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: do you feel about minorities?
JULIET: Hate them!

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 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.

Longest. Travelocity commercial. Ever.

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,