Wednesday, May 26, 2010


In the Sixties there was a band called "The Beatles" and they were bigger than Jesus.  Because of their massive scale in comparison to a religious figure, American television networks decided to create a TV show based around a rip-off band, which was known as "The Monkees".  Despite being only tangentially connected to a band physically larger in size than the son of God, the Monkees were a respectable height themselves:  perhaps not bigger than Jesus, but definitely bigger than Paul of Tarsus.  Though a band entirely manufactured by crass cooperate marketing strategies (kind of a failed precursor for the modern music industry), they made quite a few good songs which live on fondly in America's musical memory.  Also their show only lasted two seasons, but many of its signature gags live on as Scooby-Doo stole each and every one of them.

Let's rewind to 1968.  The band - now actually a real musical group after a very ugly fight for creative control - were not doing so hot.  The show was dead, their music was failing to place on the charts, and slowly they were moving into far stranger territory than their early Beatles-inspired pop image.  One weekend the Monkees went to a resort in Ojai, California with Bob Rafelson, one of their original creators, and a pre-famous Jack Nicholson*.  Supposedly they all got incredibly high (this was the Sixties after all) and brainstormed ideas for a movie into a tape recorder.  The end result was a movie so fantastically bizarre that it immediately bombed at the box office, killed the careers of the Monkees, and was left relatively forgotten for forty years.

And it happens to be one of my personal favorite movies of all time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

LOST Finale Preshow

The end of "LOST" has come, and I cannot possibly be happier.  I've only been watching this show for the last season, and I really cannot wait for the final episode to play and then we can put this entire ridiculous program behind us.  I feel almost as if I'm graduating from a really terrible high school.  No longer do I need to waste my time going to a class taught by an incompetent that knows nothing past the text book, and instead I can move on to real life or at least a fridge full of beer in college.  And with "LOST" I can now spend my Tuesday nights doing something else.  It actually doesn't matter what that something else is, because anything is better than this.

No, I don't think "LOST" is a good show.  Whatever gave me away?

Here's the honest to God truth for you "LOST" fans:  nothing about this finale is going to answer any of your questions.  No matter how much they answer they're nothing to going to making any kind of ending that will be in the least bit satisfying or can get near to properly wrapping up the emotions you've put into this program for the last six years.  It isn't going to happen.  Even if they do give all the answers that you want (which is hard to believe considering how absolutely ridiculous the "LOST" universe is), the answers you're going to get will be more ridiculous and terrible than anything you've seen before.  Don't bother wondering what the Island actually is because that's either not going to be answered, or the answer you're gonna get will be so profoundly stupid that you'll wish you didn't get an answer in the first place:  i.e. its actually an alien space ship, or this is some kind of messed-up afterlife.

This is why I feel I must spare you all the trouble of watching this last episode by spilling the ending right here and now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Last week I received a movie in the mail through Netflix.  It was flavorless, entirely unremarkable, lacking any real characters, and completely unable to deal with the major issues it brought up.  Recreating the human body through nanomachines might actually be the next stage in human history, but this movie was hardly mature enough to consider that, instead relegating the entire concept to the work of a Japanese Dr. Insano.  It had just one good idea:  metal sandworms (in fact I only rented this movie because I saw metal sandworms in the trailer).  The rest of it was completely junk that nobody should have to suffer through.

Luckily, that was "Vexille", and has absolutely nothing to do with the movie I have for you guys today.

"The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" is a movie about a teenage girl... who leaps through time.  No, that title isn't some kind of complicated metaphor that in no describes the story at all, its exactly what this movie is about.  If you don't want girls leaping through time, say you're morally opposed to the idea, this isn't your film.  I, however, being one who is rather fond of the idea of girls leaping through time, immediately rented this movie when I heard the title.  And since this is indeed a movie about a girl who indeed leaps through time quite a bit, I was not disappointed.  That it also turned out to be a generally good movie with a touching love story and beautiful animation - that's all a nice bonus.  I don't know about anybody else, but all I need for my movies is just a girl and for her to leap through time, at least once.  Can't go wrong with that formula I say.  But since I doubt you guys share my love for girls leaping through time, I guess I should go ahead and explain why this movie is worth a watch.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Party Down

Ever get the feeling while watching a show that you alone are its entire fanbase?

Probably not, because that's really an insane feeling to have.  However, its what I get whenever I watch my favorite Starz original series, "Party Down".  Let me guess?  You've never heard of it?  Well, that makes you a member of a class of the human race that I call "everybody on Earth but myself".  I get the strange feeling watching this show that the entirety of its viewers are myself, and possibly the actors themselves and their families - and I'm not even sure of that much.  Its one thing to watch TV alone, its quite another to feel that throughout this entire approximately 8000-mile wide planet, I'm the only one enjoying this program at this moment.  That's something I usually only get with B-movies like "Troll 2".  The show doesn't even have a TV Tropes page!

Here's the sad thing:  "Party Down" is a really good show.  Its so good, that despite having literally no viewers beside myself, it got renewed for a second season.  It got renewed for a third season.  Its that good of a show that it doesn't even need viewers.  Seriously.

Friday, May 14, 2010

SoulSilver Log: Part 6

(The above is a sketch I did of game-Blue and two of her Pokemon:  Milotic and Pikachu.  Its currently hanging in my little cousin's hospital room, where they can watch over him as he gets better.)

As we rejoin Blue in her journey to be the very best that no one ever was, Blue has wandered into the mysterious world known as the Battle Frontier.  The Battle Frontier does not actually exist in the same world as the rest of Pokemon, clearly, as the rules here are incredibly strange.  For example, Blue's Pokemon could not actually follow her around as they did everywhere else*.  There's no money, just a weird sort of currency known as "BP".  Also, when engaged in battle, Blue had to follow the often ridiculous rules set by the local warlords, known as Frontier Brains.  A goofier name for some of the strongest trainers in the world, Blue could not imagine.  Seriously "Brain"?  Anyway, through magic or some other power, the Brains could set up any kind of ridiculous rule that they wanted for their Gyms.

The first things seriously annoying about the Frontier was how you couldn't just go up and fight the Frontier Brains.  Instead, you had to fight three streaks of seven battles consecutively, with the only only breaks coming after a streak was completed.  Only after this complicated ordeal, the end of the third streak (the twenty-first battle) did Blue even have a shot at fighting the Brains.  Lose once, and you're back to the beginning.  And above all that, Blue had to follow whatever crazy local battle rules the Brain had set up for the Gym.  Luckily they usually heal your Pokemon between fights, so it really isn't so hard as it might sound.  But the real problem is that Blue couldn't fight at full strength.  She had to follow whatever strange restrictions the Brains set up:  be it only three Pokemon, one Pokemon, or in the worst case scenario, rented Pokemon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I'm a Better Choice For Supreme Court Justice Then Elena Kagan

I am everything that Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan is, and twenty times more.  Some people have greeted Kagan's nomination with dismay, but none are as furious as I am.  Some hate her because she's too young, some hate her because she's not Protestant, and some hate her because they're Rush Limbaugh and are contractually obligated to hate everything Obama does.  But I hate her because once again I've been passed over for the Court.  How many times now?

First it was Clarence Thomas.  I'll admit that President Clinton might have had a tough time getting the Senate to approve me since I was only nine months old and couldn't talk yet, but that's really the only one I can understand.  By the time Ruth Bader Ginsberg was confirmed, I was already two and a half, and many times overqualified to precide over the highest court in the nation.  Stephen Breyer was just an insult.  But I really didn't start getting mad until Samuel Alito.  When I was passed over that time, I was fifteen years old and was more Constitutional Scholar then any hack Yale graduate.  How did George W. Bush ignore me?  I even managed to keep the peace last year when Sonia Sotomayer was confirmed instead of me.

But no more!  I will not be ignored anymore!  I've been a loyal citizen of this country for nineteen years now and have many times the experience of these ivory tower judges (bah) and legal scholars.  Humbug, I say!  Kagan is easily the most egregious case of my many talents being overlooked.  I tell you, everything that Kagan might be is completely surpassed by me.  There's nothing that she is that I'm not as well, only twenty times better.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iron Man 2

Today I fulfilled my patriotic duty to the United States of America in two ways:  1) I voted for the first time of my life, and 2) I went to see a silly popcorn-wasting blockbuster Hollywood movie.  Obviously the latter is more important for the continuing prosperity of my nation, but voting is nice too.

Now beyond merely public service, I had to see this movie:  Robert Downey Jr. Blessed Be His Name, is the star, of course.  The man has been on an epic winning streak which I previously pointed out in my review of "Sherlock Holmes".  Thanks to that, I might wind up seeing every Robert Downey Jr. movie that will be made until his star power fades from this Earth when he is taken from us by the cruel hands of the Grave.  Also "Iron Man 1" was easily one of the best movies of 2008, almost entirely because of Downey Jr.'s effortless yet perfect portrayal of comic book playboy, Tony Stark, and thanks to an excellent supporting cast of Terrence Howard, evil bald Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

It was a fun movie.  More importantly with his egotism and alcohol issues, the character of Tony Stark seemed to offer some hints of deep personal issues that could be sorted out in the next few films that could really get into the meat of this franchise.  There's definitely more to this character than just his playboy attitude and 70s sunglasses.  But does "Iron Man 2" actually deliver on that kind of promise?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers

The picture to the left of this text better in words sums up what I feel about this movie.  Look at that cartoon creature's expression of pure exhausted desperation - that's how watching "Eureka Seven:  Pretentious, Long Subtitle"* makes me feel.  Expect spoilers during this rant.

Like so many anime series before, my beloved "Eureka Seven" has made the jump to the big screen with a film adaptation of the series.  Of course, nothing about "Eureka Seven:  The Movie" actually has very much to do with the original series.  It isn't a sequel, prequel, or even just a summary of the original series, rather its a completely different story, just with the characters reshuffled into new roles in a slightly new plot.  Best comparison I can make is with "Escaflowne:  The Movie".  But unlike that movie, this film does not feature new animation:  instead they cut up the original series, threw in new voice acting, and edited together the frames so that it comes together to make new plot.  Not a coherent plot, or a plot that properly compliments the original series, or even a plot that still manages to keep the general themes and emotions of the original, but definitely a new one plot.  BONES, the studio definitely succeeded there.  But did they succeed anywhere else?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Immigration Blues

You know what, "Ender's Game" is a load of crap.  I've been doing this blogger thing for six months now, and I have yet to settle any major international disputes, unite the world under any kind of political conflagration, or become Hegemon.  I really need a Demosthenes for my Locke...  At the very least, I should have at least been interviewed on Glenn Beck by now and finally got a chance to punch him in the face like I've always dreamed.  Could Orson Scott Card have grossly underestimated the influence an anonymous Internet blog might have?

Well anyway, I guess the best answer I can give is just to keep at it.  I'm sure eventually all this blogging should at least get me a major Cabinet position in the end.

Much has been made about the problem of illegal immigration, which I will admit exists and it is a serious one.  However, I don't actually believe that what I conceive of as a "problem" is the same thing the conservative Tea Partiers are looking at.  To them, the problem seems to be that millions of foreigners are sneaking into this country, and now are working at lower wages and thus somehow "taking jobs" from Americans, all while subverting this country's culture by continuing to speak native languages and follow foreign customs.  I, however, look at millions of poor people being forced to sneak into this country (in some cases even crossing deserts) thanks to our cruelly restrictive immigration process.  How exactly is it that we're looking at the same problem?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Boondocks Returns!

Oh Boondocks, the world has been so without your guidance for the last few years.  Why did you leave us when we needed you most?

Before you get worried, this show has absolutely nothing to do with "The Boondocks Saints".  Less said about that the better.  Actually "The Boondocks" is the landmark anime* cartoon series based on the newspaper comic strip by Aaron McGruder.  Combining political parody, kung-fu flicks, and social commentary of Black culture, "The Boondocks" represents easily the most brilliant original series [Adult Swim] has ever produced.  Twisted, irreverent, and at times totally awesome, this is the type of show you do not want to miss out on.  That's why I've been following this show loyally for what it coming on half a decade now.