Sunday, February 01, 2015

ROMINS: Angela's Ashes

Brief Disclaimer: I have never seen the movie "Angela's Ashes", nor have I read the book. ROMINS stands for "Reviews of Movies I've Never Seen".

Saturday, July 12, 2014

ROMINS (Reviews of Movies I've Never Seen): Transformers 4: Age of Distinction

What can I say about Transformers 4: Age of Distinction that hasn't already been said about Hitler? A corollary of Godwin's Law tells us that once Hitler is mentioned in any way, the value of any further communication has effectively ended. This is the kind of thing that Transformers 4 does to the human soul.

T4 (I will shorten Transformers 4 to T4 from now on, much in the same way one would rather suffer a series of controlled gags as opposed to actually vomiting) tells the story of Rory Callhoon, internet billionaire and international Playboy. We follow Rory as he gets the latest Playboy centerfold tattooed on his back and then flies to disadvantaged countries and lifts up his shirt to benefit poor perverts. Rory is world famous for inventing the world's first toaster that what also turns into a toy submarine (The TubbyToaster). Rory is ably played by television's Nell Carter.

This early prototype was designed to brush teeth, but later
went on to star in micro-porn as Sextoi the Transformer.

Rory falls in love with Gloria Callhoon (no relation) played by that woman who frowns in sparkly vampire movies. Gloria, however, is in love with robots, and is obsessively trying to create the perfect man out mannequins and bits of broken Roombas. Rory tries to win her heart but fails. He resolves to try again, only this time with the help of robots that not only are robots, but can turn into other things, like cars and trucks and airplanes, which is the one and only cool thing about this movie.

So Rory goes and, I don't know what, makes or finds or steals some cool new robots that can turn into other things and they're called Transformers, because in the '80's that was a pretty big word to most people. (Remember, before 1982, most people didn't know what the word “extra-terrestrial” meant.) Rory flies in at the head of a changey-robot army which can pretty much do anything, but Rory, being male, uses them to impress girls. Or, in this case, one girl, that Gloria person who probably isn't Rory's second cousin or something.

Vacca-byte's deadly kiss sucks out autisms and injects
a powerful toxin that kills viruses and brain cells
Keep your eyes peeled for a veritable bukkake of cameos (bukkcameos?) by such noted stars as Lorne Greene as Decomposo, Jenny McCarthy as Vacca-byte the Child Imperiler, Danny Devito as “Was that Danny Devito over behind that mailbox?”, Mel Gibson as Oldman Anchor and Britney Spears as the Girl Who Gets Uncomfortable with Him Even Being Here.

Transformers 4: Age of Distinction was filmed in the great state of Texas, which explains why so many of the background performers look like meth heads. I give this move however many thumbs it takes to communicate the utmost possible contempt.


End Note: This was a very difficult review for me to write, for I am still dealing with the stress I suffered after watching Transformers 1 (The Turdening). ROMINS are, as they claim, reviews of movies I have never seen. I review a movie I haven't seen. That's the gag.

Now just because I review a movie I haven't seen, doesn't mean I don't want to see it. In fact, I usually do want to see the movies I am reviewing, and most often do. But this time, I will not watch be watching this movie. I won't watch Transformers 4 because I was warned away by Transformers 1.

Sequels inevitably water down and, given time, eventually ruin the franchise. The first Matrix movie was awesome. The second was ok, and I liked the first enough to want to like the second. The third was kinda crap. If they had only made the first Matrix movie, and ended it there, then the Matrix would probably rank as one of my favourite movies of all time. But it doesn't, because when I think of the Matrix, mixed in with the wonderful memories are memories of crap. Even the best meal, cooked by the world's greatest chef, suffers somewhat if someone drops turd on the plate.

Accepting that even the best moves movies are degraded by sequels, I wondered, oh so many years ago, what kind of crap is the Transformers series going to devolve into? Transformers 1 made me not watch Transformers 2, but I listened to what people had to say about it. Generally, they said it was good eye candy, but otherwise kind of crap. They said the same thing about T3, but phrases such as “not really worth the eye candy anymore” began to creep into people's reviews.

From what I hear, T4 is pretty much four different types of crap sandwiched between two stale Triscuits (which are later revealed to be, in fact, compacted cow crap). So this is pretty much my first ROMIWNS - Reviews of Movies I Will Never See.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

76 Pandas - Day 5 of 76

Still not really much good at painting a straight line, and the ears here are rather lopsided. But then, considering the face, I suppose that's just fitting. :)

Finally laid in a supply of sketch paper, so bye-bye little blue lines!

  • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
  • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
  • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.
  • Saturday, November 30, 2013

    Day Four of the Poorly Painted Panda Series - 72 to go!

    This is my fourth attempt at a panda painting. I think I'm coming along, and definitely notice improvement over day 1. This is my first panda to look like it wasn't painted by an alcoholic elephant, so there's that. :)

  • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
  • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
  • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.
  • Friday, November 29, 2013

    20 Hours of Pandas - Day 3 of 76

    My third attempt at painting a panda. I'm working on the theory that if you spend 20 hours practicing something you'll eventually get good at it. So far that theory remains to be proven in my case.
    Please pardon the lined paper. The whole "panda project" thing was something of a whim for me so I haven't laid in a supply of sketch paper yet.

  • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
  • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
  • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013

    20 Hours of Pandas - Panda #2 of 76

    So after painting my first panda on canvas, I realized it would get pretty expensive painting each attempt on canvas. I only had lined paper on hand so I will have to paint on lined paper until I can grab some sketch paper.

    Panda #2 isn't the prettiest panda in the world, but a definite improvement over #1!

    • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
    • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
    • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    20 Hours of Pandas - Day One

    I heard somewhere that if you spend 20 hours doing something, say painting, or learning the guitar, etc. you will get good at that activity. I'm not a very good painter and decided to put this theory to the test. I wasn't sure what to paint, and definitely didn't want to tackle anything too ambitious, so I did an image search for a simple black and white drawing.

    Eventually I stumbled across a simple panda painting which, at the time, I erroneously assumed was the logo of the World Wildlife Fund. It wasn't, actually, but I decided I liked it and would paint my own version. I wasn't expecting much, and I wasn't disappointed.

    So here it is, without further ado, my very first attempt at painting a panda.

    • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
    • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
    • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    The Difference between my Cat and my Dogs

    Feeding a piece of hot dog to my dogs: 
    Actual pets not as pictured.
    1. Take a piece of hot dog.
    2. Hide it anywhere in the house, so long as it is on the floor.
    3. A dog will find and eat the piece of hot dog within 15-45 seconds of release.

    Feeding a piece of hot dog to my cat:
    1. Take a piece of hot dog.
    2. Find the cat.
    3. Show the cat the piece of hot dog.
    4. Hold piece of hot dog directly in front of cat's nose for 15-45 seconds until cat realizes piece of hot dog is edible.
    5. Place piece of hot dog on ground directly in front of cat.
    6. Point to piece of hot dog. Tap on the ground several times until cat notices piece of hot dog.
    7. Wait until cat decide to eat piece of hot dog. This can take several minutes. Do not leave before cat eats piece of hot dog, or else a dog will it it in 15-45 seconds.

    Saturday, August 03, 2013

    Netgear is Stoopid

    This is not my NIC, but it sure looks like it.
    I needed drivers for my Netgear USB wireless network thingy. I know I can easily get the driver from any number of 3rd party sites, but I figure, hey, what the heck, let's give the manufacturer a try, shall we? Because I'm motherfucking optimistic.

    I hit Netgear's site and I find the device driver download page quickly and easily enough. I think, "Good for you, Netgear. Have a biscuit."

    But Netgear isn't about to let me  have my file so easily. No, no. Netgear want's something in return. Netgear wants to trade. Netgear's website informs me that I can have the driver, but first I have to register on their website, giving my name and address and email address and stuff.

    And I think, "Really Netgear? Ya gotta get all up in my grill and require a login when like, a bazillion other sites have your drivers just sitting there, no registration needed?" Is this customer service? I ask you! No really, I do.

    So now I'm like, great, I wasted my time and tried Netgear when I should have just visited a reliable 3rd party drivers site. Fuck you, optimism.

    But then I think, "Hey, maybe I can lift the driver download url directly from the page's source code." I figured it was highly unlikely that a multimillion dollar company would be foolish enough not to hide the link.

    But, as established earlier, I am an motherfucking optimist, so I looked at the source code. Did a search for ".zip" and lo and behold, there was the direct download url for my driver.

    So to sum up:
    1. Netgear makes it easy to find drivers on their site.
    2. Netgear demands your personal info in return.
    3. About a BAZILLION third-party websites have the drivers without demanding your personal info.
    Conclusion: Fuck you Netgear.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Why I love the TV Show "Archer", by Asher Hunter, age 47

    [Note: I'll try to keep this spoiler free, but there are a few I can't avoid.]
    [Another Note: I refer to those involved in the show as “them” and “they”, and not to any individual creative element, because I believe the show functions as a team, and every aspect and element of the team behind “Archer” excels. All the factual information you need on the show can be found here.]

    I love "Archer" because it evolves. I tend to enthuse so much about Season 1 because I look at it through my "now" eyes instead of remembering back to my "then" eyes. It is true it took them about 6-8 episodes to really find their stride, working through some basic character elements, etc. Pam, for example, is by far NOT the person she seemed to be in the first few episodes.

    That said, they do find their groove quickly, and once they do they don't make the mistake of letting it turn into a rut. They're not afraid to offend, and yet the characters retain an essential humanity that makes me like them all. God help me, Dr. Krieger is everything I would hate in a real person, and yet love in Krieger.The jokes themselves evolve, and although they do go the same well fairly often, they always come back with a new variation on the original that keeps things fresh and organic.
    "Uta!" That's how you talk.

    The litany of bad guys has only one flaw. SO many villains I love come and go so quickly I never really have time I need to enjoy them all. I want more Conway! More Mannfred and Uta! More Spelvin and Chan(s)! Charles and Rudy! Honestly, these characters are so great it's almost a crime this show isn't spitting out spin-offs like some sort of spitting thing that spits out a lot of other things.

    Now, don't get me wrong folks, I love Ray and Woodhouse, but I'm going to focus on my favourites.

    As for the main characters:

    First of all, it's "Dr. I'll Solve Your Ant Problem."
    Dr. Krieger. I should hate this guy. Like really, really. No spoilers, but jeez, the more you find out about Krieger, the more you keep wondering why the FBI hasn't made him Public Enemy #1. And yet, for some reason, I like him. He definitely keeps things interesting. He is the Venn Diagram where chaos and science overlap.

    I didn't care for her at first, but once Pam found her backbone, I was like, wtf. Looking back, I think maybe she was playing possum at first, trying to fit in at ISIS, and keep her private life a secret. Eventually she realized that you probably can't keep secrets from spies. Luckily she had also realized everyone else working their was bat-shit crazy, she saw fit to unleash her inner bad-ass.

    It has to be your place. Mine totally reeks of ocelot piss.
    It's a damned good thing Cheryl's rich, because there's no way she could function in society without effectively-limitless wealth behind her. Her idiosyncrasies are bizarre, dangerous, unhealthy, and yet somehow cute, like say if a puppy was somehow firing a .50 caliber machine gun at a bus full of grade-school bullies.

    Now Cyril is the kind of guy I love to hate. He seems straight-forward and honest at first, but soon reveals his inner douche. His neediness and insecurity act as feedback loops guaranteeing he'll live the exact life he fears to live, and yet he seemingly revels and rejoices in his own downward spiral. So yeah, it's a laugh when bad things happen to him.

    Malory Archer I believes sets the adage: you can't be a good parent and a good spy. Malory appears to be okay with this, and has no problem enjoying making life bad for her son. Her parenting ranges from criminal neglect to deliberate, pointless cruelty, and yet she somehow manages to maintain a precariously-balanced dysfunctional relationship with those around her. I believe Malory Archer and Lucille Bluth would love meeting one another.

    Baby, I AM putting you in the corner!
    I would say Lana's the closest to an actual functioning adult at ISIS. She's bad-ass, and knows when to apply excessive force, and isn't shy about redefining the word "excessive" based on the situation. When someone acts irrationally and things get messed up as a result, Lana's among the first with a barb. However, act irrationally and somehow manage to achieve actual positive results, and Lana is smart enough to go along for the ride ... while still slinging a few piercing barbs along the way.

    Archer. I would love this guy in real life. Don't get me wrong, he's a dick, but he knows he's a dick, is happy being a dick, and doesn't really care what anyone else thinks about that. Malory's parenting provides us with the ability to still love Archer, because no matter how bizarre his behaviour gets, we can't help but believe - in light of his upbringing - that he's actually a pretty well balanced guy. And he really is a good spy. A bit like “Get Smart” was a good spy, but he gets the job done. Archer may also be autistic, which is awesome.

    Something something danger zone. I know. I'm not even trying anymore.
    Despite their various severely deformed personality flaws, I like all the main characters. First, because they're funny. Secondly, and I think most importantly, because they are, for the most part, honest about who they are. They own their idiosyncrasies proudly, and (apart from Cyril) they don't try to hide from who they are. If they do something that offends, they don't hide behind false apologies (well, except again for Cyril). Their attitude is basically: “That's right, I did do that, now what are you going to do about it?”