Felicia Day

Rock Jocks (2012, Paul V. Seetachitt)

Rock Jocks is full of “it’s not racist because” jokes. There’s even a moment early on when Felicia Day tries explaining to Gerry Bednob how he’s actually a racist even though he says he’s not. When he disagrees, Day gives up, which is a fairly good place to give up on Jocks. You’ve hit the peaks worth sitting around for, namely Bednob is funny as the crotchety old White bigot who just happens to be of East Indian descent. It’s real cheap, real easy jokes. All of Rock Jocks is real cheap, real easy, real problematic. Writer and director Paul V. Seetachitt likes teasing racism, sexism, homophobia, whatever, but he never commits to it.

Well, wait. The sexism. There’s some real committal to the sexism.

The movie’s about the night crew at the United States’s secret remote asteroid destroyer program. If you’re good at video games, you get recruited and then you save the world from big asteroids the rubes don’t know about night after night. The captain is burn-out waiting-to-happen divorced bad dad Andrew Bowen. Bowen’s never anywhere near as bad as some of the other actors in the movie, which is the closest his performance gets to deserving a compliment. Day’s his first officer. She’s overly ambitious because she’s a woman and so it’s funny. He’s going to mansplain to her fierce and her other major subplots involve asteroid shooter Kevin Wu trying to humiliate her—his commanding officer—while captain Bowen ignores it to mope.

Part of the joke is supposed to be how all the Jocks are actually just shallow, thinly written assholes, but Seetachitt makes Wu the biggest asshole of all. Wu’s the shooter with the big ego, but Justin Chon’s still got the higher scores. Chon… could be worse. Wu could not be worse, not without supernatural intervention or something. He’s real bad and not funny.

Jocks hits occasionally—almost always in some way thanks to Bednob—but it’s a very low success rate on the jokes working with the acting working with the directing. In some ways, Rock Jocks is impressive. It’s low budget, but Seetachitt knows how to shoot everything in the script, he just doesn’t have a great editor in Adam Varney and for some reason Seetachitt and photographer Polly Morgan really want to do shaky-cam and shaky-zooms. Just, you know, because.

It’s annoying.

And invites you to ignore the performances because the camera’s ignoring them.

Supporting cast. Mark Woolley’s bad as the bean counter who just happens to be there on the night of the biggest, most important asteroid strike on the planet Earth in… at least a couple days. Who knows.

Doug Jones is great as the space alien who just walks around the base. There’s a bunch of nonsense about Jones having a giant Rube Goldberg contraption in his quarters but it’s all time waster. Lots of time wasting in Jocks, which would be fine at twenty-two—as a TV pilot—or maybe seventy as a goofy low budget, independent pop culture reference comedy….

But it’s ninety minutes.

There are subplots.

There are Robert Picardo and Jason Mewes as the security guards who sit and bullshit all night. It is very awkward. Especially since Picardo and Mewes aren’t bad. They’re just not funny. Ptolemy Slocum is bad as Bowen’s ex-wife’s boyfriend, who shouldn’t be in the movie but again, Rock Jocks really wants to hit that ninety minute runtime so let’s do full subplots for these jerks.

Day and Wu both have moments good and bad. Middling would be an accurate descriptor.

Rock Jocks proves you can be not competent while also not being incompetent.



Written and directed by Paul V. Seetachitt; director of photography, Polly Morgan; edited by Adam Varney; music by S. Peace Nistades; production designer, Greg Aronowitz; costume designer, Jenny Green; produced by Sheri Bryant and Craig Lew.

Starring Andrew Bowen (John), Felicia Day (Alison), Justin Chon (Seth), Kevin Wu (Danny), Gerry Bednob (Tom), Mark Woolley (Austin), Zach Callison (Dylan), Ptolemy Slocum (Roger), Robert Picardo (Guard 1), Jason Mewes (Guard 2), and Doug Jones (Smoking Jesus).

The Guild 3 (May 2010)

I’m glad I spent 150 words talking about the gay boyfriend last issue because this issue we find out he’s not really gay, he’s just an omni-sexual egomaniac.

It’s so much less interesting… because all Day does now is revert the relationship back to the first issue. Third issue, but the keyword is reversion.

This issue also features the most computer game visuals and stories and so on. It gets boring as the issue’s primary story becomes the protagonist and her gaming friends trying for a tournament (on the game). I have terrible visions of when the sports film genre disappears and it’s all about people on a tough “World of Warcraft” quest.

While I enjoyed The Guild–especially Rugg’s “reality” panels–it’s a story about a woman who won’t take responsibility for herself, by a writer who won’t take responsibility for her writing.

It’s pretending to be thoughtful.


Writer, Felicia Day; artist, Jim Rugg; colorist, Dan Jackson; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Sierra Hahn, Freddye Lins, Brendan Wright and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Guild 2 (April 2010)

This issue ends… I don’t know if poorly is the right word.

Let me explain.

So our hero, Cyd–I find it interesting female comic book writers feel the same need to give their female protagonists “cool” names as the male ones do–is dating a closeted gay guy. He’s been lying to her while sleeping with someone they both work with. This other guy thinks he’s in a relationship with Cyd’s boyfriend… but I’m sure there will be some resolution next issue.

My problem is with Felecia Day.

The boyfriend is a complete jerk to the protagonist the entire issue. Once again, it’s completely unbelievable she’d date such a person… because Day doesn’t, not for one panel, make him a believable character. The video game characters are more real than this guy.

And if unreality being more real than reality is the point… Day’s doing a terrible job here.


Writer, Felicia Day; artist, Jim Rugg; colorist, Dan Jackson; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Sierra Hahn, Freddye Lins, Brendan Wright and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Guild 1 (March 2010)

I have a hard time believing the set-up. I like the book, but the main character doesn’t seem particularly realistic. She’s incredibly self-aware, self-aware and engaging enough to basically carry the book as a passive protagonist (she does buy a video game), so it’s inexplicable she’s with her lame boyfriend.

Yes, he is a would be rock star, but she’s known him since he wasn’t and she’s a trained musician of some quality. I don’t actually have any problem with her being with a jackass, but I do have a problem with her being seemingly unaware of that condition. Especially taking into account her family support system is strong enough she, a woman in her early to mid twenties, goes to therapy at her father’s request.

That long-winded complaint aside, I do like the book quite a bit.

The writing is witty and sensitive and willing to mock for emphasis.


Writer, Felicia Day; artist, Jim Rugg; colorist, Dan Jackson; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Sierra Hahn, Freddye Lins, Brendan Wright and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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