Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Dorn Identity

Above: Worf's mighty Klingon brow
once disguised this be-polo'd nerd.
Check this out: Michael Dorn, the actor who spent like 15 years in Worf makeup was approached about an appearance in Star Trek 2 (or 12, or my favorite: Star 2rek: The Ensequeling). Of course Dorn would most likely have been playing Worf's great great whatever ancestor or something since the movie is set in the past of the alternate-whatever universe but still: Worf! Unfortunately as quickly as he was approached, he was unapproached and Trek 2 will be Worf-less. So what happened?


William Shatner, best known as the
Priceline Negotiator actually originated
the role of Captain Kirk. Who knew?
I suppose director J.J. Abrams is unwilling to open the door for future cameos. If he lets Worf show up in this movie what's to stop a William Shatner hologram or a time-traveling Wesley Crusher from popping up in Trek 3? Nothing that's what. Mass hysteria. For whatever reason the only original Trek actor allowed to appear in the re-booted Trekiverse is Leonard 'Mr. Spock' Nimoy. Sure, he's retired, but he seems more than willing to put on the ears if you give him enough money. In fact, if rumors are to be believed, he might even been Spocking it up in the sequel. That's cool, I mean, who wouldn't want more Spock?*


Ok, I'm a little ashamed.
Anyway, back to Michael Dorn and other Worf-related spin-off projects. Is anyone else totally up for The Adventures of Captain Worf: Space Ranger? Because I am and I'm not ashamed to admit it. At the Phoenix Comicon Michael Dorn revealed that he's been developing a direct-to-DVD movie about Worf flying around in his own ship doing Worf shit. Will it ever happen? Probably not, as the studio is understandably not so eager to dilute the franchise so soon after saving it from irrelevance. It makes sense, but still, it's kind of a bummer.

Sure, Lore was evil, but at least he
could carry on a conversation.
J. J. Abrams' alt-re-boot Trek movie was great and all, but is was kind of aimed at casual fans or people who'd avoided Trek altogether in favor of sports and mating. What about those of us who grew up on TNG and DS9? It's been like 10 years since the corebreach that was Star Trek: Nemesis, and I for one would like to see what's up with Jean-Luc and Beverly. And did Geordi ever hook up with that hologram? And what about Data's other brother, B-4? Is he still, you know, an idiot? Where's our shameless fan service?

Sure, I guess there's always the internet (Paramount is surprisingly cool about fans with green screens and ill-fitting uniforms making their own Star Trek shows), but it would be nice to see some TNG Star Trek that wasn't produced in some guy's laundry room.
If your babysitter can team up with your 7th grade math teacher
to make their own Star Trek show, why can't Michael Dorn have a go at it?
*But still...
Above: A goddamned time portal.
As much as I love classic Spock, I maintain that including Leonard Nimoy in the 2009 movie or its sequel is a bit of a plot hole and a clean re-boot would have been a better idea. You see Spock Prime comes from the future (of the future, still with me?) and in his long life has made use of like 15 different methods of time travel (one of which he invented himself) which he could very easily use to save his mother, the planet Vulcan and restore the timeline to its original pre-Eric Bana condition. It's what you're supposed do when someone screws with history, and don't give me any of that 'alternate-reality' crap either, I know of which I speak.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why are Birthers even still a thing?

"I am so getting you pregnant tonight."
-Trump to Romney
I love Donald Trump. I mean, I loathe everything he stands for: his politics, his hair, his fake-ass religion, but I absolutely love the fact that he's Republican (it's official) Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney's BFF. Why is that so amazing? Because he's a Birther and no one in the GOP seems to mind. Yeah, it's 2012 and Donald Trump is still looking for the secret evidence that President Obama was born in some other country and Republicans desperate to lock up the 'ignorant racist' vote have yet to show him the door.


"Suck on the improved job market losers!"
-President Obama
Birthers, if you recall, are the xenophobic, racist loonies who subscribe to the cockamamie theory that the Liberal Media in concert with Democratic leaders, Al Queda, the State of Hawaii and Cobra (why not?) concocted a massive national conspiracy designed to trick the American public into electing President Barack Obama so he could bring us to our knees with health care and moderate foreign policy. And yes, 4 years and two (long and short-forms) birth certificates later they still get a mic with which to express their crazy.

Check out this amazing clip of a phone interview in which in a moment of omega-level irony a man with the name 'Wolf Blitzer' tells Donald Trump that he's beginning-BEGINING-to look ridiculous when he espouses his Birther horseshit.
Wolf Blitzer is an appropriate name only if you look like this guy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's Celebrate Towel Day!

There, done. Happy Towel Day.
Holy crap, today is Towel Day! It's apparently an international celebration of the works of Douglas Adams. I'm not sure how this one has eluded me for the last 11 years, but there you go. The titular towel is a reference to the super-imporatant piece of space hitchhiking equipment recommended by the equally titular Guide in Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. To celebrate, one just carries a towel around all day. That's it. No cards, no gifts, just carry a damn towel.

Above: Thurmond, shortly after
drinking from one of the fake grails.
Why does Douglas Adams get a day? I'll tell you, but first off, why the sass? Anyway, he was of the greatest writers ever and he had absolutely no business dying back in 2001 at the age of 49. Fourty-freaking-nine. Like seriously, let's analyze the exact amount of fairness in a universe where Strom Thurmond, a noted racist, hypocrite and U.S. Senator lives to 101 while the guy who came up with Bistromathmatics doesn't get half that many years. It works out to exactly 0.02 justice units (or less than .01ยบ Ginsburg).


Really God? No Willow 2? Four
Crocodile Dundees but no Willow 2?
For this reason, I'd like to propose a new holiday: we'll call it something like 'Kvetch Day' or 'What the Hell, God? Day.' Unlike Towel Day, this will be a solemn day of reflection whereupon we...uh...reflect upon ridiculous injustices like human suffering, war and the fact there was never a sequel to Willow. Now at first glance it seems a little depressing, but once we all start celebrating it I think we'll find that it's really quite cathartic (cathartic means depressing, right?).


No one will get it off of work, because hey, it's 'What the Hell, God? Day' and it's supposed to be kind of a bummer but there will be games. Like what you ask? Here's one: people can get together and go around the room bringing up things that just suck and then everyone will will say 'I know, right?' followed by some angry skyward fist shaking. It'll be a blast.
Nicole: "I mean, sure, it was no E.T, but if you figure in home video,
the oversees box office and cable TV rights, Willow made a profit."

Alan: "I know, right?" 
p.s. Oh, and incidentally...

Oh and Incidentally...

...while doing an image search for the picture at the end of the post about Towel Day, I typed 'people playing a game' which the internet elves took to mean video games. The result? I got a lot of stuff that looks like:
this-
 and this-
-aaaaand this. I mean look at those tools.
So obviously I'd like to have a frank and open discussion with people who don't play video games yet for some reason are in charge of staging photo shoots of gamers: Guys, please stop doing what you're doing.

Is this what you look like when you
watch TV? No? Thought so. 
All told I've probably wasted a master's degree worth of time playing video games and I can tell you from decades, yeah, decades, of experience that no one looks like that (see above) when playing video games. Ever. Yet whenever there's a picture of people playing games in a news story or in an ad it's always the same: Well-lit, neatly dressed people perched on the edge of their couches, faces twisted in orgasmic bliss while they struggle to keep a hold on the controller which threatens to be torn from their grasp by some powerful, unseen video-game wormhole of x-hyphen-treameness.

This almost never happens.

Seriously dude, put your arms
down. You look like an idiot.
With video games having been around since the 70's and something like 67% of Americans owning at least one game console, you'd think the people responsible for taking these pictures would have seen one being played before before. Despite the best efforts of things like the Wii and anything that requires the player to strum a plastic guitar, it's still a pretty sedentary experience. Go to a Gamestop at watch the people at the demo units. Note the dead-eyed stares and slightly gaping expressions. No, that's not awe, that's mouth-breathing.




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Deploy the Corpse-Sheild!

I hope he read that label, he could have a
fork-full of the second Darrin from Bewitched
The egregiously* named SpaceX® rocket launched today carrying supplies, food and the cremated remains of 308 people sealed in what I pray to god are clearly marked canisters. Among the cremains (yeah, I'm afraid that's the real term), are those of actor James Doohan (the guy who played Scotty on the original Star Trek). Interestingly, it's not the first time they've tried to return James Doohan to the gravitationally curved path around the Earth from which we all came. What? I find it interesting...


Did anyone ever question the
wisdom of putting the drunkest crew-
member in charge of the anti-matter?

Anyway, back in 2008, his and 200 other's ashes were launched but the unmanned rocket failed and plummeted back to New Mexico. I guess it dinna have the power (sorry, I was physically unable to stop myself from typing that, and as you know, you kenna change the laws of physics [again, sorry]). Undeterred (and under contract), Celestis (the space burial company) recovered the canisters and tried again and now Doohan's ashes will hang out there for a year before burning up on reentry.


The sad part is the only person really
talking about space is this guy, and he
just want to drill for space oil or something.
And while it's totally cool that we're sending Scotty into orbit, there's something kinda lame about the fact that this is what we do with rockets now. I mean, we used to boldly go play golf on the lunar surface and tool around on the ISS but now our interest in space has devolved into space tourism for the super-rich, making parts runs and cluttering near-Earth orbit with our famous dead people. I suppose eventually this could come in handy if aliens ever invade as they'll probably be unable to penetrate our cremain-barrier, but that's not super-likely.


"My lord, our attack has been repelled. The Earthpeople have surrounded their
world with an impregnable wall of cremated celebrities."
"Those cunning bastards!"
Above: Brad X-Treamington,
President and CEO of SpaceX.

*For real, SpaceX? Space. X. Ok, look, spaceships are supposed to have awesome names like Millennium Falcon and Heart of Gold. SpaceX should be something you use to treat space herpes. Although I guess there is something appropriate about the cold, focus group-tested ring it has given how the company is more about brand synergy and less out slipping the surly bonds and touching the face of whatever.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Let's stare at the Sun!*

Hey everybody, today is Annular Eclipse Day! The day when our puny natural satellite will leap in front of the Sun because it's probably feeling under appreciated. I mean, when was the last time we visited?
Stupid Moon, thinks it's so great...
I'm not naming names,
just 'some states.'
Anyway, it's called an 'annular' eclipse because annular is Latin for 'ring' and scientists like to sound smart. The 'ring' here refers to the fact that the Moon will only obscure at most 88% of the Sun leaving a flaming ring of fire, sort of like the Heroes DVD cover. To most of the world, this phenomenon is just the result of the Moon's orbit, but in some states the event may also be attributed to a serpent swallowing the Sun and will be followed by the Rapture and the Reign of the Beast for a period of seven years.

As you know, astrophysics (the science of things moving around up there), like evolution, is just a theory and is probably just part of a liberal agenda designed to mislead children into drugs and gayness.
If kids don't learn about the seven-headed Anti-Christ Leopard Monster
in school, they're just going to pick it up on the streets.
*Ok, but don't...

The Sun is at least as bright as your
standard ecto-containment unit
so exercise all due caution.
Important safety tip: If you plan to gaze in wonder at this terrifying sky-hole, keep in mind that it can and will sear your optic nerve and leave you blind for life. To combat this remember to grab some Number 14 welder's goggles (12's aren't dense enough) from your local welding supply store or just throw an alpha filter on your camera. Alternatively you can fashion a crude eclipse-viewer out of a shoe box. You poke a hole in it or something. I don't know, I've never made one and you'd probably look like an idiot staring at the sky through a Sketchers box, but hey, knock yourself out.




Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'd totally vote for Metrosexual Black Abe Lincoln.

Thanks to Obama, people like Ricketts
can only afford one baseball team.
Wow. These guys really, really hate the President. Check out this story about a proposed Republican attack campaign designed not only to defeat President Obama but also to cement the GOP's reputation as a pack of lunatic racists. The proposal was put together by Strategic Perceptions Inc. for Joe Ricketts, who despite Obama's crazy socialist policies that totally destroyed America for generations to come still owns the Chicago Cubs and has enough cash on hand to commission this batshit strategy.

A bit of the trimmer indeed...

Here's an excerpt:

"The metrosexual black Abe Lincoln has emerged as a hyper-partisan, hyper-liberal, elitist politician with more than a bit of the trimmer in him."

-Actual quote, no, for real, it says that.



What the hell does any of that mean? I have no idea, but you can try to make sense of it if you want. The plan is like 54 pages long, but is padded with large font and extra spaces (I pulled the same scam in high school English) so it's a pretty fast read.
It didn't work in 10th grade and it doesn't work now.
Above: Rev. Wright, possibly making
some sort of anti-American gang sign.
The thing is mostly based around springing Jeremiah Wright on an unsuspecting public. Remember him? Hazily? He was the President's old pastor who said some crazy-town things years ago and the Republicans made it a thing during the election in hopes of distracting us from John McCain's extreme old age and Tina Fey's amazing Sarah Palin impersonation. Anyway, Obama severed ties and we all moved on, but the people at SPI are pretty sure that we all forgot about Wright and that all they need to do now is trot him out again to get Mitt Romney's haircut elected.

The centerpiece of the campaign would be a movie with super slick Hollywood production values like a chick hatching from an egg and some disappointed-looking actors shaking their heads and saying things like: 'What was he thinking' and 'That's HIS debt.' 
"I thought Obama was going to fly around the Earth at super-speeds and reverse time
so that 9/11 never happened. But he didn't. Thanks Obama, thanks for nothing."

-Disappointed American
"OMG, Amber won Beiber tickets? Psscht,
I guess even a blind hog finds an acorn."
-Teens
Oh, so you're probably wondering what's up with the chicken thing. Well, I looked it up and it's a reference to the saying: the chickens have come home to roost. It's something Reverend Wright once said and SPI has made it a re-occurring theme in the ad. As an added bonus, nineteenth-century agricultural colloquialisms really ring true with the GOP's key demos. Anyone who doesn't recognize the youth cred you get with farmer slang clearly fell off'n the tater wagon. Yeah, SPI's got their finger on the pulse.


But the coup de grace? The film would be narrated by Jon Voigt, so basically the President doesn't have a chance. I mean, Voigt stared in Anaconda.
Sure, liberals have Angelina Jolie, but the right has her crazy, leather-faced father.
Suck on that Hollywood elite!
"Racists? No, we just don't want our spokes-
token bursting out into some sort of rap."

-Fred Davis CEO, Strategic Perceptions Inc.
My favorite part of the proposal is the Fending off Racism section (pg. 41). Notice it's not 'Fending off Accusations of Racism,' so I guess on some level the strategists who wrote this are aware that their entire campaign hinges on scaring the shit out of white people. To combat the appearance of racism, they helpfully suggest getting an 'extremely literate conservative African American' to be a part of it. Great advice right? But doesn't the fact that they feel the need to specify 'literate' kind of indicate a certain expectation? Like maybe they think if they don't say 'literate' whoever they get to be a part of this might not know how to read?

Look, I'm not saying that these guys are racists (although they probably are) I'm only suggesting that maybe they don't realize how racist they are.
Above: My proposed strategy for the DNC. It's based entirely on that time Mitt Romney put his arms around some black people and started singing who let the dogs out. What? If it wasn't racist he's got nothing to worry about. 
Ok, I'm still stuck on this...
I guess they figured Gaybraham
Blancoln: Puppy Hunter
would
be going a little too far.

What the shit is up with Metrosexual black Abe Lincoln? I mean, everyone (almost everyone) loves Abraham Lincoln, so comparing President Obama to him would be like a good thing, right? But this is an attack ad and they're calling him a 'black Abe Lincoln.' So it sounds like this totally not racist proposal is trying very hard to remind us of how not white the President is. And what's the deal with metrosexual? Are they saying Obama dresses well? Or do you suppose they're trying to appeal to ignorant people who think metrosexual means gay somehow? God, these guys suck.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ok, you're cynical. Also, you're a dick.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition:
'Because the separation of
Church and State is for homos.'
Sometimes I think there are people out there who wake up and decide to be living examples of what's wrong with politics and political debate in this country. No time to click on the link? Alright, I'll summarize: Senator Rand Paul, son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, is a dick. Look at this thing he said at an event hosted by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition:

"Call me cynical, but I wasn't sure his (Obama's) views on marriage could get any gayer."

-Rand Paul, U.S. Senator for...
wait for it...Kentucky

Hey gaymo, vote for my dad!
Wooo! Ron Paul 2012!
So like, what do you think he meant by that? Hey, do you suppose Mr. Paul was complimenting the President on his bold public statement of support for a segment of the population that routinely faces discrimination and marginalization and had just last week been handed a demoralizing defeat in North Carolina? Yeah, not so much. That's a United States Senator using the word 'gay' the same way a twelve year-old on Xbox Live uses it just before he sticks you with a plasma grenade.


Gay, it seems, still means 'bad' to Rand, and to every single person in the room who thought that what he said was hilarious, and that just sucks. Look, I'm not trying to play thought police here, but isn't there some fundamental level of being a person we should all expect from each other? 
Above: Rand Paul explaining to attendees how the IRS is 'jew-ing' them out of their money. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cumberbaaaatch!

Wonder who gave
them that idea?
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is no longer allowed to act. He's done. Why? Because he got greedy. He's going to be the voice of Smaug the dragon in movie version of The Hobbit which is one of my favorite books ever. And that would be ok, but according to this, he's also going to voice the Necromancer in that movie. So that makes two characters I don't even remember having lines, but I guess Peter Jackson needs to flesh it out a bit to justify stretching Tolkien's shortest Middle-earth book into two movies. Speaking of which, what's up with that? Is there any reason The Hobbit can't be covered in one movie? It's almost like New Line Cinema is trying to milk the franchise for...but that would mean that the film industry is more interested in making money than creating art, and that can't be right, can it?

So back to Benedict Cummerbund. Who the hell is he? Well, he plays Sherlock in the Sherlock Holmes series set in 21st century London.
Not pictured: Benedict Cumberbatch. This is Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century.
It's a cartoon that asked the question: 'What if Sherlock Holmes's corpse was reanimated in
the 2100's, reunited with Watson's head on a robot body and solved future crime?" 
"It's morphin' time bub."
And that's fine. Sherlock's good, Cumberlump is good. Fine. But he's also going to play The Master in the next season of Doctor Who. Yeah, the Master. Ok, so he's Sherlock, Smaug, The Necromancer (whoever the hell that is) and The Master. Ok, certainly that's enough geek cred to set one actor up for life. Right? He's like the Wolverine of British actors-Wait, what's that? You have a life? Oh, sorry. That's a reference to how Wolverine's been a member of like every superhero team ever. Ever. I'll have to check on this but I think he was even a Power Ranger at one point.


To prepare for the role, Cumberbatch
will have his chest Armor All'ed.
Anyway, that's not enough for Benedict Bandersnatch. He's also going to play the villain in the Star Trek sequel. And he's not even some new bad guy, apparently he's freaking Khan. Yeah, that's right, Bandicoot Crumblebum is playing Khan Noonian Sing, you know, the genetically enhanced dictator from the Eugenics wars of the late 20th century (remember when those happened?). The writers insist they're not rehashing The Wrath of Khan and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt but holy shit, again with Khan? And seriously, he's supposed to be from India, what's up with that?

Yeah, I know Khan was originally played by Hispanic actor Ricardo Montalban (who was also not Indian) but in 2012 could they seriously not find an actual Indian guy to play him this time? That's just greedy Blunderbuss.
Like most Americans, I'm only really aware of one Indian movie and it's Slumdog Millionaire.
And while I've only seen it once, I'm pretty sure I counted at least 40,000 Indian actors.
So what's up with Paramount's casting department? Is Cumberbatch's agent just that good?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Birdemic. Trust me on this.

Holy crap have you seen Birdemic: Shock and Terror? If you have then you already know. Apparently it came out in 2009, so I'm a little late to the party here, but if you've never heard of it drop whatever your doing and run to the nearest Netflix capable piece of technology.
Above: An actual scene from the film. No really.
Duck Hunt: harmless videogame or
grim portent of things to come?
Normally I kind of hate bad movies people say are so bad that they're good. Usually they just turn out to be bad, but Birdemic is either the most genuine, terrible 'movie' ever or the most ingeniously deadpan comedy in the history of recording things visually and then finding them hilarious. The movie follows .com-douche bag Rod and his fashion model (it's a job, I guess) girlfriend Nathelie as they drive around Half Moon Bay defending themselves against an attack of animated-gif birds who peck out eyes, sever arteries and (in stark defiance of bird-science) explode upon impact with buildings.

Look out! The forest has burst
into several flames! Run for it!
Why are birds attacking? I think it had something to do with climate change as the movie makes some ham-fisted mention of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, preventing wildfires and switching to clean energy but the message was lost in all the birdsplosions and confusing, mushmouthedly delivered dialogue-a good forty percent of which is drowned out by traffic noise. In fact, the movie probably sets environmentalism back 20 years just by trying to help.


By the third mention of Rod's stock
options, you'll be rooting for the birds.
I'm going to refrain from describing too much about the movie, but I will tell you that the acting, writing and production values are roughly on par with local used car commercials and that it somehow took 4 years to produce. 4 goddamn years. Oh, and you better hurry up and watch this thing now because there's a sequel coming out this year and you don't want to be lost. By the way, it's called Birdemic II: The Resurrection. What's that? Is it going to be in 3D? You bet your ass it is.

Fun fact:

While fleeing the birdpocalypse our heroes drive from Half Moon Bay to Montara-a distance of 7.9 miles (or about 13 minutes) yet they stop for food, water or pee breaks like 6 times (9 times if you count stopping to help other victims), leaving the relative safety of their vehicle and usually loosing one of their number to some bird-related fatality in the process.
If there is a lesson to be learned here it is this: Never, ever pee or else a
cartoon eagle will swoop in and claw your fucking face off.
p.s. Thank you Mike for informing me that this masterpiece of American cinema exists. Hey, here's a shot of Rod's friend Ramsey humping his buddy's chair:
This goes on for like a full minute.