Friday, December 19, 2014

See You in 2015

Ladies, Gentlemen, and future historians who are reading this blog to find out the inner workings of my mind before I became super famous, I wish to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Joyful Hanukkah, a wonderful Kwanza, or, if you don’t celebrate any of that, then Happy Sir Isaac Newton’s Birthday. If you don’t celebrate any of those things, then I’m sorry the banks and restaurants are all closed on what to you, is a regular Wednesday, but I don’t make the rules.

Originally I had this wonderful plan in my head to chronicle the adventures of Bad Shakespeare in real time as I traipsed through London, as I walked through the great streets made famous by Guy Ritchie in his shoot ’em up bang bang thrillers, as I studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company, as I made an excursion to Scotland, and hopefully as I get to meet Emma Watson who is probably in England doing Emma Watson things. And if I got the chance to walk on an episode of Doctor Who. They’ll just let me walk on, right?

Then I realized that I’d be doing all of those things, and while it would be exciting to chronicle my adventures as they happened, I wouldn’t get to fully enjoy all those things as they happened. 

As a result, this will be the final Bad Shakespeare entry until after January 20th, when I make my triumphant return to the United States. 

I want to thank all of you to thank you for taking the time to read my musings every week. It hasn’t been as consistent what with the whole “Graduate School” and “Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix” thing, but I’ve tried to post as much as I can. But writing 20 pages on whatever it is I wrote 20 pages on this semester tends to take time away from writing about our new North Korean Overlords, which, while amusing, doesn’t get me the grades i need to be getting in order to graduate from Graduate School.

I’m in a very different place this year than the last. Last year at this time I was gearing up for student teaching, now I’m gearing up to study Theatre in a city I’ve been dying to go ever since I found out there was a London and that they had actual Kings like back in ye olde times. (Well, a Queen, who’s apparently a Highlander.) 

Anyway, I hope to take every opportunity presented to me, and yes, I will share it with you at some future date, probably when I’ busy with some paper and I don’t really know what I’m going to be writing just yet.

Enjoy the holiday, reach out to those less fortunate, call up an old friend, tell someone you love them, and I hope the New Year finds you happy, healthy, and full of friendship. I look forward to posting my adventures more in the New Year. 

Just going to take a little break

Thursday, December 18, 2014

All Aboard the Censor-Ship, The Interview Edition

I really wasn’t sure I was going to get to another Bad Shakespeare post before the New Year. I’m busy preparing for my jaunt across the pond, which it turns out is an actual ocean which leads me to believe that “across the pond” is being used ironically. I just wrapped up my first semester as an English Graduate Student, which meant no final exams but a LOT of writing. I’ve probably written more on Charles Chesnutt than I ever thought I would. (Also, I didn’t know who Charles Chesnutt was before this class. So there’s that.)

But then, yesterday, something happened that I had to write about, because it tackles three of the things that I write about: movies, bullying, and censorship. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or paying attention to the much more important news about improved relations with Cuba, you’ll know that the film The Interview, in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play a pair of stoners/TV show stars who attempt to kill Kim Jong-Un, has been pulled indefinitely from theaters following an unprecedented hack in information and threats of violence against the theaters that would dare show such a film.

Personally, if you’re going to attack a Seth Rogen Film, I’d hope that it would be The Green Hornet. But hey, that’s just me.

I like Seth Rogen and James Franco, despite the fact that they pretty much just make the one film over and over (and it works). We have been treated to them playing stoners running from the law in Pineapple Express, or stoners at the end of the world in This is The End. I personally felt that, as much as I like Danny McBride, what was missing from Your Highness was Seth Rogen working with James Franco as stoners that are trying to save the princess. I’m really looking forward to their next film, which hasn’t been written yet but should totally be Seth Rogen and James Franco playing the actors Seth Rogen and James Franco who make a movie about killing the leader of North Korea and are forced to go on the run when hackers shut down the movie, and they try to get it distributed. Oh, yes, and they’re stoners. (Gentlemen… call me…)

In any event, as the story goes, Sony pictures, the multi-billion dollar corporation that owns about half the things in my house as well as not letting Marvel use Spider-man in the Avengers movies, managed to be hacked because apparently their password was PASSWORD1 (The 1 held together all of the security for them, apparently) and everyone laughed as emails from the higher ups in the company delightfully revealed the fact that even in Hollywood people were as snarky and talked behind the backs of people just like in your office, they just got paid a lot more. 

This is the kind of disturbing twist in the cyber thriller that we have been living in for the past couple of weeks. For a while, it was difficult to turn on the news without seeing some new hacked email or some new revelation about what was going on inside Sony right now. And we all laughed, shared it on our Facebook timelines, retweeted it. We were all complicit in this information leak for a little while, because at the time, it seemed harmless. It wasn’t like it was the nude pictures of a young star or bank account information, it was just a few emails, and I’m sure any of us, if you go back far enough, will find some email that we wish we hadn’t sent, or one that’s in our drafts right now. 

The problem came when specific threats started going around this one movie, The Interview. The subject was a bit “controversial” yes, but it’s not he first time there’s been some kind of controversy involving a movie like this. The remake of Red Dawn got delayed by several years because of the “enemy” in that, and not the fact that technology had advanced to the point that a sneak attack in Colorado would be nearly impossible unless they had Predator type technology. There was the multiple kerfuffles about South Park, attempting to show Muhammad not once but TWICE on camera, and getting censored in episodes, ironically enough, about censorship. Matt Parker and Trey Stone did get some threats but hey, they were used to it, as they get a lot of threats about their show. 

You all know the rest that broke less than 24 hours ago: a few theater chains (re: ALL the theater chains) refused to carry the movie, then Sony said, “eh… we just won’t release it. Go see Annie instead. It’s produced by Jay-Z”. And, presumably, features a lot less political assassination. 

And, as you know, I’m against all censorship. The old adage goes something like freedom of speech isn’t to protect safe ideas or popular ideas, but dangerous ones. It's easy to censor things we "don't like." It's hard to stand up and say "let's discuss it anyway."

Should Seth Rogen and James Franco have made a movie that featured the attempted (or possible… I avoided spoilers) assassination of a world leader? I don’t know. I don’t know anything about world politics except that Canada is putting way to many of their population along their border, if you know what I mean. I know a few things, but I don’t know enough to know if this was seriously that big of a deal. Granted, I just watched a movie by Finland which featured Sarah Palin as the President who was really a lizard person, so maybe foreign leaders aren’t really all that off limits. Quentin Tarantino literally changed history by having Adolf Hitler shot to death in a movie theater. And let’s not forget that there have been TWO movies about sitting presidents in the past 20 years that did not paint either of them in a positive light. 

Yes, there were threats. Sony, as much as I’ve spend time mocking them, were in an impossible decision. Show the movie and nothing happens, great. Pull the movie, and they’re cowards. Show the movie and someone dies (terrorist related. If they die from laughter, then that’s a bigger box-office draw!) then they ignored a big threat. So I do feel for them. But I don’t feel they should have caved into this threat… it only sets a bad precedent that threats like this will make a studio cave. 

There’s no shortage of controversial topics that can come to the theater, and they get protested, all the time. They get threats and theaters get attacked. The Last Temptation of Christ was so controversial at the time that theaters were burned down, resulting in injuries. But that didn’t stop people from showing it. We can’t be so afraid that we’re not showing movies now, and all this says is that the best way to get a movie banned is to threaten the right people, at the right time. You don’t even have to show power, beyond leaking a few emails to the press.

i get that there’s no easy answer. But at the same time, it just makes me sad to see a piece of art censored - and love ’em or hate’em, stoner comedies are Seth Rogen and James Franco’s art - and make no mistake, this is censorship through the threat of terrorism. This sets up a chain that can and will affect the future of bold filmmaking. Yes, they could have easily slipped in a fake dictator and we’d already be hearing reviews about how it wasn’t as funny as This is the End. But they chose not to. They chose to put in a real world situation for comedic affect? Because they felt like it? Who cares, it’s what they did. We can’t censor art because of a threat. It’s only going to get worse until the point that there are three movies in the theater, each one more inoffensive than the last. 

As a film lover and a censorship hater, I want to see The Interview back in theaters. I want to see Seth Rogen and James Franco do what they love best: making movies that make us laugh. Or at least are supposed to make us laugh. I love you guys, but they’re not all winners. And i want us to not be so afraid that we’re willing to compromise our art, for any reason. Rest assured, if the movie gets released, I’ll be there opening day to watch it. If it gets leaked online, I’ll go ahead and stream it, if for no other reason that the movie deserves to be seen. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bad Shakespeare's Movie of the Year

Can you smell it in the air, everyone? It’s that magical time of year, when all of the lights are up, everyone puts on their finest outfit, and all of the movies and TV shows start announcing their big awards for the end of the year, somehow three weeks before the actual end of the year. That’s right, go ahead and announce best movie of the year before The Interview comes out. James Franco is the man, and may be an acting god. Just throwing that out there.

Now I’m not a professional film critic. Thank God I haven’t dulled my love of movies to the point that I’m calling out all the flaws in a movie as awesome as Let’s Be Cops. But, as you loyal readers know, I do love me some movies, and I’ve spent a good portion of this year when I’m not busy activating my awesome Grad School Powers in the movies. I love them so much I took a class in Film Theory, which taught me to embrace my love of the bad movie as the very first film we watched was Cat People, and it was just that a 1942 horror film about a woman that turned in to a panther when she was sexually aroused but since it was 1942 they couldn’t say “sexually aroused” but come on we all knew what it meant.

And, yes, there are a few more movies have to see this year, including the aforementioned The Interview, and let’s not forget that there’s a certain movie about a Hobbit learning the very important life lesson to not trust wizards who come knocking smoking a strange pipe. But that being said, I do want to talk about my favorite movie of the year, because despite the fact that I’m going to sit in awe for both The Hobbit: Three More Hours of Dwarf Fighting (They should let me name these things) and The Interview (and Annie if there’s time. There will be time.) I really am ready to announce my movie of the year.

The Movie Gods: Nicolas Cage, Tom Hanks, and Joss Whedon have blessed us with a fantastic year of movies, both the good and the bad. My highlights did include some slackers pretending to be cops and some slacker cops pretending to be slackers. I enjoyed watching the Guardians saving the Galaxy. Spiderman was back in action, and Paul Walker did Parkour. There were Boxtrolls, Dragons, and Bill Murray doing his best St. Vincent impression. Angelina Jolie went evil, Tom Cruise was actually kind of good, and don’t get me started on George Clooney and Matt Damon fighting in World War 2. Or saving stuff. We got inventor dogs and a movie about toys where everything was awesome. However, I have to say, for me, the best film of the year was…

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

I wanted to find some obscure movie, or look back at some unappreciated gem like Wish I Was Here (everyone hop off the Zach Braff hate train. It’s ok to like him) or the November Man or look at something I disliked like Tammy or Snowpiercer and try to find the good in discovering it’s actually awesome. But I have to go with the movie that everyone is talking about. 

For those of you who don’t know, Birdman is about a washed up actor named Riggan Thomson played by Michael Keaton, who once played an iconic superhero named Birdman. After three successful films, he walked away. He wants to relaunch his career by writing, directing, and starring in his own play. 

I wasn’t prepared to like the movie as much as I did. I heard about the gimmick: the movie looks like it’s all shot one one take with the camera following the actors and the cuts hidden (some in pretty obvious ways, such as time lapse footage, etc.) But I don’t know. It just stuck with me in a way that no other movie did this year.

First, there’s the acting, which is flat out incredible from everyone involved, from Michael Keaton slowly unraveling while doing voiceovers not in his voice, but in the rumbly growl of Birdman’s. Edward Norton plays an egotistical actor (ahem, insert the “not much of a stretch” joke here…) and Emma Stone plays his daughter, assistant, and only real advocate as he slowly loses his mind. 

I really liked the casting of Norton and Stone, particularly because of their involvement in other successful Superhero franchises. Norton walked away from his and Emma… well, she was sorta killed off like everyone knew she was going to after she was cast as one of the most famous homicide victims of all time. It was particularly interesting for her to have her blonde hair leftover from her Gwen Stacy role. I’m not sure if that was a directing or acting choice, but it really pointed to her previous role.

Yes, then there’s the ultra meta story about an actor leaving behind a multi-billion dollar franchise to star in a smaller comeback role that is starring a guy who walked away from a multi-billion dollar franchise and is now starring in a smaller comeback role. It also means his only role this year wasn’t in the Robocop remake. Again, another blockbuster that he could have starred in, he was overshadowed by the fact that the movie didn’t do very well, and now he’s in a smaller role. This is punctuated by the big action sequence that goes on in his head that feels jarringly out of place in an otherwise quiet movie, but is totally necessary. 

I also like the darkness of the storyline. At it’s core, it’s about a man who is trying to walk away from something that he loves, but is also unravelling. He’s desperately trying to cling onto what he loves, and not by taking the easy way out, either. In the narrative of the film, he’s turned down the role of Birdman for a fourth time, and this seems to be the first question anyone asks of him. The first time we see him, he appears to be floating in nothing but his underwear, but when the camera returns to him, he’s standing. This is the first instance that this is going to be a movie that messes with you a little bit. 

Everything stands out in this movie, even the gimmicky one shot camera movement. It adds to some of the chaos that is this movie, and even helps add to the confusion. The best sequence is that of Riggan flying over the city after apparently jumping off the building. the camera lands at an angle so we see him walk into the theatre, quickly followed by a cabbie, demanding his money for the ride he was just given. It really helps add to the slow sensation of madness that this movie hopes to invoke. 

I was going to write about this a lot later, but about a million awards shows are coming out and they’re all naming Birdman as one of the best movies of the year, so I pumped up my timeline a little. It needs to win all of these awards. And I’m quite frankly dying to see it again. This is an awesome movie, and one that once you see it, will stay with you for quite a while. I know I talk a lot about movies, some of them good, some of them bad… but this is a must see. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Let's all Freak Out about Spoilers Again

Please note, the following post contains spoilers. Spoilers for things that came out years ago and you should have seen, but also a few spoilers for a show the most recent episode of the Walking Dead. Also, I’ll be discussing the fact that spoilers were released for the last episode of Sons of Anarchy, but I won’t reveal them here as the episode hasn’t aired at the time of this writing, and I’m genuinely afraid of what Kurt Sutter might do if I do release those spoilers. He had one character stick a fork in another character, and that was one of the nicer deaths on the show. No, thank you.

Ah, Spoilers. It’s time to discuss them again, because as a culture our spoiler-phobia has reached brand new levels as two highly popular shows accidentally released spoilers for their upcoming shocking endings. We’ve discussed spoilers before here on Bad Shakespeare, particularly surrounding the last Star Trek movie Star Trek (I’m putting a colon here because it needs one no matter how arty you get) : Into Darkness. Unless the title referred to the actual act of trekking into darkness, but that makes no sense.

For those who don’t remember or just started reading this blog (Welcome) I talked about how there was a ton of secrecy surrounding the mysterious character that very British Man Benedict Cumberbatch was playing, and that it was a twist that he was playing Khan, who up until this point had been played by very Spanish Ricardo Montalb├ín, and when you create an alternate timeline, duh, the Indian Character played by a Spanish person becomes British, duh. 

There was a lot of secrecy surrounding his role, and any mention of it outside the film set was dubbed a, “spoiler” despite the fact that the twist has no real bearing on the plot, and the bigger twist is that the Admiral played by Robocop was the real bad guy. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan is a cool thing, but it’s not really a “spoiler” so much as a “plot point” that will “make me want to see the movie.”

That takes to today’s topic about spoilers, mostly that AMC, the channel of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and the idea that you can run six episodes then wait a year to run six more and call that a “Season” accidentally released a picture of Darryl carrying zombie fodder/Greene Daughter/only made it this long because the writers forgot about her Beth Greene, announcing that she was the big casualty for the mid-season finale, when someone had to die (dun dun dun) and they’d already killed off Bob earlier in the season. 

Naturally, people went up in arms because it spoiled the ending. It didn’t say how or why Beth died, just that she did. Internet comments ranged from empty threats to never watch the show again to death threats to racial slurs thrown at the previous commenters. Because that’s what we do now. Whoever decided that all internet commenting should be anonymous doesn’t really have a special place in Hell per se, but I think when they get to Heaven they get the room on the end where the remote doesn’t have any batteries and their alarm doesn’t wake them up in time to go to any of the cool concerts we get to go to. 

But I have to ask… does that spoiler really ruin anything, as people claim it does? 

The Walking Dead has a track record of killing off people randomly, even if it doesn’t follow the comic. And it doesn’t matter if they’re the kindly old man who dispenses advice, or an innocent girl with a rainbow T-Shirt on. People die. Beth had been taken by a mysterious group that I guess was running low on weak blondes they can boss around, and her death was kinda shocking, I guess, but I tuned in to see what happened. 

We live in a day and age when it’s kind of easy to get spoilers. Some stuff is closely guarded, but pictures from the set or “insider information” gets out pretty easily. There’s a story of Kevin Smith, back when he was filming Jersey Girl starring pre-Batmaned Ben Affleck, back when he was dating Jennifer Lopez (I think we tend to forget this. We need to remember to make sure nothing like it happens again.) and they wanted to hide the fact that J-Lo dies halfway through the opening of the movie, so they had her on set, “filming” scenes… it was still ruined by someone who didn’t want people to think she was going to be in the movie still. 

The “shock ending” of the film shouldn’t be the end-all/be-all of the movie itself. In fact, if you rely solely on the shock ending and you don’t’ care much about the characters or anything like that, then you have a pretty crappy movie or TV Show. Beth dying is an idea. Why she dies, or what leads to that death, or why Daryl is carrying her when they aren’t in the same scene together… that’s important.

This also happened last week when a book came out early that revealed the “shocking” ending of Sons of Anarchy. Yes. I read it. Mostly because I love the show and I enjoy talking about it, so I wanted to know what was going to happen. I’m terrible like that. I won’t reveal the shocking contents, but it pretty much sums up something I thought was going to happen already. Does it ruin the experience? Nope. Does it change everything for me? Nope. Am I still a little afraid of Kurt Sutter? Yeah. Just a little. I didn’t reveal your ending! I’m interested to see what you do with it.

The fact is, we deal with spoilers in our entertainment every day. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Yeah, I know there are million parodies out there right now, and by now everyone knows the shocking ending to that… (they’re the same person!) but back when it was written, no one knew. Over they years it has entered our popular culture until yes, we now know it to be the ending. But does that change the story that much? Not really, because the story is about man’s focus on the true nature of good and evil, and not just a dude drinking a potion and then suddenly it turns out that he’s the bad guy the whole time.

So everyone… relax. Calm down with the spoiler phobia. And also, stop trying to attach spoilers where they don’t belong. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Yes, Virginia... There is A Star Wars Coming Next Year

Unless you’re Amish,or a graduate student desperately attempting to finish up those last two papers that are due next week and are at least 50% of your grade, you’ve probably heard that a little trailer for a little film was released last week. If you’re Amish and reading this, then I just have to ask… why? Get back to your field. You’re not supposed to be reading the internet, and it’s probably best if you don’t.

Anyway, it’s big news that 88 seconds of confusing footage that is the trailer for the new Star Wars movie was finally released last week. After literally years of speculating, we got to see our first footage of what will make up the next chapter of the Star Wars Universe, featuring new droids, implications that the Empire made some changes to their stormtooper policies over the course of 30 years, and a lightsaber that looks like it can take off an arm. 

Sorry, Luke… too soon?

Now, with anything that’s released nowadays, we’ve already seen it all. A scene by scene breakdown that attempts to contextualize (grad school word… yay!) a bunch of images that don’t have any context yet. We’ve gotten complaints. So, so many complaints. A Black Stormtrooper? (it worked in Blazing Saddles…) Despite the fact that it’s set 30 years later, and we don’t know why he’s wearing a stormtrooper outfit, are very vocal few have decided this will be their big issue about the movie, at least until more footage is released and they can find something else to complain about.

Of course, once again, we don’t have context, and he could be a stormtrooper… after all 30 years is a long time to keep stocking up on clones… or he could have just put on the suit… like Luke and Han… but no, you keep complaining about it, faceless masses that have nothing better to do.

We’ve also seen the great light saber debate, skillfully shut down by Stephen Colbert (a Star Wars fan for two weeks longer than anyone else) but once again is something we know nothing about. I, personally, am very pro-lightsaber claymore, but I have this cool theory that it’s actually a lightsaber made by someone who didn’t know what they were doing, so those are actually exhaust ports that keep it from overheating, and they’re eventually going to make a better one and… I just can’t wait.

And, as with everything nowadays, it’s been parodied. So. Many. Parodies. The George Lucas Special Edition. The low budget version. The Lego version. Seriously, people, stop. First of all, you’re all no Weird Al. Secondly, put the effort into creating something new. 

That’s just a side note. There’s actually something I really wanted to discuss regarding the trailer.

It’s no secret that many of us were burned by the Prequel trilogy. I didn’t hate it as much as most (I didn’t like Phantom Menace, but I really enjoyed the others.) But some people were let down. I have to agree, I can understand why. The Original Star Wars Trilogy was made with a lot less technology, or computer effects, so you had to fill in a lot of the gaps with your imagination. That’s what it was for me, anyway. Seeing everything laid out on the screen did take away a little bit of the magic for me. Even when George Lucas remastered them and added a bunch of silly creatures in the background… it was a bit much for me. 

So, I was prepared in some ways to be jaded about the new trilogy.

But then… those last five seconds. The Millennium Falcon, zooming through the air, fighting off a bunch of tie fighters. And I was suddenly four again. And there’s nothing cooler than the Millennium Falcon. Nothing.

To me, the Falcon is the grandaddy of it all. Without Han Solo and Chewbaca flying in at the last minute to save Luke, there would be no Firefly or Captain Mal, and Guardians of the Galaxy would still be on the comic pages somewhere with people laughing at a talking raccoon. 

Ok, so we still laugh a little bit at the raccoon. And the giant tree. 

Back when I was four, I loved Star Wars. Yes. I’m old. I’m comfortable with it. I can remember seeing the first one and being just… floored. I didn’t understand how they could get talking robots and the Force up on the screen. I know I’d just seen Empire Strikes Back, and while I didn’t understand all of it, I knew that in my heart of hearts it was probably the best movie that anyone would ever create. 

It was a cold Christmas Eve, and I was sitting in the living room probably tired, probably watching some Christmas special, when there was a knock on the door. It was a little late for us to be getting visitors, but I don't really remember thinking that. It was Christmas eve. Tomorrow was going to erupt into the best gift giving day ever, and I wasn’t close to going to sleep.

But then he was there. Santa. Well, the guy that my parents asked to dress up as Santa, but it was Santa. The man in the flesh, stopping by my house to personally give me and my brother a present early. And this is to let you know the impact of his next action: I don’t remember when he gave to my brother. But what did he give to me? The giant Millennium Falcon toy. 

This wasn’t just any toy. the top flipped up so you could put your Han Solo Action figure inside. The floors came up, too, so when the Stormtroopers tried to find Han and Leia and Chewbaca, they could hide. I didn’t really know what a smuggler was at this point, so, really, I didn’t understand why the floors came up, they just did. 

It was probably the best present I’d ever gotten. I know I spent hours on imaginary space runs, saving Luke, or just flying around the galaxy, making the Kessle run in under 12 Parsecs. Also, I know that’s not a real measurement, but I don’t care. 

So, when the trailer suddenly ended with  that shot… that one, particular shot… man. Christmas cannot get here soon enough. And by that, I mean Christmas next year. 

People, you can be jaded by the Prequels. You can question random things like a black stormtrooper, or a rolly droid rolling around in his rollingness. You can ask why a lightsaber suddenly has a hilt. You can make your parody trailers and your parody moments. But nothing… and I mean nothing… will take away that feeling I had when I saw the Falcon again, zooming through the landscape. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Warriors

Batten down the hatches, ladies and gentlemen… it’s Black Friday.
That’s right, Black Friday, that time of year that comes earlier and earlier each year to the point that it’s started cutting into Thanksgiving Day. By 2050, scientists fear that the next year’s Black Friday’s Deals will actually start on the preceding year until eventually, it causes a time vortex that destroys us all.

For those of you who don’t know (and I know that just about everyone who is reading this knows what Black Friday is, but I have a joke, damnit, and I’m going to make it) Black Friday is the day that used to fall the day After Thanksgiving where everyone who hasn’t heard of the internet runs to overcrowded malls to trample people for half priced televisions under the guise of giving gifts, but instead thinks it looks really nice in front of their couch so they’re just going to go ahead and keep it right there.
I can’t think of a better way to kick off the time of year when we celebrate the birth of the world’s most famous pacifist who preached a lifestyle of poverty than to physically threaten our fellow man over the last half priced Playstation, can you?

Quick history lesson: Black Friday got its name not because Thogor the Black Knight, famed destroyer of worlds began his shopping on this day, and murdered seven people to get the last Tickle Me Elmo, (Kids, ask your parents) but rather it’s because it’s the time of year that it’s believed many retailers go into the “black” in some ways assuming that the rest of the year they’re in the red, which is a horrible, horrible way to run a business. My explanation for the name is better.

Here’s another nugget of wisdom for everyone: it’s not the biggest shopping day of the year, rather it’s December 24th, around that time that you’ve realized that it’s December 24th, and oh my Cage you didn’t pick up those last few things on your list that you really, really, really needed to pick up. 

I actually participated in a Black Friday Event, once. this was back in the good old days, when the stores opened at Midnight on Black Friday, thus technically getting around the whole “it’s open on Thanksgiving” and appeasing the crowd that routinely complains about forcing people to work on Thanksgiving and I guess magically believe that all the trash following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the concessions sold at the Football Games are done by magical fairies that do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but rather another, more magical holiday that we all give them the day off. 

Yes, simply for the experience, I “lined” up outside a local Target to buy… well, nothing, really. I had the next day off and I just felt like going out. And I use the word “line” in quotes” because to be honest with you at that point it was less a line so much as a mass gathering of people that threatened to erupt into mild shopping at any moment. And by the time they let us in, it was really just chaos as pretty much any person could just walk up. I think someone did. I don’t remember.

I was woefully unprepared. The person in front of me had a Target catalogue with all the sale items circled and post-it notes on most items color coded to whom they would be purchased for. I don’t think I organize my notebooks that well. In fact, I’ll just say it, I don’t organize my notebooks that well. I still keep bookmarks with loose receipts I get, probably from a movie somewhere.

Now, I should point out that I did have some experience with Black Friday. I used to work right above a Target. This Target was unique in that it probably did more business on weekdays, when people were at work and bored (or dodging out on a fire drill like some people who will remain nameless, Sharon) than it did on weekends when it was largely inaccessible in that it was in a place in Northern Virginia, and just about everything is inaccessible in Northern Virginia on the weekends. I think our motto is “come because we’re really close to Washington, DC, stay because you can’t leave.” 

This particular Target was pretty cool, because after the throngs of people would raid it and get the deals, my co-workers and I, that were totally working on the day after Thanksgiving instead of coming to the office and just goofing off, would head down at an approved break time (totally, I swear) and pick over what was left. I actually got some good deals, and I didn’t have to beat an old lady as I grabbed that cool pair of Superman Socks that I would never wear.

Back to this midnight Target event, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. I’ve been in crowds. I’ve stood in line to get Billie Piper’s Autograph, and that involved talking to a guy dressed as the Joker for 2 hours. I’ve been shoved up against a door as a roof collapsed from ice. (I should have probably led with the last one. I made my notes, I’m sticking too it.) but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many people running for, let’s be honest, stupid stuff, before in my life.

Hey, I love my gadgets. I’m not returning my PS4 or my big TV anytime soon. But I’m also not going to run, Mad Max style, towards it, leaving as much carnage as possible in my wake.

For the most part, it was calm, just with a lot of people. I know there are stories about people who hurt other shoppers because that’s totally what Jesus would want this time of year. I realize that it could be worse, and my experience was kind of lame. I mean, I did find some cool games on like, mega sale, so I did pick those up (the lines weren’t bad, either. People got us in and out.)

I don’t know that I really had a point when I started writing this. Part of it is, well, the fact that you should probably just order whatever online. That way you get to drink hot chocolate in front of a fire and watch some movies instead of fighting with parking spaces and then having to walk all the way to a store. Who needs it. Plus, if you time it right, by the time you’d be crashing carts with someone, Ben-Hurr style, you could be getting your second helping of Turkey without anyone knowing. (That’s the strategy. Get your seconds after everyone is in their food coma.)

Happy Holiday Season, everyone!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Bad Shakespeare

Today is Thanksgiving. Despite the fact that a lot of meals have been pushed up to get to the malls faster to celebrate the spirit of gettin’ (which I’m not against, especially if someone wants to get me a replica of Captain Mal’s coat from Thinkgeek… just sayin’) and the fact that if you turn on the news right now it seems like you have your choice of dying horribly from disease, violence, or the weather, there really is a lot ot be thankful for.

In our own lives, we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the worst of things. I know I have. I’ve spend plenty of time worrying about things that in the long run, don’t ultimately matter. Which is why i find Thanksgiving to be so important, because, as the name implies, it’s the one day that we should sit down to our meal and really think about what it means to be thankful for things. I don’t just mean to say thanks, but to actually think about what we have to be grateful for. 

In that vein, I’m presenting to you Bad Shakespeare’s official things to be thankful for. Don’t worry. this isn’t all touchy-feely-hooray stuff. I’ve got some humor in here.

I’m grateful to have a family that tolerates me. Oh, I could say “love.” But “tolerate” is so much more than “love.” You can love someone and never really want to see them again. You can love someone because you HAVE to because you’re related by blood, marriage, or the secret knowledge of where they body is buried. But i have a family that tolerates me. I have a family that, when I said “hey, I don’t want to be a teacher anymore” they all said, “duh, now go get your English Degree or your out of the will.” (just kidding. I’ve been out of the will for a long time.) I have a family that when I said, “hey, I’m going to get a Doctor Who Tattoo over my arm” they rolled their eyes and figured at least it wasn’t something obscene or even worse like Star Trek: Voyager. 

I’m grateful that I live in this unprecedented time of geekdom. When I was a little Bad Shakespeare, we had to tolerate merely mediocre versions of our favorite movies and TV Shows. An X-Men movie was the fevered dream of a madman, and they were rotating directors in a Superman movie like a Kardashian Husband. Don’t get us started on Steel. The less said about that, the better. But in this day and age, the geek is celebrated. We have movies, books, TV Shows… science fiction and fantasy is everywhere. I don’t have to hide my encyclopedic knowledge of what all the Kryptonites do, nor do I have to tell everyone that Christopher Eccelson was my first Doctor, I can be honest and say I watched it back when it was really weird. Cyborg pirates controlling planets weird. 20 foot scarf weird. 

I’m grateful that I have friends, good friends, that not only put up with my schemes, but remind me of who I am. I can study all the Shakespeare, Chopin, and Steinbeck I want, but I’m lucky I’ve got a friend who reminds me that I can still enjoy two men fake-beating up on each other to fake-win a belt. Sometimes they do it in a steel cage, and even if the winner is pre-determined, it’s still exciting. I’m lucky I have a friend who, when I say, “I wonder who I can go see a 9 hour Hobbit movie marathon with?” she stands up and says, “Nine hours? Pfft. Where’s the other 15 hours?” I’m lucky that I have friends across the country, but the second I need help they’re the first people to say, “what do I need to do?” 

I’m grateful that I live in a time when science has evolved to the point that can order a book anywhere, anytime, and read it, all on a magic device that looked magic when Picard was holding one. I’m as cool as Picard. Booya. Science has also allowed me to put three birds inside each other and cook them into a delicious meal. 

I’m grateful my hair is as exciting as it is. 

I’m grateful that I got out of a program I really didn't enjoy. And not because it’s not a good profession, but because it wasn’t for me. If i were in that program, I wouldn’t be driving you all crazy by reminding you every week that I’m going to London to study for a month. Did I let you know that I’m going to London to study? That’s right. London: Home of the Benedict Cumberbatch.

I’m grateful that I’ve found a movie theater with leather reclining seats. 

        I’m grateful for you. Yes, no matter how many of you read this, it’s more than one, which means it’s not just me double checking how the blog appears on the page. So, thank you for reading my insane ramblings. You're the best. You know who you are. 

Oh, and one more, I’m lastly really grateful for our future robot overlords. You know, when they finally read this. 

Thanks, y’all. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's the Great Turducken, Bad Shakespeare!

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring, except me, preparing a dish I’ve always wanted to do, and that is a Turducken!

First, some quick background. Let’s start with the fact that the previous sentence didn’t rhyme, and I think we can all agree that my written prayers to our Patron Saints of the Movie Seasons, Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, and Joss Whedon, all prove that I’m so-so when it comes to the whole poetry thing. I’ll stick to funny wordplay here and leave the rhyming to the professionals like Taylor Swift. and whoever writes for Ariana Grande.

Secondly, Thanksgiving is my second favorite Holiday behind Nicolas Cage’s Birthday, but just before Christmas. It used to be Christmas, mostly because I enjoyed the run-up to Christmas so much what with everyone pretending to be nice to each other for 25 days, but the “War on Christmas” and the people who freak out if you say “Happy Holidays” pretty much ruined that for me. Just be nice to everyone, people. If they say “Happy Holidays” they’re being nice, they’re not attacking your way of life. 

Also, we need to celebrate Nicolas Cage’s Birthday this year. It’s January, but we’ll get a tree and all exchange insane movie roles that morning, and then we’ll have a big feast where everything is set on fire. This is after we steal the ceremonial Declaration of Independence, mind you.

In any event, I don’t talk about it much on this blog, but I like to cook. I’m actually part of an award-winning BBQ Team, the Crazy Rednecks. I should probably write those up sometime soon, my experiences in the world of BBQ Competitions, but that’s not what I’m talking about today, today I’m talking about Turducken.

For those of you who don’t know, Turducken is a magical creation where someone decided to stuff a duck inside of a chicken inside of a turkey, then allowed all the magical flavors to meld together during the cooking process. It’s actually quite a beautiful sight. I’m not really sure when it was invented, and I’m too lazy to look, but I’m going to pretend it was invented by Benjamin Franklin because, let’s face it, if it’s food related he probably invented. The man loved to eat, drink, and get stoned. The idea of cramming 3 birds together and cooking them all at once probably came from him after he’d gotten stoned while drinking and probably wanted a way to eat all birds at once. 

But I’ve never made one before. The first trip the the butcher to get it prepared was a bit nerve wracking. I’ve been to the butcher before, but this was the first time I put in an order this special. You see, just cramming the birds together doesn’t really do much in terms of flavor, they have to be deboned, , then usually they’re layered with different types of stuffing. I was all prepared with my stuffing recipes and my full explanation of what it was when I approached the butchers. I had even done research on the best one around, and settled on the one that was really close to my house because I hate driving. 

As I walked in, it was a magical meat paradise. I don’t know why I hadn’t gone in before, but there were nice, dry aged steaks, more sausages than you could imagine, and meat as far as the eye could see. There were even home-made rubs and BBQ Sauce, all lined up nicely. There was also a giant sign that said, “pre-order your Turducken today” which meant a lot of my planning had gone out the window in terms of what I was going to say and in terms of stuffing. Fortunately, my stuffing recipes aren’t really that good, so it was probably for the best that this place was willing to assemble all of the birds for me, like a giant poultry-frankenstein. 

Yay, for less work!

To prepare it, I’ll be cooking it in my smoker, because with the threat of snow coming nothing really sounds better to me than standing outside in the cold, cooking. That’s not as sarcastic as it sounds, there’s nothing better than getting the fire going, then sitting outside as the meat cooks to a nice temperature, all cuddled up in a blanket. Unless the other guys on my team ask, then I’m not “cuddled” anywhere so much as allowing the cold to bounce harmlessly off my more than masculine form. 

I also enjoy the act of cooking, believe it or not. I enjoy taking something and creating something new. Back at the start of the year, when I was doubting my degree, my time in High School, my life as a swim coach, and by extension most of my existence, I could always fall back on cooking. I still remember the day I decided to quit, the first thing I did was make these steak and lobster sandwiches for my friends who were attending a movie marathon, then I promptly snuck them in, and they feasted. I didn’t. But being able to create something they still talk about today, when I was at my lowest, it really meant a lot to me.

         I’m excited to get started with this Frankenfowl feast. I’m looking forward to putting it on the smoker, and creating something that people will love. I'm looking forward to just trying something new and exciting. It could turn out great. It could suck. That's the great thing about cooking something you've never done before: the adventure of trying something new.

I’m also making pulled pork, because I’ve made pulled pork before and let’s just say I’m also very skilled at making sure I’ve got a back up, and of course if it doesn't turn out we'll never mention this to anyone ever again. I'm adventurous, not crazy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are We Too Cynical When it Comes To Comic Book Movies?

Recently, both Marvel and DC Comics released their films for the next couple of years. It includes things like more Avengers, Batman going up against Superman, multiple versions of the Flash, and let’s not even get started on the movie spanning war that involves a bunch of gems and a magic glove. You’re going to have to trust me on this, it’s a pretty awesome series that no one every realistically thought would be made into a movie, much less into a movie featuring the same actors that have been playing the same movie roles for a couple fo movies now. 

This is tied in with a resurgence in Doctor Who, brand new Star Trek movies (and the possibility that a new Star Trek series is about to come out… I know, we get one of these rumors every few years, but this one feels more real), a bunch of new Star Wars movies featuring the original cast, not, “let’s set it in the past so we don’t have to use the same actors”… I mean, it’s really never been a better time to be a nerd. One of the biggest movies expected to open this year is an adaption of the Hobbit the way JRR Tolkien wanted it to be, as a real prequel to the Lord of the Rings as opposed to a cutesy one-off. The most popular books for teenagers are science fiction, Green Arrow has his own TV Show, and you can talk about phaser guns and space travel without the danger of getting a swirly. 

It’s never really been a better time to be a nerd. 

So, then… why are we so miserable?

Seriously, if you told 15 year old me that I could walk around with my Doctor Who tattoo while I waited for Thor and Captain America to duke it out on screen one week then watch the Flash while I wait for Batman and Superman to be in a movie together, I probably would have re-believed in Santa while imagining the Easter Bunny was throwing a surprise party for me on my birthday, and they were all bringing me presents. 

instead, we get petty complaints about useless stuff. Are we getting too cynical when it comes to movies like this? Are we getting too cynical in what we consider “good.”

First up, let’s talk about casting. The closest we came to the sound of heads exploding was casting in Batman. You know which one I’m talking about. The actor that everyone knows is going to mess up the role. He’s going to make it miserable, something terrible. How in the world could he have ever been cast? He’s going to mess it up, did you see the early pictures of Heath Ledger as the Joker? Yeah. That guy. Not Ben Affleck, who everyone is certain is going to one day mess up the character that was once played with dignity and respect by the great tortured actor Michael Keaton Adam West Val Kilmer George Clooney. 

Yes, I know this isn’t new, we’ve been mocking the idea of a certain actor taking over a role since the dawn of time, since that one bald English dude took over some role called “Captain Picard.” Sometimes you get a good surprise, like when Heath Ledger defined the Joker. 

My point is, that most of the debate seems to center around a movie that has had zero footage shown of it up until this point. 

Then is the dreaded… Superhero Fatigue. You see, over the course of 5 years, they’re releasing roughly a billion superhero movies. SURELY WE WILL ALL BE TIRED OF THEM BY THE END OF THE FIRST YEAR!! A quick look at Google and IMDB (I know, more research than I usually do) shows that roughly 8,000 movies were released in 2013. I’m not including 2014, so the year is not set. Yes, those aren’t all your oooooh… go see it now, titles, some may be one offs or special events, but that doesn’t change the fact that 8,000 movies recently came to theaters. 

The year that will have the most superhero movies released is 2016, with a whopping 7. So, using math, 0.0001% of movies released will be a Superhero movie. So… that’s a lot, maybe?

Again, my point is, in a perfect world where no actors get hurt, no movie times get changed, and everything comes out, you could go see 20 movies one year, and not even half of them would involve a dude in tights trying to save the world. Or destroy it, depending on what you’re watching.

Then there’s the whole Hobbit thing that I’ve tackled in the past, about how Peter Jackson was never adapting the Hobbit book, which is one little book and definitely not 3 long movies featuring cool cinematography and as many dwarf escape scenes in barrels as you could possibly want, along with sub-plots about hot female elves. Naturally it has it’s haters, but I’m surprised at the vitriol coming out about a movie that’s mostly just supposed to be… fun.

We live in an amazing time. Those static pictures… they’re moving now. The images in our head… they’re real now. That boy wizard went mainstream. A mind-bending-time-travel drama was so popular everyone tried to copy it. With cool special effects. I don’t think we realize how close we were to seeing Robert Downey Jr in a cardboard box painted red and having some filmmakers call it a day. (I caught Steel while I was working out this morning. Not Shaquille O’Neal’s finest work.)

What I’m saying is somewhere down the line, we lost our enthusiasm. That’s what made me want to be a nerd in the first place. We got cynical about “our” properties going “mainstream.” I say that’s awesome, let more people enjoy it. Let people know why we gathered for so long with our comic books, or our dreams of a brighter future, or even just the cool pew-pew laser battle stuff that made life so much worth living. Let’s be excited… Superman and Batman are about to throw down on film, and then I get to go watch Iron Man and Captain America duke it out, too, played by real actors. I’m going to watch the Hobbit… on the big screen, as part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy! Let’s all get excited again! Let’s bring back what it meant to be a kid, enjoying this stuff for the first time.

Or we can all go back to just being angry on the internet, and laughing at scenes from Big Bang Theory where a woman going into a comic book store is reason for everyone to stop and stare. 

Come on, everyone. Let’s drop the cynicism. Let’s go out and enjoy your comic books again! Let’s enjoy our movies again!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

So, I finally watched Snowpiercer...

Pictured: a man living off bugs for 17 years in a revolt that's supposed to be taking place in a tiny space. 

This past summer, I watched 42 movies. I even ranked them, sorta, talking about which ones I loved, like Let’s Be Cops or 22 Jump Street, or which ones should be burned, ashes buried, and all memory deleted lest aliens one day see them and judge us on them. Tammy. Transformers 4, because I refuse to call it Trans4mers. Heh. I guess that is kind of clever.

Throughout this movie odyssey in the summer, one movie kept coming up. “Hey, I’m glad you enjoyed Fault in Our Stars… have you seen Snowpiercer?” “OMG SNOWPIERCER FTW!” “Hey…. hey…. hey… Snowpiercer…” Even critics were like “Here we go, the BEST movie crafted is now Snowpiercer! Why aren’t you watching it?” Everywhere I turned recommended this movie to me, and told me I should be watching it. I was kind of excited. 

I didn’t actively avoid the movie. It has a lot of elements I really like. Sci-fi stuff. Post-apocalyptic societies. Trains. Captain America, somehow playing a dude who has been starving for 17 years but is somehow gorgeous. John Hurt doing his best Gandalf/Dumbledor/insert name of wise old character here. It was supposedly this awesome class/environmental/religious allegory with some beautifully shot sequences. 

But I didn’t get around to seeing it. To be honest with you, it was only playing at one theater that wasn’t my usual theater, and on in-demand and the whole criteria for me going to see the movie was that it be on the big screen, small screen was cheating just for my purposes. As much as I wanted to see it, I didn’t.

And after finally having had seen it, I’m kind of glad I didn’t, only because my post that had the movies I disliked already had 6 entries, and I would feel bad not being able to include one of those because this was on it. In other words, let Zoidberg tell you how you should feel about this movie.

I hated it. I couldn’t hate it any more. It wasn’t a genre-savvy satire of class structure and religion gone wrong. It was a two hour mess that made no sense, beat the viewer over the head for two hours with half-formed metaphors, and made no damn sense. 

Unfortunately, this puts me in the minority, one that gleefully points out that I enjoyed Damon Wayans, Jr and that other guy from New Girl (Jake Johnson) pretend to be cops in a series of wacky misadventures as if that matters. let me make it a bit clearer for you: Let’s Be Cops was clearly never going to be the best movie of the year. It wasn’t the funniest movie of the year. I don’t really think it was the funniest movie in the theaters that day. Damon Wayans, Jr, as much as I love him, will never be clutching an Oscar for his role as the lovable sidekick in that movie. But it was pretty well put together, and delivered on every promise that the trailer or reviews made. I had fun, and even if I can point out the many flaws, I still enjoyed the movie.

Snowpiercer wasn’t really marketed as “just an action movie” or “just a science fiction movie” or “just a movie about trains.” It was marketed about a mind-bending science fiction movie, then the hype furthered as it was the PERFECT ALLEGORY ABOUT CLASS! THE PERFECT ALLEGORY ABOUT RELIGION! THE PERFECT ALLEGORY ABOUT CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

For those of you who haven’t wasted your two hours, it is about a train called Snowpiercer that travels the globe following a catastrophic weather event to counteract global warming that has frozen the Earth. The train has set up a class system that is supposed to be complex but isn’t really: the poor live crammed in the caboose while the rich live in luxury (?) in the front of the train. The passengers in the tail room have decided to revolt, much like some other people revolt a few years ago, and seize the perpetual motion engine that runs the train. 

Spoiler warning: And it turns out that the whole revolt was a plot between John Hurt’s character, Gilliam, (who had some hand in building the train - don’t worry, they won’t explain what) and Ed Harris’ Wilford to thin out the population and thus resources, even though no resources are really being used to keep the tail section alive other than some bugs, and they don’t really provide anything other than kids to keep parts of the train running, although this is a new development. Also they may want Chris Evans’ Curtis character to run the train, but that may have been a ruse or something, and talking to him about it was out of the question for some reason. Did I cover everything? Oh, yes, and there’s a chance that the outside world is livable again. Our only shot about that was a Polar Bear, and there’s a good chance that the new bags of not readily available meat emerging from the broken train at the end were about to become food. 

Let’s start with the plot, which is this revolt that runs from the tail engine to “thin the herd.” The front engine people, who emerge as comic characters - thus negating the entire sense of despair and seriousness the first 10 minutes spend setting up - have such control over the characters in the tail end that they are able to burst in and shove a man’s arm out of an open window long enough for it to break off, because they find the wrong pair of shoes in his room. Again, after setting up this terrible environment, this entire moment is played off as a comedic scene. But they have this control… for what? If the plan is to thin out the herd, why go through every death in the movie when they could just slaughter the tail engine and throw them out the nearest window? Oh, wait… they do that, just after they’ve fought and managed to kill a pregnant woman, among hundreds of faceless thugs, in a moment that doesn’t really understand the way claustrophobic scenes are shot. the battle scenes in Braveheart are more claustrophobic than this.

Then there’s the ALLEGORY… THE TAIL END IS THE POOR PEOPLE, and THE RICH PEOPLE ARE UP FRONT and Willford IS GOD. Don’t worry. Not only will they not spend any time with this, but they’ll also not show you too many other rich people, except for a strange rave scene, and the kids of the rich people who are busy learning things. You’ll spend time with some of the officials, but again, they’re all zany, over the top, clowns. I get that some people did this intentionally, but this completely undercuts everything that was said. 

But with the poor people vs. the rich… that only works if we spend time with the rich people. But we don’t see any of them. We don’t how they live, except they get eggs on New Years… time isn’t really celebrated, as kids are in school AS THE NEW YEAR HITS. They have sushi once a year, in a scene that describes the concept of the movie for anyone who may have missed it when it gets repeated at the end. And a strange rave scene that’s comes back more as a zombie movie than anything else. But we dont’ see any living quarters, or anything else. There’s a kitchen that implies they have lots of food, but no cattle car or anything like that. 

There’s also zero world building in this. Yes, I know, some will argue, but see the point above bout the kids being in school with New Years It’s enough to make everyone stop what they’re doing any pay attention. It’s enough for people to get eggs. People are able to see and recognize their favorite spots, that they see once a year, but this is frustratingly vague. One character comments that he’s seen a spot slowly melting, despite the fact that he was locked in a closet for a good portion of the journey.

This is also a frustrating moment, because in the school we get a harrowing tale about the previous revolt -  the pregnant teacher who treats Wilford like a God points out that seven people tried to leave, and shows us their frozen, visible bodies from the train. Then two minutes later one of the nameless bad guys, having just revealed that all of the guns do in, fact, have bullets (there was a question as to whether all the bullets were used in the last revolt…. don’t worry, they weren’t) Then proceeds to try to shoot the government sanctioned revolt leader (Curtis) through the windows of the train.

The outside is dangerous! Let’s destroy the windows! Especially because we WANT to kill everyone in the revolt already. Never mind that we can just shoot the people we don’t need and dump their bodies out in the cold with no consequence, let’s have cool ninja type fight scenes. 

I could go on. The tone shifts wildly. We don’t get enough time with the allegories to get a real clear message. The ending is just so moronic (everyone dies. Except two people. Also, Curtis loses his arm, because it turns out he wanted to eat a baby, but Gilliam cut off HIS arm to feed Curtis. That baby was his best friend, who ended up dying several scenes earlier.) The movie itself almost plays out like a parody of thought-provoking science fiction dramas. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more had I treated it like that, instead of the great movie it was supposed to be. 

Again, this puts me in the minority, who will point out (and already have) pointed out that I liked other movies, so I guess it disqualifies (?) me from having an opinion on this movie that runs contrary of the pack. But, and I won’t even do the fake “I’m sorry”… I did not enjoy this movie. It was not a good movie. It wasn’t even a good stupid movie, like about half the movies I spend time rewatching. It was a punishing experience, made worse by the fact that it was supposedly this great movie that I was “supposed” to like.