Showing posts with label schadenfreude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label schadenfreude. Show all posts

Friday, February 17, 2017

Regret Watch: Fifty Shades Darker (2017) - Pumpkin Spiced Softcore

Editor's Note:  This post is full of spoilers, judgment, bad judgment, semi-frank talk that admits to the existence of sex and particular sexual preferences.  It's also too long and I regret everything.

While those of you who don't follow your worst instincts were out seeing Lego Batman, I spent my movie-going weekend once again teamed up with AmyC, taking in Fifty Shades Darker (2017), the Twilight fan-fiction gone rogue which has taken on a life of its own as a beast of unstoppable proportions.  We attended an official "rowdy" screening at The Alamo Drafthouse, where audience members were encouraged to provide their own Springer-esque "whoooooo"s and "ooooooooh"s.  Really, a sensible approach in a theater that serves some pretty decent cocktails, and one deployed during Magic Mike screenings, I am led to understand.

My interest in the Fifty Shades phenomenon is at least 1-part anthropological study.  There's some schadenfreude in there and definitely some straight up morbid curiosity.  But I am curious as to what-goes-on out there in the movie-going world of which I am not a part, especially when something is a huge success, and I am pretty far outside the demographic.

Unlike my go at seeing the first film in this series, I did no legwork to prepare.  With no review of the prior film,  I mostly forgot the subplots and minor characters from the first movie, recalling the movie as a blur of boredom, threadbare plotting, inane dialog, oddly dull sex and vexing characterization.  If the mark of a good movie worthy of a sequel is that you want to spend more time with the characters (see: Guardians of the Galaxy), Fifty Shades of Grey did nothing to make me care what was happening to either character.

That said - I am not the target demo.  I like talking raccoons with machine guns.

But, here we are. two years later, and I have borne witness to Fifty Shades Darker, the second in the inevitable trilogy of movies about Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, and based, glaringly, on episodically written fan-fiction.  While I am the first to say that this is better than the first installment (less in the way of tastefully shot, lengthy sex scenes that felt like moving stills from a Sears catalog), it's still a movie with a lot of questionable messaging, tremendously bad plotting, open-ended questions that will never be resolved, and two people that - after two movies of watching them go - one no longer just finds dull but cringe-worthy.

But, if CW-worthy characterization unevenly sprinkled with some pretty basic sex on screen (a huge novelty here in 2017) is your thing, man, have I got a movie for you.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why Did I Do This? Watch: Can't Stop the Music (1980)

"I can't believe you haven't seen this movie," my boss said to me.  "It's terrible."
And, me, never one to shirk from a challenge, saw that it was, indeed, free on Amazon Prime.
Hubris is always punished, my friends.

To complain about a movie that convinced a group of people to found The Razzies is a somewhat pointless endeavor.  But, yeah, you can absolutely see how this movie would have convinced someone to make sure the ineptitude of the filmmaking got its own special notice.  It's a movie so bad, you kind of feel like maybe you'd go crazy if forced to watch it two or three times in a row - a designation I reserve for a very few films of the Manos: The Hands of Fate variety.

In some ways, it feels like a 1940's Mickey Rooney/ Judy Garland film, as a songwriter (Steve f-ing Guttenberg) and former model (Valerie Perrine) put together an act and put on a show, recruiting their upstairs neighbor (who happens to always dress as a a Native American stereotype) and some guys they know from the disco (a portion of what is to become The Village People).  The old-timey tone may make sense when you find out it was directed by Rosie, the Bounty Towel pitch-lady/ Rhoda's mom/ comedienne who appeared with Mickey Rooney in films, Nancy Walker.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ouch. A Little DC Comics Schadenfreude for your evening.

Immature? Yes.
Unnecessary? Yes.
Hilarious? Absolutely.

Read more about DC's PR goofs at The Outhouse.

A functioning sign for keeping track of how often DC Comics has done something publicly very stupid.

All this as they cancel another slate of books, alienate another round of readers, and the publishing side erodes into a nu-metal album cover and licensing flails around, still making money but relying mostly on movie materials and pre-1986 images.

Thanks to CanadianSimon for the link.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Signal Watch Goes Loco: Taco Time

You know, when we said we were going out of town a lot of people asked us "where are you going to eat?" or made suggestions for where we should go. In fact, nobody seemed to care what touristy stuff we were going to do, all anybody talked about was restaurants.  Chicago is a vast tapestry of food options, and I appreciate all the suggestions, but could not possibly have considered travelling to even a quarter of what was suggested due to geography and other factors.  

Do not worry:  We had our day of nice meals where we had a terrific breakfast and a stellar dinner, but, seriously, I'm not made out of money, and unless all we were going to do in this center of culture and history was pat ourselves on the back for eating poached mushrooms or whatever the hell, our money was going elsewhere during this trip.

Don't worry, we ate in a couple tourist dumps and paid plenty. But I also ate lunch one day from the refrigerated section at CVS. And yet, somehow, still managed to have a swell time.

But, if you're looking for a food adventure, the great thing about America is that you need never go far. On the way back from the airport, Jamie said "just go get Taco Bell", and indeed, we did.

I took the opportunity to get myself the Doritos Loco Taco.

There it is in all it's glory.  It looks and smells pretty much like a Taco Bell crunchy taco.  The shell is lightly dusted with the Doritos cheese, notorious for finding its way onto one's fingers and then their white linen pants leaving orange fingerprints.  Fortunately, Taco Bell lovingly wraps each taco in a specialized cardboard taco protector so one need never muss their fingers, nor stain their favorite seersucker suit.

Here I am moments from tasting the taco.  I'm pretty excited.  Jamie really was discouraging this whole enterprise and probably would have supported me just chucking the damn thing in the trash.

Here I am enjoying my first, savory bite and trying to comprehend the wild palette of flavors hitting my tongue.

That's not a thumbs up of awesomeness.  That's a thumbs-up of "I'm not going to barf".  The truth is, the taco isn't all that bad.  It basically tastes like everything else at Taco Bell, only there's a mild zing of that Doritos cheese flavor somewhere in there.

To be honest, it's nether good nor bad.  Your mileage will vary depending on whether you like Taco Bell crunchy tacos to begin with, and if you like the flavor of Doritos.  My guess is that the demographic for Doritos and Taco Bell is a near total-eclipse on the Venn Diagram.  Whether it's worth the extra money for you to taste the weird faux-cheesiness of Doritos (something I'm usually only into when beer is involved) is up to you.

Apparently Taco Bell has already sold more of these than there are people in the US, so I guess the matter of whether this was a good idea will settle itself.

Friday, December 23, 2011

For Christmas, I look like a villain

So, I've been off work since Wednesday at 5:00.  Thus, the last time I shaved was early Wednesday morning.

Before heading out to the gym today, I decided to do some shaving.  If I don't shave, and I sweat, my face can really start to break out.

I use an electric razor.  Something about real razors that close to my jugular has always freaked me out, so I spend money every couple of years on a Norelco or Braun electric razor.  Of late, I've used a foil razor.  It sort of does the trick.  But with a foil razor, if you wait too long between shaves, it can actually hurt a bit as you scrape your face.  But, of course aside from redness which immediately goes away, no big deal.

Today while I was shaving, I noticed the usual slight discomfort was a bit amplified and of a different, sharper character.  I looked at the razor and noticed nothing out of the ordinary, so I went back to shaving, and it seemed to get worse.  And then I noticed I was actually bleeding a little.

This is what I did to myself:

the red in my eye if just from an overabundance of Yuletide Spirit
So I scratched the living hell out of myself, and now - I look like a villain in a 90's movie.  Just in time for Christmas.

The scratches should be part of a cautionary tale, like: oh, you can tell he fought a bear.  But in my case, it looks like I lost a fight to a cat.  Which isn't as cool.

Apparently Jamie noticed my razor fell over and put it back.  What neither or us noticed was that the foil was damaged.  Because my razor was sitting where it always sits, I couldn't figure out what changed between Wednesday morning and today, and just assumed I was a bigger wimp today than in every other preceding day.  Until the blood.

See, this is how I know I'm going to die in a completely preventable manner.  "Oh, you mean you shouldn't just wake up with your pillow soaked in your own blood every morning?  I just thought that was part of getting older."

I am an idiot.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Forever Lazy" - so, are we going "Wall-E" or more "Idiocracy" with this one?

What really caught my attention was that this product pitches itself as essentially creating less work for the user than a Snuggie/ Slanket.

What then caught my attention was that this product has a butt-hatch, and is damned proud of this particular throw-back/ innovation.

Today, I am fascinated with the new product, arrived just in time for cold weather and the holidays - the "Forever Lazy" one-piece garment of regret.

I suppose it would be poor marketing to sell this thing as the "The Official Wardrobe of Just Giving Up".

I love the value statement ideas, like "party it up with friends".  As if I will (a) buy my friends "Forever Lazy" sweat inducers, or (b) that they'd have their own, and think its okay to wear over to my house.  And somehow pitching to people that they can better cuddle with their pets in these outfits speaks to the likely target market I suspect, of people who seek comfort at all times as they watch CBS programming with their 20 cats.

Yes, it WILL be the talk of your next tailgate if you go for broke and wear the thing in public.  It will also be the talk of anyone who walks past your tailgating party and you hear whispers of "was that dude really wearing a 'Forever Lazy' in public?".

I'm not denying that it looks like it would be soft and toasty, but I think you need to do some mental math before deciding you want to be seen in a product that really pitches the ease of pooping while never having to remove the outfit.

Kudos to the actors and models hired for this shoot.  You really sold the idea that donning a "Forever Lazy" will immediately fill one's empty soul with shame and self-loathing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

and then there was the time Austin made a theater for people who are deadly @#$%ing serious about movies (and some people got upset)

Anyone who reads this blog knows I love The Alamo Drafthouse chain of theaters.  I pay a LOT of money to see movies there, I scour their calendar for events and films to look forward to, and I treat going to The Alamo like a privilege.

Yes, I love being able to go see Big Trouble in Little China on the big screen with a newly struck 35mm print. That's going to mean something to some of you as something to cherish and value, and to some of you, I'm sure you were cool with VHS tapes and pan & scan.  Fine.  Whatever, I'm a snob about things that you don't care about.  I'm not judging, except that you're enjoying an inferior experience and missing the original vision of the filmmakers, but, you know...  that's cool.

Austin isn't the only city with a population of like-minded folk large enough to support a 9 hour Planet of the Apes marathon, but we are the city that got it.  We got the ARCHIVAL prints, straight from the studio (Fox, right?).  We're lucky enough to be one of the few cities where projectionists actually do reset digital projectors to the correct settings, to the point where I didn't even know this was an issue until I read Roger Ebert's column on the topic and Tim League's discussion of how The Alamo does it.  Because somehow this is a town that takes this shit seriously.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On the topic of Wonder Woman not getting picked up by NBC

There are many kinds of people in this world and these different people have different sets of tastes.  There are also many kinds of stories in this world, and many ways of telling stories.  Mass media, especially television and its model of "who is watching now (and please don't skip the ads)" doesn't deal with either of these facts particularly well.

don't fear, America.  You will never see the latex-clad Wonder Woman on your TV screens.
I am a fan of the Wonder Woman character (albeit, not as big a fan as some).  I am not a fan of much of the work of David E. Kelley, most famous for his role as the creator of Ally McBeal, but also creator of Boston Legal, Snoops, Girls Club, Boston Public, The Wedding Bells and a dozen other projects.  I will confess that I liked Lake Placid.  I always like movies about giant alligators.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Santa with Muscles" is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, holiday or otherwise

And, yes, I've seen it. Which is why The Dug and I are bad for each other.

I only ask that you watch the trailer and feel a small part of you die inside.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Was Wrong: UT beats Nebraska in slow, hilarious game

Oh, man.

So, every week at my office we gather around the whiteboard and guess the outcome of the UT game.  This is particularly interesting as, while we're officed at UT and I'm a UT alum, most of my colleagues are Texas A&M graduates and don't have funny ideas about how a Just God wants for UT to win all of its games.  I confess, after the past few weeks of UT's lackluster play, this week I stood at the board and guessed that UT would lose by 12 to 14.

Well, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong.  And today being wrong meant that the Nebraska Corn Huskers, who had this summer left the Big 12 conference after losing the 2009 Big 12 Championship and who really, really hate the Longhorns for their quite-literal last second win, and who had managed to work their ranking up to #5 in the polls while UT fell out of the rankings altogether, and who had spent the past year doing nothing but planning to beat a very weak-looking Longhorn team...  that Nebraska wound up losing.

seriously, how am I supposed to empathize with this guy?
I get it.  I know why they were looking forward to kicking the crap out of UT on Nebraska's home field.  I'd be pretty kooky, too.  But, man...  as much joy as they planned to take at seeing a completely different team than the one that won last year?  You know, its still a game.  There's always a chance of losing.  And now UT fans are (a) in disbelief because we didn't expect to win, either, and (b) now how are not supposed to think that's just kind of funny?  It's tragi-hilarious. 

I'm sure there's a moral in here somewhere.

In the end, UT won, 20-13.  I think in no small part due to the UT defense, who looked like last year's defense for the first time this year.

That doesn't really forgive the play calling that led to that flubbed kick by UT and Nebraska's one touchdown.

The UT perspective here.

From CNN Sports Illustrated.

From the Statesman.