Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Olympic Trials

The 2012 Olympic Games are quickly approaching and the Olympic Trials have started. Athletes from all around the world are competing amongst each other for the chance to represent their country. Every athlete dreams of winning a gold medal, but before you get the chance to compete you have to qualify. Years and years of training and personal sacrifices depend on how well you perform… all the hardships you endured could be worth it, or you could have wasted your entire life.

I’m from America, so naturally I’ve been watching the U.S. Olympic Trials. I’ve only seen a handful of events like women’s field hockey, diving, and gymnastics. It’s not a lot of events, but it’s enough to start to catch Olympic fever. You start to hear the stories of the athletes and what they’ve gone through, both physically and mentally, to reach the point where they are now. I love when they show the parents and family members of athletes, seeing them laugh and cry with each success and setback. The drama is as real as it gets. You give up your life and your youth for the chance to compete and the slightest mistake can ruin your career.

Seeing an athlete overcome the fatigue and pressure and rise to the occasion and achieve their dream is inspirational. And it makes you feel lazy for sitting on the couch and watching a kid accomplish something that you will never experience. But good for him. I’m not bitter.

Watching a champion doing what he does is cool and all, but nothing is an inspiring as an athlete who falls down and gets right back up. It’s inspiring. It’s why people compete. You don’t have to get a medal to be a winner. The whole point of the Olympics is to represent your country and wear your colors with dignity, pride, and honor. If Cool Runnings taught us anything, it’s that losers can be heroes.

Making the Olympic team is like buying a lottery ticket. You can’t win the jackpot unless you buy a ticket and you can’t win the gold if you don’t qualify. And just because you qualify doesn’t mean you will win. I buy a lot of lottery tickets and I never won the jackpot. And a lot of people have qualified for the Olympics and never won a medal. I don’t know why I’m comparing a game of random luck to an event that relies on skill that occurs every four years, but I am. And you are reading it, so what does that say about you?

The Summer Games are way better than the Winter Games. No offense to all you bobsled fans.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Gleeking has nothing to do with a cult TV show about singing high school kids. Gleeking is when you project saliva from underneath your tongue. It usually happens randomly, but I know some people who can do it at will. I can’t gleek on demand, it seems to only happen when I’m talking to a hot chick. If you accidently gleek on someone, just ignore it and pretend like nothing happened. Most people will act like they didn’t get gleeked on because they assume that you didn’t mean to spit on them.

Critically Rated at 6/17

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Man likey fire. Man likey fire for warmth. Man likey fire for light. Man likey fire for cook cook. Fire is like nature’s robot. Man wants to treat it like a tool. We think that we can harness it and control it, and then nature decides to show us up and release fire’s full power upon us from time to time. Fire is Skynet. Humans are ignorant and can pretend that we are in charge of fire, but then a wildfire will break out and destroy thousands of homes and displace thousands and thousands of people. That’s not a joke, it’s tragic when thousands of people are suddenly uprooted because of a natural disaster. We use water and fire everyday in our homes, but flashfloods and wildfires destroy lives. We can use nature to our benefit, but we are at its mercy.

Humans could not have advanced as far as we have without being able to create fire. But we will never be able to control it. We can practice fire safety and light fires in designated spots like in a fireplace or in a fire pit. Smokey the Bear can tell you to give a matchbook or a lighter to an adult. We can have fire extinguishers and alarm systems in place but if a fire breaks out that shit will spread like an STD from Lindsay Lohan (coincidently, she is a firecrotch).

Fire is comfort though. It’s seductive. There’s nothing like a romantic evening by the fire. The right usage of candles can get anyone laid. Some of my best memories are sitting around campfires or bonfires with a few close friends and a good girlfriend. Watching the flames sputter and crackle is hypnotic, therapeutic, and surprisingly entertaining.

Sitting by the fire will make you contemplate things… like is fire a solid or a liquid? It’s neither, it’s an endothermic reaction and I don’t need Wikipedia to tell me that. Sorry, I just wanted to show off my Cash Cab skills. I also know that lighters were invented before matches. That’s worth a few bonus points.

Fire is awesome. It is hot, dangerous, and unpredictable, just like me. It plays by its own rules, just like me. You have to respect fire or it will bitchslap you in the face, just like me. You have to love and hate it and embrace it and fear it simultaneously, just like Justin Beiber. Fire makes hot dogs taste better and keeps monsters away. Fire is essential and it affects us every day, for better or worse. Fire. Fire. Fire.

Critically Rated at 17/17

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Catching a Foul Ball

One of the best parts about going to baseball games is having the chance to make a play and snag a fly ball. I go to a lot of baseball games, anywhere from 15-20 games a season. I’ve never caught a foul ball. I’ve come close, the ball has literally been three feet away from me, but other people have better luck or a glove and snatch the ball away. I don’t even want to keep the ball, it would be awesome just to catch it. The memory of catching it is good enough, I would give the ball away to a little kid. I get the glory of catching the ball (and hopefully getting on TV), and the kid gets an awesome souvenir and becomes a baseball fan for life.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Smallville (tv show)

Smallville is a TV show about Clark Kent before he becomes Superman. Tom Welling plays a young Clark Kent and you see him go from a nerdy high school freshman to a reporter for the Daily Planet over the course of ten seasons. The early seasons are about Clark discovering strange new abilities and learning how to control them and he also starts exploring his origins. The later seasons are about him accepting his destiny, and there’s tons of characters and references to the DC universe. The cast changed quite a bit over the years as well. The early seasons were about Clark’s life in Smallville and growing up on a farm with his parents John and Martha (John Schneider and Annette O’Toole). He hangs out with his friend Pete and Chloe (Sam Jones III and Allison Mack) and has a crush on the smoking hot Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk). Over the course of the series most of the supporting characters are phased out, but Allison Mack stuck around for most of the show’s run. In the pilot episode Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) hits Clark with his car and they both fall off a bridge and land in the water. Clark saves Lex and they become friends, but Lex becomes obsessed with how Clark escaped without injury. Lex and Clarks friendship dissolves over a few seasons and Lex gradually becomes a bad guy. Lex has one of the best character arcs of the series, even if Rosenbaum left after seven seasons. Clark pines for Lana for a few seasons and they even get together a few times, but eventually Lois Lane shows up. Erica Durance is pretty smoking hot too and you can’t have a show about Superman without having Lois Lane, so she was a great addition to the cast. There are lots of references to the Superman movies. Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder both guest starred on the show. Terrence Stamp (General Zod in Superman II) provides the voice for Clark’s biological father, Jor-El. Other DC characters joined the show. Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) became a series regular and other members of the Justice League show up like Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter to name a few. Bruce Wayne/Batman never showed up though. A few notable villains show up too. General Zod, Brainiac, Bizarro, Doomsday and other DC bad guys make appearances. The first season had a lot of one-time villains. Usually someone from Smallville has an encounter with Kryptonite and transform somehow before Clark tears shit up and gets things back to normal so that next week something else could happen. Later on the storylines become more complex and there’s more story arcs that last multiple episodes or span over a few seasons. Every once in a while there will be a random episode that doesn’t have much to do with the overall storyline, but that happened less and less as the show progressed. The special effects are pretty solid for a TV show. There’s some cool CG work when Clark is using his superpowers and there are some pretty awesome fight scenes. But there’s also a lot of soap opera drama going on. Sometimes the show was a little more Gossip Girls than a superhero series. But I’m ok with it because Clark usually punches something or someone and I like violence. Smallville isn’t the best show of all time, but it’s still pretty good. Ten seasons is a great run for a TV series. They turned it into a comic book, so you can keep following the ongoing adventures of Clark Kent. Give this show a chance if you haven’t yet. Superheroes, hot chicks, cool CG, cool fight scenes… that’s entertainment. Critically Rated at 14/17

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Not Clearing the Microwave

My roommate has an annoying habit. He will pop something in the microwave and nuke it for a few minutes and then just pop open the microwave door before it beeps. He can’t wait the last 3 seconds I guess. That part doesn’t annoy me. The annoying part is that when I want to use the microwave I have to clear it before I can use the microwave. Why should I have to prepare the microwave if I want to use it? That’s like having to screw in a light bulb before you flip the switch. I should be able to just put my bag of popcorn in the microwave and hit the popcorn button. Now I have to hit two buttons? I just doubled my workload because he is too impatient too wait 3 seconds and too inconsiderate to clear it. Not clearing the microwave should be punishable by death.

Critically Rated at 3/17

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Graphing Calculators

I don’t know what high school is like now (thank God), but ten years ago I was still in high school, and even worse I was stuck in math class. Algebra II was a bitch. I passed the class, but barely, and it was all thanks to my graphing calculator. Math wasn’t my subject. I was all about English and History, but math requires a certain skill set that I never bothered to learn.

A graphing calculator was like a smart phone back in the day. You could program it, add notes, and even play games on it.

I would use it to pass a test every once in a while, but graphing calculators were better than a Gameboy. You could have multiple games on it and never even have to change a cartridge. Drug Wars is one of the best games of all time, and I’ve only been able to play it on a calculator. Graphing calculators were essential to pass your math class, but they were even more important to pass the time. Graphing calculators are the forgotten form of portable gaming, but they are as revolutionary as Sega Game Gear or the Nintendo DS.

Critically Rated at 15/17


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What Was I Saying?

People talk a lot. That doesn’t mean they have much to say. Occasionally a guy will be talking to you and halfway through his sentence he will ask you “What was I saying?”…. the answer is you don’t know. The answer is  you don’t care. If your idea was so revolutionary, you would have remembered it. If you forget what you are going to say before you say it, it probably isn’t worth remembering. You aren’t going to change the world with an idea that wont stay in your head.

Critically Rated at 11/17

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Celebrities That I’ve Seen Personally

There’s over seven billion people in the world, so there’s a pretty good chance that you will see people everyday. Every once in a while you will see someone you recognize but never met. And you will geek out a little bit because you just saw someone famous. Randomly bumping into a celebrity on the street isn’t that common (unless you live in LA). I find that just as excited to see an A-list celebrity as I am to see a guy who guest starred on Lost. I haven’t seen anyone super famous, like Jack Nicholson or the Pope, but I’ve seen a few people.

Here is a partial list of the celebrities that I have come face to face with, talked to, and/or made physical contact with (handshakes, fist bumps, accidently walking into). There is no particular order to my list, they aren’t sorted by date or by how famous they are.

I lived in LA for nine months. You see celebrities all day long down there. They are like pigeons, you can’t avoid them, they are everywhere. I worked at Chili’s in Westwood, near UCLA. And I would see the most random people like J.D. Walsh (Mackey from Smart Guy, Gordon from Two and a Half Men). One day Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson from the Girls Next Door came in with seven other Playmates. They were wearing t-shirts and jeans weren’t dressed up, but they were stunning.

Master P, Lil Romeo (he was still Lil Romeo at the time) and their bodyguard came in and got lunch. Kevin Connolly (E from Entourage) came in by himself on a Saturday night. He is a tiny little guy. I also saw Rick Fox from the Lakers, and he is 6’7”. Pretty damn tall.

The first “celebrity” that I remember talking to was Annette from the second season of Bug Juice. Bug Juice was like the Real World for kids and took place at a summer camp. I saw Annette at the Marin County Fair. My friend pointed her out and told me who she was. And I yelled, “Hey, Annette! Are you from Bug Juice?” and she nodded so I’m pretty sure it was her.

I live in San Francisco now. Up here, I’ve bumped into Andris Biedrins from the Warriors and he is 7 feet tall. I really bumped into him: my buddy shoved me into him rather than simply point him out to me. I met Randy Johnson on my birthday in 2009 and he gave a birthday fist bump. I also met Barry Bonds back in the day and got his autograph of piece of graphing paper because that was the only thing I had available. Pablo Sandoval has come into the restaurant that I work at now a few times, sometimes with a random hot chick, sometimes by himself.

Recently I got to serve Aldon Smith, one of the best defensive rookies in the NFL last year. Other professional athletes I’ve seen: Andre Agasi when he was at the top of his game. I played one season of Little League, and one of the players I competed against is Bud Norris of the Houston Astros. I also saw pitcher Kevin Correia (currently pitching for the Pirates, but I saw him when he was pitching for the Giants).

I’ve met a few musicians like James Hetfield from Metallica and Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers. I am the one who told Tom Johnston’s son what Doobie meant. That’s pretty awesome.

A bunch of my friends have seen Dave Chappelle walking around SF streets. I’m not that lucky, but I did see Jim Breuer and his family. That’s not nearly as cool, but that’s half the cast of Half Baked right there.

The biggest celebrity that I’ve met is Warwick Davis. I know I said that Kevin Connolly was tiny, but Warwick Davis is actually a little person. I actually went up and introduced myself as a big fan and shook his hand. Yes, I told a little person actor that I was a big fan… not the smoothest thing that I’ve done. Warwick Davis is in some of the biggest movies of all time. He was the main Ewok (Wicket) in Return of the Jedi. He was motherfucking Willow in Willow. He was Professor Flitwick (and sometimes Griphook) in the Harry Potter movies. He was the Leprechaun in the Leprechaun movies. He is a pretty well established actor and it was awesome meeting him. Fucking Star Wars and Harry Potter… Yeah, I geeked out a little bit.

Celebrities are just people that are on TV and in the movies. And that makes them better than you. It’s just a fact of life, don’t take it personally. That’s why you freak out a little and change your Facebook status and text your friends.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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Smacking Your Gum

Ok, annoying bitch on the bus who keeps on smacking your gum, you need to stop. Either spit out your gum or keep your fucking mouth closed. You are fucking gross and disgusting, you fucking perpetual masticator. Is that your first piece of gum? Because if it’s not, than you have been chewing gum wrong for years and that’s fucking pathetic. Each time you smack your gum, I want to smack you. And I’d be justified in doing it.

Critically Rated at 3/17

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones returns to the big screen in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This sequel is actually a prequel, Raiders of the Lost Ark takes place in 1936, and this is set in 1935. Indy is on the hunt for a mystical stone, not nearly as exciting as the Ark of the Covenant, but whatever advances the plot does the job. George Lucas wrote and produced the movie and Spielberg directed it. It’s not as good as Raiders, but it’s a satisfying sequel.

The movie starts with a musical number at Club Obi Wan in Shanghai. That’s quite a turnaround from the opening sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones shows up and is wrapping up an exciting adventure that involves a diamond and an antidote to some poison that Indy drinks. We are introduced to an obnoxious American showgirl named Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and Indy’s exploited Asian sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan). Jonathan Ke Quan is a Vietnamese actor who is playing a Chinese kid because Hollywood is racist and all Asians look alike. Indiana, Willie, and Short Round escape on a plane, but their plane is owned by the criminal they barely escaped from. They end up using a raft as a glorified parachute and find themselves in the main plotline.

After falling thousands and thousands of feet and sliding down a mountain in an inflatable raft, Indy and his pals find themselves in an Indian village. The villagers are in trouble and need Indy’s help. It seems that some assholes from Pankot Palace stole their sacred stone and kidnapped all the kids. The kids seem to be an afterthought, they really want their magic rock back.

Indiana agrees to help them because he’s Indiana Jones and the movie would suck if he didn’t do anything. So he heads to Pankot Palace with Willie and Short Round. They meet the young Maharajah, the king of Pankot Palace and they enjoy a lavish feast, complete with eyeball soup and chilled monkey brains for dessert.

Indy gets attacked by an assassin and decides that something is not quite right in the palace. He goes snooping around and finds a bunch of hidden passageways and tunnels that lead to the Temple of Doom.

Inside the Temple of Doom is a freaky cult of freaky fuckers that believe in child labor, human sacrifice, and ripping beating hearts out of people’s chests. Indy, Willie, and Short Round are all captured by the evil cult. Short Round gets to join all the child slaves, Willie gets to be a human sacrifice, and Indy gets to be converted into a brainwashed cult zombie.

Short Round manages to escape and snaps Indy out of his trance, and he frees Willie, and they celebrate by taking a roller coaster ride in a mine cart. After that fun ride, there’s some drama involving a rickety bridge with hungry crocodiles. Indy, Willie, and Short Round emerge triumphant and return to the village with their magic rock and all the kids. I’m glad the kids are ok, but I’m just so relieved that they got their stupid stone back. Priorities, you know?

This movie is a decent sequel, but it differs from the Indian Jones formula in a few ways. In Raiders of the Lost ark and in The Last Crusade, the story takes you all around the world, it’s a global trek. Temple of Doom constricts you and keeps you focused on one place, the titular Temple of Doom. The ending is very conclusive and is really happy. The other movies end but leave the story open, and they don’t end with a romantic kiss and a bunch of happy kids.

There are some truly memorable moments like the raft-parachute and the mine cart chase… both sequences were cut out of Raiders for timing reasons. The rope bridge sequence, the eyeball soup, beating hearts ripped from living victims, and Short Round… this movie had some great moments of its own.

This isn’t a great sequel. It lost some of the momentum from the first movie, but they get it back in the third. You can tell that they aren’t quite sure what Indiana Jones represents, but they get back on track for The Last Crusade (and ruin everything in Crystal Skulls). This movie has its moments and it’s still required viewing if you want to call yourself a movie buff.

Critically Rated at 12/17

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Poo Sap

Poo sap is that last little bit of beer in the bottom of a cup or bottle. It is usually warm and is mostly made of backwash. It tastes nasty but the beer isn’t done until you drink it, so man up and swallow that shit. It is a crime to waste precious alcohol. Other places have other names for that little bit of beer, but poo sap should be standardized for consistency’s sake. Drinking poo sap from other people’s bottles is like smoking people’s used cigarette butts. It’s gross but happens way more than it should.

Critically Rated at 4/17

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (film)

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring trilogy is concluded in the final film translation of Tolkien’s masterpiece. The surviving members of the Fellowship are scattered all across Middle-earth and Sauron is preparing an all-out assault on mankind. This was the first movie since Titanic to make over a billion dollars and it won eleven Oscars. Not too shabby.

Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and the faithful Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) are slowly but surely making their way to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Their treacherous guide Gollum (Andy Serkis) is leading them into a trap.

Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli (Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, and John Rhys-Davies) find Merry and Pippin (Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd) chilling in the flooded ruins of Isengard. After a brief and happy reunion, Pippin picks up Sauruman’s palantír and Sauron invades his mind. Gandalf is able to deduce that Sauron will attack Minas Tirith and that Sauron thinks Pippin has the Ring.

Gandalf and Pippin head out to Gondor and try to warn Denethor, the Steward of Gondor and Boromir and Faramir’s dad. Gandalf recommends that he asks Rohan for help, but he refuses because he is stupid and stubborn. Pippin lights a beacon and Aragorn, Theodan and his Rohirrim answer the call.

Elrond (Hugo Weaving) briefly visits Aragorn and presents him with his sword, Andúril, and Aragorn accepts his destiny as Isildur’s heir. He also realizes that they don’t have enough warriors to fight Sauron’s forces. His only chance to find the King of the Dead and get all his ghost fighters to join his side.

There’s a huge battle at Minas Tirith. There’s tons of orcs and men and massive oliphants and CG fighting. It’s not looking good for Gondor, but then the Rohirrim show up and the battle continues. And then when it’s not looking good for Gondor and the Rohirrim, Aragorn shows up with the Army of the Dead and they win the battle.

Gollum is leading Sam and Frodo closer and closer to Shelob the giant hobbit-eating spider. Gollum manipulates Frodo into thinking that Sam wants the Ring for himself and that he can’t be trusted. Frodo tells Sam to fuck off and go home. Frodo keeps following Gollum and enters Shelob’s lair. The spider gets him and it looks like he’s pretty boned, but Sam shows up and fights Shelob off, but it looks like Frodo is dead. Some orcs come along, find Frodo, and it turns out that he’s just paralyzed and they take him to Sauron’s fortress. Sam manages to free Frodo, and the two of them continue their trek to Mount Doom.

Aragorn and a ragtag army make their way to the Black Gate of Mordor with the intention of distracting Sauron while Frodo destroys the Ring. Just as Frodo is about to throw the Ring into the fire, he gets attacked by Gollum. They struggle and fight and Gollum and the Ring are briefly reunited as they fall into the lava pit. The Ring is destroyed but the movie is not over.

This movie has like 5 endings. You think it’s over when Sam and Frodo get rescued by Eagles. But it’s not. You think it’s over when Aragorn gets crowned King. But it’s not. You think it’s over when everyone bows down to the four hobbits. But it’s not. You think it’s over when the hobbits finally get back home to the Shire. But it’s not. You think it’s over when Frodo finally leaves Middle-earth with the elves. But you aren’t sure. And you are relieved when the credits finally roll.

This movie has a lot of differences from the book. All that business with Shelob takes place in the second book. Aragorn gets his sword in the first book. There’s a bunch of stuff missing. But it’s a movie and not a book and the movies left shit out but they did the books justice by capturing the feel of them. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. It didn’t deserve all those Oscars though.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

Lagunitas is a California microbrewery that is best known for its IPAs. This Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale is something else. It’s a wheat ale and it’s pretty hoppy too. My taste buds aren’t that sophisticated but I like this beer. I especially like the 7.5% alcohol content. I like beers that taste good and get me drunk. And you seem more classy when you’re drinking a microbrew. If you’re lucky enough to see Lagunitas on tap or on the display shelf you should get it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Daredevil (shitty film)

Daredevil is a pretty awesome comic book character. It just didn’t translate to the big screen. Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch, Ghost Rider) directs Ben Affleck in this jumbled and diluted tale of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and a masked vigilante by night. Daredevil fights crime in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, righting wrongs, beating up bad guys, and kicking ass even though he can’t see anything. In this movie he meets Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell), two of his main rivals in the comics. He also meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), his sometimes ally, occasional foe, and passionate lover.

Daredevil Movie Poster

The movie begins with the origin of Daredevil. A young Matt Murdock is living with his dad, the aging boxer Jack “The Devil” Murdock. Being an aging boxer doesn’t pay the bills, so Jack has to work as a mob enforcer. Matt runs away and gets in a freak accident with some chemicals and loses his sight. His other senses become heightened and he starts honing his abilities. The mobsters kill his dad and Matt Murdock becomes Daredevil.

Matt Murdock meets Electra and the two of them have a romantic friendly fight and decide to hang out. Her dad is a criminal with ties to a shady new crime boss known as Kingpin. Kingpin doesn’t like Elektra’s daddy anymore and hires a deadly hit man named Bullseye to kill him. Daredevil tries to prevent the hit, but doesn’t succeed and Elektra thinks that Daredevil killed her dad.

A reporter named Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano) has been investigating Daredevil and discovers his true identity. Rather that trying to publish a story, he helps Daredevil out and tells him that Bullseye is going after Elektra. He goes to help Elektra, but she kicks his ass instead and finds out his true identity and realizes that he didn’t kill her dad. She then goes after Bullseye herself, but she dies.

Matt fights Bullseye and defeats him and goes after Kingpin. He gets his ass beat for a while, but ultimately prevails and Kingpin goes to jail. There’s a few hints that Elektra might be alive, and one of the final scenes show that Bullseye is recovering in the hospital and it sets things up for a sequel that will never come to be.

Daredevil is a great comic book character… comic book, not film. Daredevil is blind, but the comics can depict Matt’s emotions show his fears, his thoughts, and his inner turmoil. Movies rely on pictures to tell stories. If your main character is a blind guy, there is no way to visually tell his story and that’s one of the areas where this movie fails. Daredevil’s world is darkness, and movies require light so that you can see what is happening. The two ideas clash and can’t coexist.

Jon Favreau plays Matt’s friend and business partner Foggy Nelson. You can tell that he is just taking notes on making a movie about a second-rate Marvel hero. And he did a great job because Iron Man kicks ass and Daredevil sucks.

This movie is slow. It is dull.  A bunch of things happen but nothing stands out. The worst part about this movie is that it makes Daredevil seem lame so newcomers wouldn’t want to read the comics. And you can’t blame them. This movie destroys Daredevil, Elektra, and Kingpin. Colin Farrell’s Bullseye is the least intimidating and most absurd comic book villain ever… even Jim Carrey as the Riddler is more frightening. Watch this movie if you want, just be aware that it disrespects the source material.

Critically Rated at 6/17

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Water With No Ice

I’m in the service industry and people order water all the time. Water is free. They get water with a soda, they get it with a cocktail, they get it when they don’t want to pay for a drink. So if you order a just a water and I bring it to you and then you suddenly specify that you want a water with no ice, I want to throw that shit in your face. Fuck you. Ice is fucking water. If you want water with no ice, let it sit and melt and don’t fucking bother me. If you order just a water then I know you are cheap and I know you won’t tip. That’s why I gave you water with ice, I’m hoping you will choke on a cube.

Critically Rated at 1/17

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Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones is a cinematic icon. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford were at the top of their game when the stars aligned and they came together to create Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harrison Ford created another character as classic and memorable as Han Solo, a nearly impossible feat. This film is nonstop action. Each action sequence is memorable and, more importantly, relevant to the plot. Indiana Jones is a hero who can’t quite catch a break, but refuses to fail.

Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Poster

The opening sequence sums up Indiana Jones in a nutshell. He’s tromping through a jungle and explores a long lost temple. He discovers a rare object of indescribable historical significance and experiences booby traps and sudden betrayals and reveals his fear of snakes. Everything you need to know about the character and the trilogy is summed up spectacularly in the first few scenes. I say trilogy because there was no fourth movie that destroyed the franchise and made Shia LaDouche the heir apparent to donning the fedora and whip.

Indiana Jones is an archeology professor, one of the best in the world and he is recruited to by some military suits to keep the Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant. Indy’s old mentor Abner Ravenwood has a medallion that could reveal the location of the Ark, so Indy goes to find him before the Nazis do. Indiana Jones finds Abner’s daughter, Marion (Karen Allen), who says that Abner is dead and that she doesn’t know where the medallion is. It’s clear that Marion and Indy have a romantic past and that she’s bitter about something. Some Nazis come looking for the medallion and Indy saves her and the two of them team up and to Cairo with the medallion that she had the whole time.

They hang out in Egypt with a monkey and an old friend of Indy’s named Sallah (John Rhys-Davies). They learn a little about why the Nazis are so interested in finding the Ark and Indy finds out that his rival Belloq (Paul Freeman) is helping the Nazis find the Ark.

Indy has more information than the Nazis and is able to find the Ark. But nothing is ever easy for Indy and Belloq and the Nazis take away the Ark and trap Indy and Marion in an ancient tomb and leave them for dead. They manage to escape and there’s an exciting sequence with trucks and desert driving and Indy reclaims the Ark. Then the Nazis take it back but Indy is crafty and follows them and eventually gives himself up when he can’t destroy the Ark because it is too important. Belloq and the Nazis open the Ark and weird ghosty demons spew out and kill everyone who is watching, but Indy and Marion close their eyes and are spared because they didn’t see anything.

The movie ends with Indian Jones telling the military suits the significance of the Ark. They tell him that there are people working on it and then it cuts to the Ark in a crate being stashed into a huge warehouse with thousands of other identical crates.

Indiana Jones is a great character. He is bold and fearless but makes tons of mistakes and is flawed. He seems so brave and courageous but is scared of snakes. He seems so smart and educated but can’t spell for shit. He’s not perfect, that’s what makes him endearing. He is like James Bond but with a limp and a lisp, he’s almost as cool but can’t get away with everything. Things go wrong for him. He gets the artifact and loses it a second later. He gets in fights and fights dirty if he has to.

I remember that my dad got this movie at McDonald’s. Back in the day McDonald’s would occasionally sell movies and I remember getting a Happy Meal and coming home with the Raiders of the Lost Ark. We also got Dances with Wolves from McDonald’s too. I don’t know why that’s worth including in this review, but I had to share that with somebody.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a great movie. It’s the start of a great franchise and there’s no doubt that it’s the best movie in that franchise. Indiana Jones is one of those few characters that transcend film. You don’t need to have seen any of the movies to recognize Indiana Jones. The leather jacket, the whip, the fedora… Indiana Jones is almost as recognizable as Mickey Mouse. If you haven’t seen this movie you have failed at life.

Critically Rated at 16/17

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