Archive for January, 2008


Weird Albert in a can*

* Yes I know his real name is Alfred

THE COOLEST NEWS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just died

That’s right, the two funniest things in the planet are getting together to kill you all on Tuesday February 5. Weird Al Yankovic and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Or more specifically, Weird Al and Mike Nelson with Rifftrax.

Update: They just posted this clip.

Update II: I saw it! Read my review HERE.

It was announced yesterday that Jurassic Park was the latest Rifftrax. When it came out that Weird Al was going to the the guest riffer, I died. It’s true. I am the living dead typing this right now, so I need to finish this article before my fingers start falling off.

He wrote a song about it. Uh, Jurassic Park that is. It’s been stuck in my head all day.

I know that so far I have not expressed to you how freaking awesome Weird AL is. So let me express it now. He rules the universe. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I don’t belong to Weird Al Dianetics or anything. You know, The Church of White and Nerdy.

I first heard of Weird Al while listening to Doctor Demento as a kid. He got his start there. His songs were regularly in the top ten every week.

When he started putting out albums, I started buying them. I didn’t have much money then, so I had to be selective, but I had the food album and I got Alapalooza on DVD. It was the album with the Jurassic Park parody. I listened to that album so many times that I had the songs memorized.

Last year I got quite a surprise when it was announced Weird AL was coming to Idaho falls. I immediately bought tickets and my brother came up from Salt Lake City to go to the concert with me. It was held at the Civic Auditorium. It’s a strange building in that it is an auditorium attatched to the side of a high school. The city rents the building to the high school for use in assemblies and things.

Civic Auditorium

I didn’t know what to expect out of the concert. I had never thought of Weird Al as a live performance type of guy, but the show was brilliant. He had his full band. The Show was well produced, with lazers, smoke effects, and everything.

He did most of the songs off his new album and some of his old stuff. He changed costume maybe twenty times during the show, He came out in the fat suit from his music video for Fat. He had his Jedi costume on for The Saga Begins. It was really cool. Let me tell you as well, the guy has energy. With all the jumping and dancing and running around he did, it was amazing that he could still sing at all.

While we were there Weird Al stated that it was his 1000th show. He said that when they were planning the tour, he reminded his manager that the 1000th show was coming up. He said, “I can’t promise anything, but I might be able to get you in a high school auditorium in Idaho.” Weird Al was like, “That’s perfect!”

I left the concert with a new appreciation for the guy. If only he had done my favorite song from the new album:

When the Rifftrax guys asked who the fans would like to see as a guest riffer, Weird Al was my first choice. I don’t know how many other fans picked him, but February 5th cannot get here fast enough.

So go out and support this Rifftrax project. Buy, borrow, or rent Jurassic Park and buy the Rifftrax. I hope that this is so successful they do it again.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite Weird Al videos.

Gump: He can really kick his leg over his head like that. I saw him do it live at the concert.

The Drive Thru. Just about the funniest thing he has done.

Here is a more rare one. This is the life from Johny Dangerously:

The Saga Begins At the live concert, he and the band were dressed as Star Wars Characters. He had a bunch of stormtroopers, Darth Vadern and Darth Maul come out on stage during the song as well.

All About The Pentiums. He did this one live too wearing that same outfit.

Weasel Stomping Day. Video by Robot Chicken

And last but not least, here is a song that Weird Al recorded for his last album that the label (Atlantic Records) would not let him use after James Blunt had given him permission.

You’re Pitiful

The White and Nerdy All Donny Osmond version

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Deformio lays down the law, son. Kyle Korver Update

Deformio about to slap the crap out him

Our good pal Deformio is kicking booty and taking names as the newest member of the Utah Jazz. Since Korver’s trade to the Jazz on December 29, we have gone 11-2. It’s an awesome record to be sure.

How much of the winning record is due to Deformio’s skills is hard to say. What was supposed to be his greatest attribute, his three point shooting, has been off and on so far. But several other factors have come into play to make him a key addition to the team.

1. He spreads the floor.

Despite how off his 3 point shooting has been, teams know his reputation. They always seem to keep a man on him, giving our other guys more room to work inside.

2. His defensive skills were highly underrated.

Deformio has surprised all of us with his tenaciousness on defense. He sticks to mis man and moves laterally probably better than anyone else on the team. He is also a hustle guy, averaging a steal at least once a game and he has also averaged about one block a game, which was a huge surprise for me.

3. The Chick Factor

Looking more Kutchery

For some reason, the chicks go nuts for Deformio. His one eye slightly higher than the other and his cockeyed smile drives the lady folk bonkers. This helps the team, because at home the girls are screaming like crazy, making the arena louder than before. On the road, they cheer for our team instead of theirs whenever he is on the floor.

4. His free throw shooting and midrange jumper.

Despite his 3 point struggles, Deformio is as close to perfect as anyone can get from the freethrow line. Not to mention how great he is with that mid range jumper. Man can he get them up fast. If ony he could get that 3 pointer falling more often . . .

5. His all around good guy style.

Korver is great for the locker room. The other guys don’t feel so bad about their own looks when he is in the room. AK and Memo probably don’t feel half as ugly with Deformio around.

Here is an example of why he is good for the locker room. He knew when he was coming in to the team that he was going to take some other guy’s minutes. So he made it a point to go to CJ Miles and Brewer and tell them, Hey, I am a team guy. I’m rooting for you do do well when you are on the floor. I’m not trying to usurp your spot in the rotation. I think that going out of his way to do that has helped keep the guys from resenting him too much.

6. Addition by subtraction. Gira is gone.

Gira hurt the team in several subtle ways. Gira never ran the plays. He disrupted our offense constantly. He turned the ball over with his stupid Euro-travel at least once or twice a game. When he was sent to the bench, he would complain to his team mates about it, disrupting the team spirit that needs to be there in order to play your best. And when COY (Coach Sloan) kept him on the bench because of his antics, we were forced to play guys at the position (Fish, Harp, etc . . .) that were not right for the teams we were facing.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving Deformio sole credit for our recent winning ways. Guys all over the team have been stepping up. AK has been playing at his former all star level. Memo has decided to make some shots for a change. Deron and Boozer have even stepped up their play which is hard to do when you are already playing at such a high level.

For an example, of Deformio’s value to the team let’s take a look at our most recent game:

We were playing the San Antonio Spurs, The defending NBA champs. They knocked us out of the playoffs last year and we have always struggled to beat thim. This was a big game for us also because by winning, we would be at the top of our division and back in the playoff race.

Deron, Booze and Ak had fantastic nights. While Korver only had 8 points on 3-7 shooting. On the other side, Gonobli, who never makes a foul,
Why a smart man could put a leg up on a thing like that.
had a great game, scoring 29 points on us. Korver did as good a job on him as anyone ever does with that freak of nature, but where he shone was in the final minutes.

We had led most of the night, but the Spurs got within two. With the game on the line, Deformio hit a technical free throw and a three pointer, giving us back enough of a lead that we were able to win the game.

Deformio always seems to do just enough to hold up his end of the team and that’s what makes me happy that we got him. We’ll keep an eye on Deformio and his continuing contributions to the team, but for now it looks like he is a star rising in Utah.

In conclusion, I know it’s early but let me leave the ladies with a little valentines treat. Sorry, i couldn’t find one with Jazz Uniform.

Have some Deformio for Valentines

Update:
I found another picture of Kyle Korver’s girlfriend below

Sorry he's taken

*Hides head in shame knowing I am a total google whore*

Have a dollop of Mayo. Yum!

Ohhhhh Baby

Recently it has come to my attention that there are a group of people out there that abstain from using any condiments on their food. I don’t know the reason why, but the only thing that makes sense to me is that they are in some kind of new religion. Some religion that has added a new commandment.

It probably goes something like:
#11 Thou shalt not put the ketchup on thy burger, neither the mustard on thy hot dog. Thy tuna shall be dry and free of any mayo, nor shalt though put the barbecue sauce on thy ribs.

Ugh. Not a religion I could get into, I’ll tell you that. Unless the religion was just against British condiments. Not so big on the Mint Sauce and Marmite myself.

Weird

As I type this, I am eating a salami and cheese sandwich slathered with mayo and yellow mustard. You know the reason this is good is the mayo and mustard. You could substitute almost any bread, meat, or cheese and as long as it had the mayo and yellow mustard, it would still be just as good.

Because I am so passionate about the subject of condiments, It is probably wise that I stick with one today. So I will begin with one of my favorites:

Mayo!!!

Now the video above made one big mistake. Hellmann’s Mayo is not the good stuff. In my humble opinion, you can tell whether the mayo in front of you is going to be good or gross by the color. The best mayo is bright white. It gets cheaper and grosser the yellower it gets.

That's nice

See how brightly white the mayo is on that cracker? Then see this.

eegh

It’s enough to make you hurl, ain’t it? Don’t let yourself be fooled. If it says real Mayo, make sure it isn’t yellow. Never buy mayo in a colored or covered bottle.

I know this because as a mayonnaise connoisseur, I have bought and tried many different brands of Mayo over the years. The best one I have found for reasonable prices is Kraft Real Mayonnaise.

The good stuff.

The worst looking mayo I have ever seen is below. I could never bring myself to try it. But this guy recommends it over that beautiful white mayonnaise..
Hurp!

Now try to knock that disgusting image out of your head. I know it’s hard but I’m not quite done talking about delicious creamy mayo yet, so I need you to man up. I know, let’s cleanse your mental palate with this. Envision a cool tall glass of pink lemonade.

Ahhhhhh

Now add a dollop of mayo and mix it all up!! Hah hah, just kidding. Sorry I couldn’t resist. Forget what I said, just keep that pure lemonade in your mind for a moment . . . . Feel better? Ok moving on.

Being from the south, there is one tradition in my family that no one else I have met does. In fact everyone grimaces at the idea until they try it. We put mayo in our mashed potatoes.

Mmmmm

My mom tells the story about how when she first got married she wanted so badly to impress my grandmother. My dad’s mom was a fantastic cook and liked to do everything by herself. So when my mom pleaded with grandma to let her help with dinner, grandma said “Okay you can do the mashed potatoes.” Imagine my grandma’s shock when my mom slopped a heaping helping of mayo in the taters. She ordered her out of the kitchen. My mom was devastated. She still hasn’t gotten over the humiliation to this day. She’s probably weeping about it right now. I should call her . . . .

Anyway so try mayo in your mashed taters. It is good. As kids we used to spread a thin layer of mayo on saltines. We’d dip pieces of turkey in it too. Tuna salad was a big hit. Gee I hadn’t realized until just now how much mayo I ate as a kid. How many tubs of mayo have I eaten in my lifetime?

Yup

Sheesh, this article has turned kind of sad all of the sudden. Don’t know what to do about that. Oh well, I’m off to drown my sorrow in some mashed taters. Let me leave you with this.

The Gaki No Tsukai Mayonnaise tasting game.
They taste some Mayo blindfolded, then have to figure out which brand they had been given out of 12 varieties. If they are wrong, they get a beating.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Update: I neglected to mention Miraclewhip.

Eww, miracle whip

So, salad dressing VS mayo. First of all, who would spread miracle whip all over their salad?

Eww.

Thank you.

The Happy Rotter Rifftracular Special

Oh, It's on.

Recently Rifftrax.com announced that the latest Rifftrax coming out was going to be Batman and Robin. I can’t think of a movie that deserves it more, but the cool part is that this riff was all written by the fans. There was a contest where fans watched the horrible movie and wrote the jokes and submitted them to Riffrafftheater.com. The guys at Riffraff compiled the jokes and picked out the best ones, then sent it to Rifftrax, where Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett vowed to riff the fan-submitted script unedited.

It is a really cool concept and shows how much the guys at Rifftrax respect the fans. It also shows how much they didn’t want to watch Batman and Robin over and over again. But hey, the fans get to suffer through the writing process and in return they get to hear the guys riff the jokes they submitted. A geek thrill to be sure.

This got me curious about Riffraff Theater. How did this come about in the first place? Well it turns out that some guys on the Rifftrax forum decided to put together a fan riff. They picked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and accepted submissions from the other fans on the board. They then put the riff together themselves using their own voices. In the meantine the guys at Rifftrax decided to do their own Harry Potter and the fan riff came out around the same time as the Rifftrax one did. Evidently the guys over at Rifftrax were so impressed by the fan riff that they approached Riffraff Theater about putting together Batman and Robin.

Happy Rotter

This got me thinking.

You See, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone was one of the first Rifftrax I downloaded. I did so because I liked the film and because I already had it in my DVD library. I did my best to synch the Rifftrax to the film’s audio and burned a new DVD with the Rifftrax commentary.

But when Mrs. Edge and I got around to watching it, we found out that I didn’t get the sound quite right. There were times when I couldn’t hear the jokes Mike and the guys were making and times I couldn’t make out what the characters on screen were saying. Still, we had a good time with it and laughed quite a lot.

Rifftraxed version

Well, since the Riffraff Theater version of Harry Potter was a free download, I thought why not make a new DVD copy. I could use my much improved sound mixing skills and add the Riffraff Track to the Rifftrax DVD so that I would have multiple ways to view the movie.

So I went to work and while I was putting the two versions together I ran across another Harry Potter riff. Actually it wasn’t so much a riff as an alternate telling of the movie. It is called Wizard People, Dear Reader and was put together by a man called Brad Neely. It got some good reviews and was also free so I thought, what the heck, why not? I downloaded the audio track and put all three on the same disk.

I called it my Happy Rotter Rifftracular Special and I was looking forward to watching it. Then I got it into me head to write a three riff review for my site. So last night I watched Harry Potter three friggin times in a row. Oddly enough, I didn’t get bored. I enjoyed each viewing in its own way. Here are the results.

First of all my impressions of the film itself:

Mrs. Edge and I are big time Potter fans. We have read all the books. In fact, we read them aloud to eachother because neither one of us wanted to be the one to read it second. We had a lot of fun discussing plot points and guessing what was going to happen.

So we enjoyed this first Potter movie. It was fun and had a similar tone as the first book did. However it wasn’t the home run it could have been, and I guess that it is just because of the youth of the actors and the goofy way each line seems to be delivered by Ron and Hermione. Still, I like the movie even after seeing it lambasted three times in the same day.

The Riffraff Version:

Well this one was written by the fans and it shows. There are a lot of good lines in there, but they are also mixed in with a lot of lines that aren’t very funny at all. Now don’t get me wrong. When you throw a joke out every few seconds during a two and a half hour film, not all of them are going to stick. Rifftrax and MST3K put a lot of bad jokes out with the good. So it’s to be expected. But a couple things stood out for me with this one.

For one thing the sound on the riff was pretty bad. I read up on it and evidently the guys had the equipment turned up too high when they recorded the riff so every line sounds like it’s at the limits of what the system can handle. Another thing that bothered me was getting used to the voices. Maybe it was their youthfulness or something, but I couldn’t tell the riffers apart, they were all pretty high pitched. Maybe it also had something to do with the equipment.

However, I must say that overall they did a pretty good job. I think it is to their advantage to have so many writers. Having a ton of fans submit their scripts means that they can pick and choose the best jokes. The only disadvantage to it is that unlike the regular Rifftrax guys, they don’t seem to develop their own voice. You can listen to a Rifftrax and usually tell who wrote what joke.

But hey, they are offering this first riff for free. It is a good solid two and a half hours of entertainment for zero dollars, what is there to complain about? I think that they will only get better. Their next offering is going to be Keanu Reeve’s film Speed and they are following that up with Tron. I am looking forward to seeing their improvement. I may even submit a Tron script myself.

The Rifftrax version:

What can I say? Mike and the guys are polished professionals. They seem to instinctively know which jokes are funny and they have the delivery down. The also did their Potter research. They know the story well enough that they get several potter Universe jokes in. The Dumbledore gay jokes for instance. They also throw in a spattering of inside jokes that only Rifftrax fans would get, like the Bonesaw reference in the clip above. (It’s from their Spiderman riff.)

The poor acting skills of the young actors is often pointed out to hilarious effect. Chris Columbus and JK take a fair amount of ribbing too. But it’s all in good fun. They don’t seem to have any real hate of the film and you can tell by the playfulness of the jokes. Mrs. Edge and I really enjoyed this one.

The Brad Neely Wizard People version:

I wan’t expecting to like this too much. I went to Brad Neely’s site and read some of his comics. I wan’t too impressed. But I saw a clip at youtube and found it amusing so I put the track on my disc. When I popped it in, I figured that I would watch enough of it to get a feel for it. I ended up watching the whole thing.

Mr Neely takes the story of this first movie and changes it in many subtle ways. He is obviously a fan. He seems to care about the characters and you don’t lose a sense of who they are. He does make some changes though. Harry, intead of being a wide-eyed innocent knows exactly how powerful he is and simply puts up with everyone treating him like a kid.

Ron Weasley is “Ron The Bear” a magnificent warrior with enormous brain power. Hermione is “Harmony the Wretch” a beast of a creature that proves herself useful to the group. Snape is portrayed as a female to hilarious effect. Dumbledore is “Nearly Dead Dumbledore”.

Mr. Neely’s storytelling style is hilarious. He alternates between a poetic mix of words and crass lowbrow humor at the drop of a hat. I would recommend this track wholeheartedly except for one thing. The language. He dropped a few f-bombs in the first hour of the film but about half way through they start falling like it was f-bomb armageddon. The children go from saying “gee wilickers” to cursing like a sailor’s foul mouthed friend. If it wasn’t so witty I could have sworn that Quentin Tarentino wrote the dialog.

So if you don’t mind your ears being melted off of your skull, this track is a treat. He make the ending of the film so much better than the original version. Ron Weasley is my hero now.

Ronald the Bear Weasley folds his arms just for you.

You may be wondering which out of all the riffs I saw, I liked the most. I would have to go with the Rifftrax version. Mike and the guys got game.

Keep an eye out for the Rifftrax of Batman and Robin coming out 1/29. Written by the fans, Riffed by the professionals.

Coming soon

How to Hide Your Toes

Hide them now

It’s time to face it. Your toes are ugly. You know it. Your toes know it. They don’t want to be seen any more than you want them seen. Well, here is a shocker. No one else wants to see them either. Especially this guy.

I think he threw up a little

Toes are inherently gross. They are like deformed fingers that only grew so long, then got lazy and twisted. They serve no use. They are too weak for digging, too short for grabbing. Just try to grab things with your toes, you’ll get a cramp.

You can’t write with your toes, type with your toes, scratch your nose with your toes. You can’t do anything with your toes that you can’t aready do with your fingers better really. Why even bother with them? They get stubbed, smashed, and broken. Toenails get ripped off and grow in funny or fungussy.

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t Google toe pictures.

Yeah, he saw your feet.

Truth be told, you would be better off without them. So how could you get rid of your toes? You could become enemies with Kim Jong Il, or dissolve them with acid or smash them off with a hammer, or-

Mm Mmm, that's nasty.

Right, right. Anything I could come up with just sounds too painful. Wait you could . . . nope, that’s no good. Hmm, I guess the only reasonable alternative is to hide them.

I know what you are thinking. I took awhile getting around to it. But this is important. If you really want to change a persons perceptions about toes, first you’ve got to indoctrinate. Indoctrinate, indoctrinate. Then you can convince people to keep their little nasties hidden. It is a proven fact. For instance it took Satan forever to get Adam and Eve to cover their butts. Aren’t we glad that little tradition got started? Hmm?

You got it, pardner

So now that we agree you should hide your toes, what is the best way to go about it? You could always sit on your feet, but how could you walk? I’m still waiting for someone to invent Toe Burkhas. I guess it’s time to state the obvious.

WEAR SHOES.

Nope

Not quite what I was thinking.

It needs little guillotines

That just shows them off. The makeup doesn’t help either.

not quite

Still poking out there, aren’t ya? That bent one is looking at me.

TMNT

It’s fine but not exactly stylish. Now you have Ninja Turtle toes. Maybe sandals aren’t the way to go.

Oooh, aggressive.

A little angry, but other than that you’re fine. Oh, I get it, this is a threat to kick me. Please don’t.

I've created a monster

Okay Frankenstein. I am sure there is a happy medium but at least you are getting the idea. The point is keep those ugly little toes of yours covered up.

Yay

There you go. Good job. Just find some outfit to go with it. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go take some Advil. All of these toe pictures have given me a headache.

Superhero Movies III the quickening

Riding Ghosts since 1972

In my third article on Superhero Movies, I’m going to tackle two films that were full of potential and ended up almost being good.

See also Parts one and two in my series where I explain my theory on why so many of these movies miss the mark.

Today we’ll start with Ghostrider

I so wanted to love this movie. The trailers were good. The special effects looked awesome and Nickolas Cage was trying to be different in a positive way. Throughout the film I kept thinking “Hey, this might actually be the Ghostrider Film I wanted to see.” Then it fell on its face.

Things that went wrong:
Casting

The director/writer. I can only blame Mark Stephen Johnson for most of my issues with this film. He was also the director of Daredevil and Elektra if that gives you any hint of his abilities. He wrote this one too, so he was the one that made the decisions that screwed things up.

Eva Mendez.
She was probably this bored with the script too.
Sure she is pleasant to look at. But the girl has no real presence. I understand why the character would do what she did, but Eva just couldn’t pull it off. It is hard to care about her character. Everytime she came on the screen I had to wonder why he still wanted the snotty chick that his childhood sweetheart turned into.

Donal Logue as Johnny’s buddy Mack.
The other Quaid
Looks like a mix between Randy Quaid and Quentin Tarantino doesn’t he? He is supposed to be a comic relief buddy type character, but why was he neccesary? The director seems to like having this kind of unneccesary character and brings in actors that are supposed to be likeable goofy(and generally unfunny) guys for the roles (IE the lawyer buddy in Daredevil). It just messes with the feel of the film and distracts from the main character.

The big dumb scene.
The Ghostrider pulls down a helicopter just to scare the guys.

The frickin’ ending.
I could have put up with the rest of the problems and this would have been on my list of good Superhero Movies, but there was one big glaring “I can’t believe they were this dumb” flaw that ruins the climax of the film.

Spoiler warning.

The cool part

It ends up that Sam Elliott’s character used to be a Ghost Rider himself. Johnny Blaze is heading off to face his final battle against the bad guy. So Sam tells Johnny he has just enough power left in him for one last ride. He’ll go with him to face the big bad. He then flames up and mounts a skeletal flaming horse and they have this awesome ride into the sunset, the two Ghost Riders heading off to face the film’s climax (See the beginning of the vid below for a glimpse of this awesome part of the film.)

Then, they near the place where the bad guy is and Sam tells Johnny good luck and leaves never to return. Johnny goes off to battle the bad guy by himself. I’m like WHAT??? All that build up and . . . fizzle. Did the director just want Johnny to fight the final battle alone? Then why set up this cool confrontation with both Ghost Riders in the first place?

The lame thing is that before Johnny gets to big bad, he has to fight another henchman demon first. The director could have just had Sam say “I’ll take care of this one, boy. You go get Blackheart.” Then while Johnny goes to face the big bad, we could see a cool fight where Sam as old west Ghost Rider takes on the demon.

Anyway, it totally left me pissed and scratching my head for the rest of the show.

Things that went right:
Casting
The casting of Nicholas Cage actually worked really well. I liked his Johnny Blaze.

Sam Elliott was perfect for his role as the caretaker/old rider. Who else goes around looking more like a cowboy than Sam Elliott?
I ain't suckin the poison out.
He brings gravitas to the roll and he and Cage make the good parts of the movie good.

The special effects were great.

The music was fantastic. Especially the Ghost Rider in the Sky theme from the video above. It plays over the ending credits making you wish you liked the rest of the movie better.

The film actually did pretty good in the theater grossing 229 milion worldwide, but the critics panned it. I panned it too and there was a little bit of gold, just not enough to buy the claim.

But there are plans for a sequel.

Hulk

Hulk try to kill Ang lee, but keep missing.

I really wanted to like the Hulk. The marvel folks seemed to be doing everything right. They picked a great director, an awesome cast. I wasn’t familiar with the writers, but I heard that Ang Lee was being given full reign so it had to be good, right? I mean, he did Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon so he knows how to direct action.

Evidently he had different plans. Lee had them rewrite the script several times because it had, “too much cheap action.” To give you a feel for the film, read this segment from Wikipedia:
Eric Bana commented that the shoot was, “Ridiculously serious… a silent set, morbid in a lot of ways.” Lee told him that he was shooting a Greek tragedy: he would be making a “whole other movie” about the Hulk at Industrial Light and Magic.

So, Hulk as a greek tragedy. That would be good, right? Right? Oy veh. The end result was a 2 1/4 hour movie with 1/2 hours of action. Now the action parts were freaking sweet. Hulk looked great and kicked butt. WHen he was on the screen the movie ruled. Jennifer Connely, once extremely hot, is now a stick figurey wisp of her former self. Still, she can act and she did a great job. Sam Elliott, Eric Bana, the rest of the cast was great. If the movie was about Hulk VS the army or one of Hulk’s vast catalog of villains, it would have been pretty good.

That's right, Bruce. I'm your daddy

The problem was bringing in Nick Nolte as Bruce Banner’s dad. He overacts and chews the scenery like crazy. That whole part of the storyline bogged things down. So instead of Hulk fighting something cool, he ends up fighting Hulk dogs including his dad’s Poodle.

But the big killer of the movie for me was the stupid ending where Hulk ends up fighting his dad who has become a giant energy bubble. The military blows up the bubble. Hulk escapes to become a doctor in South America, the end. I’m not making this up, folks.

Well the movie still made over 200 Mil worldwide but there was enough dissapointment out there that Marvel decided to do a sequel with an all new cast and writers and director. The new one is supposed to be coming out June of this year and be called The Incredible Hulk. We shall see if it falls into the same traps as all the other Superhero Movies.

Next time I just may review a couple of the movies that got it right. Time shall tell.

Is there anything more cool and relaxing than cucumber?

Istead of my usual looks at History, I am taking a revolutionary step forward and looking into the future. The future of beverages.

That’s right, beverages. In the future we will no longer be saying such a banal word as “drink”. No, every form of liquid refreshment will be referred to as a beverage. Uh, except soup. That will still be called soup. Except for cold fruity soups or consommes. I think we can still qualify those as beverages. Especially if you drink it from a mug.

Even a soup if consumed properly can be a beverage.

In fact many foods that we consider solid foods will be beverages in the future. Coca Cola has already started an experiment in Japan with pureed salad blended so fine that they sell it as a beverage. It’s called Water Salad.

I'll take a hot spinach and bacon Water Salad to go, please.

They are available in Caesar, Cobb, Chicken, Tuna, Tomato, and Fruit (Bleu Cheese and Greek will soon follow I hear). These delicious beverages have been a hit over there and will soon be sold at Walmarts everywhere. In fact all-liquid diets will become the rage as Coke releases this new liquifying technology to the rest of the world. (Start buying stock now, folks.)

Doesn’t your jaw get tired chewing a steak? I know mine does. Soon you will be able to have a nice warm liquid steak you can warm up in the microwave. And if you want a juicy steak that will melt in your mouth, it will also be available as steak popsicles.
Mmmmmm . . . . meaty

I know by now that you have heard of the latest craze among dictatorships started by Korea’s Kim Jong Il.

A beverage genius.

This is the one where they immerse their enemies in a tub of warm water until they get all pruny, then cut off their toes and serve them to them in an alcoholic girly drink. Messy, right? Not for long.

You see the good news is that in the future, there will be factories where human toes are grown and harvested to bring this peculiar and adventuresome beverage to the public.

Mmmmm . . . Toes

On a sad note, the world’s second favorite beverage will become scarce as a new cow disease hits the dairy world hard. Affecting ony the cows udders, this shriveling disease will cut world milk production in half. The result will be a large rise in goats milk beverages. Goats milk shakes and chocolate goats milk will be huge hits.

Hear that? Goats milk futures on the rise.

This will also hasten the rebirth of the very first beverage. You heard me. This is something that has been a long time coming. The problem has always been logistics. How do you produce this beverage in quantities large enough for the demand while still keeping costs down enough to make it affordable? I have long wracked my brains trying to figure out how to do this. Well the answer is simple. You import it.

My idea was Stolen

That’s right the mother of all beverages, breast milk will be imported in vast quantities in the future nearly edging goat’s milk in the marketplace. It is more nutritious and has the immune system building blocks that will make mankind less prone to disease.

How is this possible you may ask? Well as you can see from the photo above, it has already begun in Asia. You see, it’s my fault. I was at lunch one day with my wife, running my mouth about the prospects of finding a way to mass produce breastmilk for the marketplace and I was overheard by this man.

Yeah, this dreamy guy stole my idea ladies

That’s right, Michael “The Idea Thief” Buble overheard me talking and had the financial capital to tackle the problem head on. You see, over the next several weeks he noticed women breastfeeding their babies at his live concerts and thought, “Hey they can do that anywhere”. He then hired some female engineers to come up with a more comfortable breast pump that women could wear while doing every day jobs.

He must have found the right women for the job because they did it. The complex pumps are worn under the bra and the milk is collected and kept cool in a backpack that the woman wears while she works.

Phot of the Buble's Breastmilk(tm) brand backpack

What will happen in the future is that these will be mass produced and available to lactating women for purchase at Buble’s Breastmilk(tm) centers all over the world. These women will be able to wear the pumps to work or while doing chores around the house. Then they return the collected milk to the centers at the end of the day. It is weighed and they receive a modest paycheck at the end of the month. The pay may not be a lot but the effort these ladies have to put out to get it will be minimal. They will call it Milk Money.

Does it sound a little too far fetched to you? When you call your phone company and get a female customer service rep in India, listen for the hum of that pump. The future starts now.

Drink up me hearties.

Lohan it up

Rifftraxapalooza

Rifftrax rules

I have written oft about MST3K and Cinematic Titanic. While doing so I have talked quite a bit about Rifftrax. But I don’t think I have given them the full treatment they deserve. So I am going to review a few Rifftrax that I have seen lately to give you sort of a taste of what Rifftrax is about.

Let’s begin with a brief explanation of what Rifftrax is. Mike Nelson, the host of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for seasons 5-10, saw that with MST3k gone, no one was filling the demand for movie riffing. He was making funny commentary for a company called Legend Films (A company that was releasing old classic films remastered in color.)

The genius hisself Mike Nelson

Mike knew how to riff bad movies, but he also saw all of the big budget Hollywood slush out there that deserved to be lambasted. He knew that he could not put out riffed DVD’s of those films without legally obtaining the rights and the expense to do that would be rediculously high. So instead he came up with the idea of releasing a commentary track in MP3 form that people could play along with the movie. This way you could still get the flavor of MST3K but without the legal mess.

The pros to this method are that Mike is free to riff any movie without limit. Of course to make money, the movies need to be readily available to the public. Also Mike can put out these Rifftrax at his own pace which seems to be every week or two.

In fact, they now have a catalog of over 50 movies completed and the catalog is constantly growing. The films range from the good (Lord of the Rings), to the bad (Patrick Swayze’s Roadhouse), to the ugly (The Starwars Holiday Special). This week they released Plan 9 From Outer Space.

The cons are that he has to convince people that this is easy to do. When I first heard of Rifftrax, I was a bit numb to the idea just because I couldn’t see how I would do it. I don’t really watch movies on my computer much and it sounded like a hastle getting the film and mp3 synched. (By the way it really is pretty easy if you follow their instructions.)

I finally decided to give it a try because of two developments. They came out with a Rifftrax Player, a program that synchs the Rifftrax to the dvd for you, allowing you to pause and rewind without having to resynch anything. Then I read in thier forums how to combine the Rifftrax and the movie and burn your own DVD. From then on I was hooked.

Sometimes Mike riffs the movie by himself, but often times he is accompanied by a guest riffer. Most often this is Kevin Murphy and/or Bill Corbett, the voices of Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from MST3K. These guys have a great rapport and it translates into hilarious riffing. There have also been a few other guest riffers including Fred Willard and in one of my personal Favorite Rifftrax, Neil Patrick Harris:

The guys have their own Rifftrax Blog where Mike, Kevin, and Bill basically clown around and blog on any topic. They also have a great online community going with forums where you can converse with other fans and enter contests and the like. I recently entered a contest where fans were encouraged to suggest new movies that Rifftrax should do. The only catch was you had to suggest it in Haiku. I won 3rd place with one entry. You can view my entries here.

Let’s review a couple of Rifftrax I recently saw just to give you an idea.

First I’ll start with Top Gun:

Top Gun is considered an 80’s classic by many critics. It never struck a chord with me. Of course I was ten when it came out. The main thing I remembered was how intensely toungey Tom’s kissing was. Ends up I was not the only one. Mike and Bill Corbett were just as repulsed by Tom’s tongue action.

Toungues about to strike.

They had a lot of fun laughing about Tom’s recent craziness and scientology doctrine. The cheesy background music and Kenny Loggins high pitched rock anthems took a beating too. Mrs. Edge watched it with me and we were laughing out loud throughout the movie. Mike and Bill both have a dry tone of voice when riffing and so some of the jokes sneak up on you. Overall it was one of my Favorite Rifftrax.

Now on to the horror remake The Wickerman:

Why is it that the only time Nicholas Cage looks like he isn’t bored out of his mind is when he is in a comedy? Good grief. Adaptation, Weatherman, and now this. Man is he one depressing dude. And man is this one depressing film. There isn’t a single character with a bright future in the entire movie. And the ending is a big freakin’ downer. Thank goodness I had Mike and Kevin Murphy to help me through it.

This is the extent of the facial expressions used in this film

They riff on everything from The slow pace of the movie, to the way Nick’s suitcoat seems to stay pristine despite all he goes through, to the homeliness of the women.

Ug

And this is a movie first and foremost about what would happen if your community was run by a bunch of homely women that happenned to be pagans on the side. Scary? Not really. Sleep inducing? Not with Rifftrax around.

You can read my comparison of Rifftrax VS some of the other MST3K based projects out there in my previous article here. There is also a link to show you how to put Rifftrax on your own DVDs. Which in my opinion is totally the way to go. I now have just about every film they have riffed so far, and I am loving every minute of it.

Update 1/23/08
They have just posted the title of the next Rifftrax title to be released on Tuesday 1/29/08 and it is one of the worst films ever made,

I knew this was coming and still my soul hurts.

The cool thing is that this Rifftrax is written entirely by the fans. For the last month fans have been submitting scripts to Riffraff Theatre. They have compiled the jokes and forwarded them to Rifftrax. Now Mike, Bill, and Kevin will be riffing the film with the fans jokes unedited. This should be interesting.

This is a tribute to one of my favorite Comedy Actors of all time, Mr. Steve Martin. Now I realize that in recent years, the wheels have fallen off the wagon so to speak. But I remain a Steve Martin fan despite those failures.

I am going to list my top six and a half favorite and least favorite Steve Martin films. Just recognize that there are a few of his films that I have necer seen and some of them I have not seen since I was a kid. I know that there will be arguments, so feel free to post them in the comments section and we can go toe to toe.

The top 6 1/2 Steve Martin films of all time:

# 6 1/2: Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favorite musicals. I saw it a lot as a kid (though with the darkness of the subject matter, maybe that is one of the things that twisted me into the insane person I am today. With that disturbing thought in mind, I am waiting a while longer before showing it to my own kids.) This only gets a 1/2 mention because even though his role is the best part of this movie, it is a minor role. Really this film belongs to Rick Moranis, who shows back up later in this list. I would go on about his portrayal but this is the Steve Martin appreciation post, so moving on.

#6 Bowfinger:

This film has the distinction of being the last really good film that either Steve Martin or Eddie Murphy has made. I know that Eddie Murphy stole the show, but Steve wrote this film as well as starred in it, and that seems to be the key to a good steve Martin film.

#5 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels:

Yes, that is a hilarious clip and one of the funniest scenes ever. This was a delightful movie. Funny in every way. What more can I say. For 4 more films to be ahead of it, you can see that Steve has had a brilliant career.

#4 Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid:

This film was the predeccessor to Forrest Gump. I know that your mind is stretching to find the link and I will let it continue to stretch. Think, what the heck is Edgewriter trying to say here? The two films are nothing alike. Is he crazy? Is he insane? Well I may or may not be, but my statement is true.

Forrest Gump totally rips off the idea of having the main character interact with people that aren’t actually in the film. In this case, Steve Martin’s character interacts with clips from old Film noir movies. Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney for instance. It is actually done rather seamlessly and makes for a hilarious experience.

#3 My Blue Heaven:

Steve Martin’s portrayal of a New york gangster in the witness relocation program is one of his best performances ever. This is a light hearted family comedy. I watched it countless times as a kid with my family. But most people wouldn’t even put it on their top ten list of Steve Martin movies. If you haven’t seen this film yet, trust me, you will enjoy it.

#2 Three Amigos:
This one deserves two clips. First The Three Amigos go into a bar where everyone thinks that they are cold hearted killers:

Then my personal favorite just for sentimental reasons:

Makes me smile every time. This is probably the funniest film Steve ever wrote. The only reason it isn’t number one is because it is an ensemble film. This film has more quotable funny lines than any other movie I can think of. If you have not seen it yet, fix that tragic error now. Join Netflix if you have to.

#1. Roxanne:

This has got to be in my favorite top ten films of all time. Steve once again wrote this one. It is hilarious and romantic. It is artistically his best film, his crowning achievement.

Honorable mentions:

These films are all worth seeing, but did not make the list only because I limited myself. I know that some people will totally disagree. But that is why this is my blog and not yours so there.

The Jerk (most people’s number one.)
Another you (I really wanted to include this one)
LA Story (Has moments of brilliance)
Father of the Bride 1 and 2
Planes Trains and Automobiles

Now for the worst:
Steve has made some stinkers, folks. For the most part, it isn’t Steve’s role in the film that made it stink. He did not write any of them. However, he did decide to appear in them, so he cannot be completely blameless for these turds. I will try not to show you videos unless it is absolutely neccesary.

#6 Sgt Bilko
This one bored me. It was the first evidence I saw of him being unfunny.

#5 Parenthood:
Evidently some people have a soft spot for this film. Steve’s part was pretty good, but yuck man, the subject matter stunk. It was about the sucky parts of being a parent and a lot of it is pretty depressing. It isn’t a film I would like to share with anyone. It was directed by Ron Howard too by the way and I usually like his films.

#4 Novocaine:
Yet another film that is meant to be funny but is actually quite depressing

#3 Cheaper By the Dozen
Mindless hollywood Trash.

#2 Cheaper By the Dozen 2

Even more mindless and trashy hollywood slush.

#1 Pennies from Heaven
He tried to be more artsy here. He was trying to get away from his goofy reputation and make something more serious. What came about was one of the most depressing musicals of all time.

Only one good thing came of this film. He had to promote it. The following clip shows just how brilliant and talented Steve really is.

Finally

#1/2 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band

He only has one short part in this, but it is probably his worst performance ever. Man this movie stinks. It will suck the life out of you. Seek it out at your own risk. At least you are lucky that I could not find the video of Steve’s performance, but you catch a glimpse of it in the trailer.

Finally let me leave you with one last clip. Steve plays the Banjo:

If I survive this, I'm totally going to tackle a bear.
There is nothing quite as exhilarating as a near death experience. Your heartrate skyrockets. Adrenaline pours through your veins. Your Brain is flooded with endorphins. Survivors of car accidents and plane crashes say that they have a new appreciation for life. Some give more money to charity, some spend more time with their family. Some spend years suing the people responsible.

But for other people, one time looking death in the eye is not enough. They become adrenaline junkies. The proud feeling of being able to say, “Dude I almost died.” drives thrill seekers everywhere to search out new ways to risk life and limb.

Today’s subject is Extreme Sports!

No, no, no. I’m not talking about those pansy X-gamers. The fear a biker has of breaking a leg on a jump or the fear a skateboarder has of crushing their tender bits on a rail? That’s nothing. We are talking real freaky stuff here, people. So strap in. Wait, don’t strap in. Standup on that roller coaster. Stick out your arms and try to grab stuff as we pass by. Plunge head first into the abyss with me. We’re talking about sports that will probably kill you. Or PKY Sports.

PKY Sports have been around since the beginning of time. How do you think cavemen came up with the wheel? By watching other cavemen strap themselves to boulders and roll them down the hill. The inventor of the sliced bread machine, Otto F. Rohwedder only put bread in the machine because his wife made him try it on something else before sticking his head in there. The lightbulb was only created because Edison was trying to find new ways to shock himself.
I'm bored. how can I get more juice out of this thig?

Let’s take a look at two modern extreme sports and compare them to their historical predecessors. We’ll start with Bungie Jumping.
Please let me hit that tree. That would be so sweet!

Now this is only a borderline PKY Sport. It only counts if you Bungie from a parachute or if you like to get so close to the ground that you kiss it before coming back up. Properly supervised Bungie jumping is too safe for PKY enthusiasts. But the origins of Bungie Jumping are steeped in PKY history.

Bungie’s predecessor, Noose Jumping, was a popular PKY Sport in the wild west era. It is said that men would kill just for the opportunity to try it. Thousands died attempting the sport and numerous films have been made about it.
PKY Sport film

However, the sport was banned from international competition in 1936 because the high mortality rate had drained the field of people willing to compete. These days public competition is only practiced in developing countries and dictatorships for the most part, but there are still occasional reports of private competition in the US.

One extremely popular PKY Sport being practiced today is Gang Fighting.

What makes this PKY Sport so successful is that athletes can enter competition at any and all ages. Not a lot of skill is required. There are no real rules except don’t kill your own team members. All weapons are allowed. However, it’s not a great spectator sport. And it’s illegal in most countries. Jail time is really boring for a PKY enthusiast, so competitors have to be very careful.

The historic predecessor to the modern gang fight was Rome’s Gladiatoral combat.
These guys were cowboys in high school

Big swarthy men taking each other on, fighting bears, wild boars, and leopards. The Colluseum was the Madison Square Garden of PKY Sporting events. Thousands of books have been written on the subject and scholars have made studying it their life’s work. But one thing that history has gotten wrong is the tales of the Christians being fed to the lions. These were PKY superstar Christians. Their people had been stoned, drawn and quartered, you name it. This was their opportunity for the big time. They looked at those lions and laughed in their faces.

Those were glory days for the PKY athlete. And I’ll admit, we don’t have anything in modern times to equal it. In fact, there has been a lot of frustration in the PKY industry of late. People are tired of the same old injuries. Medical improvements have made many of the sports too safe. So I have spent years (okay at least several minutes.) compiling a list of new Sports for the PKY Enthusiast in you.

Here are 25 things you can do to become the next big PKY superstar:

1. Highrise construction scaffolding mountain biking.

2. Become a major character on the hit show 24. It could happen any episode.

3. Join the Jackie Chan movie stunt crew.

4. Wrestle rabid dogs

5. Tackle moving trains.

6. Tackle Roseanne Barr

7. Tackle Fidel Castro
His guards carry big guns, dude.

8. Tackle any homeless dude carrying a knife.

9. Dare your enemies to shoot you in the face.

10. Become a doctor on the hit TV show ER.

11. Swallow a live cobra. Then swallow a live mongoose.

12. Try to sit through a marathon of the made for TV Anne of Green Gables movies.
Oh yes, they are available.

13. Drink nothing but your own urine for three days.

14. Hit the brothels in Taiwan, Singapore, or Thailand. Who knows what fatal STD you could contract?

15. Cut down a live tree at any environmental protest.

16. Attempt to date one of my daughters.

17. Feed a fish to a wild grizzly bear with your teeth.

18. Sleep on a bed of nails . . . . under an elephant.

19. Try to force-feed Calista Flockhart a donut.
She will skin you alive

20. Buy an apartment in New Orleans and flash your cash a lot.

21. Go spear fishing for Pirahna in waist-deep water nude.
Eeeeeee

22. Get sent to prison and tell everyone you used to be a cop.

23. Join the polar bear club. Wth real Polar bears.

24. Go through a hospital dumpster and jab yourself with random hypodermic needles.

25. Ask Tom Cruise tough questions.