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Terminator Salvation

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So I was sitting in the theater all excited about this film. While I was skeptical at first about a McG Terminator film, after seeing the footage and getting bits and pieces of what the story entailed I was hooked. Not Star Trek hooked mind you but enthused nonetheless. So the film starts, it’s 2003 and we see Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) in prison signing his body away to Cyberdyne Systems and then waking up 15 years later to find himself in a completely different world. And then finding out that he is pretty much no longer human and how he has to deal with all these new revelations. I’m starting to get into this story. And then some guy starts talking, just yammering on for no reason. I’m thinking, “ Could someone please tell this guy to shut up, he’s interrupting, what is turning out to be, a great flick” But no one said a thing and this guy kept making his comments and even did some speeches and I was getting more and more annoyed. I just wanted to reach out and strangle this guy and I would have to if it hadn’t been for one little thing; that annoying guy, interrupting a good movie was one of the characters in the movie and his name was John Conner.

Now lets get this out of the way. I didn’t hate this movie. I did enjoy most of it. I enjoyed the Marcus Wright/Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) scenes, I enjoyed the giant robot with the cycles coming out of its leg and I enjoyed the little nods to the previous movies-although the Guns N Roses song was pushing it. There were some eye catching action sequences and I was excited about getting my first glimpse into Skynet. But the one person I couldn’t get past was John Conner. Now if the stories are true; Christian Bale was offered the Marcus Wright part but decided he wanted to play John Conner. In the original script Conner only appeared in the last 3 minutes of the movie, it was primarily going to be Marcus and Kyle Reese as the main characters. So he brings in Jonathan Nolan, co-writer of Dark Knight, to beef up the Conner part. Now seeing as the same two guys who wrote The Net and Catwoman wrote the original script, maybe a pass by Nolan wouldn’t be so bad. So he beefs up the character and we get a film that feels like there are two competing story lines going on. And unfortunately the good story line is getting beat out by Bale’s ego.

The John Conner we hear about in the previous films is this, almost, mythological messiah. He’s the guy that everyone talks about, the one that battled an army of Terminators all by himself with just a pulse rifle and pair of scissors. You hardly see him but you know he’s there; pushing you to go forward and you gladly do even if it means you’ll die. The John Conner we usually see is the whiney, self absorbed little brat that makes you wonder how he could be the leader of anything, let alone the savior of man kind. The John Conner we get in this film is more mature and starting to get his footing in terms of who he is to become. But there in lies the problem. The people are following him but you never really get an idea as to why, it’s just that they follow him. They feel he’s right and the those above him are wrong and maybe it’s that simple but I felt that something was missing, a strong enough reason for everyone to just ignore orders from their higher up to follow this guy, because that’s really who he was, just this guy. And that’s what saddened me. They had a really great story going with Marcus Wright and his relationship with Reese and the relationship with Blair (Moon Bloodgood); I would have loved to see that develop. They had the makings of doing something unique with this but all the Conner stuff drags it down.

A few other little things that bugged me included; the fact that Conner didn’t seem to be suspicious about his relative ease breaking into Skynet. They seem to know he was coming so wouldn’t Skynet have had Terminators positioned everyone to blow is ass to pieces and the same with Reese, they had him but just kept him locked up. I had issue with the Helena Bonham Carter bit at the end. It’s that idea of “well it’ time to put a face on the faceless villain” They did it with the Borg and now they did it with Skynet. It’s kind of ironic since machines are taking over and trying to wipe out humans but yet a human face is their representative. Like I said I didn’t hate but I was saddened to watch a film, that had the chance of being something special, brought down by ego and by people who just couldn’t say No.

A little side Note: I read this several times and I am curious to hear what people would have thought of this. It’s the original ending. Apparently Conner was going to die. He was fatally wounded in the final assault against Skynet. He lay dying and convinces Marcus Wright to take up the mantle of John Conner. Conner dies and they graft Conner’s face on too Marcus’s skeleton ala Face Off. So in the end John Conner, the savior of Mankind, the leader of the human resistance would actually be a Terminator. I’m not sure how I would feel about that; I mean it would be balancing that tight rope between awesomely shocking and totally retarded. So if you made this far, let me know your thoughts on this.

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May 27, 2009 Posted by | Films | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Price Tags

I recently found out about a friend of mine decided that enough was enough and it was time for a major change; It was time to stop drinking. He had been an abuser for many many years, nearly dying at one point. But even near death wouldn’t get him off, but then he got his girlfriend pregnant and that’s when things started to change and he realized that he wanted to live for the sake of his child and it was time to be a man. So he decided to go to rehab. We all applauded his choice and thought that this was it, this was for real. Well there was one little problem; his insurance wouldn’t cover rehab. Specifically they wouldn’t cover out patient rehab, they would cover a 30 day in patient stint. But there was no way he could do that since he a had a full time job and a family to support. So the rehab facility, said “your insurance won’t cover you so we can’t help you, good bye” And that was that.

So what is one to do? And I know there are other options but at the same time when one goes in for help, how can you turn someone away?? It’s no secret that the medical industry in this country is almost in a choke hold with the insurance companies. It’s good to have insurance but don’t you dare try to actually use it. So if any one reading this happens to be in the insurance industry could you tell me what is the current retail value of a human life?

May 26, 2009 Posted by | General Thoughts | Leave a comment

All’s Fair at the Job Fair

So back in October I became a member of a very exclusive club called “The Unemployed”, very few members to my understanding. So while on my many trips to Monster.com, applying for careers I have zero experience in, I came across an ad for a job fair they were holding here in Los Angeles. I thought, “this was my chance to meet some employers and wow them with my personality and extensive experience”. So I headed out in search of my silver lining, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we call Broke Ass Mofo.

Our tale begins with a trip to the quaint little cottage known as The Downtown Marriot. Things didn’t start out well as I was expected to valet my car for $13.00. Now as a member of The Unemployed I must do whatever I can to conserve my meager nest egg (No lip from anyone concerning my DVD purchases thank you). That right there told me things were not going to go well. I mean shouldn’t the job fair had made some sort of deal with the hotel to maybe cut down on the cost of parking, something to help out the people who are making an effort to get work. So I noticed across the street there was a sign that read “$9.90 all day before 10:30am” Awesome, it’s only 9:50. So I frogger my way across the street, park and headed for my future.

Once inside there was the sign next to the escalator telling me where to go. When I got to the top, there was a line of people waiting for the doors to the big hall to be opened. To be honest, I figured the place would be packed with wall-to-wall job seekers but it was rather light for our current state.
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I took my place and began making conversation with some of the other folks. I met Andrew, we exchanged pleasantries, which consisted of “how are you:” and “How long have you been out of work?” He told me he had been laid off a year and half ago. I asked him what he did and he replied that he worked for the auto industry. At this point everyone within earshot gave a collective pity groan. Every horror story we all heard regarding people in the auto industry from builders to sellers came crashing in. I’m surprised no one put a hat in front of him and started throwing change in. He was happy though; hopeful that this little event would help him in some way, we all thought that. I also met Richard, a young man probably around his early 20’s. He had worked in sales (nobody groaned about that) and got laid off 6 months earlier. He cracked me up because he kept mentioning how hot some of the girls were and if he didn’t get a job he might get a date. I just smiled and nodded a lot but all I kept thinking was “Well you’re unemployed and she’s unemployed so what are you going to say to her, ‘Hey want to go dutch on a cup of coffee?’

So..your cardboard box or mine?

So..your cardboard box or mine?

I get it; we are doing all we can to look for work but we also need time to just be human and not worry about things. It’s a strain on both body and mind to be stressed and this is a stressful time. If I wasn’t so tightly wound like I was that day and if I didn’t have a girlfriend, I would have been bird watching just like him, But my mind was so focused that nothing was going to get me off the path. So I was confident that this was going to be a positive experience, especially after I got my name badge and personal Monster.com pee-chee folder. That was until they opened the doors.

The room was set up with booths, sort of like Comic-Con for the broke. Each booth had between 2 to 3 people all with that Stepford smile that said “Hi, I would rather have my hair on fire than be here” They all had black curtains and simple white signs that had black lettering indicating who they were. At times I didn’t know if it was a job fair or a puppet show.

Suprisingly no unemployed muppets were here.

Suprisingly no unemployed muppets were here.

I took a quick tour around the place (it wasn’t very big) and then hit my first booth, which was NBC Universal. My dream is to be involved in the entertainment industry. I don’t care what it takes to get my foot in the door, if making coffee and mopping the bathroom floor will get me in the front door, then had me a mop and a percolator. So I stood in line with the other hopefuls and finally made it to the front. There were 2 women and a man; the guy was wearing a universal studio polo shirt. I proceeded to talk to the ladies, handing my resume to them and discussing my qualifications.

Ladies (doesn’t matter which): So you seem to have a lot of people experience and you have a lot of managerial work behind you.

Me: Oh yes I’ve been running crews for over 10 years now.

Ladies: Well great. Ok so just go to our website, up load your resume and you’ll be all set.

Me (a bit confused) Ummmm well I already did that.

Ladies: Great well you are all set.

Yes apparently I was being too proactive in my job search and beat them to the punch when it came to letting me know about going to their website. I was a little annoyed but I sucked it up and decided that I would ask them about possible job opportunities at Universal Studios

Me: So can I ask you about jobs at Universal Studios

Ladies: Oh well you can talk to the gentlemen here, he can help you

Me: Great (I start to move toward him)

Ladies: Oh I’m sorry you are going to have to go back in line.

Me: Go back in Line?? But he’s in the same booth, right next to you.

Ladies: Yes but he’s not affiliated with us.

Me: Wait, isn’t this NBC Universal??

Ladies: Yes but he deals with the amusement park, it’s a separate entity.

At this point I felt my brain oozing out of my ears. I stood there for what felt like 10 year and slowly moved to the back of the other line (I was waiting for the slow Bruce Banner music to start playing). I won’t go into too much detail about the meeting with the Universal dude, but know it was pretty much the exact same thing which was “go to the website and upload your resume and you’ll be all set”. I hit 3 other booths and they all said the same thing. I’ve come to hate the phrase, “You’ll be all set” The reason I only hit 4 total was because the other places were hiring for sales positions. Now if that’s your thing God bless you, but I’m not a sales person, never been good at it so those places were out and the rest were temp agencies; half of them I had signed up with to such rousing success that I ended up at the job fair (that was sarcasm by the way).

There was a stage set up for a presentation about the Do’s and Don’ts of interviewing and resume writing. I decided to stick around; maybe they would give some helpful advice. Oh did they ever with such little nuggets as

Remember, use your spell check and make sure there are no spelling or punctuation errors on your resume.

I giggled a bit. I was thinking “wow this is silly I mean who really needs to be told that?” Apparently A LOT of people need to be told that. I looked around and saw quite a few people scribbling that piece of genius down as if their life depended on it. The guy next to me wrote it down and started repeating it to himself like it was his new mantra. I was stunned that this was something people didn’t seem to know. I would have loved to have seen these resumes; commas after every word, letters in the middle of the word capitalized, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they were written in crayon with a backward S. And the wisdom train kept chugging along with this handy little tip

Remember; don’t be late for you interviews. Employers will hold that against you.

If I wasn’t seated in the second row I would have left at this point. This was getting ridiculous. I understand that if they have to say it then it must have happened but I’ve always had the misguided thought that people were generally smart. But the fact of the matter is we live in a time where people need to be told that their coffee is hot and that being late for a job interview is bad. Again, I scanned the audience as she unleashed this revelation and the look of clarity that swept across their faces was the equivalent of 5 years olds being told that dinosaurs once roamed the earth. The lady finally ended this stunning overture. I was hoping for a big finale like a song and dance bit; maybe people dressed as giant pinks slips dancing to “Working for the Weekend”.

I walked out of there disheartened and frustrated. I looked back; at what was essentially, a feeding frenzy and all that was offered were scraps. The idea is great; give everyone a chance to meet the people who hire. They are either just voices on a phone or anonymous emails, so here was our chance to meet, greet and show them what we got. But it turned out to be just meet, greet and direct me to your website that I already went too. As I was leaving I ran into a couple of sales reps for Monster and they asked me what I thought. I told them what I just wrote and also said that there just wasn’t enough variety; everything in there was geared more toward sales. One of the reps said that a few were also offering IT work (forever the sales person). I told him that while I am good on computers I don’t have the level of experience to work IT. But I thanked them for at least attempting to help people get back on their feet. As I walked out I began feeling scared about my future. Before this event I was more positive, more hopeful that things would turn around but afterwards I just got depressed; I literally thought, soup kitchen here I come. But thanks to a great girlfriend, awesome friends and supportive family, I think I found my smile again. Slowly I’m getting back to my positive frame of mind because I believe, sooner rather than later, change is a-comin. In the mean time I did find a part time job that will keep me a float until I find something more permanent. I just got the uniform.
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If you see me at your local liquor store don’t hesitate to say hi.

May 24, 2009 Posted by | General Thoughts | , , , | 3 Comments