- Lost Hits of the New Wave
- The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast
- The Cape
- The Following
- Bionic Nostalgia
- True Blood
- Doctor Who
- The Flash
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Agent Carter
- Avengers Assemble
- Age of Ultron
- Legion of Super-Heroes
- Jessica Jones
- Young Justice
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Legends of Tomorrow
- Civil War II
- Luke Cage
Thursday, August 29, 2013
The title revealing subject matter and the way sometimes I was recommended or asked about the flick has made me wonder about the sincerity of these friends. Ya know how someone will take a bite of something terrible, and then, not wanting to be the only one who is suffering, will offer you a taste? Yeah, that's the vibe I have gotten in the past from Hobo with a Shotgun.
Right off the top, I have to give props to the director Jason Eisener and the cinematographer Karim Hussain. The color of this flick is insanely vibrant, no doubt a thematic choice to cash in on the 1970s action exploitation vibe that drives the picture. Even the movie poster reflects that homage, sans the Technicolor of course.
Hauer is good here, playing apathetic at first and more than a little crazy, much better than his recent turn in "True Blood" as a subtly and hilariously similar character type. Actually had Sookie's gramps been more like the hobo, it might have saved this season. When a shotgun eventually makes it into the hobo's hands, he decides to become a crazed force for good, battling the bad guys and inspiring the frightened townspeople.
Speaking of which, if you love Troma Films, you will love Hobo with a Shotgun. On the other hand, if you don't, this movie is not for you. And neither is it for the squeamish. Either way, the color is fabulous. And maybe Robert Downey Jr. can fight The Plague in Iron Man 4...
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The flick is high camp adventure at its best, and great actors like Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu roll with it with skill. RZA plays the title role, an American emancipated blacksmith who becomes embroiled in this bloody cartoonish tale of greed, revenge, and warring clans, all set to frenetic hip hop soundtrack.
This is pure Shaw Brothers with a big budget and better music, imagine Crouching Tiger without the grace and slow parts but mixed with a bizarre steampunk UFC sensibility and you've got the vibe. It even turns almost superhero-ish toward the end.
The red band trailer below is NOT family or work safe. You've been warned.
I dug this flick a lot, but found myself a bit bored waiting for the next fight with outrageous opponents to occur. It suffers in these places, but the battles more than make up for it. Recommended for those who grew up with Saturday afternoon martial arts flicks, and loved them despite the silliness and the effects, The Man with the Iron Fists is for you.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
It bugged me at first. I am political, and I care intensely about the Syria situation and the lost lives both present and future. But you know what? That's not what I'm about here. Welcome to Hell is a blog, just a blog, and I talk about pop culture here. I talk about movies, television, comics, music, books, the industry in general, basically anything that turns my crank, in either direction, in entertainment. This blog is not about politics. Surely these two folks wouldn't want me to talk Syria over at French Fry Diary or The Non-Gamer's Gamer's Blog, would they? Then why should I do it here? Stay on topic.
For the record, my views on Miley and Syria are pretty much mirrored by one of my favorite bloggers, Liz Henry, over at The Broad Side. You can read it here. I love her writing, I love her voice, and you should too. I'm just the comics and fry guy, she takes on the tough stuff.
To my two upset readers - I hope you keep reading, but I'm sorry, I won't be talking politics here. It just ain't happening, folks.
Monday, August 26, 2013
I am concerned for her well being honestly. The woman is clearly out of control, if not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or just plain stupidity. If she was a close friend, or a member of our families - you know damned straight she'd be long overdue for an intervention.
Yeah, and there it is. It's not like the VMAs don't have a reputation for controversy. I remember quite clearly as a young man seeing Madonna hump the floor in a bridal gown while singing "Like a Virgin." I will never forget that as long as I live. Later shows have tried to recreate or top that moment, but rarely succeeding. It may be time for MTV to stop trying to do that, and just do an awards show. The Oscars and the Tonys have both shown in recent years that 'just an awards show' can actually be quite good.
What bothers me most about the Miley Cyrus performance at the VMAs is that no one stopped it, no one pulled her aside and said No. Even Robin Thicke, especially co-conspirator Robin Thicke should have known better. Lady GaGa is outrageous. Madonna is outrageous. But poor Miley just made us feel embarrassed and worried for her.
Outrageous, unique, and controversial are something to aspire to in the entertainment industry, but this was just a freak show, and pitiful and shocking for most of us to watch. And I'm sure Will Smith and his family agrees with me.
Friday, August 23, 2013
The announcement came late last night while my friend Ray and I were recording this week's GAR! Podcast. Had we known, we surely would have been discussing it. Instead you get the usual Prince, Dave Sim, Avengers, and French fries mix of goodness, lucky you. You can hear it here, shameless plug.
After the recording I got on Facebook and Twitter to watch the internet explode. Seemed like no one was happy with the casting.
Well, he's no Michael Keaton. I mean, it could be worse. He could be Michael Keaton.
What's that you say? Michael Keaton was one of the best Batmen, he was Batman. Yeah, right. Y'all got selective memories. I remember it quite differently.
I remember people screaming and whining that Mr. Mom/Beetlejuice was the worst choice for a serious version of Batman. The balding no-chinned comedian was no Batman. In the pre-internet world of 1988, this was a horrible mistake, and the angry fanboy letters burning the pages of the Comics Buyer's Guide were proof of it.
And even if I'm wrong about that, what about Affleck's Oscar and other awards and nominations for acting, writing, and directing? He even has comic book cred beyond Daredevil as an actor in the Kevin Smith films and playing George (Superman) Reeves in Hollywoodland. Talk Gigli and Pearl Harbor all you want, you can't take Argo or The Town away from him. Everyone has hits and misses.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Iron Man, Jon Favreau wrote and co-produced this dramedy for guys in the spirit of Diner that almost definitely inspired all the fictional parts of HBO's "Entourage." Man, Swingers is the flick.
These adventures of a group of neurotic struggling actors are as much classic Woody Allen and prime "Seinfeld" as they are 1960s Rat Pack. And the dated 'lounge-speak' that every drunken player/loser spouted back in the 1990s until you wanted to punch them, when done right, by the originals, and in context, is mesmerizing.
Style and substance, great characters and dialogue, and a killer soundtrack - this movie is money, and it knows it. Recommended.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This is a modern American fairy tale, a perfect fit for Disney, that tells the story of a childless couple played by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton, terrific performances by both, who have a young boy show up on their doorstep as their son. He's everything they have ever wished for, except he's a bit odd. And has leaves on his ankles.
I loved this heartwarming tale. I laughed, I even cried. The Bride and I got this flick OnDemand, and we were pleasantly surprised, a welcome treat. Recommended.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Among his writings are some of the subtle masterpieces of our time, including Rum Punch (filmed as Jackie Brown), Gold Coast, The Big Bounce, Get Shorty, Be Cool, the short story 3:10 to Yuma (filmed twice), Out of Sight, 52 Pick-Up, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, Riding the Rap, and more than a few novels that inspire the TV series "Justified."
When I think of the written western or crime fiction I think of Leonard as the master. When I was in college, and stubbornly insisting I wanted to be a writer, a professor told me, "If you want to write fiction, read Elmore Leonard," suggesting it was education by example.
I can't get it together to say much more. We have lost one of the greats. Click here and I'll share his ten rules of writing, quite possibly the best writing advice ever given. Elmore Leonard was one of the masters, and there'll never be another like him.
Monday, August 19, 2013
The Girl, Behind the Candelabra, or Phil Spector, it hasn't been all that pleasant. In the case of Clear History, this might be a new beginning.
The story is one of bad judgment and revenge, starring and co-written by Larry David, with all the style and idiosyncrasies of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." What a surprise. Larry David, at first in stealth mode looking very Unabomber-like, plays a man who jumps ship on a billion dollar electric car idea, then lives as a hermit under an assumed name after the world thinks of him as a total idiot. While he's hiding out in Martha's Vineyard a decade later his boss comes to live. With his new life at stake, LD plans his revenge.
Larry David is at his finest here. Michael Keaton is a surprise here, he's funny and even uses his Beetlejuice voice to good effect for the first time in decades. Liev Schreiber is good too, even though he's uncredited because of his contract with rival network Showtime. This is also the first time I have enjoyed Danny McBride in anything.
Clear History is a very good, very funny movie, recommended, especially if you're a "Curb" fan. Keep it up, HBO.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Tweet from my good friend Andy Burns, also editor-in-chief of Biff Bam Pop!. Another Tweeter's response was that he had no words. That's how I feel. We've lost one of the good ones, a legend of the genre. Karen Black died yesterday in Los Angeles from ampullary cancer at the age of 74.
When I said genre, I am of course talking about the horror genre. Karen Black probably most remembered film is one where she played a tour de force of four characters in Dan Curtis' TV movie of the week Trilogy of Terror. It was at the aforementioned Andy Burns' website, Biff Bam Pop!, that I talked about how that film still scares the crap outta me. You can read that here.
While it's true she made her share of horror films, notably Trilogy, and Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses among others, it's a fact she never stopped making movies. But of all the films Ms. Black has made, it is the movies of the 1970s that defne her. Hell, one could even say that Karen Black defined film in the 1970s. She changed the way women and sexuality were portrayed on the big screen.
I met her once a few years back, at a Chiller convention near the Meadowlands. We were about to leave and I saw this seemingly crazy woman screaming at people to get her something or other. The men surrounding her scrambled. I realized it was Karen Black. She was holding court in the lobby of the hotel.
That's how I will remember Karen Black - a kind loving woman who adored her fans. Not the psychopath possessed by a Zuni fetish doll. And that's probably for the best. We've lost one of Hollywood's great actresses, and she will be missed.
Friday, August 02, 2013
before. Even though I lived through the New Wave era, the 1980s give or take, there are still songs that eluded me. This is another.
I knew the name Robyn Hitchcock, and I had seen it dozens upon dozens of times flipping through albums while shopping or browsing (or filing albums when I worked in a record store). But oddly enough, I don't actually recall ever hearing any of his music. At least not when it was current.
"Balloon Man" by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians
Now I hear the tune quite often on the First Wave channel on SiriusXM. Robyn Hitchcock continues to make music today. Check out his website here.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
You might think the subject matter would be of interest to me because I'm such a Coast to Coast AM junkie, but the truth is, when they start talking conspiracies, I zone out. Give me Bigfoot and UFOs any day over that crap. Nothing against Julia Roberts, but I think she's lazy. She has two modes - Oscar nom, and give me the check. Most of the time I think it's the latter.
And then there's Mel Gibson. Mel has fallen out of favor for very solid reasons, but for me he was always on the brink of parodying himself, always a Keanu Reeves 'huh' away from ever being a good actor. And then there's all the other stuff he's done and said. I can't help seeing the Daffy Duck version of him from "South Park" now whenever I see him.
Also what bugs me early on is that the conspiracies put forth are the generic Hollywood version of conspiracy theories, not real conspiracy theories. It also feels very dated, as if it was written at least a decade before its 1997 release date. The dated performances of 1980s big names Gibson and Roberts certainly don't help.
He's doing schtick, so when Patrick Stewart shows up doing his Marathon Man bad guy imitation and shoots Gibson up with LSD, you can't help but wonder what the hell you're watching. Oh, and Julia Roberts? She's about as interesting as old wallpaper in this movie. Her dye job has more charisma than her performance.