I finally managed to see Rasen, the last of the Ringu movies. Rasen has been available on video since 1998, but never available with English subtitles. And since my understanding of the Japanese language doesn't go much farther than "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto," I was never able to watch it. But now that's it's available on region 1 DVD with Engrish subtitles, I was able to complete the Ringu Cycle. And now I see why it was never available to the English-speaking world.
Rasen is the sequel to Ringu. Both are adaptations of books by Koji Suzuki. The two were produced back-to-back, with almost the same cast and crew, and released almost simultaneously. The Japanese loved Ringu, and hated Rasen. The producers, rather than cut their losses and move on to the next sequel (which they eventually did), decided to bring the cast and crew back, and brought in Hideo Nakata, Ringu's director, to write and direct a remake of the sequel (much like what Warner Bros. did with Exorcist: The Beginning). Hence, Ringu 2 was born.
Much in the way that Ringu 2 and The Ring 2 start at the same source and go in different directions, Ringu 2 and Rasen do the same. Unfortunately, Rasen went in the wrong direction.
Rasen begins right after Ringu ends: with the discovery of Ryuji's body. Mitsuo, a friend of Ryuji's from medical school, is charged with performing the autopsy. During the autopsy and his conversations with Mai, Ryuji's girlfriend and the one who found his body, Mitsuo becomes entangled in the mythos of Sadako and the "video curse".
Now, this is a perfectly good setup for a movie. But Rasen chooses not to follow it. Nor does it bother to follow the pattern set by Ringu. Gone is the "video curse". Turns out the "curse" is actually a virus, contracted by watching the tape. And you needn't actually watch the tape to catch it; you can read about the tape and get it. In fact, you can have sex with someone who watched the tape and get it. And the whole cloning aspect of the virus is ridiculous. (This movie also makes the Duplicating Tape Error: If only two copies of the tape exist (the original and the copy that Reiko made, both of which remained in her possession), where do all of these extra copies come from? Every Ringu sequel, Japanese and American, makes this logical error.)
Oh, and remember Sadako? That nice ghost that caused this whole thing? After Mitsuo watches the tape, Sadako makes an appearance, and (here's where the movie makes its worst error) she's hot. AND naked. Hot, naked Asian chicks could make me do a lot of things, but being scared shitless is not one of them. Speaking of being scared shitless, you won't be while watching this movie, since it's about as scary as any given episode of Fraggle Rock.
After having seen this movie, it's no wonder people stayed away in droves. The sequel to one of the scariest movies in the past 10 years turns out to be something out of a Michael Crichton novel. And not a very good one, at that.
Not that Ringu 2 turned out to be any better, but at least it had the common decency to be scary.
For completists only.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Posted by E at 5:04 pm
Friday, August 26, 2005
A week ago, I posted on an Orbitz.com commercial which perpetuates every gay stereotype known to straight man. I saw this commercial again tonight, and noticed something I hadn't before. (The Girl, who had never seen the commercial before, sat silent for about 10 seconds, and then said, "Did they actually just say, 'The place for gay-friendly travel'?" Yes, ma'am, they certainly did.)
At the end of the commercial, at the bottom of the screen, is the address for this website. Go ahead and click it now, and then come back.
Fuck. Apparently, gay people don't want to go anywhere that straight people might want to go, so they have to have their own special travel site, so as not to be confused or included with straight people.
Nice. Bravo once again, Orbitz. And remember: keep your history straight and your nightlife gay.
Posted by E at 10:01 pm
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
In 2003, Roger Ebert called The Brown Bunny the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film festival. He called the film amateurish, narcissistic, self-indulgent and bloody-minded. He even went so far as to call the film "anti-American," because to call it an American film would be an insult to Americans. When praise like that is heaped upon a film, you'd better believe that I'm going to see it. And what a mistake that turned out to be...
The movie starts with a five minute long motorcycle race (not chase, but race), which is fine...if you happen to be watching an actual motorcycle race; needless to say, it's not a very good way to start a film.
After the race, the star, Vincent Gallo, loads up his bike in his van, and spends the next 85 minutes driving cross country to Los Angeles. He stops occasionally to talk to hookers, to pet kitties, or to make out with random strangers, like Cheryl Tiegs (no shit: The Cheryl Tiegs). Other than that, it's just him driving. Sure, there's a plot about him attempting to reconnect with a lost love, but it's mostly about driving.
Oh, and at the end, Chloe Sevigny gives Vincent a blowjob: a real, onscreen blowjob. I thought Chloe was better than that, but apparently she's not above starring in the lamest hardcore sex scene ever.
I, by no means, claim to have seen every film ever made, but I think I would be safe in my assumption that this may be the Worst Film Ever Made. No others need apply.
Posted by E at 4:45 pm
Monday, August 22, 2005
The Girl loves cooking shows; if she had her way, I believe she would watch the Food Network 24 hours a day. As we share a television, I am, at times, forced to watch these shows. Most of the time, I have no problem with these shows. They are informative, feature good food, and the host has a good personality. However, there are exceptions. (For a HUGE fucking exception, click here.)
One of those exceptions (and probably the most annoying) is Rachael Ray, the host of at least three shows on the Food Network. "But, what's wrong with Rachael," you ask? She's "spunky", makes good food, and has posed in FHM. What could possibly be wrong with her? Oh, where do I fucking start...
First off: that mouth; it's like her head is hinged at her spine, and she talks by flopping her head up and down, like Terrance and Phillip from South Park. A person could go crazy looking at that mouth, and from listening to what comes out of it. Her speaking voice and manner of speaking are brain rattling. She's the only cooking host I can think of that actually makes up words. And not made up in a clever way words; made up in an oh-please-kill-me-now way words. And then (if her whole head thing wasn't enough), there's her personality. She must snort at least a half pound of blow before each show, because she's as flighty as hell. Slow it down, sister; you've got a WHOLE half hour, not just six minutes. She's so perky, I could choke her.
And then there's the format of her showcase show, 30 Minute Meals. Instead of just having all of the ingredients needed ready and waiting on the counter, she goes around her fake kitchen and gets everything from her fake cupboards/fridge all at once, so by the time she gets back to the counter to start cooking, she's carrying a huge pile of shit. I don't ever remember seeing Emeril carting around a wheelbarrow full of ingredients, but I'm an idiot. Maybe I miss that part on every other cooking show on television. As she prepares her food, rather than disposing of refuse under the counter, as everyone else does, she throws it in a big bowl right there on the counter. So, at the end of the show, there's the food, and there's the trash right next to it. Yummy. Where's my fork?
Now, as with most things that I hate, I figured that my dislike of Rachael was being perpetuated by some misinformation from the voices in my head, like when they tell me to hit pedestrians in the crosswalk, or punch children in the head. But, as it turns out, I am not alone. There are splinter cells of fringe lunatics like myself all over the internet who would rather gouge their eyes out then have to watch $40 A Day. Here's a small sampling:
Rachael Ray Sux
I Hate Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray Rules' Journal
Rachael Ray Drinking Game
And those are just the sites dedicated to hating Rachael; there are plenty of message boards out there that have some great things to say.
I know I shouldn't hate people I don't even know, but if I have to look at that Joker mouth one more time, I may very likely commit suicide. And if that's not a reason to hate someone, I don't know what is.
Posted by E at 6:06 pm
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I heard an ad on the radio the other day for a band that was billed as a "hot new punk-pop act." And, of course, the song played in the commercial was totally gay. It did not make me want to rock out with my cock out.
It did, however, make me realize how inane the concept of "punk pop" is. Take any punk pop band. Here's a bunch of guys who look like the opening act of a Ramones show at CBGB, and sound like an Air Supply cover band.
Yeah, you guys are "punk" alright. PunkASSES!
Posted by E at 5:27 pm
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Since the American Film Institute recently published their list of the
100 Greatest Movie Quotes, I thought maybe I should point you towards the 70 Most Profane Movie Quotes. Give it a look.
Top 70 Profane, Rude or Inappropriate Movie Quotes (Courtesy of Crushed By Inertia)
Posted by E at 5:52 pm
Monday, August 15, 2005
So, there's this commercial for Orbitz.com, the online travel service. The commercial is set up like a gameshow, with Wink Martindale hosting. The object of the game is to see who can book a vacation faster: someone using Orbitz or someone using some other online service. Everyone's seen this commercial; it's on all the time.
Well, there's another one out there. In this commercial, the contestants are, let's say (because I don't remember), an architect, and a pair of gay men. The object of this commericial's contest is to find a) a hotel b) in San Francisco c) with a gym. The gay men are using Orbitz, so, of course, they find the hotel in record time. (Actually, one finds it while the other stands behind him and plays with his partner's ears.) To summarize: Two gay men are able to find a hotel in San Francisco with a place they can work out faster than someone who's apparently not gay.
So, now we need commercials to perpetuate gay stereotypes? I thought that's what Will and Grace and LOGO were for. (I've never actually watched LOGO, but seeing as it's stuck right in the middle of all my movie channels, I see what's playing on it whenever I look at the cable guide. And all of their programming is pretty much what people would suspect is on a gay network.)
Bravo, Orbitz, for confirming everything straight people think about gay people. Take a bow.
And speaking of perpetuating stereotypes, there a commercial for Burger King's Chicken Fries, in which a "unit" of black people go around spreading the word about Chicken Fries to other black people.
Classy. No word yet as to how Burger King will promote its new Watermelon Shake. (Seriously, ad people must be fucking insane. I'm sure there's a class action lawsuit somewhere in the works on this.)
Posted by E at 4:56 pm
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Been a while since I did one of these.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
You'd think a movie with Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Christopher Walken would be some seriously funny shit, wouldn't you? I mean, these guys don't even have to do anything and they're funny. That's why it's astounding that Wedding Crashers isn't funny. Oh, it is funny at times, but, just when it's like five seconds away from becoming absolutely fucking hilarious, that dude who played Will on Alias beats someone up, or one of the girls speaks, and the movie comes to a screeching halt. Seriously, get rid of all the excess plot, and just let these guys riff. Now that would be a movie.
The Hunger (1983)
An absolute trainwreck of a movie that is essential viewing for two reasons: Dick Smith's awesome old-age makeup on David Bowie, and the lesbian sex scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. There's a reason why no one knew who Tony Scott was before he directed Top Gun, and this is it.
Premature Burial (1962)
It's funny that Roger Corman is seen as a hack director. Let's take a movie like, let's say, Guess Who. Probably had a budget of about $40 million, has boring, uninspired sets, a screenplay probably written by a preschooler, and probably took a month or two to film. Then, you look at Corman's Premature Burial, which had a budget of less than $100,000, has beautiful Victorian sets, a story by Edgar Allen Poe, and took 10 days to film. And it's the better movie by at least a factor of 10,000,000. This guy was literally throwing together films that are better than 95% of the movies made today. Hack, my ass; this guy's a fucking genius.
The Wolf Man (1941)
One of the All-Time Classic Horror Movies. Also the movie that launched Lon Chaney Jr.'s attempt to take over his father's moniker of "The Man of 1000 Faces." (The fact that Lon Jr. had no talent whatsoever kinda killed that, but who else can say they played Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, and the Wolf Man in their career?) A great film, with an (at the time) all-star cast, and some of the funniest transformation scenes ever.
Wolf Man is great, but the winner is...
Used Cars (1980)
Bob Zemeckis' first venture into "big budget" filmmaking, this is the movie that Wedding Crashers should've been. Sure, there's a plot here, but not enough to get in the way of these guys being the biggest assholes in the used car business. Mean spirited and played from the hip, this is one of the funniest movies of the early 80's. Gerrit Graham coming inches from being hit by a car and not breaking character for a second is one of the classic bits in film history. Check it out. "Fifty bucks never killed anybody."
Posted by E at 6:04 pm
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Well, today marks the publication of the Jennifer Aniston tell-all Vanity Fair article. And by "tell-all", I mean "nothing gets said at all". No talk of adultery, no breakup fights, no angry allegations; only what it's like not being with Brad Pitt.
I've known who Jennifer Aniston was since she was on The Edge, so, basically her entire career. She's always seemed like a nice person any time I've seen her on television. I feel bad for her that it didn't work with Brad, who, on the other hand, seems like he's a bit of a nutjob. (It's rumored that James LeGros' character in Living in Oblivion was based on Brad Pitt, and I have no problem believing that.) Oh well; que sera, sera.
However, I also feel sorry for Brad, because, if this deal with Angelina doesn't work out for him, he's pretty much fucked in the relationship department, as every girlfriend he's ever had has been an upgrade from the previous one. Not much to upgrade to from Angelina Jolie. Maybe if Oprah looked like Halle Berry or Beyonce, that would be a possibility. But that ain't gonna happen. He should probably kill himself while he's still living the good life; better to go out on top than the bottom. Or before Jennifer really gets pissed and lets go with all the shit we really want to hear. I can't wait.
Posted by E at 8:47 pm
Monday, August 08, 2005
Dane Cook is, by no means, a household name. When you think "stand-up comedian", the first name in your mind is not "Dane Cook". Yet, somehow, Dane managed to drop an atomic bomb on the Billboard charts by debuting fourth last week.
When was the last time you bought a comedy record, much less enough copies to put it at number four? Larry the Cable Guy, whom everyone knows, debuted his record at seven earlier in the year. The only person to put a comedy album higher on the chart than Dane is Steve Martin, who's wild-and-crazy famous. You may not know who Dane Cook is yet, but you will. Trust me.
By the way, funniest bit on Retaliation: Dane naming his first child "Rrrrrrrrrr". "RRRRRRRRRRRR!! I SAID NO COOKIES!!!"
Posted by E at 9:38 pm
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Check out this story, where the people of Sydney have asked Mel Gibson to recreate the crucifixion of Christ for a Catholic celebration they will be holding in 2008.
Feel free to call me on this if I'm speaking out of line, but isn't this the craziest fucking thing that anyone has ever come up with? And when did Mel Gibson suddenly become the leading religious authority on Christ's crucifixion? As far as I can tell, all the guy did was read The Book and then make a movie about it. And this makes him The Guy to do this incredibly insane thing? Monty Python (kinda) made a movie about the Crucifixion; why weren't they consulted? And I know that I've read the book The Bone Collector, AND seen the movie, but I don't know shit about quadriplegic detectives. What's next, James Cameron being consulted to recreate the sinking of the Titanic at the 2012 100 year anniversary? (Actually, that's kind of an unfair comparison, as Cameron probably is one of the leading authorities on the Titanic. Shit, the last time he recreated "The Sinking," it won 11 Oscars.)
Mind you, all of this is just in the negotiation phase. Hopefully, Mel will see the Light and take a pass on this. I'm sure there are plenty of Catholics who would appreciate him not turning the Death of Jesus into a traveling roadshow.
Posted by E at 8:55 pm