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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Andrew's LiveJournal:

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Monday, December 3rd, 2012
1:44 pm
At least there aren't any lens flares?
I had to do this after seeing the new Abrams Trek poster.

Current Mood: creative
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
6:59 pm
Pretty sure most of the generally embarrassing posts are hidden away from the mass populace now.  Maybe now I can make use of this.

And it was never posted on again.  maybe.

Current Mood: bored
Sunday, February 20th, 2011
5:44 pm
I think that with CBS' fascination of shows that are made up of abbreviations with their nearly half dozen crime shows, containing three versions of CSI and two of NCIS, that they must name and rename everything else they've doone in a similar fashion.  Including Star Trek.  So, from now on the various Star Trek series will be known as:

Star Trek, the original series, becomes simply "ST"
Star Trek: The Next Generation becomes "ST: AQ" (of course in reference to the Alpha Quadrant)
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 becomes "ST: BQ"
Star Trek: Voyager becomes "ST: DQ"
Star Trek: Enterprise becomes "ST: Miami"
Friday, February 18th, 2011
4:10 pm
I swear...
I'm going to shank a bitch if I have to hear "STAR TREK IS DEAD, DIAMOND SELECT SUCKS, HASBRO IS AWESOME THEY WILL SAVE STAR TREK!!!!11" one more time.

On the Star Trek message board I regularly haunt for discussion of the figures there is a Hasbro fanboy with a vendetta against Diamond Select.  There's common ground there, granted, I don't entirely approve of their handling of the figure line either.  However, for some reason he has it stuck in his that Hasbro will be Star Trek's savior even though Star Trek is apparently "dead."  Of course, before he decided that Star Trek is "dead" he had to be a schmuck and pretty much kill the guilty pleasure-level of enjoyment that I could get out of Abrams' Trek.  Through most of last year his argument was that Abrams' Trek had TOTALLY rocked the socks off of old Trek and had given it a major new following which doesn't really exist because excitement for it fizzled out months before even the DVD's release and... yeah.  He thinks that's why Hasbro is insatiably salivating and foaming for the chance to nab the license for Trek figures.  Realistically, however, I doubt anybody is.  Plus, Playmates doesn't have the license for Abrams' stuff now anyway, yet Hasbro hasn't snatched that up.

He shut up for awhile but this year's Toy Fair (retailer convention for ogling new toys and concepts from toy companies) has come and gone, and Diamond Select barely showed anything at all, so he's been taking every opportunity to write essay-length posts in order to say the same thing over, and over, and over: STAR TREK IS DEAD BECAUSE DIAMOND SELECT SUCKS BUT HASBRO WILL SAVE IT!

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
12:50 am
A Year May Have Passed, but it's as Fresh as Tomorrow
A month ago, on July 1st, I was delighted to honor an anniversary of friendship.  It marked the 11th year that I had known this friend, and despite about half of those years having only a few emails of contact within them, I still consider her one of my closest.  She is of a group of three that I've known for the longest online; the longest friends I've ever had.  The few offline friends I had through my youth have even been surpassed by them.  Unfortunately, the end of July has brought me into an anniversary of stark contrast...  Today marks the anniversary, involving one of those three, of an ended friendship.  Last year on August 1st, I had the last conversation with one of my three oldest friends.  As the day has approached I've increasingly felt regret over it, as our disagreement still goes unresolved.  This would have been the 10th or 11th year to be friends with her; I can't remember the particular year we met.  Memories and regrets of our feud, which sparked over such a minute matter in contrast to the fallout, haven't faded over the year.  Looking back, neither of us really did the right thing, and I said so many things I definitely regret.

I've thought frequently about apologizing, but I'm wary of doing so...  I'm concerned that she may have already moved on over the year, and to bring it up again would only serve to make matters even worse.  I don't really know what to say, or even how to begin, and because of that I've been putting it off for more than half a year.  Hopefully someday I'll figure it out... and that it's soon.

Current Mood: sleepy
Monday, June 14th, 2010
3:18 pm
I should update this.
Been awhile since I've posted on here, admittedly in favor of facespace mybook facebook.  I should probably overhaul this damn thing and use it in a joint update thing with my facebook or some damned thing, as it is a bit more convenient than facebook's annoying note system.  Perhaps I'll spend a day doing that... but not today!  Why not today?  I don't really know.

Although I just realized "mybook" does kind of fit.  A journal, obviously is -your- book, so myspace and facebook are kind of like livejournal separated down the middle... but not.  Hmm...  Interestingly, myspace doesn't seem popular anymore and nobody really cares to use it.  Understandable, though, considering that I've visited myspace 2-3 times this year and it still feels as bloated and artificial as ever.  Not to tout the banner of one of these overhyped services, but facebook really is simpler in terms of interactivity and I think that's killed myspace.  I dunno...

Anyway, yeah, I should overhaul this or at least make normal updates.  Thing is I rarely have anything significant to update with, although here in the next couple of weeks I will be making a new and very large shelf for my room, which will really change things up in here.  And then I'll take pictures, dukeburger, I promise. I haven't forgotten, I just hate the unorganized cluster that my displayed collection is at the moment.  Soon! I swear! :D

To end this post, a quick update on the shows I've occasionally blabbered about on here:

FlashForward - I think the last episode was actually written alongside the first few episodes as the writing felt just as horrible and missing the "big picture" as it did then, which is really sad considering how much better it got in the middle to later part of the season.  It just felt as though everything that the inbetween writers worked for to attempt to develop the concept and characters in an interesting fashion were spontaneously shit upon as EVERY. SINGLE. THING. seen in the first episode came true.  Except for Demetri's fate, which doesn't really matter because they completely his character over at the end anyway.  I wouldn't really have a problem with this, except that the second to the last episode was an infinitely superior wrapup since it gave you the impression that the characters really had changed.  Those that wanted their fates to come true the most were denied, those that were attempting to avoid it managed it, and there were some unfortunate twists.  I don't mind some of the flashforwards coming into realization, but to have every single one do it was not only uninspired, but it was even done in the worst possible way as things were nonsensically retconned.  The worst of all being that a person was actually declared DEAD in the second to last episode, but this person was seen alive in the flashforward involving them.  They were declared DEAD by a doctor, whom eventually even said that the brain would be damaged at that point if they could bring the person back.  Yet, in the last episode, the person comes back to life with NO explanation, and for the most part acts normal.  So, you could simply watch the first episode or two of this show, and then watch the last one, and you would have missed NOTHING since everything else was either in vain or ignored entirely.  Granted, the overall message seems as though "you can't escape fate," but at several points throughout the later episodes they reveal that the flashforwards aren't definite.  They're possibilities, and they change each time, so it's just a cop-out to even attempt to say that in order to justify the disappointing end.

Overall, it wasn't horrible, but it could have been so much better than it was.  If you give this season a watch, which does indeed get entertaining towards the middle, just don't watch the last episode.  It's just...frustrating.

These last ones will be briefer, I swear.
Community - ended awesomely and I look forward to next season.
NCIS: LA - Still fun, loved the unexpected twist on the dramatic arc they had going on.  Unfortunately, the season should have ended on that note, but instead kept going with episodes that really felt nothing more than filler.
White Collar - Hasn't returned yet, but soon!  Hoping it doesn't take a turn into suck (or blow, for that matter).
Stargate Universe - Grah, too many cliffhangers!  And too much predictability!  Seriously, I feel better about this show but I'm not looking forward to being disappointed by easy and clean endings to so many of the finale cliffhangers.  The powers behind Stargate just don't have the gall to pull off something truly significant, which the last seasons of Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 suffered from horribly.
V - I stopped watching completely and still haven't managed to convince myself to undo that, and yet the show is returning.  I'm confuzzled.  That many people have the hots for Morena Baccarin's giraffe neck?
Modern Family - Awwwwweeeeessssooooooome.  Honestly, one of the best comedy shows in a long time.  Its season is over but it is returning, and I can't wait!
Justified - Baaaaaad aaaaasssss.  The season already ended, 13 episodes, but it's been confirmed to be returning.  Watch it.  You won't be sorry.  The last few episodes get a bit too centered on the main characters' inner drama but it all finally reaches a head at the end of the season.  It ends in a way that such turmoil will significantly altered, or impossible, next season so they have only new ground to explore.

One show that I've been mostly watching but kind of pushed out of my mind and, if I recall right, was canceled after the fourth episode is Sons of Tuscon.  On Fox, if you couldn't tell.  They're now pushing out the last few episodes it seems, and they're... kinda poor.  I don't know if it's simply because I lost interest in the show with it being canceled, but these episodes seem to be just too devoted to hammering the concept of the show of your head without any real concern of changing things up for the sake of longevity.  Plus, one of the episodes focused on a teacher spying on a kid dancing in his underwear, and the only issue about it was that it was mildly embarrassing.  Creepy.

The guy that stars in it was originally on a CW show called Reaper.  It was a decent show, a bit weak in some areas, but hellaciously (pun) funny, mostly thanks to the guy that ended up on this show.  I'd like Reaper back.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010
6:14 am
What's All the Fuzz About? - Episode 10: Supplemental
Before bed I wish to touch on that post in which I commented on many new Fall shows that have obviously had a chance to grow and potential to flourish.  Did they meet such potential?  Well, some did, and others failed.  For the most part.

Let's start with Flash Forward, which, at the time of the bit that touched on this show, began to utterly suck as it started to find itself early on in a overzealous yet shallow rhythm that left you hating the main characters with one or two exceptions, and not giving a damn about the background characters.  The second half of the season continued on with that track, but it seems that at some point someone actually began to pay attention as it has gotten better.  It's still far short of amazing, but it's finally beginning to catch up to the promise presented early on by its premise as the secondary characters become more interesting, cop-outs are few and far between, and people are actually showing evidence of coherent and rational thought.  The only problems that still exist are the two primary characters, Mark and Olivia Benford.  Granted, they have eased away from having Mark frequently convey on his face that he'd rather kick a puppy than take your theory to heart, or he'd rather be drinking than having to speak any of the drivel that began to plague the show, but he's still bland.  The spectacular concept of the show still grinds to a screeching and unwelcomed halt when we're forced to deal with Mark's emotional woes, but he's become overshadowed by his wife now.  If Mark's focus is a screeching halt, then her scenes can only be described as trainwrecking the entire episode.  She continues on a predictable path to fuck everything up, and to make true what she supposedly didn't want to be true.  Her actress seems disinterested, and overall she'd just be a more fascinating addition to the episode's plot if she was found dead.  With the way she's written, she simply feels like cannon fodder.

Aside from that, the show has taken some actually unpredictable turns and is better because of it.  I swear, the writing did a spontaneous 180 in a single episode and hasn't looked back, with only the Benfords left like a dead pixel on a new LCD display.  Overall, I'd say it's worth watching again.

There isn't much to say about Community as the show has remained strong throughout its episodes since I last wrote about it.  There has been the occasional meh episode that still held a laugh or two, but I'd say this is only about 3 to 4 episodes max, so far.  It simply continues to get better and keeps giving unexpected directions.  One complaint I had last time was that most of the cast had been disappointing on their own, but now they shine where they once failed.  Not a single one of them can't hold their own scene now.

The Forgotten is really best left forgotten, as this show has since been canceled.  It survived its full season, and even had a few more ordered to extend it, but that was it.  It simply couldn't find itself a proper way to flesh out its characters, and focused far too much on...  Well, I guess the dead people.  That seems silly to complain about since that was the premise of the episode - finding closure for the families of forgotten nameless victims - but far too much focus was put on the literal metaphor of the victims having a voice throughout the episode instead of giving the living characters decent growth.  That said, it had a decent ending.  Unlike most shows that can't get ahold of a proper audience, it didn't flounder out without bringing closure to Christian Slater's character, which was the most fleshed out of any of them.  Although it felt a little unsettling at the end due to the adaptation of a character, it was still a nice ending to wrap up what could have been.   Granted, Slater's previous one-seasoner My Own Worst Enemy had a wrapped up finale as well, but it didn't really feel as coherent as this one did.  To be honest, though, it would have made a better movie than TV show.

Like Community, there isn't much to say about NCIS: LA - but there isn't as much to praise it for either.  Unlike Community, it hasn't really grown into anything amazing, and simply continues on a level path of retro-90's buddy cop guilty pleasure.  They're most likely not branching it out very much into drastic directions because it's easily coasting by on the coattails of the original NCIS, and knows that people just watch it for the Dodge Challenger anyways.

White Collar got out of its creepy factor with Detective Burke no longer being so clingy after a few episodes, and has grown to be more clever than it original was.  I think I was overzealous in liking it at the beginning, but I've calmed down to a more calm enjoyment of it.  It's not going to wow anybody, but for an hour of witty entertainment it's pretty good and the characters have only gotten better as time has gone on.  The only problem that really plagues it now is the continued falling back on Neil's (ex-)girlfriend as a season-long arc.  The arc coming to a climax at the season finale was done interesting, but I'm not liking the fork in the road it presents.  Either it continues on with him attempting to find her, which always brings down an episode as they present it as though it will mix things up, but everything is always right in the end.  Or, it can actually go in a healthy character and really provide a hefty character growth for Neil.  Either way, I just hope USA doesn't retcon any character development along the way.  As much as I loved the previous USA show Monk, starring Tony Shaloub, the last couple of seasons were annoying as the writers would let Monk have a heartfelt development, but then retcon it and make him even more estranged than before.  As an example, in the earlier seasons he, like anybody else, was aware of a VCR's technology and how to work it.  In the latter seasons, they had dumbed him down to being ignorant of DVDs, and not understanding the concept of pause, play, fast forward or rewind.  If he needed something paused, he would hand the remote off and yell, respectively, "picture freezer," "picture normal," "picture go fast," "picture go back."  That irked me, to say the least.

As for Stargate Universe...  It's pretty much the same.  Admittedly, they are picking things up and pretty much delved immediately into new territory (for SGU) by introducing an alien race hellbent on having Destiny, but they still aren't handling things very well.  Secondary characters you don't care about, and most of the main characters are either still bland or they have some of the most wronged development ever.  At this point, Colonel Young - their leader - is hardly believable that he would have been in charge of anything dealing with Stargate Command.  It's simply not a good contrast after over a decade of Richard Dean Anderson as the charismatic and very authority-figure Colonel O'Neill.  It just doesn't feel right.  I'll keep with it, though.

One show I didn't mention that started last Fall was V, which only showed four episodes (willingly) in the fall and then finally continued this Spring.  The first four episodes weren't anything to be proud of; they were bland and boring and none of the characters left you anticipating the show's return.  Upon return, it made a huge leap from bland to utter stupidity and I have actually stopped watching it.  It was that bad.  I don't know what it is, but between the main FBI woman of V, and Mark Benford, whatever writers ABC have hired simply don't know anything about writing convincing FBI characters as they're either moody assholes, or completely braindead.  They should take a note from White Collar's writers for a decent way to depict the FBI.

There's also another show that I have to mention that is simply leaps and bounds above all of these, which is Modern Family.  The only episode that I didn't care for was the pilot, which was incredibly rough and didn't really give any sort of decent approach to the characters, instead presenting them in a very abrasive way.  Fortunately, they had their shit figured out by the second episode, and everything flowed smoothly from there on.  It is a brilliantly witty and unpredictable show, and I highly recommend checking it out ASAP!

Oh, and also Justified, which is on FX and has a very The Shield-like atmosphere to it, but with a redneck approach.  The main character is a US Marshall that is reassigned to his native land of Kentucky, and the settings are commonly small-townish, which sounds like a hive for rabid cliches.  Fortunately, it's handled incredibly well, and incredibly realistic, but without being overly so.  It awesomely balances realism with entertainment, and even though it differs from The Shield greatly in that you won't find the common episode containing an adrenaline-pumping scene, the character writing is simply amazing.  Pretty much every single character of each episode that isn't simply a throwaway thug is sincerely written, and it's simply a joy to watch.

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
8:28 am
Commentary Suppository #1
Ya know... I really need to get that whole Mutt Fuzz blog thing someday, but I dunno.  I want to do it at blogspot, but I don't really care for the layout of it, and I haven't really stumbled across any sites that really discuss its customizable options.  Oh well... all in due time, I suppose.

Right now, though, I'm incredibly bored.  I want to speak of some...things, but dunno what exactly, so I made this graphic last year for the inevitable, or eventual, or fantasy blog.  It's meant to be a kind of misc. ramblings thing, but yeah, it's...

'Cause... it's funnyish.  I guess.

Anyways, the idea is that each one would cover 5 topics in brief ramblings, so let's try that out.

#1 - Dancing with the Stars
I don't watch this, of course, but I continue to be saturated with its pungent presence as the news has to harp on it and ABC lets it run 5+ minutes over it's allotted time when I tune into Castle.  Admittedly, I might actually be interested in watching this, but the presentation of it is so fucking annoying in its American Idol-esque drama bullshit, I can't even stand the host guy when he's introducing America's Funniest Home Videos, and the "stars" are very rare.  It should really be called Dancing with the Untalented Hacks that Can't Even Get Work in a Direct-to-DVD Movie.  What infuriates me most about the current coverage of it is that it requires me to hear more about Kate Gosselin, who shouldn't have ever been on TV in the first place, aside from maybe a documentary on the types of assholes that are too fucking stupid to figure out a condom.  This pisses me off to no end because a) get the fuck over her already, but also b) how in the hell did she last so long?  I don't understand it.  Even with the, honestly, paltry amount of coverage I eventually get exposed to, I could tell she was such a flop the first time I saw her dance.  As though we needed any further evidence she's a cold hearted bitch, her veins are apparently frozen solid because she moved around less gracefully than a mannequin getting tossed down a flight of stairs.  Yet for what, 3-4 weeks, she continued to be on there?  You know she was MILFing it up with a producer.

#2 - The Tea Party
They were funnier when they loved being teabaggers.

#3 - Sarah Palin
Somebody take away her word-a-day calendar!  It's both grating and humorous when she learns a new word, as she uses it in proper context (note: context is one of these words) maybe once within a whole paragraph's worth of spewing forth dribble, but then she continues to tout it around worse than her prop children to the point in which you just never want to hear the word again.  It should be passed into law that her hands should be cuffed behind her back whenever she leaves her house, as that would guarantee we would never have to hear her speak in public again.

#4 - Rain, Rain
Go away.

#5 - Oklahoma Republicans
To give an idea of how bad it's getting with Oklahoma Republican politicians as they continue to dumb themselves down into redneck stereotypes, a few of them have been pandering to local teabaggers in the thought of creating a state militia.  Some pro-teabaggers say they're within their rights, and it doesn't mean anything significant, because it's constitutional.  Granted, it does say: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  However, there is nothing threatening the security of Oklahoma, so it really only leaves one reason as to why a bunch of redneck teabaggers would want to take up arms.  I actually kind of hope it happens, though.  I will sit back and laugh heartily as the teabaggers get their asses handed to them by the real military.

So yeah, that felt good to get out.

Current Mood: blah
Sunday, February 14th, 2010
4:12 pm
More Top Gear USA Fun or How I Totally Top 10'd It
As I was poking around the treasure trove of fact and inanity known as Wiki to see if Top Gear's 15th season - or series - had been announced, or scheduled, I came across a notation that said Top Gear USA has been picked up by the History Channel.  Of all the channels that could possibly pick it up, I actually think that is a proper choice.  Why?  At first it doesn't seem to make much sense due to the "Historic" nature of the channel, but when you consider that Top Gear is more than mere review, comedic spontaneity, and banter between old people, it makes sense.  Unlike the car "review" shows we suffer with in America, Top Gear offers summarized or even detailed looks into the history of a car, or it's company, or even it's country - which easily makes such a presentation more historic than whatever apocalyptic prophecy History is scaring people with at the moment.  So, with that laid out, I think it's time to really have a look at what makes Top Gear so special, and I've decided to do that with a quick and easy Top 10.

Like the banner?  Of course you don't, but anyway, it's my concept design.

So, to start off the TOP 10 TIPS  FOR A SUCCESSFUL TOP GEAR USA, we'll approach it from the classic way of counting downwards to make #1 some damn special thing that only serves to disappoint its seemingly prestigious placement.

#10 - No Fixed Cameras.
Reason: American car shows suffer from this plight during every "review" that takes place.  In the workings of Top Gear, their review consists of a car mounted in the back of a truck in order to pull ahead, follow, or stay side by side with the car they're reviewing.  This gives us a thrilling spectacle to go along with the opinionated jabbering of whichever host is reviewing at the time, and really shows off the car in ways that can never be rivaled by a stationary camera on the side of road zooming into it.  We get to see the curves as the car speeds past, or drives around, or turns away, and we get to have a feel of what it's like to be within it's mobile presence.  Not so with a stationary camera.  Stationary cameras relate us to a depressing plight without us usually realizing.  This stems from the street-encounter.  All too often we're treated to the depressing situation of being a mere meek bystander as we watch an incredibly expensive, or rare, or just damn cool car drive past us.  We're transfixed within our reality, steady and unable to follow in it's wake to admire for as long as we wish, and immediately the car is out of sight and we're left with the vague and motion-blurred impression of it in our mind.  All of the exotic lines, the subtle details are lost in a miniaturized perspective.  This is repeated with fixed, or stationary, cameras, and unfortunately plagues American car review shows as the camera(man) is placed on the side of road, and simply follows the car is it passes by.  At the very least, it's the most realistic "reality television."
Note: Fixed cameras have their place during features that leave us less concerned with showing off the beauty of the car in question such as during Top Gear's celebrity lap times, and during challenges.

#9 - Don't Use Jay Leno.
Reason: Leno has been often heralded as the best choice for a host of a Top Gear USA, and even I myself believed he potentially could have done something decent with it, but no more.  We've been given plenty of evidence from his solo romp - "The Jay Leno Show" - that although we is incredibly knowledgeable about cars and their culture, and the entertainment industry, he simply has no idea how to make a proper car feature.  Ignoring the douchebaggery that took place on his part during the Leno vs. CoCo feud, Leno has shown his ineptitude for quality segments by the utter failure that is/was The Green Car Challenge.  Spawned from inspiration from Top Gear's Celebrity in a Reasonably Priced Car, Leno adapted an Electric Car to have celebrities race around a track in order to compete for lap times.  This wasn't just poorly executed in the use of pathetic obstacles such as streamers and pop-out cardboard cutouts, but the track itself could be easily rivaled by any decent children's go-kart track, and quite obviously none of the celebrities took it seriously.  Jeremy Clarkson's insight that all celebrities that come to Top Gear insist they don't care about their time, and yet the frustration, and the strive for perfection, and the work to focus all create an anticipation that notably causes every supposedly cynical celebrity to involuntarily lean forward whenever Clarkson leaves them in suspense of their time.  This is not only a very interesting feat in itself, but it also makes for a very entertaining segment.  Leno's bastardization, however, leaves celebrity yucking about the track, and doing whatever the hell they please.  Most not even staying within the pointless painted curvature of the track, as they never lose time for even literally cutting a corner.  Adding insult to injury, the entire embarrassing spectacle is topped off with the use of streamers and pingpong balls fired from cannons to...  Well, I'm still not entirely sure what the hell the point was, but it's inarguable that whatever the point is, or was, it can't be redeemed.
Note: None.

#8 - Stay Away from Car Sponsors
Reason:  They're big whiny babies that would never let the truth be presented on anything that is on TV.  This is one of the biggest reasons as to why American car "review" shows suck in indescribable magnitudes.  It doesn't matter which show you attempt to watch, you'll never find an actual opinion on the show unless it's in regard to a color or some other inconsequential aspect; the whole of the review will be a simply run down of the specs in the most monotone "I'm speaking from a script for the first time" presentation imaginable.  You won't find wit, nor opinion, nor even mild jocularity.  It is clean cut, and safe in the sense that they guarantee to not piss anyone off.  The only redeeming value to be found in these reviews is the incredible cut in time that it will take you to get from 0 to REM.
Note: During a Top Gear expedition to the wilds of the West Coast, Top Gear host Richard Hammond was supposed to get a Dodge Challenger loaned to him from Chrysler.  When Chrysler learned that the hosts are dubious fiends that, despite heralding positives, will report in great detail every fault they find, they denied him the loaner car.  Fortunately, he's a wealthy bugger, and simply bought a Challenger from a dealer himself.

#7 - Find a Decent Test Track
Reason: American has a fondness for simplistic round shapes whether it's via McDonald's or NASCAR.  Either way, we're going in circles far too often in this damn country, and any show that proclaims itself to be part of Top Gear needs to be able to make use of both turn signals.  We don't want to simply watch people review cars while going around in circles, so we need some twists and turns to sweeten the deal.
Note: This is a more subtle problem about American car review shows, as none have their own practice track.  They simply go along backroads with a camera(man) fixed on the side, and drive around in the most boring way possible.  A car review isn't supposed to a version of Driving Ms. Daisy with a budget that couldn't afford Morgan Freeman, it's supposed to be a damned adrenaline-fueled spectacle that makes us excited about the product they're showing off.

#6 - Don't Be a Direct Copy
Reason: Imitation may be flattery at it's simplest, but no matter who they get they won't be Jeremy Clarkson, James May or Richard Hammond.  They may act as characters, but these are their personalities.  For instance, watch James May's Toy Stories.  His personality isn't subdued, nor exaggerated for Top Gear, it really is his personality.  This comes from a decent intellect, mixed with a welcoming sense of humor and topped with a lack of a fear of being one's self.  This charismatic cornucopia should be seen as a must for any host, but it must be their own and not a mere replication.
Note: For a fair example, check out Season - or Series - 1 of Top Gear.  The host that James May eventually replaced in Season - or Series - 2 was likeable, knowledgeable, but just not interesting.  He never really managed to convey a charismatic interest that made you want to continue listening to him.

#5 - Keep it Simple
Reason: Harkening back to Jay Leno slightly, this is actually separate from his car conessiur image, and really just serves as an example.  Any episode of the "Jay Leno Show" that you watch, it doesn't matter which one, you'll lose count as the amount of cheesy graphics used for segments.  These graphics are distracting and unwelcoming, as they cut away from the shot to show animations that form the cheesy title graphic, and then cut back.  Completely unnecessary in so many ways, and should be avoided at all costs.  Similiarly, things such as challenges and anything else should be "simple."  That's not to say they should be simple in the sense that it comes off as a show that should have an audience of 5 year olds and a platoon of fuzzy, foamy mascots, but rather that any of these things should be managable without blatant scripting.  This means no ludicrous obstacle gyms such as you'll find on reality shows like survivors, and no antics such as things that result in forced explosions like Discovery insists for anything that is made post-Mythbusters.  Cleverness and resourcefulness should be the aim.
Note: Unless it's going to be really, really funny. <_< >_>

#4 - Don't Be Afraid of Public Opinion
Reason: If the powers behind Top Gear were afraid of Public Opinion, Jeremy Clarkson would be locked away in a subterranean asylum, James May would not be allowed to pick out his own shirts, and Richard Hammond...  Well, Hammond's really the most normal one, isn't he.
Note: Hammond does tend to eat the cardboard props...

#3 - Similarly, Don't Be Afraid to Introduce the U.S. to Cars from other Countries
Reason: Top Gear obviously gives us a healthy inundation of highly expensive cars throughout Europe such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche (Porsh-uh), as well as other companies that most Americans have never heard of, or haven't been able to pronounce since the 70's.  My most personal example being Datsun, which according to my Mother, is pronounced "Dotsun."
Note: But go ahead and say Porsche in the American "Poorsh" way.  Stay away from Jagwire pronunciation, however, lest Clarkson's final fuse be blown and hilarious death finds us all.

#2 - Don't Hire Comedians Just to Make it Funny! (<- Exclamation Point Means it's Serious)
Reason:  One of the trio chosen for the original attempt at a Top Gear USA was the deadpan, cynical and rather lewd Adam Corolla.  While funny for the most part, his charisma is generally not something that you want on something that is supposed to be worthwhile.  Even though you could say this would be the Clarkson of the American group seeing as how there is no practical middle ground in opinion on Corolla; you either love him or hate him.  This harkens back to my point not to make direct copies, though, as that is surely what that casting is.  I have no idea how extensive his car knowledge is, but his comedic resume alone can only leave us assuming that he was supposed to be the comedically controversial of the group, and attempt to add an infamous spark for the show.  Furthermore, I think what makes the hosts of Top Gear so effective is that they're not comedians by trade, they're journalists happen to be funny.  They have steady careers, and obivously degrees, in journalism that makes them most effective at presenting something with a steadfast coherency.  Mix in an educated wit, and you've got a well blended package to rival any quick-joke comedian.
Note: Also his voice isn't something you want to listen to very much.

#1 - Have Fun, and Be Sincere.
Reason: The hosts of Top Gear can be a rabid and easily aggravated group when it comes to a car they don't like, and yet, they might still find something nice about it, or be able to present it in a way that leaves it up the eye of the beholder to define its beauty.  This undeniable message of simple fun, and subtle but well present sincerity is truly what becomes the cohesion of the show.  Even when you think that a car has no redeeming value, their sincerity can often allow the review to take a turn for the better as they delve into the redemption of the car, and yet neither angle ever hits you over the head as an unweildly, blatant bias.
Note: None.
Saturday, February 6th, 2010
10:46 pm
What's All the Fuzz About? - Episode 13: Amelia (starring Hilary Swank)
Whether you've been familiar with Amelia Earhart passively in simply knowing that she's a historical figure that was tragically lost in an attempt to be even more historic - maybe hertoric since no man had attempted that feat yet - or have a far more sense of the famous aviatrix, you've probably been curious if this movie was any good.  Starring Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, and awkwardly squeezing Ewan McGregor in there, the movie was apparently quite the flop.  I hadn't really heard any outcries of it being horrible, but it just didn't seem to resonate any positivity on viewers whatsoever.  Despite this, I was still looking forward to watching it, and did so recently.  To give you a hint as to how it turned out, I thought about quitting after the first half.

To put it simply, it was BORING.  No, not because I can't stand a movie without explosions, or without the female lead dressing provactively in a way that tantaliz...  Nevermind.  Anyways, it was boring because it didn't tell us anything.  If you already know that Amelia Earhart was a famous pilot, and historical figure for (real) feminism, and was tragically lost attempting a feat that nobody had ever tried before, then you have nothing to learn from this movie.  The entire film feels as though someone browsed through summaries of her life, and instead of looking further into them, simply adapted those into a script.  The woman was only 40 when she was lost, and yet the movie feels as though we jump several years every 10 minutes - which would make her, at best, 391 years old by the movie's end, as she was apparently 31 when the movie starts.  Which truly solidifies the problem; she's 31 when the movie gets going.  Yes, we're given a scene of her as a child, and then a scene of her slightly older and flying what seems to be a cropduster, accompanied with a narrative about what it meant to her, but it doesn't really give us any character insight, and we're left with simple acknowledges.  These acknowledgments being that she wasn't hatched a 31 year old asprising aviatrix, but rather she had a brief childhood and is artistically articulate.

This is also all that we learn to find out about her for the rest of the film.  As I said, it doesn't tell us anything else.  We don't get to see her grow into the steadfast and incouragable woman that she became as we're immediately introduced to this character, and she remains in that consistent sense throughout the film.  Ironically, as biographic movies tend to make a person seem even more amazing than they really are, this movie seemed to be set on actually making her seem even more dull than humanly possible.  She doesn't feel human in this movie, nor do we ever get the sense that she really is striving to live the dream of flying that she so frequently verbally manifests in a profound way throughout the movie.  Whenever she wants to do something, the movie simply gives it to her.  It skips over any and all struggle, or endearment, or actual strive to overcome limits placed on her due to her lack of a phallic carry-on.  An example of this is the Air Race scene about 45 or so minutes into the movie.  Amelia is partaking in a women-only Air Race, or I think it's women-only; we never got any fucking introduction to it!  Anyways, this is focusing on a character that is shoehorned in, but quickly forgotten after this.  Gere's character pulls a young woman - the new and quickly rejected character - aside because she's apparently an awesome pilot, and a threat to Earhart's placement of first.  The speech that Gere gives to the young girl about how it's best if Amelia comes in first feels as though it lasts forever, but it never comes up again, and Amelia ends up placing third.   Now, we're left to assume that the speech simply fell on deaf ears and the girl was defiant, but even with that annoyingly minute implication, we're left questioning why the hell did Amelia come in third?  Then the movie moves on and it's never mentioned again.  Well, what the hell?  Apparently it was important for Amelia to come in first, but her coming in third leaves no backlash whatsoever?  No consequences, no doubts, no scorning the young girl for being awesome?

Apparently, if you look this up, you will find an explanation that would have actually made the movie interesting.  It seems that Amelia didn't come into third because of the young girl's defiance, but rather because another pilot crashed near the end of the race, and Amelia landed to help her.  Once she helped the downed pilot, she got back into the air but could only manage third place.  A plane crash, heroic feats, and brilliantly accidental Public Relations defiance all in one scene; WHY WASN'T THIS IN THE MOVIE?!  It would have actually added a depth to Earhart we didn't know about, and it would have been an exciting sequence that would have saved the movie from being abhorrently dull.  Instead, the scene concludes with a ye olde news reel cut explaining that despite placing third, Amelia wasn't swayed in her campaign to get more women pilots.  Not exactly a blow to Public Relations.  Which actually brings me to another point; the news reels.  These are meant as cuts to set up jumps in time and fill in the gaps of her achievements, I guess so we don't have to see her being an awesome and inspiring role model.  Instead we get to see Gere and McGregor have some sort lazy romances with Swank, meanwhile a kid shows them up by provoking the most sincere acting from Swank in the whole damn thing by Amelia practically becoming the kid's surrogate mother.  This doesn't really hold any significance towards the movie either as the sparse motherly scenes flee from the reel just as quickly as they came fluttering by, and eventually the kid is mentioned only in passing for the rest of the movie.  Tough luck, kid.  Digressing from that, and heading back to the news reels note, the film really shows an amateur side once it nears the end.  There is a news reel dedicated to her arrival in Ireland when she was shooting for Paris, and she lands in the middle of nowhere with only a flock of sheep and two very peasanty looking shepherds to tend to the flock.  After we find out where she is, the film cuts to the ye olde news reel explanation of what's going on, and shows footage of her after landing.  This is problematic because the footage is from the exact same angle as the camera was when she landed in the field, and the scene looks as though it only takes place mere minutes after she landed; not enough time for a person that can afford a camera to get out there since nobody could have known where she landed so soon.

Overall, it's an admirable subject and the casting was pretty solid, but the script felt like a cliffnotes version of only the last 9 years of Amelia's life, not an actual biography of her actual self.  Admittedly the movie is brilliant in inspiriing you to find out more about the fascinating woman, but only because you actually want to learn something about her, not listen to her prattle on for the tenth time about having been inspired about flying without actually seeing what the hell inspired her in the first place.  The two scenes we did see that were supposed to set up her inspiration were brief, and one was so choppily edited that you wanted to stop looking at it lest you be on the floor in convulsions.  The editing is simply sloppy, and the powers behind it simply had no real clue as to how to portrary a human being.  The moronic Old Navy Mannequin commercials show more humanity than this movie!  If you've somehow manged to stay ignorant of the person known as Amelia Earhart and what she's famous for, and have a masochism related to absolute dullness, then this movie is for you.  However, if you have even the slightly inkling of her career, or existence, and need your movie to do something significant in order to keep you watching, then "Amelia" has absolutely nothing to offer you.
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
2:55 pm
GRAH! (more DST bullshit)
I swear, I bet this is what it would be like to talk to a DST rep in person.

Person: "We want you to rerelease the existing Serpent Guard sculpt with no changes, a move which saves money for you because there is nothing new about it.  We just want more of it."
DST Rep: "We'll see how Stargate Universe does."
Person: "What does Stargate Universe have to do with an existing customer base wanting more of an existing product?"
DST Rep: "You want more Cylons?  I can put in an order for more right now.  Ooh, would you like one with a floral print?"
Person: "Ye- NO! Not Battlestar Galactica!  Stargate SG-1!  Serpent Guard!"
DST Rep: "Cylon?"
Person: "JAFFA!"
DST Rep: "We'll see how Stargate Universe does."
Person: "We have money!  We would like to give it to you! For Serpent Guards!"
DST Rep: "We have a whole array of banks coming out for Ghostbusters, Star Wars and Indiana Jones."
DST Rep: "Kirk?"
Person: "STARGATE!!!!"
DST Rep: "We'll see how Stargate Universe does."
Person: "The first half of Stargate Universe's season has been received with high ratings and a feeling of refreshment from fans already!"
DST Rep: "We'll see how Season 2 does."

Current Mood: pissed off
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
11:54 pm
Top 15 Dream Garage
No reason in particular for posting this, and the list isn't made in any particular favoritism but rather a most realistic to least realistically possible.  Mind you none of them are particularly realistic due to the likelihood of my inevitably making it to the grave without having ever driven a car, even for a brief instant, but I digress.  This is my top 15 list of cars I'd most like to own, my "Dream Garage."  It'd be quite the big ass garage, I imagine.  To note, the FT-86 is the only car on the list that isn't in production simply because it doesn't exist yet; it's a concept car that is due for release in 2011 as a sports coupe, and it looks badass.  Plus, its price is only supposed to be in the 20k's.

1. 2011 Toyota FT-86
2. 1992-94 YJ Jeep Wrangler Sahara (Jurassic Park #27 paintjob/#29 replica)*
3. 1992-94 YJ Jeep Wrangler Sahara (Jurassic Park #10 paintjob/#10 replica)
4. 2006 Toyota Celica GTS
5. 2008 Dodge Magnum
6. 1992-94 Toyota Land Cruiser (Jurassic Park #001 paintjob/book inspired-replica)**
7. 1955 CJ-6 Willys Jeep (Hatari replica)
8. 1986 Jeep Scrambler
9. DMC-12 DeLorean (Better engine installed, minor Back to the Future features added)
10. 2002 Plymouth Prowler
11. 2010 Ariel Atom 3
12. 2010 Mustang Shelby GT500
13. 4th Generation Dodge Viper
14. 1967 Pontiac GTO
15. Aston Martin DB9

*- The Jeep Wranglers seen in the movie were numbered #10, #12, #18 and #29.  However, I want #27, due to the fact that one of my favorite childhood toys was the Kenner "Bush Devil Tracker" which was the Jeep replica for their Jurassic Park toy line, and they numbered it #27 - no idea why.

**- This would be painted up in the scheme of the Ford Explorers seen in the movie.  The Toyota Land Cruiser idea is due to them being the vehicles actually named in the book instead of Explorers, and Toyota Land Cruisers look cooler and seem to be far more reliable.
Thursday, January 14th, 2010
11:05 pm
What's All the Fuzz About? - Episode 12: It's NERF or NOTHING!
Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder!  Scratch that, wrong NERF.  If you had the opportunity to be a child during the 90's, then chances are you have a familiarity whether joyous or vague with the brand of NERF weaponry.  Oh, and yes, it's all caps - you can see that on the wiki entry logo, just like LEGO.  However, unlike LEGO, multiple NERF toys or pieces are not called NERFs, they are called NERF [item], but I digress.  NERF toys, or specifically the weaponry, is one of those toy lines that everybody is familiar with, but nobody really knows about.  It's underrated, yet a top seller; keep an eye on the NERF section during any sort of holiday, and the dart-firing cache of weapons will sell like hotcakes; in fact, I'm convinced that the famous uber-selling hotcake was simply a NERF pancake.  Somehow, despite the woes of the economy rollercoaster over the last two decades, NERF still seems to be holding strong with the same amount of vague existence that it held in the 90's, so why is this noteworthy?  Well, simply put, it deserves better.

Flashing back to the 90's - one of the better eras to flashback to as it's probably the only decade since the 50's to not deal with bushy haircuts, or jeans with leg bottoms that can fit a person twice the size of the person that fits in the waist portion - weapons toys were in a boom.  Pun intended; did you enjoy it?  You could walk into Wal-Mart and simply stand in awe of the weaponry that would lay before your eyes.  There was the titular NERF selection, along with realistic-looking air rifles, electronic guns whose upper receivers rocked back and forth making machine gun noises, projectile guns with realistic shell-ejecting actions, and even cap guns with explosive powder held into tiny tubes by mere pieces of paper.  The firing of which would result in a significant sounding bang, along with smoke.  If you were to wield one of these today in your neighborhood as I had the leisure to, you would most likely have a dozen MP5s shoved in your face within mere minutes by SWAT.  Despite all of these choices, NERF was the weapon of choice.  Why?  Because you could shoot people; you were ENCOURAGED to shoot people.  Sure, not by your mother, but the toy company said you could.

Back then, NERF guns didn't have much in common with one another; their aesthetics were plenty varied as they were either cybernetically-styled with silver highlights and some electronic gizmo, or they were garishly colored and had a more practical gimmick to aid in your full foam jacket madness.  Each weapon had a little nugget of awesome about it, but you never quite had a line-wide fascination; you just didn't really want every weapon that was made.  Eventually, NERF took a turn for the collective and introduced the Secret Agent-inspired "Cyber Strike" line of weaponry ranging from single pistols, pistols with radios installed, and even a whole vest kit with headset.  Granted, if you were to collect all the pieces you would look even more of a dork than if you were to adorn your body with fully screen-accurate Borg accessories.  Well, pre-First Contact, anyway.  Actually, accurate pre-First Contact Borg implant replicas would be cool, too, but I digress.

I must be honest, though, I really stopped getting NERF guns for awhile as I was happy with the few bits of NERF I had, and moved on to the more mature endeavors of...  Action figure collecting...  Anyways, NERF has re-piqued my interest within the last couple of years with revolutionary, though, technically unoriginal, awesome design aesthetics and ideals.  Modularity has become a dominant ideal within the line, as each gun now comes with at least one piece of NERF tech that can be used with other guns, and these guns take their design aesthetics from real-world firearm features.  This is technically unoriginal because, well, they're just ripping off features of real firearms, such as ejecting magazines, "iron" sights, laser sights, collapsing stocks, drum magazines, and even a belt-fed full auto machine gun.  The magazines, by the way, don't change from gun-to-gun.  So far, 4 guns have been released that all share the same magazine design, creating a level of play that I wish I could have had in my own childhood.  Now, it would just look too awkward running around outside with my weapons of mass dart-struction.  This line has taken on the catchy name of N-STRIKE.  Not quite as good as CYBER STRIKE, but it has strike in the name, and that's enough of an excuse to go commando.  Let me rephrase; to go Rambo.  This is not only revolutionizing in the sense that it uses some of the most entertaining, most convenient, and most customizable aspects of real firearms to enhance the toy, but also because the evolution of censorship has damned the existence of realistic toy guns. 

NERF's adaptation to real firearm features brings that back for the generations that couldn't imagine what it was like before the shrill of any random soccer mom held the power to fuck up an industry.  However, it does it with fair compromise; these toys will give you the features that enhance the play, and the toy itself.  The gun design itself is left up to Hasbro's brilliant designers, who of which have come up with some designs that can only be called awesome.  It would be difficult to mistake these guns for real ones, and instead look like fantastic props for any sci-fi military film you could possibly imagine.  Fortunately, NERF awareness seems to be on the rise due to this.  I've mentioned owning NERF guns to several people, all of which know my real age, and yet never seem to question as to why I would want one, or slander it for that matter.  As well, geek culture seems quite adapt to them as you will find them to be preferred weapons amongst the armories of cubicle workers - perhaps instigated by the NERF-lovers at ThinkGeek and their various videos.  That, or it makes entire sense due to my generation having such a fondness for the one toyline that has best survived since our childhoods.  Either way, NERF is quite possibly the most underrated bit of amazing awesome out there, and fully deserves whatever attention it has garnered already, and whatever attention it may continue to garner.  It also helps that it's one of the most cost-effective toy lines out there, which is simply yet another plus to it.  The most expensive gun is a medial $40, or you can keep it around $10 with the fantastic NERF Maverick.  Either way you go, just remember that it truly is, NERF - or nothing.
4:25 pm
2010's TV Offerings...
Jan. 14th (Thursday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Community (7pm)
- Office (8pm)
- 30 Rock (8:30pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 15th (Friday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Batman: Brave and the Bold (6:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)
- The Soup (11:35pm)

Jan. 17th (Sunday)
- Human Target (7pm) - Premiere

Jan. 18th (Monday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Chuck (7pm)
- 24 (7pm) - Premiere
- Castle (9pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 19th (Tuesday)
- World News Now (3am)
- NCIS: LA (8pm) (Ninja)
- Better Off Ted (7:30pm)
- Better Off Ted (8:30pm)
- White Collar (9pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 20th (Wednesday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Modern Family (8pm)
- Human Target (8pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 21st (Thursday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Community (7pm)
- Office (8pm)
- 30 Rock (8:30pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 22nd (Friday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Batman: Brave and the Bold (6:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)
- The Soup (11:35pm)

Jan. 25th (Monday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Chuck (7pm)
- 24 (8pm)
- Castle (9pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 26th (Tuesday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Better Off Ted (7:30pm)
- Better Off Ted (8:30pm)
- NCIS: LA (8pm) (Ninja)
- White Collar (9pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 27th (Wednesday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Modern Family (8pm)
- Human Target (8pm)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)

Jan. 28th (Thursday)
- World News Now (3am)
- Daily Show (10pm)
- Colbert Report (10:30pm)
- Frasier (11pm)
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
7:52 am
I go to sleep at a decent time, and everything goes fucking nuts.
So, I've been trying to get my sleep pattern unfucked and go to bed at decent times lately.  What's decent?  2-3 am.  Yeah, that's not decent for most, but I'd been going to bed at 4-5am until now.  Considering I try to get up at 11:35am everyday to at least attempt to have some productivity during the day, it usually sucked something fierece, hence the weening off it.  So, went to bed at 3am tonight...

Only to be awoken quite rudely at 7 with some WTFery hammering.  BAM-BAM-BAM, it sounded like it was right against my fucking wall, but I was in such a deep sleep that I only barely woke up.  I was trying to figure out if I had actually heard that...  Slipping back into sweet, sweet slumber, I was almost asleep and heard it again.  BAM-BAM-BAM.  Still a bit confused about it, I tried to sleep through it, and nothing happened for a bit....  Then BAM-BAM-BAM. >_<  What the fuck was that, I thought?!  I had to fight myself to get up because my body didn't want to worry about it; I was having micro-dreams about going to check it out to have it be nothing!  But, I stubbornly fought back to figure out what the hell was going on.  When I opened my door, I noticed my aunt's bathroom was open, and her cold water handle on the fauct has been broken for awhile, so I thought maybe she didn't have water?  Was she banging on the sink to make it work?  Well, that's stupid, but understandable...  Or, maybe it was something else water-related, like the shower?

So, I notice that she's arguing about some damn thing or another in my mom's room - where my mom's boyfriend was aslo attempting to sleep - while my mom got ready for work.  Groggingly patient, I awaited them to emerge from her rage against the inane, cause I really don't like going in there.  Eventually my mom and my aunt came out, and I asked what in the fuck was the hammering about?!  Immediately, I got the most unjustified, the most ridiculous, the most spoiled, the most...just absolutely fucking stupid answer to explain it; a toothbrush.  Apparently, my aunt fucked up when putting the battery cover back on her electric toothbrush and put it on backwards, and it seems to have jammed the damn thing on there.  So, what's her solution?  BAM-BAM-BAM against her fucking sink.  MInd you, her bathroom is right on the otherside of about 8' of wall of my room, so yeah, no wonder it fucking sounded like she was beating the goddamn brush against the wall.  It seems, though, that the lack of ELECTRIC function of her fucking toothbrush has even made her late for work because she hasn't gotten dressed, she hasn't applied her make-up - the only thing she managed to get done was her shower.  All of this over a toothbrush, that only lost it's electric function!  Human teeth survived for hundreds of years on the motherfucking scraping action!  You don't need batteries!  It's not like it cures the most offensive thing in her mouth; her opinion.

Grah.  So, end of story, right?  Back to sleep?  Well, no, apparently my body is now angry at me for not listening to it's obvious wiseness and having to go check out my morning's plight.  So, now I can't get back to sleep.  To make this morning even more WTF, though, this evangelist commercial came on with some douche rambling about the Romans.  Apparently he sculpts Roman figures and has to apply 4 strands of hair because they traveled 4 in their military formations so it showed power, so naturally this segwayed to some sort of stability and power when accepting Jesus.  Because Romans are apparently the most positive analogy when you think Jesus... Gruh?  Doesn't help that this guy looked like the type to offer candy from the back of his van.

My mentality can't repel WHATTHEFUCKERRY of this magnitude this early!!!!
Thursday, December 24th, 2009
8:13 pm
Oh, uh...
Well, we have snow now.  Like 6 inches already, and it's still coming down quite hard so we should have quite an arctic scene to wake up to tomorrow.  It still sucked waiting through that sleet. >_>

Current Mood: ecstatic
12:04 pm
What in the fucks is this shit?
Weatherguy: We're getting snow!
Weatherguy: It's turning to snow!
Weatherguy: We're inevitably getting snow!
Outside: ...no... ICE MOTHERFUCKER!

Sunday, December 20th, 2009
7:22 pm
*eye twitch*
Watching Survivor IS bad for people!  My aunt, about to clean up the kitchen after dinner, turned on the living room TV to listen to Survivor while she did so.  I was still finishing dinner, so I fled to my room in preservation of what little intelligent thought I'm capable of.  I needed something to drink, though, so I went back and tried to go through as quick as possible, but it was just long enough for the following to take place...

Aunt, to my Mom: "Only 5 left on the island, what will I watch when it's done?"
Me: "You could watch paint dry."
[My Mom bursts up with laughter]
Aunt: ...what?
Mom: "Watch paint dry."
Aunt: What's that?
Mom: You know, PAINT, watch it dry!
Aunt: ...oh.
(she seemed to be under the impression that I was speaking of a show's title)
Monday, December 14th, 2009
2:23 pm
Diamond Select Toys... What in the fuck is wrong with you?
Diamond Select's latest Trek Q&A is up today, and not only does it bring bad news to anyone who has been waiting patiently to give DST their hard-earned cash in exchange for goods & services in the form of wave 5, but it also shows exactly how oblivious the company has become.


Unfortunately it seems that TOS wave 5 seems to be lost in limbo, but with Toys R Us apparently doing well with DST TOS figures, couldn’t they pick up the slack where pre-orders have fallen short?

DSTChuck: The idea has always been to have some synergy between the TRU waves and the specialty waves. We just needed to get TRU a little caught up to start. I would not say the figures are blowing out of TRU but yes if they stay with the line that’s one wave we could get the remaining figures into collectors hands.
1) When it comes to the TOS 3 3/4 figures, when might we see a picture of a protype?
2) Would the 3 3/4 figures be released in 2010?
3) Is wave 5 of the TOS (& Salt Vampire) going to happen?
4) Any word on whether or not Sisko w/ command chair is going to be made? Thanks for all your hard work. Chris

DSTChuck: Questions #1 and #2 at this point need to be directed to Playmates. Wave 5 as it was listed will NOT be happening. We’re going to work on other ways to get those characters out there. However it does appear as if the Salt Vampire is not going to happen and neither is the Sisko in Defiant chair.
After cursing for several minutes with wave 5 and Command Chair Sisko's inevitable but drawn out officialized demise, and the Salt Vampire's yet again being cursed into limbo, I noticed something. The underlined bit in the first quote; "I would not say the figures are blowing out of TRU," just doesn't make sense. Why? Well, because the 1-per-case new figures have blown out of the store just fine - Cage Spock only stuck around longer than Kang and "KHAAAN" Kirk have because he was a shoddy and lazy attempt at a Cage Spock. Even he sold out eventually, though. Since they said the figures aren't "blowing out of TRU," I can only assume they mean the rereleases that make up 5 out of 6 figures in the case.

If that's true, then what hope does the line have? There is absolutely no way they can realistically expect rereleases to "blow" out of TRU. Not only were these figures easy to snag off of ebay for the same price range from the original AA release, but they even made them available in 2-packs outside of TRU. The biggest problem I have with this, though, isn't simply the unrealistic expectations for them to have to blow out of the store, but rather my problem stems from the fact that DST even claims their sells are stable!

Also from today's Q&A:
The original idea was that if the first waves of TOS did well in TRU we would start to mix the figures some. However the sales have just been stable, not hot and not bad, just holding their own
So, rereleases of nearly decade-old figures, that were relatively easy to get for the same price on the secondary market, have STABLE sells - while the new figures in the cases instantly become rare?! It should even be noted that the Scotty rerelease from the latest wave is already SOLD OUT on TRU's site, despite having been available in a 2-pack for the past few months. How is this not a success to them? Considering that with every new case that enters TRU, there is a SINGLE new figure in that case - as of now that is Kang - and then 5 rereleases left over, but those 5 still manage stable sells?

Meanwhile, DST is sitting on 5 NEW figures that fit in with what TRU is currently offering, but won't get TRU to bite on that product in order to get it released because... they're breaking even with rereleases? DST's unrealistic expectations for this line seem to be the burden that is causing this line to suffer, and slowly suffocate to death. Not to mention that the line's first army-builder, the Romulan Soldier, is due out in the next TRU wave - and it will most likely be 1 per case. With such a tragedy on the horizon, I truly believe that it may very well be the final nail in the coffin.

Current Mood: aggravated
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
8:00 pm
What's All the Fuzz About? - Episode 11: The Santa Clause
The spirit of the Christmas season is wafting about inbetween gratuitous purchases and gorging on holiday-themed treats, so I thought it was about time to talk about one of my favorite holiday movies - and how it's franchise became a festering cesspool of mediocrity. "The Santa Clause," starring Tim Allen and some obnoxious kid came out in 1994 and introduced a new angle to the Santa Claus mythos that also cleverly played on the name by having the role of Santa Claus not be held by a single person, but rather people that become the iconic role over the history of time through a contractual obligation. It also starts it's romp in the Santa Claus aspect by killing Santa himself, so you really have to love it for it's jingle balls. The movie seems to have been a subtle hit as I've never heard too many people talk about it, but usually when people speak of it, it's in a positive light. This is probably helped by the fact that despite Tim Allen's notoriety for starring in shoddy movies, this director apparently knew how to handle him. The director (John Pasquin) apparently was responsible for several episodes of shows such as "Family Ties," "Roseanne," and Tim Allen's vehicle; "Home Improvement." While I haven't looked to see if some of my favorite episodes are in this lot, those shows really hold evidence that the guy is aware of the balance in family comedies as all of those shows were simply superb in appealing to all ages. At 23, I still love watching each of those shows.

I want to say something nice about the writers, but this was apparently their most decent work I'm familiar with - out of the three things of theirs that I've heard of. Their only other works that I'm familiar with are Space Jam, and Kicking & Screaming. The latter is a Will Ferrell movie so we can assume it wreaked all sorts of hell on deceny, and as for Space Jam... Well, ok, I loved Space Jam as a kid. Now, it's corny as fucking hell - but an awesome movie if you're 10 or younger. Anyways, this was written before Space Jam, in which case we'll simply assume that both writers were in a horrible accident that required a lobotomy for each, but I digress. So, what happened to the franchise and were the sequels just as good? Ho-ho-holy shit no.

Where "The Santa Clause" left off was on an ending that both wrapped up the movie and it's events, but kept a very Santa-sized opening for it's story to be able to be continued. I have no idea if it's because the movie did poorly back in '94, or if it was because the people in charge of the studio at that time believed in movies that could stand on their own without being horribly greedy, but either way it took them nearly a decade to get a sequel out for the movie. Thus, all the way in 2002 we got "The Santa Clause 2" which built on the contractual obligations of being Santa Clause. Admittedly, the concept was a clever continuation, and truly held a possibility to continue the romantic and sentimental ideals of Christmas while being laden with comedic goodness for all ages; the keyword in all of that was "possibility." The film was now in the hands of director Michael Lembeck, whose sole credit that stands out to me of any significance is directing 20 episodes of "Friends." Which explains a lot to me. He's also directing the upcoming monstrosity that puts Duhwayne Johnson - The Rock - in yet another kiddy-pandersome romp known as "The Tooth Fairy." This is made even worse by the fact that there is half a dozen writers for this damn movie BEFORE including character-credits for the two writers that came up with the first one. Not only is this a sound reasoning for the sequel's horrible story as these writers most likely acted with a committee mentality to whittle it down until it was a neutral enough product that doesn't care that nobody likes it - they just can't be displeased with it. Here's a quick summary of their work, though. One wrote "Big Momma's House," two co-wrote "Bubble Boy" (I'm surprised that had ONE writer, let alone two?), one wrote "The Lizzy Maguire Movie," and the last pair teamed up with another pair for "There's Something About Mary." I feel sorry for whoever at Disney had to be scraping the bottom of that barrel, they must have had a bloody knub by the time that was finished.

So, what worked with the first one? Well, the director was obviously a talented guy and had the knowledge to actually direct his actors in a way that actually use their talents, and all of the characters were actually fleshed out in a realistic yet entertaining manner. The humor was never pandersome; even the worse puns had a fair amount of wit within them. Hell, the movie even managed to KILL SANTA CLAUS without losing it's happy note and managed to create a brilliant new interpretation of the Christmas world that was energetic, yet subtly warming. The movie even managed to deliver a message or two that were crystal clear but never done in a way that made you yell out, "holy fuck stop hitting me over the head with this sentiment!" So, what happened? Well, the first sequel made sure to kill that quite blantantly without any sort of hope that intelligence could return to the franchise. "The Santa Clause 2" only relates to the first movie in the mere concept of following on the contractual obligations of being Santa Clause, and the name. The rest of it is a pandersome nightmare that replaces every ounce of wit with a gimmick for a cheap laugh that never comes; the actors run around unreigned by the director, and the reindeer fucking speak. Not english, no, instead they have episodes of incomprehensible muttering that is apparently speaking. What was wrong with the reindeer simply being charismatic animals that made natural-sounding noises that we saw in the first one? Oh, right, we have to pander lest the children develop wit. Can we put "rapier wit" on the extinction list?

Anyways, the quality of course has it's harsh effects on the characters themselves as they're only important when a gag is needed. It's quite apparent that there is no growth for these characters to find, as all of their heart-felt lessons from the first movie have disappeared so they can suffer from some cliche Lifetime channel-esque problem that can be solved within the alotted timespan. It also pushed aside much of the existing characters for a new elf named Curtis that basically was supposed to be the primary source of comedy for the movie, but it was a character that was horribly shoehorned in and the role was filled by Spencer Breslin. Who is that you ask? Just one of those children that is kept hidden inside the disney vault until they need a fat kid with horrible timing to make an appearance for yet another direct-to-dvd movie starring Tim Allen; probably their idea of spotlighting Allen's talent. He's also been in some of the other shittiest movies of the decade such as "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Happening."

So, despite the fact that this movie only made half of what it took to create it's shameful, abysmal, shallow existence upon it's release, it eventually managed to gross a total of $130 million. It took $60 poorly spent million in order to create it in the first place. So, even though it slowly climbed up to this total over the span of three months (Nov. 3rd to Feb. 2nd), it was apparently a success. A few years went by and I thought the franchise was once more safe from suffering the horrible act of Disney squatting down on it and caking it with yet another shoddy sequel. I was wrong. In 2006, a total of 14 years after the first one showed us awesomeness, we got the third one. This one didn't even try to live up to the "Clause" or contractual aspect, and just simply came up with the worst idea to involve Jack Frost - played by Martin Short. One interesting note; Martin Short's role before this one was a child rapist on Law and Order: SVU. That's the best comedic timing to come out of either of the two sequels! But I digress - though I wish I could digress my memory anytime I'm reminded of these damn sequels. Anyways, the third is directed, written, and starred by everybody from the second movie, so it didn't have any sort of hope to come close to redeeming the franchise. In fact, it has killed the franchise by only earning $90 million over it's span, and most likely cost more if not as much as the sequel did. Apparently a potential $30 million profit is a paltry sum. Oh well, I obviously won't question their decision as I wanted to put the franchise out of it's misery the very minute that I heard Spencer Breslin attempt to deliver his first joke.

Now the franchise can rest in peace, and we can pretend the sequels never happened. Definitely watch the first one if you haven't, though. Even though I said that it's ending left an opening for potential sequels, it works perfectly fine on it's own. If you want to see Tim Allen and Martin Short teamed up with something that doesn't feel as though somebody is shoving your wit, intellect and sense of humor in a bag full of Mickey Mouse droppings and lightning it on fire, then watch "Jungle 2 Jungle." It's fun times. Interestingly, I just noticed that it's also directed by the guy that directed "The Santa Clause." So it all works out.

Note: I would have provided a cut, but it kept fucking up on me.

Current Mood: awake
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