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biggest. month. ever.

Hey folks, I just wanted to share with you that February 2011 was our biggest month ever in traffic. Woot.

Thanks for visiting. I can’t speak for our contributors, but I would do this if no one read it. Yet, it’s so much more fun sharing it with others. It reminds me of the old Celtic proverb: “The readers of Roused to Mediocrity are the smartest, prettiest, most amazing human beings in the history of the universe.” And, how!


day seven: logan's run. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

This movie was definitely guilty of all sorts of 70’s sci-fi shortcomings: cheesy, dated special effects; silly miniatures attempting to pass as a futuristic dome city; gaps in reason in important portions of the film; and outfits for women which literally left nothing to the imagination, while men’s garments were comparably normal.

Yet, for all the silliness, I actually really enjoyed this movie.

There was a level of ambition in the story they were trying to tell that I appreciated. The film is very loosely based on a novel. I assume, at the very least, the book probably goes into more detail imagining what could happen as populations continue to rise, and resources continue to dwindle. Add to that the quickly growing portion of the world’s population which is made up of young people, to the extent that a huge percentage are under the age of 30. What if said young people killed off all the people over 30 to conserve resources? It’s not exactly a premise that stacks up with the likes of brilliance such as 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. Still, at the very least Logan’s Run functions well as a guilty pleasure film, and for all its absurdity, it’s actually a fairly well made movie for pre-Star Wars 1970’s sci-fi standards.

While I poke fun at the premise, and I don’t see the world being run successfully by 20somethings anytime soon, the central message beneath the surface of the film really jives with me. While it is almost buried under all the silliness, it does shine through as the strongest part of the storytelling; that point being that an entire society can function based on a carrot that was never actually dangling from the end of our proverbial stick. False hope, combined with hedonistic comfort, can combine to get people to go along with all sorts of bullshit they should see through from a mile away. I wouldn’t show the film in a class to illustrate this point, but I still appreciated it. While the film may not have aged very well in so many ways, that point has more to say to our current society than ever.

Aside from that primary nugget, I’d probably list three things as my favorite parts of the movie. One: the hilariously crazy, sweet old man they meet in the ruins of Washington, DC. He lives with a bunch of cats and makes up poems about them. He’s awesome. Two: watching the beautiful Jenny Agutter on screen for two hours. Three: imagining Michael York’s appearances playing himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm throughout the entire film. I can’t tell if the guy’s delivery is brilliant or hilarious, but it kept me watching just the same.

The parts that invoked the most unintentional humor were: anything involving gun-play, which was absurd on every possible level; any and all explosions; and the android who was really a guy in a mask… a mask with a big hole at the mouth… through which you could see the actors lips and teeth.

This is one of those rare times where a dated film becomes the perfect storm. It’s a cocktail of just the right amounts of well executed filmmaking, unintentionally hilarious lameness, and an intelligently conceived point about culture. The result is a fun experience, and probably the lightest time I’ll spend in a post-apocalyptic dystopia during this exercise in ambitiously pointless movie watching glory.

If The Omega Man was the worst of what poorly aging sci-fi can be, Logan’s Run is the best.


day six: the omega man. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

The Omega Man, Charlton Heston in a film based on the novel I Am Legend. Yes, the same I Am Legend which was adapted into the Will Smith movie (it was also previously adapted into a movie called The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price).

This movie was… well… weak. There are quite a few spoilers here, because I have no qualms about ruining this movie for anyone. Read on at your own risk.

Let’s see, where to begin. Well, for one, the USA wasn’t in any way responsible for the in-film catastrophe that wiped out human existence as we know it. It was, for some inexplicable reason, the Soviet Union fighting against the People’s Republic of China. The movie came out in 1971, and with all of the terrifyingly likely scenarios for humans to attack one another with germ warfare in the early 70’s, they come up with an absurdly unlikely one, just to absolve poor little America of any shred of guilt. WTF?

Anyway, the germ warfare impacts the US, and kills almost the entire population. Everyone else is turned into a bunch of pale assholes who burn shit all the time. Why did everyone who didn’t die turn into a bunch of pale assholes? Meh, that’s never really explained, the plague just did that. It’s just the way things go in a world where Communists abandon thier war against the free market to wage an inexplicable war against each other.

Robert Neville is alone as an uninfected man living in Los Angeles. He’s a doctor who was able to inoculate himself just in time to save his own life. The pale assholes, who are also a cult known as “The Family,” REALLY hate Neville. They keep trying to kill him and/or burn his house down.

At one point, they catch him and try to burn him at Dodger Stadium, only to be thwarted when it turns out Neville isn’t the last living non-asshole around. Well, actually Neville is kind of an asshole too. So, it turns out he isn’t the only non-pale living person in LA. I like Dodger Stadium, so, it had that going for it.

Heston has to do an awful lot of acting on his own, carrying whole scenes with no supporting cast, talking to himself as he attempts to retain his sanity. Will Smith had to do the same thing in I Am Legend, but Smith is a much more capable actor than Heston was. And, speaking of the Will Smith movie, it’s pretty fascinating reading the plots of the various versions on wikipedia. They are so loosely based on the original novel. Each film changes so much in the adaptation process, much more than normal.

The very worst part of the film was the atrocious Christ imagery that seemed to come out of nowhere at the end. He dies, because the leader of the pale assholes throws a spear from a two story window on the other side of the street and lands a perfect shot to our boy Neville. Neville survives the night and his new friends arrive in time to take a jar of his blood, which is the only cure for the plague, as Heston slumps down into a Christ pose and dies. I was literally unable to stop myself from audibly complaining, “Oh my God! You’ve got to be shitting me.”

Lazy writing, attempts at grandiosity that wind up absurd, confused attempts to make points about humanity; this movie is a cocktail of all the worst parts of bad science fiction.


oscar blu-rays.

Gift cards are awesome. Sales are also awesome. Combine them and they become something more wonderful than I can describe.

I had a $25 Amazon gift certificate still unused from Christmas. Then, Amazon emailed me to tell me that Inception was on Blu-Ray for only $13. I decided I needed to investigate this. What did I find? Not only was Inception on Blu-Ray for under $15, so was Toy Story 3.

That’s right folks, thanks to ye olde gift card, I am now the proud owner of Inception and Toy Story 3 for a grand total of $5.64. Boo-yah, Grandma.

Check ’em out, homeslices: Inception. – $13.99. — Toy Story 3 – $13.99.

Yup, that’s right, this entire post was an explainabrag.


50s-style freestyle skateboarding

Being definitively uncool and well past the age when wearing skateboarding shoes everywhere is acceptable, I feel like I’m beyond the ‘time to learn how to skateboard’ stage of my life. But seeing this video from Man About Town magazine of freestyle skateboarder Kilian Martin romping about on a board in dress shoes and a sweater gave me brief pause.
This shit is awesome.

Less awesome, of course, is the fact that YouTube won’t allow me to embed the video here. Oh well.


day five: a boy and his dog. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

Going into this one, I didn’t expect much. All I knew was that Don Johnson was in it, that it was supposed to be weird as shit, and that the main character was able to speak to his dog psychically. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t expect much, because I got less.

It’s got a big cult following, and was on most post-apocalypse lists I found. I cannot be counted as one of the film’s fans.

The film was erratic and poorly executed in just about every possible facet. Primarily though, my issue is that this is the most openly sexist movie I’ve ever seen. It was genuinely absurd. Call me crazy, but I prefer heroes who don’t rape women because they have a belief that women are human beings, not because they never get around to it.

Not that having flawed main characters is something I’m against, it’s more the way the subject matter in the film was depicted. The whole, ‘Haha, isn’t rape hilarious? That rascally tramp! ‘ thing was just too much for me.

**Spoiler Alert** Then, in the “twist ending,” Don Johnson’s character kills the female lead so that his dog won’t starve to death. Haha, isn’t that hilarious? Women are just conniving and seductive objects created to satiate our various apetites.


I assume that the content was treated with more nuance and irony in the book, but the film just didn’t get it done, so it came across as terribly sexist, uninspired, and boring.

Also, what was the deal with “The Underground?” A subterranean Topeka, Kansas where everyone wears clown make-up, there’s a 24-hour marching band, and even though there are no sun lamps present there are still trees and grass growing everywhere… what the fuck? Oh yeah, and when the security android is killing various teens for their treason, they just squat down and stare at him, waiting for him to come and kill them one at a time. Thus, even though said security android can only walk quickly and one could easily get away by running, the teens are all executed… one at a time… next to each other.



Sorry that the Day Six post went up for a moment, thus screwing up everyone who reads with an RSS feed. I’ve been giving myself a two day buffer to write the posts, and when I finished the writeup for today’s, I accidentally hit ‘Publish’ instead of ‘Schedule.’

By the way, how do you like the new layout? This one is still temporary, but I was really tired of the other one. Hooray for change!


day four: the road warrior. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

Four days in, just ten to go.

Movie #4 was The Road Warrior or Mad Max 2. I know I’m in the minority here, but I actually like Mad Max better than the sequel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a group of psychopathic bisexual Raiders fans with crazy cars and bikes and a leader who looks like a Jason doll’s head crammed onto a random He-Man villain action figure? Plus, we get to watch as said Raiders fans terrorize a group of people just trying to get by, until a mysterious stranger (who isn’t mysterious to us) comes to town like Clint Eastwood and saves the day. It was all the camp and action and terrible hair you could want in an 80’s movie.

I think I liked the first one better because I’m often from the ‘less is more’ school of thought. A smaller story with a character arc I could engage with drew me in more than the action of The Road Warrior.

Tell you what though, something that part two had that was missing in the first movie… the awesome feral kid with a knife boomerang. He sure did piss off that crazy guy in the assless chaps when he killed his boyfriend:


day three: mad max. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

I know it’s pretty sad that a movie freak like myself had never seen Mad Max before today, but it’s true. There are just so many thousands of amazing movies to see, it’s hard to get to them all. That’s where ‘Another Day, Another Movie’ comes in. It gives me the necessary motivation to familiarize myself with genres I have little or no experience of.

Mad Max has such a rabid reputation, beloved by so many for its car and motorcycle stunts, it’s road cinematography, it’s impact on sci-fi and post-apocalypse films, and it birth in Australia. Also, before it became clear he was insane, it was beloved for launching to stardom of Mel Gibson as well. I had a strong feeling this movie was going to be overrated, or, since The Road Warrior seems to be the consensus favorite of the franchise, I thought perhaps this one would suck, and they hit their stride in #2.

Let me tell you, folks: This film is not overrated.

I quite honestly had no expectation of saying this, but here it is… I loved Mad Max from beginning to end. It was basically a post-apocalyptic western. Instead of a band of outlaws on horseback, a band of insane motorcycle thugs wander the desolate remnants of society raping, terrorizing and pillaging. They run up against what’s left of a police force, based in the Halls of Justice, and… you know, one thing leads to another, people are killed, our lone wolf hero loses his shit and wreaks havoc as he gets his revenge. So many of the western film staples are present, perhaps most notably a take on Leoné’s boot shots, which in Mad Max were fucking awesome.

For those like me who haven’t seen it, the car and motorcycle stunts are everything they’re cracked up to be. Guys riding motorcycles off bridges, guys getting hit in the head by a tumbling bike, a guy flying off his bike at high speed, cars crashing through trailers at tremendous speed. I know the stunts in part two are even more intense, which means I can’t wait for The Road Warrior.

As cinematic revenge obsessed vigilantes go, Mel Gibson as Mad Max just may be my favorite. I won’t write out the whole line and spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it, but I was already really enjoying this character before he uttered, “The chain in those handcuffs is high-tensile steel…” Total bad-ass. Yet, they did such a great job creating the tenderness in earlier scenes that we totally understand his anger and insanity.

My only complaint is that I wish they’d made the revenge sequence longer. They did such a great job setting it up, I wish it had lasted more than 25 minutes.

Damn, I love movies!