2 out of 5 Cookies

It’s an old refrain these days that when movie studios have no idea what to do with a movie they dump it into theatres in January and February when it can do the least amount of harm. Some take this to mean that January and February movies are just plain bad – which is not always the case. Sometimes you can find some cool, quirkirific movies in the doldrums of winter that have been placed there because, well, there’s no other place for them. But yeah, a lot of times the January movies are just plain bad, or at the very least, mediocre. Such is the case with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

The movie starts right up with a reminder of the fairy tale: Two kids are left in the woods by their father. They come upon a witch’s candy house and no sooner than they start eating on it, the front door mysteriously opens, and they walk right in like a couple of dopes. These opening scenes are done fairly well. The inside of the house is all shadows cast by a haunting fire in the oven. Spooky. The witch is sufficiently frightening. The make-up and monstrosity in the movie are done convincingly and well, with the exception of one of the minor witches who actually plays a relatively large role and has short spikey hair and just seems a little out of place among the ghastliness they achieved with all of the other witches.

In the opening scenes no mention is made of the trail of bed crumbs, and the weeks of forced feedings to fatten them up are inferred, but not shown. The movie wants to skip right ahead to their adulthood because none of these things really matter to it. They’re just set up. However, it does seem like a missed opportunity, and they could have expanded a bit on the fattening up process over two or three minutes. As long as it wants to pillage the horror genre on its way to the action genre, they may as well have had some horrific, fairytale child torture.

After the intro the animated credits start up. An amusing montage of Hansel and Gretel’s various witch hunting exploits. I often wonder why credit sequences, most of them actually done independent of the rest of the movie, never really get the respect they deserve. There should be an Oscar.

So yeah, the credits end and the movie begins in earnest and you get exactly what the previews promised. A January movie in which the characters speak in one-liners, with no respect to the time period they’re in, with an “Oh fuck me” thrown in occasionally to get a chuckle out of the contemporary audience. There’s lots of action mixed in – fights, fights and more fights – some of them done entertainingly like a witch chase through a forest early in the film, but most of them done with lots of cutting to suggest a WWE wrestling match. We’re introduced to a Troll who seems to be a combination of costume, robotic prosthetics, and CGI who is neat to look at. I whispered to Mrs. that he looked a lot like our Boxer, Buddy. She agreed.

Jeremy Renner who I only know from The Hurt Locker does what he can, but let’s face it, the dude’s not an action hero. Gemma Arterton who I’ve seen before but can’t place, actually does a better job. She occasionally gives the other characters around her a deadpan expression that’s funny. Being able to tell other people that they’re idiots with merely a look is quite a talent and I wonder if she uses it in real life.

But the real show stealer here is Famke Janssen who plays the villain. Although most of the time she’s covered in white witch make up, you can still see her MILFy self having a lot of fun being evil. I’m actually surprised an actress with a bit more name recognition didn’t step up just for the hell of it. It seems to me that for an actor, being the villain rocks. It occurred to me while I was watching that I could have totally seen Demi Moore in the role. Considering all of the tabloid BS she’s got going on the last two years, casting herself as a MILF witch could have been a statement of some sort depending on how she hammed it up.

I noticed during the opening credits that this movie was actually made by a writer/director I’d never heard of before, Tommy Wirkola. I always give writer/directors a little extra credit just because they tend to be auteur. A writer/director presumably has lived and breathed their project for a good long while – years – before it ever sees the light of day. Whether you’re talking about respected writer/directors like Woody Allen, or those a little less respected like, say, Ed Wood – either way, we have a movie that has been distilled through the singular focus of one person, and thus is not only a product, but perhaps a personal statement of sorts.

In regards to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the fact that Wirkola is virtually unknown, I doubt that this movie really represents his original vision and script. I have no problem imagining movie executives, studio slackers, and focus groups corrupting it into the mass audience, action/horror, derivative movie he ended up with.

Wirkola is from Norway and is also the writer/director of the Norwegian movie Dead Snow – a better movie than Hansel and Gretel and, lucky for you, it’s on Netflix Instant. It concerns some young people in a winter cabin being terrorized by Nazi Zombies. ‘Nuff said. As you can imagine it’s a horror/comedy. But what it does differently is that it manages to take its horror/humor premise and gradually do away with the humor leaving the nervous laughter of pure horror. It’s skillfully written in a way that Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is not, and will leave you wondering what could have been.


Two and 1/2 Cookies

Saw II: Flesh and Blood is made for a particular audience. Exit everyone who doesn’t like the Saw franchise, or thought it was stupid, or who thought that maybe it was okay, but as far as spending another 8 hours in it, no thanks. Okay, now for the rest of you that are left: Exit, anyone who doesn’t like brain teasers, crossword puzzles, sodoku, matching puzzles, mensa tests, math and the like.

The Saw franchise believe it or not, fits perfectly into video game conventions. As you may recall, in the films Jigsaw presents his victims with elaborate and always ironic traps from which they have to free themselves or die. In video game form, this means that the player has to solve these “traps”, which are really just brain-teasing puzzles. The puzzles range from easy, to downright frustrating – the most frustrating of them having the extra bonus of being timed so you end up frantically hunting for the solution even as you watch the clock wind down. In the movies you get to watch the poor saps fail their tests and spring the bear traps attached to their heads, splitting their noggins in two. In the game you get this same gorific enjoyment, with the added bonus of actually wanting to save them so that you can move on.

It’s been a while, but I remember being impressed with the original Saw film as a piece of independent horror goodness. Even the title was pretty darn cool back in those days when it was yet to be ground into pop consciousness like so much hamburger. I recall even thinking that Saw 2 was really good considering that Saw pretty much stood on its own and didn’t necessarily beg for a sequel. By the time Saw 3 came around and Mr. Jigsaw was getting apprentices and plots were continually twisting and turning in this surprise place and to that surprise place, I was bored. In fact, I streamed the most recent Saw on Netflix after I finished this game – I think it was Saw 7? – not having seen any of the other more recent ones, and promptly fell asleep wondering if that was Rick Springfield who had managed to finagle himself the starring role in it. Note: It wasn’t Rick Springfield, but Sean Patrick Flanery. But they kinda look alike.

Rick Springfield was not in Saw, but he was in The Walking Dead

Plotwise, the Saw II video game pretty much plays like the movies. The player controls a character named Michael. Michael is investigating his father’s death, the protagonist from the first game, when he’s abducted by Jigsaw and the game begins in earnest. The narrative feels a lot like a simpler version of the movies with Michael moving from area to area and puzzle to puzzle.

The art direction, sound and graphics, capture the Saw vibe of dank basements and abandoned buildings. The graphics are below par, but anybody who came for the graphics is not going to stay anyway, as those types aren’t going to have the patience for the puzzles.

Considering that the game plays exactly like the first one, it’s surprising that it sold enough copies to demand a sequel. As I tried to say in my introduction, my guess is that those coming for the terror and gore are not going to be into the puzzles, and those coming for the puzzles are going to be turned off by the horror aspects of the game. But I’ve obviously underestimated the audience for “horror-puzzlers.”

That said, accolades must be given to the producers and debugging team for making their game an almost glitch-free experience. Considering the sheer amount of puzzles and brain teasers in the game, I didn’t come across a single one that didn’t work. (Although there was one that I did solve which lead into a cut-scene which glitched and forced me to reload the checkpoint and do the puzzle again.) But when comparing Saw II: Flesh and Blood to the other leader in the “horror-puzzler” field – ahem – Silent Hill, Saw is a relatively painless experience glitch-wise. Silent Hill Homecoming had me setting a clock through every minute of the day before allowing me to proceed, as the proper solution was glitched. (Note: Silent Hill games are superior in every other way to these Saw games and if you haven’t played Homecoming and Downpour you need to spend your time with those first before even considering these Saw games.)

In closing, I want to mention the save system. Throughout the game are old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorders you walk up to and save with. Sometimes these tape recorders are separated by more than an hour and a half of game time, which more than once caused me some problems as I had pretty much had my fill of the game but couldn’t stop playing until I came to one of these save points. Mind you, there are check points throughout the game, after every puzzle, so if you die (which you will – often) it loads up to the last check point. But the implication is, that the checkpoints only save to the ram, not to your hard drive like the tape recorder, so you can’t actually turn your game off until you come to one of the reel-to-reels. There were two times in particular that I played far later into the night than I really wanted to due to this save-system design flaw and it really pissed me off – like cursing the publisher and picturing their heads in the bear traps.

After I finished the game I loaded up some previous levels to try for a few extra achievements, and guess what I discovered? The checkpoints ARE save points. Basically, the tape recorders are bullshit. They save all right, but so does every single check point, every ten minutes or so. This is never written in the instructions, or said in the game. In fact, the game makes quite a big deal of explaining the tape recorders when you come upon the first one.

At first, upon this discovery I was even more enraged, thinking back on the two nights I stayed up past midnight. But after consideration of the Saw franchise and Jigsaw’s modus operandi, I actually think it’s pretty funny in a diabolical, assholish kind of way. One of those meta-moments in gaming. Touche’ publishers and designers. You got me. Now come over here and put your heads in this bear trap.

Posted by: smirkdirk | January 16, 2013

Detachment – Adrien Brody In “A Very Important Film”

2 and 1/2 out of 5 cookies

Detachment is not the sort of movie I’d normally take time to write about, number one because I’ve never heard of it until it showed up on Netflix, and number two, because it’s really not that special which explains number one.

And yet, the movie’s got quite the cast: Adrien Brody, James Caan, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner. It’s also got some pretty big ideas. Ideas that are so big they actually ruin the movie.

Detachment concerns what is presented to the audience as an “inner city high school” – yeah, think Dangerous Minds, The Substitute, and a shitload other movies of the sort. The problem with this inner city high school, however, is its distinct lack of color. The majority of this inner city school, somehow, is white, which means that all the big ideas that the movie goes on to tackle are automatically bogged down by the distinct lack of a racial conversation that is present in reality when talking about these issues. As cheesy as Dangerous Minds plays these days, at least it had the honesty to engage race head on.

A lot of you are black. As you can see I’m white. This is interesting.

Brody is a substitute teacher who, as the formula dictates, engages the kids in such a way that, despite all the grimness presented throughout the movie – cocksucking on public transportation, dying old men, rape victims, – by the end he is their captain-my-captain a’la Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society which is really what this movie should have gone for. I mean, there’s not even a single gang present at this “inner city” high school. If you can’t get a black cast you can still make a grim movie about high school – I mean, white kids have problems too. Not everything has to focus on the “inner city”. Aren’t Columbine, Jonesboro, Newtown a whole different set of problems with our educational system, and perhaps a symptom of white privilege as much as certain problems specific to the urban education environment are rooted in black under-privilege?

And yet for all this complaining on my part, I am writing about the movie because there are portions of it that are outstanding. Individual scenes such as Lucy Liu’s verbal assault on a student that is at once sort of shocking and yet so full of a particular brand of truth that so many young people need to hear. There’s also some outstanding acting by some young people who I hope we begin to see more from such as Sami Gayle, who despite having to deal with some atrocious writing and characterization that goes back to the root of the problem with this movie, delivers a great performance. When her heartbreaking exit from the movie comes about, her anguished cries and screams really hit a nerve. (Oddly enough, she also looks like a young Liza Minelli so if there’s ever a biopic…) A young actress that IMDB tells me is named Betty Kaye also deserves honorable mention as an artistic student who develops a crush on her teacher.

The movie is political in the worst way. Informed by liberal sensibilities it inserts a scene about midway through the movie where George W’s No Child Left Behind gets introduced to the teachers. They all rebel telling the administrator (Oddly, one of the few black actors in the movie getting to act out the part of straw-man Republican) how awful it is – and yet, everything that has proceeded this scene has shown the school to be an abysmal failure. So why not try something new? The administrator even gives a point by point sketch of how neighborhood property values affect the monies available to the school, and how the quality of a school is directly proportional to rising and falling values. But this is never rebutted except to have character literally say that the straw-man Republican administrator cares more about property values than kids.

For presenting such strong ideas the movie resolves them too simply, when in fact, in the hands of a better writer, they should have left them unresolved. You know, let the viewer decide.

But a movie like this doesn’t want to let the viewer decide. For all the high points this movie offers, I’m left wondering how the funding partners to the project didn’t ask for a re-write of some of these scenes. Hell, how about some of the actors who seem like smart enough people that they should have realized that, as written, the movie often gets too carried away with the predestined outcomes to its arguments instead of realizing that sometimes there is no need for a resolution.

Fortunately for us, the movie illustrates its own problem by biting itself in the ass. In one scene Brody lectures the class that by being surrounded by media, by having shit pouring into our eyeballs and ears at a constant rate, this keeps us so busy we never actually get to create anything ourselves. He refers to it as society “assimilating us ubiquitously”. It’s a great moment in the film – for about a minute – at which point he begins to heavy-handedly refer to this media saturation as the powers that be dumbing us down, and making us buy shit. Its a “marketing holocaust” he screams. It’s actually a powerful argument until he gets so impassioned that images of Hitler and the Third Reich begin to flash on the screen. If the internet has taught us anything it is that using Hitler as a metaphor usually has the opposite effect than what was intended and takes the wind out of your sails. The irony being of course, that the movie is shoving down our throats the fact that if we disagree with its conclusions we must agree with Hitler. Thus in its arguments against “ubiquitous assimilation” it is expecting us not to think for ourselves, but to “ubiquitously assimilate” its preordained conclusions.

This movie, in parts, achieves greatness – and yet, as a whole it seems to me to be a huge missed opportunity that a few re-writes, a fresh set of eyes may have brought up to snuff. It could have used someone removing the hammer from the writer’s and director’s hand that they insist on hitting the audience over the head with again and again and again.

Detachment is currently streaming on Netflix and played several festivals, including Tribeca.

Posted by: smirkdirk | January 10, 2013

Django Unchained

I have to say that Django Unchained is the movie I enjoyed most in the last year – and certainly the only movie I’ve happily paid to see two times. (Okay, the second time was really to take the teenager who I knew would eat it up – but still, I was happy and it rocked.)

But for Christopher Waltz’s performance, Tarantino’s last movie, Inglorious Basterds, didn’t do a whole lot for me. In Django, which shares many thematic similarities, he moves the action from the WWII Europe to the American South during slavery and finds a groove that fascinates with, dare I say, originality. The slavery aspect is something few movies have the balls to take on outside of “important films” like Amistad and Roots. Tarantino not only takes it on but takes it on outside of the “important film” conventions. I would classify Django as a distinct entity not only outside of the most films, but even outside of other Tarantino movies.

Much has already been made of the Spaghetti Western conventions and homages he employs in Django, but less has been made of the blaxploitation conventions he employs in the movie. And not just any blaxploitation conventions but a specific sub-genre in the 70’s that actually was aimed towards a black audience- the slave revenge fantasy. Two movies in particular stand out “Drum” available on Netflix and Amazon Prime for free with Pam Grier, and “Mandingo” which is on Prime for free.

As a long-time fan of trash, when I first came across these movies a few years ago they actually shocked me, because they are pretty brazen. I should have known Tarantino would have raided them.

To give you an idea of the content of these movies I submit Roger Ebert’s Zero Star review of Mandingo which will either make you rush out and find a copy to watch pronto, or run the other way. There’s really no middle ground. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19750725/REVIEWS/808289998/1023

That said, I’m on the fence about the third act. I was completely engrossed and suddenly the movie ran off of its own rail – and jumped to another rail. From that point on it didn’t feel like the same great movie, it felt like a different great movie – which, despite greatocity, is still a problem.

Samuel Jackson’s character has also been a point of contention. My two cents? I thought the character was brilliant. On the surface he comes off like a racist caricature right down to looking like he walked off of the Uncle Ben’s box. (How do you know Uncle Ben’s going to heaven? Because he’s been converted. Haha) Jackson’s Uncle Ben is all writing checks and stuff, and in some private moments with Dicaprio’s character, he actually seems to be the one in charge of that relationship. This coincides interestingly with Waltz and Django – in fact, it appears both sets of characters are brilliant teams of manipulators using what they appear to be and people’s assumptions to their own advantage. Dicaprio/Jackson are really just an another version of Waltz/Foxx.

However, in that third act I’ve already mentioned, Jackson’s character becomes more decidedly Samuel-L-Jackson-esque. Almost to the point of, dare I say, Snakes on a Plantation.

In closing, I need some more time to decide but it may ascend to my favorite Tarantino flick after Pulp Fiction.

Some links:

This is the moment when, while watching Quentin Tarantino’s campy new slave-revenge movie, a person of color begins to feel uncomfortable with the way white people around them are laughing at the horrors onscreen. http://gawker.com/5971346/the-django-moment-or-when-should-white-people-laugh-in-django-unchained

Slavery inherently involved those things but the cartoonish way in which they are depicted will offend many. I felt alienated and insulted by “Django Unchained”, an immensely humiliating and deeply offensive film. http://www.popcornreel.com/htm/djangorev.html

Great 3-part conversation between Henry Louis Gates and QT http://www.theroot.com/views/tarantino-unchained-part-1-django-trilogy?page=0,0

Posted by: smirkdirk | January 9, 2013

“The Impossible” – To Sit Through For the Mrs.

(I wanna get this blog going again – or at least post a bit here and there mainly about my interactions with pop culture. Let’s try this shit, yet again…)

This post brought to you with limited commercial interruption by Naomi Watt’s Boob!

Snuck into this after watching Django a 2nd time last weekend.

Movie pretty much starts right off with the disaster in the first 15 minutes which brings us all the quicker to Naomi Watt’s Boob!

The disaster part is done pretty terrifyingly well – the only problem is is that we’ve actually seen all this before in the internet and news videos of the event … including the horrific Japan videos.

But this movie is about more than the disaster in particular, about more than even Naomi Watt’s Boob. This movie’s about the triumph of the human spirit.

The strongest performance by far is by the kid who gets swept away with Naomi and her boob. (He’s very uncomfortable with her boob and this is made very clear in the film. Because to not be uncomfortable with her boob would be incestuous or something and violate taboos. But the audience is never all that uncomfortable with her boob.)

Anyway, the movie goes along at a nice clip with Naomi at a packed hospital, and the kid being really distraught and then helping out some other hospitalized folks and families. In all his helping he goes back to check on Naomi and her boob and she’s been moved. He’s lost her!

Movie then switches mid-stream to Ewan McGregor, the dad, and his adventures with the other two kids still at the destroyed resort. He bleats like a dying goat again and again into the darkness for his wife, her boob, and the other kid who we know are at the hospital.

This change was too jarring for our recently Django’d selves and unfortunately Mrs. was all like, I don’t watch this anymore. I tried to remind her several times for the next five minutes that this was about the triumph of the human spirit. She wasn’t buying it. I then reminded her that it was also about Naomi Watt’s boob. We left.

Honestly, with all the critical raves this thing is getting I was expecting more. It felt like a made for cable movie – and not good cable like HBO or AMC, but not bad cable either like Lifetime, but in between cable – like maybe TNT.

(I actually hope to post soon about Django as it is the fo-shiz – but so many thoughts about it, where to begin?)

Posted by: smirkdirk | September 14, 2011

Amazon Review: The Secret Saved My Life!!!

I hadn’t read this book, but now am considering giving it a read after considering the convincing testimonial given by this Amazon.com review!

“The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007
By Ari Brouillette
Please allow me to share with you how The Secret changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of The Secret is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you dont want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.
At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.
My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.
Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although Ive never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of The Secret. Normally I wouldnt have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didnt have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.
The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the Law of Attraction in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasnt exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 The Secret to Relationships that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.
The next day in the exercise yard I carried The Secret with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. Im not sure that everybodys life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but Im very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.”

Posted by: smirkdirk | July 9, 2011

A Tick Was On My Dick!

On Wednesday evening, a little before midnight, on the way to sleep while watching some Netflix “Hoarders” with Mrs. Smirk who was already half asleep, I felt a brief sting on the top side shaft of my dick about an inch and a half below the head. I sorta fiddled around with it under covers, not looking at it or anything, and felt a little bump. Quickly the pain subsided. I sorta shrugged it off and fell asleep. (Just a few moment earlier I had thought about trying to get it on with the drowsy Mrs. at the beginning of “Hoarders”, but she was pretty much out, and I was too lazy, and “Hoarders” is a total turn-off, so lucky thing!)

Come Thursday morning I inspected my dick in the shower as well as while dressing. I had what appeared to be a very small scab on my dick. I kind of rubbed on it a little, wondered ‘what the fuck?’ Maybe I, like, zipped my dick up in the zipper or something the day before without realizing it, I thought to myself. You know, like, sometimes you’ll totally like run into something and not think a thing about it, and then later in the shower you’ll have a giant bruise.

Around 11AM the next day at work, I inspected it some more. I wished it would heal. The zipping up of the dick theory was becoming less and less convincing to me, as it well should have. I was sort of at a loss.

My mind wandered back to that chick in the late 90’s who I’d had a two month relationship with. How we totally fucked all the time because I had just got out of a 7 year relationship, the last 3 of which had been completely sexless. And how she, my oasis in the desert at the time, had started crying about three weeks into unprotected sex, saying that she had something to tell me but that I was going to hate her.

Her ex-boyfriend from 6 months ago had the herp. The Herp! And she hadn’t had any symptoms but had never gotten tested either so she didn’t know, and Oh My God, You HATE Me Now, Don’t You!?

‘How long does Herpes stay dormant?’ I asked myself in the work bathroom, my cock in my hand, a smallish scab looking thing staring up at me. It was sorta sore too. It was sore and scabby. Could it be, like, a scab from a sore? A herpe sore, perhaps…PERHAPS!?

To the Googles with nary a stop to bring up private browsing. If you go into my Thursday’s Firefox history right now I my work computer, such searches will come up as:

“Can Herpes go dormant”

“How long can Herpes go dormant” (typically a couple of years, but there have been cases where it has gone dormant for several.)

“Image: Herpes” – this forgivably brings up sores on lips and arms and so on on the first page, and not genital ones. It also pretty much brought up nothing that looked like the scab like thing I had going on.

Plus, holy shit, if it was some sort of herp, how would I convince Mrs. that really, I hadn’t fucked anyone but her it 12 years? She would never believe it!

I put my sore, scabby dick out of my mind for the next few hours until I was through with work. After I was out, I went to my work apartment and changed from my pants into my shorts. Bright afternoon sunlight streamed into the window. I thought to myself, ‘what a great area for a true inspection of this friggin’ thing.’

I took off my pants and positioned myself so that the sunlight shown on my dick. I kinda fiddled with it. Totally like a scab. I picked at it. I didn’t know if I should pick the scab right off, as it seemed as if I could scrape it loose if I dug hard enough. But then, of course, maybe whatever this thing was (the zipper theory came back to mind) the scab meant it was on its way to healing and to pick it off would only leave an open wound.

I picked for a moment more and then it lifted under my nail, just like a little scab, (sorta relieved) but with teeny legs on either side! (total fucking horror!)

Holy Fuck, its a tick! I grabbed the thing between two fingers and pulled! The skin of my dick stretched a bit, but, thankfully, the tick let go.

So, there I stood, a teeny tiny tick grasped in two fingers, and a sad assaulted dick pointing towards the floor, with nothing but a red, raised swollen area where the tick had been.

I wanted to burn the tick! No fire near since I had quit smoking. I wanted to poke the little fucker through the body with a needle! I don’t sew…

I settled for a toilet flush.

And there is the tick on my dick story. Forgive any typos because I’m not proof reading this thing.


I’m actually paranoid as hell about Lyme disease.

(to the tune of “Kiss is on My List” by Hall and Oates)
Because a tick – a tick – was on my dick.

Because a tick – a tick – I couldn’t flick.

Because a tick was on my dick / when I looked in sunliiiiight

Posted by: smirkdirk | June 29, 2011

Transformers 3D – A Review of the Reviews

Optimus Prime carries poor Peter Travers’ back to his old man bed for a nap. Too much populist effluvia for the lil’ fella. He’s blown a gasket.

Just got back from Transformers 3D. Pretty good. Not great, but recommend for sheer spectacle.

Actually, I feel the need to prop it because between Roger Ebert’s 1-star review and Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers’ ridiculous Zero Star review, I really want to know what exactly these guys were expecting. Without even a joking wink,they’ll happily shove us and our 10 bucks off to Thor and Green Lantern with no guilt, but bring in Michael Bay and its like the end of the world. If Transformers 3 is so bad, I wonder what they give “Transmorphers”?

It sort of pisses me off because if we pair these ultra-negative reviews of Transformers which is easily the special effects spectacle of the year, with the glowing reviews of Tree of Life – and every actual person I know who’s seen Tree of Life (and plunked their money down to see it – something a critic rarely has to do) calls it “unwatchable” – these two reviews together really just come off as intellectual snobbery with no real purpose except to go against the grain, and maybe, possibly garner hits for their respective websites… ya think? RollingStone.com, a music publication, currently has Travers’ zero star review as the main article on their front page, and no doubt it will probably stay there for most of the weekend. Wait, so even as he curses this money-making, whoring tripe, he and his own publication ride its coattails for advertising dollars? Say it ain’t so Joe.

I suppose that Ebert and Travers, even as I type, are shaking their heads over how many more Tree of Life’s could have been made with that Transformer 3 money. You know what? No thanks, and go fuck yourselves.

It’s friggin’ robots that turn into cars based off a Saturday morning cartoon from the 1980’s. Considering its pedigree its pretty fucking good. Why can’t they review it based off of that? My eyeballs were happy. (We also had a pretty pumped crowd in the theatre so it’ll probably be one that’ll be more fun to catch this opening weekend, rather than later in the summer.)

Let me nitpick one of the reviews:

Ebert – “…incomprehensible Autobots and Decepticons sliced up into spurts of action with no sense of the space they occupy.”

This is a favorite complaint of Ebert’s regarding any action movie he doesn’t like. Here it holds no water. There was no moment in the action – (which could arguably be said to go on to long – I won’t argue that, but it could be argued) – where I didn’t know what was going on from shot to shot or what space I, or the robots, were in. In fact, several times the action went into slow motion so you could enjoy exactly what was happening in full, slo-mo, ultra-dramatic detail. Maybe Ebert needs a new prescription for his glasses, but with a few exceptions, this common complaint of his is beginning to become suspiciously frequent.

Do you think perhaps that its sour grapes, as Travers alludes to in his review? Disappointment that critics really have no effect on the grosses of this type of film – that it is in fact critic proof? So instead of fairly rating it on the popcorn, and bubble gum that it is (a concession they’re more than willing to give 2nd tier superhero flicks Green Lantern and Thor) they instead rate it poorly only to prove to themselves their own cultural impotence? So they have yet another thing to shake their heads sadly over? They’re in mourning. So sad it is, and what a great thing the average movie goer is missing out on in not listening to them, not reading them, not giving their money to the “unwatchable” Tree of Life?

In his review, Peter Travers considers the possibility of his own irrelevance, but misunderstands the reasons for that potential irrelevance.

The movie is far from perfect, but so are these asshole reviews.

Eh – but enough bitching. U2 had a new unreleased song in the movie that worked as the ‘love theme’. Here’s them performing it in Miami a night ago where they namecheck the movie and Michael Bay.

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