Not Another Sherman’s March Documentary or Heartbreak Colon What Really Happened On Sherman’s March Comma Disastrous Documentary Question Mark

The movie I will be attempting to review is titled Sherman’s March: A Mediation to the Possibility of Romantic Love in the South During an Era of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation (McElwee, 1986) which, in prefect reflection of the movie itself, is both insane and amazing (and a bit too long). Not sure how much I have to say about it but I couldn’t pass up a great opportunity for an outrageous title and so I may drift off a bit to discuss other recently viewed movies. I am a firm believer that the mood you are in can drastically determine how much you enjoy a film, especially if the mood is tired and the film is Barry Lyndon (Kubrick, 1975). I had already had a long day at work filled with movie watching so I wasn’t particularly keen on sitting through a 157 minute documentary about the civil war and luckily enough that’s not what I had to sit through.

Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, largely considered one of the most influential Generals in ending the Civil War, led a string of campaigns in the south through Georgia and South Carolina that crippled the Confederate Army and ravaged the cities of Savannah, Atlanta, and Columbia. Most notable, in his southern campaign, was his use of the “scorched earth” policy in which his troops foraged off the land and destroyed everything in their path – burned bridges, ruined crops, wreaked railroads, and razed buildings. This tactic had a massively detrimental effect on both the physical and economic antebellum Reconstruction Era. The destruction of urban cities left a great deal of people with no place to go coupled with no way of getting there due to the state of disrepair in which the transportation system was left. For his bravery and leadership along with his close ties to President Grant, General Sherman was later promoted to General of the Army of the United States which in essence is the leader of the entire military. Shortly after deciding to make a film about the lasting effects Sherman’s March to the Sea had on the south, the director Ross McElwee experiences a troubling break up with his girlfriend and subsequently only about five minutes of the film are actually dedicated to the events that take place during Sherman’s March. I thought I would throw in that brief (and possibly inaccurate, I am not sure I just went off memory/Wikipedia) history lesson for those people who did not take AP US History back in High School. So the actual film Sherman’s March follows director McElwee on his tangential path retracing General Sherman’s campaign through the south whilst simultaneously encountering elevatingly eccentric people and falling in love over and over again. In the beginning, it appeared as though this was another documentary in the vein of American Movie (C. Smith, 1999) which follows around a hapless but endearing filmmaker as he aspires to make his first movie, Coven (2000, Borchadt), that is just comically low-budget. As things progress, we find out he is a fairly normal, well educated, semi-talented director who has trouble finding the right woman and absolutely no trouble finding crazy people to put on camera. In each city along his trail, he meets a different woman that piques his interest from a Burt Reynolds obsessed starlet with the worst screenplay premise imaginable to a Rapture assured Christian woman looking to join a paramilitary right-wing anti-governmental commune in the hills to a doctoral student working on her dissertation in linguistics on a secluded island with no electricity. All sorts of crazy every direction he turns and it all makes for one of the most interesting documentaries out there.

I knew I wouldn’t have much to say about this movie. O it won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for best documentary in 1987 (coincidentally the same prize American Movie won in 1999). And it runs a bit long, he definitely could have tightened up a few shots but I think it is fairly watchable especially if the anticipation of finding out what sort of crazy he will encounter next can keep you going. So let’s see if there is anything else to discuss, I saw The Hangover: Part 2 (Phillips, 2011) last weekend, that was pretty hilarious but of course not as funny as the original. I listened to an interview with Bradley Cooper on Fresh Air and that guy is way more intelligent than the characters he plays. The style in which he talks is almost funny, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of people’s names and different places and movies it is quite impressive. Also saw a YouTube video of him doing a French interview for The Hangover: Part 2 and it seems like he speaks French fluently something that is also quite surprising considering the first role many people remember him from was Sack Lodge in Wedding Crashers (Dobkin, 2005). 830 words I am almost finished. Alright, I also saw X-Men: First Class (Vaughn, 2011) which received an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. I am not a huge X-Men fan although I do enjoy a good superhero summer blockbuster. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender both fit into their roles great, and Kevin Bacon makes for a very nice villain but his two henchmen are just lame and off-putting. X-Men: First Class is good, probably even great if you see it in theaters but if you really want to see a great McAvoy, Fassbender, and Bacon film then separately watch Atonement (Wright, 2007), Hunger (McQueen, 2008), and The Woodsmen (Kassell, 2004). I think we can end this now so I give Sherman’s March:

3.5 out of 5 Confederate Cotillions

I feel as though I should go back and talk about Hunger for a second. It is incredibly fucking hard to watch and terribly depressing but one of the best movies I have ever seen. The film stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands an IRA member serving a jail sentence and makes The Shawshank Redemption (Darabont, 1994) look like a kids movie. It is a dramatization of an actual hunger strike led by Sands in 1981 and I cannot say enough good things about it. Netflix has it on instant play so if you have 96 minutes to spare and want to be fairly disgusted and super bummed out, I highly recommend Hunger. Also happy to see that IMDB lists the director, Steve McQueen’s new film Shame (2012) stars Fassbender as well, definitely going to look forward to that. Wait, didn’t Steve McQueen die of mesothelioma in the 80’s?

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So about a weekish ago, I was at a bar talking to one of the bartenders about music. We were talking about our plans for music this summer, and he said he wasn’t doing much except for going to a show in Minneapolis. Naturally, I asked him what show he was going to and he said Foster the People. Intrigued by this new bit of music, I went home and did a little bit of diggin’ and found three songs by this new gem: Pumped Up Kicks, Houdini, and Helena Beat. I loved ’em, downloaded them and tried to put them on my iPod, but my technology blows (Acer Power, baby) so of course it didn’t work the first try. Even worse about that is the fact that I left my iPod chord at home as I left for the weekend.

Album of the Year?

Album of the Year?

All weekend, I kept trying to listen to more Foster the People to show them to my friends, and well, it happened less often than I would have liked. Also, I forgot to mention that I had no car for the weekend. When yesterday rolled around, I was hitchin’ for a ride back to Brookings, and some friends said they were going to go south for a shopscapade. They were kind enough to let me join them. One of the girls said she needed to get a camera, and that she needed to hit up Best Buy. Whilst there, I was browsing the cd’s and saw Foster the People in the new releases. $9.99? Yes, please.

Since I bought the cd around 8 pm last night, it hasn’t left a nearby cd player. I was so excited about it that I had to get online and read about these newly discovered virtuosos. I guess they’re just some dudes from LA that put out some songs, and they blew up on radio stations and the internet. From that, they must have been signed to Columbia Records. I don’t know that, but that’s the company that is on the label of the cd. So that says a shit load about the power of the internet.

The band exploded on Hype Machine (, and it’s not surprising. The lyrics are a little dark and not necessarily sane, but they articulate such a confused rage that it translates beautifully over the synths, horns, and guitars. They remind me a little bit of Radiohead and a little bit like Passion Pit. But truthfully, their sound is surprisingly original and inspiring. For any independent artist, you love to hear success stories like Foster the People’s.

The dude who wrote all of the tracks by himself, with the exception of two which he co-wrote, Mark Foster, originally titled the band Foster and the People. Somehow the name morphed into Foster the People, which truthfully sounds awesome, and Foster adopted it openly. His voice is as distinguishable as Billy Corgan’s, and he is clearly a very smart songwriter. I know it’s really early, but I really believe the album will make Foster the People a strong contender for Best New Artist. They are about to blow the fuck up.

So, I guess this post was about two different things. First, how amazed I am that I actually bought a cd (take what you will from that). Second, how amazed I am that there’s a new artist that is this talented. I’m hoping there will be a lot more to come from Mark Foster, and in the interviews I’ve seen him in, he seems like he’s about the music rather than the money. His lyrics would seem to indicate that too. Regardless, “Torches” is an amazing album, and worth the money to purchase it. I would urge anyone to at least listen to it once through. You’ll thank me.

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DBDB Top 250 Finale: Terminator 5 or Untitled Michael Bay Project

I might as well wrap this list up before I start in on another review. For the longest time this film was second on my list to Vanilla Sky (Crowe, 2001) but after further analysis of each film I capriciously came to the decision that this was my favorite movie instead. Despite having been released in 1997, I don’t think I saw it until 2006 and if I did see it before then I certainly didn’t appreciate it enough. This is it, the best movie I can think of.

  1. Good Will Hunting (Van Sant, 1997)

Holy poop, I thought having watched 23 Tom Cruise movies was a bit ridiculous but looking at IMDB, unless my calculations are incorrect, I have watched 35 Matt Damon movies. It seems a bit excessive especially considering that is out of a possible 47. So I guess I should talk about Matt Damon for a bit. Not all of his films are outstanding but I also can’t really say I hated any of them with the notable exception of Gerry (Van Sant, 2002) which my disgust towards has long outlasted my memory of. I recall there is a scene where they are sitting around a camp fire discussing an episode of Wheel of Fortune and that is about it. Also one of them dies at the end of the film but I can’t remember whom. <– Spoiler alert, but what did you expect? Along with Last Days (2005) and Elephant (2003) it forms Van Sants death trilogy. Should that have been another spoiler alert? I don’t think so those films are reminiscent of Cobain and Columbine respectively so obviously they end in suicide and murder, again spoiler alert. I have yet to look it up but I am not exactly sure why those particular films make up Van Sants death trilogy, from what I can remember someone relatively important dies in Milk (2008), Paranoid Park (2007), Psycho (1998), Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), My Own Private Idaho (1991), and Drugstore Cowboy (1989) and I am assuming To Die For (1995) which I have not watched but it has “die” right in the title. Okay this is probably starting to get spoiled let’s stop talking about Matt Damon and move on to Gus Van Sant. Which of his films have I yet to mention? Finding Forrester (2000) is just a reworking of Good Will Hunting and now that I think about it does Sean Connery die in the end? I can’t remember I saw it so long ago but either way I would skip it, and then Mala Noche (1986) which I think is Spanish for “brother” is okay considering it was his first feature length film but overall not that great. He tends to be a very streaky director making films that range from top shelf to bottom of the barrel. Alright now I will attempt to distill wisdom out of this ramble:

Watch – Good Will Hunting, Milk, Paranoid Park, and Drugstore Cowboy

Probably Watch – My Own Private Idaho, Elephant, and Last Days

Skip – Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Finding Forrester, and Mala Noche

Avoid – Psycho, and Gerry

? – To Die For

Look Forward To – Restless (2011)

Alright enough about Gus Van Sant let’s get back to Matt Damon. If Vanilla Sky has the best sound track of all time, Good Will Hunting certainly comes in a close second. I am not a huge fan of Elliott Smith but I do find a number of his songs enjoyable, I listened to Baby Britain in High School quite a bit. Miss Misery was nominated for Best Original Song in the 1998 Academy Awards but lost out to fucking My Heart Will Go On which is complete horseshit. His music compliments this film perfectly but I think my favorite Elliott Smith accompaniment would have to be Needle in the Hay from The Royal Tenenbaums (W. Anderson, 2001). O and he was fatally stabbed or fatally stabbed himself in 2003, quite a bit of death in this article so here is a video to cheer you up.

I was going to wrap things up with a brief summary of the things I like about the film but in all honesty it is everything. There isn’t one single thing I think should be changed in that movie, every scene is exactly how it should be. So I give it:

12 out of 0 Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davie, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Jonny, Robbie, and Brian’s

In conclusion, here are five films that came close but didn’t make the cut. Arrested Development (Hurwitz, 2012) according to IMDB its current status is Announced/Weirdsies (really? referencing 30 Rock in a sentence about AD, come on!) but that coupled with my previous experience with the television show is already enough to put it right on the cusp of my top 5. It could be Michael Cera and Jason Bateman walking through the desert for 100 minutes talking about Wheel of Fortune until one of them dies and I would still pay to see it twice in theaters. I Heart Huckabees (Russell, 2004), because Arrested Development doesn’t exist yet, would most likely be my favorite comedy (not sure if that is true or not), Mark Wahlberg is hilarious in this film and any time he teams up with David O. Russell it seems to work out well. Plus if you watch closely you may notice Jonah Hills first on screen performance. GoldenEye (Campbell, 1995) must be included in the honorable mentions section, I have been a fan of James Bond since I was a little kid and TBS aired those 007 Days of Christmas marathons. GoldenEye isn’t even my favorite James Bond film that title goes to The Living Daylights (Glen, 1987) but I use to watch GoldenEye every day after school and played/still play enough of the video game to be the best player I know (has anyone else memorized the order of spawn points in Stack and Temple?). Also speaking of The Living Daylights and GoldenEye, it pisses me off that Joe Don Baker plays different characters in both movies like they really could not find anyone else that fit the bill, I hate when they double up on actors. Primer (Carruth, 2004) is an amazing little indie sci-fi film. I really enjoy the scene where they are working on the machine and talking about NASA making a pen that writes in space. This film also instilled in me my greatest fear of all time – meeting myself. Seriously, I can’t think of one scenario where I would travel back in time to tell myself something good. It would either be to warn me of some impending doom or to murder me and in my imagination it always occurs by breaking into my room in the middle of the night and waking me from my slumber so I would still be groggy uncertain whether I was awake or if this were still a dream and then it would slowly dawn on me that my future self is in the room with me and I would get super freaked out and probably fuck up time. Finally, Closer (Nichols, 2004) has a great story, classic director, and good looking people. It has everything necessary to be a great film just lacking that je ne sais quoi sort of connection with me to allow it a spot on the top 5. Did I just write more about my top 6-10 than I did about my number 1?

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Uncle Oscar Who Can Recall His Past Life or The Slow Descent Into Autoscopism

As our avid twitter followers (nobody) will already know the factoseintolerant authors have been on a forced hiatus due to #beingbusy. I personally finished my semester the week before last but I couldn’t bring myself to write anything until now because for some reason this is starting to feel a bit like work. I have also decided to take a bit of an unforced hiatus from my top 5 list, or perhaps this is just a sabbatical or repose, it could be a possible furlough although I am not sure if any of those terms connote a specific length of time I promise to finish it up sooner or later. Back in the day, a good film was hard to find on Netflix instant play. I think the first thing I watched after getting my account was Logan’s Run (M. Anderson, 1976) which if you know anything about speaks for itself, but in recent years they have drastically expanded their selection in both quantity and quality. This has worked wonderfully for Netflix; a not so recent New York Times article said something to the effect of Netflix had added as many new subscribers last quarter as it did in the first five years of business. I also can’t help but assume this has contributed to Blockbusters recent bankruptcy and subsequent purchase by DISH Network. All of this is well and good but they forgot to take into consideration the unfortunate ancillary consequence that has now arisen in the form of my unmanageably long instant queue. Sifting through the mess and muddle of my queue for a decent film can now take just as long as watching it. Luckily, my good friend factoseintolerant (not to be confused with the website of the same name, we are legally obligated to make this distinction) developed a revolutionary new software program entitled the Netflix Instant Queue Decision Engine. It begins with the prompt “Hello there DonnyBagg, how many movies are in your Instant Queue?” Then you proceed to enter in the number of films in your instant queue, in my case 257 excluding television series, and it answers “I think you should watch number [x]…bitch.” Unnecessarily offensive but it is effective nonetheless. This particular iteration requested I watch number 8 which is Soudain le Vide [Enter the Void] (Noe, 2009). I have to admit I lucked out and landed on something I assume will be very good, but, as with all games of Russian roulette, it is only a matter of time before I force myself to keep my eyes open during Baby Geniuses (Clark, 1999). Now please excuse me while I go watch this film.

Well that was certainly something different. It felt like an entire feast for my eyeballs. I wasn’t even sure I could even be that visually impressed with a film. Describing the movie would be almost pointless it is just something you sort of have to see to experience but most people should find Enter the Void magnificently stunning to look at. There is some sort of story line but it isn’t tremendously important, most of the film takes place as flashbacks of the main characters life and a drug and bullet induced psychedelic out-of-body experience. I had heard of Gaspar Noe previously and Irreversible (Noe, 2002) had been floating around my queue for quite some time but this is the first of his films I have actually watched. How good a movie will be usually depends on some combination of the directing, acting, and writing abilities among other things. For Enter the Void, 90 percent (or any other arbitrary percentage above 50) of the score can be derived from its director. The acting is almost nonexistent and the writing is nothing to write home about but Noe manages to make some of the most creative and complicated shots I have ever witnessed and I have witnessed quite a few movies in my day. Enter the Void is an outstanding film and fun for the whole family, so long as the whole family is over 18, comfortable with graphic and hardcore sexual images, open to constant drug use and overuse, it wouldn’t hurt to be pro-choice, no history of epileptic seizures or traumatophobia, and I don’t know quite how to put this – just an overall loose standard of morals and ethics. On second thought, perhaps it is best to watch this by yourself or just with friends.

So I enjoyed Enter the Void overall but there are definitely a few drawbacks and downsides. The first problem is its length. The visuals are extremely interesting and unique in the beginning but after 161 minutes most of that luster seems to fade. It can be a struggle to get through in one sitting but I think it generally pays off. If it doesn’t ensnare you within the first 20 minutes, I doubt you will make it to the final 20 minutes. The second problem is its story. As I previously stated, Noe works wonders as the director but they really don’t bring much to the table in terms of acting or writing. Toss in some endearing characters and a few plot twists and this movie would be elevated from terrific to amazing. I just spent two and a half hours watching the movie and I can’t remember any of the characters names. Not a great sign but also not that big of a deal. This isn’t so much a drawback as it is a missed opportunity. The final problem is that you always have to list things in threes and I don’t really have a third problem, wait I might have something. At first, I was concerned that it was all a big rip off of the Prodigy music video for Smack My Bitch Up since it is shot almost exclusively in the first person and shares many similar thematic elements but Noe cited that video as one of his many inspirations for the film so I guess it is alright however this does take away some of the originality. So I give it:

4 out of 5 hits of dimethyltryptamine

On an unrelated note, I recently watched Ajeossi [The Man from Nowhere] (Jeong-beom, 2010) a Korean action/revenge movie (the only type of action movies they make) that was fairly phenomenal. I don’t have time (not true) or enough to say about it (more true) to write a full article but I felt it deserved an honorable mention because good action movies are few and far between. Most of the stuff we produce is aimed towards the large portion of mindless douchebags in our country and since the audience directly reflects the quality of the film e.g. Fast Five (Notgonnalookitup, 2011) it is usually necessary to go overseas to find anything worthwhile. The Man from Nowhere is worthwhile. Am I really the first factoseintolerant author to write something in almost a month?

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‘Boner’oo – 2011

So, for the second time, I am again going to the music and arts festival in Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo. I urge you all to go, holy shit, it’s so much fucking fun. I decided, for my own sake, that I would write down all the bands that I wanted to see there. Then I decided I’d share it as well. Why not?

Bands I won’t miss:

1. Might as well start at the beginning of the list, Eminem. Although I don’t listen to Eminem much (I thought his latest cd was atrocious), I have to say that I’ve heard only great things about his live performances. So, I wouldn’t hate seeing him.

2. It’s been a long time coming that I got a chance to see Arcade Fire. I really wanted to go to one of their shows in Omaha about three years ago, but needless to say, I missed it. How could you not want to see Arcade Fire, *ahem* Album of the Year *ahem*.

3. The Black Keys – Yum. Last year they played at Bonnaroo, only one of the guys who went with me (to give you an idea, his nickname is Boner) insisted that we go see Wale. Wale took 45 minutes to start performing, and I could have been watching the Black Keys!?!? I don’t know how he convinced me to miss the Black Keys. The Black Keys need no summary – they’re the fucking Black Keys. Keepin’ the Blues Alive, thank god.

4. Lil Wayne – I wish it was 2006 Lil Wayne that was performing.

5. Mumford & Sons – Also returning for another year at Bonnaroo, and I didn’t see them last year. Better make sure I do this year.

6. The Strokes – Rock Band… Enough Said.

7. Bassnectar – Gotta get my ravin’ in.

8. Girl Talk – Anyone who can give up being a biomedical engineer to keep making music better be making some fat beats. And Greg Gillis is consistently making fat beats. I started listening to Girl Talk when Feed the Animals came out (thank you DonnyBagg). There isn’t a Girl Talk track I don’t like. I should be posting all of his albums in entirety on here if you haven’t listened to Girl Talk, but if you haven’t listened to Girl Talk, you more than likely live under a rock and aren’t reading this post anyway.

9. Primus – Les Claypool is a god.

10. Pretty Lights – Missed them in Omaha and Minneapolis earlier this year. Won’t happen this summer.

11. Florence + the Machine – Her voice is fantasmic.

12. Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punk, Yes Please.

13. Wiz Khalifa – Gotta give it up to the newest star in rap. I have a feeling that Wiz might start falling off soon, but I hope not. Hopefully he got the Snoop Dogg collab thing out of his system. Taylor Gang or spend the night at Chris Benoit’s house.

14. Sleigh Bells – Someone told me (this weekend) that Sleigh Bells apparently isn’t very good live? I hope this proves itself wrong. Indie genius.

15. !!! – I first heard this band 4 years ago compliments of DonnyBagg’s older brother, DickBagg. I think the reason they’ve stayed fairly under the radar is that it is almost impossible to find them on the internet unless you know what you’re looking for.

Bands I will try not to miss:

Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket, Robert Plant, Explosions in the Sky, STS9, Greg Allman, Big Boi, Scissor Sisters, The Decemberists, Ratatat, Deerhunter, Bootsy Collins and the Funk University, Bela Fleck, Cold War Kids, Shpongle, Phosphorescent, Beats Antique, Freelance Whales.

Yum, definitely worth it.

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Nic Cage Terror Alert Levels

Learn ’em.

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Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor

About two weeks ago I was walking to a local grocery store and mistook some random lady for a friend of mine. I waved to her, vigorously, and when she saw me waving she looked down and started walking faster … away from me. At first I was overcome with embarrassment, but soon that subsided and gave way to curiosity. Why was her initial reaction to run away? Yes, obviously because she didn’t know me, but what’s the deeper reason? I don’t resemble a serial killer, and if I were a serial killer, I certainly wouldn’t be waving; drawing attention to myself.

Another embarrassing situation happened a mere two days ago. It was snowing (yes in late April) and I was walking when a car pulled up right beside me, I thought it was a friend of mine going to give me a ride, but no, it was just a person parking their car on the side of the street. Upon entering the car the driver shot me a look of extreme uncomfortable-ness (weirded out). As I exited I apologized profusely, but the same thought came back to me.  Was what I did really so wrong?

The answer is unequivocally YES. In both cases I would have reacted similarly (unless the social norm violators were attractive females, but that has more to do with reproduction, which as you will see is the exact opposite of my point.) So what’s the reoccurring theme in both stories? People don’t like strangers. From a very young age one is warned about stranger, as they should be, because strangers are f*cked-up. What I got from the stranger stories of my youth, is that most strangers, apparently, would like to molest and/or kill you. At minimum they wish you harm. This may apply to children more than adults, and in the case of a grown man being overtly friendly to kids he doesn’t know, yeah, he probably wants to do some messed-up stuff.

But here is the thing; everyone you don’t know is a stranger. We all fall into that category: you, me, the dude living down the street from you, even the hot sales clerk working at Kohl’s. So my point is: people don’t like strangers, strangers are just people = people don’t like other people.

And why should they? People suck. Seriously. People smell after a couple of days, people fart, and poop, and do all sorts of unseemly stuff. People can be ignorant, curl, annoying, just all-around assholes. I am writing this from a university computer lab, and in the time it has taken me to get this far I have already isolated three people who “suck.”


(a) dude across from me is reading something and intermittently laughing, obnoxiously loud (annoying).

(b) Man sitting to my right is spitting chew into a can (stupid).

(c) Woman who took spittoon mans place is relentlessly sipping from straw, when container is empty. Making that, that noise (stupid + annoying)

This may seem like I’m going in a strange direction, but stay with me. I first learned about viruses in seventh grade science class. That a virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only on the living cells of organisms. They replicate until they have used up all the cell has to offer, extensively killing the cell. In many cases the viruses that didn’t manage to spread, die with the cell. Sometime later I learned about Earth’s carrying capacity and how we humans have exceeded it.

I know it’s in our nature to assume that humans are super important, and that is backed up by many religions. But take a moment to look at the big picture, when I say that I mean literally pretend that you are very very big and the Earth is very very small; the size of a cell. Are we really that different from viruses?

I mean, if people hate other people, why do we allow so many of them the exist? Sure we do our fair share of killing each other, more than most species, but is it enough? I mean what is the point of this:

The great philosopher Bill Burr offers a solution to our planets population problem in the first six minutes of this video:

I am going to take his idea a step further, and here I must distinguish myself from the other contributors to this blog. The opinions about to be expressed are strictly those of Michael Keaton, and do not reflect the views of my counterparts, nor this blog.

We should start proactively killing people. It has worked in the past. Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476) was dealing with a declining economy due to a sickness spreading though towns. So he took all of the poor, and the sick from a town, locked them in a building and burned it down. Voilà immediate economic upturn, and drastic reduction in overall spread of sickness.

I’m certainly not suggesting anything that harsh. I am simply suggesting we impose a standardized test, testing a modicum of basic intelligence. Done when an individual reaches 25 (I’m not dead-set on the age (no pun intended (but pun intended))), to decimate the idiot population.
Now I know when required test taking comes up, it hearkens back to Jim Crow days, and I want to make it perfectly clear I’m not talking about any unfair tests to weed out people that upset me, namely:

People who say chillax without intending it to be said ironically

Those who wear pajama pant all day, for multiple days in a row (excluding the unemployed)

Adult men who, of their own volition, watch the TV series GLEE

The test would be truly simple, more a measure of one’s social idiosyncrasies than anything else. I, of course, would also be subjected to it. I could even see giving the mentally disabled a pass, seeing that they can perform menial tasks.

Also there would need to be some sort of reporting center, where one could call in idiots they know. A team of “Stupid Seekers” would then evaluate them to see if they are, in fact, worth cancelling (euphemism for killing). Because the standardized tests are not fool-proof (pun). As you may know: some idiot’s are actually quite smart. I mean that one guy with the chew can made it into college, along with hundreds of country music fans.

I know people will draw comparisons between my Stupid Seekers, and Nazi S.S. and Gestapo. However, I’d like to point out that they are not similar, and in the words of the Forrest Gump (who would defiantly not be killed) “that’s all I have to say about that.” Everyone knows that Hitler was a horrible monster of a man, but I am nothing like him. I’m not proposing the singling out a certain race or religion. Look, I’m not some megalomaniac hell bent on blaming others for all the wrongs in the world, unlike Hitler; I’m just trying to make a perfect world.

Sure, you might say I’m a fascist, because my policy seems in step with those of fascists. But am I a fascist? No, I’m a dreamer; that has superior connotations.

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Unarguably this lady (Sophia Gould) is hot, and must be looking for complements: probably why she linked her pictures to the “Addicted to the Office” Facebook group. While I don’t entirely understand why girls are uploading pictures of themselves to this group, I also don’t frown upon it. I do have to say her pictures are, by no means, my favorite part; it’s the comments people have made on her pictures that are the real winners here.

A lot of generic platitudes, some women are mad at her in foreign languages

the 2nd one says in turkish::"there san Variac," in Hungarian "watch san Vary," and in Romanian "oradea breast Vary." so you take ur pick

most men are hitting on her in what they must consider to be clever ways, but are mostly just vulgar.I don’t quite understand why she would open herself up to the onslaught of nasty comments, but I’m glad she did, because some of them made me chuckle. Mainly this one:

authored by none other than Nesh Kutty. This post confounds me; does Nesh actually want to lick her ass? Probably, but wouldn’t he have more luck achieving his goal with a less direct route? Maybe show some congeniality, or at least worked a little harder on his English for this post. I mean, of the 5 words he chose to use to convey his message, he misspelled 2 equating to 40% of his overall message.

Did he imagine a scenario where he gets a late night response from her: “Nesh, I WAN SO DESPERATELY FOR U 2 LIK MY ASS, I BUY PLANE TICKETS TOMORROW LUV SOPHIA!”

Whatever his motive, good for him at least he’s putting himself out there, albeit with the least possible ramifications, but he is still to be commended. He is looking for love, or at least he’s being honest about his carnal desires. You go Nesh, keep making the world/internet a worse place for civilized people. And a special thank you Sophia, without who’s self-exploitation I might have spent the time it took to write this post doing something productive, but with no smile. Gracias!

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DBDB Top 250 Four: Salvation or The Planet of the Earth

Abre los ojos, abre los ojos, open your eyes. We are getting closer and closer to that number one spot (and being done with writing these pointless articles). This is likely to be the most contentional film on my list of top five favorites. It scored a dismal 40% on RT and a 6.9/10 on IMDB. Unfortunately, I love it nonetheless. By the way, for anyone who hasn’t realized what my title means yet, it is suppose to stand for the DonnyBagg Database. Overly (or underly) elaborate and unfunny, I know but you will just have to deal with it or navigate to another website… wait don’t go, I didn’t mean that, we really need more viewers. I am quite sure the only person who reads our blog regularly is American Patriot and he hates all of us. Let’s get back to business.

2. Vanilla Sky (Crowe, 2001)

Alright there are a couple of things I could talk about here. I did a little research1 to find out what exactly people hated about Vanilla Sky. Obviously because movies for the most part are subjective, I disagreed with everything they had to say. Here is a list of things people did not like about this film in no particular order. David Aames is unsympathetic, how so? He is handsome and narcissistic; a bit, but if he lost his sight I wouldn’t fault him for sparing no expense to regain it. He takes his job, women, and friends for granted; perhaps, but he is not malicious. David supports his friend, Brian (Jason Lee), while in the process of writing a novel and gives his lawyer, Thomas (Timothy Spall), a raise and new office when he thinks he is going to be put out to pasture. He even gives Julie (Cameron Diaz) the courtesy of a conversation after she has clearly been stalking him. He does very little harm and in return loses so much. I personally felt a great deal of sympathy towards the character, and I find it almost unfathomable that people had the exact opposite interpretation.

I continued to dig and found out that Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz can’t act and have no chemistry. I have previously stated that I have no idea what constitutes good acting and bad acting but I know it when I see it. My untrained radar was unable to spot any bad acting throughout this movie. I have watched Tom Cruise in 23 films (wait…that can’t be right that seems way too high, nope 23 is right) and think that in at least 8 of them he does an outstanding job. Despite not being nominated for an Oscar in the last 11 years (and going through a bit of a crazy streak), I still find him to be an enjoyable actor to watch. Cruise crushes it in Magnolia2 (Anderson, 1999) and Collateral3 (Mann, 2004). He also puts up great performances in Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002), Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick, 1999), Mission: Impossible (De Palma, 1996), and Interview with the Vampire (Jordan, 1994). The only movies I really didn’t like him in were his most famous; Top Gun (T. Scott, 1986), A Few Good Men (Reiner, 1992), and Jerry McGuire (Crowe, 1996). This, of course, can easily be attributed to taste. I liked the movies in which he did a good job and hated the movies in which he did a poor job. His earlier work seems to be too dated and cheesy for me to take seriously, also campy (am I allowed to use that term?). He may not be the best but he is far from the worst. I would also like to mention that he steals the show in Tropic Thunder (Stiller, 2008), I had hoped that this performance would change the publics perception of him and invigorate his career like Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994) did for John Travolta but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I am too uneducated and biased to say for certain whether or not he is a good actor, but in my opinion I find him enjoyable. As for Penelope Cruz, she is beautiful and amazing so fuck you for thinking otherwise4. Plus she shows her knobs, what more do you want from her? I am not sure if it is possible to quantify “chemistry” in any certain terms but it appears to be almost completely subjective so if I am speaking out of school when I write about good acting, chemistry would be absolute speculation for me.

A further look into these criticisms revealed that Cameron Crowe’s writing and directing were both pompous and overly ambitious, I disagree. For having been around since the 80’s, Crowe has very few titles to his name. This isn’t a criticism, it just means I can only compare Vanilla Sky to Almost Famous (Crowe, 2000), Jerry Mcguire, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling, 1982). I own a copy of Almost Famous but I haven’t watched it in quite some time, from what I recall it was fairly impressive. I saw Jerry Mcguire for the first time about two years ago and Fast Times at Ridgemont High a couple months back, neither of which impressed me to much extent. So as far as his writing and directing go, Vanilla Sky leads the pack by a notable margin. It does take a detour away from his normal canon but from my perspective this appears to be a plus. Critics say that the movie tries to do too much, gets muddled, and fails miserably in its conclusion. It does try to be quite a bit of things at the same time. It incorporates aspects of the drama, romance, thriller, and science fiction genres. It touches on themes varying from the perils of vanity and arrogance, to a fall from grace, to distinguishing dreams from reality, to finding true love, to I am sure many others. It achieves all of these items competently, some more than others, but this can hardly be attributed to Crowe since all of this was taken from the Spanish original, El Amor Prohibito5. As far as composition is concerned, I think Crowe takes a bit of each element, mixes them together, and produces a cohesive and unique story. I am unsure whether people consider it to be muddled half way through because it keeps shuffling between past and present, dream and reality, and Julia and Sophia but, if I am recalling the single film appreciation class I took five years ago correctly, directors do that to give the audience the same sense of confusion and psychosis that David is feeling. I don’t remember if it has a name but I’m fairly certain that’s what it is. If they consider it muddled for that reason, I heartily disagree. If they consider it muddled for any other reason, I regularly disagree. The conclusion is the conclusion. For people who didn’t like it or don’t think it pays off enough then there is really no argument to make.

Finally, the most prevalent criticism of Vanilla Sky is that it is the poor mans version of Abre Los Ojos (Amenabar, 1997). I had to watch Abre Los Ojos again to see just how it stacks up against Vanilla Sky. Then 10 minutes in I remembered it is a shot for shot remake. There are very few and very subtle differences. Cesar is a bit more of a dick than David. Nuria is a bit more of a psycho than Julie. Other than that the stories are indiscernible. Vanilla Sky is just much much more aesthetically pleasing. It has probably the best sound track I have ever heard for a movie, it is in English so the characters are easier to connect with, and it flows together much more smoothly, Crowe made tiny edits to some of the dialogue but it makes all the difference in the world when you are comparing the two. Or it makes no difference. Yes maybe it makes no difference and I have been rambling on for far too long. So I give it:

9 out of 5 of the saddest girls in the world to ever hold martinis

Just a fair warning to anyone out there, the next person to tell me that Abre Los Ojos is better than Vanilla Sky is going to get kicked right in the fucking teeth. A couple years back, in a philosophy class I took, I brought up Vanilla Sky while we were discussing brain in the vat theory. The teaching assistant condescendingly said that I probably hadn’t heard of it but Vanilla Sky was actually based on a Spanish original that was much better and proceeds to cut me off without allowing for a rebuttal. At the end of class, I walked up to her and knocked her incisors down the back of her throat with my size [insert standard shoe size] Pumas. I either did that or I said nothing, brooded about it for the rest of the day, completely forgot about it, and got my revenge years later by posting it on a blog. It has been so long I can’t remember which one it was. What is happiness to you? Because to me, this is happiness, being done writing this article.


[2] “I will drop-kick those fucking dogs if they come near me.” Frank T.J. Mackey

[3] “No, I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him.” Vincent

[4] A thoroughly formulated, well articulated, eloquent, and logical argument I must admit

[5] The love that is forbidden

[6] I have decided to dabble in annotations

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DBDB Top 250 III: Rise of the Machines or The Dark of the Moon

The wait is over folks. What’s that? No one has been waiting? Okay. Well the time has come then. The third part in my five part series counting down my favorite films has arrived. So far I have listed two fairly popular movies made by well-known American directors now it is time to get a little more obscure and a lot more foreign. This addition I would consider to be my “hipster” film that shows people how much more unique (impossible) and cool (improper) and better-than-you I am. If you only see one Oscar award winning…Japanese anime film…from 2002…directed by Hayao Miyazaki this year, make sure it is this…

3. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi [Spirited Away] (Miyazaki, 2002)

…because otherwise you definitely have the wrong movie, I mean seriously that was extremely specific, it really can’t be anything else. For the most part, people tend to get pretty skeptical when I mention that one of my all time favorite films is a Japanese anime. Here is a sample conversation of the events:

Person1:           “O you watch a lot of movies, me too – what are some of your favorites?”

DonnyBagg:     “Well I am a big fan of the Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki, his film Spirited Away is one my all time favorites, it is about a 10 year old girl whose parents get turned into pigs and she…”

Person1:           *rolls eyes and walks away*

This sort of result is natural because for the average viewer anything besides mainstream American cinema is an acquired taste. It is a hard bias to overcome and I have to admit it took me quite some time to be able to enjoy anything not made in the United States within the past 20 years. I believe Spirited Away is a great primer for people trying to get into Asian cinema. It is entertaining, visually stunning, and for the illiterate they have a dubbed version that is equally enjoyable (if you are watching the dubbed version of any other foreign film then you are doing it wrong). Not only do I not recommend it, but it would also be very challenging for a person to jump right into a Kurosawa film such as Rashomon (1950) or Ikiru (1952) and take anything away from the experience besides a jar full of tears of boredom. These cinematic prejudices are important to get over considering foreign films (and films in general) have so much to offer. I do not want to over emphasize the importance of movies but it seems as though many people tend to under emphasize their importance. Their main focus is more often than not entertainment, but they are also able to inform viewers about a certain topic, provide insight into other lives and cultures, preserve history, present things from a unique perspective, and much more. Many great films can achieve all of these functions simultaneously. It would be my hope that more films could focus on providing more than just 90 minutes of mindless entertainment. Instead of product placement they could insert information placement, where in spite of your best efforts they still manage to teach you something (even for me, that seems a bit Orwellian). I personally attribute a great deal of my cursory knowledge and opinions of obscure and numerous topics to the massive amount of films I have watched from around the globe. Perhaps this bias is only my perception and experience, and people choose not to watch these films because they are boring. I am certainly not claiming to know everything (or anything) on this topic, simply presenting my opinion.

Speaking of opinions, I hate Pixar. They are consistently considered the top echelon in animated film making. Not only do they receive the highest accolades in their field, they gross disgusting amounts of money. Now I cannot say that I have hated any of their films individually, but compared to Miyazakis work they look like childish garbage (is it still irony if I understand the humor of a grown man, while in the process of debating the merits of children’s cartoons, accuses one of being too childish? was it even irony in the first place?). I cannot even really fault them for making loads of money, appealing to both adults and children is a rare combination. Damnit, I just realized this is the same thing that happened with Unstoppable (T. Scott, 2010). I hate them more for the soul reason that people love them so much. There has to be a word for this phenomenon. They are okay movies but for fucks sake an average of 97% on RT for 10 films (this does not include Cars (Lasseter, 2006) because not only is it the only Pixar film I haven’t watched, it is a clear statistical outlier). Do you know who can average a score that high? God damn nobody, that’s who, it is impossible. Miyazaki has an average of 93%, which is probably too high as well, but picture for picture his films have more to offer. Maybe there is an argument to be made that if a person enjoyed the films made by Pixar then they will love the films made by Miyazaki and vice versa, but I really don’t believe that would be the case. Maybe the two are mutually exclusive; if you enjoyed the films made by Pixar then you don’t have what it takes to appreciate the films made by Miyazaki, and if you enjoyed the films made by Miyazaki then you can’t be properly impressed with the films made by Pixar. Maybe I have sucked you into reading 900 words that have nothing to do with how great a movie Spirited Away is, I don’t know.

Speaking of having nothing to do with how great a movie Spirited Away is, Hayao Miyazaki may very well be my favorite director but he also happens to be a pretty interesting person to boot. Often referred to as the Walt Disney of Japan (I can only assume because of his hatred for the Jews), Miyazaki creates stories that are rarely told in American cinema. A large number of his films center around strong young female leads, as opposed to having women play more of a supporting role. Villains usually turn out to be justifiably sympathetic and morally ambiguous if not all together nonexistent. He tends to shy away from classical good versus evil stories yet still manages to provide conflict and resolution. Miyazaki is very critical of capitalism and a strong supporter of the environment and these views frequently present themselves in his movies. His characters continuously try to find pacifistic ways of solving their problems and he went as far as personally refusing to attend the Academy Awards in 2003, the year Spirited Away won, because of the United States war in Iraq. He is a brilliant animator and storyteller, and all around intriguing and respectable person. For none of the reasons I mentioned in this article I give it:

7.5 out of 5 bathhouse tokens

Although I doubt anyone is still reading this, I would just like to clarify my earlier hipster remark. I didn’t add this movie to my list to be unique and cool (that is why I write on this blog though), I considered this to be one of my favorite movies long before the term hipster was repopularized. I do however enjoy that this movie adds a bit of spice (that spice being wasabi, I believe) to my top five because the other four are all centered on white guys from the ages of 20-35. Unless I am forgetting something that about wraps things up. Did I talk about why Spirited Away is so enjoyable? Good.

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