Story of a Lonely Guy

Push it out, fake a smile

Avert disaster just in time

I need a drink, cause in a while

Worthless answers from friends of mine

It's dumb to ask, cool to ignore

Girls possess me but they're never mine

I made my entrance

Avoided hazards

Checked my engine I fell behind

I fell behind

She makes me feel like it's raining outside

And when the storms gone I'm all torn up inside

I'm always nervous on days like this like the prom

I get too scared to move cause I'm a fuckin' boy

Remember when I was in

The grocery store, now's my time

Lost the words, lost the nerve,

Lost the girl, left the line

I would wish upon a star

But that star, it doesn't shine

So read my book, with a boring ending

A short story of a lonely guy

Who fell behind

She makes me feel like it's raining outside

And when the storms gone I'm all torn up inside

I'm always nervous on days like this like the prom

I get too scared to move cause I'm a fuckin' boy

She makes me feel like it's raining outside

And when the storms gone I'm all torn up inside

I'm always nervous on days like this like the prom

I get too scared to move cause I'm still

Just a stupid, worthless boy

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I'm Broken

I feel like I’ve already felt everything I will ever feel, and from here on, all I’ll feel will be lesser versions of things I’ve already felt.” -Her (2013)

All I ever do now is mutter "fucking bitch" under my breath every day. Every day it haunts me. Every day I feel like giving up on life.

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Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (Spoilers)

The film left me kind of disgusted.

They set out to rape the corpses of past movies in order to bring this one to life, but it all felt empty and hollow. And with a story that featured Khan(!)... it strangely took a left turn into a plotline about a warmongering admiral and Section 31. The story of the Wrath of Khan is simple and effective. This one by comparison was complicated and felt confused about what it was trying to say.

Of course, the most obvious blunders happen early on. John Harrison escapes through a transwarp transport that takes him from Earth all the way to Kronos, the Klingon homeworld. This is horrible. If transports can allow us to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other... why then do we even need starships? The idea of Star Trek is to boldly go where no man has gone before. This involves danger and risk and gallant, dashing captains on sleek starships... not just pressing a button and transporting anywhere you want to. This entire concept of transwarp transport, introduced in JJ Abrams' first Star Trek film, is one I find incredibly distasteful.

How could the Enterprise hang out around in Klingon space without being detected and attacked by Klingon defense ships? Do they have a cloaking device? Actually, it wasn't just Klingon space, they seemed to be orbiting Kronos itself. Kronos, the homeworld of the Klingon empire, is deep in Klingon space and the Enterprise just sits around uncloaked, without any response from the Klingons. They even send a shuttle down, without any worry until the D4 patrol ships attack them when they're skimming right over the harsh landscape. How could this possibly happen? Weren't there any writers in the room to point out how patently insane and illogical this sequence of events was?

Another thing that struck me as weird was how Scotty is somehow jettisoned right off the bat. He won't sign off on the new experimental classified missiles, so he resigns on the spot? That doesn't seem like Scotty to me. Scotty cares about his ship and engines, but he'd know to follow orders concerning a top secret mission. The whole sequence of him being bothered by the missiles and then resigning and leaving the ship seemed incredibly out of character and odd. Of course, we later learn that this was just so the scriptwriters could get him onto the USS Vengeance as an ace in the sleeve.

Then we get to the introduction of Carol Marcus. They couldn't even figure out how her character fit into the story. She boards the Enterprise with the experimental missiles. But we later find out that she wasn't assigned to the Enterprise with the missiles. If she had proper authorization to board, then everything would be fine. But she doesn't have any credentials because Spock stops her. But she's explained to be an experimental weapons technician. So it makes sense that she would be the one assigned to maintain and operate the missiles. But she actually doesn't know anything about the missiles, because she doesn't even really know how to dismantle and open the missile. She and Dr McCoy blunder around on a planet with it. And Admiral Marcus didn't assign her to the Enterprise, because he's completely surprised to see her aboard when he's about to destroy the ship. So what on earth is she doing on the ship?

Khan's blood is somehow now the Genesis effect. In Star Trek III, the Genesis effect revived Spock's dead body. Now, it's the blood of Khan. I don't have to point out that the introduction of Khan's blood as a miraculous serum of Wolverine-like healing factor completely deflated the ending of the movie. But the very existence of it makes no sense. Nowhere in Wrath of Khan are we shown that Khan had any miraculous regrowth properties. The idea of Khan as a Wolverine is simply ridiculous. And yes, I know it's a new timeline. But I don't see how Nero's ship destroying the Kelvin could have possibly altered time to magically cause Khan's blood to act as a super healing factor.

Not to mention that Khan's purpose in the Section 31 plot also makes no sense. They brought him out of cryo-stasis to develop new weapons? The guy's about 200 or 300 years stuck in the past. His intellect is genetically superior, but that hardly makes up for it. In WoK, Spock said that he was intelligent, but not experienced. Well, lacking about 300 years of technological and developmental experience seems like a bad thing. There was no reason Khan should've had knowledge about the USS Vengeance and all her systems and layout.

And about the Vengeance... what was going on with that airlock door? If you've ever seen an airlock, it's usually a small room with two doors. You enter in through one door, close it behind you, and open the other door, which leads out into space. This small room is what locks in the atmosphere of the ship when you open the outer door into vacuum. The USS Vengeance, on the other hand, has an enormous hangar bay with one door that opens directly into vacuum. This is an incredibly unsafe and unwise design feature, because there is basically no airlock to hold in the atmosphere. Scotty had to secure himself with a strap from the wall, while the poor security guard was sucked out into space. Who would design a starship docking port like this?

Spock fucking rings up Old Spock on New Vulcan to find out what's going to happen in the future and who Khan is. Seriously? That just killed all the dramatic tension in the movie and really felt cheap. It also reminded me strongly of that scene in Spaceballs when they play the VHS copy of Spaceballs to figure out what's going to happen next.

I still don't understand what they were thinking with the missiles. Khan's people are in the experimental missiles. He put them there. He designed them and then put them in there. Why did he do this? To protect them? How could you protect your crew by putting them into missiles? Later, Admiral Marcus somehow takes them and tries to get Kirk to shoot them into Kronos to kill Khan. But they're full of Khan's people. Did Marcus not know this? Would the missiles have just crumpled up on the surface of the planet, killing the frozen supermen? Or would they have exploded? They seemed to have no warhead because they were full of frozen supermen. But later, Spock takes the people out and detonates the missiles on the Vengeance, and now they do have warheads. Were the warheads already inside the missiles with the frozen supermen? Is there enough room? Did Marcus not know that there weren't any warheads inside the missiles? If he knew, was this a way of killing Khan's people by shooting them into a planet? If he didn't know, then how did Khan place his people inside the missiles in secret? Was Khan in control of the missiles, or did Marcus have control of the missiles? Marcus took the missiles away from Khan, so how did Khan have a chance to put people inside them? Did he just sneak 72 cryostasis pods into the missile production facility? Were the missiles supposed to land and provide Khan with an army when they were fired into Kronos? And the movie made it look like the Enterprise was orbiting the planet of Kronos. Why didn't they just use normal photon torpedoes? They didn't even need the range of those experimental missiles. The Vengeance also probably had a complement of these experimental missiles. Were Khan's people inside those missiles as well? Did Marcus know that Khan's people were all in the missiles he provided Kirk? If he knew, did he want the Enterprise to just shoot frozen bodies to kill Khan? If he didn't know, then how did Khan know that all 72 missiles for the Enterprise were his crew? How did Marcus single out 72 missiles, precisely the number of Khan's crew, to give to Kirk? Did he have a brain fart? Was he in the know, or did he not know?

The movie has a lot of energy, so it's got that going for it. And I did like how they handled the Prime Directive in the opening sequence. Instead of a long-winded expository dialogue scene explaining the idea of the Prime Directive to new mainstream viewers, we just got a quick shot of this primitive alien civilization drawing the shape of the Enterprise on the sand. This simple scene quickly and effectively gets across the idea of what the Prime Directive is about and why it's a bad thing that Kirk did what he did.

However, the freshness of Abrams' first movie is nowhere to be found here. Instead, we've got the hallowed remains of Meyer's Wrath of Khan draped about, which only served to remind me how great that 1982 movie was, and how sad and pale an imitation this was.

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Just saw Looper

I'm sorry, I just saw this movie and uh.... didn't think it was that great. The first half is pretty good, but the second half and what goes on in it... it was just bewildering, and not in a good way.

A Blunderbuss? Why did they use such a strange and bizarre weapon? You can't hit anything further then fifteen yards away? I was puzzling the entire movie why he held onto this dumb weapon.

10% of everyone magically gets telekinesis? Huh? What? How did this happen? Why did people become mutants? None of this is ever explained. I'm okay with cars getting solar panels stapled onto them in the future, but everybody getting TK is a little harder to buy. This was of course needed for the Rainmaker plotline... which I also wasn't a fan of.

In the future, killing someone is way too difficult because people are tagged. Okay, but apparently kidnapping is a piece of cake and arouses no suspicions? The tags don't work against kidnapping?

This crime syndicate has control over the entire city, to the point where he can send out loud noisy helicopters at all hours? There aren't any police? No local government? Really?

Joe is not a likeable protagonist. This guy has killed hundreds of people, just judging by how many silver bars he's stashed away. Not to mention that he quickly gives up his "best friend" to an incredibly gruesome fate. Then in the future, he runs low on cash and ends up doing hits in China, killing tons more people. This guy is a huge scumbag.

Okay, so he eventually settles down and marries a much younger Chinese woman. Fine, that montage was cool. But we find out he carries a watch with her picture in it, and he's constantly struggling to remember her throughout the story. This is supposed to be the emotional core of the movie, but... it's not executed well at all. I mean, it's like the picture of Sarah Connor that Kyle Reese carries with him in Terminator 1, obviously. Or the picture that Marty carries with him in Back to the Future. That's what Rian Johnson's going for, I bet. But the picture of Sarah Connor actually paid off in the end. Here, I didn't feel like that watch was all that meaningful. Once Young Joe hooks up with Emily Blunt's character, you're expecting a scene where the picture on the watch changes from the Chinese woman to Blunt. Or something. Something should happen with that watch. But we don't get that. I dunno, it felt like a wasted opportunity.

They can control where the time machine teleports people to. We see that Joe's hits always teleport out to an empty cornfield, while Paul Dano's hits teleport out to a parking lot. And Bruce Willis enters the time machine when it's located in China somewhere. So... if they have this much control, why don't they just teleport the victims back to a location a couple miles under the ocean?

Old Joe busts in and wipes out Jeff Daniels and his entire gang. But we never actually see how he breaks out of Kid Blue's cuffs. He just randomly shoots Kid Blue even though he'd been taken captive?

The entire Rainmaker plotline makes up the second half of the movie but it never felt compelling or interesting. Hell, we never even see the Rainmaker in the future, except for a shitty 5 second newsfeed. Why am I supposed to care about this Rainmaker at all? You never see how he affected the future, so you feel nothing. And the whole thing with the kid was like this random Carrie reenactment thrown into the movie. I didn't care about the kid, cause you could clearly see he needed to be killed. Jesus Christ, yelling at Emily Blunt over and over like that? I'm with Bruce Willis, end his life. Of course, the levitation scenes also reminded me of Chronicle, which is a rather unfortunate coincidence, because I cared a lot more about Chronicle's characters then these characters.

Bruce Willis has normal looking lips, I think. So why the hell did Joseph Gordon-Levitt need huge fucking prosthetic lips? That thing on his mouth really distracted me.

And yes, I did wonder about how Emily Blunt knew about loopers.

Why is young Joe learning French? It's to get away and move to France. Okay, but is he doing this to try to escape the mafia men coming to get him in the future? That's understandable, but doesn't he know that this is futile since he'll have closed his loop, thus knowing that he eventually will get caught?

And btw, how do these seemingly dumb mafia guys track down a guy in China after 30 years? Are they all Sherlock Holmes? How can they be so damn good at tracking loopers down? China in the future probably has a population of three billion. These mafia guys found old Joe in that? Really?

And now that I think about it, how does the present criminal syndicate immediately know that a looper has failed to close his loop? In the movie, young Joe hands in his blunderbuss and some of the silver bars. I guess that's meant to show that he did his job. But then... couldn't he just do this without killing the victims? Just take some of their silver and let them go? The body ends up in a furnace, so there's no evidence. Yet right after Paul Dano and young Joe fail their assignments, the crime lord somehow immediately knows that they let their victims go. How?

It's almost impossible to murder someone in the future, but they rather quickly shoot and kill old Joe's Chinese wife. Huh? Why didn't they just kill both of them and leave them in that burning house? Why go to the trouble of sending old Joe back in time? If you have to use time travel, why not send old Joe's wife's body back in time?

In the montage of Joe through the years, we see him killing a whole hell of a lot of people in China. But wait... wasn't it almost impossible to kill people in the future and get away with it? How is he doing this?

They never explained why the Rainmaker was closing all the loops. You might say it was because his mother was killed by a Looper. But this would be incorrect, a Looper did not kill his mother. In the first iteration of the timeline, young Joe kills old Joe and goes off to Shanghai and gets married. Joe never meets Cid. Cid and Sarah live on a farm in peace. So Cid would have no reason to hate loopers. Then we hear that the Rainmaker is now closing all the loops. Why is he doing this?!


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Review: The Expendables 2

Well, The Expendables 2 is certainly an improvement over the first movie, which I thought was pretty damn terrible. The entire concept of this franchise is that it's supposed to harken back to the glorious action flicks of the 80s, and therein lies the problem. Their very existence begs comparison to those testosterone-infused classics, and that's not a battle the Expendables can win. These movies are nowhere near as good or fun or memorable as those 80s flicks. I mean... Terminator, Predator, Die Hard, Rambo... those are incredibly big shoes to fill. And what we get with Expendables 1/2 are incredibly pale imitations.

But I do give credit to Expendables 2 for actually delivering on the premise, which is to gather up all the 80s action stars from that era. Now we've actually got Arnold and Bruce and Stallone and Van Damme fighting together, whereas Expendables 1 seemed content to entertain us with random guys like Terry Crews and Randy Couture, or 90s action stars like Jet Li.

But the action in Expendables 2... it really does feel like quantity over quality. In those 80s movies, there would always be those memorable setpieces where they gave thought to the staging of the action. In Expendables 2... you see a whole lot of random henchmen getting blown away in a sea of bloodspray, but it's not really shot creatively. The most memorable kill is one involving Chuck Norris and an airport metal detector. That was pretty cool, but it's over very quickly, and we don't get enough of that kinda stuff. Even the final showdown between Stallone and Van Damme feels disappointing and half-baked.

The humor in this movie is mainly supposed to come from the banter between these guys, but I just didn't find any of it funny. I guess we're supposed to, but it all fell incredibly flat to me.

And while I don't expect much from the story, it just goes into some weird, bizarre places. Like... are we supposed to feel anything about that village that they rescue? This is a movie where we're supposed to laugh at dumb one-liners and thugs getting their heads blown off by machine guns, but then... all of a sudden, it wants us to give a rat's ass about these female villagers trying to save their children and then rescue their husbands from a mine and... it just comes off as really pathetic and stupid. I sure didn't care about those villagers, because the movie didn't earn that. If you're gonna make a big dumb goofy movie, don't try and throw in that stuff, it's just gonna feel out of place.

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The Dark Knight Rises: My reaction

Just got back. It isn't as good as The Dark Knight to me. But it's a great end to the trilogy. There are incredible moments that made me gasp with surprise and sheer fanboy joy. Hats off to Christopher Nolan. Bane's voice was about 90% intelligible. I guess it should be 100%, but I'm okay with the 90%.

The first act is a bit slow and muddled. It's basically all setup for the following two acts. It's the weakest part for me. But the second act with Bruce in the Pit was quite good. And the third act with the ending was great.

The only big complaint I have is that John Blake somehow, out of nowhere, figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman. In like, the first 30 minutes. That was just absurd to me. Apparently, being an orphan gives you magical Batman-detection abilities? Bane and Talia know that Bruce is Batman because they're with the League of Shadows, so that makes sense. But John Blake knowing his identity just threw me for a loop.

There are some flashbacks to the first two movies. For me, those flashbacks were unnecessary. I could've done without them. However, I completely understand that there are people in the audience who might not have watched the first two movies (why would you do this?) or just haven't watched them in a long time and might not remember those key moments. So... I guess I can see why they felt like putting them in. They weren't bad.

The first duel between Batman and Bane is fantastic, and the better of the two. Just jaw-droppingly awesome from start to finish. The music is completely gone, so you can really feel the bone-crunching impacts of their blows. And then yes, Bane does the iconic back-breaking move. Just perfect. Loved, loved, loved it!

They do a good job of explaining why the military doesn't just storm in and rescue the city. I was wondering how they were gonna explain that, because bridges getting blown isn't gonna stop the might of the US army and air force. But they had a good trump card.

The moment when Bruce gets halfway up the pit and the swarm of bats suddenly bursts out of the wall, while Zimmer's bombastic music kicks in... holy shit. Another fantastic moment constructed by Nolan with an eye toward the beginning of his saga.

There are so many callbacks to Batman Begins. Ra's Al Ghul makes a comeback, though not the way you expect. It works in this Nolan universe. And Talia's reveal was predictable, but I can imagine it might've been a great twist for people unfamiliar with the comics.

The tricks the Batpod do in this movie are amazing. Just amazing.

Kinda missed Alfred. He's in the first act and then leaves Bruce. I dunno if I really bought that. Would Alfred really leave him like that?

The Talia reveal was also kinda spoiled for me because I followed the production of the movie and learned that Joey King was cast as a young girl with a shaved head. Ah well.

There was one continuity goof in the movie that the reviews all mentioned, and I only now just realized. Bane and his thugs escape from the Stock Exchange on their bikes and it's daytime. Then Batman shows up on the Batpod and it's now night time. What the hell happened? Did the chase through Gotham go on for hours?

I liked that Bane wore a distinctive red biker helmet. Seemed to be a slight Red Hood reference.

I gotta say, about the ending... I would've enjoyed Batman and Catwoman kissing each other goodbye, if it wasn't for the fact that there was a fusion reactor ticking down to detonation about ten feet away from them, with about a minute and a half left on the clock. Like, Jesus Christ... I enjoy Anne Hathaway as much as the next hetero guy, but... bomb about to wipe out the city! No time for kissy kissy!

About the Gotham PD: They really need to learn to stop putting all their eggs in one basket. In BB, they sent all the cops onto the Narrows, only to have the League trap them there with Crane's fear gas. Now, they send all the cops underground, only to have the League trap them with demolitions. Don't these guys ever learn from their mistakes?

Now, I want to seriously address a criticism that I've been hearing and getting a bit sick and tired of. A lot of the negative reviews have talked about how the second act of the film is the weakest and slowest and should've been cut down. No, no, no. I vehemently disagree with this sentiment. The second act, with Bruce in the pit, is absolutely fine and is not the weakest part by any means.

Bruce is in the pit for a long time because he needs to regroup and recover. He needs to build himself back up, physically and spiritually. And he needs help to do that. He needs sage advice from the wise blind man in the cell next to him, to discover that the fear of death is something he has to have to defeat Bane. This was all needed. In the Knightfall comic arc, Bruce heals his back and gradually regains his skills but knows he cannot be Batman again until he is able to pass a final test... leaping from a highrise and perfectly snagging a pole on the way down before falling to his death. This final test is thematically replicated in the movie with the climb out of the pit. Both require a leap of faith. Personally, I found this scene in the movie to be incredibly inspirational and moving.

There's also complaints that it's just a training montage. Well... I love training montages, like those in the Rocky films, so this doesn't bother me at all. There was a training montage in Batman Begins with Ra's that was great, why is it not okay here?

Some people have also criticized this pit sequence as unnecessary because Nolan's just repeating it twice in the same movie. They'll point out that Bruce finding his mojo happens twice, first when he returns from his 8 year exile as Batman, and then again when he returns from the pit. Why do it twice in the movie? Well, because the first time wasn't really the one. Sure, he suited up in the batsuit again, but he wasn't fully healed yet. He was just playing the part, hoping that sealing himself back in the armor would be enough. But it wasn't. That's why Bane broke him. He didn't fully recover until he climbed out of that pit.

I'm still thinking about which movie I like better, Batman Begins or Dark Knight Rises. They're almost opposites of each other, because Batman Begins starts out with an incredibly strong first half and then declines in the second half, while Dark Knight Rises starts out somewhat flat and really gets strong in the second half.

One thing I kept reading from all the reviews was that this was the darkest of the three films. And I have to agree, it was immediately evident upon exiting the theater that this was about as bleak and dark and dirty as you could push a superhero movie. We all instinctively knew it was going to be the polar opposite of The Avengers this summer, and they really do sit at completely opposite ends of the spectrum. One of the early scenes where I really felt this was:

Gordon and his SWAT detail entering into the sewers in pursuit. You see all of these heavily armed SWAT officers with body armor and helmets and you feel like it's gonna be alright. Gordon's well protected. But then, one by one, they just get mercilessly picked off and blown up. And all of a sudden, Gordon is all by himself, in this incredibly vulnerable situation. And I felt the menace and dread immediately. A chill went up my spine, seeing these SWAT officers getting cut down in rapid succession. Up on the surface... the Gotham police is at least on equal footing with the criminal scum. But you realize that once they went down that manhole, they were going completely out of their element. They were now on the enemy's turf and badly outmatched. And the fear inherent in this sequence was just so effectively orchestrated by Nolan. That's when I thought... man, this is not a kid's movie. The Dark Knight was not a kid's movie, but this is even more not a kid's movie.

This is probably the last time we're ever going to see a mainstream superhero movie this dark.


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