October 30, 2009

Why Aren't You In A Museum?

When Horror Movies & Reality Collide

Fiction is so 2008. Reality is all the rage now. "Paranormal Activity", which looks "real" is everywhere, next week "The Fourth Kind" abducts all of us with it's "real footage" of alien abduction, and soon 2012 comes out, which is totally real, wait, no it's not, uh, forget it. Either way, here are some stories that should rattle your bones. Some of them have been turned into films some of them probably will be films in 2-3 years. Just wait.

The Mothman
On the left is the infamous "Mothman" is a monster that lurks somewhere in Virginia. No, it's not a politician caught with sex toys and a stripper in a graveyard, an alien, a demon, or bored high school kid. It is something scaaarrry that plenty of people believe that is real. Apparently, numerous people recount seeing a six foot tall massive creature with glowing red eyes and an enormous pair of wings. So it was a really really stoned Angel or some type of otherworldy demon. Either way, it has found it's way to Hollywood in a 2002 flick with Richard Gere and Laura Linney. I saw it at a young adult gathering and it destroyed me.

Fallen Angel
This video has been around since Ebaum's World and it still freaks me out. The scare factor here is enhanced by the handheld camera, the foreign language, and the setting (where are these hermanos?). This video also taps into the Chupacabra obsession of Latin America. Part of the appeal is that the video reminds me of the classic short story "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" by Marquez, which deals with a fallen angel in a poor community (you're welcome past English teachers). Either way this video still provides a good fright, even if some people aleady debunked it.
Sawney Bean
Yeah, you don't know bout ol' Sawney do yah? It's cool, I didn't either. He's an old Scottish bro who cannibalized over 1000 people, I guess that doesn't make him a bro though, he'd be a bro if he cannibalized people and then ate them with a side of fries and mug of Bud Deez. Legend has it that his brood (over 46 family members) just rolled around Scotland eating nuggets, but these weren't DEEZ nuggets, they were human nuggets. Terrifying, but I gotta say that picture doesn't do him justice.

Stay tuned for more Halloween goods, both on the site and on twitter

October 28, 2009

24 Season 8 Trailer (DAMNNNNNNNN)

Halloween Show Down: Vampires Vs Werewolves Vs Zombies

In the spirit of Halloween let's do a classic little mash-up, and I aint talking about any "Glee" mashup, I'm talking about a bone snapping flesh ripping monster Face Off. So here we go

Zombie- I'm only including the brain eeeaating beasts out of courtesy because let's be honest here folks, zombies even a zombie horde doesn't bring much to the table. Even if you give them that "28 Days Later" super speed, all they have is their intensity. If they can get taken down quick with simple headshot/lawn mower decapitation, I don't see how they can hang with Vampires and Werewolves.

Vampire- Ah, the Twilight terror. Blessed with strength, shape shifting (bats, wolves, it don't matter), and a thirst for sangre rojo, the vampire is quite a nemesis. In the evening, he can regulate Warren G style, but let's just be honest here, in the daytime, totally helpless. Forced to sleep in the box, dreaming of The Harker Sisters, and totally exposed.

Werewolf- Don't let the Taylor Lautnerization of these ferocious beasts fool you, they don't play around. And while they only come out during a full moon, when they are at the height of their powers they are not be taken lightly, which is a polite way of saying they are not to be fucked with.

The Verdict: Lil bit of an upset here, I gotta go with the Werewolf, but not for the reasons you might think. Let me break it down and drop a lil something on you right here. Werewolves are the only creatures that have full mental capacity during the day, so while Vampires are sleeping, Werewolves are scheming. And yeah they only turn when the moon is full, but it's as simple as not inviting vampires inside. Give it up Wolfie, you're the champ.

October 26, 2009

Welcome To Halloween Week

Welcome to Halloween Week on thislalife. During the course of the week, I will be dropping science, dropping truth, and dropping metaphorical candies into your awaiting pillowcase, cause let's be honest, people stopped trick or treating with those plastic pumpkins when they were two.

First, let's tackle the horror movie war that raged at the box office this weekend.

"Paranormal Activity" destroyed "Saw" and things are looking up for the human race. Why? Because this could be the the nail in the eyeball for the "torture-porn genre" of horror films. It's fitting that it's evil reign on top was ended by "Paranormal," a film that almost, I repeat almost, made me lose it in the theatre.

I've never been a fan of the "Saw" movies, granted I've only seen the first, but honestly, it's just too depressing, everything in the movies are so damn grim, lost people, lost in their lifes, and stuck in traps set to tear them to pieces, sorry meng, not my jam, not my jam at all. Glad you're finished, even though, I will probably end up going to see the next one, only because it's in 3D and 3D horror movies are the truth.

October 23, 2009

Have a Great Weekend,

From the Gangster Wabbbbbbittttttts!

Weekend Preview: Here's to you Nicolas Cage

Take a look at the man above, not just a glance, but a real good look. What do you see? I see an icon, a cinematic legendary on par with Perseus or Kratos. This is a man who won an Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas," started a franchise with National Treasure, and created the Trinity of 90's action movies, of course the Trinity being "The Rock," "Con Air," and "Face/Off." In other words straight legend status.

*TPG Fun Fact- I have an autographed picture of Nicholas Cage back at home, got it when I was 12.

Being a big fan of THE CAGE I was surprised to hear him talking about his new movie "Astro Boy," that opens today. Yeah, I guess he voices one of the characters, damn, CAGE, I'm surprised. I guess the road to the "Face/Off" sequel/prequel/spinoff/tv series/video game is paved in shitty 3D animated movies about boys with rockets and their feet and the creepy scientists that invented them.

CAGE is not one to get freaked out over "Paranormal Activity", "The Vampire's Assistant" or the "Saw" movies, all opening this weekend, you see, the dude took down the "The Wicker Man" so demonic possessions, toothy accountants, and jigsaw puzzles don't make him sweat, they make him cackle. In other news "Amelia" comes out today as well, and that my good friends is something that scares Nicholas Cage, no, not Hillary Swank, but, the demonic entity that swallowed Amelia, the Bermuda Triangle. Cage hates the Bermuda Triangle, and it hates him too.

October 22, 2009

Stars Wars Fans Continue To Dream (Nothing Wrong With That)

Yes, that little piece of debris flying through the air in the midst of Rock Em Sock Em Robot brawl is supposedly R2D2. And while I don't think Jorge Lucas is going to be asking for some commission money, I gotta say, that's a pretty rough cameo for a robot. Shoulda have given him some more screen time there. In other news, my family has a cookie jar that is shaped like R2, you open up his top and get some cookies, that's what I'm talking about.

But wait there's more, yesterday the geek universe was a abuzz from Alderaan to Hoth with rumors that a new 3D Star Wars trilogy was being planned with Spielberg and Coppola directing. The Lucasfilm Jedi assassins were sent out to silence whoever leaked this information, or it was quickly revealed to be bogus, the rumor, the faint dream of many a nerd was chopped to pieces like Qui Gon Jinn.

It's tough being a Star Wars fan right now. Star Trek is getting buzz like a beehive and the Jedis have been reduced to video games and cartoons. Fear not all you Star Wars fans, I'm sure something great is coming, it's a trip to Tatooine. Check it out below

October 21, 2009

Wolfman Trailer

I'm digging this new trailer, in fact, this might be a midnight movie for me.

October 20, 2009

Where Are They Now With The Transformers

1. Optimus-  Optimus Prime (LINK IS A MUST CLICK) put down his dual battle swords and entered into a different type of brawl: United States Politics. He has been a fierce a noble lobbyist for the auto industry and every war that is for oil, because he doesn't believe in alternative energy, cause that's for hippies.

2. Bumble Bee- After only speaking through music, Optimus and the other autobots told him to leave. He now can be see on tour with Linkin Park

3. Megatron- After getting work by the Autobots twice, he has decided on a new career, competitive Rubiks Cube Conventions (note this is real, the dude next to me at Comic Con told me all about it)

4. Ironhide- Currently sitting in the harbor in Boston, oh, wait that's old Ironsides, sorry Ironhide, you must get it all the time.....zing!

5. Mudflap and Skids- With Orci and Kurtzman officially not writing the new Transformers, these two robots who "can't read" are writing the sequel. No one cares.

October 17, 2009

Where Are The Wild Things? In a peaceful dream world.

It's a scorching July day, and you and your buddies are playing in the recently installed above ground pool. Super Soakers XP 500s, 200s, and Free Willy rafts are all part of the equation. Mid "Waterworld" reenactment, someone forces you underwater for a little too long. Immediately you feel like you're going to drown. It's not fun anymore, you burst out of the water, dripping wet and storm into his living room and then delete his save games in Golden Eye on N64 (it doesn't matter that he has unlocked the Aztec level).

"Where The Wild Things Are" is a film that captures all these emotions from childhood. From the the joys of simple "play" to the uncertainty and fear of when things go wrong. It is not a perfect film, it has some pacing issues, and it's lack of plot may bother people. However, you'll be hard pressed to find a more visually and emotionally striking film this year.

Technically, the film is as refreshing as Country Time Lemonade served by your mother to calm you down after you delete your buddies video game (yeah it's a big deal). Director Spike Jonze uses special effects to create everything from sea storms, to massive forts, and most importantly the Wild Things themselves. Half puppets, half actors, and with CGI faces, the wild things make the Transformers look like soulless pieces of scrap metal (which I guess they are?).

Yet all these striking visual elements don't mean anything without a good story, and here is where the film semi-falters. The screenwriter David Eggers, is a prize winning novelist, and his script doesn't really have a conventional story line, rather like all of his stories, rides on the strength of the emotions of the characters. This style of story telling leads to an extremely moving story that sometimes slows the pacing of the film. The pace bothers some people, yet I didn't mind it because the pay off is massive.

Without a doubt, there's a lot going on in the film. The Wild Things may fragments of Max's real life or they could be metaphors for human emotions (I like this theory). Either way, Spike Jonze, his creative team, and Max Records, the child actor who is the soul of film together create an enjoyable film. Every element combines to form a film that is not wild at all, but rather, an emotionally experience that is magically peaceful.

October 16, 2009

Week Ends

Welcome To The Weekend (BOPPPPPPP)<----Punch Noise

Life The Movie: Balloon Boy And The News of Conversation.

He's already got a t-shirt. Yes, it's him, the legendary six year old aerial navigator FALCON, a.k.a. Balloon Boy, but also the actor formerly known as Russell (he lost mad weight) from UP. In a story that will soon fade into the abyss with the Octomom and hopefully (oh god, hopefully) Jon & Kate, Balloon Boy had a great ride (even if it was in the attic).

On twitter yesterday, almost every trending topic was about the boy, and within an hour there were groups popping up all over facebook. With everyone on a computer/phone tracking the story, it became international news faster than you can say FALCON PUNCH! I believe that it wasn't actually news worthy, yet it was news simply because everyone was talking about it. It's like if someone staged the most jaw dropping marriage proposal ever and then everyone talked about it on the Internet and suddenly it had to be CNN, simply cause everyone talked about it. Let me get my Einstein out and break it down for ya.

(Trivial Event Occurs + People Talk About It) x Internet Hype = International News

It's the "news of conversation" and it is here to stay. I only wish that pressing things like wars, healthcare, and the economy where the news of conversation. And by the way, can somebody get Balloon boy in action movie already, I mean look at the kid. FALCON PUNCH

October 15, 2009

October 14, 2009

Now We're Talking: Expendables Trailer!!


Expendables- not in the dictionary, which makes sense cause this movie looks so insane, it couldn't even fit in the dictionary! Based off this trailer it contains the following

1. Schwarenegger, Stallone, Statham, Ludgren, Li, Roberts Rourke, Couture, Crews, Willis, and Austin. If you don't know all those names, look them up, it will provide with an explosive morning of adventure.

2. Evil African dudes saying "wjeee weilll kellll dem"

3. Evil Latino dudes saying something about "American Disease," damn lots of people really don't like us.

4. Water boarding, because why the hell not?

5. Jokes about macho men recieving text messages? Really? Stallone? Come on now, this isn't "Stop or my Mom will shoot"

6. Randy the Ram apparently alive and well after "The Wrestler."

7. Jokes about Jet Li's Asian accent (Stallone really got a thing for minority stereotypes)

8. Explosions and in the words of JJ "hot fire."

9. Arterial blood sprays, which is good because we know it will be in the vein of the hilariously/disturbing/dream shattering  Rambo IV.

10. Plenty of grunting, which in action movies is a good thing

October 13, 2009

Spiderman 4 Poster Hits

Carnage? Yes!!

Hard Rain In Los Angeles (With Musical Links!)

The word on the street is that a hard rain is going to fall in Los Angeles over these next couple of days. And while they were not a favorite part of my high school, let me get a little SAT on your asses  and say that "Rain:Los Angeles" as "Kryptonite:Superman" or "Keeping Identity Secret:Batman," basically people here think that it will end them. It's just a little agua folks, and if the heavens are going to make it rain, then let us enjoy.

Now I realize that I'm being ignorant and that the rain could cause some flash floods and mudslides in some parts of Los Angeles county, but in general the way people freak about a little rain drops falling on their heads is nuts. Yet Los Angeles, I can understand your fear; it's a fear of the unknown. Rain here in LA is rare, so when it occurs people freak out because it's foreign, alien like substance. People are only used to golden rays of sunshine that bronze the skin to that perfect tan, not rain that turns the skin into some amphibian gollum smeagol type creature.

So people of the city, I have seen the rain, both in this coast and on the other one and there is nothing to be afraid of. Don't fear the unknown, your cars will still work, the chocolate cupcake stores will not cease to be open, and we will endure. And just in case you're wondering, I have not seen Hard Rain, but as a wee lil child I recall the trailer being dope as hell, and umm, let's just say some things are cooler when you're younger.

October 9, 2009

I'm in Texas, now you feeling lucky, uh, wait, wrong movie

October 8, 2009

Is Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Too Realistic?

Above is the trailer for the upcoming video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," which is without a doubt the most anticipated video game of 2009. The first game "Modern Warfare" has sold over 12 million copies and the sequel which comes out in a month is already in the top ten best selling games on Amazon. So when this new trailer for the game premiered on Monday Night Football, game developer Infinity Ward and publisher Activision expected the hype to continue, yet with the Washington D.C. in flames imagery, there has been a small backlash against the game.

It started with an article in the Christian Science Monitor that stated that the trailer, with battles raging in front of The White House and the Washington Monument charred and damaged could offend Americans in the post 9/11 world. I believe that this is a legitimate concern, in fact I'm glad someone is starting the conversation. The games feature bloody combat in real world locations with villains that while fictional look a very familar. Each detail in the game from the real life weapons, bullet ricocheting sound design, and stunning graphics combine for a wild user controlled war experience.

With the war in Afghanistan back in the headlines (I don't know why it left), and the death toll rising, I feel uncomfortable that our nations conflicts will soon become virtually controlled by millions of gamers from the ages of 8 and up. The issue I take with the new trailer is not with the Washington in flames look (I've seen it before), but rather with the ultra-realistic war simulation that Call of Duty is selling. And while the war on terror in media is not new (god knows I love 24), the concept of actively controlling it with no coffins or consequence is, and more importantly potentially dangerous in the way it can numb us to the horrors of war.

October 7, 2009

Is This The Next Big Action Hero?


Yesterday it was announced that Adrien Brody will be the lead in Predators. And when I say lead, I mean the one the only, ARNOLD role. Some people are shocked about this, but I tell you what, I like this casting, here is why.

1. Brody is a serious actor. The dude has an Academy Award so he can act, and that's basically all you need. Good actors can play any role. People were shocked when Ledger was cast as the Joker, didn't think he "fit" the part, which ended up nabbing him an Academy Award.

2. Brody lost 16 pounds to shoot "The Pianist" and if he could do that, he can definitely bulk up for the role. I don't know if he is going to have those gigantic biceps like Arnold, but he'll be fine, and if he isn't, those CGI muscles will do the rest.

3. Brody brought the action heat pretty hard in the often forgotten "King Kong."

4. I mean as long as he isn't holding the minigun, I think he'll be fine.

5. His name is more action movie sounding than his co-star in the film who is named, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali.

October 6, 2009

Life The Movie: Helicopter Bank Robbery

I'm late to the party on this one. But anytime bank robbers rappel from a helicopter, bust through the ceiling, blow open the vault, and then fly away to safety, the party keeps going for a long time. And while I wish I could say the robbers took the money and gave it to the poor, I'm thinking they probably took the money and gave to to themselves so they could go ball out Swedish style. And by Swedish style, I mean sell their story to Hollywood because it's that good.

You can check out all the details here, but basically the thieves stole a helicopter and then hovered over the bank, then with automatic weapons strapped to their back, they rappelled down from the chopper and smashed through the glass structure on the roof. Once they were in the joint, the cunning criminal masterminds set off bombs to get at the vault. Once they got the loot, the stuffed the money stacks into large bags and strapped the bags to their backs and ascended back into the helicopter like criminal angels. But wait, it get's better, any police attempt at following them in the air was dastardly thwarted by placing dummy bombs around the police helicopter hanger, effectively grounding air traffic.  The Sweedes currently have little to no leads.

To this story, I say "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?" I'm very glad that no one got hurt because this story is beyond wild, it's like primate status wild. Sometimes in life, in between the same morning commute and the repetitious schedules something like this occurs to remind that yes, wild wild shit, actually does go down, and boooyah, regardless of what they may tell you, Hollywood style bank heists are real. And while this occurred in Sweden, it certainly is a piece of thislalife.

October 5, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up: Are Zombies The New Vampires?

So "Zombieland" managed to slaughter the box office this weekend with a juicy 25 million and I'm all sorts of people from Hollywood high rises to nerds in capes in dark dungeons are salivating with the concept that zombies are the new vampires. Cue the "True Brains" HBO series and the young adult abstinence parable novels. I can say with confidence and a small apology that they most definitely are not. Why? It's simple it all comes down sex, life, and death.

The attraction of vampires both in the past (old school B STOKES status) and now has been the simple: live forever and slay for an eternity. It's like the tag line for the classic 80's flick "The Lost Boys" (starring my main meng Jack Bauer).

Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire

The attraction of zombies is basically the thrill of a world without control and all the creative ways survivors can KILL the zombies. There ain't no partying, there isn't any living forever, and depending on your preferences I'm guessing most people are trying to have sex with the zombie Edward Cullen, actually on second thought, I'm sure there are some twilight fans who would.

October 2, 2009

Have a Ass-Kicking Weekend

Time to Step Up And Make It All The Way Through The Weekend

Zombieland: Pretty Fun (For a Rip-Off)

Zombieland is a funny and exciting film that mixes comedy, romance, just a little bit of human drama, and a shit load of zombies to an entertaining effect. Zombie junkies should be satisfied with the destruction of the undead, but it's not as crazy as you'd hope (click here for crazy). However, it's unfortunate that the movie is kind of a rip off of the book featured on the left. 

Narrated by Michael Cera, oops, I mean Jesse Eisenberg, puts emphasis on the zombie rules of survival, for example rule 23 is the buddy system (here). Yet while these rules are comical they are completely ripped off from "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks, yes, that is the son of Mel Brooks. His book was so successful that the sequel "World War Z" is being turned into a movie by notorious zombie slayer Brad Pitt.

While this fact kind of ruined the movie for me, for the casual non-nerd (aka the greater population of the universe) the movie should be a fun, albeit not best picture worthy film. It hits the right plot beats, there are some great kills, and some original laughs. Chances are you probably already know if you're going to see it or not. So go ahead, enjoy it, just know that the writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick could be some real deal literary zombies, feasting on other people's creative blood.

October 1, 2009

TPG's Truth Drop: Is October A Sleeper Candidate For Best Month Of The Year

Today marks the first day of October, the first of the double digit months, and without a doubt, one of the best months of the calendar year. It is a month where the every aspect of the environment clicks into place for the better and enjoyment of all. It's also a lengthy month (unlike shorter months, I'm looking at you February,) and home to the greatest party of the year, Halloween, aka the Devil's night, aka the night where people get wild.

Yeah the summer months got a long going for them, in a sea of bikinis and fireworks it's hard to compete, but when you stop and think about October your realize that it's basically one giant gift from nature. First, the weather is ideal, there usually isn't any snow or ice to destroy you on your travels, and the temperature is perfect for Jeans and Sweatshirts (sweaters if you roll like that). Second, in some places in the country there is Autumn (featured above) which is basically nature's way of showing you that along with physical power (fires, floods, and it's current fave tsunamis) nature is a well balanced artistic renaissance man. (Answer to the question of why the leaves change color is here for all ye education seekers)

And then let us not forget Halloween, the greatest party holiday of the year. I wrote a piece in college about how Halloween is the only holiday for friends, check it out here. But basically no one gets together with Grandma for it, they get together with their partners in crime, dress up in weird shit and depending on your age either get candy or get drunk. And to top it off, its the only holiday that occurs at the end of the month, so you got a whole month of excitement and prep work (don't act like you haven't thought about your costume, yes I'm talking to you Jay Judah of www.jayjudah.com).

So give it up for October. In a calendar full of J months (January, June, July), October stands alone with an "O" face daring everyone else to match it's pleasant weather and legendary holiday. Enjoy It.