Saturday, October 24, 2009

No G.I. Joe Post Today

I'm going to the hospital for a sleep study tonight, and those G.I. Joe recaps take a few hours to do, and I just don't have the time. I'm not sure anyone's going to miss it for a week, but in the improbable even that you do, I apologize.

Halloween: The Horror Photography of Joshua Hoffine

Joshua Hoffine

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are (as Produced by DreamWorks)

via

Halloween: Geek Pumpkins, Part 5

My 25 Favorite Weird Al Songs

Today is "Weird Al" Yankovic's 50th birthday.

It's kind of strange to me that "Weird Al" is just four years younger than my dad. Mostly because, like too many people my age, I'm fascinated and depressed by my own aging. I've been listening to Al since I was 6 years old; I've been not listening to my dad since I was 13. Mostly.

Anyway, in honor of the man's 50th, here are my 25 favorite songs of his.

24. "Whatever You Like" (internet single)
The T.I. song, but with budget-conscious lyrics. Since I am in the wonderful grip of the cash-poorest time of my life, I can really relate and need to laugh at something like this.

24. "Achy Breaky Song" (from Alapalooza)
A parody of Billy Ray Cyrus' odious (and, once upon a time, ubiquitous) hit song. (Can you believe that thing was a number one hit? WTF?) Besides just being really funny--it's a list of singers he'd rather hear on the radio, such as Debby Boone or Donny & Marie--I do love the idea of using a song to sing about how much you hate that song.

23. "Since You've Been Gone" (from Running with Scissors)
Just a quick a capella number about a guy who is glad his girl is gone. I have a soft spot for Al's tales of unrequited love, stalkerish obsession, and break-ups. I guess because I've been there too often (especially the unrequited part) and I dig the way he blows it up to silly proportions.

22. "Good Old Days" (from Even Worse)
I love it when Al decides to parody a style instead of a specific song. It gives him a lot of freedom, and it proves what a talented songwriter (and mimic) he really is--which is why I get annoyed when people say that "Weird Al" just replaces the lyrics to popular songs. This is a parody of James Taylor's style, a deceptively sweet song about childhood reminiscence, obviously song by a psychopath.

21. "Canadian Idiot" (from Straight Outta Lynwood)
"American Idiot" was the only song I've liked by Green Day since "Basket Case." It was a great commentary on the Idiot American. But I actually think Al's version is more satirical, poking holes in American nationalism and the American stereotype of Canadians.

20. "Livin' in the Fridge" (from Alapalooza)
Parody of "Livin' on the Edge" by Aerosmith, with lyrics about expired food taking on a life of its own.

19. "Like a Surgeon" (from Dare to Be Stupid)
Parody of Madonna's "Like a Virgin," but way more fun to listen to. Songs about incompetent surgeons are always funny. I assume. This is the only one I've heard, but it's brilliant.

18. "Dog Eat Dog" (from Polka Party!)
Fantastic parody of the Talking Heads' style, right down to Al mimicking David Byrne's clipped vocal style. It's all about the emptiness of moving up the corporate ladder. "This is not my beautiful stapler!"

17. "Craigslist" (internet single)
Style parody of the Doors. I like this song a lot; not only is it hilarious, it's also a great commentary on how the internet has become a gigantic slush pile of the useless, the crazy, and the irritating. Worth it just for the passage where Al does a spoken word letter to a barista who gave bad service. That's the internet right there. (Bonus: Ray Manzarek plays the keyboards on this track.)

16. "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" (from UHF and Other Stuff)
One of Al's epics, sort-of-based on Harry Chapin's "30,000 Pounds of Bananas," but more in a similar style. It's a lengthy piece, a travelogue about a man talking his family on vacation to see the title tourist attraction. What really sells this are two things--the weird emotional honesty of the music (complete with majestic flourishes when the object is finally seen) and Al's delivery, which never once wavers from commitment to the central joke: that a man can get in the car with his family and drive to see the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota and have his life changed. It's amazing.

15. "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead" (from "Weird Al" Yankovic)
Angry rock with polka. A complete original, an attack on the laid-back yuppie culture of the eighties. I used to be as angry as this song is. In fact, I used to quote from it all the time. "I'll have lots of time to be low key when I'm six feet underground." But I sure as hell have mellowed over the last couple of years.

14. "Melanie" (from Even Worse)
Another song from a psychotic stalker to the object of his obsession. I love this kind of song; the stalker doesn't realize how creepy he is, he just thinks he's being affectionate. As the guy who the girl would never go out with, I love seeing it put so far over the top that it becomes ridiculous. Also, the melody of "Melanie" is weirdly pretty.

13. "The Saga Begins" (from Running with Scissors)
"American Pie" becomes The Phantom Menace from Obi-Wan Kenobi's point of view. This song really hit with me at the right time, when I (a rarity) was still high from the Star Wars revival and Episode I and was feeling really good about my lifelong Star Wars fandom. (The fans themselves then ruined it for me for years.) Since I grew up listening to Al's own "Yoda," it felt like we'd come full circle on that. It's a great song, but I admit there's a nostalgia factor at work here.

12. "King of Suede" (from In 3-D)
A parody of my favorite Police song, "King of Pain," about a guy with a clothing store next to an arcade who's having a sale. Sometimes it's the simplest pleasures that are the most fun.

11. "A Complicated Song" (from Poodle Hat)
I'm not always a fan of Al's songs about bad days getting worse and worse and worse until it reaches ridiculous proportions, but this one just hit with me. Part of it is the use of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated," which proves to have a nice melody when divorced from the lame lyrics.

10. "Theme from Rocky XIII" (from In 3-D)
A version of "Eye of the Tiger" that imagines Rocky as an old man working in a deli. "Eye of the Tiger" is a great song, anyway, and the idea of using it to highlight the most mundane situation was actually fresh at the time (and much overused now).

9. "This Is the Life" (from the movie Johnny Dangerously)
Done in a faux-1930s style, this song about a guy so ridiculously rich he can buy whatever he wants just warms my heart. Not for any particular reason, other than it's just really damn good.

8. "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" (from Straight Outta Lynwood)
It's almost impossible to parody R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet," the most ridiculously retarded musical opus ever recorded. "Trapped in the Closet" is a parody of itself; a piece of work so awful, so silly, and done with such a straight face you almost have to love it for being so completely dumb. Al doesn't try to reckon with that--it can't be topped--but does manage to do what he did in "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" and make an epic so mundane that it becomes hilarious. It's just about a married couple fighting and trying to get drive-thru for dinner, and all the little things (forgetting your wallet, etc.) that can go wrong from doorway to first bite.

7. "Bohemian Polka" (from Alapalooza)
I love Al's polkas, but didn't include any on this list. As accordion-driven medleys of popular songs, they're always fun, but the only one that really stands out for me as list-worthy is "Bohemian Polka." Which is just an accordion-driven, polka-tempo version of the Queen song. And it's awesome.

6. "Yoda" (from Dare to Be Stupid)
Like I said earlier, I grew up on this song: the Kinks' "Lola" with lyrics about geekdom's favorite Whill. And since I'm as precious about my childhood as any guy in his thirties, this song makes me feel really, really good.

5. "White and Nerdy" (from Straight Outta Lynwood)
Brilliant. Just... brilliant. I guess this is what the kids call nerdcore.

4. "Pac-Man" (unreleased)
Pretty much for the same reason "Yoda" is on this list. This is just a song about playing one of my all time favorite video games, set to the tune of the Beatles' "Taxman." I find this one going through my head a lot: "Pac-Maaaaaaan, eat the cheeeeeerrryyyy!"

3. "Happy Birthday" (from "Weird Al" Yankovic)
This original, a cynical birthday tune, probably isn't really fresh anymore, but I like it. I'm a pretty negative person, and this reminder that all of our celebrations are just brief spots in a world of darkness suits me just fine. It's not even that I think it's very funny, it's just that it fits my sensibilities.

2. "One More Minute" (from Dare to Be Stupid)
A doo-wop epic detailing all the things Al would rather do (my favorite: jump naked on a huge pile of thumb tacks) than have you back. Sheer genius.

1. "Dare to Be Stupid" (from Dare to Be Stupid)
My theme song: I have always dared to be stupid. This brilliant Devo style parody is the best song he's ever recorded, and my favorite.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween: Geek Pumpkins, Part 4

LEGO Raiders of the Lost Threepio

Don't have time to put up much today, but I wanted to throw up this video. It's the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark done in LEGO stop motion, with a different ending. Loved it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All Men Are Created Equal

A decorated World War II vet and lifelong Republican named Philip Spooner tells it like it is when it comes to equality, freedom, and gay civil rights. If only everyone had such respectful, such compassionate, and such American attitudes towards the freedom we're supposed to enjoy in this country. "What do you think I fought for in Omaha Beach?"

Halloween: Geek Pumpkins, Part 3

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

THE WHITE SISTER (1923)
Lillian Gish plays the daughter of a rich Italian count who dies in a fall from a horse. She stands to inherit a fortune, but the will is burned by her older half-sister. Gish also loves a dashing military officer played by Ronald Colman, but he is captured by Arab troops. He escapes and struggles to get back to her; she thinks he's dead and becomes a nun. And this all takes place against the backdrop of a volcano about to erupt. Melodramatic, yes, but very involving and Gish is one of the finest actresses who ever lived. I was genuinely surprised by what happened when the lovers were finally reunited; today, it would just be so pat an ending. ***1/2 stars.

LA BOHEME (1926)
This story of struggling artists is not one of my favorites, but King Vidor does powerful things with it. A lot depends on the perfect casting; John Gilbert, Lillian Gish, and Renee Adoree are so expressive and powerful that they just add so much emotional content to the story. *** stars.

THE RAVEN (1963)
Roger Corman, Richard Matheson, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Jack Nicholson... do I even need to tell you how much I loved this movie? Another horror movie played for laughs, very much in the same vein as The Comedy of Terrors (and made in the same year and, it looks like, on some of the same sets). Price plays the wonderfully named Dr. Erasmus Craven, a sorcerer who frees a fellow enchanter (Lorre) who has been turned into a raven. He and his daughter end up getting involved in a battle between Lorre and Dr. Scarabus (Karloff). The whole thing is just atmospheric fun, with Jack Nicholson playing perhaps the blandest leading man in history (which I chose to take as a satire on the type--best line: Jack pulling on a door over and over and finally announcing: "It's locked"). ***1/2 stars.

I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN (2007)
Ugh. Just... what a terrible, pointless movie. I'm not sure what point Amy Heckerling was trying to make here. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a woman who works on a television series about teenagers, and falls in love with a younger man (Paul Rudd) hired to be on the show. Now, this is where the movie really bugs me the most. See, Heckerling is trying hard (a little too hard) to make a point about aging in American culture and May-December romances. The television series about high school students stars an actress played by Stacey Dash, who is over 40. So I get that part of Heckerling's point here is that television shows about teenagers push these abnormal ideas about what teenagers are, and our society is so obsessed with youth that we think people in their 40s can still play teenagers. Okay, I got it. BUT. But... She then tries to tell a story about an unlikely romance between a 29 year-old man and a 40 year-old woman, and then casts 39 year-old Paul Rudd and 49 year-old Michelle Pfeiffer in those roles. So, you're succumbing to the same attitudes you're satirizing by casting actors a decade older than the roles they're playing... how does this work? Give me a break. Saoirse Ronan is much better in this than anything I've seen her in, but her character is terribly written. She's the kind of girl who is so preternaturally smart that she can see through the shallow layers of consumerism and make up new lyrics to Britney Spears songs, but then mispronounces simple words. It's the kind of lazy writing trick you see when screenwriters want the kid to be really smart, but still "believably" a kid. It comes across like terrible West Coast Gilmore Girls fan fiction. And I didn't even mention the "clever" device of having Tracy Ullman flit in and out as a fed-up Mother Nature. * star, mostly for the soundtrack (good, though kind of desperate, throwing those songs out in lieu of character development) and for the basic performances of Pfeiffer, Rudd, and especially Ronan. Lots of British comedy cameos that do nothing to help the picture at all. I can see why this ended up going straight to video. It sucks.

AWAY WE GO (2009)
Short version: a couple of twits with no personality create problems they don't have to make their lives seem interesting. Now for some more: Not a bad movie so much as an annoying and purposeless one. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph play a couple expecting a child who cross the country in search of a suitable place to raise their daughter. There are a lot of problems with the screenplay by Dave Eggers and his wife, both in structure and in the total lack of characters. The structure is your typical road trip movie--the rises and falls are entirely predictable, and Krasinski and Rudolph are overshadowed by the very broad people they meet. This would be a problem for any actors, really, but Krasinski and Rudolph are already extremely boring actors to begin with. Besides that, the Eggers don't really spend any time showing us why we should care about them at all. All we really get is that they're worried about being fuck-ups and they're pissed off at Krasinski's parents (Jeff Daniels and Catherine O'Hara) because they're moving to Belgium for two years just before the baby is due, which is seen by this very self-absorbed pair as the height of selfishness.

These two whiny, self-entitled idiots head off on a month-long vacation to meet a bunch of ciphers played by mostly talented actors representing people that the Eggers' want to make poke holes in without offering any real insight. They finally end up with Krasinski's brother (the equally bland Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law (a very good Melanie Lynskey) who have just suffered through a fifth miscarriage. It's a sudden tone shift that's just jarring; the filmmakers are so enjoying looking down on overprotective and underprotective parents, the couple acting like ungrateful children just because they disagree with the lifestyles of others, and suddenly human emotions enter into the picture. Being around Schneider and Lynskey just serves to highlight Krasinski and Rudolph's self-importance. And how is it that a couple who can't even afford to replace the cardboard standing in for a window in their own home has the money to fly and drive all around the country on a month-long vacation to find a Utopia for their precious little snowflake to have a "Huck Finn-y childhood"? The end result is entirely predictable, anyway. Especially for something with so little depth. * star. Mostly for Maggie Gyllenhaal's VERY BROAD but funny take on New Age-y moms.

8 1/2 (1963)
Stunning picture about a director with no new ideas. Marcello Mastroianni, as Guido Anselmi, is a director staying at a spa with seemingly his whole crew, as well as his wife and, hidden away, a mistress (as well as an actress who he begins to look at as his salvation). He retreats more and more into his own fantasies, dreams, and memories of childhood as he tries to get a handle on his problems and what his new film is really about. One of Fellini's most elegant movies, a lesser director would've ended up with an incoherent mess in this maze of fantasy, reality, and clashing egos. Instead, Fellini makes a solid movie, part satire, part comment on the necessity of honesty in relationships. Beautiful. **** stars.

RHAPSODY IN AUGUST (1991)
I never really thought much until I saw this film about just how many of Kurosawa's movies are about generational relations. This movie deals with three generations of a family--grandmother Kane (Sachiko Murase, an excellent and moving performance), her grown children, and their teenage children--who live near Nagasaki. Kane is haunted by the memories of the atomic bomb falling and cannot really live in the present, always remembering and worrying about the next time, living in the shadow of past events she cannot move away from. Her children have embraced American capitalism, and her grandchildren worship American culture, and she merely tries to teach them by her example and through telling the story of her family and the bombing of Nagasaki. One of the most interesting vignettes in the movie is the arrival of an American cousin no one has met (Richard Gere) who wants to learn about the Japanese side of his family and be there for the anniversary memorial of the bombing. The culture clash is not extreme (he speaks Japanese and is very respectful), but he does notice that people seem almost afraid of him. It's a quiet but powerful story about understanding and trying to find a middle ground between letting go of the past and understanding its importance. **** stars.

THE PROPOSAL (2009)
I am not a fan of romantic comedies, nor am I a fan of Sandra Bullock or Ryan Reynolds. And yet, I liked this movie. I'm not sure if I could tell you what elevated this movie above its genre for me, but I just really thought it was funny and sweet without being saccharine. Bullock plays a high-powered editor (one of the apparently three professions a woman can have in a movie anymore) who is about to be deported to Canada and who coerces her assistant (Reynolds) into marrying her. Hm, I wonder if they'll fall in love for real? No surprises, sure, but it's just a fun movie, and I thought Betty White was funny as Reynolds' grandmother. It would've been nice if Malin Akerman had something to do other than be the pretty girl who almost married Reynolds, but what are you going to do? I also liked that this was a movie with an older woman and a younger man (Bullock is 45, Reynolds is 33) that didn't feel like it had to make that a gigantic concern. People in romantic comedies invent enough reasons for themselves to be unhappy. This one avoided some of the pitfalls that generally make me hate these movies. (Unfortunately, it does indulge in something I'd love to see go away, the broad ethnic stereotype played for laughs. And Oscar Nunez may be funny on The Office, but I don't think I ever need to see him in anything else, thanks.) ***1/2 stars, surprisingly.

IMAGINARY HEROES (2004)
A family deals with the suicide of the golden son who, no surprises here, was unhappy because his parents were pushing him too hard. Emile Hirsch is an actor I still don't care much for, but it's too bad the movie wastes Sigourney Weaver and Jeff Daniels in potentially interesting roles by simply focusing on everyone's selfish displays of emotional immaturity and mistaking it for drama. Michelle Williams plays their daughter, who is barely in the movie. Too bad. * star.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween: Geek Pumpkins, Part 2

100 Bad Movies

I swiped this from Mightygodking. MGK took Rotten Tomatoes' list of "100 Worst Films of the Decade" and turned it into a meme.

Before I do this, a couple of complaints.

A. This is not a list of the worst films of the decade, because the decade ain't over yet. There's another year to go. See, I know this keeps coming as a shock to the internet, but we use a decimal-based counting system in math. 1 to 10. As in 2001 to 2010. That's a decade. A decade is not 2000 to 2009 because, unless you're a moron, you don't start counting at zero. Zero is a placeholder.

B. This list is a little pointless. Just scanning it, 90% of the films on here aren't so much truly awful as they are just not worth anything. There's a difference. Another thing I've complained about at length is this silliness where people will actually take the time to see Epic Movie or something equally stupid and will actually take to their blogs or newspaper columns to rail about how bad they are as though they're actually surprised. To me, a truly bad movie is a movie like Crash--a movie that is so precious about what it seems to think are divine revelations about race relations in America, and then approaches them with a soap opera's faux-seriousness. That's a bad movie. Epic Movie, Date Movie, whatever movie--they don't get badness points for not even trying.

Anyway, bold are movies I've seen, bold with italics are movies I don't think deserve to be in the bottom 100.

100 Whiteout (2009)
99 Glitter (2001) -- I don't think it's terrible so much as just a retread.
98 Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (2005) -- My love for Hilary Duff is a problem.
97 Boat Trip (2003)
96 All About Steve (2009)
95 Lost Souls (2000)
94 The New Guy (2002) -- It had some funny moments, I thought.
93 A Sound of Thunder (2005) -- Forgot this even came out.
92 Babylon A.D. (2008)
91 Surviving Christmas (2004)
90 Dragonfly (2002)
89 Basic Instinct 2 (2006) -- Poor David Morrissey. What a mistake.
88 Kaena: The Prophecy (2004)
87 Testosterone (2003)
86 Pavilion of Women (2001)
85 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006)
84 Thr3e (2007)
83 Doogal (2006)
82 Supercross: The Movie (2005)
81 Extreme Ops (2002)
80 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006)
79 The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) -- I saw this. I don't know; it wasn't very good, but I don't quite understand the levels of hatred that were lobbed at this movie at the time. It's not one of the worst things I've ever seen. It doesn't try hard enough to be truly terrible. It's more of a trifle.
78 Deck the Halls (2006)
77 Date Movie (2006)
76 Johnson Family Vacation (2004)
75 Son of the Mask (2005)
74 Envy (2004)
73 Gigli (2003) -- Bad, yes, but not really bottom 100. I don't think the critics would've despised this movie as much if they weren't so sick of the Bennifer media onslaught. I saw it on cable and thought "Sure, it sucks, but what's the big deal?"
72 Broken Bridges (2006)
71 College (2008)
70 New Best Friend (2002) -- My love for Dominique Swain gets my time wasted, too.
69 The Cookout (2004) -- Have you ever thought about how much critics seem to not like comedies about black people? Just food for thought. Not that there aren't bad movies in there, but it seems like they're especially hard on them.
68 Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie (2004)
67 The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)
66 The Fog (2005)
65 Swept Away (2002) -- Madonna finally proves beyond a shadow of any doubt that she cannot act.
64 Corky Romano (2001)
63 Yours, Mine, & Ours (2005) -- Silly, but not brain-damaging.
62 Serving Sara (2002)
61 Good Luck Chuck (2007)
60 The Perfect Man (2005) -- As a Hilary Duff fan, I agree. This is just awful. Really, really awful.
59 88 Minutes (2008)
58 Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
57 Godsend (2004)
56 Because I Said So (2007) -- And not just bad, but extremely irritating and shrill.
55 The Celestine Prophecy (2006)
54 Harry And Max (2005)
53 Modigliani (2005)
52 The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2005)
51 Fascination (2005)
50 Dirty Love (2005) -- I thought it was mostly funny.
49 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008)
48 BloodRayne (2006)
47 Soul Survivors (2001)
46 Material Girls (2006) -- Duffster, you're really killing me with these.
45 My Baby’s Daddy (2004)
44 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)
43 Darkness (2003) -- I don't remember this movie well enough to hate it. I remember thinking it was alright.
42 House of the Dead (2003)
41 Zoom (2006)
40 Down to You (2000)
39 Miss March (2009)
38 Happily N’Ever After (2007) -- Jeez, I thought I remembered the critics liking this one. I haven't seen it.
37 Code Name: The Cleaner (2007)
36 The Whole Ten Yards (2004) -- The Whole Nine Yards deserves to be on this list. Didn't bother with the sequel.
35 Deal (2008)
34 The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008)
33 Delta Farce (2007)
32 Deuces Wild (2002)
31 The Covenant (2006)
30 Fear Dot Com (2002)
29 Bless the Child (2000) -- I used to have people coming into the video store all the time telling me they dug this movie.
28 Rollerball (2002)
27 Battlefield Earth (2000) -- Every bit as ridiculous as you've heard.
26 Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007)
25 Meet the Spartans (2008)
24 Texas Rangers (2001)
23 The In Crowd (2000)
22 Disaster Movie (2008)
21 Epic Movie (2007)
20 Crossover (2006)
19 Half Past Dead (2002)
18 The Master of Disguise (2002)
17 Twisted (2004)
16 Daddy Day Camp (2007)
15 Alone in the Dark (2005)
14 Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)
13 Constellation (2007)
12 Killing Me Softly (2002) -- It may not be the most well-crafted thriller ever, but I never found it as stupid as every single critic I've ever read did.
11 Merci Docteur Rey! (2002)
10 Witless Protection (2008)
9 Redline (2007)
8 3 Strikes (2000)
7 Strange Wilderness (2008)
6 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)
5 National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers (2004)
4 King’s Ransom (2005)
3 Pinocchio (2002)
2 One Missed Call (2008)
1 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween: Geek Pumpkins, Part 1

You know I always love to see geeky pumpkins at Halloween. So I'm going to have a few up this week.

The Miley Cyrus Commemorative Tweet Plate Collection

My adopted actor William December Williams on Kimmel showing everyone how you really make fun of the silly drama over Miley's deleted Twitter account.


Coolest man alive. If I ever have a son, I'm naming him Lando.

Kristen Bell Mondays


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Song of the Week: "Halloween"

Self-explanatory. Siouxsie and the Banshees, live in 1981. Great song, great band.

Twilight Summarized by a Smartass, Chapter 16

I'm getting really fucking tired of hearing about what a perpetual bitch in heat Bella is. "Every time he touched me, in even the most casual way, my heart had an audible reaction." Ugh. I get it, you're horny. Let's not be overdramatic about it.

This book is becoming far too easily dismissible.

In this chapter, we find out that Carlisle became a vampire and has been around for a very long time. That's it. That's the fascinating story of his vampire life. He's a compassionate guy, so he feeds on animals instead of humans, and... that's all there really is too him. Except, of course, his "perfection" and all of that malarkey Meyer keeps pushing on us about how much better a form of life her little Mormon angels are.

By the way, I thought these vampires were supposed to be vegetarians. That's what I always heard. But they hunt, kill, and feed on animals. I don't know, I have vegetarian friends, as crazy as I think vegetarians are, and I'm pretty sure if I asked them they'd tell me that eating animals makes me pretty much not a vegetarian.

Let's see, what really happens? Edward has a lot of CDs. Not interesting. They have a great view, apparently, although Meyer doesn't really describe it very well (typical of her). There's the requisite scene where Edward toys with Bella to make sure the little girls reading this keep their nipples stiff. Because that's all this shit is. Twilight, Jonas Brothers concerts, most of the stuff popular with tweens--it's all sexual sublimation, and a lot of it's pretty cynical. It's all dry-humping. The extra sick twist that Stephenie Meyer adds is to keep up the dry-humping with no climax and to convince kids that constantly being in heat can be satisfactorily sublimated by simply being subservient to some asshole with an abusive temperament. She wants you to get hot and bothered and then tell you it's wrong to do something about it. Nice. No wonder so many kids are uptight and frightened of their bodies. Seriously, look around. Listen to these kids. They're obsessed with sex but horrified by the idea that anyone would actually have it. It's going to be a rough couple of decades as these neo-McCarthyite, sexually hung up me-monkeys take over the pop culture.

Oh, and the vampires are going to have a baseball game in the next chapter. Just when I think this thing can't get any more fucking stupid...

Sunday Hottie 246

MARGE SIMPSON

/obligatory

I Just Want to Say Happy Birthday to Zac Efron...

...and I've got a special gift for him any time he's ready to pick it up.