Saturday, May 31, 2014

Static and Noise: The Wild, Wild West Edition

iNews: I'm a big proponent of social media, as everyone should know at this point, but even I am a little distressed. It's a perfect marketing tool, it's a great way to get information to the people who want it, and it's democratizing so many institutions and organizations. Sadly, this isn't always the best thing. I've noticed an alarming trend (which, to be fair, has been happening for years) where news outlets are effectively outsourcing their content to people. The safety valve for Vox Populi has always been the legendary Letter to the Editor, but now everyone's Letter is sent in 140 logic-defying characters, and it's free, and there are millions of them, and about 95% of them are wrong. I am all for cracking up the media and making it looser, but your drunk Uncle Dave who posts about how the Jews are taking over the world via the metric system really shouldn't be replacing actual journalists.

Sterling's Gold: As much as I would like this to be about a completely different topic, it's really about stupid owners of stupid sports franchises acting stupid. While what Donald Sterling said was indefensible and I'm OK with a private organization (in this case, the NBA) forcing him out for said comments, I can't help but feel a little irritated when players who do a lot worse things that are actual crimes are still in the game. Speaking of incredibly sensitive topics about ball-swatting entertainment matches--For the record, I think it's time for the Redskins to change their name; not only because it's a stupid name and has horrible connotations, but also because it's a perfect marketing opportunity. I certainly don't think the government really needs to spend any time on it, though.

A Million Ways To Review: This is sort of a mini-review of A Million Ways To Die In The West. I didn't want to make a full review of it because there really isn't all that much to say. My wife and I went to see it this weekend. I'm generally a fan of Seth McFarlane (He's a little too bro-frat for me, but he mixes it with enough genuine cleverness and smart humor that I don't really mind. And I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I'm too good for fart jokes) so I was looking forward to it. Plus I love westerns and think that there aren't enough western-comedies out there (you know, besides Blazing Saddles.) It was s decent enough movie; enough jokes to last the entire movie, a good and reasonably believable plot, and some solid acting all around. (Charlize Theron gets major props for this; she effectively carried the movie.) Sadly this may also be the movie where my Neil Patrick Harris threshold is passed--I like the guy (I do!) but he's everywhere and this just seemed like the Same Old Stuff and he phoned it in. Still, the gross-joke ratio was too high (Sarah Silverman and Giovanni Ribisi's situation--she's a whore in a whorehouse, he's alarmingly casual about her profession--was set up and executed almost perfectly, only to be ruined by pushing it just a few too many times too far) and the drug-induced dream sequence tried a little too hard. Clocking in at over two hours, this is a movie that could have had about 20 minutes to a half hour chopped off and be made much better. Still, it was a good enough movie and I'm glad I saw it; if you're OK with horseshit jokes and dumb beej laughs, it's actually a decent movie.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Adventures Of The Romantic Kind!

As everyone knows I am a collector of the odd and inspired. Or rather, the odd and inspired have a way of making its way into my possession. Sometimes I come across, through various nefarious methods, something amazingly awesome. Don't ask me how I acquired this particular gem or why I bothered getting it in the first place, but just pause and marvel in its greatness.

I present to you, the presumably legitimate but likely pirated copy of the Chinese* version of HBO's Sex and the City.

Now, it shouldn't surprise any of you that I am not normally a viewer of such fine television programming as Sex and the City, but even I was intrigued. The ChiComs aren't really known for their desire to live like mid-forties New York sexual deviants, nor was I aware they wanted to watch a show with a lead that was something they eat regularly for dinner.** So I didn't really expect the demand for this product to be high enough that it was worth creating, especially not a collection of all seven seasons. But then I realized that there is a very good chance this is not exactly what one would consider an authorized copy.

Still, it's incredibly amusing to see. As you can see above, this special edition of Sex and the City stars one Ms. Shla Jeshika Pak and Jim Catelaer. I am assuming the latter is either related to Kim Cattrall or there are some major projection issues from the person who wrote the copy. There is no mention of Krstain Dves, Karst North, or Crynta Nixon (the Chinese, of course, not exactly one to misspell "Nixon").

But say you aren't sold. You say to yourself, "you know, I really want to watch a fake sitcom about four aging harpies acting like immature children in a cess pool of a city, but I'm just not ready to hand over a sweaty ball of yuan to a skeevy street vendor who is also selling teriyaki racoon-on-a-stick on a card table to do so." Well, maybe the show description on the back of the box will do it for you (types as is):
The fabulous foursome are back and rating to embark on more adventures of the romantic kind, However, with a new member thrown into the mix namely Miranda's baby boy Brady, life has some major changes in store for them. For Miranda it's all about breastfeeding and losing her baby fat:newly-divorved Charlotte takes a tip from Samantha's sex-book and starts enjoying sex:samantha ditches her boyfriend and gets up to her usual sexpoits then even more shockingly offers to babysit Brady. and Carrie?
After a spate of dire dates she turns her attentions to her beloved new workand towriting a book which, after a fabulously glamorous book launch, turns out to be a mas sive success life amy have its ups and downs but there;s never a dull when you're Part of a dull moment when you're part of the ultiomate glossy posse.

Now, I have no idea if this is even close to an overall (real) summary of the entire series of Sex and the City, but what I do know is that I definately want to watch right now. I am all about seeing these four go on an adventure of the romantic kind! I really want to see what sort of babysitting and breastfeeding hijinks these ladies are in for! I am not sure if they meant to say "sexploits" or "sexpots" so I assume they made up a new word to cover both. Either way I'm in!

Although, really, I can't fault the translator for trying. (I gotta give them props for even attempting "sexploits.") Personally, I will until the end of time call this Sex In The City and I have had to correct this approximately one hundred times while writing this.

The biggest disappointment of the entire thing was that when we popped the first DVD in, it turns out that it's all still in English. I would have paid good money to watch a Chinese-dubbed version with mangled English subtitles of this entire series. In fact, I'm pretty sure that is the only way I would watch all seven seasons of this show.

*I totally tried to look this up to verify if it was actually Chinese or not so I wouldn't be culturally ignorant or reach American-level insensitivity, but it was difficult because I couldn't find the squiggly line on my keyboard to search for it. However, I did find the below picture (credit goes to the New York Observer) which appears to be Beijing's crossover between Sex And The City and The Sopranos:


Friday, May 16, 2014

Dexter and Chloe

I don't feel like writing today, so here are some long overdue pictures of my dogs.

Here is Dexter, looking a little derpy.

And here is the sweet princess Chloe, who is living by her credo of "never look at the camera, ever."

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May The Fourth: Rumors For The New Star Wars Movie

The cast list of Star Wars: Episode 7 came out recently. It's bringing back a lot of the old faces (Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher's coke fingernail, unnecessary CGI) and bringing in a lot of new ones. Of course, the high-profile nature of the film makes rumors and speculation particularly frequent. Such as:
  • Mark Hamill was announced as a definite casting choice after being able to swap shifts with Sandy M. at Staples. 
  • Due to new ASPCA regulations, only properly trained Wookies are allowed on set.
  • The Force is going to be retconned (again) to mean that awkward feeling you get when you see someone and wave to them but it's not who you thought it was so you pretend like you were fixing your hair but they totally know. (I mean, seriously, microorganisms? It's like you're deliberately pissing on Yoda's grave.) 
  • To meet the demands of the modern moviegoer, the motto of the studio is: Less Muppets, More Accidental Incest
  • A new style of Force will somehow manage to drag the corpse of Darth Vader out of the ground and milk him for three more movies.
  • Ewan McGregor is recast in his previous role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, only they have frozen him in carbonite to increase his acting range.
  • John Williams has been cast as The Guy Who Is Going To Make A Ton Of Money Rearranging The Same Shit He's Been Writing For Thirty Years
  • In an effort to maximize profits, there's product placement by Subway and the title of the movie is renamed "Screw It, The Deus Ex Machina is played by Jennifer Lawrence."
  • C3PO finally comes out. R2D2 gets a software upgrade and now supports iTunes (thought not Flash). 
  • Since kids don't play with action toys as much as they did in 1977, Hasbro is simple releasing an app for the phone that involves microtransactions and a monthly fee. 
  • The Force Ghost of Jim Henson comes back to collect a huge royalty check
  • Lando comes back to lay the pipe in Queen Amidala. Unrealted: \J,J, Abrams announces they are using fan fic to help with the scripts.
  • Major spoilers from the script are revealed when it turns out a small band of rough but idealistic interlopers somehow manage to topple a huge, multifaceted enemy force by having one person who happens to be the protagonist use a minor fatal flaw to destroy the artificially constructed plot device.