Six Categories That The 2015 Oscars Absolutely Need

It’s almost time for the Oscars, which means that it’s already time to be furious about the Oscars. But rather than get mad about other people’s taste in movies, I’ve decided to jumble my britches about the lack of good Oscar categories. Here are seven categories that the Academy needs if they really want to be taken seriously this time around.

Best Example Of How Awful Everything Is: The Legend of Hercules/Hercules Reborn/Hercules

The Rock doesn't care that you also have a movie coming out where you play the same character as him.
The Rock doesn’t care that you also have a movie coming out where you play the same character as him.

It’s truly odd to have to describe something as “the other movie about Hercules that came out this year,” and “the other movie about Hercules that came out this year that isn’t that other Hercules movie that also came out this year.” In a rush to capitalize on a character that audiences might care about, and to capitalize on that possible capitalization, three Hercules movies were released in 2014, and one was almost decent. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make a good movie about Hercules, but it does mean that maybe the process of coming up with a movie idea shouldn’t always be finding out that you have $100 million dollars to spend and pulling a name out of your “recognizable mythologies” hat.

Best “I Have To Show This To Everyone I Know”: The Guest

About once every two years, a movie comes out that I have to screen for everyone I know. Previous winners of this award include The Raid and I Saw The Devil, but by the end of 2014, it became clear that I was going to show The Guest to every friend and family member I had until I didn’t have anyone left. I consider everyone I’ve ever met who I haven’t watched The Guest with yet a “missed connection.” Some people are bonded by deep feelings and experiences, but if I catch the eye of a person who has sat beside me while Dan Stevens terminator’d his way through a killer synth soundtrack, I know that our love is for real.

Best Loss Of Audience Interest: Bryan Cranston’s Death In Godzilla

You, when he died.
You, when he died.

Now that he’s been immortalized by Breaking Bad, anything less than a badass quip followed by multiple explosions is going to seem like a slight to every role that Bryan Cranston signs on for. Therefore, it’s almost like director Gareth Edwards didn’t get the memo when Bryan Cranston died from “bridge collapsing in the background” complications in Godzilla. I went to see that movie twice in theaters, and both times, the people sitting around me felt as if they’d been slighted by some kind of rule-breaking.

Didn’t the guys making this thing know that you DON’T kill off Cranston unless that death is the focal point of the whole thing? Godzilla is about a giant monster getting murderously pissed off that two other giant monsters want to bang and then only fighting them for eight minutes, and the biggest disappointment in the room is always the breaking of that basic law of filmmaking: Unless you have something rad to say, you don’t say it to Bryan Cranston.

Continue reading Six Categories That The 2015 Oscars Absolutely Need

The Long, Sad History Of Enrique Iglesias’ Album Covers

Sometimes, you have to do things for the good of the internet. In this case, it meant chronicling the history of Enrique Iglesias’ album covers, because I couldn’t find an example of that being done yet. I wish I could come up with a better introduction to this list, but I can’t. And, as you’ll see, any introduction that I could have come up with wouldn’t do it justice. That’s because these album covers prove that you don’t always need words, or even slight effort, to get your point across.



I’m sure that if you had no idea who Enrique Iglesias was, you’d think “Was there any other photo to choose from?” In retrospect though, this is just setting up a trend that will last two decades. Welcome to Enrique Iglesias, everyone. It’s time to look at stuff.

Rating: 3 Enrique Iglesias Head Shots Out Of 5

Alternate Title: Excuse Me. What Did You Say Again?



In this cover, Enrique truly emerges as the guy smirking in the background while your long distance college sweetheart tells you that it’s not what it looks like and that you both had agreed that you weren’t happy.

Rating: 1 Honeymoon Refund Out Of 1

Alternate Title: She Said That You Guys Were Over



The experiment to find out whether Enrique could put on a suit or not has been a rousing success. Champagne for everyone, gentlemen. Science, as a whole, has been solved.

Rating: 5 Garage Doors In The Background Out Of 5

Alternate Title: Top Secret Enrique Iglesias Wardrobe Study File 4 Classified



Enrique already had an album entitled “Enrique Iglesias,” so this is the equivalent of dropping the “The” and the “the,” and just going with the aerodynamic-sounding Fast and Furious. They also stamp “ENRIQUE IGLESIAS” over “ENRIQUE,” as if to clear up any confusion that this is, in fact, an Enrique Iglesias album, and not an album that some numbskull named “ENRIQUE” while trying to push in on the “gawk into space” market.

Rating: 2 ENRIQUES Out Of 5

Alternate Title: I Am Still Me



The concept art for this album was just the word “JAWLINE” written on a scrap of paper. If he was ever going to audition for an action hero movie role, he’d hand in a copy of this album cover as his demo reel. Awww, Enrique. What are you so smolderingly angry about? What happened to the days of you looking bewildered by all of life’s complexities?

Rating: 4 Explosions Out Of 5

Alternate Title: JAWLINE

Continue reading The Long, Sad History Of Enrique Iglesias’ Album Covers

I Can Totally Relate To This Song: “Into The Night” by Chad Kroeger & Santana

When I was eighteen, I fell for a girl who only sort of liked me back. It wasn’t totally unrequited, but our feelings for each other were definitely on different points of the spectrum. I was like her relationship understudy. If someone got sick or messed up their schedule, I was called to fill in the line readings. I was constantly trying to get myself a spot as the lead role though, and these attempts escalated through shitty poetry and lingering phone calls until, eventually, she just stopped answering. And that’s a good thing, because if eighteen-year-old Daniel is going to share with you one piece from his blue writing folder, you better be prepared to clear off your desk, make some coffee, and dig into the whole damn anthology.  At the time, the song that represented all of this emotional turmoil was “Into The Night,” by Santana and Chad Kroeger.


“It was love from above that could save me from hell.”

Sometimes I curse and other times, I mix vodka with orange juice in Gatorade bottles. But you can rescue me from this troubled life. Only you, girl who was totally the angel figure in the poem that I read to you that was in no way about you because that would be crazy.

“She had fire in her soul/it was easy to see”

You are on the dance team and laugh at almost half of my jokes, phoenix.

“And we danced on into the night”

This is my way of asking you to prom. I’m sorry for all of me.

Santana ft Chad Kroeger - Into The Night

Continue reading I Can Totally Relate To This Song: “Into The Night” by Chad Kroeger & Santana

My Awful Taste In Everything 1: Childhood Cartoons

I asked five of my friends to tell me about their awful taste in childhood cartoons. What they sent me back…, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. Suffice to say, I’m not friends with any of them anymore, and my eyes bleed each year, on the anniversary of a day that I’d like to call The Bobbying.

Mark Hill is a columnist and editor at

When Daniel first asked me to contribute to this, I scoffed at the idea that I had bad taste. Then I thought about it for more than 10 seconds and realised that I totally did. Here are some dumb cartoons I used to like!

The Berenstain Bears

The Berenstain Bears books were for kids who were too dumb to pick up on valuable preschool lessons like sharing is good, eating crayons is bad and sharing crayons you’ve tried to eat is neutral, and The Berenstain Bears cartoon was for kids too dumb to grasp the complex morality of the books. Every episode starts with a hoedown, proceeds with a dozen reminders that staying organised is important, and ends with the disappointment of not seeing the bears do anything remotely bearlike. In-between is a crisis with fewer stakes than Dracula’s castle and feelings you’ll recognise years later as the suspicion that you’re in remedial childhood.

Miscellaneous Scooby-Doo Bullshit

To understand the depths of my love for Scooby-Doo, you need to understand that I unironically enjoyed the first live action movie to the extent that when my ex-girlfriend forgot her DVD at my place I didn’t even make a token effort at trying to return it. But for every legitimately rad Scooby-Doo series there are several where they team up with the Globetrotters or treat Scrappy-Doo like an equal, and I watched them all. The names of the tertiary characters in The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour and Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics are burned into my brain in a place that should have been used for math. It may take me 15 minutes to calculate a tip, but I can regale the waitress with tales of Yabba-Doo and Deputy Dusty while she waits.

Inspector Gadget

“Bullshit, Inspector Gadget was awesome!” I hear you protest. That’s what I thought too, until I watched a re-run on TV recently. The animation quality is somewhere between “bad” and “slideshow,” there are more awkward pauses in the dialogue than on my first dates and it’s more formulaic than chemistry class. In retrospect I’m pretty sure I only watched it because Penny introduced me to the concept of a crush. Anyway, my point is that there needs to be more and better Penny cosplay. Or… wait, what?

Penny and Mark, on another adventure!
Penny and Mark, on another adventure!

Care Bears

Yeah, that’s right, I liked the Care Bears. They taught me to get in touch with my emotions and love myself for who I am. Who are you to judge me, No Heart? Back the fuck off.

The Herculoids

No show has ever given less of a shit than The Herculoids. In most cartoons, the stakes are raised by making the heroes overcome obstacles or their own shortcomings. The Herculoids spend one minute being mildly inconvenienced by space pirates and 10 minutes beating the shit out of them. The animators aspired to one day work in a Korean sweatshop. If you worked on any other cartoon, were asked to design a heroic character kids would love and presented a white blob with eyes, you would be an insurance salesman by the next week. If you worked on The Herculoids the notes would be “This is great, but can you add a second, even shittier looking one? By the way, we’re making the monkey invincible to literally everything.”

Blake Ervin is the writer for the online web series The Chronicles of Marla.

Bobby’s World

Howie Mandel thought kids wanted nothing more than to see him flail about in front of a green screen while a cartoon version of himself did the same. Somehow this worked from 1990 to, horrifyingly, 1998. That’s almost a decade of Howie Mandel ruining his vocal chords so that children can stare blankly at their televisions. With a quasi-goth sister and a rat-tail wielding brother, Bobby truly was the voice of a nation.

Hello, I’m Blake. Help.


It’s a good thing that producers saw the mistake in giving a stand-up comedian his own cartoon and vowed never to let that happen again.


Remember Beetlejuice? No, not the award winning film. No, not the star, that’s Betelgeuse. No, not any of the other things you’re thinking, either. We’re talking about Beetlejuice the animated series. Instead of murdering people for the hell of it and trying to marry Winona Ryder, Beetlejuice settles on producing a fart once every three minutes. There’s also a French skeleton. I was originally going to write about the Addams Family, but my hand slipped and I ended up typing ‘Beetlejuice.’ Now we’re all stuck with this. Oh, right, and there was a tap-dancing spider because of course there was. Still, I watched all 94 episodes, so I deserve this.

Continue reading My Awful Taste In Everything 1: Childhood Cartoons

The 5 Greatest Moments In Comedy History (According To Thirteen-Year-Old Daniel)


Past Daniel: Hey, guys! Squirrels and Pepsi cups! Sorry. I just get a little random sometimes, and if you don’t like it, then don’t read it! Go sit out in Canada for all I care, but don’t eat any yellow snow! Anyhoo, here are the five best comedy things that have ever happened, ever. Tell your mom about it, and she’ll laugh ‘til she farts jelly beans.

Present Daniel: Humor is extremely subjective. I say that to take some of the pressure off of myself, because, before I learned to love anything good in my life, I had abysmal taste in comedy. And there’s no better way to illustrate that than by picking five scenes that were the pinnacle of American humor back in 2002. Tell your mom about it.


Past Daniel’s Interpretation: Okay, so Jon Lawrence is driving his family in Hitler’s car and he ends up at this, like, veteran’s meeting. And then, oh man, he looks like Hitler, because he got some stuff smudged on his upper lip, and HAHAHAHAHAHA, the old guy starts shooting at him. It’s so good. I have the VHS, maybe.

Present Daniel’s Interpretation: Rat Race is a movie that’s constantly torn between being serviceably funny, and painfully, vengefully embarrassing. Rowan Atkinson is good, and the only thing saving this scene is the fact that Jon Lovitz’s voice has always sounded to me like the wind coming from a person slowly getting crushed to death.


Past Daniel’s Interpretation: Okay, so this movie is pretty weird, so you might not like it, fifth grade girl I have a crush on. But it’s so funny when the big, stupid dude sees the Easter Bunny and yells…hold on. Let me get my voice right for it. Hold on. No, he doesn’t say “Hold on.” I don’t….okay. “BUNNY.” You’d have to see it. He does it better in the movie.

Present Daniel’s Interpretation: Still holds up. I know that the joke about this movie launching a million Goth teens’ wardrobe choices is pretty well worn, but I’d totally buy one of those little patches that goes on your black hoodie if they made one that looked like axe-in-the-head guy.

Continue reading The 5 Greatest Moments In Comedy History (According To Thirteen-Year-Old Daniel)


I’ve had 3 new columns come up at recently, and you should all read them!

The first is about Hellboy’s greatest enemy: trains.

6 Action Stars Who Survived Shit That Would Kill Superman

The second is about movie series that are 2 fast and 2 furious.

5 Movie Series That Started Terrible and Ended Up Awesome

And the third is about Tila Tequila and Hitler.

4 Depressing Epilogues to Popular Reality Shows


Monsters, Jokes, Analogies


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