Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The Losers.

A pumped team of guys do a mission in Bolivia (their leader is the Comedian from Watchman, and the Human Torch from Fantastic Four – I know the actors names, but once you are a superhero, you are that guy forever). The mission gets screwed up and the team is betrayed and thought to have died. They must now get revenge on the guy who screwed them – Jason Patrick (playing a 80’s action villain on steroids!). This villain shoots Asian women if they don’t hold up umbrellas properly to shield him from the sun (but wait, after he shoots her, then no one is there to hold it??). He also changes plans every second – “Hire 18 thugs.”, then a moment later “Change of plan, I don’t need the 18 thugs, kill them cause they know too much.” Hahahahaha WOW, this guy means business!

We also saw the return of the uber-death. These occur to main villains or secondary villains, in this case secondary. I wont go into the details, but its bloody crazy!!!! The violence in this movie reminds of the 80’s where bad guys were bad and good guys were good. The good guys didn’t hurt innocent people and the Losers never kill anyone they don’t have to (which I really really liked).

Also they were smart. The second they smell a trap, they react – even before the script confirms it is a trap! I liked how the writers almost approached this from a audience perspective. They know we are smart, and they keep us guessing. A couple of nice twists are introduced, one I saw coming, the other I was shocked, and actually felt bad for the Losers!

All in all, this was a great time in the theatre and a super enjoyable movie to watch. It’s based on a series of comics, which I haven’t read, so maybe the twists in this plot are known to those who have read it, but regardless, this movie was really enjoyable! If it had come out in the 80’s I could see a TV show out of it. Maybe the L-Team???



Monday, April 26, 2010

Love me.

Love Me or Leave Me.

James Cagney and Doris Day. James Cagney is in furious competition with Jimmy Stewart for my favourite actor of all time. This was a heavy hit on Jimmy with this movie. I didn’t know what to expect and I am not a big Doris Day fan, she always just sings – and she sings in this too, but its not a musical, she is just a singer and Cagney is playing the mobster role which only he can play convincingly.

Cagney is so brilliant in all his movies that I just want to cry every time I think of him. He can be sad, angry, intelligent, intense, kind and happy and you can tell what he’s feeling by just his facial reactions. Even when he plays a villain I like him. It is IMPOSSIBLE to not like James Cagney. His is a treasure in film history that no one will ever be able to touch. It brings me great sadness knowing that I will never be able to meet this man and shake his hand and tell him what a great job he’s doing.

His performance in this film especially deserves applause and a standing ovation of the highest order. What a great film in the amazing resume of James Cagney. He is a true icon and he will never be topped again.

Not only should you buy this film, but you should buy all of his films that I reviewed on this site.

One word of warning – If you buy them and watch them you will be very depressed over the currant lack of any real talent in Hollywood today. You may even be brought to tears at the state of film in general. But the good news is, is that all the classics are available to purchase, so do yourself a favour and go get them.



Who delivers 10 times out of 10?


This original film is so wicked. Directed by the father of the guy who made Superfly. It’s a serious drama/action movie where Shaft is investigating the kidnapping of a local mob boss’ daughter.

The opening is Shaft walking around with the famous theme (that won an oscar – you dig?) playing and Shaft just being cool and walking around. He is wearing a brown leather jacket that should’ve won an oscar for “best jacket worn by a character in film history.” – I would’ve voted for that!

Just buy this movie and the rest of them. Shaft is so wicked!



Space to the Max.

Hubble Imax.

These Imax movies are not really movies anyway, but experiences and this one was wicked. I saw it in 2D, but at the Omnimax – at the science center and it was wicked. The shots taken by the hubble telescope (the greatest invention of our time) are awe inspiring and make you feel very insignificant in the vast universe. I just wish the wonder of the universe could be explored more in films like the new Star Trek – where the have the money and effects to really do something special. I guess we’ll have to settle for 2001.



It's not just national.

International Hotel.

The last of the WC Fields pack (pictured above). This one was pretty good, but he wasn’t in it as much – it was a big cast I guess, but his parts are so funny and some of the supporting characters are funny too, enjoyable.



Friday, April 23, 2010

Not just Fly -


Blaxploitation again. Priest (or Superfly if you will, though he is not referred to as such) is a drug pusher who wants out of the business. He wants out before he is forced to start killing people or before someone kills him. You see at the time and place of this film the black man didn’t have much choice of professions if he wanted to be successful. And dealing was easy and it provided a lot of cash.

Why does Priest want out? He has 8 track players, and a colour TV in every room and he can get any girl he wants etc – his friend/partner Eddie asks of Priest. The answer – which I will reveal in a minute – is very interesting and this is the only movie I have EVER seen where they really explain it, and they explain the reasons for not leaving too!

Priest doesn’t know what he wants to do after he gets out. He simply wants to have enough money to have the freedom to make the choice. He was forced into drug dealing and wants out – not for something better, but he wants out in order to see what he could become if given the chance. I really liked this point. There’s always some garbage about “I want a better life for my kids.” Or something like that, but this movie isn’t pretending it’s taking the high ground – well I mean he wants out, but for his own reasons, not for his girlfriend or friend or family or kids (he doesn’t have kids and isn’t married but he is planning on taking his girl with him). He wants to better himself is the point I’m making. He’s not trying to be a hero – it’s for selfish reasons – he wants to live his life the way he wants to.

The reasons for Eddie wanting to stay in the business is interesting too. You see there are a few police officers with some high level officials running the drug trade. They are now forcing Priest and Eddie to work for them, and Priest tells Eddie that it’s even worse now because those men own Eddie. Eddie doesn’t care. He says he knows they own him and that they will kill him when they don’t need him anymore, but he is willing to take that chance (hoping they wont kill him until he is old anyway) and this way he can live the good life now. Eddie is not willing to bargain millions of dollars and a smug living to take the chance that he may become nothing. He prefers to stay in this drug trade because he knows the business and is doing well, even at the risk of getting killed by rival drug lords or even his own boss.

The writing in this film is amazing, and it stays realistic throughout. The final scene is brilliantly played and well written. No shootouts or action scenes at all, just a final confrontation with Priest and the Man (in this case the corrupt officials), and the way Priest gets the upper hand is so bloody wicked I cant even tell you here.

This movie was 10 bucks at Starstruck and it’s the best 10 bucks you can spend man. Just go out and get it – the music is cool too man.

Can you dig it.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

The prequel to 9001

Detroit 9000.

Still on my blaxploitation kick. D9K isn’t really one though, but I thought it was, well it kind of is – its more like Cotton Comes to Harlem, but instead of 2 black cops, its one white one black.

What it is (plot): Some politician wants to become the first black governor, he turns out to be a real dick (as most politicians are anyway!?) but we didn’t know that at the time, so anyway he holds a big rally where a lot of brothers and sisters show up to give jewels and cash – well to their surprise a bunch of masked robbers show up and steal everything. The robbers are wearing nylons over their heads and ski masks over the nylons. The reason for this – which I figured out on my own – was to hide the race of the robbers. So a white cop is assigned to the case and he isn’t happy because if they never catch the guys, it will look like a cover up by the man to keep a black man from being governor, BUT if the criminals are white guys, they will think that anyway, but if the robbers are black, then it will make the blacks look bad – so basically you cant win – or can you?

Yeah you can, and you are smart enough (as I was) to guess that its probably an interracial gang of robbers – you are right. BUT, this is kind of cool because at the time of the movie you wouldn’t have guessed it!

The mystery of why this was done is pretty cool and the conclusion is very interesting, in an uninteresting way – if that makes any sense. The logical thing happens. But what makes this movie great is the characters and the story – everything is revealed very slowly and you never know where the plot will go. And there is a big twist – sort of – in the end, that I also saw coming – BUT – I may have been wrong – BUT I may have been right too – I cannot explain without spoiling it and the movie never explains itself, so you are left with your own interpretation – which I really like!

I watched this movie in 2 parts – the first 70 mins, and the last 30. After watching the first 70 mins, I liked it. Then when I saw the last 30 I really liked it! It got better as it went along – and I’m glad it did!

Good movie.



Monday, April 19, 2010

The movie - I already reviewd the comic.

Kick Ass.

I liked the book, and since reading it, I have become even more attached to it. This film is not the book. People are saying its very faithful to the book, I can only assume people A – didn’t read it, or B – didn’t understand it. Just because the premise is the same and there is a lot of violence, doesn’t mean its faithful.

People saw the trailers and were like “oh look Kick Ass gets beat up and Hit Girl is cool and there is a some gore too – wow that’s faithful!” NO! The tone and execution of the book is SO VERY DIFFERENT.

The book is very dark and realistic – mostly – it’s a comic of course, but this movie turns into a Hollywood superhero movie at the half way mark after a very accurate opening half. Starting with the girl falling for the hero after he reveals himself – I knew something was wrong – cause that aint the book man!

Whatever, judging this as a superhero movie, I liked it! I liked this movie more as a superhero movie, than I liked the book as a comic book. If that makes any sense? As a comic the book is 3.5/5 – a little too dark for me. The movie compared to other hero movies is 4/5 because I liked the violence and atmosphere of the semi-realistic approach – which turns into a superhero movie in the end.

But if you loved the book, this aint it. The book made a much better point on what it would really be like if you wanted to fight crime, you’d probably get your ass kicked! The violence was to show the horrors of actually killing people and Big Daddy’s origin was much better in the book. The movie gave him a superhero origin that gives him and his daughter a reason for being – the book is totally different – I wont spoil it.

It’s hard to discuss this movie only because I truly believed the hype that said it was faithful. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be, and my buddies on this blog will tell me I was stupid for trusting the hype, but I did and for that I am bit disappointed. But looking past all that, I still really enjoyed this SUPERHERO movie – which was based on a NON-SUPERHERO comic.

The film makers are just lucky I like SUPERHERO movies, otherwise this would be rated lower.




Black Dynamite.

Black Dynamite is a spoof of blaxploitation films. It was so good and Michael Jai White (who is one of the top action guys around now – if not the top – maybe he is the top actually) was so good in the role (which he created) that I wanted this to be a regular movie instead of a spoof! I was actually pumped up for him to be a real action hero – and even though this is a spoof he was an action hero.

MJW can actually fight, so when he does so in this film, even though it’s a spoof and it’s funny, you can tell he can really kick ass (ill review that today too). All in all this was on of the better spoofs and a really good movie too. I hope for a sequel and I even hope they make it serious as a movie too.

Black Dynamite is totally believable as an old blaxploitation superstar and the scene were he pimpslaps the first lady into the china cabinet and then goes on to explain why he did that was so funny I thought I was gonna die! Also, how BD finds out the master plan of the secret villain is so great – right up there with the “Sea – C for Catwoman” scene in Batman.

This is a must have for fans.



Santa came through.

It’s a Gift.

After one really great WC Fields movie (the Bank Dick) we got a couple of ho-hum ones – only because he wasn’t the focus. Well, we are back on board with this little comedy about WC wanting to own an orange ranch while his annoying wife pesters him about everything.

This is the second best WC film I have seen. The story is whatever – as usual, but WC makes it all good and his mannerisms are just so funny here. I am so happy we finally have a movie with him as the star. No cheesey co-stars, no annoying sub plots, just WC in his element and owning every scene.



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Red ...

The Human Tornado.

This is a sequel to Dolomite – starring Rudy Ray Moore – “You grew up on it!” (Kid’s father says in House Party – that’s a wicked movie too).

I never saw Dolomite but I had heard of it. RRM plays Dolomite and he is sort of a spoof of blaxploitation stars – but he’s actually really funny. I had a feeling there would be some comedy in this, but I didn’t know how much.

Dolomite jumps off a hill and the picture freezes and his voice over comes on saying something like “So you don’t believe I jumped – watch this bitches.” Then the scene rewinds and repeats in slow motion. Hahahaha – I was dying over that.

The plot: Dolomite is finishing up a comedy tour - jokes like “The bathtub told the toilet – ‘I get just as much ass as you do, but I don’t have to put up with all that shit.’” If you think this is hilarious, then you’ll love this movie. Anyway, he returns to his huge house and decides to give up his house to the man who was responsible for putting up a boys home – suddenly this white girl arrives – who is paying Dolomite for sex, who also happens to be the wife of the local hick-racists sheriff – who coincidentally shows up to Dolomites house because there are too many N-word hanging around. Whew, so the sheriff kills his wife (actually he has his deputy do it) Dolomite escapes with his buds (including Ernie Hudson!) and they make their way to California via kidnapping a gay white guy and stealing his car – which the white guy doesn’t mind and actually enjoys.

Then they find that their friend – a girl who is running a nightclub – is in trouble. She is being threatened by a white gangster guy with a nymphomaniac wife, who captures girls and takes them to an old lady’s basement where they are tortured. Dolomite has to rescue them and get the nightclub back.

That is the plot of this crazy movie! I don’t really need to say much more except that Dolomite himself is so funny, he carries this crazy ass movie on his shoulders. If you like spoofy, crazy, so bad it’s good, movies, then you must get this.

PS I have no idea why this is called The Human Tornado.



Saturday, April 10, 2010

2 from the master

So, Alfred Hitchcock is probably one of my favourite directors of all time if not my favourite. The guy didn't make too many clunkers (most of those that were occured near the end of his career). If you haven't had the opportunity to see movies like Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest, and my all-time favourite Vertigo...then why are you reading this post? Get to a television, and watch those movies, you clown! Seriously, though...the guy was a genius behind the counter, and this post is dedicated to reviewing 2 of his which I recently watched: Spellbound, and Rebecca. I'll start with Spellbound first.

Spellbound had to be one of his weaker films. Up to this point, the only movies he made that I wasn't quite into was The Birds and Suspicion. Suspicion was predictable, and The Birds...well Tippi Hedren running around is enough to make anyone root for the birds. Just kill her, already! I can't stand her voice! She sounds like she swallowed a gallon of helium! Where was I?....oh yes. Spellbound. Yeah, Spellbound is very predictable, I found. We all know Gregory Peck didn't do it. He's Gregory Peck for crying out loud...outside The Boys of Brazil, when was he ever the bad guy? Oops, getting a head of myself.

So, Ingrid Bergman is playing an emotionally distant doctor (emotionally distant characters were Ingrid's speciality...she certainly played enough of them), who falls for the mysterious new head doctor of the asylum she works at. However, the doctor, Gregory Peck, seems to have problems looking at white backgrounds with tracks through them. As it turns out, Peck isn't the new head doctor of the asylum...he's actually an amnesiac, and thinks he is a murderer, responsible for the death of the real head doctor. Ingrid doesn't believe him, but she has a thing for him, so she can't be trusted. Did Peck kill him? If not, who did? It's pretty obvious, but I won't give it away if you didn't see the movie. Let's just say you'd figure it out pretty quick, if you're paying attention at all.

Needless to say, this movie had it's moments. I liked the little scene where Peck comes downstairs in a trance, holding a razor blade, and the kindly, foreign doctor tricks him to escape potential danger. The surrealistic dream sequence created by Salvador Dali deserves its legendary status, it's pretty neat, and must have been mind-blowing back when it was made. Little stuff like that, and the scene at the end with the giant hand holding the giant gun, it's nuances like that I enjoyed in the movie, not anything the movie itself had to say. I understand that it would pretty innovative back in the day, being the first film to really tackle the subject of psychoanalysis. Unfortunately nowadays, the subject has been done to death, and I doubt anyone these days would care about what the film was trying to say.

Rebecca on the other hand, is simply brilliant. I don't know how much of a hand Hitchcock played in this one (or Spellbound for that matter), as the producer was the manic David O. Selznick (he of Gone With the Wind fame), who was known to be pretty "hands-on" with his film projects. However, whatever interference he had, the movie is great. Rebecca is a gothic drama, with a huge house, a mysterious husband, an over-matched wife, a sinister head housekeeper, and the presence of the deceased Rebecca haunting both Manderlay and its occupants.

Joan Fontaine plays a young companion to an overbearing mistress. Running into the brooding Laurence Oliver one day, they strike up a fast friendship that quickly blooms into marriage when Joan tells Laurence she was leaving for America with her employer. Taking Joan back to his mansion named Manderlay, he introduces her to his head houskeeper, Dame Judith Anderson, who had a fanatic admiration for Laurence's previous wife, Rebecca. It seems that Laurence has never really gotten over Rebecca's death, as he goes nuts at the mention of her name, or of the particulars of her boating accident. Was it an accident, though? What really happened to Rebecca? Will Judith Anderson kill Joan Fontaine's character? She certainly seems crazy enough to! The movie is long, but it's quite engrossing.

The thing that really works in this movie is the actors, and the characters. Each one is interesting in their own way. Joan makes her character (cleverly never named in the film, so as to emphasize her inferiority to the dead Rebecca), who could have been annoying, extremely vulnerable, and sympathetic. However, you're also forced to sympathize with Oliver's Maxim, because even though he seems distant and cold, his reasons and his motivations make him just as sympathetic as Joan. Then there's Judith Anderson...I'm going to check, but I hope she won an award for her portrayal of Miss Danvers. She's crazy without being drooling, hand-wringing over-the-top crazy, which makes her ten times scarier than someone who is. You don't really know how far she's going to go, or what she's going to do, and you're just praying that Fontaine will tell Maxim what Danvers has been up to, but you're also a little scared that even if he finds out, he won't have the cojones to stand up Miss Danvers, who almost seems like a force of nature.

Another brilliant thing was the sets. I know it was in miniatures, but Manderlay is almost like a character in itself. It's imposing, you could literally get lost in there, and thanks to Miss Danvers, there's always a feeling that the deceased Rebecca is close by, her presence is everywhere, and you have the feeling that Fontaine and Olivier don't just have to deal with the unhinged housekeeper, but also with the very spirit of Rebecca. This isn't exactly an action-packed movie, but it's unsettling, and when the big revelation comes (and don't worry, there's always a big revelation in a movie like this), you may be surprised. I know I was.

So, where does Rebecca rank in the all-time Hitchcocks? Well, not top 5, because his top 5 is just crazy, but I will definitely say it's top ten material. It's that damned good, and I encourage anyone to buy the film and give it a look. For the record, my top 5 Hitchcock's are:

  1. Vertigo
  2. Psycho
  3. Rear Window
  4. North by Northwest
  5. Strangers on a Train

So, there you have it. 5 brilliant films from probably the greatest filmmaker of all time. Check them out, you won't be disappointed.

Ratings: Spellbound - 3 stars, Rebecca - 5 stars

I bid thee a fond good evening

- Stephenstein

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stories clash.

Clash of the Titans.

The old movie was a 5/5 for me. I love it. I own all the figures for it (no I don’t have the Kraken or Pegasus – they are on ebay for a 100 bucks if you want them), but I have the poster for it hanging in my room for the last couple of years – long shelf life since I normally change my stuff around every month or so. So yeah, I’m a fan.

I am also a super diehard Ray Harryhausen fan. And yes I have gone on about him a lot on this blog, so Ill spare you … this time.

This new film decided to change the storyline of the original – something I don’t really mind, provided you replace the old storyline (which was good) with a new one that is equally good, or better. This one was worse.

It’s basically man vs God – an odd take since Zeus could kill you in one second. Whatever. Hades, who is now pissed off, wants to release the Kraken because he’s a cool monster who will look good in the final act. Something about humans not respecting Gods anymore. Hades kills Perseus’ family and makes an enemy of Perseus. So he basically wants revenge.

Perseus, demi-god son of Zeus, doesn’t want any help from the Gods. He has no use for them. “I want to do this as a man.” He says. Ok, so he gets Pegasus (a winged horse) and rides him to battle, he uses the help of the Stygian Witches to find Medusa, crosses the river Styx with the help of Charon (the skeleton ferryman), enlists the help of a Djinn (genies for you regular folks) and uses a special magical sword that Zeus gives him, and constantly relies on Io – an immortal, for help. Way to do this as a man Perseus – you showed those Gods you don’t need help from anyone! I only mention this because the entire plot is so focused on Perseus’ hatred for the Gods and what they stand for. His reason to quest is to get revenge on Hades, and he hates all Gods (kind of prejudice I think, just cause Hades is bad, doesn’t mean all the Gods are?)

So Perseus’ motivations’ are revenge and hatred of the Gods – and he doesn’t get revenge on Hades – because Hades cant die, and he uses magic and other things provided from the Gods anyway? Did anyone read this script?

Also, the action scenes were HORRIFIC. I couldn’t see and darn thing. I am dropping a star for that from now on.

BEWARE ALL ACTIONS FILMS. If I cannot see the action, you are losing ONE STAR!

Also, other plot points that didn’t make sense – Io is immortal – a curse she calls it. “I am forced to see my friends die.” Yet in the third act she is stabbed by Calibos (who I wont get into, cause he’s ruined – see my fellow bloggers review) and she dies. Ok, so maybe she is immortal as in ageless, but she can be killed. So if that’s the case and this is a curse to her, just kill yourself. Or let someone else kill you. Whatever, the screenwriters wanted to change the story around and give a big F-you to the Gods and authority – too bad they didn’t think it through.

The good stuff is the creature designs. They are all great and I loved Medusa – so wicked. The Kraken was great too, only not in it enough, and adding the Djinn was kinda cool. I liked how Medusa only turns FLESH people to stone – explaining why the Djinn (made from tree bark) couldn’t be turned – hey, why not send all the Djinn to fight her – never mind, this is the good part of the review, don’t ruin it by discussing plot holes.

All in all, even with my nagging, this was a fun movie to watch, but don’t think about it too much – I know you aren’t supposed to, but this is a remake, I have to compare it to the original, my mind doesn’t turn on and off like that guy in Judge Dredd.

But if your mind can turn on and off, then turn it off and see two titans clash.


(really a 2.5 - but I love anything to do with greek mythology, even if it's not done so good)


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A gold metal for bronze.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.

Doc Savage is an old Pulp Magazine hero (like The Shadow) I had heard of him, but never read any of the pulps, or comics about him. I only knew that he had tanned skin and was an adventurer (like Allan Quatermain and Indiana Jones – who was based on these guys).

I only mention this because modern audiences don’t give a crap about old heroes who paved the way for these newer incarnations. Open up a Flash Gordon strip (which I have and can show you) and you will find EXACT replicas of Robin’s, Aquaman’s, Hawkman’s and Green Arrow’s costumes!!!

Anyway, Doc has 5 friends with various attributes (lawyer, chemist etc) and he is at peak human speed, strength and endurance, and is a genius inventor and adventurer. He has no powers though, so he’s closer to like a Batman (he knows all martial arts), but looks like an Indiana Jones type character.

This movie is the only film made on him (I think) and it’s very campy. How campy? Well when Doc sees a pretty girl he gets a gleam in his eye! He also makes a big speech on justice and gets applause from a fake audience. And you know what I didn’t even notice there was an applause because I was cheering at home myself!

This movie is so wicked, I cannot tell you. Think Flash Gordon but with even more cheese and a touch of Adam West Batman!

Fine ingredients for a classic movie! This is a must own for genre collectors and for anyone wanting to have a good time watching a cheeseball movie. I am getting really sick of these attitudes that these kinds of movies suck.

Everyone loves the Dark Knight – good for you. But that movie wouldn’t exist without the Adam West Batman. That series made Batman a household name, when at the time no one but little kids cared about Batman.

These kinds of movies are fun to watch and make me feel young again – a time of wonder and excitement – where anyone could be a hero – all you need was some guts and sense of fair play. Now a days, its all about how gritty you can get and how much money you can make on it. Go out and watch Flash Gordon, or Doc Savage and enjoy yourself a little. Forget about the crapiness of life and death and your job, it will take all your stress away. Isn’t that what superhero movies are all about?



Monday, April 5, 2010

6-6-6 the number of the flight!

Iron Maiden: Flight 666.

5 Continents, 23 Countries, 45 Days, 50,000 miles Iron Maiden performs the biggest rock tour ever conceived. To carry the over 12 tons of equipment, and the crew Ed Force One was created. A jumbo jet piloted by Bruce Dickinson (the lead singer).

I was lucky enough (so were the others who write for this blog) to attend the last concert of the tour in Toronto! That concert footage is on the DVD!!! No I couldn’t find us – darn it, but we were there for it!

All in all this is for Iron Maiden fans only, and there are a lot of them. And to make things even cooler, the guys behind this film are the guys that did A Headbangers Journey and Global Metal (I loved Headbangers Journey).

It’s no surprise I am giving this 5/5 but I love Iron Maiden and they are my favourite band of all time and I honestly believe that they are the best Heavy Metal Band Period.



King Tut is out.

Cleopatra Jones.

This is the real deal. Cleopatra Jones is a special agent who is up against drug lord Shelly Winters (that’s right). Winters plays her usual annoying villainess self – and she is annoying as all HELL in this movie and I couldn’t wait for Cleo to kick her ass – which she does.

Cleo comes complete with afro, stylish clothing, a corvette (sporting plenty of hidden guns) and a bad ass attitude that keeps her fighting for justice and looking good too!

Wow, what a great movie. As if Cleo wasn’t enough, we get Antonio Fargas (who played Huggy Bear in TVs Starsky and Hutch). He is a great actor and a super cool edition to this movie. He has some of the funniest drop dead of laughter lines I have ever heard! I cant get into them here because it would take too long to write out, but he is terrific.

The story is simple (as blaxploitation goes) but it’s mostly about helping kids kick their drug habits and keeping the man at bay. The pacing is good here and it’s a great edition to this genre.

I cannot wait for Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold!



Before the war.

Planet Hulk.

Hulk is transported to a warring alien planet and is forced to become a gladiator and eventually becomes the peoples saviour.

This cartoon is based on the series of the same name, which I own and I must recommend.

The Plot:

Hulk was supposed to be transported to peaceful uninhabited world by Reed Richards, Iron Man and Dr. Strange, but Hulk took a fit, after he learned of the other heroes betrayal, and broke the controls and landed on warring planet.

He gets captured and is forced to fight. Of course Hulk smashes everyone in his path and soon becomes a hero and saviour of the world.

The cartoon is the same story with a few differences. In the cartoon, we only see Iron man and Strange talking to Hulk – telling him he’s be exiled. Also in the cartoon Hulk ends up fighting Beta Ray Bill (Thor character – he’s wicked), but in the Comic it is Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic) who tells Hulk his fate, and Hulk ends up fighting Silver Surfer, not Beta Ray Bill.

I think fox (or whoever) owns the Fantastic Four guys so they couldn’t use Surfer or Reed. Dry.

This was a good cartoon and good summery of what happened in the comic, but A LOT was cut out. Like really A LOT – enough to say pick up the trade paper back of this and don’t rely on the movie for the story.

But as a cartoon movie, it was good!



Cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man.

You can cheat an audience by having WC Fields not appear enough. This was better than Chickadee, but only because WC was in it more. Yet again they have gold in him, but they dropped the ball on story.

When WC is not on screen, this movie is very slow moving it seems (its only about 85 mins). But when WC is on, he is so funny.

The ping-pong game is worthy of note, and it’s hilarious. But the best part is where WC counts out money (he owes 10 bucks) and he seems to count out more than 10 and gives it to the patrons. They run off thinking they just cheated WC – they laugh “why should we give back his money, he wouldn’t for us, plus it was his fault he counted it wrong.” But when they actually count it out, they were short some!

WC accomplished this by folding every second one dollar bill, making it appear to be more! BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!

Too bad there wasn’t more of that kind of stuff.



One potato too many.

Hot Potato.

Where do I begin? This should’ve been called “Hot Cheese”, or “Really Shitty Movie”. I mean this is the follow-up to Black Belt Jones???? Jim Kelly is cool but doesn’t have much to do in this film except look out of place amongst some of the worst scenes I have ever seen filmed.

My god, this was so bad, but I just had to keep watching to see how bad it could get – and it got WORSE!

Jim Kelly and 2 white guys (annoying as hell) must find the presidents daughter – why, I don’t know, it was explained but no one cares. Anywho, they have to make it back home, but stop off for lots of shenanigans and whimsical fight scenes with cartoonish sounds and bad choreography. This is a DISGRACE to Jim Kelly!!!!!!!

Now the movie is funny – because it’s so bad. I mean these villains wearing black nylons show up in black and white jester outfits.

Gawd it was cheesey. If you watch this movie – watch it with friends so you can laugh together. Otherwise you’ll cry.



Sunday, April 4, 2010

When Titans Clash

Well, everything else is being remade, so why not this? For those of you not in the know, this movie is a REMAKE of the last film Ray Harryhausen already made. Much has been made about Harryhausen and his career on this blog, so I won't go into the details again. Let's just say that yes, the effects are nice in this movie. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the action sequences.

So, this one is a little different from the original. Instead of being the Gods' puppets, we now have the humans versus the Gods. It seems that the Gods resent the fact the humans aren't praying to them anymore, and the humans don't like the fact they have to pray. Or whatever. Enter Hades, who proposes that the Gods punish the humans for their insubordination (he's basically taking over the Maggie Smith role from the old film), and threatens to unleash the Kraken on Argos, unless Andromeda (who is hardly in the film) is sacrificed. Our man Perseus, embarks on a journey to find a way to stop this from happening.

So less Andromeda, and now we have Io (who is the old Andromeda character and the Burgess Meredith character rolled into one), who serves as the pseudo-love interest. Calipos is no longer a creature, but the king who condemned Perseus to death in the first place, with half his face blown off by Zeus for doing so. We do have the Stygian witches, Charon, the Kraken, and my personal fave, Medusa (who is the best thing in this whole movie), and giant scorpions, as well as a Djinn, so don't worry creature fans, you haven't been neglected.

I really liked the designs on the creatures. The giant scorpions are...well...giant scorpions, the Kraken looks awesome, the witches are amazing, and Medusa is downright sick. I would have preferred Pegasus being white instead of chocolate brown, and I was not impressed that Calipos got the shaft, both storyline and design wise, but hey, we did get some pretty good stuff, there. The sets are amazing too, Zeus' throne room is really neat, and of course, the temples, desert and Medusa's lair all have the proper atmosphere.

What really let me down in this film is the action scenes, and that's really big for this type of movie. It's weird that they got most of the character designs spot-on, which you would think would be the hard part of the film, but the action scenes, which I consider easier, blew. Why? Guess. That's right. I had no friggin' idea what was going on in the scenes. Like, none. Which is pretty sad, when you consider it's a human versus a giant scorpion, how is it possible that I can't tell who hit what? It also doesn't help that all the humans look the same (okay, when I said character design, I meant the one cares what the humans look like, so long as they aren't wearing something stupid, like pink feathers), which was a definite mistake, visually. Since they went to pains to sort out the humans personality-wise (or about as much character destinction as you are to get in a film of this sort), why not give them little touches to separate them visually? Nope. Fast cuts, zoomed-in hits...I have no idea what's going on, half the time. The only part that didn't suck was the Medusa section...and that's only because it's mostly Medusa chasing people around, or sneaking up on people. Hard to screw that up.

So yeah, other than the action scenes, this film is really fun. You have cool-looking creatures, you have a quest, you have square-jawed good guys, a bad guy who travels around as smoke, and turns into flying creatures (!!!), and you have bits and pieces of mythology. All good. If the action scenes were proper, this would have been 4.5 to 5 stars, but alas, I can only give out 3.5 due to this.

Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I bid thee a fond clash

- Stephenstein

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The comic, not the movie..

Kick Ass.

I picked up the trade paperback yesterday and read it in one sitting. That is good news, but before I get into it, I have to tell you that the man behind this is Mark Millar. The guy who wrote Wanted – the worst comic I have ever read, but he also wrote Superman Red Son – which I loved.

Wanted ultimately failed because the main character started off really likable and became a piece of shit half way through. I understood the concept and thought it was interesting (a world where all super villains killed all super heroes, now the villains rule) but I don’t like reading about assholes who rape and murder with no consequences.

Red Son was good because it was again, an interesting concept (Superman lands in Russia and becomes a communist) but this time MM kept Superman true to himself. He was still trying to do good, just in a different setting.

Kick Ass is about a teenager who wants to be a superhero. There is no special origin here, and no powers. He just wants to. Which I actually really like. Now you have to keep in mind that this book is done in today’s world of teens. Who usually annoy the piss out of me, and the characters in this book are a reflection of that, they are pretty much worthless. But Kick Ass himself (yes that’s his superhero name – more on that later) is pretty likable and he remains that way throughout. Which means that at least you are following a guy that you like! So it’s already better than Wanted.

That being said the other characters aren’t that bad either. Big Daddy and Hit Girl are cool because they really fight extremely hard and KILL criminals in the most horrific ways! But they are still good guys – I guess. KA (Kick Ass) doesn’t like killing (silver age thinking they call it) so he doesn’t get along with them – but Hit Girl does save his life, so he owes them. Red Mist is a funny character that could get annoying very quickly – but he’s kept to a minimum in the book – movie, I don’t know, I may end up hating him…we shall see.

So all in all it was a good book and fun to read. I really got into it and I like KA as a character. I like the realism too – hold on, there’s not that much, it still has fake superhero stuff in it too.

A note on names and gore.

The name Kick Ass really annoys me LARGE! So do Big Daddy and Hit Girl – but you gotta get past that or don’t bother. I am used it now, so its not big deal anymore, but I can see it being a source of tension for others.

The gore here is EXTREME. This is the goriest comic I have EVER read! And Hit Girl is ten years old and she at one point kills like 10 guys at once with super violence and blood flying everywhere. I don’t know how this movie is gonna show all that, it would have to be X rated!

Plus there is drug use too and the training of Hit Girl (10 yrs old remember) is very violent – think of the Judd Nelson movie Relentless (if you saw it).

Anyway, I still really liked this book and I want to read book 2.



His hair is now a Fro!!!!!!!

Black Samson.

This film is about a black guy named Samson. Whew, that was a difficult to explain. He owns a bar – which features topless dancers – but he doesn’t pimp them out. He’s a nice guy who has a pet lion and carries around a staff that he will beat you with if you piss him off. Well there’s a bunch of Italian mobsters hanging around who want his territory for their own.

Samson isn’t a gang leader, he actually is a nice guy who runs the neighbourhood and keeps things clean (if you saw District B13 – he’s like Leito). The area around him is controlled by the mob and he wont let them in.

The mob boss runs things the modern way, no violence, but lawyers. He’s more of a shady business man, rather than a killer. His nephew on the other hand (Mr. Nappa he prefers to be called) is the old fashioned gangster type – rule by force.

Nappa tries to take out Samson, but Sam kicks ass every time. The kidnap his girl and he still kicks their ass.

Basically this movie is about Samson going around being cool and TCBing at all times. What makes it work is that Samson is very likeable. He also wears these wicked African tribal style shirts that are just so colourful. He really stands out as a character of the Blaxploitation films.

This one is definitely worth a watch.