Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Dangers of Alternative Medicine, Be Warned

"If water has a memory, then homeopathy is full of shit."

Pareidolius from Hell's News Stand

An astute observation any reasonable person should be able to make. Homeopathy: Shit and Sugar.

Anti Quacks Poster
Feel free to steal this poster and paste it on your blogs. Spread the word!

I have been doing volunteer work at a free clinic of the Malaccan chapter of the Tzu Chi Foundation for about two weeks now - and this, along with my increased (and increasing) workload in med school have castrated a large chunk of the free time I reserve for blogging. That's why I've been writing a lot less. Today, I met an unlikely visitor at the centre, one of our many patients who could not afford the cost of even our governmental healthcare - and what I learned from extracting his case history and from our subsequent conversation have given me a serious cause for concern.

Now, for the convenience of the narrative, we shall refer to this patient as Frank. Frank is a 61 years old American white male who have just returned from Thailand, from his work with the hill tribes there. He has had a serious illness decades ago, which I shall not name here, which rendered him unable to feel any pain in the toes of both his feet (it suffices you to know that that illness is not diabetes). Two weeks ago, he noticed that the middle toe of his left foot have become swollen and over a period of several days, the affected toenail was raised from its nailbed and fell right off. Then, a callous grew on the toe's end which eventually fell off as well, leaving behind an ulcer which got infected. His foot became swollen, red and oedematous subsequently and he reported that he could track a tenderness from that point up to his knees.

He went to a hospital in Thailand and the medicos there told him that they would have to start him on I.V. antibiotics immediately. He adamantly refused the antibiotics, and rejected every suggestion the Thai doctors gave him. He only came to our free clinic because he had an epiphany that morning while meditating.

As of now, there is evidence that the infection has invaded the rest of his body. He could feel a tenderness in the groin region - suggesting an involvement of the inguinal lymph nodes - and that the "glands" in his neck have become swollen as well (I felt them personally and am reasonably sure that they are his cervical lymph nodes). He complained of dizziness, headaches and cold, clammy hands. While he reported no fever, he did mention that he felt a little chilly. Lai Yin, my colleague who also volunteers as Tzu Chi, measured and found that he had an abnormally wide pulse pressure, indicative that Frank might very well be heading into septic shock territory. That's medispeak for "real bad shit this way comes".

The reason why he refused medical treatment when he was Thailand was because he's a strong advocate of complementary medicine - what I personally consider to be a state-sanctioned, socially upheld system of quackery. He does not like antibiotics or much of conventional medicine, for that matter. And he tried to heal his toe using Qigong. When he found that his qi (which he claims to be strong in him) wasn't up to the task, he had his fellow practitioners beam some of their qi through their hands into him. And he became aaalll better.

Nope, that's bollocks. Of course, he did not. His condition deteriorated and resultantly, there he was in the Free Clinic this morning because his chakra or guardian spirit or something told him to. I personally think that his "meditative breakthrough" can simply be translated to "Oh shit, I'm fucking sick! Time to get REAL medicine!"

I believe that if he wasn't so set in his ways in complementary medicine, he would have accepted treatment back there and then in Thailand before he ended up in his current state. He's a strong supporter of one Dr Ishak who runs a clinic offering complementary medicinal treatment in Tengkera, along with a refurbished secondary school which serves as his college for his brand of dubious healthcare. I prodded further and asked Fred if Dr Ishak's clinic offer homeopathic therapy and/or ozone therapy, both of which I know to have absolutely no scientific backings and have repeatedly failed their clinical trials. Fred happily said yes. I have no idea that such a dangerous quack is operating in my hometown, with blessings from our very own Ministry of Health!

Now, I'm not saying that there is no evidence that complementary medicine does not work. I'm simply saying that how they work is different from what their proponents suggest. The placebo effect can be particularly efficacious if a person truly believes in their miraculous properties - it makes patients feel better without actually making them better. All complementary medicine has going for it is its highly subjective anecdotal "successes" in curing illnesses which would either resolve on their own or were concurrently treated with conventional medicine. People who said that homeopathic remedies helped with their diabetes or hypertension were probably taking the usual pharmaceutical cocktail at the same time.

I wouldn't grumble half as much if these quacks remember what the word "complementary" means. Complementary medicine is meant to complement conventional medicine, not replace it. I have severe issues with the term "alternative medicine" because it suggests an air of legitimacy, that it is a viable option to the tried and true methods which were built from sturdy, scientific foundations. Let me tell you: if alternative medicine truly works, it'd be part of conventional medicine (doctors aren't conspiring to keep effective treatments from you, contrary to popular belief). But it isn't. Why? Because it kept flunking its tests. Even as a lowly 4th year medical student, I have seen too many patients who were diagnosed with very treatable diseases - early stage cancers, particularly - who went to quacks for their alternative fixes despite their physicians' warnings, only to come back a few years later with advanced diseases with nightmarish degrees of metastases and truly abysmal survival rates. I've seen firsthand how dangerous this irrational insensibility, this penchant for pseudo-medical nonsense have destroyed lives - and I've seen it far more often than the isolated "miraculous" success stories that the complementary medicine people kept blabbering to us about.

Fred currently lives in Malacca at Dr Ishak's centre and is earning no income because he believes in spending all his time and energy helping people. A few years ago, he worked for StemTech, a company which peddles a naturalistic supplement derived from the blue-green algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae which supposedly activates adult stem cells found in bone marrow and cures like a million diseases including AIDS, kind of like those snake oil some witch doctor sell in pasar malams. I looked into it, discovering that most of StemTech's claims are unfounded (there was even a lawsuit against them which Stemtech lost) and that there is a lot of concern over its toxic and cancer-causing potential. Fred left the company because it turned to multi-level marketing (i.e. pyramid scheme), and Fred wanted to give the product away to people free-of-charge, bless his soul. I think that Fred is a really nice person, but giving out stuff that can make people sick isn't at all a very nice thing to do. Now what's that saying again? The one about roads to hell being paved with good intentions?

We cut out the dead bits from Fred's toe, stitched and dressed it up, and sent him home with some antibiotics and advice to seek hospital care if his condition deteriorates or does not improve within the next 3 days. I actually have more stories from my time at the Free Clinic but I'll save those for another time (class tomorrow, see). Think of this as a cautionary tale and try to pass it on. I sincerely hope that this will be useful to both my colleagues and non-medical readers.

k0k s3n w4i

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Koumpounophobia: A Review of Coraline

"It's Coraline. Not Caroline. Coraline."

Coraline, in Neil Gaiman's Coraline (2002)

Coraline Poster
I like the tagline on the earlier teaser posters better. They read; "Oh. My. God."

I read Neil Gaiman's novella, Coraline, almost 3 years ago in my bedroom during a rainstorm at 5:00 am in the morning. I heard it was a children's horror story which scares adults more than it did the kids so I was only trying to get my buck's worth by picking the creepiest time possible to dive into it. It was, how do you say it? A disappointment?

Now, I'm not saying it's a bad book or anything. It's like every other novel written by Gaiman I've read, and my opinion of each one of them is the same; "Great concept. Lacklustre writing. Cool visuals, though. Wish they'd make a movie out of it." I felt that way about American Gods. I felt that way about Neverwhere. And I most certainly felt that way about Stardust.

Luckily for me, they did make a movie adaptation of Stardust and I enjoyed it immensely. I liked it far more than I liked the book (and I almost never think this way of screen translations of novels, particularly if I have read the books before I watch the movies). So, when I heard that they are making a Coraline film, I got pretty excited about it. And when I read that Dakota Fanning is going to voice the eponymous heroine and that it's going to be a stop motion feature (first time ever in 3-D!) directed by The Henry Selick of The Nightmare Before Christmas fame, I was so mind-blown that pieces of my brain matter could be found in orbit, going splat on the windshields of passing spaceships.

Forest Set
Pictured: Stop motion awesomeness from the set of Coraline.

I just watched it this morning, by the way. And I watched it again just a couple of hours ago.

I think it's the best stop motion animated film I've ever watched. Dare I say, it's better than The Nightmare Before Christmas? Why, yes. Wait, I'll say it again in a sec; YES! FUCK YES!

At any rate, it's an awesome movie many times better than Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, which I liked in a mildly interested sort of way, or the frankly banal Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit which won the 2005 Oscar for Best Animated Feature. I'm thinking if W&G could win at the Academy Awards, Coraline should be a shoo-in for the honour. However, it'll still have to contend with Pixar's Up (not to be confused with Russ Meyer's 1976 soft core porno, Up!) which will be debuting very soon.

Alright, without further delay, I shall review Coraline now, spoiler free (or at least till I indicate otherwise). Folks who have read Gaiman's novella have absolutely nothing to worry about at all. You guys already know all the reels and reveals.

The Story.

Other Parents
There is something very wrong in this picture. See if you can Spot the Nots.

Coraline have just moved into the Pink Palace Apartments with her two boring, boring, BORING, and neglectful, work-consumed parents and she is not a happy girl at all. Upstairs lived a Mr. Bobinsky, a big blue Russian acrobat who claimed to be secretly training a jumping mice circus and is evidently two warheads short of a nuclear holocaust. Inhabiting the lower floor is a pair of retired actresses (broadly hinted to have been in the burlesque business) who lived with three yappy Scottish Terriers and more than a dozen other stuffed ones. The only person of her age around is a nerdy African American kid with scoliosis (wasn't in the original story), and even he doesn't pay Coraline much attention. In fact, with the exception of her parents, no one even got her name right.

Then, while exploring her decrepit new home, she discovered a little door hidden behind the wallpaper in an empty room. After pestering her Mom to unlock it, she discovered, to her disappointment, that it had been bricked up.

Later that night, after being awakened by a jumping mice, she followed it to the little door and discovered a glowing passageway which wasn't there before leading to a near-identical version of her apartment. There, she met her Other Mother and Other Father which were identical to her own parents except that they are much more loving, more attentive... and oh, have black, shiny buttons for eyes.

Everything in the Other World seems more interesting and exciting compared to Coraline's own mundane reality, and she loved it there. Need I say that things quickly turned real awry from that point onwards?

This is Alice in Wonderland with a malevolent fae spin - a surrealistic nightmare version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It's the classic children story of a fantastic journey into another world, only darker and very much scarier.

The Look.

I shall not mince words. This movie is gorgeous.

The thing I admire most about stop motion animation, aside from the massive amount of expertise, talent and patience required to produce a full-length feature, is the screen presence. When we see Coraline, we can see that she has depth, weight and volume, and it certainly didn't hurt for me to know that when they shot the scenes, there's an actual model of Coraline in teeny tiny clothes on an actual set. With the exception of the sky, the ghost children and a few little other things, everything in the movie is very much real. There's a degree of richness evident in this sort of film that conventional CGI has yet to match. While there are still some wrinkles here and there in the method that they have not ironed out completely, they came very close to perfection with Coraline.

Coraline in the Other Garden.

Aside from looking good, the nature of the medium is also very much suited to represent the uncanniness of the Other World and its inhabitants. There are parts which I think were made intentionally slightly more unrealistic and jerkier compared to others to signal to the audience that something is a little off in those scenes.

There was a scene where little swirling paper cutouts of jumping mice emerged through a pinhole in the bricks into Coraline's real apartment at the beginning which I thought was made using CGI because it looked so organic and complicated. A little clip at the end of the end credits showed how it was actually done, and yes, I was wrong. It's all stop motion. Bloody impressive, I must say.

The Feel.

Coraline coming out of Miss Spink and Miss Forcible's apartment into the mist.

Do not bring any children younger than 10 to watch Coraline. You will give them enough fuel to power nightmares for many months to come. The film achieved - in broad daylight no less - what the book did not. Yes, I'm admitting it. A kiddie movie frightened me.

Wait, I take back what I said about not bringing kids to the movie. Bring them. Traumatise them. It builds character. All those feel good cartoons with zany animal sidekicks are making our kids soft.

Now, I personally divide the horror genre into two broad and highly subjective categories; high horror, and low horror. You know those movies which relies heavily on cheap shocks, gory images, scare chords, body horror and Things Leaping Suddenly at the Audience? Those are strictly low horror to me. They work on an animalistic level depending almost solely on every sentient being's instinct to run away or recoil when surprised by the unexpected.

High horrors, like Coraline, plays on our fear of the unknown and uncanny, and disturbs us by the force of its story alone. It engages us and crawl beneath our skins. It grabs us down inside where it's dark and lonely. And it lingers long after the show ended.

Warning: Spoilers begin here. Do not read on if you don't want to have the story spoilt for you.
Do not even look at the following pictures. Go away, or skip right down to the Last Words.

Take the Other Parents, for example. They would have been exemplary parents if it wasn't for their button eyes. It's that little other-worldly something which simply unsettle all of us when we look at it. Every subsequent time Coraline visits the Other Place, everything changed subtly, becomes slightly more unfamiliar, slightly more wrong. When the Other Father started to lose his shape and his voice started sounding lower like a record played slow, I could feel my insides curling up in horror. I'm not even going into the details of the Other Mother's ghastly final transformation. Teri Hatcher was simply pitch perfect in the role with her soft, chilling voice - reassuring yet alarming all at once. I also think it's ironic that she's playing a literal desperate housewife in this film.

Other Mother Final Form
And this movie's for kids, you say?

Also, I'm pretty sure that I will be dreaming about several of the other nightmarish elements in this movie for the next couple of nights at least. The scariest one has to be the part where the Other Mother banging on the door on the Other's Place's end of the tunnel screaming, "DON'T LEAVE ME!!! DON'T LEAVE ME!!! I'LL DIE WITHOUT YOUUU!!!"as Coraline was making her escape and the door started chasing her, moving closer and closer to her every time her Other Mother hit it from the other side. It made me want to go into fetal position and whimper.

Spink and Forcible
Henry Selick: Yeap, it's for kids. Why did you ask?

The soundtrack to this film, mostly composed by French composer Bruno Coulais, complements the tone and atmosphere beautifully while sounding very different from the usual fare we get in films like this. Coulais' songs are mostly choral pieces sang in a nonsense language (I thought it sounded French, but I was wrong). My favourite song has got to be the one they play over the end credits sang by the Children's Choir of Nice. I feel that it has a nice balance of playfulness and breathy creep to it.

Last Words.

Coraline far exceeded my expectations of it and I recommend it to anyone who would enjoy a smart and good-looking children horror film. While there are differences between the film's and the book's stories, I felt that the additions have made the movie a better experience than it would have been had it stayed overly faithful to the source material. Henry Selick's own spin of the story elevated Coraline above its printed counterpart, lending it a much needed charisma and lustre boost - but don't worry, the essence of Gaiman's story is still very much all there.

And no, you don't need to read the book in other to enjoy the movie. In fact, reading the book would actually be detrimental to your enjoyment of it. I'm sure that I would have enjoyed the movie better if I didn't already know every turn of the story.

Score: 10/10

P.S. It's a pity that I would have to wait till August before I can see Caroline (3-D!) playing in Malaysian theatres, but on the up side, Phoebe would be back by then and she'd want to see this film too.

Is waiting to see what Selick will do next,
k0k s3n w4i

Monday, May 18, 2009

They are Broadcasting Stupid on the Airwaves

"It's the old myth heard time and again about how people only use ten percent of their brains, while for the people who repeat that myth, it's probably true, the rest of use happily use all of our brains."

Recently, I have revived my interest in radio broadcasts after spending more than 3 years in a sort of self-imposed exile from the mainstream music scene. My taste in music, by effect, has grown quite bizarre indeed. It had expanded far and wide laterally (into the UK, French and Russian contemporary pop scenes, easy listening lounge music, the anti-folk movement and most recently, into modern folk music) and occasionally, in a retrograde fashion back to the 80's and beyond. I thought that it's high time I check back into the crass commercial droning everyone else is listening to before I became completely musically estranged from the rest of the human race.

So, this morning, I was tuning in to FLY FM. It was during a slice of morning somewhere between 7:45 and 7:50 am and the deejays were asking some call-in listeners to tell them which part of their body would they like to have robotically augmented or replaced (can't remember which now, but to-may-to, to-mah-to). One guy who identified himself as a medical student said that he would like to have a robotic brain.

His rationale was that humans only use 10% of their brains and so, he want a computer brain to maximize the usage of his mind-power.

Several questions immediately sprang to my mind. Chief of them was, "How did a brainless git like him ever got into med school?"

We DO NOT only use 10% of our brains. It's a MYTH. Scam artists and psychic con jobs used this "factoid" to justify psychic powers. Functional imaging techniques of brains like PET scans and fMRI's have blown that bit of fluff right out of the atmosphere - things a medical student must surely know. Even if he didn't, he must have learnt about the brain in Anatomy and Physiology in the First Year. Exactly how much booze and pot did he have in his system when he studied all those things? It's one thing for idiots who believe every bit of spam-mail they get and forward chain letters just because they threaten to kill their mothers to tout these sort of nonsense every second of their mentally-challenged waking life - but a medical student? Please stick some forks into him.

Also, I wouldn't want a robotic brain in my head in the first place. While the human brain may not have the raw processing power that some supercomputers have, there's a lot of things a human brain can do which no cybernetic equivalent can yet achieve, or even achieve to a matching degree in the near future. Like painting. Like writing prose and poetry. Like common sense which this medical student evidently had in short supply.

Then, the jackanape went on to admonish someone called Ben (one of the deejays, I suppose) - calling him stupid on national radio - for wanting robotic cells which will never die, saying that that's a cell which will never die is the very definition of a cancer cell. That's a misleading oversimplification of the process of neoplasia (pardon my Latin). There's a whole lot of other icky stuff a cell needs in order to be a cancer cell. It has to be able to keep replicating without any chemical signals telling them to. It has to be able to ignore chemical signals that tells them to stop growing. It has to have a defective DNA repair mechanism. It has to have a limitless replicative potential. There's a whole host of other etceteras here that would be completely unintelligible to a layperson, so I won't write them here, but my point is, a cell which can never die, if it still listens to all those chemical signals telling it when to grow and when not to grow; if it's able to fix every genetic mutation which comes about that can potentially cause it to turn malignant and invasive - is not a cancer cell. It's simply immortal. There's a lot of bits in the human body that can do with a nice pinch of immortality, I can tell you. The brain and heart for starters. And those vascular and nerve cells which allow men to have erections, please. Boners for life!

It's okay to be stupid. It's being arrogant in spite of it that I can't stomach.

Don't like radio very much,
k0k s3n w4i

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Please Boycott X-Men Origins: Wolverine

"The day my father Odin banished me from Asgard, I was bitten by a vampire and had radioactive waste dumped into my eyes. To make matters worse, my mutant ability to control weather activated just as I was hit by a blast of gamma radiation. Nah, actually, I got this way by volunteering for the Weapon X program. They promised to cure my cancer. And they cured it all right, by giving me an outrageous healing factor. Then they labeled me psychotic and tossed me into a prison lab. So I escaped and became what some people might call a 'mercenary'. I prefer the title 'cleaner of the gene pool'"


This is going to be a quick one because I am massively occupied by that portion of my life and persona which is trying to be a doctor (some exam is coming up, see), but yet, another aspect of my self - my pop-culture geek side - insists on getting the word out on the most recent screen reincarnation of Marvel's most ludicrously popular anti-hero, Wolverine, just in case there's anyone who haven't watch it yet. That word, dear readers, is "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Yeap, there are spoilers in this article somewhere, but they don't really matter. Who cares if a lousy movie is spoiled?

Wolverine poster
Posturing since 1974.

Now, I'm not a Wolvie fan by any stretch. I personally find the character bland and somewhat repugnant. And I also imagine that he smells bad for some reason. The number one problem a lot of people have with his characterisation is that he is far too civilised in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, having almost no problem at all in keeping his bloodthirsty side in check. Now, remember that this is suppose to be pre-X-Men Wolverine. He's suppose to have this long dark history of bloodshed and carnage prior to joining the X-Men, and he only became more tempered and less savage in the timeframe of the three previous X-Men movies.

So, why is Wolverine in Origins more civilised (read: such a big pussy) compared to the Wolverine in X-Men 1-through-3? I call character derailment on this.

Also, what the fuck was up with the CGI? Did they let the interns do Wolvie's claws for a lark and a laugh?

Wolverine Claws
I don't mean to be Captain Obvious here but...

There's heckuva a lot of shit I can dump too on the frankly ridiculous storyline, like the almost campy brother theme with overt homoerotic undertones between Wolvie and Sabretooth. The quality of the script is frankly appalling. Let's take for example that scene when Stryker spoke within earshot of Wolvie about how he had tricked our gruff anti-hero into joining the Weapon X program and how he plan to eventually betray him (which naturally led to Wolvie escaping from the Weapon X laboratories in a one of his berserker moments). I ask you, is there no other way of letting Wolverine know that he's been screwed without having the Stryker accidentally tell it to his face? This is plain bad writing.

Then, Stryker sent his prodigous marksman/assassin Agent Zero after Wolvie knowing full well that nothing Agent Zero shoot, launch or lob at Wolvie can kill him, while withholding the DAMN ADAMANTIUM BULLETS FROM HIM, THE ONLY DAMN THING THAT CAN HARM WOLVERINE AFTER THEY GAVE HIM AN ADAMANTIUM SKELETON AND MADE HIM INVINCIBLE. It's like Stryker didn't want Agent Zero to succeed at all. Laughable. The entire Wolverine movie is a montage of such bad screenwriting practices.

I have also lost count of how many times they made Wolvie fall on his knees and howl in anguished rage at the sky. Veeery emotionally moving indeed, Hollywood.

Now, I can go on and on about how sucky the script is, how uninspired, bland and generic the action scenes are, and how badly they violated the comics' fans anuses - but I simply don't have the time. So, I'll just concentrate on my pet peeve, my number one beef with this Hugh Jackman star-vehicle groan-fest. Let's look at Deadpool.

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds is... DEAD-FUCKING-POOL! Fox is finally doing something right!

I am a DC Comics fan mostly. I'm a fan of Sandman, the Joker (from Batman) and Watchmen, and I admit that I don't read a whole lot of Marvel's stuff. There's only one character I like in the entire Marvel universe, and that's Deadpool. When I first heard that he's appearing in the Wolverine movie, and that long-time fan of Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds, was going to play everyone's favourite Merc with a Mouth, I was almost beside myself with nerdgasm.

Then this happened,

weapon XI 2
Which part of "Merc with a Mouth" did you not understand?

It's bad enough that they fused the characters Weapon XI and Deadpool into this weird shit mutant, this absolute pinnacle of lame (more on that) but why the fuck did they take away the single most defining characteristic of a fan favourite character? He's called the Merc with a Mouth for a reason, okay! The thing that made him so popular is his hilarious, childish, ADD'ish banter which he wouldn't stop, even in the middle of all-out fights. In the entire Marvel universe, I doubt that there's a single character which has a higher laugh to speech bubble ratio than ol' Deadpool.

deadpool quote
Classic Deadpool.

Deadpool moment
Pop-culture savvy Deadpool.

Fourth-wall breaking Deadpool. The man knows he's in a comic book, bless 'im. Since he's also suppose to be completely insane, people just assume that he's talking nonsense when he talks about it.

Fox and its nimcompoop screenwriter and retard director thought that it's okay to trade Deadpool's trademark wealth of conversational funnies for a single, throwaway "finally shut him up" gag. Sure, we got a small, tiny teeny taste of the true-to-character Deadpool back when he's still just Wade Wilson in the movie, but that only served to remind us how much character potential they have stomped and shat on.

Now, Weapon XI (which is apparently Deadpool in this travesty of a film) is the Big Bad that Wolverine has to fight, and he's basically Wade Wilson tanked up with Wolvie's healing factor, Cyclop's optic blasts, and John Wraith's teleportation powers... and the lamest possible imitation of Wolverine's retractable claws,

weapon XI 1
How did he bend his elbow when the fucking katanas were in his forearms? Wait wrong question. Right question: Where the fuck is our Deadpool?!

The original Deadpool is already a sufficiently cool character to begin with. Making him a dorkier version of Wolverine isn't going to help one bit. God, I can totally imagine some rich, fat, out-of-touch Fox executive at some pitch meeting going, "Hey, kids like Wolverine and his claw things right? Let's graft Deadpool's katanas into his arms too! It's a brilliant idea, I tell you. Now if you gentlemen would excuse me, I got to go piss on some homeless orphan's face."

Technically, Weapon XI in thi movie is a living amalgam of powers from a bunch of kidnapped or killed mutants in the Canadian Weapon X program, which supposedly gives this movie's edition of Deadpool his name. He's a "Pool of powers from Dead mutants". Geddit? GEDDIT?!

By my count, only one of his powers actually came from a dead guy, rendering his name practically meaningless. See, this is what happens when you're trying to shoehorn some character into a role he's not meant to play, Fox. Read the damn comics. The reason for his name in them is a whole lot more cooler, and makes good sense too.

This is how he looks like. Learn how to trace, you Fox fuckheads.

IN MY HONEST AND HUMBLE OPINION, this movie isn't very hard to make at all. It's going to star one of Marvel's most popular character - Wolverine - and also introduce two fan favourites on the big screen for the very first time; Gambit and Deadpool (with perfect casting choices, if I may say so myself). No fans want the characters reinterpreted or revised in anyway, and people who aren't familiar with the franchise aren't going to know any better. All 20th Century-Fox need to do is get some of the peeps from Marvel for a bit of consultancy work so they don't go off the tracks - or if they are that cheap, they can probably get fans to do the consultation work for free. Heck, I'd pay to do that job just to make sure they don't screw up Deadpool!

Fox just has this vile agenda to trash everyone's childhood fantasies. I'm convinced of that now. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it's like they took Deadpool, sit around a table and had a brainstorming session just for the singular purpose of thinking up the most effective ways to ruin the character. There's no possible way anyone can unwittingly make such a big mess of it. Fuck you, Fox. FUCK YOU!

Just a few days ago, Fox just announced that Deadpool spinoff movie is in currently in the works, and that Reynolds is going to reprise his role.

... aaand it's going to suck. I just know it. And after Fox ruin it but good, no studio would want to touch the character for at least a few decades or more, till people forget how horrible it was and are ready for another Deadpool outing. There is a distinct possibility that I might not live long enough to see a GOOD Deadpool movie made.

I hope Marvel can somehow reacquire the filmmaking rights to Deadpool from Fox, like what they did with Iron Man. There's a reason why Iron Man did so well, made so much money and made every fan thoroughly satisfied with the faithfulness of the movie to the source material while managing to rope in busloads of new fans at the same time.

For the sake of better movies for our children and the future generations, people, stop watching movies made by Fox! Don't watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine if you haven't. We need to bankrupt those motherfuckers.

P.S. There's suppose to be two different post-credit scenes inserted at the end of the Wolverine movies, depending on which version of the reel your local theatres received. One shows Wolverine in Japan, hinting at his Japanese storyline in the comics and a sequel. The other shows the decapitated body of Deadpool reaching for his severed head. He opened his eyes, showing that he's still alive after all with his mouth mysteriously restored. And he shushed the audience directly, breaking the fourth wall. They got that part right! So, maybe there's still hope that they'll do the Deadpool movie right?

P.P.S. Damn, I keep raising my own hopes. Someone please stab me.

Related post: How the Dragonball Movie Nearly Did Not Suck (and Why It Sucked Anyway).

Incensed Deadpool fan typing furiously,
k0k s3n w4i

Saturday, May 02, 2009

What You Can Do When You're Throwing Up

Vomit don't taste very good. It tastes worse when it's made up entirely of four shitty cans of 9.2% ABV strong beer mixed with bile and gastric juice, after it had been splashing about in my otherwise empty stomach for four hours. I spent the morning running between the sink and the water jug trying to flush out the last vestiges of my mistake while swearing that that would be the last time I pour such vile stuff into myself. Considering that I have never once puked after drinking in my life before, I would have to lay the blame solely on the beer's taste. I swear that if there's a hell for alcoholics, their punishment would be to chug that awful swill for all eternity. That'd make them turn to Christ in a real hurry, I can tell you that.

After about an hour of turning my innards inside out, my mouth tasted like I've been munching on bricks of shit all night long. No amount of water could wash that horrid aftertaste away. On an impulse, I threw the fridge door open and found an ice-cold can of F&N Orange - which I downed bottoms up in less than a minute. It turned out to be a real stroke of brilliance because every time I puke after that, my sick tastes just like F&N Orange! Try it the next time you got shitfaced and found yourself doing an impression of a sea cucumber regurgitating its guts.

You heard it here first people. Make your vomit taste better by drinking F&N Orange.

This has been another important public service announcement on k0k bL0k. Please vote for me for President of Planet Earth 2010. Over and out.