Friday, October 29, 2004

Suicide Club

I should have known. But sometimes, you know, you just never know. As was the case with “Suicide Club.” This movie is available now at your local Hell Pit or Netflix (where we got ours) and, well…it sucks.

First off, this is a Japanese flick, which isn’t an inherently bad thing. I’m sure there are plenty of good Japanese flicks out there – I just haven’t seen any. I liked Crouching Tiger and Hero, but they don’t count because they are both Chinese films and, well, as much as the patrons at the local Wal-Mart would like to believe, they just aren’t the same.

I have seen one other Japanese film:
Samurai Fiction. I have to admit, I was hypnotized by the spiffy box cover on this one: silhouettes with swords against red backgrounds just kick ass.

Unfortunately, the movie did not. Let’s just say that contemporary martial arts, combined with urban scores, and really, really insipid dialogue does not make for a good movie. I turned it off before it made it to the forty-five minute mark – this movie was bad. Worse than Suicide Club by far.

By the way, I can’t remember for sure, but I think that’s where I first heard of Suicide Club – during the previews on Samurai Fiction.

Anyhow, Suicide Club is about (brace yourself) a suicide club. Well, more specifically, it’s about a bunch of Suicide Clubs, but for simplicity, they’ve consolidated them into an easier to handle singular form. Apparently, these clubs are proliferating on the Internet, and whether or not they are tied together (forming one singular club as the title infers), or if they’re all just copycats of one another seems to be the police’s biggest concern. (The fact that there are hundreds of deaths in a two-day period, not so much. But whether or not they’re related, well, THAT needs to be answered.)

So, I think that’s a pretty cool idea in itself – strange enough to keep me interested, and not hokey enough to turn me off. But then the movie never actually connected anything. It was like watching me try to make a decision on where to go out to eat:

Me: How bout Chinese?

SockHobbit: Sure

Me: Okay…

SockHobbit: …

Me: Do you not want Chinese? Cause if you don’t, we don’t have to go…

SockHobbit: Whatever you want; I’m fine with anything.

Me: Well…is there anything you’re not in the mood for?

SockHobbit: No Mexican, no Italian.

Me: Okay, so…Chinese then?

SockHobbit Sure

Me: What about pizza?

SockHobbit Isn’t that Italian?

Me: Not if it’s from Round Table – they don’t count.

See, my thing is that I feel like no matter what I pick, it is the wrong choice; I am missing out on the other options. I think that’s precisely what was wrong with Suicide Club. Only their conversation went (more or less):

Writer: So, there’s these kids, right? And they all jump in front of a subway train, okay?

Director: Hmm…are they girls?

Writer Sure. Whatever. But see, they all jump, right? And then you cut to this strange white hand bag, right?

Director: Are they in the schoolgirl outfits? I like those.

Writer: Umm…yeah, that’s fine. But see, then you get the police involved –

Director: How about pop music? I like that teen pop thing going on right now…you know?

Writer: I don’t really see how it fits…this is kind of a mystery…

Director No, I know. See, the teen pop kids are involved, see?

Writer: But…the script…it doesn’t really have teen –

Director They’ll be five of them! And they’ll be girls! Five of them! And they’ll sing and dance like…who’s that? The pop band?

Writer Umm…The Backstreet Boys?

Director Yeah. Only girls. Not guys, okay? Girls.

Writer I guess…I mean…it doesn’t really fit the current script; I’ll have to –

Director And we’ll have a weird psycho guy, right? Like Hanibal Lector mixed with Sid Viscious! And they’ll have a….a…uh…a BOWLING ALLEY for a lair!

Writer: Bowling alley? Why are they in a bowling alley?

Director You don’t like to bowl?

Writer It’s okay, I guess –

Director Well, there you go.

Writer But…why?

Director Who cares? When do we start shooting?

I could go on and on. Basically, this movie tried to be a blend of The Sixth Sense, Seven, and Evil Dead…it just didn’t know if it wanted to go with the suspense thing, mystery thing, horror thing, or drama thing.

But, it does have a Bowling Alley Lair.

So there’s that.
Anyhow, Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Some corrections

It turns out that I have FIVE unrelated readers: Collin, Monkey, Robyn, Chrstiane, and Derek. How do I know this? Well, for one, Derek let me know that the "Monkey" link below actually sends people to his site (, not the real Monkey's site. So here's the fixes:

Whew...confusion is running rampant now...

Link this!

So much to say, and so little time.

First off: The World Series: In a word, the series itself was actually pretty lame - sweeps usually are.



But not only that, they completed the Greatest Sports Comback of all Time. I don't care how you argue it - winning eight straight games, including three comeback wins over the Yankees of all teams, AT HOME...well, let's just say history was made. So, in honor of this, if you are remotely interested in sports or movies, check out Bill Simmons, "The Sports Guy" column, on's Page2. This guy is a very funny writer and a Boston native, so he's loving life right now. He's worth it. Check him out:

Also, it turns out that my non-kin reader count has soared to four: First there was Collin, then came Monkey, then the lovely Robyn (GO SOX!!!!!!!), and now Christiane. You know, I should seriously look into creating a little links bar on the side, but I don't know how and I don't care to go into it that much, so I think I'll just keep up the lniks like this.

Once I figure out a little more HTML, this will probably get easier. Maybe not. Oh well.

And what would Adverbloggin be without a random rant, right? Here goes.

At Costco, my wife picked up some contact solution for me. This was very nice of her and was a very good buy: two gigantic bottles of solution and a handy-dandy, new-fangled contact case (no more screw down cases for me, thank you very much. This one comes complete with hinges...anyhow...). So, I take out the a bottle, squirt the stuff into the little case, and put my contacts in it to soak overnight, just like my creepy optometrist told me to do (more on him later on).

I wake up the next morning, let the dog out, take a shower, and then stumble fuzzily towards the sink where my eye stuff lies. I unscrew the top. Unhinge the "R" (for "Right" -very scientific) and pop the contact in. My right eye then proceeds to shriek in pain - seriously, you could hear it. Or maybe that was just me...I don't know. It hurt so bad that I couldn't keep my eye open long enough to take the evil little water-based alien out; I just had to stand there, hopping around, and clutching at my face...kind of like the dude in "The Rock" who's face melts when it comes into contact with VX Nerve Gas. So, after two minutes of dumbly poking at my eye, trying to force my eyelid open to remove the contact, I succeed. I unhinge the case, throw it the piece of plastic junk in there, and begin hunting for my glasses.

I discover later that this type of solution you can’t use directly in your eyes; apparently it has some sort of organism (or something) that eats away the evil proteins that apparently develop when your contacts are in during the day.


All I know, is that if something is to go in your eye, it shouldn’t hurt. Especially if it’s marketed towards consumers. I’m sure my wife wouldn’t have bought this stuff if the box had proclaimed, “This product will actually sear your retinas, causing you to look drawn out!” To make sure, I just checked the package…nope…no such warning or colorful info box. Just a bright red tip on the nozzle of the bottle with funky, shaky type that says: “Do not use directly in eyes.”

What the fuck kind of product is this? It’s for your EYES! Isn’t this like buying a lawnmower, but it says: “Not for cutting grass.”????????

I need to go lie down.

But I’m at work.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

grand theft andy's a little adventure i took last night.

As you all know, the latest grand theft auto game hit stores yesterday. this was a big deal for me because i love the gta games and am always entertained while playing them. i think rockstar (the developer) does an incredible job of creating a life-life feel in the game; everything from the open ended nature (you can walk/drive/bike around a huge city, just for the hell of it) to the life-like dialogue is amazing...everything just seems to fit.

of course, the main draw of GTA is the fact that you always play some sort of thug and you can pretty much do whatever you want. of course, you may build up some stars (increase your wanted level) in the process, but that only adds to the fun.

anyhow, i've been looking forward to this game for quite some time. knowing how popular it would be, i decided to take advantage of a special target had going: put five bucks down on gta or halo2, and get ten bucks off another game instantly. since i was buying a game in the next few days, i thought this was a great deal. i went to target, put my five bucks down, bought rainbow six 3: black arrow, and thought everything was great. until last night.

last night, i get home, grab my 'reserved' ticket, and head back out into the rain for my game. i get to target, walk in, head for the electronics "department" (if you can call it that - it's the definition of lame) and slap my ticket on the glass counter housing the digital cameras and lithium batteris. the kid looks at me for a second, and i know i am going to be very unhappy; i can see it in his dulled eyes.

"yeah, uh...that game, you know? we have it..."

"okay, cool, i reserved one"

"well, see, our department manager, who's like, eighty years old and doesn't really know what he's doing, wrote in our store ad that the game isn't available until tomorrow."

" comes out today."

"yep, i know, huh?"

"so, i could just run over to fred meyer's (our local one-stop-shopping conglomerate that has yet to be taken over by wal-mart) and buy it then, right?"

[looking surprised and wondering why he hadn't thought of that] "well, yeah! you could!"

"so...what's the point of reserving a game and then not getting it the day it comes out?"

"you know...our manager's, like eighty years old..."

I was out of there. I could care less if I spent five bucks (which I ended up getting back, anyhow) to reserve that game...i was getting it last night. so i went across the street and spent my money else where...take THAT, target!

but i digress.

so, i played the game for an hour or so and am loving it, save for one reservation, which i'll get to in a second. first off, the game plays pretty much like vice city, which is cool. no learning controller configs or anything like that. secondly, the soundtrack (as i had predicted), kicks serious ass. anything from the 90's, from hip hop to rock, is prominently featured. whenever you get into a car, 2pac or soundgarden or swv or any number of early 90s musicians are playing. very cool and very authentic.

thirdly, the dialogue is taken to the next level on this one. while the first two gta games were monumental in providing gamers their first official f-bombs, they were done so sporadicly [sp?] to ensure the game wasn't banned. obviously they don't care this time around, because the game is unreal in how many swear words are packed into it. i'm not offended by it, so i think it enhances the flavor of the game, especially since the game is supposed to be taking place in gangsta la. so, think "boyz in tha hood" or "menace 2 society" and you pretty much have an idea of the dialogue - it's graphic, but it's supposed to be and feels in place with the game. also, the celebrity voice talent for the main characters is, in short, awesome. Sam Jackson, Chris Penn, Peter Fonda...seriously...unbelievable.

alright, now for my one reservation: the graphics. while the environments certainly look real enough and are detailed, the graphics overall just aren't doing it for me. i guess i've been playing too much xbox lately, because i can really tell where the graphics just can't hang in comparison to the xbox. the game seems to to get choppy every now and then, but other than that, san andreas is an unbelievable game (so far) and it's set to only get better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

hey, is that a pig? and is it flying?

well, my friends…hell has officially frozen over. it turns out that i have had at least one reader (outside of my wife and mom) come to my blog.

now, i’m not entirely sure how this happened, really. probably a mistake, but – here’s the thing – the person, “collin,” actually commented on my little “comments” link that i have been dealing with for the past three months.

this is absolutely huge…i now have a (hopefully) unrelated reader. seriously, i feel like a schoolgirl with a crush, i’m so giddy.

god, i’m lame.

anyhow, since this reader has taken the time to comment twice on my blog, i figure i could at least link to him and hopefully get me out of his “dead” blog list. so, here goes:

a word of warning: my html experience is limited to line breaks and bolding letters. seriously. that’s it. so if this link doesn’t zap you to his site, do me the favor and spend the extra second copy and pasting it into the address bar.

obviously he’s a good guy…he’s reading my stuff! and he’s being nice about it!
now, if you’ll excuse me, i need to go write “collin + andy” all over my notebook…

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Game on

almost forgot! grand theft auto: san andreas hits stores today!!! this is a monumental day for anyone who enjoys the “services” of various women of the night, and then running over them with a car and retrieving one’s cash.

okay, so there’s a little more to it than that, really. like getting cops to chase you around long enough for them to get pissed off and calling the army in on you. but that’s after they use their fbi resources.

oh, and then there’s the fact that every gta game to date has had incredible soundtracks, not only tied-in with radio stations, but also with the different cars available for hi-jacking (getting into a truck means there’s a fairly high probability of country music, while low-riders generally mean you’ll be hearing some type of urban hiphop.)

anyhow, i’m not really doing it justice. this game is going to kick ass and i will leave it at that.

now, on to other video game stuff. first off: halo 2. the killer-app for xbox is probably going to be a killer app for xbox live. it is slated for release november 7th and will more than likely set landmark records. i know, i know…i sound like an idiot. actually, more like an immature kid, i suppose. which is funny, because my wife and i got into an argument last night.

she claims that i’m much too old to be playing video games; i counter that i am in the target audience and am doing my demographic duty. plus, video games kick ass. i wish i could play them more, but then i’d probably gain a lot more weight and begin emitting strange odors.

oh well, i can always dream. anyhow, back to halo2.

i have purchased xbox live solely for this game; it is going to be that good (the multiplayer, i mean). how can it not be? even with the split screen multiplayer, halo was up there with half life and counter strike in terms of entertainment and playability. plus, the single-player version will more than warrant the purchase of this game.

some other games that will be coming out shortly that i am looking forward to: metal gear solid: snake eater, half life 2, and gran turismo 4.

hmm…i think i hear divorce papers ruffling somewhere…

home land security - my way

it’s a slow day today. they keep saying it’s supposed to pick up in the near future, so i shouldn’t be worrying this much. that’s easy for them to say – they’ve been here for a while. i happen to the fourth writer out of four, which pretty much means the chopping block is closer to me than to anyone else.

i don’t know.

this is my first job, so i’m a little paranoid. well, not really first job – that wonderful distinction goes to malibu grand prix – an evil place if there ever was one. so this is my first real job, in that i’m doing what i’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

except that i’m not. i am updating my blog because i have absolutely nothing else to do. i’ve asked all the creative directors, the other writers…even the interactive guys. nothing.

it’s probably my upbringing. my grandfather – now retired and in a state of constant intoxication – has an eighth grade education. his one job that put him and his family through depressions and economic downturns was the local coal mines. he put everything he had into the mines, including a partial finger and most of his left lung.

and his work ethic.

he pretty much delivered to my mother and uncle a frenetic desire to work insanely hard and deliver quality results every time. now, don’t get me wrong. this isn’t a bad thing at all. compared to the unmotivated, dimwitted people i was inevitably paired with for group projects in school, it’s wonderful to have people who are dedicated to creating a great product – annual reports, krispy kreme, or otherwise.

but from what i’ve seen in advertising thus far, is that the whole ‘hard work ethic’ thing really only amounts to a little piece of the pie. it seems that seniority is the overwhelming, dominant cause for having your name listed as “writer” on the project briefs. and i am okay with this. i understand it. in advertising, you have to pay your dues. very rarely are you working on full-color or tv right off the bat; you’re usually relegated to small newspaper and online buys.

believe me. right now, i’m begging for small newspaper and online stuff. my projects (all two of them) are awaiting client feedback, so i’m stuck in this weird void. projects are not coming in and my current stuff is on hold. not exactly the ideal situation for staving off my job secutiry paranoia.

so, that said, everyone says this is how the ad biz works and that i’ll be eating these very words in a couple weeks or so when business picks up for the end of the fiscal year.

unfortunately, they’ve been saying that for the last three weeks.