Requiescat in Pace Tony Scott (06/21/1944 – 08/19/2012)

I was incredibly sad to learn this morning that Tony Scott took his own life on Sunday August the 19th 2012.  Anyone that knows me well knows that Tony Scott is my favorite director and the world is now a sadder, less colorful place now that he has passed on.  Tony, like his brother Ridley is a master of his craft.  While some of his films were not considered a commercial success the stories are all riveting (even after watching them for the hundredth time and knowing what is around the corner) and stunningly beautiful.

Tony Scott had a rare talent for mixing film formats that shouldn’t have ever worked together, into a stunning tableau.  Telling stories that sucked you in and took you on the ride of your life.  Tony Scott had a talent that is rare in Hollywood these days.  In a time where more directors subscribe to the ADHD school of filmography, Tony had a talent for making the viewer feel the mania without giving you motion sickness.

So, let us celebrate a man, his work and his faded red cap.  Here are but a few of his amazing movies:

2010 – Unstoppable

2009 – The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

2006 – Deja Vu

2005 – Domino

2004 – Man on Fire

2001 – Spy Game

1998 – Enemy of the State

1996 – The Fan

1995 – Crimson Tide

1993 – True Romance

1991 – The Last Boy Scout

1990Days of Thunder

1990 – Revenge

1987 – Beverly Hills Cop II

1986 – Top Gun

1983 – The Hunger

Nope, that just won’t do

I saw this, this morning.  Didn’t understand it then, don’t understand it now.  Now I would say that maybe they were trying to dry it out but when I got to work it was raining.  At lunch time it was raining, and when I left for the day it was drizzling.

I think you are doing this wrong…

Ain’t much but I could see the Beast

The Prez is in da house!

Dancing in the Rain

Hopefully this journal finds an audience, however considering the current state of the world that seems entirely unlikely.  A downer to be sure, but despite everything that has happened I hope that someone reads these words.  It has started to rain…

There was a time in my life where I loved the rain.  Nothing could make me happier than to listen to the rain fall while I lay in bed.  To raise my face to the sky and feel the water dance on my skin.  The way that after a rain storm almost everything had been erased, that we all got a chance to start over with a clean slate.  A tabula rasa.

Now, well, no one enjoys the sound of falling rain.  No one raises their faces to feel the water dance on their skin.  No one takes a stroll in the rain, well that isn’t entirely true, no one comes back from a walk in the rain.

As a child I remember hearing environmentalists screaming about what we as a species  were doing to the planet.  The hot button issue in those days was acid rain.  That years of unregulated industrial pollution have added all sorts of nasty things to the atmosphere which eventually gets caught by the rain and dumped on us.  I imagine all of those hysterics are feeling a warm glow of “I told you so” right about now.  Although I think only the really extreme ones would be feeling thrilled about the current state of affairs.

I am rambling, I have been having a really hard time sleeping.  If there were a mental health specialist available I am sure they would diagnose me with a healthy case of survivors guilt.  Fuck.  Well I will try to organize my thoughts as much as I can.

The end started around lunch time on a Tuesday.  The morning had started as a grey day.  Everyone was expecting rain and tried to dress accordingly.  The strange thing about this day was how wide an area the clouds covered but of course no one really noticed this until a few days after it stopped raining.

There were roughly 310,000,000 people in the United States before it started to rain that day.  No one is quite sure exactly how many people were outside when the rain started to fall, but within about an hour 100,000,000 people were dead.  Within a week the population of the world went from 3,000,000,000 to a little over 800,000,000.  Well within a few months as you can probably imagine the population had a fairly steady decline.

I used to remember about making jokes about how many people killed themselves because of the rain.  I don’t laugh about it anymore.

Can you imagine the sound of 100,000,000 people dying all at once?  Painfully dying?  For the short amount of time that we had some left, the experts could not agree on how or why the rain changed to what it is now.  Now the rain is truly acid.  100,000,000 people melted in the street at roughly the same time.

A short time later the bombs started to fall.  The surviving governments didn’t take a long time to start pointing fingers at each other and those that still had nuclear weapons… well a few got used.  Not enough to destroy the world and put the survivors out of their misery.  As a child I remember reading about nuclear winter and how any survivors of a nuclear holocaust would suffer because of how much material would be suspended in the atmosphere.

I never thought I would ever live to actually experience it.

Well, needless to say those that survived have not had it easy.  Every day more and more people simply cannot find the energy to continue.  More and more people cannot find a good reason to wake up and carry on.  More and more people choose to “dance in the rain”.

I can’t remember the first time I heard that expression.  Once upon a time I was known for my dark sense of humor but even I couldn’t have dreamed up such a wonderfully dark joke.  I am having a tough time recalling all the people I used to know that chose to dance.  These days it is becoming harder to simply find anyone to be with.  I can’t remember how many days have passed since I have spoken to anyone other than myself.

Dammit, I have to stop doing that.  If I dwell on the loneliness it becomes harder to pull myself out of the spiral of depression.

For a time people tried to find each other.  It was easier to handle everything with shoulders to cry and lean upon.  But as with everything, human nature rears its ugly little head.  Groups started to prey upon each other because they had a safer place to live.  They have more food and clean water than we do.  Those people have electricity…

Fuck, I do miss my ipod.  Music, music would help so much right now.

Well after a while I said fuck it and struck out on my own.  Traveling is really hard, there are days that pass where I cannot move at all because of the rains.  Days without rain are becoming more and more rare.  As are dry places to rest.  I know a few people who have banded together and chose to live underground.  It isn’t a bad idea, but something about it just doesn’t work for me.  It seems to much like they are justing simply giving up and are waiting to die.  I think they are simply one small hurricane away from being euthanized.

Someone I had the honor of spending some time with had an interesting idea.  She was heading towards the mountains.  Her idea was to find a mine or a cave to live in. It would provide her with a dry place to live and still have access to the outside for when it was not raining.  I don’t know what happened to her, we spent about a week traveling together and then one day she was gone.  Sadly this is the way of things now.  People will occasionally cross each others paths.  Sometimes you spend time together, sometimes you avoid each other.  Either way we no longer spend a significant length of time with other people.

Too much time alone was not considered a healthy thing back before the rains.

I spent quite a lot of time by myself before, so it hasn’t been quite as hard for me as it has for others.  In some ways I am luckier than most, but well it isn’t getting any easier.  Some company would at least help the time pass.

Since I don’t have a better destination the mountains seem like a good idea.  I have to admit I am really trying to simply find her.  I have maddening hints as to which mountains she is heading for.  The maps I have are pretty ragged and obviously the old road signs are few and far between.

I have been stuck under this over pass for three days now.  I am running low on canned food and well, water is obviously an issue.  There are no signs of the weather letting up, I keep having this sneaking suspicion that I will be stuck here.

Listening to the rain…

Maybe I will find signs of her.

Maybe it will stop raining.

Maybe I will write more tomorrow.

I keep having this dream that I am dancing…

The hand up your ass might be a clue…

As kinky as the title sounds we’ll get back to it shortly.  I was born in the 70’s so I remember the days before VCR’s, DVR’s and Tivo.  What this means for those of you who never grew up without them is that if you missed a TV show you were shit out of luck.  While this may seem random and ranty it made watching certain shows all the more important because once it was missed it was missed for good.  As a kid of the 70’s I grew up watching the Muppets on PBS and it was a special time because it was the only time that I could watch it.

The Muppet show was a special time and the Muppet movies even more so.  There was a special quality to the Muppets which really has been lost in modern-day television.

Needless to say (and say it anyway I will) I was excited to see a new muppet movie that was written by an actor whom I have come to really enjoy on his other show (How I Met Your Mother) Jason Segel.  Additionally it had Amy Adams and anyone that knows me well knows I get weak in the knees for red heads.  Now I must admit that I had a lingering doubt creeping in the back of my mind about the movie but I really wanted to give it a chance.

Well, it wasn’t a muppet movie.

All of the magic of the muppets was sucked out (just like “enriching” white bread) and the cold dead shell that was left over was nowhere near as good as the original.  To be honest I found the whole thing to be mean-spirited and frankly really cynical.  The basic gist of the story is that a young man (Gary) grows up with a brother (Walter) who doesn’t know he is a muppet.  Oh the muppet wonders why he never grows while his brother sprouts like a weed but doesn’t worry about why their skin isn’t the same.  Eventually they discover reruns of the original muppet show and now he has a dream!

We also meet our other main character “the girl friend” aka Amy Adams (Mary).  Her character is a school teacher who is teaching her Fourth grade class to change the oil on a car.  This is a woman who frankly can do anything and while she loves her boyfriend and his brother the muppet she is kind of tired of including him in all of their adventures.  This dynamic becomes a tipping point later in the movie when Gary forgets about an intimate dinner on and for their anniversary.

The main idea of the movie is that this “unhappy” trio are taking a vacation to Los Angles to visit the old Muppet Theater and Museum and to celebrate an anniversary for our human characters.  Needless to say the tour is a disappointment since the muppets disappeared into obscurity and as we find out the machinations of a greedy corporate owner that wants to drill for oil underneath the old theater.  What is the name of our evil corporation?  Richman Oil of course!  We discover this because Walter sneaks off during the tour to check out Kermit’s old office and this is also where we discover that our evil CEO (Tex Richman wouldn’t you know) cannot perform an evil laugh.  Seriously, every time he wants to laugh the evil laugh he screams out “EVIL LAUGH, EVIL LAUGH!”  At first I wasn’t even sure if he was commanding his minions to laugh evilly or if he just couldn’t do it himself.

Before the big trip to the old muppet theater there is a big song and dance number (reminiscent of Pleasantville) as the trio hits the road and we get to our first scene of mean spiritedness.  As the bus drives away one of the dancers decries that “they are gone!” and the crowd collapses to the ground in relief.  While I can appreciate the humor of the moment it really wasn’t anything but mean.

Sadly it is Walter who discovers the evil plan and once Gary and Mary are able to extract this information from him (sadly without sharp implements or water boarding techniques) they decide to reunite the Muppets.  So off they go to the home that polliwog and swine built.  When they arrive at the gates if green and pink they discover that even the mighty have fallen on hard times.  Kermit eventually invites everyone inside and the dastardly plan is revealed to him.  A mélange of  references to the 1980’s, none of which children watching the movie would ever understand.  We have the classic 80’s robot bring a tray of tab and original recipe coke spouting phrases that haven’t been uttered in 30 years and should probably never be said again.

A plan is hatched to reunite the band and yet more 80’s references.  To “save” time they decide to travel by map, insert the traveling powers of Indiana Jones all the way down to the thick red line connecting point A to B.  First stop is Fozzie Bear who with a serious case of abandonment has rebuilt the Moopets with the nastiest group of replacements ever.  It doesn’t take a lot of prompting for him to rejoin Kermit and crew on their quest to restore the muppets.

Gonzo has become the King of, well…toilets.  He has become extremely successful and after initially rejecting the offer Gonzo blows up his entire business to rejoin the gang.  Seriously he blows his entire stock to smithereens, I am not entirely sure that he gave enough time for his employees to evacuate the building but hey who cares about the little people.  Animal, when they find him,  has committed himself to an anger management retreat.  This I understand the least.

This is Animal, the fiendish drummer of the Muppets.  When drums are mentioned he starts to flip out and Jack Black of all fucking people tries to explain that this is one of Animals trigger words.  Now I was a fan of the show but I cannot remember for the life of me that he was furiously angry about drumming.  I remember him as being a furious drummer who seemed to enjoy his outlet.  After more trigger words are accidentally discovered the anger management seminar dissolves into a grand melee and our crew of heroes slink away.

All of the former muppets are acquired, all except one.  The diva of the muppets who has apparently gotten a job in Paris for a fashion magazine.  We have another movie homage at this point, this one being The Devil Wears Prada and she also apparently consumes copious amounts of donuts ooh sorry beignets.  While I can appreciate this joke as well, once again children in the audience will not get the joke. Ms. Piggy reluctantly agrees to join her former cast-mates but not before revealing the her and Kermit had a falling out of some kind which has not yet been repaired.

Now that the group is back together they only have a short time to repair the condemned theater and put on the show.  As they make their repairs Mary starts to get antsy about her upcoming anniversary dropping many unsubtle hints to Gary who is totally consumed with making sure his brother Walter is living his dream.  On the day of the anniversary Mary wants to see the glorious sights of L.A. and have a day of pampering before the romantic dinner.  Gary promises that he will be there for dinner and of course completely forgets about it and Mary has decided she has had enough.  She heads back to their home town without leaving a note.

This leads to a song where both brothers are questioning who they are; are they muppet or are they man?  While I get it was trying to be a touching song revealing that the brothers need to be who they are it comes off as goofy.  Which totally detracts from the significance.  Gary is of course crushed by the loss of Mary and reluctantly decides to stay for his brother.  Walter is starting to have an existential crisis of his own.  Why do you ask?  Because he has no talent to offer the show to help save the Muppet theater.  Mary is having a crisis of her own.  While she is happy to be home again it does nothing but rain and of course she misses her man.

The night of the benefit has arrived and the group realizes that they have no live audience to perform for and the Network that has agreed to run the telethon is starting to get cold feet because there isn’t a celebrity host.  Once again the movie crosses a line that shouldn’t have been crossed because they kidnap Jack Black and tie him to a chair on the stage.  While this is in the vein of wacky antics that the Muppets are known for it doesn’t capture the feel that is the Muppets.  The telethon starts off roughly but begins to pick up steam, enough steam to concern our villain who makes his way down to the theater to sabotage the show.

Our villain makes it down to the theater and manages to cut the power.  Mary who is watching from home sees this and makes her way back to the theater (traveling by map to make it in time) to jury-rig a solution and power is restored.  As the time to buy back the theater ticks by and they get oh so close to their dollar goal the villain manages to destroy the antenna on the roof bringing the show to a permanent stop.  As the crushing realization sets in that they did not make their goal and that Tex Richman has defeated them the credits roll.

Seriously.  The credits roll.  You do not discover that they actually win until about halfway through the credits when Richman gets hit in the head with a bowling ball and decides to return the theater to the muppets.  Seriously, if  you walked out as the credits are rolling you would never know that the good guys won.

I guess the lesson here is that it is in fact a detriment to try and be too clever.  You cannot mix so many disparate elements into one cohesive theme without lessening the value of the whole.

And then there was rage…

Oh internet my internet I know it has been quite some time since I have given you love.  However like any good adult services provider on Craig’s List can attest to,  sometimes you have to follow the money and like a good wage slave work has taken a larger percentage of my time.  Sadly I have not missed any good movies recently since, well there haven’t been any.  Oh there have been a few films that have been a light in the darkness but like any good pessimist can agree with sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is an on-coming train.

While out at another film I happened to catch the trailer for Gnomeo & Juliet which looked like it could be, at the very least amusing.  Sadly this was not to be, as the saying goes about “Too many cooks” it also applies to “Too many writers” as well.  This piece of shit film had nine writers involved, ten if you include Shakespeare who if he were alive today would be filing rape charges against the others.  Now if you went to High School in the US then you more than likely had to suffer through Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy about teenage angst Romeo and Juliet.  Probably even had to read it aloud in English class in 9th or 10th grade.  In fact I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone living in an English-speaking country that does not have even a passing familiarity of the play.

Which leads me to ask this question/rant to the writers: WHAT THE FUCK?!? WERE YOU HOME SCHOOLED BY HELEN KELLER? I HAVE HEARD OF PHONING IT IN BUT THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS! IF SHAKESPEARE WEREN’T DEAD ALREADY HE WOULD KILL HIMSELF FROM SHAME…

To date there has only been one movie that I have walked out of and this POS was really close to being the 2nd.  When the credits finally rolled I found that I was actually quite angry, which I suspect is definitely not the response the writers were looking for.  I found myself thinking about the audience in the theater, since this was an animated movie it had a large percentage of children and suffering parents.  During the film I remember the theater being very quiet, in fact the only laugh I can recall was from a woman sitting next to me when she guffawed at a really stupid statement made by one of the characters.  For the record I didn’t laugh once.

The concept of the movie was a cute one; an attempt to update and make more accessible a classic piece of literature to a younger audience or at the very least make it more interesting to a teenage audience that increasingly does not like to read.  They even have a garden gnome making a statement at the beginning of the movie making a statement that this film will not be a standard representation of the classic play.  As the gnome is reading the statement the classic stage hook is attempting to pull him from the stage.  The ironies of a tired comedy trope being used in a movie about a tired play is sadly  not funny.  In fact if anything it annoyed the hell out of me.

The film itself opens on a pair of side-by-side houses (one red, one blue) and the mailboxes state they are 2b and not 2b.  Sadly this is not the last of the “homages” just the first is a series of really, really bad ones.  So instead of the Montague’s and the Capulet’s we have the red gnomes and blue gnomes (with matching gardens!).  At this point I experience a red out and I just wanted the movie to be over.  The movie basically dissolves into a series of vignettes of other movies.  We have Grease meets West Side Story meets a classic cheesy kung fu movie mixed with a basic flick about revenge with a dash of Shakespeare.

If anything if I didn’t know any better I would have chocked it up to a film school students tongue in cheek research project but this is sadly not the case.

Randomness

No I am not dead, work has been demanding and to prove I am not dead I will amuse you with a random selection of emails I get at work.  Names may or may not have been Dragnetted for their safety enjoy:

“I got word that the Crab Sandwich on Nine Grain Bread made someone vomit. How do you handle these situations? Is your fish supposed to be fresh? Where does it come from? Appreciate your fast response.”

I love this one because of its randomness.  One of the companies that I work with (and has nothing to do with food service) forwarded this gem to me.

“Also, for test 4, I don’t know what my order number was for test 3 so I cannot search the orders and cancel. “

I have no words…

“I have not been able to speak with my owners yet about the inventory”

But they let you send this email eh?

“We have completed all test orders, but packing slips are not available for download.  How should we proceed?”

That’s amazing.  Most people cannot complete the test orders until after they have downloaded the packing-slips…

Re: test case 1, how do I “download and save to your desktop the invoice adjustment file with an .xls extension”?  (insert sounds of me bludgeoning my skull against my desk)

Hmm I wonder if there might be some hint in there somewhere…


Brooklyn’s Finest?

There are a majority of Americans who just do not like cops.  They all have their reasons some of which are cultural, personal or simply because all the cool kids hate cops.  For myself I don’t hate cops in general they have a shit job.  Most of the time you only need them in the worst moments of your life the times when something dreadful has happened.  For more than a few people this leads them to make a negative association with the police.  It is unfortunate but it happens however I feel that for the most part people who become cops really do just want to help.

Now with all things and especially people there are more than a few bad apples because lets face it, power corrupts even the most noble of ideals and people. From a Hollywood perspective a movie about good cops just doesn’t sell which (at least in my opinion) means almost every movie about cops involves corrupt cops.  Brooklyn’s Finest certainly lives up to this particular cliché, what we have is basically a movie about Three cops who in themselves are almost painfully clichéd.  We have the (White) drug task force cop, the Thirty year veteran cop (White) and the (Black) career advancement obsessed undercover cop.  All Three of our main characters are burn-outs which is so tired and played out it isn’t funny.

You can almost predict the motivations for each of our characters.  The opening scene involves our task force friend sitting in a parked car (parked in a cemetery no less) talking with a tweaked out criminal.  Eventually the task force cop shoots the tweaker in the face and robs him.  We soon discover that he is apparently trying to single-handedly overpopulate the world.  Seriously, he has somewhere between Eight and Fifteen children and he has taken to robbing drug dealers in an attempt to buy a larger home for his family.  Our veteran is in his last week on the job and finally the undercover cop is trying to get his Detectives First Class by any means necessary.

The main problem with this particular movie is that you are never provided with a reason to give a shit about any of the characters.  You have an obviously corrupt cop stealing from criminals for albeit an understandable reason, an old drunk who just does not give a shit anymore and just wants to finish his time in peace and quiet and our undercover cop who is so one-dimensional it is painful.

OK, the entire premise of this film is that the lives of our three main characters are intertwined even though they never actually meet.  Actually I might even go so far as to say the main premise of the movie is that the Brooklyn Projects are bad mmkay.  At one point there is even a voice over describing how the Brooklyn Projects (henceforth know as BKPJ) has the highest amounts of drug related crime, murder and kidnapping.  The length of shadow cast by this foreshadowing comment is astounding…

So the 3 stories are thus:

1 – The task force cop does not have enough stolen money to buy a house to move his enormous family into.  He keeps taking riskier and riskier actions to get the cash he needs, eventually even going into the BKPJ to murder and ripoff a group of drug-dealers after a raid gets canceled.  His partner knows he is on the ragged edge and tries to offer some help but can plainly see that a bad end is coming soon.

2 – The Veteran just wants to end his tour in peace and quiet.  Because of his breadth of experience he gets first one and then another rookie to tutor.  The first rookie quits because he feels the Veteran is not enough of a cop for him after the Veteran tries to explain that he (the rookie) shouldn’t go haring off after every crime he sees.  Ironically the first rookie gets his ass killed doing that very thing later in the movie.  The 2nd rookie is more his speed but eventually ends up shooting a kid in a Bodega after they get called to a petty theft complaint.  Additionally our Veteran has a thing for hookers, and one night as he is leaving her (the hookers) apartment he sees a girl (obviously fucked up on some kind of drug) being hustled into a Van.  Ooh! More foreshadowing, tastes like obvious…

3 – The undercover cop is working a case against the largest drug-dealer group in BKPJ.  One that his best friend (recently out of jail on a technicality) is in charge of.  Because the friend has been released the FBI now wants to run the undercover cop and build a case to get the friend back behind bars.  The U.C. is doing his best to keep his friend from their clutches and just before a big bust happens he tries to convince his friend to back off from the deal.  While he is trying to get his friend to walk away with him, a lesser member of the gang who has been sensing weakness in the leader kills him in a drive-by at that very moment.

So how does all of these stories tie up I hear you cry?  Well, basically in a stew of suck.  The task force cop tells his partner he is going for a drink, the partner says he will go with him.  As the task force cop drives away he shoots his partners tire out and then drives to the BKPJ.  Where he breaks into an apartment and starts mowing down the inhabitants.  After killing several he makes his way into the kitchen and discovers money in a washing machine.  As he is pulling out the huge stacks of cash a dealer he missed puts several bullets through his careless ass and runs away.

At the very same moment the U.C. drives to the BKPJ to put a few caps in the gangsters ass that killed his friend.  After shooting a few others he chases the killer into the street where he guns down the killer in the middle of the street.  To the amazement of no one the U.C. gets shot in the back by the task force cops partner who has just pulled up. 2 down 1 to go…

The last connection makes the least sense.  The Veteran successfully retires, however on his way out he notices a missing poster for the girl who was hustled into the van the last time he was busting his nut. After turning in his badge and gun he makes his way over to his favorite hookers place where she is just finishing up with another client.  As she is cleaning up she invites him in and gives him a gold watch as a present.  He tries to convince her to move to Connecticut with him and predictably she refuses.  Disconsolate at this turn of events he leaves and happens to see the same van and same girl being hustled into it.

He follows the van to the BKPJ, finds the apartment she is being held in (with several other girls) and kills the 2 men holding them.  After calling 911 the movie ends with him giving a statement to a cop and then slowly walking away.  Seriously this is how the movie ends…

It’s clichéd…

While I am not completely against romantic comedy movies I do have to insist that they at the very least be interesting.  A stretch I know but there it is.  While away at the Shore (on the last night no less) the ladies in the family decided to put on “It’s Complicated“.  Now I must admit that the TV was dominated by the sports watching men and it is only fair that the fairer sex is allowed equal time but “It’s Complicated”? I cannot even begin to describe how painful this movie was.  There was absolutely nothing original about this movie, I mean it ABSOLUTELY NOTHING was original.  The entire movie was one gigantic fucking cliché, or more accurately it was a long string of clichés.

Ten years after the divorce and the youngest son is now graduating from College and the family flies in to celebrate.  Feeling vulnerable our main character Jane (how perfectly a generic name for this movie) gets loaded on booze and bangs her ex-husband.  Now they originally got divorced after having had the necessary 3 children (2 girls and a boy) because he finds a younger, sexier woman.  The new wife is of course 20 years younger than he is has 1,000% more energy than he does and wants to have at least 2 of his children.  At this stage they have had 1 of the desired 2 (making a total of 4 for him).  Since he has no desire to actually raise his 5 year-old son (new) he is anxious to be the swinging bachelor again and sees his ex-wife in a brand new light.

Of course “the sex” is fabulous for both of them and now he is completely re-interested in old ground.  Since we have not had enough clichés at this point we discover she is having an addition added to her house (enter the “new” love interest Adam the architect).  She of course keeps forgetting that she has made an appointment with him (throughout the movie) and he is nothing but patient with her.

Since there isn’t an original bone in this movies body lets skip ahead a bit:

  • She asks the psychiatrist if the affair is Ok? check!
  • Her daughters fiancé catches them going up to a hotel room? check!
  • He has a heart incident in the hotel room, and they have to call a doctor, and the fiancé sees the doctor going up? check, check, check!!!
  • Ex-husband is sneaking phone calls the exact same way he did when he was cheating on her? check!
  • Gaggle of girlfriends (hers) loves the idea of her cheating with her ex-husband on the younger woman who broke up her marriage? check!
  • Adam continues to pursue her for a date even though she keeps blowing him off? check!
  • The Ex fails to show up to an intimate dinner (his favorite) and he doesn’t call? check!
  • Cheesy internet speak? oh my goodness check!
  • Finally gives Adam a try, takes him to a party that the ex-husband will be at, while high, from a single hit of a joint? chhhheeeeeecccck!
  • The new wife figures out that her philandering husband is fucking the ex-wife at that same party? check!
  • Ex-husband leaves the new wife to get back with Jane? check!
  • The children find it really strange? check!
  • While taking a bathroom break during a video conference with Adam the ex-husband sneaks into her room naked, and Adam sees him, from the front and the back? big check!
  • Jane finally comes clean with Adam about seeing her ex-husband? check!
  • Adam is understanding? check!
  • They still get together at the end of the movie? check!

Folks these are just the highlights of the clichés, chick flicks do not actually need to be this bad.

Even the Sun shines on a dog’s ass…

So I was surfing the enormous amount of cable television channels that I currently get and wandered across this bizarre little film called Sunshine.  Of course it was already in the middle of the movie when I found it, but the plot wasn’t all that difficult to discern within a few minutes of watching.  The gist is that it is a Gazillion years in the future and the Sun has had enough.  It wants to shuffle off the mortal coil and move its decrepit ass to the solar equivalent of Southern Florida.  Humanity the egocentric bastards that they happen to be feel that this would basically really suck and are determined to prevent this from happening.

Basically since it is a Bazillion years in the future (the writers were very careful to be nonspecific) the Sun has used up almost all of its internal fuel and is starting to dim.  For those of you of a scientific bent, no the Sun has not become the red giant star every single astrophysicist since the dawn of astrophysics has claimed will happen it is in fact just fading away.  The Earth of course has started to freeze and is now a permanent Winter Wonderland.  Humanity has come up with a plan to jump-start the Sun again using what they refer to as a stellar bomb.  The idea being that they send the bomb into the heart of the Sun and like a shot of epinephrine fire up (heh) the Sun back to full brightness.

Our intrepid heroes are the 2nd team that has been sent to reboot our Mother star, Seven years after the first team was declared missing.  Seeing as flying anything near the Sun is inherently unwise the Icarus 2 is using the stellar bomb as a sunscreen.  It cleverly has panels that can be adjusted to reflect the dangerous rays and radiation from the fragile ship and crew.  Additionally the Icarus 2 is not only controlled by humans but has a semiautonomous computer system that maintains the flight path, and environmental systems to keep the crew alive.

Things are going swimmingly as the Icarus 2 approaches the planet Mercury, there is a minor scuffle between crew members as they enter the communications dead zone (output of the Sun yo) but all is resolved peacefully by the Sun obsessed on-board shrink.  This is one of the first things that started to bother me about this film.  Within the first 20 minutes the shrink is having a passionate discussion that darkness is the absence of light, that without the Sun we having and are nothing.  He is in fact so obsessed with the Sun that he spends a lot of the movie sitting in the observation room looking at it.  Trying to figure out how much he can reduce the filter without dying.  Eventually the on-board computer determines that he can withstand a 3.1% reduction of the filter for 30 seconds without permanent damage and he spends the remainder of the film with a badly sunburned and peeling face.

As they are approaching Mercury and are making their final preparations on their approach to the Sun when they pick-up an unexpected signal.  Much to their surprise the Icarus 1 was not in fact destroyed.  The distress signal puts our intrepid heroes into conflict.  With the crew almost evenly divided between completing the mission and delivering their bomb thus possibly saving humanity or solving the mystery and discovering what happened to the first crew.  As with all decisions of this kind it is left up to the meek science type.  You know the academic who hides behind everyone hoping and praying to God that no one notices him/her.

Predictably he relies on the numbers.  The mission as is does not have a 100% chance of success.  Too many variables and unknowns for that and as it should come to no surprise whatsoever it is decided that with the Icarus 1 still being intact 2 bombs are better than 1.  The course is altered and the die is cast.  Up until now the mission has been going smoothly, too smoothly.  The movie Gods have decreed that a detail must be missed.  Through all of the calculations no one thinks to reposition the sun shield and the delicate bits get damaged.

Three of the movable panels have been damaged and will no longer close and the Captain and the scientist are selected to go out and fix them.  At this point it is an old comedy trope, seriously if you cannot predict what is about to happen you need to leave my blog.  I mean it, get out.

To no one’s surprise (seriously if you are surprised you need to leave) the repairmen cannot be guaranteed shadow they are on the clock.  They manage to repair 2 of the panels before full sunlight and as they are repairing the 3rd the Sun creeps toward them.  The Captain sends our friendly neighborhood scientist back to the ship while he finishes the repair.  Since this isn’t a disaster flick the Captain (my Captain) manages to finish the repair just as the Sun hits that panel. He is of course consumed by flames and as he meets his fiery end the shrink is screaming into the radio for the Captain to tell him what he sees.  The Captain does a really good impression of well-done bacon and the scientist makes it safely back into the ship.

The movie Gods are vengeful.  They have decreed that not only is blood required, but there must also be suffering.  While trying to give the repair crew as much shade as possible the rotating radio masts are exposed to direct sunlight.  Of course they are burned out and somehow this causes fire (in a vacuum no less) to shoot down into the hydroponics/life support section of the ship and set it ablaze.  With their only source of renewable air burning and the integrity of the ship at risk they decide to release tanked O2 to cause a flash over in an attempt to burn out the fire.  Having been satiated the movie Gods allow the fire to be extinguished.

To the surprise of no one (really if you ARE surprised you NEED TO LEAVE) the intrepid crew does not have enough oxygen to complete their mission. Fingers are pointed, nasty names are called and the crew member responsible for forgetting to adjust the sunshield is now suicidal.  Our suicide risk is doped up and four of the remaining seven crew members prepare to board the Icarus 1.

Who goes?  I hear you ask.  The new Captain, the shrink, the engineer, and the scientist.  Once they are onboard the Icarus 1 the first thing they notice is that the power is off and everything is coated in a huge layer of dust and grit.  They decide to split up as they search the ship for survivors.  Anyone who has ever seen a horror movie already knows this is just a bad idea and will not, end well.

What they discover is that the hydroponic section is still intact and is in fact overgrown like crazy (they have air).  The semiautonomous computer systems brain has been removed from its cooling liquid and has since deep-fried itself.  Some of the crew members have apparently exposed themselves to 100% of the Suns magnificence and are now ashy statues and last but not least the Icarus 1 is dead in the water.

Since we have had about 5 minutes without a life being endangered something must happen!  Anyone that had money on the Icarus 2 suddenly and violently disengaging from Icarus 1 is now a winner.  That’s right sports fans the airlock is destroyed and our industrious away team is now fucked since there are 4 of them and only 1 space suit.  One would assume that there is now a rather violent game of rock/paper/space-your-ass but no there isn’t.  The psychiatrist decides to remain aboard the Icarus 1, the scientist gets the space suit and the engineer and new Captain have to tag-along for the ride.

Unsurprisingly the new Captain does not make it back to the Icarus 2 (loses his grip dontcha know) and floats off into space.  The scientist and engineer make it back safely (relatively) and there is a rather unpleasant discussion about who sabotaged the airlock and the fact that there are too many people and too little air.  A consensus is eventually reached that the suicidal crew member must be responsible (and sucking down too much o2) so the engineer goes down to the sickbay to shiv his ass only to discover someone has already beaten him to it.

Ok it was previously determined that there was only enough air left for 4 people to complete the mission.  On our roster we have the navigator, the scientist, the engineer and the life support specialist (aka the gardener) and unsurprisingly the computer advises that they cannot complete the mission because there will not be enough air to keep everyone alive.  The scientist argues with the computer that there are in fact only 4 people on board and the computer blithely informs him that there are in fact 5.

Things kind of go off the rails for me at this point.

The computer is smart enough to recognize the biometrics of its crew, but it doesn’t bother to tell anyone that they suddenly have a new crew member?  Who destroys the airlock? Who kills a crew member (the suicide risk)? And then kills another crew member (the gardener)?

Really?

Our mystery guest also manages to chase the scientist into the airlock and locks him in (or is it out?) after explaining that he (the weirdo) has spent the last few years speaking to God (aka the Sun) and that they are heretics and need to die.  The navigator is able to elude him by locking herself in with the stellar bomb.  Somehow our mystery guest is also able to extract the computer core from its cooling liquid (once again where the hell is the security to prevent this?) and the engineer dies while trying to get the computer back online.

The scientist jumps into a space suit, manages to open the airlock (exposing it to vacuum) and thanks to explosive decompression airs out the entire ship.  Pretty convenient way to get rid unexpected murderous guests… or is it?  The scientist makes his way to the bomb enters the airlock and discovers that he is not alone.  Both the navigator and the UMG have made it safely in.  Our hero manages to launch the bomb towards the sun, take out the UMG and save humanity.  The movie ends with a view of a snow covered field and a woman and child are playing in the snow.  They suddenly look up and we hear a voice over from the scientist telling his sister that she will know they succeeded if one day the Sun should shine a bit brighter.

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