Monday, March 3, 2008

Jumper: Or Crappy Movies You Can Tell A Guy Wrote

You know, we ladies get a lot of flack for our so called "Chick Flicks". And I'll agree, a lot of that criticism is fair.

Then again, I do have a vagina, so I do enjoy a number of those movies (e.g. Music and Lyrics). I will not pretend that they are great cinema, but they are occasionally an enjoyable cinematic diversions. (And no, I do not make any guy I date go to see them, just like I'm not going to watch some stupid f*ing football game with you).

Likewise, though guys deny it, there is a similar species of film that exists for the less-fair sex. I'll call them "Man Flicks" for lack of a better term. Sure, guys try to camouflage them as something else, but they are guy relationship films. High Fidelity is an example of the best, and most honest of the form, the rest being thinly veiled action/sci-fi films and whatnot that are really just guy wish fulfillment. This is the only logical explanation for the film

How do I figure? Well, first of all the film is 88 minutes in length and is ostensibly about this war between so called "Jumpers" who can teleport and the "Paladins" that have been around hunting them since the 13th century. The Paladins hunt the Jumpers because "only God should be able to be all places" or some such nonsense. Based on this flimsy, though action heavy premis, this movie should be full of unmitigated awesomeness. It should be all Samuel L. Jackson with his Mace Windu mojo going as the head Paladin. It should be the awesomeness of a centuries old war where we have people who teleport and then people with electro-whips who hunt the teleporters down. Yes, it should be unmitigated awesomeness.

What have we got instead? A guy date movie. The first 10 minutes of the film are devoted to Hayden Christansen (I don't even remember his character's name) liking an unattainable girl who's nice to him and then getting the crap beaten out of him by her boyfriend. Cut to the future where Hayden is a bank robbing douchebag who uses his power to hop to London to bang chicks. But you know, his heart is still in Ann Arbor with that girl from high school. (sigh).

This reminds me of something Robert A. Heinlein once wrote: "Men are more sentimental than women. It blurs their thinking.

Anyway, so after a ton of time wasted on that opening scene, Mace er I mean, Samuel L. shows up to bring the fight to douchebag, who was previously unaware that there were other people like him and even less aware that there is a group of people devoted to his extinction. And after a proper whooping by Samuel L. what does Hayden decide to do? Does he lay lo and try to figure out who is after him? Does he does any sort of investigation or attempt to protect himself?

No. He decides that now would be a good time to track down his childhood sweetheart. And then he takes her to Italy - by PLANE - he doesn't teleport or anything. And then we spend about 20 or so minutes of the film wandering around Italy with them, where he pretends to be unable to teleport and that he earns his money in "banking" as opposed to robbing banks. (sigh). And yeah, it's just as boring as it sounds. I love Italy; I hated watching them ruin it. Where is the ass kicking I ask you? I even went to the bathroom during this part of the film. Belatedly, because they are so out in the open, the Paladins show up to catch Hayden, and then his boring lies to his girly girl begin to compound.

Now some of you may now be saying that this story line was interjected to appeal to female viewers. Not so I say. Why? Because then the relationship falls into the archetypal male relationship complaints, namely, "sure she's hot and I dig her, but why does she have to talk so much"? By talking I mean she begins to ask where he gets his money, and wants to know what's going on, and doesn't want him to lie to her, and why are they running, yada yada yada.

Gentlemen, I can assure you, this would not happen.

1) If you have a lot of unexplained money, I don't care where it comes from.
As long as not junkies are going to show up at my/your/our house, and I'm not going to get shot, I don't care where you get your money. In fact, don't tell me - I don't want to become an accessory to the crime (unless of course you marry me, and then in federal court our communications will be privileged and I can't be forced to testify against you). But in general, don't tell me - just keep the diamonds coming.

2) Seriously, you can teleport? I really don't care about anything else. Why didn't you just f*ing tell me sooner? Just teleport me somewhere awesome. Now. Oh come on. Ok, sure, people are after you, but you can TELEPORT. I can just see myself at brunch with the girls: "my boyfriend's a brain surgeon blah blah blah". Oh yeah, mine can teleport.

Honestly, we are not going to have your normal relationship problems.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Me, My Greek Chorus, and I: More Things That Thag and I Think Are Funny (and no one else does)

Longtime readers may remember my alter ego Thag.

Thag is my id, that internal voice that says, "no, don't calmly reboot your computer, hit it while cursing loudly until it works". Thag is also entirely responsible for my puerile sense of humor, and therefore, ultimately responsible for this post.

Also, please meet my super-ego, who I like to call Happy Robot Face.

Alec Baldwin,
CANC-er Doctor

Before he was on 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin (the only Baldwin that counts) was one of the greatest SNL hosts of all time. My favorite skit from the late 90's featured Alec describing to an entertainment report how he prepared for his role as a doctor on a popular (fictional) soap. Alec waxed on and on about the fact that he studied with real doctors to prepare for his role.
When they cut to a scene from the soap, Alec pronounced every medical term incorrectly. For example "Sir, I hate to tell you this, but you have a tumor. That's right, it's CANC-er. It could be be-NIG, it could be mall-egg-NANT.

Be-NIG or mall-egg-Nant. That's HIGH-larious.

You are both idiots.

Tobias Funke,
Ah Arrested Development. It makes me sad to no end that there were only three seasons of what I believe to be the funniest show ever. Especially when one considers that oh, Home Improvement was on for 8 seasons and Everybody Loves Raymond was on for 9. Middle America just doesn't appreciate great comedy, and perhaps such people do not deserve better. I digress.

So one of the best moments on Arrested Development (and there are many) occurred when Tobias Funke, the closeted psychiatrist, has new business cards made. Thinking he is being clever with his job title, Tobias decides to combine "Analyst" and "Therapist" to form "Analrapist" (which is of course Anal Rapist). For some reason, I find mispronouncing words hilarious. The zinger is when Tobias's daughter, Maeby, throws in "Yeah, Dad nearly went to jail for that one."

ah-NAL-rapist. So funny...can't...stop...laughing....

It's a good thing breathing is an autonomic function, otherwise you two would be in a world of hurt. I know you won't get that joke, but what I'm saying is you two are so stupid you can barely breathe.

Who doesn't need 8 assorted size imitation chamois?! I can't think of anyone. In fact, since I wish never to buy paper towels again, I think 8 ShamWows are perfectly in order. And at only $20, what a bargain! If you don't believe me, go to the website for the man wearing a headset to tell you more.

ShamWow - the name says it all.

Woe that my existence is shackled to the likes of you two.