Hey, Paulington! Is a (somewhat) new Cinephile advice column that looks at life, love, and the movies. Anyone can send in a question, and Paulington will answer it. Sure, it's a really cryptic, cliched concept that has been around since the dawn of time. But we're going to spice it up a little bit. Topics can range from anything: Sex, violence, haints and taints, your favorite movie! Paulington doesn't care. He's basically doing it for a paycheck. He's not really an expert on anything. But he sure does know a lot about movies and human nature. You can send your questions to (as in, click on the giant red letters and you will automatically be sent to his email):
And he will be sure to answer all of them in a very timely manner. Here are this week's letters. Enjoy!
My wife is six months pregnant, and my mother-in-law is insistent that we hook her belly up to Bach-blaring headphones. Apparently, music is supposed to be both soothing and educational for a fetus in the womb. My question is: What about movies? Do you think its okay for me to hook my headset up to the TV and play Raiders Of The Lost Ark for my unborn daughter? I think it would be awesome to tell her she "saw" Star Wars before ever being pooped into this cruel world. What do you think? Signed, "Eager Dad"
Dear Dad. Pooped? Disgusting. Listen. An unborn baby's head is encased in a Jello-like placenta mold. Then, like a piece of tasty steak wrapped in a burrito, it is buried beneath tons of intestinal fluids and thick belly skin. Even at high volumes of sound, any movie is going to sound like a muffled car crash to an unborn infant. Especially something like Star Wars. Imagine, for a moment, the amazing cornucopia of noise held within the two-hour framework of George Lucas' magnum opus. Now, imagine listening to that for the first time, never having heard anything but your mother's beating heart. Your tiny mind wouldn't be able to process it. The Millenium Falcon hitting light speed would implode your soft, feeble skull. Believe it or not, your unborn baby daughter has no reference point or understanding of what Star Wars is. It's a little soon to be pushing your influences down her throat. She's just going to grow up to hate Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and you (especially). If you want to get her hyped up for the film, which she won't be able to fully understand for another three or four years at the least, why not play the soundtrack for her? If you're simply bored, and want to share in a movie experience with your unborn child, a musical would probably work the best. Try feeding the acoustics of 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Grease 2, or Chicago into that baby bump. It will be less jarring than any sped up space adventure, and you'll be more likely to have a well adjusted human being growing up in your midst. Whether its music or movies, pumping unearthly sounds into the underdeveloped noggin of a thriving fetus is done more for the parent's peace of mind that it is for the baby. While studies do show that most uterus dwellers can hear, and do respond to, incoming sounds, there is no scientific proof that it affects their wellbeing, intelligence, creativity, or later development. Some people think that making their unborn succumb to classical music will make them more capable of solving math problems. Nope. Not true. In fact, animal studies show that constant exposure to chaotic, discordant music and noise while in the womb may negatively alter their brain structure. So, if you want a mutant baby, go right ahead and expose that obtuse creature to everyone's favorite sci-fi trilogy. I wish them luck on their SATs. Heck, I hope they can someday figure out the intricacies of the fork.
I saw that you were quoted in the last Terminator Salvation TV commercial. Do you feel like a douche bag calling CG Arnold "Pulse-Pounding"? I also noticed Brian Gallagher's quote on the back of the Fanboys DVD. How did you guys get your quotes in print? Do you wear this as a badge of honor? Or do you feel like a sell out? Signed, "I Hate You"
Dear Mr. Hate. No, I don't feel like a douche bag or a sell out. I don't feel like much of anything. I'm an emotionless steel machine that pumps out movie quotes on a regular basis so that my boss doesn't disconnect my intravenous gas fueling tube. CG Arnold knew how to pound a pulse, and I called him out. It's his problem really, not mine. I was just stating the obvious. And obviously, this particular quote was taken out of context. Whenever a critic sees an advanced screening, they are asked by a publicist for their reaction. If that reaction is good, they then ask if they can quote you. 80% of the time, they will not use your quote and instead create their own prefabricated sentence utilizing all of the cliches we've come to know and love. With our consent, of course. In the case of Terminator Salvation, I was asked for a quote at the junket and I wrote them a three page book about my viewing experience. From those two hundred words, they pulled the hackneyed phrase "Pulse Pounding" and ran with it. Whatever. It gets our company's name out there, and doesn't debase my standing, as I enjoyed the film quite a bit. I won't lie. Personally, I think it's awesome to see my quote on a movie ad or DVD box. It doesn't happen all that often, and when it does, I would prefer it shellacked on something I actually like to watch. That makes it a little more exciting. And worthwhile. But it's just a form of grandstanding, and gives us weird bragging rights that no one else gives a fuck about. I'll admit, it's sometimes strange to see a critic's name in bold print that is three times the size of the headlining actor. Most people don't ever look at the name or outlet associated with any given quote, that's why studios have gotten away with fake one's in the past. There are a couple of go-to journalists that publicists use on a constant basis. These guys are known as Quote Whores, and they are cultivated by the Quote Farmers of America. You can find a pretty funny and extensive list of them here. This is not a list most critics want to be on. It's sort of shameful and debases the work you've done in the past. In my time, I have run into, talked with, or gotten to know a lot of these people. And I wouldn't trust their opinions to save my life. Sometimes I will see a named attached to a quote and scream, "Fuck that douche bag!" As I suspected you did when you saw my name attached to Terminator Salvation. Quote whoring can be a dangerous game, especially if you toss them out like grenades at a preschool. Constantly declaring every single film that comes your way a "masterpiece" can put a serious cramp in the leg of your journalist career. Simply because it destroys your credibility. That said, in this day and age, more than 95% of all film reviews are nothing more than free advertising. Film coverage is what it is: Just another form of entertainment. While its neat to see your name in the video store or in a national newspaper ad, one shouldn't base a career on it. Doing so is fraud of the worst kind. In both my case, and in BG's case, we honestly loved the films that now sport our names (which is weird, since neither one of us had anything to do with those productions.) I asked BG what he thought about all of this, and he said, "To answer the first part of your question, they got my quote when I was at the Fanboys junket for the theatrical release and they must have hung on to it and used it on the DVD. I'm proud of my quote on the DVD because I truly thought the movie was awesome." Had either of our names been attached to something like Prince and the Pauper, we'd all be hanging our heads in shame...Oh, wait...
Y my laundry B shrinkin', yo? I bght a bunch of XL novelty shirts frm 80s Tees and they shriveled n2 tiny sweaters for my Babymama's Chi-hooah-hooah Nahgnahg. What the shit, bro? I ain't buy no Stinky Dinks. I feel duped. Signed, "Shirt Raped"
Dear Mr. Raped. First of all, I think they used to be called Shrinky Dinks, and if you're old enough to remember those goofy, yet dangerous oven-based toys, then you're simply too old to be wearing novelty T-shirts. There comes a time in every man's life when he must stop wearing the "I Heart Starscream" shirt and go for something a little more classy (though no less casual). Any old polo shirt or short-sleeved button up will do. Heck, even a plain black T-shirt is a tuxedo by comparison. Why do you want the whole world to know you're a forty-year old toy-loving douche? Seriously? What goes on in that brain of yours? People don't think you're cool when they see you in the Supermarket, sporting a Bob Ross sleeveless T. They automatically think you are a victim of arrested development. Someone who has very little to offer this world. If you're currently sitting there, wearing a "More Cowbell" or Chuck Norris T-shirt, there is no hope for you. Its best to make an appointment with the Dumpster Genie and throw yourself in headfirst. Because you are a lost soul! If you insist on wearing these gay-ass shirts, you must understand that novelty manufactures are working on the cheap. They'll print their silkscreen images on the shoddiest, thread bare tops they can find. You'll be lucky to get two wears out of more than most of these goofy self-imposed billboards. Never buy from the Internet, because they'll rarely list exactly what brand of T-shirt you are buying. Always check the label. Anything printed on an American Apparel product is worth its twenty-five dollar price tag. M&O Heavy Weight Knits are pretty sturdy, and will stand up to any wash machine. You'll never go wrong with Gilden Blended, or the Fruit of the Loom Heavy Cotton. Everything else pales in comparison, and needs to be left hanging on the rack. When you buy a lesser quality product, you have to be careful with the wash cycle. Always turn your novelty shirt inside out and wash it in cold water. And never, ever put it in the dryer. Hang dry it in the closet. On a hanger. That should extend the life of your precious novelty T by a good five years. And knowing you, you'll probably want to rock that "Smurf Off" shirt all the way to the grave. Smaggot.
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