Category Archives: Movies

The Watchmen Thing

I am a comic book fan.

I’ve been reading since I was six. I still have that issue of Uncanny X-Men with Wolverine and Gambit on the cover that started this whole mess.

I have many, many, many opinions on the whole Watchmen debacle.

I don’t think they should do it.

All right, so maybe just the one opinion.

I’m going to attempt to elucidate this opinion for you here without swearing non-stop or turning into an entitled fan.

Read the rest of this entry

PG-13 Expendables Due to Language? Suck My D-ck.

Did you guys hear about how the Expendables 2 is going to be PG-13?

Did you hear about how it’s because Chuck Norris got his conservative panties in a bunch over the language?

This is genius. Whoever did this is so, so awesome.

Mr. Norris, on behalf of everyone, ever: Suck Our Dicks.

Read the rest of this entry

“Sarah’s Key” Review: How a Pregnant Woman is Equivalent Drama to The Holocaust

The opening of Sarah’s Key, a French drama based off a best-selling book of the same name, is promising; our titular character hides her brother in a locked closet as French police take her and the rest of her Jewish family off to concentration camps. They become part of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup; a Nazi-ordered mass arrest in Paris by French Police that resulted in over thirteen thousand Jews being held at the nearby Velodrome d’Hiver. The Velodrome is a massive indoor racing track, and as the harassed shuffle in for days of sweltering conditions without bathrooms or water (where many obviously died), the viewer braces themselves for another dark but at least new story of The Holocaust.

Five minutes later this part of the story ends and we follow Sarah who hopelessly races back to Paris to rescue her little brother still locked in a secret closet. The main arc isn’t anything new, but it’s rather understood that we as good progressive people will watch any well-shot Holocaust movie as our little penance to the horrible atrocity that happened. Since we didn’t step in sooner, we will watch a hundred movies of starving people shuffled into barns in the wilderness.

Here’s the curveball Sarah’s Key throws you, viewers: the majority of the movie jumps away from little Sarah and focuses on modern-day Julia; a journalist researching the event and tracking down what happened to our little survivor-to-be. Most of this time is spent as Julia dreads an oncoming pregnancy and moving. Let me restate this: we spend most of the movie with a rich woman worrying about her apartment and her baby. Read the rest of this entry

The Real Horror of “The Butterfly Effect”

Credit goes to The Butterfly Effect for existing and Ashton Kutcher for inventing Twitter.

The Strange Case of The “Shut Up, Little Man!” Phenomenon

When evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, he intended it for one, very specific purpose: to describe how ideas or behaviors could spread within a society and change over time through the process of natural selection.

The premise of memetics (or the study of memes) was a simple one: ideas that are interesting and novel tend to flourish and propagate, while the bad ones disappear into obscurity. These “good” ideas are then passed on to other people, who modify them as they try to understand them. They, in turn, bestow their own version of the idea onto others, and the cycle begins anew.  And so it has gone for thousands of years.

But then audio cassettes, camcorders, and the Internet were invented.

Suddenly, anyone could reproduce exact copies of their voice, writing or image with very little cost or difficulty. There was no mutation, only replication.  The tools of mass media were now in the hands of those who consumed it. It was no longer an organic evolution of ideas. It was a revolution.

Dawkins went out the window.

Flash forward thirty years. Today, our concept of a “meme” is usually a grainy video we watched online this morning of a teenager shattering his pelvis in a parkour accident, or perhaps a painfully addictive looping animation of a singing cat with a Pop Tart body zooming through space.

In filmmaker Matthew Bate’s provocative new documentary, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, we’re given a front row seat to the birthing pains of what is now known as the “viral” pop-culture phenomenon, back in the early days of pre-online America.

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Frank Herbert’s DUNE: The Drinking Game!

Sandworms Love it, Fremen Approve!

Around a year and a half ago, I was out at a local pub with a few friends of mine (Editor’s Note: Just say the writing staff of Nonstop Karate. -Ed.) when we all began reminiscing about the books and movies that truly inspired our childhoods.  Most had been adequately represented in today’s culture by reboots, sequels, prequels, and gritty reimaginings; that is to say, the traditional way to honor anything that was remotely successful or “good” in the past.

One franchise that we realized hadn’t really gotten much attention lately (aside from a tepidly received SyFy channel mini-series) was Frank Herbert’s wildly popular 1965 science fiction series, “Dune”.

So we did the only thing we could think of to rectify the situation. We turned it into a drinking game.

The game you are about to learn about can be quite fun, although to be honest it has only been played once amongst my circle of friends, and even then in a very prototypical form (as in we were inventing it as it was played.) If nothing else, you will get drunk pretending to be an alien worm-riding space baron.

Be aware that this is isn’t one of those terrible “games” where you watch the film adaptation and take a shot every time someone says “spice”.  This is a true gentlemen’s sport with real, complex rules. A game of strategy and nuance. And beers.  Lots of beers.

If you’ve never heard of “Dune” or you don’t like getting wasted with a group of idiots, you should probably just stop reading now.

If you like one or both of those things, read on! Read the rest of this entry

Where Art Thou, Kaiju Monsters of Yesteryear?

You still have a place in the wellspring of my heart, old friends.

In 1954, a Japanese stuntman by the name of Haruo Nakajima wriggled into a suit made of 270 lbs. of stiff vulcanized rubber.  The limbs were inflexible and painful to wear, the body unventilated and stifling, and the tail pulled his spine into an unnatural curve.  Under the haze of dozens of halogen studio lamps in a cramped Tokyo soundstage, he paused until the instant he heard the director shout the repeated phrase “Haimemashou!” (“Begin the action!”)

With that, Nakajima began a dangerous game of filmmaking chicken — pushing himself to stay conscious in the extreme discomfort of the poorly-constructed costume and searing film lights… just long enough to destroy as many papier-mâché skyscrapers, cars, tanks, trains and villagers as possible before the overwhelming pain and exhaustion of the scene pushed him into heat stroke.

Several weeks later, in a separate soundstage, an actor by the name of Jiro Mitsuaki turned his gaze to the empty ceiling overhead as the cameras rolled on him,  awaiting him to summon every ounce of his strength to shout one, very strange word at the top of his lungs. He was to yell as loud as the condenser microphones could register. One word out of fear for his life. At the time, it was a nonsense word. But a terrifying one.

“GOJIRA!” he screamed. “GOJIRA! GOJIRA!” he shouted again and again.  Gojira. Literally translated, “Gorilla-Whale”. Nonsense.

Gojira. Read the rest of this entry

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