Saturday, January 31, 2009

Down with the Sickness

I went on a four day stint of being completely and utterly sick. But, good news, I’ve made a semi-full recovery, just in time for the super-bowl too. Somehow, I contracted some sort of viral infection Sunday night, which weakened my body allowing for a sinus infection to become prominent. It’s been a rough week.

In accordance with my absence, I thought a mention some musings I’ve had lately. For one, Jack Bauer and Christian Bale’s Batman have very similar crisis voices. Try doing an impersonation of one of them and ask someone who you’re trying to impersonate. It’ll be weird. I also picked up Kingdom hearts II. That game is off its rocker. The first three hours had almost nothing to do, at least from what I could tell, with the rest of the game. Who would have thought that mixing Final Fantasy and Disney characters into a video game would make a franchise? I’ve also grown quite obsessed with Hunter S. Thompson. After watching the extraordinary documentary Gonzo: The life and times of Dr.Hunter S. Thompson, I dug up a copy and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at my local library. The only thing I can say right now is that if I didn’t have a history on Thompson, I’d have no clue what Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was about.

Next time: Day and Age

Joel Samson Berntsen, currently listening to Eddie’s Ragga - Spoon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why I'm not doing drugs till I'm seventy...

I’ve recently decided that I’m not going to do or try drugs until I’m seventy. I’ve never been real interested in ‘doing’ drugs being as I’ve had very close friends ruin their lives by partaking and dealing with illegal substances.

I came to the decision that drugs weren’t for me, at least for now, because I already have trouble stopping far simpler things. I take very long showers. I have trouble getting up in morning; I often hit the sleep button three times before successfully dragging myself out of bed.

So if I have trouble with such tasks as easy as sleeping and showers, I can confidently say that I would become a drug fiend if I ever did a hit, line, or whatever they’re calling it nowadays. It would most likely over-take my life and in doing so ruin any chance I’d have to become a successful writer. And I do NOT want that.

Now, you might be asking, so why, good sir, are you waiting till you’re seventy? Well, I feel that‘s the proper time where I could decide to do drugs or not. Hopefully, I’ll have quite a bit of money since I never plan on retiring from writing and I feel that with all of today’s medicine and surgeries we are leaving for longer than nature or God intended. If I have grand kids and a wife then I’d probably never touch anything to major. But if I’m living alone and most of my family is gone, that’s a different story…

Thanks for Reading,

Joel Samson Berntsen (listening to Super Bad-James Brown)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Moving on to Bitterness

I recently moved on from a girl that I’ve spent nearly a semester of my life chasing after; well, not chasing after, more like timidly following. Anyway, she’s screwed a ton of guys over and I’m glad that I’ve finally realized that there’s nothing that special about her and that I’m starting some-what over.

To put things in perspective though, I found out that UGO entertainment recently bought the 1up network from Ziff Davis. Most people won’t know what this means, but 1up provided podcasts, online content, and egm magazine. I’ve listened to the majority of 1up’s podcast over the past year and slowly grew very fond of almost everyone in their offices and with the recent purchase of the network, quite a number of those people were laid off. From what I’ve read, it seems that all the podcasts are going to be shut down. And with this bitch economy, I would assume it’s going to be pretty difficult to find a new job. Here’s to hoping everything works out for all the ex-employees of the 1up network. If you have any questions on anything feel free to post and for a full list of casualties check: .
It’s odd how an event like this can show you how insignificant my problems actually are. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected be UGO screwing over so many great, funny people.

Also check out Jeff Green's blog response to this, it's the most honest response i've read so far...

Joel Samson Berntsen (listening to Ocean of Noise-Arcade Fire)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Film Wrap Party

I’ve seen a multitude of movies over the last couple of weeks and wanted to summarize some of my thoughts on movies.

Yes Man was actually decent. It’s just a fun film to see. Jim Carrey is hilarious as a drunken crazy man. I give it a B-.

Rocket Science is a charming Indie film directed by Jeffery Blitz of Spellbound fame. If you are in speech and debate; SEE THIS MOVIE. If not you’ll still like the movie but it seems that it was made solely for the sake of having a film about speech and debate. The film also introduced me to Nicholas D'Agosto, who I want to star in every film I ever write or make. Rocket Science gets a B.

High Fidelity: a classic John Cusack movie. I highly recommend this movie. It’s not the greatest or most original movie out there but it keeps you invested in the plot and gives you a some-what new perspective. If you’re really into music and are over the age of twenty you will love this movie. I felt like most of the humor was lost on me because I didn’t get the references. In the end, it gets a very high B+.

Righteous Kill, featuring Robert Dinero and Al Pacino, was a horrible movie. The script seemed some-what manageable but the acting, directing, and cinematography was hideous. If you have decent taste in anything dealing with film avoid this film.

And I’m currently listening to Golden Age by TV on the Radio,

Joel Samson Berntsen

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Judging from the trailer, I didn’t expect much from The Spirit. It looked like a glorified cartoon twisted in the hands of Frank Miller. And I’ve got to say, after actual watching the movie, I was pretty much right.

The movie succeeds when there’s banter and decent actors, but when two guys are just beating the crap out of each other it’s almost always hilarious, but as Frank Miller tries to evoke emotions of ache and loss the film only appears comical(and not in the good way). Stylistically, though, the film is beautiful. However, it is inconsistent. Whereas a film like Sin City maintains a specific style throughout all its tales, The Spirit ricochets from various styles with no clear transitions from one scene to another. The film and I use the term film quite loosely, while being gorgeous in spots and very funny in others is nothing more than a cartoon.
As always one or two actors/actresses in a film will catch my eye and this time it’s Scarlett Johansson. She is spectacular as a Silken Floss, the sarcastic, female-fatale sidekick to the Octopus (Played by Samuel L Jackson). Her deadpan remarks and acting alone redeem some of the lacking moments of the movie. It’s hard to describe how funny she actually is in the movie; I just know I now have a major craving to see Ghost World. Also, Samuel L. Jackson! He really is funny as the Octopus. If I ever make or write an action film, I want those two in it.
The Spirit doesn’t get a grade. Mainly because it’s a cartoon and I have no idea what I would give it if I was grading it.
Happy New Year!
Joel Berntsen; currently listening to Devil’s Haircut by Beck