Category Archives: Cut to the Chase

Cut to the Chases: Limitless, Take Me Home Tonight, and Step Up 3D: Tokyo Drift

For a lot of people, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a four day weekend when you finally have a chance to relax and watch a bunch of Netflix. For me, I call this “Thursday.”

This weekend, I’ve watched Limitless, Take Me Home Tonight, and Step Up 3D, and I’ll cut to the chases of all three of them.

1. Limitless220px-Limitless_Poster

Bradley Cooper takes a pill that makes him smart. When he stops taking the pill, he vomits a lot and walks funny. Russian loan sharks are mean to him. Robert De Niro pretends to know a lot about money.



220px-Take_Me_Home_Tonight_Poster2. Take Me Home Tonight

See: Can’t Hardly Wait. For kicks, you can also see Post Grad, but I don’t recommend it. That’s probably just over-thinking it.

Warning: This film is vaguely 80’s themed. Like Donnie Darker, but vaguer.


220px-Step_up_3d3. Step Up 3D: Tokyo Drift

This is a save-the-rec-center-via-dance ala Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo style film, but instead of a rec center for kids, it’s a warehouse where Luke, a guy who loves to dance, houses a bunch of other people that love to dance. Yes, they all just live in a warehouse.

This is also about Moose from Step Up 2D. Though he loves to dance, his parents want him to pursue a career in engineering, so this is a story of Moose moving to New York to study electrical engineering at NYU.

How does it end? Well, it’s really a three-part ending.

First, they win the dance competition against a rival dance group called "the Samurai,” earning enough money to save their dance warehouse.

Then, we see Moose in a heartfelt meeting with his dean proposing that they allow him to be the first person ever to double major in electrical engineering and dance.

(Note from a person that has gone to college: double majoring in EE and dance is not only not hard to get approval for, but it’s also completely useless. Unless, of course, Moose later wants to pursue a double PhD in EE and dance.)

Last, we see Natalie in Grand Central Terminal. Natalie met Luke at the beginning of the film, and she’s about to take a train to California. She’s also spent the entire film convincing Luke, the guy who loves dance so much that he lives in a warehouse full of dancers, to pursue is real passion, which is film???? In any case, Luke decides to take a train with her to California so he can study film.

For those of you that are curious, taking a train to California is like taking a plane there:


Except it’s twice the price and takes about 2 days longer:


Oh, and since it’s in 3D, along the way, the film involves a lot of pointing at the camera while dancing.

The end.

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Cut to the Chase–Crossing the Line

crossingthelineThe other day, I watched this documentary called Crossing the Line. It’s about a soldier from the US army that defected to North Korea in 1962. To condense the 1.5hr documentary to a single sentence:

I defected to North Korea and it was mediocre.

Of note about this documentary: it’s narrated by Christian Slater! But more on that in another post.

What I thought was specially crazy was the propaganda from the North Koreans, trying to convince soldiers to defect. They’d be all like, “hey, come over to North Korea. Everything’s awesome here, and we’ll give you money.” You know how you know that something isn’t right? When someone’s willing to give you money to take something awesome.

It’s like if Blizzard were like, hey, come play StarCraft2. It’s really fun, and you’ll get to play with girls that look like this:


That’s Ailuj. She’s a diamond Protoss player (pret-ty good). Sure, there’s the possibility that you’ll end up playing with her, but realistically, you’ll end up playing with someone like Fat Mike:


Note that I said “like.” Fat Mike isn’t even a real person. It’s just an undoctored photo I found of my roommate where he looks fat for some reason. So you won’t even get to play with Fat Mike. Because he doesn’t exist!

But I guess the real point was that there’s no way that StarCraft2 would be fun AND let you play with girls that look Ailuj because Blizzard would have no incentive to put that together!

Anyway, next up, what DID happen to Christian Slater???

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Not really cutting to the chase–Cowboys and Aliens

220px-Cowboys_&_AliensHave you ever woken up in a movie theater, looked up at the screen, and thought to yourself, “really? We’re still on this scene?” That’s what happened to me when I was seeing Cowboys and Aliens today.

I’d love to do a “cut to the chase” summary about this film but I really just don’t know what happened. There were a bunch of people and a bunch of aliens, and things happened, and I don’t know why, and there seemed to be a lot of people firing revolvers at bullet-proof aliens. Oh, but arrows and sticks seemed to hurt them.

What might be more interesting is that I got to test my motorcycle gear in a movie theater during a long, boring movie. The tests I conducted were:

  • Sitting in them in an air conditioned theater for about 2 hours
  • Sleeping in them for some periods

Results: It was pretty warm. Ventilated boots don’t really keep you cool when you’re not at speed, and any time you fidget, which you’ll do during a boring movie, you make a loud swishing noise.

So there you have it—that’s my review of my motorcycle pants.

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Cut to the Chase–Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

fatsickFat, Sick, and Nearly Dead is a documentary about an overweight Australian guy who goes around the US having the following conversation with Americans in different parts of the US:

Australian:  Hey there. Do you eat vegetables?

American: No.

Australian: How do you feel about your weight?

American: I should probably lose some weight, but I enjoy food too much. I’d rather die happy.

Australian: Ah. You know, I’m on this fast.

American: Yeah?

Australian: Yeah, I don’t eat anything. Instead, I put a bunch of vegetables and fruits in a juicer and drink my food.

American:  Oh

Australian: It’s full of micronutrients. Instead of all of those refined chemicals.

American: Yeah?

Australian: I’m losing a lot of weight, and it’s curing my urticaria.

American: That’s good.

Australian: Want to try it?

[Cut to parking lot where Australian and American are behind the Australian’s truck. The Australian blends up some juice (in the back of his truck) and both the American and the Australian take a sip.]

American: That’s not bad.

This conversation is repeated with other people for the next hour and a half. Moral of the story: If you’re suffering from bizarre autoimmune conditions, ask your rheumatologist about putting vegetables in a juicer!

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Cut to the Chase– Quantum of Solace

220px-Qos-teaserEva Green and I started dating a few years back when Casino Royale made it to cable TV. We’d see each other about once a week on weekends, and at first, everything was great. It felt like we really hit it off. We had a lot in common, every date seemed new and exciting, (and she wasn’t bad looking either). However, after a while, things started to get old, she just seemed really predictable, and she’d always end up with the suave British guy.

Fortunately, Quantum of Solace finally came to cable last week which helped me get over Eva. Unfortunately, the plot of Quantum of Solace goes like this:

  1. Evil guy representing world-wide terrorist organization goes to general of rebel army and offers to take down the existing government, giving power to the general. Evil guy does this in exchange for land that doesn’t seem to be of any value.
  2. General accepts the offer!
  3. Evil guy delivers and then reveals that the land controls 60% of the country’s source of water and sells the water back to the general at a marked up price.
  4. General declines the offer!
  5. Evil guy threatens the general with violence if the general does not reconsider.
  6. General accepts the offer!

Well-played, evil guy! But I feel like you could’ve just cut to the chase had you done this:

  1. Evil guy threatens the existing regime with violence if they do not give him a lot of money.
  2. Evil guy throws a dinner party which involves large bowls of ice cream and dough nuts (I got this idea from Harry Potter).

So that’s my cutting to the chase of Quantum of Solace. Perhaps next time, I’ll write about something I’m really passionate about: bears wearing a fez and riding disproportionately tiny tricycles.

Cut to the Chase – Valentine

200px-Valentine_film For those of you planning to watch the film Valentine, IT WAS THE KINDA PRETTY GIRL THAT USED TO BE FAT GETTING REVENGE BECAUSE SHE USED TO BE FAT.

Now you have no reason to watch it and can spend your time better elsewhere. You’re welcome.

Cut to the Chase – Death Tunnel, the Tunnel that Eats People

daylight I recently had the privilege of watching the film Daylight, a late 90’s film starring Sylvester Stallone which I’d describe as “Cliffhanger but in a tunnel.”

I knew in the first ten minutes of this film that it was going to be awesome. Why? Because the writer kept packing things into this tunnel. These include:

  1. Several toxic waste trucks
  2. Jewel thieves in a high speed chase
  3. A bunch of snooty-sounding rich people
  4. Viggo Mortensen
  5. Sylvester Stallone, playing a cab driver
  6. A bunch of tunnel workers that appear really happy

And in the first ten minutes, the word “tunnel” was used at least once every 15 seconds. So you know what this is like, I’ll use the word “tunnel” in every sentence in the next paragraph.

So what happens in this movie about the tunnel? The jewel thieves are in a high speed chase trying to escape the cops, so they decide to try to take the a tunnel. They then crash into toxic waste trucks which cause the tunnel to explode. A bunch of people are trapped in the tunnel. Sylvester Stallone finds all of the survivors in the tunnel and leads them into the tunnel’s wine alcove. Behind the wine alcove is a tunnel that leads all of the survivors into John Malkovich’s head. After about 15 minutes, the tunnel survivors are dumped out onto the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. Everyone dies a little bit after their experience with the tunnel. The end (of the tunnel).

Cut to the Chase – Rookie of the Year

200px-Rookie_of_the_year It’s the last inning of the most important game of the year, and you have just one inning to pitch. The only problem is that your arm isn’t letting you pitch 100% anymore. Do you:

  1. Call a time out, tell your coach, and get replaced by another relief pitcher? OR
  2. Intentionally walk 2 players, then get your team together, come up with two trick plays, and then toss the ball underhand across the plate to the best hitter on the opposing team?

For Henry Rowengartner of Rookie of the Year, the right answer was #2. And apparently the entire team was okay with it.

Henry is a 12 year old boy whose tendons “healed a little too tight” after breaking his arm. He then gains the ability to throw a baseball really fast. The owners of the Chicago Cubs, who at the time needed to sell out every baseball seat for the rest of the season in order to hold onto the team, likely because they have the worst bank in the world, decide to exploit 12 year old Henry, and bring him onto the team.

Henry pitches well, and most players cannot hit his fastball. The exception is nemesis Butch Heddo, a power hitter on the New York Mets that likes to taunt children.

Eventually, the Cubs start winning, and in the last game of the year, the Cubs play the Mets for the division title. Henry pitches two solid innings until he trips on a baseball, falls on his arm, and loses his ability to pitch 100mph fastballs. So what does he do? He intentionally walks two players and relies on their being incredibly stupid to get them out with trick plays.

The third batter up in the inning is Butch Heddo, Henry’s nemesis that has never had trouble hitting Henry’s pitches even when Henry was able to pitch 100mph. So what does Henry do? AFTER INTENTIONALLY WALKING TWO STRAIGHT PLAYERS, HE DECIDES TO ACTUALLY PITCH.

Which, okay, would be fine… except for the fact that his team, fully aware that Henry can no longer pitch fast, still insists that he pitch his fastball, a pitch that, contrary to popular belief, is actually only effective when thrown fast.

Under a lot of stress, Henry takes a second and steps off the rubber of the pitching mound. He then peels back a piece of tape on what he thought was his dad’s baseball glove, revealing that it was actually his mom that played baseball. (Now, you may think that I as the blog writer just neglected to explain the significance of Henry’s glove, but rest assured, this is the first time that the audience of the movie is introduced to it as well). Realizing that it was really his mom that was the baseball player, Henry shares a telepathic moment with his mom in which his mom instructs Henry to “float” the ball over the plate. What’s the significance of “floating” the ball? I don’t know. This was also left out of the movie. However, Henry does it, Heddo strikes out, the Cubs win, and players of Major League baseball go on strike the next year in 1994. The end.

Keenan Thompson and the Texas cheerleader scandal

Keenan Thompson continues to get laughs with his “confused bystander” character on SNL. What’s his secret? Is it that his viewers find themselves easily able to identify with his character as many have at some time in their lives been confused bystanders? Is it his trademark “surprised” facial expression?

No. The answer is much more devious. It’s a sign that lights up telling the audience to laugh.

Unfortunately, I did not see the sign, and thus I had no reason to find SNL funny tonight.

…which gave me the opportunity to watch Fab 5: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal on Lifetime: Television for Women.

Fab 5: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal is the prequel to the horror flick The Texas Cheerleader Chainsaw Massacre, in which five cheerleaders with a problem with authority end up becoming cannibals, living in the woods, and wearing leather masks.

The prequel tells the story of a cheerleading coach that overcomes adversity. And by adversity, I mean 5 teenage girls.

So what did the 5 teenage girls do? They went wild. (And in the sequel, they go feral!)

That’s really the entire movie. Al out.

Cut to the Chase – True Beauty, 24, and The City (Reconsidered)

This is the exciting beginning of a new season of television shows. Three that I have been following are “True Beauty,” “24,” and “The City.”

Let’s start with “True Beauty.” This show is a reality TV competition in which 3 judges deceive a group of people into believing they are in a beauty competition even though they are really being judged based on an arbitrary definition of inner beauty.

Moving on: “24.” Jack Bauer returns for another season of fighting terrorists and other stuff. I do like this show a lot, and I am definitely hooked. My one complaint: I’m really tired of these visions of the future where computer user interfaces are really nice but are built with HUGE FLAWS. For example, in this season of 24, the United States is protected by a firewall that protects a system that somehow controls air traffic control around the entire country, water treatment, and other important entities. This firewall can also be undermined if the designer of the firewall is given a soldering iron and a bunch of fancy looking circuits. And the firewall can be rebuilt in 6 days (but that’s not soon enough!)

So my questions are:

  • Who decided to link all of these systems together so that if the firewall were compromised, terrorists would have controls to… everything?
  • Who decided that it was okay to have a single “firewall” that could be undermined by a single person?
  • Who decided to network the mechanism that would release toxic water into the nation’s water supply so that it could be controlled remotely?
  • Who decided to implement a mechanism that would release toxic water into the nation’s water supply at the water treatment plant?

And this isn’t just in 24. Every other episode of Star Treks “The Next Generation” and “Voyager” are about the computer being compromised somehow and the ship being put in lots of risk.

Oh yeah, and Brannon Braga, producer of Star Trek TNG and Voyager, is ALSO executive producer of this season of 24. HMMMMMM.

Finally, let’s revisit “The City.” Last time, I talked about how I was happy that there’s finally a show that speaks to the issues faced by wealthy, attractive people. Well, while I still like the show, I’ve just got one problem with it: everyone in the show seems to be spending way more money than they could possibly afford. That’s right. I guess a bunch of them are rich, which is fine (good for them!), but it just bothers me that they have these seemingly low paying jobs but keep going to these chic New York restaurants where entrees cost at least $20. Okay, so maybe $20 doesn’t sound so high, but you KNOW they’re ordering appetizers and wine. And when they go out, you KNOW they’re getting the $10 drinks.