Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I bring this up because one of their efforts was "Witchblade." Now "Witchblade" has one of those "have your cake and eat it to" approaches to character. Basically at first blush very pro feminist; tough female protagonist who wields a power only women can use. Buuuutttt.... she's fighting in as close to a g string as humanly possible. Yeah, there's empowerment for you happy campers.
Well the comics aren't consistently terrible, and someone came up with a "sound track" that I thought sort of rock. So far so good. Well then TNT tried to make a Witchblade TV series. Well it was paen of suckitude. Blandness ruled and the T&A element was jettisoned. So what do you do next?
Take it to Japan.
Oh yeah, the Japanese took it an ran with it. They did it as an anime of course which meant that our heroine was not just fighting in super butt floss but was drawn .. ahem.. dramatically. It says something that some in the series kept misprouncing her name as MELONy. In this version she's got amnesia and daughter and is trying to make ends meet in a tokyo half flooded after a huge earthquake. In this tokyo there are rogue cyborg/appliances running around microwaving ladies or doing terminal dental surgery. There are also cloned witchblades who defy the laws of physics and good taste. This is certainly a guilty pleasure but it never bores.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
This doesn't work much better as the ghost takes over things and makes the holographs REAL. Can the ONE person who was actually in the murder house at the time of the original murders get her little traumatized butt together to save herself? Perhaps, but I really didn't care. Every other other actor save Combes was a collosal bore. The closest to interesting was the fellow that tried to look like Captain Jack Sparrow. However, hair acting never substitutes for the real thing.
It has a few jumps, a few scares. But really after some nifty entries this is a let down. Note, never in your commentary say: "We wrote the script in 13 days, I hope that comes as a suprise to everyone listening."
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Flaming Fame is his game
Jonny Nova will kiss a girl
Charm her with glowering alure
Jonny Nova will leave her crying
He does it with style without even trying
Jonny Nova is always around
He's the Singularity about the town
The gem of this film is the writing. It is almost like spinal tap in that a line will start straight then just get bizarro. Each character has his own little oddness that just builds. The reporters are all hard bitten thirties style dialogue. One of my favorite characters is some big game hunter type and he'll say, "Like the Cantonese Walking Duck, I will bide my time." Another will spout sayings like, "The trouble with waiting is that after it is done, something happens." It all builds together deliciously. I could easily see this translated to a straight stage piece, maybe done by some community theater. I'd love it.
Definitely check this out if you can find it!
Another interesting question the film addresses is how come everyone isn't seeing the ghost. In this film the rule is you have to be close to death to see things of a spiritual nature, either by sickness or impending death. So of course the doctors aren't believing the children who say that a "mechical girl" is upstairs.
I should also at this moment say you don't want to upset this particular ghost. The ghost through its past is very familiar with broken bones. It has great powers to break things in general, but annoy it and your arms are going to be flopping around like puppet. No fun at all.
So this is a well thought out ghost film. Very well produced with some great visuals. Definitely adds a shot in the arm to a genre about dying. Check her out!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
As a personal note, I have no doubt there will be a bad time in our future which we will rue the day. Cities will fall, and populations will die. If anything we are overdue for such a thing. But, I don't believe, as this documentary does, that it will be the end. Even in Easter Island (A current favorite scenario of eco-doom sayers) there was a population after the crash.
"The Dungeon Masters" is a more personal end of the world story. This is the story of those who have made the role playing game their life. As one author pointed out sadly enough, there is always a rent to the castle in the sky. It is a fun little documentary and certainly worth watching. I like the guy that tried to start his own cable access show and the lady who was totally into the drow. "The Dungeon Masters," is certainly not to be shown to mom to calm her about your desires to buy 20 sided dice, but for use who have been caught up in the mania it is a case of old home week. We have known these people or people like them. God help us all.
Make your saving throw.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
"The Keeper is clearly in Stephen King territory. It is even set in Maine. Bedford, Maine to be exact. A dying town that is drying up blowing away. Well not drying. Bedford is famed not only for pollution, and its mill, but for the torrential spring rain that yearly causes flooding. It is here that Susan Marley walks. She walks at night, in the day, when ever she likes wearing a summer dress even in the depths of winter. Poor Susan they would say. They would say she is mad, that she hasn't spoken a word in years. They would say she's a drunk. They would say she's the town pump.
They whisper that she is a witch. They whisper she's now in their dreams.
When the rains come again this year, Susan will die. Some will be insightful enough to run away. But many will stay in town as the water rises and the monsters come. Susan will walk again, and the dying town will finally die.
Very good novel. Sarah Langan has a good feel for madness without it being MADNESS, if you know what I mean. I hope she keeps writing. As Willy Wonka said, "The Suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts."
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Then the guy who has been given the job of getting the money back shows up. He's polite enough, but very insistent. Not only does he want the money they haven't spent yet back, but he wants them to pay the balance of what they did spend. Of course they don't have it, but it's wonderful what a motivational talk from a guy with a gun can do.
A cute, small, dark tale of why it is always better to listen to the angel on your shoulder.
He said ain't dead yet
Pump'd me up buttercup
with drugs and scans
part of him beneficial plans
Waited for the bus
Dead Dry heat round the head
As I got on the amblin'lance arrived
Some one maybe dead in the john
Some black goddess reading dem all pslams
What a world, what a world
I melt back to my small town
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thank ya all kindly
In the room the women come and go speaking of michaelanglo
fearsome hunger robs all of decorum
you look nice
This film even with a title change would be rather confusing for said letter writers to Fangoria Magazine. Somewhere in Spain a woman who has suffered a great loss is giving a nice place to recover from her trauma. A ISOLATED place. A big ol' SPOOKY place. A place that if you translated it's name I'm sure would either be "Amityville" or "Mordor." In other words, yet another person has lucked into a haunted house.
But is it haunted?
There are these priest see, and they ain't telling what happened many moons ago in spooky old house. They are keeping mum on a church scandal that didn't involve little boys, and talk in very confusing round about ways about the "Third option" when investigating claims of miracles. That and little phrases like "A whore can't be a saint," definitely give a clue that we aren't talking about your run of a mill haunting.
This is a good atmospheric film and certainly very intelligent. I'm not sure I followed all the catholic saint lore, but that's cool. Gives me something to look up later just to see if it was bull shit or not. Certainly worth watching even if you don't like subtitles.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Oh Kevin, you are until proven otherwise a one note director. "Cop Out," did not break that streak I'm afraid. I see what you were going for, specially after your stint on the Batman comic book where at one point you had Batman pee in his tights. You want to deconstruct the action hero, and I see that you are working from the premise that when you strip the action hero down he's nothing more than a big jerk. You even originally titled this film "A Couple of Dicks."
Well, ok. I can see where you are coming from. Slight, slight problem though Kev. It is very, very difficult to make a film about "A Couple of Dicks" watchable. Oh sure Bruce Willis makes a game try at it, and you did write nice bits here and there, but no. This film hurts to watch. It is sand paper on my eyes. It grates my soul, and is not great.
Kevin, my man. My buddy, my pal. Remember that Woody Allen movie? The one with the aliens at the end who tell Woody to go back to making his funny films?
Take the hint.
P.S. And I know you were pissed off they asked you to change the title. But really never give critics a free shot with a title like "Cop Out." Might have well named it "The Losers," oh there's a film already called that? Never mind.
Friday, August 20, 2010
between the walls there are always spaces
Even the lost have their own special places
And in the dark, and in the cold, and in the out, and growing old
there are those who huddle in comfort most dubious
Anyhoo, I've started going through the Fangoria festival and so far I'm pleasantly suprised. Fangoria is (was?) a magazine that was preoccupied not just with horror films but with the gory special effects. I recall as a lad looking through a couple of issues why picking up and issue of "Mad" (before it sucked ditchwater), and there was always some eye popping picture on the cover.
So our first film is from Down Under and is called "Road Kill," actually it was called "Road Train" originally but we don't have road trains here in the states. What is a road train? Well it's very very flat down under and there is a lot of middle with no one really living there. So on those road run the trucks that are truly monsterous. Steroidal monsters that are basically three or six big rigs hitched together and hurtling up your rear view mirror. Our heroes get run down by a very odd road train. The first hint is the hood ornament of Cerebrus on the front. Things get weirder from there and there are definite questions over miles per gallon.
It's not a bad little film about a big truck. It's well shot and the vistas are impressive. The damn truck is impressive. The cast, not so much. Definitely not a waste for a rental.
"Pig Hunt" though is incredible. From the Les Claypool song "The Booneville Stomp" to beginning to end I loved it. "Pig Hunt" is like the movie "Razor Back" mixed with "Southern Comfort," "Deliverance," and "Godzilla." Basically, army grunts go on a hunting trip. They find themselves being threatened by crypto hippies and rednecks. Oh, and there's the pig. A real hogzilla that thinks nothing of eating a horse in one go. There's nothing not to like about this film if you like horror films or films about horrible people. Every little detail is fun from the the red neck off road vehicles to the hippie chick wearing what looks like dead owls that went through the dryer of fluff over her boobies.
It's a hoot!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I am reminded though of something George Carlin once said, "Anything can be funny. It is all how you construct the joke." He's right, of course, and that applies to all things beyond comedy. It's why I am fond of "The Collector," even though it encompasses things I don't generally like or am comfortable with.
The plot is simple. Our hero is a thief and for some very good reasons he breaks into a house for a quick score. Complication, it is the absolute wrong house to invade. It has been set up as the ultimate roach motel. No one is supposed to be checking out. There are traps galore and out titled "Collector" who is mutely bug shit crazy. Things get even more complicated as our thief discovers there are other people in the house that have been collected.
Will our thief try to save these others? Can he? Will he get what he was looking for? Most importantly will he be able to get out? I am not telling, folks. You'll have to watch it yourself. I will mention that in a commentary the filmmakers described some of the traps and events as "Tex Avery gone to hell." In that respect, it reminds me of the "Final Destination" films. I liked the cat and mouse, and dueling wits displayed in the film. Also, I must finally point out it has a very nice sound track. You can't go wrong with "Bela Lugosi is Dead." Give it a view!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
That is till El Dweebo buys a tiger.
Yeah a full grown adult and very pissed off tiger. He mutters something about an idea for a zoo or circus when asked why he'd buy a fricking tiger. Oh, and there's a hurricane coming. Oh, and el Dweebo decidese to go out to a bar to drink after making the house impregnable to the storm.
All good ideas worthy of the Darwin award.
The crisis is now upon us as the hurrican hits and the tiger gets free in the house. Funny Walls aren't that good a defense against a very hungry tiger. Dragging along autistic little brother is basically having a pork chop around your neck in this circumstance. We are clearly in double A crisis territory and it's great, thrilling story telling.
Extra points for reciting Blake's "Tyger Tyger." Double extra points for this bit on the how they made it portion of the DVD: "We were told that in case of loss of tiger control we should all huddle together and be very still. No one should be the lone antelope on the veldt." IF Loss of Tiger Control is not the best name for a band I'm a monkey.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Which brings us to "Shuffle."
Our hero Rin is probably the nicest guy in Japan. As the series starts he already sort of has a girl. In fact he's living with her. Oh don't worry it's all platonic with some back story of her losing her parents. The upshot is girl #1 is they typical japanese doormat girl; "Oh Rin I just love cooking and cleaning!"
Seriously, they have to put something in fricking water supply in Japan.
Anyhoo, girl #2 is sensible girl at school. She's smart, successful, popular and knows what she wants. Also at this school we meet Rin's best friend who he always has to punch in the stomach to keep him from letching off a girl #1. Hey, you heard of tough love, this is obviously tough friendship I guess. At the school we find out that this world is a little different from ours. In their world there was an "Event" (Not to be confused with the NBC series), and now the doorways to the demon and the god worlds are open and now there are immigrant demons and gods.
Point of order, I can understand why someone living in a place called the Demon World would want to pull up stakes and go to Japan. I don't understand why someone living in the God World would. Maybe it's a bit a misleading name? Who knows, what we do know is that gods have cute little elf ears, and that demons have big long sideways donkey ears that stick out worse than Obama and Prince Charles combined. If everyone wore a hat no one would know where folks were from.
It turns out being the nicest guy in Japan isn't a good thing. The Kings of the God and Demon World have come to town and each have brought their daughters. Their daughters each want to marry Rin. Girl #3, the God girl, is a strong healthy gal prone to throwning furniture at annoyances. Girl #4, the demon girl, tends to just zap everything to burning cinders. It's ok though, Demon daddy pays for the damages and hospital bills. Oh, and there is mysterious girl #5 who is like lolita autistic mystical emo (or L.A.M.E.) So because Rin has so many girls hanging off of him all the men want to beat the crap out of him or cover him with the smell of sweat socks to get his girls.
Ah, Japan. What do you put in your water supply? Do you watch our shows like Law & Order and go, "WTF America?", or is this just a one way exchange of strangeness?
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
If you got the time, this might be your cuppa. As always the bad guys get all the best lines, but a close second is "Sasha" who is legendary for being able to find the genitals of anything that breathes and beat the living crap out of it.
Talented lady that sasha!
The film starts slow, but it builds nice once Spike appear. The appearance of Spike is a very nice design and the actor is doing his best. There's not much blood or action but I believe it is a very imaginative and interesting entry. At least it's not another damn slasher.
Who took it? Was it the Cult of the Squid who worship giant Squids? Was it the criminal mastermind known as "Tattoo"Maybe it was the horrible Gunfarmers who raise guns like prime fighting dogs. It could even be the mystical police. This isn't your Dickens London. It is filled with magic, and cults, and prime nut balls that can kill with a glance or a sock. It's the type of place where magical familiars are everywhere but are on strike for better working conditions.
So who's going to find our squid? Why Billy of course. Why? Well Billy did perserve the squid in the first place. Bill did find the squid missing in the first place. Also, it just happens that half of London thinks Billy knows something about the squid and are now hunting him with a rather loose understanding of "Bring him in alive."
This is China Mieville's most fun book for adults that he's yet written. While I still like "The City & The City," and "The Scar" better, this book beats most fantasy novels by the country mile. Pages brim with innovation, imagination, and general WTF-ness. Seriously keep notes, there are at least 50 ideas worth stealing if you are a writer. I personally love the explanation about why Star Trek sucks. You'll never look at Kirk the same way again.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Anyhooooo, "Drawn Together" got canned, but they scraped enough dough for a straight to DVD version. Freed of its Network "standards" it is a fest of the unlocked id write in excrement. Again, I like low humor, but guys pace yourself. Naming the little girl character drawn in "South Park" style (see that middle child syndrome is still showing) as Suck-My-Taint Girl is only really funny (?) as a once over. To use that name for an important character who keeps appearing again and again is like being hit by chloroform laced socks laced with quarters. Not. A. Good. Thing.
The jokes were off and on. They didn't do much special with the animation, well except with the effect of being hit with eraser bombs which were interesting. The cast was energetic except for Seth Macfarland who slept through his reading of the killer robot I.S.R.A.E.L. I guess Seth was there for moral support since his own "The Family Guy," was once in cancellation hell. I doubt though that "Drawn Together," will be back on the network. Though, one of the cast members had a point, "Hey Comedy Central, what do you really have on that's better?"
Friday, August 13, 2010
Fraggle Rock came just a little late to be a childhood memory, but certainly it was still fun to watch as a teen and it stood at one of the early proofs at the time that HBO was worth something besides boobies at 3 AM. Besides it was Jim Henson, and that there partners is the mark of quality.
The show was simple enough. Fraggles are litttle muppety things that live in their rock and they basically play and eat all day (minus a 30 minute work week). One fraggle Uncle Matt found the way to our world and has set out to explore it. He sends postcards back to the room the tunnel opens into which is being used as a workshop by an old man and his dog. Gobo Fraggle, Matt's nephew goes and fetches the mail. Gobo has many adventures with his friends; perky Red, morose Boober, star child Mookie, and agreeable Whembley. They interact with the doozers who always work and make buildings that the fraggles eat, and the grogs who are giants (by fraggle standards) who believe they rule the universe. When in need of advice they sneak off to ask the Gorgs magical trashpile who is a font of questionable wisdom. My favorite side character was always Convincing John who not only could convince people of anything but was rather petty about it. One could come back from a visit with Convincing John wearing a pair of flower pots over your hands because Convincing John told you it looked so stylish on you.
The real fun for me was the musical. It reminds me of the best of John Denver, it's light and airy and fun. I for the life of me can't figure out why no one has covered "Come Follow Me."
Definitely this was a fun reboot of memory lane!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
...Forget the funeral of the best comedy, we know that the American cowboy plans an adventure tour. I know, I know XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX because remembering the pain XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX the loss of family members killed in Paciendo.
You must Kill Devil tattoos of the same XXXXXXXXXXXX where God in London XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Must find Multi disc black gene "poseidon" XXXXXXX quarantine of children jug band XXXXX Importers and Terrorism. Ask for Joe Quaohilundui!
Just relax, you can not die. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX is part of the farm experience.
O God, thou art my rock
Aiaimite, myth, love and respect
Witchfinder Dan Franklin
On the other hand, the show was brave in the way that few shows are. Aboard a ship that eats planets for food, our "heroes" often created as much mayhem as the villains. Also, few shows would have been able to function at all with a main character as wormy and craven as Stanely Tweedle.
Also, on the plus side I love Kai. Here's a character who's concept screams cool (Last of his race, made into an immortal divine assassin, now has his morality back), and yet they were not afraid to make him look horribly silly with a bee hive hair do, long hanging locks of hair, and a "beauty" mark. He's like boy band boy gone vampire cool. Plus he always has lines like "The dead do not squeeze and please." A riot. Really.
So, Lexx, you are never the best on my list but I will watch you. The best seasons are the first which consisted of many movies and had some interesting casting, and the fourth where the Lexx hits the earth with maximum destruction and irony. Give it a look.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
follow no questions
Johnny, Johnny, and molly
with the 200,000,000 to the great death
...said the son died of a direct attack
on the bright son
so said Johnny Historian
.... was a terrorist attack...
A genius situation
he was certainly sound
Mozilla's disease is a new planet
Companies world wide including
The Casino, Speed of Light
with Igor Jane Baker and Roy 9 Million
seek cure with Dragon's teeth
of 100 meters in length
and quantum Electric fire
there is Zombie epidemic chatin'
the country of the poor child from hell
it's all the life of young eccentric masks
we must select the death of all fires
or Malibu Adventure camp
Please, contact war soldiers, zombies