Or, What the hell is the deal with Quibbage?
Ok, so last night I started my epic Harry Potter marathon with the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, I want to review the newest Harry Potter film, but feel patently unqualified as I have never seen any of the others and feel it would be a real disservice. Therefore I have borrowed all of the films from a friend of mine who is a fan girl (thanks again, Liz) and plan to watch them all back to back, culminating in the newest one and a review. I honestly think this could give me a perspective that every other reviewer will be missing, as the whole series will be super fresh in my mind. So last night I curled up in front of my painting table (I’m working on a new Warhammer army) and slapped this bad boy into the DvD player (Guns don’t kill people, magic missiles do image from my collection of nerd t shirts)
I’m not going to bother with a full review on each movie, as it’s all old news anyway. Also, if I really want to get this thing done in a timely manner I’m going to watch at least two a night and do the write up the next day. Instead I plan to just write a summary of my impressions and any questions I may have come up with (and don’t any of you bozos tell me that the answers are in the books. A movie should stand on it’s own two feet, and I plan to watch them all without having picked up a single novel as a show of solidarity for my illiterate readers).
Anyway, this film was reasonably entertaining. Very kiddish, but I have been told the stories get grimmer and more adult as young Harry Potter grows up, so I guess that makes sense. Really good acting for kids, and there was enough magic and cool creatures to keep things entertaining. I will say the entire story was rife with deus ex machina to the point you actually felt like you were reading a book rather watching a film, and that book was about God running some kid’s life like a marionette.
I have some questions that I hope some of you can answer for me, mostly in the area of child abuse and child endangerment. I am going to skip any questions related to blatant violations of the Laws of Thermodynamics, as I know the answer will inevitably be “It’s magic”.
First of all, Harry Potter is apparently rich, right? His parents left him a huge vault of gold. Why, then, did the wizards feel the need to stick him with his abusive relatives so he could live in a closet under the stairs? I mean, they were really jerks to him. A couple gold pieces a year might have mitigated the animosity they felt towards him for no other reason than that they were jerks, or may be even gotten him into a more qualified foster home or at least some kind of trust fund guardian. Also, why would the wizards leave a baby with a jagged wound on his forehead untreated? I understand the need to establish how he got the scar, but babies have undeveloped immune systems and could get really sick from something like that. Can’t you magically conjure up a band aid? Another thing that struck me was, if Harry’s parents were powerful magicians, why did they look like yuppies from Concord, CA? His mother might have been a skilled witch, but all she did when Voldemort showed up was suck and die. Also, what is up with Voldemort’s name? For a name that is not supposed to be spoken Harry sure seems to bandy it around a lot. For that matter, why can’t his name be spoken? Isn’t he some kind of incorporeal spirit or a weird growth on the back of some guys head? What would saying his name actually do? Seems like all he can do is show up as a smoke monster.
Secondly, I honestly think the biggest jerk in the film is the headmaster at Hogwarts. At the end of the movie he announces that Gryffendor is in dead last for the House Cup and that Slytherin, through honest hard work, has won. Everyone cheers and is happy. Then he announces, AFTER TELLING SLYTHERIN THEY WON, the bonus points awarded to Gryffendor and rescinds the award and gives it to Harry and his friends. I’m sorry, but these are like 10 year old kids. Childhood trauma, anyone? Also, the almost random nature of how he awards points blatantly shows the less than impartial nature of the system and the fact that he obviously wanted Gryffendor to win. I know from my friends that Slytherin is supposed to be the house that trains all the evil wizards, but honestly, if that is how Hogwarts treats them, can you blame them for coming down a little on the evil side? At age 11 if I felt that badly rooked out of something I probably would have set the building on fire (actually, at that age I didn’t need a lot of excuses to start a fire, but that’s a different tale). Furthermore, by my calculations something like over half of Gryffendor’s points were earned by three first year students. What was the rest of the house doing? What kind of lesson are you teaching these children? That it’s cool to sit on your ass and then celebrate when someone else earns awards for you? Honestly, my sympathy really sits strongly in the Slytherin camp.
Finally, what the hell is the deal with Quibbage? I play a lot of games, and games theory is something of a passion for me. Let’s think about this. A goal is worth 10 points. Catching that little gold ball is worth 150 points and appears to be the only way to end the game. Why, then, take the serious risk of death or major injury trying to score goals when, unless your team is in the lead by no less than 16 goals, all you have to do is either help your seeker catch the gold ball or prevent their seeker from catching it. And the game doesn’t end until the ball is caught, right? Or did I miss the timer or something? Honestly, if I were one of the team members and I worked my ass off to score 14 goals and someone either caught the ball for my side or theirs, I’d be pissed off either way. Either your team caught it, making all the work you did to score all those goal worthless, or the other team caught it, making all the work you did to score all those goals worthless AND you lose. What’s the point of the goals? If I were a Quibbage team captain my strategy would to bury one of those little clubs deep in the opposing Seekers brain pan and spend the rest of the game helping my guy catch the ball. There doesn’t seem to any consequences for violence or roughness against opposing players, so mayhem would be a totally acceptable. For that matter, why not just have your team sharpen the ends of all your brooms into punji sticks and spend the first ten minutes trying to impale your opposing team? Then, while they all lie twitching and bleeding on the ground you can win at your leisure. Anyone ever see the movie Rollerball (the 1975 version with James Caan, not the cheesy remake)? Play it that way.
Now what would make for a much more interesting game and allow for a huge amount of strategy would be if catching the gold ball would end the game with no bonus points. In other words, if your team is in the lead your Seeker would be actively trying to catch the ball, while the other Seeker would be trying to prevent it. Then, if the scores shift than the roles do, and the Seekers really need to pay attention to what is happening with the score. That is a game.
Now, before you all start spamming me with Harry Potter fan boy hate mail, (feel free to spam me with Harry Potter fan boy hate mail: email@example.com, or post a comment on this blog. As long as you don’t cuss I will probably approve it), I did actually enjoy this film. It was an interesting story, and in spite of my issues with a lot of the “logic” of the film I am actually curious to see what happens in the next film. In that regard it is brilliant. If it does get more adult and darker as time goes on I am sure I will come to love it. They just need to fix Quibbage.
I am seeing the Smurfs in 3D tonight (huzzah, me) and will be writing that up tomorrow morning (or in a coma induced by cuteness). If I have time I will watch another Potter tonight as well and then Thursday do two at once. I have a lot of painting to do, so this coincides nicely. Keep the faith, fellow nerds.
I know. I haven’t been blogging as much as I was even two weeks ago. The fact is I am super busy with a bunch of work projects (cough cough adding more nerd t shirts cough cough) and a good blog for me can take over two hours to write. I don’t just crank them out (like I am for this one). That’s how much I love you, my beloved reader.
I have been sidetracked by another project that I think will turn into a lot of fun for you and me. As you might know, I recently went through the extremely painful transformation from PC to Mac and am still going through some pains. However, I have been playing around with iMovie and think I should try to do some of my movie reviews as videos. I tried the camera on the new comp but forgot how hideously non-photogenic (that’s my way of denying that I have looks issues) I am, and so have decided not to use my face. Instead I will flash back to 1994 and dust off my drawing pens in order to give you a quality animated experience. Yes, I have been inspired by other popular blog reviewers and am going to more or less rip them off, except for the fact that I will be generating my own content.
Anyway, I am going to work on my first one this weekend, and I think it will be the review I did from the most recent Transformers. It’s funny and I bitch about it a lot. Meanwhile, tonight I think I will finally get around to seeing Bad Teacher and let you know what my thoughts on that are.
By the way, I will be looking for some theme music that won’t get me sued, so if you have a band and want to get your music out there with a plug to your site on each one send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.
First of all, I have an issue with the title of this flick being called “Part II”. When you say something is Part II that implies that Part I was not complete, and that you had some kind of plan for a continuation of the story. Godfather Part II, for example. I think the story of the Hangover was pretty well encapsulated and completely told. There were no loose wires or unresolved issues at the end, like Darth Vader not being killed at the end of Episode IV and the whole Empire still in full power. There was nothing, in fact, that even suggested a second part was needed or even desired (except for the whole “Doug married a Las Vegas hooker thing, but in spite of being the only thing that seemed to lead to another film the writers of P2 managed to dispense that whole issues with one line of expository dialog).
(Baby Carlos image courtesy of the nerd t-shirts)
This does not mean that the Hangover was not worthy of a sequel, nor that it would not be funny. Just that calling it Part II is a level of hubris that goes beyond the pale. I happen to know the story behind the creation of P1, and there was never a plan for this thing to do more than slink off to the DvD graveyard. The wild success of the movie out of nowhere is part of the mystical story of the film beyond the film. Also, there is no way calling this movie the Hangover Part II in any way enhances the film watching experience, unless having me be annoyed while standing in line at the box office is a part the movie magic.
Anyway, I got done with the convention I did yesterday and treated myself to a full price movie ticket. So, after being annoyed at the film name and scoring my usual Junior Mints, I creeped out some guy by sitting in the empty seat right next to him and watched the film.
I am going to be tossing out some spoilers here in a few lines and will, out of basic human decency, warn you beforehand. However, I can say without reservation that if you have seen the Hangover P1 then you have seen the Hangover P2. It is the bastard love child of the Hangover mated with the Hangover, and like most cases of direct inbreeding, has come out with something that looks remarkably similar but is in many ways defective. Is it funny? Yes. Will you laugh? Yes. Will you want to spend the money to see it a second time? No. Just not that good. The overall feeling is that the writers mostly phoned it in. Maybe they were under some kind of unrealistic deadline (“We need to start making money on this NOW NOW NOW!”) and figured the best way to get it done was to just rework the old script with a couple new characters and an Asian supporting cast.
Before I get into the story I would like to reiterate what I just said in the last paragraph: it is EXACTLY THE SAME MOVIE. The individual jokes and scenes are (modestly) different and funny, but the story is the same, only grittier and set in Thailand. Here is where I toss is my SPOILER ALERT, but honestly, nothing to worry about. Does any of this sound familiar? The movie starts with the Phil (Bradley Cooper) calling in to tell a friend of the bride that the crew f***ed up. Then the flashback begins. Stu is getting married to a super, duper hot Thai girl in Thailand. Her father hates him in the most stereotypical “I hate white boys” way humanly possible. They have a little party on the beach and one of the Wolfpack who shall go nameless but whose name rhymes with Talan accidentally drugs the whole crew while attempting to do something more benign. They wake up in a seedy Bangkok hotel room missing the 16 year old brother of the bride, who is a Stanford premed. They find, instead of a baby and a tiger, a monkey (ok, I guess the writers made some changes), and, for no reason whatsoever except to crowbar him back into the film, Mr. Chow from the first movie. Stu, rather than missing a tooth, has a Mike Tyson style tattoo on his face. The crew is then required to run around the city recreating the night before wherein the following stuff that is not exactly like the first movie happens (spoilers incoming in force. Do not keep reading if you plan to see this movie and want to be “surprised”):
Stu finds out he had sex with a tranny hooker (which is not the same as marrying a hooker). The crew kidnapped a Bhuddist monk under a vow of silence and get beat up by another monk when they try to return him (which is not the same a stealing a tiger from Mike Tyson and getting punched in the face for it). Stu got a face tattoo (which is not the same as removing a tooth). The monkey is made by Alan to look like he is giving oral to a fake penis on the monk on a bus (which is not the same as making it look like the baby is masturbating at a breakfast table). They meet up with an Arabic tranny club owner who points them on their way (which is not the same as meeting the Israeli wedding chapel owner in Vegas). They meet a guy who claims to have kidnapped the kid they are looking for and will not give him back unless they get an account code from Mr. Chow but then later turns out he doesn’t have the kid at all (which is totally different from Mr. Chow claiming to have kidnapped Doug and will not give him back unless they give him his money back only to find out that Chow had the wrong Doug). In the end, they find the kid trapped in an elevator 30 feet from the room they woke up in, which is completely, 100% different from finding Doug on the roof of the hotel they were in at the beginning of the movie.
Anyway, other stuff happens. Bangkok hijinks ensue. Most of the stuff was funny when taken in part but kind of lame when placed into the context of the whole film. Overall the film had a much darker quality that really bled off a lot of the humor. Alan’s motivation to drug people was actively malicious rather than an good hearted attempt to let everyone have a good time. Having a fully grown adult male go missing in a relatively safe city like Las Vegas and the only real concern was getting him back in time for the wedding is good, lighthearted fare whereas having a 16 year old boy go missing in a city known for it’s danger like Bangkok seemed to be a much less funny motivation, especially when everyone they talked to about the missing kid seemed to feel like it was pretty good odds he was dead or living as a male drug whore already. The phrase “Bangkok has him” kept coming up. In one movie you were worried about a guy missing his wedding. In this one you were worried about a kid being dead in a ditch. Just not that funny.
Honestly, that really brings me to my ultimate problem with this movie, and that is the lack of consequences for any of the actions. In the first movie the crew stole a police car and ended up getting used as tazer practice. They stole money from Mr. Chow and got the Mercedes wrecked for it. Stu married a hooker and, for good or ill, ended his current long term relationship. Actions had consequences, and that is what made it real and funny for me. In this movie some of the most horrific, life changing mistakes a person can make occurred with no real consequence and even less concern by the characters involved. A man has unprotected anal sex with a Thai transvestite hooker? No danger or concern for an STD there. A 16 year old kid who wants to be a surgeon and is a concert cellist loses a finger? Nothing to worry about after the initial shock, and even the kid doesn’t seem to care. Lose a finger and spend 24 hours trapped in an elevator in a Bangkok slum, a city know for it’s hygienic standards? No danger of gangrene at all. Your bride finds out that you once married a Las Vegas hooker and had sex with a tranny hooker when you show up for your wedding with a face tattoo? No reason to call off or postpone that wedding, or even demand an explanation. Have a human corpse to deal with? Stuff it in the nearest ice machine and get on with your day. Wash your brand new face tattoo with brown Bangkok tap water and later have pig blood sprayed all over it? No danger of infection there. Kidnap a monk? Run a speed boat up a beach and over a stone barricade into a wedding party? Steal from Russian drug dealers? Incite a riot? Throw a Molotov cocktail and burn a police car? Be involved with an international criminal when he is getting arrested by Interpol? All boyish pranks that in no way should get you killed or arrested.
The list goes on and on. The problem is after about the third or fourth one you get disconnected from the potential seriousness of the situations and, ironically, that makes them less funny. It’s like if the big battle between the criminals and police during the robbery in the movie Heat had been done with Nerf guns. You just wouldn’t care, and honestly after a while I found myself not really caring either.
This is on it’s way to being my longest review ever. I had better get into the stars and black holes. First the stars. The movie was indeed funny, in parts. One star. The monkey is also funny. One star. The chemistry between the main characters is still, in spite of the less than inspired writing, excellent. Three stars. Some of the Thai scenery was beautiful and well shot. One star. The bride (Jamie Chung) was so hot it made my head hurt. One star. Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) was back and, in spite of being forced into the movie, was really entertaining. One star. Paul Giamatti managed to show up as a secondary character. One star. Dialog was decent. One star. Total: ten stars.
Now the black holes. I should give one for every scene lifted directly from the first movie, but I will restrain myself. Three black holes. Alan was kind of a dick instead of the relatively happy innocent he was in the first movie. One black hole. He has some awkward scenes at the wedding party that I just wanted to end. One black hole. The whole “action without consequences” thing I bitched about earlier. Three black holes. Rampant xenophobia. One black hole. Rampant homophobia. One black hole. Every Thai person needed to propel the story along spoke nearly perfect English, including one of the Buddhist monks and the tranny prostitute. One black hole. The future father-in-law was as stereotypical as possible. One black hole. The bride and her relationship with Stu was painfully one dimensional (“We love each other because we’re in love.”). One black hole. If you are going to do a film in Thailand is it absolutely necessary to make a significant part of it about transsexuals? One black hole for grabbing the low hanging fruit. My one positive thought throughout the movie was “At least they didn’t figure out a way to get Mike Tyson into this” until the end when they figured out a way to get Mike Tyson into the film in a scene that will have you holding your breath in an attempt to pass out rather than have to watch any more of him. One black hole. Multiple penises shown on screen in an obvious attempt to stay in the rated R zone. One black hole. Total: 17 black holes.
Yes, a total of 7 black holes. Of course, in spite of me panning it along with the vast majority of critics out there it was still a massively grossing movie. Some days I just hate people. If you loved the first one see this one, but try to wipe the first from your memory. If you for some reason never saw P1 then you might actually really enjoy P2, but honestly without the character perspective given to us by P1 you might miss the charm of Alan and the others. There is nothing in the filming here that requires a large screen, so feel free to watch it at home. Decently entertaining, but two years from now you will not be quoting it or holding it up as one of your all time favorite comedies like you would the Hangover.
I actually saw this a few days ago, but felt I liked it too much to write an interesting review given that I have liked most of the movies I have seen lately. I went and saw Arthur and, ironically and in the face of all logic and previous experience, like it too. So I am stuck writing this one too. I will try to make it interesting.
I am trying to find something sucktastic this weekend. Best choice I think would be Soul Surfer, since I hate surf culture with the burning passion of a super nova, but sharks creep me out like very little else on earth and it looks like there is a lot of emotional coming to grips crap that would make me feel bad for dumping on the film. I think I will see Hanna, which potentially could suck, but I am worried that I will come out with something good from it too. I’ll let you know.
Also, I am judging a Warhammer tournament tomorrow that will take up all day so I don’t think I will be able to blog while getting my geek on. Sunday should do it.
Anyway, Source Code. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as an Army captain with the incredibly macho name of Colter Stevens (Really? The only way they could have cooked up a more manly name is if they had gone with Duke McHugepenis) who snaps to awareness in the body of another guy on a commuter train outside Chicago. Eight minutes later the train blows up and it turns out he has somehow been sent back in time, sort of, to relive the guys last eight minutes in an attempt to figure out who blew up the train and what his next target would be. I say somehow in the most literal sense possible. This is actually an old concept in time travel science fiction, but when they try to explain how they are doing it there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of research into possible explanations. Somehow the last 8 minutes of memory in the dead brain tissue of the guy killed on the train can be translated into a time travel experience that still can’t have anything changed in the past. I don’t think a writer should ever use the term “quantum physics” in a movie scientific explanation unless they actually know something about quantum physics. My own understanding is limited, but I know enough to understand that there is very little in a human brain that can affect the space/time continuum. (Dr. Brown Enterprises image from Back to the Future image courtesy of the nerd t-shirts)
In spite of the fact that the science doesn’t even attempt to make sense, the movie is pretty good. They keep sending Captain Stevens back over and over again, Groundhog Day-style, where he investigates different passengers looking for the bomber. While there he manages to fall in love with a girl (super hot Michelle Monaghan) who he can only interact with for eight minutes before being killed (actually, when you think about it, there is something about that relationship that sounds a kind of cool and headache free. Not that I’m bitter). I the train blows up over and over again, people are accosted, and deep dark secrets are revealed.
First that stars. Story concept is actually pretty cool, if you can ignore the lame explanation. One star. For the most part the writing and dialog was decent. One star. Michelle Monaghan is extremely easy on the eyes. One star. In spite of being a Hollywood pretty boy, Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t completely offend me. You actually feel a connection to his character. One star. There wasn’t a lot done outside of the train, but overall the filming, lighting, and editing were professionally done. They were able to create distinct atmospheres between the train and the military base the Captain was operating from. One star. They managed to deliver a decent movie without resorting to massive gun battles, car chases, and gratuitous explosions (except for the one big one). One star. Total: six stars.
Now the black holes. The lame attempt at science I, as a nerd, found extremely annoying and insulting to the collective intellect of America, in spite of the fact that probably 99% of us bought it. One black hole. The ending they literally pulled out of their ass and seemed to have nothing to do with anything previously established in the movie. One black hole. That’s pretty much it. Two total.
So a net result of four stars. Not bad at all, considering how few black holes showed up. Decent movie to see, and OK as a date film as there is not a ton of violence or nudity. Nothing in the filming was epic enough to require a large screen, so if you want to wait a bit you can see it on NetFlix and save a few bucks.
That’s it. I”m still kind of debating the Wonder Twins versus Aquaman question, so I won’t answer it. I will, however, ask why the Wonder Twins default forms weren’t always a T-Rex for Jan and an ice M1Abrams tank for Jayce? Seems that would have solved a lot of their problems quicker than turning into a marmoset and an ice Frisbee. Also, if Jayce turned into water, would he be subject to evaporation? Sounds dangerous to me.
So like I said (threatened) yesterday I went to a late night showing the latest opus from Nicholas Cage, Drive Angry. Given the last Cage movie I saw and lambasted, Season of the Witch, I did not expect a lot and for the most this film met with my expectations. I got home, thought about writing it, and decided to sleep on it to see if the movie looked any better in the daylight.
Sadly, it did not. Don’t get me wrong. I love grindhouse. However, this movie feels less like true grindhouse and more like some Hollywood guys trying to either do a high budget tribute or parody of grindhouse. In either case it feels plastic and fake, like brown hair extensions on a redhead.
Also, remember when Nicholas Cage would act and actually deliver some level of emotion with his lines? Like in Raising Arizona, the Rock, Kiss of Death, 8MM, Valley Girl, or prelude-to-a-suicide Leaving Las Vegas? Right before doing Ghost Rider I think he was kidnapped and replaced with a robot who can simulate life but not quite deliver emotions. The lines “Coffee, black, with sugar”, “Ever heard of a place called Sweet Water?”,” and “I am going to kill you” are all delivered with the same monotone deadpan delivery that would work well for a sidekick or secondary character (especially if the sidekick was the computer voice from War Games) but which makes me think I could do a better job filming the movie using World of Warcraft toons as actors. For a movie called “Drive Angry” there doesn’t seem to be a lot of anger or any other emotion from the main character. (Murloco’s Taco’s image courtesy of the World of Warcraft t shirts)
That being said, there are elements I liked. Just not the story, acting, action, dialogue, or all but two of the characters.
Honestly, I think the synopsis will be the hardest part of this review for me to write as I spent the first 45 minutes of the films saying “What the hell is going on?” I appreciated a film that doesn’t reveal everything to us like we are ten year old short bus riders, but at some point you have to make an effort to give us a clue of what was going on. If I hadn’t read a blurb before the movie I would have been totally confused.
Anyway, Nicholas Cage plays John Milton who escapes from Hell in a hot car with a stolen gun called the God Killer a few years after being killed in some ill defined crime spree and is somehow unkillable. He is trying to save his infant grand daughter from being sacrificed by a Satanic cult leader (Billy Burke, one of the two characters I liked). He somehow convinces Zombieland hottie Amber Heard (playing the kick ass waitress Piper. Come to think of it, she actually has a lot of anger in her roll. Maybe she is supposed to balance out Mechano-Man Cage) to help him in her boyfriend’s stolen Charger. They are pursued by the other only character I liked, William Fichtner, who plays Hell’s repo man sent to collect Cage and bring him back (it is later revealed that he is actually a former Egyptian god who I will not name but you have seen on Stargate SG1). There is also a cool looking and sounding police captain who seemed to get a lot of character buildup and development and then fell off the screen like a lead seagull. They travel through Louisiana mixing it up with white trash kooks and local color. Car driving hijinx ensue, and there is a final battle scene not so much lifted as taken frame by frame from the car destroying the undead army scene in Army of Darkness.
OK, the stars. The opening and closing scenes with Cage driving to and from Hell are pretty cool. One star. There are four amazing muscle cars, including a 69 Charger and a beautiful Chevelle. Two stars. I will give a star for every totally gratuitous grindhouse style nude girl, so like two and a half stars. The Accountant from Hell (literally) was kind of cool. One star. The driving action, while over the top, was actually pretty cool and well filmed. One star. While headache inducing, the film was actually shot with 3D in mind and has some fairly cool things flying out of screen. I actually found myself jumping a couple times. One star. Total: 8.5 stars.
Now the black holes. Nicholas Cage acts like a Tweekie dealing with irritable bowl syndrome. Two black holes. The story kind of blows. On black hole. The dialogue blows. One black hole. As good as the driving sequences were (which was only moderately good) the fight scenes were horrible (at one point Cage kills about 20 guys while in coitus with a trampy waitress and doesn’t pull out until they are all dead. On the other hand, this is one of the nude scenes that netted them a star). I know grindhouse is supposed to be over the top, but this is just dumb. Hire a fight choreographer. Two black holes. For no explained reason whatsoever Cage’s character is not only unkillable but somehow heals himself from a gunshot wound in the eye. One black hole. For the life of me I cannot figure out where Pipers motivation to do anything but run screaming into the night comes from. One black hole. Total: 8 black holes.
So we end up with a net of 0.5 stars, which is very slightly higher than the review I gave for Cage’s last movie, Season of the Witch (where he also portrayed a character with less emotion than the suit of armor he was wearing). However, remember 2.5 stars come from my appreciation of rated R style nudity and 2 more from a love of American muscle cars. If you do not share these interests then it swings heavily towards the black hole end. Definitely not a date movie. Honestly, if you love driving action then I would say see it on a screen. On TV I don’t think it will really have the impact the big screen would have. If you miss it wait until you see it in the $4 bin at Best Buy (or the #2 bin at Walmart).
For yesterdays who-would-win question, Jayne Cobb versus Snake Plisskin, I think it is kind of situational. If Jayne had Vera and all the hardware he carried on a typical day of Firefly and Snake just had the gear he had in Escape from New York, I would have to bet on Jayne. On the other hand if Snake had his choice of weapons (or was armed like he was in Escape from LA) then I would bet on him. You can’t beat him in a gunfight, Bangkok style.
For today I will again go with Jayne, as I am in a Firefly mood. Who would win, Jayne Cobb (with Vera again) versus John McClane from Die Hard?
OK, this is the last one I am doing on this nuance of online dating. Not because I have run out of items to describe but more because it is starting to get kind of repetitive and honestly, by this time you should be able to figure these out yourself.
Girl surrounded by a huge pile of stuffed animals. Take whatever age she is and subtract 15 from it. This is OK if she is 40 but kind of problematic if she is 25. Also, I guarantee that she has a very protective daddy who is probably willing and capable of putting out a hit on you. I’d give this girl a 7.5 on the pain-o-meter to date.
Big coke bottle glasses. For both guy and girl, this actually translates into pretty cool to date. In both cases it usually means someone who is cool with their nerd lifestyle and doesn’t care enough to take pains for their appearance. Often times they are super nerdy, which in my mind translates into pretty cool. Also, girls who wear coke bottle glasses in photos in my experience are rarely fat. I don’t know what the deal is, but overweight women seem really inclined to take off their glasses for photos.
Doing something improbable and potentially dangerous. Skydiving, dirt bike riding, rock climbing, hang gliding, or other “extreme” sports. This is almost always a guy. Unless his title for his profile is something like “Live to rock climb” then he is trying to show the world what kind of a macho man he is. Odds are you can take however often he claims to do these things and divide it by about 20 to get the actual frequency (“I skate 3-4 times a week” = 182 times per year/20 = 9 times last year). Guys who actually do “extreme” sports on a regular basis rarely have to go online to meet women, as there are any number of hot low self esteem women willing to be treated like a doormat to be encountered all the time in their daily lives. If by some fluke you do meet a semi-pro skateboarder and feel dumb enough to date him you can look forward to having his shoes wiped on your back.
Lots of tattoos and/or piercings. If a guy this man has a serious F-you attitude towards life and people in general. Either he is serious and will likely end up (back) in prison or he is a poser and feels a lot of personal frustration that no one understands what kind of a rock star he secretly is. The best you can hope for is that this guy owns his own lame clothing company (something I know too much about) but odds are he works in an auto shop or something even more blue collar. If this is a girl than she has serious daddy issues and this is likely her revenge on her parents. The funny thing is they never seem to get enough and will keep getting revenge long after her parents pass. If she is pretty hot than there is a good chance she has been a stripper or should have been. If, however, you can get past all that they tend to be a lot of fun to hang out with and are fairly uninhibited, so given the opportunity I would date her. Just be ready for the inevitable drama. Also, in both cases you can glean some insight into their personality and intellectual ability by judging the subject matter, originality, cleverness, and spelling of the tattoos shown. As a general rule, if you see a misspelled word run away screaming.
Lots of guns. Again, mostly guys. This person is probably trying to make up for something, if you know what I mean, so if you have issues with larger junk than this would be the guy for you. Also, these guys tend to be weird conspiracy nuts, so you can look forward to hearing how the Rand Corporation really runs the country and how the second Kennedy gunman was actually an alien who traveled back in time to prevent him from nationalizing the phone companies. These guys tend to get turned on by shooting more or less harmless and inoffensive animals, so if you have any love of animals odds are you should steer clear. A real man would fight a bear with a knife, in my opinion (or just try to stay away from one).
That’s pretty much it for today, and more or less for this matter. Next time I do more dating I will talk about what to send on your first email to a girl online. However, today is Tuesday which means cheap movie night at my local theater. I’m afraid (literally) that I am going to have to see a late showing of the new Nicholas Cage film Drive Angry. It looks truly awful and I look forward to writing a burning review of it tomorrow, although I anticipate a long evening of pain for myself.
As for yesterdays question, the nerds from Revenge of the Nerds versus the nerds from Scooby Doo, I think this question is very situational. If the Revenge guys were trying to haunt an old amusement park so they could smuggle diamonds out of the state then I would have to bet on Scooby Doo. In almost every other situation I would have to bet on the Revenge guys, if only because they seem less unwilling to mix it up. (Adams Atoms shirt from Revenge of the Nerds shirt courtesy of the nerd t shirts category)
This will be my last post on photos for now, and it will be quick as I am going out to dinner with some friends. Let’s get into it.
Party photo. You know, the person in question sitting on a couch that looks like it was rescued from a toxic land fill surrounded by a bunch of poorly dressed losers and one guy in the background talking to the only hot girl in the place. Everyone has a beer in one hand and there is a bong on the table. That photo? This person, guy or girl, seriously wishes they were back in college still. Not that I blame them. There are many times I wish I were back in college. However, as for dating material this person will be kind of a drag and can’t really let go.
Person in photo hitting a bong. OK. You have hopefully read any number of these posts and my interpretations on photos. Hopefully you have gleaned a little skill in this area. Do I really need to explain this one to you? Let’s call it a pop quiz. I’m sure you can figure it out.
Person in Halloween costume. If this is a girl, odds are she is pretty cool and would make a great girlfriend, unless it happens to be a cat costume, in which case stay as far away from her as possible. Be aware, however, that masks and makeup can often hide some horrific blemish so if she is dressed like a witch and has no other photos up there is a pretty good chance the wart on her nose is not just good special effects. If it is a guy and he is dressed as something from comic books or science fiction odds are he is a pretty cool nerd (unless it’s something from Harry Potter, in which case I would say pull the rip cord). If he’s in something else use your best judgment. However, if he is dressed as a woman I guarantee he is an ex frat boy and likely in the closet as well.
Guy on a motorcycle. Ugh. Unless he is actually a Hell’s Angel odds are he is some kind of loser who wants desperately to be a bad boy. He probably drives a delivery truck for Coors and has a history of fairly abusive relationships. Also there is a very good chance he got the bike just because he knows it impresses dumb women. I’ve never seen a personal with a girl on a motorcycle, so I have no basis upon which to comment. My gut tells me she is probably pretty cool but likes to be in charge. If you have any info email it to me.
On a Vespa scooter. If a guy I can promise he is a hipster scooter guy, which can be both good or bad (or both). If he is gainfully employed it is likely to be good. If not it is probably bad. Either way, however, you had best have a high tolerance for pretension and crappy garage bands. If this is a girl either she is the female, albeit somewhat cooler and more tolerable, version of the hipster scooter guy or she loves Italy and has fantasies of living there. Either way she is probably pretty cool and worth going out with, as long as you like to travel.
I gotta get going, so I lied and will actually post one more on pictures tomorrow. I’m actually having a lot of fun with this particular topic. As for yesterdays who-would-win question, Jack Burton versus Buckaroo Banzai, first of all let me say I hope it never would come down to this as these two are both great and I truly hope they never have to cross swords. That being said, I am going to have to bet on Buckaroo Banzai, but it wouldn’t be close. He just seems more ready to deal with weird situation. (Pork Chop Express (from Big Trouble in Little China) image courtesy of the many nerd t shirts)
For today I ask a true nerd question: who would win, the crew from Revenge of the Nerds versus the gang from Scooby Doo?
This post I will translate what people claim to do for a living into real language, as well as comment on what you can expect if you date this person. Before I get into this understand that, at least for men, people with high paying jobs or who are wealthy really have no need to go to a dating site to meet women, so if there is someone claiming to be a doctor or stockbroker probably has some serious issues along the lines of lost his fact in a tragic belt sanding accident. If you are looking to meet a doctor, go to a hospital.
Teacher. For some reason I have dated a lot of teachers (what did your mom do for a living, Dave? Thank you, Dr. Freud), although not so much lately. They tend to be pretty stable, with few annoying habits and plenty of free time on weekends and summer. They also have no gray area when it comes to kids; either they love them or hate them. When a teacher posts online it typically means they are sick of dating other teachers, so if you are one best you should move on. For men, this guy usually falls into the hates kids camp. However, they tend to be pretty reliable, loyal, and while they don’t have a lot of money coming in should be able to one day buy a house and retire. For women they also tend to be the same, except they all inevitably “love to travel” and once in a while you will meet one who is a freak in bed. Something about having to be so proper all day, I guess.
Medical Professional. This is a term people use to try to trick you into thinking they are a doctor. They are not. Doctors say doctor. This person is at best a nurse, probably an orderly of some kind or at worse the guy who mops up the bio-hazardous waste or works in the kitchen. Sometimes pharmacy. The thing about being in the medical profession without being a doctor is you tend to get your ego punched in the stomach every day by pretentious, overbearing doctors, so if you are looking for someone you can dominate in a relationship this might be the person for you. Also, most of them hate doctors, so whatever your lame job is it will probably look more appealing. For women this person is usually a nurse, so you can expect to talk a lot about either sex or disgusting work stories involving having to clean up something truly repulsive or changing an adult diaper or bedpan. On the other hand, they tend to be pretty horny. For guys this is more often an orderly, which is the medical equivalent of a pizza deliver guy except they don’t make tips.
Medical examiner. The one exception to the no-doctors-online rule is the medical examiner. I’ve never met a female one, so I will not comment on what it is like to go out with one. From what I have seen second hand male mortician actually tend to know some of the funniest jokes you have ever heard, especially if you like gallows humor. If you have a darker side, love vampires or zombies, and/or want to creep out your friends by all means date this guy.
Lawyer. Lawyers are interesting. Usually they are so busy with work that you will be lucky to see them one evening a week, if that. They also, for the most part, hate their job and life but spent so much money on school that they cannot afford to do anything else. For women this seems especially true, as I have dated a few and they all feel frustration about their life. They also tend to have little interests outside of work and working out, so whenever I date one it tends to be a painful struggle to find something to talk about beyond the whole trying-to-remain-true-to-your-nerd-self-while-talking-to-a-woman thing. For men this never, ever means a rich corporate law guy. This is usually a public defender or ambulance chaser. I don’t date men, so I can’t comment too strongly on this, but from what I have seen these tend to not be the most loyal on the planet. On the other hand even a poor lawyer can afford a nice evening out.
Business owner. Take it from a business owner, this is never a Fortune 500,000 company. For men, the best case scenario is a guy who has his own tech service fixing computers and networks. These guys tend to be pretty geeky and therefore fun to date if you are a geek, but they also tend to work a lot, especially at night. At worst this guy owns a failing Play it Again Sports and is a few months away from going back to work as a sanitation engineer. In either case the problem with these guys is there will be good months and bad months. One month he will be rolling in dough and the next eating Top Ramen. For women this somehow always ends up being owning a bead shop somewhere. Don’t ask me why. They tend to be kind of fun and have more free time than guys who own shops, but they also tend to be pretty uninclined to hit the gym, if you know what I mean.
Of course, it goes without saying that if the business owner happens to be a guy with a website that sells nerd t-shirts and writes a hilarious dating advice blog than he is not only fun and entertaining, but also sexy and virile as hell. You should probably sleep with him as soon as possible.
That’s it for now. More tomorrow. By they way, I just reread my last post and think it’s one of the best I have written, so if you didn’t read it go back and do so.
For the last posts who-would-win, I would have to bet on the half squad of Stormtroopers beating the full squad of Sandmen. Better combat training (although Stormtroopers seem to be missing the part of their training that would teach them to hide behind cover or maybe even duck down), better weapons, and better armor. Not to mention they are about 1,000 times cooler. The numerical superiority of a full squad of Sandmen would not make up for that. (Stormtrooper image courtesy of the Star Wars t shirt category)
For today the question I cross genres to ask who would win, Donkey Kong versus Mecha-Godzilla?
So I have not kept my promise about more dating advice, instead doing a couple movie reviews. I feel bad, and in spite of the fact that I have a great movie related thing to talk about from Friday night that actually contains a dating related story, I will instead assuage my readers who are here for my dating advice and continue with my list of things you can do to after getting rejected. I’ll do the other story later this week.
5. Hit the gym. Work out your frustration while pumping some iron like Arnold here or riding a bike. This has the added benefit of making you look better, which will help a lot when it comes time to replace your ex. Also, the best revenge available when you get dumped is to lose 20 pounds so the next time you see her you look 10 times better. This is a trick women have mastered, which is why the first thing they usually do after getting dumped is lose a ton of weight, get a hot haircut and makeover, and generally look really good next time you see her. Really makes you question your reasons for dumping her, and if you tell her you want her back she can either make you crawl through hot coals and broken glass or get the last word in by rejecting you entirely. Turnabout is fair play (Conan image one of the many nerd t shirts images on my other site).
6. Buy some new stuff. Nothing helps you get over a certain period of your life (the period wherein you had someone and were happy) like a change of venue. While moving to another building or town may be unfeasible, sometimes all it takes is a new couch replacing the rotten old pile of wood, cloth and metal that has been festering in your living room since college to help you put your head into a new space. Again, this may help you actually get a new girl next time around, and if you ex happens to drop by to give you something back she may be impressed with the improvement. Also, a new TV might be a dramatic improvement in your ability to mindlessly entertain yourself, and TV shopping is super fun.
7. Buy some new clothes. Like new stuff, new clothes may help you reinvent yourself as a sexier, more datable human. Go back to the earliest posts on the dating advice on buying clothes and spend a few bucks. Try to bring a friend along so you can regale him or her with all the gruesome details of the fascinating tale of love found and lost you have stuck in your head. I swear there is no way your friends are sick of hearing about it.
8. Create a blog where you bitch about your dating life and give advice to other people. Yes, misery loves company and sharing your pain with the world wide web will indeed help ease yours. If you can use the blog to do movie reviews and schlock t-shirts even better.
9. Revert to your childhood. Bust out those old Legos or GI Joe dolls and spend an afternoon pretending you really don’t care about women again. Buy a bunch of comic books. Go to the movies and sneak into another showing afterward. Ride your old skateboard. Get in touch with your inner child because, while you might be inclined to beat yourself up over the whole thing, no one wants to beat a child.
10. Get wasted. Drown your sorrows in alcohol. Your goal should be to not remember anything from the evening. If you feel like total crap the next morning odds are you will forget your heartache while you are barfing up a lung. Also, you could end up with a new friend sleeping next to you, which should be at least entertaining as you try to find a way to extricate yourself from a weird situation.
If I can think of any more tonight I will do more tomorrow, but I think that’s it for this thread. Remember, there was a time when food had flavor and the sun was a warm, loving life giver not a burn ball of garbage shining a harsh, scum revealing light on a cruel world. Things will get better over time. Your best plan is to learn from this and try not to be such a moron next time.
As for our question from last post, Freddy Kruegar versus the Scooby Doo gang, I am going to have to bet on Freddy. The Scooby Doo gang are experts when it comes to ghosts, have access to all kinds of performance enhancing drugs (what is in those Scooby snacks, anyway?) and drive a bad ass lime green sex wagon, but they are essentially kids and that is Freddy’s meat of choice. As soon as they run out of speed and have to sleep Freddy will get them. If Freddy were facing the Ghostbusters I would bet on Venkman and the rest, as he never seems to do much to adults.
For today, I offer up the question of who would win; the Three Stooges (with Curly) versus Doug and Bob Mackenzie with their dog.