The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… M. Night Shyamalan, Officially

"Howdy ho! My new movie is out! You should go see it!"

I. Am. So. So. Sad.

I love Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender so much that if I knew the TV show in person, I would tell it I lurve it.  (I have a very difficult time saying those three little words.)

So in the case of the film, I had high hopes.  I mean, how could anybody screw it up?  There’s enough material to reference, enough characterization and plot to build on, only a hack could fuck it up.

M. Night Shyamalan officially became a hack.  In other words, he was once The Shit and now he’s plain ol’ Just Shitty.  Could we (or namely, I) have seen the Signs?  Let’s take a quick peek at his past work… from my perspective, of course.

  • Wide Awake (1998)

Nobody knows anything about this film.  And by nobody, I mean me.  I heard decent things about it at the time, but I never saw it.  Probably because this was the poster:

Rosie O'Donnell as a nun that likes baseball? No thanks.

  • The Sixth Sense (1999)

I was backpacking in Europe when this movie was released (douchebagging), and on a weekly basis, I was surprised at its success back home.  (I learned this from newspapers… remember those?)  So upon getting back to the States, I made it a point to check this flick out, full well knowing there was a twist, but not yet knowing what it was.

While the ending approached, I remember thinking:

Hmm.  This was pretty good, but not great.  Did I miss the twist?

When the ring dropped on the floor, I put it together myself (and then the film needlessly did the same).  I was entertained and mildly impressed, until I saw this article on Cracked.  Did you know there was an episode of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? that was pretty damn close to the Academy Award-nominated story?  But it’s not like Shyamalan ever watched the kids channel, right?

  • Unbreakable (2000)

I lurved this film.  More than everyone else loved The Sixth Sense, even.  And why?  I’ve always believed that if someone ever figured out how to be a superhero (or villain), someone else would figure out how to be the opposite.  It’s a theme that’s been explored by The Incredibles and The Dark Knight, and this movie swam through the motif like a motif-swimming sea animal.

The pacing was great; the framing of the scene where Bruce Willis’ son pulls a gun on him was fantastic.  Could the end result merely be because a thin Twilight Zone premise had to be stretched out into a longer format?  Discuss.

For the record, though, I still lurve this movie.  Maybe a re-watch is required.

  • Signs (2002)

A movie about crop circles and the inevitable alien invasion could have been good.  Hell, there are even parts in this flick that could qualify as memorable, well-executed scenes (the figure on top of the barn, the birthday video, the basement sequence).  But one could argue that the first half of X-Men: The Last Stand had its moments, and that still wouldn’t make the overall project a win.  The same thing goes for Signs.  Everything it was working for was unraveled in its last minutes (just like fucking LOST), and it ultimately left a bad taste in my mouth.  Does anybody have a glass of water, by chance?

(SIDENOTE: I would have fixed the finale by never showing the alien.  I would have had Mel Gibson facing the creature off-screen, and only shown it in the reflection on the TV, and maybe in a quick flash.  Seeing the “man in an alien costume” and the entire “swing away” bullshit was stupid and lazy, simply put.)

  • The Village (2004)

A lot of people absolutely hated this movie.  It was also one of the first movies I lost a shit-ton of money on in the Hollywood Stock Exchange. I was in the minority of people who didn’t mind it.  There’s a story I’ve always wanted to write that’s not too far off this premise (no monsters in mine, thank you), so that upset me.  And by the time Shyamalan popped up in the twist ending, I was with the majority of people who thought


But I’ll admit that it tricked me.  People that saw it before me told me it was more of a romantic story than a supernatural thriller, so when the creatures showed up, I was suspicious.  They were revealed as fake, and I felt vindicated.  Then there was a chance they were real, and I bit.  All-in-all, hardly a classic, but hardly his worst.

  • Lady in the Water (2006)

His worst, on so many levels… I don’t know where to begin.  That was at least until…

  • The Happening (2008)

I saw this movie, too.  This had to be his worst, right?  Wrong again.

  • The Last Airbender (2010)

Why did they let him touch this beloved, though not widely known, series?

I’m beginning to think that M. Night Shyamalan shares the same gift as the Detroit Lions.  They are both incredibly adept at getting your hopes up and getting you to continue believing in them.  And that’s the greatest twist of all – the one you feel in your nutsack when they disappoint yet again.

(SIDENOTE: I really do think the Detroit Lions have a decent shot at being good this year.)

In My Brain While Sleeping… Lady Problems (And How)!

Hate the playaz, not the club...

I always loved how the Little Rascals were such small scamps.  I don’t know where I was going with this, so onto the dreams!

I don’t watch The Bachelorette.  I’ve seen The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, but I don’t watch them with any regularity.  Or irregularity.  For all the drinking and crappy eating I do, I’m surprised at my regularity.

Anywhocaresaboutjakeandvienna, for some reason while in slumber, I found myself as a participant on the one-chick version (way to go subconscious…) with this Bachelorette (way to go subconscious?):

Ali Fedotowsky

She’s a pretty girl, no doubt, and in the dream she was in different to me (way to go subconscious again).  As she was sending away one of the other bachelors, that guy started bawling.  He was seriously gasping for air he was crying so bad.  I started making fun of that guy with a few of the other contestants, and they whooped it up while she approached from behind me.

I made a remark along the lines that I would probably cry too, and she overheard.  From then on out, she paid all kinds of attention to me, thinking I was the sensitive type (which I am when watching movies and TV, but not so much in real life) and that they were all meanies.  I don’t know if  I won, but it left me wondering this:

To win this game show, do you need to score?

In the other dream I had, I met Lindsay Lohan.

Please move away from the door and let me leave!

I had the chance to talk with her, and through hours of lunchtime discussion, she had a breakthrough!  She was going to change her life!  She cried (though not as bad as the guy dumped by the Bachelorette), and we went to meet her mom, Dina.  Somehow, my words sliced through to the core of their being, like a hot knife through butter, or a hot knife through a chest for that matter.

They thanked me for helping them heal, and I felt great.

It was when I awakened that realized in reality, they were both co-dependent, delusional, coked out whores, and that no one could ever help them, let alone me.

Inside, I kind of felt like this:

Happy Finds… And One Not-So-Happy Find

Ever see your grandma naked?

I could have went with many other options to that image (list after the jump), but I merely mentioned it as a lead in to introduce the website…


Here’s an example:

Not a common image on the site, but one that cracked me up (a true LOL).

Another coolish thing to check out is no doubt inspired by the creepy and awesome Garfield Minus Garfield.  It’s called…


Here’s an example:

A common image on the site... especially since new ones haven't been added.

Another site that hasn’t been updated in a while includes this image:

(click the pic for the site)

And then I just love this commercial… particularly the part about tacos:

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Coinkydink Or Coinkydonk? Rango Goes Gonzo

Let me be the first to admit that I wasn’t the only one that saw the similarities between Rango and Hunter S. Thompson, as both played by Johnny Depp.

Cinema Blend was the first to put the posters for Gore Verbinski’s upcoming animated film and Terry Gilliam’s trippy classic side-by-side:

The chameleons played by a chameleon...

But I saw something in the new trailer that I take as further proof the similarities are more Coinkydink than Coinkydonk.  See if you can catch it:

If you didn’t, it occurred around the 1:47 mark.

Here’s Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:

"I just licked the back of salamander or chameleon I found..."

And here’s the sequence from Rango:

Hunter S. Thompson, meet Rango - your shirts match!

Awesome Battle… Cool Tech Of Varying Degrees

Should I go big news first?  Nah.

Guess what finally got approved by the FAA?  (You know, the Federal Aviation Administration – which is not to be confused with the DOE, RAE, MI, SO, LAA, or TI.)  Anywhoosh, if your curiosity is piqued, take a peek at the peak of human innovation:

Hrm... I always thought it would use magnets, not wings.

It’s a flying car (source)!  Or a small plane that’s car-ish.  But whatever… we’re that much closer to text messaging accidents causing roof damage!

So what could be better than a flying car, you might ask?  Auto-origami!

(via The Daily What)

Drunken Recollection… Perfect Strangers: The Movie

If you can believe it, some of my friends (whether sober or in this case, drunk) really want their to be a movie version of Perfect Strangers.

No, the one with two strangers.

We started discussing casting, and this was the resounding consensus:

Ben Stiller as Cousin Larry Appleton and Adrian Brody as Balki Bartokomous

They don’t look too excited, though, and the way Hollywood operates, they might prefer to skew for a younger cast.  Our suggestion:

Michael Cera and Shia LaBeouf are getting big heads about this project.

I can admit I wasn’t too keen on a movie version of the T.G.I.F. classic (?) before this discussion or this post.  But after some photo editing, either version might catch my interest and $15 (because I’m sure it will be in 3-D).

Musical Musings… Bands Named After Sports Jargon

He used that card to pick out his shirt color at Sears.


With all the brouhaha about the World Cup (and the brew-ha-ha’s over funny beer cups), I started thinking… hey, the band Yellowcard must have gotten their band name from yellow cards.  Since I got the soccer-referenced band name out-of-the-way, let’s move onto some others: 


Not this kind of nickel back...


Nickelback is a Canadian band named after a position in an American sport.  They claim their name is in reference to change band member Mike Kroeger would return to customers while working at Starbucks, but that’s suspect.  Under this pretense, the band could have been named Sixcentsback or Buck-O-Nine.  I’m sticking to the football ties. 

Helmet could fall under football… or baseball… or hockey… or bicycling… but I tend to believe their moniker derives from Vikings… if Vikings were condoms. 


When you only got 100 years to live, you don't need to see crap like this.


You wouldn’t think a guy with a high-pitched falsetto would be a hockey fan, but John Ondrasik must be enough of when to name his band himself, Five for Fighting.  I was going to let this be a standalone entry, until I came across a mention of The Zambonis.  “Who they hell are they?” I said to myself.  “I won’t include them if I never heard any of their music.”  Turns out, I did.  Hockey Monkey was the theme song to a short-lived show I enjoyed (and forgot to include on this list) called The Loop


Alfred Hitchcock meets Christopher Lloyd and Tony Danza in "Birds in the Outfield"


Are you ready for the battle of the one hit (baseball pun!) wonders? 

One of my all-time favorite songs from the 80’s has to be Your Love by The Outfield, my primary entry for the All-American Rejects Sport.  On the other hand, Fastball’s The Way has to be one of the most annoying songs from the 90’s (mostly courtesy of overplay… but still). 


Bill Berry traveled from the Chicago Bulls to the Washington Wizards, but he's only one guy.


This sport was the toughest one.  I was hard half-court pressed to think of a single entry here.  And suddenly there were two (courtesy of my boss/friend Paul): 

  1. Blues Traveler (FYI and off subject – John Popper was hilarious in Z Rock)
  2. Travelling Wilburys

Stretches?  Both yes.  But basketball players are usually very tall… 




Huey Lewis and the News for having albums entitled Sports and simply, Fore!

InASense, Lost… The Toy That Got Away

This post is inspired by two items:

  1. This Geek Dad article from Wired about classic toys and their modern equivalents (fear not – it’s geeky)
  2. This scene from Hot Tub Time Machine

Waxing nostalgic is always a risky endeavor, but sometimes, it’s worth the heartache.  Case in point – here’s the one that got away, my great white buffalo… my childhood dream of becoming a director, molded in flimsy plastic and recorded on audio cassettes’ magnetic tape…

Fisher Price’s PXL 2000

It’s quite honestly the only Christmas wish list item that I can recall the pining over, like a forgotten summer crush.

There’s one CD cover I can think of that captures that similar sense of adolescent longing, now long lost.

Like a Polaroid from my mind...

Otherwise there’s this video of Whitney, filmed in Pixelvision, courtesy of the PXL 2000:

Man, I feel bummed out… save me President Taft (for no particular reason)!