Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just 5 Animal Movie Reviews

Written on: May 24, 2011

It recently occurred to me that I once tried writing reviews for nature documentaries, just because I'd watched so many of them. It worked out horribly. Actually, I just worked at it for awhile, then forgot all about it because I hadn't bothered to watch a nature documentary in over a year :P.
Anywho, recently I have rediscovered my love of ranting about things involving animals.
Because I have some time to kill, I think I'll do it by reviewing some animal movies I have recently watched. What they all have in common is this: Netflix believed for some strange reason that I would watch them and love them and call them my own. Yeah right.
So now I shall attempt to review them in no particular order. This may or may not involve spoilers.

The Red Stallion – 1947
The Expectation: Something like My Friend Flicka (not to be confused with Flicka, which is an utterly horrible film and should be forgotten as quickly as possible). Maybe a little slow, and likely more about the kid than the horse, but enjoyable anyway.
The Reality: Really quite boring, actually. I didn't actually finish the film, but the only part to applaud (yay) is that the horse is actually sort of red and has roughly the same markings as an adult as it did when it was a foal. Other than that, it seemed to be a bunch of middle-aged people nattering at each other about things they assume you understand, like how they even know each other. The horse is pretty and it's fun to watch the dog lead him around, but everyone else is really rather blah. Not to mention everything they said and did could be misinterpreted in so many ways it was almost funny.
So was it any good?. No.
The acting was acceptable *cough*, the plot was typical (we must save the farm, Red, because Grandma hasn't been paying her bills etc. etc.), but the pacing was horrendous. I stopped around forty minutes in because I was still waiting for something to actually happen. Beyond that, I couldn't find any character I actually cared about, including the horse and dog. The horse wasn't a character so much as some moveable scenery that knew a few tricks and the dog they kept referring to as male was rather distractingly not and was more annoying than helpful.
“Aren't you being a little unfair?” you ask.
“Why yes, yes I am, thanks for noticing” I reply “in fact, I should be ashamed and should only include films I watched from start to finish from now on”

Princess and the Pony – 2011
The Expectation: a low budget kid's film with bad acting and no real value except maybe to remind you of something you watched as a child (thus, it might be nostalgic).
Yes. Well. Um..... anyway.
This movie wasn't sure what it wanted to be when it grew up and thus flitted spastically back and forth between being sort of like a low-budget, poorly thought-out Spy Kids-like film and some sort of cross-over between old Disney Princess films and Beautiful (the PG-13 one from 2000). Unfortunately, while these films are all very pleasing by themselves, they mix like the average house cat does with boiling water. Actually, that may be the best way to describe this film. A wet cat.
The bad acting and low budget-special effects were very much expected (such as the jumps for the horse changing height and the horse changing shape/color whenever it did anything other than stand around looking bewildered), as were the incredibly stupid attempts at humor (such as the pink bow ties versus the red ones, which made no sense at all and is really best left forgotten).
But the acting was distractingly bad, as was everything else. It was really like everyone involved in the project was actually a hyper-active squirrel which had been provided with a lifetime supply of coffee and chocolate bars, but only if the squirrels could throw something at them that looked remotely like a story with an important life lesson (which is this: don't learn to skateboard in your living room with your butler and your maid holding your hands. Wait no. Circus people are evil?. Yes. We'll go with that one. Wait... what was I talking about?. Oh yes, this movie).
So, in between incoherent flails, Princess and the Pony occasionally stopped off at the Kid's Movie shop and picked up some “important” lessons about morality, patience and other such things which are so often crammed down our throats that we've actually ceased to notice or care.
But it was almost like it was ashamed of having them, like it was apologizing for imposing its morality and sense of right and wrong on us.
In the end, it threw its hands up and gave her the freakin' pony by way of a security guard.
And I'm sort of confused as to what, exactly, it was trying to teach us, because it changed its mind so many times.
It was a film that had the potential of feeling like a fairytale, but kept ripping you out of the comfortable fantasy and beating your head against the modern time it takes place in.
One final complaint: every single outfit/costume in the entire movie looked like someone bought it off the Halloween Costume rack at Wal-Mart.

White Lion – 2010
The Expectation: Either yet another rip-off of The Lion King or something that wanted to be more like Planet Earth than anything else in the world. In other words: dull and uninteresting and probably featuring a lion that was really more brown than white, but just happened to be slightly closer to white than all of the other brown lions lying around.
The Reality: Huh, well that was actually pretty good.
Don't get confused here, the plot is rather stupid and generic, the acting is laughable and the lions don't seem to know what they're supposed to be doing.
On the other hand, the scenery is pretty and the film never gets confused about who the main character is (the White Lion, not that other person). And the lion is actually WHITE.
I'm not actually sure how they pulled off most of what they did in the movie. Somehow, they had a lioness in the beginning that actually looked like she was nursing cubs with a white lion cub that actually looked young enough to be nursing.
Most of the film actually felt like it was filmed in the wilds of Africa, with a variety of animal-life that one might actually expect to see. Hyenas, of course, are cast in a somewhat villainous light, but that's to be expected. Lions and hyenas just don't get along and try to kill each other as often as possible.
The film sort of wandered around until you couldn't figure out if there was a point or not, but then it kept showing you pretty things to distract you.
There were so many opportunities to jump on the over-crowded bandwagon and teach us about how racism is wrong and hunting things is evil, but it didn't really do either.
I'm not sure if that was on purpose or if it just got distracted by the lion walking across the screen.
So was the film any good?. Yes.
You see, White Lion, did something very important: it never forgot what it had in its favor.
It was about a lion and the animals he encountered growing up. White Lion is a scenic film and its really better if you just forget the plot entirely and enjoy it as such.
Also, it actually seemed to go to epic lengths to avoid being associated with The Lion King.

Cool Dog – 2010
The Expectation: A really bad movie with a distinct Homeward Bound II (which I didn't like, by the way)feel about it and bad acting, along with an animal which constantly stares at its off-screen handler and virtually ignores the boy it supposedly loves. Also, liberal application of Cats & Dogs style CGI and Cybermutt type humor. In short: a laughably bad attempt at cashing in on the fact that people love dogs and will watch anything with a dog on the cover.
The Reality: Is even worse. By eight minutes in, Cool Dog had cheerfully stolen easily recognizable bits from Benji (the things he did in most of his movies, not just that one), Because of Winn-Dixie (which was actually good, by the way. The movie, not the theft of its main selling points), Lassie, and virtually every other famous dog movie you can think of. Even the dog, a German Shepherd, is named Rainey. Now, the only excuse for doing that to a dog of that type is because the name sounds like Rinty (which is the call name of Rin Tin Tin in all his films). The CGI is non-existent (except for the shameless theft of Winn-Dixie expressions in the beginning) and the puppets used look like something from the 70s. Actually, this movie wanted really, really badly to be a movie from the 80s, with its repeatedly bad soundtrack choices drowning out any attempt at coherent thought (the “songs” were twice as loud as all other sounds and thus blasted their way out of the speakers and attacked your face with their badness). Perhaps the movie thought that if it beat you to death with its PG-version Hip-Hop, you might actually like it instead of realizing what it actually is. A really bad film.
Most of the editing in the beginning where all of the people “greet” the dog mostly make it look like they couldn't wait to be rid of him. The dog, for his part, seemed unable to get away from people fast enough. Any scene involving him standing near someone seemed to demand that they cling to his outrageously sturdy-looking leather collar like they were afraid he might suddenly decide to remove the camera-man's throat from the rest of his body.
The dog spent most of his time looking in seemingly random directions, like he couldn't care less what the people next to him were doing or what his off-screen handler wanted him to do.
He just couldn't be bothered to care. In fact, the only real tricks he seemed to need were galloping across the set and leaping onto nearby people who seemed to make a great effort to get him to jump on them while yelling things like “stay back”. Essentially, the dog needed to know how to come to his off-screen handler on cue and leap into people's arms like... well... an excitable dog.
Another thing the movie was shameless about (which was everything they did) was their aversion to retakes. It's like they were going “who cares if the 'attacking' dog knocked the person over and immediately scampered off to do something else?. It's not like anyone will notice that giant black leash tying him to the back of the speedboat that jumped onto and is supposedly hiding on of his own accord, right?. Surely no one will question the hole that magically appeared in the corner of that door in one cut so the dog can have a place to hide, yes?”. They weren't even TRYING to hide their many blunders.
It was almost like they are actually PROUD of them.
It didn't really help that everyone delivered their lines like a stunned giraffe, but at least I expected that.
Except that the lines (and their delivery) got increasingly worse, like they were trying to make me complain about it so a bunch of people who love children's films would leap all over me like rabid monkeys and beat me with a stick for complaining about bad acting in a kid's movie. Why should kid's movies be excused from having actors again?.
Speaking of worse, I expected a high level of stupidity from the movie, just from the title. And sure enough, there it was, right where I expected it. All the villains are morons and the dog magically has an unrealistic solution for each one. Again, the movie is without shame and rarely even makes an attempt to look like the dog could physically have done it somehow, unlike most movies.
Most movies want you to believe that the dog actually played some part in it, even though you should know that no animal can actually do whatever it is they're showing you.
Cool Dog isn't even trying to do that. It knows there was no dog behind the hay bales that got knocked over on the evil janitor and, by golly, you should too.
I expected stupid. And I expected that while it told you Rainey was just a dog, it would promptly turn around and have him do things no dog can actually do. I knew it would do that.
It just did it with such fragrant enthusiasm that it started to wear after awhile.
And, not only that, it kept taking things to a whole new level of stupid.
About every five minutes, I would be thinking “alright, that's it. There is no possible way for this to be any stupider”. Whereupon it would probably whirl 'round and slap me in the face for my optimism and jump off the stupid bridge into the river of Too Dumb To Live.
It seems like, after the dog has played a harmonica, a banjo and won a game of checkers, that things couldn't get anymore unrealistic, right?. You'd be wrong.
At one point, the dog actually steals a car and drives it like he's got a license. And what you're left thinking isn't “there's no way a dog can drive”. No. What you're thinking is “how did he start the car when nobody left any keys in it”. This is not a good sign.
I won't go into every detail of this movie's many failures, since that would take a lifetime.
I could pick apart every scene for hours, as they all have so many levels of stupid you have to wonder who actually thought this movie had any good ideas at all.
Instead, I'll skip right to the end, where you think the dog is dead and so does the medic (since apparently the medic is an idiot, which is entirely believable). Normally, one would be thinking “NO!!!... Why the dog!?. Why not the stupid kid!?. WHY?!”. But all you can think is “thank goodness the movie's nearly over. Maybe the kid will get another German Shepherd and actually name it Rinty this time and they'll live happily ever-after in the apartment building that doesn't allow pets”. But no, that might actually be a GOOD thing, which is something this movie avoids like the plague.
Unsurprisingly, the dog suddenly leaps back to life. “It's a miracle!” the medic exclaims, probably to hide his own incompetence.
Rather surprisingly, the movie seems to be happy with the whole Christian thing and allows it to peacefully coexist with their characters. It doesn't need them to be insane or atheist. They pray at the dinner table and everyone's sort of fine with that.
Also, it actually seems to believe that policemen are actually slightly smarter than toast, which makes them the most intelligent people in the movie.
Both of those things should make me incredibly happy with this film. But they don't.
You see, the underlying problem is that the only one who seems to realize how overly bad the movie is, is the dog who keeps trying to walk off the set and leave the shamelessly bad actors to themselves.
At one point, you can actually see the dog trying to walk off without the kid. But, because the boy is clinging to his collar like a drowning man, the dog can't leave. You can actually see the kid giving the collar a solid jerk to get the dog back on course with where he's supposed to be leading the kid to.
Don't get horribly confused, that's the general way to get your dog not to drag you around the block, but you shouldn't see it in a movie.
Especially in a scene where the dog is supposedly guiding the kid.
I could continue, but I won't.
You see, most movies I've hated, I can still sort of see how someone might like them.
But this one is in the category of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Pterodactyl, neither of which have any excuse whatsoever to even exist.

Paulie – 1997
The Expectation: Some movie about a parrot who talks like a human trying to do that Lassie, Come Home thing, with probably more resemblance to Homeward Bound II than anything. Most likely very little to do with the parrot, truth be known and is really more about parents being mean, Americans businessmen being the root of all evil, and doing animal tests in labs is somewhat akin to lighting babies on fire. That's a bad thing, in case you didn't know.
The Reality: Well I'll be darned. It's actually an alright sort of film.
I was roped into watching this movie because of the many comparisons to it that people reviewing The Real Macaw made. Just on the grounds that people who didn't like the hundred-something parrot, kid on skateboard, treasure and piratey-goodness that is The Real Macaw liked Paulie, I didn't hold out much hope that anything good would happen at all.
Just from the parrot being named Paulie, it seemed like the movie was grasping for originality while at the same time reaching for that sense of familiar-overdoneness.
But that's the only reaching the movie seems to do. I mean, yes everything in it has been done before plot-wise, but it has a sense of freshness that doesn't feel overdone.
The acting is questionable, the storyline is a little wobbly and the characters are predictable and pretty flat and the filming occasionally coughs.
However, this movie knew its one and only strength, which was parrots who could do tricks. Being from the 90s, CGI had yet to be discovered in anything other than explosions and sandstorms and water. I'm not actually sure how they accomplished the movement of Paulie's mouth when he talked. It may have been a combination of primitive CGI and the bird moving his beak on his own.
Parrots, by nature, are excellent showmen. They love to be the center of attention and stirring things up is one of their favorite pastimes.
Paulie knew this and flew with it. It knew that Paulie was the star, not the actors, and should be treated as such. Nobody wanted to see puppets where a trained parrot and a little determination would have done just as well. And nobody wanted to just SEE a parrot.
They wanted to see a parrot walk, fly, spin, bob its head, snuggle up with someone, steal credit cards, and wear a hat while holding a fairy wand.
The humor was in what the parrot did, not the people or their lame attempts at comedy.
The parrot actually has a lot of parrotyness about him.
He's affectionate, but rude. Thoughtful, but full of himself. Honest, but also very cheeky.
And, because they blended all the aspects of parrot personality together so well, it actually worked.
If you replaced Paulie with, say, a dog, it just wouldn't work.
No good dog would ever bite you or steal your jewelry and a bad dog just isn't very likable.
A parrot, on the other hand, can be very good and still take all your valuables and demand that you give it fruit. Parrots are birds.
As such, they don't hold the same moral code as we like to pretend mammals do.
Parrots like to shred your books and ask for a stroke on the head in return for turning Shakespeare into confetti. It's not because they're evil, although they probably are. It's just because that's what they do.
They take shiny objects and throw them about, screech because they feel like it and just generally make a nuisance of themselves. And we love them for it.
Paulie knew all this. It took a bunch of tired characters and an over-used plot and scattered parrot tricks throughout and called it a movie.
The parrot tricks were many and varied and the movie never forgot that the only lasting audience for this film would be someone who loved watching parrots generally behave like parrots.
Is the movie good?. No.
Is it entertaining?. Yes.
Should you watch it?. Probably.
If nothing else, it's humorous and thoroughly enjoys itself, though it probably thinks its better than it actually is, just like a real parrot. And we love it for that.

So in a short review:
The Red Stallion: Has never heard of pace. Or interesting things in general.
Princess and the Pony: Couldn't figure out if it was a mindless spy movie or a modern fairytale with an important life lesson.
White Lion: would actually rather be a documentary and has very pretty scenery.
Paulie: Good, if you like watching parrots be parrots. The Real Macaw was better though, just not for the general parrotyness of it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Censorship and The Insanity Thereof

Let me begin this right by saying this: AAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!. I ACTUALLY WROTE SOMETHING!. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! *flails*.
Allow me to continue the trend with this: No, not all of censorship is directly related to film. No, this is not about any single movie/TV show. In fact, it may have very little to do with any of it.

Written on: May 19, 2011

Today I am here to talk about censorship. And I plan to use big words, inexplicably long sentences and be as roundabout and redundant as possible. Why?. Because if the experts have taught me one thing, it's how to be indirect and long-winded. Also, that's just how I tend to write about stuff. In addition, I intend to question the intentions of movies and television everywhere. And the intentions of everybody else as well.
You might want to avert your small child's eyes. Or better yet, turn this stupid blog off and watch Barney with your poor lonely kid. And don't point out to them exactly how many different illicit drugs it would take for a stuffed doll that turns into a giant talking dinosaur to make sense (here's a question: why didn't I ever see Barney in his toy form at stores?. As a kid, I thought the stuffed Dino was enormously cute and really wanted one. But all I could find were the ones shaped like a guy in a purple T-Rex costume. Yes, that is what Barney was originally supposed to be. I was always a bit puzzled by why all of his teeth were flat. Although his size in relation to everything else didn't bother me. Nor did the fact that he ate vegetables and not children). My spell-check has informed me that “dino” is an actual word, but only if you capitalize it O.o . Now, if you haven't gone with your kid, do go now.
You're still here, aren't you?.

Just so you don't get totally confused and think I'm like the majority of the internet which believes everyone should be just as exposed to vulgarities, explicit content and beer as they are, I'm going to tell you right off that I believe censorship to be a necessary evil.
No small child should be subjected to some guy graphically hacking pedestrians into small pieces while singing about the various parts of their anatomy (here's a question for feminists: why is it that women need to be in action movies to prove their ability to be just as awesome as men, but they're never serial killers?. And why do they never get turned into horrible mutant squid things either?. Isn't that being sexist?. Just askin'.).
By the same token, the elderly should not have their evening news watching session ruined by some naked man running around punching people because of the excessive drugs he was on (which happens far more often than one might think).
What I'm telling you is that I understand why certain things are not for certain people's eyes (or preferably anyone's eyes, in some cases).
But then there are things which I do not understand.

In movies I watched as a kid, there was often a scene where the evil person cackled with glee over something you couldn't actually see them doing. Sometimes it was because the camera was outside the building. But more often, it was because the camera was so close to their face that you could have counted their eyelashes if you'd had a mind to.
Because children villains must, for some reason, have greasy hair and bad teeth, this was understandably terrifying. Easily far more disturbing than what they were about to do to our hero, which usually involved chaining them to the wall or knocking them out.
Admittedly, there are many known cases of children hurting each other by trying to knock each other out like they saw on TV. But, oddly enough, the trend continues even as that is censored from kid films.
On the same general topic, is it still actually hidden from the kid when you can see the villain's face and their arm moving and here a 'thud'?. I assume that they are able to put pieces together.
Aside from that, I grew up with old westerns and never felt the overwhelming urge to clonk someone on the head because of it (and believe me, there is an excessive amount of knocking folks out in old westerns, particularly in Roy Rogers films and Bonanza).
Anyway, point at hand: cackling villains with greasy hair and bad teeth are *insert capitalized curse word here. Perhaps another for good measure* SCARY!!!.
They are far more likely to give me nightmares than watching them chain our hero to a wall. Or lock him/her in a dungeon or whatever it is they were doing.
Here's a simple thought: the reason horror films have been successful is primarily due to the fact that they know how to startle their audience and give them nightmares without actually showing you anything (mainly because most of them are cheap and don't actually have anything to show).
Whatever the reasoning, the real result is this: the audience can think up something a hundred times more frightening than whatever you've cooked up.
In the past, this was because, quite frankly, guys in bear costumes and seaweed are just not that scary.
These days, it's because every individual has a different idea of what scary really is.
Sometimes its the drool coming out of its mouth that scares them. Sometimes its how big it is in relation to other things. Or the blood they imagine being on it. Whatever their secret trigger (we're talking deeper than whether they consider snakes or spiders scarier), a good breathing noise, darkness and some blood spatters is far more likely to horrify than seeing an actual CGI monster.
Me, personally, I find wolf-like monsters particularly alarming. Which is probably why the big, black thing scared me in The Never-Ending Story so much.
So horror films that have a breathy thing that leaves behind people who look mauled is more likely to frighten me than anything else (these are also known as werewolf movies. Usually). However, when I see the final creature, usually it's nowhere near as scary as I was imagining.
Catching quick glimpses or not seeing it at all is really more alarming.
So let's get back to our Bad Guy. Which is more likely to scare me, honestly?. Him cackling or him knocking our hero out with evil glee?.
So should we censor Bad Guys in general?. No. That would be incredibly stupid.
Should we look at the greasy-haired man and imagine him as the most horrifying monster we can think of before having him do things?. Yes.
Should we make villains not cackle anymore?. Heck no!. It's okay to scare kids a little. Otherwise, your evil guy would just seem like happy flower-man and just wouldn't seem terribly villainous.

So, what have we learned so far?. That's right, absolutely nothing. Glad you're following. That is precisely what it looked like. A long, aimless rant which ultimately led here.
Now I'm going to come up with multiple issues with a specific target, rather than just Childrens Enemies Everywhere (or CEE, if you prefer).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (just stick with me, there is a point to this). The 2003 version. It's rated TV-Y7. If I recall, that's supposed to mean that you should be 7 or older before seeing it or you might be traumatized for life. Or just learn to do secret swearing (wait, only someone who knows what swearing is could possibly pick that up).
Now, to be clear, TMNT '03 is not the only one guilty of this. It just so happens that it's the one I thought of first. And the only one I've seen very much of.
In this show, their favorite word seemed to be 'shell'. This word was used in a variety of ways. In fact, it was so frequently used in so many different contexts that it ceased to have any meaning to me.
But, most importantly, it was frequently used as a substitute for whatever swear word they weren't actually allowed to use. I don't feel that my readers need it to be spelled out for them. But experts have taught me that they do. Just insert 'shell' randomly into a sentence and then remove the 's'. Yeah, that's, in essence how they used it. Some don't consider that a swear word, but most consider it child-inappropriate (so now I'm confused. Is it or is it not censored content?). Lately, a lot of Y7 shows have abandoned hiding the word and just use hell, damn, and crap whenever they please.
That's right, teach the seven-year-olds to have an even smaller vocabulary than they already do.
So they can use these.... how shall I put it.... vaguely inappropriate words wherever they like, but couldn't bother themselves to have anything that might educate. Well, except in the ways of political correctness (I am totally serious: one ep of TMNT'03 had a fat white guy in a wheelchair who was king of the trash pile as the villain. No wonder people grow up with such weird views O.o).
So anyway, back to shell. Shell, as with any swear word, ceases to have meaning when you use it anywhere and everywhere. Besides using it as a cuss word alternative, they used it in other ways.
One of their favorites was “you saved our shells” or some variant thereof. For some reason, this made my brain hurt. Because, in the other context of the word, they were essentially saying “You saved our swear words”. O.o what?. o. O that didn't help at all.
Besides, who would want to save someone's swear words anyway?. On the other hand, who would want to save mutant turtles who could kill me with a thought?. Or... well... a sword anyway (shut up, it's a sword. No, I don't care what it is technically called. Knowing what it's called doesn't make you smart. It just means you read the *insert expletive here* comics!).
So, now that I've exhausted that particular subject, time to move on to another.

TMNT'03 is rather violent, as a disturbingly large number of Y7 shows apparently are. Apparently, seven-year-olds live for violence. On the other hand, what sort of Ninjas would they be if they didn't leap off chandeliers and kick someone (oh wait... that was some other show. The chandelier part, that is). They also use their weapons, which work for Donatello and Michaelangelo (I can't remember, which one of was spelled this way?. The 80s one or '03?. Never mind). They don't have sharp objects as their weapon of choice, so they can hit people without censoring.
But if Leonardo or Raphael hit someone with their pointy weapons, the screen needs to be black out. But with an awesome slash of white and the sound of.... metal hitting metal?. I'm not really sure. One way or the other, the enemy flies backwards and is usually unconscious.
I'm not sure, but I'm pretty positive that's not how stabby-stabby goes. Oh well, never mind.
So, every now and then, the turtles are severely defeated and random, precisely circular, gray spots appear. Presumably they are bruises (what color would a green reptile bruise, anyway?). But it's also entirely possible that they're scabbed over cuts (we'll get to that in a minute). In any case, they are of uniform size and shape every time and on every turtle. They're even uniform in color.
Those are some pretty epic bruises.
To continue the trend of making fun of the violence, I'll move on to a rather disturbing topic.
Nobody. Ever. Bleeds. At. All.
As I mentioned before, stabby-stabby is usually censored for the kiddies. But, in certain instances, it's not. In one episode, Donnie (the full names are long, I'm just gonna use the names used most often by the series, okay?) gets cut in the leg (without censoring) by a giant mutant man-roach. This is relevant for multiple episodes, but I'm just gonna talk about that specific event. Where he was 'cut' there is a little stripe of darker green. O.o do they have green blood?. No... just... no blood at all.
It's rather disturbingly like they're actually walking play-dough and cutting them just makes a shadow.
To my mind, that is far more alarming than a little red stripe (these days, characters of Y7 shows DO sometimes get little red stripes. It's less disturbing, believe me. I mean, they don't need to bleed all over the place, but a red stripe is far easier to explain than a green one (to show off how sciency I am, I will admit that certain animals DO have blue-green or green blood. Reptiles, however, do not. Their blood is most definitely red. Meaning that, even if these human-turtle mutants had turtle-colored blood, it would still be red).
In another episode, Raph (no, not Ralph, spell-check, don't be dumb) gets a cut/sting from an oversized alternate-universe version of a wasp. Again, a darker green stripe appears.
Well.... maybe that's just what random bug poison does?. No.
In one of the most memorable episodes (and a favorite of a lot of folks, which I don't understand as it involves our heroes getting their shells handed to them and fleeing into the night. By the way, for anyone who cares: SPOILER!. Oh wait... we all knew it was coming... and it's openly talked about whenever TMNT is brought up. My bad...) the daughter of Captain Evil-Pants (the Shredder. Happy now?) sticks a sword (shut up) into Leo's shoulder. The actual stab, as I recall, was hidden *runs to find the scene on youtube*. Yep. Actually, more was hidden than I recalled. But it's made pretty darn clear that he was stabbed. Still, no blood. Just the whole... dark green... thing. You can't even imagine their blood might be green as the shades of darker green depend on the shade of the turtle. Raph is much darker than either Don or Leo.
To compound their sheer weirdness of censorship, there's a episode where one guy gets this human (ish?) body that starts graphically disenegrating. Over the course of the episode, you get to witness as the skin and muscles fall apart. There's no blood, naturally.
The point of mentioning that and giving you that awful mental image is this: some guy's body falling apart is far more disturbing than a little red stripe.
Now, I do believe that I have successfully picked TMNT '03 apart. And shown that I saw far more of it than I should have (though not in recent history. It was a few years ago).

My final complaint has less to do with television and more to do with swearing in general and trying to mask it from children. Now, I must again avoid confusion. I have no problem with heck, darn, dang it or fruit monkeys. My complaint is with respelling.
Example 1: S----ing (see me not using an actual swear word?. That's just personal choice not to. The word, if you'd like to know was: Swimming. But you can probably guess what word I'm ignoring).
Example 2: @dd (as opposed to the one involving a burro. Just figure it out).
Example 3: Piotch (or Pi-otch, as some may prefer. You know what the other one is).
Example 4: G*rms (Germs. Because that's what I thought of).
There are only two reasons for typing in this manner.
One: because you truly don't want to scar the children forever (Is anyone actually in this category?).
Two: because you're too dumb to make up an actual replacement word and just want to fool the censor.
Either way, you're an idiot. Most children actually already KNOW these swear words, just by being on the internet. Or by being in school (AUGH!. I'm politically incorrect!. AAAAAHHH!!!!!!).
Hiding them just allows said children to use the words too. Congrats. You fail.
The other, trying to fool the censor, is dumb. Clearly, the site doesn't want you to swear. So MAYBE you shouldn't. Besides respecting site rules, you would also avoid the potential for being reported and banned by someone who doesn't like you.
Additionally, censoring in this way allows you to try and expand your vocabulary. You may think you sound smart by saying the same three swear words over and over, but you don't. You sound like all the other internet idiots. By using your brain to come up with other words (or the dictionary, if you must), you actually sound smarter. Even if you just use darn instead of damn. I have, in fact, been complimented on using darn on more than one occasion. For whatever reason, these people were impressed by the fact that I was using older or little-known (apparently) words instead of swearing. People also think it's funny if you say something they don't expect. Like a word that starts with the same letter. Or just whatever word you happen to think of that isn't related to sex, drug, alcohol or some movie everyone quotes already.
I'm not good at it, myself, but it works.
On the other hand, most people on the internet are too lazy to think of their own words and would rather use someone else's (that's why they all use the same three swear words).

Speaking of censorship, word censors are pretty dumb, if you think about it.
Either they can't detect alternate spelling, or they're obsessive.
One site that wanted to be 'child-safe' was a little... TOO safe. Grape and Cockatiel are two examples. Those words would be censored because of the unacceptable words within (or not child-safe).
It didn't matter that many people were talking about making out with their boyfriend or used hell and damn like nobody's business, so long as nobody mentioned Cocker Spaniels or religion, everything was fine (although, politics was apparently okay to some extent).
Seriously, people, I understand your aim, but you shouldn't censor actual words which someone might like to use. Especially considering that this was a pet-related site. Seriously, it's not like that few people want to talk about the specific pets they have.
It didn't help that a few of the items you could buy had Peacock in the name, but you couldn't use said word in the forums. It made it difficult to buy these items from other people.

So... I think I'm done now. And I am most definitely hungry.
I hope that I've accomplished nothing, unless it involves you being entertained briefly.
Goodbye, all.

*note that none of this necessarily reflects my current views, merely the views I had at the time I wrote this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deep Anime Meanings

Another thing I wrote awhile back. I added a few on recently though. I didn't work very hard on it. And yes, there are spoilers in here.
Written November 7th, 2010
Updated May 6th, 2011
We decipher the meaning, so you won't have to.

Wolf's Rain -
Possible meaning 1: The only way to get to heaven is to die.
Possible meaning 2: When you fail, the whole world starts over for you.

Full Metal Alchemist -
Possible meaning 1: Stuff keeps happening until you die.
Possible meaning 2: When you die, you just get sent to another reality.
Possible meaning 3: Equal exchange for everything is the law... except when it doesn't feel like it.
Possible meaning 4: Putting thousands of souls in a suit of armor. Not as handy as ya might think.
Possible meaning 5: The ability to salute people who are dressed like a total idiot with a straight face is a life skill no one should be without.
Possible meaning 6: Small children solve all problems. Pictures of small children, however, merely provide an energy boost.
Possible meaning 7: Being short sucks.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood -
Possible meaning 1: It's impossible to bring the dead back to life. Except when it's not.
Possible meaning 2: Killing people and stuffing their souls in jelly is rude.
Possible meaning 3: Don't turn your friends into sacrifices. If they survive, they'll kill you.
Possible meaning 4: You cannot defeat the sparkles of giant half-naked dudes, even if you ARE immortal.
Possible meaning 5: Never argue with women.
Possible meaning 6: Nobody EVER stays dead. EVER.
Possible meaning 7: Don't say God doesn't exist. It annoys Him. Also, don't try to put him in a bottle, it's bad for your health.
Possible meaning 8: You should always bug the phones just outside your military base if you want to survive.
Possible meaning 9: Composition matters when using alchemy. Except when you're in magic land.
Possible meaning 10: No matter how angry you are, never smash mirrors. That's seven years bad luck.
Possible meaning 11: Being short. Yeah, it still sucks.

Black Blood Brothers -
Possible meaning 1: Being from the “source blood” is really cool, except that you catch fire in sunlight, turn to ash when people throw crosses at you and melt in the water.
Possible meaning 2: Don't become a vampire and then turn yourself into a member of the Borg collective. It's rude.
Possible meaning 3: It's weird when your mother is reincarnated as your brother.
Possible meaning 4: Going into battle half-dead, not the best plan ever.

Sonic X -
Possible meaning 1: It's mean to try to take over the world.
Possible meaning 2: The meaning of life is to sleep and run as fast as possible.
Possible meaning 3: Never drop hedgehogs in the lake.
Possible meaning 4: Always side with the guy powered by shiny jewels.
Possible meaning 5: If you're gonna be evil, don't call yourself Eggman or name yourself after a tree.
Possible meaning 6: Scattering the power of the universe around is STUPID.
Possible meaning 7: Dressing like Mickey Mouse is an excellent idea.

Ginga Nagareboshi Gin -
Possible meaning 1: Don't shoot bears in the eye or they might become giant mutant freak things.
Possible meaning 2: Always allow small children to tell you what to do.
Possible meaning 3: Believe in yourself. But not so much that you don't have hundreds of guys lined up behind you, prepared to die for you.
Possilbe 4: Rocks towers are important.

Ginga Densetsu Weed -
Possible meaning 1: Being a cannibal makes you crazy.
Possible meaning 2: The smallest guy wins. Always.
Possible meaning 3: Do not create giant mutant dog/lion/bear things in labratories, then let them loose.
Possible meaning 4: Water. In winter. Is. Very. Cold.
Possible meaning 5: Being alive is overrated.
Possible meaning 6: Never kill people. Ever. Except when it's convenient.

Guyver: The Bio-Boosted Armor -
Possible meaning 1: When you see a weird glowing, slimy thing that flew at your head as a result of a huge explosion, do NOT pick it up and stick it to your face.
Possible meaning 2: Be unconscious when fighting. It's really better that way.
Possible meaning 3: Dying is overrated.
Possible meaning 4: Killing people who are dear to you is important. Do that more often.

Fruits Basket -
Possible meaning 1: Never hug strangers.
Possible meaning 2: Always listen to the voices in your head.
Possible meaning 3: Cats and Rats hate each other. But Dogs and Cats are fine.
Possible meaning 4: People who yell at you should be your best friend :D
Possible meaning 5: Growing up is all about becoming more immature. The older you are, the bigger a fool you should make of yourself.
Possible meaning 6: Start laughing whenever people fight. It ruins the violent mood.
Possible meaning 7: Always make the most moronic people in the entire world your friends.
Possible meaning 8: Everyone in the entire world is completely, utterly, undeniably totally insane.

Pokemon -
Possible meaning 1: Everything's better condensed.
Possible meaning 2: The world is composed of idiots.
Possible meaning 3: Always make the things you care about fight each other. It makes them happy.

Inuyasha -
Possible meaning 1: Always wear the poofiest clothing possible.
Possible meaning 2: Don't bite the hand that smashes you into the ground.
Possible meaning 3: Use the word “ye” as much as possible. It makes ye sound wise.

Orphen -
Possible meaning 1: Never steal people's magic swords.
Possible meaning 2: Whatever you do, do NOT do that one single, tiny, moronic thing that annoys the magic monsters. Ever. It's stupid.
Possible meaning 3: If your sparkles are inadequate, RUN AWAY!.
Possible meaning 4: Recruit as many idiots for your quest as humanly possible.
Possible meaning 5: Always drink green stuff.
Possible meaning 6: Never believe people who promise to “explain later”. They're lying. They'll never tell you anything.
Possible meaning 7: If you have the chance to destroy a building, do so at once. If you don't, make a detour to go FIND a building and then destroy it.
Possible meaning 8: Always name your children and pets after random words you found in the dictionary.
Possible meaning 9: Take any excuse to get a good close up of chests. Even dude chests. And, if there is no excuse, make one up.

Darker Than Black -
Possible meaning 1: Black Cats are your friend. Sometimes.

Soul Eater -
Possible meaning 1: Everyone has an evil, and a crazy and an afraid. That's fine. But when they start killing people they need to die.
Possible meaning 2: the best way to deal with your problems is to eat them.
Possible meaning 3: always believe that you are the most awesome thing since sliced bread. It may not help you win fights, but at least you can feel cool while losing.
Possible meaning 4: Coolness is everything.
Possible meaning 5: When confronted with breasts of impractical and possibly lethal size, men will invariably pass out and get nose bleeds.

Robotech -
Possible meaning 1: When weird alien ships crashland on your planet, the best thing to do is build a city around them, reconstruct them and then fly them without even knowing how they work.
Possible meaning 2: Always recruit civilians. They're better pilots than you anyway.

Last Exile -
Possible meaning 1: Planned wars are FUN!.
Possible meaning 2: Chanting stuff under your breath helps.
Possible meaning 3: Everyone should have a radio except pilots. They should just use flashlights.

Ouran High School Host Club -
Possible meaning 1: Be gay. It won't make your life better, but it will make people look at you funny.
Possible meaning 2: Don't take candy from babies. Even if they are eighteen-ish.
Possible meaning 3: It is quite possibly the stupidest thing ever to walk into an empty music room.
Possible meaning 4: say it with flowers. As many flowers as possible.

Ghost In The Shell (the 90s movie) -
Possible meaning 1: Just let your thoughts wander..... and wander..... and wander....
Possible meaning 2: If it's sentient, merge with it.
Possible meaning 3: You will never be complete until you blend with a cyborg of the opposite sex and wake up in the body of a little girl O.o
Possible meaning 4: Take any exuse to be female and naked. ANY excuse. Even if you're a badly damaged cyborg thing.

Aquarion -
Possible meaning 1: True love is dumb. Just go along with it.
Possible meaning 2: Let the rat win.
Possible meaning 3: Don't walk into buildings. The evil will suck the life from you.
Possible meaning 4: Don't adopt rabid dogs and pretend they're people.
Possible meaning 5: Always take the names of Greek Gods. You probably had the same name in a past life, only more dumb.

D. Gray-man -
Possible meaning 1: Don't try to make your family members undead. They'll kill you and wear you as a jacket. And that's just unpleasant.
Possible meaning 2: Never trust people who look like zombies.
Possible meaning 3: Harness the power of glowing green rocks. It's good for you. And bad for the enemy (wait a minute.... your enemy is Superman?. O.o)
Possible meaning 4: Never go anywhere without your flying squirrel-tailed ping-pong ball.
Possible meaning 5: Do not question the cursed eye. It's dumb.
Possible meaning 6: Do not feed robots coffee.
Possible meaning 7: If your security system thinks everyone is your enemy, it's time for a new magic gate. Stop attacking your friends. Right now.
Possible meaning 8: Maybe you should have a special 'welcome party' room so your new team-mate can actually eat sometime in the next three days.

Casshern Sins -
Possible meaning 1: Everything is your fault.
Possible meaning 2: Even if the person you supposedly killed isn't actually dead.
Possible meaning 3: It's still your fault, even if you were programmed that way.
Possible meaning 4: Don't try to destroy the robot with a built-in 'kill' switch.
Possible meaning 5: Your dog is smarter than you. And everyone else.
Possible meaning 6: Just kill everyone. It's really better that way.

Chrome Shelled Regios -
Possible meaning 1: Always ask strangers to crush your enemies.
Possible meaning 2: The future. It involves riding the backs of robotic crabs which are powered by glowing fairies and angry moose (goat.... deer..... things).... mooses.... meese?.
Possible meaning 3: Make one guy fight all your battles.
Possible meaning 4: Yell at said guy for fighting your battles by himself.

Phantom: Requiem For The Phantom -
Possible meaning 1: Children make the best assassins.
Possible meaning 2: Don't make friends if you're a mindless killer. Six months later, your friend will try to cut you into tiny pieces.
Possible meaning 3: Pink shirts make you look old O.o
Possible meaning 4: People who write plays are evil. And insane.
Possible meaning 5: Never assume that anyone is dead. They're not.
Possible meaning 6: Your past is dumb. It makes you dead.
Possible meaning 7: Impractically large breasts are a sure sign of crazy.
Possible meaning 8: All alcholic beverages can be greatly improved by putting mini-icebergs in them.
Possible meaning 9: Just kill everyone. It will solve all of your problems.

Consistent Meanings -
1 – Dying for your friends is FUN.
2 – Being reckless will get you everywhere.
3 – The one with the most sparkles wins.
4 – Always bring a moronic sidekick. Or, if that doesn't work, be a moron yourself.
5 – If there is a puddle, lake, stream, river or ocean nearby, stand in it. If there isn't, you can probably find a swamp of blood or something to stand in.
6 – The bigger your eyes, the more likely you are to be innocent. You are also likely to be kidnapped.
7 – The smaller your eyes, the more likely you are to kill people. You are also likely to be evil and/or insane if your eyes are small enough.