Relative Suckage

January 8, 2009

I’m not saying that things don’t suck, but looking at the numbers, with 11/2008 unemployment at 6.7% (far from the worst in recent memory) and 11/2008 consumer confidence at 38% (the lowest in history), I can’t help but feel that part of the reason is the current 24/7 “news” culture.

The one thing you need to have (or maintain) a recession is for everybody to agree that there’s lots more recession (or depression) to come.

When we live in a world where every minute of real news is accompanied by 59 minutes of “news-like filler” — analysts and pundits gauging the depth of relative suckitude, comparing the suck to previous sucks, engaging graphics showing suckage percentage since the dawn of time, etc., it’s no wonder that the overwhelming take away is “FEAR the future. FEAR IT!”

Look, we get it — things are bad, mistakes were made, and there are still a lot of rocks to turn over to see what scurries out. But once you’ve exhausted all of the actual new things to say on the topic, find something else to talk about until you have more.

Maybe some real depth on a few stories, instead of just scare-mongering soundbite after soundbite.

The end of the year (as we know it)

January 2, 2009

Here’s a hysterical end-of-year musical wrap-up…

(via Carl — thanks!)

The X-Files – I Want To Believe

January 1, 2009

The X-Files - I Want To Believe
I was an after-the-fact X-Files fan. I didn’t drag out the nine seasons, instead, I caught them in syndication, and watched them all over the course of a month or two. I have no idea if that made my expectations for the new movie any different, but I finally got a chance to watch it the other night.

(potential spoilers ahead)

All things considered, not bad.

Our agents’ post-FBI trajectory had been about what we’d have expected. There was a little something for the Mulder and Scully shippers, and having Skinner pull Mulder’s chestnuts out of the fire one last time gave it a sense of old home week.

It would have been fun if they’d have given us an alien takeover plot of some kind, instead of organ theft and odd ex-Soviet block medical experiments, but in the end, it was about what The X-Files was always about — the nature of belief.

Billy Connolly was good as a defrocked priest turned psychic, and Amanda Peet did well as an FBI agent who was a closet Mulder fan. It would have been nice if Xzibit had stretched a bit beyond being the designated wet-blanket skeptic.

If you weren’t an X-Files fan, there’s not much here for you, but if you were, it was a nice reunion, and far better than the first movie.

The X-Files – I Want To Believe – DVD
The X-Files – I Want To Believe – BluRay

Repo! The Genetic Opera

January 1, 2009

Repo! The Genetic Opera
I got out to one of the local art house theaters today and saw Repo! The Genetic Opera.

It was God-awful.

Strike that. It wasn’t that bad — it might have made a nice direct-to-video piece. It had plenty of problems, but I’d have overlooked them if it had actually been the movie I wanted to see.

From a distance, it’s looked good for months — I love the clip for Zydrate Anatomy (below), but what I wanted to see was more of that; something a bit more camp, more Rocky Horror.

What we got instead was indeed opera, of the fairly dreary variety, which could have about as well been subtitled “Hey. Having kids sucks.”

There were some bright spots. Anthony Head can still do a pretty credible job of belting out a tune, and was arguably the male lead, instead of Paul Sorvino (who himself wasn’t terrible). Alexa Vega did well in the lead. Paris Hilton did not manage to stink up the film any more than it was otherwise stunk up.

Everybody else was just sketched in, tho. Why would you have Sarah Brightman in a musical and only let her do a miniscule amount of singing? Mosley and Ogre were intriguing as Luigi and Pavi Largo, but their characters weren’t allowed enough exposure to do anything with them. Zdunich’s “Grave Robber” from the Zydrate Anatomy scene barely got another five minutes beyond that.

The movie also layed an ungodly amount of “pipe” — I swear 2/3 of it was exposition trying to set the stage for a story that they didn’t have enough time remaining to tell.

This could have been so much more, if it had been done differently.

Here’s the three and a half minute highlight of the movie, if you’d rather not spend the $10 —