Seriously Trivial – 2022

Here are some things you probably have never thought about:

1 — If you Google “Star Wars movie mistakes” you get over 4 million different websites in 0.38 seconds.  I didn’t scroll through them all, but — wow!  I can’t even imagine the massive number of nerd hours it took to examine all 13 hours and 14 minutes of the Star Wars franchise, frame by frame, and create even one of these.  However, I have seen more than a few smug clouds enveloping the pompous asses who insist on discussing their particular Star WarsStar Trek or Stargate discoveries.

2 — Rumour has it that the four Indiana Jones movies are chemically-induced hallucinations that Han Solo had when he was frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back.  As if?

3 — There is a fan theory that much of the Disney movie universe is connected.  For example, Elsa and Anna’s father, King Agnarr from Frozen, is thought to be Rapunzel (from Tangled‘s) mother’s brother.  Thus, when he and Queen Iduna were lost at sea, they were on their way to their niece Rapunzel’s wedding to Flynn Ryder.  Furthermore, the storm that sinks their ship off the coast of Africa is the same one that rejuvenates the land in The Lion King, plus the sunken wreck that Ariel explores in The Little Mermaid is that same ship!  Not only that but, Agnarr and Iduna survive the catastrophe, make their way ashore and eventually have a son — Tarzan — Elsa and Anna’s little brother.  This isn’t just idle chatter, like that Han Solo crap.  Much of it is backed up by some pretty substantial circumstantial evidence.

4 — There are hundreds of theories about what’s in the briefcase from Pulp Fiction, but the most enduring is it’s Marcellus Wallace’s soul.

5 — Millions of people want to believe R+L=J, and thousands and thousands of people are working, day and night, to find the clues that prove it. (Who knew it would all end so badly!)

6 — A lot of people think that originally, Gandalf the Grey, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, had a cunning plan to use the eagles to fly Frodo, Samwise and The Ring directly to Mordor, drop the jewelry into Mount Doom and be back in The Shire by Second Breakfast.  Unfortunately, Gandalf unexpectedly gets his ass kicked by the Belrog in the Mines of Moria, and when he comes back to life as Gandalf the White, he’s forgotten all about it.  And, to many people, Gandalf’s last words to Frodo, “Fly, you fools!” is indisputable proof of this.

7 — I said all this to say we live in an age of relentless entertainment, and our society has become so abundant and benevolent that we can indulge ourselves in it, any time we please — for as long as we please.  Where once entertainment was an occasional escape from grim reality, to many people these days it is their greater reality.  And, like it or not, that has blurred the line between what we treat seriously and what is mere trivia.

I wrote this in January 2016!  Not much has changed.

7 Ways To Tell If A Movie Is Crap (plus one more)


I’ve walked out of only two movies in my life: Roman Polanski’s Macbeth and You’ve Got Mail.  (I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.)  Anyway, it’s not that I’ve endured that many bad movies; it’s just that, over the years, I’ve learned how to pick ’em.   So before you make the popcorn, settle into your ass groove on the sofa and let iTunes scam you for another $4.99, here are seven ways (plus one) to tell if a movie is going to be crap.
DISCLAIMER:  These are only guidelines.  They work most of the time, but there are some exceptions.

The 4th Movie In A Franchise — By the time the studios get to #4, the stories are lame, the actors are tired, the directors are bored (if they’re even still there) and the FX is gratuitous and over the top.  These are name recognition cash grabs; stay away from them! There are two notable exceptions: Star Trek: The Journey Home and Thunderball.  (FYI, Mad Max: Fury Road doesn’t count. It had a different cast.)

Movies Made From 60s/70s/80s TV Programs — Movie producers know Baby Boomers (and their adult children) have money, and they desperately want to get their mitts on it.  So, they tap into the nostalgia of an aging population who think they’re still cool.  They trot out a familiar name, rework the original story (with all the catch phrases) and hire some actors with little or no self respect.  These movies are unadulterated trash, but the studios don’t care ’cause they’re guaranteed a couple of million profit on name recognition alone.  (FYI, Star Trek doesn’t count.  It had the same cast.)

Movies Made From Video Games — This is just a dumbass idea.  The potential audience for these movies are gamers who — wait for it! — PLAY video games.  They don’t watch video games play themselves.  D’uh!  The rest of us, non-gamers, have heard of the title, but we have no idea what’s going on, who the Lizard People are, what everybody’s fighting about and why all the nuns have machine guns.

Classic Remakes — There ought to be a law against taking wonderful old movies and ruining them with CGI.

Old Men — If a movie features an old megastar trying to be funny, chances are good he won’t be.  What you’re going to get is Viagra jokes, some boobs, at least one reference to substance abuse and a weirdo relationship that’s a cross between necro- and pedo- philia.  NEWS FLASH — Hot 20-something chicks don’t normally go for old men.  Trust me! I know what I’m talking about.

Too Many Old Men — If the average age of your ensemble cast is over 70,  this is a bad movie. I don’t care if the old buggers want to rob a bank, go on a road trip, look for their lost youth, skydive, hunt for treasure, find the girl of their dreams, take down an evil dictator, save the world, go to space ….  God, just shoot me in the head!  Doesn’t anybody in Hollywood retire anymore?

Bad Actors — Some actors make bad movies — all the time.  For example, Ashton Kutcher has never made a good movie.  (He hasn’t even come close.)  Then there’s Kevin James, Megan Fox, Tyler Perry, Jai Courtney, Jessica Alba, etc., etc., etc.  I’m sure there’s a list of these losers somewhere.  Anyway, when you see any one of this worthless crew in a movie, save your money and go do a crossword puzzle.

And finally:

Adam Sandler, Nicholas Cage and Johnny Depp — Adam Sandler movies are so bad they’re actually in a class of their own.  Cage had his moments — ten years ago. And I have no idea what the hell happened to Johnny Depp.

I Call Bullshit (Movie Edition)

film 1

This is movie season and I love movies.  However, movie people — writers, producers, directors and such — keep making storyline mistakes that just drive me crazy.  And these aren’t those little esoteric anachronisms that Internet nerds wet their pants over.
(“In Back To the Future, are we expected to believe that Marty McFly can play a Gibson ES 345 guitar in 1955 when they weren’t even produced until 1958?”  Guys!  Relax!  You’ve already accepted the premise that Doc. Brown built a time machine!)

No, it’s not dumb crap like that.  It’s major plot devices that are just plain wrong — good old-fashioned, common-sense wrong.  And I’m 100% certain that movie people know they’re wrong, and they either think the rest of us are idiots, or they don’t give a tinker’s dam what we think.  Let me demonstrate.

Defibrillators do not revive the dead.  Any first year medical school student will tell you that when the patient’s little beep machine goes flatline, the guy’s dead.   End of story.   Nailing him with 50,000 volts isn’t going to bring him back to life; it’s going to cook him!

There is no oxygen in space — none.  Therefore, regardless of how many times you hit the alien ship with phasers, lasers, blasters or proton torpedoes, it’s not gonna explode.  Explosions need oxygen.  Without oxygen, you’re breaking Einstein’s First Theory of You’re A Dumbass.

Airport security doesn’t work that way.  You cannot leave your car parked at the front door of a major international airport and go running across the concourse, chasing the girl of your dreams.  If — IF? — the cops don’t shoot your ass, the best you can hope for is you’ll be tackled by two (or more) burly security guards and get a Full Monty cavity search at what’s commonly called an “undisclosed location.”  And they’re definitely going to tow your car — and probably blow it up in a controlled explosion.

Nobody gets that high.  I don’t care what Seth Rogen says; smoking marijuana will not leave you passed out on a beach, in a different town, holding a koala bear and wearing nothing but a hockey helmet and your girlfriend’s underwear.  Smoke that much dope and you’ll end up hopelessly interested in the length of your toes.

Computer hacking doesn’t work better if you type faster.

I’m no expert, but having sex with your bra on has got to be uncomfortable.  Plus, how horny do you have to be not to take 5 seconds to unhook a bra — especially given the obsession our society has with breasts?  (Just sayin’!)

And there are tons more.  Don’t even get me started on what guns can and cannot do.  But my very favourite is:

Anybody who’s ever driven to work in a major urban centre will tell you a high-speed car chase through the streets of London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles or Lincoln, Nebraska is impossible — not just improbable — impossible.  There are too many cars and not enough roads.  In fact, the average speed in any major city is under 15 kilometres an hour (10 mph in the USA.)  Now hear this, James Bond, Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt: if you’re at all serious about getting away from the bad guys, try a bicycle!