Tag Archives: movies

No girls allowed!

I’m kinda steamed, kids. I’m annoyed, I need my fangs milked (not a sexual innuendo…this time), and I’m about to start pointing fingers. If you’re the reactionary type, maybe skip this one…

 

DC Comics is doing a line of Joker-themed variant covers for their books in June. The cover to Batgirl #41, has been cancelled. It was cancelled because of whining. Take a look.

jokerPersonally, I think it’s pretty great. For long-time fans, it’s instantly evocative of Alan Moore’s classic story The Killing Joke, a story that was extremely important for Batgirl. It provided something that most comic book characters never get; character progression. After The Killing Joke, Batgirl as we knew her was gone for decades, and Barbara Gordon was forced to find a new niche in the DC Universe as Oracle, a character that was interesting and popular.

Even if you’re not familiar with this story, the cover is visually striking. The mind immediately begins to wonder what’s going on. It’s sinister in a way that’s so playful as to make it more sinister. It makes the viewer concerned for Batgirl’s welfare, wondering how she’ll overcome this situation. It accomplishes what art is supposed to; it makes you feel something.

Just kidding, it glorifies violence against women.

Seriously, people were so incensed by this one simple image, that letters had to be written, tweets had to be tweeted, shitty blog posts were posted (ooh, how meta), all about how misogynistic this was. It should be noted that it was also pointed out how awful it was that Joker’s gun is pointing downward, further hinting that maybe Barbara was molested during The Killing Joke…because it couldn’t possibly be just how a pistol would happen to hang if the hand holding it was draped over someone’s shoulder. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

Are we supposed to pretend that in the gritty, violent world of costumed weirdos who live for little else than beating each other senseless, that women are somehow safe from all harm now? It kid of solidifies The Joker’s status as a villain if he can just show up and torment anyone he wants, doesn’t it? No, he can only get into fistfights with Batman. That’s safe an inoffensive. He can also cave in the occasional Robin’s skull with a crowbar, so long as said Boy Wonder is, in fact, a boy. Come on people, when did we decide that villains have to be politically correct?

Well, congratulations, idiots, the cover has been cancelled, you can go about your fantasy life that bad things in fiction only happen to people you want it to.

And while I’m working so hard at alienating fifty percent of the world’s population, I want to touch on something else. Ghostbusters.

It seems that humanity has collectively given up on Bill Murray agreeing to do Ghostbusters 3. That’s a shame, but something we all have to deal with, and we dealt with it in a pretty okay way; it was announced that a new, all-female cast would be rebooting the franchise. My sphincter immediately tensed up at the thought of another reboot, but I was impressed by the cast, so I made peace with it. Funny ladies are funny ladies, I wasn’t really looking at it as any kind of progressive thing, other than progress for the Ghostbusters franchise. Then the unspeakable happened…which I’ll speak of now.

It was announced that a second Ghostbusters movie was being produced, with Channing Tatum and probably Chris Pratt attached. Wow, thought my simple and terrible man-brain, Twenty-five years of no Ghostbusters, and now we get two? That’s great, right? No, it’s apparently awful! How dare men get to be Ghostbusters too! Internet opinion-spewers like charming Nerdist spokesbeing Jessica Chobot expressed their disdain at this terrible act of male oppression. Speaking of which, I’d just like to compare credentials here for a second…

Eat your heart out

Eat your heart out

I don’t get it. How is everyone getting something a bad thing? I understand how women should be happy that they’re getting represented in this, but then why are men not allowed to want that too? Sounds to me like equality isn’t equal. All this ballyhoo is really getting us nowhere.

Recently, on aintitcool.com, contributor Jeremy Smith wrote an article about Neil Blomkamp’s upcoming Alien sequel. He criticized Blomkamp for having reservations about his qualifications. Good for him. If you’re as much of a rookie as he is, approaching a beloved franchise like this should be a humbling and nerve-wracking proposition. It’s nice to see an artist not approaching their craft like a damn narcissist for a change. But Smith bellyaches that the task wasn’t given to a woman filmmaker. I’m sorry, I didn’t know this was an issue here. Blomkamp did some sketches, the studio was blown away by them and quickly contracted him to make something out of it. Should they have instead said “This Alien concept art is brilliant, too bad they weren’t done by a woman, then we could make a movie!” If you think the answer is “yes”, go away.

So what’s the takeaway from this? Well, probably that I’m some sort of cro-magnon man. But if you’re of rational mind and not tragically brain-damaged, it’s that none of this shit matters. Art should be shocking sometimes, otherwise it’s not art. Two Ghostbusters movies? Two Ghostbusters movies, people, that’s awesome! A new Alien movie that could be really cool? I don’t care who makes it, that’s great too! I’m not saying I don’t want movies starring or made by women, just the opposite, they recently announced a new Star Wars movie entitled Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones. That sounds like a movie about a female X-Wing pilot, and that sounds amazing. I can’t wait for that. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is, we should all unbunch our panties, and stop listening to bloggers.

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Beloved franchises…that actually mostly suck

We have a lot of long-running entertainment franchises these days that have developed rabid fan followings. With increasing frequency, these franchises crap out sequel after dreadful sequel that are instantly thrown on the pile of loathsome offerings that make us wonder why we ever liked this shit. This usually occurs with film franchises, television tends to get cancelled quickly when it goes to seed, but sometimes this phenomenon occurs within other media. Here now, I take a look at some of these franchises that were terrible far longer than they were good.

HELLRAISER

Look, an Ouya!

Look, an Ouya!

I loves me some Hellraiser, it was one of the most innovative and imaginatively brutal horror series around…briefly. There are nine Hellraiser movies. The first one is great. The second one is quite good. The third one…happened. The fourth one was better than it should have been. The rest were a dumpster fire. Cenobites that throw CDs, kung-fu cowboy demons, and scripts that had Hellraiser stuff hastily tacked on in order to retain the license have made this franchise a fucked-out shell of the genius it once was. One of the sequels even involves Hellraiser being just a big video game…that’s clever, sadly Frankie Munez must’ve been been too busy to be in that one. Too bad Lance Henriksen wasn’t. It’s ok Lance, we still love you.

This series is set for a reboot soon, under the guidance of creator Clive Barker. This is one of the few times I’ve been looking forward to a reboot. Seriously, CDs? Who throws CDs? Maybe the reboot will have a guy throw MP3s…not sure how that would kill people.

Play Freebird...you piece of shit.

Play Freebird…you piece of shit.

HIGHLANDER

I can't find it in myself to make fun of this, it's just too cool.

I can’t find it in myself to make fun of this, it’s just too cool.

Highlander was awesome. It had a rockin’ Queen soundtrack, cool swordfights, and an interesting concept that stirred the imagination. Then Highlander 2 happened. Then everything else Highlander happened. That was a shame. The Highlander sequels involved aliens, wizards, time travel, the Syfy Channel, all kinds of horseshit that’s known to ruin franchises. There have been 4 theatrical releases, a made for tv movie, two television series, an animated series, and an anime movie. Also, the first movie was good.

Some people really liked the TV series, well, the first one, not “The Raven”, but there are also people who enjoy having entire fists shoved up their assholes. Seriously, look it up. Whole human fists.

Just like a fist up the ass, Highlander well overstayed its welcome and ruined all the goodwill it had earned, making us wonder why we ever liked it in the first place. Oh yeah, the Queen soundtrack.

THIS, on the other hand...

THIS, on the other hand…

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Radical!

Radical!

Man, Sonic the Hedgehog was cool. The running fast, the loop-de-loops, the snarky attitude, the…blast processing, it was great. Then the 90’s ended. Sonic hasn’t had a really good game since Sonic and Knuckles, once the days of 2D platformers ended, Sonic found himself a man without a country. Unable to hang in an era of 3D games and polygons, Sonic hasn’t fared well, yet we just can’t seem to stop making bad attempts to make him seem relevant again, despite more failures than successes.  As painful as it is, it may be time for Sonic to hang up his red sneakers. There’s a farm upstate he could go live on. There’s room to run around there, and other hedgehogs to play with…he’ll be much happier.

Yeah...shit got weird.

Yeah…shit got weird.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

Yaaay!

Yaaay!

Pirates of the Caribbean was a great movie. It was a fun, lighthearted adventure full of interesting characters and cool action. Then they made more of them, and Johnny Depp owes me six hours of my life back. The first sequel, Dead Man’s Chest, wasn’t too bad, but then At World’s End happened, and we were subjected to what felt like days of Jack Sparrow looking for a fucking peanut, and the filmmakers desperately trying to make Elizabeth Swan seem like a likable and important main character, as opposed to an insufferable bag of shit. I had actually forgotten about the latest entry in the series, and I paid money to see it in a theatre, which means I left my house at some point. 25% success rate is not a good number to base your series on.

When I said "grow a personality",  you didn't have to be a dick about it!

When I said “grow a personality”, you didn’t have to be a dick about it!

These are just some of examples that jumped to mind in my sweaty, gravy-induced stupor. I’m sure there are plenty of others out there that eluded me. I contemplated Heroes, but since I haven’t finished it yet, it’d be based on hearsay, and that’s just unamerican, so sound off and tell me some franchises you think were more shit than shinola!

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Cool Stuff We Never Got

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d bring the mood down a bit by discussing some stuff we don’t get to be thankful for. This stuff was all announced, got people moist, and then never materialized. Enjoy…not getting to enjoy.

The Return of Ziggy Stardust

Bask in what could have been!

Bask in what could have been!

Music is a subjective thing. We all have our own tastes in music, and that’s fine. That being said, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is one of the best albums ever recorded. Period. If your particular tastes don’t align with this, then you’re wrong, and I don’t consider you a person. Blech to you. Gross. Anyway, around the turn of the millennium, Bowie stated that Ziggy would be making his triumphant return in 2002 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the album. This would have included unreleased footage, a stage show, and even a movie, as well of unspecified internet content.

This never happened and we should be sad forever.

On a related Bowie note, I’m still bummed that we never got the followups to 1. Outside, Bowie’s underrated industrial album, with announced sequel album 2. Contamination never arriving.

Holywood-The Novel

I can't think of anything funny to say about this...it's a book.

I can’t think of anything funny to say about this…it’s a book.

In 2000, Marilyn Manson released the third part of his three-part concept album series, Holywood: In the Shadow of the Valley of Death. Say what you want about Manson, but Holywood is my favorite of his catalog. I’m a sucker for a good concept album, but Manson went way down the rabbit hole with this one, even going so far as to pen a novel based on the album. One chapter of the book was even released, and it was something that I would have learned to read in order to enjoy. Sadly, years came and went, other albums came and went, including two back to back breakup albums, and the book never released. Manson still claims that he’d like to released it in some form, possibly as a graphic novel, but at this point I feel it’s time to move on with my life.

The Rifts Movie

Holy crap, where's my Ritalin?!?

Holy crap, where’s my Ritalin?!?

Rifts has always held some notoriety in the RPG community. It looks like it was designed by 14-year olds for other 14-year olds. Spaceships, wizards, robots with skulls all over them, lasers, dogfaced men, and that’s just the table of contents. Rifts has a pretty big following, Disney optioned Rifts for  a movie to be developed by Jerry Bruckheimer in 2004. There was a press release about it, and transcripts of it were passed out at Gencon that year. This could have been a pretty cool thing to see., and could have bought roleplaying games a bit more legitimacy in mainstream media after the dumpster fire that was the D&D movie.

BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED.

World of Darkness…assorted

Can't...quite...reach...

Can’t…quite…reach…

White Wolf’s World of Darkness RPG line has a rabid fan following, but not a stellar track record when it comes to crossing over from the tabletop. They had a couple of pretty good Vampire: The Masquerade PC games, and a couple of batshit crazy Hunter: The Reckoning console game, and a piss poor TV series called Kindred: The Embraced that I desperately wanted to like, didn’t, and still bought on DVD because I don’t learn lessons.

Despite all of this, the rebooted World of Darkness was announced for a couple of media projects that never occurred. in 2004, Vampire: The Requiem, which was a different take on Masquerade, was optioned for a movie by New Line Cinema. Come to think of it, 2004 was a real cocktease for gamers, wasn’t it? There was also a WoD MMO in development for years. The game was recently shitcanned, and several developers lost their jobs.

Star Wars Live Action TV Series

Good enough

Good enough

Several years ago, it was announced that Lucasfilm’s five-year plan for Star Wars was that the Clone Wars series would run for a while, and would generate capitol for a live action Star Wars TV series set between episodes III and IV. Neat idea. Never fucking happened. Now I won’t bitch too much about this one, because in the end Disney bought Lucasfilm, Rebels filled the gap the live action series left and we’re getting actual sequels, the trailer for which dropped today, and I won’t talk about in length because everyone in the world is discussing it right now, so why listen to me? But in all, maybe this one is for the best.

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Cowabunga, quit your bitchin’!

Well, it’s ninja turtle time again. It happens every few years,, and as time has gone on, it seems to get less and less notice each time it happens (kind of like Haley’s Comet). The difference being this time, is Michael Bay is involved. So the prophecy demands, that we must all clutch our collective butts in agony and whine like somebody just dumped pig’s blood on us at prom. You know what I did on my prom night? Huh. do ya? I spent it at my buddy Billy’s house, playing D&D. There was no awkward genital groping for me that night! No siree, So fuck you, people who had sex in high school, fuck you right as you fall asleep!

technical-difficulties1

Sorry. I’m better now.. Anyway, internet whipping boy has brought us another nostalgia fueled popcorn flick to bitch about, and you know what? It’s not as bad as most of the internet would like you to believe. Just like Transformers.

I take it back immediately

I take it back immediately

Let me break this down nice and simple. Ninja Turtles, as a thing, has always been stupid. It started as a joke. It happened to be a joke that sold LIKE CRAZY. Think back to your first memories of TMNT. I’m guessing it involved a Technodrome, Bebop and Rocksteady, maybe some Nutrinos. That was dumb. It was charming, it made for a great line of toys, but it was dumb as hell. Maybe your first version of the turtles was the 2003 series. Shredder was an alien thing. Then he was a Satan. Then…you know what, fuck you too, that shit’s confusing. And dumb. 

What the hell, kids?

What the hell, kids?

A quick summation of the new movie, if I may. Turtles that are ninjas fight an armored ninja called the Shredder who has some stupid plot involving bullshit science, some kung fu happens, someone says cowabunga. Sound familiar? Yup, it’s still the turtles. The origin story has been changed ever so slightly, removing Hamato Yoshi from the equation entirely, and it’s a little bit dumber for it. Again, it’s always been a little dumb. Great, but dumb. Also, this is marketed to a different generation. A dumber generation. Yes, children watching this are dumber than we were. Deal with it. Slap the smartphone out of their hand and make them read a book  if you don’t like what I’m saying, otherwise you’re ok with it. If you’re one of those people holding the original Mirage Comics as a measuring stick, stop it. As much as it hurts me to say it, because I love those books too, but they’ll never make another Turtles like that again. Especially not in movie form. Sadly, it’s just too dark to be marketable to the kiddies. The dumb, dumb kiddies. In that series the lovable heroes straight up kill the Shredder in the first issue, but to be fair, only after he refused to ritualistically commit suicide.

Radical...

Radical…

A lot of people are butthurt that the turtles have noses now. Ok, I’ll admit, it was a bit jarring at first. You know what else is jarring? Realizing that the turtles never had noses before. That’s creepy. Some people also hate that the turtles have lips. Guess what, today’s turtles are no less anatomically correct than they ever were. Want to see what turtles really look like?

Soulswinter

We’re so quick to criticize everything these days. All the shit that we always dreamed of as kids, live-action movies about GI Joe, Transformers, Ninja Turtles, Superman, and so on. A seemingly endless supply of new Star Wars movies on the way. And all we can do is complain. No movie could ever live up to our stupidly impossible expectations, all because we’ve put all the shit from our childhood on pedestals, and act like anything new coming along is just trying to…to…rape our childhoods. We need to just relax and let ourselves have fun. Because there is fun to be had in this stuff, just don’t expect the impossible.

Seriously, I can breathe now!

Seriously, I can breathe now!

I guess my point in all of this was that this new Ninja Turtles movie is dumb. It’s also a lot of fun to watch, stop being so sensitive…it seems like there was something else…

Michael Zulli, I salute you.

Michael Zulli, I salute you.

Right. Just go track down a copy of Soul’s Winter. It’s the only time they managed to turn this whole thing into art.

Cowafuckingbunga…

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Transylvania 6-5000

I’ve been talking about horror movies lately, and I stumbled upon this strange specimen just last night. It’s a weird movie from 1985 starring a young Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr. They play two tabloid reporters sent to Transylvania to look for Frankenstein. That’s odd, I thought Frankenstein was German. What’s odder is that the characters in the movie seem to think it’s odd too. Then I started to notice that really everything in this movie was odd.

I find myself at a loss of words about this movie. What strikes me, perhaps even more than how cute Geena Davis looks in that leotard, is just how offbeat the humor in this movie is. That’s a term that gets thrown around a lot and rarely means anything, but in this case it’s oddly fitting. This feels like a movie made by crazy people.  Take a look.

 

That’s not normal. Humor doesn’t have to be normal, but this is really kind of bent. Why is he making them sniff everything? Because a crazy person thought it would be funny. Why are they drinking coffee out of beakers? I’m guessing because a crazy person thought it would be funny.

This movie did not get terribly goood reviews. It’s actually rated rather badly on pretty much every site out there, and maybe because people just didn’t get it. It almost worries me that I found it as funny as I did, but there you have it. Transylvania 6-5000 is available to stream on Netflix, I’d really recommend giving it a shot if you’re looking for something…different.

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MARTYRS

Martyrs

 

October marches on and with it, an increased desire for horror. This time around, I’ve forgone the usual creature feature fare for something truly scary on a much deeper level. Martyrs is a French film from 2008 by Pascal Laugier. It never really got a big release here in ‘merica, which is a shame, because this is a deeply upsetting movie, but also really makes you think. What’s an even bigger shame is that there’s a ‘merican remake in the works. Bigger still on the shameometer is that it’s reported that the ‘merican ending will be happier and more hopeful. You’d kind of have to see the movie to understand why that’s such a bad thing.

The story seems a simple enough affar about a girl who escapes imprisonment and abuse and is put in an orphanage. She befriends another orphan, and years later finds the people responsible for her childhood abuse and seeks revenge. This sounds like pretty standard fare. Not too thrilling, but servicable. What follows however is a deep look into the one thing that every person, believer and skeptic alike has pondered: is there an afterlife? The long and veiny of it is that there’s a secret organization looking to find a martyr; someeone who, in the face of unbearable agony at the brink of death, sees what lies beyond. They hope to uncover the ultimate secret. Do we ascend to the realm of a just and loving God, or are we wrapped in the pretentious and snarky tendrils of the Spaghetti Monster?

Tasty be thy name

Tasty be thy name

What follows is an amazing display of brutality that’s genuinely difficult to watch at times, culminating in one of the most gut-wrenching tortures seen in a horror movie. All of this is wrapped in a story too deep and thoughtful to simply classify as “torture porn”.

There’s not a lot more that can be said about this without giving away things best left experienced firsthand. If you’re looking for a horror movie, there’s not much more horrific on a visceral or spiritual level than Martyrs.

...just because.

…just because.

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Serpent and the Rainbow

serpentrainbow

 

It’s October, and October means horror movies. I love horror movies, I could watch them every day. I love all kinds of horror. Ghosts, vampires, body horror, found footage, it’s all great. Well, sometimes, but even when it’s not great it can be great. Jason X may have been as dumb as a screen door on a space station, but it was a lot of fun to watch.

This made sense to someone...

This made sense to someone…

So I took it upon myself to watch a zombie movie. Everyone likes zombies these days, right? And why is that? If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s because they’re uneducated, but that seems a bit cynical. Honestly, I used to love zombie movies. Now, I feel the need to preface that statemment with I love good zombie movies. There’s a lot of shit being crapped out to make a cheap buck by putting zombies in it. I’ve ranted on this one before, so I won’t get too much into it, instead choosing to talk about this particular movie.

The Serpent and the Rainbow is based on a nonfiction book of the same name. Think about that for a moment. Nonfiction zombies. We’re already stepping into different territory here, although this film if 25 years old…maybe that’s why it’s good.

Blah blah blah

Blah blah blah

The films starts Bill Pullman, that’s the one from Independance Day, not the one from Aliens, as anthropologist Dennis Alan. Alan is sent to Haiti to retrieve a sample of a poison that’s rumored to cause a convincingly deathlike state in it’s victims. He’s sent there by some rich guys in suits who somehow want to use it in some scheme involving corporate greed or something. Whatever, it was the ’80’s, that was the norm of the time. What Alan finds is a mystery involving political intrigue, magic, Voodo, annd the type of “real zombies” that have actualy inhabited that region for decades, if not centuries.

It's ok, I can't tell us apart either.

It’s ok, I can’t tell us apart either.

Now fair warning, this isn’t your typical “dead guys that eat stuff” zombie fare, and if you’re not careful, you might learn something with this one. Still, if you’re looking for a genuinely creepy and genuinely, well, genuine take on something that’s beeen far too oversaturated lately, give this one a look.

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