Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bonsai tree purchased to reduce stress becomes new source of stress

The other day when I was watching The Karate Kid on MPIX, it struck me. No, not the fact that Ralph Macchio weighs about 30 pounds in this movie. I was struck by the simple beauty of the bonsai.

Oh Mr. Miyagi, builder of decks and refurbisher of classic cars, I need some of that internal stillness you train into Danny LaRusso. You know, the stillness that makes him a martial arts master in 2 months so he can put a gang of blonde Power Rangers in their place.

But I'm getting sidetracked into a movie review here...The point is, I thought that maybe there was something in that old Japanese bonsai wisdom.

So I bought one. Now in case you're ever in the market for a bonsai, let me just warn you that 'bonsai' is Japanese for 'little tree, lots of money'. So I guess I should say I invested in one. I came home and put it in the 'power position' in my office, where I can look at it and become still like the mountain. I watered it right away. I talked to it and tried to make it feel welcome. I promised never to let it get coated in a layer of ice.

I have no idea what to do with it. I don't know whether to trim it, leave it, or take it out for dinner. It's not one of the little pine trees. It has leaves. What the hell am I supposed to do with the leaves?

We've now entered a state of attrition. I don't bother it and it doesn't bother me. Sometimes when I happen to be walking by I'll throw a little coffee its way and mumble a lame apology. And then I spend the rest of the day wondering why the nurturing gene passed me by.

I remembered too late that I'm known among the plant world as 'The Walking Death.' What's especially worrying is that the little leaves on the bonsai have all started to turn away from the window and toward the wall behind them. Like the tree's bracing itself for death. Or trying to commit hari-kari. I think it's scared of me. The feeling is mutual.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Climate change: We're so screwed

Okay. I'm from Canada. I've lived here all my life. I live in a region of Canada that has some crazy-ass winters. We get tons of snow, it often drops to 30 below in January, we have ice storms, it's bad. I mean, when we saw The Day After Tomorrow, we were like, 'aaaaaand....then it was winter....and then what?' We're still waiting for the punchline. That's how crazy our winters can get.

The times, though, they're a changin'. See, I've had my car coated in ice before. It's common this time of year. I've had my house, my windows, the front steps, the back deck, the birdfeeder all coated in ice. But never have I had myself coated in ice, or my dog.

Today for the first time in my 3-decades-long Canadian life, that happened. The dog and I went for our usual snowshoe walk through the woods, and it was kind of drizzly-snow-raining. And I noticed that my down vest was starting to feel really heavy. When I looked down, I was completely coated in a layer of ice. Then I looked at my dog. He was coated in ice too.

I mean, we were COATED IN A LAYER OF ICE.

This is bad. What if we had a flash-freeze (they're getting more common here) and we just froze in place? It could happen.

What I'm learning about unpredictable global climate change is that its, well, unpredictable. The point is, maybe there will be new weather patterns we've never seen before, whole new types of precipitation--like the death-ice I experienced today. We are so screwed, because the whole thing about unpredictable change is that ...you can't prepare for it.

That was scary, but then I read something that really pissed me off. Why would they repress information about this?

Information is power. That's why the Internet is so great. So here are some facts: Like the region they talk about in the article above, we've had the warmest January ever this year. Over the last three or four years, we've had the most bizarre winter weather I've seen. Last year, it was slush-falling-from-the-sky, and this year it's human-coating death-ice. It's not a good pattern.

What's my point? I have no idea. Except that obviously I need to learn more about this. And every time we're hit with some new godforsaken type of winter weather, I'll wonder: is this climate change in action? Because sometimes it's hard to see the cliff when you're just shuffling along with your head down, watching your own feet.

Every dog has his year

Happy Year of the Dog. And let me just say, I hope 4704 turns out to be a better year than 4703. And don't even get me started about the Year of the Snake. I think we all know how THAT one turned out.

So far, it has been a good year for my dog. Lounging, licking, and lying around. God I envy him.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sweet materialism

Just thought I'd share a great bargain I lucked into yesterday. Been searching for this book for years--it has been out of print since, I dunno, 1985 or something. It's a gorgeous large folio book--Allure, by Diana Vreeland, former editor-in-chief of Vogue and unbearably fabulous woman, although a smidge on the cuckoo side. This is the woman who said "I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity," and "she had the elegance of the damned," and "people who eat white bread have no dreams," and "pink is the navy blue of India."

If you love photography and the ideas of style, elegance, allure, and nuttiness, this is the book for you.

All of that to say that it was recently reprinted and was being sold in bookstores for about $110 (Canadian). I guess not everyone's as enamoured with Vreeland, because I found a copy in the bargain bin at Chapters yesterday ....for $9.99. There may still be copies at a Chapters or Indigo near you.

Well, I thought that was kind of cool.

Um, I'll get back to movie watching now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Excess Bloggage

I'm definitely no psychologist. In fact, I can barely spell the word (thank God for spell check). But...You know how all of the great writers have recurring images in their work...Shakespeare had royalty and roses, Hemingway had blood and stabbing, Dan Savage has santorum. Do you think we all have recurring images we hold in our psyche, even if we're not writers? And maybe they show up in dreams and the things we're drawn to/afraid of instead.

For instance, I have some crazy-ass recurring dream images. When I was in grad school, I dreamt of water almost every night. I'm not even exaggerating. Whatsoever. At all. In the least. But seriously, I would dream almost every night that I was drowning, or my house and everything I owned was floating away, or that I was being followed by water geysers...Interestingly (or not, if you don't happen to be me), I have also always been terrified of the idea of being on a boat at sea. All that water under you...shudder.

Nowadays, my recurring dream image is tornados. I'm walking around minding my own business, and suddenly there are 50 tornados on the darkening horizon, and they're all coming for me. Or I'm in a house and a tornado is headed for it. Or I'm actually in the middle of a tornado. That's been going on for about 8 years now. Isn't that weird?

I don't think it's just me. I used to babysit this four year-old kid who was obsessed with vacuum cleaners. He'd talk about the vacuum all the time, and he'd want me to take the vacuum out. And he'd play with the attachments. One day, he begged me to turn the vacuum on. So I did, and he turned white and screamed for a quarter of an hour, even after I'd turned it off. What the hell is that about?

So if we all have these recurring images in our minds, where do they come from? I don't live anywhere near a tornado zone. I've never even seen one in person.

Do people in China have the same recurring images as me? If so, how can that be?

I'm sure there's some Freudian or Jungian answer to this. In the meantime: what are your recurring themes?

Like hands on the hourglass

I recently promised to blather on about Marilyn Monroe's movies, but then remembered that my girl-crush on MM ended when I was 13. So I will need a few weeks of frantic DVD rentals to refresh my memory. However, I have just come into a box set of Elizabeth Taylor movies (courtesy of my mom, Beano Woman), which I plan to watch, marathon-style, on the weekend. I have to say, I've never really payed much attention to Liz's film work. Although I did see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which I loved. In that film, Liz Taylor looks the way I feel--haggard. But let's not give away all the good stuff--I'll watch, then I'll talk (write).

Oh dahling, just throw it in the pool and let's have another martini

I realized the other day that my movie reviews are quite outdated--that is, I haven't really reviewed anything recent. That's because I spend most of my movie viewing time watching old movies. For reasons I choose not to psychoanalyze, I am drawn like a moth to the flame to stuff from the early 50s through the early 60s. As the Age of Aquarius kicks in, I lose interest. And then I perk up again for the early 80s (e.g. Woman in Red--a stupid, excellent movie).

So I'm going to blather on about old movies for a while. Let's start in 1950 at the genesis of classic film* , with All About Eve, (*in my opinion, and mostly so I could cleverly pair 'genesis' with 'Eve').

All About Eve >> Bette Davis, you fabulous thing. This is what I would call a 'perfect' film, in terms of craftsmanship and performance. The writing is beautiful. The acting is provocative. The direction is unique. And, frankly, the whole thing just makes you want to walk around smoking cigarettes and drinking bourbon out of cut-crystal lowball glasses, and calling everyone 'dahling.' I credit this film with my over-active fantasy life.

(As an aside, if you could travel back in the 20th century, what decade would you choose? There's something about the late 40s, early 50s that's just magnetic to me. But I'd only go there if I could also choose to be extremely wealthy, since women's rights took a big nose-dive after WW2. I'd also love to visit the 20s, when women were liberated, society was libertine, and people were thinking deep thoughts all over the place. But on my girly days, I'm loving the 50s.)

The Star>> Okay, next movie. The Star, also with Bette Davis. 1952. Have you seen this film? It's tres bizarre, but I love it. Davis plays Margaret Elliot, a former superstar on a slow decline into poverty and obscurity. Davis' Elliot is the hardass to beat all hardasses. I especially love the scene where she drives around town gulping down whiskey, and crashes into a tree. And I can't get enough of the many scenes where she just goes ballistic and throws massive hissy-fits for nothing. It's awesome. Watch it, and tell me what you think of the ending.

Sabrina>> And now let's take a moment to meditate on the divinity of Audrey Hepburn. I've seen most of her films (though not all). Sabrina is one of my favourites. The Givenchy dress. Shut up. I think it's also one of her best acting performances. She's probably one of the most graceful humans I've ever seen. Sometimes her acting can be a little stagey and, well, squeaky, (which was part of the era), but she moves so beautifully and is in such command of her physical presence that it doesn't matter. And her style. I read that she decorated her whole house in yellow and white. Sigh.

Roman Holiday>> If you haven't seen Roman Holiday, you must immediately. I mean, she plays a princess for God's sake. What more could you ask for? Also, Gregory Peck is so dreamy...This is a great little film and Audrey won an Oscar for her performance. It was her first major performance--she was basically unknown. Also among my favourites are:

Funny Face with Fred Astaire>> Warning: if you don't like musicals, you'll be in hell watching this. But there's a really cool dance sequence in a beatnik bar in Paris. Also, Kaye Thompson is just a really weird actress. It seems like she was on barbituates during filming...What do you think?

My Fair Lady>> Let's face it, this film is pretty much the centre of the cellulose universe. I love it when Colonel Pickering says 'dash it.' Makes me want to sport a pipe and smoking jacket.

B.A.T.>> If you don't know what that means, you don't know fabulousness. Love this film. Want to marry it.

Paris--When it Sizzles>> It was 1964, okay? Go easy. This film is so stylin', though. Makes up for the weirdness.

How to Steal a Million>> Peter O'Toole, you are one sexy man. This is an example of a mid-60s braincramp that actually still works really well. Great story. I adore the booths in the hotel restaurant.

Okay, this is getting much too long. I'm going to break here and will move on to Marilyn Monroe films next..."Fasten your seatbelts..."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Lunar New Year gift for you (with a side of parentheticals)

My feng shui desk calendar tells me that I should give red amaryllis to valued friends and loved ones as a lunar new year gift. So here is a lovely red amaryllis for you. This Sunday is Chinese Lunar New Year 4704--Year of the Dog (I peeked ahead on the calendar.) (I wonder if it's bad feng shui to do that? Crap.)

Well, I'm off to move my desk. Apparently the Grand Duke Jupiter--first of the troublesome Three Afflications--will be in the W/NW during the Year of the Dog (I wonder if they're confusing him with Stephen Harper, first of the troublesome Afflictions from the West). Either way, the desk has to move.

My disappointment is exceeded only by my apathy

The Conservatives won, as everyone expected they would. But it was hardly the 'victory' being described by the New York Times or CNN. They won by a very slim margin, they have a minority government, and the real success stories are the Liberals (who got more seats than anyone predicted despite being the media's whipping boy for the last 4 weeks) and the NDP (who more than doubled their seats). And every Canadian voter knows what this result means: we're giving you a shot at it, Smirky Smirkster, since you think you can do so much better and since the Liberals need time to clean house. But you'd better produce results or you'll be gone so fast heads will spin.

Should the Conservatives screw up and start Harper-ing on the lame old conservative issues (social values, anti-gay, nuking the environment, ignoring Aboriginals, becoming Bush cronies, yadayadayada), it just might boost Canadians out of our typical political activity: caustic complaining while sitting by the fire or in front of the t.v. We might actually get up and do something about something, like I dunno, write the newspapers or protest or something.

I have to confess, I'm nervous about all this. I'm Canadian. We don't like things to change too much. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Election Night in Canada -- Our World Is About to Radically Change

It's election night here in Canada. Which means, of course, that tomorrow we confront the dawn of a whole new era of imperceptibly different political leadership. Because, bottom line, the distinction between our political parties--I mean when the poop finally trickles down to the average person--is so minor that it's actually kind of funny. Oh, to hear those crazy politicians talk, it's like they're from different planets. But to people from places like the Middle East or Eastern Europe, the major Canadian political parties are literally indistinguishable. I mean, it's not like if you vote the wrong guy in you'll get shot or your barber shop will be used as an artillery storage bunker.

Although I have to say that Canadian Alliance/"Conservative" leader Smirky Harper has really breathed some fresh air into things with his wacky right-wing antics. Taking away gay marriage, taking away women's right to choose, taking away environmental laws, taking away public daycare--he's our version of Merlin. Poof! There goes another one of your hard-earned rights! Bwahahahaha. Next target: women's voting. That tomfoolery has gone on long enough...

By the way, what is it with neocon types and the smirking? Is it like a Freemason handshake?

I voted, though. And I actually veered away from my usual party for a change. Cheesy as it may sound, there is kind of a cool energy to the whole voting experience. I live in a small village, and the polling station was downright festive. We saw the guy who delivers the crushed stone for our driveway, and the real estate agent who once tried to convince us to buy a house that was located under a highway (don't ask). I haven't seen those guys in forever.

Michael Moore had some interesting comments on our election today--posted on his Web site. Well, gotta go warm up the popcorn maker--there's a hockey game on, and then the real action begins: election result coverage. See you on the flipside.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The generation gap has become an abyss

Yesterday I told my mother I have a blog. She suggested I try Beano.

Procrasti...Hey, is that a ladybug?

Should be working on stuff for a client now. But...so...drawn...to...anything else..even remotely...interesting.

Might I just take this opportunity to say, if you're visiting, please don't be shy--say hello. My self-worth rides on it.

You think I'm joking.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Grab your SCUBA gear

We're going deep, now ....

Sometimes I think there's some deep irony that we're totally unaware of with the whole technology/networking thing. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it has to do with the fact that we're creating machines and systems to help us process information and make connections, yet our brains are the best information processor/networking devices in the world, and so we're creating these machines that are really stupid and we're putting all our energy into using them to connect with each other, but all they really do is emulate our brains (poorly), but suddenly we can't think without them. And I wonder, if we'd never created them in the first place, would we be farther along than we are now? If so--now that's ironic.

I also wonder, is the human brain like a computer, or are computers like the human brain? If the human brain is like a computer, will it become more computer-like as computers continue to evolve? Who's driving whom here, people?

Y'all better listen now, or we's gonna have us a dust-up.

Okay, when I say "and how's that workin for yuh so far?" or "that's about as useful as pockets on a cat," ...who springs to mind? When, rather than responding to your question directly, I refer you to my new book, "Flogging the Family," chapter three, who am I emulating? Oh, you know it...

I find myself strangely drawn to the Dr. Phil show--like a seal to the slaughter. The other day, I actually teared up. What defences did I have against that touching background music? It droned ever so quietly as Dr. Phil counselled a dying anorexic woman in hospital. I thought, "it's just too coincidental that that hospital is playing that violin music over its PA system. Verily, this man must be anointed by the Almighty." What do you think? Actually, scratch that. What you think doesn't matter. It's what Dr. Phil thinks that matters now.

Don't know whether you've noticed, but Dr. Phil has totally upped the drama queen ante over the last few months. I've counted at least 5 shows where he hurls himself off his bar stool, moaning, "I can't help you. You're just not ready" and storms off the stage. That's high drama people. I mean, we're not talking about any old accredited psychologist here. We're talking the coolest cat in crackpotdom.

Personally, I love the new dramatic Phil. I've also noticed more witty banter between him and Robin, and the occasional visit by his son. Have you picked up their new books lately? If you haven't, you should. They're much more qualified to comment on life and relationships than you are.

Well, I'm all outta gas now friends. I'm like a steer in a bucket. Time for me to get out there and live my best life (wait, I think that's Oprah). Thanks for tuning in, and be sure to come back tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Whyioughtta and Friends to start new Canadian federal party: the Party Party

This just in...because I know for a fact that a friend of mine will be checking this blog...and we just communicated by e-mail...and we were just talking about this.

We have decided to start a new Canadian political party, called the Party Party, or possibly the Cocktail Party Party (the CPP). We'll sit slightly to the left of the NDP because, frankly, their conversation skills are atrocious.

We're not sure what our platform will be, although we know it will revolve vaguely around mixed drinks. We've already come up with some nifty slogans, though. And after all, isn't that what really matters in politics?:

"We put the "Party" in the party"!

"A chicken in every pot, and an olive in every drink!"

"CPP, yeah you know me, boyeee!"

"It's time for a cosmopolitan Canada...I mean 'It's time for a Cosmopolitan, Canada!!" (see? punctuation DOES matter)
"First we take Manhattan. The we drink Manhattans."

“CPP – the party with a twist (of lemon)”

“We support metrosexual marriage”

“We’re seeking Absolut power”

You get the idea.

Our first Act of Parliament would be to institute the Drink Measures Act (not to be confused with the War Measures Act--how declasse): "Be it resolved that all martinis shall be upped to a 4-ounce minimum, effective immediately."

We've got a few new drink names as well:

The Conservatini – a virgin drink. Water with a splash of …water.

The Martintini – a martini that’s twice as expensive with half the booze, but you don’t pay any taxes on it

Stranded Jetski (this one came from Stockwell--er, I mean 'Doris'--Day's private collection)

1 part politcal reform.

1 part conservative alliance.

1 dashed photo op.

Serve with humble pie.

We need something like 100,000 signatures to actually become an official party. We're still working out the details, but we will get this going. First, though, I'm feeling a little parched...

Obsessive-compulsive e-mail checking results in no e-mail being received

I'm wondering whether, by some strange twist of entanglement theory, my obsessive-compulsive e-mail checking is resulting in people not sending me any e-mail. Because I've checked all of my e-mail inboxes about 30 times today, and I haven't received a single message in the last hour. Not even SPAM. That's not normal. I should check with my ISP...gotta go.

Digital Fortress - Dan Brown's phallic imagery continues to, um, grow

We're making a temporary pit-stop in book reviews today....(I haven't had a chance to see any movies lately--been too busy reading.) So, yeah, just finished Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I enjoyed it. The end.

Kidding. Not about enjoying it. I really did like it. The man can write. The man can imagine. The man is a great researcher, and very adept at grasping abstract scientific and mathematical concepts like cryptography, then translating them into a story that works for the average reader. I had a few issues with his French Canadian character. I'm not French Canadian, but I'm married to one. And I live in Quebec. And I speak Canadian French. There are a few glitches with the vernacular. For example, I somehow doubt that anyone from Montreal would say 'merde alors.' Generally, Canadian French curses are sacrees...i.e. they use church terms (Sacrifice, Tabernacle) that will send their ever-living souls straight to l'enfers, whereas the French (France) use scatology (merde = s--t). Generally speaking, French speakers don't use scatalogical swearing that much in Canada.

Wasn't that FASCINATING? Isn't this the absolute BEST book review you've ever read?! I will now review the actual book.

Actual review of book

It's hard to review any Dan Brown book without including spoilers, I'm finding. Pretty much every chapter (each is only about a page and a half long) moves the plot forward. So I'll just comment on a couple of things. This was his first big novel (or maybe his first novel period). It's about a secret government code-cracking agency that is always looking for clandestine ways to sniff Americans' daily communications. They are confronted with the ultimate code--"It's powerful, dangerous--and unbreakable..." as the book cover says--and globe-spanning intrigue ensues.

As I mentioned, I really like the man's books. He may occasionally be accused of writing pulp fiction, or fiction for the ignorant masses, but he is a good writer and he's obviously intelligent. But I've gotta say, his books can be a little sexist.

Booo For Boobies!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not militant here. But there's a distinctive pattern in his writing, people. It's the same pattern a lot of male blockbuster writers share (Robert J. Sawyer is a good example from the sci fi realm). It's the pattern where the female lead characters must always be built like exotic, impossibly attractive barbie dolls. And pains are taken to describe their (and here I quote directly from all of these two mens' novels at once) "high, firm breasts," "absolutely flat stomach," "sexy, arresting eyes," "teasing smiles," "luscious lips," and "long, shapely legs". Oh for God's sake, is that really necessary? Here's the accompanying description of the lead males: "He was an average-looking man with brown hair and dark eyes." What, no comment on their extraordinary six packs or big...thingies?

I don't know, am I the only one who cares? I'm reading along, enjoying the book for its cool ideas and great plot development, not expecting my mind to be blown or my world to be profoundly changed or anything, just enjoying a nice escape. And then there they are, the heroine's big boobs. I don't care if her stomach's flat. I don't care about her warm brown thighs. It has no material effect on the plot or character development. Why are those boobies even there?

The End of the World Approacheth

You may think I'm dwelling on something insignificant, but did you know that Mr. Brown was recently voted one of the world's 100 most INFLUENTIAL people by TIME magazine? Zowks! Gawp! Yeez! The boobies matter, my friends. So Dan, please, keep up the great writing, but less of the bazongas.

Stickin' It to the Spies
And while we're at it, Mr. Brown, I'm handing you a caution for over-use of phallic imagery. The TRANSLTR machine, for example. Like a giant, number-crunching penis lurching from the bowels of the Earth...You're getting dangerously close to Descent territory here (see review below).

Lame End to Forgettable Review
Other than that, it was a good read. The plot moves along well. There are some good twists, although Brown's adeptness with this part of storywriting gets much better in his latter novels. There is definitely a formula to his work, but it's a good formula and it's nice to have a quick and easy read once in a while. I'm currently reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and enjoying it, but it's a little more literary therefore in a whole different category of fiction. Anyhow, Brown ends the novel with a nice little bit of metafiction--a code for the reader to break. I still haven't broken it. But I will.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Luke Perry's Descent into the Styrofoam Version of Hell

Apparently I'm now a film reviewer. Thas right. I've been blogging since January 11, 2006, and I'm now an online film reviewer. That's in addition to my OCD activities. So because it's sticking in my mind like a discarded lump of chewin tabacky, I'm reviewing the made-for-tv movie 'Descent' starring Dylan McKay playing Luke Perry playing Dylan McKay playing a scientist with bad hair-plugs. Oh if only Dylan-Luke-Dylan had the performance range of Dr. Karen West's strangely phallic digging machine in this film, the movie might have been so much better.

Viewers: 1; Non-Viewers: 5.999 Billion
Oh, who am I kidding. Nothing could have saved it. Did anyone else see it or am I the only human in the known universe who actually sat through the whole damn thing?...I'm racking my brains trying to think of a worse sci fi movie I've seen recently...Volcano springs to mind...but it's not such a blatant rip off as this one (The Core).

A Simple Story About Somebody Doing Something

The premise of this movie is simple: a team of scientists and military personnel who display unexplained and disproportionate amounts of hostility toward each other will use the aforementioned man-carrying superdildo to leave some kind of ultra-powerful bomb at various drop-off points in the Earth's mantle to somehow blast something back into place somewhere so the earth's tectonic plates will either start or stop doing something.

Canuk Huh?
First I have to say how much it pains me to self-righteously criticize this movie. Not because it sucks so bad, not because poking fun at obvious crap is the basest form of self-amusement, but because it's pretty much an all-Canadian cast and production, and I'm Canadian, and I don't like feeling embarassed for my people this way. I wish someone could explain to me why a country so rich in art and talent and resources and weed will put out movies like this all too often.

Guest Starring Lieutenant Worf
Well, that's enough navel-gazing, let's get to the muck-raking! Okay, so Lieutenant Worf makes a guest appearance in this one, this time doing a not-so-good imitation of a human being. It's hard for him. Acting is not the Klingon way. Worf does occasionally mug it up for the camera, though, like in that one scene where he slightly modifies his vocal range in order to depict a human-like variation in emotion....

Worf plays General Fielding (a rise in the ranks that Worf finds not at all amusing). From what I can tell, General Fielding is a typical Canadian charicature of typical American charicatures of typical amoral American military Generals. For reasons that remain mysterious even after the movie has ended, Worf orders two military men who are accompanying three core-faring civilians to the lower layer of the earth's mantle to kill said civilians once the blaster-boner has reached its target coordinates. Their orders are then to return to the surface and explain the murders by saying...er, well, I guess he's not thinking that far ahead. Or maybe we viewers will be informed on a need to know basis.

In the end, Worf's diabolical plot is foiled. Ah, Worfie, don't fret. Remember, bortaS blr jablu'DI'reH QaQqu' nay'.

Other Key Charicatures, er I Mean Characters

Let's see...most of the other characters are hazy and forgettable. There's the chick who invents the big earth-drilling machine. There's the aggressive woman from Street Legal who plays some kind of generic presidential aide. Um, there's the scientist who is Brandon to Perry's Dylan, who invents the fuel that powers the Blastmobile and the explosives that can ironically both destroy and save the world. And there's the HEElarious comedic relief scientist nerd duo--and by 'heelarious' I mean 'watching them made me attempt self-lobotomy'--whose PhDs empower them to point out glaringly obvious information to the collection of geriatrics manning the mission control station.

In the end, something happens, they somehow travel from the center of the earth to a bay off the coast of Washington state, and Dylan's hair plugs survive the journey. The most important thing, though, is that the movie ends ...

...I'll be gearing up for my next review shortly. Must go gaze passively at OTHER screen now...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mirth and Meaninglessness in Richard Fleischer's *Red Sonja*

The most disturbing element of this film is not Brigitte Nielson's freakishly long mullet, but the astounding lengths to which her acting exceeds that of costar Arnold Swartzetcetera. His acting is so bad that there must be a rational reason for its level of terribleness. The only answer that makes sense to me is that he had just finished filming the Terminator (1984) and forgot which movie he was working on. OR...Maybe...he actually IS the cyborg 'Terminator.' That would explain the strange wires sticking out of his arm when he lifts Prince Tarn above his head just before the Sonja-Kalidor erotic barbarian fight scene.

Erotic Barbarian Swordplay--Piqued Your Interest, Didn't I?
Speaking of erotic barbarian swordplay, it seems that maybe...I'm just guessing here...they used authentic iron-age barbarian swords in the making of this film. Because nobody but Arnie seems to be able to actually lift the swords for more than 15 seconds. Especially not the vicious, fetching hordes of orb-protecting priestesses that are thrown into the vaginal hole of nothingness in one of the movie's early scenes. I found their girly squeals as they battled Queen Gedren's army mildly off-putting, but I was downright confused about the sounds they made once they were hurtled into the aforementioned orifice. I have a feeling...this is just a hunch...that Fleischer spent all of his budget on self-tanner for Arnie and was forced to use audio from old porn soundtracks. Cause those little nymphs sounded like they were having waaay too much fun...

Ah, The Undying Bond of Sisterhood
This battle is followed by a sensitive and heart-wrenching scene in which Sonja barks at her dying sister, "WHICH WAY DID THEY GO?" in response to her sister's account of the slaughter of the priestesses (phew, just writing that sentence winded me). One can only assume that Sonja is too tough and bent on revenge to cry when her sister expires. Nope, no time for tears, nuh-uh. Just pyre that baby and let's get on with puttin the hurt on Gedren.

Why You Techno-Savvy Barbarian, You!
So many other scenes deserve comment, but frankly thinking about this movie is causing flashing lights in my peripheral vision. Let's just pause in contemplation of the 20-minute battle scene with 'The Machine'--yes, that's the name of the barbarian robot water dragon (oh those crazy barbarians and their crafty robotic amphibians) that Swarzamuffin stabs with a dagger for 17 minutes before realizing it's MADE OF IRON.

I won't spoil the ending for you (because I couldn't watch anymore). Suffice to say, it was a fitting end for this film.

Fun with OCD

I must stir everything 24 times. Coffee, soup, paint. Not 23 times, not 25. 24. Unless I don't like you. Then I don't even bother counting how many stirs I give you. Sssssucka.

Oh God. Now I have to type 'stir' 24 times. stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir stir.

Ever notice how familiar words will start to look foreign when you write them repeatedly?

Oh, nevermind.