Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
Starring: Jim Carrey
Dir: Robert Zemeckis
Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins

In the midst of our hard financial times, money has never been more important to people, which is why this classic Dickens' tale, reinforcing the value of money, is particularly timely.

Scrooge, a hardworking man who has selflessly sacrificed his personal happiness in order to enrich society in the way only a money-lender can, is perpetually bombarded by freeloaders and beggars.

On top of all that, his only employee Bob Cratchit has the nerve to request a half-day to be with his family on Christmas. It's almost as if Cratchit is intentionally trying to antagonize Scrooge by bragging about having a family to him.

In the end, ghosts finally achieve what all the beggars and societal pressures could not: driving Scrooge mad.

It is an old story with a familiar moral message, and although it's been said so many times before, you can never hear it enough: You can have all the money in the world, but it won't matter if ghosts can get into your house and make you crazy, and trick you into giving all your money away.

Enjoy this Christmas, readers, and please remember to ghost-proof your dwelling.

4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saw VI

How to Survive in the Saw Series

The Saw franchise has successfully created one of the most twisted, diabolical villains of all time. A villain who wants you to appreciate life and live to the fullest.

No thank you, Jigsaw. I won't give up spending Saturday nights at home watching reruns of the Simpsons, and eating ice cream for dinner just because there's nothing else to eat, and I need to end my hunger somehow.

If you're anything like me, then you've spent many years crafting a cynical, slightly depressed, and highly materialistic outlook on life, and there's no way you're going to give that up just because some psycho wants to kidnap you and torture you.

Well, lucky for you, you don't have to. The solution is simple: just don't get kidnapped. Sounds easy? That's because it is! All you need to do is become really, really paranoid.

Say you pour yourself a glass of water, and then you leave the room for a few minutes and then come back. You'd probably drink that water, right? I'm telling you right now: don't drink that water! It could have been drugged while you were in the other room.

Here's another little rule I call: lights on/lights off. You make a choice whether you want all the lights in your house on ALL of the time or NONE of the time. If the lights are on all of the time, then you never have to worry about someone hiding in a darkened room waiting to attack you. If the lights are always off (my choice, both cost-wise and aesthetically), your eyes (and your psyche) will adjust to the perpetual gloom of your existence. This will give you the advantage when a kidnapper inevitably breaks into your house, as he will most likely be accustomed to "normal lighting conditions."

All the victims in Saw made classic mistakes. Mistakes like:

1. Driving a car,
2. Leaving their house,
3. Eating food,
4. Trusting anyone,
and of course: 5. Sleeping.

All of this advice and more will be included in my upcoming book "What They Didn't Teach Me in College."

4 out 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New York, I Love You

Starring: Tiffany Pollard
Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins

The TV series "I Love New York" was okay - but let's be honest, it was no Flavor of Love. So when I heard they were actually going to make a movie based on "I Love New York," I was skeptical. Then I was excited. Then I was hungry, so I ate some bean dip. Then I was excited again. Then I was sick (the bean dip, I'm pretty sure). Then I forgot about the movie for about two days. Then I remembered, and I thought: sure, I'll give that a chance.

Remember how bad everyone thought "The Real World: The Real Movie" was going to be? And then it turned out to have a surprise ending that moved everyone in the audience to tears? And then it turned out that they never actually made that movie, and it was all just a really detailed dream I had on the airplane after eating some bad bean dip? Now that I think about it, I don't know why you would remember that.

I have to say: this movie is not what I was expecting. Brace yourself fans, because Tiffany Pollard isn't even in the final cut of this movie.

The movie doesn't really follow the plot of the television series either, which was confusing and disorienting for the first half an hour (when were they going to eliminate someone?). By the end, I was beginning to accept this movie as an entity on its own terms.

The stories told in this movie are so heartfelt and beautiful, that it doesn't even matter that they diverge from the original plot of the TV series.

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Dir: Spike Jonze
Starring: Max Records

This movie was completely unrealistic. Giant talking beasts walking around, and talking? Are we supposed to believe that this actually happened? It's just silly to believe in talking beasts and magical lands. It's time for everyone to just grow up, and learn how to function in the real world.

We, as a culture, have to move on from these ridiculous fantasies. Whatever make-believe worlds we thought we saw when we were kids were obviously just a result of all those stupid cartoons we were watching, and eating too much chocolate. All the doctors agree that too much sweets, coupled with an overactive imagination can induce vivid, realistic dreams that can be difficult for a ten year old boy to distinguish from reality. But by simply eliminating the cartoons, cutting back on the chocolate, and adding years of psychotherapy, the child can be readjusted for society.

Even if the boy still sees these make-believe creatures when he gets a little older, and he's definitely not sleeping, and the creatures talk to him, and ask him to join them in their merry dances and reveries, he will know better than to do so, because he's been told over and over again that these are just illusions invented by his overactive mind, and he should take a couple of the pills and go for a walk outside or something.

The boy, now a grown man, has been monster-free for several years now, and is finally becoming used to seeing the world as other people must see it, when what should come along but a freaking movie featuring the exact sorts of creatures he'd been seeing throughout his childhood.

Honestly, what are we supposed to think about this movie?

2 out of 5 stars.