Monday, May 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


What an amazing film. When was the last time you watched it?
Has it been a while?
Has that distant memory grown blurry and lost some focus after all those years of being locked away within the vaults of your damp, musty mind?
Wouldn't you like to feel like you watched it just this morning?
What if I told you I could have you bristling with the same excitement that you felt the very first time you saw a mutant with 3 tits get shot in the back by Michael Ironside.
Does that get you jacked up, folks?
Well then; why don't you strap yourself into a Rekall Inc. chair and allow me to pump your mind full of delicious, crisp and fresh new memories of that amazing cinematic gem.
Let's all hop into a Johnny Cab and drive round Mars once more...

- Kuato seems like an open minded guy.
Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Anyway; you just know that having a greasy, psychic, baby-mutant with political aspirations growing out of your stomach has got to dictate what your options are regarding social activities...and this would undoubtedly include the bedroom.
THAT'S why I say he'd need to have an open mind.
Otherwise, the 2-bit mutant hookers he'd hire are gonna demand quite a bit of space-cocaine to be down with the sordid, Krang-flavoured fantasies YOU JUST KNOW he's gagging to try out.
And how does the whole 'stomach-man' ratio work out when he's kissing-and-telling to his fellow freaks?
Is Kuato the kind of guy who sleeps with a chick...and then brags to his mutant buddies that he wrangled himself a sweet threesome?
Do you think he'd play that loophole?
I say yes.
Maybe I'm being prematurely judgemental; but I just don't credit a sweaty, wheezing, chest-infant capable of reading minds and inciting riots with too much gentlemanly class when it comes to bedroom etiquette.
Do you?
If so; fine.
YOU sleep with him then.
But keep this in mind; when the main body is doing the task at hand; Kuato will probably be drooling into your navel.
Good luck scrubbing that mental image from your mind, ladies.

- The opening credits music and score sounds as if the scores from CONAN THE BARBARIAN and TERMINATOR 2 had heaving, muscled, technologically-advanced, time-travelling sex with each other...and somebody recorded those sounds and mixed them into a new score.
Whoa. I don't really need to say much more. That just sounds awesome already.

- Paul Verhoeven just flat-out rules. Class dismissed, ladies and gentlemen.
If you're not loving everything that Verhoeven brings to the screen then I have nothing but pocketfuls of pity for you. TOTAL RECALL, ROBOCOP, STARSHIP TROOPERS; all pure gold, says I.
He seems to have slowed down a bit lately though, and I'd welcome another one of his solid action pieces that has the spine to not water everything down while still managing to maintain a solid story.
High praise to this gent, y'all.

- One of the many great things about this film is that it deals with a fiction that will undoubtedly become a reality. We already live in a world where we can load massive amounts of data on to tiny little data sticks and so it is not that great a leap to imagine a world where some dick in your office could walk up to you after a blurry weekend and inform you that you have, in fact, been implanted with a new identity so that your true identity (an asshole, apparently) could have a wacky getaway in Vegas while he puts it all on the company tab and leaves you wondering why you're being questioned on Monday about missing hookers, property damage and damage to property belonging to missing hookers.
Never mess with a pimp who knows his way around legal matters, folks.
No good can come from that kind of person.
Oh, and what memory will they probably leave you with of your 'implanted weekend'? Probably some glamorous series of events involving you eating take-out, doing some laundry, masturbating alone while a playlist your ex-girlfriend made for you plays through one speaker...and then realizing that you got careless during your self-love and this warrants ANOTHER round of laundry.
Thanks a lot, Steve from Accounting. You're a cock.
One day I'll wipe your memory and implant a memory of me doing a catalogue of obscene acts with your fiancee.
On a loop.

- I absolutely LOVE the way the Sales Manager guy at Rekall Inc. puts his staff in line.
When Quaid freaks out, the lady technician is just responsibly informing her boss of the problem at hand.
And what is Mr. Manager's first response?
“Use your head, you dumb bitch!”
I love that professionalism and respect for co-workers.
This is the future I dream of, people.
They then proceed to wipe Quaid's memory and dump him in the street.
Obviously “The Customer Is Always Right” is no longer a phrase that has the retail industry in a choke hold any longer.
What a future. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
When I complain that my bacon isn't crispy enough on my BLT, I TOTALLY want to have my mind wiped, be dumped in an alley and then have my friends try to kill me.
That'll teach me to open my mouth about delicious bacon.
I love the future.

- I love this movie.
Just like my love for a fine woman (who also wants to watch TOTAL RECALL. Topless.); I really, really love this movie.
However; I freakin hate the cars. They're hideous. If there's one thing that really under cooks my bacon, it's pathetically designed cars in sci-fi flicks that are supposed to look 'futuristic'.
These vehicles are horrible.
They're down there with the pieces of crap seen in TIMECOP.
Go check them out. Seriously. I'll wait. They're laughable.
...In fact; I'm not gonna wait.
If you're the kind of person willing to go and watch TIMECOP then you've no business here.
Keep walking, guy.
I'm sure you can find a nice, safe blog about THE DARK KNIGHT that's written by a kitten.

- Okay, so remember when Quaid returns home after being jumped by the creepy Danny DeVito-wannabe and his pals? Remember how his wife is using a holographic tennis-coach program?
Yeah? Remember the tennis coach hologram? You with me?
Somebody with some kind of medical knowledge PLEASE tell me what fucking gender that creature is.
It's not a man.
It's not a woman.
It's like some bizarre, terrifying, tennis-playing mutant with a disturbing hairstyle and a comfortable forehand.
Tennis tips be damned. I want nothing that comes from that unholy genetic anomaly.
I have always fucking hated tennis.
Now I understand why.
Freaks like this must haunt Wimbledon like lost souls.

- Yuck. I need to cleanse that freaky residue from my mind.
Let's move on to Sharon Stone as Quaid's wife.
She looks amazing.
She's all sweaty while wearing that bangin' leotard and that's enough to make this movie at least worth pausing on as you late-night channel flip in search of flesh.
But then Stone decides to up the ante and get more blood-flowing by engaging in some high-kicking martial arts followed by a knife fight which eventually leads to her panting, sweating and pleading to be tied up for some kinky sex.
When will more chicks learn that a knife fight DOES count as foreplay?
Have I mentioned I love the future?

- When Quaid realizes his bitch of a wife is setting him up, he acts all calm and says, “Clever girl” when he sees she's been stalling. Now, I would love it if the tech team at Rekall got bored one post-lunch Thursday and decided to load up Quaid's skull with some selected scenes from JURASSIC PARK.
So instead of Quaid barely escaping the room before Richter arrives...he's actually attacked by a coordinated pack of velociraptors.
If only Muldoon was around to...well, also get killed, basically.
Too bad. He wore a memorable hat.
Actually, that's a new style of cinema that I'd TOTALLY be into.
Let us see the dawn of Movie Mash-Ups, people. You heard it here first.
Imagine if they used some advanced CGI to release a new cut of PREDATOR where all of Dutch's team is efficiently killed Sully from COMMANDO.
Or if they released an updated version of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION where Andy finally escapes, then Red meets up with him again in Zihuatanejo...accompanied by Sully from COMMANDO.
What a golden era of cinema that would be, people.

- Okay, have you all got TOTAL RECALL loaded in your players?
Excellent. Watch it again and pay close attention.
Just after Quaid smashes through the security X-Ray wall, he rushes down a flight of stairs and bumps into a guy at the bottom wearing a yellow shirt and green vest.
This poor guy does the BEST yell ever as Arnold's bulky frame slams into him.
The impact causes this gentlemen to unleash a remarkable noise that sounds like his ribs broke, he's angry AND he's vomitting.
At the same time.
I wish that sound was my ringtone.

- The brutality in this film is amazing. Now I'm not some savage who just ADORES violence and giggles and applauds during moments of on-screen butchery.
However; I do believe that it is one of the colours available to an artist and in order to achieve certain story goals, one must never handcuff ones self and shy away from violence.
People fall in love in real life.
People get killed in real life.
Plain as black and white.
Why should one get easier cinematic treatment just because it's more digestable in reality?
If someone gets killed; I don't want it sugar-coated and watered-down. Because I know that if I saw that happen in real life...nobody is going to censor it for me. It's GOING to be traumatic. Case closed.
Hmmm, getting a little heavy here. Okay. Let's move onward.
My main thrust of this topic is that, as I mentioned earlier; I love that Verhoeven has balls, basically. The human shield scene, the nose breaking, the arm ripping, the henchman stepping on a freshly fallen corpse; it all adds up and lends the film a shocking and unforgiving flavour that pins you to the seat and makes you say, “Holy shit. That guy just got his arms ripped off.”
Tell me honestly; when was the last time you said “Holy shit. That guy just got his arms ripped off.” while watching a current film at the cinema?
Doesn't happen.
Because 90% of action films these days have been neutered to the point where they're basically just a sequence of explosions filmed like a shitty R&B music video.
Now, I should bring this all out of the shadows and sprinkle a bit of levity around the place.
You want a good time? Listen to the audio commentary and marvel as Arnold laughs his ass off while all of this violence takes place.
What a thigh-slapper.
I love Schwarzenegger.
Now, I'm not mocking here. Just listen to the what the guy says all through his career. He understands that violence is merely an ingredient that one uses in order to cook a certain cinematic recipe.
If it's necessary and you leave it out just to please the masses...then your dish is going to fail.

- They mention The Galleria again.
So that's COMMANDO, TERMINATOR 2 and now this.
If I find it mentioned in something like CONAN I'm gonna see my therapist.

- This film has some pretty out-there concepts.
Cyborg cab-drivers? Fine.
Explosive-headed decoy lady-masks? Fair enough.
Michael Ironside hooking up with Sharon Stone? I can dig it.
But the only thing that I DO NOT the completely perfect, form-fitting Towel Helmet ™ that Quaid whips up in the bathroom in order to muffle his tracking signal.
Seriously. Look at it closely.
It's perfect.
Perfectly bullshit.
I hear in Japan that he's wearing the helmet on the TOTAL RECALL poster and the movie is actually called TOWEL ROBOT MYSTERY!
(Don't fact-check that. Just trust me.)

- Johnny Cabs.
What terrifying chauffeurs of doom they are.
Is it a malfunction, or is it the cab company's standard operating procedure against fare-evasion to murder passengers via vehicular manslaughter and fiery explosions?
The future is harsh, yo.
The best thing about it all is that Arnold agrees with me. During the commentary he comments on the exact same thing and then cracks up with laughter. What a legend.
I wish Schwarzenegger would adopt me. Oh, the laughs we'd have...

- The hologram watch-decoy thing that Quaid uses to annihilate a squad of soldiers is pure awesome. An excellent concept that is employed very well in the narrative and the effects stand up well even by today's standards. (Just like the whole film, basically)
Personally though; I would've liked it if he could customize the hologram image.
Cause I always wanted him to project that terrifying, gender-nightmare, tennis freak in front of the troops and watch them howl in fright before turning their guns on themselves in order to escape this horror into the blissfully safe embrace of death.
I seriously hate that tennis coach.

- Do you remember the bug-removal sequence being good? Yeah, that was back then. Watch it now...and it's STILL FREAKING AMAZING.
Rob Bottin is a god. Game over.
My buddy Vince and I used to always sit there watching THE THING back in high school and we'd actually TRY to spot flaws in his FX work.
There are none.
The man is an absolute wizard and he displays his magic here just as well as he did on THE THING. I cannot praise him enough.

- “Get your ass to Mars.” is such an amazingly versatile quote.
I use it often in my day-to-day life and it ALWAYS fits perfectly, regardless of situation.
If I ever get married, I want my bride to say that to me instead of “I do.
Using the accent.

- The tracking locator thingy that Richter's henchman buddy has is crap.
You remember the guy? He looks like a high-school science teacher crossed with a pedophile.
Anyway; take a close look at his tracking device and also the screen display.
It's a piece of shit. It looks like a Wii game.
If someone handed it to you; you'd tell them to eat your ass.
I hear that they originally wanted Richter to carry it, but Michael Ironside is so hardcore that he just stared them down and told them to give it to the guy who looks like a pervert.
The locator device was never mentioned to Ironside again.

- There's a pretty big plot jump just before Quaid arrives in the Explosion Lady disguise.
I understand, and agree, that it should be a surprise reveal...but they never even solidly foreshadow it. You can briefly see some stuff in the briefcase he receives but it's TOTALLY underplayed. I've always felt that there was maybe a deleted scene where Quaid at least feels the fabric or examines the dress (without revealing it is a dress).
I'm not complaining; I just always felt like it was a pretty large leap in the narrative.
It's still an awesome reveal, though.
Imagine if you were on a date and totally making out with a chick just before she starts babbling about “2 weeks” and then her heads snaps open to reveal a large angry man.
That'd ruin your week, I'm guessing.
Would you agree to see her/him again if he wore the 'she' mask?
Dating is tricky, folks. I'm here to help.

- Benny; the traitorous mutant cab-driver, totally laughs like the laughs heard in 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash.

- Maybe you weren't counting last time; but Quaid's wife hits him in the nuts 3 times.
Too far, honey.
He eventually gets a sweet refund when he quips “Consider that a divorce.” after shooting her in the head.
That's all good and well, Quaid, but we also feel that you would've been justified in simply saying “You hit me in the nuts 3 times.”

That's that for now.
It was a nice trip down memory lane.
After that mental vacation together, I feel that I've grown closer to you all.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
It has always been a fantasy of mine to get a lap dance from a beautiful woman while I sit in one of those awesome, hi-tech, memory chairs from Rekall Inc.

Gentlemen of the jury; raise your hands. You agree.
You all KNOW that's an awesome dream.

If only we could implant it.

Bah. Screw it.
I'm gonna go build my own Rekall chair...

Monday, June 7, 2010


SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS is one of the best games ever made.

Hell, it's one of the best experiences I've ever had, regardless of media.
Anyway, my buddy Dean and I were standing around in a carpark one day and the wind started to blow and whisper of an impending storm.
As the clouds gathered and darkness fell, we started to discuss how much we wanted a Colossus to just wander along at that exact moment.
Unfortunately, one did not.
Because reality sucks, children. Learn that lesson.

Therefore, we began to share our feelings regarding our collective love for this beautiful game.
What you will find below is a collection of ideas and concepts about a sequel to SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS that we both, plus many others, desperately want.

These ideas were started by Dean Blackley and I...and then I got a bit carried away and couldn't stop.

Enjoy and dream of what could be.

- Play the game alone or with a friend.
- Branching storyline allows for separate adventures to be had by both players that separate/rejoin at key points during the narrative. Each player will depend on the other.
For example; one of Player 1's solo quests will finish at a point that will arise at the end, or midway, between one of Player 2's solo quests. At this 'intersection', the co-op mode will kick in and the players will be reunited until the next time the adventure calls for the players to split up.

- If your friend falls while climbing (and you are within reach) you can reach out and grab each other's wrists. One player must initiate the GRAB for the fallen and, once grabbed, both players must BUTTON PRESS in order to maintain the grip and pull the fallen back up. This is very useful when the higher climber falls past the lower climber.
- The monkey-grip can also be used on horseback when quickly galloping past the standing friend. The players correctly time the grip so that the mounted player swiftly pulls the other up into the saddle behind them, without breaking stride or losing speed.

- Grappling hooks and ropes can be used to help with climbing or even to set traps and trip-wires for the Colossi.
- Ropes can be thrown from player to player. One must initiate the THROW and the other must time it to succesfully make the CATCH. Imagine hanging on to the shoulder of a massive quadripedal Colossus with your friend hanging on the other shoulder. You must make the Colossus go where you need it to, therefore; you throw a rope under the head to your friend and he catches it so that a makeshift 'bridle' can be made to guide the Colossus.

- One of the Colossi (once 'defeated') will become your ally. It will help you in various ways, such as:
- Helping to reach extremely high points that are unable to be climbed to.
- Breaking through barriers to open up new routes and areas.
- Walking under (dangerous) water while you (and horse) stand upon the Colossus' raised hand above the surface, like a ferry.
- Targeting, then throwing the player to great heights in order to reach a high-flying Colossus.

- You will encounter Colossi that cannot be approached. They must be distracted first...
- You must lead one Colossus to another. These fiercely territorial Colossi will then engage each other in combat.
- Using this distraction, you will now be able to find a way to climb the previously unapproachable Colossus and take it down...while it is fighting another Colossus.

- The tracking of the Colossi is planned in a way that allows your quest to progress naturally through the environment as you travel all throughout this vast land.
- One Colossus will always lead to a clue or the direction of the next...

- Various acrobatic flips and tricks and the use of parkour will help you navigate your way over, under, around, and through obstacles when you are chasing, or being chased by, various Colossi.
- One such Colossus dwells within a maze of ancient ruins. You must lure it after you (even with co-op assistance) and use parkour to outrun and outmanouevre it.
- These ruins are at the dark heart of a mountain; therefore you must tempt the Colossus out of it's Weak Point Symbols are only revealed in sunlight.
- After the ruins, you must flee upward through a massive shaft in the mountain towards the cave mouth near the top, with the Colossus still in pursuit.
- Your friend will be waiting up on the mountain by the cave mouth so that; once you emerge with the Colossus following, they can leap upon the Colossus and attack the sun-exposed weak points while the Colossus chases you down the mountainside; crashing through ruins and structures that you must navigate once more using parkour.

- This Colossus is climbing around on the side of a massive mountain face.
- You must climb down from an opposing cliff-face and then use rope to swing across the huge gap and reach the Colossus; taking care not to let the high-altitude winds blow you down from the rope and send you to your death on the rocks in the ocean far below.
- As you hold on and climb the Colossus while it climbs higher and higher; you have to watch out for avalanches that it can cause and hide beneath sections of it's armour during them so you're are not swept off.

- A very fast running Colossus gallops along and then enters a system of canyons.
- You must give chase on horseback along the canyon edge so that you can leap from the horse and drop onto the Colossus in the canyon. You then use your rope to gain control and 'steer' the Colossus through the canyons towards a mountain that your friend has climbed.
- As the player on the mountain sees the other approaching in the distance with the Colossus, they take flight using an old repaired hang-glider. As the Colossus passes by the mountain, the player swoops down with the glider so that the players can reunite upon the galloping Colossus' back and are able to take it down together.

- This massive Colossus is hidden behind a great waterfall.However; as you proceed to climb and the Colossus starts to move, it is revealed that the waterfall is actually a part of the Colossus.
- You must be careful of the falling water from the Colossus and also move behind some of the waterfalls on it's body so that you can 'enter' the Colossus and find a different route upward when the water blocks you.

- You will be forced to adapt to different conditions when the weather changes. Rain and snow will fall. Storms will rage. Winds will blow. And day will turn to night.
- Fire can also be used when the situation calls for it.
- One Colossus that dwells in the snow will have to have some of his armour melted by fire before climbing is an option. These must be set from afar via flaming arrows, but also up-close; for in order to maintain the thaw, you must light fires UPON the Colossus as you climb it.

- During a fierce storm with pouring rain, you must make your way through the treetops of a massive forest; using a system of catwalks, suspension bridges and lookout towers high-up in the canopy.
- After locating the Colossus, you must begin to set fires in the canopy; this will get his attention and anger the Colossus, as he acts as a guardian for the forest and will proceed to follow after you and the fires in order to extinguish them.
- The storm will eventually snuff the flames out, so you must make sure to keep lighting fires as you flee, so that the Colossus continues to focus on you and follow as he lumbers through the forest and looms above you, drawing closer...
- The Colossus cannot be harmed while in the forest and there are no handholds on his legs which are below the canopy. You must lure it out of the trees so that your friend can spring a rope trap and trip it as it enters a river clearing. While it is down, you can begin your climb as it stands back up...

- There is one Colossus who dwells within an active volcano. Magma courses through channels upon it's body surface; therefore, you must lure it out of it's lair and into a lake so that it's lava cools off, hardens, and allows you to climb it. You must be quick and use caution, though, for the Colossus will be returning to the lair, and it's lava will start to heat up and flow again as it nears the volcano...

- This Colossus is sort of like a giant turtle and as you begin your climb; it submerges and you are pulled deep underwater with it.
- As you make your way around it's body, you must seek out air-pockets in it's armour so that you can rest and regain your breath; for it remains underwater until you strike the first weak point symbol which causes it to breach the surface and then re-submerge.
- This is a very long Colossus battle and 99% of the encounter is spent deep underwater.

- The entire quest serves almost as a massive archaeological excavation. Because after each Colossus is defeated, a clue or a piece of the MASSIVE final Colossus is revealed. For it lies dormant and buried beneath the vast mountains and landscape that you have spent all this time travelling around during your journey.

Well, that's about it.
Does anybody have Fumito Ueda or Team ICO's email address?
I'm tired of just playing this game in my mind.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

PREDATORS: Early Thoughts

Well, the glowing trail of green alien blood is leading us ever closer to PREDATORS , so I feel that it's about time to cover myself in mud, set some booby traps and compile a meaty list of YAYs and NAYs regarding the newest installment of Predator versus prey.
Now, I am a HARDCORE fan of PREDATOR. I love it to death. I watched it yet again last night while eating cupcakes. (Hey, don't judge. I have life drama and it centred me. True story.)
The title of my blog should make that fact obvious enough. The first film is just pure, solid gold viewing and the sequel is a more than worthy follow-up. Drastic changes were made; yes, but the flavour was still there and it can confidently stand on its own.
The less said about anything after that, the better. I hate the AvP films, and I hope that PREDATORS is nothing like those abominations.

Stick around...

Solid trailer. I'm loving the multiple tri-targets on Brody. Shivers, y'all.

- Rodriguez. Ahhhh, Robert Rodriguez. Love the man and he's one of my heroes. I have been gagging for a new Predator for film for YEARS and many moons ago; when I heard that Rodriguez had kicked around a Predator script that was set in olden times on a Spanish galleon and so forth, I nearly cried with happiness. But that's actually the ONLY thing I liked about the script. (I wanted it to be ALL in that setting.) So now we get this film which feels similar to that original script...and while that makes me apprehensive, I'm trying to stay positive because at least Rodriguez is still involved and I have faith.
I just hope that there are not many things from the original screenplay. Cause there was some BAD stuff in there, yo. Seriously cheesy crap, such as hover-bikes and a puerile tone, in general.
Let us all pray that time and rewrites have washed them away and even though he's not writing, he's still producing and will have fingers within the pie, so to speak.
That pie better be baked DAMN well.

- Topher Grace is in this. Hell yes. Some may knock the guy, but I believe that this is VERY inspired casting and writing. A nice and pleasant-looking young doctor amongst an elite group of perfect warriors/killers? This has awesome potential. Especially if you do some hunting online about his character. I'm not going to spoil anything but I cannot wait. Plus, that recently revealed “I can be invisible too.” line, pretty much got me giggling with excitement.

- I'm really looking forward to the team dynamic that these characters are going to have. Teamwork was portrayed SO well in PREDATOR amongst an efficient group of soldiers and it's going to be a nice change of pace to flip that vibe and show use a group of individuals who, while they have a few things in common; have SOOO many differences. Bring on the conflict.

- Apparently the Yakuza character has a sword fight against a Predator. Yeah. I could really just have listed this multiple times in the GOOD column. Awesome.

- Adrien Brody versus some Predators. Yes please. I love Brody.
However, some mooks have been bitching about his physique. C'mon, he looks about the same build, probably bigger, than Ramirez and Hawkins in PREDATOR and if that was good enough to be on Dutch's team, then shut your hole.

- I'm loving that the studio is moving this stand-alone franchise forward instead of deciding to cripple such an amazing property with more half-assed, cash-in AvP flicks.
Hopefully, if this does well and they realize that people just want GOOD Predator viewing, I'll finally get the chance to write and sell one of my dream projects; a PREDATOR prequel about Jim Hopper's doomed mission. :D
Sound awesome? Yeah, it would be, yo.
That film in my head keeps me awake nights, people.

- Sniper chick. Yes please. This could get very tasty. Should be a fresh situation too, because I cannot recall ever seeing how a Predator fares against a sniper.
Although I have always thought it strange that Dutch's crew didn't include a long-range man. Granted - they're a rescue team, not assassins - but still, that kind of distance-coverage would be useful, no?

- This film plays The Trejo Card. (Don't credit me for that term. I heard it online years ago and I love it so I'm trying to spread the goodness)
Case closed.
I even would've accepted this film if they called it TREJO vs PREDATOR. But, I guess that would be unfair.
For the Predators.
The Predators would be all, “Click-click-clickity-click” (Translation: “That Mexican is scary.”), then you'd just have a brutal 90 minute action sequence where Trejo butchers the Predators to the brink of extinction.
Seriously though, y'all; this and MACHETE in the same year? It's a good time to be a Danny Trejo enthusiast.

- What the hell is with Fat Morpheus? I'm a Lawrence Fishburne fan, but holy shit. What, has he been hunting Predators and then EATING them?
He just looks unhealthy, yo.
Download a jogging program, man.

- No Alan Silvestri. Unacceptable. This is a pretty big thorn in my side, y'all. Silvestri's PREDATOR score is one of my all time favourites.

- “Fear Is Reborn”? What's that nonsense? Crap tagline and lazy poster. Pick up your game, people.

- Mega uber-long wristblades. Sigh. Okay, maybe they're in there so that you can have the sword fight scene, but they still look goofy and awkward. No sale.

- Predator hounds. I'll say it again, Predator...hounds. Surely I'm not the only one who thinks that sounds cheesy and tacked-on. Yes, I understand that many hunters use hunting dogs...but these are freakin' Predators. It takes away some of their potency and threat level if you show that they choose to use these 'assistants'.
I've always been built like this, though. As a writer, I've always felt that some characters just work best with a shroud of mystery. One of the reasons Predators are so badass is because the 2 films hardly tell us anything about them. Keep it that way. I don't want to meet their puppies, their wife or find out what kind of car they drive. They're awesome alien hunters who work like lone wolves or in a pack. That's all I wanna know.

- Nimrod Antal as director? Hmmmm, I don't know. Maybe some damn fool accused him of being the best.
If so, then I look forward to seeing him prove himself. Once again, this is resting all upon my faith within Rodriguez. Nimrod must have been given the wheel for some reason, so I'll hold my tongue. Problem is, I haven't seen any evidence of that 'reason' in his previous work.

- No Predators have looked as cool as the ones in the first and second. I'm not sure what they're doing wrong in the design stages, but the first 2 looked amazing...and every time I've seen them after that, it has looked like they have giant bobble-heads and they should be sitting on your dashboard. Hrmm.

- No Arnie cameo, as far as I know.
Boo and hiss. He made time for THE EXPENDABLES , so where's the love for Dutch, huh?
Should've promised him more cigars.
Or maybe another lighter.
If it was me; I would've just cooked up a story and dropped him into the set like a meat grinder.
Carl Weathers would've given his right arm for a cameo.
After all, he has 3 of them.

- Humans again? Okay. But JUST humans again? Stretching it a bit aren't we? I refuse to believe that, in the ENTIRE GALAXY, humans are the best prey. Surely there's some other aliens out there who are just as worthy, if not better, prey. Perhaps they'll address this, perhaps not.
I just know that this was (kind of) touched upon in the original Rodriguez script and I'd definitely give it some attention if I ever worked on the franchise.
Because, fair enough; I can buy that humans may be a very formidable opponent, but there's gotta be some other badass alien out there who could also whip some ass and give the Predators some solid challenge.
Let's get a taste of that, yeah?

Danny Trejo Pictures, Images and Photos

Perhaps they could discover a planet inhabited entirely by Danny Trejos?
See, that's just amazing even in theory.
I knew Rodriguez should've made PLANET TREJO instead of PLANET TERROR.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

STREET FIGHTER: Beginnings End

I'm impressed.

Sure, the Ken wig is a bit distracting...but there is so much RIGHT about this film, that it easily overpowers one tiny cosmetic wrong.
The potential within this film and the accuracy is worthy of nothing but the highest praise.
I salute those involved and I wish that Hollywood would watch this and take notes.
These guys managed to get closer to an accurate Street Fighter vibe than Hollywood has managed to do with 2 feature films and massive budgets.

Once again, I'm impressed.
Somebody PLEASE notice this work.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Greetings to you all...if there are any of you left standing...or reading, as would more accurately be the case perhaps.
First things first; please forgive my absence and unacceptable lack of updates.
You hunger for film-flavoured chunks of tasty blog posts like ravenous lizard-man slaves chained to the throne of some sadistic, scantily-clad nymphomaniacal queen sorceress...and I have not delivered.
Shame on me.
I have thrown no meaty slabs of prose before you so that you may feast upon my words and grow plump with cinema knowledge and insight.

This will not do.
Allow me to set things right.
Sink your fangs into this and suck deeply until you black out and fall unconscious upon a mountain of soft, velvety pillows surrounded by numerous eager slave-girls with soft, velvety...well, y'know...


I moved.
Just like Skeletor who curses at He-Man and his cohorts daily because he covets Castle Greyskull, I too had problems regarding real-estate. I needed my own Castle Greyskull, if you will.
Hell, I would've even settled for a Snake Mountain.
Anyway, after searching high, low, high again and then giving low a second look, I finally found my new home with the help of my clan.
And yes, just like my hero, Skeletor; on my first evening within my new stronghold, I stood at the fortified gates (read: screen-door) and cackled insanely while declaring to all within earshot that I would now rule this dominion with a mighty fist.
A dog barking was the only response.
But trust me...that puppy sounded fucking scared, y'all.

After the move I was then forced to wait for about a month while my new Internet connection was being connected. That's all I shall say upon that matter, for the subject caused me considerable grief and set me back quite a few steps on the path towards sound mental health.
I will, however, take a moment to thank my brother kinsman who assisted me during this gruelling trial.
Some may say I'm overreacting, but c'mon. One can only go for so long without porn and various other websites...which, in turn, provide links to yet more porn.
Think of our ancestors. They had to hunt for food with clubs and spears, fight off wild animals, live in caves, tumble with dames that didn't wax...but at least THEY still had sweet ADSL hookups and swift, ready access to titty-sites.

I mean, I'm not a savage.
That month offline was brutal.

Ugh. What a joke. Okay, I'm not even going to TRY to put on a T-shirt that says that 'I'm shocked', but by the gods, was it a crap affair.
In regard to actual cinema/movie/film-industry value, it has been absolute nonsense and a mere carnival of lies and general crap for years now (The 'magic' died for me the year Julia Roberts beat Ellen Burstyn), but there was always the zing and Hollywood-style flair and excitement of seeing your favourite stars and artists gathering together under one roof to take part in an impressive event that, regardless of inaccuracies, still possessed an overall scent of that wonderful 'movie magic'.

Well, this year the magic wasn't just absent; it felt like it had never even been there.
The entire evening felt tacky, forced and actually, quite low budget. Unacceptable.
But hey, at least I had the awards to look forward to, right?
WRONG! *John Matrix's gunshot*
What a perfect arrangement of absolute rubbish. Let's pick through it like vagrants, shall we?


Best Supporting Actor = Christoph Waltz
This was one of the few things that made me happy. His performance in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS was beyond impressive. High praise to the man and congrats.


Original Screenplay = THE HURT LOCKER
Sigh. I loved THE HURT LOCKER...but BASTERDS was a better screenplay. Simple as that. More effort and creativity went into one Act of Tarantino's script than within LOCKER'S entire page-count.

Best Picture = THE HURT LOCKER
Best Director = Kathryn Bigelow

HURT LOCKER, fair enough...but Cameron deserved Best Director y'all. No question.
As I said before, THE HURT LOCKER was an excellent film...but c'mon, there are plenty of war films just as good, if not better. Will I purchase THE HURT LOCKER when it's on disc? Of course. Will it replace FULL METAL JACKET as my favourite war movie? Sir, hell no, sir.
Now AVATAR and Cameron are a whole different story. They were robbed, basically. Yes, Kathryn Bigelow probably did an amazing job directing again (as she's been doing for years) but at the end of the day, she served up just another war film. A superb war film; but STILL just another war film.
Cameron, on the other hand, reinvented the god-damned wheel. Nay, scratch that. Cameron showed up and said, “That wheel sucks. Remove it. Now I'm going to build my own device to replace said wheel and as a result, this vehicle will now run smoother and more efficiently than any vehicles that have preceded it. ...Oh, and I'm going to overhaul the engine, spruce up the paint job and also throw in enough cup-holders to make you say, 'Holy shit. Look at all the cup-holders.'”
Long story short; the guy had his fingers in MANY pies. ...Which he also baked.
He went FAR beyond the call of duty, so to speak; achieving more in one film than most directors achieve in their entire careers.
Throw the guy some kudos, huh? A gold statue perhaps?
Cameron led an ENTIRE army into battle using new techniques and came out not only victorious but so inspiring that other directors now wish to follow in his footsteps and utilise these fresh innovations that he has pioneered.
“Best Director” would have been an understatement, had he won.
But hey; maybe that's just my opinion.

After all, Kathryn Bigelow did give us a quality film...and oh yeah, I think she's also a woman, apparently. The media kept mentioning that, so it must be important. I dunno.
Gotta keep it all fair, right Academy?

I guess I'll continue to sit all alone and naively think that the Oscars are based on actual merit, not gender, politics or whatever other bullshit is in the Top 10 that year.

(Let it be known right here and now that I'm a BIG fan of Kathryn Bigelow; NEAR DARK and POINT BREAK are badass. It is not her fault that this garbage surrounded her Oscar experience. High praise to her, regardless.)

Original Score = UP
UP beat SHERLOCK HOLMES? I do not think so. Utter nonsense. Hans Zimmer's HOLMES score was mind-blowing. As soon as the film finished, I bought the score as soon as possible.
I don't even remember a single note of the music in UP...which surprised me considering it was done by Michael Giacchino, who composes the amazing music on LOST.

Best Animated Film = UP
UP beat CORALINE? Eat shit. I'm getting angry now.
I enjoyed UP and was like, “Wow, what pretty colours!” and I loved the opening and so forth, but it's a very noticeable step backward after the utter brilliance of WALL-E , which was pure genius. UP felt like it was part of the dark, pre-Pixar days when every animated film needed a crap song sung by a 'cute' animal sidekick voiced by a comedic minority.
Such a song thankfully never came, but that still didn't make me love the film like 99% of the planet apparently does. I didn't hate the film, it just didn't even come CLOSE to how much WALL-E (and previous Pixar films) moved me.
Now, CORALINE was the best animated film and one of the best films I've ever seen. Some may love stop-mo animation and some may not, but I find the animation method to be completely irrelevant when the story and performances are this good. I was INSIDE this film. It gripped me like the skeletal fingers of an evil old-woman who kidnaps children and sews buttons on their eyes.
Utter brilliance.

I'll wrap up now with some quick points in regard to the BAFFLING omissions from the nominations:

- No Sam Rockwell nomination for MOON? I just do not understand. My mind works on a system of logic and this just does not process properly. Go and watch his performance in MOON and TRY to even begin to tell me that he doesn't deserve a nomination, at the very least. (You won't get far. I'll walk away as soon as I smell your anti-Rockwell musk. It's a skill. Like rats sensing disease in potential mates.)

- No Sharlto Copley nomination for DISTRICT 9? Firstly, I must say that I think D9 is flat-out bulletproof. Loved every frame. It is just a shame that it was going up against the blue juggernaut that is AVATAR. On any other day, D9 deserved to win EVERYTHING it's nominated for, and then some. That being said; Sharlto Copley's completely improvised performance that knocked it completely out of the park, should have taken home some gold.

- No Zoe Saldana nomination for AVATAR? Pathetic. Open your eyes, Academy. It's still a legitimate performance, you rubes. They just paint over it. Wake up and realise that motion-capture performances are valid acting gigs because, HELLO!? They CAPTURE the MOTION/PERFORMANCE! Can't capture anything if there's no actor there performing, yo.
A foolish oversight, amongst many, that will hopefully be remedied in the future.

Oh and yes, I do realise that this post is a bit late, but I've been busy and I wrote most of this stuff while I was still offline.

Monday, January 4, 2010


sher Pictures, Images and Photos

I first witnessed the work of Guy Ritchie many years ago.

The time; circa Schoolies Week: 1998 and my buddies and I wandered in off the streets to catch a snappy-looking British gangsta' flick with the remarkably wonderful title of LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS .
I loved every second. It was fresh, crisp with a kinetic visual flair and some of the most quotable, insta-classic dialogue I had heard in years. (To this day, my buddy Vince and I still quote gems like “It's a deal. It's a steal...” and so on)
From that day on, I knew that I liked what this Ritchie cat was serving up on the screen and I hungered for more.

Time passed and he finally released his next effort; ...(the EXTREMELY overrated) SNATCH .
A snappy-looking British gangsta' flick.
Fair enough. Hmmm...

It was enjoyable enough, I suppose.
Brad Pitt delivered one of the most memorable characters of his career, the film still looked great and the dialogue was above-average in regard to quotables.
However; it didn't have the lasting aftertaste that LOCK, STOCK... contained.
Or rather; it DID have an aftertaste...but one that was less pleasant and unlikely to make one return for repeated viewings. (At least not without having the enjoyment level of each viewing progressively decrease at a steady rate.)
NOTE: I shall add here that I seem to be alone in this position.
Within the social circles that I travel and from working in a video-store for some time, I have first-hand knowledge that most folk hold the film in MUCH higher regard than I. The average Joe seems to absolutely adore SNATCH, so much to the point where they foolishly place it above LOCK, STOCK... on the cinematic food chain.
To each their own and all that, but if you bring that shit to my front door; I'll slam it in your face and pour boiling oil upon you from the parapets. (That's right. In this hypothetical situation, I've decided it's best that I live in some castle-like fortress from which I hurl cinema-flavoured rhetoric upon the unwashed peons below. ...It also has a water slide.)

Moving on; I shan't dally much longer with Ritchie's past work for it can all be summed up in tidy, little point-form pattern.

SWEPT AWAY : Most people who witnessed this ordeal took their own lives. Beach romance starring his then-wife, Madonna. Ritchie later escaped from the firm grasp of her wiry, chicken-claw hands when he presumably discovered that she is, in fact, an exhumed corpse reanimated and sustained by dark sorcery.
Ray Of Light is an amazing album, though. Seriously.
Studios wanted Ritchie to include an animated British gangsta' crab for comic relief, some say.
(NOTE: I may be, and probably am, lying)

REVOLVER : Apparently, this film divided the global population into 2 groups.
1. Those who did not see it
2. Those who saw it and wished they were in Group 1
As usual, I stand alone; for I have not watched it yet. I haven't been avoiding it, though. Quite the opposite. The film intrigues me (despite being about crime and gangstas again) and it has only been given a local release on DVD recently...after 5 years. Sigh.

ROCKnROLLA : Wow. Another criminal-based, snappy-looking gangsta' flick set in Britain. Way to break that mould, Master Ritchie.
No harm – no foul, though. It's a pretty enjoyable film and Toby Kebbell's awesome performance is the main attraction, in my opinion. The guy is solid gold and definitely one to watch., yo.

So there you have it.
See the pattern?
Yes? Swell.
Now, back in the day when SNATCH was beginning to grow stale on my shelf; I pondered about a wonderful alternate reality in which Guy Ritchie ventured out into some greener pastures filled with fresh grass and more fertile soil.
Standing around in the cinema, I would say to anybody within earshot, “I love Guy Ritchie, but I'm tired of the same old crime/gangsta routine. Someone give this guy a comic-book movie or a period piece or something. Please.”

(At this point most folk would just either nod quietly, walk away or walk away and go watch SNATCH again.)

Well, looks like I only had to wait about 10 years for my wish to come true, because Ritchie finally delivered SHERLOCK HOLMES .
Was it worth the wait?
Oh my, yes.

I love this film.
I had very high expectations as a result of an awesome trailer coupled with the fact that I'm a big fan of Guy Ritchie to begin with.
Throw into the mix that this was THE hypothetical Ritchie film that I had been yearning for all those years, and you've got me practically vibrating with anticipation as the cinema goes dark.
I could not have asked for more from Ritchie this time. Here he was playing with some classic characters in a period setting and juggling mystery, crime-procedural elements, action/fight sequences and doing it all with his own recognisable visual flair and class. (The way Holmes analyzes a fight is a stroke of particular brilliance, on Ritchie's behalf.)
They gave the cook some new, fresh ingredients and he baked up an amazing, delicious cake in his own kitchen with his own tools.
I was beyond impressed. I felt so satisfied. It was a wonderful thing to see someone move into a new arena and still manage to display their skills outside of their usual comfort zone.
Bravo, Ritchie. Nothing but praise is coming from my seat, sir.

- Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law make up one of the best screen duos I've seen in years.
Their respective portrayals of Holmes and Watson, is a remarkable display of believable friendship and camaraderie. I could tell these gents had a long, rich history and I could believe that such a relationship would take them off on many more adventures together.
These two harmonize so well that with a good surround sound set-up in your home theatre, I believe you'll be able to turn up the volume and actually hear a CLICK sound as they snap into place like lock and key. It's flawless.
The banter, the sombre moments, the action; Holmes and Watson deal with everything this adventure throws at them and they do so with an ease that only years together at each other's backs can allow.

Downey Jr. is in usual top form. His theatrics and the subtle flourishes he provides to simple gestures lend the character of Holmes an almost hypnotic quality akin to Johnny Depp's (earlier) Jack Sparrow work (before that franchise was drowned by bad decisions and missed opportunities).
Jude Law as Watson could easily be overshadowed by the more flashy Holmes role, but thankfully that never comes to pass. Watson is the pause between Holmes loud notes, if you will. Both different, but still absolutely necessary for music to be created. For example, where Holmes may speak at length while deducing until the tea goes cold before acting, punching or blowing something up...Watson would prefer to remain soft-spoken and calmly rational...before acting, punching or blowing something up.
Same destination; different route, no?

- If the studios are smart; they have a monster franchise on their hands.
Like the Tower Bridge structure in the film; SHERLOCK HOLMES has set a VERY sturdy foundation upon which a great cinematic edifice may be constructed.
I eagerly await further adventures involving this team such as 'Sherlock Holmes and the Case Of The (Blank)' or 'Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery Of The (Blank)'.

- The score is brilliant. Case closed.
Zimmer delivers a stirring score filled with the likes of drums and (I think) double bass and mandolin, that drives the action, accompanies the visuals without ever overpowering the overall taste and even manages to infuse the proceedings with the same sense of playful, recklessness that perfectly captures the nature of Downey Jr.'s Holmes performance.
I can confidently say that it's probably the best score I've heard in quite some time. The only thing that annoyed me was that I could not buy it on CD instantly after leaving the cinema. I hit 3 stores and they all stared at me blankly after consulting their equally vacant computer screens.
No matter. I bought it from iTunes as soon as I got home and I'm still listening to it now as I type this.

- The end credits sequence is superb.
A beautiful example of perfect art direction and style that is up there with the awesome opening credits from WATCHMEN .

- If the cynical hyenas out there MUST have a bone of negativity to gnaw upon; then let me spare the tiniest of scraps in the shape of Irene Adler.
Rachel McAdams is pure class and one of my favourites...but her character is actually not given much to do and by the end of it all, you're still left feeling, "Who is this gal? I like her, but...who is she?" She plays her part well and fills her position within the grand scheme of the narrative, but you never really feel like she's given the care and attention that characters like Holmes and Watson have benefited from.
Perhaps, if she's kept around for further adventures, her character may be given more opportunities to shine. If so; I welcome it.

Regarding script, structure and plot; sure, there is some heavy exposition near the end which some goats may bleat about and claim as 'weak writing', but I disagree. The Holmes character is built up from the beginning as the type of chap who thinks things through and plays the events AND explanations out in his mind. Had Holmes NOT been allowed his 'explain it all' moment, then it would have felt like something was missing considering that was one of his personality traits, for want of a better term.
Besides, the plot is intricate enough that I did not mind in the slightest that Sherlock provided some clarity, and that is definitely not to say that the plot is muddy or poorly-structured, but rather that I cared enough about the affairs to appreciate the explanations and revelations.

I cannot speak highly enough of this film.
Excellent characters.
Awesome new franchise potential.
If you need a break in between seeing AVATAR for the 4th time, then I HIGHLY recommend SHERLOCK HOLMES.

I'm off to listen to the score again now and look for clues...

(Oh, and speaking of AVATAR; yes I am going to do a post, of course. It'll be up next. I had to let it all soak in first. Stay tuned.)