Monday, June 28, 2010
Ric Flair: The Ultimate Collection.
Never has a DVD title been this deserving of it’s name. This collection showcases the career of the best wrestler in the business ever. My opinion. He is great as a face, or a heal, and he is great in the squared circle and on the mic. His interviews are energetic and he is the ultimate entertainer.
The wheelin, dealin, jet flyin, limousine ridin, profiling, kiss stealin, son of gun, Nature Boy Ric Flair, or Slick Ric. How do you like that for a name!
To tell you what is so great about this collection I have to tell you how it differs from others. The Hulk Hogan set, and Roddy Piper set are formatted like this. Disc 1 is a 2 hour documentary on the wrestler ,spanning his career, family, and professional and personal life. The other 2 discs are the great matches that the wrestler has had, and a few interviews and promos.
This set is different in the sense that I contains the entire feud. Like when Flair fought Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, and Harley Race. For example the Dusty Rhodes segment gives you Ric Flairs take on it (current take) and then you get the match AND all the promos and interviews leading up to the match and some of the stuff that takes place after. So you get the entire (or majority) of the feud leading up to the match. Most sets just give you the match itself and maybe an interview. But this one you even get Dusty Rhodes interviews too! You feel as though you are watching it live when it aired!
What a great collection and must have for all fans of wrestling and Ric Flair (and they should be one and the same). There is another collection – The Definitive one, that is similar to the Roddy Piper set. Its worth getting to for the documentary but you will have about 5 repeat matches on it, but its still worth it for that one too.
5/5 (for both collections)
The Great Debaters.
Denzel Washington directed this movie about the Wiley College Debate Team. They were a black school that got to debate Harvard. Really great performances – by all, especially Washington (great in front and behind the camera) and Forest Whitaker – who can just read the phonebook and make it good!
The movie actually has some great debates in it – I actually wanted more! But the final debate and how it’s won was great. You have to think the writers of the film have to come up with both sides of the debate and have a winner – but it cant be easy, so that means that they really had to think about the topic to make is believable for the viewer. And there wasn’t anything too fake either (it’s based on a true story) – like Denzel doesn’t come in for the win in the end or something stupid like that.
The debaters are actually people in the movie, with characters too! Its not just Washington running the show!
Good movie – wanna debate me?
Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn are a married couple who end up on opposite sides of a trial. Spence is prosecuting a woman who attempted to murder her husband when she found him cheating. Hepburn is her defence lawyer. So its man vs woman, AND husband vs wife in this one.
Hepburn believes women don’t get their fair share – equality (this is black and white btw, but some of it holds true today even!) and Tracy is saying that no one has the right to try to kill another.
I wont tell you who wins, but the fight is pretty good. They both use different techniques in the courtroom, which is cool, but I would’ve liked to hear more on the actual topic of men vs women. But, all in all it was a fun movie!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Ok, before I start this I would like to point out that ever since my buddy Rene got me into Hex, back in the early/mid 90’s I have never stopped collecting him.
So yes, I love Jonah Hex. And for the most part we got Jonah Hex in the movie. His attitude is perfect, Josh Brolin is the real Hex. They gave him the power to talk to dead people – which I don’t think he had (or I have never seen in over 50 issues), but he did encounter a lot of supernatural stuff in the series, so I guess it’s not far fetched to give him powers, but kinda pointless since I like that he’s just a bad ass. Whatever.
This movie was 80 mins of pure fun and action. Fast paced and I really liked Brolin. Megan Fox was in this looking better than in TF2 – the less makeup is much better for her, although she is too tanned for the old west! Whatever, her character was fine and Jonah didn’t go with her in the end, which is good cause he should always be alone.
One of the problems was that they showed how he got the scar on his face. Not a fan of that. In fact, I am dropping a star on that one. His mystique is part of what made him great, no one ever knew his origin, only that he fought for the south, and that’s about it. He never has friends, or if he does, they don’t last long etc. He never really has a love interest, or if so, she doesn’t last long either. So giving him this vengeance tale is just hollywood’s form of cookie-cutter story.
But if you don’t read Jonah Hex, you probably wont care about that stuff – in any case, it was fun, and ill be buying it.
Friday, June 18, 2010
My wife and I just finished watching the complete Robin Hood BBC series. The legend of Robin Hood has been around for a long long long time. There have been MANY adaptations, Errol Flynn’s Adventures of Robin Hood, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Disney’s Animated Robin Hood (Robin is a fox in that one) and the recent Russell Crowe movie, to name a few. But in 2006 we got what I consider to be the best Robin Hood adaptation of all time.
Starring Jonas Armstrong as Robin, he and his men, Much, Little Jon, Will Scarlett, Djaq, Allan A Dale, and Lady Marian fought against Sheriff of Nottingham and his right hand man, Guy of Gisborne in season 1. Season 2 continued with the same cast but had Allan (my personal fave character) turn heal, only to turn good again in the end to save his friends. Season 2 ended in tragedy with Marian, Djaq, and Will leaving the show, but we got Allan back and Brother Tuck joined the cast. Kate, and Isabella also joined here, and we got to see Prince John (who was a riot!). Towards the end Jonas Armstrong declared he would not return for a 4th season, so we were introduced to Archer, in the event the show continued, we had Archer to rely on in place of Robin, but I don’t think the show will be coming back.
With all these cast members leaving you’d think the show would suffer, but this compact 3 season series is more like a long Robin Hood movie. Characters die off as the series goes on, but we get a lot of dramatic punch from that!
The show balanced the serious aspects of Robin Hood, like no tights, and people actually dying, but kept the fun stuff too. Robin is charismatic and funny, Much is always nervous and bit clumsy, Allan is always looking for a scam, and Little John just wants to fight.
The characters for me were spot on to what I love about Robin Hood and I really loved this series. One character I must mention is Guy of Gisborne, never have a I seen a character whom I loved and hated at the same time. He is not a scoundrel, but he’s definitely not nice. But I felt every emotion of his and really felt bad for him. He truly loves Marian, but will never get her.
In the end he has the best and most developed character of the series. And his outcome is tragic and I truly felt sorrow for the man. This brings me to another point about the show. The characters and emotions.
Each character – good or bad, is given a reason and back story for why they are the way they are. Gisborne isn’t bad just cause the story needs him to be bad. He is a complex character and so are all the other characters, Robin, Marian and Allan all come to mind. When these characters make life changing decisions, it’s amazing. When Allan turned bad, it was totally justified and explained. And he never really turned bad, so we knew he would come back and when he did it was the most amazing part of the series for me! I have never been so pumped for a character to turn good. That feeling came again in season 3 when Gisborne finally took a stand against the Sheriff, who treated him like crap for 2 and half seasons!
Ever character has a moment like that in the series. With Tuck being a late edition you’d figure he wouldn’t have much to do, but right from his first appearance he is wicked! What a great cast for this amazing show. I will never look upon another Robin Hood in the same way again. These actors are the true representations of their characters, there will never be a better Robin Hood!
This series is one of the best TV shows I have ever seen in my life and I will cherish it always. Check it out.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Well another tv show turned into a movie. This one, for the most part, was done pretty good.
The A-Team show was great fun, both now and when I was a kid. You may remember last year I did a post about Howlin’Mad Murdock – played by Dwight Schultz, who was my favourite character of the show and in the top 10 fave character of all time (tv shows that is) and here he is played by the guy from District 9 (Sharlto Copley). Again for me, he is the best character. He was spot on for me, and actually they all were! Liam, Bradley and Rampage were all great and I loved their characters here.
The story was good to. It showed the origin of the team, which I REALLY LIKED! How BA met Hannibal was really awesome for me. After that they do some missions and we get the team we know. They get screwed – no shock, it’s what happened in the show, and they escape and have to prove themselves innocent.
The show had violence and shooting, but no one died, well hardly anyone died. Here of course it’s different. People die, but only the bad guys and only if they have to. It’s not Punisher or anything. Which brings me to the action. Yes, its fast cut again. Damn it. Why do they do this??? I will say the final action sequence looks pretty darn cool – I wont give it away!
My only other problem – which is not so minor – is that the A-team van is destroyed in about 10-15 mins and never returns! I think they were planning on bringing it back for part 2 – the ending of the movie is the opening credits of the show. But destroying the van is pointless. The scene was funny though, but I thought they would bring it back, but no. That could be a deal breaker for some! But the characters were great and I really enjoyed the movie!
Oh and wait till the end credits for some cameos from original A-Team members!
Really great fun – and I hope part 2 comes about – even though it probably wont, since this isn’t doing as well.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Take good actors, splice them with good story and excellent directing and you get Splice.
Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody star as Elsa and Clive (check Bride of Frankenstein on IMDB) two scientists screwing with nature. Damn you! Well they screw with it and create Dren – a realistic and disturbingly semi-attractive half breed girl. She has a tail complete with stinger, and kangaroo type legs and later grows wings!
Polley and Brody don’t have kids, but Brody wants to, and Polley doesn’t. But then they have Dren, who is kind of their kid and we get the big parenting drama. This movie is a scifi all the way. Not horror, as advertised. Its about creation, parenting, survival, nature, they even fit in some corporation bashing – which I believe happens. Anyway this is a great film and I highly recommend seeing it and buying it. Other than that I pretty much agree with all that my fellow blogger wrote.
I like Sarah Polley and didn’t know her big views on politics. In any case, her views are not on screen here, her acting is, and its good! Brody is really great too, and he is underrated for sure. Cant wait to get this one on dvd!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Okay, I resisted going to see this movie, but the other two bloggers on this site wanted to see it, so majority rules. Why did I not want to see it? I'm not a big fan of Sarah Polley. Or, more to the point, I'm not a big fan of Sarah Polley shoving her personal politics into movies. Look, politics suck, I think we can all agree that politicians are correct jackasses who are only interested in lining their pockets. Agreed. The problem is, I know this. It's like this big revelation: politicians are bad! Non-feminists are bad! Other people good! Okay. Do I really need to sit through a movie 2 hours to know this? Okay, I get it. Seeing as how Sarah was starring in this movie, and she's all into politics and feminism and stuff, I was cringing.
Luckily though, we had a good director at the helm. His name is Vincenzo Natali, and this man is gold, at least through the two films I've seen of his. I haven't seen Cypher or Nothing, but based on these two movies, I want to, now. His movies are really engrossing, and really deep. Like the amount of themes in this film is crazy. There's the standard Frankenstein "don't mess with nature" theme. There's parenting, there's Freud Oedipus theories, there's feminism (what, you didn't think Sarah would sneak that in?), there's all sorts of things.
That being said, the trailers and TV spots really want you to think this is a horror movie. It's not. It's sci-fi. It's about the limits to what we know, versus what we are capable of, but the problem is, is that we're human, we're flawed, and in the end, should it be us to be the one's to have these breakthroughs? I mean, the movie suggests that the only reason we aren't further advanced, is because of our own imperfections, our emotions, our jealousy, our greed. It's a really good sci-fi flick, and should be seen by a wider audience.
But back to Sarah, did I like her? Yes, and no. She seemed to be really good at being cruel to Dren at times, almost a little too good. She was good though; I never thought she was a bad actress, I just don't like having poltiical agendas shoved down my throat. I liked Adrien Brody. I know some people think he's ugly or whatever, but you know what, the dude can act. Not everyone is going to look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, so I think we're all good there. I think the important thing is, can you act, and Brody can act. It's a shame he doesn't get more big-profile leading man assignments, but I'm sure the shallow, vapid powerbrokers in Hollywood would sputter all over their cocaine at the thought of that.
Anyhow, that's about all of Splice I'm going to reveal. You should watch the movie, though. Seriously.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
I bid thee a fond political agenda.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
With the recent Captain American and Thor pictures appearing online and in the post Iron Man 2 hype, I thought I’d share some thoughts with you all concerning Superheroes.
You know growing up I loved comics and cartoons. I was a geek, complete with glasses, and I loved He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, Gi Joe, and any and all superhero or superhero related stuff. Comics, games etc. I bought the Marvel Role Playing game and made my own stories. As I grew up I came to realize that I would always love these things. I never “grew out of it”, as so many people wished I did. It has formed the man I am today. I feel that I am a good person with a loving family and I treat people with respect. That being said, superheroes and comics were a big part of that, and I am PROUD OF IT.
I am not ashamed of my opinion and of what I like. I don’t hide that I love comics and that I am a Trekkie, or geek. I don’t find shame in people thinking that I never grew up, I don’t care if they look down on me. I honestly want everyone to either accept who I am for me, or just leave me alone.
I always knew people thought comics were for kids and they really were. Now a days, they are more mature etc. But I love reading the colourful characters that fight crime.
Comics were about mythology, fantasy, becoming a hero and doing good! You had Sub Mariner for guys who like water, you have Thor for mythology lovers and you had Captain America for those who loved soldiers and the military. Fantastic Four were scientists, and Iron Man was an engineer. All good professions! But now blind lawyers must be turned into burgundy avengers and American super soldier icons are turned into bland, dulled down, darkened up men who are being treated with realism. Captain America is supposed to wear the FLAG, but I guess the flag was brown with straps, and dark blue. Realism eh?
I like realism, but not in comics or superheroes. I know everyone here loves Chris Nolan and his vision of Batman. But it’s just not fun. You can tell a good story, with tension and suspense and still make it fun. Look at Superman. Christopher Reeve was just amazing. Good story, it was serious with great actors (Hackman and Brando) and it was fun and left you with a sense of awe! But there was still tension. Luthor sends two missiles to destroy California and New Jersey! Can Superman stop them both? Zod takes over EARTH! I mean they can certainly do something wicked if they wanted to.
It takes a creativity to bring life to these characters, it doesn’t take creativity to drain them of fantasy.
Let’s make Captain America a real soldier. Why would he wear that bright red and blue suit? Because he is a symbol of America. The American flag is what he treasures (remember in Earth X he actually wore the flag and nothing else – toga style). This whole realistic stuff is really bugging me. I am basically done with it.
But I do care, I don’t want my heroes ruined by these fools who cant direct traffic, let alone a film.
Or people with limited imaginations who cant “visualize” a live action Thor, because it’s doest make sense to them. Lets do a film about Greek Mythology where Zeus has a lightening generator and Atlas has a strength enhancer formula or arm guards that help him lift stuff. Maybe Hades can just be a dark priest, who has access to modern medicine, he has no actual magic.
Lets talk about how Iron Man’s suit really works! What is the power source? Who cares! I have never questioned it before. He builds a suit. DONE. Now write a story that is interesting. Developing the armour is NOT a story. It’s an explanation. Movies are stories aren’t they? We didn’t see how Jor-el built the spaceship that carried Superman did we? NO. They are ADVANCED so they can build small ships that fly through galaxies. DONE. Superman lands and lifts a car, and the story gets going. Its not 10 BLOODY SEASONS OF GETTING POWERS!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, but would he have them all right away? Maybe he gains powers later? More explanation, less story. Dialogue is easier to write when you explain stuff. Show, don’t tell. Instead of wasting half the movie on Batman getting his gadgets, why not develop Scarecrow into more of a villain, or show more of Batman later? No no, J-man, we need realism here. That’s what we want in our SUPERHERO MOVIES. Yes Realism is the key to fantasy!
This is a trend that must stop, even Robin Hood and King Arthur aren’t immune to realism. You want realism, go out and get a job and pay some bills. You’ll soon find yourself going back to fantasy.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Buster Keaton is a genius. He invented the split screen shot and judging by this film, he invented a whole lot more. This film is 45 mins long and uses EVERY SINGLE FILM TECHNIQUE I can think of (and some I cant) that was available at the time.
Buster Keaton, acts, writes, performs the stunts, invents the film techniques and is really funny too! This man is not possible! I was screaming like Luke Skywalker did when he found out his dad was Darth Vader (that better not be considered a “spoiler”) “IT’S NOT POSSIBLE!!!!!
I cannot convince you enough that this man is a film genius and there is literally NO ONE that can even touch him – maybe Chaplin, but that’s about it! Film had only been around for 10 years or so when this movie was made, and my god, to think this man invented all this while film was still young. It would be like seeing Avatar cgi in Casablanca for example. I mean he was so far ahead it’s not unreal!
You have to see this film. I will bring it over to your house and we can watch it. I dare you to figure out how some of the shots were done! Even by today’s standards of film making I had trouble deciphering how he did it!
Plus, the movie is actually good too! This isn’t a “effects” picture. It’s really enjoyable. Think District B13 – no effects, just smart talented film makers making a great movie.
Hail to Buster Keaton. The one true genius of film!
Matt Damon and Edward Norton team up as poker hustlers. This was a good movie. Norton is solid as usual, and I liked the tension set up by the poker matches!
I would have preferred a bit more with Norton and the end (at least some closure with his character) and maybe a bit more of an exciting poker showdown, but it was still a good movie and fun to watch.