Daily Archives: January 28, 2017

Zomcation – My Favorite Chapters So Far

Hey 3.5.

I was just going over Zomcation and there are three chapters that really tickled my funny bone.  Hope you will check them out.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to vote in my Zomcation book cover contest.

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Chapter 11 – In this book, a Republican and a Democrat have teamed up as President and Vice-President.  President Stugotz is a Trump clone while Vice-President Pierce is a Hillary wannabe.  They fight and bicker constantly.  General Merrick tries his best to remain calm as Stugotz goes to one extreme and demands that all the zombies be nuked while Pierce goes to the other extreme and demands that everyone should coddle the zombies and give them free, government subsidized brains.  In the end, they agree on one thing – they’ll deny all culpability and pin it all on Merrick.

Chapter 15 – Mister Reynaldo, an eccentric male diva/ex-off, off, off incredibly off Broadway star informs Jess that she can no longer play Princess Paulina because she turned 30.  For Jess, it’s now the Willy Wombat mascot costume or bust.

Chapter 23 – Wombat World Security Guard Doug has a classic, cop TV show fight with the Chief of Wombat World security.  It ends with the Chief relieving Doug of his wombat shaped badge and security whistle.  Doug must now decide whether to give up or go rogue and search for his partner, who really isn’t his partner, but just an old man he stood next to and annoyed regularly.

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#OscarsSoPretty – Why We Must Rally Behind Michael Shannon for Best Supporting Actor

Hey 3.5 readers.

Ugly rights activist BQB here.  I don’t particularly care for the taste of crow but I must eat some.  I was incorrect in my column a few days ago when I said no ugly actors had been nominated this year.

One has.  And his nomination is a glorious shining beacon of hope to every ugly child who dared to dream about taken seriously despite his or her hideous face.

Michael Shannon has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a little known film called Nocturnal Animals.

I haven’t seen it.  Frankly, I just heard about it yesterday.  From what I have been able to glean from the Internet, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a lovesick writer.  Dumped by his wife (Amy Adams) because she feels he’s basically a loser that will never go anywhere with his writing career (story of my life, baby), the Jakester sets out to write a novel the contents of which read like a revenge fantasy on his ex.

The film moves between the real world of Jake and Amy’s misery to the fantasy world where the events of the novel take place.  Michael Shannon plays a creepy, close to retirement cop that helps a fictionalized version of Jake’s character get revenge on some bad dudes.

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it.  Michael Shannon is a talented thespian, but he also looks like the result of a one night stand between a gargoyle and a goblin.

I’m not trying to offend the man and I’m in no position to mock others because I am wretchedly ugly myself.  I’m just being straight up with you all by letting you know that when I envision hell, I picture multiple creatures with Michael Shannon-esque faces poking me in the ass and demanding that I push a boulder up hill until the end of time.

But seriously.  No offense Mike.  In fact, you kinda owe me one.  I can only assume that my 3.5 readers are members of the academy and when they saw my #OscarsSoPretty rants, they had no choice but to nominate a fine, upstanding Aesthetically Challenged American.

I’d be in remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that it is unfortunate that Mike is often typecast as creepy weirdos, based on no other reason that he looks like a dude who would totally crank one out while staring at you through your bedroom window.

FYI – I’m not saying he does that.  I’m just saying he looks like he could do that.  Then again, who does look like a bedroom window masturbator when you really think about it?  We have all these preconceived notions as to what a weirdo looks like but for all we know, good looking attractive people are just as likely to spank the monkey in a bizarre and disturbing fashion.

I digress.  It’s nice to see Mike nominated, but I wish Hollywood had seen fit to broaden the public’s minds about the ugly by casting Mike not as a creepy weirdo but as a head of state or captain of industry.

Seriously.  Over the years we have seen Michael Shannon play the uber psychotic Federal agent Nelson Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire, as well as the maniacal alien overlord General Zod in Man of Steel.

When does Michael Shannon get to play the lead in a wacky romantic comedy?  What?  Michael Shannon can’t woo Bridget Jones just because he wasn’t blessed with good looks?

Yeah, you laugh but first they refuse to put ugly actors in non-creepy roles.  Before you know it, they’re rounding up uggos and locking them away in concentration camps.  Total anarchy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I salute Hollywood for recognizing that an ugly actor has talent and deserves recognition.  Normally, Hollywood just uglies up a good looking actor with prosthetics and make up when they need a character in a movie to be ugly, so its a major coup that (are you sitting down for this?) an honest to God ugly person was hired to play an actual ugly person.  No makeup and/or prosthetics necessary.

I’ll take Mike’s nomination as a positive sign, but I’m putting Hollywood on notice that I do expect to see ugly actors playing nice, good natured, non-murderous folks in the future.  I want to see ugly actors not merely cast in their stereotypical roles as bridge trolls, CHUDs, monsters, criminals and psychos, but I also want to see uggos playing doctors, lawyers, business people, CEOS, titans of industry and pillars of the community.

We’re here.  We’re ugly.  Get used to it.  We have cast the paper bags placed on our heads by “The Man” and we are ready to support Michael Shannon in his quest for Oscar glory.

Who’s with me?  Academy, you must heal beautiful/ugly relations by giving Mike a statue!

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Movie Review – A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Canine reincarnation.  Animal acting controversy.  Pooch Hall in a 1980s Jerry curl.

BQB here with a review of the sappy schmaltz fest that is, A Dog’s Life.

Before I venture into this review, I suppose I should discuss the elephant in the room.  This film was expected to get more play as an ode to man’s best friend, but all that was cast aside when video surfaced of a trainer struggling to get a German Shepherd to enter a turbulent pool of water, followed by the dog later ending up submerged a little longer than anyone would like to see.

More on that from the LA Times.

Honestly, I don’t know.  I watched the video.  The dog isn’t beaten or anything, though that shouldn’t necessarily be the low bar that is set for dog treatment.  The dog is scared.  The trainer tries to get him to go into the pool anyway.  Eventually the dog is in the pool and he goes underwater for a bit.  At the end of the day, he’s safe.

Animal activists are all over the movie like stink on a monkey, raising the question of whether or not animals should be made to appear/perform in movies at all.

On the other hand, W. Bruce Cameron, author of the book the film is based on, released this letter to USA Today, which, if you read it, seems reasonable.

I don’t want to put words into the man’s mouth but my takeaway was, “We goofed.  We’re sorry.  I love dogs.  The movie is meant as a love song to the relationship between man and dog.”

I’ll let you decide.  Personally, I think it might be one of those lessons where everything worked out, the dog’s fine and there was a lesson learned.  Movie dog trainers are now on notice to not force dogs to do things they aren’t cool with.  Yes, it’s a teachable moment for the PETA crowd to express their views, but then again, in today’s knee jerk to become outraged within 30 seconds Internet/social media culture, the folks behind the movie are being treated as if they are collectively Satan…and I don’t sense a vibe that they are Satan.

Moving on to the film itself, Bailey, voiced by Josh Gad, begins his journey as a golden retriever owned by young Ethan.  Time moves on.  As in any life, there are happy times and sad times, proud times and profoundly disappointing times.

Long story short, the pooch buys the farm and is reincarnated as a different dog over and over again, each time to a different owner in a different time period.

Each owner has his/her backstory and it’s up to Bailey to help each human with their personal problems as best he can.  Some owners are kind.  Some owners are douches.

Morals laid down by the tale:

  • Your dog’s life is in your hands and ultimately, he/she ends up being as happy as you are.  If you’re a douche and you treat your dog in a douche-like manner, your dog will be unhappy.  If you rise above whatever it is that is dragging you down, you’ll find happiness if you remember to treat your dog right.
  • Your dog has thoughts.  No, a dog’s inner voice probably doesn’t sound like Josh Gad, but dogs get the gist.  They know if you are mad at them or happy with them.  They know what it is like to be treated well and they know what it is like to be treated like crap.
  • Give your dog a break.  Sure, they occasionally poop on your rug, but if you wouldn’t cast out a family member for making a mistake then give your dog the same courtesy.
  • Dogs are a lot of work.  Being a dog owner is a big commitment.  Think about whether or not you are up for it.  Being chained up in the back yard with occasional feedings and waterings whenever you feel like it is no life for a dog.
  • Ultimately, your dog is a source of unconditional love.  Your dog won’t leave you a Dear John letter or tell you to get lost.  Though you’ll often go to work, go out into the world and leave your dog alone, he/she is like a friend that’s always there waiting for you when you get home.

I hate to admit it, but the film was a real tearjerker.  I mean, not to spoil it, but as a viewer, you’re forced to witness a dog die over and over and over again and that’s before you even scrape the surface of the emotional pain his various owners are in.  Oh and time flashes by at a lightning pace and entire decades have come and gone before you realize it, so try to make the most of it before it is too late.

It sucks that the controversy derailed this film.  I sympathize with the people that are mad.  I sympathize with the people behind this film.

All and all, I’d say give the movie a chance.  There’s a definite love of all things furry behind it.

STATUS: Shelf worthy.  Woof.

 

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