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a sad, but hilarious garfield February 27, 2008

Posted by mrstetris in Uncategorized.
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garfield

pk showed me this the other day and it is just too flippin’ hilarious. basically the premise is all in the title: garfield minus garfield. i couldn’t stop laughing my ass off. make sure to look at all the pages, they get funnier and funnier!

*apparently the author continues to update this, so continue to check it out!

Paranormal Activity, or, Possibly the Scariest Movie Ever Made and The Best Reason to Wear Diapers at the Cinema February 18, 2008

Posted by patrick.klepek in ghosts, horror, movies, paranormal activity, pooping.
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Paranormal Activity

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an enormous fan of horror movies. Good, bad, I’ll watch just about anything; there’s a reason I own every single Puppet Master film, even though the vast majority of them aren’t any good. There’s just something about them that pushes my buttons every single damn time, but the strange part? It’s not because they scare me. I’m hardly ever scared watching a horror flick. In fact, I can only name a few that have truly frightened me — Jaws (as a child) and The Blair Witch Project (as a teenager). Last night, kt and I attended the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and added a new one to the list: Paranormal Activity.

“A young couple suspects that their house is haunted by a malevolent entity. They set up video surveillance to capture evidence of what happens at night as they sleep. Their surveillance and home videos have been edited into the 99 minute feature film Paranormal Activity.”

You can check out the trailer right here.

The film plays into today’s popular style of filming from the perspective of your everyman (in this case, a couple that’s living together — one a student, the other a work-from-home day trader) to ground the audience in a reality that’s not achievable with the traditional Hollywood style. That works for me; it was great, if a tad unrealistic, in Cloverfield and was the whole reason The Blair Witch Project was so effective. I was a little offput in the first few minutes, however, when the film attempted to claim the preceding events were real, thanking local authorities for handing over the footage. Ugh. Maybe this movie wasn’t going to be hokey, after all?

No. The movie drops the “lost footage” pretense the moment the footage starts rolling and goes through the typical motions of establishing a relationship with our characters, so that we’ll eventually buy into their fear as the events around them transpire. Thankfully, we’re completely sold on their affection for each other, as they express all the dynamics of a relationship’s day-to-day ups and downs. They’re actually pretty funny, too, which is a plus, and releases the shitload of tension the audience has after each nightly “haunting.”

Paranormal Activity’s narrative is split between day scenes when the couple reacts to what happened the night before and night scenes where a camera is setup on a tripod to record the hauntings. I could spoil every single one of the hauntings and you’d be just as terrified, but much of the fun comes from not knowing what the fuck will happen next and how the situation is going to escalate; often times, they’ll go whole nights without anything happening, prompting the viewers to constantly get riled up. Maybe something will happen, maybe it won’t.

Paranormal Activity

The hauntings themselves start with the staples — lights going on and off, doors opening and shutting, footsteps — and escalates to the point that you’re almost afraid it’s going to become silly and lose the magic (a rather terrifying dose of magic), but it remains grounded and continues to fuck with your head in such a brutal and relentless fashion. You may not believe in ghosts, but this movie will make you scared as fuck at the possibility they are around us. kt and I were gripping each other’s hands to the point of pain during every night encounter, and that’s no joke. Paranormal Activity is not for the weak hearted and is one of the few films that stays with you after you’ve left the theater to the point that you wished it wouldn’t.

The amount of alcohol we drank afterwards was directly to proportional to our desire to simply pass out and not think about the movie in our apartment. As I was typing this very entry up, I went and turned on all the lights and goosebumps line my arms. I can’t oversell this movie enough, and if you have any opportunity to see Paranormal Activity in the future, take it.

Paranormal Activity is our generation’s The Exorcist, and that is not a comparison I make lightly.

Cloverfield Toy Revealed — Er, That’s It? February 16, 2008

Posted by patrick.klepek in Cloverfield, Godzilla, j.j. abrams, movies.
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Gotta say that I’m more than a little disappointed by the $100 toy based on the monster in the Cloverfield monster. Maybe it’s a testament to the film that it came across so terrifying during the scant 90 minutes we spent in that world, but the design is rather underwhelming under the spotlight. Maybe its mother — hinted at by J.J. Abrams as part of the sequel setup — is a little more stylish.

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Godzilla, this is not. I’ll be saving my money for this bad boy, thanks!

Lost in NYC February 14, 2008

Posted by patrick.klepek in mtv, new york city, travel.
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Cloverfield

The last few days have been spent exploring a city I haven’t been to since I was 14: New York City. Unfortunately for me (and fortunately, actually), it isn’t a vacation, so the vast majority of my time has been dedicated to what I would normally be doing at home: working. MTV News flew me out for introductory purposes, even though I’ll be working remotely from San Francisco.

During the last week, I’ve re-experienced the joys of working from home. Unlike just about everyone older than me, I actually loved coming into an office every day and being around dedicated, like-minded individuals. Separating myself from that was probably the hardest part about making the decision to leave 1UP for MTV Multiplayer. It’s been great to have that feeling again, though it’s ultimately bittersweet; come tomorrow, it’s back to the lonely grind in the Bay Area.

At least NYC has been cool, but it’s starting to look like this trip will end like my last and I’ll somehow avoid seeing the Statue of Liberty in person. Plus, is it wrong that I can’t stop visualizing Cloverfield while I walk around? I keep expecting the monster to pop out.