Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The 9 Unmanliest Superheroes

You had to have seen it coming. I mean, we couldn’t have a Top Ten Manliest Superheroes without a Top Ten Un-Manliest Superheroes could we? Well, we can’t, and you shouldn’t expect anything less from our blatant attempts at mediocre sensationalism.

In case you missed a few weeks ago, here’s a link to our Top Ten Manliest Superheroes. I recommend you read that before you read this, cause you can’t know what a manly man isn’t unless you know what he is. Oh, and lets all just remember that this is for fun people? Got it? Great, good, on to the insanity.

9. Iron Fist

I really hate to include him on this list but…it must be done. Let’s face it, he wears little yellow booties. The dragon tattoo on his chest is ok but his lemon-lime color scheme has him looking like a spokesman for Sprite. His real name is Danny Rand and as the Iron Fist he was part of a duo back in the 70’s called Heroes for Hire. Danny was always the ‘bitch’ of the duo. Luke Cage, his partner, had him by the balls and where Luke led, Danny followed. Now that’s not very manly.

8. Thor

Thor was one of the first ones I knew had to be on this list. It’s a running joke in the Marvel Universe that he’s a ‘metro-sexual’ through and through. He reads Wedding Monthly and has long blond hair that he must condition constantly to keep it looking as nice as it is. Shampooing, rinsing, conditioning, rinsing, and repeating are not manly activities. Throw in his usual hippie attitudes and you have a fairly girly man there. The boy wears knee high boots, tight knee high boots. You just can’t be that manly when you cry at weddings.

7. Shipwreck

Shipwreck’s one of the GI Joes and is only a Navy Petty Officer. Not a SEAL or anything, Shipwreck is the designated boat driver. Never mind the obvious point that being the chauffer for real badasses like Duke and Snake-Eyes is unmanly, his name is freaking SHIPWRECK! Who the hell hires a boat driver that has a nickname Shipwreck? What the hell were they thinking? Finally, the man dresses like he’s in the YMCA. Shipwreck doesn’t just work hard, he plays hard too.

6. Archangel

Warren Worthington the third was one of the original X-Men, and where did that get him? A stint on the B-lister team the Champions, that’s where. Maybe his power of flight alone wasn’t enough to give him the A-list credit? Beast was one of the Avengers for heaven’s sake, pun intended. Warren is a spoiled rich kid who happened to have wings on his back. That’s it. Didn’t he feel just a bit out of place with the likes of Cyclops, Iceman, etc. who had real powers? I mean come on, flight? And not even real FLIGHT! But only the limited flight his wings could provide.

This forced him to do things like shoot bazookas at his enemies all the time or get stuck with ‘scouting’ duties. I can picture it now:

Cyclops: “Gee Angel, why don’t you go scout out the scene while we fight the bad guy?”

Angel: “But I scouted last time. I want to help you guys fight.”

Cyclops: “Yeah, about that…listen, we really need a scout…please stop crying.”

5. Bruce Banner

Now, I know the Hulk is very manly: smashing things, running around half-naked, and generally being pissed off, but Bruce Banner is his unmanly alter-ego. If the Hulk is very manly and the Hulk is everything Banner isn’t then it’s obvious that Banner is very unmanly. Left to his own devices, Banner would sit inside all day pining away for a girl, Betty Ross. He’s bullied by everyone around him, including Ross’ father General Ross.

General Ross, a real manly man, realized the horrible feminist tendencies in Banner and set out to have him destroyed. I think it is because of this, and not the Hulk at all, which is the real reason General Ross tried to kill him. I mean if your daughter eventually fell for the weak and puny Banner, wouldn’t you try to kill him too?

4. Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic)

The man is the ‘dad’ of the Fantastic Four and while fathers are normally manly, this one can be considered as manly as Rosanne Barr is skinny. Like most of the other heroes on this list, his power is pretty lame: he can stretch. Wow Reed, if I need someone to reach behind the fridge I’ll let you know.

Also like a lot of people on this list, he’s a NERD! A mega nerd with no social skills (Peter Parker at least always dated lots of hot chicks), and while Reed did luck out somehow to get the Invisible Woman, I really think there’s got to be some catch there. You see, I got this theory that all her claims of loving his intellect is B.S. cause I think she’s just kinky with his ‘stretching’ powers if you know what I mean. That doesn’t mean he still isn’t wussy and sits around reading all the time and thinking about stuff rather than being out in the wilderness. Nothing manly about reading, unless it’s the menu at Randy’s BBQ.

3. Michelangelo

He’s the team screw-up that causes more problems than he solves. The rest of the turtles constantly have to cover for his mistakes. He’s also the team idiot who usually just cracks unfunny jokes and eats pizza all the time. But more than anything else, his weapon is his downfall. When was the last time you ever saw nunchaku’s kill a man? Not killing men is unmanly. He’s also single handedly the character responsible for all the damn catch phrases like ‘cowabunga’ and so on. Noting more harmful to youth culture can be presented than the promotion of the word ‘cowabunga’. As if the world needed more pseudo-surfer slang.

2. Bumblebee

This one was easy. Bumblebee is the Transformers team wiener, coward, and all around waste of metal. All he’s good for is failing miserably so the rest of the Autobots can look even cooler when they beat Megatron and save Bumblebee at the same time. If that wasn’t enough, he transforms into a VW BUG! COME ON! There is no manly thing about a VW Bug. I know a guy who bought a Bug and then died three minutes later of an estrogen overdose. Finally, Bumblebee was almost always the catalyst for the show’s ‘moral lesson’ and boy did that piss me off every time I had to learn, cause that’s not manly.

1. Aquaman

Oh let the hate mail pour in. You had to see it coming. You just had to. His power is to talk to freaking sea creatures! It’s the most limited power for a character that is supposed to be one of the top echelon of DC superheroes. Not all animals, which might have given him just enough versatility to be useful, but NO! only sea creatures. There is nothing manly about Flipper or Nemo. To make matters worse, a character who COULD talk to all animals was created, named Animal Man (cause that’s creative). Aquaman isn’t even a little special anymore.

The people at DC aren’t stupid, they saw the unmanliness too. So they cut off his hand, gave him a pirate hook/harpoon, grew him a manly beard and said ‘look! He’s manly now’. Sorry, nice try, come again. The harpoon/hook is a joke. He never spears anything with it and he usually just has it scratch his back, never anything manly. And let us not forget that his power is still talking to sea creatures. Sitting around conversing with crustaceans and speaking with seahorses is not manly, eating them maybe, but not fraternizing with them surely.

And must I mention the gold sequin shirt with large green gloves and pants? Why the hell would a person born to the sea need gloves? Or wear pants? Men don’t wear colored pants, they wear jeans, fatigues, and go nude—that’s it.

Ok, now think about this. Gold sequin shirts don’t come in stores. He had to make it. Think about that for a second. He actually took the time to make himself a gold sequin shirt. Aquaman is as manly as PMS and just as logical.

Original here

Ten Reasons Why the Clone Wars TV Series is Going to Rule

Of course you're nervous about the new Star Wars: Clone Wars movie, and the 100-episode Clone Wars TV series that will begin airing on Cartoon Network this fall. Maybe you feel a little burned by episodes I-III, or the idea of an animated series gives you burning visions of Jar Jar. But have no fear, young Padawans. We've carefully weighed all the evidence, watched all the clips, and studied the Clone Wars back story carefully by combing through the comic books and "expanded universe" novels. And we bring good news. Clone Wars is going to be awesome — here are ten reasons why.

1. Dooku vs. Palpatine
In the movies, the Sithy Separatist leader Count Dooku is in league with Palpatine (Darth Sidious), and there are very few hints that he's much more than a very competent henchman. But in fact, he has his own agenda and has a whole future planned for the Separatists, a group that includes most of the galaxy's free traders and techie types. Clone Wars will focus on how Dooku's Separatists push for their agenda against Palpatine's power-grabbing imperialists. I like the idea of free traders vs. fascists. It's an interesting clash, with our Jedi heroes right in the middle.

2. Female ninjas
No offense to Leia and Padme, but on the scale of princess to ninja they were pretty far to the princess end of things. In Clone Wars, we're going to get some seriously kickass female ninjas mixing it up with the Jedi Knights. Anakin's padawan Ahsoka is fearless and strong, and Obi Wan Kenobi will meet his nemesis, the powerful assassin Asajj Ventress.

3. Clone rights
At the heart of this series will be a biology vs. technology theme, with the Jedi-led clone army fighting the Separatist-led droid armies. Will biotech soldiers prove better than techtech ones? More important, though, is that we'll watch as the clones begin to overcome their programming and become individuals. Will there be clone rights? Clone romance? These are the kinds of weird questions that make me excited about this series.

4. Clone Wars is new-school YA fiction
Perhaps influenced by a new generation of YA fiction with more adult themes, Clone Wars will be aimed at young people but will shed the kiddie comic relief of the Star Wars movies. Instead of identifying with Jar Jar or C3P0, kids watching Clone Wars can put themselves in the boots of the brave, wisecracking Ahsoka.

5. The Jedi come in shades of grey
We've seen a few Jedi in the movies, and we know they can be either good Knights or evil Sith. But we haven't seen the full range of Jedi powers (many Jedi have unique powers that go beyond telekinesis), nor have we seen them when they stop being polite and start going badass on the battlefield. I'm excited to find out about Luminara's powers, and what Kit Fisto can do with all those tentacles. The point is, it's not just Sith vs. Jedi — it's the many shades of Jedi.

6. War dramas are instant win
While every episode of the Star Wars movies has dealt with a decisive battle or coup, none of the movies could be classified as a "war film" proper. They are epics, character studies, political melodramas, and space operas — but none has focused on the lives of soldiers and officers waging a several-year campaign. It's about time we learned about the lives of grunts in the army of the Republic, and got some good soldier banter going.

7. More droids
The Separatist forces are packed with trade associations and tech guilds, so they have the latest droids with all the most up-to-date service packs installed. Expect serious coolness in the droid department: Those rolling shielded guys from Attack of the Clones are just the beginning. The fact that the series is animated will only add to the awesomeness of these droids, who look best in a stylized, CGI environment anyway.

8. Dooku backstory
He was once a Jedi, and he semi-trained his assassin Ventress in the ways of the Dark Side even though she was never Jedi material. What other weirdness lurks in Dooku's past? Why did he turn to the Dark Side? Why did he start the Separatist rebellion in the first place? We've got 100 episodes to find out.

9. Anakin as ironic hero
Knowing what we do about how Anakin turns out, it's a strange and intriguing irony that he's going to be our hero in this series. Even as we see him being a good mentor to a sympathetic young woman (Ahsoka), we know he has a dark side — and we know that he's lying to the Jedi every day since his secret marriage to Padme. Anakin has acquired a lot of creepy depth during the Star Wars series, and the Clone Wars were probably the time in his life when he could have turned it all around and told the Dark Side to stick it. And yet we know he won't: That each act of kindness and bravery is going to go sour one day soon. That makes for a pretty dark war tale, and I'm down with it.

10. Second-generation Star Wars sensibility
Filoni and Winder have both been associated with contemporary game-changing animated series: Filoni with Avatar and Winder with Powerpuff Girls. If they can successfully infuse the sweep of the Star Wars universe with a contemporary burst of anime sensibility and good humor, Star Wars will reach a new generation. And reawaken the first generation's love for a franchise that once felt like the most amazing new thing any of us had ever seen.

Original here

The Top 10 Most Annoyingly British Commercials

By Dan Hopper

There’s nothing like a good ol’ super-British commercial on U.S. tv to simultaneously stereotype the sh*t out of our brethren across the Atlantic and to impress/intrigue Americans with characters that are probably more intelligent than us regardless of how exaggeratedly goofy they are. After one-too-many views of the Cheer “Fight For The Bright!” ad campaign, my mind finally snapped, and I’ve taken my frustration out the only way I know how — with a list of the Top 10 the Most Annoyingly British Commercials. Cheers!

10. Time Warner - “Sir Charge”

We need some more B-roll of you being frivolous with money, Sir Charge — what if you throw some 20s in a cup of tea then pour the tea into a pipe and smoke it through your bowler hat and yell “tally ho”?

9. Red Bull

He only gave the Red Bull to the rowers on the right side of the boat? There is no right side of the boat. He gave it to their right arms? I am confused. Britishness.

8. Travelocity

That’s not a British accent, Gnome. That’s not even a Gomeish accent, gnome.

7. Aquafina

I’m surprised that Eric Idle managed to record his two lines of VO without somehow co-opting Monty Python. (Also, why does a commercial full of happy German people celebrating end with a suddenly British tagline? Why not just keep the German theme? They can be happy too!)

6. Orbit Gum

Eh, she’s pretty hot. Exceedingly in-your-face British stereotypey, but forgivable.

5. Dyson Vacuum Cleaners

Not so much a “caricature” as it is an “actual guy who’s really f*cking smug about vacuum cleaner suction.” If this ad doesn’t convince you to shell out $500 for a vacuum that can move horizontally a bit easier, he’s got dozens more.

4. Cheer

The “Fight For the Bright” maid not only speaks solely in bludgeoning British axioms, she spends her time at home with tea and crumpets listening to vague Britishness on the radio.

3. Geico

In my head, I picture the Geico Lizard doing his “Cup o’ tea? How’s ya mum?” speech, followed by a pause, then the Gila Monster responding, with spliced audio from Deadwood, “You Limey C***sucker!”

2. Grey Poupon

The 80s era of wealth and excess truly peaked with the Grey Poupon ad campaign, both the classic original and this wackier, more British sequel. Guess they figured it was a little classier than coked up Wall Streeters passing mustard underneath nightclub bathroom stalls.

1. Nescafe Gold Blend

“Will Nescafe Gold Blend be too good for your worthless, piece of sh*t guests?”

Not only the most insultingly British ad ever conceived, but also quite possibly the highest delusions of grandeur that any coffee substitute has ever possessed.

Others we missed? Leave ‘em in the comments, gents! Brilliant.

Original here

The Goonies 2: Will it be Funny to See a Fully-Grown Man Truffle Shuffling?

goonies 2 confirmed? maybe, maybe not. corey feldman, chunk, sloth, spielberg - the whole gang! maybe.Do we really need to see a grown man truffle shuffle?

That’s the question that has been buzzing around in our heads for the past few hours after news that there’s a distinct chance that the Goonies 2 film, rumoured for so very long, is actually in the early stages of real, bona-fide production.

And if the sources are to be believed, this isn’t a case of The Lost Boys 2: Straight To DVD And Missing The Point Of The First Completely - this is something Warner Brothers want to actually try and get right.

So how do we feel about that? Well, I would say we have mixed emotions.

See, everyone remembers The Goonies - it’s one of those films that everyone claims as their own, or that everyone claims defined their childhood in some way.

Kind of like Stand By Me, but with less River Phoenix. It just had a huge effect on so many young lives, older lives, middling lives and lives that came about later on - it’s a timeless classic. We’ll admit to that. We will - see? We just did it.

The fact that there have been rumours floating about regarding the possibility of a Goonies sequel for so long is sure to get anyone’s hackles up and turn them into the defensive wall of fury, angrily denying that anything will come about from any of this.

And we would never take that away from you - please feel free to shout, scream and generally be twits in the comments section below.

But when you pick up on news that says Warner Brothers are pushing the sequel as a big-budget blockbuster (and remember, this is the studio that released The Dark Knight, officially the best film ever), you start to take notice.

In fact, a source close to the project has told Moviehole that a team of writers are already working on a script and that some of the actors from the original film will be involved.

So how do we feel about the real prospect of a Goonie sequel? Well, taking such a cherished childhood memory and giving it a massive makeover, bringing the sequel to a whole new audience and churning millions of dollars into it could just result in this situation: you sit in the cinema, the film starts, it’s one and a half hours comprising of nothing but a turd staring back at you, steaming away on screen and stinking up the theatre.

You cry.

Your heart is broken.

Your childhood is ruined.

You lose all respect for Corey Feldman… wait - is that possible?

Nevertheless, hecklerspray awaits with baited breath for any further news on the matter.

When the movie does eventually come about we’ll be sure to decry it, lambast it and generally rip on it. Because let’s be honest here - we want it to be good, but there’s little chance The Goonies 2 will be anything more than fecal matter on a stick.

Original here

Kevin Smith Wins Zack and Miri MPAA Appeal

Kevin Smith is victorious! The filmmaker, who had been given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA for his new film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, was forced to take the decision to the appeal process.

The rating would have prohibited anyone younger than 17 years old from seeing the movie, even when accompanied by an adult. The rating also would have prevented the film from being advertised in certain places and during certain times. Basically, The Weinstein Co probably wouldn’t have released the movie as an NC-17, because, of course, they need to make their money back.

So Smith brought the film to an appeals board, who gave the film a revised rating of Restricted! This is a huge victory for Smith. The film will be going out uncut and uncensored! (note: but uncensored and uncut, I actually mean as the latest cut he had handed into the MPAA)

It seems clear to me that any adult would understand the risk of bringing a minor to a movie with the word “porno” in the title. And besides, it is far from a porno - it’s a comedy. Sure it has nudity, but it is far from anything that can be viewed on Saturday late-night on HBO.

Original here

Holy Controversy: Religulous Reviews Hit Web

It is going to be quite fun watching film critics in the MSM tackle Religulous, the anti-religions (re: not anti-organized religions) documentary from director Larry Charles (Borat) and Bill Maher. Reviewing this film practically demands that one states his/her personal beliefs—sort of like with Iraq War docs, but, you know, bigger—and judging from two of the first reader reviews on AICN, Maher doesn’t leave much wiggle room: it’s the “you do” or “you don’t” proposition. And unlike Ben Stein’s Expelled, Religulous will have a much higher media profile when it’s released this October.

The first reviewer is an evangelical Christian who’s a fan of Maher’s canceled Politically Incorrect talk-show. While the film offered “chuckles,” the reviewer goes on to say that Maher’s take on religion(s) is ultimately one-sided. But isn’t that Maher’s point? There is no middle ground? Moreover, the reviewer took issue with the “mission statement” that Maher makes at the film’s conclusion (spoiler alert)…

“[Maher] dismisses all of Christianity based on the supernatural events in the Bible, which he says couldn’t have happened, and complains that it doesn’t present itself the way he personally wants it to. …The kicker is the ending. (MAJOR SPOILER - I guess): After 90 minutes of interviews, Bill states that all religion is evil and must be destroyed for the good of humankind. He comes to this conclusion based on the Koran’s and the Bible’s predictions of destruction of the world at the “end times” and feels that these religions want the world to be destroyed because God or Allah has ordained it.”

I wonder if “destroy” is actually said. The other review is from a “lapsed Catholic” who is neither a “believer” or “nonbeliever.” This reviewer expected a documentary that clowned people like Borat, but was struck by its seriousness. He says that Maher doesn’t victimize anyone, and even though he tends to “preach” his atheism, he doesn’t cut off the religious people he interviews in the film (including someone (not Seth Rogen) from the Church of Cannabis).

“All in all, I must say that I really enjoyed the film. If you are like me and go into this film expecting another “Borat”, you are either going to get more or less than what you bargained for, all depending on your perspective of religion (obviously). I will also say though, that if you are looking to be offended, the odds are pretty good.”

In a recent issue of TIME magazine, a cover story on Mark Twain delved into that man’s candid remarks on religion(s) and atheism, which sounded a lot like Maher’s today. Given the amount of time that has passed since Twain’s passing, I highly doubt this film will change the minds of any viewers over the age of 25.

Discuss: What do you make of the “spoiler mission statement”? How do you think the MSM will treat/review this documentary? How do you expect it to perform at the box office?

Original here

Paris Hilton goes all political

The race for the White House just got a whole lot...hotter.

Paris Hilton photos
Paris Hilton photos
At least that's what Paris Hilton is saying with her new campaign video posted on the Web site Funny or Die, a response to John McCain's political ad comparing opponent Barack Obama's celebrity status to Hilton's and Britney Spears'.

The two-minute video takes several jabs at McCain for his age, saying he's old enough to remember when dancing was a sin. Hilton later calls him the "wrinkly, white-haired guy."

Hilton also takes time to present her energy policy, which was clearly crafted within the confines of her head, as well as her aspirations to paint the White House pink. She even names a leading candidate for for vice president, something we've yet to see on the campaign trail.

While Paris has a fair share of public blemishes, this is pretty funny. I'm endorsing it...just not for president.

-- Adam Abramson

Original here