Care Bears and Dr. Sbaitso… the conspiracy is revealed!

My son is three, so I grant him a lot of leeway when it comes to his choices of video. However, I was shocked, appalled, and disturbed when my wife mentioned he was totally in love with the Care Bears: Big Wish Movie. Naturally I beat the crap out of him. Many times. But he still likes that god-forsaken video.

So one day he asked me to watch it with him. When a three-year-old asks you to do something, man, let me tell you, you’d better think real hard before refusing. Unless you really need to teach the kid that what he’s asking for is not allowed or bad for him, you obey. So anyway, I sat down and watched a fair amount of the movie.

I was once again totally shocked about midway through the movie when they made a reference to Dr. Sbaitso:

Funshine Bear: [dons Groucho Marx glasses and imitates Sigmund Freud] Hmm, interesting. Tell me about “caring.”
Wish Bear: I can’t. I feel all empty inside.
Funshine Bear: Interesting. Tell me about “empty inside.”

< Quotes modified from IMDB >

Okay, to be fair it could have been any Eliza like algorithm, but the point is clear – the designers of the Care Bears CGI movie (or script writer I suppose) have a geeky background, and actually put in a reference that probably one in a thousand people watching the movie would ever get.

I don’t claim to like the Care Bears all of a sudden, but I can’t help but laugh every time I see or hear that scene. Whoever decided to put that into the movie KICKS ASS.

Netflix kinda sucks

This is an actual email conversation. Even if netflix offers to blow me, I’m switching. Just thought the world should know that however sucky Blockbuster may be, avoiding them is not worth taking it in the bum time and again.

I authored the original email, quoted below.  I'm amazed at the lack of
care for your customers.  Not only did you reply to the wrong person
(reading the ENTIRE email would have told you who the message actually
came from), but you didn't even address our concerns.  Your service
suddenly took a dive and all you can do is give us a canned response
about the USPS?  Undeliverable mail?  We've been getting mail at our
address for a very long time without incident, so don't go blaming your
company's problems on the USPS without at least some kind of

1 - Two movies in a row were "lost", and one miraculously reappeared. 2 - One movie (Underworld) was shipped incorrectly. This issue just sort of disappeared and wasn't even acknowledged in your message.

And even if the screwup for THREE MOVIES (two of which were nearly back- to-back) is somehow truly USPS's fault, it still might be a good idea from a customer service perspective to try to appease the customer who has just mentioned that they're ready to switch service!

Anyway, thanks for cementing our decision for us. We'll be cancelling as soon as we get our queues set up and whatnot. I look forward to seeing how your unique views on customer retention work out.

Jeremy Echols

On 10/6/06, Karen Echols Photography wrote:

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your inquiry.

We appreciate you letting us know that you never received the movie, yet it was checked back into our warehouse. It is the policy of the USPS to return mail that is undeliverable. The most common reasons are: the mail was damaged in processing and the label was illegible, the mailer cover became separated from the rest of the envelope, or an error with the USPS known as "Looping" occurred where the movie was returned to us in error instead of being delivered.

If you still wish to view this title, please feel free to add it to your Rental Queue.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Thanks, Jennifer Netflix Customer Service

-----Original Message----- From: Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 4:53:07 PM To: Subject: Shipping and Receiving Movies: Other

Subject: contact customer service To whom it may concern:

We've been with Netflix now for over a year, and have always been willing to put up with the throttling because we just didn't see the switch to Blockbuster as a viable option. Recently, however, we've had one movie shipped incorrectly (with no attempt so far to correct the issue) and two movies go missing.

I had Underworld, 1986 (crime / comedy), on my queue and got Underworld, 2003 (vampire / werewolf). I reported it as being in the wrong sleeve, and yet it never got sent back to me.

After I reported "Run Lola Run" missing, it mysteriously got returned (I never had it, so how could it have been returned?), according to your status report, and it cost me about a week and a half of waiting for you to get the movie to me for what you claimed was the second time.

Now we've got "The Sentinel" suddenly missing yet again. Wonder how long before you claim we've returned that one, too?

If you can't find some way to explain your service problems and actually, God forbid, communicate with your customers, don't be surprised when we switch to the inferior service at Blockbuster. I'd rather get less, but get what's advertised than keep getting these random problems that I can't even adequately talk to a real person about. Jeremy Echols [Address & Phone Number]

Final Destination 3

I thought I should post something new before everybody who doesn’t give a fuck about research studies hits my blog and decides I’m too serious and I’m a prick whose wife cheats on me (which clearly explains why I waste hours researching other people’s flawed research).

First of all, Final Destination 3 spoilers will be found here. Do not read further if you don’t want the movie spoiled! It’s worth watching, in my opinion, so it’s best to watch without spoilization. I’ll warn before spoilers, of course, but at least be warned…

Where to begin. Like FD1 and FD2, it starts with a premonition about extremely painful and gruesome deaths. If that’s why you watch these movies, then 3 is definitely a must-see.

Unlike FD1, it doesn’t utterly suck balls. Unlike FD2, it has some surprises. But unfortunately, in my opinion, even though the general ideas are better than in either of the first two movies, the overall story is just more of the same and doesn’t make for a better movie. Worth seeing, but not better.

First major problem: there’s a death that’s foreseen that doesn’t make much sense (see below for a full spoiler). My wife pointed it out to me, and I can explain it, but it was a little weird for sure.

Second major problem: the extra feature for “choose their fate” or whatever. Very shitty feature. It had a ton of potential, and at one point appeared to really make a difference. But overall, the only difference you could make to the movie as a whole was ending it prematurely. Technically this might alter the outcome, but if you watch the full movie you won’t really know that the actual ending doesn’t happen. In other words, it doesn’t alter anything, it really does just end early!

Anyway, the movie was a lot like its predecessors, but I felt like it had more gore and at the same time more substance. The story was solid enough. The characters were fun. It was a good flick if you like this sort of movie. If you disliked FD1, try out FD2. If you like that more than 1, you will probably enjoy 3. 3 is definitely more of the same, but still well worth watching.


Main spoiler: the reason I thought this movie was really good was the ending.


The end of the movie kills everybody. But not just like in the first movie where it was really difficult to tell what happened. In this movie, our heroine got a second premonition before dying. Only, she got the premonition when it was already too late. It was incredibly cool. I am a huge fan of happy endings, so a non-happy ending has to be pretty good for me to like it. This was such an ending, in my opinion. Seeing the end happen, then finding out it’s a premonition, and then seeing that they can’t get the train to stop… that was classy. Very cool. This is why my Netflix rating was 4 stars instead of 3.

The death that didn’t make sense, mentioned above, was McKinley’s (dunno if that’s spelled right). He was supposed to kill our heroine, but he ends up dying instead. Now if this makes any sense, she should have avoided being killed by him and then, and only then, death would skip her, start back at the beginning, and kill him. Instead, she avoids a seemingly random death that actually ends up killing him.

I explain that as McKinley was supposed to kill her by keeping her attention while he talked to her. But because she dodged, death took him instead. But it’s still weird no matter how you slice it.

Second issue was the special “Choose their fate” bit on the DVD. I can’t lower my rating for the movie because of this, as it’s not part of the movie, but it was annoying. It looks like you can change one really major event in the movie – they actually save one of the other characters. But he’s never dealt with later in the movie when everybody else dies! I fully expected him on the train at the end! Totally lost style points when I saw that he was just avoided after I made the choice to save him.