to Office Space is a verb

I watched four of my employees this morning struggle mightily with the photocopier like it was cavemen learning about fire. They fought the machine for a half hour before they got it to work again. This copier is brand new, and it already is failing. It’s a Xerox, who has been making copiers since 1959 and things still don’t work.

You’d think if they’d been making the same kind of machine for over six decades they’d have figured this sort of thing out. Nope! Everybody around the planet is still struggling with the same flaws, failure, frustrations, and fury. It’s almost like they build these machines poorly on purpose. So you can pay them for maintenance or have to buy a new one all the time.

Everybody wants to Office Space their photocopier. It will always be so. Aliens don’t even need to blow up the planet to take over. They just need to give every family on Earth their own copier. After one month of dealing with failure, we’ll be begging the aliens to become our overlords. Just as long as they destroy all copiers.

not complying with electronic equipment environmental disposal / destruction laws is the dream of every white collar employee

Cena likes money

John Cena likes money. That’s about all you need to say in conclusion after watching his forced, hostage video-like, confession of crimes that would make even the most jaded of Community Party goons proud and open to tears.

I mean, you could take it to extremes and be like: John Cena hates democracy, universal human rights, and supports genocide. That would probably be accurate, but still at least a little over the top for what’s actually inside his brain.

But the reality doesn’t really get past the hard goal of coin. John Cena likes money. China has money Hollywood wants China’s money. Hollywood will do as China tells it. John Cena will do as China tells him.

You need look no further for other examples than LeBron James / entire NBA (who worship BLM, but who also somehow apparently don’t believe in universal human rights, but also love money) or Zucky (who still has a copy of Xi’s book on the desk inside his heart, and who also loves money).

One of China’s most effective weapons is not what it does, but what it makes money loving cowards do for them without prompting. China didn’t send a knife wielding goon to Cena’s house. Cena did this entirely on his own. It’s quite pathetic. Cena is a grown man allowing somebody he’s never met determine what he says.

You know I just watched Five Came Back by Netflix where it chronicles how Ford, Wyler, Capra, Huston, and Stevens basically left Hollywood to put their lives and careers on the line to defeat fascism. It cost them their bodies and their brains for the rest of their lives.

I guess if China invaded Taiwan, or China continues to exterminate an entire culture, or if China sank a few US aircraft carriers, Cena would have to apologize to China for all the trouble we caused them.

I think Cena, James, Zucky, and all these celebrities and tech goons think the rules are different now. That China is not Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, or Soviet Russia. And so taking China’s money is perfectly fine. That they will do as they’re told, cash that check, and there couldn’t possibly be consequences.

They should tell that to their Muslim neighbor, particularly if they’re Uighur. Or maybe they can go on record and explain to America why they think Communist China is awesome, and how Democratic Taiwan is full of losers. In the meantime, it completely exposes them as money loving hypocrites who society should ignore, but won’t.

There is a very clear choice. China is not shy of describing what kind of world they want the 21st Century to generate. They’re not lying, it’s all very clearly put out there by Xi and his people. But these dudes have made a choice, and the choice is money.

important people, get important awards, say important things

My Guests and I didn’t watch the Oscars and simply don’t care.  We love old movies and old Hollywood.  Now everything sucks.  So we don’t watch, and would rather examine different kinds of beach sand in a laboratory than learn who won.

The Oscars used to be alongside the Super Bowl as a much watch event for the whole country each year.  But that was decades ago.  I can’t fathom a human being who still watches this running joke.  Though I’m sure plenty of decent, good people do so for their own reasons.  Hey we all have our own guilty pleasures, folks!  Mine’s beer, and more beer.

Anyways, we’ve come up with some belligerent guesses on how all this played out:

1) Most of the awards went to obscure arthouse projects and actors for films that almost nobody saw or will ever see

2) The ceremony dragged on for a bloated five plus hours as these self-identified very, very important people stroke their own egos with delicious hot fry oil

3) A celebrity made it a point to show and/or state how rich they are compared to YOU, the poor shit eating masses

4) Various, multiple, one-sided, unneeded, petulant, militant comments were made about the current state of American politics

5) Conversely, no mention was made about China’s current, daily crimes, because Hollywood wants China’s money and supporting evil helps with that

6) One or both Clooney’s offered a remark that made the audience desire to shoot one or both of them into the Sun via giant clown cannon

7) Bogart’s ghost appeared on stage and stated deadpan, “I hate the lot of ya.  You’re not real people.  I wouldn’t ever have a drink with any of ya.”

8) A woman clutched the Oscar statue, and quoted 37 Me Too platitudes, all without understanding the same statue is still held without shame by an acknowledged child girl rapist

9) George Lucas showed up, and tried to get everybody to shake his hand so it could be remembered that he is, in fact, still alive

10) Militant anti-film luddites stormed the stage wielding plastic bats and proclaimed a return to a “Heroic Book Future” before being subjected to tasers

Fin

adventure game please

So it got put out this week that Bethesda (a Death Star in its own right which recently got swallowed by the even bigger Death Star of Microsoft) has tasked MachineGames to make a new Indiana Jones game.

This could either go either way. If MachineGames can recreate their brilliance of the first three Wolfenstein games this will go great. Or, they could create a piece of garbage like their last game in Youngblood and mortgage any remaining relevance they have in the gaming community.

The last Indiana Jones game of any relevance was 28 freaking years ago with Atlantis. This was a game of its time, and when you go back and look at it, even though you enjoyed it as a kid, it now appears bat shit crazy, silly, and stupid. But at least it was fun.

Wolfenstein was a game where MachineGames could be brooding, dark, and awesome. I hope the Indiana Jones game is both good, and is an adventure game. Something lighthearted and fun, just like what made the movies special.

The coat hanger scene from Raiders quickly comes to mind. Where the evil Nazi guy barges in on Marion and that piece of shit Belloq. Nazi goon’s got a metal bar and they both think this stooge is about to mess them up, but it turns out it’s just a coat hanger. Here’s the video:

What a fun scene. It still makes me smirk, and I’ve seen that scene exactly 147 times.

This is the kind of feeling I’m looking for in the Indiana Jones game. May they not screw this up. Adventure game please.

everybody died today

The news is a funny thing. Lots going on in the world, but especially people dying. I think today I saw the following people have commuted to Valhalla:

– Sigfried or Roy, I can’t remember which one, but I think this means both are now getting mauled by tigers in Valhalla as drunk mead swilling goons laugh at them

– Some Survivor contestant, which means one of like 3,487 people because for some reason that stupid show still exists

– Some actress that at least a few people have heard of that was on some show or movie I’ve never seen

I think that makes it about 1/5 of the news articles on the front pages of the news I read. I didn’t click on these articles, but there they were, in my face. And I wouldn’t say I read trash news or gossip or celebrity sites. I’ve got my beef with the media, but it’s not like I’m reading TMZ.

I’m not wishing for people to go, and it sucks when anybody dies. Well, unless you’re Hilter, Stalin, a card carrying member of Al Qaeda or ISIS, or if you love & religious profess Crossfit. But it doesn’t mean you deserve front page news when you check out to the next realm.

I mean when like Sean Connery checked out, that’s front page news. Same with Leonard Nimoy. Otherwise, back page please, let check out time come quietly for most.

oh, Dune and Matrix 4 will go straight to streaming? wait, these things still exist?

Remember, everything is a remake or a sequel. Original ideas are for suckers. Dune and Matrix 4 will go straight to streaming instead of theaters.

This is like a mercy killing. It’s where you shoot a dying shark in the face after it gets mauled by a killer orca.

1) Matrix 1 might be in the top twenty of all time. Matrix 2 and 3 are terribly awful pieces of trash.

2) I’ve never understood the appeal of Dune. I worship science fiction like the loser nerd I am. I think Dune sucks. Kiss my ass low grade, confusing, science fiction trash.

If these flicks had made their way to theaters, they’d have bombed. So now they get relegated to the sin bin of straight streaming. But in a pandemic, it’s not banned from theaters because they suck, it’s risky, rule breaking streaming. Ooo, what brave movie production companies who ban their D grade material to the Internets only?!

Remember the pandemic movie debut of Tenent? Oh, Tenent was going to save theaters but somehow it bombed? Please. Nobody cares about Christopher Nolan anymore because his formula is the same and nobody is impressed. Hey did you know Tenent has a time travel plot?! WOW! I’ve never seen that in a Nolan movie before. I can’t imagine how it bombed, even during a pandemic.

Please, do not enjoy or even watch Dune or Matrix 7. Watch something new, even if it’s terrible. If it’s an original idea, it’s worth your attention.

Unforgiven – welcome to reality, and misery properly portrayed

Misery on screen is a delicate balance.  Unless the director is insane, it’s a horror movie, a horrible movie, or you happen to be making just about anything modern for HBO or Netflix.  Did you know life is a big meat grinder?  I mean, you could die, like, right now.  Your favorite doggy or kitty is one heartbeat away from Happy Pet Valhalla.  HBO and Netflix are happy to remind of this.

Oh Amazon is in on the game too.  Did you enjoy the fun, excitement, and adventure of the original Avengers or Guardians?  I mean, before superhero films became bloated and impossible to watch noise factories?  Well, don’t worry!  Amazon is here to help you feel awesome with something called The Boys where everybody is evil and human life is expended faster than Zimbabwean currency.

We’ve discussed this concept before.  And we recently rewatched another movie that properly handles misery on screen, and it’s Unforgiven, and it’s a legendary movie.

I haven’t seen the movie in a long time.  It’s way better than I remembered it.  Hell you can’t go too wrong when you get Eastwood, Freeman, Hackman, and Harris on screen.  And with Eastwood behind the camera?  Sold.  Get these four dudes in a movie where they drunkenly argue over which used couch to buy and I’d still adore it.  It totally blows that Harris is gone and that the other three don’t have too many years left.  Fuck Clooney and his toolish modern ilk.  All these modern leading men are con man actors compared to these four masters.

Eastwood goes full on reproduction of his still awesome and classic Western roles.  The tone is a perfect other side of the same coin.  And yet, because Eastwood is a master and not a Hollywood tool, the film doesn’t come across as a pathetic, politically based, beat audience over head with a message disaster.  You can truly love Dollars I and Dollars II for what they are.  And love Unforgiven for what it is.  And you truly enjoy, understand, and agree with the messages of all three movies.

Eastwood will one day be missed as a director, in a way we can’t even imagine yet.  Even Sully, the most basic of plots that has a running time of 43 minutes, is a decent watch and well worth your time.  Eastwood is still directing, he’s gonna die on set.  It’s appropriate, a heroic way for him to go.  I just hope it’s a long, long time from now.

Mad Max: Fury Road – remember movies?

So the debate is whether movie theaters are bound for the crypt because covid walked in and spoiled the popcorn machine. To me, whether theaters are doomed has been in my brain for years and had nothing to do with the virus messing with the screen focus.

The problem with theaters is the ability to put out quality movies that people actually want to see. Box office receipts have been decent for years, but not at the level you’d expect for an industry that should be growing in proportion to the population.

I attribute this to a movie studio model that chases big blockbusters with about 95% of their energy, and maybe leaves a little 5% left over to take some chances. For the most part, there’s not room for the spark hit or decent medium budget flick anymore.

Plus, all the big blockbusters for about a decade have been superhero slop. Hey if this is your thing? Okay, I get it, sort of. But it’s not mine. I haven’t seen a superhero movie in, since, uh, um?

I think they have an eighth actor to play Batman now. It’s John Wayne’s ghost! They dug up his mortal remains, cloned him, trained him to talk in an even more guttural voice, and he’ll endlessly punch faceless bad guys to no purpose for a run time of 2 hours and 43 minutes. This movie will make $1.3B.

Then there’s the darker side of the Hollywood equation, the dominance of China. China is now the world’s largest box office and it won’t be close. They don’t even have Netflix to compete with theaters. Mulan is out this week on China’s screens and America’s small squares. It will make $1.3B.

Never mind the script was run past the Chinese Communist Party censors or that that lead actress thinks pro democracy protestors are losers. These are minor considerations when you’re trying to make money in China. Just ask the NBA.

But if you’re like me and you want quality, open thought, risk taking, and generally not seeing movies that feel like they emerged from a vending machine? Well, you need to get rid of superheros, and China’s deep Hollywood influence.

Well kids, that ain’t happening. And so to me, covid aside, this a business model set up for failure. They’re just begging Netflix or Amazon to eat them up. Movie theaters will be where you go see classic movies back when they made movies that were actually good. Or theme park rides like in Universal Studios, or 4D experiences, or Big Brother mind control centers, or whatever.

Meanwhile, if you want to watch real movies, you’ll have to stream or buy blu ray versions of old films from back when they made actual movies. And there’s no better example of that in Mad Max: Fury Road. Which is all of five years old at this point, but feels like it was made a century ago.

a perfectly normal way for your protagonist to start the movie’s action

This will be a short review because I consider it boring to write a seventeen page piece on just how awesome every part of this movie is. The problem is that it lost money, and so Hollywood’s never going to take such a risk again.

Let’s face it, Max is in the promos with this weird face mask on, Charlize is bald and looks angry, there’s a dude with a guitar that shoots fire. I think mainstream audiences saw the trailer for this movie and immediately checked out.

It’s their loss because they missed one of the best action movies in history. A movie that also had heart, characters you cared about, and didn’t beat you over the head with some kind of overtly cultural/political message.

This all comes from the mind of George Miller who’s an elderly crazy man only famous for Max movies, and other massive cult hits like Babe and Happy Feet. This movie is worthy of an insane asylum, but to me that’s a positive when ever superhero movie is written by twelve suits in a boardroom.

this is not a computer generated scene

1) Hardy is awesome as Max, says about twelve words in the whole movie, but is such a talented actor that he does the rest through facial expressions alone

2) Theron is the real star / hero of the movie and that’s the point, I don’t usually like her as an actor but in this role she’s perfect and it’s her performance that grounds / drives this movie

3) Miller gives you a story you instantly care about (unless you’re psychotic), a brave woman is attempting to rescue of a gaggle of pregnant women from an extremely evil dude = sold

4) The plot starts five minutes in, the film doesn’t mess around with your mind or time, it gets right into it, and you’re hooked

5) The film has some of the most mind bending, realistic, and baffling action ever put on screen, even when I rewatch this movie I still find myself gripping the couch arm

6) Sure they used some visual effects, but much of this movie was shot on site using practical effects, which is why it looks so awesome and probably also why it was so expensive to make and thus part of the reason it lost money

7) All the craziness in play is such a positive to me, Max is strapped to a car for the first action scene as a literal blood bank, the second action scene he’s still chained to a lunatic, all the different looks for the weapons and vehicles, the guitar that shoots fire, a religion that worships an altar of steering wheels, all positives for me

8) Max and Furiosa each undergo their own stories of redemption, pain, and ultimately end the movie once again giving a shit about people and things, all accomplished without overly dwelling on it or portraying either of them as enraged, miserable lunatics

9) The action, I mean, damn, some call it the best action movie of all time and they might damn well be right

this movie is actually hers and not Max’s and it works perfectly

I could go on and on. This movie’s not for everybody, but it sure works for me. And I wish it worked for a lot more people too. I hope it’s done a lot more on budget with streaming and blu ray so the studios will take more risks like this.

But I doubt it. Remember movies? Here’s one of them. Enjoy it. There won’t be too many new ones coming out like it ever again.

Solo trashes Falcon (again)

In the third incident this year alone, dashing war hero General Han Solo crashed landed the Millennium Falcon into a bantha manure pile barn.  Witnesses say they observed a drunken Solo depart The Cantina only minutes before the increasing common aviation incident.

The episode mirrors other recent occurrences such as where Solo taxied his borrowed T-16 across an active landing pad.  Or when several years ago Solo flew the Falcon low over a transport carrying 110 civilian passengers.

In the latest event Solo was said to have been upset after he and General Leia ended their tumultuous but galaxy wide famed relationship for the fourth time in five years.  “I really don’t know why he tied one on like that,” said ace pilot and obsessive skirt chaser Wedge, “They’re just gonna get back together again in a few months.”

The Falcon is said to be down for several weeks of repairs.  But perhaps the more significant concern were the injuries sustained by famed Rebel warrior Chewbacca whose ultra long right leg suffered fractures in five places.  As a warlike race, when told he would require several surgeries and months of hoverchair time the wookie was said to have moaned, “Kill me.  Please, kill me,” repeatedly to a largely disinterested medical droid.

Critics, likely Imperial sympathizers, have suggested that were Solo anybody but General Solo he would have lost his pilot’s license years ago.  “Are you kidding me,” said Constable Red Shirt, “If I took his license the Rebel underground would have my throat slashed that very night.”

Others have wondered if a breathing device could be affixed to the Falcon’s cockpit to verify Solo was sober before powering up the engines but others are skeptical of the plan.  Said Wedge, “He’d just shoot it first.”

Harrison-Ford-696x442

there’s only one Joker

Apparently there’s a new Joker movie coming out.  It’s the fourth one this year.  I’ve never seen any of them.  They say this new one’s pretty good, I won’t be seeing it either.  Just don’t care, I’m over superhero, or superhero villain movies.

I think the only Joker I’ve seen was with Ledger, he did okay I guess.  I just found him completely uninteresting, even boring, because he played the part as a stark-raving-mad-brutal-psychopath.

There’s only one Joker, and it’s Jack Nicholson.  There will never be another.  All others are frauds.  His is the perfect combination of brutality, camp, evil, seriousness, character motivation & development, fun, and just plain great acting.  It will never be topped.

Batman-The-Joker.jpg

That is all.  Please carry on.