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TRAZALCA'S HOVEL

Just a place to dump my rants into, for better or for worse.

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About the Big 3 Networks - Time to say goodbye.

5/19/2010 8:41:29 AM permalink

Last week I caught a 60's Minutes clip concerning a rising trend in homeowners defaulting on their mortgages. One of the key reasons given is that owning a house is, like any business transaction, an investment. If the value of what you're investing drops like a stone, then what's the point in continuing to plunk down money towards a house whose value has diminished more than 40% its original value? From a business perspective, it's a bad investment, and not worth supporting financially.

It's interesting to see that this trend could also be applied to television shows. Instead of investing money, you invest your time: as in time invested in characters, plot development and story you grow to care about year after year. The big three networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC, are currently battling the disease of not following through with the investments made by their audiences.

Take Ghost Whisperer for example. It is a show millions have invested time caring and watching, and in return, CBS cancels a show without warning, or without caring enough to set its storylines to

 


Heroes: I Don't Care Anymore

1/19/2010 4:02:45 PM permalink

How funny that, on the same day a Heroes episode is given a grade "A" in Mania, I decide to post
this on my dormant blog site here as well. Last night, I took all the unwatched episodes of Heroes that had been collecting on my DVR, about 22 hours worth, and deleted them all. I ceased to care.

Last year, before the Heroes season ended to a cliffhanger at the edge of summer, I was busy with family things to do. That happens when you have kids in school, each with their own agenda, to tend to. In addition, I was tired of watching episodes where the characters spent most of their time circling each other, wondering what to do next. Plots continued to seem arbitrary, if not so contrived that my brain started to hurt. What happened to the characters I cared about in Season one? Since then, there were hiccups of genius among lengthening stretches of talk, confusion, twists that made no sense, and storylines that would flit about like a swarm of bees. In the end, it just seemed like the characters spent more time being self-absorbed in their own little worlds, as they each grew less interesting by the hour, and less time giving me something of substance.

Now don't get me wrong. I gave this show a chance up till most of season 3. But the more I learned about what was to come for the 4th season, the more I shrugged, saying "So?". My apathy for this show proved right when I started to look at the info screens for each episode prior to deleting it. The soap opera circles and plots they promoted in such few lines churned my stomach, and felt justified with each hit of the delete button.

Sure, I have other shows to watch (yay 24!), and my time is spent differently now than it was 4 years ago, which seems ages to me. But I find that as I get older, I'm getting more picky about what I spend my time watching. I don't watch TV like I used to, which was with a happy and casual abandon. Those days are over for me. It'd better be good, or there's no point. And sadly, what I do find to be good gets cancelled. And with how NBC is dealing Conan? It's wrong on so many levels, it only adds a log to the fire: this is a network that continues to put up with so much contrived writing as on Heroes. NBC have lost the ability to recognize what's good. Conan deserves better. We as audiences deserve better. Both are getting the severe and bloodied shaft for putting up with such a low degree of chicken-hearted business ethics, it now bleeds into all their programming by default.

I blame NBC for that late night show debacle as I do in just how terrible Heroes has become. Leno and Conan are poorly played chess pieces on a badly losing game. Heroes was an awesome premise that was allowed to suffer into a irrecoverable mess. I blame NBC for both.

Tags: NBC, idiocy, Conan, Heroes, ethics, waste
 


Celebs: Leave 'Em Alone Already

6/30/2009 8:52:45 AM permalink

Thanks to Jarrod for his encouraging words, I decided to post this here in my mania blog. I haven't posted anything here in quite a while, but what the heck. Here it is. It was originally posted the day after the new of Michael Jackson's passing, and starting with the idea of posting such tragic news on bulletin boards...

I remember, just a few short years ago, when a celeb passed away, some would rush to be the first to call FIRST! with a post here at the boards to say who had died.

I was at the cusp of doing so, then stopped myself yesterday after learning from a friend the news of MJ being pronounced dead.

And I stopped from saying anything yesterday for several reasons that piled up in my heart. For one, I really dug his music, despite all the words I have spoken against him at the boards for the last 8 years. I derided his character, in how he viewed himself, and what he was accused of during his trial years. And as a Dad, I doubt seriously I could ever change my opinions on that.

However, I have to say that I stopped myself from posting in here "Michael Jackson - Dead at 50" because I also felt that wasn't so much in vogue anymore here as it used to be. Plus, and this next reason is a strong one with me, I didn't want to be labeled, at least to my own conscience, a despicable and soulless media junkie like TMZ. They were the first to call it, and you could almost here the pride in the words they put out that they called it before anyone else, complete with heartbreaking news of MJ's sister's reaction, describing her shock of sudden horror and grief. No soul. No consolation. No heart. Just what happened and, hey look!, she's crying! Isn't that a hoot? Wow.

Damn them. Damn them to hell.

I used to rant about the Hollywood execs for not getting the public's idea of what really good entertainment was, and finding more importance in filling their bank accounts than in what the people really wanted.

I have long since tired of such things. They can hang their checkbooks out to dry in the hot L.A. sun for all I care. In my heart, they are a lost cause and done for.

But the new villain I see now, more than ever, are the paparazzi junkets.

They disgust me to such a degree, that I regard them as nothing more than the bottom barrel scrapings of fly turds. They are all like tin men without the desire, no, none at all, to look for a heart to place in their chests. Gleefully wallowing like pigs in the deep and fertilized mud of their collective heartlessness, they snap endless photos for that Rose Boy money shot, or for that one quirk that could give them money at the expense of the rich, famous, and now, sad.

Thanks to the paparazzi, the joy and luster of what it was to be famous is gone. You become famous for being beautiful or for putting out a string of popular films, and you are guaranteed to be cursed. Sure the money is great, and the food at the finest restaurants is like nothing else in the world, but is that to say it's enough?

Being wealthy will forever have its perks, but unless you have strong family ties and good relationships, it's damn lonely up there. It's akin to the fairytales of princesses locked up in towers from the public eye. But instead of a witch holding you up from the rest of the world, it's your fame, or the media, or the paparazzi, or the Hollywood system that continues to show it's cracks and ruinous crumbles of breaking down.

It's a system that has more than wore out its welcome. And frankly, it just doesn't work anymore. I feel sympathy for Megan Fox more than for anything else. Not adoration. So much will be demanded from her, it will be a miracle if she can survive it after a few years. And, I don't think she really gets what she has found herself caught up in. She has yet to earn the stripes as an icon that has been made by so many others before her. But Hollywood is desperate to treat her as one worthy of our attention, and it sickens me. As icons go, she's no Michael Jackson. No Elizabeth Taylor, or Farrah Fawcett. Heck. She's not even close to Angelina Jolie. Not even by a long shot.

Megan Fox comes across to me as one that is still trying to figure out what the heck she wants to do with her life. She also looks like one trying to figure out how to deal with where her life is now. And having a Marilyn Monroe tattoo on her arm is not a charm of good luck in my book. It's an omen.

She's the new design of fireworks to look at, and right now, her rise is just beginning to go up across the horizon. It's only a matter of time before the magnificent explosion that makes us all go "Ooh" and "Aah"
blazes up the night sky, until it ultimately fizzles, leaving a legacy of nothing but a faint memory of something wonderful, and a bad smell of acrid smoke in the air.

Michael Jackson, for all his King of Pop-weirdness, put out a LOT of amazing fireworks, until the smell got so bad, no one dared to look up anymore. Instead, we were content to remember how good he was, than what he ended up as. Being famous isn't worth the blank celluloid on a paparazzi's camera from hell.

Roger Ebert posted his take on MJ, marked with honesty and grace, which in a lot of ways, is more than what some would be willing to give him. Being objective has its worth for the sake of seeing the big picture, after all. But there is something to be said for those that are subjective to the experience MJ left for so many in their radios and CD players.

The crimes he was charged with, yes, curdle my own blood, enough to make me curse the ground he walked. But the mixed emotions in me will never deny that he did something nobody else did better, and that was make us want to sing and dance in this crazy world.

Megan Fox is still taking her small steps on the yellow brick road, one that MJ danced on so many times over. She has yet to fully make the trek, yet people talk like she's already made it to the Emerald City. Such lies are what TMZ love to spill out to the world like a bad mixture of false witness, blood, piss and refuse. And their pride in such ventures are, to my heart, the very seeds Satan would love to plant and bloom in this world.

They are not worth our attention. Yet because so many listen, they do what they do, as heartless as they can, and with as evil a relish as they can muster. Damn them.

Tags: Michael Jackson, Megan Fox, TMZ, insanity
 


ABC plus CBS plus NBC equals ACNBCS???

5/28/2008 2:31:47 PM permalink

I perused through IMDB.com this afternoon, and came across this blurb about the
Big 3 networks working together for a cause. Read on.

Three Networks Set To Air Cancer Telethon
28 May 2008 10:38 AM, PDT

In an unprecedented one-night hookup, three major TV networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, have agreed to air a joint telethon on the first Friday night in September to raise money for cancer research. To demonstrate the networks' unity, the three evening newsbanchors appeared together on each of their networks' morning shows today (Wednesday) to promote the telethon. The fund-raiser was reportedly the brainchild of Katie Couric, whose late husband, Jay Monahan, died of the disease in 1998.


After reading this, it brought to mind something that had been brewing in my head for
quite sometime now: the networks uniting as one network.

Okay, so maybe that is a bit far fetched when you consider that NBC is backed by
Universal Studios, ABC with Disney, and CBS is partnered with Viacom, which runs Paramount
and Dreamworks. The Big 3 joining forces as one network would probably never happen,
but it if did, no one on God's green earth could ever accuse me of being surprised.
Sure, they've been bitter rivals to each other forever, each vying for your attention span with
sit-coms, endless crime dramas, and reality shows. Their battle for ratings has been a losing one.
Ratings for network TV overall has been suffering for many years, and it's getting desperate.
Unless a show has the ratings bonanza of an American Idol, or Lost, it's lucky to last a season,
no matter how well-produced, acted or intrigueing the series may be.
I wrote a letter to Nina Tassler of CBS regarding my disdain for good shows like Moonlight getting
the boot, but it was never with the belief that it would make a difference. I knew better than that.
I understand many did NOT like Moonlight for several reasons. Whether I disagree with
them or not is irrelevant. I liked the show, and that's enough for me.
But because the ratings did not justify it's stay on the eye network, ratings that other
smaller cable networks would love to claim, it's gone.

The truth is Moonlight remains a victim of how the Big 3 are running things season-in, season-out. Ten
years ago, had Moonlight been out then, it would've stayed a few more seasons if the numbers were
the same, but that is no longer the case. The number of new shows coming in and out of all the networks is near dizzying. It's really hard to keep up. The more new shows announced, the more turned off I become with
each title. My reason to care has dramatically dropped. Why should I give a new show a chance if it's
going to be cancelled within a few months? I'm sick of it.

I even read that Joss Whedon's new TV show on Fox, Dollhouse, is already getting campaigns to save the
show before it's axed, and it hasn't even aired yet! The case of desperation for good TV shows to last
a while longer continues erode the our patience. We, the TV viewing audience, is suddenly asked to
work harder to watch and keep watching at the bequest of the TV networks. That's insane.

Legally, financially, and thanks to no small measure of pride from each, the 3 networks getting together
may never happen. Yet in a climate where so many corporations are merging and partnering up for the sake of surviving in a volatile market, it's a wonder that it hasn't happened yet. Even if two of the three were to
join forces, would it make things better? Would there be less cancellations of good shows?
Who knows? Would it decompress the desperation level that results in axing-off shows with ratings
just below acceptable? Doubt it.

But with each year that passes, it's clear that this is not a cyclical problem that will go away, with all
3 networks back up in a high-flying upswing of success in another year or two. They can no longer claim
each other as the biggest competitor, which is a title now shared between cable, the internet, and gaming
consoles. And just like I touched on in my last rant, time has become more valuable a commodity than
ever before.

With so many choices before us on a daily basis, from playing GTA4, mastering Guitar Hero,
chatting away with family members online while completing a POGO.com challenge, laughing at
the latest exploits of Monk on the USA network, watching movies commercial free on any number of
channels, the Big 3 have their work cut out for them.

But the premature cancellations of good shows continues to plague the Big 3 to a degree that more
and more viewers are being turned off. No one watches free television to be frustrated. All they care
about is to be entertained while relaxing from the hectic insanity of their day. At its best, television can
be a lot of fun to watch and enjoy. But killjoys from the Big 3 continue to popup up, and it's only getting
worse. Sure, TV shows die off, and life goes on. I get that. But this is at an unprecedented level.

Can anyone here remember a time where so many fans of recently cancelled shows are pissed off
at once?

Sooner or later, something's got to give. And when it happens, the Big 3 may wind up on the losing
end of the deal. Unless, of course, they decide to strap their boats together to stay afloat.

You never know.

Tags: tv, networks, unite, desperation, cancellations
 


My Moonlight letter.

5/19/2008 3:39:27 PM permalink

The following below is a letter I will be sending to the addresses listed below concerning the TV show Moonlight being cancelled. I know well enough this show hasn't had many fans. In fact, I know quite a few of you hated it, or regarded it as an Angel knock-off. On its own merits, I dug the show, rather than criticized it for not being Angel. However, underlying this letter lies a deeper problem that affects many good shows that deserved a better fate than given. Shouldn't there be a better way to handle this? There has to be.

Read on.

CBS Network
Nina Tassler
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

CW Network President
Dawn Ostroff
4000 Warner Blvd.
Bldg 168
Burbank, CA 91522-0002

Over the last few days, I've had to explain to my lovely wife,
over and over again, the show was dead. Dead, dead, dead.
It's over. No season two. Not a chance. Not happening. Moonlight is gone.
It's teeth have been yanked from its one-season-old gums.
Does she have an understanding as to why? Believe me. I try to explain to her how
Hollywood works, but I'd have a better chance explaining to a 5 year old
why she can't go to the moon on a pair of roller skates. And even if she were
to finally get it, the heartache from the truth remains inevitable.

When Moonlight started, reviews were not so pleasant. It seemed too derivative
of past shows, the acting was so-so, and so on. Even when I started watching
the show, I had my own misgivings. From the first episode, I'd watch with arms
crossed, and my face in full smirk mode. "Go ahead. Impress me," I dared.
But since my wife loved Ghost Whisperer, and Numb3rs, the in-between filler
seemed good enough to sit through. Within weeks, our interest in the show grew.
And by the writer's strike, we were very eager to see more episodes.
It had gained its legs, and had improved a great deal.

You see, I understood the show had to have its own voice. Its own unique take on
the genre and separate itself from the others, and sure enough, it was developing
one. A really good one. By then, it seemed a perfect fit between GW and Numb3rs.
At last, my wife and I can sit together and enjoy 3 hours of TV we didn't have to
argue over. We loved it. But then, the numbers weren't enough for CBS, and they
decided to ax the show. (By doing that, it also showed, at least to me, how pathetically
little weight the People Choice Awards had with any network considering a show's
chances. It makes me wonder what point there is in such an award show at all,
especially if it is held in such low regard. But that's a gripe for another day.)

But to convey to you why the cancellation of this show broke my wife's heart, and
severely disappointed my own, goes back several years, over several shows and
several networks. We've come to enjoy many shows that we really did love, only to
find it killed off after only one or two seasons. After a while, it made us wonder
if we should bother to watch TV at all. NBC was the worst in cancelling shows that
we genuinely cared about, with Journeyman being the latest. Outside of Heroes,
she now has no interest in anything NBC puts out. None. She's sworn them off
and had enough.

I will say this: CBS rocks da house far better than NBC ever will, in my book. They
had the heart to give Jericho a chance, and that spoke volumes to me. They cared
about their audience enough to listen, and it was far more than NBC would ever think
to do. But from what I understand, CBS learned from its Jericho experience, and is
loathed to repeat it.

I understand its business, but damn it, why Moonlight? So many far less interesting
shows were put to rest. Grouping Moonlight with them was shameful. It deserved better.
And when it came to giving it over to CW, why all the bureaucratic red tape between the
two of you? (if indeed the stories about it circulating the net are true - don't worry.
I keep my salt shaker handy) Hollywood decisions are a beast to comprehend,
even with all I've come to learn over the years, but how many good shows have
to continue to get killed off because the numbers aren't stellar?
Regarding Moonlight, why the trouble with so many showrunners for it?
That's enough to kill any TV show, no matter what it is. You'd think,
in spite of any success it had, you wanted it to fail.

And now I learn it's being replaced with the "Ex-List"? The premise is about as
fascinating as an hour-long episode on the history of drywall. My wife refuses to
watch it, determined to just watch GW, then go on the internet while Numb3rs is
taping. The cool triumvirate of tv watching has been killed for us. Thanks a lot.

I wanted to write a letter, pleading and begging you not to do this.
I wanted to write a letter on just how much I love this show, and how much of a mistake
I think you're making in axing it.

But quite frankly, the problem is far deeper than that, and instead, I'm writing about
my disdain for how television is being run.

It's things like this that discourages viewership of network TV.
And with so many things to choose from when it comes to spending time,
as valuable as time is nowadays, we chose to watch Moonlight, and loved it.
Thanks to this cancellation, without any second shot given to it from other networks,
I'm now apt to spend that time elsewhere.

I don't know about you, but I am sick to death of this. I'm so freakin' tired of
falling head over heels for a show, regardless of ratings, and then watch it get
kicked to the curb. You see something new and wonderful, it blossoms, though it may
start off as an ugly duckling, the beginnings of its swan-like grace begins to show,
then it gets put out of its misery right before your very eyes, with no hope of rescue.
And then you're ask to simply live with its demise, and accept a new one to take its place.
And all because not enough people are watching.

I can't make people watch. The move to put Moonlight to another network that could
better benefit from its current ratings level would be the best thing for it, and for its fans.
Just because a baseball player doesn't make it in the big leagues, he's not told to
give up playing the game forever, but instead is put somewhere in the Minor leagues.
At least he's given a chance to still play the game he loves. He's downgraded, but not out.
And if he has fans, at least they're not cheated from seeing him play.

The sad thing is, even if Moonlight was moved to CW, it would no longer
be a part of the cool triumvirate on CBS Friday nights. It was a nice tradition to enjoy,
even if for one season. Oh well. You can't have everything.

Do I believe anything will come of this letter? No.
My voice is too small against an issue too big.
My expectations, therefore, are like this vampire tale that had
heart and soul: dead, dead, dead.

Thank you for your time.

Trazalca

Tags: tv, cbs, disappointment, moonlight
 


Will somebody do something about this? PLEASE?

5/1/2008 10:08:59 AM permalink

I cannot stay silent on this any longer.

If I wanted to study how to design a webpage,
particularly one with many elements attached to
it, then I would go no further than to compare
one that succeeds, versus one that is, well,
trying to.

Understandably, design includes, not only
a clear display of content that avoids
the risk of clutter, but employment of a
smooth, thematic style that does not
irritate the irises on one's eyeballs,
or make one feel more comfortable staring into
the gaping maw of a final exam on Quantum Physics.
It should be distinctive.
It should have that uber-cool uniqueness
that makes you want to visit again.
However, it would be all too easy for me to
name the one I'm talking about that sucky;
one that currently shows a display that is,
how shall I say, akin to witnessing an epilectic
wrestling match between claustrophobia and
schizophrenia, with fingers clawing
each others neckbone, desperate to rip out
and gnaw on the opponent's cerebral cortex
like a twizzler, eager to mash and crack
the ribcage, remove the heart and perform
a flamenco dance on it, all for the sole
purpose of gaining a timeslot from your
attention span.

This particular website has, fortunately,
a devoted fanbase that continues to thrive.
It has its loyal fans and its steady reputation.
It has character, as well as devoted
bloggers, writers, and developers working hard
to put out hip and relevant content. Bravo there.

But one wonders if someone on staff was
short of cash, and decided to hire
the tattooed dude from Memento as the new
web designer, instead of one with
an eye for art, panache, and general common sense.
Visiting this website, you are thrust headlong
into a world of overlapping images,
gif files, slideshows unsure whether to stay
within the lines of a frame,
and a long column of boxes you'd have to scroll-scroll-scroll down to visit.
It's width is an enigma,
teasing you with the idea that
it might go on forever in either direction.
In short, it's headache inducing.
It's a jumbled mess.

It's aweful.

For once, instead of complaining about
movie-ad popups that try to attack and slash
your soft-touch screen, it's about the
new designs being applied here.
Now, if the attempt is to mirror the soul
of this site's moniker, then I'd say that
they've far outdone themselves.
Confusion is the bed insanity loves to sleep in.
And just trying to stare at this main page
is enough to make me think it is content to do nothing more than fluff the pillows,
and dream nightmares for pure fun.

Now, if I was to go to RottenTomatoes website,
sanity returns. Everything is evenly placed,
and spaced, accordingly. There is beauty
in discipline. Labels are clear,
with nothing overlapping. The top menu bar
is in plain view to all in large letters
that are pleasing to behold,
adhering to that treasured bit of wisdom:
keep it simple, stupid.
I don't have to scroll forever to reach
favored segments, or wonder why everything
looks so squished together like a stack of shoeboxes. At RT, not only does this tell me that
the website designer respects the
contents it serves to display, but it shows
that it respects the audience that comes to visit.

But getting back to ugly, unless its
main webpage changes to something
far easier on the eyes,
whatever plans the owners had to making
this place standout as something special
in a sea of movie fansites, those plans
were rightly kicked hard to the groin
with a hard-a$$ steel-toe boot.
It's the gaudiest F-U to surfers and movie fans yet.

Okay fine. I understand that I should wait
until the design is finished. But really.
It's like asking me to tolerate getting
an eyesore with each visit to this site.
It's just not welcoming. It's more of a deterrent. And what's worse is that I'm afraid of what
this place will look like
once everything is done (or is it?).
Once finished, will this arthritically
twisted cave of batshit be worth hanging
upside down in?

Just like that new title for the X-Files sequel,
I want to believe. I really do.
But my faith is waning. The hemorrhaging
is bad from the loss of common sense.
There's blood on the dance floor, and the DJ
is too busy picking his nose to change the music.

And for the record, regardless of whether
this thread is moved or not, I'm posting it in a
blog that is unforgiving as it is determined
to kill paragraph breaks for easier reading;
yet another ugly side-effect of the designs being
placed upon this wonderfully gregarious website
that doesn't even have the good sense to
put out an UNDER CONSTRUCTION SIGN
on the corner to let others know the design
is still under transition.
Instead of courtesy, the designer is content
to let the visitors to this site just simply DEAL.

How rude.

Tags: off, inconsiderate, lame, sucky, depressing, careless
 


Do I really NEED to own it on DVD?

4/25/2008 3:50:18 PM permalink

After visiting the IMDB website, I noticed a banner advertising
the film for Charlie Wilson's War, just released on DVD, with the statement at the bottom
reading "OWN IT NOW ON DVD". I think to myself, why? Why own it now?
I haven't seen the film. A quick look at RottenTomatoes.com confirms
it's been reviewed highly. Heck. Even Hoffman got an Oscar nod for his work in it.
I'm sure all signs point to it being worth seeing. But do I really need to own it?

                   

 


This rant is by no means a slam to the film. Quite the contrary, I truly
believe that if I do take the opportunity to see it, I'll like it very much.
I see no reason to think otherwise. However, this introduces the idea of what
DVDs are worth owning, versus a one-time rental. What is off-putting to me
is the statement the ad makes. First of all, why should I bother to come to
the conclusion that I should own this DVD? Second, why do I have to own this
DVD now]?

 

                           


On the first point, I would want to own a DVD if I know for a fact that it's
a film I would love to see again and again, and relive the experience it may give
to me, the simple moviegoer. Lately, not a lot of movies have given me that kind
of experience, or deliver on it enough to warrant me wanting to relive anything.
Another reason would be if I was a true fan of a particular actor/actress/director.
For example, if it's a Woody Allen film, and a really good one, I'd like to own it.
I own quite a few already. Not all, mind you, as I'd like to stick to the good
stuff...at least to the ones that work for me. I'm a fan, but not die hard.
I'm more casual, but I like what I like.

                           

 


With that said, there are many films that I've seen once, enjoyed them,
but never cared to see them again. As good as Charlie Wilson's War may be,
I'm afraid that one would be as such. I can easily imagine that I'd get a kick
out of it, but unless it gives me an experience that really challenges me,
or makes me wish for more, my expectations remain neutral.
One that comes to mind is Quiz Show. A brilliant film I saw in the theater.
It was thought provoking, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.
But I don't feel the need to own it. True, it was good. But it didn't leave me
feeling a desire to run out and see it again.
So I think for the most part, it's my own personal preference.

 

                             

 


On the second point, the marketing demand that I own a DVD now is ludicrous.
Once it is out, that's all I need to know. There's a short list of movies I do want to own,
but the need to do it right now is not feasible. At the moment, I need gas money,
so first things first. I'm a patient person when it comes to owning movies. My need to get
it once it hits the shelves is rare.
It's not like for a comic book, which is different all together.

 

                            

 


I used to be a serious collector, with the understanding that if a comic book hits the shelf
that I know will be in high demand, I had better be there the day it touches that shelf,
or I can forget about it, (unless I go to ebay, and pay far more than original retail. Yuck.)
To this day, I have yet to own Green Lantern #47, which is hard to find. It's from the
story arc of when Hal Jordan loses his mind. It's a comic book I'd love to own NOW.
But outside of paying a few bucks, I'll wait. If the marketing demand to "own it now" were
applied to comic books, as I think they should to a more realistic extent, I'd be more
apt to agree. Once it's gone from the shelves, it's gone, and then your left chasing
websites, online bids, collectors that might sell, blah-blah-blah.

 

                            


But back to DVDs: should I follow my former comic book M.O. for them? I don't think so.
Example: I'm a big fan of Sweeney Todd the Musical. Having heard it on cassette
countless times, seen the broadway production on TV, and experienced the Tim Burton
film on the last day it was shown in a dollar-theater I go to, the DVD is a must have.
I want it. I would love to have it.

                             

 


I will one day get this DVD. I just don't see the need to have it right now.
That's a lie marketing wants you to swallow. If it's got a popular
name or rep to it, it has to be something I should buy right now.
Another example: I have yet to see the movie 300. I want to see it.
I kick myself for not seeing it in the theater. I've seen enough to know that I'd even
want to own it. However, I do know if I wait a couple of years, a sale will come by,
and then I'll get it. Just like the sale I came across a few weeks ago for a video
store going out of business. DVDs were marked down to seven bucks a pop.
VHS? A mere buck-fifty. I walked out of there with a box load of movies, rich
with titles I was curious about, and a few I wanted to own. A couple that I've
seen so far are set to be thrown in the trash.
Others, like Shaun of the Dead, I'm keeping. I loved that one.

 

                             

 


Unless those brilliant-minded money marketers can deliver a way to reduce the price
per gallon at the local gas station, my money spent will go where it has to.
And unfortunately, with priorities in tow, when I pull up to the gas station,
look at the cost per gallon risen to $3.60, I'll cringe, take a deep breath, and
unscrew the gas cap. The needs of my livelihood, for the sake of getting
to work and back, demands that I get these several gallons to
add to my tank right now. No marketing is necessary for me
to come to that point, because sadly, it sells itself.

(If this blog entry looks warped, don't blame me. I tried to make it look presentable. I really did!)

Tags: dvd, money, lie, gas, vhs, now, buy, marketing
 


Signs Of The Apocalypse Upon Us - AGREED!

4/22/2008 10:59:08 AM permalink

I had to respond to the well-written Mania article "The Mania Manifesto: Five Signs the Apocalypse is Upon Us" from Damon Brown. And in the end, it proved to be a decent rant, so I've added it here:

These signs couldn't be more apt, but I think it ought to be far bigger than it is. I'm just too tired think of them. Long story worth blogging later about...eh. Maybe not. There's only so many interesting blogs that can be entered concerning one's sleep deprivation. Unless it's the Altered States kind, then that'd be kinda cool. Anyways....:

Reason 5: Yahoo! owned by Microsoft simply scares me. I see nothing good in it. It's only another step in Microsoft's attempt to ruling the world. I own a few accounts on Yahoo, and the idea of Microsoft touching them sends ice water down my spine.

Reason 4: "Chevron gas is made of people." Genius!

Reason 3: I'm kind of glad Mr. Petersen is getting the kind of moolah he's signed up for. But no matter how many times I see him, his acting just doesn't warrant it for me. It always seems just enough for the job. The question I have is where's Keifer Sutherland's money? I mean, come on! His acting chops are da bomb, yo.
Seriously.

Reason 2: Church-goers are a social lot. That said, the Wii fits them to a tee. However, the idea of using technology or a game to draw people in seems terribly gimmicky. The idea may sound great on paper, but the reality may prove something else entirely. It raises the level of being disingenuous to such a high glare, the threat of ruptured corneas would abound. It's just not a good idea.

Reason 1: When I read about this, I nearly gagged on a Pringles chip. And in kind, I would love nothing more than for DiCrapio to go choke on that Heart of the Ocean sapphire ala Titanic. Leonardo producing Akira???? And what city pray tell is he going to place this in? Manhattan. Oh yeah. That will make a WHOLE lot of sense. As if we need yet another movie to crash through and blow up New York City to smithereens. What is it with this love/hate relationship with NYC that it has to be so abused by SO many movies??? Cloverfield was the latest one, and the hits just keep on coming. There is just simply no let up. I've lost count on how many sci-fi/action/thriller/disaster movies to come out with an all out cinematic epic-scale abuse of that city. With all the other cities to choose from, that's the only one worth demolishing in a special effects studio? Sure, I can hear other people across the country in their city saying "Hey! You leave my city out of this. Don't you DARE mention my neck-o-the-woods buster." But still. It's getting old. And the American version of Akira can only wind up being wrong on SO many levels. I see nothing right about it at all. And I blame the Wachowski brothers for that. They set the stage for the floodgates to bust open on live-action based on oriental plots to the insane degree it's at. Do we really need a live action version for EVERY ANIME/MANGA ever RELEASED??? The best line in that whole article summed it up for me:
"Hollywood is pimping the hell out of our childhoods."

Sad, but true.

You know, when I was a kid, I loved the heck out of my Micronauts collection. They were awesome, with interchangeable parts that Lego hadn't the idea-machine to dream up of yet. How cool was it to turn a working, battery-powered engine that could act to turn parts for a spaceship AND a submarine that actually worked under water? And shoot missiles? It was too sweet.
[sarcasm]So, where's my movie? Where's my mega-million franchise for them? And for that matter, from the bowels of that forlorn arcade era, what about a TV mini-series for Tempest? I know I plunked down more than a few bills of quarters for that one. And for that matter, Hollywood is taking WAYYYY too long for kicking Discs of Tron out of pre-production hell. I mean, really. They need to get on the ball.[/sarcasm]

<groans /><fumes><sighs>

Tags: movies, sleep, akira, micronauts, childhood, gas, petersen
 


STOP UWE BOLL - What the heck are you waiting for???

4/8/2008 10:12:14 AM permalink

The madness must end. It MUST!

Here's an article on what transpired a few days ago:

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2271690,00.html

It is time ladies and gentlemen. Time to UNITE and DEFEAT the scourge that has plagued our film going community for far too long. The incompetent that is Uwe Boll must be stopped forever.

Stop reading this blog and GO TO THE petition website:

http://www.petitiononline.com/RRH53888/petition.html

GO NOW!!!!

And when you finish, share this link with your friends, and then let those friends tell their friends, and so on, and so on, and so on...

 

Tags: end, deliverance, petition, cauterization, clot, sever, snip, disconnect, pull the plug, finalize, stop
 


My truck is dying. (sniff)

3/27/2008 11:55:31 AM permalink

Here's a brief history: I purchased my 95 Ford Ranger XLT, used,
in March of 1997. It had 11,000 miles on it, and it ran beautifully.
Save for moments of typical wear and tear maintenance, it was solid. I loved it.
It drove like a champ, and handled great. I never took the overdrive
option off. I have many memories with that truck.

I remember driving my girlfriend to, and my fiance from, the Italian restaurant
in Myrtle Beach, SC where I proposed to her, and she tearfully said yes.
I remember playing the mixed-tape I made of cheesy love songs and movie clips with romantic dialogue
(taken from Highlander, The Princess Bride, Henry V and Forget Paris) to her, delirious
in love. Sure it was sappy, but it was terribly fun.
I remember long drives to the Carolinas, furniture hauls, and mind-numbing
hours of traffic to work and back. But as time wore on, little things fell apart.
Here's the list:

-The paint on the hood is nearly worn off to expose the dull gray metal.
-The windshield had to be replaced, and months later, the rearview mirror popped off.
-The door ajar alarm goes off during the warm days, even when the door is closed and locked.
(And as if to join the fun, the dome light stays on the whole time.) The alarm stays on for
several minutes before it decides to die off. It's very annoying. Once it stayed beeping like
an ancient gong for 21 minutes. Ugh.
-The lumbar support pillow that engages behind the small of your back doesn't stay full
any longer.
-The turn signals work, provided that I hold down the lever till the turn is made.
-I lost the bolt that holds the spare tire underneath the truck bed, so now the spare rides
IN the bed.
-The radio player would no longer shut off, and began eating cassettes like they were ice cream
sandwiches. I happily replaced it with a CD player, but now I have scores of tapes that I
miss listening to. Especially the audio books.
-The emergency brake handle broke off in my hand, so that now there is nothing but an ugly
spring dangling from whence it came. Thank God the truck holds when it's just put in PARK.
-The lights on the dashboard, for almost a year, have faded to black, so that if I wanted to know
how fast I was going at night, I'd shine the light from my cellphone screen to see the
spedometer. The latest mystery? Some of the lights to the right side of the dash
have come back to a dimming life just 2 months ago. I have no idea why.
-The spongy tan material that upholsters the ceiling of my truck has several scratch marks
and gashes across it. It looks like some wild animal tried to claw out.
-The key fobs no longer function, so I have to insert the key to open the door.
I know. VERY anti-techy, but it works. Although, I'm tempted to hold my breath for when
the key breaks in two.
-The worst on the list yet, the transmission is beginning to slip.

I asked a reliable mechanic I go to how long did I have till it locks up.
"Don't know," he shrugged. He recommended an additive to help, and so far, it has.
But with each day of driving to work and back, the slipping is getting a tad worse again.
I feel like I'm driving a time bomb. I'm just waiting for it to fall apart.

But the most frustrating thing of all is now I have to plan to get a new vehicle.
That part is about as much fun as diving into a swimming pool full of rabid hungry badgers.
There's SO many options. I've gotten advice from family, friends, coworkers, and all
of them are different, with only minimal difference to me in the long run financially.

Then there's what to drive. My Dad gave me a list pulled from Consumer Reports for the best
used car list for the last ten years. Between that, and Edmunds.com, I've gone through
a lot of information, and narrowed it down to what I need. The toughest part is that I
need an SUV so I can accomodate my growing family. But few SUV's are economical when it
comes to MPG. I cannot afford monthly payments above $300. So, though I am fully aware
of the hybrids out there, getting a new or used one is out of the question, plus most would
not fit a fam of 6 plus.

What hurts more is that the next vehicle I get will give me less miles per gallon than
my truck does now. It's currently 27-28 highway. I love that. But I am NOT looking forward
to paying above $60 each trip to the gas pump. It just sucks.

I've looked at better SUV's, and all of them are more expensive.
I've looked at trucks with the crew cab (a full backseat!), and they're not faring much better.
I've been scanning Edmunds.com and Carmax.com for weeks now. Comparing and recomparing,
and listing which has what. I made a full spreadsheet with just the stats most important
to me, and I just feel overwhelmed.

I don't even want to look at another truck or SUV on the road when I drive now. It depresses me.

The good news aside from this is that this month, I am FREE OF ALL CREDIT CARD DEBT!
Praise the Lord!
Plus, I paid off the family van well enough in advance. We worked hard
to do this. It took over 5 years, so now it's just the house... till the truck dies.
Then it's back to the dealership again. Ugh.

So many people regard getting a new car as an exciting thing. I don't.
I feel burdened by the whole business. All car salesmen look like feral wolves
out to rip out my throat. I don't trust them. Heck. I don't trust anyone in the car business.
I hate it when a car salesman comes up to you as if you're suddenly the best friend
to him in the world, and he's ready to give you the deal of a lifetime, easy with a
smile and a pat on the shoulder, and a tongue like oil.
And all it is is just a ruse, a con, and a silkscreen to mask the fact that he's
there to make a sale. That's it. He doesn't give a rat's crap about your family or
your life story. He just wants the money. It's what he's paid to do.

And out of this whole business, that may be the worst of all.

Sorry this vent is NONE movie related. It is a blog after all.

Traz

Tags: car, money, sale, decay, truck, transmission, memories
 



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TRAZALCA'S MANIACAL PERSONA

trazalca
Date Joined: November 13, 2006

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