Friday, March 21, 2008

Snake Eyes!

I found this image on Aint it Cool News today. Larry Hama, writer of the original marvel G.I. Joe comics sent this image to Harry Knowles. This is the first image of Ray Park as Snake Eyes from the new movie! How sweet is this picture??? You can clearly see the Arishakage symbol on his arm! I cannot even begin to say how excited I am about this movie. To all the folks that would want to crap on the movie because the Joes are now an international team, I say that to many of us, G.I. Joe was never about ra-ra God Bless America flag waving. They may have wanted it to be that way but I never cared one bit about that stuff. What made G.I. Joe cool was Cobra, Destro and the Baroness in Transcarpathia, Tomax and Xamot, Serpentor, the Arishikage ninja clan, the romance between Snake Eyes and Scarlett, Dr. Mindbender, HISS Tanks, and a million other things besides pro Americanism messages. This movie looks to be doing all the stuff that counts right.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Songs of Craig

Well, previously you have been treated to some of the various films about my friend Craig. Well, believe it or not, many songs have been written about him over the years. Here are but a few . . .

Pie of the Tiger
All You Need is Pie
Pie Writes the Songs (the make the whole world sing)
While my Moonpie Gently Weeps
(Pie can't get no) Satisfaction
Enter Moonpie
Moonpie Serenade
Pie Woke Up in Love this Morning
Pie was Made for Loving You
U Can't Touch Pie
Mr. Moonpie (bring me a dream)
Don't Fear the Moonpie
Brother Pie's Traveling Salvation Show

If anyone can think of anymore, be sure to leave them in a comment.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fact Check - Steven Seagal

Ok, you know how there's been this recent fad of elevating Chuck Knorris to the level of greatest action star of all time. People have made these lists of "facts" about how tough he is and what a badass he's supposed to be. Seriously, what brought this on? Of all of the major action stars, he wouldn't even be in my top five.

You mean to tell me he is somehow tougher than Arnold Schwarzenegger? I'll put John Matrix or Dutch up against any of Chuck's characters any day of the week and watch them kick his ass!

What about Sylvester Stallone? Come on! Anyone who saw Rambo knows that even in his 60's, this guy owns your ass in terms of action! Imagine a fight between Rambo and Braddock. It would shorter than an old school Mike Tyson fight! Not one "fact" about Chuck Knorris proves toughness the way the line "he eats things that make a billy goat puke" does. 'Nuff said.

Now who, you ask, deserves to be at the top of the list? Who truly deserves to be king of the action stars and have grandiose "facts" written about him? That man, my friends, is none other than Steven Seagal. Whay can't Chuck Knorris do push-ups anymore? Because Seagal broke his arm in one swift, lightning-fast motion! Just look at how quickly Mason Storm recovered from being in a coma for nine years. Would Knorris have the courage to testify before congress like Nico Toscani did after exposing CIA corruption? I don't think so! Who would have the courage to take down their coked-out brother on a rampage the way Gino did in Out for Justice? Only one man, Steven Seagal. You see, it's not just about physical strength. It's about the combination of mental, moral, physical, and spiritual strength exhibited by Mr. Seagal in his films. Only a true zen master can combine all of these elements to truly be tough. To quote Mason Storm, "before you learn to fight, you have to learn to heal."

Superhero Movies . . . The Johnson Perspective Part I

So today I was reading some talkbacks about a possible new Superman movie. There always seems to be some sort of "geek consensus" about which movies are good and which are bad. Well, many times I agree with geek consensus and other times I don't. In this post I want to mention a few and share my thoughts about the commonly held tastes of my fellow film buffs.

Let's start with the most over-praised superhero movies out there . . . Bryan Singer's X-Men and X2: X-Men United. Having given Singer's films a rewatch it finally hit me just how cold and lifeless they are. There's just something intangible that seems to be missing. They have a definite visual style but just feel soulless and hollow. There seems to be a subset of marvel fans that are primarily X-Men fans. These fans love to heap praise on Singer because they believe he gave them a vision of that universe that is true to the characters. I will admit that it is nice to see the material taken seriously and the subtext intact. But, that's about all I can give Singer credit for. I think the actors in these films do more than anyone else to deliver the characters in their correct form. Who can deny Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellan wonderfully bring their respective characters to life? But, Singer's lifeless direction and inability to film action drags these movies down. Are they bad? Absolutely not. But, are they as great as some would have you believe? No way. Also is Singer the savior of the modern superhero film? Hell no.

Now, on to the third and most controversial of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand. It is very fashionable to bash Brett Ratner as a director. It's supposed to just be a given that he is an awful director and everything he makes is crap. This is just as ridiculous as the notion that it is a given that Singer is a master filmmaker who makes the most wonderful superhero movies of all time. I'd say the crap to cool ratio in the third film is roughly the same as the first two movies. In many ways, I think there happens to be a lot more cool in The Last Stand than in the first two. This mainly comes from the fact that Ratner actually knows how to stage and shoot cool action sequences. If I was going to sit down and watch on of these again just for fun, I'd always pick the third one. It's not perfect but it's not the piece of crap geek consensus would have you believe.

P.S. - When I say I like something I am not saying "it's so bad it's good" or any other such ironic nonsense.