Saturday, September 22, 2012

End of Watch Review

 File:End of Watch Poster.jpg

End of Watch is one of the best movies this year. And yes I am completely serious. And not only is it a fantastic movie, it might be one of the best cop films I have ever watched. Its written amazingly and acted just as brilliantly. The characters are amazingly fleshed out and seem like real people. It is a great movie from start to finish.

The movie follows Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena) as they go through their days as police officers in one of the most dangerous zones in Los Angles. The characters of Taylor and Zavala are the greatest thing about this movie by far. Not only are they not perfect people, they're actually very flawed people. For example the movie opens with them chasing 2 suspects in a car. They PIT the car, get out and after being shot at, shoot and kill the suspects. The movie then shows after the killing were Taylor and Zavala are cleared of the shooting and acting like...well...kind of like douchebags. Not like bad people or anything but they act very arrogant and douchy. And the films achieves a monumental award by making you like them. That's right through a decent portion of this movie the characters act like arrogant douchebags...and you like them. And you don't just kind of like them, you really like them. Because they seem like real people. Everything about them, from the way they act, look, talk, and especially their friendship seems completely real and genuine. They act like arrogant douchebags but...come on, wouldn't you? They might act like douchebags, but in reality they're good cops, not just good cops but great cops.

I was with these guys 100%. Yeah, they acted like dicks sort of, but they earned it. And the weird part is later in the movie (in an amazingly tense and fantastic scene) they rescue three kids from a burning house at huge risk to themselves. They receive the Medal of Honor and everything and yet...they don't act like dicks after that. In fact there's a pretty subtle moment where they talk to each other about how they don't feel like heroes and, in fact, have no idea how a hero is supposed to feel. They take matters into their own hand and try and track down suspects and such and save quite a few people...they still don't act like dicks because of it. They sort of just keep the same level of dickishness and stick with it, actually it goes way down by the end of the movie.

The friendship between Taylor and Zavala is fantastic. They way they interact off of each other and talk to each other seems real and genuine. Alot of it is because of the excellent script (and directing) from David Ayer, but mostly it's because of Gylenhaal and Pena who deliever 2 of the greatest performance of their careers. They way the talk and even argue with each other, its brilliant. And the movie never does that stupid thing movies like to do, were they have a fight and stop being friends but realize in the end that they'll always be friends. No, none of that. Yeah, they argue and stuff but its just a part of their friendship, they take it in stride and roll with it.

The movie is also amazingly tense. Unlike most movies today that like to make a spectacle of action scenes to the point were they don't feel real and because of this are never really that tense, this movie takes the complete opposite approach. Its because you like the characters so much and its because, in a stroke of genius (yes i said genius), the film goes out of its way to hammer in the fact that Taylor and Zavala are not invincible. So, when shoot outs come or when car chases come they are some of the most intense scenes of the year precisely because you feel that they are not invincible. You know they can be hurt, or even killed, if something goes wrong and it serves the action in a dramatic way. This all means that every time they get shot at, have a car chase, enter a home (were you can just feel that something bad is in there), or enter a burning building you are on the edge of your seat with tension.

The movie is also horrifying in a human, realistic way. I won't go into too much detail because, you know...spoilers... but almost everytime Taylor and Zavala go into a house, something terrible has gone down, and again its the reactions from the characters that make the scenes work. They see something that's inhumane and horrible and they get mad, which in turn makes you get mad.

The ending is also just...beautiful. Again not gonna go into too much detail because spoilers, The ending shootout is one of the most intense scenes I have sat through in a long, long time. And because you feel that sense of danger for the characters it makes even worse. And they way that shootout have to see it. It defied every single convention of what you would think and even what I thought was going to happen. There is no big epic speech at the end either.  Gyllenhaal's "speech" at the end is one sentence. That's right, one sentence. Four words. And that one sentence, those four words, hold more weight and power behind them than entire movies do. There is so much emotion and power in just those four words that it almost brought me to tears. I would like to hammer it in FOUR WORDS. This movie did more with four words than alot of movies can do in a 2 hour run time.

I would like to compliment this movie on its directing too. It employs a half documentary style (yes its actually explained) and half conventionally shot narrative and it works. It works completely. I only saw one other movie by David Ayer and that was Harsh Crimes and the only thing I really remember is what powerhouse performances Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez gave. And Ayer did it again. He got, what I think, are 2 of the most honest, realistic best performances of the entire year. And that is a very big feat. I cannot compliment this movie enough on what it did. It defied my expectations and actually surpassed them exceptionally. Everything about it is excellently done from the directing, to the writing and acting is just wonderful. I implore you to go see it.

Monday, September 3, 2012


The new short story I wrote for     

               What exactly did Star Trek mean when it said space is the final frontier? Since space is a seemingly endless vacuum there isn’t a clear goal to be had besides to see more of the endless mostly empty vacuum. Science had shown that every planet within reach of ours is uninhabitable so there was not a whole lot to frontier. That was 2012. That was 50 years ago. A lot can happen in 50 years.

                Remember so long ago when landing on the moon was such a huge deal? Half a billion people turned on their black and white TVs and adjusted their antennas to watch Neil Armstrong be the first man to set foot on the surface of a rock that was not Earth. Now taking a trip to the moon is a high school field trip. Mars was once the unreachable red planet and almost every time we sent a probe droid it was destroyed entering the atmosphere. Now? Now Mars is a more popular vacation destination than Hawaii, or anywhere else on Earth for that matter. Jupiter? There’s a Burger King and a McDonalds orbiting it, just in case you get hungry on your way out of the Milky Way. 

                In 2020 a 55 year old man named Timothy Phillips announced to the world what he called “The Light-Speed Drive”. Phillips was a NASA engineer who graduated magna cum laude from MIT with PhDs in Physics and Engineering. For 30 years, most of his adult life, he spent his time alone tinkering with old parts and what most people would deem junk on his off time. He never married, had no children or immediate family and lived in a cheap rundown one bedroom apartment. He rarely spent any money on anything except more parts. When NASA’s space program was ended they had layoffs, Phillips was one of the layoffs. No one really missed him. He was a genius, but then again most people working at NASA were. Phillips was a completely different kind of genius. Very focused on finishing what he started he used his savings to perfect his invention. One day, he did just that. If you’re still confused at what it is think of it along the line as the engine in the DeLorean in Back to the Future. Only instead of traveling through time, you’re traveling through space. And instead of going 88 miles an hour you’re going much, much, much faster than the speed of light. Or, to make it even simpler, Phillips invented the Hyper-Drive.

                Needless to say that wasn’t the only thing needed for space travel. Sure you now had a way to cover the distance, but we still needed a way to survive in the extreme cold or heat and land and survive on planets that are not hospitable to life, on top of all that we needed a vehicle that could survive at such speeds. Phillips solved all this. Not alone this time, instead he was given his own division at NASA. He and a huge team of scientists (scientist=geniuses) spent the next 10 years designing, testing, and perfecting all the equipment to do all those extraordinary things. Until, one day, we moved to the Moon. Seems weird right? It happened. Phillips and his team designed some sort of device that took the extremely limited source of water buried deep inside of the moon and created life. Not a complete, fertile, lush environment such as on Earth, but well enough for a few million people to live. Eventually the same thing happened with Mars. Same basic technology only tweaked. And the human race just sort of…expanded. It all happened very quickly and suddenly. One day we were completely confined to Earth, a few decades later and we were starting to expand outside of the Milky Way.

                Of course there were accidents. An important machine stopped functioning for 33½ seconds on Mars one day and BAM, 475 people dead. Other times shuttles have flown into asteroid fields and in a few very, very rare occurrences have collided with comets. The excitement and importance of what was being accomplished was deemed more important than the risks and the expansion was, of course, continued. Phillips himself was, rightfully, deemed one of the most important men in history and he had schools, parks, and towns named after him and there were quite a few statues made. He won prizes upon prizes upon prizes, including the Nobel Prize for Science. His work was continued by his team after his death at the age of 70 in 2035.

                Eventually more and more and more habitable planets were found. Some were even much better than Earth, although no extraterrestrial life was ever found to the disappointment of most of the world. After a while the novelty of what was happening finally wore off. It was still important yes, but people just didn’t seem to care much anymore. Few paid attention to what was happening and even fewer cared. Maybe space isn’t the Final Frontier because it was the last thing mankind ever explored, but because it is the last thing mankind will ever be able to explore. What if space is not endless? What happens when you find the end of space? How would that even work if it is even remotely possible? How far do we have to go before we realize that we do not need all the extra room? It’s the equivalent of owning a 30 room mansion when you live alone, there’s just no point in all the extra space. Of course there’s the one question no one wants to ask. The question that everyone is always thinking, but no one dares utter. What do we do now?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Riot

My newest entry into Chuck Wendig's weekly flash fiction contest. his website here:         

Lately I started watching the show Prison Break, which is a great show full of interesting characters and some of the greatest tension in television history. Anyway, it inspired my story for this week.

                                                                  The Riot

                Run. Must run. Faster and faster. Ow, dammit I tripped. Come on, have to get up and run. Can’t get caught, if they catch me they’ll rip me apart. Being a prison guard wasn’t usually that dangerous. The convicts almost always went after each other instead of the guards because it was easier and, to be honest, no one really cared if a prisoner stabbed another prisoner. But tonight, tonight was different. The air had gone out. It was not long before they started getting mad. Then furious, when the guards tried to force them into their cells they attacked them. Stole their keys and were flooding through the prison, toward me. Now it was dangerous, much too dangerous for my taste. I had to get out, I gritted my teeth, took a deep breath and sped up, trying to reach the entrance before the prisoners reached me first.
                Hahaha. I haven’t had this much fun in years, six years in fact. Since they locked me up in this box fun hasn’t really played a big part in my life. Oh, but now it was, so much fun to be had. I love starting mayhem and when the air went out and those guards started shoving us around I knew it was the perfect time. I stabbed one with a shank I had planned on using on some unsuspecting inmate; don’t know who, hadn’t decided that yet. Once I stabbed that guard, all hell broke loose. Roundabout 20 others jumped on the remaining guard and beat him to death, stole his keys and made their way. Me, I stayed behind for a bit. Little bit of privacy for me and my…new friend. He just whimpered and started crying, pleading for his life with this sad pathetic look in his eyes. I love it when they do that, it’s the best part. I smiled and leaned in closer, staring deep into his eyes as I slid the knife up in between his ribs and into his heart, nighty night friend. I wiped the blade clean and continued on, determined to find more prey before the fun came to an end.
                I can hear them behind me and I was lost. I don’t know how I got lost, I’ve been working here four 4 ½ years and not once have I ever gotten lost, but somehow in my frenzied panic I did, indeed get lost. This is not good. I can hear the prisoners getting closer. Chanting something unintelligible, but it can’t be good. A split ahead, crap which way which way…left, I’m going left. I slipped as I made my way around the corner, catching myself as soon as I hit the ground and jumping back up. I didn’t give myself time to catch my breath, just a pause, a deep breath and then off I go. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m getting farther away from the riot so that’s good. It had to happen in A wing. That’s where all the dangerous prisoners are, mostly murderers and rapist…and a single, solitary serial killer. If it any other state he’d probably be on death row, but this state doesn’t have the death penalty so he was thrown in with the rest of the violent offenders. A madman they say, and I have to deal with him on a daily basis. I learned not to look in his eyes; it’s the most unsettling thing I’ve ever gone through. Those cold dead eyes, light blue like chips of ice that seem to stare right into the deepest part of you. Like he’s staring at your deepest darkest fears and memories and laughing at them. At the thought of him I speed up slightly, I’m getting farther from the riot, but you can never be too safe.
                This one tried to fight back, oh how cute. Probably doesn’t feel like fighting back much now, what with the missing fingers and all, cutting off fingers with a prison shank is not an easy thing to do, but I pride myself on my resilience…plus most anything can be accomplished with the right amount of force. He was much younger than the other ones, mid-late twenties I’d say, and I had a knack for this sort of thing. Actually, I have a knack for most things, waste of talent is what my psychiatrist said. Didn’t really say anything after that, mostly just gurgles. Not very strong psychiatrists. This prison guard on the other hand, pretty strong, probably worked out every day.  Well, not anymore, I don’t think I’ll kill him, just leave him here, missing fingers and toes. Good luck oh brave one. Quick tip though, next time a 6’2” 200 pound delusional schizophrenic comes at you with a knife with blood soaking his clothes, just lay down.
                I made oh thank God I made it. There’s the door, I finally made it, I never thought I’d be so happy to see an exit sign in my life. I must have made a right turn somewhere because here was freedom right in front of me. I stumble out the door and am met with the sight of several guns pointed at me. I need to find a new line of work.
                Oh damn I can hear the cops outside. Well, guess the fun has come to an end. I see an unsuspecting inmate in front of me, I slam his head into the wall and drag him into a deserted bathroom. I strip myself down and wash all signs of blood off of me. After readying myself I punch the mirror and take a piece of glass and give myself a few cuts. Then I slam my body into the wall a few times for some bruises, after checking myself for blood again I put on the unconscious man’s clothes and get him into my blood soaked ones. I smile and make my way back to my cell. I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three...Extremes Review

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I'm gonna be honest. I think Asian countries do horror alot better than America does, for the most part at least. I think it's because countries like Korea and Japan have such a higher tolerance for messed up stuff. I Saw the Devil is one of the greatest movies about a serial killer I have ever seen, and yet that movie probably would of never been made in America because of how disturbing it is.

Anyway, in 2002 a horror film came out called Three. It was comprised of three different segments from three different famous Asian directors from different countries: Kim Ji-Woon, the director of I Saw the Devil, (South Korea), Nonzee Nimibutr, known for his horror film Nang Nak (Thailand), and Peter Chan, surprisingly known for romance and action movies, (China). I haven't actually seen Three, but this was just background info.

Three...Extremes was released in 2004. Not being a direct sequel to Three since, you know that movie is just 3 segments that have nothing to do with one another, rather it follows the same idea, by taking three famous directors from Asian cinema and having each one directing a 40 minute horror segment. The directors are Fruit Chan (China), who is pretty respected in his country, but I have personally never seen anything else by him.Chan Wook-Park (South Korea) who is my favorite director, I pretty much love everything he does. Takashi Miike (Japan), who I love for his insanely unique visual style and his almost unparallelled diversity, seriously he's made splatter movies like Ichi the Killer (which I love), straight up almost porn movies like Visitor Q (weird movie, I think he was trying to make some sort of statement, but I was to weirded out by the incest and what not), to family movies like Zebraman (its weird, but freaking awesome).

The first segment is Fruit Chan's "Dumplings". Personally I find the three segments to all be completely different kinds of horror films. With Chan's being the disturbingly gross kind. You know movies like Hostel. Except its not really a splatter film, its just extremely messed up...okay maybe its nothing like Hostel...not sure where I was going with this. Anywho, the segment is about an aging actress Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung) who goes to Aunt Mei (Bai Ling) who cooks special dumplings that supposedly have a regenerative property. Its a great tale about the effects of aging, especially on celebrities, and the lengths people will go to retain their youth. I won't spoil the secret ingredient to the dumplings because its something that has to be watched to be properly disgusted by. Also the last shot of the movie is probably one of the most soul sucking depressing things ever.

The second segment is "Cut" by Korean director Chan Wook-Park. Again, keeping with the different kind of horror aspect, I personally think Park's reflects the realistic horror. Like its a bit of a far fetched concept, but can technically happen. It concerns the Director (Lee Byung-Hun) whos travels home only to be knocked out and wake up on a film set looking at the Stranger (Lim Won-hie) standing over him and his Wife (Kang Hye-jeong). You learn that the Stranger is a disgruntled extra who is mad at the Director for being seemingly perfect while he is a failure. Its a very well made film, what do you expect from Chan Wook-Park? There's alot of moments that you laugh at not really because they're particularly funny, but because you have to relieve the tension. Its again, a realistic approach to horror with the violence being gruesome, but not over the top. Its easily the best segment of the three.

The final segment "Box" hails from Japan and is directed by the mind-f*ck master himself, Takashi Miike. I'm gonna be completely honest right up front. I have absolutely no freaking idea what is happening in this segment. Something about twins, and an abusive father, there may or may not be incest or one of the twins gets burned in a fire or something. Seriously, its confusing as hell. and to top it off the ending doesn't really tell you anything. Its left open to what was real or not, but the whole thing is so surreal and bat shit insane that you have absolutely no idea what is happening. And it is genius. No, seriously, it is. You may have no idea what's happening, but that doesn't stop you from watching it. Its so strange and other worldly that you have no option but to continue in the hope that you'll figure something out. You probably won't, but its entertaining as hell and is the segment with the most horror aspect. Just straight up freaky crap happens in this part and very little of its explained but damn is it scary and weird. I don't want to give away much, but if your scared of Siamese twins like I am (I don't mean to offend Siamese twins but....damn they scare me) you'll be pretty terrified.

All in all Three...Extremes is a fantastic little gem of Asian horror. Each segment is about 40 minutes and lasts just long enough to unsettle you, but not too long to where you get used to the horror of it. The terror of each segment just builds and builds until it reaches its peak...and then it ends. Its perfect that way. As soon as you get used to the particular form of horror the segment is going for it ends and the next segment starts and scares you a completely different way. Whether its psychologically terrifying or realistically so, there's a segment for every kind of horror fan and each one works in its own right. 

Three Truths and A Lie

 This is a story I did for Chuck Wendig's weekly flash fiction contest. You can find his website here: I highly recommend giving it a look.

                                                      Truths and A Lie

Three truths will I tell you and one lie.
1.       I did not mean to kill her.
2.       I did mean to kill him.
3.       The child’s death was an accident.
4.       She wanted to have sex with me.
So, if I’m writing this from a prison, which I’ll never leave, what’s the point of lieing?  I don’t know.  Just to mess with you. My story, like any other, starts with a beginning.
                I was 24 years old and a hitchhiker, for no other reason than I didn’t want to work, but I wanted to travel. Traveling was my dream and I was afraid that if I took a job I would be stuck in it forever and never be able to travel. So, I decided to travel first, doing odd jobs along the way to earn just enough money to get me to my next destination. Sounds fun right? Like a happy go lucky road trip about an aimless drifter who eventually finds love or something and at the end of the story settles down. Nope, nothing like that at all. I did find love, but it didn’t exactly end how you would hope.
                I met Adam and Amy halfway through my journey across the United States. I started in New York and was halfway through Kansas, which by the way horrible state, boring as piss, when they picked me up in their car. They were a nice couple, both extremely pretty people with a beautiful child of their own, James. I only asked for them to take me a couple of miles, but it turned out they lived a few hours away and offered to take there where they offered me a meal and a night’s sleep. Right? Way too nice and trusting, but I agreed, of course I agreed. So after three or four hours of driving and a riveting patty cake tournament with little James (who was four), where he thoroughly annihilated me , we arrived at their quaint little farm house.
                Turns out both of them had been born into rich families and when their parents died they both inherited large fortunes. What the hell are the odds of that? How many times in the history of ever has that happened? I realize maybe now it may happen more, but they met at school…in California, just happened to meet and go on a date and fell in love or whatever. They only learned after the fact that both their families were extremely wealthy. The hell fate? Anyway, they told me their story, which while it had an interesting opening with the whole rich families thing, it soon descended into boringness. With them detailing their travels, which was my dream dammit, and how they ended up living in Kansas (trust me not as interesting of a story as you might think).  They didn’t do it in a condescending way or anything, it just happened to be part of their story. Either way it pissed me off, I was born into an extremely poor family with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father (Jesus…I just realized my life sounds like the plot of a terrible gangster movie) and all I wanted to do was travel, but instead of flying or whatever I was forced to hitchhike my way across America.
                Anyway, I ended up staying for about a week, taking advantage of their hospitality and what not because…screw you they were rich and I was jealous. I found myself thinking more and more about Amy as I lay in the extravagant guest room at night. She was a perfect specimen of the human race, straight auburn hair, gorgeous sparkling blue eyes, and a body that would convince any priest to turn away from little boys (Ha topical humor). I thought maybe it was love, but I had never really been attracted to anyone before, so I wasn’t sure. Either way I found myself increasingly obsessed with her, thinking about her constantly, stealing glances at her and staring, and having very vivid fantasies and dreams. I wanted her so bad it started to cloud my mind; no other though was cohesive or precise.  Everything in the world seemed muddled and confusing and everyone else’s voice sounded so dim compared to her angelic one.
                One day I couldn’t take it anymore and I decided to proposition her.  I told her what I thought about her and essentially begged her for sex. To my complete shock, she said yes. So next time her husband and son decided to go shopping she elected to stay behind. It was amazing, the best sex of my entire life. It was passionate and loving and just so damned amazing. The hour her family was gone was the greatest hour of my entire life, but of course they returned. Of course they returned early.
                Adam as far as I could tell up to that point had been very level-headed. But walking in on me and his wife naked, I’m pretty sure something snapped. He lunged at me from the open doorway. I jumped out of the bed and ran down the stairs desperate to get away because I knew in a fair fight Adam could rip me into tiny bloody shreds.  In the kitchen I found a knife, he rushed at me and I stabbed him. He fell, and in my moment of power I took it too far, stabbing him over and over and over to satisfy my lust, I had never felt so powerful. Eventually, someone grabbed my arm; I whipped around and stabbed without looking. It was Amy. Of course it was. She fell. I stood there in horror. I saw the kid, James; he ran up the stairs, I of course gave chase, had to try and explain. He tripped going up the stairs, fell and broke his neck. The prosecution tried to tell a different story, that Amy was already dead when Adam got home. That Adam was running from me and that I threw the child down the stairs. This is how I remember it.  But seeing as I’m writing this in a maximum security prison, with two guards standing directly over me watching my every move I guess I could be wrong. But this is the event as I remember it. My attorney tried to plead insanity just because my mother suffered from schizophrenia and drank while she was pregnant with me. What does he know? He wasn’t there, I was. So which one is the lie you ask? Honestly, I can’t remember. Good luck.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

God Bless America Review

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In my Iron Sky review I talked about how I think having political undertones and such in your movie is okay as long as its subtle or clever and doesn't take away from the characters, story, and such of the movie. That is a statement I will stand by..

Some movies are all about politics though, like Michael Moore films. And in documentaries and such I understand. But in a fictional film where the point is the story and the focus should be on characters and making the audience like them, having amazingly ham-fisted and blatantly obvious political overtones can alienate audience members or, in my case, completely destroy my enjoyment of a movie.

I have seen one other film by Bobcat Goldthwait, that is World's Greatest Dad. And I liked it quite a bit, I thought Robin Williams was brilliant, and I thought the funny moments worked for the most part and the dramatic moments worked too. Point is, for the most part I really liked that movie, I thought it was a very well made movie about the lengths a parent would go to for his child.

God Bless America is the fifth movie written and directed by Goldthwait, and completely unlike World's Greatest Dad, I cannot stand this movie. I understand what he was trying to do, I really really do. Underline the point about how America has lost its way and has descended into paying attention to horrible people doing horrible things. I get it America is deteriorating because of how it worships terrible people and because of how people have become increasingly pop culture obsessed in stead of getting a job or whatever.

Its not really the subject matter that bothers me, although the movie does come off as very America hating, its how Goldthwait goes about telling the story and who he tries to make us identify with. The film starts with Frank (Joel Murray) living in a crappy apartment next door to a douchebag, hsi annoying wife and their non-stop crying baby. The first scene is a scene where Frank imagines him shooting the man and the baby with a shotgun and he smiles about it. That's not a very good way to introduce us to a character that we're supposed to like. And we are supposed to like him by the way, it isn't one of those movie where a psychopath is the main character so you can see what goes through their mind, like I Saw the Devil, we're supposed to like Frank and cheer him on during his horrible murdering spree. Anyway he is diagnosed with a brain tumor and fired from his job for sending flowers to a female co-worker who was having a bad day, Frank then kills an obnoxious teenager (one of the Sweet 16 girls) and it is witnessed by Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr). She then convinces Frank to go on a vicious killing spree with her, basically killing anyone they don't like or agree with. That's pretty much the rest of the movie.

I understand what this movie is trying to do, its all a political point about the downfall of America. I get it. But do the main characters really have to be so horrible and unlikeable? They don't come off really as people trying to make some sort of point, although they constantly try and say they're making a point, they come off as psychopaths. And again, I'm, not opposed to having a psychopath a mian character (again pointing out I Saw the Devil), but this movie tries to make you emphasize with Frank and Roxy like they're doing the right thing. At no point does the movie come out and say that what Frank and Roxy are doing is wrong. In fact the film makes it seem like what they're doing is right. In understand that its also an attempt at black humor because that's Bobcat Goldthwait's thing, and while it worked in World's Greatest Dad, that's because although we didn't like his son, we like robin Williams character because he was a good guy trying to defend his son because at the end of the day no matter how terrible of a person his son was he was still his son and he loved him. That worked because Williams' character was a good person. Not so in God Bless America, the two leads are horrible despicable people.

The actors are okay I guess, they do their job well and the directing is pretty good, but its really the writing that just completely destroys this movie. For example: the movie tries to paint Republicans as horrible selfish people who are completely unfair to the opposite point of view. Ok that's someone's opinion and I respect it, but at the same time, the two main characters are liberals and are killing Republicans because they don't agree with how they act. Do you get the point I'm trying to make? I get that maybe it was some sort of attempt at saying that both parties are full of horrible people, and that would of worked if, again, the movie didn't try and paint Frank and Roxy as the good guys. Through the whole movie Frank is painted as the good guy, but he isn't a good guy, even in his own horrible moral world he isn't a good person because alot of the people he kills, especially in the last scene, are just people doing their job, trying to make a living and he kills them just because they're there.

Besides politics, the rest of the people in the film that Frank and Roxy kill are jerks. I guess that's another point about the movie, to try and be nicer to other people. Which is a sentiment I can get behind. But the movie is very juvenile in the way it tackles the subject matter. Basically is someones a jerk, kill them. And while yes there have been times where someone was being a jerk to me and I wished I could have killed them, I would have never had done it. Because as soon as I stopped and thought about it I realized I would be the better person if I just ignored them and didn't let it get to me. Giving jerks attention is what makes them jerks. They figure if people pay attention to them when they act like that, why not act like that all the time? Also, at some point in your life you have to realize that no matter how bad you may want them dead, jerks are always going to be there, its just a part of life, some people are just mean spirited people. The best you can do is rise above them and be a better person, ruthlessly gunning them down in a movie theater isn't being a better person.

I hate this movie. I understand what Goldthwait was trying to do, but they way he went about doing it was, I think, completely wrong. It comes off as shallow and self centered. And although Goldthwait tries to make a statement about technology and how it is ruining America, there is no cleverness to it. Its very blunt about, like he's saying it because he doesn't understand the technology, basically he comes off as that old man on his lawn yelling "You darn kids". This movie isn't, clever, funny, or entertaining and I cannot stand it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Total Recall Review


Total Recall is a 1990 film directed by Paul Verhoeven starring Arnold Shwarzenegger based on the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Phillip K. Dick. So basically the King of Science Fiction, the man who directed freaking Robocop and Arnold Freaking Schwarzenegger made a movie...and yes it was pretty awesome. Seriously, maybe its a bit silly at points, but its an inventive movie and its a hell of a ride. So when I heard they were going to remake it I wasn't all that excited. But then they announced Len Wiseman was directing and I got kind of interested. Then they announced it was going to star Colin Farrell and Kate Bekinsale and I was even more interested. But then the kicked...Bryan Cranston as the bad guy? I'm sold.

Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is an everyday common man factory worker...except for his rouge handsome features...oh and his smoking hot wife Lori (Kate Bekinsale). He finds his life boring and uninteresting and wants more out of it. So he goes to the company Rekall to have false memories placed into his brain despite the warnings of his friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine). The procedure is done (or is it?) and its revealed that Quaid is a spy (or is he?) and therefore implanting spy memories in his head would be bad. Robots come in, Quaid kills them all and what follows is and hour and 45 minutes of chase scenes, action, and plot. Along the way a new love interest is introduced in Melina (Jessica Beil) who knew Quaid before Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) covered up his memories and gave him the false life he was leading.

This movie isn't really a remake of the 1990 version. Its more of an adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick short story. It cuts out the Mars thing and instead substitutes it with two colonies on Earth, United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony, which is Australia. Strangely, with a movie who's two primary locations are England and Australia almost everyone speaks with an American accent.

The action scenes in this movie are awesome. The chase scenes are extensive, but not in running time. They don't last too long to where they get old and boring, but they're not too short. They're just the right length and boast some pretty impressive stunt work. The action scenes, again, boast impressive stunt work and have great visuals. There's a particularly cool one in a zero gravity environment. The visuals are awesome with the futuristic city looking cool and there's alot of neat future technology. It has several callbacks to the 1990 version, usually by just a couple lines of dialogue, but the three titted prostitute does make an appearance.

Roger Ebert mentioned in his review that he liked the first film more because Arnold has a stronger screen presence than Colin Farrell and why I do think that's true, I think Farrell works in his role. He's unassuming and lost. He has very little of an idea what's going on most of the time and as an audience we can relate to that. While I agree that Arnold has a much stronger presence I think Colin Farrell is a better actor and portrays the character with more subtlety. Personally I like Bekinsale in the role of Quaid's "wife" more than Sharon Stone and Jessica Beil  does a decent job as well. The big kicker is Bryan Cranston. Bryan Cranston is a beast, anyone who has ever watched Breaking Bad knows this. He's not really in it a whole lot which completely works because he doesn't overstay his welcome and when he is there he's excellent.

There's a few scenes in particular which I think this movie did better than the 1990 version, the biggest one being the scene where Farrell (or Schwarzenegger) has to figure out whether what's happening is real or not. While the 1990 version did a fine job at it I like this one more because the way it's shot and acted out displays a much bigger sense of urgency. You can see Farrel figuring it out in his movements and expressions. Another scene I like more in the new one is the scenes were Farrell finds recordings of himself. The first one being on a laptop in a safety deposit box and the other being in his abandoned apartment. Again the laptop scene in this film is done with more urgency the filmed Farrell doesn't have alot of time to make his message and its clearly rushed. The second scene in his apartment where he finds like a per-recorded hologram that can only answer certain questions (like out of I,Robot) is one I really enjoyed because I am, if anything, a sucker for beautiful piano. I also think the action and chase scenes are done better in the new film if only because they're bigger and more amazing to watch. Also Len Wiseman is, if anything, a great action director. He utilizes editing very well with shots lasting long enough so you know whats happening,but not too long where the choreography looks fake (a problem that plagued The Last Airbender like cancer).

Overall I can't really say which film I liked better. They're both good in their own rights and again I would argue that the new version (despite the references to the 1990 version) isn't really a remake, but a stand alone adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick story both films are based on. I would argue that Len Wiseman is a better director than Verhoeven (at least where action is concerned), but there's a certain charm to the Arnold and Verhoeven film. Either way this movie was alot better than I expected. The acting is good, the writing is good, the direction is great. The action and chase scenes are pretty exceptional and the visuals are fantastic. Its not a perfect movie, but its a great action movie and as far as summer blockbuster movies go its above average.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zero Day Review

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The Columbine Massacre was one of the worst American tragedies ever committed. Even though only 13 people died (15 counting the shooters) it is the fourth deadliest school massacre and was one of the most atrocious acts of violence in America until 9/11. Many movies have been made about the massacre, most notably being Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and Gus Van Zant's Elephant. But indie film maker Ben Coccio makes what might be the most honest and direct film about the horrible tragedy.

Coccio started writing the script after the massacre happened and the movie was filmed in early 2001 using little to no crew and handheld camera work. Coccio withheld its release after the 9/11 attacks to avoid causing distress, it was then edited more and released in 2003.

Watching the movie is honestly not the most enjoyable experience, its slow paced, mostly focusing on what the two main characters Cal and Andre did leading up to the attack, showing how they planned on getting the guns and how they made pipe bombs. It wasn't really until after the movie was over did I realize how much I liked it. While yes, it is slow paced, it works in establishing the characters and their "motives". The weird thing about this movie is that Cal and Andre don't really seem to have that big of problems, yeah in the opening credits we see Andre getting bullied, but we don't see them get bullied at all during the rest of the movie. They're not very popular, that much is clear, but probably due to their anti-social behavior and violent thinking. Together they make a team they call the Army of Two...which yeah...a little gay. And that's not just me being stupid the whole movie is sort of full of like maybe they were gay type things. But it isn't like Van Zant's Elephant where they make out in the shower. It just sort of hints at it.

The movie doesn't in any way defend the perpetrators of the massacre, instead presenting them as people to the audience and letting the audience decide. And at first, they really don't seem like bad people...for about 5 minutes. Then when it becomes clear what they mean to do its a long road down violent, almost insane planning and actions. Shot from handheld cameras by the two lead actors, Andre Keuck and Cal Robertson, the two characters make video diaries and put them in a safety deposit box in Andre's name to be found after the massacre, which they dub "Zero Day".

The movie shows in meticulous detail the planning that the two characters put into the event. There's a scene in the film that is around 5 minutes long and is a detailed account on how to make pipe bombs, which they never actually use, and which the actual perpetrators of the Massacre used, though they didn't go off as planned. They are shown how they obtain the guns used, Andre's Dad's gun closet and they steal some from Andre's cousin.

The two lead actors are honestly not that good. But in the context of the film it works pretty well. They seem shy and almost hesitant about being on camera, which works with the shooting style of handheld cameras and they deliver their lines almost stilted, because they are aware they're on camera and are shy about it. And while it wouldn't really work anywhere else it works here.

The final 15 minutes or so is really the best part. It details the shooting, filmed by security cameras in the school, and show Cal and Andre shooting people. Its extremely effective in the way it is shot and the dialogue and sounds you hear. Its the best part of the movie in the fact that you now realize just what people are capable of. You are with Cal and Andre through the entire movie, and through the entire movie I always kind of had this thought in the back of my head like, no they won't do it. They just don't seem capable of it, they talk about it alot, but they just seem like the kind of people that would talk about it and then back out when the time actually came. But actually watching it unfold on front of you on the screen, in its entirety, is something else all together.

All and all I like this movie. Its an extremely independent movie, if that makes sense, but it works in what the film is trying to do. Is it a great film? No, not technically, it is very slow paced and the acting isn't that great, but if you're anything like me it'll leave an impact. Its really a movie that is to be though about after you watch it. Its not a great movie, and not the most enjoyable to watch, but it works as a surprisingly accurate and respectful portrayal of the Columbine Massacre. It debunks the idea that the killers worked off of ideas from movies or video games instead saying it was their idea. They seem to want to protect their families, continuously saying on camera that they had nothing to do with it and it wasn't their fault. The whole movie is kind of uncomfortable to watch, especially the last 15 minutes which is genuinely disturbing and unsettling and it actually does seem like what might of been going through Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's minds. Maybe not a great movie to watch for just a casual film watcher, but if your a film nerd you might wanna check it out.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Your Highness Review

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This movie sucks. Yeah, not a very intelligent way to start a review I understand, but it's true. I remember the trailer to this movie and how it actually seemed funny and witty and pretty good. Holy hell was I completely wrong. This isn't gonna be a long review.

Two princes, Thadeous (Danny McBride) and Fabious (James Franco) quest after the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) who kidnapped Fabious' fiance Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), along the way they meet Isabel (Natalie Portman) who joins them.

That's it that is the whole plot. And while its a decent story, by God is it executed horribly. The writing is terrible, pacing is awful, and the directing is slap-shod at best. This movie is a complete waste of a great cast. Danny McBride who I think is a great comedic actor, and co-wrote the movie, tries his best to make it funny, but just can't do it. I understand his whole schtick is that he's kind of a douche in every role, but at least he's usually somewhat likeable, or at the very least funny. But not here, he's annoying self centered and has an ego so massive its ridiculous. He has some sort of rivalry with his brother even though his brother is as nice as he could possibly be to him. And here's the thing, he never changes. At no point does this character grow, through the whole movie, right till the end hes the same annoying arrogant douchebag.

Honestly, I'm not sure why James Franco is in this movie. Maybe as a favor to director David Gordon Green(who directed Franco in Pineapple Express)? He's an Academy Award nominated actor, maybe not when this movie came out, but still, he was in freaking Spider-Man, he was an established actor, there was absolutely no need for him to lower himself into this film. Here's the thing, hes good in it too, or at least he does the absolute best he can. He deserved a much better script and director, this movie was a waste of his talent.

Same goes with Natalie Portman, Academy Award winner, again not when this was made, but still established actress and what not. She plays her part as well as she possibly can too. Plays a good badass warrior chick.. Her romance with Danny McBride's character though, is somehow more retarded and forced than the one between her and Anakin in the Prequels. She does the best she can, but again monumental waste of talent.

There's a few other great actors who are completely wasted in this movie, Charles Dance as the King, who is probably best known now for his portrayal of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. Toby Jones who has always been a great supporting actor is completely wasted in his small supporting role as a minion of Leezar. Justin Theroux (who I recognize from a supporting role in Six Feet Under) is a good actor who again does as well as he can, but this movie is so terrible it brings him down.

I hated this movie. There's really not a whole lot of movies I legitimately hate. But man do I hate this one. Its boring, unfunny, the action is dreadful, the adventure is lame, the story is predictable as all hell, the great talent is completely wasted by a terrible script and crappy directing. It tries to be all edgy with vulgar language and jokes about how James Franco's character may have been raped by some kind of puppet monster thing when he was a kid and most of the jokes are just...uncomfortable more than funny. I didn't laugh once during this movie. The whole thing is a complete waste of alot of talented people's time, as well as mine or anyone who watches it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Iron Sky Review


Iron Sky is a really easy movie to get right. Space Nazis. How do you mess that up? Just Nazis on the moon and invade Earth. Seriously, how hard is that to make entertaining? I mean its a movie about Space Nazis so we're not exactly expecting something on Schindler's List level of intelligence, but we're expecting an awesome alien invasion movie...were the aliens are Nazis.

First, Plot: its 2018 and two American astronauts go to the moon, one gets killed by Nazis who escaped to the moon after WW2 and the other, a black man, gets captured by the Nazis for studied. Some other stuff happens that I'll touch on later and the Nazis invade, then get beaten back, then destroyed, end of movie. Simple enough right? Standard alien invasion movie really, just with Nazi's instead of martians. How can that be difficult to get right?

You wanna know how you mess it up? How bout instead of tackling the subject with any sort of sincerity or seriousness you make it a stupid quasi comedy and have political undertones that are so ham-fisted and annoying that it makes Avatar look subtle.

This movie tries to be funny, it tries really, really hard to be funny, but its not. I suppose humor is a subjective thing, but...its not funny, its stupid. They try to make some sort of clever balance of serious and funny, but it fails. It fails so hard. Its not like Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz (or anything Edgar Wright makes really) where yes its really funny, but you can take it seriously when it asks you to because its very well written and the characters are likeable and the humor is clever. Its just so stupid and the humor is so obvious and painfully unfunny that when the serious parts come you don't take them serious, the horrible attempts at humor takes you completely out of the movie.

If they had made this movie as a straight forward invasion movie and left out the awful, painful, forced attempts at humor maybe it could have been salvageable or at the very least worth watching. But it does have one more huge glaring problem.

I understand that some film makers feel the need to put political undertones in their movie, I don't mind as long as its subtle or clever and doesn't take away from the story, characters, or entertainment value of the movie. But this movie is so obvious and in your face about what its trying to tell you about the American political system that its insulting to my intelligence. There's not even an attempt at subtlety, they come right out and say it; Americans (or at the very least Republicans) are Nazis. Seriously, that's actually pretty much the whole message of the movie. Look, I understand that not everyone likes America, I get it and I respect those people's opinions because everyone deserves to have an opinion. But when you can't think of any intelligent way to attack America or the American political besides "They're all Nazis" that's when I don't respect your opinion. If you can't even put your thoughts about the American political system in more words than "Sarah Palin sure is dumb" or "Nazis" then well, your not very smart and maybe you shouldn't make trying to make fun of the American political system the WHOLE theme of your movie. Also Sarah Palin jokes aren't clever or funny anymore, they wore out around ohhhh I don't know when the Republicans lost the presidantial race in 2008 and she faded into the background and ceased to matter?

Besides those two giant flaws, this movies ok. Emphasis on ok. The actings...decent, better than the average low budget film, but still...just ok really nothing special. The writing is..well not that good really, but other than the aforementioned problems its adequate, it would have made a decent sci-fi invasion script, again without the two huge problems mentioned before. The directing is alright I guess, nothing special. Really, the only thing worth mentioning is the effects. Which are actually really good. A few here and there and kinda bad and obviously fake, but for the most part they're pretty excellent all around the board. For instance Space Nazi Blimps. Yes, it sounds stupid, but its awesome.

Over all this movie was hugely disappointing. I guess I don't really hate it, I just really really don't really like it very much. It had an insanely interesting and promising premise (Space Nazis for god sake) and just completely wastes it. If the film makers would have made any attempt to take the subject seriously and maybe, maybe used it to make some kind of commentary on humanity as a whole and how we need to better ourselves in the way we treat each other, then maybe it would have worked. But instead they decided to make horrible attempts at humor, incredibly forced romances (forgot to mention that part, trust me its terrible) like Anakin and Padme bad, and the horribly ham fisted and insulting political themes and completely ruin what could of been, at the very least, a fun and interesting invasion movies about freaking SPACE NAZIS.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review..Sort of


Its no secret to anyone who knows me that I am completely gay for Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. They are easily the greatest comic book movies ever made and created a standard that all comic book movies now try to strive for. And yet no one as been able to reach the line that Mr. Nolan has drawn in the proverbial sand.

Nolan is a genius film maker, go watch anything he ever made and be prepared to be amazed. He has made great movie after great movie and shows absolutely no sign of stopping that trend. I love every movie he has made: Following, Memento, The Prestige, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises. All are great movies that entertained me from start to finish.

That being said I don't really know how to write an actual review of The Dark Knight Rises (which I'm gonna call Rises from now on). Sure I guess I could sit here and talk about everything, like the story and acting and such, but It'd be a waste of time. Just go see the movie, trust me it's worth the money. So I think I'm just going to touch on some things that I loved about the movie. Starting with Batman himself.

I have always like Christian Bale's performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Indeed I've actually liked pretty much everything performance by Christian Bale, man's a damn good actor. Go watch The Fighter or American Psycho if you want proof. But we're talking about Batman. Really the big problem everyone seems to have with his portrayal is the voice, and while I guess I can understand it, I personally have never been bothered by it. I can understand why people wouldn't like it, but it was never something that took away from the movie for me. Now, I do believe there are parts of the movie were it's a little weird for him to use the voice, i.e. the fight between him and Bane, considering everyone in the room knew who he was because Bane just said it I think it was silly of them to use the voice know, but I guess you could just chalk it up to him becoming Batman or whatever. Bottom line is I think Bale's great, especially during the scenes between him and Alfred, they played that up in this movie and it was pretty heartbreaking.

Michael Caine is perfect. Seriously, no one in the world could play Alfred better than him. He embodies the role, he's phenomenal in it. It might be his best performance ever. I know some people get all up in arms about how all he does is deliver speeches and what not, but again never really bothered me, also not Caine's fault since he didn't write the screenplay, and shut the hell up, he delivers those speeches perfectly. I never really understood why those speeches bothered people. Alfred's an old man whose lived a very long life, and what? You think he does have stories to tell or speeches to give? How many of you have a grandfather who will actually shut the hell up about when he was young? Also I would like to just hammer in the point that Caine delivers each and every one of those speeches absolutely perfectly.

I don't understand why everyone was mad when Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman. She's a great actress, why was it such a big deal? Whatever the reason it's completely moot after watching this movie because she is awesome. Her switches between damsel in distress and cool, smooth burglar are perfect. She does a great job in the action scenes and her character is an interesting one. She plays the part exactly how it needed to be played and is a fine addition to the already phenomenal cast.

Gary Oldman's awesome. What else could I possibly say? He's my favorite actor, he absolutely demolishes every role he's in. He's perfect in freaking everything. His role as Gordan is no exception, he perfect, he's always perfect. They did something different with Gordon in this one, for one he plays a much bigger role and is given more screen time, which made me happy because Gary Oldman, they also made him kind of world weary. Like he's been through the war against the criminals and won and now he kind of wishes it wasn't over. He's wracked with guilt about covering for Dent and helping make him look like the hero he totally wasn't. And it shows. Gordan's awesome and so is Oldman.

Here's the big one though, Bane. I loved Bane. He might have been my favorite part about the movie. I loved how they made him a huge hulking beast, but his voice is very intelligent. Maybe he's not comic Bane, but he's Nolan Bane, which is just as good if not better. Tom Hardy is amazing. This will be the role that lands him so many roles in the future. He plays every part of the character right, the mannerisms, delivers every line spot on, and he's intimidating as all hell. I have to give Tom Hardy props for gaining like 30 pounds of muscle that made him the hulking beast he is in the movie. He's exactly the villain we believe can best Batman, even if only for a little bit. I won't go into what I think about the whole Bane being controlled by Talia thing because I have a friend who put it into better words than I ever could.
Check it out here:
I would just like to point out the scene where we see Bane and Talia on screen together and the look in Hardy's eyes in that scene, some amazing bit of subtle acting.

I could go on and on about things I like about this movie. From the awesomeness that is Joseph Gordon Levitt and how I hope they make a Robin movie with him and all the other supporting cast members who do a great job. I could go on about Nolan's stellar directing and the writing. But what I want to point out is two instances in the movie which really stood out to me. both are two scenes were there is a distinct lack of musical score were every other movie in the world would have used it. The scene where Alfred quits and the scene were Batman fights Bane. Most directors would have used a score especially in the Alfred scene, but not Nolan he chose to let the emotions play out themselves and didn't use the score to try and sway your emotions, and damn does it work, that scene is heartbreaking as hell and it doesn't even need a sad musical accompaniment. The other, Batman fighting Bane scene, most movies use a score during fight scenes to make it more epic. Not Rises and not Nolan. The only soundtrack to this scene is the thudding of fists and the grunts of exertion. It is brutal. And it works so much better without any music.

So, is the Dark Knight Rises a perfect movie? Nope. There are things here and there that could have used better explaining, but I didn't mind them that much, I was to busy enjoying Batman. I also think Bruce Wayne should have died at the end. If you've seen the movie you know what I mean. It would have worked better if he would have sacrificed himself, or given the city everything he had if you wanna put it like that. But besides all of that stuff I love this movie. Its long, but not once did I complain or even think about it. And Nolan's directing is as amazing as it always is and all the element, I think, combine to make a fantastic movie. I think I still like The Dark Knight more though. But just by a little bit.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Skipping Around Time

                Traveling through time was always a tricky thing. For a long time everyone said it was impossible. Then the scientists came out and said they found out how. They asked for volunteers, to test the effects on people, I signed up immediately. I mean come on. Who wouldn’t? Everyone has dreamed of traveling through time at one point or another, for me that was a huge fantasy of mine, I grew up as a fan of the Back to the Future movies, so time traveling looked awesome. But, if there’s one thing anyone who’s ever seen a time traveling movie knows, it’s that you have to be careful, small actions can cause ripple effects though time and something can get seriously messed up. Anyway I signed up for it; they did a lot of tests before we got to the actual time traveling. Physicals, blood tests, so many more tests, endless it seemed. Days of testing, after all the tests I was approved, millions of people sign up and I was one of 30 people to get chosen, probably because I had little family, just my dad and one sister. We signed paperwork sating we couldn’t sue in the event something goes wrong, blah blah blah, we were told that in the event if something did go wrong our family would get an insurance payment. I didn’t care I just want to time travel, inside I was like a happy little kid on Christmas. Time travel, it’s been my dream. A dream I’ve held on to since I was 8 years old. It was going to be amazing.
                There’s one thing you need to know about time travel, that no matter how magical and amazing the thought of it is, you have to remember one thing; it is the single most terrifying thing you will ever go through. They took us into a room, a completely dark room and told us to wait. We waited, we waited for what I could of sworn was hours, but I don’t know because they took our watches and cell phones, anything  that was electronic or used batteries would be completely destroyed they said. So we waited and waited and waited. Then suddenly, this time ball of light, no bigger than the tip of my pinkie finger, appeared in the middle of the room. They told us it would happen, but no of us were prepared for how suddenly it happened. It wasn’t there one moment and then the next, POOF!; there it was.  The light grew bigger and brighter. It blinded all of us so naturally, we turned around. The light slowly crept up on us, slid past us until the whole room was enveloped in it. Then all of a sudden, you’re not in that room anymore your somewhere else, like a void. It’s completely white all around you and it’s just you, no one else, just you, and it is the most painful thing I’ve ever felt. It feels like everyone of your limbs is being stretched and yanked on. Your stretched, like people shouldn’t stretched, until your stretched body fills the entire void as far as you can see; and then you’re gone.
                Screaming. That was the first thing I heard when I came into consciousness. I opened my eyes slowly and immediately shut them due to the intense light. After a few seconds I slowly opened them again, squinting against the intense light, sunlight I thought, and saw a figure rolling on the ground a few feet away, obviously in terrible pain. I crawl my way towards the strange person, realizing from the brown shirt, on which I could barely make out an Aerosmith label, that it was one of the men from the test. I reach him and grab on to him telling him it was going to be ok, but no words came out, just a grunt. Confused I tried again and still no words, but this time I realized what was wrong. I reached in my mouth hoping to feel the familiar squishy pink thing that helped me pronounce, but there was nothing there. Panicking I freaked out for a moment, mourning the loss of this important, but unloved up until now, tool before trying to help the screaming man again. I turned him over and held him down and flinched in horror at the sight of him. He was missing half of his face, like it was scooped clean out by a giant ice cream scoop. I could see the inside of his skull and blood was gushing out, I didn’t know what to do. I watched as that man, whose name I didn’t remember and still to this day do not know, bled to death in front of me. I sat in stunned silence before getting up and slowly walking away, not knowing what else to do. An hour, that’s how much time they said we had before we got sucked back into the present, or I guess it was technically the future at that point. The only things that would get sucked back were us and any items we were holding at the time, as long as that item wasn’t electronic, and people couldn’t come back. I walked through a field, just a plain boring field, for about 10 minutes until I came across a small town. I walked through the town to the single gas station and got a newspaper out of one of the free newspaper stands they have. Front page: October 2, 1998. Holy hell…it worked. At that moment I felt it again, that horrible agonizing pulling and found myself back in the featureless white void. Then it was over, and I felt the cold floor on my face. A light turned on, I was back in the room, everyone was dead, except for me. I clutched onto the newspaper.
                People ask me if I would do it again, and without ever thinking about it I always say yes. My name is Jonathan Britten, I am 28 years old, I was born in Chicago, Illinois and I am a time traveler. How many people can honestly say that?