In Which I Comment About A Movie I Haven’t Yet Finished

Bored with your DVD collection?  Try watching a subtitled movie with a toddler.  You’ll likely get a different plot every time.  Last night hubby and started watching The Sorcerer and the White Snake.  We’ve had this on our Netflix queue for a while and I figured it was just a typical Jet Li martial arts movie.  Don’t get me wrong, I like both of those things, but I haven’t been in a martial arts movie mood lately.  But hubby put it on last night for a while, although it’s definitely a challenge watching a movie that required actual reading of subtitles, I got the gist of most of the plot, just missed some convos between characters here and there.  But we never got to finish the movie, and who knows when we will, so…

images

In many ways this was a typical martial arts film, but it had a lot of Chinese mysticism thrown in there– talking animals and shape-changing demons– as if it were the most natural thing in the word.  Now for your entertainment (and my own,) I’ll extrapolate some possible “interpretations” of scenes from the movie… and, shockingly, virtually no spoilers.*

"We are having so much fun frolicking in this field!"

“We are having so much fun frolicking in this field!”

"You only want me for my body..."

“You only want me for my body…”

"Mmmm...it really does taste like chicken..."

“Mmmm…it really does taste like chicken…”

 

Now this scene…pretty easy really.

A look like this usually says one of two things: 1) I'm dying, or 2) I love you and I'm gonna suck your face off now.

A look like this usually says one of two things:
1) I’m dying, or
2) I love you and I’m gonna suck your face off now.

What about this one?

"Be gone, foul temptresses!"

“Be gone, foul temptresses!”

"Ooooh! Jet Li!  Can we get your autograph?!"

“Ooooh! Jet Li! Can we get your autograph?!”

"Mah bitches..."

“Mah bitches…”

And lastly…

"mmmmm...boobies..."

“mmmmm…boobies…”

So anyhoo…sorry I’ve been lazy with my posts and comments lately.  I’ll try to be better…maybe.  In the meantime, maybe check out this movie.  Maybe even watch it without the subtitles…

 

 

A Few One Liners About Social Media, To Sing You Off To Sweet Sleep

Just a few random thoughts that have been poking at my consciousness like splinters, presented in a passive-aggressive way for your entertainment…

All of your “selfies” look exactly the same.  Stop it.

Maybe it’s not your opinion that people object to; maybe it’s the combative and assholish way you present it that pisses them off.

That pic of you fresh from the gym/car dealership/proctologist/whatever– you know, the one where you’re staring into space, or looking sideways and making duck lips at the camera…it was very unique and illuminating.

You’re so vain…you probably think this post is about you.

This post is about you.

Dear close friend or family member, I have to be more understanding and try not to get my feelings hurt when I know you’ve been online, but you’ve ignored something I posted specifically for you; you must just have your hands full “sharing” all those played out memes and “inspirational” photos.

I love watching grown ass adults act like adolescents on a social media site, don’t you?

And speaking of “grown adults,” watching some of the older crowd navigate Facebook is like watching two monkeys try to fuck a football.

I’m just here for the Scrabble.

ARQ’s Modern Solutions to Old Skool Problems

I’m feeling a little grouchy today.  Yes, more than usual.  The day is only half way over but my bullshit-o-meter is full up of toddler attitude and Facebook know-it-alls.  I think I need a nap.  But since that’s not an option at the moment, I’ll drink some old coffee, vape off my e-cig, and try to write something half-way humorous to pull me outta this little funk.

Thus, I give you…  some modern solutions (that are likely safer/more PC) to some old school problems.  No, I’m not talking about boring shit, like my e-cig.  I’m talking about real issues, here.

Like werewolves, for instance. People have been dealing with werewolf infestations since before you could say hypertrichosis.”  Traditionally, the solutions have been a little dangerous…and messy.  Wolfsbane?  Come on, wolves are carnivores!  Piercing the hands of the werewolf with nails?  How...Judeo-Christian.  There are apparently other less violent, lesser known ways of dealing with lycanthropes as well, such as one German method whereby a werewolf is cured by speaking it’s Christian name to it three times.  Well, that’s just a little bit religion-biased, I think.  Not to mention, I’m guessing it’s not so effective, or we might have heard about it more often.  My guess is the first few dudes to yell any name at a werewolf became Scooby snacks in pretty short order.  And as  to silver bullets, who’s rich enough to just have loads of silver lying around???

A much more humane and modern solution the problem would be the use of shock collars– nice, non-lethal, non-biased, non-costly werewolf control.  Simply snap the collar on the alleged shape-shifter while he’s in his human form (this part is very important!), and keep the control with you at all times.

Where else can we apply some more modern solutions to the problems that plagued our ancestors?  I’m glad you asked.  How about poltergeists?

Poltergeists  have traditionally been described as troublesome spirits who, unlike ghosts, haunt a particular person instead of a specific location. (wikipedia)

One theory behind poltergeist disturbances is that they are actually manifestations of emotional distress brought on by an (unwitting) human, most often a child or teenager, and often a female.  In the 1982 film Poltergeist, it is suggested that more than one spirit is responsible for the “haunting” of the Freelings’ home, and that there is one demon in particular who has targeted young Carol Ann in an attempt to gain control over the multitude.

I maintain that in either case, the solution is simple.  Give that little bitch some Lithium!  (I’m sorry, she’s the victim here, too, isn’t she?)  Well, either way, she’ll be too busy twitching in the corner to cause much trouble– the demon can’t use her for anything, and her emotions will be so blunted that any poltergeist “disturbances” will be a thing of the past (along with fine motor control…)

Poltergeist movie

One more freebie for the day… I might have to consider charging for the rest.  I can’t do everything for you people!  Let’s talk about demon possession.  Think The Omen.  Think Linda Blair in The Exorcist.  Now you could call a priest.  But then you’ll have to pick up the house, hide all the porn, and likely listen to a bunch of literal bible thumping for half the night.  Not to mention the dry-cleaning bill for all that pea-soup vomit, and the structural damage to your home.

The solution is actually so much simpler.  These kids are really nothing more than out-of-control, attention-seeking brats.  And what do we do with out-of-control, attention-seeking brats in America?  Why, we reward them with their own reality TV show or spot on a talk show!  They want attention; let’s give it to them!  They can duke it out with one another on Jerry Springer, or go to “demon” rehab at the Sober House!

And if that doesn’t work , you can always try the Lithium or the shock collar.

Today on Jerry Springer, kids who are inhabited by the devil!

Today on Jerry Springer, kids who are inhabited by the devil!

Conflict or “Equilibrium”

My regular readers know I’m becoming quite the misanthrope in my old age (that’d be 31.)   The world is a lot smaller now that we’re all virtually connected via the internet.  Everyday that I’m online, I’m bombarded with information, a lot of it bad news.  War, famine, rape, death, abuse, injustice.  People doing horrible things to the Earth, animals, each other…their own children.  It’s always been around, but now we’re ever more aware of it, and it seems to be getting worse.

Becoming a mother has made me hypersensitive to the atrocity.  I hate this world we live in.  I hate these people who can’t see past their own id.  My heart breaks for the innocents, and I’m often afraid for my child, who has to grow up in… a sea of crazy people.  I wonder what we can do to effect a significant change in people…   It feels like there’s nothing we can do.

And then today,  I started watching Equilibrium.

The film follows John Preston (Bale), a warrior-priest and enforcement officer in a future dystopia where both feelings and artistic expression are outlawed and citizens take daily injections of drugs to suppress their emotions.

Based on the concept that emotions are the root of all strife in the world, the logic is that by eliminating these basic emotions, conflict is eliminated.  And the concept seems to have merit, if you don’t consider the immediate execution of any persons committing “sense” offenses, as well as the incineration of any emotionally stimulating material– art, music, and apparently, puppies–  to be “conflict.”

I'm sure this was the director's intention, but is it any wonder the insignia for the dystopic powers that be looks like a swastika?

I’m sure this was the director’s intention, but is it any wonder the insignia for the dystopic powers that be looks like a swastika?

But as you may well have guessed, it is a colorless, pointless, and dull existence, devoid of any happiness…or empathy And in the end, isn’t the absence of empathy the root of the problem our world already faces?

The problem with the film…  Sean Bean.  Goddammit! Is there any film in which he doesn’t die ?

31674L

Sean Bean_Stay Alive

What Has Happened to the “News?”

I’ll admit I like a quirky or interesting story as much as the next person.  Today, I was reading a Huffington Post article about a woman who had her gym membership revoked after breaking the “no cell phones” rule one too many times. I’ll even admit I commented, or rather, replied to a few comments.  I just really can’t stand it when people think it’s okay to annoy and inconvenience others around them with their cell habits (or any habits) just because it’s convenient for them.

But then I realized…this is not news.  As one person succinctly summed up in the comments, So what.  Go to another gym. Why is this news?  I mean, the article was just reporting, not an editorial.  It wasn’t written from a specific standpoint, like an admonishment to not be a dick while on your cell phone, and the subject is not exactly something that raises awareness in others.  The lady broke the rules, she got kicked out.  No injustice there.  End of story.

And then I thought back to some recent discussions hubby and I had about the same thing.  Featured television news stories on Kate Middleton’s “baby bump,” while a tiny ticker tape at the bottom of the screen noted people killed overseas and accidents and whatnot…you know…relevant news.

It’s pretty disgusting actually.  I know most don’t want to see bad news and horror and death all the time for a while. I stopped logging in to my AOL mail for a while because literally every day, it seemed like there was a new case of child abuse or family annihilation in the news.  But that doesn’t mean our “happy” news pieces have to be a fluff and no substance.

As much darkness as there is in the world, there is also great people doing kind things, and plenty of “feel good” stuff that merits more recognition than Kim Kardashian getting fat or Kate Middletons “baby belly.”

A dog that saves some soldiers from a Taliban bomb.  A bunch of volunteers rescuing 900 dogs from poor conditions.  Or maybe check out these child philanthropists…

The sad thing is, most of the time, you actually have to dig for these types of stories, whereas all the daily bullshit of stupid people is readily available as soon as you open any search engine home page  (ex),whether you want to see it or not.

And a lot of us are reading this shit.  I do it sometimes too…   Please give me something better to read…or at the very least, confine the gossipy, Hollywood bullshit to just a small headline or a tiny ticker tape at the bottom of the TV screen.  Americans need to readjust their priorities and perspectives, and maybe some of them need a little help seeing what is really important.

My first quick meme...I'm so proud...~sniff~

My first quick meme…I’m so proud...~sniff~

And as usual, my girl over at B(itch) Log is on the same wavelength:  http://heatherchristenaschmidt.com/2013/03/04/can-i-have-your-autograph/

“She must have been beautiful…”

She must have been beautiful…  At the beginning of the first episode of the French cop drama, Engrenages (it means gears or cogs, but the title is translated to Spiral for US viewing,) a nude young woman is found in a dumpster, her face savagely beaten and mutilated.   Within the first few minutes of the show, when told by one of the investigators that the victim’s face was smashed, the Prosecutor replies, “She must have been beautiful.”

The first time I read this (the show is subtitled,) it gave me pause.  What?  Was something lost in translation, or was this ham-fisted remark somehow considered a normal observation in the context of a foreign investigation?

A few mere minutes later he offers, “She was killed because she was beautiful.  Hence the ferocity.”

I thought…Oooo-kaaay.  That makes a little more sense.  Maybe this is a serial killer and the Prosecutor is familiar with his MO.

But this turns out not to be the case either… and yet people throughout the show continue to remark on the victim’s beauty.  One cop goes to his prostitute informant (who he apparently also likely beds and occasionally scores coke from) to see if she has heard anything that might help identify the victim.

Prostitute: Are you sure she was a prostitute?

Cop: No, she was a nun.

Prostitute:*laughs* You’re right.  If she wasn’t in the game it’s odd.  Especially the mutilation stuff.

So now it has been inferred not only that her beauty somehow precipitated her murder, but that being the victim of a horrific mutilation makes much more sense if you happen to be a working girl.  Having studied violent crime, I will allow that being a prostitute is considered to be a high risk factor in terms of one’s chances of becoming the victim of a violent crime.  There is a real correlation there.

However, in the general public’s view, (and regrettably, sometimes in law enforcement) there is also an implied and sometimes spoken assertion that a sex worker killed because of or during the course of her work somehow deserves her fate.  The fact that the prostitute/informant in this particular show would consider the mutilation of the victim “odd” if she wasn’t a sex worker seems downright inappropriate.  Again, is it simply that something has been lost in the translation from the original French dialogue?  Or maybe it is a calculated tactic by the script writers to infer how many women in “the game” feel, how they view their own self-worth?  Or maybe it’s exactly what it sounds like; an ignorant and flawed assumption that may be indicative a a larger problem, the way people view female victims of violent crimes?

I seem to remember the coroner in the autopsy scene similarly remarking on the savagery of the victim’s injuries and also linking it to her beauty.  He claims the attack to her face was postmortem and methodical.  He also posits that it was done not to hinder identification of the victim (as her hands and fingertips were left undamaged,) but rather out of some sort of spite for alleged beauty.

Again with the beauty?   

And then again, almost exactly halfway through this first episode, the coke snorting cop tells his colleagues that the neighbor claimed a certain person of interest was a “real beauty”, and that he would “let them know” when he saw her.

What?!  Why does this keep coming up?  I’d understand if they had some specific reason to believe in this situation that the victim’s beauty was an emotional catalyst for suspect, IF they had any information that backed up that theory– previous crimes possibly committed by the same offender, evidence collected from crimes scenes, a criminal profile… A person can be driven to fatal violence by many things.  Their victim may be the actual focus of their rage or they may be no more than a convenient surrogate, chosen for reasons that have nothing to do with aesthetics.  Furthermore, the mutilation of the face, especially done postmortem, could also be indicative of the perpetrator’s desire to “erase” the victim’s identity, not from a literal standpoint, but from an emotional perspective.  A person’s face, specifically their eyes, are often considered to be symbolic of their essence, representative of what makes them a real person in the eyes of the perpetrator.

Alas, the episode ends on a sort of cliff hanger, with the crime not yet solved.  I guess I’ll have to watch a few more episodes to determine whether the attitudes expressed towards the female victim in this episode are indicative of the overall flavor of the show.  I hope not. I found the frequent references to the victim’s appearance distracting and irrelevant.  Not to mention completely inappropriate.  Unless it turns out to be relevant to this particular plot line, I think I’d find those sort of repeated remarks too irritatingly misogynistic to continue to watch the show.

cast of Spiral

cast of Spiral

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Resident Evil: The “Oh Shit” Factor

Hubby have I have great discussions, which just proves our chemistry is still there.  Yet another discussion about the direction of the Resident Evil game franchise… sexy, right? We’re both pretty much in agreement that although the newer, more action oriented gaming style of RE4, 5, and 6 is pretty cool, with the over-the-shoulder first person shooter point of view bringing you closer to the action, we both miss the atmosphere of the first few games in the series.  Especially if you played the remastered Game Cube version with the added content, you’d likely agree none of the subsequent games in the series can match the mystery and creepiness of feeling completely alone and small in that vast mansion.  As hubby and I discussed (again) the points in which the “new” games differ from the older ones in the series, that led to a discussion about the creatures of Resident Evil, and how the newer RE games seemed to rely more on the “gross-out factor,” rather than actual scariness.  

This segued into which creatures in the franchise had the “oh, shit” factor–that being, no matter what weapon you have in your hand, the presense of these particular creatures have the power to make you (or your character, rather) run the other way, keening

                             oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, ohshitohshitohshitohshit!

under your breath the whole way.  Hubby finds my reaction to these characters a ceaseless source of amusement.  He makes fun of me, and I laugh.  That’s the kind of relationship we have.

Here are a couple of my favorite/most hated Resident Evil baddies.

The Zombie Dobermans–

Admittedly, as the games keep getting revamped and the graphics keep getting better, the newer incarnations of the Resident Evil zombie dogs (“Ganado” dogs, or “Majini” dogs, or “J’avo” dogs) should be scarier than the originals… but they’re not.   The best I can figure is that it’s the selection of weapons and ammo you have access to…or rather, the lack thereof.  In the newer first person RE (4,5, & 6) games, you have access to weapons that are varied and up-gradable.  Rifles, Magnums, high-powered pistols, grenade launchers, laser rifles, mine dart throwers…  But in the original RE game, until you accidentally stumbled on the locations where the grenade launcher or magnum were stashed, all you had was a pistol and a shotgun. They had a limited range of motion, due in part to third person perspective, and, unless you were particularly judicious in your use of it, very little ammo.

When you heard the tell-tale clicking of little doggy feet, (or worse, they jumped through the window and surprised your ass, usually in a pack) you knew there was a good chance you were gonna die.  You could try to stand and fight, or you could haul ass in the other direction.  Personally, unless I had a grenade launcher or a shit-load of shotgun ammo, I hauled ass.  Cuz those little fuckers are hard to hit, and it seems to take a whole bunch of pistol shots to put one of those dogs down!

Does somebody want a Scooby Snack?

Does somebody want a Scooby Snack?

RE 5 "Adjule" dog

RE 5 “Adjule” dog

RE 4 "Colmillos" dog

RE 4 “Colmillos” dog

The Chainsaw “Guy”

There are several incarnations of  this particular adversary, and they appear in both RE 4 and RE5. There is the ganado man with the burlap sack over his face, and there are a few spots in the game where you encounter one or more of what I refer to colloquially as “chainsaw bitches.”  The latter are women with bandaged faces and homicidal tendencies.  Both are aggressive, quick, and both mean instant death if they get close enough to decapitate you.  When I hear the tell-tale sound of the chainsaw or the shriek of those harpy bitches, I run the other way… at least far enough so I safely can plug them with my Magnum and thus keep my head attached to my neck.

A chainsaw and a bad attitude...

A chainsaw and a bad attitude…

The first time I was decapitated, I was in shock for a few minutes afterwards.  It's not the kind of thing you forget.

The first time I was decapitated, I was in shock for a few minutes afterwards. It’s not the kind of thing you forget.

The Iron Maiden–

sub-species of the Regenerator from RE 4, the Iron Maiden is creepy as shit.  The tell-tale sound of its approach is a sort of mouth-breathing version of lamaze.  It sounds funny, but this dude is a creep.  He’s covered in spikes and if you give him half a chance, he’ll project his spikes out like some sort of deformed humanoid porcupine, and try to impale you on them.

Part of the problem with a Regenerator is that it’s a pain in the ass to kill.  As you may have intuited, if you shoot one, especially in the limbs, it generally recovers fairly quickly.   The trick to putting down a Regenerator is to kill the multiple parasites living within it’s body.  For this you need a special infrared rifle scope that allows you to see the Plagas hidden in the creature’s body.  It follows that you need the time and distance to use said rifle, and since there are usually four to five Plagas in a given Regenerator, when I hear them coming, I back the hell up!

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Come 'ere and gimme a hug!

“Come ‘ere and gimme a hug!”

I got your hug right here, bitch!

“I got your hug right here, bitch!”

Well, there are several more scary and anxiety provoking enemies in the RE franchise, but these are the main ones that come to mind when I think of the “oh shit” factor.  My policy with these guys is usually run first, then shoot!

What are your favorite RE characters to hate?