Archive for the ‘Train Wrecks’ Category

Legally Blundering
July 23, 2009

ABC Family is officially on my shit list.   First they perpetuated ridiculous attitudes toward sex, then they had the audacity to bastardize 10 Things I Hate About You and now….God, I can’t even speak.

Let me lay the scene.  It’s 3 AM.  I am minding my own business, riding the 2 Train home to rest my weary head.  I am not in the best of moods, having spent the last 18 hours trying to cram my head full of New York Civil Procedure for the bar exam (which is now 5 days away!).  I had to wait 45 minutes for an afterhours train and the dipshit next to me has spilled their drink all over me.  But all of this is accepted calmly and with poise.  What came next, however, was the last straw.

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From the Network that Brought You Patricidal Sex…
July 7, 2009

Shmathan is again displeased…

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After learning that ABC Family is teaching a generation of young girls that having sex will kill your parents, I was curious to see what else this network had to offer America’s impressionable youth.  What I discovered enraged me. It seems that tonight the network will premier its newest “original” series, 10 Things I Hate About You; the newest pop culture abomination to make Ben’s Do Not Want list and my ever-growing catalog of Catastrophes.  I do not suffer this news gladly.

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Warning: Incredible Sex Kills
July 4, 2009

We interrupt your 4th of July Festivities to bring you an important public service announcement.  We have long known of the traditional risks associated with sexual intercourse such as  HIV and other STIs, premarital pregnancy,  and awkward morning-after conversations.  But today, it has been announced that there is an even greater danger:  having sex  can kill your father.  This shocking news was recently delivered by Dr. Annoying Blonde-Girl from the Derivative Family Drama Institute, who must be some kind of all-knowing sexologist given that she speaks with such authority.  Her shocking report, after the jump.

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Someone Call PETA: Vampires Are The Latest Endangered Species!
June 24, 2009

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you the following public service announcement

Now, while I really do not want to be shanked by a Twihard, I must admit that I am a man of simple tastes. I like my beers cold, my Abercrombie models shirtless… and my Vampires to be seductive monsters whose dusty deaths by the hand of a perky heroine teach us valuable lessons about female empowerment. I have personally had enough of waifish pretty-boy Vampires strolling in the sunlight and waxing idiotic as they brood over the torturous nature of their violent and immortal existence.  And don’t get me started on the sparkling. It’s times like this, indeed, that I not only have no commitment to Sparkle Motion, I actively defy it. Consequently, I feel I must voice my alarm at the announcement that the CW, though it has brought us such guilty pleasures as Gossip Girl and Supernatural, is making its own sad bid to perpetuate and profit from the madness wrought by Stephanie Meyer . Obviously hoping to capitalize on the enthusiasm surrounding Twilight, the CW has announced that it has greenlit production on “Th Vampire Diaries,” which is apparently a small-screen adaptation of a lesser-known young adult romance series by the same name. The announcement caused a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Twihards cried out in joy—and then were suddenly silenced as they rushed to a sale on body glitter at Hot Topic.

The plot, as described on the CW’s website, is what you would expect. Beautiful girl meets mysterious brooding boy, only to find out he’s a centuries old-Vampire burdened by his impossible existence. Ladies and gentleman, this is a catastrophe. Remember the days when Vampires were actually cool? The mythic personification of all our darkest fears? Symbols of the dangers of repressed sexuality given form? Literary representations of parasitic nobility feeding off the lifeblood of the common man? And now, today, reduced to mere objects of impossible love to cater to tweens and menopausal housewives. The fact that these books are warping an entire generation of girls with their ridiculous depiction of socio-sexual relationships aside, books like Twilight and Diaries are guilty of the more serious crime of making Vampires, well, lame.

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For Fans of Trash TV, The Cougar is Your New Favorite Show. Period.
April 9, 2009

Someone in the television industry has clearly been working quite hard to make the absolutely worst piece of television ever.  After much work, though, they look to have finally succeeded.  Seriously.  The Cougar is part competitive reality dating show, part novelty pop-culture buzz word obsession, and a few dashes of totally busted faux-progressive gender politics to spice things up.  I need to find a new phrase other than “train wreck,” because hot damn does that phrase not do this nonsense justice.  Just look at this thing:

This show is like the train wreck of the future, where trains fly through space and are powered by nuclear engines, and then one day several of these space trains crash into each other and create a terrible nuclear explosion that showers the land below with flaming wreckage and radioactive fallout, yet throughout this whole terrible moment you JUST.  CAN’T.  TURN AWAY!  This mess is beyond epic, y’all; it’s bonafide life-changing.  Paradigms are shifting and bars are being raised and Vivica A. Fox needs to find a new agent like it’s nobody’s business.

The Cougar promises to have it all when it comes to the worst in television.  There’s the 20 desperate/pathetic tools spouting utter nonsense (“Stacey is like a gray squirrel I just want to pounce on!” may be the first great simile of the 21st century).  There’s the painfully ludicrous attempt by producers to sell the show as something radical and new (“Welcome to a show that will change everything you know about love, relationships, and getting older” is clearly the most profoundly true interpretation of this show that we shall ever know).  There’s also the tantalizing promise of a bevy of hot 20-something guys taking their shirts off for our collective (collective meaning “strictly gay men and their favorite gal pals”) viewing.

Mostly, though, there’s the Cougar, Stacey.  According to TV Land’s website, Stacey is “a successful and determined realtor” and “a beautiful, blonde mother of four.”  She’s also your fag hag.

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Thank Goodness There’s a Three-Week Gossip Girl Sabbatical Now
March 31, 2009

It’ll be a nice opportunity to grow back some of the soul that the past three weeks of this nuclear-grade disaster-bomb have destroyed.  I really hope that Gossip Girl isn’t practicing a scorched earth policy with their soul-killing descent into unrepentant atrociousness, ‘cos seriously, y’all:

gginbedawful1

Given that recapping last night’s Gossip Girl constitutes forcing yourself into a state of post-traumatic stress, I’m going to try to keep this brief.  Hopefully I won’t blackout in a fit of rage before I’m finished writing this damn thing.  Anyways.

In last night’s main plot, the Humphreys and the van der Woodsens decide to team up and throw Jenny a high-society sweet sixteen party.  Jenny’s makes sad racoon eyes because she wants a smaller party because everybody hates her.  Don’t worry, little J, I don’t hate you.  I just hate your outfits.  Everybody does hate her, though, so Serena thinks she’s losing her social edge because Jenny’s birthday is actually about Serena.  Duh.  I hate how I always forget that your birthday is always about somebody else.

Serena secretly starts up the party again and invites her socialite friend/human-shaped-mass-of-awful-with-a-wretched-haircut-and-foul-bangs, Poppy, so everybody at school will thinks she’s cool.  Jenny proves to have a soul as ugly as the dress she wears to her party and invites everyone to the party through Gossip Girl and…oh, let’s just skip to the end.  Really, at this point in the episode, I was wishing I’d baked rat poison or cyanide into my shepherd’s pie so I could end the dreadful suffering.  

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Obsessed Looks to Make Our Wildest Trash-Movie Dreams Come True
March 26, 2009

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, you really must.  It’s the sort of epic, über-trashtastic nonsense that Hollywood should make more of a commitment to if they insist on giving us terrible movies.  We do not need more Paul Blart: Mall Cops or Meet Daves; we need more of this utter garbage.  I’m not even kidding.  Just look at this train wreck:

RRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrKRASH!  In case you were wondering, that’s the sound of a train wreck.  Duh.

I can’t seem to decide what part of the trailer I like most, so I’ve decided that I simply adore all of it.  There are some highlights that must be pointed out, elements that completely convince me that you’ll have a six-pack by the end of this movie because you’ve been laughing so hard and so frequently.  For example:

  • The fact that this movie is essentially Fatal Attraction but without any insane sex scenes because this movie is only PG-13.  I didn’t put on pervy-pants today (I’m wearing my corduroy boot-cut pants, actually), but these movies can’t work if they aren’t erotic, and the lack of sex is likely going to make this movie as erotic as watching the ink on an abstinence pamphlet dry; fortunately, a lack of eroticism in a sex thriller is a guarantee for laughs.  We call this the Cinematic Law of Body of Evidence.  
  • Ali Larter’s seduction moves in this movie are pure genius.  It’s a potent mixture of Dakota Moss and Nomi Malone.  Between her bathroom attack and the writhing about in the car, I’m pretty certain she’s the only person in this mess that’s well aware of what kind of movie she’s in.  Her performance alone looks to be worth the price of a ticket.  
  • Jerry O’Connell doing the finger gun gesture.  The finger gesture is never appropriate.
  • Hell, the fact that Jerry O’Connell is in this at all is kinda blowing my mind.  I really liked him in Scream 2 and Scanners, so I’m glad to see he’s still working; still, I thought he’d been relegated to terrible Lifetime movies.  I guess his theatrical film career is getting is getting another go with Beyonce vehicles that probably should’ve remained Lifetime movies.  
  • Oh, how can I forget?  Ali Larter sinisterly holding the baby is brazilliant.  I’m glad they’ve thrown a dash of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle into the narrative mix; it really is like a dash of smoked paprika in this bad movie stew.  She doesn’t just want the guy’s body, y’all.  SHE WANTS BEYONCE’S LIFE!  Scary.
  • Mostly, though, there’s the catfight.  The epic catfight that destroys Beyonce’s beautiful house.  It’s like Russ Meyer on crack rock.

So, yeah, Obsessed.  It comes out April 24th, and Internet Movie Database claims the movie’s working title was Oh No She Didn’t.  How do you say no to that?

Oh, right.  You don’t.

Last Night’s Gossip Girl Continues on the Track to Train-Wrecksville
March 24, 2009

Did you ever see Little Children?  Hopefully this’ll jog your memory if you don’t know what I’m talking about:

Remember it now?  It was that drama from 2006 with the totally brilliant trailer that ended up being rather average.  Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson have an affair because they’re bored suburbanites, and it’s also a satire of these bored suburbanites because their lives are pretty decent but they’re still behaving like selfish brats who can’t grow up, so it’s about adults behaving like little children.  Got it?  Good.  

Why am I saying this?  Well, I really like the trailer and it also contains a toy train train wreck, which is a perfect visual metaphor for this week’s episode: still a total train wreck, but now on a smaller and incredibly more inane scale.

In the main plot, Nate and Dan and Vanessa go to Nate’s family reunion so Nate can patch things up with his grandfather.  Nate plays touch football with his relatives, but people get knocked over by these “touches.”  That kinda defeats the point, you WASPy jackasses.  Grass stains take forever to get out of you J. Crew sweaters!  

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The Real Housewives of New Jersey is Television Genius
March 18, 2009

I traditionally avoid the Real Housewives shows on Bravo because the people on it tend to make my soul hurt.  Thankfully, Bravo has found the perfect solution in crafting their latest reality-tv-show-about-swamp-monsters-disguised-as-women: they’ve set it in New Jersey.  Look at this cast of lovely ladies:

housewives-nj

Apparently two of the women are sisters who’re married to two brothers who run a catering business, and the two sisters’ brother is married to another of the housewives.  Sweet, I love it when they keep the drama in the family.  You know these fights are going to get extra nasty because this hornet’s nest of Aqua-Net-infused bitchiness is so tightly knit.

Oh.  There’s also this:

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Yes, you heard correct.  There will be a plot point in this show in which the hot son goes to law school while his brother dreams of opening a strip club/car wash (huh?).  I’m pretty certain my mother would bludgeon me into a coma with the nearest blunt object if I ever told her my life’s ambition was to open a strip club.  The idea of a mother hoping her son’s strip club isn’t just foreign to me, it’s flat out alien, which makes Real Housewives of New Jersey a documentary about space travel and an alien race of humanoids.  Excellent.

And I think we can agree that we’ve all been here before:

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I Just Don’t Know What to Make of Away We Go
March 18, 2009

While Kate Winslet was out and about winning every possible acting award known to man, poor Sam Mendes was not winning any; he was, however, apparently being quite the busy body.  His new movie, Away We Go, hits this theaters this summer.  If a trailer can give you a disease, though, this one’s giving me a serious case of the whatevers:

This movie really looks to be beyond vanilla in its blandness.  It’s like ice cream without sugar or any flavoring.   Just cold, whipped, skim milk.  I just cannot form an opinion on something with so little flavor or texture.

I mean, I love Allison Janney in everything (she really is the best), and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s hippie-mom line about her stance against strollers is pretty great.  Added to that, Chris Messina is in the movie.  He played Lauren Ambrose’s  dreamy boyfriend in Six Feet Under and Rebecca Hall’s dreamy fiancee in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.  In short, he’s kinda dreamy.  But, in spite of these factors, the best that strums up in me is shoulder-shrug and a mental note to add it to my Netflix queue when it comes out on dvd.  

I think my big hesitation is that, even from this trailer, you can tell that Sam Mendes’s style doesn’t seem to be gelling with the assault-by-quirk script by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.  This just looks like Mendes is doing a Fox Searchlight movie, one of the unending stream of quasi-indie movies marketed as safe for mass consumption (Garden State, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, etc.).  

Added to that, I couldn’t be less of the target audience for this narrative journey if I tried.  I’m not of the age to where this movie would feel like my life right now, nor am I old enough to be able to view it as a sentimental piece of nostalgia through which I can remember what my life was like back then.  I prefer to let the anxieties of each stage in my life arrive on time; I don’t need a head-start on the worry race.

Plus, there are an alarming number of shots in that trailer involving people EUPHORICALLY EMBRACING LIFE (IN STROLLERS!  SINGING IN CARS!).  I don’t trust that.  Not at all.

So, yeah.  The trailer for Away We Go, y’all.  

Whatever.

With Friends Like Last Night’s Gossip Girl, Who Wants a Return From Hiatus?
March 17, 2009

Did you see the highly anticipated (for me) return of the trashtastic Gossip Girl?  If you did, well, I’m sorry.  So, so sorry.  Let’s go back to happier times, when Blair and Chuck were literally destroying the episode’s film stock with their fiery passion, and the print campaigns for the show had parents decrying both show and campaign alike as obscenity.  Oh wait, I can’t, ‘cos seriously:

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I recognize that I’m frequently given to hyperbole; I suspect that a predilection towards hyperbole is part of my homo-DNA, but I’m not a geneticist.  I am a Gossip Girl fan (also most likely related to the gay gene), though, and I can most certainly say that last night’s episode of Gossip Girl was wretched.  Perhaps some of the worst television I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, this is the episode written by that pretentious asshole that sat behind you in high school English, spicing up their conversation with name-dropping and pseudo-intellectual ruminations about “art” that nobody asked for.  

And I most definitely did not ask for this, Gossip Girl.

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Let’s Let Train Wreck Carla Gugino Ease Us Into The Work Week
March 8, 2009

While I’d love to be an intrepidly productive fellow and drop a full Watchmen review right now, another week of work is quickly encroaching upon us, which mean this lil’ lady needs some rest.  Also, there really is simply so much to say about that movie.  It’s quite possibly even more ridiculous than I’d imagined.  In the mean time, though, I’ll let the saucy, sauced words of Carla Gugino take  us into the next week.  Take it away, Ms. Crazy Pants:

Delicious.

Seriously, that is one fierce bitch, and her terrible old-lady make-up and ridicu-hairdo can only be fully appreciated on the big screen.  I’m also not sure that anybody told her, but Watchmen is a comic book movie, not Dynasty: The Movie.

Don’t  think I’m complaining, though.  If Hollywood expanded that one scene into the basis for a sitcom, I’d be their number one fan.  So get to it, Hollywood!  I demand more boozy Carla Gugino in fright-lady make-up.  MORE!!!

Knowing Looks to Accelerate Nicolas Cage’s Career Swan Dive Into Awful
March 5, 2009

Over the past week, posters for the new Nicolas Cage film, Knowing, have been cropping up all over the subway likes it’s the advertisement equivalent of kudzu.  Are you confused about what Knowing is?  Don’t worry, I’ll show you:

I can’t explain it, but I really like it when Nicolas Cage claps in the classroom because it’s just such a classic Nicolas Cage “I’m ACTING!” sort of tic.  I’m not saying he’s a bad actor.  He’s totally great in Adaptation and the 20-odd minutes of Matchstick Men that I’ve seen, so there’s no doubt the man has talent.  Taste, however, might be another question.

Ever since The Wicker Man, he’s made increasingly poor career choices.  Can someone honestly defend movies (or the hairstylists hired for said movies) like Ghost Rider or Next or Bangkok Dangerous?  Not to get too Meryl Streep up in here, but I have my doubts, y’all.  The trailer for Knowing only appears to further confirm that Mr. Cage has taken a bungee jump off Career-Suicide Bridge without properly attaching the cord.  Ruh-roh.

I also want to know who greenlit this nonsense?  It’s like Next, Joel Schumacher’s abominable The Number 23, an episode of Lost focused on the Others, and Cage’s Wicker Man acting sensibilities all hopped into a telepod to make a Brundle-movie, and poor Alex Proyas is the one at the controls!  He once did the brilliant Dark City, and now he’s directing this schizophrenic mess?  YIKES!

But would I be lying if I said I wasn’t going to see it, possibly opening weekend at that?  Of course I would!

I’ve had a weakness for disaster movies ever since I rode the Earthquake ride at Universal Studios.  Epic destruction always yields a promise of over-the-top cinematic spectacle (usually ever greater as character development declines).  Besides, I’ve a weakness for movies that have “train wreck” stamped all over them, and Knowing has that stamp in big-bold letters.  When you add in the shredded cheese of a Nicolas Cage performance to it, you’ve  got a great recipe.

For unintentional laughs.

And, of course, then there’s this little online tidbit.  Someone at Summit Entertainment decided that a literal train wreck is the best way to whet you appetite:

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