The Bad Review Revue

The Girl Next Door: “Director Luke Greenfield, the auteur behind The Animal starring Rob Schneider, wants to pass off this limp-dick farce as social satire. Ha!” — Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

Rasing Helena: “You are likely to encounter more surprises on the way to the bathroom each morning than you do in this film.” — Stephen Hunter, WASHINGTON POST

The Whole Ten Yards: “Worse than you can imagine. Unless, of course, you’ve imagined 90-something minutes of bloopers and outtakes that congeal into a story — much the way a scab is formed.” — Wesley Morris, BOSTON GLOBE

The Day After Tomorrow: “A shambles of dud writing and dramatic inconsequence which left me determined to double my consumption of fossil fuels.” — Anthony Lane, THE NEW YORKER

Taking Lives: “A taut thriller filled with chills and sex and frights and mind-blowing surprises! Hawke makes us forget Brando, Dean and De Niro, and Jolie makes us forget all other women in history! Drop the newspaper! Never mind dressing! Run to the box office! I hated it!” — Shawn Levy, THE OREGONIAN

Born To Plog

Hello! It looks like I am receiving a host of new visitors, thanks to a link on Amazon’s new Plog page. A Plog, as near as I can tell, is a “personalized log,” and is like a “blog” except you can’t personalize it. Also, instead of you writing it and other people reading it, robots write it and you read it. Also, instead of being open to the world, only you can see it. But aside from that, it’s pretty much nothing like a blog.

Funny anecdote: I worked at Amazon for a few years, but then they made me put all my belongings in a cardboard box and had security escort me from the building. Hah hah, true story! You might think that would make me bitter — what with them giving me the heave-ho and now using my work as part of a marking campaign — and you might further speculate that I would use this opportunity to speak directly to Amazon consumers by badmouthing the company. But you’d be wrong, because I still own Amazon stock. So, if you came here via the Amazon link, please go back to the site and complete your transaction before reading any further.

Honestly, I harbor no ill will toward Amazon. And, truth be told, they do have some claim on my blog. During my stint at Earth’s Biggest Bookstore, part of my duties included blogging, of a sort. For a while I was the liaison between the IT department and customer service , a position that required me to send technical updates to several hundred CS representatives every two hours. As there was often no real news to report, I usually padded the updates with funny stories, amusing asides, and links to notable new websites. (To put in perspective how long ago this was in Internet time, consider that “mapquest.com” was deemed a fascinating new addition to the double-you double-you double-you in 1999.) In other words, I was creating something akin to the contemporary blog. Well, moreso akin than “plogs,” at any rate.

And lookit me now: five years later Amazon cooks up a top-ten list featuring the likes of Lileks and musings of Megnut, and my site is listed smack dab in the middle (until they catch wind of this post, at any rate). What a mad, mad, crazy, man, topsy-turvy world we live in. I guess it’s true what they say: purchase crap from Amazon frequently, and drive their stock price through the roof.

Al Qaida Rebrands Self “MusliMentum”

The Islamic paramilitary movement formerly known as Al-Qaida today announced that it would change its name to MusliMentum. "Right or wrong, the name 'Al-Qaida' has come to have negative connotations, perhaps due to our unrelenting campaign of nihilistic butchery," said MusliMentum spokesman Khalid al-Mihjim. "Countering this perception by renouncing the use of indiscriminate violence would, unfortunately, violate our mission statement. So, instead, we've decided to give ourselves a new name ... and a fresh start!"

Al-Mihjim was quick to reassure citizens that, despite the name change, MusliMentum would exhibit "the same level of commitment to horrific acts of terrorism people have come to expect from Al-Qaida."

The change is one element of a $4 billion rebranding effort on the part of the organization, which includes television commercials showing groups of sleepy cells smiling and planting trees, and the launch of a new slogan "MusliMentum: Barbarism For the 21st Century."

Vice City

If you haven’t already read John Moe‘s article Pros and Cons of John Kerry’s Top Twenty Vice-Presidential Candidates, please do so now. It’s great.

I guess I should care about who Kerry picks, but somehow I can’t muster the enthusiasm. The whole selection process seems so clinical, less like picking the second most powerful person in the United States and more like comparison shopping waffle irons on Froogle. They want someone who can deliver a state, can do well in the South, doesn’t have any skeletons in the closet, won’t outshine the presidential nominee, can spell potatoe, etc. So many things to consider, and all so unfathomably technical and boring. For instance, I bet Bob Kerrey doesn’t stand a chance because the campaign thinks a “Kerry / Kerrey” ticket would be too confusing. They probably envision the average voter standing the booth and saying, “Two Kerries?! Whaaa–?!!” and then opting for Bush on on the theory that’s he’s simpler. (And boy, is he ever.)

It would be interesting if Kerry picked Kerrey and they called their campaign “Kerry Nation” and went around destroying saloons with rocks, hammers and hatchets, though.

Most nominees vet vice-presidential candidates with an eye toward balance, looking for someone who’s the opposite to provide a well rounded ticket. You know, like how in 2000 Bush was running as a lovable doofus, so they brought on Cheney because he has the charism of e. coli. Since the main charge against Kerry is that he’s “indecisive” and “nuanced” and “intelligent,” he should probably pick someone unwavering in his convictions, like Crazy Woman Certain That Aliens Told Her To Steal Soup Spoons From Restaurants, or Old Man Driving Aimlessly Around Gerbil Junction, Iowa, Because He’s Too Stubborn To Ask For Directions To The Post Office. That would make for some great vice-presidential debates.

Cheney: Privatizing a portion of Medicare will stimulate the economy, and we’ll be harnessing the powers of the market to increase revenue for beneficiaries.

Old Man: I know where I’m going! I’ve been to the post office a hundred times!

Cheney: Your plan, on the other hand, relies heavily on raising taxes.

Old Man: This is a short cut! I have a map of the entire city in my head!