Escape to the Movies: "Alice in Wonderland"

And in “celebration” of what’s easily Tim Burton’s crappiest movie since “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory,” this week’s Intermission has the four lowest-rung movies in Burton’s filmography:

Crazy Lady Reviews "Avatar"

I don’t know that many people are aware of “Not Evil, Just Wrong” a fringe anti-environmentalism documentary thats become kind of a hot item on the so-called “Tea Party” circuit. As you might guess from the title and political bent, it’s a conspiracy piece arguing that environmental-protection (like DDT bans or cap-and-trade) lead to increased mortality in poverty-class regions. There’s a larger than you’d like to believe subset of humanity out there that believes such policies is all part of an orchestrated campaign to deliberately lower the human population – think of them as the global-warming denial crowd’s version of 9/11 “Truthers.”

Anyway, since “GOP Pretends To Take The Teabaggers Seriously” was the theme of this year’s CPAC, Ann McElhinney – one of the producers – was invited to give a speech and did so in the form of reviewing “Avatar.” If it wins Best Picture, we’ve got about a DECADE of this stuff to look forward to laughing at, so you might as well get a jump start:

I’m sure I’ve got readers who agree with some of this tripe, but even so… for the love of God, there are two wars on and major history-altering bills under consideration in Washington, and this woman is at what’s supposed to be a serious strategic-gathering for one of the two “sides” in all this railing against a blue cat-alien movie.

My favorite part is when she appologizes to the crowd for not being an American… and people wonder why I can’t call myself a Libertarian anymore ;(

Tonight Show

To those who say that Jay Leno traffics in bland, pandering, safe, tired comedy; you should know that as of two minutes ago Mr. Leno marked his return to the Tonight Show – after one of the most tumultuous and material-ripe back and forths in TV history – with a parody of the “…and you were there!” bit from The Wizard of Oz.

So… um… there? 😉

Angry Nerd does "Swordquest"

I’m assuming that most of us are familiar, at least by reputation, with James Rolfe – aka “The Angry Video-Game Nerd.” If not, in brief: He’s probably the first genuinely important video gaming commentator to emerge from the world of web videos. His hook: Rolfe – in character as a foul-mouthed nerd archetype – reviews infamously-awful vintage games, frequently as part of an over-arching comedy skit.

The humor and the ever-increasing retro-popularity for gaming obscura made the character an instant hit a few years back, though many initially dismissed him as yet another one-note Youtube phenomenon; he quickly revealed himself as something much more: A remarkably insightful critic and historian of gaming arcana. The Nerd’s focus is almost-exclusively on games of the pre-Playstation era, and – by intent or not – the specific “game-is-bad-must-beat-it-anyway” rage that is his trademark is itself a recognizable relic to Gamers Of A Certain Age: The masochism of having bought/been given a stinker and forcing yourself through it anyway because… well, what ELSE were you going to play?

As part of that broader nostalgia trip, occasionally The Nerd lets (some) of the angry-cussin’ veneer drop for episodes that are more like history lessons, and in his newest episode he’s tackled a doozy: “Swordquest,” the epic (failed) Atari 2600 experiment in which a (planned) series of four games were to be played as part of clue-hunt through tie-in comics that would yield players prizes in the form of real gold-cast “treasures” valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the Crash of 83 cut the whole event off in the middle; leaving behind dissapointed fans and a two decade long unsolved mystery involving – yes – a lost sword.

Just watch the video, which I’d say is easily one of the best episodes he’s ever done…

How nuts is that, right? It’s like the pre-title backstory to one of the “National Treasure” movies!