I am a big comic geek. Not so much now, but from the time I was a kid to sophmore year in college I collected a lot of comics. I have over 3,000 bagged and boarded in moisture resistant cardboard downstairs. Did I say I was a comic book geek?
Marvel was always my thing, most of the DC universe really didn’t catch my eye. That is until DC started churning out great films like Superman, Batman, etc. Well, now Green Lantern is poised as the next big DC franchise with Ryan Reynolds at the helm. Now, for those of you that have listen to the podcast you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Mr. Reynolds. So I was torn since the next superhero I wanted to see Reynolds play was Deadpool; that is until I saw this on the latest Entertainment Weekly in my mailbox:
Now, this suit does look pretty damn awesome in this shot and I am told that it is entirely CG. The film is still in its early stages so I am unsure if this shot is photoshop’ed, or an early test of the CG mapping. Either way, it has a great look and takes the “feel” of Lantern’s actual suit and makes it current and believable.
Green Lantern is intended to hit theaters next year (6/17/2011).
When I browsed past The King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters on my Netflix account on the 360 (instant queue is a beautiful thing isn’t it?) I thought I was about to watch a smart indie film about a classic video game. But what I got was something more.
Steve Weibe (pronounced: Weebee) has recorded a million+ score on Donkey Kong Jr. in his garage. This beats the standing world record by Billy Mitchell by well over 150,000 points. Billy, a confident video game expert and self-made businessman has held this record since the early 80’s (as well as 4 other world records). Weibe, believing he’s broken the world record, sends the videotape of his record-breaking game in to Twin Galaxies (the official gaming scoreboard) for review. What ensues is a roller coaster of ups and downs; Accused of cheating and modifying his game board to gain an advantage, Weibe has no other choice but to prove his prowess in live competition.
The film brings us Weibe’s struggle to be the best all-the-while being supported by friends and family. Mitchell is portrayed as the untouchable villain with a cadre of evil minions doing his bidding.
While the details of the film may be stretched for dramatic effect (see IMDB trivia page), the story is incontrovertible. It’s an underdog story of the highest degree: A lone challenger beat down his whole life finds a purpose and practices until he can be the best. But he has to prove it against the headstrong, arrogant champion. Will the champion accept the challenge? Will the challenger beat him if he does? That’s the magic of some of the best underdog movies, and that’s the magic of King of Kong.
So I recently had a big birthday, and if you’re following me on TWITTER, you’ll know which one. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say it was a great day and I received many cool gifts, one of which was the XBOX360 version of Red Dead Redemption. It arrived innocently enough via FedEx marked Saturday delivery. Jason surprises me like this sometimes, and usually it involves a six-shooter of one kind or another.
Well this six shooter came with all the Sergio Leone films packed behind it as well as Rockstar Games signature open world style. The first thing that grabbed me about Red Dead Redemption was the cinematic presentation. I wasn’t playing a game really, I was more like experiencing an interactive western. Little things like riding my horse to the first mission taking time make this game feel more real than just a game with western window dressing. Instead of getting somewhere quick, I had to ride along with my guide for a good 3 or 4 minutes listening to him chit-chat as I looked at the gorgeous scenery. I enjoyed the actual riding of the horse, it gave the journey a purpose (not just the destination).
The game then “begins”, but seems to end right quick as you get shot (no spoiler here as this is the premise of the game), than saved by local ranchers and nursed back to health. Your journey to redemption now begins as you help around the ranch (which is a cleverly veiled tool to teach you how to aim, shoot, and ride).
The game progresses as you journey to other towns and perform other missions, which all play nicely into your main goal of bringing the guy that left you for dead to justice (dead or alive. My guess is dead). The missions make sense in this game and they play into the overall storyline perfectly. They never feel forced or ancillary.
I’ve always been a fan of westerns, and Red Dead Red Redemption drops you smack dap in the middle of one. The scenery, the characters, and especially the horses all lead to an engrossing experience making you feel like you are in this new frontier.
My buddy, Cesar, sent me a link the other day (he does this on a regular basis as he finds cool stuff here and here) and as usual, I clicked on it. What came before me was a VIDEO THAT LEFT ME SLACK-JAWED. I remember when the Mortal Kombat video game came out and I pumped tons of quarters into that game in the arcade. Mortal Kombat was the first of its kind to use realistic looking characters and featured the now famous “Fatality” scenes.
In 1995, Paul W.S. Anderson took the video game to the big screen taking the core concept of the video game (a martial arts tournament) and wrapping it around a better film premise (Enter the Dragon). Much to my geek delight, the film was tons of fun and cemented the scream “MORTAL KOMBAAAAAT” into my speech lexicon for that summer.
So you could imagine my excitement when this new re-envisioning began to play. Michael Jai White (yes, of Spawn fame), plays Jaxx (look at the door to his office), Johnny Cage is apparently dead, but Sonja Blade is back, played by Jeri Ryan (7 of 9, anyone?).
According to Slashfilm, the clip is a short spec film shot by Fame director Kevin Tancheron back in April as a pitch to get the job.
Well, I think he did an awesome job. He’s taken the tired concept of the fight contest (Can it really get any better than Bloodsport?) and actually made it pretty relevant. In seven minutes he’s explained why Baracka looks like an animal, and why we even need to care about the tournament.
I hope studio execs stand up and take notice and give this guy the job. What he did on no budget and a couple RED cameras is phenomenal. I, for one, am gonna remember his name whether or not this reboot flies.
Watch the VIDEO HERE.
Look, I’ve been a Tom Cruise fan for a very long time. From the first time I saw him on screen in TAPS, I’ve been hooked. Cruise has lived the dream of every teenage boy, twentysomething, and thirtysomething in every single movie he’s made. He’s done what WE want to do. Drive a fast car? Check. Fly a fast plane? Check. Bed beautiful women? Check. Make tons of money? Check.
Seriously, this guy’s film roles read like a bucket list for every man locked to a desk or just living his life. Until he went off the deep end. I won’t rehash it here… everyone remembers it.
So, his new flick with Cameron Diaz (reunited again from Vanilla Sky), Knight and Day, seems to be poised to put Cruise back in action. The trailer is electric, action-packed and funny. (And having Uprising from Muse as the backing track doesn’t hurt). Check it out, below.
See what I mean? Awesome. And let’s not forget about Diaz’s jumpstart here too. She’s been in and out of low performers ever since Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle so she’s poised for a little mojo boost as well.
Will Knight and Day deliver? I think so. Even though trailers can be deceiving, I think this one is giving an accurate play of the flick. I’m looking forward to reviewing it and giving you my thoughts. Now if you excuse me, I need to go ride a motorcycle, really, really fast.
I’ve been a fan of Burn Notice since it debuted on USA Networks in 2007 mostly because of Bruce Campbell. I’ve followed him ever since the Evil Dead days, but it was The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. that really solidified him in my wheelhouse of favorite character actors. The premise seemed cool: CIA spy gets “burned” (disavowed for you Mission: Impossible fans) and dumped in Miami. While trying to figure out who burned him he helps people in need.
The burned spy is Michael Weston (played by Jeffrey Donovan). He’s part MacGyver, part Magnum PI, part Yoda, and part ninja. He’s a brilliant strategist, expert in hand-to-hand combat, and can blend in to any locale or situation.
He’s helped by a group of friends including Sam Axe, played by my fave Bruce Campbell, a washed up ex-special forces agent (with a heart of gold) who lives on the favor of wealthy widows; and Fiona (“Fee”), played by the georgeous Gabrielle Anwar, an ex-IRA activist, weapons expert, and all around bad-ass in a Nikita sort of way. (Oh and she has a heart of gold too.) Sharon Glass (of Cagney & Lacey fame) plays Michael’s mother Madeline, a silver-haired spitfire who chain smokes and is trying to make up for past parenting sins.
Burn Notice is now in it’s fourth season and in my opinion continues to impress. The show is fun to watch and exciting. If you yearn for shows like the The A-Team, Knight Rider, MacGyver, and Magnum PI, then Burn Notice captures all the best parts of these shows, wraps it in sunny/beautiful locations, excellent writing, and great performances.
Do yourself a favor watch the show and make up your own mind Tuesdays 9/8C. You won’t be disappointed.
So you may have guessed from the title that I was particularly enthused about Iron Man 2. I hate to say it, because I was really excited about the flick, but at the end of the day the movie really didn’t deliver anything new. The first Iron Man took one of the less popular Marvel characters and turned him into a sensation. Jason and I have posted and spoke about Iron Man 1 already so I won’t wax triumphant about it now.
I guess it was really the story that fell flat for me. The best thing about Iron Man is the snarkiness in the dialog. Iron Man is the “smart” superhero movie and this second installment just felt like a plain, old superhero movie. Where the effects excellent? Yes. Was Mickey Rourke a bad-ass (yet again)? Yes. Did Scarlett Johannsen kick butt? Abso-f’n-lutely! Was Cheadle better than Howard? You bet. Was Sam Rockwell the best part of this flick? Have to say “yes” (but then again, he always steals the show).
What I’m saying is that Iron Man 2 was not better than the sum of it’s parts. By the end, the movie became about men in suits fighting other men in suits and we SAW that already in Iron Man 1. Whiplash was a good idea, but there’s a part early on which should have done him in, but it didn’t even leave a scratch. Sorry, I can’t suspend my disbelief here. Out of all the Marvel movies, Iron Man is actually the most plausible. So we when bunny hop the sand shark, I have a hard time staying in the movie.
I’m sure Iron Man 3 will be made and I hope Favreau and Co. do what they did with number 1: Set out to make a “different” superhero flick (one that doesn’t climax with 2 metal suits fighting each other), because 2 was just “meh.”