Monday, January 25, 2010

No Mo CoCo

Maybe just because it's fresh on my mind, maybe it's because I have a fascination with finales of television shows, or maybe it's because I enjoyed the show, but I wanted to take a moment and remember The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien:

Good luck in the future, Conan! Here's to hoping that you find a place where the network executives don't try to shift the blame of their own poorly-thought out decisions.

And, for those of you that couldn't care less about Conan (or just want a little extra slice of fried gold), click here for the ironic story of the week.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Unexpected Consequences of Tw**ight Bashing

Many of you faithful readers know about my strong disdain toward a certain trashy romance novel series about pseudo-vampires, and also toward a certain author who threw tradition and folklore out the window in order to make her characters more romantic to teen girls (and some "grown" women).

However, in my quest to find any and all mockery of the synonym-for-dusk series and put it on my blog I have encountered a very disturbing twist - my Google Ads can't tell the difference between fandom and foe-dom.

One of you informed me that there were ads for N*w M**n auditions on my blog. I, of course, thought you were an insane, lighter-sniffing drool-head (which would make a great band name!). But then I saw, with my own two eyes, the horribly misplaced ads - my blog had become an advertisement for the very thing I was fighting against.

So what is a traditional vampire fan (and a fan of good literature/film) supposed to do? I can't stop mocking the aforementioned books and movies! After all, all that is necessary for the triumph of the author who doesn't spell her name right is that lovers of good books do nothing. So I'm just going to have to be cautious about the words I use.

So, without further ado, I present to you this article from The Onion, sent in by, alert reader, Jeff Tromphlin, satirizing the-books-that-must-not-be-named (edited for Tw*l*ght content):

Woman Married To Fat, Emotionally Distant Vampire Escapes Into [CENSORED] Novels

January 11, 2010 | Issue 46•02

NEW ORLEANS—Acknowledging years of marital dissatisfaction and a noticeable increase in her vampire husband's weight, 43-year-old Sara Pastor told reporters Thursday that she often seeks solace by losing herself in the escapist fantasy of the [CENSORED] novels.

Enlarge Image Vampire and Wife

The Pastors settle in for what has become a typical Friday night together.

The New Orleans resident said it's been ages since her husband, 834-year-old Andrei Pastor, bought her flowers, took her dancing, or appeared at her second-story window and charmed her into allowing him inside. According to Sara, she purchased the first book in St*ph*nie M*y*r's young-adult vampire romance series 14 months ago, while waiting for her husband to pick her up from the airport, and has taken refuge in the novels ever since.

"Ed**rd is so romantic," said Pastor, referring to Ed**rd Cu**en, [CENSORED]'s vampire hero. "He loves [17-year-old protagonist] Be**a so much that he runs away from her to protect her. My husband, on the other hand, hasn't posed any kind of danger to me in years."

"Sometimes I wish I could just open up the pages and jump right into Be**a's skin," Sara continued. "I know it's silly, but what's wrong with wanting a little romance and adventure from your undead husband?"

Sara and Andrei met in 1988, when, as college students, they both volunteered to organize a campus blood drive. Sara reportedly found Andrei's nocturnal lifestyle exotic and thrilling, and two years later, they were married in a nighttime ceremony guests described as a "storybook wedding."

At first Sara was content with her role as homemaker, cleaning the vast Gothic manse the couple shared and cooking meals that met the strict sanguinary requirements of Andrei's diet. But according to friends, things started to change a few years ago.

Enlarge Image Cleaning Up Blood

Sara Pastor can't even remember the last time her husband battled a wolf for her affection.

Sara's dream husband began spending more and more time secluded in darkened alcoves with his cape drawn over his face. Before long, Andrei—once a stealthy hunter who easily stalked young and healthy prey—started feeding excessively on any slow-moving person who happened to wander by the house, and soon ballooned to almost twice his normal weight.

"When we were first married, Andrei was so dark and mysterious," Pastor said wistfully. "These days, pretty much all he does is sit around swilling blood and watching ESPN."

Added Pastor, "Ed**rd would never do that to Be**a."

Now, sources close to the couple report, whenever Andrei leaves the house to feast on the vital fluids of a bedridden shut-in, Sara retreats to the fictional world of Fo**s, WA, often reading and rereading the same erotic passages from her dog-eared copy of Br**king D**n.

"Arizona, Italy, Brazil—Ed**rd Cu**en travels everywhere for his love," said Pastor, sounding increasingly flustered. "Anytime I want to visit my family in Houston or go on a vacation, Andrei gives me the same old line: 'Sorry, but I can't risk being caught out in the sunlight.' Well, that sure didn't stop him back in 1895 when he came over here from Eastern Europe."

According to Sara, by last year she felt so cooped up that she took a job at a local Olive Garden "just to get out of the house." She woke each morning at 10 a.m. and came home at dusk, her clothes still smelling of garlic.

It wasn't long before the two started sleeping in separate coffins.

"Every time I get to the part where Ed**rd reveals himself to Be**a in the sunlight, I start to cry," Pastor said. "Ed**rd is so beautiful, his skin begins to sparkle in the sun. The closest Andrei ever comes to sparkling is when sweat beads up on his chunky thighs after he's climbed a flight of stairs."

Though sources confirm Andrei won't entertain the idea of a divorce, it's uncertain how long the marriage can last under these conditions.

"If Sara wants to live in her little fantasy world all the time, that's her choice," Andrei Pastor, Vicomte of Bazargic, said when reached for comment. "She might think life is just one big fairy tale, but it's not."

Added the vampire, "I've been around 800 years, and I think I know a thing or two about the real world."

Keep sending in those articles/comics/parodies about T****t! I think I've found my loophole!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Haven't Seen Avatar Yet. . .

Oh. . .wait. . .maybe I have. . .

(click to enlarge)

Sent in from, alert reader, Alan.

Yes, I know that some say that there is no such thing as an original story, but when the similarities to other stories match up so well, you start to wonder where the filmmaker got their "inspiration." And yet, this is quickly becoming one of the highest grossing films of all time. WHA?

I'll still probably go see it soon. I hear the 3-D is a lot of fun, plus I really like that "Colors of the Wind" song.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Own Subjective Top 10 Movies of 2009

Yes, I know, there are a TON of these types of lists out there, but this list has something that the other lists don't - my opinion.

Disclaimer #1 - The list below isn't strictly a list of movies that were released in 2009, this is a list of movies that I saw for the first time in 2009. You can click on any of the names of the movies to see a trailer if you'd like.

Disclaimer #2
- I own a Clearplay DVD Player (which, with Netflix, is the best combination in the world next to chocolate and mint), so some of the movies below were edited when I saw them and that is what my review/rating reflects (Alliteration! Woo!).

Disclaimer #3
- Since we have two kids and a small budget, I don't get out to the movie theater a lot, so I haven't seen many movies that actually did come out this year yet. I have to wait for them on DVD.

Disclaimer #4 - This list is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental or intentional - you decide. Apply only to affected area. May be too intense for some viewers. For recreational use only. If condition persists, consult your physician. Freshest if eaten before date on posting. Subject to change without notice. No postage necessary if mailed in the United States. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not read while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Please remain seated until the ride has come to a complete stop. Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement. As seen on TV. The Former 786 and Slice of Fried Gold cannot be held liable for any discomfort, disagreement or rage while reading this list. One size fits all.

So here goes. . .

My List of Favorite Movies of 2009:

10. Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo Del Toro creates a darkly mythical and magical world in this visually stunning film. Aside from the special effects, sets and costumes, I loved how the whole movie mixes reality with fantasy and you're never quite sure whether it is all real, or if it's all in our young protagonist's mind.


If you're not a fan of documentaries, this may be the one that turns you. Man on Wire is a true story that plays out like a heist film. Sure Phillipe Petit, the man who decided to do a tightrope walk across the Twin Towers, is completely insane (as is the team who helped him), but you can't help but get caught up in his insanity.


8. Up

Yes I did see Wall-E for the first time this year, and I did see Kung Fu Panda this year as well, but Up was the animated feature that I felt deserved to be on this list. The whole balloon house adventure is unrealistic, yes, but the relationships between the characters (especially the married couple) felt more real than many live action movies. It's a touching story that doesn't feel heavy-handed.


7 . Let the Right One In

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Take note, Stephenie Meyer, THIS is what a story about teenage vampires SHOULD be! This is a dark and horrifying movie that manages to hit some sympathetic notes as well. I've heard rumors that they're going to make an American version, but, based on my experience with most American remakes, I'd recommend seeing the original first.

6. Grizzly Man

One word can describe this film: Haunting. This is a documentary about a man who lived among the grizzly bears in Alaska for a number of seasons, with an obvious and heartbreaking outcome. This movie does a good job of not mocking Timothy Treadwell, but not condoning his actions, either. It simply presents what Timothy did and leaves it up to the viewer to make their own judgments. Grizzly Man stayed with me long after I returned the DVD.


5. I Love You, Man

This is actually a clever and original comedy - although it was quite choppy on the old Clearplay. Paul Rudd is an awesomely awkward groom-to-be looking for a best man and Jason Segel plays a uniquely energetic friend who helps Paul's character come out of his shell. The well-written story balances ridiculous situations with realistic interactions and presents a new kind of "romantic comedy." My brothers and I still laugh about some of the lines in this one.

4. Drag Me to Hell

Fun, fun, fun. Drag Me To Hell should not be taken seriously - just hold on tight and enjoy the ride. Sam Raimi does an excellent job of mixing humor and horror and deals with the demonic without ever becoming satanic. This movie plays out like an an old episode of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt. I'm excited to watch this film again.


3. Watchmen

Having never read the graphic novel, I didn't know what to expect when sitting down to watch the Watchmen. This is a high-quality film that used its budget wisely. Watchmen is a dark and brooding look at an alternate world filled with Batman-like superheroes and it's surprisingly deep. It's a pessimistic and corrupt reality with imperfect heroes and moral villains, yet it manages to instill a feeling of hope, as well.

2. The Fall

If your eyes are feeling bored, WATCH THIS MOVIE! The makers of this film traveled to 20 different countries to find the most exotic and beautiful locations for the various scenes and storylines. What I thought were elaborate sets are actual landmarks around the world. The scenery, colors and movements in The Fall are breathtaking! However, this movie is not just eye candy, it also tells a moving story with powerful performances by a 6-year-old girl and Lee Pace (the Piemaker from the television show Pushing Daisies). I disagree with the rating, though. This movie should only be PG-13. I highly recommend this film.

And my #1 movie that I watched in 2009 is. . .

Yes, the Academy actually got this one right by awarding it the Oscar for Best Picture. Slumdog Millionaire is a stunning and uplifting film. From the performances, to the story, to even the soundtrack - this film is amazing! I've seen this movie more than any other on this list (plus, it's the only one on this list that I actually own) and it still evokes the same emotions it did the first time I saw it. Even the story behind this film is inspiring. It's a very intense film, but, once again, I don't feel that this movie deserved an R rating. I don't want to talk Slumdog Millionaire up too much, but I feel like everyone in the world should see it at least once.

So there you go, it wasn't easy to limit myself to ten, so I'd like to give honorable mention to Kung Fu Panda, Thank You For Smoking, Shaolin Soccer, Spanglish, In Bruges, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Joyeux Noel and Wall-E.

In case you're in the mood for more countdown lists (that have nothing to do with my opinion), click here for some more random ones from TV Guide.

Here's to a 2010 full of good movies!