NBA Rule #1: No Dogs Allowed

An Open Letter to David Stern and the National Basketball Association:

basketball guide

Mr. Stern, with another collective bargaining agreement vastly approaching, I think it his high time for the NBA to take a firm stand against dogs, specifically, Air Bud. I might be a traditionalist, but dogs just don’t belong in basketball. So, why would you want to disclude dogs from shooting hoops? Well, as we all know, dogs are a gate way animal. And basketball itself is a gateway sport. First, dogs playing basketball, then what? Dogs playing football, baseball, soccer, or volleyball. Mules playing football. Monkeys playing baseball, football, and hockey. If the NBA sets an example, I believe other major sports will follow suit.

The problem is movies about animals playing sports, both amateur and professional, will never end until we make it impossible for animals to partake in sports. No one wants to watch these movies, but how can we stop if studios keep making them? We would think these films would simply run out of premises but there’s a seemingly endless supply of animals to mix and match with various sports: porcupines playing ping pong, ducks doing dodgeball, tigers trying taekwondo. It won’t end. And naturally we think screen writers will eventually run out of bad puns to name these movies i.e. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch. But puns are easy and they don’t even need to be good puns to be movie title puns, watch… Duck Dodgers III: Bombardquack. Easy. We can’t rely on Hollywood running low on bad ideas, that’s all they have. No, if these films are to die, the NBA must take proper action.

The simplest way to ban animals from taking over human sports would be to create a rule. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this yet? RULE #1: NO DOGS. In every one of these movies, there’s always a scene where some dim witted referee consults a rule book and exclaims something like, “There’s no rule about dogs playing basketball.” Which obviously means dogs should play. So, if you make it an official rule, Mr. Stern, then these movies will finally end. This way if a dog accidentally scores a basket, the ref can calmly look at a rule book and confidently say, “No basket, dogs can’t play.” No baskets means no movies about dogs making baskets, which means I don’t have to watch Space Buddies.

Besides the rule book incident, every animal playing sports movie also involves a kidnapping plot. This is because the only logical way to stop a dog playing basketball is to kidnap them (or dognap them). Do you really want your coaches going around the league kidnapping the other teams best player? Letting dogs play just promotes bad behavior. By not banning dogs, you’re telling your coaches that kidnapping is not only acceptable behavior, but encouraged.

Of course, we cannot stop at the canines, Mr. Stern. Basketball should take the initiative and ban all non-humans including but not limited to aliens, robots, and demonic entities. Ghosts are ok, as long as they’re human ghosts; dog ghosts, alien ghosts, and robot ghosts will not be included. Dogs/aliens/robots could present an unfair advantage to earth-bound human basketball players. Speed, endurance, fetching: all superior dogs traits, all great traits in a basketball player. But it goes further. Most animals that play professional sports, however, posses super human abilities. Gus the field goal kicking mule, for example, can kick a football a 100 yards. Ed can hit baseballs so hard they leave a trail of smoke. Meaning eventually humans will only be able to compete by splicing their DNA with different animals. Is this the message you want to present to the world, Mr. Stern. If we take action today, we could also disclude animal/human hybrids, and their incredible leaping abilities.

So, during future negotiations with the players association, please, bring up banning dogs from the sport. In doing so you eliminate bad movies, sloppy play, kidnapping, and possible alien invasion. Thank you.

Wolfie G. Nards

And if anyone agrees with me and would like to sign a petition, please, leave your name in the comment section, and I’ll make sure David Stern gets the message.

The Girls of Scott Pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim Girls

It’s kind of hard to believe how poorly Scott Pilgrim vs The World did at the box office. Scott Pilgrim got bitch slapped by Sylvester Stallone and Julia Roberts of all people. It makes me worry about the state of this world, about the taste of my generation, am I just one gnard clapping in the wind? But I digress. Experts claim that that Scott Pilgrim failed to connect with males 18-35, that males 18-35 only care about old greasy muscles and old toothy grins. However, perhaps the problem was an overestimation of the general appeal of Michael Cera in that no man (or man/boy in the case of Cera) is more average than Cera, he’s wonderfully average, perhaps even beautifully average. The problem is no one dreams of being so average. No, who Michael Cera appeals to is girls, but only a very limited numbers of girls: the girls who want to date Michael Cera. And the only girls who want to date Michael Cera are girls who a) like to be in the driver’s seat or b) are terrified of being hurt again by a man/boy who is slightly above average and is willing to settle for less than. But I digress.

By not seeing Scott Pilgrim, what males 18-35 have over looked are GIRLS. Scott Pilgrim vs The World is filled with cute girls, and the last time I checked males 18-35 liked girls. But let’s think outside just the lovely ladies in the Scott Pilgrim film, let’s think for a second about all those Michael Cera loving girls watching the picture. Imagine if you will a theater packed with single girls with aspirations of average, just looking for someone (anyone) average to smooch. And guess who’s average and likes to smooch… this guy. But I digress.

Scott Pilgrim vs Cute Girls

Ramona Flowers vs Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Ramona FlowersMary Elizabeth Winstead

Geek-appeal: Sky High, Death Proof

Stacey Pilgrim vs Anna Kendrick

Stacey PilgrimAnna Kendrick

Geek-appeal: Twilight (even though Twilight sucks)

Knives Chau vs Ellen Wong

knives chauEllen Wong

Geek-appeal: Asian

Kim Pine vs Alison Pill

Kim PineAlison Pill

Geek-appeal: None

Envy Adams vs Brie Larson

Envy AdamsBrie Larson

Geek-appeal: None

Julie Powers vs Aubrey Plaza

Julie Powersaubrey Plaza

Geek-appeal: Close proximity to Amy Poehler of SNL Upright Citizens Brigade fame

Roxy Richter vs Mae Whitman

Roxy RichterMae Whitman

Geek-appeal: Independence Day, Arrested Development Avatar: The Last Airbender (voice of Katara), American Dragon: Jake Long, meaning she works almost exclusively with Michael Cera and Rufio

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Scott Pilgrim vs The World vs Comic-Con

Scott Pilgrim Michael Cera

Here we are at Comic-Con 2: Electric Boogaloo… if you didn’t catch the first part of my San Diego Adventure, check it out here. As for now, alright, you got it out of me, I’ll tell you about Scott Pilgrim.

Where were we? When we last left off, our fearless Wolfie was trapped in one of many endless lines at San Diego Comic-Con. No hope to see a cool panel. No hope for a cheap meal. Powerless and basically sealed in a cement tomb with thousands of nerds with limited to debilitating social skills. But there’s a bright shiny spot: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Comic-con provided three free screenings for those willing to put in the time and effort.

So, I did not get to see many of the big stars, and I didn’t get into many of the panels I set out to get into, so on Saturday of Comic-Con I camped out for a Scott Pilgrim sneak preview. I had to wait 5 hours in line, but I got in. It was all very secretive and hush, they took our cameras, and told us if they saw a phone screen there would be dire consequences. Edgar Wright stabbed someone in the eye. But once Edgar stopped stabbing, he introduced the audience to the cast of Scott Pilgrim, even Captain America was there. If you squint at the photo, you can almost see something, maybe. The big blurry one is Brandon Routh, he truly is as huge as he is boring.

scott pilgrim cast

This made the entire trip to San Diego worth it. Comic-con pass, flight to San Diego, Hotel room, meals: all worth it. It did turn a free movie ticket into a a $1200 movie ticket, but still worth it. From the moment the 8-bit Universal logo starts, you know you’re in for a good time. This is a Will Smith summertime rap good time, good clean fun. And all the stuff about being packed in with anti-social people I said early, forget it. A theater stuffed almost entirely of fanboys and fangirls probably made the whole experience a 100 times better.

In a lot of ways, Scott Pilgrim vs The World is Edgar Wright’s Citizen Kane. I don’t mean it’s the greatest movie of our time. I mean that it’s the culmination of Wright’s talents, everything that he does well in a movie, comes together perfectly. Scott Pilgrim is basically Spaced if Spaced had an unlimited budget. If you’re a Spaced fan, prepare for the mind blow. If you’re a Micheal Cera fan, you’re going to walk away an Edgar Wright fan. If you’re Simon Pegg fan, you’re gonna ask “Where’s Simon Pegg?” That’s the one thing that’s wrong with the film, it’s a shame that what could potentially be Edgar Wright’s magnum opus doesn’t star Pegg.

What I liked about the film was that Wright was faithful to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s source material without being beholden to it. He definitely put his own Edgar Wright stamp on the project. A lot of comic book fans don’t understand when comic films deviate from the graphic novel, it’s just because a film is not a comic book, sacrifices have to made to tell the story in under 120 minutes. The changes were all done well and for the most part do not take away from the comic. Conversely, a lot of screen writers don’t understand that the comic book source material is something that should be revered, this is a sacred object and should be treated as such. Wright clearly respected it, while elevating it to another level. In a lot of ways, film is a better medium for the pop culture and media obsessed Scott Pilgrim comic than a comic book. The only problem I felt was that some of the animated sequences seemed wedged in, trying a little too hard to nod to the comic book.

I do fear many of the references will be lost on the film’s target audience. Does anyone under 25 even remember 8-bit video games? Maybe, they’ll get it. Maybe, they’ll laugh politely, afraid of not looking in the know. Also, at times Pilgrim was perhaps a little too gimmicky. The film never reaches the same emotion core as say Shaun of the Dead, and at times Pilgrim seems like a loosely compiled collection of bits and skits, but they’re incredibly charming bits and not hitting that emotional chord is almost excusable. Plus, deep emotions combined with Pilgrim’s flashy, fast paced style could cause seizures, the same thing happens when kids watch Pokemon.

Michael Cera was a perfect bit of casting as Scott Pilgrim, a nice guy that you wouldn’t mind punching, but you still would like to see him end up with the girl even though you still kind of want to punch him, too. It seems like Cera really only plays himself and it’s just fortunate that this works for Pilgrim. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers is something I actually had a bigger problem with, and I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Seriously, I watch Sky High whenever it’s on TV and it’s on TV all the freaking time. She seems like she should be perfect for the role, as the dream girl type, the same way Zooey Deschanel is in (500) Days of Summer. In (500) Days of Summer you understand Gordon-Levitt’s obsession and feel for it, the obsession of Ramona is less clear in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. But she just never fully connects with the audience, and in the end, you want to see Scott Pilgrim end up with someone, but I really didn’t care which girl he actually ended up with.

Fun, flashy, a bit of fluff… you’ll enjoy it if you have a soul and some concept of popular culture of the past 20 years. If you’re the kind of person who glues themselves to a TV (like yours truly), you’ve found something new to glue to.

The lesson: I won’t be going to San Diego Comic-Con again anytime soon. I will be seeing Scott Pilgrim in the near future.

Wolf Gnards Does San Diego

Convention Center

Most of you have probably moved on to your next con, but sadly I’m still recovering from San Diego. Will these scars ever heal, I’d like to think so. Much like everyone else, I began my Comic-Con journey with a fuzzy, hastily snapped photo of the convention center. This is every newcomers’ first shot of Comic-Con, this is when we’re still filled with wonder and awe. Before the onslaught. Before the horrors… the horrors… the horrors. Before the lines, the endless lines. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast, Comic-Con was awesome, but an entirely overwhelming experience. In a lot of ways, Comic-Con is like the iPhone: highly anticipated by geeks but ultimately unsatisfying. But as disappointing as it was, I did get to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

Back to the lines. The lines at Comic-Con are crazy, you have to stand in lines to stand in lines. If someone even mistakenly thinks you’re standing in a line, they will start standing next to you in the hopes of seeing something cool. I like Seth Green, I don’t need to stand in line 5 hours to see Seth Green. I can just use my imagination: short, red hair, probably talking about Star Wars action figures… done. Don’t need to see him. This is how people get stabbed in the eye. The secret is to wait in panels you want nothing to do with in the hopes of having a seat when someone good comes in. You leave Hall H at your own risk.

Can you Help Wolfie Find His Way?

But I did get to see Scott Pilgrim.

Optimus Prime Welcomes you to Comic-Con

Charlie Day

I’m not really much one for taking pictures of people in costumes or celebrities even. I know they sort of want you to take their picture or else why would they dress up? (Especially the sort of hot girls who used to be less hot, but now like to flaunt their new semi-hottness in a skimpy cosplay outfits). Still I don’t really like taking pictures of people because I don’t want people to mistake me for Short Round and take pictures of me, but I just couldn’t resits this snapshot of Zangief.

Charlie Day

Bite My Shiny Plushy Ass

Wolf Gnards’ New Mascot

Charlie Day

Let me tell you of the Woo Girls. I had the great fortune of being trapped in a room with the Woo Girls waiting for another panel. The Woo Girls are a group of uptight middle-aged women (Woo Women might be more appropriate) who release all their sexual tension by reading teenage books about vampires. Mostly by going, “Wooooooooo!” So, in slide show about new teen books anytime a vampire novel popped up (which was a lot) a wave of Wooooooo’s rolled forth. Even Dick & Jane & Vampire’s got a woo. Did I mention I got to see Scott Pilgrim?

It was at this point they asked me to please walk away from Mr. Day.

Who you Gonna Call? Probably No One at Comic-Con… 3G not so Good.

I can’t say I’m excited about Tron: Legacy. The charm of the original Tron is that it’s crappy, and you can’t really recreate something that’s really only accidentally good. It’s kind of like the new Monster Squad remake, we only like it now because it was on TV a lot, and it was only on TV a lot because it was readily available, and it was only readily available because it was bad (good movies cost networks money to run).

All and all it was pretty fun, and I make away with some pretty decent swag… and I got to see Scott Pilgrim.

Check out my thoughts on Scott Pilgrim.

Of Mustaches and Men

Or Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Mustaches *but Were Afraid to Ask

What is the new fascination with beards and mustaches? They’re everywhere. Mustaches on fingers, mustaches on glasses, mustaches on a stick. I even own a mustache on a vase, why? Who knows, but it’s awesome. The mustache: first invited by Massimo Mostaccio after a nasty forking accident that may or may not have involved the spaghett. The mustache: marker of our times from the Hitler toothbrush of Nazi propaganda to the curly upward bend of Salvador Dali’s art (and his art is his mustache). The mustache: coverer of lips, holder of food. But what is it about the mustache? What is it that moves us? That binds us? That urges to grow such beautiful caterpillars (in mustache-world butterflies become caterpillars).

Fig. A

The clean shaven represents youth and vitality. The beard represents experience and wisdom. The mustache? Perhaps, somewhere in between. If you study the history of facial hair, you’ll see how facial hair runs in cycles. In the Renaissance, innocence was all the rage (so, clean shaven it was). The 16th century brought the search to be an ideal man (beard). The Baroque period, manly men were thought ridiculous and made fun of (check out the muscles on that loser), so no beard. Beards slowly came back into style then Louis XIV shaved his beard and no one grew one for 150 years. The point? Facial hair and sexuality are entwined, it’s not just about customs and styles, but being male and more importantly covering up one’s femininity. So, all the girls with mustaches on the fingers, are they secretly asserting their dominance or just being cute?

This mustache/sexuality link, of course, leads us to the porn-star mustache. The porn-stache is not only the symbol of the pornography industry, but the symbol of America in 1970’s. But do porn stars grow bad mustaches to demonstrate just how unfeminine they are, and if they’re so masculine why aren’t the mustaches better? However, the porn-stache isn’t simply covering up the feminine on a psychological level, but literally displaying your masculinity for all the world to see. Looking through the works of Leonardo da Vinci, his Vitruvian Mustache (Fig. A) shows that the human mustache is in direct proportion with the genitals. Since the invention of pants, men have found it difficult to expose themselves: belt buckles and buttons can be tricky and zippers can be even dangerous. Women have cleavage, men only have mustaches to display themselves. This means today’s modern mustache states “Yes, I have a penis,” and the beard is the overcompensating, which means, “I have a penis, but please don’t look at.”

How is a porn-star mustache different from a regular mustache? Fig. 2 demonstrates that the porn-stache is inversely related to whisker sparsity and greasiness. So, the thinner the mustache the less greasy the mustache needs to be, but the thicker the mustache, more grease is needed to qualify as a porn-stache. For instance, while Prince has as thin a mustache as John Holmes, it is far too greasy to be a porno mustache, and while the Tom Selleck mustache may be of similar thickness to Ron Jeremy, it lacks the greasiness to be a true porn-stache. So, a porn mustache falls between equal parts thin/dry and thick/greasy.

Porn-Stache Grease to Thickness Chart
Mustache Graph
Fig. 2
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The Clock in San Dimas is Always Running

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

Let us go on a journey… a journey of the bogus. It seems to me that as well remembered as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is equally reviled. A man of a certain age and a certain time, a “Dude” for lack of a better description, will defend the excellence of Excellent Adventure with his dying breath, but that very same Dude, however, has nothing but spit and vile for Bogus Journey. Maybe, it’s because Bogus Journey is somehow both darker and sillier than its predecessor. Maybe, because it’s a time travel movie with very little time travel. Maybe, it’s because Wyld Stallyns actually played, and you can’t actually listen to the greatest music that ever was without it being a major let down. For whatever reason, because of this hatred, many have tried to pick at the bones of Bogus Journey with every little detail becoming a major crime.

What’s up with Station?


Specifically, why are there only two aliens in heaven? Well, we only see two, that doesn’t mean there’s only two. Plus, they might be the only good aliens, the bowels of hell could very well be jam packed with evil Station-like aliens. Or they could be visiting from alien heaven. And where’s Stations wang, you ask? Obviously, Stations need not wangs to merge, but merge by running out each other at full force. Or Station could also be a lady, come to think of it, I’ve never seen Barbra Streisand and Station in the same place at the same time. And why do the two little Stations combine to the one big ass Station? Because Station aliens not only combine their bodies, but combine they’re intelligence as well, and how else are you going to create Good Robot Usses?

How did they Build Good Robot Usses?

The junkyard robot is the staple of any super genius on a budget. Other famous robots made from garbage include: the Conky 2000 (Pee-Wee’s Playhouse), J-5 (Blankman), Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot (MST3K), and the tiny stichpunk robots of 9. What you shouldn’t be asking is how Station made robots out of household parts, but why he needed so many parts? Everybody knows a good junkyard robot only needs a garbage can for a body and two flashlights for eyes.

How did Rufus become Pam Grier?

The big reveal is that the club owner portrayed by Pam Grier is really Rufus (because who else would give them a break?) However, Rufus was thrown into the past with nothing but his wits, so unless he happened to have a Pam Grier costume in his back pocket, how did he come across such a hi-tech disguise? However, who needs hi-tech? Rufus could have easily have gone low tech a la Leatherface or Buffalo Bill. All Rufus needed to do was capture Pam Grier, skin her, then wear her skin on top of his. Easy.

How come De Nomolos wasn’t Stopped in the Future?

Since, De Nomolos was eventually captured and imprisoned in the past (and married to Missy), the future dudes obviously would have known what De Nomolos was going to do. They could have stopped him and imprisoned him at any point in his life. However, De Nomolos also set in motion all the events that started Bill & Ted’s career, so not only did the future dudes have to let De Nomolos run wild in the future, but they may have attentional let De Nomolos steal the time machine (which would also explain the Pam Grier outfit in Rufus’ back pocket). On top of this though, it would have been in the future’s best interest to ensure that De Nomolos would grow up hating Bill and Ted. Not only was there nothing they could do to stop De Nomolos, but they had to do everything possible to make sure De Nomolos would go through with scheme.

How did Bill & Ted Beat Primus at the Battle of the Bands with a KISS Cover?

Okay, this one I don’t have an answer for.

Which brings us back to..

The Clock in San Dimas is Always Running

There’s only one real problem with Bogus Journey, and it’s this, the writer’s forgot that the clock in San Dimas is always running. In a time travel movie, how do you make action relevant when time travel allows for unlimited do-overs? Or how can you be in a race against time when time is infinite? Back to the Future does it by having the time machine broken with an exact time and place where the time machine must be fixed. The climax builds toward this moment. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure did this through time always moving forward. No matter what historical period Bill and Ted traveled to, they still needed to be to their report on time.

Bill & Ted Time Line
bill and ted graph

This means if you need to be somewhere in 3 hours, you need to be there in 3 hours relative to yourself and your time line regardless of the amount of time hopping taking place. This is why it was so important for Ted to wind his watch and make it to their oral report on time. If the Bill and Ted from time line A weren’t at history report A on time then the universe would implode, and a Bill and Ted B can’t give the report at time line A because Bill and Ted B do not exist because the universe imploded. Get it? Me neither. But this does change the fact Bogus Journey ignored this rule entirely. In Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, they leave the concert in the time machine and practice for 16 months and then return to perform at the Battle of the Bands. This is impossible because the clock in San Dimas is always running, it means Bill and Ted would have been a year and a half late for the concert (not counting their medieval honeymoon). The Bill and Ted of that that time and that place have to perform the show, not a future version of Bill and Ted or else the temporal paradox that was threatening the first movie would form and the future would be destroyed or unraveled or whatever future’s are want to do.