13. Gleep and Gloop from the Herculoids
There are times when I value silence in my friends (in other words once in a while I wish they would shut the hell up) and Gleep and Gloop don’t really say much. Plus they are like walking marshmellows with eyes and a mouth. I kind of always liked that look for being a comic character I can actually draw myself. I was a fan of Shmoo too but he never shut up. Gleep and Gloop have a flying dragon they can ride around on and if there is a cooler means of travel short of a transporter I don’t know what it is. I kind of see these guys hanging around my crib like animated bean bag chairs and nodding or making agreeing noises every time I say something pithy. Plus I figure if I hang around with them long enough I’ll be able to solve the mystery of whether they are husband and wife, brothers, sisters, father/mother and son/daughter, or for that matter what sex they are anyway. It’s those sorts of questions that keep me up at night.
(Skull image courtesy of the Punisher t shirt category)
Lost meets Lord of the Flies.
And by Lost I mean Lost in every way good and bad. Remember how Lost drew you in with a cool, weird situation and interesting characters? How it sucked you deeper into it’s plot with the smoke monster and all the other stuff? How every episode raised another intriguing question that you sought the answers for in a desperate belief that if you could understand what was going on with Lost you might understand what was going on in your own life? Remember how the producers headed by bane-of-all-things-cool J.J. Abrams swore on a stack of Bibles big enough to rival the Great Pyramid if Giza that they had a plan and answers to all your burning questions would be produced by the final denouement?
Then remember how when time came to give you those answers the producers instead shot us all in the face with a firehose loaded with excrement? Well, that’s pretty much the Maze Runner.
By the way, in order for me to do this movie review justice I am going to have to spoil the crap out of it so SPOILER ALERT.
I admit it sucked me in. Not the trailers of course. I am too much a veteran of the inane YA novel movie genre to be fooled by a bland brunette girl with a 1,000 yard stare and a posse of sizzle chested man boys to expect anything other that the dregs of cinema. No, the movie itself sucked me in. The first half of the film was REALLY FREAKING COOL. The aforementioned man boys actually looked like they might have shared one or more testicles, acting was shockingly good, and the setting was awesome. The whole premise was fun and intriguing and like Lost I found myself drawn into the mystery of what this maze was and who was torturing and killing these kids. Was it some kind of sick snuff reality show? Were the parents of these boys political criminals who were being punished by being forced to watch theirs sons being eaten by Tyranids? (Punisher image courtesy of the Punisher t-shirt collection) Was the lone survivor of this show destined to become king of the world or turn into a stud to engender a new generation of super survivors? I was honestly wracking my brain coming up with cool possible explanations. The story did what is almost impossible for me in that I got involved in the plot.
So if you are still reading after yesterdays post I can assume you aren’t frightened by the idea of being outside and generating a sweat. Here are some more idea for good date stuff that involves something more active than flicking the TV remote.
Skiing or snowboarding – if you are fortunate enough to be close enough to ski resort to do a one day trip to the mountain (or, as we used to call it, a burrito run) this can be a great date. It’s outdoors in some beautiful scenery, you get to rest on the lift between runs, its cold which can motivate her to snuggle up, and getting hurt snowboarding or skiing can look pretty studly, as long as you don’t do it while trying to get off the ski lift. Also, unless she is an expert skier at some point halfway through the day she will probably jump at your suggestion to get some hot chocolate and sit in the lodge for a couple hours. Skiing is one of those things everyone has to claim to love, but after five or six runs the average person is happy to sit watching other people be cold while looking cool in their ski clothes.
By the way, this should be pretty obvious, but don’t suggest this unless you actually know how to ski or snowboard. Nothing will make you look like more of a eunuch like flailing down the bunny slope. You need to make sure you are both at about the same skill level or you are better than her (being her teacher for the day can really make you look good).
Those dumb paddle boats – yes, the are stupid. But did you ever wonder how they stay in business? It’s because they make for great dates. You are out on the water (all two feet of it, usually) by yourself with your girl and having fun. It will usually be relatively quiet, and there will be ducks, frogs, and other local fauna to distract her.
As a side benefit, your (hopefully) superior musculature and body weight will more or less mean you can keep your half of the boat moving while doing about 1/3 the work. If you feel at all guilty about that just remember that odds are sometime in the next couple months she will be asking you to move a couch or something. Also, don’t forget that “mauled by a mountain lion saving her” thing from my hiking entry.
Bowling – yes, unless you are on the PBA you will probably suck at this, but as goofy as it is, it is fun and entertaining. This is another activity that everyone claims to love to do, but once faced with the reality of actually doing it are willing to hang it up after about two games. Be sure to practice your moon walk while on the floor with the shoes.
Ice or roller skating – ironically, this is one activity where it is actually OK to be much worse than your date at. Flailing aimlessly around on the ice while she does triple axles is in a weird way endearing and cute. You will not lose any credibility with her even if you fall on your ass. There is a good chance she will even admire your courage and willingness to try something outside your box. On the other hand, if you are great at it you will burn a ton of calories and look cool. There is not a way to lose here, unless you get hurt (not as cool as getting hurt snowboarding).
That’s it for today. More tomorrow.
For our who would win question, the Punisher versus Fidel Castro, I am going a assume Frank Castle either got co-opted by the CIA or discovered Castro was involved in the drug trade somehow. On the one hand, the Punisher is an expert in all forms of mayhem, and with enough planning could probably make something happen. On the other hand, by all reports Castro has survived any number of CIA or NSA attempts on his life. I honestly don’t really know, but I am inclined to go with the Punisher just because I like him better. (Castro image courtesy of the political t shirt category)
For today let’s go historical inventors. Who would win, Ben Franklin versus Leonardo da Vinci?
Tuesday night is cheap movie tickets and I figured seeing a movie by myself in a theater is marginally more social than sitting around my office writing t–shirt descriptions. Plus it gives me something to write about for this blog, so win-win.
I chose Unstoppable in hopes it would suck so I could write some scathing review that would be really funny. I tend to be better, I think, when I am bitching about something. The trailers made it look like a bad Speed remake, and the fact that Chris Pine was one of the stars was going to give me a window to express my issues with the last Star Trek movie in a humorous manner.
In truth, I was disappointed. Not in the movie sucking, but rather in the fact that it was actually really, really entertaining. I have always been a fan of Denzel Washington, and I guess I should have had more faith in his ability to distinguish between a good script and Battlefield Earth. Kudos, Denzel!
The story is pretty basic. Some white trash moron sends a train loaded with explosive toxic chemicals down the a track with no one at the controls and the deadman switch (one of the coolest phrases of all time) disconnected. Denzel plays a grizzled train engineer veteran and Chris Pine the newbie conductor (they obviously live in the parallel universe where amazingly hot guys get blue collar jobs). There is some sub plots involving Chris’s estranged wife and Denzel’s stunningly hot Hooters waitress daughters, but most of the entirety of the movie involved figuring out how to stop the train before it blows up most of Pennsylvania.
That’s pretty much it, but about 40 minutes into the movie something really strange started to happen. “What is this weird, new sensation I am experiencing?” I asked. I pondered for a minute and suddenly figured it out. It was excitement. Yes, for the first time in years of movies I was excited by the action of the film, and honestly concerned for the well being of the characters. It was like seeing my first ever movie all over again. It was about 100 times more exciting than anything from Tron Legacy that I saw last week.
Let’s let the stars speak for themselves. The story is based on real events. One star. It involves trains. One star. The sub plots did not dominate the story or annoy me. One star. Both Denzel and Chris played their characters extremely well. One star. The writers did not break any of the laws of physics or thermodynamics in order to make the movie more exciting. One star. The action was both exciting and believable. One star. All the women were hot. One star. They did not force one of the main characters to be a chick for sex appeal (cough cough Sandra Bullock Speed cough cough). One star. Nobody did something blatantly stupid, and all the character motivations were clear and believable. One star. The camera work really immersed you in the movie, making it seem like you were in the action. One star. Net result: 10 stars.
Now the black holes, as there are very few movies without them. They managed to write in a train full of 150 grade school kids on a train safety field trip (??? What school has money to burn on something like that? For god’s sake it’s insulting) in danger of running headlong into the train early on in a pathetic attempt to either draw out sympathy or make it seem somehow more “real”. Two black holes. The guy from the government sent down to lecture said children on train safety (how much time does it take to say “Keep your head and arms inside the train at all times”?) was by amazing coincidence an expert on all things train related, including the nature of the toxic cargo carried by the train (molten phenol). One black hole. They managed to crowbar in a scene where the police SWAT teams shoot at the train with assault rifles in an attempt to hit some kind of stop switch that can be activated with bullets. One black hole. That’s it. Four black holes total.
Net result is a whopping six stars, my highest score to date. Honestly, this is a really fun movie. It is not a movie about anyone coming to grips with feelings or anything, so if you want to see something like that wait for Love and Other Drugs. It is also, with the exception of the aforementioned attempt to stop the train with bullets, not a shoot-em-up or action film in the classic sense. However, I think most people will enjoy it and have a pleasant evening, especially if you can see it for $5.
In answer to yesterdays who-would-win question, it is my opinion that Frank Castle’s training, experience, and more versatile equipment (including his body armor) would give the Punisher the ability to beat Jayne Cobb, in spite of Jayne’s superior attitude. Sad but true. (Punisher image courtesy of the Punisher t shirts).
For today, let’s consider what would happen if Maxwell Smart had to fight Austin Powers. Who would win?