Saturday, March 27, 2010

4 Commercials that Make Me Cringe

Television has been around for a while now and television advertisements have been around for almost as long. We've had a long time to perfect the art of attracting people's attention and making them buy crap they don't really need, but every now and then a commercial comes on that apparently feels the purpose of advertising is to flaunt insanity. Here are a few examples of this rare brand of advertising that I've come across.


When I first saw that, I didn't know what I had just seen. If my sister hadn't been in the room with me, I probably would have convinced myself that I hadn't seen it at all, and that it was just some strange hallucination from watching too much TV. Even now I don't know what to make of it. The advertising budget appears to be somewhere in the range of $25 (I am assuming they paid the actress or, more likely, random prostitute). They saved a lot of money on writing. The slogan, selling point, product name, and method of use are all the same: "Head On. Apply directly to the forehead." In case you didn't get that the first time they repeat it twice more. What they don't bother telling you is what the product actually does. Is it deodorant? A zit remover? Acne treatment? Headache relief? A mind-control device? A glue stick? All I know is to put it on my forehead. And the effects (if you can call them that) are awful. I could have probably done better, and I had to look up how to embed video into my blog.


Gordie Dodd is a man who looked at every offensive Indian stereotype and decided that he wanted to condense all of it into a 30 second commercial in order to sell furniture. What resulted was a complete gong show. On what level does it seem like a good idea to dress up as a gay sultan surrounded by the local belly dancers club? You call that dancing, Dodd? A sloth having a seizure has more rhthym than you. And the slogan, "We won't be undersold," is by far the least catchiest slogan since "Apply directly to the forehead." Amazingly Dodd decided that this commercial wasn't embarrassing enough and went on to make more. Most of them feature him dressing up as a famous character, like The Hulk or Harry Potter, and talking gibberish for half a minute. In fact I could made this list entirely about Dodd commercials. For those interested here are some links to his other commercials.


Fuck. I cry inside whenever I see this trailer. When I first saw it, I was in denial. I kept telling myself that it couldn't be a real movie, that it was all just one big joke. Sadly I was wrong. Disney, Taco Bell, and Paris Hilton all got together, had the most disgusting threesome in the history of ever, and birthed this abomination. If I need to tell you why this trailer is horrible, then go fucking die. They should have just played this for the trailer instead. It would have made about as much sense, and been mind-blowingly awesome to boot.


When making this commercial, the people over at Evian decided to give the Uncanny Valley a miss and instead dove headfirst into the Uncanny Abyss. Those are the creepiest infants I have ever seen since the Soulless Puppytown Baby. Some of you may be saying, "Snake-Eyes, I can't believe you've stooped to the point where you're making fun of babies," but I defy you to look in the eyes of those things and call them human. Furthermore it's the most retarded thing I have ever seen. If Ms Moo Goo had an unlimited budget and was tasked with making a commercial for bottled water, this is what she would come up with. I never thought that something so terrifying could be so stupid. The very existence of this commercial demonstrates that humanity is doomed to fail. Let's just give up now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

12 Things I Don't Like About Guild Wars

For those of you that know me well enough, you'll know that I am a fan of the fantasy MMO Guild Wars. I've been playing it for several years and although there are a lot of things I like about it (which I may list in a future review) there are a few things Arenanet (the developers) have done that have pissed me off. They are listed below.

12. The Pet System: One of the classes in the game (Rangers) are allowed to bring animal companions into battle, but why you would want to is beyond me. They have rather poor AI in that they run around aimlessly for half the battle, there is nothing other than appearance to distinguish one pet from another, and if you are going to bring a pet then you yourself are going to pretty much be useless since most of your skill bar will have to be devoted to your pet. Sometimes I'll bring one out for fun just for giggles, but when playing seriously its just a waste.

11. Ray of Judgment: This skill is a powerful AoE attack that somehow found its way into the skill pool of Monks, the game's primary healing class. Normally the AI in Guild Wars will scatter if they find themselves in the middle of an AoE attack, the one exception to this rule was Ray of Judgment. The result was the biggest exploit in Guild Wars history. Everywhere you went you saw "RoJ monk LFG" in chat. It was not uncommon to find a group consisting of 5 players using this skill. There was not a single problem that could not be solved with this skill. The worst part was that one simple bug fix would remedy the problem, but for some reason it took them several months to get around to it.

10. No Retroactivity on Storybooks: Imagine that you spent countless hours trying to build an elaborate house of cards that was 10 metres tall. After you build it a man walks up to you and says, "I'll give $5000 to whoever can build a house of cards that's 10 metres tall." You point to your house of cards and ask, "There it is. Can I have my $5000 now?" To which he replies, "No," and you ask, " Why not?" and he answers, "Because you built it before I offered the money. If you want to earn that cash you'll have to do it all over again." Your balls then proceed to shatter due to the sheer magnitude of the figurative kick in the nuts this man just gave to you. Arenanet pretty much did just that when they decided that if you wanted to earn the bonus rewards for completing the storyline then you'd have to replay the entire game all over again.

9. Recycling Content: To some extent many games are guilty of this. Achievements and Trophies are essentially ways to get people to replay the same content over and over again in order to earn some meaningless award. Some MMO's (including Guild Wars) have daily quests, and there are plenty of other examples. But in the expansion to Guild Wars called Eye of the North, they pretty much took the same models, painted them a different colour and called it a day. To be fair there was a sizable amount of genuinely new content, but half the time I was getting a feeling of deja vu as I entered a dungeon and realized that it had the exact same layout as a dungeon I'd done the other day. I guess I shouldn't be one to complain about laziness, but dammit I'll do it anyway!

8. The Titan Quests: Imagine you're a criminal mastermind and a man approaches you and tells you that he'll give you a special reward if you can steal the world's most valuable and heavily guarded diamond. You accept because you are trusting of random strangers and assume that the reward will be huge. You plan for months on how to slip past security and steal it. You almost get caught on one hundred different occasions. You risk life and limb to steal it and, with luck on your side, you manage to pull it off. You return to your client and as a reward he gives you a granola bar. This is pretty much what the Titan Quests amount to. They're an incredibly difficult chain of quests with an incredibly worthless reward.

7. Selling Players Worthless, Overpriced Things: Eye of the North was the last major release for Guild Wars, before the developers switched over to working on Guild Wars 2. That was in 2007 and since then Arenanet has realized that they still need money, so they began using microtransactions as a way to earn some extra cash. So they began selling us useless things like costumes or makeovers at $10 a pop. They also started selling storage space at $10 for 20 slots of storage. One player did the math and found that it would actually be two-times cheaper to buy a completely new account to use as storage, than it would be to buy these extra slots. Yet people seem to like buying these things, so I guess the I am trumped by the free market.

6. Dinosaurs: These are easily the most annoying monsters in the whole of Guild Wars. They're difficult to kill, use annoying skills, and have massive overlapping patrols meaning that its not difficult to get twenty of them swarming you at once. Fun times!

5. The Factions Storyline: Factions is the second campaign, has an Chinese/Japanese theme, and is easily the one with the weakest storyline. It's far to short, rife with cliches, and only barely makes any sense. It's about this guy who was the bodyguard to the emperor, but who killed him because some creepy homeless lady told him to. Shortly after killing the emperor, he himself is killed, because its pretty difficult to get away with murdering royalty. For some reason he becomes on envoy in the afterlife, ferrying newly dead souls or something like that. Many years later he makes a zombie army and attempts to kill the current emperor, because obviously if he does that then he can regain his corporeal form. And it's up to the player to put a stop to all this retardation.

4. The Crystal Desert: Easily the most annoying area in the game. You can't walk two feet without 20 guys popping out of the ground to attack you. Some monsters will chase you halfway across the map, while others will walk right past and ignore you. Its hard to get anywhere what with all the monsters and places you think you can go, but actually can't. And to top it all off, it's a big, boring, ugly desert.

3. Grinding Titles: When Guild Wars first came out grind was kept to a minimum. There were none of the "kill X for Y number of items" style quests typical of most MMOs. But I guess they decided that some people liked that kind of thing so they introduced a number of achievements that are mind-numbingly boring and require absolutely no skill. My favourite is the Lucky/Unlucky title where you buy a bazillion tickets, stand on a ring, then go read a book for the next 72 hours. It's just as arbitrary and pointless as it sounds.

2. The Economy: Since there's no auction house or marketplace in Guild Wars, if you want to sell anything for more than what the merchant will give you, then you have to stand in town shouting, "WTS Voltaic Spear!" all day long until somebody makes an offer to your liking. I normally give up after 5 minutes.

1. Ursan Blessing: In all of Guild Wars history, nothing has been as game breaking as this one single skill. It's difficult to discuss what this skill did without describing the basic mechanics of the game. Suffice to say, it made the entire skill and profession system redundant. Not only did it provide a ridiculous amount of health and armor, but it was also capable of dealing out extreme amounts of damage. It was literally "The Easy Button." Everybody everywhere was using this skill, even if they hated it. If you didn't want to use it you had to either be a healer or be playing by yourself. The amount of debate on forums and wikis relating to this skill go on for pages and pages. Despite this it took Arenanet over a year to address the problem, one horrible, horrible year, and for that reason it is the #1 thing I don't like about Guild Wars.

On a completely unrelated note:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ms New Booty as Performed by a Girl who Doesn't Understand the Internet

Before reading this post you should watch this video:

Were you able to watch the entire video without skipping? If yes, then it is highly recommended that you see a therapist. If no, then take comfort in the fact that you have a sense of shame, unlike the girl in the video who must have thought that what she did was good and that other people would like it. The only concept she understands less than shame is how the Internet works. For instance: when you post an embarrassing video of yourself online, people will watch it, and people will refer to you as a retard, and you will lose all self-esteem. Also, people will take that video and make it even more embarrassing by adding things like subtitles to it. You want to know what else was added to this video? The music. That's right, the original video was just her singing with no musical accompaniment. Imagine what you just saw, but more awkward.

When watching this video I feel a strange mix of contempt and pity. Contempt, because it is a complete and utter travesty, and pity, because she doesn't realize it. Here I shall attempt to explain to her why she has become the object of so much derision, assuming that she is one of my six followers (I am looking at you Kevin Rey).

Let's begin with your appearance. Putting it lightly, your hair needs work. It looks as though it was done by a burnt-out rockstar from Whoville. You combined a mullet with a ponytail going straight up with a forward-facing rattail, and then, to top it all off, you bleached it. Your hair is somehow more white trash than Dog the Bounty Hunter's entire family. If you were to shave off all your hair and tattoo a Swastika onto the back of your head it would be more tasteful. And may I ask why you are wearing a Winnie the Pooh shirt? The song you are singing is blatantly about ass. You could not have picked a more conflicting style of clothing. Disney and rap do not mix ever. Seriously, just stick with Hannah Montana. Lastly you need to lose some weight. I am not saying you're fat, but if you show even the slightest sign of pudginess the Internet will hate you for it. Also your face is fucked up.

Next up there's your pitiful attempts at grooving to the music. I am fairly certain that characters in a Jane Austen novel would have better moves than you. I never thought it possible for somebody to fail at bobbing their head in rthym to the musci, but you manage to pull it off. You're like a gelatinous blob that just quivers randomly in the vain hope that it will somehow resemble human movement. And what the hell are you doing during that whispering sequence? There's no reason why you need to get that close to the camera. Then there are those times when you just sit there, motionless, with this look on your face as though you forgot what you were doing. Finally we have the ending. That inexplicable embarassment of an ending. What do you think it makes you hardcore to to throw the rock fingers into your routine? Becasue that's the opposite of what it does. Why do you hold that pose for 15 seconds towards the end? And you know that you don't have to keep the rock fingers up until the camera stops rolling, right? Five seconds is more than enough. But you keep them up for a solid minute and a half. I can find no explanation for such behaviour unless you were planning to edit the video and just thought it was good enough the way it was. Or maybe you just think that is normal human behaviour. Either way you're horibbly, horribly wrong. Then there's that negative million dollar smile of yours that withers the soul. I don't think braces would solve the problem. Actually a mouthclamp would pretty much solve everything.

Then there's your singing which is perhaps your greatest offence. Your first mistake is your choice in music. It fails on almost as many levels as you do. Its bland, uncreative, unoriginal, offensive, mind-numbingly stupid, and in no way appropriate for a girl of your age or appearance (in that you are neither black, skanky, nor attractive as is your typical woman in a rap video). A solid 90% of the lyrics to this song is comprised of the word booty, yet you somehow manage to flub at least half the words. For instance you constantly say "I found you, Ms Moogoo," when its supposed to be " Ms New Booty," which, in case you forgot, is the title of the goddamn song. Its "rock'n everywhere" not "rock'n in the well." Do you even stop to think about what you are saying? Did it never occur to you that it makes no sense whatsoever? Your voice certainly doesn't improve matters. Even before you start singing its pretty obvious that it isn't going to end well. Just the way you say "to all my friends on Stickam" over and over again is enough to make me want to strangle a cat just to cover up that grating sound you call speech. Saying that you have a horrible singing voice would be a bigger understatement than saying that WWI wasn't fun. Watching you trying to rap is like watching a one-legged wiener dog trying to climb a ladder; at first its kinda funny, but then you realize its just sad. If you really want to do your friends on Stickam a favor, just shut-up.

In conclusion, this is the most awkward thing to watch to since Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Oscars. If you were to combine failure with an astounding lack of forethought and a pinch of misplaced self-confidence, this video would be the result. I know I may seem a little harsh, but its all for your benefit, so that you may learn from this experience and return to the inbred dwarf colony deep within the Earth from whence you came, never to show your face again.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Oscars

For those of you who don't know, Sunday night was Oscar Night, and it may very well have been the most predictable one ever. I am not here to brag, but I was able to call the winners of almost every award except for some of the technical ones. I even managed to predict who would win Best Live-Action Short and Best Animated Short based solely on the clips they played during the show. The only major exceptions were Best Documentary and Best Foreign Film which I predicted would go to Food Inc. and the black-and-white German one respectively. Otherwise Up won Best Animated Feature and Best Music, Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor, Mo'Nique won Best Supporting Actress, Sandra Bullock won Best Actress, Jeff Bridges won Best Actor, Crazy Heart won Best Song, Avatar won Best Special Effects, Cinematography, and Art Design, The Hurt Locker won a whole bunch including Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay, and District 9 got jack all as expected. Though Kathryn Bigelow looked like she was going to puke when she won Best Picture. But of course the awards are only half the show. The other half is pure pablum. So let's take a look at that shall we?

Let's start with the hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. They had a few snappy one liners, but overall they weren't that funny. The opening monologue (dialogue?) was especially terrible. Here's a fun drinking game: Take a shot every time Steve Martin mentions an actor and then says, "Wow!" The only memorable part was the Hitler joke they made at Meryl Streep's expense. The Neil Patrick Harris musical routine which introduced them was also pretty disappointing, which is too bad since I like Neil Patrick Harris almost as much as I enjoy saying his name. Neil Patrick Harris. You didn't really see them all that much the rest of the night, but when they did show up their jokes weren't much better. But then again Oscar jokes are always pretty corny and mostly involve making fun of celebrities, so I can't complain all that much especially if you compare them to the likes of Ellen DeGeneres.

Next up you have the award presenters who are normally (pretty much always) reading some tripe off a teleprompter. The only people of note are those who stray from the script, though that normally ends poorly. For instance, Miley Cyrus came off looking pretty retarded. Sean Penn rambled on about god-knows-what. He's pretty much the Kanye West of the acting world. The only stand-out was Ben Stiller who came out dressed as an Avatar, which put some people off, but I enjoyed it for the most part.

On the flip side you have the acceptance speeches. But the only one worth remembering is Mo'Nique's which was easily the best. Sandra Bullock's was also pretty classy. Jeff Bridges' started off good, but he started to ramble, like a lot. It turns out he wasn't really acting in The Big Lebowski. Also there was that crazy annoying lady who interrupted that guy's acceptance speech for Best Documentary Short. Yah that was weird.

Finnaly you have the pageantry which they cut down on a lot this year. All they had was Neil Patrick Harris at the beginning (as I already mentionned) and a large dance crew halfway through which danced to the music from the movies nominated for Best Score. The dancing was pretty cool, but it didn't really have anything to do with the movies the music came from. I was disappointed that they cut the performances of songs in the Best Original Song category, that was always one of my favpurite parts. Instead they put in this bullshit where actors get on stage and talk about how great the Best Actor/Actress nominees are. Some of their speeches where pognant, but most of them were the same old teleprompter bullshit.

So that about does it for my review of Oscar night. It wasn't the best by a long shot, but it wasn't the worst either. There were few surprises, and most of it was the same old thing one expects from the Academy Awards, but it had its moments.