Read it and Weep
Summary: Read it and Weep is a good podcast about bad books, movies, and TV. Each week 2.5 comedians and a guest make fun of things like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, Going Rogue by Sarah Palin, and anything Keanu Reeves has been in.
In a faraway land called India, the rules are different. People drive on the wrong side of the road, eat curries that actually taste like something, and make movies that are blatant rip offs of other movies. One such film is Aabra Ka Daabra, a bizarre mash-up of Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Casper. Wizards are real, but the only way to get into wizarding school is by finding a golden ticket inside a biscuit. Once you get into this magical school, life isn't easy. You're picked on constantly and if you happen to lose at magic carpet flag ball, you might get expelled. Then there's whole other weird debacle about a magician who is actually a wizard and was dead for a while but isn't dead anymore because he created the fountain of youth but he won't give it to Dumbledore-Snape (in this, the same person and played by a woman). She puts her soul into a bird and is defended by a purple skull bat that is the evil equivalent of the character that looks like Casper but acts like Tinkerbell. It's a mess. For a full recap, read this episode's sponsor's version: http://telophase.livejournal.com/611027.html
We hoped this book would get better. We really did. Partially because we're optimists, and partially because we had no idea that there was a 100+ page sex-torture subplot. The second half of Wizard's First Rule features less walking and more magical coincidences. The good guys defeat the bad guys using all the skill, courage, and super convenient plot devices they could muster. Oh, and the bad guy is secretly the good guy's father. How original. As excited as we are to learn about the wizard's second through Nth rules, we'll probably stop here. It was kinda fun at times, but all the dragon riding and spell casting is way diminished by the scene where the guy eats his own balls. Seriously. The wizard's first rule should be "The world is super gross."
Lord of The Rings is pretty good, right? Terry Goodkind thought so too. That's why he ripped it off. For 900 horrible pages. Richard Cypher is young not important person who is suddenly thrown into a long adventure with the help of his old wizard friend using the magic power handed down to him by Gollum. Additionally, the book's kinda messed up. The main bad guy likes to kill people and play in their gore. His side kick is a pedophile. And the wizard falls in love with a one-footed bone horder. Gross. We only listened to the first 15 hours of the audiobook. We'll see you again next week for more torture.
We've reviewed almost everything at this point. Books, movies, TV shows, fan fiction, even the royal wedding. But this week we do something that we've joked about for a long time but never thought we'd have to. This week, a listener took us up on our dare and sponsored some porn. And not just any porn. It's a high-budget (relatively speaking) plot-heavy (relatively speaking) masterpiece (relatively speaking. It's eerily like a real episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation except this one has lots and lots of sex on the holodeck. Don't believe me? Check out this version on YouTube, which somebody took the time to post after editing out ALL THE SEX: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJHoRx7mZLk We've also got a super awesome guest this week, the hilarious and totally famous Jackie Kashian!
Early in the afternoon, on the first day of September, a group of Seattleites wearing wrist bands lined up outside of the Vera Project to see something special. Yes, it was a live taping of our podcast but more importantly it was a celebration of our second favorite actor of all time, the great Nicolas Cage! We joined together as a community in celebrating three of Nic's finest works: City of Angels, wherein Mr. Cage plays an angel of death determined to have sex with Meg Ryan; Wicker Man, wherein Mr. Cage is murdered by a creepy cult to make the bees happy; and Ghost Rider wherein Mr. Cage... I'm not really sure. There was a motor cycle and a flaming skull. That's all I can figure out. It was such a blast and we really appreciate everybody who came out and saw the show. We can't wait to do another live show.
It takes a lot to be crowned "Worst Fan Fic of All Time." It takes almost too much. So while My Immortal has held that title for some time, we are the anti-doping body and we're here to investigate. My Immortal is Harry Potter fan fiction, imagining a world where Harry and the gang are all goth kids that wear eye liner, cut themselves, and have sex with each other all the time. Sometimes in front of Hogwarts teachers. It's a sad, scary world and the plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But as you read, little things start to stick out to you. The spelling is bad, but it's bad in a very particular way that feels purposeful. Characters from other works are mixed in, like Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. Oh, and it's too funny to be an accident. We comb over the work looking for clues like these and in the end, decide it is probably troll fiction. And that makes it both less good, and less bad, than we were originally led to believe.
It's August again and that means time for TV networks to drop their biggest turds on America. This year we pick three fine examples of cheap summer programming. Stars Earn Stripes is NBC's post-Olympic explosion fest. Fake celebrities shoot real guns at fake enemies. They win real money for real charities but mostly they just talk about how great the military is. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is TLC's spinoff of Toddlers in Tiaras. If you're the most messed-up family on T in T, you are a train wreck of epic proportions. And if you're a train wreck of epic proportions, you're on TLC. Oh Sit! is a game show on the CW that you've never heard of. It's like musical chairs but ... more complicated. You'll never hear about it again.
We've covered it all before on this show. Awkward new girl, love triangle, a human having sex with a magical creature, trolls, faeries, people with outrageous accents, the whole works. I guess a flower growing out of a girl's back that can be pollinated is kinda new, but it's hard to shock us anymore. Wings follows the formula set forth in Twilight: a girl who doesn't know she's beautiful moves to a new town. With the help of two guys who fall in love with her instantly, she goes on a journey of self discovery. In this case the girl is the freak instead of the boy, but that's not a huge twist. It turns out she's a faerie and then, at the very end, some plot shows up. Since we've done this kind of thing so much, we play Marry Boff Kill with other YA fantasy mainstays: vampires, fallen angels, and faeries. We also help people remember to tell their parents if they have plants growing out of their backs.
In our most specific topic selection to date, we dive into three movies featuring rappers-turned-actors with Ice in their names. Vanilla Ice melts our hearts in Cool as Ice. Ice Cube is solid in xXx: State of the Union, and Ice-T is totally chill in Tank Girl... where he plays a kangaroo with a $5,000 dick. It's hard to say which is our favorite. V Ice is amazing in his 90s pants and his reckless acting. The movie makes about as much sense as the song "Ice Ice Baby" and is much longer. But there's something about him that's so bad it's good. Ice Cube is hard to like but fun to root for. Vin Diesel turned down the xXx sequel, so Cube jumps in as the secret agent with a bad attitude. And then some gangstas in souped up cars save America. Tank Girl is a train wreck and Ice-T is barely in it. But just like with the aforementioned kangaroo schlong, you can't look away. It's joy on the rocks in this week's episode. If you've got an idea for an ultra-specific movie marathon, let us know in the comments!
In the future everything will be better. Increased wealth from asteroid mining, increased access to information through brain implants, and increased fun with space water parks. That is, unless you're a woman or non-white. Then the future pretty much sucks for you. The second half of "Live Free or Die" continues John Ringo's meandering manifesto about the free market economy, and continues his themes of racism and sexism. A book of nearly a million pages, and not once is there a conversation between two women, err, sex objects. Africa, Asia, and the Middle East are completely destroyed by a form of biological warfare that only kills people who don't look like John Ringo. It's pretty bleak. Fortunately, the surviving conservative white men have a dandy old time with their business ventures and giant laser beams. Life is good, if you're the 1%. We welcome back Science Fiction Expert and all around good dude, David Barr Kirtley who tells us what the SF world thinks of Mr. Ringo's book.
First contact was peaceful. Then something went horribly wrong: a book that seemed like it was about the effects of meeting aliens turned out to be a really boring book about doing business in space interspersed with horrible sexism. John Ringo's book introduces a near future earth where aliens have created a gate allowing ships from other galaxies to pop into and out of earth's orbit. The aliens that do so are either Randian capitalists or filthy communist aliens. When an extraordinary earthling discovers that aliens are willing to buy maple syrup (because it makes them trip balls) he quickly becomes rich enough to live out all kinds of capitalist fantasies. Intergalactic trading, asteroid mining, and telling government officials to piss off. This libertarian wet dream isn't all fun and games. In fact, it's 0% fun and only 1% games. Lots of people get killed but they aren't white so the main character doesn't care. There are only two female characters in the first half of this book and one's only described as "stacked" while the other is a murderer. The future is bleak.
The time: the past. Or is it? The setting: a cave man village. And a desert. And a space island. The hero: Yor. That last one I'm actually certain of. Yor is a beautiful blond man who can do it all: kill a dinosaur, save a village, marry two women at the same time. Beyond that, I'm not really certain of anything that happened. Yor (the movie) is as horrible as Yor (the character) is awesome. It's a train wreck. The fun part (aside from Yor's abs) is watching this cave man navigate in a confusing world. How will he handle discoveries about his past? How will he handle his wife's jealousy of his other wife? How will he handle finding out that he's not in the past, he's in the future and most of civilization has died off from nuclear war which somehow caused dinosaurs to come back? Joining us to disect this tragedy is Gabriel Rutledge, the awesome touring comedian who you may recognize from Comedy.tv and Comedy Central's Live At Gotham. He's also got a very entertaining podcast in which him and his wife overshare.
Yor: The Hunter from the Future Review
Live from Portland, OR it's the Shark Spectacular, featuring reviews of Deep Blue Sea, Jaws: The Revenge, and Shark Tale. It's three epically bad shark tastes that taste great together! Joining us at the lovely Action/Adventure Theater was Stephen Humphrey, the editor of the Portland Mercury. At this show we unveiled our brand new Space Shark t-shirt which you should buy immediately.
A mysterious manuscript has surfaced in Peru. No, it's not the 8th Harry Potter book, it's some kind of religious text written by the ancient Mayans. Does it give us insight into this lost culture? Does it predict the end of the world? Nope and nope. It's the first written example of long-winded hippies. The Mayans wrote their ancient text, inexplicably, in Aramaic, the language of movies about Jesus. It's broken down into 9 "insights" that range from "be nice to each other" to 1960s psycho babble about power dynamics in relationships to claims that vegetables are more nutritious if we love them harder. The Celestine Prophecy follows a couple of interchangeable characters as they search for these insights and measure each other's energy. Every once in a while the Peruvian government shows up and kills people. If this book actually existed, it would be completely uninteresting. But it doesn't. Instead, this is a book about people reading a philosophical work and agreeing with it to each other. It's so boring, there's only one reason anybody would read it... because a hot chick asked them to (or in our case, a guy asked us to read it so he wouldn't have to and could still talk to his hot chick about it). We're here to help.