Simon FitzKit...In The Field!

The Sea Ring

July 18, 2008
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The North Carolina Aquariums site has the following advertising the Roanoake Island branch of its operations:

My immediate thought:
Samara has returned, and now instead of seven days, she’s giving you seven seas. Ever wonder where that well drained into? The North Carolina Aquariums. Don’t put on your earphones; that self-guided tour can’t tell you what to do now. Samara is in control, and before the night is done, the seas will run red with blood. She’s showing her video on all the fish-info screens, and everyone knows… sound travels faster underwater.


Nurses With Purses In Hearses

June 13, 2008
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Found in this ARTICLE:

Ack! Silent Hill nurses!

As I was too scared to read the article, I can only assume it says something like:

Paris: Louis Vuitton’s new line of designer handbags was inspired by the nurses of Silent Hill. Made of 100% burn-victim skin and stitched together with the finest hair from a six-year-old beauty pageant winner, these purses will make even the most depraved monsters of your nightmares stop in their tracks…for a second or two, at least.

A Little Less Conversation

March 4, 2008

While talking with my friend David the other day, we got to discussing our favorite movies, as friends are wont to do periodically. As always, I brought up the fact that sets my opinion apart from that of the rest of the civilized world: I really love the movie Van Helsing.

I like the movie-monster pastiche it presents, enjoy both the male and female leads (Hugh Jackman & Kate Beckinsale), applaud the true-to-Shelley handling of Frankenstein’s Monster, get into the action hardcore, and feel on the whole that it does a good job of transporting a James Bond flick to the 1800s.

I do understand that the movie has several glaring flaws (e.g. Dracula’s overacting, the insanity of the subplots, and Kate Beckinsale being an 1800s female who dresses like Madonna and acts like Victoria Beckham), but I forgave the movie all those faults because it looked so goddamn awesome.

I mock movies like it’s my job, but this is one of those ones I give a free pass because it gives me all the elements of the most kickass movie ever, and it doesn’t give me time during the movie to realize that half of the reasons I like it are my own extrapolations from actual scenes.

That’s right: I like Van Helsing partially because I have added to it in my head, making it a better movie by creating new dialog, plot points and action sequences. And I love the movie more every time I watch it…because each viewing means I get to make up more.

Now that I’ve defended my position pretty soundly, I’ll return to the topic at hand: talking about Van Helsing with David. David said that the primary reason he could not even make himself watch the movie is that, when he thinks of Van Helsing, he thinks of the old man who stoically defeated Dracula. In other words, Peter Cushing:

He therefore finds it distasteful and/or untenable that Van Helsing would be a thirty-something action hero. In other words: Hugh Jackman:

To which I replied (in all seriousness), “I can see that. It’d be like if someone’s putting out a Sherlock Holmes movie, and you find out it’s starring Jason Statham.”

Jason Statham, star of the Transporter films, Crank, and (shudder) the DungeonSiege movie — the man I would consider this generation’s Bruce Willis– playing Sherlock Holmes (also played at one point by Peter Cushing, incidentally), the legendary proponent of Mind Over Matter, Brain Over Brawn, who usually had Watson along simply so somebody else could get powder burns on their hands. Ridiculous and analogous, right?

We agreed on that point, and a few moments went by… at which point I realized that I really, really wanted to see that movie. Not Van Helsing, but:

What a kickass Sherlock Holmes movie that would be. Logical, yes. Willing to bash a few Moriarty-goon skulls to get enough breathing room to use his own, Hells yeah. Able to identify mud by color, chemical content and region of origin, true. Able to pleasure femme-fatale Irene Adler (maybe sexed up in this version to Irina Adlokov) and good girl Mary Russell alike,

Watson could be Mos Def or Paul Rudd or someone similar, and the Baker Street Irregulars would be a teenage street gang led by Shia Labeouf. Moriarty…okay, I’ll keep Dennis Hopper as a fallback option, but top choice: Stephen Dorff.

Because even though he’s not really that big a name around Hollywood, he may have been the one decent thing about the movie Blade (oh, all right, Jeff, the wall of fetuses was also pretty cool).

Now that I’ve cemented plans for that movie, obviously, we need others to be similarly directed and cast.

Let’s see:
Van Helsing –> Hugh Jackman (today’s Kurt Russell)
Sherlock Holmes –> Jason Statham (today’s Bruce Willis)

Hmm…how about something for Clive Owen (today’s Mel Gibson…in…in a good way though)…

They’re making a Hobbit movie, right? Let him be Gandalf. Let’s see those Middle Earth baddies try to pick on the short guys when they’ve got One-step-better-than-Viggo-Mortensen at their backs.

And for Vin Diesel (today’s Sylvester Stallone)…

Obviously, we need an Albert Einstein flick. Just before the climax, he realizes he’ll never escape from Germany if he’s got wild, poofy Doc Brown hair, so he shaves it all off and kicks some Nazi ass in:

And something for Daniel Craig (today’s Michael Biehn)…

Let’s see…some classic role usually played by an older man that stereotypically calls for urbanity and stiff sensibility, but that Daniel Craig can endow with action and bring back to the forefront of an awesome-factor-starved viewing public’s consciousness… Oh! I know!

The Red-Envelope Diaries: Parts 2 & 1

February 4, 2008
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Before I start, I’d like to plug the newest parodies I’ve written over at Trouble In Parodies:
Parody of Blümchen’s “Heut’ Ist Mein Tag”
Parody of Gren Day’s “Minority”

And now…

The Red-Envelope Diaries – WEEK 20:

As with most diaries I’ve owned in my life, The Red-Envelope Diaries (my disc-by-disc coverage of my NetFlix subscription) has fallen by the wayside. I felt the latest movie in my queue deserved a moment’s reflection, and so I’ll quickly catch up the list:
Children of Men: Good lord, this movie was amazing. It had the tone you’d assume the “Y: The Last Man” movie will have to have, and Clive Owen, as always, equals awesome.

Ocean’s Eleven: Didn’t watch it. I got it in the mail, opened the envelope, shrugged it off, and returned it the next morning. It just wasn’t the right moment, I guess. It’s discs like this that make me kind of wish I had a two-or-more disc plan. Enh.

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History: Got this to show friends who hadn’t take high-school Biology locally. Had a rousing good time. Oh, Australians. Oh, pseudo-documentaries. Oh, psychedelic amphibian nodules. Also came with a short about a boring 70-year-old radio DJ who almost gets in a 60-year-old female listener’s pants, but she falls asleep before he can play her record…oh, and he manages to blow up the lower floors of the radio station and fall in the sewer, but those are just asides.

Film Crew: Giant of Marathon: MST3K’s cast mocks more movies. Not much to say on this, actually. I really don’t understand why Mike Nelson isn’t president or somesuch.

Blacula: A blaxploitation classic. For some reason, Blacula tried to save his love by putting her in the coffin where the attackers were sure to stake her instead of him. Way to be chivalrous, Dick-ula.

The Departed: Supposedly great. I wouldn’t know because the disc sat on my shelf for 2 weeks before the Special Edition went on sale at Best Buy, and I just bought it outright and returned the NetFlix one unseen.

The Fountain: The Fountain of Youth + Hugh Jackman + Rachel Weisz = Awesome, right? I managed to get five minutes into it before deciding the music had set the most depressing tone I’d ever heard…and I turned it off. Then the disc sat on the shelf for a good month before I finally said, “I’m never going to watch this,” and returned it.

Time Changer: Time travel + The Bible = a hilarious first-season MadTV sketch…or this movie: the most irritatingly hypocritical flip-flopping Christian tripe I’ve ever seen. And I watched “If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?” I did have fun mocking it at every turn though, especially when it talked about how all movies are the Devil’s handiwork. Good to know, movie. Good to…heeeeeey,waibamimmip!

And that brings us to this week’s acquisition: “Oldboy.” The NetFlix description, for your benefit:
“With no clue how he came to be imprisoned, drugged and tortured for 15 years — and no one to hold accountable for his suffering — a desperate businessman seeks revenge on his captors, relying on assistance from a friendly waitress. Korean director Chan Wook Park — a former philosophy student and Hitchcock devotee — uses his influences to create a mesmerizing psychological drama with a resolution that will leave you speechless.”

It sure did. It’s the kind of movie where you read the summary and say, “Hmph. Seems like everybody and his uncle is a ‘Hitchcock devotee’ these days. We’ll see if he actually uses any Hitchcock at all.” And then you watch the movie, and you sit there and say, “The director of this movie must have 1) been a Psychology student and 2) really, really liked Hitchcock.” So…uh… expectations met, I guess.

Or exceeded. Because the movie, as it turns out, is about
revenge-cest, which is –as you might or might not guess– getting revenge via incest. I was not expecting that going into a movie about a man being kidnapped for 15 years, but then it’s Korean, so how was I to even know if it would deliver on anything but the ‘leaving me speechless’ part?


The following is a reposting of Part 1 of The Red-Envelope Diaries, from another journal, another time, another corner of the interblag. If you’ve already read it, it’s still the same as it was the first time.


Having signed up for a 1-disc-at-a-time NETFLIX subscription (to get a free laptop, cross-fingers-cross-fingers), I believe it is time we knew exactly what horrors and wonders lurk in the depths of the world’s foremost rent-by-mail service (well, except for WeeklyRussianBridalPost, but they’re a niche market)

Having entered all of my preferences and created a relatively short 40-disc list last Monday, I received Zardoz in the mail last Tuesday.

ZARDOZ (1974): In this cult favorite from John Boorman (Beyond Rangoon), 23rd century society is split into two castes — the overly civilized Eternals and the barely civilized Brutals — one of which is constantly controlling the other. The Brutals worship a huge stone figure known as Zardoz. When Zed (Sean Connery) begins to question the authenticity of this god, the film is able to offer some pointed commentary on class structure and religion.

I have heard (from reliable sources) that Zardoz is one of the Worst sci-fi movies ever made. Thus, I must watch it. (Actually, it probably means I must buy it, but for some reason, I’ve gone all thrifty in this instance.)

Regardless, it’s a must-see, if only because Sean Connery apparently rushes at a Burt-Reynolds-lookalike frat some time during the movie.

Oh, hazing. Is there anything you can’t demean?

Back to NETFLIX however. The disc arrived on Tuesday alright, but it didn’t arrive “all right.” In fact, the DVD wasn’t just scratched or grimy, it was broken. There was an enormous crack that went all the way through the disc. I immediately filled out the online Damaged Disc form and mailed it back Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, they let me know they’d received it and that the Raleigh NETFLIX hub didn’t have a second copy to send me for Friday (I’d actually have been more disappointed in them if they did own two copies of Zardoz locally).

My new disc arrived from Cleveland today. It is in good condition and at least the Main Menu plays well. I await other souls than myself to join in the fun.

Doesn’t it sound like a sleep aid?

Morgan Freeman Moves From Electric Company To Sesame Street

January 8, 2008
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This. Is. Genius.

Se7en as Sesame Street Pinball

No…not that Se7en.