Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Danger, White Guy Ranting

I saw the above image on this site.

Bravo my friend, bravo. I hate people like this. And while I'm here, ranting about people cutting in line, I've got another bone to pick.

I walk into the movie theater today. There are ropes that go in snake-like fashion to the box office. The line is essentially empty except for one mother and teenage child standing halfway down the snake. They are in line, in a technical sense, so I stand behind them. They aren't moving farther down the empty part of the line towards the teller. I hear the mother say, "I don't know where she is." It seems pretty clear she says it for me to hear. My understanding is, "I'm waiting on someone." So, I cross over the rope and walk towards the teller. As I'm standing at the front of the line waiting on the next teller, I hear the kid go, "Way to go Mom!" She has jumped over the ropes to stand in front of me. As she stands in front of me, her friend joins her and they walk to to the teller.

So here's my question: if the lady was in line, why didn't she walk to the front of it to start with? If she was going to be offended that someone skipped her, why would she stand in the middle and encourage this? Who stands in the middle of an empty line and then scoffs when you take that as a sign that they aren't ready to purchase a ticket? You know who does, this stupid lady. But the jokes on her...her kid was ugly.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Movie Special: Never Back Down

I’m a man of the people. So when the RTS fan base clamors for another running commentary of a movie, I’ve got to give the people what they want. Today’s Sunday afternoon feature: Never Back Down. Let’s bring it on.

Rainy high school football game. The game is being broadcast on the radio. That happens a lot in high school football, right? Uh oh, the opposing team just started talking about someone’s Dad. We got a fight brewing. Billy Badass, er, Tyler ,is beating up everyone in sight. Looks like Tyler is moving to Orlando. And cue the plot…

I love how this guy just played a stellar football game, got into a huge brawl and what does he have to show for it, one minor band-aid above his eyebrow.

I thought his name was Tyler. It’s Jake. My bad Jake, don’t beat me up. Jake is flashing back to moments with his father. And a regaee-infused emo song leads to the moving montage.

Somehow this guy moved from Iowa to Florida, unpacked and made it to high school within a 3-minute song. That’s impressive. He gets to school, goes to the football field, takes 1 bite of an apple and then walks off. This guy lives his life in fast forward or something. I’m confused.

Uh oh, Jake happened upon a fight and goes to break it up. But it’s not a real fight, it’s a backyard MMA fight! I never saw this coming!

Jake’s in class and he’s not just a meathead. He’s talking about Achilles. Color me intrigued by Jake. And so is the random blond named, “Baha.” What are the chances that this blond has a violent boyfriend that isn’t going to take kindly to Jake?

Max waddles up to Jake at lunch at school. Max is the happy-go-lucky fighter that wants to help Jake become a super fighter. Max will now teach Jake the way of the MMA fighter. He’s like a teenage Mr. Miyagi.

Football fighting montage as Jake walks through the halls of high school! “And I’m tired of backing down…” This song is amazing.

Uh oh, Jake just got invited to a party by Baha. “How it feels to be alive….!”

Jake’s at the high school party and greeted by Max. How come high school parties in the movies are the most absurd representation ever? Actually, I never went to parties in high school but I assume they weren’t like they are in the movies. I’d ask Graham but I know he didn’t go to parties either.

So they’re running a backyard fight club at the party. I’m thinking Jake is going to fight soon. Can I wager on this?

Slow-mo intro of Baha. Soothing music plays. But it’s interrupted as Jake’s got to fight Baha’s boyfriend. Shocker!

Jake doesn’t want to fight. He’s not just a brawler like these other guys. This Jake is tough to read.

Baha’s boyfriend Brian starts talking smack about Jake’s dad. This is the new version of calling Marty McFly chicken. Nobody talks smack about Jake’s dad!

It’s Jake vs. Brian. Would there be much of a plot of Jake won?

Man, my boy Jake got it handed to him. I think he should go find an older, wiser fight guru to train him for about 45 minutes and then come back, beat up Brian, steal Baha and ride off into the sunset. That sounds way too farfetched. He probably just goes home, focuses on school and forgets this ever happened.

I think we’re on the 3rd montage of the movie and it’s only 20 minutes in. Can they make a movie with just montages and slow-motion footage? Everything seems cooler with a montage. Hell, Jake’s little brother just microwaved a pizza in the montage and it was the coolest pizza making experience I’ve ever seen.

Brian’s name is Ryan. I’m terrible with these people’s names. Can I just refer to Brian/Ryan as the blond douche? I think that works better. We’ll go with BD for short.

Max tells Jake about where to go train. And he shows up! My dream scenario is happening. He might take on BD and win Baha after all.

A training montage! With a song that I like by TV on the Radio. I’m actually embarrassed that a song I like is in this movie. Wait, no I’m not. How come 75% of all training, no matter the sport, involves a massive rope climbing exercise? Who sells these ropes? I wouldn’t even know where to go to get one. Home Depot? I should walk in Home Depot and say, “I need a huge rope…I want to train to fight and climbing a rope seems like the most logical place to start.”

Jake’s MMA-guru tells him the one rule, “No fighting outside the gym.” I have a weird feeling Jake breaks this rule.

Baha shows up at Jake’s door. I think she’s torn between BD and Jake. I am too! Jake isn’t having any of this. Baha set him up. Good for you Jake. I’m sure you’ll stay mad at her for the next 70 minutes.

I think we’re on the 5th montage of the movie. And it’s a back- to-back training montage. I can’t argue with the name of the movie going with the title “Never Back Down”, cause that’s what I got tattooed on my heart, but seriously, “Montage” would’ve been more accurate.

And we’re back in high school. I think Jake’s been in town for 2 weeks or so and he’s been in class twice. And the two times he’s been in class, it’s been English class. I guess they don’t do math down in Orlando.

Looks like Baha is breaking up with BD. She’s in love with Jake! I’m so excited for them. I bet they have awesome babies.

Jake’s pissed off. BD talked some smack about his old man again. This isn’t good. And Jake is randomly fighting 5 dudes in the middle of the street. Talk about road rage..zing!

BD just took Jake down in the bathroom. BD talked in a creepy whisper about making it through, “The Beatdown.” There’s a decent chance BD is homosexual and takes pleasure in beating boys down. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Jake’s fighting with his Mom. Mom yells, “You think you’re the only one that wants to break stuff. I can break stuff too!” It was the worst piece of acting I’ve ever seen. It’s official. Eat your heart out Keanu Reeves.

Introspective song plays as Jake walks to his room in slow-mo. Pretty much the coolest footage ever of a kid walking to his room.

Training montage number uh, who’s keeping count anymore? Look at the songs used in this movie. Is this the worst collection of music assembled since the Monsters of Rock series?

This montage includes the eating of raw eggs. And Jake racing his black guru near the ocean. Did the director of this movie just watch all Rocky montages and then re-act them with teenagers? If so, checkmate by the director.

Jake apologizes to Baha and they start making out on a coffee shop patio. If only Jake can somehow beat up BD, then I’ll have predicted this entire movie. I should head to Vegas immediately.

I realize now why this movie has so many montages. The rest of the movie is completely boring. Every scene with Jake’s mother is torture. Torture might not be a strong enough word. What’s worse than torture? Prison rape? Every scene with Jake’s mother is worse than prison rape. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Wait, yes there is.

Jake’s turning down a chance at “The Beatdown” to spend time with Baha. Jake needs to get his priorities straight. They messed up the plot. Jake isn’t supposed to get the girl till he beats BD. Sigh…

BD is pissed off that Jake isn’t fighting at the beatdown. So he brings Max back to his crib. And now BD and Max are play fighting. This will end well. BD kicks Max’s ass and drops him off at Jake’s house. I bet this leads Jake to enter the beatdown and try to take out BD for Max.

“Walking away and giving up aren’t the same thing.” Can I retroactively make that my senior quote? It’s by the wise philosopher Baha.

“Doing nothing has consequences too, “ says Jake.

“You can’t live in the past, my friend” says MMA guru.

How many Oscars did this win? I know Best Screenplay for sure, but I’m thinking it might’ve gotten Best Picture as well.

“Sometimes fighting the fight means doing the one thing you don’t want to do…win, lose, it makes no difference. It ends tonight. This is my fight. Everyone’s got one.” Well done Jake Tyler.

Getting ready for the beatdown montage.

And Jake Tyler checks into the beatdown. I’m so nervous. I hope he wins.

Beatdown montage as Jake and BD both kick some ass. I bet they make the finals.

Oh no, in his quarterfinal fight, Jake Tyler gets some ribs broken. How come every fighting movie involves the hero getting hurt before his final fight? This even happens in “Gladiator”. Is it some sort of unwritten screenwriting rule?

BD gets disqualified for eye gouging. Tyler quits cause he wants to fight BD. Looks like they’ll go at in the in parking lot instead, cause they’re true brawlers.

And it’s on. The final fight between BD and Jake. Will he avenge Max? Will he avenge his prior humiliation? There’s too many storylines to count. Oh wait, no, those were the only two.

BD is winning. Jake is hurt. Baha is crying. The last hour of Jake’s life passes before his eyes, he turns into a killing machine and knocks out BD. Does this really work? I’m going to try this the next time I play Madden.

Baha and Jake embrace. Time for the happiness montage.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Playlist

After watching the MTV Movie Awards I realized two things: I don’t know who half of the popular people are anymore and man, most popular music sucks. So I’m here to save you with the 2010 RTS Summer playlist. Here’s what I’ve been digging lately. (You can skip to the playlist at the bottom to listen to most of the songs).

1. Walls by Shout Out Louds
The Shout Out Louds are on my to-do list. My music to-do list grows each day. Since I only have a 10 minute commute to work, I actually have to find time to listen to new music. Maybe I should pick up running or something.

2. Thieves by She & Him
This song reminds me of some coming of age movie set in the 50s where the teenage kid finally asks his dream girl for a first dance on the last night of summer camp. I like camp.

3. That Old Pair of Jeans by Blur
Put this song on the boombox and go toss the Frisbee. You are welcome.

4. Fool’s Day by Blur
Blur releases a song for the first time in years, they get put on the RTS playlist. It’s in our contract.

5. Love by Snowglobe
Since they’re a local band, I couldn’t find this song on playlist. Here’s a link with a trippy video instead.

6. Someone’s Missing by MGMT
MGMT’s second album was ultimately a disappointment to me. I kept getting the, “keep listening to it, it will grow on you” vibe from it. It didn’t stick. Probably didn’t stand a chance given how much I love their first album. But this is my favorite song on Congratulations. It’s not quite good enough to cancel out “Brian Eno.”

7. I Can See the Pines are Dancing by AA Bondy
This seems like the song you put on as you drive out of town.

8. I’m Afraid of Everyone by The National
The song’s too new to be on playlist yet, so here’s another youtube link. I’m coming around on The National. Maybe I’ll go listen to those two albums I have on iTunes that I’ve never finished. Whoops.

9. Hollywood by Codeine Velvet Club
One of my friends described this song as a mixture of Neil Diamond and The Strokes. Those are both high compliments.

10. Games for Days by Julian Plenti
Games for days, also known as the NBA Finals. Zing!

11. 1901 by Phoenix
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is my favorite start-to-finish album in awhile. I think this is my favorite song, but I’m not exactly sure. The entire album is just as good as this.

12. Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/The End by The Beatles
The Beatles have been following me around this summer. I’ve been hearing them a lot in public places, restaurants, etc. So, why not close out with one of their more underrated songs that also doubles as a past favorite summer listen of mine.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm back...

I took a vacation in which my airline customer service agents, yes, plural, told me to re-book a new flight cause mine was canceled, which caused me to spend a night in Atlanta, fly to Philly instead of the Big Apple a day late, rent a car, drive to LaGuardia to pick up my bag from my flight that, amazingly, didn’t get canceled and you know what I’m about to rant about, why, Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Greatest Characters of the Past 20 Years.

I had to let some of the rankings slide simply because I know I’m not the demographic but at least recognize that these characters are popular with a host of people, such as: Harry Potter (#2), Carrie Bradshaw (#9), Madea (#28), Elmo (#38), and well, you get the idea.

And some of the rankings I had to let go simply cause I didn't even know much about them and thus couldn't properly make fun of them. But generally, if someone makes a Top 100 list, I should know who they are. But, I'm forgiving today.

Here’s the ones I can’t let go.

#3 – Buffy
Really, no character that appears on The CW, or WB, or whatever the hell it’s called, should be allowed on this list. As a matter of fact, I don’t know one person that ever watched this show. And I know some pretty big losers.

#6 – Rachel Green (from Friends)
I’m not simply trying to bag on the ladies, and I accept that Friends had it’s moments, but weren’t Rachel and Ross completely lame and miserable? Am I missing something?

#11 – Cosmo Kramer
I’m as big a Seinfeld fan as there is. Still watch it several times a week. I have no problem with Kramer ranking in this high, but no other Seinfeld character made the list. The most popular TV show of the past 20 years, which was an ensemble comedy, only gets 1 character?

#17 – Lara Croft (from the video game Tomb Raider)
A video game character makes the top 17, and it’s Lara Croft. Call me crazy, but I don’t really find video games to have characters, since, you know, the user controls everything, but even if you were going to put a video game person on here, shouldn’t it be the dude from Grand Theft Auto?

#18 – Someone from Glee
If a show hasn’t even finished a season yet, it can’t make the list. I didn’t make the rules. Wait, yes I did.

#19 – Morpheus
I don’t want to get too dorky on this but wasn’t Neo the savior? I feel like they just put Morpheus on here cause they needed another black dude. Which leads to...

#20 – Ally McBeal
I let Bridget Jones go at #16 cause I didn’t want to come across as a sexist asshole, but really, uh, these rankings suck so far. Basically, they just picked a legit character, a female, a black dude, a geeky one and repeated itself.

#30 – Stephen Colbert
Is he really a character? Isn’t he Stephen Colbert? Isn’t he nonfiction? I’m sure he would think so. How’s he a character? My head hurts.

#36 – Gollum
I don’t have enough time to rant about Lord of the Rings. I f-ing hate that movie. I hate it as much as one can hate a movie. But I do accept that a lot of idiots like it and idiots buy things, so, you know, EW had to cater to that. But how in middle Earth is Gollum the best character from this series? I saw 1.5 of the movies (before falling asleep) but I do know that all Gollum did was wander around and go, “my precious”, channeling his inner-Ben Roethlisberger on the prowl for coeds before its time. So yeah, that’s a great character. I would link to the LOTR clip from Clerks II, but I’ve already done that on this blog previously. Screw it.

#54 – Juno
Am I the only one that thought this movie sucked? Some smartass 17-year-old gets preggers but maintains her sassiness. Woopty-doo. It was written by some recovering stripper or something, so, you know, that gives it street cred, or makes it cute, or prodigal or whatever. Anyway, no way Juno should make this list. You want a smartass kid, give me Igby from Igby Goes Down.

#59 – Master Chief (from Halo)
Already ranted about video game crap, but once again, isn’t this just a dude in a metal suit with a gun? Master Chief should have to immediately hand this award to Robocop.

#70 – Saturday Night Live’s Mary Katherine Gallagher
One of the golden ages of SNL involved the early ‘90s with Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, etc. and then we had the Will Ferrell era. And yet, the stupid “Superstar” girl makes the list. Maybe the rankers had a catholic school girl fetish. It’s the only reasonable explanation. And yes, I count fetishes as reasonable explanations.

#74 – Don Draper
Buffy is #3 and Don Draper is #74. If that isn’t grounds for shooting the rankers, what is?

#91 – Hancock
This movie sucked. This isn’t even a good Will Smith character. How is Hancock better than the Fresh Prince, the dude from Independence Day or the guy from Men in Black? I’ll tell EW where they can stick their Hancock.

#93 – More Video Game characters
I can’t even rant about this topic anymore. I just had to list this on principle.

Off the top of my head, these were the horrendous omissions. I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ll think about in the middle of the night.

The rest of the main Seinfeld cast, as well as Frank Costanza
Bart Simpson
Mark Walberg’s character from I Heart Huckabees
An Edward Norton character - pick one: Primal Fear, American History X, Fight Club
John McClane
Dwight Shrute
SNL characters (too many to list)
The dynamic Paul Walker/Vin Diesel duo from Fast and Furious