least they have web shooters!
  • And finally… some of you already saw this, but here’s the official, cleaned-up version of the first teaser for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Please, dear gods of the four winds, do not let this get threequel rot. I will hunt people down with a fork.

Divine by Zero: Ron Weasley and Batman VS Moriarty

July 14, 2011

Wow. Thursday already? The week is going by at rocket-speed… except when I want it. Oh well. Let’s get some links up in!

  • Sarah Palin got a documentary called The Undefeated? Didn’t she lose the vice-presidency and quit her gubernatorial job mid-way through?
  • I had an interesting conversation regarding meat on Twitter. I’ll probably write more about it later, but suffice to say I’m a proud meat-eater and have no qualms about killing an animal for my food. With that in mind, there’s a reason a lot of vegetarians and vegans get a bad rep. It’s self-involved jerks like this that make the rest of you look bad.
  • And finally, here’s the trailer for the sequel to Sherlock Holmes. I hope they don’t overdo the bullet-time, but other than that, it looks fun. See you tomorrow!

Policing the Tennessee Interwebs

June 10, 2011

Texas and Arizona have been neck to neck in a fight to both dumb down and destroy the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Now, Tennessee has thrown its hat into the ring, and we are in for a great fight, folks.

The state just passed a law that would make it illegal to distribute images that might “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone. Let that sink in for a moment. Any image that is may disturb someone is now illegal. This includes a fine and jail time.

Can you hear the First Amendment dying like Lohan’s career?

This is an update to a current law to makes it illegal to contact someone with the intent of causing emotional harm. Most of you can already see the problem with the logic of the update.

What constitutes a disturbing image to you? Me? I watch a lot of scary movies. Many of them contain gore. Blood and monsters and rusty things in flesh may be gory, but I don’t classify them as emotionally disturbing. How about this?

Bed by *Hoffine on deviantART

Too tame? Maybe, but I have a friend who has a son who is afraid of a duck sock puppet. Putting an image of THAT on the internet is now illegal.

Of course, you could make the argument that law probably means that purposefully transmitting images to a particular person with the intent of causing emotional harm is the punishable offense, not just posing an image ANYONE could find disturbing. That makes a little more sense, but then the question becomes this…

How do you enforce that? How do you figure out intent or police THE INTERNET?

I mean, there are some really sick people out there. Look at this:

Reunited -seriously scary 3 by ~steelgohst on deviantART

And it being Tennessee, I’m going to assume that what they find disturbing is anything that might offend the Right Wing base. See, laws like this are usually passed by people who cannot handle either something that contradicts their point of view or wish to silence the opposition. It’s very Middle East, you know.

If a Christian wishes to never see any demonic images or anything non-Christian, do we prosecute people who display heavy metal covers? Could a radical Muslim ask that images of American military action be taken down because they offend him? Could I, if I moved to Tennessee, ask that no one circulate any images of Glenn Beck since they remind me of the awful damage he has done to this country?

My guess would be “no.”

They might find an image like this intimidating…

Gay Rights by =digitalgrace on deviantART

…But the rest of us would just see something to root for.

The whole “free choice” thing is really the spanner in the works here. And, if you think about, it’s a law that keeps people from being offended. There’s such a thing as libel and death threats which have actual repercussions in the real world, but if you’re not mature enough to see an image and either look away, debate someone over its merit in a battle of wits, or otherwise engage the thing in front of you in any way shape or form, and if your last recourse is asking Big Brother to take the image down for you, you have one of two problems.

You are either so incompetent you cannot operate a web browser, or you have the emotional maturity of a five-year old.

You can’t possibly be a non-tech savvy five-year old. Those don’t exist anymore.

the slender man by ~Kreatur-im-Spiegel on deviantART

Now let’s cleanse that gore and blood with some good ol’ fashioned links. They’re good for ya!

  • I have not watched The Human Centipede, nor do I have any desire to view it at any point in my life. However, the teaser for the sequel does something really smart. It takes all the controversy from the first (the gore, the body horror, and the false claim of medical accuracy) and turns it into a spot that would have made 1950’s horror directors proud. I remember the trailer for Psycho had Hitchcock walking through the Bates residence. Not that I think Human Centipede 2 will be anywhere near Hitchcock’s level, but the trailer’s a nice throwback.
  • In the last gasps of air for Beck’s show, Becky Boy is throwing everything out. He’s warning against the coming Progressive-led Apocalypse and urging his viewers to be like the city of Joplin and not accept any FEMA aid so the government sees we can take care of ourselves… Except Joplin DID accept FEMA aid. It’s like Beck’s not even trying with his lies any more.
  • This… this is perhaps the greatest story of the week. Amidst all the crap going on, I couldn’t stop laughing at this story. it’s a victory for the American people, a victory against banks that think they can take whatever they want, and a true example of poetic justice. See you Monday, kids!

Sesame Street Cred

June 6, 2011

I’ve fought the good fight here on Randomology. I’ve battled the nitwits and the stupid, the racist and the close-minded. I’ve pushed back against those who would hijack education, the Constitution, and twist the idea of progress into something awful. I’ve ranted against those who likewise hijack religion in the name of ratings or fame.

But when you go after Sesame Street, you better believe I will FUCK YOU UP. I grew up with Sesame Street. Sesame Street helped me learn English. I loved the Muppets growing up, and if you grow balls big enough to go after Jim Henson and this pure, fun, educational part of my childhood, I will personally rip your spleen out through your knee.

Behold the wisdom of going after puppets. No, really. Just watch the video and see how these guys can see the Mongol-like invasion of progressivism in… Elmo teaching kids letters.

Now, maybe you watched the video, but maybe you didn’t. That’s fine. Let me go over a few of the more… interesting points they try to make regarding Sesame Street and the media in general.

0:36-0:51 Sesame Street was created to cater to poor black and Hispanic children who didn’t have reading material at home.

…And? What’s wrong with originally catering to sections of the population that traditionally lag behind in education? I would think this is a good thing. Blacks and Hispanics usually lag behind in education, and this isn’t a stereotype. Research throughout the years have shown this. This is due to a number of reasons, everything from inadequate resources to troubled home life.

And yes, I myself am Hispanic, and while I didn’t have these kinds of problems, the show helped me.

0:51-1:26 Sesame Street’s website tells parents to use gender-neutral nouns, give dolls to boys and trucks to girls, and just this year, an openly gay boy was crowned prom queen in a school in Virginia, so this is a “direct assault on this country’s moral foundation.”

Okay, this string of accusations has three parts, so let’s go through each individually.

First of all, using gender-neutral pronouns isn’t some subversion of morality. It’s the inevitable result of both genders being equal. Do these two clowns have something against equality? Even MLA and APA handbooks say you should use gender-neutral nouns. However, this being Fox, I doubt they’d know the standards of journalism.

Second of all, could someone please tell me where on the Sesame Street website these evolutionary throwbacks found that little piece of information?

And third of all, this thing with a gay man being voted prom queen? How exactly does Sesame Street link back to this? This is really the point of the clip where the discussion goes into generalities and strawmen, but let’s pretend that this has nothing to do with Sesame Street. Let’s say they’re just outraged that the media in general is saying that a gay man can be prom queen.


I guess these are the kinds of people who would also be upset over two lesbians going to prom. The school voted and the kid won. Fair and square. And it was an affirmation that the student body embraced this young man’s decision. Just watching him and how proud he was of his friends and family speaks volumes.

Sesame Street Fighter by ~gavacho13 on deviantART

1:37-2:14 “The values of young people today scare me because we’re robbing them at earlier and earlier ages of their childhood. They know more. They do more.” Our shows used to be more wholesome, and parents aren’t monitoring what their kids are watching.

The children! They invoked the children!

And if you too would like to know how you can tell people to stop using children as a shield for their own ignorance, just click here.

So many things wrong here… What, exactly, is Sesame Street taking from our children? Just read that quote again. The panel is actually mad that children are LEARNING. That’s right. They don’t want children learning things like reading and math or about other cultures. God forbid little Timmy learns that in Mexico, they use a lot of spices and have different kinds of limes.

As for the whole “wholesome” shows thing… as much as I loved I Love Lucy and similar programming… Lucy smoked while she was pregnant. Everyone smoked. Aside from Ricky, name another visible, independent minority. Please. Show me the episodes where they addressed things like racism, inequality, and the rights of women. Show me when the Cleavers had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.

And don’t even get me started on The Honeymooners.

Yeah, the shows were “wholesome,” and I’ll admit they were funnier than half the crap on TV right now, but don’t hold them up as ethical and moral beacons.

Cookie Monster by ~tioandria on deviantART

2:15-2:26- Artists are liberal, and artists make these shows, so…

Now, our former Miss America got cut off, but if you listen carefully, it sounded like she was going to make a case for “Artists make and write these shows, artists are liberal, and therefore, since we know liberals are evil, these shows are evil.”

I got news for you, Spray Tan. Artists made those shows you and the Right-Wing Brigade were pushing up a few minutes ago. Yeah, artists tend to be more liberal and open minded. We have to be.

But the politics or personality of the artist have no merit on the aesthetics of the art itself. Let me put it another way.

I hate Michael Bay. The guy is a diva who is full of himself and can’t take the blame for his own mistakes. On the other hand, The Rock happens to be one of my favorite 90’s action movies. Not surprising, since Bay made it before he apparently replaced his blood with pure testosterone and diesel fuel. Likewise, H. P. Lovecraft created tales of morbid and alien terror, yet he was an unapologetic racist. On their own, though, the stories created an entire sub-genre: Lovecraftian horror.

Oh, and may I just say that, when you want in-depth commentary on the state of the media, education, and child psychology, your first choice for a panelist should ALWAYS be a former Miss America, right?

Was a former Playmate not available?

Down for the Count by ~poopbear on deviantART

2:27-2:54 If you look at tyrannies, the first thing they do is go after the family and religion. Then, government can become the family and religion.

Again, this has nothing to do with Sesame Street, but let’s ignore that.

How is the media going after family and religion? Can we get examples? Specific shows and incidents? No. All we get are generalizations. The fact is that if you want to make the case for the media destroying families and religion, it’s not because television is preaching against it. It’s more likely that parents aren’t paying attention or being involved with their kids. Religion does not address the issues it needs to address.

I would never raise a child just on Sesame Street, or any other show or book. That’s called bad parenting, so stop blaming the television for parents not doing their job.

2:54-3:15 Liberals think they’re so great, that their morality is so good, and they want to spread their message. They don’t even teach the basics in school like reading, writing, and math! They don’t even use their own money to get their message out.

Yeah, we like to think we’re right. We want to get our message out. So does the right. This is really just Hannity mad that liberals have the balls to say what they believe. I’m serious. He’s just ranting that the Left has the gall to try and spread its message as though it’s some instant thought-converter.

Oh, and that crack about teachers not teaching reading, writing, and math? Well, we’d like to, but your hero, George W. Bush, butchered the educational system and my own state has raped history into submission.

And Hannity, how much of YOUR money do you spend to get your message out? How much does Beck spend? Beck was crying about this Israel trip of his costing a few million dollars even though he is worth $80 million. Even if he spent only 10 million dollars, he could fly more than 2,000 people there for free.

Oscar by ~lolitalorelie on deviantART

The rest of the video is just ranting against how liberals supposedly don’t have their own charities, how there’s apparently between rich liberals and the American elite that involves some weird word-play on Hannity’s part, and Sesame Street is never mentioned again.

There are legitimate concerns about children’s programming. I know this, but at least make a substantial argument. I’m very protective of Sesame Street because it really did play a big part in my childhood, although seeing the raging liberal that I am today, I may have proven the panel’s point.

Sesame Street is one of the best educational tools for young children. Combine it with good parenting, and kids get a lesson at home they might not otherwise get. It’s a great tool for learning English for foreign-born kids, and it’s evolved throughout the years to show a more multi-cultural, open society.

And if anyone goes after Sesame Street, Oscar, Gonzo, or any of the Muppets without some actual justification, I will go after them with extreme violence. Napalm may be involved.

Cookiethulhu by *InfinityWave on deviantART

Well, let’s hit the links, shall we?

  • And finally, because this is a short set of links, let me give you the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. See you Wednesday!