JusWondering… Why I Have Zero Interest In “Green Zone”

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I haven’t been to the theater since Avatar(d).  That’s mostly because of the recent slew of crappy movies (okay, Shutter Island may be an exception, but it’s reviews are certainly polarized).

We are quickly embarking on the spring releases, and one at the top of that list is the Jason Bourne, er, I mean, Matt Damon vehicle, Green Zone.  And I have zero interest in it, but it’s not for the reason you may think.

As for Actor! Matt Damon – I don’t mind him.

  • His role in Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 bought him a lot of leeway, much like how Kiefer Sutherland did with 24.  I still can’t help but think of this when I look at him:
  • But to his credit, he was awesome in EuroTrip:

So is my problem with screenwriter Brian Helgeland?  Nope.

  • He has a free pass forever because of L.A. Confidential.  Hands down – if I could have written that script, I would have quit writing upon its completion.  And it’s not like I haven’t also enjoyed some of his other works.  Besides, his record is definitely less spotty than competent hacks David Koepp and Eric Roth.

Then it’s director Paul Greengrass, right?  Wrong.

  • I still have not seen Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, but I’ve heard great things about them.  On the other hand, United 93 reeked of propaganda, so I avoided it.  There is a political aspect to Green Zone, but that’s not turning me away.

Then what’s the deal?  Is it the title?  As a matter of fact – yes.

  • It’s not like I have anything against the word green (FYI: it’s also a color).  As a kid, I recall having a giant-sized coloring book about a guy that hated the Incredible Hulk, solely because he was green.  That is not what’s going on with me, even though I do associate green with environmental issues, money, boogers, and the vomiting scene in The Exorcist.

"Matt Damon!"

  • And it’s not like movies with green in the title have been bad: Soylent Green, Green Street Hooligans, The Green Mile, and the upcoming Green Lantern.
  • It all has to deal with 30 Rock, David Schwimmer, and this character:

"Greenzo!"

JusWondering… Does Beer Make Me Smarter?

Sure… during my month of not boozing, I might have woke up each morning with an extra bounce in my step, but at work, more mistakes were made and more things were forgotten.  Yeah, it’s possible I slept better or longer (courtesy of passing out) during the many sauced months that came before, or that the heaped upon hours I spent in front of the boob tube boobed out my noggin and rendered my work performance lackluster.

So I started to wonder… maybe I’m smarter under the influence.  I do play a lot of trivia at the bar, and maybe that’s like running with ankle-weights for my brain.  Research ensued and I discovered this headline:

Whuuuuhhh?!

Whuuuuhhh?!

Dost thine eyes deceive, um, me?

From the BBC article:

Mice fed moderate quantities of alcohol grew extra brain cells, but also showed a preference for alcohol over water.

Lead researcher Professor Stefan Brene said: “We believe that the increased production of new nerve cells during moderate alcohol consumption can be important for the development of alcohol addiction and other long-term effects of alcohol on the brain.”

Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound perfectly fantastic – or does it?  

Alternatively, the extra cells might help with learning and memory, [Brene] said.  Another theory, according to the researchers, is that the tranquilising effect of alcohol triggers the growth.  All of the new cells developed normally.

My favorite line:

A spokeswoman from the Campaign for Real Ale said: “It is well known that alcohol in moderation is good for your body so it’s no surprise it’s also good for your mind.  “Maybe that is why lots of pub quiz teams are so bright.”

Some other favorite lines… from The Legend of Bagger Vance:

Rannulph Junnah: Now, the question on the table is how drunk is drunk enough? And the answer is that it’s all a matter of brain cells
Hardy Greaves: Brain cells?
Rannulph Junnah: That’s right Hardy. You see every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells. Now that doesn’t much matter ‘cos we got billions more. And first the sadness cells die so you smile real big. And then the quiet cells go so you just say everything real loud for no reason at all. That’s ok, that’s ok because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart. And finally, come the memory cells. These are tough sons of bitches to kill.

And then there’s always Cliff Clavin’s take:

Well you see, Norm, it’s like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first.
This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive drinking of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.
And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Neither Optimal, Nor Primal

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one is about a Halloween party where I learned a hard life lesson…

I consider myself a cardboard specialist.  Sort of a masterboarder, if you will.  Two examples:

I helped them forge Duck-Duck-Goose

Get it? Duck-Duck-Goose! Ah, go duck yourself.

I ain't afraid of no... OMG! Is that orb a ghost?!

I ain't afraid of no--OMG! Is that orb a ghost?!

Your Aunt Tammie and Uncle Will wanted something simple, cheap, and quick a few Halloween’s back.  She came up with the concept; I came up with the design.

A Halloween or two prior to that, I studied my “Ghostbusters” accessories, and mocked up a poor man’s version (a.k.a. child’s version) of their Proton Pack to go along with my tan jumpsuit and patches.

My talent first revealed itself to me a Halloween or two prior to that one.  (There was one party in the middle where I grew out my beard and hair and went as Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.”  I was going to follow-up as Robert Duvall in “THX 1138” the next year by shaving my head, but I went on vacation instead.  As if you cared.)

The event that birthed my boardery occurred at a private gathering in the basement of a hall.  Upstairs, a wedding reception was held, and upon walking through the front doors of the hall, the groom exclaimed, “Optimus Prime!”

Michael Bay, eat your heart out.

Michael Bay, eat your heart out.

 He didn’t yell to Uncle Jay, “Starscream!”  He yelled the character I was playing.  (Although he did also shout “Dogma!” when he saw Uncle Chris dressed as Matt Damon in the film – he was a wingless angel in armor.  Nerd!)

Later in the night, prior to the police arriving to break up the Halloweed festivities, a group of us would eventually make our way back up to the reception to seek out more alcohol.  There’s video somewhere out there of Optimus Prime and Starscream dancing with the bride and bridesmaids.  But that’s not what this tale’s about.

Despite the fact that Jay and I won Best Couple (again, before that whole cop crackdown thing), there was a bitter Energon cube I was forced to swallow.  While talking to a pair of G.I. Janes, my good old buddy was getting all the attention.  I blew up.  “I’m the leader of the Autobots,” I began.  “Starscream doesn’t lead anything.  In fact all he does is whine to Megatron.  It’s his wingspan, isn’t it?  It’s always about the wingspan.  Don’t lie and tell me differently.”

Thank Cybertron the boys in blue cancelled the show.

MORAL OF THE STORY: No matter what you do, no matter how much you accomplish in life, girls always love the bad boys.