Archive for August, 2007

Grump Selects: Possession

August 28, 2007

WELCOME.

It’s my pleasure to introduce Grump Selects, wherein Mora and I go on and on about the cream of the crop. Whether it’s a favorite movie, a video game, a comic or how we like our eggs done (over easy. if it’s scrambled it must be with cream cheese), it’s sure to be something that we both agree is utterly fantastic. It sorta goes against our credo – to nitpick and tear apart everything that blows – but that’s why they’re special. They’re gooood. We’ll still acknowledge the pockmarks but Selects will always be near and dear to us and, hopefully, to you too.

Our first Select is Possession, a movie so bonkers Mora had to share it with me by mailing the DVD just so I could see it. He wasn’t kidding. It is bonkers. It’s surreal. It’s HYPERBOLIC!! I don’t even know where to BEGIN!!!

Let’s start with Andrzej Zulawski, a Polish filmmaker (with an impossible first name) who’s had a MADDENING time making movies in his stupid censorship-crazed homeland. After a production of his was shut down by ASSHOLES in the government he fled to BERLIN OF ALL PLACES and wrote a movie while going through what was presumably a very messy divorce! Zulawski funnelled all of his anger and creative energy into the film, about a crumbling marriage and, perhaps, just maybe, if you’re sharp enough to pay attention to the FRINGES of the FRAME, the Cold War.

Entryways to... POSSESSION!

Released in 1981, Possession is the culmination of the frustrations of a NUT with a capital N. And a capital U and T too. MMM, CAPITAL LETTERS EVERYWHERE!!! This movie, starring Sam Neill (so young!) and Isabelle Adjani (a cute yet completely unhinged French actress) as the sparring spouses, takes everything to the extreme fucking edge. Seriously, if you think you know acting, think… again!! Dialogue isn’t delivered, it’s TIED to a BRICK and CHUCKED through a window. These two scream at the top of their lungs while throwing conniptions so violent you fear for the stability of their spines and their minds. If you think you know what OVER-THE-TOP is you don’t know a fucking thing. Hear me? A FUCKING THING.

…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell.

Maybe this happens to all couples. :(

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GRUMP ALERT: More Evangelion trailers!

August 22, 2007

Jeez, where have I been? TWO new Rebuild of Evangelion trailers found their way onto the Internets!! Okay, well, kinda really ONE new trailer but the one below has more Utada singing and Shinji moping than the one above.

The Utada song, “Beautiful World” appears to be the movie’s theme song. I think it fits in that “Kom susser todd” ironic kinda way. Will anyone besides Evangelion nuts know what that means? Don’t worry, Evangelion virgins should do well to keep up on this, a remake of the original TV series and movies.

Wikipedia says Rebuild of Evangelion “will consist of four movies. The first three movies will be an alternate retelling of the TV series (including many new scenes, settings, backgrounds, characters), and the fourth movie will be a completely new conclusion to the story; the series is intended to be much more understandable and accessible to non-fans than the original TV series and movies.”

The first movie, 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, is out September 1st in Japan, a scant ten days from now.

Be still my beating heart.

Inland Empire: ???

August 19, 2007

[02:19] JohnnyMora: oh
[02:19] JohnnyMora: my
[02:19] JohnnyMora: god
[02:19] SirTMagus: …
[02:19] JohnnyMora: what did i just watch
[02:19] SirTMagus: \:3
[02:19] JohnnyMora: i
[02:19] JohnnyMora: i don’t know if i can grump it
[02:20] SirTMagus: I know.
[02:20] SirTMagus: It’s… futile.

Inland Empire - A Woman in Trouble

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MCLOVIN – Superbad

August 17, 2007

Hey, it’s a Two Grumplet Friday. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon The Movie Film For Theaters, another comedy, is the the other one. This one is all about McLovin Superbad. Here’s my original intro for the grump:

“Nerds, somefuckinghow, are in vogue. Either Captain Janeway got home or Wile E. caught that fucking road runner, something happened to make audiences do an about face and love our (yes, our, I’m speaking to you and, of me, if you somehow found THIS blog then you likely know at least nine Star Wars quotes off the top of your head) inhalers, acne-ridden foreheads and cripping social foibles.”

I didn’t really know where to go from there. I was gonna mention Revenge of the Nerds, other teenage sex comedies, escapist fantasty, blah blah social analysis girls are objectified whatever. What’s the goddamn point. Superbad is a raunchy comedy, lots of dialogue about penises and vaginas, girls we wanna have sex with you please let us have sex with you you’re bitches for not letting us have sex with you. It also wins the Longest Running Gag Award of 2007:

MCLOVIN.

You will hear that name a lot in this movie and probably for the rest of the year if you’re unlucky enough to live on a college campus or walk down a city block. Every Jagermeister-swilling backwards cap-wearing asshat will be sure to let the world know that yes, he too has seen Superbad, and he remembers the jokey name it had in it. It’s THAT joke. The movie relies so much on it and it even wears out its welcome when it’s first introduced because it’s fucking over-explained to painful detail by the Fat Kid. Since when has over-explaining the joke become THE joke? Yeesh. McLovin does redeem itself time to time, at least when Seth Rogan yells it but he could yell a Chinese take out menu and I’d still chuckle.

Uh-huh, uh-huh, yeah, is the rest of the movie funny? Sure. This is a decent comedy, another from the Knocked Up and 40-Year-Old Virgin guys, and again, the best stuff is about the almost-gay guy friendship. Seriously, I was on the edge of my seat, itching to see if they’d finally — no, no gay consummation yet. Instead there’s an unrealistic reconciliation and a double-pairing that’s way too lofty for even the fondest of wet nerd dreams. And the longest shot of a mall concourse I’ve ever seen in a movie that closes the movie.

Malls are places people buy Jamba Juice and insist on keeping Sharper Image in business at, so seeing one as the birthplace of young, messy love was disarming. I know someone, somewhere, is writing the script to the movie where the nerd discovers “the one” on MySpace and after much tribulation the film closes on them sharing a burrito and Sprite at Chipotle. Yeah, I guess real people do find romance there, it is more reasonable than crying in the rain but I can’t stand people finding romance anywhere. Stay miserable, I say. When is that movie coming? I want to see that one get made. Stay Miserable.

Oh, right the movie. It does some fun stuff with cops and creepy adults but Michael Cera, the kid from Arrested Development, must be born with the marvelous comic timing gene. Even though all he does is stammer and look uncomfortable he sells it every time. He sells comedy.

Comedy in Superbad. It’s pretty good. But long. Why does a comedy have to be over 2 hours long?

God, whyyyyyyyyy McLovin whyyyyyyyy

A Load of Bullshit Hyphen Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters

August 17, 2007

You may remember The Day Boston Stood Still earlier this year because alarmist authorities threw a hissy fit over some Lite Brites they found in the shape of Aqua Teen Hunger Force characters, mistaking them for hydrogen bombs or something. Many of you, I’m sure, remember that baffling stunt more than the movie it promoted. I certainly forgot about it until it quietly slipped out into the DVD realm, sure to be snatched up by Adult Swim loyalists and those curious to see what the fuck Boston’s bobbies went crazy over, and what a few gents probably lost their jobs over too.

They went crazy over bullshit.

This movie is just… pure bullshit. It’s not even worth talking at length over. If you’re a fan, you’ll like it. If not, don’t even bother. Characters are not properly introduced, the story is just a load of stupid crap strung together by a weight lifting device thing and if you’re really curious be ready for lots of gore, terrible animation, pop culture references for the sake of pop culture references and the most annoying work-out pop bubblegum song on loop forever and ever.

The rest of the music is pretty awesome. Metal heads will be pleased.

Fans will gasp at the sheer amount of favorite characters who show up (no Wisdom Cube though) and gooey delight will spread from their pores at just how much shit goes on in 80+ minutes. I was surprised how the movie just kept going and going. But it was funny, I laughed a whole lot. Definitely a flick to watch with friends, at a party, preferably with some booze and chips and guacamole dip. The DVD seems to have a ton of extra content, including, apparently, a whole other 80+ minute movie. Yeah, I dunno, I didn’t watch it yet.

One thing I will give it, it skewers the conceits of cliches of BIG MOSHUN PITCHURS pretty well. Subtitles for obvious locations, big stupid set pieces, flashbacks and exposition up the wazoo, and the origin story gets a big pbbtttt right in its fat, ugly face. I don’t know if they specifically target The Mummy Returns but they also make great fun out of a stupid climactic resurrection scene. If anyone would take the time and effort to remember and lampoon The Mummy Returns, it’s these guys.

If that doesn’t cut the mustard, Aqua Teen fans, Bruce Campbell makes a brief appearance as a giant fried chicken nugget so that’s cool for those who would think it’s cool and Space Ghost himself shows up for, like, a second.

So there ya go. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon The Movie Film For Theaters. A whole load of bullshit. Brilliant? Up in the air. Stupid? An overwhelming “fuck yes.” At worst you’ll waste a rental, or you may find Meatwad as cute as I do.

Performance Review – BioShock: A Shooter on the 360?!

August 14, 2007

Wow. People sure seem to be in a tizzy about this game BioShock, huh? I hadn’t even been following it too closely. Know why? Because conversations about it started with that dread phrase “first-person shooter.” Now, I’m not a die-hard FPS fan. Not by a long shot. The last time I played and truly enjoyed a FPS was Perfect Dark for the N64. That game was uglier than sin, but I could control it, use some neat weapons, and have some simple deathmatches with friends. I tried playing other FPSes in the interim, such as Counterstrike. Boy. That was a mistake. Anyone that had not been playing that game since the millisecond it came out was doomed to being headshot five seconds into every match. Not to mention I could never, ever get used to the controls. I don’t think humans were MEANT to use keyboard and mouse controls. I think a subset of humanity gradually adapted to it and one day they will become their own sovereign species, climbing out of their PC cafes at night to pwn our children. It’s a scary thought.

I’ve gradually gotten back into the shooter genre with the very excellent Resident Evil 4 (if you think that game’s survival horror anymore, you’re dumb) and the pretty darn nice Gays Gears of War, which was pretty much a RE4 mod. Both games changed the perspective to third-person and featured lots of set pieces to punctuate the grinding task of making hordes and hordes of whatever fall to their knees through brute firepower. Drunk off my success with these two games, I decided to give the seminal Half-Life 2 a try. After all, everyone loves it and it was only $5 for the Xbox. At first I loved it for its innovative use of cutscenes, but eventually I grew quite tired of it after it turned into an actual FPS and the gameplay seemed to stall. Conferring with Film Walrus on this seemed to corroborate the fact that Half-Life 2 had long, dull stretches where all you did was duck and cover from enemy fire and return it back to them. And I guess I was still pretty damn far from getting the gravity gun. From where I hear the game goes into a coma yet again. Damn.

So all this brings me to BioShock, whose demo landed in the Xbox Marketplace at a plump 1.3 GB this week. Skeptical and wanting to hate it SO SO badly, I let my Elite download it while off and I entertained myself with non-FPS pursuits in the meantime. Finally, it was done! Worth the final purchase?

y halo thar

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Ultimate Excitement – The Bourne Ultimatum

August 12, 2007

Remember…

Remember the last time you held your breath watching a movie. It must have been a really suspenseful moment, a life hanging in the balance. Maybe you pressed your hands to your cheeks, eyes transfixed on the screen, heart pounding, stalling, sputtering as the minutes pass longer and longer. And danger is about to strike any moment. The score vibrates in your ears – you make a mental note to stay through the credits to see who composed the music – and you can’t hold your popcorn in your lap anymore, you can’t hold your bladder anymore!! God, just anything for some sweet, satisfying release!

My last time was in The Bourne Ultimatum, during an excruciating footchase through Morocco. It ends when the music cuts away, the camera goes crazy and Jason Bourne jumps through a window and beats a guy to death with a book.

My lungs opened back up and I breathed a sigh of relief, not only because Bourne killed the assassin, I was relieved that YES, after hearing all the hype and positive press, The Bourne Ultimatum is fucking awesome.

MATT DAAAMOOONNNN

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