Hey, Wha’ Happened?

If you watch as much PBS as I do, which you probably shouldn’t, you may have heard that Fred Willard would be hosting a spinoff of Antiques Roadshow in the near future.  Antiques Roadshow was that show about experts appraising estate furniture at convention centers around the country.  Once an episode someone’s grandmother’s candle holder would turn out to have been carved from a unicorn’s horn and be worth six figures.  Remember when your mom turned into a hoarder in 2002?  That was because of Antiques Roadshow.

Fred Willard is really funny.  He was great in Best of Show and A Mighty Wind, easily the funniest person in both films.   His show is titled Market Warriors, and it doesn’t really matter how it’s different from Antiques Roadshow because you probably checked out when I said “PBS” and are skimming this article for bolded words and links.  Tits!  You’re welcome.   Continue reading

The Franchise You Didn’t Know Existed, Part II

Catch up with Part I here.

Previously, we discussed the overarching themes of the 1993 treatise on social order Demolition Man.  Today, we will discuss its companion piece, the justifiably-overlooked Judge Dredd, in which Stallone plays a descendent of his character in the previous film and acts as an agent of the fascist system unwittingly instituted by its protagonist.

At the end of Demolition Man, the forces of rampant Liberalism were cast aside under a cloud of corruption and murder, allowing the more seemingly freedom-loving Libertarians to return to the surface world and take control.  This meant an end to the various well-meaning initiatives put in place by the previous regime, in favor of an improvised order more appealing to the base desires of the populace.  Forced politeness was repealed, and with it the automatic fines for verbal profanity, a measure which was particularly god damn unappealing to anyone who would pay to see an R-rated action movie in 1993.  The ban on meat was also brought to an end, allowing the formerly second-class citizens to partake in as many rat burgers as they wanted.   Continue reading

The Franchise You Didn’t Know Existed, Part I

In 1993 Sylvester Stallone, hot off the success of the years 1995-2009 having not happened yet, made a movie about a near-present-day LAPD detective cryogenically frozen and subsequently thawed thirty years later.  That movie was Demolition Man, and it was a decent action movie.  Two years later, Stallone made another bold cinematic prediction about the future of law enforcement, a movie – nay, film – eponymously based on the comic book series Judge Dredd.  Despite their ostensible similarities – future cop, there’s a conspiracy to solve, diplomacy as a backup option for most confrontations – the movies have very different tones and themes.  Despite this, I have recently come to the conclusion that Judge Dredd and Demolition Man are actually, together, a complete work.  By the end of this journey, so will you.

Demolition Man opens in what citizens of 1992 Los Angeles thought 1996 Los Angeles was going to look like thanks to all the angry minorities who broke stuff over the Rodney King verdict.  Things have gotten so bad that the Hollywood sign is on fire, presumably non-stop.  “This well-known landmark is burning” is ’90s movie shorthand for “things are going really badly right now.”  Its use in popular film culminated in the 1996 masterpiece Independence Day, which ended its first act by systematically destroying every recognizable monument in the United States.  Michael Bay dragged it back out of the closet for 1998’s Armageddon, which didn’t even have the dignity of being the only apocalyptic asteriod movie released that summer, probably because Michael Bay wouldn’t know creativity if it took on the form of Megan Fox and blew him at an after-party. Continue reading

A Moment of Humility

I know we’re all having a great time here talking about how Dr. Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation is a whore, checking out awesome Japanese playground slides, and wondering what exactly is wrong with Joe Paterno…but it’s important to remember, reading this monument to me, that I’m not even the most awesome Scott Ahearn there is.  Say hello to ScottAhearn.net, also known as Google Image Search Scott Ahearn.  He’s a quality guy and I’ve always appreciated how much cooler he is than TeamAhearn.com Scott Ahearn.

If I didn’t have a beard I’d look exactly like him.  I’m gonna start working “how do you like my wife’s vagina?” into my day-to-day repertoire.

(From: ScottAhearn.net)

Gonna Talk About Star Trek Now

I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek.  Growing up I watched repeats of Star Trek: The Next Generation every weeknight at 7 on WTVZ Fox 33, along with new episodes every Thursday on WGNT 27, which at the time had no network affiliation.  From there I worked my way backwards through the Original Series movies, while simultaneously seeing the Next Generation movies and being vaguely entertained, thrilled, bored, and ready for a new movie series.  I also took in the entirety of Deep Space Nine and as much of Voyager as I could tolerate.  I have enjoyed other series, but The Next Generation (or TNG, as the pros call it) was my first and favorite Star Trek.  For some of the younger people, Voyager is their Star Trek, which is a shame because Voyager is mostly shit.

Star Trek exists in a rich universe, one that is much more fleshed-out than that of its often-unfairly-compared “rival” Star Wars.  The Star Wars mainline canon consists of six movies.  Star Trek has three seasons and six movies of Original Series, seven seasons and four movies of TNG, seven seasons of Deep Space Nine, seven worthless hackneyed seasons of Voyager, four inconsistent seasons of Enterprise, and the 2009 reboot movie.  That’s a lot of characters, alien races explored in relative detail, and situations to be dealt with by the protagonists.  This detailed picture of the galaxy means that you can, as an adult, find yourself musing on the practicalities of the Star Trek fictional universe in pretty concrete terms.  During some downtime this past weekend, I had a sudden revelation about the era of Star Trek that begins with The Next Generation:

There is no longer any need for a shipboard Medical Officer.  The only reason to have one is for her to be attractive to the Captain and ensure his sexual needs are met. Continue reading

On Enjoyment

Watching movies is insanely easy nowadays.  Re-watching movies, same case.  If you name a movie, unless it’s something super-weird and rare I can probably download a copy of it that would rival a flawless 16mm print put through a projector with a brand new bulb on full power with all the dust removed from the air in the room.  It’ll take an hour to download at the most.  Maybe it’s on Netflix in HD, maybe it’s on Amazon Prime, maybe it’s a BluRay or DVD that I dumped onto my hard drive, or worst-case scenario I had to tell the magical box in the living room to record it as it plays on channel 1205 without me ever having to turn on my TV.  If you like a movie you can watch the hell out of it.

I had a great time seeing Inception a year and a half ago.  Remember Inception?  Leonardo DiCaprio invades people’s dreams, that somehow means a shitload of guns onscreen, Michael Caine is there for some reason, PG-13 mindfuckery…big deal movie.  Summer tentpole.  Everyone loved it when it came out, then as Christmas came around people started pointing out plot holes, vocalizing things they found wrong about it, and questioning the reason for there being so god damn many guns in a movie about dreams within dreams.  It lost its luster for a ton of people.

At the last minute they photoshopped the gun out of Ellen Page's hand

Continue reading

Vertical Integration and Why You Can’t Call Everyone “Dude”

Earlier today I was reading the Wall Street Journal online.  That’s not atypical, as I generally give it a look when it’s raining and I’m bored enough to want to know what sort of informational roofies Rupert Murdoch is slipping into my parents’ generation’s drinks.  No matter how brutal the sodomy, they never feel the rectal tearing because they’ve been fed a drug dissolved into the appletini of respectability and grown-upness that is “The Journal.”  Between editorials, op-eds, and news items arranged to function as editorials about how Obama is destroying the banks I found a curious item about sunglasses.

Apparently designer sunglasses are bullshit.  My faith in the fashion accessories industry is shaken to its core. Continue reading