I planned a trip to the red river gorge with some friends. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, in fact, almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Even more so, even things that you would think couldn’t go wrong did. We did have some fun, but overall the trip was a dud and it needs to be redone right, so I’ll probably plan another trip very soon that I hope should go right this time. Either way, the following is a list of the highlights including all of the FAIL moments.
Step 1: Get a large group of people together to go camping… FAIL
I invited about ten or more people and we ended up with five people, one of which couldn’t even stay longer than one day. Most people had to work, watch kids, or just plain bailed out at the last minute.
Jackass #1: This guy just plain bailed on us
Jackass # 2: This guy had to work, nice bloody excuse…
Jackass # 3: This guy also had to work, pfffft, yeah right!!
Other Jackasses not listed in picutre: Joey and Brian
Step 2: Leave on time!! FAIL
The most important part of camping is leaving on time to set up your campsite, finding the right campsite, and actually DOING something the first night you are there. This all failed miserably. We didn’t actually leave Ohio until 5:00 P.M. because we were lazy, unorganized, and had to run extra errands that were not originally planned (AHEM.. Erick). We didn’t even get to the campsite until 10:00 P.M. This was AFTER parking in a campsite we thought wasn’t taken but was, being stopped by a ranger, and getting stuck in dirt and having to use four wheel drive to get out. Putting up tents in the dark sucks!
Step 3: Properly load up the camping gear on top of the car… FAIL
That’s right. We’re stupid. We loaded coolers, sleeping bags, and supplies on top of my SUV but didn’t use the racks. By not using the racks, we caused a dent in my SUV’s roof. We had to stop along the way in to unload everything on top, pop out the dent and use the racks like we were supposed to in the first place.
Step 4: Find the right campsite (more on this later) FAIL:
Not only was it dark because we got there late, but our campsite was basically a field with nothing but HUGE weeds/flowers which made my allergies kick in full gear. We had to hack down tons of them to even clear the path. There was no fire pit, and the ground was so hard that we couldn’t even get the stakes into the ground for the tents so we had to just weigh them down with coolers and other things.
Step 5: Don’t forget anything…
I forgot a lot of things, as did everyone else. We had to buy a bunch of stuff from the local gas station/convenient store. Not only did I forget stuff at home, I forgot to grab a bag of ice that I bought from the convenient store that night! FAIL
Step 6: Don’t go hiking with someone who is sick
My friend Erick was so sick that he complained the ENTIRE time we went on a trail. Every little hill, bump, step, rock, twig, bug, etc. was a nusance to him for some reason and he had to let everyone know about it at ALL TIMES. I think I might have almost puked once at the amount of complaining he was doing. Erk… it wasn’t THAT bad! Also, you don’t need to wash your hands after getting dirty dude, it’s frakking camping!!
Erick resting for about the 20th time (I stopped counting)
Step 7: Don’t camp on private property!! FAIL
We didn’t know it was private property, but the ranger and sheriff sure made an effort to show up and tell us. This is when the camping trip ended. Apparently we were on private property and they told us that we had to move our camp site somewhere else. Yeah right, we were not about to take down EVERYTHING, load it up, try to find a campsite (all were taken anyways), unload everything again, and set up camp AGAIN in the dark like the night before. Getting the camp site set up at midnight with enough time for a 1 hour fire and roasted hot dogs is not my idea of a blast, especially on the last night we were supposed to be there. Also, the sheriff gave us a hard time. He was trying to find drugs on us which we did NOT have. He found some little white pegs that went to a camp chair and asked if they were pills, smelled my tupperware salt/pepper shaker asking if there was drugs in it, and accused us of drinking (which we were going to do but hadn’t done so yet).
Apparently salt and pepper are abusive drugs now:
Thus ends the camping trip. We had to stop to fix the load on my car, we were late, had to set up our tent in dark, camped in an nightmare area for someone with allergies, camped on private property
and kicked off by the police, had friends bail on us, friends who complained on hikes and were clean freaks during camping, forgot stuff before and during the camping trip, and to top it all off I didn’t get to drink any beer or smoke a cigar!! Though the camping trip sucked there was a few good moments when we hiked in the gorge and scaled a large rock/mountain formation called the indian staircase. All in all, I still got to spend a small amount of time with friends away from society for a day or so and got to do some hiking I wouldn’t normally be able to do with the kids around. Below are a couple of pictures from the highlights of the trip:
Here is a link to the full album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfspirittt/sets/72157622270226242/
It’s a tried and true formula for science fiction success: create an exciting sci-fi universe, show us some teasey glimpses of it, then send the characters to Earth before you run out of money. If the alien warrior heroes befriend some scrappy Earthlings when they arrive, so be it. Time Guardian did this, Spaced Invaders did it, and even the Masters of the Universe movie featured Dolph Lundgren’s He-Man befriending a not-yet-scary-thin (and consequentially much prettier) Courtney Cox at prom somewhere in the Midwest. And let’s not forget Jesse Ventura’s Abraxis, the movie Lifetime would have made if it were staffed by Jack Kirby and Jim Starlin.
Galaxis (not to be confused with Galaxina, a z-budget space western about a sexy robot who fails at stealing Barbarella’s thunder) tells a similar tale. Brigitte Nielson plays Ladera, a space gladiator who subscribes to the wear-bikinis-to-battle school of movie logic. Ladera is looking for a magic crystal, which she must find before Richard Moll does. And guess where she looks?
Squirted out in the woeful middle of the hateful 90s, Galaxis is a cheap pastiche of better movies that came before. There’s a scene where bad guys rampage through a police station Terminator style, there’s a steel-girder showdown that looks stolen from Darkman, and the whole “evil wizard jacks up the innocent for magic crystals” angle has been done to death, most notably in the underappreciated Dark Crystal. It goes without saying that Galaxis achieves its ripoffery with a budget that would disappoint Sam Raimi (who happens to be in the film). The result is rather like watching cosplayers act out a better film, and not succeeding very well.
I will be the first to admit that I like bad movies. I have personally watched Jean-Claude Van Damme’s stunt double kick a terminally ill Raul Julia into a wall in Street Fighter over 7 times. I watched Category 7 and liked it so much that I nearly cried when my fiance wouldn’t let me buy Category 6. Heck, I actually bought Magic Sword under the mistaken belief that it was The Sword and the Sorcerer. But believe this battle-hardened fan of cinema crap, there is nothing worthwhile about Galaxis. It’s dull, ineffectual, and lacks the infectious charm that has saved so many awful movies.
It’s just bad.
Babylon AD is a movie about stuff almost happening. Pretty much the whole movie is about psyching up the audience into thinking stuff is going to happen, then revealing that no, nothing’s going to happen. Let me give away the whole film to explain what I mean.
Vin Diesel heads to a Serbian arms market where he was sold a broken gun. He almost roughs up the vendor and starts a fight, but he quietly accepts a refund and leaves. At home, he is attacked by mercenary kidnappers. He almost shoots his way out, but goes along with them instead. The kidnappers work for a gangster who sends Vin Diesel to take a pair of nuns from Serbia to America. Along the way he almost has to fight the employees of one nun’s father, almost brawls with Russian human traffickers, and almost has trouble sneaking into America (fortunately they just skip that part). In America, Vin Diesel almost gets blown up, almost confronts the film’s true villain, and almost falls in love with one of the nuns, except the film ends before any of it comes to fruition.
Babylon AD is a frustrating tease of a film that dangles adventure in front of the viewer’s nose like a carrot made of guns and car chases. Mostly lame, unproductive exposition and unimpressive scenery effects shots, the film contains only small pockets of eventfullness, all plagued by awful choreography and editing. The filmmakers seemed mainly concerned with showing us their creative, original science fiction world, where Eastern Europe and the Balkans are battle-scarred ganglands and America is a soulless neon wasteland lorded over by giant heartless corporations. This may all sound not at all fictitious, but in Babylon AD, there are a lot more motorcycles and TVs everywhere than there are today. That’s how you know it’s the future.
To recap: Babylon AD is a science fiction action film with no action or science fiction. If you’re smart, it will also be bereft of your viewership.
Tasting rather like poison and urine fell in love, got married, and had a kid, Dagan is a weak drink with an unpleasant undertone. Lacking the hearty beeriness of a good American cider, the crisp notes of a good English cider, or the interplay of sweet and bitter that characterizes a good French cider (it’s also worse than Swedish and German cider, but I don’t want to go long), Dagan is like an insult, underhanded and increasingly unpleasant the more you mull it over. In its defense it is super cheap, especially considering I got it as an import (no idea if they have a US brewery).
Avoid Dagan Cider like you would avoid Dagon, HP Lovecraft’s fictional god of the evil fishmen.
2/10 (And I drank it right after I watched Wolverine, too!)
Wolverine is not a good movie. Too odd and grim to appeal to casual filmgoers and too willfully unfaithful to the source material to please comic fans, it is an unappealing sundae with bad special effect topping.
The first ten or seventy minutes of the film chronicle Wolverine’s youth and unnaturally long young adulthood. He participates in every major American war, which is odd because he is Canadian. You can tell what each war is by the filming: World War 1 is sepia toned like a documentary about World War 1, World War 2 is bluish-gray because Saving Private Ryan was, and Vietnam is depicted through a reenactment of the helicopter scene from Full Metal Jacket.
From then on, the film is a pretty standard stupid mess. Wolverine works for a SECRET ALL MUTANT SPECIAL FORCES GROUP. Because everything secret is bad, the group has a secret anti-mutant agenda and kills a lot of people who only marginally have it coming. We get to meet a big cast of uninteresting mutants. Most of them will die, so it’s better to not worry about them. Eventually, Wolverine (shown up to this point engaged exclusively in killing) gets tired of killing and retires. This doesn’t sit right with the SECRET ALL MUTANT SPECIAL FORCES GROUP, so they coerce Wolverine into volunteering to have a metal skeleton installed by pretending to kill his wife. Oh dang, that was a spoiler. My bad.
Wolverine’s metal skeleton makes him invulnerable everywhere, except in his broken heart, so he enlists the help of lovable rogue mutant Gambit to find the secret headquarters of the SECRET ALL MUTANT SPECIAL FORCES GROUP. It turns out that they’ve been kidnapping mutants to steal their powers, and only Gambit has ever escaped. The personality, fighting style, and powers of Gambit are represented perfectly, so he’s only in the film for about ten minutes. He flies Wolvie to 3-Mile Island, a super-secret location where the SECRET ALL MUTANT SPECIAL FORCES GROUP would never possibly be discovered by anybody, except the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, power companies, or thousands of employees. Wolverine is itching to fight his arch-rival Sabretooth, but Sabretooth decides he still likes Wolverine, so Wolverine just releases the captured mutants. They flee the island and are adopted by computer-generated young Patrick Stewart to become the first X-Men PLOT POINT!!!!!!!!!!
Wolverine decides he needs to fight somebody, and so the evil head of the SECRET ALL MUTANT SPECIAL FORCES GROUP sends oddball ninja assassin Deadpool after him. Because this is a bad movie, Deadpool is Baraka from Mortal Kombat and is not wacky or a ninja at all. Wolverine wins because Sabretooth helps him, and because Deadpool can only fight when the bad guy types “decapitate” into a DOS prompt. Wolverine is about to leave when the evil leader of the SECRET ALL MUTANT SPECIAL FORCES GROUP shoots him with bullets made of the same stuff as his skeleton. Because this is a bad movie, this gives Wolverine amnesia, just like in the first X-Men PLOT POINT!!!!!!!
The movie itself sucks enough, but Wolverine is also cursed with really poor effects. Scenes are stitched together with computers to no productive end, the border between Wolverine’s hands and claws wobbles in closeups, and whenever Wolverine walks in front of anything that isn’t real, there’s a glow around his poofy, silly-looking hair where things don’t mesh up. It must have taken a lot of effort to make a contemporary movie look like it was made in 1992, but that effort was wasted, because even in 1992, this movie would have been kind of dumb.
Things to watch for:
- Wolverine wrecks a helicoptor which crashes and explodes. The crew isn’t dead enough so Wolverine lights it on fire and it explodes again, only more so!
- Wolverine’s wife tells him a folktale that explains why wolverines howl at the moon. Wait, do they? Well, she says they do.
- Wolverine’s wife demonstrates that she could have mind-controlled the villain at any time, yet instead let everything bad in the movie happen to people. My guess: she forgot about her powers because they only matter once.
2/10 (probably -1/10 if you really like X-Men)
Someone in Hollywood looked at Dragonball, a goofy cartoon about farting moppets looking for oversized magical marbles. “Hmm,” they thought, “this would make a fine live-action film with a bunch of nobodies who can’t act! We’ll make it deathly serious and cast a bunch of surly teenagers!” Then they gained the presence of mind to stow Chow Yun Fat in there so people would go. I don’t know why he did it. I’m guessing he lost all his money somehow and playing an old geezer who reads porn, touches some girls’ behinds, then dies seemed easy enough.
It didn’t work out, and DBE has been losing money hand over fist. This is because it sucks. The special effects are lousy, the characters uncharismatic, and the script- well, it had to be simple so the cast could read it all off cue card next to the camera, but it’s still bad. Fortunately it’s short; it ended just as I was getting really mad at it. You may be tempted, as I was, to see this film for trainwreck appeal, but don’t bother. It is neither deliberately nor accidentally good, it is only a sad mess that joylessly marches to the minimum length for a five dollar movie than dies abruptly. This movie actually entertained me less than Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. And that’s something.
Who am I kidding. If you’re the kind of freak who reads a twittered micro review blog entry about Dragonball Evolution, you’ve probably already seen it. Here’s some fun stuff to watch for:
- Every fight scene is in slow motion, Like Zach Snyder came in to co-direct. The ladyfriend suggested that rather like the fictional DarkPlace, slow motion was used to stretch out the film. If so, more was needed, the whole thing is less than 90 minutes long.
- The girl that plays ChiChi is actually pretty hot! Then Goku beats her up and she’s out for the final quarter of the film.
- That dude playing Yamcha? His eyebrows are seriously freaky. What’s up with that? Look at ’em!
- Wow, the movie’s already over!
Look, I tried to get enjoyment out of Dragonball Evolution, my advice is not to. You won’t be rewarded. Just go watch the cartoon. I didn’t care for it, but at least it’s funny.
All the RangeMax dual band had to do was force internet down a 10-foot hallway. Seriously. Router at one end, computer at the other. A task so simple that wireless was only required to avoid clutter.
I had selected this router because it was the only n router available when I was out shopping- I’d previously owned two NETGEAR g routers, and while they were plagued by tragically short lives, they were functional, if weak. I’d heard this model was a bit sturdier, and I figured that with an n router and a n-capable card in my computer, I’d be able to cop a decent signal, cordless phones and thick walls be damned.
Unfortunately, this router was trouble from day 1. Setting it up was a breeze, but the n band signal was so weak I could barely detect it. Switching to a more specific broadcast mode let me use it, but that very evening, it dropped. Not only could my computer no longer see it, neither could my fiance’s laptop. It soon became apparent this was the norm. Cycling the router generally did nothing- rather the signal would lapse in and out, and sometimes would be visible while connection remained impossible.
This is a weak, unreliable router with spotty performance. When I can see other apartments’ g networks through the floor and I can’t see my own n network down the hall, I feel safe calling my router a failure.
2/10 (I’ll give this a bit of a break, because mine might be a lemon)