Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Rocky Balboa, Live Free or Die Hard, John Rambo, Alien vs. Predator, Indiana Jones 4

Today, I'd like to discuss a common occurrence that relates to everyone. No, I'm not talking about being put in The Cage for a week by your second grade teacher. And I'm not talking about catching your penis in the car door. And I'm not talking eating 32 cans of Chef Boyardee, two bags of chips, a box of King Dons, a box of Twinkees, two boxes of Hot Pockets, a 2 Liter of Coca-Cola, and a Centrum Multi-Vitamin in one sitting. Oh, and a package of beef jerky. No, I'm not- oh, and a half pound of cheese. No, I'm not-oh, and, wait, a 4 pack of Red Bull. And a package of Necco Wafers. No, I'm not talking about that. I'm also not talking about the day a person becomes an adult, that magical moment when, after years of mystery and wonder, a boy becomes a man, when he finally unzips his pants, takes a deep breath, swallows in fear and anticipation, and pushes the "Career Opportunities" tape into the VCR, only to witness the awesome power of Jennifer Connelly stuck all night in a Target with a white tank top. If there is a more beautiful thing than being stuck in a Target all night with a white tank-topped Jennifer Connelly, I have yet to find it. A panda dancing with a unicorn under a rainbow on the beach while dolphins frolic in the surf only scratches the surface of the beauty of Jennifer Connelly in a white tank top in a Target. The radiant power of this sight would make even the Eyes of God turn away. Those of us not worthy risk bursting in flames just handling my greasy VHS copy of "Career Opportunities".

But as much as these experiences speak to our commonality as humans (well, except for the penis in the door thing, which only speaks to 50% of us), these are not the events I am discussing this evening. No, I want to discuss the time when you bring home a date and your father tells some lame joke, trying to impress them. And then you go to the bathroom and you come back and your dad is French kissing your date (or, as the French say, kissing ala Francias) while rubbing her thigh. Wait, that wasn't what I meant. It's more like when your Grandpa gets up at your cousin's wedding and dances the Chicken Dance. And then his pants fall down and he's not wearing underwear and his wrinkled winkey makes a surprise wedding day appearance. Wait, no, maybe not like that. More like when your uncle shows up at the family reunion in the park with a sixteen year old girlfriend, and then they start dancing the Macarena and dry humping on the snack table. That's the common experience I'm talking about! When you see this sort of thing, you feel both pride and revulsion. Pride because, well, it's like "Hey, look at you, Uncle! Way to go, grinding on the underage hottie!". But revulsion because who wants to see their uncle molesting some neighbor kid, his hair piece falling into the onion dip, until the park ranger comes along and detains him for the police. I mean, come on, Unc', there has to be some laid-off auto-worker or school nurse down at Applebee's sucking up the half-priced appetizers that'd come with you to the reunion with you for twenty dollars. Have some dignity, man. Or at least less of a prison record.

So that's the shared experience I'm discussing in this ignorant review; the experience of seeing an old man, once marked with dignity and demanding of respect, now gyrating on a wooden picnic bench with your sister's second grade best friend. Well, that and the whole Jennifer Connelly/Target thing. That's what I'd rather talk about. But I've got a duty to you people, a duty and commitment to provide ignorant reviews, no matter what my true desire. Dammit, dammit, dammit. Damn you people. Damn you all.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

During the time of my misguided youth, there was one man you could depend on to show what a man is really about, one man who stood up to the forces of evil, who defeated the Soviets and even protected us from death from outer space. One brave, strong man who we, as a country, stood behind, and the entire world would stop and listen in awe when he spoke. A man who even moved from beloved actor to become the Governor of California. I'm talking, of course, about Ronald W. Reagan. But I could also be talking about that Austrian slab of enhanced beef, Arnold Schwarzenegger. When a new Arnold movie came out, we pulled out our fake ID's and headed to see some blood spurting, limb ripping, gun-blazing action (well, except for "Kindergarten Cop"; there may have been some blood-spurting, but guns wouldn't have been allowed on school property). Arnold even starred in that Future Governor battle royale, where, along with Future Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, Future Puerto Rico governor Carl Weathers, and Future Republic of Micronesia governor R. G. Armstrong, the Future Governor of California kicked some dread-locked space invader's ass. Never before or since have so many governors fought a space creature with such ferocity, except here in Ohio when former governor Bob Taft actually joined forces with former governor Dick Celeste and former governor and current waffling senator George Voinovich to fight the space invader that was former governor James Rhodes. Man, when Governor Rhodes ripped off his head to reveal his sixteen eyes and razor sharp, poison-filled teeth, THAT was a site to see.

Yet poor Arnold. As we come into the new millennium, he just didn't realize when to stop. Like Reagan, who continued to play the crusading hero long after anyone else in the world was interested, Arnold decided to come back for the embarrassing hump of the carcass of "The Terminator". Yeah, sure, put all the posters you want out with a naked chick on them; you can't erase the stink of Ben-Gay on this turkey. I mean, "Terminator" was cool, with a skeleton-faced Arnold as an unstoppable killing machine and skeleton-faced Linda Hamilton getting all naked and junk. And "Terminator 2" rocked, with it's liquid mercury guy and culvert truck chases that left me deaf for a week after I saw it, even if it did make Arnold the good guy, protecting some snotty kid. But fast-forward twelve years and dump "Terminator 3" on us? Nooooo, thank you very much. I get it, Arnold really IS unstoppable; give him a paycheck big enough and you can't stop him from showing up. But, please. I feel we need a recall vote on whoever greenlit this geriatric junk. If I wanted to see an old man fight robots, I'd pitch my grandpa out of the boat on "Pirates of the Caribbean" at Disneyland.

Rocky Balboa & John Rambo

Ok, growing up, there was one action hero second only to Arnold. Granted, he talked like he had a mouth full of mashed potatoes, and he had a bad habit of starring in crap like "Oscar" and "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!". But when it came to personifying iconic heroes beginning with the letter 'R', no one did it better than Sylvester Stallone. Sly, as I like to call him, since I'm far enough away that he can't punch me in the face, or Frank, as I like to call him as a joke, was more than a pile of muscles. I mean, the first "Rocky"- it's like "Pretty Woman" for men. Mix together a solid and much copied story with great fight scenes, top it off with Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" ("Duh duh duh duh...duh duh duh duh duh duh...duh duh duh duh...duh duh duh duh duh duh duh..." This is the song that was playing in my head on the first day of school every single year from second grade to high school graduation. Well, with the exception of tenth grade, but, hey, I mean, Milli Vanilli was hot that year. Look at it in context, will you?), and you've got a great film. And "First Blood", while bookended with too much talking, was followed up with the ass-kicking "Rambo: First Blood, Part II". And "Rocky III" had the beautiful casting of BOTH Mr. T and Hulk Hogan, effectively rating this movie "GC" for "Gold Chains". Never in the history of filmdom has the gold chain budget exceeded the craft services budget. And while "Rambo III" may have single-handedly been responsible for the rise of the Taliban, at least Sly could run through the desert without his knees popping.

Ah, but he just couldn't give up, now. "Rocky Balboa"- who asked for that? I mean, even Jake LaMotta had the good sense to get fat and become a stand-up comedian. Come on, encouraging the elderly to get exercise is one thing, but I'm thinking mall walking, not professional boxing. Although, once, at the corner grocery, one old guy bumped another old guy's cart with his electric wheelchair, and they started scrapping right there in front of the produce. It was a pretty good fight, too, until the one guy busted a bottle of prune juice over the other guy's head, causing the second guy to pull out a grenade he'd been carrying since the end of World War II and threaten to pull the pin, screaming that the whole bunch of us just standing around cheering and having a good time were "Nazi Japs!" Luckily, the store manager turned the fire hose on the old guy before his hands could stop shaking enough to get the pin out. Unluckily, the grenade dropped and blew up anyhow. Luckily, it was all the free groceries you could run out the hole in the wall until the police came and pepper-sprayed the whole bunch of us. But I did manage to load up the Family Truckster with a ton of baked apples, grenade-fried green tomatoes, and blackened kabobs. My kids had never even SEEN vegetables before that day, and we thought of that old guy many times after my sight came back as we ate the spoils of his explosive anger. Thank you, Greatest Generation!

But I digress. Speaking of grenades, how about "John Rambo"? Now, I know, some of you may be asking "How can you review a movie that's not even released yet"? And some of you may not be asking that. And that's ok. For those of you who are, I kindly point out that, since I haven't SEEN this flick, it is eligible for review. Just because you haven't seen it either doesn't disqualify it. And, if you don't like it, that "Next Blog" button is calling your name. Move on to "Maximize Your Computer's Speed" or "My NY Life". For the rest of us, let me just give you my opinion of "John Rambo"- It sucks. Why, you ask? Why not, I answer. I mean, are you going to rush out to see this? What kind of freaks of nature, aside from Sylvester Stallone, were sitting around hoping that they'd make a sequel to "Rambo"? I can just see the soldiers of fortune who would wait in line for the premiere of this, only to be pissed off when Rambo spends the first half hour of the film waiting for his Celebrex to be delivered from his mail pharmacy so he can go save a bunch of Christian missionaries. You think there's a lot of firepower in a WWII veteran's fight in front of the cabbage? Try watching "John Rambo" in a theater with a guy in camouflage and face paint and twelve pounds of TNT strapped to his back. "Rambo" was alright in the day when we weren't actually fighting anyone. But, in our stupid times, when we have to watch our neighbors die in a real war for no reason, watching Sylvester Stallone wading through the jungles of Burma in a swim diaper just doesn't have that much relevance. I say it again- It sucks.

Live Free or Die Hard

Besides winning the second runner up for most retarded title of all times (the champion remains "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!"), I really have to wonder about this thing. This sounds like something a marketing guy who grew up watching "Die Hard" would come up with. Bruce Willis is great. I actually love almost everything he has done. And, to this day, I love watching the original two "Die Hard"s. I just watched the first one the other day with my 4 year old son, and, despite the crying and sobbing and being scared all night, I know he loved it. "Die Hard with a Vengeance"- eh. Take it or leave it. You can tell the suck quotient of a movie by counting the number of words in the title. George Lucas has proven that the maximum word count you can have in a title is '4' (ie, "The Empire Strikes Back") Any more than '4', and, viola, suck! "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"- already categorically proven to suck. "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!" Not only displaying its suckiness through word count, but also through abuse of exclamation marks. "Live Free or Die Hard"; now I'm no mathematical genius, but I do believe we've exceeded that 4-word limit. Don't try and cheat and say conjunctions don't count. I think we know what a 5-word title means- SUCK!

(Now some wise-acre out there on the Internets will no doubt bring up "Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb". Technically, though, you can choose to call it "Dr. Strangelove" and end there. The rest is just subtitle. "Live Free of Die Hard"? No choice- choose just "Live Free" or "Die Hard" and you have an incomplete sentence, which just won't do for a film title.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, "Live Free of Die Hard". Sucks. Give the action up, Bruce. Stick with the ghost kids and the quirky mob comedies and you'll be alright. But since you gave me the choice, I choose to live free- free of ever seeing this Medicare sponsored assisted suicide of a film. At least Bruce can use his Golden Age discount to get in to see the thing, and probably buy a Child's discount ticket for whoever he's dating at the time, too.

Alien vs. Predator

Ok, this is just ridiculous. Two senior citizen monsters duking it out in a frozen wasteland. Kinda like when my Grandma and Grandpa go downstairs to the freezer and argue over having lasagna or chicken for dinner. In the annals and anals of unnecessary sequels, this just may be the most unnecessary SUCK-quel of all times. I mean, what's the appeal here? See the Alien pop out his false teeth at the Predator! See the Predator taking Propecia in an effort to stop his dreads from falling out! See both monsters in a battle to the death over whether diabetic supplies are covered by Medicare Part B or Part D! When the climax of the thing involves a fierce chess match in the park, you know that the resurrection and rape of my childhood memories is complete. When I sat down and watched "Alien" on HBO at the ripe old age of 3, I was witness to the creation of fourteen years of fear-induced insomnia and night terrors. And "Alien 2", directed, like "Terminator"s 1 and 2, by the great James Cameron, taught me the joys of using the word "Bitch". "Predator", with it's dueling governors and rasta monster, was a fun-house hoot. But unless you spent your weekends in the basement on the Internets posting fictional battle match-ups on discussion boards ("Oooh, the Sleestacks vs. the Borg!") while sneaking glimpses of porn whenever your seventy year old mom leaves the room to refill her hot milk, you do not want to see this disaster. I could picture entire theaters filled with losers like wiki-contributors, discussion board moderators, and self-absorbed blog posters filling theaters for this mess. Uh, wait a minute. Blog posters? Uh, nevermind. They probably wouldn't see this. Next.

Indiana Jones IV

Finally, here is a creaky film franchise I can get behind, if only because the first and third installments rocked so hard that they became a part of my soul. Even "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", although it included the annoying, screaming blond chick and the super-annoying stereotypical Asian kid, also had monkey brains and heart-yanking and was solely responsible for the PG-13 rating. PG-13, which basically said to us kids, "This movie should be rated 'R', but we want your money so bad that we're gonna let you in", was the badge of honor for all the classic films we needed to see when our moms wanted to drop us off so that they could have two hours of quiet time at the Sears white sale. So what is Indiana Jones IV about? Who cares! It's Indiana Jones! I fear that, when this comes out, I'm gonna have to put on my geek hat and rush to see it. And, sitting in that theater, I'll again be twelve years old, using my fake ID to get into a PG-13 flick, sneaking in that bottle of whiskey I bought before the show with that same fake ID, holding hands with Greg Turner. Wait. Not really holding hands. I didn't mean that. I meant putting them on the same arm rest. Well, he might have tried to hold mine, but I kicked his ass right there, just to show him! I beat him in the head with that whiskey bottle! He'd never try that crap again. But we were just friends, that's all. Just reaching for the armrest at the same time. And, just to prove it, I even had the courage to hit him with a bottle. Of course, the next time, he did bring that grenade into the theater he'd stolen from his grandpa and try to blow me up with it. But that's what real men do; even if they accidentally brush hands in a dark theater, they are more than ready to beat each other in the head with a bottle, or blow each other up. We proved it all those years ago. Those two old guys proved it in the supermarket. And I'd prove it again, if I was ever forced to, like down a dark alley, or in my car at the Walmart parking lot, and another man tried to hold my hand or something. But that's because I'm all man.

Anyways, Indiana Jones IV will take me back to a simpler time, when sodas couldn't be Biggie-sized and my greatest worry was whether my mom could sober up enough to feed us dinner that night. And, really, isn't that the joy of the movies? Isn't that what the movies are all about? A few hours of timelessness, of holding hands with another man and smashing bottles over heads and blowing things up? THAT'S why God made movies. It is too bad, however, that, on the 2nd day, God made cash, and the studios are so desperate for it that they'll wheel out aged action heroes to try and separate us, the audience, from it. That's why I refuse to see any of these movies (well, except "Indiana Jones IV"- We all have our weaknesses) Rather than forcing them to hump on the picnic table, to try and smash bottles they can hardly pick up, let these shuffling heroes fade out to where they should be: locked forever in our memories, fighting to the death in the supermarket, or fighting off osteoporosis while eating dog food because their social security checks are late again.

Alright, already, Grandpa! I'm done! Quit your yelling and banging your cane on the table! I know you want it, and I'll get you your Father's Day cake!

My Rating: "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"- 0 Stars, and 0 more from the future
"Rocky Balboa"- 1/2 star, just for reminding me to hum "Eye of the Tiger" while I typed this
"John Rambo"- 0 Stars, with a bullet
"Live Free of Die Hard"- 0 Stars for living free, and another 0 stars for dying hard
"Alien vs. Predator"- negative a million stars, one for every fanboy who quietly shed a tear of joy when they heard that this disaster was in production
"Indiana Jones IV"- a hundred million billion quatrillion stars. Come on, Indiana Jones rocks! Unless he breaks a hip jumping from a train car, I'll be there for this one. Disagree with me, and I'll hit you with a bottle. Virtually, of course.

(And for all you ladies out there, I didn't forget that reanimated dinosaur of the fair sex, Sharon Stone, and the amazingly unnecessary "Basic Instinct II". The problem is, I was somehow tricked into watching this thing, probably by the promise of seeing boobs, no matter how prune-like and gravity-ravaged, so, technically, I cannot give an ignorant review of this beast. Needless to say, whoever watches this flick deserves visions of Sharon Stone's blue-haired pubes to haunt their nightmares until their own social security runs out. It's like I said to my wife when she warned me not to rent this: "T'wat did you say? I cunt hear you. Oh well, I'll finger it out later".)


Creaky McWheezy said...

Ah, shaddup, you stupid whipper-snapper! Why, if I had my teeth in, I'd come right on over there and bite you in the rump! You ageist bastard! As soon as I figure how to turn on this here computer TV, I'ma gonna email you like the little girl that you are! You...ah..you...what was I saying? I'm gonna take a nap, now, ok?

Creaky McWheezy said...

Ah, shaddup, you stupid whipper-snapper! Why if I had my teeth in, I'd come right on over there and bite- ah, what? What'd you say? Speak up, I can't hear a word you're saying? I posted this already? I don't have a clue what you're talking about! Posted? Where? At the supermarket, maybe? Ah, well, I need a nap. Night.

JE Hoover said...

There is nothing funny about the Medicare D plan. Nothing. Cease making jokes about it or face the consequences, including deportation to Iraq or being forced into the Medicare D program.