Archive for the 2000’s Category

My Tribute to Sony’s wonderful Playstation 2.

Posted in 1990's, 2000's, Dreamcast (Long Live the...!), N64, PS2, PS3, Sony, Video Game with tags , on February 21, 2013 by Divide By Zero

What can I say about the Sony Playstation 2 (PS2)?  In my mind it’s the one of the greatest systems out there.  It had almost a 13 year run, and was sadly discontinued on January 7th of this year.  You can’t really say anything bad about a console that grew to the age of most 8th graders in a world where technology becomes obsolete in [right around] 6 months.

Although I do think it’s funny that all of the other discontinuation articles or blogs I’ve read say something to the affect of: “So long PS2!  Sony’s most popular console is officially off the market.”  Really?  Of course it’s the most popular console; it’s only been out for 13 years.  Before that was the Playstation 1 (PS1).  That wasn’t a terrible console, but it was up against some heavy competition from the two titans of the industry at the time.

Released in late 1995, the PS1 hit the scene.  Immediately it was in competition with the Super Nintendo until 1996, (when the Nintendo 64 came out) and the Sega Genesis.  A lot of parents were weary about buying their kids a PS1 for the same reason why they were skeptical about the original XBOX when it first came out.  It was a produced by a “new” company, with no established credibility in the video game industry.  I’m sure next to no one knew this back in 1995/96, but the only other console that Sony had ever produced was a CD based model actually financed by Nintendo.  It was a flop for a lot of reasons.  But more power to the people at Sony for taking what they learned from Nintendo and venturing out on their own to become one of Nintendo’s biggest competitors.  Who would have ever thought that would happen?

Anyways, back to the guts of what I was saying… Being right about 10 years old at the time, me and most of my friends had either a Genesis, or a SNES.  I didn’t get a PS1 until a few years later in 1999, around the same time the Sega Dreamcast came out.  I remember that Christmas!  I was actually more of a Sega fan during my youth, and needless to say, wanted a Dreamcast more than anything else in the world.  Looking back on it now, how could anyone NOT pick the Dreamcast over other systems?  Do you remember the commercials?

I guess I was more of a visually influenced person.  Or maybe I was just showing loyalty to the company that gave me my awesome Genesis.  Or maybe I was just a dumb kid.  Who knows?  But I was sucked in by the commercials, the posters that came in magazines or in the mail, and the displays they had in the stores.  What about the boxes the consoles came in?  Remember the boxes?  Give me a little color, please:

Nice and colorful.  Something kids would want, right?

Nice and colorful. Something kids would want, right?

Wrong.  Everyone took the "ninja-box" for granted.  Or a lot of us did.  Ok, maybe it was just me.

Wrong. Everyone took the “ninja-box” for granted. Or a lot of us did. Ok, maybe it was just me.

In either case, the PS2 ultimately won without even breaking a sweat.  The Dreamcast’s lifespan lasted a measly few years.  About 2 or 3.  I’m not even going to look it up—that’s how short it was.  While the PS2 continued its reign for that PLUS a decade.  And it’s still a console that begs to be played.  I still have mine sitting right next to my PS3, and honestly, lately, it’s been getting more use than the PS3.

Also, according to wikipedia and a few other articles, Sony has stated that there are 10,828 titles available for the PS2.  That is an enormous number, considering it took the entire lifespan of the NES to amass around 900 titles in its library.  But what else can you expect from the PS2, which is a system that brought about the success of companies like Rockstar Games and EA (Sports division) almost single-handedly.  It also made popular the Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero franchises.  To this day, I can’t go to a family gathering without there being a Guitar Hero competition, and I dare you to walk into an arcade –any good, respectable arcade– without there being at least 2 DDR platforms.

All that parental fear of Sony went away with the release of the PS2.  I remember fondly when it came out.  Five days before Halloween in the year 2000.  The world was still talking about Y2K and people were still exclaiming about how “We (as a society) overcame the biggest could-be technological poop-storm in the world!” –To date, anyway.  Within 24 hours of the PS2’s release in Japan, it sold a million units.  It was the main reason why the Dreamcast’s release date was delayed 2 or 3 times (15 year old me got an ulcer every time I heard the date got pushed back).  AND it caused Nintendo to completely tear down and rewrite their policy considering 3rd party software developers.  Nintendo, pre-PS2, wanted to be the only company making software for its consoles, with a few exceptions.  Post-PS2 Nintendo actually encouraged 3rd party development and expanded its horizon farther than what it thought was possible.

For me, that was the turning point.  After the PS2 made itself known and told the world it wasn’t going anywhere; that was the point where Nintendo was dethroned as ruler of the world.  Remember those days?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6NhfRFSaFo

Yes, in those days, Nintendo controlled everything!

I could go on and on about the PS2.  I’m sad it’s gone, it had a good run.  Sony implemented a lot of innovations on the PS2 over the years (the games, the console itself, the controllers, networking capability) that it’s still using and improving on.  Look at a Dualshock 2 and a Dualshock 3 controller and tell me what the differences are.  OK, one is wireless, you got me.  Other than that?

In closing, thank you Sony for the Playstation 2.  It had a great run, and I look forward to playing it for years to come (plus now is the time to hit up the flea markets, yardsales, ebay, whatever because the price has gone way down on everything!).  Rest in Peace PS2.

I better cut it here before I keep, uh… whatever the writing equivalent of “rambling” is.  I just wanted to use this as an opportunity to let my fans and readers know that I am back from hiatus, and will be continuing to add to this site as often as I can.  Thank you for coming back to my blog, and I hope to have a lot of more good stuff out for you in the coming weeks.  Comment, share, subscribe, whatever… just keep reading!

–The Jester.

*All images were found by using Google Image Search and are property of their respective owners.*

*All videos were obtained through YouTube search and are property of their respective owners.*

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Nerdy Monday 22: EuroTrip (2004)

Posted in 2000's, Alcohol Involved, Modern, movies, Nerdy Monday on April 6, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Did you finish your homework?  I hope you did, otherwise I’m about to make a bunch of really funny things, less funny by telling them to you second-hand.  It is my conjecture that EuroTrip, which I will [obviously] get more into detail about, in a minute, might be the funniest movie… possibly of all time.  Here are 12 reasons why:

#12.  Burt, the younger brother.


Ever at the ready with his video camera, or the record button, this weirdly funny little brat has quips at the right moments, witty remarks, and just the right combination of cockyness/intelligence/attitude to make him one of the most underrated characters of all time.  I think he had less than 5 minutes of actual screen time, and there weren’t even any cut scenes with him in the bonus features of my DVD.  BUT[!]  if it weren’t for that little bastard going through his big brother –Scotty’s– e-mail, there would have been no reason for the whole movie to happen.  Burt is the one who pointed out to Scotty that his German pen-pal was actually female.. and a very attractive one at that.  Thus; no Burt, no movie.  It’s sad in a way, really.

11.  Matt Damon as an extra

Matt Damon, the only A-lister to be in this movie, and he gets about 30 seconds of screen time total.  It’s pretty cool to see all these other talented yet unknown actors upstage Good Will Hunting.  Mr. Damon plays sort of a pivotal role in the film as he is credited with being the guy Scotty’s girlfriend (pictured above with Damon) cheated on him with.  I don’t know why Scotty, the main character got so upset.  There are tons of girls out there that qould leave their boyfriend/fiance/husband/baby’s daddy for Matt Damon.  Damon also is credited (on screen) with coming up with one of the jokes that carries throughout the entire movie, which is…

10.  Scotty Doesn’t Know (song title)

I should mention here that when this movie was brand new, before iTunes was popular or anything, I went out and bought the entire soundtrack to this movie on CD.  It was just that good.  But there is one catch to that, the song Scotty Doesn’t Know was by far the most popular song on there, and everyone in my high-school knew all the words to it.  It would play at parties, school events, study-sessions, or any other place that warranted music in the background.  It was (and is) just an awesome song that is very, very catchy.  Whoever wrote that for the movie deserves a Grammy.  Or an Oscar for best music in the history of ever.

9.  “Mike”

She’s really the entire reason for the movie altogether.  Her name is pronounced “Mee-Kah”.  Not Mike.  Even though it’s spelled “Mike”.  Man, Germans are weird.  The only disturbing part of her is that there is an incestuous reference between her and her cousin Jan–That’s a guys name–at one point, but it ends up being a day-nightmare (daymare?) imagined by Scotty while he’s on his way to see her.  I didn’t catch that until about the 14th time I watched it, and I wish I never had realized it.
8.  The Hitler Boy

I can’t even explain this one to you.  Supposedly this is Mike’s little brother, and he’s in the background doing… Hitler stuff.  Hilarious.  Let’s watch!

Everything they were talking about in that scene had everything to do with the plot, but no one in the movie theatre I saw this movie at heard it… we were all too busy laughing so hard we were crying.  Good stuff.

7.  The Infamous Robot Fight

I’m pretty sure for most of the people out there reading this, if you hadn’t seen the movie, you’ve already seen this scene.  It’s been floating around Youtube since Youtube was invented.  I know I’ve received it in a few chain e-mails.  But it’s worth multiple viewings:

Best.  Robot.  Fight scene.  EVER!!!!1

6.  Michelle Trachtenberg

Remember her?

Some of the younger kids out there solely know her from this movie.  Others remember her when she starred alongside Rosie O’Donnell in the Nickelodeon film Harriet the Spy. That’s right, she was Harriet, and she was a spy.  She was also Nona F. Mecklenberg in the insanely popular Nickelodeon kids show The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Side note: she’s hott.  She’s funny, she’s pretty, and she does a great job in this movie.  Not to mention she is one of the reasons why everything gets wrapped up by the end of it, ensuring us that we won’t be disappointed by a sequel to this awesomtacular movie.  That’s right, I had to make up a word to describe it.

5.  The Creepy Foreign guy on the Train.

That guy, to me, is more terrifying than any of the foreign dudes in the Hostel movies.  I would hate to be touched the way he touches people.  It makes my skin crawl.  None the less, he played a randomly funny role in EuroTrip.  Just when you think there are no more hi-jinks or shenanigans that can happen to this rag-tag bunch of American travelers.  One of them almost gets molested on the train in every tunnel they go through.  By this guy.  Look at him.  That’s a rapists mustache if I’ve ever seen one.

4.  “Worst Twins Ever”.

Another running joke in this movie is the fact that these twins don’t know a whole lot about each other, are completely different, and just overall… are the worst twins ever.  At the beginning of the movie, they’re all at a graduation party, and the guy (Jamie) get’s the girl (Jenny) a Gin & Tonic.  To which Jenny replies: “Why did you get me a Gin & Tonic?  I hate gin.”  A few other things happen throughout the movie, and they end up getting drunk at a bar towards the end and making out with one another by mistake.  Worst twins ever?  I’d say they’re high in the running for it.

3.  The David Hasselhoff Cameo.

For some reason, David Hasselhoff is famous all over the world for more than just Baywatch and Knight Rider.  Did you know that he has more than 5,000 hours of screen time for his entire career?  That’s ridiculous.  Also, the Germans especially love him for his musical ability.  And randomly, as Scotty is daydreaming about his German pen-pal Mike, a German song appears in his fantasy.  And it’s sung by The Hoff.  Look at the picture, that’s him in the upper right hand corner, in the little thought bubble.  Is there nothing that man can’t do?

2.  Club Vandersexxxxxx.

There’s really nothing I can say about this scene.  You just have to watch it, and as much as I’d like to put the clip up here on my site, I think it’s a little more risque than what I want to have associated with this site.  Get the movie, rent it if you have to, or netflix it, either way you won’t be disappointed when this scene rolls around.  Also, Lucy Lawless plays the Madam of a brothel.  For the younger readers out there, she was Xena: Warrior Princess.

1.  Vinnie Jones!

People overseas will know this man.  Most Americans don’t.  Let me show you:

...Would YOU mess with him?

Most Americans know him as the main “soccer hooligan” from EuroTrip, or the skinhead from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, or the skinhead from Snatch, or the British guy from any of a number of movies.  But I want everyone to know that before he was an actor, he was a futbol player.  Exhibit Awesome:

I could write an entire post on just this one picture.  There’s Vinnie Jones, about to insert a flying kick straight to the other guys face the moment he lands.  This is also a charity game by the way.  Read that again.  This is a CHARITY game, and Mr. Jones up there is playing for keeps!  A friend of mine who is a former Londoner, told me that Vinnie Jones used to work for the British Underground [Similar to the Mafia in America].  He actually helped re-write the scripts to the movies he was in.  Remember when he was slamming that one fat guys head in a car door?  He’s done it for real.  My friend told me also, that there was an interview on TV a few years back of another player in the national futbol league.  During which, he explained that the most intimidating player in the entire league was our own Vinnie Jones.  During the interview he said the first time he had ever met Mr. Jones, his team was about to do a corner kick, and Vinnie faced him and said: “If you even move towards that futbol, I will break your fucking legs.”  So the guy…. quite obviously…. turned into a statue, and went on to further explain: “If he told me to pick it up and put it in my own net, I would have!”  This dude rocks.  He rocks at life, and he rocks at movies, especially this movie.  He is also another reason why EuroTrip gets all wrapped up at the end.  You have to just watch it.  Just go ahead and watch it if you haven’t already!  Haven’t I given you enough reasons to?

 

See you anywhere but pissing off Vinnie Jones.

The Jester.

Nerdy Monday 21: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Posted in 1980's, 2000's, Modern, movies, Nerdy Monday, Robots, Transformers on March 8, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Ok, so there are some (or a lot) of people out there that don’t enjoy Michael Bay’s sequel to his own Transformers installment.  I don’t understand why!

Have you seen it? It was only, awesome.

I don’t know why people have become so jaded by watching movies.  This film not only brought back a lot of the elements set up in the first film, grazed upon some of the characteristics of the old T.V. show/comic books, but added to the storyline.  The same way Batman Begins added to the Batman storyline.

It’s easy to point out the bad things about a film that changes what we know and love from our childhood, but let’s look at some of the good things:

  • Devistator.  The ginormous Constructicon (that’s nerd lingo for more than one Transformer combining to make one Autonomous Robot) at the end of the movie built on the old Constructicons.  Back in the 1980’s it blew our mind when there were 2 trucks, or a truck and a helicopter or 2 of whatever transformed to combine one big robot.  Remember that on Saturday mornings?  TWO OF THEM!?  WHAAAAAAT????!!1 *KABLOOEY* that’s when our heads exploded all over the T.V. screen.  And Devistator… what were there about a dozen (?) or so different pieces of construction equipment that formed him?  People thought that was “too unrealistic” to be in the movie.  Are.  You.  Serious?  Like Optimus Prime doing his thing is really going to happen, but Devistator… that’s WAY too far fetched.  Dorks.

It took a team of Cal Tech doctors and one surgeon on acid to engineer this toy.

  • Soundwave.  How awesome did he look when he was connecting to that satellite in outer-freakin’-space?!  The only complaint I have about Soundwave is that I don’t think he got enough screen time.  But the point is Soundwave used to be a cassette recorder.. now he’s hooking into government satellites and intercepting intel from all over the world.  That’s something new and fresh that probably wasn’t even conceivable back when we were watching Ravage come out of Soundwave’s chest as a cassette tape.  C’mon now!

Definitely not what we grew up with.

  • Sector 7.  I’m not sure about this one, but I’m pretty sure that Secotr 7 made it’s debut in Transformers (2007).  John Turturro’s character as one of the S7 agents was a little eccentric and was the main source of comic relief in that movie.  I am very glad that his character was brough back in Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF).  I know a lot of people were disappointed at that, but why?  He gave a lot of relevant information to the plot AND added the some comic relief to ROTF.  I’ve even heard rumors that Michael Bay has done away with this character.  A big pee-soaked thank you goes out to all of you fair weather Transformers fans who have nothing to do but complain.  You non-appreciative disappointment-bags!

He means business. Funny business.

  • Sam Witwicky containing all the knowledge of the All Spark.  In all my extensive research (read: about 5 minutes of Googling) I haven’t come across this happening before ROTF.  I think it was a cool twist.  A lot of people didn’t agree with this concept, but think about how much sense it makes.  Anyone who has had a high school science class SHOULD know that energy can never be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms.  Since the All Spark is “pure energy” as mentioned countless times throughout all forms of the Transformers, it can’t be destroyed, right?  Therefore, since Sam had so much physical contact with the All Spark in the 2007 movie.. as well as being the one that pushed it into Megatron’s chest to “destroy” it… the energy contained really had nowhere else to go but into Sam.  Not so far fetched now, is it, critics?

This kid holds all the information and energy of the universe. He looks like it, doesn't he?

Those are the main arguments I’ve read on the internet and heard from other movie goers.  There are dozens more, but I really don’t have the energy to go through everything.. this article would be 50 pages long.

The bottom line is that Transformers (2007) was a huge accomplishment in the Transformers Franchise.  Therefore ROTF had some pretty big shoes to fill.  I’m not saying that ROTF was better than the 2007 movie.  Nor am I saying it was better than the old show, or the comics.  But I tell you what, it wasn’t WORSE!  And with all of that “disappointment” ROTF was surrounded by, let’s look at the other movies that came out the same month ROTF was released:

  • Land of the Lost
  • My Life in Ruins
  • Tennessee
  • Imagine That
  • The Taking of Pelham 123
  • The Proposal
  • Year One
  • My Sister’s Keeper

Is anyone talking about those movies anymore?  Look on your DVD shelf, do you own any of these movies?  Who was even IN those movies?  Of all the movies on that list, I’ve only seen one.  One single movie: Pelham 123.  It was okay.  It didn’t hold a candle to “Michael Bay’s excretion called ‘ROTF'” though.

All in all, I can’t wait for the next installment to be released.  I can’t wait to see what else Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise adds to the storyline.

Quit whining about all the things that “don’t add up” in a movie, and appreciate it for what it is.

Pictured: most of the people complaining about ROTF.

See you at the concession stand.

The Jester.

 

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.*

Top 10 Tuesdays 14: For Them Sick People Out There

Posted in 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, Dreamcast (Long Live the...!), Modern, N64, NES, PS2, Retro, Top 10 Tuesdays, Transformers on February 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

It’s that time of year again.  Everyone at my day job either has been or is now sick.  Same thing goes for the people at my night job, my weekend job, everyone I tutor, and everyone I meet.  Except for me, of course.  My immune system is one of the parts of my body that is actually more awesome than I am.

Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to give you some suggestions as to how to spend the time off you’re inevitably going to take at the slightest tickle in your throat.  Therefore, let’s get right down to brass tax with:

The Top 10 Video Games To Play When You’re Sick

#10.  Virtua Cop  (Sega Saturn)


You’re already in a crappy mood.  You may as well try and play a crappy game on a crappy system.  Playing this game with a normal controller is horrible, and I’m guessing playing with a light gun controller isn’t very much better.  And finding a plot in this game is harder than finding a pulse a palm tree.  But it’s worth checking out.  And I think I got my copy for $1.00 including shipping.

#9.  Bubsy II  (Sega Genesis)


This is a silly, childish, “feel-good” kind of game that most people would consider a “kiddy-game” but it’s still awesome.  I could go on for pages and pages about all the different quirky little things involved with this game that are enjoyable.  But I don’t have time, because this is just a top 10 list.  Consider this one chicken soup for your video game itch.

#8.  Aladdin  (Sega Genesis)


My mom used to really get into this game, so i don’t know how well this one will work for everyone, but for me it’s a comfort game.  So if you miss your mommy, or she isn’t there for one reason or another, to take care of you, this is the game to play.

#7.  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen  (PS2)


There is never a bad time to play this game.  Optimus Prime’s butt-kicking ability mixed with the other characters special moves that you get to play will have you feeling like you can take on the world again in no time!  Definitely worth checking out.. I think I paid about $6.00 for my copy, and it is well worth the investment!

#6.  Mario 64  (N64)


This is a great overall game that used to take weeks out of our respective schedules to beat.  Now you can get it done if you can manage to get 2, possibly 3 days off from work/school.  Plus it’s good to play this game to the point where you can beat it, if only to have it under your belt.

#5.  Speed Devils  (DC)


You can definitely beat this game if you aren’t sick enough to get more than one day off.  There’s a glitch you can use that will help you out.  The most expensive car is $200,000.  The one next to it in the showroom is $20,000.  Once you save up the 20 grand, look at the car that you can afford with it, then if you switch to the $200,000 car (I think it’s called the Mystere) and hit “A” to purchase it as quickly as possible before the new price shows up on the screen.  If you do it correctly, you buy the $200,000 car for 1/10th the price.  It’s also the fastest car that will ensure you win every race.  Check it out.  With or without the glitch it’s a fun and enjoyable game to play.  I think the Dreamcast in general is that way, and they all are very cheap, and as I’ve mentioned before, the games are practically free.  So considering what you pay for ir, the Dreamcast will probably give any collector the most bang for their buck.

#4.  Kid Chameleon  (Sega Genesis)


This is a really great game.  I think it’s one of the hidden gems in the Sega library.  It’s kind of tricky, and just a little bit weird.  I forget what the plot is, but there is one there.  They call him Kid Chameleon because you can run around and get different suits that change you into different things.  There’s one that turns you into Jason (from the Friday the 13th  movie franchise), there’s a Samurai suit, and my favorite (which you don’t get until about the 6th level) suit that turns you into a tank.  There’s 35 (?) I think different suits in all and there are about 5 different suits in each level.  It’s fun running around and just seeing what the suits can do.  It’s even more fun finding your favorite one and dominating the entire game with it!  It’s an average of $4.00 on eBay, or you can get it for the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console for 500 points (or $5.00).

#3.  Cubivore  (Game Cube)


I don’t know where to start with this one.  It’s cute, it’s crafty, it’s enjoyable, and it’s just great.  It’s easy to slip into a game like this and find yourself in a trance, trying to get farther and farther into it.  Look at this video, it’s long but it’ll give you a good feel for the game:

Great, right?  It’s a little different, and you can tell that this is not a cookie-cutter game.  That’s why I like it so much!  For just about every popular or trendy game out there you can name, I can retort with at least 10 games that are at least 90% the same.  How many games have you played like Cubivore?  One… and that’s only if you’ve played Cubivore.  It’s worth checking out, and it’s colorful, and a little complex.  At the very least, it’ll make your NyQuil trip pretty interesting.

#2.  Virtual Hydlyde  (Sega Saturn)


This game is friggin’ weird.  It’s perfect for playing while you’re under the weather.  It’s impossible to get bored with.  The map is randomly generated, and it’s so terrible it’s great.  It’s also so great it’s terrible.  You can Youtube some of the game play on this game.. but I won’t dare link it onto this article.  I have not only a moral, but an ethical problem with that.  It’s unspeakably horrible.  Playing this game while you’re ill will be best if you take lots of breaks to puke.  …because you’re sick.  Oh and because the game sucks too.

#1.  Dr. Mario  (NES)


This is a classic, simple, easy, feel-good game.  It’s not considered a “true Mario” game because there are no pipes, no raccoon tails, no fire flowers, no koopas, and no goombas.  It’s a tetris-esque knock off with Mario thrown in to boost the sales numbers.  It’s very worth it, and the best part is it’s beatable even if you’re sick as a dog.

There’s my rundown of how you should spend your sick time.  Anything else is a waste of time.  So instead of heading to the pharmacy aisle of your local grocery store, head to gamestop instead.

See you there.

The Jester.

*All images and videos are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google image search. All videos obtained through Youtube search.*

Nerdy Monday 20: Transformers (2007)

Posted in 1980's, 2000's, Family, Modern, movies, Retro, Robots, T.V. shows, Transformers on February 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

I’ve been thinking about how to set up this nerdy Monday post for a while now.  I batted it around, chewed it up, all that jazz, but I think I’m just going to dive right in.

I’m going to be talking about the first Transformers move directed by Michael Bay.  Before the movie came out in 2007, the only other Transformers movie there was, was the full-length animated 1984 installment entitled Transformers: The Movie.

I remember the opening day of the movie.  I went to the midnight sneak preview of the movie here in town.  And let me just be clear about this, in my small corner of the world, movie theatres are never ever at risk of selling every seat in the house.  But this night, it was a packed house.  I had to get there more than an hour early to get a mediocre seat.  I don’t know how to explain it, but in the theatre that night, the air was electric.  Everyone was dressed up somehow in a Transformer’s tee-shirt, a few of them brought some action figures, one guy had boots on that looked like Optimus Prime’s feet!

I remember vividly the shock and awe, and the uncontrollable yelling and applause when Optimus first came on the screen.  I remember the same thing happening when all the transformers, and the 2 main characters of the movie gathered in that alley and all of the Transformers started changing into their robot-form.  It looked awesome, it looked detailed, and it looked like it could be real.  It could have been happening right in front of us in real life, and we (the audience)  couldn’t be more excited!

As I looked around the room, I noticed that everyone was right around my age.  I was born less than one year after the pilot episode of the Transformers aired.  So I literally grew up with all the characters from that show.  I wish I still had all of the toys, comic books, and VHS tapes I recorded the show onto.  It would be a treasure trove of awesome nostalgic memorabilia.  And we all (I know I was) had been waiting for this movie to be made for a long time.

That same feeling came back to me when that movie was released on DVD/Blu-Ray and put on the Wal-Mart shelves.  Again, I showed up at midnight, and waited eagerly for the stock boy to bring the palate jack out with the Transformers movie display on it.  I waited along side 2 or 3 dozen other people all wearing Transformers shirts.. and the guy with the Optimus boots was there too.  It was odd, I know, but it’s the truth.

Michael Bay is looked down upon by a few critics, but I think he did an awesome job with this movie.  He knew how sentimental the fan base was, and did not disappoint.  I don’t care that everyone says he has too many explosions in his movies.  Or how he has too many jump-cuts to different scenes, or the whole Armageddon fiasco he was made fun of for.  He took the Transformers and made something cool, even cooler.  Bay even received an award from the man who created the Transformers AND the CEO of Hasbro (the company that makes/licenses the Transformer toys) for being humble, noble, and staying true to the morals upheld By the Transformers.  Yes, he was that serious.  [If you bought the special edition DVD with the bonus features on it, you’d know that already].

So not only did this pretty much make Michael Bay a pop culture icon, as well as a household name, it launched Megan Fox’s career.

Thank you Transformers. And Michael Bay.

 

Sure she’s done some crappy movies in between the filming of the Transformers/Bay movie franchise.  Seriously, what was that whole Jennifer’s Body supposed to be?  But no one is watching her for.. well, I think we all know what people watch her movies for.

Shia Lebeouf is also in the movie, he’s the star, or something.  I don’t know, I think the people who did the voices of the robots should have been cast about Shia.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Shia.. I actually watched him back in the day when he was on the Disney Channel show, Even Stevens. I think he’s hilarious!  It just seemed a little off to me when he was cast as Sam Witwicky in Transformers, only because it’s a more dramatic role.  It was different at first, and he did an okay job.  I think he developed his character towards the end of the first movie.  He just seemed more comfortable in the role, and it showed.

Who knew this kid would grow into his nose and be the guy a new generation of Transformer fans would want to be.

Oh and he made out with Megan Fox!

Overall, I am very pleased with the way these movies are unfolding.  And the next one is being filmed in Washington D.C.!  That’s my old stomping grounds!  I was born and raised not too far from there.  It sucks that they had an on set accident with one of the BumbleBee cars:

But with all the money involved in this franchise, I’m sure they have more than one of everything.

This movie is overly satisfying, nostalgic, clever, and just plain old awesome.  It’s funny in the right spots, and very reminiscent of the old cartoons/comics.  The only thing that irked me a little bit, was that GM plugged an entire line of cars to be used for the movies.  I think they could have diversified the line up a little, just to make it more exciting.  But I have to give them credit for making BumbleBee a Camaro, because in the old cartoons he was a VW Beetle.  Or more commonly referred to as “the bug”.  I can see how that’s a cool play on words, but for real, no one today would think of BumbleBee as an intimidating “Guardian” alien robot as a Bug.

Pictured: Definitely not a badass intimidating Guardian alien robot with a heard of gold.

I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Fun Fact #1:  Did you know the voice of Megatron was the same guy who played Agent Smith in the Matrix movies?

Fun Fact #2:  And the guy who did the voice of Jazz (The Pontiac Solstice) is the guy who played Eddie Winslow (Steve Urkel’s friend) in Family Matters?

That’s it for now, see you in the ticket line for the next installment.

The Jester.

 

*All images and videos are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Search.  All images obtained through Youtube.com Search.*

 

Nerdy Monday 19: My Tribute to Canadian Comedy

Posted in 2000's, Alcohol Involved, Canada, Drugs, Modern, Odd Job Jack, T.V. shows, Trailer Park Boys on February 18, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Yes, for those of you out there that are wondering.  I used the words “tribute”, “to”, “Canadian”, and “comedy” in that order, in the same sentence.  I know a lot of people who look down to Canada/Canadians.  Sometimes the way they pronounce the word “about” as “a-boat”, or the way they say “Zed” instead of “Zee” [like the letter], or the influence the French have over them is kind of funny to us Americans.  That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here for that.

And the Canadians take it all in stride, as they are prone to do.  But you have to hand it to them… some of their sitcoms and “mature cartoons” are far superior to the kind of comedy we have stateside.

The two examples that jump out at me right off the bat are: The Trailer Park Boys, and Odd Job Jack.  We’ll take them one at a time.

The Trailer Park Boys are pretty much national treasures in Canada.  They go on tour, had a successful 7 season run with their show, and have even gathered a pretty decent sized cult following in the U.S.  I even read somewhere that they had the choice to shoot the show in Hollywood, but they had to give up some of the creative control and censor themselves for American television.

They opted to keep the show based in Canada due to that reason.  Let me tell you up front, that there is a lot of foul language involved.  There is also excessive drug references, and alcohol use (abuse?).

Obviously the show takes place in a trailer park.  It revolves around the exploits and misadventures of the 3 main characters: Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles.  There are a lot of running jokes throughout the show, but it’s also just so off the wall and randomly hilarious that you don’t have to watch the episodes in order.  You can just jump right in and start laughing at the crazy dialogue, the wacky antics, and the overall persona of each character, no matter how major or minor they are.  Check out a few of these “Best Of” clips, just to get the gist of the show:

The Best of Bubbles Part 1:

The Best of bubbles Part 2 (He’s my personal favorite character):

The Best of Ricky:

And check out this clip entitled “Best Police Chase Ever”:

It’s one of the guilty pleasures I have.  Maybe it’s not for everyone.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been as popular if it were shot in America.  Maybe it’s a little rude, crude, and raunchy.  That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here, either.  It’s funny, it’s unique, it’s clever, and it’s Canadian.

Odd Job Jack is a cleaner version of the cutthroat style comedy the Trailer Park boys gives off.  It’s a mature cartoon based in Canada, that’s comparable to The Simpson’s, Family Guy, American Dad, and the like.  I found it while stumbling through Hulu one night, after I drank too much coffee and was forced to stay up way too late.

It revolves around the main character, Jack, who doesn’t have a steady job and is forced to work at a temp agency.  I think we’ve all been there at one point in our life!  Okay, I have, at least..  But this isn’t about me, it’s about Jack.  Jack is a 20-something that lives with his pretty normal mother, his hippy-esque sister, and his pot smoking grandmother.  He has an asian friend who helps run a family owned convenience store, and another friend who is a genius, but is also agoraphobic.  You don’t have to look that one up, it means that he is scared of open spaces.. basically the opposite of claustrophobic, which means that he hates leaving his apartment.

So every episode Jack goes to the temp agency and is handed a different job.  There’s quirky dialogue, awkward flashbacks, and the character of Jack himself is just goofy.  It’s much more family friendly than the Trailer Park Boys (that goes without saying, I think), and it’s just a very enjoyable show to watch.  It’s not as raunchy as some of the mature American cartoons, and it doesn’t rely on a lot of pop culture references the way Family Guy does.  Or maybe it does, I just don’t know that much (if anything) about Canadian pop culture.  Either way, it’s hysterical.  Again, like the Trailer Park boys, it’s a series that doesn’t make you have to watch the beginning episodes to think the later ones are funny.  I highly recommend watching a few episodes.  It’s something fresh, and exciting.  Something that probably not a lot of Americans have heard about, and if you’re reading this and you have heard about it, then good for you.. go get yourself some cookies.  Check out a few of the clips below, and feel free to pass it along to your friends.

Those are two of my favorite episodes, anyways.  If you have to sign up for a Hulu account, please do it.  This is a very underrated cartoon that deserves more attention.  I would love to own the DVDs so I can watch them anytime I want.  If anyone feels like donating a set to me, e-mail!

It’s a maple leaf on their flag, not something else.. potheads.

The Jester.

 

*All videos are property of their owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All videos obtained through either Youtube search or Hulu search.”

Another “Things You Learn When…”

Posted in 2000's, Downtown Bristol, Family, Gourmet, Grocery Stores, Local, Modern on February 17, 2011 by Divide By Zero

A lot of the things I do for money are part-time.  One of those jobs is working in the seafood department of a grocery store.  There are a lot of things you pick up that they don’t tell you in orientation.  As with any job, some of the things you learn are good to know, and will help you become a better salesperson because you’re getting to know your customer base.  Other things you learn are completely useless.  Here are some of those things:

Things you learn while working in a grocery store in Southwest Virginia:

  • Old people shop between 7am and 9pm.
  • You [obviously] sell more seafood and milk [for some reason] during Lent than any other time of the year.  Aside from Christmas.
  • In this part of the country when you’re nice to a customer, (shockingly!) they are nice to you back.
  • A lot of people prefer “krab meat” as opposed to crab meat.  For those that don’t work in a seafood department, when “crab” is spelled with a “k”, that means it’s imitation.  And the  customers will argue with you when you tell them “it’s actually a fish”.
  • I think there may be a mathematical relationship between a persons favorite NASCAR driver, and what kind of fish they buy most often.
  • Some people want to complain because they are bitter people.  EXAMPLE 1:  There is a brand of egg rolls called “Chung’s” it’s made in the U.S.A. and distributed in the Mid-West.  There are customers that won’t buy it because they think it’s from China, and won’t change their mind.  Example 2:  People will complain about the price of salmon (or   whatever fish they want) going up and up and up!  Even if it has been the same for months on end.
  • There are customers out there that actually try to hurt employees feelings/make it their fault that they don’t like a particular type of fish.
  • It doesn’t matter how good or bad your uniform looks–how subtle or flamboyant it is–people will still ask “Do you work here?” before they ask you the question they want to ask.
  • A lot of customers come in regularly because let’s face it, people need groceries a lot.  Some of them are good, and a pleasure to talk to, and you remember them.  There are also some customers that are a pain in the ass.  You remember them too.
  • People will come up to you and ask where something is, and get upset when you don’t know.
  • You might be buying shrimp and imitation krab meat, but chances are you’re paying the all shrimp price.
  • There are more kinds of paper towels than you can imagine.
  • For grocery store employees, there is one size extension cord they can use should they need it.  It’s 150 feet.  It doesn’t matter if you need it for 8 inches, you get 150 feet.
  • Customers who have their hair dyed radical colors (blue, purple, green, etc.) are generally more fun and interesting to talk to.
  • Pepsi delivery men seem to be happier, and more cooperative than their Coca-Cola counterparts.
  • Men with mustaches generally shop later than everyone else.  The bigger/longer the mustache, the later they shop!
  • After about 10:30pm, just about any and every teenager in the store is inebriated in some way, shape, or form.
  • [This is the way it should be everywhere] At a grocery store, if you’re on time, you’re late.  If you’re early, you’re on time.
  • Little kids don’t care where they vomit, or who is watching them.
  • The amount of catfish a grocery store sells is directly related to how far south of the Mason-Dixon line that particular store is located.
  • Apparently craw fish are the same deal, and they are sold in “even 17.5 lb. bags.”
  • After a few days, you can tell what people do for a living by what kind of clothes they wear [e.g. painter, drywaller, manager, computer programmer]
  • In that same vein, there is no shame in wearing a tool belt to go grocery shopping.
  • If you work in an older building almost none of your freezer/cooler case thermometers work.  Always trust your temperature gun!
  • Also, if you work in an older building, you won’t have hot water after about 6:00 pm.  It doesn’t matter if you close your department at 9.
  • Male employees are supposed to shave every day.  No matter what the customer base  looks like.
  • None of the clocks, not even your cell phone, are right.  None of them except the time clock.
  • Working with seafood, it’s possible to burn yourself at the exact moment you cut yourself.
  • Two things parents should never be allowed to do:
  1. Buy their annoying 4 year old kid a harmonica.
  2. Let that kid run around a grocery store unsupervised with said harmonica.
  • For grocery store employees:  Every customer thinks that every employee knows where every item on every shelf is.  No matter what department you work in.
  • People get their food stamps at midnight on the first of the month.  Grocery stores know this and stay open until 2am on those days, because by 11:50pm [read: 10 minutes before they get their stamps] they are loading up their carts to spend all of their food stamps by 12:15am.
  • On Saturdays, tweens/teens buy out all solo cups and tang.
  • It’s estimated that 83% of all grocery store employees are part-time.
  • There is more drama between grocery store employees than there was in my middle school.
  • One good thing about working in a meat/seafood department is that it’s like working in a restaurant, without ever hitting a dinner rush.
  • I would be willing to bet good money that at least 90% of all the customers that ask a minimum of 15 questions to a clerk–walk away without buying the product at the end of their questionnaire.
  • I would also bet that at least half of all people who partake in free samples, wait until the employee giving them out turns their back , so they can take more without the employee noticing.  Why?  I don’t know.
  • There’s always one customer that comes around about once or twice a month just to poke their finger through anything shrink wrapped.
  • Cleanliness really is next to Godliness.
  • Common sense is next to impossible to find.

That’s about it.  That’s what I’ve learned in my few short months of working at a grocery store.  I don’t know if it’s the same all over the country, but that’s how it goes down here.  For better or for worse, that’s how it goes down here.

See you from behind the counter.

The jester.