Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hot Fuzz

Don't get me wrong, I love these guys. I'm a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead, as well as "Spaced" and even that terrible "Red Dwarf" wannabe that Nick Frost was in. Like I said, I love these guys. That said, Hot Fuzz was not what I expected.

The ads and previews make it out to be sort of like Airplane or "Police Squad!" only in a decidedly British vibe. There is a lot of that, and a lot of Shawn too. Like Almodovar or Robert Rodriguez they is much the same cast, sometimes in almost the same part, like the husband and wife pub owners. The flavor is there as well, but.

Well, in the middle of this police comedy, the flick kinda turns into a vintage Hammer horror. Again, don't get me wrong. I'm a big Hammer fan, and the boys pull off a great homage, but... I was left wondering, until the movie clicked back into police comedy mode, what the hell it was doing there. It was one hell of a ten to fifteen minute non-sequitor. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but my bride was giving me that look. You know the look that says, "You said this was a comedy, not a horror movie" and "Boy, are you going to get it when we get home."

Still, Hot Fuzz was very good, despite the slip into Hammer territory and the over the top gore effects (Timothy Dalton's fate was my favorite). Check it out, it's worth it, just brace yourself for a different kind of flick.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You've all read my thoughts on comics, here's your chance to hear what I have to say. All Things Fun, a wonderful comics/gaming/toy store in West Berlin, New Jersey, has just started their new podcast. Check it out here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Strange Confrontation

"Strange Confrontation" - my comic book review of New Avengers #29 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Leinil Yu is now online at Avengers Forever.

You can check it out here if you're into that sort of thing.

Enjoy. And if you'd like to discuss the review, the issue or anything Avengers-related, check out the Avengers Forever Forum.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lady and the Bandit

Stingaree (1934) - Richard Dix plays the classic charming Ausssie outlaw Stingeree to Irene Dunn’s feisty wannabe opera singer in this forgotten William Wellman directed flick. The dashing swashbuckler and highwayman, Stingaree, had appeared in two previous silents in 1915 (of which this is a remake) and 1917. He was one of two serial characters created by screenwriter E.W. Hornung (brother-in-law to Arthur Conan Doyle), along with Raffles, the amateur cracksman, who was also brought to film and later television. This movie features a wonderful Max Steiner score as well as an appearance by a young Andy Devine, Mary Boland as the monster who treats Dunn as her slave, and the talents of the always incomparable and endlessly entertaining Una O’Connor. Well worth hunting down and checking out.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"The Comeback"

When you come right down to it, reality television is really about voyeurism, and not nice voyeurism either. Just to get something straight up front - I'm one of the guilty here because I love it, so it's not like I'm accusing anyone. But, folks who watch reality television enjoy the misfortune of others.

Think about it. Most of the reality shows out there are, at their core, about us watching others crash and burn. And crash and burn brilliantly and dramatically. Yeah, that's entertainment. ;-) Here's a show that plays specifically to that viewer factor.

HBO's "The Comeback" is not a reality show but it pretends to be one oh so well. The concept revolves around an aging former sitcom star, Valerie Cherish, played wonderfully and sadly by Lisa Kudrow of "Friends" fame. Cherish is followed constantly and invasively by a reality show camera crew while she's trying to make a comeback to sitcom television. Her attempts to make herself look good are tragic, bittersweet and hapless. You really feel for her in a world she once ruled but now shuns her.

"The Comeback" plays up every angle of network television manipulating everything behind the scenes in both reality and sitcom television, and in short is both a terrific satire and commentary on the industry. Kudrow is at her best when she reveals for very brief moments that she knows what's going on. Great show, definitely check it out.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Fabian Nicieza, writer for Thunderbolts

Avengers Forever Chat Room

Thursday, April 5, 2007

US Eastern Standard Time: 10:00 PM
US Central Standard Time: 9:00 PM
US Mountain Standard Time: 8:00 PM
US Pacific Standard Time: 7:00 PM

The chat session will be in an organized format where in the first 30 minutes or so Fabian will be interviewed/asked questions by the chat room host which will then be followed by questions from the chat room so that you folks can ask him questions directly, one on one.

If you plan on attending the chat or even don't plan on attending but will be reading the transcript afterwards and would like to ask Fabian Nicieza a question please feel free to to send them on in to Avengers Forever!

Because Fabian Nicieza, the Thunderbolts and the Avengers Forever Website rock!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Very Very Very Quickies

My Big Fat Independent Movie - This is a great premise with some genuine funny parts (Amelie meeting El Mariachi being my personal favorite) but like most flicks that spoof other flicks, it goes on much too long. Would've made about a dozen hilarious five-minute skits on "Saturday Night Live" or "MadTV" - unfortunately it's a eighty-minute movie. If you liked (or disliked) Swingers, Amelie, Memento, Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, you'll get more than a laugh or two out of this one.

Ringmaster - I think if we didn't have to see the bits with Jerry Springer as anything but the host of the trash talk show in question, this flick would be a lot better. The stories of the people who want to be on the show are tight and interesting, and a disturbing window into our world. See it for the freaks, not Jerry.

The Invisible Man - I recently re-watched this 1933 classic and one thing stood out for me - the violence. Anyone who is on a weekly bitch session against "24" for their depictions of torture and violence ought to cast an eye on this one. Still a classic though, any way you cut it. And Una O'Connor rocks my world.

Flight 93 - This is not only a must-see movie, it's well made, well-written and well-acted. Anyone who doesn't at least shed one tear isn't paying attention. I lost it when the operator prayed with one of the passengers, and didn't stop there.

Just Friends - This one from 2005 is another slob comedy with a heart. The guys behind the first flick on today's entry could've learned something from it. Harmless fun and romance that doesn't insult you... too much.

And anyone who gets the picture reference, go treat yourself to a cookie. ;-)