Friday, April 29, 2005

Language Junkie

I love language jokes. A friend of mine sent me this e-mail, and I had to share it.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are this year's winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes,right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

WOOKIES! Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Summer 2005 Movie Preview

It used to be that the summer movie season started on Memorial Day. Then, in 1999, The Mummy changed all of that by jumping the gun and coming out in early May, and making millions of dollars. Hollywood, apparently, surmised that all of America were stamping the ground, like horses at the start of a race, and that opening the gates a month or so early could only mean big returns would start faster. So the summer movie season opens earlier and earlier every year--April isn't even over yet, and we've already had blockbuster bait like Sin City, XXX: State of the Union, The Amityville Horror, and tomorrow's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There's no longer a traditional start to the summer season. Entertainment Weekly, however, in their summer preview issue (on stands now), has designated the first weekend in May as the opening. So, let the race begin. EW has proposed that this will be the "best summer ever" for movies. I really don't think that's going to be the case...

6 May
House of Wax: Come on, has any Dark Castle remake ever been good, ever? Except for a few scenes in House on Haunted Hill, no.
Jiminy Glick in LaLaWood: This movie is a real testament to the fact that Martin Short has a lot of good-natured friends. Did anyone like the show? I mean, anyone outside of the in-joke loving Hollywood community? The satire was never very sharp, and Short seriously misfired by making his character a bigger joke than the people he interviewed, essentially making fun of people who wanted to be famous more than people who already were. No one is going to go see this movie.
Kingdom of Heaven: Oh, come on--another one? Since the sword-and-sandal genre was revived by Gladiator in 2000, it's only fitting that Ridley Scott bury it, right? Since then, we've had Troy and Alexander and a seeming hundred other very, very bad movies that all seem to be the exact same movie. I heard the score to this one the other day, and it sounded exactly like I knew it would sound--sharp percussion, foreign wailing to suggest childish exoticism, and a lot of pastiching from Classical music. Just like Gladiator, the king of Classical pastiche. Can't they hire real composers, or all they all dead now? The lame Orientalism of the music, rather than any attempt to actually replicate Arab music of the time, is an indicator of the sympathies of the film--I'm sure we're going to see Arabs who are like the equivalent of those New Age Native Americans we're always enduring in the movies now. This movie is just amazingly unappealing to me. So much so, that Orlando Bloom starring as the lead is somehow the least unappealing aspect of the entire picture. I've seen it all before, alright? I've seen Gladiator, and The Scorpon King, and King Arthur, and so many other crappy movies that looked exactly the same that I don't need to ever see another one.

13 May
Kicking & Screaming: The trailer for this looks hilarious. Anchorman was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, so I can't wait for another Will Ferrell movie that isn't Bewitched.
Mindhunters: This one has been sitting on a shelf for two years and stars Val Kilmer. And it's directed by Renny Harlin, most recently of The Exorcist: The Beginning and Deep Blue Sea. Expect one half-decent Samuel L. Jackson-suddenly-killed-by-a-motherfucking-SHARK scene, and then forget the rest.
Monster-in-Law: Well, here it comes. The final nail in the coffin of Jennifer Lopez's career. It looks kind of cute, but the reviews are going to be a real bloodsport. I don't know, ever since Out of Sight, I've been hoping J. Lo would get down 'n' dirty in something. Maybe the failure of this movie will force her to. Even Jane Fonda can't save her now.
Unleashed: Can this please just come out already? It looks like a fun B-movie, but it's been pushed back so many damn times that it almost has mythic status. It's not going to live up to the hype, so just release the fucking movie!

19 May
Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: What is evil genius? Whipping up enough hype to make everyone on the planet want to see the movie, even though they knew nearly 30 years ago what the plot was. Will this be as bad as the rest of the prequels, or will George Lucas's pro-authority saga have a decent conclusion. One thing's for sure, I'm way too cynical about it to get raped again. Forget it, George, you have nothing to offer me this time around. I've had it with the cartoon characters and the lack of plot logic and the lame effects and CGI Yoda--I'm opting out! I'm through! Wait, are those Wookies? WOOKIES! I feel the nerd rising...DAMN YOU, GEORGE LUCAS!

27 May
The Longest Yard: I've seen more Adam Sandler pictures than I've ever wanted to, and they weren't as stupid as I thought. They're actually just really, really boring. I liked 50 First Dates, but that was in large part for the natural sweetness of Drew Barrymore.
Madagascar: Oh, good, more in-jokes. I don't like referential humor anymore, because Shark Tale and the Shrek movies ran it into the ground. Now, here comes Madagascar to dance on its grave. Seriously, after how bad Shark Tale was, this had better have a halfway decent story, and the only thing going for this movie so far is penguins.

3 June
Cinderella Man: Enough of these, too. I'm supposed to believe that, during the Great Depression, the only thing that kept America sane and gave them hope was some boxer? But, I thought it was Seabiscuit? Or some other irrelevant sports hero? Honestly, I feel like I've seen this movie enough times already. I'll go rent Errol Flynn in Gentleman Jim instead.
Lords of Dogtown: I mention this one because it's Catherine Hardwicke's follow-up to Thirteen, and it's the only decent-looking movie coming out this week. And it's about skatefucks, people I fucking hate. But Heath Ledger's in it, I like him. And Thirteen was excellent.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Why is every movie about childhood women friends named like a bad vaudeville act? The best thing about this Ya-Ya clone is that it comes out long enough after Mother's Day that I won't have to take my mom to see it...

10 June
The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D: Even though I think 3-D is incredibly lame and irritating, Robert Rodriguez is maybe the only director besides Terry Gilliam who has never let me down.
The Honeymooners: Can we get a court injunction to change Cedric the Entertainer's name to "Cedric the Stunningly Ordinary" or "Cedric the Middling" or "Cedric the Desperate for Laughs"? I can't watch him flop sweat through another movie groveling for approval. He's maybe the unfunniest black comedian who isn't Martin Lawrence in the history of comedy. And watching him play Ralph Kramden, a character who has moved beyond the realm of anachronism, does not appeal to me.
Howl's Moving Castle: Hayao Miyazaki's new animated epic. You must see this and every other one of his movies.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie having an affair? I don't really care. I also don't think their Prizzi's Honor alike looks very good, despite the involvement of director Doug Liman. But I'll probably see it--I like Angie, and nothing can be as bad as Tomb Raider.

17 June
Batman Begins: I've been looking forward to seeing an actual good comic book movie for some time. You know, one without the words "Spider-Man" in the title. Hopefully, this should be it. Everything about it looks good, and even the bad casting (Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, Cillian "Porcelain Face" Murphy) is doable if the movie is as good as I hope it will be.
The Perfect Man: Director Mark Rosman promises that this movie is "a little dark and moody," and not at all like "a classic Hilary Duff" movie. Look, I've seen all of Hilary Duff's movies, and not a single one of them is a classic. Hil, please ditch the kiddie scene and get yourself a job working with a real director...

24 June
Bewitched: It's by Nora Ephron! I don't care how many talented Will Ferrells and Steven Colbert's you've got in the thing, it's by Snora Ephron!
George A. Romero's Land of the Dead: They've been ripping him off for the last couple of years (Resident Evil, 28 Days), so it's about time he got his chance to show these kids how zombie movies are made. And it has Asia Argento!
Herbie: Fully Loaded: Lindsay Lohan, this is probably going to be the last thing you ever make that I go see in the theater, so I hope it has the good kind of Disney humor (Freaky Friday, The Santa Claus 2) and not the bad kind (anything with a dog in it). Looking at stills from this movie, I think you'll be able to chart her entire weight loss through the course of the picture.
March of the Penguins: This documentary will probably get a limited release, but how could you not want to see a movie with a title like March of the Penguins?

29 June
The War of the Worlds: Steven Spielberg supposedly waited a decade before directing this movie because he didn't want people to think he was just trying to top Independence Day. Then how come this merely looks like he's trying to top Independence Day? Spielberg stopped making good movies a long time ago, and I have no reason to expect this one to be any better than the usual $100 million B-movies he's crapped out in the last decade or more. Plus Tom Cruise is in it. Ouch.

1 July
Rebound: Martin Lawrence "comedy." Pass.

8 July
Dark Water: I haven't liked a single one of these American remakes of Japanese horror films. Ghost stories just don't work in America, not in the same way as they do in Japan. So I don't expect this to be remotely interesting, either.
Fantastic Four: What exactly motivated Marvel Comics to take their best comic book ever (sorry, Spider-Man) and fuck it up so badly? It's directed by the guy that made Babershop 2 and Taxi, so the scope won't be there. It stars a lot of bad, bad, miscast actors. And the effects look as terrible as the costumes. Any enthusiasm this movie brings up is contrary to the aims of the film--I really, really, really don't want to ever see this thing. It actually looks worse than the much-reviled 1993 Roger Corman movie.

15 July
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I want to like this, but I can remember the last time Tim Burton "reimagined" a classic film, and it wasn't pretty. Not pretty at all.
The Wedding Crashers: I am so fucking sick of Owen Wilson and his "ooh, wow, that's great" delivery. But at least this is another movie Ben Stiller isn't in. I think...

22 July
The Bad News Bears: The only reason I can think of for Richard Linklater to remake this film is that working with kids paid off for him so well in School of Rock (a movie I love). Otherwise, I don't care. I'm sick of Billy Bob Thornton. The screenwriters wrote Bad Santa, which was not a funny or satirical or edgy movie, no matter how desperately it tried. And even though I don't much care for the original, they're not going to top it, because people are so fucking sensitive about what little geniuses they think their kids are, that you can't even make fun of the little shits anymore.
The Devil's Rejects: I loved House of 1000 Corpses, and I hope to love this, too.
The Island: Well, it's Michael Bay, so it'll probably suck, but I know I'll go and see it. Excellent casting--Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean. Yeah, I'll go. Damn it. Fuck, and Spielberg produced it, too!
Last Days: I don't know what this is, but it has Asia Argento, so I must see it.

29 July
The Brothers Grimm: Is Miramax no longer holding the new Terry Gilliam epic hostage? Excellent. Now buy back The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam is my favorite director and everything he makes is genius, so I hope to see this do well.
Must Love Dogs: When will Diane Lane finally be too old to make the same romantic comedy over and over again?
Sky High: Disney movie about a school of superheroes. The credentials are suspect, but it has Bruce Campbell and Lynda Carter in it, so I am there.

5 August
Doom: Ooh, I don't care. The Rock's movie career is starting to look like a real write-off.
The Dukes of Hazzard: It's from the makers of Super Troopers and Club Dread, both incredibly shitty movies, but Jessica Simpson is playing Daisy Duke! That's more than enough reason for me to see it seven times.
The Pink Panther: Okay, maybe it could have been good, but the director of Cheaper by the Dozen and The Pacifier? And is Kevin Kline going to only do ridiculous French accents from now on? I like Steve Martin, but this looks more and more like a waste of time. The original Pink Panther movies weren't that good to begin with...
Untitled Mike Judge Comedy: This movie sounds hilarious: a dumb guy wakes up 500 years in the future to find he's now the smartest man alive. That's satire. Think of how dumbed-down we've gotten since the 1940s, and add 440 years to that. I can't wait.

12 August
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo: Who, exactly, was clamoring for this unwieldy thing? I was thinking just the other day that, of all the people in the world, I would love most to beat Rob Schneider to death with his own hand. No, he's not funny. No, he's never been funny. And I don't think "man-whore" is a funny phrase.
Four Brothers: No one needs to see another Mark Wahlberg movie, do they? He's already promised it won't be as "fake" as 8 Mile and its "stupid rap-off." Hilarious.
The Skeleton Key: Let the end-of-summer horror parade begin. I have to go take a nap, though.

19 August
Domino: Keira Knightley as a bounty hunter? Keira Knightley as a model? Keira Knightley as an adult? Sorry, I don't believe any of it. The real Domino, by the way, has already denounced this movie, because they made her straight--she's really a lesbian.
The 40 Year-Old Virgin: Starring Steve Carrell. You know, this could be really, really funny, and I really hope it is.
Red Eye: Wes Craven's new thriller is...zzzzzzzz...zzzzzz
Zu Warriors: Okay, this movie has been delayed for the last three years, and it's already been pushed back to September. Plus, word is that the studio has cut out at least an hour, maybe more. Time to see if Tai Seng has this on DVD already. I love Zhang Ziyi.

Of course, this isn't EVERY film coming out this summer, but I think these'll be the biggies. There are smaller movies that look good, like Hustle & Flow and the new Jim Jarmusch movie with Bill Murray. I have to disagree with EW, though, and say that this summer looks surprisingly spare on entertainment and long on disappointments.


There is now a follow-up to this entry that caps off the opinions and observations I've listed here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Chain, Chain, Chain

Frankly, I'm too tired and sick to do a lot of posting today (I have an idea how Merna feels), so I'm going to do this blog chain post that Becca did last night. Here's everything no one ever wanted to know about me.

1. What is your name? SamuraiFrog is good enough.
2. What color underwear are you wearing now? Dark blue (do you believe I had to check?).
3. What are you listening to right now? Lately I've been listening to a bunch of mix CDs, mostly glam rock.
4. What are the last 2 digits of your phone number? Why would I answer that?
5. What was the last thing you ate? Pudding.
6. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Nude.
7. How is the weather right now? Cloudy; might rain today.
8. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My mother.
9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Honestly? It's the eyes. But then it's the boobs. Sorry, I'm a guy.
10. Favorite food? Pizza is the most perfect food in nature.
11. Favorite drink? Pepsi, though I've slowed down since the blood pressure came back very high.
12. Favorite alcoholic drink? I don't drink very much.
13. Favorite place to shop? Tower Records, even though there isn't one remotely close.
14. Hair color? Brown.
15. Eye color? Blue.
16. Do you wear contacts? No, but I do wear glasses. Same boring aviator frames since right after high school.
17. Top or bottom? Either.
18. Favorite month? October or May--polar opposites, but they both are kind of the same as far as weather temperament.
19. Favorite fast food? Portillo's or Wendy's.
20. Last movie you watched? Houseboat, with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren.
21. Favorite day pf the year? Halloween.
22. Are you too shy to ask someone out? Not really. The worst she can say is no.
23. Summer or winter? Summer.
24. Hugs or kisses? Depends on from whom.
25. Chocolate or vanilla? Definitely chocolate.
26. What books are you reading? Jane Eyre, The God of Small Things, Camus's The Plague (all for classes), Hollywood Babylon II.
27. What's on your mouse pad? The rings of Saturn.
28. Favorite board game? Trivial Pursuit.
29. What did you do last night? Read, listened to music, and tried hard not to vomit (lost that battle, by the way).
30. Who inspires you? David Bowie, Norman Lindsay, Terry Gilliam, Harlan Ellison, Russ Meyer, Isaac Asimov, Charles Chaplin, Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Hunter S. Thompson and many others.
31. Butter, plain, or salted popcorn? Plain--blood pressure.
(I don't know why, but this suddenly jumps to 38.)
38. Favorite flower? Sunflowers.
39. First thing you say when you wake up in the AM? Great...
40. Do you still talk to your best friend from middle school? Yeah.
41. What's on your desk? Computer. I'm a boring guy.
42. Rock concert or symphony? They're both good, actually.
43. Play or opera? Either one's good, too.
44. Have you ever fired a gun? Several, but only at firing ranges. I was pretty good with a .30-.30 rifle at the age of 16. The .357 Magnum made my arms sore (lots of kick).
45. Do you like to travel by plane? I barely like to travel by car.
46. Right-handed or left-handed? Right-handed.
47. Smooth or chunky peanut butter? Smooth. Except sometimes, all I can think about is the legal limit of animal hair that's allowed in peanut butter.
48. How many pillows do you sleep with? Four.
49. City and state you were born in? Des Moines, Iowa.
50. Ever hitchhiked? No, I'm too much of a pussy.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fucking Redneck Yuppies

I hate yuppies, I hate rednecks, and I hate my fucking downstairs neighbors. Honestly, living in an apartment sucks just for the sheer number of times a day you're reminded of the existence of other people in the world.

I lucked out when I came to college in the fall of 2001. My downstairs neighbors were my boring, quiet accountant sister, and her boring, quiet accountant boyfriend (now fiance). They moved out when they both graduated in May 2002, and since then, every year, it's been one stereo-loving asshole after another. Right now, there's a couple downstairs that actually hung up curtains--yeah, they're those type of yuppie posers who seem to think they're living somewhere a lot nicer than they are.

Now, I like loud music, and I like loud movies. But I don't get to indulge myself very often, because I'm almost pathologically self-conscious about not making a lot of noise. I live in an apartment (and before that, a condo since 1990), and I try to be considerate about the people who live below me. But the people downstairs, no matter who they are, get their first taste of not living with parents, and the volume control on their stereo goes right the fuck up.

These people we have right now are the worst, too, because their music is just so white. She's always playing Madonna or Garth Brooks, and he's always playing something that sounds like Journey doing a bad Dio impression. Last night, they had some sort of party, so the music was going from 2 in the afternoon to just after 11. I finally called the cops on them; they managed to shut up just before the police arrived (an hour after my call). Thanks for nothing, DeKalb Police Department. When I called to complain, the music was so loud it felt like someone was hitting my floor with hammers. I could hear the music below me--not the beat, the lyrics.

And that was the most pathetic part--these whooping losers and their drunken, giggling loser friends were playing a CD that I can only guess must be called Party Tunes for Yuppie Idiots Who Don't Know How to Party and singing along with the goddamn thing. I shouldn't have been surprised that every girl down there new the words to "Redneck Woman;" the song is about being stridently proud of being dumber than a pig in shit. But when the guys started rapping to "Baby Got Back"...

I goddamn hate these people, and I will have my revenge. Tomorrow morning at four AM, I think I'll vacuum the bedrooms.