Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Moments On Film This Year

Sooo...I totally forgot to do any kind of blog post last night. It finally happened, less than two months short of a year's worth of blogging. Well, shit. Ok, I'm sure none of you guys care but if you do and want whine about it, TOO BAD because I just finished re-watching How To Train Your Dragon and I drew Toothless:

And any and all arguments have been rendered irrelevant

So, as the year draws to a close, most movie-type blog peoples are making their "best of '10" lists, which I'm not going to do because 1. It'd be redundant, as my list will have Toy Story 3, Black Swan, Scott Pilgrim and various others the same as pretty much everyone else and also 2. I missed a bunch! Haven't seen The Social Network, The Fighter, will hopefully see True Grit on New Year's Day, etc. So instead, I'm going to take you through my top 5 film moments of the year, the moments that were great and magical and made me able to continue justifying being an anti-social film geek. I will also do the bottom five moments of the year, where I cringed in pain, or if it was really bad, wept softly to myself until the movie changed the subject. And the best part is, in a Winter Cold-Times Miracle, youtube has all the videos I wanted, and I can embed them :'D Let's do it!!

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!

Topical!

Honorable Mention: Aisling's Song in The Secret of Kells

Yes, I know, I just said five, and also Secret of Kells technically came out last year. Well, it wasn't available on Netflix til October of this year and also even though ten is such a nice round number, I'm including because this song is amazing and eerily haunting, much like the movie itself. Even after watching the movie a few times, the song still gives me goosebumps:



5. Lucas Lee vs. Scott Pilgrim in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

"The L word moment" came sooo close to being my favorite bit in the film, but Chris Evans is just so damn funny as Ramona's second evil ex-boyfriend. He doesn't have a lot of screentime, but he makes the most of it, and if you're saying a joke from the movie and you're not quoting Wallace the all-knowing all-snarking gay roommate, you're probably quoting Lucas Lee. I can't find the full fight, but I feel like his entrance is a good enough example of why he was one of my favorite parts of Scott Pilgrim:



4. The "friendship montage" in How To Train Your Dragon

Who knew Dreamworks could make legit good movie without pop culture references or blatantly ripping off Pixar? Well they can...when they base their story on a book. And so did HTTYD become a surprise hit as audiences with low expectations sat shocked at the gorgeous visuals, likable characters and ya know, actual plot. One of my favorite moments is a scene with the soundtrack song titled Forbidden Friendship, it's pretty much wordless but speaks volumes about how HTTYD is a very different beast from Dreamworks's usual:



*sniffle*

Toothless, stone-cold pimp that he is, remains unmoved.

3. The end of Inception

Inception was an awesome movie on it's own. It was fun and exciting without being retarded. And one of the ways it mentally stimulated you was by not giving you a straight answer for your ending. After the job is over and Cobb is finally coming home and you can't help but wonder if he's just slipped deeper into dreamland. He spins his top one last time to see for himself, but then sees his kids and hugs them tightly, ignoring whether or not the top falls, accepting his current state as reality, even when it may not be. So is Cobb vindicated or a victim of his own hell? Christopher Nolan isn't telling and that's how I like it. Can't speak for these guys though:



2. The Black Swan's Dance in Black Swan

Oh my ConneryJesus, Black Swan-ified post-terror Natalie Portman is scary as hell, and her dance is beautiful and yet horribly unsettling. Even this brief out-of-context scene is creepy as hell. This movie was an edge-of-the-seater anyway, but when Final Transformation Black Swan shows up, the "ohmygoddon'teatmyflesh" gets cranked up to eleven.




And numero uno, as it were, is:

Spanish Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story 3

The bad news: Buzz, beloved toy of Andy's and friend of Woody, has been re-set. The good news: He is now en espanol and like, fifty times more entertaining. This whole movie was fantastic and everything but I spent a good deal of time just wanting to watch more of Spanish Buzz Lightyear, who (and keep calm when I say this) I might actually like a little better than Regular Buzz. Sacrilege! Well just watch for yourself:



Tomorrow we will journey through the opposite end of the spectrum, the worst of the worst. God help me.

This is Sugary Cynic saying "look, at least I missed the blog because of schoolwork as opposed to having an active social life or something *scoff*" 'Night!

(My second favorite of Scott Pilgrim: Wallace tells Scott to tell Ramona his true feelings...sort of)

Wallace: "It's time to break out the "l" word Scott!"

Scott: "Lesbian?"

Wallace: "the other l word"

Scott: "....Lesbians?"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Falling

Movie review tomorrow, my Teaching English as a Second Language course kicked my ass tonight. (bam, broke a New Year's resolution before it was even New Year's! That's got to be some kind of record!) In the meantime, here is a new short I've been working on:

Falling

You felt it deep down past your stomach into the pit of your very being. You were absolutely sick at the thought of it but the feeling was there just the same. You turned your head to shield your eyes from the bright light; almost sure you were going to throw up. You heaved a strangled breath and pulled with all your might, all your strength, anything you ever had in you, the horrible sinking feeling down in your soul trying its best to stop you. But you could hear her cries and feel her fingers slipping so you pulled harder, heels digging into the brittle stonework, eyes streaming, dazzled by the light. But you didn’t need to see, that deathly sensation in your gut told you all you needed to know.

“Just let go!” she shrieked, her throat raw from screaming, “just let go or we’ll both fall!”

That’s not an option.

Your grip tightens and that icy uncertainty solidifies into iron will, sickness giving way to determined, animal-like ferocity. With one last yell that rings in your ears for a lifetime you tug with all your strength, slipping to your knees, sliding on the wet, crumbling ledge but never losing your grip, everything has led up to this moment and whatever happens you cannot let go. No matter what.

And suddenly she’s up and your arms go limp, their duty done. She starts to scuttle back towards the wall. You have no strength.

And suddenly you’re falling backwards somehow, and she’s crying out again and reaching for you but it’s too late, you’re too far back and her hand just misses the edge of your coat, grasping at air. It’s too late.

And all you can see is blue above you, her frightened face fading into oblivion and blending with the brightness of the sky. Your arms are flung out to your sides like a marionette on a string, wind tugging at your sleeves and for the longest moment you are fluid in the air and in that moment you notice that the feeling, the awful, sickly one from mere seconds ago has vanished, evaporated and disappeared only to be replaced with the knowledge that the girl is safe on the ledge above and that, more than anything else, this is right.

This is the way it is supposed to be.

And so you fall.






(awesome picture can be found here)

This is Sugary Cynic, trying not to trip. 'Night!

(to my mom, about my brother's...talent)

Me: "His farts, while disgusting, do have incredible comedic timing"

Jared; "It's true! There'll be some dramatic story happening and then - pfffft!"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Miscellaneous Movie News

Things of no particular order or origin. Because I HAVE THE POWER!

This was bound to happen eventually

So, movie stuff: The powers that be have decided to make a Tron animated series that covers everything that happened after Kevin Flynn became trapped in the Grid but before Sam showed up and the events of the movie played out. Elijah Wood and Pee-wee Herman among others have been tapped to do voicework. It sounds like it could be kind of cool, but also potentially stupid. Seeing as it will be a Disney product, I have a suggestion for how to make sure this show is a surefire hit:

You know you'd watch it

Next, remember way back when I talked about the new Three Musketeers movie and how it looked like an epically hilarious train-wreck in the making? It has it's first "official" picture of all the musketeers in a row:



You need to click and enlarge to achieve the full glorious effect of it all. There's not much to be said for the two dudes on the right, but Mr. Darcy on the far left just looks PISSED. Like he'd rather be at a scabies convention then right there. I think the other two guys are making jokes about him or something. And of course, Logan Lerman, smack in the middle, a good head or so shorter than the rest, looks hilarious. He looks less like the fresh-faced, scrappy D'artagnan and more like a pretty little girl they rescued, or their mascot or something. It makes me giggle, and that is all that matters.

Finally, here's a cute little mini-featurette for the upcoming animated creature-feature Rango. It has Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher showing the unique way they were recorded, as well as just generally being silly and adorable:



I love that for whatever reason they made him wear a mariachi hat while he did it.

This is Sugary Cynic, off to fight Skeletor. 'Night!


(This is why it's dangerous for my brother and I to be left alone)

Jared: "What rhymes with fantasy? It doesn't have to be a word, it can be a phrase"

Me: "Ummm...fan of me? Plan to see? Dunno, why?"

Jared: "I thought of a show where I'm Kanye West's roommate: 808's and Roommates. And every episode is a song title pun. So I need one for "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy""

(long moment of silence)

Me: "....Manatee? Kanye could buy a manatee and not realize that it has evil intentions and keeps trying to burn things"

Jared: "He'd be all 'no man, this is a good manatee. Look at it's innocent face'"

Me: "And you'd have to find a way to prove the manatee was devious"

Jared: "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Manatee."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cynic's Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Because the best promises are the kind that you know ahead of time you'll break.



1. Reinstate Sean Connery Movie Sunday (hmm...maybe shouldn't have put this right after the broken promises joke)

2. Give up on Nicolas Cage

A prospect that gets easier with every new release


3. Stop watching Steven Seagal films before I start enjoying them on a non-ironic level

4. Learn some Japanese (that might be useful if I end up going to Japan, just a thought)

But then again...


5. Discover the secret to destroying Justin Beiber, Ke$ha and all of their ilk

I think the Evil Dead movies might have been on to something with the Necronimicon


6. Make less lazy-ass cop-out posts

There was going to be a funny joke/anecdote/film review here, but then I had to write a thesis chapter/got drunk/became perpetually exhausted so please enjoy this picture of Star Wars referencing the Princess Bride instead


7. Become best friends with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg

Hey guys, room for one more?


8. Stop giggling every time someone says "firm"

Random someone: "Hey, did you ever see that Tom Cruise movie, The Firm?"

Me: "Hee-hee, Tom Cruise, firm"

9. Convince Bryan Lee O'Malley to make a comic series about my life...it could work.

And by work I mean be GLORIOUS


10. Eventual conquering of intermanet (ok so that's a long term goal)


And there you have it. What are your New Year's Resolutions? Are they nonsensical bullshit or are you actually making a plan? Do share.

This is Sugary Cynic, awaiting the coming of 2012, when John Cusack will save her from the annihilation of the world. 'Night!

Me: (gesturing wildly) "Things...words...that's me, majoring in words"

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Cynic Lives Dangerously/Grand Theft Fish

So...So much for daytime posting.

Anyway, last night I was beat because I was "trying new things" which in this case means "not sitting on my ass watching obscure old cartoons" Instead I went with a boy-person to a bar thingy in a delightfully sketch neighborhood called Propaganda. The bar, I mean. The neighborhood was actually the same place where I had my Howley's Adventure. Anywhoo, it was fun and I actually didn't get carded for the first time since I turned 21. I'd like to say it's because I have become a pillar of grace and maturity, but it probably has more to do with my new haircut...and the fact that it's not pink anymore. So at least some good came of that.

NEVER FORGET

Anyway, we came to see these bands play and stuff, and in true band fashion, they were an hour and a half late to start playing. Not to arrive mind you, they'd been there since ages, just not doing much of anything. Also, I have forgotten to mention that this place was CRAWLING with amusingly-hatted, vest-wearing, sideburn-sporting, heavily-eyeliner'd, Pabst Blue Ribbon-chugging HIPSTERS.


Oooh, I think I just won at hipster bingo!


So yeah, I think we were the only ones in there without a massive can of cheap, tasting-heavily-of-wee PBR. I saw one girl with a funny-looking headband holding a wineglass of all things and got excited...only to discover that she was in fact, pouring Pabst Blue Ribbon into her wineglass. Yeah. So the band we saw is called Viva Le Vox, they all had silly hats, one had a top hat and a massive beard and another had crazy eyes and fingerless gloves and played the accordion until about mid-way into their set, after which he switched to a washboard. They were like the mutant lovechild of hipster, rockabilly and just plain hillbilly. But they actually weren't all that bad. My phone died before I could take a video, but thanks to Youtube, you too can experience being in a smoky bar filled with drunk people listening to a man play a washboard:



They have since acquired far sillier hats and a much less insane looking giant-cello player.

Lastly: There was only one stall in the ladies bathroom, which was lame. But while I was standing there doing my Bladder Desperation Dance (there's a lot of flailing involved), the stall door swung open and two rather somber looking girls with heavy eye-makeup stumbled out. Which was weird. Because rather than being all "we're drunk and fooling around in the bathroom while others need to pee and risk busting some vital pee-related artery, tee-hee!" They looked like they'd been conducting a funeral in the stall. So go figure.

All in all, it was fun, except that I had to wash my hair twice so I no longer smelled like an ashtray.

As for today's adventures, I have absconded with my boss's fish.



I suppose I can't just leave it at that, can I? My boss while I'm temping is also my mom's boss regularly. She's a bit scattered, flaky, ADHD mixed with a good snort's worth of cocaine. Let's call her Ted. Not for any real reason, it just amuses me. Anyway, the other day Ted got a betta fish at some flea market thing, and has since left it in her office to die. This poor creature is directly under an air vent in a cold office, hasn't had her water changed in a week and is pale and sad looking and also was not getting fed on weekends. But Ted really didn't give a crap, or at least couldn't focus on it for more than ten seconds before getting distracted by something shiny and maybe I'm being mean but how would you like it if your boss treated you like a dog with a head injury, always like "c'mon! c'mon! Make copies and then it's time for walkies!" while an innocent fish dies a slow death right in front of her?

So I stole the fish. I don't think she'll notice. She's not even going to be in until Monday. Who would've fed the fish? Exactly. So now the fish is here, in a new bowl with clean water and it's name has been amended from Princess to Princess Iron Fan, because I'm on a Chinese Mythology kick.

And that is that.

Before I go, know that there will be no update tomorrow or Christmas. It's my holiday time (said the atheist jew, but who's keeping track?). So Happy Winter-time Festivities and I'll see you on Sunday! This is Sugary Cynic, playing the washboard with reckless abandon. 'Night!

Me: "So hipsters..."

Ryan: "Live up to the stereotype pretty much exactly"

Me: "Yeah."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Site Isn't Broken

But the Sugary Cynic is.

It's the cat's face that won me over. I had to use it.

I was sociable tonight so now I be sleepy and tipsy which leads truly awful blog posts. So instead, check back tomorrow during the daylight hours (gasp! I've heard legends of such a time) and this will be replaced with a real live post. Honest.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Red Moon Rising

'Sup e-people. If the inanity of that greeting didn't make you die a little inside, then you might be as tired as I am right now. Why I am tired? you might ask. Wow, that's rude, I don't inquire the intimate details of how YOU spend your nights, even though everyone saw you sneaking off to your room with cut-out pictures of Julia Child and a jar of Miracle Whip. You weren't being sneaky at all.

Ok, that got weird. Starting over, I am tired because I was up watching the lunar eclipse last night because a lunar eclipse has not coincided with the winter solstice since 1638 and won't happen again until 2094. So unless I end up an undead brain in a jar, this was going to be my only shot so I stayed up and did some moon-gazing with my dad and his telescope. And then we had work. Hence the tiredness and lack of coherency.

So, rather than push my luck, for those of you who can't be bothered to wake up at 3am and go outside and look at the moon for an hour and a half, here some cool pictures of it, taken by my dad, because he is a wizard:

The regular moon aka Moon Classic aka Original Flavor Moon


Run through a yellow filter for extra mysterious-ness, because dusky yellow makes everything look more ominous!


Somewhere, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is playing


I'd make some Pink Floyd joke about the dark side of the moon but then even I would have to beat me up. Still, I bet this picture syncs up to The Wizard of Oz.

(sounds of punching)

WORTH IT!!

and finally:

This one makes me feel like I should be telling stories around the campfire in my alcoholic hobo Geoffrey Rush voice. "Listen close, me laddies, and I'll tell you the tale of the red moon! It's when someone flashes you their sunburned ass"


Maybe not.

This is Sugary Cynic saying "ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" 'Night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Black Swan Broke My Soul

But in a good way.

I'm trying to figure out to how to review/sum up this movie, but I can't get past frantic arm waving while stuttering "it's...it's like...like (gesticulates frantically)"

It's amazing. And terrifying. And positively overwrought with tension, and doubling, and Tchaikovsky, and grandiose mental breakdowns and also being deeply afraid of all the principal cast members. I'm still not doing a good job with this, am I?

Ok, how about a visual representation? I went and saw Black Swan with the bff Jon and the former roomie Arlene. We began the film like this:



and ended it like this:



Black Swan is the best movie I have ever watched while peeking out from behind my knees.

We follow Nina, played by Natalie Portman, a intensely pressured and fragile ballerina that will only continue to be more those two things as the plot progresses. Her mom, played Barbara Hershey, is a former ballerina who never hit it big and consequently lives through her daughter, putting the "mother" in smother. She controls every aspect of her daughter's life, even dressing and undressing her, putting her to bed and keeping her in a room that looks like it belongs to a twelve year old girl. It's creepy.

"I'm your mother and I only want what's best for you. And by you I mean me. And by best I mean do what I tell you to or I will murder you in your sleep"

So Nina gets the lead in Swan Lake after being pseudo-molested by the director, Thomas, played with douchey intensity by Vincent Cassel. He keeps telling her that she's a rad white swan-fearful, frigid, pure and controlled; but a lousy black swan-confident, sexual, and utterly fearless. He tries to help her get in touch with her inner black swan by way of continued attempted rape:

This is how you learn ballet

Finally, there's Mila Kunis's character, Lily, the newest member of the ballet company and the only one who doesn't seem to be a backstabbing bitchface. She seems to try to befriend Nina, but maybe she's trying to sabotage her, or maybe Nina's paranoid, or maybe they have menacing lesbian sex (seriously, it's the scariest non-graphic lesbian sex scene ever) or maybe they didn't. It gets hard to tell what's real and what's a hallucination brought on by a complete psychotic break on behalf of Nina, who may or may not be sprouting wings, having her toes fuse together and murdering other ballerinas. Maybe.

Why the movie is amazing: It is incredible psychological horror with jump-scares that are scary not just because they take you by surprise but because of what they imply. The music, which Clint Mansell made by taking sections of Swan Lake, playing it backwards and distorting it, is scary. The lack of music is scary. Winona Ryder motionless in a wheelchair is scary. Winona Ryder stabbing herself in the face is...much scarier actually, but you get the idea. There wasn't a moment when I wasn't on the edge of my seat from the tension.

Other things: The costumes are brilliant, the dancing is breathtaking, the cinematography is inspired, all claustrophobic, cramped shots, dizzying during the dancing scenes. What Aronofsky does with mirrors is better than anything I have ever seen done with mirrors. This movie is a trial, it is an exhausting experience that will leave you at a loss for words. In an echo of a pivotal line from the movie: It's perfect.

Black Swan en pointes it's way to five catapults out of five.

This is Sugary Cynic, afraid that there's a Black Swan hiding in my closet, or worse, Vincent Cassel. 'Night!

Thomas: "The only person standing in your way is you"

Guaranteed To Make Your Day Better

Sometimes life is rough, sometimes it beats you down and you feel like you'll never smile again. Thankfully, we have:

Christian Bale singing the Powerpuff Girls theme song:




Shaq busting a move:




My beloved Bruce Campbell forgetting the lyrics:




Natalie Portman revealing that she is a terrifying bad-ass:




And finally, William H. Macy, playing the ukulele and singing a song about getting some action:




So there you have it, five videos of celebrity-types doing silly things guaranteed to make you grin! If none of those made you at least a bit happier, then I got nothin. Enjoy your misery! 'Night!

ps. what is this nonsense?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tron aka Zen and The Art of Light Cycle Repair

Hey internet! It be high holiday times. I recently finished my Christmas shopping and am getting all "in the spirit"...or at least as in the spirit as someone who is as dead on the inside as me can possibly get. Oh well. Tonight I went and saw Tron in THREE GLORIOUS DIMENSIONS. So let's talk about that.

Awww, look guys, they're holding hands!

So, Tron. It's pretty crazy. And crazy pretty, that too. A flashback to the wacky year 1989 starts things off as a young Sam Flynn is told the story of Tron by his Dad, Kevin Flynn from the original movie, played by Jeff Bridges...wait, that's not Jeff Bridges. Oh no...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

That's right, Flashback Jeff Bridges is CGI Jeff Bridges. And God Damn if he isn't the most unsettling thing that has ever pranced across my Uncanny Valley. It's supposed to be a bonding moment with father and son but I kept waiting for him to murder little Sam, all while with that vaguely cheerful look plastered across his horrifying mug.

*Shudder*

So Horror-Dad tells Sam all about the Grid and Tron and stuff and promises to show him everything. And then he disappears for twenty years, leaving his technology empire to his son, along with a host of Daddy Abandonment Issues, which manifest themselves in Big Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund, in the form of dangerous motorcycle driving, dropping out of college and skydiving off of buildings when it is in no way necessary to skydive off of buildings. He also pouts more than any grown man ought to.

At least he's nice to look at

So one night, one of his dad's old partners gets a page (On a pager! Is it from the original Tron?) from Kevin Flynn's old office/arcade/lair of the eighties. Sam, despite himself and his bag o' issues, is intrigued and checks it out, discovering a hidden office, a mysterious computer and before you can say "beam me up" he somehow laser-beams himself into the Grid. Don't think about it too hard.

Once there he is immediately thrust into crazy life-or-death bloodsport whatnot which has nothing to with anything but looks cool as hell. This sort of confusing awesome happens alot:

"What the hell is that?" "No idea. But doesn't it look neat?"

So yeah, after Sam triumphs in his gamery, he meets the leader of the world, a program named Clu made in the likeness of his fath-ohgoddammitno!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Sob*

So Clu tries to kill Sam but he is rescued just in time by Cora, one of the last programs loyal to his dad, played by Olivia Wilde.

She is also nice to look at

So Cora takes Sam to this remote hideaway thingie and he finally reunites with his dad, who thank God, looks like a normal human being, if a bit beardy. The two awkwardly do stuff until they form a plan to stop Clu and escape back into the real world. Along the way they will meet the wildly British Zuse, played by Michael Sheen with camp excellence, battle against a reprogrammed Tron who has zero character development and only exists so the title isn't completely arbitrary, and suffer through Jeff Bridges oscillating between Neo in the Matrix (he makes things go boom! It's awesome!) and The Dude. For reals. I dunno why but every sentence ends with man, he uses the phrase "digital jazz," meditates, wears flowy robes and after reprogramming an elevator that was hurtling them to their deaths, tells his son "you're messing with my zen thing, man!" Apparently his twenty years as Lord of the Grid have turned him into some kind of techie hippie Zen master.

The Dude has entered the Digital Age

So, good things: the 3D is AWESOME. They make a point of not using it in the scenes that take place in the real world, creating a sort of Wizard of Oz type thing, in that there's only 3D in the Grid. And it looks cool as hell, the special effects are shiny and glowy and what you would expect the place to look like. Also, Daft Punk did the soundtrack and it is EPIC. And this is coming from someone who's not really a fan of techno or electro type stuff. But they really did a great job, the music stands out without being obtrusive and really helps immerse you in the world of the movie.

They have a cute cameo in the movie as what else but club DJs

So yeah, from a story and character standpoint, Tron Legacy is cheesy and predictable, with so-so acting and a thin plot. It's visually astounding and has a great soundtrack and is, I think, less offensive to your higher senses than Avatar. So go see it for the fun ride, and definitely see it in 3D if you're going. It's worth it. Tron Legacy cycles away with two and a half catapults out of five.

This is Sugary Cynic, hoping CGI Jeff Bridges won't try to kill her in her sleep. 'Night!

Say it with me now: AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Poem

There was once a girl home from college,
Where she compiled vast quantities of knowledge,
Exhausted from the endeavor,
Instead of a post she was clever,
And so she made you read this silly garbage

Ok, so you have to pronounce "garbage" like you're from Long Island. It still works.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Triple Shot of Trailer

Also known as "all I did today was work on thesis so I have nothing relevant to discuss so instead I will be snarky about trailers"

It's just not as catchy, you know?

Rango



The first trailer made it look darker, but I'm still into this bizarre story of photo-realistic animals doing people things in the Old West. Also Johnny Depp's yelling gives me the giggles. He sounds like Kermit the Frog!




Tree of Life



What...what the hell just happened? Did that fly a good mile over anyone else's head or was it just me? Why can I taste colors and see sounds? Terrence Malick, what have you done to me?


Fast Five



Whahahahahahaha!!! Whoo, I needed that laugh. That was good. Man they're not even trying with the title anymore, are they? I mean they're not trying with the movie either, obviously. You know I actually liked the first Fast and the Furious movie? Yeah. Anyway, I recommend this trailer if you're feeling down, it'll perk you back up. "don't let them get into cars" it's priceless!

This is Sugary Cynic, wishing this was Watchmen canon:



'Night!

(After watching the Fast Five trailer)

Me: "That looks so ridiculous!"

Jared: "Totally. It looks retarded"

(silence)

Jared: "We're gonna go see it, right?"

Me: "Yeah, more than likely"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I May Not Watch the Watchmen, But I Do Write About Them

Watchmen: Acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, considered to be one of the best of all time and one of the few graphic novels that snooty-ass critics will concede to calling a "book" or otherwise "real novel". Watchmen asks it's readers: "What if superheros actually existed in real life? And they were all balls to the wall psychotic?"


William Blake: A British Romanticist poet, and also a proto-hippie from the 18th century who when not writing poetry that praised unbridled passion and all forms of love and creating glorious visuals to go along with them, frequently hallucinated angels and ran around naked in his garden.


Moore invokes Blake frequently throughout Watchmen, whether in chapter titles, quotes from his poetry (specifically, "The Tyger"), or more subtle themes of duality and innocence versus experience. The character of Rorschach works as a composite both of Blake himself and the tiger of the aforementioned poem. Meanwhile, there's Eddie Blake (The Comedian) and William Edgar Bright (Moloch) who's name's make William Blake but also Blake=Bleak and Bright= well, bright, which works because Moloch=Innocence, a less complicated time when the villains were all silly and obvious while the Comedian is Experience because he is a horrific rape-y bastard and yet is a superhero ostensibly on the side of good. And I won't even get started on Ozymandias. This is important because re-examining Watchmen through the lens of Blake helps better explore Moore's intentions in writing Watchmen and why he included so many Blake references. It also works in helping to de-mystify the notoriously difficult works of William Blake for those more likely to understand Watchmen.

And that, fair reader, is my world til about late April or so. Now do that for fifty pages and you will have written my thesis for me. Thanks a bunch :D

That is also why there is no real post. Instead, please enjoy this amazing composite of all the films of 2010. There were some great ones and some monumentally sucky ones but this video makes it all look awesome. It's obvious this guy knows what they're doing and put a lot of time and effort into this thing so definitely check it out:



Way to make a lot of crappy movies look cool.

This is Sugary Cynic, watching the watchmen until her eyes bleed. 'Night!

Anyone Who Has Ever Asked About My Thesis Topic Ever: "So what's your senior thesis about?"

Me: "Um, it's sort of complicated,"

Anyone Who Has Ever Asked About My Thesis Topic Ever: "Try me"

Me: "Well, it's about this really famous graphic novel Watchmen that came out in the 80's and also a Romanticist poet from the 18t century named William Blake"

Anyone Who Has Ever Asked About My Thesis Topic Ever: "...."

Me: "...Yeah"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

E.T. In The Shrubbery

Did you ever have a place in or around your house when you were little that was closed off? Or dark and hidden and maybe a bit scary? You weren't sure what went on in there when you weren't looking but you knew it was probably weird, because little kid imaginations tend to work that way.

There's something going on in that little room. Something sinister. Ooh! Power Rangers is on!!

This can't have just been me, right? ...guys?

Well, either way. There's this big ol' clump of bushes in the front yard of my house and back when I was like six or seven, me and my dad were playing with a wiffle ball or something and I hit it into the bushes. Now, they're not terribly intimidating to me now, obviously. But back then they were taller than I was and more along the lines of

Yeah, that's about right

Just as I was riling up my kindergarten gumption to go in, the ball rolled out of the formidable bush. Now, I don't properly recall what led to what happened next, I assume I must have recently seen Steven Spielberg's E.T., and I also assume I must have asked how the ball just seemed to magically roll out of the Nightmare Shrub because my father ended up telling me something along the lines of "E.T. the alien is living in that bush, and he rolled the ball out to you because he doesn't want you to go in there"

He likes his alone time

Now what my Dad didn't know, because I didn't tell him until years later, was that I was, frankly, freaked the hell out by E.T. I mean, sure he's nice and all, but he's creepy looking! That long bendy neck, his weird wrinkled skin and his creepy croaking voice, Little Me was not a fan. And now I was under the impression that he had made himself a home in the front garden, which led to things like this:



So yeah, eventually I reached the age where I realized that E.T. was a fictional character who did not live in my front yard but in the frightening planes of Steven Spielberg's mind. So there's a weird part of my childhood for you. Anyone else absolutely certain that some character or other was living in their closet or under their bed when they were little kids? Surely I can't be that weird. I mean, I also used to play Magical Kung-Fu Adventure with my Barbie dolls but that's another story for another day...

This is Sugary Cynic, fondly recalling when Barbie and her friends used the power of magic artifacts and spinning kicks to defeat the Undead Dragon and then played in the dreamhouse. 'Night!

(Me, my brother and my dad are in the kitchen when Dad motions towards me)

Dad: (all subtle-like) "C'mere"

Me: "Yeah, wha?"

(he shows me a gift he's buying my brother online)

Me: "Oh, cool"

Jared: "What are you guys looking at? Can I see?"

Dad: "No, it's just this...strange website"

Jared: "...That's the best you could do?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pirates, Tates and Teen Paranormal Romance

Hey guys! So Rachael won the banner quote by correctly (if spazzedly) choosing The Iron Giant, which the best movie about Iron or Giants ever. Claim your prize!!

Moving on! UGH and such. I was not happy at the thought of a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The second and third ones seemed so far away, quality-wise, from the first one, and to make matters worse the fourth film would have a different director and focus solely on Jack Sparrow. While, admittedly, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley aren't exactly actors you'd miss, they were still a part of the series and the ensemble and I feel like a large part of Jack Sparrow's charm was as a meddling side-kick turned accidental-hero. He's just not as fun when he's supposed to be our hero.

So anyway, sum up: I had been very much "No" on POTC 4. And now there's a trailer:



Good: Jack Sparrow remains as charming a bastard as ever. Geoffrey Rush is back! Hi, Geoffrey Rush! Also Gibbs! (waves frantically). Ooh, he's going to London. And Barbossa is a member of the Navy? AWESOME.

Bad: Jack's Daddy is stupid. I don't care if he is Keith Richards. Also it seems as though mermaid chick and random dude #3 are the new Will and Elizabeth. And Blackbeard looks stupid. And the fountain of youth is stupid.

WTF: ZOMBIES. Just, zombies.


I...I might go see it. Maybe. Damn epic pirate music making me feel like a naive thirteen year old fangirl again. Curse you, Hans Zimmer!! Curse you!!

"Oh, I'm sorry, were you saying something? I couldn't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am"

Anyway, as a loose segue, Hans Zimmer also did the music for another pirate-movie, Muppet Treasure Island, which me and my brother re-watched after not having seen it since we were little kids. This is the movie that made me love pirates and also Tim Curry. That too. I was surprised that it really held up for me as a good movie. Generally, revisiting your childhood favorites leads to only pain and mental anguish as you realize how awful the stuff you dug as a kid really is, but Muppets was still awesome. There were a bunch of jokes that flew over our heads as kids and it's filled with danger and mild swearing and death and the humor is sharp and devoid of pop culture references. Hell yeah, Muppets!

My two favorite songs:

Cabin Fever, in which all the characters temporarily flip a shit:



And Professional Pirate, because how long has it been since Tim Curry looked that good? It's sad.



Who wouldn't after that song?

Finally, today me and Javi went to one of the few good things about living in the perilous wastelands of South Florida: Tate's Comics & More. Tate's is the geek mecca of my general area, they have tons and tons of comics ranging from superhero to indie. They have manga, anime, obscure Japanese movies, toys of any and every pop culture-related thing EVER. And that is only the beginning!! And Javi had never been, so that's a situation that demanded rectifying. At Tate's this go-round I discovered such wonders as:

Emo Superman. Because the one thing keeping me from loving the Man of Steel was his lack of pouty brooding

And then we saw a bunch of toy-model-thingies that were Japanese of various DC characters. Most of them were girl characters and they had been made more adorable and tit-tastic, as is the rule for Japanified things. They also had Batman, who, even though he had a really cool costume, was kind of femmy looking. And Robin?

The less said the better

And then I bought a Totoro speaker-pillow.

Such happiness :D

And lastly, the other day Jon and I were wandering the vast wilds of Barnes and Noble when we came upon a new genre of literature we were previously unaware of:

W-what? Is...is this a thing now?

What hath Twilight wrought? This is Sugary Cynic saying, in the words of the snooty maitre'd from Ferris Bueller's Day Off:



'Night!

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