Romancing the Stone.

The other day I went to see that totally forgettable Total Recall remake and this was waiting for me out in the theater lobby afterward…

A historical “action drama” movie featuring cops and gangsters and Sean Penn and Josh Brolin and fucking Nick Nolte. Ugh. All pretty high on my list of least favorite things at the cinema, and yet… Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone? That’s chemistry goldmine right there. (As opposed to featuring Bryan Gosling, that loser.)

I’m not saying that the presence of those two together will get to go see this movie, but it will seriously make me wish that they were in a different movie together.

They were the best thing about Crazy Stupid Love, right?

Why can’t they do a movie where they fight vampires or something. Or a Shakespearean adaptation. Only… set in the future. But maybe it’s really the past? And taking place on a holodeck? And Mercutio is a robot! And a ghost. And a traitor! And it’s all really a dream. Of course.

Anyway. Anything other than gangsters next time, please?

It’s just sad because I want to say that Emma Stone clearly has more onscreen chemistry and just works better in a movie with Gosling than her actual boyfriend, offscreen and on (in Spider-Man), Andrew Garfield. But, you know, whatever.

Meanwhile… have you been checking out our podcast?

If not, you should be. Obviously. Check out the Time Travel Murder Mystery site, or find us in itunes. The last two episodes, “Bad Nudity Batman” and “The Jon Snow Show” were fun, I thought. And a new episode should be up in a few days.

The patient labyrinth.

Mad linkage:

Are “masters of the universe” born or bred?

Weezer offered $10 million to split up.

Natalie Portman to offer “gratuitous nudity” in what is not but certainly sounds like it would be a sequel to Pineapple Express.

(But that still doesn’t tell us who she’s fucking these days, does it?)

The musical farewell to Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.

from here.

Angelina Jolie’s Bosnian rape romance.

The 17 differences between the East Coast and West Coast versions of the live 30 Rock episode.

Making sense of The Shallows.

Aaron Sorkin responds to a blog commenter about The Social Network‘s misogyny.

Best Coast and Deerhoof to guest on the new Go! Team album.

Who is the biggest drunk on Mad Men?

Look at this fucking article about hipsters.

“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”

-Jorge Luis Borges, from Dreamtigers.

The Soviets’ secret, failed moon program.

Those lovable scamps in ICP are actually hardcore Christians. Whatever.

Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy.

Remember the Singularity? Shocking news: It may not be coming after all.

You have the right to go topless.

Don’t forget that Mad Men‘s season finale is tomorrow night!

from here.

The power of the babe.

A reminder that those World Of Warcraft nerds are still fucking perverts.

One-way mirrors and social media “stalking.”

Of course one of the 33 Chilean miners was having an affair!

A Mars Supreme!

Hollywood needs to turn towards Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison.

The ballad of Mick and Keith.

In the blood.

Mad linkage:

Finally, a manifesto for the internet that makes sense.

Emergency search and rescue effort launched for teen sailing around the world.

In TV, it’s always the same old news.

Kelly Clarkson steals from Arcade Fire?

Makes me nostalgic for this song.

Not long after Al and Tipper Gore separate, so does their daughter and her husband.

There’s six new True Blood promos!

…and maybe perhaps they’re over-marketing it a little?

Thankfully, Eggs is still dead.

A guide to some of the new characters appearing this season and who they were in the book series.

This season the show promises “sexual insanity.” Story of my life.

Last night I watched the pilot for Persons Unknown, one of the new crop of summer event TV in the vein of a Lost-style mystery. It stars Alan Ruck, some annoying guy who’s been in literally every bad TV, and the guy who played Skippy in Kicking And Screaming and was written and created by Christopher McQuarrie. The last part there is the most trembling since I always liked McQuarrie and this show is amateur hour at best.

Extreme Solitude” by Jeffrey Eugenides.

“I love you! No homo.”

Woman charged with public adultery in New York.

Bye bye, Facebook.

Huge seas once existed on Mars.

The German super rick offer to pay “rich tax.”

The Vaselines to release first new album in 20 years.

Nocturnal altertness improves after exposure to milliseconds of bright light flashes.

Sack tapping can be dangerous. Seriously.

The mystery of the sun’s corona.

The formation of Saturn’s ring moons explained.

Do women manipulate men with noises during sex?

Axis Mundi.

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

-Neil Armstrong

I work in a job where my specialty is… information. And “helping” people, sadly, not hoarding the information as I should be doing. So people come in, they have questions and curiosities, and I try to help them out, and in turn, it helps me out. The desire for knowledge, to always know more, is the first step towards seeing the hidden map of the world, and as cliche as it is, even a moron’s stupid question can be enlightening about something.

The other day a man came in asking for help trying to find pictures of the Earth and the moon, all in relation to the rest of the solar system. He was really quite insistent about this, in fact. I warned him that it might not be the easiest thing to find, not impossible, but not easy, and I mentioned this because he kept telling me what a hurry he was in. But we gave it a look and…

Most pictures of the solar system of planets we reside in just don’t include our moon, or most other moons, matter of fact. Our moon is just too small to make it to that scale, for one reason, and for another, it’s a glimpse at planets, not their orbiting moons. I tried to explain this to him, but he was still hung up on my earlier attempt to explain to him that the planets themselves orbit and rotate around the sun (which, in turn, rotates around the center of our galaxy, which rotates will all the other galaxies, etc.), and finally he allowed me to ask an all too important question: “What exactly are you looking for and why?”

He mentioned that he had heard President Obama speaking earlier in the day about how we were going to Mars next and that Obama was going to fund it. Having seen parts of that particular speech, I tried to tell the guy that I think he had misheard what it was exactly that Obama had said, but he was convinced: Obama was going to direct NASA to go to Mars next. I then tried to explain that that was not going to be an easy mission. The trip alone would be a matter of years, in fact. And that’s one way. All this logic and reason didn’t impress this man though. His next question: “So how far away is the Moon?”

Off the top of my head, I guessed that it was about 250, 000 miles. I wasn’t terribly far off, but the guy distrusted the velocity of my answer. I said, “Trust me, I know a little something about the moon,” but he didn’t like that answer either. And, well, I guess I didn’t blame him.

But again, I pressed for him to continue with the why of all this and he told me that he was tired of being curious about the larger universe and not being able to add anything to the search to answer all those questions man had. So, he wanted to add his unique brain to this particular quest, the quest for Mars. “How so?” I asked. And he told me that he wanted to write a letter to NASA and suggest to them, since he couldn’t figure out how far the moon was from the Earth or where it was in relation to the Earth and Mars, that a manned mission to Mars shouldn’t launch from Earth towards the red planet, but instead, it should launch from the moon!

I thought about explaining about how that wouldn’t really make sense or cut down on time or fuel or… well, anything, really. And I didn’t add that it would add a mountain of costs on top of a continent of costs that would already lead to a mission towards Mars. I just smiled and nodded my head and said, “Sounds great.”

As Hemingway said, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” And there are something like 6 billion people on this planet, and though I don’t know the exact statistics of it, I’m willing to bet that at least something like 60% of those people are fucking morons. Just gloriously stupid people walking around, watching TV, and procreating like there is no tomorrow. But some of them are curious about things and want to help, even if they are years late to the party. I think I admire that. I should be talking about other things on Earth Day, like ecological preservation and shit like that, but I don’t know that Earth Day is really solving that problem. We’re either too stupid and oblivious of the problems our planet has, the problems we tend to be the cause of, but we’re curious and we want to help. Actions make speak louder than words, but this is the internet. Outside of LOLcats, stock quotes, music, videos of fat people getting hit in the nuts with footballs thrown by children, and pornography, all we have is our words.

How the first Earth Day came about.

Not buying Earth Day.

Golden apples, crimson stew.

Green up your sex life!

The world tree.

Also, “Sun-Earth Day” and “Fossil Fools Day.”

And don’t forget: Today is the day that Richard Nixon died.

“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. From it we have learned most of what we know. Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen our toes or, at most, wet our ankles. The water seems inviting. The ocean calls.”

-Carl Sagan

…and I feel fine.

Hello! It’s Sunday. And Sundays, well, Sundays are boring, right? Right.

John Cusack goes out for a little jog in the middle of the apocalypse.

Went and saw 2012 yesterday, as promised. It was, well… Hmm.

the end of the world just got a whole lot more end of the world-ier.

My first reaction to it: Ehhhh. Not horrible, but not great. It’s exactly what’s advertised on the tin, I’ll put it this way. You’ve got a lot of real actors doing some cartoon shit while the world goes to hell all around them. The cast, when you think about it, is actually quite impressive. Also, Woody Harrelson’s in the mix too.

We can see you.

My second reaction to it: Why the fuck didn’t this come out in the middle of the summer?

It was literally this or ID4ever, right?

Third reaction: Comedy of the year, hands down.

Especially in a year when, if you think about it, the big comedy was… what? The Hangover? Right? Get serious. I never saw the movie, I won’t lie, but for a lot of reasons. Primarily, things like the trailer. Did you see it? It looks like it was made for retarded boys. But, you know what’s even worse than the trailer? Listening to people who actually liked the movie. They sound like retarded boys, don’t they? Anyway.

There is virtually no situation in which I will not find Thandie Newton excruciatingly gorgeous, except for maybe 2012.

But I really feel like 2012 deserves a good proper Counterforce review. It really does. It’s really our kind of movie, and I mean that in the best and worst possible ways. I don’t know that I’m the man for that job. Benjamin Light, I’m looking at you. Are you the man for that job?

Can you believe me actually made this ridiculous movie?

Anyway, I went and saw the film yesterday with Conrad Noir and walking out of the theater, still buzzing from all that ridiculousness, we saw this:

You are killing me with this ridiculous shit, Dwayne. You really are.

And we thought, “Dear God, who gave that man wings.” Much less Wings Of Desire and much more Red Bull: The Movie.

But then we got into a little conversation, talking about this and that and action heroes of the 80s, mostly cause we’ve been watching a lot of that horrendous/wonderful action movie fare from that decade, and we were talking about how action stars back then were so… foreign seeming. And maybe that contributed a lot to their allure. Maybe it also made some of the ridiculousness easier to stand, too?

For example there, Benjamin Light and were discussing a week or so ago what a remake of The Terminator would look like – since the franchise is up for sale, and should be sold to Joss Whedon, of course, cause why not? – And I brought up the question, “Does the killer robot from the future have to be Austrian?” Commander Light emphatically assured he that it indeed had to be. I’m taking his word for it.

This just looks magical.

Anyway, so Conrad and I, discussing action stars today, talking about guys like Dwayne Johnson, and how, in our minds, he’s not really latched on with America. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the idea of a “non-conventional” action star quite a bit, i.e. a non white guy running around screaming at people, doing high kicks, and blowing copious amounts of shit up. So why hasn’t “The Rock” caught on with us? I posit two possibilities:

1. In a grab for “credibility” or attempting to “not being as big a joke as he is,” he ditched his silly little wrestling moniker, “The Rock,” and went with his real name: Dwayne Johnson. Except, we can’t root for a guy named Dwayne.

2. Not foreign enough? Perhaps? I suggest investigating this has merit. Especially since it seems American action-loving fans get a bigger hard on from a ponce like Jason Statham than Dwayne Johnson.

How Statham picks up a girl.

Then, walking out of the theater, Conrad and I were looking at the various posters on display, the coming soons and the current releases. Part of me still wants to see This Is It. I’m a Michael Jackson fan, I won’t hide it.  But I’m also a huge Richard Matheson fan, and while I have serious reservations about the movie, I also kind of want to see The Box.

Cameron Diaz is trapped inside her own box.

But I don’t know that I trust Richard Kelly anymore. Donnie Darko was okay when it first came out, before you put it through any real tests of serious thought or logic and saw through it’s masturbatory philophosizing. It’s a glorified remake of Last Temptation Of Christ that doesn’t fully pan out. But Kelly also went on to make – speaking of Dwayne Johnson – the gloriously bad Southland Tales.

Dwayne Johnson Fever Dot Net.

Look, I’m not going to talk about the Philip K. Dick pastiche that was Southland Tales here. I’m just… not. I’m not going to do it. All I’ll say is I went into that movie wanting to like it. And I sit here now feeling like I’m a veteran of that war. It’s like Richard Kelly is George W. Bush and I was some dumb kid who supported the Iraq war until I went into the fucker and got my bits and pieces all cut off. Now I’m shell shocked.

But, yeah, there’s The Box, directed by Richard Kelly, starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, based on the Richard Matheson story, “Button, Button,” and was previously adapted into an episode of The Twilight Zone. We’ll see if I ever see it.

And again, here we are. It’s Sunday. Tomorrow’s the start of the “work week.” I’d love to Weeks In Review here at Counterforce, but lately it’s just me rambling and I’d feel bad directing the two and a half readers of this site back to more of me rambling. Poor fuckers. Oh yeah, the season finale of Mad Men was last Sunday. And we had a Friday the 13th happen this past week as well. There you go. Oh, and: Young women having sex with sea creatures. Now there you really go.

The Doctor hates funny robots.

But again, here we are. It’s Sunday. Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see… Oh! Tonight was the airing of the latest Doctor Who special over in the UK, “The Waters Of Mars,” the start of the end of David Tennant’s run as #10. You can catch it online if you’re good, if you’re very good, and it’s dark. And a bit sad. And leaves you kind of sweaty and breathless too.

Water Monsters! On Mars!

Also tonight is AMC’s remake of the classic 60s show, The Prisoner. I’d watch it, but I’m not sure I want to see my childhood get raped so thoroughly and with such production values. Ian McKellen is a good choice for just about anything, but Jim Caviezel? I think I hate you for that, AMC. Honestly, Jim Caviezel makes Keanu Reeves look like Marlon Brando to me.

You deserve so much better than this, Gandalf.

Oh well, here we are. The weekend’s almost over. I went to the movies to watch the end of the world as we know it and…


Outta this world girl.

It is full of stars!

Perhaps the coolest link ever posted here: TONE MATRIX.

Favorite headline of the day: Balloon boy’s father ‘wanted TV fame before the world ends in 2012.’ I think he got it.

Solar system’s edge surprises astronomers.

Just the most awesome wolf picture ever.

Though this wolf picture is pretty awesome too.

(though it’s probably not a wolf, but whatever.)

Exciting and voluntary.

40+ lurid, bizarre science fiction dream sequences.

Brett Ratner and the paraplegic sex encounters that are personal to him.

Cop sees aliens at a crop circle.

J.J. Abrams on the coincidences and logical problems of his Star Trek.

Iran and Israel attend secret meeting in Cairo about a nuclear-free middle east.

Space girl watches you masturbate.from here.

Study says: Humans are still evolving.

30 years of Social Distortion.

Your favorite landmarks as planets.

I’m kind of digging the new trailer for The Wolfman remake.

Church denounces African children as witches.

Let’s get a bunch of bees, and a bunch of cocaine, and…

See how few missions to Mars actually succeeded.

I wonder if the Devil Girl from Mars is seeing anyone.

“Do you remember that time when you were the girl from Mars?”

Abusive rabbi to be extradited to Israel.

ESPN and sexual depravity.

WTF is dairy drink?

The trailer for AMC’s remake of The Prisoner.

Hyperreality and The Real.

It leads you here, despite your destination.

Where will NASA send astronauts next?

“She thinks she missed the train from Mars, she’s out back counting stars.”

You could be swingin’ on a star…

“All this science I don’t understand. It’s just my job, five days a week.”

My second favorite line from this song: “Mars aint’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell.”