Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Songs


    Happy Holidays everyone and welcome back to a Reeler Movie Reviewer. So with the festivities on their way I decided to do a little something and deviate from my usual reviews and articles to talk about something  that has been plaguing my mind for years...Christmas music. Before you start calling me Mr. Scrooge let me explain. Each year before the next and each year before the last on every fucking month of December radio stations have been playing the same God damn songs over and over again slowly draining the sanity out of every poor bastard that is forced to listen to them(including me). So I decided that it was time to finally get it off my chest. In this article I will be talking about the most overplayed and worst Christmas to ever to be written and performed.

Sonic Youth - Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope
Link to song here:

My God is this annoying. I only had to listen to this once and I knew I had to put this abomination here. Grating vocals and shitty instrumentals assaulting my ears drums and sucking the joy from my soul this is a song that anyone in their right mind should avoid at all costs.

Brenda Lee - Rocking Around The Christmas Tree

If you have ever went to a Christmas Party or been driving around one snowy day then chances are you heard this song maybe one, two, or a hundred times. It maybe a classic but its a songs that quickly over stays it welcome.

Justin Bieber and Busta Rhythms - Little Drummer Boy

This song isn't on here because I hate Justin Bieber(although it doesn't help any) but because it takes an unadaptable song and turns it into(I kid you not) into a fucking rap...Why?!?! >:(

Wham! - Last Christmas

This one made it on here for being so damn whiney. Because when I think of Christmas songs I think of some obsessed asshole moping about some girl who dumped him. I wouldn't blame any woman who was trying to escape some clingy crybaby who is most likely peeking through their windows at night to watch them sleep.

Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock

This is a song that no matter how many times I hear this song its one that will always make cringe and dive for the radio to change the channel. You will hear this song at Christmas parties, and almost any store you visit there is practically no escaping it. Those repetitive lyrics and Bobby's girly ass voice are manifestations of pure annoyance.

Duck Dynasty - Deck The Halls Parody

Kill me...kill me now and bury me deep in the earth in a sound proof box...

Paul McCartthy(anyone one else who covers this fucking song) - Wonderful Christmas Time

Its the same words repeated over and over and over and over again along with those obnoxious ding dongs popping up throughout. Sweet buttery Jesus this songs sucks the big one.

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You

A rather sweet and catchy song that is unfortunately suffering from the same fate that befell both "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" it gets played way too often on radio stations and it needs to stop like seriously right now just stop...

Carrie Fisher - Life Day Song(The Star Wars Holiday Special)

This song will always serve as a grim reminder of the worst moment in Star Wars history. Often considered to be the worst Christmas special ever aired its a memory for many(especially if your Lucas) that will always stain the corners of our mind.

Note the almost embarrassed expressions on some of the actor's face.

And so ends another article I want to thank you for reading and paying a visit to my blog. If you have any comments or want to share your most hated holiday songs then please leave them in the comments section below this article. I would love to hear from you! Have a Happy Holidays and I will see you all next time here on A Reeler Movie Reviewer!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Armageddon 1998

      Hello folks its Reeler here how's it going!? Lets talk about Michael Bay shall we? Just mentioning this guy's name anywhere is certainly going to start either one long conversation or a fiery debate. On one side people see him as a man who knows how to make a damn good turn your brain off film with all the action, fanservice, and explosions(especially explosions) one could want that is certain to rake in some green. On the other side though he is a hack who churns out high budget crap while gobbing down America's fat ego and leaving audience screaming with rage.
    So when it came down to choosing one of his films to review I wanted to go a different route. Instead of tackling the Transformer films like so many others I decided to look at one of his earlier films that one being 'Armageddon'. This is a silly film that has all the classic cliches that one would expect to see in an action film along with the bullshit story and awful acting and we are going to tackle this Texas sized mess. Lets get started!
     The film begins with a open narration explain how an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago and that the same thing could happen again before giving us the main titles. After that we watch as some astronauts working on the Space Shuttle Atlantis with everything seeming fine and dandy. However things turn to shit when the station is ripped apart by an meteor shower giving us one of the many Michael Bay explosions in this movie.
      We then see some dude on a bike with his dog as tour the Big Apple which seems to be filled with insulting stereotypes. The dog starts chewing on some fat dude's Godzilla figures no doubt a pot shot at Emmerich's film that came out the same year which is emphasized when a meteor lands on the poor bastard killing him yet somehow the other guy and his dog survive. Soon New York is bombarded by meteors killing thousands.
      Turns out though that this is far from over as an Asteroid the size of the Lone Star State is heading for Earth and that NASA has only 18 days to do something about it before humanity has to kiss its ass goodbye. They do come up with a plan and boy what a "realistic" plan it is...
      So now we meet our main character Harry Stamper who runs a deep sea oil rig played by Bruce Willis who is looking for one of his crewmen A.J played by Ben Affleck  who seems to be doing his best to piss his boss off. When he confronts him he finds out that his business isn't the only thing he is screwing when he finds his daughter Grace played by Liv Tyler(Yes that Liv Tyler) in his bed. Harry takes it as well as you would expect an over protective father to...And by that I mean he chases A.J around the rig with a shotgun. But their fun is interrupted when the government shows up requesting that Harry come with the. He reluctantly agrees but takes his daughter with him to keep her away from A.J.
       Harry is brought to NASA where he is greeted by one of the head scientist played by Dan Truman who gives him the low down of the situation. So your probably asking why did they bring an oil driller to help them with such a dire situation? Well get a load of this: They wasn't to send up two shuttles each carrying two crews to the asteroid. Once there they would drill deep into the rock and then drop a nuke in it which they would detonate one safely off. This explosion will split the asteroid in half and the two pieces would pass Earth and then mankind can breakout the champagne. This is a plan so stupid that it just screams Hollywood logic but this came from the mind of Bay so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.
      Harry agrees to help but only if he is allowed to bring his own men to do the job to which Truman agrees. So with that NASA and the government begins to assemble Harry's gang of misfits: Gentle giant "Bear" played by the late Michael Clark Duncan, Max; a big dude whose weight is his only character trait, Harry's right hand man Chick played by Will Patton, Rockhound; a horny fella played by Steve Buscemi, a geologist named Oscar played by Owen Wilson, and Ben Affleck because lets face it he is his own species.
       So the crew is told of the impending danger as we are given that cliché scene of "Whose with me?" kind of thing. So Chick being the loyal friend he is steps up to the plate. After he speaks though something very odd and jarring occurs. We cut to some gruff looking guy who we had never seen till this point if you blink you'll miss him but he says the line "Guess I cant let you go up there alone". Whose is this guy? Well the character's name is Fred Noonan but who is as a character I have no fucking clue. He shows up here and there sometimes saying a forgettable line but he never does anything or really interact with the rest of the cast. According to the novelization of the film Noonan was a Collection agent for the mafia or something and was beating up some guy when the Feds found him. It feels like he was heavily edited out of the film and I read somewhere(not certain if the source is true or not) that the actor had a falling out with Bay who evened the score by cutting him out of most of the film. It makes sense in a way as this wouldn't be the first or last time an actor had trouble working with Bay.
      While we are still on the subject of this guy why don't we make a little game? Its called "Finding Noonan" which is pretty much "Where's Waldo" but with Alcohol. You can pretty much play this using any kind of drink whether it be beer or liquor.

        Here are the rules
1. Whenever you manage to spot Noonan regardless if he is close to the camera or in the background you drink once.

2. Whenever he says a line of dialogue you drink twice.

3. When Noonan finally dies(because trust me he will) fill you cup to the brim and drink the entire thing right down to the last drop.

Straight forward and fun. Yeah it sounds like I'm trying to destroy your livers but trust me your going to need the liquid courage for the rest of the film.

      Anyways on with the review. So after they pretty much sign their names on the dotted line they go through a series of test to make certain they are fit for the mission. These scenes are pretty much just a series of comedic gags and jokes that are used as substitutes for any character development. I wont lie though I did chuckle a few times but I really felt that we could have gotten some time to get to know these characters but in the end we only learn about what archetype they are playing. Not to mention these scenes only further cement why this plan NASA came up with is just plain stupid. This made clear when the crew is are getting their psychological evaluations showing themselves to be insecure, easily distracted, short tempered, overly emotional, and even psychotic(I'm looking at you Buscemi!).
      So to the surprise of no one they fail their test with flying colors raising reasonable doubt that they are the men for the job and Truman's character only seems to care about whether or not they would survive the trip. Keith David who is playing an angry general in this hits the nail on the head when he says "The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun". But of course the only guy with any common sense is deemed an asshole and we get the typical crap of how they don't have much time left and that they are their only hope. So they are passed and move on to the next phase of their preparations.
       The oil drillers then meet the astronauts who will be flying them to the asteroid. I wont bother introducing them since aside from a name and face they don't have any character to them and are simply red shirts lining up to get butchered in the upcoming mission. After that they are put through a training montage of them preparing for space travel and a scene of them in a simulation attempting to drill into the asteroid in a limited amount of time.
      Aside from the training and the countdown to the day of the mission there is also the side plot of the strained relationship between Harvey and Grace. Harry is afraid that his daughter is growing up to fast and is very protective despite the fact that she is old enough to make her own choices in life. Because of this he doesn't approve of her relationship with A.J. These scenes are few that actually have any sort of human element to them. When you make a film in which characters are going to thrown into a dangerous situation in which some of them might not survive you want your audience to connect with them and actually give a damn if they die or not. Aside from Harry everyone just seems flat and one dimensional.
       With the day of the launch nearing and their training over the crew is given the opportunity to go and have some time to themselves whether it to spend it with their loved one or some fun. Most of the crew goes to a strip joint where they cause a brawl and nearly get arrested(fucking idiots). Meanwhile Chick stops by his ex-wife's place to visit her and his son(who doesn't know he is his dad). She tell him to leave and Chick does but not before telling her that he is involved in something big and that she and his boy might be proud of him.
       Out of all these scenes the one that many still remember to this day is the infamous Animal Cracker scene in which Affleck performs some sort of bizarre form of foreplay with Liv Tyler. If the relationship between Grace and her father is heartwarming(or at best lukewarm) then her romance with A.J is piss poor. This romance is so stale, forced, and uninteresting that I cringe whenever I had sit through a scene involving the two. Some people actually thought these this couple was cute although I fail to see why. Affleck and Tyler were nominated for Worst Screen Couple during the 19th Golden Raspberry Awards but lost to Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask.
        It should be to no one's surprise that Aerosmith became involved with the film considering the lead singer's daughter was starring as the Leading Lady. Several of their songs made into the film the biggest being "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" which was performed by Aerosmith specifically for the film. Back then this song was a big hit but today however its reception is pretty mix. I personally didn't really mind this song too much. I didn't like but at the same time I thought it was OK but that's just me.
       So finally the day of reckoning has come as our heroes put on their suits and walk in slow motion towards the launch pad. Of course this couldn't be complete without a rallying speech from the president with everyone on the planet listening in awe. You know what's really annoying? Aside from everything we talked about so far. Its the in your face AMERICA IS NUMBER 1 bullshit that Bay shoves down the throats of the audience. I mean my God! Its pretty much saying "The rest of the world cant do shit without America to save it". Are you telling that the fate of everything is in the hands of two ships filled with a bunch of dumbass oil drillers?! You expect me to believe that the rest of the world is sitting back and letting one country handle the massive space rock of death that is swiftly approaching them?! They say that this mission is a joint operation with Russia and Japan but I don't really see that(aside from the one Russian we'll be meeting soon) I just see America once again saving the day which is a common theme in Bay's films.
       After the crew gets strapped the shuttles Independence and Freedom take off and the race to save the world gets underway. Before they can reach the asteroid however they need to make a little pit stop at the Russian space station MIR so they can refuel. The station is which is under the watch of  its soul inhabitant Lev Andropov; a walking stereotype played by Peter Stormare. Everything seem to be going smoothly at first but the shit goes down as a fire breaks out forcing everyone to evacuate as the station is turned into an action set piece which Bay promptly blows to pieces.
       After that the shuttles fly around the moon in order to come up behind the asteroid and it is only then that we really get a clear look at it. The best way I can describe it is a jagged and spiky monstrosity with a gas like cloud surrounding it. The damn thing looks like a demonic stool that squeezed out of the ass of Hades. If you knew anything about asteroids then you have probably already noticed what is wrong with this. When an asteroid gets to be a certain size its own gravity forces it into the shape of a sphere which is the most common appearance of these space rocks. This is just one of the many scientific inaccuracies in this film. There are so many in fact I could write an entire article on them.
        So the Independence and the Freedom move closer to the asteroid all the while dodging the smaller ones floating around it. However the Independence takes a hit and spirals out of control as it is torn apart sucking out its pilots and Noonan. The rest of the shuttle crashes somewhere on the rock and mission control loses contact with them leaving the fates of A.J and the others unknown. The Freedom lands despite the rough landing and breakout the Armadillo. What's the Armadillo  you may ask? Well its certainly not the animal but a mobile driller outfitted with(I kid you not) machine guns.
     Harry and his crew get to work but realize the surface is tougher than they thought and are barely making any sort of progress. This puts the guys back down on Earth at ease as they start to doubt that the crew will be able to hit their mark of 8000 feet before its too late. The government decides to take matters into their own hands and take control of the NASA headquarters as they try to set off the nuke manually. One of the astronauts played by William Fitcher arms the bomb but Harry tries to talk him out of it promising that he and his men will finish their mission and save their home. Manly tears are shed and they quickly disarm the warhead.
     We find out that A.J survived the crash as did Bear and Lev but unfortunately Owen Wilson bought the farm. They get in their armadillo(which somehow wasn't damaged) and speed across the asteroid to find the others. Meanwhile Harry and the gang are hard at work and are nearing their goal but they strike at gas pocket which blows the digger(along with poor Max who was at the controls) into space.
        While all this is happening Buscemi has gone completely off the deep end and starts running amok. At point he takes control of the armadillo's guns and starts shooting everything in sites forcing the others to duck tape him to a chair for the rest of the mission. Seriously what's next? Is Bear going to start crying like a baby and hide himself in a corner? Or maybe one of the astronauts is going to snap and set off the nuke in a fit of insanity?
        Anyways when all hope seems to be lost A.J and the others show up to save the day. Everyone cheers and they resume drilling and finally reach the required depth to plant the nuke. But smaller pieces start smashing into the asteroid causing several explosions and shrapnel to rain down on our heroes killing one of the astronauts.
        Despite suffering another casualty it seems that the gang they finally leave and set off the bomb. But Lady Luck can be a real bitch as it turns out that the rock storm had damaged the triggering device meaning that one of them(astronauts who have to pilot the shuttle) would have to stay behind to manually detonate the bomb. So the drillers and Lev draw straws to see who is going to "stay up here and dance". Oh no who will be? Will it be Bear who hasn't done a damn thing throughout the film? The Russian? Chick who only had one scene of character development? The mentally unstable Buscemi? Or will it be one of our two leads? Take a guess!
        In what was suppose to be a shocking moment it turns out that A.J got the short straw of the bunch and Harry goes out the airlock with him. Just when it seems that this would be the end for A.J his boss suddenly pulls out his air hose and shoves him back into the airlock. He tells him to take care of his daughter and that he was the son he never had and blah, blah, blah, cue manly tears. Harry contacts Grace and they say their goodbyes to one another. As I said before these scenes are one of the few moments with actual human emotion to them even if Tyler cant act for shit.
       The Freedom leaves and Harry tries to set off the bomb but gets tossed around a little. But at the last minute(as usual) he finally pushes the button and blows the asteroid in two sending both pieces safely sailing pass the earth. Humanity cheers knowing that their miserable existence will be prolonged a little longer.
        The shuttle lands back on Earth as the drillers and astronauts receive a heroes' welcome; Chick  finally rekindling his relationship with his family, Buscemi hooks up with a stripper he met in a earlier scene. and A.J and Grace reunite as the film closes on their wedding where photos of Harry and those who have died on the mission are present. THE FUCKING END!
        And that folks was Armageddon how was it overall? The film is a laughable disaster flick with cheesy ass acting, plot holes that an asteroid can fly through, a god awful romance, clumsy editing, and absolutely loud and obnoxious. Its amazing how much money this thing made with a budget of $140 million dollars it brought in an astounding total of $553 million dollars becoming the highest grossing film of 1998 even beating Saving Private Ryan!
        I'll never understand how some people can actually enjoy this flick. If you do that's cool more power to you. However don't expect me to recommend this to anyone unless it involves lots and lots of booze.

And so ends another review. Thank you all for joining me so stay tuned for future articles and episodes here on a Reeler Movie Reviewer! \(^o^)/

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dark Discussions Podcast: Mr. Brooks

     In this episode of Dark Discussion Podcast the gang and I take a look at the 2007 psychological thriller 'Mr.Brooks' starring Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Dane Cook, and Demi Moore.

The link to the episode is here

Enjoy and stay tuned for future episodes and reviews!