November 23, 2009

Poet, Celebrity, Creeper.

My name is on your lips, on your best friend's heart.
I eclipse politics, religion, and everything near or far.
I am on your lunchbox, inside your idiot box too.
I'm stitched into your clothing, my t-shirt wears you.

I'm staring, bare-chested on your wall.
My hand's on my phone, awaiting your call.
We live in the same world, only mental blocks away.
We're breathing the same air, pumped through the same veins. 

I am outside your window.
I am under your skin.
I am David Hasselhoff,
And I'm coming in.

- Sincerely,

November 16, 2009

Netflix Kills Thousands. Yet to Be Brought to Justice.

Mass murder doesn't require guns, blades, detonators, mental defects, or the capacity for feelings. Sometimes it just takes a system of technology bent on mischief. Case in point: Netflix kills hundreds of people every year. How? Aside from the dozens of parents whom, whether due to laziness or sheer lack of intelligence, put Harry Rotter and the On-Fire Gobbling into their queue and put their toddlers into epileptic shock from the overwhelming amount of man-on-woman-on-wizard action, there are the unfortunate renters who have fallen victim to a curse.

The curse in question is derived from the popular Japanese-horror-knockoffs The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005), wherein the main characters die under mysterious circumstances exactly seven days after watching a videotape. Director Gore Verbinski was foolish enough to include actual footage from the videotape in both films--footage that causes viewers of The Ring series to find themselves dead after seven days. Now one might argue that you can't blame Netflix for simply carrying the two films--after all, Blockbuster and all other major media retailers stock both films on their shelves--but you can certainly blame Netflix for not including any sort of disclaimer on the packaging, warning potential viewers of the inherent risks.

Fact: The Ring is distributed most often through Netflix than any other retailer. Fact: The Ring kills people. Assumption: Netflix is responsible for more Ring-related deaths than any company on the planet.

Need more evidence? Inclusion of The Ring in members of Netflix's outgoing queues have increased drastically since 2007. Oddly, most people who find the title waiting in their list claim that they have no recollection of putting it there, but decide that perhaps they should see the once-raved horror flick anyways. Netflix also has a function on their website that automatically gives suggestions for related viewing based on what their customers have recently watched or rated. Regardless of what films the customer likes or hates, The Ring will show up in the suggested viewing box. Liked The Big Lebowski? You'll love The Ring. Liked Wall-E? You'll love The Ring. Hated The Ring? You'll Love The Ring Two. (Also, you will love The Ring.) 

Is Netflix cursed? If so, is Netflix actively passing the curse along to its unwitting customers? Or is this a conspiracy enacted by Netflix to wipe out a part of the population that enjoys renting movies from the Internet? And will the next step be to target all online shoppers? Is going to start engraving spooky images into their jewelry?

Only time will tell. But know this, Netflix: we've got our eye on you.

November 6, 2009

Freddie Prinze Jr. Says Something. No One Remembers Exactly What.

On Wednesday of this past week (or possibly the week before) Freddie Prinze, Jr (son of Freddie Prinze, Sr. from what we've gathered) was said to have made a comment to Star Magazine outside of a Burbank coffee shop in regards to something or other. According to his IMDB page, Prinze starred in many teen comedy romps in the late 90s through the earlier parts of this decade. They were popular if I recall correctly.


Although there were literally dozens of onlookers who saw the wryly smirking Prinze speaking to a reporter, none of them could recollect what the actor (?) said. Rather, the group looked on in befuddlement as they individually tried their hardest to put a name to the kinda-familiar face.

Said one witness, "I think [he was speaking] about a new film he was working on. Or an infomercial he was doing." She added, "Or a children's book he was writing..."

The reporter for Star Magazine answered a key question. "I wasn't actually there to get a comment from [Freddie Prinze, Jr.]. I heard the guy from those ShamWow commercials was eating there. Thought I could get some words from him."

It remains certain if Prinze is still pursuing an acting career. It's also unclear whether or not he's the guy from that movie with Julia Styles that was based on that Shakespeare play. (*Editor's note: 10 Things I Hate About You starred Heath Ledger, not Freddie Prinze, Jr.) A number of onlookers outside the cafe began questioning Prinze, Jr's heritage as well. Several were heard commenting about his father's profession as either a musician, t-shirt designer, or rock climber. The concensus rested somewhere between extreme skiier and spoken-word poet.

Star Magazine has stated that they will not be publishing Prinze's comments in any upcoming issues of the near future.

In related news, Adam Lambert was spotted at Champagne Bakery at the corner of Santa Monica & Hilldale in West Hollywood eating a Turkey Florentine Panini with extra red onions and a small glass of iced tea.

November 4, 2009

Action Movie Lecture Series: Hulk Hogan's Triumph Over the 1990s.

In case you didn't hear that, class, that's what we call a bell. That means this lecture has started. That also means--hey Lonnie, take the earphones out, put Lil Wayne on pause, okay--that also means that the talking stops and the listening starts. And you're listening to me and not to Young Jeezy, as I said before. I'm saying stop listening to what I'm saying.

All right, today's lecture in Flimsy Arts 203: Modern Movements in the Action Film Genre, we'll be looking at the success of Hulk Hogan and particularly his key role in the family-action genre. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just put your groans in your pockets and save 'em for another day, guys. This is nearly important to learn. I'm saying you need to accept what I've laid out on the syllabus for our course what I'm saying.

Our topic today transitions us from last week's conversation on the importance of future political figureheads blowing up supernatural creatures. Remember, we looked at Jesse Ventura's role in Predator? Can anyone tell me what Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan have in common? Well...technically yes, Allen, but how about we move away from well-defined facial hair for just one class, huh? Come on, people. Professional wrestling! Right? Both wore tights for a living. Take that down in your notes because that will be on the midterm.

Bonus points to the person who can name the first movie Hulk Hogan appeared in as well as his name in that movie. I'm sorry Jerry, did you say Lightning Hips or Mighty Hips? For clarification, both are incorrect. It was Rocky III and "Thunderlips" was his characters name. Here he played a professional wrestler. Yep, yep. He, uh, he really "flexed" his acting muscles here. Ha. These are called jokes, class, and it's perfectly acceptable to laugh at them.

You'll notice that Hulk's next big movie was No Holds Barred where he again starred as a professional wrestler. A little piece of trivia about this film, as well: a lot of people think that Hulk's counterpart in No Holds Barred, Zeus, was a wrestler in the WWF before the film came out, but actually, Zeus didn't appear in a WWF ring until after the film was in theaters. But in any case, these two films came out in the 80s, so we're not so concerned with them. I'm saying they're not important to our topic and we aren't going to discuss them further no matter how badly you want to reference Zeus' role in the Chris Tucker/Ice Cube film Friday, what I'm saying.

We want to look at the 90s. This is where the real gold is. I want to highlight his star-making turn in Suburban Commando, opposite the Christopher Lloyd. Hulk plays a time-traveling alien dropped into a "suburban" household, righting wrongs and beating bullies and resolving plotlines with witty one-liners. I think it's safe to label this film under the popular sci-fi/comedy/action genre that got its start in the late 80s. To any film critic who thinks brevity cannot replace depth, I say to them: you clearly have not seen Suburban Commando in the right setting.

On a much broader note, I want to mention one way that Hulk Hogan really carved a niche for himself in the film industry. All you have to do is look at the names of the characters he's played: Shep Ramsey, Hurricane Spencer, Cutter, Dave Dragon, etc. That's an action star! I'm saying you won't pull these types of names up under Kevin Spacey's IMDB what I'm saying.

Kenny, it looks like you had a question, yeah? Okay, I seriously doubt that you saw Hulk Hogan in Adrian Noble's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Kenny. First, I can't even believe that you saw a movie based on a Shakespeare play when just last week you couldn't stop ranting about the redeeming social values of Meet the Spartans. Second, Hulk could pull off Petruchio from Taming of the Shrew, if anything. So henceforth we will not be discussing the possibility of Hulk Hogan in a Shakespeare adaptation. This is, after all, a serious course.

Moving on, I direct your attention to the slide on page 3 of your handouts:

I ask the rhetorical question, "where would we be as a society without Mr. Nanny" knowing full well that the question can never fully be answered or even understood. It will take perhaps another decade before we can account for the influence its had on directors and action-comedians alike. After all, Mrs. Doubtfire came out a full month after Mr. Nanny had already laid the groundwork for hairy men costumed in aprons. For the time being we're going to ignore Michael Keaton and his role in Mr. Mom--released in 1983--because the ratio of Michael Keaton's apron-wearing to Michael Keaton's overall screen time is overwhelmingly low and thus, not directly influential of Mr. Nanny. I'm saying Hulk Hogan revolutionized the way comedy and aprons and former professional wrestlers could work in relation to each what I'm saying.

Three words: Secret Agent Club. Ring any bells? Okay, five more words: Hulk Hogan is...Ray Chase! My god have you people lived under a rock for most of your lives? Secret Agent Club, tagline: "It's 10 PM. Do you know where your Dad is?" All right, well this is sad. And quite frankly it's far too deep to go into in the short amount of time we have left. I do want you to make note of a few things, though. One: Hulk Hogan is a toy salesman. Two: Hulk Hogan has a child. Three: Hulk Hogan is a secret agent and not actually a toy salesman. And four: Hulk Hogan has a laser gun. Chronology is not important on this, either. Just make sure those facts are ingrained in your minds.

Okay, well, we're just about out of time so I want you to come to class next week with three of the most historically signifcant one-liners Hulk Hogan has said in response to pulverizing a bad guy on screen. They will be graded. I suggest watching Thunder in Paradise II for some possibilties.