Archive for February, 2009

5 Disney Villains I Feel Sorry For

Some villains get what’s coming to them, and others get a lot worse than they deserve. Here are five random Disney villains that have earned my sympathy.

Ursula the Sea Witch – The Little Mermaid
Crime and Punishment: Ursula gives Ariel human legs in exchange for her voice, and three days to get Prince Eric to kiss her if she wanted to keep the legs. Ariel fails, and Ursula uses her as a bargaining chip to get King Triton’s trident and rule all of Atlantica. That is, until Prince Eric skewers her in the back with a boat.
Why I feel bad for her: Because everything she did was legal. It’s Ariel who wasn’t satisfied with being a princess and signed the contract. She didn’t have to, but she did. And sure, Ursula tried to sabotage their relationship, but come on, the playing field was already in Ariel’s favor. It’s not that hard to get a kiss when you’re a hot naked redhead nympho running around on the beach. And did King Triton HAVE to sign over the deed to the ocean just to save Ariel? No. She was an ungrateful daughter, and maybe some time spent as seaweed would’ve taught her a lesson about “wanting more.” This was all a very well-played strategy in Ursula’s favor and she deserved to win.

Al McWhiggin + Stinky Pete – Toy Story 2
Crime and Punishment: Al steals Woody at Andy’s Mom’s garage sale so he can add him to a collection of toys he intends on sending to a museum in Japan. Stinky Pete is one of those collectables who really wants to go. Buzz and his friends show up, save Woody, stick Pete in a little girl’s bag at the airport, and run off with the rest of Al’s collection.
Why I feel bad for them: Where to start? Stinky Pete is a victim depicted as a villain. He spent his whole life in the original packaging, and the only thing in life he has to look forward to is getting to be part of the museum exhibit. He tries to stop Woody and the gang from destroying his dream, so they send him off to be tortured. Then you have Al who’s already the most pathetic guy ever depicted in a Disney movie. He probably killed himself after the movie when he found out his million-dollar life’s dream went missing at the airport, but that’s okay – Andy has his cowboy doll back.

Clayton – Tarzan
Crime and Punishment: He came to the jungle to capture some wild gorillas and sell them to the zoo. After shooting Tarzan’s gorilla father, the two get into a fight in the trees and Clayton ends up getting hanged by the neck in a freak vine accident. Yech.
Why I feel bad for him: He may have been trigger-happy, but he never actually killed anybody on purpose. When he shot Tarzan’s dad, it was in self-defense. When he fought Tarzan, Tarzan attacked first. The guy can’t hear the talking animals; to him, they really are just dumb things you can put in a cage for money. Why does Disney snap his neck over this? That’s like breaking somebody’s legs for littering. Just tie him up in some vines and send him back to England.

The Evil Queen – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Crime and Punishment: Jealous of Snow White’s beauty, the Queen sends her hunter out to kill the young maiden. When she later find out the hunter didn’t do the deed, she disguises herself as an old hag, finds Snow White, and gives her a poisoned apple. She’s then set upon by the dwarves and later falls of a cliff.
Why I feel bad for her: I’ll admit – everything she did was worthy of a place in the Douchebag Hall of Fame. Petty jealousy = murder? Yeah, right. Still, her inevitable demise is maybe a little over-the-top. After finishing off Snow White, she is immediately set upon by seven dwarves armed with clubs who come riding in with an army of forest animals, and they proceed to chase this old woman up a mountain. At this point, the Evil Queen is defenseless. She’s already used up her apple, and if they catch her, they will bludgeon and gore her to death. Her only glimmer of hope comes in the form of a large boulder she tries to crush the dwarves with, but even then, she has no hope. Because at that moment, God strikes her with a lightning bolt, causes her to fall off the cliff, drops the boulder on her, and then sends the vultures to pick at her corpse. It’s like everything in the movie just curb-stomped this old lady to death.

The Dentist – Finding Nemo
Crime and Punishment: One day, the dentist is out scuba diving when he happens upon a lovely clownfish. So he bags it and takes it home to his aquarium. He later intends to give this fish to his niece as a present. But that plan takes a wrong turn when the entire animal kingdom attacks him in his office during a routine check-up in order to rescue that fish.
Why I feel bad for him: Because he’s not even a villain! He’s just a normal guy who went to work one day and got attacked by fish!

February 27 2009 | Movies | 4 Comments »

Song Review: “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band

For the longest time, I’ve always liked this song. It came out in 1971, and according to Wikipedia, was a strong commentary about discrimination at the time. I didn’t really pick up on that until now, because I don’t pay attention to lyrics often. I’m more of a rhythm and sound guy. So it could’ve secretly been about Hitler eating babies and I still would’ve been oblivious to it.

If you don’t know what song I’m talking about, it’s this one. You probably heard it somewhere before.

I was driving home and singing along when, for the first time ever, I actually questioned the lyrics. And then I really wanted to kick this guy in the nuts. Let’s analyze this song for a moment, shall we?

And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do

Hey! This job interview’s going along really well! And you’re proving that even long-haired freaky people can be upstanding young men.

So I took off my hat I said imagine that! huh, me working for you!

Wait – what? He gave you a job! You don’t need to tell him off! See, this is the reason he doesn’t like long-haired freaky people!

What else does this guy do?

And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight

What do you care? It’s not your house.

So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right

You’re yelling at people again!

“Daddy! There’s a long-haired freaky person yelling at me! I’m afraid to leave the house!”

To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in

“Daddy! Now he’s stealing our trees!”

If God was here, he’d tell you to your face, man you’re some kinda sinner

God’s not here? What is this? The House of Satan?

Now, hey you Mister! can’t you read, you got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat

A complete nutcase who isn’t even wearing a shirt and yells at people. I saw one of those guys on Whyte Ave once. I pretended to be talking on a cell phone just to avoid eye contact.

You can’t even watch, no you can’t eat, you ain’t suppose to be here

Any place that requires you to wear a tie is probably way out of your price range anyway.

Sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside

Why does he want to go in there? As far as I can tell, this guy is the REASON you need a membership card to get inside.

I can understand the guy being angry – he walks around all day and people keep telling him off. And since he’s high on something, it probably amplifies the whole experience. But from the general public’s point of view, they’re just telling off some psychopath moocher who thinks the world owes him everything. These signs he’s complaining about are things even five year-olds can abide by. He wouldn’t have to write a song about it if he just cleaned up and put on a shirt.

Oh, wait – I’m talking about a hippy.

And the sign said everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray

Oh, no. Don’t let this guy in a church.

But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all,
I didn’t have a penny to pay

No kidding.

so I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said thank you Lord for thinking about me, I’m alive and doing fine

Aw. What a nice sentiment.

Of course, they probably left out the aftermath of the song where the guy brings his shirtless, long-haired freaky buddies into the church after mass and the priest has to shoo them out because of the smell.

So, yeah – it’s not so much about discrimination as it is about people trying to protect themselves and their businesses from crazy lunatics who don’t shower.

Still a good song, though.

February 25 2009 | Music | 2 Comments »

Oh, look. Snow again. Yippee.

It was a somewhat uneventful week up until the weekend when Brit came over and we made Chicken Parmesan, watched a couple movies and finished Lego Star Wars.

The day after, I went to a friend’s birthday at the Ranch Roadhouse. The place used to be a techno club called “The Standard” before getting a country make-over. It was fun for a while, but I don’t think I’m cut out for clubs. Once the noise levels get high enough, I tend to completely shut down and people-watch, only to be interrupted to time to time by somebody asking me why I look so serious when I’m not even sure what’s going on anymore.

Sunday, I tried my hand at composing an overture for “Incinerations” while waiting for those bloody displacement maps to render. It was my first venture into music and it didn’t turn out half-bad (closer to three-quarters bad, but still listenable.) I might post up a listening sample when I get the chance to revise it some more. I basically plagiarized the theme songs from “Halo” and “Indiana Jones,” but hopefully nobody will notice.

And hurray! “Slumdog” won Best Picture! And “Wall-E” won best Best Animated Film! Awesome. All the other winners can go suck an egg. Hellboy and Speed Racer got robbed. *insert angry emoticon here*

February 23 2009 | Daily Life | 7 Comments »

Friday Movie Blogging 02-20-09: More Photoshopping

Cracked’s 20 Moments that would have improved Great Movies

Here were my entries:

Movies I watched this Week:

Disaster Movie (2008)

Rating: n/a, but let’s just say it’s awful

I know I said I wouldn’t watch this because I despise Seltzer and Friedberg with every bone in my body, but I just don’t feel right ranting about a movie unless I’ve actually seen it. And once again, they manage to astound me. It really is worse than “Meet the Spartans.”

To be honest, I didn’t watch the whole movie since I eventually got used to skipping through scenes. About 40 seconds in (opening credits included,) the main character runs into a guy doing a bad impersonation of somebody from “American Gladiators” – who keeps talking about his catch phrases for 58 seconds. The main character kicks him in the balls, makes a steroids comment, and then the story continues as if that whole American Gladiator thing never happened. 20 seconds later, he runs into an Amy Winehouse impersonator who wastes the next three and a half minutes talking about rehab, drugs, alcohol, and then burps for forty seconds (Yes, I went back and I timed all this stuff.)

And that’s the entire formula for the rest of the movie. All in all, there’s about 5 minutes of plot (and anything related to disaster movies,) 65 minutes of untalented people pretending to be celebrities/film characters who do nothing but sit around repeating their catchphrases, and 20 minutes of bloopers of those same untalented people not getting their lines right. Anybody remember that episode of “Family Guy” where Stewie cuts away from the show so he can spend two minutes singing “Rocket Man?” Imagine an episode where that happens every 10 seconds, the song drags on longer and gets less relevant each time, and replace Stewie with somebody imitating Juno. That’s “Disaster Movie” in a nutshell.

Farce of the Penguins (2006)

Rating: B-

I might get burned for liking this, but right after watching “Disaster Movie,” this was like I had died and gone to heaven. Bob Saget and Samuel L. Jackson in one movie! And look – it actually has a plot! And character development! And written gags! I never thought I could be so happy listening to Gilbert Gottfried screaming “I’m freezing my nuts off!”

Okay, so it’s not the greatest movie, but a million times more watchable than that other one. It’s a very low-budget parody of “March of the Penguins” where Bob Saget splices together stock footage of penguin documentaries and pictures he found on Google Image Search, then dubs over the movie (with no moving mouths) to create a raunchy romantic comedy about a penguin named Carl and his gang of really horny and fart-obsessed friends. In spite of it’s flaws and a few poorly written scenes, it’s kind of amusing to watch it all come together.

Movies coming out this Weekend:
Fired Up: So… it’s about cheerleader camp… and it’s rated PG-13? DOES NOT COMPUTE!
Madea Goes To Jail: So… it’s like Big Momma’s House… only it’s a drama? DOES NOT COMPUTE!

February 20 2009 | Movies, Photoshops | No Comments »

“Let’s not dilly-dally!”

This whole video accurately sums up those entire 20 minutes I spent trying to play “Resident Evil.”

Courtesy of De-Rez, whose videos unfortunately, are not all like this.

February 18 2009 | Humor, Video Games, Videos | 1 Comment »

Living in the Sauce

Being single on Valentine’s Day weekend means one of the following things:

1) I should get out, join a group, and meet more people,
2) I should go on a killing spree against every person who asked me what I’m doing for V-Day with no intention of inviting me anywhere (that’s like going to an orphanage on Family Day and not adopting anybody,) or
3) I stay in and ignore the social pressure that insists I quickly get into bad relationships just to satisfy some holiday the corporations made up, and instead continue doing my usual thing. Because that’s actually what I was going to do anyway. I’ll go join a group when the snow melts instead of spend another winter driving through the city on icy roads and trying to find parking in sub-zero temperatures.

Here’s some random scenes from my weekend:

I had another Macgyver moment where I needed to refill some fluid in my car, but I didn’t have a funnel. So I grabbed a big plastic bottle from the back counter and chopped the back off of it. Five points!

My folks came back from their cruise, so I went to visit them. They got me a T-shirt, a keychain, and this stretchy paper hat that tears my skin apart when I wear it. My brothers and I all had a good laugh watching each other scream in pain as mom put the stupid things on our heads. I’m just going to put mine on the table at home and see if I can pass it off as a vase.

Mom made some good papaya salad. Then I accidentally dumped a ton salad dressing on it. So I put more salad on my salad dressing.

Ever eaten at Taco Del Mar? It’s kind of nasty. The food’s all right, albeit a bit greasy, but what bugged me was how when I got home, the sauce was already leaking through the foil they wrapped it in, and the tacos inside fell apart.

Opening cut-scene for Chapter 5 is done! I now dislike rendering displacement maps!

I learned to play “La Cucaracha” on the piano.

Yesterday I was taking my garbage out and there was an old fat lady walking around inside the condo building wearing just a bathrobe. Possibly the most traumatizing thing I’ve seen since I moved here.

I caught that new show “Dollhouse” on Friday. It’s not bad. It’s a Joss Whedon show, so I can’t really judge it on the first episode. Sometimes I wonder if this guy makes shows just so he can see his female stars naked in the shower scenes he writes.

I bought some boysenberry pop at the store the other day and right after I finished drinking it, Justas came on-line to tell me about how he’d just come back from Knott’s Berry Farm (the boysenberry capital of Los Angeles.) He’d also just eaten at the famous chicken restaurant “Box of Mystery” was born in, but failed to bring home the styrofoam box. Still, give him a hand, folks!

Against my better judgment, I downloaded “Disaster Movie” to see if it was as bad as I made it out to be. I was wrong. It was worse. Details on Friday.

“Lego Indiana Jones” is now 100% complete! To reward my efforts, the game rained money down on me everywhere I went, which is actually a sick joke since there’s nothing in the game left to buy.

David Wong wrote this great article about why the big unattainable things we always seem to want in life never make us happy. It might his way of trying to weasel out of that $50 he owes me for that Lincoln picture I Photoshopped,** but it’s still worth a read. It scientifically justifies all that time we spend looking at lolcats.

Last night, I watched Gilbert Gottfriend tell the infamous Aristocrats joke on TV. I’m still more traumatized by the old lady in the bathrobe.

**I just came home and the check was in the mail. Awesome.

February 17 2009 | Daily Life | 2 Comments »

Friday Movie Blogging 02-13-09: My Big Three of 2009

While everyone else is really hyped for Watchmen, Wolverine, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, here are my three big-budget over-the-top action movies I’m looking forward to this year.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

'Transformers 2' Trailer @ Yahoo! Video

Why I’m looking forward to it: Constructicons. One step closer to Dino-bots in the sequel.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Why I’m looking forward to it: Hurray! CGI Dummies! Also, made by the guy who did the Mummy movies and Van Helsing (I’m probably the only person who liked Van Helsing, so ignore that last part.) Anyway, they still destroy the Eiffel Tower. I like watching monuments get destroyed. Saturday morning cartoons are coming to life and spreading violence in an urban setting – I just know this can go all kinds of awesome. And knowing is half the battle!

Dragonball: Evolution

What’s with all these movies with colons in their titles?

Why I’m looking forward to it: Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) as producer and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Piccolo. Frikkin’ cow, man – that was my dream team and they made it happen. I posted about this movie before, but now this new trailer has a lot more CGI, flying cars, a dragon, and even J-Pop. To me, it keeps looking better and better. A major improvement from the first trailer which looked slightly lower budget than Power Rangers. Also, in this movie, they blow up all of Paris. Not just the Eiffel Tower.

Movies I watched this Week:

Coraline (2009)

Rating: A+

I already lathered this movie with praise on Monday, but it’s still worth another mention. For me, “Coraline” ranks only second to “Nightmare Before Christmas” as one of the best stop-motion films I’ve seen. The characters, the imagination, the atmosphere, the music, the animation – all top-notch work. Even the story keeps coming up with unexpected developments. I think if anybody liked “Spirited Away,” but didn’t feel like it scared children enough, this is the movie to turn to.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)

Rating: B+

This started out as a “man, that looks like crap” movie for me until I saw the trailer several more times. Then the concept of a fat man on a Segway started seeming really funny. So I watched the movie, and it was much better than I expected it to be. It’s basically “Die Hard” in a mall, and produced by the Happy Madison guys, so expect a lot of moronic comedy. Dumb, but fun. Some good action too. Kevin James actually brings something new to the stereotypical stupid fat guy.

Movies coming out this Weekend:
Confessions of a Shopaholic: A lot of girls will be dragging their guys to see this on Valentine’s.
Friday the 13th: A lot of guys will be dragging their girls to see this on Valentine’s.
The International: Clive Owen! Hurray!

February 13 2009 | Movies, Videos | No Comments »

Terror with Lyrics

All right, Michaela. I’ll see your Appalachian State University song and raise you this.

(Courtesy of Olzen)

Yes, that’s a real commercial.

It’s pretty funny if you stop the video after she yells “DAD!”

February 11 2009 | Music, Stupidity, Videos | 4 Comments »

Milestone Reached! Incinerations Half-Done!

This weekend, I had reason to celebrate as I completed Chapter 4 of my game. So far, the running time of the game is around 2 1/2 hours with over 13 minutes of FMVs – so it’s already longer than the total running time of M:I-2. Now comes the big dreaded Chapter 5 I’ve been worried about. Wish me luck.

More screenshots!

Part of this weekend’s celebration involved meeting up with Brittany and Melanie and going to see the long-awaited “Coraline” – which turned out to be a way better movie than I imagined (I’d compare it to “Phantasmagoria” meets “Psychonauts” if anyone gets the reference.) In fact, it’s probably right up there with “The Iron Giant” or “Mask of the Phantasm” as an incredibly good movie that will theatrically disappear into obscurity before people start realizing they missed something awesome.

Then we hung out at Melanie’s awesome new house and listened to her tell stories about her neighbor’s kid swinging a chain and pooping in the alley.

February 09 2009 | Daily Life, Video Games | 3 Comments »

Friday Movie Blogging 02-06-09: We Don’t Need Roads

Hello, everybody. Today is February 6th, 2009. Do you know what that means? It means 2015 is only 5 years and 320 days off, and science has only 5 years and 320 days left to make “Back to the Future II” a reality. Give or take a few months until summer.

In the last 25 or so years, science has made a few advancements to make that awesome future a reality (i.e. robot servants, cameras with zoom features, talking computers, wacky futuristic props, and voice-controlled stuff that sometimes works if you yell at it just right.) But we’re still pretty far off, so I’ve thoroughly gone through the movie and compiled a simple list of everything scientists should be focused on inventing. If you’re a scientist, drop everything and get to work on one of these before Steven Spielburg re-releases BTTF2 with updated time coordinates. Because you know he’ll do it.

Scientists, you have 6 years to complete the following:
-Flying Cars and regulated Sky-Ways (this is the big one)
-Mr. Fusion (or anything that can convert household garbage into nuclear power.)
-Government-Controlled Weather
-Rejuvenation Clinics
-Power Laces
-Size-Adjustable Clothing
-Self-Drying Clothes
-Talking Clothes
-The Abolishment of all Lawyers (I’m sure there’s a scientific way to do it.)
-Unrealistic 3D Holographic Images of Sharks
-Floating Holographic Billboards
-Bulky New Pepsi Bottles
-Terrifyingly Low Frame-Rates on Televised Waiters
-Video Games you don’t play with your hands (we could probably just learn to play Wii with our feet.)
-Biotic Implants (whatever those are.)
-Dust-Repellent Paper
-Suspended Animation Kennels (so we can freeze our dogs.)
-“Lithium Mode On?” What the heck is that supposed to mean? Whatever it is, invent it.
-Dehydrated Pizza
-The Black & Decker Hydrator (so we can re-hydrate our pizza)
-Ceiling Retractable Fruit Trees (we probably have these, but I want one too.)
-Upside-Down Hover-Walkers (is it safe to hang senior citizens upside-down? Let’s find out.)
-Transparent Stainless Steel (or whatever Doc’s glasses are made of)
-Inflatable Tits (we probably have these as well, but we haven’t advanced enough as a society to the point where we can turn on the TV and see a big ad for “INFLATABLE TITS.” Not in North America anyway.)

When inventing hover-boards, please make sure they have power.

All us non-scientists will also have to do our part to make this amazing future a reality. In the next few years, the 80’s need to make a comeback (only on steroids) so I implore everyone to start wearing life preservers, rainbow colored hats, transparent ties, crazy glasses and headgear, tight-fitting latex (as casual wear,) as many bright colors as you can muster up, and turn all your pockets inside-out. Fashion-wise, this next decade needs to be something we can truly be ashamed of.

We’ll also have to do away with cell phones and personal computers since nobody in this future uses any, but I don’t think we’ll miss ’em.

Movies I watched this Week:

I sort of held a marathon on Tuesday.

Back to the Future (1985)

Rating: A+

It’s pretty good!

Back to the Future 2 (1989)

Rating: A+

This one’s good too!

Back to the Future 3 (1990)

Rating: A+

Hurray! Now they’re cowboys!

Movies coming out this Weekend:
Coraline: Watching this with Melly and Brit tomorrow!
Push: Like Heroes, but with actual fights.
He’s Not That Into You: Based on another book I never heard of, but apparently funny.
The Pink Panther 2: Can poop have a sequel? Yes it can.

February 06 2009 | Movies | 3 Comments »

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