Friday, October 10, 2003

What I Did On My Day Off of Work, by Umgawa...

Saw Kill Bill today. That pretty much goes without saying, since the only Tarantino movie that I didn't see on opening day in the theater was Reservoir Dogs, and that's mainly because it's never played within thirty or forty miles of my house.

Anyway, I'm going to talk about Kill Bill next time, and hopefully I'll remember to talk about important things like keychains and sunglasses and black & white suits and (most importantly) the arterial splatter effect of Japanese cinema, whether it's in a martial arts film or in anime. I'd prefer to see the movie again before commenting on it in any sort of real depth, but I'll probably be too wrecked after work tomorrow to be able to sit through any movie and not pass out from exhaustion.

That said, on to the DVD's I bought last night. Not surprisingly, given thirty-six hours off of work, I managed to spend about eight hours watching all three of the movies. This isn't terribly unusual, in that when the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was released on DVD, I watched the entire 22-hour season in a single sitting, barring restroom breaks and going to the garage to get another case of Mountain Dew. So. In the order that I watched them:

Final Destination 2: I haven't laughed this much during a movie in a long, long time. It's like every other bad horror film of all time, where you're never really shocked, and you know that all you want to do is watch people within ten years of your own age die grisly and painful deaths. You sick bastards, all of you. But, the point is, we like it, we love it, we want some more of it, and that's why God created the Sequel (although He named it the New Testament).

I didn't see the original Final Destination, so I can't say if "Randy's Rules of Horror-Movie Sequels" (kudos to Kevin Williamson for them) hold true.

"First, the body count is always bigger."

Now, in the first one, apparently they blew up an airplane full of people, but that doesn't count for horror movies. You're not allowed to rack up a body count on simple genocide (a term that I'm currently finding very funny). You can kill them off in pairs or small groups, but anything more than five at a time just doesn't score a killer any bonus points.

"Two, the death scenes are always much more elaborate."

Okay, even without seeing the first one, I think that they managed to out-do just about every horror movie I've ever seen in terms of sheer creativity. Had they been able to keep up the pace, though and kill another seven or ten people, then it easily would've beaten out Jason X (also known as "Jason in Space!") as my current favorite throwaway horror film (which is any horror film that doesn't break new ground for the genre, examples of which I might get to as Halloween draws nearer).

Now, I knew virtually nothing about this movie, other than basic plot (to which I said, "How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?"), but I was reading an interview with Quentin Tarantino last week, and he said he absolutely loved the opening highway sequence, so I went, "Hm, I guess I'll buy that for eleven bucks." And -sho nuff- that highway sequence was a trip. And I thought to myself, "Yeah, okay, that was fun," and then in rolls that plot and yada, yada, and midway through the movie I considered making a Final Destination 2 drinking-game, in which one of the things will be, "Every time someone says the phrase "Death's Design" you have to drink." So, suffice to say the plot didn't have me hooked. All I was in for were seven or eight death sequences, which were just absolutely fantastic. The way the plate-glass pancakes one guy or the subtlety of an airbag deployment propelling one's head into a terribly sharp object... priceless.

Next up, Spy Kids 2. It is what it is. To me, it's Goonies all over again, which is a good thing because I loved Goonies when it came out and I still love it today. Sure the Spy Kids aren't the foul-mouthed brats of Goonies, but it's still a pretty fun adventure-movie that I pretty much purchased because Robert Rodriguez included a new 10-Minute Film School on the DVD, plus feature commentary. I don't know if there are any aspiring filmmakers who actually read this site (if you find my email address and start submitting scripts, I will send a hitman to your house), but Rodriguez is the guy to listen to if you want to make movies on the cheap. Granted, he was borrowing equipment and shooting in Mexico, but he managed to swing the bulk of El Mariachi for $7,000, and then Columbia bought it for significantly more money. Today, he's the next best thing to George Lucas, in that he's producing his own movies in his own studio, and just uses the film distributor as ... well, a distributor. Everyone in Hollywood should be so lucky.

Which brings us to Gangs of New York Gorgeous movie. Absolutely gorgeous. The acting in the movie is really great... as long as anyone's doing the acting except for Leonardo DiCaprio or Cameron Diaz. Daniel Day-Lewis may not have deserved the Oscar as much as Chris Cooper did for Adaptation (who deserves another one for Seabiscuit this year), but he's the only really likeable member of the cast. He plays Bill the Butcher in a manner that -if you skipped the first ten minutes of the movie- he's the protagonist, and DiCaprio's just some little punk kid who's out to get him because his father died in a big fight. It's an oversimplification, I know, but I'm doing the stream of consciousness thing, here.

So here I've got a film by Martin Scorsese that was up for ten Oscars last year, and I think it pulled a Color Purple, which is a shame, because Martin Scorsese really needs to get an Oscar for directing before the Academy just gives up on him and gives him the Thalberg Award for Lifetime Achievement like they did with Peter O'Toole. Actually, Scorsese may already have a Thalberg, so I'm not sure what would be the proper thing to do. Anyway. Gorgeous movie, plot's nice, Daniel Day-Lewis was really great, and I'm going to reserve any further judgment on the movie until I have three hours to sit down and watch it again when my body's not telling my brain to go the fuck to sleep.

Which is exactly what I'm going to do now.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.
I hit Hollywood Video tonight and got Final Destination 2, Spy Kids 2 and Gangs of New York for thirty-three bucks. Spy Kids 2 was expectedly good in a Goonies kind of way, but Final Destination 2 was fucking outstanding. I'll write more about it later, but I'm at my friend's house right now and his Shift key is virtually impossible to work while trying to type at over three words a minute. This shocks the hell out of me, because I don't think he's ever used it in his life.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Cubs almost had the game tonight. I hope tonight's starting pitcher never throws another game in his entire life. ... That said...

So today was Judgment Day in California, and the Terminator is going to take office on Tuesday. God, I hope I'm not the only one who finds something inherently wrong with any number of people voting for a guy who doesn't have a plan, other than, "I'm going to fix things." I mean, getting into office without a track-record isn't that bad. Getting into office (let alone the office of Governor) without a fucking plan is completely beyond me. I don't know who to blame, whether it's the voters or the people who said, "Dude, you'd be a good governor. All you gotta do is sign this bill or veto that one."

And, granted, that's about the crux of being the governor of a state. At least, that's how it is for Illinois, but you have to look at this realistically: Jesse Ventura went into his gubernatorial campaign with a plan. ... And he acheived just about every goal of his plan during his first term in office. People voted for his plan, and they got it, and then somewhere during his second term, they all rebelled on him.

Personally, I'd give Arnold about a year and a half before the whole state rebels on him and mounts another recall. There are eighteen states in the country that have provisions for gubernatorial recall, and I'm willing to bet that the Republicans are going to (given their new success with California) are going to go after the remaining seventeen other states.

Now, given that little sentence, you might say, "Dude, what are you? The mortal enemy of Rush Limbaugh?" The answer, of course, is, "Yes I am," but you didn't let me finish. See, after those recalls are completed, then the Democrats just sit and bide their time, wait for nothing to get fixed, and then they go on recalls of their own. See, this is what happens in the two-party system. I used to laugh at Russia for their wacky run-offs after run-offs, until someone finally achieves a plurality (more than fifty percent, for those of us who don't remember our high school Poli-Sci class), but now it ain't such a bad idea. Furthermore, at least Russia goes with the popular vote, rather than an electoral college, but that's an argument for three years ago.

So, why am I writing all of this on a page that's pretty much devoted to movies? Because Arnold Schwarzenegger won, of course. I'm just trying to tie all of this into the underlying meaning of the page. Had I been the campaign guy for Gary Coleman, I'd have been running ads that said, "Vote for the other Arnold!" and put a picture of the young Gary Coleman up there. I'd have a picture of Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes up here, but Blogger doesn't allow it. Furthermore, I'd actually have to do some work for that, which I'd rather not do, given that I'm still working on the design for my next website. Anyway, you know the "Whatchu Talkin' 'Bout, Willis?" look, so just envision that, and that's what I'd have done.

And California's fucked up, anyway. I'd just as soon never, ever live there. I'm sure I probably will at some point, but once I have some money, then I'll be living in Nevada, and I'll just make the hellish commute to Hollywood. After all, California elected Reagan, who was elected President. Granted, the guy did some good stuff, but he set the precedent for hardcore deficit-spending, which is a concept that our current President has taken to new heights. God, and I remember when the national debt was only three trillion dollars. And if Bush gets re-elected, then it'll be up to ten trillion. And we were paying that shit down under Clinton.

And speaking of Clinton, you've got all these stories out about Schwarzenegger (let's just call him Arnold from now on, because I hate typing out that last name) sexually harassing women and praising Hitler and all of that. Kids, let's just remember that our last President was getting hummers in the Oval Office, and he did a pretty damn good job, domestically. You can argue all you want that we've still got troops in Kosovo or wherever, but the fact is the guy had his shit in order. Take care of America first, and just launch cruise missiles at anyone who pisses us off. Taking over Iraq for no good reason is not good fiscal policy, because it costs a shitload of money. Anyway, let's just hope that Arnold is a woman-groping fiend, rather than a staunch Republican like Dubya.

And that's my political rant for the year. I wouldn't have done this if Bustamante had won, and if Gallagher or Gary Coleman had won, then it'd have been iffy. But Arnold won, and so I think I'm justified in keeping with the movie topic. ... Do I even have any Arnold movies on DVD? Hm... Maybe I should pick up Total Recall tomorrow. Anyway, have a good day, and hope you're not living in California over the next eighteen months.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

Monday, October 06, 2003

I'm writing this at my friend's house. Let me just say this, and then I'll go: The Joe Schmo Show on Spike (the former TNN) is the most entertaining half-hour on television right now. This guy hates chocolate so much that he can't lick it off of a stripper for the purpose of winning a game.

The fact that this guy doesn't know that he's on a fake reality show makes it almost as good a concept as Joe Millionaire, which is a role I was born to play. "You're going to send twenty-five women after me because they all think I'm rich, and all I have to do is lie to them? Sign me up!"

Anyway, I'm going to play some Ghost Master or SimCity 4 now, and then go to bed, so I can go to work tomorrow without passing out halfway through my shift.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Okay, this is the "most retardedest thing I ever heard" (a quote I got from my friend Kevin, with regard to a trip I took a while back), in that -for some godforsaken reason, I can't access Google or Blogger (which is owned by Google) through either of my browsers. So, I'm using the web browser that's built into AOL to type this in -which is more of a pain in the ass than updating my AOL page ever was- and tell all of you that I'm not dead, even though you may wish that I was.

I have no idea if my ISP got bought out by the People's Republic of China and subsequently went and just blocked Google, but that wouldn't shock me, since my ISP went from being awesome to blowing goats once the founders cashed out and sold the company to some other company that just wants to use the bandwidth for hosting corporate webpages. By eliminating dialup users' access to Google, they can effectively piss everyone off and then they won't have to worry about their dialup clients anymore. And, of course, there's absolutely no one you can complain to, because now they're some big company that blows goats, rather than the medium-sized ISP that everyone liked. Bastards.

So, yeah. I'll figure this out eventually, I hope. I've got a bunch of DVD's on my desk that I can mock. Unfortunately, in the meantime, I'm going to have to just figure this crap out and play some more Madden 2004 and Metroid... and maybe later this week I'll pick up a copy of Pikmin. For how much I'm playing my Cube these days, y'all might never see me again.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.