Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Festivus For The Rest Of Us

If you don't know what Festivus is, I am too tired to explain it to you. It is from Seinfeld, let them tell you:

At our school, we have a Festivus tradition that began our freshman year. We do the whole deal, we have a pole, an big whiteboard for grievance airing, which includes anything from "Finals suck" to "grad school apps suck" to "you suck" and feats of strength, which this year was a mechanical bull. It was awesome even if I only managed to stay on for fourteen seconds. Rest assured it was an exceedingly epic fourteen seconds.

Also, there was a photo booth and through it's use my friends and I learned many valuable lessons, namely:

Cramming seven or so people in a photo booth is generally a bad idea

But Ashley C. makes hilarious faces in said bad idea situations

You never know when your younger brother will crash bff photo-time

But it's usually quite awesome when he does

So guess who's still writing their Blade Runner paper?

(raises hand, sobs gently)

So you'll understand if I leave now, right? I still love you, but it's 2am and I need to kill this bitch. So, bye for now.

I tried to find pictures of Sean Connery doing puppy-eyes but all there were was pictures of him being manly and awesome

(My RA had a program where we all got cookies and hot chocolate)

Lauren (my RA): "So we have regular hot chocolate, I also have some leftover from Halloween that turns milk orange"

Me: :D "That's awesome!" (I pour some in) "I am excited!"

Jared (brother): "That's kind of sad,"

Me: "I don't have a lot in my life to get excited about right now,"

Jared: "That's also sad,"

Monday, November 29, 2010



But first, I am sad to report that comedic actor, parody king and Canadian Leslie Nielson died today from pneumonia complications. Which is a hell of a bummer. Though his heyday was mostly in 80's-ish, he will always be remembered for, among other things, this immortal line from the movie Airplane! (stop giving me that look, the exclamation's part of the title)

This one's my personal favorite from The Fugitive parody, Wrongfully Accused, back when parody movies were actually funny as opposed to a form of torture outlawed by the Geneva convention.


Moving on, Jess won the latest banner quote, proving that she watches Donnie Darko far more closely than a normal person. Pick a paint picture, Jess! And know that it will be far more awesome than they have been because I HAVE A DRAWING TABLET...well specifically I HAVE MY BROTHER'S OLD DRAWING TABLET THAT HE NO LONGER USES. But that's not terribly succinct. Either way, it's super fun and the last thing I need right now because it is distracting the crap out of me when I am supposed to be writing papers and such. So instead of being productive, I practiced Tablet-ing and even if it looks just as crappy, I can do it faster and with much less carpal tunnel so it's win-win.

My first attempt off the bat. (heh, bat). I know, it hurts me to look at it too

Second try, a scene from me and Sean Connery's treasure-hunting adventure. Crazy times.

Number 3 is my favorite, Ash from Evil Dead about to go apeshit on some deadites!

I dunno why Javi's on fire, but rest assured if he ever was actually on fire, he'd probably react in this manner

Attempt number billiondy-twelve: OHMIGOSH I LOVE THIS TABLET SO MUCH GUYS

So bring it, Jess! I'm ready.

Not much else to talk about. Finals are nigh and I am paper-ing my ass off,which sucks. A lot. Higher learning = overrated. I will instead explore the alternative lifestyle of the boxcar hobo.

I imagine it will be exactly like this

This is Sugary Cynic, saying "Don't call me Shirley" 'Night!

Ashley: "You always compliment my butt, why never my character?"

Me: "Well, I don't really feel qualified to compliment character. I don't really know what qualifies as good character. Like, if I saw someone crash a shopping cart into a herd of nuns I'd say that was awesome character"

Richard: "...A herd of nuns?"

Me: "Yeah, nuns travel in herds, like yak or oxen but FOR THE LORD"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cynic's Tribute To The Finger Gun Fight

Ladies and Gentlemen of the internet world, I believe it is fairly obvious at this juncture that I am a geek. A really, really big one. And as a geek, I tend do things like this:

No, nothing cool like a flash mob gunfight, just the finger-gun part. Usually in public. Because I have no shame.

The point is, fnger gun fights are awesome because they combine a human being's capacity for creativity and imagination with it's inherent desire to visit extreme violence on things! So, because I feel you need to be educated, and also because I have done nothing but work on my Blade Runner paper (Go Me), here are some excellent finger gun fights:

The first is from the late 90's British TV series, Spaced aka The Best Thing Ever, brought to you by the team behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Be forewarned, it is INTENSELY EPIC. Small children should be herded out of the room, unless they're not yours, in which case, let them watch and encourage them to do this as frequently as possible:

Extra points for sound effects

Next, in a direct homage to Spaced is Cougar Town of all things. This scene is so awesome that even though I'm pretty sure Cougar Town is about an older lady who used to be on Friends boning younger men (going off the title anyway), I kind of want to watch it now. Before you judge, check out the clip:

See? Also, I love the guy yelling "I love Spaced!" At least they're acknowledging it.

And finally, my personal favorite, an early Xbox commercial that for some reason (evil gypsy voodoo) never saw the light of day. Instead we got that one of people jump-roping. Which is stupid. There's no reasoning behind this commercial being banned, except maybe for being TOO awesome.

Maybe they were worried that after that, playing Xbox wouldn't look like much in comparison.

And that's it. This Sugary Cynic, asking you to join her finger-gun flash mob (wow, that sounded way dirtier than I thought it would) 'night!

PS. New banner quote (shock!)

(During Postmodern class after watching Blade Runner)

Dr. Hess: "And what did you guys think of the scene where Deckard pretty much forces himself on Rachael?"

Drew: "I...I can't even talk about it"

Me: "It was extremely uncomfortable"

Alex: "It just came out of nowhere and I was like 'is this bitch gonna get raped?'"

(horrified silence)

Dr. Hess: "...Well, that was the worst choice of words ever"

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Continuing Fatigue of Thanksgiving

Hello guys, I am Black-Friday'd out. I hit them good deals, yo! (It's an ironic yo, that makes it ok). I also ended up spending last night asleep on the couch because there was a huge carpenter ant crawling on my arm, which fell off somewhere into my bed when I leaped in terror in what I assure you was a very bad-ass manner and not at all like a little girl shrieking after she's wet herself.

Not like that at all.

Anyway, the mutant ant fell into my bed and even though I ripped all my sheets off I couldn't find it. So, knowing that thing was in my bed, I couldn't just turn off the lights and call it a night. Every little tickle or itch I felt was the big friggin ant getting ready to lay babies in my ear-canal (they do that. For reals. Maybe) So I slept on the couch. Now, I realize that I may seem like, well ya know, a pussy, but I can't help it, I've always been terrified of any and all bugs.And it may have something to do with my bed suddenly being infested with ants when I was in 10th grade.


So I'm pretty tired and stuff. Here's a video of a dancing butt:


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things I Am Thankful For

So most likely no post tomorrow guys, because it's We Murdered Native Americans and Shit Day...er, Thanksgiving and family time and junk, so unless I see a killer movie or just post bullshit or something, consider this your Thanksgiving post. Cuz even slackers like me need a day off. Anyway, I've gotten into the habit of posting Thanksgiving-related items of various degrees of thankful-ocity on Facebook, and then the thought struck: Why should only my Facebook friends suffer? With that in mind, here are some things I am thankful for during this Thanksgiving:

That I am not on fire

That I have not been kidnapped by zombie gypsies (they're out there)

Batman band-aids

Jet packs

Joseph Gordon Levitt


Your mom


And of course, tumblrs full of funny Inception pictures

Cat Stevens

bright green alcoholic beverages

violent cartoons

Kid Cudi's new album

Scott Westerfeld's latest in the Steampunk trilogy Leviathan:

So. Damn. Awesome.


the word askance


guys named Collins

Scott Pilgrim

blanket forts

They bring people together

That turkeys have not learned how to use automatic weapons and/or gained a thirst for vengeance

You twits out in internet-land

Hans Zimmer


All kitties everywhere ever forever

Don't act like you're not thankful for them too

This is Sugary Cynic, apparently full to bursting with all this damn thankfulness. To everyone residing in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving. To everyone residing everywhere else, Happy Thursday. It's almost the weekend! 'Night!

(On my father's turkey seasoning techniques)

Dad: "I might jerk the turkey"

Brother: (barely stifled giggling) "Will it take long to jerk?"

Dad: "Nah, I shouldn't be jerking it for too long"


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your Assignment

Write a caption for the first official screenshot from Sherlock Holmes 2: Holmes Harder

I request, nay, DEMAND lunacy from you people

Don't let me down.

Malice In Wonderland (No, Really, That's It's Name)

>:( this is my frowny face. I do not get you people. I do shitty posts and feel bad about doing shitty posts, and then I actually ya know, put work into one and spend far too much time on it as I try to make it interesting and- nothing. Piffle. Zilch.

Truly, there is a lolcat for every occasion.

Aaaaaaand I'm over it. Thank you, short attention span! Tonight I watched a weird little movie called Malice in Wonderland that popped up in my "Hey maybe you might like this thing because, I dunno, you like things, right?" section of Netflix.

Cynic Tip: DO NOT SEARCH FOR THIS ON YOUTUBE! There is apparently another film called Malice In Wonderland, it's from the eighties and is freaky-ass animated porn. Be afraid.

This Malice In Wonderland instead attempts to mash the old story of the titular Alice with a modern tale of sordid Londoners, drugs, sex and gangsters. It goes about as well as could be expected. The movie kicks off with Maggie Grace as our blonde heroine, an American running around London like a crazy person evading two random dudes and briefly interacting with a nutty hobo woman who I'm sure totally won't be massively significant to the plot later on. Frggin magic hobos.

So after Alice communes with her homeless friend, she runs into the street and, as most people would, gets partially flattened by a taxi cab. Thankfully, she's fine, just stricken with a touch of convenient movie amnesia, which leads to her being bundled into the cab by the driver, a twitchy guy named Whitey played by Danny Dyer, who, based on the fact that he has a watch on each wrist and won't shut his Cockney face about the time, is the White Rabbit of this version. But I'm not being fair, Whitey is kind of adorable and sweet in a low-rent criminal way and ended up being my favorite character by far. He promises to bring Alice back where she belongs, except she doesn't even remember her name at this point, and also Whitey is too distracted by driving around the criminal underground "wonderland" trying to find the perfect gift for mob boss Harry Hunt's "released from prison party" Harry Hunt is, in this case, the Red Queen, exemplified by the fact that he is a violent killer, and also gay as can be.

Also he's Nathaniel Parker. Hi, Nathaniel Parker! Why the hell aren't you in more things?

So Alice is basically bounced around this gangsters and thugs version of Wonderland that, while containing bits and things that cannot exist in our world, never pretends at being otherworldly, which is interesting, especially in how characters are translated: The Mad Hatter becomes Hattie, owner of a "mobile brothel" and when Alice steals her tarts, in this case it means she hijacks a truck full of hookers. Classay. Meanwhile the Catepillar is a crazy rasta druggie who only speaks in rhyme and has one of the trippier/filler moments of the film, a black dude with an incredibly cool voice as a magical mind DJ (I'm serious) as the Cheshire cat and in the middle of it all, young Alice, trying to unravel who the hell she is and why she was gallivanting around London in the first place.

All the while doggedly clinging to a single facial expression

So ultimately it's a crazy, surreal dark mess. The good points: Alice's acting actually does improve as the film goes on (go figure) her character also becomes more dynamic and interesting. The moments between Whitey and Alice also feel genuine and cute, which is important because a good chunk of the ending depends on that chemistry. Considering the low budget, the visuals are surprisingly engaging and inventive and the characters are all quirky and memorable. It's definitely the most original take I've seen on Alice in Wonderland, even if the ending is kind of random and flees from the general storyline.

But honestly, for all it's flaws and scenes that go nowhere, this entertained more than Tim Burton's version. Like, a lot more. And that has to count for something, right?

Plus, c'mon, lookit that face!

Malice In Wonderland nets itself a surprising three catapults out five. Because their Mad Hatter may have been a hooker, but at least she wasn't a break-dancing pedo-clown.

You'd think the nightmares would have stopped by now. You'd be wrong.

This is Sugary Cynic, hoping there's wi-fi down the rabbit hole. 'Night!

Whitey: "What do I get a man who can rob anything?"

Alice: "What about a cake?"

Whitey: "Who gets a mobster a cake?"

Alice: "...Someone who cares?"

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Wouldn't Steal A Movie...Unless You're Val Kilmer

Sup, internet? You know what I think about way too much? Extras in car chases. Like in the Rock, when Sean Connery is blasting through the streets in San Fransisco in a stolen Hummer and it's rad as hell because chase scenes are Michael Bay's porn? And he's side-swiping cars while yelling out quips like:

But what about the poor dude who was just trying to drive to work before getting fucking T-boned by Sean Connery's Hummer? He's killing bitches left and right, and not just FBI dudes but perfectly innocent civilians who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Will someone check and make sure they're ok? I think it's only because I've seen this movie dozens of times that this is where my mind goes when I watch that chase scene...

Anyway, today's post is not about movie extras getting in the way of Sean Connery's engine of death, but of my top five favorite movies with a supporting character who violently wrestles the film out of the lead's grubby hands and proceeds to flee with it. Why? The better question is why are you even asking? I mean, when the hell do I have a legitimate reason for ANYTHING I do?


Number 5: Willem Defoe as Agent Smecker in Boondock Saints

You're jealous because you've never looked this fabulous while fighting crime

In a movie where the main characters are two crazy Irish brothers who have decided to go to town on the Mafia all guns a'blazing, you know for someone to steal the movie, they'd have to pretty damn awesome. Well Dafoe is. In the movie he plays an FBI agent assigned to figure out who the hell is murdering mobsters in such a ridiculous unbelievable fashion. Smecker is quirky from the start, re-imagining crime scenes with the aid of opera and copious arm-waving. Smecker is crazy. Brilliant, but also quite mental. It only gets better when he becomes sympathetic to the brothers' cause and helps infiltrate the mob's lair while in drag. Oh and yes, he's quite gay. BAD-ASSEDLY GAY. Which leads to this scene, one of my absolute favorite in the entire movie and why, for me, Willem Dafoe walks away with Boondock Saints:

No one dares cuddle with DAFOE!!

Number 4: Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Count in The Boat That Rocked (As opposed to the American version, Pirate Radio, which for whatever reason was missing half the goddamn scenes, arguably the BEST scenes. Dammit)

He's got them crazy eyes

The Boat That Rocked (don't you say Pirate Radio to me, I will shank you), details the wacky adventures of a bunch of dudes out in the middle of the ocean in the sixties playing all the awesome rock music deemed not fit for the airwaves by stodgy British men in suits. The lone American on the vessel is The Count, and while this movie has an incredible ensemble cast full of some of my favorite actors, PSH (he's joining the three-word-name ranks of RDJ and JGL) is by far the funniest. He gets all the best lines and moments, like when he tries to say "fuck" on the air that Youtube won't let me embed because it is stupid, so watch it here, and he has a freaking great speech near the end of the movie when the ship is sinking, they all appear to be doomed and he decides to broadcast til the end. Unfortunately, I can't embed that one either. muuurrrr. Maybe it's a cheesy speech, but I feel like it's true and heartfelt and awesome and it just makes me love his character even more.

Number 3: Christopher Walken as Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction

Oh the things that watch has seen

I say Pulp Fiction, what do you think of? Naturally, you think of royales with cheese, needles being jammed in Uma Thurman's sternum and what will happen if you SAY WHAT AGAIN. But you also think of Christopher Walken, and the pocket-watch he stowed in his ass. Bruce Willis's character in the movie has a beloved watch that has been passed down in his family for generations. We're given a flashback to him as a child, when Captain Koons, his father's war buddy delivers him the watch, and tells him just where that hunk of metal's been:

He's literally in the movie for less than five minutes, but everyone who's seen Pulp Fiction remembers this scene. He just shows up and Walkens the hell out of it, probably scarring tiny Bruce Willis for life with his ass story. How can you possibly focus on anything else in the movie after this scene?

Number 2: Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee in Zombieland

There's really nothing I can add this

I never cared about Woody Harrelson much. He was that weird hippie dude who used to play that idiot on Cheers. Then I saw Zombieland, the hilarious account of trying to survive in a zombified world. It's sick, twisted and unbelievably funny. If you haven't seen this movie, know that I am judging you and think less of you as a person. Anyway, our nerdy young hero Columbus, trying very hard not to die, meets up with Tallahassee, a dude driving around in a Hummer with pruning shears in the trunk used expressly for killing zombies as he journeys on his quest to murder and maim the undead and find Twinkies. Tallahassee is straight up the coolest guy ever to be in a zombie movie, bar none. He kills a zombie with a banjo, wears a snakeskin jacket and is certifiably insane. He's also a deadpan snarker and lovable as hell.

When the movie was almost over, the only character that I cared whether they lived or died was Tallahassee. Screw Abigail Breslin.

Number 1: Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone

You will never be this awesome

In a movie that is ostensibly about Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp, cleaning up Arizona one shoot-out at a time, it's really about Val Kilmer as the gambling, drinking, fighting, tuberculosis-having Doc Holliday. He saunters through the whole movie with a self-assured drawl, dry and bitterly sarcastic, Holliday is Wyatt Earp's right hand man, but Val Kilmer is the one who steals the spotlight, whether it's by jokes or badassery or a mix of both:

He rides across the West killing bad dudes even though every other second he's hacking up lung matter. He's cooler than any other character in the movie and his scenes range from funny as hell to heart-wrenching. Kilmer is better here than he has ever been and shows up Kurt Russell easy. Tombstone is an excellent Western and a killer movie on it's own, but with Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, it's unmissable. He is Western bad-ass personified.

And there you have it. Five guys who take the movie and run, and make it all the better for it. This is Sugary Cynic, practicing her Walken voice. 'Night!

(When Wyatt tells Doc Holliday to lay off the booze)

Holliday: "Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nothing Tonight

Sorry guys, I'm starting to feel not well and I really cannot afford to get sick before finals. I already feel pretty crappy so I'm just gonna take tonight. In the meantime, here is a picture of Karl Urban as the new Judge Dredd (prepare youreselves):

Not quite as good as Edgar Allen Poe John Cusack but they can't all be home-runs. See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crazy Cynic's Trailer Bonanza!

I have been up for 38 hours...again. I dunno why I do this to myself. I blame getting out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at 3am last night. Because it's convenient to blame things that aren't me. So, in an effort to maintain my ebbing sanity, we're just going to take a look at the massive deluge of new trailers recently.

Cars 2

Hey kids! Remember that movie that is pretty much unanimously considered Pixar's weakest entry? Now there's a super-spy sequel! Because why not? Also Michael Caine! Do you care yet? ...Me neither.

Red Riding Hood


The Warrior's Way

Everything that was wrong with that trailer was instantly negated the second Geoffrey Rush uttered the words: "Ninjas...damn" SOLD.

The Nutcracker

Pros: Steampunk elements, Elle Fanning who I love and was amazing in Phoebe in Wonderland

Cons: This looks absolutely retarded in every way. Also why is Nathan Lane Albert Einstein?

Cowboys and Aliens


*Ahem* looks like fun. And speaking of Harrison Ford, I'd like to finish off the evening with an amazing video of Conan O'Brian interviewing Harrison Ford, who is clearly high as BALLS. Just watch him as he strokes the furniture, trails off and just generally acts hilariously medicated. Also there are random acts of blimp. Watch it the whole way through, it is so worth it:

This is Sugary Cynic, and I want some of whatever Harrison Ford's smoking. 'Night!

Javie: "Cowboys and Aliens?"

Me: "Blonde James Bond and Elderly Indiana Jones versus fucking aliens. It's PERFECT"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and The JK Rowling Kills Everyone

Other options for titles:

Harry Potter and The Worst Camping Trip Ever

Harry Potter and The Everything Sucks Forever

Harry Potter and The Shit Gets Real

Harry Potter and The Villain Who Looked Like An Idiot

"Oh no, guys!! Watch out, it's...*snicker*"

He looks like a noseless cancer patient. The Dark Lord Voldemort was the scariest fucking antagonist I had ever read in my tiny nerd life back when I was little and reading the books, and now he looks less threatening than...than,

Than this, really

But I'm getting ahead of myself, I suppose. The reason this post is so late is because I just got back from the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! FOR FREE. How? You might wonder. Well maybe I'm just that cool and super-special...or maybe the school was giving away free tickets. Shut up. Either way, I got to see it tonight, so nyah nyah!

It's weird to think this is the next to last one, I mean, I was nine years old when I read the first book, that's eleven freaking years ago! And the first movie is nine years old. I have literally grown up with Harry Potter so it's pretty crazy that this is it. And no matter how hit or miss the movies have been over the years, no matter how cheesy certain bits are or how overplayed the Potter Universe may have become, when the movie started and logo flashed and the quiet chiming theme music started up, all the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and I felt like I was eleven years old all over again, going to the see first movie, beyond excited to see the books come to life on the big screen.

And then we actually saw the Death Eaters. Voldy's issue is obvious, Snape for whatever reason has extra long and bouncy tresses and really heavy eye-liner. Go figure. Meanwhile Bellatrix looks like a strung-out crackhead and the usually-fabulous Lucious Malfoy looks like the aftermath of an all-night bender. Are these the bad guys or a support group of some kind?

Anyway, Harry Potter 7 Part 1 wants you to know right away that shit gets real. Remember in those early movies, when little Harry was learning all about magic and wonder? FUCK THAT. JK Rowling has decided to lose what was left of the whimsy and start killing bitches, and does she ever. I won't ruin it for you if you've never read the books, but no one is safe: minor characters, major characters, beloved characters, family pets. No one is safe from the murderous will of JK Rowling.

"HEDWIG!! ...And I thought I was ruthless!"

(ok so I spoiled one. The owl dies. Sorry.)

Anywhoo, even though it was an obvious money-grab, I was glad that the last movie was split in two, now it had time and space to breath and tell the story properly, get in all the action and...what was in the 7th book anyway? (flips through pages) Camping, bickering, camping, being sad, camping, destroying horcruxes, bickering some more, camping...well shit.

And the movie does not skimp on the camping. When Voldemort's influence spreads to the Ministry of Magic, nowhere is safe for Harry and he's on the run from the entire magical world while at the same time trying to find and destroy all of the horcruxes, pieces of random crap Voldemort hid bits of his life-force in. And to do this, it is incredibly necessary for Harry, Ron and Hermione to camp in various picturesque forest locales and snip at each other about every little goddamn thing. Because it's SERIOUS and junk.

You can take your whimsy and shove it

For the most part, the movie does do a good job of keeping things tense as the gang hides out, trying to flee from the very Third Reich-ish evil wizards. There's a really great scene where they infiltrate the Ministry of Magic disguised as adults and the actors playing the random adults they turn into are really funny and do a good job of imitating Harry Ron and Hermione's facial tics and such. Another really neat part is this scene where Hermione tells an old bedtime story type thing about three brothers that relates to this wand Voldemort is trying to find, they do it as her narrating this really fantastic-looking animated sequence. It's kind of jarring because it's Harry Potter and so you don't expect it, but it looks all kinds of cool. The best I can do to describe it is a mix of:

The silhouette-style animation from The Mysterious Geographical Explorations of Jasper Morello

And the puppet fairytale scene from the beginning of Hellboy 2

It comes the hell out of nowhere but it's totally awesome. As our heroes flee to evade capture, characters are rushed in and out at breakneck speed, most you know, some you don't but were supposed to but the movies never really bothered so you see them now for about ten seconds and then they die horribly but you don't really care because you met them ten seconds ago AND WHY DID IT TAKE YOU TO MOVIE SEVEN TO INTRODUCE RON'S BROTHER BILL FOR CRAP'S SAKE HE GETS MAULED BY A WEREWOLF IN BOOK 6 AND YOU JUST TOSS THAT INTO THE CONVERSATION FOR HALF A SECOND AND PRETEND IT MEANS SOMETHING AND...er, sorry, Half-Blood Prince Dangling Threads flashback.

So, let me sum up:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Deathy-Death is more of the same movie-wise. It's not awful or anything, but it's hugely compressed as well as overpopulated. Visually it's quite nice and sometimes the drama works and sometimes it's a bit silly but if you've made it this far through the films you might as well just go see it. It's super-dark and has the scariest old lady I have ever seen, there's rather a lot camping and bitching though, but the movie really didn't feel like it was dragging. All in all, Harry Potter earns three and a half catapults out of five, but I think a bit of that is it taking advantage of my childhood fondness.

Also, can I just say a bit about Dobby the house elf? Remember in the early movies, when he was a wrinkly pink bit of CGI? Kinda like Yoda but not green? Well the technology of today has transformed Dobby into a creature that sits right at the apex of my Uncanny Valley and creeped me the hell out every time they showed him:

It's Dobby!...Kill it!!!

Still, not nearly as Uncanny Valley disturbing as Tron 2's CGI Young Jeff Bridges:

If you need me, I'll be over here, whimpering with fear

This is Sugary Cynic saying "What's that ticking noise?" 'Night!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Writer Is A Liar

WARNING: Sugary Cynic has spent the last week or so in a state of sleep-deprived delirium that is starting to reach its apex. Also she's had to read far too much David Foster Wallace for postmodernism and then tried her hand at some very long-winded prose and is now talking about herself in the third person. How the hell did that happen? Anyway, here is some writings, they are long and they might suck. Read at your own risk...I suppose third person is at least better than the royal We, right? ...right?

A Writer Is A Liar: A Random Bit of Literary Spewing

A writer is a liar. Not even just a liar, writers are the best liars, consummate even. Because to tell a good story, you have to lie. It’s not up for debate, if you’re telling a story and you don’t want to put the room to sleep, odds are you’re going to lie. No story, no matter how truthfully fantastic, can work without a bit of tinkering, even if it’s on a purely subconscious level. Let’s say you went to the dentist, right, and the waiting room is this weird pale blue color like that blue-raspberry cotton candy that never tasted as good as pink cotton candy and when you actually see the dentist he looks a bit like Steve Martin. Kind of the same hair, a little around the eyes. And you think of that movie, Little Shop of Horrors, it was silly and so cheesy but it had Steve Martin as this crazy sadist dentist and he has this great song where he sings about how he loves inflicting pain and kicks a puppy and hey, your dentist just hummed something. Was it like the song from the movie? No, not really, sounded more like that old Johnny Cash song about the boy with the girl’s name but oh well. So you have a dentist who kind of looks like Steve Martin and hummed a snatch of a song that might have possibly maybe been the one from Little Shop of Horrors but was more likely “A Boy Named Sue.” Dang, you really wowed me with that one. Seriously, no one cares. That one guy even invented a place he needed to be right then so that he could avoid listening to you.

So how would a writer, a good one, tell this story? Well the pale blue wallpaper bullshit has to go. That doesn’t help with anything and actually makes me kind of nauseous because I always thought blue-raspberry cotton candy was nasty. Now you went to the dentist, ok, and this waiting room looks pretty standard except for a suspect stain on the wall near the door. It’s a faded rusty orange that almost looks like dried blood. Ridiculous to think about anywhere else but at a dentist’s office, well it puts scary thoughts in your head. So you finally get to the see guy and sweet holy hell, he is the spitting image of Steve Martin. But so what? Don’t worry, it gets weird. He’s priming his creepy dental tools and I swear to you he starts humming the dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors, the one actually sung by Steve Martin in the movie as the sadist dentist! Seriously, what the hell is up with that? I’m lucky I left with my lower jaw intact.

So it’s not exactly the truth. It’s sort of the opposite of truth. It’s like one of those candies with caramel in the middle, a candy-coated lie surrounding a gooey truth center. Except there’s two problems with that: now I want chocolate and no one knows what the hell Little Shop of Horrors is anymore. And people barely know Steve Martin for that matter. You need a better story, something relatable, universally true. There’s a girl, because there’s always a girl. I’d call it a cliché but like all clichés it is born of truth and the truth is that there is always a girl. So the girl is downtown one day with her friends. No, night, actually. Downtown looks so much better at night. And it’s cold, because for some reason I’ve always felt more things are possible when it’s cold. Like the time I stood outside and my breath fanned out in front of me, hanging in the air for an impossible amount of time and when I looked up I saw a shooting star that might have just been airplane but the story works much better if it was a shooting star I caught at the corner of my eye as I stamped my feet to stave off the chill. So the girl is downtown one cold night with her friends, taking in the shops and the noise and the crowds and the excitement that comes with just getting out and doing something, you know. Even if it’s something as insipid as window shopping, you’re still out in the world. The girl did in fact think window shopping was insipid, because that’s why she wandered off from her friends to have something exciting happen to her because what kind of crappy story are you telling if this girl adored shopping and she and her friends tried on clothes and gossiped and went home. That’s almost as bad as your dentist story, c’mon it’s like you’re not even hearing what I’m telling you. So this girl wanders off on her own because the gossip is boring and the dresses are so far out of their price range it really is just depressing. She meanders off to the fringes of the brightly lit center of all the shopping and noise and finds this store. A music store maybe and it would be great for her to browse old albums that she knows all the names of and suddenly look up to see the face of a boy who’s like her and left his friends who don’t know or care who David Bowie is and the second their eyes meet they know it’s important and new and amazing and that exact second, “Modern Love” by none other than Bowie himself is piped through overhead and this moment crystallizes in time to span a century.

But who the hell goes out and buys music anymore? A music store like that only exists in movies and memories of people quite a bit older than you. People see this and they know it’s crap, manufactured indie cred like a movie that tries to make you think if you search hard enough you can find these offbeat, oddball places and maybe but not in your neighborhood. Not a chance. Our girl instead wanders into a big chain store that sells movies and music and videogames and is on its last legs because there isn’t one thing in that store you can’t download for cheap. And she is picking through stacks of old Jackie Chan movies from when he didn’t speak English and did all his own stunts when a boy who maybe also appreciates pre-America Jackie Chan sort of accidentally-on-purpose brushes up against her to reach for a copy of Police Story, mumbling an “excuse me” and suddenly at that moment a garbled song is piped through overhead. It almost sounds like “Kung-Fu Fighting,” which would be pretty funny, given the situation and movie material being pawed through but she can’t quite tell and she looks to the boy and is all “is that Kung-Fu Fighting?” but he doesn’t seem to hear her and leaves and really this is where the story would end because she’s not weird enough to follow him out of the store but if you want a good story, one that if it isn’t believable is at least interesting, our girl, depressed a bit, goes to leave the store but the manager catches her arm and tells her not the forget the DVD, her boyfriend already paid but left it for her and that can’t be right but holy hell it’s Police Story and sticky-noted to the back (who carries around sticky notes?) is: Actually it was “Working At the Carwash” lol followed by a phone number. Crazy, I know. And the girl will run back to her friends with this incredible story but a few things will be tweaked, she and the boy will share several knowing, smoldering glances and it will have actually been “Kung-Fu Fighting” that was playing because it’s a better story that way and the only way you can make a better story is to lie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tim Roth Makes Everything Better


I am a lot less stressed now that I got a lot of my more pressing crap done. I finally finished my Japan application and over-nighted it to DC. Nothing left to do now except track it obsessively until it reaches its destination.


Also helping me de-stress is Tim Roth as I have randomly decided to start working my way through the first season of Lie To Me. Because I am so topical that way. So far it's fairly awesome, Roth plays Cal Lightman, a bitter Brit with the ability to spot the most minute of facial twitches and pick out all the horrible dirty lies buried within them. He's one of those "brilliant dickhole" types who no one believes but is still always right so it's kinda like House except Lightman's not crippled and not a doctor and actually using his British accent. But apart from that it's like House.

I demand a cross-over, preferably one where they compete to see who is the most cynical, jaded asshole and then possibly make-out. (Hey, at least I don't write fan fiction)

Not much to talk about, revising a paper. I watched a goofy Japanese movie called White On Rice that was basically Napoleon Dynamite. If Napoleon Dynamite was a forty year old Japanese dude who acts like he's ten. And also if Napoleon Dynamite was funny (went there).

In terms of movie news relevant to the world:

Green Lantern trailer makes me "meh" despite large amounts of not-fully-clothed Ryan Reynolds:

I'm not gonna lie, if I was a green lantern I would do nothing but use my power ring to create giant green dicks and batter my enemies senseless with them. Nothing like a big green cockslap to make you think twice about committing crimes.

Oh, and here's a picture of John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe (warning, this picture has been known to cause dangerous amounts of giggling at the expense of John Cusack's dignity. Hide your children):

I just can't pick one thing I like best about it. The goatee-thingy, the sneakers, the bizarre facial expression. Truly this picture is a bounty of ridiculous.

And that's all for me. So sad, I know. This is Sugary Cynic, practicing her facial tics in a mirror in case she ever meets Tim Roth. 'Night!

(my brother when he saw the bar at Cheesecake Factory)

Jared: "Yeah, that makes sense. 'C'mon guys! Let's get wasted at Cheesecake at tonight! Boys night out at the Cheesecake Factory, gonna get HAMMERED!'"











That is all.

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Know What I Hate?

(I hate videos that make you watch ads beforehand)

I also hate people with long-term plans. Like people my age who know EXACTLY what they're gonna do in their lives from career to spousal choice, number of kids, house they're gonna buy in the country down to what tasteful and classy retirement home they eventually rot in. Not only does it make me feel like a loser because I can't even plan next week, it's so confining! Why bother living? You may as well shoot yourself in the head* because BAM, there was your life!

*Sugary Cynic does not condone literally shooting yourself in the head because you have anally over-planned your life. Not that I think someone reading this would actually be like "well, if she says so," but my pre-law friends tell me to always make sure my bases are covered. :D

I hate fake English majors. They're out there. The guys who tried pre-med or some such and was like "dude, this science shit is hard. I will major in English because I speak English so that makes sense and stuff. Also this will allow me to talk pretentiously about Shakespeare and Milton while wearing a scarf and corduroy pants. Cuz there's no thinking in English like there is in science, right?"

Part 2 of this hatred: I HATE people who assume because I am not formulating equations or lighting shit on fire that I took the "easy" route by becoming an English major. "But like, isn't English Lit all subjective and shit? Like you could walk into a classroom without having read Moby Dick and be all like, 'it's a metaphor for social change within the lower class of Americans during the Industrial Revolution' and everyone would be like, 'yeah!'"

No, you insufferable douchebag, you have to back things up with a legitimate argument and use goddamn textual evidence to support your claims, just like anywhere else. And stretch it to fit a ten page paper. That too.

I hate in movies when they do the fake-out death. It's mostly in kids movies but I picked up on it pretty quickly as a kid and it's been pissing me off ever since. You know, when it seems like one other major characters has nobly died to save the day, oh no! blablabla five seconds later he's up and about claiming "tis but a scratch!" It's done so damn often that even a little kid can see it coming. Especially early in a movie, who are they fooling? They're not gonna make worm bait out of their main character twenty minutes in! Or even an hour and a half in for that matter. There's tension and no drama because we know that before the first tear hits the ground that bastard's back in action. There's even a TV Tropes page dedicated to it, aptly calling it "Disney Deaths".

I hate people act like their entitled to shit. Like they deserve your undivided praise and attention for the mere act of existing. These ass-hats have no respect for anyone else but expect the world to grovel at their feet for no better reason than because they think they're special.

Unless you fart kittens and sneeze rainbows, not a damn thing.

I hate racist, bigoted dipshits who somehow, upon seeing a different color skin manage to flip some kind of switch in their head from "this is a person" to "this is an inferior creature-thing I can treat like shit without consequences." How the hell does that happen? What causes someone to see a human being as an animal? You know what? I don't wanna know, I don't want to have even an intimation of the thought process that allows some miserable, hateful waste of human space to justify doing horrible things to another person based on race.

I hate when movies tell you the entire plot synopsis and surprise twists in the trailer. Why bother going to see the flipping movie?

Remember Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus? Hate her. No clue why, just always have.

I remember being very suspicious of her as a child and disliking her. For the life of me, I do not know why

I hate Justin Beiber, apart from the obvious reasons, mostly because of this:

God I can't wait til puberty has its way with him and he can't hit high notes anymore

I hate how you can't get hired for a job because they say you don't have enough job experience but you can't get the necesary job experience because they won't hire you for the job

Whew! I feel better. So what do you guys hate? What pisses you off beyond all rational human reasoning? Please share, it's good for the soul.


This is Sugary Cynic, advocating constructive ranting over spontaneous human combustion from pent-up annoyance. 'Night!

"You know what I hate?" -Clive Owen as Mr. Smith in Shoot 'Em Up

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Taking of Pelham 123 or "John Travolta Is Not Threatening"

So tonight, for lack of anything better to do, me and my brother sat down to The Taking of Pelham 123, because our lives lacked sufficient amounts of Denzel Washington.

Speaking of Denzel, what's up with him and train movies lately? New contract stipulation, perhaps?

So I know nothing about the original film from the seventies...dunno where to go with that. Anyway, The Taking of Pelham 123, which is a pain in the ass to keep typing out, centers on a plucky but tired Denzel Washington as Garber, a dispatch operator...guy for the subways of New York. He's having a lame day with a butthole boss when suddenly things take a turn for the worse:

He spills coffee all over his sweater vest!! ...And also this dude hijacks a subway car and takes a bunch of innocent people hostage. That too.

By sheer unlucky coincidence, this happens on Garber's watch and he ends up chatting with John Travolta's character, the ringleader hijacker, Ryder, possibly the dumbest name ever. He even says it studpidly, "Call me Ryder," he says. "Like a subway rider?" Garber asks. "Yeah...but like, with Y"

I know I've used this picture before, but Tommy Lee Jones is just so good at expressing my annoyance for things

So Garber and Ryder chat, with Ryder demanding ten million dollars in an hour or he starts shooting bitches as the mayor (James Gandolfini) and a hostage negotiator (John Turturro), join in on the fun. One thing I really liked about this movie is that I feel like movies like this when it all comes down to the one everyman who gets the job done, I feel like they go out of their way to make like the mayor and government types come across like incompetent dickwads or arrogant butt-monkeys, but not so here. The mayor is kind of an ass (he's James Gandolfini, what do you expect?) But he's not that ridiculous unbelievable type where it's like "I'm the mayor and your stupid, we don't negotiate with herp-derpy-derp" he and the other side characters use fucking common sense and try to get the job done as best as they can. It's just nice to see.

So yeah, Ryder psuedo-bonds with Garber as they talk and I dunno if we're supposed to feel empathy for him or what but you don't cuz he's shooting hostages and screaming and ranting and raving and pretty much just trying way too hard to be scary. It's John Travolta guys, he's about as threatening as an overweight cat named Mr. Bugglesworth. All the neck tattoos and "motherfucker!" shouting in the world isn't going to change that.

So one good thing is the movie does not drag, it hurtles forward at a breakneck pace, which leads to some pretty frenetic editing which gets annoying quickly but thankfully isn't used the whole movie. Denzel kills as the world-weary Garber, but it's Denzel and I'd surprised if he did anything else but be awesome. The only problem with his character is he's supposed to be this frightened but determined nerd and when he ends up in a position to go after Ryder and save the day, there's no tension, you're all like "It's freaking Denzel Washington, he's got this!"

The police can all go home now, Denzel's here!

It's a predictable movie, you see a laptop with a webcam, you know it's going to come into play (and also become an egregiously huge dangling plot thread, but who's counting?), if Garber's wife makes him promise to bring home milk when this whole mess is over as a way of making him promise to stay alive, you know what he's bringing back in a grocery bag later. It's a film without a lot of surprises, but it's well-acted, well-paced and fun to watch. The Taking of Pelham 123 earns itself 3 catapults out of five, and I recommend it if there's a boring evening in your future...even though no matter how many times you show me this:

All I can ever see is this:

Speaking of, since Simon won the latest banner quote and foolishly gave me carte blanche on what to draw, I decided on a movie I think we'd all like to see (I know I would):

Don't act like you wouldn't watch it

This is Sugary Cynic saying "I'll take the bus, thanks" 'Night!

(As Garber goes to deliver the ransom money to Ryder)

Cop: "So, who the hell did you fuck to get this job?"

Garber: "Myself...it was easier than it looked"

Cop: "Yeah...fucking yourself always is"

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