Archive for the 'Humor' Category

Films can be funny, but this is humor about films: parodies, satires, and more.

The Hobbit trailer, real and literal

11-Jan-12 6:36 PM by
Filed under Humor, Trailers; Comments Off on The Hobbit trailer, real and literal

I'm a fan of The Lord of the Rings — the movies, not the books — and not obsessively so. I saw each of the three movies the weekend they were released, followed by the director's cuts back-to-back in a marathon session seven years ago. But the tale didn't begin with Fellowship of the Ring, and neither did the marathon: we started with Rankin's animated movie, The Hobbit, which I'd seen many times as a child. It's a fun movie and the best in an overall poor series of animated adaptations of JRR Tolkien's books.

It seems the only way we'll have the complete tale in a single medium, animated or live action, is to target the anomalous entry in the above marathon for replacement. Peter Jackson is happy to oblige beginning December 14, 2012, with the first of the two movies, the first being The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

This is not technically a prequel, as it was written before Fellowship, but it is indeed set many decades before that 2001 film. Some things remain constant, however: just as the previous trilogy is greatly enhanced by RiffTrax, so too has The Hobbit already begun attracting its satirists:

Like the literal trailer and its lyrics? You can get the song on iTunes for only 99 cents! Good grief.

I eagerly await this return to Middle-Earth and all the good humor it portends.

(Hat tip to Mary House and Know Your Meme)

Cello Wars

06-Dec-11 2:11 PM by
Filed under Humor, Star Wars; Comments Off on Cello Wars

Star Wars and John Williams' soundtrack for same have inspired many lyrical masterpieces that pay homage to the original while creating their own unique variation and atmosphere. The format and style has ranged from the faithful Star Wars: In Concert tour to a corny Star Wars: The Musical the interpretive Dancing with the Stars.

Adding to that eclectic body of work and currently topping the YouTube charts is what's sure to be an instant classic. Please enjoy Cello Wars:

And yes, that's the same guy on both sides of the duel. In the YouTube video description, artists The Piano Guys detail the investment in this production: "70 days later, more than 7,000 frames, 72 audio tracks, 24 hours of filming through the night in front of a green screen, the most props and costumes we've ever used, several broken bows and strings, and over 1,000 hours of editing and rendering". I'd say it was worth the effort!

You can download the MP3 version for free, though it features only 75% of the above video's soundtrack. Snagging this file (which has no ID3 tags) requires engaging in a viral marketing campaign by sharing a link via Facebook page or Twitter; far less obnoxious is subscribing to their YouTube channel — a pretty low price for such a quality product.

May the strings be with you!

(Hat tip to Jessica Kreutter)

Duck Tape TRON

22-Aug-11 9:04 PM by
Filed under Humor; Comments Off on Duck Tape TRON

This TRON video came out just today and is sure to be a viral hit — so I'm doing my part and sharing it with Showbits readers, my favorite Internet denizens.

Has TRON's light cycle scene ever been so masterfully recreated than by this work of TRON Guy? I met Jay Maynard at ROFLCon a few years ago, and this advertisement for Duck-brand duct tape is the perfect amalgamation of his stereotyped perception and actual personality. Besides, what genius is it to advertise a specific brand of tape? It's like comedian Steven Wright has said: you never see an advertisement for string. All it takes is one ad to put your product ahead of the competition. I'd say Duck Tape just soared well past the other brands on the grid.

(Hat tip to 8 Bit Weapon)

The Netflix Relief Fund

28-Jul-11 3:06 PM by
Filed under Humor; Comments Off on The Netflix Relief Fund

With Blockbuster in its dying throes, Netflix has exploited its dominance over the home video market with a recent raise in rates. Customers are outraged that they are now expected to pay for one month of streaming service nearly as much as they now pay for a single Starbucks latte.

I've offered an affordable and civic-minded alternative, but it is not American consumers' way to change their habits; they want to keep doing what they've always been doing, regardless of how viable it is. Fortunately, their cause now has some celebrity weight to it. Jason Alexander speaks on behalf of the Netflix Relief Fund:

If this plea doesn't put things in perspective, then please give generously.

(Hat tips to Kara Swisher and Ryan Faas)

The Avengers' Backup

27-Jul-11 8:29 PM by
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Stan Lee's true believers know to stick around after each Marvel superhero film, in case of an Easter Egg teasing future comic book adaptations. Perhaps the greatest series of such teasers are those that began with the original Iron Man film, subtly setting the groundwork for multiple movies to be tied together, leading up to The Avengers.

It's the promise of that 2012 film, which will unite Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, and Thor that led me to catch this summer's release of Thor. I have no familiarity with the Norse god and wasn't interested in seeing his movie — but I knew that if I skipped this one while seeing the other three, I'd be only 75% prepared for the team-up I 100% want to see.

These tie-ins successfully pried my moviegoing money from me, making it an effective strategy for Marvel. What if they decided to apply that same tactic to more of their films — or even patented it then lent it to other studios? What other films might we be forced to endure just to ensure we didn't miss the big picture? College Humor has the answer.

Ode to Spot Rap

28-May-11 8:18 AM by
Filed under Humor, Star Trek; 1 comment.

Data is one of my favorite characters in all of Star Trek lore. He's so sincere and earnest, yet he often falls short in his attempts to become more human. The best that others can do is patiently appreciate the effort and be encouraging.

A prime example is in the TNG episode "Schisms", in which various crew members are subjected to nighttime alien abductions. This episode is also the origin of the fondly remembered demonstration of iambic heptameter known as "Ode to Spot", a poem written by the ship's android describing the qualities of his feline companion.

Despite its misspoken opening line, I love this artistic effort of Data's. Although his audience members roll their eyes, is there anything truly wrong with the piece? It's clever, it rhymes, and it shows true affection.

The only thing that could make it better — is if it were set to music:

Add "hip" to the list of Data's qualities.

A version of this rap is also included in a longer nerdcore dedication to Data.

(Hat tip to ROFLrazzi)

Star Trek Voyager Turns 16

16-Jan-11 10:58 AM by
Filed under Humor, Star Trek; 1 comment.

On this day in 1995, Star Trek: Voyager made its premiere, launching Paramount's own television network, UPN. Though building on plot threads developed in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine (most noticeably the existence of the Maquis rebel faction), by stranding a Starfleet vessel in the far reaches of the Delta Quadrant, the show promised to return the franchise to its founding premise of exploration and discovery, something that was often absent from the more operatic DS9.

For all that potential, Voyager is often maligned as the worst Star Trek series of all. Consistent plot holes (no stranger to the Star Trek universe), atrocious writing (Threshold beats out Shades of Gray anytime), sexy but shallow characters (Kes, Seven of Nine), non-threatening adversaries (leave it to Voyager to defang the Borg), and an over-reliance on spatial anomalies (including time travel as a series finale deus ex machina) hamstrung the show.

Voyager had its strong points as well, and I enjoyed its episodes more often than I didn't. But a proper roast doesn't focus on a subject's admirable qualities, so to bid a happy sweet sixteenth birthday to the fourth live-action Star Trek series, I offer this breakdown of Voyager's secret formula (note: the following video contains a subtitle with the f-word — you have been warned):

Happy anniversary, Voyager. May you live long and prosper!

(Hat tip to uncultured via ROFLrazzi)

RiffTrax Shines on Twilight

30-Jun-10 12:29 PM by
Filed under Humor; Comments Off on RiffTrax Shines on Twilight

Today is the premiere of Eclipse, the third film in The Twilight Saga, a cinematic adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's series of romantic vampire novels. The movies have been lambasted by many men and fantasy enthusiasts for defanging vampires and for wooden acting, and today's release will likely send such critics scurrying before stampedes of fanatic women and "Twilight moms".

Breaking that stereotype, I find myself eager for this latest release. Sparkly vampires aside, these movies have incredible potential that few filmgoers recognize. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner have not created an epic romantic tale that casts them as romantic role models for teenagers everywhere. No — what they've done is play the straight man to enterprising comedians. Thank goodness for RiffTrax, the satirical commentary provided by the geniuses behind MST3K, for completing this partnership.

Although the riffers' access to Eclipse will likely be delayed until the home video release sometime in November or December, the first two films in the franchise have already provided the team with comedic fodder. It's the only way I've allowed myself to be exposed to the films, and everyone in the audience, including fans of the books, found it to be a roaringly good time. So while you're waiting to bring Eclipse home, don't be shy about being seen with Twilight:

or New Moon — currently available with the previous riff for $2 off!

Although the Twilight series has recently popularized vampires, these demonic creatures have long been enjoying a slow but steady resurgence, as evidenced by pre-Twilight television shows such as True Blood. Their current form — less depraved murderers and more hot, cursed dudes — can perhaps be traced back to the Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle Buffy the Vampire Slayer, albeit with a much stronger female protagonist than Bella. What if that heroine and Twilight's hero were paired? Likely Ms. Meyer's franchise would meet an abrupt end:

Similar to the upcoming Harry Potter finale, the fourth and final Twilight book will be split into two films, meaning we can expect two more years of hilarious spoofs. May the sun never set on such ripe opportunities!