Thursday, December 30, 2010

Commentary: Lunatic Fringe: Beauty & the Beast: Enchanted Christmas

Instead of a new Christmas episode, you get a commentary of last year's Christmas episode!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Love You, Phillip Morris review

Now that I think about it, I'm surprised Jim Carrey hadn't played a gay guy already.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Anti-Life Signel Episode 6

With Joshua out Xmas shopping and Derek feeding Alistair, Steven James, Xaria (aka Diamanda) and Cin Wicked welcome special guests Marzgurl from That Guy With The Glasses, Spazzmaster from Xtreme Network Online and 16-Bit Jeff from The Geek Fighters to talk about the year that was 2010.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tron Legacy review

A geek icon resurrected after almost 30 years? Thank the Users!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Anti-Life Signel Episode 5

Kyle, aka OanCitizen joins the Anti Life Signal gang as they talk positive versus negative reviews, merchandising and loving animals.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Lunatic Fringe: Hellbinders

Johnny Yong Bosch plays a ninja. What more do you need to know?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Anti-Life Signel Episode 4

Does the Anti Life Signal need more gay? Rantasmo joins the Heralds Of The Signal to discuss queer media and representation... and hyenas.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Movie Review: The Social Network

I hate Facebook. Not the most original sentiment, but true, nonetheless. At not as just as a personal "I don't get the appeal" issue. I do get the appeal. Three or four years ago I was just as addicted to the damn thing as anyone else. Most people who've ever been on Facebook can attest just how quickly time-consuming the site becomes when you first start. As this movie itself observes, it's addicting. There's just so much damn stuff to do! With a rudimentary working knowledge of computer script, any code monkey can create an app & have thousands of users jumping through hoops for him.

If you're like me, however, you soon come to this slow realization that all this "stuff" you're spending so much time doing, is, in every sense of the word, useless. It's note accomplishing anything, it's not a social activity (or at least not a healthy one, but we'll get to that), and before long you realize it's not even any fun, at least not for very long. It's busywork, the most empty way to kill time possible.

Then if you're like me, you begin to spend less & less time on the site, reducing it to the occasional status update or message every few hours. And before long you begin to notice just how disgusting and degrading the whole system is, and you become angry with yourself for not noticing it. Facebook is quite possibly the worst step taken in human interaction in the last century. Forget concerns about your kids texting each other from across the room, this is something far more serious that a lack of personal communication. This is a system that actively encourages it's users to publicly label and rank their friends, to compare and dissect their every flaw and personality trait for all to see. Thanks to Facebook we live in a world we're no one need get to know each other anymore through normal interaction, just sum yourself up in a detailed profile & let everyone screen their friends like goddamn job applicants. The entire human experience has been reduced to a digital assembly Facebook.

That may seen over dramatic, and maybe it is. Feel free to disagree with me, but I bring this up to illustrate something very important about The Social Network. Whether you love Facebook or hate it, no one can deny that it can changed our society dramatically, for better or for worse. For that reason, the subject that The Social Network has to discuss with us is one of, if not the most relevant and important issues this generation could possibly it's a shame the film doesn't much feel like talking about it.

As most everyone knows by now, the film chronicles the founding of Facebook by Mark Zuckerburg, and the controversy surrounding said founding. Zuckerburg is one of the more interesting public figures of the 21st century, to say the least, and it's fair to say he's probably not happy with his portrayal here. Jesse Eisenberg gives a career-making performance which brilliantly conveys a Zuckerburg who is nothing short of a narcissistic sociopath. A brilliant sociopath, but a sociopath nonetheless. From the very first scene, Eisenburg exudes a ever so subtle coldness, not a lack of emotion but rather a lack of empathy. He is completely incapable of respecting or even considering the emotional needs of others, a problem only compounded by his staggering intellect. He is Sherlock Holmesian in his inability to contain his utter disdain for anyone less intelligent than himself, which is more or less everyone. And like so many biopic protagonists before him, it is these flaws that will be his downfall, emotionally if not physically (the man's still the world's youngest billionaire, after all).

The films plot structure is nothing to write home about, basically your standard rise-and-fall success story formula. It's through the performances & the dialogue that the film has managed to distinguish itself the way it has. Every single actor with any role to speak of here is well above average. Andrew Garfield (Eduardo Saverin) plays the likable, struggling everyman, giving us a reason to care about the protagonist by being Mark's anchor, so to speak. Armie Hammer undertakes the task of playing his own twin in as seamless a fashion as any actor could, giving very subtle but deliberate personality differences. Rooney Mara, whose character drives the plot almost as much a Zuckerburg himself, is ironically given only two scenes, both of which consist primary of her telling Mark off, but manages to pull of a very likable a believable persona for her character. Brenda Song manages to rise above her Disney Channel roots to a satisfactory level, despite the fact that her character has no real function outside of making Eduardo's live harder. And Justin Timberlake (Sean Parker), proving once again that he is far more talented than anyone wants to give him credit for, steals the show as the corrupting "bad boy" influence who lures Mark into a life of excess.

Aaron Sorkin, famous for the TV series The West Wing as well as the most quoted courtroom drama of all time, A Few Good Men, does his usual excellent job providing his characters with consistently witty dialogue. And combined with the razor sharp editing & directing of David Fincher, the film is surprising fast paced, entertaining and humorous considering it's decidedly mundane subject matter.

And yet, I can't help feeling like there was a massive missed opportunity here. As mentioned before, Facebook is a very important cultural landmark in our development as a society, for good or for ill. Yet all David Fincher seems interested in exploring is what a jerk Mark Zuckerberg was to his friends.

Thankfully there are a few conversational pieces scattered throughout the film regarding the societal implications of Facebook. The film starts right off with Zuckerberg creating the precursor to one the the more popular, and socially sadistic, apps of Facebook, with allows users to compare and rank your friends based on looks, skill, possessions or personality. Zuckerburg & Parker openly state that the site heralded the end of privacy in our culture (and it did). There's even scene in which Eduardo's girlfriend becomes furious that his facebook status was never changed from "single" (though considering he's the co-founder of the damn site, it's not as disturbing as it normally would be).

The problem is that all these individual moments feel largely incidental, and never form into a theme or subtext of any kind. Even as Zuckerburg conspires to control and auction off peoples' personal privacy for his own gain (much as he does in real life), this is never dealt with beyond the fact that Zuckerburg is betraying and alienating his friends, despite the fact that he's if forever altering the world around them as they argue. The film just never takes a moment to seriously ponder the big picture ramifications of what these people are doing. And considering where we are now as a culture, still exploring a relatively new advancement in communication, had the film been daring enough to really deal with those issues, it could very well have been the defining film of our generation.

Aside from the general lack of ambition, there are a few minor issues that keep the film from achieving true greatness. It's relies a little too heavily on some well worn plot elements, like a party getting out of hand and publicly embarrassing the company, or a background character who amounts to a complete stranger coming in to offer a flash of insight at the very end. The pacing, while fun and energetic, feels a bit too fast at times, which is unfortunately a symptom of our times, that filmmakers have to work extra hard now to hold today's anti-intellectual, easily-bored audiences' attention. But despite all this, it is still an excellent film and well worth your time. It's not Fincher's best, nor is it the best movie of the year by far, but it's up there.


P.S. Yes, I am well aware of the irony in the fact that I despise Facebook, yet have a Facebook fan page. Just because I'm a judgmental dick doesn't mean I'm not also a whore.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Underdog vs. McGruff the Crime Dog! Who Wins?

McGruff walked down the seedy street, tightening his trench coat around him. The was crime afoot. A new drug had hit a streets, a drug unlike anything seen before. It came in pill form and was so powerful, it was known to give it's user temporary bursts of superpowers. The side effects were horrible to behold. The user's eyes would light up like an explosion, their pupils would spin in circles, and once McGruff had sworn he'd seen an American flag in their eyes. McGruff had been frustrated by this case for a while, but this morning something had happened the made him determined to end this blight on his city once and for all: his beloved nephew, Scruff, had become addicted to the pills.

There could only be one suspect in McGruff's eyes: the canine crusader Underdog. As hard as it was to accept that a mutt who'd so tirelessly championed justice could do something so dastardly, it was a well known fact that Underdog drew his powers from the same kind of pill, and even if he was not the distributor, he was most certainly the source.

The trick was finding Underdog. It had taken a while, but after questioning Underdog's known associates, like Sweet Polly Purebred, as well as the head of the drug operation, Riff Raff, he had finally learned Underdog's secret identity: humble, lovable Shoeshine Boy. McGruff should've known; there weren't that many talking beagles in town, after all.

McGruff turned a corner and there was Shoeshine Boy, a friendly smile on his face, hard at work shining the shoes of a customer.

"Stop right there, Underdog!" growled McGruff, "I'm taking you in for questioning, and I'm confiscating that ring of yours!"

"I know this case may seem airtight" said Underdog, as his zipped into a nearby phone booth, emerging an instant later in costume, "But all your facts are not quite right. I'm not the fiend behind this plot! Bar Sinister is the man you sought!"

"A likely story pup," retorted McGruff, "now are you gonna come quietly, or am I gonna have to take a bite outta crime?"

You decide, dear readers! Dog vs. dog! Who emerges victorious?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Anti-Life Signal Episode 3

Special guests Obscurus Lupa of and Apollo Z. Hack of Xtreme Network Online fill in for Cin Wicked and Derek as they, Steven James, Xaria and Joshua The Anarchist discuss modern b-movie culture.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

VLOG 8/15/10: Expendables & Scott Pilgrim

In which I I spend more time talking about the actors than the actual movies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Great News & a Podcast!

For those of you that don't know yet, I have recently been invited to be a part of Xtreme Network Online! I am very happy to count myself among the many talented reviewers that populate the site. To welcome me into the fold, site owner Nick "Enigma" Gipson invited me to participate in the latest episode of the featured podcast of the site: Broadcast Xtreme! Check it out:

MEGAVLOG 8/8/10: Predators & Inception

Two movies that are old news by now, but I'm talking about them anyway. Besides I already promised.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

MVT3K: Every Morning

I was one of many lucky critics to cameo in the latest episode of Music Video Theater 300. Check it out!

Click "Read More" for the full cameo.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lunatic Fringe: Top 13 Underrated Movie Villains

This one's for the villain deep down in all of us! Featuring a cameo by Cin Wicked!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Anti-Life Signal #2

This episode welcomes a new herald of the signal with Xaria aka Diamanda Hagan!

Marvel as the crew talks 3D Movies, Batman, The Last Airbender, Bitchslap and a whole lot more!

You can find this episode here.

Email the Signal crew at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Your Daily Dose of Awesomeness

Never before in the history of man has any trailer been this badass, honest, straightforward, and completely free of bullshit. The gauntlet has been thrown, men of the world. Your balls are at stake. If any of you are not in the theater August 13th I will personally kick your ass. Because I AM A MAN!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

VLOG 7/9/10: Eclipse review

Finally, a Twilight film I could care less about.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Preview Askew: Mortal Kombat Rebirth

Hallelu! It's Preview Askew Number Two! Oh, what? I had too!

And to those of you who would like to point out that this is technically not a trailer, but a short film, I say: shut up! It was featured on Trailer Addict AND it is previewing a upcoming film that may or may not (I'm betting not) be made, so it counts!

With that in mind, I hope you enjoy Preview Askew: Mortal Kombat Rebirth.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

VLOG 6/19/10: Jonah Hex review

Fun fact: There were only seven other people in the theater besides me, and all in their fifties at least. I'm not even sure what that says.

NOTE: The first few minutes of this have nothing to do with the movie, just some ranting about my latest move, so start at about 2:35 if you want to skip all that.

As you can probably tell, the shear suckitude of this movie left me pretty discombobulated so I left a few things out or unsaid. I don't think I emphasized heavily enough how colossally incoherent & confusing the editing here is. Those who have seen Neveldine/Taylor's films know they favor a hyper-kinetic style of editing. There is a right way to do this, like in their Crank films, and a wrong way. Jonah Hex is a fine example of a third option, known as the fucking wrong way. Apparently Neveldine/Taylor were originally slated to direct but for reasons completely unknown to me were replaced by a guy who's never directed action in his life. Apparently he made the ill-advised attempt to replicate Neveldine/Taylor's style...and failed as utterly as one can fail. I already mentioned the final fight, but there's another good example where Hex is interrogating someone at the aforementioned underground fighting arena. The match is between some thug and this mutant snake/man thing that drinks rattlesnake venom and spits it on his victims. This fight has nothing to do with, well, anything, but the director keeps interrupting the conversation to cut back to it. The most relevance it has is that Hex disposes of the guy by throwing him into the arena.

Another thing I found rather offensive is this one scene were they feel the need to clarify that Jonah Hex never supported slavery, even though it has nothing to do with the conversation. I guess they thought everyone would assume that just because he fought for the south he supported slavery. Hey, you know who else opposed slavery? ROBERT E. FUCKING LEE!!! The Civil War wasn't just about slavery, there were many issues involving State's rights that were at stake! Just because he fought for the Confederates doesn't mean the audience is automatically going to assume he must be a racist, slave owning Klansman! Give your audience some credit for thinking, you ignorant shitheads!

For those comic book purists out there, I'd like to emphasize that I have no problem with taking creative liberties with characters if they work. Some characters have backstories far too complicated to work within a film structure, and arguably Jonah Hex is one of them. I'd also like to say to my fellow Western fans that I also have nothing against introducing supernatural or science fiction elements into a Western setting. I'm actually a big fan of Weird West stories, and Jonah Hex himself has fought against zombies, ghosts, Cthulhu, and even been flung into a post-apocalyptic future to battle robots. In fact, the original script was about fighting zombies and if they'd stuck with that and let Neveldine/Taylor direct, they'd probably have a much better movie.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The End of Mad as Hell

You may have noticed that the two Mad as Hell vlogs I've made so far have been deleted. This is because I've come to this slow but obvious-to-everyone-but-me realization: they were not funny, entertaining, or informative, and in the end they did more harm than good. I knew from the beginning that many people would find it insulting or take it personally, which is why I tried posting those disclaimers. It didn't help.

As previously and repeated stated, the Mad as Hell rants were not edited or crafted in any way. They were simply vlogs of my uncensored streams of angry consciousness. What I should've known was, that is not a good thing. They accomplished nothing aside from making me look like a colossal ass. Just because I didn't actually mean many of the gross generalizations and offensive things I said doesn't not mean it was OK for me to say them, disclaimer or no.

With that in mind, I am retiring the Mad as Hell segments, at least for now. I'm not ruling out the possibility of bringing it back one day, but if I do, it will be planned out and edited. In the mean time, I'd like to formally apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended by anything I've said. It was not intentional, and I hope no one wrote me off as an insensitive dick over this. With that let's put this embarrassing fiasco behind us and never speak of it again. Ever.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Preview Askew: Jonah Hex

When Megan Fox is deemed worthy of sharing the screen with Josh Brolin, humanity is doomed.

NOTE: This is the pilot of a potential new series of what is essentially rifftrax for trailers. Let me know what you think and maybe I'll make more.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Anti-Life Signal

Yours truly has joined a foursome of fellow critics to form a new podcast dedicated to the annihilation of all life. The first episode is now available. Behold, the Anti-Life Signal! Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

East vs. West #1: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger vs. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 1

It has been a long time coming but finally Cin and Josh’s epic journey to correct the energy imbalance in the morphing grid has begun! Watch as they (and maybe their friends) battle against unknown forces to help you decide which series are superior. It’s time for the battle, whose side are you on?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

VLOG 5/11/10: Iron Man 2 review

Time to talk about the same movie that everyone else will be talking about. The last film made it onto my top 10 list. Can this one be half as good?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

VLOG 4/17/10: Kick-Ass review

Is this truly a groundbreaking advancement in superhero films? Here's my opinion.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lunatic Fringe: Transformers pt. 2

There's only so many ways I can say "sorry it's so late." Anyway, Happy Easter and enjoy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

VLOG 3/19/10: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths review

Well, due to some lost sounds files, the long wait for the next Lunatic Fringe episode will be even longer. So to make up for it, here's some inane rambling about something that came out weeks ago. I'm so good to my fans.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Your Daily Dose of Awesomeness

For those of you who wanted to see someone treat Edward the way a normal girl would treat a stalker, I'll do you one better: Buffy kicking Edward's ass!

Monday, February 1, 2010

East vs. West preview

A glimpse of what’s to come. Prepare yourselves viewers, for the future will be… MORPHENOMINAL!!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Megavlog 1/31/10: Top 10 Films of 2009

It's that time again! Pickin's was slim this year, but here's my list of the top ten best films of the year of 2009! (and yes, I got a haircut)

Check below the cut for the list.

10. Ink

9. Watchmen

8. Zombieland

7. Moon

6. Crank: High Voltage

5. (500) Days of Summer

4. Up in the Air

3. Where the Wild Things Are

2. Up

1. Inglourious Basterds

Friday, January 8, 2010

VLOG 1/8/2010: Sherlock Holmes review

Was Guy Ritchie's Victorian epic a mindless actioner or an intelligent flick? Inspector Anarchist is on the case!