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Tuesday
Nov252014

Jurassic World, Deep Blue Sea... With Dinosaurs?

When I was probably around ten years old I was your average American boy, in that, I really liked dinosaurs and sharks.  I also had big dreams of being a screenwriter.  I wrote a lot of little stories and mapped out other, grander tales but I rarely shared them with anyone.  One Thanksgiving night, with the whole family gathered in the living room my older sister started asking me to share one of my ideas for a movie.  I didn't want to, not being incredibly confident in my artistic abilities and realizing also that most of my ideas were pretty half baked, but she would not relent, insisting that she wouldn't make fun of me.  So, finally I told her and some of my other family members about an idea I had that involved an open ocean aquarium type place that studied sharks and was also open to the public.  Through a series of mishaps, the sharks get lose in the facility and mayhem ensues.  Needless to say I was mercilessly mocked for this idea (particularly by my oldest sister), as it was seen as a blatant rip off of Jurassic Park only with sharks.  The whole experience was very upsetting.

But lo and behold, a few short years later there was a little movie called Deep Blue Sea.  It was remarkably similar to my original idea, right down to the shark whispering character played by Thomas Jane.

Well, it seems Steven Speilberg also saw Deep Blue Sea.

Despite a trilogy that pretty much had the sole message of People+Dinosaurs=Disaster, the first glimpses of Jurassic World have been unveiled to the galaxy.

It is hard to say thus far what to expect from this movie, it might be really cool, it might be Kingdom of the Crystal Skull part two.  One thing that is pretty clear, however, is that movie's plot seems to be suspiciously similar to Deep Blue Sea.

Seeing as how Deep Blue Sea is a rip off of Jurassic Park they wouldn't have to do very much to make the movies more alike, but it is as though the makers of Jurassic World watched Deep Blue Sea, took what little they could find that was distinct about it, and inserted it into their screenplay.

Lets break it down from what we know from the trailer.

Deep Blue Sea:

- Scientists breed genetically modified sharks in an effort to cure Alzheimer's.  A side effect of this is that the sharks become highly intelligent.

- The super intelligent sharks at one point eat another shark.

- The sharks get lose in a power failure and run amuck.

- There is a hot female scientist (Saffron Burrows) that arrogantly thinks she can play God with wild animals.

- Their is a cool, shark whisperer type character (Thomas Jane) that the other characters look to for leadership.

My Awesome 10-year-old screenplay

- Everything above minus the female scientist and Alzheimer's thing, plus facility is open to the public.

Jurassic World

- Everything above but swap "shark" for "dinosaur", probably minus Alzheimer's angle.

Literally, everything from above.  Chris Pratt is playing the velociraptor whisperer and Bryce Dallas Howard is the sexy mad scientist.  There's even a scene in the trailer of a prehistoric sea creature eating a shark (possibly meant as an eff you moment to Deep Blue Sea).  There is no reason given why they are genetically modifying the dinosaurs in the trailer, but it is likely there is some sort of hypothetically beneficial reason similar to the Alzheimer's thing.

Deep Blue Sea, Sexy ScientistSexy Scientist, Jurassic World

So, with all of this, my question is: why?

Is it all just a crazy coincidence?  Did they just hope no one would notice?  Did they do it purposefully to shove it in the faces of the makers of Deep Blue Sea?  Did someone raid my old writing journals?

I'm fine with whatever the answer is as long as we get a scene with Samuel L. Jackson giving an impassioned speech while sitting on a toilet only to get suddenly chomp'd by a T-rex.

Tuesday
Nov182014

Jaden and Willow Smith Give Incredible Interview for New York Times. Want a Break Down?

So, you may have already seen, but the poster children of celebrity nepotism, Willow and Jaden Smith (Will Smith's kids), gave a highly philosophical completely un-ironic interview to the New York Times that was published yesterday.  The result is one of the most jaw droppingly non-self aware, pseudo-intellectual conversations ever put to print.

Now, to be fair, there are a lot of teenagers walking the earth who think they're smarter than they are, trying to grasp complicated philosophical subjects before they can really understand them.  The problem with Jaden and Willow is that, not only is no one telling them they don't know what they're talking about, they are surrounded by adults actively enabling them.  This interviewer completely accepts everything they're saying like gospel.  They aren't challenged once on any of the ridiculous things they say.  Willow and Jaden use circular logic and platitudes to try and make grand points about nothing and the interviewer just lets them go for it.  Who knows, maybe Will Smith was in the room and the interviewer was intimidated.

Anyway, check out the full article here if you dare, but here are some choice highlights.

Question: What have you been reading? 

A.

WILLOW: Quantum physics. Osho.

JADEN: “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life” and ancient texts; things that can’t be pre-dated.

---------

I guess Nietzsche and Lao-Tzu were too mainstream.

Question: I’m curious about your experience of time. Do you feel like life is moving really quickly? Is your music one way to sort of turn it over and reflect on it?

WILLOW: I mean, time for me, I can make it go slow or fast, however I please, and that’s how I know it doesn’t exist.

JADEN: It’s proven that how time moves for you depends on where you are in the universe. It’s relative to beings and other places. But on the level of being here on earth, if you are aware in a moment, one second can last a year. And if you are unaware, your whole childhood, your whole life can pass by in six seconds. But it’s also such a thing that you can get lost in.

WILLOW: Because living.

JADEN: Right, because you have to live.

--------

Sure Willow, time doesn't exist.  Let's see if you still feel that way when you're 45 and getting your 15th botox injection.

It is true that time is relative in the Universe.  For example, if you are close to a black hole the gravity of it is so powerful that time slows down (Yeah Jaden, I too have seen the TV show Cosmos).  Except time is consistent everywhere on earth and for all intents and purposes anywhere Jaden or Willow Smith are going to be so it is a completely empty and pointless thing to say.  Just teenager trying to sound smart.  The result, tragically, is the exact opposite.

Question: How have you gotten better? (As an artist)

WILLOW: Caring less what everybody else thinks, but also caring less and less about what your own mind thinks, because what your own mind thinks, sometimes, is the thing that makes you sad.

JADEN: Exactly. Because your mind has a duality to it. So when one thought goes into your mind, it’s not just one thought, it has to bounce off both hemispheres of the brain. When you’re thinking about something happy, you’re thinking about something sad. When you think about an apple, you also think about the opposite of an apple. It’s a tool for understanding mathematics and things with two separate realities. But for creativity: That comes from a place of oneness. That’s not a duality consciousness. And you can’t listen to your mind in those times — it’ll tell you what you think and also what other people think.

WILLOW: And then you think about what you think, which is very dangerous.

--------

Woof.  A lot of Scientology babble here.  But what the hell is the opposite of an Apple, Jaden?  Now I'm completely fucking tortured.

Q: What are you searching for in those pieced-together moments? (In the creative process)

JADEN: Honestly, we’re just trying to make music that we think is cool. We don’t think a lot of the music out there is that cool. So we make our own music. We don’t have any song that we like to listen to on the P.C.H. by any other artist, you know?

WILLOW: That’s what I do with novels. There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.

JADEN: Willow’s been writing her own novels since she was 6.

------------

I bet James Joyce would be devastated to here that his work wasn't good enough for a born rich, sheltered, six-year-old.  Good thing he's dead.

The greatest author of the English language < Willow Smith

Q: So is the hardest education the unlearning of things?

WILLOW: Yes, basically, but the crazy thing is it doesn’t have to be like that.

JADEN: Here’s the deal: School is not authentic because it ends. It’s not true, it’s not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to.

WILLOW: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed.

JADEN: Kids who go to normal school are so teenagery, so angsty.

WILLOW: They never want to do anything, they’re so tired.

JADEN: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many car accidents happen every day. Driver’s ed? What’s up? I still haven’t been to driver’s ed because if everybody I know has been in an accident, I can’t see how driver’s ed is really helping them out.

----------

Yes, teens that go to school are so teenagery, unlike Willow and Jaden.  Also, let it be known that Jaden Smith seems to believe that there would be less road accidents if there was no driver's education.  Stay in school, kids.

Q: So what’s next? 

JADEN: I have a goal to be just the most craziest person of all time. And when I say craziest, I mean, like, I want to do like Olympic-level things. I want to be the most durable person on the planet.

WILLOW: I think by the time we’re 30 or 20, we’re going to be climbing as many mountains as we can possibly climb.

----------

When I was 15 I wanted to be a rockstar AND a famous filmmaker and I still had a sliver of conviction that it was possible.  The craziest person of all-time and an Olympian sound like pretty lofty goals, but then, my dad isn't Will Smith.

Sunday
Nov162014

Who are the Top 5 All-Time NYC Rock Bands?

Everyone already knows New York City is responsible for producing a lot of fantastic things.

Pizza.

Liberty.

Brooklyn Lager.

The list goes on.  Of course, music has always been entrenched in NYC culture.  Jay-Z, Miles Davis, Simon and Garfunkel are all products of the greatest city in the world.  But what about rock n' roll?  And no, I don't mean Steely Dan.  I mean actual distortion loving, frontman wailing rock bands.  Well NYC has those too.  And Rated Wrong is now going to take some time out of its precious Sunday football watching time to inform you on the 5 greatest rock bands to call NYC home.

*Criteria Key:

- Quality

- Influence

- New York City-ness

- Level of fame

- Musicianship

Honorable Mention

Kiss

The ultimate salesmen of rock n' roll, Kiss are the Walt Disney of music (and Gene Simmons is Mickey Mouse).  All of your senses will be bombarded and everything is for sale.  If this was a list of the most recognizable NYC bands, they'd have a strong argument for #1, but ultimately, Kiss don't measure up in musicianship, influence or the hits to make the top five.  Their greatest song about New York, "New York Groove", isn't even a Kiss song (It was on Ace Freely's solo album).

#5


Talking Heads

The late 70s into the early 80s were dark times for rock n' roll.  Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Huey Lewis and the News made up the very pinnacle of rock.  Fine bands all, but anytime you say "Fleetwood Mac is the biggest rock band on the planet"  that's a bad day.  While the nation was suffering, however, the New York City rock scene was flourishing.  Talking Heads was a band that didn't have much national fame, but their quality would endure for years to come and their influence remains strong in rock music today for bands looking to the push the artistic envelope.  Also, bonus points for trailblazing the "woman bass player" look.

#4

LCD Soundsystem


The only band on this list that wasn't around when Richard Nixon was president and without question the greatest band to come out of The Big Apple in the last 25 years.  Strictly speaking, LCD Soundsystem's classification as a rock band is a little tricky.  Truthfully, classifying LCD's rock/electronic fusion sound at all is pretty tough, but the power on tracks like "North American Scum" and "Give it Up" is undeniable.  Combine their impressive catalogue with that groundbreaking musical style and you end up with James Murphy's brain child being the #4 all-time NYC rock band.

#3


New York Dolls

Robert Christgau's all-time favorite band.  The New York Dolls helped usher in the era of punk in New York with their searing 1973 self-titled debut album and rough, wild attitude.  A feat so greatly influential to rock music that they can be forgiven for also being a primary cause to the rise of glam rock.  Heavily influencing the likes of The Ramones, Kiss, Ryan Adams, and Guns n' Roses, the New York Dolls are not only one of the top five New York City bands ever they may also be one of the most all-time influential rock bands anywhere.

#2


The Ramones

The students have become the masters.  No one would ever call the Ramones talented musicians or nuanced song writers.  What they were:  4 guys from NYC with loud guitars, catchy lyrics, and the ability to play their instruments very very fast.  The Ramones perfected a look and sound that would come to define punk rock for decades.  Playing songs that might have been pop hits if they slowed down and weren't about Nazis and the Klan.

#1


The Velvet Underground

Was there ever any doubt?  Between John Cale's musicianship and every single thing about Lou Reed no one was ever going to challenge The Velvet Undergound's place atop the mountain.  Although they never achieved wide reaching fame while together they made their mark on music, influencing a multitude of artists and coming to define the detached, cool attitude that is the very spirit of New York City.  During an era of incredible musical experimentation, no one else sounded like the Velvet Underground.  The Velvet Underground have been often been described as being ahead of their time, but this is incorrect, the Velvet Underground changed the future of rock music.