Category Archives: Crazy Movies

No Rights for Non-Humans!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, you know of the arrival of the non-humans, the annexation of District 9 in South Africa, and slow-moving attempts to “safely assimilate” non-humans into human society and culture.No Rights for Non-Humans

This may all seem fine and dandy on the surface. However, there has been a growing movement to provide equal rights and opportunities to non-humans and to fully integrate them into Continue reading

J.J. Abrams and Star Trek… the Love and Hate of It

Longtime readers may recall my post about the new Star Trek movie from March of last year. Well, it only took a year, but I finally got to see which of my suggestions my good buddy J.J. took. Here is a quick review:

Kirk Defeats the Kobayashi Maru Scenario — We finally got to see Kirk do this. Very cool. Thumbs up Mr. Abrams!

Christopher Pike Does The Cage — No mention of Continue reading

Don’t Dine in Hell Like the 300 Spartans

Nothing against anybody who likes to compare their business to the Spartans, but if you do be aware that you might have the unfortunate problem of having an educated person at your company.

Leonidas is guest of the devil

Recently, during a company meeting where I work, the movie 300 was brought up. The question was asked, “Does anybody know why the Spartans were so successful [at the Battle of Thermopylae]?”

So I raised my hand and responded, “Well, to start with the Spartans were a warrior society. Their soldiers were trained to fight almost from birth. Secondly, they chose a location that gave them a significant tactical advantage.”

Somebody else piped up and said, “And they were all slaughtered in the end,” which becomes significant later on.

The response was, “Okaaay…” That is to say, not the answer they were looking for. Another person spoke up and said something about the phalanx formation and how each hoplite was responsible for protecting the soldier to his left. Of course, he didn’t use the words “phalanx” and “hoplite” because the only thing he knew about military strategy of the time is what he saw in the movie 300.

Nonetheless, he received a “Yes! Teamwork!” And that’s what they were looking for.

“Cool,” I thought to myself, as I realized I was probably the only person in the room that had any actual military experience. Teamwork is, indeed, a huge part of any military unit and mission.

I worked late that night. I left at 8:00 so I could tuck my kids in before they fell asleep. Then worked at home until 10:00. We are so crazy busy (in a good way), “teamwork” in my department means working your ass off… or on, as the case may be, since you rarely get to leave you chair.

Anyway, I went to bed that night and for some reason unknown to me I woke up at 2:30 in the morning. My heart was pumping hard and I had difficulty falling back asleep. But during my half-dazed waking period, I thought about the Spartans.

The Spartans certainly worked together as a team. But so did the Persians. It’s possible that the 300 Spartans worked together better. But so did the South during the Civil War. The South had better officers, better tacticians, and better overall technology. So why did the South lose? Numbers. Pure and simple.

Spartans kicked ass!The Persians also had numbers. Huge numbers. Nobody knows for sure how many were at the Battle of Thermopylae, but estimates at the low end say 80,000 while Herodotus reported over 5 million. Either way the Greeks, with an estimated 6,000 total, were heavily outnumbered. The only way the Greeks were able to hold the Persians was with a very strong tactical advantage, that being the narrow corridor the Persians were forced to fight within, thereby limiting the number of Persians that were able to attack at any given time with the only option being a frontal assault.

The Greeks, Spartans in particular, had better training, better armor, better weapons, and better leadership. In a face to face match, the Persians didn’t stand a chance. But once the Greeks lost their tactical advantage, the battle became quickly lopsided.

A man named Ephialtes (which today is Greek for “Benedict Arnold”) informed Xerxes, the Persian king, of a path around the mountain. Tactical advantage gone, the Greeks were quickly done away with.

But it was what I thought about next that caused me to laugh in my daze. It wasn’t really funny, but in my half-conscious state, it was. The Spartans were a military might for centuries; one of the most feared armies of the world. But all things must come to an end.

As military technology and tactics began to change, the Spartans — so confident in their phalanx strategy (which they had formed their entire society around) — failed to adapt to changing conditions and thus lost the advantage of having the world’s strongest military. And, as a coworker of mine so eloquently stated, “They were all slaughtered in the end.”

Bringing that over to the corporate world, one could say that sitting on your laurels is a bad thing. Don’t forget the lesson of the Spartans. Dining in Hell makes for great stories to your grandkids, but is bad for business.

I eventually fell asleep again, probably with some crazed smile on my face.

The Return of Gort: This Time, He’s Not Letting “Barada Nikto” Get In His Way!

For fans of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, the remake has been highly anticipated. But I get the feeling there aren’t too many fans out there, because the first time I saw the theatrical trailer a couple months ago I recall that I was the only person in the theater freaking out, screaming, “HOLY $#^! IT’S GORT!”

Gort teaser

Seeing that they brought Gort back temporarily numbed my disappoint from the fact that those fools at Twentieth Century Fox yet again decided to cast the worst actor in Hollywood as the star. I can only hope that Keanu Reeves doesn’t completely destroy the movie. Okay, okay. He was really awesome as Ted Logan, and apparently he can put butts in seats, so we’ll have to suffer until that changes (or he goes to acting school).

For those of you that want to be just blown away from seeing Gort for the first time when you actually go to see the movie, look away now.

A new trailer revealed Gort in all his glory:

Gort in all his glory

In the original, Gort was commanded to destroy the Earth in order to eradicate what some alien committee decided was a race of humans too dangerous to allow to continue living. Yeah… real civilized of them, eh?

Spoiler Alert!

As is the currently-cool Hollywood thing to do, the message of the new movie is that us humans are stupid and if we don’t pay attention to Al Gore (er… Al Gort?) and start driving smart cars, an alien race (or trees if you ask M. Knight) will come along and kill us all.

See, Al Gore really did deserve the Nobel Prize for Peace — his efforts might stop an alien invasion force of a single really cool robot from violently destroying all of mankind in a very non-peaceful manner!

In the remake, as far as I can tell, the alien committee decides that if humans are allowed to live, they’ll destroy the Earth. So in order to save the Earth, the aliens put out the extermination order on the human race. As Klaatu’s irrefutable logic puts it: “If the Earth dies, you die. If you die, the Earth lives.”

A more civilized race of aliens might instead offer to help humans clean up our act, but whatever.

At any rate, here is what the movie would be like if I were in charge of editing:

Day the Earth Stood Still short comic

Okay. Maybe I should leave movie making to the experts. If it turns out that they made the right pick in Keanu Reeves as the choice to play Klaatu, I’ll admit they are better at it than me.

Actors and Spongmonkeys — A Tribute to Elwon Bakly

I was speaking with my friend Elwon Bakly yesterday. Elwon, for those who don’t know, is one of the most talented actors the world has ever known! Well, he would be if the world knew of him.

This speaking with Elwon lead me to consider watching a movie he was in called The Basket. He plays a returning WWII vet who is one pissed mofo at the German Nazi basties who messed him up somethin’ fierce while he was trying to free Europe.

Anyway, so I logged in to my Netflix account to watch the trailer for it. That’s when I realized that I could watch the entire movie (well, the important parts anyway… the parts with Elwon in them) just from the trailer.

So to honor my friend Elwon, I decided to put together this Eltage… or Monwon? Er, I’ll just say Elwon montage. Thus, you can now enjoy the greatness of Elwon Bakly.

Elwon gets a Purple Heart

Angry Elwon

Attack of the Spongmonkeys

Just a Dream

So there you have it folks!

Now, Elwon normally plays comedic roles. However, The Basket is a drama, and Elwon has played the part of Jesus of Nazareth in the past. Nonetheless, if you want to waste your time watching the parts of the movie that don’t have Elwon, well, I guess I won’t hold it against you.

I Am Iron Man

It’s come to my attention that there are a lot of people out there claiming to be the man behind the iron mask. Well, I’m here to put all those rumors to rest. Conspiracy theorists need no longer concern themselves with what the real identity of Iron Man is. Donald Rumsfeld is NOT, in fact, Iron Man.

I had hoped I wouldn’t have to do this, but I’m just tired of other people taking credit for all my superheroing, world saving, cat-rescuing-out-of-trees and so forth. Yep, you guessed it. Iron Man is… ME! And here’s an actual, undoctored photo to prove it:

Stu’s First Comic Book

That’s me holding the very first comic book I ever bought, the May 1987 issue of Iron Man, purchased from a Safeway supermarket.

As you can see, the cover showed my demise. I had to check myself, because as far as I knew I was still quite intact. I had no choice but to purchase the comic book which was based on me. It was kind of weird having them call me Tony Stark and what not, but whatever. I guess they wanted to avoid getting sued by me.

Now, I know what you’re saying…

“Stu, how do we know you didn’t just create an Iron Man mask in your garage and put it on to fool us?”

Stu being escorted by F22 RaptorsTo that, I respond with this recent photo taken by the U.S. Military when I accidentally wandered into the air space over Area 51. My helmet was in the shop for repairs that day, so I just flew without it. And to answer your question before you ask it, yes I got a lot of bugs in my teeth that day.

Also, don’t forget to catch my movie coming out May 2nd. Unlike the comic book, I actually personally endorse it. Because, you know, me and director John Favreau are good pals. Maybe not as close as J.J. Abrams, but almost.

Mr. Abrams, Don’t Screw It Up!

U.S.S. Enterprise

If you have any semblance of Star Trek love within you, then you know what the image above is from, and you already know that J.J. Abrams is currently directing the filming of Star Trek XI.

As a bit of a Trek fan myself (okay, a lot of a Trek fan) I thought I’d put in my two cents for a few things that I’d like to see. Since they are still filming, and Mr. Abrams and I are tight (in a cat and dog kind of way) I figured he would read this and say, “Good one Stu. Don’t worry, if there is only one person in this world I don’t want to disappoint, it’s you!”

J.J. Abrams with Stu

Now, we all know this takes place pre-five-year mission and at least some of it while Kirk is still a student at Starfleet Academy, so I hope you’re all up on your Star Trek history. Okay J.J. (that’s what I call him), don’t forget the following:

Kirk Defeats the Kobayashi Maru Scenario — If you don’t know what I’m talking about, turn in your Star Trek fan badge right now! The Kobayashi Maru scenario is a starship command simulation that all command-track Starfleet cadets were required to be tested on. The simulation is a no-win scenario (but the cadets don’t know this) designed to test how a cadet would handle the imminent loss of his/her ship and crew.

Oh, did I say no-win? Kirk is the only cadet to ever complete the simulation and come out alive. I want to see it happen! Watch The Wrath of Kahn to hear Kirk speak of how he defeated the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

Christopher Pike Does The Cage — I see that Christopher Pike will be in the movie. Let’s have him do some crazy shiz while commanding the Enterprise, or at least have him talk about his mission to Talos IV.

Robert April Does Something Cool — Robert April was the first commander (before Pike) of NCC-1701 (i.e. Enterprise). I don’t care what he does or how he does it, but it would just be really cool to have Enterprise’s very first commander on the show.

Kirk Gets Harassed by Sean Finnegan — You’ll remember Sean Finnegan from the Star Trek episode Shore Leave. Finnegan has appeared in the comic book and novels as well where he plays jokes on Kirk. Since Kirk describes his time at the Academy with Finnegan as “positively grim,” I would love to see Finnegan play a good practical joke on Kirk.

Guinan Works the Local Bar — So Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg in Star Trek TNG, has also appeared in the Star Trek Generations movie, living at the same time as Kirk. She has also appeared in a TNG episode where she is shown as being alive and living on Earth during the same time period that Mark Twain was alive. We therefore know that she could have been around and on Earth at the same time that Kirk was attending Starfleet Academy. Having her just appear in the background somewhere, having Scotty say, “Thanks for the drink, Guinan,” would be pretty cool.

Heck, let’s have Malcolm McDowell (who played a character of Guinan’s same race in Star Trek Generations) show up as well.

A Few of Stu’s Other Star Trek XI Thoughts

Eric Bana is playing a villain by the name of Nero. Here’s the thing. That sounds like it might be a Romulan’s name to me. The planet Romulus is almost certainly inspired by ancient Rome as the name of Romulus’ twin planet is Remus. Get it? Remus and Romulus are the twin brothers from Roman mythology who are said to have founded Rome.

But then, no human knows who or what the Romulans are until Kirk and crew (in the middle of their 5-year mission) run into a Romulan Bird of Prey and somehow manage to get a view of the ship’s bridge to see the Romulan crew (where we see the Romulan captain being played by Mark Lenard who would later play the role of Sarek, Spock’s father). So… I guess he can’t be a Romulan (unless he never reveals that fact) lest the Star Trek timeline gets completely jacked up.

Then again, IMDB shows actress Lucia Rijker as being credited with the role of “Romulan CO.” What the–?! Now listen here J.J. DON’T SCREW IT UP!

Winona Ryder plays Spock’s mother. Now that’s what I call one hot mama!

Simon Pegg (who I loved in Hot Fuzz) plays Scotty. Can he pull it off? I think so.

Johnny Cho plays “Don’t call me tiny” Sulu. I wonder if he’s gay? Naaaah!! Have you seen Harold and Kumar? Okay, maybe he is gay.

Christopher Doohan (son of James Doohan, who played the original Scotty), who has appeared as an engineer in at least one Star Trek movie, is rumored to be in it. Wonder what role he’ll play? Maybe another engineer.

The very proud Pavel Chekov has always been one of my favorite characters. IMDB lists the very young Anton Yelchin as playing the role of Chekov. Well, at least he’s an actual Russian.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the Star Trek XI teaser trailer at the Cold Leftovers entertainment blog.

Okay, that’s all for now. It’s way past my bedtime!

Study Reveals, “Human Brain Will Believe Anything”

In the movie business, there’s this thing called “suspension of disbelief.” Suspension of disbelief is required when we are watching something on screen that is so outrageously impossible that the audience must disregard their knowledge of the real world in order to accept that what they just saw can actually happen.

Suspension of Disbelief

It’s this suspension of belief that makes it even remotely possible for people to enjoy movies like Top Gun (in order to believe that Tom Cruise could ever possibly make it through the Naval Academy and become an officer) or *shudder* Armageddon.

In another pointless study, researchers discovered that our brains are apparently designed to believe lies that are told to us, thus explaining why humans are so easily brainwashed, so quick to believe conspiracy theories, and can stand to watch movies like Armageddon.

Research showed that even when test subjects knew the truth, they tended to believe lies counter to what they knew to be true. Weird huh?

Read the full story at Reuters.

Nachoooooooooooooooo…

Doba took all us employees to the opening night of Nacho Libre a ways back. It was funny… very funny.

I will just say, I enjoyed myself immensely. Go watch Nacho Libre. ‘Tis a good movie.

In fact, it’s even a good first date movie! Don’t hide your true self trying to impress your potential future spouse! Show them who you are on your very first date. Take them to Nacho Libre