I'm confused by this webternet ad.

So I'm clicking over the old Internet Movie DataBase, as is my wont, and this ad turns up on the side of the screen:

The basic idea is that the relative health of your credit score is indicated by the type and mood of dinosaur in the box.


Criminal Minds 105: Broken Mirror

Synopsis – Trish and her boyfriend leave a party and on the road home they come across a SUV blocking both lanes. Despite the fact that we’ll later learn Trish is the daughter of a prominent US Attorney, who for her entire childhood has had a protective detail, and should know that she’s always in danger of being kidnapped to leverage her father financially or politically, she doesn’t find this immediately suspicious and demand that they drive away. This leads to the boyfriend being murdered and Trish being kidnapped.

Due to the existence of the aforementioned important father, the team is called in immediately to work up a profile of the kidnapper, who’s given them less than a day to come up with the money for her ransom. It turns out that Trish has an mirror twin sister (that means they’re mirror images – one has the heart pointed right instead of left – oddly, she doesn’t wear a medic-alert bracelet with this information, even thought that would be unbelievably useful toe EMTs and doctors were she ever to get into an accident) named Cheryll who can sense her sister’s anxiety, no matter how far away she is. Using this gift, she insists that her sister is alive. Elle, helping absolutely nothing, points out that Cheryll is a physics major. Cheryll responds in the episode’s stupidest line of dialogue:

“If you’re asking why a science major would believe in something non-scientific, I don’t. I just know what I feel. My feeling is that my sister is still alive.”


It's a very WishMaster Christmas!

You can download the Avod's Christmas special right here! (Or listen to it off the webternet by clicking on the avod link to the right)

We're doing something a little different this time around: Including show notes - more specifically, show notes that reveal which of the hosts, DiveMistress or Count Vardulon, was right concerning the things they argued about.


It's a Golden Age Christmas Eve!

Now that the stockings are hung on the bookcase with care, I got to wondering about just what might be the most appropriate post for this time of year.

After a long period of consideration, I decided the only logical action was to review a Captain Marvel comic in which a Civilized Tiger (representing Negroes) is harassed by the inhabitants (representing white male oppression) of the nice suburban neighborhood he moves into.

The Story, titled "Captain Marvel and Mr. Tawny's New Home", appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #90, with a publication date of November, 1948.

After that adorable opening panel that establishes the premise, the story proper begins with Billy Batson discovering that his good friend, Mister Tawny, the civilized Tiger, has been thrown out of his boarding house.


HOW TO RUIN YOUR OWN MOVIE: The Strangers Edition

It may come as no surprise to longtime readers of the site (Hi, Phillipa!) that there's nothing that irritates me more than modern fiction's attempts to kneecap any ability it might have to create tension or anxiousness or yes, even fear, in their audience by flat-out telling that audience exactly how the film is going to end in the opening minutes. As I mentioned in my Swamp Thing Natsukashi Podcast, the one thing that horror films have going for them is that they're the only genre whose endings, even in big studio pictures, can't be easily predicted. In a horror movie, you don't know the good guy's going to win, you don't know the bad guy's going to lose, really, you don't know that they're not going to kill the dog and the kid and end the film in the most upsettingly abrupt manner possible.

This is how audience are kept on edge - if they don't know what's going to happen next, they become invested in the story. If they think the fate of each character is up in the air, they invest more emotion in those characters' struggles. In no other theatre will you find as rapt or attentive an audience as in one playing a good horror movie.

So why on earth would a movie, especially a horror movie, ever give away its most powerful weapon, the uncertainty of its resolution? If you're going to tell me how your story ends, why should I bother watching it? This is why Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning was one of the biggest disasters in recent memory - how on earth am I supposed to care about characters that have to die for the events of the first film to have even occurred?


The World-Running Sequence From Jumper: A Pictorial Study in Continuity Errors

Late in the film Jumper the two titular supervillians, David and Jamie Bell, have a chase around the world while fighting over a remote control bomb detonator that Jamie wants to use to blow up a group of Samuel L. Jackson's henchmen, along with SamJac himself. David is opposed to this idea, because doing so would entail also blowing up his girlfriend, Millie.

As I watched the sequence, something occurred to me: the Jumpers are only able to move through space, not time, so the different locations they went to in this chase scene, which occurs in real time over the course of three minutes, should be either night or day depending on where they sit on the world's surface. At first glance, it seemed like they didn't, but I decided to check a little more carefully, doing my best to identify the locations and times in which each scene was taking place. We'll start in the setup for the chase, because that can establish the baseline time all this is happing around.
Here they are driving around at night in Tokyo. We don’t know exactly what time it is, but for the record, the time zone is GMT +9.
Apparently they drove around all night in their stolen car, because here they are driving up to the Tokyo Airport the next morning. We know it’s still Tokyo, because if you look closely, you can see that the cars crossing the bridge are driving on the left. Also, the big red building on the right of the image is the Tokyo Tower. Also, there’s a bit of a goof here – the colour of light seemed a little more afternoon-y to me than morning, so I did a little research.


Friday the 13th... The Comic! (Part 6 of 6)

Issue 6

I’ve seen some strange openings in this series so far, but this issue takes the cake by such a wide degree that, unless we’re very lucky, we may never see cake on this planet again. What’s that opening? Why, the origin of Jason, of course!

Excuse me? You think you know Jason’s origin? Something about almost drowning in a lake until he got brain damage, then seeing his mother brutally killed, and taking misguided vengeance into his own hands until getting killed by Corey Feldman. A quick lightning bolt to the chest some seven years later and he was back as an unkillable zombie.

No, silly goose, I’m talking about the secret origin of Jason Voorhees. You know, the one with the Indians.

Yeah, I hadn’t heard about it either.


Criminal Minds 104: Plain Sight

Synopsis – On a sunny afternoon in San Diego, California, a woman is brutally raped and murdered in her home. In a distrubing twist, her eyes are glued open so that her dead eyes will be left looking out the window. Even stranger, all of her dishes, silverware, and appliances have been taken out of their drawers and placed on the floor in a pile. In an insulting writer’s contrivance, apparently the press has dubbed this serial rapist/murderer ‘The Tommy Killer’, because, what with the eye gluing, he wants his victims to ‘see him and feel him’. Classy.

On the trip to San Diego, they identify a quote left at the crime scene as a 17th Century ballad about a rich woman begging death not to die, and death responding that riches are no defense when your time has come. All of the crimes are taking place in the same upper-class neighborhood, but far enough apart that the killer must be driving from place to place. Yet no one reported seeing anyone suspicious in the area.

Meanwhile, an older lady is attacked in her kitchen by an attacker wearing a hoodie. It’s a copycat, though, a black man who works at the nearby grocery. Far too much of the episode is taken up by the hunt for this unrelated character.


The Avod: This One Goes Out To You!

This week on the Avod, the Divemistress and myself discuss Escape From New York, her recent decision to stop watching Fringe, and popular film of the moment, 'Jumper'.

You can download the audio file here, or listen to it over the internet by clicking on the Avod's blog over there on the right side of the screen near the top.

P.S. - In Re: The DM's assertion that the time zones make sense in the final showdown at the end of the film, I've started working up the article about it (look for it Monday), and she's totally, utterly wrong. Just completely wrong.

Really, really, wrong.

CSI Wednesday!

I know I've fallen a little behind covering CSI lately, and I'll catch up soon - well, I'm not going to write about last week's episode, which, while preposterous and stupid, wasn't at all interesting, save for the fact that it introduced (to me, anyway), the fact that Eric has an evil Cuban crime lord father who's trying to have him killed for some reason. I had to leap-frog ahead to write about this week's episode because it had both an unbelievably bad message and a moment of incredible stupidity.

First, the message: Don't snitch!

Yeah, you'd think a show about law enforcement would have a pro-snitching police, what with it being the noblest thing a person can possibly do and all. No one bothered to tell the writers of CSI: Miami, apparently.


HOW TO RUIN YOUR OWN MOVIE: Diary of the Dead Edition

You know what's great? When a movie takes the time to sit down and explain the message behind every event in the film, in real time, as those events are happening.

I'm not going to go into the unbelievably stupid things that every character does for the entire length of the movie, because I'd have to watch the film a second time to document them, and there's no way I'm going to be doing that, but why on earth would you make a film that flat out told you not just how it was going to end and who was going to survive, but also had the narrator pop in every five minutes to explain how heartbreaking and philosophically interesting she finds everything that's going on.

Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Hugh Laurie Edition!

Once again, a relatively light episode here on the old RapeWatch.

There was one instance of rape-based humour. On the news, a joke was made about how the 'Butt Bandit', who placed ass-prints on the windows of stores, was being sent to jail, and would suffer rape at the hands of prisoners there.

There was also one instance of the control humour, Homophobia, in a sketch about a man (Fred Armisen) who is unable to keep himself from eating cookies. For some reason he elected to play the man as flamboyantly homosexual, because apparently that makes it funnier.

And of course, since the rape joke was about male prison rape, that also double-counts as a rape/homophobia joke.

Which brings the week's joke tally to:

Homophobia: 2
Rape: 1


My Tolerance/Hate Relationship With Brian Bendis

Like most people, I first encountered Brian Bendis by having someone read his comic Fortune and Glory to me over the phone. Within its pages he told the story of his attempts to get first 'Goldfish' and then 'Torso' made into a movie with such straightforward clarity and catty superiority that it was impossible not to like the man, if not exactly admire him. I rushed out and picked up 'Torso', hoping to see what all the fuss was about.

It was a decision that I regretted almost immediately. What had been pitched as 'The Tale of Elliot Ness vs. America's First Serial Killer' was, in fact, just the story of Elliot Ness sitting around wondering how one might go about finding a serial killer, but not really doing much, until the bodies started really piling up, when he burned down the shanty town where all the transient people lived (this was during the great depression), hoping to deprive the torso killer of any more victims.


Friday the 13th... The Comic! (Part 5 of 6)

Issue 5

Rather surprisingly, this issue doesn’t pick up where the last one left off, instead it opens back in the hospital, where the Sheriff is interrogating Sally while she’s strapped to her bed, doped up on ‘all kinds of meds’. He’s desperate to find out exactly what happened at Crystal Lake, and recaps the death of the three victims we know about, dropping quite a bombshell in the process. It seems that the stoners’ bodies were covered in tiny bite marks, matching the jaw radius of different ages and genders of children.

He mentions this in passing, although it seems to be a pretty important point. After all, we know that the stoners died just a couple of days earlier – where on earth could those bites have come from? We readers know that this fact establishes the ghost children as actual, factual monsters – as if their attempt to drown Sally hadn’t done that already – but to him, this has got to be something of a crazy twist! Back in the first issue, he announced he was skeptical about the whole ‘Death Curse’ thing, but there’s no way he can justify skepticism any more, is there?

Criminal Minds 103: Won't Get Fooled Again

Synopsis – On a sunny florida morning, a man is blown up by a package in plain brown wrapping. Miraculously, he isn’t killed, just horrificially injured. Another similar bombs have gone off in the area so the team is called in to deal with the terrifying prospect of a serial bomber working the sunshine state. Making matters worse, when a third bomb goes off in the background of a live news broadcast, the team has to deal with the possibility of a public panic over the possibility of a terrorist attack.

On the plane to Florida, Greg outlines the case – three people were bombed: An old lady, the guy from the opening, and the woman who lived across the street. I say ‘lived’ because the guy from the beginning was the only survivor. Doing the smart thing, the team has already checked out connections between the victims. It turns out the guy was a partner in a failed real-estate scheme in which the old lady had invested. The woman across the street had no connection.


The Avod: Blood and Sex Nightmare!

Tonight on the Avod, the Divemistress and myself review the film whose box art is pictured above. So yeah, this one might not be for all audiences.

Just to keep things lively though, we also discuss our ongoing attempts to become fans of Fringe (here's a spoiler - it's not going that well), but then things get gruesome again, as we move on to discussing Rue Morgue's list of the 50 goriest films of all time.

You may enjoy the Avod by right-clicking here and choosing to save the downlad, then listening to it at your own convenience. Perhaps when jogging!


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: John Malcovitch Edition!

Great news tonight!

Absolutely no rape jokes tonight! Even better, there weren't any instances of our control jokes (homophobia) either!

Perhaps not coincidentally, it was a painfully unfunny episode, with only a single bright spot: John Malcovitch starring in a sketch about him mounting a production of Dangerous Liasons set in a hot tub entitled 'J'Acuzzi!' It was exactly as great as the premise suggests, and I'm sure the internet will be able to confirm that for you in a few hours.

Oddly, the funniest line of the night wasn't part of a sketch - there's nothing more hilariously discordant than hearing John Malcovitch say "Once again, T.I., featuring Swizzbeats."

You're the king, Malcovitch.


Friday the 13th... The Comic! (Part 4 of 6)

Issue 4

The issue kicks off another great image, which not only serves to set a great mood, but also remind me just how big proper oars are. My only real boating experience is with canoes and their rather modest paddles. Those rowing deals are something else, huh?

The actual story of the issue resumes just where it left off, with Sally, Girlfriend and Jock (the secret gay!) gathered in the main cabin while Jason looms ominously outside. Unfortunately, the outdoors aren’t well lit, and the lightning has dies down, so no one else is able to see Jason. This leads Girlfriend to announce that she thinks it’s safe to go and gather Rico and Alisha, then all drive into town together. Not some much to get away from the murderer as to escape the awkwardness of her secretly gay boyfriend.


Criminal Minds 102: Compulsion

The episode opens with a quick resolve of the ‘Footpath Killer’ storyline from the previous week. After being identified by Mandy Patinkin, the Killer forces the profiler at gunpoint into the back of the gas station where he works. Things are looking bad for Mandy until he’s able to talk the killer down by explaining that he understands why the killer does the things he does. What’s the kicker? He offers to tell the killer something no one has ever been able to tell him: Why he stutters.

The episode then cuts to the present, where Mandy is talking to other agents about catching the killer, so that the writers can make Mandy seem like a miracle worker for managing to sense the murderer’s identity. We’re treated to a pretentious quote to help drive the point home:

The Scene: An FBI Office
The Players: Mandy Patinkin, a Slow Agent

Mandy Patinkin: There are certain clues at a crime scene which, by their very nature, do not lend themselves to being collected or examined. How does one collect love, rage, hatred, fear? These are things we’re trained look for.

Slow Agent: So anyone else woulda just seen a guy who stutters, but you saw the footpath killer.

I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 60

Day 60: Indiana Jones and the Hole-y Plot (Part 2)

In the last entry, I questioned the Commies' decision to bring Harrison Ford along to find a box that a simple manifest could have more efficiently led them to. Today I'm going to go one degree further, and ask an even bigger question: Why on earth did the Commies think they needed the alien corpse in the first place?