Archive: Movies

Jurassic World’s Indominus Rex Makes the Same Mistake as Hitler on the Eastern Front

Indominus Rex

There are plenty of spoilers in this, but Jurassic World is part of a franchise that just grossed over $1 Billion worldwide, so if you haven’t seen the movie, what do you think happens in the end, the humans survive or the dinosaurs kill everyone?

In Jurassic World, geneticists engineer a super dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which breaks out of its cage and goes on a killing spree. Not only is the beast nearly indestructible, but it’s also smarter than your average dinosaur. And by average dinosaur I mean, of course, the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs. Indominus Rex sets traps for her victims, digs out her tracking device, hides from people and outsmarts enemies. Indominus Rex even talks to the other dinosaurs, and not in a casual chit-chat, “How are the kids,” kind of way, but about doing some additional damage.

The most frustrating part of Jurassic World is they have this super smart dinosaur, one that’s completely unstoppable. She’s the greatest enemy the world has ever seen, and the Indominus Rex goes on to commit the exact same mistake made by Adolph Hitler on the Eastern Front of World War Two.

In 1941, Nazi Germany controls almost the entire European continent. France, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands have all fallen and have puppet governments controlled by the Nazis. Spain and Italy are allies. Great Britain is holding on by a thread and the U.S. hasn’t entered the war yet. In Jurassic World, the Indominus Rex kills everything in sight, outsmarts her captors and is virtually indestructible. They’re both at the height of their power.

Hitler has hardly any threat to his empire in 1941. England is struggling to stay alive and can’t muster a credible counter-attack. The United States is wary of entering the war in Europe. The only country that can pose any sort of opposition is the Soviet Union. But Hitler already put a plan in place to keep them at bay. Hitler avoids a two-front war by signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (officially the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, for you Nazi-Soviet Paleontologists out there).

This is where the Indominus Rex stands after making a truce with the raptors at the midpoint of Jurassic World. The dinosaur has zero enemies, total control of the island and there’s no way for the humans to mount a credible counter-attack without blowing up everyone on the island at a tremendous loss of life.

Hitler and the Indominus Rex proceed to make the exact same mistake. It’s not so much that Hitler breaks the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty, but that the Nazis do so with brutal violence killing everything in their path. And then just a few decades later the bad dinosaur makes the exact same mistake as Hitler. When are these dinosaurs going to learn?

When the Nazis invade the area that’s now Ukraine in 1941, Hitler actually gets greeted with fanfare in parts of the country. Some of the inhabitants see Hitler as a potential savior from Joseph Stalin. When Indominus Rex breaks out of her cage and wreaks havoc on Jurassic World, I’m sure there are a couple dinosaurs who are happy. There must be a few who think they’ll be freed from the life of captivity created by humans. Humans create these animals in theme parks just to hold them in tiny cages. The other dinosaurs are like, “Yeah she’s pretty evil, but she can’t be any worse than the humans, right?”

This is where Hitler and Indominus Rex make the same colossal mistake. Hitler’s great error on the Eastern Front has nothing to do with dividing his forces, or ignoring the advice of his generals, or putting too much focus on Stalingrad or Leningrad. No, Hitler’s biggest mistake is that he violently suppresses and murders people who could be used as allies.

If Hitler decides to embrace and help the people on the Eastern Front who see him as a liberator from Stalin, rather than murder them all, Hitler wins World War Two. He would double his ranks, turn everyone in Eastern Europe against the Soviet Union and negotiate with the United States and Great Britain to keep all his new territory and win the Second World War.

That’s all Indominus Rex needs to do to win Jurassic World. She just has to negotiate with the velociraptors and stegosauruses and pterodactyls by saying, “Y’know, if you team up with me, we can run this joint and never have to deal with evil humans again. Those humans cooked us up in labs just to keep us in cages all our lives. Then they Instagram pictures of us for their Facebook feeds. C’mon, whattya say, you and me, let’s work together.”

That’s it. If the Indominus Rex says that to a single velociraptor, they win the movie. The dinosaurs just need to team up to take on the greater enemy – humans – and the movie is over. But the dinosaur doesn’t do that. Instead, Indominus Rex follows Hitler’s example to the same disastrous result because history always repeats itself.

Both Hitler and the Indominus Rex introduce unparalleled brutality in their respective regions. This makes people, and other dinosaurs, think Stalin isn’t that bad in comparison and team up to take down Hitler/Indominus Rex. They combat evil with even more evil and they’re only defeated with an unprecedented level of destruction. It all could’ve been avoided with a little bit of kindness, but instead the havoc brings their own respective downfalls.

If Indominus Rex wanted to learn from Hitler, rather than make the same mistake, the dinosaur would’ve changed strategies at her high point. The lesson is that if you ever get to the point in life where you control most of the world or island and you’re that close to winning everything, make allies with your terrified enemies when you hold all the cards. Otherwise you’ll just be another in a long line of sequels.

The Great Gatsby Summary

great_gatsby

I Feel The Same Way About the 2012 Oscar Contenders As I Do About the 2012 Republican Candidates

Bland candidates that will have to do.

Watching the screeners for the 2012 Oscars and keeping up with the GOP debates makes me feel an identical apathy for this year’s crop of movies and Republicans. Whether they lulled in the race until one hot week or they entered the race with tremendous buzz and landed with a thud, movies and Republicans share a similar dullness in 2011-2012.

Of the hundred-plus movies that came out last year, there are a handful that have any shot at being named the winner: The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, The Help (because Hollywood likes this sort of schmaltz, see: Crash) and Tree of Life. If you’re considering nominations then you can also loop in Moneyball, Bridesmaids, Melancholia, Midnight in Paris and War Horse if the Academy decides to open themselves up for bribes. Out of all the Republicans who explored the idea of running for president, we are now down to Romney, Paul, Gingrich and Santorum.

Both groups are the same in that no one really loves any of them, but someone has to come in first. Therefore, one movie and one Republican will have to win not because they were most-liked, but simply because they were hated the least. Obama’s opponent and the winner of this year’s best picture will share the title of not being great, but that they had fewer things wrong with them than the competition.

Let’s start with the current odds-on favorites: Mitt Romney and The Artist. Neither rode a tidal wave of support to get to the front of the pack. No one has ever left a Mitt Romney speech feeling inspired. You watch Mitt Romney speak and you’re left thinking, He said everything he’s supposed to say. The Artist is the favorite for best picture because you leave the theater thinking, That’s the kind of movie that wins best picture. The Artist is not The King’s Speech, it’s not The Hurt Locker. No one is going around raving about how they were bowled over and had the wind knocked out of them and were cheering at the screen by a black-and-white silent film from a French character actor. Read more

I’m Pretty Sure My Maids Are Writing a Tell-All Book About How I Horribly Mistreatment Them

How can this be avoided?

Call me paranoid, but I am pretty certain that my cadre of help that I employ around the house are starting to work together and not just to clean my bathtub. I am growing more and more suspicious that they are writing a book detailing their awful experiences incurred by working for me. I don’t know if they were inspired by The Help or if I am a little sensitive since seeing the book and movie’s success, but I think my maids around the house are writing something eerily similar.

My suspicions start with where they would probably begin their narrative: the unabashed abuse with which I treat them. I know you are probably saying that it’s OK because they’re maids, and that is exactly what I thought too. That was all before I read The Help. Then I was like, “Damn, those maids can write some abuse stories.” And let me tell you, my stable of maids have plenty of tales they could recant in detail.

On a wild guess, I’m going to say the first thing they’ll probably talk about would have to be the canings. Slapping a fresh piece of sharp bamboo across their backs if they miss a spot seems like it might merit its own chapter, if not the “hook” that we’d read in the introduction. I thought it would make them feel at home in Singapore, Acapulco or Indian reservation from where they are from. In hindsight, I now see the power of this sold through Amazon under some catchy theme like, “Hot Survival Stories.”

I would say their next chapter might be the wrenching pain that might have come with the separation from their children I caused. It is kind of a funny story about how I had an inside joke with my maids. “If you ask for a raise, I’ll report your families to immigration.” While they never asked for that raise to minimum wage, I thought it would be hilarious to tell INS where to find my maids’ children anyway. The agents busted into homes and schools to send their little rascals to far away lands. I now see how this could have struck a chord with my help. Read more

Outdoor Movies Los Angeles – 2011

2011 Outdoor Movies in Los Angeles. Click on the marker for that location’s schedule, also printed in text below. More locations and films are announced throughout the summer.


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Cinespia – Cemetery Screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
http://cinespia.org/

May 14 – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
May 21 – The Shining
May 28 – Vertigo
May 29 – Young Frankenstein

Outdoor Cinema and Food Fest – Various locations around downtown
http://outdoorcinemafoodfest.com

May 28 – There’s Something About Mary – LA State Historic Park
June 4 – Unforgiven – Exposition Park
June 11 – Goodfellas – Exposition Park
June 18 – Old School – Exposition Park
June 25 – The Terminator – Exposition Park
July 2 – The Matrix – LA State Historic Park
July 9 – Edward Scissorhands – TBA
July 16 – Office Space – Grand Hope Park
July 23 – Reservoir Dogs – Exposition Park
July 30 – LA Confidential – LA State Historic Park
August 6 – Fargo – Exposition Park
August 13 – Fight Club – Exposition Park
August 20 – Raiders of the Lost Ark – La Cienega Park
August 27 – Mamma Mia! – Poinsettia Park
September 3 – Close Encounters of the Third Kind – LA Port, San Pedro

Movies on the Terrace – Century City Mall
http://westfield.com/centurycity/cinemas/free-movies

June 16 – Mama Mia! Sing-a-Long
June 23 – Jurassic Park
June 30 – Desperately Seeking Susan
July 7 – Anchorman
July 14 – Sixteen Candles
July 21 – Joe Versus the Volcano
July 28 – Jumanji
August 4 – My Big Fat Greek Wedding
August 11 – Babe
August 18 – Teen Wolf
August 25 – 50 First Dates
September 1 – Jaws
September 8 – Karate Kid
September 15 – School of Rock

Should Movie Theaters Institute Segregated Seating For Pedophiles During the Justin Bieber Movie?

With Justin Bieber’s new movie [finally] on the horizon, pedophiles who are both cinephiles and casual movie-goers are flocking away from playgrounds and to their local AMC to catch the latest blockbuster. But a debate is raging over whether or not these lovers of films and children alike should have their own Jim Crow-type seating arrangement.

On one hand, examining the very debate is part of the problem because pedophiles are kind of people too. Not very nice ones, granted. Well, they’re nice to you if you’re a child. Typically, though, they tend to be greasy, overweight creeps with an ice cream cone for themself and one for little Timmy. But should they be allowed to purchase this ice cream cone at the same concession stand as non-pedophiles during the Justin Bieber movie?

While we do not have separate seating for pedophiles during other movies, never before has there been a cinematic event with the kind of attention and demand garnered by Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Complicating the debate is that we don’t know as to whether the pedophile is there for his fellow audience member or the star himself.

Both pedophiles and racists would be offended at the comparison to the Jim Crow era. As illustrated so thoroughly in masterpieces like The Warmth of Other Suns, separation tended not to be equal. If we really were to banish these pedophiles to the balcony level, shouldn’t that be counteracted by providing them young children so that their enjoyment can match that of everyone else in the theater?

“Of course not,” the anti-pedophile lobby would shout. But this is a more convoluted issue than your average movie-going experience. Take a film like Cats Vs. Dogs, for example. If there is a three hundred pound man sitting alone and ogling children, then he is probably – and rightfully – going to be kicked out. These men are easy to identify, since they would be the ones not wearing 3D glasses.

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The issue with Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, is that there might be more pedophiles in the audience than regular movie-goers. This is the perfect storm for a pedophile. A teenage heartthrob on stage and a riot of pre-teen fans congregating all over. Would we be doing the movie and director (does this movie have a director?) a good service by allowing pedophiles to enjoy just the film, rather than the crowd?

This is a debate between public safety versus entertainment that is meant to protect both children and the artistic integrity of pointing cameras at a high-pitched man-woman mix that pedophiles like to stare at. Should we be ashamed by our history and separate these classes of movie-goers from each other? Or maybe this is finally the moment when children and pedophiles will put their differences aside and unite for the Bieber.

Reserved-Seating Movie Theaters Need to Implement Awkwardness Protection

When the theater is packed, it makes sense. Reserved-seat movie houses have eliminated the problem faced by couples or groups of friends going to a blockbuster on opening night. However, this novelty of assigning seats completely backfires for two in the afternoon matinees on a Wednesday.You no longer have to lay out a blizzard’s worth of coats along a row to hold seats for stragglers. No more first dates where you end up sitting five sections apart (this usually happens by the end of my second date). No more bartering with people to move over so you can jam your group into a makeshift section in the first row of the theater. Now you know if you have seats and don’t need to rush. On a crowded night, it’s perfect. But only on a crowded night.

Why have reserved-seat theaters failed to implement reserved seats only when needed and allow movies to be first-come first-serve when the place is empty? Theaters like the Arclight, Landmark in Westwood and AMC Century City need awkwardness protection when you reserve seats.

Maybe the technology isn’t there to sell tickets with some show times being reserved-seating and others being open seating. So what they should do is add some sort of computer program that makes sure that you aren’t sitting directly next to a complete stranger when the rest of the movie theater is empty. Some of us like going to the movies when it isn’t crowded. I have taken days off from work because there are a bunch of movies I want to see and I refuse to go on a weekend specifically because I don’t like other people. When I go to a nearly-empty theater, I don’t want to be told to sit near a stranger.

Does this ever happen to you? If you go to a theater alone or with a friend for like a noon showing on Wednesday? Then you see one other person and you have that, “Oh, shit” moment when you see the stranger make his way closer and closer because that’s where he chose to sit? Learn how to read the freaking computer screen! Red seats are taken, green are available, you moron! It’s not like the place had only one remaining seat for the 1 P.M. Monday showing of Due Date, so you had to click THE ONE RED SEAT and the computer registered you as having to sit right next to me. You are an idiot and now this is uncomfortable for all of us.

What do you do? Do you get up and move one seat over? I prefer turning to the stranger and asking, “What the hell were you thinking?” It is going to be uncomfortable either way, why not try and make him feel as stupid as he is for putting us in this position?

Get the iBerry 4 theme from Bplay!

Arclight should simply solve this problem by having all seat selection include a two-seat buffer around any already-reserved seat. Let’s say you and your date go to the movies, when you choose your two seats, you automatically reserve the seats on the other sides of you as well. That way, you can avoid that tremendous awkwardness where you are sharing one cup holder with a person you don’t know.

This is the movie theater-equivalent of when you are using one out of ten empty urinals and a total stranger uses the one right next to you for no reason at all. Except that movie theaters are telling people where to pee.

If it becomes crowded and the mathematical possibilities don’t work, then, yes, you open up those buffer seats. But for weekday afternoon showings? Seriously? I have to listen to some other out-of-work writer throw in his stupid opinion to his fat friend because they don’t know how to read a computer screen? Movie theaters go out of their way for the handicapped, hearing impaired, parents and kids. Isn’t it time that we show consideration for people who want to avoid awkwardness with your shoddily-designed assigned-seat requirements? Keep the discussion alive, preferably not next to each other when we’re strangers in an empty theater.

Why Did They Translate The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo But Forget to Translate All The Swedish Names and Places?

It’s easy to knock any book that becomes one of the most popular in the country because America doesn’t read. Since we would rather do anything but pick up a book, this would mean that any book that appeals to millions of people must be catering to retarded people. So for the same reason I read The Da Vinci Code, I picked up the paperback in the same color as night-time reflectors for joggers and really don’t mind the book that much.

The thing about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo isn’t that it’s a terrible book, but that it follows the exact same formula as The Da Vinci Code for how to write a book that a massive audience will love. People who thoroughly enjoy reading are quick to say that the writing is terrible and the characters are one-dimensional and baseless, but if it’s so easy to do, then why haven’t you done it?

Because you need to walk an expert balance between looking like a really intelligent book and still being stupid enough to appeal to so many American in Walmart. This is an art in and of itself that is nearly impossible to replicate. The goal is to create something that makes people feel smarter than they are, while being stupid enough for them to not put it down. The movie Crash is a perfect example. Horrible, stupid and simple movie, but they “talk about race,” so stupid people who never talk about race think that it’s brilliant. It isn’t.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has nothing to do with good writing, but instead it’s like a verbal Sudoku puzzle, where the author has tried to craft a story where every chapter ends on a twist or little nugget of intrigue so that you feel like you’re solving the puzzle along with him. This is different from an ordinary murder mystery because those books take things into account like natural dialogue, internal thoughts and rich characters that make most readers feel like they’re too stupid to be reading the book. In The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, all those literary elements have been done away with to make people feel like geniuses.

My only qualm with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has nothing to do with how smart, stupid or popular it is. What I hate about it is that they translated the whole thing from Swedish into English, yet they left all the original character names the same. I can’t figure out why they’ve done this. It doesn’t make the book more authentic, worldly or Swedish, it just makes it a pain in the ass to read because you never know whether a noun is a person, place, thing or bird species native to Stockholm.

Mikael Blomkvist, Lisbeth Salander, Henrik Vanger; you really translated all six hundred pages but you couldn’t switch them to Mike Bloom, Lizzie Sales and Hank Winger? They even invented a town in Sweden called Hedestad, but I have no point of reference for a freezing town where it’s dark for six straight months. Change the town to Herdville, put it in Missouri and replace winter with Walmart and we’ll get the idea.

It just comes off as unnecessarily pretentious to keep your umlauts in a book where we’re not going to know the difference either way. It’s not like the book is more authentic because you kept the original Östehrgarten rather than finishing off your Google translation of the entire book by putting the train station near Oscar’s Garden.

But perhaps this is the secret to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s success. It really could all lie in having two dots over the letter Ö. People are drawn to the catchy title and cover, they start flipping through it, they feel like they’re smart and then when they tell their friends about the exciting new book they read, they can add, “It’s actually translated from Swedish. It even has umlauts.”

This all taps into my original problem that it’s impossible to enjoy Swedish films or literature without thinking of the Swedish Chef from The Muppets, but add in a hot chick getting revenge from a sexual assault and a couple umlauts to help America play to the height of its intelligence, then go get ’em, Sweden. Dragon tattoos and all.

Have North And South Korea Finally Worked Out Their Contract Disputes For The Korean War Sequel?

It’s a shame that soaring salaries and egos have detracted countries from producing wars the way they used to. You could make the argument that studios are so invested in “tentpole” wars that carry on for decades and don’t have discernible starts or finishes, simply for the sake of franchising their wars, that we’ll never see wars like we used to.

However, Korean War fans received great news this week when it appears as though North and South Korea have finally agreed on terms to appear in the highly-anticipated Korean War sequel. It is frustrating that the first war had so much luster and potential – definitely one of the more underrated wars of the Twentieth Century – yet fans haven’t been able to get the resolution from the open ending of the original outing.

The Korean War was easily overshadowed by the more profitable and mass-consumed Vietnam War – the war that’s responsible for the current slate of bad wars – although it had so much potential as a follow up to World War II. Audiences were just teased that we would have a giant showdown like the United States versus the Soviet Union, or the U.S. and Japan vs. China and Russia, but so far it’s been almost sixty years without any resolution.

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Everyone knows that North Korea is one of the biggest prima donnas on the war circuit today. Everyone has to cater to Kim Jong Il’s demands and we’re tired of seeing him on the cover of Us Weekly without any real substantive projects. South Korea seems like they want war, but as soon as it becomes a realistic endeavor, they back down. They’re all talk, with their press conferences, allies, rallies and marches, yet true fans have yet to see the sequel that we deserve, and we’re stuck with Sex And the City 2 and the Jamaican Civil War. What is a true fan to do?

Then there was more good news that super-producer China agreed not to get in the way of a potential sequel, which could finally pave the way for an unprecedented opening weekend box office. We’ll have two clear countries out to dominate the Korean peninsula, what’s a better logline than that? Look for cameos from the United States, Russia and Japan, and maybe if they bring in a good scripter for a rewrite, Jackie Chan could make an appearance for Hong Kong.

Although it’s clear that we’ll never return to the golden age of World Wars and Civil Wars, the potential for a Korean War sequel has finally harked back to a clearer-defined slate of destruction. Will this revive internment camps in California? We can only keep our fingers crossed.

Los Angeles Outdoor Movies 2010

Despite the fact that Los Angeles doesn’t have anything by way of seasons, it appears that there are three or four months where it only drops ten degrees at night instead of the usual forty. During these months, which northerners call “Summer,” you can find some outdoor movies around Los Angeles. Here are the 2010 schedules and locations. Updates as they come in, and please drop me a line if you hear of any I’m missing:

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