When no interpretation is needed, simply state the facts:
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys...
The plot is incomprehensible. The dialog of the Autobots, Deceptibots and Otherbots is meaningless word flap. Their accents are Brooklyese, British and hip-hop, as befits a race from the distant stars. Their appearance looks like junkyard throw-up. They are dumb as a rock. They share the film with human characters who are much more interesting, and that is very faint praise indeed.
The movie has been signed by Michael Bay. This is the same man who directed "The Rock" in 1996. Now he has made "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Faust made a better deal. This isn't a film so much as a toy tie-in. Children holding a Transformer toy in their hand can invest it with wonder and magic, imagining it doing brave deeds and remaining always their friend. I knew a little boy once who lost his blue toy truck at the movies, and cried as if his heart would break. Such a child might regard "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" with fear and dismay.
The human actors are in a witless sitcom part of the time, and lot of the rest of their time is spent running in slo-mo away from explosions, although--hello!--you can't outrun an explosion. They also make speeches like this one by John Turturro: "Oh, no! The machine is buried in the pyramid! If they turn it on, it will destroy the sun! Not on my watch!" The humans, including lots of U.S. troops, shoot at the Transformers a lot, although never in the history of science fiction has an alien been harmed by gunfire.
There are many great-looking babes in the film, who are made up to a flawless perfection and look just like real women, if you are a junior fanboy whose experience of the gender is limited to lad magazines. The two most inexplicable characters are Ron and Judy Witwicky (Kevin Dunn and Julie White), who are the parents of Shia LaBeouf, who Mephistopheles threw in to sweeten the deal. They take their son away to Princeton, apparently a party school, where Judy eats some pot and goes berserk. Later they swoop down out of the sky on Egypt, for reasons the movie doesn't make crystal clear, so they also can run in slo-mo from explosions.
The battle scenes are bewildering. A Bot makes no visual sense anyway, but two or three tangled up together create an incomprehensible confusion. I find it amusing that creatures that can unfold out of a Camaro and stand four stories high do most of their fighting with...fists. Like I say, dumber than a box of staples. They have tiny little heads, except for Starscream®, who is so ancient he has an aluminum beard.
Aware that this movie opened in England seven hours before Chicago time and the morning papers would be on the streets, after writing the above I looked up the first reviews as a reality check. I was reassured: "Like watching paint dry while getting hit over the head with a frying pan!" (Bradshaw, Guardian); "Sums up everything that is most tedious, crass and despicable about modern Hollywood!" (Tookey, Daily Mail); "A giant, lumbering idiot of a movie!" (Edwards, Daily Mirror). The first American review, however, reported that it "feels destined to be the biggest movie of all time" (Todd Gilchrist, Cinematical). It’s certainly the biggest something of all time.
Everyone's favorite half-cocked Libyan leader back in the news, offering a hero's welcome to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, aka the Lockerbie jackass, and helping drive the nail into Gordon Brown's political career by talking about how such close friends they are now after they got through this difficult political time together. Most people are rightly pissed off about the Lockerbie bomber, but the right wing is also looking to make some political hay out of it, since it reminds everyone about terrorism and supposedly puts Obama in a bind now that Gadhafi (I'll choose that spelling) is coming stateside for a UN visit. Never mind that just a few years ago, America's new-found friendship with our Libyan partners against nuclear proliferation was supposed to represent a big success for Bush, whose foreign policy so terrified Ghadafi that he volunteered to give up his goods. A dubious claim to begin with, but even if true, I'm not sure that screwing up the entire Middle East is worth securing part of the Barbary Coast. But let's get back to that stateside visit. Gadhafi freaked out the New Jersey town of Englewood when he announced that he wanted to pitch his customary traveling tent there. Gadhafi, you see, only rooms Bedouin-style. Even in New Jersey. (The plan was scrapped.) So, what kind of dude is so flamboyant no hotel could contain his stylistic requirements? This type:
My friend Todd Hughes has done estate sales for years, and in the process has combed through thousands of antiques, collectibles, ephemera, valuable artifacts, junk, and just plain weird shit. Sifting through a recent pile of holographic material unearthed this incredible find:
Todd: Thought you might be able to step in and help broker a deal on it.
Me: At last -- after all these years, you finally found it! What if that thing had special powers, and the Nazis were trying to use it to win the war but you got it back from them with your rugged pluck and bullwhip!
Todd: I know. I'm afraid if I drop it it'll release its power and dimensions will be torn asunder. I'll have to select my particle cannon and start blastin...
Remember when you used to read funny things on the internet and print them out? Me neither. But I guess I did, because I just was rooting around in some old files and found this piece of paper on which is printed one of them goofy craigslist ads. May have even been before Best of Craigslist, which is why I must have read it with a chuckle, murmured "got to save this one," and hit PRINT. And then stuck it in my closet for seven years. But I was on the right track, because I tried finding it again online, maybe on a blog, or perhaps even a livejournal. Guess what? Nuthin! Praise be to my anticipatory archival instincts and typesetting abilities for preserving this important material for posterity:
newyork.craigslist.org > housing swap > Christian Gun Owner Seeks Young Man to Help Around House
$350 / Christian Gun Owner Seeks Young Man to Help Around House
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sat Nov 9 00:17:20 2002
I am a proud, freedom loving American in search of a young man to help out around the house. My wife died early this year and left behind myself and our 17 year old daughter. We are looking for someone to help out with chores around the house. In exchange you will pay $350 a month to live in the master bedroom.
The room is 25'x20' with its own private bath. It also has hardwood floors, a large bay window that faces the ocean, a frie place and comes fully furnihsed with a big screen TV and a stereo.
The chores include taking out the trash and feeding the dog, Rufus. You will also have full kitchen access and are invited to eat together with my daughter and I. But don't you dare lay a hand on my little girl. She may look a lot older than she is, but I guarantee you she is young and innocent and doesn't need a funny business in her life. If you touch her in a way that I think is inappropriate, I swear on my honor as a Marine and a Christian, I will make you sorry you ever hit puberty. Remember, every Marine is a trained rifleman.
This is perfect for a college student or an honest, god-fearing young man who needs a place to call home. Foreigners and other terrorist types not welcome.
Before you come by, ask yourself these questions -- Can I disassemble and clean a 1903 Springfield? An HK MP-5? An AR-15? A 1911 Colt .45? If so, how fast? Is that fast enough? Can I improve? How? Remember, these are important life skills, not just chores.
But still those haters make you mad, right? Don't despair; I have an answer: Tranches! That's right. Just like in global finance. Worked well for them, right?
Here's how it works: just collect all the deranged, misspelled, wild-eyed, flaming crazy interbabble, put it one place, and all toxic effect is neutralized. Especially when you realize that haters always come out of the woodwork, even giving 1-star reviews to The Godfather, the Rolling Stones, and even The Diary of Anne Frank. This is the mission of Cynical-C, a blog wherein is collected a hilarious series of 1-star reviews and attending nonsense commentaries about the great masterworks of our time. The Odyssey? "900 pages too long." Spinal Tap? "Don’t buy this trash! Just wait until Limp Bizkit (the greatest band
ever!) makes a documentary on their wild and crazy and cool antics!" The Godfather? "As boring as a trip to the doctor’s. No good
violence, no hot sex scenes, and furthermore, it stereotypes Italians.
The only decent movie in this series is The Godfather III." The Wizard of Oz? "If anyone holds a gun to your head and forces you to see it, pull the trigger."
See? Tranching! Just throw all the crap together and it becomes harmless and funny. Case closed. I like the internet again.
This was a real product. Patented and everything. Because you wouldn't want anyone stealing your idea for dilator that can cure your “piles, constipation, and prostrate
problems” and lubricate the rectum through secreting holes in the tip. The motto: “large enough to be
efficient, small enough for anyone over 15 years old.”
This, from a list of ill-advised "men's products," which also includes a chest hair toupee, a radioactive jockstrap, and a "spermatic truss," a metal apparatus designed to forcibly prevent erections.
Instead of showing me how many calories I've burned, what if there
was a graphic representation of those calories - as delicious food? So
when I start running there is just a pile of shredded lettuce but as I
continue to run, some pickles rain down, followed by buns, a 100%
all-beef patty, followed by all the "fixin's and spreads" ... I need
the treadmill because I love food and so what better to keep me
motivated than by having me "chase" a juicy burger that only gets
juicier looking - the more I run?
When we "roll out" the
device, we will have other options besides burger, including several
vegetarian entrees. In fact, I am envisioning at least 10 different
food options. We will have everything from hot fudge sundaes to sushi.
When I was at the LA Weekly, the office was on Sunset and the limited nearby lunch options often meant a quick walk up to Hollywood blvd. There, I spent a fair amount of time in fascinated study of the impersonating buskers always lurking in front of the the Chinese Theater. From Baja Fresh you could see them, harassing passersby and arranging themselves according to their own unspoken pecking order, which seemed to be some combination of seniority and likeness. For his brief tenure, the fairly acrobatic Blade had a good spot, and the three Jack Sparrows all looked pretty good until you got up close. One of them did have appropriately rotten teeth, but in general Bat Man was the most convincing, if for no other reason than his utility belt provided a natural destination for tips, whereas Superman and Spiderman had to wear black fanny packs over their brightly colored spandex. It was impossible not to sense tragedy when Superman would zip up his crumpled dollar bills. Or when he and Wonder Woman would come into Baja Fresh and quietly eat their Dos Manos burritos in the corner. Or when you caught them changing into their costumes in an alley off Yucca, as I did one unfortunate day.
I was especially sorry for the guy dressed up like drunk Homer Simpson. It felt like he got that costume for a hundred bucks off but should have sprung for the regular, sober Homer, because visitors from Nebraska don't want their kids approached by a giant cartoon drunk. He was largely ostracized. Down on the next block, the Ripley's Believe-it-or-Not Museum wanted to get in on the action with it's own dress up movie persona. Their mascot was Rambo, the one man killing machine. There we was, every day, standing in the door way and wearing a canvas sack like he was about to invade Afghanistan -- again! Ripley's required their Rambo to stay at his post. While the many freelance Elmos came and went as they pleased, the itinerant lone wolf soldier was chained to a place with a plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex emerging from the roof. All day long, he would stare longingly towards the Chinese Theater, wishing he could join his colleagues.
That's where the action was, in more ways than one. The first confrontation caught on tape was The Chebacca Incident. Chewie was arrested for headbutting a tourist guide who told his Japanese clients they didn't have to pony up money for pictures with the Wookie. It wasn't the first time something like that had happened. Elmo and Mr. Incredible and the hooded sad-face killer from Scream were arrested together a few months earlier for harassing people with "agressive begging." A little while before that, Freddy Krueger was arrested for stabbing a homeless man with his homemade claw hand. Once, on the Famima patio, I saw two Jack Sparrows once getting into it. They both drew their souvenir cutlasses before cooler heads prevailed. Maybe it's a good thing Rambo never showed up.
Now, the costumed heroes have more to fear than each other. A turf war has erupted between the impersonators and the CD vendors. Nacho Libre was attacked recently. Spiderm`an saw it all. I recommend watching the ABC Eyewitness News report. But be prepared for the emotional difficulty of, as their live reporter calls it, "seeing a superhero get a beat down." Apparently, the CD vendors have attacked the costumed impersonators many times, and police have been slow to help. Where's Chewie and Freddy when you need them? Superman has taken the lead in addressing the problem. He wrote a letter to the Mayor. There's talk of licensing. Something has to be done. If that doesn't work, they might want to consider heading down to Ripley's and unleashing the fury.
The bad part: an unidentified 39-year-old man in
Moenchengladbach, Germany, lost his keys. The good part: he was pretty
sure he had accidentally tossed them into a public trash bin with some
papers. The bad part: it had a narrow opening, and the top doesn't come
off easily. The good part: he could fit his head and arm into the
opening. The bad part: he got so stuck he couldn't move. The good part:
a friend happened by, and called the fire brigade to come help. The bad
part: they couldn't get him out either, so they widened the hole and
shoved him the rest of the way in. The bad part: it took another half
hour before they were able to get the top off. The good part: by the
time he finally emerged, he had found his keys. The bad part:
in his pocket.
So you think you have a bad first date story? I doubt it compares to this. In case this incredible testament to perseverance and forgiveness disappears from the internet, here it is in full:
I posted an item a week ago in hopes of finding a specific woman. I
received a number of encouraging emails from people, but one person
decided to respond to me rather rudely and flag it for
"miscategorized." It was posted under "men seeking women". I am a man,
seeking a woman. I really thought that was clear in the post.
It is sad to see that someone feels the need to wrongly flag my post
and then email me with mean phrases that looked as if they were strung
together by a ten year old.
So, to the person that wasn't courage enough to send me an email with their real name:
1) Go back to school. Get your G.E.D. and enjoy your life washing dishes at Denny's.
2) If you are going to send an email attacking someone, have the courage to leave your name. My name is Tad.
3) She contacted me today so go fuck yourself!
To those that read this and is not the mean person: I apologize for
saying "fuck" but I really do think the cowardly person should stop
being mean to others OR I hope he/she is mean to the wrong person (wink
The original post was this:
We met on Craigslist so I am hoping that this post finds you. I know
that it could quite possibly be the most humiliating first date that
you have ever been on, but I am willing to look past that.
I thought we had chemistry sitting at McMenamins sharing that basket of
Cajun Tots while drinking the Terminator Stout. I really felt like
there was a connection there. I found you to be intelligent and witty
and looked forward to further conversation with you.
At some point in life, everyone has gambled on a fart and lost. It just
happened to be on a first date in the passenger seat of my car. Please
don’t feel bad. The package I sent you with Pepto the next day and the
note that said “First dates are always a crap shoot. Call me” was meant
to be funny, not offensive.
I have gambled on a fart and lost on multiple occasions. The first time
I did it was very memorable. It happened when I was five and sitting on
my uncle's lap. I am lactose intolerant, but love cheese. I probably
win 95% of the time, but I don't think anyone wins 100% of the time.
That's why they call it "gambling". I'm the last person to judge you
for crapping your pants. In fact, I am impressed by your boldness. The
timing on the other hand, could have been a tad bit better...like when
you're not sitting on a heated leather seat...
What I am trying to say is that if you want to go out again, I
would be more than happy to take you someplace where we can get a meal
that is high in fiber and less taxing on the digestive tract.
I await your call,
P.S. - If you shat yourself on purpose to end the evening early…Touché…
1,385 of 1,406 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007
By Ari Brouillette
Please allow me to share with you how "The Secret" changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of "The Secret" is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don't want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.
At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.
My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.
Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I've never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of "The Secret". Normally I wouldn't have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn't have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.
The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the "Law of Attraction" in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn't exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.
The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.
Well the story has run and comments are starting to filter in. I think you did a very good job trying to report both sides of the story. I also seem to feel that you understand from where most of the Santas stand on this situation. Only time will tell what will happen. For most of us, we hope everything will die down and we can move on with the real business of Santa. I think that the coming convention in March will be a wonderful bonding element and help to set a focus for the future.
On another note, some of the Santa’s and especially a few Mrs. Claus, have also read your blogs and most also enjoyed your story on the Shreddies!
The rest of The Smoking Gun's Best Mugshots of the Year are here. The portfolio closes with a bad news Brady Bunch composite of people arrested wearing various Obama flair. But my favorite is this guy, who gets his own page, most likely because took the trouble to include Biden in his etchwork:
I'm sure Ol' Joe appreciates that he wasn't forgotten! They are a team, after all.
The Zombie Zeitgeist A full scale movement is on the lurch. But why the best zombie movie ever made a video game?
Believer interview with Mark Allen Digital artist and awesome gallerist Mark Allen talks about Tekken Torture Tournament and other projects where people were wired to machines and did strange things in public.
Believer interview with Marjane Satrapi Enlightening Q & A with the Persian cartoonist, memoirist, quick conversationalist in which she declares: “THE WORLD IS NOT ABOUT BATMAN AND ROBIN FIGHTING THE JOKER; THINGS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.”
Yeti Researcher Yet another 100-page issue of the world's top academic journal devoted scholarship about the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasqatch, and other mystery primates worldwide. For researchers and lay audiences alike, the latest YR features a history of Sasquatch sightings in southern California, an update on the wily orang pendek of Sumatra, and a new look into Teddy Roosevelt's obsession with bagging a Bigfoot. As Editor-in-Chief, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Panda PowerPoint! I guess I don't mind being "the entertainment" when it's at Mark Allen's second annual Holiday Fry-B-Que. Presented: preliminary findings from my ongoing research into the most charismatic megafauna of all: Giant Pandas.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Dec 9, 2006 For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
Jest Fest at Skylight Books Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006 Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006 The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.