So like I said (threatened) yesterday I went to a late night showing the latest opus from Nicholas Cage, Drive Angry. Given the last Cage movie I saw and lambasted, Season of the Witch, I did not expect a lot and for the most this film met with my expectations. I got home, thought about writing it, and decided to sleep on it to see if the movie looked any better in the daylight.
Sadly, it did not. Don’t get me wrong. I love grindhouse. However, this movie feels less like true grindhouse and more like some Hollywood guys trying to either do a high budget tribute or parody of grindhouse. In either case it feels plastic and fake, like brown hair extensions on a redhead.
Also, remember when Nicholas Cage would act and actually deliver some level of emotion with his lines? Like in Raising Arizona, the Rock, Kiss of Death, 8MM, Valley Girl, or prelude-to-a-suicide Leaving Las Vegas? Right before doing Ghost Rider I think he was kidnapped and replaced with a robot who can simulate life but not quite deliver emotions. The lines “Coffee, black, with sugar”, “Ever heard of a place called Sweet Water?”,” and “I am going to kill you” are all delivered with the same monotone deadpan delivery that would work well for a sidekick or secondary character (especially if the sidekick was the computer voice from War Games) but which makes me think I could do a better job filming the movie using World of Warcraft toons as actors. For a movie called “Drive Angry” there doesn’t seem to be a lot of anger or any other emotion from the main character. (Murloco’s Taco’s image courtesy of the World of Warcraft t shirts)
That being said, there are elements I liked. Just not the story, acting, action, dialogue, or all but two of the characters.
Honestly, I think the synopsis will be the hardest part of this review for me to write as I spent the first 45 minutes of the films saying “What the hell is going on?” I appreciated a film that doesn’t reveal everything to us like we are ten year old short bus riders, but at some point you have to make an effort to give us a clue of what was going on. If I hadn’t read a blurb before the movie I would have been totally confused.
Anyway, Nicholas Cage plays John Milton who escapes from Hell in a hot car with a stolen gun called the God Killer a few years after being killed in some ill defined crime spree and is somehow unkillable. He is trying to save his infant grand daughter from being sacrificed by a Satanic cult leader (Billy Burke, one of the two characters I liked). He somehow convinces Zombieland hottie Amber Heard (playing the kick ass waitress Piper. Come to think of it, she actually has a lot of anger in her roll. Maybe she is supposed to balance out Mechano-Man Cage) to help him in her boyfriend’s stolen Charger. They are pursued by the other only character I liked, William Fichtner, who plays Hell’s repo man sent to collect Cage and bring him back (it is later revealed that he is actually a former Egyptian god who I will not name but you have seen on Stargate SG1). There is also a cool looking and sounding police captain who seemed to get a lot of character buildup and development and then fell off the screen like a lead seagull. They travel through Louisiana mixing it up with white trash kooks and local color. Car driving hijinx ensue, and there is a final battle scene not so much lifted as taken frame by frame from the car destroying the undead army scene in Army of Darkness.
OK, the stars. The opening and closing scenes with Cage driving to and from Hell are pretty cool. One star. There are four amazing muscle cars, including a 69 Charger and a beautiful Chevelle. Two stars. I will give a star for every totally gratuitous grindhouse style nude girl, so like two and a half stars. The Accountant from Hell (literally) was kind of cool. One star. The driving action, while over the top, was actually pretty cool and well filmed. One star. While headache inducing, the film was actually shot with 3D in mind and has some fairly cool things flying out of screen. I actually found myself jumping a couple times. One star. Total: 8.5 stars.
Now the black holes. Nicholas Cage acts like a Tweekie dealing with irritable bowl syndrome. Two black holes. The story kind of blows. On black hole. The dialogue blows. One black hole. As good as the driving sequences were (which was only moderately good) the fight scenes were horrible (at one point Cage kills about 20 guys while in coitus with a trampy waitress and doesn’t pull out until they are all dead. On the other hand, this is one of the nude scenes that netted them a star). I know grindhouse is supposed to be over the top, but this is just dumb. Hire a fight choreographer. Two black holes. For no explained reason whatsoever Cage’s character is not only unkillable but somehow heals himself from a gunshot wound in the eye. One black hole. For the life of me I cannot figure out where Pipers motivation to do anything but run screaming into the night comes from. One black hole. Total: 8 black holes.
So we end up with a net of 0.5 stars, which is very slightly higher than the review I gave for Cage’s last movie, Season of the Witch (where he also portrayed a character with less emotion than the suit of armor he was wearing). However, remember 2.5 stars come from my appreciation of rated R style nudity and 2 more from a love of American muscle cars. If you do not share these interests then it swings heavily towards the black hole end. Definitely not a date movie. Honestly, if you love driving action then I would say see it on a screen. On TV I don’t think it will really have the impact the big screen would have. If you miss it wait until you see it in the $4 bin at Best Buy (or the #2 bin at Walmart).
For yesterdays who-would-win question, Jayne Cobb versus Snake Plisskin, I think it is kind of situational. If Jayne had Vera and all the hardware he carried on a typical day of Firefly and Snake just had the gear he had in Escape from New York, I would have to bet on Jayne. On the other hand if Snake had his choice of weapons (or was armed like he was in Escape from LA) then I would bet on him. You can’t beat him in a gunfight, Bangkok style.
For today I will again go with Jayne, as I am in a Firefly mood. Who would win, Jayne Cobb (with Vera again) versus John McClane from Die Hard?
As I have been hinting, I actually have had something lined up for a big finish towards the end of the year, and now I am going to start. This is the goal we have been working towards and dream of achieving.
Now, before we get into it, as always I have to make a proper introduction and qualify my terms lest certain of my friends rip organs I am fond of off my body. Like I said at the beginning of this whole dating thing my goal is not to teach you how to simply get laid. The fact is, I have never been very good at the whole “one night stand” pick up thing. We are trying to get you a girlfriend. Trust me when I say this is more than enough for most of you. If you want to know how to pick up a different girl every night look for other blogs. Personally I think if you are still reading this you really don’t have the skills, looks, or alcohol tolerance to pull that off anyway.
So basically we are talking about going in for the first kiss/makeout session. I don’t think I will try to talk you past 2nd or 3rd base unless there is a serious demand. I am not creating that kind of blog. I am sure you should be able to find some kind of site that has material of an adult nature SOMEWHERE on the web that can help you (although most women don’t really do what porn girls do, so look for something a little more instructive that outright porn).
First kiss is important, if only because it helps you define your desires and intentions to her. It says “I am here to be your boyfriend, not your friend.” Girls in general are shockingly insecure, and if you don’t go for the kiss they tend to think that there is something wrong with them or you or both. If you wait too long you WILL get a “Let’s be friends speech.” If you go in too early you will (most likely) creep her out and she will bail.
The good guideline should be sometime between the 3rd and 5th date. Kissing can occur on the 1st or 2nd date, but in that case it should be her who initiates the action, not you. If you go five full dates with no kiss, lose her number. It isn’t worth your time and/or money to keep pursuing it, as she will reject you.
The thing to remember about dating is it’s not like a marathon where if you just keep moving your feet you will eventually get to the finish line. It is more like a full 40 man raid attempt on a World of Warcraft boss. Every attempt requires everyone doing all things perfectly, and all you need is one mis-key, bad placement, or minor mistake to wipe the whole raid and force you to restart completely. Even if everyone does everything perfectly you can still have all kinds of bad RNG mess you up. This is the kill shot, and the timing on this has to be good. If not, run back from the graveyard and line up another shot on the next girl. (Classically Trained Raider image courtesy of the World of Warcraft t-shirt category).
By the way, my friend Dave and I have been doing the “Who would win” game via text lately and it’s really fun, so I think from now on I will end each post with one for you. I will report my personal answer plus anyone who wants to comment on the next post. Here is the first:
Who would win, Skynet from Terminator vs the Justice League of America without Superman?
Ok, let’s get into the basics, and by that I mean the basics of how this is going to proceed. In an effort to avoid being nerd raged spammed I will lay out where I am coming from and what I expect from those of you who might read this.
1. None of these are directed at you specifically. Don’t send me “I never do that” emails.
2. Almost all of the mistakes I will be talking about I have made. I am not kidding when I say I have learned all this the hard way. Like this World of Warcraft shirt says, I am classically trained.
3. If I advise you to do something and you think “There is no way women respond to that” before emailing me please take the time to ask a couple non-nerd women and see what they say. You will be surprised, especially on the grooming issues.
4. These tips and guidelines are very general and situational. I am sure the girl you are interested in is an exception to every rule I lay out here. However, if you have been courting (stalking) her for more than a couple weeks why don’t you try some of these things before posting a “Dave you’re an idiot” response.
5. With regards to questions about my posts I will be happy to reply as well as I can but do me a favor and keep your questions as general as possible. I don’t need to hear all the gruesome details of the object of your unrequited love (“and then the third time I saw her she was wearing the same shoes as the second time but different jeans…“) and like I said, each person is different and only you can interpret her actions and comments (although if you take my advice, you will not). If you have a situation describe it as succinctly as possible and I will be happy to respond.
6. While I support any lifestyle you may or may not choose to follow, I am straight and therefore my knowledge base is more or less geared towards trying to date straight women. Lesbians may find some worthwhile advice here (although not really, I think. I lived with two lesbians for a while and there is a whole different interaction I could never really understand), but gay men and women seeking straight men (honestly, if you are a woman having trouble dating nerd men than you have problems that go beyond the scope of any blog. Just go to a comic book convention) I will not be able to help as much.
7. Finally, if you are a woman reading this blog and feel the need to comment, please do so. However, I feel that comments on the “Women never do that” level will more or less be a waste of time. My advice has been forged on the anvil of dating pain and it will take more than a blistering response to change it. I think if you read thoughtfully you will find, as the Mensa women at my first lecture did, that my advice is rather pithy and will actually make the men who follow it easier to date for you. Know that I do respect women but am in all things a realist. If you have a question about men and how to date them feel free to post and I will give you my best advice, but it is kind of out of my scope.
Next Post: Part 1 Grooming
So I have been having trouble with my DPS in raids lately for lack of a couple of key pieces of gear. I have been having some bad luck with drops and am not getting raid invites as often so the problem is compounding itself. I have a gold raid coming up on Saturday. Basically a bunch of guys are going to raid ICC25 and bid gold for the gear we need. The gold is then split up among the raiders. For the first time in a long time I need gold and am doing some work to get it.
I love combining projects, so I have been soloing UD Strat in hopes of getting the mount. Takes about 15 minutes, and by the time I have sold all the greys, runecloth, and assorted BOP and disenchanted gear I usually make about 100 gold. There are other ways to make gold faster, but this is kind of fun and I have a lot of hope of getting that damned mount.
In celebration of this new project I have been wearing one of my World of Warcraft t shirts like this one from our video game t shirt category. It’s cool, but it’s kind of thin. When I ran to the bank and post office it was pretty cold. I better find one of my hoodies or something.
Anyway, things are cool otherwise. Getting ready for WonderCon. I am really excited to be there. Thinking of other products to bring. I think posters will be the best choice. Anyway, talk to you all later.