You too can be “Simpsonized” – just go to this site and upload a picture of yourself. The picture needs to be at least 640×480 and for best results it should be a close up of your face. You can also add a “Springfield scene” to the background if you wish. Registration at the site is not mandatory, but registering will allow you to save your image online and come back to it at a later time.
So – what do you guys think of the Simpsonized Jim?
This rant is about movie reviewers. Don’t get me wrong – I like them as a whole and value their opinions. But on a person-by-person basis. I hate each and every single one of them. Why?
Well, the first reason I hate them is because many of them seem to have “movie envy”. Many reviewers seem to be bitter film school failures. For some reason or the other, us “plebs” just didn’t “get” their “vision” and instead of being the next Steven Spielberg, these poor schlubs are writing reviews for the Des Moines Register. You can see them same bitterness with music reviewers, too. Many must have had dreams of being the biggest rock star on the planet, only to fail miserably and be stuck writing for some rag. So that’s something that’s not unique to movie reviewers.
Allow me to preface this rant with a clarification: I have no problem with The Da Vinci Code as a work of fiction. My problem stems from the fact that so many people apparently think it’s based on fact, either because they’re stupid or because Dan Brown wrote a convincing book. Either way, it is the source of my rage.
As you know, the movie based on the wildly popular book The Da Vinci Code hit theatres last Friday. That’s fine. Enjoy the film! Hell, I’d even go see it myself, but the missus has no interest in seeing it and lately I just haven’t been in the mood to go to the movies by myself. Anyway, there apparently are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people out there that seem to think Dan Brown’s work is real… as in “based on fact”. If you’re one of those people, this rant is for you:
You might know that I have a problem with the tons of technobabble that appears on TV and the movies these days. You might even have read the page that I dedicated to the subject on this site. But the thing is, all the gobbledygook on 24 is really starting to get on my nerves. So much so that whenever someone on the show talks about “opening a socket” or “telnetting into the BIOS”, Lisa automatically looks over to see if I’m rolling my eyes… and I usually am. Sometimes I even try to translate the technobabble to her literally or try to explain why some technological feature won’t work – such as why parabolic microphones (especially ones without the parabolic part) won’t work through a combined 6 feet of concrete.
This week’s rant may sound silly, but bear with me while I try to justify my anger. You see, the people that produce television shows are required to obtain a license for most of the “pop music” you hear on a TV show’s soundtrack. I’m not talking about the instrumental “classical-type” music you hear in the background; that music was probably created specifically for the show or is part of the studio’s ‘stock library’ that it can use in any production. No, I’m talking about the sort of music you’d hear on the radio. Many shows that appeal to younger audiences like The OC, Veronica Mars and Popular – shows that often have the “this show featured music by…” ad just before the end credits start rolling – use this type of music. The problem – and this rant – comes when the shows get transferred to DVD. Many times it’s simply too expensive for the studio to license the music that appeared on the original show. Other times it’s just too confusing; for example, if a song has three songwriters, each might have his or her own publisher for the song’s rights. So instead of dealing with one company, the studio in this example has to deal with three – not to mention the actual songwriters and\or their estates. Needless to say, it can get quite confusing.
1973’s The Exorcist shines as one of the scariest movies ever made. And what makes the film so scary (to me) is what it is not. It’s not based on some silly “campfire legend” like the characters Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger. It’s not based on some highly improbable occurrence, like an alien invasion, nuclear disaster or virus mutation. It’s not based on a gimmick (The Blair Witch Project), nor does it have a “lesson” or “moral” that it hits us over the head with (An American Haunting). It doesn’t involve characters that are either much larger than life or blatant charactures or stereotypes (The Haunting, Thirteen Ghosts, etc.). How many times have you watched a movie like that and picked out the “order of death” – “OK, there’s the black guy, he’s absolutely gonna die first… then the stoner guy, then the slut, then the jock… which leaves the pretty (but not too pretty) blonde girl as the lone survivor!”
No, The Exorcist is scary because it goes deep within our collective psyche. It’s a primal fear that yes, after all, The Church might have been right. Because after all, how can you believe in the Devil if you don’t believe in God? The family in The Exorcist was mostly just like us. Who chose that poor girl to be the battlefield between Good and Evil? Could we be next? And how can you fight an evil that you can’t even see or touch? Fighting Jason Voorhees is one thing… but how do you save your daughter from The Devil?
With today being Halloween, I thought I’d do a quick “Spooky History Blog” about my favorite horror movie. Enjoy!