Blog Posts

Patreon – Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe 8

Join me as I watch Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe Chapter Eight: “The Fiery Abyss”.
Tune in next week for Chapter Nine “The Pool of Peril”!

We also get a question from Emily and find out what those Rock Dudes were talking about in that last episode!

Enjoy the film and thank you for the continued support!

Ralph-

Watch exclusively at Patreon.com/casinoskunk

Blog Posts

Patreon – Look Before You Leap

LookLeapUpdate.jpg

Episode 56 – Update Episode! On the show I talk about what has been going on in my life, The  Cricket Audio Comic, VHS Dude, Kaiju Podcast, the upcoming Mandalorian shows, new Patreon tiers and guest hosting on other podcasts.

In other words, it’s just me talking to you for about a half hour about stuff!

Thanks again for your support and I will be back soon with more shows!

Ralph-

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN

Blog Posts

Patreon “Everyone Gets a Vote!”

First Time Voter
Back in October, I had taken all of the money you gave to the Patreon page that month and passed it along to UNICEF for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. I have decided that I want to do it again for the month of July.

The reason I chose UNICEF, was because of my love of Roger Moore and his work for the organization. This time around I want to put the charity of choice into your hands! Please pick the one that you would prefer below.

I have also added a choice to suggest your own charity! Simply respond in the comments on Patreon and I can add it to the mix!

The Poll ends on June 30th at 11:38pm! I would love it if you could send or Tweet this to friends, so that they can help choose!

Thanks again for all of the support and I will have a new episode coming on Monday or Tuesday!

Ralph-

TAKE THE POLL!!!

Blog Posts

UPDATE!

CSBANNER

Hello Everyone,

Long time no blog. Here is what is going on!

Alright, Let’s do a Podcast – As of this post, Kevin and I are 134 episodes deep into the podcast. Shows are coming less frequently, but that’s isn’t due to a lack of interest, it’s mostly due to scheduling.

Kaiju Podcast – You probably already know this, but Jorge and I are 11 episodes deep on a new podcast about giant monsters. We have already recorded 23 episodes which will continue to show up on Podcast Feeds every other week!

Dharmalars – I’m still trying to find time and space to upload the missing episodes of the Dharmalars.

It Came from the VCR – VHS Dude’s popularity continues to grow! Thanks in part by friends on GoFundMe, I was able to purchase a new computer. Along with the new computer, I have also purchased new capture hardware that will allow me to get better looking footage. That being said, I am currently ripping and editing the It Came from the VCR mix tape. It’s tough, and may take a while, but I am hoping to have it done by the end of the year.

I am also trying to get things started for an It Came from the VCR internet review show starring VHS Dude. I am so close to getting that into production.

Patreon – I have created a Patreon for some reason. I am hoping to come up with some sort of monthly (possibly bi-weekly) content that you guys would be in to, so that I could make some money to fund some of the things I do, like Podcast hosting fees and building materials for the VHS Dude show. I am not sure what the content will be, but I am definitely open to suggestions.

Casinoskunk – I am trying to create Casinoskunk Productions as a “brand” for myself. Think of it like a poor man’s Bad Robot or Nerdist. It will be sort of an umbrella that all my creative outlets will fall under. The first step in this is making sure all my podcast episodes are currently posted on this page as well. I have also included links to all of my endeavors on the sidebar of this page (below this post if you’re on a phone).

Anyway, I have a lot on my plate, and that’s not including my full time job.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any ideas for what you would like to see on the Patreon page.

Ralph-

ps- once again, this has been posted without a spelling or grammar check.

Blog Posts

It Came from the VCR presents “UHF”

UHF_Slide
THE FRIDA CINEMA WEBSITE
FB EVENT PAGE
“Weird Al” Yankovic plays George Newman – a walking disaster who’s had more jobs than hot dinners and been fired more often than Dirty Harry’s Magnum! But now he’s about to take a crack-shot at success.

His Uncle Harvey has won a broken UHF TV Station in a poker game and given it to George to manage on the grounds that not even George could make it worse… So be prepared- it’s a shocking line up:

The Incredible ‘Wheel of Fish’
‘Raul’s Wild Kingdom’ where poodles learn to fly from third floor windows
‘Name that Stain’
‘The Wonderful World of Phlegm’
‘Conan the Librarian’

Blog Posts

It Came From The VCR presents STARCRASH

StarCrash_Slide
It Came from the VCR presents StarCrash

The universe is in the grip of darkness, under the hateful eye of Count Zarth Arn. Hidden deep within his fortress, the Count seeks to destroy the Good Emperor and his kingdom. Knowing these plans, the Emperor employs a trio of adventurers led by the best pilot in the galaxy, the beautiful and irrepressible Stella Star.

An epic struggle between the forces of evil and the sophisticated sorcery of fearless heroes is realized when Stella and her comrades, using their wits and technological wizardry, battle intergalactic robots, deadly troglodytes, prehistoric men and ultimately the Count himself.

Starring: Caroline Munro, Marjoe Gortner, Joe Spinell, David Hasselhoff and Christopher Plummer as The Emperor

Music Composed, Arranged and Conducted by John Barry

Written and Directed by Lewis Coates

“…both the most ridiculous and the most irresistible of all the Star Wars knock-offs of the late seventies and eighties.” – Sean Axmaker (Parallax View)

“The single greatest sci-fi camp fest ever put on celluloid. This film boasts the perfect blend of goofy cheese and unhinged imagination.” – R.L. Shaffer (IGN DVD)

PURCHASE TICKETS

For more information follow me @VHSdude

Blog Posts

“A Slew of Reviews”

katniss_peeta_the_hunger_games_catching_fire-wide

I haven’t reviewed a movie since Skyfall.

Here’s what I’ve seen since then:

The Hobbit – Fucking awesome!

The Last Stand – Not bad, Johnny Knoxville was more likable than expected.

Oz, The Great and Powerful – Better than Alice in Wonderland?

Evil Dead – True to the franchise and a ton of fun!

Iron Man 3 – Better than 2 but not 1. More enjoyable than Avengers.

Star Trek: Into Darkness – It’s cool, but didn’t really care about it.

Man of Steel – Finally a Superman film that I can get behind.

Monsters U – Loved it more than the first film.

The Wolverine – Snoozefest.

Elysium – Looked pretty but fell apart at the end. Clunky.

The World’s End – Great addition by the guys who made Hot Fuzz!

Riddick – See my Iron Man 3 review.

Escape Plan – Not an action movie, but incredibly entertaining.

Thor: The Dark World – Opposite of Thor 1. 1st half boring last half is okay.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Fucking loved it! May be my favorite film of the year!

Blog Posts

STAR WARS VII by Ralph

Walking-Skies-by-Skywalker.

(art by Phil Noto)

I can’t wait until Star Wars Episode VII comes out. So until then, I will speculate what it will be like. In other words, check out my fan fiction!

We open up on outer space and shit. The camera pans down and we see the city planet of Coruscant. A small stealthy attack ship darts past the camera towards the unsuspecting planet. Under the cover of night stealth droids ascend upon a really cool looking palace. The stealth droids start to make their way past security while ducking into the shadows. They get caught and there is a firefight, full of lasers.

You find out that this is the palace of Queen Leia and King Solo. They pull out their guns and join the fight! BAM!! So down the hall there is this girl. She is Princess Leia Jr. and she is running away from the fight. She makes her way down to the royal garage where she is looking for an escape ship, but there are Stealth Droids blasting them to smithereens.

Princess Leia Jr. ducks in the shadows and goes to a secret garage below the main deck. Down there is the Millenium Falcon!! Oh snap! She boards the ship, where she discovers C3-PO and uses him as her co-pilot as it rockets into outer space.

Lost and alone, Princess Leia Jr. wanders the galaxy. Not fully grasping the nature of the attackers, she decides to seek out the one person she could trust. She flies to Dagobah to find her uncle.

For the last 30 years, Luke Skywalker has been living as a hermit on the swamp planet with R2-D2 as his only companion. Ever since his brush with the Dark Side during the Battle of Endor, Luke has been meditating and doing everything to suppress the rage that started him on a dark path.

Princess Leia Jr shows up and there is a touching reunion between 3PO and R2. Luke listens to his niece’s story and must find it in himself to teach her the ways of the force, find more Jedi allies and track down the evil forces that have put the new republic in peril. Luke will try to atone for the sins of his father and restore greatness to the Skywalker name…

Then all kinds of Star Wars happen!

Blog Posts

Green Lantern The Animated Series

ImageI GOT THE FOLLOWING POST FROM GLTAS TUMBLR PAGE:

Hello DC Nation Fans.

I just came off an emergency Fantern podcast where we discussed what can be done, what is being done, and what should be done to help our beloved shows in the most effective way possible. There were people with ties to the industry and people who have been through both successful and failed fan attempts to bolster shows in similar situations. We want to do the most good with the least wasted effort and energy by these wonderful fans, so here’s what we need the fans of “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” and “Young Justice” to do, and what not do.

DO.

  • Watch all of the remaining episodes of the shows for both series. Legally. Catch it live, DVR, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video. Sharing download links and illegal live-streams are not helping the shows right now.
  • Be polite, courteous, and respectful in any and all correspondence with Cartoon Network.
  • E-mail Cartoon Network. Use this form: “Programming” > “Other Shows”. Be brief (2 or 3 lines is sufficient). Be positive in how you word everything. Fill out every box on the form. Mention if you bought merchandise or watched the show on TV. They do read these emails.
  • Tweet (unique individual tweets are better than retweets, think spam filters). Hit @CartoonNetwork. Use any combo of these Hashtags:#BringBackDCNation#DCNation#GLTAS#YoungJustice.
  • Post encouraging messages about how much you love the shows and want additional seasons on the official Facebook accounts Cartoon Network and DC Nation. (If you’re not being rude/negative or copy-pasting, they won’t delete you.) The fan-run FB pages are for organizing efforts and trading info. When you want CN to hear you, post to their official pages.
  • Remember that the people at Cartoon Network are real people with feelings who are just running a business. Treat them as such.
  • If everyone can make an effort to tweet, email, and make Facebook posts at minimum once a day, we may be able to get CN to bend an ear to our efforts.
  • Send words of thanks and support to your show’s cast & crew on Twitter & Tumblr. Let them know that no matter what, they’ve created something beautiful and loved.

DO NOT.

  • Bash our sibling shows. We’re in this one together. “Symbiosi.” Together.Fanterns don’t abandon members of our crew.
  • Be rude, curse, threaten, etc. Every time you’re angry and childish at them, they’re not going to listen to you. Save the key-smashing for your personal journals.
  • Do not use form letters, copy & paste, or only retweet. Repeated text is going to get caught up in spam filters and the effort will be for nothing. We need to show that each message is from a thinking and caring individual, not a bot.
  • Do not email individuals, whether it’s your buddy who works in the industry, or a CEO’s email address you got a hold of. We need to show strength in numbers, and that needs to go through the official channels right now.
  • Do not waste your time signing petitions. Your heart is in the right place, but they have ZERO effect. They’re easily hacked, and have next to no vetting. The network does not care and will not pay any attention to them, no matter how well-meaning. The time you spent signing the petition, you could have used sending a two line email to Cartoon Network.
  • Do NOT deface wiki articles, hack websites, leave digital nasty-grams, attack individuals (that “satan” crap with the photo of one of the CN executives needs to stop, RIGHT NOW). Every time that happens you make CN less inclined to work with us.
  • I know there was discussion earlier of potentially sending physical items to Cartoon Network headquarters. Let’s put that on hold for now, and see if we can get a reaction this way first. We’ll save the physical avalanche for a later round. When/if we go there, do not send liquids, things that will rot, or things that night break in such a way as might create a hazard for the person opening them.

Stay positive, DC Nation. Hope is not entirely lost yet.

Blog Posts

#Spark

Picture 1

 

______________________________________________

Hey, do you guys remember when I lost 27lbs in 12 weeks? Well all that weight is back and then some! Hoo-ray for delicious food and no self control. So, in 2013 I will resolve to fix this situation. Sure I used the word resolve, but this is not a New Years’ Resolution. I’ve always felt like New Years’ Resolutions were like giving something up for Lent. You do it until the time is up, then you go back to your old routine. This is something different.

Over the last year I have been creating a comic book called New Olympus with a great friend named Kevin Stone. We are doing everything we can to make sure that this book is pushed through to completion and we are enjoying the ride. I would like to make more comic books with Kevin as well as other artists. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my noggin and would hate to see them go to waste because I died from lack of self control while eating delicious food.

So here is the deal. I am a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies and he does this thing on Twitter and Facebook where he talks about finding “The Spark“. It boils down to taking any little bit of motivation you have inside of you and turning it into something big!

Tomorrow I will post a tweet with a picture of myself (similar to the ones below) asking @schwarzenegger to retweet my post, which will in turn give me my very own spark to begin a strict diet and regular exercise routine. If he does retweet me, it will give me an incredible amount of motivation to get started on this change. If he doesn’t, then I will probably do it anyway.

So, follow me on Twitter and on this blog and I will keep you all updated on the status!

Ralph-

 

11weeks

Blog Posts

Skyfall – Review

Skyfall is more than just James Bond’s 23rd adventure. It marks the 50th anniversary of the franchise and the end of what I now consider to be “The 007 Origins Trilogy”. Since Casino Royale, we have gotten a lot of back story on what makes James Bond the 007 character that we thought we knew for years. By the end of Skyfall, you are treated to glimpses of Bond’s past and get propelled into his future.

I have said it since Casino Royale that Daniel Craig is the best actor to tackle the role. I am not saying that he should be your favorite, I am just saying he is the best at portraying Ian Fleming’s character. In Skyfall, Craig continues to deliver an incredible version of 007 and it helps that his scripts allow him to add more than just one dimension to the character.

Skyfall follows a similar pattern that we have come to expect from James Bond films. The movie starts with an incredibly exciting and fun pre-title sequence filled with action and loud music. We get some awesome opening titles, which are once again masterfully created by Daniel Kleinman (thank god he is back!) and a song by Adele, which fit perfectly with the tone of the film.

After the main titles is when I found myself to start to get really bored. I enjoyed all of the MI6 intrigue and James Bond trying to get back into the spy game, but once Bond was on the case I did not care. The mission takes 007 to a couple of exotic locals, where he’s blindly following a lead. It is really slow paced and felt like it could have been cut down considerably. During this investigation, Bond meets a woman by the name of Somthing-or-other and she is going to take him to her boss or get captured by him or something, I wasn’t exactly sure of her purpose, but James Bond has sex with her for some reason and then she dies.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes of movie James Bond finally comes face to face with the main villain, a former MI6 agent that goes by the name of Silver. Silver was played by Javier Bardem and as soon as he first showed up the movie took a huge turn for the better. Everything that happens after his arrival is nothing short of amazing. He was creepy, funny and scary all at the same time. I wanted to laugh, but was uncomfortable the whole time. He is probably the best 007 villain since Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Silver causes all kinds of chaos in the streets of London and the action leads 007 and M to James Bond’s childhood home “Skyfall” where we get a little bit more insight into the backstory of James Bond. They do not give you too much, but enough to see the humanity behind the killing machine.

My favorite scene in the entire film was when James Bond and M were standing in front of an overcast valley discussing the climbing accident that took his parents’ lives (see the picture above).

With the exception of the boring stuff at the beginning of the movie, I found that I liked Skyfall more than the other two 007 movies that Daniel Craig was involved with. I loved seeing the backstory of the new M. I loved seeing the budding relationship with 007 and Q and I fell in love with the new Ms. Moneypenny, even though the movie didn’t trick me for a moment by trying to hide her identity.

Of the 23 movies in the James Bond franchise, I would put this at #2 after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The last half really made up for the first half.

★ ★ ★ ★½

Blog Posts

Frankenweenie – Review

I am a big fan of Tim Burton. He has one of the most recognizable visual styles of any director of the last 25 years. Of all the films he has directed the majority are adaptations from previous source material. My main problem with Tim Burton films is that a lot of them end up becoming the “Tim Burton version of blank”.  Off the top of my head Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Corpse Bride are the only films that he has directed that are base on an original idea. Even though Frankenweenie is adapted from his 1984 short film, it is definitely what I want to see from Tim Burton. A Tim Burton idea brought to life before my eyes.

For those of you that are familiar with the original short film, you will definitely find value in this film. It is not merely a rehash of that short film that has been stretched out into a feature length film. One of the things that survived from the original short that surprised me was the fact that it was shot in black and white. I am not sure how many feature length black and white animated films that are out there, but it seemed like a pretty gutsy move to do this. I loved the black and white, but I am sure it swayed some younger viewers away from it.

Frankenweenie was a great film that harkened back to a time when Tim Burton would do original ideas and I hope that this is a trend that continues!

★ ★ ★½

Blog Posts

Dredd – Review

It has been a while since I have reviewed a movie. So here comes the review for Dredd. Last month I saw The Expendables 2 and Total Recall and both of them reminded me of the character of Judge Dredd in one way or another, but they both reminded me that Hollywood is stuck in the past. Instead of doing an original adaptation, let’s rehash the same junk. Where as the former two movies feel like more of the same, Dredd tries to distance itself from its predecessor and does a good job of making you forget about Stallone all together.

The plot to Dredd is simple. Judge Dredd and his psychic rookie, Anderson, show up to a call at a large building full of gun-toting thugs and get locked inside. It’s essentially Die Hard, except Dredd does not sneak around through air ducts like John McClane. Instead, he stomps his way up “The Block” with guns a blazing.

I enjoyed Dredd way more than Judge Dredd. I think that it was very entertaining and I really liked Karl Urban’s performance. Because he wears the helmet the entire time, it is great to see him borrow from the Peter Weller school of acting when it comes to showing his emotions. You can see his brain working inside that gigantic helmet and he does it subtly.

I really enjoyed the performance by Olivia Thrilby as Anderson. I thought she did a great job as a Judge in training. She played it vulnerable, but not as if she never had Judge training. She was great.

Lena Headey was scary as the main villain, Ma Ma, but could have used a little more character development. They tell you that she is evil and wants to take over Mega-City 1, but you really don’t get any motivation why.

My only real issue with Dredd was that it felt a little anti-climactic. Essentially the whole movie is Dredd walking through hallways and getting into shootouts, so by the time he gets up to Ma Ma I expected more than what I got.

All in all it was a good movie. It definitely washed off the stink of the 1995 version. This version did two things  for me that were really positive. One, it made me want to watch a sequel and , Two, it made me want to pick up the comic books that the movies are based on.

★ ★ ★½

Blog Posts

Brave – Review

Today I wrote this on Animation Fascination Podcast‘s facebook wall.

“I really wish Pixar would position itself back on top by doing something innovated and fresh. I really thought that they were going to do just that with Wall E, but after a brilliant 45min long silent film, it all came crashing down by turning into a film that catered to people with short attention spans. Wall E was like Pixar’s Fantasia but didn’t stick to it’s guns and the last half turned into a slapstick cartoon. Same goes for Up, but I can save that for another long winded post.

Brave was great! The story and action felt warranted. The third act felt natural. My only issue with Brave is that I feel like we have gotten to a point in CG animated films, where we cant top the previous film. Sure, the hair was a technological breakthrough, but as good as it looked I feel that these characters could have existed in How to Train Your Dragon or Tangled. Those are great films, but I feel like we have hit a road block when it comes to CG. La Luna was brilliant and what made it special was to challenge the audience with an artistic concept. THAT is what Pixar needs to do to get back on top. Challenge the artist and the audience. They need to make Art instead of sequels. Someone needs to shake things up. I think that Miyazaki needs to write and direct a Pixar film.”

After seeing Brave I had mentioned on Twitter that I enjoyed it more than Wall E and Up, which made someone ask how I would rank Pixar films. Here are the Pixar films in the order of my favorite to least favorite.

  1. Ratatouille
  2. The Incredibles
  3. Toy Story 2
  4. Toy Story
  5. Toy Story 3
  6. Cars
  7. Brave
  8. A Bug’s Life
  9. Monsters Inc.
  10. Finding Nemo
  11. Wall e
  12. Up
  13. (I have not seen Cars 2)

You are probably thinking that I am crazy, but if I were to pop in a Pixar movie right now, this is the order that I would choose.

I feel that Up and Wall e are incredibly overrated. They are good movies, but not great. I feel that with Up, there are a lot of rules set up at the beginning that are broken in the third act of the film. The Dog have collars that allow their barks to be translated into english. The dogs still act like dogs and the translators do not work that great, due to the out of date technology. In the last third of the movie, the animators that spent so much time animating realistic canine behavior are now asked to make the dogs pilot airplanes while wearing aviator helmets. Another thing that bothers me a lot is from the get go we learn that Carl is an old man who requires the aid of a cane to get around. By the third act we are supposed to believe that he has recaptured his youth during this adventure that he, not only does not require the cane, but is spry enough to use it as a zipline hook and as a martial arts weapon. I feel that the last third of Up abandons the story it is trying to tell and tries to become a crowd pleaser. I am not saying that Carl should just crumble under the pressure, but he should not be more agile than Jackie Chan.

Brave was a great and different story and I enjoyed it immensely. I hope that this is the beginning of a fresh new Pixar….well, after Monsters 2.

★ ★ ★ ★

LISTEN TO ME ON THE ANIMATION FASCINATION PODCAST HERE!

Blog Posts

Green Lantern Blu-Ray – Review

Green Lantern Blu Ray Review

Because Green Lantern didn’t make any money and WB didn’t want to spend any more advertising on it, you probably didn’t know that it was released last Friday on DVD and Blu-ray. Being a fan of the comic and the film, I did know about it and am very pleased with the result.

Green Lantern is not the best comic book adaptation, but I can say that the extended cut benefits greatly from the 9 minutes added to it. For those of you that have seen the film, you will not get any more Green Lantern stuff in the extended cut, but you will get some pretty important backstory that I felt gave the film more heart as well as established all the main characters better. You know how in the movie you see scenes where apparently Hector, Hal and Carol all knew each other as kids? Well in here you see that. You know how in the movie you are supposed to believe that Hal idolized his father growing up? Well in this cut you see that as well.

I have no idea why the film makers would take out these crucial character introductions, I assume they just  took out all the exposition so that they could get to Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern faster. The problem with the theatrical cut is that you get Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern faster, but you don’t care about his character and know little about him when he puts on the ring, so you lose any of the humanity from Hal. In the theatrical cut, you know he is a brash test pilot who doesn’t look before he leaps, but in this extended cut, you know why he is the way he is and he comes off as more sympathetic. Removing this from the theatrical cut was a big misstep.

Now lets talk about the extra features, most notably the Maximum Movie Mode! This is one of those picture in picture features that plays in the foreground as the film plays. What is great about this version is it is basically a camera crew following Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment & Current GL Mastermind) as he acts as your tour guide through the entire production of the Green Lantern film. He interviews art directors, costume designers, special effects supervisors, actors and more! Any diehard fan of Green Lantern knows that Geoff Johns may very well be THE biggest fan of the Green Lantern on the planet and this Maximum Movie mode shows that off perfectly. Watching the look on Goeff Johns’ face as all of the creative team talks about Green Lantern with such respect is worth watching this feature alone. Any fan would love to have access to what Geoff Johns had during the making of the film and it is a joy to go with him on this journey.

The very best part of the Maximum Movie Mode is watching Johns talking to Mark Strong as he is sitting in a makeup chair. Here you have the biggest Green Lantern fan on the planet talking to a well respected actor, who is in complete Sinestro makeup talking seriously about the Green Lantern mythos. Even though he doesn’t say it, you can tell that Geoff Johns is thinking, “Pinch me, I am dreaming”. It is really great for any GL fan.

In addition to the feature length Maximum Movie Mode, you get about an hour and a half of Green Lantern featurettes. Even though there are two Green Lantern animated films (Green Lantern:First Flight/Green Lantern:Emerald Knights) there was never really a proper documentary about Green Lantern comics. There is a great documentary on here that tackles the different eras of Green Lantern in comic books. From the Denny O’Neil & Neal Adams’ Green Lantern/Green Arrow run all the way to Geoff Johns’ Blackest Night, this is a great documentary that gives the uninitiated GL fan a basic breakdown of the history of Hal Jordan.

There are also several documentaries on the making of the film that are all wonderful. What is best about all of these featurettes is the fact that they are all in HD. In addition to the featurettes you get some cool deleted scenes from the movie as well as a ten minute preview of the Green Lantern Animated Series that comes out on 11/11/11 on Cartoon Network!

Everything about this set is great! From the extended cut to the features, I am sure that it will please all fans of the Green Lantern film and books. I hope that all the efforts that everyone made to get Green Lantern to the big screen will get the chance to make a sequel.

Extended Cut: ★ ★ ★ ★½

Special Features: ★ ★ ★ ★

Blog Posts

Blu-Harvest

Blu Harvest Star Wars Blu-rayAs you all are well aware, i love Star Wars. Always have. And even though i have owned 7 different versions of the classic trilogy, I am excited about the release of this Friday’s Star Wars Complete Saga on Blu-Ray. I know that George Lucas is a maniac who cant leave “well enough” alone, but I still like the characters and the worlds they inhabit. Say what you will about the prequels, but if there are lightsaber battles and star fighters I will continue to watch them!!

On Sunday 9/18 at 7am (pst), I will be watching all VI episodes of the Star Wars series and live tweeting all the changes and “upgrades” that George Lucas has decided to put in this release of the films. If you are at all interested in any of these changes before you drop the cash for the set, you can follow me @casinoskunk on twitter, or follow the convo at #BluHarvest.

May the Force be with you!

BluHarvest

Blog Posts

Stamp: The Cricket – Facebook Page

The Cricket Comic

As things start moving forward on the book, I want to make sure that everyone is in the loop, so I have created a Facebook Page. Head over to Facebook and “LIKE” Stamp: The Cricket!!

facebook.com/TheCricketComic

I will be posting Drawings, News, Fan Art and more fun stuff as we get further into the production of the book.

Look before you leap!

Blog Posts

Media Junkyard Interviews – Green Lantern Animated Series & Children’s Hospital

Media Junkyard

Thanks to the folks at MediaJunkyard.Com, I was able to attend this years Comic Con. Trying to get tickets online was impossible for me and because they got me a press pass for the weekend, I did some press for them. I have never done video interviews before, but it was a lot of fun. I would definitely want to do this again. Here are the press lines that I was a part of. It was very nerve wracking but fun!

GREEN LANTERN THE ANIMATED SERIES

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Behind the scenes tidbits: Those ladies sure liked talking close and the event coordinators constantly tap your shoulders to speed things up, so thats why everything is so rushed.

Blog Posts

Captain America – Review

Here comes the 3rd film about Marvel characters to come out this summer and like X-Men First Class, this film does not take place in the modern day. I have a feeling if Marvel had Thor, X-Men and Captain America all take place in the modern era things would get boring real fast. Although Captain America’s themes are not original in the slightest, the setting allows for Captain America to feel fresh and remain entertaining.

The movie is bookended with scenes that take place in modern times, which is something that I would have loved to see saved for The Avengers, but that is only my gripe with the film. The meat of the movie takes place in the 1940s but strays from being a history lesson real quick. This film is definitely more Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow rather than a Saving Private Ryan. In fact, a lot of the imagery, production design and FX looked very reminiscent of Sky Captain, which I don’t mind in the slightest.

Going into the movie I was looking forward to seeing Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull and didn’t really care about seeing “Johnny Storm” as Steve Rogers, but after the movie i found myself more excited about Chris Evan’s performance than Hugo Weaving’s. The Red Skull was kind of boring and cliché  whereas Evan’s portrayal of Captain America was pitch perfect. I liked Evans as Steve Rogers so much it made me wish that he was never The Human Torch. Who knows, maybe we will get that F4 reboot and forget all about him being Johnny Storm, which is tough because he was the only memorable part of those films.

There is not much more I can say about Captain America other than I had a really good time watching it. The Harry Potter 3d glasses I wore while watching it gave me a headache and the 3d wasn’t really worth the pain. Since I first watched the post credits scene of the original Iron Man, I have slowly become very excited for the Avengers and Captain America’s final moments really sealed the deal for me. Joe Johnson is usually pretty hit and miss for me, but this one was definitely  more fun that I had expected.

★ ★ ★ ★

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Holy Shit…

…It has been over a month since I have updated the old blog. It’s not like I have had nothing to talk about, it’s just that I have been so busy. Last weekend I attended my seventh Comic Con in a row and boy are my feet sore! I could talk a lot about it, but I don’t have much energy to put in a whole review. If you check out my pictures on FACEBOOK, it will be worth 86,000 words!

Speaking of pictures, here are two of the highlights from this pass weekend:

TR!CKSTER Symposium

BUILDING A CREATOR-OWNED CREATIVE TEAM SYMPOSIUM @ TR!CKSTER
Featuring storytellers MIKE ALLRED, SCOTT MORSE, LARRY MARDER, GREG RUCKA, JAMIE S. RICH, and more…

On Saturday I went to an offsite event that was an incredible experience. Hosted at the TR!CKSTER Bar/Gallery/Music Venue/Comfy Hangout, this Symposium was just what i needed to get some focus on my writing. In fact, this symposium got me so motivated that I have already set aside one day a week to focus completely on my creative writing. Thanks to Scott Morse and EVERYONE who created and organized this amazing oasis of creative talent.

Joëlle Jones Cricket SketchThe second picture is a commission that I received from Joëlle Jones of The Cricket. Between the symposium and this beautiful drawing of The Cricket, I am incredibly anxious to get moving on the book. I would really like to tell this story and I hope that my life allows me to move forward and really hunker down to finish writing it!

Yesterday, while I was at work, all I could to is think about The Cricket. I wanted to take Joëlle’s drawing of The Cricket and make it my desktop wallpaper. Since the drawing was more of a vertical piece as opposed to a landscape image, I widened it out and colored it. I hope that she doesn’t mind the alterations I made, but by having it on my desktop at all times, it allows me to constantly be reminded of the adventures I could be telling.

The Cricket Comic

Here’s to the future and all the amazing people who inspire me!

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The Mood Swing – Vol. 3

What you are reading right now just may be the final “Mood Swing” playlist description.  As it stands, each of the previous album art represents one point in my life and does not necessarily reflect the music on each album. The first Mood Swing featured a picture of my Grandfather. That was a time in my life when I was very happy. The Second Mood Swing featured a picture of me by myself. Although the picture was pretty recent, it reminded me of a time in my life when i felt heartbroken, lonely and abandoned. The album art that you see above represents my life right now. The music that is on this playlist does not necessarily go along with the image above. For the most part i am pretty happy right now. There are some aspects to my life that get me in a bit of a funk and if it weren’t for my wife, i would pretty much have nothing. On the Mood Swing vol. 3, you will hear some music that is joyous and some music that is sad. I did not want to end this playlist on a down note, so i tried to give it a hopeful ending.  Until something drastically changes in my life, this will be the final Mood Swing playlist and is meant to be played in conjunction with the previous two playlists. Enjoy.

Ralph-

The Mood Swing 3
“Uncontrollable Urge” – Devo
“Strange Magic” – Electric Light Orchestra
“Good for your Soul” – Oingo Boingo
“The Breeze” – Tulsi
“I Can See It In Your Eyes” – Men at Work
“Can’t See (useless)” – Boingo
“See You” – Depeche Mode
“52” – Combustible Edison
“Who Can Stop The Rain” – The Thompson Twins
“We Have All the Time in the World” – Iggy Pop feat. David Arnold
“Nobody’s Fault But My Own” – Beck
“Watching the Wheels” – John Lennon
“Topaz” – The B-52’s
“To Match the Sun” – Jane’s Addiction

DOWNLOAD THE MOOD SWING VOL. 3 

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Green Lantern – Review

Green Lantern Review

How am i going to tell you guys that i really enjoyed this movie and have you believe that it is not just my nerdy bias? I do not think i could do it, but i can tell you that i went to Green Lantern last night with 9 other people and they all had a blast! Some of the things i heard from my friends were, “Wow, are all the critics just being dicks?” and “That movie was better than Thor!” which i agree with. From the die hard Green Lantern fans like myself, to the newly initiated, every single one of us had a really good time watching the Green Lantern.

Of course I had read all the bad reviews prior to the film, so I was bracing for the worse. Then we got in the theater and they handed me 3D glasses, which i was not expecting. A free 3D showing of  a movie based on my favorite comic book series? I am pretty sure that i was going to be fairly happy regardless. I am not a big 3D guy, but i figured if the movie sucks at least i will get to see some pretty cool effects popping into my eyeballs.

So the movie starts and the audience is thrust into insanity! If you are not familiar with the Green Lantern universe, you will have to be on your toes. You get a very hefty narration from Tomar Re. Yeah, you’ll meet him later. He goes on to tell you a story that began eons ago. My sister said that this narration at the beginning made her nervous because she did not know she would get saturated with so much information from the get-go. There is no breathing room when it comes to them trying to set up this world. My sister did say that once the narration ended and the movie started up, she was able to follow it. I just think that the opening narration is a bit daunting for the uninitiated.

So everyone meets a few of the alien members of the Green Lantern Corps then it’s time to meet Hal Jordan, played wonderfully by Ryan Reynolds. Because we all know that Hal is going to become a Green Lantern, the whole audience is chomping at the bit to see him put on the costume. The main problem that this causes, is that there is still a lot of set up of the other characters to get through first and the film kind of has to scoot along. You quickly get introduced to Carol Ferris, Carl Ferris, Senator Hammond and his son Hector Hammond. With all of these characters to introduce it feels like a lot of this first part of the movie was rushed, but i didn’t mind too much. I am already familiar with these characters and i just wanted to see Hal Jordan flying around with a ring so i didn’t care. I just hope that people who aren’t me can follow it. Once Hal creates his first ring construct, the movie settles down and we are treated to some great scenes on the Green Lantern’s home planet of Oa. I thought the FX on Oa were really cool. I only wish that they could spend more time touring the city, but that is just the Green Lantern fan in me.

I really enjoyed the training that Hal received from Tomar Re and Kilowog. I also liked the Sinestro “training”. Sinestro was good friends with Hal’s predecessor Abin Sur and he found a way to take out his aggressions on Hal. Sinestro is not the biggest fan of humans, so he delivers the beat-down of all beat-downs! Hal gets so jacked up that decides to quit the corps on the first day. Of course Hal keeps the ring and realizes that he may actually have what it takes to  be a Green Lantern and saves the world from certain annihilation.

Green Lantern is a a lot of fun, but it does have a few faults. Faults that are not going to ruin my life, but they are easy fixes that could have changed this movie from great to truly amazing. The first thing that i though was strange is that after Hal Jordan fights Hector Hammond for the first time. It seemed like before the fight was done they just kind of decided to go their separate ways. I did not really understand that the fight was over, if Hector died, or if Green Lantern ran away like a coward. It was really unclear and took me out of the movie for a good five minutes or so. I may have to try to figure out what happened there during another viewing.

The other thing that did not make sense to me are some of the decisions made by some of the characters at the end of the movie. At one point Hal approaches the Guardians of the universe with Sinestro and asks them to help him protect Earth from Parallax. They reject him. At this point i would have LOVED it if there was an additional scene with Hal and Sinestro. I think that the filmmakers needed to show that Sinestro’s hands were tied and that he couldn’t help Hal defend his planet. It would also be a great way for Sinestro to show his distrust of the Guardians’ judgement, which is a main theme for the last 52 years. This scene would have made the climax of the film make sense. The way it stands in the film is after we have been introduced to 3,600 members of the Green Lantern Corps, they decide not to help Hal in his darkest hour. They wait until after Hal defeats Parallax on his own to come to his aid. It was really strange and think that if  had that extra scene with Sinestro, it would make more sense and the payoff on the end credit scene seem like it wasn’t out of left field.

The last thing i would have liked to see is Hal seeing the image of his father (Martin Jordan) die, in order to overcome that great fear to defeat Parallax. If you look at the shot of Hal Jordan at the top of this review, this is Hal at his darkest hour. He is pinned down by Parallax and he uses every ounce of his will power to pick himself back up from this great threat. While he was reciting the oath, it would have been nice if the editors flashed in some shots of Martin Jordan’s death and maybe a couple of flashes of Carol and Kilowog. It would have shown him overcoming his fears a little better. I really think that whole theme of Hal losing his father never really got paid off and it is at this point where it could have really brought the story full circle.

It was those small little things that really  hurt this movie. I hope that there is a longer cut of the film out there that will be released, because i know that something was up during the last third of the film. Maybe the editor just gave up. Either way, I really liked the movie. I though Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard and Mark Strong were all really fantastic as their comic book counter parts. Martin Campbell did a pretty good job at telling a Green Lantern story, but i would like someone different tackle a sequel.

This film was a great setup for a Green Lantern franchise, i just hope that all the non Green Lantern fans out there can accept this crazy world that DC has concocted and go out and see it for themselves.

★ ★ ★ ★

0 DAYS UNTIL RELEASE!!

Blog Posts

Super 8 – Review

All week I have been hearing people complain that Super 8 is too much like Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Jaws. I can see the similarities in style, but I don’t know why people are complaining, because the last time I checked those movies were fucking awesome and so is Super 8.

JJ Abrams writes and directs his third film and I’m glad it’s not another television adaptation, in fact, i am glad it’s not an adaptation at all. Of the ten movies I have seen this year, this is only the third that wasn’t a sequel or adaptation. Even though the style of Super 8 may feel rooted in the movies of Steven Spielberg’s heyday, the story is completely original. Besides, this movie is not made for the kids who grew up with Spielberg’s films, it’s made for kids who grew up with CG animated  dance numbers. By making this movie about kids, it challenges todays youth to go out an make their own adventures as opposed to sitting around and playing video games all day. This movie kind of acts like a propaganda film for future filmmakers. Obviously Spielberg’s films inspired JJ Abrams and I think that he wants to educate the youth of today about those great films of the past. What made those Spielberg movies so great was that did not just  cater to the kids or the adults. They were family films. You know, for the whole family.

If I were a parent, I would love to take my child to see Super 8, because if my kid liked it, it would open the door for me to introduce them to Close Encounters, ET and Jaws. The fact that this movie is based in 1979 is a brilliant move to get kids to get used to that era, so that anyone can get their kids to transition to some of those classics. I also like that by putting the movie in 1979 it takes the cell phones and video games out of the kids hands.

Other than all of that, I have to say that I really enjoyed the story as well. I thought that the movie was really fun, suspenseful, dramatic and thrilling! Not to mention that there was a lot of heart. It was a little ham-handed, but you have to remember that the main audience for this movie should be families and all members of the family should be able to understand the themes presented. Any of the themes that are a bit too much for the youngsters to understand will allow for some great in depth conversations on the ride home that the parents wont feel like idiots discussing, like can Chihuahuas really dance?

I thought all the performances from the kids were great, I liked that the grownups felt like real people, but i really loved the score by Michael Giacchino. I am fairly certain that he can do no wrong. I loved that his score has the same wonder and heart that John William’s scores had in those early Spielberg movies.

Super 8 is a great film and a wonderful love letter to the films of my youth.

★ ★ ★ ★½

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Get to Know the Green Lantern Corps

Here are the 28 Green Lantern Corps members that you will see in the upcoming Green Lantern film. If you want to know what there deal is, look no further.

(click the images to enlarge)

7 DAYS UNTIL RELEASE!!!

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June 7th, 2011 – Review

Green Lantern Movie banner

Not sure if you know this or not, but I am a fan of The Green Lantern. I have been since i was a kid. I remember watching Super Friends on television and liking Green Lantern the most. I am not exactly sure why, but I thought he was the coolest. In 1990 when I was thirteen years old I purchased my first Green Lantern comic book. It was Green Lantern #1 (vol.3) and I still own it to this day.

Ever since 1994, after seeing The Mask starring Jim Carrey, I thought that a Green Lantern film would be possible. I mean, if this guy can create CGI guns and make his green face stretch in all kinds of directions, why couldn’t they do a Green Lantern power ring? Unfortunately, thoughts of a Green Lantern movie based on seeing The Mask was something that Hollywood noticed as well. On July 16th 2004, news started circulating around the internet about Jack Black getting the roll of Green Lantern.

After almost exactly seven years after that Jack Black story hit Aint it Cool News, we will get a Green Lantern movie. It will not be played as a comedy, it will not be played as a pure drama. The Green Lantern movie they are planning on releasing is a blend of both. From the looks of it, it will play out like the recent Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern (vol.4). I am very excited about this film, especially the merchandising aspect of it. Last Tuesday a bunch of Green Lantern merchandise hit the shelves and I went to town. Here are some of my thoughts.

CONSTRUCTING GREEN LANTERN FROM PAGE TO SCREEN

More than just a mere “art of” book. Constructing Green Lantern from Page to Screen takes you through the entire production process from a story standpoint. From the origins of the Green Lantern comics, to the making of the film, this book takes you on the same journey as Hal Jordan. From is youth and seeing his fathers’ death all the way to the film’s final battle with the fear entity known as Parallax, this book shows off some amazing set photographs, production artwork and has terrific insight from the filmmakers and artists that made this story come to life. It is an interesting read and the pictures are really pretty!

★ ★ ★ ★½

GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS

Straight to Bluray comes the latest DC Animated Adventure, Green Lantern Emerald Knights! This movie is an anthology that plays out like an hour and a half history lesson of the Green Lantern Corps. As you know, there are many Green Lanterns and they all have a story. In this movie you will learn more about The Beginning of the Corps, the rise of Kilowog, the tormented warrior Laira, the biggest Green Lantern of them all: Mogo and Hal Jordan’s predecessor, Abin Sur. Four of the stories are written by GL comic alumni Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, Dave Gibbons, Eddie Berganza as well as Green Lantern film writers Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green. As i mentioned above, it does play out like a history lesson, but all the stories are fascinating. I found that some of the voice casting was a bit off. I understand why you would have Henry Rollins as Kilowog, but his personality does not come through in his voice acting. On the other hand i thought that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was absolutely perfect as the arrogant warrior known as Bolphunga!! Over all this movie is a great introduction to just a few of the many Green Lantern corps members of all 3,600 space sectors.

★ ★ ★ ★

GREEN LANTERN: RISE OF THE MANHUNTERS (PS3)

Green Lantern Rise of the Manhunters Review

Green Lantern gets his first video game all to himself and it is based on the upcoming film. A lot of times movie tie in games are complete crap, but after a few glowing reviews based on the demo, I was really excited for this game. The game is along the lines of a God of War or Ninja Gaiden style of combat button masher. Using different constructs, you can create amazing Manhunter smashing combos! In between the relentless action, you get a couple of really fun Star Fox type of space shooter. On these levels, Hal Jordan flies on a predetermined path and within the area on screen you can fly around and shoot targets with the aid of a reticle. These levels are a lot of fun, but wish that they showed up more often. This game is a lot of fun, but i have been playing it by myself and it gets really tedious. The enemies are pretty much the same throughout the game and they come at you non-stop. I think this would be more fun to play with a partner, who can join in as Sinestro. Speaking of Sinestro, he is one of only 3 green lanterns that show up in the game. This is a main problem for me. If you are going to make a game in which the Green Lantern’s home planet of  Oa is under attack you would think that there would be more GLs in the mix than Hal, Sinestro and Kilowog. There is one point in the game where the Guardians tell you that there are a bunch of Lantern Corps members that are being attacked by Manhunters. As soon as you go to help them out, they die and their rings fly up into the air before you get to see a single one. Another thing that bugs me a bit is that you only get to visit three planets, Oa and Zamaron. In a universe so vast, you would think that GL would do more traveling. This game is a lot of fun but sort of feels like a giant demo. The first trailer opens up the game and then the game starts. There is no training with Kilowog, you are just kind of thrust into this battle. There are very little cut scenes. With all of the mythology over the last 50 years of GL, i hoped for a game that had a bit more scope. It is fun, but i just wanted more than just non-stop mindless action.

★ ★ ★

GREEN LANTERN: RISE OF THE MANHUNTERS (3DS)

Green Lantern Rise of the Manhunters Nintendo 3DS Review

It wasn’t until i played this game that i noticed the shortcomings of the PS3 game of the same name. After a quick comic book art style cut scene, you are thrust into a battle with Sinestro! Wow, okay. After Sinestro is done berating you, he takes off! So right off the bat i feel like i require training and get a great tutorial courtesy of Green Lantern Corps Trainer, Kilowog. Already, this version of the game feels more like a Green Lantern game as opposed to the PS3 version which feels like mindless fun. Right after i get trained i get to meet Tomar Re, Arisia, Ch’p and Sallaak. WOW, i just started playing this game and there are already four more Green Lanterns than the PS3 version which i have played for like 4 hours. Not only that, i have already met all of these Green Lanterns, but Sallaak gives me the option to travel to seven different planets! The gameplay is much like a Metroid or Castlevania game. It is a side-scroller and you can move freely throughout any map. You will come up to secret areas that will only let you pass if you have the right construct to get through, so i can see the replay value being high for those of us that like to complete games at 100%. The controls are a little sluggish, but not too bad. I do like that you can fly at any moment and when you do all of your punching and shooting controls act the same if you are on the ground. In addition to fighting off Manhunters and exploring worlds (including Coast City), there are the same type of Star Fox flight levels like in the PS3 version. If you are a Green Lantern fan i think you will enjoy the story and character interactions on the DS version more than the big console versions. Also, the 3D looks awesome!!

★ ★ ★ ★

So, that is all i have right now. I am going to be playing that Nintendo 3DS game in line while i wait for the movie on Thursday. To all you GL fans out there, i hope that you are enjoying all of the attention this character is getting and i hope for more awesome Green Lantern entertainment to come in the future! 

8 DAYS UNTIL RELEASE!

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X-MEN: First Class – Review

Can we please get Matthew Vaughn to direct every Marvel comic series from here on out? Kick-Ass was amazing piece of comic book movie genius and now X-Men First Class takes a tired franchise and breathes new life into it. I honestly believe that he should be the guy running the Avengers right now. His ability to interweave story lines and utilize characters is amazing.

There is not much i can say about X-Men First Class other than it is a really refreshing take on Mutants living among humans. I love that the story centers around real world events of 1962. I don’t even think that i knew what the Cuban Missile Crisis was all about before i watched this movie, but it made me want to learn more about it.

I can go on and on about how much i enjoyed this movie. All of the performances from all the actors were great with the exception of January Jones, who i found to be a boring cardboard beer display. I think that Michael Fassbender stole the show as Magneto and James McAvoy did a great job as Professor X. I liked that it was a prequel that made sense and didn’t spend the whole time just trying to force itself to fit into the previous X-Film cannon. This is a great bit of film making and if you like comic book movies, this is one you will not want to miss.

★ ★ ★ ★½

 

 

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The Hangover Part II – Review

Here we go again with The Hangover gang and guess what, they are hungover!! Thank god, I would hate for them not to be. So in the sequel, Phil, Stu and Alan are smack dab in the middle of Bangkok with no recollection on how they got there. They need retrace their steps and get Stu and his missing brother in law to his wedding on time!

I am sure that there were several directions a sequel to a hit movie can go, but i am glad that they decided to stick to the formula setup in the first film. I am also glad that the filmmakers decided to improve upon the shortcomings from the first film. Namely, the slow parts. Even though The Hangover part 2 is almost a beat for beat recreation of the original, i felt like this film had much better pacing. I also liked that, even though the setup was the same, there weren’t a lot of “sequel jokes”. I appreciate that they did not overuse the Ken Jeong’s character “Mr. Chow”. I could see them easily having him hang out with the three main characters the whole time, but that would have been cumbersome.

I know that the circumstances in this film are far fetched, but the fact that you have these characters, which i love, doing things that are funny, raunchy and cringe-worthy is music to my ears. I love that no matter how much these three characters hate the situations they are in, they know that by sticking together they will get through anything. Only together does the team work and function, no matter how dysfunctional they are. These movies are a great study in how friendships work. This main theme of dysfunctional friendship is set up perfectly by the fact that Stu is still upset at Alan from the events of their previous bachelor night in Vegas. Stu hates Alan, but comes to realize that Alan is not entirely to blame for the situation he is in. Stu has a demon in him and it is up to him to get it out. I think this movie really belongs to Ed Helms. His character has a nice ark and i really enjoyed his journey in this film.

I really do hope for a third film, but if they do, i hope that there is not  a wedding involved. Since Alan is the only one of the trio that is not married, i kind of hope that he either A) Gets a mail order bride and they have to pick her up in some sort of fucked up city, or B) He has his father set up a lavish fake wedding just so he can bamboozle Phil and Stu for another adventure . Either way, i think they should to do another one, because i am not finished laughing at these three fuck-ups.

★ ★ ★ ★

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New Green Lantern TV Spot

Green Lantern TV Spot #7 Kilowog

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

22 DAYS UNTIL RELEASE!

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Green Lantern: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Green Lantern Soundtrack Album James Newton Howard Score

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SAMPLES

1. Prologue / Paralax Unbound – 3:09
2. Abin Sur Attacked – 1:08
3. Carol Scolds Hal – 1:21
4. Drone Dogfight – 3:15
5. Did Adam Put You Up To This? – 2:25
6. The Ring Chooses Hal – 2:34
7. Genesis Of Good And Evil – 2:35
8. The Induction Process – 3:05
9. Welcome to Oa – 1:42
10. We’re Going To Fly Now – 1:53
11. You Reek Of Fear – 2:13
12. The Origin Of Parallax – 3:25
13. Run – 5:30
14. You Have To Be Chosen – 7:29
15. Hector’s Analysis – 1:06
16. Hal Battles Parallax – 7:19
17. The Corps – 2:19
18. Green Lantern Oath (feat. Ryan Reynolds) – 0:19 

This is not what I thought the score would sound like. I was expecting more of a Last Airbender sound, but these samples are way too short to pass any judgement. I like James Newton Howard’s music a lot and I will be sure to do a review on the full album when it is released on June 14th.

UPDATE! MORE SAMPLES HERE!

24 DAYS UNTIL RELEASE!!

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Media Junkyard Episode 142 – “Alan!”

Media Junkyard Podcast

I would like to thank all the folks at Media Junkyard for having me on their podcast. I would also like to thank them for being the reason i get to go to Comic Con this year. Media Junkyard has asked me to join them on reporting from Comic Con and i am incredibly gracious and excited to do so! Thanks Guys!!

Media Junkyard for 05/18/11! Ralph and Colleen replace Boston for an awesome show!

In this episode:

  • FTW/WTF/WGAS
  • Master Debaters
  • Bridesmaids Review
  • Brink Review
  • Google I/O Event News
  • Microsoft Buys Skype
  • TV Cancellations/Renewals
  • Mailsack

And a lot more!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

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ALCATRAZ

Alcatraz Promo Trailer

When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones, “Sons of Anarchy”) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, “The Nine”), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history – both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster, “Jackie Brown”), were guards at the prison – Madsen’s interest is immediately piqued, and once the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent EMERSON HAUSER (Sam Neill, “Jurassic Park”) tries to impede her investigation, she’s doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, DR. DIEGO “DOC” SOTO (Jorge Garcia, “Lost”), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he’s loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn’t aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted WARDEN EDWIN JAMES (Jonny Coyne, “Undercovers”) and the merciless ASSOCIATE WARDEN E.B. TILLER (Jason Butler Harner, “The Changeling”). Madsen and Soto reluctantly team with Agent Hauser and his technician, LUCY BANERJEE (Parminder Nagra, “ER”), to stop Sylvane’s vengeful killing spree.

By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca’s own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat. For while he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane won’t be the last prisoner to reappear from Alcatraz. Through the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that Agent Hauser has known about the prison’s secret history and has been awaiting the prisoners’ return. Soto will witness his life’s work – the history of Alcatraz – come alive. Madsen will be forced to keep her supportive San Francisco cop fiancé, JIMMY DICKENS (Santiago Cabrera, “Heroes”), at arm’s length from the highly classified assignment as she sees everything she thought she knew about her family’s past shattered, all while fighting to keep the country safe from history’s most dangerous criminals

This show looks awesome!!

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THOR – Review

I really want to keep this one short. I don’t know why, but i am not terribly excited to talk about Thor. It’s not that i hated the movie, i actually liked it, but trying to explain the story would be too complicated. So here are some of my quick thoughts on Thor the movie.

First off, this Chris Hemsworth guy is awesome as Thor! It goes to show you that Marvel Studios doesn’t need to hire Chris Evans when it comes to casting their blond leads! Also, it shows you that if you are true to the character the audiences will come to see the movie no matter if the actor is a big name or not. I am not incredibly familiar with Marvel’s version of Thor, but i thought that Chris Hemsworth did a pretty great job portraying the “fish out of water” aspect of the character without it being stupid. It is a fine line between pitch perfect and completely lame and i think Hemsworth found the perfect balance.

Although i am not a huge fan of Natalie Portman, i found that i really liked her in this movie as the socially awkward, yet super smart scientist. In fact i was a fan of her scientific team portrayed by Peter Saarsgaard and Kat Dennings. Based on the trailer i thought that i was going to be completely annoyed by Dennings’ character, but it worked for the most part. Every time that the movie was spent on Earth, i was grinning from ear to ear. The chemistry between the scientist and Thor was really enjoyable.

Which brings us to the parts that didn’t take place on Earth. The world of the gods, Asgard, was played very Shakespearean, which was perfect for the humor of the fish out of water portions on Earth. I though Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Tom Hiddleston as Loki were great performances.

I liked this movie a lot until Thor saved the Earth from an attack on a small town in New Mexico, only to go on for another 20 minutes where he saves an Ice Planet with a bunch of assholes? Why couldn’t Loki be trying to destroy Earth instead of the asshole iceman planet? At least that way we could feel like Natalie Portman’s life was in danger. I was totally on board with this movie until that point. Instead of Thor protecting the Earth people, he saves a planet that i don’t care about, while Natalie Portman and her team watch a New Mexico sunset. It took all the drama out of the movie and made no sense.

Thor had a lot of things going for it. I was really happy until the end of the movie. I did like that Thor did his spinning hammer trick from the comics and i enjoyed the brief inclusion of Clint Barton. Even though Thor was not the greatest film, it did get me excited to see Thor interact with the rest of the Avengers next year.

★ ★ ★½

Blog Posts

Shitty DVD Covers of the Month?

I have been busy and haven’t been posting the Shitty DVD Covers of the Week. I think the last post was on March 1st. It has been a couple months and the phone has been ringing off the hook with loyal readers who asking about it. So I decided to go back and look at all the covers i missed and BOY did i pick the wrong time to neglect the SDVDCOTW. Here is just some of the things that i found.

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“The Interview” by James Leigh

The Interview by James LeighMy good friend has recently completed their first novel. The book is called “The Interview” and is available on Lulu.Com. It is only $13.99 for a physical copy and a mere $5.00 for a direct download, which could be read on any electronic reader. I have mine on the iPad! Here is more information on the book. I highly recommend you pick it up.

“For the last five years Orson Dodd has left his house for only three reasons: the occasional run to the grocery store to stock up on baby food and laxatives, his monthly road trip to Reno for a few days of Texas Hold ‘Em, and to the city to indulge in his new hobby of going on job interviews while pretending to be someone else. His routine is broken, however, when he meets Grace, the receptionist at the company of his latest interview, and decides to lie his way into her heart.”

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

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Tomar Re Character Poster

Tomar Re Green Lantern Movie PosterFROM YAHOO! MOVIES

The latest character poster from the Green Lantern film showcases Tomar Re, Green Lantern of Earth’s neighboring Space Sector, 2813. Besides Abin Sur, Tomar Re was the first member of the Green Lantern Corps that came in contact with Hal Jordan. Tomar Re will be played by Geoffrey Rush (Shine, Mystery Men).

NEW TRAILER

56 Days Until Release

Blog Posts

KIDNAPPING KEVIN SMITH!

Kidnapping Kevin Smith Graphic Novel by Chad Blakely

KIDNAPPING KEVIN SMITH- THE ALL NEW, EXCITING GRAPHIC NOVEL FROM CHAD BLAKELY!!

The brand new, original graphic novel, “Kidnapping Kevin Smith” is also the first publication from upstart comic imprint, pathetic aesthetic comics and from creator Chad Blakely!

The tale of two slacker comic book store employees (Ralph Norman and Jeff Lee), who have big dreams, but zero initiative or zero prospects.  That all changes when Ralph; the “brains” of the operation, hatches a scheme to kidnap indy filmmaker Kevin Smith and force him to write a screenplay for them.  Kind of a cross between the movies “Ruthless People” and “Misery”; with the foul mouthed comedy of Kevin Smith.  Their plans take a turn for the worse (or better, depending on who’s side you’re on) when Kevin Smith contacts the outside world and alerts his fan base that he’s been abducted.

Produced by Chad Blakely, “Kidnapping Kevin Smith”  is a new one shot graphic novel, being self published under Blakely’s own imprint pathetic aesthetic comics. Michael and Laura Allred (Madman; I, Zombie) produced the cover art for this graphic novel, capturing the sense of comedy and danger of the story.

“Kidnapping Kevin Smith” will be solicited in the June issue of Previews.

READ MORE ABOUT KIDNAPPING KEVIN SMITH HERE

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The Green Lantern Score

Last year I created a wish list of composers that i wanted to see get a crack at the Green Lantern score. Luckily, my second favorite film composer of all time, James Newton Howard, got the gig.

The score has been recording for the last couple of week and James Newton Howard’s arranger, Stuart M Thomas has been updating the status of the Green Lantern score via his twitter feed. Here are some of the things we can look forward to.

March 23 – “Orchestration has begun on #GreenLantern. Scoring in two weeks!” //oh we’re bringin’ it…!”

March 25 – “Maxing out Pro Tools on #GreenLantern music. Damn this is a big score…”

March 26 – “Sound Effects and Music meeting for #GreenLantern. Film is looking and sounding awesome!”

March 28 – “Saw new CGI on #GreenLantern today. This thing is awesome!”

March 30 – “The brass section is going to need a vacation after recording this score.”

March 30 – “Played music for the climax of the film today for Martin, Donald et al. Heart pounding music for a thrilling climax. Loving #GreenLantern !”

April 1 – “4 days til orchestra! #GreenLantern”

April 2 – “I am looking forward to the score more than anything. I am jealous!” //whole movie is great. You’ll love it!”

April 4 – “Pete Anthony is conducting the score?”

April 5 – “Heading to Sony to set up for scoring #GreenLantern.”

April 6 – “First day of scoring on #GreenLantern. Music by James Newton Howard.”

April 11 – “String overdubs and percussion tracking on #GreenLantern today. Last 5 days was 104 piece orchestra. (w/8 Horns, 4 Trumpets, 8 Trombones!)”

April 12 – “Starting to mix music for #GreenLantern today. Choir being recorded this week as well!”

Sounds like really exciting stuff. If there is anything about Green Lantern that i am looking forward to the most is the score by James Newton Howard. If you want to follow Stuart M Thomas, his twitter feed is @DogTownMusic

65 Days Until Release

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“Toolminators” Abbey Tools Commercial

Abbey Tools CommercialThe majority of my youth was spent recording television on blank VHS tapes. Recently I have gone through some of those tapes and found some real gems. Check out this lost commercial  that i captured all those years ago! It is truly outrageous!

This is a video from around 1997. I found this on a tape of MST3K  episodes. As you can see, it is a local commercial for Abbey Tools and stars The Toolminators. There is not much to say about it other than it’s awesome!!

Blog Posts

TRON Legacy Soundtrack in Chronological Order

Daft Punk's TRON Legacy Soundtrack Chronological Order

As you know, I really liked the score for TRON Legacy by Daft Punk. I liked it so much that I went around the internet and downloaded all of the exclusive tracks that were provided by different websites. A few days ago I purchased TRON Legacy on Bluray and took some notes as to where all the cues fit into the film. Here is a list of all available tracks placed in chronological order.

TOTAL RUN TIME: 1:23:03
  1. Overture
  2. The Grid
  3. The Son of Flynn
  4. Encom Part I (Special Edition CD)
  5. Encom Part II (Special Edition CD)
  6. Recognizer
  7. Armory
  8. Arena
  9. Round One (Special Edition CD)
  10. Rinzler
  11. The Game Has Changed
  12. Outlands
  13. Father and Son (iTunes Exclusive)
  14. Adagio for TRON
  15. Nocturne
  16. Outlands, Part II (iTunes Exclusive)
  17. End of Line
  18. Reflections (Special Edition CD)
  19. Castor (Special Edition CD)
  20. Derezzed
  21. Fall
  22. Sea of Simulation (Amazon Exclusive)
  23. Solar Sailor
  24. Rectifier
  25. Disc Wars
  26. C.L.U.
  27. Arrival
  28. Flynn Lives
  29. Sunrise Prelude (Nokia Exclusive)
  30. TRON Legacy [End Titles]
  31. Finale

This is not a perfect list. There are some music cues in the film that aren’t available for purchase and some tracks such as “Castor” are split up between two scenes.  I have scoured the internet looking for a list like this, but nobody has the answers. So until I see a more comprehensive list, this is the playlist that I am going with, even though I feel that the original album is the best way to listen to this score.

IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES ON THIS LIST, PLEASE LET 
ME KNOW  IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.  
END OF LINE.
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Blog Posts

The Mood Swing 2 – Playlist

The Dead Format

Back in November, my friend Cesar asked me to create a playlist for his website The Dead Format. I had never created a playlist before, so i chose a bunch of music from many key points in my life and put them together and called it “The Mood Swing”. The title came from the fact that my life has had many ups and downs and the songs were kind of schizophrenic in nature. Many songs were upbeat whereas others were somber. With the end of 2010, i found that my life was taking yet another turn. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the past and where i want to take my future. Whether it be at work or while going to sleep, i listen to a lot of music. As i was listening to my random music, i decided to make a sequel to The Mood Swing. What you have here is a collection of music that puts me in a different place and time. Each song transports me to a specific time in my life. I think it is a good companion to my original Mood Swing mix.

I hope you enjoy The Mood Swing 2.

Ralph-

The Mood Swing 2
“Bedroom Boogie” – The Red Elvises
“Mind Over Matter” – E.G. Daily
“How Can I Be Sure” – Young Rascals
“Brimful of Asha” – Cornershop
“Something” – The Beatles
“Lost Cause” – Beck
“Rain is Falling” – Electric Light Orchestra
“Is This” – Oingo Boingo
“Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin’ Bout That Girl” – The Kinks
“Miracles” – Jefferson Starship
“Then She Did…” – Jane’s Addiction
“Candy” – Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson
“Baker Street” – Foo Fighters
“6 Underground” – Sneaker Pimps [Nellee Hooper/John Barry Edit]
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Download “The Mood Swing 2” HERE
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Blog Posts

The Adjustment Bureau – Review

If you were to ask me last week what The Adjustment Bureau was, i wouldn’t have had the foggiest idea what it was. I think i was watching Chuck last Monday when i saw a commercial for this film and i was confused that i had never heard of it. I was wondering why that was. I mean, it has some top notch actors in the film, it has a cool premise and it looks really entertaining. Why the heck was this movie not advertised? I thought for sure that this movie was not going to be any good, otherwise the studios would have had some sort of ad campaign. Or, the studio just found the right time to start advertising this science fiction thriller. The commercial aired late enough to make me want to run out and see it, which worked perfectly. If this trailer played non-stop for the last few months i would have been sick of it and not have checked it out. Whatever the reasoning was behind the scarce ad campaign, it totally grabbed me and i am glad i went into this movie knowing very little about it.

There is not much to say about the movie. The story centers around a young politician who is on a path to the  White House, but he finds out that the path he is on is predetermined and that there is a group of individuals who are altering events around him, in order to ensure he continues on the “correct” path. Unfortunately for this “Adjustment Bureau”, the politician has fallen in love with a woman at first sight, who is not a part of their plan.

The concept of The Adjustment Bureau seems to be complicated, but the movie sets them up in a very simple way and never did i feel lost. My favorite part about this movie is the way that the Bureau was handled. These men in hats are not in imposing threat. They are not mean spirited and they do not carry guns. They actually reveal themselves fairly early on and instead of harming Matt Damon’s David Noris character, they reason with him and let him know that if he tells anyone about the Bureau, they will wipe his mind. He just needs to go about his life, ditch the woman and all will be well. This is Bureau is so effective at what they do, that they don’t need to use threats. It is a really cool concept.  Any other film maker would have probably just made them gun-toting baddies with no souls.

The Adjustment Bureau was thoroughly entertaining. I enjoyed every minute. When it came to the ending of the film, i felt like it was one of many endings and they went with the most sugar-coated version, but after thinking about it, i liked it more. Even though they never really say were the Bureau came from, my mind goes immediately towards aliens. I guess it was the similarities to Dark City that led me to that conclusion. Also, because it is based on a Philip K Dick story, i leaned more towards science fiction rather than religious, but the movie leads you to come up with your own conclusion as to who the Bureau actually are.

I really liked all the actors in the movie. I think they all put in solid performances. I really liked the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. I have never seen Emily Blunt in anything, but i thought she was terrific. The Adjustment Bureau was a pleasant surprise and i am glad i went to check it out.

★ ★ ★ ★

Blog Posts

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Review

I just realized that i had created a Rotten Tomatoes account for myself three years ago. And three years ago i wrote this review for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. From the looks of it, i hated the movie so much i decided that i must create a Rotten Tomatoes account just to vote it down. I am sure the writing in this piece is Pulitzer worthy. Enjoy.

__________________________________________________

Posted on 5/24/08 08:54 AM

Disappointment. That is a word that kept creeping into my head while i sat through the end credits of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I spent the whole closing credits debating whether i liked the movie or not. It got the point where i gave up trying to sugar coat my experience.
I know what you guys are thinking. You are probably saying to yourself, Ralph, you are a Star Wars guy, not an Indy guy. The truth of the matter is, is that i love Indiana Jones. The very first score that i ever got was The Raiders of the Lost Ark. My mom bought me the tape when i was 4 years old, due to the fact that she felt i was too young to watch Raiders. I would sit there and listen to that cassette and draw pictures of Indiana Jones. I really love the character and i really wanted to love this film.

The movie begins following an army convoy. There are some teenagers hot-rodding around the convoy listening to a song from the 50’s that escapes me, but it was a really popular song. Anyway, the point is, It’s the 50’s! There is no title card for the film, which i suppose is there to unveil the big surprise that Indiana Jones himself is in the trunk of the lead military vehicle, which happens to be an undercover Russian military team, that just broke into Area 51. After a few old jokes, Indiana Jones is thrust into another adventure.

My problem begins here. After Indy has a conversation with Cate Blanchett’s character in front of a green screen , Indy is forced at gunpoint to help the Russians to find a mysterious box in a warehouse full of boxes (you know the place). Indiana Jones used the gunpowder from grenades to find the highly magnetic box. He throws the gunpowder into the air as they watch it fly across the warehouse. They follow the gunpowder and open up the box. When the Russians open the box, there is a sneak peak of what is inside. It looks just like an alien hand. There is no doubt about it. There is no mystery here, this is going to be Indiana Jones and the Men from Mars. After a quick escape on a rocket sled and a cutaway shot to CG gophers, Indy is on his way to his first adventure in the fifties.

I love, absolutely LOVE the idea of throwing the 30’s/40’s serial adventurer into a 50’s pulp science fiction adventure! My favorite shot of the film was seeing the nuclear mushroom cloud, with Indiana Jones standing right in front of it! As extreme as that scene was, it showed me that Indy was out of his element and i was along for the ride.

I love that Indiana Jones’ films take pieces of myth from history and turn them into a reality. I really like the idea of Indy living in the world where the aliens at Roswell exists! I accepted this world that was created. My main problem is that they show the alien way too early. You see the alien hand within the first ten minutes. The great thing about all the Indy films is that the power that surrounds the artifact isn’t revealed until the end. You sit through the whole movie getting caught up in the story so by the time you see the headpiece to the staff of Ra in action or see the lost Shankara Stones during a Thuggee cult ceremony glow with it’s mysterious power, you believe it!

There is no mystery to the crystal skull. They make allusions to the elongated skull and crop circles as if were didn’t see an alien hand at the very beginning. I figured that they may have not meant me to see as much of the alien hand at the beginning and that at the end it will be revealed that it was an alien race all along, But then they full on show the entire alien at the half way mark. There just isn’t any mystery surrounding the Crystal Skull. We know it is alien, so now we have to sit there and watch Indy try to figure out something about the origin of the skull, when the audience has already guessed it. It makes Indy look like an idiot. The mystery should unfold for the audience at the same time that it does for Indy! When Indy found out where the Well of Souls was, so did the audience. I should not figure out what is going before Indy does. It is just bad writing and directing.

The movie is just full of Bugs (literally and figuratively). I really enjoyed the concept of Indy vs. “Moon Men”, but i think that the script could have been worked on a little bit. I could go on and on about double agents and triple agents and old jokes, but i am going to give it a rest and get into some of the characters and their roles in the film.

Indiana Jones: Harrison Ford IS Indy! Not for a second did i think, wow, Indy is really old and he looks silly. I think that he was cool and played his oldness pretty well. He did not have too many stunts where i thought it was too fake.

Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Absolutely pointless. I have no idea why she was in this movie. Karen Allen is not a good actress and she brought nothing to this story. Absolutely NOTHING. She doesn’t even count as a love interest until the end of the film.

Mac: Ray Winstone plays a double/triple crossing sidekick to Indy. His character has no point in the film other than to make sure the bad guys know where Indy is at the end.

Professor Oxley: I like John Hurt as professor Oxley, but do we really need a fourth sidekick for Indiana Jones? FOUR! FOUR SIDEKICKS!

Irina Spalko: Cate Blanchett was pretty good. She was a really over the top Russian Psychic sent by Stalin to seek out the Crystal Skull. Irina Spalko didn’t have enough to do in the film, but thought she was a great big over the top villain!

“Mutt” Williams: I really liked Shia LaBeouf in this film. I think that all the scenes with him and Harrison Ford together were a lot of fun! I think he was a great sidekick. I think it was great to see his relationship mirror Indy’s relationship with Henry Jones Sr.. I think it would have been great if Indy just hung out with “Mutt” instead of the other THREE sidekicks. They go to great lengths to show how great he is with a switch blade, yet he never uses it once.I think that Mutt’s scenes during the Jeep chase were absolutely HORRIBLE! after a handful of CG nut-shots, he then makes friends with CG Monkeys and swings though the trees like Tarzan and catches up to three moving jeeps. Come On! really?

Back to the problems i had with the movie.

As I mentioned above Indy has FOUR sidekicks and for the most part three of them serve no purpose but to allow Indy to tag along as opposed to actually doing some detecting or research.

“Mutt” Williams, who is the biological son of Marion Ravenwood-Williams and Henry Jones Jr., is a great addition to the Indiana Jones mythos. I really like the interaction between them. It is such a cool dynamic that it made me want the entire film to be about Indy’s relationship with Mutt. I want to see the Jones boys on an adventure together. Indy has lost his father as well as Marcus Brody. Indy is all alone and probably has no real reason to go out and go on another adventure without the people that mean the most to him. But I thought that by having Mutt come into his life with an adventure to offer, that it would spark some youth into the old man. Even John Williams put in Henry Jones Sr.’s theme in when Indy was Contemplating, this, his final adventure. Williams seemed to understand how the movie should have gone.

I want to see Mutt bring out the Schoolboy in Indy.

I could go on and on about the problems in this film, but i don’t think i have the energy. I wish that Stephen Speilberg and Company could have taken a cue from Sylvester Stalone’s recent Rocky and Rambo films and played up the character’s inability to stay youthful as opposed to just throwing out a couple of old jokes and proceed as if 20 years have not passed. I understand that Serial Characters are not supposed to be filled with emotion, but there needs to be some heart in the film. I think that it is okay for Indy to be older. I think that it would have made Mutt a much stronger character, instead Mutt is no more than a sidekick to a fully capable sixty five year old Indiana Jones .

__________________________________________________

I will go ahead and give this movie a rating of :

★½

Blog Posts

“Iron Head” Heyward’s Zest Body Wash Commercial

Craig Iron Head Heyward Zest Body Wash Commercial

The majority of my youth was spent recording television on blank VHS tapes. Recently I have gone through some of those tapes and found some real gems. Check out this lost commercial  that i captured all those years ago! It is truly outrageous!

This is from a video tape i made in 1997, back when i was recoding MST3K on The Sci-Fi Channel. I have been quoting this commercial with my friend Ryan for over 14 years and was glad that i found it, because as far as i know this is the only place on the internet that you can find it. Enjoy!

Congress To Ironhead: ‘What’s With This Thingy?’

Blog Posts

Hall Pass – Review

I know what you are thinking and Yes, i did see Hall Pass. I know it looked bad, but i am up for seeing anything if i some slight interest in it. I like the Farrelly Brothers, I  have seen all of their movies, with the exception of The Heartbreak Kid and even though they are not the best, i find some entertainment value in each one. BUT, when i saw Hall Pass i found zero entertainment value in it whatsoever. None. There was no entertainment value at all. It is worse than MAcGruber and MAcGruber wasn’t even worthy of my time to review. HALL PASS IS BAD!

As we all know, Hall Pass is a story about two wives that let their husbands loose for one week to do whatever they want. They get a break from being married, which means that they have a pass to go out and get laid and do crazy things on their own, while the women are out of town. Seems simple enough. It’s an interesting concept that you could play around with, especially if you are the Farrelly Brothers.

The two women, played by Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, know that if they give their husbands this freedom for one week, they will get all thoughts of sex out of their systems. They will no longer glance at women’s asses or ogle their female friends at dinner parties. They also believe that after years of marriage that their husbands wouldn’t even be able to get laid no matter how hard they try. This is the big setup and it took about 20 minutes to get there.  It was a long setup and unnecessary exposition, but now that the concept of the “Hall Pass” is set in place, I cannot wait to see these temporary single men try to put themselves back on the market. BUT, they spend the first three days golfing and going to Applebee’s and Chili’s. They don’t try to interact with a single women. This setup is perfect for a montage sequence of failure, but it falls completely flat.

The thing i found interesting about the first three days of their “adventure” was the inclusion of the husband’s friends who tag along and live vicariously through these guys. They do not add anything to the story, they are not really funny and they serve no purpose. Not only are they completely pointless in the film, they leave all together by day three. I am completely dumbfounded. Why would you put JB Smoove and Steven Merchant in your film only to have them exit before anything happens. I felt like leaving the movie at this point as well.

So we all figure out that by the end of the film, the men will learn a valuable lesson about how they love their wives and that they couldn’t get laid no matter how hard they tried. That kind of happens, but they both have the opportunity to get laid so that kind of backfired on the ladies. Not only do both the guys have the opportunity to get laid, but they get the chance with the first women that they meet while they have the Hall Pass. So apparently they did not fail as hard as they should have, but they used better judgement not to have sex with the other women.

So here is where Hall Pass becomes really unwatchable. The wives. So Bobby and Peter Farrelly get two great comic actresses in their movie and they have them play the whole thing completely straight, which would be fine if they didn’t occupy half of the screen time in this comedy. As the women are off having a fun week out of town, they meet some men and decide that they technically have a Hall Pass as well. So they decide to cut loose and have some fun. Christina Applegate goes after a young ballplayer and Jenna Fischer goes after her dad’s old golf buddy. It is a strange choice to say the least. So anyway, the movie is apparently about these two women learning that they have a thing or two to learn about loving their husbands. So since the women are having no problems meeting men and the men have no problems meeting women, then why the fuck am i watching scene after scene of fucking nothing? This movie is really bad, you guys.

So i already know that the movie is worse than my least favorite Farrelly Brother’s movie, Shallow Hal, but i would still watch Shallow Hal if it was on cable. I will never watch this movie again. Being a Farrelly Brother’s movie, you are probably wondering about that great gross-out humor. It is kind of in there, but unlike Something About Mary or Kingpins, the gross-out scenes do nothing to advance any sort of plot. In fact none of the scenes in the movie seem to be part of any kind of plot.

Let’s take this scene for example. In the movie, Owen Wilson’s character, Rick, meets this Australian barista at his local coffee shop. She is interested in him and he is interested in her. They set up this drink date at a bar that is located next to a gym that she goes to. He signs up for a membership at the gym with her and says that he will meet her at the bar after his workout. Rick then goes into a hot tub, reads a newspaper and falls asleep. He wakes up hours later and yells for help. He is paralyzed with some sort of hot tub shock. Two men run out of the shower room naked to help him get out of the hot tub. They lay him on the deck and rest his head on the knee of an african american man with a big penis. The shot is pretty funny, because it is just Owen Wilson’s head resting on the knee of a naked man. He then says, “Can i rest on his knee instead”. The camera pans down the white man and he has a really small penis. Wow, that was hilarious and irreverent, right? Okay, so cut to a party where there are a billion people. The Australian girl runs into Rick and asks him why he wasn’t at the bar after the workout. He lets her know that he fell asleep in the hot tub and that he was sorry he missed the drinks at the bar. She seemed fine with it. This movie was full of scenes that had nothing to do with anything.

Owen Wilson, Jasons Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate were all underutilized and unfunny. Hall Pass is a horrible movie and i am tired of typing about it. This movie is so shitty, i am not even going to go back and proofread it.

Don’t see Hall Pass.

½

Blog Posts

Kidnapping Kevin Smith

Chad Blakely Kidnapping Kevin Smith

Last July, I posted a blog entry that mentioned that I was going to make a cameo in Kevin Stone’s graphic novel called “Old Soldiers“. Recently I found out that I was going to make another appearance in graphic novel form. This time from my friend Chad Blakely. Today Chad posted on his blog that the project he has been working on is a book called “Kidnapping Kevin Smith“.

As you can see from the image above, I am looking at my phone while at a strip club. I am not sure what Chad has me looking at but i am guessing that I’m checking in on Yelp!

Many thanks to Chad for thinking of me while working on his book. I hope to see him appear in the pages of The Cricket some day.

From gun store owner, to strip club patron!

UPDATE

Chad has posted the cover of the book, which was drawn by Michael Allred and colored by Laura Allred. Check it out here!

Kidnapping Kevin Smith Mike Allred

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First Look at Emerald Knights

Green Lantern Emerald Knights

Primetime television stars Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) lead a diverse array of performers as the voices behind Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

Building up to the release of the highly anticipated live action film, Green Lantern, in theatres June 17, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights arrives on Blu-Ray™, DVD, On Demand and for Download June 7 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation.

Fillion provides the voice of the animated film’s central character Hal Jordan, the human Green Lantern assigned to Sector 2814 (which includes Earth). Fillion has starred in several primetime television series including Desperate Housewives, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He has also developed a popular cult following as a pair of Joss Whedon’s heroic captains: Capt. Mal Reynolds in the space-western series Firefly and follow-up film, Serenity; and Captain Hammer in Whedon’s internet sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Fillion returns to the DC Universe after his successful turn as Steve Trevor in the animated film Wonder Woman, and has performed voice work on Justice League, Robot Chicken, The Venture Bros., and several Halo video games.

 

Moss gives voice to Arisia, a young recruit forced into her first mission on just her third day as a Green Lantern. Prior to starring as the ever-evolving Peggy Olson in AMC’s ground-breaking series Mad Men, Moss was featured on The West Wing, Invasion and Picket Fences. Moss has been active in voiceovers for animation with previous roles in Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs, Freakazoid! and It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown!.

The voice cast for the animated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights also features actor/spoken word artist Henry Rollins (Sons of Anarchy, The Henry Rollins Show) as Kilowog, Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter films) as Sinestro, legendary professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (They Live) as Bolphunga, Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy) as Abin Sur, Kelly Hu (The Vampire Diaries) as Laira and Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Deegan. Radio Hall of Fame commentator/talk show host Michael Jackson voices the esteemed Guardian, Ganthet.

Bruce Timm is executive producer of Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Directors are Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva and Christopher Berkeley.

The full-length animated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights complements the Warner Bros. theatrical release of the highly anticipated live-action major motion picture, Green Lantern. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, as well as single disc DVD. The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

 

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Photo Adventure: The L.A. Zoo

I went to the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday and took a lot of fun pictures of animals and things. As you can see, the first thing we got to see on our adventure were these Zebra’s asses.

This gorilla was glaring at me, because it felt threatened by my superior facial hair.

I have never seen a Koala’s ass up close until now. I feel blessed.

This five year old orangutan was climbing around the ropes. I am not sure, but i think it was a girl.

Here is an amazing shot of an orangutan playing with some toy building bricks!

This orangutan lady is was sitting by the glass and eating some trees.

Don’t feed cauliflower to the angry dogs!! Trust them on this one.

Oh deer, another ass shot.

Ram from behind.

This girl lion was trying to get some sun.

I saw this nature photographer wearing earth tones, but i am pretty sure the hundreds of screaming kids with snow cones were blowing his cover.

Girasses.

I saw this Spiny, dropped by a Lakitu.

This Water Snake got out of its cage.

This chimp is in the process of going #2 in a water fall.

Here is a picture of an old female human wearing sandals with socks.

This elephant was trying to get into that door. The animals really enjoyed showing off their asses to the crowd.

This guy was “making like a tree”

This cave dummy had sunglasses on and looked like Sgt. Callahan from Police Academy.

I had a fun day, it was a little crowded, but i got to see all kinds of animal asses!


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John Barry

John Barry

I usually don’t get torn up when I hear about a celebrity death. I usually say, ” That’s a shame.” and go about my life. Of my 10 favorite film composers of all time, only two of them have passed away in my lifetime. Yesterday a third was added to that list. John Barry.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time listening to the film scores of John Williams and Danny Elfman. After my father had left my mom, I felt very lost and abandoned. I turned to buying and renting movies. I remember as soon as I got my license, I drove to Blockbuster and rented Dr. No. I had decided that I would start watching all the James Bond movies in order from beginning to end. I became a die hard 007 fan. I know the movies weren’t all great, but it each one had offered it’s own element of escapism.

It was soon after that when I purchased The Best of James Bond 30th Anniversary cd box set. I would listen to those cds in my car all the time. It was almost as if the escapism I got from the James Bond movies transfered over into my every day life.

Since then, I have become quite fond of John Barry’s work beyond the world of 007 and I am incredibly saddened by his passing. If you aren’t familiar with his work, I cannot recommend it enough.

All of his non-Bond music that I own has an other worldly quality to it that I really love. No other composer sounds quite the way that John Barry does. All of his scores sound very majestic with a hint of sadness. They are epic without being overbearing.

While listening to his scores last night I was reminded of my life with his music, as well as my life since my father left and it just reminded me how short and precious life is and we need to make the most out of it, because leaving something beautiful for future generations is an invaluable gift. John Barry will be missed.

I am glad that John Barry’s music will live on forever. I hope you get a chance to check out some of his work. Below are a few Cues of John’s that are among my favorite.

Main Theme – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Sir Hilary’s Night Out – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Fight at Kobe Docks/Helga – You Only Live Twice
007 And Counting – Diamonds are Forever
Bond Lured to Pyramid – Moonraker
Journey to Fort Sedgewick – Dances with Wolves
End Titles – Masquerade
End Title ( You are Karen) – Out of Africa
Theme – Somewhere in Time
Smile – Chaplin
We Have all the Time in the World/ The James Bond Theme – O.H.M.S.S.

 

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Mad Libs Monday – The Camping Trip

Mad Libs Monday

It was a cold, Fucked Up night. Doctor Tranny and Lesbian Deborah Licked around the campfire, Whoring songs and eating Man Chowder.

Soon they got tired, climbed into their Gangs, and eventually fell asleep. Suddenly, they were both wide awake. There was a loud Retarded sound outside the tent. Lesbian Deborah grabbed Doctor Tranny‘s Fucking Dong and held on for dear life. Doctor Tranny started chanting, “Lions and Sexy Stews and Turds, oh my!” over and over again.

Then into their tent fell their friend Crotchety RebeccaCrotchety Rebecca had been thirsty and had gone into the house for some Pee Pee. Now the Pee Pee was on the floor of their tent. But they all had a good laugh and went back to sleep.

It turned out to be a very Poo Soaked camping trip. And maybe next time they’ll even leave Lesbian Deborah‘s backyard.

 

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The Green Hornet – Review

The Green Hornet Review

I am a fan of Michel Gondry, but only really liked one of his movies. After watching The Green Hornet, you can chalk that up to two! The Green Hornet is a character that i am very unfamiliar with. My only real knowledge of the character is what i learned from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. We all know that Bruce Lee was the original Kato in the television show, but i don’t think i have ever seen any footage of the series. I also knew that The Green Hornet was once a radio show, but was not sure if it was a comedy, or if it was just camp that would be considered comedy by today’s standards. I am not sure if Seth Rogan would be anybody’s first choice for Britt Reid, but i was willing to go along with it. I like Seth Rogen and was interested in seeing what a Michel Gondry action movie would look like.

I have to be honest, the last thing i expected when going into this movie was to laugh as much as i did. I know that Seth Rogen is a funny guy, but i though the movie would be done with more tongue and cheek camp, but the jokes were all really funny. For the most part i really enjoyed the story, with the exception of the forced love triangle, but i think if the film ran longer it would have suffered greatly.

There were a few montages in the film that were done in a way that only the mind of Michel Gondry could come up with. My favorite was the montage where Christoph Waltz’s “Chudnofsky” sends out a hit on The Green Hornet. The camera follows one hitman, then split screens when that hit man meets up with another hit man,  then those two split off into two more split screens and so on. It is this insane cell division effect that keeps going until the screen was divided up into like 30 sections. It reminded me of the Chino Matto “SUGAR WATER” video. It was definitely a highlight of the film.

Another highlight of the film was Jay Chou’s portrayal of Kato. He was badass at Brit Reid’s sidekick and all of his jokes were hilarious. I don’t think this movie would have worked as well if Jay Chou fell short of the mark. Kato was always cooler than The Green Hornet and i am glad that the movie addressed that dynamic and I thought he was a perfect counterpoint to Seth Rogen’s style of humor. It was a great team up!

I am not sure if this movie honors the spirit of the original characters or not, but i had a lot of fun watching it. I did not see it in 3d because i heard it was converted in post, but i hear that it was a pretty good conversion. If you are looking for a really good time, but not expecting to be blown away, check out The Green Hornet!

★ ★ ★ ½

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Mad Libs Monday – Burp!

Mad Libs Monday

Gerald “The Entertainer” had everything a(n) Assless Donkey could ask for. He had Fucking Horrible food, a big, Insanely Retarded bed, and the “Mother Fucking” Apel family to look after him.

One morning Gerald “The Entertainer” woke up. “I’m hungry!” he said. He went down to the The Shitter but everyone in the “Mother Fucking” Apel family was still asleep. “I guess I’ll have to find my own breakfast,” he said.

Gerald “The Entertainer” went outside and Screwed down the street. On the sidewalk, he saw a(n) Incredibly Smelly Dump. “Gulp!” Down went the Dump. “Not bad!” said Gerald “The Entertainer”.

Next, Gerald “The Entertainer” headed for the park. There he found a pair of Tits just sitting on a bench. “Gulp! Gulp.” Down went the Tits. “Mmmm, Heinous!” said Gerald “The Entertainer”.

Gerald “The Entertainer” was feeling very Skanky as he skipped over to a video store. There he saw some tasty video games. “Gulp! Gulp! Gulp!” Gerald “The Entertainer” swallowed Goddam Kirby’s Adventure and That Pile of Shit E.T. Atari Game whole.

MOTHER FUCKER!! It must be time to go home,” said Gerald “The Entertainer”. He Whored back home and up the stairs to his Insanely Retarded bed.

“Breakfast! Time for breakfast, Gerald “The Entertainer”!” called Mrs. “Mother Fucking” Apel.

“I don’t feel very well,” groaned Gerald “The Entertainer”. “It must have been those Cow Dung I ate for supper last night.” Burp!

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The Tail End Podcast : Contest!

WIN THE SHIRT OFF HER BACK!!

LOST Contest for Costume

The Tail End presents the “Create the Flashback and Win the Shirt off her Back Contest!”

As you all know our very own Sidekick22 has been featured as a background extra on LOST, but never had the opportunity to tell her story in flashbacks. That is where you come in! All you have to do is create a backstory for “Roxanne” and write it out in one short and entertaining paragraph. That’s not all!! We also want to see a scene from her flashback. You can chose any artistic medium to depict the flashback, whether it be drawings, paintings, water colors, photoshop…etc. In order to get into the head of “Roxanne”, you must see what her “On Island” story is. To do that you can find her in the following episodes…

Sounds pretty easy, huh? Well it may seem easy, but you have to make sure that you are really creative because the most creative entry will win a piece of LOST history!! That’s right, the winner of the contest will win The Purple Tank Top and the Mesh Hoodie actually worn by Sidekick22 on the show!! As if that wasn’t enough, Beth has mentioned that you may also receive a special surprise gift from Jorge Garcia, the guy who played Hurley on LOST!

THE RULES

  • Entries should not be a billion words long: Keep them short, because Ralph has to read some of these and you know how much he dislikes reading.
  • Entries should be about “Roxanne” only: The flashback should be about the character Roxanne and should not reflect the real life exploits of Bethany Shady.
  • Entries should be fun and not mean spirited: Remember, LOST was rated TV14, so let’s keep the entries in fairly good taste. I know The Tail End may be lewd at times, but we don’t need to go overboard here.
  • ALL ENTRIES NEED TO BE SUBMITTED ON TIME!: All entries must be sent to THETAILENDPODCAST@GMAIL.COM by 11:59pm JANUARY 31, 2011 (please include your name and address)
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Mad Libs Monday – The Box

Mad Libs Monday

The doorbell rang. Android Gary and Salamander Natalie raced to the door. There on the doorstep was an enormous, Ass Licking box. What could be inside? They Swimmingly Boned Down the box into the S&M NurserySalamander Natalie Hidiously put her Deformed Taint close to the box. She thought she heard a voice whisper, “HORSE PEE PEE!!”

“Hurry. Open the box!” screamed Android Gary. To their amazement, Gerald McRaney leaped out of the box and started singing “I Want a New Duck.” There was nothing else to do but sing along.

 

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New Image of Kilowog!

KILOWOG’S CHALLENGE: STICKER BOOK

A new image from the Green Lantern film comes from this  sticker book. It is a great shot of the Green Lantern Corps trainer. KILOWOG!

159 Days Until Release

_______________________________________________

**UPDATE**

Two new GL images surface.

New Green Lantern Image
Click To Enlarge

New Green Lantern Image
Click To Enlarge


Blog Posts

Mad Libs Monday – The Best Town in the World Has a Fall Festival

Mad Libs Monday

Every year my town, Ralph “The Body” Apelville hosts the Fall Festival of Dung-Filled Pumpkins. It’s a really fun time. Everyone comes to the Naked Nancy Sinatra Park to play games, eat delicious food, see all the animals, and Fuck in the last of the Tom-Foolery weather. My favorite booth is the one that serves fried Vaginas on a stick!

This year, the Festival was extra special because there was a surprise guest; Pablo Mother Fucking Cruise came to play on the Ralph “The Body” Apelville Stage! It was the best concert ever. While Pablo Mother Fucking Cruise played, One Goddamn Billion Farting Hyena sang along. But that wasn’t half as amazing as the fact that the Farting Hyena sang better than Pablo Mother Fucking Cruise. At the awards ceremony that evening, all of the Farting Hyena won blue ribbons for their singing. It was the best Fall Festival ever!

 

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Highlights of 2010

ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN

In a year in which Robert Kirkman brought his Walking Dead series to television, i found myself becoming more and more excited about his comic book Astounding Wolf-Man, drawn by Jason Howard. I like Robert’s work on the Walking Dead comic, but of his 3 books this and Invincible is where it was at in 2010!

FLYNN LIVES A.R.G.

I have never participated in an Alternate Reality Game before Flynn Lives, but i was excited about TRON Legacy and figured it could be fun. These guys sent me posters, pins and all kinds of junk, just for playing some online games. It was a blast and got me fired up for TRON!

TOY STORY 3

I really like Pixar movies. A lot. But a lot of them always seem to have some action packed third act that i just loses any emotional impact. Up and Wall*E are the main culprits of this, which is why i tend to gravitate towards Ratatouille as my favorite of their films. Toy Story 3 ends with a big action set piece as it’s climax, but that is sort of the formula for Toy Story films and this one is the most emotional. Just click the link above, and watch the “hand holding scene” with Michael Giacchino’s “Life and Death” from LOST.

THE GREEN LANTERN TRAILER

It’s no secret that i love The Green Lantern and nothing got me as excited this year than catching my first glimpse at the live action film that comes out next year.

TRON: LEGACY SCORE

This works great as an album and even better as a film score. The french electronic duo Daft Punk throw their helmets in the ring and go toe to toe with some of the greatest composers of the past 10 years and deliver a one-two punch! Their score to TRON Legacy  is incredible!

LOST: The Final Season

The End of my favorite show, LOST, happened this year and it went out with a bang! The entire sixth season played out like a reunion episode and i loved seeing all my favorite characters return for a celebration of friendship.

KICK-ASS

For hating these books with such a passion, i really found myself surprised with how much i loved this movie. I have only purchased 3 blurays this year and Kick-Ass was one of them. In case you were wondering, LOST season 6 and Fantasia were the other two.

FACT OR FAKED: PARANORMAL FILES

Fact or Faked is essentially the Mythbusters of insane paranormal videos. They look at all that weird shit you see on youtube and debunk it. Sometimes they don’t debunk it and that is where things get interesting. I really enjoy this show and look forward to season two coming at the beginning of next year!

TRON LEGACY

I knew that i was going to enjoy this film, but i was not prepared for how much i would love it. Tron Legacy is a sci fi film that does not cater to the dumb. It sticks pretty close to it’s roots and never lets go. I enjoyed this movie a lot an cannot wait to see it on bluray in 2011 along with its predecessor!

LAST YEARS LIST

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Mad Libs Monday – The Best Town in the World

Mad Libs Monday

The Shitty Beatles came to do a concert in Ralph “The Body” Apelville once, and the band liked it so much they never left. Now every Memorial Day night, all the people who live in Ralph “The Body” Apelville put on their Butt FuckingPee Green Pube Filled Condom and walk their Five Legged Donkey to the town square. Then they sit on the grass, listen to The Shitty Beatles play Hard Core Gangsta Smooth Jazz music, and eat Apple Pie A La Choad.

No one has to go to school in Ralph “The Body” Apelville unless they want to. Of course, everybody wants to because Ke$ha Knight Pulliam and Gunther Toody are two of the teachers. Ke$ha Knight Pulliam teaches Mother Fucking Math and Gunther Toody teaches Grave Digging.

One day Ke$ha Knight Pulliam said to Gunther Toody, “Maybe we should take the students on a field trip.”

“That’s a Spunky idea, Ke$ha Knight Pulliam ,” said Gunther Toody. “Let’s take them to the most fun place we can think of.”

“But that would be Ralph “The Body” Apelville,” said Ke$ha Knight Pulliam .

“You’re right!” Gunther Toody exclaimed. “Call off the field trip! We’re already here!”

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TRON Legacy – Review

Tron Legacy Movie Review

Disney has spent the last three years dumping tons of cash into a sequel to a film with an incredibly small fan base. They handed the picture over to people who made a film specifically for those few fans of the original film and hoped that it would please the masses. I don’t know if the majority of the people will enjoy Tron Legacy, but as a fan of the original, i loved it!

Ever since they talked about making a sequel to Tron, i always thought that it would be a good idea. I feel that, even though the computer generated effects were primitive, Tron was ahead of its time. I know that is a pretty easy statement to throw around these days, but i truly believe it. As a kid i watched Tron for Lightcycles, Recognizers and Disc Battles. It wasn’t until i was older did i understand the concepts behind the movie. I still watch the original Tron on a regular basis and learn something new each time. I understand that the movie is considered cheesy by today’s standards and fully understand why Disney did not release the Bluray of it prior to the release of Tron Legacy, but i have a feeling that when it comes out it may get an all new respect that wasn’t there when it came out in 1982. You have to realize, Tron flopped big time when it was originally released and it is amazing that they would attempt a big budget sequel 28 years later. I don’t know if it is the video game or 3D movie craze, but i am glad they made it, because i enjoyed this film from start to finish.

The opening of the film is brilliant! I really enjoyed that the movie begins with the forming of “The Grid” and then slowly transforms into a city skyline. The reason i dug this so much was because in the original Tron, the last shot of the movie was of the city skyline from the POV of the Encom building as it slowly transformed into “The Grid”. It was it was like telling the fans, that we are right where we left off. The first 15 minutes or so takes place in “The Real World”, it was here where there are a lot of nods to the original movie. From Ed Dillinger Jr. to Dumont’s Shipping and the “Now that is a big door” quote from the original, this movie really felt like it was made just for the fans. I was actually really nervous for my wife. She is not a fan of the original Tron at all, but as it turns out she was entertained thoroughly as well. The story was a bit complex, a bit preachy and a whole lot of fun. It was exactly what a Tron sequel should have been.

A lot of people may complain that it is not as action packed as they had hoped, but as i watched the movie i couldn’t helped but be sucked into the Sci Fi of the film. There is a lot of shitty science fiction films out there and seeing this movie in IMAX 3d with a crowd full of people and surrounded by friends and family, it made me feel like a big kid, watching other big kids playing with toys. This is my favorite kind of science fiction. I love space ships, technobabble, fantasy and other worlds. As i watched the film, i was engrossed by the technology. I loved seeing how everything worked. I liked watching the wheels spinning on the freight container loading machines. I loved watching the Recognizers collapse so that people could board the crafts. I loved watching everything move around. It was really a treat for me to be immersed in this world and IMAX 3d was the best way to appreciate this.

Not only the technology that was used in the world created, but i was pretty impressed with the technology used to create this world. The visual effects in Tron Legacy are in your face. It is the first thing you notice as soon as you see any commercial or trailer. This movie looks unlike anything else i have seen before, but what is great is that, with all the flash, the characters are not lost in the backgrounds. I liked all the characters in the film. Garret Hedlund’s “Sam Flynn”, Michael Sheen’s Ziggy Stardust inspired “Castor” and Bruce Boxleitner’s Alan Bradley are stand out in the film. I liked all of their performances, but the stand outs in the film were Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde.

Olivia Wilde’s “Quorra” was great! I have never seen anything she has been in, but i thought she did a great job at playing innocent. She was funny, strong, but voulnerable all at the same time. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of girls out there dressed as Quorra at Comic Conventions and Halloween for years to come.

And then there’s Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges returns the computer genius and mad scientist Kevin Flynn. He created this world that he wanted to be perfect, and in the process he created a monster that will stop at nothing to rectify any impurity IN that world. “Clu”. As you have seen from the trailer, Clu is a program created by Kevin Flynn in his own likeness. Clu will stop at nothing to make The Grid a perfect place to live. He will stop at nothing to to clean up The Grid. When Sam opens the portal to The Grid, Clu launches an all out attack that is on a collision course with the real world. It is up to Kevin, Sam and Quorra to stop him from entering into our world.

Clu looks amazing as a program. I really thought he looked cool. When you see it in IMAX and 3d at the same time, you notice all of the flaws in the animation, but i was able to forgive this because Clu is an artificial program, he isn’t supposed to be photo real, but the problem comes when they flashback to Kevin Flynn being young and he looks just like Clu. It is hard to forgive the CGI when young Kevin Flynn should be photo realistic. I am sure when i watch it on my television at home, i wont notice the animation as much as i did when Kevin Flynn’s CG head was 5 stories tall. It is a minor gripe, but it was a bit distracting. Whenever Clu or young Kevin Flynn was onscreen, you couldn’t help but want to scrutinize the CGI.

As much as i loved the movie there were two minor things that left me scratching my head. The first was Sam Flynn’s spare Lightcycle baton. They made it a point to show that he acquired it and in any video game scenario, you want to keep running tabs on your inventory for later use. Not once did Sam use his backup Lightcycle baton and it’s not something that would be brought up in any kind of sequel. Not only did he not use this baton, but he later used Kevin’s Mark 2 Lightcycle which was eventually traced back to Kevin Flynn’s secret hideout. I understand that Sam wasn’t able to use that style of Lightcycle off grid, as stated by Quorra, but why have him pick it up in the first place unless you are going to use it later?

The second minor thing that bugged me was the reveal of Rinzler as Tron. Us Tron fans figured out about who Rinzler was a while ago, but for a badass villain that you have cloaked with a black faceplate the whole time, you would think that the reveal of this character would be to reveal his true identity, especially when he says his famous line from the first film, “I fight for the users!” It made zero sense to me. Based on flashbacks, we have already seen that the producers of the film had created a de-aged CGI version of Bruce Boxleitner. Why on Earth would you not pull back that mask as he said that line? It would have been perfect!!

Other than those few things, i loved the movie. I thought that Daft Punk’s score was amazing and am anxiously waiting for them to release an album of the complete score. There was a lot of music in there that wasn’t in the movie and i want it all! Tron Legacy may not be for everyone, in fact it may not be for the majority of people, but for a Tron fan like me, it is an incredibly sequel that I’m glad was made. Sure, the goal is for Disney to have all the money on the planet, but i am glad that they did not sacrifice the legacy of Tron just to make some quick cash. This was a movie made by Tron fans, for Tron fans.

End of Line.

★ ★ ★ ★¾

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Mad Libs Monday – The Beach

Mad Libs Monday

Hooray! Summer is finally here, and that means we can go to the beach! Today, my family is going to Shittsbergh Beach, and I can bring a friend with me. I decide to invite my best friend Cameltoe Deborah . I know Cameltoe Deborah will want to go with us. She thinks going to the beach is Butt Sexting!

We start our beach day by watching the sunrise, and then eating breakfast at Uncle Chris Fucking Cringle‘s Pancake Hut. I always get a Pile of Cat Piss flavored pancakes.

After breakfast we Bang the waves, go Street Fighting for seashells, and Dry Hump a sandcastle. Then we eat the lunch we packed for the beach. It’s my favorite—Moldy Sourdough Toast sandwiches. The only time Moldy Sourdough Toast sandwiches are not so Shitty is when you drop them in the sand.

By Nine Fucking Thirty, everyone’s had enough of the beach. But Shittsbergh Beach is fun at night, too! There is a really Retarded boardwalk. It’s always crowded with people. Would you believe we saw my teacher Mrs. Shemale there, eating a huge banana split?

There are a lot of cool shops on the boardwalk. You can get a little hermit Hairless Donkey, but make sure your mom and dad say it’s okay! My favorite store is the jewelry store. Cameltoe Deborah and I each buy a rope bracelet that will Fuck when it gets wet. Pretty Hideously Deformed!

By 8:00, we’re all ready to head home. I usually fall asleep on the ride home. I can’t wait to go to Shittsbergh Beach again.

 

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Digital Comics

Digital Comics

So last Friday i got an iPad. The main reason i got one was for reading comics. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Ever since i quit the comic book store, i really didn’t feel like buying monthly comics at full price. $3-$4 for a 20 page story is just too steep for me. Then there is the fact that they start taking up all kinds of space in my small apartment. It was getting to the point where i was selling off my monthly issues and purchasing the Trade Paperbacks and Hardcover versions of the books. Those take up room too. The best thing about digital comics is that they are only $2, they don’t take up any space, i only need to purchase any given book once and it allows me to read it on my laptop, iPhone and iPad.

The books look great on the iPad. Sometimes, when you use the zoom in feature, the images can get a bit on the blurry side. But other than that, i can buy, read and store as many comics as i want without leaving my couch.

Right now i use Comixology, Image Comics and DC Comics apps. They are all created by Comixology and work pretty great. The downloads are fast, the books look good. Every now and then the apps freeze up, but that is more on the iPhone than the iPad. It has been great catching up on some of my series this past week, but i fear that i am getting too addicted to them. I read about 25 books in the last week. Luckily half of that was purchase on a iTunes giftcard.

If you own an iPhone or iPad i recommend downloading one of these apps and checking it out. There is a large variety of free comics that you can choose from and check out. I know that people like the way books feel or whatever, heck, i am still buying the Green Lantern and Madman hardcovers,  but i think digital comics are great! They are good for the environment, they do not take up space and they are backlit! Now i just need to find a Marvel book that interests me.

★ ★ ★ ★½

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Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – First Look

Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception

Naughty Dog has posted some new images to the follow up to one of my favorite video games of all time. Uncharted 2. The first game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Naughty Dog created incredibly realistic jungle environments for Nathan Drake to inhabit. The scenery was incredible and really showed off the capabilities of the PS3. Last year saw the release of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, where it took Drake to India, China and the Hymilayas, which showed off some great graphical improvements including grand cityscapes, lush jungles and mountainous snow covered terrain. It looks like the third outing in the Uncharted series will take us into the dessert and it looks amazing! Just take a look at these environment shots!

Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception Screen Capture Shots

Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception Screen Capture Shots

I love the stylized look. It reminds me of Raiders and Star Wars, which is great for these games, which are essentially a modern serial. I am looking forward to seeing what Naughty Dog does graphically with the next game, but where these game really shines is in the storytelling and i cannot wait to see what “Drake’s Deception” means for the character. I hope this much beloved character does not go bad, i would hate for that to happen.

Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception Screen Capture Shots

It looks like they changed up the design on Drake a little bit. He looks like a pissed off Nick Lachey. For those of you who are fans of the game, you will get your first sneak peek of the game play on monday night.

Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception Screen Shots

You know that I’ll be watching!!

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TRON Legacy Score – Review

Daft Punk Tron Legacy Music Review

It seems like i have been waiting years for this score to come out! Other than the return of Jeff Bridges, Daft Punk doing the score to TRON Legecy was one of the first bits of news that i heard surrounding the film.  One of the main questions i had was if they were going to utilize some of the themes from Wendy Carlos’ original score to TRON. Even though Daft Punk did not utilize or sample any of the original score, they did honor it by including some gothic elements.

Daft Punk’s score to TRON Legacy is unlike any other score i have heard. The best way i could describe it is a mix between, Vangelis’ score to Blade Runner, mixed with Watchmen and a dash of The Dark Knight. It is atmospheric, heavily electronic and surprisingly orchestral. The best part about the soundtrack album is that it looks like Daft Punk spent a lot of time into creating the track list to make a really great album. I am not sure if the tracks are listed in chronological order, but they flow great as an album.

Being a fan of film music, i am incredibly pleased with the quality of the score. I am not sure if fans of Daft Punk will enjoy it as much as their previous efforts, but there are a few tracks, like Derezzed, that sound like they were made with the Daft Punk fans in mind. I am not sure if a track like Derezzed will show up in the film, but it definitely stands out from the rest of the album.

As much as i loved the album, there is a stretch of 4 songs in the middle that are definitely highlights for me. If i were to explain to you what this score was all about, i would sum it up in the tracks “Adagio for TRON”, “Nocturne”, “End of Line” and “Derezzed”. These four tracks tell a specific story to me. I am not sure how these play out in the movie and i doubt that they show up in this order in the film, but i love how they flow together.

Adiago for TRON is almost completely orchestral. Of all of the cues from the soundtrack, this one represents the original Wendy Carlos score the most. There are hints of the original themes and it has a very gothic feel. The music is atmospheric and foreboding. In this scene i can imagine that there is some heavy exposition going on. It sounds like this is the point in the story where the “hero” becomes informed of everything he needs to go before he heads into his final quest.

Nocturne is once again very orchestral. When i listen to this i imagine Sam Flynn (the hero) thinking about the quest he is about to go on. This is what i consider his “last supper” music. This is the point of the story where he makes his decision to go ahead with the plan.

End of Line immediately  follows the orchestra heavy Nocturne. It uses heavy electronics and has a great driving beat. If i were a “hero” and i was about to walk into an incredibly large battle, i would be walking in slow motion to this music. Whereas the original TRON was essentially a gladiator film, TRON Legacy appears to looks more like a western. So this would be the music that would play as Sam Flynn, as the lone gunmen, walks into the ghost town to meet his fate.

Derezzed is where all hell breaks loose. If this does appear in the film, it has to be an incredible action scene with chaos and explosions all around. This would be the gunfight at the O.K. Corral of TRON.

If you are a fan of film music i am sure you will enjoy this score very much. If you are a Daft Punk fan who are looking for the next great Daft Punk album, you may be setting yourself up for a letdown. This is exactly what a film score by Daft Punk should sound like and sounds perfect for the world of TRON Legacy

This is a really great album for me to drive to!

★ ★ ★ ★½

Drezzed Video

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Kirkman and Howard Return

Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard's new bookFROM CBR

Courtesy of Image Comics, CBR presents an exclusive look at the following teaser image for the next Robert Kirkman comic book. Working with “Astounding Wolf-Man” artist Jason Howard, the new series debuts in 2011 under Kirkman’s Skybound imprint.

Keep it tuned to CBR this week as we unveil two more teasers for the comic as well as an exclusive first interview with Kirkman about his first new project since wrapping work on season one of AMC’s “Walking Dead” which ended it’s first successful season with last night’s finale.

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I may not have mentioned it here, but i am a big fan of Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard’s “Astounding Wolf-Man” comic. I enjoy it more than Walking Dead, but Invincible still remains my favorite Kirkman title. Earlier this year “Astounding Wolf-Man” ended its 26 issue run. I recently purchased an iPad and am only 4 issues away from finishing that series. I am really glad that Kirkman and Howard are collaborating again. Looks like the story of a boy and his war machine!

*UPDATED IMAGE*