Musical Musings… This Song Is So 1982

Imagine the year is 1982…

You’re Neil Diamond, and you just walked out of the movie theater with (then) married friends, Carol Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach.

Together you’ve witnessed what you consider is probably the greatest children’s movie of all time – Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

United, you are so moved beyond words that it screams to come out in song.

After all, between the three of you, you’ve written Sweet Caroline, Nobody Does It Better, and Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.  And the result is this:

How fucking corny and fucking lovely is that song?  Ironically, it was Diamond’s eighth (and last) top 5 hit on the chart (according to his Wikipedia entry).

Now do you want to hear the exact opposite of that?

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JusWondering… What Would You Put On Your Scale Of Fury?

This has been something I’ve been meaning to transcribe for a while now, and even by doing so, rage has bubbled up from the depths of my… say, what’s it called if you don’t have a soul?

Anyemptyvessel, this is my Scale of Fury.  It’s a series of missteps in pop culture that shake me to my core me, ranked on a scale from 1 to 10.  1 equals “infuriating” and 10 equals “someone must die.”

Let’s begin:

1) Invention of the word Squeakquel

This filmed monstrosity should not have occurred once, let alone twice.  It’s already cloying enough without an unnecessary pun.  Much like my pun above.

2) The Prequels

Not too long ago, and not very far away, I would have ranked Jake, Hayden, Jar Jar, and Ani much higher on my Scale of Fury.  But a few factors have changed that.  One – The Clone Wars cartoon series is really good.  Two – there’s a lot more crap out there that pisses me off more.

3) No guns in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg needs to make some new friends.  George Lucas no doubt inspired Spielberg to go back and tinker with (and tinkle on) his classic 80’s family film.  Why remove the guns?  That’s how we knew the bad guys were bad guys.  Sure, they were aiming them at little kids, but we knew they weren’t going to use them.  Just like it was with the Russians and their nukes…

4) The Special Editions

Where to begin with these nut shots?  Jabba the Shitty CGI.  Young Anakin’s Jedi Spirit.  The replaced musical numbers.  This:

5) Cancellation of “Arrested Development”

It could be higher up on the list, but it did get three (2.75) full seasons.  Was it Fox’s fault for shitty scheduling?  Or is America primarily full of According to Jim fans?  I think the questions answer each other.

6) Emo Spider-Man

I’m sure I hope Sam Raimi had a better plan for what could have been the best Spider-Man film of them all.  Instead, we got Sandman, a rushed Harry Osborne vengeance/rebirth subplot, a wasted Eddie Brock/Venom, and this:

7) Cancellation of “Firefly”

You can blame this one on me as much as everyone else.  I kept hearing all the rave reviews about this show while it was shortly on the air, and I never watched.  Could just one person have made a difference?  If that one person was me, then yes.

8) The Last Airbender movie

I wanted earth, wind, water, and fire from this remake of the incredible Nickelodeon show, and all I got was fart noises.  Must. Repress. My. Diatribe.  (More on my thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan)

9) Indiana Jones and the Give Me a Fucking Break

Again, the Spielberg with the Lucas.  To distract myself: anyone else ever notice ol’ Steven’s initials are “S.S.“?  Ironic, no?  (More of my thoughts on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

10) The “LOST” Finale

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Fu. Ck. Th. Is. Sh. Ow.  For years, I defended it, telling people the writers weren’t making it up as they went along.  They were making it up as they went along.  (More of my thoughts on LOST)

The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Harrison F—ing Ford

Hrm... does he not have a left hand?

Is he the one-armed man?

Harrison Fucking Ford.  It’s his middle name, really.  (No, not really.  He has none.  He did go by Harrison J. Ford early in his career as not to be confused with the silent film actor of the same name, but I digress.)

Back in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and, um, just 2000, Ol’ Harry was at the top of his game (for the most part).  Not only did he bring us the above two scoundrels with their hearts of gold (each for three movies, since there is no Crystal Skull, just as there are no prequels), he also brought us:

  • a cowboy in a roadster (American Graffiti)
  • a cowboy in a temple (The Frisco Kid)
  • a detective in a strange land – the future (Blade Runner)
  • a detective in a strange land – Amish country (Witness)
  • a doctor chasing after terrorists who kidnapped his wife (Frantic)
  • a doctor chasing a one-armed man who murdered his wife (The Fugitive)
  • a doctor chasing his wife to murder her (What Lies Beneath)
  • a lawyer trying to put his life back together (Presumed Innocent)
  • a lawyer trying to put his life back together (Regarding Henry)
  • a business man with love problems (Working Girl)
  • a business man with love problems (Sabrina)
  • a cop that shares his home (The Devil’s Own)
  • a cop that sells homes (Hollywood Homicide)
  • a politician having a problem before a plane crash (Air Force One)
  • a politician’s aide having a problem after a plane crash (Random Hearts)
  • a father in the jungle (The Mosquito Coast)
  • a pilot in the jungle (Six Days Seven Night)
  • a soldier during the Vietnam War (Apocalypse Now)
  • a soldier during the Cold War (K-19: The Widowmaker)
  • Jack Ryan (Patriot Games)
  • Jack Ryan (Clear and Present Danger)
  • a flop (Firewall)
  • a flop (Crossing Over)

Whew.  That was easy.

Anywookiee, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Despite the missteps in the late 90’s (Sabrina, The Devil’s Own, Six Days Seven Night), he had a good run.  What changed, you might ask.  I might say:

Sixty-five-year-old Harrison Ford met Calista Flockhart, 44, in 2002, when she reportedly spilled wine on him at the Golden Globes. The pair immediately started dating and have been together ever since. (via iVillage)

A-ha!  Calista Fucking Flockhart happened!  So if Harrison Ford wants to get back to creating iconic characters, he needs to say sayonara to Ally McBeal. I know they’re engaged and he co-adopted her adopted son, but it’s never too late to get out of it…

Harry – remember how much divorce costs?  $85,000,000 ring any bells? (Notice the date of this article announcing his break from Melissa Mathison.)  Don’t you see what a mistake K-19: The Widowmaker that ridiculous Russian non-accent leaving the beloved screenwriter of E.T. did to your film career?!  Here’s to hoping you lose those diamond earrings and that “television star,” and you’ll return to save the Star Wars series in Episodes 7, 8, and 9!!!1!  You can even have Han Solo die in 8 and skip 9 if you’d like!  Whatever it takes!  Be daring like Indy used to be!

Stop this from ever happening again:

Worth 1002 Words… Sextraterrestrial Edition (NSFW)

nsfwcrop2nsfwcrop1Normally, the point of Worth 1002 Words is to get quickly to the point.  That is, I post a picture (the 1000 words) and the two word caption (the 2 words).  Sometimes, I offer alternates to the two word caption, which usually means my initial “joke” wasn’t strong enough (and the alternates do not help).

This one is a bit questionable in content (hence the NSFW shout out), but here’s the teaser – it involves the dude on the left and the guy on the right, and the alternate captions are:

  • Reese’s Piece
  • Amblin’ Entertainment
  • Steven Squealberg
  • Beeee Goooood

(picture after the jump)

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The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Filmmaker Chris Columbus

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

As a child, my list of favorite films was simple and current.  There were the easy ones: Star Wars, E.T., Back to the Future, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Some of the others… not so easy: Gremlins, The Goonies, and Adventures in Babysitting.

What do those works have in common?

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Steven Spielberg’s protégè, nay, discovery (hah!),  Chris Columbus wrote Gremlins and The Goonies, and directed Adventures in Babysitting.  For me, he could do no wrong, and let’s be honest: as kids, our taste is horrible.  But I feel all three of these films have stood the test of time.  Some of his other works?  Eh, not so much:

  • Young Sherlock Holmes (noted as the first film with an entirely CG character)
  • Heartbreak Hotel (a kid kidnaps Elvis… anyone else but me remember this?)
  • Only the Lonely (made me thankful I wasn’t a mama’s boy… sorry mama)

Now grant it – he had other hits through the 90’s: Home Alone 1 & 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, and, um, Nine Months?  Jingle All the Way?  Stepmom?  Bicentennial Man?

And to most Potter fans, he directed the weakest films in the series (Harry Potter and the Stuff in the First Movie and Harry Potter Rides Again), but I don’t watch those films, so I don’t hold it against him.

Like his compatriots I will be attacking in future The Shit to Just Shitty’s, it’s about the fall from what imagination, vision, and drive they once exhibited, to the money grubbing, the disillusionment, or the detachment from the public they display in recent works.  Is it the state of the studio system?  Is it the movie going public’s demands?  I offer no answers, only martyrs.

Here’s hoping *hold your breath* *cross your fingers* Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (that’s the title folks), contains some of the gritty charm of his earlier works, and not the glossy finish of his latest offerings:

Hrm.  Looks glossy…

InASense, Lost… Atari 2600 Porno?

Fuzzy memories of my 80’s childhood are sprinkled with diverse moments, such as:

  • time spent in front of the living room TV (our only TV) watching classic shows like Manimal and Baby Makes Five
  • time spent in front of the living room TV documenting every game on The Price Is Right
  • time spent in front of the living room TV playing Kaboom! on our Atari 2600
  • time spent in front of the living room TV sleeping

woodtvMan, I loved that living room TV.  It was encased in wood and its screen was somewhere around 30 inches across.  There were no dials.  Instead, it had touch sensor controls.  You could change the channel with your toes!  (Because there was no remote, you see.)

Anybarnstorming, as per usual, the past wasn’t as innocent as remembered.  Was anyone else aware this existed?

custersrevenge

Custer's Lost Standards

Released the same year as the awful E.T. (and the good one), developer Mystique released several adult-themed Atari 2600 games, of which Custer’s Revenge was its most infamous.  Oh, in case you were wondering about the graphics and the game play, have at it:

Let it be known, I’m fully aware everyone looks at their past with rose-colored glasses, but now I feel the need to wear a trench coat, too… because that’s what perverts do.  Or so I remember heard…

BONUS: Mystique’s other two releases were Bachelor Party (pic below) and Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em (for the most graphic 4-bit pic, click here).

Their 'Breakout' Hit

Their 'Breakout' Tit - I mean, Hit - I mean, Failure

Hibbidy-Wah?! Did That Alien Just Urinate Smoke?!

What do you call a rip-off that doesn’t even try?

Or how about Turkey’s E.T. rip-off called Badi.  You can tell the film’s called Badi because Badi keeps saying “Badi” just like how E.T. used to keep saying “E.T.” 

Am I right or am I right or am I right?