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Seagalogy: Updated and Expanded Edition

tn_truejusticeWell, now that The Hungry Games is over and forgotten, it’s time for a new publishing sensation to shatter all records, reinvigorate film schools, liter-ate the illiterate, turn your book club into a full-blown book organization, etc. Ladies and gentlemen, I (Vern) give you SEAGALOGY: UPDATED AND EXPANDED EDITION. This is the same groundbreaking work of film criticism that changed your life before except now it’s thicker and more physically threatening because it has 11 (eleven) new god damn chapters added to it, bringing it up to date on all the Seagalogical works since the original publication in 2008.
Alot of you probly heard about the new edition already, but some people were asking me some questions about it and the release is coming up this week so I wanted to tell you the “tails,” which is short for “details.” It’s slang.

seagalogy-updatedrelease date: my publisher Titan Books says March 30, but I think in the U.S. it’s April 3, since that’s what it says on Amazon.

available formats: actual book or pretend electro-book

page count: 485

New chapters: Kill Switch, Against the Dark, Driven to Kill, Steven Seagal: Lawman (seasons 1 and 2 covered, crazy unreleased-so-far season 3 alluded to in footnote), The Keeper, A Dangerous Man, Machete, Born to Raise Hell, Deadly Crossing, Street Wars, Dark Vengeance.

I also have alot of new stuff covered in the appendixes including the Carlton Dry ads, the Lightning Bolt ads, How To Blow Up a Helicopter (Ayako’s Story) (Michel Gondry’s short about Seagal’s daughter Ayako Fujitani), The Onion Movie, an episode of Roseanne that I missed before, a more full accounting of his Saturday Night Live episode, the Steven Seagal v Justin Lee Collins special, and an interesting Buddhism documentary called Words of My Perfect Teacher.

The old parts of the book are subtly improved too because I made a ton of little corrections and updates. Confidential to RRA: I didn’t fix that fuck-up about The Fugitive‘s Oscar nominations because you mentioned it only after I had finalized the fucking thing. Maybe next time. Don’t tell anybody.

I had alot of fun writing this, and I think it turned out good. I got to analyze how often Elijah Kane stays in his SUV in the True Justice movies, Seagal’s connections to UFC, his first fight against vampires, his first time playing a villain. I studied an earlier, way better cut of Kill Switch to try to understand what the hell was going on with that one, so I’ve got some good findings for anybody who wondered about that. I found that (like the first time around) the more I re-watched the movies in an analytical context the more I started to appreciate them for all their weird subtext and unexpected connections.

By far the hardest chapter to write was the one on Lawman, where I had to abandon my usual one movie, one chapter structure. But I think I found a good way to do it, hitting on what I saw as the important themes in the two seasons and then exhaustively illustrating them with examples from throughout the episodes. I also noticed that his time in law enforcement seemed to heavily influence the writing of some of his later movies, especially BORN TO RAISE HELL.

They made it without consulting me, but I think they did a great job on the new cover. They have helicopters, fire, some kind of Stealth jet, a car, everything you need in a collage. I love it.

I’m still extremely proud of SEAGALOGY. I’m very happy that Titan asked me to update it just like I had always planned to, and I think the timing worked out well because in my further studies I realized that there was a big change in his filmography shortly after the last book, which I propose as a new Seagalogical era. I hope you all enjoy the book and spread the word to your friends, your students, your lovers and of course your daughters who need something to fill the hole after Harry Potter was killed in the car accident in the last book (source: Wikipedia).

If you read it let me know your thoughts here, but I also give you permission to use this post as the new potpourri thread. Because the last one said it was the final chapter, you can’t really do another one after that.

Ask your local bookstore to order you SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL: UPDATED EXPANDED EDITION, by Vern (not based on the novel Push). Or if you plan to order it from Amazon please click on the covers below to use my link so I can get the rare royalties/advertising fees double-whammy.


or HERE you can get it in the “Nook” format of pretend screen book

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 at 3:52 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

963 Responses to “Seagalogy: Updated and Expanded Edition”

  1. Thanks, Vern! I just made my Pre-Order for SEAGALOGY and am eagerly looking forward to it.

    Watched 2-3 of the TRUE JUSTICE films already. And i notice the Sensei sure has a lot of scenes where he’s shot behind a desk. Big gut disguise, do you think?

    P.S- No offense, but i wonder have you watched THE HUNGER GAMES or read the books? Because i genuinely liked both of them. Shaky-cam aside. There are some really strong performances here. Jennifer Lawrence especially. It’s no BATTLE ROYALE or THE RUNNING MAN though (It’s not really that kind of film).

  2. As much as I loved the first one, i had no plans on getting the rumoured expanded edition. Until now. Good pitch, Vern.

    Even though I feel I’ve been getting diminishing returns on Seagal’s output for a few years, I just realized I would read Vern discuss anything. (It’s like a giant meta “just how good is he?” scene – a bunch of suits reading a manilla folder that says “Vern” on it, discussing how he once made late-period Seagal not only interesting but essential reading)

  3. Vern, is there a way I can order it from Amazon.fr (since they sell it too: http://www.amazon.fr/Seagalogy-Ass-Kicking-Films-Steven-Seagal/dp/0857687220/ref=sr_1_1?s=english-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332851250&sr=1-1) instead of Amazon.com (since they’d probably charge me a fortune for shipping & delivery to France) and you’d still get the extra money from the ad?

  4. Just pre-ordered mine, too. This’ll be my third edition of SEAGALOGY. Since they no longer print encyclopedias, I hope some day to have an entire shelf of SEAGOLOGYs so that future generations might still drink deep of Seagalogical wisdom, even though the nuclear holocaust/viral pandemic/alien invasion/zombie apocalypse/giant meteor will likely have destroyed the world’s energy grid, making it impossible to actually watch the movies being discussed.

  5. Guillermo Del Toro is a Vern fan? I wonder if he reads this site?

    anyway if this is the new Potpourri, I’d like to take this opportunity to finally mention the movie Meet The Hollowheads

    you maybe remember Vern mentioned that movie last year in this article https://outlawvern.com/2011/10/14/vern-tells-it-like-it-is-for-october-14-2011/

    I was intrigued, so I tracked that movie down and much to my surprise, it’s awesome, like I was shocked at how much I liked it

    the whole movie is just an exercise in low budget bizarreness, it’s non-stop weirdness, the whole point of the movie is to make you feel like a stranger in this bizarre world where all this crazy shit keeps happening, but to the main characters it’s normal

    has anyone else seen that movie? Vern have you seen it? (since you mentioned it)

    also, I;m going to post this video for no reason whatsoever other than it makes me laugh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJczSAvPM9E

  6. The ebook is also available for The Nook. I work at Barnes and Noble and I feel there should also be a link or mention of this information. I know that Amazon is in your hometown but not everybody owns a Kindle and I don’t want to lose my job :)

  7. Eleven new chapters, eh? I might have to pick this one up again. I had no idea that Seagal had been so busy in the last four years. So long as Seagal is active in the biz, I hope Vern can put out a new edition every four or five years.

  8. Yep you definitely sold me with the whopping 11 new chapters inclusion. Christmas has officially come early this year. I’ll just pass the old edition of the book to someone who I know will definitely appreciate it. My dad.

  9. Good, you should be proud. I wil grab a copy for myself and a couple for friends for Christmas to support more Verns in the world and… well, that is enough really. You can be the more.

  10. Okay, I ordered it. I suppose I could give my old edition to a friend, or a charity shop, and it is going for a good price on amazon uk right now.
    Just be carefull with this double dipping business Vern. I hear it’s a gateway to other things, and I wouldn’t want “Seagalogy II IS…Hard To Read” to be rated PG-13.

  11. Congrats on the new edition, Vern.

    I pre-ordered this a while back as SEAGALOGY is pretty much the most well-thumbed book I own; so an expanded version sounds the bee’s knees.

    In fact, I’ve got no less than 3 copies pre-ordered, as two are for fellow Vernites.

    I know you’re pretty busy, Vern, but I’d like to ask: do you have any plans for a new book? I keep thinking you’ve mentioned one previously but my memory stinks.

  12. Vern – I don’t get why that typo could’ve been fixed forthe update? Or do you want to keep it as like an easter egg to those who know better (or don’t have a life)? Personally I felt like an asshole for pointing out that mistake, but I couldn’t help it.

    Speaking of wihch, did Titan ever tell you about the sales numbers for SEAGALOGY? I assume well enough to justify printing an updated, new edition.

    The only thing that would’ve made it better, and it’ll never happen though, is if Seagal’s camp knew to take advantage and arrange an interview or something between you two. Everybody wins.

  13. Incredibly cheap here in Sweden, but I already had plans on getting this one already even if it wasn´t.
    Should be a great companion to TRUE JUSTICE.

  14. Just preordered it via amazon germany. Now I have to wait until the 10th of April.
    Keep em coming Vern.

  15. “Keep em coming Vern.”

    That reminds me. Vern, you actually got other book ideas stewing up there in the attic above your shoulders?

    I think you and Eastwoodology is inevitable.

    (or is it Clintology?)

  16. Toxic – As far as I’ve been able to figure there’s no way to attach the affiliate thing to Amazons from different countries. Don’t worry about it, order it from wherever works best for you. I would be earning less than you’d be spending extra anyway.

    Sternshein – thanks, it’s good to know that. I wasn’t sure if there were different formats. So it’s like VHS and Beta all over again, huh? Great idea. Books were pretty hard to deal with.

    Karlos – The two film criticism books I’m planning to do next are in very early stages, and I take my time on these things. But I’m busting my ass trying to finish the novel I’ve been working on for years. I’ll always be working on something.

    RRA – I can’t rememember if you mentioned that one to me before, but if you did I somehow missed it when I was doing the corrections. When you mentioned it recently the book was already off to the printers. When the books arrived in the mail the first thing I did was check that and cringe. Oh well. He’ll always be a best director nominee in my book. (get it, my book)

    Yeah, I get the sales reports, but honestly I don’t really have much of a concept of what the numbers mean, like how many copies is alot for a book about action movies or whatever. The important thing is that it outsold the advance a long time ago and was sold out with enough interest still that they wanted the updated edition.

  17. Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Will buy (from amazon UK, as I live in the Netherlands). Will buy more copies. I have promissed the no longer for sale version to several friends.

    Thanks Vern. Now don’t bring out a version in which Greedo fires first in a couple of months please…

  18. Where can I purchased an autographed copy?

  19. I second what Fred said. A signed copy would look great next to my signed copies of Not Bad For A Human & Mr Nice.

  20. Yeah Vern, if demand was great enough, would you do a book signing? And if so, would you show up wearing a mask to preserve your anonymity?

  21. Only if it’s a Lord Humongous mask.

    Pants optional.

  22. So have you guys heard that Reggie Watts recorded an alternate soundtrack to LEGEND? You can download it on his Facebook page.


  23. Shit, I accidentally read the thing that was confidential to RRA. My bad.

  24. Congratulations, Vern. Bought it in luddite-approved paperback edition because fuck trees (not a very Seagalian sentiment I know). Also I saw THE RAID last night and it was goddamn incredible. Looking forward to your review.

  25. CrustaceanHate- Yeah, fuck trees, unless one happens to reside in the Evil Dead universe where you get fucked by trees. Trees can be vicious,no matter what the environmentalists say.

  26. Must smuggle this into Canada somehow. I hear there’s this connection that goes by the alias Amazon…

    And Vern can’t finish his Mega-Acting book yet because he hasn’t watched Peggy Sue Got Married.

  27. Vern, it is more like mp4 versus whatever itunes doesnt use.

  28. I wanted to pre-order it too, but then I realized that I’ll be in Canada in May and Toronto has something called “The World Biggest Bookstore”. They better have SEAGALOGY UP & EX

  29. Vern, needless to say the founding of seagalogical studies, and its seminal text, is your crowning achievement. Congrats on the second edition.

    Perhaps you can emulate the PUNISHER films and release a new one every five or ten years, with the same title?

    For the *next* edition, I’d love to read you revisiting some of the golden-era Seagal films. The old reviews are funny as hell, but you are a much better writer now than you used to be and are better at articulating, yes, subtext. I for one think the chapter on MARKED FOR DEATH could be deepened. That’s the ultimate early Seagal in a lot of ways and it gets pretty cursory treatment, mostly played for laffs. I’d pay to read what you have to say about it now.

  30. So since we’re treating this as a potpourri arena, I have to ask about the Hunger Games. Like everyone, I’m a little sick of hearing about those books/movies, but since I generally trust the opinions of the people on this board, I have to ask whether some of you have seen the movie, and whether or not its worth a rental somewhere down the line.

    Personally, I don’t feel compelled to read the book before the film comes out, but I would feel like a complete jackass if I hadn’t watched Battle Royal before watching the Hunger Games.

  31. Want to hear a dirty little secret? BATTLE ROYALE: nothing special.

  32. Honestly,I prefer THE CONDEMNED with Steve Austin over BATTLE ROYALE , speaking of dirty secrets…

  33. I’ve always enjoyed The Running Man and the original story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” the best. Majestyk, I’m surprised to see you say that Battle Royale is overrated, since I’ve heard others rave about it. I could, however, see the gimmick kind of overtaking the film itself.

  34. It’s just an old idea executed with no particular verve. It’s not a bad movie by any means but I fail to see what the big deal is.

  35. TURKEY SHOOT and HARD TARGET must be mentioned when we are talking epic manhunts.
    TS is batshit insanity bottled up like some evil genie in a flask and I don´t think I need
    to explain why HT is so goddamn awesome.

  36. I like how TURKEY SHOOT makes you think that it’s a serious movie. And then the werewolf comes out.

  37. “I don’t think I need to explain why HT is so goddamn awesome.”

    Jean Claude Van Damme’s mullet?

  38. I saw “Battle Royale” when it first came out (over 11 years ago now) and I thought it was great. Saying something is over rated is a real weird criticism anyway. My favorite “run for your life” film is “The Naked Prey” (1966).

    And yes Vern I have ordered the new edition of your book. Hell I even buy the “Clint” comic magazine just for your column (although some of the comics are pretty good, even though every one of them is bleak as hell).

  39. Is hair an important part of actionfilmmaking? Some folks like to point out Gibson´s hairstyle in LETHAL WEAPON or Swayzes from ROADHOUSE. And now we have to drag poor Jean-Claude into this shit?!

  40. For the record, I never said BATTLE ROYALE was overrated. I said it was nothing special.

  41. The difference being that the latter is my opinion. The former is saying that the prevailing opinion is objectively incorrect, which is a bullshit thing to say. I try not to do that. Other people can rate BATTLE ROYALE however the hell they want. It’s not my business to say that they’re wrong for liking something more than I do.

  42. Despite, the fact that the mullte has become something of a joke, it’s still incredibly intimidating. A mullet tells the world that you just don’t care. Prevailing hairstyle aesthetics. Fuck ’em. I would sooner step out of the way of a mulleted man, than I would laugh at him.

  43. Funny that you bring up the weirdness of the “overrated” criticism. I was just thinking about that recently. “You guys all like this movie too much. You should really think about enjoying it less. Coincidentally, the exact right amount to like the movie is the amount I like it.”

  44. I think “underrated” is okay, though. For some reason, it has more of a connotation of “people should give this another chance” and less “No one else has the keen critical faculties that I do and thus have graded this incorrectly.”

  45. You know what movie isnt overrated? The Raid. CrustacianHate knows what Im talking about.

  46. If anything, it’s overRaided. It’s too Raidy.

  47. I have just come back from seeing THE HUNGER GAMES and yup, it’s as mediocre as all fuck.

    Bland, safe, lifeless, the few decent ideas therein pissed away.

    Always nice to see Woody Harrelson, though. Best thing in it, for me.

    I noticed that all 3 trailers before it had Chris Hemsworth in them – and his bro Liam is in THG.

    Truly, 2012 will be the year of the Hems bros.

  48. How is killing kids on screen safe? Not many movies have the balls to do it, let alone a PG13 movie. At least in the killing aspect of the movie.

  49. Do you really think they would have gone through with it if it weren’t based on an already popular property? I guarantee there was at least one studio exec saying, “Do they have to be kids? Can’t they be sexy spray-tanned twentysomethings?”

  50. The killing kids thing is the whole reason Battle Royale became a big deal. Back when teen shooting was the hot-button shit there was no chance of it ever getting a release in America. To have seen it you had to find a bootleg or buy a shitty region zero dvd from a local place. Once you make something forbidden and seeing it becomes about nerd cred perceptions on quality tend to become skewered quite a bit. Same thing is happening now with A Serbian Film

    I would honestly like to see a version with some coherent subtitles before I make up my mind about it completely.

  51. But in reality, they are sexed up twenty-somethings. I think the fact that the actors look mature for their ages, probably makes the themes a little less threatening. I haven’t seen the movie, and I’m not sure I’m going to, even on DVD, but I can see how Hollywood could make something like this safe and predictable.

  52. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 28th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    @ Jake:

    “Funny that you bring up the weirdness of the “overrated” criticism. I was just thinking about that recently. “You guys all like this movie too much. You should really think about enjoying it less. Coincidentally, the exact right amount to like the movie is the amount I like it.””

    At last, somebody who understands!

    More seriously though… saying something is “overrated” isn’t really criticising the film so much as its critics. All the film magazines gave “The Matrix: Reloaded”, “Pearl Harbor” and “The Phantom Menace” five stars. I saw all three of those films in the cinema. I think I have a right to be a little aggrieved when I think the majority opinion about all three films – with which I wholeheartedly agree, by the way – is that they are SHIT.

    (Ok, I kinda enjoyed parts of “Pearl Harbor”. It’s definitely a superior Michael Bay film, for what that’s worth. But it sure as heck ain’t no “Tora Tora Tora”.)

    Anyway… updated Seagalogy: haven’t ordered mine yet. I will though, if only to see the expanded comments on the recent Seagal films I’ve seen.

    But as for the book sales, Amazon.co.uk says: “Only 1 left in stock – order soon.” Not sure if that’s a good thing because you’re selling fast, Vern, or a bad thing because they haven’t got enough stock in the first place…

  53. Any discussion of action hair must include Nicolas Cage. Con Hair is awesome.

  54. Steven and Jimmy Kimmel 2012 Part 1


    Steven and Jimmy Kimmel 2012 Part 1


    and i’m glad someone brought up nicolas cage:

    “Nicolas spoke with Lorne backstage, saying, “…they probably think I’m the biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show!” to which Lorne replied, “No, no. That would be Steven Seagal.””


  55. Stershein – I know what you mean – the concept is ballsy.

    But in it’s presentation it’s so watered down or just plain poorly done that it’s neutered utterly.

    Most of the killings are shot in an abstract, shakycam-to-the-max-can’t-focus-on-what’s-happening way.

    Coupled with the fact that the characters getting offed literally didn’t have any lines in the whole film and were on screen for seconds before hand, rendering the whole thing bloodless in every respect.

  56. strangely I was not too impressed with Battle Royale either, despite being such a Japanophile

    I don’t know what it was exactly, if it was just seeing it after years of hype or if it was the import Netflix dvd with the somewhat wonky subtitles, I’d like to give it another chance on blu ray some day though

    ya know, being a Japanophile does not mean that I unanimously love anything and everything related to Japanese pop culture, to be honest most of the live action Japanese movies I’ve seen have been awful (not counting the classic Kurosawa ones), they’re usually just extremely cheesy and low budget and not in a good way

    take The Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police for example, you’d think those movies would be right up my alley, but I didn’t like them at all (ok well TGP had some funny moments), things that would work in animation don’t really translate well when done in low budget live action with real people, it just becomes cheesy and ridiculous

    there are exceptions though, Suicide Club was good (although I hated the sequel), Kikujiro was excellent (I’ve been meaning to check out more of Takeshi Kitano’s movies), Audition was great of course and House was great fun (Vern needs to review that one)

  57. oh yeah, I didn’t like The Hunger Games either

    they took something that could have been edgy and exciting and made it boring, sums up most of modern Hollywood really

  58. ya know, I probably just haven’t seen enough Japanese movies

  59. I saw BR when it first came out, largely on the insistence of a buddy of mine who ran a DVD store.

    He raved and raved about it, So I saw it. And, to be honest, I thought it was OK. Not great or anything, just OK.

    Only ever seen it the once, never had any inclination to rewatch.

    But then, I didn’t mind the sequel, so what the hell do I know?

    I see there’s a very natty 4 disc BD set just come out in the States with both films, for anyone who wants to see them (shame they’ve put the shorter, less interesting cut of part 2 on there – very odd).

    There’s a 3 disc UK set, too, that’s way cheaper (and region-free, but not sure – some say it is, some say not):


    In terms of recent(ish) Japanese cinema, I’m currently obsessed with Sion Sono’s LOVE EXPOSURE – amazing, amazing film.

    FISH STORY is meant to be pretty great, too.

  60. Griff – that´s why I enjoy TOKYO GORE POLICE and ROBO-GEISHA. Where you see cheese and ridicuolusness I see epic outlandishness sparkled with crazy ass awesome sauce,even though I despise anime intensely( with a few exceptions), those movies are right up my alley of entertainment.
    You just never know what crazy shit´s gonna come in the next scene.

  61. well I guess I’m the opposite then

  62. Well done Vern on getting a reprint of this fine, fine book out there. I have the first one (and Yippie Ki-yay Moviegoer) and love it, and I’ll happily pay again to get the new chapters.

  63. I’ve forced myself to give up on Japanese gore films. They’re always cases of the whole being less than the sum of its parts. There’s all this crazy shit happening, but none of it has any impact. It all just washes over me. Maybe it’s too much of a good thing, maybe it’s just because nothing feels subversive coming from the Japanese because weirdness is their natural state. With no base level of normality, none of the ridiculousness stands out. There are exceptions, of course. Anything Miike is worth watching, and as Griff said, HOUSE is amazing, but in general, Japan is my least favorite of the major Asian film-producing countries.

  64. Mr. Majestyk – that’s exactly how I feel about them, well put…

    basically Japanese anime: love it, Japanese video games: love them, Japanese culture in general: love it, Japanese movies? ehhhh kinda lukewarm on that one (but again, with notable exceptions)

    have any of you guys ever seen Kikujiro? it’s a great little movie, seriously

  65. With the exception of Miyazaki’s stuff, I too have found little to love about modern Japanese cinema. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place, and maybe the type of genre stuff that we get over here just isn’t my bag, but I rarely get excited about films coming out of Japan.

  66. Jareth Cutestory

    March 29th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Interesting. I still have too much fun watching the wonky Japanese gore films to give up on them, but I largely agree with your observations. A steady diet of outrage would be numbing.

    The charisma of the cast can go a long way toward elevating these movies. HELLDRIVER certainly benefitted from having Eihi Shiina in the cast. I also never seem to get tired to watching threadbare special effects; observing the inventiveness that is needed to stretch those tiny budgets is half the fun of watching the film. The less inventive stuff, like ALIEN VS NINJA, can be a bit of a chore.

    The more explicit social satire in something like VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL hints at one possible route these films might take in the future to keep the genre fresh.

    Japan is probably the one country where I find more satisfying films closer to the mainstream than out on the fringes. As much as I like ROBOGEISHA, something more sedate like AFTER LIFE stuck with me a lot longer.

  67. Every now and again I find a gem, like EXECUTIVE KOALA and CALAMARI WRESTLER, but I’ve learned to be wary of Japanese pop cinema. The problem is that so many of them seem so ridiculous and amazing in DVD cover/plot synopsis form that I’m always tempted to break my boycott. But I learned the hard way that when there’s a movie called BIG TIT ZOMBIE that looks too good to be true, it probably is.

  68. How about SEXY TIMETRIP NINJAS? It’s pretty hard to see where you could go wrong with sexy time travelling ninjas (although the fact that I haven’t bothered tracking it down pretty much says I think there’s quite the likelihood of it actually going wrong)

    I tend to find those ridiculous effects films work best in small doses, the effects scenes usually drag on a touch too long after they’re shown their stuff and the non-effects scenes tend to be pretty weak. HARD REVENGE MILLY is a good one though; short, decent action and not a whole lot of padding nonsense.

  69. I was curious about that one. Glad to hear it’s worth watching. It’s streaming on Netflix so I’ll check it out.

    Anyone know anything about NEGATIVE HAPPY CHAINSAW EDGE? I know I just warned against the dangers of judging a Japanese film by its title, but goddamn, I’m only human.

  70. Jareth Cutestory

    March 29th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I’ve resisted renting SEXY TIMETRIP NINJAS because, like Majestyk said, I doubt the film could be as good as the title.

    The title NEGATIVE HAPPY CHAINSAW EDGE just sounds too awesome to ignore. It’s an even better title than the Korean film TEENAGE HOOKER BECOMES KILLING MACHINE IN DAEHAKRO (sadly marketed as just KILLING MACHINE in North America).

    Actually, a buddy told me that NEGATIVE HAPPY CHAINSAW EDGE has more psychological substance, romance, and better production values than the title would suggest.

  71. Aren’t TOKYO GORE POLICE and it’s ilk made purely for the West?

    I’m sure I read an interview with one of the directors, saying they were giving film fans what they thought we wanted i.e. girls, gore, and sfx.

    I dunno if I like that – I want my Japanese craziness authentic style, not manufactured in that way.

    And please, if you can, check out LOVE EXPOSURE. It’s almost as good as EXECUTIVE KOALA (but nowhere near as good as EXECUTIVE KOALA 2: BACK UP A TREE).

  72. LOVE EXPOSURE is indeed tremendous. Four hours long but doesn’t even think about starting to drag.

  73. I have long been puzzled as to why the Western consensus towards Japanese cinema seems to be that there hasn’t been much of note since Kurosawa. How are directors as incredible as Shunji Iwai, Tetsuya Nakashima, Toshiaki Toyoda, Katsuhito Ishii, Shinji Aoyama, Nobuhiro Yamashita, and many, many others not better known here? I get that the extreme stuff is always gonna get more attention among genre fans, but even critics seem to ignore the quieter stuff coming out of Japan.

    I’d think people around here would be more into Japanese movies than most since they seem to be one of the few national cinemas that tend to use a more classical style of filmmaking where they actually plan shots in advance. And they let shots play out for longer than 4 seconds without cutting in to a closeup. I know, it sounds ridiculously old-fashioned but it actually works.

    Anyway, if you haven’t seen them already, you might want to check out CONFESSIONS, CURE, BLUE SPRING, THE TASTE OF TEA, SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY, THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI, FIREWORKS and GONIN before writing off Japan.

  74. ” NEGATIVE HAPPY CHAINSAW EDGE”!? That´s the most random put-together title I´ve ever heard. Sounds more like spam than an actual movie…

  75. Jareth Cutestory

    March 29th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I like LOVE EXPOSURE a lot too – the School for Upskirt Photography is classic – though I think Shion Sono explored similar themes more effectively in his earlier film NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE.

    I don’t know to what extent the Western market was an influence on Yoshihiro Nishimura when he made TOKYO GORE POLICE. He’s often credited Dali, THE THING and VIDEODROME as key influences in his work, which certainly points to a cosmopolitan sensibility, but he’s also been pretty forthcoming about that film in particular expressing his feelings about certain frustrations he felt with Japanese society. I’m not sure a more market-driven enterprise would have carried that kind of baggage with it.

  76. Jareth Cutestory

    March 29th, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Jake: I think it’s agreed upon around here that the giant spinning mechanical boner in TETSUO is pure poetry.

  77. I saw Michael Ironside on JUSTIFIED the other night! Damn! Haven´t seen him in years. With age he´s really become a big fearsome guy that could make most people shit themselves. I hope they keep him on the show, because his character has potential.

  78. Jake: I don’t really know anything about Japanese dramatic-type cinema, since I don’t really watch that kind of movie, no matter what country it’s from. Show me a plot synopsis concerning a middle-aged businessman quietly dealing with changing social mores or a young girl coming of age in an oppressive society and I’ll show you a Majestyk-shaped hole in the wall. I’m glad those movies exist for people who like them, but I got enough drama in my life as it is. I have a chronic lack of swordfights, though, which is why I’m a genre guy.

  79. I´m with Majestyk;if it does not have Toshiro Mifune or Sonny Chiba, I´m not interested

  80. So you’d both pass on 13 Assassins, the best sword movie in ages, because there’s no Mifune or Chiba?

  81. I didn’t say shit about Mifune or Chiba. I specifically said I need more swordfights in my life, and 13 ASSASSINS is like a multi-v capsule for Vitamin Kitana.

  82. Mr. Majestyk – Yeah, I know a lot of people around here tend to prefer the genre stuff so I mostly listed genre-ish movies. CONFESSIONS, for instance, is one of the best revenge movies I’ve seen in recent years.

    And I forgot to mention CRAZY LIPS. I’m not sure why this one didn’t seem to find an audience. It’s got a lot of the off-the-wall awesomeness that makes Miike so great. If he had directed it I think it would be much more well known and respected.

  83. My mistake, Mr Majestyk. And I agree we you. The Japanese movies we get over here tend to be either veeeryyy slooow dramas or over the top and silly splatter. The samurai stuff on the other hand are always great.

  84. You have, I hope, seen all the Lone Wolf and Cub movies?

  85. Oh God, the LONE WOLD & CUB films are just incredible, incredible pieces of work.

    Honestly, if there’s anyone on here who hasn’t seen them, get on it asap.

    70s Japanese swordplay films are just bliss, with the SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH and HANZO THE RAZOR series at the forefront.

    The ZATOICHI series is much loved, but I’ve never actually seen them.

    Chiba’s TV show from the 80s, SHADOW WARRIORS, is pretty awesome, too.

    But then, what Chiba isn’t?

  86. Saw THE RAID again (I’m on a mission to take every action fan I know to this shit) and man Rama arriving on the 7th floor truly is the action setpiece to beat this year. The first time I saw it my adrenaline shot up and never got back down but the second time the sickness of the choreography was so much that my contacts shot right the fuck out of my eyes because they couldn’t handle the awesome. I need to see THE RETALIATION like right now.

  87. I was just in a clumsy way describing of what I like about japanese cinema and those two embodies samurai-movies/karatepictures and badasscinema the best, so I figured I´ll use those two as examples. And yes 13 ASSASSINS is one of the best movies I´ve seen in years.
    I was just agreeing with Mr Majestyk in a weird way.

    Stop taking what I say so literally, goddamnit!

  88. Oh yeah and add me to the camp that was never impressed by BATTLE ROYALE. That’s part of the reason that I have – 0 intereste in the hungry games (it’s not worth capitalizing). Well that and the fact that it’s the equivalent of a GOOSEBUMPS motion picture being made back in the mid 90’s. Just because something rips off a bunch of other shit and tweens eat it the fuck up doesn’t mean it’s worth your time.

  89. Oh yeah and add me to the camp that was never impressed by BATTLE ROYALE. That’s part of the reason that I have – 0 interest in the hungry games (it’s not worth capitalizing). Well that and the fact that it’s the equivalent of a GOOSEBUMPS motion picture being made back in the mid 90’s. Just because something rips off a bunch of other shit and tweens eat it the fuck up doesn’t mean it’s worth your time.

  90. *sigh* I wish I got to learn how to articlu…..artc…articulc…write stuff better so people could understand what I actually meant….

  91. karlos – Dude go rent the ZATOICHI series like yesterday. Seriously it’s such a fucking good franchise that even every other version of a film in that series has been awesome (BLIND FURY being my favorite).

  92. You’re doing fine. I just wanted to bring up 13 Assassins and Lone Wolf.

  93. Please enlighten me; I saw SHOGUN ASSASSINS once. It did not make much sense if I recall correctly. So is that the first one in a series or what?

  94. Shogun Assassin was put together with scenes from the two first Lone Wolf movies, then dubbed by the producer and his friend Sandra Bernard. It’s not a bad movie, but the series is much better.

  95. Jake: Revenge, you say? I’m always up for a revenge movie. I hear it’s bad for me, but what completely delicious thing isn’t?

    I will also check out this CRAZY LIPS movie. Is it true that there’s a sequel called GORE FROM OUTER SPACE? Because wow.

  96. Jareth Cutestory

    March 29th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I keep telling you, Majestyk, if you’d just lift your embargo on foreign badass slogans you’d be fighting off motherfuckers with swords everywhere you go. You can’t imagine the looks of shock you can inspire when you bust into a warehouse shouting: “Mom’s money! Want Mom’s money!”

  97. I tried “Chinese are not sick men of Asia!” once but nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. To be honest, neither did I.

  98. Jareth Cutestory

    March 29th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    If your technique is perfect, you can piss off both Asians and Wu Tang fans.

    “When this ring appears again in the future, it’ll be your death!”

  99. So there’s going to be an ANCHORMAN 2. I’m excited, but I am dreading all the people who’ll be quoting it as much as they do the first one.

  100. Mr. Majestyk – Yeah, the sequel is indeed called that. It’s not quite as good though. They tried to make it a little too comedic, in my opinion. CRAZY LIPS plays it more straight-faced and is much funnier because of that.

  101. I think ANCHORMAN 2 may be a case of “too little too late” tbh. We’ll see.

  102. Holy shit Pegsman, I had no idea about Sandra Bernhard’s involvement in Shogun Assassin. That’s crazy. Also now that I read about it I see that the score was by the lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders, who were pretty influential in Northwest garage rock.

    I’ve been meaning for a long time to rewatch all the Lone Wolf and Cubs (I never finished the reviews I started of the early ones) but when I do I want to do a thorough comparison to Shogun Assassin and listen to the commentary tracks on that and everything. I always give Harry shit when he talks up Shogun Assassin (or worse, the sequels). Imagine how offensive it would seem if Americans never got Yojimbo and Sanjuro, but just a mishmash of the swordfights dubbed into English with a keyboard soundtrack? For some reason the Lone Wolf and Cub movies are considered okay to fuck with like that.

    By the way, it was just reported the other day that Justin Lin is supposed to direct a new Lone Wolf and Cub movie. I kind of doubt it will really happen, but I’m open to it as long as it’s not a modernized version. (or I guess if it is it could still be good, but I hope it’s not.)

  103. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 29th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Pegsman – there is a LOT of bad samurai stuff out there. Practically a whole genre dedicated to non-characters spouting pomposities while gutting each other with swords. It just so happens that the stuff we get in the Western world – “13 Assassins” being a relatively recent example – is great.

    But then that’s why a lot of the British think American TV is the best. America has a lot of cultural influence over here and as a result we get to have all the best shows (“The West Wing”, “The Wire”, etc) but none of the crap. The stuff we get over here is already filtered by quality / popularity (which often tend to coincide in the realm of television, bizarrely enough.) Same is true of Japanese cinema that makes it to the West. Generally speaking it does so because it’s obscenely popular, genuinely great, or both.

    More updated Seagalogy in stock at Amazon.co.uk! Apparently they were just kidding about the lack of stock a couple of days ago. That or they deliberately put LESS stock than they have so that people will buy quickly… I wouldn’t put it past ’em.

    Incidentally Vern, did you ever review “Martha Marcy May Marlene”? If not, can you? I seem to remember you writing something about it but I can’t recall where or what… I’d be interested to see your reaction to a film that both Mouth and I think is great, given how little we ever agree on anything!

  104. Couldn’t you call Shoot ‘Em Up a sort of modern take on it, and Warrior’s Way a bit of an unofficial remake?

  105. …And don’t forget Strike and his son in BRONX WARRIORS 2!

    The main unofficial remakes are Jet Li’s NEW LEGEND OF SHAOLIN and the Shaw Bros. flick, SECRET SERVICE OF THE IMPERIAL COURT aka POLICE POOL OF BLOOD.

    Both are pretty damn awesome.

    If you want to see the LW&C films in all their glory, and you can play UK discs, this set is the way to go:


    There’s also a 5 film set that continues the SHOGUN ASSASSIN alternate story:


    Never seen either the 70s or 00s TV series, apart from the BABY CART IN PURGATORY TV movie, that – brilliantly – cast the Lone Wolf himself, the one and only Tomisaburo Wakayama, as the bad guy.

    I’ve heard the 70s show is very good (season 1 DVD is on Amazon) but let’s face it, Wakayama WAS Lone Wolf, and whoever they got after him could not come close to matching his charisma or sword skills.

    Dude was a real-life Kung Fu master, too.

    OK, I’m Lone Wolfed out. Night all.

  106. The sound track is the best thing about SHOGUN ASSASSIN. It not a bad flick, but why would you watch it when you can just as easily watch the original films it was made from. Wasn’t it Roger Corman that was responsible for recuting and dubbing the first 2 LONE WOLF & CUB films into SHOGUN ASSASSIN? Also, the classic “Liquid Swords” album by The GZA/Genius features a number of great audio clips from SHOGUN ASSASSIN.

  107. Speaking of foreign action flicks, I have been on an 80’s and 90’s Hong Kong binge as of late, and I have to highly recommend MERCENARIES FROM HONG KONG. It is an early 80’s Shaw Brother film that is very similar to THE EXPENDABLES in concept, but way more bat shit crazy and way more fun. It features all of the martial arts stars that were under contract with the Shaw Brothers at the time teaming up to sneak into Vietnam to assassinate a killer known as “The Devil” who fled Hong Kong. I would go into details, but I don’t want to spoil any of the fun. I will say that it features maybe the greatest first 15 minutes of any film ever made, and if you check it out and are not sold I don’t know what you are doing on this website. It is not available on DVD but a buddy of mine noticed that somebody posted the entire film in one piece on Youtube so you can check it out there your interested. Vern, I know people are always recommending films for you to review so please forgive me for jumping on the pig pile, but you need to check it out. It is so over the top and packed with action and stunt work mixed with raw uncut crazy that you can’t help but love it.

  108. There is a great chapter on the making of the Lone Wolf bastard “Shogun Assassin” in the book TOKYOSCOPE. I’m sure all the research the authors did has been ripped off and put on line somewhere.
    I’m like Majestyk when it comes to flicks, I like genre stuff ALMOST exclusively. Which really seems to irritate people from other countries when they realize you only like the low-brow stuff from their cultures.

  109. oh TETSUO: THE IRON MAN, I forgot about that one for some reason, that one was awesome

  110. Speaking of SEAGOLOGY, TRUE JUSTICE premieres on Reelz Channel tomorrow. For some reason my provider has Reelz set not to allow DVR recording so I guess I have to watch it live.

  111. – Dan S

    I`ll never get that book anyway, so any interesting stories you could quote?

    I`m a big fan of japanese exploitaition from the early seventies, even though I haven`t seen that much of it, but the Babycard-series, Lady Snowblood 1 and 2, Female Prisoner Scorpion 1-3, Hanzo the Razor 1-3 and Zero Woman are all excellent. The nineties had Beat Takashi, Takashi Miike, Takashi Ishi and Shinya Tsukamoto, all making my favorite kind of moves; weird exploitation arthouse. And I`ve recently gotten into Sion Sono, who made Cold Fish, Suicide Club and the amazing Love Exposure (where the protagonist btw dresses up as Female Prisoner Scorpion.) When you include anime-directors like Satoshi Kon, Hideko Anno, Mamoru Oshii and Momoru Hosada, to name a few, I think it qualifies Japan as a pretty awesome filmmaking country.

    And as I have mentioned before, for a moviesight dedicated to badass cinema, it completely lacks stuff about Clint Eastwoods japanese cousin Meiko Kaji.

  112. Paul, I know that not all samurai movies are of 13 Assassins quality, but for me they’re much like westerns – even the bad ones are kinda cool.

    Tomisabura Wakayama was a real life quick draw champion and had a look that no one can duplicate, so yeah, anyone who attempts to walk in his shoes in a Lone Wolf remake will be like Roger Moore in the Connery vs Moore as Bond debate.

  113. dna – I kind of put anime movies in a different category because it’s anime, but yeah the late, great Satoshi Kon is brilliant

  114. I’ve seen every one one of his movies by the way (and the tv series Paranoia Agent) which he is the only director that I can say that, I mean there’s a few Spielberg movies I’ve never seen for example…

    of course he tragically only had a handful of movies, so it’s not that hard…

  115. Charles is right – MERCENARIES FROM HONG KONG aka THE SHAW BROS. EXPENDABLES aka YOUR MIND HAS JUST BEEN BLOWN is just insane and insanely entertaining.

    Required viewing, I’d say, for all purveyors of this fine site.

    Ti Lung’s mustache alone makes it worth a view.

    Shaw Bros. made only a few modern-day actioners at the end of their movie-making days, including the equally mindblowing HONG KONG GODFATHERS; the finale of which is justly seen as one of the most violent, relentless, nihilistic things ever filmed.

    Collecting the Shaws DVD releases as they came out in the mid-00s was truly a highpoint for me as a film fan.

    Every month, for over 5 years, there was a unstoppable stream of superb action films coming out, most of which never had any sort of legit home video release, making it feel like each one was a treasure.

    And most of them were.

    It was a golden age, my brothers.

  116. – griff

    Have you seen The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars? They have a sorta Satoshi Kon flavor to them. Really excellent stuff, imo.

    I don`t really seperate directors on behalf of their niche. If they make great movies, they`re great directors. And a lot of anime directors have directed “real” movies, as lot of good directors have done animation (Spielberg, Znyder, Zemeckis, Zombie.. eh.. and others..) Well, a lot of movies today blurs the line between animation and real movies anyway with all their cgi and green screen stuff.

  117. dna – I have not seen those two movies, but they’e on my to-watch list, especially Summer Wars

  118. May I recommend REDLINE for some anime awesomeness?

  119. so, does anyone else find this whole Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles controversy absolutely fucking hilarious?

    it’s like Michael Bay has intentionally made it his life goal to piss the fuck off out of everyone who was a kid in the 80’s, I mean the guy’s my dad’s age, so he wasn’t a kid in the 80’s, did he just hate kids back then and swear to get revenge on that generation?

    but again, just like with Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a franchise I’ve always thought was stupid from the get go

    now I’m probably just not old enough to have ever gotten into the Turtles (born circa 1989), but it was still around when I was a little kid and even then I thought it sounded dumb, but I still feel sorry for the fans

    I know I’m not the first to say this, but I really wish Hollywood would start getting some fucking original ideas or at least the very least adapting things that have not already been done to death

  120. I mean really, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 3 live action movies, one CGI movie, 2 tv cartoons, tons and tons of toys, merchandise and video games, can’t we just call that franchise tapped out and start something new instead?

    this is one of the fundamental problems with modern culture, we don’t want to start something new, we want to just rehash the same old things, instead of just creating the modern day equivalent of TMNT we just want TMNT again

    and see, that was one reason why I didn’t like it as a kid, I could tell it was old, I was interested in cartoons and things that were new for my generation (like all the Nicktoons for example)

  121. I loved TMNT when I was 11, but since I am substantially older now, I could give a fuck what Bay does with them. I’m getting far more enjoyment out of his latest crusade against all the world’s nerds, who, Lucas-like, he despises with all his soul even though they have made him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. Finally, after years of practice on the TRANSFORMERS franchise, he has found a way to administer to the entire nerd community a worldwide wedgie. He’s not the villain they need, but he is the villain they deserve.

  122. I do enjoy how worked up people on the internet have gotten over this. I mean, I loved the turtles when I was, like, 8. And I’m pretty sure I have a copy of the first movie and maybe some of the cartoons on DVD. But…

    Remember that BOONDOCKS where Thugnificent was talking about people always asking him if his song was called “Booty Butt Cheeks” or “Move Yo Butt Cheeks.”? And he was, like, “It’s a motherfucking song about butt cheeks. Who gives a fuck?” Guys, it was a motherfucking cartoon about talking turtles, who gives a fuck?

  123. Mr. Majestyk – yeah, I’m starting to think that he’s intentionally trying to fuck with nerds and honestly, I kinda gotta admire his moxie

  124. Booty Butt Cheeks! Booty Butt Cheeks!

  125. I always liked the original TMNT comics, which were – and still are – very clever and well done; as both a Frank Miller parody and a thing in and of itself, as well as a world away from all the shit TV and films that followed.

    But when you announce plans to basically fuck up an existing franchise, when you’ve got ONE OF THE ACTUAL CREATORS saying, what the fuck are you doing?, you really might want to stop and see if it’s the right thing, Mr Bay.

    I mean, why fuck with the origin anyway? If you’re going to change something so fundamental to the mythos, you may as well not bother adapting it.

    It would be cheaper and less trouble to just rip it off – take what you want to use and discard the rest. Give it a new name and make it look a little different and voila.

    Bay can’t even claim he’s after the TMNT fanbase anymore because he’s lost them. It must really rattle fans of TMNT as Bay has shown he has zero love for it, apart from the bucks he’s hoping to generate from it.

    Maybe it’s all going to turn out to be a huge joke.

    Bay is clearly taking the piss and he’s big enough and rich enough to do it.

    He probably didn’t even know what the fuck a ninja turtle was until someone made a drunken bet with him to take a random franchise and see how far he could go with messing with it.

  126. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    March 30th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    All you have to do to reboot the TMNT love is to buy blu-ray set with it’s insanely stupid but awesome pizza packaging. And a beanie hat. The original movie is actually a pretty good movie, directed by Steve Barron, who did MJ’s BILLIE JEAN video and a bunch of Ah-Ha videos, among them TAKE ON ME.

    Anyways, enough about fighting turtles, I came here to ask s Seagal-related question. I have yet to check out the ELIJAH KANE SAGA, and I’m wondering whether to check out the movie versions, or just watch the series. Are the movies nothing more than 2 episodes put together, or do they come with extra scenes/moments of poetry etc…? If not, I’ll go with the series.

    Was about to bitch about Vern’s lack of Elijah Kane reviews for the site last week, but it makes sense that he’d consentrate on putting them in the new edition of the book. I’ll buy that shit for sure.

    Also: Only 10 days till DRAGON EYES comes out on BLU!

  127. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    March 30th, 2012 at 8:47 am

    One more thing: Amazon’s uk site already have a product page for DRAGON EYES 2, to be released by the same company as the first. Bodes well for the promised sequel.

  128. karlos,

    “It would be cheaper and less trouble to just rip it off – take what you want to use and discard the rest. Give it a new name and make it look a little different and voila.”

    They aren’t making the movie because they are enamored with the idea of talking animals. The whole point is they want to be able to call it NINJA TURTLES so they can sell a bunch of tickets and merchandise. Bringing back the turtles is a business decision, not a creative one.

  129. I want Bay to do this to every erstwhile 80s children’s franchise. He can start with THUNDERCATS.

    “No one would believe that sword-wielding humanoid cats would come from outer space. In our gritty, realistic version, they are now regular housecats who were mutated by radioactive waste and live in the sewers. I also got this great idea, don’t know where it came from, just hit me out of the blue, but I think they should love pizza. Boom! Bayified!”

  130. I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks (months?) Bay announces that he changed his mind and the Turtles are now “just” Mutants again. (In reality of course he always planned it that way and he just wanted to talk everybody about the Turtles for weeks and then pretend that the fans “have won”, to make them feel good.)

    Apart from that: I don’t care. Unless they find a way to put Vanilla Ice into the new movie. (Just kidding of course. Although I did watch the live action movies a while ago and part 1 holds up surprisingly well!)

  131. CJ,

    You make a good point. I have, at best, mild interest in seeing a new Turtles movie (I guess I did see that newer animated one from a few years back, so obviously I must care a little), but if it involves the Ninja Rap, I don’t see how I could NOT go see it opening weekend.

  132. I just got the following message through facebook:

    “Hello to my loyal fans,
    I just wanted to let you know personally that tonight is the night of the TRUE JUSTICE premier on the Reelz Channel at 9pm ET and 9pm PT I do hope you enjoy it.
    Love and Peace

    Vern, any chance we could get a live-tweeter party going down?!

  133. You’re right, Dan – Bay is not interested in art, just commerce.

    I still think the whole thing will turn out to be a prank, I really do.

  134. In other “They’re just fucking with us now, right?” news…



  135. I remember when Eddie Murphy was actually funny. I feel old.

  136. The really weird thing is that this is even news. As every report pointed out: They don’t even have a writer yet and not one single contract is signed. Apparently some guys kicking ideas around counts these days as news.

    (I just wonder what Eddie Murphy would be. If you remember, Arnold was supposed to be the ultimate genetically engineered goody two shoes Übermensch, while DeVito was what was left.)

  137. RE: Turtles – The first TMNT movie I wouldn’t call “good,” but I admire it having some ambition in trying to be good and interesting. Especially surprisingly trying to be grim and gritty in contrast with the wildly popular cartoon, in part a throwback to the comics but also because BATMAN I believe earlier came out and I guess New Line Cinema thought well is that how you do live-action adaptations of these comic thingys? Quite watchable is the appropriate description. I did appreciate that the villain kicked the heroes’ asses with ease. Hell the baddie isn’t defeated as much as tricked, and then outright MURDERED.

    The rest of the movies can blow me.

    Mr. M – Did I miss something?

    Caoimhin – Me too.

  138. I have some friends who are fans of various iterations of the TMNT comic books, and they swear that there’s some great material in there. Supposedly, there’s been some decent runs over the decades. Unlike Transformers, which was basically half hour long toy commercials, you could conceivably make a decent TMNT movie. So I could see getting a little upset over Raphael and Co. becoming Bayified. But, then again, I didn’t watch the cartoon much when I was a kid, so I have little if any investment.

  139. I have an old paperback collection of the early black-and-white issues, and, as someone else mentioned, they’re amusing as a parody of the grim, gritty Frank Miller comics-for-grownups-but-not-really style that was popular at the time. The joke is that a comic about mutated turtles who use nunchucks and eat pizza was treated as seriously as if it were V FOR VENDETTA or something. Removed from that context it’s just a really stupid idea that doesn’t make any sense.

  140. I’m not completely against transforming old cartoons into live action movies. There’s this cartoon from the early nineties called ExoSquad that was pretty much an American version of an anime series. I remember it completely blowing my mind as a kid because it was serialized, so each episode lead into the next. They also killed off important characters now and again, which was pretty rare back in the day. In a fit of nostalgia I rewatched the series on Hulu a few years ago, and while it isn’t exactly a lost classic, it still held up surprisingly well. I would totally geek out over an ExoSquad movie.

  141. Majestyk- http://www.theonion.com/articles/michael-bay-signs-50m-deal-to-fuck-up-thundercats,2702/

    RRA- “The rest of the movies can blow me.” SOMEONE failed their “remove a bunch of a bells from a tree without making a noise” Foot Clan initiation test…

  142. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Onion should be paying me.

  143. For 3 year old articles?

  144. Mr. M – I’m shocked Hollywood still wants to work with Eddie Murphy. Isn’t he solid box office poison by now?

    RBatty024 – I would think the same for ROBOTECH. Imagine this: Three movies, three different casts (i.e. no contracted sequels for stars) set in three different time periods of a fictional universe. And Hollywood can still produce their toys.

    Stu – Oh well. At least Cobra still has an opening.

  145. RRA- I was under the impression Murphy at least got decent numbers with his family movies?
    Which reminds of a topic I was meaning to raise here: what actor whose profile has faded would you like to see make a comback, be it in film or tv? I enjoyed Michael Keaton in THE OTHER GUYS, and I’d like him to be in more stuff. I could see him starring in a comedy detective show for instance. Also, him Burton and the writer of ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER all want to do a BEETLEJUICE sequel.

  146. I’m surprisingly down with a BEETLEJUICE sequel

  147. I’m actually an avid reader of the current volume of the Turtles comic. However I couldn’t care less about a new movie. I get my fix with the comics and don’t need anything else. Besides the original movie still holds up really well and that’s good enough. Platinum Dunes could turn those fuckers into iguanas for all I care; the fact that they’re behind the remake keeps me away off pure principle since all of their productions have sucked beyond belief

  148. Yeah a BEETLEJUICE sequel I have no problem with so long as Keaton and Burton are involved. It’s not like Mike K. will be “too old” for the role and it’s one of Burton’s only original IP’s and possibly my favorite stuff from him anyway. Since he’s so into retracing his roots lately (IE: remaking FRANKENWEENIE) for re inspiration it could be a shot at him making something truly worth the while again cause it’s been almost 10 years since he last did that (BIG FISH).

  149. I still think this TRIPLETS thing is an early April Fool’s Joke. I mean of all the movies to sequalize this late why TWINS? and I don’t mean that as a knock cause I loved TWINS and Danny D is awesome as hell to this very day thanks in part to IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA but I think that TWINS sequel ship sailed quite a long time ago. Kelly Preston still looks good though so if it’s true then at least bring her back.

  150. I love the first two TMNT movies with guys in turtle suits doing really good martial arts (and Ernie Reyes Jr.) no interest in cgi ninja turtles.

    However on the alien thing, this isn’t a problem to me. Aliens can still be mutants. I believe on their alien planet turtles also can’t talk or do Kung fu, so they still had to be mutated before they got here.

    I’m also always in favor of revisiting stories and seeing what else you can do. TWINS wasn’t my favorite Arnold movie but I like the idea of where those guys are 25 years later. I really want to see TRUE LIES 2 also. They could use Cameron’s unrpoduced script and let Paul Verhoeven direct it.

    TRUE JUSTICE is great. The fights are way more coherent and less Avid farty than the recent movies. Why does Seagal talk cajun now though? The end of ABOVE THE LAW was on and he sounds totally normal in that.

  151. so I finally got started on Batman Arkham City and WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAA, that game is phenomenal

    I wish you had the option to have Prince’s Batdance play in the background though…

  152. The thing I always found weird about TWINS was it was 90% mismatched duo comedy, an 10% Thriller, with the ruthless industrial spy who was going around killing people who could identify him. I expect should a sequel be made we won’t get anything like this. Like how THREE MEN AND A BABY had the whole thing with the mob wanting the cocaine hid in the baby’s nappy, but the sequel was straight comedy. Or the reverse with CROCODILE DUNDEE where the first was fish out of water comedy but the second has Mick fighting Columbian Drug Lords. And when films did this stuff in the 80s the more serious element was actually treated as somewhat threatening, but if similar movies today did that, the gangsters or whatever would be much more sanitised slapsticky stuff.

  153. Stu – That’s an interesting point. Even in the early 90’s with movies like MO MONEY and SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER you had these comedy movies that also had a bit of a darker side to them with certain subplots. I really can’t see how in today’s comedy movie environment that could pass either. Seems like most audiences today are too stupid to fully comprehend different genre tropes in a comedy flick. I mean even PINEAPPLE EXPRESS couldn’t embrace it’s action movie side without making Rosie Perez and Gary Cole come across like completely morons.

  154. *complete morons

  155. Broddie: I know what you mean. I think BLUE STREAK and BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE (coincidently two Martin Lawrence movies from the very late 90’s) seem to be the last movies to have this element of danger, embedded in silly comedies. STREAK pretty much begins with the murder of Lawrence’s best friend (and ends with him avenging it) and MOMMA’S has a violent gangster ex-boyfriend, who in one scene drowns a woman in an aquarium and it’s definitely not meant to be funny.

  156. I thought Pineapple Express handled it suitably, and it wasn’t so much that Perez and Coleman were morons it’s just they were a little bit more fleshed out into being real people than just “movie villains”, and also a matter of just the overall tone of the film. This is highlighted in the scene where at the end Coleman goes “And we’ll kill them.” and while most movies would then cut to the next scene, it hangs around a few seconds and we then get Coleman saying something like “So cheery up, huh? Huhhh?” and goofing around with Perez, which I thought was a nice touch. Also THE HANGOVERs actually do build up quite a sense of dread at times, not least at all with the opening title sequence style, not to mention the fact that people (including one of the main characters) get shot in the movies! When I’ve said before that I’d like to see Christian Bale in a comedy, I think he’d be perfect playing the “funny, yet completely psychotic/ruthless gangster”type character if they ever made a PART 3.

  157. CJ – Yeah Zed from PULP FICTION and Terrance Howard were some seriously malicious assholes. I forgot about those. BLUE STREAK is coincidentally also the last time Martin Lawrence made me laugh.

    Stu – They felt like corny “real people” to me with the stupid quipping and shit logic. I mean for being so called professionals they sure did drop the ball a whole lot to the point of stupidity. I will say THE HANGOVER did have a nice dark streak at times though. I still haven’t watched HANGOVER (THE REMIX) yet but that first movie did have it’s grimy moments. It’s probably why I enjoyed it so much.

    I seriously find that movie funnier than 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN and TROPIC THUNDER by miles since I never found those movies to be funny to begin with. Just cliched ass tired jokes which were already old hat when Bill Clinton was in office. People say THE HANGOVER it’s overrated but I don’t think overrated would make that kind of money worldwide if it didn’t have some universal comical appeal. It has jokes for EVERYBODY in there not just one type of audience.

  158. I realized that Martin Lawrence made only three movies (as star of it) that I like (Plus BAD BOYS 2, which I enjoy for its insanity), but he made these three in a row. (NOTHING TO LOSE, LIFE and BLUE STREAK) So the late 90’s were a good time for him. He should have said “no” to BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE. I guess that movie ruined him.

  159. I liked that the villains in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS weren’t exactly on the ball. After all, they were potheads just like our heroes, weren’t they? It put everybody on the same level of competence.

  160. Also from what I remember, a big reason that they didn’t succeed in killing Rogen or Franco is that those two guys were so high/stupid all the time that their choices of action made them hard to predict, not to mention stupid dumb luck.

  161. Dammit, forgot to add that I got my copy of SEAGALOGY 1.5 today. It looks mighty nice, though I’ve not had a chance to read any of the new material yet.

  162. Did nobody watch TRUE JUSTICE this weekend?

  163. so Vern, are you going to be going to Sakura-Con in Seattle next weekend?

    I find the mental image of Vern (even though I have no idea what he looks like) at an anime convention, surrounded by anime fans, absolutely hilarious

  164. I’ve made the disturbing observation that Hollywood is now making action movies for people who hate action. Look at THE HUNGER GAMES. “Dont worry. You don’t have to enjoy the brutal survival adventure. We’ll make it ‘gritty’ and ‘real’ for you.”

    It certainly explains the post action. “Don’t worry, you don’t have to watch these distasteful fight scenes and car chases that artists spend days cboreographing. We’ll shake the camera so you can say it’s realistic, not like those awful ‘fantasies’ that the riff raff enjoys.”

    And this gloomy joyless genre that’s emerging. “Heroes shouldn’t have fun when they’re killing or escaping. That would be wrong.” I think they’ve caught on that it’s a small niche that really loves action and they figured out how to get around us. Now they can sell it to more people by convincing them it’s not really action, or in fact telling them this is “real” action and that other stuff they don’t like is fake.

    Sigh, at lest we have DTV.

  165. Anyone read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/magazine/how-the-american-action-movie-went-kablooey.html?pagewanted=all%3Fsrc%3Dtp&smid=fb-share
    Seems like something you should have some sort of good comment on, Vern.

  166. Unfortunately that NY Times piece comes from a kitschy perspective that treats action movies as a novelty. He’s not analyzing a decline in quality, at least not any deeper than saying Transformers sucks.

    I think there’s a whole lot more to action than his hipsterish definition (splosions and guns). The fact that he excludes Dirty Harry…

  167. That article was nothing else but superficial.And as Fred said there is more to the genre than just the visceral stuff. The actionmovie is far from dead.I´ve seen some quality shit on dvd. FASTER with Dwayne Johnson was one I really enjoyed and felt like a strong genre piece. For that writer it seemed like the actionmovie started and ended with the 80´s.
    He bunches together a slew of classic 80´s movies to make his point.Movies that don´t really have much in common more than guns and explosions and as much as I love COMMANDO, I sure would not mention it in the same sentence as ROBOCOP or DIE HARD.

    I don´t know, he just seem to generalize a lot…

  168. There was some truth in it, but it was a dilettante’s view of the genre. He’s enjoyed a few of its major touchstones and thinks that makes him an expert.

  169. There are always some striving for excellence in even the worst times but I think the big stuff has watered it down for people who hate the genre. Shaky camera so you don’t have to be upset by seeing fights and crashes, Hunger Games that apologize for being exciting, heroes being so dark and broody they are neither fun nor exciting.

    DIRTY HARRY and early Bond were definitely action. No need to distinguish them from Rambo. And to say LAST ACTION HERO was the end but cite ERASER’s one liners is contextually confusing.

    I’d say 90s kept the extravagance going, thou ARMAGEDDON and PRIVATE RYAN marked a turning point. Still the decade gave us FACE/OFF, TRUE LIES, SPEED, DESPERADO, ID4 (like it or not), THE FUGUTIVE, and, um, THE MATRIX.

  170. If they manage to retain the originals charm and ignore the sequel´s dreadfully boring blandness, it could be a hoot. And that Randy Orton backstory gives me hope fór an enormously fun movie.

    But why do they feel the need to cast a new lead for every THE MARINE-movie they make?
    However, it could be an interesting franchise if they make chose to do a MARINE-movie based on every wrestler in the entire WWE-roster. THE MARINE 26 starring Santino, anyone?

  171. Doesn’t the definite article mean ANYTHING to these people?!

  172. Aww…shit..I did not read that entire shit. I was so excited about the prospect of a new MARINE-movie
    that I forgot to proofread it. No Randy Orton? Well cast Jack Swagger. That would be awesome.

  173. Or Wade Barret in THE ROYAL MARINE.

  174. Has DIE HARD 2 been re-released? It’s currently showing in a bunch of cinemas in Ireland.

  175. Actually, just looks like whatever Google use for their listings is a bit less than reliable, unless SCROOGED is back next week also.

  176. You have to admit that those two would make an awesome Christmas double feature.

  177. Well, considering the wave of 3D re-releases, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  178. A 3D re-release of DH2 will help it get closer to it’s “will blow you to the back of the theater” promise.

  179. I still hold that DH2’s plane crashes are the most beautiful explosions ever captured on film. Renny Harlin is an artist and fire is his medium.

  180. Harlin went completely berserk with that movie. Like he really had something to prove. I was just a kid and even then thought the original was better but DH2 was also when I thought he could one day be the next Verhoeven or Cameron who just a couple of years before blew my mind to bits with ROBOCOP, THE TERMINATOR an ALIENS.

    The shootout between McClane and Robert Patrick & friends is still pretty fucking masterful in terms of geography. McClane Vs. James Evans on a fucking airplane wing? so tense and well shot and even flying Bruce Willis’ explosion escape despite it’s obvious green screen work is still pretty damn effective to this day. I definitely miss the Renny Harlin from the 90’s. Even CUTTHROAT ISLAND had some seriously wicked looking and expertly executed action sequences.

  181. Got my Updated and Revised copy of Seagalogy in the mail today. I started with the Machete chapter, and early reports are the book is even better now! Thanks Vern!!

  182. So since Vern never commented on an autographed edition, should I just download the so-called ebook for my kindle like device?

  183. I like how Austin’s in the exact same pose in two different pictures. He’d be a real musical statues contender.

  184. The still of Seagal firing what appears to be Terry Crew’s gun threw me for a sec, as the fireflash blends in with the van.

    I was like, that’s a pretty powerful weapon.

    I’m looking forward to this – it sounds like HALF PAST DEAD only more Steve-y.

  185. Knox Harrington

    April 5th, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Anyone know why I still can’t find Seagalogy on my Kindle?

    I see it available on the Amazon website as a Kindle e-book, but every time I search for it on the Kindle itself, it can’t find it.

    I live in South Africa, man. Kindle’s my only option.

  186. Can’t you order it from amazon.com and get it too South Africa, or South Africa one of the countries where you can’t order from America.

  187. Karlos – in response to what you said in the Raid comments, I wanted to point out that the Jim Brown Parker movie that’s on DVD now is actually THE SPLIT:


    Good movie, check it out. But I’ve always wanted to see THE SLAMS so I’ll have to check that out too.

  188. Oops. Sorry, Vern, my bad. Thanks for clearing it up.

    Now I have two Jim Brown movies I gotta see!

    BTW, here’s the trailer to Oliver Stone’s new film, Savages:


    Looks interesting, but I’ve been burned by Stone before so I’m keeping a steady head with this one.

  189. New behind the scenes pic from RIDDICK 3, featuring Dave Bautista:

  190. wait, Riddick 3? they’re really making a third one? I’m shocked, but I’m also willing to bet the budget is significantly lower than 2

    you guys want to see something really bad? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OnDizZ7UT0&feature=player_embedded#!

  191. Really Griff? this is your first time hearing of this? there has been news posted about this since it entered production for months all over this site’s threads.

    I enjoyed both movies for what they were. Not the most mind blowing things ever but nice pulpy fun and it’s cool that Vin has an original IP like this that he clearly has a lot of love for. You see it in his handling of the role that it’s not just a check. He brings a lot of conviction to it even with his physical actions alone. I’m glad they scaled back to PB levels though. Riddick as a character to me works better in a more grounded and western like sci-fi environment. Like in the excellent video game (my favorite piece of media from this franchise) or the first movie.

  192. Oh and I’m sorry but once Video Game Lando started to get jiggy I couldn’t help but smile. Even a fake Billy Dee could make lameness look cool.

  193. Must be the mustache.

  194. here’s the Han Solo thing again in higher quality


  195. Just saw a screening of the new GI JOE movie. If you loved the trailer (like I did) lower your expectations. The action is of the “nu” variety. It’s all quickly cut, shaky close-ups…except for the mountainside sword-fight which is the only action scene that evokes what it was like being a 9 yr old kid playing with the toys (complete with zip lines and pointlessly red ninjas). Other than that, Jonathan Price as Xartan as the President is actually the highlight of the movie. The Rock has a big role, but they waste his charisma by having him be morose for most of the film’s running time (because of an event I don’t want to spoil, even though the trailer already does that). The other Joes are boring, except for Bruce Willis, of course. There’s a retarded scene where he reveals all of the weapons he has hidden around his house that feels like a 12 yr old wrote it and I loved it. The film could have done with more of that kind of silliness. Ray Stevenson’s in it, but for some reason someone thought it would be a good idea if he spoke with a Southern accent (it wasn’t). The Rza’s in it as a blind old ninja master. He’s not very good, but it sure was funny to see. I can go into more detail if anyone has any questions.

  196. David, if nobody else here minds, could you spoil a big curiosity of mine? Wait until a bunch of people agree before you say anything, but if the board concurs, I would like to know do they just kill off Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans to make room for The Rock and Bruce?

  197. I’ll wait for everyone else’s blessing, but I will tell you that Marlon Wayans is not in the film at all, and his character is never even mentioned.

  198. Can you give us an estimation of its running time?

  199. I’m so happy, the carbonite is gone! I’m moving on!

    I’m solo, I’m Han Solo, I’m Han Solo, I’m Han Solo, solo

    I’ve had that song stuck in my head all day, IT WILL NEVER LEAVE

  200. Knox Harrington

    April 6th, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Ghost, it’s not a risk worth taking. When you order something fro the US here in South Africa, there’s only a 50% chance that you’ll actually get it, since our postal services are so corrupt and rotten that most packages just disappear (i.e. they get stolen).

    Last time I checked, Amazon.com blacklisted South Africa because of this. It was a pretty big deal in the news over here (not enough for our national postal services to actually do something about it, though). Can still order from Amazon.co.uk, I think. Super expensive, though.

    Anyway, digital distribution is the safest bet round these parts, and also the best way of finding the more obscure books. That’s why I bought the damn Kindle, even though I still prefer just having a real book in my hands.

  201. I bet in South Africa packages are stolen because of those fookin’ Prawns

  202. In case anyone wants to have a birthday party for him, Seagal is 60 on Tuesday.

  203. Felix, what I saw was unfinished so who knows how long the final product will be. I’d hazard a guess at around two hours, but there are no cell phones allowed at these screenings so you lose track of time with all of the waiting around (unless you wear a wristwatch like a caveman).

  204. John Hyams just announced on Facebook that US4 has a new title.

    “Just approved our final visual effects shot… the movie is done. The title… UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING.”

  205. well guys, I am happy to announce that I finally bought Seagalogy

    this will be my first copy, I never got around to buying the original version (I actually saw a copy once in my local Books-a-Million, but I regrettably didn’t buy it and the next time I went there it was gone, never to return), but now I get the read the expanded version!

    I am super excited

  206. And this is where we all declare that the first one’s better?

  207. What exactly is the plot for USDOR?

  208. I was not very excited about the last UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. For my taste the original is way
    more entertaining and has that perfect level of silliness that goes along with the sheer awesomeness of the concept. REGENERATION was just too damn grey and dull, in fact I do not remember much about it at all.It did not leave any kind of impact at all, except for the last fight between Dolph and Van Damme. Maybe I went in watching it with an attitude. I´ll watch it again some day and see if I can re-evaluate it and maybe appriciate it like a lot of you guys seem to do.
    But I´m not making any promises.

  209. Knox Harrington

    April 7th, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Funny how many of these after-the-colon titles start with an R.

    Reckoning, Regeneration, Redemption, Reloaded, Revolutions, Rise of…

    There must be a reason for it. I’m guessing the research was done by the same marketing geniuses who decided it would be a good idea to make John Carter of Mars rather sound like a corporate espionage movie. Too bad we’ll never see John Carter vs. Michael Clayton.

    Still amped for Michael Clayton of Mercury, though.

  210. How about a UNIVERSAL CHILD SOLDIERS-flick? Where they resurrect dead kids/orphans and turn them into zombified killing machines.

  211. Knox Harrington

    April 7th, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Or a UNIVERSAL MONSTER SOLDIERS. I reckon that Creature from the Black Lagoon is a pretty badass martial artist, because he trains underwater.



  213. Don’t laugh, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is really a script or comic book or script based on a comic book being written or already in an Universal office, that teams up all classic monsters to fight something really evil, from Cthulu to “just” a group of Terrorists.

  214. CJ/Stu – Don’t forget the short-lived HOWLING COMMANDOS comic from the mind noughties, too.

    I see the early reviews of DRAGON EYES suggest it delivers the goods, which is good news. I’ll be picking this up Monday, hopefully,

    Shame I can’t say the same about the ones for THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY, which give it a good kicking.

    I was a little hopeful this might be good stuff because of the Bruce element, but even that doesn’t look it adds much.

    Caught the UK TV spot for LOCKOUT aka SPACE GUY last night and it really does make it look fantastic. Very well put together, 30 second or so blast of sci-fi awesomeness. I really do have my hopes high for this one.

  215. CJ- Yeah, as they usually say ” be careful what you wish for”

  216. I am not sure how many of you guys are excited about this; but The D is back!!


  217. That Frankenstein book is good as hell. Not only was the first arc about fighting a monster planet (a literal sentient planet with creatures on it) in another dimension but it also established that he takes orders from a 12 year old little girl who is really just the current physical manifestation of father time.

    His headquarters is also a miniaturized city floating in a bubble that you have to shrink down to sub atomic levels to even enter and in the next story he’s about to fight his son. I can’t even imagine what the son of Frankenstein and his Bride look like in the DCU so I can’t wait for that.

  218. Broddie- do they ever explain any sort of connection the organisation has to THE Shade? Since Father Time used to take a form that dressed like him.

  219. Stu – That look was actually influenced by The Spirit not The Shade. Speaking of The Shade; James Robinson recently returned to the character for a new maxi series and it’s easily the best thing he’s written in about a decade. It’s at the halfway mark already (issue 6 of 12) and I urge anybody who holds the STARMAN series in good graces to give it a look.

  220. Broddie – thanks for the heads up.

    CJ – UNIVERSAL MONSTER SOLDIERS, an idea so awesome it nearly rivals our conceived MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL movie.

  221. Broddie- Yeah, I’m getting that. Love how Robinson’s fleshing out the international side of the DCU.

  222. Vern, I don’t mean to be rude or get uppity, but is it me, or have you really been slowing down on the reviews these last couple of weeks? surely I can’t be the only one who’s noticed?

  223. If you don’t mean to be rude don’t tell me I’m too slow at writing high quality shit for you totally free of charge in my spare time while working a full time job.

  224. uh oh, I’m sorry :(

  225. Vern- I don´t mean to pry, but if you are an ex-con I can imagine the frustrations of work even though I don´t know your situation. Personally I have never been in jail,but I know the feeling being treated like one at work. I´ve actually been physically threatened by my ex-boss from time to time, not to mention the bullying around. And also, not being able to vote as an ex-criminal is a fucking disgrace in a modern day democracy so the frustrations must be there I am sure

    I am sorry if I am being to blunt and personal in my approach, but what I am saying here is that we are all appriciating your hard work, which basically means you are doing two jobs at a time while still maintaining the quality of entertainment you provide us and that is no easy feat.
    Thank you and Griff did not mean anything by it, he was just curious when next review was up.

    If any of this I wrote felt misplaced or whatever please ignore my comment. I just want you to know ( even though at times I highly disagree with you ) I highly value your opinions as they differ from the mainstream media and actually have some meaning

  226. yeah, I apologize again, it’s just that it’s been 4 days or so since The Raid review and I was just curious about what’s next

    but I guess I should be more patient

  227. CJ – Just wanted to say, a few weeks (months?) back you told me to stick with Breaking Bad and watch the third and fourth seasons even though I wasn’t crazy about the first two, and I’m glad you did. Even though the 3rd still didn’t excite me much (except for the stuff involving the two cartel brothers) the 4th season was worth waiting through all the build-up. Great stuff. You mentioned the one guy dying in the most fucked up way imaginable, and I have to admit it was a cool way to go. It may be slow-burning, but it’s a quality show and I will now watch it until the end. One more season to go, right?

    Have to say though, while Breaking Bad is good, Spartacus Vengeance is EPIC. I can’t believe there are not more people on here singing its praises. Anyone see the season finale? How many balls do you need to have to kill off so many of your main characters in one ep in such spectacular fashion? I’d say at least three, but probably five. Maybe more, I don’t know. But it was beautiful.

    Game Of Thrones is going to have to work very, very hard to beat this.

  228. Personally I’m just waiting on the new BREAKING BAD season which is coming soon to start singing it’s praises again. But that’s definitely one of my 4 shows on TV now a days that I just can’t miss. The others being BOARDWALK EMPIRE, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA and JUSTIFIED. Outside of those (which are all on cable) scripted TV pretty much sucks now a days and network shows have especially been painful to watch ever since 24 left the air.

  229. But yeah SPARTACUS’ second season actually outdid the first which I admit I didn’t think was possible.

  230. Yep, loving SPARTACUS. I was amused to see Ganicus, who I always saw a bit of pro wrestler Rob Van Dam in, actually do one of Rob Van Dam’s moves during the climactic battle! I like a lot of the newer characters this season, including the germans. I hope Saxa, the blonde woman gets more stuff to do next season. Great step up in production value as well it seemed. They got a lot better at doing decapitations for instance. Remember how hilarious Solonius’ beheading looked in the first season?

  231. Glad to hear someone agree on Spartacus. It seems there isn’t much buzz or excitement around the show now, def not as much as when it first arrived. Luckily it’s already been greenlit for another season. I can only hope they bring in some new villains that are as good as Glaber and especially Ashur were. Freakin loved those guys.

    Still have to check out Boardwalk, and I think I need to give Justified another chance. I started watching it once but gave up after the second episode bored me to tears. But even the best shows can take some time before they get good, and it’s clear there is a lot of love on here for the show. I trust you guys, I’ll give it another go.

  232. Stu – I agree they got a lot better with the gore. Loved that one move where the guy got his face sliced off and you could see his brain in there. One of many, many moments that made me cheer out loud in front of the tv this season.

    I agree Saxa is cool, but she is just your typical blonde hot warrior chick right now. With time though she might turn into another Mira, which is all good.

    When you think about it, it’s amazing how many fantastic characters they managed to cram into this one show. Even after killing of so many, there’s still so many left to root for. The one minor downside this season was that I still miss Andy. The new guy is fine, but certain scenes (Spartacus and Crixus meeting again in the first ep, Spartacus meeting Gannicus, him getting revenge on Glaber) would def have had more drama with the original actor still in the role.

  233. looks like we broke another Potpourri guys

  234. yes, indeed. Please deliver your pointless analysis on why ALIEN is a superior movie than ALIENS this way…

  235. Griff- why does that commercial use music from BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 3?

  236. Stu- That´s a good question. Not to mention hilarious, since unless Griff made it he probably is in no position to answer it.

  237. no, I didn’t make it and I have no idea

  238. so guys, a certain painter of Christmas Cottages has moved on to that big Cottage in the sky…

  239. Sorry I was grumpy earlier, Griff. It’s a sore spot for me because I really wish I could work on books and movie reviews full time, but I’m not in a position to make that work now. I spend most of my free time on it and I try to have a little quality control. Also I wanted The Raid to stay at the top for a while because it’s probly the movie of the year for most of us so I don’t want to kill the comment thread early by burying it under other reviews.

  240. ok, one more video

    behold the amazing 1983 era CGI


  241. I just assumed the strategy was to leave THE RAID on top and let that discussion go on. I’d like to think a HUNGER GAMES review is coming but I can’t be sure. Vern might be ignoring it as nerd shit.

    Vern, seriously, if there’s any help I can be please feel free to email me. I’m not sure how much use I can be since I’ve always freelanced and I don’t control any of the sites I write for, but if there’s any way useful info or experience I have I’d want to pay it forward to help my favorite writer.

  242. Did you liked THE HUNGER GAMES, Fred?

    The shaky cam there didn’t bother me all that much. Also Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are perfect in their roles. It’s probably my favourite film of the year so far.

  243. No, I thought it was okay which is unacceptable for a story of that potential and magnitude. I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s fun when all the fans were loving it and was saving my full thoughts for a Vern review.

    Having not read the book, it was still entirely predictable by any standards of storytelling, let alone if you watch a lot of action movies. SPOILERS Oh, so the brother of the little girl lets Katniss go for protecting his sis. Oh, the, bad guy who’s supposed to be dead isn’t really dead yet and comes back one more time. And even the last thing, the way she changes the rules of the game… um, yeah, that’s what you do when a monolithic government is forcing you to fight to the death. I mean, we all know that, right?

    I appreciate constructing this story for mass audiences and young audiences, but it also struck me as making action for people who hate action. Like “Don’t worry, you can like this because it’s not really an action-packed battle royale, it’s about the characters, man, the characters. And don’t worry about enjoying kids in combat, because it’s gritty and real, man, it’s real.” I’m not saying it shouldn’t have a moral center. Of course it should. But I’m feeling like the mainstream blockbuster action is peppered with a sense of guilt these days, like a self-righteous no fun kind.

    It has the usual problem of a battle royale movie which is that they kill off half the characters basically off camera. That’s such a cheat. If you’re promising 24 fight to the death, come up wtih 23 good deaths. Tell me if the books gave each character a proper death, but I haven’t heard anybody even listing the names of the first 12 kids who get killed. They’re just there to be fodder.

    And I did find the shaky cam ridiculous. I think the real reason for it is obviously the rating, but Gary Ross went with the usual “It’s gritty and verite like a documentary” excuse. It is not real. It is not documentary. Watch a war documentary. They hold their cameras pretty steadily. It’s total Hollywood phony baloney to shake the camera as an effect. I joked that it’s shaky cam in the book too and Vern politely replied to that one!

    Also all of the night scenes in the forest looked so horrible I thought it must be digital, but he actually shot on film. Maybe the AMC theater they screened it at was projecting it wrong, but did anyone else notice blurry, fuzzy, grainy distortion in the night shots.

    I liked the survival stuff, the world building was good and Harrelson and Banks were standouts to me. Some fun stuff: I thought Peeta’s camouflage was great, but if you knew that trick, wouldn’t you keep it to yourself? I know they have to set it up for the audience, but that seems like it would tell all your competition to look for the dude painted like a tree.

    As cultural phenomenons go, it’s okay. I can watch it and cover it and do my job and be part of the conversation. I generally keep the rest of my thoughts to myself if I ask a Hunger fan (Hungerfucker?) if she noticed the shaky cam and she says no. At that point we’re not really going to have a discussion on content. I have not scored with any woman by talking about THE HUNGER GAMES yet, FYI.

    I think it could only be a great thing if kids’ interest in this leads them to discover THE RUNNING MAN, ROBOCOP, FIRST BLOOD and even the basic 1 vs 12 of DIE HARD. I’m not bitching that HUNGER is a rip off or anything. It’s a perfectly valid exploration of that kind of future world and fight. Just that it is a big genre and I know if I liked something, I’d go watch everything else that’s even remotely like it. Like post-apocalyptic thrillers, I’ll still watch any movie about ragtag survivors looking for supplies…

  244. “I thought it was okay which is unacceptable for a story of that potential and magnitude.”

    that was my beef as well, it’s not a terrible movie per se, I’ve seen worse in theaters, but I was really hoping that they would knock it out of the park, instead it felt like a lot of movies these days feel, just kind of bland and mercenary, with not much passion behind it, it could be me I guess, but I was really excited to see it so you can’t say I went in expecting to dislike it

    I guess Gary Ross just decided to sleepwalk directing this movie because he knew he had a surefire hit, which is a shame because Pleasantville is an excellent movie that took what could been a very simple comedy premise (90’s teen travels into Leave It To Beaver world) and instead elevated into something more dramatic, thought provoking and touching than you would think at first glance, I was hoping he would elevate The Hunger Games in a similar way, but no, it felt like a movie that could have been directed by anybody

    it makes me wonder if sometimes movies turn out good not because of the people that direct them, but simply because of the era in which they were made, Pleasantville was late 90’s, which with a handful of notable exceptions I’m sure we can all agree was a great period for movies right? and The Hunger Games was made during the modern day and thus has all the handicaps of the modern day (shaky cam etc), so maybe if the movies were reversed and Hunger Games came out in 1998 it would have turned out better, I don’t know, all I know is that I doubt anyone in the future will be calling the modern day “a great period for movies”

  245. also, please tell me I’m not the only one here that has seen Pleasantville?

  246. I’ve seen PLEASANTVILLE and it’s my favorite Gary Ross movie, and I still recall it being uneven. But it’s not cloying Oscar bait like SEABISCUIT or superficial post-action.

    I don’t think of Ross as any great filmmaker but three films don’t really define you unless they’re TERMINATOR/ALIENS/ABYSS or EVIL DEAD/EVIL DEAD 2/DARKMAN (yes I’m skipping CRIMEWAVE.) Decent screenwriter.

    CATCHING FIRE could be an opportunity for a new visionary, but really they’re probably going to get another mid level Hollywood guy.

  247. “yes I’m skipping CRIMEWAVE”

    but Crimewave is seriously underrated, I enjoyed it at least

  248. Well that’s disappointing, but kind of what I expected.
    On the flipside, just read a magazine article about GUY PEARCE IN SPACE, and I’m at least 20% more excited about it now. The makers are saying all the right things about wanting this to be a throwback to 80s/90s movies, that it has a sense of fun lacking from modern action, and I only now realised that one of the villains is played by Joe Gilgun, who’s fantastic in the uk show Misfits, and who I really should have recognised sooner, because he wears an orange jumpsuit in that too. And check out this bit of visual badass juxtaposition:

  249. I think skipping CRIMEWAVE is fair, considering how everybody who worked on it disowned it, even before the last take was shot, but I too think it’s pretty good and I’m surprised how well it fits both into Raimi’s and the Coen’s filmography.

    Broddie: Glad you stuck with BREAKING BAD. Season 4 is a masterpiece in terms of build up and pay off. Yes, one more season to go. Or to be honest, two half seasons. (I hate it when they do this.)

    And Spartacus…I haven’t seen the new season, but I loved the first two and while I see lots of love for the show on the internet, it’s a shame that it’s in the real world one of these things, that nobody admits to watch, even though everybody does it. This show should be a worldwide, award winning phenomenon like MAD MEN.

  250. “I’m feeling like the mainstream blockbuster action is peppered with a sense of guilt these days, like a self-righteous no fun kind. ”

    Geez Fred always hits the nail on the head. This is why I wasn’t into hungry games even in the trailers you see this type of apologetic self-loathing. I never read the books but I’m also not 12 I still could’ve been drawn to the movie on it’s own terms. Unfortunately every clip gave me that “I know I’m a blockbuster but trust me I could be MORE than a blockbuster, this isn’t shallow man not shallow at all, please see me I have substance”.

    I’ll get hate for this but I feel that way about Christopher Nolan’s bigger movies too. Not that I dislike them (well except for INCEPTION that shit was lame) but there is a level of pretension to them that makes them feel scaled back deliberately. Like he’s too afraid of people perceiving his high concept ideas as “silly” so everything must be drowned with versimilitude.

    Of course you also have the antithesis of that in the Mikey Bays and his clones. In that they go too outrageous for their own good sometimes and hinder the rest of the picture with some shit that may just be too silly for it’s own good. Balanced blockbuster directors seem to be extinct. Even the Beard who was one of the GOAT’s when it comes to that has fallen to that trap (though I confess I still haven’t seen TINTIN so maybe he bounced back).

    This is actually part of the reason I’m glad that Iron Jim is back to making action sci-fi again. He may have an ego the size of the milky way but you can always count on Cameron to give you good grounded moments mixed with a whole lot of large scale wonder and fun. Like a blockbuster should do. THE AVENGERS may do this too if the current TV spot was an indicator. I don’t want to walk out of a theater in the summer time feeling dreary I want to walk out amped.

  251. Yeah CJ I don’t get why they just don’t go ahead and give us at least 8 months in a row. Even make it 9 months if you want with an interval month full of reruns. After all this time the viewers have earned it and it also maintains the momentum.

    It’s frustrating to think “man I can’t wait to mid 2013 to see how it all pans out” when you know they could go all the way into early new year showing everything at once. I’m guessing the probleming is probably scheduling or something (Cranston and Paul have been working a lot lately)

  252. Oh and CJ I took a technical writing course at school on fridays this semester and the instructor always ended the class by saying “And don’t forget to watch SPARTACUS tonight”. I thought it was kinda cool that he felt like randomly spreading the gospel like that; at least somebody tried.

  253. Broddie, I wouldn’t lump Nolan in with the self loathing ones. The problem witH INCEPTION (if you agree there is one) is it’s a structural masterpiece but emotionally cold. It would be better if it were just the cool dream movie but it tries to be the emotional Leo feels bad about his wife movie and that’s no good. But that’s Nolan wanting to have deep characters and just dropping the ball. He still wants the movie to be fun. And it totally works in the Batman movies and MEMENTO and those have some dark stuff, even his serial killer movie INSOMNIA. also except for the hallway fight the action in INCEPTION is lousy. That snow chase is nonsense.

    Glad there’s some CRIMEWAVE love. My point was just Ross hasn’t really established himself as a visionary, which is understandable after only three films. Only a few make such a splash right off the bat.

    HUNGER GAMES should make people think, “hey I like this. I’ve never tight about action before but maybe I’d like it after all.” but nobody’s saying anything like that. They don’t even register it as a genre, thought you can hardly blame audiences. They really made it look like it’s not action since you can’t see any fight or danger happening.

  254. we’ve had a mini-Crimewave discussion before when I first saw it last year, but man I absolutely loved that movie

    it’s very cheap, but that’s part of the appeal, it’s this bizarre little B-movie comedy that goes for a 1940’s slapstick style even though it’s a 1980’s movie

    it really deserves to be a bigger cult classic along the lines of The Evil Dead movies, I think it was a huge mistake for Sam Raimi to “disown” the movie otherwise it might have had that cult following

  255. and speaking of bizarre 1980’s B-movies, how come everybody ignored my mention of Meet The Hollowheads near the top? am I the only here that’s seen it? (I guess I wouldn’t be surprised)

  256. Knox Harrington

    April 8th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Speaking of cult classics, I’m gonna go ahead and declare Fish Story as a new one.

    I watched it for the first time a few months ago and still can’t stop thinking about it. Such a great, feelgood little gem of a film. And incredibly rewatchable.

  257. “I doubt anyone in the future will be calling the modern day “a great period for movies””

    Why wait until the future, Griff? Right now I’d call this is a great period for movies. I’ve seen other people here suggest that this is a terrible time for movies, but I don’t get it. Are you just referring to it being a bad time for specific genres? Because if you mean that overall it is a bad time for film I can’t agree. I expect most anyone that posts here could pretty easily name a hundred to two hundred excellent directors currently making movies. Is that not enough for it to be a great period for movies? if it’s not, I’d be interested to know just how many quality filmmakers it requires to make a truly great period.

  258. Jake – I’m not saying EVERY movie that comes out these days is bad, but I am saying that I can’t imagine how in any way shape or form or form someone could call the modern day a “great” period for movies compared to say the 80’s or the 90’s

    now again, I’m not saying there’s not great or interesting movies coming out these days, but I am saying this is still not a great period for movies

    don’t believe me? well I’ve actually gone through every release date from the beginning of the 1980’s to today on Box Office Mojo once and while there’s always been bad movies, you do notice an undeniable drop in quality almost as soon as you hit the 2000’s, try it yourself sometime

  259. Here’s a collection of top ten lists from last year:

    I would say that any year that can produce 250+ movies that critics think are great is a pretty good year for film. And of the ones I’ve seen I’d agree that almost all of them are in the good to great range.

    I’m not saying now is better than the 80s and 90s. I’m saying now is just as good as the 80s and 90s. I’m of the opinion that pretty much any period is a good period for film. There are too many people making too many movies for there not to be a ton of great stuff coming out all the time.

  260. ya know Jake, maybe it would be in fact be more correct to say it’s a bad period for “mainstream movies” instead of movies in general

    that top ten list for example, almost every single one of those movies are “indie movies” that only got limited releases, like Melancholia or The Tree of Life, shit just using the state where I live as an example those two movies probably only played in Atlanta or maybe Athens as well, if we’re really lucky

    so yeah, maybe “indie cinema” is doing great these days, but where I live all we get is movies that get wide releases and it’s undeniable that “mainstream release” movies have gotten worse while indie cinema has gotten better, where are movies like Raiders of The Lost Ark, Jaws, Die Hard, Aliens or Terminator 2 these days? the only movies I’ve seen in theaters the last couple of years that I would say come even close to that caliber would be Inception, Toy Story 3 and Inglourious Basterds

    now I know I can get all of those indie movies on blu ray here of course, but it’s just a shame that none of them play in theaters here, so basically what I’m saying is I’m a country folk who’s jealous of all you city folk that get better movies released in theaters

  261. A buddy asked me how I thought the death of Trayvon Martin would affect Joe Carnahan’s Death Wish. I hadn’t made the connection but now that I’m thinking about it I don’t think that remake will be happening any time soon.

  262. I think a lot of cinema buffs would argue things are better today then they were in the 80s (though I don’t think I would).

    And just to play devil’s advocate, you may say “where are movies like Raiders of The Lost Ark, Jaws, Die Hard, Aliens or Terminator 2 these days?”, I suspect some people may have been wondering much the same thing in, say, 1989 or 1992.

    But for the record I think the late 80s and early 90s were perhaps the best era for purely commercial cinema. That’s not to say that every mass-advertised film that came out was a gem, but there’s something about the style, craftsmanship and approach of mainstream movies in that era that I find particularly appealing.

  263. I think the fact that there are new mainstream commercial blockbuster type movies every week makes it feel worse. You’d think this means we’d forget all the bad ones but it actually makes us feel like we’ve been seen nothing but mediocrity for weeks on end.

    The numbers may not back this up but in the 80s and 90s hit movies played for months. Flops disappeared. now good movies last just as long as bad ones, a week or two at most.

    This generation has to take responsibility for shaky cam and post action, motion capture, 3D and other awful trends. But I’m an optimist and it’s cyclical so a good change is coming.

  264. Knox Harrington

    April 9th, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I always remind myself of 2007, the best movie year in ages.

    2007 was the year of There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James, Atonement, Eastern Promises, Zodiac, Into The Wild, Once, The Lives of Others, Gone Baby Gone, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Rescue Dawn, Superbad, Lust Caution, Persepolis, A Mighty Heart, Breach, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, I’m Not There and The Bourne Ultimatum.

    Shit, also Juno, Waitress, The Kite Runner and Sweeney Todd (the best Burton film since Ed Wood, in my opinion). 2007 was a damn good year.

    And hey, last year we had Drive, The Descendants and The Tree of Life. Hell, The Artist won Best Picture over Hugo (thank Christ).

    I will agree that mainstream cinema is in trouble. Sure, we’ve had The Dark Knight, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and District 9, but there’s a lot of shit out there. Attack The Block was better than any blockbuster Hollywood could churn out last summer.

  265. Knox, 2007 was great and you left out SHOOT EM UP, GRINDHOUSE, HOT FUZZ, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, 3:10 TO YUMA, HAIRSPRAY even if it’s not your thing it’s great, and I actually did like TRANSFORMERS 1. I remember 2007 fondly.

  266. Knox Harrington

    April 9th, 2012 at 3:25 am

    And early the next year we had John Killing-Is-As-Easy-As-Breathing Rambo.

    Good times.

  267. yeah 2007 was a great year for movies, but once again a good portion of the best movies that year were limited release, including No Country For Old Men

    PacmanFever – “But for the record I think the late 80s and early 90s were perhaps the best era for purely commercial cinema. That’s not to say that every mass-advertised film that came out was a gem, but there’s something about the style, craftsmanship and approach of mainstream movies in that era that I find particularly appealing.”

    absolutely, I love that period of movies as well

    Fred – “This generation has to take responsibility for shaky cam and post action, motion capture, 3D and other awful trends. But I’m an optimist and it’s cyclical so a good change is coming.”

    I’m optimistic as well if only because no trend, no matter what it is, lasts forever in movies, whether it’s a good trend or a bad trend the trends always eventually change

    another thing is all it takes really is just one single movie to change Hollywood forever, think of movies like Easy Rider or Star Wars, eventually there’ll be another movie like that, a great movie that comes along and just changes things for the good, the only trouble is it could be a long time till it happens

  268. Gentlemen, I have just watched the movie DRAGON EYES on digital versatile disc. Non-Spoiler impressions:

    It’s mostly good, but I’d suggest perhaps curbing your expectations slightly. The action is not QUITE what I hoped for, but was very solid, and as you’d expect from Hyams, clearly framed. The story has a bit of a threadbare start, but gets better as it goes along, though I am confused about a few things in it(also at one point a pretty blatant visual reference made me realise the movie was basically a loose remake of a classic piece of badass cinema), and I could have done with it being a bit less relentlessly grim. Performance-wise, Cung Le is a decent if not-too remarkable lead. He doesn’t talk a whole lot, so I can’t really fairly say he lacks charisma, and I like that part of his uniqueness would seem to be the fact he does not look physically imposing at all, which makes the asswhoopings more impressive. Peter Weller’s a great villain. Flamboyant enough to steal most of the scenes he’s in, and with one of the few funny scenes in the movie where he interrogates someone in a pretty memorable way. JCVD is in it significantly less than I’d have liked, mostly in a number of flashback scenes teaching Cung Le. There’s one action scene showing a bit of his past, but it’s far too brief and barely has any martial arts in it. However, he does possess an appropriate amount of gravitas to handle the mentor role well, so if he wants to do variations on this in future, that’d work. Away from the Action, the Filmatism is decent, though there’s a few things I think could have been eased up on. The film is pretty grim and gritty, so there’s a lot of darkness and rooms with one light in the middle, there’s one tooling up scene that’s shown in “ludicrous speed”, and the film employs liberal use of “freeze on character and have their name appear in text” intros.
    Overall-very good, but there has been better.

  269. I also finally watched CASABLANCA today…damn.

  270. Knox Harrington

    April 10th, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Dragon Eyes and Casablanca on the same day. What a wonderful world of movies we live in.

    I finally watched Take Shelter today. It’s brilliant. I’m still a little gobsmacked. Definitely the best movie I’ve watched so far this year.

    Haven’t seen The Raid yet. Still months until I’m granted that privilege.

  271. Cage does Cage:
    via http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/04/10/cage_does_cage_watch_nicholas_cage_perform_4_33_by_john_cage_video_.html

    Also, HUNGRY GAMES is a terrible, boring movie with incompetent, poorly filmed, barely existent or visible action-adventure elements. The uprising-riot scene in the poor district looked like it was shot in someone’s backyard for less than the cost of a decent dinner, and it seems like the filmmakers just forgot that was kind of an important scene and tacked it on in post once they realized they would need to explain stuff in the sequels. It makes the more cramped castle siege shots in IRONCLAD (a legitimately low-budget, overachieving movie) look like fucking BRAVEHEART.

    What an embarrassment for a high-budget start to a movie series. What a complete waste of money & 2 hours. Seriously, not enjoyable on any level.

    And you guys know I actually enjoy a lot of entertainment geared toward teenage girls, so I had an open mind for this TWILIGHT-meets-BATTLE ROYALE/RUNNING MAN (or whatever) movie, totally giving it the benefit of the doubt and reaching for something to find fun, and it turned out to be just awful.

    I could easily go point-by-point about the things in the script, narrative, & characters that insulted my intelligence & taste, but I’ll save that for when Vern reviews the trilogy years from now in a depressing back-to-school dystopia series that wins multiple Webbies for Striving for Excellence in the category of critiquing undeserving filmatism.

  272. I feel enraged. I read a swedish newspapers review of WRATH OF THE TITANS and it basically consisted of ten sentences of why it sucked and that is it! Why is it that high browed critics do not bother to review a genre movie properly? I tried to comment on that asshole reviewer,but since I was two days overdue to be able to post a resposne to that moronic review the post was closed.

    I was not a fan of the original, but I was far from satisfied as a moviegoer consumer from that douchebag review, It did not inform me in whatever way what I could expect from the movie.Only why it sucked in that reviewers opinion. I wish for some more constructive criticsim even from genre movies, you fuckinjg dirtbag retard critics!

  273. I am so fuckin angry that I want to slice every high brow critic I see with one of those buzz saws in RATCHET & CLANK!!!

  274. Now what really pisses me off about high brow critics is when there are genre movies (like LOTR) that has a really big fanbase THEN, they feel ablige to give the movies some kind of due. At least that´s my experience. Once, one critic gave RETURN OF THE KINGS 4 out of 5 just out of “what the hell”. Because if he did not,he would have hell to face. At least that is my experience.

    When it comes to Van Damme or Michael Jai White vehicles they get chopped just below the knees without a doubt. The ones who complain are not worth mentioning. *anger mode engaged*

  275. so guys I am pleased to announce my copy of Seagalogy arrived in the mail today

    I read the first review (Above The Law) and it is Vern at the top of his game, I love it

  276. Knox Harrington

    April 11th, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Damnit, when I search for Seagalogy on my Kindle, the search results still show fuck-all. Really strange.

  277. Knox Harrington

    April 11th, 2012 at 2:46 am

    So I decided to watch Titanic (in Three-Dee!) yesterday.

    You know what, I still think it’s a damn good movie. I fucking loved the experience of watching it on the big screen again. Got all nostalgic.

    Also, watching it again made me realise that not that long ago films were made that had beautiful, clear, well-lit photography, blocking and editing. Makes a lot of the shit released today look like the trash that it is. I still can’t believe how much the art of filmmaking has gone downhill in terms of editing. A hundred years of experience and knowledge, only for the average movie these days to look like it was butchered by savages at the editing bay. Maybe it’s because most editors working today know more about computers than they do about actually cutting and pacing a film. Sad. Luckily we still have guys like Dylan Tichenor doing his thing.

    Oh, and I also got to see the Prometheus trailer (in Three-Dee!) on the big screen, with shockingly good sound. That was good.

  278. Knox, how was the 3D on Titanic? When I saw the trailer in 3D it was the first time I thought maybe they could do a worthwhile post-conversion. Did it seem consistently 3D or did you forget after a while?

    I saw the 3D Prometheus trailer and I’m not sure what to think. Hard to tell from a trailer, because dimensional quick-cuts are so hard on the eyes. I’ll probly have to see that one boths ways if it lives up to expectations.

    To be honest I want to go see TI3DTANIC but all the women I see movies with won’t watch that shit. I’m not usually self conscious about that kind of thing but I will feel a little weird going to see that one alone. (Also I gotta see Lockout, Cabin of the Woods, and The Raid second viewing first.)

  279. Knox Harrington

    April 11th, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Funny, I was thinking of post-conversion consistency as I was watching it last night.

    The lack of consistency in post-converted 3D movies is my major gripe with the very concept. That, and the fact that everything looks like a cardboard cut-out because they have to force the perspective between objects and characters, whereas actually shooting in 3D solves that problem and makes the distances between objects seem more natural (because they are).

    I will say that the 3D in Titanic is consistent, though. Nothing really stood out, but it at least felt like there was a constant distance between the foreground and the background. I took my glasses off a few times to check, and most of the time the background would be all fuzzy when I did that (usually a good sign).

    What impressed me most was that the film didn’t seem 2 stops too dark, like Phantom Menace did. Even the night scenes were clear and visible, and that made me happy.

    With Phantom Menace I kinda wished that I could have the option to just watch it on the big screen without those stupid glasses that took all the colour away. With Titanic I didn’t mind them at all.

    I’d recommend watching it, Vern. Obviously it would be nice to have like-minded, open-minded people to watch it with. Maybe and aunt or uncle or older friend. I watched it with my parents. We haven’t been to the cinema together in ages and I knew they’d like it. It started out with me treating them to a movie and ended with me being treated by the whole experience.

  280. Knox Harrington

    April 11th, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Also, since Lockout, Cabin In The Woods and The Raid won’t be in theaters over here in quite a while, it made my choices a bit easier.

    Good day yesterday. Take Shelter and Titanic.

  281. So Gary Ross is exiting CATCHING FIRE. Don’t know how to feel about that.

  282. I’m so pissed off right now, because the new season of SPARTACUS started here today…30 minutes ago and I didn’t know! Fuck! At least there is a re-run on Saturday. But damn, nobody told me! Right now there are announcements for the (I’m sure heavily cut) Free TV premiere of season 1, but not one word, not even from the TV centric German websites that I visit, of the Pay TV premiere of the VENGEANCE season. Fuckfuckfucketyfickfuckfookenburgerfuck.

  283. Charles Bronson and Ninjas, can you think of a better combo?

  284. so….does anyone know Demon Dave is up to these days?

  285. So apparently Lionsgate wouldn’t mind to let David Cronenberg direct HUNGER GAMES 2: HUNGRIER WITH A VENGEANCE

  286. David Cronenberg, really? wow….

    I can’t wait for Katniss to develop a case of the stomach vagina

  287. this isn’t really related to anything we normally talk about here, but has anyone else heard the news that Green Day is releasing no less than 3 new albums this year?

    I find that funny because the whole “emo” thing that Green Day basically started (or popularized at least) is pretty much dead by now and I would say it died around the time when they released their last album (2008) when a whole bunch of other musicians like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry came on the scene and ushered in a new era of pop music (which could be called “Illuminati pop” if you believe certain paranoiacs on the internet)

    does anyone remember the whole emo thing from the mid 00’s? I was never into it, but now I find it bizarrely fascinating, perhaps because it died without anyone but me noticing, I would say it started around 2004 (which the release of American idiot) peaked in 2006 (with the release of My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade) and died in 2008

    it was basically the 00’s version of new wave

  288. I like Green Day. We need them back.

    Have you all seen this:


    Goggins is great and all but I honestly had no idea that Don Johnson aka The man I wish was my pop was in this?! That has made my day.

    Also, Twitch is reporting that Statham is a no show for FASTS 6 and 7. Sad face.

  289. Griff- so they’re releasing a SANDINISTA!, but but 3 CDs instead of just one CD? Why not just release a 3 CD set?

    3 seperate CDs in one year? Who are they, Prince?

  290. it’s kind of like that time the members of KISS released 4 separate solo albums on the same day

  291. Griff – or USE YOUR ILLUSION 1 and 2.

    (I’m sure if their label read your post Griff, they might’ve suffered immediate chest pains.)

  292. Can I say I just saw THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, and that I really enjoyed it, without my appreciation being dismissed as blind nerd shiterry, because Joss Whedon’s a “friend of internet” or a bunch of other stuff that really has nothing to do with the issue? Thanks.

  293. I also saw the trailer for the Statham movie SAFE, in which he plays the character named “Luke Wright”. Why couldn’t his EXPENDABLES character have that name?

  294. I just saw Cabin In The Woods as well, holy shit is that a kickass movie

    I have something funny to say related to it though, should I save it for the future (I hope) Vern review?

  295. Cabin in the Woods was rather meh, in my opinion. It felt like something I would have written in freshman year of college*.

    The characters were mostly unlikable, which would have been fine, had they not also been mostly boring. Too, the shift in actions and attitudes due to the various tomfoolery of the secret organization made no sense since we never see the characters acting, “Normal.” Instead, we get characters commenting that other characters are acting weird…like 5 times. At least.

    And the blandness of the leads was matched by the blase nature of the monsters. The Buckners were not very interesting, as far as inbred redneck zombies go. Their makeup was generic, their weapons were unspectacular, their kills were mediocre and even the big third act bloodbath was pretty forgettable thanks to an abundance of quick cuts and CGI gore. Plus, the whole thing was shot so dark that it could have passed for a film I made in junior year of college.

    While I can respect the larger meta-commentary of the the film, I just stopped caring at some point. The whole movie just comes from this place of emotional insincerity. Far too many of the plot elements make no sense except in the context of the deconstructionist angle, so I was never engaged except intellectually. And that would have been fine, but I don’t think the movie had anything new to say. Or really anything to say at all. By the time you get to the ridiculous deus ex machina button that fuels the climax (and leaves the protagonists dramatically impotent), I had almost entirely tuned out.

    *Thematically, not technically. It is a well written film, for the most part. And the script makes good use of the phrase, “Can find no purchase” to mean reaching for something, during the action lines.

  296. duuuuuude, come on man, The Cabin The Woods kicks ass, the more I think about the movie the more I like it, I wish I could see it again as a matter of fact, but I’ll have to wait for blu ray sadly

    I would call it the Kill Bill of horror movies, in that it’s a perfect genre homage that makes me grin from ear to ear the entire time

  297. I remember Emo. But I would say it started a lot before 2004; like in the 1980s.

    Bands like: Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer’s “Pinkerton,” Dashboard Confessional, Rites of Spring, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Movieline and The Getup Kids typify the genre.

    I wouldn’t say that Green Day was central to emo, or even Emo at all. You were correct when you identified them as broad pop. And now, Broadway pop, I suppose.

    I was never too into emo, but I did like me some emo girls. Nothing melts me like a beautiful goth chick in doc marten’s, and emo basically made that style all the rage for a glorious summer or two.

  298. Sure, it’s just like Kill Bill, minus the gore, style, cinematography, memorable characters, legitimate postmodern construction, thematic depth, ingenuity of narrative, quality of makeup effects, impressive practical effects work, and a bunch of other stuff.

    In fact, it’s really only like Kill Bill in the sense that both films were heavily influenced by a dude named God(d)ard.

  299. Maybe I’m making too strong a case here, and we’re all entitled to our opinion, different strokes, etc., but I’m pretty sure that if you don’t like CABIN IN THE WOODS, you don’t like horror movies or movies in general or fun or possibly yourself. It’s the NIGHT OF THE CREEPS of our day, only better. It makes every other horror movie in the past five, six, possibly 10, 15 years look like they were made by joyless little cunts who hate you. Between this and THE RAID my faith in horror and action, the two-headed elder god I have worshiped my whole and had begun to think had abandoned me, has been fully restored.

    I’m seeing it again today. We have a lifetime together, CABIN IN THE WOODS and me.

  300. Tawdry, glad you can keep it real about CABIN IN THE WOODS. I liked the film quite a bit and it pleased my movie fanboy side, but it also needs to be said. I mean, yeah, it went there and it delivered the riff on horror movies we expect from Joss Whedon. And?

    I’m of course much more partial to DETENTION and would love to see what Griff, Majestyk and the gang thinks of that.

  301. Found the Seagal-documentary THE PATH BEYOND THOUGHT on YouTube for those who are interested and have not seen it before.


  302. Mr. Majestyk – glad to see I’m not alone in The Cabin In The Woods love, that movie knocked me on my ass, after so many years of shitty horror movies that movie is like a cool glass of water after wandering through a desert

    it’s easily the best horror movie I’ve seen since The Mist, but I would actually say it’s better than The Mist, so that makes it the best horror movie I’ve seen in I don’t know how long (if we’re talking about new horror movies seen in theaters)

    I’m with you Majestyk in the belief that maybe we’re finally seeing a sea change in the quality of genre movies, we can only hope…

    by the way, the Night of The Creeps comparison is pretty apt

  303. How were any of the ‘ideas’ in Cabin new? Ohh the horror films keep the real monsters at bay. How is that innovative? How is that new? It’s not new. It’s not interesting. It’s not insightful. It’s a fucking first year film student term paper! It’s the same centrifuge as the Freddy films. And I don’t even mean the *good* Freddy films.

    How are you guys all okay with the lame cinematography? The terrible lighting? The generic kills? The mediocre makeup effects. The faster-than-a-music-video editing of the climax? The preponderance of cgi gore? The massive deus ex machina that fuels act three (ooohhh…it was *ironically* lazy writing)?

    The more I think about it, the more I hate Cabin in the Woods. If I had made this movie instead of Joss Whedon, it would have been savaged by critics and shrugged at by fans.

    Of course, I’m also the killjoy who hated Scott Pilgrim. So what the fuck do I know?

  304. you hated Scott Pilgrim as well? :(

  305. Argument that should be : “If anyone else had made this movie, everyone would have hated it. I am the only one who has not been put under the spell of this dreamweaver of a director, whose name must not be uttered lest any who hear it lose all cognitive resources and be unable to discern between good and bad, left and right, a clever and entertaining horror movie full of laughs and scares and a lame film school project with no redeeming values.”

    No offense, Tawdry, you can hate the movie all you want and that’s totally cool. But please don’t tell me that the only reason I liked it was because Joss Whedon put a spell on me. I could just as easily say that there are plenty of people who hated it who would have loved it if the name “Tawdry Hepburn” had been on it instead. I don’t really think that’s true.

    In other news, I am a total hypocrite because above I said “if you don’t like CABIN IN THE WOODS, you don’t like horror movies or movies in general or fun or possibly yourself.” Since hyperbole is considered admissible evidence on the internets, I apologize.

  306. I finally gave in and watched the first two episodes of COMMUNITY. Didn’t care at all for the pilot, but episode two had, despite the addition of Ken Jeong, some seriously funny stuff to offer.

  307. Yeah, the pilot was weak. I’m glad you gave it another chance.

  308. I’m excited to see Cabin in the Woods tonight. I like Buffy and Angel but think Firefly is really mediocre and is,at best, Buffy’s characters in space. It’s aesthetically my favorite thing ever (sci fi western!) but it’s pretty mediocre. So, I’m not predisposed to like Joss Whedon and thought he was about the worst choice to direct The Avengers.

    I’m still pretty excited for Cabin in the Woods. Comparisons to Scott Pilgrim only make me more excited as I fucking love that movie despite all of its individual component parts (loser gamer culture? obnoxiously stylized? Michael Cera? Canada? indie rock music?) being things that would otherwise make me hate a movie.

  309. Majestyk: I try to give every TV show at least one season, doesn’t matter what I think about the pilot. I know way too many series that started weak, but found their rhythm after a few weeks or maybe even only in the last few episodes before their first season finale.

  310. Oh, and in my other comment the first line should read “Argument that should be discontinued”.

  311. for the record, Cabin in The Woods is the first Joss Whedon related thing I’ve ever seen, I’ve never seen an episode of Buffy, never seen an episode of Firefly or Dollhouse or his movie Serenity, his name means nothing to me, I just liked the movie, it could have been written by Oprah Noodlemantra for all I care

    point goes to Mr. Majestyk, in my opinion.

  312. to be fair though, I will say that I’m now interested in checking out some of Joss Whedon’s other stuff

  313. Don’t start with Dollhouse, Griff. I think it’s his weakest show, because the “story of the week” element to it isn’t very strong compared to it’s overall arc, and it takes a while for that to kick in. Buffy and Angel do it a lot better, and so does Firefly, though there’s a greater feel of continuity with the latter(e.g. one episode has them picking up some cattle to deliver, the next epiosode begins with them dropping it off, a job they intentionally screw up in one episode comes back to bite them a few later).

  314. You’ve never seen Buffy, Griff? That’s a little surprising.

  315. Seriously, Griff. There’s absolutely zero chance you won’t like it. Every episode is streaming on Netflix. There’s your summer project.

  316. I had to give up on Netflix because it was too damn expensive, sorry

  317. Not a whedon fanboy or hater but i really liked firefly and serenity. Hated dollhouse though. I like dushku but that show was fucking tedious. I have to say i’m glad that he’s directing the Avengers.

  318. I tried to watch BUFFY once, but the first episode was so fucking cheesy, that I stopped watching.(I know, I said a few hours earlier something about “giving every show at least one season”, but sometimes it’s very difficult to accomplish.) Interesting enough, I had a similar problem with FIREFLY, but more about that here, in case anybody cares: http://in-my-head.org/2011/09/07/discovering-firefly-episode-1-serenity-not-the-movie/ )
    I don’t care for DOLLHOUSE, because as a rule I never watch story arc shows, that are cancelled without a conclusion. I’m planning to watch CABIN, but only on home video, so there is that.

  319. Dollhouse wasn’t worth it anyway. A series where the lead goes under cover as a different character every week starring an actress that can’t act is not a good idea. But Buffy, CJ! Cheesy? Not in your life. You missed a great show there, bud.

  320. Hey, I was only talking about the first episode. And that was one of the most painful TV experiences of my life. And note that it comes from someone, who has praised XENA several times as criminally underrated and more clever than most people give it credit for!
    I still have the first season DVD Box here and will give it another chance, just like I did with FIREFLY after my disastrous first encounter, but damn, I really didn’t care anymore after those first 45 minutes.

  321. Well BATTLESHIP was getting slaugthered in the RAID talkback. And for good reason; it’s a bad movie. But it’s also hilarious, and I had a way better time than I ever expected. It’s not as charming as THE RISE OF COBRA, and it drags a little early on; it’s corny old fashioned “I can’t believe people would still be writing this shit” against COBRA’s more surrealistic and creative “I can’t believe anyone would ever write this shit” approach, but it’s still out there enough to be more fun (to me) than ID4 or TRANSFORMERS. The key plot point of the final act is so ridiculous and corny that I think I must have actually shook my head and laughed at the same time. I don’t want to defend BATTLESHIP, but I can’t deny I left the theatre way happier than I entered it.

  322. I will say two negative things about THE CABIN IN THE WOODS:
    The very ending, like the last few minutes…wasn’t convincing to me. The choices the character(s) made didn’t seem believable. I get that they wanted the last shot of the film to be what they went with, but there were two ways I had came up with before that point that I thought would be the likely outcome and would have resulted in the same thing.
    Secondly, two supporting characters are developed in a way that I expected more from them later than what we got. That’s it.

  323. Pacman – But what we want to know about BATTLESHIP is just one goddamn thing.

    Does anybody says the immortal line “You sunk my battleship!” ?

    If not, fuck you movie.

  324. If anybody says it, it has to be Liam Neeson. What with “Release the Kraken!” already in his repertoire, he should release a CD of just old catchphrases delivered in his signature scowly intonation. It’ll have all your favorites, like:

    “Where’s the beef?”

    “Who you gonna call?”

    “There can be only one.”

    “What does it take to change the essence of a man?”

    “I’ll have what she’s having.”

    And many more! For just $14.95 plus shipping and handling, LIAM NEESON SAYS STUFF OTHER PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY SAID will change the way you think about dudes saying stuff. Order now!

  325. Well I can exclusively reveal, in a way with a long buildup designed to prevent any spoliers from appealing on the side of the site that….


    No, unless I missed it, it’s not said. Which didn’t surprise me, as it’s the kind of thing Hollywood executives and hacky filmmakers avoid these days in the hopes that it makes their film more “respectable”; Superman not wearing trunks, James Bond no longer saying “shaken, not stirred” etc. Not saying I’m bothered by these things being taken out, I just find it funny the way producers often think this suddenly makes the film hip and un-campy


  326. Appearing not appealing

  327. What I should have written was: “The groundswell of support for Cabin in the Woods can likely be traced back to fanboy love for Whedon’s previous efforts. Even non-Whedonites have been predisposed to thinking that Cabin is special because of the hype machine. But in this case, I think the emperor has no clothes.

    Btw, where does this Whedon affection stem from? I’ve had several girls try to get me into Buffy, but I couldn’t make it past episode 6. It was just tedious. However, some of the Angel episodes and the Buffy musical were pretty sweet. Can I skip a few seasons?

  328. Just skip to season two and you should be fine.

  329. Season 2 is a little slow, too. I actually don’t like it as much as Season 1, but a lot of what happens in it is called back to later so I guess it’s more important.

    Seasons 3-5 are rad, though.

  330. Tawdry: I saw CABIN with someone who actively dislikes BUFFY and other Whedon works and she liked it a lot. I’m betting that maybe 20, 25% of the people in the audience, tops, had ever heard the name “Joss Whedon” in their lives, and everybody seemed to be having a good time. I just don’t think this theory that his name is some kind of Jedi Mind Trick with the general public (despite him never really having a mainstream hit in any medium) is pertinent to the discussion of the movie’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ve made your case and I think it’s valid. The movie didn’t work for you. Fine. But you’re not the lone truth-seeker who has pulled aside the veil of obfuscation that has so mesmerized the rest of us to see the hard reality we have denied. You’re just a guy with an opinion like the rest of us.

  331. Naw, I’m not even talking about the general populace. What I mean is that the fanboy ‘tastemakers’ gave the film a lot of early hype because they went in loving it because of Whedon’s name and it grew from there.

    Maybe it’s that I saw the film in a mostly empty theater mid-afternoon on opening day.

  332. Similar things happen with Ron Howard movies. In my opinion, Ron Howard is a very substandard filmmaker, but because his brand has a certain cache his works are generally well regarded.

  333. Late to the party, but I also gotta share the CABIN love.

    SPOILERS AHOY if you haven’t seen it

    I agree with Tawdry that the Buckners are weak sauce. The genre-deconstruction-by-way-of-cliche during the whole first half is a little tiresome, since it’s kinda hard to get too worked up over zombies which are actually the product of an elaborate setup by two hilarious old guys in a control room. For that device to work, we’d have to actually be disturbed by the horrific setup story with the “black room” and all that, but since we know it’s all fake there’s not much to be worried about and the zombies are a fairly laughable physical threat (you can punch them and knock them over). It would have been far wiser to go with a more tactile physical threat — maybe the werewolf instead. You don’t have to care about its origins to be afraid of big teeth.

    So, I was liking the comedy but only halfway into the horror for the first half. It’s true that Joss Whedon (and apparently this Drew Goddard guy, who also wrote for Buffy) have only one character and he talks exactly the same, but it’s OK because that one character is also really funny. Brad Whitford and Richard Jenkins in particular are a hoot. So I was thinking, this movie is a way better comedy than a horror film.

    But then the third act rolls around, and its just simple pure joy. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, it’s not all that well constructed, it doesn’t have anything deep to say. But it’s actually fun. Its kids being allowed to play with all their toys, and that giddy thrill is infectious. It’s still more comedy than horror, but the horror parts in the facility have the advantage of being fresh, less derivative, and more exuberant. And the comedy is weirder and more honest, less deconstructionist.

    I can’t think of another recent movie that I sort of liked at the halfway point, but was in love with by the end.


    I agree that the Buckners were kind of weak on first viewing. With all those other options available, like “dragonbat,” “dismemberment goblins,” “angry molesting tree,” “witches,” “sexy witches,” and “Kevin,” I was disappointed that we were stuck with the standard ol’ redneck torture zombies. But then obviously the ending of the movie happened and there was no more disappointment. On second viewing (I saw it again yesterday), I got that the Buckners were on some meta shit. They’re described as the choice of people with “no imagination” but they get chosen a lot and they always work, basically saying that evil hillbillies are the bread and butter of the horror genre. The movie starts with them to set the baseline of what most horror fans expect, then quickly moves beyond them to show how much more fun the genre can be if we think outside of the box.

  335. I really liked Cabin in the Woods. I didn’t love it, nor do I think it’s something all that original or special, but it was a fun movie.

    I saw it in a fairly empty theater yesterday morning, and even still it was fun.

    I think the thing that elevated this from a “good” movie to something a lot more fun and special was Bradley Whitford. Maybe it’s just me, but he basically played Josh Lyman and I was 110% okay with that. I don’t think the movie would have been nearly as fun without him.

    Also, I’m wondering how intentional it was to make the cast be the cast from Scooby Do?

  336. Mr M — I get that, but would have traded a little of that genre deconstruction for a monster that worked a little better. They kinda try to have it both ways, giving you quite a few scenes where you’re apparently supposed to be scared and disturbed of the monsters, but then admitting that they’re boring and vanilla and having that be part of the joke. Gotta go with one or the other, I think. I think they could have kept the joke had they gone with a more credible physical threat and not bothered with all the half-assed psychological stuff. I gotta believe in your creepy backstory to find it horrifying, but teeth and claws are always scary.

    On the other hand, I was pleased as punch to see Patience Buckner back at the end, so I guess she kinda grew on me, with her one-armed scrappy charm. She’s more endearing as a underdog than a scary villain.

  337. I actually liked the Buckner’s because they fit in with the idea they were playing with: that most slasher flick villains aren’t that threatening and that they only kill everyone because of how stupid everyone else is. Why bother with pumping in chemicals and doing all the other things if they just had a bunch of werewolves tear them apart?

  338. Casey — Sure, but then why waste all that time pretending we’re scared of them when we both know it’s a joke? Seems like kinda a waste. We’re just both going through the motions.

    I should say, I don’t mean to be picking on CABIN, which is just barrels of fun. Just thought the horror aspects of the first half are presented too seriously to be particularly funny, but not seriously enough to be effective horror.

  339. I don’t disagree, really. I’m unsure if the threat was more threatening would have made me care more. At the end of the day I just wanted to see Josh Lyman complain about the lack of meremen. The rest of the movie was secondary to me.

  340. Mr. S – I think the horror aspects of the first half worked better than you’re giving them credit for. I could see a lot of people around me covering their faces during the Buckners’ scenes. Maybe they didn’t come off as scary to dudes like us who’ve seen every variation on redneck torture zombies to come down the pike, but then again, what does? I get scared by maybe one movie a decade, so I’m not going to hold it against CitW for not being it.

    However, I will admit that I found the wolf head scene really suspenseful. At that point in the movie the rules hadn’t been established so it seemed perfectly reasonable that it could take her face right off, especially since it looked exactly like the wolf from American Werewolf in London.

  341. Mr M — you may be right, I forget sometimes what an unbelievably jaded badass I am. Still would have liked to see a little more hustle from Whedon and Goddard on that one, though.

    Second your love of the wolf’s head scene, though. Especially with the EVIL DEAD 2 deer head reference. That’s some effective horror filmmaking hustle.

  342. Why would you cover your eyes? You could barely see what was happening during the gore scenes.

    Look, I read the script for this one a while back and quite enjoyed it. The problem is, the film I saw in my head when I read act three was a whole lot cooler than what I saw on screen. The completely unmotivated nature of the climax, the passivity of the protagonists, the hyperactive editing and the overabundance of CGI beasties just zapped all of the fun out of that bit.

  343. In other news, Tupac really did fake his death.

    And not aged at all.

  344. Hanging out with Spalding Gray, Jim Henson, and Bob Ross at their secret compound on the outskirts of Havana has really been good for him.

  345. I’ll defend BATTLESHIP in one regard: It might be dreck, but I won’t dismiss it simply because it was based off a boardgame. That won’t be the reason why it might (or will) suck.

    I mean, CLUE was good.

  346. Here’s the thing I don’t get though…did they need the property to make the movie and even to have the same name? Given how it’s an alien invasion sci fi action blockbuster and not a taught military thriller, and it has battleships, couldn’t they have made the same movie with the same name? Would the makers of the boardgame really have sued them for it?

  347. I didn’t think the movie was lacking in the creepiness department either (I loved that scary painting), in fact I thought the movie actually got a pretty perfect balance of being both funny and creepy at the same time, the whole “speaker phone” sequence is a perfect example of this, if you listen to what the guy is actually saying it’s pretty creepy, but the scene is also hilarious

  348. RRA – but see the difference is that Clue is pretty much the only board game that has actual characters and a plot, simple though it may be

    but yeah, Clue is indeed an awesome movie

  349. Stu – Yeah Hasbro would. Remember when Disney sued that daycare because somebody painted Mickey Mouse on the wall without the Mouse House’s permission? Yeah Hasbro I’m sure is that league of Not Giving a Fuck about Public Opinion. (up there with Spike Lee suing SPIKE TV.)

    Griff – I’m not arguing (or agreeing) with your point, I’m just saying that I’m pissed whenever people try to defend…say TRANSFORMERS…with the ole “well it’s what they could do in making a movie about toys!”

    Bull. Shit.

    I remember a comic book growing up, collecting through back issues that I adored in ROM: SPACE KNIGHT. If I remember right, Marvel did that comic to tie-in with what was supposed to be some new hot late 70s toy from Parker Bros., pure merchandising job.

    The toy flopped, but for a mere job, Bill Mantlo* saw something in that shit because he produced a pretty good book, rather moving at times even melancholic and depressing, surprisingly grim as fuck for a book aimed at kids. Re-read those books some years back, and that shit still holds up.

    A rare title too tied into the Marvel mainstream continuity that actually had a rather conclusive ending, and a satisfying one at that. Because of rights issues with Parker Bros, Marvel can’t collect the series (total shame) or reuse the character. Which is for the best in retrospect. Imagine him being randomly brought up just to be cheaply killed off. Or given a radical new spin or origin or whatever stupid they’re always doing.

    You know, I would fucking pay to watch a ROM movie.

    *=Ironically he did the same thing too with another comic book title based off a toy: MICRONAUTS.

  350. And yes, CLUE does rock.

    Vern, rent that sometime. Put down whatever crappy DTV release you’re planning to review, and give that a Netflix spin.

  351. RRA – but see even something like Transformers or ROM Space Knight has a plot, toys can be characters and have a story, but a board game like Battleship is just a game, it’s like trying to make a movie based on playing cards or Chess or something

    I mean what’s next, Connect Four: The Movie? Operation: The Movie? Twister: The Movie? (the game, not the tornadoes) Rattle Me Bones: The Movie?

  352. Battleship has name recognition. Name recognition makes marketing easier. When you make a movie like Battleship, the real money is in ancillary sales, ergo the ease of marketing and easy tie-ins for a longtail profit are front and center in the conceptual, development and greenlighting process.

    It’s not that Hasbro would sue, it’s that it costs $100 million to market a major summer blockbuster and having a name that is already known makes it easier, safer and cheaper. Additionally, since there are billions to be made from toy and tie-in sales, basing the film around a product that already moves half of these ancillary areas only makes economic sense.

  353. hey, I understand why they do it financially, but it’s still a shame that Hollywood is all about name recognition and “ancillary sales” these days instead of ya know, fucking movies (remember those)

  354. CABIN IN THE WOODS is a satisfactory movie. Definitely worth a ticket, even if you don’t totally enjoy picking up everything it’s laying down.

    I won’t bore y’all with a rehash of obvious filmatistical strong points & my opinions of the deconstructivist aspects, and I won’t do anything that requires tip-toeing around spoiler territory since I assume Vern, as a fan & scholar of R-rated horror, will be reviewing it
    so the only point I wanted to throw out there is that CABIN IN THE WOODS reminds me most strongly of one of my favorite Japanese cartoon movies, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME.

    If you’ve seen it, you might be tracking where I’m coming from on this – sci-fi/mystical angle vaguely established early, treated as just another thing in an otherwise realistic world, then shallow youths undergo escalating trials & relationship complications, then a very strange journey into WTF territory that is both a massive curveball and something that makes complete sense on a literal, textual level, then a messy sacrifice, life-&-death plot point about Fate & the End of the World or something.
    Immersive, cathartic, provocative, begging of over-analysis, but also utterly straightforward and resistant to over-analysis.

    And (to piggyback on some of what Mr. Subtlety said a few posts up) both A GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME & CABIN IN THE WOODS sort of make you feel like an idiot when you try to talk about them, since the plots are so goofy outside of their in-movie context, sort of like trying to tell somebody that something called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is actually a tight, poignant drama.

    So there are my recommendations, in order, homework you’ll enjoy, Vern or whoever here is paying me for the service of hearing my recommendations –

    And Tawdry’s right. Ron Howard is indeed a substandard filmmaker.

  355. Now, now, let’s not be hasty. If he can ever make good on the promise he showed in GRAND THEFT AUTO, he might actually make something of himself.

  356. Also BACKDRAFT. People always forget about BACKDRAFT.

  357. BACKDRAFT is awesome. Never saw GTA but I liked SPLASH and PARENTHOOD. For that alone I give Opie Cunningham a pass. Can’t say I’ve liked much else from him outside of that though.

  358. Not all Ron Howard work is bad, just most of it. Er, not bad, but. . . uninspired, conventional, blah.

    I didn’t forget about BACKDRAFT. I love the badass sicko Donald Sutherland parts. (“I burned her, hee hee hee.”)

    And doesn’t a Baldwin get lucky on top of a fire truck or something? That’s awesome.

    BACKDRAFT’s real legacy, though, is the Chinese remake LIFELINE, which isn’t perfect by any measure but it has a fine extended fiery climax, and it has one of my favorite scenes in any movie ever.

    It’s a corny falling-in-love scene. You have to see it to understand. That brief snippet of romance is Johnnie To’s finest work, along with the gorgeous green hill-climbing married couple-describing-their-love scene in TRIAD ELECTION. Or the parts involving a machete in ELECTION.

    Johnnie To > Ron Howard is what I’m saying.

  359. Okay, fine, since you begged, I will share my theory about how the ending of SPLASH is the most horrific thing I could ever imagine.

    So Darryl Hannah’s a mermaid, right? And Tom Hanks is a landlubber? So at the end, they can’t stay on land anymore because the army is a jerk, so they run away to the sea, where apparently Tom Hanks can breathe underwater as long as he’s with Darryl Hannah, but he remains human, he does not turn into a merman (which, after seeing CABIN IN THE WOODS, we all know would not be a good idea anyway). How whimsical and romantic, right? Wrong. Let’s not even get into how cold and uncomfortable it would be for him, and how they wouldn’t be able to talk unless he learned dolphin. Can you imagine how much it would suck to be in a relationship with a chick who has that much leverage over you? Do something she doesn’t like and SHE CUTS OFF YOUR FUCKING OXYGEN SUPPLY. And forget about getting a little time to yourself to get a drink with your buddies (not that you have any buddies in the ocean, or that it’s even possible to drink anything underwater) or jerk off. Nope. That bitch is up in your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until the day you die (likely from her wandering off and letting you drown) or you manage to lure her into the shallows and make your escape. I can’t think of a more horrifying fate than spend my entire life cold, wet, wearing a single suit of clothes that will have to rot away right on your body, and physically tethered every waking and sleeping second to some chick who DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A HUMAN VAGINA ANYMORE. This is like some Lovecraft shit, yet the movie treats it like the most romantic thing ever.

    Clearly this Opie kid has some issues.

  360. RANSOM and BACKDRAFT are those two movies by Ron Howard I remember enjoying. The rest of his filmography is just a thick fog.

  361. shucks here I am the resident anime nerd and I’ve yet to see THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, good move on that one Mouth

    and Ron Howard is ok in my book, he may have made some lame movies over the years (like EDtv and most recently The Dilemma), but he’s also made some worthy ones

  362. Holy shit Mr. M you’re right. SPLASH is pretty damn anti-manliness; the guy is forced to abstain because of his incompatible genitalia & he has to have a female bossing him around on every whim. I will now view that in a new light next time I see it. I think it’s Opie’s horror classic now that I think of it. I mean what could be more scarier than that ending to a man?

    Shoot – I completely forgot about RANSOM. That one’s ok too although pretty predictable. It’s interesting cause it feels like the type of movie you’d expect Harrison Ford to do and not Mel Gibson back in that day. Always loved how Gibson flips the script on the kidnappers.

  363. PARENTHOOD is really one of my favorite movies of all time. That’s perfect dramedy. WILLOW is pretty awesome and actually FROST/NIXON really works. It’s the Dan Brown movies, TV MOW Oscar winning BEAUTIFUL MIND and GRINCH shit that bore. E.

    I actually always found BACKDRAFT and APOLLO 13 underwhelming.

  364. I have not seen BACKDRAFT and APOLLO 13 in a really, really long time, those are two movies I need to re-watch

  365. I always liked Eugene Levy’s character arc in SPLASH. You don’t see a guy going from (admittedly slapstick) villain to oh-shit-that’s-not-I-wanted-I-help-you-to-escape in many movies.

    Also while we are talking about questionable Tom Hanks classics: I always had a shitload of problems with BIG. Not because he is a kid who gets to fuck an adult woman, but because of the “kidnapping” subplot. If you remember, he explains his absence to his parents, by staging his kidnapping and this is just something that completely ruins the movie for me. I mean, when his mother sees “his kidnapper”, he even wears her sons underpants, so while he in reality has the adventure of his lifetime and gets laid, his parents sit at home, cry their eyes out and imagine how their son is probably raped over and over by some sickos who like to break into other people’s houses, kidnap their kids and walk around in their underwear.

  366. yeah BIG has some questionable moments, not the least of which is the aforementioned scene where a 12 year old boy has sex with an adult woman (and they show him lovingly fondling her tit), kind of reminds me of Robin Williams noisily banging Robin Wright Penn in the movie TOYS

    but ya know, that’s kind of what I like about the movie, the fact that it’s not all watered down like a modern day equivalent would be (like that 13 Going on 30 movie, which I saw, but remember nothing about)

  367. wow, I just read on imdb that Gary Ross (The Hungry Games) was one of the screenwriters for BIG

  368. Does anybody watch that one show TODD AND THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL? It got some great reviews and now I found out that it’s already running over here since a few weeks. To be more specific: Tonight is the 5th episode. Does anybody here know if I need to see the first four or can I just jump in?

  369. I happen to think that Cinderella Man is fuckin great.

    It’s one of those movies that obviously started out as an attempt by Howard to win another Best Picture Oscar, then got completely ignored and ended up being the champion of my heart. Can’t believe how much I enjoy watching that movie. It’s like my own personal Shawshank.

    I also happen to think it’s Crowe’s best performance to date.

  370. I saw Cinderella Man in theaters, but I don’t remember too much about it

    not saying it was a bad movie, just not very memorable

  371. I’m with Mr Harrington, Cinderella Man is really great. It just works for me. It’s one of the few movies I own.

  372. Since I’m being negative today about the work of Frank Darabont, what the fuck is up with SHAWSHANK? It’s a perfectly okay movie if you like corny dramas, but why does everyone think it’s this unassailable masterpiece? It’s just a middle-of-the-road weepie that I’ve never had the slightest desire to see twice. How did it become so beloved? Am I just dead inside or something?

  373. Oh, I watched The HUNGARY GAMES a few days ago (can’t wait for the sequel, TURKEY SHOOT). Kinda liked it overall, but the only real reason it works is because of Jennifer Lawrence. She was great in Winter’s Bone and she was great in this. Seriously, she carries the whole movie on her own.

    Also, the BATTLE ROYALE comparisons weren’t as many as I thought there would be. It reminded me more of American Idols, to be honest.

    There was a whole bunch of things that didn’t work, though.

    1) Shaky-cam. About halfway through the film I was thinking “Nah, it’s not that bad. Sure, the camera shakes now and then, and it sure as hell isn’t how I would have shot it, but I can still tell what’s going on. What’s the big deal?”

    (I really do believe that we’ve become so sensitive to the idea of the shaky-cam that we tend to sometimes have an unnecessary and exaggerated kneejerk reaction to it. It didn’t bother me at all in sometime like WARRIOR, for instance. Then again, WARRIOR wasn’t really about the fighting, anyway, so the more impressionistic approach was acceptable, in my book).

    But towards the end of the movie I was ready to throw in the towel. It was fucking horrible. Couldn’t see what the hell was going on. It was shit. Thank goodness they had a good editor like Stephen Mirrione who could at least try to keep things watchable.

    2) Wes Bentley. Never a good sign.

    3) What is up with that kid painting himself like trees and rocks and shit? It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. They really want us to believe he did that himself? The painting on his face was so detailed it looked like it would take a team of make-up artists half a day to do that, but he did it by himself (without a mirror or make-up kit) while being hunted? Fuck, that kid deserves to win.

    4) They can generate giant pig monsters out of thin air? How about generating the people some fucking food.

    5) I smell a forced love triangle on the way, and it’s only gonna get worse in the next installments. God help us all.

    All in all, though, I’d rather have the tweens watching this than Twilights. It has a lot more going for it and it doesn’t insult an entire genre the way those films do. I’ll watch the next one.

  374. Majestyk, I only really started appreciating SHAWSHANK by the third viewing. It’s one of those Stockholm Syndrome kinda movies.

  375. I like Shawshank a lot and I’ve only seen it once (need to watch it again, as a matter of fact)

  376. Just saw SPACE GUY: GUY PEARCE IN SPACE. It’s not a classic by any means, but it’s a heck of a fun action movie. Pearce is the main highlight, followed closely by Joe Gilgun as the psychopathic secondary villain who’s also kind of a big kid, so is a little more scary due to his poor impulse control. Maggie Grace surprised me too with her performance. She’s not super amazing or anything, but she has good chemistry with Pearce and she comes off more memorable and likeable than she did in LOST and TAKEN, and I’m a little more hopefull about the idea of her starring in RE-TAKEN. The action is for the most part decent to good. There’s nothing really innovative about it, but it does its job. There were a few moments where editing left me a little confused about what had happened, but nothing deal breaking. The worst example is in the opening scene’s bike chase, which seems incredibly rushed/sped up, and isn’t helped by rather obvious CGI. I didn’t get either why everything had to be so dark. It wasn’t obscuring things too much, but on the ship, there’s a lot of shadows, and all the earth scenes are set during night or dusk. I also think they could have done more with the premise of this space station being overrun by hundreds of inmates. There’s really no sense of that at all. The most you see of them together is a few dozen, and other than in a few action scenes, there’s no sense of tension brought about from the overwhelming numbers there’s supposed to be, and only the two lead villains really get to make an impression. There’s also a sense of abruptness at times, where things you expect to see feel like they’ve been cut out, but nothing too major.

    I think overall the film will be remembered most for its fun tone and one-liners and it does feel like a throwback to 80s/90s action. There’s a few little moments I enjoyed too, like where Pearce jumps from a roof in an attempt to crash through a window, but it just cracks and he bounces off it to fall to the ground.

  377. Tonight’s TRUE JUSTICE starts with a pretty rad scene of Seagal half-flirting with a hot young lady, then playing some blues guitar.

    I like how the opening credits now incorporate pole-dancing in the montage. TRUE JUSTICE is determined to set a record for most amount of strippers’ coverage in a sub-TV-MA show.

  378. The opening TRUE JUSTICE shootout scene culminates in a bad guy getting rocked by Seagal, which is awesome b/c that’s what we want to see, but it’s not cleanly shot by OutlawVern action filmatism standards.

    However, the great thing is, despite a poor TV-14/Greengrassian shooting style, it still looks like the poor bad guy is in intense pain as his ankle, wrist, and testicles are shattered, twisted, and crushed.

  379. Uppity hot-headed cop: “I’m tired of you embarrassing me, Kane. You’re soft. You’re name should be ‘Sugar.'”

    Seagal: “Jump, Frog.” (???)

    {attack, scuffle, Seagal lands a right knee, a right palm, a right wrist, and finally a right forearm}

    This is a pretty good episode so far.

  380. during an interrogation of a creepy suspect who’s failed to lawyer up so far:

    Seagal: “In fact, if I could think of a word below ‘pitiful,’ that might be a little more accurate, but anyway. There’s a huge difference between you and your mother.”

    Perp: “Yeah, what’s that?”

    Seagal: “She made a name for herself with, ya know, some kind of talent that she sort of had. You made an ass of yourself for having no talent at all.”

    . . .

    Seagal: “If you like writing so much, why don’t you write me a damn confession, cuz that’s about the only thing that you could write that anybody might read. You hear?”

    Yes, Steven Seagal is listed as a co-writer on this episode.

  381. DETENTION, anyone? Google shows that brother Topel saw it a year back, but couldn’t find any posts here since. Finally saw it this morning and even though more than a few of the details grated on the way down, the broader view you get by the end gives your brain a kick in ways that more conventional movies couldn’t conceive of. There’s a lot to unpack in it, but to play to the room: It does have a mano-a-mano fight where the fighters invoke their spiritual and technical gurus: Seagal and, iirc, Swayze. (Don’t hate me for being hazy. There’s a LOT of FAST stuff to take in here.)

  382. Li, in all my year of talking this movie up, it didn’t even occur to me that the selling point should be the ROAD HOUSE/SEAGAL homages. Glad I finally have someone to talk about this with.

  383. Btw what city are you in that’s still showing it?

  384. Fred, I’m in LA and caught it at the Burbank 6. Never any need to go out to that theater before now.

    My initial take on this movie: If you compare movies to other visual arts, it’s not a classical painting but a skateboard covered with stickers. Little tiny bits that each carry a tiny association. You put one on the board, it’s kind of simple. You layer a zillion on, the variety and density draw you in, impress you, and you start to look for the method behind the choices in what got applied and why certain ones went where.

    It sounds dry, but the movie succeeded for me as an essay. It didn’t move me emotionally, and usually I’m not a big fan of cultural references being rattled off, because in other creative works it’s often like a bad SNL sketch where the payoff is no bigger than “Oh, I know what that’s from! They’ve included something I recognize, and are using it in a way entirely consistent with conventional wisdom!” But especially once the mysterious guy in the hoodie showed up in detention, something tripped in me, and all sorts of questions about cultural styles and social roles and their transience (or sometimes permanence or reconfiguration) and their value for individuals (and societies) who adopt them started mushrooming in my head. So a movie that initially kept me very much at arm’s length snuck into my head and fired up a number of new neurons.

    You saw it a year ago and have no one to discuss it with? I went alone – most of my friends have kind of aged out of being adventurous moviegoers. Which means they probably wouldn’t have cottoned to the movie anyway, which is sad because they might have enjoyed the dust it kicks up if they’d meet it halfway.

  385. That is an awesome interpretation, Li. I hope there were also giggling schoolgirls in your screening because that makes it an extra treat. I always found Riley was just so lovable you always root for her. The detention flashback is the piece de resistance but the work print sequence is what drives it home for me,

  386. Thanks, Fred. Don’t want to make the movie sound pretentious; the surface alone will likely have its fans. I like the idea of Riley, but since everything in the movie was in quotes within quotes and italics, she as a character didn’t engage me. Who knows though – maybe I was too swamped with the style. I’m interested in seeing the movie again now that I’ve got a handle on where the story and characters go.

    No schoolgirls, sadly; it was a pretty stony audience. The other two people who stayed through the credits groused on the way out. And Hell Yes – I’ll see your detention flashback and the workprint sequence, and raise you the big dance, which took a teen film standard and made it feel super joyous.

  387. Fred, did I tell you I saw Detention at SIFF last year? I had a high fever but I’m pretty sure I didn’t hallucinate it. I swear I wrote part of a review and set it aside for when the movie actually came out. But I can’t find it on my computer or in any of my notebooks.

  388. Vern, you did post that you’d seen it at SIFF but lost or didn’t get to writing the review. Would be highly appropriate in the CABIN IN THE WOODS thread just by coincidentally themed genre movies released at the same time.

    Li, the beautiful thing about what DETENTION does is it makes in depth analysis cool. You are supposed to find all those levels in it and they’re about awesome things like culture and they work with the A story.

    Joyous is a great word. That’s exactly how I felt too. Kahn isn’t looking down on any of his references. He’s celebrating them. When the prom band breaks out in that song it’s perfect.

    The girls really respond to Riley. They coo whenever she suffers a mishap, because they’ve been there. I felt it too, which must be my badass juxtaposition, right?

  389. http://www.aintitcool.com./node/55165

    Apparently the outlands in FURY ROAD will have beautiful women locked in cages. Can’t see what’s particularly beautiful about that girl in that article though. It’s interesting cause I thought women would be in a better spot in that universe after THUNDERDOME whether they’re beautiful or not.

  390. is Fury Road really supposed to take place after Thnderdome? I would have figured they would either ignore it or have it take place before Thunderdome considering it ends with Mad Max hanging out in the ruins of a city with a bunch of little kids (or something like that, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen Beyond Thunderdome)

  391. Max didn’t make it to the city. He had to sacrifice his seat to make sure they could get away.

  392. oh, like I said it’s probably been close to ten years since I saw that

  393. Mouth, Peter Kuplowsky is trying to get in touch with you. We didn’t exchange info at Actionfest so this is the only way I can reach you.

  394. What, he didn’t give you the key to the rooftop where the Mouth symbol is stored?

  395. In order to avoid turning Vern’s talkbacks into a pre-cell phone era 9th grade study hall situation, I shall make a Mouth twitter and contact my Canadian hatted friend.

  396. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I think “Backdraft” is an underappreciated gem. It got criticised at the time for its expletive-laden working-class dialogue, which is a helluva lot more close to what I know than A Certain Other Movie I Criticised Recently (no, I’m not going there, I don’t want to start that debate up again. I’m talking about Billy Baldwin’s greatest role. Let’s show some respect to it.)

    I absolutely agree with Mouth (the courtroom scene with Donald Sutherland is a highlight for me: “What would you like to do to the world?” “Burn it. Burn it all.” Sutherland plays this character as a remorseful sociopath – totally bonkers, but self-aware enough to recognise just how much of a monster he really is and ashamed at what his obsession has made him do.)

    But I think the world it portrays is beautifully done, multi-layered, with all layers having their share of corrupted elements. It’s extremely well-structured and has at its core a surprisingly effective whodunnit – all the clues are there, they’re not made TOO obvious, with the most revealing clues shown towards the end of the film. For some time it’s not even clear that there IS a whodunnit – it’s very “Usual Suspects” in terms of its construction – and the killer, when revealed (and indeed before that) is a sympathetic, well-rounded character.

    I like the relationship between the two brothers, how the older brother “rides” the younger one but is still protective of him. And the refrain at the end, for me, is one of the few instances where that device actually works. The only thing I could never quite accept was this: Billy Baldwin and Kurt Russell as brothers? I don’t think they could’ve chosen two actors who look less alike.

    Still, a much under-appreciated film IMO.

    My updated “Seagalogy” arrived this morning. I’m about to tuck in. See y’all tomorrow!

  397. I’ve joined the microblogging social media scene. I occasionally observe various news & political figures’ twitters, but have never tweeted anything myself. Well, now I’ve broken that seal, might keep tweeting, link the world to my yfrog store of humorous kitten pictures, I dunno, doubt it, but I’m an official lurker of Vern’s account and Fred’s account and a few others.

    Anonymity is dead. Y’all can see the real Mouth (circa 2008 on the nicest black pleather couch in the 38S MB MGRS region) here:


  398. while we’re plugging things, you guys do remember I have a blog linked in my name right? just throwing that out there

  399. I’m not plugging shit, just responding to a fan request.

    I feel like I’m gonna have to familiarize myself with the twitter, Pinterest, Posterous, all that shit, before I get my next job. In today’s job market, social network awareness is like the equivalent of learning Microsoft Office or a 2nd/3rd language, or having an uncle who’s Executive VP of Operations — it’s a marketable skill, an ‘in’.

    In other news, http://bit.ly/HIyTBt

    I can’t fully recommend Tobe Hooper’s EGGSHELLS (1969), since it doesn’t cover the origins of Leatherface, sadly, but it does have a well-edited 1-man fight scene (!) at about the 30:00 mark that’s worth watching.

    Overall, the movie is sorta like an ugly, boring protoMumblecore + Tinto Brass’s ATTRACTION + EASY RIDER + undecipherable psychedelia, and it’s not very good, but it may be of interest to Tobe Hooper completists. I recommend Vern wait for the DVD, which hopefully will include Hooper’s short film THE HEISTERS and other extras.

  400. I was very active on Pinterest and had quite a few followers then I just closed my account when I realized I could get sued for posting a lot of the shit I posted there even though I always gave credit. I’m still not active on twitter at all but I do have an account there sitting idle in case I decide to share my art with the world some day. As Mouth said it’s become a way of the world when you want to market yourself in anyway and there’s no turning back from that fact.

  401. I’ve decided that 95% of my @ChiefMouth twittering will be the search for new photos of Vanessa Hudgens.

    And maybe figuring out her patterns & daily whereabouts so that maybe one day I can reroute my jog through her hood, get seats next to hers at a Clippers game, make magic happen, who knows, don’t judge my dreams.

    It’s not stalking. This is perfectly normal. Until her lawyers & a judge say otherwise.

  402. Mouth – I bet you love that leaked pic of Vanessa Hudgens nekkid from a few years back don’t ya?

    anyway I just saw a commercial for BATTLESHIP and I STILL cannot believe that is a real movie and not some sort of elaborate prank

  403. Just went to preorder Haywire and wasn’t sure it was the right movie, I mean, they even went to the trouble of making her look like a dude in the bottom right, if you don’t zoom in it could be Ewan or whoever doing the running, weird.


  404. I saw THE AVENGERS. I will be seeing it again. And maybe one more time after that. It’s how modern “popcorn movies” should be, so Transformers defenders can stick their “it’s not supposed to be Hamlet” defence us their stupid asses. This isn’t that cerebral either, but it’s made of pure fun and doesn’t insult your intelligence while doing it. Has some excellent action scenes, particularly in the last act(which the trailers actually DIDN’T show the best parts of), lots of funny and smart dialogue and little moments, and the CGI is really solid to great. This is the best the Hulk’s looked. The cast all work together really well and I like the various dynamics between them. I will say Renner and Hemsworth get a little less well served that the rest, for different reasons I can’t go into due to spoilers, but everyone gets their moment(s) and I really liked what they did with Black Widow, and Ruffalo was pretty damn good as Banner. Sam Jackson now gets to do more than a couple of scenes and gives us a better idea of what sort of guy Fury is. He’s fairly likeable, but they don’t shy from giving him a few more shady qualities that show he’s pragmatic and will do what he thinks he has to succeed in his mission. Hiddleston continues to be great as Loki, developed to have a little more swagger here and be more far gone than before. Good times.

  405. I just want to see it cause of the Hulk. I’m a Hulk fan. When it comes to the Marvel characters I like the more fucked up characters. The ones with a shit load of baggage like Spider-Man, Daredevil, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Punisher etc.

    I didn’t really like the other movie Hulks for one reason: Banner was a dullard. It was the antithesis of what the comics and the Bixby TV pilot episode made Banner to be. A charming and interesting enough dude that you’re not just left waiting for the Hulk to show up for cause you don’t want to see him go.

    Making Banner and the Hulk by proxy as he’s a manifestation of a part of Banner’s psyche interesting & charming though still conflicted never Emo like the Bana or Norton Banner’s. That shit is for the birds crying and whining about his condition instead of trying to find a middle ground and accept it. Fuck that shit.

    Give me the other Banners I mentioned before over that crap. My cousin saw this movie weeks ago and told me that Ruffalo got it though. That’s all I wanted cause I’m seeing this movie for the Hulk. For once you give a shit about Banner as much as you do for the Hulk is what he said and if that’s true then thank you Whedon. It’s the way it should be. It’s a much more interesting dynamic. It’s why people loved Bixby so much. You don’t want to see either one go and this is why they always stole the show in those Marvel Comics events.

  406. The only avenging i´m into is Dudikoffs AVENGING FORCE. So forgive me if I am not all that into Marvel characters. Daredevil and Punisher can be cool though if treated correctly. Frank Millers version of daredevil is pretty cool and Dolphs version of Punisher is perfectly up my alley even Stevensons WARZONE works prefectly well as dark violent revengefantasies.

  407. Broddie- Banner’s a bit more charismatic than this. He’s still a bit reserved, but he’s actually moved on a bit from the angsting he did in the previous movies, and he cracks a few jokes and has some nice one liners. He also has a friendship with one of the other members of the team I really enjoyed seeing develop. Hulk himself is just as much of a threat as before, but they have have much more fun with him and he gets the biggest laugh out loud moment of the movie.

  408. Yeah what I mean is because Banner is such a cool ass character. I’m assuming that other character is another prominent scientific genius but of the rich variety like in the comics till the whole WWH thing anyway but fuck the new comics except Planet Hulk.

    Hulk has his own personality in the comics. He’s funny and charming cause Banner is the same way. There is a jekyll and hyde complex but it’s not to the hinderance of either character. You don’t have the Hulk with his head down and shielding himself from bullets.

    He’s a powerhouse and the more you piss him off the stronger and more annoyed he grows. Fuck outta his way or get spanked. That’s because Banner is not a push over either and his rage represents that. This is why Talbot sonning Banner in Ang Lee’s movie gets on my nerves. In the movies Hulk’s as scared as a baby because Banner is a moper. This is why I’m very mixed about both movies. Sometimes I liked but a lot I basically hated and making Banner so angsty and nebbish they missed out on a lot of the charm of Lee and Kirby’s original concept in the first place.

    Sounds like Whedon finally fixed that. Movie Hulk needed that shit badly. Time to really show the world why this character is supposed to be fun and not “hmmmm how much longer before Banner is gone and the Hulk shows up?”

    The conflict the audience has because both characters have their own interesting individuality is why it’s such an interesting concept in the first place.

  409. I think it helps that Betty isn’t in the movie, so Banner doesn’t have that emotional trigger to make him or the Hulk be sissies. Banner really only worries in general about the damage he could if he changes, whereas Hulk just wants to beat the shit out of whoever pisses him off.

  410. Stu – Thank you. I’ve been indifferent to AVENGERS. Sure I was going to see it, but maybe my enthusiasm was castrated by the fact that Mr. Whedon never did anything for me. But my inner 9 year old boy hoped that they don’t fuck this up.

    Apparently they didn’t.

    Also, props to the Marvel people for cutting that one TV spot you all have seen repeatedly:

    “We have an army!”
    “We have a Hulk!”

  411. Speaking of ads, dock points from BATTLESHIP for the lamest movie-tie in promotion yet.

    “This movie has battleships, planes, boats…and SUBS!” *cue in Subway theme*

  412. I don’t want to oversell The Avengers or anything though. I’m well aware being a comic book fan means I got more out of it than most, and there’ll probably still be people not that impressed, but I do think it’s a great summer blockbuster and still a great achievement in just how they pulled off such an ambitious movie with all the buildup and planning to get there.

    Oh, and they were kind enough to put the bonus scene shortly into the credits rather than right at the very end this time.

  413. Did I already mention that I have to wait for THE AVENGERS to hit DVD, because none of my local or not so local theatres shows it in 2D?

  414. That also means that, after I already had to skip JOHN CARTER because of that issue, I will probably have to skip PROMETHEUS too. Fuck.

  415. Tough break, CJ. For what it’s worth, I had to see it in 3D because the 2D screenings were sold out, and it wasn’t really to the film’s detriment. Nothing really memorable was done with it though, just the usual diorama type effect that post-converted movies get. Am I right thinking I heard somewhere the process can make the picture darker? Because some of the night time scenes could have been brighter, though that may be the same in 2D. I will be seeing it as such next wednesday though, so I can report back on that.

  416. Once again, I must sing the praises of my beloved city, for here in the Big Apple we have the option to see it in 3D, IMAX 3D, regular IMAX, or good ol’ 2D 35 millimeter. I plan on watching this bitch filtered through actual fucking film. To quote Mr. Ernie Hudson, “I love this town!”

  417. The thing is that I wouldn’t mind watching it in 3D if it would just look like a diorama or something, but I’m almost blind on one eye and my view seems to adjust to the 3D effect, by forcing me to stare blank through the screen. So I miss pretty much everything what’s going on by either sitting there like in a trance or seeing just a blurry mess, as soon as I move my eyes just a little.

  418. Ah, that’s different then. That sucks. And part of the movie takes place in Germany too…

  419. It’s sad how studios and directors are so intent on holding onto 3D. Apparently, 3D was one of the reasons why Jackson decided to film The Hobbit at 48 fps instead of 24, which by all accounts looks awful. The higher frame rate was supposed to make the 3D look more impressive. But I’ve seen movies played at a higher frame rate and it always looks like a soap opera.

  420. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 26th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I wasn’t overly impressed with ANY of the previous Marvel films, to be honest, although the two “Iron Man” films seemed to be the best of the bunch. I’m glad to hear this one’s good but I’ll still probably wait for DVD.

  421. I’m totally over the 3D trend, I’ve grown to really hate it honestly because all it’s done is overly complicate things

    the movie that killed it for me? Thor 3D

  422. I will not see THE AVENGERS LIE-MAX 3D EXPERIENCE. As Mr. Majestyk said we have a real IMAX 3D screen here in NYC. It’s for that reason alone that I won’t subject myself to fake 3D. I’m seeing PROMETHEUS in 2D for that reason and the same goes for AVENGERS.

    Seeing AVATAR on that very screen Majestyk talked about pretty much spoiled me; if it’s not natural then fuck you. Same goes for non 3D IMAX features too. If you weren’t really shot with an IMAX camera; fuck you.

  423. I meant to say watching fake shit on that IMAX 3D screen is a disservice to the craftmanship of the screen in the first place. A spit in the face of all those who designed it. It was made for the real thing. I had to suffer through THOR MOVING POP UP BOOK WITH DARK FILTERING too Griff. Unfortunately all the 2D matinee showings were sold out. I’ll be more cautious with AVENGERS.

  424. “I will not see THE AVENGERS LIE-MAX 3D EXPERIENCE.”
    asimovLives, how did you get on Broddie’s account? If you’ve hurt him…

    Paul- fair enough. I’ve been thinking though lately that as exhausted as some people are of the superhero genre or find it ridiculous, it is a genre of film that at least is generally light on the blights of modern action cinema. Perhaps because of coming from a medium made up of still pictures, directors have thankfully tried to replicate the clarity of that, Nolan’s depiction of hand to hand combat in Batman aside. AVENGERS has a really standout action scene that’s one long take* that covers a lot of the environment and shows what all the characters are doing during it, and a few are moving through it along with the camera. It’s really something

    *Not in the TOM YUM GOONG sense, as it’s obviously a bunch of combined CGI and green sceen moments, but it’s still got no cuts and is pretty cool.

  425. “Nolan’s depiction of hand to hand combat in Batman aside. ”

    Oh shit, you just rang the bell and summoned AsimovLives!


  427. Stu – I dunno man. That’s like accidentally tossing fish guts into the sea and realizing too late that you’re sending a lunch invite to Jaws.

    I hope you stopped it in time.

  428. I have enough bullets left for two people to escape the pain.

  429. Stu – no need to blow your temple to bits, just tell asimov that Duncan Jones should’ve directed the new Superman movie.

    (Which I agree with him, but that’s neither here or there.)

  430. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 26th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Damn late nights… anyway, Stu, I’ll take your word for it and probably catch the film on rental later this year. The only Marvel film I’ve actually disliked was “Captain America”, the others I thought were all ok to pretty good. The two “Iron Man”s I had fun with, I’m just not all that interested in this one. It’s not because I think it’s naturally going to be terrible or anything, I’m just not particularly bothered.

  431. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 26th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Ok I wrote an “on-topic” post to Vern regarding Seagalogy. AND THEN POSTED IT IN THE WRONG THREAD. I am a freaking disaster. I think working nights has finally turned my brain to mush.

    Here it is anyway:


    I was going to e-mail you regarding Seagalogy: updated edition, but I couldn’t really think of enough new stuff to say that I haven’t already said in the comments regarding the films, and I don’t have much to say regarding the writing except I loved it. I started with “Kill Switch” because, let’s face it, I wasn’t in the greatest of moods that night and fancied an evisceration. What I actually got, though, was a lot sadder. The idea that that horrible, horrible film might once have been decent but bad editing ruined it once and for all… that really sucks.

    The “Lawman” bits were fantastic, actually my favorite part of the updated book, which is kinda ironic because I wrote in that e-mail I didn’t send that I’d probably never get a chance to see it. As it turns out it was on late-night Channel 5 over here in the UK; and I missed it. D’oh.

    Oh, and I love that you ended the book with the review of Seagal’s band live, which is still probably my favorite thing you’ve written that’s Seagal-related.

  432. What do you guys think of Game of Thrones Season 2? I find my opinion of the proceedings has much improved over the last season. I was heartbroken that Arya didn’t kill anybody when they got captured though…what was the point of her being trained in the art of swordplay? Worst revision to the story yet.

  433. Re Avengers.

    You guys really ought to see it in the cinema. It`s not the best superhero movie ever or a even a brilliant story, but it`s the most enjoyable cinema-experience I`ve had in many years. What really elevates this movie, is the audience laughing and cheering every five minutes or so. It`s a fluffy and superficial movie, but Joss Whedon directs the hell out of it. He know how to make a rousing holy shit-beat and then break the tension with a clever joke. And he does it again and again. I haven`t seen an audience react this strongly to a movie before (maybe except when I watched Hardboiled in the nineties or Rambo 4 in a theater full of drunk teens..), and that`s the real brilliance of the movie.
    In conclusion, it`s a really good movie, but an amazing cinema-experience.

    I really dislike 3d and feels it often ruins the movie-experience, but I decided that I wanted to see Avengers on the biggest screen as possible, with the biggest audience possible, and it totally worked. I`m gonna watch it again in 2d, there´s some really brillant action-filmatism going on in the last half hour and the 3d does make it harder to adjust your eyes to all the activety on the screen, but do yourself a big favor and watch it on the biggest screen possible, no matter what d it´s in. There is at least a few shots, that looks frigging amazing in 3d anyway.

    Also, 3d does make the picture darker, but only when the cinema neglects to turn up for the goddamn projector. Stupid fucking cinemas.

  434. As a long time fan of Whedon, I’m pleased he’s getting his dues. Even though he writes well in a serialized format like television, you could always tell that Whedon wanted to go big but never quite had the budget. I’ll be interested to see what he can do on a much larger canvas.

  435. Anybody heard anything good about SAFE? I’ve been pretty skeptical of the hacks Statham has chosen to work with recently (not necessarily a Stallone dig, but if the shoe fits…), but I thought the trailer was promising. Sadly, the word of mouth I’m getting is that it has all the qualities we hate in pre-post-THE RAID action: fun-deflating sadsack tone, disingenuous but time-consuming character development, Greengrassed-to-shit action scenes, etc. So sad that it’s come to this when only a few years ago I considered him the only sure thing in action. Now you can pretty much guarantee that any movie he’s in will be a tragic waste of the best scowl in the business.

  436. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    April 27th, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Uh, guys…On amazon uk you can pre-order a Seagal flick called DEATH RIDERS on blu. Release date is August 13. Have you folks heard of this? My first guess was that this could be two season 2 eps of TRUE JUSTICE, but according to the always reliable imdb, there is no season 2 episode with the awesome title DEATH RIDERS. Having only seen the first TRUE JUSTICE movie, I don’t possess the necessary skills to recognize the people playing Chief Seagal’s underlings. Maybe some of you could study the cover and get back to me?

  437. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    April 27th, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Mr Majestyk: SAFE got a very positive review on aintithipsternews. I believe they said it was the best Statham flick so far. The writer/director makes it a very promising project, as does the fact that Lawrence Bender is producing. High Hopes, but the thought of shaky-cam etc is disheartening.

  438. Looks like another TRUE JUSTICE dvd release if you ask me. The woman on the cover firing a gun ( cannot remember her name) is definitely a part of Seagal Squad.

  439. “High Hopes, but the thought of shaky-cam etc is disheartening.”
    Also I’m a little tired of the “person with an amazing memory/mental ability also happens to be a child/disabled and thus needs a protector” plot device. They should switch it up sometime and have the guardian some weedy guy and the person with the ability some muscle bound giant. Still…Statham’s character has the name “Luke Wright”. That gets it some bonus points.

  440. Jareth Cutestory

    April 27th, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Majestyk: A buddy of mine told me he found SAFE a mixed bag; he was annoyed by the incessant quick cuts but really appreciated the lack of sentimentality in the film, which, given the premise, could easily have turned into COP AND A HALF. He said the film had a “robust” energy level, but was really hobbled by a weak script. Apparently some of the dialogue is enjoyably preposterous. He said GUY PEARCE IN SPACE was way better.

  441. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 27th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I went to see “Cabin in the Woods” for the second time today. First time I’ve seen a film twice in the cinema in years, which is ironic given that I said in my first review of it that I hoped it would flop.

    Anyway, I think I was right the second time – it is MUCH better than I gave it credit for. Some of the things that didn’t make much sense to me when I saw it the first time out make a lot more sense on repeat viewing. I still don’t like the security guard character, but he’s at least not in the film very much.

    Anyway… I saw a trailer of “Safe” before the film started, and I have to say it looked pretty good. Trouble is, you can’t go on the trailers a lot of the time. I’m going to be interested in seeing what you guys say about it when it inevitably comes out in America two months before we get it over here.

    (Talking of which, I still haven’t seen a single trailer for “The Raid”, ever. Let alone a sign that the actual movie is coming to any cinema within a hundred miles of me. What the FUCK?)

  442. Bad day at the office, Majestyk? Writing The Stath off because of a movie you haven’t even seen is a bit…well, I won’t add to your troubles by saying what you can do with that proficy.

  443. Or “prophecy” as I believe it’s spelled in English…

  444. pegsman – You got to admit though the man hasn’t lived up to his full potential yet. This is coming from someone who always sees a Statham movie when he gets the chance. It’s almost like how Vin and The Rock were before FAST FIVE but to a greater extent cause I feel The Stath has a better presence than either one of them.

  445. I don’t see it like that at all. The man has that screen presence that make everything he does look cool. I have no complaints.

  446. Well, I’m gonna be out of town this weekend but I’ll try to see SAFE some time before work during the week. I have all the same fears as you guys but I’m always hoping for a return of the Boaz Yakin who directed FRESH. Or at least the one who wrote THE PUNISHER.

    I just read Flashfire, the Parker book that the upcoming movie is based on, and it does seem like a good one to make a movie out of. He does the most robberies of any one of his books, there are lots of different factions of people who fuck with him, he goes through hell and the character that Jennifer Lopez is playing is a big enough part that they hopefully didn’t have to Hollywood it up too much. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one despite the warnings from our commenter who saw an early cut.

    I really hope the Statham/De Palma HEAT doesn’t fall through. That one has the most potential of anything he’s got going. I only say it might because De Palma seems to have trouble getting movies off the ground these days. But maybe Statham helps.

    I heard Statham turned down FURIOUS SIX (which is what everybody should be calling it, I mean come on). If he ends up being in TRANSfourMER4: RETALIDEMPTION like they were talking about then I guess we’ll know which team he’s on.

  447. It look like he’s doing Hummingbird after Safe. It’s directed by the guy who wrote Eastern Promises, so that’s…eh, promising. Maybe it’s the Boaz Yakin who wrote Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights who’s returning?

  448. Paul- I saw a trailer for it, attached to LOCKOUT? Anyone else seen that yet, by they way? I heard it got cut down to make a PG-13 rating over in the states, though I’m not sure if our 15-rated one is any gorier.

  449. I liked LOCKOUT in parts, and Guy was great, but it felt severely padded to me – even at 80+ minutes.

    The whole film coming in for $20, though – very impressive. The opening and closing were the most fun, but I couldn’t help wondering what they could’ve done with a few more euros in the pot.

    I’ve seen the SAFE trailer a bunch of times now and it looks pretty darn good. The reviews I’ve caught suggest it’s better than The Stath’s recent outings, with better shot action for the most part and giving him more to do, character wise.

    May 4th will see new Batman and Exp 2 trailers, but not sure if that’s The States only or us poor UK dudes, as well.

    Also, THE AVENGERS ARE MARVELOUS AND ASSEMBLE made me smile like a nine year old. Even at a closed captioned screenign with 1/3 of the pciture missing.

  450. SAFE is great. Clean visual storytelling and economical plotting. You guys’ll like it.

  451. so guys, what are your thoughts on Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows?

    I have to admit, I think it looks pretty damn funny, plus I dig the whole “Gothic 1970’s” look of the movie, that’s pretty darn cool

  452. Griff – I know I’ve bitched frequently at locals for confusing a movie’s marketing campaign (i.e. aiming for the lowest demographic totem pole) for the movie itself, so I’ll be diplomatic with this answer: The movie’s marketing campaign has been appealing to me so far, enough to make me want to go see it. Pretty much been sold as Tim Burton’s ADDAMS FAMILY, even if I’m pretty sure its not that.

    Of course with Tim Burton, he’s a coin flip. But one thing about SHADOWS does intrigue me: him working with Michelle Pfeiffer again. Also the leaked soundtrack clips by Danny Elfman on YouTube have been fucking good.

    Of course none of that matters to my mother. She loved that damn show when it was on back in the day, and we at times used to watch some of the reruns when it was on Sci-Fi. (Back when they weren’t embarrased by having old reruns of shows pre-1975)

    I can’t say I was enthralled with it as she was, since it basically still came off as a soap opera with the inherent schlock that goes with it, just slick and inventive at the time to incorporate horror and gothic atmosphere into that well-worn formula. But that said in retrospect, Barnabas Collins was a fascinating complex character not just for soaps but for sci-fi/fantasy/horror TV. Started out as an outright villain, then became overtime the heroic protagonist but still a total bastard at times (he was prick before becoming a vampire) with a self-pity self-defense mechanism.

    He’s never said it, but only in retrospect I always wondered if Alan Moore watched that show because really Barnabas Collins does feel like an early incarnation of John Constantine in that regard of a complicated anti-hero that’s compelling because of those failures invisibly chained around him. Of course maybe that’s not true and its my memory playing tricks with me, so don’t quote me on that. And I doubt Burton even plays on that pathos.

  453. Brad Jones gave SAFE a very positive review:
    Some spoilers, and he compares one part to early Segal with the ammount of snapped wrists and arms, plus a cheesey one liner to top it off.

  454. ^Seagal, sorry. Should know better in this thread.

  455. Stu – back to AVENGERS, can you answer me one question?

    What was Stan Lee’s cameo this time?

  456. Griff, I’ve only seen the poster, but it kind of makes my stomach turn seeing another Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp playing a heroin-chic cartoon character on the cover. You know what I mean? If it’s good, it’s good, but christ, you gonna chase that Edward Scissorhands buzz forever? I can’t help but wonder if the artistic relationship has gone stale at this point and they’re like an old dysfunctional couple that is too used to each other to break it off.

  457. RRA- Near the very end, on a newscast.
    Yeah, SPOILERS- Avengers features newscasts.

  458. “You know what I mean? If it’s good, it’s good, but christ, you gonna chase that Edward Scissorhands buzz forever? ”

    I know exactly what you mean. But after a lame limpwrist like ALICE made a billion bucks, Burton for now is allowed to keep aping German Expressionism to his heart’s content.

  459. This is interesting news: Looks like a third DEATH RACE movie is in the works,directed by Roel Reine once again. Very interested to see where they are going with it.
    According to IMDB it´s in post production with release in december.


  460. Paul, you’ll probably have THE RAID on the 18th of May.

  461. Snap Poll: Your favorite movie that came out in summer of 1982?

    Just look at what came out that summer, the tentpoles and B-pictures, the gold with the dreck, classics with the obscure.

    Conan the Barbarian
    Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
    The Road Warrior
    Rocky III
    Visiting Hours
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    Hanky Panky
    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
    Grease 2
    Author! Author!
    The Thing
    Blade Runner
    Forced Vengeance
    The Secret of NIMH
    A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy
    Summer Lovers
    The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
    The World According to Garp
    An Officer & A Gentleman
    Night Shift
    Things Are Tough All Over
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High
    Pink Floyd The Wall
    Friday the 13th Part III-D
    Class of 1984

    I’m tempted to vote HOURS or CLASS OF 1984, but also for KHAN and CONAN. This will be a tough vote for me.

  462. A whole lot of awesome on that list but also some crap IMO if you ask me though THE ROAD WARRIOR trumps everything else though THE THING comes very close.

  463. You realize that THE THING and BLADE RUNNER both came out on the same weekend? Hollywood wouldn’t do that today. Which is why we’re basically stuck with the whack-a-mole strategy of one “major” release a weekend more or less.

  464. When you can get 2 of the greatest pieces of sci-fi cinema ever to play in different screens at the same location that is indeed a piece of magic that is rarely seen.

  465. “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”
    I’m reminded of the VENTURE BROTHERS episode where Dr. Venture is excited to find about out that movie, because he thinks it’s a porno starring Dolly Parton.

  466. Stu – “They can’t sing forever!”

  467. man, 1982 was an epic year for movies, it literally doesn’t get any better than that

    and man, it’s almost impossible to pick just one movie from that list, I will say though that Pink Floyd The Wall is in my opinion one of the most underrated movies ever made, Roger Waters doesn’t like it, Alan Parker doesn’t like it, but regardless I’ve always LOVED that movie, I mean really love it (sure wish it was on blu ray), there’s just something about that movie that really connects with me, I love how unique it is, there’s no other movie like it

  468. Griff – Neither were happy because Parker wasn’t another bitch that took Waters’ orders, and Waters was probably one of the more forceful personalities (i.e. pain in the ass) Parker has ever had to deal with. (And considering he later made a movie with Madonna, that’s saying something.)

    Also maybe Parker felt that the movie wasn’t as “awesome” as he thought he had envisioned? It happens. I’ve heard him saying somewhere that he’s baffled when people come up to him and say they’re big fans of the movie.* I’ll admit THE WALL might have some flaws, but it wields sheer filmatic power that moviemakers would made satanic pacts for. And have we really seen a movie like that subsequently? We’ve seen the return of the musical (aka Broadway back on the big screen), but nothing as polarizing and (awesome) as THE WALL in that sort of thing. Maybe its been made, but independent and off the radar, but nothing “big” like that.

    A good read, if you can get beyond his embarrasing factual errors, is Roger Ebert’s Great Movies essay on THE WALL.

    *=One notable fan? Christopher Nolan.

  469. Well The Rock on his twitter said he filmed a fight scene with Kurt Angle for Michael Bay’s body builder crime “black comedy” PAIN & GAIN.

  470. RRA – I know the story behind it, I actually bought a book about the making of it

    what I don’t understand is why those guys can’t get past their personal experiences and see it for the masterpiece that it is?

  471. Griff – Sorry for the lecturing. Its a habit of mine.

    Did you know Fritz Lang considered METROPOLIS a failure? Yes that’s insane considering its usually listed as one of the greatest movies ever made, especially of the silent era, visually influential to the sci-fi genre, etc. But Lang apparently felt that the morality of it was too simplistic or something to that effect.

  472. The Wall is an interesting movie. I went through a period of time where I was somewhat obsessed with that movie, and then I ended up hating it for a while, and then I came around to seeing past its somewhat bombastic nature and realizing what an inventive film it truly is. There are still moments that are a little too on the nose. The animated scene where one flower devours another manages to go past metaphor, wrap around misogyny, and wind up becoming somewhat humorous. That is one of the most obvious images of the vagina dentata in all of cinematic history. While The Wall has some flaw, they’re pretty much the same flaws the album has. With that in mind, I can’t imagine why Waters would hate it. It seems to me that the movie captures the album pretty well.

    As far as Metropolis goes, I’ve heard some people suggest that what really bothered Lang was how the film was used for Nazi propaganda, which also happened to M. I believe this is mostly conjecture and Lang has never stated this outright, but it makes a certain kind of sense. I also wonder if the fact that the movie has become so ubiquitous, that Lang himself could never quite get away from it despite a million other accomplishments, probably also caused a little bit of resentment.

  473. I dunno about The Wall. I mean, I would never want to take it away from our culture or change a moment of it, and I’m glad it exists. But I think if it didn’t have those gnarly and beautiful animated sequences, it have the fervent cult following it does. Most of the live action stuff strikes me as pretty off the mark (ie, you can tell what they were going for, and usually recognize some sort of gap between that and what you’re actually seeing on screen), and, like Tommy, the music is pretty rough put alongside the album versions…

  474. “But I think if it didn’t have those gnarly and beautiful animated sequences”

    renfield – When I bring THE WALL up with people, they usually first cite that whole school sequence, followed by the Nazi rally. Then the cartoons. Of course that’s just my local experience.

    I suppose the movie still draws in the same way the album does. Rolling Stone rightly called the album it “the ultimate self-pity rock opera,” but I think that about sums up compactfully its appeal. Yes its Roger Waters the rich rock star whining about being a rich rock star, but people relate to that alienation from school or the socially inert in failing to connect with people around them, or how depression can grow like a brick at a time, or rendered parentless by war or something out of their control, and so forth. Hell that whole In the Flesh/Run Like Hell sequence is just hate and fustration just boiling over. (Plus that Hammerhead symbology was brilliant. So good, real skinheads adopted it despite the fact that shit was ridiculing them.)

    And also, the music is pretty fucking good.

    As for the music, I actually own the concert album which now I seem to prefer over the album. I like that smushed tracks (by LP space) like fucking “Young Lust” is allowed to flex itself out, or an outtake (but in the movie) like “What Shall We Do Now?” or even the instrumental improvising jamming like “Last Few Bricks” (played by the band to amuse the crowd while the stage crew completed building the wall).

  475. THE WALL was very important to me when I was 19, 20 and going through a depressive phase about some damn thing or another. I forget what my problem was now. Seemed important to me at the time. THE WALL is good for that.

    I haven’t listened to it in years, though. (To put my advanced decrepitude into perspective, I only ever had it on tape.) I do, however, listen to Luther Wright & The Wrongs’ bluegrass version of it, which is equally as useful for soundtracking high-speed backwoods getaways as it is self-indulgent angst.

  476. I never really gave much of a shit about the movie, though. The main thing I remember is the nipple-shaving scene.

  477. The Wall is also my favorite album ever

    I just love the whole package, the music, the movie and Gerald Scarfe’s artwork bringing the whole thing to life, to me it goes beyond just simple music and is more like an “experience” (this is is also how I would describe Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals), I don’t really think of it as melodramatic, I just think of it being “pure” you know what I mean?

    I guess I should mention that Pink Floyd is without a doubt my favorite band and that I also think the Brits make the best music

    p.s. I love Tommy (the movie) as well, though I don’t think it’s as good as The Wall

  478. I just got some of the CLiNT Magazines in the mail, and I feel bad because I wrote this column about Marko Zaror to do my part in promoting his works, but the picture they chose to illustrate it with is Scott Adkins (from Undisputed III, in a scene where he’s probly facing off with Zaror).

    Well, I guess if it helps bring people to either one of those guys that’s a good thing.

  479. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 29th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    RRA – it’s between “The Thing” and “Beastmaster”. Hmmmmm… that’s a hard one…

  480. Weird box-office statistic from this weekend that shocked me: the TITANIC re-release is actually making more money outside America than HUNGER GAMES.

    The power of 3-D boobs.

  481. From the report reviews, I think its a good thing I didn’t order the EXTREME RULEZ PPV.

  482. Actually, it was a really good show from top to bottom. The two world titles matches were really good, Bryan/Sheamus in particular made up for the Wrestlemania squash to make Bryan a credible threat but also perhaps help the Bryan fanboys not hate Sheamus so much because it was a hard fought victory. Cena/Lesnar was DAMN good. It was actually quite shocking in how brutal it was, with Lesnar busting Cena open within the first ten seconds or so, then spending most of the match dominating Cena is really vicious way. He may have lost, but it was only due to flukery and Cena using weapons. It very much painted Brock as monster who would have owned him in a straight up match, and apparently Cena’s legit injured from it all.



  483. Stu – then I take back what I said. It’s amazing how the IWC goes Three Mile Island whenever Juan Cena wins.

  484. I forget where we were talking about THE WILD BUNCH (most likely on some thread that had nothing at all to do with THE WILD BUNCH) but since we were discussing Peckinpah, I wanted to mention I finally got around to watching BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA yesterday. Why didn’t anybody tell me what a fucking awesome movie that is? I think I like it better than WILD BUNCH (which I’ve always meant to revisit now that I’ve got an extra decade or so of mileage on the ol’ odometer). It’s just such a bitter, nihilistic, blackly funny, yet oddly romantic movie. Peckinpah’s reputation as a master of balletic gunfights is well earned here. Everybody who gets shot goes down in an awkward but sort of lovely way. Nobody just clutches their chest and slumps. They all do their own personal little death dance. They might get gunned down in their dozens, but each of them meet their own unique end. I love that the movie ends with a machine gun firing right at the audience. That’s the message right there. This isn’t just about drunken old gunsels hiding out in Mexico. The world is gonna shoot everyone in the face sooner or later.

    I also watched BORN IN EAST L.A., which, I don’t know, maybe isn’t as effective a movie about a guy with a mustache who’s stuck in Mexico. I do think that if it came out today, though, the massive climactic Braveheart charge of the illegals across the border would probably make it one of the year’s most controversial films.

  485. It’s not a great movie, but the combination of that imagery with Neil Diamond’s COMING TO AMERICA is borderline seminal

  486. Mr. M – On GARCIA, well one notable defender ever since its (ridiculed) release was Ebert. And I think we would both agree that he was right.


  487. That was the first review I read after watching the movie, and I couldn’t help but notice that it’s the only vintage review that’s readily available online. All the other reviewers are probably pretty embarrassed about it now, if they haven’t passed away from chronic wrongness yet.

    I can’t believe it was in that Medved book about the worst movies ever made. Could that dude suck more at his job? He wouldn’t know a bad film if he got strangled to death with one.

  488. Mr. M – Oh fuck Medved. I’ll make a confession: I don’t think PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is a bad movie, much less the worst movie ever produced as I remembr one of his books claiming.

    Sure it’s incompetently produced (to say the least) and quite laughable with the gaffes, Lugosi’s (unconvincing) body stand-in, campy as fuck opening, and the mundane as mundane can mundane be dialogue, yet…I’m amused by it. In my book, a real bad movie is one that you’re bored with. PLAN 9 entertained me. Hell I had more fun with it than I did most Michael Bay movies.

    Still I suppose Medved had his place in the pre-Internet age, giving people notice of “OMG this is remarkably bad!” like The Agony Booth or those sort of websites do these days. And honestly, he gave PLAN 9 the best advertizing ever.

  489. I never quite got the incessant hate towards PLAN 9 either. At least that movie had a lot of heart despite it’s incompetence. Having a little soul goes a long way IMO towards selling any movie as something worth my time.

  490. I fucking love PLAN 9. I’ve seen plenty of so-bad-they’re-good-or-whatever movies, and most of them crap out after the first 20 minutes or so. You get the kind of shittiness they’re selling, and it just gets repeated for 84 minutes. Not PLAN 9. PLAN 9 keeps coming up with new kinds of completely organic shittiness for the entire running time. From amazingly indigestible dialogue to bargain-basement special effects to desperately inventive editorial strategies, it really has it all. I’ll take that kind exuberance over boring old competence any day of the fucking week.

  491. Since this board loves loves loves to talk Nolan and action cinematography…


    Funny some people claim Bane’s voice is TOO CLEAR now.

    *Head bangs desk repeatedly*

  492. Yeah still not impressed. I’m there opening weekend as I always am for Batman movies but it looks like the same sterile shit we saw in the other movies and Catwoman seems forced. I hope Bane breaking the Bat lives up to the potential but boy am I glad Nolan is done with Batman after this. Rather see him use his talents elsewhere and would rather see a more stylized approach to this franchise now that THE AVENGERS has shown the world that it’s OK to make a superhero feature comic booky and fun.

  493. I think people only talk Nolan here BTW cause you Nolan fans are so adamant about bringing him up in the first place. If you hadn’t mentioned this RRA I swear I never even would’ve talked shit about TDKR tonight and I saw that trailer more than an hour ago.

  494. Mr. Majestyk – Exactly man. Ed Wood was shooting for the fucking stars and nobody could hold him back from that. It’s so admirable to see him try to really change the frame of filmatic conventions of the time. Dude made the most lemonade he could make with the one lemon he was handed; that type of determination and vision cannot be denied.

  495. BREAKING NEWZ – The Miz is now the lead for THE MARINE 3. Surprising since for whatever reason, he’s got fucking buried on the WWE card. A year ago, he main evented Wrestlemania and WON. Two nights ago he lost a curtain-jerkin’ PPV match to Santino.

    (Of course I got nothing against Santino, but man who did Miz piss off? Apparently everybody.)

  496. Oh God I’ve wanted to punch that guy in the face ever since he was on THE REAL WORLD. I guess I’ll pass on THE MARINE 3 now.

  497. Broddie – You know I like to tease.

    You don’t see calling you a retard or moron or Bay cocksucker. But we both know AsimovLives will do that pretty soon unless Vern banned him. (Did you Vern?)

    “that THE AVENGERS has shown the world that it’s OK to make a superhero feature comic booky and fun.”

    Iron Man and Captain America weren’t fun?

    See this is what annoys me, this idea that THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE A MOVIE! ideology. Which is quite silly of course. Especially when nerds use that for Pro-Nolan or Anti-Nolan, which really is quite stupid in itself and I’m tired of it.

    I’ve said before, I like Nolan. I’ve liked his stuff so far, to adulation at times. I like that with his blockbusters, I like the impression we do get larger than life stories, in a genre and industry when we get supposed “larger than life” movies every other weekend. But he’s not the only cat in town, or administrator of the sole aesthetic narrative for a genre. That goes without saying.

    Those Marvel productions, they’ve been lighter and more “fun,” though I had fun with alot of those and Nolan’s Batman movies despite that elitist misplaced tag. Regardless, Marvel have done their own goddamn thing w/o Nolan’s direction and made good money from them.

    Imagine back in the 80s, we had a debate and we did this with Spielberg. He did some awesome shit, right? Imagine if some fanboy argued that more movies should be like his, and then another fanboy argues that more movies SHOULDN’T be like his.

    What did he make in the 80s? Those Indy pictures? ET? What else did we get that decade? DIE HARD? BEVERLY HILLS COP? GHOSTBUSTERS? THE FLY? Whatever. Those were quite good, done in their own respective fashions. And not once do we debate that they rocked because they weren’t Spielberg-esque. Right? They all were just good.

    In short, I’m not dick-sizing between AVENGERS or TDKR. You can have it both ways. I hope both are good. AVENGERS has gotten good word, so I’m positive that will be…well, “fun.” In it’s own way. I hope TDKR is good too, and I’m sure that’ll be decent, if only because Nolan has at the worst been decent so far in his filmography.

  498. What I mean is THE AVENGERS really seemed to roll with the more preposterous elements unapologetic ally and it seems that’s for the better. CAPTAIN AMERICA and IRON MAN were far more grounded. THOR would be a better comparison; at least the 9 realms elements.

    Look man I’ve been following (no pun) Nolan since it was unfashionable to do so. MEMENTO and THE PRESTIGE to me are very solid pieces of work. That’s where it stops. I enjoy his Batman movies enough but also find them horribly overrated at points. They’re too contrived and just too sterile and heavily expository for my tastes.

    I brought it up because whether you like it or not other superhero movies have used Nolan’s Batman movies as the benchmark. You’re right they shouldn’t and I completely fucking agree but they have. So I hope that THE AVENGERS becomes the new benchmark in the sense that it shows filmmakers that they don’t have to be so inhibited by dealing with the more sci-fi and preposterous elements of these worlds on film.

    I hope it wakes them up from the need for everything to be “grounded” that doesn’t work for every character. I’ll put it to you this way there’s a fucking flying Batmobile in that trailer; a flying batmobile and I just go “uh ok” then I see the Hulk jumping on a fucking air force aircraft which I’ve seen before in another movie and I still manage to go “holy shit”.

    It’s in the presentation of the spectacle where the differences lie. Though I’m a DC fan way more than I’m a Marvel fan and hope that both are indeed good I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to TDKR like I am TA.

  499. PROMETHEUS trumps all though. I haven’t been that excited for a summer blockbuster in quite some time.

  500. “Oh God I’ve wanted to punch that guy in the face ever since he was on THE REAL WORLD. I guess I’ll pass on THE MARINE 3 now.”

    I remember MARINE 3 lead opening we talked about, and I pitched why I thought CM Punk would be the most creative opportune. I remember last year Kevin Nash in a promo dismissing him as a “Waffle House cook,” but that actually is why itwould work.

    Covered in tattoos, his face showing all those years at flea market indys and climbing the WWE ladder, that killer wit on the mike, I like to think for a movie like MARINE 3, his appearance alone gives a vague backstory that we would automatically assimilate without it being said as much in the dialogue.

    I like Miz, but I don’t know if he has the dimension to pull off being the hero. He’s been a successful heel in the past because he’s good at acting like a dick (because if smark reports are accurate, he is a real dick backstage.)

    I mean Roddy Piper was a major wrestling heel star, but even as a bad guy he cut awesome promos that were entertaining as fuck, even funny when being a douche. That’s why he and THEY LIVE was a good marriage.

  501. Broddie – PROMETHEUS is indeed up there. Though I tried to watch the last released trailer, and man….why must Hollywood spoil the fuck out of everything in their ads anymore? Do people really need to be told what the movie is fully exposed and naked without potential hidden sublime surprises awaiting them?

    Fun story, do tell me if I already told this one: When I saw LOCK OUT, a trailer for PROMETHEUS was played and afterwards some of the hicks up front told the other that it looked like ALIEN.

    I guess that’s funny to me because, have the ads actually really played up that Ridley Scott directed it? OK maybe “A Ridley Scott Movie,” but do most average joes know why he gets that on a trailer? I doubt it honestly. He’s not a Tarantino or Spielberg in the name recognition department (or hell, even Nolan at this rate.)

    In short, us nerds want to see it because hey, ALIEN is back! or something related to that classic. Most folks just think it looks like a cool ALIEN-type movie.

  502. I don’t get why people say that the latest PROMETHEUS trailer spoils the movie. All we got it some exposition that tells us what it’s about (and to be honest, we would have found out in the first 20 minutes of the movie anyway, I guess) and then lots of short out-of-context clips of people running , screaming and being scared of something, just like in the last few trailers. Most of the time we don’t even know who is screaming and why.

    (In all fairness: I really watched every PROMETHEUS trailer only once so far, to prevent me from remembering them too well when the movie hits, but come on. You just saw less than 2 minutes of an at least 120 minutes movie!)

  503. CJ – I was thinking more of…is “money shots” the right term? Of course that’s arguable.

    Just to make sure, we’re talking about this one, right?


  504. Yeah, I mean that one too, but I think the short-out-of-context-clips-without-seeing-what-happens-to-who-and-why still applies. Not to mention that the movie will still have at least 118 more minutes that we haven’t seen yet.

  505. CJ- fair enough. MAybe I’m cranky because I’ve been sold on that ticket for months, since last year? Feels like forever. and trailers for projects like that just end up annoying me most of the time. Almost like endless foreplay.

    I mean if it was lame looking shit like MEN IN BLACK 3, then sure an “impressive” trailer would be necessary to convince me to not skip it. The same with another upcoming release that maybe might be good, I just can’t give a damn about it in general in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Certainly with DARK SHADOWS I went from not really giving a shit to being intrigued enough by ads. BATTLESHIP sounded silly, and the TRANSFORMERS ads have done nothing to change my opinion.

  506. Interesting that you mention being intrigued by the DARK SHADOWS trailer, because I heard now from several people, that the movie isn’t the light hearted satire, that the trailer wants you to believe it is.

  507. CJ – I’ve heard those rumblings too, doesn’t really surprise me if only because I sorta remember the TV show reruns when I did watch them sporadically back in the 90s on Sci-Fi.

    As I’ve said before, I consider Burton a coin flip. I really enjoyed SWEENEY TODD, and fuck ALICE. So I’m betting on optimism that the movie won’t suck. Nyuck! Nyuck!

  508. I talked about Burton here several times before, so let me just say that his last two directorial outings (SWEENEY TODD [which apparently many people consider his best work since ED WOOD] and ALICE IN WONDERLAND) are the only two that left me seriously disappointed. So yeah, my enthusiasm is a little bit curbed too, even though I love so much everything I’ve seen from and heard about DARK SHADOWS.

  509. so guys, I was at my great grandmothers house tonight and channel surfing I came across WWE RAW and decided to watch wrestling for the first time in I don’t know how long

    and I have to be honest, I found it shockingly, disturbingly stupid, no offense

    I see there are some wrestling fans here, so I was just wondering if maybe you guys could explain the appeal? because I just don’t get it, it’s just so obviously fake that I just can’t understand how anyone, let alone a grown adult, could take it seriously

    I’m not trying to be pretentious or anything, but I just. don’t. get. it.

  510. Griff – First off, speaking for myself and Stu, we don’t take wrestling “seriously” if I’m understanding your context right. I mean that as in do you take say Spider-Man seriously? Literally seriously? No because if you tried with half a minute of hard concentration, any comic booky things with superheroes the logic just fails. You don’t mind that cheat as long as the storytelling is compelling.

    You have to accept some leaps of logic to make it work on a dramatic/entertainment level, though pro wrestling at times (especially WWE and TNA) push your disbelief off a cliff and end up as future inductees at the WrestleCrap website, honoring the dumbest and tasteless episodes in the annals of the industry.

    But anyway wrestling fans as “marks” want to be entertained (good guys win, bad guys get their asses kicked, etc.), there are also “smarks” like me who view at wrestling as an art form, a testosterone kabuki dance theatre, and frame it in terms of production and acting. Take the upcoming AVENGERS movie. Most folks will like it or not as entertainment. Us locals, we’ll dissect the soundtrack, the acting, directing, the cutting, the script, dialogue, FX, whatever.

    In our case, we rate matches/storylines so forth on work rate. I.E. how much buying/selling did they do and was it appropriate? Do they make each other look better or worse? Is this or that good at being a heel or hero? How much do they involve the audience into giving a shit about their “fake”* match drama? And like a movie, does this match pace itself well or draggy as hell?

    Take Jericho/Punk from sunday night PPV. Stu will probably agree with me that both are wrestlers. Not literal NCAA wrestling, but great wrestlers as in the intense physical effort both gentlemen put into their matches and trying to not just tell a good solid story in the ring, but also work in synch with their “dance partner.” I’m sure Jericho could literally wrestle with a broom and make that broom look like Hulk Hogan.

    Plus outside the ring, Jericho in that storyline was vintage heel Jericho. Few in wrestling are better at acting like a despicable son of a bitch like Jericho. You the mark want somebody to kick his ass.

    And Punk the no-bullshit shooter did his part well as the sympathetic babyface who boils over in rage after Jericho mocked his straight edge lifestyle and insulted his family personally. You want him to kick Jericho’s ass. Them wearing jeans added a dimension of reality to what otherwise is pure false advertizing that is a “street fight.” (For one, its inside an arena.)

    I believe Punk said it best about wrestling fans. It’s an intense cult that only members “get,” with outsiders baffled scratching their heads.

    *=Considering the brutality that pro wrestling does to the human body, it’s not “fake” in that regard. “Pre-Planned” is my prefered word of choice to describe pro wrestling.

  511. Griff- try getting bodyslammed and then feel how fake that impact really is…

  512. Knox Harrington

    May 1st, 2012 at 6:48 am

    It’s a public holiday here in South Africa, so I decided to go and watch The Avengers (sorry, MARVEL’S The Avengers).

    It’s great. Pretty much all you could want from a fun summer blockbuster. What I liked the most was how the film wasn’t afraid to have a sense of fun and humour. And not just any kind of humour, but that sharp and wholesome kind of humour that Whedon has clearly mastered over the years.

    Each member of the team gets their time to shine and at least a special moment or two to show us what defines them as the iconic pop characters that they are (there’s a bit where Thor gives The Hulk an uppercut with his hammer that got my inner child Thor fanboy to cheer). The Hulk absolutely steals the show, by the way, and Mark Ruffalo is the best on-screen Bruce Banner we’ve had so far, in my opinion. Love it.

    Blockbuster season has started with a bang, fellas. I’m hoping it’s a sign of good things to come.

  513. I haven’t watched rasslin in about 11 yrs. The whole “Vince McMahon owns everything” thing ruined it for me. But it is no different than reading a comic book or watching some other silly soap opera. Mixed with real people doing real physical athletic shit that looks fucking awesome but you’d never try yourself.

    When I was a kid and Hogan, Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior were the kings it was an element of wish fulfillment that brought me in. During the Attitude era which is easily the best era for mainstream wrestling it was wish fulfillment of another kind. You had Stone Cold Steve Austin and DX fucking over the establishment & Rocky Maivia being a selfish douchebag. It resonated pretty well with me as a teen.

    As an adult I can’t quite grasp it anymore. To me it’s as important as NASCAR meaning not important at all. But at least unlike NASCAR I could see what the appeal is.

  514. It’s funny, I remember someone once saying that wrestling is like a soap opera for guys. And I don’t think that was meant to be negative. Both create long stories that can sometime stretch over decades. Both have relatively tight budget constraints that take some imagination and some elbow grease to work around. Both trade in stories that pit absolutely good against absolutely evil. And both seem aware of how others perceive them. Wrestling and soap operas, from what I’ve seen, have a sense of humor and can poke fun at themselves. Neither wrestling or daytime soaps are really my thing, but I’ve learned to appreciate what they do from others.

  515. Guys, I interviewed Silas Weir Mitchell today for the televised show GRIMM and I asked him about Steven Seagal’s THE PATRIOT. He said it was fun to do but a train wreck, after Seagal split with his producer and it just didn’t work. He wouldn’t get specific but I thought it was fun to hear about the problems. Should be up this month on crave online.

  516. Yet another job sucked up by Fred Topel, the Unicron of journalism. Let somebody else eat, Fred! Dag!

  517. I guess what bothers me is that wrestling presents itself as some kind of “sport” and yet everything is “pre-planned” as Stu said, that’s what I meant by fake (because yeah, I know some of the things those guys do must be actually painful)

    I mean the difference between wrestling and say a superhero movie is that a movie is something that you *know* is a work of fiction, is doesn’t present itself as being real (unless it’s a “found footage” movie I guess)

    but I guess I can kind f understand now

  518. Big news today: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Clueless-Blu-ray/37008/

    Also, I’m watching the THUNDERBALL blu-ray, and it’s impossible to say too many good things about it. It celebrates all the good stuff we love about action movies, b-movies, ridiculousness, superheroism, one-liners, badassery, etc., except it does all these things in a slick, A-movie framework with an absurd amount of eye candy and an unparalleled commitment to full action-adventure immersion. I know I’m not exactly covering new ground here. Yeah, everyone knows the 007 films are iconic classic films of cinema, but I don’t think they’ve gotten enough credit for having a place in BADASS CINEMA.

    Recent threads on this here websight have mentioned an electrified toilet in one of the SNAKE EATERs. Well, THUNDERBALL also features a surprise electrified chair attack.

    There’s hot girls doing judo flips and scuba diving excursions and all sorts of stunts that they really had to train for.

    There’s a jetpack escape in the opening sequence.

    There’s naked chicks swimming in the opening credits while Tom Jones croons awesomely on-the-nose lyrics.

    There’s a sexual quasi-assault-cum-consensual-hook-up, as has been aped in countless stories since.

    There’s a gorgeous, perfectly classically framed interior shot of the backsides of all the 00 agents seated in numerical order in their chairs, with 007’s empty slot denoting his specialness & impunctuality, which we ponder & giggle at as we behold beautiful massive, detailed wall tapestries that, a couple minutes later, are revealed to be mere covers for massive world map visual aids. Great scene.

    There’s an underwater atomic bomb transport sequence that’s just as entertaining and almost as badass as the submarine boarding sequence in ACT OF VALOR.

    There’s a bad guy with an eyepatch.

    The tendency for one-liners in THUNDERBALL makes it the proto-COMMANDO.

    And there are plenty of long-ish stretches without any dialogue, only the stark sounds of growing danger & suspense.

    All this in a 1965 movie, plus the blu-ray has a great, subversive, satisfyingly humorous special feature called “A Child’s Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car – 1965 Ford Promotional Film.” No way Ford is sponsoring that kind of shit in today’s pc world. It’s fascinating as a time capsule period piece and as an homage to stunt crews.

    Anyway, there’s my pitch that maybe the British are alright after all. Maybe I’ll even read some Ian Fleming one day.

  519. Mouth – I forget that a few Bonds made it to BD a while back.

    How does THUNDERBALL look? Does it scrub up well?

    I’m literally counting the days until the Bond BD box set comes out.

    What a day that’ll be – Think I’ll hit them in chronlogical order, but who knows?

    Re-watching GOLDENEYE last night I, too, was pondering their place in badass cinema, oddly enough.

    The Connery ones automatically qualify for badass status, purely because of Connery, I’d say.

    OHMSS – inarguably badass.

    The Moore ones – probably not, although his first three are pure, straight up comic book awesomeness.

    Dalton – Tricky. I find TLD a tad too plodding but it is hard-edged, but I could be conviced. LTK, though, yeah.

    The Brosnan Bonds come in for a fair bit of stick – especially now, I’ve noticed, after the new Craig installments – but there’s some real baddassery going on during his tenure.

    Oh, and I’d stick to your initial theory about us Brits. We’re all bastards.

  520. I’m no BD video transfer expert, karlos, but THUNDERBALL looks fantastic, especially the plentiful underwater scenes.

    I was giggling so much during most of the cleverly childish dialogue and I was so enthralled by the action sequences that I didn’t notice if it sounded great or less-than-great to my slightly damaged ears. I guess if I didn’t notice, that’s a good thing. I mean, there’s still some 1965 British production values going on that hinder the perfect aural slickness to which we 21st century folks are accustomed, but I think the whole THUNDERBALL blu-ray package is just phenomenal and way more fun than 95% of the newer movies we’ve discussed here lately.

    OHMSS might be my #1 favorite and yeah, I remember really appreciating the Dalton Bonds as badass, never understood why those are held in lesser regard than most. GOLDENEYE and TWINE are highly entertaining, but probably not as entertainingly rewatchable as most of Connery’s & Moore’s. Most people seem to hate on it, but I have a weakness for MOONRAKER, mainly for the ending of it — so, so bloody ridiculous by any narrative cinema standard that it strikes me as ballsy and kinda awesome.

    Can’t do a definitive review & ranking now — my memory isn’t good enough to remember which titles included which awesome action sequences and which had the most entertaining sexual encounters & suggestive dialogue. But at least now I know you can’t go wrong with THUNDERBALL. The girl with the harpoon gun at the end is unbelievably hot.

  521. Warning! Massive truth bomb alert!

    Every single Bond film is 20 minutes too long. Discuss.

  522. You son of a bitch.

  523. Nah, that could be accurate, Mr. Majestyk, if you’re demanding a tight action movie narrative, but these Bond joints are kitchen sink, national pride international extravaganza movies — movie events, even.

    And for a lot of AD[H]D-plagued moviewatchers these days, it’s okay to be long & unwieldy b/c the Bond movies make great background entertainment. You can sit there twittering & texting and doing laundry and not keeping up with the name & status of the last SPECTRE henchman to eat it or why exactly Blofeld is secretly double-crossing some 2ndary character or whatever, but then you look up from your iPad for 3 minutes and you’re guaranteed to see something entertaining & awesome. In this way, the movies are perfect.

  524. “I guess what bothers me is that wrestling presents itself as some kind of “sport” and yet everything is “pre-planned” as Stu said, that’s what I meant by fake (because yeah, I know some of the things those guys do must be actually painful)

    I mean the difference between wrestling and say a superhero movie is that a movie is something that you *know* is a work of fiction, is doesn’t present itself as being real (unless it’s a “found footage” movie I guess) ”
    Well it’s actually really simple. Today the whole “presenting itself as real” thing is really just a more vivid version of how most TV and Film doesn’t constantly break the fourth wall or acknowledge that everything is fiction. It’s just that with Wrestling, that takes on a more tangible quality due to the fact that wrestling shows are always put on in front of a live crowd. But despite being entertainment and fictional, Wrestling doesn’t treat itself like a play and ignores the audience. It acknowledges them and uses them for the story. It blurs the lines a bit more, which is exaggerates the idea that they’re trying to “con” people into really believing it’s real. No, they’re just trying to have the audience caught up in what’s happening more.
    And some of the most interesting stuff in wresling is done when the lines are blurred, such as in last year’s “Summer of Punk” storyline, in which underutilise, much-loved by the smarks performer CM Punk found himself the challenger to the company’s top guy, John Cena. Now, Punk’s a smart alec, arrogant and sometimes preachy(over the evils of alcohol, being a straight edge guy) firebrand, who in his with the company had flirted with being at the top, winning the main title a few times, but having the way those storylines were handled result in him being discarded soon after, despite the support and reaction he got. John Cena on the other hand(who by all accounts is a great guy in real life) is the ultimate good guy in the WWE and face of the company. He didn’t start that way. He used to be quite an edgy and angry character who would use raps to belittle and insult his opponents in a surprisingly effective way. But as WWE chased the family friendly buck and got more and more tame, finally getting a PG rating, Cena is just a slightly cartoony good guy who always does the right thing and always wins. Basically, you know his character from THE MARINE? That is basically what he is as a wrestling character too. And people got sick of it. For years he’s been getting mixed reactions from the crowd, generally speaking positive cheers from the kids and women, boos from the older fans and guys. Yet WWE has changed very little about his character to respond to this.
    Anyway, then comes this storyline with Punk, who begins playing the bad guy role, but then says that the night he faces Cena for the title is the last night of his contract, and he doesn’t plan on renewing it. So Punk declares he’ll win the title and leave the company with it. Which again, seems like a bad guy move, but then Punk closes one show with this speech, where he brings up all his frustrations and criticisms of how he’s been handled and how the company does business, most of which are echoing what the smarks are saying and do seem to Punk’s real thoughts on the issue:
    While this doesn’t change Cena into a bad guy, it does make Punk’s status more complicated, and makes the storyline about how Punk is going to send a message to the WWE system by beating Cena and walking out with the title, which he does, in his home town of Chicago. Then Punk actually goes off tv for a week, and it has fictional implications for the company, as Vince loses his position in the company due to how bad this makes it look. Punk returns shortly after, bolstered by his victory and now determined to use it to make some changes. While this hasn’t actually resulted in much difference, Punk is pretty much cemented now as a top level guy in the company, and Cena’s image and MO have been challenged in a similar manner, first in a feud with The Rock, and now with Brock Lesnar. Rock brought the “attitude” era back to go up against Cena’s modern family friendly persona, constantly mocking his fanbase, merchandising and whole general outlook, while Lesnar, who was in WWE before the UFC, has brought a straight up swift brutality to proceedings that hasn’t been seen in the WWE for a while.

    And yes, it’s not a real “sport”, but it does take something akin to athleticism to work as a full time professional wrestler. WWE has a punishing road schedule, putting on several shows a week, including two 2-hour long shows, web content, promotional and charity work. It’s exhausting and it takes its toll even before the actual wrestling.

    As for finding the WWE output stupid? Yeah, there’s still a lot of bad in there, but there are some bright spots. Basically I think an analogy that was best used was comparing wrestling to a circus. It’s a variety act and some stuff you’ll like more than others. The athletic, high impact workrate based stuff is akin to the highwire act, while the dancing “Funkasaurus” guy and the goofy italian are the clowns.

  525. Yeah, I can see that. Maybe that’s why I’ve never gotten through a single Bond film (possible exception: LICENSE TO FEED A GUY TO A FUCKING SHARK) without getting bored at some point around the hour and a half mark. They’re like Bollywood films: a little bit of everything adding up to too much of everything. They’re definitely the blueprint for the modern blockbuster, for better or worse. But they’re also the blueprint for the modern PG-13 action movie, and so as awesome as some of the set-pieces get, shit never really gets real. With certain exceptions, they’re not actually badass cinema. That’s probably why I’ve never hated a Bond film, but I’ve never loved one either.

    Okay, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE is pretty awesome.

  526. The Bollywood comparison is interesting, and an echo of my “kitchen sink” remark. We’re agreeing and we’re disagreeing in a civil fashion. On the internets. On a comment board! Madness!

    What about THE MAN FROM HONG KONG? Did you like that? Cuz that’s basically James Bond cranked up a bit, with an entertaining but slightly taxing, overlong narrative, and with the lovely addition of kung fu and more menacing levels of violence. And it’s awesome.

    Everyone on these talkbacks should see THE MAN FROM HONG KONG.

    I’ll also continue to defend (mostly alone on this one, I know) Rob Cohen’s xXx as a great James Bond ripoff. Its PG-13ness somehow doesn’t bother me. THUNDERBALL is sexier, though.

  527. THE MAN FROM HONG KONG is the fucking tits. Definitely one of Brian Trenchard-Smith’s best movies. Yes, even better than LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE BECAUSE THAT MAKES SENSE.

  528. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 1st, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    …And every time I think I’m finally finding common ground with you guys, something like this happens.

    “Thunderball”. The only Bond movie out of the whole freaking lot of ’em that bored me stiff from beginning to end. Hey, “The Spy who Loved Me”, “Die Another Day” and “The Man with the Golden Gun”** were pretty terrible films; but at least they weren’t boring.

    (**If you have difficulty remembering which is which, these are respectively also known as “the one with the submarine”, “the one with Madonna”, and “the one with Dracula”.)

  529. Paul, you were bored while James Bond used a jetpack to escape from danger in the opening sequence?

    You didn’t think the THUNDERBALL Bond girls were hot? Deadly? You didn’t like the parade escape sequence, culminating in a literally deadly dance that is, in my mind, a precursor to the best of the MIAMI VICE tv show? You didn’t find some enjoyment in the underwater submerged-jet-ski harpoon fight that turned into an underwater knife fight?

    You didn’t laugh a little at #1 as he stroked his pet cat and lorded over an evil symposium of underlings reporting their evil doings for SPECTRE?

  530. That actually sounds awesome. I guess I need to rewatch THUNDERBALL now.

    You have to respect a movie that is its own porn parody title.

  531. I wasn’t the biggest Roger Moore fan but outside of LIVE AND LET DIE I liked FOR YOUR EYES ONLY a lot cause even though he was old as fuck he was game for a lot of Connery-esque action sequences.

    I also always dug THUNDERBALL REDUX from the 80’s cause even though Sean was old as fuck he was also quite game for a lot of Connery-esque action sequences. I wasn’t a big Brosnan fan but I kinda wanted him to do at least one more so that he could get his “old as fuck but still game for Connery-esque action sequences” moment too. DIE ANOTHER DAY was not that moment.

  532. Stu – that’s a very well thought out post, wrestling may not be my cup of tea, but I apologize for calling it stupid

  533. I’ve really been meaning to see more classic Bond movies, I love 1960’s spy stuff

    has anyone ever seen Our Man Flint? awesome movie…

  534. Yeah that’s a good one and it’s sequel IN LIKE FLINT is pretty unappreciated. That one broke ground in that it took that whole G.I. JOE movie concept of the enemy replaces the US president with one of their own but it was with a feminist twist and not an Arnold Vosloo twist. It’s one of the cooler examples of why sometimes pre-politically correct cinema was also some of the healthiest cinema of all time.

  535. Broddie – my favorite scene from IN LIKE FLINT was when the agency offers him gadgets, and you think oh the usual Q scene shit but it gives a twist by Coburn revealing his own (more awesome) gadgets and showing them off.

    That’s a counter-cliche we really need to see more of at the movies.

    As for Moore, my favorite entry of his was FOR YOUR EYES ONLY if because he has a legit badass moment when he kicks that car off the cliff.

    Or my other favorite touch in EYES: You have that set-up with the scientist girl’s parents murdered and she swearing revenge. You forget about it, Moore is at some bad guys swimming pool party, and suddenly the boss gets killed by a fucking arrow, camera cuts to same girl. No previous dialogue or visual exponition to explain her apparent secret mastery of arching. I liked that.

    Mouth – I consider 007 to be a Super Bowl of action movies, a label I’m sure will cause Majestyk to point his nose upwards. And like the Super Bowl, its billed and tries to be executed as a larger than life event. Sometimes we get great games (Goldfinger, OHMSS, etc.), sometimes real turkeys (Die Another Day, A View to a Kill), but usually down the middle decent games.

    So yeah outright dismissal of 007 on action aesthetic grounds is quite annoying I always enjoyed that shit as a boys day out sort of fantasy adventure (without the lame magic shit). I don’t want to consider the evil imperialist implications of James Bond, I want him to fuck and kill everybody.

    (Oh and GOLDFINGER aint goddamn 20 minutes too long. WTF? Maybe I was right to drop the “P” bomb on him weeks earlier in the first place. Maybe I need to reload?)

    Stu – Personally I’m more a fan of Chikara and their brand of comedy pro wrestling. If WWE paints itself as serious kayfabe in spite of a funk-dancing fat guy and Irish midgets running around, Chikara is just all-out insanity.

    Griff – An example of Chikara:


    ~Chikara, where you can still kick out at 2 despite taking on an invisible grenade head-on.

  536. That’s well said, RRA, about the 007s, though in my experience Mr. Majestyk’s nose only points up when he sees a fake bird on a stick at the Lincoln Center (War Horse joke).

    To be clear, I’m not proposing that the James Bonds be held as the end-all, be-all of action movies or of BADASS CINEMA, but I think many of them can serve as a salve for viewers looking for an anecdote to today’s subpar shitfest post-action flicks. The old 007 joints are refreshingly frank in their approach to violence and to ridiculous violence. The 007 onscreen evidence is tame, by today’s standards, but also severe, brutal, and clear, especially by today’s post-action standards.

  537. I kind of like A View to a Kill for the cheesiness, Grace Jones’ ass, Christopher Walken hamming it up and that Duran Duran song

  538. “To be clear, I’m not proposing that the James Bonds be held as the end-all, be-all of action movies or of BADASS CINEMA”

    You never did, and you certainly didn’t read me saying so simplistic. I’m just trying to stick up for the spy rapist. Vern said more than once that shit just aint his cup of tea, which is fine.

    From Connery up to…eh, maybe FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, the 007 movies were among the cream of the crop in stunts, FX, action scenes, all that. But for the 80s, with RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and DIE HARD and all that, James Bond action filmmaking wise for the most part became in contrast rather stale and flat save for great exceptions*, like an out of date pop idol. I love THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, but it wasn’t for the action scenes.

    *=I loved that pocket-size plane in OCTOPUSSY, and yes that’s a real plane. Last I heard, still doing airshows and shit. The plane capture in LICENSE TO KILL was cool too.

  539. Griff – If I have to vote for the worst 007 movie, I would vote A VIEW TO A KILL. Several reasons, but chiefly Roger Moore is so damn old and the feeble attempts to try to hide that glaring fact. Even he admitted that he knew he held that gig for too long when he was older than his female co-star’s mother. Also using rear-film projected background for action scenes in 1985 is just unacceptable.

    Interesting in contrast, I thought FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was fucking clever in playing up Moore’s age with that teenager trying to Lolita his ass.

    Yeah I liked the Duran Duran track too. Only Bond theme to go #1 right?

    (IMDB claims David Bowie originally was supposed to play the baddie in A VIEW TO A KILL. That would’ve been awesome.)

  540. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTcEm-C6l2U

    I can’t decide what’s funner, that corny ad or the fact that the artist in question really tried to sue them which instead gave that pasta company millions of bucks of free press?

    “The Original!”

  541. That Duran Duran song is probably my favorite of the Bond themes actually. Yes even more so than the iconic ones like GOLDFINGER, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and NOBODY DOES IT BETTER. Though YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE comes close.

    But yeah ultimately A VIEW TO A KILL is pretty sad to watch. Not just cause Moore was forced into concocting non existing sexual chemistry with Grace Jones (only someone like Dolph is crazy enough to have that shit down pact naturally) but because he looked like he rather be sitting in front of a pond feeding ducks than running around firing his pistol (both kinds).

    I always wondered what that movie would look like in retrospect had Dalton just started with that one. Shit I wonder what things would’ve looked like had Dalton replaced Connery as originally intended altogether back in the late 60’s.

  542. hey, I’m not saying it’s not a bad movie, just a watchable one

  543. I’ll get the “Lame” bomb thrown at me, but my favorite 007 theme was probably for LIVE & LET DIE. If Moore’s 007 movies had a twist of cheesyness and camp to them, well who more appropriate to usher his run in than Paul McCartney?

    A close runner-up for me is one that’s light years better than the movie it was composed for: Garbage’s “The World is Not Enough.” Kick ass.

    Sometime you could look up on YouTube many of the rejected 007 themes over the years. From Blondie’s “For Your Eyes Only” to Johnny Cash’s “Thunderball.”


  544. Griff – Grace Jones scared the shit out of me as a kid.

  545. Griff – It’s just that some of the other lesser Bond’s were much more entertaining. Like the aforementioned (by Paul) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. That’s an interesting failure cause it has the right amount of ridiculous and entertaining to make it more bearable than the sometimes pretty boring A VIEW TO A KILL.

    RRA – I always liked GnR’s version better but I definitely HAVE to listen to Johnny Cash’s THUNDERBALL like yesterday.

  546. Broddie, originally it was the other way around. They actually wrote The Living Daylights for Moore. The one I would have liked to see is GoldenEye with Dalton. He deserved a few more. And Lazenby should of course have stayed for a lot more, since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the best Bond movie ever.

  547. I agree, would love to have seen Dalton’s GOLDENEYE. Or any third Dalton film. GOLDENEYE is actually the only Bond that’s hard for me to watch. I think it fails trying to have it both ways, old school cold war and postmodern update. Pacing is slow and fragmented. I really want to like it more because Campbell did such a great job with CASINO ROYALE.

    I defend TWINE because it’s great fun, embracing the best of the outrageous Bond. Yes, Christmas Jones is supposed to be a joke. SPY WHO LOVED ME was my fav growing up.

    Mouth, xxx was wonderful. I hope they bring Vin back.

  548. “Come here, you little punk!”

    “Did you see that? It was like trying to corral a monkey on crack.”

    And so the newest episode of TRUE JUSTICE begins.

  549. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 2nd, 2012 at 4:29 am

    On Thunderball:

    The villain is a personality-free middle-aged guy with an eyepatch who is introduced in an unnecessary ten-second tracking shot of him walking through a hotel lobby. This, to me, summarises the whole movie. Boring characters, boring dialogue, boring action, and one of the worst climaxes ever (seriously, that speedboat chase looked like something out of the old sixties Batman TV show, except without the camp humour to make it entertaining). I mean, what am I supposed to say to critique this movie? For example, the evil SPECTRE chick is – some chick. Who happens to be evil. She has no origin that we’re aware of, she has no personality, she doesn’t really do anything interesting character-wise. She has a crap monologue about how she’s immune to Bond’s charms, then dies in just about the dullest way possible when Bond spins her around and one of her own henchmen shoots her in the back.

    And as for Domino, who’s supposed to be a vengeful force of nature… I get that she’s not as annoying as Denise Richards or Tanya Roberts, but in a way she’s worse, just because the character is one of the most interesting women in the Bond-verse and yet NONE of this comes through in the film. As bad as Richards is, at least her character was supposed to be a joke.

    “Never say never again” is an underappreciated gem, and that’s despite a scene where the villain plays a videogame with Bond with electrified metal joysticks.

    “A view to a Kill” is a frustrating one, for me. On the one hand you have Grace Jones and an evil Nazi scientist, who are both awesome. You also have some of the greatest lines in Bond movie history (“The bubbles are tickling my… Tchaikovsky!”) On the other hand you have Tanya Roberts and Christopher Walken, who is completely wasted on the material that he’s been given. Overall… I like the movie, I can watch it any time, but parts of it frustrate the heck out of me.

    “The World is not enough” encapsulates the best and worst of Bond. The opening action scenes are spectacular, Robert Carlyle is great if under-utilised, and I love the Elektra King character. Unfortunately you also have Denise Richards and a wealth of completely unnecessary action scenes and one-liners that don’t fit the tone of the film. Did they feel the need to break up “From Russia with Love” by having an explosion every ten or fifteen minutes? I don’t think so.

    (And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it shouldn’t have had action scenes. I am, however, saying that they should have been set up better and had a sense of purpose or point to them. Again – I can’t get invested in an action scene if clearly nothing is at stake.)

  550. Is NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN the one, where Bond takes out a villain with his own urine sample?

  551. CJ – I think it is. Weirdly, the gag with the sample was taken from the screenwriter’s own classic BBC sitcom, PORRIDGE. I remember thinking as a kid, why is James Bond quoting Ronnie Barker?

    Man, now I really need to re-watch THUNDERBALL, if only to see which side of the fence I land on.

    The Brosnan Bonds are an alarmingly mixed bag, for sure. DIE ANOTHER DAY had a great first 40 minutes or so, I thought, but by the end, with not one but two end-of-level boss battles, it had totally worn out it’s welcome.

    It really felt like the whole franchise had hit the wall. In an invisible car.

    As for them being 20 minutes too long, I can certainly attest to that in regards to TMWTGG. After killing Dracula, the wacky hijinks drag on and on.

    DIAMONDS ARE FORVER , which I actually really like, stands as out as perhaps THE one that’s far, far too long. Perhaps it’s because they were just so happy to get Connery back they wanted to make the most of it.

    I think Mouth got it right as to why they are overlong: they’re events, presented as more than mere movies, in a sense, and easily the biggest contribution to movies the UK film industry ever made.

    Also, when one is being shown at Christmas over here (as much a part of Christmas in the UK as anything) ITV must love it as, with commercial breaks, a Bond film lasts all fucking day.

  552. Oh yes.

    I assume some of us have seen the Bootleg trailer for that film coming up?

  553. I’ve always been ambivalent about the Bond franchise as a whole. Like everyone else, I really enjoy the Sean Connery Bond films, but after that they start to become somewhat of a mixed bag. The Roger Moore films were mostly dreadful (although, I do remember enjoying For Your Eyes Only), and I only saw one of the Dalton Bonds and remember little about it. For that entire period, I think Bond was more interesting for Bondologists, people who could match up each element of different films in order to compare and contrast, than it was for general audiences.

    But of course Casino Royale is one of the greatest action films of the last decade, so there’s obviously a lot of great raw material in Fleming’s books.

  554. As a Bondologist myself I think you’re spot on RBatty when you say that 007 is more interesting to those who know all 25 movies by heart and are able to compare them in detail to each other. Bond is a genre of it’s own, and you either like them or you don’t. For those who are only vaguely interested it would be wise not to ruin the little interest they have on the weaker movies and instead pick the best of each actor; Goldfinger with Connery, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with Lazenby, The Spy Who Loved Me with Moore, The Living Daylights with Dalton, GoldenEye with Brosnan and Casino Royale with Craig.

  555. I don’t want to give the impression that I am anti-Bond. I’m not. Like I said earlier, there’s no Bond film I hate, even the really shitty ones. (Okay, maybe DIE ANOTHER DAY. No one should ever let Lee Tamahori anywhere near CGI ever again.) But they all have overlength and pacing problems that make me not go back to them as often as I’d like. There’s still something amazing in all of them (again, except for maybe DIE ANOTHER DAY) so I’d never write off the franchise. It’s just not really my go-to.

    If you want some ammo for the use of the P-word against me, RRA, try this: I prefer the original Fleming novels. Bond’s way more of a bastard in them.

  556. The only Fleming-written Bond I read was THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. Then you start to wonder what the hell happened to the movie?!

  557. The reading material version is a completely different story than the Roger Moore light hearted romp.

  558. Mr. M – “The bitch is dead.”

    ShootMcKay – Wasn’t TMWTGG the book the one that basically others finished because Fleming croaked before he could finish it?

  559. Best. Last line. Ever.

  560. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 2nd, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I’ve read every one of the Bond books, sometimes before I’d seen their respective movies. It’s only when you read Casino Royale that you see how much better the film could’ve been. I won’t go over my complaints with that film, we’ve had this argument before, but its last line is pretty much the most obvious symptom of all the problems I had with it. The book was the origin story of James Bond the character. The film was the origin story of James Bond the brand (as brought to you by PartyPoker and Sony).

    TMWTGG had to make Scaramanga – who was basically a seriously scary thug in the original novel – into some rich guy with his own island hideout. Because that’s what Bond films were back in those days. It didn’t even come close to working, and honestly I think Christopher Lee played a more interesting villain in the 1990s version of “The Tomorrow People” (I fucking loved that show). Despite all of this, though, I still have a sneaky liking for that movie. Roger Moore is just so… Roger Moore in it, and there are plenty of ballsy scenes that play to his strengths.

  561. “the 1990s version of “The Tomorrow People” (I fucking loved that show).”

    Paul – ME TOO! Man small world. I can’t remember anything specific about it unfortunately, but fuck I loved it as a kid. It came on Nickelodeon, right?

    Hell with YouTube, I caught up with the original 70s show with cheap shoddy FX that even the old DOCTOR WHO would’ve laughed at.

    Though that one did have one memorable (insane) episode where it turned out Hitler survived and is in cryogenic storage in some lost bunker in West Germany, guarded by an army of immortal Hitler Youth kid soldiers. Nuts, and jesus that doesn’t even come close to the trippy as balls opening.


  562. I first saw LIVE & LET DIE on TV as a kid and honestly, it scared me witless.

    I must’ve been about 7 or so, and to me, that was absolutely a horror film, thru and thru.

    The shot of Samedi on the train, laughing, at the end? Holy shit, that was frightening.

    It’s probably the most cynically formulated of all the Bond flicks, looking at cool shit the early 70s had to offer (blaxploitation, comic books and horror flicks) and throwing it into the mix, but that’s what I dig about it.

    I can see why Bond purists would’ve been pissed off at the time – Bond was meant to be blazing trails, not following them.

    MOONRAKER was cut from the same cloth, but for me fails utterly. Apart from maybe the Jaws bits.

  563. Continental Op

    May 2nd, 2012 at 9:17 am

    “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is an incredible film, the one Bond to qualify as an absolute epic. If it had Connery in the lead it would be uncontested, no matter how “okay” Lazenby is….

  564. MOONRAKER is funny as hell in my opinion. Some great lines from the villain Drax always cracks me up, the “amusing death” line and the” put you out of my misery” one are sweet.
    Why people are pissing on this movie still 30 years later is beyond me. They should see it as the silly slice of space-action it really is.

  565. Continental Op

    May 2nd, 2012 at 10:46 am

    ShootMcKay – The double-taking pigeon during the gondolier hovercraft chase is why people are still pissing on it 30 years later….

  566. It’s been 30 years and many movies later though. Seriously at this point in time Jaws having a love subplot and shit is pretty damn inconsequential when you consider where the franchise now stands overall. It’s as bad as the people that incessantly still bitch about BATMAN & ROBIN. Seriously it’s like “get the fuck over it already”.

  567. BATMAN & ROBIN needs more love just like MOONRAKER. Sure, it was inappropriate pulling an Adam West on a 1990´s audience, but now I would have imagined people got over all that shit and just appriciate it for what it is.

    I agree,Broddie. Get the fuck over it.

  568. The reason Moonraker’s got such a crummy rep has more to do with comparisons to Star Wars than anything else. The movie was a success and has plenty of good things going for it. I also have a sneaky suspicion that Moonraker, and Die another Day, simply cost to much to be fiercly defended by the Broccoli family. They are nothing if not smart people.

  569. I think the main problem was that people thought the idea of Bond In Space was too ridiculous and therefore dissing it simply on that idiotic complaint. After all…since then Bond has also been a clown! i don´t know about you gys. But that was for me far more ridiculous.

  570. Am I the only one who thought VAN HELSING was way better than any of the MUMMY movies? It’s the same shit but with a better star and cooler monsters yet THE MUMMY seems to get a pass and VAN HELSING doesn’t.

  571. No, I´m down with VAN HELSING as well. Great gothic atmosphere, a kickass soundtrack and Jackman is awesome. Too bad the Dracula is a piece of shit in this one. You don´t normally see the kind of old school monster-movies from the past these days. You know with mummies,
    OG vampires ( the Transylvanian kind) and spooky castles. Good fun.

    Makes me cringe and laugh at Tom Cruise playing Van Helsing. Looks like it could be a turkey. Too bad,really. The franchise had promise, too bad morons don´t appreciate good shit when they see it.

  572. I thought VAN HELSING had an awesome concept. It’s basically nostalgia porn for Universal horror fans and I’m one of those. The problem with it was the execution.

    I think an actiony take on Van Helsing’s legend could still work and I think the Cruiser is capable of making it something like the CASTLEVANIA movie we always deserved. I didn’t see GHOST RECON but you can’t deny the guy’s knack for cool action filmatism throughout his career. The movie really strived to be CASTLEVANIA: THE MOVIE but in the hands of Sommers came up pretty damn short.

    Can’t say I’m a fan of those writers though. Jesus they have their hand in every genre script in hollywood.

  573. Or whatever M:I 4 was called I can’t even remember.

  574. http://www.firstshowing.net/2012/terry-crews-teases-for-the-expendables-2-trailer-coming-tomorrow/

    Worth the click only for Crews’ gag about how pointless what we’ve just witnessed actually was.

    Having just seen the full trailer it looks a lot of fun – look forward to seeing it hit properly tomorrow and seeing what everyone here thinks of it.

  575. My first impression was after watching the Crews teaser yesterday: A teaser for a trailer?! How fuckin´retarded can it get? NOW we are supposed to get excited for a fucking trailer?! I thought the whole point of teasers was to build up expectations for the movie, not a trailer.
    Please correct me if I´m wrong.

  576. I think it was PROMETHEUS, which started the concept of a teaser for a trailer just a few months ago. Unfortunately it seems to catch on.

  577. If it DID parody the excitement of a teaser for a trailer,I guess that makes my last comment somewhat redundant.

  578. Why not build up excitement for the trailer? It’s probably as good as this whole EXPENDABLES 2 thing is going to get.

  579. Guys, VAN HELSING isn’t even close to watchable, and you all know it. I’m worried we’re all getting a little *too* open-minded around here.

  580. Right now, I hate that fuckin Crews teaser even more, since it assumed I understood what it was supposed to be, which I did not. I don´t catch on quick to promotion gimmicks nor do I understand them. Jesus cocksuckin christ! Please DO NOT start parodying shit before I realize what the fuck you are making fun of. Everythjing seems to move so fast and before I catch on its old hat. Fuck you Internet!

  581. I never said VAN HELSING was watchable. I just said it was better than the MUMMY movies. I saw it exactly once and don’t plan on changing that, but I don’t feel the need to shit on it all the time like I do the MUMMY movies.

    Except for it continuing Kate Beckinsale’s streak of being the best-looking person I hate. I’ll still talk shit about that. Between VH, UNDERWORLD, LAST DAYS OF WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS, and whatever the fuck that butchering of Greg Rucka’s excellent graphic novel WHITEOUT was, she’s basically a waste of a perfect ass.

  582. Mr. Majestyk – Brain baked! Really? Really? I can’t give a shit about any of those MUMMY movies, but fuck VAN HELSING wasn’t better, arguably worse. Which is saying something. You need to take the weekend off. (Who knows, you might realize VAN HELSING isn’t just 20 mintues too long, its 2 hours+ too long.)

    Mr. S – absolutely. VAN HELSING is shit, pure and simple.

    “The problem with it was the execution. ”

    Broddie – No an execution would’ve improved that turkey. Iron Maiden preferably. Excellent! *air guitar*

    But as “universal monster porn,” it fails. You know what was awesome Universal monster porn that was actually good? MONSTER SQUAD.

  583. And now the TOTAL RECALL remake? Seriously, fuck that bitch. That sexy, sexy bitch.

  584. Mr. M – what next buddy, you pull a AsimovLives and bash those DUMMY movies? LOL.

    “Except for it continuing Kate Beckinsale’s streak of being the best-looking person I hate. I’ll still talk shit about that. Between VH, UNDERWORLD, LAST DAYS OF WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS, and whatever the fuck that butchering of Greg Rucka’s excellent graphic novel WHITEOUT was, she’s basically a waste of a perfect ass.”

    Some sanity left in the cranium! I absolutely agree.

    Back to VAN HELSTINK (lolz), wasn’t I the only one who wondered why a family should claim to be vampire hunters if they’ve NEVER KILLED ONE before? And worse, some asshole who’s been in town for 5 mintues does what your family for generations apparently couldn’t. That’s pathetic. They deserved to get wiped out. Trent would whoop your ass.

  585. VAN HELSING is perfectly watchable as far as I am concerned. I enjoyed it.Who the hell is anyone else to say I didn´t?

  586. Mr. Majestyk – since we’re making “clarification” statements upon our earlier statements, I’ll admit I would fuck Mrs. Len Wiseman.

    But I’ll buck the trend by saying that I’m not dismissing the TOTAL RECALL remake? Who knows, it might be decent? Hell I hated thoes idiotic UNDERWORLD pictures, but Wiseman did a decent DIE HARD entry. So why not?

    I mean as much as we all liked the Arnold TOTAL RECALL, it was basically an Arnold vehicle of a plastic surgery done on a much rewritten who-dunit-fake-out-adventure/thriller script.

    Interestingly, the new RECALL takes place on Earth. No “Get your ass to Mars!” unfortunately.

  587. ShootMcKay – The same right I have in calling it a lame picture.

    Moving on…

  588. To make matters worse; I did also enjoy BOTH of Sommers “MUMMY´s”. Take that, Internet!

  589. RRA- I was more aiming at Mr Subtlety´s assumption that everyone hates VAN HELSING, which is absurd.

  590. Shoot McKay – Funny, the first MUMMY didn’t bother me. Can’t give a shit about it, but as matinee diversion it worked enough. Does that make any sense?

    Oh and there’s always some solks who liked a “crappy” movie. Case in point, Quentin Tarantino claims he’s a fan of MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE and owns a print.

  591. Tarantino likes every shitty movie ever made. Nobody can possibly take him seriously. The guy is a lunatic.

  592. But I have to give Tarantino credit for liking these movie in a non-ironic way. He really thinks that they are awesome and not “so bad, that they are good”.

  593. Actually I’m pretty OK with the first MUMMY, which in my mind has a sort of affable old-fashioned goofball charm. Just a harmless little kids movie with a few decent sequences and ideas, and also a good means to put money into the hands of needy Arnold Vosloos everywhere.

    VAN HELSING, on the other hand, is just a completely joyless, leaden experience. Like the UNDERWORLDS, it takes a no-brainer easy homerun and completely botches it into a gray, desolate wasteland which never knew fun.

    Actually I now have a theory on this Kate Beckinsdale thing. Everyone on set just gets distracted watching her walk around and forgets to make the movie, then panics and throws something together in editing at great expense at the last minute.

  594. We was talking PLAN 9 earlier, but honestly my vote for worst movie ever might have to go to either MANOS or MONSTER A-GO-GO.

    Movies so bad, not even the MST3K guys and their gags can make them viewable.

    BREAKING NEWZ! Manos has won my bad movies poll because MONSTER A-GO-GO is missing, for it never was there.

  595. Just putting this out there:


    That’s a BIG price drop.

    As you probably know, these are the English dubs that follow the Shogun Assassin storyline.

  596. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 2nd, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I’m ok with the first “Mummy” movie, would say that the second “Mummy” movie is right up there on my worst-ever cinemagoing experiences of all time (although it’s still not as bad as “Bad Boys 2”, “Buried” or “The Cell”), and didn’t see Van Helsing.

    NO MORE TALK OF THIS “TOTAL RECALL” MOVIE STARRING COLIN FUCKING FARRELL please. Every time somebody mentions it, a little bit of my childhood dies.

    And for the record, I didn’t just *like* “Total Recall”. Look, I must’ve watched “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2” at least fifteen times each, they’re iconic, they’re the critically AND commercially-accepted Arnold movies. I love those movies, even when Edward Furlong is in them, ok? But simply on the scale of pure badass brilliance, “Total Recall” is Arnie’s best movie by a country mile.

    What I’m saying is this movie is a little piece of history that SHOULD NOT BE FUCKED WITH. Look, I didn’t bitch about the “Italian Job” remake (much). They remade “Charade” starring Thandie Fucking Newton and I let it slide. They even tried to remake “The Poseidon Adventure”. I’m expecting, any day now, that somebody’s gonna bring out plans to remake “The Third Man” or “Twelve Angry Men”, and you know what? That’s fine. I’ll just ignore this shit and pretend like it doesn’t exist, because at the end of the day, I don’t have to watch it, I don’t have to let it sully my childhood memories. I don’t take it personally.


    You think Colin Farrell’s gonna be able to do his “O-face” like Arnie did when he was escaping from that chair? Fuck that shit.

  597. Total Recall. Total Recall. Total Recall. Total Recall. Total Recall. Total Recall.

  598. “I’m expecting, any day now, that somebody’s gonna bring out plans to remake “The Third Man” or “Twelve Angry Men”, and you know what? That’s fine.”

    Paul – What of William Friedkin’s (decent) TV movie remake of 12AM?

  599. Stu – Yeah TOTAL RECALL might be alright.

    Hell I think it might even be better than the original.

    Paul – So you’re not for a remake? Why? :)

  600. You know what’s always bugged me about the original TOTAL RECALL? That hologram watch thing. When Quaid uses it on those guards at the end, and they’re surrounding what they think is him and let rip at him…why aren’t the bullets going through and killing their co-workers? THAT MAKES NO SENSE!
    And no, I don’t buy that it’s a dream, because there’s scenes shown that he’s not a part of. They wouldn’t be happening at all if he wasn’t experiencing them!

  601. Sorry guys but I can’t see Len fucking Wiseman ever make a movie even half as good and genuinely entertaining as something by Verhoeven in his prime. It doesn’t help that it looks like a beat for beat remake of the original movie AND NOT an adaptation of the original short story that is very different from both movies in damn near every way.

    Would’ve been bolder to stick closer to the story this time as opposed to seeing a hack put his “spin” on iconic scenes and not pull them off with half the grace. That obvious gimmicky CGI camera shot of Farrell taking on a squad of cops with all it’s shoddy CGI-ness made me laugh out loud and somehow I think they thought it was supposed to make the audience go “ooooh shit”. I think the fact that it’s coming out in August is kind of telling to tell you the truth.

  602. Stu – Yeah thats one of those logic gaps that once somebody points it out to you, you can’t unnotice.

    Take ROBOCOP, that cyborg has that black turtleneck of plastic (or fiberglass?) around his neck and chin. But once he takes his helmet off, they disapear with no explaination.

    Speaking of ROBOCOP goofs, when Kurtwood Smith slams shut (or open, I can’t remember) his car door, the rearview mirror falls loose. Funny as hell. Or that mysterious unidentified stranger who’s lingering in the background when Smith gets shived in the neck.

    Or my personal favorite: The plateglass window that breaks itself before Smith is thrown through it. (A window committing suicide?!?)

    Broddie – probably not, but I’m just sending out public feelers to know that I’m giving him a chance.

    We already have a good TOTAL RECALL movie, even if the world wasn’t screaming for a remake. IF the new one stinks, what’s the loss?

  603. RRA- When they remake ROBOCOP, I demand a satisfactory explanation why no one just shoots him in the exposed mouth. I know in Robocop 3, one goon suggests it and the other says “Cyborygs EAT bullets!”. That’s not gonna cut it.

  604. Stu – Or why does Robocop have to be as slow as molasses? All that advanced tech, and nobody could give him running legs?

    Call me one of the few that’s actually intrigued by a potential remake. It’ll probably suck, but hey we can admit it could work.

  605. I know locals don’t care that much for the Nostalgia Critic, but this is worth watching. If only for the ending.


  606. From his AVENGERS review (Thumbs Up), Ebert wrote this:

    “When I see these six together, I can’t help thinking of the champions at the Westminster Dog Show. You have breeds that seem completely different from one another (Labradors, poodles, boxers, Dalmatians), and yet they’re all champions.”


  607. $1 to the first VAN HELSING fanboy who says Tom Cruise raped his childhood.

  608. So, Mr Majestyk, Alfredo Garcia, huh? I had a book once called “50 Worst Movies of All Time”, and believe it or not Alfredo was in it. I hadn’t seen the movie when I bought the book, but after I finally got hold of a VHS copy in the 80’s I burned the book. I don’t know why people hated Alfredo so intensely back then, maybe they saw a Vietnam parallell they didn’t like or maybe it’s just the fact that it’s so far removed from the Hollywood glamour that it physically hurt to watch, I don’t know or care. It’s a beautiful movie that works both as an action film and a romantic drama, and perhaps the Peckinpah movie that shows us better than any other that even stoned out of his mind the man could make art.

  609. In all fairness: You can’t expect a movie, that starts with a pregnant woman getting her arm broken by her father and which is NOT some kind of tear jerking social awareness drama about parental abuse, to really catch on with critics. Especially not back when the movie was made.

  610. pegsman: Yeah, that was the Medved book I mentioned earlier. I never read it but I’m curious about what other glaring errors that joyless prig made. Do you remember what else was in it?

    CJ: For me, the movie really clicked into place when the (allegedly gay?) hitman elbowed that whore in the face out of nowhere. The movie was basically daring the faint of heart to keep watching it with that move. And it seems like few accepted the challenge at the time. Their loss.

  611. pegsman – to be fair, GARCIA had a plot premise that’s just too weird probably even for the 70s. A “buddy” movie between a has-been expat, a severed head, and a hooker girlfriend? Oh and its not exactly a happy experience.

  612. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t FLETCH crack a joke at how bad GARCIA was? Can’t remember.

  613. I wouldn’t say it’s a crack at the movie, but he does reference it.

    Records Nurse: Can I get you something?
    Fletch: Yeah, do you have the Beatles’ White Album? Never mind, just get me a glass of hot fat. And bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia while you’re out there.

  614. Mr. M – OK thanks.

    Wait what? One part of that line makes no sense. Who in the world says “the Beatles’ White Album”? There’s only one White Album to my knowledge, and the one most people mean when they reference it. Do people say Michael Jackson’s THRILLER? Nirvana’s NEVERMIND? Pink Floyd’s DARK SIDE OF THE MOON?

    I mean if he said just “Black Album,” I could understand the confusion. Is it the Metallica or Prince* album? Two different things with the same name (or both known under the same moniker.)

    *=Oh I’ll piss off people on the Internet by saying I prefer Prince’s over Metalliaca’s? Sorry.

  615. CJ- I agree. It looked awesome.

  616. I can’t remember excactly, Majestyk, but I seem to remember that it was the usual stuff like Plan 9 and such. I don’t agree with you about the time it was made, CJ. remember that this was in the 70’s, when they knew how to make provocative films that where meant to shake up the audience. Straw Dogs, Last House on the Left, Salo…They could never finance movies like that for the big screen today. RRA, I guess he’s saying The Beatles’ White Album because it’s not called the White Album, it just happens to be white.

  617. God. Fucking. Dammit.

    Every time I think I’m done with this whole EXPENDABLES thing, that for the good of my blood pressure I’m just gonna write off the whole experiment as some Platonic ideal of badassitude that is too perfect to actually exist anywhere outside of the realm of human yearning, I see a trailer like that and I start getting my hopes up again. It’s like I get amnesia all of a sudden. I forget that the first one’s trailer looked way too awesome to fuck up, and yet they did. I forget that Simon West’s outrageously horrendous direction of THE MECHANIC made me lose faith in American theatrical action, Jason Statham, hitman movies, and, for six or seven hours, the entire human race. I forget the whole spineless waffling of the “It’s PG-13 because of feelings no wait it’s hard R I don’t know how that PG-13 rumor got started by me” debacle. I forget that the more you pack into a trailer, the less likely the finished film will be able to pull it off. I forget that every word spoken in the first one by anyone who wasn’t Mickey Rourke (who isn’t in this one) was a mush-mouthed clunker of epic proportions, that most of the Expendables were glorified extras, that it didn’t even have the nuts to make any of them expendable. I forget all that because I want to see Van Damme kick Sly in the face. I want it so fucking bad.

    Okay, Sly. One last chance. You burn me this time, though, and you and me are done professionally.

  618. The Expendables franchise is nothing less than an emotional rollercoaster. The time when I was raging on Sly and the PG bullshit seems like long ago

  619. Right? Playing with my action movies is like playing with my emotions. There’s principalities in this!

  620. Man, the anime guy here hated on wrestling. That kind of annoys me!

    It should be enough to just say that he doesn’t get it, but I’ll say more anyhow.

    My love of wrestling comes from being emotionally invested in both the wrestlers and the characters they portray. Sure, Daniel Bryan is my favorite wrestler because he’s been consistently the best wrestler for almost a decade but I also care about him as a person and his success, despite everything, has been exciting to watch. I’m emotionally invested in him as a character and as a person.

    A good wrestling match can tell an awesome story and be riveting. All the talking helps me care about the wrestlers, but when it comes to the actual wrestling that’s when it really starts to feel like something. Yes, a lot of the WWE wrestlers suck and are there for stupid reasons but the good wrestlers can be really amazing.

    Hell, even something like Extreme Rules had two great matches. One, Daniel Bryan versus Sheamus, is as close to a perfect wrestling match as we’re likely to see in the modern WWE and it was just fantastic. It told a story, was exciting, and completely satisfying within the realms of wrestling. Brock Lesnar v John Cena was great because I thought Bork Laser fucking flipped out and was legit trying to murder Cena with his hands for the first ten minutes. That created a level of excitement and reality that is addicting.

    I don’t watch MMA because 1) it’s human dog fighting, 2) I don’t know who to cheer for when it’s between two skinny white guys with short hair and stupid tattoos, and 3) holy fuck these people are trying to hurt each other and I’m watching this and I’m not a fucking animal, fuck you.

    But, yeah, you don’t get it Griff. That’s cool, you like your animes and I don’t get that shit at all.

  621. Agree with Big Wo…Mr. Majestyk.

    Except I’m going to pretend that it’s still PG-13 to curb any enthusiasm that trailer may have brought. It’s a fail safe in case it does suck when I eventually see it.

  622. Continental Op

    May 3rd, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Van Damme’s kick in the fight clip. The man still has it. Some of it, anyway. And I love his incongruous accent. Surprisingly few French action movie villains out there, considering the US’s less than stellar opinion of those CESMs…..

  623. Arnold and Bruce in a smart car was a nice touch though I won’t even front.

  624. Continental Op – Yea it’s just not quite JCVD without a flying roundhouse kick. I’ll still keep telling myself it will suck though. I really did enjoy the first for what it was but I don’t want to face that level of disappointment anymore either.

  625. Continental Op

    May 3rd, 2012 at 11:46 am

    The kick, the smart car, “I now pronounce you…”. I can’t see how this won’t be a pure blast in the cinema. And Stallone is rocking that tache!

  626. “Except I’m going to pretend that it’s still PG-13 to curb any enthusiasm that trailer may have brought. It’s a fail safe in case it does suck when I eventually see it.”
    Other failsafes:
    -“I now pronounce you man and knife” is beyond stupid. I also suspect that’s not actually a wedding ceremony he does that at, making it forced.
    -Once again, the other Expendables aren’t really showcased much.
    -Two trailers, each without Adkins doing anything other than standing or walking with JCVD
    -Arnold’s “I’m Back!” line would have more impact if he was shown doing something before he said it. Also, they’re acting like he did something awesome in the first film, as opposed to film one scene where he had some amusing lines.
    -Liam Hemsworth is NOT surname-only credit eligible. I don’t care how much money HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPO GAMES made.
    -You’re got a fucking nerve showing your face in this trailer, Norris, after you apparently instigated the PG-13 scare.
    Otherwise, yeah looks good.
    “Yea it’s just not quite JCVD without a flying roundhouse kick.”
    Also, I hope they do the multiple action replays of it that some of his films featured.

  627. Casey – I’m trying to think of those memorable wrestling moments, when everything goes fucking Ace.

    Here’s one, a storyline from the 1998 WCW mid-card that was miles better than we were necessarily getting at the main event (same old NWO shit). Chris Jericho winning the Cruiserweight belt, making his opponents tap out in humiliating fashion, boast endlessly, and with the “Iceman” Dean Malenko, making potshots at his Man of 1,000 holds reputation (“I’m a master of thousand and FOUR HOLDS!”), his dead father, and his wife. Finally he makes Malenko submit, and he goes home with his tail between his legs. Arguably the creative peak for Jericho as the obnoxious (if entertaining) as whiney heel with his nonexistent “Jericholic” fanbase, his Jericholic ninja bodyguard (an old fat guy named Ralph), replicating THIS IS SPINAL TAP in failing to find the stage, listing out on Nitro* all his 1,004 moves, and becoming a Master of Loopholes to escape justice, i.e. someone kicking his teeth in. What made him especially awesome as a villain was that he was booked strong, unlike WWE does with most heels. More or less Jericho raised people’s hopes that this week’s challenger would dethrone him, but more or less they tapped out all the same.

    then cut to Slamboree 1998. This is classic, the whole booking of it. Especially the end of the battle royale and what transpires at 12:52.


    I suppose with that background I just gave, the plot twist is very obvious. But goddammit, that spontaneous pop is one of the loudest crowd pops I’ve ever heard at a wrestling program in my lifetime. Every WCW fan of that era remembers that moment, and not really the rest of that PPV card (if I remember right w/o wikipedia’s help, the main event was Hogan and Bret Hart together in a tag team against…I can’t remember.)

    *=”Armbar!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUcTHmZ9luY

  628. Casey, I love pro wrestling as well, but to call MMA human dog fighting is a very ignorant and uneducated statement. In the early days of the UFC and MMA there were little to no rules, so your statement might have been more appropriate then, but the sport has evolved over the past 20 years, the rules have changed, and MMA is now regulated by the same athletic commissions that regulate boxing. I would argue that American football is more violent than MMA at this point. If MMA is not your cup of tea that is cool, but be careful about throwing around misinformed generalizations. I am sure as a pro wrestling fan you don’t appreciate it when someone makes uniformed generalizations about pro wrestling.

    I also caught Extreme Rules Sunday and thought it was the best WWE PPV in some time. I thought all the of the main event matches were great. They all featured excellent storytelling and ring work.

  629. “I’m trying to think of those memorable wrestling moments, when everything goes fucking Ace.”
    I hope you don’t mean Johnny Ace
    Also seeing wrestling live compared to just on tv is a whole different experience. I got regularly to a local promotion, and it’s just a great atmosphere, particularly due to their no holds barred style, and the fact they hold the shows in nightclubs, and use the location well, most notably late last year when the ring broke before the main event, and they improvised with an 8 man “street fight”…which actually did spill on to the streets and reportedly had the police called out and everything.

  630. I’ve never been one to commentate on trailers, and I can’t get into wrasslin. Even if I found it entertaining on any level, for me it’s been tainted by days growing up in a Carolina suburb, spending hours every spring & summer day playing baseball with & against some tobacky-chewin’ good ole boys who’d gush about Monday Night Raw and Sunday night WWF/WCW pay-per-view bullshit. I hated being around those dudes [I imagine Vern, Stu, and other city-based or Europe-based (ex-)wrestling fans wouldn’t have had the same issue.], hated hearing about fake characters doing fake fights, but I loved playing baseball with them.

    And I remember enjoying something about body paint and a hot naked wrassler chick named Sable (?) one time at a house party with free food & kegs while a PPV played. So it wasn’t all bad, but I still hated being exposed to discussions about wrasslin. Cognitive dissonance. Nowadays, it doesn’t bother me, now that I’m not surrounded by the redneck element.

    Anyway, I’ve discovered a pretty awesome Korean movie that will likely make it onto my Best of 2012 list. Netflix instant had it on the homepage, and I clicked on it with absolutely no knowledge except that it’s called WAR OF THE ARROWS. I recommend you all do the same, or get the disc.

    After watching WAR OF THE ARROWS, I skimmed a few reviews, and they’re mostly very positive, but I’m glad I didn’t read them beforehand. I had no idea this was the #1 movie in South Korea in 2011. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that comparisons to APOCALYPTO are apt, though a tad overblown, since APOCALYPTO is a masterpiece in my opinion, one of the 10 best movies of the last several years and arguably one of the top 3 action movies of the same period.

    WAR OF THE ARROWS also has some HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS flavor, a dash of SNIPER with Tom Berenger, a teensy touch of Timur Bekmambetov’s WANTED, and a kind of melodramatic, manly John Milius-comic booky vibe to a lot of the dialogue
    (“He shall suffer until his last breath.” //
    “Have we no warriors among us?!” // etc.),
    surprisingly better executed than most period piece epic-ish movies. WAR OF THE ARROWS plays it straight and serious, and somehow it never comes off as laughable or too much, so the whole movie is incredibly fun & satisfying. And the beautiful badass title is appropriate.

    There are some instances where the editing overshadows the action, probably b/c it’s actors doing fights and not fighters doing acting, but the whole narrative possesses such an intense action-based momentum that I didn’t mind an occasional unconvincing moment of visually imperfect fighting.

    Seriously, I think everyone here would at least like WAR OF THE ARROWS, and maybe a few of y’all will love it.

  631. Charles, I’m totally open to my statement about MMA being wrong, but if you could point me to where it is anything more than just two dudes fighting it out because of something (honor? pride? MANLINESS?) as a crowd looks on than I would be happy to see it.

    I’m not trying to be a dick and I apologize if I am, but how is it different? I guess the loser doesn’t die. How else?

    I’ve been in a lot of fights in my life and I’ve had bones broken and have done the same to others, so maybe it’s my total aversion to violence that puts me off MMA. I was doing food delivery a few months ago and these two old homeless guys were waiting in line and one of them just goaded the other into a fight and seeing these two guys wail on each other before I could break it up was one of the most awful things I’ve seen in a while. How is MMA different than a bum fight?

    Again, I’m really not trying to be a dick but what’s the difference? Why don’t they just measure their cocks and get it over with?

    RRA, I loved that era of WCW. Well, I loved everything about that era of WCW that didn’t involve the nWo. Man, that story overstayed its welcome fast. It’s a real shame, too, as no one remembers how great a lot of the WCW was outside of that.

  632. What’s the point of any sport, Casey? Ideally, it’s because the participants like playing it enough to want to be the best at it.

  633. The best fighters are Striving for Excellence. They’re repping their hood, their training crew, sometimes their home nation, their desire to dominate. Most of them have real chips on their shoulders from childhood obstacles, and that’s what spurred them to their fight careers. For others, it’s fun to fight. It’s great exercise, too, for cardio and for muscular strength & endurance, great all-around. Who gives a shit about having a crowd watch you fight, except in that (at the professional level) it equates to more money?

    The best wrasslers are striving for audience attention and whatever results in selling more tickets & PPVs. Though their physical effort is real, their “sport” is a cheap cash grab based on mostly empty, transparent semi-spectacle and cheesily scripted cock-measuring contests.

  634. Lest I misrepresent why MMA/UFC/fighting is a good spectator sport, I should perhaps clarify that I only watch the fights themselves. I have zero interest in the soap opera aspects, the build-up to main events, the backstories, the fake confrontations at weigh-in. I don’t even give a shit what country a guy is from, except as it informs my knowledge of his style[s].

    I don’t read ass advertisements on the fighters’ short shorts. I don’t give a shit about belts. I don’t pay attention to tattoos or haircuts (unless it’s a grabbable do). I don’t much listen to announcer chatter or post-fight nattering.

    Much like my approach to action movies with dumb plots, I tend to fast forward and only watch the actual punching, kicking, and grappling. In this sense, the sport remains pure, and it doesn’t require a ton of intellectual investment in storylines or personalities.

    Muhammad Ali is the only fighting athlete who’s ever been worth listening to.

  635. MMA doesn’t really hold my interest mainly because I don’t typically find the fights all that interesting to watch. When you hear “Mixed Martial Arts”, it conjures up images of something like Bloodsport, and very distinctive styles clashing, but the reality seems to be everyone has a sort of overlapping mix of striking and grappling that’s just not that dynamic to me. Not that I doubt there’s cool moments, but eh, as a whole, I find it underwhelming. Maybe I’ve just not watched enough.

  636. I totally get that people want to be the best at whatever their calling is, that’s totally fine. Who cares.

    Remember Undisputed 2 & 3? Weren’t all the people watching those fights total assholes that were far more villainous than just about anyone else? That’s kind of where I’m coming from.

    Poor Mouth, he hates what he does not understand. Hating on professional wrestling is like hating on theater since they’re the same exact thing. Shit, the way he talks about MMA is the same way Michael Bay talks about movies.

  637. Oh, I understand it plenty. And I don’t like it. And when I was a teenager I didn’t like being around the rednecks who liked it.

    I’ll be at Spoleto in a few weeks, where I’ll be watching various plays, operas, ballet, dance presentations, and other theatrical productions that hopefully continue to make me proud to be an elitist arts patron, even as I stay in touch with the savage asshole side of me that enjoys watching fights.
    I’ll be sure to do a script analysis of each piece through the prism of whether they’re as dramatically compelling as John Cena & The Rock’s center ring trash talk.

  638. Wait, when did this turn into a bitter argument? I thought originally it was people trying to explain their interests to each other. Let’s not bring Michael Bay into this. That’s Asimov’s job.

  639. All I know is my “comment is awaiting moderation” for 5 hours and y’all should check out WAR OF THE ARROWS.

  640. Vern – after you review THE AVENGERS, are you gonna do like you did with AVATAR and review the AVENGERS “parody” porno?

  641. I’ll be honest: I won’t go see MIB 3 (Netflix baby!), but the latest trailer did make me laugh when Will Smith threatened to kick Andy Warhol’s ass.

    But a mere exception. I’m reporting my failure to the locals for proper punishment and re-education.

  642. I refuse to see or acknowledge the existence of MIB3 because the terrible trailer made me embarrassed to be a human being.

  643. An article on some fucking weird AVENGERS merchandise tie-ins.


    My favorite? The Fragrance. What girl doesn’t want to smell like the Hulk?

  644. Really, Mouth? You think the MIB 3 trailer was already terrible enough for that? Sheesh, please don’t go all AsimovLives on us! There is some REALLY horrible looking stuff out there, that deserves such reactions.

  645. I kind of want to see MIB3, sorry, what can I say? I find the time travel plot kind of cool

    however just because I want to see it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll drag my ass to theaters to see it, it looks like a movie that would be good for blu ray, but we’ll see

  646. I probably shouldn’t be after the first one was such a big disappointment, but I’m excited as hell about Machete Kills. Especially after this confirmation that Mel Gibson will in fact play the villain in it.

    From Ainitcool:
    “Heard would play Miss San Antonio, according to Variety, an assassin who may or may not be on the same side as Danny Trejo’s title character, as he tries to stop Mel Gibson’s arms dealer from setting off a WMD.”

    Oh, and Amber Heard is in it too apparently. Drool.

    Now I just hope Rodriguez gets the tone right. More exploitation and less Naked Gun this time please…

  647. So I caught a midnight showing of THE AVENGERS. I liked it a lot. It was not mindblowing (I tend to need some sort of shock value or adult content to really get my mind blown these days) but every little aspect was done basically perfectly. Quite an accomplishment that it feels like a story, with a beginning, middle, and end, considering that most of the recent superhero movies haven’t done that and they’ve only had one hero to contend with. Everybody got their time to shine, even minor characters. It felt like the first real comic book movie. Not a movie adapted from a comic book, or a movie that uses self-conscious, outdated comic booky stylistic tics (that no one actually making comic books has used since the sixties), but an actual comic book story brought to life. The secret was that with all these heroes, there wasn’t room or time for the lame supporting cast and love interests that all the others felt they needed.
    Everybody in every scene was the guy you paid to see. And because all of their origins were out of the way, the story wasn’t about them overcoming their feelings or whatever the fuck. (There was some of that but it was just garnish.) They fought each other in interesting and unexpected combinations, they made up, they saved the fucking day. The way it should be.

  648. EXPENDABLES 2 looks fucking fantastic. And I couldn’t be bothered with first one.

  649. I’ll watch almost anything with Amber Heard. Emphasis on “almost anything”. That chick is pretty damn perfect though. Too bad she’s a tortillera. Maybe MACHETE RETURNS will go into that?

  650. Poor Mouth, I kind of feel sorry for the big guy!

    I want to come back with a scanned image of all my tickets for the Virginia Opera Company, or Wolf Trap, or the Kennedy Center, or tons of other operas, musicals, and theater productions I’ve gone to and just say, “Hey, this is where I’m coming from and a trip to Chikara isn’t really all that different!”, but I’m afraid if I do I’ll just get another sad story from Mouth about how he’s made love to various sad women and how none of that betrays some very deep insecurities on his part.

    But, yes, if your first thought of professional wrestling is Cena v Rock than yes, you do not understand wrestling. The WWE is full of crap that is bordering on the unbearable, but it also has some real gems that make it all worthwhile. That is to say nothing of many of the independent companies that are putting on some very interesting shows and doing some really cool things.

    But, yes, this is different than seeing a play or opera because of something? I’m unsure :(

  651. R.I.P. MCA

  652. MCA is dead and you motherfuckers are still talking about wrestling?

  653. 47… shit


  654. Rip AMC

    I fucking love Beastie Boys. I love their music and I love that they never sold out, but did what they wanted to do. Pauls Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty are all bonafide classics in my book.

  655. Man, MCA’s death is really affecting me way more than I ever expected the death of someone I didn’t know to affect me. The Beastie Boys were so instrumental in my learning to love music and to be aware of the rest of the world.

    It makes me feel bad for expressing my dislike for Mouth, even.


  656. I’m rocking PAUL’S BOUTIQUE right now. It’s actually kind of choking me up.

    “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”: awesome song or AWESOMEST song?

  657. Man I was having a good day. Saw THE AVENGERS, then this shit ruins me for the rest of the day.

    Beastie Boys deserved all the salutations that they’re currently getting, but one thing about them they’ve surprisingly to my perspective never been given enough credit for: Their humor.

    CJ Holden said it best when he said they were just a few leagues above Weird Al Yankovic. For all their great tracks and forever expanding their musical limits and ambitions while also inadvertedly becoming the Rolling Stones of 80s hip-hop (think about it), I think their goofy sense of humor is what’s helped them for all these decades when we’ve gotten flooded with endless pretentious serious pop stars and artists.

    Oh and thanks for being a great rhetorical counter-attack whenever the words “whites can’t rap” and “Vanilla Ice” are uttered in the same sentence in the pre-Eminem days.

  658. I agree, RRA.

    I love how you can tell which record you’re listening to within 30 seconds of any of their songs. They could have made a career out of rehasing any one of their albums but they instead chose to do something new with each. All the while they had a great sense of humor and sense of style that never took itself too seriously. They managed to do all that while growing as people and expressing some very righteous values.

  659. I think today is the only day where it is NOT fun to listen to the Beastie Boys.
    Like I said when their last album came out: They are maybe the only group who managed to be constantly funny and have an image as silly goofballs, without ever coming across as a comedy band.

  660. There are a couple others, like Ween and They Might Be Giants. But it’s unprecedented in rap. Most of the other goofballs got all shit-is-real somewhere around the mid-nineties.

  661. And you might be right, CJ. It’s getting awful dusty in here. I don’t think I can make it all the way through PAUL’S BOUTIQUE.

    I never thought I’d say that.

  662. “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”: awesome song or AWESOMEST song?

    Mr. M – (1) yes at the least and (2) a solid candidate.

    I’m playing what now unfortunately will be the last music video put out by the Beastie Boys. You can make the intelligent argument that in the field of music videos, as a pop music act they put out the best videos consistently. (And yes, even over Michael Jackson.)


  663. Although later in life I began to dissect their rapping as
    kinda sub-par and cheesy the Beastie Boys were integral
    in my appreciation of different genres of music. RIP MCA
    I’ll be pouring one out for you later; although you wouldn’t

  664. They are busting mad rhymes with an 80% success rate! I believe that qualifies as “ill”. At least from a technical standpoint.

  665. Didn’t you guys just make fun of me like 2 weeks ago when I said that Paul’s Boutique was one of my top 10 rap albums? I’ll be bumping it today. Adam Yaunch seemed like a sincerely good person.

  666. Nobody would ever make fun of you for liking PAUL’S BOUTIQUE, but I think I made some kind of ill-advised crack about CHECK YOUR HEAD being the choice of the kinds of college dudes Vern was talking about at the time.

    CHECK YOUR HEAD is still a great album.

  667. Tawdry – I don’t remember that, but if I was around for it, surely I would’ve told any naysayer against PAUL’S BOUTIQUE to go fuck off.

    Anyway I remember back in ’09 when the Beastie Boys cancelled a festival gig at the last minute (subsequently we learned why) and I can’t remember the exact story: Either Jay Z covered for them in that vacated slot, or he was there and he opened up his set with this BB cover as a tip of heart. Showed you how much respect BB garnered.


  668. MCA’s passing has fucked my day, so I can’t elaborate more on my AVENGERS experience, except I liked it.

  669. Yeah, I’m taking this one hard. Like, Johnny Cash hard. Frank Sinatra hard. Charles Bronson hard.

    Jesus Christ, what’s gonna happen when Clint dies? I’m gonna be a fucking wreck. I might have to take the week off. And I won’t be the only one. I’m not sure the country could take it.

  670. I don´t want to hear that kind of talk! Pull yourself together *slap*!

  671. When people I never knew personally but that meant a lot to me passed, I went through similar emotions. Doubting shit and all…when Ronnie Dio passed I was in a sad state of drunkness for a period of time. But he left a legacy of work that continue to live on which means he is not completely gone.

    And God help us that day Clint passes, even so his body of works is of such magnitude it would be like he´d still be with us.

  672. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 4th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Argh, a Beastie Boy is dead? I’m older than I thought. That is… depressing.

    Just saw “Safe”. It’s ok. I had some more detailed thoughts, but the bottom line is it doesn’t break any great action trends of the last decade or so (which is kinda unfortunate).

    Although I probably liked it more than Vern will, because his bugbear (post-action shakycam bullshit) was in full evidence, whereas mine (action scenes for the sake of action and not for the sake of moving the story forward) was not – the action scenes, while often incoherent, at least fit in the film. I think this film probably got edited down a LOT to get that 12A certificate, and it shows. Statham was better utilised in “The Bank Job”, but he does well with what he has.

    The world in the film is pretty-well realised at the start, but starts to unravel towards the end. A lot of different places are shown but the tone remains the same throughout, which makes the film somewhat tedious at times. I would’ve liked to have seen more variety between the different places – the Chinese casino and the NYC mayor’s office, if you changed the clothes a bit, might as well be the same location. Probably my favorite scene took place in a high-class hotel, and thinking back, a big part of that is because the hotel is portrayed in such a peaceful, sedate way, it makes a refreshing change. It also makes a good contrast when the action starts up.

    Since every bad guy in this movie is a cliche, let’s run down the usual movie gangster hitlist:

    – Impeccably polite ruthless middle-aged mephistophelean Chinese gangster boss – check.
    – Brash hard-drinking Eastern European crime family – check.
    – Multi-racial group of corrupt NYC cops, including a black guy with anger-management issues, a foul-mouthed latino and an icily-controlled leader who can turn violent without warning – check.
    – Wise-cracking British cockney gangster played by Ray Winstone / Jamaican drug-lord who’s into what everyone refers to as “that voodoo shit” / Colombian drug lord who grew up in “the streets” before building an empire from scratch – no dice, sorry.

    So if you liked the villains in “Bad Boys” and “Exit Wounds” but didn’t like “Marked for Death” or “Sexy Beast”, this movie’s for you. If the reverse, you’d probably be better waiting for DVD.

  673. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 4th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    On a positive note for “Safe”, I thought it was much, much better than “The Transporter”. Not that much could be worse than that movie – it wasn’t so much bad as just relentlessly tedious.

    On the negative side, the final confrontation between Statham and Surprise Bad Guy is a big copout. Especially since Surprise Bad Guy has been effectively portrayed as a physical threat to Statham. Guess they had to get that 12A.

    (And about that… you know what 12A means nowadays? It’s “Jurassic Park” scary. It’s “Batman Returns” scary. To quote Vern, it means it’s ok to bring the kids. This was NOT what I wanted from an action movie starring Jason Statham. Know your fucking audience.)

  674. Mr. M – Jesus what about Vern? I could see him lock himself up in his apartment, not bath or shave, piss in empty beer bottles, masturbate on his napkins that he’s pooched from fast food joints over the years. He would be shot for a week.

    I’m trying to think the last time I really was as wrecked as I am for MCA. Maybe back in high school when Johnny Cash, George Harrison, and Joe Strummer all left us.

    Come to think of it, Richard Wright’s passing hurt me too.

  675. Christopher Reeve also hit me hard, which was surprising. It’s not like I was a huge fan of his or anything. But SUPERMAN II was one of the first movies I can remember seeing (I had it on a tape with STAR WARS and BLUE LAGOON, although I never watched the latter), so I guess he was imprinted somewhere deep in my psyche.

  676. SUPERMAN II is one of those movies I watched the most as a kid. Only because my grandparents owned a VHS player before my parents did (yes,that´s right..) and they taped it from tv. Boy…have I seen that movie a LOT of times….

  677. Mr. M – I felt the same way, same even for MJ and others of that sort. Not a fan of his (though he did some good shit, undeniably), but he was a part of my childhood as one of those larger than life presences. And when they do die and fly off to the Neverland Ranch in the sky, you hurt because that’s a part of your childhood, now stored in your internal attic (what’s left of it), that has died.

    I have a pet theory: Prince will never die, only because God does not want not want that eternal headache dealing with him. And the Devil won’t either because he’s hoping for remasters.

    SMK – I remember wondering why my grandparents’ VHS player was the size of a fucking TV until I found out later it was one of the first commercially released VHS players.

  678. After reading these last post I feel like a cold hearted bastard. I just don’t have it in me I guess to feel sad for someone I never knew.

  679. Yeah, I don’t tend to get that upset when famous people die, even ones I like. Particularly if there’s an element of “well, what do you expect?”, like with Whitney and Amy Winehouse. Exceptions are wrestlers who die suddenly. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit’s passings were both shocking in different ways. Also Brittany Murphy’s death bothered me a bit because she was so young and I did genuinely like her in SIN CITY, 8 MILE and DRIVE(Mark Dacascos one).

  680. I never thought about Clint Eastwood’s possible death until right now. It’s harder to contemplate that my own death. How the fuck could Clint Eastwood die/

  681. Alot of celebrities tweeted about MCA’s passing, but the one that sums it up:

    “Yauch is gone. fuck” – Questlove


  682. I’m always touched when celebrities die. The first one to really hit me was Brandon Lee. I had just gotten attached to him in RAPID FIRE and hoping to follow him for a long career, and the infuriating incompetence of that situation.

    John Ritter stuck with me too. So sudden and unexpected, made me feel a little helpless. Bernie Mac too and he was already sick so I should have anticipated the possibility.

    The young ones are of course extra sad. Now I’m even in a position where I’ve met many people who are no longer with us for work (including MCA when they released AWESOME I FUCKIN SHOT THAT!) it makes the passing a little weirder but I’m grateful I had the opportunity to meet them.

  683. IF this was a YouTube video, I would be asking for thumbs up to folks who marked out at the Harry Dean Stanton cameo in AVENGERS.

  684. Just re-watched RAPID FIRE and SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO the other day. It made me miss Brandon Lee all over again and I got fuckin´depressed. He didn´t even got to leave a siginificent body of work after him before he checked out. That sucks.

  685. What surprised me about Brandon Lee when I saw SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO was how he had a likeable comic charisma. (and quite honestly, a greater actor than him.) The antithesis of his dad, he was funny. That movie and THE CROW, I still argue he had damn good potential to be a star if he had the right vehicle.

  686. But the likeable part of him can be tracked to

  687. *thank you internet for not give me the option to correct*

    …his father.Remember WAY OF THE DRAGON, where Bruce got to show a different side of him. A more lighthearted and humerous side. I´m not sure about Brandon being the antithesis of him.Bruce was at least trying to be funny in that one. Wheter or not he succeeded is a matter of taste. Some of it I thought he did well.

  688. Casey, I love 90’s wrestling as well, especially WCW. To your point about MMA, It would be hard for me to explain myself better without showing you some fights to better reinforce my point, but MMA is a sport. It is a very violent sport like American football, and boxing, but it is about competition and the pursuit of excellence like any other pro sport. Again, I understand if MMA is not your cup of tea, but how is it like a dog fight? Dog fights are brutal, and often a mater of life or death for the animals involved, MMA is a sport in a controlled environment with rules and regulation to protect the combatants, and nobody’s life is on the line anymore so than it is at a NASCAR or NFL event. However, I think MMA is something that is largely misunderstood by many people, and I have found that many of it’s harshest critics have little to no experience with the sport. They are basing their opinion of the sport on maybe only a couple fights or just an uniformed perception. I don’t know what MMA fights you have seen, but I am guessing it is only a handful at best, and I think it makes a difference what fights you have seen. I would argue that if the first/only wrestling matches you ever saw were two jobbers on WWE superstars your opinion of pro wrestling would way different than if your first/only exposure to pro wrestling was Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemaina.

  689. I always think “Man what if Brandon Lee had gotten to play Neo” and it depresses me more cause of not only what it would’ve done to make his star shine even brighter but maybe with his inputs the sequels could’ve been a lot more focused.

  690. Oh my God, Broddie, that would’ve been perfect.

  691. Broddie – Let me rephrase my point. The public image of Lee is, well you know. Imagine that’s who you basically know, and then you see SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO. That’s what I meant. (Good backtracking, huh?)

    And yes, you’re right about Brandon Lee and MATRIX.

    I’m sure amused in retrospet that the Wachowskis’ prefered original choice for Neo was rejected on sight by WB because he was box-office poison. That choice of course was Johnny Depp. Hard to imagine, right?

  692. for me the two celebrities I fear the passing of the most are Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, I literally cannot imagine a world without the two uncle Steve’s, especially Spielberg

    let’s just pray it doesn’t happen anytime soon

    also I still get pretty bummed out when I think about Stanley Kubrick being dead, even though if he were still alive today he probably would have come out with only one movie since Eyes Wide Shut

    but still, could you imagine what Kubrick could have done if he got to play in the modern CGI sandbox of filmmaking?

  693. Kubrick’s death marked a tremendous loss to cinema, to audiences, and to anyone who cares about art. I remember my reaction of 13 years ago and am still saddened by his passing. We hate to see immortal talent disappear suddenly due to mortality. He was the absolute best.

    Go ahead, name a filmmaker. Anyone.
    Yeah, Kubrick was better.

    Frankly, no one here is equipped to comment much on the legacy of the man or his potential would-have-beens. Dude was transcendent, and he was incredibly generous with his gift, sharing his awesome vision with a world that should be more grateful for it.

    Let’s just be appreciative of the multiple masterpieces he made for us in his roughly 46 year film career. No need to speculate or jibber jabber about his stuff. It speaks for itself.

  694. “Go ahead, name a filmmaker. Anyone.
    Yeah, Kubrick was better.”

    yeah, it’s true, as much as I do love Spielberg, Kubrick was the absolute master of movies

    I mean how many filmmakers have actually inspired conspiracy theories about them?

    anyway, guess what guys? the ending of The Expendables 2 got leaked! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOESuVAKKzs

  695. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 5th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    …And no other comments on “Safe”? From reading back, Fred and myself seem to be the only ones posting here who’ve actually seen it. (Plus a friend of one of the other commentators.) I thought you guys would’ve been all over it. So far Fred liked it, I thought it was ok but lived up to its name a little too much.

  696. Paul – The talk of shaky cam made me skip it and just wait for THE AVENGERS Paul. I think I may not be the only one.

  697. SAFE actually has a great way of doing handheld because they must be contractually obliged to to get theatrically released, but using it in single takes where the camera reveals everything important in the action. You know where everyone is coming from and you can see all of Statham’s moves.

    I thought it had a great economical way of telling the familiar story. Betrayed some gangsters, lost his wife, but they let Statham act it rather than babble on exposition. I think he gets a “how badass is he” line though.

    I like the TRANSPORTERs and think CRANKs are amazing anarchy cinema, but SAFE is probably the most quality movie he’s been in. It’s just people are sick of the weekly Statham movie so they assumed it was another generic one. :(

  698. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 6th, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Fred – I will happily admit that it was better than “Machete” (whose final fight between Trejo and Seagal has become my ipso-facto comparison for bad fight scenes because I can’t think of any worse ones from recent times). At least in the subway train fight you saw approximately fifty percent of blows actually appear to land. That’s a big improvement. There were still lots of instances where I wanted them to just hold the fucking camera steady already though (eg, every car chase scene in the movie).

    I liked Statham, I thought his character was portrayed as much as it needed to be, and he gets a big “how badass is he” speech from the mayor that might’ve been taken straight out of “Under Siege”. My problems were more with the setting and dialogue – how come the mayor speaks exactly the same way as the gangsters? – which were similar enough that they got kinda dull.

    My other problem is I simply had a lot more fun with “The Bank Job” and “Crank: High Voltage”. I do not for the life of me understand why they cut “Safe” to a 12A.

  699. Escaping the local cinema today I caught SAFE.

    Have to agree with Mr Fred T on this one in general, although I do get where RDPP is coming from.

    Ultimately, I found it a vast improvement over both THE MECHANIC and KILLER ELITE, but I had problems with the climax, which worked on a story level but didn’t give the viewer what they really wanted. I’m torn on it, I guess. It was clever but unsatisfying.

    The action I thought was pretty good overall, with only a smattering of our ol’ pal, Shakycam. Some of the shots were downright fantastic here and there.

    There were some very nice character moments, too that I wasn’t expecting and the build-up to The Stath kicking ass was nicely done, as well.

    RDPP – Has the film definitely been edited for it’s rating? Obviously, that sucks.

    By the way, this was shown before the film:


    Some new Exp2 footage. Not much, though.

  700. Random question: Is any local excited about AMAZING SPIDER-MAN?

    I can’t say I am, and its not that movie’s fault. Its just maybe Spidey fatigue or this is a remake/reboot/boobjob for something that isn’t 5 years over yet.

    I hope its good and all, but I can’t be given a reason to be excited about it yet. Can I be blamed?

  701. Can’t say that I am and I didn’t want to come across as a pessimist because frankly I didn’t think Raimi’s movies were all that. 1 was actually pretty good up until he became Spider-Man ironically, but it was a pretty good adaptation of Ditko/Lee. Kept that same corny tone throughout much to it’s benefit.

    2 I consider one of the most overrated movies of all time. The way people speak about it you would think it’s DIE HARD. It’s not all that good. Peter Parker is very mopey and so is Dr. Octopus. Spider-Man’s greediest and most vile villain was made sympathetic. I hated that shit but the train fight was the best superhero movie fight before THE AVENGERS though. That much credit I do give it.

    3 was 3. But I was open for a reboot. They made a lot of mistakes in those movies that are easy to fix and part of that sad to say was casting the wrong guy as Spidey.

    The new movie is the other side of that coin they took one of Spider-Man’s most sympathetic villains and made him and insane and selfish looking bastard in that trailer. Which is what should’ve been done with Doc Ock. They at least picked a guy I could finally believe as Peter Parker/Spidey however. Gwen is the first girlfriend setting up what could be a superhero movie first in one of the sequels (well technically BATMAN did it but Rachel Dawes was a boring as fuck character). I’ll give it one thing the web swinging looks superior and it was very smart of them to go practical where they could. It just looks a bit too somber for Spider-Man though.

    The colors are too muted the world looks too stoic and not vibrant enough. I know TDK was an influence to Webb and I think Spidey is not the type of character for that treatment. I’ll give it a chance though I don’t think I’ll watch it opening weekend or anything. More than likely after I see TDKR. Webb and Garfield have some good will with me with through some of their other projects same with new Lindsay Lohan.

  702. I’m actually really, really excited for the new Spider-Man, I think it looks awesome

  703. Broddie, we are soul mates. We have exactly the same problems with SPIDER-MAN 2. Doc Ock was played for sympathy but I could tell he was still the egomaniacal supervillain. I thought Norman Osborne was sympathetic which is one of the big reasons I love the first SPIDER-MAN. Did everyone just forget about him?

    Broddie, do you also like all the parts where Aunt May explains what happened in SPIDER-MAN 1 all over again? Or just talks about what it means to be a hero?

    Also, SUPER POWERS DON’T GO AWAY JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT THEM ANYMORE. The story of quitting Spider-Manning is good. But give him the pressure of having to live with his powers anyway. He wants to be a goofy student but he still sticks to walls.

    But like SPIDER-MAN 2 or not, how did SPIDER-MAN one get the reputation for not being that good? Remember when it came out? It was like wow, Raimi finally did it. They put Spider-Man on screen and stayed true to the story and it was amazing. Then 2 comes along and it’s like, SPIDER-MAN was okay but SPIDER-MAN 2 is the real movie. We’re not talking TERMINATOR to T2 here.

    My favorite part of SPIDER-MAN though is when he first tries out his powers, so I’m looking forward to getting to see that part again. And I think Sally Field will be a way better Aunt May.

  704. You couldn’t pay me to give a shit. I’m all for a new SPIDER-MAN movie, but not a dark and dreary one, and the whole “Forget everything you thought you knew about X” plot is my least favorite kind of comic book story. They started doing it right around the time I stopped reading Spider-Man comics, too, like when they revealed that the Green Goblin had secretly raped Gwen Stacey back in the day and never felt the need to rub it in Spider-Man’s face until now. Keep moving forward, I say. These characters have survived so long because they keep having new stories told about them, not because they keep going back to the beginning every few years to make sure nobody gets confused.

  705. Also, the more of these reboots they do, the longer it will take for Marvel to get the rights back. And hasn’t the success of THE AVENGERS proved that what we really want is a unified cinematic Marvel universe where Spider-Man can swing by Avengers Tower when he gets in over his head?

  706. Mr M – I’m just going to pretend the new Spider Man is part of the other Marvel movie’s universe

  707. Mr. M – Oh God exactly, in regards to the secret stories shit. Reminds me of one Spider-Man story I read as a kid where turned out Peter Parker’s never-mentioned parents were traitorous spies (think Rosenbergs) who got executed, except they suddenly pop up back into Parker’s life. Then turned out his parents REALLY are dead, and those are robot imposters.

    This of course was the epoch when Spider-Man really really really got stupid. Prelude to the universally beloved clone saga where Spiderman was ALWAYS A CLONE!

    (Plus side, we got Venom and Carnage, that worked. But exceptions.)

  708. Fred – I actually don’t mind Aunt May in any of her scenes in the first movie. I even really love the infamous “Green Goblin crashes to the wall and torments Aunt May” scene because only in this kooky fantasy world could something like that happen and the guy in the glider ends up getting away.

    It was a great bit of the random campy theatricality of Raimi’s previous movies. Same with the scene where Goblin talks to Spider-Man on a roof and you can’t help but belt with laughter cause their masks aren’t really emotive. Those were nice quirks that went along way to making it a more entertaining movie than part 2 in my eyes.

    I do think that Dafoe’s Osborne doesn’t get enough credit when people look back on superhero movie villains. It’s awesome how he’s so genuinely interested in Peter and sees a kindred spirit at first. Then by the third act he has become batshit insane and given in to his darkest urges. It was really seeing him play 2 characters in Osborne and the Goblin and that scene where he’s speaking to himself and the Goblin finally takes control is just expertly played.

    More operatic yet more subdued than anything with Molina in part 2. The one thing I give part 2 credit for besides the train scene was Spider-Man riding an elevator. But yeah they dropped the ball in removing his powers. Would’ve been great to see him try to play Peter Parker in public but still have his coffee mug stay stuck to his hand and shit. He can’t hide who he is anymore no matter what. The contrivance of it all “whoops I willed my powers away” does ring very false.

    Mr. Majestyk – I’d love a Marvel universe where Spidey could swing over to the Baxter building for pot roast and call Daredevil “magoo” during a team up. Tis a shame.

  709. *Marvel movie universe

    But yeah fuck Fox and Sony for not reselling those rights back to Marvel. It’s not like they’re doing anything good with them.

  710. Griff – Imagine if Marvel had his rights back by now. You could’ve opened Spider-Man’s rebooted movieverse where this takes place months after the AVENGERS battle, and NYC is still trying to repair the damage. (think post-9/11.)

    Hell you would play in how Uncle Ben adored Captain America and related those stories to young Petey, or how science nerd Petey thinks Tony Stark is a rockstar god in science. Specifically comics always made a big deal of how CA was Spidey’s favorite superhero and how he practically nerdgasms in his presence.

    But oh well.

  711. I remember THE UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN was actually a pretty decent comic book series. So not every “You didn’t know this before” Spidey stories was the break. I was way out of buying those comics before that whole Sins Past thing though. JMS early issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN were enough to turn me away from Spider-Man for about a decade.

    It wasn’t till Dan Slott started writing and they compartmentalized the titles into one and killed the superflous ones that I dared get back into it. So far so good even though it does feel weird at times now that the marriage never happened.

  712. “comics always made a big deal of how CA was Spidey’s favorite superhero and how he practically nerdgasms in his presence. ”

    Best recent example of this:

    DAREDEVIL: I just came up with a new plan.

    SPIDER-MAN: I like it when Captain America says that. Fills me with confidence. You; not so much.

  713. Broddie I love the rooftop scene in SPIDER-MAN 1, that Raimi had the confidence to play it with all body language and have A-list actors (both Oscar nominated? Not sure) wear the costumes.

    I also felt for Norman Osborne. He was screwed over by his board so he made a desperate attempt to save his family business. Of course it corrupted him, that’s the mad scientist story, and the one I think Raimi really felt akin to. Doc Ock is a striking visual and Molina is a fabulous actor but kind of retreads the same ground.

    It was elevating Aunt May to Uncle Ben status in 2 that showed her weakness. She doesn’t have the gravitas or even basic wisdom. It’s shoehorning life lessons in there, but oh well, everyone thinks it’s the best superhero movie so let ’em have their fun.

  714. Yeah they overdid with Aunt May in the sequels. I think a t some points Peter learning on his own or some Uncle Ben flashbacks would’ve sufficed. Robertson was a great Uncle Ben and should’ve been used more in those movies even if deep inside to me he felt more like an Uncle Frank.

  715. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 6th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Quick morning post – Karlos, I don’t KNOW for certain that the film was deliberately cut to 12A, but it seemed glaringly obvious to me that either 1) they left stuff out, or 2) they were more interesting in getting thirteen-year-old bums on seats than making a “harder” Statham flick. I’m not going to damn the movie for what it wasn’t, but I definitely think it would’ve been better if it had been more willing to “let loose”. Like I said – safe by name, safe by nature.

    I won’t rehash my old, old points regarding the Raimi “Spiderman” movies, which I regard as so-bad-they’re-great in pretty much all three cases; but I’m kinda optimistic for the new one. After Nolan did such a good job with Batman I’m definitely open-minded about it. This isn’t a case of them remaking a classic that’s only ever been done once, like “The Thing” or “Halloween”. (Ha.) Spiderman is like Batman, more writers have had a go at him than parts of the bible. Why the heck not try and give the character a new twist?

  716. I was annoyed that they had all the indications of busting out Lizard Man and then reneging, so that’s one draw for the reboot.

    Are all the fucking Spider Man villains mad scientists? Jesus. How about, like, a serial killer with an alien in his blood to spice things up?

    My overarching opinion is that, people bitch and bitch about Hollywood being a wuss and just recycling material they know has a built in audience with sequels and reboots and shit. Well I gotta tell you this Spider Man thing is like, the be-all-end-all of that in my view. Maybe they’ll reboot The Avengers later this year huh?

  717. “Are all the fucking Spider Man villains mad scientists? Jesus. How about, like, a serial killer with an alien in his blood to spice things up?”

    renfield – I guess Carnage counts as that, a serial killer who gets absorbed by an alien symbiotic suit. Such a bad boy, even Spiderman and Venom have to team up to bring him down.

    “Maybe they’ll reboot The Avengers later this year huh?”

    That’s funny, because it’s so true.

    And I know me and Broddie nerd rant this and that, but I view formulas basically as this: Cliches persist because believe or not, sometimes they still work. Formulas work, and sometimes they don’t. (Just look at the 007 series for good examples of success/failure).

  718. CrustaceanHate

    May 6th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    One part of the Marvel U that sticks out like a sore thumb to me is the X-Men. I don’t see why anyone would be surprised by the existence of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil etc when there is a whole race of people running around with equally impressive super-powers.

  719. RRA, I certainly was making reference to the beloved Cletus Cassidy. Sarcasm and the internet, bleh.

    Carnage. Apocalypse. My two favorite comic book villains, my one undying source of nerd rage when they continually fail to show up in adaptations. I suppose Carnage is a bit gnarly for the usual Spidey tone.

    I mean, The Age of Apocalypse IS an X-Men reboot all wrapped up and good to go. I would squeal like the fucking fanboy I pretend not to be if some foreshadowing was made in a post-credits teaser.

  720. Gosh, I sure use the f-word a lot. Sorry.

  721. renfield – apologies.

    Yeah I’m with you totally on those villains, Apocalypse especially. He’s too good of a friggin villain to not utilize.

    I’m reminded of those swirling rumors of how Bryan Singer’s X-MEN sequels were gonna be until he quit the franchise. Remember them?

    If I remember right, X3 and X4 were to be filmed back to back. They would involve the Sentinels, the Hellfire club, maybe Apocalypse, hell even Cable perhaps. oh and of course expected payoff to the Jean Grey/Phoenix shit.

  722. Dude, Cable? Dude.

    I guess there are legit excuses for Apocalypse not showing up.

    1) It’s a massively ambitious undertaking

    2) He would test the limits of even modern computer graphics

    3) They’ve developed a whole scenario about what mutants are, what their plight is, etc, to which Apocalypse is sort of ancillary. I mean he’s this ancient godlike being and doesn’t really relate to the more political machinations of Magneto, Striker etc. He might not even be a mutant according to some theories (although this wasn’t a problem with Juggernaut). He almost needs his own trilogy to set up and resolve his shit. Especially if they go the Age of Apocalypse route.

    Whatever! He’s a great excuse for Magneto to team up with the X-Men because he has similar goals (mutant supremacy) but taken to such levels of demagoguery and hubris that Magneto will be forced to realize the analogue to the National Socialists and be like “fuck dat”. And it just needs a change in tone. How anticlimactic to go from Magneto to Striker…back to Magneto. To bring in Phoenix but NOT broaden the scope to not only mutants but essentially gods as well. Instead we got that horseshit about Level 3 mutants, midichlorian counts, whatever.

    I’m sure they’ll do it eventually; too much cash to be made, knumsayin?

  723. renfield – What? I only wrote what the rumors I remembered from back in the day. And we all know how truthful the Internet is.

    As for Magneto, I think deep down people want to like him. Yes he’s a dick, and a terrorist at that, but we can relate to that primal anger that turned him into what he is. We understand why he feels righteous in protecting his kind.

    One thing I’m surprised people back in the day with X2 didn’t point out is the fact that Magneto knew of the school and that peculiar student body, i.e. the HQ of his arch enemies. And only told by force against his will. So why didn’t he strike the Xmen earlier? He could’ve taken them by surprise like Stryker did.

    Asides from creative decisions and writing and all that shit, in that universe for that character…I like to think its because he has own moral code and limitations. Sure he’s willing to kill billions of normal humans, but he’s against attacking mutant kids even if they live with too goodie shoe naive mutants who get in his way.

    (Of course that doesn’t stop him from having members infiltrate the school with sabotage and Intel collecting.)

  724. Sandman wasn’t a scientist. He just wandered into a particle test site.

  725. RRA- “What? I only wrote what the rumors I remembered from back in the day. And we all know how truthful the Internet is.”

    I understood that. I was simply speculating on why Apocalypse never made it into an X-Men movie, putting forth my thoughts about why it would be badass, and acknowledging that it is probably inevitable that they will eventually do it.

  726. I haven’t seen any of the Raimi Spider Man flicks since they were in theaters, I mostly remember them as a collection of bizarre, unintentionally funny scenes like

    the Green Goblin scaring the shit out of aunt may while she’s praying and yelling “FINISH IIIIIIIIT!” and her saying “FROM EEEEEEEVIIIIIIIIIIL!”

    the “chocolate cake” scene in Spider Man 2 and the ‘OOH, HE STOLE THAT GUY’S PIZZA!!!” guy

    and of course the emo haircut and dancing in Spider Man 3, good God, that scene really was awful, I remember almost groaning during that sequence

    and don’t for get “how’s the pie? IT’S SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD”

    my point being, I’ve never had a strong desire to re-watch any of the Raimi Spider Mens because I’m betting they probably don’t hold up

    it’s ironic though, because I would say Darkman is one of the most underrated superhero flicks

  727. There’s no “unintentionally funny” in those scenes, Griff. This is Raimi, the guy who stuck a bunch of Three Stooges homages in his “ultimate exercise in grueling horror.” He’s been throwing ridiculous shit into his movies and daring audiences not to get the joke for decades. Looks like you got gamed.

  728. Did you guys hear that Cameron only wants to make AVATAR movies from now on?

    There goes my hopes for BATTLE ANGEL :(

  729. Broddie – Oh fuck that.

    Seriously, do any of the locals give a shit about an AVATAR sequel? I don’t. BATTLE ANGEL sounded intriguing.

    But alas…

  730. I do. I liked hanging out on Pandora. It was gorgeous to look upon, everybody flies pterodactyls and shit, and dudes in robot suits often show up and get their asses handed to them by sexy blue broads. And I hear the first sequel goes underwater. Given Cameron’s affection for deep sea diving, I’m betting that’s gonna be cool as fucking shit. But hey, “tired DANCES WITH SMURFS joke,” etc.

  731. Fred – How exactly do one simply “wander inte a particle test site”? Seriously, you would think
    it would be pretty fuckin hard to stumble into scientists secret shit without actually intensely looking for it but even then you´d be shot down with big lasers.

  732. Mr. M – ok you made a good point.

  733. James Cameron can do whatever the fuck he wants, and I’ll be glad to pay to see what that is.

    I’m just glad to be alive while he is operating at his creative-technological peak. AVATAR is no masterpiece, but it’s good enough and groundbreaking enough to remind me why I love Mr. Cameron as artist. I like him as explorer and documentarian, too.

  734. I’m looking forward to The Amazing Spider-man. I don’t really go the “too soon!” reaction to reboots. Maybe there’s something I’d feel that way about, but I think with superheroes at least it’s more apt. And from the last two trailers for it, it certainly feels very different to the Raimi efforts, more contemporary and I am pleased to see we’re getting a Spider-man who cracks self-aware jokes when he’s fighting crime.

    Raimi was clearly far too stuck in doing one particular era of Spider-man, hence his apparent stubborness in doing Venom, and then doing him so shittily. You can tell he doesn’t like the character because he’s the only villain that isn’t portrayed with any sympathy, even though “guy gets stuck with an insidious lifeform that corrupts him” should work for that. It just makes Eddie Brock a guy who wants to murder Peter Parker because Parker called him on his bullshit.

    There’s also a weird disconnect between Spider-man 2 and 3, where there was apparently no consequences for Peter Parker stealing his boss’s son’s girlfriend on her wedding day. Jameson doesn’t care at all. I had actually read that Eddie Brock’s role in the third movie was that he Jameson hired him to investigate Peter to find out why MJ did that. What happened to that?
    The biggest flaw of course of Raimi’s films is MJ. Does he really think this is a likeable character? Someone who’s so self-obsessed and hypocritical all the time, who think’s not being that successfull in her acting career is somehow more important that the shit a superhero goes through?

  735. Shoot, I wasn’t joking. That’s really how Sandman got formed.

    As a SPIDER-MAN 3 defender, here’s what I like about Brock/Venom. We’ve seen the sympathetic character get corrupted. What if someone who’s already a scheming douche gets power? That’s dangerous, and he’s only in the movie just long enough to touch on that and resolve it. I don’t care about the Venom legend but I think it worked in the story.

  736. In other news, PROMETHEUS has been rated R.

    *pops champagne*

    Alright! What a miracle. Let’s go party like its 1999. WOOOO!


  737. Is it okay if I just party like I’m a the Joker left unopposed in an art gallery?

  738. I’m glad he’s at least still doing documentaries and will continue using his wealth to help further science of the movie making and explorative kind. But it is disappointing in the sense that I think BATTLE ANGEL could’ve been his greatest movie ever.

    Some really insane cyberpunk all over that. I’d take that over AVATAR 4. A 2 & 3 will be enough for me when it comes to AVATAR and yes I can’t wait to see the underwater madness he comes up with over 20 years after THE ABYSS.

  739. Oh and way to go Ridley Scott. Tom Rothman has become the people’s coke snortin (just allegations) CEO as of late. First he steered the APES franchise back and left the filmmakers alone. Then he did that with an X-MEN movie that I will never see but everybody loves. What’s going on here?

  740. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a director intentionally and specifically limiting himself to just one subject into the indefinite future. I guess Pandora is well-developed enough that there’s plenty of other stories to tell, but just… why? I liked AVATAR ok and would probably see the sequels, but what does Cameron hope to gain by just playing with the same toys over and over? Doesn’t really make sense to me. Even Woody Allen finally left New York. Just sayin’.

  741. I don’t know what he actually said, but maybe all he meant was that it takes a long time to make an AVATAR movie, and since he plans on making at least two more of them, that’s pretty much the next decade of his life and he’s not thinking past that. He is like 60 years old, after all. He might feel like retiring at some point to enjoy his billions.

    Besides, what the hell else did Tolkien write that wasn’t set in Middle Earth? The man made this sandbox and he’s real proud of it. Let him play in it if that’s what he’s excited about. You can’t say he hasn’t earned it. Like Mouth said, James Cameron don’t owe anybody a fuckin’ thing.

  742. Broddie – Maybe its him or his underlings, but whoever it was saw the landscape and decided to either not underhand one of their supposed tentpole releases or molest it pointlessly.

    Of course same Rothman also greenlighted KNIGHT & DAY, a movie that tanked in America but was a big hit overseas (Fox’s biggest global hit that year, ironically) and….I liked it. The only local who did apparently. The dirty open secret though was K&D happened after a long convoluted development history because Rothman basically got Cruise and Diaz for dirt cheap prices (for Hollywood standards).

    “I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a director intentionally and specifically limiting himself to just one subject into the indefinite future.”

    Mr. S – George Lucas is on the phone.

  743. Yeah I don’t blame Iron Jim in the sense that if I had that much zeroes in my bank account I’d just settle on really living it up & doing other things besides just making movies all the time too. Life is too short.

  744. Here’s the quote BTW:

    “I’ve divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I’ve made two movies in 16 years, and I’ve done eight expeditions. Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the “Avatar” business. Period. That’s it. I’m making “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3,” maybe “Avatar 4,” and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts.

    And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the “Avatar” landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way.

    And anything I can’t say in that area, I want to say through documentaries, which I’m continuing. I’ve done five documentaries in the last 10 years, and I’ll hopefully do a lot more. In fact, I’m doing one right now, which is on this, the Deep Sea Challenge project that we just completed the first expedition. So that’ll be a film that’ll get made this year and come out first quarter of next year.”

  745. Mr. M – Cameron is a piece of shit and I can criticize his decline in scriptwriting, but I must admit, he forces one to admire his reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt.

    Besides those damn sequels will make a shitload of money despite alot of us not really nerding hard for them.

    Hell with TITANIC and AVATAR, Cameron established himself as a global brand-name that few can match. You all read the papers of when the TITANIC re-release in China grossed more on its opening weekend than it did in its entire run there back in the day. The same in Russia. That damn release did insane business overseas, compared to its domestic run.

    In short, he can blow millions and be Teddy Roosevelt on his dime and make us feel puny and timid in comparison.

  746. I’m very disappointed to hear he’s all but canceled Battle Angel as well, not that I mind Avatar sequels, but I was really hoping he would still find the time for Battle Angel

    the reason why is I just LOVE the idea of a huge grossing movie based on an anime/manga

    I just want us anime fans to have our day in the sun, just like Marvel comics fans are currently having, we almost had it with Speed Racer, but that flopped

    let me tell you guys, it’s tough to be an anime fan these days, not only are we totally left out of the “geek chic” circle (ya know, stuff like Doctor Who, comic books, zombies), but we also all have to sit back and watch as the whole American anime industry slowly but steadily collapses

    it wasn’t always this way, I seem to remember a period in the early to mid-00’s when it WAS cool to be into anime, but that time has passed and now it’s a legitimately nerdy hobby even among other nerds

  747. Bad news: Guillermo Del Toro has announced that his AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS movie is now dead because of PROMETHEUS.


  748. “the whole American anime industry”
    Is there such a thing? I thought it’s only truly anime if it’s Japanese-made? If you mean in terms of how prevalent it is in the west…The biggest barrier to me watching more anime(besides it rarely ever getting aired anywhere on tv. There was a shortlived anime channel, and the Sci Fi channel showed some stuff back in the day) was just how expensive the home video was. And the anime series I have watched, even the good stuff, does suffer from at least some padding at times that the question of value for money really contributed to my hesitation too.

  749. Stu – what I’m referring to is companies like Funimation, ADV (which is now deceased) and Geneon (ditto) that would release anime on dvd here in the states and dub them with English speaking voice actors

    Funimation is the only major company left in that business, there’s only a few other small ones left, most recently the USA branch of Bandai said they would stop releasing new series here

    what it all means is there could easily come a time when the only way to watch new anime in America would be to download it “fansubbed” on the internet, which is what most fans do anyway (and now you know why the industry collapsed), for someone like me that prefers anime dubbed (not that I wont watch an anime subtitled, I just prefer it when it has a good dub) it’s a shame

    the story as to why the American anime industry collapsed is a long and complex one, but what it all boils down to is internet piracy killed it, yeah there may have been other factors, but that was the main one, anime dvds were just too expensive and it was too easy to just download it for free, the anime companies were small, not gigantic titans like the movies studios and record labels, so piracy hit them a lot harder than most other entertainment industries

    what the anime world desperately needs right now is another huge hit on the level of Cowboy Bebop, something to bring in new fans, but like I said anime is no longer “hip” in America, not like thing like Doctor Who or Marvel comics or whatever, a hit Hollywood movie like Battle Angel would bring in new fans, but alas

    I think at the end of the day the main hurdle for anime and manga here is that it’s so foreign, it’s one thing for American comic books because that’s something most people can “get” even if they know nothing about it, but something like anime is an acquired taste that you have to have an open mind for and if it’s one thing most Americans aren’t, it’s open minded

    plus there’s also a more disturbing racial element to it, a lot of people who outright loathe anime culture take the attitude that any white fans of anime are “trying to be Japanese” just like white fans of rap and hip hop are “trying to be black”, as a matter of fact the derogatory term for anime fans “weeaboo” evolved from the term “Wapanese” which is like the term “Wigger”, because as we all know you’re only supposed to enjoy the things and culture that correspond to your own race

  750. I’m also very sad to hear AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is dead (although I always thought it sounded like something too good to be true), but maybe Del Toro will get another Lovecraft adaption off the ground one day?

  751. Griff – You know I’m a DOCTOR WHO fan and all, but how big is it really in the nerd world? At least in the states? I always got the impression that viewership has gone down after Tennant quit, but again I still thought in the states it was a cult fandom, not the mainstream nerd chic like Marvel and so forth?

    (Been a fan since I saw the McCoy reruns when the local PBS station played them as a kid. I guess those Whovians are right: You never forget your first Doctor.)

  752. I guess it’s one of those cultural phenoms. I could never get into Dr. Who it just never ever grabbed my attention. I only know about it’s existence because people on the internet always gush about it on movie websites. When it comes to a time traveling phone booth story the BILL & TED movies are good enough for me.

  753. Also I tried reading the BATTLE ANGEL ALITA mangas and found a lot of it too tedious. I’m just too used to western comic sensibilities I guess. Same with anime; I just can’t bear with 90% of the ones I’ve tried to watch since the early 90’s. However a lot of the concepts from BATTLE ANGEL ALITA were fucking awesome and I could only imagine what someone with the imagination and resources of James Cameron could do with that. It’s really too bad.

  754. RRA – Doctor Who I would say is pretty damn big here, for one thing my hipster cousin has a tattoo of the TARDIS on her leg and the other day I actually saw a table in my local book store with a sign that said “geek chic” and the merchandise included stuff like Doctor Who T-shirts, a toy of his sonic screwdriver thing, George RR Martin books, Marvel comics and Walking Dead comics

    Broddie – I haven’t read the Alita manga or seen any of the anime, but just the idea of James Cameron making a movie based on anything anime and manga related was very exciting, it’s a shame…

  755. Good article by Fred about problems with 3D glasses:


    I sometimes listen to the podcast Doug Loves Movies (although it’s kinda frustrating to listen to when you legitimately do love movies. It’s mostly comedians who watch shitty movies on airplanes). The host Doug Benson hates 3D and is always complaining about wearing the glasses. I could never figure out why he was making such a big deal about wearing glasses, like it was some impossible task. Then I read an article about different types of 3D projection systems and found out the Arclight, where he watches alot of those movies, has the big ass battery powered goggles, as opposed to the lightweight plastic sunglasses they have around here.

    I think they were trying to have what they thought would be the highest quality 3D, but didn’t realize it was gonna cause problems when the glasses wear out. They got sold a bill of goods just like all the directors who have been convinced that using fake 3D is as good as making a 3D movie. Combining fake 3D with broken glasses can have disastrous results like the Avengers press screening Fred describes. Too bad.

  756. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 8th, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Yuck, not this again.

    I have never watched a movie in 3D.

    I probably will never watch a movie in 3D.

    I don’t get what it’s supposed to add to the experience. I’ve been to Universal Studios, where they have what are essentially 3D fairground rides. They’re a fun novelty for five or ten minutes.

    To watch an entire movie that way… no thanks. I don’t want to wear some contraption over my head so stuff can “jump out” at me.

    Allowing for the fact that I haven’t experienced a movie in 3D, I don’t see, even theoretically, what it could add to the moviegoing experience. Look, as misused as they often are, I can understand what shakycam or slow-mo or lens filtering can add to a film when they are correctly applied. I’ve seen examples of that. I don’t for the life of me understand what 3D is supposed to do, even if it works perfectly, which apparently it rarely does.

    Come back to me when they have photo-realistic holograms. Then we’ll talk.

  757. Paul, it’s not complicated. Shit flies out of the screen at your face and looks kind of neat. 3D is awesome when done well. Most of the time it’s not. Go see a couple good and bad ones and then maybe you can contribute to the conversation. Right now you’re the guy who’s never had a drink telling me why all beer sucks.

  758. Maurice Sendak died today. Granted he was 83, but still.

  759. oh man! what’s up with all the bummer deaths lately?

  760. Griff – It’s Death being a dick. “Your childhood?!? fuck it!” *evil laugh*

  761. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 8th, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Majestyk – I’m not interested in wearing underpants on my head in the cinema either, do I have to do that in order to find out that all you get is laughed at?

    I’m not criticising 3D because of the execution. I don’t KNOW about the execution. I suspect the execution could be spot-on perfect and all you’d get for it is stuff flying in your face for two hours, which to me seems like a pretty good definition of a spoiled visit to the cinema. It sure as hell isn’t something I’d ever pay money for.

    I’m criticising it because the whole concept of watching a movie in 3D seems to make about as much sense to me as the concept of listening to music in smell-o-vision. I don’t “get” it. I don’t know why anybody would want it. To me it seems just stupid. Did you see that reality TV program about a young black guy who disguised himself as an elderly white war veteran for three weeks, finally appearing to his own wife in the disguise, and the wife was just like “WHY?” in utter and complete bafflement that he’d do this? That’s pretty much my entire view of watching movies in 3D!

  762. Here’s a suggestion: Go see a 3D movie. In about two hours, give or take, you will have an informed opinion on the pros and cons of the 3D process. It seems way more efficient than writing epic paragraphs about how you just don’t get it and you don’t understand why anyone else gets it and no, you don’t want to get it because there’s nothing to get and anyway I get it just fine. Unless you’re proud of your willful ignorance, in which case, fine, keep spouting off about something you have no experience of. Lord knows it’s oh so very interesting for the rest of us to read about.

  763. I have to concur with my associate Maj here.

    I’ve been through enough 3-D movies, specially post-converted jobs, to give something of an informed opinion on it.

  764. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve only subjected myself to the ones with good 3D like AVATAR and TOY STORY 3. Only had to endure through one post conversion with THOR. Which was adequate considering it was a post-conversion but nowhere near as good as the other two movies I listed.

  765. We’ve already established here that STEP UP 3D is awesome, so any complaining about 3D movies when you haven’t seen STEP UP 3D is automatically interpreted as twisted jealousy of a great cinema experience you missed.

    Same can be said for CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS 3D. As a huge fan of Herzog’s 2011 doc efforts (no, I haven’t yet seen ECSTATIC TRUTH: PORT OF CALL DEATH ROW), Paul, you probably shouldn’t shit on half his chosen filmatistic medium of that year.

    I’m also a fan of what the childhood-rapists recently did to LION KING and BEAUTY & THE BEAST. They raped those awesome movies in a way that made foreground stuff stick out a little from background stuff. It looked good and made the flat, less colorful essence of the 1990s animation style seem more lively and engaging, especially the opening shots of Simba’s birth and the parts involving the magic rose in Beast’s castle.

  766. “Yeah, I’m a virgin, but I just don’t understand why anyone would want to go near a vagina. I mean, yuck!”

  767. Mouth – Damn I almost forgot all about CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS 3D; that was a pretty badass use of the 3rd dimension for sure.

  768. I didn’t see those particular 3D Disney reissues, but I will broadly agree with Mouth in how well done the 3-D was for the NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS reissue. That impressed me.

    Your jab at Paul reminds me of the lyrics from “Head.”

    But I just a virgin And I’m on my way to be
    But you’re such a hunk
    So full of spunk,
    I’ll give you Head
    Til you’re burning up
    Til you get enough
    Til you’re love is red

    ~If you’re horny, don’t jerk it. Write songs instead! Thus how the Prince fortune began.

  769. Okay Paul, no more 3D talk. You already said you’ve never seen one. Move on to a topic you got something on.

  770. Sorry, maybe you already moved on. I was catching up with all the comments since yesterday.

  771. Just found out about these:
    awesome idea

  772. Early reviews for DARK SHADOWS are coming in, and they’re gravely.

    Of the media outlets so far, Variety, Village Voice, AP and THR all didn’t like it. And even the few “positive” reviews aren’t exactly encouraging.

    I hope the movie doesn’t suck.

  773. Correction: RT has Todd Mccarthy’s (THR) review as a “pan,” yet reading it now it reads positive.

    My bad.

  774. I think 3D is making directors forget that cinema is still a constructed illusion. Scorsese says we see the world in 3D so we should see movies that way. Scorsy, we don’t see the world in cuts between different camera angles or with four 2.35:1 or 1.85:1 edges. Showing a movie in 3D is no more an approximation of life than 2D.

    NOw guys, when they do throw stuff out at you, how close does it actually get to your face. Does it come right up to the seat in front of you? Because I still only see it maybe coming out to the first row, just a little outside of the screen. Though indidnsee the new Spiderman trailer in 3D and it looked like his leg came out of the screen pretty far.

    Thank you for the shoutout Vern. That was a heavily researched and labor intensive article and I wanted to make it about a bigger picture than just a critic whining about 3D.

  775. Fred! Cung Le! Awesome!

    that was a poem I think

  776. Fred, you’re right, most 3D doesn’t come out as far as I’d like. I think most filmmakers think taking advantage of the eye-popping power of the medium to be distracting or gimmicky, in the way that flagrantly giving people their money’s worth often is, so they go with the classy, money-wasting “Make it look like a diorama” effect, where the picture goes into the screen but not out into the audience. Exceptions: A few shots in MY BLOODY VALENTINE, the entirety of JACKASS 3D (God bless ’em), and a revival of Vincent Price’s HOUSE OF WAX that I saw in 2000 that remains the benchmark for immersive 3D. The paddleball guy seriously made you want to duck so he wouldn’t put your eye out.

  777. Fred Topel – reminds me of that recent Nolan interview where he said 3-D was pointless to him because 2-D movies in themselves are naturally 3-D. And I think he’s right.

    3-D can be fun, and I thought it was well done in a handful of occassions (AVATAR, HUGO, ANBC) but no matter how well it’s cooked or pulled off, it can’t escape itself from what it is, what its always been, and probably ever will be: A gimmick.

    Still even if 3-D is a racket that’s apparently here to stay despite the reality, well at least it gives the machine an excuse to re-release the old classics. Do I have to see JURASSIC PARK on the big screen in 3-D? No, but it’ll be fun regardless.

    (when that T-Rex eats that lawyer off the toilet, it’s like he’s eating an innocent person right there in front of you!)

  778. I just wanted to say that I’m shocked that Griff prefers watching dubbed anime.


  779. Breaking Newz! NO HOLDS BARRED finally coming to DVD in July.


  780. Just read an amazing story about a Japanese solider who, tasked with engaging in guerilla warfare in the Philippines during WWII, never realized the war was over and continued to fight on alone for 30 fucking years. Someone’s got to make this movie. To me, it looks like it’s got John Boorman written all over it.

    Story at the link below…


  781. Happy Birthday! Wolfenstein came out 20 years ago today.


  782. I’m in favor of 3D martial arts. Is Tom Yum Goong 3D still happening?

    I saw JACKASS and BLOODY VALENTINE 3D and still didn’t get any in your face shots. I think my eyes know the screen is at least 50 feet away from me so nothing can come that close. Even the theme park rides like T2 and MUPPETS don’t come all the way out any more and I know those used to work when I was younger. But I can tell when stuff is further out, it’s definitely protruding.

    The proceneum thing is bullshit though. Anything behind the screen is pointless. That stuff already looks 3D in 2D. The only thing 3D can add is the stuff on our side of the screen. But martial artists kicking ass in real space would be something.

    I did see PIÑA in 3D and noticed the choreography using depth more than left to right. I guess it was like STEP UP 3D in that way.

  783. Does anybody live in or near Toronto? I’ll be there for a day or two, by the end of next week/the beginning after next and try to find a theatre where either THE RAID, DETENTION or something else kick ass runs. Anybody wants to meet me there?

  784. Knox Harrington

    May 10th, 2012 at 6:29 am

    I just heard that Kurt Russell dropped out of Django Unchained.

    What the fuck?

  785. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 10th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    You guys get that I’ve seen stuff in 3D, right? Just not a full movie? And that five-ten minutes or it was enough for me?

    Ok Vern, I’m done.

  786. Know Harrington – On the plus side all of his character’s most important beats were transferred over to the character Walton Goggins is playing. That’s a fair exchange I think.

  787. Correction: James Cameron tells AICN that BATTLE ANGEL will still happen, just not for awhile.

    Coming summer 2030!


  788. WOO-HOO!!!

    I have to look into my 28 year later calendar and make sure I have a spot clear for that event.

    Seriously though I’m glad that he’s still into it. It really does have potential to be his best movie ever. Cameron as a more accomplished and seasoned filmmaker returning to cyberpunk so many years after getting his start in cyberpunk; man it’s like when Ridley decided to return to sci-fi.

  789. The Poster for Van Damme’s new film SIX BULLETS.


  790. Okay, so yesterday I decided to close a gap in my 80’s action movie knowledge and finally watched RED DAWN and you know what? I hated it.
    The premise is pretty interesting. Not just the WWIII scenario, but also the boys-have-to-become-killers part of it. It’s just that after the great opening (Less than five minutes into the movie and the big invasion already starts!!), the rest of the story is told in the most boring way! No suspense, no excitement, just an endless montage of kids, who I couldn’t tell apart (except Swayze and Sheen), either moping in the woods or shooting guns and rocket launchers at anonymous bad guys, who are most of the time just helpless cannon fodder.
    Sorry, but this is a “classic”, that I really can’t get behind.

  791. Knox: “I just heard that Kurt Russell dropped out of Django Unchained.”
    That’s the second actor (Costner went first) with some rather right wing views on the world that drops out of that role. Is Quentin making them do or say things they feel uncomfortable with, do you think?

    CJ, I could have told you so.

  792. RED DAWN is one of those “You had to be there” kind of things. When you’re eight years old and the Soviet Union is the world’s boogeyman, it doesn’t feel like right-wing propaganda; it feels like a documentary sent back in time from a few years in the immediate future. That opening scene was so shocking and powerful. All me or my friends could talk about after we saw it was the shot of the dead kid with his eyes still open. They killed a kid! This was unheard of, but that’s what made it feel real. We knew that when the shit went down, we wouldn’t be excluded. RED DAWN respected us kids as people. The rest of the movie has its up and downs (mostly downs), but what made an effect on us was the body count of the heroes. Since it was PG-13 (a brand-new rating none of our parents understood), it lived in a gray area between teen and adult fare, so for many of us it was our first exposure to the idea that kids could die violently, too. (Horror films didn’t count since all those “teenagers” seemed like grownups to us.) I’ve seen it a few times since then and it’s an okay (if leadenly paced) action drama, but it’ll never feel as real and powerful as it did when I was eight years old and convinced World War III was on its way.

    God, I miss those days.

  793. I haven’t seen Red Dawn since 2003, so my memory is not the freshest on it, but I remember enjoying it, it’s politics may be iffy, but in this day and age it’s interesting as an alternate history “what if” scenario

    renfield – sorry man, what can I say? I first started watching anime dubbed and it just kind of stuck with me

    but keep in mind, like I said I don’t mind watching anime subtitled in the least and for some anime I quite prefer it, but others have such amazing dubs (like Cowboy Bebop and R.O.D The TV) that I couldn’t imagine watching them subtitled

  794. I have to point out: My dislike for RED DAWN has nothing to do with its politics, just with the movie itself being a boring mess.

  795. I get you, CJ. It’s not exactly a thrill ride, that’s for sure. I’m just saying it didn’t feel boring back then. It was scary as shit. That’s where its classic status came from.

  796. “renfield – sorry man, what can I say? I first started watching anime dubbed and it just kind of stuck with me

    but keep in mind, like I said I don’t mind watching anime subtitled in the least and for some anime I quite prefer it, but others have such amazing dubs (like Cowboy Bebop and R.O.D The TV) that I couldn’t imagine watching them subtitled”
    I prefer it dubbed too because there seems to be a lot more variety in the types of voices, whereas when I watch subbed, I just hear the same bunch of archetypes over and over(e.g. the 18 year old girl who sounds 11, the slightly whiney hero, the laid back laconic cool guy, the husky voiced woman in her 30s, the gruff middle aged guy). Also it just makes more contextual sense when watching things set in america or in the case of HELLSING the uk, to have voice actors trying for an approximation of the accents.

  797. I’m not trying to take away the feeling you had as an 8 year old, Majestyk, but even back then you must have wondered why the mighty Soviet Union seemed to have only one helicopter and could be beaten by a bunch of kids?

  798. There’s a similar repetition going on in the dubs too though, right? I mean I know Spike Spiegel and Mugen are voiced by the same bro, whereas their V.O.’s are totally different in Japanese. I know the American dude who does their voices is considered one of the greats but damn, I feel like you don’t know those characters if you haven’t heard their “real” voices. But I guess I have my prejudice just as y’all have yours.

    I dunno, I mean really anime is such a visual medium, and if you’re spending half the time reading text at the bottom of the screen you’re probably missing out on a bunch. And I do feel you guys on those Japanese audio stereotypes, although I would argue they have their dub counterparts as well. For example there’s the Speed Racer/Tetsuo voice that always happens that sounds like a fucking kid, like they can’t convince themselves in the U.S. that some anime is actually for adults. Also they have to talk fast, since Japanese is a more compact language (rarely using pronouns etc). And I truly love a few of the original voice actors, such as Megumi Hayashibara who does the voices of Paprika and Faye Valentine.

    But yeah, once you really go balls-deep into anime and start watching a bunch of the less-than-5-star material, a lot of the cliches can get really grating, not just in the V.O.’s but in the production-line drawings, rote characterizations, etc. Corny credit themes. All that.

  799. BTW, the one thing that made me laugh during RED DAWN, was the opening crawl. More specific the blurb about the German Green Party. If the remake has something like that too, I hope they change it to the Pirate Party.

  800. pegsman: I think I rationalized that by assuming that this type of thing was going on all over the country, so the occupying force of a little middle-of-nowhere spot like the one the movie was set in was not going to be as well-equipped as the forces stationed in a big city. Picturing all the big battles going on offscreen was definitely part of the interactive viewing experience that you had to have with movies back before you could just CGI in all the epicness you could dream up.

    I did wonder how all these planes and tanks and shit managed to get all the way from Russia to a landlocked state without anyone noticing. Did the Canadians sell us out? Is there no end to their treachery? It wasn’t bad enough when they foisted Jim Carrey on us?

    So yeah, RED DAWN: not a great movie, but a great memory.

  801. I thought you guys were talking about Rescue Dawn and was trying to figure out what the fuck all these comments meant…

  802. On a whole different topic: There are two IMAX theatres in Toronto. Is at least one of them a real one? Does anybody know? I don’t want to pop my IMAX cherry, just to find out afterwards, that I went to a smaller sized fake IMAX one.

  803. Fair enough. It was more “realistic” than Invasion USA, anyway. And they did lock up Harry Dean Stanton early on, so I guess their guard were pretty low.

  804. Are you kidding? If anything, INVASION USA is TOO realistic. I think it was irresponsible of the filmmakers to show step-by-step how a dozen guys with two pick-up trucks and a bazooka could take over the state of Florida over the course of a long weekend. I’m surprised there haven’t been any copycats.

  805. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 13th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Just saw “Headhunters”, the Norwegian-language thriller, at the arts cinema. It’s pretty good. Sort of a cross between “Matchstick Men” and “Terminator 2” in that it starts as a con-artist movie and then morphs into a man-chased-by-an-invincible-killing-machine movie later on. It works because of its star, Aksel Hennie, absolutely sells the “short insecure man as reluctant protagonist”. The antagonist – whose identity I won’t spoil here, as it’s largely kept secret for the first third of the movie or so – is a genuinely scary figure, more T-1000 than Anton Chigurh, without a great deal in the way of character but then he or she doesn’t really need it.

    Don’t have too much else to say other than it wasn’t, to me, as good as “Silence”, the last foreign-language film I saw, but it’s definitely worth looking out for if you’re looking for a tense thriller. I wouldn’t say it’s the best one I’ve seen this year but it had me gripped most of the way through, which is 90% of what I want from a movie of this type.

  806. I’m interested in HEADHUNTERS, primarily because, as a short man, I find that although many of our finest movie stars are similarly lacking in altitude, there are very few movies in which their height is not elided over entirely, thanks to judicious use of camera angles/apple boxes for them to stand on. However, the different promotional stills I’ve seen have made it difficult to ascertain exactly what type of movie it is:


    Chilly, cerebral Scandinavian-style psychothriller




    I guess some combination of the two would be pretty ideal.

  807. And it actually is a cross between those two. The best Norwegian thriller, perhaps ever (thrillers aren’t our strongest genre). Recommended viewing. It is rumored that Hennie has a role in A Good Day to Die Hard, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.

  808. I mentioned an essay Guillermo wrote on Mother’s Day in that thread but couldn’t find it, meantime I did find his top 10 Criterions:


    Ashamed to say the only two I’ve seen are the Gilliam pictures. What a noob.

  809. Stu – it’s also very appropriate in R.O.D The TV because in the second half they introduce a bunch of British characters who in the dub are voiced by Real British Actors!tm

  810. I like the random fascinating shit you find on YT.


    ~Considering how networks were infamous for trashing shit to make space, for historical curiosity’s sake we’re lucky that this didn’t get chucked like the original Moon landing tapes or endless DOCTOR WHO seriasl and so forth.

  811. well guys, Bioshock Infinite, not only one of my most anticipated game of 2012, but one of my most anticipated games of all time…

    has been delayed from October of this year to FEBRUARY of NEXT year

    this news hit me like a damn punch to the gut

    just had to vent….

  812. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 14th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Griff – I feel your pain, dude. I was hoping they’d recapture some of the magic of the first two-thirds of the first game, and the trailers looked good.

  813. Just saw Rosemary’s Baby for the first time. Am I crazy, or was it supposed to be some kind of weird pun when Farrow keeps calling her unborn child, “Adrian or Ginny” … you know, like, “Androgyny”? Am I crazy, or was that intentional?

  814. for some reason I find the Asian guy at the end of Rosemary’s Baby yelling “Hail Satan!” hilarious

    anyway I am pleased to announce folks that I finally finished Seagalogy

  815. Well I saw DARK SHADOWS, and unfortunately it sucks. I was gravely disapointed for this screenplay was terribly unfocused, coffin and hacking up plots upon plots with no payoff. A few laughs* but overall shocking deaf tone in the mixture of humor and thrills. Was this really from the same director of BEETLEJUICE, which had bite?

    And…umm…shit I’m out. Majestyk, anybody care to pinch hit with another corny morbid pun?

    In short, you know what DS’ basic problem is? If AVENGERS worked because it was little plot but overfilled with storytelling, DARK SHADOWS had little storytelling but overfilled with fucking plots.

    It reminds me really of COWBOYS & ALIENS, another big summer release with a bigass budget, good cast, respectable enough director behind it, lots of SFX, etc. And just like C&A, DARK SHADOWS isn’t technically a bad movie. It’s just offensively mediocre. At least with real turkeys, we can crack jokes about them in retrospect.

    Skip it. The Christopher Lee and Alice Cooper cameos, brief joys as they are, aren’t worth it. Easily worst Depp/Burton collaboration yet. (Think about that statement for a moment.) I fully expect this movie to drop hard next weekend, 70% give or take.

    I never was the biggest Burton fan/admirer but I’ll admit he for a time did make movies I liked. But now he’s alot like way too many pop star legends who in later years produce work derivative of their greatest hits, if with lesser returns. In a way using that analogy, Burton does remind me of a former associate of his: Prince.

    *=I’ll admit, I did kinda giggle at the Depp scene with the hippies. Didn’t end as I expected (Seth McFarlane would’ve gone there.) [SPOILER!!!] I mean guy smokes pot, gets the munchies, eats the hippies.

  816. Hell I’m surprised the scriptwriters didn’t include a scene of Depp trying to fight his hunger by going to an AA meeting. “Hello, and I’m here because I drink too much.”


  817. Griff – Sorry to hear about BIOHOCK INFINTE, its hard when shit you look forward to is being pushed,personally the most anticipated release this year for me is RATCHET & CLANK HD COLLECTION and there will be hell to pay if those games gets pushed.

  818. thank you ShootMcKay, time moves fast for me, so I guess 9 months is not THAT long of a wait, but still, October felt right around the corner…

    also I decided to skip Dark Shadows, it looks like I made the right choice

    Tim Burton man…..why did that guy lose his mojo so hard?

  819. “Easily worst Depp/Burton collaboration yet. (Think about that statement for a moment.)”


    The television series is up on Netflix Instant if anybody’s interested.

  820. I saw THE LOSERS this morning and I pretty much liked it, except for the fact that it included every cliche of modern DTV action movies, in terms of story and look (Avid farts included).
    But it was very entertaining, had a great cast and the last scene with Jason Patric cracked me up.

  821. Knox Harrington

    May 15th, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Yeah, my love for The Losers has been well documented. One of those movies that I, for some reason, can’t be objective about. Just love it, warts and all.

    I know that it’s popular these days to say that we don’t believe in the concept of a “guilty pleasure”. Tarantino’s attitude that if you love a movie, you simply love it, no guilt necessary.

    But I do believe in the idea of a guilty pleasure. I have so many of them. Barbarella and Supergirl and Kickboxer and Soldier and The Phantom. Actually, The Phantom is too damn good to be a guilty pleasure.

    I dunno, it’s a fine line and it’s kinda vague what constitutes a guilty pleasure and what doesn’t. For instance, I see They Live as a guilty pleasure, but The Thing I see as a stone cold classic. Guess it has something to do with the quality of the performances, the production design, the film’s structure, form and logic, etc.

    Somewhere in the combination of all those factors, I make my own irrational distinction between “good” and “guilty pleasure”.

  822. There ARE guilty pleasures, but unfortunately most people apply this label to stuff, which isn’t bad enough to feel guilty about it (Like everything you listed above.) We need a better name for those acknowledging-its-flaws-pleasures.

  823. I think a guilty pleasure is a movie that you enjoy despite it being representative of something you hate, i.e., a genre, a particular star’s oeuvre, etc. Around here, our guilty pleasures are not going to be middling but amusing action flicks like THE LOSERS, because it is part of our established critical identity that we’re into that kind of thing. Our guilty pleasures are going to be more along the lines of mainstream Oscar bait, indie dramadies, romantic comedies, etc. As multifaceted individuals, there’s no reason to feel guilty for liking representatives of these genres, but since we make fun of that kind of shit all the time, it can be hard to own up to.

  824. Jareth Cutestory

    May 15th, 2012 at 7:03 am

    CJ: THE RAID is playing in Toronto at the AMC Dundas theater (Toronto’s version of Times Square at Yonge and Dudas). Apparently TITANIC 3D is playing on that cinema’s Imax screen at the moment. Don’t let the annoying tourists and shoppers bother you: the theater is actually pretty quiet once you get up off the street.

    THE RAID is also making the rounds at some repertory theaters like the Revue Theater in the west end if you feel like straying in to the rep circuit.

    There’s a few Imax screens in downtown Toronto, particularly at the Scotiabank cinema south of Queen Street on John St. I think DARK SHADOWS is playing there in Imax at the moment. All the big stadium cinemas in the outlying areas like Mississauga and Scarborough have at least one Imax screen.

    Oh yeah, tomorrow night is del Toro’s last “master class” at the TIFF Theater. He introduces his favorite Hitchcock movies with an hour long lecture, then follows the screening with a Q&A. I think tomorrow is NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

  825. Yeah, I saw that with THE RAID. I hope it’s still playing there this weekend/Monday. (I’m not in Toronto yet) It definitely comes in pretty handy, because I found a nice stay not too far away from there. (Well, I don’t know if it’s nice, but it’s cheap, close to the entertainment district and to the train station, which I have to use on Tuesday.)
    But about these IMAX screens: Are those real ones or just those slightly bigger screens, that IMAX licenses and try to pass off as “The IMAX experience”?

  826. Jareth Cutestory

    May 15th, 2012 at 7:40 am

    The Imax screen at the Scotiabank theater is definitely real Imax. I saw the third MATRIX there and it was like seeing the movie projected onto the side of a skyscraper. It was very loud, and apparently they use the goggles for 3D screenings. That theater isn’t far from where you’re staying, and it’s a trendy neighborhood, so there’s stuff to look at en route.

    A buddy told me that all the AMC Imax screens are actually retrofits; the projection equipment isn’t the problem, it’s that the theater wasn’t built to accommodate it properly. They just ripped out the first few rows of a conventional theater, so you have to choose your seat wisely. He calls them liemax.

  827. Cool, thanks for the info, man. I don’t spend much time in Toronto (not to mention that one of the days seems to be a holiday), but I will use it wisely. (With watching THE RAID and whatever plays on the IMAX screen. Even if it’s in 3D. Maybe IMAX 3D works better for me.)

  828. Jareth Cutestory

    May 15th, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Yeah, it’s a Canadian thing, honoring a dead queen with a crappy fireworks show. But it won’t limit your theater options. There might be more people watching THE RAID with you, which might make the film more enjoyable.

    On the streets, Torontonians tend to disappear on that particular weekend if the weather is good; it’s the first occasion after winter go up to their cottages, blithely ignoring everything they’ve learned from the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies.

  829. Knox Harrington

    May 15th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Personally, I can’t define a film as a guilty pleasure because of its genre, because there simply aren’t any genres that I actively dislike (even though we have our preferences). I’m mostly concerned with the movie’s form and content, so if that aspect of it is top-notch, I’m there.

    For me a movie is usually a guilty pleasure when I find the filmmaking a little off, but it still somehow entertains or interests me. I didn’t like the directing and editing in Man On Fire, but was still engaged because of Denzel’s presence and the simple man-on-a-mission story.

    Hell, I rewatched Domino a few times simply because I like staring at Keira Knightley and seeing her share the screen with Mickey Rourke.

  830. I can’t ever call anything a guilty pleasure. I either like it or I don’t but I don’t find any shame in admitting it. As Majestyk said true most of us here at least aren’t shameful about enjoying anything no matter how low brow it might be.

    Which is why I love this community to bits. But even if there is good oscar bait out there which I’m usually never really into I’ll champion the fuck out of it with no guilt in mind if it’s something I truly feel is worth seeing.

    I mean I still really enjoy WHEN HARRY MET SALLY even though I also enjoy some of Billy Blanks’ movies and I could easily admit to either with a straight face. I think feeling guilty about something like that is just synonymous with insecurity and insecurity is something that just isn’t in my DNA anymore. Not since I left my teenage years over a decade ago.

  831. Jareth Cutestory

    May 15th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Oh, I’m totally ashamed of my love for Ace of Base’s first record. The guilt is crippling. I feel unworthy of the Public Enemy records I own. Seriously, there ought to be medication for that, or at least a support group.

  832. I got way more guilty pleasures in music than any other art form, but none of them are the kind of cheesy pop and rock songs everybody else feels guilty about. Hell, I love that shit. My guilty pleasures are twee indie songs about feelings, occasionally with a breathy female singer who never enunciates. I’m generally against that kind of navel-gazing, but goddammit, sometimes it just sounds real nice and sweet. I’m not proud of it, but a man can’t rock all the time.

  833. Hey hey I never owned that album so I never heard it in it’s entirety but the singles still hold up pretty well to this day as good pop music. Maybe I’m biased cause I will always remember being like 11 and giving my first hickey to a girl in miami beach while that song DON’T TURN AROUND played on repeat throughout the whole session but really there has been far worse music out there.

  834. Jareth Cutestory

    May 15th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Broddie: At least you’ve got an excuse. Fuckin’ Ace of Base crept up on me when I was a fully grown adult who listened to Sonic Youth and Pixies. Honestly I should have known better.

    At least I can enjoy my other guilty pleasure, Technotronic, in peace because no one remembers who they are.

    I can also enjoy the mental image of Majestyk humming Camera Obscura songs (maybe “Teenager”) while harvesting his watermellons. (Actually, there’s no shame there at all. The Camera Obscura girl has a wonderfully disarming way of singing.)