Saturday, November 30, 2013
A while back I took a shot at my first ever Let’s Play of a terrible NES game from my childhood based on the short-lived Swamp Thing cartoon. It didn’t go well, but it did inspire me to take a second look at the Swamp Thing movies that inspired the live action series that in turn inspired the cartoon which in turn in turn inspired the game. Okay, fuck it, I needed an excuse to talk about the Swamp Thing movies, and this was it. So sue me. And yes, I’m aware that I already have a section of this blog dedicated to retrospectives of obscure horror and sci-fi franchises, but my general rule for that is three or more films, and since I’m already three chapters into a five part Chucky review, this seemed like the better place for it. I was tempted to start a whole new section specifically for shitty comic book and videogame adaptations (even had a clever name for it – BADaptations), but as you can see by the Labels section to your right, this blog is already too cluttered with planned sections that have since become defunct or died on the vine. So here we go.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Hey everybody. Check out the first episode of yet another new podcast, Saturday Night Jive, where I sit down with my uber SNL geek brother and pay tribute to the longest running sketch comedy show of all time. This week we discuss the most recent new episode featuring The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson and throaty bass faced musical guests HIME. We rage against recurring characters, lament the discrimination against featured players, adamantly defend the Charles Rocket year, play Stump The Geek, and give Norm MacDonald much love. Enjoy
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Thursday, November 28, 2013
Is there any kind of movie more unnecessary than an American remake of a modern foreign film? Even in the context of remakes in general, which typically at least allow a few decades to pass between reboots, these translations more often than not take recent movies and Americanize them under the premise that we as a country are so small minded that a story universal enough to appeal to a domestic audience would succeed but for all the kooky sounding foreigners in it. Are people really so averse to subtitles or the occasional odd cultural idiom, and even if they are, shouldn't that be something we're embarrassed about enough not to flaunt our willful ignorance with a remake? In this light we have The Delivery Man, a heartwarming family film all about togetherness and acts of goodwill towards men just in time for Thanksgiving that hits all the right notes of its nearly identical French language predecessor Starbuck, and while I can't say I wasn't entertained, my enjoyment only ultimately stemmed from the fact that I didn't see the original until the day after.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast Presents: The Crypto Conspiracy - Part Three, The King Is Dead, Long Live The King
Hey gang, check out the latest episode of my podcast, Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast Presents: The Crypto Conspiracy. There's been a shift at the Sepia Radio Network where this airs live, it used to air on Fridays, now on Wednesdays, so I'm posting it here a bit earlier than usual. Listen as I ignore my mother's protests and unequivocally prove the still living existence of Elvis.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The first Hunger Games proved to be a welcome new twist on the young adult novel turned film franchise formula, trading in sparkly vampires for post apocalyptic jack booted thugs and giving us a more clever and nuanced take on the spunky female heroine locked between bizarre forces and boy crushes. Having not read the books upon which these films are being based, I have been intensely curious to see how this series would unfold considering how self contained and complete the original film was, making Catching Fire one of the few big budget blockbusters this year that I've actually been fondly anticipating. Regrettably, while this second installment attempts to do what all good sequels do, tweaking the previously established rules and expanding the universe without straying too far from what has come before, the tweaks are often a bit too silly, the universe isn't explored nearly enough, and the final result is strangely both too different, and too much of the same.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Check out the latest episode of my Dirty Sons Of Pitches podcast spinoff Director's Cut, where we dissect the career of the great Senior Steven Speilbergo, director of E.T., Jaws, and Jurassic Park.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013
Did anybody notice that the 50th anniversaries of the Kennedy Assassination and Doctor Who happened in the same week? I didn't realize this, but I looked it up and apparently they're even closer than I thought. Turns out the original premiere of the series all the way back in '63 was on the night of Kennedy's death. In fact, because of so much attention naturally being drawn to the tragedy in Dallas, the BBC went so far as to air the first episode again the next week, assuming that a lot of its target audience may have been too preoccupied to give it a chance. Thinking about all the movies that bombed on the weekend after 9/11, I wonder if there would still be a Doctor Who today to celebrate if they hadn't had the foresight to give it a second chance, or if it would just be some weird little footnote of history. Watching The Day Of The Doctor, the culmination of 7 years of awesome following the show's second second chance, I'm just thankful its still here.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Check out the latest episode of my podcast, Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast: The Crypto Conspiracy, Part Two - Mom goes further into the Kennedy Cover-Up on the anniversary of the assassination, reading a totally evil memo that is completely undeniably nefarious (I...guess). And I preview next week's much more interesting discussion of the secret posthumous life of Elvis Presley. Stay Tuned. Or rather, listen to this one, and then stay tuned for that one. Yeah, that.
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Friday, November 22, 2013
When I first noticed that Breaking Bad's first season was only six episodes and every other season was going to be thirteen, I decided to split up my further posts on the show to two per season, cutting each one roughly in half. At the time, I didn't realize the flaw in this method, as the show has so quickly become so watchable, and more importantly so binge-able than I was expecting, so much so that it was all I could do not to just keep going. I don't want to get so into it that I forget the details of what's come before and can't write about my evolving thoughts, so I forced myself to stop at episode seven of season two, right after a shocking twist that both aggravates and excites me as a fan of B movie actor Danny Trejo, and right before the introduction of a character I've been waiting for since I started watching this show last week.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
If there’s one good thing that came out of the 90’s (and I can believe that there may be only one), it was the cartoons. Between Fox Kids, Kids WB, and the Disney Afternoon, 90’s kids lived through a golden age of creative freedom surpassing the commercialism of the 80’s that would resurface in the new millennium and persist to this day. If they were a little older or like me had permissive parents, they also had Liquid Television, MTV’s showcase for alternative animation featuring groundbreaking shows like Beavis and Butthead and Aeon Flux. I bring all this up because I just watched a movie that reminded me quite a bit of one of my favorite Liquid Television segments, The Head, about a benevolent demon living inside a hapless man’s engorged skull. Bad Milo is basically the same idea, except that the titular monster happens to come out the other end.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Earlier this year I published a somewhat ecstatic review of the pilot for the new Fox series Sleepy Hollow, heralding it as a worthy successor to the creators' previous series Fringe. Since then, the show has been almost emphatically hit and miss, with every other episode either living up to its wacky potential or making me question why I bother (kickass witch revenge tale/boring sleep demon/Nazi cult/lame Roanoke re-imagining/etc). Though it now seems to be finding its footing a bit with the introduction of John Noble's Sin Eater character, the series hasn't quite been all I wanted it to be at the start. Luckily, more than one Fringe writer got a show picked up this season, and J.H. Wyman's Almost Human, though not quite as unapologetically insane in premise or execution, feels like it might just be the actual Fringe substitute I've been looking for, if not a full blown pseudo-sequel.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
What's all this then? A second podcast in as many days? Check out the latest episode of my other podcast, Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast, where we talk movies, probably a cryptid, and other stuff, in between escalating arguments.
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Monday, November 18, 2013
Check out the latest episode of my podcast The Dirty Sons Of Pitches! This week we talk all things Thor and pitch movies based on elements of pre-Christian Mythology. We also probably talk about our dicks a lot. At least based on prior experience.
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UPDATE: Looks like there might be some technical difficulties with the file. Will try to hammer this out today and re-upload.
UPDATE #2: Nevermind, apparently my computer is just a piece of shit. Its good.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Say, have you heard of this show called Breaking Bad? I don't know. I don't hear a lot about it, having lived under this here rock for all my life, but I just found it on Netflix and its pretty okay I guess.
Alright, here's the thing, I've never watched this show before for a very specific reason, and that's because, weirdly enough, I love its main star Bryan Cranston a little too much. Specifically, up until this point, I've had such fond memories of his character Hal from Malcolm in the Middle that I've been afraid to watch the show where I know he goes evil, for fear that it might sully that silly, rambuncious man-child forever. This is not to say that I've suddenly soured on the Fox series and can now watch Breaking Bad with impunity, only that I've finally given up my resistance and started trying to figure out what all the fuss has been about for all these years. And since I have this stupid blog that's always struggling to find new content, I figured I would chronicle my journey watching the show in (somewhat) real time.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Check out the latest episode of my podcast Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast, featuring my mother and I talking about all things Kennedy, with a little bit of fucked up sci-fi nonsense to cut through the treacle. We're going back to our classic format this week with the first episode of an ongoing series we're calling Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast Presents: The Crypto Conspiracy. Mom introduces her continuing mission to expose the JFK assassination coverup, and I try to undermine her at every turn with Quantum Leap references, pitches for Presidential porn, and Lizard People. Its kind of awesome.
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Friday, November 15, 2013
So, I was on Facebook recently, and someone pointed out to me that there was a section of private messages called Other, which is apparently where messages are deposited from people I don't know or am not friends with. I never noticed this before, and when I checked it for the first time since joining Facebook last year, low and behold I had a request that was actually blog related from like three fucking months ago. They sent me a link to a feature length film available for free on Youtube called The Ultimate Ultimate and asked me to give it a shot and review it if I liked. The link is below:
Thursday, November 14, 2013
What can be said about the Friedberg/Seltzer movies that haven’t already been said a thousand times before? For those lucky enough to not be aware of them, Friedberg and Seltzer are the men who in the last decade or so have murdered the film parody genre so forcefully and maliciously that every time a new film is released baring their name, Mel Brooks and the Zucker brothers manage to spin around in their graves despite none of them actually being dead yet. Until recently, and with the exception of 2008’s Meet The Spartans, their movies have been easily recognizable by their deliberately obvious titles ending in “Movie” as in Date Movie, Epic Movie, and the aptly named Disaster Movie, all to cash in on the writer/directors’ brief affiliation with the much more successful Scary Movie franchise. Their latest effort follows the pattern of their last movie Vampire’s Suck, with a marginally more subtle naming scheme and a more central focus on one film franchise rather than a hodgepodge of similar movies, and while this approach technically makes The Starving Games somewhat more palatable and dare I say just barely watchable, in the end its still the same shit in a more streamlined package.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Walking into Runner Runner (pun regrettably intended), I was somewhat confused as to what the movie was about based on the one trailer I'd seen. Granted I was barely paying attention, but all I could really gather was that Justin Timberlake was in over his head in some sort of criminal activity under the auspices of a surprisingly villainous Ben Affleck. I naturally assumed based on the title that maybe this illicit activity had something to do with drugs or guns or some other sort of contraband one might "run" through clandestine channels. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the criminal empire was in fact an online gambling operation, and the Runner Runner of the title really just refers to one scene where Timberlake has to run away from some guys for five seconds.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Recently, I reviewed the new superhero film Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s latest foray into a world of magic and fantasy, you know, except for all the magic and fantasy. With my hopes for a rip-roaring adventure steeped in ancient mythology dashed by so many laser cannons and holograms, I decided to catch up on a movie I missed upon its initial release a few months ago, that promised to be a bit more open with its ties to mystical antiquity. I skipped Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters originally because unlike Thor, I had not seen the first movie in the series, but I found that there wasn’t really too much about the new sequel that couldn’t be grasped on the fly, and while its clearly geared towards a younger audience in need of a post-Harry Potter magical teenager fix, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to get out of it.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Born in December of 1985, I so wish I could claim the mantle of being an 80's kid, when music was great, toys were still awesome, and the television and film I would now be nostalgic for actually deserved to be nostalgically remembered. Alas, though my tastes have always reflected a slightly older demographic and I have since become well versed in the best and worst of the Reagan years, I must admit that my own personal direct experience is firmly entrenched in the 90's. I didn't even get the chance to grow up with the silly 80's like Wham and Boy George, I had Rico Suave and Vanilla Ice. And yet, strangely enough, my sense of generational ennui has apparently come full circle of late, as at a mere 27 years old it would seem I am old enough to have an “Oldies” station dedicated to the terrible music I grew up on, and to have 90’s centric movies like The To Do List forcing me to remember all that I would hope to forget. And as you would expect, even the rose colored glasses of nostalgia can’t make this shit any better than it was 20 years ago.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Hey everybody, check out another episode of my podcast, Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast, Episode 9, Part One, where we talk about Obviously Fake Angels, our relative Tastes In TV Viewing, and the massive shit fest that was The Canyons.
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Friday, November 8, 2013
With so many more relatable superheroes still without successful film franchises, it seems a little strange to see a character like Thor catch on as much as he has. The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Iron Man, but fans and neophytes were already well prepared with the Spiderman and X Men films, and out of all the major properties, the Norse God's high falootan adventures have never really meshed well with the rest of the more relatively grounded adaptations. The producers of the Thor films have tried to bridge the gap between their magic tinged universe and the more science based heroes by emphatically ignoring the difference between them with a sort of mushy, "its all the same but with a different name" approach, but as more and more of Thor's world and greater mythology is introduced, there's going to have to come a point where they either openly allow for the co-existence of magic and science, or render this classic character into something he simply isn't, and shouldn't be. In this critic's personal opinion, that point was sometime before production started on Thor: The Dark World.
I try not to read other critic reviews for movies before I plan to see them, to avoid unconscious plagiarism, but I feel in the case of the new animated film Free Birds, I must make a point that I can only assume has been made in every other review of this movie. The pilgrims never ate turkeys at the first Thanksgiving. They ate deer. The whole turkey thing is a myth to justify a modern tradition of turkey eating. From what I understand through the most cursory of online research, the first time turkey was on the Thanksgiving menu was sometime in the mid- 1800's, shortly before it was declared a national holiday in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln. Ordinarily I might suggest that the reason for maintaining the myth in a movie about time traveling turkeys would be to make the resulting adventure more relatable to a mass audience, but really, how awesome would a movie about turkeys fighting Lincoln have been?
Thursday, November 7, 2013
One should never let the sometimes vile and disgusting personal views of an artist interfere with an earnest appreciation for the art they create. Great stories can come from even the darkest places, and it does us all a disservice to let tangential prejudices be a distraction. Noted science fiction author Orson Scott Card has become newly famous for two things of late, as the mind behind the latest sci-fi epic adaptation Ender's Game, and as a virulent homophobe and general right wing crank. In a perfect world those two things would have nothing to do with each other, but as the calls for a nationwide boycott continue, it seems many people can't get past Card's ideological dickishness, which is really a shame, because in the context of 2013 sci-fi cinema, the new film that bears his name in very small politically correct print is actually one of the better ones.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Check out the latest episode of my podcast The Dirty Sons Of Pitches, an all games edition where I play Louie Anderson-style quiz master to my co-hosts' feuding family. Or something. Also, we talk about Gravity, and a bunch of other movies.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The now defunct MTV television series Jackass was probably the most appropriately named show ever made, perfect to describe both its stars and its target audience. Arguably born out of the post-Tom Green surge in anti-comedy now infecting so much of our culture from Adult Swim to Nickelodeon, where absurdity for its own sake serves to replace comedy, the people behind this show couldn't even bring themselves to be that clever, settling instead for awkwardness and bad taste as the sole sources for its humor. Produced by the even more appropriately named Dickhouse, now we have Bad Grandpa, a spin-off of the popular Jackass movies inspired by the synonymous series, and if only because I just had to sit through the thing, I really wish I could say that its somehow gotten watchable in the twelve years since the show's cancellation. Goddamn do I wish I could say that.
Monday, November 4, 2013
How do sentient planes fuck each other? No, that's not the weirdest rhetorical question ever posed, I'm genuinely curious as to the logistics of this. Why, you ask? Because I just watched Planes, the new sort of but not really, though might as well be Pixar movie spun off from the world of the worst films in the company's canon, because apparently living cars weren't asinine enough. When one of these planes romances another one and then comes on screen with lipstick kisses all over his face, I can't help but question how her mouth, receding back as far as it does into her body, could get past the constantly spinning propeller blades of her swarthy Spanish paramour to accomplish what amounts to a silly sight gag, or for that matter, why she would be wearing lipstick, and how she would have applied it without functioning arms or hands. You might rightly accuse me of over thinking this, because of course it is a children's movie after all, but after watching so many Pixar movies over the years since I was a child and seeing all the detail put into them, here I kind of thought that was the point.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Hey gents and whatever the female equivalent of gents is. No movie review today, so I thought I'd throw out two quick movie pitches to round out another Halloween season gone by, to extend the spooky cheer just a bit longer before we're all faced with the onslaught of the clusterfuck that is the ThankChristNewYear mega-holiday. First up, a zombie movie I came up with on the way home from the official 3 Days of Terror screening, where coincidentally my short film The Red Menace premiered to, lets go ahead and say thunderous applause and accolades, since I'm guessing none of you were there to confirm that.
#1: As Good As Dead
Saturday, November 2, 2013
One might reasonably question my capacity to even review a film like Battle of the Year, considering my knowledge of the film's subject matter is so poor that I can't even construct this opening sentence with any more specificity. I don't even know what the thing they are doing in this movie is called. Is it Break Dancing? Break Dance Fighting? Electric Boogalooing? Do I refer to it as a sport? A competition? How is it scored? I don't see any judges, just a bunch of kids "You Got Serving" at each other and then affecting a derisive pose as if to suggest that they had just one upped the person in front of them, all with, at least as far as I can tell, the same level of physical acumen. I am at a loss. Perhaps it is because the film is so complicated in its central premise that the people behind this movie decided for our benefit to make the structure so insultingly simple and formulaic. You know, to help us out.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Next month is the 50th anniversary month of JFK's assassination, so its all conspiracy all the time, but before that, we got one more Halloween episode to burn, this time an all Cryptid discussion show! My mother and I return to the roots of our podcast talking about nothing but creepy crawly monsters that may or may not exist in the real world, including the Melonheads of Cleveland, the elusive Bearilla, Tennessee Devil Monkeys, and something mysterious that goes Bloop in the night.
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