Monday, November 17, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
It was mid-afternoon on that fair Saturday. We had just watched Jason and the Argonauts and were on a lunch break before the man himself, Ray Harryhausen, was going to speak and answer questions. Needless to say, I was freakin' starving! Well, after looking over the musical selection at Plan 9 Records and giving birth to the song "My Leeman Does the Hanky Panky", we began to walk down the street to find somewhere to eat. What started out as a stroll through Carrytown to get some lunch soon turned into the fucking Bataan Death March!
All I ask when I go out to eat is that it be a normal place that serves normal food of which I am familiar. Well, first we pass by a Subway. Cool! I'm ready to join Jared and eat fresh! But oh no, that wasn't good enough. So we walk, and walk, and walk. Like Dewey Cox . . . we walk hard. Then I see a McDonald's on the horizon. Cool. I always see Mickey D's as a least objectionable choice. Who could say no to some Chicken McNuggets or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese? My friends, that's who! My frustration grows higher and my blood sugar sinks lower. You see, there are really not many places to eat at in this part of town. Well, we finally get to some hole-in-the-wall burger joint that is swamped with people. For some reason this place seems to satisfy my traveling companions. Now, my fucking kitchen could seat more people than this place! So the wait time is like 45 minutes. So, we leave. We then walk PAST both the McDonald's and the Subway again! We wind up at a pizza place and guess what? We fucking wait!
Well, I have had enough of this bullshit. I am ready to eat something NOW. So, I tell Pine that I bet I can go to McDonald's, eat, and be back before they even get seated. So I dart out the door and run my ass across the street to the Mickey D's. I couldn't see myself running, obviously, but I was hauling ass. Why wouldn't I be? I was starving! Well, according to Pine I put my head down and ran in a way which he deemed "trundling." He still laughs about it to this day. I have no idea how it looked but I'm sure it was pretty funny.
So, I eat my McNuggets and head on back over to the pizza place. Contrary to my theory, they were seated and were getting their pizza. But I was blissfully full and could then enjoin them in witty banter and discussion. The lesson here is that Johnson will diss you in a New York second if he is hungry and willfully being denied the ability to eat. If I am hungry and have low blood sugar, I am not walking by places to eat with no crowds only to go to places with long waits. I will trundle anytime the situation calls for it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
It was a typical Sunday evening on the second floor of the Annex. People were washing their clothes, doing some schoolwork, and generally fucking off. I am not entirely sure but I think it was Roger Ortega who called me into the big bathroom across from the wooden phone booth. He had something to show me. There was already a small crowd gathered next to the first shower on the right-hand side. When I looked in, what to my wandering eyes should appear? It was a rather large pile of shit! I don't mean shit in the slang sense like there was a bunch of stuff in there. Oh no, this was a pile of human feces my friends. It wasn't in the typical serpentine shape of a normal turd. It was more like a splattered cow patty. I took one look and got my ass out of the bathroom. Well, no one of any importance found out about it until the next day.
When I got back to the floor that Monday afternoon, there was one of Grandpa's computer printed signs that read "Floor Meeting. 9:00pm. VERY BRIEF." Roger and I suspected that this brief meeting was probably about the shit we had seen in the shower on the previous night. So Roger, in his infinite wisdom, brought his micro-cassette recorder to the meeting and recorded the whole thing.
The meeting was held in the second floor lounge, right next to the room I shared with No No Just Dave. Attending were our R.A.'s Brian "Grandpa" Abrams and Kevin Marsh. Also there that night was a very sullen looking Carlton Sauls, Director of Residence Life. What follows is verbatim what Abrams told us that night . . .
"Today I faced the most difficult situation I have ever had to face as an R.A. And that, was a knock on my door . . . by our maid . . . in tears . . . half out of fury . . . and the other half out of . . . disgust. She motioned me to a lump of . . . excrement . . . in the shower. I mean guys, this happened on a Sunday night. This wasn't 'I was drunk' this was 'I'm going in the shower . . . to take a dump.'"
Needless to say, inside I was about to piss my pants laughing but I couldn't let that show. This was serious business to Abrams and Carlton! Later, away from the context of the meeting, Abrams told me what the maid really said. He said she took him to the bathroom, pointed in the shower and said "shit senor!" None of our maids spoke English.
The identity of the culprit was never discovered. There was a theory that a young fellow who was known to wipe boogers on the TV screen and bathroom mirrors may have been responsible. I can't really say for sure. I know he was fucked up but I don't know if he would intentionally shit in the shower. So let's do a little detective work shall we. Here are the major scenarios as I see them:
1. Someone, anyone really, got sick and couldn't control their bowels. He shit in the shower and was too embarrassed to say anything to anyone.
2. The booger wiping individual mentioned above did it on purpose.
3. Someone else did it on purpose for laughs.
Regardless, the truth is out there!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
In this picture we get our first glimpse of the new bridge. At this point I don't really know what to think of it. It seems to be a fairly significant departure from the basic Matt Jeffries design that every bridge set has always stuck to. There are a couple of things I really like about what I see. The first is the light and color. This is definitely a return to a more colorful Star Trek. After having both dark uniforms and dark ship interiors on Enterprise, this is a welcome return. I am also glad to see the franchise move away from the "submarine warfare" aesthetic that has dominated the movies since The Wrath of Khan. What started as something new became a tired crutch.
Well, what about the characters we see in the shot? I love the posture of both Karl Urban and Chris Pine. I can look at them and immediately tell who they are. Zachary Quinto, as always, looks fantastic. And John Cho looks much more like Sulu than I imagined her ever could. Also, how awesome is it to see a return to women wearing miniskirts and go-go boots in Starfleet? No more of that "gender neutral" bullshit we saw in The Next Generation.
Johnson's Grade: B+
What is most striking to me about this picture is how age appropriate the characters look together. It is very obvious that Chekov is younger than everyone else and McCoy is older. Zoe Saldana is strikingly beautiful as Uhura and Chris Pine has a great presence as Kirk. There is no doubt just from observing their body language who is in charge. I'm still not too sure about Simon Pegg. I know I am not a part of the nerd herd that thinks everything that guy shits is gold. But I will reserve judgement until I see his performance. I am hoping he will win me over.
Johnson's Grade: A
Here we have our first good shot of Eric Bana as our Romulan villain Nero. I am a huge fan of the Romulans and feel, like many fans, that they are criminally underused. I really like that he is a classic Romulan without the forehead appliance that Michael Westmore added to the race in The Next Generation. The green lighting in the shot is in keeping with the general color the modern era assigned to the race. What I am not crazy about is just how much he looks like Shinzon. I think it's a big mistake to design a character that looks so much like the villain from the previous unsuccessful movie. But, this movie is being marketed heavily to the general public. I doubt many of them have ever even heard of Shinzon so it probably won't hurt anything. But, I would have preferred a completely traditional look. But again, I am hoping that Eric Bana will win me over with his performance.
Johnson's Grade: B-
There are more pictures but those three are the best and most revealing. I am legitimately excited to see the movie and to have my favorite fictional universe live again. I can boil any discussion I will have down to this brief bit of dialogue . . .
Johnson - "I think the new Trek movie is going to be great!"
Tony/Rob - "Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon."
Johnson - "Come come! Young minds, fresh ideas."
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
No folks, I promise this will not be a post about either Arsenio Hall or the C + C Music Factory. This is about stuff in the Indiana Jones movies that makes me go hmmmm. Hopefully these won't be the obvious ones
The knight who guards the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Why? If taking the grail outside of the little temple place it was in would cause the place to earthquake and kill you, why have some knight sit there for hundreds of years guarding it? Sure, the grail will let you live forever but it's not like it'll do you any good. You'd have to stay in the temple forever just like the knight. Which leads me to a bigger observation . . .
The magical artifacts from the Indiana Jones movies are useless. Well, that's not fair to say. The Shankara stone from Temple of Doom did help that village grow crops and prosper but that's the only one!
The Ark was supposed to help any army that carried it be invincible. But, when the German army actually gets their hands on it they all get melted by some ghosts flying around. But, really, the Nazis should have known better than to expect cooperation from Yahweh. Did they never read the Bible? He spends the majority of his time pissed off and smiting people who weren't nearly as mean as the Nazis. The U.S. Government at least had enough sense to know it wouldn't help. They locked the thing away in Area 51 just like the Crystal Skull so no Americans would get melted. So yeah, Ark, bad idea. Didn't work as advertised.
Shankara Stones. OK, now we're getting somewhere. Not only did the one help the village but all three let Mola Ram do cool shit like pull a guy's heart out. The only downside is that the village fell into decay after the Thugees stole the stone. I guess whatever Hindu god controls those things is pretty adamant about the stone and/or stones being present. No, "well, you villagers are nice folks, you don't need the stone" attitude. You either have it or you are fucked. But, regardless of that rigid rule of blessings, at least the damn things do something useful.
The Holy Grail. So, drinking from this thing is supposed to make you live forever. But, I suppose the powers-that-be decided that we couldn't just have any old Tom, Dick, or Harry living forever. What if the guys that made Meet the Spartans drank from it? We'd have to deal with them making shitty parody movies until the sun went nova. So, to prevent such catastrophes the Grail was put in some temple and has been guarded by a knight ever since the crusades. But, like I mentioned before, you can't actually take it out of the building. I guess you could go back in every month and take a swig but the location would make it impractical. Not to mention, can you imagine the line? So, once again, useless.
Back to the knight. So he stayed in there guarding something that was booby-trapped in such a way as to destroy the building it was in, killing you in the process, if you tried to take it. Soooooooo . . . why guard it at all? I think he must be the medieval version of a rent-a-cop. You know, those fat, lazy fuckers that sit in lobbies "guarding" buildings at night. The knight just had a cooler outfit and got to carry a sword. So, with nothing to really guard, what did he do? Wouldn't he need a fresh water supply to keep drinking from the grail at the very least? Surely he didn't just sit there looking noble for hundreds of years. Anyway.
The Crystal Skull. What good did that thing do anyone? Harold Oxley took the thing to Accator but it caused him to go mental so he took it back where he found it. It was supposed to provide some awesome amount of alien knowledge and all it did was turn him into a schizophrenic. Then, Irinia Spalko, who really did want the knowledge, returns the skull and what does she gets for her troubles? Yeah, that's right. She gets killed. And not just killed, she gets the space-age version of what happened to the Nazis with the Ark. Thanks a lot interdimensional aliens. You're no better than the gods who control the previous artifacts.
Oh, so what does Indy get for all his troubles with these lousy artifacts? Not a damn thing. He isn't able to take a single one to a museum nor is he able to write a paper that an academic institution would actually believe. Imagine going before an IRB and telling them, "well you see I found the Holy Grail but it was guarded by a 600 year old knight who wouldn't let me have it. Then when we tried to take it, the building fell apart." You'd be exploring a padded cell for the rest of your life or at least until a Terminator broke you out.
So, the moral of the Indiana Jones movies is thusly . . . If you hear about some cool powers you might get from some ancient artifact, don't bother. If they are being sought by bad guys for nefarious purposes, don't worry, the creatures that made up the bullshit story to begin with will kill them once they find it. It was all probably just a trap for bad guys anyway. It's not worth your time.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Our friend Dave Humphrey was smiled upon by the gods when he got his roommate assignment. The guy he got was from Greece and his name was Costas. His last name is forever lost to time. I couldn't pronounce it enough for the neural pathways to actually form a lasting memory. Before you go off on a "Johnson you xenophobic bastard," let me to you something about Costas. He didn't bathe, shower, or in any way wash himself. He owned this outfit that he played basketball in that looked like what Chevy Chase wore when Flecth played in Lakers games. He would go play ball all afternoon, sweat his ass off, then come back to his room, take off his Fletch outfit and fold it up and and put it in the drawer to wear again. It would never see the inside of a washing machine. Ralph was known to refer to him as "Costas, that smelly bitch!"
Well, one night Shanks and I had rented the video game Maximum Carnage for the SNES. OK, this game sucked so bad it is hard to describe. It was based on the equally crappy Spider-man miniseries of the same name. You old-school gamers will remember that before the Playstation, there was no saving of games. You had to save up enough lives to be able to win a game or else it was back to the beginning. I can remember guys who would pause games for days at a time so they wouldn't lose their place and have to start all over. Well, Maximum Carnage did not have many options for picking up extra lives. Not to mention, it was hard as shit. Not hard in a challenging way either. The various thugs would beat your ass and then it was back to the beginning of the level. The only way you could stay on a given level was to pick up some sort of "spider coin" midway through each level.
Well, alternately, Shanks and I would die and get kicked back to various starting points. Eventually Costas walked into the lounge and started watching us play the game. We were already frustrated with this piece of shit game enough without that smelly bitch coming in to watch. The level we were on at that moment was the rooftop. Everytime we would get kicked back to the start a full screen graphic would come up that said "Rooftop Let's Go." Each and every time that screen came up, Costas said, with great enthusiasm, "Rooftop! . . . Let's Go!" and would especially drag out the sound of the word "let's". That was all the fuck he would say! Not a word else. Just that every single time! It would have compounded the frustration of the game had it not been so damn funny.
Kevin Marsh and Brian Polak were also their to witness the birth of "Rooftop . . . Let's Go!" and still remember it fondly. I'm sure Costas is somewhere in Greece right now sweating, not bathing, and living his life oblivious to the fact that a bunch of Americans are still laughing about his inane commentary on our gaming. I doubt he even remembers saying it. But, if you ever read this Costas, I'd like to thank you for making me laugh to this day. You smelly bitch.
Monday, August 4, 2008
1. "Bodies" by Downing Pool
I'm sure you all are as sick as me of anytime there is an action movie the trailer has to have the inane chorus of "let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor . . . aaaaaarrrrrhhhhhhhhhh!" Not only do I hate fake-ass "Nu metal" but I am sick of it being associated with anything remotely bad-ass. I think the response to this song should be Let the masters hit the fire, let the masters hit the fire!"
2. "Clocks" by Coldplay
So, this is the obligatory song for some sort of build-up of emotional tension. I think the main reason you hear it in trailers so much is because it really does sound like glorified generic production music.
3. "Let My Love Open the Door" by Pete Townshend
I love The Who as much as any other rock and roll fan but this song is pussy music at it's worst. This is the song we usually get when the love of a child or a woman thaws the icy heart of a man. I think in the Rom-Com 1o Commandments it's required to use this song in your trailers.
4. "Party Up" by DMX
This song's gone make me lose my mind . . . up in this theater, up in this theater!
5. "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel
I'm so touched. I'm so moved. I'm so sick of this fucking song! Stop licensing it out! Give it a fucking rest!
6. "Yeah" by Usher
A favorite of the "hip hop dance" genre of films. My response? NO!
7. "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO
I am a huge ELO fan. The overuse of their most famous song in trailers went against the premise of the song . . . it brought me down.
I am sure I am forgetting quite a few. Feel free to chime in with some others you all are tired of.
Friday, August 1, 2008
-A 5-disc set that includes all five vintage Apes films in full 1080p resolution with audio in English 5.1 DTS MA
-For the first time in the U.S., Conquest of the Planet of the Apes will be presented in its unrated version, with 8 minutes of additional footage.
-New Blu-ray extras will include a BonusView Science of the Apes viewing option, the Beyond the Forbidden Zone adventure game and 8 HD featurettes (A Public Service Announcement from ANSA, Evolution of the Apes, Impact of the Apes, From Alpha to Omega: Building a Sequel, The Secret Behind Escape, Riots and Revolutions: Confronting the Times and End of an Epic: The Final Battle).
-Each sequel film will include an isolated score track in 5.1 DTS MA. You'll also get an extensive, 200-page coffee table book with artwork and liner notes.
On top of that, you'll get all of the previously released DVD extras too including:
-Commentary by composer Jerry Goldsmith, commentary by actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter and makeup artist John Chambers.
-Text commentary by Eric Greene (author of Planet of the Apes as American Myth).
-The Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary (with all new interactivity and a timeline).
-Many additional SD featurettes and clips (including a Behind the Planet of the Apes promo (1988).
-Planet of the Apes makeup test with Edward G. Robinson (1966), Roddy McDowall on-set footage, Planet of the Apes dailies and outtakes (No Audio).
-The Planet of the Apes NATO presentation (1967).
-A Planet of the Apes vintage featurette (1968).
-A Look Behind the Planet of the Apes (1972).
-Don Taylor Directs Escape from the Planet of the Apes and J. Lee Thompson Directs Conquest of the Planet of the Apes).
-Original theatrical trailers, original sketches by costume designer Morton Haack, a photo gallery, a Planet of the Apes timeline, interactive pressbooks, vintage Apes newspaper galleries, advertising and lobby card galleries, and behind-the-scenes galleries.
The word "definitive" is tossed around a lot in terms of DVD and Blu-Ray sets these days. But, for the first time, I'd say that word is justified. This is a Planet of the Apes fan's wet dream. I know what I'll be doing during my days off at Thanksgiving!
*On a side note, I hope this is not the final artwork for the set. The reason I say that is because it looks like someone put a picture of Virgil played by Paul Williams in Battle for the Planet of the Apes on the silk-screen of the disc for Beneath the Planet of the Apes. I would assume the picture should be of Dr. Zaius. Hopefully they will get it fixed before final release.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Well, it's kind of a simple story but it is a fine example of how a meme evolves in a small community. Back in college, Shanks and I used to rent a lot of movies. The main place we went was called Wherehouse Video and was on Glebe Road. That had one of the best selection of horror and genre movies you could find at the time. Remember folks, in the days before the internet it was difficult to track down specific movies that were not readily available at your local Blockbuster.
Well, one of the movies we watched a lot was Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. In the movie, a guy tells Bruce Lee "have you ever seen any of those chop-socky flicks?" makes a series of hand gestures and sound effects and says "that's some cool shit!" Well, shortly after hearing it for the first time both Shanks and I began quoting it. We would use it to desribe anything that we found cool. Eventually it grew into drawing out the word "cool" as long as possible. It started catching on with Polak, Dante, and Marsh. Sadly, neither Ralph or Abramos: King of the Hill People picked up on it. When I found Shanks online recently the first thing I emailed him was, of course, "that's some cooooooooool shit!"
If there is any part of the story I forgot, Shanks, please fill in the gaps. Next time I'll have to tell the origins of "Rooftop . . . Let's Go!" which is VERY funny.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In a message dated 7/28/2008 3:02:10 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Superstarbg writes:
Subject: $ 475
This number should be, 666 and tattooed on your forehead, you mark whore for wrestling. I will have this email posted on every message board I can find and encourage you to do the same. You have hurt the ones that I love best and covered up the truth with lies, one day you will be in the ditch, flies buzzin around your eyes. I hope that you die and your death will come soon, as I would love to follow your casket on a pale afternoon, I will watch as you are lowered down to your death bed and stand over your grave to make sure that you are dead. I have been praying to the devil that HE will send demons to pluck out your eyes, cut your tongue in half and sever your ears, spit venom in your face and gut you with a butcher knife and watch as your intestines spill out. You fucking worthless wrestling mark whore. More coming.
Holy shit! What the fuck brought that on? It looks like SBG is becoming seriously psychotic. It is a known fact that steroids have fucked his body up in a big way. Maybe they've affected his brain too. This type of weird crap adds to the notion that steroids made Chris Benoit psychotic. SBG's real name is Wayne Coleman. Hey Wayne, if it wasn't for those "wrestling mark whores" no one would know who the fuck you are! Go get some psychological help and stop sending out emails that sound like they were written by a member of the Manson Family.
I bet some younger readers don't understand why Shanks would be so mad. You have to understand, before the original Playstation there were no memory cards! You'd have to somehow accumulate enough lives to burn through at the end to actually be able to finish a game. If some joker like yours truly came along and caused you to lose, you'd have to start all over. So don't judge Shanks to harshly on his anger.
Well, Shanks recently became a participant in the Vine Voice program on Amazon. They send him games for free so that he can play them and post reviews. Now that is some cool shit! Check out his page and read some of his reviews. The Matrix Fan.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The most recent and most entertaining is Klee Irwin. He is this creepy John Waters looking motherfucker that loves to talk about the length and girth of not only his stool but also that of his children. I shit you not! (That will be the last pun, I promise) Below you will see a clip in which Klee talks about the astonishment he experienced when his young daughter took a huge shit. He almost seems like his ego was bruised because it was bigger than his own! I must admit, as men we do tend to take a special pride in producing enormous turds.
What really adds to the surreal nature of the Klee Irwin infomercial are the two touch holes hosting this alleged talk show. They nod, smile, and laugh right along with Klee just like they were discussing a fucking Yankees game. I know that's what they were paid to do. But you know they had to be thinking "this dude is really fucked up." They really earn their pay by A) not laughing at Klee and B) not blurting out "are you shitting me???" (OK there's pun number 2) I just noticed the notation about the second pun also contained a pun, oh well. Anyways, enjoy these classic clips of Klee . . .
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Anyone who really knows me is well aware that I am not a fan of the DC Universe. I am a Marvel guy to the core. The main reason I prefer Marvel over DC is because Marvel always seemes more realistic, more grounded in the real world. My dear friend Leeman accuraetly points out that DC is more pure escapism than Marvel. Not to mention, the DCU is filled with what I call "hoaky, old-timey characters." The one exception to the mass of lameness that is the DCU has always been Batman. I have always thought Batman and his particular corner of the DCU were pretty sweet. He is awesome for the very same reason I think Marvel is awesome. Bruce Wayne/Batman is a complex character. He is a realistic person internally that anyone that is interested in significant moral choices can relate to. Also, Batman is grounded in reality. He is a regular guy with no super powers. He fights crime with his wits, physical abilities, and vast wealth. His villains are, for the most part, psychotic criminals, not mad scientists gone awry. Batman is everything that the DCU is not.
Because of my affinity for Batman, I have always wanted to see a Batman movie done right. In 1989, Tim Burton's Batman was a radical departure from what had come before it in terms of comic book films. It was a step in the right direction but, alas, not quite there. It was the first of Tim Burton's many "gothic fairy-tales" that I can personally do without. I swear, if Johnny Depp hadn't been on 21 Jumpstreet at the time, Burton would have probably had him play Batman. Well, after Burton's original film it was all downhill. We all know how bad they eventually became.
Then Chris Nolan made Batman Begins. It had a ton of promise but was tied down by a lot of silly bullshit we have come to associate with comic book films. Too much CGI, an obligatory origin story, and a dumb-ass scheme on the part of the villain. Liam Neeson was a perfect Ra's al Ghul. But poisoning Gotham's water supply with some gas made by The Scarecrow? Give me a fucking break. The train sequence at the end was the typical CGI "big" ending for the comic book film bullshit. All of these problems are gone in The Dark Knight.
The Dark Knight is a real crime movie with Batman. It's not full of stupid gadgets with the word "bat" attached to them. It has a real plot about a city trying to enforce law and order in the face of a criminal psychopath who follows no logic and seeks only to bring everyone down to his level. There have been comparisons to Michael Mann's Heat and I think that is fair. This isn't just a good comic book movie, it is a good movie. If Batman has always been a kind of comic book film noir, this movie finally achieves that. The Dark Knight is not just one action sequence after another. It is filled with fantastic character moments and believable internal conflicts. The Joker keeps redrawing the line and Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent all have to make choices about where they will stand in relation to it. Each man makes his own choices and has to face the consequences. The choices aren't easy and no one feels particularly good about what they have to do.
I know people are tired of this coming up but I believe it is relevant for this film. (Sorry Leeman) This may be the ultimate movie about the post 9/11 world. What choices do we make in the face of an enemy that has no sense of logic? Where do we draw our personal lines of right and wrong when our enemies have none? How do we keep our citizenry safe in a world of utter chaos? If we do redraw our lines of right and wrong, does the enemy win after all? These are the questions society is asking itself right now and they are the questions asked by The Dark Knight. The film poses these moral dillemmas without the heavy-handed obviousness of the modern Battlestar Galactica. It's there if you want to see it but it's not rubbed in your face. The difference is truly good writing versus faux good writing.
Batman kicks ass in this film and Heath Ledger is every bit as good as people say he is. He has contributed the definitive portrayal of The Joker. This is not some idiot phoning-in his standard schtick while dancing to shitty Prince tunes. If no one told you this was Heath Ledger, you'd have no idea who this was. He transforms himself into the character. The other real stand-out is Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. He exudes a likeability and pathos more than anyone else in the film. I'll chime in with the notion that he'd make a great Captain America. Oh, and good riddence Katie Holmes! She can stick with fighting the evil forces of Xenu. Maggie Gyllenhaal is the perfect Rachel Dawes.
Believe it or not, the Tim Burton film came out 19 years ago. It has taken that long to finally see a fully realized Batman film. We owe Chris Nolan a huge debt of thanks for giving us the movie we never actually thought could exist.
The Dark Knight is the gold standard of comic books films. Future directors better step up their game after this.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Here is Jim's list of what you can expect to enjoy that night . . .
*A discussion of the principles of Seagal’s trademark aikido style and a live aikido demonstration by representatives from Aikido of Virginia Beach!
*Samples of both flavors (Asian Experience & Cherry Charge) of Seagal’s Lightning Bolt energy drink to lucky door prize winners!
*Live discussion of Seagal’s oeuvre with reclusive Seagalogy author/Ain’t It Cool News contributor Vern!
*Trailers from Seagal’s classic films!
*Team Fantasmo commentary!
*A superior attitude and superior state of mind!. . . and much, much more!
Here are your full Episode 38 details:
When: Saturday, July 12, 8:00 P.M.
Where: Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322
Films & Activities:
8:00 P.M. – Aikido Lecture/Demonstration & Out for Justice (Rated R)
10:00 P.M. – Author Discussion & Belly of the Beast (Rated R)
If you need any additional information leave a comment and I'll get you what you need. This will be the best Fantasmo ever so let's pack the place out for the master of wrist-breaking, Steven Seagal!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
By the way, I enjoyed the hell out of Indy 4. Harrison Ford was really born to play Indy. Even moreso, I think, than Han Solo. The minute he comes on screen it is magic. The thing that really made this movie work for me was the Indy/Marion relationship. What fan's heart doesn't melt when Indy tells her "they weren't you baby" when she asks him why his other relationships never lasted. They have a chemistry together that rivals Golden Era Hollywood couples.
I also love how they included so many aspects of 50's movie culture in this one. You've got hot rods, Elvis music, greasers, college preppies, Russians, McCarthyism, the bomb, government secrets, and flying saucer aliens. It's really interesting to see Indy, who is so clearly identified with the WWII era, living in the Eisenhower era. Hell, he even says "I Like Ike." I was wondering if I would like Indy as much without Nazis and the 40's but this one had me hooked from the opening drag race.
The action and chase scenes are also a lot of fun. Like Vern said, it was great to see an action sequence cut together that you could actually follow. Spielberg actually lets the audience see what's going on so they can enjoy it. I hope when he retires he can teach at a film school so that kids will learn to stop the shaky camera/quick cut "action" scenes we have been getting in recent years. I thought the chase through the jungle was cool as hell and gave the audience a great rush without inducing any seizures.
So yes, the movie worked for me. And no, it was not because of "nostalgia." I am also sick to fucking death of people saying that anytime you like something that is older than five years or so it is all "nostalgia." Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I know how I like my movies and it just so happens that this one was made in the style I like. Is it an older style? Yes. But, it's only older because sometime in the 90's people forgot how to make movies like this. Hell, even Spielberg forgot for a while. Thankfully he remembered this time.
So nitpick it all you want. Hate on it to your heart's content. In the end, it's not your movie and it's not your story. I like Indy and I think this was a great way to end the series. I actually think it is better than Last Crusade. Also, I remember hating on Temple of Doom for years but now I love it. Remember how much we all loved Raiders and Temple of Doom when we were kids? You know why it was more magical? We weren't adult dickheads reading scripts on the internet and spending our time looking for what was wrong with the movies. We maybe saw a trailer, most of the time only a poster, and went to see a movie. We enjoyed it for what it was and guess what? We had fun! Indy 4 is a lot of fun . . . and very well crafted. So please, just go have a good time.
Read Vern's review at http://www.geocities.com/outlawvern/
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Well for years I had thought I was the lone hold-out in geek culture that didn't like this show. All that changed today. Headgeek himself, Harry Knowles feels just like me. He summed up all of my thoughts and feelings way better than I ever could.
Here is what he said about the DVD release of the MST3K Movie:
I have a noted history of not liking and actually hating this show. You have to understand – I like the robots, I like their banter… it’s the concept of belittling movies and declaring certain films as being TERRIBLE STINKERS – that I can’t stand. And never was the case more infuriating to me, than with the theatrical version of MST3KTM…. The film is THIS ISLAND EARTH… literally one of the very best 50’s Science Fiction films… With fantastic aliens from the same planet as Dennis Muren… and Apple technology… and Metaluna Mutants… and art deco Saucers… tractor beams, triangular two way televisions with built in lasers! And I just love the film. I grew up with it. Since this film came out… I’ve attempted to see THIS ISLAND EARTH twice in theaters and both times there were jackasses screaming out quotes from this version of the film and laughing hysterically. FUCK THAT! Now – the humor is funny – but my problem with this and the series is that while I love that tons of awesome genre films that could have been forgotten were discovered via the show… BUT – now they got introduced to those films as “trash cinema” and not the films that they were – prior to self-aware ironic glib humor. I really wish that the guys behind the MST3K phenom – had made their own films – their humor was solid enough to not just be a video commentary added to another’s film.
Harry really hits the nail on the head. Thank you Harry. Here is the link to the original article.