Posts tagged ‘Stoopid’

How To Kill Any Further Desire I Have To See Films On The Big Screen, Part 2

As a follow-up to my previous post ….

This will effectively kill any future desire I have to see any films in a modern cinema:

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/42445/amc-to-allow-texting-at-the-cinema

I am *VERY* satisfied with my personal home theatre setup.  I don’t have to spend any time travelling to/from a cinema, I don’t have to pay for parking, I can eat whatever food I like without having to pay out the yin/yang for it, I can drink whatever drinks I like likewise, the bathroom is as clean as my family defines cleanliness, nobody behind me is kicking my seat, if any people around me are talking I won’t get the cops called on me if I smack ’em upside the head, and … for the love of all that you might consider holy … nobody around me is FUCKING WITH THEIR GODDAMNED PHONES!!!

The only thing that might interrupt my home theatre experience is one single angry conure … but that can easily be appropriately dealt with.

“When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow.”

If you … honestly … believe that, there is no way you should *EVER* be in charge of any company that runs movie theatres.  Mr. Aron, with all due respect, please do whatever you need to do in order to go fuck yourself.  Repeatedly.  Preferably with a sandpaper-coated dildo, which I will gladly provide should you be unable to obtain one on your own.

Just sayin’.  Rant over.  Thanks for listening.  Love y’all.

 

How To Kill Any Further Desire I Have To See Films On The Big Screen

I used to go to the movies all the time. I grew up in the era back when there were little neighborhood cinemas all over the place. The Chelten Theatre was minutes away from the house I grew up in. The Colony and the Marquette were about a half hour drive away. The four Evergreen screens were pretty nice (although I remember when it was just two screens), but my all time favorite was River Oaks 1. I have a LOT of fond memories of seeing films in these now-closed cinemas.

This continued through my college years. My personal best for the most movies I saw in as short a time as possible was one weekend in the early ’80s when I saw seven films in a single weekend (two Friday, three Saturday, two more on Sunday).

Not any more. I hardly ever go anymore. Why?

1) Cost. If I have to pay exorbitant prices just to get into your cinema, I demand to have an enjoyable experience.

2) Further cost. The concession prices are outrageous. But the kids want their snacks, so the price of concessions drives the moviegoing cost up to the point where my demand has shifted. I now demand to be guaranteed an enjoyable experience.

3) Idiots who insist on using their phones after the movie has started. If you’ve paid as much as I’ve paid to be here watching this film, why aren’t you bothering to pay attention to it? And are you really dumb enough that you don’t understand how much your phone screen lights up a darkened auditorium?

4) Idiots who insist on talking after the movie has started. Shut up. Just. Shut. Up. If you need to say something, whisper. If you need to talk (or worse yet, take a phone call), then do us the favor of leaving the auditorium and come back after you’re done. This is just common sense, and I remember learning to behave this appropriately all the way back in grade school.

5) Idiots who have not properly trained their crotchfruit. The two examples that I encounter most often are moronic spawn who will not shut up or who continue to put their feet on and/or kick the back of my chair. There are occasional parents and guardians out there who demand (and force) an end to this behavior as soon as it happens. Bless their souls. But alas, there are far too many more who are either proud of their little brats’ incessant drool-filled yammering or just too bloody scared to publicly dress down their precious snowflakes when the snot goblins truly deserve it.

I’m rather proud of the home theatre system I have in my living room. It’s not any ground-breaking top of the line system, but it’s good enough for me and my family. The MSRP of a new blu-ray is comparable to what I would pay to get the family into a decent modern cinema. If I find it on sale, it costs even less than the cinema. We can eat whatever food we want without having to pay wallet-busting prices. And the only other ignorant or rude audience members that could interfere with our enjoyment of the film would be the ones that I invite to watch it with us.

Ever since I set that home theatre system up, I’ve been going to fewer and fewer movies every year. I hardly see anything on the big screen anymore.

And now … here’s the nail in the coffin, and the motivation for me to rant about this tonight:

Staff at cinemas owned by the Regal Entertainment Group will now be searching backpacks, packages and bags. The exact quote on their notice is, “To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission.”

No. Fuck that shit. When I showed that page to my son, he hung his head in disbelief and muttered foul epithets as he walked away.

I will willingly go through a security screening at an airport. If you are now going to add a security screening to my moviegoing experience, you can go fuck yourself. So I will never go to a Regal Theatre again. And if the other chains are stupid enough to follow suit, then I’ll keep on enjoying my own home theatre and the only things I will be missing out on are frustration, annoyances, and overpriced mediocre food.

Jurassic World

Sigh.  The few reviews I read about this ahead of time were pretty mixed, so this is yet another film that I went into with lowered expectations.

Oh dear.  That is one big pile of shit.

I’m convinced that two more script revisions and some extra thought given to the casting process is all they would’ve needed to turn this into a fantastic piece of moviemaking.  Alas, no.  Most of it is crap.  Watching this on the big screen was a major waste of time and money for me.

Where do I start?  The script: stupid people doing stupid things, with too many blatant attempts at homages to classic scenes from the first film.  Every time I hit one of those moments, it pulled me out of the story.  With the exception of Owen and Barry, the characters weren’t characters; they were caricatures at best, completely cardboard at worst.  (And I had to actually look up the name of Omar Sy’s character, because I don’t even remember anyone ever calling him by name in the film.)  I’m also convinced that Owen and Barry were as good as they were entirely because of Chris Pratt’s and Omar Sy’s acting abilities and personalities, not because of how the screenwriters depicted them.

The cast: Chris Pratt and Omar Sy were excellent.  Everyone else could be flushed down the toilet for all I care.  Especially the two lead kids.  For the love of all you consider holy, if you are going to have kids carry two of the lead roles, you have to make sure that the child actors are able to make us care enough about the kids to carry us along for the emotional ride.  Rooting for the dinos to rip people apart here is like rooting for the zombies to rip people apart on The Walking Dead.  I desperately wanted these two kids to be shredded and eaten alive, and was tremendously disappointed when that didn’t happen.

Likewise for Bryce Dallas Howard.  Are you telling me that Claire *REALLY* can run all over the place like that in those shoes?!?  Plus, earlier in the film she is in a near panic, desperately forcing Owen to take her out into the park to rescue the two boys.  Then what happens?  They stop.  For a long time.  To have a pseudo-emotional moment with a dying apatosaurus.  What the fuck?!?  From a character standpoint, that makes *NO* sense!  It does make sense for Pratt’s character, but not for Howard, at least not in the sequence of moments leading up to that scene.

And I’m sorry, but the mosasaurus moments were all blatantly telegraphed in advance.  What could have been two really cool bits were spoiled by foreshadowing heavy enough to slap you in the face.

Lastly, are you telling me that, after laying completely dormant for 20ish years, there is still enough juice in the batteries to power that pair of night vision goggles and to get one of those jeeps started?  I really don’t think so.

I’ve had enough.  This is the worst of the Jurassic Park series.  I’ll rewatch The Lost World again before I’ll rewatch this one.

But … in the meantime … this is FANTASTIC:

 

 

Madam Secretary

Can we retitle this show My Damn Secretary?  Because it sure looked like Keith Carradine was thinking that more than once during the opening episode.

This show snuck up on me.  I had no idea it was in production for the new season.  I never heard of it until two or three days before it premiered.  And then I missed the premiere, so I had to catch it afterwards.

Madam Secretary would probably be a lot more compelling if we hadn’t already had several women serve as Secretary of State.

I like Téa Leoni enough to watch her in almost anything.  I like Keith Carradine.  I liked Tim Daly in Wings.  And I absolutely adore Željko Ivanek (although he will always be Danvers to me).  William Sadler, sadly, was totally wasted here.

Since we know Leoni is going to end up in office, I was hoping the show would start by showing us her first day in office.  Nope.  Let’s back up even further than that and show us how she gets the job.  Okay, that could be intriguing, we can see how she and her family cope with the sudden uprooting and massive changes in their lives.  We could have some nice family drama that plays out over several weeks worth of episodes, as she winds up her university work, works her way through confirmation hearings and then starts her position.

Nope.  “Two months later.”  WTF?!?  I feel cheated.

Instead we get thrown into a stoopid hostage crisis with one side dish of clichéd marital drama issues and a second side of conspiratorial stoopidity.  Sigh.  And did they deliberately make one of her staff members look suspiciously similar to Ollie from The Thick Of It?

The political drama feels way too clichéd — it’s the Maruchan ramen of political drama.  Another international hostage situation.  Yawn.  At least we had characters inside the show itself calling the situation stoopid.  Riddle me this: why is it that the BBC felt compelled to edit a non-hostage-situation beheading (that was fundamentally played for a laugh) out of Doctor Who because of current international hostage situations, but CBS does not feel compelled to delay broadcasting this?  I remember back in the day when the BBC had bigger balls than any American network.  Just take a look at the fourth series finale of Blake’s 7.  Or sit down and compare ABC’s The Day After to the BBC’s Threads.

The family drama is even worse.  Leoni and Daly have a smidgen of believable chemistry, but the two kids are annoying enough that I want THEM to run off to Syria and get captured by an Islamic hostage-taking group.  Honestly, when Daly turned up in Leoni’s office at the end, I was hoping beyond hope that he was there to tell her he wanted a divorce and was going to take the kids back to live their old lives on their old farm.  Nope.  Instead, it’s the writers letting the other shoe drop on a completely unnecessary and really stoopid sounding conspiracy aspect that WE DO NOT NEED here in order to tell good realistic stories about these characters.

Like I said, I like Téa Leoni enough to watch her in almost anything.  But not this.

 

Terra Nova

Okay, I’m a big sucker for time travel stories … I’m a sucker for dinosaurs … and I’m a sucker for science fiction in general … but this series (based on what I saw of the first two episodes) is complete and utter unmitigated crap.  Had I known Brannon Braga was involved, I never would’ve even bothered with it.  Some thoughts on a show I’ve started calling Terrible Nova:

1) In a future society that equates overpopulation with extinction, why would they bother taking people who violated the overpopulation laws and throw them in prison?  That still leaves the society with an extra unwanted person using up the planet’s almost-gone resources.  It makes more sense that violating such laws in a Soylent Green-ish society would result in mandatory capital punishment for the offenders.

2) Breaking out of a maximum security prison and breaking into another maximum security facility is going to require a LOT more than one small fancy cutter-beam thingy.

3) They identified the “time fracture” as leading to 85 million years in the past.  And once they’re in the past, they talk about the probe that they originally sent through the time fracture … the probe that they never found again back in the future!  So … if they never found it again … and if the time fracture is a one way trip (there were references to “once you go through, you’re not coming back”) … then how did this future society actually know that the time fracture leads back into the past?  How do they know how far it leads back into the past?  The fact that they know anything implies that there is some sort of two way communication between the future and the past, so it’s either not a one way trip or it’s not an “alternate timestream.”   [I wrote that before Stephen Lang’s character confirms in the second episode that yes indeed they can communicate back with the future.]

4) “Alternate timestream” my ass. That’s Brannon Braga’s piss poor stoopid attempt at sci-fi exposition.  Dumbass.

5) Now, if the time fracture really does connect to 85 million years in the past — and this has been the real selling point of the series as far as Fox’s marketing hype is concerned — then FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET YOUR DINOSAURS RIGHT!  85 million years ago was the tail end of the Cretaceous period.  Allosaurs and brachiosaurs lived about 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.  Triceratops lived at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago.  When my fourteen year old son is disgusted that they got something that fundamentally important wrong, you know there’s a serious problem with the show.  Unless you want to use the “alternate timestream” crutch as an excuse for “getting your science wrong.”  In that case, it becomes exactly that: a crutch and an excuse.

6) As part of the camp’s defense, are those supposed to be sonic weapons up on the walls?  They appear to fire a coherent blast of something … but they recoil?  A sonic cannon would NOT recoil.  I have enough trouble imagining it creating a visible coherent blast of something, but I cannot envision it recoiling.  Yes, it’s nice and dramatic to watch, but when you start thinking about it, it’s just … stoopid.

7) Okay, they are the new frontier, right?  Blazing new trails for humanity, right?  85 million years in the past, right?  No roads there (until they take the time and effort to build them), right?  Then why is it that ALL of their vehicles are four-wheelers with tires?  I’d expect them to focus on tracked vehicles, since tracked vehicles can handle rough unhewn terrain far better than wheeled vehicles.  Nope.  Stoopid.

8) Why couldn’t they just play the premiere more straightforward?  Why bother introducing the other camp this soon?  Why bother introducing the whole “leader’s son went off the deep end and knows the REAL truth” this soon?  Focus the first episode wholly on the changes the family needs to make in adjusting from the repressive future society to the repressive Terra Nova camp.  Then take your time with more subtle introductions of the other aspects of the story across subsequent episodes to build up the intrigue.  Characters first, concept second.  Develop characters we care about first, then let the characters sell us the concepts.

9) Most importantly, there’s not a single character that I find likeable or sympathetic on the show.  They could all be torn to bits or eaten alive and I honestly would not give a damn.  Actually … that would be a nice bit of Must See TV … a very special Terra Nova …..

Now I will take a moment to point out two things I think they did right.  The first time I saw how the camp was laid out, I immediately wanted it to be ravaged by a flock of pterosaurs — it appears to be nicely defended against ground critters, but it’s completely vulnerable from the air.  Lo & behold, that’s exactly what happens in the second episode … only the pterosaurs are too small and nowhere near deadly enough.  And it was nice to see them address the increased oxygen content of the past atmosphere, having the medical teams stand by to take care of that when the people first come through the stargate … er … “time fracture.”

So here we have Avatar meets Land Of The Lost.  Honestly, I think the original Land Of The Lost series was a lot more intelligent and better written than Terra Nova.

The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks From The Apocalypse

If only these notebooks had stayed secret.  Then I wouldn’t feel compelled to complain about them.

This book is, succinctly, crap.

Yes, I’m a fast reader.  Yes, I’m a sucker for the zombie genre.  Yes, I’m a sucker for the first-person “found documents” genre.  Yes, I’ve been known to burn my way through books, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead, when they thoroughly engage me.

In spite of that, there is no way I should’ve been able to finish reading this entire book in under two hours.  But I did.  (And the shocked look on my daughter’s face was almost worth it.)

Why?  Because this book did not deserve me wasting any more of my life reading it.  And, much like The Rising & City Of The Dead, I kept hoping that it would get better and eventually live up to some of the online reviews.  Nope.  No such luck.

My major problem #1: this reads like a draft of someone’s first novel.  Not their first novel.  A draft.  Not even a rough draft.  There are one or two intriguing ideas buried in here, but they’re all execrebly executed.  Lo & behold, I discover it is the author’s first novel.  No surprise there.  Dr. Schlozman, you need a much better editor.

My major problem #2: The author, Steven C. Schlozman, has a medical degree.  The majority of the novel is written in the first person, by a character who has a medical degree.  But at no point in any of this did I ever believe I was reading anything written by a doctor.  My sister has an MD.  I’ve spent good chunk of my adult life hanging out with doctors, reading medical texts and medical research papers.  The quality of the writing in The Zombie Autopsies came across to me as what I would expect from someone who decided to drop out of college after one or two years in order to try making it rich writing zombie stories.  It certainly did not feel as if it was the first-person journal of an MD/PhD who works for the CDC, trying to document EVERYTHING for the next batch of poor bastards that find their way into this death trap.  Hell, the supposed CDC doctor in The Walking Dead series was far more believable to me than anything presented here.

Color me not impressed, but very thankful once again that I can get drivel like this for free out of my library so I don’t have to waste any money (only time) reading it.

Dr. Schlozman, please go back to teaching psychiatry.  I’m sure you’re far better at that.

Outcasts

On one hand, this new BBC sci-fi series seems a lot like what I originally expected Spielberg’s forthcoming Terra Nova would be like … that is, before I discovered that Terra Nova stoopidly sends its refugees back in time rather than to another planet.  Based on the first two episodes, Outcasts is gorgeous to look at, but almost painful to think about.  Jamie Barber is completely wasted as a trigger-happy psycho.  Liam Cunningham is almost compelling as the president of the colony.  Amy Manson is almost sympathetic as an almost sympathetic pseudo-cop.

Why is it that, whilst I was watching these episodes, I kept having Earth 2 flashbacks?  I kept waiting for Tim Curry and Clancy Brown to show up … or Terrians to pop up out of the ground.  Where’s True Danzinger when you need her?  Oh yeah, she’s dead.  Ooops.

Oh good gravy … eight and a half minutes into the second episode, this show just totally turned stoopid.

And five minutes later, it turns stoopider … oh well … so much for this … Outcasts is a royal waste of time …..