Monday, August 27, 2007

Instant Film School: Ratings Bored

Today, we are going to dive straight into the toxic waters of film studies by reviewing the film ratings system, what it means, how ratings are determined, and what is it's effect on the tilt of the Earth's axis.

Many people have been asking (and, in this case, by 'many' I mean 'no', but, for the sake of this post, work with me, here) for a summary of the Motion Picture Association of America's film rating system. Of course, this system is highly confidential and incredibly subjective, so, instead, I'm just going to make something up and pass it off as a review of the rating system. First, though, let me make it clear: we're talking about the content rating assigned to most film's released in America, not the film rating system used to review films here at "The Frogs and Their King". That system is easy enough to sum up- All films with Jennifer Connelly- 100 quagillion machillion stars. Everything else- 0 stars. Now that I've made that distinction for the extremely defective among us, let us proceed.

The American film rating system is relatively simple. There are only a few rules that are followed in deciding what rating to assign to a film, and they go like this:

1. Does a film depict violence between humans, not limited to but including beatings, beheadings, shootings, manglings, bare-knuckle fighting, amputation, drownings, torturings, murder, burning alive, burying alive, hangings, car accidents, boat accidents, train accidents, plane accidents, cannibalism, tatooings, or general mayhem and madness? If so, it is rated PG-13.

2. Does a film depict any of the above, only directed towards a household pet? Then it is rated R.

3. Does a film depict naked female breasts used in an educational manner, such as showing tribal women using them for tribal purposes, like holding jugs of water or extra leaves and berries, or such as attractive twenty-somethings exposing them to teenage boys in the interest of anatomy? If so, the film is rated PG-13.

4. Does a film depict naked female breasts used in a non-educational manner? If so, and these non-educational breasts are on screen for less than 1 minute, the film is rated PG-13. More than a minute? Rated R, but the ticket-takers will look the other way if you're under-age but really have to see them, such as in the case of Halle Berry in 'Swordfish' or Jennifer Connelly in anything.

5. Does the film depict naked penguin breasts? If so, and they are not seen in a lecherous manner, the film will be rated G. If seen in a lecherous manner, then the film will only be released in Europe, Vermont, and certain parts of the Pacific Northwest.

6. Does the film depict full-frontal female nudity? If so, and it is someone you would enjoy seeing naked (ie, young Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba, or Jennifer Connelly), then it may be rated PG-13 or R, depending on the intended studio demographics. If it is someone you would NOT enjoy seeing naked (ie, Kathy Bates, Charo, Divine), then it must be rated at least R, and must contain the mandated Surgeon General's warning.

7. Does the film depict a naked penis? If so, and it belongs to Bruce Willis, Kevin Bacon, or Harvey Keitel, then the film will be Rated R, but you will have to produce two forms of photo ID to get in an see it (such as a valid passport and a state issued ID), and you may be sorry that you did. If the penis belongs to anyone else, the film will be Rated XXX-17.

8. Does the film contain swearing? If so, and it the swearing you might hear from your 4th Grade teacher when she accidentally staples her index finger, such as 'poop', 'fart', 'damn', 'hell', 'criminy' or 'son-of-a-gun', then it may be rated G. If so, and it involves the slang name for a body-part found on a man, then it may be rated PG. If so, and it is the swearing you might hear from your grandmother during the early onset of dementia, such as '$h!t', 'g0d-d@mn' , 'p!$$', 'wh0re-faced j@ck@$$', or 's0n-0f-@-b!+ch', then it may be rated PG-13. If so, and it is the swearing you might hear from drunk sailors just arrested while on shore-leave, such as the 'f' word, the 'mf' word, the 'c' word, the 'n' word, or any words beginning with 'O' through 'W', then it will be rated R. Finally, if it's the kind of swearing you might hear between Hitler and the Devil during a 'yo momma' rank contest, the kind of words that, should I even think them, would melt the Internets, then the film will be not be rated, as several members of the ratings board are elderly and it may cause them heart problems. The only exceptions to all of the above are a) if any of the swearing is done by a penguin, the film will be rated G and b) if any of the swearing is done by an animated character, such as an ogre or a superhero, then the film will be rated PG.

9. Does the film have characters who smoke? If so, and it was made prior to 2006, it will be rated G. If so, and it was filmed after 2006, it will be rated NC-17.

10. Does the film include uncompromising adult subjects that, while not appropriate for children, also do not include hardcore, pornographic sex acts? Then the film will be rated NC-17 and will not be shown to anyone in any major theater chain or rented from major video rental stores, essentially dooming the film financially and in its impact. Sorry.

11. Was the film made in France? If so, it will be unrated, or, as they say in France, "le ratings non".

12. Was the film directed by Steven Spielberg? If so, it will be rated PG-13.

13. Did the film cost more than $100 million dollars to make and is being released between Memorial Day and Labor Day? If so, it will be rated PG-13.

14. All other films that do not fit in any of the above categories will be rated PG-13.

And that is how simple it is to decide the rating of a movie.

However, while it is extremely simple to assign the rating, due to the fact that there are over 3,267 possible ratings issued, the system itself if very complicated. Now, while I would be more than happy to list all 3,267 with a brief explanation of what they mean, I expect everyone else would be less than happy. Therefore, I will now provide the top 30 or so assigned ratings from the last few years.

'G'- 'Geek'- Only a geek would watch this movie
'GC'- 'Guidance Counseling'- You may need to visit the Guidance Counselor after seeing this movie.
'GP'- 'Gross Product'- This film cost more to make than the gross product of bottom third of the world's countries put together.
'PG'- 'Pussy Galore'- This rating is only given to James Bond films, or to certain, ah, shall we say, 'art' films that play in a continuous reel at that particular theater on the wrong side of town.
'PG-13'- 'Not Suitable for Anyone Who is Not Male or Over the Age of 13'- Most likely includes car chases, young women in various stages of undress, fighting robots, former professional football players, crotch-kicking, or old ladies dropping the 'f' bomb.
'PG-4' - 'Not Suitable for Anyone Over the Age of 4'- Usually reserved for 'Barney' films, penguin movies, or anything based on a greeting card line.
'PG-80' - 'Not Suitable for Anyone With an IQ Over 80'- Usually reserved for Uwe Boll films, or anything starring a Baldwin that is not Alec.
'PG-12mm' - 'Not Suitable for Anyone Not Carrying a Piece' Yo, anyone not packin' risks getting a cap busted in ya, dawg.
'PG-200m'- 'Please Gross 200 Million'- This film cost over 100 million dollars to make, and the studio who made it is politely demanding that all film goers see this within the first 5 days of release
'JC' - This is used on films that either star the stunning and amazing actress Jennifer Connelly or are religious dramas directed by Mel Gibson.
'BC' - This is used on really old films, such as those filmed on nitrate, 'Before Celluloid'.
'AM'- This is a film best seen on cable after drinking all night
'BM' - This is the rating given to Brett Ratner films. It would have been 'BR', but that was already being used by films with the primary setting of either the frozen Antarctic or the North Pole, such as penguin and Christmas films.
'BLT' - 'But Look at Total gross'- This is given to films that depend on the stupidity of the overseas market audiences to see a profit. This is also the rating given to Muppet films.
'BFF'- 'Based on French Films'- A subpar American remake of a barely interesting in the first place, pretentious French movie. Examples include 'Three Men and a Baby', 'The Birdcage', and 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills'. Examples do not include 'The Ring', 'The Grudge', or 'One Missed Call', which would all be rated 'BFJ', or 'Dark Water', which would be rated 'BFJ-JC',
'R' - 'Raunchy'- This is how you know, as a pre-teen, what films are worth watching on pay cable after your parents have dosed off.
'RR'- This film features a train, such as 'Silver Streak', 'Thomas the Tank Engine', or 'Throw Momma from the Train'.
'NC' - 'No Choice'- This is the rating issued to some big-name actor's vanity project that a studio feels it has to make, many times even allowing the actor to direct, in order to negotiate a starring role in next summer's tent pole release.
'NC-17' - 'Now Costs $17.00'- This is used for films shown in IMAX or digital 3-D formats.
'NC-$5'- 'No Change of more than $5.00'- This is the rating used when a theater till is running low on $1 bills.
'NC-100'- '100 uses of nunchucks'- This is given to kung-fu flicks
'NCNN' - This means that the audience would rather watch the news than the travesty the studio is trying to force on them.
'NLV'- This rating identifies a Chevy Chase 'Vacation' film.
'NSFW' - 'Nice Safe Family Watching'- Films with this rating are wholesome and affirming films for the whole family, and, whenever you see this included with an image online, it is a badge of honor that means you can download safely without worrying about inappropriate content, even in front of your boss at work or your girlfriend's parents.
'X' - This is the rating given to a film that includes penises.
'XXX' - This film has 3 times the penises as the previous rating. This is also the rating given to anything staring Vin Diesel.
'CCC'- This rating occurs when the ratings board meant to give a film an 'XXX', but miskeyed and was too embarrassed to correct it.
'NC-XINFINITY' - This film is not suitable for anyone, and no one will be admitted to the theater to see it. Films that have earned this rating include 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!', 'Basic Instinct 2', 'Gigli', and anything made by Tara Reid after 'American Pie', among others.
'Y785TGNBHJDJJJKKKKKKKKKKKKKK' - This is the rating given when a film is so uninteresting, it causes the ratings board to fall asleep on the keyboard.
' '- This is what it looks like when a film is not rated.

And now you know all about the content ratings system for American films, and you are prepared to go out into the world and randomly rate films, such as your sister's wedding videos, the video at the start of a commercial airline trip, the filmstrip shown in your 9th grade science class, or the dashboard camera recording of you failing a field sobriety test (hint: all but one of these examples contains penises). There is one thing to remember, though; the ratings system is not censorship, but, rather, exists to prevent certain people from seeing certain films based on the morals and decisions of a third party. With this lofty goal in mind, our ratings system has valiantly protected sensitive American's from seeing penises while allowing us access to the car crashes and murders that make up the backbone of our society. So the next time you see the rating on a film you are viewing, go ahead and applaud in thanks, or even run up and kiss the screen. At the most, the theater owner may call a police escort out to assist a person of your leadership qualities in moving out of the theater. At the very least, your performance will rate a solid "WTF".

Note- The preceding has been rated 'PPB' for 'Pitiful Pointless Blog' by the BRAA- the Blog Rating Association of America.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Hairspray

Now I love the musical, all that singing and prancing around at dramatic moments, like everyone in the thing has become brain damaged in some bizarre accident that refuses to allow them to respond with appropriate emotions, but, instead, forces them to burst into song. I think back to all the great movie musicals. I think of the strangely clone-like bathing beauties diving into a pool filled with Tidy Bowl fluorescent blue water in all the old Busby Berkeley flicks. I think of Dorothy, and her little dog, too, being more concerned about singing than disaster preparedness, leading to horrifying, prescription drug-addled hallucinations. I think of the great Gene Kelly in the all-time classic, singin' and dancin' musical, "Xanadu". I think of Mary Poppins beating the children in her charge in the closet while singing "No Wire Hangers For Me (The Chimney Sweep Song)". I think of Mary Poppins, again, fighting Nazis while swirling around a hillside singing, "The Hills Are Alive (With the Sound of Genocide)". I think of Mary Poppins, again, flashing her breasts in S.O.B. Wait, that wasn't a musical. Oh well, I'm still thinking about it.

But what I don't want to think about is the tendency in Hollywood to take something old and not even try and hide the fact that it's old yet still expect us in the hinterlands to pay for it again. This is a direct result of some unholy alliance at the intersection of Hollywood and Broadway, where movies become musicals then become movies again, with nothing interesting added in the transition outside of boredom. As with most evil, blame this trend on Disney; "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", "Tarzan", "The Little Mermaid", and even my beloved "Mary Poppins" (probably safe to assume without the Nazis or bare breasts), all plopped like rodent droppings in the Great White Way. Follow this with even less interesting things like "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Legally Blond"- yikes, I didn't even want to see these films at the second run, dollar theater, let alone pay $70 for a stage version. Then, there is word that they are making a "Shrek" musical! The horror! I'd rather be trapped in an endless Ice Capades time warp than have to ever see a farting, belching chorus line of ogres and animals, followed by some 'wink-wink' pop culture references. If this makes any money, can "Hefty Cinch Sack- The Musical" or "Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben- A Love Story" be far behind?

Yet, in an even more inconvenient truth, the recycling comes full circle, with movies being made of the musicals of the movies. Long ago, Plato and John Stuart Mill would have thought this an impossible fallacy, like a snake eating it's own tail. But the snakes of Hollywood are more than happy to eat their tails if there is the possibility of easy money to be made, and, hence, "The Producers", which was a great movie, becomes an ok musical play, becomes a sub-par movie, performing no purpose but to smear feces on our pleasant memories of the previous incarnations. And did the fact that "The Producers", which made less than $20 million samoleons (which, I will point out, if stacked up, would equal the 1994 gross of that instant classic, "Cabin Boy"; see previous post for the mathematically amazing formula) on a $45 million budget deter Hollywood from doing it again? Uh, no. Now, my mind is not that beautiful, and I'm no financial genius (which may explain why I'm typing a blog in the middle of a weekday afternoon) but I can't see where spending $45 million to make $20 million is good business practice. Yet the snake returns to its tail. Maybe they need a tax write-off.

Now it's a sad fact (sad for me, that is) that I have actually seen "The Producers" in all three versions, so I must exempt myself from reviewing that celluloid recycled mess. But, as the Who said, in their album that became a film that became a stage show, "Tommy", I won't get fooled again. Hollywood loves their recycling. So, with no further ado, let us proceed with another 1st here at the Frog Blog (where our motto should be "Always Innovating, Always Irritating"); our first musical post! Now, we're not talking any MP3, 4, 5, 6, or 72 nonsense, no way. No downloads needed, which is just as well, as I expect most of our readers are on dial-up connections at the library. No, here, for the first time on the Internets, is an all-singin', all-dancin' musical Review of the Ignorant. Just follow your bouncing balls and sing along! And now, direct from the Mediocre Slightly-Yellowed Way, "The Frogs and Their King" proudly present....

(drum roll, please!)

A Musical Review

(* sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle")

Third time redo came to town
Riding on Travolta
Fickle viewers shot it down
And called it, 'Crapiola'


"Hairspray", I say, no thank you now
"Hairspray", I say, don't bother
If you must do this film just
Watch the original John Waters

Ricki Lake did not participate
Travolta in a fat suit
Amanda Bynes has ripened on the vine
And the 'tweens think Zac Ephron is cute


"Hairspray", nay, no way, I say
"Hairspray", you all have a choice
Why watch a film made from play
That's missing Fierstein's gravely voice?

Critics know nothing new exists
They say there's no originality
But they fall in line to praise this mess
A movie made from a play made from a movie


"Hairspray", ok, won't go away
"Hairspray", I'm really sick of it
The musical has had it's day...
But the sun has set on this piece of ... garbage.


"Hairspray", today, we're done with that
Just look at it's box office tally
Why hire Travolta and pad him fat
When you could just get Kirstie Alley?

My song is done, I've had my fun.
As the French would say, "Au revoir".
This flick's no fun to see, and with no Connelly
My Rating: "Hairspray"- 0 Stars


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Pulse

Now, I believe that I have made it known elsewhere in the Frog Blog that I am a horror junkie. No, I don't mean I rob the undead to buy heroin. I mean I love me some horror movies. The problem is, it seems to be about as easy to make a good horror movie as it is to teach a dog to recite the Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Ok, bad example. My dog learned the Preamble off of 'Schoolhouse Rock'. So let me try another: It's about as easy to make a good horror movie as it is to teach a dog to recite "Power of the Word" by Maya Angelou from the book "Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now". Dogs, having little respect for essays, are notoriously suspicious of Maya Angelou, and will often refuse to even say her name, let alone recite one of her essays. Don't even get me started on their opinions of Sir Francis Bacon or C.S. Lewis. Dogs can be sooooo ignorant sometimes.

It does seem to be very easy, though, to make a bad horror film, and there seem to be two recent rules that will instantly condemn even the most promising of frightfests into becoming a frightmess.

Numero Uno (as the Portuguese would say)- NEVER rate a horror movie PG-13

This should be self-explanatory. A horror movie may or may not involve gratuitous breasts (and I'm leaning heavily towards 'may' here), but it must involve things like exploding heads and flesh eating spirits and rotting corpses and intense situations and a healthy dose of profanity. Without these things, it would simply be a Merchant-Ivory, Jane Austen adaptation and we all know how good those are to sleep though, now, don't we? If you are going to have these horrible things in all of their blood-drenched gory glory, how can a reasonable person expect a PG-13 rating? You can't. If all movies were rated PG-13, what would be the point in standing around outside the box office offering to buy R-rated tickets for an extra $2.00? Where's the fun in sneaking into a PG-13 flick? I mean, maybe if you are, like, 6, it might be exciting. But what if you are 12? Or 15? No, no horror movies should be rated PG-13. and the only one that should be rated 'G' is 'Bambi'.

(As a side note, several movies that have 'horror' themes, coincidentally or not many involving Steven Spielberg, may be rated PG and still be good, but just not PG-13. These would include but not be limited to the classic catalogue of fears known as 'Poltergeist' (which is also incredibly funny, and is the sole reason I still sleep with a chair against my closet door), 'Jaws' (which, despite its 'PG', still manages to have both bloody limbs AND naked boobies), and 'Twilight Zone: The Movie', ("Look at that old ape, he looks like an old man..."). Another PG movie that doesn't involve Steven Spielberg is 'Something Wicked This Way Comes', which is not a particularly good movie, nor is it particularly frightening, but it is one of my favorite books, so I'm gonna let it slide.)

Numero Duo- Japanese horror movies suck

First of all, it's been several weeks since I attacked Japanese animation, so I think I can now safely attack Japanese horror movies without being a racist. The rule of thumb on that is "There must be more than two weeks between stereotypical statements classifying an entire nation as one simple group or else you are a racist." So I'm not a racist. I just think Japanese horror movies suck. I'm not talking about American adaptations of Japanese horror movies; these are, like, level Defcon-5 suckiness. These are like making bootleg copies of 'Rush Hour 3'. But the Japanese originals suck in the first place. Every ghost doesn't have to be blue and female and to move all slow with its head hanging down and stringy hair hiding its face, then, suddenly, move all fast up to the camera. And, really, if I wanted to read a movie full of metaphors, I'd watch Ingmar Bergman. And you don't see me doing that now, either, do you?

And if the Japanese horror movies are bad, the American remakes stink worse than month old cheese in my dad's work shoes. I mean, alright, 'The Ring'- wasn't scary, but at least it was something new. 'The Grudge'? Not scary, not new, not good. 'The Ring Two'? 'The Grudge 2'? 'One Missed Call'? Bung-filled, sleep-inducing, crap-infested piles of shinola. And now even movies that aren't remakes, like 'The Messengers', look like remakes of J-horror films, with blue women moving all hurky-jerky in the basement while little blue kids run around the bath tubs upstairs. I have to tell you, I was more frightened of 'The Smurfs'.

(And, of course, there always is the exception. In this case, the exception to the Curse of the Japanese PG-13 Horror Remake is 'Dark Water'. This movie, while also not particularly frightening (outside of its depiction of incredibly bad parenting skills) does have one thing going for it that instantly catapults it into the pantheon of 'Greatest Films Ever'. I'll put this as simply as possible so you slower Internets surfers will understand: Jennifer Connelly, white T-shirt, and 'water'. 'Nuff said. Do the words 'instant classic' have any meaning? I'd say so.)

So those are two rules, no PG-13 and no Japanese horror remakes. So where does that take us now, class?


Seeing as how I like horror films, I have, unfortunately, seen all of the films mentioned above, making them instantly not eligible for a posting on The Frog Blog, despite their general foulness. I have not, however, seen 'Pulse', and, considering it had a domestic gross of around $20 million dollars, I do not think I was alone in not seeing it. For comparison, the classic 'Cabin Boy', starring Chris Elliot, had a gross of $4 million dollars- in 1994 dollars! How, then, do 1994 dollars compare to 2006 dollars? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I am expecting that they are more wrinkly, slightly more torn around the edges, and have some different names on the bottom. So, if you stacked up the 1994 dollar gross of 'Cabin Boy' next to the 2006 gross of 'Pulse', since the dollars from 'Pulse' would be crisper and lie flatter against each other while the older, 'Cabin Boy' dollars would be puffier from all the handling, the stacks would be almost the same height. In other words, 'Pulse' sucks.

But a movie does not suck on box office alone. No, it also sucks on the fact that it is a Japanese-based, PG-13 horror film, breaking both of the rules first introduced almost 400 words ago. You may not know what you'll see going into 'Pulse', but you know what you WON'T see, based on that PG-13 rating- exploding heads, gratuitous nudity, unnecessary profanity, religious slander, animal slaughter, oozing entrails, David Hasselhoff wearing a leotard, flesh-eating, bone-snapping, limb-chopping, or anything else that might be interesting. And, as a matter of fact, I know what you WILL see; a lot of blue people in need of conditioner, alternately shuffling and scampering around, climbing on ceilings, jumping out of TVs and telephones, splashing out of bathtubs, acting like metaphors for past misdeeds, and generally being nuisances to a cast of twenty-something rejects put out of work when the WB was closed down. Is this anyone's idea of scary? Well, actually, it is my idea of scary, but not for the right reasons. And the fact that 2.9 million people actually parted with 7 bucks to see this train wreck in the theater scares me, too, but this time for the future of our society and the good judgement of humankind.

So what's the plot of this film? Oh, the usual 'technology run amok' garbage that the Japanese have been foisting on us since the days of 'Godzilla'. But what does it really matter, considering that THE MOVIE SUCKS!!!

Anyhow, if you must watch a PG-13 Japanese remake, go for Ms. Connelly and her T-shirt in 'Dark Water'. Even better, watch a good, vein-popping R-rated flick like 'The Descent'. The only people I can figure who would choose to watch 'Pulse' would have to be those who don't have one.


Hmm, did you see that? The monitor just went all fuzzy and jumpy, all static-y, when I was trying to type that. Let me try again.


There! It did it again! Only longer! What the- ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTT

What's going on here? That time, I thought I saw a woman's face in the monitor, only she was real pale with dark circles under her eyes. What is going on- ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTT

Ok, someone's hacked my blog. What is this crap? A hand was reaching towards me out of my monitor that time. Who's screwing around out there, huh? I already told you, this Japanese horror crap doesn't scare me! Who is it? Probably one of those bozos from school who used to lock me in my locker, probably looked me up on Well, you don't scare me! I don't know how you're making it so cold in here, but you don't scare me, you here! I'm not scared of this crap, alright? And I'm a big time blogger, now, you hear? So cut it out.

What was that?

Ok, is someone in here? Real funny- wet, bare footprints on the hardwood floors. Funny, ha, ha. My wife is gonna kill you for that. You should have seen her the time I accidentally urinated on-

What was that? Some scratchy sound, like a voice from the grave. A growling, clicking sound. It's done, alright? You've proven your point, J-horror fans. You can stop, now. I-

Ok, something just moved in the shadows of the hallway. Real fast.

Hold on, let me see what that- what the hell...?


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Monday, August 20, 2007

Department of Shameless Plugs

"The Frogs and Their King" is a big brother!

Please welcome the glorious birth of our brand-new, No lbs, No oz little sister!

In an attempt to dominate the entirety of the Internets, we now have joined forces with a sister blog, "Unknown Mysteries of the Strangely Unexplained". Based on scientific research, there are only 3 reasons people ever get on the Internets:

1. Pornography

2. Pop Culture and Entertainment

3. Wacko, kook-fringe ideas

The Frog Blog pretty much covers Numero Duo, so we will now take on Numero Three-o with our sister blog slogging the way through the dark and pasty nooks and crannies of the World Wide Web. And, rest assured, as we strive to become Masters of the Internets, just as soon as I can figure how to upload these full-frontal nude pictures of myself, we'll conqueror Number 1 as well.

In the mean time, remember this handy guide:

Tune in to "The Frogs and Their King" for- Jennifer Connelly, thoughts about Jennifer Connelly, pictures of Jennifer Connelly, poems about Jennifer Connelly, ignorant movie reviews, and anything else about Jennifer Connelly.

Tune in to "Unknown Mysteries of the Strangely Unexplained" for- Weird things, things that stink, ghosts, aliens, chupacabras, mysteries, the aura of Jennifer Connelly, and dog grooming tips and tricks

Now that you know the difference, try it out! It's amazing how many dirty corners there are on the Internets! Click below...if you dare!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Rush Hour 3

"Taking candy from a fish", "Shooting babies in a barrel", "Tipping cows in a, uh, well, in a cow tipper", "Taking babies from a fish", "Shooting candy in a barrel", "Tasting, sucking, licking, nuzzling the forbidden fruit", "Teaching spiders to tap-dance", "Letting the good times roll,"- wait, no, forget that last one- "Teaching dogs to conjugate verbs and perform basic algebraic functions", "Shooting barrels with fish", "Upping the Auntie, uh, anty?", "Barrel rolling candy and fish and babies"- there are many old proverbs about doing things that are too easy and the terrible punishments you will receive for taking the low road. Or maybe you should do things too easy, and make the easy money? Where's an old wife when you need one so I can ask what all this junk means? Honey, can I ask you something-?

-Ow! Alright, already, I wasn't calling you old. Forget it.

Anyhow, these were the sort of sayings that might have been running through my head when I sat down to write this Review of the Ignorant. Or it might have been thoughts about pizza. But, whichever, all I know is that, the moment I sat down to type this, an angel appeared on one shoulder and a devil appeared on the other, just as in all the classic Western texts by Homer, Virgil, Chaucer, and Tex Avery. What follows is an exact, scientific transcript of the conversation taking place on my shoulders:

Angel- "Oh, Matt, it is so great of you to return to the Frog Blog with a 5000 word treatise on how films prior to 1930 just did not have a "Modern Hollywood" sensibility! Your fan (Ed. note: Here, I believe, the Angel is referring to my mother) will be so happy upon reading your glorious and triumphant return!

Devil- "Eh, snoozefest! But did you see this 'Rush Hour 3'? What a load of steaming dung patties that thing looks to be! And I should know- I produced it! You should be able to post on that in what, maybe 4, 5 minutes tops?"

Angel- " 'Rush Hour 3'? You must be kidding! Anyone with sight, or even a audio description machine, or even a strong sense of vibrations, can see that that is a flaming disaster without setting foot in a theater. It is beneath your talents, Matt, to write a review of something like that. Already, critics across the country have written reviews of 'Rush Hour 3'. Do you think any of them actually watched the movie? Hell- I mean, Heck no! No one outside of the lunatic asylum would question whether 'Rush Hour 3' sucks."

Devil- "Ha! I shut down the lunatic asylums years ago! They're all in the general prison population now! Write the 'Rush Hour 3' review, post the sucker, and let's order that delicious, slightly homoerotic "All the Meats" pizza you've been craving. You may still have an artery or two that is clear, and that should do the trick."

Angel- "Matt! I implore you! Stick with the original plan of a pre-1930 comparison essay! And eat an apple while you're doing it! Do not go down the path of destruction and struggling circulation by posting an easy 'Rush Hour 3' post! Take a challenge! Take a stand! Take a-"

Devil- "Ah, you take a crap, Angel. Have you even looked at the title of this post?"

Angel- "What?"

Devil- "Look at the title and tell me what path this jerk is taking. Go ahead, scroll up and check it out"

Angel- "Hold on...scrolling...Oh, Merciful Father! There is such thing as predestination! You will find no righteousness in 'Rush Hour 3'! Your path is sealed, Matt! Disappoint everyone with a pointless and repetitive review of this smoldering chunk of brimstone! But don't ask me for help the next time you have a job review! Take your "Unsatisfactory" like a man!"

The Angel disappears

Devil- "Ah, now that that loser is outta here, let's post this sucker and get that order in. And throw some extra cheese on that pizza! I'll be sure and spread that around your left ventricle!"

Rush Hour 3

First, in the interest of the Fairness Doctrine, let me disclose that I have seen a preview of 'Rush Hour 3'. It was a preview most foul that I felt like clawing my eyes from my head and asking for my money back before the actual movie even started. In fact, I did ask for my money back, but I do that every time I go to the cinema, and, that way, I've been going on the same $6.00 since 1987. That aside, though, the preview for 'Rush Hour 3' made three things absolutely clear: 1) It is set in Paris (or, as the French would say, Paris) B) It is loud and III) It sucks.

But I get ahead of myself.

I can assure you that I have never seen 'Rush Hour 3' and that I never will. In fact, if I ever do, I will remove myself from society and live under an assumed name in Brazil along with Elvis and all the escaped Nazis. I have also never seen 'Rush Hour 1' or '2', but, apparently, someone has, because they keep making them. When I see on one hand that there are people in the world dying of hunger, unable to obtain potable water, unable to keep warm, being slaughtered in unjust civil wars, and contracting horrible diseases, yet, on the other hand, millions of dollars are being spent not only on 'Rush Hour 1' and 'Rush Hour 2', but also on 'Rush Hour 3', I suddenly question the judgement of humankind, and I shed a single, slow tear, just as my Native American grandfather did in his commercial. In fact, in a show of activism rare for the Frog Blog, I encourage anyone who has even said "We could go to 'Rush Hour 3'" or even thought about going to 'Rush Hour 3' or looked at the films showing at the local Magestoplex and thought "Oh, 'Rush Hour 3'" to go immediately to the Charity Navigator website at , choose a well-rated charity, and, as penitence for spending thought energy on this foul concoction, give the total amount you would have spent on 'Rush Hour 3' tickets to that charity. If you have already seen 'Rush Hour 3', may God have mercy on your soul. Head immediately to the religious figure of your choice and confess to what you have done. THEN go to , choose a well-rated charity, and give TWO TIMES what you spent on tickets for this monstrosity in attempt to show an act of true repentance. I only hope, for your eternal salvation, that you sneaked in without paying after seeing "The Simpsons Movie".

Now that we are all back on solid moral footing, what is this disaster about? Well, the black guy bugs his eyes out, sings, talks in a real high voice that is really annoying, and gets whacked in the crotch by some hard object. The Chinese guy can't speak English, sings, does his own stunts, and gets whacked in the crotch by some hard object. There's a lot of shooting, some kind of stunts on the Eiffel Tower, and, in the end, the black guy and the Chinese Guy learn that black people and Chinese people are not so different, in that neither will make as much as a white man and both get hurt when they are whacked in the crotch by hard objects.

The characters are more life-like in 'Ratatoullie', the homosexual undertones less apparent in 'The Last Tango in Paris', the connections are more French in "The French Connection", and the music less horrible in "Moulin Rouge". To sum it up (because, well, this pizza ain't gonna eat itself, you know) let us turn for a final opinion to our brothers from across the pond who, out of eternal gratitude for us always saving their ass, have given us the Fry, the Kiss, the Toast, and the Manicure:

"Le film 'Rush Hour 3' est un gros morceau énorme et stinky du merde qui m'incite à vouloir au waggle mes pièces privées à votre tante et fart dans votre direction générale."

Well said!

My Rating: 0 Stars and a big chunk o' merde

Trivia: Due to a partnership with the CIA designed to undercut the credibility of the Chinese throughout the world, every English-language movie starring Jackie Chan is purposefully designed to suck fat donkey dongs. No one is quite sure, despite several "Freedom of Information Act" requests, what the deal is with Chris Tucker.

More Trivia: This is the 1st Ignorant Review in the history of the Frog Blog that I could not work in a reference to the gorgeous Jennifer Connolly, primarily out of the belief that Ms. Connolly and 'Rush Hour 3' should not be mentioned in the same posting, out of respect for the incredible Ms. Connolly. However, since I now find myself with tears in my eyes for not having typed her name in this posting, I'm typing it now, under the guise of trivia. But please be aware- Not even the presence of the luminous and stunningly beautiful Jennifer Connolly would make something as offensive as 'Rush Hour 3' bearable. She would know this herself, and the only way she would ever have anything to do with the production of a 'Rush Hour' film is as a guise to get on the set and, acting as an incredibly fit, white tank-top wearing ninja, destroy all camera equipment in order to shut down production and free the world from it's dependency on crappy movies.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ye Strang Talle Tale Regarding Dwarfes and a Lazy Gentelfellow

Ok, where have I been? Well, you see, it's a long story, and it all started a long time ago, when the critters were closer to the folks, and the folks were closer to the critters. It was long ago, like three weeks, and it goes a little something like this...

Once, there was a man. This man was a friend of mine; I mean, I knew him; I mean, ok, he was me. And this man, who was me, was harangued and harassed by his loving wife for being a slovenly and lazy bum. Now any self-respecting lazy bum of a man can only take so much haranguing and harassing before he has to get out of the house, and, somewhere between "Look at that grass! It's been so long since it was cut, I'm afraid the Viet Cong will come charging out of it!" and "When are you going to change this oil in this car! Black goo is oozing out of the tailpipe!" and "Is it too much to ask that a dish be picked up rather than kicked under the couch?", the poor man, who was me, couldn't take it any more, and announced in a voice that indicated quite clearly that, even if he didn't wear the pants around the house, he was not afraid to go out pantless, telling his wife, "That's it! I can't take this any more! I'm going bowling!"

But the usual bowling alley was in the middle of "Extreme! B-Owling! Night!", and the man knew that the music of Boston combined with strobe lights was a recipe for a migraine, so he headed on down the street to see if there was another bowling alley, or at least a curling course. It was then that the man, who, in case I haven't said it, was me, found a new bowling alley that he had never seen before, so he headed in. This bowling alley was obviously geared towards a very specific demographic (as should have been indicated by the abundance of handicap spaces outside), and there was no one bowling that night except dwarfs. "Hey, Godzilla!" the dwarfs yelled in greetings, "How's the weather up there?" The man thought about tossing a few dwarfs in retaliation, but then thought better of it, and instead stooped over to join the dwarfs in a game of bowling. But his feet didn't fit in the rental shoes (which all had 'Toy Story' on the sides anyhow) and his fingers didn't fit into the holes of the ball, and he decided that he didn't feel much like bowling anyhow. "Have a drink of our special home brew!" one of the dwarfs squeaked in his dwarfish voice, and he handed the man, who was me, a shot glass of some amber liquid that the man gulped down and almost tasted in the process.

"That might have been good," I, I mean, the man, said, "But I'll need another to tell for sure. In fact, make it a double. In fact, make it a quintuple."

The dwarfs all laughed at this, and proceeded to bring the man many more drinks of their special bowling alley home brew. Soon, after forty or fifty shot glasses of this drink, the man began to feel tired, and asked if he could lay his head down on one of the tiny, plastic bowling alley chairs and take a rest. Not waiting for the reply, and not caring that there were tiny pieces of Chiclet-sized gum stuck to the chair, the man dropped to his side (crushing several dwarfs in the process) and fell fast asleep.

20 years, uh, no, make that 20 days later...

When the man awoke, a great many years, uh, oh, days had passed, like 20. The bowling alley was gone, and the man was ashamed to see that he had been sleeping in an alley behind the "Sav-A-Lot" grocery store. Just as he awoke, a boy carrying a large turkey was walking past.

"Pray tell, young lad, what day is it?" the man yelled.

The boy carrying the turkey started to cry. "If you are a pervert, please don't violate me! I'm just taking this turkey home to my mother for our holiday dinner, and, since it is 6 months from the holidays, she was hoping to get a real good deal on it. And I don't know if we're late from last year's holidays or early for next year's, but-"

"Shut up!" the man yelled. "Shut your mouth about perverts and turkeys and tell me what day is it?"


The man rolled his eyes. "Ok, turkey boy, but what day of August is it?"

The boy shrugged. "I don't know. Like the 15th, maybe?"

The man's eyes bugged out in comical surprise. "But, surely, that cannot be! It was only the 25th day of July when I was heading to the bowling alley, and now, here, many years-"

"Days," the boy corrected.

"-days have passed, and I am much confounded." The man rubbed his forehead to demonstrate his confounding. "Let me ask of you a few questions, just to know I am in the correct world. Of course, Karl Rove is still the closest advisor of President George W. Bush, correct?"

"Uh, no. He resigned."

"What?" The man's world rocked in confusion. "What? Turd-blossom! Not in the White House! The horror!! Yet I know this, by far the safest toys for children, they're made by Mattel, correct?"

"Uh, no. Those toys all got recalled for being painted with lead paint, and the head of the Chinese company that made them killed himself."

The man began to swoon. "But, surely, Jennifer Connolly is still the most beautiful woman on the planet, correct?"

The boy appeared quizzical. "Who?"

"AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!" The man felt that a world where Jennifer Connolly was not the most beautiful woman on the Earth was not a world worth living in. But there was one thing, one thing only left, that could anchor the man, make him realize he was truly still connected with his life. "Tell me, good lad, the blog known as 'The Frogs and Their King', this is still the best place to find ignorant reviews of films the author has never seen, correct?"

The boy smiled so big his face hit the turkey. "Yeah, 'The Frog Blog'! It's the greatest site on the Internets! Love it! It's where I always go for any info on movies never seen! I wouldn't miss it! But, sadly, it hasn't been updated for almost 20 days! And the Internets, they are just a little dimmer because of that."

The man was so overjoyed that he knocked the boy over running home. Unfortunately, he had prepared himself for the sad news that his wife had died during his extended sleep. But, being that it had only been 20 days, she was actually just really pissed that he hadn't been home and immediately started to harangue and harass him that there were dishes that needed washed and bills needed paid and the dog needed his toenails cut, etc, etc, etc, et al, et al (as the French would say).

All of which the man promptly ignored and began preparing a brand spanking new post to the Frog Blog.

And that, my friends, is the true story of why it has been so long between posts.

'Nighty 'night, boys and girls. I promise a new review tomorrow.

(P.S. Sadly, the boy in the above story was ignorant and got all his ideas of attractive women from the tabloids and the copy of "Jugs" he had stolen from his dad's sock drawer, neither of which is a place you would find a woman of the beauty and refinement of Jennifer Connolly. So, when the boy said she was not the most beautiful woman in the world, he was sadly simply ignorant. Of course, in actuality, Jennifer Connolly was, is, and always will be the most beautiful woman in existence. Amen. And, until the boy chooses to embrace his education, he will alwasy be a poor nobody struggling for existance in a capitalistic world.)