I Guess Advertising Really Does Work…

I used to be a real movie buff.  I mean, I used to see everything that was in theatres, just to go to the movies.  Once, my friends and I went to see something and there was nothing left at the theatre that we hadn’t seen.  I LOVE movies and didn’t care that it was what I spent most of my money on.

Over the last few years, I realized that I hadn’t been going to see as many movies as I did once.  In face, I see maybe three or four a year instead of five or six a month.  For a while I assumed it was because most movies nowadays weren’t as good as the ones I had watched back when I was a teenager/in my early twenties.  Then I thought perhaps just my tastes had matured and I wasn’t interested in the same things I had been back then.  This is probably a small factor, everyone changes their tastes as they age.

However, in the last little while, I’ve come to the conclusion that it may be a different factor entirely that has something to do with it.

I gave up television three years ago.  I cancelled cable and got myself a subscription to Netflix and I never looked back.  I couldn’t take the fact that it cost almost one hundred dollars a month for what amounted to about 5 channels that I watched regularly. 

I have found that, without being constantly bombarded by commercials and advertisements, I am far less likely to buy crap I don’t need; this includes going to see movies, apparently.  If I’m not constantly subjected to watching the trailers, it seems that I don’t really know or care about their existence.

When I visit my friends’ houses or I’m at my parents, I find myself being drawn back in whenever there’s a trailer for a movie that I didn’t know about.  I get all excited when I see something I hadn’t before and then I want to see it in the theatre. 

So, I have come to the realization that my need to see movies is mainly based on being inundated with advertisements for them on the television.  I still love movies but I’ve become far more picky about them and I only ever see the ones I really want to see instead of almost everything I see a trailer for.

Next up on the list of ones that I’m definitely seeing…A Good Day to Die Hard.  Because how the hell could I ever miss out on seen a Die Hard movie in the theatre?

A Trivial Pursuit Game I Could Really Get Into…

I was at my local Chapters last Halloween and they had a huge display of various themed books and games in the middle aisle.  I was browsing around and being a big fan of the holiday, I was drawn to the display.  The following is probably one of the most awesome themed Trivial Pursuit game I have ever seen.

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Now, I’m a Tim Burton fan in general.  I’ve loved the man’s work since I was a tiny, wee child and saw the epic hotness that was Batman.  The twisted and dark essence of his movies were always some of the most fascinating and spellbinding works of cinema I could ever drink in and honestly, not much has changed since those times.

The Nightmare Before Christmas was my favourite movie that Tim Burton was ever affiliated with.  I LOVE Halloween and Christmas if obviously awesome so inherently, the combination of the two was absolute genius.  That is why, when I saw this game, I pretty much squealed with joy and just had to capture the moment.  I love to play Trivial Pursuit and this would be SUCH a guilty pleasure to play.

Sadly, however, I had no money on me at the time of this wonderful find and it was no longer in the store when I went back.  So to anyone reading this who feels the need to bestow a gift upon me, this is an appropriate item.  Granted, I’ll have to find some people who would play it with me…

Disney Blu Ray is a Rip Off!

I love Disney movies.  Who doesn’t, right?  We all grew up watching the classics like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin.  Two out of three of the previously mentioned films were recently re-released in theatres in 3D for the enjoyment of a whole new generation of people (and let’s face it, the enjoyment of the previous generation as well).

While I didn’t get the chance to go and see The Lion King when it was released again, I did have the pleasure of re-experiencing Beauty and the Beast in all it’s glory on the big screen.  Something I hadn’t been able to do since 1991 when it was first released and I was only 8 years old.  I was annoyed by the 3D because it was distracting and pointless, but experiencing that movie again on the big screen literally brought tears to my eyes.

So of course, I wanted to purchase a copy for myself before Disney threw the movie back into their horrid and hated vault.  I HATE the Disney vault but that’s a topic for another post at a later date.

I trotted on down to the nearest Walmart and went straight to the Disney section, excited to own a copy of Beauty of the Beast for the first time since owning it on VHS.  Yes, that’s right…VHS.  My excitement at spotting my bounty was short-lived, however, when I saw the price tag stuck onto it.

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Yes folks, that’s right.  The price was actually $36.93.  My jaw fell to the ground and I literally said out loud, “Are you FREAKING kidding me?!?”  I then stood there for a long time and studied the Disney Blu-Ray section of the movies in Walmart, slowly coming to a realization.  They were all insanely priced.  Now I know that Disney movies have always cost a little more than your typical film and, in my opinion, this was alright because they were always top-notch productions that lived on pretty much forever.  But to be requesting almost $40.00 of my hard earned money was asking a bit too much.

I studied the section a bit more and made another discovery.  All of the films in the Blu-Ray section for Disney were not just Blu-Ray discs.  They all included the Blu-Ray, the DVD, and a digital copy.  This, my friends, is bullshit.  They’re charging large sums of money to essentially buy three copies of the same damn movie all at once.  I don’t know who thought this up, but they’re either a marketing genius or the scum of the earth; quite possibly both.  We don’t need 3 copies of a movie.  NOBODY needs 3 copies of any movie at all…ever.

So I looked around for just the Blu-Ray copy, because that’s all I wanted.  I did not want three copies of one movie…I wanted the Blu-Ray because it’s a beautiful movie and one I deem worthy of paying the already too high price (as compared to DVD) of buying it on Blu-Ray.  But it doesn’t exist.  If you want a Disney movie, you HAVE to purchase three copies of it.  I even saw a version that also included the 3D version as well.  So you were getting FOUR copies in that one.  Eventually I broke down and bought three copies because I was terrified of missing my chance and finding out it went back into the vault before I got my hands on it.  Have I mentioned how much I LOATHE the Disney vault?

I spotted another film I’ve wanted to own since it’s release as well.  I saw the movie Up.  Then I saw the price.

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Yup…$39.93.  No freaking way.  I paid too much for Beauty and the Beast because I love that movie and it makes me feel like a kid again.  There’s no way I am going to pay that kind of money for new Disney movies.  It just won’t happen.  So I left Walmart without Up and went home, hating Disney just a little for their shenanigans and thievery.  Later, I ended up finding a treasure trove of Disney DVDs and Blu-Rays at a used video store and scored them all for under $15 dollars each, including Up which had the Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital copy.

So this is my message to Disney.  I love your movies.  I have ALWAYS loved your movies.  However, I will never purchase your movies for the prices you ask for them based solely on the fact that you threaten us with taking them away forever and hoarding them in your stupid vault like a bully.  Please pay attention to what I have to say next, Disney, because it’s very important.  You will get far more of my money if you come to your senses and charge reasonable prices for them and make them more widely available.  I may have forked over the cash for Beauty and the Beast, but that’s the exception.  It’s a childhood nostalgia thing and nothing more.  Your movies aren’t worth $40 dollars and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Weird Things Seen In Stores: All Video Game Edition

I’m always on the lookout when wandering around in stores for things that seem odd or funny to me.  I can’t help but snap a picture for later amusement and sharing with my friends.  Lately, I’ve spotted a few different things that seemed quirky or odd to me, all in relation to video games.

Wii Baby

I was shopping at Costco, one of my favourite stores to wander around aimlessly in.  I never miss the section with all the books and video games because they’re always at least five bucks cheaper than anywhere else.  I was in the gaming section when I frowned, seeing a stuffed doll and thinking it was out of place.  I was wrong.  This is an interactive baby that’s also a video game.  Yes folks, that’s right.  As far as I can tell, you shove a Wii-mote up inside the baby and it becomes a video game.  Not only does that sound like something that really didn’t need to be made into a video game, but also the concept of putting the Wii-mote into the baby to make it a video game controller just isn’t right.

Bioshock 2: New vs. Used

I’ve been curious about Bioshock for a long time, but was never able to play it until recently when we got an HD television.  I tried on the boyfriend’s PC once and almost threw up because of the first person perspective.  We were checking out EB games one day and as always, I checked the prices on the used PS3 games.  Bioshock 2 used was priced as $17.99.  On a whim, I checked to see what it was priced as new.  I stared dumbfounded at the price sticker on the new copy that told me it was only $9.99.  I picked them both up and looked at them in shock and then smiled happily to myself as I put the used one back and purchased a brand new copy for myself.  I sincerely hope it was a pricing error and I got to stick it to EB games that day because the prices on their used games generally suck.

Mary-Kate and Ashley's Sweet 16

I remember when these two were on Full House and they were funny and cute and we all learned good moral, family values every Sunday night.  I also remember when I stopped caring about them.  This was in the used PS2 game section at EB and honestly, it kind of ticked me off.  for one thing, the price is $14.99.  Who the hell is going to pay $14.99 for a game about a sweet 16 birthday party…even if it does have Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in it?  The part that really irked me, however, was written near the bottom right  of the cover.  It says, and I quote, “Real Games for Real Girls”.  Really?  Last time I checked, I was a girl.  I can’t really see myself playing this and haven’t really missed its presence on my shelf beside games like Call of Duty: Black Ops or Resident Evil 5…both of which are MY games.  I get that there are girls that would enjoy this game, to each her own.  I have no problems with that.  What I have a problem is them making it seem like girls have been sitting around forever, waiting for a game to come along that was all about girly pink birthday parties and turning sweet 16.  Finally the day has come.  It’s almost as bad as the stupid Wii Baby.

Dirty Dancing for PC

I loved Dirty Dancing when I was a kid.  I still love it.  It’s one of my favourite movies of all time.  But I can’t understand who would think it would ever make a good video game.  The concept of the movie lends nothing to a video game whatsoever.  In fact, as far as I could tell from reading the back of the case, the premise of the game was that you were staying at the resort in the movie and all you do is play little mini games.  It is like a million other pieces of shovelware out there and they decided to slap a classic movie title on it, hoping to sell more copies.

Scott Pilgrim at Starbucks

I actually saw this one last fall and it isn’t something I found weird.  I found it to be totally awesome.  I know that the Scott Pilgrim thing is actually a comic book and a movie as well, but it counts as a video game because I own the video game and freaking love it.  It’s also awesome, because I love Pumpkin Spice Latte and was thrilled to see its return with the approaching Thanksgiving/Halloween season.  Whomever drew this rules as a Barrista, a nerd and a human being in general.  My hat off to them.

Movie Review: Killer Klowns from Outer Space

The boyfriend and I had an experience lately that bears repeating.  We were bored one night, flipping through Netflix, and arguing about what to watch.  Finally, he suggested Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  I was annoyed enough with the flipped that I just said that was fine and he could put on whatever he wanted.  So he chose this one and we settled in to watch.

I will start by saying that I hope to hell that whomever made this movie intended for it to be as over the top ridiculous and cheesy as it was because if they were actually going to frightening, they failed on an epic level.

In rating it on the Cheese Scale, I give it a good rating.  This means it is it was quality cheese.  These movies are amusing, contain a the right amount of humour and character likeability with an amusing plotline.  The downside is, there’s not a whole lot of rewatch value to these ones.

I will say that the reason I liked the characters is that they were acted so badly.  I laughed my ass off at their apparently intended serious acting that was so awful, it blew a school play out of the water.  I love stuff like that, it makes my bad eighties movie just that much better.  To give you a run down of the bizarre and sometimes baffling things this movie had to offer, let me share some of the finer points of the film with you.

Just in case you care, there are definitely spoilers in this post.  If you are peeing your pants in anticipation to see this film, don’t read the rest of this or you will be saddened and dismayed.

First of all, the Klowns come to Earth in what can be described as a falling star/spaceship/circus tent.  Yes, their spaceship appears as a circus tent.  The first person to find this tent is an old man thinking he’s going to get rich and his blood hound named Poo.  That’s right, his dog’s name is Poo.  I believe at one point he calls it Pooh Bear, but it’s funnier the other way, so that’s what I go by.

The main character breakdown is as follows:

1. An old police officer who hates all the young punks in town (anyone under thirty) and continually mumbles monologues about how he hates those crazy kids.  Somewhat akin to the unmasked villain at the end of every episode of Scooby Doo.

2. College guy and girl up on make out hill who see the falling star and make the discovery and try to warn everyone.

3. Young police officer who is more open minded and used to date the chick that was on make out hill.

4. The moron twins who drive an ice cream truck and think that it will get them laid.  They talk rather like the teenager on The Simpsons with the squeaky voice.

The generic teenager working all the crappy jobs.

The Klowns themselves are bizarre.  They are really tall, look like they’re wearing blow up clown outfits and have very creepy but also very fake looking rubbery faces with yellowed, pointy teeth.  I’m actually fairly certain they spent most of the budget on the costumes for the Klowns.  They kill people by shooting them with a ray gun that cocoons them in cotton candy and then liquefies them, allowing the Klowns to insert silly straws (yes, silly straws) and suck them out through that.  Grotesque yet humourous.

They also have guns that shoot popcorn at people.  In the beginning, I was unsure as to what this would accomplish but apparently the popcorn later turns into snakes with Klown heads that try to eat you.  This just confused me to no extent.  Why would popcorn do this?  Eggs I could see, but popcorn is so buttery and delicious that I can’t see it harming me.  Though, I guess I couldn’t imagine being liquified by cotton candy and sucked up through a silly straw either, so there you go.  Something I found particularly amusing was the creation of a balloon animal dog that followed a scent trail.

During the inevitable takeover of the town, a biker gets his head punched off by the little Klown after the biker breaks his little bicycle (the Klown was wearing little boxing gloves at the time and acting quite impish).  A shadow puppet on a wall captures several peoples’ attention, then the several people and they are fed to a bag of popcorn…and we all know what happens when the popcorn gets involved.  There is a car chase involving a little Klown car, an ice cream truck, and a police car which is just ridiculous.  During all this, the townspeople are being collected up in their cotton candy cocoons with a giant vacuum on the Klown car.

One of my favoured discoveries in this film was the way to kill them.  Are you ready for this?  Pop their big, red noses.  Yes folks, that’s right.  The Klowns’ weakness is that giant red nose they all sport and by destroying it, they will spin around in a bright green tornado, turn into a crystal and then explode.

Just as a random observation, by the way, the main chick changed into leg warmers in the second half of the movie and then was kidnapped inside a giant balloon and taken back to the space ship.  I think she deserved it because the leg warmers were polka-dotted.

And now, for the final battle.  We arrive at the local amusement park, where the Klowns have moved the space ship to better disguise it.  Five Klowns get out of a tiny car and kill a security guard with pies…he melted and the little clown put a cherry on top of the goo pile.  This was awesome.  The boyfriend and I laughed quite a bit.  The ice cream truck losers fell into a ball pit with two girl clowns with giant, inflatable boobs.  They were in heaven.  They (dumb ass preppy guy and young cop) rescued the leg warmer chick and then they all tried to escaped.  Dumb ass preppy guy (wearing an argyle sweater) opens a door and finds another door.  He commented loudly, “Another Door!”.  This gag is repeated and every time he says, “Another Door!” like it’s the biggest shock in the world

The last boss (yes, I play too many video games) was a giant Klown with a crocodilian style head.  There was no special effort in finding his weakness, it was the same as the smaller Klowns.  The young cop popped his nose with his badge.  The spaceship blew up and that was pretty much it.

I love cheesy movies and this delivered on that whether it was intentional or not.  There was some unfinished business, however, that bothered me at the end.  How did the moron twins escaped the big boobed Klowns and why it was never defined whether leg warmer chick officially wanted young cop (that would be my choice) or dumb ass preppy guy in the argyle sweater?  The three of them just hugged at the end.  Though perhaps after all their harrowing trials, they will form a permanent threesome and live happily ever after.

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Sick and Tired of 3D Movies

Being a huge geeks and loving old school Sci-Fi, the boyfriend and I were totally psyched when we saw the first trailer for Tron: Legacy in March 2010.  Well, we finally got around to seeing it last night and it was as I thought it would be.  Definitely not as epic as the original, the story line was predictable and some parts took too long.

However, this is not a review of the movie.  This is a massive complaint about something else that is haunting our cinemas and has been for quite some time…3D movies.

Let’s face it, people.  This is just something people are cashing in on left and right because people are buying into it.  It’s been going on for a long time and I can’t say as there have been any movies so far that have really impressed me as of yet save one.  Resident Evil: Afterlife had some kick ass 3D and it was kind of cool to experience it.  Zombie brain matter sticking to the glasses?  That was a pretty kick ass effect.

That being said, I wouldn’t have cared if it wasn’t in 3D.  I loved the previous three just as much, probably better, without it.  I detest paying an extra $4.50 for my movie ticket to sit through a film with those stupid glasses on my face to see something in 3D that would have been more enjoyable without.  Guess what?  I saw Avatar in a theatre where they didn’t play 3D and I’m glad I did because it wouldn’t have been worth it.  The movie was only really “Meh” to me and I’d have been livid to pay four extra dollars to see it.

I got a $25 gift card from my sister and her boyfriend to the movies for Christmas and I still had to tack on $3.5o for us to see Tron last night.  I was pissed off.  3D films are annoying in many ways.  I find it distracting from the movie.  I hate it when something pops out of the screen and travels around and then disappears because it left the side of the screen.  That takes away from the fantasy for me, then I get annoyed, and then I miss stuff in the movie because I’m stewing in my annoyance.  Also, I wear glasses.  If you don’t, then you have no idea how difficult it is to wear those honking big, stupid, plastic glasses over a set of glasses you have to wear to see anything, just to see the movie because if you’re not wearing them, the movie is blurry and you get a headache.  If you don’t wear your prescription glasses, the movie is blurry and you get a headache.  So either way, you’re screwed.  You end up sitting there with your head slightly tilted back so the plastic ones don’t fall off your nose because you can’t push them up any more because your prescription glasses are in the way…

Ugh, I just had a moment of rage thinking about it again.  I hate those stupid glasses.  I detest the fact that I have to pay extra money to be able to use them for a movie that I don’t want to see in 3D and then I have to give them back because I’m not allowed to use them again.  I have to pay another $4 for another pair of glasses that I hate for yet another movie I don’t want to see in 3D.

Sometimes, you have a choice and you can see the movie in 2D.  I always take this choice.  I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in 2D and it was freaking awesome.  It didn’t need 3D…it’s Harry Potter.  I wish I had been able to see Alice in Wonderland in 2D because I didn’t enjoy it and I paid too much to see something I didn’t enjoy.

I hate that every trailer I see now says “In 3D” for any kind of movie…even those that having them in 3D is just a stupid concept.  I could see it for the computer animated movies, they look kind of neat in 3D.  I can see if for ones with huge and spectacular special effects, though I would probably still choose 2D when they give me a choice, but if they start bringing out chick flicks and dramas in 3D, I’m done with movies forever.  Or at least until they take the 3D away…

A Coffee Mug Gone Astray

When things go missing in an office, it causes a ruckus.  When you work with the same people day in and day out, you become somewhat of a family, albeit, a dysfunctional one.  When you suddenly come to the realization that something of your own has gone missing, it causes a horrible feeling in your stomach somewhat akin to betrayal (or possibly like you just ate at Taco Bell).

It’s a well documented fact that such behaviour from my coworkers doesn’t just annoy me, it drives me into a rage-filled frenzy during which my head spins in circles and I start to foam at the mouth.  It’s not a pretty sight.

Previously, I have only experienced the thievery of coffee (see here and here) and office supplies (see here, here, here, and here).  These were technically things paid for and supplied by the higher ups and were easily replaced.  These were not my own personal property and we all know how well I took it when these things we missing:

This is what it metaphorically felt like to find out that my stuff had gone missing

Today, however, was something different entirely.  Today the item that went missing was something of my own that I had brought in from home.  Something that was a birthday gift from my sister.  Let me set the scene for you.

As you may or may not be aware, I am a HUGE fan of the movie “Office Space“.  In my opinion, it embodies the exact way of life when you live half your day in a cubicle (with humerous exaggerations of course).  For my birthday two years ago, my sister gave me the “Office Space Survival Kit”.  There were many goodies inside, all relating to the film, but my favourite was Lumburgh’s coffee mug with the Initech logo on it.

I love this mug because I makes me giggle every single time I fill it up at the coffee machine at work.  I always hear Lumburgh’s voice saying, “Yeah…”  It makes my morning.  So if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty attached to this particular conveyance of hot beverages.

Today, I was on my way down to cover the break for our receptionist.  I put the mug in the little receiving part of the machine, put the coffee cartridge in and hit the button before I went to do a few other things.  I forgot about my coffee until I got downstairs to the reception desk and I decided to get it when I went back up to my own desk.  Well, imagine my surprise when I reached my destination and there was nothing sitting in the coffee machine, waiting to be consumed.

At first I thought someone had needed to use the coffee maker and simply set it aside or dumped it and put it up on the shelf, as this has happened before.  I checked the surrounding area and oddly, did not find any sign of my beloved mug.  So then I pondered, “Who in their right mind would take a mug of coffee off the machine that they didn’t make?”  This seemed like a ridiculous notion and I thought, “No, I simply must be very scatterbrained from my allergy medications and put it on my desk.”  I checked…it was not there.  Then I thought, “Surely I actually took it down to reception with me and left it behind.”  I went and checked…not there either.  I then retraced my steps, my anger building with each new area explored only to discover a lack of awesome coffee mug.  Eventually, I got angry and started mumbling and ranting as I again checked all the places I’d been that morning.

Someone finally asked me if I was alright (they probably thought they should stop me before I had a complete meltdown and went Office Space [yes…my friends and I use the movie title as a verb to describe freaking out in the workplace] and tore the floor apart looking for a coffee mug).  I explained my situation and the dire need to have my precious mug back in my hands and someone started laughing and told me that one of our higher ups (we shall call him Bob) had been talking about coffee and had probably taken mine in an fit of absentmindedness.

I went to Bob’s office and there it was, my awesome mug in all it’s glory.  When I explained the situation, Bob was very apologetic and nice enough to even wash the mug for me before giving it back.  I trotted back to my desk, happy as a clam (after filling it up with delicious coffee of course) and sipped at the life giving beverage as I continued my daily grind.

So this story actually has a happy ending, unlike those of the stolen coffee cartridges (which is still happening now and then, this time by the entire box) and the missing staple removers (though I am happy to report that tying mine to the desk has actually managed to keep it around thus far).  So thank you Bob for so nicely returning my mug and keeping my head from actually exploding.