Feb 27, 2012

Wiwille's movie reviews part 88

There used to be a time when someone would email me stating how they recently came across a great film and would like my take on it. Usually I would end up loving it and in some cases adding it to my collection. Gone are those days as now it seems readers seem to enjoy sending me crap films to watch, who I imagine were wringing their hands and belting out an evil cackle as they made their submission.

I'm a sucker for sports films, whether they be criminally underrated (Cinderella Man, Friday Night Lights), or crowd pleasing, if not saccahrine, romps (Miracle, Rocky, Victory, The Karate Kid). Even at their worst, sports films can be enjoyable as they highlight how dedication to a game can bring out the best in us. To see someone over come obstacles is always a good way to sell tickets, and the formula has worked for so many years the genre won't seem to die soon.

Enter "Shaolin Soccer" which takes an interesting twist on the genre. Set in some city in China, "Shaolin Soccer" tells the story of a disgraced former soccer player who meets a Kung Fu expert and is impressed with how can kick objects that destroy anything in it's path. Inspired by this, he decides to create his own soccer team to compete against his rival, a cigar chomping rich guy who soley exists to do evil to all.

High flying stunts ensue, CGI is implemented, and mildly amusing antics on and off the field are plentiful. The ragged looking team, who seem to have a talent for the martial arts, defy all odds as they work their way through the tournament and become crowd pleasers.

There's really no plot to this film, and it may be the richer for it. A stronger, less ridiculous story in this may have been distracting to the visual treat this film delivers. All of the characters are pretty one dimensional, especially the villian, and I'm hard pressed to recall the name of any of them. There's a few martial arts film references in here, most notably Bruce Lee's "Game of Death", or whichever one it was. I'm sure there giving praise to a lot of other films that I have no idea even exist, so that didn't help my enjoyment of the film. There's a love interest that adds very little, if anything.

"Shaolin Soccer" does have its moments; however few they may be. The Kung Fu soccer is impressive looking and you'll like the matches, if only for about ten minutes. Soccer fans, and martial arts fans alike, may enjoy this, but to anyone else I can't reccomend this.

Thanks to Karin for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on One Bad Apple. Rules are posted here.

"Not the classic it claims to be" - Joe Utichi

Feb 24, 2012

The Party

A friend of mine asked me why I thought Rick Santorum is a possible front runner in the GOP race for the nomination. He doesn't seem like a viable candidate, he opined, as Santorum is a big government conservative, says a bunch of crazy things, and is comfortable with lying about facts. The question gave me some pause, but I truly think while all he said about Santorum was true, he's an accurate reflection of the Republican base sadly.

Now that's a sweeping generalization I know, but take a look at the Tea Party movement, one that has vilified the current President as a Kenyan socialist Muslim who wants to put granny in front of a death panel while he steals your money and gives it to crack addicted minority mothers. Sure they say at their core they only want limited government and less taxes, but that's laughably false. Take a look at the stupid, grammatically deficient signs they carry at their rallies comparing Obama to Hitler and other assorted nonsense. They only see the President as the moral equivalent of Pol-Pot, and they'll smudge any facts to make you believe as they do. They're like the Alex Jones of politics.

This brings me back to Santorum, who backed all of Bush's radical spending, thinks of himself as a Churchill fighting the Third Reich, distorts all kinds of facts when it comes to social issues, and since unemployment is down and the market is up, can only talk about issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and many other issues the majority of Americans disagree with him on.

Whether he believes in such silly things such as Satan taking over American politics remains to be seen, but I truly think Santorum knows what he's doing in this primary. He's gathering a base who thinks of themselves as the oppressed masses, who should go to Liberia and really experience true oppression, and this might win him the nomination. It won't, thankfully, win him the Presidency.

I would gladly wave the flag of the GOP if they took similar politics to that of Teddy Roosevelt, but now, they're modeling themselves after a version of Reagan that never existed. So anyone, like myself, who's disappointed in the Obama administration has nowhere to go. Thank you, you bunch of Larry the Cable Guy loving fucktards.

"Ronald Reagan did that. He called the Soviet Union an evil empire and the media went wild. How dare you describe terms like good and evil to regimes? Because Ronald Reagan told the truth, he didn’t sugarcoat it,” - Rick Santorum

Feb 21, 2012


ESPN, the leader in broadcast sports news, loves a good controversy. In their NFL page, they constantly write an article daily about the overrated Tim Tebow. Whether he's preaching the word of the Lord, or buying a ham sandwich, Tebow gets tons of press, and their comment section shows the fans can't get enough. Since Tebow is the moral equivalent of Billy Graham, the Evangelical community loves to white knight him. If you say Tebow isn't a good quarterback (he's not)m you're suddenly vilified as a hater of the mother of Jesus and want to see Christians thrown to the lions. If you say he's a good quarterback (he's not), you're called a dumbass who knows nothing about the sport, which may be accurate.

Now the NBA has their own divisive figure in the form of Jeremy Lin; mediocre basketball player, Asian-American, and Evangelical Christian. He really does nothing special on the court, yet everyone talks about him as if he was the second coming of Jordan. Fans with a religious bent so badly want him to be like Kobe, and others are just annoyed someone so average is getting such attention.

Then ESPN came up with a headline about Jeremy's play with the words "chink in the armor", a phrase used for years in sports reporting and numerous other ways, and in this case, Lin's terrible playing. Of course, ESPN freaked out when they realized that their readers, who they think would suddenly spasm at seeing it, fired the headline writer and suspended the broadcaster who repeated the phrase. No one gave two shits about it, not even Lin himself, who doesn't believe it was intentional.

Now yes, the word "chink" can be used as a racist slur, but this headline was not doing that, and everyone knows it. So a guy got fired for doing his job, a good one at that, all because ESPN, the same organization that thought it would be a great idea to hire Rush Limbaugh, has assumed it's readers aren't smart enough to decipher what is racist or not.

"Have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.” - Jeremy Lin

Feb 20, 2012

Tip one back this hallowed day

Most of our holidays involve heavy drinking for adults. Holidays such as Halloween, St Patrick's Day, and New Year's Eve usually involve copious amounts of alcohol for many, which your author may or may not have partaken in. Even holidays we know nothing about seem to be designed for a triple digit bar tab, such as Cinco De Mayo.

I move that President's Day be the same. No one gives any amount of honor to the nation's highest office, other than maybe watching a PBS or History Channel special, so why not do what our former President's would do, drink.

I learned today that three of our Presidents love the greatness that is whiskey. Yes they partook in the bourboness goodness, and so shall we all. If the leaders of the free world do it, so shall we. Then again I don't condone snorting coke and drunk driving, so maybe we shouldn't emulate all of our Presidents' behaviors.

I want a drink...

"At 140 proof, it’s a ridiculously powerful sipper that absolutely requires water to tame the fires." - Richard Goldsmith

Feb 16, 2012

Wiwille's movie reviews part 87

There are many forms of entertainment that are best left in your past, never to be seen or heard from again. I once had fond memories of watching the television sci-fi show "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century", and would swear it's one of the best programs in its genre. Upon watching that abortion of a show years later I came upon the realization that our aesthetic sensibilities do actually mature, while the rest of my psyche may not.

Hudson Hawk never really got better or worse with age. I saw it in the theatre many years ago with my then girlfriend. We both didn't care for it, but almost twenty years later I thought I may not have given it a chance, or perhaps I didn't appreciate it for whatever reason. I was wrong, so very wrong.

The movie starts Bruce Willis, who plays a cat burglar, conveniently named Hudson Hawk, who was recently released from prison. He gets blackmailed into stealing a statue made by Leonardo DaVinci, but what the incompetent crime bosses, let by none other than Frank Stallone, has on him makes really no sense, but that's ok. The idea is to get a few crystal looking items to fuel a lead-to-gold machine designed by no other than Leonardo himself. We are also introduced to Hawk's partner in crime, Danny Aiello, who sings and dances along with Bruce as do what they do.

Andie McDowell plays a Vatican agent who wants to keep the secret of Leonardo's gold machine out of the hands of corrupt humans, and has the acting chops of all the films you've seen her in before. Oh and Sandra Bernhard and some guy (I lost all interest in knowing his name) conspire to get the machine and the crystal looking things, flood the market with gold, crash worldwide exchanges, and have the world will then bow to them and their vast resources. Oh and to help them get these crystals, they hire a bunch of ex-CIA agents with candy bars as code names, let by none other than James Coburn.

This plot makes no sense, but tries to have a sense of humor about itself, while only telling one mildly funny joke. The rest of their attempts at comedy falls horribly flat, and are just as dull and incompetent as the rest of the script. The plot transitions are as equally confusing, are supposed to be amusing, but will leave on scratching their head.

If they made this funny they would've had a great parody on their hands, but sadly none of this works. It's just lazy, stupid, and has little redeeming value. Hudson Hawk didn't age well in all these years, actually it didn't age at all. It's still as horrifyingly bad as the last time I saw it, so many years ago. At least it's consistent in it's awfulness.

Thanks to Shaun for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on One Bad Apple. Rules are posted here.

"To say this megamillion Bruce Willis vehicle doesn't fly is understatement in the extreme." - Joe Brown

Feb 13, 2012

The vote for themselves

Award shows are quite possibly the most useless hours of television all year. To see celebrities voting for themselves in a vanity project is annoying at best. Still sometimes they can be amusing, the rare times I've seen them.

My wife was watching the opening of the Grammy's last night, and I watched with her. Here are some of my thoughts on the few minutes we viewed:
  • Why is the entertainment industry so forgiving of Chris Brown? The lesson here is you beat your girlfriend into the hospital and you're rewarded with a Grammy for your mildly talented songs. Good to see the industry is churning out great role models. I guess we can look forward to a song and dance routine from Mel Gibson at the Oscars.
  • I wonder if Adele will be one of those artists who does really well at one Grammy event, only to never be heard from again.
  • I have no idea who most of these people are, and kept having to ask my wife what their signifigance is.
  • Bruce Springsteen does not have a good voice. Sure he can write a catchy song at times, but the song they opened with was grating.
  • There is no reason for someone to dress in a robe that would cover a Toyota at any time.
  • I kind of wanted to see Kanye West rush the stage, only to be punched in the face by LL Cool J.
  • While I can understand her fans being upset by her demise at such an early age, I wonder when was the last time any of them purchased a Whitney Houston album, or actually gave her much of a thought in the 21st century.
  • "Take me down just like a domino" makes no sense what so ever. You don't actually take a domino down, unless there are people who like to tackle them.
  • When a microphone malfunctions, the director decides to make the screw up seem worse by not cutting away from the singer attempting to fix the problem. I'm in the wrong business. Seriously, they couldn't say "Camera 2?"
The wife decided to get some sleep, and I watched the season premier of The Walking Dead. I love music, but I feel so disconnected with modern songs it's ridiculous.

"The interviews have been a little tough due to the fact that we're interviewing dogs. We see a lot of contestants licking themselves, but we're used to that from covering the Grammys." - Melissa Rivers

Feb 8, 2012

Through the looking glass

I've posted about Bill O'Reilly numerous times, but got bored with it as the stories were getting redundant. O'Reilly says something ridiculous that deserves ridicule, wash, rinse, repeat. I just stopped as there was little more to say about the intellectual midget posing as a conservative hero.

Today though I stumbled across something I found surprising. In recent news, JC Penny hired Ellen DeGeneres to hock their goods and unsurprisingly some are taking issue with it. A conservative group called Million Moms are asking JC Penny to fire the talk show host, because she doesn't seek pleasure from hairy men.

Bill actually took issue with this, which shocked the living hell out of me. This from a man who's called for numerous boycotts for companies that hire celebrities he deems to not have the strong moral fiber of his Irish-Catholic background, or share his love for falafel. Still he stood up for JC Penny and called out the Million Moms for being wrong for wanting someone fired for their sexuality, even going so far as calling them un-American.

So this is the guy who once openly stated he hates the idea of gays having any public displays of affection, and now is calling out the Million Moms for being scared their children will catch a case of the homos because of an ad. Has he really changed his stance on homosexuality? Maybe, but I think he originally gave two shits about gay causes, and just changes his views based on polls, which show Americans, left and right, are growing tired of seeing people oppressed based on their sexuality. He needs ratings after all.

"That's my advice to all homosexuals, whether they're in the Boy Scouts, or in the Army or in high school: Shut up, don't tell anybody what you do, your life will be a lot easier." - Bill O'Reilly

Feb 7, 2012

Thoughts on the Super Bowl

As most people, I sat and watched the Super Bowl this Sunday. Here are a few thoughts about the most watched television event of the year:

- Why does the NFL think their fans really care about Kelly Clarkson and Madonna? I know they're trying to broaden appeal, but how many football fans do you know who are just delighted to see these two perform?

- I couldn't muster up any excitement to see either team win. I didn't want Eli to have more rings than Peyton, and I'm opposed to seeing Belichick win any game, much less the biggest game of the year.

- The game would've been exciting if I hadn't already seen it before.

- The Patriots receivers catch like they're playing for the Seahawks.

- Madonna still can't sing, but I was impressed by the show. She's not known for having talent, other than her ability to manipulate the media to bow to her will, but she did well for her age. Still after watching last year's train wreck of a halftime show Mel Gibson could've grabbed an accordian and played Hitler's favorite polkas and we'd all thought it would've been an improvement.

- Here are the typical FB posts you'll see after any super bowl:
  • The halftime show sucked! They should never be allowed to sing in public again!
  • The halftime show ruled! OMG so amazing I cried!
  • They flubbed the words to the National Anthem! Moron!
  • They did such an amazing job at singing the National Anthem! OMG so amazing I cried!
  • My team won!
  • My team lost!
  • I won money!
  • I had to run naked through uptown!
  • I said at the beginning of the year that this team would win!
  • (Comments on previous) 1. You say that every year Nostradamus! 2. Liar! 3. You still suck!
  • (_____) sucks!
  • (_____) rules!
  • Sarcastic post about not caring about the Super Bowl, while they took the time to acknowledge it exists.
  • Post stating how they're going to watch anything but the Super Bowl, because everyone gave a shit.
  • Obligatory post from person who knows little about football questioning a referee's call, the ability of any particular player, or the wisdom behind a coaches play calling.
  • Soccer fan stating the only sport that should be known as football is soccer, while forgetting what the 'S' in MLS stands for.
  • Sarcastic post claiming they didn't know the Super Bowl was on, when they fully well knew when it would air.
  • OMG the Super Bowl commercials are funny!
  • OMG the Super Bowl commercials are lame!
  • I can't believe that happened! I'm shocked!
  • I know it would happen all along, because while I can't tell you what a 4-3 defense is, I can see the outcome of a play before it happens.
"I have always said that I want to finish my career with the Dolphins and this put me closer to that goal. I have been fortunate to break many personal records, but my overiding goal is to win a Super Bowl here in Miami." - Dan Marino

Feb 2, 2012

Pink outrage

People piss me off, because they suck. I don't like things that suck.

All over Twitter and Facebook, we've been bombarded with news about the Susan G Komen foundation to rid the world of breast cancer, and how many are upset with it that it temporarily pulled it's financial support to Planned Parenthood. Of course many people are trying to seem edgy by showing their vocal (read useless) support for PP above SGK. So why are you supposed to hate SGK now, when you should've all along?

Well I haven't been a fan of the Susan G Komen charity for a while. Any charity that sues other philanthropic organizations for vague trademarks such as "for the cure" can kiss my country ass. Plus, it's been no secret that the founder of SGK has been a major contributor to the GOP, which should come as a surprise to no one in light of recent events.

So why has the Susan G Komen organization pulled their support for Planned Parenthood? Are they inherintly evil wenches who Well apparently they have a policy they any money they donate to a medical provider must only be used for breast cancer screenings and the like. If any accusation of donated funds are being appropriated to other procedures, such as in this case abortions, come to light, they pull funding until an investigation is complete. Also they pull all funding for organizations that are under federal investigation until the investigation is complete, and act accordingly on the results.

And guess what, I don't care. If SGK wants to enact a policy to ensure the money they donate to medical providers only go to certain procedures, well that's their right. Actually, I would probably do the same if I ran a charity. I would only want the hard earned cash donated by the public go to a cause that I advertise, and I would have to put precautions to ensure that happens. And if for some reason that organization came under federal investigation, I'd pull my support until the investigation is complete. Is it fair? Maybe not, but I wouldn't want to risk giving money to organizations that may misuse it. Sure what the Susan G Komen organization seems at the surface extreme if only you read the headlines, but if they were caught giving money to fund controversial procedures that in no way fit with their mission statement, they would lose a lot of support, or be accused of fraud.

However in this case, the public is freaking out that SGK is pulling temporary support for Planned Parenthood, because they like littering their friends' Facebook wall. If you believe in a conspiracy that this was all politically motivated, well godspeed. There are many reasons to not support the Susan G Komen foundation, such as a) they sue other charities, b) the founder loves giving money to the GOP, and c) there are deadlier cancers out there that also deserve our attention. To make this your point of outrage seems a bit silly in spite of the history of this charity.

"We regret that these new policies have impacted some longstanding grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics," - Susan G. Komen Foundation

Feb 1, 2012

Slowly we progress

I was traveling to work the other day, fighting gridlock as I normally do, and it occurred to me that this is the same thing my parents did as well as theirs. For three generations we've traveled the same way, gas guzzling cars, loud planes, annoying bicycles, and inefficient trains. In all our technological advancements, we haven't made travel more efficient.

We've progressed in many ways, but all technology has given us in the past 40 years has mostly been to spread celebrity gossip and distribute inexpensive porn. Where's my Jetsons car? I want a people mover, or to beam myself, or any object, to anywhere I choose within seconds. I want all citizens to walk on the moon and wars to be fought with lightsabers.

But no, we're so focused on dumb communication devices and ways to stream entertainment that we can't be bothered to make our commutes any easier. Thanks tech industry. You're quite on the leading edge of helping people get free time wasters.

On another note, doing an image search of the Jetsons brings up some fucked up, horrifying pictures. You've been warned.

"Beyond highways and roads, we need more money for mass transit, intercity passenger rail and freight rail. We have a long way to go to bridge the funding gaps." - Bill Lipinski