Saturday, August 9, 2014

Michael Bay Thinks You're Stupid

Blah blah blah, Michael Bay.

Blah blah blah, destroys my childhood.

Blah blah blah, how does he keep getting to produce and direct shitty movies?

Michael Bay gets shit on quite a bit, and he has for quite some time now. Has it been 20 years yet? I'm not sure. I don't recall off the top of my head when "Bad Boys" came out, because honestly I'm too lazy and I just don't give much of a shit to even bother going to IMDB to look it up, but it feels like it's been a while that we've all been slinging shit at Bay while he continues to laugh all the way to the bank. That in itself is the point of all this: just how does someone as critically panned as Bay manage to keep making abysmal films that make money hand over fist?

The simple answer is that Bay himself symbolizes the modern American movie-goer. What does said modern American movie-goer look for that gets his blood pumping?

Explosions, lots and lots of explosions.

Glossy action sequences that feature lots of close-ups of the characters in play, most of which can get pretty uncomfortable.

Frantic film editing. This makes things more exciting apparently, for others (like me) it just makes them feel violently ill like getting churned around in a blender.

Scantily-clad barely over 18 girls, because there's nothing that sells tickets like barely legal poon tang on display.

And last but not least, American flags aplenty...because this is 'MURICA, and if you don't like any of the above, you're un-American.

If you watch any number of Bay films in any particular order, you will see most, if not all, of everything I just listed pop up in his films. Now when I say the average American movie-goer, a large chunk of that audience are teenage boys, hence why most of Bay's films get the ever profitable PG-13 rating.

Now mass marketing crap to kids is nothing new of course, it's as American as processed McDonalds apple pie. However, when a majority of people start bitching and making fun of Bay's works online, yet his films continue to churn out record profits, there's something definitely wrong with this picture here. The "Transformers" movies are one thing. The novelty of the first film wore off quickly as each sequel only proceeded to rot brains worse than the ones that came before, yet they still make BILLIONS of dollars. Why is that exactly? Because people keep laying down their hard-earned money to watch mega-budgeted piles of shit so they have something to bitch about later on internet message boards and social networks.

"Transformers" is one thing, but the latest Bay re-tread to hit the masses is a new take on "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"...and holy mother of fucking Turtle Christ will people not shut the fuck up over it. I'm not saying their complaints aren't warranted of course, but it's not like anyone put a gun to their heads and made them lay down the money to see such a piece of regurgitated fecal matter.

And, of course, TMNT is making money hand over fist. The movie that months ago, when set pictures and concept art and trailers were released had the internet buzzing with seething hatred and people swearing that "I'll never watch this piece of shit" is making so much money that it will probably knock "Guardians of the Galaxy" from its top spot at the box office. Why is that? Why is something that seemed to be so universally hated raking in millions upon millions of dollars that almost guarantees sequels and the like further down the road that will surely be as hated and looked down upon, yet will more than likely make even more millions upon millions of dollars?

Well, honestly, because the majority of mainstream American movie-going audiences are fucking stupid.

That may sound harsh, but hey, the truth hurts. You can shit all over me for it if you want, and believe me I welcome it, but the same people that bitch and complain about Bay and co. mutilating the source material and all that aren't helping matters by paying to see the fucking thing. I noticed it on Facebook last night when I saw quite a few posts from friends saying "I can't believe how bad TMNT is" and "I can't believe I wasted 12 bucks on that piece of shit". Well, what did you really expect guys? Seriously.

This is modern mainstream American cinema, and it will not get any better anytime soon, mostly because we still fork money over to see garbage that has Michael Bay's name on it. Although I have to admit that I kind of admire Bay's intelligence as a person: he knows he makes shit, and he knows his shit will make money, because he knows the average American movie-goer is a fucking idiot. Rinse, repeat.

If you really feel that Bay's take on films based on licenses you loved as a kid is ruining your childhood, there's one surefire way to prevent him from doing so: STOP PAYING TO FUCKING SEE THEM!

Now as a disclaimer, I just want to say that I'm not calling every person who went to see the movie an idiot, and I'm not calling anyone out if they somehow actually enjoy what Bay offers; more power to you and all that, so please take no offense....


Saturday, June 28, 2014

25 Years of Tim Burton's "Batman"

Almost exactly 25 years ago, I was sitting in a movie theater with my mother, and while I didn't know it at the time, I was about to have an eye opening experience that would go on to define the rest of my childhood and even move on into my adulthood. It was something that my young mind may not have totally been ready for, but all the same it was something that I'll never be able to forget.

I'm talking about seeing motherfucking "Batman".

Tim Burton's 1989 update of the classic DC superhero was an awe-inspiring experience for me and countless other kids (and adults alike). Beforehand the only knowledge of the character and Batman mythology I had at that point was through comic books, which I had only just started getting into at that point, and believe it or not, I really don't think I was all that enthused about seeing "Batman" as I should have been (my Mom was actually more interested in seeing it actually, having a life-long love of Jack Nicholson).

But what is it that makes "Batman" not only so endearing to this day, but how it helped shape the legacy of superhero films in general? Is it the dark tone? The gothic, art-deco landscape? The magnetic villain? The brooding, tortured, somewhat psychotic superhero? It's a mix of all that and more besides. It all helped make "Batman" all the more special, and it paved the way for so much more to come (including the legendary "Batman: The Animated Series") that now, two decades and a half later, has a legacy that no other superhero film can ever hope to match.

That's not to say that "Batman" isn't without its flaws. I never gave two shits about what happened to its damsel in distress Vicki Vale, who in herself has such an underwhelming characterization and damn little in terms of character development that any scenes that focus on her become a bore. Making the Joker be the killer of Bruce Wayne's parents is also a bit of a "why the fuck?" moment as well, but all that aside, "Batman" is still a quintessential genre film with a cemented legacy.

Though in the end I do think that Christopher Nolan's trilogy served the character better than Burton's two films (and we won't dare mention the Schumacher abortions), there's no denying the impact and effect that "Batman" had in 1989, and still resonates to this day. If you haven't seen it in a while, give it a watch, and follow it up with "Batman Returns" and some handpicked episodes of the animated series. You'll be glad that you did.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Working on a novel, read the opening FOR FREE!!!

My writing career has stalled quite a bit over the last couple years, mainly due to the fact that I'm an idiot for not backing up my files when my previous laptop shit out on me and ate a majority of my work and works in progress. One of which is this "prelude", or opening if you will, to a full-length novel that I was in the process of getting off the ground. This is the only section of it that was saved, and that was only due to originally being an attachment in an email I sent to a friend a while back whose opinions and criticisms I was eager to hear.

I've usually always attempted to inject some sort of dark humor into anything I've written previously, but this marks a departure for me personally in terms of tone. The novel is tentatively called "Tapes", and details a serial killer that enjoys recording his crimes on good old fashioned VHS. In the middle of it is to be the discovery of said tapes by a film student, and the subsequent cat and mouse game that will follow.

Like I said, "Tapes" is something I wanted to do for some time that I want to make noticeably different from anything I've ever done before, and this rough cut of the beginning of the story hopefully represents that. So please, take a little bit of time, read it over, and let me know what you think; whether you're interested, disgusted, or think it's pure shit.

Maybe hopefully one day I'll get around to finishing it in full.

So here we go folks, strap yourselves in and hold on tight.....


The sting she felt as she opened her eyes wasn’t so much a feeling of pain as it was an annoyance. She felt something dripping down her right temple, and whatever it was had started running off into her eye. She wanted to rub it out more than anything, at least that was her first thought as to what her current heart’s desire was, until Gwen realized that she couldn’t move her hands. They were bound behind her as she realized she was sitting upright on a hard chair, probably a metal one at that, but she couldn’t be sure. The simple thing would be to look down, but every time she tried to move her head, the insides of her neck screamed in pain.
"What the fuck happened?"
Gwen managed to swivel her head around as she came to the realization that the room she was in was a dank, dark place. It was cold, and it just had a feeling of…dread. There was an atmosphere of some sort of sterility that wasn’t all that uncommon of the atmosphere she experienced the first time she went to Planned Parenthood in her youth. That feeling of dread that this is a place she shouldn’t be in.
"Where the fuck am I?"
Gwen’s concerns of her location only became exasperated when she finally noticed the camera on a tripod sitting directly in front of her. It was old, at least old to her. She didn’t know much about these kind of cameras, hell they were so rare anymore that she thought to herself if she had ever seen these kind of cameras in real life and not just on the internet or in old movies. She tried to focus her eyes directly on it. The buzzing in her head made it so hard to focus without seeing double, but when she did; she noticed the green light shining on the top of it and the cap dangling from the lens.
"It’s recording me…"
She thought to herself where was she last? It was last call at “RabbleRousers”, the local shithole bar that she had been moonlighting in for the past three weeks just out of desperation. In three weeks time, she had gone from having to take her clothes off for money and give the occasional handy to serving cheap whiskey for the old men and watered down Red Bull and cheap vodka to the college kids that come and go passing through Huntingdon Valley. But fucking hell, what the hell happened?
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
Nothing. Just a few creaks and cracks. She raised her line of vision up higher, noticing the singular light bulb in the ceiling. Smeared dust and a slightly swinging chain switch hanging down. It didn’t do a whole hell of a lot of good in illuminating the room, but what Gwen did notice is that there was something hanging on the wall to her left. She couldn’t exactly get a decent look at what it was, with the pain in her neck and head she couldn’t really turn to see, but what she could see was the shadowy outline of whatever it was hanging there. All she had to see was the sharp-looking tip and she knew what it was.
“Hello? Someone please….help me…”
Gwen’s words and pleas were choked down by tears that appeared out of nowhere. She never cried, hadn’t cried since Dad died nearly a decade ago. He always taught her not to let anything get to her, to always keep her cool. He was a cop once; he taught his little girl a lot, taught her how to survive in a mad world. And with everything she’s seen so far: dark room, hanging knife (or sword she thought), camera, and she’s bound and has no recollection of how the fuck she got here, Gwen knew that things were about to get very, very bad.
“I see a red door, and I want it painted black…”
Gwen felt paralyzed when she heard the singing voice. It’s coming from behind me… The thoughts running through Gwen’s head were going a mile a minute.
“No color’s anymore, I want them to turn black…”
She could feel his hot breath on the back of her head, feel the cold sharp tip of a knife pressed along the back of her neck, and the next thing her eyes caught was his rock hard cock as he stood to her side and started stroking it in front of her with his one free hand. Gwen could still feel the knife, pressing in a little farther that corresponded with his steadily faster strokes. He was getting closer and closer.
“I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer clothes…”
All of a sudden he stopped. He wouldn’t let himself finish, not yet. He walked behind the camera and started doing something behind it, and she noticed the green light start flashing before it disappeared, being replaced by red and yellow lights flickering on and off instead. As he lifted his head up from behind, Gwen realized that he was wearing a ski-mask. He was completely naked, except for the mask. And that masked head of his was the last thing she saw before he reached upwards and pulled on the chain, turning out the light. Everything went black.
“I can still see you…little girl…”
The tears started running down Gwen’s face like a waterfall. She was paralyzed with fear like she had never ever felt before, so much so that she couldn’t find any kind of words to attempt to speak in an effort to plead for her life. She couldn’t comprehend just what was happening to her. And most of all, she didn’t realize the flickering red and yellow lights from the camera lifting into the air, moving around her.
“I can still see you…little girl…as long as I have this…”
The last thing that Gwen felt was the sharp stab that went through her throat as she finally managed to come up with the words to use to beg for her miserable, worthless, stupid life, and they went pouring out of her neck along with all the blood and bile that had been built up since she woke up here tonight. She was already bled out by the time his ejaculation had landed in her hair, and had already been long dead by the time he finally decided to stop recording with the night vision filter. Afterwards he pulled the chain switch back on for the light, and sat down on the floor Indian style and admired his work for just a little bit longer.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm About to Make You Feel Old

Look at that fucking guy right there. He looks like shit right? The thinning hair, the graying beard, the inbred genes finally rearing their ugly head. Poor old bastard.
So, you ready to feel old as shit?
Last time I talked about how it's the 20th anniversary of NHL 94, and I got anyway...
It's 2014. This year I will hit the big 3-0 (no I'm not exactly looking forward to it) and it kind of terrifies me. It's not getting to 30 in itself (that alone is just plain surprising, and anyone who has known me well enough through the years will attest to that) that terrifies me per se, but the fact that so much which I hold in high regard, whether it be music, film, or whatever, is now older than I old now that it makes my head hurt.

Anyway, here's a list of shit hitting some unreal ages, so strap yourselves in folks:

Albums "Superunknown" by Soundgarden, "Jar of Flies" by Alice in Chains, "Far Beyond Driven" by Pantera, "Dookie" by Green Day, "The Downward Spiral" by Nine Inch Nails, "Point Blank" by Nailbomb, "This Toilet Earth" by Gwar, "Smash" by Offspring, "Throwing Copper" by Live, "Live Through This" by Hole, "Purple" by Stone Temple Pilots, "Voodoo Lounge" by the Rolling Stones, "Portrait of an American Family" by Marilyn Manson, "Burn My Eyes" by Machine Head, "Divine Intervention" by Slayer, "Youthanasia" by Megadeth, "Vitalogy" by Pearl Jam and the major label debuts from Weezer, Bush, and Korn were all released in 1994...they're all 20 years old.

April 5th marks the 20 year anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death.

The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is 40 years old, released in 1974.

Next year, "Jaws" will also turn 40.

"Tales from the Crypt" went off the air nearly 18 years ago in 1996.

The Nintendo GameBoy is 25 years old this year, released in 1989.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the release of the Sega Dreamcast, as well as the first 3-D Sonic the Hedgehog-starring game, "Sonic Adventure".

The original "The Matrix" was released 15 years ago in 1999. So was Kevin Smith's "Dogma" and the classic "Fight Club".

"The Terminator" and "Ghostbusters" were released 30 years ago in 1984.

The original "Transformers" animated series and toyline debuted in North America 30 years ago
as well.

Image Comics, home to "Spawn", "Savage Dragon", "Witchblade", "The Walking Dead", and more, was founded 22 years ago in 1992.

"The Walking Dead" comic series has been running for 11 years, starting in 2003.

"Robot Chicken" first aired almost ten years ago, starting in 2005.

The original Universal Monster films, ("Dracula", "Frankenstein", and "The Mummy") are either over, or approaching, 80 years old.

Hulk Hogan left the WWF to sign with WCW in the summer of 1994.

The New York Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994.

In September 1994, Major League Baseball players went on a strike that cancelled the World Series.

So yeah...feel old yet?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

20 Years of "NHL 94"

I really can't fucking believe that this game is 20 years old now. It sure doesn't seem like it's been that long does it? 20 years of "NHL 94", and it still stands as one of the best video game hockey experiences you'll ever pick up and play.

I was admittedly a little late to the "NHL 94" celebration, by about a year or two if I remember correctly. Up until that point I had grown up a hockey fan, and in the video game world I had managed to wear out my copies of "Blades of Steel" on the NES, along with "Mario Lemieux Hockey" and "NHLPA 93" on the Genesis. Once I got my hands on "NHL 94", none of those games seemed to matter much to me anymore.

"NHL 94" was a revelation in terms of gameplay and authenticity to the sport at the time. The introduction of the classic staple of the series, the one-timer was one new addition, along with added features like goalie controls, penalty shots, and board checks; all of which helped make "NHL 94" the most realistic hockey game to hit the market at that point. Not to mention the fact that even without half those features I just listed, this game would still be an absolute blast.

One thing I remember fondly was playing as the Blackhawks, solely for the fact that Jeremy Roenick was on the team. For some reason, Roenick was like the second coming of Jesus Christ right off the fucking cross in this game. He could score off wicked one-timers and wrist shots alike, and he could hit probably better than almost any other player in the game too. If you ever played as or against the Blackhawks, you knew that there was going to be some kind of carnage on the ice, whether it be reflected on the scoreboard or the penalty box. On another note, Cliff Ronning, then of the Vancouver Canucks, was pretty godlike himself in this game as well...and no, I don't know why either.

As the years would come and go, EA would release subsequent "NHL" games like they do all their sports franchises. While "NHL 95", "NHL 96", and "NHL 97" were all solid games in their own rights, they were never as groundbreaking or balls-out enjoyable as "NHL 94" was. "NHL 98", the last 16-bit EA hockey game, came pretty close to "NHL 94"s level, but the reality was that nothing would ever match, let alone top, what "NHL 94" managed to deliver.

The game's legacy can be felt even to this day, with various websites dedicated to online leagues using emulated versions of the Genesis and Super NES versions of the game updated with modern teams and players. The game has been re-released once as an extra on the PS2 version of "NHL 06" for some reason, and the recent "NHL 14" has an anniversary mode that is done in the "NHL 94" style (but it sucks) and various other game franchises have attempted to emulate what "NHL 94" did, whether it be Sega's old "NHL All-Star Hockey" franchise or 2K's recently retired "NHL 2K" series.

Bottom line, I'm really not telling you anything you probably don't already know anyway. "NHL 94" is a fucking masterpiece that every now and then I'll pop in today for old time's sake, and the fact that this is a sports game we're still worshipping 20 years later is truly something special. If you never played "NHL 94", you should. And if you don't like hockey for some reason, you deserve an ice skate kick to the groin. Repeatedly.