Thursday, July 02, 2009


Michael Bay hates me.

I know, he has plenty of good reasons. I'm overweight, grumpy, aging one day for every 24 hours that go by... Hell, most of the time, I hate me. But after Transformers, I thought me and Mike (his friends call him Michael) had an understanding: He does movies in which shit blows up, and I forgive the dog for licking balls.

Mike, you fucked it up.

I had every right to expect this movie to be awesome. The first one was great! It had real charm, giant robot fights, Megan Fox, Optimus Prime... it was like a tech demo for the awesomest movie ever. Sure, it was no Citizen Kane, but it was fine. Fun. The sequel promised more giant robots, more charm, more Megan Fox, and it delivered: a loud, explosive package of empirical awesome wrapped in a nutty shit tortilla.

I don't think it's too much to ask that after all these years, Michael Bay learn how to make a fucking movie. You know, to ease us in with some exposition, then tease us along with a compelling story, then nail it home with an exciting ending that pays us off for sticking with it for so long. But Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen isn't so much a story as a perfect simulation of having one's head dunked in a flaming cistern of animal shit... and I'm not talking about the pleasant kind, either.

The movie begins with our friends the Autobots having teamed up with the American military to stop the Decepticons from decepting. This is partially because the Autobots and the American military teamed up in the last movie, but mostly because Michael Bay can't go three days without fellating the US military. If this were a review of Michael Bay's Strawberry Shortcake, then I'd be talking about how she was teamed up with an elite unit of berry, berry well trained commandos.

So, the Autobots are teamed up with the military, and they're airdropping into China to take on some Decepticons. Because China likes letting us and our giant robot aliens into their airspace, it all goes down without a hitch, and soon our favorite Autobots are chasing after the Decepticons. Or... at least I think they are. And wait, those aren't our favorites. They're new guys? And that Decepticon is really an Autobot? And how many silver sports car robots are we following here? And why is there a pink ice cream truck that the military guys call "the Autobot twins," when there's also a pack of three motorcycles that they refer to as "Arcee"?

Ooh, nevermind. There's a giant robot there, rolling over China, and only our friends the unknown, confusing Autobots can stop it! WooHOO EXPLOSIONS!

Fuck you, Michael Bay.

So then we see Sam Witwicky as he's getting ready to go to college. He's talking with Megan Fox (doing a fine George Hamilton impression), who is breaking up with him, I think over a disagreement over what brand of motor oil they each bathe in before leaving the house. Apparently she's mad he's going to college, and she doesn't think he'll be faithful. Who fucking cares? That's already a whole paragraph that had no giant robots in it.

Michael Bay can't just let it go here. He has to rope us in. He can point to the movie and say, "Dude, there's a huge scene in which Optimus Prime busts out some swords and cuts some bitches," and I have to legally say, "Yeah, ok, you're right." Then he laughs like a hyena on meth and gets back to fucking up the movie.

There's a huge giant Michael Bay military porn section that seems to take up more than half the movie. Giant robots + bombs and shit = awesome, generally... but not here. You can't tell who's getting shot. The military owns the giant robots (whom I assume are Decepticons, but I can't fucking tell, and I know the military can't), and Sam runs around with a sock full of dust that can resurrect Optimus Prime (oh, I forgot to mention, Optimus dies).

A bunch of construction equipment combine to form Devastator, which should have ben the awesomest thing ever. But Michael Bay fucks it up. He manages to avoid telling us much of anything about the Constructicons before then, and then Devastator turns out to be about as awesome as a sick chihuahua on valium, getting his ass kicked by a pair of Autobot Jar-Jars whose ghetto-crunk accents that make Eddie Griffin look like Charlton Heston.

The plot of the film is simple, and goes something like the following:


I have no clue. I am a Transformers dork from way back, I have no clue what this film's about. Some old Transformer was trying to destroy the sun, and then some Primes stopped him and hid his machine in a pyramid so that he'd have to engage in all sorts of awesome stuff before he can try to kill the sun again. Then... the military does some crap, Sam and Megan Fox say things, and some nodescript, anonymous robots transform into cars that are AVAILABLE IN YOUR LOCAL GM SHOWROOM NOW!!!

All the film had to do was show some robots, have them fight each other, and have a plot that makes sense. At this point, though, the dog isn't just licking balls, it's moved a few inches south.

Fuck you, Michael Bay. All I wanted was a Transformers movie, and you give me this.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Uma Thurman is my girlfriend

Yes, it's true, I am in a relationship with Uma Thurman.

Imagine my surprise when I learned the truth. There I was, innocently opening my email, unsuspecting that this would be the day that Kill Bill herself would become my Lady Liaison.

But there it was: The correspondence.

Such a happy day it was! I mean, we've never met, but I did so admire her knobby, man-like feet in Kill Bill! And yeah, so I did think they had the roles reversed in The Truth About Cats and Dogs, in which she played the Hot Chick to Jeneane Garofalo's Frumpy But Interesting Personality Girl. But these things cannot get in the way of our Love.

I was immediately blown away by my dear Uma's caring. To begin our relationship, she immediately expressed concern about my sexual health, explaining that I could get Viagara for very cheap. She went on to point out similar deals on Cialis and other medications that she must have felt would help our relationship become stronger.

And then came the sweet talk, as seen in this excerpt from the very letter that proposed to me her love:

Episode, will put her fledgling acting. Swimsuit lingerie glamour amateur portraits articles! Current castings contact enter. Pics wedding photos stripped dirrty to, source for with. Tyra banks valeria mazza!

My heart, it is going pitter-pat! Here's more from my silver-tongued Hollywood vixen:

Later began fearlessly break, free mass media. Turlington, cindy crawford claudia schiffer elle, macpherson. Yourself, forum posts current castings contact! Tyra banks valeria mazza sabato jr marcus mark. Bridget hall carmen, kass christy turlington cindy, crawford. Interested as its own, art form im, keen. Only, voiced small part.

There are few things hotter than a hot chick saying the names of other hot chicks. It's almost like lesbians, but without most of the awesome lesbian stuff. Still, she knew how to hit my buttons!

All that was really sweet, but it wasn't until the end of the letter when she really poured on the charm, expressing in poetry what she couldn't express in prose:

That hid true self scope talent.
Commercial, timecindy staying powerkate mosstop.
Should reenact steamy kiss, madonna mtv music but?
Been, made darker theme the.

And that, my friends, is why Uma Thurman and I are in love.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stays Crunchy, Even in Milk!!!!!!

So. Chris Taylor thinks he can make a great game without crunch, does he?

Ha. We'll see about that.

Tell me, Mr. Taylor. Without your staff working 14 hour days, who was there to cover when the build failed? Or when a designer, bleary and confused from lack of sleep, put in a placeable or wrote a script that broke an entire level?

And who was there to help fix everything when one of the staff, drunken from the dinnertime bitch session in the local pub, changed an untouchable constant that rendered half the game unplayable?

And who, pray tell, was there to smooth over the rough when a cranky designer said What I Really Think to an exhausted artist, sparking an inter-departmental rivalry that will poison the production process for games to come?

And who will fix the bugs caught by testers on their 16th hour that day, the bug put in by a designer when, eyes bleary from 15 hours of staring at a monitor, he tried his best to quickly fix a bigger problem with an inadequate band-aid?

Who, sir? Who will fix these problems?! Who will minister to the morale of the project, trodden and kicked aside like a paraplegic at the Running of the Bulls? Who will speak to the poor workers, giving them shallow appeals to their inner gamers, coaxing from them the best performances they can summon given that they just don't fucking care anymore?

Who, I ask you, will call that shitty catering company to order more dinner for those starving waifs who cannot, simply cannot, get home to their families for the fifth, sixth night in a row?

What's that you say? What? You say that without crunch, those problems don't exist!?

Ha. HA, I say.

Builds break! Bugs are introduced! People get grumpy!

But then they go home and rest? Think about what they're doing? Possibly solve problems in their minds, in the comfort of their own homes? Kiss their wives and raise their children, without missing valuable months of the kids' childhoods?

And they return to work refreshed, rested, and... what?

Ha. Impossible. You can't make a great game without crunch. You'll end up rushing, and compromising, and the game will suffer. Ha! Got you.

Oh wait. Supreme Commander, you say?

Ha. Erm, Hm. Damnit.

Well, still. You're wrong. If you were right, then more people would have caught on to this during the many, many times this same argument has come up in the past. So what, we've seen studies for years saying that crunch is counterproductive. So you come along. Why do you think you're any different?

Every great game in recent years has been made under the spectre of crunch. Oh, except your Supreme Commander. Oh, and Oblivion, whose Ken Rolston told us in person that the Oblivion team worked little to no overtime at all. But how good could Oblivion be? It's not like they've
sold 3 million copies or been the whole reason Take Two's stock was upgraded.

Chris Taylor, I call you out. I challenge you to make a single great game without crunch time. Go ahead, I'm wait--Oh, you already did.

Okay, okay. But let's see you do it again.

Monday, June 12, 2006


It's done. I gone and done made Ms. Awesome into MRS. AWESOME.

It's a strange thing, being married. It's kinda like being painted with a coat of invisible paint. You know something's different, and everything just seems a little bit new, but really, as far as anyone's concerned, everything's still the same. I'd been living with Ms. Awesome for some 4 or 5 years now, but now we're MARRIED. Weird.

A few things have changed:

  • I have to call her my "wife" now, which is far less hip than saying "girlfriend." That latter term is reserved for a whole other kind of relationship now.
  • The relationship got a nice shot of "new" after the ceremony. Kinda like it did after we went from friends-to-dating, from dating-to-engaged, and so on. The difference is, this time there's no next elevation. I supposed we could go get "marrieder," but I'm not sure how that's done.
  • We could go off and have a kid now, if we want. That's messed up. I mean, we could have done it before, but it's like, expected now. Shiver.
  • Married couples seek us out to hang out. We used to hang out with almost exclusively singles, and we were the only real couple. Now hanging out with married people seems like the thing to do. Odd.
  • Here's the weirdest thing: Everything that happens is now evaluated with an emphasis on "It's going to be like that for the rest of your life." If my wife drops pudding on the floor (literally, not a euphamism for taking a shit... but I think the example would still hold), I think to myself, "She's going to be dropping pudding on the floor for the rest of our lives." Bizaare.

We have a great relationship. We laugh at the same crap, we torment our cats in much the same way, etc. She's a fantastic cook, and I'm highly skilled at eating stuff. It's great. And honestly, I have to say that mehwwidge was one of the best things that has happened to me. Because despite the fact that not a lot has changed, some very important things have. No more doubts as to whether she digs me. No more wondering if she's the one. No more trying to figure out where to go when I've had a bad day or when I need someone to talk to. I can't describe how all that is different now, it just is. And that's cool. I imagine it'd be the same if we'd have a civil ceremony or some dude dressed like Rerun from What's Happening giving our vows. There's just something about the act of doing it that makes everything different and the same at the same time.

As a wedding present to ourselves, we're replacing the bumper of our car, which got sheared off in an accident in the parking lot of the airport after we finally returned home from our wedding trip. But we also snaked off some bucks to buy ourselves an Xbox 360 and three games: Dead or Alive 4, Tomb Raider: Legend, and Rumble Roses. The latter was mostly a joke until Mrs. Awesome saw the scantily clad ladies and put it on the "No, really" pile.

I love my new wife.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Someone once said that you can polish a piece of shit, but it's still a piece of shit.

People say all kinds of stuff, but it applies to the new Xmen film fairly well. The thing is, well, they put on so much damn polish that I bought the film like it was a hooker at a garage sale.


The movie has two layers: One is the "HOLY CRAP THAT GUY SHOT LASERS OUT OF HIS FACE" layer, and the other is the "Hm. This doesn't make any sense as a movie" layer. There's also the "Why does Brett Ratner hate the X-Men?" layer, but we'll get to that.

On the former level, the movie owned me. I watched Beast flip around and kick people's asses, even though he was really Frasier under all that immovable makeup. I watched Wolverine, empowered by plot, kick the asses of everyone in the room. I watched an apparently 13-year-old girl kick the ass of Juggernaut, and it totally made sense. I watched Iceman do stuff and then do some other stuff. And so on. Essentially, I got caught up in the bright flashing lights and loud noises, and the film took me away.

I didn't even notice until later that the film had some serious flaws. There were a couple of major deaths in the film that were handled poorly, even without the "OMGZORZ THEY KILLED MY FAVE CHRRACKTOR AND INVALIDATED ALL MY FANFIC" angle that a lot of people seem to take. Cyclops in particular got a punk death.

Basically, in the film, someone has discovered a cure for being a mutant. A mutant kid has the power to negate other people's mutant powers, which supports the idea put forth in the comics of "Mutant Power as Convenient Plot Device." Like the gadgets of Blade or Batman Begins, if a character needs something, someone out there has a mutant power that can do it. Magneto meets up with a tattooed chick who can run fast and ALSO detect mutants and tell you their "class." Meanwhile, it took Magneto and Prof. X to invent Cerebro, which did the same thing, but with much flashing of lights and without the cool running-fast powers.

So anyway, the US is putting the mutant cure on the market, but it's also using it as a weapon against mutant criminals. We're supposed to see this as a violation, even though people like Mystique are terrorists and mass murderers. So OMG, it must be stopped, etc.

Also, Jean Grey is back from the dead in a plot twist that surprises no comic book fan older than 12, but now she's sorta evil and more powerful. And she has bright-red hair now, which means she's evil. Actually, she was standing there all in red, with a corset (that was actually really loose on the thin Famke Jansen) and cloak and looking for all the world like the Scarlet Witch. Anyway, first thing she does is kill Cyclops like a punk. Then she seduces Wolverine (because, really, how can you not?) and then kills Prof. X. Big funeral.

Suddenly everyone is afraid that the school is under siege, even though Magneto said in so many words that any mutants who stay out of his way will not be harmed. A true Ratnerian scene of anguish ensues.

The real difference between this film and the Singer ones is that Ratner has no damn clue what he's doing. Here's a scene from the film:

Wolverine: Grr, argh. I'm such a beast. Also, I have lots of empathy and am the perfect man.
Rogue: Oh, I am so comflicted. Sean Ashmore likes me, but he also wants to get into Kitty Pryde's pants. But she has the power to phase out of her pants without effort, and the moment I even touch Sean Ashmore all of his inexplicable lustworthiness will absorb into my skin. Boo the fuck hoo.
Wolverine: Grr, snort. I say you stick to your guns, bub. Rowr. Maybe make him some muffins that say, "LUV U" on them. Or draw him a picture of you two holding hands.
Rogue: You're so manly-yet-sensitive, Wolverine. Any girl in the audience would be lucky to sex you.

That's essentially it. Toss in something witty that plays on every character's powers ("Rogue, you suck!" or "Not everyone sees the world through rose-colored glasses, Cyclops! OMG LOL"), and you have the wit in a nutshell.

Two new X-Men joined the cast this time: Beast, played by Kelsey Grammer having just come from a Botox injection, and Angel, played by a marble statue with wings. Angel's role in the film was pretty much to flap about and represent how awesome being a mutant was to those mutants who had graceful and beautiful wings. I think if I were a mutant whose superpower was the ability to constantly shit out of my nose, I'd probably be very cross with Angel.

Storm played a much greater role in the film, too, which I think is a large reason why Cyclops bit it like a teething baby at a styrofoam festival. Luckily, she didn't have a hell of a lot to say; she mostly blew crap up and flew around--a pleasant improvment over Old Storm, who generally flitted about sayting stupid crap until the moment when she could make coulds go away or attack stuff with CG tornadoes.

In the end, stuff blew up, which is always good, and superheroes were doing the blowing-up of stuff, which is even better. The big problem with the film, outside of the fact that it sucked in general, was that it threw crap all over the franchise. It seemed obvious that Brett Ratner cared about the film to the total of zero, the way the actors were generally phoning in their performances and toddling about in what appeared to be the least comfortable leather outfits imaginable. He killed off Cyclops, Jean Grey, Prof. X, and essentially, Magneto and Mystique. And then, right at the end, he tossed in a bone to anyone who wanted to try to revive the scorched earth. Ms. Awesome came out of the theater announcing her intention to boycott Bryan Singer films from now on, simply because he "abandoned" X-Men and the franchise went down the toilet.

I can see where she's coming from. The film was kinda a jumble of poor direction and flashy, "This oughtta get 'em!" action and SFX. I'm almost ashamed that I liked it as much as I did, but it doesn't take much to get me with a superhero flick.

I'd like to see the film again, but not until after I kick Brett Ratner in the balls and make sure there'll be an "X-Men Begins" in the next 15 years or so. In the meantime, I'll go see Superman Returns alone and fret about what it means about me that I liked X-Men: The Last Stand.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Geek Flag at Half Mast

I was reading this thread at, and I realized something.

I don't have the energy to be a real geek anymore.

I mean it. As mighty and masculine and awesome as I am, I just can't keep it up. I can't keep caring about the little crap that geeks have to care about.

The thread linked above is one about the new Superman Returns trailer, which made me giddy like a little girl. The people on the thread took that awesome trailer and decided to argue about whether the actors are too young and whether Kevin Spacey makes a good Lex Luthor. And my first impulse was to post something resembling the following:

"Dear Damn Nerds,

"Who gives a flying crap about how old Clark Kent looks or whether Lex Luthor lives up to your weird fantasy of who he should be based on the comics, which present a new version of both Clark and Lex every other goddamned issue.

"Furthermore, this Superman movie is all the Superman movie any of us will get for the time being. So shut the hell up and just watch it.

"In addition, going to see a movie is not the same as pledging a thousand dollars to support a charity or political candidate. It is 12 bucks and two hours of your life. Stop acting like going to see a movie is doing the studio any damn favors. You're not that important.

"Also, I don't care about your pseudo-intellectual thoughts on whether the 'source material' was treated with respect. It's a damned comic book. They don't even respect themselves.

"And you're ugly.



But then I realized that I don't care enough to even post that. Because what will happen is that they will all turn on me and assert their right to geek about in a destructive manner. It's just not worth it.

Where did my energy go? Why don't I care whether or not Spacey's Lex Luthor is too whacky or a new Clash of the Titans film will exist? Why can't I focus on the stupid little details and work myself up into a froth that completely ruins my eventual moviegoing experience, regardless of the actual quality of the film I grudgingly go to see?

Maybe it's age. I did age a little yesterday, I think. I was sitting around, and I saw some kids outside, and I thought, "Damned kids. Get off my lawn." And then when I was burying them, I got a twinge in my back. So I figured I was aging.

And then I thought about it. I never hear old men geeking about. Is it because they, too, lost the energy to do so? Or is it, maybe, because geeking out just isn't that important in the grand scheme of things?

It's a rough realization when you find out that giving your all to complain about insignifiant details might not be a healthy way to go. Someone talking about the threatened Aquaman TV series might go, "OMG, Aquaman isn't going to be from Atlantis!!!", and I might respond, "OMG, Aquaman exists as an entity in fiction!!!" Who cares where the TV Aquaman is from. If it's a good show, frickin' watch it. If you don't want to, don't. The effort you save from not griping about it could be what saves your life in the coming apocalypse.

So yeah. I don't know if I need to give up my geek badge or not. Maybe it's for the best, especially since I'm getting married soon and no longer need my geek badge to pick up chicks.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Karl Rove Blackmails Senators

Read this.

I wish this blog had any real influence. Because I know the average American won't see this, and I think it's frightening.

The Bush Administration is putting political pressure on Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee in charge of investigating the administrations unauthorized wiretapping of American citizens.

This means that any Republican who votes that the White House acted illegally in wiretapping citizens without seeking court approval will be "blacklisted" and not given any support from the White House when they run for re-election in November.

These senators have choices, then: Vote their conscience, which in this case will tend to be to vote that the White House was in the wrong, or vote scared and toe the party line, getting these bastards off the hook for spying on American citizens and, at the same time, getting these gutless Senators re-elected in the future.

I fucking hate America.