Saturday, June 28, 2008


As promised...


Honorable Mention: World's Bustiest Asian...

Okay, I'm not actually going there. You can thank me later...right after you beat me senseless for going on about the worst pornos ever.

No, I'm not 'going there' in the literal sense. I won't go into that. Instead, I'm going to rant a little bit on the two worst movies that pretended to be serious, artistic, oscar-worthy films, and instead turned out to be Porn. Not even good porn.


Dishonorable Mention: Caligula (1979)

Okay, picture this...

Wait...on second thought, don't.

Instead, picture an 18 year old Max, finally able to rent 'adult' movies, who doesn't have the guts to actually rent porn. Keep in mind, this is before the internet caught on.

Now, he's looking around the video store and he sees 'Caligula'. It has naked women, it's critically acclaimed, and it appears historical. Naked women and a good movie to boot! Who could ask for more?

Young Max then takes it home, sneaks it upstairs, puts it on, and is immediately scarred for life.

This movie is grotesque. It's not even historically accurate. The incest is really the tamest part. I'm all for sex and violence in movies, but NOT IN THE SAME SCENE. The best parts are merely disgusting, and I really don't want to go further into it.

To quote the hilarious (although it isn't always intentional) Roger Ebert:

"It isn't good art and it isn't good porn."

Ew...still, one redeeming scene, no doubt as a concession to investors (who were probably nearing the torch and pitchfork stage), is in the movie towards the end, involving the Roman senator's wives. It DEFINITELY isn't worth watching for it, but it makes it a little bit better than...

WORST PORN: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Story time once more. Okay, I'm at college, flipping through the channels, and I stop at the college TV station...and it's soft core porn.


It's fully clothed people in masks watching naked people in masks have sex. It'd be more interesting if it wasn't ridiculously 'artsy' and over-dramatic.

Suddenly, there's a little tension as one of the guys in masks (fully clothed, thankfully) is cornered and revealed as an intruder. He's ordered to take off his mask and it's...

Tom Cruise

I nearly passed out. I nearly hurled myself out the second story window, to end the nightmare. No, it was real...and it was Tom Cruise.

I had one of those 'if it wasn't for my horse' moments. My mind's racing. What the hell is Tom Cruise doing in a bad, artsy soft core porn movie?

Then it hits me...Eyes Wide Shut. The movie progresses terribly, with all the horrible acting, and no more nudity. It's bad enough that Tom Cruise is the type of actor who prepares for the role of a doctor by putting on a stethoscope, but nobody brings anything to this movie. How the hell could Kubrick, one of the best directors who ever lived, create a piece of crap like that?!

That's when it hits me. Imagine you're Kubrick. You're an old and famous director, and a dirty old man (all old men are 'dirty old men' by the way). You're in no mood to marry a gold digging, trophy wife. You can't go to a strip club, or it'd be all over the news. The internet is around, but still in the crappy AOL stage.

What do you do?

You direct a movie that's basically nothing but a strip club, and sell it off as art. Genius. It's trash, but the scam is genius. ^_^


Along with detective/mystery, it's probably my favorite genre. Movies are supposed to be fun, and comedies are definitely that...usually.

Honorable Mention: Young Frankenstein (1974)

Of all the movies in the list, this is probably the closest any honorable mention got to winning. Gene Wilder is a comic genius (if he wasn't such a prick in real life, he'd get more acclaim), and his talent, combined with a great cast, hilarious script and top notch directing, all combined to bring us the greatest parody of all time. The 'scalpel' scene near the beginning never fails to crack me up, and if any other actor besides Gene Wilder did it, it probably wouldn't have been nearly as funny. Comedy is ultimately about subtlety and timing, and no movie does it better than...

BEST COMEDY: Clue (1985)

Yes, you probably saw this one coming, but come on:

Tim Currey
Madelain Kahn (In both top comedies, by the way)
Christopher Lloyd
Martin Mull
Michael McKean
Colleen Camp (the ludicrously hot Yvette)
Eileen Brennan

This is a cast that could only produce pure, comic gold, and surely enough they did. The plot is clever, fast moving, suprisingly realistic (everything that happens is certainly possible), and like my top action pick 'Hot Fuzz', Clue keeps escalating, starting off slow and slightly sombre, but by the end it runs like a full blown madcap comedy.

Also like Young Frankenstein, the movie would have only been 'alright' if it weren't for the experienced cast, who play off each other beautifully, with hilarious and subtle performances.

Yes, I'm a major clue fan...and I've even ranted in the past about how only the 'first' ending (the one with the 'one plus two' bit) is the only ending that makes sense...because otherwise how would the murderers know about the secret passage from the Conservatory to the Lounge? It doesn't make sense that they'd find it by chance during the few minutes left alone, and Miss Scarlet was the only one who could possibly know...

Well, you see what I mean. Still, it's a fantastic movie. Also, it cements Madelain Kahn's place as the queen of comedy. You know her rant on how much she hated Yvette? She improvised that on the spot. ^_^

Almost made it to the list

Most of the Monty Python Movies (like the series, the often get a little slow and unfunny at times...blasphemous, I know, but live with it)

Most other Mel Brooks Movies (there are many many great ones, but Young Frankestein is the best)

Oh Brother Where Art Thou (A little too serious, with too many scenes of the 'politicians', but otherwise very good)

MST3K The Movie (Yes, I'm a fanboy, but I'll give them props. The movie is tight, short, entertaining, and you don't need to be a fan to enjoy it. The end credits is the best end credits of any movie, ever)


Dishonorable Mention: Most Adam Sandler movies

God, I hate Adam Sandler. He plays every single part with the same blank, humorless aggressiveness. He's one of those actors who believes he can phone in rolls because he oozes talent, but since he has virtually none, he just comes off as an aloof idiot.

Have a favorite Adam Sandler movie? I guarantee you he was carried along by better actors, to give the impression of talent by having other comedians provide all the humor. He's the Millie Vanilli of comedy. He's Owen Wilson without charm. He's Ben Stiller without personality. He's Rob Schneider without any shred of humility.

Alright, I'll give him Happy Gilmore, but that's it. Everything else is trash.

WORST COMEDY: Nothing but Trouble (1991)

When a man sits down with his friends to watch a movie starring Dan Akroyd, Jim Candy, Chevy Chase, and Demi Moore (back when she was hot)...a man has certain expectations. This is a very talented cast, full of veteran comedians...

So what the hell happened? This movie has all the grotesqueness of Caligula, only instead of nudity, it has wacky sound effects. For some strange reason, I keep getting the odd suspicion that Dan Akroyd's trying to be funny. Maybe it's just me.

An insane old judge with a nose that looks like a penis...yeah, that's the old backwoods courthouse, and a roller coaster like machine that kills people, debones them, and spits their bones onto a huge pile in back.

The punchline? They mainly target bankers.

Let me know if I cross over anything that sounds funny, because these are the jokes in their entirety. There's no delivery or charm, you're just supposed to be hearing these things, and rolling on the floor with laughter.

Even John Candy cross dressing doesn't do anything for the humor. It's ugly, it's dumb, and they even throw in two giant retarded fat guys in diapers.

Give me any three random highschoolers, a case full of red bull, a computer with a word processor, and a long weekend, and I guarantee you'll have a funnier movie than this one. Jesus fucking Christ...I want to ask Dan Akroyd what the hell happened. I'll even break out the Ouiji board and ask John Candy. Chevy Chase and Demi Moore I expect this from, but the rest...what happened?

I'd rather break a tooth and get a crown, than have to watch this movie ever again.


Let's lighten things up with Sci-fi. I have to admit, I'm nowhere as big a sci-fi fan as I am a fantasy fan, mostly because the genre as a whole feels they doesn't have to be entertaining. I'm not sure why.

Honorable Mention: Star Wars (1977)

There's plenty of room for fanboyism here, but really, it's a great movie. For the kids, there's plenty of space ships, laser sword fighting, magic powers, and HUGE explosions! For the more serious, there's a great cast, good plot, and great dialog. Nevermind that the sequels are nothing like the original movie, and that the plot was based on 'The Hidden Fortress' and the atmosphere was lifted straight out of 'Dune'. George Lucas pulled everything together and brought us a classic gem. It isn't the best though. The best goes to someone who took more risks...

BEST SCI-FI: Blade Runner: the Director's Cut (1982)

Blade Runner is a visual masterpiece, considering everything was done with models and light effects. That's right, no CGI or animation at all. That's more than enough to make it worth watching, but the story goes much further, and manages to define the disutopian sci-fi genre with its portrayal of a future that's not bright and fantastic, but crowded, dirty, dark, polluted, and enbridled with a ethically and morally questionable culture.

It's a standard, mysterious androids that look human run amok and kill people plot, but the director Ridley Scott never takes the easy way out, by dismissing them as 'evil'. The movie is designed to show how human the replicants really are, and how inhuman regular people can become, until the differences are minute, and eventually, indestinguishable. Harrison Ford plays the hard boiled detective part perfectly, and Rutger Hauer steals the show as the villain.

Their final scene together on the rooftop is one of the most poignant scenes I can ever remember seeing in a movie, not only for Rutger Hauer's speech, but for Harrison Ford's amazingly subtle reactions, as he himself, as well as the audience, begin to question what we believe.

Alright, it's not only drama. There's more than enough action to keep anyone satisfied, and a little T & A to boot.

Interestingly enough, this is the only movie I can think of where I suggest watching the original version first, and then the director's cut afterwards. The director's cut is better, but it can often be hard to follow, as the plot moves along without waiting for the audience to keep up. The original is much easier to follow, but includes a ridiculously 'super happy' ending, and some unwelcome voice overs that cause the action to stop and sputter. Don't worry, it's definitely worth watching twice.

Almost made the list

12 Monkeys (I'm not a huge Terry Gilliam fan, but this is actually quite good)

Star Trek 8: First Contact (the best of the Star Trek movies. It's quick, easy to follow, and thoroughly entertaining. Best of all: no Shatner)

Serenity (It includes everything great about the series 'Firefly', and none of the bad parts...and yes, there were many bad parts. Deal with it)

Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (Empire got a little dark and artsy, only to slingshot in the opposite direction and become cutesy and dump by Jedi. They're both good, just not good enough)


Dishonorable Mention: Matrix 2 (2003)

More of an action movie than a Sci-fi, but it counts, and I want those few hours of my life back. The action, actually, is the most serviceable aspect of the movie. I'd even go as far to describe the car chase/battle involving the ghostly brothers, Morpheus, Trinity and the agents as 'awesome'.

It's too bad they felt the need to keep interrupting with French babbling, completely out of place philosophy, pointlessly bland kung-fu action, and a love scene that's almost enough to get me to swear off sex for good.

Like many other terrible sequels, everyone involved gutted out everything that made the original movie great, packed it tightly with pure ego, and marketed it as if it were the second coming of Christ.

I sincerely hope Neo's fight against all the Agent Smiths was supposed to be hilarious. I honestly rolling in the aisles.

The only thing interesting about the movie, and the Matrix series in general, is the moral ambiguity. The heroes pine over the safety and wellbeing of each other, and then go on to happily murder hundreds, if not thousands of innocent people in the Matrix. Sure, they're 'part of the system', but so were they at some point.

I wouldn't harp on it, as it is often necessary, but nobody seems to care the least when countless men, women and children die by their hands. Hell, Neo's climactic rush to save Trinity, only a single person, had to have killed at least a thousand people, most of whom had to mean as much to someone as Trinity meant to him.

The movie is pure self-absorbtion. Not only were the Wachowski brothers completely absorbed by their own arrogance when making this movie (hopefully Speed Racer took them down a few pegs), but the characters in the movie are equally self absorbed, heartless soldiers that care nothing about the innocent, defenseless, or any other lives or feelings besides their own.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to put in a movie, but it does make it hard to take all the 'religious' symbolism in the movie seriously. Jesus wouldn't kill a person even to save his own life. Neo kills a hundred people on his way to work each day. You might also note that in the sequel, he only sacrifices himself after Trinity is dead. Even that reaks of selfishness. It hurts too much to live, so he's going to kill himself. The fact it saves the world is almost coincidental.

WORST SCI-FI: Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (2002)



Say what you want about Episode I and Jar Jar, but it had its moments. Yes, we were all disappointed, but it wasn't a bad movie. Even Episode 3, with its non-stop whining, impossible to follow sword fights and stupid plot resolutions wasn't terrible. I can think of at least three scenes that drew me in.

Why, oh why did Episode 2 have to happen? There's literally NOTHING to see here. Lucas continues to devalue his own worth by forcing deep helping of politics, bland conversations, unimaginative CGI, and climactic battles that consistently fail to live up to the hype.

In every way, you'll be disappointed by this movie. It keeps setting up brilliant 'concepts' for scenes, only to horribly blow the delivery in the worst possible way. It's like watching a comedy bit between Bud Abbot and...well, Jar Jar binks.

The catina scene is shockingly forgettable (with almost no aliens at all), Jango Fett's death is stupid (although not as stupid as some suggest...he just never imagined that every shot would be blocked), Christopher Lee is completely out of place, Anakin is as likeable as a rabid badger with irritable bowel syndrome, and the ending is horribly anti-climactic.

Watch this movie, and Episodes I and III will look a LOT better. Trust me.

Well, that's all the time I have for this week (I spent way too much time on Sci-fi), but we'll be back with Robin Williams. Can you guess which movie of his drove me to call him up and convince him to start drinking again? Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Okay, I'm just going to rant on one vaguely political issue, and then go on to a regular post. If you want, just hum 'American Pie' to yourself until the rant is over.

The internet is going wild with people throwing tantrums over the bill recently passed in the house, that gives us more protections against government wiretapping, but simultenously excuses the phone companies for giving the private information of its customers over to the government.

If you hop over to Fark, you'll be able to see countless people crying that by not holding the phone companies responsible, we're becoming slaves to our corporate masters...or some crap like that.

I'm glad the phone companies weren't held responsible. They aren't responsible.

It's not the phone company's job to decide if handing information over is necessary to preserve national security, it's the government's, so when the government asked for the information (even though it wasn't really within their right to do so), it's understandable that the phone companies complied.

Say you're a landlord, and police officers show up, telling you that there's an emergency, and they need to be let into one of the rooms in order to save a life, even though they don't have a warrant. Let's say there actually isn't an emergency, and the police just wanted to illegally search through those apartments.

Should the landlord be held accountable for letting them in? Of course not. The authorities are the ones with the power and right to declare whether a situation is an emergency, or if extreme measures must be taken, so it wasn't their place to question their request. The fact it was a lie doesn't make the landlord guilty, and the fact the phone companies complied with the government doesn't make them guilty either.

Look at it this way: what if it WAS necessary, and handing over the information prevented a major terrorist attack? Would they be facing these same lawsuits? Of course not, they'd be lauded as heroes.

What if the information WAS necessary, but it was withheld, and allowed another terrorist attack on the United States? Do you think the democrats would be applauding the phone companies as champions of civil rights? Of course not! They'd be tearing them to shreds, as would everyone else.

It's not the job of phone companies to question the government, or decide what is and is not necessary in order for the nation to be secure. That's the government's job. If they did something wrong, then they have to be held accountable, not the companies that complied with their orders.


Thank you. This has only been a test. Had this been a real emergency, it would have been on TV, rather than on the internet.


How could I have gone so long without ranting about my favorite and least favorite movies? That, along with fascist/hippie political opinions (see above) is the primary purpose of blogs in general.

I'm going to break this down between a few posts, at allow for sufficient ranting, and in order to keep the list from being clogged with 80's comedies and film noir detective movies, I'm going by genre.

As a last note, some of these 'worst' movies aren't 'bad' per se, but simply insulted me on a personal, spiritual level. Some of them could probably even be considered by some as 'good', but if you turned them on while I was in the room, I'd march right out the front door, regardless if I was watching it at a good friend's house, bachelor party, or plane.


I've actually seperated the 'suspense', 'samurai/cowboy' and 'mystery' movies out of this genre, to list them seperately, and am defining 'action/adventure' as any movie where people fire guns while leaping through the air, crash cars intentionally, or spend a good amount of the movie running from things. Spielburg, I'm looking at you.

Honorable Mention: Drunken Master (1978)

No, not the 1994 version, but that's good too. The original Drunken Master was a triumph of low budget karate/action. Besides Jackie Chan, and the cost of a few stunt men, there really wasn't a budget at all. Regardless, Jackie treats us to hilarious comedy which translates well from culture to culture, nearly non-stop glorious action, and a final fight which is legendary. The funny thing is, the environment seems like 1800's China, but in the sequel, it's closer to modern China. The fact is, the movie works either way. It isn't about the setting, it's about ACTION ACTION ACTION!

Best Action Movie: Hot Fuzz (2007)

I absolutely adore this movie. Not only is it hilarious, entertaining and filled with ridiculous violence, but it keeps escalating. Instead of dragging along or tapering off, the movie just keeps getting better and better, all the way to the very end. It's nothing short of the greatest action movie ever made. Will Smith and Marin Lawrence would be proud...wait, they're not dead. They are proud then. They better be proud.

Didn't quite make the list, but still very good

Most of the Indiana Jones movies (they're all a little too slow in the middle, but still great)

Iron Man (A little light on action, but a fantastic movie none-the-less)

12 O'Clock High (Great war movie about WW2 daylight bombing, with real life footage)

Lethal Weapon 2 (A little too schticky, but otherwise great, especially the ending)


Dishonorable Mention: Water World (1995)

This movie is basically the exact opposite of entertainment. The action is dull, the plot twists make no sense, and the parts that aren't disgusting or ridiculous, are simply boring instead. If it weren't for a standout performance by Dennis Hopper, it would have been the worst action movie ever.

Worst Action Movie: Mortal Kombat 2

Yeah, get used to seeing sequels in the 'worst' parts of the list. Mortal Kombat 2 breaks several major sins by not only replacing most of the stars and revising the ending of the first movie, which I honestly enjoyed, but they also kill off the best character of the first movie in the first 5 minutes. This movie is complete garbage, with only two things to show for it: a few semi-hot actresses, and Tony Jaa, from Ong Bak. Yes, Liu Kang has some amazing karate moves and stunts throughout the movie, but they're all in thanks to his stunt double, Tony Jaa. Sorry Tony, your moves are great (especially at the end), but it's not enough to get us through this garbage.


I'll admit it, I'm not really into sports movies. There really are only three: the one where they win at the end, the one where they lose at the end, and the one where someone dies at the end. If you've seen one of each, you've pretty much seen them all. Still, here are my favorites.

Honorable Mention: Major League (1989)

Yeah, it's really closer to a straight comedy than a sports movie, which shows how little I appreciate the genre. Still, several standout performances by...well, just about everyone really. Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, Charles Cyphers, and more. It's hilarious, sympathetic, and has a large number of really good characters as well.

Best Sports Movie: Any Given Sunday (1999)

Man, this movie only has a 6.5/10 rating on IMDB, but I swear, it blows me away. The dizzying, high stakes, violent world of Football is brilliantly portrayed by Oliver Stone, and Al Pacino steals the show as the team's coach. Like many good movies, it shows many different perspectives, to give you a good idea of the big picture. Sure, Stone lays it on thick, with over the top effects and symbolism, but it goes a long way to show you what the players are actually experiencing. As an added bonus, the big game at the end of the movie isn't really that 'big' a game in the grand scheme of things. It's only the first game of the play-offs, and win or lose, they don't really have a chance in hell of getting much further, and they know it. That doesn't stop them from giving it all they have, and playing as if it's more important than life itself. I can't fully understand that mind set, but I respect it.

Almost made it to the list:

Wildcats (Mediocre comedy, but that isn't the point. Goldie Hawn has a nude scene. And this was back when you wanted to see her naked. Nuff said. If you're a girl, then there's also Woody Harrelson's bare rear end, again when I assume you'd want to see it. There's something for everyone.)


Dishonorable Mention: Rudy (1993)

Yeah, yeah, quit your griping. I really liked the ending too. You know what I didn't like? The hour and fifteen minutes BEFORE the ending. This movie is slowwwwwwwww...

Worst Sports Movie: Aspen Extreme (1993)

1993 was just a really bad year for sports movies, I guess. Rather fittingly, the worst sports movie ever is also about the most boring sport ever. No, it's not about a race or competitive skiing. The competitors...get ready for this...skii in teams, criss crossing over eachother's path, like a double-helix or infinity symbol, as far as they can down a mountain.

That's it. Yes, the big triumphant scene at the end involves the heroes doing those criss-cross girly moves all the way down the mountain...slightly better than the bad guys. Be still my heart.


I decided to split sci-fi and fantasy...basically because the genres have nothing to do with eachother. The only reason they're grouped together in video stores is because they have the same geeky fan base, and there aren't enough 'good' examples of either genre to fill an entire shelf. Here we go.

Honorable Mention: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Yes Pat...look at can't deny it. Oh come on, didn't you love the Tom Bombadil scene? You know you did. ^_^

Anyway, this movie is fantastic, and easily my favorite of the trilogy. The characters, story, action and comedy all flow together in a complete package, and leaves you desperate for more. The sequels got a little bogged down by the over the top action and scenery though (especially after they got back to the ruined shire with the human invaders, where Merry and Pippen went all wire-fu on Wormtongue and Saruman).

Best Fantasy Movie: Labyrinth (1986)

Before we go on to Labyrinth, let me talk about 'Dark Crystal'. Dark Crystal is an amazing, if somewhat flawed movie. It's great because it created its own mythology from scrap, brough us amazing creatures and incredibly in-depth history and characters. Like Fantasia, Dark Crystal was an incredibly ambitious project created by a genius (Jim Hensen), aimed at a more mature audience, masterfully created, and likewise doomed to become a short-term commercial failure.

Like Fantasia, Dark Crystal lacked mass appeal, especially from the supposed target audience, young children. The story was dark and occassionally gruesome despite its brilliance, and the main gelfling characters are a little too disturbingly realistic for them to be cute. That being said, I'd marry Kira in a heartbeat.

The point is, Jim Hensen learned from his mistakes, and managed to take everything that was great about Dark Crystal, remove everything that didn't work, and put it all into Labyrinth. Not only did Jim Hensen direct, but Terry Jones (from Monty Python) wrote it. Now there's a tag team that can take over the world.

The visuals are absolutely stunning, the story is great, the special effects seem far more realistic than anything that's come out recently, because puppets look far more real than CGI. David Bowie does ham it up a bit, but with this role it's actually called for, and Jennifer Connelly plays her part so well that I keep forgetting it's Jennifer Connelly (even though she's the oldest 15 year old I've ever seen). Brilliant, imaginative, and thoroughly entertaining, all combined with Bowie's great music. There simply isn't anything not to like.

Nearly made it onto the list:

Ghostbusters (far more of a fantasy than a sci-fi, while dipping also into comedy and action/adventure, but overall a humorous fantasy and a timeless classic)

Willow (screw the nay sayers, I really liked Willow. It's dark, realistic, visually stunning, and it's Val Kilmer's best performance ever)

Mirror Mask (incredibly original, with great performances, a beautiful soundtrack, and a perfect blend of fantasy and reality. Stephen Fry's guest spot as the 'historian' is classic. Believe it or not, he managed it in only one take, with a brief interruption in the middle for a call to his mother. LOOK! AN IDIOT!)


Dishonorable Mention: Time Bandits (1981)

Some people swear by this gross, ridiculous, confusing cluster-fuck of a movie, although I'm not sure why. I was a kid when I first saw this, and I didn't understand or enjoy a single thing. I saw it again as an adult and understood half of it and enjoyed only one thing (the hilariously anti-climactic end battle). This movie was admittedly original, and did a lot with relatively little, but that's Terry Gilliam's hallmark. Nothing, however, excuses the fact that the characters are forgettable, that the plot dips a little too far away from farce and into stupidity, and the ending didn't resolve or explain anything.

Half of Terry Gilliam's movies are like a fart in the face. Some people might find that hilarious, but I think it's juvenille, especially since the audience is on the receiving end.

Worst Fantasy Movie: Quest of the Delta Knights (1993)

What the hell is it with 1993?! Anyway, you probably haven't heard of it unless you're a fan of MST3K, but let me assure you, there's nothing really to see here, besides an adequate 'I'm doing this for the paycheck' performance by David Warner, better known as the villain from Tron, Irenicus from Baldur's Gate 2, and virtually every other B movie you can think of. This Emmy winning actor never turned down a part in his life, but he's great for adding a little class and sophistication to an otherwise mediocre movie or show.

Delta Knights obviously wanted the most bang for their buck, because they have him portray two...that's right, two of the characters in the movie. No, the characters aren't related, they just decided to use him as the young hero's mentor, and after throwing on a black wig, had him play the villain as well. I think we even have a movie 'first' when his villain character kills his hero character.

No wait, Gene Wilder did the same thing in 'Start the Revolution Without Me'. We can't even give Delta Knights that.

Calling this pile a crap a fantasy is a stretch, but what else could it be called? Anyway, the clothes and sets are straight out of a renaissance faire...and not even a good one, the script was most likely written over a long lunch break, and the characters are thoroughly unlikeable. The hero is stupid, the sidekick is a soulless horndog (who's supposed to be Leonardo Da Vinci...who was a horndog I guess...just not for women), and the missing princess is discovered to be working as a prostitute.

Yes, the movie goes to lengths to say she was 'forced' into it, but not only didn't she seem very 'forced', as there was absolutely nothing preventing her from walking right out the door, but she also seemed quite content, healthy and successful in her 'trade'. In fact, she was eagerly trying to talk the 12-13 year old hero into bed when she met him.

Needless to say, I'm not buying it...still, I can definitely see the way that situation could happen. The heroes walk in, find the princess sitting on the lap of a sailor, laughing hysterically, only to suddenly announce after seeing her would be rescuers, "Oh no! Just look at what I'm being forced in to! Thank goodness the heroes are here to free me from my horrible predicament!" Yeah, sure honey. She made Paris Hilton look 'reluctant'.

The above rant is the only joy I got out of that movie.

Well that's it for this week. Next week's genre: porn. ^_^

Saturday, June 07, 2008

TA DA! (and afterward)

I FINALLY finished writing 'Kutztown', which has taken far too long, mostly due to countless re-edits. I'd get about finished, and realize that the stuff I wrote earlier wasn't very good, so I had to start over and by then the rest didn't look so good...did I ever tell you why the computer programmer died in the shower?

The shampoo instructions said: wash, rinse, repeat.

Anyway, here's the link to the chapters. I still need to edit them a bit more (based on reviewer's feedback), but for all intensive purposes, it's finished:


Painfully Sweet

(I make no apologies for the inherent bitterness below. ^_^)

Okay, after suffering yet another painful lash at the hands of an unassuming woman, I must at least give an attempt at explaining something to all the women out there.

There are just some things you don't call a man, especially if you're a woman. The problem is, these words aren't always obvious.

Men don't have a problem being called scum. Tell them they're jerks, assholes, or human garbage, and they won't blink an eye. Inform us that you're seriously considering paying a man a large sum of money to murder us in our sleep, and we'll just keep eating our lunch.

No, the real killing words (that's right, I'm going for the Dune references) aren't so obvious. Below I've listed a adjective you don't want to attach to a man unless you really want to crush his soul, and burn his self-esteem into a tiny black cinder:


Never tell a man he's 'nice', unless you actually want to destroy him, and if that's the case, you can follow up by viciously informing him he's...


OOOOOF! Man, I can still feel the sting from that one. Of course if you really want to put him out for the night, as he's staggering helplessly on his feet, desperate to salvage any sort of self worth, finish him off Muhammad Ali style with...

You're such a sweet guy.

That's it. Referee desperately dives in the way, to stop the beating. The man is twitching helplessly on the floor while the press dives in to interview you, Rocky IV style.

This information will probably surprise most women, as these words were obviously meant as compliments, to build up the man's self esteem. Why would it have the exact opposite effect?

To put it bluntly, men are shallow, simple creatures. We're basically all juvenille misfits with egos as fragile as glass, and I guarantee you, no man cares too much about 'how wonderful a person he is'.

What do they care about then? That women find them attractive. If not attractive, then at least appealing in some sort of romantic context.

Paradoxically, it doesn't really matter if it comes from a woman the man would ever actually sleep with. That's why you get middle aged suburban men sucking their gut in at the beach, when college girls walk by. Those men don't actually believe the college girls would ever give them their number, and they wouldn't (most likely, I can't speak for all men) call them in any case.

Men are childish, insecure and need to feel sexually appealing. There's no way of making that sound like an achievement, but there it is.

So why are the words 'nice', 'great' and 'sweet' such downers?

Okay, stop and think about those words for a moment. Focus on the part of your mind that contains those words. Imagine them as a column of words, with no doubt also contains words like 'considerate', 'helpful', and 'kind'.

Can you see the title of that column? If not, I can read it for you:


These aren't the traits of the dashing, handsome, one-eyed hero found in romance novels. These of the traits of the protagonist's 'good friend' who no doubt loves the protagonist, but is perfectly understanding when he gets dumped in favor of the far sexier hero. This is the column of Bill Pullman, rather than Tom Hanks. Jimmy Olsen, rather than Clark Kent. Milhouse, rather than Nelson. That guy in Hellboy who wasn't Hellboy, rather than Hellboy. This is their list.

What happens to these poor guys? Well, if the author is a woman, she usually pairs him off with a random less appealing girl (who probably doesn't have a chance in hell with the main guy, so the theory can work both ways), usually created solely for the purpose of giving them a girlfriend, or as we in the industry like to call it: 'Rowling-ed' or perhaps 'Ranma-ed'.

If the author is a man, the rejected guy usually gets killed. From a male perspective, this is usually kinder.

Nonesense, you're probably saying. Any girl would want a guy to have these obviously positive qualities. In response to that, I give these 3 pieces of evidence:

1. Women don't want men who have these qualities, they want THEIR men to have these qualities. They want these qualities instilled in the men they're already with, which only proves that the men they do go out with usually never have these qualities to begin with.

In fact this situaion often leads to the paradoxial phrase: 'I wish I could go out with a guy more like you.' This always has the added subliminal message, 'but not you, specifically'. Yes, she's saying exactly what it sounds like: 'I wish I could find a guy who has your positive qualities, but none of your negative ones.' Apparently, this is meant as some sort of compliment, but I'm not sure why or how.

2. Every man has this inherent, genetically instilled insecurity. So where are the men who don't have it? Well, they obviously all died out millions of years ago. Our juvenille, insecure nature is a testament to the fact that every guy who felt perfectly content with being a 'good friend' all died without mating. Ladies, Darwin is against you on this one.

Imagine a woman talking to a man, and describing her current boyfriend as an uncaring, insensitive asshole. Oh, I bet you can even imagine the guy she's talking to, as she tells him that she loves his qualities, and wishes her jerk boyfriend had them. Finally, she breaks up with the jerk boyfriend. Who does she go out with now? Does she follow through with what she said?

Of course not! 45% chance she's now going out with an identicaly jerk boyfriend, 45% chance she's gotten back together with a previous (or the same) jerk boyfriend, and 10% she's sworn off dating altogether. The punchline being, of course, that the 'sensitive' guy was already disqualified. He was disqualified the second she met him. If he wasn't disqualified, she wouldn't be talking to him about it. Why was he disqualified, and the men his female friend describes as 'horrible' rated so much higher?

A nearly infinite number of books have been written on the subject, but I think the answer's simple: in part, the decision was made for her, by a part of her brain she isn't willing to admit even exists. I'm not saying that part of the brain decided for her who she was going to date, but there's a very good chance it decided for her who she WASN'T going to date.

Men are no better, of course, but men have the exact opposite brain effect. For men, that part of the brain is thrown in reverse.

So men want to sleep with the sensitive friend rather than the attractive bad one?

No, they want to sleep with both!

...and those girl's sisters...and their 40something year old mothers...and the lady who brings the mail to their house...and possibly her mother too.

That's why men can't understand why women wouldn't be interested in a man they like. To help illustrate, here's the same sentence said by both a man and a woman, with the true meaning in parantheses:

WOMAN: "You're such a caring person."

(I will not date you, but I want you to keep acting the same way, regardless)

MAN: "You're such a caring person."

(Let's fuck)

3. This is the most vital point:

I'm almost certainly wrong.

Some or all of what I've said most likely has no basis in reality. It doesn't matter. What's important is that men BELIEVE all this. We can't help it.

When we hear that we're kind, nice, sweet, or a great friend and wonderful guy, you're more likely to drive us to drink than boost our esteem.

So what's the answer? Just as with pets, the solution is to reward behavior, rather than giving them labels.

When a guy does what you want them to do, tell them you think the BEHAVIOR is nice, kind or sweet. They're not a 'sweet' person, but what they're doing is very 'sweet'. Say that you really like it when men do that particular thing, or act that particular way. This is also the reason guys already in relationships tend to turn into jerks.

What happens when you tell a dog that he's 'good', when he isn't doing anything? The dog might be happy, but the dog also gets lazy, because he no longer has to work for your approval. If you withold the treat until they actually are in the process of doing something good, then they work for it, and you're both happy.

So why do 'nice' guys get bitter? We never get any treats. Oh, and the starchy, diet 'I'm sure you'll someday make a woman very happy' treats don't cut it. The high sugar 'you're looking very nice today' treats are good though. The high in unsaturated fat 'let me introduce you to my friend/sister/cousin' treats work great too. The 'you'll make a very good father' treat can also work, as long you don't throw in 'for some woman' onto it (the equivalent of balancing the treat on his nose).

Don't tell us we're good, reward us for being good. The difference is often subtle, but trust me, it makes all the difference in the world.

Just don't get us fixed (translation: tell us that you like us, but not in that way), it's kinder just to put us down (translation: shoot us in the head).

Always half kidding,