Monday, August 31, 2009


An interesting paradox came up during 500 Days Of Summer, one involving one of the previews I was forced to sit through. It was for a romantic comedy called Love Happens featuring Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. I didn't think much of the preview until about mid-way through 500 Days Of Summer when I realized that Love Happens and movies of that ilk are dinosaurs slowly being weeded out.

The idea of the incredibly attractive couple who are both lonely (which we don't believe) and have to get over some kind of hurdle, usually fairly easy, and then end up together is passe now. Not just because they're sappy but because who the hell can relate to these people?

500 Days Of Summer feels like a return to 70s golden age Woody Allen back when he was still making important films. Think Annie Hall, think Manhattan or Here's Looking At You Kid. 500 Days Of Summer uses the same sharp script, interpersonal relationships, visual tricks and great acting to tell the story. You're completely engrossed in the story but the filmmakers never let you forget you're watching a movie. It's an odd nod to the old school that also announces a new era in romantic comedies (hopefully).

The story here is basic: boy (Tom Hansen played by Joseph-Gordon Levitt) gets girl (Summer Finn played by Zooey Deschanel), boy loses girl, boy tries to get girl back. The story itself isn't a linear narrative instead told through excerpts from the 500 days. For instance the opening scene is day 290, then it skips to day 1, then day 402 and so on. This isn't just their relationship, it's everything from the first day Tom and Summer see each other on. It sounds like it might get annoying but trust me it works perfectly.

The filmmakers behind 500 Days Of Summer understand completely that this generation is very visually based. Iphones, home computers, blu-ray, high definition, we are nothing if not greedy for visual stimulation. What director Marc Webb does is seamlessly combine the visuals with an intelligent script to give us an example of the Romantic Comedy through the eyes of a group sickened by vapid "teen flicks" and bored by "contemporary adult" romantic comedies.

Even with the visuals and snappy dialog 500 Days Of Summer is a very realistic portrayal of love and relationships. Neither Tom or Summer are sculpted movie gods. Don't get me wrong, they're both attractive people but not in a way we can't identify with. We all know somebody who kind of looks like either of our hero couple and that gets rid of the "nobody looks like that" bullshit factor rather quickly. Both Tom and Summer have good jobs but not perfect jobs, have nice apartments but not perfect apartments. These are young professionals trying to figure it all out with NYC as their backdrop. Having been one of those people I can tell you the script is spot on.

The evolution of both characters and their relationship is filled with twists and turns you don't see coming but at the same time you've seen before in your own life. Summer & Tom are the couple you root for but when they're not around tell your friends you don't see how it's going to work. Some of the scenes hit so close to home I found myself squirming in my seat. The chemistry between Tom & Summer is the glue holding 500 Days together. Whether intimate, awkward, angry or sad, the interplay between the two never seems forced or fake.

I was also impressed that the filmmakers made Summer somebody you spend a great deal of the film going back and forth about. You don't like her right away and at some points of the movie her narcissism and self-involvement make you hate her. As the story unfolds she starts making sense and you like her but then she does something that makes you doubt again.

It's a real risk to run that gamut with a main character because he/she can go so far to one side they can't return. Once a character goes too far either way they become one dimensional which starts sowing the seeds of boredom. Thankfully that doesn't happen here. In fact the peripheral characters have more depth than most main characters in movies today.

500 Days Of Summer also boasts and very insightful soundtrack. Most of these kinds of films slap together pop hits from current hit makers and it's almost always after the fact. Rarely in Romantic Comedies does the music actually push the film along. With 500 Days the music is intrinsic to the characters lives. Tom & Summer's first meeting comes because she overhears him listening to The Smiths and connects with it. During a karaoke scene Tom is singing The Pixies, he's always wearing band shirts, etc.

The music isn't here to set up the boom shot of Summer and Tom looking lovingly at each other it is almost another character in the film. The characters talk about music, refer situations to music, music is as much a part of who they are as their jobs, homes and friends. Not to mention who ever chose the music for 500 Days has taste that rivals the perfection of my own.

If there are any problems with 500 Days it's mainly length. About halfway way through the final third the movie hits a wall and sputters a bit. It felt as if the filmmakers had to try and work out the whole "500 Days" aspect and started running out of ideas. As the film winds down the things happening to Tom get repetitive and you start to fear if the filmmakers don't get on with it they'll destroy a near-perfect movie with a bad final 20 minutes. The end, which isn't exactly happy but is still uplifting, saves the movie from this misstep but you'll definitely know when it comes.

I don't know if 500 Days Of Summer will cause the revolution in romantic comedies I hope it will but if it does the entire idea of a "chick flick" could change drastically. This film doesn't pander to the audience nor does it feed off of some boring fairy tale love story like most of them do.

This is a straight tale about two people and how these 500 days change who they are and how the relate to life and love. Wrapped within this realism is a visual playground that never usurps the movie but rather adorns it. 500 Days Of Summer is a film that reminds us not just why we fall in love but also why we go to the movies.


Julie & Julia would be an interesting movie even if it wasn't good, which it is. This is a movie that has a heroine (Julie Powell) that is completely unlikeable and yet never tells us if that's the way the movie set her up or if it's just a failure of director Nora Ephron. This isn't me giving the movie the benefit of the doubt because I enjoyed it so much, there really is no tell that allows the audience to see what Ephron was trying to do. If she did that on purpose then bully for her because it continues to take you out of the movie.

Julie & Julia plays out as two films, one about Julie a failed writer stuck in a dead end job while facing the dark cloud of turning thirty. The second is how chef and legend Julia Childs started cooking and rose to become one of the most important figures in pop culture. Both movies are charming and well acted but the story of Julia Childs is really where the movie comes alive. I think Nora Ephron took a calculated risk by making the Julia story so warm and inviting while keeping the Julie side very urban and almost cold. If the Julie side could hold a candle to the Julia side the experiment would've have created a nice juxtaposition.

What makes the experiment fall flat is again the idea that Julie is completely unlikeable which hurts Ephron's attempt to draw parallels between Julia and Julie about how cooking saved them both and changed their lives. Julia does it because she loves food, loves Paris and is filled with a life she wants to share through her cooking. Julie starts cooking in order to write a blog and get recognized like her friends who are of the same age but incredibly more successful. What starts as parallels quickly dissolve into differences that seem reverent to Childs while turning Julie into a spoiled brat.

Actress Amy Grant who plays Julie tries to make her a gawky girl who lacks self confidence because of her failures in life who gains that confidence back through her blog about trying to cook all 500 recipes in Juliya Childs famous The Art Of French Cooking. Instead Julie comes off as whiny, bitchy and when she does gain some success extremely smug and self congratulatory.

Even her motivations seem weird because the girls who are her "friends" suck while the people she really shares her life with are wonderful and supportive. Why not focus on them and shove a middle finger at the others? Ephron tries to throw some scenes in pre-blog where Julie talks about her love of cooking but they feel really forced. As if they realized their dilemma in the editing room and tried to fix it with re-shoots.

There is also no real chemistry between Julie and her husband so when things start going wrong there it lacks the emotional punch it's supposed to have. By the end of the movie I wanted to say that Ehpron was trying to show us how different Julie & Juliya were but since Julie never really grows as a person and just gets everything she wants you're not sure if that idea was even in there. I suppose you could chock it up to being based on real events but that feels like a cop out.

On the flipside the Julia Childs part is electric every time it's on the screen. Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Childs transcends acting to achieve that rare occurrence when the actor disappears completely within the person they are portraying. Streep is never ever on screen, it is always Julia. The same can be said for Stanley Tucci who plays Childs' husband Paul Childs. Tucci gives a command performance that never tries to compete or take the spotlight from Streep but still stands strong. These are two consummate actors who love their parts and give it everything they have. There is not one second you don't believe them as not just husband and wife but also soul mates, deeply in love and deeply connected to each other.

It's a testimony to the power of Streep and Tucci that their performances are so wonderful it makes the entire movie worth seeing. It's also a nod to Ehpron because she wrote and directed these scenes and really brought them to life. I wanted her to draw that magic out of the Julie parts but it never comes. It could've been that the real Julie was not a very likable person so Ephron was stuck. It could have also been an experiment that didn't go well, which is what I think happened. The Julie parts aren't all bad but I would be lying if I said you didn't wait through them to see Julia Childs again.

When push comes to shove Julie & Julia is a great movie and one I'd recommend seeing. It has its problems but none of them are so bad they ruin the film. Regardless of any misgivings about the Julie stuff just coming to see the Julia parts will send you home happy. I look at it like the Julia Childs section is worth the price of admission and the rest of it is free anyway. I was also fascinated with an unexpected result from seeing Julie & Julia, now I want to learn how to cook!! With so few grown up movies during a summer of bang, boom, slash Julie & Julia is definitely a gem, even if it is a tarnished one.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Few good things came out of my fake friendships with the LA Contingent. One of them was being shown this video at a party. I kind of wish this guy toured.

Friday, August 28, 2009


World's Greatest Dad, the new black comedy from writer/director Bobcat Goldwaith asks us the age old question that has plagued man since the dawn of time:

What if you're life was better after you're kid killed himself?

I know, I know, I can hear the markers squeaking against cardboard as thousands of fat Walmart parents begin making picket signs but deep down, in their blackest hearts, they know they've asked this question before. To try and find the answers Goldwaith recruited Robin Williams in one of the only performances of his I could stand in recent memory. Williams has an incredible knack for dark comedy and spiteful defeated sarcasm that's been largely wasted on his recent string of vomitous feel good movies.

In the film Williams is failed writer-cum-teacher Lance Clayton who longs not only for fame and attention but some kind of validation as a human being. Instead he has a crappy job, an awful girlfriend and what's worse his son Kyle is a total and complete douchebag. That's where the real power of the movie comes from, the fact that Goldwaith makes Kyle a completely reprehensible character. You don't dislike him you loathe him (even though he's funny as hell) so when he dies you're actually cheering for Williams, which makes you uncomfortable with that honesty. A core point to the entire movie.

From there World's Greatest Dad becomes a cold comedy of errors as Williams' little white lie to save face his son snowballs into Kyle becoming a national hero and his fathera celebrity. Throughout the journey you're actually happy for Williams because his character needs a string of good luck, then you realize where the luck stems from and suddenly you need a hot shower. Goldwaith never lets you off the hook with those feelings and that allows the film to transcend from one-joke-wonder to a poignant and savagely funny look at who we are as a people.

Goldwaith's script is a real triumph because he's able to make you understand the motivations of Williams character without giving him any moral loopholes or making him too sinister, that would be too easy. There are no easy right or wrong answers through out the film and that tension gives World's Greatest Dad all of its emotional impact. One of my favorite scenes is Kyle's death scene because there is real pain there, as much of a cunt as the kid is Williams is devastated and the way Goldwaith shoots it is absolutely perfect. All of Williams actions come from a place of desperation, a place we've all been before.

The other goldmine in this film is actor Daryl Sabara who portrays Kyle. Sabara never relents, he never lets humanity or vulnerability enter into his performance at all. He commits to making his character a horrid, vile, stupid, pervert and then manages to go over the top without taking his acting over the top. Kyle seems like a normal asshole kid, not a demon or a monster, just a kid who sucks. Sabara also manages to make him pants shittingly hysterical which ain't easy while also making him so awful.

All of the casting here is spot on which was pivotal for the subtext of the movie. Beneath the main plot there is this underlying idea that Williams isn't the worst person herel. The kids who hate Kyle until he dies then pretend they were always friends, the awful slutty girlfriend who attaches herself to whatever man can make her look better, the sensitive-yet-scummy teacher that hates Williams sudden stroke of luck, everybody in this movie is awful but in such a human way it never feels forced or mean spirited for mean spirited sake. These are human beings with huge flaws that make bad choices and that is always funnier and more personal than just people behaving badly.

Some of the people I watched this with didn't like how abrupt the end was but for me it worked for the film. Goldwaith went to great lengths to make this movie feel real and genuine even with the hyper-realistic circumstances. The ending may seem anticlimactic but usually that's how it is in life. Things happen, they suck for the moment and life goes on. World's Greatest Dad is a comedy for the modern age, one that holds a mirror up to us and forces us to laugh, cringe and understand ourselves even if it makes us uncomfortable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Usually I have some kind of snarky thing to say about video like this but I just can't, it's too scary. These are the American children that the American way of life have raised. Be afraid America be very afraid.

Oh yeah, I hate everything

Monday, August 17, 2009


Something is going on, something is coming, I don't know what it is but I can feel it. I won't say the end of the world because who knows what that means? Hollywood says it means destruction and the end of this false world we've spent so long building. Is that the end of the world though? I don't know, I can't even get online to change my goddamn mailing address on my credit cards so who am I to even guess. Still, something is out there, just beyond where we can see it or it's being clouded by vermin bottom feeders who think if there's enough profit in the world we can stave it off.

Still it remains out there and those of us who can feel it fucking hate the beast, not because it's there but because we don't know what it is. When it comes the judgment will be final and swift. Who lives and who dies and what course it'll set for humanity if any at all remains to be seen but we'll all know when it comes. You can tell it's out there because humanity has gotten weird, not good weird, just weird.

We're like a pack of dogs moving at a faster and faster pace because we're nervous. We'll do anything to deny it because facing a faceless enemy is scary shit. It won't respond to some phony hand holding movement like the hippies, it fell for that once before. It knows at our core we're deceitful, hateful people that have a huge capacity for good and right that we choose to ignore.

I watch the circle of the simple in Washington and it scares me, really scares me. When the world economy collapsed and all the dirty laundry of corporate whoring got spewed onto the front lawn of the American household I thought it might do something. I envisioned it as a collective stranding on an island. We may hate each other but we had to work together to get off this Island before we die.

We voted in a new president, a guy that seemed like he might have a light on inside his head. We'd spent eight years with the darkness so a little light went a long way. It was time to roll up the sleeves and work it all out. That didn't happen though, the next day it was fucking politics as usual.

The Republicans took the ball first, faking right so they could shoot left. Saying they would work with the new President only to become vicious rabid attack dogs nipping at him as he tried to outrun them. Republicans are cut into two sections, the evil and the ignorant. The evil run the whole show, they're the pit bosses in the Casino stalking each corner looking to rip people off. The new Kings and Queens who care only to be in power all else be damned. The ignorant are those who simply follow what the evil say because they've said it. They don't hear what's being said they just know that joe-bob-gosh-oh-gee who likes BBQ, Jesus and Guns loves it so they love it to. The combination of evil and ignorant is horrifying to watch.

You see it daily in their response to everything said by anyone who is not them. It feels like the Republicans have entrenched themselves into a muck of noncooperation in hopes they can make it 2005 again. If they just scream and holler enough at any sound made by an outside voice they might get their power back. Each day it's proven that they won't, that the Republicans are seen more and more as a punchline but they will not deviate from course. The rocks are ahead, the crew is screaming but the Captain forges on sure that it will all work out.

See what I mean, that's weird.

The Democrats haven't really changed their game either, they just pussy out of everything. Obama has a really great way with speeches but I'm no closer to knowing what he's doing than anybody else. Mostly because the Democrats talk in circles same with the Republicans, none of them have a straight answer. That's all I need Doc, give it to me straight. Is the cancer benign or malignant? Is this a cold or AIDS? Do I need glasses or a walking stick? I need to know Doc so fucking tell me.

Instead we get this weird tell you but don't tell you. The Republicans say that Obama spends too much money and that won't help ignite the economy and energize the small business. So then somebody says well what would you do? You get something like this:

REPUBLICAN: "I would take steps to make sure the economy was invigorated and that the small business man could take steps to become involved in the new economy without costing the tax payers this incredible amount of money."

PEOPLE: "What would you do exactly, as in with examples?"

R: "Energize the economy by taking steps to provide resources to keep the economy energize"

P: "What steps?"

R: "Steps to energize the economy by creating an energizing ideal"

P: "Why is Obama dangerous?"

R: "He's a socialist. He spends too much money"

P: "How is he a socialist?"

R: "He just is. He wants Government involved and that doesn't work."

P: "Are you saying your way worked? Did you forget about that?"

R: "That's not the topic here."

P "OK Republican, What would you do?"

R: "I would energize the economy by using...."

You get the idea.

Democrats don't say anything, they tend to just talk about how this is a new day and toss out clutch words like "Hope". By the time they both finish what they're doing my head hurts and nothing has been solved, at the very least I still don't have a goddamn straight answer.

Like I said, weird.

It's not just politics, the weird vibe is everywhere. Music has all but shutdown as more and more clones come out spewing the same rhetoric. Everybody has a costume, everybody has a way of walking and talking, a disaffected stare that's supposed to show me they're above it all. Bursts of anger in no direction, railing about how bad it sucks but not what can be done about it. It's a cesspool, a greedy hell pit where the vapid mall culture does their best to co-opt the counter culture into the hoola hoop. The need to be shot, two in the head until somebody stops it.

Film, books, TV, it's all swirling in this constant motion as if it has no reason to try and improve. We're in a holding pattern waiting to see what shitstorm we have to weather next and I don't think we have a clue. We've let is get so bad here that maybe we've all just given up. Sure we pay it all lip service and pretend we want to make a change but we don't.

It's about bling, instant fame and something for nothing. It's about semi-attractive women getting movie deals for blogs about the trials and tribulations of sucking cock in a bathroom stall during the Prada show between Appltinis. It's about uncovering something and exploiting it, using it to make you money or fame. Rich white American celebrities adopting kids from all around the world except here in America where plenty of children starve every day. That doesn't get a news blip, that doesn't allow Brad Pitt to grow sensitive goatee and walk around Africa pointing like some kind of trained animal.

It all seems pointless, we horde things we think we need into houses we can't afford. Men act as if we should hand them a shiny trophy for taking care of their families and not running out on them. Serial killers are the new heroes, compassion is a character flaw, and we can do anything we want be it unfair or unjust and call it The Game, that makes it ok.

I'm not angry anymore just sad because I look at Sara and see genuine good. I see a person who beams light and unabashed care and compassion and I'm sad for the world she's in. She deserves to live to be 100, to run around and experience wonderful things in a world that deserves her. I hate that everyday a little more of her good dies out at the hands of cocksucking hate mongers with cellphones and no idea how to look where they're going. That humanity has become so focused on themselves that they can't even pretend to care about other people anymore.

Look at how we drive, how people walk down the street or talk loudly in a public place. Christ we had to have instant flushing installed because we can't bother to flush the toilet so the next guy doesn't have to smell our foul urine. This wasn't what I signed on for, this wasn't the circus I wanted to join.

It's weird out here now but not the good weird, not the weird that makes it better. A darkness is falling and we can't see it. Some of us don't know it, some of us embrace it but I'm waiting until it shows itself. Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes. Until then I'll butter some popcorn and watch the humanity bus rocket with no driver towards the edge the cliff. At least it'll be entertaining.

Saturday, August 15, 2009



I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker years ago where these two old mean were facing each other sitting in an old folks home. Both men are covered in tattoos and one says to the other one: "I see you were an idiot in the 90s to".

I love that cartoon

If you're out there with blank skin and you're considering getting a tattoo don't. I know that's a haughty statement from somebody covered in them like me but trust me, I look at them mostly with disdain these days. Not all of them, some I can still smile about but most of the time it just reminds me that nobody was driving the car when I decided to get these. As with pretty much every stupid decision I've ever made it seemed like a really good idea at the time.

I can go around to most of the colorful trespassers on my skin and pick apart why they make me sigh and hold my head in my hands. First you have to remove the flash, the shit I got just because somebody offered me a free tattoo. Don't get anything like that for free especially with no clue what you want. That's how you end up a giant Celtic Cross nobody can see because it's covered in this stupid Demon landscape. Demons aren't scary, especially these. My right leg looks like a rejected Dio album cover. Even if it wasn't flash from a wall I have tattoos where flash translates to stupid idea.

The tattoos on my hands, yeah well, at that point I was young and riding high on the idea that I would be involved in the arts as my way of putting groceries on the table forever. Then the hungry wolf of reality ate me all up and shit me out into the working world. No matter how liberal we seem to get boss-man don't want nobody with tattoos in his office. It's ok though, I have that on-hand rebellion to get me through.

I have a half sleeve filled with Star Wars characters that feel like a dirty little secret since Lucas decided to mouth rap my childhood with his Roger Rabbit vision of the first part of the saga. It's hard to hold up your head with pride about a Yoda tattoo when all you can think of is "I will miss you Chewbacca". Same with Vader, "NOOOOOOO", yeah that makes it awesome to have these.

I have a huge Sailor Jerry style piece on my right calf that features six names of people I thought would be in my life forever. Of those people I currently really only speak to one of them and even him not as often as I once did. Two of the six turned out to be bottom-feeding vermin of the lowest order, I mean real scum. The other two just kind of drifted out of my life. Every now and then we meet up and pretend to give a shit about each others lives. Then the pleasant meal is over and we go back to ignoring each other.

The final of the six was the crazy bitch who was married to a friend of mine. Usually with break ups you don't choose sides. She could be caught with a cock in every orifice and he could be found out holding naked LSD sex parties with teenage girls, you still don't chooses sides. Every now and then, rarely, one of the two goes so far off the deep end there's no need to play Switzerland. That happened here, she was an evil bitch and now we all hate her. Still though, her name is tattooed on my leg forever. Good for me huh?

The piesta resistance would have to be my back where I sport a gigantic Motorhead Skull. Nope I have idea why, I have no reasonable explanation for doing it. I like Motorhead but not enough to have a tattoo of them. It's like temporary insanity, I seriously can't remember what drove me to get it. My only saving grace is I can't see it or else I'd be discovered dead on the bathroom floor with potato peeler and layers of skin everywhere. Yeah, it's that kind of hatred towards it.

I also never thought that ink would suddenly initiate me into a club I never asked to be in. This idea that if I pass somebody on the street who was also stupid enough to cover themselves means we pow wow for half an hour is insanity at it's most insane. We both have eyes, skin, hearts, fingers, why the fuck don't we have a jam session about that? Oh wait, is it because we're kindred spirits in some army of anti-this-or-that? Apparently that knowing look that says we secretly share a singular purpose because we have tattoos means I have to suffer fools all the time? Well then dishonorably discharge me from this army because I have no interest in it at all.

Tattoos as rebellion makes as much sense as hot noodles for child abuse. You don't have to look any farther than Kat Von D to understand how sickeningly status quo tattoos have become. Your rebellion is false, your community built on aesthetics and doomed to fail. Hell Christ teenagers now see tattoos as some kind of right-of-passage, a document to how mature they are now that they're 18. When mom is bringing her boy to get his first tattoo the revolution is over, it's time to shut the fuck up and go home.

I don't hate all of them, just most of them. The ones that remind me of mistakes, the ones that indicate I was too uninspired to figure out better uses of my time than to be cut open and drawn on. I don't see them as a badge of honor or some kind of map of my existence. That's the problem today anyway, nobody has to talk to anybody because everything they're about is stamped all over them. From tattoos to t-shirts to handbags, it's a walking resume.

So if you're gonna get a tattoo just remember the words of old Uncle Iann and toss the idea around.

You don't want to be one of those idiots at the old folks home do you?

Friday, August 14, 2009


I gotta say all this stuff with The Siegel family sticking it to DC Comics and Warner Brothers is making me smile. For so long DC and WB raked in millions off of the Superman idea and left the two creators in the cold. Now with superhero movies at the zenith DC Comics and the WB have just lost MORE of the rights for Superman. Here's the breakdown:

The Siegels now control depictions of :
- Superman’s origins from the planet Krypton
- His parents Jor-L and Lora
- Superman as the tot Kal-L
- The launching of the infant Superman into space by his parents as Krypton explodes and his landing on Earth in a fiery crash.

I know it's not everything but it does make a re-launch of Superman more difficult unless WB wants to pay out the ass for those images or make a movie with none of those details involved. The best part is that in 2013 ALL the rights to Superman reverse back to The Siegels.

For Warner Brothers it means that they need to get going on a Superman movie, a JLA movie or anything involving Superman before 2013 or face having to pay insane amounts of money to The Siegels. It also means that the Siegel clan can make movies, TV shows or whatever they want once 2013 rolls around.

For DC Comics its worse because once 2013 happens if there's not something worked out DC could lose Superman. Try to imagine DC Comics without Superman, that would be fucking insane. Like I said, I'm glad it's happened because The Siegels deserve a lot of restitution based on how they were treated.

I'll let you know if there are any further developments.



Check out this tidbit of news:

"Battlestar Galactica" appears to be on a fast track and sources said that Singer could be looking at a $10 million paycheck to sign on to the film.

Battlestar_fleming Singer has long been intrigued with "Battlestar Galactica" and flirted with relaunching it into a TV series right after he directed the original "X-Men." Back in 2001 I wrote about his plan, which involved teaming with Tom DeSanto to exec produce the series. Singer planned to direct the pilot of the new version of a series that originally launched on ABC in 1978 and ran two seasons. Here is what he said at the time, comments that certainly proved prescient:

"The lesson I learned on `X-Men' is to have a healthy respect for the fan base of sci-fi fantasy franchises, and I'm confident that the `Galactica' brand is a sleeping giant. It was a show I watched during its initial run, from the pilot to the final episode. The essence and the brand name is quite potent in a climate where there's a great deficit of scifi programming."

It wasn't immediately clear whether [BSG remake creator Ronald] Moore would be invited to write the screenplay, but it is clear that Singer will put his own creative stamp on the project as the studio indicates that the film will be "a complete re-imagination."

So anybody who reads this knows that I'm not now nor have I ever been a big fan of the re-vamped Battlestar Galactica TV series. I found it to be tedious, boring and way too long winded as well as mired in too many religious themes and attempting way too hard to be a "serious" show. I was also ALL SET with the sexy Cylons which to me was a bullshit marketing ploy.

Cylons are big and clunky and say "By your command" through a vocoder that's only a half step away from the voice in War Games. THAT is what a Cylon is. Cylon's are NOT sexy blondes who speak in the dramatic whisper. I also hated the chick that played Starbuck and, well, the list goes on.

My dislike of the show aside it was critically acclaimed and did re-invent the series for many people. Based on that it seems kind of stupid for Singer who really needs a hit to be fucking around with trying to bring back the original series. I personally would love to see it but I don't think many others will. If Singer is smart he'll stick to trying to save his career with another X-Men movie.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


So check this little tidbit of awesome news from The New York Times:

"Last week, Michael Riedel reported that work on next year's Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark had been put on "hiatus" after producers ran out of money. Now, in today's Post, he says the actors are being released from their contracts, which certainly doesn't bode well for the show's planned opening next February.

This is reportedly the fault of the show's producers, Sony, Marvel, and David Garfinkle, a Chicago lawyer with practically no Broadway experience who's been unable to rein in Julie Taymor's expensive impulses and watched the budget swell to a hilarious $45 million. Riedel says a move to replace Garfinkle last week was unsuccessful because more experienced producers know better than to sign up for a probable disaster. Also, speaking with a math-capable source, Riedel says Spider-Man would have to play sold-out shows for five years just to break even."

Well shit my timbers and call me ta breakfast!! What a fucking surprise that this show finally failed in a large flaming burst of pants shitting hilarity. Is anybody really surprised that this pretentious crap fest didn't even make it Broadway? Did we forget that U2 at their most incredibly pretentious (and that's saying something for those fucks) was writing the music. Can you really see Spidey swinging through New York singing "It's a beautiful day"?

Forgetting that Bozo...sorry, sorry...BONO and his Edge crony wrote a musical titled "Turn Off The Dark" it also had a new villain named Swiss Miss (sorry, not kidding on any level) superheroes make bad musicals. It just doesn't work, it's silly to begin with and you're looking at big money just to make it look like this character has superpowers. I'm hoping this failure will lead to less idiots just trying to rush into making comic book properties into films or shows or whatever because it's a trend right now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile and The Mist helmer Frank Darabont is close to signing a deal with AMC to create an ongoing series based on Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead series. This is one of those few times I can actually pull a Harry Knowles without feeling as cuntish as Harry Knowles by saying I've in the Walking Dead camp since day one. I bought the first issue (which I still have) at Roger's Time Machine in New York City when I lived there and I've been a devout fan ever since. So knowing as much as I know about the series I'm kind of amped on this news.

Darabont has a great way with interpersonal relationships which is key to Walking Dead plus he's no slouch on action or does he sicken easily as we could tell by the fucked up shit happening in The Mist. I'm also amped that this is going to be a series instead of a movie where they try to cram everything into it *cough cough* The Watchmen *cough cough*

My only reservation is that in order to give it the grittiness it deserves (I'm thinking something like the original Assault On Precinct 13 meets Supernatural) AMC will need to let the show go way out on the fringes. I know AMC is cable but it's not totally a buy channel so they may get queasy.

Casting will also be key here and could easily fuck it up. It should be mostly unknowns with maybe a decent sized TV star sitting in the background. I'd love to see Colin Ferguson (Sheriff on Eureka) play the lead role but I'm dreaming there I guess.

I'll keep you guys posted.


So a new CGI movie based on the epic Japanese cartoon Astro Boy will be making its way to theaters soon and having just seen the trailer I hate it hate hate hate it. As I'm sure you all know I'm not a big of Japanime or Manga but Astro Boy along with a few other choice selections (akira, Speed Racer etc) beat that dislike all to hell because it just kicked so much ass. The best I can do is show you. Here's the 1960s intro to Astro Boy (yes it is the English version)

Here's the Goddamn Fucking Trailer for the new one.


1. I hate that Dr. Tenma has been reduced to a saturday morning cartoon villain. In the original this guy built Astro Boy to replace his DEAD SON. How do you make him a joke?

2. Nic Cage is in it and that alone spells doom.

3. The original Osamu Tezuka look of Astro Boy has been shitted away for a more BOLT looking 3D CGI vibe. Problem there is that the LOOK of Astroboy was half of what made it so fucking cool.

4. The whole Military-as-enemy plot has ZILCH to do with the original Astro Boy and really, isn't this cliche a bit overused at this point?

5. Adding the "wacky wise cracking chick side kick" just to hawk the movie to a few more people sucks and yes I know Kristin Bell is smoking ridiculous hot but she's not in the movie except for her voice so NO points there.

6. The fact that he inherits a 'posse" of misfits sucks.

7. The kooky haha one liners that seem to pepper the film

8. The fact that alongside this, Godzilla, Speed Racer and G-Force we seem to have no issue with taking something from Japan and fucking it up. Next time why not just start the movie with a giant middle finger pointed at Japan?

9. "I have machine guns in my butt"

10. The fact that the big bad looks like the Iron Giant being molested by a Transformer.

So I won't be seeing the new Astro Boy and hopefully none of you will either.

I hate everything

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Skateboarding legend Andy Kessler passed away on Monday at the age of 49 from of all things a fucking Wasp sting. Kessler had an allergic reaction to the sting and died of a heart attack because of it. Kessler was a real deal skateboarding hero who ran with the Souls Of Zoo York team in the late 70s. This guy was just as important to the development of what skateboarding is today as Tony Alva, Stacey Peralta or any of the Dogtown Crew.

You have to understand that for me skateboarders were like real life superheroes. I always wanted to skateboard, since I first saw The Search For Animal Chin I wanted to be Tony Hawk or Lance Mountain. The problem was I had zero talent for it, and I mean ZEEERRROOOOO. It could've been that I was overweight or just scared or maybe I was just not coordinated enough to be a skater but I tried.

I had the clothes, the haircut, the skateboard and I could go from A to B on it I just had no juice for tricks. In my eyes at that age the idea of what they were doing rocketed the Bones Brigade into the status of a living Justice League. I watched the videos, bought their shirts and stickers and anything else I could

This was an era before any idiot with a board could start a company and release a video. It was before youtube or the internet period allowed you to watch your favorite skaters shred. It was also way before skateboarding became a sporting event or a mass co-opted thing fed to the mall crawling zombies by corporations. You just couldn't see skateboarding anywhere so you read the magazines, went to the shows and skated with your friends. When a new video came out you would've hit your grandmother in the head with a shovel to get it. Kessler was part of all of that.

It skaters like Kessler and Zoo York and their counterparts Dogtown that actually physically gave birth to the world of skateboarding. They didn't take it and run with it like Hawk and Caballero and Mountain did, they started it out of nothing. That amazed me even more than the boys that had been my heroes for so long.

I'm still obsessed with skateboarding and I'm still awful at it. As I get older those memories and those videos mean even more to me. I watch them constantly (on DVD now thank you technology) and follow what my old heroes are up to. I'm not trying to be "that guy" and jump on any bandwagon. Kessler wasn't a hero of mine though I thought he was pretty awesome.

Mainly his passing, which was so senseless, just fucking sucked. It sucked because he was an originator and an innovator who deserved a hell of a lot better than that.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Ambition in a movie can be a wonderful thing, it can drive the filmmakers to look past just the source material to try and help grow their film beyond what it's “supposed to be”. Ambition in a film can also become a nightmare in which the movie has trouble deciding what it wants to be and instead opts to cram more things in it than necessary.

Sadly the latter is what befell the new Peter Jackson produced Neil Blomkamp directed film District 9. This is a movie with a premise so wonderful and so forward thinking that to watch it devolve into a mess of unshaped parts was a real bum out.

The basic story is this: An alien ship arrives hovering above Johannesburg, South Africa twenty years ago. The aliens discovered inside are stuck on Earth and quickly hoarded into a man-made slum called District 9. As the movie starts Wikus Van Der Mere a kind of bumbling every-man office type (played wonderfully by Sharlto Coply) is heading a team from global superpower MGN to evict the aliens from their slum and force them into a camp outside Johannesburg.

Director Blomkamp really excels at creating the world of the aliens. They are the new poor, the new unwanted, shunned by the people of Johannesburg except for the criminals who set up shop inside District 9 in order to take advantage of the seemingly naïve aliens. This is where the movie works because the aliens become not so alien to you, you see them more as yet another oppressed group getting squeezed out by the hand of popular opinion and economics. Using “interview footage” with experts and a hand held camera style District 9 starts out as a near documentary style look at how hate and fear can galvanize a world that fights amongst itself to turn attention to a new enemy.

The trouble sets in as District 9 turns on a dime into a low budget action movie. All of the humanity and intimacy are suddenly drained from the film to focus on alien weapons, big shoot ‘em ups and other such action-genre fare. The final two-thirds of District 9 feels like a low budget attempt at a big budget action movie punctuated by a 20 minute torture scene of the main character.

In trying to meld together these two very separate sections of the movie the filmmakers loop in subplots that go nowhere and strain logic to the point of silliness. In some of it you can actually point to where a scene was added just cause they needed something like that in the movie.

The other problem with District 9 is pacing, as in it has none of it. Blomkamp simply can’t find the rhythm of the movie at all. The scenes sometimes work but often feel clunky and forced; especially once the “action” movie takes over. The tension in the film just builds and builds but never has that release you need to make the tension worthwhile. Blomkamp is so busy filling the soup with ingredients he forgets to let it simmer.

He also falls victim to the age-old problem that to make a movie real you need to make it brutal. There are several scenes dealing with the tragedy befalling Wikus Van Der Mere that are not only unnecessarily brutal but just unnecessary. About halfway through the movie I felt like screaming, “OK Neil, we get it, this sucks for Wikus. Move on!!!”

Due to the movies brutal nature and “indie” feel I’m sure many art house critics and self-appointed cool misers will embrace this film as some incredible experience without really paying attention to it. Part of that is because of location, people tend to be much more forgiving of films shot outside the states. I’m pretty sure that if District 9 had the same filmmakers behind it but had been shot in Chicago starring Bruce Willis the reaction would be very different.

District 9 can be commended for a great idea, really cool looking aliens and a first rate performance by star Sharlto Coply. If the movie had remained an intimate study of the relationships we were having with the aliens as seen through the main characters eyes it could have reinvented the sci-fi genre. Instead District 9 collapses under it’s own weight leaving a carnage behind it that adds up to a really disappointing film.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I have to admit it, I was late to the entire John Hughes thing. Not because I didn't know about them, I was a teenager of the eighties I had no choice but to know about them. It was more because I didn't realize how good John Hughes was at what he was doing nor did I understand at 15 the social impact of his films. When Sixteen Candles first came out I refused to see it, mainly because all the cool kids were lining up to go see it. I sat at home with my stacks of comic books and ignored that it was even a movie.

Then a girl who I liked (who of course didn't like me) asked if I wanted to go with her and some friends to see it. The power of possible boobage will overrun any ethical boundaries you've set for yourself, especially at 15. When I walked out of the movie I wasn't pissed but I was confused. What had I just seen? The nerd girl gets the hot guy, the nerd guy gets the hot girl, what was this bullshit?

In my world of saber rattling and soapbox dwelling we didn't want to be part of their world, they were the enemy! Who were they to lower themselves to date us? The two nerds should've gotten together because that's what needed to happen. I wasn't totally outraged though, only enough that when I was done venting I never heard from that girl again.

My true source of outrage came from The Breakfast Club which I saw as a horrid propaganda movie about conformity. I'm not going to go into the plot because I'm 99% sure that those who read my blog have seen the movie or at least know about it. At the end of the film the rebel who has raged against the rich preppy popular girl is happy when they become an item.

The basket case girl really only finds happiness after the preppy girl plows her with makeup and she becomes more "popular pretty" and gets the jock guy as a boyfriend. Then there's the nerd who gets nothing but the chance to do everybody's in-detention assignment and for some reason he's AMPED on that. Oh man I walked out of that movie like a Al Sharpton in front of a video camera, out to bring down hellfire and brimstone on all of those who enjoyed The Breakfast Club.

I have to be honest being in a high school like Dwight where the kids were quoting the movie and seeing it 4 and 5 times was heavy going for a non-fan. I wasn't the best at avoiding confrontation anyway but this made me a target as soon as I walked through the door. I was the one kid who didn't like The Breakfast Club and I would need to be expunged like a virus from the healthy cells of high school.

From then on my hatred of John Hughes movies grew and grew. I hated what a cunt Ferris Bueller was to Cameron, I couldn't stand the bullshit ending of Pretty In Pink and finally I just decided that John Hughes and I had nothing more to say to each other. To be honest I continued to have stuff to say but Hughes remained oddly silent.

It was a few years later before I gave John Hughes another chance with Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Not when it was released in theaters but when it came out on....GASP...VHS. I friend of mine had rented it and forced me to sit there and watch it with him. By the end of the movie I was red faced and crying from laughing so hard. I literally laughed out loud from the Taxi cab race between Kevin Bacon and Steve Martin to the end which really actually touched me.

I remember my friend saying "Dude John Hughes kicks ass" and wanting to believe him but being scared. By then I had raged for so long about him that if I turned around and said I was wrong I'd been seen as a liar. You have to understand to the young adult mind you know everything already so admitting your wrong is like telling the world you were rooting for the just couldn't do it.

That's one of the great things about growing up, you realize that you will often be wrong and that admitting that is a sign of character as is the ability to change your mind. A few years after watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the first time a small arthouse theater was running a double feature of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles so I decided to go. I went alone and sat ready to be confirmed that while he may write a witty adult movie his teenage films were bullshit.

What happened startled me.

I fell in love with those movies and by the end of the double feature I couldn't believe how stupid I had been. These hadn't been propaganda movies about conformity, these had been films by and large rooted in reality. Hughes wasn't making high school movies the way we wanted it to be but the way it was. Most kids who freaked out about not wanting to be part of the popular crowd secretly did, most kids who acted the freak did it because the felt unloved.

I was even moved by Molly Ringwald's princess speech about hating her friends. Even I who had raged about individuality all through high school had wanted to be in the in crowd or at least wanted them to want me so I could turn my nose up at them. The fact that they just didn't want me was painful as was the non stop teasing.

After the movies I rented all the John Hughes films and began to understand how good he was at finding the humanity in the most mundane situations. From a filmmakers perspective he was one of the first to really say "Hey let's pull the veil back from the image of uber happy suburbia and see what's really happening". Hughes had meant for Ferris to be a jerk because it made us look at ourselves and why we'd champion a guy like him.

I doubt there was ever a greater outsider/misfit character than Ducky from Pretty In Pink which got a second chance from me after I discovered that Molly Ringwald had forced the i-end-up-with-rich-guy ending and Hughes had wanted her to stay with Ducky originally.

Sure Sixteen Candles still wasn't a great movie but Hughes was cutting his teeth on that film and I'll say this, it has more to say and stands up better than just about every teen film today. I also firmly believe that without the Hughes teenage movies the entire indie-melancholy-teen-angst field that's happening today would never have been born.

With my new love of Hughes I delved into all of his stuff and found most of it really enchanting. Weird Science became my personal favorite because that was a stone cold perfect look at my friends and I at that age. I never did latch on to Some Kind Of Wonderful mainly because it seemed like a reverse Pretty In Pink but what the hell nobody is perfect.

Outside of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and maybe Uncle Buck) my love affair with Hughes ended with his early movies. I was never a fan of the Vacation films and even less of the Home Alone movies and most of his written work post 1990 left me cold. It wasn't bad work it just wasn't the stuff he'd done before.

At the ripe old age of 38 the John Hughes teen movies make me nostalgic for a part of my life I couldn't wait to get out of. All the angst all the crap all the bullshit fades in time and you just remember that you were once that young. That your life was filled with possibilities and expectations and the world was your oyster. No matter how great your life is now you lose part of that as you get older. Life slaps you down, friends betray you, love is found and lost and that view point on life is tragically gone forever.

When reality, responsibility and grown up life start wearing on me I'll turn on those Hughes movies and escape to a time of neon colors, long coats, great pop music and bad fashion. It helps me remember a time when I wasn't so bitter and my cold shoulder wasn't the first thing I used to greet the world. Hughes did more than he probably ever hoped for with those original films and he touched more lives in more ways than he knew possible. I work with teens now and they watch those movies and feel like somebody relates to them. That's pretty powerful stuff the idea that though they were steeped in eighties style those movies spoke universally to any teenager going through the turmoil of....well...being a teenager.

For the films, the escape and the ability to learn more about myself I thank you John Hughes and I wish you great success in the next world.



A while back I told you guys about a Welsh zombie movie that was the rage at Canne and it only cost about $70 bucks to make in its entirety. It tells the story of Colin a young man bitten by a zombie during a "cadaverous apocalypse". We spend the rest of the movie seeing this apocalypse through his eyes. That pretty amazing piece of moviedom has finally gotten a trailer though to be honest it isn't really a very good one. Check it out:

At this point it has no state side release dates but if they come up I will let you know.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Super hack director Robert Rodriguez hasn't finished trying to show us how cool and "outside the industry" he can be yet, which brings us to his latest mess. See ole' Robby has no real talent at all. He can't pace a movie, he can't direct one and he sucks ass as a writer. Want proof? Watch From Dusk Till Dawn in which Robby manages to make the film incredibly boring AFTER THE VAMPIRES SHOW UP. That's a real fucking gift he has there.

A few years back he and his fellow style-over-substance director buddy Quentin "Busy Re-editing Inglorious Bastards because it failed at Canne" Tarantino put out a large smelly pile of bloody donkey shit called Grindhouse. In an attempt to win more cool chips for their personal ego needs the two tried to re-invent the 70s Saturday afternoon splatter flicks and failed miserably.

While Tarantino's senseless and shockingly stupid serial-killer-uses-car movie was the worst of the two Rodriguez's zombie flick sucked as well. In order to really ramp up the hipster cool factor the two "directors" and some of their buddies made fake trailers for other movies that went into Grindhouse. One of those was "Machette" a kill-em-up violent action movie preview that is now going to be a real movie.

See Grindhouse was such a universal failure Robby's had little luck getting anything off the ground. Sin City II is stalled (thank GOD) as was his attempt to get Barbarella remade so his current squeeze Rose McGowen (she was going to star) would keep fucking him. Now Robby has decided to crack open one of his piggy banks and try to get this Machette movie made. The casting has been done and, like everything else Robby does, it's an obvious ploy to make himself look cool and show what a anti-industry edgy guy he is.

See all of these types of indie directors try so hard to think outside the box they become boring and predictable. This casting announcement is no different, check it out:

Danny Trejo: He plays the character of Machette and having been a "That Guy" staple in so many great movies it only follows that Robby would make him the star because it shows how he doesn't "care about the industry man, he's just out to make awesome flicks DUUUDE". The worst part is I like this guy and he deserves better.

Lindsey Lohan: This is so obvious it's painful. Lohan drags press where ever she goes because she's so fucking ridiculous. Not only that but since she can't get anything but arrested in LA she's down to do anything to jump start her career. This means Robby can get some great sex scenes and hot-girl-goes-violent stuff from her in ways she hasn't done before. Plus she's younger than Rose Mcgowen so maybe he can ride her to.

Steven Seagal: This one is a no brainier. This is Robby's attempt to try and take an 80s star and revitalize his career much the same way Tarantino did with John Travolta and Aranofsky did with Mickey Rourke (though Aranofsky seemed to have actually done it for the film not the cool factor). If it works then Robby can act glib and all "oh-shucks" when the media asks "How did you know Seagal would work out?" to which he'll answer "I was always a huge fan and it was more about what was perfect for the film." Which is gallons of horseshit. Really Robby, this is obvious even for you.

Jessica Alba: The cheesecake factor, put her in a small outfit and everybody comes to the movie. The bitch can't act so what else is she there for except to help the boner count?

Don Johnson & Cheech Marin: This is the kooky factor gone berserk. Hey let's get the guys who starred in the awful Nash Bridges TV show to be in our movie. The Kitsch factor alone will bring in all kinds of press. Hey maybe they can rocket out the kookyness factor and have Don Johnson write a song for the soundtrack.

Robert DeNiro: These guys always stick him in something to try and recapture their youth of loving Taxi Driver. Sadly DeNiro isn't that guy anymore so now it's just an old man trying to act tough.

These actors will bring in press and are easily controllable because they need something big in their careers and are hoping this Machette movie will be it. It's too bad because the movie is gonna suck. Don't believe me? Watch the trailer:

That's just the pretend trailer and it already feels forced and stupid, imagine once it has a budget behind it. Not to mention Rodriguez can't fucking direct or write so this takes on a whole new level of pants shitting awfulness. How does this hack keep getting money to do movies when everything outside of Spy Kids failed?

I hate everything


I'd usually save this for The Good The Bad & The Ugly but I love Bigfoot too much and this is too rich. This is the Sasqwatch and it may be the greatest time piece ever save for the pocket watch from The Girl, The Gold Watch And Everything. The watch is a giant foot and inside it is a Bigfoot image and his arms are the clocks arms. It comes in many fashionable colors and is perfect for me and me and me again.

Buy me that shit man I'm fucking broke!!

Dig the watch HERE


Not that this bullshit should surprise me on any level but the Remake Zombie Squad has now decided to feast on Enter The Dragon by making a "noir style remake" about a lone FBI agent who pursues a Shaolin Monk into the "underground world of Kung Fu fight clubs".

Awesome so basically this isn't Enter The Dragon at all but they'll call it that to get people to see it. The film will star the dude from Ninja Assassin and is said to be more Raging Bull than Crouching Tiger in its viciousness. I never thought Kung Fu was vicious but then again it's been years since I was in an underground fight club so what do I know.

The part about this that sucks is that Enter The Dragon was the best Bruce Lee movie out there, a real testament to what he could've done if he had lived longer. None of that seems to matter to the Remake Zombie Squad who will feast on his corpse to turn a quick buck. Oh yeah and noir is supposed to be heavily stylized in the world of Dashielle Hammet and that kind of thing. A brutal fight club movie in a noir style, wow they've fucked it all up.

I hate everything


So apparently the Jack Kirby estate has folded under the pressure of Joe Simon's outrage over them helping Dynamite Comics bring back The Fighting American. Apparently Dynamite's Nick Barrucci had been in talks with both Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's estate to allow Dynamite Comics to re-release The Fighting American along with other JAck Kirby original creations. At this year's Comic Con Dynamite made the announcement about the releases which received this response from Jim Simon:

"It is true that Mr. Barrucci started with talks with Joe Simon, but Simon turned down Dynamite’s proposal in no uncertain terms," writes Jim Simon in a press release published by Kirby & Simon blogger Harry Mendryk. "Apparently Mr. Barrucci did not know the meaning of the word no and he proceeded anyway. Joe only found out the supposed deal when it appeared on Comic Book Resources."

The release concludes with this quote from Joe Simon: "There are some penciled covers of Fighting American by Mr. Ross that are printed in the story without copyright notice. I find that damaging, as is the whole fake story."

After this statement Kirby's people relented on The Fighting American saying that they're still excited for Dynamite to bring about other Kirby comics. I'm not sure what Joe's issue is and who am I to question the awesomeness of the man anyway. I'm just bummed better re-prints of The Fighting American won't be hitting shelves.


For most of us Jim Shooter is the man who brought the original Legion Of Superheroes to life or at least had the run with the most power to it. Recently he was doing a kick ass job on the re-launch but DC being in their usual rush to cram everything into one Event Series ended the Legion so they could bring back Superboy and re-launch it as Adventure Comics.

Well now Mr.Shooter is back and what's more kick ass is that he's writing Golden Age unused characters for Dark Horse Comics. Here's the official Dark Horse Press release

Press Releases
After Much Speculation, Dark Horse Announces the Return of Turok, Doctor Solar, Magnus, and Mighty Samson 8/05/09

AUGUST 5TH, MIlWAUKIE, OR -- In a packed panel on Saturday morning during Comic Con, Dark Horse president, Mike Richardson called a surprise guest to announce Dark Horse’s plans to develop new comics and graphic novels for the Gold Key Comics’ superheroes. Fans were shocked to see Jim Shooter enter the room; the man recently named the “Steve Jobs of Comics” by Comic Book Bin.

Shooter is perhaps best known for his nine year tenure at Marvel Comics, beginning in 1982, with highlights including Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on the Uncanny X-Men, and Frank Miller's run on Daredevil. Also under Shooter's editorial reign, Walt Simonsen revamped The Mighty Thor and made it again a bestseller. Following his successful run at Marvel, Shooter launched the well-received Valiant comics imprint in the early 90s, bringing many of Marvel’s creators with him.

Now, Jim Shooter comes to Dark Horse as head writer for the re-launch of the Gold Key Comics characters: Turok, Son of Stone®, Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, Magnus, Robot Fighter, and Mighty Samson, with further characters and new comic writers to be announced shortly.

“It's great to be at Dark Horse, working with Mike Richardson, world-class creator, honorable gentleman and industry powerhouse,” said Jim Shooter. “It's great to be reunited with Magnus, Solar, Turok, Samson and the other wonderful Gold Key properties. The opportunity is tremendous and the time is ripe. Let's do it.”

“Jim and I share a great affection for these terrific characters. We have some very exciting ideas on how to introduce them to a whole new generation of fans.” said Mike Richardson, president of Dark Horse Comics.


An original comic book hero, Turok is best known today for a successful video game franchise boasting more than five million units sold since the first game was introduced in the 1990s. The legend of the brave and ruthless dinosaur-hunter has lived on for more than thirty years in comic book series from Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics and Valiant. Anthologies of the original classic comics are now available from Dark Horse Comics.

Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom

Doctor Solar must find a way to become normal again after surviving an explosion that leaves him with the power to control atomic energy. When danger and disaster threaten the innocent, Solar leaps into action as the “Man of the Atom.” One of Gold Key Comics’ most popular titles in the 1960s, the original nuclear-powered superhero reached legendary status by the 1990s in new comics from Valiant. The original classic comics now appear in hardcover anthologies published by Dark Horse Comics.

Magnus, Robot Fighter

Haling from the year 4,000 A.D. is the stalwart hero of humanity, Magnus, Robot Fighter. These gripping adventure stories, in which a human who battles evil robots in the sprawling futuristic city of North Am, elevated the comic book medium when they debuted in the 1960s from Gold Key Comics, and captured the imagination of millions in new comics published thirty years later by Valiant. The original science-fiction classics now appear in hardcover anthologies published by Dark Horse Comics.

Mighty Samson

A popular Gold Key Comics character from the 1960s and 70s, the post-apocalyptic adventures of Mighty Samson are set in the land of N’Yark, an earth devastated by nuclear war. Amazingly large and strong, Samson uses his mutant strength only for good -- and to protect his friends, Sharmain and Mindor, responsible for saving his life.

For me this kicks ass on many levels. First off I love Jim Shooter's writing style and his absolute knowledge of what makes comic books so special. I'm also an enormous sucker for Golden Age stuff and some of these characters I'm either familiar with or they sound incredible.

I'm also interested in seeing what Dark Horse does with this. Dark Horse doesn't really put out a lot of Superhero type material and this might be just the ticket for them to keep their unique vision but also involve more costumed hero action.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I decided the other day that I was going to go out and try to actually meet another human being. The world we live in is strife with the ability to communicate with each other but on a level that’s as impersonal as it’s ever been.

I remember long ago when somebody wasn’t a “phone person” it actually made some kind of sense. The phones were big enough to kill a puma, awkward and if you needed to do something you had to cradle the receiver in your neck until it started to throb. If it was hot your ear sweat in the receiver and after awhile the whole thing just became an exercise in pain and frustration.

Now I have people who tell me they don’t Instant Message because it’s just too much work. Wow, let’s really think about that for a second. The idea that reading and then typing one sentence or maybe two is too strenuous for somebody. The mind boggles, the soul caves in a bit because the technology demon has claimed another victim.

We have laptops with wireless internet, IM, Facebook, CellPhones, texting, email, Twitter and yet the world continues to feel more isolated, as if the dream of being able to communicate with out face-to-face confrontation has come back to bite us in the ass.

I decided that this beautiful summer day was the day I was going to break these technological chains and find somebody to talk to. We would talk about life and discuss ideas, even if the idea was that we couldn’t stand each other. At the very least I’d meet this new person who hated my guts by standing in front of him or her. I stepped out of my house anxious to start talking to people when my first hurdle came into focus: the Ipod. Well, truthfully it’s an MP3 Player but Ipod has replaced the actual name as the universal term for MP3 players. The way the Q-Tip replaces cotton swab or Kleenex replaces facial tissue.

There were so may people on the streets today, all basking in a warm glowing sun and every last one of them totally wrapped in their own little world. The player sizes were different, the styles different, even the way they were carrying them was different but the effect was the same. Passing within inches of each other these people had no idea anybody else was there. Sure maybe in peripheral way so they don’t bump into one another or end up street pizza but not really noticing what was going on.

At one point I saw a woman that was anatomically crippling. She sauntered by with her olive skin catching glints of sunlight as her long black hair cascaded over shoulders. The only things harder not to notice then her deep sparkling green eyes were her full lips and the generous and toned body she had was hidden barely beneath a tank top and short shorts.

I stood waiting for her to sprout angel wings and start healing the blind but I guess I was alone in this. Apparently the grooves were too groovy and the tunes too awesome for anybody (guy or girl alike) to give her a second glance. I knew then that trying to talk to anybody walking down the street would be a lesson in futility.

I mean I’m pretty damn cute but if nobody saw this girl coming then I could be goose-stepping down the street in a Nazi Uniform and remain mostly unmolested. I did try a conversation-starting smile at a few people but if they did notice me it was only to stare as if I had a mask made of boogers.

Defeated by the Ipod fiasco I tried to think of the next best possible place to try and meet folks. Then it struck me, a café, the age-old place where people congregated to share ideas over a cup of the greatest beverage known to man. I must confess I am addicted to coffee, in a way I never thought I would be.

Growing up the way I did a lot of inherent grown up things passed me by. For instance I never grew a taste for beer or cocktails so having a drink after work with friends meant I either had water or a soda. Not being able to partake in glib conversation over Apple-tinis always made me feel like a kid when I went out no matter what age I was.

The same had happened with coffee until my good friend Dave forced me to try a summer dessert coffee that hooked me instantly. Since then I’ve paired it down to a robust love of normal coffee, iced coffee, espresso, mochas and so on. When my palette for coffee had truly formed I began going to coffee shops with friends to wax philosophical and lose myself in the pretentious act of sipping coffee and talking about life. Having these experiences made me giddy that I’d find an endless supply of people to talk to today.

I headed into a place I frequent called Café Nation where I was greeted with a sight that made me take a step back. The place was full and most of the people there were facing laptops, clicking away on keyboards, Facebooking, blogging and not looking up at the people around them.

The best part was that some of the customers were there together, sitting across from each other staring at their laptops. The only time they spoke was to grunt about passing cream or sugar (well actually non-fat milk or soy) for their drinks. It was like the scene from Pink Floyd’s The Wall when the kids were marching towards the meat grinder. Who knew a bright and cheery café could be so eerily unsettling.

For some reason I thought maybe I’d try Starbucks but I was way off there. Not only was it another docking station for the laptop generation but also filled with awful college kids. It was like watching “2001: A Breakfast Club” or “Pretty In Processors”. Dejected I walked into Dunkin Donuts, which, while not laptop friendly, was not exactly what I had in mind. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the drooling elderly, the homeless or Methadone patients but they didn’t really seem to want to talk to me and the average Dunkin Donuts has a smell that isn’t really conducive to much outside of dry heaving.

I did visit the bathroom of the Dunkins and while I’m sure Snot Art has its place it reduced the need to talk to the need to run, screaming and trying to choke back tears.. I stood on the street trying to keep my lunch down, sad that I still hadn’t found a single person who wasn’t chained to their fucking technology leash.

The rest of the day was the same thing in different places. I went to the park where people were talking on their cellphones or worse using their Iphone to watch videos on You Tube and leave comments. I thought maybe a nice outside seat at a restaurant might lead towards a new conversation. Ironic as it is somehow the act of eating gets people talking. That was not to be on this day, instead I saw more people sitting outdoors blankly eating food while typing on Facebook or Iming.

I do love the idea that people will involve themselves so deeply in Facebook. I know people who have more personal information posted on Facebook than they’d ever tell a stranger. I won’t lie, I have a Facebook page with likes and dislikes but not my address or my cellphone number and the only pictures are of my cat Quint who never goes outside anyway.

I do blog, I’ll admit that, and sometimes it feels weird, like I’m having an in depth conversation with an imaginary friend. Blogging is a fine thing to do for personal reasons but the idea that people are getting books deals or movies made about their “blog” is insane. I guess the need for memories is gone because the instant you have an experience you need to write it down in your blog.

If I had to pick the one technological juggernaut that I flat out don’t understand it would have to be Twitter. I won’t go out and tell people what I’m doing but I will update in words what I’m doing moment-to-moment and then use my phone to upload it. Twitter only lets you write a sentence at a time before posting. Isn’t that a conversation? You say something and then so does somebody else and so on? Why bother with talking when we can Twitter our lives away.

Dejected and annoyed I headed home to drown my sorrows in coffee and Retro TV (the greatest television channel ever). My trip was haunted by the constant parade of people listening to Ipods (sorry, MP3 players) and even the occasional soul awkwardly trying to hold up their laptops during the jolting ride on the Green Line.

When I got home I picked up the phone to call a friend of mine, a guy I loved talking to. When he picked up we chatted a few seconds before I felt a weird vibe coming from his end. I asked him what was wrong and you know what he said?

“Sorry man, I’m not really a phone person.”

Monday, August 3, 2009


So the other day I got on the train and these four goon headed apes got on yelling about whores and drinking and fuckin' shit up and so forth and so on. These poster boys for abortion were sporting Ed Hardy and Tapout gear which has largely become the Douche Bag Costume Du Jour. Ed Hardy gear goes between Frat Boy Wanna-Be Hipsters and total "fuck yeah" guy shitheels while Tapout gear is primarily worn by date raping homophobes. While trying not vomit acid in their eyes I got to thinking of a great De La Soul song called TAKE IT OFF. I played the song and changed the lyrics for the awful fashions of today.

So turn the song on (because clearly you MUST own the album of course) and sing along, it's fun.


Take take take take it off
take it off

Take take take take it off
take it off

Take take take take it off
take it off

Take take take take it off
take it off

Take Ed Hardy off
take it off

Take Affliction off
Take it off

Take that Tapout off
Take it off

Cut off black jean shorts
take it off

pre-ripped up jean skirts
take it off

Take those Man-dels off
take it off

Men in Flip Flops to
take it off

Your retro band shirt sucks
take it off

Take that Tramp Stamp off
take it off

Take those Ugg boots off
take it off

Those Gladiator sandals to
take it off

The earring gauges to
take it off

That backwards baseball cap
take it off

Those puffy skate shoes go
take it off

Your 50s retro look
take it off

Those super-thin t-shirts suck
take it off

take that fake bedhead off
take it off

Take that Shepard's Fairy shirt off
take it off

take those boot cut jeans, you're 70s punk rock costume, popped collars, thong underwear and sex in the city wedges off please please please