I was just accused of being German...

...by my own mother to boot.

I said in the previous entry that anything I'd post would likely have something to do with beer. And my mom told me this afternoon that my fondness of beer and onions were distinctly German traits. Since I don't have German family, this has me slightly confused.

Speaking of Germans, Valkyrie finally showed up in theaters. Apparently it sucks.

But who didn't see that coming? It's budget is estimated at around $95 million. It came in fourth at the box office this weekend. It's in no way going to regain for Cruise any sort of esteem or personal interest capital (even making fun of him and his Scientology is slowly going out of style). I say that Xenu did it for the lulz.

Tom Cruise, you see, is no Clint Eastwood. Clint can make a movie with more than a passing resemblance to the goofiest of Charles Bronson's late career output (Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, in this case) with the utmost seriousness and not only get away with it, but receive lavish critical praise that falls just short of verbal fellatio. Clint Eastwood wants to be a racist with a heart of gold who will eventually die in a Jesus pose saving the poor non-whites from their own depraved elements while teaching everybody a lesson... and sing the theme song to bookend the film? Damn straight, he can direct it too! Some might argue that Gran Torino is Eastwood's semi-ironic attempt to re-examine his archetypal "scary white man with a big gun" character. However, Clint is more a stereotype than an archetype. He's a pretentious film maker making a B-movie without realizing it, using silly metaphors that can be guessed at a mile away. Spoiler: the Gran Torino represents Clint's innermost soul! It's as hokey as it sounds, and unfortunately, it isn't being played for laughs. Yeah, good luck trying to top Gran Torino, Xenu. If Tom Criuse tried that he'd be rightly laughed at.

I think the worst thing about the Holiday season is that my favorite movie that's been released so far has been Un Secret. It's French. Oh how it pains me to say that. It's the complex and earnest WWII film that Valkyrie dreams of being, focusing on less than sympathetic Jews - one of whom is a cruel bastard who hates his child (whose only real flaw is unresolved oedipal issues, and those aren't really his fault) for not being athletic enough - rather than on heroic Nazis. It's been one bizarre Christmas movie season, no? I haven't even seen that poo eclaire known as The Spirit yet.

C'est la vie, c'est la vie.



This Blog is changing from an unfortunate school project into something of a personal blog. I'm keeping some of the old entries though, so if you see terms like "media criticism" and "cultural artifact" it's because of that. If it annoys you, sorry.

Supposedly, that ethereal, mysterious thing called "content" is coming. Expect it to be about beer and movies.


Epic Fail...

And this is coming from somebody that hates using the word "epic" as an adjective or modifying adverb:

It's pretty sad that somebody actually felt the need to not only poorly adapt an irrelevant manga/anime series, but to also employ the same sad attempts at Hong Kong style filming and fight choreography (handled by 87 eleven, a stunt troupe that worked on stunts for The Matrix, Daredevil, and the upcoming Ninja Assassin) without really understanding its mechanics or aesthetics.

James Wong already tried to do a "kung fu" movie with The One, easily the silliest movie Jet Li has ever made, and Jet Li made a movie where he wore a chicken suite to fight a giant, mechanically operated metal centipede.


Eating durian and Vladmir Nabokov...

...are two things best enjoyed without the company of others. Sad as it is to put the "king of fruits" and one of my favorite prose stylists in the same category I hold masturbation and listening to Nickelback, but it simply must be. Durian is too pungent to allow anybody near you while eating it, and it's better to keep to one's self for longer still as the odor sticks for several hours. Nabokov is too good to allow distractions while reading, and usually if people see you reading a book with a title like Lolita in public, you run the risk of getting Chris Hansen blindsiding you and asking if you can have a seat over there.

This is the point in the blog post where I write something that's supposedly pertinent to the theme of "media criticism." However, I don't have anything.

The only thing that I'll say is that I have become extremely aware of people who do things in public that should remain private. Much worse than that, I'm aware of people who take private things of others and put them in public. It's like somebody somehow capturing the scent of your breath after a big mouthful of durian, and then somehow putting that scent on the internet. A good example is Documenting Reality

I don't know what to say about that site. The owner, Chris Wilson, traded a free pass to his amateur pornography community in exchange for grisly photos of just about anything, which became at least as popular an attraction as pictures of people who would have likely looked better with their clothes on. That landed him in trouble in Florida, where his computer was seized. Considering somebody sent me a link to his sight to see what are supposedly photos stolen from a "closed community forum" for cutters in which an emaciated, scarred young woman flays open her arms in some of the most horrendous ways imaginable, I feel perfectly justified in saying that Mr. Wilson has earned my utmost contempt. Not only because of his glee in publishing photos of a person at their most vulnerable, but for his refusal to own up to how he came across those photographs. Of all places, Something Awful actually had people who were in a position to figure out who the girl was and how to alert others of her self-abuse. Some calls were made (to Germany, apparently) and that was that.

I still want to know how that creep managed to get those pictures, since the forums this young woman posted on are closed to outside registrations (for good reason, apparently) and even the people who managed to get onto these web pages while in search of this girl didn't find anything like the pictures posted on "documenting reality."

Moreover, looking at his forum, it hardly documents much of anything aside from hearsay. I've seen photos with descriptions like "crack baby" and the accompanying picture looking very much like an infamous deformed child that was born in the aftermath of Chernobyl. Simple Google image searches would have yielded that result.

I despise this person. I'm terrified that he can apparently run a web site like this legally, and I'm even more horrified by the people who post on his forums. It's an unpleasant, ugly view of humanity. I'm not talking about the pictures he posts either.