Monday, August 27, 2012

You Spilled the Salt

I'm a word guy, not a graphics guy. Drawing pictures has never been my strong point. So I always have to stand back in awe at the men and women of this world who can create amazing visuals using whatever medium they can. And since I'm also a big fan of food, when you can create art using something edible, that's all the more impressive to me.

That's why this video, sent in by, alert reader, Brad, caught my eye. An artist named Bashir Sultani has taken to creating very elaborate drawings with salt. And yes, this is way more intricate than those drawings I used to make in elementary school using only lines of glue and glitter. Check it out:

As Brad put it, this is a hobby for people who never sneeze, and I couldn't agree more. My hand and my nose are not steady enough for work like this.

This drawing of The Joker took him 60 minutes to complete in real time and, if you noticed, he used a playing card to draw The Joker's card. Plus, this is just the tip of the iceberg -- Mr. Sultani has a number of impressive pieces created with salt (some even in color) and, for all you environmentally conscious types out there, he reuses the salt each time.

And although I wish him much success in his endeavors, I think I'll keep my salt as a condiment . .or a spice, depending on which side of the aisle you land on THAT old debate.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just Start Typing

We've all been there before: the night is ending, you're exhausted, but you still have that writing assignment looming over your head. It's a stressful situation. No one writes well when they're tired (though some people are very entertaining when they're tired), and sometimes it's hard just to figure out what to begin with. But, my faithful readers, may I give you some writing advice? Just start typing. Even if you have nothing to say or don't know where you're going. You'll be amazed at what comes out when you just start typing.

Don't believe me? Fine. Let me introduce you to an application called Essay Typer. Pick a topic - any topic - and then just start typing. Trust me, you'll be amazed at how productive you are.

Now, before you turn that essay in, you should probably know that this website, sent in by, alert reader, Mitch, is an application created by Bay Gross that actually populates the Wikipedia article on the selected subject word-for-word as you type. So. . .don't use this for an actual assignment or anything like that, unless your assignment is on plagiarism.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Master Would Approve

Maybe it's because I love classic NES games. Maybe it's because I love MST3K. Maybe it's because the guys over at RiffTrax are doing a live riff of Manos: The Hands of Fate this week. Maybe it's because I'm proud to be an American. Maybe it's because I've got bad movies on my mind. Regardless of why I'm posting this video, it's still pretty awesome. A company called FreakZone has created a video game based on one of the worst movies of all time. Let's take a gander, shall we?

If you're not a Mystery Science Theater fan, this video, sent in by, alert reader, Ryan, probably doesn't make much sense to you. And that's fine. But stop what you're doing right now and go find a copy of MST3K's Manos: The Hands of Fate. You'll be shocked and horrified by how bad that movie really is, but Joel and the Bots will help you through it, and you'll find yourself laughing more than cringing. . .hopefully. If not, blame Ryan.

If you are a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, however, then you probably noticed some shout-outs to other classic MST3K episodes, such as The Screaming Skull, Hobgoblins and Robot Monster. There's also a great reference to Castlevania and who doesn't love hearing the classic Torgo theme?

It's only available on iOS now, but I can't wait for the Android version to come out!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Least Favorite Movies of All Time

On this blog I've talked more than a few times about movies that I like, but I haven't really talked about the movies that I don't like. Sure, there has been a bunch of Twilight bashing, but those don't count as real movies anyway. I wanted to take some time this post to talk about the movies that I hate. Well, maybe "hate" is a strong word -- these movies are a complete a waste of time, caused me extreme mental anguish, I absolutely loathe them and I hope to never see them ever again in my lifetime. Yeah, that's probably more accurate.

Now there are movies in this world that are so bad, they're good. These are not those movies. Those movies can still be enjoyed, these ones are only endured. I've included a video sample with each entry, so you can see why the movies are awful, even if you haven't seen them. Just creating this list caused me severe stress. You have been warned. Actually you haven't yet. So here goes...


10. The Master of Disguise
Plot Summary: Dana Carvey plays Pistachio Disguisey, a descendant of a long line of "spies" who are "masters of disguise" (hence, the title) and even though Pistachio is completely annoying, he is tasked with saving his family's reputation.

Why I Watched It:I like Dana Carvey. I've always liked him as a comedian and I have even liked a few of his movies -- but not this one.

What's Wrong With It: I've often said that the worst movies in the world are comedies. If a drama or horror movie are bad, you can still laugh at them. However, when a movie is supposed to make you laugh and fails, it's just painful. This movie is painful. It's full of dated pop-culture references and awkward, non-funny situations. I have no idea why my brother continues to defend this movie. I mean, watch the clip below and see if you even crack a smile.

Video Proof:

9. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Plot Summary:Shao Kahn is trying to take over earth and Liu Kang and his gang are forced to fight to save the earth. So. . .it's pretty much the same plot as the video game.

Why I Watched It: Mortal Kombat 2 was probably my peak of video gaming. I could win with almost any character and I had all of the moves memorized. Plus, I liked the first Mortal Kombat movie -- it was fun.

What's Wrong With It:I may have started this movie off on the wrong foot, because when I went to rent it, I had to pay a $10 late fee before I could check it out from the video store. I blame my little brother. But this movie is so bad that only two members of the original cast decided to return -- every other role had to be recast. And ***SPOILER ALERT***they kill off Johnny Cage in the first five seconds. ***END OF SPOILER*** The storyline is confusing, the action is sub-par and the acting is. . .well. . .see for yourself. . .

Video Proof:

8. The Ring Two

Plot Summary: Samara is back and apparently this creepy little girl wants more from Rachel and Aidan than to just pass her story along.

Why I Watched It:The first Ring movie is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

What's Wrong With It:Where to start? First of all, it isn't scary. Apparently Samara now has the power to control CGI deer, appear in public restrooms and make bathtubs less pleasant than normal. Plus, poor David Dorfman has long since passed the "creepy insightful kid" phase in this movie and has entered "creepy awkward phase." Even Samara looks like a grown woman in some scenes. This movie makes the first movie less scary.

Video Proof:

7. The Invention of Lying
Plot Summary:In an alternate universe, Ricky Gervais becomes the first person to lie. Additionally, in this alternate universe, Ricky Gervais can play a romantic comedy leading man.

Why I Watched It:Ironically, the preview lied to me. It made this movie look like a lighthearted comedy full of clever and original ideas.

What's Wrong With It:It's a very bitter movie. It seems that Gervais seems to think of "honesty" as synonymous with "mean." People are brutal and cynical and unpleasant in his world. The premise of not lying gets old after a while and so Gervais decides to bash religion for the rest of the movie. I've never walked out of a movie in the theaters before, but I came close on this one.

Video Proof:


6. 8 1/2
Plot Summary:Um. . .I'm not sure. It's Italian and artsy and stuff happens. But I hear it's about a film director trying to find inspiration.

Why I Watched It:I saw it in a film class. I was told that it's one of the greatest films of all time.

What's Wrong With It:This just proves that it doesn't matter how many people say a movie is good, it can still be awful. This movie is the type that people think of when people say "foreign art film." It's pretentious, confusing and absolutely boring. Maybe I'll have to trade in my film nerd card for saying all of this, but I don't like Fellini's work.

Video Proof:

5. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Plot Summary:A bunch of girls form a secret club. These girls become old women. Then these old women say sassy things to younger people.

Why I Watched It: I was a fool. I thought I could get past the awfulness of the movie by staying focused on Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock. I was wrong.

What's Wrong With It:I may not have been the target audience for this movie, but, then again, I can't figure out who would actually like this movie. It's so sappy and the sentiment is practically shoved down your throat. Perhaps this overly emotional cry-fest could be used to test the responsiveness of coma patients. If you put this movie on and they try to suffocate themselves, they're going to be just fine.

Video Proof:


4. Highlander II: The Quickening
Plot Summary:Throwing all of the mythology of the previous movie out the movie, this movie suddenly presents a distant planet where the immortals come from and where they return after they're beheaded. Oh, and there's also a pretty strong environmental message.

Why I Watched It:I love the Highlander story. I was a big fan of the TV series and I thought this movie would help me appreciate the story even better. Little did I know how bad it would be.

What's Wrong With It:As I said before, this movie completely trashes the story. Immortals are aliens, I guess, and they are able to fly around on hoverboards. Sean Connery returns because of the magical paycheck offered to him and gives a half-hearted performance which is more heart than the rest of the cast is giving. This movie is so awful that they pretended it didn't happen in the later movies.

Video Proof:

3. Now and Then
Plot Summary:A bunch of girls get together and try and re-create The Sandlot in the 70s, but with more angst and more cursing. Then these women grow old and Christina Ricci, unfortunately, becomes Rosie O'Donnell.

Why I Watched It:I have no idea why I watched this film. I've blocked most of that experience out of my mind.

What's Wrong With It:Once again, I know I am not the target audience of this film, but I found it to be mind-numbingly awful. The characters are annoying as girls and downright unbearable as adults. Maybe I need to be a teenage girl to appreciate this story (and Devon Sawa), but I hope no male ever has to watch this movie in their lifetime.

Video Proof:

2. The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer
Plot Summary:Daniel Alexander Dolphin wants to go beyond the reef, so a group of semi-competent animators take him there.

Why I Watched It: Dustin, you jerk. Why did you tell me to watch this one? You knew it would make me miserable!

What's Wrong With It:For starters, it's a miserable movie. The animation is clunky, the voice acting was obviously done in the back seat of a broken down van and the writing is geared toward mentally handicapped seaweed. Oh, and there's a scene where a baby dolphin farts and then breathes in the bubble. Don't believe me? Watch for that adorable little Easter Egg in the trailer.

Video Proof:

1. Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Plot Summary: Helen is in an abusive relationship with her husband, Charles. Charles kicks Helen out of their house so he can live with his mistress. She goes to live with her sassy grandma. Charles is shot and becomes paralyzed, so Helen moves back in with him and tortures the paraplegic man to get back at him. Oh, did I mention that this movie is billed as a "knee-slapping, gut-busting crowd pleaser"?

Why I Watched It:I once asked a young woman if there was anything I could do for her. She told me that she wanted me to watch this movie. I am a man of my word, so I trudged all the way through this piece of garbage.

What's Wrong With It:It's an awful, awful movie. It's not funny. It's awkward. It's annoying. It's boring. It's stupid, but it's not funny. This movie should have killed Tyler Perry's career, but, instead, it paved the way to his monetarily successful career. I have no idea why. It boggles my mind. This movie was pure torture. The worst movies in the world truly are comedies.

Video Proof:

Faithful readers, I advise you to avoid each and every one of these movies at all costs. Please, learn from my mistakes. It may be too late for me, these films are all permanently stored away somewhere in my mind, waiting to haunt my nightmares, but you can still keep your mind free and clear from these horrible, horrible films.