In this week’s episode we introduce the hashtag #googlyboob and venture into why Batman villains never succeed in their evil deeds. Boston Strong in this week’s Super Dudes Power Show!
Tag Archives: Movies
The atmosphere at Murphy’s Tavern in Roxborough is always getting better and more exciting. Trivia night has been going very well and it gets more competitive every week. With prizes ranging from Gift Cards, Free Drink/Food deals, and all different company swag, teams are always bringing their A-Game. We hope to see you all this Wednesday! Here are your top 3 Leaders from last week.
I.B. Illin’: 48
Saul Goodman: 47
The problem with “Cars 2″ is that it’s produced by Pixar, a film studio that is automatically preceded by a reputation for producing groundbreaking masterpiece after groundbreaking masterpiece. Ever since it made its first full-length feature in 1995, the animation company has been responsible for some of the most highly regarded movies of recent years, with films such as “Toy Story” and “Wall-E” capturing the imaginations of audiences young and old, wide and far. Pixar is universally renowned as one of the most reliable movie studios running today, the mere mention of its name instantly inspiring a promise of stunning and breathtaking quality. And as soon as that sparky little animated lamp bounces up and down on the second letter of the company’s name before the movie’s opening titles, John Lasseter’s “Cars 2″ is doomed to crash and burn. (READ MORE)
“TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON”
I’m rewarding “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” with a passing grade for this single simple fact: I had fun. You see, “Transformers 3″ presented me with what I shall hesitantly label “a good time,” which I shall attribute to the fact that I was sitting in a cinema watching two-and-a-half-hours of giant robots repeatedly hurling their mits at the glimmering metallic bodies of one another. Now, you may ask me, “But Stephen, you sexy beast, you were presented with the exact same thing in the second movie, “Revenge of the Fallen,” and you very much disliked that movie, so why does this one get a passing grade?” Well, I’ll tell you why (and thanks for the compliment); I’ve given this a passing grade because there’s something about “Dark of the Moon” that renders it not quite as tedious or frustrating as the chaotic clutter that was 2009′s “Revenge of the Fallen.” And if that’s not high praise, I don’t know what is. (READ MORE)
It is the job of a teacher to introduce you to the whole wide world and all its wonders. You’re young, you’re naive, you’re impressionable, and your teacher is most likely the only adult authority figure outside of mummy and daddy. You see them five days a week, six hours a day, are under their control and are taught everyday skills by them. Amongst your absorption of grammatical correctness and mathematical equations, you are being trained by someone who is essentially a role model. And thinking of Elizabeth Halsey as a role model is an unnerving thought indeed. (READ MORE)
(for more, visit I LOVE MOVES, BUT I HATE YOURS)
It took a while for everyone to truly appreciate the Muppets for what they were. The ball’s in your court, Segel.
This may be the most depressing thing Seth Rogen’s done since The Green Hornet. But this might actually be good.
Shark Night 3D
From the people who brought you Hostel and Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes another formulaic shitfest that only people who hate money will see.
Happy Feet Two (in 3D)
It’s hard to be too critical of stupid kids movies because they’re not trying to get my money. And they basically only serve so that Spanish families can drop their kids off in a G while they sneak off to a hard R.
I was actually hoping this would be a Wizard of Oz with a horror spin…and that’s because I’m an idiot. I may watch this one though, in a week, when it’s on Netflix.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I would say this movie has all the ingredients for a multi-million dollar suckfest, but where’s Megan Fox?
The Adventures of Tintin
Though the real-looking computer animation is still far from not-creepy, I’m excited about this one. All the right pieces are in place. So, let’s just hope there’s not a user error.
Tim Vargulish is a young comedian who I met on a random and directionless vacation to Boston. Let’s paint a picture, shall we? My girlfriend and I were wandering around Harvard’s campus feeling punch-drunk and slightly less intellectual than normal. We were searching for a place that seemed familiar and (thanks, Yelp!) discovered the Comedy Studio. We learned that it is possibly the most difficult place to discover in Boston, considering that it is hidden by the facade of a fully functional and operational Chinese restaurant.
When we discovered that the upstairs was actually a comedy club, we somehow nabbed the last two seats available, because–apparently–it is one of the most amazing comedy clubs ever. It was a night of laughter and discovery, as we watched comedian after comedian do their short sets. The most intriguing and frighteningly astute of the comedians I witnessed was the one and only Tim Vargulish. Getting to know him after the show and in the subsequent interactions we’ve had, I determined him to be an up-and-coming star, a true comedian, and a good friend. This is Mr. Tim Vargulish:
I’ve always been a shy guy my whole life, but I loved to make my friends laugh. In college, 2006, I joined an Improv group called I Pulled My Quad. One of the other members, Andrew Mayer, was a very funny stand-up and we’d hang out after shows and joke around. Eventually he urged me to do stand-up, which I had never thought of doing before but once I thought of it, it made a whole lot of sense. I went up during this contest at a dog track in Rhode Island and bombed, but the few laughs I did get got me hooked and I’ve been doing it ever since.
(on where he finds influence and inspiration)
It’s kind of hard to say, I can be inspired by anything be it a Ben Franklin Wig, conversation heard at a library, personal story, or ordering a pizza online. There are things that just jump out at me and stick with me, and the more it sticks with me, I know that there’s something funny about it. I also daydream a lot and come up with lots of implausible scenarios, like: ‘Hmnnn…what would I do if I ever got mugged? Well, if I was a magician I could just use magic to make my wallet disappear!’
My main driving force is taking all the weird thoughts and occurrences in my head and in my life and presenting to people in a way that they understand and can relate to. Their laughter is like them having accepted my weirdness which makes me feel not so weird, I love it.
There’s just a need to get these thoughts out into the world. Like I said, there are things that just stick out to me and that seem funny and once I get that idea in my head I need to get it out there. Also just getting laughs is the most addicting thing in the world and it feels great to entertain people. It’s great way to cheer yourself up as well, nothings better on a bad day then having people laugh at your ideas.
(on what’s wrong with America)
So many things, where do I start? Well, obviously, the government is run by a group of shape-changing inter-dimensional reptiles, but that’s not just America that’s the whole world. I actually just finished watching Waiting for Superman so right now education’s on my mind and there really needs to be something done with that. What else? We’re all fat, stupid, secretly controlled, suppressed, and easily placated. I hate to make a lot of accusations though because I’m not affecting any change or have any answers as to how to make things better, so I feel like I’m just complaining. Let’s just say Reality TV. That’s a big problem with this country.
(What are you optimistic about?)
Anything I like makes me optimistic. Every time I read a Grant Morrison comic, see a Wes Anderson movie, play a Metal Gear Solid game, the latest episode of Tim & Eric, or even get the slightest compliment from someone. These are the things that make me think: ‘yeah…we’re gonna be alright.’
I’m optimistic that if you’re a good person, eventually good things will happen to you and you’ll be happy. Also if you’re a funny comic, eventually you’ll make it. These things might take a long time to achieve but–again–as long as you’re good and putting good energy out there, good stuff will come back to you. I have to think these things, though. If I didn’t, I’d just be a miserable person walking up and down the street yelling at kids and dogs and stuff.
(on Nerd Culture)
I guess I’m a nerd. I mean, what’s the definition? I do love comics books and sci-fi and videogames but I’ve never got beat up and I have had three girlfriends in my lifetime. “Nerd Power” has definitely risen in our life time but it’s still not completely acceptable. There are socially acceptable nerds like your Michael Cera and Jonah Hill’s from Superbad or some kid that’s like, “I saw Lord of the Rings. I’m such a nerd.” Of course you saw Lord of the Rings, it was one of the biggest most successful movies ever made. I really hate that shit.
People want it to seem like nerds are the majority now, but all it is is people who were on the outside of being a nerd are now accepted but what about the kids playing D&D in their basements, or are thirty year old virgins, or who wear a cape to gym class? They’re still looked down on.
It’s weird when someone is too overly proud to be something, it’s like they’re not doing that thing any justice. It’s like some guy that just won’t stop telling you he’s Irish… “ohhh I’m Irish, check me out I’m Irish, Irish, Irish, Irish!” Shut up, you’ve never been to Ireland, you know nothing of your country or family history and no, I will not kiss you.
If you put two people who say they’re nerds together, you’d probably get different results. “Hi, I’m a nerd who plays Magic: the Gathering.”…”Oh hey, I’m also a nerd because I wear a Legend of Zelda t-shirt and fuck chicks. I’m not (really) a nerd but I pretend to be to pick up girls!” Or like those girls that are like, “I only date nerds!” Do you? Or are you just dating some douchebag with an XBOX and knows who Bruce Banner is?
There are different categories of nerds some more acceptable than others. Music nerds and movie nerds are probably the most accepted. I fit somewhat in those categories but am mostly a comic book nerd which is slightly less appealing to most people but more appealing than role-playing nerds.
(on how much porn is too much porn)
I don’t watch pornography. I’ve actually never watched porno. It seems weird to me. Like, you wouldn’t just sit outside someone’s window and watch them while they have sex. That’s what porn seems like to me, makes me feel like a creepy guy just watching two strangers have sex. Also if movies and television have taught me anything it’s that as soon as a porn comes on something bad will happen… either your grandmother and priest will walk in, or you accidentally grab glue and get your hand stuck to your dick, something bad always happens.
(I’d like to thank Tim Vargulish for his humor, honesty, and heart…and I can’t wait to see him perform again. For more from Tim Vargulish, check out his work on YouTube and Twitter …along with his new comedy group project: Uncle Mustache)
(return to MAIN PAGE)
Well folks, it looks like Christmastime is upon us once again, and the weather outside certainly is frightful. It’s hard to believe it’s been twelve months since last year’s gleeful celebrations, but it’s here; and December 25th is approaching pretty darn fast. As per usual, fluorescent lights will be decorating the houses on the streets you pass, trees will be being put up in the corners of living rooms, kids will be building crude snowmen in their front gardens, and dads everywhere will be squeezing their way into now-undersized Santa suits. And what better way to celebrate Christmas than sitting down in front of the fireplace and watching a movie while the snow descends from the skies above? Opening presents is overrated.
There are always the regular festive flicks that pop up during the TV stations’ December schedules, all snow-covered and candy-cane-flavoured. These Christmas films have become a common ritual of family time during the wintry season, and in amongst them is quite a collection of all-time classics — some more holiday-like than others. Everyone has their favourites, whether it be from the films’ holly-jolly attitude or from pure childhood nostalgia. So, let’s leave the cookie out for Santa, turn the heating up, and countdown my personal top ten seasonal features.
10. “Scrooged” (1988) — First on the nice list is Richard Donner’s “Scrooged,” a fantasy comedy starring everyone’s favourite funnyman, Bill Murray. A modern (well, modern in the ’80s) retelling of Charles Dickens‘ classic novella “A Christmas Carol,” it tells the story of self-centred TV executive Frank Cross, played by the perfectly cast, scenery-munching “Ghostbusters” actor. Due to his arrogance and extreme selfishness during the holiday season, he is visited by three ghosts who show him how much of a heartless git he’s become, trying to turn him into a nice man once again. Both lighthearted and darkly comic at the same time, “Scrooged” proves itself as not just another lazy retelling of “A Christmas Carol,” showing off Murray at his very best. Yule love it.
9. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) — The third of the misadventures of the infamous Griswold family, “Christmas Vacation” follows the dysfunctional household as they celebrate the jovial month and excitedly prepare for the big day itself. Chevy Chase leads once again as accident-prone Clark in this hysterical everything-goes-wrong comedy, in which, well, everything goes wrong — except the movie itself, of course. Written by John Hughes, it’s a hilarious film worthy of cracking up over and giggling some more — and if you don’t, I’ll strangle you with a goddamned wreath.
8. “Elf” (2003) — Before Jon Favreau was directing Robert Downey Jr. in superhero flick “Iron Man,” he did a side-splitting and sweet little Christmas film called “Elf.” Will Ferrell plays Buddy, one of Santa’s not-so-little helpers who’s much taller than his fellow workshop workers. Discovering that he’s actually a human, he leaves his home in the North Pole and sets out to bond with his dad, James Caan, in New York. Ferrell is unforgettable as the naive, chuckling chatterbox who has a staggering obsession with Christmas — he’s a well-meaning grown man walking around in an elf costume. Fluffy fun that even cotton-headed ninny-muggins will enjoy.
7. “The Santa Clause” (1994) — A bit of a nostalgia piece for me, John Pasquin’s family comedy stars Tim Allen as a man who accidentally kills Santa Claus. Through some contractual rules, the cranky father-of-one is forced to don the famous red suit and floppy hat, having to take on the obligations of the chubby present-giver whether he likes it or not. A definite high-point of Allen’s so-so film career, “The Santa Clause” is a fabulous source of much kid-friendly merriment. It’s better than “Christmas with the Kranks” anyway.
6. “Die Hard” (1988) — “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker” may not sound like the joyous catchphrase to a hee-haw Yuletide family film, but action-flick “Die Hard” has Christmas traditions exploding out the yin-yang. Revolving around a vest-wearing Bruce Willis (with hair) as he skilfully thwarts a bunch of hostage-taking terrorists/thieves in a skyscraper, John McTiernan’s high-octane actioner has a big Christmas party, festive songs, a massive Christmas tree, and a recently-deceased henchman wearing a Santa hat on his head with “Now I Have A Machine Gun. Ho-ho-ho!” written in blood on his jumper. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la die.
5. “Gremlins” (1984) — Another non-traditional Xmas picture, Joe Dante’s “Gremlins” is a tongue-in-cheek horror that’s mostly suitable for turkey-hungry littluns. Zach Galligan is given an early gift of a cute and cuddly little creature called Gizmo by his father for the holidays, bought from an antique store in Chinatown. Things go horribly wrong when water is spilled on the adorable fur-ball, causing Gizmo to spawn a whole gang of malicious monsters that attack the snowy town through hilariously grisly methods. Don’t get them wet, don’t feed them after midnight, don’t expose them to bright lights, but most certainly don’t let them not watch “Gremlins” every December. If you can drag them away from the local “Snow White” screening, that is.
4. “Home Alone” (1990) — John Hughes will always be known for his seminal ’80s chick-flicks, but what I will always remember him for is for scribing the wickedly funny slapstick “Home Alone,” a childhood favourite of mine. The film that shot Macaulay Culkin to fame (before he disappeared into some unknown parallel dimension), “Home Alone” showed the mayhem kids can get up to when left on their own. Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister ends up being accidentally left behind when his parents go off on holiday to Paris for the season, the situation made even worse when two scheming robbers target the family home. It’s also even more entertaining when Kevin decides to take on the couple of clumsy bandits all by himself, setting up intricate traps around the whole house. Darn pesky kids.
3. “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) — Whether or not you believe in Santa Claus (how could you not?), you’ll adore this black-and-white classic from writer/director George Seaton. Kris Kringle is an elderly man who claims to be the bearded holiday icon himself, and ends up in the loony-bin because of these seemingly delusional declarations. A faithful lawyer, who Kringle has recently befriended, bravely tries to defend him in court, attempting to convince a judge that Kringle is indeed the real thing, reindeer and all. Crafted with much humour, “Miracle on 34th Street” is a charming vintage Christmas film starring Santa Claus himself. Edmund Gwenn really was Santa Claus, wasn’t he? Wasn’t he?
2. “A Christmas Story” (1983) — Never has a film created such a childish sense of wonder and fascination than Bob Clark’s “A Christmas Story.” The story in question is of a nine-year-old boy from Indiana who wants an official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred-shot range model air rifle for Christmas. It’s jaw-dropping how involving such a simple story can be, as we yearn for little Ralphie to receive what he so wishes for. Jean Shepherd’s awe-inspiring narration is one of the many fuels behind this film’s warm, burning fire, making one feel like a toddler again. And Ralphie’s such a cutie!
1. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) — Heartwarming, funny, tender and emotional, Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” truly is the quintessential Christmas movie that should be watched every year by all in range of a television set. Part fantasy, part sentimental drama, it has James Stewart receiving a visit from his guardian angel, Clarence, when the former considers suicide. For most of the film we’re watching the life of the generous, selfless businessman as his personality goes from highs to lows, Stewart beginning to realise that his dreams may never come true. The poignant ending will leave even the hardest man welling up and quivering in tearful delight. It’s a wonderful film.
I think it’s a reasonable statement to say that the Saw series has lost its way. What was once a fairly intelligent torture parade with a tantalizing villain has been spun into a simple-minded blood ‘n guts affair with its liquidated brains leaking out from its repeatedly bludgeoned skull. It’s become the thing that many of the franchise’s episodes have been wrongfully portrayed as — an unstoppable stampede of overly gory set-pieces, with its sole intention to mutilate and disgust. This blood-soaked stampede, however, looks to have been pulled to an overdue, screeching halt.
Marketed as the final Saw movie ever, installment number seven of the flesh-tearing saga is a chaotic train wreck that will severely disappoint loyal fans who have stuck with the series’ convoluted continuity. I myself have watched each chapter and have enjoyed the majority — one, two, three and six in particular are at the very least decent, competently constructed flicks. This 3D-filmed feature, on the other hand, is quite the opposite.
After the opening titles, during which we see the original’s Dr. Lawrence Gordon (The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes) cauterising his bloody stump of a right leg by painfully pressing the open wound up against a scorching red-hot pipe, we have the as-per-usual opening trap. Or should that be “crap”? Petrified onlookers watch through a publicly displayed glass window as two startled boys are given the harsh choice to either kill the other with the circular saw on the table they’re chained to, or let their girlfriend (who’s the same promiscuous lass) get cut in two halves. The outcome of this scene serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever and is never mentioned again. It’s just like the filmmakers went, “Hey, why don’t we have a random, pointless trap at the beginning of the movie that doesn’t tie in with the main plot in any way, unlike the other ones’ did?” Sigh.
Following this soon-forgotten clip, we are replayed the distressing aftermath of the ending of part six, in which the evil Lt. Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) just barely survives the trap set on him by Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell), the nefarious widow of the famous Jigsaw Killer (the awesome Tobin Bell). With his face now sewn up, Hoffman – who’s understandably gone a little cuckoo – is hell-bent on grisly revenge, causing Jill to go into hiding with the police.
Meanwhile, Bobby Dagen (The Boondock Saints‘ Sean Patrick Flanery) – who has been pretending to be a survivor of Jigsaw’s challenges for profitable purposes, even writing a successful book about it – is put to the test in a brand new series of ironic trials involving those affiliated with his life and his money-making schemes. It’s all so repulsive, and it’s all so familiar.
Saw VII (Saw 3D) showcases a series high of eleven tests, most of which I shall hesitantly admit are rather creative. Hoffman and Jigsaw obviously have an unlimited budget, crafting intricate devices intended to disfigure the morally corrupt victims they barbarically deal with. Some caused me to roll my eyes, two made me cringe and whine in my seat. One in particular is quite a simple idea but nonetheless an effective one that should sicken anyone who owns a full set of pearly white teeth.
Still, this doesn’t stop the film from being nothing more than a brain-dead splatter-fest which rams a crowbar into the shins of substance and fiercely drowns it in its own blood. Director Kevin Greutert – who helmed the immediate predecessor – laughably makes sure to film the areas of pain where the protagonists are suffering, pointing the camera at disembowelled entrails and a whole array of squirting bodily fluids just for kicks. I’d say that this is the most violent of the series – in 3D, no less – and it certainly does not benefit from this ghastly factor of gory gruesomeness.
None of our characters are the least bit likable, rendering the emotions shown in the torture scenes practically superfluous. We watch the obnoxious sinners – one of whom is a detestable racist – getting mercilessly cut to pieces. We don’t particularly care if they live or die. We’re apathetic to their survival. Screw ‘em.
This isn’t helped by the downright bad acting from the majority of the cast, who aren’t exactly Marlon Brando or Meryl Streep. Flanery is fine, he conveys fear and trauma to a reasonable level, but our lead detective, Gibson (Final Destination‘s Chad Donella), is as bland and unmemorable as the film itself.
Mammoth-of-a-man Hoffman, our angry antagonist, has been reduced to a slasher-killer in the vein of Michael Myers, bar the iconic Halloween murderer’s intimidating presence. And Jill, once a strong femme fatale with the stubbornness of a bull, is now a running, scared, ditzy blonde who I gazed at in wonder if I was meant to be rooting for her or not.
Jigsaw, the best and most layered character in the series, pops up in only one scene, aside from all the voice-work he does for the rule-setting tapes. Of course, this could be attributed to the fact that he died in the third installment, but come on! The last three made excuses for loads of flashbacks with him! Gimme my Jigsaw! For Christ’s sake, Billy the Puppet has more screen-time than him. The long-awaited return of Dr. Gordon also feels a bit lackluster, his anticipated appearance additionally punching more holes in logic into the already shaky plot. Damn it, screenwriters!
To put it lightly, Saw VII is an unsatisfying “conclusion” to an overlong franchise, possibly even the worst of the malevolent saga. It’s intended to be the grand (ha!) finale, but the inevitable twist ending annoyingly sets up an opportunity for more quickly made sequels. Ugh. Will this series stagger on and continue? Will it cut off its leg and hop to the bargain bin at Blockbuster? Will it stupidly live, or will it hopefully die? Make your choice, moviegoers.
Three outta ten
Growing up poor on the mean streets of inner city Philadelphia, us kids had a lot of time to screw around outside. I never did a whole lot of video gaming (besides NHL 95 on the Sega Genesis!), and found the greatest amusement playing outside with a friend or two down the street. I’ve written about this before, a list of games that we played that look foreign to our suburban-raised counterparts, but today I’m choosing to write about the one game that was the ultimate pick-up boredom buster.
Man, was this ever a sweet game. It required exactly three things. People, a wall and a ball. That’s it. It even had it’s own theme song! (Wall ball, wall ball…you throw the ball against the wall. Shut up. We were like 8). Now many places across the country play some form of wall ball or another. And of course, every neighborhood, block and barrio claims THEIR way is the REAL wall ball. But I have to clarify.
This way, our way, was the real way.
The game, specifically known as Suicide, or Suey, was the preferred, nay, only way to play. It has everything. Skills such as throwing with precision, athleticism through running, and an excuse to hurt someone without getting into much trouble (unless you hit them in the eye or something).
First, you need a ball. Specifically, an old semi-flat tennis ball that you found in the street (known as a tennie). New tennis balls are allowed but frowned upon. Also occasionally acceptable is a raquetball. They bounce better, are harder to catch, and sting like a motherfucker when you get hit with one. Recommended for advanced players only.
Next, find yourself a wall. No windows, please, unless they’re barred/gated/fenced in, in which case TOTALLY go for the wall with windows! You get some gnarly bounces off them, and they make an awesome noise when you hit one. In a perfect world, your wall would be a school or playground building, with an open field or parking lot facing it. In reality, we used the back of an old banquet hall that faced a tiny two way street with cars on it. They just added to the excitement, therefore this situation is completely acceptable. Tennis balls will not break a car (as far as I know…). Trash cans, dogs and passersby are par for the course here.
Now get a friend. Or two dozen. You can really play with any number greater than one, although three or more usually works best.
They guy who brings/finds/steals the tennie usually gets the first throw. He throws the ball at the wall. The ball hits the wall (no bouncing first, it has to hit directly!). At this point, the crowd scrambles to catch it. If the ball bounces before it’s caught, the kid who catches it gets to throw from where they caught it, and the cycle continues. Now here’s the fun part(s). If you catch the ball in the air (no bounces), you get to throw the ball (preferably as hard as possible) at the kid who threw it. Also, if the ball touches you and you don’t catch it (missed catch, deflection, line drive, whatevers), someone can pick it up and whale on you.
Don’t fret over a bobble or caught ball, however. You can defend against this by running to the wall and tagging it as you yell “Suey.” Now this isn’t to say the kid who caught your bobble didn’t already start throwing it, and you can get nailed anyways, but at least you can save face a little bit (all important to an urban pre-teen).
Now say you get the ball like two blocks away. You throw it, you don’t make it all the way to the wall. Guess what. It’s a’runnin’ time. Basically, you can get pegged for doing anything OTHER than cleanly catching and throwing. Now for the particularly wimpy kids out there, if you’re waaay down the block, a generous friend can yell “Rally” and intercept the catch for you (however, if you miss the throw to him, you’d better hit that wall). Also, the mean spirited among us can block someone’s long distance throw (making sure you tag the wall after blocking the throw to avoid getting hit with ANOTHER ball).
So summary. Throw ball against wall. Screw up, get pegged with a ball.
Now usually this just goes on until everyone’s bored, but you can also make this into a true winner-take-all event. If you’re actually looking for a winner, count each peg someone receives as an Out. After three outs you can simply declare the person out of the game, or for more grueling adventures, have them face a Wall of Shame. This is where the violence of this game really shines. The guy facing the Wall of Shame has to stand against the game wall, spread eagle. Each other player now lines up and has the opportunity to throw the ball as hard as possible at the kid’s back (very painful for large groups including older kids!). Now maybe your buddy decides just to give you a little tap, that’s up to him. Most will not do this.
Generally, aiming for the head is not allowed. It will usually result in the offending thrower needing to tag the wall.
Catching a ball in the air with ONE hand requires the entire rest of the group to tag up. Roofing the ball, or being the kid who lets it roll in the storm drain requires a beatdown.
So that’s that. Our main game. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we switched it up playing Chink (named after a crack in the sidewalk or wall), Wallball Baseball (with predetermined areas for single, double, etc), Wireball or Basketball-Court-Baseball-With-a-Tennis-Ball-and-Electrical-Taped-Whiffle-Ball-Bat. We never played Beeries, but I know some kids that did, and we played kick-the-Snapple-Bottlecap-into-random-shit as well as semi-tackle football in the street (like Arena Football, but with cars instead of padded sidelines).
Now while these are the OFFICIAL unofficial rules, house rules always prevail. The game can, nay, must be adapted to your setting. Make things off limits, require extra shit….but remember, most importantly, there’s no crying in wall ball.
Bill Murray once compared the end of the world at the hands of an evil god to cats and dogs living together. “Mass hysteria,” he said in 1984′s comedy classic Ghostbusters. Turns out this silly comparison may be appropriate, as in Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, the two usually feuding furry animals must work together, with the end result being, of course, mass hysteria from cringing viewers.
This sequel to the 2001 hit, a family film about canine spies going up against feline foes, is much the same as its predecessor. While the original was a mediocre effort with a largely opportunistic premise, the follow-up has an increasingly opportunistic premise but unluckily buggers it up even more than the first one managed to do.
The movie starts with a supposedly lost and cute wittle puppy being taken into an office at a German base by one of the workers there. The worker’s barking, suspicious bloodhound peers through the window and watches as the Cocker Spaniel, taking pictures of top-secret documents, unzips its fur coat to reveal an evil, hairless pussycat called Kitty Galore (voiced by Bette Midler) inside.
The bloodhound contacts the dog, err, headquarters and tells them that he has spotted the wretched villain. A new recruit, an incompetent German Shephard named Diggs (James Marsden), is put on the job to track her down, along with his experienced partner Butch (Nick Nolte).
On their mission, they discover that Kitty Galore is attempting to send a high-pitched signal all across the world, which will drive every single dog totally cuckoo. Not as cuckoo as the makers of this film though. It also turns out that in order to stop their loathsome adversary, the dogs will have to team up with a group of cats, whether they like it or not. What a scandal!
This is the kind of film which producers are hoping will hypnotize gullible youngsters into begging their whining, groaning parents to miserably purchase movie tickets for them to go and see it with them in, urgh, 3D. Three dimensions of brainless un-tertainment. It makes the moronic mistake of thinking that a kids film doesn’t need wit or class to be good, when in fact the rule is the complete opposite.
About 90% of the script consists of frustrating feline and canine puns, and the other 10% relies on lazily clichéd dialogue. Truth be told, the writing isn’t anything if it’s not nauseating and should have anyone in the hopefully empty-seated audience over eight years old rolling their eyes.
The humour is entirely laughless, unable to gain even a chuckle from me and I have a wide range for comedy. I could see that it was trying to appeal to adults with the film references, particularly James Bond, but it’s just not witty enough to execute them in an effective manner. A sequence parodying the famous first appearance of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs simply goes on for too long and is too similar to other films and TV shows which have homaged the well-known scene.
The film may not resort to fart jokes or burp gags, but I was struggling to spot a single sophisticated quip for almost the entire running time. Then again, kids are easy to please, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they clap their hands in amazement at the talking pets.
To be fair, some of the special effects are not that bad and are certainly a step up from its predecessor. The CGI animation on Kitty Galore looks rather nice, if obviously crafted on a computer. But then there’s the tedious movement of the lips on the blabbering creatures, an effect which I don’t think will ever look anything other than odd.
The cast is not too shabby, if substantially unmemorable. James Marsden does fine with the drivel he has to read and Nick Nolte is superb as a gravelly voiced Anatolian Shepherd. Chris O’Donnell (Robin from the two Joel Schumacher Batman travesties), on the other hand, is bloody terrible as cop Shane, Diggs’ owner. Seriously, it’s as if someone is spinning tiny-lettered cue cards around for him to read off of. I’m really not surprised the Boy Wonder is practically unseen in today’s world of cinema.
Bette Midler is brilliant as Kitty Galore, cackling an evil laugh in the one of the film’s two outstanding performances. She brings a suitably threatening voice to the character, one that I very much admired. Sean Hayes is the second of these performances, reprising his role as Mr. Tinkles, the best character in the flick. He’s only in two scenes, but all of the somewhat respectable writing is squandered on the wise-cracking cat.
Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is predictable, generic, very badly scripted and is just a showcase for celebrity voice actors. It’s a bad boy, it needs to be put down, it should choke on its hairballs, it deserves a smack on the snout and it desperately needs obedience classes. Don’t listen to your kids and don’t pay for the damn thing. Buy them a puppy instead.
Three outta ten.