Toddler vs. Cat: Guess Which One Wins?

When I first saw this GIF I was kind of horrified at what I saw.  It’s basically a 5-second clip of a young kid and a cat on a bed.  The kid is crying while the cat is just staring at him.  Suddenly he smacks the cat and you see the cat hiss and then attack the kid, who subsequently falls off the bed holding his face.  This is where the GIF ends.

My first instinct is to defend the cat – full disclosure, I’m a cat guy – but there’s no context as to why the toddler was crying.  My own guess is that the cat was probably meowing and the kid didn’t like that and began crying – babies tend to cry a lot.  It’s certainly possible that the cat was hissing at the child before the clip actually started but we just don’t know.

Anyway, check out the GIF and judge for yourself if one or the other or maybe both were in the wrong.

baby vs. cat

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National Geographic’s Taboo: Gawking with Class

tabooPeople who like to gawk at weirdoes on the TV tend to watch A&E for shows like Virgin Diaries, Hoarders, and Intervention. Until recently if you wanted to feel better about yourself by seeing just how deranged someone else was, A&E was the best game in town. Now the National Geographic channel is giving A&E a run for their money with Taboo.

Taboo takes a different subculture or cultural trope each week and explores its implication around the world. One episode may feature pregnant teens from Australia, a sexually permissive indigenous Thai tribe and a southern chastity ball. Unlike the History Channel and others whose expert panel consist of Professors from Palookaville Correspondence University, Taboo gets sociological professors from legitimate schools along with real experts on the subject to discuss the cultural implications of a given taboo.

National Geographic has created a show that is both gawk worthy and legitimately educational. It’s a good mix of following a character, or characters, through a story and one off, self-contained, 5 minute documentaries on a given subject. Finally we can judge and learn! It looks like a new channel is giving A&E a run for their money. What other shows are on Nat Geo’s horizon?

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New Looper Trailer Has Me Excited For the Time Traveling Action Flick

The newest trailer for “Looper” has been released, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis. The premise that a time traveling hit man (Levitt) is sent to kill various targets. By time traveling to kill them, he can ensure any record of their existence is wiped clean. Of course, things get complicated when his next target is an old man (Willis) claiming to be, well, him.

JGL looks nothing like himself, as it looks like they’ve done some makeup or CGI to make him look closer to what Bruce Willis would if he were younger. It’s a little off-putting (especially to someone like me, who rather enjoys JGL’s actual face immensely), but otherwise it looks to be superbly acted and a pretty original premise.

Check it out here:

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Who Do I Want to Win America’s Got Talent?

America's Got Talent

America’s Got Talent

As I was writing the title above I actually sighed a bit because that’s a hard question to answer.  Continue reading

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Katy Perry: Part of Me, Sure to Celebrate All Things Great about America

part of meMy all-time favorite concert movie has been the Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense for as long as I can remember but I suspect all that is about to change. This Friday marks the release of Katy Perry’s 3D concrete movie/candid tell-all Part of Me. Fans of Perry, myself included, have been waiting for this moment since Hot and Cold.

Now if you like the explosive combination of excitement, alcohol and children, you will be seeing this movie opening day Friday (the film technically opens Thursday at midnight) with a bottle of vodka in tow. You may get some dirty looks from the parents but that will all fade into the background as you singing along to the bridge of 2010s tantalizing hit, Teenage Dream.

I’m just hoping I can contain myself for the duration of the film. I got kicked out of the ABBA movie for drinking and singing along and that movie sucked! When it comes to Katy Perry’s music it hard to contain the surge of energy one feels when her songs play. The fact she is extremely attractive doesn’t hurt either.

Those who can’t wait till the 5th can watch the pop star preform Firework on the 4th of July!

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I am not about to tell you that Walt Disney Pixar’s Brave is one of the most stunning cinematic achievements in history. Save for the Cars franchise I feel that I have been able to say that about pretty much all of Pixars films but this time something has shifted. The movie was touching, exciting and fun in a way that is totally in line with all of the great Pixar films. The problem here is in fact a sort of uniform greatness that I fear might make my continued enjoyment of Pixar’s future output hard to appreciate.

The pieces were all there. A fantastical story, an admirable but complex protagonist, a character being turned into a bear. In some ways the stories fairy tale story arch and general aesthetic might have helped curb my enjoyment. It wasn’t that I didn’t find the story charming but the narrative innovations of Wall-E, the striking humor of Ratatouillie and the emotional gut punch of Up seems to be missing.

That said the movie is beautiful and should be seen and appreciated. It would be terrible for such a great piece of work to be tossed onto the also-ran pile.

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The Original The Wicker Man Is Still Weird As Hell

About a week ago, I sat down and watched the original The Wicker Man with someone who had never seen it before. I remember seeing it once before, a long time ago, because as a horror fan I was told it was a classic must-see. When we sat down to watch it, the person I was with turned to me and said “how would you describe this movie? Gory? Thriller?” and I replied, “weird. It’s just really weird.”

And yes, it still is. First of all, the movie is from the 70s, so you’ve got that great vibe. The entire thing revolves around a cop heading to an island that seems to be off the mainland of Scotland, looking for a missing girl who sent him a letter, scared for her life. He is a devout Christian and the people of the island are Pagans. His  beliefs often clash with what he sees around him, like wild orgies (yes, there’s a lot of nakedness in this movie) and weird rituals.

Also, the movie seems to be partly musical. Every few minutes the Pagan weirdos are breaking out into another song that just makes you cock your head to the side, raise an eyebrow and say “huh?” It’s very odd, especially the one scene where a naked chick starts singing in her room and banging on the walls and furniture, while the cop hears here in the other room and is apparently equally turned on and horrified by this.

The movie is freakin’ weird, but it’s such a cult classic that I feel like everyone should see it at least once. Take from it what you will (which will probably be that people living on islands participate in a lot of orgies).

Oh, and if you must know, that other person? They totally agreed. “Weird.”

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True Blood S5:E3 Recap, Analysis, Complaints

We’re now three episodes deep into the fifth season of True Blood, and the boys and girls from Bon Temps are doing exactly what they do best… they’re spinning the tires without going anywhere.

Let’s not even bother complaining that in 60 minutes we couldn’t even get one shot of Russel Edgington. Forget that. Put it on the backburner. They want us to shiver in anticipation for another week, or month, or season, fine, by all means, go wild. Tease up. Make our balls as blue as Neptune.

No story line is moving along! Tara reveals she’s a vampire to the Merlotte’s staff… inevitable. Alcide discovers the true reality of Debbie’s demise… inevitable. The faeries making a slow and quiet return… inevitable, no matter how little any of us care.

Terry off to go hunt pyro marines… boring. Andy and Holly doing the middle school dance routine… boring. Hoyt going goth to get “eaten alive,” as Pam put it… boring. Not to mention weird. Captain Jack pulled it off, Hoyt. But you’re no Johnny Depp.

The Rev becoming the new public face of vampires? Okay, yeah, I guess that could be interesting. Right now it’s not, but hey, maybe it will be. (Like when he ends up betraying Roman and The Authority and joins the Sanguinistas. Write that one down.)

Even Chris Meloni’s character, one of the two biggest reasons to be excited about Season 5, did little in last nights episode to push the story along. He compares himself to Martin Luther King and JFK… which obviously completely crushes Meloni’s chances of keeping his name in the credits for Season Six.

However, the biggest complaint of last nights episode has to be the revelations on Jason Stackhouse. What the audience discovered last night is that rather than being some sex-obsessed hound dog every frat guy on the face of the planet could look up to, Jason’s actually the victim of a very inappropriate teacher-student relationship. That’s not funny. That’s not awesome. That’s sad. Jason Stackhouse isn’t suppose to be sad! They took the silliest character and turned him into a victim. What’s to gain from that!?

The episode was not without its positives, to be fair, none more enjoyable then the continued revelations on Pam’s background and turning. The relationship as we’ve seen it previously offered little evidence that it would be Pam who wanted to be a vampire, as opposed to Eric wanting her to join him. Even the flashbacks from last episode suggested Eric had a special interest in his future protege, and as viewers who knew the endgame, the path seemed predictable. Instead, we see that it is “Pamela,” and not “Mr. Northman,” who forces the issue. One can hope we’ll get to see more on how that relationship developed to where it is now… but will we?

It is at that moment, when Pam tells her future maker he must either turn her or watch her bleed to death, that we see the usually unflappable Eric appear lost. Unquestionably the most powerful scene last night, and perhaps of the entire season. We already knew he cared about her, but that relationship could have been chalked up to decades of loyal service. It’s clear he cared for her even when she was human… something Eric Northman previously seemed incapable of.

Oh, and via the Eric-and-Pam backstory, we get a bonus of seeing the first time the former Viking met civil war veteran Bill Compton. That was fun, wasn’t it?

Things to look forward to: Eric and Bill Go Back to Bon Temps, with a team of Seal Team 6 vampire ninjas to help them hunt down Russell. Who will hopefully get to actually say something at some point this summer.

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Review, The Newsroom

If you have seen one piece of Aaron Sorkin’s television work you likely knew what to expect in The Newsroom, HBO’s new Sorkin helmed political drama. The question you likely worried about was would this be The West Wing, a high stakes and intensely felt drama about real problems played about as dramatically as they should be, or would this be Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, a laughably premised mid-stakes series of situations played in a way that seems at best over blown and at worst unseemly melodramatic.

The verdict was hard to render watching last night’s premiere. There is no way to truly judge a show by it’s pilot but there are signs about which way the wind is blowing and with The Network a lot of them seemed to be bad. The shaky camera, the “walk and talk,” the emotional infrastructure among the staff of a news show it all felt too close and too conveniently Sorkin in some ways.

There were thrills, as there were on Studio 60. When the show works you actually start to believe what is occurring has the weight these actors and the script is putting on them. But then there are those long soliloquies, tight piles of words stacking on top of each other and making things feel needlessly complicated. I’m not writing The Newsroom off just sensing an underwhelming trajectory.

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Seeking a Friend For the End of the World Is Hilarious and Heartfelt

I had the privilege of winning passes to see Seeking a Friend For the End of the World on tuesday, before it even opened (opening was today). Starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightly, the movie is a comedy about, well, the end of the world. A giant asteroid is about to slam into earth and there are about 3 weeks left until it does. Carell’s wife leaves him at the very start, leaving him with the desire to search for his high school sweetheart. Knightly’s character has just broken up with her  boyfriend and is looking for a way to get back to London to see her family.  The two are neighbors and meet up in the aftermath of the asteroid strike announcement and decide to help each other out on their journeys.

The movie starts off as pure humor but quickly becomes more serious as it progresses and actually rather heartfelt and touching. It’s fun to see how exactly some people would react in the face of imminent doom (and although a lot of it is humorous, it is also probably true) and I really enjoyed both Carell  and Knightly’s performances. That’s saying something because both are hit or miss for me.

I actually shed a tear or two by the end of the film and I really enjoyed it. My friend and I were talking bets on whether the world would actually end or not and well, I’m not going to give that away. But it is definitely worth seeing. If I had paid the full $13 to see it, I would’ve walked away feeling I got my money’s worth. It is a refreshing movie in an industry that seems really bent on boring remakes.

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