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Fictional Characters You Hate

dobby

Here’s an idea i ran across that’s fun. Name 5 fictional characters you hate. They just drive you NUTS.

Let’s be clear however, i’m not talking about a character designed to be hated. Joffrey and Cersei Lannister for instance. We all hate them (unless you’re a completely insane psychopath), but they were designed to be hated. No, what i’m talking about here is Jar Jar Binks. Characters not MEANT to be hated but that holy crap, just irritate the beejeezus out of you.

I REALLY wanted to include Russel Crowe’s Javier because every single time he opened his mouth in the Les Mis film i wanted to scream while covering my ears until he finally shut up and died, but that would be hating an actor’s performance as opposed to the character who i otherwise find utterly intriguing. There are also obvious choices like Bella from the Twilight series, but to be honest, i am not dumb enough to read or watch any of that series when every single friends i know of any gender or persuasion whose opinion i even mildy respect has told me not to.  So no Bella. Or Edward.

5. Katniss Everdeen by Book 3 of The Hunger Games Trilogy

katniss everdeen

I know this is short of blasphemy and let me be clear, i loved the first Hunger Games Book. I really did. But look. Maybe i read them in too fast a time period and should have allowed more time in between. The second two books were not as good the first and more to the point, by book 3, Katniss’ inner monologue and endless BITCHING ABOUT EVERYTHING drove me CRAZY. Seriously. That inner monologue of hers finally was just too much for me and i had to put the book down because i couldn’t read another sentences of her griping. The best thing the movie did was take away that inner monologue. Writing from first person can irritate the crap out of me if the writer overwrites.

4. Anakin Skywalker

anakin skywalker

I know Jar Jar Binks is the obvious one to hate and to be honest, he’s SO obvious, i’m not gonna bother listing him. But you know who i really hated throughout all those gawdawful prequels? Anakin Skywalker. I hated him as a little kid. I hated him as a teenager. I hated him as a romantic interest. Basically i hate that terribly written, horribly acted, shitty dialogue spuelinig piece of crap charcter up until he becomes a ruthlessly evil badass, at which point i love him. Darth Vader = Awesome. Anakin = hated him every single time he was on screen. Wondered why i was watching this garbage.

3. Gavroche from Les Miserables (The Musical version)

gavroche les miserables

If this one doesn’t raise a few eyebrows then nothing will. I’ve mentioned this a few times before and i know the usual answers and how cute he is and how sad you were when he died. So let me be very clear about why i hate him: his songs are stupid and contrived and he exists only to tug your heart strings upon his death. He exists only to die. So that you’ll say “Awwww” and cry. “And little people know, when little fight, we may look easy pickings but…” i HATE that stupid song. He is the musical equivalent of cute little kids in stupid sit coms. Everything he says is CONTRIVED. He is SO purposefully assembled to be a cut out character who will manipulate your tendency to like kids (and for the record, i LOVE kids) and thus break your heart when they kill him, that i can’t buy it. Gavroche in the book? No problem. Hell i even kind of liked him in the movie, although i still hate his songs and was overjoyed when they cut some of them short.

2. Dobby in the HP movies
Clippy the Microsoft Windows stupid little pop up paper clip
John Galt
Movern Caller

movern callar

Because i didn’t want a long list and all these character annoy me. Plus i don’t need to write a long winded explanation for them: Dobby: the movie version. In the books he’s okay. Clippy: obvious. John Galt: please, you self righteous cardboard cut out badly written mouthpiece for someone’s pretentious philosophy. Movern Caller: Do you possess any human emotion? At all? Wtf is WRONG with you? Is this a science fiction book about a robot posing as human? Yes, it’s all so nihilistic. When Brett Easton Ellis does it, it moves me. Movern Caller i just want to go away and for heaven’s sake, DON’T BREED. Oh, wait…

1. Scrappy Doo

scrappy doo

Yes, i know it’s decades later. No, i’m still not over it.

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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The 5 Best Comedy Sketches

What on earth does this have to do with anything steampunk or dieselpunk opera related? Not much, i admit. But i leave for London in 4 days and still have no place to stay for the first week (inside London. I have a place to stay outside but the cost of commute would be devastating. Of course i have fasted several times. 3 day fasts mostly although i did a 5 day fast once. Of course i’d useless productivity wise, but…)

Anyway, this has led to some friends and i having a laugh about the possible outcomes which always reminds me of my personal all time favorite comedy sketch.

So let’s list 5 of the great ones, shall we? I know everyone will feel i left off their favorites, and i probably did, but this is the ones i thought of while pondering the sketches that have never stopped making me chuckle over the years.

5. Dick In a Box

SNL sucks. It has sucked for a long, long time. But even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day and let’s face it, this is gold. I personally love the Cowbell sketch, but Dick In A Box far outshines it.

4. The Hedge Sketch

I’m including this mostly because it’s the one most likely to not have been seen (by non British). The others are all SO well known but this maybe you can actually watch for the first time. Plus, it’s awesome. Immensely creative and meta. As with most Americans i watched House for YEARS before someone pointed out that House was King George from Black Adder at which point i went into utter shock.

3. Who’s On First

Yeah, you know it, it’s a classic. But come on, admit it. It deserves to be the classic it is. This is the most iconic sketch ever. It will never die. It never should.

2. The Spanish Inquisition

Usually these lists say the Dead Parrot sketch is the funniest. Now don’t get me wrong, the Dead Parrot sketch is awesome, but you simply cannot beat The Spanish Inquisition. We all know Monty Python should basically  be on all 5 slots of best sketches ever, but for simple diversity we must pick one and this is my pick.

1. The Four Yorkshiremen

This is the one that got the whole post going. It’s impossible to think up dire circumstances or reflect on terrible times without this coming to mind. Honestly, i never tire of this routine. In honor of my first week in London as shivering male prostitute:

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The 5 Greatest Movie Musical Soundtracks

Of course not. I’m totally messing with you.

Quite a few musicals have made it to the big screen and with them come a specially recorded album just for the movie version. In some cases those albums surpass the original or at least create fierce debates amongst devotees.

This is my personal list of my top 6 movie musical soundtracks. I LOVE these, many times over the original and they are all awesome.

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Come on. This soundtrack RULES. While the original LA soundtrack, hard to find but well worth it stand up perfectly well against the movie version, it’s the movie version we all know. This is a classic.

4. Little Shop of Horrors

I find as the years go by that every time i pick this up to listen to is till enjoy the living bejeezus out of it. The songs are awesomely fun to sing in the shower. Suddenly Seymour… you can just stand outside on a hill with your arms outstretched belting this out like there’s no tomorrow. At least i do. But i have no shame. The rest of you i hope have at least a little shame.

3. Moulin Rouge

“But Paul, this was never a stage show. The whole thing is just hyperdramatic renditions of tons of pop classics with an utter emotional masturbatory excess.” My reply is: YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH. YOU SHUT IT RIGHT NOW. THIS IS WHAT AWESOMENESS SOUNDS LIKE. HOLY MOTHER OF MAHOGANY DO I LOVE THIS SOUNDTRACK. IF I HAD THE CHOICE BETWEEN SAVING THIS SAVING THIS SOUNDTRACK OR SAVING ENTIRE REGIONS OF THE GALAXY I WOULD CHOOSE THIS SOUNDTRACK.

But that’s just me.

2. Grease

Why do i rank this over Moulin Rouge? Well, for one thing it’s stood the test of time. Made in the 70s, still sounds killer today. Two: Its influence. The influence of the Grease soundtrack cannot be understated. I might personally rather listen to Moulin Rouge, but here’s the thing: play Summer Nights or One That You Want and EVERYBODY around you will get down to it. No matter what music they like or don’t like. Everyone knows it. Everyone loves it. Try playing the soundtrack and NOT sing along with it. You can’t. No one can. Three: Summer Nights is one of the 3 best songs about love ever written.

1. Hair

Hair is what started this whole post. A friend and i took opposite sides of the debate which was better, the cast album or the movie soundtrack. THE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK. Dude… i LOOOOOVE this soundtrack. It’s not just fun. it’s not just singable. These songs in the soundtrack recording groove like MOTHER*******. Seriously, the band KILLS this stuff. Wipes the walls with it. Then add the fact that the songs are all truly great, and THEN add vocal performances that are just…. transcendental. Doesn’t hurt that the movie is ******** AWESOME. This is the greatest movie musical soundtrack ever made. The songs.. the grooves, the vocals….. i literally want to have sex with this soundtrack.

P.S. When you write to tell me the soundtracks i left off please do not mention: Hairspray (sucked), Phantom (can bite me) or High School Musical. You COULD mention Once. That’s an awesome soundtrack. West Side Story, Singing In The Rain, hell, i’ll even accept Annie as an acceptable argument. They’re not MY personal all time top favorites (although West Side is pretty damn stellar, if this list went to 6 i would probably have to put it on), but i could see how they could make someone else’s list.

And yes, my one great hope for X-Mas is that i can add Les Mis to this list. Holy crap can i not wait for that movie.

 

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Jules Verne, 10 Interesting Facts

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post (which was probably going to being Character Background 3: Jasper, The Dead Guy) because today is Jules Verne’s birthday, and as he is considered to be the father of both steampunk and science fiction in general, he is well worth a post on.

The guy wrote 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, and Around The World In 80 Days. These stories in which  he blends fantastical places and voyages with a numerous scientific and geographic details, are the first science fiction stories, predating even HG Wells by 2 to 3 decades. Since he wrote sci-fi in the midst of the Victorian era, he is TRULY the first steampunk.

Here are 10 rather interesting facts about the man.

1. Before he wrote stories he wrote libretti (lyrics) for operas.

2. His father, upon finding out Jules was involved with the theater, cut him off and Verne became a stockbroker. He was actually quite good at it although he despised it.

3. He hung out with both Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas, who gave him writing advice.

4. Around The World In 80 Days was actually based on a true story. In 1870, US railroad magnate George Francis Train (what are the odds on that name?) declared in the middle of his Presidential candidacy that he would travel around the world in 80 days or less. (It ended up taking him almost double the time.  He tried twice more and finally, 20 years later in 1890 he managed to do it in under 80 days. 67 to be precise)

5. His submarine The Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues predated actual powered submarines by 25 years. In 1886, the first electric powered submarine was name The Nautilus after Verne’s creation.

6. Verne began as very optimistic about how technical possibilities could influence the future of mankind. Over his career he began more and more pessimistic about the future of civilization. Some say his good friend and publisher Peirre-Jules Hetzel edited out some of the more pessimistic aspects that were creeping in to Verne’s works, but after his death, Hetzel’s son who took over the business did far less editing and left them in

7. In 1863 he wrote a novel based in the 20th century which featured glass skyscrapers, high speed trains, calculators and even a worldwide communications network. Called Paris In The 20th Century, it was eerily accurate. However, despite the wonders of 20th century life, the protagonist cannot find happiness and comes to a tragic end. Verne’s publisher (you know, Hetzel Sr.) thought the book too pessimistic and held off publishing it. It wasn’t discovered until 1989 by Verne’s great grandson.

8. He published at least 1 book a year for over 40 years on a wide range of subjects.

9. He actually traveled very little. His only time riding in a balloon lasted 24 minutes.

10. He was shot in 1886 by his mentally ill nephew, Gaston. Two shots were fired, one missing and the other hitting his left leg.  Gaston spent the remainder of his life in a mental asylum and Verne had a limp for the rest of his life, which ended in 1905 of diabetes.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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