Saturday, May 30, 2009


YOUNG GUNS Pictures, Images and Photos

That's right, y'all. Let's talk about the Young Guns movies...

1. I've always been a tad perplexed when it came to the Regulators VS Buckshot Roberts shoot-out.
How in the hell did that one old guy gain the upper hand? He was severely outnumbered and was trapped in an outhouse.
Now, I've not read The Art Of War by Sun Tzu, but I will bet with considerable confidence that there is NOT a chapter in there that advises you to seek out a combat situation where you face greater numbers of opponents from within a flimsy, wooden shack that reeks of shit.
In fact, with the exception of flinging a near-unlimited supply of faeces at your attackers and maybe inflicting a bothersome splinter or two should they try to scale the walls of your lavatorial fortress, I can only think of one other tactical advantage that ol' Buckshot would have had.
I'm no combat strategist, but it's the best theory I've got.
Prepare thyself and behold...the moustache.
Buckshot Roberts 3 Pictures, Images and Photos
(That thing probably reloads for him)

I mean, seriously. Just look at that fucking monstrosity. I bet it probably got a pay cheque.

Anyhow, that's my only theory as to how the Regulators got schooled, but that still doesn't soften the blow. Hell, just look at it from the Regulators' point of view. Imagine explaining Charlie Sheen's character's death to his dame, if he had one:
“Uh, yeah, a violent old man who was 85% moustache shot Dick from the safety of his bullet-proof toilet.”
That would be a hard sell, I'm guessing.

2. Emilio Estevez completely owns both pictures, and that is all there is to it. His portrayal of Billy The Kid is a remarkable performance. Billy is like the most loyal, dependable and honest friend that you could ever hope to have at your side... who also happens to get blinded by revenge and kill people just as easily as he'll unleash that infectious boyish laughter of his.
BILLY THE KID Pictures, Images and Photos
(He'll be whistling soon)

Billy is a volatile cocktail of insanity and fearless ambition, and none see this with more clarity than Kiefer Sutherland's character 'Doc' Scurlock. His point of view is what leads to one of the strongest elements in these films. The Billy vs Doc dynamic is so potent because the audience starts to see Billy as Doc does.
We watch as Billy becomes a young man fuelled by a desire for justice trying to outrun the consequences of his actions that began noble but rapidly spiralled out of control as his insanity and lust for glory blinded him.
And yet his friends follow him, Doc included, because Billy's charisma and preaching about loyalty amongst 'pals' is so powerful that he inspires hope when all seems hopeless.
Also, I think we can all agree that the “Yoo-Hoo. I'll make you famous.” line is flat-out badass and says volumes about Billy and his unquenchable ego.

3. Ever noticed how Jack Palance seems to deliver lines as though he's been really exerting himself and he's just been caught doing something seedy so now he's trying to catch his breath and explain?
That always creeped me out. Even in movies like City Slickers.

4. Lou Diamond Phillips. Sigh. What the hell happened? I just don't understand. He's amazing in this and many other films (Go and watch The Big Hit. NOW), yet he's not a bigger star. Beats me.
Chavez is a great character and Phillips brings more than his share to the table. He tears himself apart when he delivers his monologue about his butchered family in YG and his lonely walk in YG II is like watching one of your best friends leave you.
Although, I would like to know how Chavez managed to teleport in the final house siege of YG. Spirit world? Fair enough.
Teleporting? Hmmm, that's probably gonna take more peyote than is considered safe, Chavez.
Screw it. He's still awesome.

5. William Petersen is excellent as Pat Garrett. It's always sad seeing Pat and Billy part ways. Pat loves Billy like a brother, but he also has the sense to see that Billy is damaged goods and to follow him any further is to invite nothing but ruin. I'm not excusing Pat's actions or anything, mind, I'm just saying that I can understand why Pat felt he needed to sever all ties lest those ties pull him down deeper and eventually, hang him.
After Petersen gained so much exposure as Gil Grissom on CSI, I always love seeing him in his prime in stuff like this, Manhunter and the awesome To Live And Die In LA
If you haven't checked out Petersen in his young badass days, do so. He's exceptional.
Oh and when Pat Garrett steps out from the darkness, there's a touch of Alan Silvestri score that is rather reminiscent of Silvestri's fantastic Predator score. It actually crops up a few more times in the movie, too. (This is not a bad thing, it just got me thinking about Predators in the old west and reminded of a rumour that circulated AGES ago about Robert Rodriguez doing a new Predator movie where he'd wind the clock back and have a Predator hunt some pirates on the high seas and so forth.
I have to say; even though I'm a hardcore Predator fan and that first film is sacred to me, I'd like to see what Rodriguez could do with the franchise.
As long as he sticks to his own part of the yard, so to speak. No remake nonsense is required.)

6. Casey Siemaszko as the pugilistic Charlie has also always been a favourite character of mine. He manages to turn beating the shit out of someone into a refined, almost gentlemanly endeavour in which punching a belligerent cowboy in the face and kidneys comes off as the proper thing to do. All this from a conflict that was not even his fight. Yep, good ol' Charlie went out of his way to introduce the problem-solving wonders of fisticuffs to that situation. The man has commitment to his craft, says I.
But Charlie isn't all grammar-correction and knuckles. I've always loved the way he reacts upon realising that the path he and his friends have followed can only lead to a noose; he goes to visit a hooker.
Not for a tumble.
No, not to kidney-punch her, either.
He just wants a hug. Simple as that. It's like a boy realising that he's just been pretending to be a man.

Oh, and Casey Siemaszko was friends with Kiefer Sutherland in Stand By Me and played the guy with the 3-D glasses in Back To The Future. Why is this worth mentioning, you ask? Cause Billy Zane played his hoodlum amigo as well.
Billy Zane 7 Pictures, Images and Photos
(Everybody needs a friend like Billy Zane)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Now, I'm not against multiplayer gaming, as such. I enjoy a small glass of it here and there with dinner, but generally, I prefer to game solo.
I like the escapism.
It allows me to forget about the mundane, cement-like reality in which I'm stuck, where I'm not married to a pornstar nor do I fight goblins regularly with a band of trusted comrades in enchanted woodlands.
Kayden Kross Pictures, Images and Photos
(Not my wife)

That is not to say that I whimper and cower like a moist Mogwai when a friend passes me a controller and wishes to enter the game arena hand-in-hand. Most certainly not.
In fact, I happen to have such an amigo with whom I often battle alongside, or against, depending on the scenario.
(For the sake of security and fan-mail risk, let's say my friend is...uh, Ash from Evil Dead. Cause he's awesome.)
Bruce Campbell Pictures, Images and Photos
“Say chum, I've got a swell new game! Shall we play?”

Well, one evening, Ash informed me that a recent game he'd played had a really fun multiplayer mode.
I started to snore.
He pressed the matter and said that, “No really. It's pretty damn fun.” or something to that effect. I cannot be sure as I had begun screaming at this point.
When I paused for breath, Ash tried again and managed to utter a sentence that was so intriguing in its absurd content that I was forced to halt my planned seizure and allow him to proceed.
The sentence went a little something like this:

“C'mon, it's a plastic figure kung-fu game and you can throw fish into a basket.”

It was like hearing a magic spell. My mind was gripped by those words and the fish-throwing enthusiast inside me told me, nay, COMMANDED me to play the game that was on offer.
The game was Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic for the PS3.
Rag Doll Kung Fu Pictures, Images and Photos
(Punch ANYONE who interferes with your 'fish + basket' agenda)

I'm not going to get into a full-blown, dressed up review with all the trimmings and its hair done. That's not happening here, folks. I'm just here to do what I feel is proper as a writer and as a responsible member of society.
I mean, imagine if a situation came along where you had the opportunity to fling floppy, unconscious fish at a basket while some loose-jointed, leaping martial-arts nutcase bounced around with flailing menace and tried to smash you in the face with sticks, nunchaku and energy blasts all in an effort to steal your hard-earned green salmon...AND I DIDN'T inform you.
You would be a hearty bowl of pissed off, you would.
So that's why I had to share this experience with y'all. Fish-throwing needs to reach a wider audience.

And boy was it fun.

Within seconds, Ash and I were both cackling with laughter and cursing each other's bloodlines as we bounced around, kicking each other, swinging from poles, throwing fireballs, smashing pots and carrying out various other styles of buoyant mayhem.
All in the name of preventing one another from throwing a floppy, bouncing fish into a basket.

Hey, perhaps that's the magic ingredient that multiplayer games require in order to attract me.
If Modern Warfare 2 allows me to lob tuna instead of grenades, then hello Game Of The Year.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Dawn of the Dead Pictures, Images and Photos
So there I was the other night; watching the 2004 Dawn of the Dead and some elements in that enjoyable family film struck me as ripe for wise-ass commentary and witty remarks.

1. Sarah Polley and Medium-Husband make out after getting aroused by power tools and the concept of dismembering the undead with said stimulating machinery. Hell, if that was all it took to score the digits from swell, classy dames like Sarah Polley then I'd have been lurking about hardware store power-tool aisles with a slack jaw, hungry thoughts and armed with my best amorous moan plus reservations for deux.
Sarah Polley Pictures, Images and Photos
"...Is that a Husqvarna?"

Hey, it could work. Who are you to judge, with your clean ironed shirt and your enclosed footwear?
Screw you, guy. I hope a zombie eats your girlfriend. You know what I'm talkin' about.

2. Andre gets all weird and creepy as he goes about protecting his infected chica and her toxic womb filled with a zombie larvae hell-bent on making the nearest person's moist flesh the source of its nourishment. And by “nourishment” I mean it'll bite the fuck out of you with it's zombie infant gums. And how does the proud father go about 'protecting' his cursed offspring? By loading a clip and then unloading hot rounds, wild-west duel style, into a kindly old woman who wanted to check on the status of his wife. That's what being neighbourly gets you, folks; shot in the torso by some Father of the Year candidate as he defends his right to infect the local mall (planet later) with his gangsta-zombie hybrid spawn.
Fuck neighbourly, yo.
Mekhi Phifer Pictures, Images and Photos
(Not Pictured) His kind, elderly target.

3. They probably could've saved Andy.
I'm just sayin'.
When the dog was in NO PERIL AT ALL cause zombies are apparently too upper-crust to feast on canine flesh, Nicole dropped her copy of Hot Redhead Weekly and hauled ass over to Andy's House of Bullets to come to the rescue.
The rescue of a very safe dog.
What a bitch.
Yeah, who needs Andy? The guy's only a crack shot with a sniper rifle and has a respectable ponytail. Oh yeah, he's also just a badass military chap with an Aladdin's fucking cave-worth of weaponry.
He'd be like, “Hey genie, I wish for some guns to fight this zombie plague. ...Wait, I already have them. Cancel that shit, G. Bring me a fucking Twix, yo. I'm set.”

That is, if a genie-filled lamp was involved. (Probably next remake.)

But noooooOOO. Nicole risks life and limb for the damn dog loaded with sandwiches.
The smart money was on Andy, y'all.
He probably had some sweet stories too. What's the dog gonna contribute around the campfire on Zombie-Free Island? Bark? Yeah. Gripping narrative, Chips.
...On the other hand (the hand I usually reserve for sexy dame-based decisions), Nicole is a well-baked slice of hotness cake, and if she, her dog or even her damn iPod was in danger from an impending horde of toothy, skin-craving Z-folk cursed to wander the earth (read: carpark) then I would put my pants back on and rush to the rescue post haste.
lindy booth Pictures, Images and Photos
We can make out after. Just fight the zombies, 'kay? Giggle

4. CJ was a shitbag who overcame his jackass ways to rise above the level of asshole and give hope to pricks worldwide by becoming a useful, contributing member of the Anti-Zombie Alliance.
Instead of remaining a dick.
He goes from being the type of guy who everyone KNOWS pays for sex and then just beats the hooker until his pay-per view kicks in, to being...well, basically the same kind of gent, but he's more of a team player now and he knows how to blow shit up.
This newfound zest for cooperation and explosives is displayed no better than by his gallant act of sacrifice while destroying a truckload of ravenous freaks and a small pier; thus enabling his comrades to make their escape so that they may live on to remark, “Hey y'know, CJ was a pretty handy guy to have around back there. I started to forget what a complete anus he was to begin with.”
Michael Kelly Pictures, Images and Photos

Thanks, CJ. You're a sport.

And always remember...
Lindy Booth 2 Pictures, Images and Photos
Zombie Survival Rule # 53: Nicole is hot.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


paprika Pictures, Images and Photos

I do enjoy that strange sense of seductive attraction that seems to creep up from behind you and soak into your clothes when you're watching something that makes you go “Huh?” at the same time as you lean closer to the screen, hungry for more.
Mulholland Drive does it to me.
Twin Peaks has the same scent.
(Hell, most dishes Lynch serves up have that familiar addictive potency)
Well, I just watched Paprika again, and it definitely contains the magic ingredient.
I love this film.
It's yet another brilliant piece of work by Satoshi Kon, who is just beyond amazing. (By the way, if you haven't seen his awesome series Paranoia Agent , then run away from the computer now, shrieking like a skinned gibbon and do not stop until you reach a DVD merchant who sells you a boxset of this title. It is crucial viewing, and my favourite anime series I might add, but I shall save all that for a later post.)
Movies, and anime, of this high level of artistic polish and intellectual depth are the kinds of waters in which I enjoy bathing.
And people ask me why I don't dip my feet into sludge like Dragonball Z.

Now, if you have ever deeply yearned to witness a giant, hot, naked dream-goddess nullify the existence of a sinister, power-hungry being composed of oily nightmares in order to repair the torn fabric of reality, then this just may be the film for you.
Oh, and she defeats him by eating him. That's right, kids.
Couple that with the unsettling scene involving the main character's bizarro sexual assault at the hands of a seedy lepidopterist (Yes, I had to look it up too) and you're in for a night of viewing that will assuredly have you checking your beverage of choice for trace evidence of possible spiking.
17 Pictures, Images and Photos
(Your face will look like this often. Now check that drink...)

Those feelings of fear and paranoia actually add to the experience and go toward making this film a richer experience.
There's also a sense of helplessness felt by both the characters and the viewer as all witness these ordinary dreams rendered in bright, non-threatening primary colours slowly take on a subtle tone of terrifying menace.
Cinema enthusiasts will also get into this as it plays around with audience vs character dynamic and bends the fourth wall boundary here and there.

So definitely check out Paprika if you get the chance. It may have moments that are 2 scoops of baffling but that just adds to the flavour.
Besides; there is more originality displayed before the opening credits finish than most Hollywood films sprinkle in during a 2 hour runtime.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The Cast of the New Star Trek Pictures, Images and Photos

Before I step off into the empty void of space and proceed to float about; shooting word-bullets at various targets including treks, beaming, horrible accents and saucy dames with green-skin (Oh yes), allow me to inform y'all that I am not a Trekkie or anything of that nature.
I basically don't know squat about the franchise.
Star Wars has always been my sci-fi cocktail of choice, and leaning upon the reliable sturdiness of that property's particular bar, I will drink more than my fill and spout off trivia and lore until a fight is triggered with the nearest Mon Calamari that looks at me sideways. (I think I could take a Mon Cal in a fight. Those eyes look vulnerable.)
ackbar Pictures, Images and Photos
(You are ALL thinking about poking his eye)

But I've gone off course.
I just wish to make it clear that while I have never been a FAN of Star Trek, so to speak; I have always respected it. I could always sense there was some meaty substance in there, but it was always being served up in the wrong way. The films just weren't using the right recipe.
It has always seemed like a car that has an awesome engine that could potentially blow other vehicles off the road...yet it was long overdue for a service by a competent mechanic and it's hideous paint job prevented the owner of said vehicle from gaining access to any tits, let alone juicy ass, in the backseat. All the owner could do was cradle his head in his hands as he sat atop the bonnet of this husk of a machine parked on Franchise Hill and stare out through moist eyes at the city lights other couples proceeded to fumble, grope and probe each other with moderate to considerable success in the rear-end comfort of their respective “cars” that were, in comparison, finely-tuned machines worthy of, being raced and in-turn, witnessing being raced.

Luckily, the owner of the Star Trek “vehicle”, eventually pulled into the right garage for repairs.
The mechanic's name? Why, JJ Abrams, of course.
And I am pleased to say that the car races damn well now, in my opinion.

Enough car metaphors. This is a space picture. Let's get down to the facts that matter; heroes, villains and green-skinned nymphs.

- Chris Pine was awesome as James T. Kirk. He didn't “do a Shatner”, which was refreshing to see and he was just an all-round likeable character, in my opinion. Once again; due to my lack of classic Trek knowledge, I can't judge if he nailed the 'feel' of the original character, but from what I've heard from solid fans; he did a damn fine job. At the end of the day; did I buy that he was a cocky, yet gifted rookie captain and would I follow his further adventures? Hell yes. Sign me up.
- Bones was incredible. And quite a surprise, I might add. Karl Urban comes along with his 'Behold; for I'm so manly I eat large hunks of uncooked meat and many women know of my conquests of both bedroom AND battlefield nature.'-style and manages to slip comfortably into the twitchy, paranoid skin of Bones. I was very impressed. I'm a big Urban fan, but all I'd really seen was his 'action mode'. This new reveal was a delight.
- Solid script, says I. It wasn't garnished with an abundance of quotables, (that isn't necessarily a negative) but I did like Capt. Pike's “12 minutes...” line. The Trek moved along at a smooth rate and it visited a nice varied mixture of settings such as ice planets and the very welcome Academy-based scenes. I also never found myself saying, “Damn, I want more time with (insert character)”, which can often be the case with ensemble casts. The action was a big step in the right direction while wearing the correct boots, too. Especially when held in comparison to the past films' (the ones I've seen, at least) penchant for space-combat that is about as exciting as a Star Trek screensaver. Running on a slow computer. With a poor monitor. I really enjoyed the whole drill platform sequence. They managed to cram quite a variety of action elements into a tight locale, and I felt a convincing sense of peril.
- Green chicks are amazing. More of them in later films, please.
green orion slave girl Pictures, Images and Photos
(My next girlfriend needs to have green skin or else)

- Nero was a solid villain and he did the job. It was interesting to see that he wasn't some cackling nutcase from Villains R Us, who cavorts about the lair with his assorted minions in tow like he's in a musical. An EVIL musical, but a musical nonetheless. Thumbs up, Nero.
- Zachary Quinto made a great Spock, and I've thought as much since I saw the first picture of him. I'm just looking forward to later films where he'll (hopefully) get the chance to emote a bit more, cause Quinto has some impressive skills but he doesn't really get to flash his credentials much during this adventure. Kudos to Nimoy as well, for bringing nothing but class, once again, to the role that made him a household name. It could've been gimicky, but 'classic' Spock felt like seeing an old friend.
- The Vulcan planet looked great. The stalactite buildings were an exceptional design and I would've liked to see more of such architecture.
- Pegg was fine, but I gotta say that the whole 'Scottie Comic Relief' schtick will get very annoying, very fast. Maybe it's just me, but I only really enjoy Pegg when he's teamed up with Frost and Wright. It seems like his point of that talent triangle isn't as sharp when isolated in other people's flicks. I'm still a huge Pegg fan, though.
- Winona Ryder? Huh? Nonsense.
- Beaming looked a bit weak to me. I wanted little blue lights, but no harm done.
- Chekov should NEVER speak again. Seriously.

So as I mentioned to begin with; I'm not a Trekkie and this reboot has not converted me into one. However, after this first adventure with JJ at the helm and this battle-proven crew on-board; I am not only willing to go on further treks, but I look forward to such expeditions.

Just make sure that Chekov gets his throat torn out by an alien at the start of the sequel.
Or have him dubbed over by Rade Serbedzija.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tony Hawk Ride Pictures, Images and Photos

You wanna know why I don't play sport video games like soccer, basketball and the like?
Because if I really apply myself, I know that I could wrangle up a tribe of sweaty, like-minded oafs and engage in a campaign of vicious sportsmanship, peppered by ass-slapping and reaching an inevitable climax of group showering.
While that is FAR from my idea of good times; that leisure option is open to me. I can knock on that door, if I so choose. Therefore, I do not require, nor enjoy, games that are virtual representations of such.
If I wanted to go and become a decent skater...I COULD, goddamnit. Sure, there may be some falls, breaks and sprains but it looks like those hazards are now being brought into the 'safety' of one's own living room. Now you can lose your balance at home and come crashing earthward; striking your temple against the ornate corner of a mahogany coffee-table and bleeding into unconsciousness upon your stepdad's now-soaking imported carpet.
Won't "Dad" feel giddy when he stumbles home with a head full of whiskey and bad stock choices to discover he has a legitimate reason to beat you tonight.
20 bucks says he'll use his ring hand.

Which brings me to the subject at hand, or rather, beneath our soon-to-be-kickflipping feet; the new skateboard peripheral.
This thing is just ridiculous.
I put this skateboard 'thing' in the same category as the fishing rod peripheral that came out for the Dreamcast. Pure nonsense.

There's a big, juicy reason why people LOVE playing games where they can do activities such as the following:
- Shoot zombies
- Slay lizard-men
- Save the world from zombie-lizard men
- Explore dwarven mines...possibly infested by lizard-men.
- Stack colourful arrangements of blocks that descend from the heavens. (Studies have been unable to prove the blocks in Tetris are NOT thrown down by zombies and/or lizard-men.)

What is that reason, I hear you shriek? BECAUSE THAT KIND OF SHIT DOESN'T HAPPEN IN MY SUBURB.
Sure, it'd be a hoot to go out and collect the morning paper and be forced to contend with cursed packs of dark minions; cutting them down with your enchanted '+13 Goodness Blade' and filling your trusty sack so it almost overflows with blinding loot.
...But that just ain't on the cards, folks.
Real-estate agents tend to leave those bullet points off the brochure. They tend to avoid situations where questions may be asked like, "Is chainmail required? Will our kids fall prey to fucking Shadow-Dragons?"

And that is one of the main reasons why people love to get their game on. They want to ESCAPE from the numb, flavourless existence that reality serves up day after day.
Now, don't get me wrong. If you are into REAL sports and you also like sport video games; awesome. Go nuts. Have a Gatorade on me, Lance.
But if you are a decent skater in real life, which path are you going to choose?
1. To hop around on a piece of plastic sans wheels or trucks and HOPE it can translate you skills into the game. (In a genre where SKATE has succeeded with just thumbsticks)
2. To actually go out and physically skate, get a sense of momentum and properly pull off satisfying tricks and lines. ...Then go home and make out with your hot, skater-chick girlfriend.
suicide girl Pictures, Images and Photos
I know which way I'd ride.

Pity I'm a crap skateboarder. Drat.


1. Apparently, Joe Carnahan is directing it. ...I'm just gonna take a moment and giggle to myself in joy.
You've probably seen Smokin' Aces already, but you totally have to watch Narc as well, if you haven't already.
It's one of the best cop dramas ever made. Fact.

2. Bradley Cooper is gonna play Faceman. Nice one. This Cooper cat has got style. I liked him in Wedding Crashers and he looks awesome in The Hangover.
Word round the campfire is that he'll also score the Green Lantern gig. I'm not a GL fan, but from what I've seen, he'd be a solid choice.

***EDIT*** Apparently, Bradley Cooper IS NOT playing Faceman now. Oh well.

3. I've also heard that Common (aka One Of The Coolest People On Earth) may possibly play the Mr. T/Baracus role. I gotta say; I can see that. I may be biased cause I think that Common is one of the most promising new actors on screen these days, but I just feel that he'd fit really well.
Hell, the guy has menace down cold. His tiny role in the awesome Street Kings was a clinic on intimidation.

It's refreshing to hear remake/adaptation news that isn't toxic, no?


inglorious basterds Pictures, Images and Photos

The Inglourious Basterds website is up now...

Also check out some new pics...

This movie cannot arrive soon enough.
Eli Roth + Baseball Bat + Nazis is a mathematic equation that my mind understands all too clearly.


I had a double-sided experience with Mirror's Edge.
On one hand, it had elements that I loved. (Getting smooth lines of parkour going etc)
On the other hand, it had moments where rage and hatred were the dominant flavours of the course. (Any gun-play or combat. Blargh)
However, that being said, the experience was generally enjoyable and I will ALWAYS shine a light of praise upon the game purely because it had the balls to do something different.
Sure, there were some stumbles during its quest for a smooth run but they were minor and a sequel cannot come soon enough if you ask me.
In the meantime; behold these delicious shots of some DAMN IMPRESSIVE Mirror's Edge cosplay.

This does wonders for the argument that a ME movie would be incredible.
Just imagine that awesome palette of brilliant whites, blues and reds on the big screen.
Throw in a cast and stunt team that includes David Belle, Cyril Raffaelli and so forth and you've already got me waiting in line for a ticket, yo.

Monday, May 18, 2009


One other thing I noticed about Tokyo; you have to almost go OUT OF YOUR WAY to AVOID porn in that place.
Now, I'm no stranger to that kind of merchant and the various delights (or terrors) that they may choose to peddle. However, usually one must enlist the help of a trained native guide who knows the terrain, has a reliable map hastily scrawled upon fibrous parchment and must be paid in advance in either shiny gems or some other equally valuable trinkets. An expedition is usually undertaken in order to reach such a hidden utopia of carnal delights, so to speak. But in good ol' family-friendly Tokyo, it seems like EVERY damn store, regardless of specialty, has a very non-secret staircase that descends into a labyrinthine maze where sultry nymphs and oiled tits assault the weary traveller's senses and hold him captive.
Examples? Meet Hitomi Tanaka. She looks like she's got a full weekend.
hitomi tanaka Pictures, Images and Photos
(Honestly. What would you even talk about? I can't even remember my name at this point)

I'm not saying this is a bad thing. It just caught me off-guard when I stumbled down the wrong passageway and found myself in a bizarre world. It was like Alice down the rabbit-hole. Except the white rabbit is now an old Japanese salaryman with certain hungers who may be late for a 'date' that I want no part in attending; no matter HOW important it may be.
But hey, to each his own. No harm-No foul.
The only true downside to this is that the aisles were SO tight (har-har-har) that one must squeeze past other customers.
...Yeah. Just let the dark side of your mind ponder the logistics of that. There's definitely a wide margin for potential unpleasantness.
Poor store planning or excellent store planning?
Your choice.


Well, I have just returned from Japan.
2 days ago actually, to be more precise.
I was there for just under 3 weeks and I can say with much disappointment in my tone that I did not see Godzilla fighting a schoolgirl samurai once. Unacceptable. I took this trip for the cliches, damnit.
Oh well, ignoring the absence of giant radioactive lizards and warrior youth for the moment, allow me to share some tales of my travels.

I shuddered as I looked around at “New Release” movie posters in Japan, for the likes of Burn After Reading and Gran Torino were being hailed as fresh viewing; just off the vine, so to speak. I let out a sigh of disappointment...which quickly turned into an exclamation of excitement as I discovered that what they lacked in US releases, they made up for in local fare; exemplified by an impressive trailer which held me in its grip as I stood amongst the aisles of Tower Records and was prevented from continuing in my hunt for art books. Said trailer played out as follows...

Awesome, no?
Well, after seeing this (and cursing the fact that I had not even heard of the first CZ), I found the nearest cinema where it was screening and promptly bought a ticket.
It was money well spent, yo.
Granted, it was expensive ($24 bucks. Ugh.) but it was worth it. Keep in mind, y'all, that this film was badass with a side of fries...even though I DID NOT UNDERSTAND A SINGLE WORD.
That's right. It was all in Japanese (as was expected) yet sans subtitles (unexpected). This did nothing to detract from the experience.
Now, I mentioned my annoyance earlier at the fact that this franchise was unknown to me. Well, add salt to that gaping wound by acknowledging the fact that Takashi Miike directed both films.
Surprised, I most certainly was.
Okay, I'll admit that I'm not a HUGE Miike fan. I haven't seen many of his films (that I know of), but that's just because most of his work that has crept out of Japan seems to be that same old brand of ultra-violent, bizarro, schtick such as Ichi The Killer and so forth. I'm not against said brand...but it just gets stale quickly in my opinion. However, I absolutely LOVED Audition and now I can add Crows Zero II (and the first, once I track it down) to my list of excellent Miike flicks that will hopefully continue to grow; especially now that I have learnt that he can serve up dishes like this.
Now, the story (I'm guessing) is basically about rival school gangs and them solving their problems by polite discussion and reasoned thinking...but then that gets boring and they decide to punch, kick, stomp, bodyslam, elbow-strike, knee and uppercut each other as they go about their daily lives and eventually end up in an AWESOME final showdown which sees the two gangs tear through a school in a King of the Mountain-style siege with the two gang leaders eventually facing off on the school's roof. (None of these Hollywood-style mini 'fights' too, where nobody even breaks a bone, let alone a sweat.) Crows Zero II's finale is epic and you feel like you're with the gangs every headbutt, sidekick and step of the way.

Allow me to add a shout-out at this point:
“Hey Capcom! Make a RIVAL SCHOOLS movie and get Takashi Miike to direct!”

I couldn't help but detect a strong RS flavour while watching all of this. I could imagine Batsu
Batsu Pictures, Images and Photos
suddenly appearing and fighting alongside Genji and the others. That'd be tasty, but a RS film probably won't ever happen. They seem to have abandoned that series, therefore I doubt they'd spend coin on a film version. Not when they're already doing amazing things with the Street Fighter franchise...
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li Pictures, Images and Photos


(Anyway, if you ARE a Rival Schools fan, check out Volcano High. It's not the same, but it's got a similar vibe, at least.)
So yeah; definitely check out Crows Zero II if you get the chance. Damn impressive film and the combat is fresh in the way that the gang members are not all mind-blowing martial arts masters or anything. They use pretty stock-standard street fighting moves and never break the reality barrier by pulling off insane moves or 32-hit air combos and such. That being said, they all must be on PCP or something, cause they seem to be quite impervious to pain. I liked that aspect though, so...

Ahhhhhh, King of Fighters XII.

It's so refreshing to see a game where the characters don't closely resemble shaved gorillas.
Hi, Street Fighter IV. Boo and hiss, says I.
Now, don't get me wrong; I LOVE Street Fighter and SF IV is a damn good game. But I seriously hate the way it looks. But, I'll go into that in another post.
This post is about the return of the King, yo.
As I said; I'm a SF fan and I'm actually more at home in that arena; but I still loves me some KoF, and I was finally able to play 12 whilst in Japan.
Oh, and I got my ass handed to me.
See, most Japanese folk eat, sleep and drink arcade games. That's just one of the standard ingredients in their lives. They'll hit an arcade after work just as soon as hit a bar.
And so, when I sat down and challenged some unseen opponent in an arcade in Akihabara; who do you think the smart money was bet upon? Not I, says I.
Also, let it be known that I did not 'challenge' some guy to act like Johnny McChallenge; I had no choice in the matter. Tokyo arcades are very crowded and every cabinet is a versus/challenge cabinet and so 9 times out of 10, you're gonna be challenging the guy opposite you. Straight up solo matches are rare. At least where I was.
I can say that I held my own in the first round and a half...but then everything went wrong. I watched helplessly as my unseen opponent ruined my manly roster of Kyo, Terry and then Ryo.
It was brutal.
It was merciless.
It was SO pretty.
From now on, I say if you're gonna get your ass kicked; get it kicked by smooth, hand-drawn 2D animation.
Besides the visuals, the game plays really well, too. Smooth movements and there was a feeling of balance that, despite my loss, told me that given some time, I could've made a comeback.
I don't feel bad though, mainly cause I'm more of a SF player and also cause my opponent probably saw our match as merely a momentary hurdle in his daily routine of beating KoF XII as many times in a row as he could before catching the train home.
That kind of dedication means I was KO'ed before I sat down.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Greetings ladies and gentlemen.
Firstly, allow me to thank you all for visiting my blog.
For years I have not exactly been against blogging, so to speak, but I was not exactly a proud member of Johnny Blog's Fan Club.
There was just something about it all that struck me as somewhat arrogant. “Look at me! Listen to my words! Opinions, opinions, feed upon my plump, freshly baked opinions!” That was the general scent that I detected wafting from the stalls of various others whenever I walked past their blogs and perused whatever wares may have been on display.
Then it suddenly dawned on me.
I too, was often guilty of standing upon whatever box was at hand and shrieking my mind at passing townsfolk.
Films? I'd have a rant ready.
Video Games? Words would be thrown about.
Porn, comics and various other topics upon which conversation can suckle and feed like a giant, bloated insect? Oh, you can bet I held my proboscis at the ready. (That sounded seedy. I'm fine with that.)
After this light-bulb illuminated above, a slow and sinister grin began to creep across my features a la The Grinch, for I realised that all along I had been creating a blog. A blog where no screen, nor webternet, nor any other computer-related accessories were required. I was unknowingly posting and broadcasting my particular brand of blog on to any soul that was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to stand close enough to detect my signal.
And by signal, I mean the sound of me shouting at them.

It has now become clear that I am not creating a new blog, but rather, I am merely changing the format of the blog which I have been generating for years.
This blog is entering a new phase.
It has undergone a blogsformation, if you will.
Or maybe a blogomorphosis.
Hmmm, 'Blogomorphosis' sounds like the name of an evil wizard in a REALLY bad book.

Anyway, further delays or tangential wanderings, allow me to properly welcome you, dear readers, to my blog.
Here you shall find a veritable buffet of awesome (complete with sneeze-guard).
The main courses will generally be film-flavoured, but the menu also includes a wide range of video game and comic book dishes.
That will be the main arena where most of the action will take place, but if any other topic is unearthed that happens to contain valuable nuggets of rant-worthy minerals, then believe you me; I'll hastily strap a light to my skull and descend deeper into the mines, canary in hand.
For that is the Blog-Miner's duty.

So, thank you and welcome once again.
I hope you enjoy the words I throw at you.

Stay tuned, y'all.