Posts Tagged ‘ eatthelemons ’

Repo Men: An Inflight Movie Review

Flying has become a bit more pleasant these days. Sure, you have to get to the airport ungodly early and are now in danger of a cavity search due to a concealed umbrella, but at the same time most international flights now have individual TV screens and a pretty decent selection of movies.

Repo Men is one of the movies that caught my attention as I forced myself to stay awake on a trip from the UK back home (screw jetlag, I’m not gonna let it make a subhuman out of me any longer than necessary). I read the quick summary and it sure rang some bells. The plot is basically about repossession of past due human organs, now why does that sound familiar? Well, maybe because of Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Since I am currently on a plane and therefore cut off from the lifeforce that is Internet data, I can’t tell which movie came first (obviously I found some internet now, and yeah, The Genetic Opera (2008) has 2 years on Repo Men(2010)). In either case, despite the similarity in plot line, they are completely different and both excel within their genre. Continue reading

Playing on the Edge of a Cliff

The Cliffs of Moher are apparently Ireland’s largest tourist attraction. And like the good tourists that we are, we got on the bus from Dublin and made the 4 hour journey over to the West side of Ireland to see the Atlantic from 700 feet away, vertically.

The Visitor Center is worth mentioning as it is in fact an enormough Hobbit burrow, built into a hill, so as to not mar the landscape. Inside is laid out in the flat sheets of stone mined from the surrounding areas.

The cliffs of Moher themselves are a true wonder. Extending as far as the eye can see, they are properly jagged with water endlessly working to erode the rocks from below. Continue reading

Simon Munnery’s “Self-Employed” via the Fringe Festival

This year I chose to take a trip to Scotland over the usual booze-fueled expedition to a Metal Music Fest somewhere in Europe. I grieved for a while, but a choice had to be made and I’ve never seen Edinbourgh (pronounced Eh-din-bur-row or even Eh-dn-bra), the capital city of Scotland. By happy coincidence we arrive in the middle of the Fringe Festival, which takes place there every year during the last three weeks or so of August.

The Fringe Festival itself deserves a few words of description. It is a smorgasbord of the arts, with theater, musical performances of all sorts, street performers and comedy galore. The whole city center becomes a collection of venues, where you can walk into a store to buy some pants and a performance may be taking place in their downstairs space converted for the honor. Street performances range from mimes, to musicians congregating in large bands with huge selections of instruments, to acrobats from all over the world performing feats atop 6 meter poles. Many of the events are free, and many of these free events are absolutely excellent. Most others are anywhere from 5-20 BPS (British Pounds Sterling), which is pretty affordable when you’re used to Broadway prices. And the best part, for me anyway, was that practically everything on the festival menu has a taste of comedy to it.

It was tremendously difficult to find a recent picture of Munnery, so here is the best Internet had to offer.

My absolutely favorite performance took place at The Stand Comedy Club. It was a performance/stand-up by Simon Munnery, entitled “Self-Employment.” We squeezed ourselves into a dimly lit basement with chairs, stools and tables scattered anywhere a square foot could be had. The stage was a few inches away from the tables of those in the front and a pull-down screen on the side of the stage promised some sort of a short film. Continue reading

Running into Classics: Around the World in Eighty Days

In my mad desire to prove some unspecified thing to some unspecified person, I have decided to run the New York City Marathon. I have made this decision several years ago, but failed to train for it for the past two years. This year my failure was not as great. I’m certainly not ready for anything as serious as 23.2 miles, but I’m getting there. What “getting there” entails is basically running for as long as I can, and so far, that’s about an hour and forty minutes. The problem with this is that I can only zen out for so long before I realize that not only am I in pain, but I am also bored. My brain has been rewired due to recent technology advances (a.k.a. the iPhone) and now expects constant entertainment. So I began to download audiobooks from the public domain, the ones that are out of copyright and where a nice amateur reads them for you and records it on their PC. This wonderful place is called Librivox.

That long-winded intro was meant to explain why all of a sudden I will be reviewing really, really old books, also known as classics. What’s the point of reviewing them? Hasn’t everyone read them already, isn’t this why they’re called classics? Everyone read ‘em and liked ‘em and kept on reading ‘em through the ages.  Well, I have doubts about our generation. We have too many new things to amuse ourselves with, and our desire for the next new thing definitely overcomes any interest we have in anything classical, since we all know it just means really, really old. So, I’ll try to bridge this gap a bit today by telling you, faithful reader, about Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Continue reading

True Blood vs. Sookie Stackhouse Books

“True Blood,” a hit HBO series based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, has been my guilty pleasure as soon as I saw an advertisement for it and for a second thought they really were trying to sell people synthetic blood. Instead, they were selling the show, of course, but for a moments, I was torn out of what I knew as reality and I liked it. Yes, it’s about vampires, and yes, there are lots of good looking people in it, but no, it is not “Twilight” for adults. Neither is it as deplorable as “Vampire Diaries.”

In case you aren’t yet a rabid fan of the show, here are some basics: Sookie Stackhouse, barmaid in Bon Temps, Louisiana, can read minds. She is tormented by this gift, because she has very poor control of it. A man walks into her bar and he is a blank. She is instantly attracted to the sound of nothing that she is getting from him. The reason his mind is not broadcasting to her, is because he is a vampire, but despite that, they fall madly in love. The world “True Blood” takes place in is much like our own, with one key difference. All the weird shit you read/heard about (barring outer space), is probably true, and it’s also pretty well organized. A Japanese corporation develops Tru Blood, a drink emulating the nutritional value and flavor of human blood, and bam! Vampires, who were real all along, can now leave the underworld and come into the limelight. The idea is that they no longer need to drink from humans and are therefore tame kittens that we no longer need to fear. Continue reading

Kick-Ass: With No Power Comes No Responsibility?

Not Spiderman, not even a little.

“Kick-Ass,” directed by Matthew Vaughn, is an action flick full of almost cartoonish violence and plenty of explosions. But I still liked it. No, I loved it, and I’ve hated almost every action-packed-stuff-goes-boom movie I’ve ever seen. What’s different here is that the story is much more grounded. People get hurt, and it hurts them. Bullets fly, and find their targets. Getting involved in a knife fight could get you killed.

Dave Lizewski (played by Aaron Johnson, who shines in this role) is a regular kid who, like many other guys his age, hangs around with his few friends, searches internet for porn, reads comics, and dreams of being something more. Finally, dream becomes reality and he takes that step that no one ever does. As a result, you are terrified and mortified every time Kick-Ass, aka Dave, sets his foot outside in his ridiculous costume.

The movie is more than just fun. Without beating anyone over the head with morals, it touches on real issues. The voyeuristic aspect of our culture is directly addressed in several scenes in this movie. Kick-Ass becomes famous because someone videotapes him in action on their cell-phone, instead of helping, or even calling the police. As the movie unfolds and we watch Dave deal with school, crush on a girl, and glory silently in his new-found fame and hobby, we also watch him quickly sink in way over his head. As he starts to understand that what he’s doing is more real than he’s ready for, he is also realizing that he can’t let things be as they are. Being a victim has become part of his daily life, and he has watched other people victimized, feeling he should do something but feeling out of place, foolish, and scared. We can relate to this. In his costume he starts anew, but the rubber scuba suit isn’t quite the same as a set of muscles and a serious selection of weapons. Continue reading

Parade of Oddities

Skulls embedded in the walls of the ossuary.

What do St. Petersburg, Paris, Rome, and Philadelphia have in common? You know, besides being metropolitan centers for the arts and the homeless? The answer lies in a smallish hall dedicated to the macabre. But, you may be saying, what of the Parisian Catacombs? Don’t you find miles of underground tunnels, which include a very well organized ossuary creepy enough? Well, yeah, you got me there. Walls lined with human bones and floors laden with bone dust is pretty messed up, but have you been to…

Exhibit A: Musee de Fragonard

Housed in the Alfort Veterinary School of Paris, the Museum is a single hall where rows of shelves containing dusty jars filled with formaldehyde and labeled in yellowing hundred-year-old French handwriting explain that you are looking at the two-headed fetus the occasional occurrence of which may have been the basis of Janus mythos. Or, perhaps, the lonely mermaid baby, a fetus with its legs fused and feet resembling the fins of a fish, floating calmly in its jar. The star of the collection, however, is just beyond some animal bones, in a glass cabinet, for it can certainly not be contained in a jar. This is The Horseman, Fragonard’s most impressive Ecorché. Both the horse and his master are flayed, but their flesh and veins are somehow frozen in time. At their feet are three skeletal fetuses, immobilized in festive postures, a gruesome dance of death. Continue reading