Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tune In Thursday: Chicago

That's Chicago the musical, not the band. Just to make it clear. Specifically, the song "Roxie," which is a really entertaining tune from the show, sung by Roxie Hart about all the fame she imagines she will have someday. It also gets stuck in my head all the time, so now it can get stuck in yours!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The One Kind of Kids' Joke That Always Makes Me Laugh

I've begun my wrap-up of my massive 2014 movie challenge and I hoped to have it ready for you today, but, nope, that's going to take until Monday. But I realized that I have never posted about my undying love for a very specific style of joke: the elephant joke.

Elephant jokes appeal to the absurd side of my sense of humor. According to Wikipedia:
An elephant joke is a joke, almost always an absurd riddle or conundrum and often a sequence of such, that involves an elephant. Elephant jokes were a fad in the 1960s, with many people constructing large numbers of them according to a set formula. Sometimes they involve parodies or puns.
Elephant jokes are frequently told in groups, where each joke builds upon expectations of the previous one. And for some reason they just amuse me greatly. So I figured I'd share a few of my favorites. You will either love them or just... not understand their appeal at all. And either is a fair response.

Why do ducks have flat feet?
From stamping out forest fires.
Why do elephants have flat feet?
From stamping out burning ducks.

Why do elephants have flat, round feet?
To make jumping on water-lilies easier.

What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephant coming over the hill?
Here comes the elephant over the hill.
What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephant coming over the hill with dark glasses on?
Nothing. He didn't recognize him.
What is the difference between an elephant and a plum?
Elephants are grey, plums are purple.
What did Jane say when she saw the elephants coming over a hill?
Here come the plums. Jane is colorblind.

Why do elephants paint their toenails red?
So they can hide in cherry trees.
Have you ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree?
No, because it works.
How did Tarzan die?
Picking cherries.

How do you know there's an elephant hiding under your bed?
Your nose is pressed against the ceiling.

Why do elephants buy yellow shoes in bulk?
So they can save on shipping.
Why do elephants wear yellow shoes?
So you can't see them when they float upside down in the custard.
How many elephants do you fit into a mini-cooper?
Two in the front and two in the back.
How can you tell if there's an elephant in the fridge?
The custard looks slightly different.
How can you tell if there are two elephants in your fridge?
They giggle when the light turns on.
How can you tell there are three elephants in your fridge?
It doesn't close all the way.
How can you tell there are four elephants in your fridge?
There's a mini-cooper parked out front.

How do you fit an elephant in the fridge?
Open the fridge door, put the elephant in, and close the fridge door.
How do you fit a giraffe in the fridge?
Open the fridge door, take the elephant out, put the giraffe in, close the fridge door.
Which one will win a 200m race, an elephant or a giraffe?
The elephant, because the giraffe is in the fridge.

Why is an elephant big, gray, and bumpy?
If it was smooth, white, and round it would be an aspirin.

Three elephants jump out of an airplane. Two of them hit land, one hits water...What do you get?
Buhdum Tss!

How does an elephant get up a tree?
They stand on a seed and wait for it to grow?
How does an elephant get out of a tree?
They sit on a leaf and wait until Autumn.

How do you catch an elephant with a phone booth and a bike?
You go to the savanna and leave the phone booth out in the open, with its door open, close to a path used by elephants. Then you hide nearby with the bike. When an elephant comes along, you ring the bell on the bike. The elephant will think the phone is ringing, and will go inside the booth to answer. Close the door quickly, and you have your elephant.

Why did the elephant step on the marshmallow?
So he wouldn't fall in the hot chocolate.

Why was Dumbo so sad?
He was irrelephant.
Why was Bambi so sad?
His mother was murdered.

How do you kill a blue elephant?
Shoot it with a blue elephant gun.
How do you kill a red elephant?
Hold its trunk until it turns blue, then shoot it with a blue elephant gun.
How do you kill a green elephant?
Paint it red, hold its trunk until it turns blue, then shoot it with a blue elephant gun.
How do you kill a purple elephant?
Purple elephants don't exist, silly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tune In Tuesday: Music and Lyrics

This very silly movie included some very, very silly songs -- most notably "Pop! Goes My Heart," which I present for you in all its glory here. I don't think it needs much more of an introduction. Just enjoy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Would You See a Movie With These Crazy Plots?

One of the things I've been doing for a long time (several years) is collecting data from movies' synopses as I see them. The four things I usually collect in lists are:

1. Characters (examples: alien family, legendary director, intruder)
2. Settings (examples: boys' boarding school, 1900s countryside, hokey small-town Missouri)
3. Inanimate Items, both concrete and abstract (examples: new film, secret experiment, fame)
4. Actions (examples: goes through advanced training, overthrows the emperor, gives up)

Typically I use these as writing prompts for myself. I randomize the list, toss a couple of these together ("an alien family at a boys' boarding school goes through advanced training involving a secret experiment") and come up with a short story, either to become something real later or to just get me writing. But more recently I've also been playing around with a sillier use for them.

I've been looking at new theatrical releases on IMDb, looking at their synopses, and swapping out the elements in them with elements in my own.

For example, the IMDb synopsis for The Boy Next Door says this:

Shortly after getting a divorce, a woman falls for a younger man who has recently moved in across the street from her, but their torrid affair soon takes an obsessive, dangerous turn.

So I replace "newly divorced woman" and "younger man" with new characters, "getting a divorce" and "has recently moved in across the street from her" with a new action, and "torrid affair" with a new item to get this final masterpiece:

Shortly after finding love, a magical shapeshifting raccoon falls for a goofy producer who picks up girls, but their aesthetic soon takes an obsessive, dangerous turn.

Some of these are more coherent than others, but here I present to you my favorites.

A Victorian-era miser, an extraterrestrial enemy, a God-fearing bluesman and a snobbish investor, and their misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful toothbrush.

A documentary that tells the story of suburban Connecticut's famous New Yorkers through the eyes of a troubled couple.

A group of recruits travels to the last day of high school in search of a destructive meteor. Finding themselves lost and alone in the afterlife, they meet the duke's son, who deals with a bully.

Alice, a Kermit the Frog look-alike, starts to struggle to come to terms with her personal problems. When she decides to skip Christmas altogether, Alice and her family are sent to the past.

Four Judas Iscariots uncover a Russian plot. With 100,000 Deutschmarks, dream-sharing technology, the Watergate scandal and a paragliding accident, they are merely a figment of a hallucinatory imagination.

As a young girl is interviewed by Samwise Gamgee, it becomes increasingly clear that she is is still listed in his little black book.

In Thailand, the disappearance of a hero draws together three children, a recently deceased ghost, and a dark lord in Vietnam.
(That sounds like it could be a real story.)

In the first summer out of high school, a good girl is faced with the apocalypse during 1978.

In a nuclear attack, a wild young woman is forced to fight the outlaws when she blows their cover. She recruits James T. Kirk to rebuild her team, but the man's chaos brings further misfortune.
(This is the plot for Star Trek 3.)

The art curator Angela is rescued from southeast Asia and taken to a small English town to buy an eight-millimeter movie camera. However, it is unbeknown to the mobsters that she makes his world a better place.

After a near-fatal daring robbery in the lost continent of Atlantis, three women named Louis spend a harrowing 47 days in a luxury cruise ship with two tellers before they're caught by the shy young man and sent to surburban Cleveland.

A brilliant professor and the lust of the world of prostitution that changed Houston for ever.

Nasty mother Chris's artificial intelligence saves countless lives in a news satire program and turns her into a not-so-bright man. Back home to his sparring partners after four disfiguring facial scars, however, Chris must retrieve the book of the dead.

A drama about the special gadget-laden tuxedo of woman Margaret, her public-access cable show in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, and the subsequent island culture she had with her galactic emperor, who begins to disintegrate in international high school.

Emperors Charlotte and Caroline both fall in love with the imprisoned Monkey King Friedrich. Joining an eccentric pop band, they decide to dress as police officers. What begins playfully soon turns serious as it leads to the end of job pressure.

An agent is forced to engage in a war against a dead husband and keep the terrifying Rocky Balboa from acquiring precious long-life treasures and obliterating all of a small town in Italy.

When his wife unexpectedly informs him that she is trying to survive, American intern Otto finds himself thrust back into the last day of high school, where he travels to Hong Kong.

A defiant group of scientists rise up against an Egyptian pair of aging boxing rivals, setting 600,000 cute wives on a monumental journey of escape from an apartment complex and its terrifying cycle of energy experiments.

The lady of his dreams tries to make it as an ailing son when her temple monk fiancée talks her into being forced to rely on a deer.

In lower class Las Vegas, Mr. Spock investigates the disappearance of a struggling salesman.
(Star Trek 4?)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Quest for Forgiveness: Press Conferences Make a Difference

Last time, Brianna was prepping for the Motion Picture Awards, but she barely needs it because she's already the most beautiful and the best singer and the best dancer and the best basically everything else.

This first section is just... very confusing to decipher. I think what happens is that the news announces that an unknown singer will be performing "Time," the Motion Picture Awards respond with, "That's just a rumor! Judd will be performing it! Nobody can replace him!" and then we learn that Burns (the dude who stole the money) ratted himself out to the press for money and then left the country. Which seems... awkward. I mean, did he get enough money to be able to not have to work in another country? Otherwise that seems like a step backward.

Sonya holds a press conference announcing that, no, Judd Stevens can't legally perform the song at the MPAs.
All the entertainment media were present, as well as the major networks; no denying the fact, it was big news!
Well, actually, one can deny that it's big news. It's about a dispute over song ownership at an awards show, not a breakthrough in medical technology or a declaration of war. No one who doesn't already know this song has any reason to care about it.

Sonya takes it further and says that:
If Brianna is prevented from singing at the ceremony, MPA will also be held in contempt of this court order. . . . If they lock her out, we will be forced to pursue other options, possibly even an injunction against the MPA. Make no mistake... we could shut the awards down completely, if necessary.
I'm not sure that's something they can order in the first place. I mean, if they had decided that no one was going to perform their songs at the awards at all, I'm not sure Sonya could have gotten any kind of court order forcing Brianna to perform hers. It's not a job, it's a performance. They could put pressure on those financing the awards, but I don't think they can legally order them to include something specific.

Sonya tries to be the good guy, saying they wanted to keep this all quiet, but she kind of loses the high ground when she continues:
"Unfortunately, a couple people involved thought they were bigger than the system, and decided to make something out of it by going public. It will destroy their careers— I will see to that!"
No doubt followed by a maniacal laugh.

She then tells the media they have the power to change the outcome and runs off to pick up Brianna at the airport. Understandably, everybody follows her to get a picture of Brianna.

Big news like the war in Iraq and the presidential race are shoved to page two because the first page is ALL about unraveling the mystery of Brianna, and everybody in America sides with her. Finally, the MPA people have a change of heart:
After seeing the worldwide publicity over the teen, they realized the monetary gain from advertisers around the world would be huge.
This is like four days before the awards. Surely they have most of their advertising all locked in by this point? It's a little late to start on paperwork for that. In 2012, ad spots for the Oscars sold out a full month before the awards. I'm not sure how much space they have left for the monetary gain from these last few advertisers to be "huge."

And then... wait, what? We jump backwards in time to Sonya picking up Brianna at the airport. Are we to assume that it took Sonya a full day to get to the airport? Because that's how long it took for the events they described to take place. Was Sonya driving from L.A. to an airport in Dallas?

So with our abrupt jump back in time, I'm going to have to release this post because I'm a little bit behind on blogging and rushing to finish it before it's due. :-) Hoping to catch up this weekend so I can spend more time on blogs before they go live!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tune In Thursday: Matilda

I talked about this song fairly recently in my blog about favorite songs of 2014, but now it gets to stand all on its own. "When I Grow Up" is a fairly simple song about children listing all the things they'll do because they can when they're adults, but it's also a song about the difficulty of growing up general. It's truly lovely.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recycling Lyrics Into Clearly the Best New Song Ever

OK, so I may have forgotten to write a blog for today. I was scrambling for a little bit but then found this old note on my Facebook from years back. So we're going to do this.

Rules: Put your playlist on shuffle and write down the first 25 songs you get...

1. This is How It Happened (!HERO: The Rock Opera)
2. Goodbye May Seem Forever (The Fox and the Hound)
3. Joseph Dear Oh Joseph Mine (Mannheim Steamroller)
4. Buenos Aires (Evita)
5. When You're In My Arms (They're Playing Our Song)
6. Mercy Me (Aurora)
7. Hold On (Roko)
8. Sweet Darlin' (She & Him)
9. A Friend (Out of Eden)
10. You're the One That I Want (Grease)
11. Little Red Hat (110 in the Shade)
12. One Night Only (Dreamgirls)
13. Girlfriend (Avril Lavigne)
14. Country Grammar (Nelly)
15. Poor Robyn (James Marsters)
16. Help (Linda Eder, it's a Beatles cover)
17. Sailing With Russell (Chris Rice)
18. We Gotta Go (The Life)
19. Get Busy (Sean Paul)
20. The Promise (Plus One)
21. Dead Gay Son (Heathers)
22. Lost in the Wilderness (Children of Eden)
23. On the Open Road (A Goofy Movie)
24. Better (A Class Act)
25. Shut Up and Drive (Rihanna)

Now take the first line from the first song, the second line from the second song, third line from the third song, etc. and put them in order below to make your scrambled song. If the song doesn't have enough lines loop back to the beginning--like if you need the 22nd line but the song only has 15 lines, you start counting again with the first line as line 16 and end up using line 7.

#3 is an instrumental version of a song with lyrics, so I've included the traditional lyrics even though they don't sing it. I've also broken it up into... things that are vaguely verse-like.

I knew this assignment was different the first time I saw it
You looked at me needing me so
God reward both thee and thine
I get out here, Buenos Aires

You’re my melody
Holding my heart through it all
Hold on tonight
Just a little bit longer now

A friend is one who listens, always there for you
You're the one that I want
And then with a rush
So let's forget about chances, it's one night I will give
You're so fine, I want you mine, You're so delicious
Just to navigate it, wood decorated on chrome

Don't make me feel
Won't you please, please help me
When I'm sailing with Russell
But what about how good it was?
In a the club them want flex with us
His love is waiting patiently
They were not dirty

Hey, what've we got to lose, boy, when already we are 
When I see that highway, I could cry
Go improve on better
Get you where you wanna go, if you know what I mean

So that'll probably be a top 40 hit any day now.