Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Stop on by...
Skateboard Deck: http://cabinetminister.deviantart.com/art/Dawn-Of-The-Deck-136986109
New ID: http://cabinetminister.deviantart.com/art/DEV-ID-Temple-137281898
Friday, September 18, 2009
Back in my college days, my amigos would often throw Bond, A View To A Kill and Max Zorin references about the classroom with mirthful joy. While I was a dedicated supporter of Christopher Walken, I had not seen said Bond film and new that I must do so before too long.
The years passed and life got in the way like a plump, sweaty woman who refuses to move at an acceptable pace in the buffet line, and I suddenly realised that I had still not yet caught this cinematic gem. I was not overly concerned though, for while I have nothing against the Bond franchise, as such, I've simply never considered myself a 'Bond fan', so to speak. Sure, I like promiscuous sex, flashy gadgets and exotic locales ripe with flashy, promiscuous harlots but the series just never really managed to get its hooks into me.
...That is until I finally sat down to watch A View To A Kill. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090264/ It opened my eyes and made me understand why all those years ago, my friends spoke of this Max Zorin character in the same way that monks speak about Buddha or idiots speak about Twilight.
Since my initial viewing, I have watched this film numerous times and have accumulated a robust collection of thoughts and musings.
Let us now enjoy them together...
Mayday: (in awe) “Wow! What a view!”
Zorin: (enthusiastically) “To a KILL!”
- I still don't know what that means.
Now I'm a pretty intelligent guy and I've watched this film enough times to have a joke ready whenever someone brings up butterflies during a dinner party, but I still have no freaking idea what the hell 'a view to a kill' is supposed to mean.
Maybe it's more a niche reference. Perhaps only an elite cadre of power-mad industrialists understand such a witty jape and were Zorin to deliver such a line in the company of his peers, I have no doubt that he'd be on the receiving end of many a hearty back-slap and all the kudos you can fill your pockets with.
Besides, anybody who didn't get the joke and throw back their head in approving laughter would probably just get their ass tossed out of a zeppelin.
Fuck that noise.
If that's gonna be the outcome; then I'll keep my mouth shut about views, kills and any resulting combinations.
Bah, the film should've been called 'Floods n' Blimps' anyway.
...And the poster should have had a picture of Stacy Sutton in a wet t-shirt with Zorin cackling maniacally above her with a whole Elvis 'sex on the beach'-movie vibe..
In fact, I'm putting that on my artwork TO DO list right now. Superb.
- During the iconic James Bond opening sequence when Bond shoots the unseen gunman, why the hell does the gun barrel rapidly fill with blood? That's absurd.
Even if Bond was having an awesome day and pulled off a bullshit shot that punctured an artery or something, I doubt that there would be an instant steady flow of blood that would easily flood a gun barrel. I'm no physician, but I'm not convinced that there's sufficient medical evidence to back this all up, Fleming.
Bond also always talks himself up in order to gain access into the moist confines of various women's undergarments, but I dare say that he leaves out the parts where he's killed numerous hemophiliac snipers and watched them drown beneath a crimson sea of their own unclotting juices.
That's a prick move, Bond.
(Yep. Just stand there and watch him gurgle.)
- “Neither the name 'Zorin' nor any other name or character in this film is meant to portray a real company or actual person.”
That disclaimer is actually displayed at the start of this film. Hilarious.
That's like stating that Darth Vader is not real or sincerely advising that the audience not go out and decapitate the nearest Scotsman after watching Highlander in order to drink of their delicious Quickening.
Sure, that would be awesome with a side of fries, but logic and common sense would prevail, right?
When the power of Zorin is concerned, logic is unconscious in an alley with a stoned hooker and common sense is nowhere to be found.
I like to think that the producers hastily attached that opening disclaimer from fear that after witnessing the pure, refined awesomeness that is Max Zorin, hordes of people would flock to his banner and try to emulate his style.
Just think of the chaos, people.
Skies filled with blimps and every Tom, Dick and...Max Jr. sitting at Starbucks, typing up their earthquake/flood schemes on their laptops and trying to buy equine steroids via eBay.
Personally, I never go to Starbucks and I'd love to look up each day and see countless blimps happily bouncing along; so I don't really give a shit what people do under the influence of Zorin Fever. However, I see what the disclaimer is getting at and t'is an admirable goal, to be sure.
(NOTE: The DVD commentary actually provides a factual reason for the disclaimer...but facts and research never got anybody laid, so just take my word for it.)
- Okay, so there's this ridiculously successful spy movie franchise and for the latest instalment they need something gripping to serve as an opening action sequence that'll pin the audience's collective ass to the seat while making them choke on their popcorn in goggle-eyed wonder.
What do they decide to do?
They serve up a skiing sequence accompanied by “California Girls” by The Beach Boys.
...Yeah, that'd be my first choice too.
Seriously, what the fuck did they DISCARD in favour of this? I really hope somebody got fired for that. Sure as hell wasn't the director, John Glen, who's idea it apparently was. Thumbs up, Johnnie.
But hey, he must've been doing something right, because he directed a handful of Bond flicks, including Octopussy, ...a film that I just wanted to mention because I'm childish and I like cephalopods.
(Nature is awesome.)
- Bond's colleagues mention a “highly sophisticated surveillance machine”...which turns out to be some kind of dog-droid, technological mistake that looks like it was hastily thrown together in a panicked frenzy when someone lied to the prop department and said that Bond required a hip new sidekick named Barkytron who would inevitably betray him in the 3rd act and efficiently sleep with his woman.
This thing is pure rubbish and I'm glad its presence is minimal. That being said, it would be amusing to add it into the background of various scenes throughout the movie, for I'd assume that, out of context, a nightmarish canine/toaster hybrid would warrant quite a few laughs in any situation.
- I've always felt sorry for the Frenchman who dies during the restaurant scene in Paris.
Imagine how his family must have felt when they were informed of his demise and the inevitable trauma that they'd suffer upon reading about the details in Le Monde, which would probably go something like this:
“...killed while dining when a poisoned butterfly was plunged into his cheek by a suspicious ninja-like figure who incorporated the gentle art of fly-fishing into macabre ballet of death...”
I bet his kids just said, “...car crash...” when asked relevant questions at school later on.
- May Day is a terrifying creature.
I think Grace Jones is pretty badass and all, but May Day is like some chocolate Amazon who doesn't seduce men, but rather crushes them to a pulp in order to extract vital juices and nutrients from their crippled husks like a giantess who is picking ripe grapes for her sexual wine.
...I'm not a drinking man, but if she offered me some of that, I'd be all like, “Yes, ma'am. Just don't squish my puny frame for your next vintage.”
She'd then probably penetrate me and mock my unmanly tears.
Sure, I'm man enough to admit that she frightens me, but can you blame me? She shows Bond who's the boss in the bedroom and Zorin only gains the upper-hand with her after he judo-throws her to the ground. If that's what dating strong women requires these days, then count me out. You'd go in for some lovin' and end up being hip-thrown into a china cabinet. Foreplay or not, that's not cool, lady.
But as I said, Grace Jones is badass and any dame that hangs out with Conan is groovy in my book.
(Yes, ma'am. Anything you say.)
- During the mine scenes, I always wish that Mola Ram from Temple Of Doom would suddenly drop out of a tunnel and that would lead to a kickass villain team-up moment. Such an alliance would be a sight to behold. It's like two different ends of the awesome spectrum coming together to make a focused beam of uber-awesome.
Seriously, that unity could be that foundation for a sitcom that'd never get old.
“Floods huh? So...what do I do with this heart?”
- At one point, Max Zorin says the line, “Would you be interested primarily in stamina?”; delivered in that, too-often poorly-imitated yet brilliant, Christopher Walken style of speech that could charm the bank account details out of a sober cobra.
Of course he happens to be referring to the quality of horse that Bond is interested in buying, but I choose to ignore this concrete fact and instead look upon the phrase as the cutting edge of pick-up line material.
Seriously; next time you're out prowling the night and the hunger grips you, saunter up to a suitable dame and channel your inner Zorin as you confidently question her thusly; “Would you be interested primarily in stamina?”
If she's receptive to your advances, then hastily retire to your awaiting blimp and allow nature/booze to take hold.
If the coldest of shoulders is what you receive...then perhaps she's just not interested in what you're selling, sir. Worry not, for the following options are open to you:
1.Hire May Day to strangle her while she goes through a car wash.
2.Trap her in a library elevator shaft and set fire to the building.
3.Call her a bitch and spit in her overpriced cocktail.
- I've always been interested in the potential back story involving Zorin's uncharacteristically helpful right-hand man, Scarpine.
...Who actually has a scar on his face.
I like to think that during the interview for the position, Max Zorin read out his name and then proceeded to study his face for what became an awkward amount of time and then decided that Scarpine was missing something.
Scarpine would've had only a brief second to be confused before comprehension dawned on him.
And by “dawned on him” I mean, May Day probably knocked him from his chair, straddled his chest and held him down while Zorin sliced open his cheek and gifted him with a painful memento that would befit a suitably-named employee such as he.
Too make matters worse, Zorin would probably always bring up the scar and it's shady origin when he and Scarpine were at social functions, thus leading to Scarpine having to impress Zorin with his comedy improv skills as he regaled listeners with a colourfully fabricated tale concerning the genesis of his facial deformity.
Zorin would laugh and applaud if he did well, I assume.
What a shitty boss.
- I only noticed on my most recent viewing that Dolph Lundgren has a tiny role in this film.
How did I not catch this before? I must be slipping.
In my defense; he just stands off to the side of the screen, and basically does nothing.
Still, it would've been awesome if he stood in the scene and did nothing...but was dressed in his He-Man costume from Masters Of The Universe.
Would I have noticed him then? Who knows.
(He blends in well.)
- How about that unfortunate gent who wanted no part in Zorin's wacky flood caper? What an unexpected day he had. I bet you twenty bucks that he Twittered the wife on his way down;
“Just been dropped out of a fucking zeppelin during a business meeting. Promotion unlikely. Late for dinner. XOXO”
- Any COMMANDO fans out there reading this; watch the scene where Bond goes to the docks and talks to that CIA agent guy. You all TOTALLY expect Bennett to arrive and then see Cooke standing in plain sight with his trusty remote detonator.
- Tanya Roberts was totally bangin' as Stacy Sutton. yo.
I'd never seen her before this, cause I never watched Charlie's Angels and such, but she is a quality dame, indeed. Oh, she also went on to star in a handful of soft-porn flicks (I love the internet) and a film called Beastmaster which has always been on my TO WATCH list and where I can only assume that she 'masters' an assortment of 'beasts' with the hypnotic power of 'awesome breasts'.
Good enough for me, folks.
Stacy Sutton also keeps a shotgun in her house that is filled with rock-salt, so she must undoubtedly be plagued by a poltergeist or some other flavour of supernatural bastard that leads me to fantasize about an awesome team-up that involves Sam and Dean Winchester kicking spooky ass with this hottie by their side:
(I'd watch her burn a corpse each week.)
- What's with the bizarre Blues Brothers-style cop car chase and pile-up near the bridge?
In fact, who gives a shit. The Blues Brothers is an awesome movie and if they ever do a special edition of A View To A Kill where they replace Roger Moore with Jake and Elwood Blues who eventually have a climactic dance-off against Zorin on the top of a rapidly inflating insta-blimp, then I'd probably hyperventilate and blissfully pass out.
(You will NEVER be cooler than these men)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I watched UP http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1049413/ the other day.
It was enjoyable, but I'm disinclined to go along with the majority who claim that it is PIXAR's best work thus far.
Sure, this film is good and I enjoyed myself; it's just that it gets blown away by the likes of WALL-E, Ratatouille and the greatly underrated The Incredibles.
At least UP kicks the crap out of Cars. Ugh, that movie annoys me. It was just like a big-budget adaptation of those irritating BBC kids shows involving sentient vehicles that caper about the village and mockingly cavort in front of humans; their rightful masters.
Burn them all and crush them into a cube, I say.
I wish I could say that'll occur in the sequel, but I know it won't. Shame.
Let's take a look at the highs and the lows of this particular adventure...
- The early montage involving Carl and Ellie's relationship. This was just beautifully done. The film had basically just begun and I found myself already crying. Their early courtship followed by the rise and inevitable falls of life are displayed with such care and emotion that I was hooked instantly.
PIXAR have always stuck to their motto that “story is king” and that belief is backed up by their diligent attention to the little details regarding character interaction. Simple little moments like Ellie gently placing her hand upon Carl's as children, coupled with the painted hand prints during the mailbox scene just provide depths to the story that sucks you in until you finally realise that you're staring at the screen through moist eyes.
PIXAR made me cry with a speechless little robot and they did it again with this wonderful sequence. Well done.
In fact, such an emotional high point so early in the narrative actually left me kind of detached from the later stages of the film, but perhaps that's just me.
- Kevin the bird is great. I'm not able to type volumes of text concerning this character, because, frankly, she doesn't do very much. What she does do though, and well, is stare about blankly in that awesome 'vacant sidekick' kind of way and squawk in a manner that is funnier than any line of dialogue could be.
She must have been fun to write. Just change the surrounding context and the audience can provide their own meaning for the squawk. Worked for me; I was laughing, and while I was underwhelmed by Kevin at first, by the end of the film, I found myself wishing that she had more screen time.
- Dug is the second character who I wished was given the chance to show off more. He's a big, squishy Golden Retriever...with a collar that allows him to talk. That's just awesome, right there. He's eager to please his master (whoever that may be) and he has that that delicately balanced canine personality that teeters between focused attention and squirrel-based distraction. He gets his share of laughs and he's generally always present on screen...but I couldn't help feeling that the multi-lingual collar plus his personality hinted at some wasted potential, script-wise.
Still, his solid visual design makes him a nice addition to the PIXAR roster and it'd be nice to see him used in some shorts or something similar down the line.
(Clearly reading his lines.)
- PIXAR never really fail to impress with their opening shorts, and 'Partly Cloudy' continues this tradition. I'm even inclined to say that I laughed more during this short than during UP. The concept alone is impressive enough to warrant extended praise and without trying to spoil anything, I'll simply say that the storks that deliver babies have a sort of work-like relationship with clouds. It's a brilliantly simple premise that works wonderfully.
...Oh, and there are few things funnier than watching a stork get winded after a baby ram smashes into its chest. Hilarious.
(Poor, poor stork...)
- Russell is a strange character. He's got a great design and there's loads of potential under the surface, but he never gets any really good lines and I just generally found myself wondering when he was going to click into place, y'know? Yes, I laughed when he got whipped across the face by a tent support strut but that wasn't enough.
Usually the sight of a fat kid getting injured is a comedy high-point and enough to make me enthusiastically recommend it to any film fans who'd enjoy the humorous sight of a plump child being accidentally whacked in the face by a plastic rod.
Alas, this time I felt like something was missing.
- The script could've used some more punch. The dialogue and narrative did the job and everything zigged and zagged where appropriate, but I expected some more spice. If someone cooks you a steak and just hands it to you on a plate, you'd be like, “Sure, this is a well-cooked steak, but I'd like a side of fries, some sauce and a frosty beverage to go with it.” THEN, sir, you'd have a meal.
With UP, I still felt hungry afterwards.
I saw this with my brother-in law and young niece and I think it left her unsatisfied as well. During the car ride home, she spoke more about how much she loved Monsters vs Aliens, instead of how funny Dug was.
Hmmm. Not the words of a customer who's just enjoyed a full meal, says I.
(Potentially hungry UP viewer)
- The talking dogs were wasted. I've already mentioned Dug, but all of the other dogs are basically just loud obstacles. Snore.
Speaking of which; the whole opposing force is nothing to rave about. Okay, the whole 'hero becomes villain' angle is not bad, but Charles Muntz just felt like a hollow place-holder. I got the same vibe from Clayton in Tarzan back in the day, who looked like Captain Hook's brother and seemed like he was merely the villain-shaped peg necessary to fill the villain-hole.
I mentioned The Incredibles earlier, and I'll mention it again now for 2 reasons:
1. It's awesome and it warrants repeated viewing.
2. UP has a few things in common with it in the ways that it has been painted with some darker narrative tones in comparison to most of PIXAR's lighter fare.
I should make it VERY clear now that I personally do not consider this to be a textbook negative; au contraire. I yearn for the day when there are countless animated films aimed at more mature audiences. (Hurry up and get released, 9 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472033/ )
I mention this purely because I was feeling more down than up during this film, and that was not what I had expected. Especially not when 2 key characters had the potential for far more comedy than what was served to us.
As I write this, I'm detecting a scent of negativity that was not my intention.
This IS a good film and the adventure was worth every step. I guess I'm just not as passionate about this film as I thought I'd be. And, as I've learnt like any artist who explores their craft; my work suffers a little when the passion is not there.
Oh well, no drama.
My advice is to suffer through a painful viewing of Cars again before watching UP; then after being in the company of Larry The Cable Guy and the rest of the lame components that make up that bland, damaged wreck, you'll find your journey far more uplifting.
Seriously; Cars is crap, folks.