Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Witz Flix: Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps

(I love Shia's expression in this poster. Even he's not sure why he's making this movie.)

It's 5pm, I'm back home for the holidays, and I have exactly four hours to watch Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps before it is no longer available ondemand. You see, at 9pm last night, my parents paid money to watch this movie, and by all accounts, it was a disaster. So, how can I resist?

1 min: The movie opens with Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) getting out of jail and retrieving his belongings. He has a gold watch, an empty money clip and a huge old Zack Morris phone. Ironically, he was the one given a 20 year "time-out."

2 min: Oh, thank god, Shia The Beef is narrating. I guess Morgan Freeman was all booked up.

3 min: We cut to "7 Years Later," 2008. Opening sequence...I don't think it's ever too early to talk about the subtitle, "Money Never Sleeps." For a split second, it sounds acceptable, but then a little synapse pops and suddenly your head aches because it's SO FUCKING STUPID. Money never sleeps? Ohhhh, that's probably just because IT'S MONEY. You might as well call it: "Wall Street II: Cats Don't Play Jenga."

(or do they?)

5 min: Shia's in bed with Carrie Mulligan who is best known for creepily banging Peter Sarsgard (is there any other way) in An Education. She's Gordon's daughter. He's a preternaturally business-minded prodigy who's making an assload of cash. Like, Season Premier of The Biggest Loser assload.

6 min: David Byrne and Brian Eno did the soundtrack for Wall Street 2?? I can't imagine actively acquiring the Wall Street II Soundtrack.

8 min: It's definitely a problem that Wall Street: Money Rarely Naps can't exist without being compared to the original Wall Street because Shia's like a more hateable Charlie Sheen.

17 min: Shia owns and has been pushing a stock that's plummeting, but he refuses to give up on it. I know JUST how he feels-- I had to hang tough while my TWO shares of Chipotle stock plummeted from 130 to 70 a share. But look at it now: 230! All people are doing is eating burritos and playing on their iPads.

(Warning: Do not eat a burrito and then try dancing)

21 min: Josh Brolin's in this movie?? Was he NOT in a movie this past year?

23 min: I can't believe I'm having trouble understanding what's going on in Wall Street II: Money Stay-cations. Thanks a lot, creative writing degree.

27 min: Shia's investment firm had to be bailed out by the government after an extremely devestating week. They show his boss, who was rich, but is now broke, going into a subway station. "Oh, I see, they're showing how he has to take the subway now instead of a taxi because he's broke," I think. He has a confused expression on his face. "Oh, I see, it's been a while since he used the subway." He then charges forward and hops in front of the train. "Wow, it's been a REALLY long time since he's used the subway! He's really bad at it!" I think, and then realize he was committing suicide. Seriously guy, thanks for making everyone late. It's not like the 6 train is a hoot regularly.

29 min: Shia's now broke and getting married to Carrie Do-over. He goes to watch Gordon Gecko give a talk. Apparently, Gordon spent the last eight years in prison honing his financial humor. It's like going to see Bill Gates and hearing him open with, "More like 'Crapple,' am I right?"

38 min: "Oh, Money's a She, alright. She lies there at night, looking at you-- one eye open. Money's a bitch that never sleeps. And she's jealous and if you don't pay close, close attention, she might be gone forever." A few things here: 1) doesn't sleep, but still only keeps one eye open? That seems unnecessary, except that 2) If money doesn't sleep for 72 hours, it's legally insane. 3) Someone needs to tell Gordon Gecko about a savings account.

40 min: Shia is taking beef (see what I did there?) with whoever started the rumor which led to his mentor's downfall. He thinks it was Josh Brolin, so he's plotting revenge by causing a crash on one of Brolin's companies...or something like that. It sorta works and Josh Brolin offers him a job and he accepts so he can get closer to him.

46 min: Susan Sarandon is Shia's mom. Which I think means that Bull Durham is his father...

55 min: I wish Shia could TRANSFORM this movie into less of a piece of shit...

67 min: Shia's pushing this fusion energy company to some Chinese investors. He explains how the technology works, and, as far as I can tell, it's exactly the same as the Keanu Reeves/Morgan Freeman classic, "Chain Reaction." If I had to explain fusion technology I'd be like, "You push a button and the razor shakes."

71 min: BOOM!!! CHARLIE SHEEN CAMEO! I gotta be honest, it's all I've been hoping for since the movie started. And I'll tell ya, it's suuuper depressing. "Bud Fox" may have done the right thing in Wall Street, but he still looks like he's been arrested for numerous coked up incidents with prostitutes ever since.

74 min: "So easy even a cave man can do it, huh?" Gordon jokes about getting rich. Are they really referencing the Geiko Gecko? Not even Peter Dinklage could limbo under the bar Oliver Stone has set for this movie.

78 min: Carrie Mulligan always looks like she just farted and nobody else knows it yet:

85 min: The big stock market collapse happens, and we see a meeting with Josh Brolin and the feds discussing the bailout. "It's an economic Pearl Harbor," one commentator says, and I can't agree more. This movie is just as bad as the movie Pearl Harbor only it's about money.

86 min: Every time Oliver Stone is about to make a movie, he should stop and ask himself 1) Would this movie be better if Aaron Sorkin made it and 2) What if I just played Call of Duty instead?

90 min: I don't know how money does it-- I am exhausted!

98 min: Apparently, Carrie has 100 million in a Swiss bank that Shia didn't know about. Gordon wants him to have her sign the account over to Shia so Gordon can launder the money into the States for them. What do you think, is it a good idea, Mr. Peepers?:

105 min: As a character in a better movie said: "You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is, 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia.'" Instead of laundering the money and giving it to the fusion company like Shia expected, Gordon takes the money and runs, like everyone watching expected. Shia tells Carrie what happened and that he was hanging out with Gordon behind her back and lied to her so she kicks him out. Gordon starts a new investment firm in London. The most frustrating part is that I can't seem to find any sharp objects in this room to stab my eyes out with.

109 min: Easily the worst line I've heard in a long time. "Right now it is ugly times ugly-- and that's when the ugly get going." Yowzah. Who let Sling Blade edit the script? That line reads like the world's least creative madlib.

113: "See that's what you never got kid. It's not about the money, it's about the game. By which I mean the movie The Game, a vastly superior film to this movie, which makes G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra look like a work of cinematic brilliance."

118 min: Shia writes a story about how Josh Brolin and his firm did bad stuff-- honestly, I don't need to be more specific. Josh Brolin gets in trouble, but doesn't care, because he's starring in the remake of True Grit.

125 min: <---- THAT'S ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES OF MY LIFE: Gordon displays a moment of humanity and gives 100 million to the fusion company to make amends with Shia and Carrie. He wants to be a part of her life someday since she's having a baby (you can sell American babies for good money). Shia and Carrie get back together. Roll Credits. Fuck my life.

Sadly, no matter how many jokes I make about this movie, Life still has better comedic timing. Right after I finished watching, I flipped back to regular cable and saw this commercial, "What do you buy the guy who has everything? Wall Street II: Deluxe Edition. The Ultimate Gift." I imagine that if I bought Wall Street 2 for "The man who has everything," that man would open it and say, "The reason I have EVERYTHING ELSE and not Wall Street 2 is that it's fucking Wall Street 2. I'd have everything if I wanted it.

Wall Street 3: Money Spaces Out For a While,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Witz Pickz: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repealed - The Implementation in Three Phases

The restrictive military policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was officially repealed this morning. We are told, however, that the change will not be immediate and may take up to several months to implement. In fact, the Pentagon has an 87-page implementation plan for over the next few weeks. I assume the plan is as follows:

Phase 1: Don’t Ask, Just Hint

A classic example of policy lagging behind practice, this step eliminates the legal grey area. While you still can’t ask someone if they are a homosexual or not, you are now legally allowed to hint that you might be. For example, men: Try saying things like, “You smell great today!” or, “You make beige look fashionable.” Maybe listen to Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift so that others can hear. You are also now free to tell another man that, “You have a pretty face,” memorize and perform a Justin Bieber dance in the shower, or say you, “Feel so bad for Britney,” as long as you laugh mightily afterward. As phase one progresses, after giving another soldier a congratulatory ass-slap, feel free to throw in a wink.

For the female enlistees, we recommend the same type of hinting. Tell another female that you really like her military haircut or let it be known that you had that haircut long before you enlisted. Start listening to The Cranberries whenever possible. Say things like, “I’m no military scientist, but I’ve always enjoyed experimenting,” or simply, “I think guns are awesome, but I also love the WNBA.” (Note: While it might seem counterintuitive, gay men should not use this line; loving the WNBA does not mean you’re gay, it means you’re a middle-aged white man).

Phase 2: Keep Hinting, Vaguely Inquire

The most crucial of the phases, it is imperative that while you keep hinting and begin to express curiosity in others, you do not simply put someone on the spot regarding their sexuality. Now, we understand that our military has its well-established culture that is proven to create bonding in the ranks, so we are by no means asking that you stop casually throwing around hateful slang like, “fag, dyke, or queer.” We’re simply saying that you should not add, “Are you a,” before them quite yet.

If you feel the need to ask if someone is a homosexual, ask peripheral questions instead, such as, “Hey, did you guys get the latest issue of Details?”, “Anyone want to go watch Charlie St. Cloud with that charming Zac Efron with me?” or, “How great is Dr. Phil?” While it might seem subtle, asking, “Would you have sex with Penelope Cruz even though you’re a female? Like for reals??” is still not allowed during Phase 2.

While these vague inquiries are now acceptable, we would continue to urge our gay military men and women to simply use their built in Gay-dar. For you heterosexual personnel, a military grade Gay-dar app is now available for your smartphones—OR, simply look around for someone playing “Angry Birds.” While the aforementioned strategies of deduction are now legal, we continue to urge subtlety. Remember: sometimes you don’t need to ask, you can just tell.

Phase 3: Fine-- Ask, Go ahead and Tell

As this phase begins, you will officially and legally be allowed to ask about another soldier’s sexuality and be open about your own. No more forced lying or secret-keeping and no more restrictive legal reprimands when it comes to your sexual orientation. So, go ahead, tell other people that you’re gay if that’s what you want to do. And hell, fine, ask someone about their sexual orientation if you must. As long as you fine men and women of our military continue to serve America and make us proud, we legally no longer care if you are heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual (at least until a heavily Republican Congress votes to pass a new bill). God Bless America.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Witz Flix: Charlie St. Cloud

I know I promised Sex and the City 2 next, but the Netflix gods have delivered me Charlie St. Cloud and I'm considering that a holiday miracle. All I know about Charlie St. Cloud is that it's based on a book, it stars the charming and phonetically spelled Zac Efron, and it's about a boy who's brother dies, but the dead brother is really selfish about it. Let's jump in:

If you don't understand I'm going to spoil the plot twists for you, then you haven't been paying attention:

1 min: Oh boy. If you heart sailing and brotherly love, you're gonna shit yourself at this opening scene. Charlie and his younger brother, Sam, are in a sailboat race. The two sail to victory, fueled only by the wind, the sails, and the shine in Zac Efron's eyes.

("A schooner IS a sailboat!")

3 min: I don't see why he feels the need to abbreviate. Charlie Street Cloud is a great name.

5 min: Charlie's supposed to go to Stanford, but he's considering taking a year to earn some money for his family first. Ugh. I can't believe this is going to be ANOTHER movie about poor people who love sailing and go to Stanford. "You got in for fall, you go in the fall. You can't put life on hold, Charlie," his single-mom, Kim Bassinger, says. Meanwhile, the word "defer" sulks in the corner.

6 min: Cut to Charlie's high school graduation. Apparently, he's kind of a big deal. Wait, does this make Zac Efron 17 Again, AGAIN?

8 min: Charlie promises to spend 1 hour every day before he leaves for Stanford teaching Sam how to play baseball better. His mom rushes off for an extra night shift as an RN. Zac Efron sneaks out of the house. These are like the ABC's of how to make sure your sibling dies unexpectedly.

12 min: Sam catches Charlie leaving and asks him to get dropped off at a friend's house to finish watching the Sox game. They are waiting to make a left when the car behind them smashes into the bumper, sending them twisting forward. A truck coming from the other direction then lays on the horn. When simply honking for a long time doesn't work, the truck slams into the passenger side of the car. It was kinda like this:

13 min: Ray Liotta manages to zap Charlie back to life, but Sam's dead, which sucks for Charlie and his mom, but is huge for the movie having a major turning point.

15 min: Charlie thinks he sees Sam at the funeral and refuses to throw the baseball glove into the grave. He runs off into the woods where he sees his brother again. They talk and agree to meet every day to practice like Charlie promised. Man, the sequel to Ghost Dad is DARK.

17 min: "5 Years Later." Sam's headstone reads, "Taken too young. Alive in our hearts forever." So...he's got that goin' for him...

19 min: Oh, please. Charlie works maintenance at the cemetery which is like letting Barry Bonds work at a pharmacy.

24 min: I don't know how else to put this: Charlie sees dead people. And then he talks to them.

26 min: Charlie heads off into the woods and has a catch with Sam's Ghost, which is all well and crazy except I want to see how it's happening in real life. Is he chucking the ball and then walking over to get it? Does he have a sack of balls that he's just throwing into the bushes? This is like a really low-budget Field of Dreams.

("His name is Sam and I love him very much...")

29 min: Charlie runs into Ray Liotta again, the paramedic who saved his life.

Ray: Wanna grab a cup of coffee? Catch up?
Charlie: Oh, I can't man, I gotta go back to work...
(read: "Oh, I can't man, that's creepy as shit.")

The two go to get coffee:

Charlie: You're sick.
Ray: Yeah...I got the Big C...

Seems like a weird time to brag about your penis size, but-- OHHHHHHH! THAT C. Well, that's just much worse, isn't it?

32 min:
Ray: God gave you a second chance. God doesn't just show off-- there has to be a reason. Don't squander this gift you've been given!

WAIT, second chance-- does that mean that Zac Efron was 17 Again, Again, AGAIN!? And since when doesn't God show off? What about Mt. Everest, and Double Rainbows, and Salma Hayek?

36 min: There's exactly one black guy in this movie, and he's a rich douchebag. "Hey, didn't you used to be Charlie St. Cloud?" He mocks, and then, when Charlie won't take a shot of something he says, "Relax. It's not like you're in high demand as a designated driver." Charlie punches him in the face, which is finally a victory for poor white kids over rich black kids everywhere...

38 min: Charlie goes down to the boats and sees The Girl, Tess. Apparently, his reason for getting a second chance at life is to hookup with the girl from Sex Drive. Wait, you guys didn't see Sex Drive? Seth Green's finest role. Anyway, The Girl is going on a race around the world.

44 min: Seriously, though, why does Zac Efron spell his name like a vanity license plate? Zack Ephron or Zak Effron-- those are the choices.

52 min:
Charlie: According to Sammy, our father played for the Red Sox.
Tess: Did he?
Charlie: No! He tried out for the triple A team in Pawtucket. That's the last we saw of him...

And that man's name was Wade Boggs.

55 min: Charlie has Tess over for dinner and just goes for it, kissing her up against the wall. She says she can't because she's leaving soon for her big around the world race and leaves. Then, she knocks on the door and says, "Come find me!" and runs off into the graveyard, you know, like people do. He finds her and they bang in the cemetary?? This whole movie would be way cooler if they had gotten Trent Reznor do the soundtrack.

62 min:
Charlie: The more I'm in your world, the less I can be in his.
Tess: Charlie, at some point, we all have to let go.

Sam's Ghost has to be the cock-blocking-est ghost of all time. Although, I could totally see Casper always showing up at the worst possible time and being all, "Hey, what are you guys up to?" There's a line between "friendly" and "highly intrusive."

66 min: Whaaaat? Check this potentially illogical twist out: Tess's boat went missing three days ago, so alllll the time she's spent with Charlie has been as a ghost. Which raises numerous questions, the most important of which being, "Who or what did Charlie St. Cloud bone in the graveyard???"

68 min: "Why are you the only one who can see me, Charlie?" The only way to answer that is, "Have you seen The Sixth Sense? I'm like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense." Oh, shit! Spoiler Alert! Does anyone NOT know about the ending to The Sixth Sense at this point? If you don't, I'd also like to let you know that Kevin Spacey IS Keyser Söze!

70 min: Why wasn't Zac Efron Spiderman? He's like Tobey Maguire, if Tobey Maguire had charisma, a personality, and a body that could process gluten. I know Zac was in all the High School Musical movies, but he was also in an episode of Firefly, so he deserves SOME cool credit.

80 min: Charlie goes to search for Tess and her sailboat and isn't able to meet Sam in the woods. Sam waits for him and then walks away from the clearing and disappears into the light. Ease his pain, Charlie.

82 min: They find Tess's boat. Charlie dives into the water to find her. He almost drowns, whacks his head on a rock, and then stumbles onto a small rock cropping where he finds her body. He opens her clothes and moves against her. It's probably to provide warmth ala Ben Affleck and that old guy in The Voyage of the Mimi, but after that whole graveyard ghost-sex fiasco, it's a bit awkward:

Charlie: (taking off her clothes) Five minute rule!
Coast Guard: Sir, she's been dead for seventy-two hours.
Charlie: Alright, fine then, SEVENTY-TWO HOUR rule.

89 min: Tess survives, Charlie survives, and Charlie buys a boat to sail around the world, but the movie still ends like an advertisement for suicide:

Charlie: Sorry I had to break our deal.
Sam: It was time. I mean, it's beyond anything we ever imagined, Charlie!
Charlie: I hurt as bad as the day you died.
Sam: You hurt because you're alive.

"Suicide: Way Better."

93 min: And Roll Credits; on the movie, on your life, whatever. If we learned one thing here today, it's not that we must make the most of the time we have on this planet, it's that if you're very good-looking, you can be batshit crazy and not only will girls not care, but you'll get to bang ghosts, too.

Weirdest High School Musical Yet,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Witz Pickz: Catching Up

Has it been a month already?? Whew! Time flies when you have crippling writer's block. Here's a rundown of what's gone on since I last posted:

We kept things simple this year-- my parents, my sister, and my grandma. It was much like any other family meal only this time, it was as if my mom asked, "Hey, for dinner tonight, I was thinking we could have 14 different things, how do you feel about that?"

"Can we all feel like we're gonna die afterward?"
"You bet."
"Well, then that sounds great. What's for dessert?"
"I was thinking pumpkin pie. And cheesecake."
"That sounds reasonable."
"Also, I was thinking we could have the same foods for the next five meals..."
"...I like it-- it's what I imagine homeless people would do if they finally got wealthy."

We then went and did exactly what the Pilgrims did after the first Thanksgiving-- we watched Avatar. That movie might be exactly like Ferngully and tell the most obvious, redundant lesson of all time, but I didn't get bored and the graphics WERE stunning. I could have done without the gross, maggot looking tail hook-up to achieve, ahem, "connection" with nature, but whatever. Oh, and I know I'm way behind on this one, but "unobtainium?" Shut your silly, CGI face. James Cameron definitely forgot to go back and "Find/Replace." Still, the best part was after watching the movie for three hours, we asked my Grandma what she thought. "Oh, I realllly liked it! Why was it called Avatar, though?"

So, what did I learn this Thanksgiving? That apparently, I'm the guy who, after eating a huge Thanksgiving meal at 4pm, looks around at 11pm and says, "I need dinner."

Black Friday:
My mom teaches English in an allegedly reputable middle school. Her student:

"Why do they call it 'Black Friday?' Shouldn't they call it 'African-American Friday?'"

It wasn't a joke. This is why we're all gonna die. As for myself, I spent African-American Friday doing a little shopping-- not so much because I needed anything, but because I like to remember how horrific humanity can be. "Now that we're all well fed from Thanksgiving, let's go trample each other so we can get a red Wii and fake bowl."

I hit up Best Buy because, "I can get things I ordinarily wouldn't have spent ANY money on for 45% off!!" and then went to Old Navy. With all the options out there and with limited time to shop, going to Old Navy on Black Friday really makes you stop and take a good look at yourself. Their pants are ordinarily, like, 30 bucks. Their shirts are maybe 20 bucks, and everything else tends to clock in around 10. I'm not saying it's shitty stuff, and I own more Old Navy than I'd like to divulge, but it's kind of like shopping The Salvation Army on yellow tag day. As I stood there, staring at the extremely long line, holding a 3 dollar ringer-tee (marked down from 6!) and a pair of 2 dollar boxers (marked down from 4!!), it suddenly struck me that I must have something more important to do. I put down the clothes and walked out to my car. I hopped in, started the engine, pulled out with purpose, took a deep breath of crisp New England air, and that's when it struck me: I had absolutely nothing more important to do. So, I went to Kohl's. Don't judge me.

I might not go to synogogue, I haven't been to a Passover seder in at least five years, and it may have felt weird and uncomfortable to wear a yarmulke* at my friend's wedding recently, but I spell "Chanukkah" with a "C" and two "K's" so BACK OFF, I'M JEWISH. I had told my girlfriend that for Chanukkah, we usually got seven crappy gifts and then one good gift on the last night, so, when we celebrated on the second night, she gave me a stick of Burt's Bees lip balm and a bar of chocolate. "Because you said you get crappy gifts for Chanukkah!" she explained sheepishly. The next day my sister IMed me: "For Chanukkah last night, Mom gave me a bag of chocolates and some chapstick." Amazing. Somebody owes somebody a coke.

Ironically, while the oil may have lasted eight days longer than those old men originally anticipated, our box of Chanukkah candles ran out with two days left.

*(A "ya-ma-ka" for those of you who immediately thought, "What the shit is a Yar-mul-kle!?")

Quotes-- I couldn't rob you of these gems:

"Here's a good call from Netflix: based on my interest in 30 Rock and The Office, they suggest....Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State. Second time they've suggested it. It goes: SNL, South Park, Auschwitz, Reno 911." -My Sister


"And to put that in perspective of how retarded I was at that age, that was the same time period when I read The Giver and it changed my fucking world. I remember being up at midnight, and I walked into my parents' bedroom and I said, 'Mom. I need to change my Life!!'...And then she asked if I wanted to play video games and I said yes, of course I did. I had the chance to make something of myself, and instead, I played the Blade Runner computer game. It was four discs and I never even got out of the apartment. Ya know what the worst part is? I hadn't even seen the movie! So, I had absolutely no context for this game!" -The Brilliant A.T.

All I Want For Christmas Is My Ability to Write Back...or Gran Turismo 5,