The Bridge to Zero Dollars

The BridgeIf you read John’s movie theater releases for the weekend, then I’m sure you probably know I’m being drug off to Ghost Rider (my wife is a fan of the comic), and also read about the movie “The Bridge to Terabithia.”

If I didn’t read John’s update, I would have absolutely zero idea what Terabithia was about, and that is why this movie is going to flop completely this weekend. It could be getting the best reviews in the world (after a quick glance at Rottentomatoes, it’s doing quite well) but no one knows what the thing is about.

The first time I saw a commercial for Terabithia I wasn’t paying much attention. It just seemed to me that these guys were trying to capitalize on the fantasy genre with a movie that looked like Narnia and a main character that looks like Harry Potter. However, I kind of dig movies with creative looking monsters like something out of Jim Henson’s shop running around, so I decided I’d pay a little more attention to the commercial the next time I saw it.

The commercial comes on, and it tells you absolutely zero about the movie. All we learn is that there is a big creature that is ticklish because a dog runs between its toes and it laughs. Seriously, I’ve seen the commercial roughly 47 times, and each time I try to see if I’m missing something. Nope. All we know is that there is a ticklish monster in it.

The only thing I really know about this movie is that it’s based on a successful children’s book. Whoever was in charge of marketing for this project needs to be fired, because no one knows what the hell it’s about.

I’ll honestly be surprised if this thing cracks the top three movies, let alone top 5 over the weekend. There is no way crappy Norbit is budging from the top 5 that easily. I can also see that crap fest Hue Grant vehicle getting solid returns because it’s the weekend after Valentines Day (especially since many people in America were snowed in that day). Finally, Ghost Rider will probably make a decent amount of dough just because of what it is.

Maybe I can convince my wife not to see Ghost Rider, and maybe we’ll check out Terabithia instead. Right?


Theater Releases for February 16th

I guess I’m the unofficial “movie guy” here at the Shamoozal. Probably because I go to theaters for flicks and watch DVDs more than most people I know. I don’t know if this will be a regular weekly update or not. We’ll see. But anyway, here are the FRIDAY THEATER RELEASES!!!!! YEEEEEEEAH! I wish I had cool sound effects that could go off when you read the title or maybe a little CSI Miami opening David Caruso one-liner sound but oh well. All I get is stinkin text!

Cage Rider
Yeah, I’m good. I feel like my skull is on fire, but I’m good.

GHOST RIDER – Cage + Comic Book Superhero = Recipe for….. DISASTER!!! I gotta admit I love Cage. Nicolas Cage has made some quality movies (of course this is my opinion and not actually held in the majority of the general public). I’m a fan of Con-Air, The Rock, Raising Arizona, The Weather Man, Gone in 60 Seconds, Adaptation, Matchstick Men, Face/Off, Snake Eyes, 8MM, National Treasure, and World Trade Center. But I have to admit this movie looks like absolute GAR-BAGE! Even a diehard Cage fan like me would never see this movie in theaters. I guess it’s going to provide some laughs, not purposely though. Have fun Phil.

Do I Creep You Out?

BREACH – Chris Cooper always looks like a creep. This movie lets him express his creepiness once again. It’s about a traitor to the US who works for the CIA but is feeding info to the Russians. Ryan Philippe has to get evidence to bust him. It could be cool but it could be boring too. Ryan Philippe isn’t exactly my choice for lead of a film but he was decent in Crash. I’d watch it eventually but I’m not rushing out to theaters to see this anytime soon.

Bridge to Terabithia
It’s The Bridge! WHAT?! To Terabithia!

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA – seems like they are trying to capitalize on the same crowd that came out for the Narnia movie or maybe even the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is really similar to Narnia though but it’s just not getting the same buzz. Narnia was a popular book series but the novel that this story comes from I have never heard of. It’s about 2 kids creating a fantasy world where they rule the kingdom, battle the baddie, and meet all kinds of creatures. I’ve loved creatures in movies since the Jim Henson days but I have no desire to see this creature feature.

I guess if I had to choose one movie to see this weekend it would be Breach. It could actually be good and interesting or bad and boring. But I have to admit, I’m really tempted to laugh at Cage as Ghost Rider with a bad toupee but I think it would be much better seeing that on TV one day with friends so we could crack up at the ridiculousness.

Arj and Poopy

The Shamoozal is a site dedicated to delivering the nerdiest attractions on the ‘net. However, our main focus is on the shorts we produce in Flash. We’re deffinately not the only ones out there doing their thing in animation, and I’d like to take a few moments to point out another site featuring some very nice stuff.


“Arj and Poopy” follows the dialy exploits of a guy and his cat…almost sounds like Grey and Jacquo, but hey, they say there’s no such thing as an original story. A third character, “Bouncy the Dog”, has been added to the cast and he’s a hoot. There’s a few episodes up at for your perusal. Some of the earlier ones are a bit too tweeny for my taste. I find excessive tweening gives animation a soft, mushy feel. It doesn’t allow the animation to sit in the frame and robs it of weight.


However, the newest short,”Congo Windfall“, pushes the envelope with more key-framed animation lending it some much needed tooth to the animation. The narrative starts off a bit slow, but picks up when a “music video” of Bouncy doing his thing kicks in. Its got some really nice timing and alot of expressive drawings. The voice acting is very low key, but fits the slacker attitude of Arj. Poopy is silent, but emotes very well through pushed expressions and alot of takes. And of course, Bouncy lives up to his name with an extreamely well done rap routine. I won’t say any more to ruin it, just go watch it. Its a deffinate must watch. Enjoy!


Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Snaggle Tooth

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day from everyone at The Shamoozal. Above is the official mascot, and I use that term in all seriousness, of the holiday here at the Shamooz. Take her in for all her beauty, and bask in the glory of her stunning snaggle tooth. Happy VD for everyone.

Nerds in Love: What nerdy activities do you share?

valentine nerds

It’s Valentine’s Day, the biggest pile of shit holiday ever conceived by a greeting card company. Still, one can’t help but think of their ‘significant other’ on a day like this. I’m pretty lucky to have a wife that not only tolerates most of my habits, but also partakes in them with me. The first fight my wife and I ever had was over a game of Mario Kart 64, we had a whole racket going on to scam Tom Nook out of Bells and we were introduced at our wedding reception to the X-Files theme music.

So if you’re currently spoken for, what kind of geeky activities bring you both to mutual nerdgasm? Give us some feedback…

Capsule Toys from Japan

Remember when you used to go to the grocery store with your parents, and after checkout you would beg them to let you buy a little toy from those 25 cent machines? Yeah, those capsule machines were really cool when you didn’t know any better. However, once you hit a certain age, you realized that the toy inside sucked. It sucked big time.

When I went to Japan a few weeks ago, I discovered that feeling as a kid all over again. Capsule toys are huge in Japan, and some of those capsule toys are really cool. There are literally thousands of different machines to choose from, so the chances are you’ll find a machine you like and pump a couple hundred yen into one.

Honestly, before I went to Japan, I think I finally managed to squash my need for wanting toys. I had told myself that they are a waste of money, and that I simply don’t have the room for them anymore. The truth is, they are a waste of money and garbage, but when garbage is as cool as this stuff, it’s hard to resist.

In Japan, capsule toys can range in quality and price. The machine range is usually between 100 – 300 yen per toy. The 100 yen machines will net you something smaller, while the 400 yen machines spit out miniature action figures that actually require some assembly.

Capsule Toys

A tiny Tom Nook for 100 Yen, and Noriko from the anime Gunbuster for 400 Yen

These machines are littered everywhere throughout Tokyo, almost as many capsule machines as there are vending machines. Certain areas, like Akihabara and Ueno, have a ridiculously huge amount of these machines. Some stores even devote full sections to the machines, offering up all sorts of licesned character goodies.

It’s easy to become highly addicted to collecting these little figures. Heck, even Ryo “Do you know where sailors normally hang out?” Hazuki ends up buying a bazillion of them on his quest to find out who killed his father. My wife and I ended up leaving Japan with more then we probably should have, but at least they are priced decent.

DVD Releases for February 13th

Its time for another edition of Tuesday DVD Releases. Lets cut all the jibber jabber and get right down to the nitty gritty. Below I have listed the cover art for some of the major releases coming out today. See for yourself….

The DepartedMarie Antoinette
The QuietSchool For ScoundrelsZoom: Academy for Superheroes

Additional releases are Infamous which is the same movie as Capote with different actors, Half Nelson which I hear includes a stellar performance by Ryan Gosling, Man About Town with Ben Affleck and Rebbeca Romijn-NoMoreStamos/Katsopolis, a couple documentaries like The U.S. vs. John Lennon about the Beatle and his involvement in politics and F**K about the naughty word we all love to use. Some seasons coming out are Golden Girls Season 7, Picket Fences Season 1, and All in the Family Season 6. And a show I just started getting into, Reno 911: Reno’s Most Wanted. A nice bulk of media to satisfy the masses this week.

If I had to choose one movie to buy it would, without a doubt, be The Departed. Its one of Martin Scorsese’s finest films in years and has a all star cast of great performances. It may have been my favorite movie of 2006 but I can never decide on stuff like that. Marie Antoinette looked like horse crap, I have no further comment on that movie. I don’t know enough about the Quiet to comment on but I heard it has some sexy action with Kim Bauer herself, Elisha Cuthbert. I saw School For Scoundrels and it was pretty funny. Billy Bob and Napoleon worked well together. And Zoom… Tim Allen… Superheroes… Enough said (which means it had to be AWESOME).

And thats it. Party On.

Kid Icarus

Kid Icarus TitleI told myself that I wouldn’t write about video games on here for the next few days, but then Nintendo decided to release Kid Icarus on the Virtual Console, and I feel compelled to write about it.

Kid Icarus, is without a doubt, one of my all time favorite video games. I have already played the game to death on the NES, and it’s one of the few I still pop into the machine from time to time. Even though I already know the game inside and out, it doesn’t make me any less excited about it’s new re-release on Nintendo’s retro service. Needless to say, this is going to be one of the few games I already own that I’m buying again.

For those who don’t know, Kid Icarus is unlike many games you have played before. Yeah, it’s a 2D platformer, and yeah, you shoot stuff with arrows, but there is much more to it than that. First off, the overall design of the game is genius. The whole point of the game is to go from hell, to the heavens. The first “world” has you, as Pit, trying to escape from the depths of hell. In true Greek mythology fashion, hell is under the earth, so you spend the first few stages literally climbing out of it. Once you worm your way out of there, you travel the earth for a bit, and eventually climb your way up into the clouds. For an old NES game, it’s really awesome to see the care and thought that went into the layout of the entire quest.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is also the first game I can think of that requires some stealth on your part, even before Metal Gear. See, there is this awesome Grim Reaper litered throughout the game. He slowly walks back and forth “looking” for Pit. Your best bet would be to leave him alone and sneak past him when he has his back turned. If you’re snagged, he flips out and calls his little cronies to come and attack. Being caught is probably one of my most memorable video game moments (as you can see, I used the caught situation as the graphic for 8-Bit Music Trivia on the podcast). It’s hilarious to watch and hear the Grim Reaper running around, and the music that plays is awesome.

The game also has a “secret” experience system in play. Every time you kill a monster or collect something you get points for it. At the end of each stage, it tallies up the amount of points you earned. What you may not realize is that you slowly gain more abilities over time. Pit will get more health, and the ability to shoot arrows further and faster. Basically, killing as many monsters as possible has its rewards.

I could go on and on about Kid Icarus, but I don’t want to ruin anymore surprises for new comers. This is a really great game that I feel has aged incredibly well, and hopefully this new release will help propel Kid Icarus from cult favorite to all time classic.

A worthy download, get it ASAP.