The Wild is a delightfully charming fable about a father's search for his lost son. It's packed full of solid humor with plenty of multi-level comedy that works just as well for adults and children. Courtney and I went to see this the other day (I know this has been out for awhile, but we live in Montana. Gimme a break, sheesh.)and we had a ball.
While we both enjoyed the movie, there was one small problem. The film bears a disturbing similarity to Madagascar, which came out from Dreamworks several months earlier. I was a bit upset about this going in, but the movie was so good I got over it. While we were walking out of the theater, my wife summed up what we were both thinking perfectly when she pointed out what the filmmakers were actually doing. "This movie was a big fuck you to the makers of Madagascar." Sometimes I think there's a wizened Buddhist sage trapped within that beautiful 5'2" frame.
Where Madagascar was a moebius strip of shallow empty-headed sight gags, muddy, boring animation and worst of all David *shudder* Schwimmer, The Wild has heart, brains, and all sorts of courage. It's a strong parable about growing up, and what happens to a son when he finally realizes that his father really doesn't have all the answers. The animation is stellar, rife with lovingly crafted detail. The actors obviously had a great time working on this picture, with stand out performances by Kiefer Sutherland as the head lion and father in question, William Shatner as the wierdest cartoon bad guy ever, and the always hilarious Eddie Izzard as a koala... with a British accent? Eh, close enough for American ears.
When we got home, I did a little research and found out that The Wild was actually a script long before Madagascar ever came into being. In fact, further digging around on my part revealed that The Wild even started production well before Madagascar, but its release was pushed back by Disney when the Dreamworks cartoon crap factory (Shreck and especially Shreck 2 excepted) rushed Madagascar through production and beat them to the punch. It shows. For those of you who are fascinated by automobile accidents and the occasional train wreck, log on to The Internet Movie Database and check out the forum posts under The Wild.
Internet firestorms aside, The Wild is a far superior movie. Yes, the basic plotlines are similar, but the scriptwriting, the voice acting, and the luscious animation, all blow Madagascar to smithereens.
So, go check it out. You'll probably be able to rent it at the very least by the time you read this. The Wild is fun, funny, and appropriate for all ages, though it might be a little intense in places for younger kids. It's okay though, I know you're all good parents who would never ignore what their children are watching. Right?
Since I promised you all more snark...
See, no matter how badly the United States government performs, In four years time... maybe eight if we're really unlucky, the balance of power will shift. We'll have a new leader, new policies, new priorities. Every four years we upset our leadership without firing a shot. That is why The United States is the greatest country on the planet. But...
What happens when the current leader decides he wants more than what we gave him when we elected him? What happens when he decides to start looking out for his own best interests and not ours like he's supposed to?
So, there's quite a few things that are bothering me about this president, (and I do mean above and beyond the way he was elected into office this term.) I'd heard rumours that President Bush has a nasty habit of attaching signing statements to legislation he's passed, little McNuggets of presidential wisdom that state in no uncertain terms his interpretation of the new law. He's certainly not the first president to do this, but...
There's a really frightening article from the Boston Globe here that details President Bush's penchant for interperative law. The scariest part of this article is the dastardly amount of times he states that the law in question applies to everyone but him.
President Bush has set himself up as the ultimate interpreter of the U.S. Constitution. He has taken upon the office of the Presidency, the bailiwick that that very same constitution reserves for the U.S. Judicial System. Every schoolchild in the U.S.'s poorly funded educational system knows how the three branches of government are divided and what the job of each branch entails. (Okay, you're right, stop laughing so hard. You'll start breaking furniture.)
Just so we're all clear here (because obviously our current President isn't) I'll break it down for everybody. The legislative branch of our government which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives, makes the laws. The executive branch which consists of the president, the vice president, and the presidential cabinet are there to enforce the laws. The judicial branch which is made up of the federal courts system, including the U.S. Supreme Court, are there to interpret the laws. It's the job of the judicial system to determine whether or not a law works within the framework of our constitution. It's the job of our judicial system to decide to whom the law applies, not the President's.
Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving congress no chance to override his judgements. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.
This is a president who feels it's necessary to use sychophantic duplicity to work around laws crafted by a congress that is currently controlled by his own party.
Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files "signing statements," official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law.
All of these signing statements are available for anyone to read in the federal register. The globe article goes on to cover some of the more frightening ones.
This President obviously feels that he is above the law. With a Republican controlled congress, and a predominately conservative Supreme Court, is there no one willing to tell him no? Obviously not, because he's done this with more than 750 laws during his one and a half terms in office. With no one willing to tell him no (even the "liberal media" buried this story) shame on him, and shame on us for setting him up to be able to do this in the first place. Oh wait... that's right, we didn't. Kinda makes a good case for getting rid of that whole antiquated electoral college doesn't it.
Soooooo... Fuck Haloscan! I'm done with 'em, we're through, finished, ended, terminated with extreme prejudice. You know, people warned me about Haloscan too. All my friends said, "Dan, I know she's pretty and she seems like a nice girl, but eventually you'll turn your back on her and she'll eat all your comments and never give them back. But did I listen... noooooo. So fine, no more Haloscan. I'm back together with blogger comments, and they actually seem to have their shit together this time. We'll see. Baby steps, right? I Want My Records Back You Bitch!!!!!!
So, okay what else... anyone who bothers to peek back in my archives can see a general trend of loathing for blogging and the whole blog-o-sphere in general. I submit that this has still not dramatically changed, however, lately I've felt this bizarre craving to stay more in touch with my inner content producer. What this means for PSH? More rants... including more poppiness, more snarkiness, and more hooliganism. You'll still get periodic essays, and the movie reviews will still keep trucking along, but I feel the need to start bashing things on a much larger scale. Blame Mark Spurrier at The Great White Bear Speaks and my wife at The Daily Cat Chase , they've both been egging me on.
Just in case anybody happens to be flipping through and spots this post, here's a few new bloggers (well, new to me anyway) that I think are really cool and definitely fellow hooligans.
My new favorite cheesehead is Shawn who does the Cheese Is Moldy Milk blog here on Blogger. He's extremely intelligent, wonderfully entertaining, and a genuinely allright guy. His blog covers all sorts of topics and he has this wierd capacity to tolerate viewpoints other than his own. I'm not quite sure what this whole tolerance thing he's talking about is, but I'll look into it. In the meantime, stop by and say hi.
I honestly never thought I'd be saying this about a c... co... con *ahem* conservative blogger, but if you stop by Vintage Grass Stains you will be hailed and regailed by Miranda, who describes herself quite accurately as a Conservative South Dakotan Neo-Con. Don't hold that against her though, she's bright, witty, extremely intelligent, and she goes into any argument well prepared. She's probably a closet Libertarian.
Finally, in my ongoing quest to prove my theory that everything is better with zombies, check out Zombie-Slayer
you will be entertained. Though I'm still not convinced that he's right about Scientologists.
Anyways, keep watching... there's more posts a comin'.