World War Z

I don’t normally write movie reviews, but this flick had such an impact on me I decided to share…

It stinks

Last month, I had the misfortune of watching the summer blockbuster film, World War Z. I say “misfortune” because this movie was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; I no longer have any faith left in Hollywood and, by extension, the movie-going public.

Before I go any further, I would like to say that I read the book by Max Brooks a few years ago and I had very high hopes for this movie. Hopes that were crushed mere minutes into the film.

The book was a sociopolitical commentary that was set against the backdrop of a theoretical zombie apocalypse. Max Brooks explored many touchy subjects such as human trafficking in Asia, political tensions in the Middle East and the cognitive and cultural divide between Western Europe and former Soviet-bloc countries. There’s even an ironic and brow-raising scenario where American refugees are attempting to flee the zombie hordes of the States by taking rafts into Cuba.

When I first cracked the pages on World War Z, I expected to be taken on a fun, zombie-riddled, fantasy ride by the son of famous funny man, Mel Brooks. What I got instead was a thought-provoking tale of humanity’s brush with extinction as told from the perspective of over a dozen flavorful characters.

Surprisingly Good

The movie, on the other hand, was the loose story of Brad Pitt traveling the globe and outrunning explosions/ zombies. There were so many battles in exotic locales, I half expected Optimus Prime and Shia Labeouf to make an appearance.

Autobots

With the bloated special effects budget and little to no plot, it felt like a Michael Bay film. I swear to God, that man could ruin anything.

Jane Eyre

Michael Bay

Jane Eyre Adaptation

As I grew more and more agitated in my theater chair, I realized that I needed a dramatic shift in my expectations lest my mood would sour for the rest of the evening. I decided to watch the film for what it was, a mindless, globe-trotting CGI romp that would challenge none of my thoughts or opinions on anything whatsoever.

Ultimately, this proved unfruitful because I was stone cold sober with no access to alcohol and therefore, unable to turn off my brain. Instead I made a compromise between actively hating the movie and passively enduring it and henceforth focused on the movie’s glaring mechanical inconsistencies. I will share those with you now.

*I would normally warn against spoilers at this point, but it’s hard to spoil a steaming piece of crap.

-Zombies, regardless of their physical attributes & dimensions whilst living, gain the power, speed and coordination of an NFL linebacker.

Reeeaaaly Strong

I’m not biologist or anything, but zombies are animated corpses. It would stand to reason that an animated corpse, although fearless and armed with near-limitless endurance, would not gain power through the process of dying. How can something that doesn’t eat, heal, rest or sleep get stronger? Everything it does expends energy and it does nothing to intake energy. They don’t even eat people, they just bite them and move on to the next victim.

-There are no fat zombies.

Fat Zombies

Let’s just pretend zombies that can run a 3.8 second 40 yard dash and then head-butt through ballistic glass somehow make sense. How come there are no fat zombies? I would imagine that the vast majority of fat people would have become the first wave of zombies due to their inability to outrun anything. Watch the movie and try to spot one fat zombie. There aren’t any.

-Zombie bones are made of titanium.

Zombie Fall

Zombie Fall pt 2

Somehow, zombies are able to bend the laws of physics via some Wile E. Coyote bullshit. More times than I could count, I watched a zombie suffer a bone-obliterating fall only to get up and sprint after the nearest human.

Looking back at the movie, I feel really bad for Max Brooks. It seems that the whole discussion as to how the movie was written went like this…

So...

That sounds good

Whatever you say

How do we do this

Just sign here

Seems Legit

Any ideas

Explosions

Brad Pitt

Change the timeline

Fast Zombies

Didn't read the book

Why would we

We write movies

More explosions

Great Idea

Helicopter

Snakes on a plane

You're so smart

I thought of it and then said it.

I'm out.

And then a few years later, a multimillion dollar abomination was released upon the public and we still lined up to see it. According to IMDb, this movie has already made a tidy $25 million dollars. I can just imagine the hidden cabal of masked Hollywood executives lounging about a chateau amidst piles of cash, getting oral sex in some creepy Eyes Wide Shut style orgy.

So if you like zombies and you want to be a part of the solution and not the problem, buy Max Brooks’ books and don’t watch the movie.

Final verdict: Book = 9/10

Movie = -712/10

P.S. I made a little facelift to the blog homepage. Hope you like it.

P.P.S. It’s good to be back. ­čÖé

Iggy and the Bag.

So there was this one thing I wanted to tell you about my new-ish cat, Iggy. We got Iggy as a rescue cat from a local shelter a few months ago. His name was Lewie, but we decided that name was not very exciting and changed it to Iggy after a funny story I heard about a comedian and his misadventures with a bunch of Russian mobsters. One mobster was named Igor.

I found out very quickly that Iggy is an astonishingly stupid cat.┬á Not the kind of, “oh, that animal isn’t smart”┬ávariety of stupid.┬á This was a level of stupidity that I had not seen in an animal before.

For example, let’s take the simple act of training┬áthe cat to stay off the┬ásofa…

Iggy on the Couch

Iggy, get off the couch

Staring

Iggy, get off the couch

Blink

Get of the GD Couch

Frrrrp.

Spray Bottle

Wet Iggy Staring

Wet Iggy Blink

Why are you so stupid

Wet Iggy Frrrrp.

And so on it went. Iggy kept finding new ways to impress me with his stupidity.

Iggy + Bowl

Iggy Kills Water

Why no more waters

or, one of my personal favorites…

Runs into wall

One day, I came home with some groceries. I set the bags on the floor and I started putting the cold items in the fridge. Iggy was fascinated by this development and started hovering near me.

I finished putting the milk in the fridge and I turned around to see this staring up at me from the floor.

Iggy in the bag

I thought it was really cute that Iggy had nestled himself into the bag. I picked up the cat-bag combo to show Wife, who was seated on the couch.

Cat+Bag Combo

This act was a HUGE FUCKING MISTAKE.

Picking Iggy up while in the bag did several things simultaneously.

  1. It proved to Iggy that the bag possessed the magical power of levitation.
  2. It showed Iggy that the bag was a force of unseen power and was probably linked to many unsolved mysteries of the universe.
  3. Since he couldn’t move easily while being lifted in the bag, there was also a good chance that the bag was immobilizing him as a┬áprecursory part of its feeding process.

All of these things made Iggy very unhappy, very quickly. It became clear that to me that Iggy did not want to be in the bag so I gently placed him on the ground. Iggy immediately sprinted away from the bag. There was one small catch though; one of the bag loops became wrapped around his little kitty waist. No matter how fast Iggy ran, the bag pursued him just as hard. As you can imagine, this produced one single emotional reaction in Iggy: sheer, undiluted terror.

The bag pursues

Iggy was running so fast throughout the house that I had no hope of catching him. All I could do was watch in horror as my cat sprinted through the house at a speed only pure adrenaline could provide.

This went on for a solid minute or two until Iggy decided that fleeing wasn’t working so he tried to hide. Iggy threw himself under the couch in a last ditch effort to escape.

I eventually had to move the couch and unhook the bag from my poor, tired and scared-to-death little cat. Iggy then ran off to hide and recover from his ordeal. I went back to unloading the remainder of the groceries.

I put the eggs in the fridge and reached down to put away the carrots when my hand touched something warm and furry in the bag.

I no Learn Good

Stupid cat.

THE END.

P.S. Iggy was completely unharmed in this incident so don’t call PETA you wackos.

P.P.S. Iggy has since ruined my carpet, destroyed my TV and nearly killed himself trying to remove his collar. What this cat lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in sheer resilience & luck; I have to give him that.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Internet!

In 400ad there was a man by the name of St. Patrick that went to Ireland and explained that whole Christianity thing to everybody. He spent thirty years on his mission trip and was revered as a saint several centuries later. Supposedly, he even drove out all the snakes in Ireland.

 

How It Went Down

 

No mean feat for someone who wasn’t a wizard.

 

My question though is what happened to all the snakes and where did they go?

 

Maybe there’s a correlation between the disappearance of snakes in Ireland and England’s Great Snake Plague of 435ad.

 

2nd and 3rd Order Effects.

 

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!

 

P.S. If you’re in Chicago, they dye the river green each year… just found that one out.

 

P.P.S I also just found out that it’s a non-alcoholic mixture. ­čśŽ

What School of Magic do You Prefer?

 

 

In keeping with our theme of wizards here at Live Nerd Repeat, I’ve decided to come up with a handy little tool to figure out what school of magic suits you… you know, in case you develop magic powers. Hey, you never know. Anyway, here it is so read on young wizard.

 

*click to enlarge.

 

 

THE END.

 

P.S. I really need to stop playing Skyrim… It’s really starting to permeate all facets of my life.

 

P.P.S. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the store and restock on alchemy reagents; getting low on garlic and vampire dust.

 

 

 

Bumper Stickers

*Ok so this first part has nothing to do with bumper stickers.

I haven’t posted in a while, but it’s been for a good reason.

I’ve been in training for my new job and it’s been pretty intense. Despite having no medical background, I now am somehow advising physicians on cardiology products and procedures.

Scary right?

Anyway, I’ve been studying really hard to make sure I don’t have a hand in accidentally killing your Nana.

At this point, I’d like to note that my restoration magic skill isn’t very high.

Destruction magic is more my forte’. You can see how I don’t want this scenario playing out to its conclusion.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

*Alright, this is the part where I talk about bumper stickers.

For those that don’t know, I’ve spent the past three years living in Germany. Now, I’m back in the US and I’m trying to get used to our crazy little culture all over again.

One thing that I’ve forgotten about Americans is that we’re under the impression that other people really want to know what we think… all the time.

I often find myself surrounded by the unsolicited opinions of others.

I think this tendency to share is best expressed in the bumper sticker concept.

Think about it. When someone attaches a bumper sticker to their car they’re saying, “Everyone who is blown by the winds of fate and winds up stuck behind my car NEEDS to see this. This makes me happy.”

Bumper stickers are seldom seen outside of the US, so I’ve decided to put together a handy sampling of bumper sticker translations for my fellow countrymen & women.

Here’s what your bumper stickers are really saying, enjoy.

THE END.

P.S. Bumper stickers are now available in the Underwhelmer Store.

P.P.S. If you clicked the link above, then you found that there were no bumper stickers in the store, only sadness… lonely, infinite sadness.

Video Games Keep Proving that I’m an Awful Person

For those of you that don’t know, the powers that be have made a Walking Dead video game. Interestingly enough, this game doesn’t focus on killing hordes of zombies, instead the focus is on difficult decision making. The game is spread out over five episodes and your character, Lee, has to call some tough shots that will affect various aspects of the game and the other characters therein.

 

 

Interactive storytelling is a great area for games like this, but it does have a way of pointing out how awful of a person I am.

 

Here’s what happened last night while playing Walking Dead Episode II: Starved for Help.

 

*Minor spoilers ahead.

 

After a brief scuffle with some non-undead enemies, our five-person group finds itself locked in a cold storage unit.

 

Kenny, the casually racist commercial fisherman from Florida, and I are talking about how to get out. Lilly, the ex-Air Force de-facto leader of the group, is trying to calm down her dad, Larry, who is banging on the door and screaming obscenities at our captors. Clementine, the seven year old girl that I saved in episode one, is covering her ears trying to block out all the grown up words spewing out of Larry’s mouth.

 

 

As I wander around trying to find a way out of this refrigerated steel box, Larry, unsurprisingly, gives himself a heart attack.

 

 

Serves the fat prick right. That hatchet-faced douche tried to kill me in the last episode and now it’s coming full circle.

 

I grin and cross my arms as Lilly rushes to help her dad.

 

Lilly starts with CPR and I go to help. I’m glad Larry’s dying, but I can at least try to salvage the relationship with Lilly, right?

 

Kenny, with an uncharacteristic flicker of situational awareness, says this:

 

 

 

Now helping Lilly would’ve been a no-brainer, but earlier in the episode we discovered that the recently dead (regardless if they’re bitten or not) will always reanimate as walkers. This is bad; my grin fades as I realize that Larry is a 6’4” 300lb ticking time bomb.

 

 

Kenny uncovers the same line of thinking as me and continues with this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was presented with a choice; help Lilly save Larry or help Kenny smash Larry’s head in.

 

Larry was a danger to me about 75% of the time while he was alive. Now, he was about to become a 100% undead danger. We had no weapons other than a few 40lb blocks of salt lick.

 

I made the decision to help mutilate Larry’s still warm corpse in about .02 seconds.

 

I pull Lilly, kicking and screaming, off of her dad and Kenny finishes the deed by smashing in Larry’s skull with a salt lick block.

 

Lilly rushes back to her mostly headless dad and begins sobbing uncontrollably.

 

I think Clementine is sobbing in the corner too, but I’m not really sure though; I tend to lose track of her a lot.

 

 

 

I really wanted to feel sorry for Lilly, but it was at this point that I remembered that Lilly had been a colossal bitch to me the entire game; shouting, pointing guns at me, etc.

 

No more pretending to tolerate this person.

 

It was time to pour salt (get it? IT’S A PUN!) in the wound.

 

Instead of continuing to try to find a way out, I click on Lilly and initiate conversation.

 

 

There were four dialogue options to respond to this.

 

  1. I’m so sorry, we had no choice.
  2. Remain silent.
  3. He was a good man.
  4. Larry would have wanted it this way.

 

Without hesitation, I chose option four. It seemed to be the most psychologically devastating option as it implied that Larry would have wanted his skull obliterated by an 18 kilo block of sodium chloride. It was the perfect thing to say to Lilly mere seconds after what we just did.

 

It had the intended effect that I was looking for:

 

 

 

Kenny had to restrain her and I’m glad that the game didn’t require that I go through a button pressing sequence to help restrain Lilly because I had dropped the controller due to my fits of laughter.

 

I then saved the game and quit for the evening; mission accomplished.

 

THE END.

 

P.S. I played a little bit more this morning. I found that, in order to escape, I had to use a coin to unscrew the AC unit in the cold storage room.

 

P.P.S. I think I remember Larry saying that he kept some change in his pocket. Maybe I should ask Lilly if it’s in bad taste if I loot her dad’s corpse before it cools off?

 

What Twilight, Dating and Wife’s Job Search Have in Common.

Wife has been looking for a job for the past few months. Watching her efforts and looking back at my own job hunt, I’ve decided that looking for a job is a lot like dating when you’re over 40; everybody’s really desperate, but they’ve been burned too many times in the past to commit. As an added bonus, all parties come with their own emotional baggage.

There’s also the added difficulty of looking for a job in the Northeast. Looking for a good job in New Jersey is like finding a viable mate at Comic Con.

Should have gotten the number of that guy in the Spider Man costume.

Wife has gotten a few offers from a few different potential employers that she’s had to turn down. The jobs just weren’t good enough for her. They would have been the dating equivalent of a hobo.

This has been highly frustrating for us so far. It hasn’t been without a few laughs though. By far, the funniest job offer has been the insurance sales company that has been inviting her to seminars and informational briefings.

Extending the dating metaphor, this company’s displayed interest in people is a lot like the plot from Twilight; a powerful immortal being that is inexplicably and exclusively infatuated with a Mary Sue (I can’t even remember her name she was so uninteresting). It’s all entirely too good to be true.

Wife went to one of these seminars and they brought in their multimillion dollar winning insurances sales force and explained how all of the fifteen random attendees were the perfect ones for the job.

Kudos to Wife because she figured out the whole situation and discovered the vampire parallel very quickly.

So Wife wisely told Edward that it wasn’t going to work out.

She’s still looking, but, being the swell guy that I am, I’ve put together my top three choices to help direct her.

#1. Time Traveling Vampire Hunter.

#2. Naughty Nurse Assassin.

#3. Certified Public Accountant.

The last one is a compromise. That’s a word all you single guys should learn if you want to be a great husband like me.

THE END

P.S. Wife got a job this weekend!

P.P.S. No, it doesn’t involve skimpy outfits and monster slaying; that happens after her six month evaluation period.

Which Video Game Protagonist are You?

Hi everybody. I’d like to announce tmso as our Other Half of the Idiom contest winner! Here’s tmso’s winning idiom.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush except when that bird pecks out your eye, then you only end up with one; one eye that is.

Thanks for the laugh tmso. Your reward consists of these two priceless works of art that I’ve applied to your idiom plus the undying adoration of the sixteen people who read this blog… you’re welcome.

*Now back to our regularly scheduled program*

Have you ever asked yourself, “Gee, I wonder what character I’d be if I were in a video game?” Well, you’re in luck because I made a thingy that tells you just that so read ahead and BE AMAZED!!!

*click to enlarge.

*that’s supposed to be the ocarina of time in the top right, but MS Paint only allows me to do so much.

THE END

P.S. Don’t feel bad if you got Link.

P.P.S. On second thought, you probably should. That poor guy has been through a lot of crap for one girl over the years.

The Other Half of the Idiom

I have this incredibly distracting habit where, in my own head, I automatically edit other people’s sentences. I don’t actually say anything or interrupt people; that’s just rude, but as a huge nerd and card-carrying smart ass, I mentally add things that are completely ridiculous and/or hilarious.

Here’s an example:

When someone asks, “Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was 6′ 4″ tall?”

I only hear, “Did you know that Abraham Lincoln…”

This is the point where the crazy part of my brain takes over and fills in the rest. My mind reassembles the sentence into something this:

“Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was 600 meters tall and could breathe fire?”

This, of course, leads to awkward pauses during conversation along with a lot of inappropriate grinning on my part.

I do this all the time and I can’t turn it off. The whole process reminds me of these “math machines” that I had to assemble in the second grade.

My second grade teacher made us construct math machines to teach us simple arithmetic. The math machines were these little boxes with two slots connected by a chute. You’d put a card in that would say 4×4 = ? on the front and on the back it would say 16. All this stupid box did was flip your card over, but to a 2nd grader it was just short of witnessing magic in action.

I think this is similar to what the crazy part of my brain does with incoming sentences.

This whole automatic process happens more quickly with idioms. I think it’s because I’ve heard them more often than regular everyday sentences so my crazy, crazy brain has had more practice.

Anyway, I’ve decided to share some of these idiom alterations with you. I call it, “The Second Half of the Idiom” enjoy… oh, and they’ve got pictures too.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth because they spit acid.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except for zombie outbreaks. They tend to spread.

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for life.

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Crossbreed fish and man and create an army of fish-monsters.

No time like the present.

No time like the present, well except in that cowboy themed parallel universe; it’s on pretty much the same timeline as ours, but with cowboys.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. You could have a multi-chicken.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.

You can’t judge a book by its cover; except the Necronomicon. It’s bound in human skin so that’s a pretty good indicator of what’s inside.

THE END.

P.S. If you’ve got a second half of the idiom that you’d like to share, send it to cluegiver@gmail.com and I’ll pick a winner to showcase on next week’s post.

P.P.S Although pictures aren’t required, they’ll help your chances. ­čśë

What Would Rick Grimes Do?

 

Last night, I finally finished watching The Walking Dead Season II.┬á Great series if you haven’t seen it, by the way. I finally realized how much crap that Rick Grimes has to put up with from his whiny group of (somehow) survivors so I decided to put together a What Would Rick Grimes Do flow chart… enjoy.

*minor spoilers ahead.

THE END.

P.S.┬á Do give the Walking Dead a go if you haven’t already.

P.P.S.  Have a happy Memorial Day Weekend!