List of San Jose Sharks Playoff Chokes

•February 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

In Today’s NHL, no team has become so legendary for blowing it during the playoffs than the San Jose Sharks. Sure, there have been teams in the NHL plus other sports franchises who also had that reputation of making great teams but always losing when it counted during their history, such as their division rival Ducks in recent years (though they have one Stanley Cup under their belt), the Kings during the Dionne through Gretzky years, the Lakers in the 1960s, the Brooklyn Dodgers before 1955, the Boston Red Sox between 1919 and 2004, the Buffalo Bills four straight Super Bowl losses, and many others, but over the last decade it seems that the Sharks have made such a big reputation for blowing it during the playoffs that it’s impossible for hockey fans NOT to say “the sharks choke in the playoffs.”

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Let’s get one thing out of the way. I hate the Sharks. As a Southern California native who supports all local teams, I am not only bred to hate every team from Northern California, I have grown up doing so, even as far as hating all the NorCal teams I played against while growing up playing ice hockey. While I do respect the history and stories of the longtime franchises, I will NEVER cheer for a Northern California team, and I don’t care what sport it’s in.  It’s one thing to be from the Bay Area living as a transplant, but it totally baffles me seeing so many native-born SoCal people that despise their local teams and love the Sharks instead. Sure, some people absolutely despise everything associated with L.A. and/or will never get over the Disney movie roots of the Ducks, but when it comes to jumping on the Sharks bandwagon instead of their local teams, often times their reasons are, “well I like Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Patrick Marleau; they’re my favorite players” or “because they are a really good team and fun to watch,” all the way down to “I like their colors.” However, aside from the few that I’m actually friends with, most Sharks fans I’ve encountered do not share the same knowledge and love of the sport as I do, but then again the same can be said about fans of the team of your choice. But to me, the Sharks fans in attendance get really annoying due to their constant booing and whining over calls not going their way, even at their own players when they lose. When I go to games when the Sharks are visiting, many times the fans I’ve encountered have been downright obnoxious and disrespectful, and don’t know when to shut their mouths at games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHHEUsaqE6k

One time I dated this girl who said she was a big Sharks fan, so we went to a game in Anaheim when the Sharks were in town, and she couldn’t name a single player on the Sharks roster, and one couldn’t imagine how much I poked fun at her for that all through the game. Even though the Sharks won that game it didn’t matter, the Ducks fans kept taunting the Sharks fans over their epic playoff choke in 2009, saying “first round chokers!” *clap* *clap* *clap clap clap.*

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Sure, over the past two decades, they have easily been the most successful of the California franchises during the regular season, winning the division 6 times, the president’s trophy once, boasting rosters of strong skaters and potential future hall of fame players, and having more post season appearances than their So-Cal rivals. But their regular season success was always washed away when it came to playoff time. After being underdogs for so long, starting in 2001-02 id when their reputation as playoff chokers took center stage. Year after year they had all the makings of a championship caliber team: big name veteran superstars, great depth teams with decent coaching staff, strong high scoring offense, great defenseman, and great goaltending. When I can get over the fact I hate the Sharks more than I love my local teams, they can be fun to watch, and especially during the regular season, look downright scary to the other teams and their fans. They also have a home attendance that’s regarded around the league as among the loudest crowds (mostly due to the acoustics and low roof of the SAP Center) and thus one of the toughest arenas for visiting teams to play in. Therefore, It’s no surprise that so many experts pick the Sharks as favorites to win it all year after year.

But come playoff time, have managed to lose in every way possible, and just when you thought they couldn’t lose a certain way, there is always that one year it happens. Getting swept or losing series in 5 games; Losing three to four straight games after getting the series lead; Blowing leads in big games that turn the tide; Blowing series when they were on the brink of eliminating their opponents and moving on; losing to much lower seeded teams and sometimes getting dominated by them; there’s also been games with bad luck going their way, or even bad Karma due to their idiot fans in attendance, or incidents involving certain players cheating and getting away with it. It doesn’t matter what round it’s in, the chokes are all humiliating in their own way.

The following list is all their postseason chokes starting in 2002. Why not earlier? Because between 1991-2001, they were underdogs, and not seen as this big powerhouse franchise in the league, and not expected to go far. Sure they have a few playoff upsets of elite teams under their belt in those days, but to most fans, it was clear they themselves were not a championship caliber team. That changed as soon as the Sharks started finishing near the top of the standings, and winning division titles. Then in 2005 when Boston decided Joe Thornton wasn’t worth the money he was getting paid and traded him to San Jose, that’s when everyone started going “oh no, look out for Jumbo Joe and San Jose!”

I will also give my input on why it was a playoff choke, and have also given my score by how bad the choke in question was. The lowest being “ehh, whatever” and the highest being “Holy mother of God, what a choke!”

2001-02 -Lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the second round

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Why was it a choke?  They won their first of 6 division titles here, and seemed to have it all going in thanks to superstars like Vinnie Damphousse, Owen Nolan, and Teemu Selanne before his first freefall into healthy scratches. While they made easy work of the Coyotes in the first round, the Sharks battled to a 3-2 series lead against the Avalanche, but with a chance to close it out, lost Game 6 at home in overtime, and couldn’t recover for Game 7. The Avalanche were defending champions, and were still near the top of their game, so maybe it was expected that the Avalanche would move on. Little did we know this was a hint of things to come for the San Jose franchise.
Choke Level: 3

2002-2003 – Did not Make Playoffs

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Why Was it a Choke: You can’t choke in the playoffs if you don’t make the playoffs. All they did was miss the playoffs for the first time in 6 seasons. However, they were also one of the worst teams in the league that year, so… yeah… whatever. Can’t beat a dead horse.
Choke Level: 1

2003-2004 – Lost in Third Round to the Calgary Flames

Why was it a Choke?: While they made easy work of the Blues and Avalanche in the first two rounds, against the Flames it was a different story. After losing the first two games at home, the Sharks had just clawed their way back into the series with two road victories in Calgary, and it looked like all the momentum was on their side for Game 5 at home. Then they gave up a shorthanded goal early in the game and it was all done from there. They got shut out 3-0 at home for game 5, and in game 6 had a great opportunity to tie the game in the waning seconds, but the set up pass missed Jonathan Cheechoo’s stick and went all the way into the Sharks empty net to put one more final nail in the coffin. Some say this loss was retribution for their fans booing during the Canadian National Anthem before Game 5. By the way, who was the coach of the Flames that year? Why it was former Sharks coach Darryl Sutter, who had just been replaced by Ron Wilson the year before.
Choke Level: 8

2004-05: NHL Lockout

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Why was this a choke: nobody played that year, so nobody was given the chance. Maybe they were practicing the art on the golf courses. Since nobody could agree on stupid money issues, and save the season, everyone choked that year, and nearly ruined the league. Even today with all the changes there are groups of fans and former players who say the NHL nowadays is nothing more than a glorified adult league.
Choke Level: 0

2005-06: Lost in the Second Round to the Edmonton Oilers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxVihV8c5rg

Why was this a choke?: This was the year Joe Thornton not only was traded to San Jose, but won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross trophy as the league MVP and top scorer respectively. Jonathan Cheechoo also got the Rocket Richard trophy for getting the most goals scored. Once again, it looked like the Sharks had it all and were on their way to go far in the playoffs. Because the Oilers were the lowest seed, and not expected to go much further, the Sharks were predicted to steamroll their way to the finals. But after going up two games to none, it seemed like the Sharks were doomed, losing in triple overtime for Game 3, blowing an early 3-1 lead in game 4 by allowing Edmonton to score 5 unanswered goals, and after that it was all Oilers on their way to winning four straight games after going down 0-2. Losing four straight to a low seeded team is pretty much just as bad as getting swept altogether. but in all fairness, the run made by the Oilers that year was something nobody saw coming.
Choke Level: 6

2006-07 : Lost in the second round to Detroit Red Wings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuxmAeLtXTM

Why was this a choke?: Both teams were predicted to be heavy favorites to win the Cup that year, but I distinctly remember several big sites like Yahoo! saying the Sharks were going to win it all. It looked that way in the second round when the Sharks were up 2 games to 1 against the Red Wings. Game 4 in San Jose saw the Sharks up 2-0, only to blow the lead, with the tying goal going in with less than a minute remaining; then they lost in overtime to even the series. I remember watching this game at home and thinking “yup, I knew it, it was only a matter of time before they’d blow it in the playoffs.” and sure enough, my prediction came true: Detroit then dominated and outscored San Jose 6-1 over the next two games to win the series. Here the Sharks lost three straight games after going up in the series and having a chance to get a stranglehold on the series, but the two bad goals they let in during Game 4 was the beginning of the end… still a big choke but not as bad as losing four straight the year before.
Choke Level: 5

2007-08 – Lost in the second round to the Dallas Stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuxmAeLtXTM

Why was this a choke?: This may be the closest playoff loss that wasn’t really considered a choke, since they faced off against a Dallas team that was red hot riding off their eliminating the Stanley Cup Champion in the first round. Dallas won the first three games, two of which went to OT. The Sharks won games 4 and 5 to shift the momentum back, but in game 6, the game went into four overtones before the Stars won the game and eliminated the Sharks. The only way it could be considered a choke was the fact that there was an 11 point difference in regular season standings between the two teams, and San Jose had the higher seed and was the second best team in the league during the regular season.
Choke Level: 2

2008-09 – Lost 4-2 in the first round to the Anaheim Ducksurl
Why was this a choke?: The Sharks were the best team in the regular season that year, and many sports experts considered them Cup favorites because of that. The Ducks had just clawed their way into the playoffs and barely made the 8th and final spot. There was a 26 point difference between the two teams. The Ducks won the first two games in the road in front of a stunned and silent San Jose crowd. While the Sharks eventually woke up and got two wins of their own, in game 6, the Ducks flat out dominated the Sharks on their way to a 4-1 win. Not only that, the game opened with Joe Thornton getting in a fight with Ryan Getzlaf, something I’ll probably never see again. I was at this game, and the look on all the Sharks fans faces was absolutely priceless as the Ducks celebrated their win. The Sharks simply managed to further prove my claim that winning the Presidents Trophy is a kiss of death for the playoffs… most of the time.
Choke Level: 9

2009-10 – Lost 4-0 in the third round to the Chicago Blackhawks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0sIvrPVtMg

Why was this a choke?: San Jose won the Pacific Division title once again during the regular season, and pretty much steamrolled their way to the Conference Finals with an 8-3 record during the first two rounds. They even managed to recover from a potential first round choke-job against Colorado after going down 2-1 in the series by scoring on their own net in overtime. The Blackhawks had just one more loss, and were also equally as dominant. With the playoff experience of the Sharks and the surge upstart of the Blackhawks, that should’ve made one hell of a seven game Conference Final right? Nope… Chicago flat out swept San Jose. Sure, The Blackhawks only outscored them 11-7 over their four meetings, but the Sharks had three games where they scored first, and one game where they were up 2-0 but then blew the lead and the game. Of course fans will say “but they lost to the Cup Champion that year, shouldn’t that amount for something?” Not if your team is constantly picked to win it all. The Sharks had been making the postseason consistently since 2004, and at that time Chicago was among the worst teams in the league and golfing during the postseason up until 2008-09. You’re not supposed to lose to a young playoff squad like that, especially when you’re supposed to have the experience and the advantage.
Choke Level: 7

2010-2011 – Lost4-1 in the third round to the Vancouver CanucksChicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five
Why was this a choke?: Once again this was supposed to be their year. After all, they aquired Anti Niemi from the Champion Blackhawks, and had more strength on their roster with guys like Joe Pavelski and Dany Heatley. However, there were two other playoff rounds in 2011 the Sharks almost choked but found a way to win. The first round was against an Anze Kopitar-less Los Angeles Kings who blew a major lead in game 3, and couldn’t capitalize on a 5 minute major penalty in overtime for game 6… In short a Kings team that refused to win. The second round the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead against the Red Wings but still won game 7 at home. The third round was a match up against the  Canucks, another  perennial playoff choker throughout their 40+ year existence (don’t get me started on their own choke-job in the 2011 Finals vs Boston), but since the Sharks had been in the third round the year before and had more playoff experience over the last decade than the Canucks, surely they’d figure out how to win the big games far in the playoffs, right? Nope. The Canucks beat them in 5 games, with the fifth game seeing the Sharks blow the lead with less than 20 seconds left and lose in the second overtime. Not as much of a choke as against the Blackhawks, but still significant none the less.
Choke Level: 6

2011-2012 – Lost 4-1  in the first round to the St. Louis Blues

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Why was this a choke?: Going into the playoffs, the Sharks got away with an incident versus the Kings where Ryane Clowe was cheating by trying to reach for the puck from inside the bench, and really pissed off the Kings fans in the crowd. So it was figured that karma would once again happen in the playoffs, right? Yep. The Sharks won the first game in overtime, but after that it was all St. Louis controlling the series, only allowing 5 goals over the next four games and winning them all to eliminate San Jose. The Blues just showed they were simply better. For the Sharks, it wasn’t their biggest choke, but it surely didn’t help their reputation either.
Choke Level: 5

2012-2013 – Lost 4-3 in the second round to the Los Angeles Kings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1Dj3j38gAY

Why was this a choke?: The Sharks beat the crap out of the Canucks in the first round, but even Canucks fans themselves claimed that the Sharks beating them in 2013 was “the equivalent of stepping on dog poop.” The Kings were defending champions, but clearly not the dominant invincible team they were the year before. In Game 2 with a chance to tie the series, the Sharks blew a late game lead due to penalty trouble. They eventually did tie the series at home because the Kings were terrible on the road in 2013, but I remember being at game 5 in L.A. during a moment of silence for tornado victims in Oklahoma, one idiot yelled “let’s go Sharks!” And at that exact moment I knew the Kings would win the series, which they eventually did in 7 games thanks to Jonathan Quick absolutely robbing the Sharks out of a game tying goal. Once again wasn’t their biggest choke, but this was the time I started hearing the familiar phrase not just from local fans but around the NHL. But it did make the playoff rivalry more heated.
Choke Level: 6

2013-2014 – Lost 4-3 to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round

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Why was this a choke?: oh I don’t know… How about BLOWING A 3-0 SERIES LEAD?! And not just to any team, but to their most hated rivals in Los Angeles?! The Sharks flat out dominated the Kings in the first two games, and it wasn’t even funny: out scoring L.A. 13-5. To say I was distraught was the least you could describe how I felt as those games went on. The Kings finally showed up for Game 3, but still lost in OT due to a lucky bounce off Patrick Marleau. I remember on Facebook my Sharks fan ex taunted the Kings saying “this just in the Kings finally show up To the game and they still suck!” I threw my phone across the room in disgust, just mad that once again it looked like the Kings would lose to their most hated rival. Then something happened… The Kings won the next four games, out scoring them 18-5, including a 3-0 shutout in Game 5, and a 5-1 schooling session in Game 7 in San Jose. Talk about a complete turnaround! If the Sharks reputation as chokers wasn’t legendary before then, it surely was after that series. The ridicule that I saw coming from fans around the NHL I finally saw, thanks to meme after meme.
Choke Level: 10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G6gNcb0GDM

So there you have it, the current list of all the playoff chokes that the Sharks have done. As this current NHL season is going on, and teams are fighting for their playoff spots, only time will tell if the Sharks can get it together at all, or if they finally miss out on the playoffs and potentially spare their fans another playoff choke job.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYvRsHYOhaw

Disaster Movies

•January 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

By this title, I don’t mean movies that were disasters of themselves, I mean movies that are about disaster. Why am I talking about them? Because I consider myself a fan, and a guilty one at that, of these types of movies. Don’t get me wrong, a huge chunk of them are nothing short of cheesy and stupid, but at the same time they’re a guilty pleasure, and sometimes, and I mean very seldom we will get one that’s actually considered good. Sometimes it’s hard to categorize a “disaster flick” because there are so many scenarios, ranging from natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, etc. all the way to alien invasions, crazy people causing havoc, or just in general, bad things happening to good people. Even movies that have disasters and catastrophe in it aren’t necessarily considered “disaster flicks.” But I do feel there are distinct characteristics.

In this video I will be talking MOSTLY about natural disaster films with maybe a couple exceptions, but I acknowledge that alien invasion films, monster movies, zombie films, and even man-made disaster movies can fall into the same category, especially when it comes to how the movies are played out. Movies like Independence Day and War of the Worlds? Yes, at least I think so because they focus a good amount of time on the crap being blown up by aliens part. Movies like Battle:LA and Pacific Rim? No. Those are more alien/monster WAR films than disaster movies.

So what do you need to fill the criteria of a disaster movie?

First and foremost, you gotta have something really bad happen, whatever it is. That’s pretty obvious, don’t you think?

Second, the “something bad” clearly has to be defined as “yes, that is a really bad disaster. A single home fire that affects a family of 4? Sure there is some drama and maybe a good story behind it, but is that a disaster? No.

A hotel fire that kills dozens and affects hundreds to thousands more? Yes, absolutely.

3. That disaster has to be the star of the movie. I don’t care if it is a returned Jesus Christ or a resurrected Ghandi in a starring movie role, in a disaster flick, the DISASTER is the star! It’s what is built up the whole time, and what we are paying to see!

Sure, you’ll have movies set against the background of a real life disaster that happened, like the Titanic for instance, and the film would not necessarily be a disaster flick if the focus is more about the victims and survivors and the disaster itself is an afterthought, but it pretty much depends on the film. Some movies about the Titanic spend little time about the ship sinking and more about the characters and people involved, while with James Cameron’s Titanic, yes it is almost a 3-hour chick flick, but all through the movie the focus is more on the ship itself: it opens with the acknowledgement that it sank, has this whole story arc with treasure hunters finding the ship, and all through the movie there are factoids being inserted by present-day characters as the story progresses, and the last half of the movie is the Titanic sinking, and it’s filled with scenes of chaos. You can pretty much watch the last hour and a half and still feel like you watched a satisfying disaster movie about the Titanic without even having to get sucked into that build up love story featuring Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet…

Now when I’m talking about disaster movies, do I sometimes mean apocalyptic films? Well, it usually depends if the disaster is on a global scale and the film focuses a great deal of time building up to it.  But do I consider movies focusing more on the aftermath and only glimpses at the global catastrophe, like 28 Days Later, in the same categories? no. You also have doomsday movies like Seeking a Friend for the End of the World or Melancholia which I do not put in the same category because they are way more about the drama involving the characters and what they do while the end of the world is in the background and heavily implied… although at least Melancholia has THIS scene at the end….

These movies have been around since the dawn of cinema, and they’re not going away anytime soon. Movies like The Poseidon Adventure (the original, not the remake), the original War of the Worlds, plus The Towering Inferno and some of the Titanic movies are among the most famous films of all time; hell, James Cameron’s Titanic won 11 academy awards and at one point was the highest grossing film of all time~ It was one of the few movies I actually saw in the movie theater more than once!

But while there truly are some diamonds in the rough so to speak, as a fan of the genre itself we have to sift through piles and piles of crap, including some of the more infamous movies like Michael Bay’s Armaggedon, every disaster movie made by Roland Emmerich, and a bunch of movies from the 1970s that were made during the genre’s heyday. You have the science fiction movies of the 1950s and 60s that most of which do not hold up to today’s standards simply because of it being outdated, but the original Godzilla, War of the Worlds, When Worlds Collide, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, and The Devil at 4:00 still pop up as being relevant and very impressive for their time.

In the 70s there were a TON of them, starting with the Airport movies (which later became spoofed by the more successful and really funny movie Airplane), The Poseidon Adventure movies, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, all into the early 80s when people got tired of the same thing… and it wasn’t until the mid 90s when special effects were able to look more realistic and make you really think the White House was really getting blown up. We have since then continued to have more of them, and they won’t stop anytime soon. Coming up we have San Andreas, starring the Rock, which I know I’ll go see, even though I know it will probably suck. But when you look past all that, even as cheesy as they can get, they’re still fun entertainment.

So Why do these movies typically suck?

1. For starts, these movies often have a huge cast featuring big name actors, and that’s usually a BAD thing. Sure, they may attract viewers because of their star power, but for these actors, doing movies like these are simply paychecks for them, and they often ACT like it’s just a paycheck and that it’s just a waste of time. It doesn’t matter what decade the film is in, somehow they attract these big names that usually do little to add, and are essentially second in billing and star attraction to the actual disaster of the movie. If the film is any good, it’s usually because the characters and story they are telling doesn’t suck.

But of course you have those movies who have all these separate characters who pretty much do not ever connect… ever, or if they do it’s very briefly at some point in the movie! You’ll have movies where a group of characters are doing one story, and then another couple group of characters are doing another, and eventually you have all these separate backstories and expositions to keep up with until you get to the film’s climactic disaster of choice. You just get to the point where you don’t care!

Armageddon has big names like Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clark Duncan, Owen Wilson: the list is too much to count! Sure they may all interact with each other throughout the film, but you have SO MANY characters trying to hog the screentime that you just don’t care who lives or who dies, and you just secretly hope the asteroid hits the earth anyway so everyone dies.

2. The second reason why these disaster movies suck is lots of times, the disaster itself is very underwhelming. This can be either because the effects don’t hold up due to being outdated, or are so loaded with CGI that it’s quite obvious these actors are in front of a green screen. Part of the thrill is feeling like you’re actually there trying to take cover from a giant earthquake in L.A. or running from a tidal wave in New York City. Now if it isn’t the disaster itself, it’s often the bad science fiction behind it. What makes good science fiction? Well, making it excitingly believable that it can happen. Take Star Wars for instance, we know that a lot of the space battles would never really happen the way they do in the movies, but it’s so well done that we don’t care. But if these movies look like very little effort is actually put into the science fiction behind the disaster, or it’s just too UNBELIEVABLE even if it’s supposed to be fake, or if it just doesn’t excite the viewer, then we get a very bland movie with nothing to offer.

3. Even if the effects are top notch, and the movie really does a good job with the big action scenes, Unfortunately, most movies cannot seem to get it right when it comes to the storytelling. We’ll have stuff either happen towards the beginning, and then the rest of the movie is the aftermath which leads to a generic plot resolution; or we will get the movie where we have to wait, and wait, and wait for something to happen, all while trying to keep up with all the 10,000 backstories going on, and waiting to see which story ends with the climax or which story resolves itself. Along that same category we’ll get the movie that has one single plotline that makes it seem like it’s an entirely different movie, and oh by the way there is a disaster going… I’m looking at you Pompeii!  Then of course we’ll get those movies where the entire movie is non-stop special effect shit being blown up or people dying or whatever, and it gets old too quickly because no story is even attempted at being told.

Let’s look an example of each, and wouldn’t you know it, Roland Emmerich managed to make all of them! Independence Day wasn’t terrible, but the movie opens pretty much with all these stereotypical characters played by Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, and dives right into their back-stories as if we’re supposed to care one way or another, and oh by the way here come the Aliens to fuck shit up. And while that’s happening we still need to follow ALL of them! The same exact thing happened with Godzilla as well.  The film Day After Tomorrow has pretty much all the best parts at the very beginning up to the first 30-45 minutes; I mean you have ice sheets breaking off, giant hailstorms, tornadoes in L.A., floods and storm surge tidal waves crashing through New York City, and a giant super blizzard cover the northern hemisphere in heavy snow… and then the last hour or so is slow paced and simply everyone waiting while Dennis Quaid tries to trek hundreds of miles in the newly formed ice caps to get to his son. I remember seeing that movie with my father and my dad whispering to me during the later parts, “this movie is really boring!” Sure they try to add some action at the end, but seriously? running away from the EVIL deep freeze eye of the storm? Puh-Lease! And then of course we had 2012, which is pretty much non-stop disaster after disaster after disaster. Sure, I said before how much I did enjoy the thrill of the big earthquake in L.A. scene, but the rest of it, with them pretty much going all over the place, escaping pyroclastic flows from Yellowstone in an airplane, conveniently flying over the pacific ocean with no fuel thanks to “crustal displacement,” tidal waves covering Mt. Everest: I mean I get it, 2012 was supposed to be end of the world, but seriously, how the hell can John Cusack and Amanda Peet escape disaster after disaster?!

4. You are getting exactly what the movie is selling: special effect scenes of bad stuff happening, and whether or not you are impressed with it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the big scenes with the special effects look so bad they’re laughable, and it doesn’t matter what decade it’s in. Even with the movie Earthquake, which received a special achievement award for visual effects, has this part where they were not allowed to show blood splattering from people being crushed in a falling elevator, so what did they do? let’s watch! Here, let’s watch again and add what should’ve been added! Of course, the rest of the movie has an 11 minute long earthquake scene that still holds up, plus that isn’t the climax of the movie! Definitely a movie for your disaster movie cravings!

Trust me when I say though that there are a lot of them where the all of the effects are so bad they’re laughable, especially with movies made by the Assylum, or TV movies from any era.

But when the effects are nice, they can satisfy the cravings. Hell, I don’t care if I’ve already seen Twister, I’ll still probably Redbox or watch Into the Storm on Netflix. Why? Because it’s still fun. The movie San Andreas, about an earthquake in California… sure I’ve already seen that before, but I’m still probably going to see it. A lot of us all saw, and were annoyed by Dakota Fanning in the remake of War of the Worlds because we knew that with Spielberg directing we’d still probably get decent action scenes. When Armaggeddon came out, we didn’t care about the story of Ben Affleck chasing Liv Tyler, all we saw in the previews were meteors destroying New York City, and that’s what we wanted to see more of.

Add all these into the equation, and there you have why your generic disaster movie is usually some stupid cash in for actors while trying to please those in the audience that want to see bad stuff happening.

So let’s look at some of the worst disaster films that I’ve seen. Now do I necessarily count the movies that are made to be bad? No. All those films especially made by Assylum which often knock off big blockbusters are considered spared. However, there are some TV movies that were notorious when they came out.

The following are movies that were advertised a lot in previews and all over the place, and even if they made money were totally panned for being really stupid, even for disaster movie standards. Now there are a ton of them that could probably fit into this upcoming list, but I’m only going to mention the 5 I feel are the worst of the worst. If you have a differing opinion, and think I should list a different movie, go ahead and tell me in the comment section.

5. Armageddon – Now I know some people prefer this movie when compared to ANOTHER movie with nearly the same story, and if you like this movie, fine. Sure, it has its share of fun and great special effects, and has a lot more loud noise and sound to sooth the mindless MTV-popcorn audience… but when you look at it as a whole, that’s ALL that it is. It suffers the same exact problems that it’s distant relative  – Meteor, does: very bad script, poor characters besides the occasional one liners by Steve Buscemi. The time spent where teams try to drill into the asteroid is way too much, and after a while, you forget what type of movie you’re watching when it starts to look straight out of a 1950s B-movie set in another planet. Plus you have it done in Michael Bay’s filmmaking style: lots of quick cuts and edits, and a lot of annoying shots of making big things out of nothing. You also have characters that leave nothing to remember, and are a complete waste of screen time, and that’s a shame given the number of big stars in this movie! Not only that, but the science in this film is VERY bad, and I mean so bad that NASA often has people watch it to point out how many scientific inaccuracies are in it. Nevermind the fact that we can’t do a fucking thing if a giant asteroid is headed our way, there’s dozens of things about physics in and out of space that are just plain wrong. Let’s remember, the rock that killed the dinosaurs was about 6-7 miles across, but this movie is talking about a rock that’s over 600 miles across! And you’re telling me you only need to drill 800 feet, not even a fifth of a mile, into this 600 mile rock and set off nuclear bombs to split it in half and destroy it?! Bullshit! It’s so bad it ruins your suspension of disbelief. Rumor has it, Ben Affleck once asked Michael Bay, “wouldn’t it be easier to train astronauts how to drill rather than train drillers to be astronauts?” and Michael Bay’s reply: “Shut up.”

4. Volcano – I live in the L.A. area, so you could imagine when I saw the posters showing a volcano erupting in L.A. Oh man, this is probably going to be awesome! I just gotta go see how this volcano erupts in L.A.! What do we get? Well… early on, a geologist character points out that Volcanoes can erupt with more destructive energy than a nuclear blast, and instead we get this…. yeah not even an eruption, just lava slowly oozing down the street out of the La Brea Tar Pits…. weak. Not only that, you have lava basically going slow down Wilshire Blvd, and people essentially have enough time to pack all their belongings and get away… and possibly make a new insurance policy before it reaches your home. You even have a stupid scene where an escaping dog runs up to the moving lava and barks at it a few times before going out the doggy door. Now some will say, “but Coyote, lava like that in the movie DOES move slow, even down steep slopes!” Well that’s the problem. You can’t have scenes that build up to it with lava bombs and blast waves damaging windows and NOT have a big explosion… When you think escaping from a volcano in L.A. you think, oh shit, gotta escape that blast! but no, it’s none of that! Instead the filmmakers conveniently trap our heroes several times with falling palm trees and damming buildings galore. The only “eruption” that’s in the movie is at the end where some rogue lava flow hits a dead end and conveniently happens to punch through a man-hole cover near a hospital…. YAWN! Forget the actual science behind it, of which none of it is correct, the whole pace of the movie is one slow snoozefest. I’m sorry, but if I want to listen to Tommy Lee Jones bark out orders like he does in the Fugitive, I’d go watch the Fugitive!

3. Meteor – Now, this movie was infamously bad when it came out in 1979, and it still ranks high up among the WORST of the disaster movies. It had the same director of the Poseidon Adventure, who also did other good films that won Oscars. It has friggen Sean Connery in it for crying out loud, plus other academy award winning actors like Karl Malden, Henry Fonda, and Martin Landau! So how the hell can this movie be bad? Well… it’s because the Meteor of the movie itself is a huge letdown, and the films “special” effects are the movie’s downfall. Let’s remember that two years prior, Star Wars had just come out, and completely raised the bar on special effects, so they decided the films special effects weren’t very good, and spent additional money trying to redo them, and essentially did away with all the dramatic scenes that these good actors could’ve conveyed with storytelling. What did these yahoos do for special effect scenes? they used stock footage from another movie for an avalanche scene, and they used demolition footage to pass off as a meteor fragment destroying New York. I’m sure if you see the big climax scene, you’re probably wondering what were these idiots thinking when it came to their special effects. Not only that, the main cast knew the script was bad and simply went through the motions. Add all of this with bad science applied throughout, and you got a dud that was already dead before it was even presented to the public.

So the movies I mentioned I consider bad because of the bad science involved, or bad storytelling with very little suspense at all. Like I said, other movies like The Core, the 1998 Godzilla remake, and Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 could also fall into this list, but I didn’t hate them as much as most people seemed to. And I’m not talking about Sharknado… I am just not going to go there; the same applies to that movie that spoofed every flavor of the month and didn’t really spoof anything disaster at all… you know the one I’m talking about. They were meant to be bad, and they attracted people to watch it because of that, so you cannot take those movies seriously.

The following two movies I will talk about are easily the most unforgivable of all disaster films, and have absolutely NOTHING nice for me to say about them. Here they are… the bottom of the barrel of disaster movies!

2. 10.5 – This movie was a TV special that came out in 2004, and I remember it being advertised quite well. It has such big star power with Jeff Bridges… wait, I mean his less successful brother Beau, plus Fred Ward, and a young Kaylee Cuoco still in her 8 simple rules days. The rest are perpetual C-listers. What’s the problem with this movie you ask? Well, besides the fact that it’s a TV movie made with the budget of a TV movie, the whole premise involving the West Coast falling into the ocean after a storm of earthquakes is just old, especially after it had already been scientifically proven and stated that under no circumstances can an earthquake along the San Andreas fault do that! Then we should add the ridiculous scientific “facts” as stated in the movie, like aftershocks not having epicenters, earth opening up and swallowing everything, or opening cracks and following train tracks, only stopping when it swallows the train because earthquakes are dicks to trains, knowing the magnitude and calling out the numbers increasing in values as it happens, being able to predict where an earthquake will happen, using nuclear bombs to fuse fault lines, and that’s not even the worst of it… that will be a person being able to bicycle through a narrow road during a magnitude 7.9 earthquake despite falling debris all around him, or people being able to stand and walk during magnitude 9 earthquakes… the list goes on and on but seriously… HOW CAN THEY GET ALL OF THIS STUFF WRONG?!. Don’t get me started on the way the quakes selectively picked who felt it and who didn’t… like people in Sacramento NOT feeling an 8.4 earthquake in Redding, CA, less than 200 miles away when … I have been hundreds of miles away from the epicenters of several large earthquakes in the high 6’s and low 7’s, and still felt strong jolts By the way, the movie has all the stronger quakes in California and the weakest out of them in Seattle, which in real life would be the other way around. Our San Andreas Fault is surely capable of an 8 pointer, but subduction zones, like the one off the coasts of Oregon and Washington State are very capable of 9 point earthquakes, accompanied by devastating tsunamis with it. So yeah, those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re more fucked than we are down here!

1.If you want a movie with plots that pretty much have nothing to do with the disaster itself, and then when the disaster happens it’s pretty much an afterthought and gets no justice whatsoever, then look no further than… Pompeii! Oh my god was that bad! Up until the volcano erupts, it’s pretty much a rip off of Gladiator, complete with the black guy friend and the politician that the main character wants revenge for. And then when the volcano happens, there is this whole climax that has nothing to do with the volcano, but with Jon Snow from Game of Thrones trying to rescue his love interest from the evil Kiefer Sutherland! You have lavabombs and tsunamis destroying the city (which never happened by the way), and of course the famous pyroclastic flows and ash clouds that incinerated and suffocated the surrounding cities, and instead during all of that going on, we focus on a horse chase between those two characters. Pompeii is famous for many reasons, one of them was that those who stayed in the cities did not survive! So knowing this, and with the movie focusing on the suspense of will Jon Snow rescue his love and be with each other at the end, you’re just thinking, “they’re going to die anyway, so why are we even watching this, why should we care one way or another if they make it?” My dad had the movie on DVR, and when I asked him how much he liked it, he said, “everytime I try to get further in the movie I keep falling asleep because of how bad it is.” Yeah, that’s pretty much Pompeii. You know the movie is bad when a TV documentary provides more suspense and feeling than Hollywood does.

Now are there any disaster movies that are actually pretty good? Well I won’t go too much into them, but I’ll list a few. They aren’t masterpieces, and still have their flaws, but are still enjoyable. There really isn’t an order to this list, but here goes.

 

5. Dante’s Peak – This came out the same year as Volcano, and was easily superior. Why? Because not only is it more accurate, but when the volcano itself actually does erupt, it does not let anyone down. It’s a movie about a volcano similar to Mt. St. Helens, only this time instead of being remote, it’s placed right next to a town. Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamelton do a good job in their roles, and the movie does do a good job building up the eruption while not giving us too many plot devices to follow, and portraying the volcanic devastation along with it. It’s worth it alone at the climax when the main eruption and pyroclastic flow destroy the town. Sure, no car can out run a pyroclastic flow that’s moving faster than a jet, but with the way the movie is done, and with everything else done just right, it hardly matters.

4. Deep Impact – Yes, I prefer this movie to its 1998 competitor. Sure the competitor did better in the box office, but this movie is considered more accurate. It’s a lot more character driven, but while it’s building up to the comet impacting the earth, it doesn’t give you too much to have to follow, and it manages to convey the emotions felt by the characters well. Morgan Freeman as the president alone is worth watching, as is the big impact scene. Sure, it does follow the same astronaut drilling into the comet and setting off nuclear bombs plot line, but here it’s somewhat more believable, and unlike the other film, it does do the route that makes more sense: train astronauts to drill! Not only that; the films climax with the impact event destroying New York City is CAUSED by the astronauts accidentally blowing up a small chunk of the comet off, which is something that scientists say would most likely happen if we ever tried to do that. Sure, the comet does get blown up the exact same way as in that OTHER movie, but at least this movie gets it right with the chunk blown off still impacting and causing havoc.

3. Independence Day – Roland Emmerich essentially made the same movie four times but with different scenarios, so if you just want to watch one of them and save you the time, I recommend this one. Yes, I mentioned how it has that cliche of all those characters with no development, but what does save the movie are two things: Will Smith, and the action scenes. The action is what got us watching in the first place, and I can still watch the alien invasion scenes and subsequent man-kind fighting back scenes and still enjoy it. Will Smith and his one-liners are easily the best thing in this movie, and is pretty much the only guy you care about after a while. At the time, he was doing Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and this was the surprise breakout role for him, and you can see why he eventually became a multi-million dollar movie star.

2. The Poseidon Adventure/Poseidon – The 1972 original and the remake both hold up about the same for different reasons. The original may not have the updated effects of the remake, but still has the good  setup story with good character development, and the characters you follow you feel great for them surviving, or bad for those who die.  The remake is the opposite, where you are blown away by the effects of the ship capsizing, and are just waiting to see who lives and who dies. It was like, movie opens, oh heres the wave… now what. But I equally enjoyed both about the same, so they fall under the same category. I didn’t bother with Beyond the Poseidon Adventure because I don’t care to watch the same movie with the same ship capsizing twice.

1. The Towering Inferno – This movie has been regarded as the best disaster film of all time, and for good reason, it has just the right amount of action and suspense, and the story is told really well. It has a great set up, and has lots of scenes that keep you on your toes without necessarily always being fires and explosions. It’s about a group of people who are trapped above a skyscraper fire, and about the rescue attempt. There’s not much else I can say about it other than check it out, as there is a good reason it’s often listed on people’s top 100 lists. If you can overlook the fact it can look outdated because it was made in 1974, then definitely give it a watch when you get the chance.

There are others that are worth seeing too, such as Earthquake, Twister, Knowing, War of the Worlds, and others. I haven’t really talked about monster films, or zombie films because they are pretty much their own category.

If you have an opinion on a particular movie, agree with what I said, or disagree, please start commenting now. I’m Desert Coyote 22 and thanks for listening.

Nightwish Imaginaerum Revisited AND Closing statements

•December 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Yes I have a video where I reviewed the Imaginaerum album right after it came out and gave my first thoughts on it. But some opinions have changed, and for the events that happened afterwards, I have decided to update my view on the album, plus talk about the film, and the departure of Anette and immediate replacement of Floor Jansen.

After their megatour promoting Dark Passion Play ended, and the bandmates spent time off for themselves, there was always speculation on what they would do next. What ended up happening came as a welcome surprise to many: not only just a concept album, but an accompanying movie written and produced by Tuomas Holopainen. Because of this, Imaginaerum became one of the most anticipated albums I had to wait for. After listening to the other six albums, I had high hopes for the album. I was always in love with the bombastic songs that had heavy double bass sound like Wishmaster, and because I did feel that Century Child and Once had some songs that were simply melodic mid-tempo filler, I wanted just a couple more fast tempo songs like Stargazers, Crownless, and Master Passion Greed. Dark Passion Play may have been a continuation of the Once style in some ways, but they added songs that were both faster and heavier, and slower and softer to change things up, so it was very diverse in style each song.

But what we got instead with the Imaginaerum album was quite the opposite. Because of this, Imaginaerum is easily their most accessible album. This album utilizes their mid tempo melodic approach pretty much beyond the limit, and is a lot more consistent sound-wise, and while it not only relies more on their popular atmospheric sound that was big on the last three albums, it explores the folk sound a bit more, and more songs use flutes, Uilean Pipes, and whistles by Troy Donockely. Also, whereas there was thrash and alternative metal influences on the last album, Imaginaerum has it’s share of influence from doom metal, which essentially sacrifices speed and power for gloom and heaviness, which is what Nightwish had been doing beforehand anyway. Despite the consistency in the sound, they still manage to make the album have no two songs sound the same, and each one still having individual traits that make them good stand alone songs. Three of the 13 songs are also orchestral interlude songs that signify the beginning, intermission, and the end, much like as if you were watching a play or movie.

How does it hold up? The album as a whole is still downright BEAUTIFUL, just like I said before. From start to finish, there really isn’t a bad moment on this album, nor it doesn’t really have a boring or bland song, which even their best albums before always had. Each song pretty much has it’s awesome moments, and among my favorites are the intro and beginning to Scaretale, the middle breakdown of I Want My Tears Back, the spaghetti western influenced parts of Turn Loose the Mermaids, the first half of Song of Myself. which should really be its own stand alone song and not on the same track as a poem recital, and others.

Since this is their first concept album, I have to talk about the concept, which is a composer on his deathbed reminiscing of his youth, so each song represents a certain period of his life. The first half represents his life during his youth, and young adult days, with Storytime and Scaretale representing the good. ambitious dreams, and the nightmarish traumatizing moments respectively, while Slow Love Slow, Ghost River, and I Want My tears Back representing both the  struggle and growth  with feelings of love, sacrifice, and of course learning the contrast between right and wrong. The  last half represents the adventures of his later years, with The Crow the Owl and the Dove representing a now wiser person, Mermaids and Rest Calm representing the moments after you reach your zenith, so then you have your swan song and slowing down moments, with Last Ride and Song of Myself representing the roller coaster feelings you get when you know the end is near, not just getting one last hurrah, but at the same time celebrating life itself as a whole. The song Imaginaerum that closes the album I can totally see as a song that may play in your head when you die, and as your life flashes before your eyes you see the various important moments, represented by the themes that are being played on the song. In fact, when I die, I want this song to be played, with an accompanying slide show video representing every important moment of my life being displayed.

How does it hold up to the other albums? Well, I wansn’t as blown away by it as I was with Dark Passion Play, but I still think Anette being more mature with her position in the band shines way more than before, especially because the songs were written with her in mind. But one thing I can point out is that Marco may not have a standalone song (unless you count the intro), but his voice is heard in the background or in a duet on most of the songs, plus he wrote one of them. This of course leads to the argument that during her time Anette’s best songs were the ones with Marco all over them. If that is true, I see part of that as coincidence because I still think she was just as talented vocal-wise. I also may love the sound of the album, but I still feel like because of the consistency of the songs, it was mostly melodic, and didn’t really change anything up, and it actually makes you miss the other albums that included faster and more powerful songs.

What about the movie?

Well, the movie was originally going to be more or less a collection of music videos for every song on the album, but then they decided there should not only be spoken dialogue, but they turned it into a full movie with a bigger story. It evolved radically from the original plan, but still retained what the album as a whole represented, which is a celebration of life as a whole. When I finally got my chance to view it, at first I had to get over the fact that Nightwish themselves would only be there for a couple scenes. Once I did, I saw it as a visually great film with a decent story. I don’t actually want to give too much of it away, but it’s easily way different than the original story but it still does keep the basic concept. The actors they hired did good for what they were given with, and I did like the way the band was used for the songs they actually played. The Scaretale scene/music video is both frightening and really cool at the same time, and it makes you miss the original concept where all the songs would have a music video… The film score itself I find myself sometimes listening to on a regular basis, because the score itself is also very beautiful and well made, and the score version of Last Ride of the Day, called I Have to Let You Go is just epic… and really captures the essence of not just what the song is about, but the whole scene as well. Other than that there really isn’t much to say about it. It’s not a film that appeals to everyone, and typically only Nightwish fans will love the movie. If it had a bigger budget, and possibly had bigger actors, it could’ve been a much better movie. But the movie is good for what it is, plus it is also kind of awkward now because Anette is no longer the singer.

Which sadly brings me to the closing statements, and they involve the departure of Anette and immediate replacement of Floor Jansen, first as a temporary singer, now a full time member.

This is going to be a pretty long discussion, so if you want to get to my closing statements, go to the end of the video.

Just when we thought the band was drama free and more together than ever, 10 months into the Imaginaerum tour, Anette and Nightwish parted ways.   For those that do not know what exactly happened, here is the sequence of events:  during the north American leg, Anette got sick and was hospitalized, and instead of cancelling a show, the band decided to play on using guest vocalists from Kamelot. In response, Anette posted on her blog “”… I was never asked if it was okay they used the Kamelot back up singers in the show last night. I don’t think it’s a good decision they made and I’m sorry for those of you who came to see the whole band but got something else. But I was very ill and this decision wasn’t mine.” After she recovered enough for one more show, the news came out on September 29, 2012 that they parted ways and that Floor Jansen was in line to continue the rest of the tour as a guest, only to be asked along with Troy Donockely to become full time members over the summer of 2013. 


After over a year of silence, Anette claimed in an interview that she  lost support of the band mates while stress over her personal life and health was going out of control, and was eventually fired… and she claimed part of it was her being sick and pregnant, even went as far as claiming she announced her pregnancy moments before being fired (which would’ve been pretty fucked up); but Nightwish then claimed, “no, we dismissed her not because of illness or pregnancy but because we realized her personality didn’t fit with the work community, and was actually detrimental to it….” then they went on to claim that not only were they congratulatory over her expectancy, she announced it a week earlier while in Montreal, said she was planning to go on maternity leave, and agreed with the idea of a temporary singer, but then she reversed her decision, which made it difficult.”

In another interview, Anette had a very interesting statement about her and the replacement singer:  “I would have been too pregnant to go to Australia so I wanted to push the dates back, but Tuomas didn’t want that. Discussions about a substitute came up and at first I was like ‘Yeah, well…. okay…’ but when they mentioned Floor it was an automatic ‘No’ from me. I didn’t think it was a good idea because I knew what would happen; I knew the fans would love Floor because she’s a metal singer and I’m a pop singer, and I wanted to keep my job. Because I couldn’t do the Australian tour, I think that’s when they started thinking about a new singer. ... Of course I knew we had our gigs to do, and I was pregnant so it was my own fault, but it was only one small tour that I wanted to push back. I could have done all the other gigs and I didn’t understand why they needed a substitute singer when I wanted to go. Maybe they felt that they wanted to have another singer. I think that’s what they wanted, but they weren’t quite honest about it. I guess when I said no they got frustrated. Maybe when I got ill they saw a way out. Of course, then I got angry when they did what they did and wrote something in my blog. They got pissed off at me, I was pissed at them, and it led to where we are now, I guess.” 

Was this situation handled the best way? No. But unfortunately, as shady as the band might have been, this does happen a lot in any kind business, and it absolutely sucks being on the non-beneficial end of it. The thing is, when bands book dates, it is well planned in advance, and when a band goes on tour, that is their priority, and each member has to make it that, and do everything you can to keep your shit together while on tour. It’s not easy to postpone or reschedule gigs, especially when the members have other projects, with Tuomas doing his solo project, and Marco also recording and touring with Tarot. You also do not want to disappoint the fans that paid money to see the band.  If you cannot get your shit together, nor if you can see eye to eye with the rest of the band, your ass will be gone.

While there were some fans, myself included, that were sad and rather bitter about Anette leaving, I was surprised to learn that the majority of fans were happywith her being dismissed, and even more in favor of Floor being the singer. Anette she did add a level of uniqueness and a great twist to the overall sound that they preferred over Tarja. Yes, Tarja had a novelty that nobody else was really doing at the time with her operatic soprano vocals, and she also did have a good stage presence. Was she as good as everyone says she was? I disagree. When I listen to her solo albums, they just do not compare with her work with Nightwish, which backs up my argument that she sang her best songs because Tuomas wrote them. With Anette, I felt her vocals did fit with the songs that were written during her time, and I cannot imagine the Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum albums with another singer. Sure, she may not have been as comfortable singing the older songs that required a higher range than she had, but she could hold her own most of the timeOthers were glad she was gone because not only did her vocals not sound “metal enough” but her presence and persona on stage with her dancing on stage like she was in the Spice Girls to songs like Bless the Child and Ghost Love Score probably turned some people off. A lot of people also said she was inconsistent live with her voice, and thus sounded rather stale to a lot of people. The fact she struggled on songs that weren’t for her range didn’t really bug me that much, but it did bug a lot of people.

As for my opinion on Floor, I had never heard After Forever or ReVamp,  and the split and subsequent replacement happened just a few days before they were supposed to play in Anaheim, and my girlfriend was so bitter about the split she flat out said “I’m not going!” We were among the crowd that was upset Anette was gone, and when watching clips of Floor first singing songs like Scaretale and Storytime, I felt she didn’t hold up that well.

BUT… a few months later, one day on Pandora, an After Forever song came on, Transitory, and I said, “hey, isn’t this one of that new singer’s bands? She is actually pretty good!” So I checked her out, and the more I looked her up, the more I realized “hey, she’s not only a well seasoned vocalist, but she is classically trained, is also a vocal instructor, and she’s actually very respected, and she definitely is a better metal singer and a better performer on stage than Tarja and Anette.” Whereas the two prior singers were relatively unknowns until they joined Nightwish, Floor was already a well-established and well-seasoned singer who understood greatly what the pressures of in a well known touring heavy metal band was all about. They needed someone like her for that reason, the band itself was getting bigger, and as long as they get bigger, the higher they are in demand for big tours and big album releases, so they couldn’t just find a new singer to test the water again. Finally, when I started watching her on Youtube performing older songs, I instantly got excited for her and Nightwish, and was blown away by the Showtime, Storytime live album they released to coincide with her and Troy Donockely being announced as the permanent members. She fits very well with the beautifully bombastic songs Nightwish is good at doing, can sing songs from both past eras just as good, and can even add more to it, such as her performance of Ghost Love Score on the live album, which sends me even more chills than the original version.

Hopefully this means third time is a charm when it comes to vocalists. That documentary about Floor coming into the band shows a band coming together more, and they all seem happier together, BUT… I said the same thing about Anette as well a couple years ago. I just hope what happened with Anette and Tarja doesn’t happen with Floor. I mean if Floor ends up getting kicked out or leaves the band, THEN we can literally call Nightwish the Van Halen of symphonic metal, and finally say “this band just doesn’t know how to get along.”

Closing thoughts, I am definitely excited to see what the first official album with Floor will be like. My girlfriend and I  have seen Floor perform with ReVamp , and she was so good on stage that my girlfriend finally put her bitterness aside and started liking her (plus meeting them and taking pictures was a plus). She has the potential to add much more than Tarja and Anette ever could. She can sing any range, plus can grunt, scream, and pack a powerful punch to the songs she sings, AND sound just as consistent live. It will be interesting to see how Floor will be utilized, and I just hope they do her justice, because if I feel she is underutilized, it could be a disappointing album. With Troy now a full time member, you can obviously expect more flutes and pipes, but upbeat songs like I Want My Tears Back shows he wont be restricted to just folk ballads like Turn Loose the Mermaids.  They have teased us and said the new album will have the longest song Nightwish has ever written to date, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, but one thing for certain is I don’t think we are getting another Imaginaerum esque sounding album. The Imaginaerum album put more emphasis on the theatrics and less on the band, and I feel like the next album will be the opposite, and now with Floor having a huge range and big metal background, and her vocals suiting more for the darker and more powerful songs of old, we could be in for an album that blows us all away…. again.

These idiots want $15/hour?

•October 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’m sure there are a lot of videos talking about this, and this is another one!

I understand, there are people who say the money they make at these places is not enough to support families… newsflash, FAST FOOD JOBS WERE NEVER MEANT TO DO THAT! Have you been to one recently? The workers there are either really young, high school age kids, or they’re middle aged and have managerial or supervisor positions that get slightly more pay. McDonalds is NOT MEANT to be a career life choice, it’s meant for getting job experience for later resume submissions for better job applications. Of course you will say, “but some people can’t go further than that, they need to work there to survive. you don’t have any idea how the world works you friggen idiot!”

Some people say that if they paid their workers nearly twice what the minimum wage is nowadays, it would raise the prices due to rising production costs and labor costs. Others say it won’t affect the prices at all due to the franchises constantly competing over attracting customers.

Ever since the subject came up about McDonalds workers wanting $15 an hour, I cannot think about how many times my order has been screwed up at these places, and it isn’t just McDonalds, it’s everywhere. You go to a place like this, you order your food, and it can even be the simplest of orders, but no matter if its the drive thru or even when you’re dining inside the place, An entree is missing and/or includes items that were either requested or asked not to include… Or it’s a completely different sandwich entirely, which can be especially troublesome if let’s say you are allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant and accidentally eat that piece of cheese you didn’t want.

Many drive thru attendees can barely understand you, or they will hear your Order wrong and ring them up without confirming. Especially here in SoCal, we’ll occasionally run into the worker that barely speaks English and yet is responsible for hundreds of orders from non-Spanish speaking people through the drive thru.

How do these people screw it up nowadays? It’s all so technologically sound nowadays that all they have to do is punch in the item and there’s a specific button for everything.

Items you paid for are not in the bag, and you’re already too far from the place to go get them. Some of these places the food is clearly not fresh at all, and the insides of the dining area and kitchens are absolutely filthy and look like nobody cares how many pests are infested inside the buildings. Sometimes, people will find pieces of hair, nails, and skin in their foods, and on rare occasions, it’s parts of dead vermin or insects in the burger mix or inside the coffee.

And these idiots want 15 an hour?! To all of those who support it, or for all of those fast food workers that believe what you do is worth 15 bucks an hour… You think what you do is worth potentially raising the price of everything at your restaurants? You think potentially severely impacting the fast food industry and affecting huge profit margins is worth it?  You think you deserve to earn just as much as medical secretaries, animal control workers, fitness trainers, and what really pisses me off is you think you deserve to earn more per hour than my EMT fiancé who works 14 hour shifts? I say go fuck yourself!

There are people with far more important jobs that don’t earn enough, at least in my opinion. If a McDonalds worker starts getting almost as much as

I will not pay more dollars for a sub quality burger that has so many preservatives and chemicals that it barely counts as a beef burger. The charm of these places and their items is yes, it ain’t good for us, but it’s cheap, and if there’s no food in the house, or if we really don’t feel like cooking and waiting, a $6 quick and cheap meal sounds awfully convenient and appetizing. But if the meal is gonna cost just as much as a burger and fries at Red Robin, Applebees, or places like that, I’m better off just going there, or going to the grocery store.

 

More Stupid Sports Parents

•October 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Yes, I made a video a few years ago about crazy sports parents, and this will be more of a continuation of this video, because obviously more stuff has happened, and it’s time to go over it more. If you think I missed a point in this rant, you might find it in the other video I put out 4 years ago.

Over the years, as my position and reputation grew, I got more and more exposed to behaviors and mannerisms from parents that almost ruin the experiences.

Starting with those who think they know enough about the sport to be able to teach their kids, rather than simply leave it in the hands of the professionals. It’s one thing to be out there with your own kid and just having some fun bonding time with them out there, but when you clearly do not possess the same knowledge and skill that the coaches have at teaching kids, you are only ruining it for the kid, and putting them on the wrong path.

It’s not necessarily the parents that coach their kids off the ice. A lot of them are simply trying to go over what their kids are learning on the ice, and those who do it the right way don’t say or do anything that contradict what I say.

However, there are those who try to pass off the information as their own and act like they are capable.

Many times while I’m in the middle of a lesson, or even when I’m on the ice just skating around while in uniform, I’ll have a parent come up to me and ask things like, “how do you teach kids to stop?” “how do you transition? “how do you turn?” And I show them, and then instead of having their kid listen to me, they proceed to go try and tell their kid exactly what I told them. Even while I’m busy giving a lesson to a client, I’m still biting my tongue watching this parent fail at showing their kid the information I just gave them. The kid is getting it wrong each time he tries, and the idiot parent is no help either, so both of them are getting frustrated…. My goodness, I understand lessons can be expensive, but I easily could’ve showed your kid how to do it for 5 minutes and he’d have gotten it right a lot quicker than listening to you! I especially love it when I’m in the middle of a lesson, and parents simply tell their kids to copy the drill I’m having the paying client do on the ice, or they just kind of let their kids barge in and interfere while I’m trying to do my job! Wow, its as if the signs are all there that your kid not only needs help from me or another skating instructor, but really wants it too, but you don’t want to pony up the dough because you think you can teach your kid!

I also especially loved it when a newbie parent came to the rink asking for private lessons for his kid, but he straight up told me, “unless you can get my kid good enough to get a college scholarship, this hockey thing wont be worth my time!” Umm, yeah, even if your kid doesn’t make higher levels, the experiences and life lessons are a hell of a lot worth more than its weight in gold! You obviously want to relive your life vigourously through your kid. That’s not anything I said to this guy, but after I gave him my number and said, “I can get him on the right path” he never contacted me afterwards.

But that’s minor compared to the other stuff I have dealt with and seen.

While yes, while club travel teams can get their share of drama and stupidity, rec leagues are not safe from it either. For a while. there was as a group of people who became somewhat of a cult, led  by a parent-coach that seemed to get sucked into it against all the advice given to him by our superiors. The group of parents for this team would have people that constantly cheered over the glass throughout the game, and because they took rec league games rather seriously, it got to the point where it was really obnoxious, especially if you were the coach of the other team, and their group would stand right next to your own bench, and cheer for their players through openings behind the bench. After their core players got better and began dominating and shutting out the other teams, because this was in a REC LEAGUE for 8-10 year olds, we had to try and even out the other teams to make it more fair, and that meant trading some strong players to other teams. Almost immediately parent reps got pissed, and I remember one of them going to our director and yelling, “but he’s been with us a while, you can’t put so and so on the other team!” and the director just calmly said, “yes I can, and I just did.” Even their coach wouldn’t stop complaining about it, and publicly said he felt he was getting punished for his team being good and that the league was out to get him…. ummm, it’s RECREATIONAL HOCKEY FOR KIDS! Nobody wants to see a team dominate everyone by 5 goals, and we don’t want to see teams go 0-10 for the season…

I had a parent in this same group constantly badmouth the officiating, and as I was watching, he said out loud in front of everyone, “I’m sick and tired of this fucking place!” He went and tapped on the glass behind the ref’s box over a call, and I ended up having to escort the younger referee to the room so the parent would leave him alone.

Flash forward a few months… More crap happened again to the point where the parent-coach was let go. But that didn’t stop people from creating a ruckus. Parents would get their kids to badmouth the substitute coach, and even one of them kept yelling from the glass, “this coach is a fucking joke!” DURING A PRACTICE!!! And that wasn’t the end of it, one parent broke a door trying to confront our director, and a couple of these parents defended the guy’s actions…

long story short, the problem eventually got rid of itself, and those who did not drink the kool-aid of that group ended up staying with us and joined our club teams later, and became great players I might add.

A year after all this crap happened, one of those parents who left saw my fiancee and kept chatting with her, badmouthing our rink and our former club, even though by that point his kid wasn’t even playing hockey anymore, and he was badmouthing a club that didn’t exist anymore. All my fiancee could do was keep her mouth shut as this guy kept blabbing on and on, and all she could think was, “shut up!” Your kid doesn’t even play anymore and it’s different coaches running the place now. You have no say in anything anymore!”

And lastly, the kind that really make my heart sink at times are what I call the rink hoppers. Those who are constantly shopping around for what they feel are the best deals because they feel like that’s what’s best for their kid.

Now, in my profession, it is quite common to see kids come and go, and a lot of times they will start one place and end up going to another, either due to moving or whatnot. Other times, it’s because the places closer to them cannot offer what they’re looking for or need, such as familiar coaches, or where all their friends are, or simply the pricing, so they go elsewhere.

This especially happens when a group of people are tired of being on losing teams, so they try and join the nearest club that had a better record than they did during the season.

And what’s completely sad is I’m friends with a lot of them on facebook, so when I see these people go from constantly saying good, encouraging things about one club, and then the next year can’t say enough how much they love the new club, it really jabs a pin in my heart when I see them go from a club that I helped coach them in, to a new one.

Just a couple weeks ago, I was coaching against a team of which at least half of them were on my team last year, and there they were on the other team being among the better players. According to my fiancee, she saw one of them compliment their kid on their ability, and the parent pointed at me, and said, “you see that coach of the other team? that guy taught my kid everything he knows, and he’s good because of that coach, not because of the team he’s on now.” he went from a really heartfelt comment to going on saying, “well I guess it’s biting him in the ass now.” My fiancee wanted to yell at them for that remark but didn’t.

A couple years ago, I had a really strong core of young players who I had helped build up for a while. One season, they were easily the strongest group of players in their division, and I constantly had to try and find better competition for them. At first, everything seemed okay, and even my boss applauded me on how well I kept them together, and seemed excited about them going up to a new level. But, then like a snowball effect, one had to move to orange county, and then a bunch of them followed, without even telling me they were going to sign there until after tryouts. There I ended up with a big chunk of core players gone, all because their parents were so convinced the programs in orange county were better suited for their kids, EVEN THOUGH WE WERE BEATING THEM BEFORE! SO NOW ORANGE COUNTY GOT TO BENEFIT WITH A TEAM FULL OF PLAYERS THAT STARTED OUT WITH ME AND OUR PROGRAM! To say I was really pissed and devastated was the least of it. It still eats a hole in my stomach every time I think about it.

Just recently, one of their parents posted pictures about their kids winning a tournament, and there they were, in orange county jerseys raising a damn tournament banner, and upon closer inspection, I realized… holy hell, those kids in the pictures WERE ALL MY KIDS FROM A COUPLE YEARS AGO!!!! That whole core of the roster, all of them! And there they were, all giving praise to their orange county club, and acting so proud of them… NEWSFLASH!!! YOU FORGOT WHO WAS THE COACH WHO GOT YOU TO THAT LEVEL! IF YOU JACKASSES HAD JUST STAYED TOGETHER UNDER OUR CLUB, YOU WOULD HAVE RAISED THE SAME GOD DAMN BANNER FOR US AND MADE YOUR LOCAL RINK LOOK BETTER! BUT NO! YOU GO AND MAKE ANOTHER CLUB FURTHER AWAY LOOK BETTER AND GIVE THE NEW CLUB ALL THE CREDIT! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! IT’S NOT LIKE I PUT MY HEART AND SOUL OR ANYTHING INTO MAKING YOUR KID AS GOOD AS HE GOT!

Now obviously I can’t stop parents from doing what they do, and I have to remember why I enjoy doing what I do in the first place to even keep going. As long as I keep coaching, there will be more stupid parents along the way.

If you’re listening, and can share an experience where parents let politics get in the way, or of someone acting like a complete moron at a youth sporting event, please share now.

 

Comic Con 2014 Pics

•August 21, 2014 • 1 Comment

Here are pictures from Comic Con 2014

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30 minutes upon the floor first opening, it was already maddening how many people were inside.

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Jason David Frank aka Tommy from Power Rangers

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Tenacious D

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Van Partible – Creator of Johnny Bravo

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Jason Mewes – Jay from Jay and Silent Bob

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Me meeting Kirk Hammett. They wouldn’t allow us to take pictures with him.

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Norman Reedus aka Daryl Dixon from Walking Dead

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Kevin Eastman signing my copy of Raphael #1

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Kevin Eastman – TMNT co-creator

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Victor Olazba signing my copy of Amazing Spider Man #1 (2014 Relaunch series)

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Edgar Deldago with Amazing Spider Man #1

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Us with Kevin Eastman


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Biblical Adaptations and Depictions

•June 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Thanks to the recent movies that came out, we have had a recent interest in Hollywood blockbuster films related to Biblical subjects, with films like Son of God (which is basically all the episodes about Jesus from the Bible mini series on the History Channel), God’s not Dead, and of course Noah. Plus there appear to be more on the way, with films like Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage coming out later this year. Films based on subjects from the Bible are nothing out of the ordinary and have been going on for as long as the age of cinema itself. Some of them like Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba, and of course the Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston are considered huge classics by film fans even today. One of the best movies made, period, is Ben Hur, even has a theme about restoring a man’s faith in God, and Jesus, even as a background character impacts the whole story.

Whether you believe in the Bible or not, you cannot deny that the stories told in these scriptures have always had a literary influence on our culture, especially that of the western world. You can argue all you want on what you think is true out of the Bible all you want, but the bottom line is that these 66 sections, or books as they are also called, were written by 40 different authors from three different continents over a period of two millennia.

There are even portions that are not included in the traditional Christian Bible but are included with other faiths, such as the Apocrypha’s of Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, and other faiths.

It is written by people who were Shepherds, kings, scholars, fishermen, prophets, a military general, a cupbearer, and a priest, and they had different immediate purposes for writing, whether recording history, giving spiritual and moral instruction, or pronouncing judgment.In the process they laid bare their personal emotions, expressing anger, frustration, joy, and love.

Yet despite this marvelous array of topics and goals, the Bible stays consistent, and It never contradicts itself or its common theme.

What is the common theme you ask?

From Genesis to Revelation, we see man’s repeated rebellion against his holy Creator. God made a perfect world, but mankind has continually rejected His authority and sought to decide truth for himself. Nevertheless, God promised to extend His love, grace, and mercy to unworthy people who deserved to be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity.

That’s all I will say, as the topic I am discussing is what Hollywood and the world of pop culture does to biblical figures and stories.

I guarantee you that if you were to make a series of movies based on the Bible and included every detail without even having to add for dramatic effect, the bible would STILL be rated R at least. You would have to edit a ton of things out to make it PG13 or lower. There is a lot of detailed accounts of murder, betrayal, sex scandals, and of course lots of violence at the hands of both man and God himself. I mean there is A LOT of juicy material you could use as inspiration. Obviously a lot of the stories that have a lot of action have to be a little sugar coated to be taught in Sunday school, and even a lot of preachers who lead large congregations tend to stray away from the intense messages that come from the really detailed and intense stories.

But do most faiths and religions
consider the Bible a work of art? No. Do these people consider all the moral stories and such to be stories and nothing more? No.

It should be noted that most Muslims absolutely forbid any visual depictions of the prophet Mohammed or anything from the Kuran. If you notice, nothing on TV or in the movies has had anything to do with Mohammed, and those that have tried like South Park have gotten huge threats from Muslim groups and thus the episode is no longer in syndication.

The Bible on the other hand, ever since the times of the renaissance, countless pieces of art have depicted biblical characters and scenes, and that was simply because it was during a time when the church had authority, and you pretty much HAD to do something like it even if you didn’t necessarily believe in the Bible.

This is pretty much nothing new, as the Bible has served as inspiration for lots of pieces of art and literature.

For me when it comes to anything depicted, I don’t even mind if things not included and/ NOT necessarily 100% true to the Bible are included, or if things out of the Bible are taken out for artistic liberty. For all I care, you could have a rated G version of David and Goliath taking place on a dodgeball court instead of a battlefield, as long as the general message of the story stays the same.

There are some movies that are products of Hollywood and still retain what the message is getting across, at least I think so. Prince of Egypt is a great example. It isn’t exactly true to the story of Moses, and due to the major emphasis of Moses and Pharaoh Ramses as brothers, you see sympathetic views from both sides. But the message of how God chose Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt stays the same and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Passion of the Christ, as detailed as it is, is not 100% accurate either with its depiction of the crucifixion… believe it or not, it was actually worse in real life than it was depicted. Sure there is a degree of accuracy to the events leading to it, there are things added the movie that come straight from what Catholics believe, such as the girl at the well, which is from what is called the 12 steps of the cross. That shouldn’t surprise anyone that knows the director Mel Gibson is Roman Catholic. However there are also things added in it like Satan being present at the event and trying to taunt and mock Jesus, that wasn’t in any of the biblical accounts. It should also be known that the brief resurrection scene at the end wasn’t originally going to be in the movie, but was added in at the request of Billy Graham.

However, when you have adaptations of anything, that is where the creative mind makes art.

For example, Adaptations like the popular Left Behind series of books, which I have read, I do not consider true. Sure they are based on the Biblical tribulation period also known as the End times as prophesied all over the Bible and talk a lot about the authors interpretations of the symbolism expressed with the judgements, the Beast, False Prophet, and ultimately Christ’s second coming in Revelation, but these are adaptations. I could go into detail about that series but of the big liberties has to do with the mark of the beast. In the bible it says those who receive the mark of the beast receive all of God’s judgements, but one character who is part of the group of Christians gets the mark forced on him against his will, and yet he does not receive the same judgements, with the reason that because he spiritually did not accept the mark, he isn’t subject to the same judgements. Does this and the rest of the series convey a similar message to the Bible? Yes. But do I believe that the way the Left Behind books tell the story is how the world will end and the second coming of Christ happens? No. The Bible says it is not for us to know how or when, but just to be ready when it happens.

Now, I could go over the films made by companies like Cloud Ten Pictures, a Christian film company, or films that contain actors like Kirk Cameron, and have dramatic stories involving a Christian theme, but I’m not going to. They’re made by Christians, for Christians. These films and shows were made with Christian intentions to tell a story with a moral message.. They are especially made to cater to those people who won’t watch anything secular. Most people, even a lot of Christians, won’t watch these films because of that same reason. It’s like playing an educational video game, we don’t play games to go to school, we play games to have fun and escape a little. Same with watching a movie.

I am talking about depictions when we go into artistic territory that is not necessarily made with Christian intentions. They are made to entertain, and appeal to the mass public. Sometimes the liberties taken don’t really mock too much, but other times, as I will eventually get into, do in fact mock the whole essence and make the depiction completely unrecognizable to everyone.

South Park I mention all the time for its creative and clever writing has poked at all religions, and of course Christ himself isn’t spared. One episode I can even point out is the one where Damien, the fictional son of Satan, arranges for his father to challenge Jesus to a PPV fight, and because everyone thinks Satan is the stronger one, they all bet their money on Satan; only to see Satan actually bet on Jesus and throw the fight, thus taking everyone’s money and real estate. This particular episode actually has a good little message on faith. Sure there are other things in later episodes that the Jesus character in South Park does, like having a public access TV show, but it’s honestly nothing to complain about. Family Guy, when they make fun of situations involving God and Jesus, I never really see anything terrible either, and I laugh at the little jokes. I see them poking fun about God, but not terribly mocking it. Hey I believe even God has a sense of humor.

Andrew Lloyd Webber may be a member of the Church of England, but when he and Tim Rice composed Jesus Christ Superstar in 1970, he made a concept rock musical and later a stage production that depicts the story of Jesus final week from the point of view of Judas Iscariot, the man who betrays him to be arrested and crucified. It talks more about the political and psychological relationships between Jesus and his followers. Originally, Jesus isn’t even portrayed as divine, nor is there any resurrection mentioned. The movie that came out in 1973 added in more scriptural references to make the film appeal more to Christians.

At the time it was seen by many groups as sacrilegious and blasphemous for the reasons I mentioned before as well as others. Today there are still stage productions going on, and it is a well known musical with many songs that are still covered today. I still find myself listening to the soundtrack around every Easter. I personally love it, and think the twist with it is interesting.

Arguably Monty Python’s the Life of Brian is the comedy troupes most well known and highly regarded movie. The movie is about Brian, a man born on the same day and next door to Jesus, and is mistaken for him. It contains a lot of political and religious satire, enough to earn a lot of controversy over it, and was accused of blasphemy. Yet today we still can’t think Monty Python without the song Always Look at the Bright Side of Life, which takes place during the crucifixion scene.

In 1988 we had the film, the Last Temptation of Christ, directed by Martin Scorcese and starting Willem Dafoe as Jesus and Harvey Kietel as Judas. It was an adaptation itself of a novel, and the whole premise explores the human side of Jesus and his struggles with temptations, including fear, doubt, reluctance, and lust. The central argument is that while Jesus was free from Sin, he still struggled with human emotions to do God’s will. They both depict Jesus imagining himself in sexual situations, such as him marrying and a scene with him having sex with Mary Magdalene. Even though there is a disclaimer saying this movie does not tell the story of Jesus in the traditional accepted way and is not based at all on the Gospels, it was enough to spark outrage by religious groups saying the film was… You guessed it, blasphemous.

But the thing is, you cannot judge something by its cover, or what you HEARD about it, and of those people that would claim the movie and novel was sacrilegious, you could ask them if they indeed saw it, and many would say “oh no I wouldn’t dare see that movie.” Well, I don’t think it’s as bad as these groups say it is. The central theme to the whole thing is that Jesus was still subject to temptation, and still felt the same feelings as any human being would,  even if free from Sin. Accounts in the Gospels about Jesus resisting Satan’s temptations, and his initial reluctance to go through with the crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane; they seem to support this argument. In a sense, The Last Temptation advances the argument that, had Jesus succumbed to any such temptation, especially the opportunity to save himself from the cross, his life would have held no more significance than that of any other philosopher.

You have the Bible Mini series and theatrical adaption Son of God. While the visuals themselves are actually pretty good and bring many stories to life, and it is acted quite well considering it’s a History Channel thing, overall it takes a lot of liberties with the stories and leaves out quite a lot for pacing and story flow reasons, but the general theme and message stays the same throughout. It was okay and entertaining enough, but maybe I could’ve done without the ninja angels slaughtering people in the Sodom and Gomorrah scene, or without all the fighting and battle scenes having slowdown moments like we were watching 300. Plus I kind of laughed when they accidentally made Satan look like Barack Obama.

Then we come to Noah. This movie was directed by Darren Aronofsky, the same guy who did Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan. If you’ve seen any of those movies, you’ll already know that these films are quite different in a sense that there can be some disturbing and depressing imagery to get the message across. It stars Russel Crowe, who I pretty much now can’t really think of him other than Javert. I literally went into this movie thinking he was going to sing.  “Now bring me animals two for ev’ry kind! Our time is up God will destroy the world!” ” We’ll start again and repopulate the world!”

Some big Christian organizations praise the film, but even the director says it’s the least biblical film ever made.I went in knowing full well the movie was not meant to be a word for word translation of the story, but still trying to get the essence across.

When I saw the movie, when it started, the movie seemed promising, but then the plot kicked in. There are things in it that come out of the Bible, such as there is a guy named Noah, and there is an ark for him and his family, and there’s a flood… that’s pretty much it. The rest of it is pretty much typical Hollywood, and there are some major things in it that… well, let’s just say completely miss the point. Spoiler Alert! Did you know that Noah was a dark, brooding, complex character who killed people? Did you know he enlisted the help of fallen Angels who were turned into six armed beasts to help build the Ark? Did you know God was angry at man for destroying the environment and killing his creations, and wanted mankind to die off after the flood?

So in a sense, did you know the whole story of Noah in the Bible was about mankind overpopulating and destroying the environment this whole time? I sure didn’t.

It gets better, there is a part where inside the ark, his son Shem’s wife played by Emma Watson gets pregnant, and Noah believes it’s God’s will for mankind to die off after the flood so he must kill the babies when they are born, only for Noah say, “No God, I can’t do that!” making God seem like a mean evil spirit than what most people of Abrahamic faiths believe. My girlfriend even shouted out, “that’s not Biblical at all!” during the movie.

I thought the story was about how God protected and saved Noah and his family for being the only righteous person among those who defied God and worshiped the creation instead of the creator. I guess I was wrong.

The thing is I’m not terribly surprised by the additions and changes. The actual story is only a few pages long, so they thought, well we need to add this to fit a 2 hour movie. I even didn’t mind that they added in characters like Methuselah, and Tubal-cain as the film’s antagonist. Theoretically, those two very well could’ve been alive during Noah’s time if you do the math. I didn’t even mind the whole angle with Tubal-cain sneaking aboard the Ark and trying to sabatage everything and kill Noah. I also didn’t mind that God is referred to as the creator, because that is what he is in the story anyway. There is even a part I liked where Noah retells the story of creation in the ark, and we are treated to visually seeing the evolutionary creation of the world up to Adam and Eve. But when the Bible clearly says that Noah’s three sons each had wives… then why would they make it so that only Shem had a wife, and involve a subplot for Noah to leave Ham’s love interest to die, causing Ham to rebel? Sure that’s changed for dramatic effect, but COME ON!

Look, I can tolerate a good twist to a biblical depiction, especially if there is scriptural arguments to back it up, but this movie was nothing like that, and instead was a movie about what those in Hollywood want the world to believe when it comes to their perception of God. Or they wanted to make a story about a creator appeal more to the mass public. I guess that’s where it draws the line. But I guess the jokes on me, they have my money because I was still curious enough to see it AFTER I heard lots of people saying don’t bother.

We are going to have biblical depictions in our pop culture for as long as we are allowed to, possibly until we are under a government that shuts away free speech and bans religion. Many christian groups will say how Hollywood is too narrow minded and ignorant to putting out anything that is majorly accurate out of the Bible, but  when the adaptation or depiction is going to be made, the choice is always whether or not we pay money to see for ourselves what this artists interpretation is about. Only if we see it in front of our own eyes can we truly judge and put our opinions on it, and if someone says “I refuse to see this person’s work because I have heard bad things about it.” That is fine, but they then cannot say “I heard there are blasphemous things in it, you shouldn’t dare to see it either.” Now who is being the closed minded hostile person.

Whether you agree or disagree with my views, please let me hear your comments!

 
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