Fat Dad With Glasses: Sesame Street Hacked

Greetings, Friends.

I suppose you probably thought there’d be some kind of post related to AMC’s The Walking Dead which premieres its second season tonight.  Well, guess what?  I’m too upset to post about that tonight.  I’m too upset because some idiot douchefuck has ruined my night.  Someone thought it would be funny to hack into Sesame Street‘s YouTube account and post a few porn videos.


Telly… How could you?

Obviously, this being the age of instant transmission of information and whatnot… this isn’t something that lasted very long.  The porn was up and down a few times over the course of the 22 minutes.  That’s how long before someone outright suspended the entire Sesame Street account.  From that point, until the nasty business was sorted out about an hour later, none of Sesame Street’s videos could be watched on YouTube.

Here’s a personal message to whoever it was that took the time to do this:

Dear Asshat,

I’d tell you to go fuck yourself, but I know that you’re busy fapping away at the idea that a bunch of parents and little kids are crying at your 1337 hackjob.  I know you suddenly think you’re Tyler Durden meets Zero Cool.  You know what you are?  An unoriginal idiot.  Anyone could think of porn.  At 15, working at a local video store, I swapped the inputs with the outputs of the security monitor and popped Anal Assassins in the VCR on the guy that worked the shift after me.  It was unoriginal then, almost 20 years ago.  It’s unoriginal now.  You’re a dumbfuck.  You could have slowly played with the account for months before anyone caught on, I’d bet.  Instead you blow your whole load on a couple of lame ass-to-mouth vids?  Enjoy your 15 minutes.  No one will ever think or care about you again.


Sincerely,
Me.

But this incident was particularly frustrating for me, because part of my nightly routine to wind down Charlotte is to watch several of these videos with her on my lap, and me browsing blogs, reddit and other ridiculous temporal black holes.  I wasn’t able to really do that, since half of the videos we watch every night were down.

Now, I don’t know about any of your kids out there in internetland… by mine isn’t fussy about sleep.  She doesn’t care for it in the least.  In the last 18 months, she might have slept for 15 minutes or so.  I can’t be sure.  I’m too fucking tired.  In addition to watching YouTube videos with her, I need to jump through flaming hoops, sing songs, dance, ride a BigWheel bike around the living room, and throw spaghetti noodles on the ceiling just to get her to yawn.  And when you take any of these crucial items out of the equation… she doesn’t sleep.

So obviously, the fact that the whole routine got delayed by an hour has me pretty much enraged.  If I were to get a hold of whatever dicknuckle thought it would be fun and original to repeatedly post porn to Sesame Street’s YouTube channel, it wouldn’t be pretty.  If it were filmed, it would probably fill the void anyone is feeling about there not being a new Saw sequel this Hallowe’en.  It would make the second half of Hostel look like Cinderella.  It would damn sure violate YouTube’s Terms of Service Agreement.


I understand the blowtorch… but what are the christmas tree decorations fo– 
 Oh.

Meanwhile in Canada… II

Time to fulfill the Can-Con obligations of my Blog.  Here’s some 1980s Canadian TV Show intros.  I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should describe the nature of these different series for those that may not have had an opportunity to witness them in all their glory way back when…  But I’ve decided that I should let the opening credits speak for themselves, eh?

The first one’s free…  but the next few are gonna cost you.

Okay… so it’s not quite entirely 80s. I couldn’t find a good video of Hockey Night In Canada from the 80s. It pretty much sounded the same anyway. I sure do miss hearing that theme on CBC. And I don’t even watch Hockey.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

X-Men:  First Class is a small indie picture from earlier this year.  You probably haven’t heard of it.  It deals with a group of young adults railing against the evils of Corporate America at the turn of the century and their influence on the Columbine tragedy, while subtly touching on the subject of net-neutrality and the dangers of an internet without Freedom of Speech.


X-Men: First Class (2011)

All joking aside, I fucking loved this movie.  I’m super pissed that I let the dark side get the better of me, and avoided it in the theatre.

Things that I loved:

Pacing.  You hear me complain about it a lot.  I do this because most movies today suffer from horrible pacing.  They’re too slow in the slow parts.  They’re too fast in the fast parts.  Not here.  The pacing is perfect.

Action.  When I watch a comic book movie, particularly an X-Men movie, I want action.  I want it to be good.  I want it to make me sit up in my seat, at the edge.  I want to see awesome powers being used to fuck people up in creative ways.  I want to scream “Fuck yeah!” when some random asshole guard gets fucked up by ridiculous mutant powers.  I did all that.
Character.  The only thing that is almost as awesome as mutant powers, is the dynamic character that the best X-People have.  Make no mistake:  This is the story of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Beast and Kevin Bacon (I knew there was a reason he doesn’t seem to have aged since Tremors.)  The others are tack on characters that don’t matter.  Who cares about Banshee?  (No one.  No, not even you, lone objector in the comments.  No one.)  This is about the big characters.  Their story is interesting.  Their reactions and emotions are believable, and stay in character… or rather… form the character.

We see the important moments in the lives of Chuck, Hank, Erik and Raven that shape their future.  Their origin, if you will.  In an origin story?  That’s crazy talk!  It shouldn’t be surprising that you’d see the origins of characters in an origin story…  but they’ve been fucked up so hard in the past (I’m looking at you, Lucas) that it’s actually damn near astonishing to see one that’s done well.

Cameos.  They were excellent.

Building a Universe.  Marvel Studios has been getting a lot of credit for building their non-mutant Marvel Movie Universe, heading towards The Avengers next year.  While I agree with all that praise, I have to nod towards Fox and the Mutant Marvel Universe they’re creating.  Even with the steaming pile of shit that was X3, and the ridiculous, but fun, romp that was Origins: Wolverine, they seem to laid the groundwork for another trilogy, or more, with this picture.  There are plenty of stories to be told with these characters still, and I’m looking forward to them.

Things that I didn’t love:


The Fat Guy With Glasses in me can’t always get past the little details… and here it’s no different.  I’m watching the movie and thinking to myself…  “Isn’t Raven even older than Chuck?  I thought she was, like, Wolverine old.”  “That’s not the right Angel!” “That’s not the original class at all!” “Hank’s hair looks like shit!” “I thought Kevin Bacon already learned a valuable lesson about playing chicken in Footloose!”  Turn off that voice.  You know you can do it.  Just shut it off and everything will be fine.

The poster art.  Look at that photoshop disaster.  Chuck’s head looks like Matt Stone and/or Trey Parker cut it out in cardboard and taped it there, guy.  Mags looks like he’s in the middle of walking down the runway, seconds away from stopping us all in our tracks with Blue Steel.  The only one that isn’t looking like a tool is, of course, Kevin Bacon, who is obviously now the frontrunner to replace Daniel Craig as 007 in the next movie.

That’s it, though.  I loved everything else.  At least, I don’t remember anything else I hated.  I’ve heard some people complain that January Jones was too distant as Emma Frost…  These are probably the people that complained that Eric Bana was too distant as Bruce Banner.  Or that Christian Bale seemed stiff as Batman.

Final Thoughts:


Re…. memm…  ‘Member that part where the guy was teleporting all over the place, and dropping lackeys from the sky and then Bacon basically walks in through some rubble like Vader at the beginning of Star Wars and blows the crap out of that guy that does the stuff?  FLABOOM!  Yeah… that was awesome.

5/5

Johanna Skibsrud’s The Sentimentalists

The SentimentalistsThe Sentimentalists by Johanna Shively Skibsrud

This review will be brief, I think.

I can’t think of any way to discuss the book without revealing the “ending”, so I’m not even going to try. I also didn’t enjoy the book at all. There was a minute there where I thought I would. It didn’t pan out. I don’t think I’m going to be very nice about it.

I read The Sentimentalists because my darling Mother-in-Law essentially asked me to.  I don’t remember the exact words, but she did say “I’d be interested in getting a male perspective” or some other bullshit like that.

In other words:  It’s all her fault.

As near as I can tell, The Sentimentalists is the story of Napoleon Haskell, told through the eyes of his daughter Honey. For the first 80 or so pages… nothing happens. There’s a bunch of wordy, yet vague, descriptions of how Honey’s family was never really close, and that her father was a drunk vet, full of empty promises. One of these promises was to finish a boat. Spoiler: He doesn’t finish the fucking boat. Instead he disappoints his family, runs off to live in an unfinished shack, until one day his daughters scoot him across the border to live with the father of his buddy who died in the war.

Yes. I’m oversimplifying things. I’m doing this because I wasn’t fucking interested.

I was interested at one point. When Napoleon finally opens up to his daughter about the war, the book goes from long drawn out descriptions of minutia to becoming an interesting tale of a random soldier in the Vietnam War. Napoleon goes on to tell a tale, that is sad, engaging and intriguing. He’s not clear on the details, because he’s clearly done everything he can to forget them. This happens about page 150 of  217, and actually made me excited to finish that final quarter.

In the end, I didn’t enjoy this book. That final quarter? It doesn’t fill in any details. Instead, it includes a transcript from an inquiry on the incident Napoleon witnesses. That transcript doesn’t corroborate with what Napoleon tells his daughter at all. I think this was supposed to show us that, despite what his platoon thought, Napoleon had tried not to blatantly accuse his fellow soldiers of anything.

Instead, what it shows us is that the author is trying to leave us with an open to interpretation ending. Maybe we’re supposed to come away feeling that we’ll never really know the truth of anything in our parent’s lives? Maybe we’re supposed to think that we can’t ever really learn from them how to avoid making mistakes? I don’t know. Whatever she was trying to do, it didn’t give two shits.

The book ends letting us know that someone did eventually finish building that goddamn boat and now it’s on it’s way up the Northumberland Strait. Yippie!  It’s one of the things these characters are sentimental about. I think it’s one of those take-pleasure-in-small-consolations moments. Whatever. By the end, when I realized that I wasn’t ever going to get any kind of resolution about what happened to Napoleon or his friend, I really, really, really didn’t care about any of these characters.

This book won “The Giller Prize” for something or other.  It’s a Canadian literature award of some type.  If this is the best we can do, I think we should all throw our fucking pens in the Bay of Fundy and give the fuck up.

This wasn’t very brief, was it?  Oh well.  I guess I lied.  You’ll get over it.

1/5

Found On the Internet: Li’l Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction’s Facebook page shared this today.  I enjoyed it.

Not surprisingly, the 265 comments or so were largely full of people pissing, moaning and crying.  Wah wah… the kids aren’t swearing.  Wah This is inappropriate!  Wah wah John Travolta is white!  wah!  Shoulda done DNS scene! Wah.  Won’t someone think of the children!?! Wah wah wah One of my favourite movies ruined! Fucking wah.

The best three that I saw in my quick glance:

I was hoping they’d shoot Marvin in the face.”  – James Partington

Wrong scene, asshat.

“this is terrible and a disgrace to pulp fiction. vincent vega isnt not a little mexican. get the races right before you make a li’l anything” – Scott Schober

That’s some really choice racism, sir.

“I don’t think Jules was mexican but ok.” – Morgan Shaffer

Also choice racism.  Even funnier to me is that you’re so upset about this detail change you felt the need to comment on it… without realizing that the character Jules was indeed played by a young man of African decent.  How do you get so worked up about one detail, when you don’t even know the character’s fucking name?

Re-Watching Dead: Tell It to the Frogs



Three Down…

Melanie and I have been rewatching AMC’s The Walking Dead, and we’re now halfway done.

Read what we thought of the show’s second episode, “Tell It to the Frogs.” It’s a doozie.  As always, spoilers lie within.  If you can’t handle that, stay out.


I’m pretty confident that this will go down as being the best episode of the series.  It has everything, everything, I look for in a post-zombie-apocalyptic setting.  A racially diverse group of people barely getting along.  Great characters.  A severed head opening its eyes and gurgling.

The acting in this episode is outstanding.  Particularly by the prinicples.  Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Shane (Jon Bernthal), and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) knock it out of the park.  Dale and Glenn also shine on the sidelines.  The performance of the hour, however, goes to Michael Rooker.  As Merle, Rooker opens the show with a rant so wild, crazy and desperate, you would almost believe he had been locked and handcuffed on a rooftop with the ominous moans and clamouring of zombies nearby.


This whole episode is fantastic.  Even the lulls are interesting.  There’s so much going on just in the eyes of the actors.  Mel and I are in agreement about the greatness of this episode, so instead of dividing what we agreed on versus disagreed, I’ll be pointing out our favourite parts.  


My Favourite Parts:

Aside from the opening sequence, where Merle goes from incoherent mumblings, to shock, to bargaining with God, to finally a self-reliant rage against God, there are several other quality moments to this particular episode.

First is when Rick reunites with his family.  The scene, which I’ve probably seen 4 times now, still gives me goosebumps (even as I write about it now).  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a (relatively) new father myself, or that I’ve always been drawn to Father-Child moments in television, but the love and relief in his eyes as he falls to the ground in joy with Carl in his arms is breathtaking.  It’s as good a piece of art as any film or TV Show I’ve watched, in my opinion.  To repurpose a line from Bill O’Reilly, there’s no words here.  We see everything that Rick, Lori, Shane, Carl and even some of the other survivors are feeling, in their eyes, and their body language.  I fucking love it when this is done, and works, like it does here.

Another favourite moment, or moments really, is the growing bond between Shane and Carl.  It’s something that wasn’t really explored in the early issues of the comic book.  And should the show ever take the same path…  it will work so much better.  Shane’s such an interesting character on the show at this point.  He’s just trying to build the family he wasn’t ever able to have in the old world.  He’s making the right decisions.  Seriously, Comic Book Shane is a fuck-up, constantly making the wrong survival choices, and letting jealousy cloud his judgement.  TV Shane makes responsible choices, and even when he loses his cool near episode’s end… he’s still doing the right thing.  In the world they’re living in, Ed needed to be beaten to within an inch of his life.  He wasn’t going to understand any other language.

I felt like destroying something that was an asshole, beautiful.

Finally, we have Lori.  I think this episode is as interesting as her character is going to get.  She’s a major part of the greatness of the reunion.  We see pretty much every high and low emotion one can have on her face in the span of a few seconds.  Throughout her interactions with Rick, we can see how much she wants to tell him about her mistake.  Then we see her fly into Shane, over his lie about Rick being dead.  At this point, we can’t tell if Shane was right to lie or not, but we do get to see in his eyes just how hurt he is, now that he’s basically lost that family that he always wanted.

Mel’s Favourite Part:

The opening with Merle was quality.  Mel said, “[he] was a fucker and I was glad to see him left up on the roof… but still, watching him writhe around and beg Jesus to show him the way was uncomfortable…”  In other words… fucking awesome.  But that’s still only second place to her high point of the show:  the ending.

The entire sequence cutting back and forth–from the stairwell and rooftop, to the banks of the quarry with Shane showing Ed what being an asshole will get you in the new world order–is fantastic.  The music is perfect, even if it is a soundalike of John Murphy’s song used during Cillian Murphy’s (or Nick Cage’s) rampage from 28 Days Later (or Kick-Ass).  The show peaks at the very end, though, as we slow pan through first the hacksaw, then the severed hand, and then the still clasped handcuffs hanging every so ominously from that random piece of re-bar as Daryl lets out a pained squeal.

In a word:  

Choice.

Final Thoughts:

This particular episode was directed by Gweneth Horder-Payton, who along with some other movies and series, worked as 1st Assistant Director on 36 episodes of The Shield, and directed 5 of them.  One of them being “Of Mice and Lem”, the second last episode of Season 5*.  I can’t praise the work done there enough, and it clearly continues on here.  She obviously knows how to squeeze even more talent out of an already talented cast.

Holy Shit.  That was fucktastic.

*If you’ve seen The Shield you know why everything leading up to the end of Season 5 is amazing.  If you haven’t… go buy the DVDs.  Now..

Review Grab Bag (10/2/11)

Welcome again to the Review Grab Bag…  the Review Free-For-All.  If it can be reviewed, it’s fair game… good, great, bad or steaming pile of shit.

As always the Review Grab Bag has an open call to any and all guest reviewers.  The rules are simple:

  1. Have an opinion on a thing.
  2. Write a paragraph or two about it, and e-mail it to me at hamwallet@gmail.com.
  3. Make her open the box.
  4. And that’s the way you do it.
In today’s Grab Bag we have 3 movies, and a downloadable XBox360 title.

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

Take Me Home Tonight is a quirky romantic comedy starring Topher Grace, Teresa Palmer, Anna Faris and Dan Fogler.  It’s the summer of ’88. Token-80s-Smartest-Kid-in-School, Matt Franklin (Grace) has just graduated from MIT and is spending the summer working at a shitty video store in the mall.  When the former Prom Queen, his High School Crush Tori Frederking (Palmer) walks in a well placed string of lies lands him with an opening to see her at a party later.  With the help of his twin sister Wendy (Faris) and comically chubby, recently fired, best friend Barry (Fogler), Matt sets out to achieve that which he never could in High School:  Getting Tori Frederking’s phone number.

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)


The reason I even knew of the existence of this movie is below.  It’s a video for Atomic Tom’s cover of Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me?”  The cover isn’t very good.  The video is fantastic.  Give it a minute or so for the awesomeness to kick in.

  

I wanted to watch Take Me Home Tonight because of the fun that the cast clearly had making this video, and the obvious love and attention that they had paid to 80s movies.  So, now that you’ve watched that awesomeness…

What we have in Take Me Home Tonight is a 2011 attempt at recapturing the greatness of the John Hughes/Brat Pack era 80s comedies.  Director Michael Dowse (Fubar 1 & 2, It’s All Gone Pete Tong) and company try their hardest to not fall into the trap of making a period comedy that constantly pokes fun at the period.  They clearly didn’t want to make a movie like The Wedding Singer where the film’s jokes are mostly “Ha ha!  Remember the 80s?  That shit was crazy.”

Take Me Home Tonight tries to have “the 80s” just be the film’s setting.  More than that, in my opinion, they really try to just have this be an 80s movie.  They clearly wanted this movie to look and feel like it could have been released in ’88.  The plot is simple, the characters are the same ones you’ve seen a million times, the plot is driven by 2 parts character and 3 parts completely implausible, yet tired, situations.  In a very weird way, it borrows from, pays homage to a laundry list of movies and actors, while never feeling like an outright parody.

The trouble, though, is that the film is trying to do too much.  Sometimes it wants to be an 80s movie, derivative, predictable, but outrageous and funny.  Sometimes it wants to be a goofball romantic comedy, with a not entirely unattractive but awkward and unsure leading man chasing after a hot girl that didn’t know he existed 90 minutes ago.  Sometimes it’s a Transition-Into-Adulthood movie, with all of the characters wondering what they’ve done with their lives, and how they’re going to face the long, confusing, boring rest of it.  It tries very hard to be funny, nostalgic, but relevant to today, all at the same time.

The trouble with trying to be all those things, is that you’re unlikely to pull it off.  Instead of feeling real, the characters feel like cutouts.  Instead of being nostalgic, the 80s setting ends up fading into the background.  Instead of being funny, it feels like it’s trying to be moving or inspiring.  Instead of being inspiring, it feels like it’s trying to be funny or outrageous.  Nothing that this film tries to do ends up being accomplished in the end.  It’s a mishmash of great ideas that aren’t pulled off.

Which is exactly why it ends up being terrific at one thing:  Being an 80s movie.  Seriously.  With only a few notable exceptions, the even the best 80s teen/young adult comedies are fucking terrible.  I love them, but I have to be honest.  They’re unrealistic, cutout characters that don’t come off like real people in the least.  The situations they get themselves into are fucking ludicrous.  (Even the most realistic 80s comedy of all, The Breakfast Club, has the pot scene.)  Once you combine the absolutely fantastic soundtrack with the fact that this movie desperately wants to be more than the sum of its parts, you have possibly the best 1980s comedy to be made in years.

That still only nets it 3 stars.

3/5