Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Witz Flix: The Wolfman

In case you can't read it from the movie poster, the promo reads:

"Even a man who is pure of heart
and says his prayers by night,
May become a wolf
when the wolfsbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright."
-Old Gypsy Poem

...Gypsies...not known for their poetry. After watching Drag Me to Hell, I'd say that gypsies, in general, should be known for WAY OVERREACTING-- the entire time I watched that movie I just kept thinking, "HOW IS THIS AN EQUAL AND PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE!?" We're not here to talk about Drag Me to Hell, though, we're here to talk about The Wolfman. Like you, I know that The Wolfman is about Benicio Del Toro forgetting to shave. Let's get started:

2 min: It's 1891 and an old man is walking with a lantern in a creepy forest with a full moon overhead. Just in case he wasn't dead already, he shouts into the darkness, "Show yourself! I know you're out there!" Now, to my knowledge, nobody has ever shouted that and had a hot, naked girl pop out and kiss them, so I'm not exactly sure what he's hoping for, but a werewolf obliges, and treats his body like a pinata, slashing him with his claws until the candy pops out (read: intestines, which gives me a hilarious idea: whenever I accidentally have kids, I'm going to fill their birthday party pinata with lengths of sausage links so when they bust it open, the pinata spews forth guts. I know you're thinking, "That's horrible, why would you do that?" but doesn't it teach a better lesson than, "Beat something with a bat and candy falls out??").

4 min: The dead guy's fiancee writes Benicio Del Toro (his brother), asking to help find his missing brother. Benicio Del Toro looks like he fled a Three Stooges makeover and robbed a pimp. His fur coat and cane are not nearly as baffling as what happens when he opens his mouth: did you know Benicio Del Toro can speak NORMALLY??. He speaks to his estranged father, Anthony Hopkins, who has what I have to refer to as an overly lackadaisical attitude toward his other son's death. Strong odds on him being a werewolf.

8 min: Awesome exchange:

Man in Bar: What if it wasn't a beast, but a cunning murderer, who killed him and then tore him up to make it look like a wild beast was responsible?" (vaguely paraphrased)
Policeman: Ridiculous! Who would go to such lengths?!

...Uhhh....murderers? Off the top of my head, I'd say murderers would go to such lengths. But only because they're murderers. Was killing people that easy to get away with in the 1891?

Bartender: "What about that gypsy dancing bear, he coulda done it!" Classic. That bear just tries to bring a little bit of beauty into this world and they go and call it a killer. But, yeah, you should check the bear, that's a reasonable explanation since "wolf men" aren't generally real.

9 min: Hahaha, I LOVE it when movies go over the top out of there way to setup a racial stereotype.

Priest: Mosts unnatural wounds. Made by creature most foul.
Bartender: Damn gypsies! Wandering the countryside, bringing their woe and (dentistry??) with 'em!!

10 min: "He wouldn't leave the house on a full moon." So here's the thing-- there's a werewolf problem, ok, but it only comes out on a full moon, which is like...12 times a year. That's once a month. There are pizza, burritos, falafel, movies, cafes, bars, lectures, friends, and girls just outside my apartment on a daily basis and, yet, some days I just don't leave the house. How hard is it to not leave the house once a month, DURING regular sleeping hours?

13 min: Anthony Hopkins pops on what appear to be tinted swim goggles and heads to bed. I just...I need you to know these things.

15 min: We learn that Benicio Del Toro's mom killed herself when they were kids. Theoretically, because she found out she was in The Wolfman.

17 min: No matter how many times you say the name or show me Emily Blunt, I'm not going to remember who she is. That's just something I've come to accept. There's nothing recognizable about her-- it's like she was born without features. Anyway, she's Dead Brother's fiancee...well not anymore...that'd be creepy.

19 min: Anthony Hopkins says don't go out tonight during the full moon. Benicio decides to ride down to the Gypsy Camp, which looks significantly less fun than Camp Anawana.

"Camp Anawana, we hold you in our hearts,
and when we think about you,
it makes us want to fart."
-Old Gypsy Poem

21 min: Ok. Here we have the perfect example of why I don't like camping. The gypsies tell Benicio not to leave the camp because of the moon. A posse hunting the creature comes to the gypsy camp. Suddenly, The Wolfman shows up and starts ripping everyone limb from limb, killing anyone it comes near. Which raises the question: WHY DID ANYONE THINK THE GYPSY CAMP WAS SAFE? It's just an outdoor collective of shabby tents! Just because you have a fire and created a circle doesn't mean you're not going to be attacked in your sleep! "Witz, what part of camping don't you like?" The part where it's pitch black, I'm completely vulnerable, and I'm sleeping on rocks and tree roots when mattresses have been invented. Why am I the weird one?

OHHHH, the rarely expected through-the-neck-out-the-mouth kill. Looked a bit like this:

22 min: Well, turns out if you google, "Silver Bullet," you get way more vibrator links than I expected.

23 min: The werewolf attacks Benicio and flips him for which I mean he gnaws on his neck and arm. Some men with guns arrive and the wolfman flees. The gypsies patch him up, knowing that he is now cursed. One says, "He can now only be released by someone who loves him," which seems arbitrary, even by werewolf curse standards.

25 min: Who the fuck is this chick-- oh, it's Emily Blunt.

28 min: Did I mention that Anthony Hopkins has a sikh living with him for no apparent reason? Just checking.

32 min: Benicio and Emily Blunt (by default, I still can't recognize her) are down by the lake and he shows her how to skip stones. It's not even flirty or romantic though, it's just kinda like, "Here's something you'll never miss not being able to do."

35 min: A posse comes to capture Benicio since he's gonna be a werewolf, but Hopkins scares them off. I'm not sure who we're supposed to be rooting for since they absolutely should capture him. Agent Smith from the Matrix is a detective on the case.

39 min: "If anything ever happened to you, I'd never forgive myself," Benicio says, as he sends Emily Blunt, who he's known for maybe three days, the middle of the night...under a near full

47 min: Benicio Of the Bull turns into a wolfman. This is why you shouldn't let him touch water.

Oh, and not to be a stickler, but shouldn't this movie be called The WolfMEN?? And since there's already a name for men that turn into wolves, shouldn't it just be called The Werewolves?

48 min: It's pretty hard to be scared of this guy-- he basically just looks like a super hairy jewish guy-- I mean, his name's Wolfman!

49 min: He starts killing everyone out looking to capture him. He's never gonna make the basketball team with this attitude!

Best Teen Wolf Quote (and possibly one of the best lines of all time): "You don't scare me, freak. Underneath all that hair, you're still a dork, Scott."

50 min: If I were a werewolf, I would absolutely play TV On the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" while I slaughtered. Would that automatically make me the first Hipster Werewolf? This movie would actually have been way better if they did it all modernized, "Romeo & Juliet" style with cool music instead of the usual instrumental score. Also, if they'd written a better script...

52 min: He's captured and locked up in an asylum. Everyone inexplicably thinks he's derranged and not a werewolf. They repeatedly dunk him in ice water and stick syringes in his neck, which looks almost as bad as having to get a day job again. Please, "share" this with your facebook friends.

52 min: If I were a werewolf, I'd make a t-shirt that said, "Our werewolf has a villager problem."

56 min: We were all right, Anthony Hopkins reveals that he's a Werewolf, Too (like Jason Bateman). He killed his wife. He killed his other son. This is why he can't have nice things.

60 min: SO they have Benicio restrained in a chair on the night of the full moon to prove to him and everyone else that he isn't a werewolf. The room is packed, which raises the question, WHO BOUGHT TICKETS TO THE SLAUGHTER ROOM?? If someone came up to me and said, "Yo, I have two tix to that show at The Asylum to see if that psycho turns into a werewolf or not, wanna come with for free?" I'd be like, "Are you out of you're fucking mind?? Look, The Asylum is a sweet name for a venue, but in the event that he isn't a werewolf, we're just sitting in a room for a while watching nothing happen, and on the off chance that he DOES turn into a werewolf, we're ALL GOING TO DIE." Of course, maybe they all kind of believe he is going to transform, which leads us to:

63 min: Benicio turns into a wolfman and proceeds to kill everyone. I've said this before in the past, but I have to repeat it one more time here: If you suspect a man might turn into a wolfman, AND you have said wolfman tied up, you should GO OVERBOARD. Just go wild with the restraints. Ropes, belts, chains, wire, whatever. Because you have absolutely no idea how strong that creature is going to be.

65 min: The Wolfman looks exactly like Wolf-Han Solo right now, it's awesome.

(best I could find)

68 min: Who doesn't move immediately when you find out there's a legit werewolf in your town? Population of Blackmoor ought to be zero right now.

70 min: What the hell, you can't just add a new character this late in the-- oh, false alarm, it's just Emily Blunt. They kiss, which is weird, but I guess everybody has their thing. The police show up and he flees.

72 min: Hahah, she's reading a book just called, "Ancient Gypsy Lore." Who's blunt now? (Get it, get it? Eh? See, because her name has a meaning)

86 min: Benicio Del Taco (sorry, it's like 3am and I'm hungry) and Anthony Hopkins turn into wolfmen and fight. Anthony Hopkins looks like a goddamn ewok, so it's a little hard to take this seriously, but it does bring my life full circle as the first movie creature that freaked me out as a kid was the wolf in The Ewok Adventure.

88 min: Wait, why the hell are they able to restrain themselves and fight each other consciously now, but normally they just kill everyone they see? Benicio eventually chucks Anthony into a fire, momentarily creating a terrifying Fire Werewolf, but then wallops his head off...creating just a terrifying house fire. Only YOU can prevent Fire Werewolves!

91 min: Before this thing wraps up, I just want to make sure that nobody saw "Wolf" with Jack Nicholson, right? Like, I shouldn't make a reference? Ok, good.

93 min: Emily Blunt is trapped by The Wolfman. She gets him to hesitate and while he's distracted, she grabs the gun with a silver bullet in it and shoots him. He dies, and as he does so, his hair disappears and he turns back into a man. You're telling me if I shoot my dad, he's gonna start shedding body hair? And whatever happened to, "The curse can only be lifted by love," or that bullshit? Seems to me a silver bullet tidied things up pretty nicely.

94 min: What has two thumbs and can take a silver bullet? THIS GUY!

(That joke was way less awkward before I learned about the vibrator...)

95 min: Agent Smith was bitten and survived, so now HE'S gonna be a werewolf...TWIST!...ugh. The Final Voiceover: "They say there's no sin in killing a beast...only in killing a man. But where does one begin and the other end?" Did they really just try and make this deep? Shit, movie, I guess, like, when the man becomes a fucking werewolf, how about that? Applied metaphorically, let's just take it on a case by case basis, but yeah, feel free to shoot Rod Blagojevich.

Pretty Sure This Movie Was Just A Long Interpretation of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf,"

In Unrelated Conversation Earlier Today:
HER: What can you kill with a golden bullet?
ME: ...Anything that you can kill with a regular bullet...

Fact: I just looked at a list of movies with werewolves in them and there's a movie called Dr. Terror's House of Horrors. Well...don't go to Dr. Terror's house!

Runner Up Awesome Quote From Teen Wolf:
SCOTT: Styles, I got something to tell you. It's kind of hard, but...
STYLES: Look, are you gonna tell me you're a fag because if you're gonna tell me you're a fag, I don't think I can handle it.
SCOTT: I'm not a fag. I'm...a werewolf.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Witz Pickz: The Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt

Holy fucking hell yeah shit wow! Have you heard about the new Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt from Friendly's?? I was sent an email from my friend, Jocelyn Davies, and I'm using her real name because she's about to be a published author and you should all read her book, "A Beautiful Dark," when it comes out in 2011 (you will have approximately one year to read it). The email was simply a link and the words, "You're welcome." There are a few ways to take this:

1) You're welcome for providing you with blog fodder.
2) You're welcome for introducing you to potentially the most delicious food item of all time.
3) You're welcome for providing you with, essentially, an acceptable, painless form of euthanasia. If things really bottom out for me, forget slit wrists, strong light fixtures, or tough NYC handgun licenses, I'm just gonna sit down in a Friendly's booth, place my credit card on the table and say, "Keep 'em comin."

Apparently, the guy who named "The Fribble" (which is a double-thick milkshake which arrives at regular thickness because it takes forever) and the "Happy Ending Sundae" (which is a hot fudge sundae with a handjob at the end) is on strict union rules to only name desserts and the Fishamajig* guy got laid off, so The Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt is exactly what the name suggests: a hamburger with a grilled cheese on either side, acting as the bun. This thing makes the KFC Double Down look like a healthy option.

(it also looks like two orthodox jewish pieces of chicken having sex through a cheese sheet)

Legend has it that the Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt was invented by a death row inmate, just before he was sent to the electric chair. He was asked what he wanted as his last meal and he said, "I'd like fries, and a pickle, and hamburger, and a grilled cheese-- hell-- TWO grilled cheeses." The guards weren't having it and replied, "You killed a dozen people in cold blood-- you only get ONE main course!" Well, you don't get away with killing twelve people before getting caught without being creative, so he figured out a loophole and thus the Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt was created......but, personally, I think it was just made by fat people for fat people.

This sucker clocks in around 1500 calories (which isn't THAT MUCH, if you think about it), 101g of carbs, and 2090mg of sodium (!!). On Day Two, God ate a Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt and then sweated (and I have to assume you will sweat when you eat one of these), and his sweat became the oceans.

For the sake of my 70's existing, I'm not sure I'll ever eat one of these, but I fully intend on ordering one, and here's why: I love grilled cheese. Unfortunately, while a grilled cheese probably costs about fifty cents to make, you can't buy one for less than 5 dollars, and one grilled cheese is rarely enough. One of my favorite meals is the two grilled cheese and fries/tater tots meal, made available to me by my high school and college cafeteria.

After calling Friendly's and asking how much the Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt costs (which is an awkward phone call to make-- that's how dedicated a journalist I am), I was shocked to find that it regularly costs $8.49 (including fries and a pickle/coleslaw), but is on special for $5!! For five dollars, I can get TWO grilled cheeses, fries, and a pickle (who wants my coleslaw?), AND have a meatwad leftover which I can keep in my pocket and eat like an apple if anyone questions my manliness or tries to mug me (nobody fucks with a guy with meat in his pocket. Nobody).

(photo courtesy of Nitro)

Lost in all this hype is the sad decline of the bun. It must have started right around the time the Atkins Diet got popular, and Taco Bell's slogan became, "Think outside the bun," which I always took to mean, "Find a creative place to poop-- you just ate Taco Bell in public." Then KFC started picking up steam, Subway started making wraps, McDonald's introduced salads, and bun stocks have plummeted (I dunno, maybe). But, I mean, really, what does the bun have going for it? Sesame seeds? Wooooo, sesame...seeds...yeah. It's their own damn fault.

I Dare You to Go to Friendly's on a Weekday and Ask For a, "Happy Ending Wednesday,"

Seriously? There's nothing phallic about this? Realllly??

*We used to have a fun time asking a) what kind of fish was in the fishamajig and b) what part of the fish is the "majig." I think the answer to both was usually, "You don't want to know," or, "I'd suggest getting the grilled chicken sandwich."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Witz Flickz: 2012

The end must be near, because I've resorted to watching 2012. Like you all, I know that the movie "2012" is about the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan Civilization.

"We were warned," reads the poster. Please, you don't spend billions of dollars creating a worst case scenario plan just because some calendar enthusiasts back in 800 AD said 2012 was The End. Every few years, a handful of cults commit suicide because "The end is near," and yet year after year, October rolls around and I have to watch the Yankees in the playoffs. What, should I not buy Christmas presents in 2012? Is this one really a lock? And what's the policy on presents for people whose birthday is on December 21? Do I buy one and just not expect a thank you note? Don't you hate it when your birthday lands on the same day as the apocalypse?

1 min: Uh oh, planets are aligning. How come nothing good ever comes from planets aligning?? It's always, "the end of the world," or, "intense heat." It's never, "Crops grow more abundantly," or, "penises enlarge."

3 min: The black dude from "Love Actually" (he's been in a lot more stuff, but I wanted to use an example where I think there was only one black person in the entire movie) is in a copper mine in India. Is the world gonna end because they ran out of copper to make Duracell batteries?

5 min: The biggest solar eruptions in recorded history have just been...recorded...causing the highest neutrino count ever. How come I can't hear the word "Neutrinos" and not think about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. "For the first time ever, the Nutrinos are causing a physical reaction." That's not true-- that one Neutrino was hot.

6 min: Just in case we didn't get that it was getting hot, an old Indian man in the copper mine dunks his feet in a big bucket of ice and says, "Ahhh, that feels good." Thanks. Oh, also the Earth's core is heating up. Core strength: Not just for yoga anymore.

7 min: Chiwetel Ejiofor: The Science Guy (not quite the same ring to it...) delivers the geology report to Oliver Platt, who initially blows him off. DID WE LEARN NOTHING FROM INDEPENDENCE DAY?? He then reads the unverified report from this stranger and says, "You're about to meet the President." Soo, we're all basically one wikipedia entry away from the Oval Office. Huh.

9 min: It's 2010, we're at the G8 Summit and you're not gonna believe who The President is: DANNY GLOVER. He's GOTTA be too old for this shit.

10 min: "The we know it...will soon come to an end..." The President begins. Taking a cue from Tosh.0, let's see how many jokes we can make for this one in 30 seconds:

1) "...3 items are only 2 dollars at Taco Bell."
2) "...They remade the Karate Kid."
3) "...It's DiGiorno."
4) "...((Loud Farting Sound))"
5) "...people no longer like Lebron James."
6) " I have terminal cancer and Mel Gibson is the vice-president."

11 min: It's now 2012, and a bunch of Guatamalans have committed suicide outside a Mayan temple because it was predicted the Earth would end on December 21, 2012. Not to rain on your suicide party (reschedule, move indoors, or proceed?), but that seems like opening Christmas presents before Christmas morning; or buying a yacht because someone told you they think you're gonna win the lottery. Just hang in there, sport.

12 min: John Cusack's here! I don't know which is less believable, that his name is "Jackson" or that his character was once married to Amanda Peet. He's divorced with two kids, and one of them makes me glad that the world is going to end. They're going to Yellowstone.

20 min: The world is ending and our B-plot appears to be that The Science Guy thinks The President's Daughter is cute. FML.

25 min: It's getting hot, hot, hot. BUT it's a DRYYYYY heat! Every time I hear "the Earth's crust" it just sounds so delicious. Anyway, it's destabilizing, which suuuuuuucks.

26 min: "Allll this technology and we didn't see it coming. The Mayans predicted this." Yeah, and Nostradomus predicted the JFK Assasination-- shut up.

28 min: Woody Harrelson!? He's 2012's Randy Quaid! He's a crazy guy who lives in Yellowstone National Park and broadcasts on the radio from his hovel camper.* I hope I don't shed silent tears again when he dies.

37 min: Aaaand they personified the Earth's crust (mmm). The cracks are coming for you! Apparently, there are spaceships ready to take about 400,000 people to safety. Danny Glover looks older than he'd like to be when dealing with this predicament.

39 min: There are only 2-3 days left before all hell breaks loose. Ummm, it doesn't appear to be December 19th, so the Mayans were wrong? That's why you can't be cocky when predicting the end of the world-- just ballpark it. 2012 would have been close enough.

45 min: Hahaha, ok. After a few minutes of John Cusack trying to convince Amanda Peet that they need to leave Los Angeles and having her completely blow him off, all hell breaks loose as an Earthquake hits, and when Amanda Peet ludicrously STILL tries to blow him off he yells, "GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!" Well played, PG-13 movie.

48 min: The entire Earth's crust (god, I'm hungry) is collapsing. It's hard to believe they used CGI for this. No, seriously, it looks that bad-- I cannot believe this is advanced cinematic technology. Anyway, millions of people are dead, but John Cusack and his unconvincing, broken family escaped on a plane, so that's a win.

58 min: Woody Harrelson decides to stay to watch the park volcanically explode because, "It's SO BEAUTIFUL!" He dies while making "It's a DOUBLE RAINBOW!" guy look like a beacon of stoicism and logic.

61 min: John Cusack jumped the RV! They didn't even do that in the movie RV!

70 min: Oh. Sad. Danny Glover is legitimately too old for this shit. He's not going on the spaceship.

80 min: Looks like The Smoke Monster escaped The Island and has been binging on fast food. A huge dark cloud of destruction and ash looms. Our alleged protagonists are heading towards China and the spaceships on a big cargo plane. This whole thing would be a lot better if Baloo was involved.

85 min: Remind me to never ever try and take refuge in The White House-- that place is constantly getting blown up when disasters, aliens, or time traveling apes occur.

90 min: The main problem with this movie is that they didn't make me care about ANYBODY. Millions of people are dying, and I have no reason to believe that Humanity's Future will be any better by having sad sack John Cusack and his family get on a spaceship. There's no enemy, no way to fight back, it's just a movie about most people dying and they don't even particularly get into the morality of our final actions**. Existence, as we know it, is ending, and they want me to care if John Cusack and Amanda Peet get back together??

103 min: Their plane is going down, but the Earth's crust (how good was stuffed crust pizza?) shifted, so they're heading exactly where they want to be. For those of you not familiar with narrative devices, that is called a "deus ex fuck you, viewer." Jackson, in an attempt to have "Action" added to the beginning of his title, gets everyone into a car so they can drive off the back of the plane as it crash lands.

112 min: 28 Minutes to impact of tidal wave at the spaceships. There are 43 minutes left in the movie-- is the rest of the movie done in real time??

118 min: "They're not spaceships, buddy, they're arks." DON'T LOOK AT THEM, YOU'LL MELT! Oh-- not that kind of ark. They're actually loading animals onto these ships...this is exactly like if KIRK Cameron had directed Titanic!

120 min: The family sneaks on board via the cargo hold with the help of extraneous characters I didn't want to waste your time with...although, as far as I can tell, every character in this movie is extraneous. This thing shoulda just been a 15 minute CGI simulation on Youtube set to Enigma's "Return to Innocence."

129 min: "One Minute Until Impact." Pff, whatever, if it's not a Deep Impact, I don't even care anymore. By the way, Amanda Peet's new husband died, but nobody's too upset about it since it frees up John Cusack to get back with her guilt free.

135 min: John Cusack's going all Bruce Willis in Armageddon and is going on a suicide mission to unblock something that is keeping the gate from shutting completely and allowing water to rush in. P.S. They're heading towards crashing into Mount Everest.

147 min: John Cusack unblocks the gears, the gate closes, and they are all saved. But get this-- John Cusack survives. What kind of BULLSHIT suicide mission was that! That was just a regular mission! Total scam.

148 min: "Day 27. Month 1. Year 0001." Man, they totally set themselves up for a sequel! Incidentally, I'm pretty sure you can just call it Year 1, without the extraneous placeholders. Then again, if you call it Year One, nobody will see it. ZING! (I saw it, so it's ok for me to make that joke).

155 min: The movie's coming to a close and they're all heading for land to start civilization over again. They're going to settle in Africa, which makes it the most extreme Back to Africa movement of all time. Everyone gets to go on deck and breath fresh air again, but all I'm thinking is, "6 billion people were drowned, aren't there just going to be bodies EVERYWHERE??" The answer is no, and as we watch John Cusack put his arms around Amanda Peet, we can go to sleep knowing that everything is ooooookaaay.


*Hovel Camper is a great name for a metal band. You can use it.

**And when they do, it's absurd. They argue about the morality of charging people to buy one of the limited seats on the ships, when everyone deserves a chance to survive...which is great in theory, except they need the billions upon billions of dollars to BUILD THE SHIPS.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Witz Pickz: What the F*ck Are Silly Bandz

The other day, while walking along the street with C-Murder, I was introduced to Silly Bandz. They were being sold by some vendor on the sidewalk.

C-MURDER: I wish I'd invented Silly Bandz.
ME: What the hell are Silly Bandz?
C-MURDER: They're the cool new shit all the kids are into.
ME: What are they?
C-MURDER: Like, rubber bands in different shapes.
ME: That's it?
ME: Wait, so of anything you could have invented in this hypothetical, you wish you had invented Silly Bandz?
C-MURDER: Eh, shut up.

Have you heard of these things, because I definitely had not. Apparently, the new hotness is these rubber bands shaped like all kinds of things: animals, dinosaurs, cars, miscellaneous symbols, sports object, and on and on. They are selling MILLIONS of them and at $4.95 per pack, are grossing an estimated $200 million a year. Now, I remember Slap Wraps, the cool, crazy, massively ill-advised, lawsuit worthy, wrist accessory of the early 90's that introduced children to both fashion AND wrist-slitting. Those probably seemed dumb to people, but at least they made sense-- they were action packed and had distinguishable designs. When you put a Silly Band on your arm, it doesn't matter what it was BEFORE, they just become colored (sorry, African-American) rubber bands.

So, like...HOW DUMB HAVE KIDS GOTTEN? I mean...they're RUBBER BANDS-- which are basically one step up from the "Bag O' Glass" toy from the SNL sketches. There has to be something more to this trend, you know, like Mardi Gras beads or tear drop tattoos. Maybe if you own the "Western Pack" it means you shot three Latin Kings.

Then again, maybe they're just a depression era throwback toy-- when bottle caps and jacks were enough to occupy an afternoon. As my roommate, Kid Fitted, said, "I see them more as a return to form. 'Fuck PSP, I want a rubber band shaped like a giraffe on my arm.'"

Either way, Silly Bandz are going to end the same way Slap Wraps did: with a major lawsuit. They're rubber bands. They cut off circulation if they're too tight, and you just know, somewhere in America, there is a little kid who's going to go to sleep with their Silly Bandz on and wake up in need of an amputated limb (which is my fifth greatest fear after snakes, spiders, deep water, and my inevitable return to office work).

Now, as proven many times before in my hard hitting investigative reports based primarily on wikipedia entries, I'm no fly by night journalist. I decided I needed to try and understand these children, so I took the liberty of reading all of the letters from children posted on the silly bandz site. Here's what I learned:

1) They're still teaching cursive in school. I have no idea why, since there are only two times I ever have had to write in cursive. The first time was to copy some paragraph saying I wouldn't cheat on the SAT's (which was one of the harder parts of the SAT's), and to sign my name. Why does cursive have the lockdown on signatures, anyway? Does it even matter, given that few signatures actually look like actual letters? Maybe it's time to teach kids spanish and skip the extraneous font styles. It's like teaching kids how to write in Book Antiqua.

2) Kids are goddamn enthusiastic which can be used for great good or great evil. Take "Greysen S" for example. On the one hand, he's being creative. On the other hand, he's spending time thinking up new rubber band bracelets for someone else to make so he can buy them.

Yikes, Greyson, yikes. This is why you're buying Silly Bandz and not selling Greysen Bandz. Also, if you go through the letters, you'll notice that nearly every child has one idea that can only be described as a "sword penis."

Target Audience:
Erin, of Ohio says (not altered), "The reason why I like Silly Bandz is because there not just bracelets and rubber bands they are bracelets that turn into animals and peace signs! I think that is so neat and smart to think of that idea." I look forward to seeing Erin in a drum circle at Golden Gate Park in about fifteen years.

This is what happens when you combine Silly Bandz with ADHD:

I want the kid from Friday Night Lights and The Blind Side to read that letter so badly! Also, bad news, Connor, but you won't be getting any silly necklaces.

"What about the silly necklaces makes them silly?"
"Oh, well, they strangle you."

I decided to conclude my research with an interview...with my sister, Switz...who teaches elementary school kids and works with young gymnasts, too:

ME: What can you tell me about Silly Bandz?
SWITZ: They are the SHIT if you're in elementary school. They're the latest craze.
ME: That's what I'm learning.
SWITZ: Yeah, all the kids at school/gym wear them-- they wear like 50 at a time.
ME: But when you wear them, they all look the same, right??
SWITZ: Yeah, it's like wearing an entire box of colored rubber bands.
ME: And what about regular colored rubber bands?

(regular colored rubber bands)
(silly bandz)

SWITZ: Not cool.
ME: Still not cool.
SWITZ: Nope. The silly bandz all take the shape of things. Even though half of them look like nothing distinguishable and the other half look mildly obscene.

ME: I've noticed.
SWITZ: How did you hear about them?
ME: I saw them being sold on the street by one of the guys who usually sells fake DVDs.
SWITZ: Sounds about right.

Right on cue, Borders sent me a coupon for Silly Bandz this morning. I might not understand them, but one thing's for sure, just like pogs, beanie babies, M.A.S.K., Sky Commanders, Erector Sets, Popples, and laser discs, Silly Bandz are here to stay.

Wearing Over 20 Silly Bandz Stands For Your Parents Spending Too Much Money on Bullshit Toys,

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Witz Flickz: Obsessed

I don't know if this is a cautionary tale of how your Saturday night can suddenly take a dramatically sad turn or if it's an uplifting anecdote demonstrating the joyously unpredictable road of life, but instead of going out tonight like I planned, I am lying in my bed, preparing to watch Obsessed on Netflix Instant Viewing for your future enjoyment.

I NEVER planned on seeing this movie, until a fortuitous series of details came to my attention: a friend mentioned that Ali Larter was (to her detriment) in the movie, I noticed that both Idris Elba (of The Wire and oddly, The Office) and Beyonce are in the movie, and the movie was made available immediately for free. So, sit back, relax, and follow me on this erotic-thrillcoaster (also the nickname I have for my twin bed).

0 min: While the credits are rolling, let's talk about how the movie's tagline is "All's fair when love is war." That might be proper english and seem like it's clever, but...that doesn't actually MEAN anything, right? Just somethin' to think about...

1 min: Apparently, the movie couldn't afford capital letters in the credit sequence. Also, I don't know who "Scout Taylor Compton" is, but if that isn't a stage name, I don't know what is.

2 min: Idris Elba aka King Driis aka Stringer Bell and Beyonce are buying a house. This might be a good time to say what I know about the movie. All I know is that Idris Elba and Beyonce are married, and Ali Larter comes in and tries to seduce him, which leads to violence, threats, and sex. Jack McBrayer (Kenneth the Paige) basically explained the marketing best in Forgetting Sarah Marshall: "I like when they mix the sex and the violence."

4 min: Enter Ali Larter in the elevator. I heard they were originally going to call the movie, "The Black Crush," but were worried people would think it was a "Blue Crush" sequel. They should be so lucky.

5 min:
Ali Larter: I hate to shatter the illusion, but I'm a temp.
Idris Elba: A temp? I would never have guessed a temp.

Ali Larter then inexplicably drops all the shit she was carrying. Like, her arms just gave out. I absolutely would have said, "Ohhhhh, now I see. Is that, like, a condition? Are you like the Jim Abbott of temping?" I guess that's why I'm not being stalked by Ali Larter...

7 min: I don't know what this guy does, but everyone's wearing bluetooths (teeth?), so I know it's important.

8 min: Whoah! When did Jerry O'Connell slide into this movie?

9 min: "I think you mean temp-tress!" No, we get it, movie, but thanks.

10 min: Man, I wish I was good looking enough to get away with this:
"I'm Lisa, by the way."
"Hi, Lisa By-the-way. I'm Derrick."

"Hi, remember me?"
"Lisa By-the-way, right?"
"I'm impressed."

I guess when you have a winner, you stick with it. You Witz Pickz...right?

12 min: Beyonce is wearing what can only be described as a hair condom. When Derek asks about it, she's like, "It's so people can't see my Halo. I was constantly being told how visible it was."

15 min: I don't care if it's a movie or not, if I was Jay-Z, I'd make the director put me as the stand-in for every partial nudity scene with Beyonce. And if the director asked why, he could be all, "It's so necessary."

18 min: Sharon (Beyonce) meets Lisa. It's unnecessarily tense and she is pissssed. Is this a racial thing? I think I need to go watch some Chris Rock stand-up so I can understand the dynamics at play.

20 min: I don't know how this is possible, but I definitely look cooler listening to "American Boy" in my station wagon then Idris Elba does tapping his hands on the steering wheel of his mercedes.

22 min: Lisa bonds with Derrick's old assistant, who's a gay white guy. "If you think you can pump me for information over a couple of're RIGHT," he says, striking a mischievous pose. I think I just figured out why Prop 8 passed. I can't figure out if this movie is trying to break down stereotypes or re-enforce them.

25 min: Things we didn't hear Jerry O'Connell say in Sliders: "I'd pick up that slack. That is one smokin' hot piece of ass."

Thing I assume was a line in The Wire as well as this movie: "Oh no, dude, I'm not in the game anymore. I'm retired and coaching."

26 min: Lisa and Derek are IM flirting! FINALLY, something I can connect with. Now here's everything wrong with it: 1) his screenname is "derek01." Did he graduate something in '01? Are there lots of Derek's on this IM platform, and if so, how do you remember who is derek01 and who is derek 02, 03, 04? 2) You're the Executive Vice-President of a seemingly major business firm. Why the fuck are you IMing and is your shift key broke, homie? How about some capitalization, and how much respect can you possibly expect when you use "luv," "thanx," and "get back '2' work."??

29 min: Ali Larter orders a dirty martini. "Make it filthy," she says. I can't believe she's able to drink anything what with that dead horse lying there.

31 min: At the office Christmas party (but not The Office Christmas party), Derek says, "A beer, three martinis AND tequila? No, I don't think so." Dude, you're 6'2'', 200+ pounds, and your nickname is DJ Big Driis. Drink the tequila.

32 min: Lisa's big plan involves getting Derek under the mistletoe, but it turns out that dangling plants aren't legally binding (in stark contrast to "dangling your plant" which can have very serious legal consequences). She does have a Plan B though, which is a little more extreme, in that Plan B is to RAPE HIM IN THE MEN'S BATHROOM WHILE HE'S PEEING. It's an awkward few minutes as she grinds up against him while he fights her off without trying to attract attention from outside the stall. I would actually say it most resembles my ex-roommate's cat molesting me in bed.

39 min: Lisa's lookin' so crazy right now-- lookin' so crazy in love. She hops into Derek's car unexpectedly wearing a trenchcoat (bomb or bombs?) and apologizes for the whole sexual assault thing. She then says she can't forget it and whips open her coat to reveal...lingerie. Sorry, but once you go whipped cream bikini, everything else is kind of a letdown.

41 min: Derek rejects her and she flips out. When is Hiro going to show up to mediate this whole thing?

42 min: Derek goes home to tell his wife what happened. He gets out, "I have something to tell you," but she cuts him off and says that she was just on the phone with her sister, who's husband has been cheating on her with a woman from work. What an excruciatingly coincidental event! "What were you going to tell me?" at which point he shoulda been like, "That's like Deja Vu (featuring Jay-Z)," but instead he goes all Beautiful Liar (featuring Shakira) and tells her she's Irreplacable and he would never do that.

44 min: Lisa quits, but Derek wants to do exactly what Stringer Bell would do-- report her to HR. Unfortunately, his last female assistant was Beyonce, so it might look bad. Apparently, temping is the new eHarmony.

46 min: Christmas morning and Beyonce's gifts appear to be a laptop cooling fan and a novelty sized nalgene.

48 min: Lisa sends Derek an email with a flirty picture of herself. It opens a whole bunch of times for some reason, and there's a tense race to close them all before Beyonce turns around and sees them. Anyone else kinda want to watch The Net, right now?

49 min: He emails Lisa to leave him alone and she replies immediately. It's supposed to be creepy, but like, she's unemployed. I take about the same response time.

50 min: "Speaking of Sharon, I told her I'd call before she puts Kyle down." I've been hearing people say this more and more and I think it's really weird to use the same language to talk about putting a child to bed and to euthanize an animal. One of these days, I'm going to have an annoying kid and my wife's going to say we should "Put our kid down," and I'll say I was thinking the same thing and then come trash day I'm gonna look like the bad guy.

51 min: How is there an hour left in this movie??

52 min: Lisa tracks Derek down during their office retreat and pours some roofies in his drink. You kind of have to admire this girl's dedication. Also, don't drink and watch Obsessed at 1 a.m. or you have thoughts like, "I don't think anyone loves me as much as Ali Larter loves Idris Elba in this movie."

53 min: Derek stumbles back to his room, falls on his bed, and the bathroom door opens. I'm hoping it's Omar, ready to pop out, gun him down, and end the movie, but it's Lisa (I promise that's the last The Wire reference-- I just finally started watching, am halfway through the second season, and am excited to be on the inside at last), lingerie-d and ready to sleep-assault. Meanwhile, I've never even been thrown a surprise party...

58 min: Every bat in the world must have empty bowels, because all the batshit on the planet is going towards this one girl's crazy. She threatens to tell "the truth" to everyone, and then OD's on pills while naked in Derek's hotel room, so she has to go to the hospital. Beyonce finds out what's been going on, doesn't believe Derek, blah blah blah...

65 min: Is it too far into the jokes to note that this is a lot like Othello?

67 min: Now that I've made an Othello reference, can I call it "Fatal Black-ttraction"?

75 min: The detective woman seems to believe Derek even though all evidence is to the contrary. Lisa has a sexy journal (the content is the description of graphic sexual liasons-- the journal itself is not unusually arousing), and is allegedly taken back to San Francisco by her sister. I knew she seemed familiar.

78 min: There's an extended How Derek Got His Groove Back montage as he tries to reconcile with Beyonce.

80 min: Hey babysitters, if you're on the job, in a rich person's house and the the doorbell rings, go ahead and ignore it. You ain't gettin' a super secret free pizza.

84 min:

Babysitter: You just missed your friend...
Beyonce: What friend?
Babysitter: You know, your friend Kate?
Beyonce: I don't know a Kate.

What?? She HAS to know a Kate. I know at least eight Kate's, and even if I didn't, I'd probably take more than one second before I ruled it out. Anyway, the moral of the story is that Lisa stole their son. Don't worry Derek, I know where your son is:

94 min: Lisa waits for Beyonce to leave, breaks into their house again, and starts going through all their stuff. Man, this girl is obsessed.

95 min: Part of me still thinks this might all be an elaborate Icing.

96 min: Beyonce comes back to the house, finds Lisa, and confronts her. Beyonce says, "You are completely delusional!" and then promptly turns her back to Lisa. They fight, and Beyonce must have had the theater audience (there had to be at least one, right?) cheering, but then decides her best move is to grab Lisa's leg and drag her, which, as all children who've wrestled know, will always lead to a kick in the face. They chase each other to the attic, Lisa falls through the ceiling, and as she plummets two stories into the WWF-style, fatefully placed coffee table, she probably thinks, "This is California, why didn't you build a raaaaaammmmblllleeeeerrrrrr!!!!"

105 min: It's been one-hundred and five painful minutes, and yet, the movie still manages to surprise me by ending ON A FREEZE FRAME FADE OUT. Classy. I guess they couldn't afford the star-wipe. Meanwhile, the Beyonce song with the lyrics, "I want to run...and smash into you..." awkwardly serenades over the credits, obvlivious of the last hour and a half. It's going to be tough for any of these people to take a worse role, but I'm all for trying to get Ali Larter to make a reality tv show entitled, "Larter Than Life." Look for it on Bravo this Fall.

I Made It the Entire Movie Without Making a "Single Ladies" Reference,

BONUS FOOTAGE: This is baffling. King Driis...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Witz Pickz: Bros Icing Bros -- A Prisoner's Dilemma

Either Smirnoff Ice has marketing geniuses or humanity is continuing it's downward spiral towards its Nicholas Cage featured doom (that's called a teaser-- 2012 commentary coming, as soon as I decide it's a good day to give up hope and watch The Road and then send it back to Netflix).

When I first heard of "Bros Icing Bros," I assumed it was from some stupid commercial where one dude cockblocked another dude via a cold beer. When one of my roommates heard of it, she assumed it was footage of one guy pouring a cooler of ice over another guy. Unfortunately for the future of our planet, bros icing bros is a game involving bottles of Smirnoff Ice.

One guy presents a bottle of Smirnoff Ice to another guy, either by handing it to him or through some trickery. The game is played primarily by frat guys, Ed Hardy aficionados, and the general douchebaggy circuit, so I'm going to make this explanation sound as sexual as possible. The receiving bro proceeds to get down on one knee and pounds out the Smirnoff Ice. HOWEVER, if the receiving bro already has a Smirnoff Ice on his person, then the giver BECOMES the receiver and takes both ices while everyone else watches.

Video: Hipsters, "Baker," "vom," and is that the dude from Gossip Girl?

Now, I'm not going to say that bros icing bros isn't stupid, but let's take pause and consider the other games I've played or seen played:

The Ball Game: Not a drinking game, the ball game was played by friends of mine and meant that at any point, you could yell "Game On" and throw a ball at someone's crotch.

Two-Liter: Actually really fun, two liter was played in college and entailed filling a two-liter bottle partially with water and throwing it at someone ten or so feet away. The person has their back turned and is graciously allowed to cover their head with one hand and a kidney of their choice with the other. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Edward Forty Hands: You know exactly what this is. Two forties, two hands, duct tape. Have fun trying to pee.

One, Two, Three, Drink!: Introduced to me by long-time Witz Pickz supporter C-Murder, this game is exactly what it sounds like. Someone says "One, two, three, drink!" and you do. "Oh, the places you'll go..."

With these games in mind, Bros Icing Bros at least contains the psychological and social issue of The Prisoner's Dilemma. You see, you have no reason to assume you are going to get iced. By buying a Smirnoff Ice, you protect yourself against attack, but you also have to a) purchase a Smirnoff Ice and b) possess a Smirnoff Ice. If nothing happens, you're just a dude with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice. On the other hand, if you don't get the Ice, you're susceptible to an Ice assault, devoid of defenses. At the same time, if you buy an Ice to Ice someone (presumably a bro), you have no way of knowing whether they also intended on icing you, and thereby posess an Ice, too. Is it safer to get an Ice (mutually assured destruction) or leave yourself defenseless (disarmament). That's a lot more complicated than chucking a half filled soda bottle at some guy's ass (but not nearly as amusing).

The website was shutdown by Smirnoff, but that doesn't mean they had nothing to do with its creation. At the same time, this is absolutely something people would make up, so I don't know what to think. No matter which it is, Smirnoff Ice wins; and, as Aliens vs. Predators told us, no matter who wins, we lose.

In College In Maine, We Absolutely Would Have Used Beast Ice Instead of Smirnoff...and I'm Odddly Proud of That,

P.S. The ultimate "icing" would have to be to ice someone while "ghost riding your whip," right?? Could anything top a drive-by ghost-ride-icing? (see also: how Witz dies)

Bros Icing Bros College Humor Video: