Friday, May 29, 2009

9

Have you all seen the trailer for the movie 9?

If not, then let me assure you, it is wonderful. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s like someone crept into my head and stole one of my dreams. It looks amazing. Here, if you haven’t seen it, watch this, then come back… I'll wait...

9

Oooooooh... neat, right?

Originally this was a short film created by someone named Shane Acker, whom I have never heard of before now, but now know as someone who is most assuredly a mad genius. Now, the original short film was first created all the way back in aught-5 and it got nominated for an Oscar. It didn’t win. I’m not sure who actually did, but lets be honest, who cares? So anyway, flash-forward to now-ish and the short film has been picked up by Focus Films and adapted for feature length with Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian director behind such international extravaganzas as Nightwatch, Daywatch and Angelina Jolie’s Wanted, and Tim Burton, famous for the short film: Frankenweenie, as the Producers.

As far as I can tell from the awesome trailer, the story involves a bunch of sentient rag-dolls hiding from and fighting against a horde of evil robot rag-doll-killers amongst the towering, cataclysmic rubble of a post-apocalyptic world, a world where humanity is dead and gone. The dolls wear like, bird skull helmets and salt shaker masks and soup can armor and they fight the robots with halves of scissors as their swords and other scavenged stuff like that. It's like the filthy, hard-scrabbled, grim and demented version of The Littles that I always wanted as a kid. I mean, why bother carrying a sewing needle rapier if you're not going to use it to defend your within-the-walls homeland from an encroaching Rat Army during a vicious to the death battle? Seriously. Anyway, 9 looks genius. I am giddy with anticipation. Giddy, I say, giddy like a schoolgirl. Tee Hee!

Elijah Wood (The Faculty), Crispin Glover (River’s Edge), Christopher Plummer (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), John C. Reilly (Days of Thunder), and Jennifer Connelly (The Rocketeer) all lend their voices.

Release date: 9/9/09

Mark your calendars, folks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Forever my Enemy

Missouri and I are the most bitter enemies.

This has been the case since all the way back to the summer of 1993, the year I attended AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, the year the Army spent what some experts estimate may have reached well into the millions, in order to train me on how to use various types of cranes (12 ton, 20 ton, 25 ton Grove) with a various type of attachments (hook block, clam shell, drag-line, picket pounder). An impressive skill set , it is true, Sergeant Legos even said that I threw a drag-line like I’d been doing it 20 years, which made me feel really, really manly, but sadly, it is also one that, as I’ve stated before, I’ve had pretty much zero call for in my personal, professional and even military life. So, even though I never really used it, I did get a $2000.00 signing bonus for successfully completing my training as a U.S. Army trained Crane Operator (62Fox), so that was nice…

Your tax dollars a work! Thank you, United States Army! Bwak! Bwak!

But I digress…

My point is: Fort Leonard Wood, and by greater extension: Missouri, sucks donkey butt. It was ridiculously hot and muggy from August through October, ridiculously, then it became ridiculously cold overnight and, as some of you might recall, I happen to live in Minnesota, so for the weather to be complaint worthy, you know it has to be bad. And this was extreme. Horrible. It was a murky, stagnant swamp of a state one day and a frigid tundra the next. Simply awful.

This same weather has tried to snow me in and ground my flights, turning road and wing alike into a diamond crusted ice-rink, each and every time I have flown through St. Louis, and that long, ugly turd of an airport, with its humped-backed, sloped-foreheaded, mouth-breathing below average troglodyte staff (even for an airport), has happily conspired with the will of this miserable cess-pool of a state, helping to ensure that either my luggage is lost, my flight is delayed or my hurried lunch, as I run between the insanely far apart set gates, is moldy and over-priced every single time. This state and its populous goes out of its way, well past above and beyond, to aggravate me, to detain or delay me, to offend me with its prevalent attitudes, opinions and politics or to just somehow generally make sure that each visit is crappy in some way. We have a long and storied history, Missouri and I, one that, while its origins may have become hazy with the passage of time, the hate is no less as bright and sharp as the day it was originally forged.

The last time I went through Missouri, though, despite a herculean ice storm effort on its part, despite the cancellation of my flight, despite being placed last on an incredibly long stand-by list, despite having a moving walkway with no exit for miles, I still managed to somehow slip out of that crap-hole state at the eleventh hour, not only making the last open seat on the last flight of the day, but somehow also ending up in first class… HA! Take that Missouri! You bunch of jerks. I looked back and Missouri shook its fist at me in impotent rage as I soared away, cackling wildly.

But while I may have emerged unscathed and easily victorious by a wide margin on that particular occasion, I always knew there would be more. I always knew Missouri was still there, never forgetting, always planning, waiting for its moment, bristling with rage over its humiliation. I always knew that someday, someday, we would meet again and on that day... Well, I welcomed that advent of that day… I welcomed it. Until the last breath, Missouri… until the last breath…

And yes, I am aware of the fact that I am anthropomorphizing an entire state based mostly on experiences had while in the St. Louis airport, so what? You want to make something of it?

Shut up.

Anyway, to make a long intro short (too late) my Dad moved there and, through the eventual progression of time, my little sister graduated High School, and since my little sister is the cutest of the cutest bug’s ears, I had no other choice then to return, in order to attend the festivities, to that wretched hive of scum and villainy, the seedy lair of all that I despise … Missouri

And Missouri was waiting.

Little Ms. Super-cute Fiancée and I decided to rent a car for the trip. Its a generally cheap, practical and honestly, more comfortable thing to do for long trips. What Little Miss Super-cute Fiancée doesn’t realize, though, is that I suggested this for another more specific reason. You see, I knew that if we drove her little, well-maintained, yet older model Corolla into that very mouth of Hell on Earth, her little car would somehow, someway not return and we, as per Missouri’s usual M.O., would be stranded. Which is what it wants. Why? I don’t know and judging by the looks on the faces of most of the populous, I wouldn’t enjoy the answer, so…

Not gonna happen.

So we rented a car, and since Missouri is weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell below the Mason Dixon line (and by that I mean: Holy crap, we’re in the fucking South!), as an extra “fuck you” we decided to go with the 2009 Toyota Prius. It’s a sassy little hybrid that looks like a shoebox, but let me tell you, we averaged about 43 mpg. Easy! 43 mpg! We almost made it from Minneapolis to Kansas City on one tank of gas, going about 80 mph the whole way. Amazing. And, despite the fact that Little Miss Super-cute Fiancée drove about 200 miles, at well over 80 mph, with the engine brake on, the car gave us zero trouble. Zero. It was easy. It was quiet. It was very nice. A crappy stereo, but still, I would own one. They’re a nice ride and nearly 500 miles per tank-fill? That’s amazing.

So… Jon: 1. Missouri: 0

This is where Missouri got clever. See, the weather was beautiful. I wasn’t expecting this. We had somehow landed in that magical time between winter and summer, that storied 5 to 6 days that people down there refer to as Spring. It was lovely sitting-on-the-porch-and-drinking-beer weather and it lulled me, it caught me off guard. Well played, Missouri, well played. So, my Dad put together 8 of us to go golfing, which was great fun, but I quickly discovered that my natural video game playing ability does not, in fact, transfer very well to the actual sport. I mean, I tried pressing X at the top of my swing and then again at the bottom… but… nada. Luckily, I was in similarly talented company, so I didn’t stand out to the casual observer, and we spent the afternoon hacking our way up the hills like it was Guadalcanal, inch by bloody inch, and then battering our balls back down again as if every last piece of grass needed to be beaten within an inch of its life and we were the only ones willing to take up the task. I don’t think I made par, but I tried, which, according to the Special Olympics, is all that really matters, so…

But here’s where Missouri sucker punched me.

Sunburn.

I know! I’m like: What the fuck, I’m brown, right? Sunscreen? That’s for you lily white bastards, or so I thought. The sun was murder, somewhere around the back nine I began to notice a tightening of the skin on my arms. With about five holes left, I started to notice that beer just wasn’t cutting my thirst.

(Side note: Me: “What kind of beer do you have?” Golf course Beer-girl that drives around in a cart while you’re golfing (awesome): “Ah… Miller, Bud, Coors and… uh… Bud Light.” Fail.)

By the end, I was a raisin the color of a lobster. And to add insult to injury, I was wearing a golf glove the whole time, which of course, you only wear on one hand, so… You son of a bitch, Missouri…

Jon: 1. Missouri: 1

It was on, oh yeah, it was on like Donkey Kong.

My little sister’s graduation was in downtown Kansas City, in a municipal auditorium that had definitely been designed by someone heavily influenced by the architecture of Stalinist Russia. IM-POS-ING! Hi-Yah! Take that Red-neck Missouri. They didn’t even seem to notice the over-whelming loom of the place. I’m counting that as a point for me.

Jon: 2. Missouri: 1

The ceremony was also really, really short and not annoying at all for something that involved about five hundred swaggering high school kids, even though pretty much every single one of them flashed a West-side hand gesture when they got up in front of the camera set-up on stage, despite the fact that they all live in the eastern most suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, which is, of course, to the east of Kansas, but I digress again… Also, traffic moved at an easy pace and parking was surprisingly convenient, so I’m going to go ahead and count that as a point for me, as well.

Jon: 3. Missouri: 1

Then, after the party had wound down, and my sister and her friends had snuck off to other, less supervised graduation get-togethers, (by the way, little sister, those shorts were WAY too short. I mean, believe me, the last thing I want to see is your Camel Toe.) Little Miss Super-cute Fiancée and I decided to go to a movie. We ended up at a Theatre that smelled too much like pee to be anything but and had those kind of seats that are way too small and you can’t scoot down enough to have a head rest because the back is way too short, not to mention the fact that the crappy thing automatically leans way, way back, like its actually a hide-a-bed, so far and fast that at first you assume that its broken, but its not and you end up watching the movie as if you were doing crunches the entire time. And Little Miss Super-cute chose Angels and Demons…

Jon: 3. Missouri: 2

Monday morning, Memorial Day, time to get the fuck outta dodge. After a nice breakfast, we were blasting our way back up I-35 in our Prius, hauling ass at 85 mph, blowing past no less than 5 Missouri State Troopers as they all gathered ‘round a traffic stop, watching with arms crossed and chuckling with glee as a Police-dog sniffed around the interior of a beat up IROC while the two dejected looking gold chain Guidos that owned it were huddled near the lead squad car’s bumper. We shot by like a rocket, VROOOOM! Never slowing, never pausing, right across the border and straight on into Iowa, home of marriage equality and scenic valley railroads, where we immediately and frivolously spent money on gas and snacks, well within sight of that dreadful king shit of poop mountain, that tarnished and gaudy bible belt buckle, Missouri, the crappiest crap of all crapdom. We had escaped.

Jon: 4. Missouri: 2.

And after spending my money and needlessly topping off my green-mobile, I stood there for a moment and gazed off south, out over the grassy fields and into that four lane blacktop expanse of strip-malled nothing, that sleeveless T-shirt and stretch pants Mecca, that repository for the dregs of flea markets everywhere, the clogged drain in the basement floor of America, my ancient and forever enemy, Missouri, and I smiled, for once again, we had met on the field of battle and I had emerged victorious. I stood there and I bathed in its seething, cringing hatred for me, I basked in it, I savored it.

Then I left it behind.

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Jon Uber Alles.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm tired

Today is my double shift day, I'm a little tired, and I have to take a poop, so today's blog will be as slim and quick as a switchblade, and almost twice as cutting!

Wha-CHA! Look Out!

The good news is: Thursday (tomorrow) there is a big-ass company meeting here at the Day Prison and all the prisoners are mandated to attend, so that they can celebrate the life of the Leader, (Praise to the Leader! Hail! Hail! HAIL!) so... half my day is already marked off. BAM! GONE!

The really good news part of all that is: The Mandatory Celebration will not take up the whole afternoon and as a result, I'm getting parolled earlier than usual! Hoo-ray!

Then, I have Friday off and little Ms. Super-cute Fiancee and I are getting up early and then... then we road trip, baby, we hit that long, lonesome highway, traveling down, down, down across the blighted, wind-swept face of the midwest and into that place known as Missouri, the land of suck, and if we're feeling particularly brave, perhaps we'll even venture farther afield and on into Kansas. Who knows? The only thing known for certain is that I live my life by the seat of my pants, kids... the rest I leave to Fate. But why, you ask? Why throw caution so recklessly to wind and travel to the very chromed buckle of the bible belt?

Well I'll tell you, it's all for my little sister and her suburban, white-bread, hip-hop-flavored High School Graduation. I'll be honest... I'm excited to see what lies in store. Surely, it is a journey destined to be one of legend, the kind that the children of untold generations to come shall sing songs of.

I'll tell you all about it on Tuesday.

Ooooh... Anticipation...

Until then...

Awesome.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dollhouse

So, the both of you out there who read this blog regularly have probably already heard this, but for the benefit of the half dozen or so guys a day, from all over the world, who erroneously land here while searching for big, bouncing, braless boobs…

Dollhouse has been renewed for a second season.

Now, admittedly, I am more than a little surprised by this.

Honestly, I was shocked that they let the show go for the whole season.

Frankly, I am still not entirely convinced that FOX isn’t setting up some kind of elaborate trap for all of us, hoping to lull us into believing that they are not, in fact, the horrible ass-hats that we all well and truly know them to be, just so that they can extra destroy Dollhouse and, most likely, when we least expect it, too. (Personally, I think its revenge. I think they’re still mad at Joss Whedon for creating Firefly and then letting people like it.)

Anyway, I’m aware. I’m not falling for any of their tricks, get me? I know what FOX does, no matter how much they try to hide it. As if they don’t go around and green-light every single crazy, weird, interesting, exciting and new genre project available out there, then cut their budgets down to an anemic nothing, interfere with the production every step of the way and finally sentence the pale shadow of the original intention that manages to stagger free to some horrible and quickly forgotten Friday night timeslot… History does not lie, man, nor does the tattered and pathetic trail of TV show carcasses that they have left dead and bleeding in their wake.

I’m on to you, FOX, you dirty fuckers.

But why? Why does FOX do this? Well, the obvious answer is that someone at FOX, possibly all of them, (the jerks) hate genre shows with a passion. They hate them with the fiery intensity of a thousand burning suns. They hate them so much that they probably all have meetings where they sit around their giant mahogany meeting tables, smoking their cigars and drinking their scotch while resting their feet on the backs of poor people and going: “Ooooh…. Fucking space ships… I just… I just fucking hate ‘em! Soooo much!” all said with grit teeth and their fists clenched and shaking. They hate them so much, apparently, that it is not enough to simply NOT air any genre shows, instead, they must actively search them out, capturing them while still in their delicate and vulnerable pupae form, and then viciously destroying them and even salting the very fertile imaginations where these nascent shows were meant to grow and all in order to ensure that nothing, NOTHING, can ever be salvaged from their ruin ever again. Don’t believe me? There are precedents! Go look!

And yet…

Dollhouse gets a second season.

(Sidebar: I just came across a guy, on one of my lists, and his name was Bambata. Bambata! ….Bambata! Bambata! …You know… like in Conan the Destroyer? Wilt the Stilt? …Ah…forget it…)

Anyway… while I AM ridiculously surprised by this turn of events, you know what I have found that I actually am NOT?

Excited.

Not that I don’t like Dollhouse, I do, but really… What is Dollhouse about? Seriously now, what is it about? I know I’ve bitched about it in other blogs, about the synopsis and the lack of story arcs, but now, in the wake of the first season, the question looms all the more largely… What is Dollhouse about?

Seriously.

Who’s the bad guy? Sure, Alpha is still out there, but he’s not your main bad guy, he can’t be. Alpha is just your Joker, your Bullseye, he’s like a shark, the villain who just wants to fuck you up and that’s it and pretty much only because: just because. He’s reliable and ready that way. But he doesn’t do anything else. He doesn’t commit other crimes. He doesn’t really want to rule the world, he’s just dangerous and that’s cool and all… you can do some really fun stuff with that, but… Who’s the Lex Luthor? Who’s the Doctor Doom? Who’s the Magneto? Shit, who’s the Batroc the Leaper?

And while these villains may be needed for the general sake of a sci-fi action show, an even better question is… why exactly would these villains even exist within the story’s world in the first place, standing against what is basically nothing but a really, really fancy escort service? It’d be like some guy in a shiny unitard regularly attacking a titty bar… “Surrender to me, Jumbo’s Clown Room! Kneel before Doctor Stiffy!”

Plus, now that Agent Ballard has actually joined the Dollhouse, due to a somewhat murky motivation that I believe owes more to renewal negotiations and FOX’s desire for a slimmed down cast then the natural demands of the story, (see? Interfering. It’s what they do.) where will the outside pressure of exposure come from? The entire rest of the world believes the Dollhouse to be nothing but an urban legend, so why would any one else even care enough to bother to go hunting for the place? What about the NSA surveillance, you ask? Oooooh… the NSA …big deal.

Also… most importantly… What is Dollhouse about? Come on, I mean, really, what’s the main storyline? What’s the push? What’s the intent? What’s the goddamn elevator pitch? And… its not that I don’t like Dollhouse, I do, I watched it every Friday and downloaded from Itunes the ones that I missed, but really… at this point – first season in the can – can anyone out there tell me what the show is about? I mean, sure, you can probably assume that the Shadowy Corporation that finances the Dollhouse(s) is involved somehow, that they are probably behind everything, (shocker! excuse me while I “duh.”) but “everything” what? What are they doing that is so bad? Yes, the dolls are “slaves” but really, at least as far as we've been told and shown so far, they all volunteered, so what are they being subjected to that they need to be saved from? A shitty job? What? Really? Then where's my rescue? Because let me tell you… mine is shittier…

So, does anyone know? Can anyone guess?

Rumors? Thoughts? Spoilers or Speculation?

Anyone?

What is Dollhouse about?

I guess, in the end, maybe it doesn’t matter. After all, Buffy hit its stride second season, Angel a little later on, so I’m going to stick around and see regardless. Its just that, if all this show turns out to be is just different assignments and some occasional fetish gear that slowly builds up to Alpha showing up again, then… meh… right?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I know I’ve said this to you all before, Gentle Reader, and I don’t mean to whine, but you know what? Lately I’ve felt like I haven’t had time for anything. My weekend wasn’t as relaxing as I hoped and now… man, I am looking forward to some sleep. Of course, that’s after I have finished all of the other stuff I've got on deck tonight… so hopefully I’ll be in bed by midnight… hopefully.

Like I said, I’ve been busy.

Not that I’m not getting stuff done, I am, why just last night, in fact, the West Coast Branch of the Bad Ass Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls and I knocked out a literal ASS-LOAD of pages on Gunslingers of the Apocalypse. (Just how much, exactly, comprises an ass-load, you ask? Believe you me, cats and kittens, you will know it when you see it, believe you me…Seriously though, its about 50-ish.) I also sketched out a couple of story ideas, for me to plot out some time in the next week or so, in preparation for possible drawing at the next Cartoonist Conspiracy. They’re not much, just a handful of 1-3 pagers and maybe a possibly longer one or two, no biggie, not really, but still, hopefully some fun stuff. Also, since tonight is the Sparkle Ball Death Bunnies bi-monthly meet up, I managed to finish all of the submissions early. Q had a particularly well done addition this time out, as did the Doppelganger, plus we’ll be picking up on the missed stuff from the last meeting… so, yeah, I am getting some stuff done, but it was work, one and all, and it seems like there’s still more stuff waiting to be done, too… there’s new writing, there’s more edits, not to mention the house work and planting the new tree. I still need to clean the cat box, as well, and prepare for the trip this weekend and then… bills, bills, bills… And two jobs. AND wedding stuff! Whew! All I need is a couple days off! (Preach on, Huey Lewis… wherever you are…)

You know what I need to do? I need to get off my ass and win the lottery. I have no one to blame for my lack of winnings but myself, to be honest. I mean, have we learned nothing from the Beastie Boys? When it comes to Lotto, you have to be in it, to win it and quite frankly, I have not been participating…. Wake up, Jon! That Lotto is not gonna win itself!

This week is going to turn into Friday way to quickly, too. This isn’t really a bad thing, especially since this week is the week when my little sister, the Kelsenator, is graduating from High School. I’m not sure how this is possible, since last I checked she was five, but apparently that doesn’t matter in Missouri, so little Ms. Super-cute Fiancée and I are going to motor on down there in order to join in on all of the congratulatory festivities. However, with all of this, this seemingly ton of shit that needs to be addressed, slowly but surely piling up on the home front, the idea of taking off for a long holiday weekend road trip down into the very heart of Midwestern darkness itself, just means that its all going to be more stressful than one would usually expect.

hurm...

On the upside, though, my Dad and I are planning on some golf, which is always fun and usually involves beer. Plus, my Uncle will be there too and I haven’t seen that guy in forever and a day.

Then, on top of all of this other crap, I couldn’t help but notice that I’ve been somewhat lax as of late when it comes to the blog posts. I aim to rectify this situation, starting now, and post something everyday this week. I apologize for my inattentiveness, but as I just finished detailing… I’ve been fucking swamped lately, man.

Anyway, keep checking back all this week, meine kleine freunden, (well… until Thursday, that is… I’m going out of town…) as shit is guaranteed to get a little crazy 'round these here parts, because I plan on blogging like a motherfucker!

WOOOOO!

We'll see how that works out for me…

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jon’s Guide to Summer Movies

It’s Summer-time, summer-time, sum-sum-summer-time, summer-time, summer-time, sum-sum-summer-time, summer-time, summer-time, sum-sum-summer-time, summer-TI-IIII-IIIII-IME!

And that means: SUMMMER MOVIES! YAY!

Back again is a time of wonder and wishing, of anticipation and excitement, of supposition and usually, ultimately… disappointment, but also… there’s hope, because sometimes, every once in a great while, a big-ass, big-time, effects-laden and stunt-casted Hollywood Summer Blockbuster actually does deliver and when that happens, my friends, it reminds you why you go in the first place… Magic! (For the full effect of that last part, you should be doing a falling cascade of jazz fingers as you read it.) Lets try it again... Magic! (oooooh!)

So, anyway, with the summer season only now just starting to pick up steam, I thought I’d put out a handy-dandy little guide for you all to refer to now and then, should you find yourself suddenly wondering: “Hmmmm… I wonder what’s coming out in the next few months and if Jon is looking forward to it or not…”

Well, wonder no more, Gentle Readers!

Lets start off with May, the month of “the possibly sucky!”

1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I haven’t gone yet. I will eventually, I’m sure, but the stuff I’ve been hearing sounds terrible and I’ve watched enough trailers to put it all together and know that the reviews are pretty much right. Do you want to know how you can tell if a Super-hero film is going to suck ass? Well, number one, if its put out by Fox, as they are generally responsible for most of the worst kind of mouth breather stupid crap around these days. Number two, when it’s a non super-team centered film and yet it features a massive number of licensed characters. This film has Deadpool, it has Sabertooth, it has Blob and Gambit and Emma Frost. It has Wraith and Agent Zero. It has a young Storm and Cyclops and even Professor X, if I’m not mistaken. Here’s an idea… how about for Wolverine’s origin, we focus mainly on Wolverine? Even worse, from what I understand, it’s the same story as the Hulk Vs. Wolverine cartoon basically (minus the inclusion of the Hulk) and that one was actually done well and is fun. Now, granted, Marvel’s attempt to give Wolverine a cohesive and official origin story in the comics is mostly butt-hole stupid, but still, Wolverine himself is the type of character that you should be able to plop down into just about any kind of story, in any kind of local and end up with a good time. Hong Kong heist film? No problem. Battling ninjas in Tokyo? Easy-peasy Japan-easy. Post Apocalyptic America? Fuck yeah! Hunter/prey thriller in the Canadian Rockies? That’s his bread and butter, baby. WWII adventure? Affirmative. Anytime, any place, anywhere, Wolverine is a fit-able character, so how do you screw him up? Dumb question I guess, since they have managed to screw up the Punisher not once, not twice, but three times. So… in a nutshell, I haven’t gone, but I probably will and afterwards I expect to be ambivalent about the entire experience.

2. Star Trek

Saw it. Good time. Lot of fun. Great cast. Action/story didn’t really “wow” me, but it was good enough and actually left me excited to see the sequel now that the set-up has all been established and they can take the training wheels off.

3. Angels And Demons

According to legend, this is Dan Brown’s “good” book and I got to tell you, it certainly couldn’t be any worse than that Da Vinci Code crap. What a stinker. Ron Howard consistently makes films with a tolerable work-man like delivery and Tom Hanks is our generation’s Jimmy Stewart pastiche, but when your source material is this bad, what else can you expect but crap? I mean, you saw the Da Vinci Code, right? Terrible. Did you try to read it? Awful. I expect this to be as bad, if not worse. I like that Amelie girl, though.

4. Terminator Salvation

I discovered the other day, that this is the movie I have been looking forward to the longest, not the Clone Wars, not Indiana Jones’ further adventures, no… The War with the Machines. I saw Terminator on VHS in 1984-85 and ever since then, I’ve dreamed about the war with the machines. The accompanying apocalyptic imagery has clearly been influential on me. (along with Mad Max…) I even gave Terminator 3 a pass based simply on the ending, despite the presence of the Clare Danes cry-face! So, obviously… there is ZERO chance in HELL that this film will even come CLOSE to satisfying me, but I accept that. You have to accept this fact as reality if you are any kind of fan of A. Sci-fi/fantasy and B. Summer Movies. That’s just the way it is, there will always be something, big or more likely, really, really small, that will stoke your Nerd-fires of Rage into a mighty flame or be a plain old Geek-irritant. BUT! But, there is something else, too. There is some poop included here, something so incredibly foul that there is no denying its power to make things craptastic… McG. McG is the director. McG is what he calls himself. McG is obviously an asshole. And then there’s his films and TV shows, his awful, awful, awful films and TV shows. I’m not going to list them here, because they are awful. Feel free to look them up on IMDB and then go: “Oh… yeah, he sucks.” You see, McG used to be a music video Director, so all his stuff LOOKS great, that’s how he tricks you, it all looks awesome, but then, up close, its actually just crap. Anyway, McG is directing this movie. That’s the first bit of bad news. The second? Well, I read a spoiler a while back that is SO STUPID that there is no way that it is not true. I’m going to just say it out loud, so if you don’t want to know, turn away. Spoiler: Basically, I read that John Conner (Christian Bale) dies and the main friendly-Terminator (Sam Worthington) has them PULL OFF John Connor’s skin and attach it to his exo-skeleton, so that John Connor can live… Oh. My. God. He’s become the one thing he hates! Oh, my… what a bunch of assholes. Anyway, the only glimmer of hope is that a possibly true advanced review has the Terminator instead donating his heart to an injured John Connor, which is a little less stupid, but still leaves open the whole “I’ve become the one thing I hate” angsty emo storyline that will be the pinnacle of lame…. Le sigh… There is no way this film is going to be any good. So, yeah, I’ll go and then I’ll be sad.

5. Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian

…I can’t believe they’re advertising this movie as if people should be excited about it.

6. Pixar’s Up

Oh boy! I love Pixar. They are consistently awesome. If you don’t agree, then I’m sorry to break this to you, but you are dumb and have bad taste. Really. I mean, even at their worst (Cars), they were still better than average and the rest of their library? Great. Great story. Great animation. Great fun. Great job. The Pixar films have all consistently been shining examples of what movies should be. Now, I am the last person to applaud something that could be considered “fun for all ages” but shit, Pixar, man… Pixar. I’m not even entirely sure what this film is about, but from what I’ve seen, I am totally there and you should be too.

On to June! Are you ready for the Summer?

1. Land Of The Lost

When he’s good, Will Ferrell can really make me laugh (Zoolander) and Land of the Lost is a truly cherished childhood memory. This film looks to be slap-sticky and may quite possibly be awful, but it has Danny McBride and Sleestacks, so it can’t be all bad. I mean, even Starsky and Hutch had funny parts… a few… really. Plus, the trailer makes me laugh in a dumb comedy way. I might see this in the theatre, I might wait.

2. The Taking Of Pelham 123

Oh… a remake of a decent 70s era film where current technology might end up rendering the plot a little silly… Oh… and it stars John Travolta…oh…

3. Year One

Despite the inclusion of Jack Black and Michael Cera, I can see no way that a wacky comedy about two lazy cavemen can be any good at all and besides, does anyone out there really think there’s anything left to say in the wacky caveman comedy genre after Ringo Star made his mark in 1981’s Caveman? Yeah, me neither…

4. Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

There’s this one shot of Megan Fox, in the trailer, where she’s bent over a motorcycle, “fixing” it, in a pair of Daisy Dukes that is sooooooo unbelievably dirty, that it about gave me a stroke. So, yeah, I’m sure I’ll go at some point, even though the rest of the movie will most likely be nothing but a bunch of crappy, barely discernible nonsense and stupid garbage that you can’t follow with your eyes, and all of it written and directed by a boob and a hack.

Next up: July. Celebrate America’s birth by supporting ridiculous wastes of money!

1. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Huh… I didn’t know they were still making these… I’ll be damned…

2. Public Enemies

Hey now, here’s something. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale squaring off in a movie based on John Dillinger and the rise of the Bank robbers, like Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde, that used getaway cars and, as a result, are directly responsible for the formation of the modern day FBI? Suh-weet! Its based off a book by Bryan Burrough by the same name that is a pretty good read. Plus, its directed by Michael Mann, so yeah, a possible bright spot mid-summer.

3. Brüno

I’m for this, because I really believe that the only way most “good” people will ever actually learn to behave is through public humiliation and shame and Sasha Baron Cohen dressing up as a flamboyantly gay man and then tricking bigots into revealing the depths of their bigotry, so that the entire world can ridicule them for their back-woods, mouth-breathing, moron, bullshit, simply and totally wrong motherfuckers that they are, to me, is a good thing. I'm always for embarrassing jerks. So, I’ll go. Plus, while I didn’t find Borat to be as amazingly funny as some thought it was, it still contained insanity on an amazing level, so… I’m going.

4. Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince

I still haven’t read the last book and I haven’t liked any of the movies that much, either, but little Ms. Super-cute Fiancée always wants to go these and Senor Fancy-pants and The Michelopedia might be out here about the same time, as well, so I’m sure I’ll go at some point, but its definitely in my “whatever” category.

5. G-Force

“A team of highly trained Guinea Pigs are dispatched to take down an evil billionaire who wants to destroy the world with household appliances.” Wha…? I saw the trailer, witnessed the stupid jokes, heard the celebrity voices and, man… I just don’t understand how these type of things happen…

August is next, the month for movies not good enough for the rest of the summer!

1. G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra

Are you kidding? Come on. Come on. Didn’t you see the trailer? Its directed by Stephen Sommers, the guy who directed the Mummy and Van Helsing, are you really confused as to whether or not this movie will be suicide-inducingly horrendous? Come on. COME ON! This movie is going to be so stupid that it will give you cancer of the eyes. It will turn your brain to diarrhea. This movie is going to be so bad, the people responsible just might be brought up on charges. This movie is going to be sooooo bad, people will refer to the Transformers movie in a positive manner. This movie…My God! What the fuck!?!?! COME ON! NO! WHAT THE HELL, MAN!?!?! Ugh…

2. Inglourious Basterds

I read the script for this film and I had the same reaction to it that I did with Kill Bill. Meh… Parts of Kill Bill were fine, sure, but often… meh… I mean, it wasn’t as self-indulgent as Grindhouse, but its close. Plus, I hate Eli Roth with a passion and he’s Quentin Tarantino’s new butt buddy, so there’s that. The trailer looks fine, I guess, I like Brad Pitt and WWII, especially Dirty Dozen type WWII flicks, its just… much like the basic story of Kill Bill (Betrayed assassin is left for dead and goes on a trail of bloody revenge)… the idea of a group of Jewish American Soldiers in WWII, deep behind enemy lines and fucking up Nazis without mercy makes me sit up and go: “Oh really? Why yes, I AM interested, please tell me more…” but then it just kind of goes off in another direction and meh…

So… all in all, barring the possibility of a few bright spots, this summer looks to be shaping up as pretty ho-hum. Lets hope for a few surprises.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Act III! WOOOOO!!!

That’s the text I just got from L.A., folks.

Do you know what that means? It means that the West Coast branch of the Bad Ass Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls has broken past the second act on Gunslingers of the Apocalypse and has now begun edits on… well… the third act… and that means we are now 2/3rds of the way through!

YAY! The End is in sight! YAY!

Not bad for cheap (free) labor, if I do say so myself. Plus, the Hometown branch of the Bad Ass Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls is not that far behind either and she is coming up fast! VROOOOM! Look out, Agent Man (or Woman), I’m coming to getcha’!

Celebrate good times, come on! It’s a celebration… Celebrate good times, come on! There’s a party going on right here, a celebration… hey, what’s up?

My co-worker just walked by and gave me a funny look and I’m like what, just because I’m alone in my cubicle, smiling and chair dancing and typing like a maniac (maniac! On the floor! And he’s typing like he’s never typed before!), does that make me some kind of talking-to-myself type of freak? Does that mean I deserve your scorn, your pity? Now, suddenly, I'm the weird-o? I'm not the one wearing acid washed jeans on casual day, lady!

I gave her a quickly raised chin and a lip twitch, all cool guy and shit, you know… the international sigh for: Sup?

She did not return it… jerk.

UPDATES!

I have decided to re-tool chapter one of Bastard out of Minnesota, I had a flash of inspiration the other day and as a result, I have decided to save one part for later on, bump up the other two and add what was to be the first part of chapter two as the last bit of chapter one. I like the flow and set-up much better and I think this is going to help to make the slide into chapter two all the more easy for me. I also rearranged some of the upcoming bits of future chapters and I am very pleased with how that came out AND I also thought up some fucking awesome back-story for a major secondary character that was needed and that not only gets some good greater-world info out there, but will also be a really cool sequence of images. So… suh-weet!

I pleased to announce that the Cartoonist Conspiracy was a good time and with their Meets only scheduled for once a month, there’s not a huge commitment necessary, but it has some real potential to bloom into some interesting possibilities. Self-publishing continues to be of no interest to me at all, but if I was going to go that route, it would be with a comic, so yes, a myriad of possibilities and who knows what may lie ahead…

Also, Little Ms. Super-cute Fiancée is very happy with her ring and that makes her only cuter… in case any of you were wondering…

There are big plans for Mom's Day this weekend, the sudden inclusion of our eventual nuptials has driven both Mothers insane, as they now froth at the mouth like Pavlov's dogs at the mere mention and simply can not WAIT to start planning. Apparently, you have to reserve your Hall up to a year in advance... With all that hoop-la and blah-blah-blah comes a Mother's Day Brunch, the traffic to get there and back again and Little Ms. Super-Cute's neurotic mandatory pre-mother-appearance cleaning freak out, not to mention, a desperate, but most likely doomed before its inception, attempt to see the new Star Trek and the bottom line from here looks like its all going to add up to: no new writing for me. At least, not this weekend. I remain hopeful though, perhaps Sunday afternoon... maybe late tonight... sometime... maybe I'll get some time to mess around, but at the moment, it looks highly unlikely...

Le Sigh...

I guess I'm going to have to swing by the comic shop tonight... so I feel better...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Proposal

It was dusk, the sun had just set, the western sky rimmed with a darkening orange smear. The air was warm, lending toward humid, and I was sweating beneath my sweater and jacket. Maybe it was from the heat, maybe it was from anticipation of what was to come… or maybe it was from the massive plate of sushi I had nervously devoured at Sushi Tango a few minutes ago, who knows? In the end, it didn’t matter, I was a little hot and more than a little queasy and now we were going for a walk. My burps tasted like Eel and sea weed… Mmmm… smell the romance.

We walked down to Lake Calhoun. It had been busy earlier in the day at the Lake's park, but as darkness fell, people were beginning to thin out a little. We joined the remnants of the crowd as they slowly meandered the wide bike path that circled the lake. The still dark waters were like glass, the light breeze barely tickling its surface, doing little to cool my feverish brow. A smelly little suburbs-hippy and her gross-moustache boyfriend squatted at the entrance of the park while she pretended like she knew how to sing and play guitar and he pretended like he was harmonizing, but really just sounded like he was recovering from the stomach flu. I was barely able to hold myself back from making a ridiculous amount fun of them for being such completely lame art school clichés… Her guitar had “This guitar kills fascists” finger painted across the face. I wanted to ask: “Isn’t murder wrong?” But then thought… No time for love, Dr. Jones, you have plans and zero time to waste on dilly dallying and verbally abusing stupid hippies, no matter how satisfying that activity may prove to be.

So, we walked on, with just a bit of regret, curving slowly, hand in hand, around the rocky sand and weaving around the sad spectacle that are adults dressed entirely in spandex… tell me, just how fast do you plan on going, sir, here on the Lake Calhoun bike path, that WIND RESISTANCE is such a concern?

But I digress…

Anyway,

The first attempt was a failure.

I wanted this to be a private moment between us, for one, but there were too many people around… some of them were even Speed-walkers (shudder), so I couldn’t do it. Originally I had planned on distracting her with the funny memory of one of the other times we had gone on this exact date and as we had passed the Calhoun Beach Club, we had paused to watch a trashy couple (the guy is a spangled purple top and gold chain, the girl in a too tight and too ruffled dress with one shoulder strap, the whole of it the color of an oily sheen across a puddle) as they brawled, kicking and screaming and drunkenly breaking up while being held apart by their Sold Gold Dancer-like friends. I figured that I’d remind her of that Friday-night-all-dolled-up-and-on-the-town hilarity and when she tuned back, I’d be on one knee and… magic… but there were Speed-walkers, so… moving on.

But that was good, everything was till going fine, well except for the fact that Little Ms. Super-Cute Girlfriend soon to be Fiancée was wearing motorcycle boots without socks and was developing blisters and a noticeable limp... but then, she was gutting it out and with very little whining too... That is when I strongly began to suspect that she might have an inkling as to the reason for tonight’s date… hmm… maybe I shouldn’t have been the one to suggest the walk, I thought, perhaps that had been a little too out of character…

But I was well beyond the point where such mere trivialities could concern me, I had a mission, damn it, and I was going to see it through. And that’s when fortune and happenstance smiled on me, for there, on the dark side of the Lake, we came across a secluded dock. I suggested we rest a second. She suggested we have a seat. and when she turned to sit, I went down on one knee and there at the water’s edge, downtown lit up in the distance, the two of us all alone in the middle of the city, I presented a special ring and I said some things that are private between us but that came down to that age old question.

Will you marry me?



She said yes.

And I am very, very happy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Taking what they giving…

Cause I’m working for a living! WHOA-OH! Taking what they giving! WHOA-OH! Working for a living! WHOA-OH-OOOOOOH!

Whatever happened to Huey Lewis?

I mean, there was Sports, which was a big, big hit with the kids and proved, finally, once and for all, that the heart of Rock N’ Roll was indeed still beating… in Cleveland, and then there was the next one with Jacob’s Ladder on it (the song they refused to stop playing… ever) and then… What? No more? This is it? (Oh-Waa!) Please, let me know! Because if he is done, you better let me know. If this is it, (Oh-Waa!) I’ll find another row, cause if you’re all done, Huey, just say so!

I’m feeling pleasant and awake today and as a result, I am actually pretty productive with my various Sisyphean labors here at my Day Prison, (at least… until I started bloggin…) enough so that one of the Middle Trustees deigned to pat me on the head this morning and even allowed me a little bit of fresh water…which is nice.

I blame this sudden lift in my spirits all on the fact that, as of last night, I am now very, very nearly 2/3rds of the way done with the final copy edits on Gunslinger. Seriously, as in… I am spitting distance from page 400 (yes, there are more that four hundred pages in my book, what do you want? Its epic. Shut up.) Anyway, the West Coast Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girl came in large and in charge yesterday with some major power edits, plus I am going to get some fresh pages from the Home Base Sukiyaki Girl tonight… and so, as a result, the end of this project has finally crested that far off hill, it lingers just within my sight. It’s close, oh, it’s oh so close. Tantalizing… Now… now I am starting to feel good. Now, I am starting to feel like I am actually going to get this goddamn thing done.

This is all very good for my general feelings of super awesomeness, because honestly, I have been struggling as of late, people, juggling work and edits and trying to squeeze in some new writing here and there, not to mention spending some time with Little Ms. Super-cute Girlfriend and our various day to day life stuff… so now, with this major leap forward… man…it is a load off, folks, let me tell you, it is a load off.

UPDATES!

I am muddled deep with stagnant swamp that is the story establishing Chapter 2 of Bastard out of Minnesota. It is slow, slow going, the tale digging in its heels and only giving ground when it has to, but my writing legs are well muscled, if somewhat unused to such hard labor lately, and I’ve got my head down and my legs a’pumpin’… so I’m slogging through the morass. Fear not, Gentle Reader, I’ll make it out the other side, but I can tell already, its going to be an effort. After this Thursday, though, I’ll dedicate some major time to it. I’m planning on cutting the brake lines on this bitch and just letting it blast off, careening down hill at dangerous speeds, shooting hairpin turns and riding the cliff’s edge, pell-mell and hell bent for leather, misspellings, mistakes and random possible missteps be damned. The hardest part of all this, I found, is remembering that I can fix it later, that I can come back with fresh eyes and I’m blaming that for my recent slow motions. Plow ahead, kid, plow ahead and clean up the mess later.

Tonight is my Writers’ Group, however two of the Sparkle Ball Death Bunnies won’t be able to make it, so while we will still have majority, it’ll definitely feel like a skeleton crew with just Gaunt and Q and I, plus, with this arrangement, I am the only one NOT being critiqued, so… that’ll feel weird. I guess, once again… the cheese stands alone. Its of my own doing though, as I gave up early on submitting Chapter Two this time. I’m hoping for next time…

HOWEVER,

there is a small part of me wondering if maybe I should just say, fuck that shit and get a couple chapters under my belt first, so that I feel a little more in touch with the story, like I’m standing on a little more firm ground as a whole before I go looking for any kind of critiques. I had five chapters done before I got my first responses the last time, so maybe I should just stick to the path… after all, the woods are dark and dangerous and as a general rule wandering off the path will only get you lost or worse… eaten alive…

Also, this Thursday is the Cartoonist Conspiracy meet and I’m going to go. My first time and, I think, the group’s first time with a writer there, so I’m not sure what to expect, but it could be pretty fun. I’m hopeful. I’m sure you will read all about it here at some point afterwards. I don’t think I’ll have a lot done, though, sample story-wise, to take with me, beyond my one comic I wrote during the class, so I was thinking about trying to whip the short, short (750 word) story I submitted to Brain Harvest (still no response) into comic form, as well. Its called Gas Run. (Its not about farting.) This might not be necessary though, as I’m generally only going to need 1-3 page samples, that is… if anyone is interested in drawing something of mine in the first place, and I already have a 22 page comic to pull samples from, so… problem solved, at least for the first couple of meets. Also, plus side, if I hand out the whole thing in pieces to various people, when I get it all back, I can piece together a book that is a hodge-podge quilt of artistic styles all telling the same story, so that might be kind of cool… We shall see…

Other than that, I just wanted to state for the record, that Little Ms. Super-cute Girlfriend is WAY hotter than any of the various skanky booby chicks you find here.

Just saying…