June 2008

Worst Person Ever

Right.

Ok.

Let’s get this out of the way right now.

Indiana Jones and Kingdom of The Crystal Skull.

Sigh.

I should have known walking into the theatre. Truth is that on a deeply primal level I did know, I was just desperately and blindly hoping against what I was fairly sure was a forgone conclusion.

A little background here.

When I was a kid I loved the Indiana Jones movies. I mean, I was 5 when the first one came out and I was probably around 7 when I saw it for the first time, but I was hooked. I saw Temple of Doom and that was it. I had the hat, I had the bullwhip (even got kicked out of school one day for bringing it to class, never told my parents about that one) and I must have seen each of the movies literally hundreds of times to date.

I mean, I loved those movies more than star wars, and I loved Empire Strikes Back.

So then, a few years ago, George Lucas decided he wanted to be a little more famous and rich than he already was.

You know how that ended.

Is there anyone alive who doesn’t violently and bitterly hate Jar Jar Binks?

I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw Episode 1.

There was so much wrong with that movie, but luckily a quick internet search reveals that most of it is already quite well documented, so I won’t go into that disaster here.

While the next two movies are also easily found in the "atrocity" section of your local video store, there at least seemed to be some effort to pull the quality control out of the stunning nosedive that it was inargueably in. Revenge Of The Sith was still so far below par that Tiger Woods was envious, but slightly less than the other two "new" installments so I have give whatever forces that were able to put a leash on Lucas and his "feed me seymour" approach to making money and movies credit for that.

And then there was word of the new Indy movie. Childhood excitement mixed with primordial terror at the thought that Lucas was taking another run at the Jones Legacy.

But there was hope…

Speilberg has a pretty good track record, and Harrison Ford also hasn’t committed any real artistic crimes that I was aware of, and there were rumours that they were keeping Lucas in check.

And then the first bad news…

The original title and story that Lucas had concocted was titled 'Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars'.

I’m not even kidding.

Spielberg and Ford reportedly vetoed that title and the bulk of the story, so perhaps there was some hope to be had.

And then I heard that Lucas had drastically cut back on the Computer Generated effects. Minimal and only where absolutely necessary was the description he offered. Lucas cutting back on CG? Well that had to be a good sign! Maybe Indy would be safe after all…

So walking into the theatre opening night I like to think that I did have some cause to hold onto a dim hope that this movie might be at least be somewhat kind to my childhood memories if not an extension of them.

Maybe things would be ok.

I could deal with ok.

I mean, great would be so much better, but I would feel lucky and happy if it was ok.

Well.

Let me start this by saying that if you were looking for my treasured childhood memories of Indiana Jones, I would start the search at the smoldering and freshly violated embers sitting in the trash bin at Skywalker ranch.

I’m pretty sure what remains of them are in there.

Within about 5 minutes of the movie starting I got that feeling that you get when you know that you have made a horrible, horrible mistake.

The first thing I noticed was the lighting of all things. It was bad and a small cause for concern, but only a microscopic prelude of things to come.

Next there was the magnetism. Then the nuclear blast. Then the “revelation” that for the previous three movies Indy was actually a CIA spy. Then it seemed like any and all cliché that you could possibly hit were hit upon.

And then there was the CG.

I can’t imagine, for the life of me, what in the name of all things holy Lucas could have meant when he said that he only used CG when necessary.

They used CG torches.

You know the ones, whenever someone goes into a cave they light a torch to see…

Yeah those were CG.

Getting through to the ending of the movie was not unlike what I would imagine crawling on your belly through the sahara would be like. With every bit of ground you cover is gets harder and harder but you hold on to the fading hope that you’ll make it out.

Well, to extend that metaphor to this movie?

No one got out alive.

The piece de resistance of the film? The classic Indian Jones Ending?

Well…

The Natasha Fatale (see Bullwinkle) villain gets caught up and learns that you should be careful what you wish for.

Oh yeah, and then the aliens save the day after reanimating themselves back to life from their crystal skeletal remains, open up some sort of dimentional portal and rip a whole in the amazon the size of a small city before escaping in their flying saucer.

And yes, it really is a saucer.

It is easily the worst movie I have seen in a very long time, and given that mercilessly assaulted one of my favourite characters in the most vile ways, it may be one of he worst movies ever.

Yeah.

Really that bad.

Worse than Transformers.

At least you could see how the extraterrestrial could play a part in that film.

Discovery did an absolutely laughable "documentary" on crystal skulls that was more entertaining. If you've seen "Mystery Of The Crystal Skulls" you know how low that sets the bar.

So the moral of the story is that George Lucas must be stopped. Violently.

For the sake of all of us, and our children.

I’ll cover all expenses.

June 2008

The Top Ten Things Wrong With Music These Days

Because I feel Like it…

#10 – Reuinion Tours

New Kids On The Block and Bananarama are back. Not only are they back but they’re touring as well. I’ve said for years that there is a difference between music as an artform and music as a product, and there really isn’t any second guessing which catagorey this new phenomenon falls into. Are we really that nostalgic? Granted I just complained about the Indiana Jones movie for three pages, but that was at least a new take on an old thing. This ressurrecction of musical acts long since dead is an old take on an old thing.

Seriously.

Donnie Wahlberg is almost 40

And it sells.

#9 - Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana

Didn’t we learn from Tiffany and Debbie Gibson? We all know how this is going to end. Add to that that her dad/manager is the achy breaky heart guy and you might as well call Hef now so the sharks can start circling early.

#8 – Rihanna

I’ve heard the album. I’m not proud of it but I was forced to in circumstances completely out of my control. There isn’t an original song on the whole disc. Not one. Every single song is based on a song from top 40 charts of years gone by. The licensing alone for that album probably cost more than the entire production and studio budget.

#7 – Wannabe Nickleback Soundalike White Aggro Alternative Bands

It’s been done. And it sucked (except for “The State”, that was good). Why so many bands insist on trying to all present the exact same sound but just a little more intense while writing about either women they’ve slept with, drugs, alchohol, or women that they want to sleep with is a complete loss on me.

Plus as evidenced by #6, Nickleback sucks themselves, why try and sound like them?

#6 – Nickleback

Sucks. Except for “The State”. And Chad Kroeger (real name Chad Turton) should be in jail. Any wingnut who writes about how arrogant and self centered rock starts are and then goes ahead to dodge jail time for a DUI and then goes on to file an appeal. He got a $600 fine and a year not behind the wheel and he’s appealing.

Well not to me.

And also, they’re almost single handedly responsible for #7, so they’re even worse for that.

#5 – Record Companies

They don’t get it and they probably never will.

#4 – Supercools

People who want to manage bands or start a band or be a promoter of bands so they can brag to their friends. Many people seem to think that this is a one way road to being cool. These people don’t ever seem to have the slightest understanding of the work required and they always fade out after a year at the most. Disposable bands = disposable music. Not everyone is cut out to be a musician. Sorry but it’s the truth. I won’t go mucking about with designing skyscrapers or operating heavy duty machinery or operating a nuclear reactor or tell you the best way to make fries. Know your natural talents and play to them.

#3 – MuchMusic

Have you seen it lately? Where’s the music? They should at least be honest with themselves and call themselves MuchReality. Seriously, as I type this they are running for the next four hours: Punk’d, Video On Trial, Randy Jackson Presents : Americas Best Dance Crew and Instant Star: Even better Than the Real Thing. The only show on there even related to videos is Video On Trial and that’s only a half an hour long. That channel used to be the coolest channel every and now it’s just another branch of cultural cancer.

#2 – There is no number 2

It was downloaded ealier today and I can’t find it anymore. Maybe we’ll say #2 is Deryck Whibley. He’s single handedly raised the odds that #1 will procreate. Plus he’s in Sum 41. So yeah, we’ll make him #2. But let me tell you, the old #2 was a real hum dinger.

A hum dinger!

#1 - Avril Lavigne

As if there could ever be any doubt. If you need to ask why, you’re part of the problem and not part of the solution. Nuff said.

That's it for this month. Next month though I'm bringing the heavy so make sure you pack a bag lunch, bring your good pair of shoes and most importantly, bring your baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

Cause I'll be bringing mine.

you know where to find me.

Nate@natepike.com