My Old Chum

For some odd reason, I only just watched Kick-Ass. In honor of this, the one time in the past decade where Nic Cage’s recent? style of acting actually served the movie, I present to you the man’s greatest hits.

Obscure pop culture reference mixed with impotent wordplay.

Pretty sure I would sit through ninety minutes of this.

Free Brazilian Wax

Are you worried about bikini season? Are you tired of all that unruly pubic hair?

There HAS to be a better way!

Well, have I got the solution for you. Just play this infuriating game where you have to figure out arcane and obscure visual clues about movie titles from the last 20 years. Eventually you’ll rip out all of your pubes in frustration.

I really suggest you try for a while, hell you can save your game and come back later, before you give in and look at the answers. I’m loathe to even link to them but it’d be crueler not to. Although some of these are completely ridiculous and others are just hard to visually make out, stick with it. Hell, there were a clues that I had no idea were movies, but I reasonably guessed and lucked out, so you never know. Don’t forget the aloe vera.

(via deusexmalcontent)

A note to the amorphous mass of individuals and cocaine habits collectively known as Hollywood.

This guy, yeah this guy:

is 29 years old. Please stop casting him as a high school student. I know he’s a handsome fellow and youthful to boot1, but this is ridiculous.

He’s been playing a high school student for 10 years. The ten years since he GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL. I get that actual high school students probably can’t pull off everything older actors can, but cut the guy a break. I’m only 27 and I barely remember what high school was like.2

Oh yeah, and while you’re at it, him too:

Just kidding Jonah, I still love you. Stay strong, I mean fat. Don’t give in like Rogen did.

  1. Hell, I wouldn’t gaykick him out of gaybed for eating gaycrackers. []
  2. In my day we didn’t have any “sexting”. We had to write sexnotes by hand on this thing called paper and we had to pass them in class and hope the other students didn’t get suspicious about all these notes you kept passing to the teacher. I guess that’s still the same. []

The student has become the master (of space explosions).

So, Star Trek was pretty good. Not as good as all the hype. There were certainly a few ways the film could have been better, but overall it was the best rebooting since Batman Begins.1

It fully captured the spirit of the franchise,

While adding some 21st century panache.

Of the over 700 episodes of various Star Trek shows that have aired, I would bet you ten kilos of dilithium crystals2 that I’ve seen over half of those and I had no problem with the plot. The story did exactly what it needed to do in order to get a few more movies out of the deal and there remains no doubt that J.J. Abrams can direct the fuck out a summer blockbuster. Not to mention cast a movie quite well. The two leads were surprisingly good.

And even though John Cho never once got to say “Romulans on the viewscreen, Captain.” and didn’t have much of a back story, he knew what he was doing.

But I did have a problem with another castmember. Baby Chekov was cute and all but when it comes to overblown J.J. Abrams3 space operas, I prefer my precocious Russian science heroes a bit more refined.

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I’m basically just overjoyed that a guy who used to be a lowly writer for Michael Bay spectacles, albeit the most spectacular, is now directing those very same spectacles and is clearly so much better, smarter and more nuanced than his former mentor.

Get ‘em, J.

  1. And until Darren Aronofsky remakes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or RoboCop. What’s that? []
  2. That shit gets you FUUUUCCKED UP. []
  3. Whether as director or writer. []

The Ultimate Challenge

(via Rob Huebel)

Man, I really have to get back to playing frisbee soon. There’s all kinds of innovations and shit.

A Human Going

Now that even Zoolander is getting in on the joke, I think it’s time we put it to rest.1

For those of you that have been living under a rock for the past few weeks2, a lovely, serene rock, where you’re safe from the vapidities of modern existence, Joaquin Phoenix has apparently retired from acting to pursue a hip hop music career.

Stranger things have happened.

Witness the following.

There are some who say Mr. Phoenix is simply engaging us in a Kaufmanesque mindfuck of epic proportions. Well, bully for him. Either way, I don’t seem to care.

Don’t worry though Joaquin, I’m still with you, not for your stunning portrayal of a snivelling, cowardly, patricidial bastard3, or for making two of M. Night Shyamalan’s dumbest movies4 slightly more bearable, but for directing a music video in 2005.

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Oh, and also as insurance in case anything ever happens to Zach Galifianakis.5

Stay gold, ponyboy.

  1. By “it” I mean Joaquin Phoenix. []
  2. So, all of you. Boom! A housing market joke, think Leno still needs writers for his new show? []
  3. Johnny Cash? []
  4. I’m sorry, that’s bad writing on my part (I learned it by watching you!). Shyamalan and dumb is a bit redundant; six of one, half-dozen of the self indulgent, half-baked, multi-million dollar bed time stories your kids were too well mannered (I guess they got that from their mother) to tell you were scary as all fuck, but for the entirely wrong reasons other. []
  5. Hey, someone has to play him in the biopic. []

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Ego custodiam!

It might not seem like it, what with all our hard hitting political and civil rights coverage, but here at The Mediocrity Complex, or The ‘Plex as I like to call it, we have the entertainment tip covered too. Also, I don’t want to toot my own horn too much1, but this blog is big time stuff. If I owned or could legally operate a car, it would probably be like a Dodge Stratus. That’s the kind of big time stuff I’m talking about here.2

Which is why it should come as no surprise to learn that I am proud to present a new Mediocrity Complex exclusive footage of Dr. Manhattan in Warner Brothers’ Watchmen.

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No, but seriously, here it is:

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Crackling with pre-millennial tension and Shakespearean complexity, Watchmen is an exquisitely dense, multi-layered masterpiece that fully acknowledges the innate ridiculousness of superhero mythology—grown men dressing like animals to fight crime, the goofy costumes, the oddball supervillains and their outsized schemes, the undercurrent of kinky fetishism lying just under the surface of so many comics—while maintaining a sense of awe and wonder about its multi-layered creations.

At the risk of being slightly hyperbolic, Watchmen is such a monumental achievement that it makes Moby Dick look like a flaming pile of horseshit by comparison.

- Nathan Rabin

I am a fan of comics as an art form, as equally deserving of praise and scorn as novels, films, or centuries old epic poetry, and Watchmen is one of the most praised stories I have ever read. A recent trailer calls it “the most celebrated graphic novel of all time.” While that might be exaggerating things a bit, the hyperbole is again, slight.

Which is not to say it is perfect. No art is. But it, along with Maus and The Dark Knight Returns, all published in the same year no less, served to legitimize a previously ridiculed medium. Sam Raimi, Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan and more recently Jon Favreau have all furthered the cause in this millennium.

The battle is not yet won however, for while comics may be fully legitimate, they are not yet fully respected. Hollywood will continue to gladly plumb the gutters of the comics industry, making millions in the process, but stories shouldn’t have to be adapted in order to be regarded as proper popular culture.

Which brings us full circle, as a film adaptation of Watchmen is set for release in a few months.

The best art comments on and fully makes use of its form. The best art makes you reconsider what art can do. As much as Watchmen was about, in addition to countless other things: the cold war, sexuality, science run amok, the perniciousness of advertising, what it means to be human, what it must feel like to be a god, the peril laden in trying to “fix the world” with either the best or the worst of intentions, the ballet between crime and those who seek to contain it, the hatred that binds us more firmly than love ever could, and the sheer, simple lunacy of being alive, it was also about every superhero comic and comic in general that had come before. It provided a synthesis of half a century’s worth of material and proof that the trappings of a story have little bearing on its merits, all the while employing virtually every trick and technique developed since the medium had been formalized, nearly a century prior.

Which is all to say that I remain skeptical of the possibility of this film living up to its pedigree. For it to truly be considered even in the same league as the source material, the film will have to broaden the horizons of filmmaking itself or at the very least completely rejigger your conception of what superhero films can be.

My hopes remain guarded. Let’s pray Zack Snyder can invalidate my fears.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more exclusive, breaking stories from Big Time Blog™ brought to you by the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant.

Still all business.

  1. Anymore than 3 times a day and I start to get dehydrated. []
  2. People are afraid of me. []

Well and fucking nigh.

Well and fucking nigh.

Guess what movie/sign of the eschaton opens in theaters tomorrow?

Ay, caramba

They already made this movie. Cheech Marin was already the chihuahua. Race relations were already set back several decades. It was even made by the same people1.

At least when they remade Hulk after only five years a different studio was responsible. What’s your excuse Disney? Have you no shame?

Oh, right.

How you can pass on Lady in the Water but still think this is a good idea is beyond me. Prove me wrong America (with your worthless dollars), but I really don’t see how Oliver & Company benefits from being live action.

Just to be clear: I’m not offended by this as a “latino” or even as someone who doesn’t hate chihuahuas, no I’m offended by this as a human being. With eyes.

Despite their many great accomplishments, including apparently building the Incan city of Machu Picchu, the Aztecs2 got at least one thing wrong. The apocalypse will not wait until December 21, 2012, but instead will drop on October 3, 20083. At least now we have an idea of what form the new cycle of creation will take.

Chihuahuas will inherit the earth.

  1. Well, not literally. They’re in a better place now. Dreamworks? []
  2. By which of course I mean the Mayans. Terence McKenna was Mayan right? []
  3. Good news France, it won’t reach you until April ’09. []