Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cinema Magnifique

"From the Producers of..."

The moment your hear these four words spoken you know you're in for a treat. They will always precede a movie trailer  for an upcoming film, one that the creators know is horrible. However, since they are a business they want you to see the movie anyway. From the producers of is code for:

1) We couldn't get the big star
2) This movie has no script
3) This movie has no stars AND no script.

The producers of the movie are essentially saying "Remember the last movie we paid someone to make? well, that was good, so go and see this new movie that has nothing to do with that other movie whatsoever." It is an admission of guilt before the movie even hits the big screen.

Today I want to talk about bad movies but I'd first like to educate/commiserate with you my loyal followers about how to spot a bad movie. You probably know to steer clear of movies that feature musicians just like you would avoid music made by actors but do you know the subtleties of spotting a bad film?

When it comes to sequels it is easy. If none of the original cast returns the movie is terrible. This means that that the production company didn't want to shell out the dough to make the movie properly or that the script was so poor that the actor decided to abandon ship.

Any actor who is referred to as a poor man's version of another actor is a movie worth skipping. For example: "Dennis Quaid is a poor man's Kevin Costner." Now, you may recall seeing a Dennis Quaid movie that you liked, let me assure you that was a mistake on your part. Often in our lives (self included) we are tricked into believing that we liked something the first time we saw it. Sometimes a movie has some sort of sentimental appeal that strikes a nerve, but go back and watch that same movie with a clear head and you'll realize how terrible it was all along. Also, if you are being compared to a star who performed in turds like Waterworld, The Postman and most recently Mr Brooks with a tour de force performance by "comedian" Dane Cook,  it probably isn't a good thing.

Finally, get to know your second rung actors. Every once in a while a second rate actor will get an Academy Award nomination. Reporters will often say that Clooney or Pitt passed up the opportunity to play the role which catapulted the then unknown actor into superstardom. It is very seldom that an A-list actor refuses a good script. Generally, a marquee actor will pass on a film because the script looks horrible and doing the movie would damage their career.

Do you know Paul Walker? His acting talents involve having blue eyes and a "Did someone just fart look on his face. Every movie he stars in reads like a who's who of bad movies. From the fast and furious series to Into the Blue with the equally untalented Jessica Alba. every movie is a sure misfire. The list goes on and on: Taye Diggs, Channing Tatum, Hayden Christensen.

Last but not least I want to talk about a few movies that I have had the pleasure of seeing that were so bad I actually enjoyed them in some way and had to watch them again. For the record there are hundreds that I could have chosen. In fact I'm sure that there are 100 B movies that are far worse than the ones that I am about to mention. What is important to note however is that the ones I am going to talk about were green lit and fully backed by a major production studio. Let's begin.

1) Extreme Ops

Hopefully The only excuse I have for seeing this movie is that it was released in the summer and I paid the matinee fee in order to use the theaters air conditioner. If not that then there was a time in the past where my older brother and I would go to see whatever was playing at the local theater to stave off the boredom of small town living. If you've had the pleasure of seeing this movie there is no valid excuse as to why anyone would see it on the big screen unless you like a lot of leg and arm room from all the empty seats around you.

The premise of the movie as I recall was this. A bunch of college aged kids who are into X-games style XTREME sports go to the top of a snow capped mountain for some reason I can't remember. Little do they know that the mountain top is the hideout of some war criminal/terrorist. Unfortunately for the kids they get some of the big bad's antics on film and they get caught doing it. The evil guy then assigns his henchmen to murder the kids and get the footage back. Little do the terrorists know, these kids are highly skilled skiers/snowboarders and getting the tape back will be harder than they think. Cue 60 minutes of guys/gals doing somersaults on ski's while bad guys shoot machine guns at them and that just about sums up the entire movie. Delightful.

2) The Order

The Order is a movie that almost killed Heath Ledger's career long before he killed himself. Frankly, I can't remember a lot about the movie but I can recall enough to intrigue you, I think. The final words of the trailer remark "What's going on here?" and it couldn't be put more aptly than that. The movie presents itself as some Da Vinci Code-esque thriller about a dark papal secret. I don't remember what the secret was or how it was uncovered, what I do remember was that Heath was a sin eater?!! What's a sin eater you say? I believe the idea is that before you die you can ritually have a specified member of the clergy literally eat your sins to absolve you so that you can go to heaven. For what feels like the next 3 hours you watch Heath walk around and make Hors D' Oeuvres out of peoples sins by wrapping them up in little body of Christ sized pita's and jam them into his mouth.

3) Mortal Kombat : Annihilation

Admission: I liked the first Mortal Kombat movie. An obsession of my brother and I as kids was with playing the game. Naturally when they made a big screen version of it we were thrilled. At the time we were able to overlook a few of the bad special effects namely a character named Goro who had four arms. We overlooked these bad special effects because the first film had a few charming elements and it was our first experience into seeing the game world actualized in real life. Needless to say we watched the original several times and were even excited when we heard that there would be a sequel, that was of course until we saw the sequel.

As stated earlier, in part two almost none of the original cast returned. In fact, a new actor was hired who looked like one of the original actors just so they could kill him off and continue the story without any script hiccups. I don't know why they even bothered as the film is abysmal from minute one to minute done. From the lazy CGI where you can clearly see a white outline around all the characters who look like paper cut outs moving in stop motion animation to even worse than anticipated acting the movie is a flawless victory.

4) House of the Dead

Last but certainly not least is another video game to movie adaptation. The game as expected by its title pits the player in a life and death battle against a house filled with dead things. Your only objective in the game is to shoot the dead things until they are redead.

The premise of the movie would follow then that the characters go to a large mansion and encounter strange dead things that they try to kill right? wrong. Instead of a house the characters go to an island. It's not even a strange deserted island stuck somewhere in the middle of the Ocean like lost. Nope, these youthful twenty somethings are going via boat to what appears to be cottage country in some North East state to what is supposed to be the rave of the century. What they don't know is that while there will be bodies movin' and shakin' it won't be due to copious amounts of ecstasy, alcohol and techo music. 

As predicted at some point someone goes swimming or someone goes off into the woods alone and eventually they discover that the island is not infested with glittery good time girls but flesh eating zombies. Without reason or explanation the group of athletic and apparently gun trained kids find a wealth of weapons and use them to blow the whole island to smithereens (whatever those are).  This movie is truly fascinating because it had at least a 7 million dollar budget and it appears to have taken measures to do things purposefully wrong. The singular thing that sets this movie aside from a parody is that it takes itself seriously. It becomes apparent that the only thing the movie shares with the video game is its the title, well that and a few horribly pixelated game images that they spliced into the movie afterward between scenes. I highly recommend this movie for the amusement factor alone.

So that's it for today's really long post. If you have any movie that you watched that was surprisingly bad but you found yourself wanting to re-experience it please feel free to comment below. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011


"The person who we think we are is the person that we would like to be."

Confession: I am a recovering narcissist. I developed the above quote around age 18 when I stepped outside the pool of narcissism I had been wading in my entire life. This is not to say that I didn't immediately return to the comforting waters nor does it suggest that I have entirely transitioned from it. Allow me explain the quote. Before I do however, you should know that as a recovering narcissist whatever I think/feel, you should think/feel. 

It is my belief that there is a divide between the person who we think we are and the person who we are portraying to the outside world. I will generalize and say that in most cases I believe that our inner person will give a more favorable interpretation of the events when compared to reality. An example is this: A mother yells at her child for disobeying. The mother believes that she is instructing and nurturing the child while all the child hears is yelling. The mother may feel love in her heart for the child but the only thing translated in that moment is anger. It is my belief that this example extends further to our everyday interactions. Because we are stuck in our own bodies and because we continually allow ourselves the favorable end of each exchange we begin to formulate an idea in our minds of who we are. In our own mind then we begin to build a perception that we are a better version of ourselves than we actually are. 

Where am I going with this and where does it get funny you ask? I suppose that starts right here. One specific moment stands out in my mind is a conversation I had with my father. Somewhere between the age of 14-18 I was talking with my dad. Back then a conversation involved me carrying on endlessly about whatever topic I could get my grubby hands on. In any conversation I was involved in I refused to let up until my opponent was beaten into submission and they agreed with me. Why wouldn't they agree with me? after all I was right and they were stupid. One one particular occasion I had trapped my father in the car and I was informing him on how the world works. He let me go on for a while before interjecting with one simple phrase. The singular phrase was this: "You know, I don't always think that you are right, I just agree with you sometimes so that you'll shut up." A little stunned I had finally been given a peek behind the curtain. In that moment I realized that perhaps people around the world were not waiting for my divine instruction rather in many cases I was just being placated so that I didn't create too big a disturbance.

Surely I, a superior being had in the past placated others. Certainly I had produced faux enthusiasm and interest in someone else's ideas, but my ideas, they were the work of a genius! My entire egocentric arc was dependent on maintaining the facade that I was greater than. If I wasn't then all of the characteristics of narcissistic personality order would be true. I did have a grandiose sense of self importance, I did have fantasies of unlimited success and power, I did have a strong sense of self entitlement. If at anytime what I might have been saying was untrue then I had in the past exploited others to achieve my own ends. Arrogant, haughty behaviors? Do three words exists that would have explained me better?

At this point, anyone who knows me in real life is laughing at my assertion that all of these ideas about myself are "in the past." Let me be clear, I am a recovering narcissist. What this means is that I have been trying to stay sober from these types of behaviors. Occasionally I fall back into my old ways, the difference is that now I am aware of my behavior as I am doing it or directly afterward. What this does is it helps me to change my perspective on any given situation and it allows me to see more clearly the stance/wants and desires of other people. The only problem left to conquer is that once I am able to see another persons perspective I need to able to concede to their point of view and unselfishly award them credit where credit is due. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Don't Know What Is Going On In The World.

I used to watch the news and develop well thought out political opinions. Let me try that again. I used to watch the Daily Show, it was filled with well thought out political opinions. Often I would flip around the dial during commercials and see an occasional news story about some far off geographical place that was experiencing some far off geographical turmoil. I thought to myself: "Self, can you believe the atrocities that other people around the globe are facing?" I thought to myself: "Self, you should talk to other people around you and inform them of these atrocities."

In many cases the people I talked to had also been briefed via the News and Daily Show about what was going on around the world. Since our general political principles were the same and since we generally lived in the same geographical area by a similar economic standard, we had a similar general outlook on the situation. If pressed to find the location on the map of the crisis du jour we probably couldn't. What we could do however was pass judgment on the way that people lived in that geographical area. Some of these people didn't wipe their asses with toilet paper or have flush toilets for Christ sake, surely they were developmentally challenged mouth breathers.

But something happened one day, I lost my access to cable television. I moved out of my cozy 75 square foot studio apartment and into a massive 150 square foot one. During that time I neither had cable television nor did I have cable internet. Further, I was born after 1980 so I don't even know what a newspaper is nor how to read one. One time I tried and accidentally set the kitchen on fire. During this period of transition I would often encounter people on the street who would say "Hey, how bout that local sports team?" to which I would reply "Well, it all really comes down to leadership and coaching. We've got some good young players this year so hopefully we'll see the playoffs." Frankly, I wasn't sure what sport we were talking about but if you ever find yourself stuck in a similar situation that remark usually works.

Eventually I did get the internet up and running again but I never got my beloved cable back. At some point I was thrust into a situation of mixed company and they began talking politics and current religious wars. I realized that I had no idea what they were talking about. Unlike sports, I didn't have any blanket statement that I could throw out there to convince the others I was hip to the game. Instead, every one of their utterances was met with my blank stare and me saying "Oh, did that really happen?? sheesh." I realized that I didn't know what was going on in the world and I kind of liked it.

Don't get me wrong I don't want other people in far off distant lands to suffer I was just awakened to the freedom of not knowing about said suffering. I realized that knowing what was going on in other countries that I had no impact on positively changing, only added to the tension and grief that I already felt in life. Further, not knowing allowed me to escape pompous discussions from friends and family about "What we should be doing as a country" and from hearing the same small recycled piece of general knowledge that CNN and other News outlets collectively briefed America with.

I understand that it is not Christian of me to lower the amount of "likes" for Tsunami relief in Japan by one. I'm not even going to pretend that I know what the hell is/was going on in Egypt either. Obviously I could quickly go out and read a few articles and familiarize myself with the details. I could then go and pompously look down upon someone who is as ignorant as I am. But, this is not an essay about me being consumed with the comings and goings of Kim Kardashian. This is not an essay about my love of Juicy Couture and attaining material wealth and possessions while ignoring important political issues. It is the realization that even when I am moderately informed about what is going on in other parts of the world I can a) do nothing about it and b) I legitimately know nothing about it. Any action or opinion I might formulate will be biased to how the information is a) presented to me and how b) limited to my perspective on how I was raised and socialized.

Have you ever been having a deeply person conversation with a significant other or friend? You know, the type of conversation that you might only have 4 times in your life. You're really getting into the important details of what it means to be you as a person. You start to uncover unknown truths about yourself and the person you are talking to. You begin to feel closer to them, you begin to feel a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. Just then a third party walks into the room and says "Hey, whatcha talkin' bout?" and you say "The deeply important details that govern our entire lives." and they say: "Cool, I'm going to take the very limited information you have given me and quickly develop a broad stroke solution that insults both of you while simultaneously making me look like a prick. How's that sound?" and you say "Um........great."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Hack Material Post: First Addition

I have a confession, I am human. What this is means is that occasionally I get irritated by some of the things that common people do. However, instead of writing about my cheap hatred for Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber for easy kudos I try to dig a little deeper. Unfortunately the constancy of having to endure the predictable complaints of those around me forces my level of annoyance to the point where I must spew a little bile back. Today I bring you a post which I consider hack material however I need to talk about it because I can't afford a therapist.

The human need to obsess over the cost of things that don't cost that much.

1) Gas Prices. Attention everybody, gas prices go up in the summer time. Every year the price of gas will probably increase a little bit more due to inflation. There is no need to track via televised bar graph how gas was cheaper during the winter and as summer approaches the gas prices have slowly climbed. In addition, there is no need to do a news story about hybrids and electric cars. I don't need to see footage of someone trading in their truck for an economy car. I don't need tips from a self impressed penny pincher on how to shift my car into neutral and turn the ignition on and off while driving in order to get 2 more miles per gallon. I don't need to choke the life out of one more person who says "can you believe the price of gas?" I don't need email forwards with lame jokes or cartoons that allude to the fact that you have to sell your house in order to fill up your tank. I don't need a website that tells me where to get gas that is 3 cents cheaper a gallon.

Let's do the math on this so we can finally put it to bed. Unless you are driving something ostentatious your car can at maximum can hold 14 gallons. We usually however only put in 12 maximum. At best I pay about 3.70 a gallon and at worst I pay about 4.50. that is a difference of  80 cents at the worst of times per gallon. On average we fill up our gas tanks once a week. So at the worst of times I am spending $9.60 more per week to fill up my gas tank. Should we alert the media every time that we have to spend 9.60? 

2) I was always told to turn the lights off as a kid. "Turn the Lights off, you're wasting electricity!" It was as though every kilowatt was being gleaned from Lord Raiden himself. Every minute I basked beneath the warm and comforting glow of a light bulb I was sucking the soul from the god of lightning. The reality is of course that leaving a light on for an hour of any wattage would cost no more than $0.60. I don't know about you, but I don't think you can buy anything these days for 60 cents that will keep you busy for an hour. 

The same goes for running water and fridge doors that are left open. If we crunch the numbers the extra ten seconds that you spend brushing your teeth or scrounging around for the horseradish aren't going to break the bank. 

3) Speaking of the bank, how often have you been driving around in the car when you've heard this little gem:

Them: Hey I need to use an ATM to get some cash.
Me: Okay, There is one right up here on the left at the Walgreens.
Them: It is a Wells Fargo?
Me: No, it is an independently owned machine that charges you a small convenience fee.
Them: How much is the fee?
Me: Between 2 and 3 dollars.
Them: 3 dollars, I think I just dropped a deuce in my drawers. That is absurd, I won't pay it.
Me: Okay, well the nearest Wells Fargo is across town through rush hour traffic and by the time we get back from there we will be too tired and it will be too late to do what we had planned thus wasting the entire day.
Them: That sounds like a lovely idea, let's go to Wells Fargo.
Me: Realistically idling in traffic and driving 30 miles will probably waste more gas than just eating the 2 dollar convenience fee. Since I know how much you hate wasting gas perhaps this is a better alternative?
Them: What, you think I'm made of money?

4) Finally, I don't know how many times my mother has had to "get off the phone" because of her fear that the long distance costs will be through the roof. Dear mother at 0.10 cents a minute it only cost you 6 dollars per hour to talk to me. I realize that your understanding of a phone is stuck back in the Alexander Graham Bell era but prices have declined a little over the years. We are no longer in the days of telegrams and Morse code. I'm an adult now, you can just tell me that you are bored of our conversation and that there is an online bridge tournament starting in ten minutes. Don't worry, I'll return the favor when you're on life support and there is a nearby casino with a Hold'em tournament. win-win-win.

That's it for the Hack Material Post #1. Join me next time I think of something super hackey to complain about.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Old Movies Are Terrible

Right off the top allow me to concede several things. Most of the movies that are made these days are horrible. They are horrible I suspect for a number of reasons.  The first reason is that it is much easier now to produce and export films. Because of this almost anyone has the ability to write and make a movie. As we all know from hitting the "next blog" button, giving everyone the opportunity to do something rarely if ever guarantees success. If there is one problem in the world it is that people are overconfident in their own abilities. We often make the mistake that just because we are capable of technically doing something creatively or artistically we believe that we are good at it.  Unfortunately many people have deluded, dishonest parents who praise any inkling of promise or ambition. The result of this is a world of self important assholes who think they are gods gift to art.

The second problem with today's movies is that film has become an industry completely dominated by profit.  We have this misconception that people are getting stupider and while the internet/youtube generation is not doing anything to deter this line of thinking, it is not necessarily the truth. The population of the world has increased exponentially and the ability to communicate our own stupidity has increased along with it. We aren't necessarily stupider, we just have the means to communicate that stupidity more effectively. Because we want to make money we are forced to create media that caters to the lowest common denominator. Movies that cater to the LCD don't have time to be subtle and vague. Everything on the screen has to read scary, funny, gross, cute, angry, etc.

But lets get to the meat and potatoes of the argument already. Throughout high school I wrote many essays that supported old timey movies. In fact, everything I have said here so far I've stated to the contrary in previous essays. Some of my older scathing essays lamented on what the word "celebrity" used to mean. I professed that yesteryears big name talents at the very least had a modicum of theatrical talent.  It would naturally follow then that people who have recited Shakespeare would probably fare better on the silver screen than someone who's first foray into film was a homemade sex tape. Yet, I may have overstepped my bounds. You see, just because a classically trained actor is involved in a film does not mean A) the film is good or B) What once was considered good acting has stood the test of time.

Old timey people (old people) will tell you that movies and music have gone to shit. While it is true that all music peaked in the nineties you will come to find that oldies will reminisce that the music and cinema of their youth was superior. Here's the secret: Everything is better in your formative years, thus you remember things that occurred during that time more fondly. If Ace Ventura Pet Detective came out today I would most likely think it was an awful movie. However, as a 13 year old the movie was comic gold so much so that I used to watch it 2 or 3 times in a row in one sitting. 

I used to have the misconception that the older a movie was the better it was. By virtue of a movie being filmed in black and white I decided sight unseen that the film was superior to anything that could have been made these days. The oldest of films were the trailblazers, the originators, the stuff that legends were built on.   Also, movie studios didn't crank out thousands of movies per year. What this means is that every film was carefully selected and backed to the fullest extent. All of the actors/actresses were hand picked through a laborious process to ensure that the best product was put forth.  As you can see, it would be easy to believe that the best movies were made in the past, that is of course until you watch one.

I don't want to single one or two old movies out. All of them are victim to the same tragic flaws that make them unbearable to watch. Is it fair to say that the guy who invented the guitar probably couldn't shred with the best metalheads out there? Is it fair to say that the guy who invented the bicycle couldn't keep up with Lance Armstrong with or without performance enhancing drugs? Even the guys who invented Mortal Kombat can't beat half of the players out there in a one on one death match. It would logically follow then that just because you are the pioneer of something does not mean that you are best example of your craft. I would argue that given a couple weeks any group of young film students could cobble together a black and white masterpiece that would rival one crafted in the days of yore.

Rules of Old Timey Cinema

Rule#1: The distinction between men and women must be clearly defined. Women are only good for two things being helpless and fainting. Should a women have an ounce of self confidence or intelligence then she is either a seductress or she has a dark secret yet to be revealed.

Rule #2: Ridiculous posture coupled with overacting. Whether it is a booming godlike voice punishing your ears with an overly enthusiastic tone or a close up of a shocked or perplexed face held too long every old movie is rife with embarrassing instances. 

Rule #3: Bad audio. This is multifaceted section and by far my favorite. In old timey movies the audio/video is rarely synced up correctly so you feel at times like you are watching a Godzilla movie. The music is always overly dramatic to the point where I find myself laughing at the most important or sentimental of scenes.  Finally, did they only have one gun sound effect for 30 years of film? You know the one, that kind of echoey muted "bang" followed by a  "clang FLING!" as the bullet ricochets somewhere off in the distance.  

Rule #4: No black people.

Rule #5: 26 minutes of credits at the beginning of the movie.

Rule#6: The third guy you meet is the killer.

I'm not saying that old movies are poorly crafted, predictable and highly overrated, oh wait a minute  that's exactly what I'm saying. Certainly we have to pay homage to old movies for getting the ball rolling. Just like every time the rock and roll hall of fame inducts a new member they first play some warmed over turd by Bill Haley and the Comets to remind us of where it all started. But let's be honest for a moment. Even though the film studios of today are crapping out remakes and disposable movies does not mean that we are not capable of making better films. If it was our desire to create well written, well acted, well shot movies we surely and certainly could. Vainly holding onto movies of the past and claiming that 50 of top 100 movies ever made were made before 1950 is ridiculous. I have yet to see Citizen Kane but I'm sure it blows. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

For The Troops

Disclaimer: If you don't agree with the gross generalizations I make in this post or if you are an exception to them please feel inclined to withhold that information from me.

This post is for the troops!

Allow me to disclose something, I am a coward. Like many other socially awkward introverted hermits I marvel in dreams of being heroic. However, if the opportunity ever presented itself in real life I would probably just scream and urinate in my pants until the threat was forced to vacate the area to escape the wailing and stench of my piss. I am not a fan of war but if we have to rape and pillage a country every couple of years so that I can continue to get a 99 cent burrito from taco bell, so be it. I admire people who serve in the military. Whether they do it because they were preyed on and recruited due to their lack of education/income or because they are legitimately brave I am glad that someone who is not me is willing to stand in front enemy gunfire. I want to be clear before we move on that my following criticism is in no way related to the military.

Recently I was watching a television show where they take a shitty car and convert it into a freshly painted car in a short period of time. These types of shows are the equivalent to cheap home makeover shows but they involve men and cars and as such allow males to maintain a veneer of masculinity while they watch them. This particular episode involved a Ford pickup truck. In this particular series two competing teams are given the same vehicle and are pitted against each other in a competition to decide who makes the best vehicle in the alloted time.  

At some point during the design phase one team decided that they were going to make a vehicle and dedicate it to the troops. Predictably their finished product was a raised up, garish nightmare covered in stars and stripes. First off, I'd like to point out that while most soldiers are probably patriotic that the American flag on its own does not directly show support for the troops. If that was the case then every car, article of clothing or tchotchke that you purchase with an american flag sticker or tag would be in support of the military.

The real reason why anyone on a television show does anything for the troops is because it is a cheap, gimmicky manipulation. On a small scale especially when being judged it gives one team an unfair advantage. To not vote for the car that was made for the troops would be unpatriotic! The contest is no longer about which car is better, it is about which vehicle loves his countrymen more. On a slightly larger scale the television network uses it as a cheap ploy to tug on your heartstrings and get more viewers to watch. The show is no longer about the craft of fabrication now it is a communal healing experience. Now it's about all the people who lost their lives in 9/11. Now it's about justice and the symbolic killing of Osama. 

So the network has got you hooked and feeling good but are the network execs as patriotic with their advertising? Do they feature only American products during that hour of television or do they still sellout to the highest bidder? Do they donate the proceeds from the episode to the continued medical or psychiatric care of injured soldiers? Will these fleeting haphazard moments of gooey patriotism get crooked Joe out of his wheelchair? He took a bullet in the spine for his country and now he's addicted to painkillers and Jack Daniels to ease the suffering. Are you going to to wheel his contorted body into frame, hands covered in bruises from beating his wife because he can no longer stifle the pain of losing his entire life at such an early age? probably not. The people who put this shit on television and exploit the military for monetary gain would never pick up a gun and defend you or their country. Don't be fooled into believing that a small collection of greedy assholes  care about or value your contribution to freedom in any way.