Posted tagged ‘terrible’

Memorial Day – Holiday Review

May 31, 2010

FLAGGRAVESFIREWORKS!

Fire up the BBQ and hose down the BBW, it’s Memorial Day once again! Federally mandated, it’s a solemn day of respectful reflection and INCREDIBLE DEALS ON ELECTRONICS! Seen by many as the official kickoff weekend of summer, Memorial Day is actually a nationally recognized Holiday where we’re supposed to remember those who gave their lives for this country, preserving our freedom here and overseas. I know a lot of you kids with your black fingernail polish, Hot Topic gift certificates and revolutionary rock music may disagree, but in all seriousness I love this country with all my heart and, contrary to how this paragraph may read, take the sacrifice those before us have made to ensure our tremendous fortune pretty seriously. So now, them in mind, let’s take a look at Memorial Day.

Like all good things, Memorial Day originated with black people. In the 1860s following the Civil War, Freedmen (former slaves who were now freed men) began dedicating a day to moving their fallen Union brethren from the mass Confederate graves into proper individual burials. This day (originally May 1st) was marked with sermons, prayers and picnics. Commemorating graves soon became custom in America, ultimately resulting in the holiday being officially named “Decoration Day” in 1868. This date was later moved to May 30th as it “Wasn’t the anniversary of a battle.” There was also a separate day of remembrance for Confederate soldiers on June 3rd until the 1968 Uniform Holidays Bill which moved the now universal Memorial Day to the final Monday of May, giving us all a three-day weekend. Seeing that Memorial Day had its origins in the Civil War and the World War vets wanted their own designated day, Veterans Day was created in 1971 to add more specificity to the original May holiday.

Memorial Day!

Of course, when you’re a child, Memorial Day is the greatest tease of summer there is. Typically the last “day off” before the final week of school, the sleeping in and outdoor shenanigans are that first hit that makes the last four or so day of class unbearable. This made Memorial Day all good until you hit high school and it became a day of “Study” before 2-3 days of nonstop finals. Then the holiday became one of procrastination where I just watched Combat Shock or Naked Lunch and listened to the Lunachicks while I walked around the park or something. Once college (rock and) rolled around and classes ended three weeks prior, I began really observing what the Holiday was about, visiting graveyard and watching actual parades honoring our brave veterans.

But being an obscure rap fan, when I think of Memorial Day, I first think of this –

Possibly the worst anything No Limit ever released.

Wow. What an awful, awful, awful, awful, awful album. I know many of you probably consider “awful” and “No Limit” to go together like a horse and carriage. But ask the local Kangas and he will say “well, during their decade-long existence, No Limit put out 140 (!) releases and by the law of averages, they all can’t suck.” I’m more of a No Limit apologist than most, to the point where four years ago I was writing a book about the label and dove deep into their catalog. I stand by Fiend, Young Bleed, Mac, Tru, Kane & Abel, Mystikal and Mr. Serv-On all having put out good-to-great ahead of their time* albums on the label, but even then I’m not delusional enough to not acknowledge that the tank fired off some of the absolute worst rap CDs and Tapes of all time. Even as someone who owns the Lil Soldiers record, I can state with some authority that Full Blooded’s Memorial Day is quite possibly the far-and-away absolute worst.

“Dog S***,” the apropos above track, is all the evidence I need. Beginning with butchering a Geto Boys quote in an attempted homage, Full Blooded ruins an alright Beats by the Pound production with some of the absolute worst rapping ever released on a national level. Half riding the “I’m a dog” theme, the garbled voice and mushmouthed delivery is Master P’s door-prize record deal distributing at its worst. Not to base an album off one song, but folks, this is as good as it gets. 70+ minutes of Beats By the Pound production wasted on this awful, awful, awful rapper. The saddest part about this is how awesome the packaging looks. Classic No Limit blood-red plastic with a cover that once inspired a friend of mine to write “My grandma is going to be so pissed that Full Blooded is f***ing with my grandpa’s grave at Fort Snelling. He was a paratrooper who fought for his country! You have no right Mr. Blooded!”

So on this Memorial Day, the only day sacred enough to not have a horror film themed after it, remember the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms around the world. Don’t remember the awful album you wouldn’t have known about had I not just written about it and brought it to your attention just now. Cool? Alright, let’s go shopping!

We give the holiday Memorial Day a Four Out of Five.

We give the Full Blooded album Memorial Day a One out of Five.

So until next time…Let’s Agree to Agree!

*Remember “conscious” rap fans that No Limit rapper Mac had a song chastising the ignorance of homophobia on his 1999 album World War III at a time when the ever-enlightened Common and Mos Def were letting the word “faggot” fly left and right. Mad progressive, yo.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – One Year Later

April 30, 2010

Genesis 18:20

During his 1817 visit to Florence, Italy, French author Henri-Marie Beyel fell victim to a psychosomatic illness now known as Stendahl Syndrome. Characterized by fainting, catatonia and intense hallucinations triggered by being overwhelmed by art, it is believed to be the result of a literal sensory overload. With the majority of the outbreaks happening in Florence where works are particularly lush and plentiful, one could make the argument their art having such an impact the highest compliment an artist could receive. But what about when a work of art causes an overtly negative reaction that pushes its viewers to the absolute limit causing a passionate outburst of violent anger? So was the opening night screening of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or as actor Steven Trolinger put it, “the worst thing that has ever happened.”

It’s hard to believe one year has passed since the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, henceforth referred to as The Events of 5/1. Before we continue, I’d like to point out that I absolutely do not care in the slightest about a film’s faithfulness to its source material. While my familiarity with the Marvel Universe is above-average, I can recognize that comics and film are both different mediums and can divorce the merits of one when evaluating the other. My loathing for this film isn’t because I feel some nostalgic loyalty, but rather because it is an absolute abomination on every imaginable level.

Leviticus 18:25.

For every hyperbolic critique people tend to lob at a movie, this was perhaps the first time that all of them were true. Most glaringly, there was no plot. No story. At all. Some of you reading this now may remember thinking the “movie” was “OK,” “wasn’t that bad” or that you even “liked it.” Well riddle me this, what was the “movie” about? I challenge you, in once sentence, to describe The Events of 5/1. The whole 82 minute running time is an attention-deficit fueled* experiment in human endurance. Don’t get it twisted, I love a good summer blockbuster shiny-go-boomy movie as much as the next real American, but if I’m going to turn my brain off I don’t need it pried from my skull.

“Director” Gavin Hood is the “film’s” cinematic angel of death. His inept handling of The Events of 5/1 seems to almost be intentional. Either that, or he has perhaps never seen a motion picture before and doesn’t understand how they work. Evidence for this is seen in an overhead shot of a character looking to the sky and screming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” happening no less than FOUR (4) times in the film. Even what would be the film’s highlight, the opening scene of Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, some truly inspired casting) smart-mouthing a room full of soon dead bad guys, becomes inverted into one of the film’s greatest flaws as we don’t see the character for another seventy minutes until he returns with his mouth sown shut and everything endearing about the character removed.

Psalms 7:14

But the silver lining in the F-5 funnel cloud that was The Events of 5/1 was seeing it opening night in New York City and, for the first time, seeing an entire audience turn on a “film.” Even with the bootleg leaking over a month prior** the entire theater was sold out and packed into Union Square like chickens in a slaughterhouse. The first five minutes seemed fine, heroic action was cheered and one-liners were repeated with the word “bitch” added to the end, all-in-all a typical opening night Manhattan screening. But then, the first “NOOOOOOOO” happen and the audience stared in dumbfounded silence. Were we not in on some joke? Ten minutes later, serious revelations were met with laughter, moments of heartbreak were heckled and action sequences were met with outright groans. Yes, it was that bad and this summer movie “opening weekend” audience knew it. It got so bad that when the credits rolled, the audience (and I swear to gosh this happened) rose to their feet and BOO’ed the movie while pelting the screen with garbage. There was no smattering of applause as rows of disenchanted moviegoers cleared the theater row-by-row with heads hung like a Catholic funeral. When it came time for the bonus scene at the end of the credits, I optimistically yelled from the balcony “HANG ON EVERYBODY, THIS IS GOING TO REDEEM EVERYTHING!” not anticipating that us remaining moviegoers were to be subjected to the absolute worst most hackneyed written moment of dialogue in the history of cinema. The audience boo’ed again, and we all went out separate ways in order to drink to forget.

1 Kings 21:20

With it still having an impressive weekend and Fox hoping to make a sequel and several spinoffs, some are clamoring for a reboot of the franchise. I disagree as, living in a world where X-Men Origins: Wolverine was made and released, I think we need a reboot of humanity as a whole. It’s important that we never forget the Events of 5/1 or else we are doomed to repeat them. Just as the Bush Administration will be defined by 9/11, Obama’s legacy will be that of letting The Events of 5/1 happen under his watch. I attempted to find a copy of the film to listen to the director’s commentary, hoping there would be some explanation for letting such an atrocity take place, but it’s been stripped from all the copies at rental outlets and only made available through the deluxe $34.99 Blu-Ray edition of the film and I flat-out refuse to contribute any more to their evil empire.

We Give X-Men Origins: Wolverine aka The Events of 5/1 a Zero Out of Five

Until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*Realistically speaking, if there was a fuel for the film it would be some mixture of Surge, Red Bull and the liquid at the bottom of the ham in your Lunchables.

**A bootleg which, in all honesty, is a superior cut if only for using the scores of The Dark Knight and Transformers in place of Harry Gregson-Williams’ series of noises.

MY FAVORITE NUTZOIDS: Sylvia Browne!

March 22, 2010

My Spiritual Predecessor.

This is the first entry in a new series here at Popular Opinions called My Favorite Nutzoids where I will be covering the goofballs, wackos and weirdies that make the internet such a wonderful place. As you know, this world’s full of some incredible people with captivating stories to share. Coincidentally, it’s also full of people who are awful. People who’ve not only failed at awesomeness but refused to settle for mediocrity and shifted into full blown awfulness. Fortunately for us, said awfulness has been captured on video and archived forever and ever right here on the internet. Our first Nutzoid – famed “psychic” Sylvia Browne.

Ghastly Windbag Sylvia Browne

I’ve never taken issue with psychics the way most have. From Miss Cleo to medium John Edwards, they’ve suckered the sad and desperate into a magic world they can believe in. The branding of their ilk as “Psychics” lends them a credibility that has made folks who should have known better assume that they’re talking with an authority on their own future. It’s incredibly parasitic but really just equates to a time-killing parlor trick that some people take too seriously. The Psychic friends and family plan has always noted their advice is “for entertainment purposes only,” thus I’ve never faulted them so much as the people who ascribe to them and still believe Marilyn Manson is the rib-removing auto-fillating puppy-killing Paul from “The Wonder Years.” You might as well be mad at strippers for not loving you.

This book contains a 'Map of Heaven.' No, seriously.

Sylvia Browne, however, is of a different breed. When merely convincing others that she can communicate with voices from beyond the grave* just wasn’t cutting it, she decided to go as far as to contribute her unsolicited predictions to law enforcement officials and grieving parents around the world. It’s not enough to simulate hope or, worst-case scenario, help a deluded soul find peace. She wants to be known as a modern prophet, as THE medium between Heaven and Earth. I first discovered her about five years ago when a friend of mine was going through a rough loss of a loved one and she had Browne’s book Life On the Other Side in clear view and told me it was helping her out. If you’ve never seen it, it’s not made to look like a mystic or enchanted book of secrets, but masquerades as a legitimate self-help grief counseling book. So you can imagine my surprise when I flipped through a few pages and found that the book contain an “actual” Map of Heaven. Seriously. She drew up a map of Heaven and published it under something other than “a bunch of stuff I just made up for fun.” That’s loopy enough, but THEN, a few months later, these clips here happened:

Hopefully you watched both clips to gauge what a despicable entity this toad of a woman is. You saw in the first clip how she “doesn’t care” what the autopsy said as if to serve these grieving parents some enlightened truth. That’s awful on all cylinders. But then to claim the second woman’s husband DROWNED on 9/11! That’s something not even the conspiracy theorists who believe the US Government crashed two Gyradoses into the Twin Towers would believe. There’s so many telling things in these clips. Look at how immediately dejected and dissatisfied the inquirers are. Revel in how Montel Williams, a human being so boring most scientists consider him not a solid but a gas who talks, attempts to excuse this pushy broad’s unbudging communications into thinking they’re in any way accurate. Gawk at how this woman, in the face of the most blinding inaccuracies, maintains her correctness. And that’s just when she’s been proven wrong. Look at the liberties she takes when mortality has already silenced any possible disagreements:

Watch the way she croaks out “Youknowthisisrealyhardtotellyouyourfatherisnotyourfather.” She’s an obnoxious classless rhinoceros mercilessly charging the worst kind of disgusting pretentiousness toward any listening ears. The worst part of it all is that she preys on the most sympathetic of audiences and she’s not even a good guesser. Her most infamous moment came two years ago when she told the parents of kidnapped child Shawn Hornbeck that not only was their child dead, but described in great detail how it happened and where the body is. Four years later, Hornbeck was found ALIVE AND WELL and said firsthand how NOTHING in Browne’s reading was remotely close to right. Behold:

(make sure you have annotataions on)

Would writing that she’s the worst woman alive be slanderous? No, because print is libel. Would it be libelous? Well, let’s take a look at things from her publicist’s perspective. Here, the homie Anderson Cooper examines just about ALL of Browne’s most (self-)championed victories. In consideration of Browne’s credibility, consider this the 360 finishing move:

Now that we’ve heard from all sides of the issue, I think we can agree she is an unrelentingly irredeemable human being. An unholy amalgamation of Dionne Warwick and Jabba the Hut, she personifies everything wrong with the psychic movement and liars in general. She is arguably Western Civilization’s least-redeeming modern abomination and is further proof that all that glitters isn’t Browne. The verdict: Sylvia Browne is a Nutzoid.

As a human being we give Sylvia Brown a One Out of Five.

Until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*And from the looks of her, it looks like she can communicate with those from beyond the gravy AMIRITE?

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Movie Review

November 12, 2009

A motion picture has the power to inform, educate, enlighten or simply be a needed escape. No one type of film serves that last purpose better than summer blockbusters. What is it about the season of rejuvenation that makes us want to soak up the sun and then enter a dark theater to see things explode? Whatever it is, it’s a formula that’s worked for years. But now that the spectacle of the “movie house” has to compete with that of the home entertainment system and on-demand access, can a summer blockbuster serve a similar purpose as loud exploding home entertainment? I attempted just that with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

"Transformers?" More like "Suckformers!"

Although I missed the film during its initial theatrical run as I spent a month in the hospital recovering from global pandemic known as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I did have certain expectations from being caught up in nationwide Transfever. While most reviews were overwhelmingly negative, even by “Directed by Michael Bay” standards, my friends went out in droves. The most vocal response was that of my white friends, who thought the film was “Racist.” The second most vocal was that of my black friends, who thought it was “Awesome.” Moviegoer opinions aside, I had nothing but positive things to say about the tremendous promotional tie-in with Burger King whose delectable “Double Stackticon” sandwich based on the movie remains the single greatest movie-based sandwich since the “Rodeo Burger” from 1999’s Small Soldiers. Not unlike the “Rodeo Burger,” the “Double Stackticon” was flame-broiled and delicious. Too bad the movie wasn’t nearly as satisfying.

There aren’t enough profanities in existence to describe how I felt watching this two-and-a-half hour long toy commercial/sitcom hybrid. From the needlessly dizzying opening credits to the “who cares” conclusion, watching this convoluted hodgepodge of lights and sounds felt like some sort of penance. A person I’ve wronged flashed in front of my eyes every time Megan Fox “attempted” “acting.” I heard my mother cry every time a evil robot was revealed. By the time the credits rolled, I looked down and saw my palms bleeding. This isn’t so much a movie as a propaganda piece sent to Earth from a superior species to convince us that we don’t deserve dominion over such a majestic planet and will hand these galactic overlords the wheel without so much as a protest or a plea. I did not like this motion picture.

I’m sure some of you are wondering “how could a sequel to a movie nobody really liked about trucks that turn into robot aliens really not deliver what it promised?” Well, as someone who enjoyed the precursor more than most, let me count the ways. First of all, in a film franchise it’s the role of the sequel to answer questions the previous film left open while improving upon its mistakes and added new elements to keep the viewer interested enough for another installment. Here, despite complaints that the first Transformers film was too long and focused too much on the Shia LaBeouf-Megan Fox love story, we have an even longer film that focuses even more so on the only two leading characters who can’t turn into trucks. LaBeouf has surprisingly become quite the actor, which makes it all the more frustrating that in a film where hordes of giant violent robots are fighting over the secrets of their own origin buried in his head, he’s saddled with a painfully unfunny subplot about entering college life with an irritating conspiracy nut roommate.

But the biggest issue with the original was Bay’s direction of the fight scenes where the camera comes so close, you can’t tell what’s happening on screen. While the sequel does, instead, borrow heavily from the Japanese style of shooting-giant-fighting-monsters movies, most of the action occurs in an uninhabited desert. How massive are these robots? We can’t tell because, with nothing to contrast size with, we’re left with history’s loudest most expensive particularly obnoxious episode of “Battlebots” ever. Did I mention the addition of two jive-talkin’ bug eyed gold-toothed robots? A failure on every conceivable level, this is one case where I have to update the old adage and say, honestly, the burger was better.

We give Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a 1 Out of 5

Until next time, let’s agree to agree!