Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sexame Street

Okay, I have no mind-blowing things to say today. So I leave you with this:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jesus Police

Those who know me are well aware of my all-consuming, burning hatred for organized religion. This does not mean that I am an Atheist. I would consider myself to be Agnostic. I do believe that we're more than just a cosmic fluke. I just think that no one religion is right in their belief system. How could anyone possibly know for sure. Until one is proven, without any doubt to be 100% correct, I will continue to doubt. Religious organizations creep me right the fuck out. Seriously. I have never associated myself with any particular religion. Nor will I ever do so. To me it's just silly. I get so pissed when religious "recruiters" approach me trying to force their personal belief system upon me. I used to collect those CRAZY little pamphlets those nutjobs hand out on the street. I would flip through them and just shake my head and laugh. But sometimes, just sometimes, I would be genuinely frightened by their utterly insane beliefs. And I don't say this lightly. I would see certain propaganda that filled me with a sense of doom for the human race. Scary, scary shit. I wish I still had them but, alas, I threw them out a few years ago.
A friend recently told me a story about his girlfriend that I'd like to share with you all. This is a nice little example of the fear-mongering these religious groups utilize to oppress their followers.

This particular friend's girlfriend is a practicing Catholic. Now, if you know anything about religion, it is currently Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The season of no meat on Fridays (except fish and/or poultry depending on how lax a person's church is). Are you starting to notice the inconsistencies and hypocracy of the various religions? It is also the season of sacrificing something you enjoy. For example: meat, beer, cigarettes, etc. Now, in this girl's case, she gave up chocolate for Lent. Okay, that's not crazy. Seems doable. A small, acceptable token of one's belief in their particular deity of choice. Hang with me folks, I'm getting to the point.

So this girl stops to get a sandwich and coffee while driving to a relative's house. However, she doesn't get just any coffee. Oh no, she gets CHOCOLATE coffee. Astute readers will recall that she has given up this guilty pleasure for Lent. She gets back in her vehicle and heads out on the road. Before long, she notices a cop following her, lights flashing. The cop gives her a warning for doing 36mph in a 25mph zone. A warning. No citation. She immediately texts her boyfriend with, "God is punishing me." He calls her back and she tells him the story. She was convinced that God was mad at her for having chocolate after she'd given it up for Lent. So He apparently sent her a warning. I guess next time she'll (gasp!) get a speeding ticket. Just seems so silly to me. Why should anyone be afraid to eat chocolate?

The previous example is just a small sample of the many rules and regulations religions use to...well, I don't really know why they do it. I don't think they know either. I guess it's just to maintain control over their subjects. I know a few other guys who utilized this technique. Do the names Charles Manson, David Koresh, and Jim Jones ring a bell? Granted these are extreme cases but they still held sway over their believers and controlled them without question. Sounds awfully similar to what ALL religions do.

I'm a firm believer in freedom of religion. If it works for you, fine. If it brings you peace and stability in an otherwise chaotic world, more power to you. Just keep it away from me. I don't try to convince people that my beliefs (or lack thereof) are the right path. I may discuss it with them but 9 times out of 10 the religious types will get all pissy and judgmental. So apparently I'm a heathen. I'm a sinner. I'm an infidel. Satan has a nice hot seat waiting for me in Hell. Well folks, I'll believe it when I see it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Late Night Musings

The title of this particular blog is "Late Night Musings". Currently the time is 9:45pm on a Friday night. Some would say the night is young. For most folks, this would be a true statement. I, however, have to work early Saturday morning. Such is the nature of my current employment. Working in retail, no matter what branch, is tough on the ol' social life.

I can't really complain too much though. My job allows me to pay my newly acquired mortgage and puts food on the table (mostly of the microwaved variety unless my roommate cooks...or my mother sends me some leftovers). And I'm also able to purchase the occasional movie, book, cd, etc. to keep myself entertained.

However, my job doesn't leave much time for social interaction due to the sporadic, random work schedule I'm forced to endure. Because of this, here I sit on a Friday night blogging, Facebook and Twitter being my only means of socializing. So when I do have opportunities to interact with actual live human beings (and not the virtual kind) I cherish those times. Many times I come across as not enjoying myself. But I'm generally a quiet individual unless I know the people who I find myself surrounded by. Or unless copious amounts of alcohol are involved, in which case "Social Mike" makes his appearance.

I spend most of my free time alone, watching movies. Which is fine with me most of the time. But I do get lonely on occasion. I've been in my new home for just over two months now and, to date, only two of my friends have paid me a visit. Granted my birthday/housewarming party was cancelled due to two feet of snow but still. This is unacceptable. Of course, it's not really my friends' fault. It's just that they have normal work schedules and mine is all over the place. So they rarely coincide and enable us to get together.

Well, it is now 10pm on Friday night. It's time for me to retire for the night.

Hopes And Dreams...Sometimes Met, Sometimes Crushed

So on Tuesday two films I was eagerly anticipating were released on home video. The first, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, was a MAJOR letdown. The second, Black Dynamite, was even better than I expected.

Let's start with the bad (Cabin Fever 2) and end with the good (BlackDynamite):

I love the first Cabin Fever and I'm proud to admit it. Eli Roth competently directed this first effort with style and cinematic know-how. It had everything genre fans love; gore, tits, an original idea, etc. That being said, I was really looking forward to the sequel. I should have gone with my gut and realized that without Roth's name anywhere on the project it was doomed to failure. But I ignored this red flag and purchased this cinematic abortion the day it was released.

There's not much to like about this film at all. The plot is very disjointed, silly and contrived. The characters are all shitbags who elicit no sympathy. Be warned: we're led to believe from the trailer and various write-ups that the majority of the action takes place at a senior prom. This is very misleading. The prom outbreak scene is very brief and not entertaining. If you want to see a real prom which erupts into chaos rent Carrie, a classic of the genre. This flick goes for cheap gross-out gore, which is fine with me if it's engaging and makes sense in the context of the film. Not if it's done purely to shock.

If I were to equate Cabin Fever 2 with any other flick it would have to be the Feast sequels. I loved the first Feast but the sequels were just a series of gross-outs and mean-spirited humor. I won't spoil any of the plot details for those who don't like spoilers (like myself) because I want you all to see this film and form your own opinion.

Now, on to Black Dynamite:

This film is a throwback to '70s blaxploitation flicks (i.e. Black Caesar, Shaft, etc.). It is a satirical interpretation of these films which today are looked at as silly but entertaining. At the time they were made though, the filmmakers took them very seriously. Unfortunately, most of those filmmakers were very green at the time so the films were poorly acted, shot, edited, etc. Black Dynamite pays homage to all of this. Also, look for some great cameos!

Michael Jai White wrote and starred in this brilliant and hilarious film. He kicks ass as the title character. He gets to utilize his extensive martial arts training in many well choreographed fight scenes. This film holds true to its grindhouse roots. It very well could have been the headlining feature in a sequel to Tarantino and Rodreguez's Grindhouse (which I also loved). I guarantee this film will attain cult status with the passing of time. It is worth a view so check it out. Grab some friends and a six-pack of your favorite poison, kick back, and be prepared to enjoy a fun flick.

Blogging (An Introduction)

So, thanks to Skip Novak (known in some circles as Wolfnoma), I've been inspired to start blogging. This is a new venture for me. I've never blogged before. Wow, something about the word "blog" sounds perverted, especially when used as a verb. Example: "I spent all day thinking about blogging." Dirty.
Okay, so here's how my blog is going to work. Some days you'll get rants and raves. Some days you'll get reviews of movies, books, and music. Some days you'll get incoherent gibberish. Some days you'll get nothing. Some days you'll get news from the filmmaking front (right now there's not much to report). Some days you'll get musings on life and other such subjects. Actually, I'm sure it'll mostly turn to gibberish every time I blog since I have an acute lack of focus. Don't fret though, even in the midst of my mindless ramblings I promise there will be some gold nuggets (covered in piles of poop nuggets). See, rambling.
Anyway, I doubt I'll get real up close and personal in this blog. I've learned my lesson by getting too personal on other social networks. It's never a good idea to flaunt one's dirty laundry for all to see. No good can come of this. I will, however, post lots of personal opinions on highly volatile subject matter. I will offend some. I will INFURIATE some. Others will agree with my insane beliefs and morals.
So feel free to read this blog. Or don't. Tell your friends. Or don't. My goal is to come up with a blog so monumental, so EPIC, that it will cause someone's head to explode in a Scanners-like shower of gore and flecks of brain matter. So, until this event happens, you're all stuck with my insanity.
To be continued...