Monthly Archives: May 2012

National Lampoon’s Van Wilder

Walt Becker (Wild Hogs, remember that gem?) directs Ryan Reynolds as Van Wilder in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. Reynolds plays Van, a collegiate Peter Pan, who has partied for seven years at Coolidge College. Tara Reid plays Gwen Pearson, a reporter for the school paper who has to do an article on Van. Kal Penn plays Taj Mahal, a racist caricature of an Indian foreign exchange student who acts as Van’s assistant.

Van Wilder is the party king at Coolidge College, and one day Van’s dad gets sick of paying for his son’s tuition and stops paying for it. Van starts planning and throwing huge parties to pay for tuition with his friend Hutch, and his assistant Taj’s help. When an attractive reporter named Gwen is assigned to writing an article about him, he thinks it would be more fun to try and steal her from her douchebag boyfriend.

Her boyfriend Richard (Daniel Cosgrove) is on the fast track to being a successful doctor, in direct contrast to the free spirit Van. The two start a prank war (because that’s what happens in cliché college comedies) and the highlight is when Van replaces the cream filling in a box of éclairs with dog semen and Richard and his douchebag friends devour them. There’s a great line, “I think I’ve had these before.”

National Lampoon Van Wilder Original Van Wilder

So the prank war gets out of hand and Van ends up getting expelled. But he has a chance to clear his name at a hearing, and he asks that they reinstate him so he can get his degree and graduate. And because this is a movie and he’s the main character, they decide to give him a chance. And he succeeds and gets his diploma and the girl. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

National Lampoon’s track record was pretty impressive. In the 80’s. And they had a few scattered hits ever since, but most of their shit is straight to video now. Their plots and characters are not unique. Their humor is lowbrow and dated. They use exaggerated sound effects and use fast motion in a vain attempt to be funny. Van Wilder is no exception, it just benefits from having a likeable lead actor like Ryan Reynolds. He really carries the film, he makes Van fun, cool, likeable, and most importantly, believable. Tara Reid does a decent job playing the love interest, you forget that she used to be kinda hot. This movie is proof of that. And there’s a quick cameo from Aaron Paul from before he was famous as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad.

Shame on Kal Penn. Van Wilder was made in 2002 and he plays the stereotypical Indian exchange student. He is a joke, he is a punch line. He has a ridiculous accent. He is a horny virgin would do anything to please Van Wilder. Two years later Kal Penn would star as Kumar in Harold & Kumar. That movie makes fun of stereotypes and destroys them. And after that, he returned to playing Taj Mahal for a chance to star in a terrible Van Wilder sequel. Have a little self-respect.

This movie has a terrible plot and a lot of crappy jokes that either aren’t funny or don’t lead to anything. But Ryan Reynolds redeems the movie. He carries it and makes it fun. There are a few funny jokes, but only one gag out of three works. It’s a good comedy, but it shouldn’t be your favorite. If it is, you need to expand your horizons. Watch Airplane! or the Naked Gun trilogy. That’s comedy.

Critically Rated at 11/17

1 Comment

Filed under Entertainment

Miller Lite

Miller Lite is considered by many to be the first light beer. This is when American beer went from being bad to being terrible. It has an alcohol content of 4.2%, which is only slightly higher than O’Douls or mountain spring water. I don’t like beer with low alcohol content. I drink to get drunk, not to take a piss every 15 minutes with a slight buzz.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the X-Men trilogy. The studio plans on it being the start of a new trilogy. It’s the origin story of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr and how they became Professor X and Magneto. It’s set in the swingin’ sixties, right around the Cuban Missile Crisis, which plays an important part in the film. I love movies with alternate histories, it’s better that blatantly sabotaging history like they did in Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor.

X-Men First Class Poster

The movie starts out with a familiar scene: a young Erik Lensherr is being separated from his parents in a concentration camp and he demonstrates his ability to manipulate metal. An evil Nazi doctor (Kevin Bacon) tries to get Erik to recreate the event and kills his mom. For motivation I guess. And so Erik gets a little emotional and unleashes his powers.

Meanwhile back in America, a young Charles Xavier meets a young runaway shape shifter named Raven Darkholme, and he invites her to live with his family within ten minutes of knowing her and without consulting with his parents. It was a simpler time back then.

The movie jumps to the 1960s and CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne from Bridesmaids) finds out that a former evil Nazi doctor, currently using the alias Sebastian Shaw, is planning on starting World War III. He’s the leader of the Hellfire Club, filled with mutants like the telepathic Emma Frost (January Jones), the teleporting Azazel, and the tornado-maker that they call Riptide for some stupid reason. Moira decides she needs to find an expert on mutants, and she turns to Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) for help. Charles and Raven decide to help the CIA stop Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club.

Meanwhile Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) is busy tracking down former Nazis and killing them, all the while searching for Sebastian Shaw to seek revenge for killing his mom. Erik, Charles and the CIA all find Shaw at the same time, and shit goes down, Shaw escapes, and Erik and Charles become friends.

Charles and Erik meet Dr. Hank McCoy, and Charles makes his first use of Cerebro to track down mutants to join their cause. They recruit the winged stripper named Angel, the ultrasonic screamer Banshee, the rapidly evolving Darwin, and Havoc the hula hooping energy blaster. There are some pretty lame powers. A spitting dragonfly lady?!? A man with such a shrill scream that he can use it to fly?!? Darwin has an awesome power, too bad it looks stupid as fuck on screen.

While the young recruits are bonding the plot keeps trudging forward and eventually the Hellfire Club manipulates a Russian general into sending weapons to Cuba, thus starting the Cuban Missile Crisis. The X-Men go to battle with the Hellfire Club and Erik gets to Shaw and gets his revenge.

Erik goes crazy with power and tries to destroy a bunch of military ships. Charles tries to stop him and they fight and Charles ends up getting shot. Erik is sad that Charles got paralyzed and stuff, but he decides to part ways with his friend, taking Angel, Riptide, Azazel and Mystique with him. The movie ends with Erik, now calling himself Magneto, recruiting Emma Frost to his side… The sides are set for X-Men: First Class 2 – How Xavier Goes Bald.

I would rate this the third best X-Men movie. X2 is the best, followed by the original X-Men, and First Class is after that. The film was rushed into production, and there are a few parts where it is evident, but for the most part it’s a solid script with a lot of good moments. The cast lacks the star power of the original trilogy, and a lot of the mutants are second string. They changed a lot of stuff from the comics. There are some cool fight scenes, but I was disappointed with a lot of the powers. They are pretty second-rate. There are way too many mediocre mutants showcasing boring powers.

The third X-Men movie was a huge setback for the franchise. The Wolverine movie had its moments, but it was a terrible movie and butchered a lot of good Marvel characters. First Class is a step in the right direction, and even though it has a few flaws, it still redeems the franchise.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

A Burger Joint That Runs Out of Fries

I know that people aren’t perfect and that sometimes they make mistakes. And I know that people run burger joints because we don’t have robots technologically advanced enough to run burger joints. And so if those people that run the burger joint make a mistake I can understand it. But not if they run out of fries. French fries are a staple of burger joints. A burger without fries is like wearing a shoe without a sock; you can do it, it’s just wrong and it feels weird. I’ve noticed that burger joints never run out of buns or patties either. Just fries. A burger joint without fries is like a Chinese restaurant without rice. Why are you even open?

Critically Rated at 3/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Snacks

Game of Thrones (TV show)

HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever experienced, and it’s not even through its second season. It’s hard to make a great show: you need a great premise, strong writing, a solid cast, and a TV network that is willing to invest in a great idea. Game of Thrones has all the requirements to being awesome, and it also has dragons, which makes it even better.

I’ve noticed that there’s been a trend of TV shows based on books, like True Blood, Legend of the Seeker, and this show, which is based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Each season represents a book. HBO can afford to have amazing production values. Each episode feels like a movie. There is a scope that rivals any fantasy film, in most cases exceeding them.

There is a lot going on. There are multiple families competing against each other for power. The Stark family is feuding with the Lannister clan, but sometimes they get along. There’s a clan of warriors known as the Dothraki, and the Viserys, heirs of a usurped king, marry into their tribe to get access to their army so that they might one day reclaim their land. Basically there’s a shit ton of politics and wars and incest. The middle ages were truly a magical time.

This is one of those shows that you get on DVD or Blu-Ray and have a marathon where you watch all the episodes back to back. It’s addicting. There’s something for everyone. There’s talking. There’s action. There’s nudity. There’s violence. There’s romance. There’s politics. There’s nudity. There’s betrayal. There’s religion. There are dwarves. There are dragons. There’s nudity. There are fools and bastards and evil kings. Did I mention the nudity?

No character is safe. This is like a medieval 24. You get to know a character, you get to like them, and then WHAM! BAM! They are dead and your jaw is dropped. And there are a lot of characters. There are a lot of subplots. There are a lot of things going on, but everything ties together. This show is still young, it will get to be a cult phenomenon. It’s already on its way there.

George R. R. Martin has crafted an amazing world. HBO tries to respect it. They do a great job of it too. There is a sense of history. He created a whole backstory that you catch glimpses of that adds to the depth of the story. There are different religions, different gods. There are different languages and customs. There is a sense of honor and chivalry. This is a medieval period, there is still fear of the unknown. Magic still exists, it’s real and possible.

The show follows the book more strictly than True Blood follows the Sookie Stackhouse books. So if you don’t like spoilers you probably shouldn’t read the books. You don’t want to be the jackass pointing out all the differences anyway.

Game of Thrones is awesome. Dragons, kings, swords, nudity… it’s the best swords and sorcery TV show ever. HBO shows are usually awesome, and this is one of their best shows to date. I hope I’m not jinxing season three.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Twins in Matching Outfits

Identical twins are nature’s clones. It’s awesome that you have a sibling that looks just like you, that shares the same birthday as you, and it’s awesome that you get to grow up together and share every milestone. But I don’t understand why parents insist on dressing their little toddler twins in matching outfits. They already look alike, they are fucking identical. You should be trying to differentiate the two of them, not only so you can tell them apart, but also so they develop their own personalities. Twins in matching outfits don’t make sense. They strive to look as similar as possible, and then they get mad when you can’t tell them apart. You can’t have it both ways. Twins with rhyming names are the worst offenders. Fuck you Cindy and Mindy, I don’t even know you, but I know you exist, and you are trouble.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Leave a comment

Filed under People I Feel Sorry For

The Rock (film, not an actual rock)

Michael Bay makes crazy blockbusters like Transformers and Bad Boys. His whole theory about filmmaking is if you have lots of explosions and loud noises, no one will realize that the movie sucks. The Rock is a perfect example of this style of shoddy filmmaking. If you only saw one movie during the summer of 1996, it was probably Independence Day. If you saw two movies, this might have been one of them.

A group of rogue Force Recon Marines lead by Brigadier General Frank Hummel (Ed Harris) take control of a bunch of  chemical weapons, get themselves some hostages, and threaten to attack San Francisco unless the US government pays a ransom to the families of deceased Force Recon Marines that died in action and were buried without honor or recognition. Nicholas Cage plays Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, a chemical weapons specialist with the FBI. He gets called in for his expertise, despite his lack of work in the field.

The FBI must sneak onto Alcatraz in order to free the hostages, stop the rogue Marines, and save San Francisco. The only one who can help them sneak into the Rock is the only one who successfully escaped it, a former spy named John Mason (Sean Connery). Mason is an unofficial prisoner, on paper he doesn’t exist. So naturally he’s not too keen to help the FBI.

There’s a lot of bullshit that happens in the movie. There’s a pretty ridiculous car chase through the SF streets involving a Hummer and a Ferrari. There’s a bunch of revelations, like the villain is not actually bad, he just wants what he deserves. You sympathize for him, he’s a victim of an uncaring government, just like John Mason.

A lot of stuff happens. I could tell you about all the little plot developments, but I’m lazy and don’t want to. Shit happens, shit gets resolved, and things blow up, but San Francisco doesn’t.

Nicholas Cage won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Leaving Las Vegas. He followed that amazing performance by starring in The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off. That’s an interesting career choice, you win the highest award for your work and celebrate by becoming a parody of yourself. Nick Cage and Cuba Gooding, Jr. should go bowling together.

Nicholas Cage used to be an actor. Sometimes he still does act. But in most of his movies he’s just a performer. This is the start of his paycheck movies, where he will do whatever project for the money. Sean Connery has a cool voice and can get away with saying all kinds of mediocre shit that sounds awesome because of his crazy accent. Ed Harris a good actor, but this is kind of a waste of his talent.

The Rock is not a bad movie. It’s not a good movie. It’s just a movie with explosions and actors reciting dialog. There’s no reason to see this movie if you haven’t yet.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Being Dismayed at How Crowded It Is

Last night was a long night at work. Long, stressful, and aggravating. A few coworkers started suggesting that we go for a drink or two or seven after work and I was looking forward to it, believe me. I finally got out of work an hour after I thought I would be free and headed to the bar, already debating if I should start with a beer or a shot and deciding on both. As we approached the bar, we could see a group of people standing outside. Not a good sign. As we walked up to the door, we could see inside and there was not a seat or spot available. Motherfuckers. I really want a beer, but I’m not going to stand around for five minutes to order one, and I’m not gonna stand for another five while I drink it. And if I can’t sit down with my drink at my bar, I’m not going to go in. Booze is nice, but so is being comfortable.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Rants

True Lies

True Lies. What a great title. That might be the best part of the movie. James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, Terminator… seriously, how do you not know James Cameron?) directs Arnold Shwarzengger in another blockbuster event. This time Arnie plays Harry Tasker, a family man with a wife and daughter who think he’s just a computer salesman… but he’s really a government super agent.

This is an over-the-top action film that doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s a celebration of action films, complete with elaborate deaths and comical one-liners.

Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) is a premier agent on the Omega Sector counter-terrorist task force. He hangs out with Tom Arnold riding horses through downtown buildings stopping terrorists from terrorizing. His latest foe is the Crimson Jihad, lead by a guy named Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik). His wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter Dana (a young Eliza Dushku) don’t know that he’s a spy, they think he’s just a regular guy.

His wife Helen thinks that he’s so boring and predictable that she decides to cheat on him. She is interested in a sleaze ball named Simon (Bill Paxton) and Harry gets jealous. He decides to spice things up a bit, but his plan backfires when members of the Crimson Jihad kidnap him and Helen.

Helen learns about Harry’s secret life as a spy and is hurt and betrayed, but gets over it pretty quickly when he starts killing terrorists and kicking ass. They learn about the Crimson Jihad’s master plan, which involves a nuke and a US city. Helen and Harry get separated, and Helen and Tia Carrere have a limo catfight. Harry saves Helen, and just when things look like they will be ok, they find out that the terrorists kidnapped their daughter.

Harry jumps into a Harrier jet and goes to rescue his darling daughter Dana. There’s some explosions and close calls and ultimately the main terrorist Aziz ends up walking around on the Harrier with an AK-47 before Schwarzenegger makes him fall off the jet, he gets stuck on one of the missiles, and Arnie fires the missile and blows up a helicopter full of terrorists with their fearless leader. That’s symbolism. He was mad.

Arnold Schwarzenegger does it all in this movie. He rides horses and Harrier jets. He tells terrorists how he’s going to kill them, and kills them that way. This movie is almost a spoof of action films. Jamie Lee Curtis drops an Uzi down the stairs and somehow kills ten terrorists. Everyone is so witty right before they murder somebody.

James Cameron knows how to direct. The story and premise aren’t believable. Arnold Shwarzengger is not a good actor. But that doesn’t matter. Every scene is entertaining. The movie flows, it gets you hooked, it rarely drags or gets boring. If you accept the world that he’s established within the first ten minutes, you will appreciate the rollercoaster ride that he takes you on. It might not be a good movie, but it’s a fun movie, and having fun is good.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Dropping Your Food Before You Take a Bite

Nobody is perfect. And nothing is a greater reminder of that like dropping your food before you even take a bite. That sucks. It’s infuriating. It’s always something delicious or something you’ve been craving for a while too. You get it at the store and you’re all excited for your taste buds. You prepare it, get it all ready, get yourself comfortable and situated… Just as you are about to sample that first savory bite, your clumsy ass drops it on the floor. You stare in sullen disbelief, not even the five second rule can redeem this fuck up. You have failed and you know it. I really wanted that string cheese too.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Snacks

Actors in Multiple Movie Franchises

Some movies make a lot of money. And people like money, so they decide to make a sequel to make even more money. And if that sequel makes money they might make a third movie. And three movies in the same series makes a trilogy, and (for the purposes of this article) a trilogy is a film franchise. So if an actor appears in three or more movies in the same franchise and three or more movies in another franchise, then they will appear on this list. Unless I forgot about them. Sorry forgotten celebrity.

Harrison Ford starred in the original Star Wars trilogy and the Indiana Jones trilogy (and that shitty fourth movie that I try to forget about). He’s also rumored to come back in the new Star Wars movies.

Tim Allen starred in the Toy Story trilogy and the Santa Clause movies.

Michael J. Fox went Back to the Future three times and voiced Stuart Little three times.

Matt Damon was Jason Bourne three times and was in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.

Eddie Murphy was Donkey in four Shrek movies and Axel Foley three times as a Beverly Hills Cop. Mike Myers was Shrek in the Shrek flicks and Austin Powers and Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies.

Shrek And Donkey - Shrek The Final Chapter Desktop Wallpaper

Orlando Bloom was Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and he’s reprising his role in The Hobbit movie. He was also in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies too.

Sir Ian McKellen has saved the world as Gandalf in three Lord of the Rings movies and will do so again in The Hobbit trilogy. He’s also threatened the world three times as Magneto in the X-Men franchise.

Patrick Stewart played Captain Jean-Luc Picard four times on the big screen and played Charles Xavier in three X-Men movies with a cameo in the Wolverine movie.

Crazy anti-Semite Mel Gibson has been in four Lethal Weapon Movies and was Mad Max three times. You know he hates Jews right?

Warwick Davis was in six Leprechaun movies (about half were direct-to-video) and was also in all eight Harry Potter Movies playing duel roles as Professor Flitwick and Griphook.

Sylvester Stallone was Rambo four times and Rocky Balboa six times. I have a feeling he might be Expendable three times too.

Vin Diesel sucks a lot of balls, but he’s been in four Fast and/or Furious movies (one of them was just a cameo), and he will play Riddick again in 2013. I’m sure that there are at least four people who will pay to see that shit.

Ben Stiller has played Gaylord Focker in three movies and loaned his voice to three Madagascar movies.

Gary Oldman played Sirius Black in Harry Potter 3, 4, 5 and 7.5 and has been James Gordon three times in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Bruce Campbell has played Ash in the Evil Dead movies and had cameos in all of Sam Raimi’s Spider-man movies. That might be a stretch, but it still counts.

Antonio Banderas has been Puss in Boots in three Shrek movies and one spinoff and was in four Spy Kids movies (his scene was cut in the fourth one. Yes, there are four Spy Kids movies). He was played El Mariachi in two out of the three El Mariachi movies, so he doesn’t get any points for that.

John Cho has hung out with Kumar three times as Harold, and he was in American Pie, American Pie 2, American Wedding, and American Reunion. Cameos count. Right, Bruce Campbell?

Samuel L. Jackson was Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode I-III. He also played Nick Fury in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers, which are all part of the same universe, so he gets included.

Jackie Chan has three franchises under his belt. Three Rush Hour movies, four Police Story movies, and he’s loaned his voice to two Kung Fu Panda movies with a third coming out in 2013.

Christopher Lee played Fu Manchu three times, he was Dracula in a bunch of movies. He was Count Dooku in Episodes II and III and the animated Clone Wars movie. He was in Lord of the Rings too.

Hugo Weaving has also been in three franchises. He threatened Neo three times as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy. He loaned his voice to Megatron in the Transfomers movies. And he was Elrond in the Lord of the Rings movie and will reprise his role again in one of the upcoming Hobbit movies.

So that’s my list. I think it’s pretty complete. If you see anyone that I’m missing leave a comment. And I’ll either correct you or add it to my list. I don’t know how to rate this so I will just settle for something like this:

Critically Rated at 12/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Almost Dropping Your Phone in the Toilet

You have an iPhone. Or a spiffy new Droid. Either way, you have a brand new smart phone and you are proud of it. Getting a cool new phone is a part of life. So is going to the bathroom. And sometimes you are casually looking at your phone while you’re taking a piss, and your grip slips and your phone almost slides out of your hand before your catlike and spastic reflexes kick in and snatch it before it plunks into the toilet bowl. Nothing is more frightening than seeing your iPhone’s life flashing before your eyes as it falls towards the urinated abyss at 9.8 m/s2. I don’t believe in the metric system, I just want to stress my point. Saving your phone from a toilet bath makes you feel alive. Your phone got a second chance that it never asked for, and the best way to celebrate is to update your Facebook status and share it with the world.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Rants

District 9

Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 is the best South African sci-fi film ever made, I’m pretty sure of that. In March of 1982, a huge alien spaceship arrives over Johannesburg. It’s filled with a bunch of sick and dying aliens, and they are forcibly relocated them into District 9, a government camp where they can live in squalor and poverty. A guy named Wikus is tasked with relocating the aliens to a new camp, but things hit a snag when he gets infected by a mysterious fluid and starts mutating into an alien


The aliens of District 9 are humanoid insect looking things called prawns. They have their own language, but can understand English. They have a thing for cat food. The South African government hired a private military company called Multinational United to remove the aliens from District 9 into a new ghetto called District 10. Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copely) works at MNU, and while he’s in the middle of serving up eviction notices in District 9 he gets sprayed by a weird black fluid. Before long his hand and arm start mutating, becoming prawnlike.

MNU finds out, and they start experimenting on him. His newfound prawn DNA makes him the only human who can use alien weaponry. Wikus escapes from MNU and goes back to District 9 to find a cure.

He returns to the house where he got sprayed. It’s owned by a prawn named Christopher Johnson and his young prawn son. Christopher tells him that the fluid is spaceship fuel, and the prawns need it to go home, but it will also revert Wikus back to human form. Wikus and Christopher launch an attack on MNU headquarters, grab the fuel and try to reactivate the spaceship.

In the climatic battle, Wikus and Christopher are getting shot at by MNU soldiers and Nigerian gangsters. The best way to end a movie about alien racism is to have a shootout. It’s logical, it’s practical, it’s the only reasonable way to end the movie.

District 9 has a lot of political undertones. It’s a commentary on racism and bigotry. Wikus is an asshole in the beginning. He sees the prawns as inferior. He just assumes that he is better than they are. As he starts to become less human, he becomes more humane. He starts to care about the prawns, and at the end he sacrifices himself for them.

This is a cool movie. There are no big name actors. It’s shot like a documentary, with lots of interviews, hand-held shots, and pseudo-found footage. The CG prawns look realistic and the action scenes are pretty intense. It was originally a short film called Alive in Joburg, and it was expanded into the flick that it became.

District 9 proved that you can make a successful sci-fi movie without any stars, an established director, or a huge budget. All you need is a cool concept and an explosive over the top ending where people blow up and splatter blood everywhere. It’s a good movie with a mediocre ending. But it has a great concept and that’s what makes the movie worth watching.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

The Biggest French Fry

You are hungry and broke. Only a few places will accept five bucks and give you a meal in return. McDonald’s is one of those places. You order a value meal, which comes with a drink, a burger/sandwich, and French fries. The burger/sandwich is mediocre and the soda is flat and pathetic. But the fries are usually always decent. And there is always one big French fry. It stands out. The one big fry that came from a mutant potato that’s bigger than your head. It is a sign of freedom, of being an American and feeling like you are entitled to the world. I hope everyone can experience the biggest French fry.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Snacks

X-Men (film)

Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) directs the big screen adaptation of the X-Men. In the not too distant future, mutants with superpowers have been popping up more and more. People fear what they don’t understand, and people fear mutants, causing US Senator Robert Kelly to attempt to pass the Mutant Registration Act. Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants decides to wage war on mankind, and nothing can stop him… Except for Charles Xavier’s X-Men.

The movie begins with a young Eric Lehnsherr being separated from his parents in a concentration camp. He tries to get back to his parents, but the guards won’t let him. Desperately he reaches for them, and the gates start to bend and twist towards him, until the guards knock him out. This is a real quick scene and it’s a great introduction to the world of the X-Men. Right off the bat, you know that this world is both real and familiar, but also fantastic and different. You’re introduced to a mutant using his powers right away, and it also establishes Eric Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto as a sympathetic villain. No matter how diabolical he gets, you understand his reasons perfectly.

Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) is advocating the Mutant Registration Act, which would force mutants to identify themselves. Magneto (Ian McKellen) doesn’t want to go along with this, and he’s going to do something about it. His Brotherhood of Mutants wage war on humanity. The Brotherhood consists of the shape shifter Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Toad (Ray Park), and Sabretooth (Tyler Mane).

Magneto’s old friend Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) leads the X-Men, another team of mutants who are determined to stop the Brotherhood. The X-Men members are the telepathic/telekinetic Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), the cycloptic Cyclops (James Marsden), and the weather-controlling Storm (Halle Berry).

Meanwhile, a young mutant named Marie a.k.a. Rogue (Anna Paquin) accidently almost kills her boyfriend just by touching him and runs away. She meets a hairy, angry cage fighter named Wolverine and decides to get in the car with him. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue get attacked by Sabretooth and get rescued by Cyclops and Storm and they take them to the X Mansion. They chill there for a while, and they learn about how good Xavier is, and how misguided Magneto is. There’s bonding moments and character developing and a mutant montage.

Magneto is moving along with his plan, and he kidnaps Senator Kelly and turns him into a mutant. And he reveals his plan to turn a bunch of diplomats and world leaders into mutants at some summit for something. But Senator Kelly escapes and goes to the X-Men for help. He dies from complication of being turned into a mutant, but Magneto doesn’t know that, so he doesn’t know that he would just kill everyone if he goes through with his plan.

The next step in Magneto’s plan is kidnapping Rogue. Magneto will use Rogue to power the mutant conversion machine, the stress of which will kill her. So the X-Men have to step up and save Rogue and stop Magneto from killing diplomats and world leaders at that summit thing. And I don’t want to spoil the ending, but they do.

It has a pretty decent cast. It was Hugh Jackman’s breakout role. Patrick Stewart is perfect for Xavier. Ian McKellen is formidable as Magneto. Rebecca Romijn was a sexy blue chick way before Avatar. Halle Berry looks pretty but her Storm sucked in this one, she didn’t do anything. She had a stupid accent too.

This is a good flick. Not only did it launch the X-Men movie franchise, but it gave Hollywood the green light to start churning out comic book movies. I know they changed a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. But the movies are their own thing. They acknowledge the comics. They make references to them. There are some differences with characters between the film version and the comic version. But that is ok. Bryan Singer made an awesome movie. It’s fun. It’s rewatchable. It’s a summer blockbuster popcorn movie.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Blowing Your Nose and Looking at It

You’re feeling a little sick and slightly stuffy. Your nose might be running too. You grab a Kleenex and blow your nose. And you look at it. You don’t really care what it looks like, but you always take a quick glance. It’s instinct, it’s habitual. It’s your snot. You know what it looks like. But you can’t help it…  blowing your nose and looking at it, everyone does it, and no one knows why.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Rants


What if Peter Pan grew up? According to Steven Spielberg, he would become Americanized and look like Robin Williams. Hook tells the story of a grown up Peter Pan, who must return to Neverland to save his kids from the evil Captain Hook. Robin Williams plays Peter Banning, an American lawyer who finds out he is Peter Pan, and Dustin Hoffman plays Captain Hook, the Sleaziest Sleaze of the Seven Seas.

Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is a father and a lawyer, who would rather spend his time lawyering than being with his kids. His wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) worries that Peter isn’t spending enough time with his kids Jack and Maggie (Charlie Korsmo and Amber Scott). Peter misses Jack’s baseball games and is too busy working to notice his kids. The Banning family goes on vacation to visit their Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith). Wendy claims to be the Wendy from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

While Peter, Wendy, and Moira are out one night, the kids get kidnapped. The only clue to their abductor is a note signed by a James Hook. Granny Wendy tells Peter that he is Peter Pan, and that only he can save Jack and Maggie. He has a hard time believing her until Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) shows up and takes him back to Neverland.

Peter finds himself in the midst of a bunch of pirates, including Smee (Bob Hoskins) and the notorious Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). Hook offers Peter his kids in exchange for a war. Peter has three days to find his inner Pan and fight Captain Hook.

Peter finds his old allies, the Lost Boys. They don’t recognize the old geezer in front of them as their former leader, until Pockets pulls back his wrinkles and finds his long lost friend in the folds. Not all the Lost Boys are convinced that Peter Banning is Peter, most notably Rufio (Dante Basco).

As Peter struggles to discover his inner child, Captain Hook decides to brainwash Jack and Maggie into loving him. Maggie is hard to convince, but Jack already had a strained relationship with his father, so he starts to turn to Hook’s side.

Peter eventually remembers who he is, and what he can do. He finds his happy thought, and he is Peter Pan again. He and the Lost Boys launch an attack on Hook and his pirates, freeing Jack and Maggie. But this is an exciting Hollywood climax, so people die. Like Rufio. Peter and Hook have an exciting duel, culminating in Hook getting devoured by a crocodile clock. Neverland’s a bitch sometimes.

Peter Pan wins, defeats Hook, and frees his kids. And then he goes home. He did what he had to do, and he can’t stay and have fun anymore because reality is waiting. It seems like kind of a bummer way to end a fantasy about childhood immortality, but who am I to judge?

This is probably my definitive childhood movie. I saw this movie when I was six years old in the theaters. I know every single line, every single moment. I grew up on this movie. I could watch it every day and not get tired of it. It’s almost like a part of me. It impacted me, especially lines like not wanting to grow up “because everyone who grows up has to die someday.”

I’ve seen this movie a lot. And I noticed that when the dog is barking and Toodles starts saying Hook (right before the kids get snatched), you can see a teddy bear. The same teddy bear that Peter later finds in Neverland that gives him a happy thought that allows him to fly. And later Hook tells Peter that he’s only dreaming. And Peter wakes up outside in the park… Maybe he was dreaming the whole time.

The imagination banquet, where Peter first uses his imagination, is one of my favorite scenes from any movie. It starts with an awesome battle of wits between Rufio and Peter as they hurl insults back and forth at each other. Peter wins and triumphantly flings an empty spoonful of food at Rufio, and everyone is amazed as brightly colored food smashes into his face. Everyone looks around astounded as the previously empty table is filled with generous platters of the most gorgeous and spectacular dishes you’ve ever seen. It’s a feast fit for a king and your mouth waters just thinking about it. Before the miraculous moment can fully sink in, a food fight starts. Slowly at first, but then it suddenly explodes into a frenzy of food and filth and laughter. The scene represents all the themes of the film.

Robin Williams does a great job playing a workaholic father, and he is able to transition from being a gruff adult into acting like a little kid. He even shaved his arms and chest so he would look more childlike and less like a yeti. That’s commitment.

Hook is one of my favorite movies of all time. I know that doesn’t make it a good movie, but I’m biased. Check it out if you haven’t.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment