Monday, 26 September 2011

Not so Long Ago in a Place Not so Far Away

I've written some really terrible ads. I mean awful advertisements. Some stuff that really makes me cringe just to think back on it. There's a difference too between writing a bad ad with the intention of doing something funny, and the ones that make you feel bad for subjecting people to it.

For example, I once wrote an ad in which the client requested I put police sirens in the intro to "Catch people's attention."

Well, here's something that nobody should find suprising, radio listeners really fucking hate that shit. I'm serious. They REALLY hate that. Sort of like when you spray a cat with Windex.

It's almost a driving hazard when you're cruising through the city and you hear sirens going off. You start looking around, thinking that the police or an ambulance are riding up on you, and then it just turns out somebody wants to sell you flooring or Troll Beads.

I formally apologize to Grande Prairie, Alberta for doing that to you on numerous occasions. I really didn't want to, but you know how it is, gotta pay rent, food, all that stuff.

But if there's one type of ad I think is even worse than the obnoxcious siren ads, it's the painful character ads. You know, when someone tries to rip-off popular characters in hilarious ways? I hate that stuff.

Today I was doing research on Youtube for ads on garage door openers, and I came across this hilariously bad gem! For the Star Wars fans out there, this is a good'er.

It's painful.

It makes me writhe in discomfort.

It makes truly worried that the creator was even the slightest bit serious about this. I'm sure he must be joking, but I do have my concerns.

Anyway, that's all I have for today. If there are some ads out there you really hate, please share them. I always enjoy watching bad ads, or hearing why people hate them.

Said the Whale - Camilo(The Magician)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Review: Contagion

In the fast paced world we live in, where a person can pick up influenza in Beijing, be sick by the time they’re over Europe, and start spreading disease when they get off the plane in New York, it’s nearly impossible to stop a new virus in its tracks. When a newly mutated virus that kills one in four it infects begins breaking out across the globe, the world finds itself in a race against time, or face death tolls in the millions.

This is Contagion, starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Lawrence Fishburn, and several others.

It was…okay.

After the credits rolled, I wasn’t really sure whether I had seen something I liked, or disliked. Essentially, it’s a story about how different people deal with a very dangerous, very contagious virus. It spreads by touch, and proves fatal to a huge majority of the people it infects.

Matt Damon is a father whose wife is one of the first to be infected and start spreading this disease.

Jude Law is a conspiracy theorist who believe the virus is manufactured and being used as an excuse to allow governments to make money.

Lawrence Fishburn is one of the top dogs at the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and tries to implement strategies and controls to stem the flow of the virus.

There are others on top of that, but you get the idea.

It’s a good story, very realistic, and although it’s slowly paced it isn’t boring. The movie uses a lot of real-world events like SARS and Swine Flu as reference points, with a solid shake of technical jargon for good measure. It really adds to the tone of the film, which is quite bleak and desperate.

It certainly puts the reality of dealing with a contagious epidemic in perspective.

But, my big issue is that I felt like most of the characters didn’t develop very far, or get very thorough conclusions. There are a LOT of characters, so I understand why this turned out the way it did, and in hindsight everything seemed like it had a place and importance to the storyline.



The Pros: Excellent pacing, consistent tone and theme, I liked the sub-plots and characters, it’s all good.

The Bad: I’m just left a little vacant afterwards. I feel like the ending was lacking. Plus, after the half-way mark, it felt like they were just pushing the movie along. Problems from earlier in the film suddenly weren’t such big problems later on.

Should you see it?

Nope. I really won’t recommend this one. I don’t think the film had an overarching message that everyone needs to see to realize. If you’re intrigued by it, by all means see it. It’s certainly a smarter film that some I’ve seen lately, but this wasn’t a film I’ll ever think back upon and say “They did that really well.”

In summary, it's like watching an hour and a half long video about the benefits of washing your hands.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Vapid Photos

I’ll preface this by saying I apologize in advance if I offend anyone in the following post.
I was talking to my sister yesterday (it was her birthday) and somehow we got onto the topic of pictures we thought were stupid. It brought forth my confession that I have absolutely no love for those pictures people post of themselves where the colour cast is changed, duckfaces are put on, they photoshop themselves, and throw some words at it.

Maybe it’s a deep expression of themselves, I don’t know. I think it’s quite vapid, and where do people come up with these quotes anyhow?

So my sister said I should “Totally do that” when I got home from work. I haven’t used Photoshop in a couple of years, but I used to be pretty good at it so I figured it would be a piece of cake! I’d have a couple photos done in 20 minutes, no problem!

Well, an hour later, this is what I’d cooked up:
Boom! Check out that sweet tan I got this weekend! I bet you can’t even tell I put a little bit more colour on myself.

Secondly, to prove how easy it is to make up some shit and make a photo seem deep and full of expression using some stupid fonts and colours, I made this:

Shakespeare wishes he could write like me! I’m quite tortured inside, can’t you tell by my blank expression?

Anyway, it’s pretty obvious that I just don’t “get” what the kids are doing when they make these pictures. I’m sure it’s just something that they laugh about to each other, but from the outside, I percieve the same way as when I watch some kid walk around with his pants hanging so low you might be able to see his ass if he wasn’t wearing a Magic jersey.

Can you believe I turn 23 today and I’m already ranting like an Old Man?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Final review of the Month of Less, But not all the Fewer Unhealthy Things

So the month of Less, But not all that Fewer Unhealthy Things was an outright failure in terms of goals, keep reading to hear why. As for results, just skip to the bottom if you're after that.

Here were the goals:

  • No more than 2 drinks a week

  • No potato chips (including baked chips, or tortilla chips)
The whole “only two drinks a week” thing? I think by the end of week one I’d had more drinks than I was supposed to have all month. But, what I did discover is that mid-week drinking binges aren’t as much fun as they used to be, especially since I get up a half-hour earlier than I used to. So, drinking during the week? I’ll have maybe 3 max over the course of 5 the weekdays. On the weekends however, that was a different story.

  • Weekend 1: My buddy Chad came over with a case of beer. We drank most of it.

  • Weekend 2: Kept it a little under control

  • Weekend 3: Had a wedding to go to, drank a lot of beer all weekend.

  • Weekend 4: Not so bad.
Fact: By looking at this, you can tell which weeks I got paid ..

As for the chips? I did fairly well, except for when the Saskatoon Ex was in town. They had these “Spiral potatoes” which I thought were going to be like a giant curly fry. Don’t ask me why, that just how I pictured it.

So I bought a bucket of them (the smallest amount they had) and guess what? They’re homemade potato chips. I was mad about it, so mad I decided to eat them since the bucket cost me 7 bucks, but I threw them away about ¾ of the way through, because they just weren’t that great.

I resisted temptations around every corner though. Road trips are usually a time when I’ll get a little snack bag of chips, and I fought the urge off, even when my girlfriend was chomping down on them and going “Mmmmm…these are soooo good.”

There was even a couple days at work when a box of free chips showed up, and every was like “Hey Jake, you can have a bag, they’re not even REAL chips!”

But I still resisted.

Well, until the 31st that is. I gave up on that day and bought a bag of All Dressed Ruffle chips and proceeded to eat nearly all of them.

It gave me a bad stomach ache. I regretted the decision almost immediately.

So, would I try again? For sure! I lost a belt size, and my pants are falling off me now. I didn’t step on a scale (couldn’t find one) so I don’t know how my weight changed. So obviously something worked. But I would do it during a month when not a lot was going on. Summer is just a bad time to do a no-drinking exercise, no denying that.

So what now? Maybe I’ll do a month of exercise on the Wii Fit, just for shits and giggles once the snow falls. That thing actually tracks your weight, so that would be neat!
Before and after photos will be taken for sure.

I’ll keep you posted on my Lazy Man Health and Fitness Routine.

No music, just something that makes me laugh really hard: