I am a passionate fan of 80's kids’ movies. Goonies, Stand By Me, Explorers, Space Camp, Monster Squad, Cloak and Dagger, Labyrinth, and several others occupy coveted slots on my all-time list. While I enjoyed recent kids’ movies such as Harry Potter, Super 8, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they never captured the magic of those older films.
Is it just me? There's a certain hollowness in the modern kid flick. Something missing. The movies follow all the formulas. However, like recreating your grandparents' heirloom recipes, an intangible quality is always missing. Is it the uber slickness that comes with an astronomical major motion picture budget? The high def, count-the-zits image quality? The computer generated effects? I really don’t know the cause. But the result is the notably absent charm that once oozed from the movies of my childhood.
"They just don't make movies like they used to.” Nooooooo! Am I becoming Granddad? If for nothing else, I search for the illusive, magical, modern kid flick to stave off my inevitable transformation into a jaded, grumpy old man. Netflix's insidious AI is well aware of my quest. And it is always happy to guide me through the harrowing wilderness of its immense catalog towards possible holy grails.
This morning I was distracted by a little, 2005 independent film called Twelve and Holding. Yep, fucking Netflix debo'd my free-time once again. Curses. Twelve and Holding, however, was just good enough—just awkward and quirky enough—to compel me to throw it out there: Is this the Great White Buffalo?
Wow. I am rusty at this writing thing. So, 2011 sucked donkey balls and I’m going to grade the resolutions that I made a one year ago on this day. Here’s a hint: I failed. This is why I hate New Year’s Resolutions. They are just further proof of how much I suck.
Obviously I haven’t written much of anything since March. I have a litany of excuses. My job workload picked up dramatically. I became a political activist. I acquired a taste for zombies. Awesome games such as Portal 2, Catherine, Dragon Age II, Skyrim, and Deus Ex demanded my fleeting attention. All of that is true, but none caused my flameout as a writer.
I blame Netflix. My name is Bobby and I am a Netflix Addict. I hate you Netflix and your stupid, amazingly accurate suggestions. You know my tastes better than I do. And for that, you must be destroyed. You know too much.
I recently began writing for Anime Maki, the anime/manga blog created by my former DVDTalk/AnimeTalk cohort, Todd Douglass. I just finished my first review for that site and am still in full-on anime geek mode.
There are many who claim to have no interest in anime, but underneath the veneer of indifference there’s that nagging curiosity in your mind. That little spark of interest could grow into a wildfire of anime addiction if you allow it to, but you’ve never taken the plunge. Today is the day you walk the path of the otaku (that’s Japanese for anime nerd). Allow me to guide you.
Some people have preconceived notions that anime is just giant space robots or those perverted Japanese bondage cartoons. Well, there is a shit-ton of that available. However, there are so many subgenres in anime, that there truly is something for everyone. This is why I’m floored when somebody tells me that they don’t like anime.
Recently, a strange game evolved from a combination of Netflix’s Instant Watch and my own comatose state of couch-potato boredom. I call it Netflix Randomness. Not that this game is at all random—the name just rolls off the tongue a little easier than Solitaire Movie-Geek Chicken.
Here are the rules to Netflix Randomness. You browse the Instant Watch listings until you find something that grabs your attention. It can be anything. The swerve is that this movie (or television show) must be one that you have never seen, never heard of, and would never watch under any other circumstance. Beyond that, every title is fair game. Once you have located a suitable target, the game is set and you’re in for the duration. And before you probe for loopholes, you have to pause the movie when you leave the room and you cannot play on your cell phone or laptop during the movie. Choose wisely.
This is all merely how I internally justify wasting hours of potential productivity by vegging in front of Netflix. The next evolution of this game will have to include stakes because there’s just not much incentive to sit through a real turd other than groaning about it on the internet.
A couple of weeks ago, while watching a UFC fight, I noticed that one of the fighters
looked like a character from the old Nintendo game, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. The
resemblance was uncanny. Inspiration hit me to write a “Separated at Birth” article
for that fighter and the Punch Out character, but then I started matching other
people with Punch Out characters and decided to do the full cast. Unfortunately,
I am not so brilliant that I am the first person to think of this article and ran
into no less than five others with a quick Google search. But fuck it, I love the
idea, I love the video game, so I’m doing my own.
I am going to do a little role playing here. I am the casting director for Mike
Tyson’s Punch Out, a new summer blockbuster to come out in 2012—hopefully before
the world explodes that year. Below is my wishlist for the film cast.