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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Biff Bam Pop!'s 31 Days of Horror


If you've been to the Biff Bam Pop! website, you know that other than the regular pop culture features, we're all big horror fans there. Special for this month of October, and culminating today on Halloween is 31 Days of Horror.

31 Days of Horror takes a look at the past and present in horror movies, both in front of and behind the camera, horror television, horror comics, and even horror videogames.

Highlights include reviews of The Shining, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Monster Squad, 28 Days Later, Freaks, Night of the Living Dead, The Ring, Sinister, Nightbreed, Prometheus, Paranormal Activity 4, Evil Dead, 30 Ghosts, Tomb of Dracula, Dexter The Game, "666 Park Avenue," episode by episode analysis of the new seasons of "American Horror Story" and "The Walking Dead," and interviews with Danielle Harris and Richard Crouse. It's the best way to celebrate Halloween!

Oh, and if you just want to read my stuff on the site, I'm here. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teeth


Teeth ~ Okay, warnings up front. This movie, and this review, is not for the faint of heart, easily offended or shocked, or those with zero sense of humor. Teeth is a black horror comedy with strong sexual elements and horrific visuals. For many of you, there's nothing to see here, move along, come back next time.

For everybody else, you've been warned.

Vagina dentata. For those of us high school Latin students, and maybe for some of the more learned out there, this is an impossible and very scary concept. Especially for the men. It literally means 'vagina with teeth.' I'm spelling it out, not to be gross, but because some folks might not get it. I know at least one dentist who didn't and rented this movie only to be shocked out of her mind.

That's what this black horror comedy is about. Vagina dentata, and a girl with the condition who grows up in the shadow of a nuclear reactor. Ironically she's a believer in waiting until marriage, purity, and promise rings who is just starting to date. This is the subtle part, it gets graphic later.

Played by Jess Weixler, the acting goes between cardboard cut out and Emmy level. She's excellent as a teenage girl but when she should be serious she looks like she's about to giggle uncontrollably. John Hensley from "Nip/Tuck" is also in there as her creepy step brother, and as fans of that show know, creepy is what Hensley does best.

Teeth for the first forty-five minutes could be an after school special, but then the would-be boyfriend forces himself on her, and the hilarity and horror begins. And as I mentioned at the top of this review, it's not for the faint of heart.

Now while just as ridiculous and graphic as One-Eyed Monster, another film in this vein (I am so so sorry), it never sinks to that level of silliness or crudity. Teeth, like most good horror movies, takes itself pretty seriously, despite the subject matter. Fun at some points, horrific at others, Teeth is definitely worth a look for distinguishing genre fans.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Girl


The Girl ~ Wow, what a piece of crap. That's what I'm tempted to say about HBO's pseudo Lifetime movie of the week about Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren, The Girl. The story is obviously one-sided, vengeful, and is about as fast and loose with facts as a Presidential candidate on the losing side of a national debate.

Here are the facts. Hitchcock was one creepy dude, and a control freak, but was a loyal husband and one of our greatest directors. He definitely had a thing for blondes. And he certainly treated Tippi Hedren like crap, both with scenes he made her shoot and not letting her out of her contract. He might have made advances on her as she alleges, or she simply may have just been difficult to work with and he wanted to hurt her career. There are cases for either option, but The Girl is simply Tippi's revenge filled side.

All of that out of the way, Sienna Miller is an adequate Tippi Hedren, suitably mediocre for the real actress. Toby Jones, on the other hand, is absolutely stunning as Hitchcock. Much like his Truman Capote in Infamous, Jones' Hitch is hypnotic. It's also a fascinating look at how The Birds and Marnie as movies may have been made. Again, this is a matter of perspective, and who is telling the story. The nice thing about making a movie about events that happened fifty years ago is it's not easy to find folks to disagree with what's truth and what's not.

The story of Marnie is used as a plot device in The Girl. I really wonder if screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes actually understood what Marnie was really about before she used it here as Hitch's revenge on Hedren. It's plausible but I think unlikely. The film's last words, "Marnie is now hailed as Hitchcock's final masterpiece." Wow. Really? Again it's a matter of history being written by the victors, I suppose, or those who live the longest.

The Girl is not for anyone with a good memory, a sense of history, or who is a Hitchcock fan. I am reminded of Oliver Stone's JFK and Nixon where we have scenes where everyone involved is dead, so who knows really what happened in that situation. That said, like all HBO productions, it is top tier television, just in my opinion, short on facts.

The Girl is worth seeing for the great performances of the actors, nothing more. This is simply Tippi Hedren's revenge on Hitchcock. I wonder what fellow blonde and Hitchcock actress Grace Kelly would have had to say about The Girl?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arrow: Lone Gunmen


The third episode of "Arrow" begins with a bang, the bang of assassin Deadshot getting to one of Arrow's targets before him. Deadshot is of course not in costume, except for his trademark eye scope. Instead he is given the rather creepy motif of tattooing his victims' names into his body. Creepy. And limiting. Eventually you will run out of space, and places you can reach easily with a tattoo needle.

The geek in me loved the shoutouts to Corto Maltese, Markovia, and especially Big Belly Burger - nice, it's like the little touches they used to have in the "Flash" TV series two decades ago. Speaking of interesting drop-ins, seeing Felicity Smoak from the old Firestorm comics was out of left field, but good to see her, and good to know the writers are geeks like us. I guess if we can't have Oracle or Chloe, Felicity is an excellent sub.

An annoyance point - much like The Blur over in "Smallville," what is this resistance to calling our protagonists by their correct names? It's bad enough the show is called "Arrow" but now the police are calling him 'The Hood.' Is the jump really that hard to call the guy in green using green arrows... Green Arrow? The name has worked for over seventy-five years through several different incarnations.

Stephen Amell's chest continues its starring role in the series, and I loved him climbing the building to find bullets. Also continuing are our subplots, some starting to get stale like Laurel's wishy-washiness and Thea's partying, some heating up like the island flashbacks and Diggle's discovery of course. I have to wonder, could the island be the site of some sort of 'most dangerous game'?

I don't want a Commissioner Gordon dynamic, or cliche, but I love the begrudging trust Detective Lance is starting to have in Arrow. It was also cool to see Laurel show off some mad fighting skilz. If only we could get some small canary or bird reference... I am still digging Diggle but can't seem to find any warmth for Moira or Walter, maybe because they don't deserve any.

Something to think about for the hardcore geeks - could that Davis name on Arrow's list be old Green Arrow foe Doctor Davis?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 10-24-2012


The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! - the South Jersey/Philadelphia 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 special garter belt episode includes: the Amethyst Showcase edition, Superman #13, Scott Snyder's Talon #1, Firestorm #13, Batman The Dark Knight #13 (at least the first page), The Flash #13, All-Star Western #13, the secret phrase, Fables #122 and Bill Willingham, the return of a lost Avenger times two, AvsX babies, Gambit #4, final issues for Marvel, Hulk #15, Amazing Spider-Man #696, The Shadow #6 and Masks, KISS Meets the Phantom comics style, Zenescope comics of the week, Allison's kids comics, The Walking Dead magazine, and Ed's trades.


Be sure to check out the crazy new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, now featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and ATF! on YouTube (don't forget to subscribe to the channel while you're there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).

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

Don't forget to get your secret phrase in to feedback@allthingsfun.net by Monday!

And remember, Allison, it's Race Bannon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Tell-Tale Heart 1941


This is a one-reeler from 1941, adapting the classic Edgar Allan Poe tale, and starring Joseph Shildkraut and Roman Bohnen. Both performers are staggeringly brilliant in their roles as the narrator and the old man, especially Bohnen who particularly frightening.

Whereas the original story is a monologue of madness, this Doane Hoag screenplay is a slightly updated full drama with dialogue. This is a sad state of affairs as we can sympathize with our murderer, and his motivations, at first, something I think Poe never had in mind. It kinda really made me wonder what was in Hoag's head.

The use of the verb 'quit' in the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious in light if its use in Brokeback Mountain. It's very difficult to stay with this short film once that exchange is had. That said, and ignored, this is a brilliant twenty-odd minutes of atmospheric intensity.

The work as full drama over monologue transforms it incredibly into almost a completely different piece. Still the use of sound and imagery are phenomenal. Cudos to director Jules Dassin, who would go on to make The Canterville Ghost, Topkapi and Never on Sunday. Worth seeing if you get a chance. TCM has been showing it in between some features this month for Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lost Hits of the New Wave #19


"Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" by The Corgis



Here's a song I had never heard of until just a few months ago, making it, in my book at least, a real lost hit of the new wave.

Online friend and DJ Marilyn Thomas hipped me to it on the Facebook. Wow, you learn something every day. Well, it's on my Walkman, um, I mean iPod, now...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Arrow: Honor Thy Father

The initial excitement is over. Last time I was just thrilled that the show was as good as it was. I was expecting a train wreck. This week, I have questions, and observations.

Before seeing the show, and basing my opinions on just the previews, it seemed to me that Oliver Queen was a killer at least, and a serial killer at worse. From the opening of "Honor Thy Father," my fears may have been true. Ever get shot through the chest with an arrow? I haven't, but an easy guess says it's a kill shot. There's a couple on this rooftop. I also wonder if Oliver retrieves his arrows? How hard could it be for police to track down a guy buying lots of arrows in the city recently? Detective Lance already has several in his possession, what's the hold up?

As far as the serial killer angle, there is ritual, there is method, I can't help but wonder if Oliver is taking trophies. Was he disturbed a along or did Dad's suicide in front of him push him over the edge? Was it the island, or something that happened on the island? Did Deathstroke teach him to be a killer? Yeah, I went there. We all saw his mask in the first episode.

And then there's the problem with motivation. Sure, I understand trying to right his father's wrongs, but didn't Dad blow his brains out in front of him? That is an act of both cowardice and spiteful revenge. Obviously Dad didn't think much of Oliver to do that to me, so why is he trying to clean up Dad's mess for him? Something is just not clicking for me there.

Stephen Amell's scarred and tattooed body continues to be the star of the show. That's just based on the opinions of the straight women and gay men I know who are watching. And also by the serious amount of screen time Amell's bare torso gets. I'm also starting to warm to him as an actor. Amell is almost a likable and talented Matt Damon. He's no Justin Hartley, but really, who is?

I am continuing to enjoy the comics creator name drops in the scripts. Last week we had Judge Grell and Oliver's bodyguard Diggle, and this week we're introduced to one of Laurel's clients, a Miss Nocenti. For the record, Ann Nocenti is the current writer on DC Comics' Green Arrow ongoing title.

And I'm still loving Oliver's Batman-like disappearing act he keeps pulling on Diggle. And yeah, I am digging David Ramsey's Diggle. Good to finally see him in action this episode. Another thing I like is Oliver's internal dialogue. It's a comic book device which is fitting, but it's also pretty unique in the world of television. Nice. More, please.

Arrow's tagline of "You have failed this city." will get old quickly, and is already starting to in the second episode. The plot point that follows the line could get old real quick as well, much like the meteor freak of the week on "Smallville." I hope Dad's list of names is a short one.

This episode introduces Kelly Hu as China White from the comics. China White is the first villainess Green Arrow ever encounters, as she is running heroin from the island where Queen was shipwrecked. Here she's a Chinese Triad assassin, and a formidable adversary. The fight between her and Arrow is awesome.

I am also warming to Katie Cassidy as Laurel even though she's no Black Canary (or would that be just Canary?) yet, and Paul Blackthorne as her dad. His blame game act could get old quickly too though. But I am starting to like them both. And I am waiting patiently to see what turns Colin Donnell's Tommy Merlyn into Merlyn the Magician.

Okay, two episodes in and I'm hooked. Despite questions, fears, and reservations, I want more and can't wait 'til next week. Rumor is, next time, we get Deadshot. And speaking of villains from the comics, based on the symbol on Dad's notebook, could the mystery character John Barrowman will be playing be... Count Vertigo?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This Week's All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast


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

Co-hosts Ed (Chew Fester) Evans, Allison (One Marvel Girl) Eckel, and Glenn (I Know What You Did Last Silver Age) 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 special stolen thunder episode includes: Marvel NOW! Point One, Daredevil #19, Halloween Comic Fest, Captain Marvel #5, Avengers comics of the week, Hawkeye #3, the secret phrase, Chew #29, The Walking Dead #103, Godzilla Half-Century War #3, GI Joe A Real American Hero #183, Valiant Comics of the week, RPG comics, what's Allison's deal?, Zenescope and other indies, Sword of Sorcery #1, Justice League #13, Catwoman #13 and Ann Nocenti, DC Universe Presents #13, how to pronounce Braal, Supergirl #13, Masters of the Universe #3, Allison's kids comics, and Ed's trades.



Be sure to check out the sparkling new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, now featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and ATF! on YouTube (don't forget to subscribe to the channel while you're there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).

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

Don't forget to get your secret phrase in to feedback@allthingsfun.net by Monday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Arrow Pilot


The norm used to be for bringing a comic book to the small screen would be to change everything. Everyone fondly remembers "The Incredible Hulk" TV series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. You know the one without Rick Jones, Betty Ross, Glenn Talbot, General Ross, Gamma Base, or any Gamma Bombs. When you think about it, the show was more "The Fugitive" than the Hulk.

This was standard operating procedure though. The Justice League became the Super Friends. Bat-Mite turned green. Remember Rex Smith as the Daredevil in black who wore a mask with no eyeholes? How about the Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman?

Even the wildly successful "Smallville" changed many aspects of its source material. The joke used to be that "Smallville" had some names and concepts in common with old Superboy comics but everything else was different. In later seasons of the series one of the highlights was Green Arrow as played by Justin Hartley. The character proved so popular that the CW decided to give him his own similar "Smallville" themed series. The catch - it's not a spin-off, it's not Justin Hartley, and it's very different from both the source material and even "Smallville."

In "Arrow," despite Oliver Queen's outfit, car, and arrows being green, he's not Green Arrow, he's Arrow. The city he protects is Starling City, not Star City. And previews make him out to be more of a murderous vigilante than a superhero. Before viewing the pilot, friends had told me it was great, so I was willing to give it a shot, changes or not.

It's not that I don't love and miss Justin Hartley, but this is a different take on the character, and Stephen Amell slips seamlessly into this new Oliver Queen rule. Despite my misgivings, I was pulled into the "Arrow" pilot immediately, and not just by the Deathstroke mask on the beach. "Arrow" is a solid TV show with or without its comic book superhero origins. And it's an adult show, this is not going to be the teen soap opera that "Smallville" was the first few years.

A more complicated backstory and motivation is overlaid to Green Arrow's comics origin, and it works for 2012 television. I like it. Oh sure, there's great wink-wink stuff like his drug-using sister being nicknamed Speedy, the complicated relationship with Dinah Laurel Lance (Black Canary in the comics), and of course there is the prerequisite best friend who becomes arch-villain, Tommy Merlyn AKA Merlyn the Magician - but I would dig "Arrow" even without all that.

A warning for the kids, and the folks with kids, this is a pretty violent show. So don't be fooled just because it's based on a comic book, this is not for the younguns. That said, I'm looking forward to more "Arrow," and I hope you all are as well. I was refreshingly surprised.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Take the Poll


I keep forgetting that Blogger has a polling system. As long as we have it, we might as well use it, right?

As you can see by looking to the immediate right, the question up for polling right now is: What is your favorite new or returning TV series this season?

Your choices include, in no particular order or preference: The Waking Dead, Dexter, Homeland, Treme, Elementary, The Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Revolution, Castle, Glee, Person of Interest, Survivor, Fringe, Vegas, Arrow, Copper, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, or 666 Park Avenue. And if your choice isn't reflected there, please click on Other? and let me know what you think, deal?

Friday, October 12, 2012

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? ~ This 1962 campy horror classic from director Robert Aldrich is immortal in the annals of Hollywood. It's been quoted, parodied (my fave a bit for the MTV Video Awards with Madonna and Courtney Love), remade (one with the Redgrave sisters in 1991, best avoided), shown in revival houses for decades, re-enacted on stage, and is the only pairing of two of the greatest and most infamous Oscar-winning actresses of all time. This film is legend.

Rumors of a Joan Crawford/Bette Davis feud had been fueled for decades by publicists and tabloid journalists so this feature with both of them, in antagonistic roles made for lots of press, even with both actresses in the twilight of their careers. Both had been making B-grade horror flicks of a fashion so a teaming in this manner seemed right. And additionally, both women had a reputation for sometimes taking roles over the top, so a story in which over the top was the rule was indeed perfect.

In the film, alcoholic former child actress Jane Hudson takes care of her paraplegic celebrated actress sister Blanche Hudson. Jane does so because she believes she's the one who crippled her sister in a long ago accident that ended both their careers. Now years later with the advent of television, Blanche's movies are getting a bit of a revival, causing jealousy and insanity in Jane. The fun and campy horror only begins there.

Despite the over the top acting of both ladies, it is Bette that rises to the top as the superior actress. While Joan just does a parody of her best melodramatic roles, Bette rocks the screen with what could be camp, but more often than not shows as true performance as a woman snapping from a psychotic break.

Of course, despite the two women involved, the point is not the acting, but the fun of these two trapped on the same screen. This is almost as good as Dracula vs. Frankenstein or King Kong vs. Godzilla. Sometimes Joan's passive/aggressive technique is every bit as nasty as Bette's straight out hostility. Truly a battle of giants, this is a fight that must be seen.

Victor Buono stands out from the rest of the small cast, spotlighting his mild-mannered persona as opposed to his frequently seen villainous side. Director Robert Aldritch wisely chose, at Bette Davis' insistence, that the film be shot in black and white, adding to the horrific atmosphere.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, for both good and bad, is one of my favorite movies. I love it as the quirky horror it was meant to be, and I also love it as the camp comedy it has become over the years. It is my second favorite to MST3K to after The Rocky Horror Picture Show and before the also Joan Crawford themed Mommy Dearest. I love it, and watch it whenever I see that it's on. Recommended.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Atlas Shrugged: Part I


Atlas Shrugged: Part I ~ There is a small subset of science fiction writers whose work has reached out into areas so not in the fiction arena. There's L. Ron Hubbard, a pulp, sci-fi, fantasy and adventure hack who set out purposefully to create his own religion - the notorious Scientology. And then there's Ayn Rand, whose own personal madness fueled a more philosophical movement - Objectivism. All I have to say is thank God Philip K. Dick never decided to branch out into religion, philosophy or politics.

I loved Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead," "Atlas Shrugged," and even her lesser known work "Anthem," but the whole Objectivism thing kinda leaves me cold. Of course the problem here is that the brilliant Atlas Shrugged is almost a monument to the movement. That said, I was very hesitant to see the film version, or at least the first part of a two-part (quite possibly three) film adaptation.

Released last year to art house theaters and not doing well financially at all (it cost $20 million to make yet made less than $5 million at the box office), Atlas Shrugged: Part I is still an amazing film. The story, that of a future society where the intellectuals have gone on theoretical strike and brought the world to a standstill, is staggering.

The film looks great, but the problem is with the execution. The actors, mostly unknowns and character. actors, have no charisma here, and coupled with Rand's heavy handed dialogue, the beginning is all talk and almost sleep inducing. When I was paying attention, I felt like I was being lectured and browbeaten for being a capitalist. Not good. This is a subversive Wall Street, just without Michael Douglas, and without a soul.

When the story does begin to pick up and I started to warm to a couple of the characters, Ayn Rand's bourgeois arrogance kicks in. It's almost as if she's making fun of the upper class, or more accurately those folk ridiculous enough to want to make a living. The attitude is enough to pull me out of the film and keep me from enjoying on any level. It's very heavy handed.

Don't get me wrong, like I said, I like Rand's writing a lot but I just don't like being preached at. I never felt that way on the page. And of course, as noted in the title itself, this is only part if the story. Atlas Shrugged: Part II, with an all new cast of better known actors, opens to art house theaters next week. I hope it will be more like Ayn Rand's fiction and less like philosophies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 10-10-2012


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

Co-hosts Ed (keeper of the Thunderbolts roster) Evans, Allison (lumpy space princess) Eckel, and Glenn (spoiler boy) 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 special buckets and buttshots episode includes: Marvel NOW!, Uncanny Avengers #1, the secret phrase, AvsX fallout, more Avengers comics, Deadpool #62, Avenging Spider-Man #13, more minimum carnage, Ultimates and Xes, Fantastic Four #611, Batman: Death of the Family, Amanda Waller double-shot, Free Arrow, Allison's thing for smart guys with scars, Demon Knights #13, Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #13, Green Lantern Corps #13, MacGyver #1, the year without a Voltron, Ed's indies, Lady Death #22, Archer and Armstrong and junk, Allison's kids comics, and Ed's trades.


Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, now featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and ATF! on YouTube (don't forget to subscribe to the channel while you're there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).

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

Don't forget to get your secret phrase in to feedback@allthingsfun.net by Friday!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Dredd in 3D


Dredd ~ I wasn't sure I was going to get to see this flick. It painfully underperformed at the box office, and I wasn't sure it would last more than a week. Considering that most people only know the Judge Dredd character from that terrible Sylvester Stallone movie from 1995, it doesn't seem that off of a chance that folks would give this new one a pass. Thankfully however, Dredd has little to do with the Sly film except for the source material. I'm not a big Judge Dredd fan myself, but I have read a handful of the Judge's tales and know that very little of that movie was accurate.

I was excited about this new version after hearing interviews with its title star Karl Urban (known for his brilliant Bones in the latest Star Trek), director Peter Travis, and writer/producer Alex Garland. It seemed as though they both knew and loved the character, and were going to do Dredd right. The Judge was in the hands of true fans. I couldn't wait, as far as I'm concerned, characters handled by those who love them are usually done well.

Two weeks out from release I was surprised to find the flick still playing and checked it out. The surprises kept coming. This was not a great film, but it was a damned good Judge Dredd film. I thought about it. I got everything I could possibly want in a Judge Dredd movie. I had no complaints. Besides that, the casting was terrific, the 3D was amongst the best I've seen, and the soundtrack by Paul Leonard-Morgan was purchased from iTunes when I got home. What more can I say?

Dredd is not a perfect movie, but I do think it's the perfect Judge Dredd movie. Urban was on target, we got a story that fit both the standard action thriller genre (R-rated, mind you) and the future dystopian fantasy of Dredd's world. Unlike most superhero movies, it was story-centric, not origin-centric, that's a big plus for me. See it if you're a fan, catch it in 3D if you can. Well worth seeing.

Monday, October 08, 2012

How Low Can Idol Go?


One of the big Hollywood gossip stories of the last week, and one that dominated TMZ was the Nicki Minaj - Mariah Carey blow-up on the set of the Charlotte SC auditions for "American Idol." Apparently the two new judges on the show had words, exchanged threats, and some witnesses say even got physical. To me, even when the news first broke, it all seemed very suspect.

Later Mariah appeared on "The View" and mentioned, yeah, it was that casual, that Minaj had said if she had a gun, she "would have shot the bitch," meaning Carey. Mariah's husband, Nick Cannon, host of another talent show on another network, stated this past weekend that it was "all good." I don't know, a death threat, or at the very least a gun threat doesn't sound to me to be "all good." I think I'd be pressing charges if that was me or my wife - and double that if I was a big star in the public eye.

That, coupled with the fact that "Idol" remains in production, with no judges being removed, or visible disciplinary or legal action being taken - and especially considering the show's flagging ratings last season - just stinks of publicity stunt.

What do you folks think? I think the ratings will be bigger come January when "American Idol" returns to Fox, and furthermore, I think both Carey and Minaj will be in attendance. One of my favorite quotes is one from Salvatore Dali, and was appropriated by Madonna - "There is no such thing as bad publicity." I think it fits here. Time will tell.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Hotel Transylvania


Hotel Transylvania ~ I gotta be up front with this one. It's not bad, but honestly I was expecting so much more from Genndy Tartakovsky's first foray into big screen animation. "Samurai Jack," "Dexter's Laboratory" and especially the most recent "Sym-Biotic Titan" are among my faves on Cartoon Network. Yeah, I know he also worked on "Star Wars: Clone Wars," but let's get real, it is sooo not in the same league.

Hotel Transylvania is not bad, but it's not that good either. Simplistic, and borrowing more than a little from Rankin/Bass' Mad Monster Party? from decades ago, it struggles more than it needs to by using the voice talents (and I use the word 'talent' very loosely) of Adam Sandler as Dracula. It's like listening to Sandler's annoying Opera Man voice for almost two hours. Where there's Sandler, there's also Kevin James as Frankenstein, as well as a cornucopia of unfunny "Saturday Night Live" veterans.

This one is good for the kids, but might be a bit much to take for the adults. Be warned, the end breaks into a rap celebration that must be missed. Embarrassing for all involved. Seeing Steve Buscemi involved in this movie tells me he owes somebody a big favor, or he needs to fire his agent. As for Genndy Tartakovsky, his next project is rumored to be a big budget animated Popeye. I'm hoping for the best, and not more of this.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 10-3-2012


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

Co-hosts Ed (no DCs) Evans, Allison (cool shirt) Eckel, and Glenn (don't say digital) 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 special no sleep episode includes: Green Arrow #13, Action Comics #13, Detective Comics #13, Legends of the Dark Knight #1, don't say digital, Stormwatch #13, Rotworld, Earth 2, Green Lantern #13, Fairest #8, Zenescope comics of the week, the secret phrase, The Boys #71, Pathfinder #2, Ed's indies, AvsX the finale, Defenders #11, Amazing Spider-Man #695, the X-titles of the week, Allison's kids comics, Ed's trades and manga.


Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, now featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and ATF! on YouTube (don't forget to subscribe to the channel while you're there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).

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

Don't forget to get your secret phrase in to feedback@allthingsfun.net by Friday!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

RIP Andy Williams


We lost singer Andy Williams last week. Besides his masterful vocals, he was also a songwriter, actor, producer and hosted his own variety show on TV throughout the 1960s, which notably introduced the Osmonds to the world.

In recent years Williams had settled in Branson, MO with his own theatre there, named after one of his biggest hits, "Moon River." Among many others, he was also known for "Born Free," "Where Do I Begin" and we'll think of him every holiday season with his classic "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." He will be missed.