Sunday, March 31, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation 3D Review

I hated the first G.I. Joe movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. (2009) It was loud, shallow and stupid. So I wasn't looking forward to seeing the sequel. After all, this movie is based on the 3 3/4 inch action figures. And we've seen the junk movies based on toys before. (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Battleship) But the introduction of the smaller action figures from the orginal twelve inch doll in 1982 also came a comic book and cartoon series featuring the villainous Cobra organization. So at least, there's some semblance of a story line.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation picks up where G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra left off. Queen and King Birthers Orly Taitz and Donald Trump plan to expose President Barack Obama's insidious plan to make America into a socialist paradise. They must expose the plot to plant a foreign born president and the way his mother planted Obama's birth announcements in the Hawaiian newspapers in 1961. Um.... okay, that's not the plot to G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

The real plot to the movie is that it does pick up where The Rise of Cobra left off. There's a fake President of the United States installed in the person of Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) of Cobra. The real President (Jonathan Pryce) has been captured. Zartan uses Cobra as his security and army. In case you didn't know, the G.I. Joes are an elite fighting force. The Joes are dispatched to Pakistan to secure a nuclear warhead after the country's leader is assassinated. Led by Duke (Channing Tatum), they include Roadblock (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cortrana) and Lady Jaye. (Adrianne Palicki) Zartan as the President orders his forces to attack the Joes. Roadblock, Flint and Lady Jaye are theonly survivors. Zartan blames the Joes and they are framed for the theft of the warhead.

Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) breaks out Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) from a secret American prison facility. Blind Master (RZA) convenes Joe's Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Jinx (Elodie Yung) for a mission. Blind Master asks the two to seize Storm Shadow alive and bring him to justice. The surviving Joes go undercover and get the help of G.I. Joe founder, General Joe Colton, (Bruce Willis) They intend to clear their names, expose Cobra's plans and stop them.

Everything about this movie is competent. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have written an adequate screenplay that at least raises problems with real world countries. The plot points regarding North Korea and Pakistan have a basis in reality. I mean it's an actual fear that Pakistan's nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. You don't see that covered in Bond movies. Director Jon Chu is adept at staging the action scenes. They make sense and don't overwhelm you with loud explosions. Of note, is the impressive ninja fight on the Himalaya mountains. But competent doesn't equate to good. The movie can't escape its shallow cartoon origins. It's a movie built around the action set pieces. There's a lack of exposition. I mean Storm Shadow was killed in The Rise of Cobra. Yet, there's no explanation of how he comes back to life. And who is Blind Master and what's his relation to the Joes? It's these kinds of plot holes that bring down a movie. And if they can ignore plot holes, at least for the third G.I. Joe movie they can bring back Duke (Channing Tatum) since Tatum is now a burgeoning movie star and sex symbol. See his Magic Mike. (2012)

The acting performances are like the rest of the movie. Dwayne Johnson is just competent. I can't buy his anguish at the loss of the Joes because that's not in his acting range. Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce and the rest of the cast take the movie seriously so there's no camp in their performances that could sink a cartoon movie like this. Willis' home arsenal would make a NRA member envious. Adrianne Palicki deserves a special mention. She's the type of eye candy for teenage males that could rocket her to stardom. Whether she's wielding an assault rifle, scantily clad or wearing a stunning red evening dress, Palicki's sexual magnetism easily bests the actions sequences of this movie.

As whether you should pay the extra bucks for 3D, you must first realize that G.I. Joe: Retailiation is a conversion from 2D to 3D. And I agree with Roger Ebert. You cannot turn a 2D movie into a 3D movie. The best you can do is have a cinematic pop up book. That being said, it's not bad for a conversion. Occasionally, there's some pop in the scenes. And the movie was well lit. However, it's clear there was little thought put into shooting the movie as a 3D feature. So, there's nothing special in watching it in 3D. If you are going to see this film, choose the 2D version.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a better movie than its predecessor. That's not saying much. But you could do worse. You could be in a CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) breakout session on race. The grade is C +.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jon Stewart skewers conservative Supreme Court justices

The issues of the constitutionality of gay marriage and DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) were recently before the United Supreme Court. On Thursday, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show ripped Supreme Court justices Scalia and Scalito, er... Alito for their conservative views opposing gays because they were based on not what was right but ancient fears of conservative men. Good stuff. Check Jon's commentary below.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stephen Colbert looks at study of Facebook "Likes"

British scientists discover that Facebook "Likes" defines a person's personality and intelligence. Get this. People that "like" Stephen Colbert have high IQs. Um, if you read this blog and check my topics and favorite links, you'll find Stephen Colbert has his own links. :-) Well, Stephen Colbert did a very funny piece on the study.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stephen Colbert takes on Republican attempts to win young people

The Republican Party recognizes it has a demographics problem. It doesn't appeal to women, minorities, and young people. The Republicans did a political autopsy. And their solution for attracting young people? A Republican celebrity task force! Stephen Colbert takes a look at this large divide by great satire. Hilarious stuff.

Jon Stewart looks at CPAC and conservative outreach to minorities

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show took a look at the recent CPAC event and Republican attempts to get minority support. Good luck, Republicans, especially when a conservative at breakout CPAC session defended slavery. Stewart also has fun with Donald Trump who bemoaned why we don't welcome immigrants from Europe. Hmmm. I wonder why he is complaining about the lack of European immigrants. Anyway, Jon Stewart gives it a funny spin.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stephen Colbert on Ham Rove versus Karl Rove

We finally get a comment from Bush's Brain, Karl Rove, about Stephen Colbert's gag portraying him as a canned ham called Ham Rove. Of course, Colbert can't let this go. Hilarious stuff.

Stephen Colbert looks at the mini-series "The Bible"

Stephen Colbert takes on the History Channel's mini-series "The Bible." Check out his riotous video below.

Stephen Colbert takes on the election of Pope Francis

America's funniest Catholic, Stephen Colbert looks at the selection of Pope Francis. Hilarious Star Wars joke.

The Republican Party, the New Fascists, Part Three

Previously I've written about Michigan's Emergency Manager law which was passed by Republican governor Rick Snyder and his Republican cronies. The law allows the governor to appoint an Emergency Manager to take over a financially distressed city. The result would be that the Emergency Manager could void all laws by elected officials. Sounds like tyranny, doesn't it? That's because it is. It is government run by a dictator. Now, the Republicans have taken over Detroit. My hope is that somebody takes legal action and end this tyranny before it spreads to other states. Rachel Maddow covers this story as she did with Benton Harbor, Michigan. And she points out, it doesn't work.

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The Croods 3D Review

Recently, movie studios have been quite adventurous in storytelling when it comes to animated features. There was Up (2009) whose hero was an elderly man. Last year, there was Brave, a medieval Scottish tale about an independent thinking young woman. This year, Dreamworks has released a tale about a family. But it's not just any family. It's a prehistorical tale about a Neanderthal clan.

The Croods (pronounced "crudes") are a family of Neanderthal humans. They are led by Grug Crood (Nicholas Cage, the father and leader of the family. In this family is the mother, Ugga (Catherine Keener), son Thug (Clark Duke), baby daughter Sandy (Randy Thorn), mother in law, Gran (Cloris Leachman), and young teenage daughter Eep. (Emma Stone) Grug's philosophy of life is fear. Darkness and exploration brings danger and at times they do, since wild animals could prey on humans. He commands the family to cower in the cave and not leave during the night. But the story is told through Eep who yearns to explore the world. She escapes the cave and finds Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a homo sapien young man, who knows how to make fire. After an earthquake destroys the cave, the family and Guy set out to find a new home, one which Guy calls "Tomorrow."

The performances are all pretty good. Nicholas Cage doesn't overwhelm us with any mugging and his Grug is the depiction of conservative based on fear. Ryan Reynolds comes off as youthful, and smart. But as always, Emma Stone delivers another great performance. She's hopeful and adventurous. She is the most attractive of the characters.

Directors Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) and Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps) (have written a competent screenplay based on their story with John Cleese. Yes, it's the Monty Python Cleese. I like the ideas in the film. The issue of overcoming fear with intelligence and hope is a good thing to teach children.

But it's the bizarre plot points that bring down the movie a bit. First, a number of the animals bear no resemblance to real world creatures that existed at the time. Angry birds that can strip the flesh off other animals sounds like something from another planet. And there's a saber tooth tiger that looks more like a gigantic stuffed animal created by Andy Warhol than the one you see at the museum. All this makes me want to watch this movie on drugs. Then there is using Neanderthals as protagonists. Gutsy. But frankly, they're not very attractive. Still, get through the first two thirds and The Croods' hopeful ideas carry the film.

As for the 3D, I can mildly recommend you see The Croods in 3D. Some effects pop. Best scene is where the fire sends embers in the air. But a good deal of the film takes place in the darkness. Not conducive for 3D and especially bad since you're wearing dark glasses. It's not as great as Sanders' How to Train Your Dragon. Still, the 3D effects are noticeable.

The Croods 3D is a good movie not a great one. It does have a great message about following intelligence over fear. The grade is B.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Iraq War ten years later

Wikipedia defines preventative war as " a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned." It is different from preemptive war. Again from Wikipedia, "Preventive war is distinct from preemptive war, which is first strike when an attack is imminent." Today is the tenth year anniversary of the Iraq War, America's first preventative war and biggest foreign policy mistake.

President George W. Bush's administration declared that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Some in the Bush circle tried to link Hussein to 9/11 and Al Qaeda. There was the comment from National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice about smoking guns becoming a mushroom cloud. But here are the facts. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Iraq did not attack us, we attacked them. We Americans believe in justice and due process. But Bush ignored core American values by waging war against a country that did not have weapons of mass destruction. What was outrageous was the evidence that Iraq had such WMDs was weak. The costs of the war according to a piece by Chris Matthews was over a hundred and ninety thousand Iraqis were killed. Over four thousand American troops were killed. And over two trillion of our treasury was spent. If there is anything to be learned it's this, we should never engage in preventative war again or at least be very sure that there credible evidence to go to war.

Here are Chris Matthews' video Hardball pieces on the Iraq War.

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Seek the Bright Moments

A reader once asked me for my philosophy on life. I declined to give it because I don't want this blog to be about me. Sure, I give my opinions but frankly I believe that my life is boring and giving my views on life is somewhat egotistic.

However, certain events recently has made me think about life. I don't want to get into the particulars. I want to keep many parts of my life private, at least from the Internet. But this is what I have observed. Life is fragile. Treasure every good moment. Bad things exist but look upon them as part of the mosaic of one's life. But hold in your hearts the moments that brought you happiness. These bright moments will make life worth living. Here's jazz great Rahsaan Roland Kirk with his song "Bright Moments."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Those Crazy Birthers, Part Thirty One

My muse, Sarah Palin went birther. She made a joke at CPAC about background checks for guns. She joked that President Obama is the one that needed it. Oh, Sarah. You confused the bailout with health care. You didn't know Africa was a continent. And you thought Paul Revere's ride was about warning the British. Here's Chris Matthews piece from Hardball.

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Conservatives are from the past and some are racist

If you've been following CPAC, (Conservative Political Action Conference) the big conservative conference, you would find out that conservatives continue to cling to the past. And what I mean by the past, I'm talking about the early twentieth century, pre-Teddy Roosevelt. And some conservatives cling to the angry white man racism that may have been good for the Southern strategy but is no longer relevant as the country has become more diverse. Previously, I've written that some conservatives are racist. Well, check out this piece from Chris Matthews program, Hardball. A conservative activist indicates that slavery was good for blacks, in that they received food and shelter. (At the 10:00 minute mark.) Then there is Donald Trump. At the conference, he bemoans the fact that there aren't more European immigrants. Read: he wants more white people. (At the seven minute mark.) I don't make this stuff up folks.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day. How about the Corrs and the Chieftains performing "I Know My Love."

Bill Maher takes on the minority right-wing

On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill's last New Rule was about the small group of people who are in the right-wing and seem to be controlling the vast majority of Americans' lives. It started out with the Million Moms complaints about the Geico ad with woman on a date with a pig. They thought it encouraged bestiality. Hey I'm not making this stuff up. Anyway, his piece was hilarious. View it courtesy of Mediaite and HBO.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness

There's a new teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness. Check it out below. It does contain some new scenes. Kirk looks like he gets in trouble for violating the Prime Directive. And the tone of the film also demonstrates a more playful tone.

Wrong about Peter Weller's character

In the past, I've made a guess that actor Peter Weller's character in the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness movie was either John Paxton from Enterprise (Episodes "Demons and Terra Prime") or his descendant. Well, according to, I am wrong. Warning. Major Spoiler ahead.

His character is Admiral Marcus. story with other major spoilers. We can now deduce that he's the father of Carol Marcus. (Alice Eve) I still think he plays a major part in defrosting Khan. :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stephen Colbert takes on North Korea's' dream of nuking America

Okay, I'll admit that I'm an Asian American. But that doesn't mean I understand what all Asians think. Recently, North Korea has threatened to end the sixty year Korean War cease fire. Well, they also released a video of a man dreaming about nuking New York. Get this. The soundtrack to the video is the song "We Are The World." What the? See as an Asian American, I don't get it. Well, thankfully, Stephen Colbert has some fun with it. Check out his funny take.

New favorite links

When I first started this blog, I thought, "What would I write about?" Well, it had to be of interest to me. So, as you can see on the title of this blog, you'll get an idea of what this blog is about. And I mean to entertain you. So if you want more stuff to look at, I've included a favorite link section. Click on those websites and you won't be bored. There's a lot of great content over there.

Recently, I've added new links. As you can tell, I love movies. So there are three new film sites. They are,, and Slash Film. Looking for great jazz in Cincinnati? Check out the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. I like to laugh too. Check out Funny or Die. Not funny all of the time, but sometimes it's hilarious. At least, they try to hit it out of the ballpark. Finally, check out the talented graphics artist Ben Wong at Ben Wong Design.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stephen Colbert examines the rising gun sales and an experiment to give away free guns

Stephen Colbert takes on rising gun sales and a goofy experiment where you can get a free gun. Very funny video.

Stephen Colbert takes on Obama's sci-fi gaffe

Trekker Stephen Colbert took on President Obama's mistake of mixing Star Wars and Star Trek with his phrase "Jedi mind meld." Hilarious stuff.

Jon Stewart looks at Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea

Oh boy. Dennis Rodman visited North Korea to visit their dictator Kim Jong-un. Hilarious stuff. And check out Stewart's take on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's post election interviews. Great stuff.

Jon Stewart takes on the sequester

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show takes on the sequester, and President Obama's mistake of mixing Star Wars and Star Trek. Funny stuff.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog sues Carnival Cruise Lines

Here's a press conference with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog where he announces he's going to sue Carnival Cruise Lines for the luxury liner disaster of its ship, Triumph. As you know, there where um, some bad sanitary conditions due to non-working toilets. Well, allegedly. Anyway, with a ship named Triumph and a golden opportunity to make um, human solid waste jokes, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog comes through.

Interview with Robert Smigel, the comedian behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

Here's an interview with Robert Smigel, the man with his hand up Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's, er puppet. Oh, stop groaning. I keeeed. I keeeeeeed.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Final Presidential Debate

Okay, I'll admit it. I've missed some Triumph the Insult Comic Dog videos. Here one where he is covering the final Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

President Obama messes up big time by mixing up Star Trek and Star Wars

Okay, in describing the Republican obstinance to compromise on reducing the deficit, President Barack Obama mixed Star Wars and Star Trek. He said he couldn't use a "Jedi mind meld" to convince them. Oh boy. Well, George Takei (Mr. Sulu of Star Trek) on the Ed Show said Obama didn't mess up. You see he brought a harmony among the fans of both franchises by doing so. Demonstrating that peace can exist. Takei also compares Republicans with Klingons. Hint for the new Star Trek Into Darkness. Video below.

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Stephen Colbert on the Sequestration

Confused about the Sequestration>? Frustrated with the House Republicans who refuse to compromise by using a balanced approach? Or do you need a laugh about this governmental disaster? Here's Stephen Colbert with his funny take on the Sequestration. Kind of sounds like that Mel Brooks number from The History of the World, Part One (1981) ; "The Inquisition." Oy. Added treat. Video of that number below.

Stephen Colbert on the absence of a Pope

Well we are now Popeless. Maybe it's time to hear from the Catholic church's best satirist, Stephen Colbert. Check out his very funny video.

Stephen Colbert takes on Pat Robertson's belief that demons can possess second hand clothes

Fundamentalist televangelist Pat Robertson is kind of crazy. Believed the world would end in 1980; the U.S. would get hit by a nuclear strike in 2008, etc. You know he ran for president. Guess which party? Yep, he was a Republican. Anyway, he said that demons could attach to second hand clothes. Great comic fodder for Stephen Colbert.

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Jon Stewart interviews Rachel Maddow

On Thursday, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show interviewed Rachel Maddow. Got to love her because she called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a troll. She also discusses the sequester. Here's the extended interview.

Jon Stewart on the wimpy media

House Speaker, John Boehner used the word "ass" in admonishing the Senate to get off their butt and do something about the sequester. The media got all flustered over the word. Here's John Stewart of The Daily Show with commentary. Check out the Mass Effect reference.