Friday, June 29, 2012

Progressive/Offensive Revisited

Recently I reviewed two movies, Disfigured and Blubberella, citing one as very very good and the other as one of the worst films I've ever seen. You can just guess which is which. Or you can read those reviews here.

When I was promoting the blog entry on my social networks, the star of Blubberella, actress Lindsay Hollister, called me out on Twitter, first for not mentioning that she was in both movies, and then just generally making me feel bad about my scathing review of that film.

Blubberella is still bad, and still a contender for worst movie ever, but perhaps I had been too harsh on Ms. Hollister. The truth is I am familiar with her work and have seen her turn in wonderful performances dozens of times on television. Maybe that was one of the things that made her appearance in Blubberella so upsetting.

As bad as she was in the film, and as bad as the flick was - Lindsay Hollister is still a terrific actress. Just in other stuff. You're off my hate list, Lindsay, just don't tell me there's a Blubberella 2 in the works, deal?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 6-27-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! - the area's best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Blue Lantern) Evans, Allison (No-Marvel Girl) Eckel, and Glenn (Doctor Mist) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week's episode includes: Ed's solo project, ATF! announcements, Teen Titans #10, Batman Inc. #2, All-Star Western #10, Superman #10, Justice League plain and Dark, Aquaman #10, Batman Dark Knight #10, Green Lantern New Guardians #10, Voodoo #10, Before Watchmen Nite Owl #1, Spider-Man vs. the Lizard everywhere, Spider-Men #2, X-Men Legacy #269, Juggalossus in X-Men #31, Glenn's thoughts on AvsX, how to tour Wakanda, The Cap and the Bold, Ultimates #12, free card, Star Trek and Doctor Who, Hit-Girl #1, Voltron #6, Buffy stuff, Archie the serial groom, and the trades of the week. Schism.

Also for the rest of the summer, our special kids comics segment returns, featuring Thomas giving us the ten year old's perspective. The discussion included: Happy Birthday, Thomas, Sonic Universe #41, Robert Kirkman's Super Dinosaur #11, Superman Family Adventures #2 by Art Baltazar and Franco, Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #3, Courtney Crumrin #3, Adventure Time #5, mystery box toys, and the unicorn with the kryptonite heart.

Be sure to check out the cra-zay new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, as well as running the show from behind the scenes.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

Playing bass for Ed's new solo project... Michael Anthony!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pies and Prejudice

From my friend C.L. on the Facebook: "My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer Stanley aka Ellery Adams. She lost her sister-in-law to complications following a C-section earlier today. She is a great writer and this is the first in her new Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery series. She will be too busy with family to promote her new book, so her friends are trying to get the word out. You can help by asking for it at your local library or ordering from your favorite book store."

Here's the official description for Pies and Prejudice: "When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

"Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name."

Pies and Prejudice is available at your local bookstore, or at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Bio from her website: "Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children's books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Men in Black 3

Men in Black 3 ~ This movie beats the odds several ways. First it's fun and entertaining, which for a sequel, let alone a second sequel, let alone a second sequel almost fifteen years after the original, and a decade after the lackluster first sequel. To be a good movie, and do well, against those odds is definitely an achievement.

The Men in Black concept is based on the brief and rarely seen Malibu Comics feature by Lowell Cunningham, which is in turn based on the ufology myth of the men in black from the government who cover up alien encounters. Through three movies now, Tommy Lee Jones as senior agent K and Will Smith as junior agent J have protected Earth from the scum of the universe as part of a top secret organization who do what you would expect them to do - kicking alien ass and erasing everyone's memories of said ass-kicking.

The films have been successful mainly because of Jones and Smith's almost perfect extreme buddy cop chemistry, as well as the sharp humor of the writing, and of course the cutting edge special effects. Even with all that, the first sequel was a weak entry almost ensuring MIB3 would not happen, but here we are.

The plot of Men in Black 3 bucks the odds even further, as it's about time travel. The common thinking in Hollywood, even in scifi movies, is that time travel makes people's heads hurt. Only when it is done well, like in the Back to the Future or Terminator series, does it come off successfully with mainstream audiences. MIB3 does it as well.

An alien villain, Boris the Animal (played by Jemaine Clement from HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" although you'd never guess it), escapes prison and goes back in time to 1969 to kill K before he can put him in jail. K vanishes from the present, so J must go to 1969 to save him and put time right. And here's where we hit the third odds-breaker. The younger K, played by Josh Brolin, is Will Smith's partner for most of the movie. His impression of Tommy Lee Jones as K is dead on, and half the entertainment of the flick. The chemistry is intact despite a new actor in an old role.

This movie is so much fun, captures the spirit of the original, and covers new territory while being funny, exciting, and fresh. The only thing that could have made this better would have been a Will Smith theme song. Recommended. I wouldn't have thought I would say this, but bring on Men in Black 4.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 6-20-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! - the area's best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Star Wars) Evans, Allison (Mars Attacks) Eckel, and Glenn (The Wedding Planner) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week's episode includes: The Walking Dead #99, and of course #100 as well, Mars Attacks #1, pin-up covers from Zenescope, Chew #27 Second Helping, Ed's indies including Star Wars, TMNT and Crossed, Before Watchmen: The Comedian #1, DC Universe Presents #10, Supergirl #10, Blue Beetle #10, Birds of Prey #10, Red Hood and the Outlaws #10, Catwoman #10, Astonishing X-Men #51, the AvsX titles of the week, Phoenix fashion sense, the honey badger X-books, New Mutants and Defenders, the rest of the Marvels, Allison's kids comics, games, toys and trades.

Be sure to check out the rockin' new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, as well as running the show from behind the scenes.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

No Canadians were harmed in the taping of this video.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Black Cat

The Black Cat ~ This 1934 film, ignoring the many others that use the same title (there have to be at least eight that I can think of, right off the top of my head), is the first onscreen meeting between Universal horror stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, the first of eight Universal horrors to feature them both.

In a futuristic mansion built on the site of a World War I fortress, the two rivals engage in a battle of wits, chess (yes, chess), and torture, both physical and psychological. Caught in the middle are a newlywed couple, dropped into the conflict with circumstances almost hilariously similar to Brad and Janet's in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And much like that film, horror and hilarity ensues, but without the musical numbers. Apparently, Boris tortured Bela on this site during the war, and Bela is back for vengeance. The houseguests, among others, are pawns in this game of cat and mouse.

Boris Karloff's Hjalmar Poelzig is a subtly sinister Satan-worshipping priest in the style of Aleister Crowley, but with the fashion sense of the wicked queen from Snow White and the Huntsman. It truly is a contest of 'what will he wear next?' in this flick. His height, and his physical presence, are much scarier than his calm demeanor, and the effect, for me at least, makes him seem even more frightening here than in his Frankenstein roles.

Bela Lugosi makes a worthy opponent for Karloff here as Dr. Vitus Werdegast. Bela, more so than any other role I've seen him in, puts in a fabulous performance. In fact, he steals the film. I have always thought him to be an over-actor, relying on his accent to excuse him from any real work, but here he is really quite good. I was impressed.

Also starring in this Universal horror is the house and stage set itself. Art deco was very popular in the 1930s and it was made into a starring character as the backdrop here. As the drama unwinds, even in the slow parts, one cannot help but marvel at the very expensive (for then) sets, a relic of a lost time in architecture.

The film itself is supposedly based on the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name, or at least it is, according to the credits. Director Edgar G. Ulmer later admitted in an interview they used the title to get publicity for the movie. It should be mentioned this flick was quite violent for the time, went through several cuts, and was even banned in certain European countries. While the most successful Universal film of that year, this has become a mostly forgotten film, but definitely worth a watch for horror fans and film fans alike.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jacqui Naylor - Lucky Girl

Lucky Girl ~ Sometimes the cosmos drops opportunities and coincidences in your lap. This is one of those times. Just a few days after discovering the work of Jacqui Naylor on my own, the producers of a documentary about the San Francisco-based jazz singer/songwriter approached me about reviewing that new film. I jumped at the chance.

Lucky Girl, subtitled A Portrait of Jacqui Naylor, follows "Naylor and her band for two years on the road and in the studio while they prepared new music for her eighth album, also titled Lucky Girl. The documentary chronicles Naylor on tour to several jazz clubs including Seattle’s Jazz Alley, San Francisco’s Rrazz Room, and the Istanbul Jazz Center in Turkey. Replete with performances, songwriting sessions, and behind- the-scene moments, the film transports the viewer through a series of musical montages and local flavors. Interviews with long-time band members and others close to Naylor give an intimate look at the life of this respected jazz artist who is also a practicing Buddhist and long-time San Francisco resident." That's the official press release talking there, and it pretty much tells the tale, but now it's my turn.

As I said, I came across Ms. Naylor on my own, before I ever heard of Lucky Girl. My musical tastes are very eclectic. I'm crazy all over the board, from eighties metal to seventies story songs to old school rap to funk to new wave to punk to soundtracks to nerdcore - I love it all, but what I really love most are covers. I am a sucker for a good cover tune. That's how I found Jacqui Naylor, through her covers. She does wonderful jazzy covers of, among others, the Stones, Talking Heads, the Kinks and even Rod Stewart. I absolutely love her mash up of "My Funny Valentine" with AC/DC's "Back in Black" behind it. And then there's her version of REM's "Losing My Religion."

Killer, isn't it? That's why I immediately agreed to review the documentary. I already knew Jacqui Naylor was something special. And almost like a gateway drug, the doc opens with the song in all its quiet thunder. Welcome to her world.

In Lucky Girl, we have the usual musical origin stories here, the how it happeneds, and the behind the scenes workings of artistic collaboration - all presented as an experience rather than just a documentary. But there is also Jacqui putting her own spin on things as well. She does what she calls 'acoustic smashing,' the technique referenced above with "My Funny Valentine" that has become her trademark. She feels if she has to do the jazz standards, she should make them her own. I love it. The effect is especially fierce on Jacqui's Christmas album, Smashed for the Holidays.

The doc is unlike most music documentaries. I mean, the structure is the same. There are interviews interspersed with the music and performances, but there seems to be a more heartfelt and almost celebratory atmosphere. The musicians and crew Jacqui works with are her family. Her husband Art Khu is also a musician and collaborator and 'real' family. There is much love here. We see Jacqui in her home, in the studio, on the road, and there is always love and passion.

This really is a must see documentary. If you don't know Jacqui Naylor, you will. If you don't like jazz, you will. It will sneak by and hug you lovingly. I guarantee you'll end up doing what I did as I watched Lucky Girl - hitting pause, and going to iTunes to purchase the great music you're hearing. This is sooo recommended. The DVD drops on Tuesday, and if you get the chance, go see her on tour.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tomorrow Is Free RPG Day

Free RPG Day 2012 is tomorrow - Saturday, June 16th. All Things Fun! will be participating in the event at noon and at 4 PM. Entry is free! Here are the details:

Come out and join us this Saturday, 6/16 for Free RPG Day at All Things Fun! We'll be hosting a slew of Role Playing Game events in support of this worldwide celebration of Role Playing Games (RPGs).

Doors open at 11 AM and we'll have a limited supply of FREE items (limit 2 items per person while supplies last). And then starting at Noon and 4 PM we'll be running a number of different Role Playing Games including: Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, DC Comics Adventures, Cosmic Patrol, Shadowrun and more. Entry into these events is also FREE!

We will also be running raffles for some cool RPG Day goodies during the day.

So, if you've been curious or if you'd like to check out some of the Role Playing Games this is your chance.

Come on out to All Things Fun! and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 6-13-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! - the area's best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed Evans, Allison Eckel, and Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week's episode includes: Free RPG Day, Grimm Fairy Tales for the week, Ed's indies, Invincible #92, Incorruptible #30, Green Lantern #10, the new HeroClix this week, Ravagers #2, Superboy #10, Demon Knights #10, Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #1 by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Connor, Frankenstein #10 by Jeff Lemire, whole lotta Robins, Batman #10, Rob Liefield does everything, Avengers and X-Men books of the week, lunar learnin', Juggalossus, various other Marvels, Spider-Men #1, Allison's kids comics, and Ed's trades.

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, as well as running the show from behind the scenes.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Disfigured ~ This quirky independent film takes a look at perspective when an anorexic woman who sees herself as fat tries to join a fat acceptance group. A friendship develops between her and one of the group's founders that makes everyone learn a bit about themselves in the end. Disfigured is an important film about body image written and directed by Glenn Gers, and it's highly recommended. I really liked this film.

Blubberella ~ On the opposite end of the spectrum is this mess. Just when I thought Uwe Boll could not sink lower, could not possibly make worse movies than he already made, comes … this. Lindsey Hollister, who should know better, plays a World War II superhero in the shade of Blade who kills Nazis because they are depleting her supply of men on JDate.

This is just horrible, and despite being labeled a comedy, there are no laughs. It is offensive, and offensive to everyone, from overweight people obviously to every possible minority, including Holocaust victims. There's even blackface in it. Hollister and Ron Howard's brother's Clint have made the bottom of my hate list for being in this piece of crap. At least Uwe Boll plays Hitler here, a role so suited to his filmmaking abilities.

As good as Disfigured is, Blubberella is bad. This is a major contender for worst film ever made.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender ~ Long before a friend turned me on to the beautifully animated TV series, I saw large chunks of this movie while on a cruise. You know how television on a cruise ship is like half a dozen movies on a continuous loop? This was one of them. I was unimpressed.

At the time, I had no foreknowledge of "Avatar" or bending or any of the mythology involved. I was bored by many undialogued scenes, cool special effects but without substance, and what seemed like a lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo and clever subtext that I just didn't understand. Pretentious was the word I was looking for. And I was bored by it. If memory serves, I actually found Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time more interesting.

Of course the other factor at work here is M. Night Shyamalan. I love M. Night. I even have loved M. Night after it was uncool to love, or even like, him any more. When the critics turned on him and left to drown in low box office and derivative stories I loved the guy. I even dug Lady in the Water, but even I was let down by The Happening. And though he only directed, produced, and wrote the screenplay for this one, I was hopeful this would not continue the critic's curse. It sure didn't seem like it from what I saw however.

In the pre-"Legend of Korra" excitement, and having also watched a dozen or so episodes of the original series too, I decided to give the feature film another shot. The first thing that struck me about The Last Airbender is the somberness of it, the almost lack of humor. That said, it is respectful of the source material, but almost too much so. It's like M. Night wants so badly to give it a serious treatment, he forgets it's a story about kids, he forgets to have fun. This is just not about childlike wonderment, it's about being a kid too, despite the world it takes place in.

The Last Airbender also has something in common with many of the films made from Stephen King books. If you have read the books, you already know what the characters are thinking and feeling so you dismiss any absence of same on the screen. This also works with this movie, having seen the source material. This is why it felt so empty the first time I saw it, but on more recent viewing, I understood it.

The two hour movie is essentially shorthand, or Cliff's Notes if you will, of the fifty plus episodes of the animated series, or the first third of them at least. M. Night strives to keep a lot of it in, even when it has lost its context. It's a lot of tell over show, and any writer will explain its the other way around. Much is lost by M. Night being meticulous. Without knowing ahead of time what is what, the film becomes a convoluted mess.

Despite all that, the second time around I enjoyed the film quite a bit. There are some wonderful visuals, some that I wouldn't have thought this director capable of, but again, it's not the animated series, but it tries in its own way. And in that way, The Last Airbender is a great companion piece to "Avatar," just not alone.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Avatar and the Legend of Korra

Those who know me well know that I struggle with insomnia. Last year when I purchased an iPhone, coupled with the insomnia, I started to develop a bad habit - watching entire runs of TV shows while I sat awake in bed. After I had finished up "Nip/Tuck," I asked on Twitter what folks thought I should watch next.

Other than things I had already seen, I got all the usual stuff thrown at me like "Buffy," "House" and "Babylon 5." Sigh. Friend and Vidcast partner Allison made a suggestion that at first I thought was odd - "Avatar The Last Airbender." I'm not much of an anime guy. Other than the old old school stuff like "Speed Racer" and "Kimba," the only anime I've ever been into was "One Piece." But I respect Allison's opinion a lot, despite appearances on the Vidcast, so I gave it a try.

I was more than surprised, I was blown away. I was introduced to a fantasy world in which some people have the ability to 'bend' the elements, in other words, to control the earth, the air, the water, and the fire. One being, the Avatar, has the ability to bend all four, and is basically proclaimed the savior and leader of people by example. In this world, the Avatar has been absent for over a hundred years and is released from an icy tomb. Once free, he must finish his training and grow up. The young boy Avatar and his friends together defeat the Fire Empire that has ruled much of the world with a fascist regime.

Along the way, I fell in love with the characters, the story, both episodic and overarching, and the beautiful backgrounds and animation. It is an amazing series that I can not heap enough praise upon. I was mesmerized and devoured well over fifty episodes in just under two weeks. Yeah, it was that good. But then it was over.

Imagine my surprise recently when I learned that Nickolodeon, the network who made "Avatar," was working on a sequel by the same folks. I was thrilled. Several weeks ago "The Legend of Korra" began airing. The story picks up almost a century later. The Avatar has brought a new age to the world, one of prosperity and enlightenment. Republic City is the capital of much of the world, a world in the midst of a cultural and industrial revolution. Into this turn of the century steampunk world of Republic City comes Korra the spunky new Avatar in training.

The creators could have gone the easy route, a rehash of the original series, a proven formula that worked, but they went different. This is a whole new spectrum of the concept. Korra is in a cityscape, she's a bending athlete, and the world is in upheaval between the benders and the non-benders. Much like "Avatar" before it, I love this show, and can't recommend it enough. This is an amazing show. Watch it.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bob Welch 1945-2012

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer Bob Welch was found dead today in Nashville. It was an apparent suicide based on a note found and from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.

Bob Welch was with Fleetwood Mac in the early seventies before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band, and before Mac's triumphant Rumors album. In fact Buckingham and Nicks were his replacements. Throughout 1977 Welch battled Mac on the charts with his album French Kiss featuring the singles "Ebony Eyes," "Hot Love, Cold World," and the ballad, formerly a Mac song, "Sentimental Lady."

Legal troubles with Fleetwood Mac probably led to his being left out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies when the band was inducted in 1998. In recent years, Welch had experimented with jazz and also released remixes of his earlier work. Rumors indicated Welch had undisclosed health issues before his death.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 6-6-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! - the area's best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Allison (Arrowette) Eckel, and Glenn (Dial H) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here! The much-missed Ed Evans will be back next week.

Discussion featured in this special Ed-less episode includes: What day is it?, Allison takes on Green Arrow, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1, Earth 2 #2, anarchy in the DC, the Batman books, Dial H #2, G.I. Combat #2, Fairest #4, the AvsX report of the week, other Marvels, X-O, Harbinger and the story of Valiant, the rest of the indies, Allison's kids comics, and trades and toys.

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes, even when she's on vacation.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

Ray Bradbury Is Dead

Ray Bradbury is dead. That is the news I woke up to this morning. I still can't believe it is real.

Recently, with so many pop culture deaths, I have had to write more than a few memorial pieces here on the blog. A dear friend told me just a few weeks ago I was very good at it. I would like to do the same here for this man I admire so much, but I can't. I just can't. I have no words. Other folks will have to do it for me, as they have done here.

Again, I have no words. People often talk of the day that Bill Haley died, or when John Lennon was shot, or when Kurt Cobain took his own life, as the day the music died. This is the day of no words.

The man was an inspiration, a genius, a forefather, an icon, perhaps one of the best writers of our time. I could read Bradbury's work over and over again and always get enjoyment and wonder, and still learn from it on each reading. His words made me think. I could say that Harlan Ellison and Stephen King made me want to write, but Ray Bradbury made me want to read.

Ray Bradbury is dead. Today is a day without words.

Monday, June 04, 2012


Immortals ~ Okay, I've admit it. I've had this DVD sitting on my coffee table for at least two months. I'm not lazy or careless. It's just that with Netflix's streaming service to my iPhone, my Nook, my laptop, and the PS3... well, the snail mail discs sort of get forgotten. Immortals sure did, like I said, for at least two months. So if you're still doing it by mail on Netflix, and have been waiting for Immortals, yeah, it's me, I've got it. I'm a bad Netflixter. I'll send it back shortly, I promise.

At this point I don't even remember much about it. I know it's mythology based. I know it was released theatrically on 11-11-11, a hard date to forget, and that the date morphed into the title in the previews. I also know it's got a lot of motion capture in it like 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. Beyond that, I don't remember much, let alone why I put it on my Netflix queue.

Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes and more into the film, it is dark, and boring. Yeah, I know. They have taken something that I love, mythology, and made it boring. Adding to the difficulty of the task, they have fictionalized it, added state of the art special effects, and made mythology boring. Although, to say they are really sticking to the myths in question would be a kindness. Loosely based is the broad term here. Did I mention how dark the film is? At times it was almost like a radio production.

I was pleased to see John Hurt for the short time he was on screen. He was playing the old guy, you know the Hollywood star of yesterday they always have in these bad myth movies. He at least acts. I am now very worried for the upcoming Man of Steel film, because the cardboard cut out that plays Theseus here in Immortals is cast as Superman. That film could be worse than the last one based on Henry Cavill's performance here.

I didn't recognize Mickey Roarke until halfway through the movie. Stephen Dorff equally phones it in. I guess the actors thought that because no one would actually be able to see this movie because it was so dark, they could just phone it in. I didn't like Immortals, even a little bit. I didn't hate it, I was just bored. I guess it's good for a nap.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

RIP Richard Dawson

Television and film actor, singer and Emmy-winning game show host Richard Dawson passed away last night due to complications of esophageal cancer. He was 79.

Besides appearing in numerous television shows, including a six-year run on "Hogan's Heroes," Dawson is probably best known as the host of "Family Feud," where his friendly attitude toward the ladies resulted in what is estimated 20,000 kisses. Dawson eventually even married one of the female contestants.

Besides "Feud," he was also a frequent panelist on "Match Game," and his most infamous film role was his last in 1987 as the evil game show host Killian in The Running Man. We have lost one of television's most beloved entertainers.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman ~ I was really unsure what to expect when I went to see this flick. What I did not expect was to be one of the few males in the audience. Much like when I saw Wolverine, this was a chick flick judging by the audience. I don't want to be sexist, but I'm guessing it was all about Chris Hemsworth, especially based on the number of negative comments I heard leaving the theater by women angry that he did not take his shirt off. He was pretty good in the film although he didn't really have much to do with Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart eating up the scenery the way they did.

Theron rocks the house as Ravenna the Evil Queen in this reimagining of the Snow White story. This is her film, no doubt, even though it really should be Stewart's or Hemsworth's. And I know it's early, but wait until Oscar time, I think we'll see a nod for costumes and make-up for this flick. Charlize wears some outfits in this flick, she's like Cher from hell. I loved it.

Kristen Stewart is a major problem for me here. She's never impressed me, even in the Twilight flicks where she is supposed to rule. My major problem here? The whole idea of the Queen asking the mirror who the prettiest, and the mirror picking Snow White over the Evil Queen. I don't buy it even for a second. I'm not being subjective here, but there is just no way Stewart beats Theron in this movie in the looks department. It's just not believable.

I liked the dwarves, in that they were played by well-known actors. Cool to see Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, and Toby Jones among them. They were CGIed into dwarven bodies a la Lord of the Rings, which some of this movie resembles, and not in a good way. On the other hand, part of me kinda wishes however they would have gone with little people actors like they did in Mirror Mirror than doing it this way. Seems like they're putting little people out of work, and in a worse light, it kinda feels like white folks putting on black face, ya know?

There are a great many things to enjoy about this film. One of them is the dark forest which is scarier by far than any depiction of any dark forest I've seen cinematically ever. And of course I loved the song over the closing credits, "Breath of Life" by Florence + The Machine, for once a perfect song matched to a flick.

But then there are things that infuriate me as well, like the loose ends and unanswered questions, regarding the troll and the mirror for instance. There was more to tell, perhaps we'll see it in the deleted scenes of the DVD maybe. I also disliked the big LotR battle at the end, this didn't seem to be that kind of movie. And that's the problem, I don't think the folks behind the scenes knew what kind of movie they wanted to make.

In the end, it's visually stunning, but otherwise meh. Definitely worth seeing, but maybe more worth waiting for video release or OnDemand.