Friday, November 23, 2012

Camera Obscura: Infinite Vampire Twilight ShlockFest Extravaganza and Emporium

Worldwide vampire obsessiveness weekend is upon us - suitable fare for a Black Friday Shopping Weekend During The Economic Collapse.

The finale of the Twilight series movie "Breaking Dawn Part 2" has emerged as such an enormous cornucopia of Weird that I had to make a special post about it. (Truth be told, I did a search of my blog for use of the word vampire and it came in at more than 30 posts, which means vampires have easily been 10% of this blog's entire output, which include these two of my own personal faves, A) Hot Vampy Sex Talk from the first movie and B) the Sarah Palin-Twilight Convergence)

Understand too, I am a deep-dyed fan of Bad Movies and Cinema Shlock and have forced many a friend to endure Something Awful. Big Budget Awful really stinks up the place, though. I recently watched the movie "John Carter" and it is merely Done Badly, whereas say, "Anonymous" was Stunningly Awful and made me Pity The Actors, and answered the question "What happens when the folks who made the alien-invasion 'Independence Day' investigate the world of William Shakespeare?"

But vampires? Hell, even I have written and produced my own vampire play, but it's sheer genius compared to the bizarre path the bloodsucking genre has taken in movies and TV. Example - this year we've had Abe Lincoln hunting vamps, while on Hulu the Korean TV series "Vampire Prosecutor" is gaining fame and I'm still searching for a copy of the short film "Davy Crockett Battles Kung Fu Vampires".

The hilarity of reviews are MUST reading, no matter what you might think of the movies/books/adoration/obsession. Some samples:

"Is his face always like that? It's like he washed it with a powdered doughnut.

"Eww, now I get imprinting. He made that vampire baby the love of his werewolf life. Or something. It's kinda gross — definitely weird. And even more disturbing that those teenage girls found it so funny.

"T-Laut nicknames Renesmee "Nessie." K-Stew angrily shouts, "You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster." Is the Loch Ness Monster real in this world or was K-Stew making a joke? If the latter, why would Nessie be a laughable idea, while talking wolves are serious business?

"Vampires seem to not be affected by the weather, so why do they wear jackets and turtlenecks?"

"It turns out that many vampires have X-men-esque superpowers on top of their default vampire superpowers. We already knew Alice could see the future, and some of the Volturi could read minds and create mental anguish, but now we find out that there are airbender vampires and electricity-shooting vampires and omega mutant vampires who can go all Dark Phoenix on your ass.

"The point is, there is a fight scene. A long, improbable, laugh-out-loud at the abysmal special effects fight scene, in which we discover that you can kill a vampire exactly the same way you kill an action figure. Just pop off its head! Boink! It comes off with no blood! Just a kind of SNAP just like plastic. Even if you never go to the theater to see this movie, I urge you to rent it at some point just to fast-forward to the fight scene so that you can see the weirdest thing ever."

Occupy: Sparkle

"It began when I read the first two books on my honeymoon in December 2008. My new wife and I listened to Twilight and New Moon on a road trip. We saw the first movie when we returned home, and a few months later we were divorced. I'm not saying Twilight killed my marriage, per se. I am saying there is a strong correlation between consuming Twilight content and no longer being happily married."

 Even The Actors In Twilight Hate Twilight

I have to say that I'll likely see this "finale" one day, but try as this current generation might, all this Vampire MashUp has been around for a long time. Even the old Hammer Horror folks stirred it all up in the early 1970s with the movie "Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires" which marks the arrival of the trope All Vampires Know Karate Because Dracula Did. (See the trailer for the movie here which has some NSFW images)

Indie film director superstar Jim Jarmusch is at work on his take on vampires in a movie set for next year, "Only Lovers Left Alive", starring Tilda Swinton, so even though vamps are being squicked out of all decency the darned things JUST NEVER DIE.

That's quite charming.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Music From Carmen, Played Via a Machine Shop in France

Nine French musicians (or, as noted on their home page "Neuf musiciens-com├ędiens-chanteurs") calling their group Zic Zazou perform the Habanera from Carmen on various tools and constructions made by the musicians. I think my favorite part though, is the way at the end they all stop and look at you ... or maybe the balloon squeezing ... tough call.

Merry Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sports 2012 - Year of Shame

Removal of Joe Paterno statue from Penn State

Noting Knox and eastern Tennessee folks are mourning/praising the firing of their current football coach, it seems pertinent to offer a little talk about Sports. Sports (with a capital S) has been knocked down pretty hard and we should all face what it portends.

The last year has seen, for instance, iconic foundations of American sports and athletes get pulled down - the Joe Paterno statue at Penn State getting the Saddam Hussein treatment; and the removal of every victory of Lance Armstrong, accused of being A Pusher, a savvy despot dispenser of a drug cocktail o' winners. There's been the cheesey NFL referee fiasco as a a skeezy coating. And the problem is that once you start this kind of examination of what Sports is like today, it isn't a glowing story of Cinderellas earnestly yoked to Americana heroics.

Critically, both the Penn State and Armstrong are linked to children's programs and health programs and fundraising and hurting kids and those in need are dire mistakes. Last year  the Saints and others in the NFL were cited for offering cash bounties to players for injuring opponents.

The furious adorations of Sports hardly seem worth your passions. And if the icons are dishonest ... well ... how far a step is it for young players in high schools and colleges into dishonesty?

I wasn't alive at the time, but recent Sports scandals have the stink of the 1919 Black Sox baseball scandal - Cheating and Dishonesty with Intent.

So. You're all on probation - colleges too - until you can offer something more useful to our communities. Or at least something better than what you've been offering. For young people who excel at Sports - my advice is protect your integrity.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Best Political Website of the Month

It's really not a website, but a Tumblr account: Floor Charts is an archive photo collection of all the charts brought up to the floor during debates and comments In Congress. They range from awful made-at-the-last-moment monsters to the oddest moments imaginable and of course, lots of colored charts, shapes and lines.