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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Facial Recognition Malware

"So, how'd your life turn out, man; everything you wanted it to be and more?" he asked while pouring more water into M-Dash's glass.

"Absolutely!" I replied, because I assumed he had asked us how our food was and it took my brain a minute to move past the taste of my breakfast sandwich and actually register the question. When I realized what he had asked, I looked up more directly at him and hastily added, "How about yours?" but it was too late and he had walked away.


("What an asssshoooole!")

M-Dash and I looked at each other. "You know that guy?" she asked and I looked over at him walking away. He was wearing a santa hat and waiter uniform, was slightly unshaven, and was moving almost manically around the room, checking on people and and fixing any problems. "I'm good with faces, and I've never seen that guy before in my life," I told her. "If I know him at all, it would have to be from elementary school before we were people." We were eating breakfast at a cafe in my hometown, so this was entirely possible slash my biggest fear about being home. "Well, he sure seems to know YOU!" she said. Indeed.

Either way, I was glad I had accidentally lied to the guy and answered, "Absolutely!" First off, it's not like I was gonna tell him, "Strikes and gutters," and really get into the highs and lows of the last decade or so and my current place in life. More importantly, there was a good chance I didn't know him at all, and while he might have been casually inquiring, he looked like the kind of guy who might have found me in the parking lot after the meal, stolen my license, and put a gun to my head; insisting I change my life or he would come back and kill me. Which sounds like a hassle.



On the other hand, if he DID know me and had legitimately asked if my life turned out how I wanted, I had just sounded like a massive douche by shouting, "Absolutely!" while not looking at him, and then taking a bite out of my sandwich while allegedly implying, "But I'm not gonna ask you, because you're the guy refilling my water!" Which could also end in a tragic parking lot situation.* Isn't life full of mystery and wonder.

We decided to ignore it and keep eating-- he was probably just a chatty cafe water refill guy. And a really good refill guy because he was back around a few minutes later to fill up my glass:

"The holidays are great," he began, looking at M-Dash, but clearly talking about me, "you get to see all these people you haven't seen in years," and before I could get out a single confused syllable, he turned and pranced away (if prancing can imply murder-- it was a murder prance). M-Dash and I stared wide-eyed at each other, each as baffled as the other.


(Murderous Prancer)

"Oh, he definitely knows you."
"That was aggressive, right?"
"Yeah, that was weird."
"Like, he sounded as though he not only thinks he knows me, but also that we banged..."
"...and you never called him back."
"Exactly! What the hell is going on??"
"Are you sure you don't know him?"
"I mean...NO, but I'm sure I didn't BANG HIM!"
"Hmmm. Well, ask him!"
"I'm gonna!"
"Do it!"
"I will!"

I absolutely didn't ask him. He was zipping around the room, rushing into the back, and the place was packed. He didn't come back to the table and I thought it would be even more awkward to track him down around customers or other employees to ask who he was. I did, however, have this little exchange with M-Dash:

"What's the less shitty way of asking this: 'Do I know you? Do you know me? Who are you?"
"Just ask, 'Do we know each other?'"
"But I know I don't know him."
"But you might have known him once he says his name."
"But that's not really KNOWING someone."
"Babe."
"I'm just saying!"
"Babe."

It's times like that I wish I could throw up on command. "Do I-- do you-- do we-- BLAT!!" Just, splowsh, right on the table. No more questions. Just some kid telling everyone that some guy he knows (who I probably just looked like) youk'd on the table and he had to clean it up. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. How'd your life turn out? Next time, just find me in the parking lot.

Thanks To Facebook and Google I Just Tracked Him Down and Have Never Seen Him Before in My Life; He Was 6 Years Ahead of Me in School, Went to a Different College, and I Don't Recognize His First Name or His Family's Last Name, But That Doesn't Mean He's Not Going to Track Me Down and Murder Me By Accident, Does It???,

Witz

*"What, like in the back of a Volkswagon?" Anyone?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Witz Flix: Gnomeo and Juliet


(Somebody threw out their back forcing that pun in there)

I decided to watch Gnomeo & Juliet because I think I have a responsibility to the parents of America to keep them informed about the films our children are watching, and also because it's only 84 minutes long and I have STD-- uh, "Shit to Do," (so much for that abbreviation). Using my advanced powers of deduction, I've gleaned that the movie is like Romeo & Juliet, only it's about garden gnomes...I just... ::sadly shaking head:: ...alright, let's do this thing...

2 min: The Montagues and the Capulets live next door to each other in modern day suburbia. They hate each other, but the elderly man and woman apparently haven't figured out a way to not leave for work at the exact same second every day. I've avoided roommates for months while living under the same roof, which makes me think these two old people are one viewing of "Up" away from making out while crying.

4 min: Each yard has a bunch of gnomes and other figures which come to life once the people leave the house. The Montagues are the "Blues," the Capulets are the "Reds," and the children of America are apparently idiots.

5 min: Isn't it weird that they named this kid, "Gnomeo," just because he's a gnome? "We named you after a famous Shakespeare character and then made it a pun!" Isn't that basically the same thing as naming your kid "Blacula?" Almost as baffling is the fact that Gnomeo is voiced by James McAvoy.


(Not even straightforward racism is this offensive...)

6 min: The Blues have a toilet in their yard-- it's unclear if this is important to the plot, but in the neverending argument over which yard is more beautiful, I'd say the one WITHOUT A TOILET IN IT is the clear winner.

7 min: Who's gonna break Michael Caine the news that he's in GNOMEO & Juliet? Pretty sure the guy coming off The Dark Knight, Sleuth, Harry Browne, and Inception didn't mean to sign onto this project.

8 min: I still don't know who Emily Blunt is, but she's the voice for Juliet. Michael Caine voices her dad.

9 min: Gnomeo and the Blues are lawnmower racing Tybalt and the Reds. And just to let us know that not all garden gnomes are lofty British folk, some dumpy southern chick dressed like a porn star farm girl is the one who starts the race.

9:30 min: And by "dumpy southern porn star farm girl," I apparently mean, "Dolly Parton"...because she's the voice...

10 min: Gnomeo is the Rick Perry of lawnmower racing: at first he looks like he knows what he's doing, but then he's completely out of control and has zero chance of finishing first. Tybalt wins and we reach a major turning point in the film: I realize that Jason Statham is the voice of Tybalt. "Yeah, 'cause like, I want me fans to know I'm, you know, an intellectual, or whateva. It's not all kickin' an' punchin' wif me, init?"

Tybalt kicks one of the Blues and retreats to the Red Garden. The Blues freak out and say that something must be done.

11 min: "The Red Garden?? No one's ever been in there!" Hee hee hee hee hee...

12 min: This movie made 100 million dollars at the box office??? It's gonna be way easier than I thought to get "Mothello," the tale of Othello told in the hilarious world of moths, made. "King Deer?" "Catbeth?" "ANTony and BEEopatra??"



13 min: Juliet is super jazzed to go steal some flower for the Red Garden (is Shakespeare actually MORE sexual when set in the world of garden gnomes??), so she dresses up like a ninja and heads off. Gnomeo and Benvolio sneak into the Red Garden. "Great, I love going Commando," Benvolio says....I think it's important to note that this movie is going to be somebody's childhood memory.

15 min: Things go awry, but they escape from the garden. Gnomeo ends up in the other neighboring garden where Juliet is going to steal the flower. Also in the garden is...A NEW ELTON JOHN SONG?? I guess what they say about finding things in the absolutely last place you'd ever think to look is true...I'm starting to think all Elton John is doing these days is getting drunk, dressing up like Janet Reno, and pumping out shit songs for children:



17 min: The two fall into some water at which point they realize that they are a Red and a Blue and Juliet runs away.

19 min: There's a little mushroom character running around, and all I can think is, "If Gnomeo eats that, he's either gonna get a 1-Up or hiiiigh as a motherfucker!"


("Candy bars!")

23 min: Ah, shit-- am I the last person to realize this has Democrat/Republican subtext? Is it bad that the first thing I think of when people talk about "red vs. blue" is M&M's??

30 min: Extended maniacal laugh joke: still in play after all these years. Tybalt's planning revenge.

32 min: Holy shit! Hulk Hogan does the voice-over for a lawnmower commercial-- the Terrafirminator-- in the style of Powerthirst. It's a "weapon of grass destruction." It's ironic that the high point of this movie is probably the low point in Hulk Hogan's career.

35 min: Gnomeo and Juliet-- HEY! I JUST GOT IT! THAT'S THE TITLE! Anyway-- they go on a date in the abandoned neighbor's garden and stumble upon a shed.

38 min: Oh no. No no no no no no no-- this will not do. A pink lawn flamingo just popped out of the shed and is going all Robin Williams on the two gnomes. He sounds like if Scarface was forced to entertain people on a cruise ship.

40 min:

GNOMEO: This is crazy, you know that, right? All my life, I was raised to hate the Reds.
JULIET: And I was raised to hate the Blues! It will never work.
GNOMEO: Well...how do you feel about minorities?
JULIET: Hate them!
GNOMEO: ME TOO!

Some of that was real, some was just pointing out that all garden gnomes are white...

42 min: Gnomeo returns to find his mother's prized tree destroyed. She's devestated. It's like, lady, look-- at least you still have your lawn toilet! The Blues demand revenge.

43 min: I don't really wanna get into it, but there's a frog who's probably gonna bone Stephen Merchant.

44 min: Ya know what I just remembered? EVERYONE'S GONNA DIE AT THE THE END! So, that pepped me up a little.

45 min: Gnomeo goes to get revenge, but Juliet sees him and gives him that, "I'm disappointed in you," look. Or, as I've come to call it, "how M-Dash looks at me on weekdays."

46 min: Top Five People Who Should Be Made As Gnome Characters:
-Gnome Chomsky
-Gnomar Garciaparra
-Manuel Gnoriega
-Gnomer Simpson
-Hideo Gnomo

48 min: Gnomeo and Juliet meet in the abandoned garden to sort their shit out. They fight for a while and then that horrific Flamingo steps in and explains how he came to be alone in the garden via a montage of his owners getting a divorce and moving away. The truly bizarre part, though, is that they play a song over the montage which I can only describe as Elton John making up a fake Meatloaf song while wasted at a party.


("Elton did whaaaaaat!?")

49 min: "You know...other people's hate destroyed my love, and I couldn't do nothing about it. But you, you can," the Flamingo says, which, to be fair, is about as funny as any joke Robin Williams has written in the last ten years, so this other guy they got to do the voice is worth the savings.

50 min: The two decide to get married and live in the abandoned garden. They don't get the chance, though, because Benvolio sees them and freaks out, probably because he knows that if they breed, they'll give birth to a moderate.


(Speaking of which, you're telling me that Gargamel will stop at nothing to capture the Smurfs, but he has absolutely no problem with garden gnomes running around? I call bullshit.)

51 min: Benvolio runs away. Tybalt sees him and breaks off his hat, which is as much like watching a metaphorical circumcision as you think. Gnomeo fights Tybalt, but gives him mercy when he could break him. Tybalt takes the opportunity to try and break Gnomeo, but ends up launching himself in the air against a wall (classic mistake) and shatters into a bunch of pieces. It's unclear why this releases his life essence into the world when GLUE EXISTS, but that's just how it works.

54 min: Gnomeo gets knocked into the street by a human and it appears that a passing truck shatters him. Everyone cries and freaks out and heads back to the garden. BUT AS IT TURNS OUT, Gnomeo wasn't smashed, the pieces of clay they saw fell off a passing TEAPOT TRUCK, which is DEFINITELY a REAL THING!

57 min: Gnomeo's not out of the shitter yet though, because a dog grabs him and drags him away and then he has to escape and fuck my life, he ends up at a big park where, I think my eyes are bleeding, he gets scooped up by a couple kids and all I can think is:

58 min: When the fuck is David gonna ride in on his fox!?

59 min: Gnomes are a lot like the Shakers; they have strong beliefs, don't reproduce, and care a whole lot about fragile furniture. (Those of you who have been waiting to fill in "The Shakers Joke" on your Witz Pickz Bingo Boards, you're welcome).


(Ummm, did the Shakers invent the Thriller dance??)

65 min: Benvolio sneaks into the house and orders a Terrafirminator lawnmower and goes to exact revenge on the Reds for Gnomeo's death. Meanwhile, Gnomeo is in the park still, talking to the statue of William Shakespeare about his predicament. Shakespeare says that it reminds him of a story HE wrote, but fails to point out that Gnomeo was clearly named after his main character. How can Gnomeo find out about Romeo & Juliet in a movie parody of that play? I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking wrote about this shit.

67 min: That weird Mushroom I was talking about and the Flamingo find Gnomeo and rush him back to try and stop Benvolio from hurting anyone.

72 min: The pinnacle of journalism right here: the lawnmower goes crazy and destroys both of the gardens. Gnomeo reaches Juliet right as the lawnmower attacks. Juliet was glued down so she couldn't run away anymore, so they can't flee. The lawnmower destroys the tower and they are buried. We, like the rest of the gnomes and lawn ornaments, can only watch...wait...and hope that somewhere...in that pile...they are alive. (Take THAT Tom Brokaw!)

74 min: Well. It is a dark day indeed. I thought this project had integrity, but as it turns out, Gnomeo & Juliet is nothing more than an unnecessarily satirical kid's movie. They're both alive and everyone else makes up. Given that the only real plot reference to Romeo & Juliet is the forbidden love aspect, I'm pretty convinced that the only reason this movie got made was because someone made a gnome pun.

75 min: Somewhere, this conversation happened:

WRITER: How do you feel about ending the movie with a big dance sequence?
PRODUCER: Will it be set to Elton John's Crocodile Rock?
WRITER: Of course it will.
PRODUCER: Then, I'm 100% on board.
WRITER: Excellent.
PRODUCER: How do you feel about making the movie longer so it's not 75 minutes?
WRITER: I don't see that happening...
PRODUCER: Meh, whatever. We'll get their money again with our next movie.
WRITER: Next movie?
PRODUCER: Brothel-lo. It's Othello set in a brothel with the main character played by Cee-Lo Green.
WRITER: Wow, that's gonna be really offensive.
PRODUCER: The man looks like if one of the California Raisins ate all the backup singers.
WRITER: Yikes.
PRODUCER: That guy looks like if a meatball grew up to be a pedophile.
WRITER: Eesh.
PRODUCER: Yep.




Longest. Travelocity commercial. Ever.
Witz

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Witz Pickz: 400th Post (State of the Union)

Happy Belated Halloween! Originally, M-Dash and I were going to go as witty physical puns of classic Ice Cream Treats, i.e. dressing up as a witch holding a bag of chips (Chipwich) and a traffic cone with a crown on (King Cone). After a series of blank stares convinced us otherwise, we decided to dress up as "People who don't know anyone having a Halloween Party."



Which brings me to today's post: my 400th post on Witz Pickz. I decided that I had to do something different for my 400th post, not just rant about how stupid babies are or tell some idiot story about how I get flu-like symptoms whenever I eat garlic. I decided I needed to do a State of the Union-- a brief round up of where we are after 400 posts:



• I've written 400 blog posts since March 26, 2006, and last I saw, earned $28.37 through Google AdWords, an amount I lauded as being, "Enough to purchase a pizza." When I recently checked again, I found that Google has seemingly erased all money earned and closed down the account. Google owes me a pizza.

• It is currently "Anytober," according to Subway, which is offering ANY Subway sub for five dollars in October. Unless Subway is pushing to nickname sandwiches "tobers," along with "hero," "grinder," "hoagie," and "sub," this is completely unacceptable. It's the laziest marketing since Jared got fat again and stopped doing Subway commercials.



• Herman Cain is a "legitimate" Republican Presidential Candidate. This is made worse by the fact that I couldn't decide whether to use his name in that joke or Michele Bachmann's.

• I've started drinking an inordinate number of smoothies.

• Not to brag, but my credit card says I have an "outstanding balance."

• I posted that last line as my Facebook status last week and got more "likes" and comments than on any of my blog posts. Ever.

• The Earth's population hit 7 billion and I hate everyone.

• I invested money in SodaStream-- a company which sells home carbonation kits so people can turn REGULAR WATER into SPARKLING WATER, a product which costs roughly eighty-nine cents to buy ANYWHERE...



• I would describe my smoothie intake as, "One per day."

• Mounds bars and Almond Joy bars cost exactly the same amount. This would lead me to believe that dark chocolate costs more to produce than milk chocolate by roughly the value of two almonds.

• Children in sweatshops are better at making shoes than I am at anything I'll ever try to do.

• I've started leaving the light off when I pee, just to add a little excitement to my days.

• I don't even drink seltzer. I think it's gross.

• Walmart brought back layaway. Either this is legitimate and sad or Walmart's been asked to secretly compile a, "People who should just kill themselves" list. If you can't afford to buy a shitty blender up front, you shouldn't be shopping in the first place.


(Even cute puppies are like, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?")

• I make these smoothies myself, using a combination of frozen fruit, yogurt, almond milk, and my own tears.

• Don't let anyone say I never wrote a Mounds Bar joke.

• Ted Wilson Reviews the World is a thing that exists. It's at The Rumpus and it's awful. Just miserable. Like Witz Pickz, this guy reviews anything he can think of, only his schtick appears to be that he's intentionally uninformed and super not funny. It's made worse by the fact that his column's title doesn't include any kind of rhyme or consonance. While I wasn't a fan of The Malou Review, I was forced to respect the segment for its obvious end-rhyme driven premise. Malou had no choice but to get into reviews, kung-fu, or BBQ. This Ted guy should be pursuing meds, breads, or sheds. The final straw came when I posted a negative, but constructive comment on one of his reviews, and he moderated it into oblivion. This obviously means that Ted Wilson is my new sworn enemy, especially now that Andy Rooney has been defeated.

• I've started posting "negative, but constructive" comments on the internet...


(Andy Rooney looks like he chose the wrong chalice from the Temple of the Grail...This guy complains about pronunciation for 30 years and Steve Jobs dies at 56? "He chose poorly.")

I think that pretty much sums up where I'm at after 400 posts. Not yet rich and famous, but also not buying microwaves on layaway at Walmart. Ya win some, ya lose some. Strikes and gutters. The important thing is that you all are still reading, hopefully still laughing, and nobody's sued me yet.

And By "Not Yet Rich" I Mean I Literally Have Not Earned Any Money,
Witz

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Witz Flix: Buried



Finally. 94 uninterrupted minutes with Ryan Reynolds. Because my number one complaint with films starring Ryan Reynolds has always been, "Why are there all of these other people and events between scenes with Ryan Reynolds? Are these really necessary?" From what I understand, Buried is about a guy who is literally buried in a box for the entirety of the movie-- I'm assuming because he was either responsible for splitting Netflix into two sites or for the recent Facebook changes. Let's find out:

3 min: The movie begins and all we hear is breathing and thumping. The screen is completely dark. Right now I'm wondering, "Is there ANY chance that the lights are gonna come on and Owen Wilson is going to be there?"

5 min: A lighter flicks on, revealing Ryan Reynolds: hands bound together, gagged, and kicking at the box he has been buried in. Yeah, that's for "Just Friends," asshole.


(Who are the heroes who nailed that tagline?)

6 min: Oddly, it takes him a minute to realize that his arms aren't tied down, so he's able to take his gag out. It's gotta be a change from his superhero roles, as his newfound power appears to be grunting loudly and shouting, "Help!" to nobody in particular.

8 min: He uses a nail to cut the rope which was binding his hands together. I don't care how clever he is in this movie, he still wasn't smart enough to avoid being in "Blade: Trinity..."

10 min: A phone begins ringing at his feet, so he scrambles and moves it up to his hands, but misses the call. He uses it to call 9-1-1 and tries to explain his situation to the woman. We find out that he was a truck driver who was contracted in Iraq and his group was attacked. The operator sounds particularly skeptical, as if she's thinking, "Suuure, the old buried in a box in Iraq stunt," so he hangs up on her.

12 min: A quick look at the battery reveals about 60% left. Time to start tweeting, bro.

13 min: I wonder if Facebook would consider his status, "Buried in Iraq, help!" a top story...if he dies, it's gonna be because everyone moved over to Google+

17 min: Um, he's on the phone with the FBI in Chicago now, and not to be obvious, but...HOW THE FUCK IS HE GETTING RECEPTION??


("You're calling from where? Uhh, ya know what, I actually can't hear you...")

18 min: He keeps turning his lighter on to look at his cell phone which is already illuminated by its screen. I'm starting to understand how this is the kind of guy who would get himself buried in a coffin in Iraq.

20 min: Hey, when's the other guy, girl, and pizza place gonna get there?

22 min: At least the terrorists gave him the best upside-down-writing-on-wood pen I've ever seen.

24 min: He calls a number which he doesn't recognize in the history and it turns out the be the guys who buried him (awwwwkwaaaard!). They say they want 5 million dollars by 9pm. He explains that he's only a B-List actor masquerading as an A-lister, but they say, "Then how come you were in The Green Lantern?"

25 min: He calls the man a terrorist and the guy says, "What? Because you're terrified, I'm a terrorist?" Uhhhhhh, YYYYUP! Also, the ransom thing. Also, all the murder.

26 min: At some point, bugs, or a spider, or a snake is gonna come into this box, I just know it, and I'm gonna lose my shit.

30 min: Hahahah, he calls someone back in Michigan and she answers, "Hello? Hi, how are you?..........Got you-- I'm not here right now! Leave a message at the beep!" Hilarious women strike again...

32 min: He starts to leave a message and she answers, says she's busy and can't look up a number for him because she just got back from the supermarket. He gets angry and she hangs up on him. He screams, and calls her a, "Dumb fucking cunt!" which would have also been an appropriate response if, oh, I don't know, his boss forced him to marry her so she could keep her green card...


("Weee-oooo, weee-ooo, awesome tagline police: freeze!")

35 min: He talks to a guy named Dan at the State Department who is working on it, but not able to do much. He says that these types of things have happened before and people have been saved. Reynolds asks him to name one and he does: Mark White. Reynolds writes the name on the wood, probably so they can connect on LinkedIn when he gets home.

36 min: The terrorist calls back and says they will accept 1 million dollars, but he has to make a video with his phone and send it to someone. Everyone's gonna be all, "It was ok, but a little too Blair Witch for me..."

38 min: Annoyingly transparent political commentary: Dan says something to the extent of, "These people aren't terrorists. They're just hungry and desperate. Wouldn't you do anything to feed your family in the same situation?" to which Ryan Reynolds replies, "I wouldn't kill someone!" to which the rescue guy says, "But how can you know for sure?" It's like, "Dude! WHY are you taking their side on this? Stop being a dipshit and come get me out of this coffin in Iraq!"

40 min: He finds a bag at his feet with some glow sticks, a flashlight, and a pocket knife. I'm beginning to think he's just at Burning Man.

45 min: He talks with Dan again who's trying his best to find him. Reynolds gives him the terrorist's number from the phone. He then plays Angry Birds. Two battery bars remaining.

50 min: Honestly, it's only been 50 minutes, but I feel like he's been buried for 127 hours...



52 min: He's calling his mom in a nursing home because I'm supposed to care about a b-plot. She has Alzheimer's and says that she's been playing gin rummy with her husband every night. Reynold's replies, "Yeah, um-- I don't think pop's there with you," and follows it up with, "This might be the last time I talk to you." Wow, were you just calling your mom to shatter her fragile world before you died orrrr?

55 min: The terrorist sends him a picture of some woman with a gun to her head. He freaks out and tells them that the woman has two kids and the terrorist tells him to make the video now or she dies, so he does. I gotta say, he seems pretty reluctant to make this video for a guy who had no qualms about making "Waiting."

57 min: GAHHHHHH!! BLEH! YAH! MWUH! MMMMMYUCK! Snake-in-the-box! I knew that shit would happen! To his credit, he doesn't kill himself immediately like I probably would, but does go an interesting route in that he starts a fire in the box using some alcohol and the lighter. The snake leaves, but the box is on fire, so he has to flail around and eventually manages to kick sand on the fire before it gets too big. This guy just likes making things more difficult for himself.

62 min: Ya know what, Van Wilder fans? I'm starting to think there aren't gonna be any tits in this film.

63 min: Back to his phone again-- I mean, talk about a Crackberry, am I right? Anyway, he figures out how to change the language settings to English and is able to figure out his own cell number, which means it can be traced to his exact location. He only has one bar left, and is sent a video of the woman from the picture being shot. He suddenly understands what we've been watching for the last hour and almost kills himself with the pocket knife.

68 min: Easily the number one grunting film of all time. Take out the grunting and this is not a feature length film.

70 min: Explosions sound above him and the boards of the coffin break. Sand is pouring in and given that he still has cell service, I don't understand why he can't just dig upward.

71 min: The contractor's Press/HR guy calls and is interviewing him about his background so he won't sue the company. They inform him that his contract was terminated that morning because of a relationship with his co-worker, the woman who was just shot. He says that they were just friends and he is misinformed, but the guy informs him that, "I'm just a stereotype being used to heighten the drama of the film!" No insurance money if he dies...

75 min: I gotta say, this DOES seem like a fair and proportionate response for Change-Up.



77 min: He keeps wondering why nobody's answering the phone when he calls, but c'mon man, nobody answers the phone anymore when they don't know the number:

"Hey, do you know what 075 area code is?"
"Uhhh, yeah, I think it's Iraq."
"Pfff, eff that, dude, I'm not donating any more money."

78 min: Not a great movie, but easily the best Zippo commercial I've ever seen.

79 min: I wonder when he's gonna try calling Harold & Kumar...

80 min: The guy trying to find him admits that the terrorists have been killed and there's nothing else they can do so it's over-- he's going to die. He makes a video as his last will and testament to send to his family. "Zippo: Lighting Your Horrorscape Until Death Seizes Your Terrified Corpse."

84 min: Ohhhh snap! The phone rings and it turns out that the terrorist is still alive and ups the ante: he wants Ry Rey to cut his finger off or else the terrorists will kill his family in America. He asks if he does this will they let him go, and the terrorist is like, "Definitely, Maybe."



85 min:
ME: Ohhh-ho-ho-ho-ho, I think he's gonna do it!
TERRORISTS: AWWWWW SHEET! He deed it! He cut his own finger off! What a freak!

88 min: Right after he cuts his finger off, Dan calls saying they are almost there to get him. "Cool, I'll be the guy with nine fingers." His wife finally calls him back and he says he's about to be rescued and promises he'll be home soon. The box is filling up with sand and the guy says they're digging and almost there.

94 min: On the phone, Dan and company are digging frantically, while Ryan Reynolds is almost completely buried in sand. I-- oh, hey, "Buried"-- I just got that. Anyway, they're digging and he's shouting and they're digging and he's kicking, and just as the box is about to bury him completely they get to the box and--...it turns out to be a different box with Mark White dead inside. Dan apologizes (to us, I'm assuming), Ryan Reynolds takes a few last breaths, and everything goes black.

Well...I guess it wasn't called, "Almost Buried." Other box, really? I gotta ask, does the "Bury an American in the Sand" trick EVER work because they're at least 0 for 2. How come terrorists always think they can negotiate with the United States? Watch ONE MOVIE...EVER, and you'll know that's not gonna happen. Isn't there a single person who can be like, "Ah, but the problem with that plan is that the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists, kind of for this EXACT reason, so..."

For a not very interesting movie, the ending is actually pretty disturbing. I guess it's because a) I can imagine myself dying horribly that way, but also b) for all the shit I give him, Ryan Reynolds is fairly affable and it's tough to watch him fake die. Couldn't they have just cast Dane Cook instead? They're practically identical and then everyone would have been cheering as the sand poured into his open maw, filling his mouth, so all anyone could hear as the darkness set in would be a muffled, desperate, "Pickles..."

Even More Disturbing Than the End of This Movie: "Untitled Ryan Reynolds/Bradley Cooper Project,"
Witz

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Witz Pickz: Sometimes Life Hands You Oreos



Sometimes, when I'm not writing, it's because I feel like there is just nothing worth writing about in my life and I don't want to bore you. Other times it's because I suddenly remember the utter futility of life and the weary redundant cycle of waking and eating and working and drinking and sleeping and wasting of time that exists while we all omg wait for our inevitable, meaningless lol deaths....

...but then, just when I think there's nothing left to write about, The Universe smacks me across the face and points as if to say, "Seriously? How are you not seeing this?" and I remember that it's all gonna be alright.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, the last thing I thought I would be doing was licking an Oreo with Shaquille O'Neal. It's just not one of those things that you count as being in the realm of possibility. So imagine my surprise, when three hours later, I found myself getting paid to lick cream filling with four other teammates while Shaq yelled things like, "lick faster," "drink your milk," and, "there's no crying in Oreo licking!" in our faces. Flash backward a couple hours:


(I can't help but notice that just like the Triple Double cookie, they lined us up as white stuff, chocolate stuff, white stuff, chocolate stuff, white stuff, with Shaq's arms like the big Oreo wafers on either side)

I signed onto a freelance event gig knowing only that it was an Oreo Cookie branding event and that I would be contractually obligated to eat an Oreo; a stipulation which I'll be adding to all of my future contracts.

I showed up and was told to put on a jersey which was a little too small for me and had the letters "DSRL" on the front. A quick peek at The Urban Dictionary and you'll understand why I was somewhat nervous about what was about to happen (I assumed R stood for "red" or "ripe" or "regal."). It was therefore no great comfort when the guy in charge walked in and announced, "Those of you in the jerseys: you're my lickers."


It was then explained to us that we would not, in fact, be starring in a Nabisco themed adult film called, "Fluffernutters," and that DSRL stands for "Double Stuff Racing League." We would be competing as two teams in an Oreo licking contest to promote the new Triple Double Oreo in front of some press. And oh, "Shaquille O'Neal and Venus Williams will be coaching the two teams."

Flash forward to me and my teammates, desperately trying to remove the two layers of double-stuff from between the three chocolate wafers while getting yelled at by the guy from Kazaam. Add an Andrew W.K. sounding song shouting, "D-S-R-L! D-S-R-L!" over and over again and you'll understand why it all felt incredibly surreal.



The thing of it is, I never ever thought I would meet Shaq. Ever. I didn't even really have ambitions to meet him, and it was so unexpected that I wasn't starstruck so much as baffled. At one point he leaned over to me and said, "Man, this song sucks, right?" referring to the DSRL theme, and fighting back the urge to reference his illustrious rap career, I replied, "Yeah...but it's gonna be stuck in your head all day..." which made him laugh. Shaq. This was the man who was on television slamming home points in NBA Championships. This was the guy from NBA Jam; the man responsible for Shaq Fu-- and now this was the guy who had us "bring it in," so, "on three," we could give a team cheer of, "Twist, lick, dunk, eat!"??



There are varying levels of fame: there's the level where you sell products, the level where you have a product named after you, and then there's the top level, where your name is used as a pun on a product. Shaq is so famous that when my family went to Kennebunkport, Maine for vacation, I would order the Chick-quille O'Neal grilled chicken sandwich. And somehow, despite all logic and the probability of a single linear reality, all seven feet and one inch of him was standing behind me with his arm around my shoulder, dunking OREOS, and berrating me to go faster.

As my Oreo incompetence was becoming increasingly apparent, one of my team members finished and our team was declared the winner. We got our pictures taken with Shaq, ate some more Oreos, and were sent on our way, getting paid for the full four hours, despite honestly "working" for about fifteen minutes. Just as quickly as it had started, it was all over, and I couldn't help but wonder if it had all been a dream.

"You have cream on your beard," one of my teammates said.
"What?" I replied.
"Oreo cream, you have some by your mouth," I was told, and putting my hand to my mouth, I came away with a small touch of sugary white stuff.
"Thanks," I said, and smiled at The Universe, assured of the fact that I would write again.

Twisting, Licking, Dunking, and Eating,
Witz

P.S. I think it's a glaring oversight that they used this DSRL song instead of having Shaq redo the lyrics to his song, "Shoot, Pass, Slam." They could have really easily changed it to, "Do you want me to TWIST IT? (YEAH!) Do you want me to LICK IT? (YEAH!!) Do you want me to DUNK IT? (YEAH!!!)"

Friday, August 05, 2011

Witz Pickz: Well, I Guess This Is Growing Up

My roommates recently moved to Germany (a country best known for its flash-mob style performance of The Holocaust*) for grad school, making way for M-Dash to move in. In the last 24 hours, we've been cleaning, scrubbing, arranging, rearranging, vacuuming, dusting, and fixing the apartment; however, one item in particular has made me realize that I'm getting older:

We bought a new toilet seat. I hadn't thought twice about it in the year and a half I've lived here, but M-Dash pointed out that it had definitely seen better days. Considering the fact that all the toilet seat saw on even the best of days was an ass plummeting downward, I decided she was probably right; so, we went to Lowe's and bought one.

AND I FUCKING LOVE IT. Seriously-- I don't know if it's the fact that I'm about to turn twenty-nine or if I subconsciously see it as a representation of my girlfriend moving in, or what, but I love the shit out of this toilet seat. In fact, I don't even want to shit through it-- I want to do things with it. I want to hangout in the bathtub and quote 30 Rock to each other. I want to make a movie about it, voiced by Donald Sutherland and co-starring Daniel Craig. I want to sit on the tile, give it a cap and gown, and read "Oh, the Places You Will Go," to it. I want to take it day-drinking in Prospect Park and watch the sun gleam off its silver, metal hinges.

I mean, am I going insane or is this just what happens when you get older? A couple years ago, my parents gave me a Cuisinart for Christmas and I knew I'd turned a corner toward adulthood. Is it a toilet seat today, a shower curtain tomorrow, and then a well vacuumed rug bringing me joy the next? Maybe it's a good thing.

Sure, my initial reaction is to walk outside and try to greet an oncoming truck with a hug, but maybe what I really need to be embracing are these simple joys of domestic living. If I'm just as happy about a new toilet seat or a clean rug as I used to be after drinking Red Bull and Vodka until four in the morning, I've saved myself a ton of money and a whole lot of hangovers. On the other hand, it's going to be a tough sell to invite my friends over to stare at my bathroom with me, when I don't even want to come over to see their babies. Either way, at least I'll have my beautiful new roommate with me to figure it all out-- and M-Dash will be there, too.

What Did the Toilet Seat Say to the Butt? There's a Whole Lot Resting On This!,
Witz


*Some people might say that this joke is unfair and that I give Germany a hard time, but think about it: What's Switzerland best known for? Knives and chocolate. What's France best known for? Wine. What's Italy best known for? Their food. What's the United States best known for? Starbucks and McDonald's. What's Germany BEST known for? The Holocaust. That's just how it is.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Witz DOESN'T Pick: New Domino's Commercial


(Carry out only? But your slogan is, "The Pizza Delivery Experts!")

There's a new Domino's Pizza commercial which has made its way into the rotation on Hulu and on ESPN, which immediately triggered my "Goddamn Idiot" response, which is to say that the first time I saw it, I immediately said out loud, "You're a goddamn idiot." It goes something like this:

"For a limited time, you can get a large, three-topping pizza from Domino's for just 7.99!"

At which point it cuts to a guy making a Domino's pizza, who looks at the camera with an incredulity bordering on anger and says,

"7.99? This pizza is worth at least twice that."
...
...
"You're a goddamn idiot."

First of all, you're a thirty-something dude throwing together pizzas at a fast food pizza chain-- you shouldn't be commenting on the general economics of anything, so shut your stupid face-anus. Secondly, no, it's not. And not simply because your pizza goes through the human digestive tract like it has an hour left to live and my colon is on its bucket list; but because that's not how value works.

Are you suggesting that the ingredients used to make a three-topping large pizza cost Domino's $16+ and the company is actually losing money on each pizza sold? Because as impossible as that is, it's the only logic I can think of which makes any sense. Pizza has no market value. It's not a commodity that can be bought and sold for profit. If I don't buy that pizza, you can't hold onto it and sell it later at a higher cost because it'll be old and disgusting. Nobody has a pizza collection (if you don't count waistlines) because pizza is FOOD. So, no, sir, your pizza isn't worth "at least twice that," it's worth whatever the hell you're able to sell it to me for.

As much as I appreciate unqualified fast food employees arbitrarily assigning a monetary value to perishable goods, please get rid of this ad and bring back the most ridiculous mascot of all time: The Noid.



I Just Wrote 332 Words, But All You're Gonna Remember is "Face-Anus,"
Witz


Bonus Footage:


Oh, and just so I get some hits: "Amy Winehouse drug overdose autopsy dead 27 curse."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Witz Pickz: Federal Jack's


Federal Jack's is a brew pub in Kennebunkport, Maine-- a quaint as all hell New England town, almost exclusively filled with touristy crap stores and with shops that used to be known as regional bullshit, but are now known as "artisanal." Jewelry stores with starfish necklaces, sweatshirts with "Vacationaland," printed on the front (don't even get me started), and plaques with ill-conceived New England phrases painted on them, such as, "I'm Feeling Soxy." Also, they have fudge, and the fudge is delicious.

Which is why Federal Jack's stands out. They clearly intended to present themselves as the brewery-restaurant of the town where people could get a burger and a freshly brewed beer and have some fun while still wearing their polo shirts. As I started looking around the restaurant and saw the Federal Jack's logo on the walls and on the menu, it became obvious that they had somewhat overshot what they were going for. Here's Federal Jack:



Federal Jack looks like he just raped and pillaged an entire Confederate town. He's toasting a beer with that shit-eating look on his face as if to say, "Hah-hah-hah, I am definitely for slavery, but have no allegiances except to beer and looting!" I'm also pretty sure he's getting blown just out of frame. Take another look at that picture and tell me you can't see him shouting boisturously in a Maine accent, "Fuck yawah mothah, I'm boozin' in Kennebunkpoaht!"

Further inspection of the menu proved my point. Federal Jack's has a brewery below the restaurant, and as I inspected the list, one name stood out. And that was the Taint Town Pale Ale. Yep. Taint Town. I could practically see Federal Jack winking suggestively. It didn't take much imagination to see Federal Jack in his bedroom with a gaggle of drunken whores going, "Choo-choooo! Alllll abooooard! Next stop: Taint Town!" and then stomping around the room and flopping out on the bed where he fell promptly to sleep and began snoring.



I ordered it, because, OBVIOUSLY, and I didn't like it-- not at all because of the name, but because it's a pale ale, and in what must be an ironic intention, the beer actually tastes like flowers. It must give Federal Jack a good laugh from the grave every time someone orders one, before he goes back to boozing, raping, and pillaging. So much pillaging.

I Went to Federal Jack's and All I Got Was Drunk, Raped, Robbed, and This Stupid T-Shirt,"
Witz

Bonus Material:
I was mentioning this to M-Dash who was there, but hadn't seen the Taint Town beer, and apparently, had never heard of the word "taint." In trying to prove that I wasn't crazy, I googled it and this is why The Urban Dictionary is amazing:

from theurbandictionary.com

"1. taint - The area between the nutsack and asshole that prevent a man from shitting on his nuts. See durf."

Wow. WOW. I would also reiterate that you should see "durf."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Witz Pickz: One Reason Why I'm Not Ready For Kids

I know, I know, the site's called "Witz Pickz" not, "Witz Watches A Shitty Movie and Writes About It Once a Month." I'm workin' on it.

My amount of enjoyment from the MGMT song "Kids" is the same as the amount of displeasure that actual children bring me. Sure, occasionally, a friend of mine has a kid who I like to see, and sure, there's the occasional stray child who does something cute or hilarious in public, but on the whole, I still find kids to be awful.

(I was going to have a picture here, but immediately regretted my decision to image search for "three year old child" in public. So...no picture)

As I was waiting to fly to San Francisco the other day, some parents were sitting nearby with their two kids; one fourteen months old (as she kept begrudgingly telling people) and one probably three or four, maybe five-- I don't know, I've always been terrible at knowing how old kids are. This one could talk, but still looked like his dome had some resizing to do, so what's that, three? Anyway, the parents looked exhausted, frustrated, and bored as they absently agreed with their children and told them to sit still.

Here's the thing about kids: they're basically retarded. I know they're just developing and all that, but, for all intents and purposes, they are the equivalent of the mentally challenged. Think about it: when someone has a mentally-disabled teen and you ask, "How old is he?" and they reply, "Well, he's fifteen, but he has the mental and learning capacity of a five year old," your internal reaction is, "Oh my!" Ok, well kids are ACTUALLY that old. A three, four, and five year old have the mental capacity of a three, four, and five year old. The only difference is that nobody refers to a five year old as having, "The same mental capacity as a retarded fifteen year old."

So, it didn't surprise me when this kid started saying dumb shit. First, it was, "I want that toy! I want that toy! I want that toy!" to which the parents replied, "You can't have it now, but you can definitely have it for your birthday," which went over about as well as the Kevin James movie "Zookeeper."



The kid didn't understand and frankly, neither did I. If you can buy this kid something that will shut him up in the present, why hold out for his birthday to give him something he probably won't even want anymore? Just give the kid the toy and on his birthday, make it very clear that he got one less gift because of it. I'm not going to be with your screaming child on his birthday, but I am going to be on his flight for the next six hours of our lives.

Eventually, the kid shifted his line of chatter. This was either because he got bored with it or because he decided to exact revenge in the form of obscenely redundant chatter. He started listing what each of the transformers from the movie did, only because he's an idiot, he just went back and forth between two, shouting each out for all the hear.

"BUMBLEBEE TURNS INTO A CAR!"
"Ok, honey."
"BUMBLEBEE TURNS INTO A CAR!"
"Uh-huh."
"OPTIMUS PRIME TURNS INTO A BIG CAR!"
"Ok."
"BUMBLEBEE TURNS INTO A CAR!"
"..."
"OPTIMUS PRIME TURNS INTO A BIG CAR!"
"Yep."
"BUMBLEBEE-"

--And so on and on and on. And what infuriated me the most, and what made me positive that I'm not ready to have a kid, wasn't the redundancy, and it wasn't the shouting; it was the fact that this stupid brat was WRONG. And the parents weren't correcting him (and probably weren't paying any attention at all to the actual words, but simply were agreeing habitually like me whenever a waiter or waitress describes for me a daily special that begins with any kind of fish). The parents were simply letting this kid shout about Transformers, while I sat there, wanting desperately to turn and yell at the kid, "NO, Optimus Prime wasn't a BIG CAR, he was a fucking TRUCK! A big RIG!"


("Were we so different? They're a young species. They have much to learn. But I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings. You all know there's only one way to end this war: we must destroy the Cube. If all else fails, I will unite it with the spark in my chest." Ok, the last couple of sentences aren't relevant, other than the fact that the dialogue sampled there shows how mentally-disabled the Transformers movies are...)


Of course, that would make me the weird one-- the guy shouting at a small child for being wrong about an inconsequential bit of trivia. And that urge, to shout at the child instead of retreating into what must be an ever diminishing hellscape of a parental mind-cave, is what separates me from those parents, and what tells me I'm still not ready for a child of my own.

"KIDS TURN INTO PEOPLE!?",
Witz

Friday, July 01, 2011

Witz Flix: Airborne


(Eeeeeee! "Real heroes aren't made, they're AIRBORNE!")

Thank God The Rapture didn't happen, because if it had, I wouldn't be able to watch and review this movie. Special thanks to my friend and reader, Burns Notice, who gave me the head's up and asked me to review Airborne. You'll understand why I'm so excited once you read this Netflix synopsis. My excitement is italicized:

"When his parents leave for an extended trip, California surfing enthusiast Mitchell (Shane McDermott) goes to live with relatives in Cincinnati, where he has trouble adapting to the chilly environment -- and the cool reception he receives from his new classmates. With only his cousin (Seth Green) as a friend, Mitchell endures endless taunting. But things begin to change when he wows everyone with his rollerblading skills. Jack Black co-stars."

RIGHT??? Let's get going...

0 min: I'm already impressed. The movie's rated PG and yet there's apparently "Brief Nudity," "Adult Language," and "Mild Violence."

1 min: It takes balls to open a movie with a "Suiting up to go rollerblading," montage: blades going on feet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and then...wait for it...hamstring stretches. All done in a timeless room with a black background. I got chills.

3 min: Two dudes go rollerblading down a huge hill towards the waves of the California coast. If they're anything like me, they're going to hit a branch, black out, and have a dream where they meet Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in True Lies (yes, that really happened).

4 min: Was 1994 really this awesome? Was rollerblading ever this cool?? And how does being able to rollerblade translate into being amazing at surfing? I feel like I'm watching someone play "California Games" with their 5 1/4" floppy disk for PC.


(So, BMX racing was clearly the best event in the game, but at the end of the course, you just fell off a really high cliff and lost-- what the hell!?)

6 min: "You guys were awesome today. Gracias." Yep, he's talking to his rollerblades.

7 min: Man, even this kid's hair's got waves. He must really like surfing.

8 min: I don't know who's more irresponsible: Mitchell's parents for going on an expedition to Australia and forcing their son to move in with relatives in Cincinnati, or the casting director who thought any of these people can act. We cut to snowy Ohio, with Mitchell looking very not stoked. And here's where I can already tell the genius in this movie lies: all signs point to a SNOWBOARDING movie right? WRONG. Rollerblading. Uncompromised vision.

10 min: SETH GREEN! Is it better to say that he looks 14 now or that he looks 37 in the movie?

11 min: If the banter in the car ride home scene is any indication, I'm not entirely sure this movie was scripted.

12 min:

Seth Green: You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?
Mitchell: I'm with you all the way, brah.

14 min: They go to school and there's the obligatory "Mitchell not being able to handle crowded hallways" scene, which always confuses me. This is followed by the usual "getting the attention of the school bully" scene, this time with the bully being some small hispanic kid nicknamed Snake, probably because Cincinnatti is not a bastion of creativity.

15 min: HOLY SHIT, JACK BLACK WAS A KID!? Try picturing Jack Black as NOT an overweight wacky guy-- can't do it, right? Well, it happened, and he's a douche. Mitchell and Seth go into their first class and everyone glares at them. Jack Black (aka Augie) is not a fan, but you know who is? Yep, some slut who wants to ride Mitchell's wave and is literally making him pick up what she's putting down as she pushes her book off the desk and watches as he picks it up for her.

18 min: Hold on, I'm trying to figure out what just happened. Jack Black and his buddy hate Mitchell because he's the cock-blocking-est thing to come out of LA since Scientology. They go up to the front of the public speaking class and call Mitchell out, saying that surfing isn't a sport (which Mitchell never claimed it was) and that hockey is a real sport. Here's where they lost me: they then proclaim that Mitchell should try playing hockey-- "matter of fact man, we have a game against the Preps-- and we've never beaten the Preps. I'm not graduating without beating them, we're gonna kick butt today!" And everyone cheers and runs out of the classroom. So...are they asking Mitchell to play in the most important game of the season orrrr....

22 min: I've never been more confused in my life. Jack Black was wearing a Tim Riggins jacket, then they announced that two people were in trouble and couldn't play hockey, so they had to have Snake and Seth Green join the team because they didn't have enough people? Now, they're playing the Preps, losing 2-1 on a seemingly school sanctioned scoreboard, and one kid goes, "Let's go! First to three wins!"
.....
WHAT?????

26 min: Mitchell has a long conversation in the stands with a girl who looks a lot like Hilary Swank and has the personality of a Highlights Magazine. Seth Green gets knocked out, Mitchell has to play, and he shoots on the wrong net and scores, infuriating everyone on his team. Seth says that Mitchell's the one who cost them the game, but Mitchell goes, "Yeah, right." Dude, you shot the puck INTO your own net from the other side of the rink-- you know what's really mondo, brah? Taking responsibility for your actions.

33 min: Revenge comes in the form of a series of pranks. Mitchell's desk falls apart, Seth is glued to his locker, sand is put in Mitchell's locker, and then, bafflingly, Mitchell is taking a luxurious shower at school and Jack Black steals his clothes. This is followed by Mitchell taking a luxurious shit at school and then finding that all the toilet paper has had water dumped on it so it's unusable. I went to grade school for 12 years and I can count the number of showers and craps I took on the premises on one hand-- why would you do these things and TAKE YOUR TIME doing them while in the midst of a siege of pranks?

37 min: It took them 37 minutes to get to the part where Mitchell remembers he owns rollerblades and goes for a...blade...to feel better about life. The movie opened with a rollerblading montage. Just sayin...

41 min: Mitchell runs into Million Dollar Baby as he skates past the park and they talk. She asks, "Hey, what are you doing right now?" to which he should have replied, "Uh, I'm fucking rollerblading, what does it look like?" but instead they cut to a botanical garden that she's way into. After a while, he ruins all tranquility the place has by rollerblading around and eventually getting them in trouble, but she thinks it's hiii-laaaaarious. I get why people hate this kid.

43 min:

Her: You must be homesick.
Him: Not right now.
Me: I just went from six to midnight.

His metaphorical penis is literally inside her right now. They make a date for Friday. She's bringing a friend and he's bringing Seth Green. I hope he wears a backpack and goggles.



44 min: Holy rollers-- whatever rollerblading this movie lacked has been made up for in the last five minute montage. After hanging out with Swank, Mitchell rollerblades home, pulling tricks along the way and accrueing a hoard of wheeled followers. First some bikers follow behind him, then some skateboarders see him and follow along, and then other rollerbladers. They all come upon a magical Tony Hawk level style blading park where Mitchell performs tricks that even my super high college roommate couldn't pull off with his Game Cube controller. This is all set to hair metal and if I had to sum up what we learn it would be this: Mitchell really enjoys rollerblading.

45 min: Mitchell waxes his board (not like that), then stands on it on his bed and imagines himself surfing. If anyone ever needed a water bed, it's this kid.

48 min: They go on the double date, but the movie must have spaced out for a while, because it cuts directly to the part where Mitchell and Boys Don't Cry are alone. She asks him if he could have lunch with any three people dead or alive, who would he choose. He chooses a famous surfer, Gandhi, and her. She says, "Me? You could have lunch with anyone and you'd choose me?" to which he replies, "You're not just anyone-- you're the girl I'm definitely about to have sex with (paraphrasing that last part)," and they kiss.

51 min: Seth Green's date is not psyched to be there. To be fair, she grows up to look like this and he ends up looking EXACTLY THE SAME:


("G-L-O-R-I-A...")

53 min: While the four are sitting at the diner table, one of the Preps from the hockey game, Blaine, shows up and starts being douchey. Apparently, he used to date Freedom Writers.

54 min: Blaine grabs Seth's date and starts dance raping her-- by which I mean he forcefully makes her dance with him, not that he like, rapes her while doing the Macarena. Anyway, Unfrozen Caveman Seth Green steps in and tells him to back off. Blaine shoves him to the ground and is about to start in with The Next Karate Kid (yep, Hilary Swank was the next karate kid), when Jack aka the OTHER douchebag leader, shows up at the diner and stops him.



55 min: Yep, Jack is the girl's brother. He also hates Mitchell, and honestly, the biggest problem with this movie is that Mitchell is a completely sarcastic, California surfer tool. He's so annoying that the two rival douchebags both hate him.

56 min: This movie has the weird misconception that bullies won't start fights. Mitchell says, "You think calling me a few names, putting sand in my locker is gonna make me fight you? Well, you're wrong!" and just to remind everyone why they don't like him, he adds, "You're not worth it, brah!" Mitchell then ruins all chance of getting laid by concluding, "Nobody here is!" The last time someone cockblocked themself that badly it was Pauly Shore by being Pauly Shore:


(Bad news for Pauly Shore-- when you search google for him, Pauly from Jersey Shore comes up first...)

58 min: Cue obligatory downward spiral montage: Seth Green is "seriously disappointed" in Mitchell, Mitchell tries to fix things with his girl, but he's wearing a fucking poncho while talking to her, so for some reason, she doesn't take him seriously.

61 min: Mitchell falls asleep and dreams about surfing. This kid must piss the bed ALL the FREAKIN' TIME.

62 min: Mitchell wakes up Seth Green at 3am to describe his dream, a situation best explaind by Dennis in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Dreams are like pictures: if I'm not in 'em and nobody's having sex, I'm not interested."

Anyway, this dream answers the question, "How much can we shoehorn in this surfer theme?" The dream is about Mitchell riding the perfect wave, which apparently represents the girl he likes, and a shark who represents her understandably dickish and protective brother. The shark is trying to scare him away from the wave, but he says "the wave is mine." Mitchell declares, "You don't have to fight the shark to fight for the wave..." at which point Seth Green makes a face like he just realized he shouldn't have agreed to make this movie.

63 min: Aw, hell yeah, rollerblades ARE the answer! Mitchell rides to where all the kids are playing street hockey, and also where there's an inordinate amount of plywood on the ground for him to skate on over gravel. The girl is there and his plan seems to be to win her back via a street hockey showdown. I'll admit, I'm pretty excited. You know who never won the girl by playing street hockey? Runs Around in His Sneakers Because He Doesn't Have Rollerblades Guy.

65 min: The guys let Mitchell play so he can get his ass kicked. Instead, he skates through everyone, dekes the goalie, and scores a goal all by himself. This movie dramatically undervalues the necessity of stick-handling.

67 min: Blaine tackles Mitchell at the next face off and everyone wants him to fight. Instead, Mitchell waits, refuses to fight, and then goes and pulls Blaine's pants down because he's a) non-violent and b) a little bitch. P.S. Thanks for the man-ass-crack, "Brief Nudity"...

68 min: Mitchell's ability to evade the douchebags is entirely predicated on his ability to hop on rollerblades. Weak sauce, dude.

70 min: Jack Black and the other guys all go to Mitchell's house and welcome him to the group since he pantsed Blaine. Jack Black says, "I guess we had you figured all wrong. I'm sorry man..." but he also looks like a child molester who has a vast number of skinned pets in his basement...



71 min: "We challenged the Preps to a rollerblade race-- we're gonna settle this thing once and for all." Very few people remember, but that's actually how the Cold War ended.

72 min:

SNAKE: Well, anyway, it's a bunch of hills Mitchell- it's pretty dangerous.
MITCHELL: Then why do it?
JACK BLAK: We're tired of being put down, treated like low life trash, losers-- SNAKE: We're somebody. This is our chance to prove it-- and we can only do it as a team!

Did you feel that? I just got goosebumps.

74 min: A big group of kids gather at the top of the hill, somber and clad in helmets, knee pads, goggles, gloves, padded sweatshirts, and of course, rollerblades. Blaine tells us, "The rules are: there are no rules-- anything goes." Everyone looks at each other intensely.

75 min: A random girl we've never seen before announces, "The first team with three members across the finish line wins." You know what that sounds an awful lot like? A rule....

76 min: Hahaha, did I mention they're doing this down a hill on a road with cars on it? This movie feels like it was made by someone who really didn't understand what they were watching when they saw the X-Games on TV. Also, I think Jack Black might have just died, it's unclear. It was supposed to be funny because he eventually hit his crotch against a tree, but at that speed, he had to have taken some serious bodily damage.

77 min: YESSS!! Close-up shot of the three leaders using their brakes to slow down! Take yer brakes off, nerds!

80 min: Wow, they are really committed to this sequence; there hasn't been any quips or one-liners for the last 5 minutes. Just...Rollerblading.

81 min: Ok, maybe this is because I work in events, but there is a severe lack of signage along this route. How the hell does everyone know where they're going? They're basically just weaving through suburban streets at this point.

83 min: Aha! Case in point: Mitchell loses sight of the people in front of him and says, "Where did they go?" He has to stop and take a look. From a vantage point, he sees Snake and two Preps cross the finish line where a ridiculously large group of people are cheering everyone in. "If the Preps get one more person, they win!" Snake shouts angrily.

84 min: Did the shredding guitars cause Mitchell to leap over the railing and soar through the air or did his leaping cause the guitars to shred? I like to think one could never exist without the other.

85 min: Blaine takes out Jack, then lines Mitchell up to check him against the concrete unnecessarily. Mitchell ducks and Blaine checks himself into the concrete, flips over the edge, and crashes into the ocean. This is why Cincinnati can't have nice things (also see: Ken Griffey, Jr).

86 min: Mitchell and Jack cross the finish line and the crowd goes crazy. More importantly, they marked the end of a TWELVE MINUTE ROLLERBLADING SEQUENCE WITHOUT DIALOGUE. HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.

87 min: Seth Green shows up in the back of a pickup truck and Gloria is there to kiss him. Mitchell, Jack, and Snake all high five, and it's pretty clear at this point that Jack Black is dead in the woods and Blaine just drowned in the river. Mitchell and his girl kiss in slow motion (which looks just like a normal long kiss except her eyelid kinda tweaks out like she's having a seizure), the screen fades to black and: 2nd Unit Director Steve Boyum. Powerful stuff. Then, presumably, Mitchell goes back to California with his parents. Huh.

I'll say this: for a movie named after a cold medication, it wasn't that bad. I can honestly say that with the exception of D2: The Mighty Ducks, no other movie I've seen has even come close to rivaling the rollerblading footage, and it's good to know that Year One or The Holiday are still Jack Black's worst movies. Mitchell was a real douche, but it turns out that the actor, Shane McDermott, now sells real estate in Galveston, Texas, so who's cool, now? I'll leave you with this quote from the man himself,

"Let me tell you what stylin' is. The perfect session: A-Frame wave, ground swell, spittin' out salt water in your face, doing a little lip action move, a 360 without a bounce. I call it a Liquid Drano Wannabe Bullwinkle. I tell you no lie, my friends. It's a consciousness raiser."

Whoah,
Witz

Friday, May 20, 2011

Witz Pickz: The Rapture


(If it's on a bench, it must be true!)

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I--" am going to be VERY annoyed if I spend all day today at work and then the end of the world starts tomorrow. Only a truly vengeful God would have The Rapture on a Saturday.

According to excrutiatingly old Christian Radio Host, Harold Camping, tomorrow, May 21st, 2011, the oft belated Rapture will occur, and roughly 3% of the world's population will suddenly ascend to Heaven; heads looking up, middle-fingers pointed down at the rest of us, who will have five months of escalating doom to look forward to before we're all dead by October 21st. Some people believe that those raptured will die instantly, while others believe that they will simply disappear to go up to Heaven with God while the rest of us perish for our sins.


(Personally, I think it's going to look something like this)


First of all, no. I mean, MAYBE, but no. I guess it's just strange that regardless of whether it's The Rapture or just the end of the world at some point, that kind of thing can happen ON A SATURDAY. Not like, "On the 3rd rotation of the Earth's orbit around the solar plexus of the cloven-hooved demon planet," but like, "This Saturday." Something about that is anticlimactic. Also baffling is the timeframe for how The Rapture will go down. Is it just one ubiquitous moment around the world? Does it happen at 12:01am or 11:59 pm? According to the wikipedia entry, it will happen at 6pm local time wherever you are, because despite the universe being infinite, God's still on board with respecting our time zones. Day-drinking, anyone?

What I really don't understand is why it has to be a big end of the world scenario that follows. Why can't there be a middle ground, where all the people who believe get saved and everyone else gets Left Behind like Kirk Cameron, but in a world where things continue unabated, just with roughly 200 million fewer people? "Welp, we missed The Rapture, but at least these lines are a little shorter!" Why can't we just continue on in a world that's already pretty shitty most of the time? God should just be like, "Alright, well, I'm out-- you just keep on doing whatever it is you people do when I'm not around."


("Hi, I'm calling about my reservation for The Rapture...yes, I'll hold.")

Obviously, the problem with this is that it sounds like it was written by M. Night Shyamalan. Remember when he made that movie The Happening, when (uh, spoiler alert) the PLANTS were trying to kill us? Yeah, so-- THIS IS CRAZIER. Biblically old Harold Camping explains his theory as being a math equation based on numbers found in the Bible as well as numbers in The Bible which he claims have a figurative meaning. Is it just me or are adapted math equations never as good as the books they were based on? What makes this all the less believable is that this isn't even Harold's first time predicting The Rapture! Dude's already 0 for 1! He predicted The Rapture to be back in September of 1994, which he published in a book he titled 1994?. THE MAN PUT A QUESTION MARK IN THE TITLE! He claims that he was wrong due to a mathematical error, and just to be clear, he was already 73 years old when he came up with THAT math equation. As far as I'm concerned, he had his shot and blew it-- I don't see how anyone can still buy what he's selling.


("You only get one shot/do not miss your chance to blow/this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo...")

What do you do if you believe in The Rapture? Did they go to work this week, or month, or year? Did they give all of their things away? In one interview, Harold is asked if he gave all his money to charity and he replied something along the lines of, "You don't understand, it's not like that-- there won't BE charities once this happens!" So...is that a no, then? If the guy who predicted this thing has a safety net, you know it's not happening.

Do they have a Rapture Party, and do they make that party a RAP-ture Party, with only hip-hop playing? Do they buy groceries, do laundry, or floss? Do they travel to the last time zone The Rapture is due to happen or do they travel to the first? You gotta figure a line's gonna form at Heaven's Gate (oops-- er, I mean...too soon?) and even if you are getting into Heaven, it's gotta suck to be the 199,998,957th person in line. Sometimes I don't get a bagel because there are six people in front of me. Was there a cutoff date for Rapture applications, like, "All Belief and Good Behavior must be submitted by May 1st," and after that deadline, can you do what you want, or is it an up to the minute decision?

Some people are concerned that believers who don't experience The Rapture will kill themselves after tomorrow, thinking that they missed the party. I guess my concern is that there are actually people worried about that happening-- it's called thinning the herd. People die everyday and if some of these folks cut their losses (read: wrists) because they put all of their faith in an 89 year old man with a microphone and poor guess-timation skills, then so be it.



I guess we'll have to just wait and see. Maybe it will happen. Maybe I'm wrong and the 3% minority is right that the end of days is upon us and Jesus is gonna swing by and pick them all up in his RV. Either way , I'll be drinking with my friends, and come Monday, if I'm not not back at work, it won't be because I'm skipping, it's because of The Rapture.

More Like "Judgement YAY!" Am I Right??,
Witz

P.S. Regardless of whether The Rapture happens, I bet the band The Rapture is feeling pretty psyched right about now. When they first formed, whoever came up with the title had to have said, "I know, it's kinda lame and really Christian, BUT The Rapture's predicted by someone every year or two, so we'll toootally get a million hits when people start searching!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Drama at the Theater (Part 1: I Am Number Four)


That's a decently clever post title right there. I mean, not amazing, but like, 4:45 on a Thursday while at work clever, right? Whatever. I saw two movies in the last week and while that seems simple enough, anyone who thinks, "What is he going to post about? How could that possibly go wrong?" hasn't been paying attention.

First up was the sci-fi action movie "I Am Number Four," which my buddy and I went to see because we wanted to see an action movie, it has Timothy Olyphant from "Justified" in it, and we were intrigued by the massive disparity on moviefone.com between the audience's rating of 91% and the critics' rating of 36%. I guess if you went in planning on seeing a shitty sci-fi action movie, you probably rated it higher than if you just saw "The King's Speech" and this was just the next on your list.

Needless to say, people are dumb and it wasn't very good. We walked into the theater and felt like the title was actually referring to how many people were in the audience. My friend was number three. I was number four. I didn't bring a note pad or anything so I could do a Witz Flix running commentary, but I regretted it pretty immediately. About five minutes into the movie, the lead character is swimming in the ocean of Australia with some girl and his leg starts to glow and burn painfully. Instead of saying something like, "What is that? Did you get stung by a jelly fish??" the girl simply screams, "He's a freak!!!" and runs away. You can't coach hate.


(What?)

They're forced to move to a quiet town in the Midwest, ironically named "Paradise." It's at that moment that I realized "I Am Number Four" is actually "Twilight" that's supposed to appeal guys. It's about an attractive, blond haired, muscular dude from outer space who comes to a small off-the-map town and falls for the local hot chick, but they never actually are able to seal the deal.

Despite looking like he came out of an Abercrombie catalogue, the main character is treated like an outcast at school and his guardian (Timothy Olyphant) tells him to, "Just blend in." Just blend in? He's a six foot, good looking, super ripped up dude who's clearly in his early to mid-twenties. Alien bullshit aside, this kid ain't blending in.


("Hi, I'm just a normal 17 year old kid. I'm certainly not an alien who looks human and is way too old to be in high school and it's DEFINITELY not weird that I'm trying to have sex with you.")

The part my friend and I couldn't accept, however, was at the end when the guy's regular looking dog suddenly turns into a giant alien dog, fights off other alien beasts to save him and then collapses on the floor, seemingly to die. The main characters eventually (SPOILER ALERT) kill all the bad guys, and then they just wander off into the sunrise. My friend and I both had the same reaction: "WHAT ABOUT YOUR DOG!? How about a quick check to see what happened to man's best friend and maybe to give it a proper burial if need be? How about a quick look-see for your fucking SPACE DOG, which just SAVED YOUR GODDAMN LIFE? Oh, I guess not." In the last scene of the movie, the dog comes hobbling back to the group on three legs and everyone's just like, "Oh hey, there's that space dog-- cool." This is why aliens don't deserve nice things.

Having said all that, the movie was alright to watch if you took it with a grain of salt, or all of the snacks that we snuck in. When did movies give up on enforcing the no outside food or drink policy? They used to pat me down or eye every bulge that might have been a pack of Combos when I was a kid (which, when I type it like that, sounds fairly molesty), but I can now walk into a theater with a jacket CLEARLY filled with a foot long sandwich and a bag of chips and nobody cares anymore. This has to be up there with Women's Suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, and Gay Marriage for the top social advances in the last 100 years.

This time, I snuck in some almonds and those Cadbury Mini-Eggs with the hard candy shell and the delicious velvety chocolate inside. Everything was going well until about the 70 minute mark, when I nonchalantly tossed a mini-egg into my mouth. It missed my teeth, missed my tongue, and landed snugly halfway down my throat. I coughed; it didn't budge. I coughed again, a little more seriously; nope. I tried to breath and found that I couldn't.



Thoughts ran through my mind: "Oh my god, I don't know how to administer the Heimlich to myself...," along with, "I wonder if my friend knows the Heimlich," and, "I don't want to make a scene in the middle of this movie theater because of a Cadbury Mini-Egg." And then: "Holy shit. Am I gonna fucking die in a movie theater while watching 'I Am Number Four'?? Oh shit oh shit oh shit!"

A story suddenly popped into my head-- the story of my freshman year roommate in college, who was choking on a lifesaver candy and suddenly remembered that there was a hole in the middle: "I just stopped freaking out and breathed normally, dude!" he had told me. What hadn't I tried? I swallowed and the egg moved. I swallowed again and I felt it find its way down to my stomach. I had a few crazy thoughts, like, "But I didn't crack the shell! Can my stomach digest an uncracked mini-egg?" but was otherwise alright. As far as anyone could tell, all that had happened was another minute of "I Am Number Four."

"I almost just died," I whispered to my friend.
"What?" he asked, turning his attention to me and leaning in.
"Choking on a mini-egg; I almost just died." This time he heard me.
"What the fuck is the matter with you?" he replied and turned back to the movie.
"I am number four," I whispered jokingly, but there was an explosion, and he didn't hear a word.


(it would have been a worthy death)

I Bet the Second Alien Got ENDLESS "Number Two" Jokes,
Witz