Dan’s 2016 Movie Awards

I haven’t seen many of the Oscar nominated films this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hand out awards for specific achievements.

Best Random Nudity: Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Here’s a great movie about family and modern society and then WHAM, there’s Viggo sipping his morning coffee with his ding-dong on display. It’s a funny moment. And Viggo deserves the Oscar nomination this year for his modern-society-hating character. It’s also not the first time I’ve seen Viggo’s ding-dong — he showed it off during a tense fight scene in Eastern Promises, another film which earned Viggo an Oscar nomination. Seems like whenever Viggo let’s the little guy breath, he gets nominated for an award. That’s enough to boost any man’s ego.

Best “Wow” Moment: The airport fight, Captain America: Civil War
I never would have thought that of all the Marvel characters, the best movies would focus on Captain America, but with Civil War and Winter Soldier, it’s clear that the Cap movies are Marvel’s strongest. Part of the reason these movies worked so well is the writing — characters who feel real facing decisions with huge consequences. The other reason these movies work is that Ant-Man becomes Giant Man and it I lost my mind. Civil War isn’t just a great comic book movie, it’s a great action movie …that just happens to feature super heroes.

Most Average Movie: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
There are great things about this movie and there are bad things about this movie. The end result is a so-so movie, most of which I’ve already forgotten. I wanted to love it, but then the finale was just a bunch of people flipping switches. It looked pretty, though. Continue reading Dan’s 2016 Movie Awards

Fake Space!

Scientists were very excited to announce this week that they’ve found seven new Earth-like planets a mere 40 light-years away. These planets might be able to support life and this is big news.

But there’s one problem: How do we know the scientists are telling the truth? We can’t check for ourselves.

That’s a red flag.

I looked up in the sky last night and I did not see seven new planets. I couldn’t even see one new planet! It was cloudy last night, but surely these planets, if they are truly anything like Earth, would shine very bright.

It seems NASA and the other space doctors all wants us to believe they, and they alone, have found these seven planets. But if what they say is true, they should let us each have a turn looking into their fancy telescope so we can see for ourselves. I trust only my own eyes and mind, and before I believe anything so-called scientists say, I want to hear from all sides of the situation and then I will make up my own mind about these planets and their existence.

Making up my own mind means I can’t even trust the telescope these scientist used. Such a telescope is biased — it’s a telescope designed to find new planets. How can you trust that?

As such, it’s important for me and the entire world that these scientists come to my house and point out these new planets without using a biased-telescope. I have a pair of binoculars that I trust because I once used them to spot a real eagle, so if the scientists come to my house and use those binoculars to show me the new planets, then I may begin to believe them. Then again, can we really trust someone who wants us to be wrong?

That’s what I’m saying!

Trust me on this.

There are no new planets. If there were, it would throw off the orbit of the sun and change our gravity. And that hasn’t happened. This news of new planets is just more lies from the science community which they use to make advertising money and then that money is traded with foreign countries in exchange for sex people and cocaine. I’ve seen the documents. For more on this, you really should attend the weekly meeting.

Please share this with all of your family and friends and neighbors because we need to get the truth out there before the scientist begin raising money for “trips” to these new planets. These trips are really just money schemes like the time Brad tried to sell me oranges that I knew were just orange-colored limes created by the government to soften our bones.

Oscar Prophecy

Oscar Prophecy*

La La Land will sweep the awards this Sunday night, but there will be a few surprises including the best supporting actress winner (Viola Davis) and a moment early in the show when a presenter attempts to say, “And the nominees are,” but the words are (purposefully?) caught in his mouth, his tongue slips and the actor says, “Ann Die Nom-An Ize, Kar,” a summoning spell thought lost during the eighth age. And thus, Terrible Isaac appears — a being of capes and claws who cracks through the stage killing instantly the first row of the audience.

There will a rush to the exits as Terrible Isaac bounds from stage to balcony and perches upon a chandelier set high in the ceiling. He slowly devours the celebrity in his clawed hands with five snapping bites. As the blood rains, a young assistant in the 29th row, a baker’s daughter born in April, takes a picture of the horror, a picture that becomes the most shared and liked image of all the internet. But sadly, and despite the teaching of her master, her camera fails to capture the soul of the demon, who looks at her with hunger. Three of his ten arms flex and pull, ready to pounce from the theater’s heaven. Continue reading Oscar Prophecy

The Problem With Spaceships

I’m two episodes into The Expanse, a SyFy show about space and pretty people. So far, it’s okay. It uses plenty of sci-fi cliches and tropes, but that’s to be expected. And I’m told it gets better. I’ll stick with it…for now.

Watching the show stirred up a recurring problem that most sci-fi space stories rarely deal with: Why are humans flying spaceships?

In the first episodes of The Expanse, it’s clear that drone technology exists and society as a whole seems far more technologically advanced than our current world. And yet ten minutes into the show there’s a gruff and tough human pilot taking the controls of a spaceship like its some sort of giant helicopter. That doesn’t make sense. Continue reading The Problem With Spaceships

Donald Trump’s 2020 Campaign Slogans

As Donald Trump began his 2020 campaign this past weekend in Florida, we’re just a few weeks away from seeing his new campaign slogan. Here’s an early look:

  • Make America Even More Greater!
  • Beware the Temper of the Emperor
  • If You Don’t Vote For Me No One Can Protect You From Bug-People
  • I Already Won. Period.
  • Or Else…
  • Daddy Says So
  • Of Course There Will Be No Presidential Debates. Why Would I Debate? I’ve Already Won Once! Debates Are For Losers. No Debates!
  • Me.
  • Tax Returns To Be Released Immediately After This Election (promise)
  • Sorry, Not Sorry
  • Sorry About Russia. Not!
  • Sorry About Mexico
  • Sorry About What I Did To The Moon
  • Your Vote Doesn’t Even Matter Because of Fake News
  • 11 More Years!
  • Begun, The Clone War Has
  • I’m Okay With Jews. Really.
  • You Can’t Vote Me Out. Illegal. Big Time Illegal. Unfair.
  • I Can Throw This Ball Over The House In One Shot!
  • I Got Rid of Mexicans. I Can Get Rid of You.
  • Newspapers Give You Brain-Aches
  • Shut Up! You Have To Like Me! I Won!
  • Make America So Fast and Strong
  • Did You Know I Own Mar-A-Lago?
  • You Can’t Handle The Truth
  • Why I Oughta…
  • You’d Trust Me To Babysit Your Kids, Right? WHY NOT!?
  • Hashtag
  • Everyone Will Vote For Me, And If They Don’t It’s Not Real And That’s Truth America
  • My 2017 Inauguration Was So Big, It’s Still Happening

The Terrible Giant

The Terrible Giant
By Dan Bergstein

The terrible giant returned to his castle in the mountains and sat on his giant wooden throne next to his giant hound with its giant teeth.

The giant said to his giant wife, “I have been to every country, every nation, every town, every village. I have seen every animal, every person, every bug, and every tree. I have eaten every fruit and every vegetable and every grain. I have drank from every river and every lake and every pond. And I have slept beneath every star and every planet and every sky.”

“And what have you learned, my dear,” his wife asked.

The giant drank from his giant mug and wiped his giant face with his giant hand. Then he said:

“I met a small girl in a small village in a small country. She was no taller than my knee. And when she saw me she did not run and scream like all other children. ‘Why don’t you scream,’ I asked her. ‘Why should I scream,’ she answered. ‘Because I am tall and strong and mean,’ I yelled. She looked at me and said, ‘You are only tall because I am small. You are only strong because I am weak. And you are only mean because I am kind.'”

The giant walked to the window and looked out. His wife asked, “What happened to the girl?”

“I told the villagers to keep her safe at all costs,” said the giant. “I built her a new, safe home and gave her all of my gold. If anything terrible happens to her, if she is gone, then I am not tall, or strong, or mean.”

And the terrible giant took the chain leash of his giant hound and he and the hound walked out into the mountain fog.

Toy Fair, I Miss You

Toy Fair is happening right now and I’m not there! The New York Toy Fair is a huge convention at which toy companies large and small show off their latest and greatest items for the new year. Unlike ComiCon, Toy Fair is a closed event. To attend you either must be in the toy business or have press credentials.

Side Note: There’s something sad and wrong about an entire convention center and several neighboring buildings filled with toys that children are never allowed to touch, but…sucks to be kids.

I attended at least six Toy Fairs as an editor for Stuff Magazine and Maxim, and I loved it. At the time, magazines were still a big deal and so every major toy company was trying to woo me, hoping I’d cover their products in an upcoming issue. Not only did this mean tickets to Toy Fair, but they would send me free toys…lots of free toys. Cases of free toys. (Full disclosure: Though the other editors and I kept a few, most of the toys were happily donated to charity. I’m not greedy.) Continue reading Toy Fair, I Miss You

Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Review

It won’t win any Oscars and it won’t spawn a 12-part film franchise starring Hollywood’s most athletic actors. So why on Earth did anyone make Hunt for the Wilderpeople?

It’s a sweet and funny movie about a boy and his foster dad running from the law through the wilderness of New Zealand. The director, Taika Waititi, also directed the hilarious vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and helped bring Flight of the Conchords to life, and if you don’t like those two chunks of entertainment then we cannot be friends.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is less silly than Shadows and Conchords, but it’s still funny. There’s more heart to it, thanks to a remarkable performance by the young Julian Dennison. It’s similar to Up, another movie about a grump guiding a chubby kid through wilderness, and for reasons I can’t quite explain, this movie has an 80s vibe — think Planes, Trains and Automobiles crossed with Adventures in Babysitting.

It’s a good movie. One of the best I’ve seen in a while. How good? I didn’t pick my phone up to check email during the entire film!

Taika Waititi’s next film is Thor: Ragnarok. I was bored with Thor 2: Loud Punches, but I’m curious to see what Waititi will do with Marvel’s eighth best character. Judging by the hilarious marketing campaign, it could be the best Thor movie possible.

And if you’re tired of super hero movies and bored by Oscar-contenders, don’t forget that there are still small, interesting comedies being made.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is available now on DVD, BluRay and other magical movie systems.