Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Tribute to....Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning...

It's tough to find a film franchise more polarizing than the Friday the 13th series. Subjectively, the films are fairly awful. Cheesy, improbable plot lines, community dinner theatre level acting and the lack of any real continuity make the movies appear pretty amateurish. But you know what. I fucking love them. I'm just a fan, is all. I love the movies, much like an abused wife loves her abusive husband. No matter how many times the franchise slaps me across the face with a ridiculous plot twist, or kicks me in the stomach with hammy line delivery, I keep coming back for more. With a smile on my face all the while. I'm not sure which part of my brain relates so closely to slaughtering sex crazed, pot smoking teens, but I likes what I likes.

While the movies are by no means $100 million dollar blockbusters, they do have a pretty strong fanbase, and while a few of them came close, no Friday movie has ever lost money. Especially in today's market which is saturated with a new DVD re-release every time you turn around. Add that in with the fact that the films are fucking cheap to make (no name actors, and cookie cutter scripts tend to keep the costs down), and you have a guaranteed money machine. Which is why we have 10 movies to enjoy (11 if you count Freddy Vs. Jason), and another one on the way. But which Friday the 13th movie is the best? Although that may be akin to asking whether you would rather eat dog shit or baby vomit, it is a valid question all the same, and one that will net you a wide variety of answers. Admittedly, I don't think anyone is going to reveal that they think of Jason X as their personal favorite, but the range of answers is still pretty impressive.

Some will tell you that the first is the best, and that you can never top the original. All of the films that came after this one had a "been there, done that" quality to them. Plus Kevin Bacon has sex, smokes a joint and gets impaled through the throat.

Some will say Part II is the greatest, since it gives you what may be the most "realistic", and therefore (in some people's opinion) the scariest Jason.

Others can argue that since Part 3(D) introduced us to the iconic hockey mask, it is the first "true" appearance of Jason, and is therefore the best.

Me, personally? I have to say The Final Chapter is the best. There are many, many reasons I could give you to support this, but this post isn't about that movie. So I'll just sum up the greatness of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter with one picture.

Corey Fucking Feldman with a bowl cut. Increases the greatness of any movie he is in by 34%.

If Part IV is my favorite, then why didn't I write about it? Simply put, because its been done. I've read more than a few tributes to Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and wanted to break some new ground. One entry in the saga that you don't hear much about (unless it is in a negative light), is Part V: A New Beginning. It is probably considered one of the weakest entries in the series, but I never really understood why. Granted, its not my favorite, but its right up there. So in order to balance out some of the hate, I'm going to show it some love. In the form of a tribute. Originally, this post was going to be a review of the film, but I can't really be subjective enough to legitimately call it a "review". In my mind, I know this movie is no piece of art, but in my heart, it's all love baby. So instead of a review, you get a "tribute". Which is actually much lazier than a review, because basically, I'm just going to rehash the plot for you. And throw in some pretty pictures for you to look at. And maybe, along the way, we'll share a moment or two.

On with the show!

A New Beginning was meant as just that. A new direction for the adventures of Jason Vorhees. The Final Chapter finished up pretty conclusively, as Corey Feldman saved the day by impaling Jason's face onto his own machete. 80s Feldman does not fuck around. Part IV was originally planned to finish up the series, but dollar signs prevailed (as they usually do in Hollywood), and before you could say "That doesn't make sense", Part V was underway. But this puppy needed a hook. The executives didn't want to appear completely incompetent by just throwing Jason back out there with no explanation, after he was so convincingly dealt with (by Corey Feldman). Remember that at this point in the franchise, Jason was essentially human and the series was much more grounded in reality. How the fuck can he come back to life? He can't, because last I checked, there wasn't a miracle cure for a machete through your face. Hence the much needed hook. Oh, and by the way, if you've been wanting to see this flick since 1985, and just haven't gotten around to it, you should avoid the following massive spoilers.

The movie begins in true Friday the 13th fashion, with a cold open. I'm not sure why, but I love when a movie just kicks in with the opening scene before the credits are even underway. Return of the Living Dead utilizes this trick quite well. Tommy Jarvis (played once again by Corey Feldman) is striding through the woods, on his way to Jason's grave. It never does say why, but I like to think its because he wants to piss all over it. 80s Feldman's a badass like that. But before he can pull off the ultimate fuck you to Jason, two older kids come crashing noisily through the foliage, and approach the graveside, robbing Feldman of his chance. Seems they aim to dig up the body and, I don't know, maybe have a little fun with the corpse? Now I got up to a lot of shit in High School, but I can't remember ever turning to my buddies after a bit of partying and saying: "Hey, I know! Let's go grave robbing!" So while I don't completely understand the motivation here, I respect it as a way for us to see more stupid teenagers get gutted.

While Tommy watches, the teens dig up the (very shallow) grave and stand back to admire their handy work. Would you be surprised if Jason didn't rise up out of his grave right now and kill him some teenagers? No need to find out, because rise up he does, and after quickly dispatching disposable teens 1 & 2, he makes his way to where Tommy is (barely) hiding. As Jason raises his blade (who fucking buries a serial killer with his weapon of choice? Shouldn't that be in an evidence locker somewhere?), Feldman screams his only line in the entire film: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"

And he wakes up. It was only a nightmare. But what a nightmare! It aged poor Tommy by at least 10 years. See....

Granted, it doesn't say exactly how many years have passed since The Final Chapter, but the role, in its entirety, was originally written for Corey Feldman. The only problem was that he was too busy hanging out with Short Round and starring in Cyndi Lauper music videos to appear in more than a cameo here. So we get this guy. And the only reason I can think of for casting someone so much older in the part is this: You can't replace 80s Feldman with just any child actor. You simply can't. Well, maybe 80s Haim, but I digress. They won't measure up, and then you've got a mess on your hands.

So Tommy wakes up from his little nightmare, marvels at how well his voice deepened in the last 24 hours, and realizes that he is in the back of a van, on its way to The Pinehurst halfway house. Or if you're not feeling politically correct, a house full of fucking wackjobs.

One of the reasons this volume in the Friday saga holds up so well for me is the characters. This movie has some of the best characters in any Friday the 13th film. If a character stands out and is memorable, even though they are only onscreen a couple of times, and are really only in the movie to pad the kill count, you know the screenwriters and actors have done something right. As we arrive at our destination, we meet the first of these great characters. Billy, male nurse, really makes his presence felt, in all the right ways. As Pam Roberts, assistant director of the house, welcomes Tommy to his new home, she thanks Billy for delivering him. Billy responds with a friendly "Anytime, Doll", and then proceeds to tweak his right ear while simultaneously flicking his tongue at her as if he was enjoying a nice hot bowl of vagina right at that very instant. Who does that!?!?! Fucking Billy the male nurse, that's who. I hope we see Billy again.

Pam leads Tommy into the house and introduces him to the director of Pinehurst, Mathew Leonard. Mathew and Pam explain that the Pinehurt House is really the last step in Tommy's journey to re-entering society and being a normal self reliant adult. Preferably one that isn't prone to fits and delusions of serial killers coming back for revenge because you impaled their face on their own machete.

Before introducing us to the rest of our future corpses, Tommy gets settled into his room and nonchalantly pulls a 4 inch blade out of his jeans pocket. Wait, what?!?! Wasn't he just in state custody? How the fuck he managed to conceal this weapon until now, I'll never know. Personally, I prefer my mentally unhinged to be knife free. Worried about getting caught with it now, even though he just successfully smuggled it through god knows how many mental institutions, he stashes it safely beneath his mattress. Don't worry though, Tommy. You can come back for it later (I'm sure it will come in handy). Now you need to meet your new roommates.

Starting with Reggie, or as he likes to be known, Reggie the Reckless. Yes, he is one badass little kid, 80's style. Reggie isn't a patient of the house per se. His Gramps is the janitor/maintenance man, and Reggie is here to visit. While I think the appropriateness of visiting your grandfather at work is kind of a grey area, I think we can all agree that if the work in question involves living in a borderline mental institution, somewhere a line has been crossed. But Reggie can handle himself. He's reckless. Gramps, on the other hand, is a rare mis-step in this movie full of otherwise awesome characters. He has the potential to be great (old, black man, full of wisdom and clever sayings), but he just kind of disappears after a while, and they never utilize him in the way they should.

Tina and Eddie next enter the picture, delivered in the back of a police car. Tina and Eddie are a double homicide waiting to happen. Young, attractive, and prone to getting caught fucking on the neighbors property. It should now be painfully obvious that we WILL be seeing Tina naked and murdered at some point in the next 90 minutes.

The neighbors in question are a mother and son team. Ethel and Junior Hubbard. Their mission in life is to see the Pinehurst House shut down. They don't like living next door to a bunch of "loonies" and like it even less when two of the "loonies" have been fucking in their yard. Ethel is probably the dirtiest character I've ever seen in a movie. I don't mean filthy, as in she is perverted or likes to swear. I mean she is literally dirty. It looks like she hasn't had a bath in a couple of months. You can almost see a cloud of dust swirling around her, Pigpen style. Almost as dirty is her son, Junior. But he also wears an aviators cap and drives a beat up old motorcycle, so I think he wins. The dialogue between these two characters is pure fucking gold. Awful in the best possible way, and really needs to be seen and heard to be believed. After tearing a strip off of the Sheriff for not doing anything about the teenage sex happening under her nose, she threatens to blow the head off of anyone caught in her yard from here on out. Consider yourselves warned, sexy, soon to be dead teenagers. Ethel and Junior take their leave, but not before cursing everyone out, and flipping the sheriff the bird. Class act, that one.

After the excitement has died down and everybody has gone about their business, we meet Vic. Vic's job, apparently, is to chop wood. With a very big ax. Now, I know their trying to teach these kids responsibility and get them ready for life on the outside, but letting a very obviously disturbed young man wield a huge ax? You're the expert Mathew, not me. I'm sure it will be okay.

At some point here, we also meet Jake, another patient. Jake has a bit of a stutter and is absolutely forgettable. You won't see him much, and its really no big loss. In a movie full of great characters, the actor that plays Jake really got the short end of the stick. Gramps kind of suffers the same thing, but to me, it seems that Gramps' character at one point, had more to do, and just found his scenes destined for the editing room floor. Jake just sucks.

And here comes The Fat Guy. Every horror movie features The Fat Guy, and in this case, his name is Joey. The Fat Guy is usually featured as comic relief in these movies, and also as a slow moving victim for the killer to get warmed up with. Joey does seem to be more retarded than crazy, but he means well. He sees Violet and Robin hanging clothes up to dry and quickly tries to lend a hand. Violet and Robin aren't hearing of it though because they're afraid he'll fuck it up. The Fat Guy always seems to fuck things up. Poor Fatguy even offers up half of his chocolate bar if they'll let him help (the other half is already smeared all over his face), and is firmly rebuked. Not to be denied however, Joey grabs at the clean clothes, staining everything with his chocolaty fingers.

After the girls tell him to fuck off, he wanders over to Vic, still chopping wood. Vic also wants no part of Joey's bullshit and tries to ignore him. But Joey feels the moment calls for a heart to heart and reveals that he has never really felt like he belonged anywhere until now, being an orphan and all. Vic starts chopping wood with more intensity. Seeing as how Vic hasn't actually told him to get lost yet, Joey feels accepted and offers him a full chocolate bar that he was hiding from the girls. He places it on the stump Vic is chopping so that he can have it for later. Vic promptly chops the chocolate bar to pieces, because that's a healthy response. If you want to turn a nice Fatguy mean, all you need to do is fuck with his candy bars. After telling Vic off, he turns to go, but Vic isn't finished. What do you think happens next?

Yes, Vic slams the ax hard into Fatguys back at least three times, brutally killing him. Poor bastard never even got to enjoy that last chocolate bar. The police show up to collect Vic and the Sheriff questions Mathew about Joey. Seems his mother died in child birth and no one ever knew what happened to the father. What an odd bit of information to disclose since the character in question is already dead. Hmmmmmm.

As the first paramedic pulls the sheet away that's covering Joey, for no other reason than to be a dick, he makes a couple of snide comments we're treated to no less than three closeup shots of the second paramedic's face looking shocked, disgusted and then furious. His name is Roy and call me crazy, but I think the filmmaker wants us to file this little bit of information away for later.

Being witness to a brutal murder doesn't seem to do Tommy any favours and he begins to have horrifying visions of Jason returning, seeing him in mirrors and around every corner. He is definitely starting to lose it. This is further evidenced by an altercation at the breakfast table the morning after the murder. Eddie appears late, wearing one of Tommy's masks. If you've seen Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, you know that Tommy in fact makes these masks himself, and is very territorial about them. After scaring the shit out of Tommy, Eddie pulls off the mask, and getting a laugh from the room, bounces it off of Tommy's chest. He then proceeds to tell Tommy: "Relax Chief. What's wrong? No sense of humor?". Followed by a couple of hard, playful punches to the shoulder. Eddie is a real dick. A rational Tommy would have laughed it off, while quietly plotting revenge of some sort. But rational Tommy left the building one sequel ago. This Tommy decides that flipping Eddie through a table and then pummelling the crap out of him, while crying no less, is the obvious response.

And unbeknownst to our heroes, the random killings begin. Our first victims are two greasers out for a moonlit drive through the woods. Of course, they experience car trouble, and their fates are sealed. Greaser #1 is dispatched via a lit flare jammed down his throat, while Greaser #2 is taking a shit behind a tree somewhere or something. He returns, sees his friend slumped over the engine, and starts threatening to kick his ass for not getting the car started. He gets in the car, cranks the engine a couple of times and leans back in triumph as it roars to life. Unfortunately, our killer is in the backseat, and slits his throat right at his moment of triumph. We never get to see the killer. Is it Jason? OooOOOooooOooOOOO. Mystery.

Cut to the outside of a little diner, late at night. A car speeds into the parking lot, horn blaring. Hey, its the return of Billy, male nurse! He's finished his day of emptying bedpans and is ready to party. He parks outside of the little restaurant and continues to lay on the horn. Here we meet Lana, but don't even worry about remembering her name. She won't be around for long. A little bit of playful banter transpires, and Lana retreats to the restaurant to get ready for their date. If it wasn't already decided, Lana then secures her fate by ripping her shirt open in front of the mirror, flashing her tits and proclaiming "Iiiiiiiiiit's Showtime!".

Back in the car, Billy patiently waits and decides that doing a little coke will pass the time nicely. I fucking love Billy's dialogue. Here's a sample: "And the forecast is.....cloudy in the mountains, sunny in the valleys, and snow flurries......UP your nose". SNOOOOORRRRRT. Beautiful.

Lana is prettying herself up in the bathroom when she hears a crash from inside the restaurant. Ooooooooooooooo. Is it Billy, coked up and ready to fuck? Is it Jason, back from the dead?. The music starts to build, and you're thinking Lana is going to be punished for showing titage in an 80s horror movie. Turns out its just your run of the mill flying cat. I say flying because the cat launches itself at Lana, face level, seemingly out of nowhere giving us a nice little scare. Ah Lana. You're alive for at least another couple of minutes.

By now Billy is becoming very impatient. He's coked up, and in no mood to wait. He opens the car door to yell for her to hurry her ass up, and gets an ax in the head for his troubles. Poor Billy. Only on screen for a combined 5 minutes, but still one of my favorite characters. Again, the killer is in shadows.

Lana finally makes her way to the now empty car, and then gets irritated when Billy isn't there. She forgets this irritation pretty quickly when she spies the mirror full of coke now resting on the driver side floor mat. She bends over to get a taste, only to see a pair of legs and a bloody ax through the still open driver's side door. Sorry Lana, but you're time is up. Ax to the gut? Check.

The next day, Tommy thinks he sees Jason standing outside the house, looking up at his window, ax in hand. An ax isn't usually Jason's weapon of choice though, but our last two victims were dispatched this way. Does this mean Jason is back, or is Tommy just hallucinating again?

We may get to find out soon enough, because Tina and Eddie are horny again, and not only that, but they also decide to smoke "the pot". Premarital sex while toking up? Fucking death sentance. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie because it involves not one, but two great moments. Some of the nicest breasts ever bared in a Friday the 13th movie, and one of the more inventive kills as well. Eddie has gone to the river to wash up after defiling Tina. Tina lays back on the sheet they laid out, seemingly satisfyed. Although I have no idea how, considering the sex lasted for about 10 seconds. Eddie must have an enormous penis. A pair of garden shears are in her future though. Goodbye Tina.

Eddie comes back, finds his love brutally slain, and backs into a tree in surprise. I'm not going to explain exactly how Eddie meets his end, but its fucking great. I need to give you some incentive to check out a cheesy 23 year old horror movie that I've just spoiled the fuck out of. I'll just say that it involves a stick, two metal hoops and a leather strap. The killer is still faceless.

Later that night, Micheal worries about the absense of Tina and Eddie, while Pam takes Tommy and Reggie the Reckless for a little road trip into town. Reggie's big brother (who goes by the name Demon) is in town and Reggie is excited to see him. As the truck pulls away from the house, we get the sense that someone is following them. Hmmmmm.

The gang meets up with Demon (who lives in a van, apparently) and his girlfriend Anita, who is casually smoking a joint. Bad idea Anita. Anita is pretty disposable, but Demon is another great fucking character. He's played by Miguel A. Nunez Jr, who also plays Spider in Return of the Living Dead. Another great 80s horror movie that I'll need to discuss at some point. While Pam and Reggie are visiting, Tommy goes for a walk and starts to have another one of his freakouts. Before he can though, Junior Hubbard enters the scene. Recognizing him as one of the "loonies", he tries to start a fight. Tommy beats the everloving shit out of him, no doubt adding more tension to the rivalry between Mathew's house and the Hubbards. Pam intervenes however, probably saving Junior's life, and in a fit of tears, Tommy takes off into the darkness. Pam and Reggie hurry back to the house, figuring that's where Tommy must have gone.

Meanwhile, Demon seems about to shit his pants due to some questionable enchiladas. He makes haste for an outhouse, while Anita chills out in the van. Probably smoking more pot. As Demon relieves himself (very pleasurably by the sounds of it) someone starts to violently shake the outhouse. Demon starts to get a bit worried before realizing that its only Anita, being a prankster. They share a laugh, and sing a brief motown like duet, all while he is suffering horrible diarhea in a really nasty outhouse. If I had a nickel for every time I dueted Motown while perched on a questionable toilet....

Suddenly, a slight gasp escapes Anita, cutting off the duet. The outhouse begins to shake again, more violently than before. Demon isn't putting up with this "Okay, I told you this wasn't funny. Now you're going to get it bitch". Demon's a badass. He gets up and buckles his pants (without wiping his ass first. Fucking gross. Do you ever notice that no one ever wipes their ass in the movies. Maybe we don't need that much attention to detail, but I always notice it.) and tries to open the door. Only problem is, Anita's corpse is blocking his way out, throat neatly slit. This seems to rattle Demon a bit, kind of calling an end to his tough guy persona. He presses himself up against the far wall of the outhouse, because that's a reasonable place to hide when the killer already knows you're in there. A sharpened metal bar (where the fuck is he getting all of these different weapons?) punctures througth the outhouse in various places. You know that magician's trick where the swords go into the box containing the assistant? Same premise, but with much more blood.

Pam and Reggie return to the house to be greeted with the news that Mathew and Gramps have both disapeared. Coupled with the fact that Tommy is still missing, everyone is getting a bit worried. Pam does the sensible thing and promptly leaves to look for Mathew, abandoning three mentally unbalanced teenagers and one adolescent to fend for themselves.

Meanwhile, at the Hubbard place. Junior has returned from getting his ass kicked by Tommy, and is driving his motorcycle up and down the porch, spinning donuts on the front yard, all while crying and screaming "THEY HURT ME MA! THEY HURT ME" Ethel is inside the house preparing Junior's dinner, and in a really nice touch, spits a huge loogie into the pot, because well, she's a stone cold bitch. Teach fucking Junior for making a ruckuss. You know what else will teach him a lesson? A fucking machete out of nowhere. And just like that, we have our first decapitation of the film. It really couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Ethel hears footsteps on the front porch, directly in front of the window she's standing behind, and assumes that Junior has settled down and is ready to eat his loogie stew. "Bout time you fuckwad. Knew you couldn't pass up mama's stew". Again, I love the dialogue the writers serve up for Ethel Hubbard. Classic. I'm kind of glad Ethel gets to meet her end before she realizes that Junior's been beheaded. As much hate as Ethel shows towards her son in the movie, you can tell that she loves him to pieces. Our killer ensures they will be together soon, by cleaving her head almost in two, from through the window. There's a really nice shot of Ethel's hand clenching and squeezing the guts out of a tomato she was holding, as the butcher knife enters her head and her muscles tense.

Pam is still driving around aimlessly when her truck breaks down. Because, well, she really needs to be in peril at this point in the film. It also starts to rain, because well, Pam is wearing a white shirt, and it really should be wet.

Back at the house, Jake and Robin are watching a movie, while Jake awkwardly tries to put the moves on Robin. Now even though Jake is a loser, Robin really doesn't need to react the way she does at Jake's confession of love. She laughs in his face, sending him away in shame. The (still faceless) killer saves him the trouble of feeling too bad about himself though, by quickly dispatching him with the butcher knife.

Unaware of Jake's demise, Robin heads up to bed. She disrobes (more 80s boob), and as she looks at herself in the mirror, starts to feel bad for treating Jake so poorly. Oh well, let's just turn off this light and forget about it. Here we learn that Robin is very, very stupid. She climbs into bed (the top bunk of some bunk beds), and closes her eyes. She rolls over, opens her eyes and sees Jake's bloody, cut up face only 2 inches from her own. How the fuck do you not notice a corpse in your bed before you get in? Then the killer proceeds to grab her by the throat and run her through with the machete. The killer's hiding place? The lower bunk. Yep.

Meanwile, Violet pulls off some sweet robot dancing to "His Eyes" by Psuedo Echo. The killer enters her room and slowly advances on her. This is a great fucking scene. From the soundtrack to the way the camera flashes back and forth between robot dancing and the shiny glint of the machete and the killer's legs, as he moves ever so slowly in for the kill, is just great. Really nice filmmaking for a genre picture. He reaches Violet, lifts her clear off the ground, and stabs her in the stomach, ruining our chance of ever seeing her 80s boobs.

all of this mayhem is occuring, Reggie is sleeping blissfully on the couch. He awakens to an empty house and goes searching. Seeking out Tommy's room to see if he has returned, he is instead greated by the bodies of Jake, Violet and Robin stacked up on Tommy's bed. Hmmmmm.

Reggie is slowly backing away from the door when a hand lands on his shoulder. He screams, only to be met with the newly returned, suitably wet, Pam. Pam sees the bodies, grabs Reggie's hand and they bolt down the stairs. Reggie stumbles before they can escape (ofcourse) and we finally get to see our killer, who in a completely awesome entrance, literally explodes through the door. It's Jason! He looks much cleaner and less beat up than the last time we seen him. But there he is. Notice the blown apart door? Awesome fucking entrance.

Jason is nice enough to stand still until Pam and Reggie get their shit together and race off into the woods. They come across an ambulance parked on the side of the road, open the door, and the driver's body spills out. This is the same ambulance from the beginning of the movie, but where's Roy? Hmmmmmm.

Jason, doing what he does best, suddenly appears from behind the ambulance, defying all logic or laws of physics in the process. I love how even at a slow walk, Jason can outrun any olympic sprinter. When something is that awesome, it doesn't have to make sense. Pam and Reggie take off, back into the woods, where they proceed to lose each other. And where the fuck is Tommy? Hmmmmm.

Pam, while crashing blindly through the woods, stumbles upon Mathew's body, stuck to a tree, through his skull, via a rail road spike. She tries to take shelter in the Hubbard's house, only to have Gramps's body thrown at her right through the window. And it appears he has had his eyes plucked out. I don't know about you, but if I was in a Friday the 13th movie, I would be pissed off as all hell if my death was offscreen. She races back towards the woods, but trips into a mud puddle on the way. Jason advances. Instead of getting up and running away again, she decides it would be faster to crawl, while looking back every 3 seconds. Just before Jason can deliver the killing blow however, Reggie, out of nowhere, smashes through the side of a barn, driving a fucking tractor! He's had enough of this bullshit, and he's putting a stop to it, right now. He's reckless.

He slams the tractor's scoop into Jason's chest, sending him flying. Jason appears to be down for the count. That is until they walk over to the body to investigate. He grabs Reggie's leg, causing him to emit another girl scream. Before Jason can drag him down though, Pam and Reggie escape into the barn. Jason follows, only to be met by Pam, weilding a full on chainsaw! She promptly slices into his arm, sending him sprawling back in pain. That's strange. This Jason seems to show a lot more pain than the previous. Hmmmmmmm.

Advancing in for the killing blow, Pam is horrified to discover her chainsaw has run out of gas. She throws the useless chainsaw at Jason, and runs for cover, just as.....Tommy enters! Where he's been this whole time, I have no idea, but when he's needed, he arrives!

It's too bad that the sight of his old nemesis sends him into a bit of paralyzed shock. Jason gets in one good slash, cutting open Tommy's chest, and causing him to "wake up". He reaches into his pocket, pulls out the handy dandy knife from the beginning of the movie, and stabs Jason surprisingly close to his crotch. Jason goes down, and Tommy escapes to the loft, because a dead end is probably the safest way to go.

Jason follows up the ladder and discovers Tommy's motionless body, slumped over a hay bale. Believing him to be dead, Jason continues on the search for Pam and Reggie. Seeing as how they are in a hay loft, there is very little place to hide, and he quickly locates them. Overcoming all odds, they manage to knock him out of the loft and out of sight. Believing the horror to be over, they go in to investigate, you know, instead of getting the fuck out of there. Turns out, Jason is still hanging on to the edge and starts to drag Reggie and Pam over with him. Tommy comes out of nowhere, grabs Jason's machete, and severs the fucker's arm, freeing Reggie and Pam, and sending Jason down to be impaled on a convenient bed of spikes below. In the process, Jason's mask is knocked off and we see....

Fucking Roy! Bet you never seen that coming. In case you're thinking "What the fuck?", not to worry. The Sherrif soon appears to explain it all, nice and neat like. Turns out that Roy was The Fat Guy's dad. Surprise surprise, right? Seeing his son hacked to pieces by one of the patients at the house drove him a little crazy, and he decided to use Jason as his excuse for getting some revenge. See, it all makes sense! The horrors are over, and Pam, Tommy and Reggie can rest easy, taking comfort in the fact that they survived an 80s horror movie. Or can they?

The next day, Tommy wakes up in a hospital room, and is greeted by Jason standing over his bed. As Jason stares menacingly on, Tommy only stares back confidently. His eyes seem to say all that needs to be said. I'm over you Jason. you can't haunt me anymore. Jason fades away, being only a halucination. Tommy gets up slowly and walks over to the dresser, where he finds this.

The camera cuts to the hallway, where Pam is approaching the room. She hears a loud crash and rushes in to find the window beside Tommy's bed completely smashed out. Believing Tommy has jumped out of the window, she rushes over. The door slowly closes behind her, revealing Tommy, wearing the mask. He sneaks up behind her, brandishing a large knife.

Cut to black. Roll credits.

Kind of a strange ending, but it would have made much more sense in the grand scheme of things, if the series had continued as originally planned. The next movie was meant to feature Tommy as the new killer, because Jason was still very, very dead, and the series still featured a semi-realistic setting. However, audiences just didn't take to the idea that the Friday series should continue without Jason at the helm. What were the producers to do? I know! Let's make Jason essentially a zombie who can't be killed unless a member of his own bloodline stabs him with a mystical knife. What the fuck, right?!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all of the Friday movies, but I still have a special place in my heart for the early ones. Before Jason became an indestructable monster. I prefer my Jason inbred and antisocial.

And if it seemed like I was blasting the movie throughout the tribute, that's probably because I was. It's not a quality movie by anyone's standards, but I love it just the same. Faults and all. Don't any of you have a movie that you know is complete shit, but you love it anyway? I thought so.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday Night Dead?...

I fucking hate it when people call it that. Saturday Night Live is a show that has made me laugh consistently since I first started watching it in the early 90s. All you haters that have been proclaiming it Dead since way back when the second episode aired can suck it. I practically inhale anything SNL related. I just loves it, is all. It makes me laugh, and humour is the greatest aphrodisiac.

I think EVERYONE has a Saturday Night Live memory. Regardless of your feelings about the show now, you have to admit to yourself that, at some point in your life, you watched SNL. And you liked it. Ever stay up real late, maybe at a friend's place, and roll around together on the floor, laughing at the antics of Belushi and Ackroyd, while silently repressing the desire to just grab your friend by the face, look lovingly into their eyes and......wait......wrong childhood memory.

Have you ever tried so hard to stay awake for Update, only to have your eyes snap open suddenly, and discover only the test pattern? (For the kids: A test pattern was a bunch of colored bars on your screen, while an annoying tone plays in the background. Yes! TV stations did go off the air after midnight. They didn't broadcast 24 hours a day. And CDs were the size of your head and you listened to them by scratching needles across the surface. Or something like that.)

Have you ever quoted an SNL sketch? Even once? ONCE IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE? I bet you have. Fuck, half of the world's population was saying "Ve Vant to Pump........YOU UP" in the early 90s.

You want to know my clearest SNL memory? It's not a particularly funny one, and not one that is directly tied to SNL, but I will always remember where I was and what I was watching when I heard the news that Shannon Hoon had died of a drug overdose.

Shannon Hoon was the lead singer for Blind Melon. Blind Melon was then, and continues to be now, one of my favorite bands. I'm sure you are all familiar with Blind Melon, and this post isn't about them, so I'll be brief. I had bought their second album "Soup" the day it was released. I loved it, and listened to it on a constant rotation. I thought it was a great improvement on their first album, and was excited to see where they would go next. Now, I can't remember the exact length of time between this albums release, and Hoon's death, but it wasn't too long at all. I'm thinking less than 6 months? I could wikipedia it to find out for sure, I guess. But it's Sunday, and thou shalt not Wiki on the Sabbath. Anyway, I was at my Dad's place for the weekend. Everyone was asleep except for me and my brother. We were in the living room, all of the lights off, watching Saturday Night Live. I remember feeling very cool that I was up that late. Later than my Dad even! I was a cool kid to be sure.

So we were watching, and during a commercial, a news update came on the screen. It announced that Shannon Hoon had, that evening, been found dead in his tour bus. I still remember my blood running cold. I can't remember if SNL was particularly funny that night or not, but I'm sure that I didn't laugh much after that.

Starting to get my point? Love it or hate it, SNL is one of the most influential, and entertaining shows ever on television. Even though it seems fashionable to hate on the show now, I will continue to scream my love for it from the rooftops. Or at least from a properly railed balcony. I'm kind of scared of heights.

Any other SNL junkies in the building? Check out (if you haven't already) the book "Live From New York" by James A. Miller and Tom Shales. I literally read it to pieces. I don't know how many times I read it, but it ended up falling apart. It's the kind of book that you can flip open to any part of and just read a few pages for a quick laugh. You can get it on Amazon for like 6 bux right now. Fuckin 6 bux. You should totally order it. No, I'm not getting a kickback from Amazon.

My fucking kingdom for someone who can tell me how I can compress that link down into just a simple word or something. I'm sure HTML has something to do with. Fucking HTML.

So what made me feel the need to preach about SNL on a Sunday afternoon? Quite simply, this:

Fucking hilarious. That was from last night's episode, hosted by Shia TheBeef. No doubt, 10,000 sad little people have already flooded the internet with critiques about how shitty last night's show was, and why SNL should be cancelled. Well fuck that. I've got news for you, sad little people. You're still fucking watching it! Why is that? Because if its so terrible, why do you consistently tune in every week? I thought so. And don't give me the whole "The show was so awesome when Farley and Sandler and Ferrell were on! Why can't it be that good now?".
I remember watching those shows, and then all you heard was "Oh the show was so rad when Carvey and Hartman were on. Why can't it be that good now?" (Yes, we used to say "rad").
Well I implore you not to laugh at McGruber. Double dog dare and everything. You can't do it, because that shit is hilarious. End rant.
Oh, and don't stop now. Continue reading down the page. This is the second post I've done in about 12 hours, so in case you haven't checked in a few days, there's more reading to be done. I'm not finished with you yet.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What the Fuck is a "meme"?....

So glad you asked. Because I don't really know. And I love to have my shortcomings pointed out for me. As with any other question of this magnitude, I turned to the one source that always seems to have the answers. The one place I can go, where I know I will never face condesation (in which I mean the act of some one talking down to me, not like drops of dew forming on my face or anything like that.) or ridicule. Of course I'm speaking of thefreedictionary.com. I don't know about you, but I'm digging the future. Free dictionary at my fingertips makes me one happy panda. Plus I'm not really allowed back at The Dictionary Store. Not since the "unpleasantness" anyway.

So after being challenged to a "meme" by the (hopefully) litter trained Kittymao (found here: http://kittymao.wordpress.com/ ), I was left with little option, save for booting up the old internets and seeing what I could find. Well, first I cursed Kittymao for setting me on this journey. But then, should I expect less from a Chinese Dictator Cat? They're a devious lot, to be sure. And really kickass artists, although I don't think that's necessarily a result of the devious nature. After pondering this for a bit, I hit up freedictionary and found out the following:


A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another

Okay, so "meme" is a noun? Did you get anything else out of that? Tell me I'm not the only idiot here, but that definition has me more confused than before. Fuck.

Clearly, this was getting me no where. A more direct investigation was needed, post haste. Because I was quickly losing interest. I was going to have to use......verbal communication. In the form of a telephone call. I briefly considered screaming "What's a meme?" for anyone to hear, while standing out on my balcony, but decided the odds of receiving a response beyond "SHUT THE FUCK UP", were slim at best. No, a phone call to a higher authority on the subject was the answer. I excitedly picked up the phone and started to dial, when it hit me. How do you pronounce "meme"? Fuck.

Like so many other times, Google saves the day. God bless Google. I'm very capable of making myself look stupid in any number of interesting ways. Mispronouncing words is a hassle I don't need. According to memecentral.com, "meme" is pronounced with a long "e". Like meem.

Armed with this new knowledge, I once again pick up my phone and confidently dial "The Friend". Or TF if you prefer. I kind of do.

TF: Hello

Kris: Hey buddy. How's it going?

TF: ...........who is this?

Kris: It's Kris! Look I need your help.

TF: Oh jeez. Not you again. Why do you keep calling here?

My friends are hilarious. They always play this game with me, where they pretend they don't know who I am. My friends are great. I have friends.

Kris: (whispers) look...just play along....HA HA. That's so funny, pal. I just need to ask you one question though. I need your help.

TF: Why were you whispering before?

Kris: Come on. Just answer one question for me, and I'll leave you alone. I promise.

TF: You won't call here anymore?

Kris: Never ever again. I promise....fingers crossed.

TF: You probably would have been better off just crossing your fingers, instead of announcing it.


TF: Okay fine. But don't call me again tonight at least.

Kris: I can't promise that.

TF: Jesus Christ, just ask your damn question.

Kris: What's a meme?

TF: That's your question? What's a meme? Jesus Christ. A meme is like an FYI on you. Like a list of things about you. Interesting tidbits of your interests or personality. NOW FUCK OFF.

And just like that, I had my answer. On to Kitty's page to see what this actually entails. Kitty's page said this:

1) Link back to the person who tagged you. 2) Post the rules on your blog. 3) Write six things about yourself. 4) Tag six people at the end of your post by posting links to their blog sites. 5) Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their site. 6) And let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Holy fuck, she's really putting me to work, isn't she? Damn communist cats. Okay, so steps one and two are already done. 4 more steps to go. Spoiler warning: I'm particularly worried about step 4. I don't think I know any bloggers that haven't already been tagged by this shit. I may have to skip that step due to lack of options. So 6 things about me, huh? Pull up a chair. Because I'm sure a lot of you are standing at your computers right now.

1. I don't like to shit in public bathrooms. I have a bit of a phobia about it. But not the phobia you might be thinking of. The hygienic nature doesn't bother me. I mean, I'm not going to sit down on top of someone else's piss, but I'm not a germaphobe either. I don't carry around a little bottle of sanitizer with me. No, the thing that bugs me is those doors that don't quite reach down to the floor. Is a little privacy too much to ask for when I'm sitting on the toilet, log half way out of my ass? I'm sure there aren't people clamouring for their turn to peek in on me mid dump, but still. I just don't like the idea that some random weirdo could be a quick kneel away from gawking at me in a very vulnerable state. Call me crazy.

2. I'm a really fussy eater when it comes to meat. I'll eat just about anything, but if you try to offer me meat that has bones in it, huge marbled pieces of fat, or still resembles the part of the animal it came from, you will be firmly rebuked. Fried chicken is the sometime exception to this rule. But FUCK chicken wings. They look like little chicken arms, and you're gnawing on them! I'm not a member of PETA, like "Oh that's cruel. You shouldn't eat meat", but gnawing on a piece of meat, that is very clearly the arm of an animal grosses me out. The wings that are split so that they just look like little drumsticks are okay. But those ones you get at KFC? Gross. And maybe I'm weird, but I'm sure as hell not a dog, so you won't catch me chewing on any bones. My grandma cracks that shit open and sucks out the marrow. I love you Grandma, but that's fucking gross. And people that eat the fat off of steaks? It's the consistency of jello, people! And I don't know about you, but the idea of "meat" jello is not one I find appetizing.

3. I have a weird obsession with showing people music. I don't know why, but whenever anyone comes over to my apartment, I feel the need to say "Hey, have you ever heard this?". And then I cue up some random song. Often times, its a really cheesy 80's song. If even one of the songs I play is a hit, if it gets my guest to bob their head along in time to the beat, a huge smile spreads across my face. I just really get off on this. So if you ever come over to my place, be prepared to indulge my habit. There's just so much great music out there, that you may never come into contact with, if not for somebody saying "Hey man, check this out". Take this for example:

That was The Libertines singing "Can't Stand Me Now". If I just showed any of you a great song that you've never heard before, let me know!

4. I can't hold my liquor. Not even a little bit. I am a cheap drunk. Which doesn't make sense seeing as how I top 6' and weigh over 200 lbs. I used to be a real lush in high school. Getting drunk a couple of times a week or more was always the norm. And not always exclusively on the weekends. But when I hit legal age, I started bartending. And seeing people drunk all of the time, while I was sober, really turned me off of alcohol. So I pretty much stopped drinking. As it is now, I will maybe get drunk once every couple of months. And I never have a drink, just to have one. If I'm having a drink, I'm getting smashed. These days, that takes about 6 drinks. I know, right? One drink and I get all red in the face. If it's a double, the dance floor becomes irresistible. You know what, fuck that. The dance floor would be irresistible even if I was only drinking coffee. That's besides the point.

5. I am an unabashed car singer. If I have a car, and a working radio at my disposal, I immediately lose all inhibitions and forget the fact that a singer, I am not. I don't give a shit if you are stopped beside me at a red light, staring into my car with a disdainful look on your face. I will serenade the fuck out of you, hand motions and eye contact and everything. Just try and stop me. Genre won't even stand in my way. I'll throw some hip hop at you if that's what's playing at the time. Doesn't matter that I'm whiter than Bryant Gumbel. Is a Bryant Gumbel reference considered dated?

6. I have a slow building feeling of dread about approaching my thirties. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I've pledged to quit smoking by the time I'm 30. Tasty tasty carcinogens will be my undoing if I'm not careful. I've allowed myself to smoke until I'm 30 because everyone is allowed to do stupid things while they're in their 20's. Had a one night stand? Fuck, you're in your 20's! Have fun! Drank way too much and woke up with a new tattoo? 20's! Try and pull that shit when you're in your 30's and everyone's like "Oh, when is he going to grow up? You know he turned 30 last year, right?". It's like you're expected to completely grow up and have your shit together on the stroke of midnight of your 30th birthday. I'm scared.

And that's more information about me than any of you realistically needs. Try not to use your new found knowledge for evil. I would if I were you, but again, besides the point. Which brings us to step 4. Six people, huh? As I said at the outset of this little endeavour, I'm going to have to cheat a bit here. There's only two bloggers I know who haven't already been subjected to this madness, so two is all you gets.

Candice, over at http://furrychocolates.wordpress.com/ and Laurie, over at http://www.lauriekendrick.com/

Furry Chocolates is a fellow Canuck, and is definitely worth a click. No, I'm not being perverted. I mean, click on the link and check out her page. Fucking sicko.

Laurie is the coolest chick in Texas. If you are from Texas, you are not as cool as Laurie Kendrick. Unless you are Laurie Kendrick, in which case, you are exactly as cool as Laurie Kendrick.

Why do I get the feeling that tagging people in this way is the blogging equivalent of asking your friends to help you move? I feel so dirty.

I wonder what TF thinks about all of this? Excuse me while I make a call...

Monday, May 5, 2008

This Post has Been Rated Ambidextrious....

My companion's mouth yawned slowly in disappointment, but quickly transitioned to a deft roll of her eyes. Before I could get to my feet, I realized that I probably wouldn't be having sex for good long time. I had outed myself.....as a nerd....

Let's rewind this a bit. If I'm any kind of a nerd, I'm a film and music nerd. I've never been a huge comic collector, and besides a lil' Star Wars fix every now and then, I'm not all that into science fiction. Not that I don't enjoy it, but I don't actively seek it out either, you know what I mean? Music and film, on the other hand, are things that I tend to obsess over. And when the two are brought together well? Immediate geek orgasm. Probably why I am such a big fan of Quentin Tarantino. He just knows the perfect song to couple with each scene in his films and it makes the entire experience infinitely more enjoyable as a result. The point of all of this exposition, is that I realized something while perusing some past entries of mine (yes, I go back and analyze my old posts. Don't judge me). Even though I have huge love for music and film, I haven't really utilized this outlet to push my tastes and interests on you, my unsuspecting readers. Clearly, this is something that needs to be rectified immediately. And here we are.

Half of the remainder of this post will concern a couple of upcoming albums that I'm looking forward to, while the other half will concern a couple of films I viewed recently. While the interesting part of this type of exercise would be to try and turn you on to something you haven't previously seen or listened to before, I have to admit that these initial entries skew pretty heavily to the mainstream end of the spectrum. I doubt I'll be telling you anything you don't already know, but what can I say.....I likes what I likes. I'll try and offer up some more eclectic choices in upcoming entries into this "series", but for now, allow me to be master of the obvious.

First up....MUSIC!


I've been a fan of The Offspring since way back in the early 90s, with their release of Smash. You may remember the songs Come Out and Play or Self Esteem. They have actually been around since the mid 80s, but I was too busy eating dirt and picking my nose to pay much attention to their first two efforts. Every album since Smash though, I have inhaled and enjoyed. Granted, "tolerated" might be more apt than "enjoyed" when discussing their last album, but I always hold out hope for the next one. Well I'm not going to have to wait much longer to find out how good the next one is. The Offspring are officially releasing their eighth studio album on June 17, 2008, and the title they've gone with is Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. I'm still going to have to wait another month to see how the entire album flows, but Dexter Holland (lead vocals) has been quoted as saying the new album will be much more guitar driven and faster than Splinter (their last album). That definitely fills me with some hope. But fuck waiting a month, right? I want me some new Offspring right NOW. Well, through the magic of the Internet, we can get a little taste of what the album will sound like, through the release of the first single. It's called Hammerhead, and you can download it for FREE on The Offspring's official website. That's right. All you need is an email address, and you can get a great quality MP3 of the newest single for the low, low price of zip, zilch and nada. Check it out here: http://www.offspring.com/

My take? I love the first 75% of the song. I wouldn't put it up there with their best stuff, but its a good tune. I'm not really digging the last part of the song, but it seems like the kind of thing that will grow on me after a couple more listens. In any case, I'll definitely be picking up the full album on June 17.


I fucking love Weezer. Don't expect this portion to be anything less than biased, fan drivel, because Weezer is 10 lbs of awesome in a 5 lb bag. Somewhat like The Offspring though, I never really dug their last album. Beverly Hills was an okay song, but it wasn't anywhere near as brilliant as most of their stuff. Also like The Offspring, Weezer has a new album coming out in June. One week after the new Offspring album to be exact (what a great 2 weeks for new music!). This will be their 6th studio album and is following the same self titled trend as their first and third albums. This one will likely be referred to as "The Red Album", due to the color scheme they are following this go around. They have also released the first single from the album (entitled "Pork and Beans"), and although it is not free to download, you can listen to it for free at their official site http://www.weezer.com/

If you don't want to download the new Offspring tune, I understand, but by all means click over to Weezer's site and at least LISTEN to Pork and Beans. It will be 3 and a half minutes out of your life that you didn't really need in the first place. You probably don't have anything better to do anyway, if you're reading this right now.

I fucking love this song. Way better than anything on Make Believe, and it has me absolutely foaming at the mouth to hear the rest of the album. Now if they will just do a proper tour of Canada, I can die a happy man.

Now....onto MOVIES!


FYI, I'm not a licenced film reviewer. This is going to be terribly disjointed and bound to contain a multitude of run on sentences. Deal with it. Also, I won't go into heavy spoilers, but I may say something you might not want to know, if you are still planning on seeing this cinematic "masterpiece", so be warned.

I'm going to start by telling you that I love Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. I think its fucking hilarious. So many parts that make me laugh. I'm definitely not a movie snob and I like all kinds of film, including stupid stoner comedies. In fact, I actually went out of my way, while on a trip to Minneapolis last year, to eat at White Castle, just because of this movie. Maybe it was my love for the first Harold and Kumar, that made my expectations unreasonably high for the sequel. But you know what, fuck that. I didn't think it was going to be high art. I just wanted something to giggle at while I was enjoying some, ahem, cigarettes. If a movie like this can't even make a smoker laugh more than a couple of times, somethings gone horribly wrong.

First off, the jokes that were even a little bit funny, were basically just rehashes of jokes from the first movie. We don't need no originality apparently. Secondly, Rob Cordrey is just really really bad in this movie. His level of sucktitude here drags down everyone around him. I find Cordrey extremely funny on The Daily Show, but his performance in this movie was bad. It felt horribly forced, and really just kind of sad. He plays a bumbling Homeland Security agent who is in charge of capturing Harold and Kumar after they escape from Guantanamo Bay. He plays it in a really obvious way, and is not funny at all. Big disappointment. I get what they were going for, but it just doesn't work. John Cho and Kal Penn were as funny as the script allowed them to be, which sadly wasn't very.

One brief bright spot came courtesy of Neil Patrick Harris, reprising his role from the first film (as a cartoony, coked up version of himself). He always makes me laugh, and here is no exception. But they managed to fuck his cameo up real bad, and I can't really figure out why they did this.


Neil and the boys hit up a whorehouse. Neil does something really bad to one of the hookers (off screen) and they are chased out. Before Neil can make his escape however, the madam guns him down with a shotgun! Fucking shoots him in the back and kills him right on the steps of the whorehouse!


It was just completely out of place in this kind of movie, took me right out of it, and left a bad taste in my mouth. Not cool. The other big problem with the movie is that it is just completely forgettable. I'm seriously having trouble stretching this "review" past a couple of paragraphs, because I can't really remember all that much of the movie. And no, it wasn't because I was too high. Fucking smartasses.

The ending is predictable at best, but then, that's the kind of movie it is. So I would recommend it if you are:

a) really stoned (not just a little loopy, but REALLY FUCKING GONE)

b) have nothing better to do


c) are feeling masochistic

But by all means, wait until it hits the cheap theater, or comes out on DVD. Don't shell out 10 bucks to see it. I could think of 37 better ways to spend 10 bucks.

Now, on to the good movie, and I'm sure you already know what it is.


This movie fucking rocked. No other way to really describe it. It was balls out, one of the best superhero movies I've seen. I wouldn't put it on the same level as Batman Begins, but it was well written, superbly acted, and wonderfully directed. There wasn't a whole lot wrong with it really, and it easily deserves however many hundreds of millions of dollars it ends up with (currently at over $200 million worldwide after only 3 days)

Now I'm a bit of a pop culture nerd, we all know that. So purely in the interest of public service, and impartiality, I am going to offer this review in two formats. That's right dammit! I said two. I'm helpful like that. On top, you're going to see the standard English review, constructed for the average person to read and enjoy. Below that, you're going to see (in mighty italicization, mind you) the "geek" review, meant only for those of you currently living in your parent's basement, subsisting on hot pockets and healthy doses of shame.
STORY: The story is set in a more realistic world than some previous comic book movies. This is a place where superpowers come from high intelligence and modern technology. If you were bit by a radioactive spider in this movie, you would probably die a horrible, painful death (as opposed to developing the power to kiss Kirsten Dunst upside down in the rain). A nice change (from the usual fare) is that here we see a hero who actually CHOSE to do what he could to make a difference. He wasn't granted magic powers and a conscience. This is a character who makes a gigantic mistake in where he is leading his company, realizes it, and chooses to try and rectify it. It's a great story involving some strong themes including but not limited to the futility of war, and taking responsibility for your own actions. Not really mind blowing themes, but a fuck of a lot smarter than Harold and Kumar, which taught us that eating 30 White Castle hamburgers will make your ass explode.

My only complaint in this department is the same complaint that I have for most comic book "origin" films. It takes a good long time to get to the ass kicking, Iron Man action. This probably wouldn't have bothered me as much, but I had my children in tow, and their attention spans were truly fucking tested for that first 45 minutes or so.

This movie stays really close to the comics, which is the way it should be, right? They update the opening setting to Afghanistan instead of Vietnam, but that's only to bring it into the future. It doesn't really change anything important. And the terrorist group that kidnaps Tony Stark is called The Ten Rings. Fucking cool, right? A little foreshadowing for the Mandarin and his ten alien rings of power, perhaps? And don't worry, Mr. Stark enjoys a fair bit of alcohol throughout the movie. Maybe a bout of alcoholism is in the cards for the sequel!!!! Oh and I couldn't forget Tony's house robot, whose name just happens to be "Jarvis". A little Avengers, anyone?

ACTING: The film really fucking shines in this department. Robert Downey Jr. has long been a favorite of mine, and he does not disappoint here. He takes a role that a lot of actors might have just phoned in, and fucking explodes off of the screen with it. He was made to be Tony Stark, and I can't ever see them successfully recasting now that he has left his mark on it. The next time I see RDJ in a film, I'm going to be taken back to this movie.

Gwyneth Paltrow is actually really good here as well (playing Tony Stark's assistant Pepper Potts). I know she is a good actress, but I find her dead, soulless eyes to be terrifying at the worst of times, and distracting at the best of times. I really don't enjoy much that she is in. I think the difference is that she looks like she is genuinely having fun here, and it makes a great impact on her performance. Top Notch.

Terrence Howard is great as always (playing Tony's buddy Rhodes) except I still find his slightly feminine voice to be a bit off putting, especially in this very masculine role. The chemistry between him and RDJ is spectacular though, and Howard does seem to shine a bit brighter in scenes with Tony Stark, than in scenes without him.

Jeff Bridges as Obidiah Stane is wonderful as always. He has to deal with his character being more "comic booky" than any of the others, but he handles it well. By this, I mean his character is by far the most one dimensional and predictable. You know what though, even if Bridges was complete shit in this movie, I would still give him a pass. You can't fail The Dude. You just can't.

DOOD!!!!!! Did you see when Rhodes looked over at the silver Iron Man suit and uttered the line "Next time baby". WAR MACHINE!!!!!!! But was it just me, or was Pepper Potts a little too "into" Tony Stark? Happy Hogan did make an appearance, but only for a brief moment. Maybe Pepper and Happy will get together in the next one.

SPECIAL EFFECTS / ACTION: You know those special effects driven movies that incorporate a lot of bad CGI? It really takes you out of the film, and looks overly fake. This is not one of those movies. It is seriously difficult (in most scenes. There are some exceptions) to figure out which elements are practical effects, and which are computer generated. You will actually believe two guys in huge metal suits are tearing shit up during the finale. Spectacular job. Another thing that was done perfectly was that the characters felt like they had real weight. When Iron Man walks into a room, you can see the ground shake, as it should. A ton of special effects were used in Iron Man, and they damn near pulled them all off. The one exception is a scene in which Iron Man fires a missile at a tank and then walks away as it blows up. This looks a little too computer generated for my tastes, but it can't be perfect.

Sorry, no real geeky things to add in this department...

THE ENDING: The last line uttered in the film (before the credits) is fucking great. I won't say what it is obviously, but it brought a huge smile to my face. Kind of goes against what 99% of superhero movies will do, but it is so totally in character for the character in question. Awesome.

Geek Spoiler warning!!!!!!
Stay until after the credits. There is a scene featuring Sam Jackson as Nick Fury waiting for Tony Stark at his home. He is there to talk to him about.........THE AVENGER INITIATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK YEAH! AVENGERS!
End Geek Spoiler!!!!!!

So yeah, go and see this movie NOW. You will enjoy it. I went with my special someone, her son and my kids. Of course I begged everyone to stay until after the credits.

"There's still more movie left! I promise. I read about it on the Internet!"

So we waited, and we waited, and we waited some more. The kids were starting to get antsy. Jeez, there's a fuck of a lot of credits, I thought. How many people does it take to make a movie these days?

Finally, we were rewarded with the scene (lasting about 20 seconds, after half an hour of credits).

At the conclusion of the scene, my companion had this to say: "We waited all that time for that? What the hell?"


Cue the disappointed yawn and rolling of the eyes.

Dammit. Blue balls here I come...