Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Ark comic preview

Posted here for public consumption are the first four lettered pages of the comic adaptation of The Ark, my portion of the anthology film Dire Digest. One of these days I'll have the whole thing lettered and ready for a Kickstarter to publish the entire work. In the meantime, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Star Wars Leftovers

S'nothing big, but in re-watching The Force Awakens in the past weeks, I've had a couple of odd  things stand out to me, thought I'd share them with the world.

1. Anybody else get creeped out by Chewbacca's fingers? Looking back at old hi-res stills from the OT, he does have fingers, but they were largely covered by his fur. He could have very well had bear claws that could pull a trigger for all we really knew. But episode VII put right into our faces that Chewy has long, ape-like digits, and man, are they unsettling. I just... geh... the more man-like Chewbacca gets, the more disturbing he becomes. Just... keep those things, and anything else you might have protruding out of your fur, tucked safely away, Chewy.

2. Stormtrooper under armor is from JC Penny's. At first when Finn strips out of his armor and don's Poe's jacket, all I noticed was that he had black underclothes on, which fits the idea that the Stormtroopers have black body stockings on underneath. But when I started paying attention, I realized that his pants were a bit loose. And had pockets. According to the Visual Dictionary for the movie, his under clothes are a 'temperature controlled body glove' with 'self-sealing mesh'... which, I guess, is code for elastic at the wrists.

So, just remember, under that hardened, intimidating Plastoid Armor, all those troopers are wearing some Dockers and a reasonable sweater.

*Actual photo from the Star Wars visual guide
That's all I've got for now, just a couple of weird, ultimately unimportant observations. What are some of yours? Feel free to share below!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

10 Thoughts (and some sub-points) on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

As of this writing, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been out for a week, and honestly everyone and their mother has written about, blogged about, bitched about, and otherwise reviewed what is undoubtedly the biggest movie of the year. So, this write-up isn't going to change much, as pretty much anyone who comes across this will already be inundated and likely have their opinions formed. I imagine I'll just be lost in the rabble. "Lost. Like tears in the rain." That aside, I feel a need to write at least a few thoughts about the film down, if nothing else but to clear my own brain and keep a sort of personal archive about it for later. If you've stumbled upon this and like it, all the better. With that intro out of the way, SPOILERS ahead and all that. Don't read until you've seen the movie.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Star Wars Episode VII: Is Finn the next Jar Jar Binks?

Before anyone gets all nuts about me comparing Finn to Jar Jar, I do in fact remember that when Jar Jar came out, everyone thought he was supposed to be Jamaican because of his crazy accent, thought he was a crude black stereotype, and compared him to Step 'n' Fetchit, Amos and Andy, and others. This isn't about that. I'm not calling Finn a token black guy or a walking stereotype or anything. I haven't seen the movie, I can't make those claims. No, I'm here talking about merchandising. Star Wars and merchandising, after all, go hand in hand. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Haven't Posted on Here in Almost Three Years

And man, did I see a lot of forgettable movies in 2011. I suppose that's probably true of every year.

Anyway, I'll try to come back and revisit thing thing again more now. Lots of things going on.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Awesome 80's Prom at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

When you've been in Vegas a while, either as a resident or a frequent guest, you begin to get the itch for a new show. Is it so much to ask for something fresh? Something different? Sure, there are plenty of nights where it seems like it might be nice to sneak off to watch the flippedy, floopedy exploits of French acrobats, but sure as hell not every night, and it seems like that's all Vegas has to offer these days.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

3-in-One: Mission Impossible, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I Hate You Dad

In the time since my last entry (I've since completed 3 video projects, which I'll need to post here), I've taken in a number of movie previews. Two of them open this weekend, so I figured I'd post a word about them. The third is a far-off project which I saw an early cut of, so here's an early look at that, too. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anonymous (2011)

Conspiracy theorists, rejoice! A major motion picture seeks to popularize the idea that Shakespeare's plays were not, in fact, written by William Shakespeare, but by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Its a really complicated story, a weaving together of lives of the Elizabethan courts. Every time I watch something about the Tudors, I'm fascinated and have to go do some research afterwards. The complex social lives these guys had, its unbelievable. I can't imagine that the members of the Tudor courts didn't have a headache every moment of everyday, just from the struggle of having to deal with all the deceits, intrigues, and propriety that were ascribed to them.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Thing (2011)

My review for the new prequel for John Carpenter's The Thing is up on Brutal as Hell. Mosey on over and take a look!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Big Year (2011)


David Frankel


Howard Franklin (screenplay)Mark Obmascik(book)

In a word: quaint. 

Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson all play extremely devoted bird-watchers. The trailer, btw, does a remarkable job of obscuring how much of this movie is about bird-watching and makes it look like a screwball comedy. Its not. 

Black and Martin are our protagonists, both driven to complete 'The Big Year', a scavenger hunt to see as many birds as possible across North America in one year. The current champion is Owen Wilson, who goes out among the birders, to make sure no one beats his record of over 730 species sighted. 

While the film IS about birding, and does devote a remarkable amount of its run-time to the appreciation of birds and the hobby of watching them, it ultimately is about obsession, devotion, and the personal prices people pay in the quest for their passions. All 3 men want the title of 'best birder', and spend most of the movie trekking across the wilds of North America, but they all risk things at home. Black has already lost a marriage, and risks his job and his relationship with his ailing father. Martin is on the verge of retirement, and his business may collapse in his absence. Wilson's wife wants a baby, and his single-minded devotion to birding pushes his marriage to the edge. 

I don't like pushing the film into this particular demographic... but I will. The Big Year is for old people. 

I was in the screening theater with primarily older folks, 30's, 40's, and older. Free screening, and yet only older folks were interested. Steve Martin + bird-watching is just going to skew that way, I guess. While we were watching, I noticed that I wasn't really laughing at the jokes. Everything had a quaint, naive charm to it, but the comedy was about the level of your average sitcom. Very bland, very predictable, broad stroke characters. You know. But, the milquetoast comedy seemed to be winning over the crowd. 

There was a particular moment where Steve Martin and Jack Black have rented a helicopter, and the pilot is helping them chase a rare bird. They swoop over the rocks and see it, taking in the majesty. Next thing you know, they are a little too close to the rocks, and they all yelp as the pilot pulls them away from the mountain face... and the lady next to me recoiled in fright and yelled along with Steve Martin. Yep, there's the crowd this movie was made for: the old lady who is excited by really dry action moments, and thinks there might actually be a chance that Steve Martin and Jack Black could both die in a helicopter crash half way through this PG-13 buddy comedy. 

Don't get me wrong, its not a bad film. I thought all three characters, if a bit chilche, were workable and likable, and had well defined character arcs. The moral of the story, that you need to settle down and have kids like everyone else or else all your achievements aren't worth anything, is far from new (damn you Hollywood, for cramming this down our throats!) but well-worn by these characters, and comes across neatly, clearly. Owen Wilson actually does a great job of conveying this message in his final scenes; he really comes across as the strongest actor in the film. ... but while its not a bad film, its not a particularly funny or exciting one either, unless you're very easily pleased. 

The Big Year kind of reminds me of Wild Hogs or Old Dogs, in that its a comedy filled with aging stars that's been developed in a sterile laboratory to specifically please your mom's sense of humor. However, I will give Big Year big props for not falling for the same tropes of those two films; no one in the film is playing the idiot, and it doesn't rely on stupid, ridiculous situational humor to beg for laughs. What jokes are there come from zingers and observational humor, and Jack Black is restrained at only one prat-fall for the entire film. Dry, naive humor, maybe, but at least everyone involved kept their dignity. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Drive (2011)

One more from SDCC.

Drive is the newest film from Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the awesome  Bronson (about Charles Bronson the British convict, not the actor), and soon to be helming the remake of Logan's Run. It features Ryan Gosling, who seems to be all over the place lately, Carey Mulligan, and Ron Perlman, along with a whole cast full of great actors in secondary parts.

Drive is about a movie stunt driver (Gosling) who, until now, I hadn't noticed is never named in the film. Hmm... well, anyway, he uses his driving skills to pull off heists for criminals. His system is that he is responsible for the safety of the crew for the five minutes immediately following the heist, during the getaway. Anything before or after is solely on them. To that point, he's never been out-driven, his crew always getting from A to B safely.

However, despite the excitement of crime and stunt driving, Driver's life is empty. His apartment is plain, his nights quiet and alone, his day job isolating. This all changes when he meets, literally, the girl next door. Irene (Carey Mulligan) is a young mom who's husband is in jail. Driver helps her out while hubby is in the slammer, and soon the two have developed a deep affection for each other, if not a relationship. When hubby gets out, he tries to reform, but his old gang isn't hearing it. Driver wants nothing more than to keep Irene and her kid safe, and takes on the responsibility of getting hubby out of hot water with his old gang.

Of course, that's when things get complicated...

Sometimes you get treated with a movie that's full of awesome stuff that you somehow haven't heard a damn thing about. Sadly, it means that the studio probably just isn't promoting the thing, but hey, bonus for me.

Anyway, went to the theater knowing nothing about this flick, my roommate suggested I go after seeing a clip for it at a panel earlier in the day. In the lobby I was grabbing popcorn, and happened to run across the cast and director who were coming in to introduce the show. Great bunch of people, very friendly. Mulligan and Perlman are both very, very quiet. Its almost off-putting. But, hey, they seem modest and polite, can't complain about that.

Socializing aside, I enjoyed watching this flick. Drive opens with an incredibly intense heist sequence that doesn't for a moment feel far-fetched or reaching. The Driver sets his watch and waits patiently while his clients knock off their target. The seconds tick by as client #2 gets held up inside grabbing the cash. As he finally reaches the car, the police scanner alerts them that the cops are in the area, and their car has been tagged as a vehicle of interest. The Driver's got five minutes to outrun, out think, and generally hide from the cops, on the streets and in the air, the tension never letting up. Engines blast through the speakers, as an idiosyncratic Atari-Fire-like score and credits written in 80's-style pink text chop up the style.  By the time the job is done, I couldn't help but find myself rooting for our silent, bad assed protagonist, the perfect opening.

The rest of the film is actually very slow by comparison, a long, tense character drama, it focuses on the relationship between the Driver and Irene, and the development of the Driver's sense of self, his goals, and a bit of heroism to boot. The scenes are all incredibly well directed, with some very unique styles making a story that has familiar beats feel very new. The drama is broken apart, at times, by stunningly violent, visceral action sequences, sure to make some wince.

My one complaint with the otherwise awesome film? A sheer lack of dialog. Now, I'm glad the film isn't exposition heavy, and it does at least avoid many movie cliches by skipping past the dialog, but those interactions between characters are still there, and those moments aren't filled with any sort of action. What results is a movie where most character interactions are simply two people on either side of the screen, staring at each other for painfully long moments.

Used sparingly, this could have been considered brilliant. "Oh, look at how much they convey just by looking at each other." But Drive uses this slow, plodding communication so much that by the end of the film its simply an exercise in self-parody.

"Would you like some water?"
"So, who's that?"
"My husband.......................................................................he's in jail."
"Oh............................................................I gotta go."
"Sure. Well thanks."
"Yeah...................................................................................thanks for the water. Later."

I'm really not exaggerating. That's a real conversation from the movie, and it takes about five or six minutes to get there, I swear to God.

A few others I pulled into the theater with me found the long, plodding line delivery grating, and spent the rest of the night mimicking it by staring at each other and refusing to answer each others' questions at dinner afterward. Others found the extremity of the violence hard to match up with the subtle-beyond-reason performances of the drama.  So, there may be some complaints.

But, hey, you've been warned. So far, most have been blown away by Drive, at film fests and such, and while I do try to avoid hyperbole, I can say its a quality flick with a lot of interesting bits, and I recommend it to ya.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Griff the Invisible

At SDCC this year, I got the chance to preview Griff the Inivisible, a little indy film, the first from director Leon Ford.

Super, Special, Paper Man, there have been many indy superhero movies of late, trying to examine the psychology of the hero, and likely, ride the wave of hero-movie popularity. The latest among these is Griff the Invisible, which differs from the others on this list in that it lacks most of the melancholy they contain.

Griff is a young man living alone in the city, a city which he prowls through at night, fighting crime. He has a powerful fighting suit, a great martial prowess, a crime lab, and a hotline direct to the mayor... or does he? Griff also has a new job where he is tormented by co-workers, a history of losing jobs to his daydreaming nature, and a bit of a checkered past.

Griff's newest challenge comes not in the form of a super-villain, but from a young woman. Griff's just an ordinary guy trying to fight crime, believing he has super powers, and when he meets a young woman who shares his beliefs, his world takes a startling turn.

The two of them battle against their most hated foe, banality.

This is a pretty good film, one finished last year, and probably only seeing release thanks to the young star, Ryan Kwanten of True Blood fame. He plays a dramatically different character, the sheepish Griff, afraid of everything in life. His neighborhood, his job; and his one relief from the torment is his time in costume, behind his mask, battling against rabble in the neighborhood.

The characters are all weird and delightful, quirky like so many other indy casts. They really pull it off, though, the love story is bizarre and sweet. I don't use the word often, but, this movie is cute.

Definitely check this one out if it comes your way. A good date movie for superhero fans.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

I got a chance to check out Cowboys and Aliens at the press screening at Las Vegas's Rave theater tonight (and thanks to my buddy Roland for the hook-up on that one. I totally missed out on registering for passes thanks to SDCC).

Happy to report that its pretty good.

The story is easy to surmise from the trailer. Jake (Daniel Craig), wakes up in the desert with amnesia, and a strange metal device strapped to his wrist. After taking out a small band of bounty hunters, Jake steals their gear and wanders back into town, only to find he's a wanted man, and Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), a rich, mean, retired military man, wants the gold he had stashed on the train that Jake robbed. The two powerful men are the center of a conflict in town, fists flying and guns drawn, when...

Aliens attack.

In a turnabout that makes me wish I'd never seen the trailer and didn't know the name of the movie, aliens come from nowhere and abduct about half the town, taking them off to some secret base for experimentation. During the scuffle, the mysterious bracelet Jake has on his arm activates, and he's able to shoot down one of the alien spacecraft. The humans have a fighting chance, at least.

Luckily, the bracelet seems to not only shoot big lasers, but also produce plot contrivances, as the aliens only take the weakest members of the town. All the remaining gun-toting badasses form a posse and hunt down the space-faring varmints. Jake tags along, hoping to recover his lost memory.

So, yeah, the movie was a lot of fun. There wasn't a lot of originality to be had, other than the really unusual genre mash-up. The story is more Western than Sci-fi, with all of the protagonists coming from a Western world. And within that world, we cover just about every Western trope you could imagine. Because of that, the story is rather predictable. "Hey, Harrison Ford hates Indians. What do you bet we'll see him working together with those Indians to save the day later?", Indian ambushes, bandits, shoot-outs. All that's really missing is a duel at high noon and you'd pretty much have every event western ever trapped in this film.

While the film is predictable, its also very comfortable, and funny when it remembers to poke some self-aware humor at itself.

So, while nothing 'new' in terms of characters or events, we do have a pretty unique mix of movie elements here, and all of those elements are done very well. You've got all the ingredients of a solid traditional western here, and you've got some basic sci-fi, and Favreau does service to both genres, compiling great action scenes, some witty banter, and a decent score.

What could have been a complete goof-fest, however, is really pulled through by a strong cast. Daniel Craig is great as the perpetually dirty tough-guy, and Harrison Ford is wonderful as ever. Its great to see one of my all-time favorites in a movie that doesn't make me want to stab my eyes out; Harrison, I've missed you. The supporting cast are wonderful as well, a huge upgrade from the throwaway extras of most movies. Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, Paul Dano, Abigail Spencer, they all flesh out the town, and make the absolute most of their roles. Favreau really cashed in those Iron Man chips to get a cast full of people who have lead films before as his extras. Plus, that drunk guy who's taking a shit early on in the film is none other than Artie, the strongest man in the world, of Pete & Pete fame. 

So, its not perfect. The story is pretty paint by numbers and has few surprises. In a film like this, though, I really don't need a lot of new character elements or meta-textual writing. I just need cowboys doing cowboy stuff to aliens. Hey, do we see some aliens get lassoed and maybe have Indian spears chucked through their chest? Yeah? Awesome!

Popcorn movie extraordinaire. If you want some lighthearted fun, Cowboys and Aliens is offering it up. And unlike this summer's other big popcorn movie, it doesn't open with over an hour of Shia LaBeouf trying to get a job. A vast improvement.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dire Digest Cometh. Looking for Backers.

Heeeeeey kids! PMP Productions is looking for some finishing funds while we put together some of the more FX intensive scenes in our new anthology horror.

If you're interested in donating to the cause, gaining some Producer credit, and helping along an awesome movie, click on over to Kickstarter to pledge!

Have you had a look at your Padinga lately?

Hey. Wow. Its been forever since I've posted in this thing. Like 2 months or so.

Well, let me tell you, I've hardly been resting on my laurels.
...maybe just a bit...

Its convention season, and already I've been tearing it up around here. I finished a short shoot in Portland, a script to shoot with Vegaswood Studios, and PMP Productions about to shoot in August, another part of the Dire Digest. PMP also just received an award for Affection/Affectation from last week's Las Vegas Film Fest. This week I'm at the San Diego Comicon, diving head-first into the creative community.

My writing time was basically split, however, between the script (which you can't yet enjoy the fruits of) and For Padinga, we went to E3, covered the living shit out of that convention, and also established a weekly writing schedule, so you've got new content every day.

Check HERE for all the E3 goodies collected in one spot. Its a pretty comprehensive guide to all the good stuff coming out this upcoming year.

On the front page, you'll find new articles every day, so keep coming back!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A few words on THE MIGHTY THOR!!! *thunder clap*

So, I saw this the other night. Yep, its good. I think most people were anticipating it to be a pretty solid film, trailers and hype have been positive and building, but not stupidly overwhelming, probably because Marvel is splitting their ad campaign 2 (X-Men makes 3?) ways this summer. And anyway, the critics have been enjoying it at early screenings as well.

But, if you wanted a bit of my opinion, I'll give it to ya, in brief.

Thor: 4 out of 5 Mjolnirs ... its not as good as Iron Man, but probably better than Spider-Man 3.

What worked:

- Casting. Marvel has done a great job finding talent thus far. Chris Hemsworth is fine as the brash young Thor, Natalie Portman is charming as always, and its great to see Ray Stevenson come in as Volstagg, rescued from the shit storm that was Punisher War Zone. I also really enjoyed Kat Dennings as the snarky Darcey.

- Production Design: Asgard looked wonderful, costumes generally were great (in particular, I liked Heimdahl a lot. He's a badass), and Destroyer, especially was bad ass. I would have liked to have seen him get to a more populated area to blow some stuff up.

- Action: The movie follows the typical Marvel movie formula, with one major action sequence per act. Act 1: Raid on Frost Giants. Act 2: Raid on Shield compound. Act 3: Thor vs Destroyer and Loki. Nothing very surprising here, and i honestly could have used a little more... but what was there was pretty well done. The Act 1 raid was especially nice, as it gave Sif and the Warriors 3 some time to shine on screen.

- Bumper: I don't think as many people will be blown away by the bumper on this one, because the image isn't as iconic as Thor's Hammer being found, or Cap in the ice or anything like that. But, if you're a comics fan, you know what it is already, and its pretty cool to see realized on the screen. Also, its the most plot-driven of the bumpers so far, directly tying in Cap and Thor to Avengers.

What wasn't so good:

-Loki: He was played well, but... not really written well. The God of Mischief was less of the evil trickster his comics self is portrayed as, and more of a sympathetic, kind of downtrodden kid in his brother's shadow. To some extent, this works, because we tend to like having villains we can reason with, like Magneto, it makes for a deeper character. But in the end, it made him anything BUT menacing.
Without revealing what Loki's master plan is here, I'll tell you what it boils down to: It involves him keeping Thor on Earth so that he can 1. Not kill anybody else in Asgard. 2. Not take the throne (he kind of tries to, though he says explicitly he doesn't want it. Seems like he plans on giving it back to Odin) 3. Not endanger anyone on Earth deliberately, and 4. Kill the badguys.
... so, wait, Loki's master plan is to set up all this crap he does in the movie so that he can kill a bunch of evil guys and then everyone will like him as much as Thor?
And how does this endanger Natalie Portman, in a way that might make Thor angry and engage the audience emotionally?... oh, it doesn't.

When Loki was busy blowing up the Giants, and Thor came in to stop him, my thoughts were "Why? You hate these guys and the live for murder. Just let 'em die off."

-Thor is a Jedi: The trick with high fantasy, especially when it focuses in on characters of near-godlike ability, or ones who are inhuman, is that we have a harder time sympathizing with them. We see this in Star Wars; in the original films, its very easy to get behind Luke and Han, because they are simple, human characters with the same kind of ambitions and flaws that we have. But in the prequels, Qui-Gonn, Obi, and Anakin are cold, distant figures with virtually no weaknesses, and unknowable motivation. Its hard to sympathize with them, as they apparently don't think, act, or feel in ways that are human.

Thor, here, as something of the same complex. He's fun to watch, all smarmy and, um, Viking-y. But he's aloof, distant, and has an air of superiority over all of the human characters in the film. Fun as he is, its hard to really get into his character, and we don't really feel for his grief when he's trapped on Earth.
If anything, Natalie Portman is our human center, and the heart of the show. She's really never in any danger, though, so it keeps the adrenaline toned down.

Overall, though, Thor is a very fun popcorn flick, and a good lead into Cap, and in turn, next year's Avengers movie. I'm sure many of you will check it out this weekend. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Brains? I'll just stick to the Cadbury Cream Eggs, thanks...

Easter is almost over, but if you're not quite ready to say goodbye to the Holy Ghost and all of his buddies, then you need to pop on over to Brutal as Hell, where we're got a series of posts celebrating Zombie Jesus Day! Wind down with a collection of reviews, looking a the finest of zombie films, and maybe even a couple of flicks featuring Jesus Christ himself! The Passion?, you ask. NO! We're talking Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter, reviewed by yours truly.

Plus, original Easter art!

Click the pic to go to Brutal as Hell, and celebrate the resurrection of your lord and savior in style. If you can do it while eating the flesh of your choosing... bonus!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gasoline Wars!!

Yesterday, a number of news outlets were reporting the national average price of gasoline hitting $4/gallon. People are starting to complain, but its still just the general grumbles. But how long before the complaints begin to grow? Before it turns to yelling and shouting? Then outrage, revolts, riots?

What's our breaking point? $5/gallon? $6... maybe we go all the way to $10?

I'm just curious because I want to be ready when its time for me to put on my spiked cod piece and hockey mask and raid the neighboring towns for their fuel supplies. I imagine trying to raid the little town of Pahrump too early would be kind of a social faux pas.

"You have made me unleash my dogs of war. There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away. Give me your pump, the oil, the gasoline, and the Chicken Ranch Brothel (NSFW), and I'll spare your lives. Just walk away and we'll give you a safe passageway in, Nevada desert. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror. "

(those guys in the background are the Team Vegas Heroclix crew)

Ahh, a glimpse of the future. Don't worry, I'm really a very civil warlord. Just don't forget to address me as "The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!", and we'll be alright. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Favorite Ladies

 Here's a little fluff piece for ya'll.

I rarely put 'cheesecake' up on the site. I really try to avoid it because, dammit, its everywhere, and its played for cheap ratings boosts from horny nerds. Its too easy to really have any artistic value, IMO. I think we should be able to convey beauty without lingering on cheap tit shots and... well, its a rant unto itself.

Still, I'm sitting here watching Dr Who season 5, and loving the character of Amy Pond, and I thought I should put up a little collection of my favorite, most attractive, actresses. Many of them get overshadowed by the Megan Foxes of the world (blerg), so here is a little moment for them to shine...

I'd seen her before as the Baroness in a GI Joe parody video (playing the clarinet, no less), and as Madonna in a Weird Al video, but Olivia really stood out this year in Tron: Legacy.
She has a TON of make-up on in that movie, so its kind of hard to tell how much of that is really her. She seems to look a lot more rough outside of the films... but then, who doesn't? From stills, she only looked jaw-dropping, to me, in that one film, as the living computer program, but her character was so goddamn adorable in the movie, that she couldn't be ignored. I'll have my eye out for her in future stuff, for sure. If nothing else, she can really fill out some leather jump-suits. Those are pretty popular, these days...

#5: Scarlett Johansson
Speaking of jump-suits, we just saw Scarlett here wearing one in Iron Man 2 as the SHIELD agent, Black Widow. Scarlett's had an interesting evolution in film, going from punk-ish girl next door in Ghost World, then to bored house wife in Lost in Translation, and quickly she turned over to glamor girl and femme fatale.
She hasn't really had a ton of film roles, but they've all been memorable, and mostly just because of how she looks.
I almost hate to say that, but seriously, she rarely even gets any good lines. She's just mesmerizing on the screen.

#4: Natalie Portman: The Professional and Star Wars Episode 1, I've kind of grown up along with Natalie Portman. She an interesting actress, as she shows a lot of versatility, but she needs a strong director. Star Wars was a good example of her just phoning in the performance, and V for Vendetta, as much as I love that movie, also shows that, sometimes, damn she can be weak. But despite those, you see things like Garden State and most recently Black Swan, and you can't help but see and respect her talent. With the right guidance, Natalie can dominate the screen. And, with her innocent face, the ability to adopt a tough attitude, and comedic timing (see her Lonely Island videos), she's become versatile enough to fit into any movie. She's the go-to girl, kinda like how George Cloony is for leading men.
She did a nude scene once in the short film Hotel Chevalier. She was beautiful, and it was an excellent little short. But, she was embarrassed by the way everyone spread still shots of it around. Thanks for ruining it for us all, guys, she says she'll never do another. Well, enjoy that one you got, people.

#3: Anna Farris: I was sad when she got her plastic surgery done. Anna had some work done on her nose and lips. The lip work is kind of obvious, they're just a little TOO plump for her, and there seems to be a little scar on one of them. Well, she still pretty much has that same girlish charm that got me during Scary Movie.
Her real charm and talent comes from her comedy. Anna's movies don't appeal to all crowds, though she does run the gamut from Lost In Translation to House Bunny, art to fluff; but no matter your taste its impossible to ignore her great comedic timing. And her face, oh God, her face. Its probably the most expressive of any female comic working now. She's got this Lucille Ball kind of range of facial expressions, and I just can't stop laughing at her when she starts mugging for the camera.

#2: Emma Stone: Also in House Bunny, where she played the lead 'extremely nerdy chick', Anna Farris saved the day by slutting her up a bit. Emma works on screen because she's got good girl charm, but kind of an evil grin, and beauty to accompany those assets. Following up on Zombieland, Easy A was her big breakout roll, where she took the lead and solidified herself as an actress who plays smart, level-headed female characters who overcomes obstacles with good intentions and a bit of articulation. Her kind of roles have otherwise been pretty rare in film lately, and its great to see them back. I can't help but think that they must reflect some part of her own personality.
Frankly, its part of her appeal. The ability to mix sex appeal with intelligence, wit, and a strength of moral character, and to STILL be interesting and funny on screen... she's the type of girl you'd take home to Ma. Can't wait to see her play Gwen Stacy in the upcoming Spider-Man films.

#1: Karen Gillan: She's the girl who inspired this little column. Amy Pond, of Dr Who's latest season. I really only know her from that show, though its a good 12 hours of screen time, so you see her in a range of situations and the emotional spectrum. Amy has won over most Who fans in a way no other companion probably has since Sarah Jane, way back in the Tom Baker days.
Its the adorable round face, the striking red hair, the lilting Scottish accent, that lean body, her cheeky remarks, everything she does on screen is a delight. And, Hell, she just looks like she'd be a good kisser, doesn't she? Maybe that's just me...
There's not been a moment of her time on screen, be it embarrassing her parents at a wedding, blasting aliens, time traveling to torment herself as a little girl, or falling in love with Roman soldiers, in moments funny or sad (but mostly funny), that's been anything less than wonderful. The 6th season starts this Saturday night.

So, that's all I've got for now. Thanks for humoring me, folks. Go check out the fine work of these actresses, some of them well known, some not so much. All of them, though, worth watching.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Found Art and Scary Babies

I was recently trying to earn a little extra cash doing some political work out here in Vegas. While I was prowling about, door-to-door, I came across a little note on the ground, which some school girl had surely dropped. I'd hoped for a juicy love letter, but I found a work of fiction instead. I thought I'd share this masterpiece, typed verbatim:

Mary     This happend in 2003

One day this girl named mary she was walking home from school she saw this shadow and it looked like a man with spikeie hair she stop and look and saw nothin' she kept walking finaly she was at her house she got her keys out of her packet and opened her house door her mom and her baby brother was there her dad died from sliping in the shower but there was something that had to do with the bady mary is the main one who takes care of her baby brother because her mom is scared of the bady. (editor's note: at last, this story, and likely its writer, just reached its first period!)

Everytime she looks at her bady she sees something evil mary knows how her dad really died they day he died he toke a shower but sometimes the sister puts the bady down so the bady can cawl around so while the dad is takeing a shower the bady go's crawling to the shower and when the bady opens the door he looks at his father with his RED evil eyes and nobody can look the bady in the eyes because if they do, they will die.

Your education system at work, Nevada. Okay, a little unfair. I don't know who wrote this thing, and without that context, I mean, this could have been written by a brilliant effing 1st grader or something. 

Two things that stand out to me: firstly, what's up with the shadow Mary sees at the beginning here? It doesn't seem to be related to the baby at all. Well, maybe the author is just prepping for a career writing ghost stories for Hollywood by making the ghost DO SHIT THAT MAKES NO SENSE to fill in 90 minutes of runtime before finally getting around to revenge or possessing their sister, or whatever. 

My other question is... this girl knows how to pronounce the word 'baby', right? I mean, she knows what a 'b' looks like, because she uses it to begin the word. But, there we are, two whole letters later, and she's swapped it for a 'd'. Bady? A typo is one thing, but she's made that same error about a dozen times in two, um, sentences. So, either she thinks the word is pronounced 'Baedee' or she's working under the impression that consonants in alliterative words have to be mirror images of each other. 

Well, if she doesn't drop out of school and go to work for the Spearmint Rhino this year, maybe I'll find a sequel on the ground one of these days. We need to see how Mary takes care of the evil, demonic bady. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Affection/Affectation Plays at Bare Bones Film Festival!!

Probably the first of many posts about this. So, for all of those who subscribe to this blog, my Twitter, my Facebook, and all of that... well, you don't get an apology, just grin and bare it. This is PMP Production's first film fest selection and, like an over-eager teen who just lost his virginity, we've got to brag about it where ever we can.

So, more concisely stated: Affection/Affectation, the first full-length feature completed by Lawrence, KS based PMP Productions, and Directed by Aubry Peters, has been made an official selection of the Bare Bones Film Festival. As if that weren't cool enough, the film has also been nominated for Best Comedy of the year, and Aubry has been nominated for Film Auteur of the Year. Really, its an honor just to get a selection (we can put those little laurels on subsequent package printings! And not ironically or mockingly!), but to get the nominations on top is just... well, its goddamn amazing is what it is.

The one down-side is that the film's screening area is away from the main festival, and in a little side shop, John Michael's. So, if you're in the Oklahoma area, or attending the con, please find your way over to the screening. If you know people who might be going to the festival, or live in Oklahoma, tell them to check out the film. We're small, of course, and can use all the support we can gather.

Link to Festival Info

Link to Venue Info

Link to Film Trailer

Also, the film is already available on DVD. I know Aubry just got fresh copies in from the printers, and they should be ready to ship! Get a copy for yourself here. A bargain really. Amazon will carry this eventually, but they will be doubling the price, so buy direct.

Not ones to rest on our laurels, PMP has also had one of its shorts, You Dun It, directed by yours truly, requested by the Dead by Dawn film fest in Scotland. If we get selected to screen, be aware, I'm calling for donations so I can fly over there and crash in a hostel to be able to show the damn thing.

And, as mentioned last time, production has officially begun on The Dire Digest, our second full length feature. Without going into too much detail, its a horror piece, and each of the PMP founders will be shooting and directing their own segment of the film. Portland's own Josh Winegarner has just finished shooting his section, with myself as the (nearly dead) lead actor. Only five more to go! More on that as it develops.

In the meantime, thanks very much to everyone who has supported the works so far, and also to those who will be supporting in the near future. Our little group has stories to tell, and its all of the encouragement given by friends and family that allow us to pursue our dreams, and cast our voices out into the world.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Been a while since I've done much with the writing, aside from the lengthy Heroclix reviews. Its been a pretty sparse March for witty words and turns of phrase. I've been working on some new projects with a few film fellows from the area and beyond. A quick update:

- PMP Productions has entered into production on its 2nd full length feature! The first section of this anthology film is now filmed, and ready for editing! More soon...

- Glenbrook Studios is beginning pre-production on their new super-secret big project which will launch the studio officially into the large, full-feature domain. I can't give any details, but if you're interested in getting onto the ground floor of this exciting new venture, Google them, and see if you can lend talent or even further funding.

- VegasWood studios is in the script phase of a new, character driven feature film. I've got the outline in, and the full script will be drafted soon.

- Padinga is skyrocketing in popularity, content, and quality. Check out right away!

So, I'm pretty busy, but more content will be on the way very, very quickly. Keep them eyes peeled!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GAMA Day 2: Heroclix

I spent the whole day in the Wizkids booth today, and no complaints. I spent 5 hours talking about Heroclix. A lot of it was describing orders vs shortages and their fixes to people, or giving suggestions about how to grow their organized play environments, but hey, one of my favorite topics. There's very little else I could talk about for 5 hours... maybe movies and naked ladies, but I think that's it.

So... spoilers for late 2011/early 2012. I know, I know, keep it in your pants, fellas. I wasn't allowed to take photos, because some of the stuff is still in concept, and they can't use images of anything licensed until its approved by the owner. That said, some things may change before release, take them with a grain of salt. Still, exciting news...

- Green Lantern is confirmed for a May 15th release. $15.99 MSRP, it has 6 figs from the GL movie, with costumes based on that design. This is the first of the new Fast Forces packs. Similar to a starter, but without rule book and tokens and things, so the price point is lower, a bit more accessible for new players. Includes a 2-Sided Map, and dice. (They will at least be green. They want to put the lantern symbol on them, but cost and time may prohibit this) Figures make two 300 point forces, or one up to 600.

- There is also a Thor Fast Forces pack to coincide with that movie. Its been solicited to stores, but no info was released at the show so far as contents.

- Captain America: 2 releases. First, the Gravity Feed. June 15th release day, 1 fig, $2.99. These will have sculpts from the main Cap set, but new dials. On June 29th, the main Cap set releases. Currently 63 figs in set, including ones with removable components. Figs shown included Cap on a peanut base, with his shield being tossed/bounced off a wall, held in clear plastic to represent the impact. Shield is removable, and other figs can pick up/use it. Weapon X is in his tube; he has a counter system so that after a few turns, if he's not defeated, he breaks out and goes berserker on enemy figures. Human Torch has a Charge mechanic for a Nova Blast, he has a removable flame bubble-thing that goes around his figure when he's charged. There will be 6 or 7 figs like this in the set. Also, a huge, SR MODOK was revealed. He absolutely dwarfs the old Modok, big, highly detailed.

- Street Fighter is tentatively scheduled for August, but that could well change, depending on Capcom's wishes. There are 33 figs in the set, representing 24 characters. The others will be repaints in their SFII Turbo colors, with unique dials. These are sold in 1 fig boosters, 24 to a box. HOWEVER, the set is collated so that if you by 12 of them, they are wrapped like a brick. In each brick, there are NO dupes. If you buy both bricks, the dupes should be kept to a minimum. All but 1 fig has a clear plastic element (IE, Ryu is charging his Hadoken, Guile looks awesome on his Flash Kick, in mid-air). While these are Clix compatible, there are also unique rules for 1v1 fighting-game-like gameplay.

- Lord of the Rings will be released in a couple different formats. It will be compatible with Heroclix, but like Street Fighter, it will also have its own unique, Epic Rules to run a rings-like, simulation skirmish. There is a deluxe set, similar to Watchmen, called the Campaign Box. It will have a similar price point. For those who want the figs but can't do it all at once, there will be a starter and some single-fig packs as well. Should be out this year.

- Superman is set for Fall of 2011. Currently set at 54 figs. This set is going to try something a little different with the Brick fig, randomly packing it into one of the packs in the brick itself, so retailers dont have to worry about storing the damn things. Busted bricks on the shelves might happen to treat a buyer with an extra random brick figure inside. Supposedly it will contain the 'definitive' Superman, or a close approximation; they want to offer fans a big, accessible Superman like they've been clamoring for. Also shown were designs for Superboy (Reign of the Supermen), Black Adam (designed by the last champ), Cyborg Supes and Darkseid. Those last 3 looked unbelievably cool.

- Halo clix will now be compatible with Heroclix. Summer release, 40 figs, Boosters and single fig packs. Also have their own unique, optional rules. No plans for vehicles... yet.

- Gears of War 3. 10 Figs, single fig packs. Release date TBD by the release of the game, which has to street first.

- Okay, so big news for 2012. First off, those 3 Marvel releases that were teased on HCRealms yesterday. Those are Hulk, Infinity Gauntlet, and The Mighty Avengers. They will be out... all in the first half of 2012? They are smaller sets (think 30-45 figs?) for easier collectability. Also, close together so that if there is a crazy rush, like on GSX, or even just with a sell-out like DC 75th, there is something else right around the corner for players to anticipate. Each set will have its own OP kit, but the events in them will kind of have a thematic link between them, leading up to a big event at the end. Think Coming of Galactus big. This will be made in a way to encourage players to stick around through all the events, rather than just sniping one LE and retiring.

- So, what about DC? Well, plans are slower for them because Justin and DC are in talks about doing some new stuff. First off, they'd like to do a big set like GSX with Super Boosters for DC. The only big thing they have access to right now is the Batmobile, which is still out there, and waiting for the right time to release. It'll be up to their collaborative brainstorming to determine what's going on there. There is also a new possible type of release that... well, I don't really know the details to it, and I think Justin is really pumped about it and will want to announce it himself. But I will say that it reminds me of reminds me of another use for the abbreviation DC. Direct. Current.

Also addressed were the Zero to Hero programs, the new store-finder and OP programs online, investigation into venues selling OP kits and other vendor-related issues. If any stores would like summaries of that info, let me know.

Also asked about: Horrorclix. No plans right now. Won't rule it out forever, but its a brand that was only successful in pockets, and needs serious reevaluation.

Pirates: Brand is not dead, but the polystyrene format is. It has become too cost-prohibitive to produce that style of game now.

No current Indyclix plans.

Aaaand that's all the pertinent WK info for now. *whew* busy weekend.

GAMA Day 1

I'm helping at GAMA this year (Game Manufacturer's Trade Show) at the booth for Wizkids, the guys who make Heroclix. I took advantage of my Exhibitor pass to take in a couple of the press releases, wander around, and swipe cookies and fried chicken from the banquet hall.

Early day tomorrow if I want to hit the Wizkids Heroclix presentation (and I do. Shit's like plastic crack, and I needs me my hit). But, I wanted to throw up some info for what I saw today. The short, short version:

Steve Jackson Games:
I only mention them first because I saw at their booth a banner for Mother Effin' AXE COP: THE GAME!! "Chop Their Heads Off and Take Their Stuff!" I pooped. And orgasmed. It was awkward.

Sat in on their presentation, so I obviously saw the most from them.

Hunger Games:
- Based on the Young Adult fiction series of the same name, which I understand is becoming immensely popular, and may have a movie coming out soon. WK snatched up the rights to this series preemptively, and they have a game based on its post-apocalyptic, gladiator-training remnant society. Aside from that, no idea how it plays, but I know its being, currently, marketed towards the teen girl demographic. I'm amazed that a series of books about gladiators fighting on a scorched Earth is selling so well with teen girls, but more power to 'em. Can't be worse than Twilight, and we can always use more girl gamers.

Christmas Story:
Based on the old movie with Ralphie and the bunny suit... you know the one. Its an old school board game based around movie trivia. Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

Jeff Dunham:
Not much known here, other than they have a license based around the popular Vegas comedian. I see this giant towering over me, Galactus style, on the highway every day. Game may or may not be based around joke cards, and may or may not have an electronic reader with vocals. Party game for that Scattergories type of crowd who happens to watch a lot of Comedy Central.

Iron Maiden:
Already known by most gamers, this release targeted at old Metal fans comes in 2 forms. First will be a stand-alone board game with 4 highly detailed figures of Eddie, the IM mascot/zombie/warrior. There will also be a Heroclix compatible set of the figs in a gravity feed or something. More on that tomorrow. Release date, "This year-ish".

Star Trek (Two games, Expeditions and Fleet Captains):

- Expeditions- Based on the new movie universe, this is a fast-paced cooperative game. It has a mission tree, which is a series of cards with Dilemmas on them which must be solved using your Crew's skills. Over time, the missions branch out, and you follow the path, based on your success rate, down to the final resolution of your story arc to see how your mission ended. Success or failure. 1-4 players, about $50. 300 cards makes for a ton of mission variety. This one releases June 15th. Not sure about this next game. I think they're shooting for fall. It has more pieces and a longer production time.

- Fleet Captains- This is the big boy, much bigger than I'd expected. MSRP $80-100 (not sure yet). Its a hex-tile based game, a bit in the vein of Twilight Imperium. The universe is randomized, but unlike TI, you can make the universe in all kinds of geometric patterns, whatever floats your boat. Currently 2 or 4 players, you play as Federation or Klingons and you vie for planetary control across the universe. Your ships have limited power to spread between engines, shields, weapons systems, and you have to plan accordingly how to use them each turn, to maneuver, to defend, to attack. Contains 24 large, deluxe, sculpted miniatures, and a whole bunch of cards and tokens and things. Has characters and event cards spanning all of the Treks, except for the movie. That is 'its own universe' even in the game. Future expansions with more races may be coming.

Quarriors- Dice based game. 20 minutes to learn, 30 minutes to play each game. 130 pre-molded dice, and a few cards to go with each. Large dice pool and randomized cards which change the functions of the dice make for some surprises and lots of replay value.

Mage Knight- The brand is being relaunched, but I'll say that the game is not. This is not compatible with the old Mage Knight figs, so leave them on the shelf. However, the world, the fiction, the characters that the game was based on will return. This is a boxed game, not collectible. It does have a click mechanic, but its not a squad-based game. This iteration will be an epic campaign game with more of a roleplaying edge. No details on mechanics yet.

Lord of the Rings- Again, they are using the license for two products. There will be a Heroclix compatible one, but for now, I've only heard about this board game. Stand Alone, 1-4 players, semi-coop. Players play as the Nazgul, hunting the Hobbits. Players have to work together to find and kill the Ring-Bearer before he reaches Mount Doom. Failure means all the players lose. However, there can only be one winner, so at some point, you have to start stabbing each other in the backs. Could be fun. Play with good friends, or risk getting stabbed.

There were also Smurfs and Gremlins, but those are so far out of my demographic, typing about them will cause me to seize up.

Wizkids is definitely all about variety this year, with a ton of games for a ton of audiences, each with their own feel and medium. Its quite a change from the day where it was 50 iterations of Clix (though, more of those too). You can see them trying to stretch and reach as many people as they can, building a solid foundation in poor financial times that they might grow with explosive speed when people are spending cash like crazy again. I think Trek, in particular, could stick around. It wasn't long ago I started looking at old 80's Trek games, wishing there was a good board game for the property. A friend of mine has this old-assed Klingon Empire politics game, and its pretty solid fun. Really looking forward to seeing Fleet Captains completed.

As for the other guys...


Where Wizkids was all about growth, AEG took the other business direction and has decided to trim the fat. They released some products that did weaker sales last year, and they say that they knew out of the gate that they might fail. This year, its all about the core titles.

- Legend of the Five Rings Emperor Edition- The old game gets a facelift. Better art, refined card design, better packaging, new marketing campaign. This is now the Premium CCG. I've always liked this game, I hope it continues to thrive.

- L5R gets some more boxed campaign stuff for their RPGs.

- I don't know much about Nightfall and Thunderstone, but they both will receive heavy support this year, with a new expansion for Nightfall, and plenty of supplements for Thunderstone.

They have made the transition from CCG guys to Boxed Game guys. This year will be a time of fortification before seeking more expansion. Oh, but there is some mystery Ninja game they're working on...

Wizards of the Coast:

- So far, not a whole lot going on here. More Magic: The Gathering, which has continued its growth, as always. Still remains the most stable game in most stores. Some pictures with packaging for the next set popped up, but that's about it. I expect more announcements over the week, of course. Today was just spent touting Magic. ... do these guys have any other licenses now? D&D of course, but the minis line got cancelled... maybe we'll see some more boxed games. Those seem to be a huge hit for everyone right now.

- Biggest announcement was the continuation of Cthulhu Tech, and the introduction of a Cthulhu Tech miniatures game, kind of in the WarMachine vein. Plan is to release base armies, and then 1 new unit for each of 4 factions each month.

- Another heavy sci-fi, Lovecraft inspired RPG set is on the way this year. Revamped rule set. Also, in general, just a lot of Sci-Fi RPG books. Great production value on some of these.

- A few other party games coming. Nuts! and Kittens in a Blender stood out the most.


Turn your mic up, none of us could hear anything, dammit!

Okay, and that's what I've got for now. Time for bed. Photos coming in time... but not today. I'll probably have a photo album mash-up at the end of the week.


Monday, March 7, 2011

I probably shouldn't be thinking this hard about Dragon Ball Z

... but, here it is.

So, I'm watching the remastered DBZ, known as Dragon Ball Kai, where they've cut out much of the filler and random yelling and flashbacks, so the story moves briskly, is in-line with the comics, and its all redone in HD. Awesome.

So, we're at the part where Cell detonates himself to destroy the Earth, and Goku has to teleport him to King Kai's world to save the planet.

So, Cell's explosion would be enough to disintegrate the planet, meaning he could destroy a ball of solid rock 7,926 miles in diameter. King Kai's planet LOOKS like its floating all on its own in this episode, but its not, its at the end of Snake Way, a narrow path that leads to King Yamma's soul processing Heaven gate, and also passes over Hell somewhere in the middle.

Its been established that Snake Way is 10,000 miles long. It also has many long curves in it, and it doesn't go in a straight path. With those curves probably taking up about a third of the distance, its roughly 6,666 miles between King Kai and King Yamma, with Hell between them (appropriate). If Cell's explosion will be 7,926 miles wide, at the least, then that must mean that King Yamma, Hell, and Heaven, or at least its gates, were all destroyed in the explosion as well, right?

... and yet, they pop up again later, completely untouched.

I guess I really shouldn't think too hard about a show where super-powered karate men shoot beams at each other to win a magic set of wishing spheres... but, it happens.

Monday, February 28, 2011

External Linkage Double Dose

I forgot to put a couple of my articles here in the archives. Well, no time like the present. Over on Padinga, we explore the death of Guitar Hero. Find that HERE.

And over on Brutal As Hell, we talk about the VOD release of the Chinese Horror flick, Dream Home. Find that HERE.

Its GOOD FOR YOU!!!... but really, do go and support these two fine media outlets.

Monday, February 7, 2011

External Linkage

After a long wait, we're treated once again with another fantastic fright-fest from! This month's issue includes a plethora of interviews, and a gaggle of film reviews, atop a cornucopia of cadavers. Er... something, yeah, that works.

Speaking of BthroughZ, have you ever tried Googling that? The site's title, run through a search engine, produces probably the greatest series of non-sequitur images ever conceived. Along with Jamie's awesome art compilations and the beautiful faces of both Britt (who actually Edits Brutal As Hell... whatever) and Ben, you also find a bevy of bloody, bare-breasted babes and an assortment of mind-twisting images. Example below. Follow the period girl to the front page.

Here are direct links to my own work for the month, an interview with and review of the film works of Andre Perkowski. He's an odd duck, and a very unique film personality. Give 'em a read! Your brain will thank you, just before it explodes.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Leakin' Lubricants!!

*sigh* Did this really need to be saved? .... yes, yes it did. I just couldn't help myself.

A few years ago, a friend of mine by the 'net handle of ExMortis wrote up a mock Transformers slash-fic. If any of you have ever read slash-fic, you know the high literary standards that its authors hold themselves to. *ahem*

The result was this: Leakin' Lubricants. Even though its only about half a page long, I think it might be the finest piece of comedy written in the internet age. Six years later, and I still laugh, every time I see it. So, pulled from the ruins of Live Journal, here we go.

Some stuff never stops haunting you, Mortis...

"Director's commentary: I wish I could say this wasn't the best thing I've done in my life, but I think it probably is.

This taeks place right after the season 1 episode "SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN" and at the ened this aztec girl says shell take Spike back to meet her brothers blue convertible we call it Juanita so I thought I could write in a big surprise about Juanita :)

by Soundwave69

Bumblebee took Spike and that one girl back to the village to meet Juanita. Bumblebee wasn't expecting Juanita to be a sexy female transformer!
"Your a autobot?" Says Bumblebee. "Yes I got off the ark 4 million years ago and took the form of this girl's brother's corvette" says Juanit\a. "Pretty hot for a 4m illion years old chick" says Spike "You said it".
So Juanita starts to take off Bumblebee's codpiece "What in the universE?" Says Bee but Juanity just takes it off and begins to suck his cybertronic penis. Oohh" Bee mo
ans. Spike is starting to get horny too when that girl says hey lets get inside them while they have sex and we can have sex to oif you know what I mean, it's good to have robots for friends :)
Bumblebee is doing Juanita in the driveway there and Spike anmd the girl are pluged into their optics and sexual sensors so they feel it too, and its hot. Yo udont think robots would have hot sex but they do. Finally Bumblebee shoots his lubricant all over Juanita's face.
Then Optimus prime showed up from where Megatron had the aztec gun made of cybertron steel. But they beat him and megatron wasn't there anymore so Optimus prime was going back to the Arc. He was like "Autobots! Transform and fuck Juanita" except he was the only one there and Bumblebee but Bumblebee already was done so Optimus just laughed and fucked juanita but he didn't transform either.
This time the girl was still in Juanita but spike wasn't so the girl got like fucked by Optimus Prime. He has the biggest cybertron penis out of all the autobots even bigger than Soundwave's if you believe that so Juanita had a lot of pleasure needless to say.


If you want more, a cursory search online produced a site that had 46 pages of nothing but gay Transformers art. Rule 34, people, I can't even begin to make all of this up. Click on the out-of-context-boner-lookin-still-frame to see more... you perv. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

External Linkage

Another review up on BRUTAL AS HELL, this time for Sean Bean vehicle Black Death. Its pretty awesome, check out the deets on BAH.

Or, if you want to just jump right to the movie, follow the links below!

(Links forthcoming, I appear to have beaten Amazon to the punch in adding their VOD images)

Your Highness

Last night, Vegas was treated to a preview screening of the upcoming movie, Your Highness. Its a new comedy Directed by David Gordon Green, most famous for Pineapple Express, and written by and starring Danny McBride of Eastbown and Down, which is also one of Green's productions. 

Right off the bat, lemme tell ya, if you're going to go see this movie, you better be comfortable with dicks. Every couple seconds, you'll be hearing about, thinking about, and maybe even seeing a bit of cock. If you're okay with that, then proceed. 

Your Highness is a medieval comedy with a few stoner twists tacked on (appropriate, given the creators' past works). The adventure mainly belongs to Thadeous (McBride), though the quest would not even be were it not for his brother Fabious (James Franco, 127 Hours, Spider-Man). Fabious has returned from his latest quest, once again successful and heroic, this time with a betrothed Bride, the lovely and simple (possible Asperger's Syndrome?) Belladonna (Zooey Dechenel). There is a great celebration for Flabious's wedding, and its during this that the sibling rivalry that drives the movie kicks in. 

Thadeous lives in his brother's shadow, getting stoned and messing up even the simplest of tasks, usually in his bid at bedding whatever easy ladies may cross his path. He feels he can never live up to his brother's might and valor, and skips the wedding, opting to go toke-up with the Shepards  outside of town. Its during this night of cavorting and sheep-chasing that the castle is attacked by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux, Parks and Recreation), who steals Belladonna, hoping to impregnate her with his wizard's seed so that he might have her birth a dragon in accordance with an ancient prophecy. 

Okay, so, that's the detailed explanation. Really it all boils down to: bad guy has the girl, and is doing bad stuff. Brothers have to stop bad guy by putting their differences aside. Yes, Thadeus is ordered to help his brother save his bride or be exiled, much to his disdain. Fabious regards the thing as a grand adventure, two brothers on a quest, and acts giddy with child-like glee through the whole escapade. 

Oh, and along the way they run into Isabel (Natalie Portman, Black Swan). We'll come back to her in a second. 

So, the best way to describe this thing, and I'm usually loathe to use this technique, is to compare it to two other well known movies. Its Robin Hood: Men in Tights meets Tropic Thunder. Seriously. It has the goofiness and irreverence of Robin Hood, but it is dirtier and raunchier and feels like Tropic Thunder, no doubt thanks to McBride's writing. I don't know that I'll say its as successful as Tropic Thunder, as its not as nicely layered with biting satire, or as relatable, but it does work in a lot of ways. 

So, overall I liked it, and I think the test audience did too. There were lots of laughs the whole time through, and some surprising one-liners that you could hear a few audience members repeat out loud, as if doing so just made the moment that much more satisfying. There are also some action scenes and creative magic attacks that are honestly pretty impressive, but the audience isn't so into the story as to really care all that much. We want the jokes, dammit!

What makes the film work all around is the cast. McBride is pretty funny as Thadeus, though his character isn't anything new. He's your typical selfish slob that has to find his own self-worth and turn it around and yadda yadda yadda. This could have been played by Jack Black or Seth Rogan and it would have been pretty much the same. A necessary character to have, in order to have a development arc, but the character is very plug and play. Fabious is what makes the brother dynamic work. James Franco is my homeboy. Since Spider-Man 2 (not so much the first one), this guy's been impressing the crap out of me in dramatic and comedic roles. He just seems to put 110% into every role he plays. Also, he's on my top list of dudes in Hollywood I'd want to party with. He brings a bit of serious action, melodramatic intensity, and a ridiculous child-like wonder to the role. He really seems to love his brother, and enjoy every second of the adventure, and he passes that along to the audience. 

Of course, its just as the brother dynamic starts to get a little too serious, wear a little thin, that we're introduced to Natalie Portman as Isabelle. Though she gets first billing, Portman is only in about half the movie, so you can tell how much value her star has these days. Her character is played completely straight, which is what makes her so ridiculously funny. She's in so many stupid situations, but her straight-man attitude is so over-important that you can't help but laugh at her. She's like a 90's comic character, all blood and guts and misery, with a hatred for her enemies that "has been burning in her beaver for years." Natalie keeps the movie fresh and sexy, and the audience seemed to really like seeing the Best Actress contender flex her comedic muscles. 

Beyond the cast and their great delivery, there are a few choice scenes that all audiences who aren't easily offended should enjoy. Highlights include a visit to a perverted old wizard (Voiced by John Kassir, famous for The Crypt Keeper's voice), a battle against a giant snake backed by an army of topless women, a hilarious dash of anachronism (just about every curse or cheer sees the characters drop their fakey Brit accents and use modern expressions), and most memorably a well-endowed minotaur. Yes, he's hung like a bull. 

Toss in a few bizarre bickerings between the (honestly underused) Belladonna and the wizard, and you've got the workings of a good genre comedy. Nothing like seeing the wedding ceremony banquet and then creeping over to the tower of the bachelor wizard to see him making a feast of fish sticks, mashed potatoes, and peas. 

On a more personal note, this movie works very well for the nerd-niche. Your Highness plays very similar to the silliest nights playing Dungeons and Dragons. You know those evenings, where your DM has crafted this epic, in-all-seriousness adventure full of twists and turns and drama. Your characters get in place, you think you can stop the evil-wizard's plans for the young virgin and then... you roll a critical miss. And your character yells, "Fuck. Balls! This fuckin' quest sucks." Likewise, you get the character who has to get drunk at every turn, and the character that is so stupidly serious and badass that everyone else snickers at them behind their back. Everything becomes a sexual innuendo. Before you know it, the drama is gone, and the game has become guys tossing dice around and making sex jokes. Thats Your Highness. Its my Saturday nights in High School compressed into two hours. 

Alright, so, from that you should be able to tell if this is your kind of movie or not. Its sick and twisted, its really just ridiculously goofy, and full of 'what the fuck?' kind of moments all the way through. Good for a shocker kind of laugh. Here's a couple things to watch out for. 

First off, the stoner humor doesn't really work. Its kind of tossed in because of the connection to Pineapple Express, and it does kind of fit the character of Thadeous, but its honestly the weakest selection of jokes in the film. There are probably a lot of weed jokes on the cutting room floor, and the ones that are left in the movie just seem to stick out like a sore thumb, and never go anywhere. The ones in the wizard's chamber do pretty well, but the rest just kind of hang around awkwardly. There need to be either more of these to play off each other, or none at all. 

Of course, that's kind of the whole issue that makes the movie feel a little jumbled and weird is the editing. Its terrible. People just looking for a night out and a few laughs won't notice, really, but the cinema-philes will hate the bad cuts and the lack of continuity. This is becoming more typical in the post-Apatow era of comedy movies. Film the thing, ad-lib and whole bunch of different lines, and cut and paste a movie together from the favorite takes. Sometimes the lines dont' fit in certain scenes though, and sometimes scenes get excised as all the constant ad-libbing changes the flow of the movie. Its noticeable. You get things like lines in the trailer that aren't in the movie, some jokes that seem to get cut-off half developed, and other ones that maybe go on a bit too long. Continuity errors result, the most notorious one being a spear that magically appears next to a previously captured and unarmed Isabelle, just before she uses it to kill a major bad guy. There was probably supposed to be a sequence in there where she got the spear, but it was likely cut around in favor of other jokes, or the joke in that scene got ad-libbed in somewhere else. I get the feeling there are a lot of these that will pop up upon multiple viewings. 

See that picture up there in the above paragraph? That scene is in the movie, but that shot isn't; just more ad-libs than an editor knows what to do with. 

Overall, its not bad. I had a good time, and I think most of the rest of the audience did too. A strange crowd pleaser in the vein of Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, Superbad, Walk Hard, etc. The sword and sorcery bit may be a little too exotic for some, but if you can get into the fantasy elements and laugh at the old cliches, then you'll really dig this sloppy, goofy mess of a movie for what it is.

Hey, bonus, there's a big cock hastily edited out of the below scene from the end of the movie. Can you spot it? I guarantee if you go to see this movie, you will...