So, I've been playing online at Bovada. I put on $100 just to try it out. Depositing using Moneygram was pretty easy, and according to the assembled multitudes at 2+2 cashouts arrive within a couple of weeks.
One interesting thing about Bovada: the tables are "anonymous" so when I sit down I am "Player 4" and the other players are similarly named. So every time you sit down it is like sitting down with a table of strangers, and any notes you take on a player are only good for as long as he stays at the table. Having a HUD or access to an online player database is worthless, which I like since I never got around to figuring that stuff out.
In a recent comment exchange on EVWhore's LJ , there was some discussion of The Mist, a movie with a particularly stupid ending. That got me thinking of other movies with blown endings. Here are a few that I came up with:
Vanilla Sky (a) Smilla's Sense of Snow (b) Source Code (c) Fight Club (d) The Happening (or, really, any film directed by M. Night Shyamalan) (e) Contact (f) Perfect Stranger (g)
a. Tom Cruise is in a cryogenic sleep program, and apparently it's giving him nightmares. Which were the movie. b. Aliens under the ice. What? c. The source code is a program that creates a simulation useful for detecting the facts about a crime. Turns out at the end the source code can create its own reality that people can enter. Total logical collapse. d. The protagonist shoots himself in the mouth to kill off the other half of his split personality. Then he wanders over to the window to watch a bunch of bank buildings blow up. OK, but....and....never mind. e. MNight's whole deal now is to construct movies with surprise endings, whether they make sense or not. How many one-star flops does it take before investors cut off funding? f. So the aliens sent us these digital plans, we used 80% of the world GDP to build the device, and then we learned...nothing. Pretty sadistic aliens. g. Whodunit? Not who you think. Or could have possibly guessed, given that you never got one fucking clue.
I was in Zia Records a few weeks ago and grabbed several movies out of the $2 bin. They were:
A Scanner Darkly – If you've ever downloaded one of those photo-art apps that converts photos into cartoony images, you have experienced everything this movie has to offer. That app has been used on every frame of this film. Like the app, you get bored with the gimmick after a few minutes and are ready for something else. I think this gimmick was added in post to conceal the fact that the plot is slow and uninteresting. I can’t even tell you what it was about. Robert Downey Jr. is pretty much wasted on this. Grade D-
The Host – A Korean monster movie rooted in the 1950s. Toxic chemicals dumped in the Han river (in 1958 it would have been radiation) causes _something_ (kind of a cross between a chameleon and a chimp) to mutate and grow to huge proportions. The monster is pretty cool and well executed CGI and steals all the scenes it’s in. Unfortunately, the humans in the film are terrible. Bad overacting and amateurish directing – again similar to a 1950s B movie I guess. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave this a 93% fresh. I give it a C+, only that high because of the monster.
Night Moves – A Gene Hackman vehicle made a few years after the French Connection. Features a teen-aged Melanie Griffith running around naked, or nearly so, for most of the film. Hackman is one of my favorite actors, but this thing is not worthy of his talents. The plot twists and turns several times without warning, parts of it don’t connect up, and nothing at all happens for long periods of time. Kind of like an episode of the Rockford Files stretched to a two-hour run time. Walter Chaw (at Film Freak Central), who is one of my favorite movie critics, gave this four stars. I give it a C.
28 Days Later / 28 Weeks Later – Somehow I missed these when they first came out. Two excellent zombie movies, not to be missed if you like that genre. 28 Weeks Later is the better of the two, though it isn't perfect. Two things I had trouble with. First, why in the world would they leave the virus-immune-but-infected lady unguarded in an unlocked room so her moronic non-immune husband could wander in? Second, the Jeremy Renner uber-sniper character suddenly and without warning gets a conscience halfway through the film. I guess I’m just supposed to watch without thinking too much about what I’m seeing. B+ for Days / A- for Weeks.
Day of the Jackal – This is the original 1973 version with Edward Fox. I’ve seen this before, of course, but not for a long time. Time has not been kind to it. Too much time is devoted to ‘procedure.” Did we really need to see all the details of how the Jackal negotiates for and purchases fake papers, dyes his hair, etc.? Maybe in 1978 these kind of actions would qualify a person as a criminal mastermind, but today it’s just boring. I remember this being a great movie, but in 2014 it gets a B.
Zodiac – Another one I missed when it came out, about the SF Bay Area Zodiac Killer. I grew up in the Bay Area, and I was in high school during the peak of Zodiac frenzy. I was preoccupied with hormones and other high school priorities, so I didn't pay too much attention to it at the time. This film, while inconclusive, of course (the killer has never been definitively identified), is well executed and captivating. Grade: A
"You mean you can run back a missed field goal?? Who knew?"
Amazing hubris to try a field goal from 57 yards with a guy who has already missed three in the game, who can't even kick it that far, and then top it off by not telling his team if the kick is missed be sure to cover the runback.
According to Rush, the GOP lost because it is full of a bunch of pussies who just want to pander to the women and to the gays and to Redskin hating Indians while throwing the Tea Party under the bus. Seriously.
“We’ll go out, we’ll expand our demographics, we’ll get a lot of Hispanics doing this, by throwing away the Tea Party, and we’ll get a lot of women voters coming back. We’ll throw away our base, and we’ll get the transgender and the lesbian, gay, bisexual groups, we’ll go out and get the Indians that are ticked off at the Redskins. We’ll get them! We’ll come out against that, and pretty soon we’re gonna own the country.”