Tuesday, December 29, 2015

This Post May Change Your Life (Or Bore You To Death)

Hello, people of Earth. 

My name is Kenn Beck.

I'm an American artist in my 40's, and I'm here today because I felt driven to share something with you. 

I'm warning some of you you right now, what I have to say will shock, anger, or offend you. If you are the type of person who gets shocked, angered and offended by someone speaking their opinion on touchy subjects, then I'll wait a few seconds for you to close your browser window or click on a link to a video of cute fluffy kittens or something. Because no one likes being told they are wrong about a central tenet of their life, especially by some dorky guy on the internet. 

I mean, look at me: what's up with my hairline? Why does it look like I just ate a crate full of Pop Tarts? Did I shave with a dull spoon? 

I get it. I just do not look like the type of person that's about to bust into your brain-scape and challenge your preconceptions about matters that have dominated your way of thinking since the day you were conceived.

Nevertheless, here I am, and here we go.

Religion. You're doing it wrong.

Wait. I sense a great disturbance in the Force. It's as if a million souls clucked their tongues, rolled their eyes, and shook their heads disapprovingly all at once.

Let me explain where I'm coming from.

I was born into a Catholic family, but I am a bad Catholic. I drink. I cuss. I covet. I have anger management issues, an irreverent sense of humor, and hate and question many of God's creatures (Like slugs. Why, God, Why?)

I am as lapsed as Artie Lange's gym membership. I was still hazy about the differences between Catholic and Christian until I just Google/Binged them for the purposes of this discussion. I only go to the Catholic Church for baptisms, communions, weddings and funerals. 

I was dragged as a child to a few Latin Masses, where I was forced to kneel on concrete floors in a poorly ventilated basement and pray for my soul. In retrospect, my dad may have been trying to make us appreciate regular, above-ground churches with their carpets and padded kneeling benches and windows and fresh air.

I became an ordained minister over the internet as a joke and my first act was to bless the drinks of my friends at a local pub that night.

I have a very logic-oriented mind. I am great at spatial relationships, puzzling things out, and putting together the pieces of any puzzle. I fancy myself to have a keen detective's mind, much like Batman, without the spandex body armor, olympic level athletic prowess or billionaire lifestyle. I love me some science. 

The problem I have faced for much of my life is that what I have been taught academically and what I have been taught religiously never seemed to be able to get along with each other. 

The Bible (yes, I've read it) says that the Earth was created in six days, yet science tells us that it's billions of years old, and that mankind has only been around for a fraction of it. I believe the evidence I've seen of the existence of dinosaurs, yet there was no verse in Genesis where the Lord created the velociraptor. 

There are some that have tried to deny that dinosaurs ever existed. They, according to these folks (some of which I may or may not be related to), are a creation of those seeking to discredit the Bible. Why do I believe in scientific fact, they ask? Because I was told to, by scientists, they say.

If I had a job sitting down and looking at black jelly beans all day, then I will very likely come up with theories and hypotheses and calculations supporting why the study of black jelly beans is important, and you should trust me on it, because I am the foremost expert on the study of black jelly beans, seeing as how I have devoted my life to the study of black jelly beans. 

Of COURSE science tells us to take science as science. Because science! But they're doing it because they don't know the truth about God. At least, that's what these certain people have to say about it. 

I have a hard time with that. Because, ultimately, they are telling me that these people, who's theories are backed up by consistent results in countless tests over hundreds of years, are wrong, because other people, who have held certain beliefs for hundreds of years, BELIEVE that they're wrong. 

My logical mind refuses to accept the OPINION, the BELIEF, that black jelly beans do not exist when I am presented with evidence of their delicious existence (their deliciousness being another controversial topic, sadly).

I lack that ability to just accept something as fact without seeing some kind of concrete quantifiable evidence that can be repeated under controlled conditions. I believe those in the know call it "faith."

I lack faith. And the sad part is, I pity myself for that, because I know faith makes so many people around the world happy. I envy people for their faith. For their trust in a force that cannot be quantified, cannot be commanded, examined, or analyzed. I wish I could shut off the part of my brain that screams "prove it."

Since the moment I was able to look sideways at someone for trying to convince me that a guy with a beard could turn water into wine and come back from the dead because a book said he could, I have identified myself to any who should inquire as an Agnostic. Definition: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable, or more broadly, one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god. (Thank you, Merriam Webster.)

I do not object to the concept of religion, mind you. I have dated girls of several religions and spiritual alignments, and I've never shied away from a deep conversation about how their beliefs differ from what I've been told my beliefs were. I LOVE hearing about all the wondrous things that religions promise. And I secretly wish I could suck a little of their faith form them and keep it for myself.

The problem I have is that I have not seen any religion to date that doesn't have at least one rule or credo or commandment that makes me say "wait, WHAT?!"

Killing in the name of whatever god you believe in, first and foremost, is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of. If your god exists, and he's as all powerful as you claim he is, I think he can handle his own smiting, and he'll be far more efficient than you ever could be, meat-suit. He won't take innocents as collateral damage. 

Blowing up marketplaces, burning witches, torturing people until they claim they believe in the same invisible man that you do, shooting people in a subway, flying airplanes into buildings, nailing people to wooden structures and leaving them to die, murdering people who try to draw a picture of the star of one of your holy stories... you're really just an embarrassment. It would be like telling a six year old to drive down to McDonalds and get you a Big Mac. If your god wants them dead, he'll kill them. I'd think he'd be more pissed at your assuming that he couldn't do the job himself.

Denying people the same freedoms you yourself enjoy based on their gender, the color of their skin, the place that they were born, the people they choose to spend their lives with or who they choose to talk to when they look into the sky is pathetic and elitist. If your god didn't want women to be able to read, he wouldn't have allowed them to evolve eyes (or bothered shaping them from Adam's rib, or whatever your sacred creation myths tell you). 

If you cling to a book nineteen hundred years old, and use it to defend your crusade against homosexuals being allowed to marry or even engage in their lifestyle of choice, while ignoring the fact that the same book also tells us that selling one's daughter into indentured servitude is acceptable, you are a hypocrite. And frankly, if you DO believe selling your daughter into indentured servitude is acceptable, you're an asshole, and probably shouldn't be allowed to have a daughter in the first place.

"Love thy neighbor as you would love thyself, unless he's too poor to afford insurance and you'd have to buy a smaller, off-brand TV because part of your paycheck is going to socialized medicine to help pay for his cancer treatments, in which case, fuck him," do I have that right? Every life is sacred from the moment of conception right up until the moment it would cost you an extra 1% of your six figure salary to help keep it from being homeless. 

Or the other end of the street, where the rights of a child too young to even draw breath on it's own are less important than the rights of a three time sex offender to get a college education for free. The sentinels of liberty who make it possible for a person, injured while attempting to make a quick escape after stealing from your house, to be the plaintiff in a personal injury case against their victims. 

The champions of free speech, who will fight endlessly for your right to say anything you want, as long as it's not on the list of words that people don't want to hear because it makes someone feel less special than everyone else. The ones who fight for the right to believe in any god they choose, but forbid people from praying in schools and government buildings because someone might disagree with which invisible man they're talking to.

We live in a world where people firebomb abortion clinics, then complain about paying for assistance programs for the children they were trying to save, and then profit from the process of trying to get these children into loving homes.

Look, I understand why people feel the need to analyze and interpret the scriptures of their given religion, in an attempt to understand the will of their god. What I don't get is why many of those people feel the need to try to impose their interpretation of their god's will on others. You disagree with my choice to listen to thrash metal? Oh well. You're going to pray for my sinful soul? Hey, thanks! I don't know if an all-powerful deity who can create an entire cosmos farther than humanity can even conceive needs advice from you on whether or not I am a good person, but I appreciate you putting in the extra effort in my name. I owe you one; let me know next time you need a party invitation designed or something, I'll try to hook you up gratis. 

Oh, wait, you're telling me I am going to Hell and your god hates me? Gee, that's not very nice. Are you sure your god wants you yelling at people and damning them to Hell? I though he was more about the love and forgiveness. Are you sure you're not just falsely representing your own fear and ignorance as the feelings of your chosen lord? Seems like the kind of thing a powerful man might look down upon.

I'm tired of it. I have finally come to the point where I realized I'm jealous of people who spend their days trying to make people feel bad because they don't believe in the same invisible man. I've been enviously chasing people who live by the words of documents written hundreds of years after their documented sources have died. I've been wishing for the ability to abandon the ability to think for myself.

No more.

Because I think I might have stumbled upon the secret. 

As an artist, I have often created pieces of artwork that make no logical sense to me. Slapped paint on a canvas and watched it drip, fascinated by the shapes it created as it traced its way down the canvas. Pushed brushes through it in no logical direction save for a vague idea in my head about a certain formation or effect I might want to see. I created that art, not to gain notoriety or fame, but because I saw something I could not grasp and wanted proof it existed. I made my own proof. I brought it into existence.

And I see that in the universe as well.

Nebulae, galaxies, sunsets and sunrises, mountains, streams, oceans, fields of colorful flowers, narrow paths through dense forests. I see beautiful patterns, most seemingly random, that fill me with feelings of awe and tranquility, a soothing stillness in my core. Who created these? Who is the artist on whose canvas I wander? Obviously it is someone who can work on a much larger scale than any artist I know. And his palette kicks some serious ass.

Someone created this. They may not be an actual person; they may just be a collection of forces and energies that guided chemical reactions. 

Social convention dictates that we assign names to topics of discussion to keep things brief and avoid confusion, and when you name something there is always the likelihood that someone is going to anthropomorphize it into a human-like being. So I'm going to concede that this creator, this force, is commonly referred to as a being, and for the sake of brevity, I'll just borrow a name from what my parents tried to instill within me. I'll call him God, this being that I'm choosing to acknowledge, just so we have a common frame of reference. 

And because until the end of time itself, some people are going to cling to their beliefs, even should they be proven wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt to everyone else, I'll further concede that there will never be a universal consensus as to which version of God is the right one, and therefore refer to the god I am speaking of as "my" God, even though I hold no claim on his creation and expect no credit for his works.

I also make no claim that "my" God and YOUR god are not the same person; they may well be, though I will leave that judgment to the judgmental. 

The God I envision, "my" God, is a painter who has created a canvas beyond vast, and has offered it up to any who would look and enjoy what they might find in it.

"My" God wants people to understand that beauty is everywhere, in everyone, and that that is to be celebrated. Accept compliments. Recognize beauty, in all its forms, be it physical, intellectual, spiritual, even if that recognition is a simple sincere smile. If you see someone smile at you, smile back. 

"My" God doesn't need us to go to daily prayer meetings, or weekly masses, or to genuflect at a specific time of day. He has no single sacred place or time. His church is the universe, his holy day is today, and tomorrow, and yesterday. He doesn't take attendance, and he doesn't require you to wear anything special or expensive. When you see a mountain and gaze in wonder, you are praying to him. When you smile at someone on the streets, that's his amen.

"My" God isn't limited by the human condition. He can be whatever he decides to be. He knows that this may be confusing to those of us who base a person's worth on their gender, race, color, geographic location, or income, but appreciates that there are some of us willing to recognize that as both our father and mother, he can be a she. He certainly doesn't get mad when someone refers to him as a her, and certainly doesn't need you correcting people about it.

"My" God doesn't want people to lie about important things, to be genuine about themselves, appreciate when others are genuine about themselves, know that none of us are perfect, and wants us to accept that about ourselves and others.

"My" God has a sense of humor. He cherishes laughter and happiness. If you're making someone laugh, you're making someone happy. He especially likes it when people are willing to laugh at themselves. Being the willing butt of a joke is a gift to all those who get a laugh from that joke.

"My" God views us all as equals. We're all beautiful. We're all brilliant souls that burn like stars for a short time before flickering out, and should be viewed with awe and wonder.

"My" God wants people to be happy, but not at the expense of happiness of others. If you're happy and you have the ability to make someone else happy, do it. If making someone else happy is what makes you happy, so much the better. But don't go through life banking on the suffering of others. If you're happiness comes from the fact that others cannot be happy, then you're doing it wrong. If you profit from the suffering of others, you're doing it wrong.

"My" God loves random acts of kindness. He loves when people tape a dollar to a vending machine for the next person to use, or pay for the coffee of the person behind them in line. He loves it when a struggling single mother still puts a few pennies in a charity box. He loves it when someone gives up their coat to a shivering person. He is saddened by those who continue to amass wealth beyond their needs when others lie in the streets suffering, simply because they can.

"My" God chuckles when we mention "karma." He likes the name, but doesn't see how we don't get it, that when we enjoy the suffering of others, even if they call it upon themselves, we too are finding joy in the misery of others. Recognize it, yes, but don't roll around in it. 

"My" God is not in charge of when and why every single person dies. He doesn't have have a "divine plan" for every soul. He doesn't take children away from their parents, and he doesn't strike people down with disease to teach lessons. He's just as shocked and saddened by sudden, senseless killings as we all are. He's just as saddened by those who linger and suffer as those who love them. But he does welcome those innocents who died by violence and tragedy into his home and gives them shelter, and he does welcome those who have finally passed from suffering and eases their pain. He knows our hearts, and doesn't base his decisions on who he welcomes on how long it has been since they've eaten a wafer or whether or not they've dunked their heads in a river (or had it forced upon them).

"My" God understands the human attachment we feel for those in our immediate circles, and the grief we experience with their passing. But he wants us to celebrate their life as well, and not be afraid to share happy times and memories about that person, even in the process of mourning their physical passing. 

"My" God wants people to cherish every life, not just their own. He is saddened by people getting abortions when there are others unable to bring children into this world, and compares it to a thirsty man watching someone let water pour into the ground because carrying it is inconvenient. He is also saddened that there are those who would let this happen because the cost of bringing those people together to solve each other's problems is too high, or threatens their own pocketbook, and views that as someone who is too self-centered to just give the thirsty man a bottle of water without needing to make a profit.

"My" God doesn't want anyone to want to kill anyone. He also understands that some people demonstrate depraved indifference towards the life of others, and that we may need to kill them so that others might not suffer. We should not enjoy their deaths, we should mourn them as we mourn the lives they took.

"My" God certainly doesn't want you killing anyone in his name, especially for using his name, painting his portrait, or describing him. He likes to see what kind of creative images and stories people come up with. Every parent cherishes their children's artwork. And if he wants someone dead in his name, he can handle that himself. But he doesn't enjoy it, and we shouldn't either.

That's "my" God. He might be yours, too, and you just don't know it. He's a pretty neat guy, the Creator Of Life. Col, to his friends (and we're all his friends, if we want to be (he's kinda chill like that)).

When I finally die, whatever constitutes my soul will be met by Col. I like to think he'll look at me and what I've done in my life, the kind of man I've tried to be, and nod. 

"I could have been better," I'll lament. 

"Of course you could have," he'll reply, "but you were good enough. Come on in. We have black jelly beans."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Star Trek: Beyond Offensive

Image result for star trek logo

The new Star Trek Beyond Trailer is here! Here, I'll give you a link. Watch it, and then we'll discuss.

Oops! Wait, it's here somewhere.

Star Trek Beyond

There we go.

Sorry about that.

Pretty jarring mistake to make, right? You think you're going to get a cerebral sci-fi story about space exploration, and you're confronted with a bunch of ass-shots and fart noises pandering to someone with a short attention span. 

Hmm, I think there's a lesson to be learned here.

A good buddy of mine (like me, an early 40's male Sci-fi fan) told me that people have been taking him to task for his dislike of the new Star Trek Beyond trailer. He said "I keep getting told that I’m stuck in the mindset that Trek has to be made for me." Implying, if not outright stating, that it doesn't.

Well, I call bullshit. Star Trek movies do have to be made for him in the same way that it has to be made for me, because we are the generation that have been keeping Star Trek alive with our ticket purchases. The average seventeen year-old does not give damn number one about Star Trek, nor will they ever. I don't care if they cast Miley Cyrus as the next Edith Keeler and score it exclusively with nothing but Drake songs, the average seventeen year-old will never give a damn about Star Trek. 

Check out this disturbing shit.

Simon Pegg (Scotty, also re-penning the script) has been "doing what he can to make the script less like Star Trek than ever before."

Hey, Simon, I'm a fan of your previous work, but how would you like it if someone said "I'm gonna make a sequel to Shaun of the Dead except without all those poncy English accents and dry, unfunny jokes"? Dry, English humor and the cast sounding more intelligent than Americans are integral parts of what makes that movie the treasure it is. Changing the vital elements ruins the point of it carrying the label.

"They had a script for Star Trek that wasn't really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little too Star Trek-y." - Simon Pegg, without a trace of irony.

"Pegg actually draws a comparison to... the Avengers. That seemingly niche movie, based on a beloved but specialized property, made $1.5 billion dollars, while... Star Trek Into Darkness made less than one-third of that. And the studio is wondering why." - Quote from aforementioned disturbing shit

Note to the studio; Star Trek Into Darkness sucked big floppy donkey dick, and it sucked because you weren't trying to make a Star Trek movie, you were trying to make an action movie using Star Trek characters. It's almost like they're trying to plug Star Trek characters into non-Star Trek movies, which is such an idiotic concept that they can't possibly oh for the love of God-

"The strategy is to 'make a Western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it's more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent.' " - Simon Pegg, crushing the last ounce of respect I had for his artistic vision and integrity

I'm crushed two-fold, because not only are they destroying a beloved franchise in a cash grab, but I had so much respect for Simon Pegg, and that has now been turned into a cube and crushed. Taking a series known for cerebral sci-fi and making it a music video is an obnoxious money grab, and the new generation that my friend's friend claims they are making this for will cast it aside for whatever shiny product comes next down the line that isn't beholden to the tropes that need to be in a Trek movie. The crew are part of a government military branch, not roguish scoundrels, and if you try to change that, why not just renew Firefly? The ships are slow and lumbering, more like naval vessels than the sexier fighters in a movie like Star Wars, but if you swap out the Enterprise with the Millenium Falcon, you're no longer watching Star Trek.

All their doing is risking alienating the one demographic they know they'll almost always have. You don't put a singing Billy Bass plaque in Little Women just to get the Larry the Cable Guy crowd, and putting a tribble in Fast and Furious 8 doesn't make it Star Trek. Star Trek is a series grounded in cerebral sci-fi set in a space exploration setting, even when it's got space hippies and cuddly hairballs, and Simon Pegg is an idiot if he thinks it could ever be as successful an action movie as the Avengers, which is History's Greatest Movie.

This will kill the series, because, as a tent pole action franchise, Star Trek is sub-par, and if labeled and developed as such, it will inevitably collapse. The series will be branded a failure, and no one will be willing to make Star Trek movies in the future because of it. Because they disrespected their loyal fans and pandered to mouth-breathers, who were never their audience to begin with. They're part of the dumbing down of science fiction, and the world in general. Congratulations, Simon Pegg and Paramount; you're now part of Mike Judge's superbly made Comedy-turned-Documentary, Idiocracy.

So it looks like I posted the right trailer after all.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Fant4stic Movie Review, or How Fox's Studio Head Needs To Be Chemically Castrated As Soon As Possible

Okay, so have you ever gone out to eat, and the place you're going, it's not your favorite place, but it serves your favorite kind of food? And you know that lately people have created exciting new ways to prepare this cuisine, and you're eager to try it out and see if this version is better? And you get to the restaurant, and order your favorite dish, and get your drinks and your appetizer, and you start salivating thinking about the main course? And then the waiter comes to your table with a still flaming skillet of hot dog shit?

Of course you don't, because that never happens. Except I kind of feel it's the only way to compare how I felt watching Josh Trank's Fant4stic (I'm going to stick with the pathetic attempt to be "hip" that they went with when titling this loose heap of hyena semen, because calling it Fantastic Four is a disgrace to a property that has already been forced to endure Jay Underwood's Human Torch). That impossible scenario would have to occur, me sitting at the table staring in wide eyed wonder at the flaming skillet of dog shit that was supposed to be my steak fajitas, for me to look at someone and say "Yeah, this is kinda like when I went to see Fant4stic."

We live in wondrous times. Marvel Studios have been re-inventing cinema with their Avengers movies, both the team flicks and the solo movies, which still amaze me by each fitting into different genres (Iron Mans: Techno-thrillers. Thors: Fantasy. Captain America: War movie. Avengers: Summer Blockbuster. Winter Soldier: Political thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy: Space comedy. Ant Man: Heist movie.) We've recovered from the "George Clooney's got a fucking Batman Credit Card in the fucking Batman Movie" Batman Movie! We've got a kickass balance between movies (The Avengers movies, The X-Men movies, Nolan's Batman Movies) and TV (Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, Flash, FUCKING Daredevil) giving us solid doses of well made Super Hero Action! How do you shit out a turd like this with so many shining examples around?

I'm not even going to warn about spoilers, because if you go to see this movie, it's already too late to save you. I'm going to try to bring up the problems I had with this movie chronologically, because it seemed to only get worse as the time line progressed.

They start off by showing a brainy nerd getting ridiculed by his teacher when he gives a class career day presentation about how he wants to be the first man to build a teleporter. In 2007. Fuck, man, teachers weren't that harsh when I was a kid thirty years ago, and now a days teachers are likely to be water-boarded if a parent suspects their child's self-esteem was damaged when the teacher didn't give them an A+ and a hand-job to completion for their class project on what brands of paste they'd eaten that morning. Five years later, this nerd builds a device that successfully transports matter (and rips a hole in the universe, for fuck's sake), and the teacher disqualifies him from the science fair. Because if you're going to make a movie about unbelievable bullshit, you might as well make even the tiniest of details unbelievable bullshit. 

Cue the mysterious stranger and his hot daughter who just happen to be recruiting for their super secret government dimension piercing think tank at a fucking high school science fair. They are seeking the one who can finish the work of the prototypical douchetard genius brat who burned bridges and dropped out of sight when he couldn't crack the obstacle to his work. Maybe if the teacher had, I don't know, supported- or at least encouraged- the dreams of the hands-down smartest kids in the whole dip-shit high school, the research would have made it out of his garage a bit faster.

So this nerd and the douchetard and the hot girl who likes patterns and music (because writing smart girl characters is mad hard, you guys) and her hot-headed brother who built a shitty car from scratch (because that skill set totally carries over into quantum physics and teleportation) are all working together to try and create a larger version of the nerd's teleporter. 

Did I mention that the scientist who is in charge of this whole project and his son are black, and his daughter is white? I mention it here because I had no problem forming hypotheses reconciling this scenario using my ultra keen powers of perception and not being a racist asshole: maybe their mom was white. But no, this movie decides that that's too weird, so they made actors, paid actors, with previous movie credits to their name and everything, take time out of their movie to explain that she is adopted. Oh, don't worry, it adds nothing to the plot, and it never comes up again, but just so you feel safe, don't worry, in this universe, the different races DON'T smash their genitals together and make babies.

So they finish the machine, and the government guys step in and say "hey, let's get trained professionals to explore the violently inhospitable dimension you've discovered." It's probably the most responsible suggestion in the entire movie, but the petulant nerds liken it to the Apollo astronauts being famous while the scientists who got them there toiled in obscurity. Yeah, there's a reason for that; the nerd with the slide rule and pocket protector isn't properly trained for hostile airless environments where a grain of sand traveling Mach 5 is a credible threat. (The Howard Wolowitz Conundrum). 

But no, fuck it, let's steal that shit and take it out for a ride. Because I'm sure the door to another dimension that you built that could also theoretically generate a singularity and destroy the planet is totally unguarded at night. So the nerd calls his school chum, who is a scrappy abused junkyard kid (because why create new characters when you can just cook those two kids from Stand By Me into a shitty Shepherd's Pie of bad acting?) and tells him that they're totally stealing their dimension gate invention, and he's got to come check that shit out. Boys only, though, because girls can't do explorer stuff, unless they're Dora or written by someone who isn't cataclysmically retarded. Plus, there are only four pods, and Doctor Doom totally has to be there to get his powers.

Brief aside: Why do they insist on Dr. Doom being part of their group at it's inception? The source material certainly doesn't agree with any of that. Not only was Dr. Doom absent when they got their powers in the comics, Dr. Doom doesn't fucking HAVE powers in the comics. He doesn't NEED them. He has his armor, his genius, and an ego the size of a small Baltic nation. The comics even went so far and made him dabble in sorcery, which gave him an interesting "anti-science" angle that he could use against the totally science driven Reed Richards. But this is two iterations now where they felt the need to shoehorn him into the moment and rape the character by giving him weird, stupid powers (how could the piece of shit 1994 Fantastic Four straight-to-video Jay Underwood Human Torch movie be the only one that gets it right? HOW?!?)

They get to the other dimension, named Planet Zero (presumably by the screenwriter's retarded cousin as a favor), and Douchetard goes off on his own, right down to the large glowy polyp that shoots sparks when you touch it, and touches it. He touches it harder, and apparently angers whatever is inside the planet (again, I know as much as you do, and I saw the fucking movie) so that it shoots glowing green goop out of several pus holes. Douchetard gets doused in space planet jizz, and falls back to the bottom of the cliff like the star of a Predator bukkake film.

So the rest of the guys get powers from being exposed during their return from the other dimension. On the way back, the hot-head's pod lights on fire for some unexplained reason, so he becomes a living charcoal briquette. The junkyard kid's pod door won't shut, and for some reason stones find that attractive, so he becomes a rock man. The nerd's pod does nothing but drag the scene out, so he becomes super elastic. And the hot chick wasn't even there, so she gets to be invisible, because [plot missing].

After the scientists finally get to the lab (by way of the New Jersey Turnpike during a Chris Christie tantrum, apparently), the damage has been done. So they trap, cage and study the heroes. How did they find the Invisible one? The world's driest game of Marco Polo? What kind of debilitatingly stupid person do you have to not be able to avoid detection with the advantage of invisibility? Just shut your mouth and stand still in the corner, and you can die the Universal hide-and-seek Champion.

After a seemingly indeterminate time, stretchy man escapes confinement after hearing his friend screaming through a vent (again, it was lights out, so no guards were around, naturally). He runs away, leaving his rocky friend behind. Then screenwriter got REALLY lazy and gave us the old "One Year Later."

Rocks has been throwing tanks around for the military, and having his picture in the Enquirer, despite how difficult that would make his job as a top secret military weapon. They decide that a flying man made of fire would be a handy weapon as well, except now the Invisibitch has to stop them, because slavery isn't cool if the slave is actually black. Or her brother. But seriously, fuck Rocks.
So Stretchy has been living on the run for a year (about 30 seconds of movie time) when they decide they need to find him, because they can't build the machine twice, because xeroxing the blueprints would have involved getting the office manager to get off her ass and clear that paper jam, that lazy twat. So Invisibitch has to use her super powers of listening to music while searching the internet for his email address to track him down in his abandoned shack, and Rocks brings him back in a fish tank. Except that for a genius, Stretchy is kind of a window-licker, because if they even have air holes for him to breathe, he can slip out if he remembered how to use his powers correctly.

Now that he's back, he fixes the problems they're having with their machine in ten minutes. So why did he run away, again? No, I get why he thinks he ran away; prisoners. What I don't get is why the movie had him run away. Again, no plot advancement. Meaningless filler. They could have stopped him at the gate and showed a three second training montage and covered the same amount of ground.

So the trained experts go to Planet Zero and find Dr. Douchetard, who has the super powers of a melted space suit grafted to his face and whatever is convenient to the plot (and that's more of an explanation than the movie will give you, so you're welcome). He comes back with them, but surprise! He's a bad guy now, so his poorly formed environmental activism streak has transformed into the desire to annihilate Earth and live on Planet Zero.

He goes back immediately and activates the weapon from the Man of Steel, which sucks in more ways than one, and begins to destroy Earth to serve as energy for Planet Zero. It's up to the heroes with their zero minutes of training as a team to get trashed by Douchetard, and then finally defeat him using zero different tactics! Pointless combat! Punchface! Explosion Rock! I've gotten deeper contextual descriptions watching just the onomatopoeias in an episode of the 1960's Batman Series. The Human Briquette gains the ability to smash through giant stone columns unprotected for some reason, causing Douchetard's vacuum hole to fall on him, and the heroes zip back through the closing gate just in the nick of time, just like Iron Man in that movie they clearly wished this one could be.

The return and are lauded as heroes, even though their joyride with the universe breaching doorway caused the entire threat to begin with. The U.S. Military (a notoriously fair and easy-going bunch) asks that they continue to serve as slave weapons, but the heroes decide that this is not acceptable. They demand freedom, and what's more, they want to take over an entire industrial complex in the mountains (along with the staff) as their personal playground and laboratory. And the Military gives it to them (see: fair and easy-going). 

Hey, remember that moment in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when we've been waiting two whole movies for someone to say "Avengers, Assemble," and Captain America starts to say it, but they cut to black just before he says it? Because Josh Trank sure does. I see what you did there, Josh! You had them all brainstorming team names, and then just as Reed is about to say it, you yank the rug out from under us and go the other way, just like you did when you said you would deliver a Fantastic Four movie and then released this fresh slurry of di4rrhe4.

I stayed through the credits of Fan-fuck-stic, only because I wanted to see if there was an after credits scene of Josh Trank weeping openly on camera for 30 seconds.  One of the usher's said that Josh Trank gave his own movie a negative review, which is the first piece of evidence I've seen that Josh Trank hasn't been replaced by a brain damaged garden slug wearing Hipster glasses. You don't have to be a talented Hollywood director to recognize a pail of camel shit when you see one (or direct a Star Wars spin-off, apparently). Of course he gave it a negative review. It is a shitty, shitty movie. However, he claims that this isn't the version he set out to make, that studio interference ruined it. I see nothing in this movie that could have been molded or shaped into a decent movie. The Abyss was a great movie fucked up by editing. This was a train derailing into an abortion clinic after a Motley Crue concert. No chemistry between actors. I felt just as much kinship between the life-long buddies as I did between the Nerd and the Douchetard (none). Robert Bever was a more loving brother than Johnny Storm seemed to be in this crap sandwich. 

They already green lit a sequel, because The Amazing Spider-Man 2 taught us nothing. Fox is going to keep making these movies to keep the license. Isn't there a child protective services of movies to take these licenses away from studios who just keep gang-fucking them into the ground? I feel like a lawyer could successfully sue 20th Century Fox and get the rights back to Marvel because of what has been done to this franchise. I don't see what Fox's endgame is here, because all they keep doing is tricking us into seeing shitty FF movies every ten years so they can keep making shitty FF movies. Shouldn't there be some quality at the end of the tunnel?

In conclusion, when asked what I thought about this movie, I quote Kay Corleone: "It was an abortion."

The following is a list of Fantastic Four related things one can do that will be more fun and entertaining than seeing Fant4stic in theaters:

Read any issue of Fantastic Four comic book;

Watch the 2005 Fantastic Four Movie; as much as I loved Chris Evans as Captain America, THIS is the super hero role he was BORN to play... none can touch his Human Torch;

Watch the 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; again, thanks to Evans, this one was good, not as good as the first, but certainly better than Fan-farce-schtick, which is like saying a blow-job from Ashley Simpson is not as good as a one from Jessica Simpson, but certainly better than one from O.J. Simpson;

Play the Lego Marvel Heroes video game using only the Fantastic Four characters;

Watch someone else play the Lego Marvel Heroes video game using only the Fantastic Four characters;
Watch the 2007 Fantastic Four with the sound off, and your ears filled with live crickets;

Read Fantastic Four fan fiction;

Read viewer reviews of the 1994 Fantastic Four movie;

Fill a Fant4stic souvenir cup with apple cider vinegar and then pour it into your eyeballs, drip by drip;

Have Gilbert Godfrey read you Fantastic Four fan fiction;

Think about the fact that they already green-lit a sequel to this piece of horse shit;

Staple your genitals to your upper thighs while biting down on a Fantastic Four comic book;

Call Josh Trank's mother and tell her her son has been gang raped to death by angry nerds;

Have sex with a nest of angry hornets while looking at an image of Jessica Alba as Invisible Girl;

Ask a friend to tie your dick in a knot, stone you, burn you alive, and then pretend not to see you;

Burn four dollars;

Get hepatitis from a hooker named Susan;

Wait for Fant4stic to come out at your local Best Buy on DVD, then shove a hot coal up your ass and replace it with a fresh one every time it goes out until every copy of the movie is sold off the shelf;

Watch the 1994 Fantastic Four movie. Well, maybe I went too far on that last one.