Sunday January 14th, 2018 02:02 Some men are unsalvageable

As is obvious from my previous post, I recently went to see The Last Jedi.

But as a rational human who doesn’t hate or disparage people for the happenstance of naturally-occurring chromosomes, it had never occurred to me to think that anyone would see that film as particularly feminist, let alone have a problem with it.

I mean, I know there are several characters that have vaginas and everything, and a few of those were in positions of power at that point in the storyline. Yet at no point did it encroach upon anything that seemed like a director or writer going out of their way to make a woman more prominent than the story called for*.

As such, it surprised the hell out of me to learn that some jackass made a cut of that movie called (couldn’t make this up): “The Last Jedi: De-Feminized Fanedit (aka The Chauvinist Cut)”

And…

wtf_mate_chan

I tracked this down – if you want to, feel free. I’m not linking to this garbage – and, Bless His Noodly Appendage, it’s everything it sounds like and more. A sample of the description:

– No whiny/reluctant/murderous psycho Luke.
– NO HALDO! She simply doesn’t exist. Her whole subplot doesn’t exist. The Kamikaze is carried out by Poe. ( = Poe dies.)
– Leia never scolds, questions nor demotes Poe.
– Lea dies. Kylo kills her.

– Phasma is finished after the first blow by Finn. (Women are naturally weaker than men, she isn’t force-sensitive, and we know nothing about any exo-skeleton in her suit)
– Asian chick speaks less, doesn’t bully Finn, Finn doesn’t try to escape, she is never formally introduced. She is just there and occasionally smiles at Finn or screams “Finn!”. She has no sister. Serves her right for all the heinous stuff she did.

Aside: just then, I had a lot of trouble copying and pasting. My own computer doesn’t want to see that shit

Not-so-Aside: The “asian chick” is named Rose. Hers was not a good character, but she has a name, you racist, misogynist twat. You only noticed her because Kelly Marie Tran was so good they made what was originally a throwaway character into something more. I might not like the end product either, but my opinion is incapable of changing how good she is at her job.

As I said before, I’m not a big fan of this film. But I just became a very big fan of someone kicking this douchebag in the nuts.

Like, hard enough so he can no longer breed, if you please.

The traditional parlance would suggest I say it ‘takes a lot of balls’ to do something like this. I disagree.

It in fact takes a distinct lack of balls, as any real man would not only barely notice the completely uncontroversial and entirely realistic female presence in this film, but would never be offended on any level – certainly not at a level that they felt the need to waste their precious time on this earth (apologies to the word ‘precious’ there) cutting up a handycam recording of a movie such that it got rid o’ them uppity wimmins.

You make all men look bad, and you’re out of the club, asshole. You’ve been demoted to ‘testicular cancer’ status; seems appropriate for a cancer upon us all who stains the name of those whose happenstance of naturally-occurring chromosomes forces us to share the trait of having testicle.

*Clarification: Ain’t a damn thing wrong with a director or writer going out of their way to make a woman or women a prominent part of their story. But it does bother me when they do so in a way that makes it stand out like someone is shoehorning a female character into a position that combats the logical flow of a story. It’s counterproductive to both the film and (what I assume is an earnestly good version of) the intended impact. If you have to do that, your story is flawed. A character worth shoehorning should have been better written into the story to begin with, and you might just need to start over. Same goes for non-white characters.

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Wednesday January 10th, 2018 10:42 Taking a stance on porgs

It’s an incredibly unpopular idea, but I must officially say: fuck porgs.

porgs

Now, before someone lights my ass on fire: yes, I think they’re adorable and awesome and in any other context, I’d be typing while sitting on a human-sized porg pillow right now.

But the big problem with The Last Jedi is that it couldn’t decide if it wanted to take itself seriously.

They threw out some incredibly heavy shit in that movie:

  • Kylo having to decide whether or not to kill his own mother
  • Really, almost everything that happens to Kylo
  • Luke damn near killing his own apprentice – which was an amazing parallel to his father’s actions
  • Multiple decisions involving the sacrifice of hundreds of members of the dwindling resistance

In the middle of all that, if they just had some cute, funny porgs popping up a few times, it would have been perfect to relieve some of the tension. Instead, we also got:

  • Little orphan slave kids
  • BB-8
  • Rose
  • Fathiers
  • Vulptex
  • Luke, Finn, Poe, and DJ cracking entirely unnecessary jokes, some using modern-era idioms they couldn’t possibly have known
  • That weird little fat thing in the casino
  • The Caretakers
  • Chewy feeling bad about eating a porg (Seriously, he already killed it, plucked/skinned it and cooked it. Not to mention he’s a Wookie.)

Some of those participated in the heavy stuff, and, individually, I’m on board with everything in that list.

But damned if having all that didn’t make me cringe in expectation of another gag being thrown in at an inappropriate time.

Never was that feeling worse than that badass scene with Luke walking out in front of an entire Imperial walker division. The shoulder brush tested the waters, but was subtle enough to be okay. I deeply feared they’d completely ruin that one.

So, long story short: fuck porgs.

Unless you’ve got an extra one I can take home.

In: Music/Movies/TVNo Comments

Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 16:43 First thoughts of the new year

I was configging a workstation on the Dell site, just to see what the price would be, when I noticed that selecting the ‘no mouse’ option enabled the following spec code:

nomse

And now, all I can think about is this:

Perhaps 2018 will be an improvement.

In: Computers, Music/Movies/TV, OtherNo Comments

Friday September 29th, 2017 15:00 25 years too early

For whatever unholy reason, I’m still on Epitaph’s presser list, even though I haven’t written a single published graf in a decade. But I’m not going to be the one to take myself off, lest I miss learning about things like Propagandhi finally releasing a new album.

It’s been many, many years since I paid them much attention. In my reactive return to the album that made them instant punk legends, it did strike me how this little ditty was true in its time, but has never been more so than now:

(for those less adept at translating this type of vocal barrage)

Mark your point of failing. It begins where you concede.
Hesitate. Procrastinate. Sedating.
All configured to impede your path.
You need a good kick in the ass.
Now take a step back and have a long hard look.
Hold it to the light and read it like a book.
Analyze the past and present to see what is to come.
Now wrap your lips around the barrel of the gun.
Mark my point of failing. It began where I gave in.
Comfort. Convenience. Placating.
Construed to suck me in, to their trap.
I need a good kick in the ass.
As time passed I realized we don’t need rules to survive.
Just common sense and means to subsist.
So from here on in I will resist.
I’ve finally realized. I’ve found my way at last.
It’s finally evident.
We all need a kick in the ass.
The basis of change: educate! Derived from discussion,
not hate, not myth, not muscle, not etiquette.
Intellect, not “re-elect!”.
Status symbols yield to respect between sex, species, environment.

In: Music/Movies/TVNo Comments

Sunday November 22nd, 2015 02:06 Post change, ergo propter break

Every time I touch someone’s computer and, a week later, they wonder aloud (or in print) if it had something to do with what I did, this plays in my head:

In: Computers, Music/Movies/TVNo Comments

Friday August 8th, 2014 00:19 The Amazingly Ignoble Spiderman

After having read quite a number of review titles – I never read reviews before seeing a movie if I can help it – and playing the truly awful PS game, I was avoiding watching Amazing Spiderman 2.

I’ll not go into the whole thing, but it took a mere 20 minutes for them to get to the thing which bugs me the most about both of the recent movie series: Spiderman is not a weepy little twat.

In this incarnation, he gives up on dating Gwen because he’s seeing images of her father everywhere and it’s making him feel so bad and he promised and so sad and…

tumblr_inline_mmwozvt1bY1qz4rgp

The reason I find the Spiderman story so compelling is because his character is built on tough decisions, consequences and how he deals with them. When he decided to walk away from Gwen, it was about the lesson he learned from Uncle Ben’s death and his desire to protect Gwen even if it meant they couldn’t be together and his responsibility to the city and oh my god so much more than some whiny teenager whose feelings make him go pee-pee in his underoos.

Spiderman is a character of strength and sorrow, stature and selfishness, survival and susceptibility.

And he deserves better than this.

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Tuesday October 22nd, 2013 01:39 In which Will Smith attempts to shed his last remaining goodwill from the Fresh Prince

I just had the displeasure to watch After Earth.

after_earth_wallpaper_01_wide-580

This one really got to me. Why? Because it was good filmed entertainment while still managing to be a horrible movie.

Let me splain:

Ignoring any and all markers of quality, it was enjoyable. There was some suspense and action and it moved along at a good pace. They set up a story, told it and concluded it. From the ‘I want things to happen in front of my face such that I get the sensation that a movie is occurring’ standpoint, you can’t go wrong.

In every other aspect, they did.

We won’t cover all the points, as the major ones are far more than sufficient.

For starters, they made me wait a half an hour before I knew why I should give a shit about what happened in the first half an hour. Not in a clever, suspenseful, can’t-wait-to-find-out way. More like running someone over with your car, then driving on to the hospital to let the EMTs know where to pick him up.

This is a two character movie. Up until the point at which they made their casually-located revelation – that the kid had a sister who protected him from an evil monster while dad was away, and they now blame each other for the incident – all I have to go on is that Junior wants to impress Daddy, but he’s a bit of a failure (and whiny to boot) while Daddy is a stereotypical dickish military father.

Pro tip: when you write a movie and keep things from the audience, let the words ‘critical character development plot point’ serve as a danger sign.

I needed to know that up front, so I could build a mental image of their relationship such that, later on when that relationship is tested, I can view any successes as a triumphant overcoming of past troubles.

Which I did not.

This story is really rather good in concept. Come on. Humans flee earth then, by horrible happenstance, a boy and his father end up back on the now-overrun by hyper-evolved killer animals planet, where the boy must face his fears and the father his misplaced emotions to simultaneously survive and forge a deep bond that transcends years of family strife? Um, yeah. I’ll watch that.

But not if you’re going to fuck up the order of the story.

Or if you’re going to put Jaden Smith in it.

Okay, when he was young and cute, he and his dad did Pursuit of Happyness and it was great.

As a teenager, he’s a kid whose range extends no further than the fact that he was born with a permanent look of worry on his face.

The movie is 100 minutes long. He is angry for four of them, angry-crying for three, pathetic-attempt-at-badass-faced for two. Little bastard was worried/scared for the other 91.

We get it, Will. You’re proud of your son. That’s wonderful. Now keep him the fuck away from the set while Daddy is working.

While you’re at it, buddy: every single hardass military father in every even halfway decent movie that’s had one has taken a second or two to show a little emotion to the inevitable child character in the film. Did you have bad plastic surgery, or is that the face of a man who just realized that his son is a crap actor?

Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.

Now to go watch a movie with a military father-son combo in which unavoidable circumstances forces a cooperation that makes the young strong and the old look deep inside to face the long-dormant feelings within.

I’m shooting for something better than After Earth.

Major Payne will do.

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Wednesday August 21st, 2013 16:41 How to lose friends and destroy television shows

I’ve been watching Naruto for a decade now. Just that. No other anime, except for the occasional movie.

That was up until I heard about Attack On Titan. I’m thoroughly glad that I decided to give it a shot, because it is amazeballs. The story is complex and full of satire and social commentary. The main characters seem to get deeper by the second, always with hints that there is much more to know. The animation is absolutely superb.

After that, I had to ask: what else am I missing?

Since I have a Cruchyroll subscription, I just added a bunch of things to my queue that seemed interesting at first glance. One of which being Sword Art Online.

SAO

Once again, I was blown away by what I saw. What an incredibly clever premise: maker of immersive virtual reality game holds 10,000 players hostage in the game world so that their virtual deaths become physical and the only chance of escape is total victory. Then they went and animated it beautifully.

Couldn’t. Stop. Watching.

For about 6 episodes.

I have never seen a good thing go so badly so quickly. Before I knew it, they were throwing out the game rules (which makes so much sense for people literally trapped in a computer system), the characters had massive, inexplicable shifts (hey, girl who is a total badass: could you suddenly turn into Scarlett O’Hara, but bring back the badassness when it’s convenient?) and plot ‘twists’ that left more questions than they answered, which would have bothered me if I cared to ask in the first place (the final boss is actually the in-game character of the crazy game creator who was pretending to be a player and he decides, for practically no reason at all, to challenge the main character to a duel that ends the game only 3/4 of the way through).

They spent all of eleven 20-minute episodes (I’m ignoring the bit where our two heroes literally take a break and go hang out by a lake for three full episodes) on the entire game. The entire, 100-level MMORPG that, according to the story, lasted two full years.

I was more than a little pissed off about that experience.

Not to say that I stopped watching. Because now it’s total train-wreck syndrome. The big hero is now back in another VR game where he’s – no joke – a fairy and his in-game wife from SAO has had her living consciousness magically transferred between games by a rapey-eyed subordinate of her IRL software-exec father. He’s keeping her locked in a birdcage and ruling over fairyland in between implementations of his not-at-all-psychotic ‘I’ll molest her until it makes her want it’ plan.

Sad to say that you can, in fact, make this shit up. You just shouldn’t.

Update:

Since writing, I’ve watched four – four – more episodes, and they have managed to introduce a cousin-incest love interest and a spot of tentacle molestation. Jeebus.

In: Music/Movies/TVComments Off

Tuesday June 25th, 2013 14:57 This is not George McFly

crispin_glover

Last night, I got a chance to see the first of three in-person appearances by Crispin Hellion Glover at IFC Center. For this one, he was doing a dramatic reading of his books and showing his 2007 film, It is fine! Everything is fine. along with a Q&A afterwards.

I always knew that the dude was weird. But that was stone cold nuts.

The dramatic reading of his “books” – which are cobblings of 19th century novels that have a grand total of zero to do with the original story – was definitely the highlight of the evening. He was all over the map, skipping huge sections of pages for no apparent reason while meticulously reading every word of others. Kind of like a Speak and Spell on meth.

Standing up on the stage right next to giant projections of each page, he got way into it with hand motions and very deliberate walks back and forth. Never more so than in the one book that has no physical version – the rest he actually cut and pasted and drew – which just so happened to be entirely in German.

He managed to be hilarious and deadly serious, which played directly into one of his rambling answers to an audience question, which we’ll get to later.

Let’s talk about this movie for a second.

Immediately upon departure, my first palpable thought was: Well, I guess I can cross ‘seeing a 60-something man with severe cerebal palsy getting a hummer from a 20-something redhead’ off my list.

Because that very much did happen.

The basic plot was that this guy, Steven C. Stewart who is very real and does have c.p. and in fact wrote the movie, goes about romancing, seducing and sleeping with a bunch of young, beautiful women, and then he kills them.

Hope you’re not waiting for more. I’m done explaining the plot.

So, I sat there for 74 minutes in a constant state of ‘no way he…she wouldn’t…is she gonna…oh what the…seriously?’

It was only afterward, during the Q&A, that I even learned that Stewart had written the movie and that the inexplicable nursing home scenes at the beginning and end were in fact “reality” and the entire middle was a dark fantasy sequence. Also, it was a fantasy he concocted while he was, in real life, shoved into a nursing home by his family and kept there for 10 years.

Not only was he trapped in his body, but now his trap was trapped. Can’t blame a guy for having some pretty dark thoughts then.

Stewart wrote the movie with the intention of it being a 70s horror-movie-of-the-week style picture. So the bad dialogue (note: I could only understand him 10% of the time, so I’m just assuming his was equally bad) and odd settings and obviously too-good-looking women were intentional.

He set out to “show that a person which a severe handicap and disabilities have feeling to and sometimes can go over the edge”, and definitely accomplished that goal.

Well, after I figured out that was the goal.

WTF, man? That’s like sending a guy into an industrial building then calling him an hour later to say “By the way, the sprinkler system shoots out concentrated sulfuric acid every 20 minutes, so watch out for that. Hello?”

If I’m going to see a 60-year-old’s junk, I want a goddamn good reason. Beforehand.

Crispin’s Q&A went on to discuss his distaste for corporately funded and distributed movies and the homogenization therof, with which I totally agree. He discussed the lack of philosophically challenging material and the fact that while playing tragedy as comedy is common, playing comedy as tragedy is a far finer art that is rarely seen anymore.

Well, of course it’s not going to be seen if you have to explain it to people before they see it.

Because the other thing you don’t see much anymore is indie directors who will give the audience a break by just telling the story instead of forcing unnecessary psudeo-artistry upon it.

All he had to do was a two-second effect, right at the beginning, when Stewart fell over and hit his head to indicate that the rest of the thing is a fantasy. Or, if that seemed a bit obvious, absolutely anything else that might indicate that you mean one thing to be real and the other not. That wouldn’t have taken the impact down a single notch. In fact, it would have played even better into the 70s tv movie aspect.

Being obtuse is not the same as being creative, McFly.

So, with some hindsight, it was in fact a very good movie that erroneously assumed that the audience knew what was going on in advance.


Oh, and a special p.s. to my fellow audience members:

You suck.

There was one decent, simple question: What were your influences for this movie?

If you knew anything about Crispin Glover, you knew that the answer would turn out like it did. It was a 30-minute ramblefest that touched on about 10 different aspects of this movie, his other movies, his career, his dealings with theaters, his opinions on the modern movie scene, etc. etc.

I was there to hear him talk. I’m fine with a ramblefest. What I’m not fine with is each subsequent dickhead making their “question” less about getting an answer than getting the particular answer they wanted.

First there was the rambling stoner who wouldn’t shut up after he’d had a response to six different parts of his dribbling prattle, none of which contained an actual poser. Then, the ‘I’m a disabled performer’ girl who felt the need to not only mention that, but the names of all the related organizations she belongs, then directly telling Glover that making this movie constitutes activism despite him repeatedly saying that activism had nothing to do with it. Hers was a simple casting question, once we got around to it.

I walked out just after the ‘guy who didn’t have any original thoughts and obviously waited to ask a question until he could form something intelligent-sounding from bits of other questions and answers mashed together.’

Thanks, guys. All I wanted was a picture with Crispin, and you ruined it.

In: Music/Movies/TVNo Comments

Wednesday June 12th, 2013 00:10 The folly and virtue of long-held loyalty

Today was a good day.

An expensive one, but a good one nonetheless.

I scored tickets to the long-awaited NIN they’re-not-calling-it-a-reunion-of-which-I’m-glad-because-we-never-considered-them-to-be-broken-up-anyway Tour.

Or
nin_middle_bg
for short.

Last weekend, however, I was at a party with some fine folks at which it was discussed that young kids lack the deep devotion to music that so many previous ones held. They don’t identify themselves with a genre or even very general swath. They don’t really care about the lyrics or whether or not they even agree with them once they do find out what they are.

Doubtlessly there are exceptions, and those lucky few will likely get to experience something like this. The immutable excitement of getting to once again see a band you’ve loved – I still listen to Ghosts all the time kind of love – for what not only seems like but is damn close to your entire life.

It’s been   censored   years since I’ve seen them. There are many bands that I can say that about. But you don’t get like this for the ones you haven’t followed every step of the way since.

This is all a bit of a turn from last night, when I once again completely changed my video game loyalty.

Because this:
ps4

I heard all that I needed to hear in those two divergent E3 performances.

Five years ago, I had never bought a single thing that wasn’t Nintendo. True, my brother had a Sega Genesis when we were kids. I just barely touched the thing. Still, the Wii was seriously disappointing and I’d just come to NYC to live in a tiny little apartment where swinging your arms around to play a game was less than practical.

So I went and got the best system at the time: a 360. There were more games and Sony was acting a fool all the time. It was a no-brainer.

The tables have turned. Microsoft’s playing NSA Spy-At-Home with an always-on Kinect and required Internet check-ins with Mom and simply insane used game policy.

Nope.

I’m the type who hears “you can’t do that with this software and hardware” as a likely-won challenge. Even normal people were screaming for joy when Sony announced they’re not pulling any of that crap. Again: no-brainer.

I haven’t always been right in choosing which loyalties to hold on to and which to abandon. But man, did I nail those two.

In: Music/Movies/TV, Video GamesNo Comments

Whois

IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org