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My Review of Horton Hears a Who

14 Nov

from April 21, 2008

“M. Blog went to see Horton Hears a Who?” you may be wondering. “Why didn’t he see The Forbidden Kingdom with Jet Li and Jackie Chan? That’s the film he really wanted to see.” Well, there’s a good story behind that. Too bad you won’t get it. You’re stuck with this review instead. Let’s just say that he  is a sweet guy and leave it at that.

Horton Hears a Who is an animated film (we used to call them cartoons back in the day) based on a children’s book by Dr, Seuss. Every kid for decades has grown up with Dr. Seuss- The Cat in the Hat, If I ran the Zoo, Green Eggs and Ham, Green Eggs and Ham Part Two: Sam Gets Botulism. Dr. Seuss must have been on some serious drugs. I take my hat off to him. As a writer who stubbornly insists on writing sober, I can only marvel at how he must have churned that stuff out as high as he must have been- talking cats, flying fish, the Grinch, and sexy little Cindy-Lou Who. Trust me- if Seuss wasn’t high as a flying tomato at the beach no way would he thought of anything more interesting than Timmy and Jane Get Syphilis. And trust me, venereal disease makes for a lousy children’s book.

I also have a great volume of wartime Dr. Seuss political cartoons. Entitled Dr. Seuss Goes to War, it reprints all of his WWII anti Japanese and German propaganda. Not only is this true, I used three of them in lessons at work. At any rate, none of his racism enters the acid trip he called Horton Hears a Who.

Horton is an elephant voiced by Jim Carrey. At one time Carrey was a major star in his own right. Now he’s a cartoon elephant. His last film was, I think, a bomb, and his previous film was, I think, I don’t know. It was forgettable.  Horton is a juvenile pink elephant, meaning that he is simply a figment of some young alcoholic’s imagination. As was Dumbo. Anyway, Horton one day is splashing around in a river in the jungle. Where is this jungle? I don’t know. This jungle contains elephants monkeys and kangaroos, so this jungle obviously only exists in Dr. Seuss’ trippy brain.

At any rate, there’s Horton, splishing and splashing away, playing with his trunk (this was a little risqué for a kids film) and just generally goofing around when a speck floats by. This wasn’t any ol’ speck, this was the speck with Whoville on it.

I have a problem. I am a big fan of the Grinch. And this could not possibly be the same Whoville that he stole Christmas from. Yet the Whores (what, you prefer Whovians? Whovillians, Whoites?) look like the ones from the Grinch and the town looks just the same. So is the Grinch microscopic? Is Whoville just bad luck? So right away I am angry at the lack of continuity. Being a Doctor Who fan, however, I’m used to that sort of thing. For example, the very second episode establishes the Daleks as coming from the far future, but their very next appearance contradicts that. And don’t get me started on Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers “trilogy.”

So Horton’s enormous ears pick up the Whores cries for help and saves them from drowning in the river by sucking up all the water. The very same water he was bathing and possibly pleasuring himself in. Yuck.

The Mayor of Whoville is played by Steve Carell, best known as the anchor of a fake newscast. Perfect for a politician. Anyway, Mayor Who has 97 kids. For real. He has 96 daughters and a son. Easily, Mayor Who is the biggest sex machine to star in a cartoon since Marilyn Chambers starred in A Very Special Smurfs Christmas.

The problem, from the Whores point of view, is that unless their speck finds a soft place to land, like Marilyn chamber’s bosom, the speck will be blown by the wind forever, and the whole town will go all topsy-turvy and no Who will ever get a normal night’s sleep or digest a meal again without severe nausea. Plus the town will probably eventually get crushed and all will die.

So Horton, like the genial buffoon he is, decides to take the speck to the top of a high mountain where it will be safe. Sort of like when Frodo decided to take the One Ring to the top of Mount Doom, except that Frodo wanted to destroy the ring and clumsy Horton will probably unintentionally destroy the speck. Wait- my comparison gets better, because Carol Burnett and Will Arnett show up, acting as Saruman and Sauron, maybe not respectively, depending on which one was Christopher Lee with the fake nose and which one lived on Z’ha’Dum. Honestly, it doesn’t matter, and I’m sure that the Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who references have grown a bit thin. Plus the one Babylon 5 reference I just sneaked in.

Carol Burnett played an evil kangaroo and what is a kangaroo doing in the jungle? I don’t know. But remember when, at the end of every Carol Burnett Show, she’d tug her ear? The big sly in joke here is that, as a kangaroo, she has huge ears. Obviously, she tugged them so much they just grew and grew. She doesn’t like Horton because- and hold on to your seat, this is revolutionary for a kids story- he’s different. Yep. That’s it. Just because Horton is pink and gay Carol Burnett wants to take away his right to pleasure himself in a public river. And she wants to take the speck away too, for no real reason other then SHE’S EVIL.

Will Arnett plays Vlad, an evil buzzard. If you don’t know Will Arnett shame on you. He was Gob (pronounced Job) in the brilliant FOX show Arrested Development. Now I know that “brilliant” and “FOX show” rarely got together, but do yourself a favor and get these DVDs.

Honestly, there’s little plot for me to make fun of. The Mayor of Whoville comedicly and broadly panics, Horton acts goofy, Carol Burnett hams it up, and Will Arnett does a funny voice. Then the Mayor’s gothic son (for real) turns out to have a social conscience and not really be totally depressed like most Goths, and Horton runs from the buzzard and gets to the top of the mountain. There’s a message about how everyone is equal no matter how small (or big or stupid) you are, and then it’s over.

The animation is great, the voices are solid, and despite the fact that I’m about thirty years past the target audience I liked this. Of course there was no Jackie Chan and the only nudity I saw was animated gopher butt, but I guess that’s true of most kids films.

My Review of The Celebrity Apprentice

14 Nov

from March 30, 2008

Rated TV-MA
Contains violence, foul language, sexual innuendo, and repeated references to male and female genitalia.
This review is not recommended for children or adults.

You guys watch The Apprentice? That’s the show where The Donald Trump goes on an ego trip by ordering people to sell hot dogs on the street. You gotta love The Donald Trump. (That’s an order. LOVE THE DONALD TRUMP!) The guy is rich, so rich that most people think he doesn’t care how lousy his hair looks. Really, it looks like the guy used a boulder to style it. But they’re all wrong. The guy is so rich that he deliberately gets the worst possible hair cut just to rub it in our faces. “Yeah,” he says, “I’m so rich I could get the greatest hair cut in the world. But I don’t because with all my money I could look like the toad-like Bill Gates and still get laid. Good hair cuts are for guys who don’t have the money to pick up chicks.”

And he’s right. Nothing makes up for lack of style, swampy body odor, or a microscopic penis like money. And The Donald Trump is so rich that I bet that his cock could retract, turtle-style, into his abdomen when he gets horny and still he’d get more tail than every man in every job he’s outsourced to India over the years. Having a million trillion bazillion dollars is better than having a 14 inch gold studded dick. Or even two of them.

Really, if The Donald Trump (and dammit I’m sticking with that no matter what a pain in the ass it is to type) had no money, what would we have? A guy with the hair of a crash test dummy who bellows everything, even his lunch order. Can you imagine him having sex? I don’t want to and refuse to, my god, what kind of sick fuck do you think I am? But if I did it would go something like this: “IVANA, I’M GOING TO TAKE MY BLACK SOCKS OFF TONIGHT JUST TO BE KINKY.” Those aren’t motivational caps, those are The Donald Trump Bellowing Caps.

And the dude likes pink ties more than the average man. The average straight man, I mean. Back in the 1980’s I had a charcoal gray suit, a pink shirt, and a nice pink and gray stripped tie. I thought it looked great until I saw myself in the mirror, then I chucked the tie, donated the shirt to the gay homeless, and did the smart thing and put on a black shirt and I’ve never looked back. Now I am not saying that The Donald Trump is gay, not that there is anything wrong with that, (and so that The Donald Trump doesn’t sue me) but let’s face it, I mine the gay thing so often in my blogs that it would look suspicious if I didn’t call someone gay. I mean, call someone a homosexual gentleman. Thank you, PC police!

It is a given that The Donald Trump has the personality of a Ritz cracker.

Also on the show are his son and daughter. Ivanka, the daughter, is good looking and smart, things she must have gotten from her real father because neither can be found in her parents. Ever listen to her mother? Now I know that it is no longer considered funny in our society to make fun of someone’s accent, but screw that, we all do it, and Ivana has the exact same accent as an Eastern-European nobleman who is talking while his mouth is full of somebody’s balls.

Then there is his son, The Donald Trump Junior. There is no doubt that he is The Donald Trump’s son. His first season on the show he dispensed such nuggets of financial wisdom as “Yes dad” and “Right dad” in such a deep-voice that would make even Bea Arthur sound feminine. At some point between seasons he must have been tutored because by the end of his second season on the show he was talking in complete sentences, some even with clauses!

This season saw the first time that celebrities were invited on the show. As you’d expect, none of them answered his phone calls. Instead The Donald Trump was forced to get a strange mix of has-beens, never-weres, who-the-fucks? And Omarosas. Omarousassas. Whatever. Here’s a rundown of the contestants.

Big Pussy.

Yes, I’ll get the dirtiest one out of the way first. Vincent Pastore has made a career of playing gangsters in a lot of films, and he played the same role so well in The Sopranos that they killed him off in the second season, thereby aceing him out of a ton of money since that show went six seasons. Many Italian Americans were offended by the cartoony stereotypes of all the gangsters on the show, but no one should have been more offended than Vincent Pastore. He played a character named Pussy. They should have just called him Cunt and been done with it. The guy goes out in the rain, he’s a dripping wet Pussy. Messes up his hair, he’s a sloppy Pussy. Grows a beard, he’s a hairy Pussy. And the guy smokes these big Freudian cigars. A guy named Pussy putting a big phallic symbol in his mouth? Do I need to say it? He’s so overcompensating for being called Pussy that he smokes cocks. I’m extra foul-mouthed tonight.

Somebody Fallon.

I’m not sure who she is. But she was in Playboy and she’s busty so she was OK in my book. (“Busty” is the new word I’m having fun with, like “blog-slinging” was some months back. And just as an aside, my TiVo, you may recall, recorded Busty Cops because I watched the real Cops. Well now it recorded Busty Models. I’ll do you one better. I TiVo’d King Kong, both the original and new versions. I’m a big King Kong fan. I had $50 riding on him when he challenged Godzilla. Even the Vegas line had him as the underdog. So the TiVo picked up on the keyword Kong and TiVo’d Kinky Kong. (Believe it or not, it was on HBO.) Some of you will get an extra snicker or three out of that one but all I’ll say is that it looked like it was shot with a Super 8 camera from 1976 and starred a guy in a gorilla suit who wore a diaper. And the naked women were hairier than the ape and much less busty.)

Gene Simmons.

Gene Simmons the rock star is not the same as Gene Simmons the business man. Gene Simmons the business man is far more talented. He took a mediocre rock band from the seventies and merchandised it into a huge brand. Say you’re a big fan and want to show your KISS support. Buy a KISS t-shirt. Let’s say you’re a bigger fan and you want to show your support ina bigger way for all eternity. Buy a KISS coffin. Gene Simmons has found a way to market everything from KISS slippers to KISS condoms to KISS legally binding real estate contracts. Gene Simmons himself wears his hair in sort a white man’s long afro and usually wears sunglasses. When he takes them off he either appears to be squinting or trying to remember where he left his car keys. He usually has a serene half-smile on his face, the kind found in mental hospitals on the patients who need an extra shot or two of Prozac. He peppers his speech with “You are intelligent and beautiful” or similar expressions. A typical goodbye from him on The Apprentice went something like this: “It was very nice to meet you. You are handsome and women are attracted to you.” That was to the female CEO of Kodak. He was smarmy and aloof and for some reason he attracted women like a dildo on Stripper Island.

A Baldwin.

The Baldwins are pretty much all the same nowadays. A Baldwin, by definition, is a poor actor, who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or drugs and alcohol, and his best years are behind him. Other than Alex, or Alec, who cares, a Baldwin doesn’t need a first name as they are all pretty much the same guy. While this Baldwin was on The Celebrity Apprentice another Baldwin was on Celebrity Rehab and it was hard to tell which was which. This particular Baldwin (Antonio? Eugene?) had replaced his drug addiction with a Jesus addiction. Despite the fact that Jesus had clearly abandoned him (why else would he be on The Celebrity Apprentice?) he stuck to his religious guns. At least he did whenever it helped him. The guy was such a hypocrite that he made your typical democratic candidate seem electable.

Carol Alt.

An old supermodel. Old by supermodel standards, I mean. She wasn’t old and still very doable but models are washed up by around age fourteen. Supermodels can still model deep into their late thirties but since Carol Alt was over forty she may as well have been dead by modeling standards.

Tito Ortiz.

Some ultimate fighting guy. What is ultimate fighting? That’s where they stick two guys in a circular boxing ring and let them fight with their feet, teeth, weasels, whatever they want. Ultimate fighters are not known for their brains, which is why Tito Ortiz had as much chance of winning The Celebrity Apprentice as he had of becoming Pope. But despite losing The Celebrity Apprentice the poor guy is undaunted- he just bought himself a big Pope hat and applied to the Vatican for The Celebrity Pope.

Marilu Henner.

Remember the attractive redhead from Taxi? The one Judd Hirsh wanted to nail but was to wishy-washy to date? The same one that Danny DeVito wanted to slam upside down in his cage? Well this isn’t her. This is her maiden aunt with the same name and a craggy face. And she never stops talking. She’s like some eternally chirpy chipmunk who claims she wrote a book but no one believes her but they humor her anyway. But for my purposes, this nugget from her bio says it all for me: Henner started her professional acting career starring in the first national touring company of Grease, later appearing with the Broadway company. Can I never get away from that show? I reviewed Grease and, out of sheer sado-masochism, reviewed the sequel. Then I was forced to dredge it up again because the Curse of Grease, already hard at work on John Travolta, claimed another victim in Jeff Conaway, noted drug-abuser and former supporting character on Babylon 5, a show  so good it doesn’t deserve to be mentioned on the same internet as The Celebrity Apprentice. Now here it pops up on Marilu Henner’s bio. That does explain a lot. Like why no one has heard of her in the last decade. But to be fair, her bio also mentions that Henner’s entire life is a testimony to the power of her approach to health. So here’s to her, her craggy face, and her scrawny body.

Nadia Comanici.

She’s some foreign Olympic skater. She’s off the show so early I won’t bother making any jokes about her. The only thing more insulting than being abused by me is being beneath my notice.

Jennie Finch.

Jennie Finch is a hot blonde (and busty) softball player that The Donald Trump clearly wants to fuck. But being seated next to his kids, even The Donald Trump wouldn’t stoop so low as to drop his pants and show her his bank account, so he constantly peppered any reference to her with “you are a winner on the field,” or “you’ve always been a winner,” or “you may be the most competitive person in this contest,” or “when my kids are out of the room why don’t you show me your tits and slide under the desk?” But being an athlete didn’t help her sell t-shirts to tourists and she was out early too.

Trace Adkins.

Before this show I never heard of him. Pretty soon I’ll have forgotten him. He’s a country star, maybe one of the biggest. What that means to us in NYC is that we’ve never heard of him. New York radio is run by brain-dead chimpanzees. For example, for years and years there was a radio station called WCBS-FM. They played oldies from the 50’s to the 80’s and pretty much everyone’s father or grandfather listened to it in the car. I was one of those kids in the back of one of those cars so I can name more Four Seasons hits than hits by anyone who recorded from 1990 onward. The station made so much money that the guys in charge changed it to something called “Jack.” The theory was, apparently, if ain’t broke, let’s break it. Jack was pretty much the same fourteen songs over and over, broken up only by a pre-recorded DJ bragging about how they never played the same songs over and over. And a couple of years later WCBS was back. K-Rock was a rock (duh) station with good ratings and money coming in. So they turned it into a “hot talk” station filled with talk shows that no one heard of and fewer listened too. If Jim Jones were broadcasting on K-Rock his Kool-Aid would have stayed in the pitcher. In fact, it was rumored that K-Rock regularly broadcast Eliot Spitzer’s phone calls to his prostitute but because no one ever listened it took two more years for the scandal to break. So the rock music is back. There are a lot of stations in NYC all playing the same music but not a single one plays country. Country is one of the biggest formats in the country, yet here in NYC I can’t hear a single banjo, harmonica, or steel guitar. (Not that I want too.) I can hear The Milkshake Song on a dozen stations but anything from south of the Mason-Dixon line may as well be broadcast on FAA frequencies. But, bringing it back to Trace Adkins, he’s tall and quiet and hates to take off his cowboy hat. He must be bald.

Lennox Lewis/Evander Holyfield/Mike Tyson/Muhammed Ali.

One of those guys was on The Celebrity Apprentice but I can’t remember which. Boxing is a sport whose ethics make the WWE look wise and profound. No one is quite sure who the champion is since there are three different champions for each of three different divisions and each has their own set of rules. Whenever one guy puts a belt on the line a sit-down has to take place between the crews who run each belt. Eventually some tribute is kicked upstairs and a new champion is picked. Then a lot of people bet a lot of money in Las Vegas and some guys in New Jersey buy new gold chains. Lennox/Evander/Mike/Muhammed is just the latest guy to hold a belt so it really doesn’t matter what his name is. Besides, all he ever did was pose for pictures.

There was also a woman named Nely but she was so annoying and so stupid that it would be crueler to make fun of her. And I won’t dignify Omarosa (real name Butterfly McQueen) by mentioning what a total bitch she is. Oh, Hell, why not- she’s a total fucking bitch and the sooner she gets hit by a car the sooner I’ll smile. The happiest day of her life came in 1998, when doctors finally cut off her second penis.

Piers Morgan.

The guy is so bad-ass that he deliberately misspells his name just to piss everyone off. “It’s PIERCE, not PIERS” I’d yell at the screen every week, and every week my upstairs neighbor would complain to the cops about the noise. But I digress. Pierce was bad guy and eventual winner of the show. Imagine if Star Wars ended with the Death Star blowing up the rebel base and Darth Vader decapitating Luke and sodomizing Leia and you may get the idea of how evil he was. Plus he’s a low-down, tea-drinking, crumpet crumping,  dirty, Queen-loving Brit.

A typical episode of The Celebrity Apprentice featured Pierce using whoever the boxer was to pose for an ad. Then he’d say something vaguely insulting and probably British about Omouriisa, Bomarosa, whatever, and she’d say “you’re a stupid idiot.” At the end of the day Pierce would call one of his celebrity rich British friends and they’d buy the competition. One week they were selling hot dogs and he called Gordon Ramsey, who spent $1000 on a single hot dog (with relish.) The next week they were selling art and he called Simon Cowell, who bought a single picture for $100,000. One week they were selling theater tickets and Pierce called Sir Richard Branson, who jetted over in his flying moon-car and bought the theater.

Pierce once read the book How to Make Friends and Influence People. Then he chucked it in the Thames and realized that being A- rich and B- the editor of a big London newspaper meant that he could be as nasty as he wanted to be. But truth be told (and I do that sometimes in these blogs) all he ever did was tell the truth, albeit in such a way as to seem like an insult. He called Whoever Baldwin a loser because, this being a money-making contest, he brought in no money. He called Lennox/Tyson/take your pick sleepy because he slept in a meeting. He called Big Pussy a pussy and frankly that was too easy. I would have called him “Clam.” “Furry Taco” is a good euphemism if you are ever in Mexico.

Every week The Donald Trump would call both teams into the boardroom. Once in a while his son was busy and couldn’t be on the show and The Donald Trump would bring in a celebrity to fill in for him. One week it was Vince McMahon. Another week it was Jim Cramer. Yet another week they replaced The Donald Trump Junior with an ice sculpture and no one noticed until it melted all over Carol Alt.

One by one The Donald Trump fired people based on A- whoever brought in the least money, B- whoever was stupidest in the ballroom, and C- whoever he didn’t want to sleep with. This is why Nadia Comanichi bowed out early and the equally inept Jennie Finch stayed so long. If Nadia were young and hot The Donald Trump would have kept here around longer. This also explains why Carol Alt made it to the final four and Marilu Henner did not. Trypical tasks included coming up with an ad for shoe recycling, puppy adoption, or selling ink. All real-world tasks that we all encounter in everyday life. Seriously, who hasn’t stopped off to by printer ink while on the way to adopt a puppy as you wore your recycled shoes?

Along the way Big Pussy lived up to his name and quit.

The finale, to the shock of no one, saw Pierce Morgan crowned as the first Celebrity Apprentice. He brought in more money than all the other contestants combined, turned Whichever Baldwin to Satan, ripped the left lung out of Ommboparosa, and drank Trace Adkins’ milkshake. Literally. He beat Trace in a milkshake competition.

 Among his new duties are counting The Donald Trump’s loose change, laying down in puddles so that Ivanka doesn’t get her shoes wet, and being British. On alternate Thursday’s he has to go to Martha Stewart’s house and t-p her trees. On the first full moon of each month he has to shave The Donald Trump’s back since The Donald is half-werewolf on his mother’s side. (The other half? Marble-mouthed.)

Celebrities are already lining up to be away from the office when The Donald Trump calls for the next season of The Celebrity Apprentice. However, a few names of the next crop of competitors have already leaked out. They include Chef Boyardee, Roger Clemen’s steroid dealer, Ronald McDonald, and Al Roker. Fatty Arbuckle, despite being dead since the 1950’s has also expressed interest. New tasks include selling cigars on 49th Street and competing to see which team can build the tallest Jenga pyramid.

The new season The Celebrity Apprentice will begin in January of 2009. The other networks have already decided to counter-program with shows that are actually watchable. 

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