Sabotage: Arnie’s Very Last Stand

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"Les Shitty Sabotage!"

It occurred to me, after watching an hour or so of consistent obnoxious, hamfisted performances and nihilistic violence, that buried beneath the veil of “gritty action” of Sabotage there is a decent movie and, surprisingly, some good acting from Arnold Schwarzenegger!

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Not happy …about the box office

Unfortunately though, ‘Sabotage’ is just not a good movie. It’s excess of sadistic violence and cookie cutter characters derails what could have been a terrific heist mystery/revenge movie mash up and director David Ayer feels that in order to legitimize his aging action star vehicle he must douse it with as much cruelty, gore and misery as possible. Combining that with some hideous edits, that had a couple audible “what the fucks?” from the audience, and you’ve got yourself a nice shitty diaper of a movie.

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Hey, I tried!

I firmly believe that if you are going to bludgeon your audience with relentless shocks and violence you better know what you’re doing and Ayer, a screenwriter by trade, just does not! His movie jerks from one grisly image to the next, while only being strung together loosely about a mystery over a $10 million dollars and overwrought murders of shit kicking FBI agents. The story would be enough to captivate the audience were it not for sadistic imagery used to jolt the audience with the “reality” of undercover law enforcement. When a movie’s credits are combined with a woman begging and crying for her life we immediately know subtlety is out the window and, although the grisly nature of the movie may be warranted, it’s story is lost beneath a pile of screaming, head shots and pools of blood. It’s clear the director simply lost sight of his story in order to shock and awe.

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Still Very Hot

More proof of this are the performances of the ensemble. Manganiello, Holloway, Martini and Enos give some of most over the top performances I’ve seen in years. There’s more subtlety in Chuck Norris movies and if they’re campy performances were intentional, some one forgot to tell the director that they would stick out like boogers in kool-aid rather than jib with his “real life” action. Mean while academy award nominee Terrance Howard is reduced to a throwaway dialogue stiff who’s biggest regret isn’t in the script but rather leaving the Iron Man series.

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Not as bad as she seems

Meanwhile buried beneath this nonsense are decent semi-compelling performances from Harold Perrineau and, the still very attractive, Olivia Williams. As well as, a rather compelling performance from Sam Worthington. Best all though may be Schwarzenegger, who plays an over the hill oaf who has seen better days. His performance reminded me of Stallone in Rocky Balboa, as a man who, almost pathetically, needs that one last shot.

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After this movie, I need a drink too.

But what does any of that matter when you can relentlessly bombard the audience with so much grisley “true” violence it become white noise that crowds out the original goal of the movie. So much so, that when the true nature of the visceral dick wagging becomes known, you just don’t’ care. And since the box office was completely unkind to ol’ Arnie, it doubtful we’ll get a chance to see him again. Just when he was gett’n good.

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Ok, here come the Critics!

Gary Numan @ The Phoenix Theater - March 27, 2014 …my review

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I’m completely amazed at the amount of people who have no clue who Gary Numan is. I understand he’s “old” and from another era. But in his day “Cars” was a huge hit that remains relevant. I guess I’m from an era where embracing music’s history was as important as being into music itself. You couldn’t just like rock-n-roll and not know who the Beatles and the Stones were. Today the attention span of many is as disposable as music acts themselves are. ..but I digress.

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You see Numan shares familiarity with many pop stars today. He was the first punk to embrace electronic music and become wildly famous for it. When I hear electronic thumpers from Black Eye Peas, Daft Punk or Lady Gaga, it’s not very hard to see the correlation between those songs and “Are Friends Electric?” or “Every Day I Die”. Luckily since the late 90s there has been a growing admiration for  the “lonely android” years of the late 70s. With his songs being covered by artists from Nine Inch Nails to british pop stars Sugababes.

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Although, Numan is not in love with his past but he still has incorporated it into his latest era of music. Today he seems more than content reveling in the tradition of Industrial with records like “Splinter” & “Jagged”. Allowing him to keep electronic past but also working within darker heavier genre. Although off putting to some of his die hard Numanoids, his enthusiasm is readily apparent on his latest music which is quite good.

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And it’s within this ere I saw him on a wet and cold evening in northern Toronto. The Phoenix Theater is tucked within a residential are of town and I drove past it without evening noticing it. Were it not for an obvious touring bus and a well lit sign, I’d still be driving around Toronto right now. But it is a really cool older building that seems at one point could have been a speakeasy. 

When I first arrived I was struck by the age of the people who were there. Many of the people could have been MY in laws they were so old, which only certified how long ago Numan was popular. But soon the late arriving hipsters started coming in along with Goths!?! Whom I haven’t really seen in almost ten years. 

At 8:30 Roman Remains started and I was stunned by the volume of “electronic” music in a small hall. The place shook but the band was quite good, if not remarkable, and I walked to the front to stake my standing claim. Don’t get me wrong the lead singer was very very good and there sound was pretty intense. I could easily see them improving greatly in the future. Next was Big Black Delta from L.A. Again my age hit me, when the lead singer played only a laptop along with a drummer. He actually had a terrific voice but the songs seemed only to meander and, again, weren’t particularly memorable. Still, at some point I’ll pick up Roman Remains music since they’re sound was very promising.

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Eventually, Gary Numan took the stage. While his current music is completely steeped in the world created by Trent Reznor and company, it was not hard to see the guy who once sold out three nights in Wembley Stadium. The man swayed and posed his way though his set as if he was still a multi platinum artist. I’ll give the guy credit he and his band made a concerted effort to to create an atmosphere steeped in their industrial mix of 80s tracks like “Metal”, “Cars” and “Down in the Park” while delivering rather solid new material like “I Am Dust”, “Here in the Black” and my favorite “Everything Comes Down to This”.

One of my biggest surprises was how influential the keyboards, and Numan cohort Ade Fenton is. While guitars, bass and drums are prominent in the new human era, the songs, and thus concert, are still driven by the keyboards. Fenton’s electronic pulsing and prodding moved each track dramatically and the band responded to each note by moving and dancing to his rhythms. I mean, it’s quite fun watching middle age mean break it down goth like and it certainly elevated the evening.

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Was there any downside? Well, it may be baseless and controversial but I think, maybe, just maybe ..he lip synced … a bit. Or maybe his vocals are so over powering he can hit the soaring choruses from virtually a foot and a half away from his microphone. I could be wrong, and if someone knows about technology where a mic can pick up a guys singing from a short but distinct distance let me know, but often it startled me how far away he was from his microphone when he sang. Now he did seem to sing the majority of his songs but when those choruses kicked in it looked like Ashlee Simpson. 

Did it ruin the night? No! He’s 56, touring a schedule like a 20 year old, in unforgiving concert halls, so I can see where it might tax him. Plus he was son enraptured in his stage presence that, for me, it worked. I don’t know maybe I’m wrong and again if anyone knows different please contact me and I’ll amend this article quite happily. 

All in all, between the great venue, solid oping acts and, most of all, Numan enrapturing the audience it was well worth the long and tiring drive. And if my suspicions are true, I’m not upset but rather happy to watch a classic doing his best despite. 

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Some may mark Gary Numan with “has been” status but between his well done new material and his conviction to his fans, I have to say he is worth your time and admiration. 

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Link to professional shots:

http://aestheticmagazinetoronto.com/2014/03/28/photos-gary-numan-big-black-delta-roman-remains-phoenix-concert-theatre/

Horror Directors …IMHO!!

Genre fans have a tendency to over hype certain films, actors and directors. Ask any self respecting horror nerd what they think of Dario Argento and your likely to hear words like “brilliant” and “genius” peppered into an answer.

It’s not that they’re lying, some truly feel their descriptions are accurate, but more often than not, they are trying to get the point across, that a director is much better than they’re given credit for. Case in point, Argento has done things in cinema that are truly out standing. Compare Suspiria with Children of the Corn and you’ll see where one exceeds in elements like visuals, music and visceral violence, over the other.

But, I find more often that not that, this very enthusiasm often does a disservice. Newcomers to the genre will check out a person’s work only to feel disappointed or cheated that said work never lived up to the hype.

Let’s face it, a Lucio Fulci film will never impress any newcomer to the horror genre, let alone cinema, so I often feel compelled to offer a view with a variety of caveats before watching and hopefully then, a persons talents can rise above.

So let’s take horror’s top American Directors and, with crystal clear honesty in mind, let me break ‘em down:

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George Romero: I love me some Romero. Even beyond his Dead films he has contributed a solid line up of horror and genre. (i.e. The Crazies & Creepshow) That said, here’s the deal: He shoots all his films like a made for TV movie. Ham fisted acting, slow pace, traditional cinematography and corny characters riddle his movies. Simply compare his Land of the Dead with his remade Dawn of the Dead from Zack Snyder to see the drastic differences between his movies and what most expect from modern film making. It’s only upon reflection, and re-watches that I discover that he’s has compelling ideas percolating beneath his cliche filled movies. Diary of the Dead has very awful storytelling but the idea, of the first person meets living dead experience colliding with societies horrible reaction to chaos, is a really cool idea. But if you actually want to see it done well, try The Zombie Diaries instead. Watch 28 Days Later in lieu of The Crazies. And Frankly Shaun of the Dead will always resonate better than the movies they so purposely serve. Sorry, it’s true.

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Tobe Hooper: Now here’s a guy who managed to capture lightning in a bottle, then only to wind up chasing it for the next 40 years. Hooper made, in my humblest of opinions, the best horror film in the genre: Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not my favorite but simply the best. If you want all the potential elements of a perfect horror film, Texas Chainsaw has them all. But then he followed it up with one of the very worst movies ever made: Eaten Alive. A overwrought spastic mess that often seems like Tennessee Williams meets Hostel 3.  And while his career would ebb and flow over the years, he would never hit the same level as his first movie. Even his other ‘classic’; Poltergeist, is thought more as a Spielberg rather than a Hooper. Confounding plot twists, bad dialogue and pacing are often the standout elements in his movies. He seems. in many ways. the prototype for a direct to video film maker rather than a master of the genre. Occasionally he stumbles into pure entertainment on accident, like The Funhouse, but more often, even with a big budget and solid production, he turns out embarrassing messes like Lifeforce or Spontaneous Combustion. So that most of his other classics are only “So Bad they’re Goods”.

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Wes Craven: To me this guy has been given way, way, waaaay too much credit over the years. I don’t care if they’re “grindhouse classics”, Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes are bad movies. Yes, they have a sleazy 70s feel but, again, if you watch them with fresh eyes, I doubt anyone will feel the visceral nature of those movies and will be more annoyed that characters are so dumb to put themselves in that situation to begin with. His other movies like Deadly Friend, Deadly Blessing, Shocker, The People Under The Stairs (like Romero) feel more like shitty plays than classic horror movies. That said he did mange a few times to make some solid horror like the vastly underrated Serpent and the Rainbow and, albeit classic, Nightmare on Elm Street. But anyone who has watched New Nightmare or Vampire to Brooklyn can tell you, more hands were in the til, than not, when he made his unbelievable success: Scream. Case in point, take a look at the recent Scream 4 to see where the wheels come off.

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John Carpenter: It is with a heavy heart that I must take apart my favorite director. But after thinking about ‘Memoirs of an Invisible Man’ all I can say is, maybe, he has it coming. By the 90s, the standard Carpenter elements, panavision, long takes, synth music and an eye for fun over realism, started to fade away. Giving way to a desire to stay current. Fast edits, over done special FX and, even, sensationalistic gore, never sat well for the director who aways waved the “less is more” flag. Also, a certain laziness started to creep into his filmmaking. ‘Vampire’ and ‘Ghost of Mars felt phoned in and, the less said about his Masters of Horror entries, the better. (Crap!) His movies only seem right from the 80s era his movies helped build and anything beyond that is nostalgia.

Now that’s not to say I don’t enjoy these film makers and their movies. I love a lot of their work, even their bad stuff, but, I believe it’s important to be clear and admit when their shortcomings are apparent. Otherwise, we’re creating world without any scale of talent, where fanboys rule only and there childish whims are the only geiger counter. If you’ve seen Comic Con footage of fans cheering virtual anything, you’ll know what I mean. Let’s be honest, we like some stuff because it’s bad and there is no reason to justify but we do need to recognize it. 

So there you have it. Four scathing refections on the genres “top” directors. It’s important to realize, if you’re new to the genre, that in order to love it you must embrace it’s foibles as well as it’s perks. While that Michael Myers T-Shirt may look good on the Suicide Girl wearing it, doubtful she sat through the movie with zero distraction. Or anyone for that matter. Becasue Horror, like casual sex, is cool but you’ll have to lower your standards, to get it.

IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS or John Carpenter’s NEW NIGHTMARE

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By 1995, horror was effectively experiencing a post 80s doldrums. Halloween gave us the slashers, the slashers gave us the sequels and the sequels gave even more horror grist for countless stabs at success. Audiences had enough. By the time the 90s set in ‘Silence of the Lambs’, possibly the best horror film of the decade, tried to distance itself from the genre so furiously that even Fangoria magazine started running a column of movies hollywood wanted nothing to do with the Horror tag.

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And yet, despite all that, there still was money to be made. Wes Craven, George Romero, Tobe Hooper and even Dario Argento continued to work in the early to mid 90s. Franchises, despite shrinking box office returns, still managed to get green lit. All despite the fact the general public had lost all, but remote, interest. …Until Scream, that is.

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But one very interesting, if frustrating, 90s horror film, by my favorite film maker John Carpenter, was ‘In the Mouth of Madness’. A movie thats, despite not making much sense, is a very compelling and enjoyable watch and easily Carpenter’s best movie of the decade.

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Sutter Cane is the era’s biggest writer, bigger than King, and who enjoys an almost cult like following. But Cane is a recluse who highly anticipated book, see title, has not been delivered to it’s publisher. Naturally the publisher’s CEO, played by Charleston Heston, is antsy to find Cane so he employs san insurance investigator, Sam Neil, to find him or the manuscript. He, along with Cane’s editor played by the beautiful Julie Carmen, take a road trip to hell to find the manuscript and the elusive writer. Only to find much much more ….Muh huh haw!

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Carpenter had emerged from a dark period himself before making ‘Madness’. His late 80s films, ‘They Live’ & ‘Prince of Darkness” saw little success and, he didn’t work for four years until he phoned in a Chevy Chase comedy ‘Memoirs of the Invisible Man’ in 1992. Also, a flop. But Michael DeLuca, the films writer, producer and head of New Line, was a fan of Carpenter and he hired his favorite film maker to helm his conceived project. The results are mixed but none of it having to do with Carpenter himself. Although the story has a ridiculous amount of elusive plot points that head virtually nowhere, Carpenters direction is rather solid.

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What may strike most folks watching it is how similar this film is to something that Wes Craven might direct. With plenty of needless flash cuts and dream within a dream within a dream sequences, ‘Madness’ could easily be a Freddy movie or, given some tweaking sequel to ‘Serpent and the Rainbow’. The movie soon finds our heroes in Hobb’s End a where everything has tons odd visuals that, while arresting, don’t mean much. Aside from the end of the world. As psycho-babbling as “Prince of Darkness’ is, it has a certain amount of tension that, eventually, leads somewhere. While, with “Madness”, it all leads to an inevitable end that is postponed with a lot of visual hooey. Old people turn into writhing monsters, people bleed from their eyes, monsters come out of walls and posy apaocolyptic mayhem envelops the world. Why? Well, just cause Sutter Cane is weird.

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Which is too bad since the story really seems to love it’s sources. Sutter Cane is obviously a nod to Stephen King and Cane’s stories, and eventual reality, are lovingly steeped in Lovecraft lore. Carpenter himself pays homage to his influences as his lead characters are nods to Bogart and Bacall. Even Heston, the Omega Man himself, seems to be foreshadowing the end as the last man on earth laughs alone in a theater.

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Some have said “Mouths of Madness’ is Carpenter’s best work and I for one don’t necessarily agree but it is an enjoyable foray into new territory for the director. His use of the many Cravens motifs only proves that Carpenter is (and always will be) better than the over rated Elm Street horror icon. Don’t’ agree? Watch Craven’s ‘New Nightmare’ from the same year and tell me which is the better film.

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Either way, if you’re a fan of Carpenter, this is a movie you need to see. If you’re looking for a well done Freddy like nightmare, I also urge you to take the plunge. It may not make any sense but the journey with Carpenter is worth the price of admission.

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DVD notes: I’ll give WB credit, they may not offer new transfers all the time, but their presentations are still usually stellar and better than most. ‘Madness’ looks fantastic on Blu. No noticeable, dirt or bad color timing issues and details is sharp. Just watching the opening credits and they seem almost 3D. With the Carpenter commentary ported over, as well, this one is definitely worth the upgrade!

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November Horror: To me Horror movies are not only best in October but also November. November is a great time to bring out the Horror on the Farm, Road or Cornfields! Obviously the above is a collection I love hitting this time of year. But if any of you has some suggestions I’d love to hear them! Thanks #horror #horrornerd #samhain #novemberhorror

November Horror: To me Horror movies are not only best in October but also November. November is a great time to bring out the Horror on the Farm, Road or Cornfields! Obviously the above is a collection I love hitting this time of year. But if any of you has some suggestions I’d love to hear them! Thanks #horror #horrornerd #samhain #novemberhorror

Trick Or Treat …Revenge of Sammi Curr 1947-1986

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It was 1986 and the year was rife with Metal! Not only was it blowing up the radio airways and MTV, it was also going through a metamorphosis of sorts where more cult like groups where gaining steam and popularity. Metal was also catching the attention of the mainstream too. Motley Crue and Twisted Sister had become household names, while a movie like Trick Or Treat took the music’s image and turned into a horror yarn.

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Eddie Weinbauer aka Marc Price aka Skippy form Family Ties, is a bullied young angry teen who loves heavy metal music. He is tormented by the local “jocks”, or as they were referred to in my day as the good all American kids we should all aspire to be like …bleech but I digress. So Eddie, seething with anger, plays his new Sammi Curr record backwards. The record, by the recently recessed rock star, starts giving him messages and helps him exact revenge on his high school nemeses. But soon Sammi Curr’s exploits into Eddie’s life begin to raise his suspicions that Sammi is out for more than just high school pranks. Before we know it Eddie is in a race against time to try and stop Sammi Curr and his new found powers from electrifying the teen masses. Or some stupid Freddy Krueger like poltline.

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Trick Or Treat is like most post Nightmare on Elm Street movies in the 80s. The antagonist slasher now possesses supernatural powers allowing him to do the impossible and avoid basic logic in any script. Used well and a horror movie could push boundaries. Used poorly, like most of these movies in the 80s, and it was just lazy script writing device to have random unbelievable twists.

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Trick Or Treat falls somewhere in the middle. There are some goofy scenes: like the ending where Eddie goads Sammi Curr into his car in order to trap him despite the fact the dead rocker spent the entire movie trying to take over the radio airwaves. And there are also some great moments: like Eddie destroying his stereo to suppress Sammi only to tell his mom he wanted a new one.

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That said, the first viewing of Trick Or Treat may only disappoint since the movie never quite lives up to it’s premiss and often resorts to cliche, bland comedy or, it’s most unfortunate mistake, unnecessary character development. We spend an inordinate amount of time on Eddie’s teenage anguish and torment. Ultimately making him rather unlikable. He snaps at his friends and even, Leslie, the, dare I say outta his league, girl he likes. By the finale, she is running arm in arm with Eddie tirelessly helping him despite his cranky and down right dismissive demeanor. Leaving the audience wondering what any one would want to be even near him let alone fond of him. This is a misstep in that, had the material been not taken so seriously, a fun romance might have had abetter chance resonating. I mean look at her:

Lisa Orgolini

Don’t get me wrong, Price is the perfect casting for this part and one that I wished, along with a bigger sucess for the film, had helped compel him to better opportunities. He looked like your run of the mill heavy metal kid who would collect as many records he could. I even appreciated the fact he bleneded other music genres like his Bauhaus T-Shirt. A Metal nerd would have done that but a poser parking lot partier would never have. And most of the time he played the part in spades. Accentuating the humor when appropiate and being the aloof brooding loner who would write to his teenage idol. But I wonder if Charles Martin Smith, himself an accomplished actor often used for comedy, had related with Price’s career and decided that playing Eddie straight, more often than not, was the way to go. When, in fact, allowing the film to be the tongue in cheek b-film, it was written as, may have been a better choice. 

VHS Cover

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Gene Simmons as ‘Nuke’

These moments of realism, sprinkled through out, only become a disservice to the films natural goofy, yet fun, build to it’s radio brainwash finale. All that said however, overall Trick Or Treat delivers a fun and satisfying 80s horror film with a hair metal heart. Fastways soundtrack is quite good, if not overly heavy, and the pace of the movie clips along well. Despite Eddie’s moody moments, other characters; Eddie’s mom his best friend Roger (played by director Glenn Morgen) and, as stated above, the stunning Leslie, the ravishing Lisa Orgolini, are quite appealing. Even the Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons cameos are very good and very appropriate. And while the hair metal Sammi wasn’t my bread and butter metal in the day, (Metallica dude!) the late Tony Fields performance, particularly his Dee Snider inspired congressional rant, works very, very well. All together, with some great set pieces, including a possessed walkman and fiendish prom concert and, I have to say, Trick Or Treat is worth a revisit more often than not.

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DVD notes: Ugh! Well it’s on DVD and that’s the best that I can say. In 2002 it came out Full Screen on a cheapo release that is currently our of print. It sucks, plain and simple. Bad transfer, bad sound and fuckin full screen. No extras, not even a trailer. Rumor had it that Anchor Bay was going to release it awhile back but they hit the big snag with music rites. Well you can pick it for $40 brand new and that is a steal..from your wallet. Until Shout Factory, Blue Underground, Synapse, Code Red…anyone!, releases it, just watch it on Youtube.

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Reel Quick: The Conjuring

This is James Wan’s second strike for me. I enjoyed the first Saw and even liked Dead Silence very much but Insidious was vastly overrated. Speaking of which so is THE CONJURING. Long scenes with nothing happening doesn’t build suspense, it just ensures boredom. Not sure what went through everyone’s skull when this was released. A lot of folks talked about how purely scary this movie is and, I guess it could be, if it’s one of the very first you ever saw.

I’m not trying to be flippant or dismissive but I’ve recently watched Poltergeist II and The Grudge and both movies, as maligned as they are, are both vastly superior to this crud. Frankly speaking, if The Conjuring Scares you, you haven’t seen many horror films.

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Whatever she sees is better than this film

Metallica Through the Never (whatever that means)

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It’s hard for me to believe that there are kids now who only remember Metallica as being a band with random records like St. Anger & Death Magnetic. Guys who seem to come out of the woodwork every 5 or 6 years and have this loyal and old following.

So it shouldn’t seem odd that this $18 million dollar film has only made about $3 million. Metallica seemed to hit their peak in the early 90s and then decided to flake out and only make random records. So any huge attempt to redefine the concert film seems to have gone unnoticed. And frankly, it’s too bad because, despite having some undefined goofiness, METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER is quite good.

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I suppose I should mention why Metallica has become so iconic in the first place. You see back in the day, Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, whatever was a coked up, spaced out playground for guys with moussed hair, spandex tights, lipstick and monster ballads. It was the 80s and ‘Rock’ seemed only represented by songs like “Home Sweet Home”, “Round n’ Round” & “Shot in the Dark”. Certainly not horrible but for kids like me it seemed hyperbolic and fake. Music made by rich druggies who had no time for the parking lots, bedrooms or lives of their fans. Motley Crue were the biggest band in the world and don’t you forget it.

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Then, out of the back pages of Hit Parader, Metal Mania and Kerrang magazine was a young group of young pimply headbangers that looked like pot heads who spent all day at the local arcade playing Defender and drinking beer in the ally. Metallica was a word of mouth group much in the same vein that Iron Maiden or Judas Priest had been. Despite having no hits or videos Metallica managed to catch the attention of geeky teens like me who couldn’t relate to Vince Neil and his thousands of groupies. Metallica seemed just like me, dirtbags in jeans who liked the metal loud and fast with lyrics about death and destruction not hot n’ wild nights.

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Metallica’s first 4 records are like a playbook of perfect metal music. Although it seemed slightly overwrought and disjointed, those records, could manage to hit moments of sublime musicianship. Even my father was astounded when our local paper listed “Master Of Puppets” as one of the top records of the year. I spent many a night with my headphones listen to their music and letting my mind wander into the abyss of Metal Militias and Creeping Death.

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The world finally took notice when “the black album” unleashed Enter Sandman at a time when the Hair Metal days waned and Alternative was making headway. Before you knew it Crue, Guns n Roses and Areosmith were left behind in Metallica’s wake. As they blew up beyond recognition. I know metal purists dismiss the self titles record but I still believe it’s a great record. It may not be trendy but it’s still great.

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After a long hiatus Metallica returned in 1996 with maybe the biggest disappointment in mine and many others musical life. The separate but similarly repulsive records, Load and Re-Load found this group of young headbangers had grown into pretentious tattooed assholes. Displaying the same pomp and elitism that they seemed so against in the previous decade. Most of all the music was terrible being a miss mash of current and classic rock nonsense that, ultimately, made them sound like Def Leopard.

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The band would attempt to reconnect over the years with varying results. But even despite the dips their fan base came out for the shows. Metallica can sell out almost everywhere. Even now, they’re like the Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney, that despite their current output they still mange to elicit fandaemonium.

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It is with that spirit that Metallica’s live 3D movie is filmed. Make no bones about it, the nice thing about the 18 million put into the budget is you see every penny. This is a state of the art concert film and every moment on screen is part of a tightly scripted, beautifully shot and incredibly sounding performance.

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The 3D only adds to the experience as well. The immersion in real life shot 3D material adds a wonderful extra layer of intimacy. It feels as if you’re right on stage and the detail caught on camera is sharp and crisp which allows the viewer to experience the show as if you’re a musician in the band. The secret weapo in this film is it’s direcor Nimrod Antel (Vacancy & Predators) who knows how to catch every interesting moment on screen making this one of the finest concert experiences caught on film. I would imagine the 3D blu ray will be absolutely a demo worthy disc.

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And while the band plays their classic songs (with only a sprinkling of new material) it would be dismissive to me that is all kinda feels a bit choreographed. Camera’s always seem to catch randomly un-random moments and even more apparent, camera moves across the audience always catches the audience doing something but never nothing. Whether it’s a couple making out a guy screaming “woo” or a girl disinterestingly texting Through the Never always has a hip beer commercial feel. No doubt there was an AD getting the crowd to headband in unison or letting folks know that doing something to stand out will get you in the movie. It all lends itself to a feeling of artificiality.

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But here is where Antal’s work comes in spades. It actually works! With side story sprinkled throughout of Trip and his journey through the city, there is a strong hallucinatory feeling that is only amplified through out the show. So even though nothing is ever random during the concert. Combined with the apocalyptic story that keeps ramping up during the movie it actually seem oddly appropriate.

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I’m not saying it makes any sense, in fact, it almost derails the entire movie at the end but does actually add a unique quality to the film. Antel has dabbled in these waters before. His first film Kontroll i full of odd imagery so he switches quite easily back and forth and he does the film credit. While the imagery amounts to mere silliness, ultimately, In the hands of a capable director it almost works. And until we get an $18 million Ghost or Die Antwoord movie I doubt anyone will come close to this.

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I still have a kinda love mostly hate relationship with Metallica but I urge folks to put that on the back burner when watching this film. Since the majority of the music is their classic material, even my personal favorite instrumental “Orion” gets played during the credits, and with the band as tight as they are playing them no one can truly dislike this film. I know it’s vogue for metal hipsters to shit on Metallica nowadays but Metallica wrote an entire chapter to the legacy of metal all on their own and THROUGH THE NEVER makes the argument that we’re better off for it.

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My Take on Mileygate

Ok, so first things first. I’m not reposting yet another picture of Miley Ray Cyrus. I liked her haircut at first but now I’m sick of seeing her over and over and and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and, (pant, pant) , over!

Look I don’t care that she shakes her flat booty and makes porn faces. From what I gather she’s been running in pubescent place for many years. She had Disney folks scrambling for years, even, before she retired her Hanna Montana schtick. From smoking pot to lap dances and semi nude cover shoots, Miles had no problem teasing audiences and making folks gasp or groan or whack or whatever.

But as these things play out in the media I often bristle at what doesn’t get reported than what does. The argument, by the media, seems to be boiled down to whether she’s a genius for creating controversy or pawn at the hand of record companies who, as Sinead says, pimp her out at her own peril. My answer to that debate is simple: Who cares?

This controversy stuff is as old as time itself or for the sake of the youths, as old as Madonna. Anyone remember her Sex book? Oy Vey! The media FahReeked out! Madonna couldn’t get any lower. Even Vanilla Ice dumped her! And blah, blah, blah.

Now people reluctantly remember Madonna let alone the fact she posed for what amounted to a pseudo-Penthouse shoot. Of corse Miley don’t care, Miley don’t give a shit and that’s fine. It’s certainly in keeping with her spoiled personality.

Which brings me to the point that often goes overwhelmingly overlooked. Why oh why must we lick the boots of vapid self absorbed children for our celebrity entertainment. It’s not just hard up teenagers and preteens who gush themselves over this stuff. It’s bored twenty somethings and middle age parents. All of whom download and buy her music and videos as if it’s normal fun entertainment.

Any talk of actual criticism of this stuff is just ballyhooed away as “hating” or taking your self too seriously. Pop music is fun. No doubt! I’ve enjoyed my share of Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and, dare I say, Katy Perry. Some pop stuff can become sublime being both bubble gum and introspective at the same time. But, although, Doritos may be fun to eat, that doesn’t mean they won’t make you feel sick. Pop music is just that, Pop music, and again, while it’s fun, it’s shallowness often can often make you feel, I don’t know, depressed. No?

But who cares! As Jello Biafra says: “Shut up and Dance everybody!”

We know the best music often doesn’t sell well and there was a time when Rolling Stone, Spin, Alternative Press and Magnet could give a voice to bands, artists and genre’s that were offering something better. When Paula Abdul was burning up the airwaves with “Opposites Attract” in 1990, Rolling Stone still managed to have covers featuring Sinead O’connor, The B-52s, Roy Orbison, Lou Reed, Fine Young Cannibals, etc. My point is that the bottom line of volumes sold, is now, the only voice in pop culture. So we are, now, handing the reigns of taste to marketers and sales guys who could give a fig about descent music.

Nowadays these magazines are going the way of the dodo and so is our taste. I mean, is it really a big deal Miley twerked or is it just the only thing, beyond dozing off, that caught our attention in Cable TV land?

Why are “bad” rich obnoxious children our cultural entertainment? Why can’t we like music that pushes our expectations. I am old yes but I remember watching R.E.M. on MTV and thinking, “Wow, that’s a beautiful song where did this come from?” Before I knew it R.E.M. was one of the biggest bands in the world.

Now I see “Die Antwoord” and think “WTF these guys are amazing!” They’re Rap, techno and pop mushed together into a snarky smart fun mash up of current contrivance that’s also artsy! Imagine if Yolandi Visser had the stage at MTV! But that will never happen because we can’t sell them like horny Disney kids. Something is wrong with society that we are so shallow and predictable. Or as the Moz says: “This World is Full of Crashing Bores” and Miley you are one.

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The Wolverine (…and why it’s the best superhero movie of the summer)

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A few years back rumors swirled that Darren Aronofsky was the next director to helm a “reboot” of The Wolverine. Complete with the Japanese Claremont storyline and rated R! Now, I can appreciated Aronofsky as much as anyone else but something didn’t seem right. Why would a guy whose movies, as acclaimed as they are, want to suddenly stop making acclaimed indie movies to do a tentpole feature for a character who has been around 13 years and 5 films? Didn’t seem legit to me and as soon as Aronofsky turned down this movie, suddenly he was back directing art house fare complete with Russell Crowe and the story of Noah’s ark. What’s my point? I think, Aronofsky uses franchise features to raise hype for himself to catapult his more highbrow material. Just a theory.

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Reality eventually set in. Aronofsky left and James Mangold, a more hollywood type stepped in, the PG-13 rating returned and soon that old been there done that Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie seemed destine to open. Mangold, while maybe not an art house or fanboy favorite, is an “actors director”. What is that and why does it matter? Well, most directors are visual artists first. That is they see the story play out visually. I.e. the look of the film, the editing, the production design. Most see actors as a mean to an end of the story. How they perform isn’t as important as the movie itself. Guess what? It’s why a lot of movies suck. It’s why Robert Rodrigues’s films have horrible acting and Tarantino’s don’t. One guy has an intuition and insight into the acting craft and the other doesn’t.

This brings me back to Mangold. Actors love him, many have been nominated and two have won Oscars! His films may often feel generic and formulaic but, I’ll give him credit, he gets acting and it shows.

Now then: THE WOLVERINE

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Something funny happened, Mangold, along with writers Mark Bomback and Scott Frank stumbled upon a fantastic story and realized that what might actually work, this time around, was a character driven movie. Relying less on hyper action set pieces and an assembly line of spinoff characters, THE WOLVERINE seems only set on telling the tale of Logan seeking solace and second chance in Japan. I’d even argue that two thirds of the movie is just pure dialogue and character development but with Logan, possibly the most interesting character in the Marvel universe, these scenes are not only fascinating but also energizing to a character that has been used only as action fodder for the past 10 years.

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Hugh Jackman, easily, gives his very best performance as Logan in his career. The thrust of the film revolves around his desperation to find peace after killing his true love Jean Grey. Along the way he meets Mariko (played quite well by Tao Okimoto) the grand daughter of a rich business owner that feels compelled to return a favor to Logan. Soon the proverbial shit hits the fan, the Yakuza show up and suddenly Logan and Mariko are on the run. Along with some fantastic new characters, including the scene stealing Yuko (Rila Fukushima), fun set pieces (i.e. the train getaway) and of course the legendary romance, all told the elements combine for a perfect Wolverine movie!

Some have complained the movie seems insignificant in the overall mythos of the Fox/X-men universe. Indeed, I’m even apt to agree. Since, X2 the remaining films, with exception to First Class, have been underwhelming to say the least. In the case of the first solo Wolverine film, it was downright putrid. Just a series of action set pieces hung together by threadbare plot. Leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of fans who stuck with Jackman since 2000. Who can blame folks then when they seem to sit out the opening weekend of this new tale. But even though there is a cursory sense of fatigue to the character, it quite easily the best Logan story filmed. This is the movie that Wolverine fans have been waiting for.

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Mangold, knew what would benefit this incarnation of Wolverine the most would be not a derivative FX driven blockbuster but rather a tight mobster story about a girl being ousted from the family with only Logan-son to protect her. He managed to find solid Japanese actors to surround Jackman and using scenes of exposition, character development and story arc we become immersed in the lives of the Yashida family and their plight.

Logan’s relationship with Mariko evolves rather than being shoe horned and when they fall for each other it’s believable not pandering.There’s also plot elements like Yukio’s own mutant power that actually serves the script rather than being throwaway dialogue. For me it was worth watching twice becasue this is the first superhero film that feels believable rather than being just realistic and gritty. Too bad critics don’t agree.

Which brings me to the films reception. Analysts seem to indicate that, while solid and entertaining as this movie is, since it’s no huge departure for the character, this streamlined into a lower than expected box office. Maybe there some truth but I tend to think that even if Aronofsky came in and pumped the movie up in entirely new direction, the new film would have still involved Jackman, and I believe he is the reason, like it or not, that folks didn’t turn out as much. Like Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Bruce Willis or Jennifer Aniston a stars shine eventually fades. The film going public seem indiffrent to Hugh as the Wolverine after 13 years and it’s starting to show. Which again is too bad since he, in my opinion, is just starting to get interesting.

Wolverine has always been an older guy. A crusty middle aged dude not some Marlboro Man from Australia. Jackman finally seems right for the role not some younger Abercrombie pretty boy. I really enjoyed watching Jackman as this Clint Eastwood crusty style of guy with a sly sense of humor and justice. He’s finally Wolverine

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And again, it’s too bad since, I’d go so far to say it’s my favorite X-Men movie of the bunch! Lightning struck folks and this is the Wolverine movie that’s been wanted since X-Men was released in 2000. With it’s Japanese back drop, Wolverine centric story and character driven plot, I know I’ll be watching this movie for years to come!

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Reel Quick: Pacific Rim

When the Joblos of the world make comments like; “There’s no good ideas anymore.” or “I’m sick of sequels” or “sick of remakes” or whatever, I’m always inclined to pick out some random recent decent movie that tanked at the box office ask them if they saw it in the theater. The answer is almost always, no.

Well in addition to movies like DRAG ME TO HELL or THE DESCENT, I get to add PACIFIC RIM. Directed by fanboy and Spanish fantasist Guillermo delToror, RIM was marketed as a sort of Transformers meets Godzilla type slugfest and, although some blamed the lack of turn out this very marketing, for the most part it’s dead on!

PACIFIC RIM is giant robots vs giant monsters but it’s not some dumb assheaded smashfest by Michael Bay or Paul WS Anderson, it’s told by a master filmmaker who’s attention to detail and story beguile most hollywood directors. A guy who used to taking generic concepts and turning them on their ear. With Blade 2 he upped the ante with the Reapers and with Hellboy he proved lush visuals can be the driving force of a film.

He does that with Pacific Rim too as well as adding a story of personal responsibility, relationships and humor. In a summer of rather serious and sometimes dour blockbusters, despite it’s subject, PACIFIC RIM is rather light and fun. Sure it’s scary and kinda violent but it’s fantastical nature and exciting tone keep the film rather breezy enough that you’ll consider taking the little one’s who like that stuff.

But most importantly, PACIFIC RIM is the summer blockbuster you wanted to see! The big blasting showdown film that is fun as it is scary or as funny as it is violent. That’s what folks want to see a new idea that delivers the goods.

But people just won’t step into a theater unless they know what they’re seeing and that’s why the remakes, sequels and reboots continue. So take a chance and see something fun this summer. At least so when I ask, you can say you’ve seen something new for a change!

I thought they were cool but what do I know. #manofsteel #zod #faora

I thought they were cool but what do I know. #manofsteel #zod #faora

Man of Steel

When I was a kid my favorite super heroes where Spider-man, Superman, the Hulk and the Greatest American Hero. Pretty much anything on TV. Then when I became a teenager I found myself drawn to this short stocky Canadian guy with crazy hair, smoking a cigar and steel claws named Wolverine and for the next 20 years I identified with this social misfit who raged against the bad guys the way I had against the world. He fit my life and he was my number one.

After getting married, being graced with a child and holding a job for some time, I soon found myself drawn to someone else. A few years ago, I decided to pop in the old Christopher Reeve classic one evening and at the end of that movie I came to a realization I never had when I was a kid.

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Kal-El was a walking myth who was a product of societies greatest virtues. A great person who always did the right thing but underneath they’re stirred a man who was highly emotional and vulnerable who couldn’t let this emotions overcome him since his job required him not to. I too walk around all day to keeping my inner Logan quelled only using my angst when it’s needed. Now like Clark, I was a person who had to keep a stiff upper lip for the sake of others.

I got finally got Superman! He has since become my favorite hero.

MAN OF STEEL has officially been unleashed into the world and despite general disdain from fanboys and critics alike, the Zack Snyder directed and Nolan/Goyer re-invisioned story of Superman has held on the be the second biggest movie of the summer. Ensuring sequels and ramping up rumor control over the coveted Justice League movie.

Undoubtedly for a character with Superman’s 75 year history any re-telling of his origin story will be met with criticism but the question of upmost interest by Warner Brothers will be wether or not the character will stick with the public at large. And with their current take of $500 million, the answer is certainly a good one.

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Still many folks are concerned over the new take on Kal-El and whether or not the movie is too long, too loud and too violent. Yet for me, despite some quibbles, I found the new movie refreshing and fun.

This is officially the third incarnation, what with Christopher Reeves legendary performances in the 80s and most recently the luke warm version in 2006. Despite being successful, what did Superman Returns in, was a little movie, staring a guy in cape and cowl, released a year beforehand. That set a new tone in the DC universe and suddenly Truth, Justice and the American way seemed out of vogue. We wanted our heroes gritty and sullen.

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Enter the new era of Superman or rather the MAN OF STEEL! Gone is the beaming optimism, cherubic sentiment, gee golly Smallville and wide-eyed strength. Now Kal-El is a stranger in a strange land. A young misunderstood boy who must hide his gifts and only reluctantly announce his arrival amid an alien threat headed up by the man who killed his father, General Zod himself.

After an opening that is more reminiscent of a pale template Avatar, than that of Kypton, we begin to see Clark Kent’s tale told in flashback as he wanders the Earth in search of clues of his alien ancestry. Before we know it Zod has arrived and it’s off to the races in terms of action set pieces.

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I’ll concede that some of the most trying aspects of MoS are the non-stop bombardments of battle and peril. Some fight scenes are creative and fun but after a while it gets tedious. The final showdown, between Zod and Supes, is boring. When after two long engagements in Smallville and later destroying the tera former, it could have been brief and still exciting short showdown between Zod and Kal-El.

Still, I appreciated Snyder’s vision and Goyer’s attention to detail. Between the two, they both crafted a gritty yet subtle take on the 75 year old tale. While the soaring heroism may be gone, it is replaced with a serene vision on good in a more cynical modern world. This Superman is a quiet contemplative hero who does good no matter what even at his own peril or, more importantly, when it’s against his best interest.

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And yet I’ve never seen a such a divide between critics, fans and the general audience as this film. I suppose when a character has a 75 year history that is rich as it is popular any re-interpetation will be met with a strong amount of disdain.

Without a doubt Zack Snyder, Chris Nolan and David Goyer used the most tried and true ingredients of current success to ensure the movie would go over well with the masses at large. Many of The Dark Knights’s tools are on full display: realism, intensity, violence and ernest sincerity are the films corner stones.

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Many of the older critics have been lamenting the movie has few moments of levity which make the whole movie feel like one big bummer.

I for one don’t agree. Just because Christopher Reeves and Richard Donner injected terrific large portions of humor and sentimentality plus a swirling courageous score by John Williams doesn’t mean Man of Steel has to play by their rules.

Yes, Superman is an old corny superhero who doesn’t have the brooding ennui of Batman or Wolverine but that doesn’t mean his history begins and ends with Reeves and “believing you can fly” stuff. Superman’s identity is righteously stubborn but his attitude and demeanor have historically been all over the place. Grant Morrison has often written him as incredibly pensive mellow and rather sweet. Alan Moore has written his boy scout demeanor as a facade to massive anxiety and guilt. Mark Waid and Alex Ross portrayed him as a kinda grump. His current incarnation is the brooding quite idealist that Snyder taps into. None of which are wrong and often considered classic.

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Superman is open to interpretation. Just like Batman, who at one point was go go dancing in the 60s and wearing nipples in the 90s, Superman has the ability to be changed. It’s just that comic nerds have always insisted the Superman be the light to Batman’s dark. While critics, often middle age or older, insist film makers reinvent the Richard Donner wheel.

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Which is unfair because then we would have a Superman movie only a small portion of the world would enjoy. Yes, MAN OF STEEL, is using only the most modern template for blockbuster storytelling but it also includes a nostalgic nod to the history of the character and a balls to the wall action scenes to shake the very seat you sit in. All of which I appreciate.

Plus, with the movie’s success, it ensures that the Man of Steel will be flying, very soon, again. And for me, that’s the best news of all.

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Yes, I have issues with the new vision of the Man of Steel: it’s gets repetitive at the end of the film, it could have used some stronger doses of humor and the beginning was a bit too Avatar for it’s own good. There were some missed opportunities too; Zod and Jor-El’s relationship could have been played out more sympathetic between them so when the murder happens it had a bigger impact or Quora could have been played even more flamboyantly, laughing and enjoying her manhandling of earthling opponents. Her part could have been even more off the wall fun.

My biggest complaint may be the casting of Amy Adams. She’s no slouch for sure, she was amazing in The Master and the very best part of The Muppets, but she plays Lois Lane with the same temperature and personality as Cavil’s Superman. She should be more acerbic and sarcastic. A jaded seen it at reporter who tries seeing through Kal-el but ultimately is won over by his sheer purity and belief in humanity. Adams was simply miscast.

Now imagine Rashida Jones in the role. Works right!

Yet, dispute my nitpicks, I still enjoyed it. Three whole times! And with each subsequent viewing the subtleties in in the movie became more apparent elevating my enjoyment. I loved the oil rig scene were Clark stops the massive tower from crashing on the helicopter, the Smallville battle and most of all the Kents. Easily the heart and soul of the movie, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner give fantastic performances which not only ground the movie but also add an intense emotional backdrop that helps underscores Superman’s every motive. Easily the best Costner role since JFK and Lane’s relationship with Clark is so natural and real it winds up being the reason we like him so much.

I have grown to love the Superman character like family and knowing there were fundamental changes did worry me. But know this, the changes that were made were done not just to appeal to masses but also allow Superman to have a new unique character that exists outside the comic but also keeps the idea of a moral personality. This new character is truth and justice but just on a more sublime level. A Jesus figure that is more akin to a Buddhist monk than american gothic. So to the naysayers understand that we are in new exciting territories for the character and those territories can bring an amazing new twist the the Man of Steel saga.

So buckle in and have fun.

STAR TREK INTO MY HEART

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My life with with Star Trek has certainly been from the sidelines. That said, when I think about growing up, it becomes clear that Trek was with me more than I thought. As a child of the late 70s and 80s, I do remember the Star Trek films being a big part of my life. My closest friend and sister were huge fans and, by osmosis, I often became pretty immersed. I remember seeing STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE in theaters. It was the first film, which I recall being bored by, but hey I was 7. WRATH OF KAHN was more my style.. Battles, revenge, death, old grudges, alien earworms and KAHHHHHNNN! Yeah, not bored with that one. Of course SEARCH FOR SPOCK and THE VOYAGE HOME were dutifully watched and I do remember Christopher Lloyd and the humor being refreshing.

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Then came THE NEXT GENERATION! Wow, what could I say. A new exciting cast and great captain anchoring a new series with new effects, story lines and…then they fucking killed Lt. Tasha Yar!!!!! What the fuck! “No, too lesbian. Let’s get rid of her and beef up the Ferengi!!”

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So, that was it. Over the next 20 something years, I walked away. It’s not a good reason, for sure, but it wasn’t a conscious decision. I was always on the fence with the series and after a character that I thought was pretty cool gets off’d, I guess I just checked out. What can I say, I had Twin Peaks.

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In 2009, I saw all the hoopla surrounding the new JJ Abrams Star Trek but I just wasn’t into it. I had a 4 year old then and getting to the theater was pretty tough. Plus, I’m stupid. Part of what turned me off, were the serious curmudgeon Trekkies who were kinda sour on the whole thing and I actually valued their opinions. So alas I was out of the Star Trek loop until this summer.

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First, let me say this; I was wrong. The reboot is great. The one thing above all else about this new vision and the one home run is that it works because it places emphasis on Treks biggest and, frankly, underrated strength: character.

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Abrams, knew what made the series legendary among populist fans (not Roddenberry purists per say) were the characters and their relationships. Particularly between Spock and Kirk. Combine that with a fast, loose story about a young Kirk and Spock colliding together with a twist that re-envisions the series so that it can be a reboot and a have it’s own history at the same time.

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It certainly worked much better than another revisited classic series that let fans down in a horrible infamous way that only folks in denial can argue. ..Cough..Star Wars..Cough!! So upon hearing that, not only, was Star Trek Into Darkness was, not just good, but better that it’s predecessor, I knew I had to see it as soon as I could and believe me. It’s as good as it’s hype.

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We pick up a few years after the first film to find the crew immersed in a sort of Sci-Fi meets Indiana Jones dilemma that suddenly threatens the life of Spock. Before we know it, Kirk disobeys a “prime directive”, saves Spock and creates the very best unveiling of the enterprise in the entire history of Star Trek.

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Soon the film flips to one of the most heart rendering plotlines that shows us how terrorism and manipulation often works hand in hand while also introducing the films antagonist played by steadfast actor Benedict Cumberpatch . After a series of unfortunate events we suddenly find ourselves on another life or death journey complete with Klingons, double-crossing, warp drive malfunctions, sacrifice and KAAAAHHNNN!

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There have been plenty of grumbling from old school Trekkies that the new films aren’t plot driven like the original, the plots they do have are thin and that often are too derivative of old school material. To that I say; and your point is?

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I mean, have you seen any of the blockbuster films over the last ten years? How many of them are plot driven? Less than a handful and virtually nonexistent if you took away Chris Nolan’s movies. Oh, and you think your sacred film canons are the only ones being rehashed and reduced from their former glory, well as a horror fan all I can say is: “Welcome to the club folks! Try the appetizers.” Evil Dead, Halloween, Psycho, Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Amityville Horror, The Omen and Texas Chainsaw Massacre…TWICE!

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All of them come nowhere near the originals in terms of tone, message and originality. And that’s just the horror genre. At least Gene Roddenberry didn’t come back from the grave and do the Star Trek prequels himself, all in front of green screen with one-dimensional characters yammering lines to aliens who are the butt of fart jokes!

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Theses new films are well directed fast paced yet smart yarns with great honorary characters and time and attention to detail and history that most Star Wars fans would bleed themselves for. Sure, it’s not the films or series of old but you could have done much, much, much worse and if you’ve seen any movies recently you should have realize that the fact these movies are even soundly grounded in it’s history and also pretty darn good, is a minor miracle.

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But as Spock says: “There are no such things as miracles.” He’s right and we have the JJ and his producers to thank for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS!

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REEL QUICK: This Girl Is Bad Ass is not your typical martial arts film if your from the US. It’s a bonkers benny hill comedy with JeeJa Yanin giving some occasional ass kickings. She does indeed have something special. Hopefully Hollywood notices before she gets too old like Jet Li or Jackie Chan or too crazy like Tony Ja.
Bet seriously, this goofball comedy may not hit for most.

REEL QUICK: This Girl Is Bad Ass is not your typical martial arts film if your from the US. It’s a bonkers benny hill comedy with JeeJa Yanin giving some occasional ass kickings. She does indeed have something special. Hopefully Hollywood notices before she gets too old like Jet Li or Jackie Chan or too crazy like Tony Ja.

Bet seriously, this goofball comedy may not hit for most.