Friday, October 25, 2013

When The Music Hits Me, I Feel No Pain At All...

My weeks at work kind of drag, besides that Monday speeds by the rest of the work week crawls, it just slows to "no wake" zone speed which can get tedious so to pump myself pass the time quicker I've started coming up with themes for listening on my iPod.
The first day, Wednesday I started with touchstone albums from my early 20's( 21-25) that happened to be very Victory Records, "Strong Island" era heavy . Taking Back Sunday's "Tell All Your Friends", then Alkaline Trio's "Remains" but only the first half which is comprised of alot of b-sides and song  that were on various compilations which had two of my favorite ALK3 songs, "Queen Of Pain" and "Hell Yes".
Then I bounced back to Brand New's "Your Favorite Weapon" then Against Me!'s "As The Eternal Cowboy". Both Brand New and Against Me! had me singing along out loud and my co-workers probably wished I wasn't. Of course I had to jam to Motion City Soundtrack's "I Am The Movie" which again I couldn't help randomly busting out lyrics slightly off time. I think by the time I finished that album it was near my lunch break and end of the day so I had time for Saves The Day's "Stay What You Are". It was a nice way to end a pretty otherwise shitty day thanks to being struck down with vehicle troubles. That kept me from being able to go into work on Thursday.
Today I took the theme of "essentials/influential". Not really essential or influential to everyone just that had an effect on me and my evolving listening tastes. I cannot remember every album I went through but here are the few I do remember, in I believe as close to listening order as I took them:
Rancid's "Let's Go"
The Clash's "London Calling"
Dead Kennedy's "Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables"
Deftones "Around The Fur"
GlassJaw's "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence"
The Get Up Kids' "On A Wire"
Bright Eyes "Lifted or The Story Is In The Soil So Keep Your Ear To The Ground"
Modest Mouse "Good News For People Who Love Bad News"
and then the last one for the day was Good Clean Fun's "Positively Positive"
Nice way to round out a Friday I think.
So I think I'm going to make this a regular thing. No playlists just browse my albums and see what theme I want to go for.

On another front, after a lot of good advice I have decided to do this Whole 30 diet thing starting November 1st. Now if any of you know me at all, probably haven't seen me eat a vegetable besides maybe a few carrots or mashed potatoes and also watched me eat copious amounts of pizza. My stomach issues have been a yo-yo for a long, long time now and as stupidly obvious as it is, I'm going to try and cold turkey all the shit food I tend to eat.
My regular diet of shit food has been a finely tuned selection of food that for some reason do not make me piss out my ass constantly. Not to say it doesn't happen with these meals, I had just got it to a minimum. Well that doesn't seem to be working anymore so after a chat with a friend I'm going natural.
I've done most of the hard parts already, quit drinking, no smoking, no red meat, no caffeine. Those usually the biggies but the only nook I cannot seem to clean out is sugar. I have an overpowering sweet tooth. It's pretty obscene. So essentially what I am doing is paring down anything with additives, sugars, things with very long hard to pronounce words on their ingredient list.
I will be surviving for the month of November on a diet of chicken, eggs, spinach, carrots, various fruits and some other vegetables that I may be bold enough to try. Oh, no dairy either.  Very tough for a Wisco boy to do but damn it I'm gonna go for it. I quit smoking cold turkey so hells bells, I can do this.
I have been ramping up very slowly towards November like the other day I ate an entire bowl of spinach and carrots without any dressing or cheese. Just a side of pan seared chicken and a vitamin water. Those V.W.'s will be missed but they are just sugar water basically so they are out. Regular water or water with lemon will be the replacement. Possibly peppermint tea, I am not sure if that is allowed yet.
I've tried cutting all of these things out over the years one at a time and never got any positive results but I honestly never thought about ( because I'm kind of thick and anxiety ridden when it comes to food) kicking it all at once. The Whole 30 thing is to give your intestinal and stomach lining a breather so it isn't alway being inflamed and irritated, thus heal itself. If this works and makes and vast improvements then I'll try as hard as I can to keep going.
Also to clarify this is not a diet that I am intending for weight loss purposes, I'm boney enough as is, this is just to de-toxify my digestive system and see if my health issues improve. I'll keep tabs now and again on here I'm sure as I dream of Culver's frozen custard or a Twix bar.

Another big development is Lucia is finally potty training. I'm not going to go all proud parent overboard but it's a big step and one I'm glad is coming sooner rather than later. It's always good to not have to buy diapers and wipes and all that jazz. Its' rather interesting though that I am starting to see my little girl as an actual real person, not just a baby. Her amount of independence and quick wit for a 2 1/2 year old really astounds me. I didn't think I'd be seeing or hearing some of these things she does at this age, I figured she wouldn't be very entertaining until at least 4. Not to say she doesn't throw fits of immense rage over the tiniest of problems but she is getting better. I'm sure it has to do that we are pretty hard on her to behave. Last thing we want is a problem child, one of those little dictators that you have to bend your will at everything for. So yeah thats a thing now.

Lastly I have to recommend to anyone and everyone who owns a Blu-ray player to watch Pacific Rim. I could watch that movie on loop. Its' so pretty, and there are giant fighting man powered robots and massive monsters coming out of the ocean to destroy everything. Great execution, visually and script wise. I think casting was nearly flawless. Seeing Owen from Torchwood cast in this movie was a geek out moment for me then Ron Pearlman shows up and is pretty great. This movie is just fucking fantastic. I shouldn't hype it too much or it's bound to let down. That's what happens to me with most movies that people LOOOOOOVVVEEEE, Sixth Sense for instance, everyone raved about, told me I must see it, I missed it in theaters then my girlfriend at the time rented it for me and I guessed the twist in the first 12 minutes and she got so mad at me. And the movie itself was less than spectacular. So take what I say with a grain of salt, but really, just watch the damn movie.

OK kiddos, I got roped into working a few hours tomorrow morning so I've got some horror movies to viddie before I pass off to dreamland for a scant few hours.
Alright well, don't bump your ass to hard when you hop along now. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

World War Z Is Basically A Bag Of Dicks (spoilers inside)

The only time I have ever been this foaming at the mouth angry after a movie was the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween. But tonight World War Z topped that level of distain.

I should tell you that I have read the book by Max Brooks multiple times as well as listened to the book on tape which is far superior to the movie. World War Z of the book was an oral history that has been written 10 years after the "Zombie Wars". It takes place all over the globe and is very sociopolitical and so dense with detail and personal accounts of the spread of the virus, if I remember correctly it was called Solarium or something close to that. The virus reanimates the brain's basic function,the brain lives enough to control the body and instinctually knows to find food but no blood pumping and the rest of body functions.

The movie however is about Brad Pitt and family. Pitt is an ex UN investigator called back into duty after escaping Philadelphia and then finding their way through Newark, NJ. From there he is sent to investigate what is going on. Pitt's character is made up to be fucking Superman, he survives EVERYTHING thrown at him. He is like fucking NEO from the Matrix minus the computers.
He goes to Israel where they build a massive wall to keep zombies out while getting refugees into the safe zone. They had been fortified for over a week prior to the outbreak.  Within hours of Pitt getting into Jerusalem, a massive sing along starts which attracts all the zombies to one part of the wall and the climb over each other until some reach the top and then it's fucking bedlam. He barely escapes on a Belarus Airplane. Infected is on the plane so he blows a goddamn hole in the hull and  buckles up for the crash.
He and a woman soldier survive MIRACULOUSLY! and make it to the nearest W.H.O. This is where he gets to test out a theory he came up with. That is that zombies ignore people who are terminally sick. The virus needs a healthy host. Sure enough it works to camouflage him from zombies noticing him.
One man CAN make a difference. And then the sentimental bullshit that he reunites with his family in a refugee camp in Nova Scotia. Total fucking waste.

My problems with the movie first and foremost is the only thing really in common with the book and the movie is the title. I hope Max Brooks made some fat cash on selling Brad Pitt's
production company two words and one letter. I know "movies are never as good as the book". For the most part I subscribe to that way of thinking going into movies based on books but this was a bridge too far. It fucking sucked.

Problems with the movie:
*the zombies or infected since they aren't DEAD dead, are like fucking cheetahs. They're leaping and attacking is fast, furious and very much animalistic. Classic post-Night of The Living Dead zombies are slow and are more a swarm that overwhelms or surprises its victim. These movie zombies which are freshly dead as this outbreak takes place within a few days span when it goes worldwide BUT, most of them when you actually get to see one is already in an advanced state of decomposing. The book has the slow hive-like zombies.
*The movie zombies were basically rip offs of the Jurassic Park velociraptors. Nearly same sounds to call others, hunted nearly the same. It was fucking stupid.
*The one man on a mission spin on the script was fucking terrible, it could have been Bruce Willis doing Die Hard 6 with zombies the way they made Brad Pitt nearly bulletproof.
*The sentimental crap of calling his wife and her calling at the precise time Pitt was on a mission that required absolute silence.
 *The Philly scene had many many shots ripped off from the beginning of the Dawn of The Dead remake.
*Zombies have superhuman strengths, they should be dead(ish) and maybe can run the first day or two but then ligaments would break down leaving them shuffling or crawling.
* The shaky camera work when the attacks took place. You see almost no blood and guts throughout almost the entire movie. I can concede that when they did close up on the zombies later in the film the make up department earned their money.
* So much wasted source material

I have never written a script but if I were going to set the guidelines for adapting the book of World War Z which horror hounds were nearly blowing their loads hearing the news it was becoming a movie, I would do my best to do the book justice.

My version:
First it needed to be a trilogy from the start, filmed all at the same time much like Lord of the Rings was. Then stagger the release for each film.

* FIRST FILM would begin with a disclaimer reading that this was the stories of survivors of the Z Wars unchanged from their own accounts of events. How the movie(s) serve as a reminder to the future how quickly things can breakdown.
*Sparingly voiceovers of whoever was telling their part of the story would fade in and out.
*Then before the full credits and title card with the Patient Zero and his victims are being checked by a doctor in China mountain area where he makes a call to a friend in the Government who sweep in and thats when the title card splashes the screen.
* The first part of the movie will be about the "Great Denial" no one knew what was really happening and that caused massive spreading.
* We would get quick glimpses of survivor stories that would actually be fleshed out in the following movies. The mayhem all over the world shown in snippets.
* The second half of the movie would be the military's ramp up to the Battle of Yonkers, where they had conventional weapons, the helmet cams,  how they were dug in trenches on the streets as the hordes made their way toward the soldier's position and how the weaponry and tactics absolutely failed.
*End the first movie with a massacre on the streets of Yonkers.
* SECOND FILM would open on the bodyguard who was working the celeb reality apartment in New York. Where it was fortified and stocked, all the celebs acting like complete dicks while the entire apartment was being broadcast live 24/7. It gets attacked by people looking for safety and all hell breaks loose.
* this leads right into the stories of The Great Panic, maybe a bit about the ship graveyards on the shores of India, Americans fleeing to Cuba and their internment camps, the girl whose family fled north above the freeze line, show how America was split by the zombie hordes
* The Reddecker plan being explained and implemented in certain countries
* The end of film two is again the military gearing up for another battle this time in the desert, showing the robotic precision to take down a million zombies over the course of a night, show the new weaponry (the LOBO, S.I.R. and the P.I.E rounds), the zombies slowly climbing up the mountain of corpses on all sides. Show the platoon encircled by the wall of dead zombies and getting bulldozed out. A huge victory to end film two
*FINAL MOVIE would be about the sweep across America that lasted months going from west to east clearing all the zombies they come across.
* Quislings, L.M.O.E.'s and the feral children the sweep comes across.
* We can hear from the VP and Israelis about how they dealt with the zombies and the war effort to eradicate them.
* Late middle of the movie is the march on New York taking that back and then a shot from across the river after Victory day was declared
* Last film ends with Todd Wainio a soldier from all three battles 10 years later talking about how the world will never be totally safe from zombies as they pop up out of lakes, the ice, the oceans every know and again but the world has adjusted. Maybe a quick mention that Greenland is one of the last countries to still be dealing actively with zombie eradication.
* Fades to black and then a picture of each person who contributed their stories and a small blurb under each one about them, where they were, who they lost to the zombie outbreak, stuff like that.

Now that would do the book and its fan some real fucking justice. Yes, it would be expensive overall but cut way back on using CGI like this movie did and go with conventional make up and practical special effects and that would keep costs down.
I was seething while watching this trash bucket of an excuse for a zombie movie.
I hate it with all my heart for the potential that was gutted and wasted from such a dense and engaging book to come up with this booger collection of a movie.
FUCK YOU BRAD PITT, FUCK YOU MARK FORSTER, you screwed the pooch on this abortion of an attempt. to adapt a great modern piece of literature
I really do wonder how much money Max Brooks made off that title. The studio sure as shit didn't pay him for the content of his book.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bye Bye Baby Blue...

So after the finale I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I haven't read any of the other reactions to end of Breaking Bad besides where someone said the Badfinger song "Baby Blue" that came on over the last scene was laughable. And I took issue with that. And that got me started and here's my take after seeing the final episode only once but I have watched the rest of the season once or twice. This is my scatterbrained theory on Breaking Bad as a series as well as the finale culled from notes I scribbled down while at work.
First I have a theory that Walter White's cancer never went away and he knew it the whole time.
The series takes place in just over a year seeing as how Walt found out about his cancer during the school year and it is mentioned a couple of times through the last season how he amassed $80,000,000 in a year( though he was robbed of nearly 70 million of it.) Then when he returns from hiding it is winter time, supports the one year span of the series.

At first Walter was cooking as a way to cover health costs and have his family provided for but once he realizes the cancer isn't going away it becomes about him what he leaves behind when the cancer takes him, about cementing his legacy. His legacy as Heisenberg with the wanted posters that look just like him with glasses and a hat. Almost reminds me of Superman hiding his true identity behind a pair of glasses. Throughout the series he randomly dons the hat which I was always taking as almost a dare to the rest of the world to realize who he really is.
That's when Walt starts to enjoy the thrills of not knowing what is going to happen next all while building his reputation as a master cook. I don't think he even cares what he is making, the fact he can use his science knowledge to make people fear and respect him is exactly what he needs.
The cancer frees Walt of guilt and the morals that bind everyday society into behaving and as a man of science it seems like Walt doesn't believe in an afterlife so he can justify his actions as not being counted against him after he dies. He is just concerned about the time he has left on Earth.
This also explains why he becomes so non-chalant while they are taking breaks while the meth cooks (eating his lunch while watching television in the tented houses) while Jesse becomes so up-tight.
Its an interesting reversal in their relationship from when Walt was so wound up when they first started cooking and Jesse had the "it's no big deal" attitude. As their time wore on together Jesse loses his freedom and gets trapped in his role as cook's assistant (and later the chef himself) along with being racked with the idea of having to live with the guilt for the rest of his life from everything Mr. White and he did to sustain their meth business. Walt gets more and more relaxed as time goes on because he know whatever he does in a few months or maybe year all that will matter is his legacy and leaving his family financially stable. What he does along the way is just problems he solves which makes him feel more powerful after every time he bests whoever is known as "the best", like the drug dealers in the first season or when Walter gets rid of Gus. You can see it when he is so happy he takes over in the absence of Gus when he says they are working for themselves now, no one is telling them what to do.
I back that up by when Walt tells Skyler comes clean and tells her everything he did was for himself. That he "felt alive" when he was going taking on rivals and evading Hank and the D.E.A.
Whenever Walter started peacocking in front of Skyler leading into straight up scaring her, it was to feel that power especially since he felt so weak from getting cancer on top of missing out on the windfall from Gray Matter business, which he helped start. He wanted Skyler to understand he wasn't acting out of fear and weakness but that he was actual the mental superior to so many scary BAD people. In the beginning he was almost emasculated that he came THIS close to being rich and instead living a hum drum life struggling to make bills (him working two jobs). Finally he got to prove he was powerful all along.
Also their relationship highlights that theme of Walt living free knowing he had little time left, especially when Skyler ends up having Ted, her former boss paralyzed after first trying to help him out but it all went wrong and she was crushed by the guilt of knowing what happened to Ted was her fault.(A case could be made that Ted's actions and greed was truly the cause of his own injuries.) Skyler becomes a shell of person knowing she caused harm to one person while Walt justifies and sometimes straight up shrugs off the numerous people he had killed.
Then the Walt/Jesse dynamic was another way for Walt to feel superior, not in the way of easily to manipulate Jesse into working with him or unknowingly running interference for him while he let his plans play out. Its pretty telling that Walt picked a former student of all people to help him make meth which made him feel like a successful as teacher in a way he felt he never really reached his students before. It another layer of his ego getting stroked.

Then there is the finale was him making amends, well as much as he could anyway, considering all the collateral damage left in his wake. Him getting out of the meth game in the last season was because he wants to end life relaxed and not having to look out for new threats up until his last breath.
Things get fucked and he watches everything he built crumble around him causing him to flee. But while up in the mountains across the country he knew his the cancer was about to take him anyway so he comes "home" to restore his legacy and reputation before he's dead.  Skyler gets a bit of closure, he knows his family will be financially stable after he's dead, Jesse is finally free to try and get some peace. Walt gets his revenge on who robbed him. Which brings me to the song over the last scene.
The song isn't referencing all the bad things he did or everyone he hurt on his rise to meth kingpin, if so then yes it could be seen as funny as I've heard some found it.
Instead it's used as an ode to his blue crystal meth that is his legacy.
Yes the first line of the song is " i guess I got what I deserved" which could reference him about to die ultimately from his actions as a drug kingpin. I think the fact that he is walking around the cookhouse based on HIS formula reflecting on everything that went into coming up with that blue crystal meth formula, his baby.
The song starts right around the time Walt would be hearing the police sirens coming his way. He is happy in the knowledge that though he is about to die, he dies surrounded by the blue meth kitchen which would confirm to everyone that he indeed was Heisenberg without him having to answer for all the evil he did in that final year of his life.
So this is why I think this was a fitting finale, I will admit that him coming back to town and doing what he can to "make things right" is a bit cheesy but it fits his M.O. which by what he does in the final episode leaves him in the best light possible to be remembered in, cementing his legacy to his family (minus Hank's wife, even though she gets to find where Hank is buried from the knowledge Walt gives Skyler) as a provider and a faithful husband.
Walt going out the way he did is the ultimate ego stroke.
Heisenberg never got caught by the cops, he got away with it.

Ok so that is my half cooked theory. Going back and filtering the show through the "cancer never went into remission" mindset and it gives the series an extra little weight. Again this was thrown together with notes I wrote in between doing actual work. Its totally possible that I missed the point of the show completely.