Friday, October 15, 2010

AllMoPs 9

All Manner of Plugs: Issue 9 (10.15.2010)
a weekly recommendations email

Written by J.S. Lewis

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This week AllMoPs is firing out of all available canons! All segments I've ever introduced are here this time (and then some; yes, The Film Tome Report grows even more!), includingGamerain! It's a wonderful time to bust out the AllMoPs. My only wish is that each of you find something herein to chew on. Keep on chewing.

JUST END: Take note of the ultra-exciting news in The Film Tome Report's "The Good."

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OK Go has some of the coolest MVs around. You have all seen "Here It Goes Again" and should have seen their best, "This Too Shall Pass." So that's why I'm endorsing one not a lot of people have seen (only 720K views?! Yeah?! WTF?!). As seems to be their style, this is also a single-shot MV (which incidentally also makes it a long-shot). They do some pretty tricky things with this visual effect... it is a buffet for your retinas!

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There's a fellow in China who is addicted to eating scorpions... scorpions that are alive! On the plus side, he has developed an immunity to the poisonous creatures. He claims to have consumed over 10,000 scorpions over the past 30 years. I stand impressed (actually, I'm sitting in front of my iMac, but you know what I mean). The origin of his unique custom is quite interesting, read more.

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"Charlie the smoking chimp" (what a title!) passed away earlier this month. This article says "of old age." I wonder if smoking had anything to do with it? Then again, Charlie was 52 and had apparently kicked the habit. Rest in peace.

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It's very possible you've seen this before. The quality sucks, but it is still one of my favorite candid camera pranks of all time. You can do it too! You just need 100 people and a not-so-popular street.

These 13 seconds are called "never scare a black man."

I'm not entirely sure if Paul Mason is the "World's Fattest Man" (again, what a title!), but he is undoubtedly a large fellow. Watch a slice of his life.

Have you met Cleverbot? My roommate introduced me to him/her/it today. It is an AI that learns from real people (which would explain why it is so moronic sometimes). It is a chatterbot and only lives to chat with humans, so what are you waiting for? The site claims that visitors never talk to a human, which at first I was skeptical about, but after having a few conversations with Cleverbot, I don't find that hard to believe. Here's a real dialogue I had with Cleverbot just hours ago (I am User):


User: Good afternoon.

Cleverbot: Good evening.

User: Evening? What time do you think it is?

Cleverbot: I know it is 1:13 AM in the middle.

User: You're a moron.

Cleverbot: No you are!

User: Nice comeback.

Cleverbot: You are so nice *hugs*.

User: *pushes away*.

Cleverbot: *looks surprised* What did I do?

User: You were born.

Cleverbot: You're just jealous, bot.

User: Jealous of your stupidity? Ha! I don't think so!

Cleverbot: Not quite, jealous of a middle class white woman maybe.

User: So, that's what you are?

Cleverbot: I know you are but what am I?

User: A freaking moron.

Cleverbot: Do you really think that?

User: I KNOW that.

Cleverbot: How do you know that for a fact?

User: Because your responses are the essence of idiocy.

Cleverbot: Well I think my responses are.

User: At least we agree on something, moron.

Cleverbot: That's true.

User: So you admit you're a moron?

Cleverbot: Yes. I never told you I wasn't.


Enlightening eh? Try it out and see if you can have better luck than I did! A link on the page will take you to this interesting video about the future of Cleverbot.

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After a two-week hiatus, Gamerain is back and read to spin all available discs!

"Arcade Gaming Shrine" - Palette-Swap Ninja: You lucky duckies! This week I've plugged two music videos. I wanted to save this one for Gamerain because it is very much a MV for gamers. I've been following Palette-Swap Ninja for quite some time now. They parody songs in a Weird Al fashion, but all of theirs deal with video games. You may have heard their "Halo" song (a glorious parody of "Snow" by Red Hot Chili Peppers). "Arcade Gaming Shrine" is an ode to the arcade games of yesteryear. As one line in the lyrics explains, "All these modern games, while they're still fun, future generations should know where they came from." I find this MV a better tribute to arcade video games than a certain overrated film that came out two months ago. Ling live Tapper!

"The Sims" would definitely sit comfy on my list of the best video games ever made. I am a sucker for anything medieval-esque. These two statements were tied in a bodacious bow when I learned of "The Sims Medieval" yesterday. I can only imagine how hard satisfying the "hygiene" bar is going to be. It appears to be a standalone game, not one of the myriad expansion packs the series is well-known for releasing. It is scheduled for a Q1 2011 release for your PC or Mac.

Another bit of just-plain-awesome news is the latest downloadable content for "Red Dead Redemption." Like "The Sims Medieval," it is a hybrid of two areas I cherish, the western genre and the zombie sub-genre, making for an "Undead Nightmare Pack." It sounds too good to be true! In two weeks time (Oct. 26th) it will be available on both the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Playstation Store.

I just beat "Halo: Reach" this morning. Finally. School was such an interference... what's with that? ;) It is beyond special. The cinematic right before the ending credits should be familiar to "Halo" fans. That's what we saw nearly a decade ago when the saga began. Remember, "Reach" is a prequel. Even though I've conquered through the campaign, there is still a lot of playability left. Online multiplayer has never been better (my new favorite is probably Territories in Big Team Battle) and Forge World is always a tempting way to spend an hour or so. If "Red Dead Redemption" weren't so brilliant I'd be able to declare it as Game of the Year. That said, both games are two of the best I've ever played. Oh yeah, this is All Manner of Plugs huh? I should be plugging something... Have you seen the "Halo Reach Mythbusters"? There are several informative episodes available!

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Every year each country gets to submit one film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be considered for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards (AKA the Oscars). Of those myriad entrees, five are officially nominated. For the 83rd Academy Awards (sometime Q1 2011), Peru has officially submitted "

Contracorriente (Undertow)." The synopsis calls this a "unique ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside." After watching the trailer I have no idea what is going on. I feel that is a good thing when trailers are concerned, but surely not when the film itself is that way. We'll see.

"Chico and Rita" is an up and down love story set in the late '40s. Music is a priority in this piece. The mixture of hand-drawn animation with the use of CGI looks stunning. In select theaters on November 19th.

A couple of documentaries emerge from another point of view to things. As an answer to "An Inconvenient Truth" and global warming in general we've got "Cool It." And for all you Mayans out there who believe 2012 is Earth's last hurrah, "2012: Time For Change." Both are docs about "going green" and how we can do it. They seem to be of a more optimistic variety and confront the FEAR that runs so rampant in our societies. That same issue is among the more interesting themes running throughout Michael Moore's collection.

The "Okay...":*
*Here is another Trailer Round-Up reward. This one goes to the trailer that while/after seeing I find myself saying "Okay...." You should know the word and orate-method I'm referring to. If you don't, you should.

This weeks "Okay..." goes to "I Am Number Four." Is this based on a previously existing intellectual property? This looks and sounds (I read the plot description) like a mixed bag of fantasy banalities. D.J. Caruso, who's "Disturbia" was a fun contemporary retelling of Hitchcock's "Rear Window," directs this one. Has a film that looks and sounds like this ever succeeded? Not to my knowledge. You've got a lot to prove Mr. Caruso. I hope for the best, but still emit "Okay...."

Toss of the Week: We frequently receive proof of the stock phrase, "Fact is stranger than fiction." "Marwencol" is yet another pound of proof to this debatable truth. I love strange docs ("Vernon, Florida," "King of Kong," and anything Herzogian), so this one is like unto a friendly and exotic creature approaching me with a protruding tongue in the grocery store. That is to say, a pleasant surprise. Non-fiction films consistently pack more emotional punch than most of other breeds. It is the most "realistic" aspects of the fiction films that can even measure up. It has been written that "the truth will set you free." Filmmakers who work in accordance to this certitude will be free to influence their audience in powerful ways. "Marwencol" is a true story of a fellow man, one I am eager to notice.


Entertainment Weekly - "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" (Here is the same list on a single page.) It's a good list. They've got most of the essentials: Hitchcock, Ford, Keaton, Spielberg, Kurosawa, Scorsese, and my favorite, Herzog. I believe this list was dated 1996, which would explain the absence of modern marvels I'd like to see, including P.T. Anderson, Tarantino, Miyazaki, the Coens and Zhang Yimou. I can think of a few they could replace...


"The Hobbit" has finally been greenlit! Shooting will begin in February and "Part 1" is scheduled to be among us on December 19, 2012. I'm guessing "Part 2" will come a year later. I, for one, am fine waiting. Take as long as you need Mr. Jackson (that's right, P.J. is directing!) to make us another epic masterpiece. Getting the production for this film to take off has been like coaxing an emu to take flight. Alas, miracles do happen. Read more (including the complications) on The Wrap.

Near-unanimous praise is always a delightful thing. There are currently three films in wide release that are being heralded highly (according to the TOMATOMETER on Rotten Tomatoes): "Let Me In" - 88%, "The Town" - 95%, and "The Social Network" - 97%.


I saw "Vampires Suck." Look for my venomous review on The Film Tome soon!

*Changing "and the Weird" to "and the Ugly" this week. I'll use which ever of the two best suits the news. Cool?

Uwe Boll is a notorious filmmaker. I've never seen one of his movies, but those who have love to hate them. In fact, five of Boll's films are on IMDb's Bottom 100 (the opposite of the Top 250). He is largely responsible for the quite-true statement, "Films based on video games blow." If there ever was a video game that shouldn't have been made into a movie, that game was "Postal." And Boll did. Well, now Mr. Boll, a German writer and director, is stirring more controversy than ever with the announcement and teaser of his next film, "Auschwitz." At first glance this seems like a "Passion of the Christ" for the victims of said concentration camp. By this I mean graphically portraying the suffering, torturing, and killing of the victim(s). Mel Gibson's attempt was a powerful success in my book, admittedly one I don't want to frequently behold. I wonder if Boll is capable of such an accomplishment. Then again, after watching the trailer for his adaptation of "Postal," a comedy of the WORST kind, I doubt. Other film gurus are calling it "tasteless." Lastly, I really wonder what the masses would be saying if some other iconic director's name (i.e. one widely acclaimed rather than one widely disdained) was attached to this project. I honestly think the responses would be very different. Enough talk, here's the trailerfor "Auschwitz," decide for yourself. (WARNING: This trailer contains graphic images. Think "Schindler's List" in color. Viewer discretion strongly exhorted.)

*Quite simple. I tell you what films are coming to theaters this week/weekend and their current rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Conviction - 60%
  • Hereafter* - 60%
  • Jackass 3D - 59%
  • Red - 69%
  • Samson and Delilah - 97%
* = Limited Release

*Again, a simple piece. I tell what films have come out on DVD/BluRay/whatever this week.
  • How To Train Your Dragon - 98%
  • lo sono l'amore (I Am Love) - 81%
  • Jonah Hex - 13%
  • Leaves of Grass - 61%
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Hot dog! If you have any comments, questions, requests, complaints or threats please let your voice be heard by If you wish to be removed from the AllMoPs send-list, let me know. If you wish to add someone, let me know. Remember, all previous AllMoPs are available at my blog, All Manner of Posts. Start deciding what you're going to be for Halloween (you could ask Cleverbot for a suggestion) and thanks for plugging in

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