I will be going on vacation this week, but I am thinking I might be able to get some posts in. We shall see, but if not, check back in a week!
For those wondering, I am somewhere on the left edge about halfway up that photo. So if you're stalking me, I just gave you a map.
UPDATE: Yeah, we got internet access. I'll be posting for the Rocky Mountains, with one of the most spectacular views right out the window. I'll be hiking, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors, but none of these are all day activities. I've been looking forward to this week to get some solid reading and writing in, so check up, cause I'll be posting. From the Rockies. It is awesome.
Also, a little bit of self promotion, one of my favorite sites these days is Cracked.com. It's hilarious sites, with articles ranging from the purely humor to the very informative and interesting (and still funny). I'm trying to get involved writing there, which anybody can do, but if you get an article published you get 50 bucks (which is awesome). But they also have this new thing out called 'Cracked Topics' which is essentially a humorous Wikipedia (kind of) that anyone can sign up for and write. They pick their favorite each week, and the winner of THAT gets fifty bucks. Now I have a ways to go to get an article published, and doubt I could ever win the Topics page contest, but I have written one that I'm going to promote just to get an audience there.
The Topic I chose to write on is Rule 34, a humorous internet that guarantees there is porn on the internet for anything in existence. I managed to write it without being to crude at all, and considering it's my first foray at humor I think it turned out decently. Go ahead and click that link and let me know what you think here or there. Wherever.
I will be going on vacation this week, but I am thinking I might be able to get some posts in. We shall see, but if not, check back in a week!
Alien is a great science fiction movie. It's a smart thriller, exciting enough to be action but intelligent enough to be respected thirty years after it was made. Aliens, the sequel, is regarded as one of the great sequels of all time, up with The Godfather part II and Toy Story 2. It was actually nominated for more Academy Awards than the original, when the Academy wasn't quite so stuffy, and Sigourney Weaver was even up for best picture. Then, as is the way with so many great series, the third was only so-so and I don't even know what you mean by "Alien Resurrection." Winona Ryder? Who's that?
Then there were the two cross over AVP movies. I only saw the first, and have to admit... It's a guilty pleasure.
But there's been rumor of a prequel or remake to Alien for some time now, and fans have had their fingers crossed that the original director, Ridley Scott, might return. And lo and behold, it was announced today that he has, giving this film a glimmer of hope and some solid credentials. It will be a prequel, it turns out. Let's hope it's a good one.
For a while now, I've posted little jabs at the Twilight series and its insane fans, without giving any real substance as to why I loathe it so much. Or rather, why I loathe that it's popular. There are thousands of bad movies and books out there that I'm sure I would hate, but don't mention here, because they aren't making Stephanie Meyer a millionaire and haven't spawned a rabid fan base of absolute, maniacal, raving idiots that consists of emo teenage girls, and evidently adults that only read at a seventh grade level.
Firstly, in demonstration of the low mental capacities that infect many Twilight fans, I will look to poster-boy emo-vampire- man-hunk Robert Pattinson (notice I say many fans, not all, I'm being very careful here. Surely you, intelligent reader of this site who also enjoys Twilight, would not fall into this category). What does he think about the craze? How much does he love it?
Very little, in fact. "People ambush me and try and find out what hotel I’m staying at, as well as wanting to touch my hair. Everyone just screams and screams. It still feels surreal," he says, indicating a distaste for the exact same raving idiots I'm talking about. "But Reed," you say, "He's a movie star. People go crazy over any movie star." Okay, I'll grant you that.
What about people who scratch themselves to bleed and walk up and ask him to drink it? "One time, there were these four girls, in Chicago I think, and they had all scratched their necks until they bled. And then when they came up to me they had these bleeding scabs. It was gross!" Pattinson says. That's weird. No, no no, that's beyond weird. That's pure, unadulterated, funked up. But sure, that's an isolated incident, no need to- "A mother recently gave me her baby and asked me: 'Can you please bite her head?;" he continues. Are you kidding me? I'm sure Nicolas Cage has to deal with this all the time.
Okay, but still, isolated-"Anywhere we'd go for Twilight was a psychotic situation. The sound was deafening, and it's thoughtless, as well…You get a slew of all these bullshit questions like, 'What's it like to kiss a vampire?' and 'How much do you love Robert?' Then you'll get one that's actually real, but you're like, 'No, I can't right now, I can't even consider [it]," says that other star, Kristen Stewart.
That's enough, methinks. "Thoughtless," she said. I have never heard anyone involved with that other wildly popular (and superior in every way) fantasy series say anything close to that.
People tell me that I should like this series, because I like fantasy, love Harry Potter, and am a Superman freak. But liking fantasy and being entertained by stories of the supernatural hardly guarantees enjoying every little bit that the genre spits out. I love Dracula, the novel. It's a fantastic, entertaining and disturbing book. I don't like Dracula 2000, a movie that adapted the story to take place in space.
But I think I like that more than Twilight.
Twilight is atrocious, in every manner of the word. The story? I'll admit, when you summarize the story to it's absolute, barest manner, it sounds okay. But those bare bones are just, "Werewolves, Vampires, and a girl who loves one of each." Alright, fine. It's an old tale, and I have never been into vampire stories, but I can kind of see why people are. Then Stephanie Meyer decides to make changes. Vampires don't die in the sunlight, they sparkle. Okay, that's... That's kind of stupid. But hey, a little originality, a personal twist.
Then it all goes to hell. Edward can read minds, but for dumb inexplicable reasons, he can't read Bella's. Meanwhile the tone is, as I have said many times, that of a sixth grader who has just experienced horniness for the first time and discovered what a thesaurus was.
The writing is truly miserable, and I'm not exactly Hemingway. I'm not the only one to say that, plenty of people with more literary credentials than writing on a movie blog have done that for me. But just to bring in the poster child, here's what Pattinson has to say:
"When I read it ... I was convinced that Stephenie was convinced that she was Bella, and ... it was like it was a book that wasn't supposed to be published, like reading her — her sort of sexual fantasy about some — especially when she says that it was based on a dream, and it's like, "Oh, then I had a dream about this really sexy guy" and she just writes this book about it, and there's some things about Edward that are just so specific that ... I was just convinced that this woman is mad, she's completely mad, and she's in love with her own fictional creation. And I sometimes ... feel uncomfortable reading this thing, and I think a lot of people feel the same way, that it's kind of voyeuristic ... It creates this sick pleasure in a lot of ways."
First of all, I do give kudos to him for actually reading the source material, and managing to get through it. Now I haven't read all the books, I can admit that. But I have flipped through them, and read a few chapters, just to see what all the craze was about. It doesn't take long to see what he's talking about. It's all about Bella wanting to pounce Edward, in flowery, imbecilic language laced with chains of synonymous adjectives and cheesy teen angst. You know, stuff girls just eat up. Apparently. I had actually held them to higher standards.
"But it's entertaining." They say. "I know it's dumb, but it's fun to read. Is that so bad?" No. You're absolutely right. Reading trash is fine, occasionally. Except few people acknowledge it as such, and those that do don't read anything else. It's not like they balance out Twilight with a nice bit of Dickens, or Hugo, or even the aforementioned actual-book-about-vampires "Dracula." No. They put down the book and then pick up that other piece of feminine literary trash, Cosmo (Ba-zing!). That's why I think it's a shame that Transformers is going to be the number one film of the summer. Is it really so bad to want to be entertained by something dumb every once in a while? Can't I just see some explosions? Fine. Except people saw this movie multiple times, and many would likely say a movie like Moon sounds stupid and boring. That, and it requires intelligence to do 'dumb' successfully. Do you really only want trashy entertainment, whether it be in the form of explosions or emo vampires, or do you want things like character development, plot, and so forth? If I showed you clip after clip of things exploding, you probably wouldn't be entertained, no matter how much you liked Transformers, and slide-shows of vampires entwined romantically probably wouldn't get you that same high. But we seem to be getting dangerously close to the time when those are accepted forms of entertainment. Hasn't anybody read "Brave New World?" No? Just "Twilight" then, I see.
Pattinson has also said, "When you read the book it's like, 'Edward Cullen was so beautiful I creamed myself.' I mean, every line is like that. He's the most ridiculous person who's so amazing at everything. I think a lot of actors tried to play that aspect. I just couldn't do that. And the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy, so that's how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus, he's a 108-year-old virgin so he's obviously got some issues there."
Seems to sum up this piece of garbage book nicely. I may not like the character he plays, but I'm liking Robert Pattinson more and more. Now I would never condone burning books, even bad ones. That's too Nazi-esque for me, or "Fahrenheit 451." (No? You started it, but then "Eclipse" came out. I see).
So basically he just brought the whole emo thing to light; as if we weren't sure of it already. And while I didn't like the movie, by all accounts it seems better than the book.
And now, the real clencher, perhaps the biggest reason why I hate that this series is popular. I can handle cheesy romance, even when it's written really poorly. Romance novels are popular, I get it. But this particular story sets a horrible example for girls. "Bu-But it teaches chastity until marriage! That's not a bad thing." No, it's not, if they weren't symbolically screwing every other page. Or if it didn't depict female sexuality as a terrifying force for evil.
But more than that, this series delivers some terrible messages. For one, in about two to three weeks after Bella and Edward start any sort of dating, she's all ready for him to bite her on the neck and give up her very humanity, give up everything that she is. Really? What a great message for young ladies. Sacrifice everything that makes you, you, for the man you love; or claim to love, at 17 when you're still emotionally immature and have only known him for a month. Whichever. And I know there's always a fine line between 'stalker' and 'romantic' (and that line is usually how attracted to the guy the girl is), but I'm pretty sure it's creepy that Edward went up into her room to watch her sleep. Romance is gazing at someone from across the schoolyard; stalking is breaking into someone's house.
But that's not where it ends! There's so much more. In the second book, Edward leaves her and she starts a relationship with Jacob the Wolf-Man. She strings him along for the rest of the series, showing it's okay to toy with someone's emotions only if you're doing it to get back somebody you love. (Oh, and also, at the end of the novels Jacob falls in love with a baby. Meyer writes it so it sounds all poignant, that he recognized his soul mate in her, but let's face it, that's pedophilia. No, sorry, that's infantifilia, something so terrible it's not actually recognized as a word, even though linguistically it makes perfect sense. But don't worry, Meyer has made it so vampire/human hybrid babies grow up in, like, an accelerated fashion, so you know, it's, like, all cool).
Later on in book two, when Bella is distraught at Edward's absence and her poor plights of love, she decides she'll just jump off a cliff. Fortunately Eddie boy swoops in to save her. Good timing.
Moral: If you really love somebody, but have lost him, go ahead and engage in self-destructive behavior to win him back. Thanks, Steph!
The entire books, which as I've already stated have bad plots and are poorly written, are all about a girl who wants a guy so desperately she wants to sacrifice everything that makes her her for him. Now I'm a pretty conservative guy, but this is some sick stuff. In the ultimate middle finger to feminism, and to literary merit, Meyer goes ahead and makes her a vampire in the end of the series. Oh, thank goodness. It's real, true love.
No it's not. It's angsty, misogynistic, destructive garble that people are reading by the truckload. And I don't like that.
How to write your own Twilight book.
We've been Hungover, and we've seen Bruno using a dustbuster in... innovative ways. This Friday, the third big comedy of the summer hits theaters... It's the third film that Judd Apatow has been throth (that's the 'three' version of 'both') the writer, director, and producer. The first two were The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. The former is one of my favorite comedies ever, while I thought its follower was rather forgettable. Hopefully, Funny People will deliver. Apatow, who has created an entire genre of comedy, is known for making risky comedy with a dramatic heart. For instance, despite the crudities in The Forty Year Old Virgin, Steve Carrel's character Andy was a genuine, sweet-natured guy who you actually felt for. Apatow has said this new film is him trying to be "Twice as serious, and twice as funny. Wish me luck!"
The film is about an older comedian, played by Adam Sandler, who is diagnosed with cancer and takes under his wing a young up and coming stand up comic (Seth Rogen). Sandler isn't known for his dramatic talents to the common public, who seem him as making dumb comedies where he talks funny and throws in fart jokes for good measure. But he has impressed my with his serious work, which I first saw in Spanglish, where I realized the guy could act. I'd prefer he'd do more of that, and less of Zohan, and it seems this film might be moving that direction.
I'm sure it will be funny, and maybe a little sad at times. I'm sure Sandler will yell, and Rogen will play the exact same character he always has, but I think this could be a pretty good move for the Apatow team.
The RomCom is a formula tried and tested, but The Ugly Truth, starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, breaks the mold just enough to be recognized as something different. It's not a great movie, and it's forgettable enough that by the time it was over I had already forgotten half of it, but I do remember enjoying myself.
Abby (Heigl) is the producer of a failing morning television show, once known for its intelligence. Mike (Butler) is the host of a misogynistic, sex-charged late night show called The Ugly Truth that gives people relationship advice, which usually boils down to "All men want to do is screw, so ladies, spread those legs," except in an even crasser manner. In order to pull in some ratings, one of Abby's bosses brings in Mike to do "The Ugly Truth" as part of their morning segment, and ratings immediately skyrocket when he talks dirty to the camera, makes it known that successful women intimidate men to impotency, and shows two girls wrestling in a tub of cherry jello. Abby, meanwhile, watches in horror.
She has troubles of her own though, because she has zero ability when it comes to romantic interactions. She has a '10 list criteria' and makes it known on the first date how many the guy fulfills, and reveals that she has done a background check on them. I don't came godliness when it comes to the dating game, but is anybody really that stupid? We can hope not.
Anyway, once Abby meets her hunky next door (doctor) neighbor, and since all women are shallow, stupid money whores, she begins her attempt to woo him, with Mike's help. His advice: be overtly sexual and play hard to get.
We all know how this ends; the more he helps, the more they bond, yada yada yada. The movie is an R-rated, crass romantic comedy. It's not the filthiest thing I've seen, but it earns its rating. I wasn't offended by it, in fact I thought it did the whole 'vulgar' thing really well. It's really easy to mess up a movie like this, but I thought it handled the dirtier parts in a manner that seemed borderline realistic.
Now Heigl is fine for what she was required to do, but this movie belongs to Butler. He is a pretty impressive dude. I've seen him sing in the Phantom of the Opera and kick ass and scream a lot as King Leonidas, but I'd never seen him do comedy, and wasn't sure he could pull it off. Turns out he's a funny guy, and if there's one thing that makes this movie passable, it's him. If there's two things, it's him and the scene with the vibrating panties.
I can't decide if the movie was trying to demonstrate that Mike's simple, dare I say, 'cocksure' attitude about relationships is real, or if the "ugly truth" wasn't so easy. Mike certainly doesn't approve of his nephew mimicking his tactics, and when they talk it seems that he reveals that he blows out a lot of hot air for cheap entertainment. I certainly don't approve of his message, that men have no heart and only testicles, and that women are shallow resume loving dependents. But I would like to think that wasn't the point.
The characters aren't particularly deep, and they are offensively stereotypical. But I have thick skin, and can laugh at offensive stereotypes, so if they want to claim all men are pig-headed and still make me laugh I can accept it. You'll likely chuckle, and the leads have pretty strong chemistry, so if you have to go to the movies and have already seen everything else, you'll be fine choosing this.
I didn't think it was possible, but the new Disney movie G-Force, about Guinea Pigs that become spies, took the number spot away from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The latter dropped a whopping 61% in its second weekend, getting $30 million, while the rodents brought in $32 million. In third was The Ugly Truth with $27 million, and Orphan came in fourth opening to $12.8 million.
I'm sure everybody involved in the franchise gets a little tired of it: "When will the next Batman movie come out?!
You know everybody from Christopher Nolan to Gary the third grip gets asked this question at every turn. Everything we've heard so far is, basically, "We need to see what Chris does."
That is, until Comic-con, the mecca of dorkdome. Though as of late it's becoming more and more "entertainment"-con, as any movie or popular series gets involved regardless of comic book status (including Twilight). When Gary Oldman was asked about the next movie, he said, "The next batman is next year, so I think it is two years away. But you didn’t hear it from me.”
Alright, Gary. It'll be our little secret. Does this mean they have a script working, or at least an idea? Is Nolan on board? CAN I BE IN IT?
More adults are reading "Twilight," Stephanie Meyer's shit-storm of a series, and its clones, than anything else. This is upsetting, for many reasons.
But it also makes for easy money. Dan O'Brian at Cracked.com has posted his hilarious idea for his contribution to the genre, linked here.
It's funny, because it's true.
What would you do for a Klondike Bar? How about a million dollars? When a family is told they could get that, for only pushing a button, it seems like a great deal. The catch, somebody in the world, who they don't know, will be killed. Throw in a sick son for some motivation, and you've got yourself a what-would-you-do thriller.
The Box is clearly based on a famous Twilight Zone episode, as well as the short story with the original idea, called "Button, Button." If the movie has an ending similar to those, it could be a pretty tense, nail biting movie.
We'll have to see, won't we?
We've all been there. Sitting in a theater, watching a movie, squirming and laughing as we watch something really appalling on screen. Sometimes there's a build-up, and we push back into our seats, hoping they won't do it, that it won't happen, saying to ourselves, "Oh, no, no no no..." Yup. That just happened. Sometimes it happens suddenly, and we immediately recoil and emit a mixture of a scream, groan, and guffaw all in one.
One of my favorite short stories, that I've forgotten the title to, is about a young girl on her twelth birthday who realizes that there is a part of her inside that is still two. That's the part that wants to cuddle next to her mother when she's sad. Well, these moments are the ones that let our 13-year-old self escape briefly, when we laugh at the grossest, most juvenile humor imaginable.
Here's a look at some of the funniest gross-outs in comedy (I'm not including horror films... Those just aren't as enjoyable), ranked by a complex mathematical equation that involves both how disgusting and how funny it is (actually I just put them where ever the hell I wanted).
Fair warning, it gets a little, how do you say, graphic.
12. Jonah Hill is Spotting in "Superbad"
I'm not crazy about this movie, but this little bit of disgusting did make me laugh (and cry). Seth has been partying hard, grinding with an attractive, older, and very inebriated chick. He goes into another room and a guy asks, "What's that on your pants? Is that blood?" As my mind reeled to figure out what he might have cut himself on, the guy continues, cracking a smile, "Were you dancing with a girl?" Slowly it dawn on me. 'No, no, no, no way,' echoes my inner thoughts.
"You used my leg as a tampon!" He screams as the girl attacks him. That's weird, cause I used my popcorn bag as a vomit receptacle.
11. The Kama Sutra and Pool of Vomit in "Team America: World Police"
Two scenes in this movie pushed the envelope so far it fell off the table. One is the infamous sex scene, perhaps one of the most memorable in cinema history. Watching two puppets, completely devoid of any genitalia, wrapping themselves in the most bizarre and difficult sex positions known to man was truly an experience. How they didn't keep those strings untangled is the biggest mystery of all. There's an extended version of this scene that goes even farther, including one puppet's defecation onto the others face (I must say, that was a polite way to say "he shits on her," which kind makes me sick to write).
But the other scene, perhaps less gross but I think funnier, is when Gary the puppet stumbles out of a bar to be sick to his stomach. Then again. And again. Soon he's spraying what looks like melted velveeta cheese all over the place in a manner reminiscent of what it looked like when your Super Soaker was low on water. The orchestra in the back ground makes this scene fifteen times better, rising in intensity at just the right moments. While I have qualms about embedding that sex scene (find it yourself, you damn pervert), I think I can post the vomit scene without feeling too guilty:
Scene Spassose: Team America - Gary Vomit - The funniest videos are a click away
10. Crowning Baby in "Knocked Up"
Like those sneaky Charlies in every movie about Vietnam you've ever seen, this little gem sneaks up on you and gives you a surprise attack of gag-reflex-itis. I don't know if it's fake, I don't know if it's a body double, I don't know if they ripped a shot straight from "The Miracle of Life" that you had to watch uncomfortably in biology class (remember kids, the only sure way is abstinence), but that was a zoom in shot of a baby coming out of a vagina. It was at this point that every guy let go of his date's hand and started scraping for whatever was left at the bottom of his popcorn bag or his box of candy. He'd work for that crumb for the rest of that damn movie, so long as he didn't have to touch her again. No need to risk it right? I actually understand there's a slim chance sperm can travel through the male's body, through the fingertips, and search out the female's uterus. After the movie, the couple then avoided contact for five days before the image was erased from their memory.
9. Cop Slams Down a Bottle of Piss in "Dumb and Dumber"
One of my all time favorite comedies, and a truly great gross out moment. Yes, it's certainly true that the turbo-lax scene almost left you in a state of revulsion, but you ended up just feeling bad for Harry when he learned the toilet wouldn't flush (incidentally, that scenario is one of my recurring nightmares). But it was this scene, when Lloyd (in Jim Carrey's finest outing) is overcome by a case of atomic bladder, and fills up six beer bottles while driving ("What are you, a camel?"). Pulled over for speeding, the police officer sees the open containers and believes Lloyd is driving drunk.
What happens next is the bet urine gag in all of movies. It doesn't matter that he had no reason to take sip from the bottle. It doesn't matter that no cop would ever ask for a bottle in the first place. What matters is that we laugh hysterically while the cop reacts in involuntary spasms and Lloyd says, "Tic-Tac, sir?" Comedy gold. Or comedy golden shower.
8. Penis Through the Peephole in "Porky's"
An oldie, but a goody. One of the earliest examples of gross out comedy, in the days when Animal House was considered daring. That movie looks completely tame in a generation that has seen "Two Girls, One Cup," But this scene from Porky's is still a classic.
Even if you haven't seen the movie, you've probably picked up a bit of it just from culture osmosis. The movie is most famous for it's peephole into the women's showers, and the peephole is most famous for this scene. When the 'taliwhacker' gets thrust through the hole, you're surprised. Maybe a little disgusted, but hey, half the world has penises. No big. Until the gigantic, butch female gym teacher comes in, grabs it and shakes it violently. Hilarious, and made funnier by the following scene.
7. The Most Horrible Genital Mutilation Ever in "There's Something About Mary"
Seeing a penis appear through a hole is one thing. Seeing one that is mangled in a zipper trap of the devil's invention is another. Sure, this movie is most famous for the 'hair gel' scene. that's pretty gross, but not TOO terrible. At least, not compared to this. Poor Ted has hurriedly zipped up his fly, resulting in the mutilation of man's most sacred body part. What we didn't expect, while watching this classic Farrley Brothers movie that changed the face of comedy, was to actually see maimed genitalia. We suddenly catch a glimpse of the nightmare, what looks like turkey meet snagged in the devil's bear trap. Every guy has accidentally nicked himself; which really sucks. But to imagine the pain that comes from this jumbled mess makes you want to faint. As Mary's father exclaims, "How'd you get the bean over the frank?" Every male simultaneously clutched their nuts like they were in similar danger.
6. Stiffler's Many Exploits in the "American Pie" Series
Ah, the nineties, when teen gross-out comedies reigned supreme and this series lead the pack, before spawning abysmal direct to DVD sequels that even Tara Reid wouldn't star in. Oh wait, yes she will. God, you've got to pity that girl. She must be reallllly desperate.
But it was Stiffler who was always the butt end of the gross out joke. One time in each movie the jack ass you hate to love (or love to hate) found himself on the business end of some sort of bodily fluid. The second is weakest, when he gets pissed all over while believing it's champagne poured by a beautiful girl (but who wants champagne poured all over them?) The third finally made the old 'dog ate something important, so we have to wait for him to shit it out' gag funny by adding a gross, unique twist (read: putting said shit in mouth). And the first had poor Stiffler take a swig of Spunk Light, not realizing his friend had just used the cup of beer to 'finish' into minutes before. Classic Stiffler. I'm going to go puke.
5. Stool Sample Latte in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"
How I wish Mike Meyers could return to the spotlight and make something, well, funny again. His Austin Powers series made me laugh harder than most comedies ever do. And this scene definitely made me recoil as I busted up.
For some reason, unknown to anybody, British Intelligence likes to keep boiling stool samples right next to the coffee machine (I have an informant who tells me this is accurate). So of course, the audience watches as Austin unknowingly pours himself a cup of Fat Bastard's fecal matter. It's a tense game of will-he-or-won't-he as he keeps rising the cup to his lips before pausing. Until finally, you think the moment has arrived, but he realizes, "This coffee smells like shit." He is informed that, in fact, it is shit. "Oh good, then it's not just me." He says.
AND THEN HE DRINKS IT ANYWAY! Oh my God that's funny stuff! Right when we thought we were in the clear!
"It's a bit nutty."
That's just sick.
4. Frosted Like a Cake in "Zak and Miri Make a Porno"
Director Kevin Smith is not one to shy away from risque comedy. But this little movie put him through the ringer. He had to fight the MPAA on practically everything to keep the film R rather than NC-17 (hell, just look at the title). But it was this little half-a-second shot that he really had to battle for (and eventually won).
When the actress tells Seth Rogen that she's excited about the, ahem, anal scene, since she's been constipated all day and that it will, ahem, loosen her up, you probably went 'wow, that's kind of gross.' Little did you know you were still an innocent child at this stage of the movie.
Only after you see the camera man, getting the angle from underneath, splattered in the face do you realize just how far this movie goes. I don't dare post that video here, and couldn't even find a link for it. Rent the movie and see for yourself, if you dare.
3. Lardass and the Retching Spree in "Stand By Me"
Most of these films have been low-brow comedies, and I'm sure the more refined movie audience loathes them for what they do to artistic cinema. I'm sure I've disgusted a few of you out there reading. But Stand By Me is a very respected, very dramatic, coming of age tale. And the fact that this revolting little bit comes in the middle of all that 'high-quality' cinema makes it all the better. Yes, it's a young boy telling a story only young boy's are supposed to think is funny, but the point is that the young boy is in all of us, because we all laugh too.
The scene has been emulated many times, memorably in "Family Guy" and Scary Movie 2 (which is tagged on to this ranking by virtue of being so similar), but nothing beats the original. So here it is, the story of Lardass, and the case of the mass vomiting menagerie.
And just for good measure, here's the Scary Movie 2 opening scene. I saw this days after watching The Exorcist for the first time, which really makes this one of the funniest scenes ever.
2. Obese Naked Fat Guy Wresting Match in "Borat"
We all know how low Sacha Baron Cohen will stoop for a laugh, but it's always funny and it always works. And it was this scene that left you in stitches, and nauseated, for its entirety. From the very start, when Borat walks in on that gigantic naked man jerking off on the bed, to midway, when they're in the 69 position from hell and his nose is in the 'anoose' and the big guy's testes are resting on Borat's mouth, to the end when the two of them roll around naked in a crowded convention center, there's not much that doesn't scar you in this filth-ridden, hilarious scene.
1. Dog-Jizz Eclaires in "Van Wilder"
What possibly tops fat, hairy, naked men spanking it? Not much, really. But this little gem goes so beyond anything else on this list it has to be the number one spot.
This movie sits at a proud 18% on Rotten Tomatoes; I'd give it a positive rating just for shooting this scene. We've all heard the urban legend, of the fraternity that gave the sorority the box of donuts. And after they ate them all, on the bottom of the box are pictures of the frat stars playing Ring Toss with the doughnuts, using their wangs as the sticks. They smile proudly in the photos as the donuts don't fall, despite the guys hands being outstretched and empty...
Van Wilder takes this idea and says, "Okay, I want more. Let's have semen involved. But let's not even make it human semen. It's gotta be dog semen. And they've gotta eat it."
My intestines are churning at the sordid thought. But that's what happens. If ever there was high brow gross-out comedy, this killed it. Watching the guys...pour the... Into their mouths... I Just... Hrmph... I'm gonna be sick. I (shamefully) include the link here. Weak stomachs and easily offended be warned. This is just plain fucking disgusting.
It's also hilarious, and in really, really poor taste. You know what else tastes poor? Dog semen.
Score one for the future Green Lantern.
The trailer for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and it looks like the land of my nightmares. It's heavy on the CGI, but it's all really cool looking. You can also see how the 3D is going to be used, pretty heavily it seems, and in an actual artistic fashion. I can already envision people reaching out to try to touch the Cheshiere Cat.
Please note Johnny Depp look like he might be a serial killer in this movie. That would be a pretty radical change for the Mad Hatter, but I'm not sure I can believe somebody who looks like that doesn't enjoy the thrill of a quick stab...
I hope this movie isn't used purely to show him off. He's a great actor, but too many movies he's in have a "Look what he can do" tone (read: Pirates of the Caribbean after the first one).
There has been a lot of news surrounding the Man of Steel, and not much of it is good. This article here deals the heaviest blow. It explains why, not only might there not be a Superman movie, the character might be completely removed from DC comics and their entire universe. In 2013, the entire intellectual property returns to the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster, who first created the character. At first this seemed like a great prompt to get a Superman movie jump started, but it seems Warner Brothers has no plans for that at the moment (more on that later). But it now seems like DC comics might lose their flagship character completely, and that he could be sold to a competing studio. Neither DC nor WB can make anything Superman related without permission (read: payment) to the heirs.
Now, I have suspicions that they aren't going to let it go so easily. He's their flagship character, along with Batman, and the two of them have been leading their logo for decades now. I think (and hope) there will be deals made and contracts signed by 2013. But for the moment the lawsuit is proving to be the Kryptonite to the Superman name. And for the moment, WB is preparing for the possibility of a World Without Superman. But the catch is that WB and DC would STILL have the rights to release Superman internationally, meaning if the Siegels decided to go to any other company they'd cause some of the most ridiculous bureaucratic logistical problems they'd ever seen, and I know they don't want that. Ah, the silver lining. WB is looking to strike a deal, but only one that they believe is economically viable.
If DC loses Superman, do I want to see him with another company? I don't think he'll work in any other universe, he's too established. I don't want to see him fly with the X-men, he doesn't work there. Fortunately, I don't think I'll have to.
Meanwhile, they're doing exactly what they should be doing with ever character in their arsenal: making shit tons of movies. An article written at the hollywoodreporter shows how the DC movie-verse is on the verge of a storm. Not only is the highly anticipated Green Lantern starting filming soon, but they're planning a slew of projects with other characters. These include The Flash, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow, numerous graphic novels, a Bizarro Superman, a-
Hold up. They're making a Bizarro Superman film???
Let me explain to you laymen what "Bizarro Superman" is. Bizarro is an imperfect clone of Superman, with deformities including white skin, backwards thinking, and dumb language. He's convinced he is Superman, and will say such brilliant lines as "You am no Superman, ME am Superman!" Before punching a hole in a woman's head. Basically, he's a mentally handicapped person with Superman's powers. Why are they making a movie with this guy? This means one of three things.
1. It's code for a "Superman movie." This is not uncommon. Superman returns went under the code name "Red Sun" for a while. But this seems like a strange code name.
2. It's a Superman movie with Bizarro as a villain. This is a terrible idea. Out of all the villains Superman has, they go with the literally retarded one? Now it might be a little different, many incarnations of Bizarro have him being evil rather than dumb, but there's still so many better villains to use. But since WB has said they're still stalling on Superman this doesn't seem right.
3. They're actually making a movie that stars Bizarro. I don't know HOW this would go down, he's never been a starring character. Are they trying to make a comedy? Do they really think this is a good idea? Why do are they afraid to make a Superman movie but they're willing to make the worst comic book film since Batman and Robin? This could kill the Superman franchise forever... If it isn't dead already.
In April, WB president Alan Horn said, "Our hope is to develop a Superman property and to try again. What hurt us is that the reviews and so on for the Superman movie did not get the kind of critical acclaim that Batman got, and we have other issues with Superman that concern us."
This is your reason for stalling? What issues do you have, and why aren't they present for Bizarro?! They're making this infinitely more difficult than it needs to be, and making gross missteps. Get your other flagship character off the benches. People will go see him. I don't know why they think he won't. Show him punching somebody through a building in a high stakes brawl-comic book movie gold. Superman Returns made 400 million dollars, and received fairly strong reviews. It wasn't stellar, and it wasn't perfect, but it showed people still want to see the character.
So they need to work out this lawsuit and get a Superman film underway. He's an American icon, one of the most recognized characters in history. The Siegels need to realize that and quit playing for greed, and WB needs to realize that and stop stalling.
It was announced today that Sam Raimi, director of the Evil Dead and Spider-Man series is on board to direct a big screen adaption of World of Warcraft, the massively popular online multiplayer game that is blamed for laziness and break-ups around the globe.
I had only heard inklings about this project and had no idea they were so ready to choose a director, but there you have it. From what I understand about the game (very little) there isn't much plot. But there's a huge overworld they've created, with different locations and missions, so perhaps these will be incorporated strongly into the films plot. You have that and include the different races that inhabit this world, and you've got yourself what's doomed to be a Lord of the Rings emulation.
But having a respectable director on board (read: one that isn't Uwe Boll) really helps this project's legitimacy, so perhaps it will be awesome. Regardless, expect there to be a mass geek exodus from Parent's Basements across America on opening night.
Watchmen is hit or miss, depending on who is watching, but nobody could argue that it isn't a very unique movie. That's partly because it's based on a very unique story. There's very little like it, nothing that it could really be compared to, and the movie was always going to appeal to a very specific audience. People have dissected it, criticized it for being too faithful to the book, wondered if the pacing or the directing or the acting that turned off many in the regular audience.
I don't buy it. The film is beautiful to watch, and very well adapted. It's actually one of the few adaptions where I didn't feel disappointed at what they left out or changed. The problem with Watchmen is that only a select group of people are going to like it, regardless of the medium it's presented in. The story is bleak and thoughtful, carrying much more weight than your typical comic book movie, and making The Dark Knight look like Spider-Man when it comes to heavy-handedness. I could select, from my friends who had never read the book, those who would love it and those that wouldn't, based on what I knew about their personality and their taste.
Most fans of the books loved the movie, but thought that nonreaders might find it muddled or difficult to follow, which again I don't think is the case. Those that were interested would follow it easily, those that weren't stopped paying attention and got lost. The graphic novel and the movie only have an appeal for those with a particular taste, and if you don't have it you're not going to enjoy yourself.
Most agree it is the best adaption we could have hoped for. But I don't think we need to criticize the different facets of the movie to determine why it wasn't more successful. Was it too long, was it too faithful? I don't completely understand the 'too faithful' argument. We who like it love it, and those who don't can't possibly understand why we do. The movie, so long as it remained true in tone and in plot to the original, was always going to be divisive. It's faithfulness did not affect the movie stylistically or structurally; it was not these that drove some people away. It's the plot, and always was the plot, that some wouldn't respond to.
For those that haven't seen it, I'd recommend it just to see what you think. You might find something you really like, and if nothing else it's visually striking.
And there's a lot of Dr. Manhattan's big blue penis, which caused more of a public outcry than was ever necessary.
With the pictures of the hero and the beautiful princess recently released, the next thing we needed to see is Ben Kingsley in his role of the evil Vizier. For those wondering, yes, Jafar was the Vizier in Aladdin; this movie is more and more a live action remake, but with more sword fights and less Robin Williams.
In the game, the Vizier tricks the Prince into releasing the Sands of time from their mystical hourglass, which basically messes up the entire kingdom, turning people into horrific creatures and what not. I don't know exactly what his role will be in the film, but expect him to be an evil, sniveling bastard.
Also, in the game, he had a staff with a cobra head. Yeah. Just like this guy.
I don't even care, this movie is going to be great. A large part of the game shows off the Prince's physics defying acrobatics. He runs up and across walls, back flips, swings on ropes, basically he's a gymnast that's really proficient at decapitations. Apparently the movie is trying to recapture that, having some Parkour stuntman do some pretty incredible things.
Next May can't come soon enough.
This is a post that is only tangentially related to movies in any way (and even that claim is a stretch). Basically I've stumbled upon what must be the most horrifying and unsettling piece of information I've ever learned, including finding out Santa Clause wasn't real and there are people out there who try to blow up airplanes with their shoes.
His name is Jules. He will carry a conversation with you, remember who you are, and is bound to someday go on a rampage where he snaps the spines of every human being on the planet like wishbones. And he's a robot:
I understand if you just needed to go change your pants and stock up on shot guns and EMP grenades. If Hollywood has taught me anything, it's that casual sex is okay and to beware both strange viruses that turn people into zombies and self-aware artificial intelligence. Yeah, yeah, there's that one piece of fluff, the Pinocchio ripoff A.I., but we all really know it will go down more like Terminator. Plus for every one movie (I think there's only one movie) with nice robots, there are about twelve hundred demonstrating how robots could potentially take over the earth and destroy humanity as we know it. I Robot, The Matrix, the aforementioned Terminator series, Short Circuit; all demonstrate to me why this kind of shit needs to be stopped (and don't question me on that last one, you know "Number Five is alive" spells doom for everybody, they cut the last violent and horrific fifteen minutes of that movie out).
I don't like Robots; never trusted them. Ever since I saw the giant mechanic gorilla at Chuck E. Cheeses I knew they had to be stopped (that bastard gave me nightmares for years). There's something called the "Uncanny Valley," which is basically a bullshit hypothesis somebody made up about prosthetic humanoids. It basically says a person will like some inanimate object the more it looks like a human, up to a certain point, when it becomes so very close yet disturbingly far away, and suddenly they are somewhat repulsed. This explains why those eerie wax museums unsettle us much more than a barbie doll, and why things like Jules instill fear and rage in us like nothing else can. Well, now that I've seen Jules and read this article about robots that could be fueled on organic matter (included plants, and get this, HUMAN CORPSES), it's officially time to prepare for the war for humanity.
So I know what you're thinking. They're just typing in things for Jules to say, and then acting (quite poorly) their responses. I thought so too, but everything I've seen suggests differently; that he was built to communicate, think, remember, and mimic facial expressions. His responses, while certainly articulate, are just different enough from a human response to convince me they aren't putting words in his mouth. Scratch that, not his, its mouth. The first step is acknowledging these monsters as things and not people.
And, get this. If you are mean to Jules, Jules fucking remembers, man. And when he sees you again he's not very friendly to you. Sure, he's not pulling your arms out your shoulder sockets yet. But they've given this robot the ability to hold a grudge and even seek out fucking revenge.
He seems, or at least proclaims, to have some sort of human emotion. Look at this film, where he says he's afraid of his upcoming voyage to London:
Or this one, when he's leaving and proclaims his love for his, erm its, family. Notice he asks if he can write them e-mails:
First off, keep that baby away, dammit. Secondly, let's now watch as he ponders sexuality:
Great, just when you thought all you had to fear was him killing you, he's starting to contemplate raping you as well. And in this next disturbing video, Jules ponders his own reality, and hopes some day to be 'real':
I might be wrong, but I think what's going to make him snap is when he realizes his hope of becoming real is as empty as the back of his scalp. Yeah, yeah, he's saying he wants to save the world, and make a difference (don't we all), but I see right through your lies, Jules. When we realize the futility in existence we don't start devouring each other and hijacking the world's nuclear arms system, something I know you're training to do. And in perhaps the most terrifying video of all, somebody thought it would be funny to record a speech, have Jules watch it and repeat it as heard. Giving us this:
Ha...Haha.... I'm going to buy a gun.
With every bit of news I get more excited about this upcoming film. Today, Empire magazine released two new posters for the film. Here they are:
Okay, so that second looks like a perfume ad. "Destiny, by Lalique." But that first one is pretty awesome. I gotta admit, Jake Gyllenhaal looks spot on to the Prince from the games, and that costume is nigh perfect.
Plus, I'm really liking the color tones and lighting utilized in those pictures. Could it be they're adding some artistic flair, giving us more than just a dumb video-game adaption? We can only hope.
It's a rough film to follow up, for sure, but someone's got to do it. And we have three films coming up this Friday to try to make some sort of dent in the box office, though I'm not entirely sure how successful they'll be.
G-Force is a family friendly animated film that I'm not just dying to talk about. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, this is the story of a secret government program that rains what appear to be hamsters or guinea pigs or something to work in espionage. Can anyone else smell an Oscar?
Also coming out is the horror film Orphan featuring the number one scare tactic to make me shit myself, creepy little girls. The only thing that would make this worse is if she were a ghost, a la Samara in the The Ring (excuse me, the thought alone requires a change of shorts). Esther is a 'different' sort of young girl in an orphanage, and when a woman miscarries her pregnancy she and her husband decide to adopt. Why they decide to adopt an older child is one mystery, and why they choose the one that must be Satan's spawn is another. But according to the preview, some of Esther's activities are painting, playing with dolls, and pushing kids in front of moving vehicles. You know, stuff we all did at twelve. Honestly this movie doesn't look that great, or that scary. But we'll wait and see, won't we?
Lastly, the only movie I'm remotely excited about seeing, The Ugly Truth hits theaters this Friday. Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl star in this raunchy rom-com. It's a standard outing. Boy helps girl get guy (by objectifying her and playing to Man's ability to think only with their testicles) only to realize he cares for her like, deeply and stuff. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I think they'll end up together.
The cash gobbling phenomenon entitled Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had a rather spectacular five day run. It pulled it $79.5 million over the weekend, and $139.7 million since its Wednesday opening... in America. Adding in the international figures?
I'm sorry, that's just not impressive enough:
That's a little better. Good... Lord... Now why don't they take those profits and jump start a Superman film?
Coming in second place was Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs at $17.7 million. Transformers sadly continues to sell tickets, at $13.8 million.
I'd been hearing buzz for the smart, low-budget, limited release movie Moon by the time I got to see it in theaters last Saturday. My expectations were high, and I wondered if this film would do everything many people had said it would. Did I question my humanity? Did the movie ask what it means to be human?
Not as much as I assumed it would. But it did make me think, and is certainly a cerebral movie.
It's sometime in the future, and Earth has started using clean energy that comes in the form of Helium-3, an isotope I wasn't sure existed, but actually researched after the film. Turns out that it does, that it's valued highly for nuclear fusion research, that it's incredibly rare on earth, but that many people think it is on the Moon in abundance. Three points for accuracy. Anyway, an energy company is the sole supplier of Helium-3, and it gets all of it from a mining station on the dark side of the moon. The entire program is managed by one lonely occupant, who is under contract for three years before returning to earth, named Sam Bell, played by Sam Rockwell. With just two weeks remaining before returning home, Sam is starting to feel the weight of isolation of being away from Mother Earth for three long years. His only human contact is from pre-recorded messages from the company executives, and his wife and daughter. There's a satellite for live communication, but it's strangely broken and not set for repair any time soon. The job is taking its toll, Sam starts to have strange hallucinations and is on the cusp of insanity. Soon he finds himself interacting with somebody identical to him in every way, and also happens to go by the name Sam Bell.
He's (They're?) assisted at the base by GERTY, a high tech artificial intelligence system that speaks with voice of Kevin Spacey and shows emotion with the use of a select few smiley face emoticons on a small screen. What at first comes off as a creepy, HAL copy cat thankfully proves to be something much different.
I realized in October my freshman year of college, when I was still meeting new people in a place where I had known nobody coming in, that I had gone the longest duration of time without a hug. It was an odd, sad and sobering fact; something that had been daily routine for me, a natural human interaction, had suddenly vanished in my life. This movie takes that to the nth degree, viewing how somebody might act completely devoid of human contact. We then get what can only be described as a a 'mind-fuck' as we try to discern the circumstances surrounding this incident. Is he a clone, or has he completely snapped? The movie does a fantastic job of making it ambiguous and forcing you to think to discern what you think is true. In the end, I'm not sure it ever really tells you.
The cinematography on the film is perfect. It has a dated feel to it, where the CGI looks like it could be little models, but if it were little models it looks CGI. It gives it a rugged, realistic feel of what it would probably be like to drive a Humvee across the surface of the moon. Accompanied by a fantastic piano-heavy score by Clint Mansell, known best for his haunting music in Requiem for a Dream.
To say Sam Rockwell did a good job here is like saying Leonardo Da Vinci painted a pretty picture with the Mona Lisa. He has the whole spectrum of emotions to display, from despair to borderline madness, and it's his performance that gives the film much of its intrigue. Also considering the entire movie consists of him talking to himself, it's more than impressive to see what he's done.
If Moon is playing near you, go see it. It's the smart sci-fi film of the summer to balance out the bombastic fun that was Star Trek. My brain certainly churned more in this movie than in any other movie this summer, and it's certainly one of the best releases so far. The rare gem of a film that comes out during the season of popcorn fanfare.
Here is a trailer for the comedy I Love You, Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. And boy does it look...gay.
Or as Carrey says, "Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay." It also happens to look pretty damn funny. This film doesn't have a distributor for the U.S. yet, and if Bruno is getting such bad word of mouth I'm not sure how much that could hurt this film's chances. But I hope to get to see it sometime, if anything just to see Jim Carrey in a film.
And then there's a film I've been wanting to write about for a while, District 9.
What is this, an intelligent alien film? I'm sorry, I want stuff blowing up and Will Smith, please.
Peter Jackson is no slouch, and this film has a lot of positive buzz surrounding it. Alien refugees, the last survivors of their home world, have landed over South Africa to make a new home. They neither attack nor share with us their uber awesome space exploration technology, and selfishly keep their dastardly weapons to themselves. At least, that's what some humans think.
I don't know how much this movie will vilify humans (a tactic I'm not crazy about), but it has great potential. It comes out August 14.
How Caucasian you are, Mr. Prince.
This is the first official picture for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the hopefully epic film based on the definitely epic video game. If you'll click here, you'll see this is a video game based movie I have very high hopes for. It doesn't seem that difficult, in my mind, to make a spectacular, epic, and serious film using the ideas from the original game. Then it's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Mike Newell, and I just have to believe they're doing a good job with it.
Take a look at this little video, that shows a little bit of what it looks like:
Really? A 'street urchin' that gets taken in by the king and falls in love with a feisty princess? Why don't we just make him a 'street rat' and give him a nice little ditty to sing as he outruns the palace guards with his monkey buddy? Okay, so it sounds like Aladdin with time travel, isn't that secretly what we always wanted to see in those movies?
Expect to hear more about this as Comic-con gets into full swing.
Prince of Persia will be released May 28, 2010
The movie has found huge financial success, smashed records, sold out theaters, and is pushing that dollar sign to surpass the James Bond movies to become the most successful franchise of all time. I wrote my review, tried to leave out spoilers, and attempted as best I could to base the film on the film's merits alone. My general assessment came to: it was a pretty good film (beautifully shot, if nothing else), but flawed and jumbled at times, and tended to focus on matters less important than those pertaining to the main thought. It got everything it absolutely HAD to get in, however, and has set us up for what I hope will be the best film(s) to date; the two-part finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
That's all well and good. Despite my liking of this movie, the book nerd in me is clawing to get out. So I'm letting him go. The movies have always made decisions that irked that side of me. For instance, why, dear God, is Order of the Phoenix the shortest film for the longest book? Who made that decision? This is a look at some things I wish had been included (or excluded) in the movie, based on what I know from the books. Some of these are small, mere sentences of dialog that I was waiting to here, because they give a lot of weight to the characters who say them; some others are full scenes that have been changed or removed completely. I'm not worried about Spoilers here at all, though I'll keep those about the seventh installment out. Everything else is fair game. So here goes:
1. The Half-Blood Prince
A "Macguffin" is a plot device used to catch the viewers attention and pushes a story forward. Examples are the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and pretty much anything that comes after the "and the" in titles such as "[Characters name] and the [Insert Macguffin here]." It doesn't always have to be the main focus of a narrative, but it is typically an important part of the story. The "Half-Blood Prince," seeing as it is part of the title here, seems to be a focal part of this sixth installment.
I remember when the title was first released. Speculation was huge, as people tried to decided what it could be. It's really a rather fantastic title, invoking images of some regal character shrouded in mystery. People were surprised, after reading the book, that the Half-Blood Prince was merely the old owner of a potions book. It isn't that we were disappointed, quite the contrary, it was a great story with a great reveal, but it wasn't the biggest part of the action. But it was still interesting. Harry grew to trust this "Prince" character, who guided him through potions so effortlessly. He felt the sting of betrayal, when the Prince's spell Sectumsempera turned out to be a violent and horrific curse. And when it was revealed to be Snape's old book, after he had killed Dumbledore and was fleeing the castle, it made for a surprising and emotional turn.
The movie barely mentions the Half-Blood Prince, and never quite instills Harry's fascination with it. It's mentioned early on, and then forgotten, so when Snape says that he had fashioned the nickname for himself it's sort of, well, "Oh, okay." But this all really comes down to the second thing I wanted to see more of.
I would not be alone if I claimed that Snape is J.K. Rowling's most interesting creation, something she herself called, "A gift of a character." Morally ambiguous until (and perhaps even after) the end, always interesting, with a troubled and powerful back story, he is a highlight of the novels. And Alan Rickman plays the hell out of him with that cold sneer, and knowing glare he can't help but grab your attention. And he's always been underutilized. This story should be his: his nickname is the title, his development is the most interesting, and after the series' completion it becomes even more clear that Half-Blood Prince belonged to him. So let's see him a little more. Let's show him teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, the job he's always wanted but been continuously turned down for.
There's another vitally important part that was cut: it was Snape who overheard the prophecy that resulted in the Potters' death. This was another great moment cut from the book, when Harry realizes Snape is more than just a sneering professor. He sold them out to Voldemort. This is another scene that becomes much more important in the final book, so it's too bad it was cut.
This is really a minor complaint, because he was in the film enough. I just always wanted more. He may not be downplayed as strongly as Sirius Black was, and Dumbledore suffered similarly until this film, but we could always use more Snape.
3. More Ron And Harry
For those of you read those slasher fics and make horrific photos like this, this, this, and this, that's not what I mean by "Ron and Harry," and you should go paint something, because you're likely a living, breathing, version of Todd from Wedding Crashers. (By the way, all four of those photos were on the first page of images by googling "Harry and Draco." For more disturbing thoughts, google "Snape and Hermione" and ponder the sad, sad life these people must live).
This is more a complaint for the whole series, really. Ron's role in the book is a confidant; a best friend who is trustworthy and loyal, and who understands Harry better than anybody else. When they do fight and don't speak, Harry realizes that, though she is still very dear to him, Hermione is not Ron.
In the movies, Ron's role is comic relief, being a whiny prat, and making this face:
Which I assume is the result of smoking too much floo powder.
Part of this might be due to Rupert Grint as an actor, but I think it was mainly a conscious choice of the writers. You see, Ron has suffered from what I'm going to dubb "Breastism." Particularly since the third movie, producers realized that puberty was, in fact, not going to turn Emma Watson into an acne ridden Rosie O'Donnell, but into a rather beautiful young lady (breasts included). So at this point, Hermione stepped into the spot Ron was supposed to have, and Ron got silently pushed to the sideline. Case-in-point: Did anyone else notice in the last scene in Half-Blood Prince, Harry and Hermione watched a beautiful sunset and talked about the future, while Ron sat on the porch, made that aforementioned face, and didn't say a single word? Grint did a good job this movie, and I would have loved to see his friendship become more meaningful. Though it was nice to see him play Quidditch.
4. Voldemort's Past, More Memories, and What Are Those Hor-thingies?
This is actually a biggie. While my critiques mentioned previously are just things I would like to see, I believe this omission actually hurts the movies narratives. For one, if asked what this film is about, what do you say? "Dumbledore helps Harry learn about Voldemort's past in order to help him destroy the Dark Lord, as he is the 'Chosen One.'" Really? If that's true then there is remarkably little to learn. We see two memories in the film, one views young Tom Riddle in an orphanage, the other where he asks Professor Slughorn about Horcruxes. That is all. In the novel we see a plethora of other memories, including one neat one concerning Voldemort's mother and grandfather (which probably needed to be omitted) as well as some really spectacular scenes when he was a young man. We see him come to Hogwarts to ask Dumbledore for a position as teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts (a position that inexplicably seems to attract villains, liars, and bitches dressed in pink), and him as a young man working in the shop Borgin and Burke's. It's through these we learn exactly what Voldemort uses for his horcruxes. This little tidbit is never mentioned in the film. I imagine this can be taken care of by a letter given to Harry as part of the will, but that's not nearly as exciting.
For one, think about how awesome it would be to see Ralph Fiennes playing Voldemort without the deformities that come with the role? He could be the young, dashing, Tom Riddle, and we could see him change with every passing memory. Hell, this could be done in one scene, really. Just have Harry and Dumbledore go straight from one thought to the next. It adds ten minutes to the movie, but they would ten awesome minutes.
Also, a lot of people might be confused about Horcruxes, and exactly why Voldemort looks like a slit nosed offspring of Lex Luthor and an albino. It's because he's made six horcruxes, meaning he's killed somebody and ripped his soul apart six times, leaving him disfigured and more evil than ever. That kind of ups his threat a little, especially since he's so scarcely seen in these movies.
The reason these parts were taken out, I suppose, is because they're slow and dialog based, but I don't see why that's a problem. The movie hurt on the action side already, why not keep these bits in to give the story more weight?
5. Important lines of Dialog
Rowling is a master of dialog, and every now and then she'll write a line that's so perfect and so weighty it practically screams at you. I always listen for these lines in the movie, and they're almost always omitted, making we want to strangle Steve Kloves for writing yet another screenplay that removes what I see as vitally important moments. These wouldn't add more than twenty seconds to the movie, but they can occasionally be very revealing of the speaker or the situation. And in a movie when characters are forced to get sidelined, since there are so many to fit in, these bits can tell a lot without much effort.
A "Crude" Gateway: The cave scene in the movie was almost perfect. Yes, it was a little short, but I understood why. By and large, they really did that well. But there was one thing, one tiny thing, that I had hoped to see. When Dumbledore realizes the cave entrance requires a blood sacrifice to open, he mumbles something to the extent of "How Crude" under his breath. What's interesting is he says it with a mix of disgust and disappointment. Despite Voldemort's pure evil, Dumbledore expects more from him than something this vile. It's a nifty moment, and it says something about both Dumbledore and Voldemort; though I'm not even sure I could phrase exactly what. The only way to describe the emotion is the quote itself. Though I can forgive them for this, since they left in, "You're blood is far more valuable than mine."
Snape Ain't No Yellow-Belly: The last scene in the film was disappointing for many reasons, which I will discuss soon. But the Flight of the Prince in the novel was full of drama and action, and left Snape morally ambiguous while giving him some great moments. One of these moments was when Harry shouts, "Fight back you coward!" (which they left in the film) only to have Snape, in a rare moment, lose his poise and shout back, "Do not call me coward!" It's powerful, and is even more so once the whole story is wrapped up.
"I am with you": The other two, as much as I love them, I can live without. But it was this I was hoping to see the most. It's such an important line, it made it onto this terrific fan-made poster for the film:
In the beginning of the book, when Dumbledore takes Harry to find Slughorn, he tells him to take out his wand but that they shouldn't be afraid of being attacked. When Harry asks why, Dumbledore responds simply, "Because you are with me."
Fast forward to the end of the book, after Dumbledore has drunk that potion and is horribly week, and he asks Harry to get them back to Hogwarts. Harry says, "I will, don't worry." To which Dumbledore replies, "I am not worried, Harry. I am with you." It's a moving, powerful passing of the torch moment, a book-end to this chapter of the story, and it's at this point we should have realized for certain that the man was about to bite the dust.
6. Bill Weasley
The older Weasley brothers have yet to make an appearance, but I thought for sure Bill would make it into this one. Considering his wedding to Fleur Delacour is a rather important part of the seventh, I thought they'd set it up here. Does this mean there will be no wedding? Will he never be attacked by Fenrir Greyback and become part werewolf? Just wondering, that's all.
7. Less Romance, Please
You might tell me the film was about Harry learning about Voldemort, I think it was more about the teen romances between the characters. It's a subplot of the book that became a major plot to the movie (probably to appease those fans that now read up Twilight and think Edward Cullen is all they want in a man). Yes it gave us some funny moments, and yes it was nice to see the "Oh, don't you remember what it was like to have a crush when you were a horny sixteen year old?" aspect of the story, but it took the place of a lot of those other parts I mentioned.
The thing about the books is that they tie in the romance with other parts of the story very well, it's rarely just romance. This was done at parts in the movie, for instance when Hermione zapped McLaggen in the Quidditch tryouts so that Ron would win the position. This shows her feelings for Ron as well as moves the narrative forward. Hermione had a lot more to do in the books than pine over Ron (like berate Harry for his potions book and help him figure out the details of Horcruxes) but this movie debases her to a needy girl and makes Ron look like an uncaring ladies man.
8. Burning of the Burrow? Really?
In an astonishing display of time wasting that could have been used to do any of the other things I have mentioned, they throw in a random, dull attack of Ron's house halfway through the movie that does nothing to advance the story. Woo hoo, I'll pass thanks.
9. Don't Change My Ending (or: David Yates Does It Again)
The cave scene was spectacular, I'll grant you that. But the changes to the remaining scenes leave me baffled. For one, when they get back, they're supposed to see the Dark Mark over that tower, so that's where they go, only to discover it's a trap by Draco Malfoy. In the movie, they just apparate to the tower, and he's there waiting. How did he know to be there? That that is the exact place Dumbledore would arrive? Not only that, but it's supposed to be a full scale siege on the castle. This is also necessary; why else would Draco fix the vanishing cabinet? Why did he need to get the Voldy Cronies in just so he could kill Dumbledore and leave? Why couldn't he kill Dumbledore on day one and run away? No, no, no, the battle is important, because that's the only way this whole thing makes sense. But they took it out because there's a battle in the next one, and they didn't want it to be 'repetitive.' To which I decry: "Lame." First off, who amongst us doesn't want to see two bad ass wizarding battles at Hogwarts? Who complained in Lord of the Rings when we saw another huge siege? Nobody, because they were fucking sweet. There was no reason to cut this battle, and it would have lifted this rather action-less film into the realm of exciting. Cut the burrow attack, throw this in, and you're golden.
There was also no reason to leave Harry unstunned. In the book, Dumbledore hears Draco, stuns Harry, and hides him so he can't interfere, he can just watch. In the movie he tells Harry to hide underneath and be "Vewry vewry quiet." Harry then proceeds to not do a damn thing when Dumbledore is murdered. How is this within his character at all? He's always a hot head, running into danger. Yeah, yeah, "Dumbledore told him so," I don't care. He should have been stunned.
This scene also cut a lot of great stuff from Dumbledore, which is a shame, cause now he'll never get to say it [sniffle].
And the funeral! Why remove Dumbledore's funeral?! I'll admit, the image of all the kids removing the Dark Mark with the light from their wands was spectacular, but 1: why were they out of bed? This would only have worked if, there had BEEN A BATTLE," and 2: The funeral is a poignant, moving scene. We had centaurs shooting arrows in honor, Mermaids singing sad songs of lament, and wizards from all over coming to honor this fallen warrior. Instead we get "Oh noes, he's dead, THE END!" It wouldn't have taken long, and it would have worked fine.
That's all I can think of for now, and this post has gotten to be ridiculously long. Basically these movies have needed to be 3 hours or more since the fourth (which people will watch, I don't understand the qualms), and they focused a bit too much on unnecessary stuff. I still liked the film, but the Book nerd in me had to let out his wrath.
Feel the sting, Hollywood execs, and don't disappoint me again.