Monday, May 22, 2006

Tonight, our filthy television addiction will end. That's because The Amazing Race ended last week and 24 ends tonight. 24 is problematic, because it's frankly kind of Red Dawn-ish and implies that the entire fate of the country is dependent on one guy who likes to torture people maybe a little more than is strictly necessary, and on one sys admin who seems to be the only person with government clearance who actually knows how to do anything worth doing. But I am hooked on that show. They kill off major characters glibly, which keeps you on your toes. And get this: not only is the guy from Warlock in it this season, but Robocop and/or Buckaroo Banzai too!

This non-television-viewing will only last a couple of weeks, until the World Cup starts. Then, of course, I will be a permanent fixture on the couch, and will only rise for beer trips.

Speaking of watching, we went to the movies for the first time in what seems like months (because it actually was months) this weekend. And what did we see? What modern masterwork could coax us from the comfort of home? Why, Poseidon, of course.

We saw Poseidon because the other two movies we kind of wanted to see, The DaVinci Code* and Over the Hedge, were sold out. I suspect most people in the theater were there for the same reason, and were as a result marginally annoyed when no crazed Opus Dei members were hiding out on the Lido Deck, waiting to spring out and stab someone, and no huggable Garry Shandling-voiced turtles went ambling down the blood-drenched floors of the cruise ship's ballroom, which had so recently been the scene of New year's revels and was now turned into a hideous pile of limbs and sorrow.

Poseidon was not entirely unenjoyable as vacuous entertainment goes, though it is curious to note that Wolfgang Peterson, director of Das Boot, is now making remakes of campy 70s disaster movies. Here's a brief summary of the movie, for those of you who might actually get in to see a movie that you kind of wanted to see in the first place: a big cruise ship get hits by a big wave and flips over. Then, everyone dies but about seven people, and those people either die or don't die, depending on how much you want them to die. I will say that I didn't mind so much when most of the people didn't, in fact, die. This would have really bothered me in, say, The Perfect Storm, where I was definitely rooting for the storm five minutes into the movie. You get about five minutes of character development at the beginning of Poseidon, which is almost enough to make you really regret settilng for this movie, and then the wave hits, and people die. Kurt Russell is in it, too, and is surprisingly unannoying.

So, in summary, Poseidon is a movie.

*And yes, I hear your fevered cries: The DaVinci Code sucks! I'm sure it probably does. But I have to see it--it's got Jurgen Prochnow in it. And that guy from Bosom Buddies everyone likes so much.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Misanthropy in Small Doses

There's this show on TLC or Discovery or Home Surgery Channel or whatever called "Honey, We're Killing the Kids!" Being a supporter of well thought-out homicide in all its myriad guises, I was crestfallen to learn that this show is not actually about airlifting your children to a deserted desert island where you get to hunt them, Most Dangerous Game style. No, what's really happens on the show is that parents who let their kids eat big macs three times a day are given a frightening glimpse of how their children will look when they're forty if they continue down the road to gustatory perdition.

An elfin woman who looks like the kind of person who enjoys holding ding-dongs just out of reach tells them awful things until they cry, and then she sets about making their children eat cous-cous and wheat grass.

I think there are a couple of things that need to be discussed about this program:

one: These kids are horrific hellbeasts who really could benefit from a little killing, pimply little jerks who could be redeemed by the sorts of lessons that only the occasional cold-blooded murder can provide. They curse at their parents, cry when forced to drink milk instead of soda, and generally make a really good argument for sterilization.

two: The commercial for the show features a woman in line at the grocery store. She's complaining because her child won't eat anything but butter and gin. And hey, presto! the kid morphs into the forty-year old version of himself as he will appear if he keeps on eating and not exercising. The mother recoils from this hideous vision, this nightmarish visage before her, flabby and bald. Very effective for scaring parents, I'm sure, but what about the actor who's playing Cautionary Hideous Man in the commercial? How would you like to be that guy, whose very appearance can reform the eating habits of a generation, lest they swell and sweat into just such a shmoo-like atrocity?

I wonder what the audition was like?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Those Who Can't

When you're not updating your blog with japery and bonhomie of your own, remember always to link to the japery of others.

Case in Point: Tremble on balls

The mirror was an unnecessary extravagance, in my opinion, because I sincerely doubt I would need (or want) to see myself in a full-length mirror, wearing nothing but a hooded sweatshirt, t-shirt, and brown socks. It is not a good look. In fact, it's probably the second-worst look; add a wizard hat and it's officially the worst look. You should never be in a position where you're a wizard hat away from the worst possible look a man can ever present.


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